All posts filed under: Nature & Landscape

walks of Italy Tuscany tour review

Exploring Tuscany with Walks of Italy: My Experience

I’ve been living in Florence for a year and a half and yet, there are still many places in Tuscany that I haven’t got around visiting. It therefore comes as no surprise that when the lovely team from the Walks of Italy invited me to join them on their Tuscany tour, I jumped at the opportunity.   It wasn’t until a couple of days before the trip when the potential horror that I’ve always associated with organised tours kicked in. With the eyes of my imagination, I saw myself surrounded by a group of tourists armed with selfie sticks, marching one by one behind the tour leader holding a flagpole – an all too familiar sight in Florence. Well, I’m pleased to tell you that I was completely and utterly wrong! So wrong in fact that if you happen to be visiting Tuscany this summer but are short on time and don’t want to go through the hassle of renting a car and figuring out your way through the Tuscan roads, I wholeheartedly recommend going on an adventure …

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Heaven on Earth Waiting to Be Discovered

Red currant fields and square-shaped houses resembling toy blocks slowly disappearing in the distance, an occasional fruit merchant perched by the roadside… If you’re entering Bosnia and Herzegovina through its Croatian border with Dubrovnik, there isn’t much that will prepare you for its beauty. The country’s charm catches you off guard. As soon as your heart sinks at the sight of bullet marks still visible in some buildings or at the concrete walls of housing estates marking the war and post war-period, Bosnia and Herzegovina surprises you with a sight so stunning that it makes you look twice, wishing that you wouldn’t have to leave. Emerald rivers, waterfalls, rolling hills overlooking the country’s many lakes, the ottoman heritage which makes you feel as if you suddenly found yourself in Turkey… Bosnia and Herzegovina is a mosaic of natural beauty and fascinating culture. The best thing about it? It’s still very much a road less travelled amongst Europe’s popular routes which means that you can have a piece of this green paradise (almost) all to yourself. Without further ado, let’s find …

view from Marjan Hill, split, Croatia

Split in One Day: Things to Do & See

Split, perched quietly on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, might’ve not been built in a day but as it turns out, it can be pretty much seen in a day. While you won’t be able to experience everything the city has to offer in just a day, luckily Split is small enough to let you explore its most charming sites without feeling rushed. I visited Split two days ago en route to Bosnia, and I was surprised how much I got to see in just under 7 hours. I’m not one to rush through, hectically ticking things off my list, so all these sites can be seen at a perfectly slow pace, an hour long lunch, dinner and a coffee stop included. Let’s jump straight into it! THE OLD TOWN Don’t let the tacky tourist shops, travel agencies and fast food stands cramped together by the ferry docks and the bus station bring your spirits down – once you flee the madness (and the smell of burnt pizza), you’ll find yourself  at the pretty marina lined up with palm trees and flowers. From …

Shibazakura Festival, Mnt Fuji, Mnt Fuji flower lane

Five Unmissable Japanese Experiences

From Tokyo’s dizzying skyscrapes and head-spinning nightlife to the stunning temples of Kyoto, you’ll never be short of things to do in Japan. It’s been my childhood dream to visit this beautiful country (I’m sure those of you who grew up watching Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball can relate!) and when it finally came true, it left me craving for more! It’s impossible to experience everything that Japan has to offer in one trip, so I put together a list of some of the most exciting Japanese experiences to get you started. 1. Visit Mnt Fuji duirng the Shibazakura Festival Your trip to Mnt Fuji won’t be complete if you don’t visit during the Shibazakura Festival when thousands of pink shibazakura flowers blossom at the foot of the mountain. This is the time when the area magically transforms into a fairy-tale like oasis – pick a clear day for your visit to guarantee great views of Mnt Fuji, towering majestically over the flowers. The flowers bloom between mid April till the end of May. 2. Stay at a traditional hotel Staying …

Sea of Stars on Vaadhoo Island, Maldives

World’s Most Unique Romantic Destinations

Valentine’s Day is upon us! Before anyone complains, yes, it is a manufactured holiday but, A: it makes it ok to get stuffed with otherwise unacceptable amounts of chocolate, and B: it gives us the perfect excuse to travel some place new!  In the name of embracing the Valentine’s Day spirit, here’s a list of some of the world’s most unique, romantic destinations, perfect not just for an avantgarde V Day weekend, but for any romantic occasion. Sea of Stars on Vaadhoo Island, Maldives If the romantic in you ever wondered what it would be like to swim amongst the stars, now’s your chance to find out! The surreal luminescence which seems to be mirroring the stars above the Vaadhoo Island is generated by phytoplankton called asdinoflagellates.  Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany Can you name one thing more inherently romantic than sunsets? Why yes, that would be castles! Combine the two and you have a recipe for a perfect date. The fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle was built in 19th Century in honour of Richard Wagner, and its interiors are inspired by his characters. To make it even more magical, the …

Hilton Niseko Village_3

Travel Trend Report: Emerging Ski Destinations

Let’s talk travel trends! What does 2015 have in store for us? I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek into Booking.com’s recent survey of the world’s most popular ski destinations for this year and I thought it would be rude not to share! With winter still in full swing, it’s not too late to hit the slopes so if you need creative ideas for your next ski trip, keep reading. While European resorts are ranking top globally (no surprises there), with Les Menuires in Rhône-Alpes, France named the most lusted for resort, the survey has identified a significant shift towards more unusual skiing destinations. As it turns out, you don’t just walk the unbeaten path – you can now ski it too! Without further ado, here are the most unique ski destinations for 2015 from Booking.com’s list of top 20 resorts: Pyeongchang , Gangwon-Do, South Korea South Korea isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind when we think about skiing, and yet, it turns out it should be! Ranked number 3 on the top ski destinations list, the resort …

five reasons to visit Hallstatt in 2015

Five Reasons Why You Should Visit Hallstatt in 2015

Perched quietly over a large lake and surrounded by misty mountains, the picture-perfect village of Hallstatt looks like it’s been taken straight out of a fairytale. Located in the Austrian region of Salzkammergut in the Eastern Alps, Hallstatt is a UNESCO heritage site and for a good reason. It’s not only considered to be one of the oldest, still inhabited villages in Europe, but its stunning beauty and breathtaking landscapes make it a magical travel destination. If that’s not enough to make you want to visit, here are five reasons why you should travel to Hallstatt in 2015! This View Once you walk past the square and the Hallstatt Heritage Hotel, you will be greeted by this spectacular view. It’s so beautiful that it’s almost hard to believe it’s real! The Architecture The colourful, richly ornamented houses and the slender silhouette of the Evangelical Church are the trademarks of Hallstatt’s stunning architectural style. Not only that, these beautiful buildings hold many secrets. Visit the grounds of the 15th Century Our Lady Church to discover the Bone House (Beinhause) and …

Kefalonia beach Agia Effima

A Guide to the Best Beaches in Northern Kefalonia

The Greek Islands are a wonderful place – calm, turquoise waters, stunning landscapes, magical sunsets… However, not every islands was created equal. My favourite piece of the Greek paradise? Kefalonia. Overshadowed by the more popular islands like Santorini and Crete, Kefalonia, with its lush green hills, crystal clear water and stunning, almost untouched beaches remains a quiet, unspoilt oasis waiting to be discovered. In Kefalonia, the time slows down, interrupted only by the sounds of the waves, lazily washing over the pebbled shores. The Northern part of the island, where I stayed for over a week, is less popular amongst the tourists than the South and hence more authentically Kefalonian. Here, you won’t find any touristic resorts, instead, you can stay at one of the charming fisherman villages   and take in the local culture. With the tiny and welcoming village of Agia Effimia as my base, I’ve traveled to nearby towns, discovered local beaches (some of them accessible only by boat) and went on a cruise to Ithaka  to enjoy more stunning views and natural beauty. What stroke …

Epta Martyres Church of The Seven Martyrs”, Kastro, Sifnos view

Discovering Sifnos: Apollonia and Surroundings

In the heart of the Aegan sea lies a hidden gem of the Cyclades, which I happened to ‘discover’ by a complete chance.  Sifnos combines the stunning beauty of the white Cycladic villages with a friendly local vibe, sandy  beaches and a fun, classy nightlife. Apollonia, the capital of the island, is surrounded by a collection of tiny villages scattered amongst the hills – all of them within a walking distance from each other. At first, Apollonia doesn’t seem to have much to offer except for a few stores and restaurants lined along the main road, but don’t be fooled! Turn right into a small alleyway past the Main Square and you will end up in Steno. The area, lined up with whitewashed buildings typical for the Cycladic architecture, is filled with bars and restaurants. It also has a great choice of jewellery and clothing stores, most of them selling local products. Steno has a fun vibe and remains  quintessentially  Greek – it also has a slight  Mykonos feel to it while being much more relaxed and less touristy. One …

Oia, Santorini best view, unusual things to do in Santorini

Unusual Things to Do in Santorini

When we think about Santorini, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the stunning, almost unreal in its beauty Oia, with the famous whitewashed buildings and blue roof churches overlooking the sea.  I too have fallen in love with this fairytale-like town. That being said, Santorini has much more to offer! The unique beaches with white, red and black sand, the beautiful and often overlooked town of Emporio, the local wineries on the way to the coast – in Santorini, there’s beauty everywhere. The best way to explore the island is by renting  a car or, even better (and cheaper), a quad bike. The island is small and easy to travel around so there’s no excuse not to. Get on your bike and let’s go! Emporio This charming medieval village with its narrow, maze-like alleyways and unique architecture will make you feel like you went back in time (or, if you’re a Star Wars fan, like you’ve just landed on Tatooine). The village overlooks Perissa and Perivolos beach and is home to the best preserved castelli (castle) on the …