Low Tatras in Slovakia is a place I keep visiting regularly. Liptovsky Mikulas and its region is about a good two-hour drive from my village in Hungary. The area is featuring breathtaking views, valleys and so much more. I'm showing you now the winter side of it, but it's stunning all year-round.
I usually choose to stay in the town close to the Tatralandia Aqua Park. Here you can rent small wooden houses and enjoy the thermal spa. I love the pools and the water slides, Tropical Paradise and Celtic Sauna World. If you are seeking for relaxation, you will have it all. Just a few minutes away from the aqua world, you will find cosy accommodation, suitable for families as well.
This time I wanted to try another option close to the slopes. I decided to stay on the hills at the Chalets De Luxe. Our private villa was featuring sauna, jacuzzi, spacious living-room. The whole apartment was stylish, homey and modern. It's comfortable for 6 people (2 bedrooms, 1 living-room, 4 bathrooms and a kitchen). I had such a lovely time here! The slopes are located just a few minutes away.
The house from outside
View from the sauna
Living-room with fireplace
Not only for skiers....
Here is something you don't know about me: I stopped skiing years ago, because I had two accidents. Since that I tried cross-country skiing and I like that very much. If there is no option for that, I like hiking a lot. During these few days I tried some new trails and climbed up and down all day. It was so much fun. All you can do is following the sign below and you will enjoy some amazing views, crispy air and real outdoor adventure.
Follow the sign!
If you are not ready to climb all the way up, you can choose to take the cable cars. Trust me, it's worth going up and enjoying the wonderful view. The third highest peak of the Low Tatras is called Chopok and it raises a bit more above 2000 metres.
There is a hotel and a restaurant on the top, where you can enjoy local meals along with European food. Dining with a view is always a good idea! The place itself is more like bistro style and it could be fancier at such an exclusive place, but all in all it's a great experience.
I had a perfect long-weekend at the Tatra Mountain, even if it was short, I enjoyed the whole outdoor experience, discovered new trails and relaxed a lot. Hope you found it useful and you join my next journey as well!
Finally I'm traveling again! After skipping nearly two years, I started to plan my spring and summer travels. I spent a long weekend in Sicily, discovered beautiful beaches, national parks and cities. If you plan to visit the Palermo region anytime soon, this could be a great help for you.
Where to stay?
I chose a modern four-star hotel in the city center. Hotel Politeamawas a great base for exploring the area. Very tidy hotel right in the center of the luxury shopping street, Prada was basically our neighbour. Two minutes away from the place I've found a very nice local delicacy called Antichi Sapori, where I bought some nice wine, ham and cheese. I love these hidden gems!
I only spent the evenings in the city, this time I was focusing more on the area, beaches and other sights. I must say it's a busy city with great bars, restaurants and shopping streets. The city is noted for its cultural heritage: churches, cathedral, theatres, if you are really into architecture and history, you will love it. On my photo below you can see Teatro Politeama, the name means multi-purpose theatre in Greek. It houses popular shows and festivals as well. The main shopping street basically starts here.
Mondello beach - the closest beach to Palermo
This is the place where local citizens like to spend their weekends. It's very close to Palermo city center. I went there for Sunday, the area was full of life: people were walking around and enjoying the sunshine. Pretty beach for having fun. The area is full of bars and restaurants. Italian "Gelato" is a must!
Northern visits - Zingaro National Park
From the Mondello beach I was heading to the North and stopped for a few hours at the Zingaro National Park. The place is famous for its fabulous blue beaches and caves. It's about a 1 hour drive from Mondello to get to the entrance of the park. The little bays can be reached by steep paths. Great program for a few hours. You can do picnic at the outdoor area and enjoy the view.
San Vito Lo Capo - The fairytale beach
The small seaside town is a popular destination. Spring was in the air and the place was not crowded at all. 20 degrees and sunshine, so perfect in February. You will find a gorgeous stretch of white sandy beach, which is voted as one of the most beautiful beaches of Sicily. Look at this!
I had lunch at a wonderful restaurant, where I tried Sicilian wine from a local grape called Grillo. To me it was very similar to our Furmint wine with mineral and volcanic notes, loved it! The owner of the restaurant showed me the catch of the day, they make everything fresh and just delicious. Highly recommended!
Best view in the region
On the way back from San Vito Lo Capo to Palermo it's worth stopping at Castellammare just to admire the panorama. I shortly stopped by in the morning and than before sunset as well.
Let's go to Cefalu!
Next day I decided to discover the North coast, east from Palermo, my destination was Cefalu.The medieval old town with its romantic cathedral make you feel as if you are in a different era. Walking the cobalt streets makes the impression we are still in the ancient times. I love these tiny streets, it's so Italian. History embraces you wherever your go.
I enjoyed a perfect lunch at a fancy restaurant in the center. Mussel soup was my choice again accompanied with some local wine. Just divine! Locanda del Marinaio Ristorante is a gorgeous Michelin rated Italian style place with delicious food, very friendly staff and great wine selection. It's located close to the beach and the cathedral.
This is the place where I would happily spend my summer holiday. The beach is perfect, great choice for families with small kids as well. The town has an incredibly good atmosphere, culture, sea, life and so much more. It was a good choice driving in and exploring the town at least for a few hours.
Short stop at Capo Zafferano
On the way back from Cefalu, I spent an hour at Capo Zafferano. I heard there is a chapel and a lighthouse here, so I wanted to find these sights. It was not easy to find them tough, parking options were limited here as well. Crystal-clear blue water and sunshine just made my day.
The lighthouse was a good 15 minute-walk from the parking place. It was originally built in 1884, the building itself is nicely renovated but the area is neglected. Madonna Del Lume chapel is located just a few steps away from the lighthouse. I read that it was built to protect the sailors. The whole area has its own charm, great to come here for a romantic walk.
All in all I enjoyed my few days in Sicily, there is so much more to discover, but if you only have a long weekend here, it's worth following my tips and you will see a special side of Sicily. Let me know in the comment below what else shall I discover next time!
Dubai is such a popular touristic destination. Since I’ve been visiting the city twice, now I was mainly focusing on the places, I've never visited before. When travelling, I love exploring the real cultural sights and the truly unique places. Join me for a wonderful stay in Dubai! Summer stayed with me for a short holiday at least.
As you might know, I come from Hungary, in November it can be pretty cold and foggy there, so it was quite a bliss to enjoy summer and sunshine once again this year. You know my kind of style when it comes to discovering a new place. I believe in culture and values. I’m not saying you should not go up to the top of Burj Khalifa in case this is your first stay in Dubai! Do walk on Jumeirah beach and take pictures of the unique 7-star hotel Burj-Al-Arab! Go to the desert, take part in the camel ride and the desert safari dinner, you will love it! But if you want to skip all these „must-see Dubai adventures” and you are seeking for something different, follow me now!
Where to stay in Dubai?
This time I chose to stay in the five star Shangri-La Hotel close to Burj Khalifa. Look at the spacious room with the magical view, just loved it! The room itself was bright and comfortable, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an excellent breakfast with a huge variety of products, like the one in Dubai: all kind of eggs, pancakes, fruits, vegetables, ham, cheese and pastry, you name it. In the evening I enjoyed the pool very much with the special view of Burj Khalifa. Grab a great glass of wine and relax by the pool! It was nearly 33 degrees, it truly felt like being on a summer vacation.
Old town visit
Old town always belongs to my favorites, wherever I am, I always try to visit the old part of the city, it spreads culture and history. Gold Souk offers hundreds of different stores that sell gold, a few minute-walk away from there enjoy the smell of the arabic spices like saffron, cumin, cardamon and so much more. I crossed the river by a traditional boat and arrived right to my favorite restaurant called Bayt Al Wakeel. I enjoyed a lovely arabic-style dinner by the river. Loved the mood!
Dubai Expo 2020
I planned to go to the Expo and believe me, it’s so worth it! Try to go early morning for the opening, it’s definitely less crowded. Rent a bike, just how I did with the Careem Bike App, and you will be able to go around the huge Expo by yourself! Bike rentals are available right at the entrance. First and foremost I was curious to see the Hungarian exhibition of course. It was mainly focusing on the the natural water sources of Hungary, it represents the spas and mineral water of the country. I loved every minute of it, you can taste three different types of water and also buy local delicacies on spot like artisan chocolate, wine acid based drink called Shrubbie, jams and goose liver paté. The show upstairs is all about water, magic and snapshots from Hungary. Sit down and relax for a few minutes!
I especially loved the Saudi and Pakistani exhibitions besides that, full of life and natural beauties. I so want to visit these countries in the future.
My favorite places in Dubai – Marina
Everytime I want to relax or just a few minutes on my own, I love walking around the Marina area. Lovely restaurants on the way and it’s spectacular by night, so much life in the harbor. You can rent yachts or go to speedboat rides, it’s such a fun place to be.
The cultural side – Mosque visit
I already visited the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi years ago, I was curious to see the one in Dubai called Jumeirah Mosque. You can actually enrol to visits at 10 am and 2 pm. While you are waiting for the tour, enjoy they serve you arabic coffee, tea and snacks like pancake with curry. The tour was very informative, we learnt about muslim lifestyle, Koran, Mecca and pilgrims.
When it’s beach time
A good fifteen - minute- walk from the mosque, I just discovered the most amazing beach in Dubai, it’s called La Mer. The area is calm and full of restaurants. First I had lunch at a Turkish place, then walked right to the beach. It's a public beach with shower and shops, not too crowded and the water was amazingly warm. Pure bliss!
Miracle Garden – The tacky side of Dubai
Last time I visited the city, I didn’t get the chance to see this place, so I decided to go ahead now. The garden was first launched on Valentine’s Day in 2013. Right now it’s the world’s largest floral garden featuring 50 million flowers. It’s pretty colorful and it makes you smile. Thousands of superb creations, oasis in the desert, really. You enter a fairy tale and even tough it’s tacky, it still belongs to Dubai.
Walking around - It’s sunset time!
Catch the sunset by the sea at the Palms! Go to Atlantis and walk on the breakwater path. This is the best place for a romantic walk! You can take monorail, which serves as a local train from Marina or simply grab a taxi! Just look at my photos, I loved when the sun went down and I managed to capture this moment. You can walk here endlessly and enjoy the sea breeze.
This is the end of my short visit. I hope to go to Oman and Saudi Arabia next time. Such an amazing culture and adventures, there is so much to explore in this region! Hope you enjoyed your virtual trip with me. See you here next time!
Finally I’m travelling again after Covid. I missed it so much. Thank you for joining me here! My first destination was the sea of course and our charming neighbour country, Croatia. Since I love sailing, we rented a sailing boat and discovered the region with my family. Here are my tips and ideas for a beautiful summer holiday in Croatia.
Primosten – The cute little town
However I visited Croatia many times before, I’ve never been to Primosten. The place attracts so many trourists with its unique medieval architectural, it used to be a fishing village. The old town is situated on a little island, in the middle of the town the church is standing as the main protector of the place. You can easily walk around the inner center and admire the magical sunset.
Beaches are crystal clear. That was the beach of the hotel where I was staying at Hotel Zora, the place itself was fine but nothing special to be honest. The location was the only thing I loved about it, otherwise it was pretty crowded and food was average.
While leaving Primosten, it's worth climbing up to the Our Lady of Loreto monument, it was built in 2017. It protects the city, it's a registered pilgrim route. The black face of the Madonna is the symbol of fertility of the country.
Sailing fun in Croatia
If you are looking for a place for sailing, Croatia is a great choice due to the diversity of the islands. Q-Yachting is the company where I was renting my boat. The stuff was helpful and everything went great. This is the picturesque harbour, Marina Kremik, where all my mornings started actually. I spent almost everyday sailing.
Day trip to Trogir
If you start sailing to the South, you will find lovely places to stop by. First of all you can reach the romantic lighthouse called Mulo Cliff Lighthouse. The lonely surrounding is heart-touching, these houses are so mysterious, loved it! The lighthouse looks like a big fortress, it was built by the Austro- Hungarian Navy in 1873, therefore this place is so special to me. Mulo island is the perfect spot for capturing sunset as well.
Right before arriving to Trogir, you will find charming little bays, where you can stop by for swimming or relaxing. My favorite was Okrug Gornji. Shallow water, incredible blue colours and great mood.
Trogir is a gorgeous city to discover. Find a great place for lunch! We loved La Riva Restaurant right in the center, I chose seafood. Charming medieval atmosphere will surround you while strolling the streets, the city used to be a trading port in the ancient times. Romanesque and Gothic styled buildings are nicely preserved, the center belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
One day in Vodice
Next day we were sailing to the North, therefore we reached Vodice, another unique place. The harbour was just like in a fairytale, really nice, small town with picturesque streets and attractions. It’s easy to walk around, the placce is not that big, it has 10.000 inhabitants.
All in all there is so much to discover in Croatia and if you rent a sailing boat, you might get the chance to discover the hidden face of this wonderful country.
It was my first time flying to the East where I could discover Singapore and the fascinating cultural diversity. If you've never been to Asia, Singapore is a good choice to explore, therefore you can meet different cultures at one place, get the taste of Asia and feel the energy of a modern yet traditional place. Even if you travel solo, the city is very safe, but the rules are strict too, so be aware of that! Even capital punishment is still legal and you will be charged for thousands for littering or eating on public transportation. Probably due to these regulations the city is really clean. Ppeople are welcoming here and there are lots of interesting sights to discover. How would I describe Singapore in a few words? Vibrant, multicultural, spectacular.
Where to stay?
I chose Grand Park City Hall close to the center, I was able to reach everything on food from here. The rooms were tidy and clean, the best part was the swimming pool on the roof terrace. The breakfast was typically continental with Asian influence.To me the location counts the most and this place is highly recommended!
If you are like me and you like going beyond the surface, come and get lost with me! Otherwise I also visited the typical touristic sights. First day I joined an Airbnb general city tour, which included a part of Chinatown, the Flyers, boat tour and the Merlion Park I got an overall view on the city, I was ready to get lost at the authentic streets next days.
The Flyers is Asia's largest giant observation wheel with a stunning panoramic view over the city. While you enjoy the view, you will also learn about history. It's a nice, relaxing ride and a great first impression you can get on your first day. Buying your ticket in advance is highly recommended!
Merlion Park and boat tour
Merlion, the half lion and half fish creation is the iconic statue of Singapore. The fish is the symbol of the humble beginning of the city when it used to be a small fishing village and the lion refers to the fact that the city is called Singapura "Lion cty" in Malay. The park is pretty nice, it's surrounded by restaurants and Cafes.
Close to the statue you can go for a boat tour where you will visit the city from the water, passing through the historical center, learning stories about the city's life. The trading settlements exist since the 14th century,. It used to be a British colony, during WWII it belonged to Japans. Singapore as independent state was born in 1965. The boat tour lets you relax and enjoy the city scape from different perspectives.
Marina Bay Sands - Top of the world
When in Singapore, you should not skip the chance of snipping champagne on top of the exclusive five-star hotel. The resort includes a hotel, a shopping center with the most luxurious brands and the world's highest infinity swimming pool. You can chill at the skybar and enjoy the view. We didn't have reservations, still we managed to get a table. If you would like to sit down at the best spots, the obligatory consumption is 1000 SGD. Get used to the fact that the city is generally expensive, but at such a posh place you will pay even more. Once in a life it's worth the money though!
Gardens By the Bay - Cloud Forest, Flower Dome
You surely heard of this place before! Upon arrival you will be mesmerized by the giant supertrees and the tropical paradise which make Singapore the botanical capital of the world. The man-made forest convert sunlight into energy, real wonders of today.
This is the largest glass greenhouse in the world, epic place with rare flowers and plants. Buy a combined ticket to all the gardens and enter a different world!
Waterfalls, plants and crystals, the place has so much to offer. Diverse vegetation in the middle of the city! Enjoy the indoor waterfall, the cloud walk and greenery everywhere. Wear warm clothes, the forest can get really cold!
if you love tasting all kind of foodies, you are at the right place! Food is literally everywhere and street food is quite cheap here. Hawker centers are the ultimate places where you can enjoy all kind of Asian food. I visited Maxwell Hawker center in the Malay district. These food courts do not have air conditioning, it's the place where locals eat, I loved the atmosphere so much! Besides that I tried a Thai restaurant at Clark Quay along the Singapore river and a ramen place with hundreds different types of soup close to my accommodation.
The multicultural melting pot
Chinatown - The laid back place
I've never been to China, so I was so excited to get lost in Chinatown. It was an easy 20-minute walk from my hotel. I was amazed by the historic temples, the colorful streets and the Chinese market. The place is full of life and it feels like as if you are in a different country. I visited the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, probably the most popular attraction of Chinatown. Entrance is free, but wear loose and moderate clothing! Go upstairs and you will find a peaceful garden there where people mediate and find their inner peace. There is a Chinese food court and market very close to the temple.
Indian temple in the middle of Chinatown, this is Sri Mariamman Temple, the oldest Indian temple in Singapore. Besides worship, this place was always an important center for community activities. Pay close attention to the ornate details inside! Due to a tropical storm I was stuck here for about half an hour so I could observe the ceremony and the architectural wonders in depths.
Kampong Glam - The Malay heritage
I was so glad to meet Rara, my Airbnb tour guide, she is such a welcoming, kind lady, we were strolling the streets together all afternoon. We visited the Sultan's Mosque first, spectacular architecture, entrance is free, but wear appropriate clothes!
There are many Arabic style restaurants right in front of the mosque. Try the oldest restaurant, Zam Zam, such a popular place, where you can have Murtabak, pasta with different fillings.
You will also find here the famous Bohemian street called Haji Lane, vibrant streets are really everywhere. Haji Lane is the hippy neighborhood, where you can eat, drink and shop. The atmosphere is so inspiring, at the Selfie Cafe they print your face on your own coffee, pretty crazy world!
On the market Rara made me try the typical fruit, durian. It was a bit similar to mango and to me it smelled like a rotten fruit, but it's supposed to be rich in antioxidants and it's very healthy.
My favorite part of Kampong Glam was definitely the Streets of Harmony, here you will find a significant place of all major religions: temples, church and mosque. The Indian temple was so richly decorated, the whole place had a blissful atmosphere.
All in all Airbnb private tours are great, because you get to know a local, my guide took me to many special places I wouldn't have been able to find alone. We smelled Arabic perfume, had a typical cup of tea with milk and discovered the Malay Heritage all afternoon.
Little India - The vibrant neighborhood
Last but not least explore a piece of India in the middle of Singapore! What to expect? Endless shops, cool massage places and the most amazing colorful streets art I've ever seen. Street are is pretty unique, it makes the whole city so vibrant and alive.
The most visited sight is the house of Tan Teng Niah, the colorful villa dates back to 1900, it was built by a rich man during the colonization of Singapore, Today it stands in its original form. The place was the most picturesque scene to me in the whole city. The building is well-maintained, the neighborhood is full of fabulous street art scenes.
You think you've done with sightseeing but then you arrive to the airport and you are amazed by the gorgeous sights: cactus park, butterfly garden, swimming-pool and the most well-known sight: Jewel Changi, the world's tallest indoor waterfall. Tropical scene accompanied by music and light show every hour. Before heading to migration line in Terminal 1, don1t forget to check this out!
If you only have a few days for Singapore, don't worry, it will be enough to get the vibes and see the most important places. The city is must-see at least once in your life, get the most out of it!
The romantic city attracts so many tourists from all over the world, autumn might be a less busy time for strolling the little hidden streets of Venice. If you go during weekdays, you can enjoy the atmosphere even more. September is a great time to visit this fabulous city: Elegant bridges, breathtaking architecture and pretty gondolas. You have to see it for yourself!
Since we arrived by car, we parked at a huge parking spot close to the center. Please note that cars are not allowed in the city, but there are huge parking lots where you can leave your car. From there you either walk to your hotel or get a water taxi, it depends on how far your accommodation is. The romantic gondola ride might look like a bit tacky, but where to try it if not in Venice!
Home away from home
I traveled with friends and we chose to book a flat via Airbnb, I’m a big fan of this system. The apartment looked just like how it did on the photos and it was located in the center, the price was much cheaper than a normal hotel would be around this area. Since we had a full-equipped kitchen, once we even cooked dinner (seafood pasta) and bought some nice Italian Prosecco at the shop, just lived the life how locals do.
Historical tales – Main sights you can’t miss
Did you know that the city was originally formed in the 6th century by the refugees who were fleeing from the Lombard invaders? As the water separated Venice from the mainland, the place got more and more isolated and it was easy to protect from invasions. In the 12th century Venice experienced growing economy and it soon became a commercial empire. Today tourism has a huge impact on the city’s life, the place is extremely busy all year-round.
Piazza San Marco
The legendary Piazza San Marco has its own charm, where you will be surrounded by stunning architecture. Since it’s the lowest part of Venice, it’s hit by floods first each year. Here stands the Basilica San Marco. Originally the church was the Dodge’s chapel and it is the city’s cathedral only since the 19th century. The old mosaics and the Gothic style will make you impressed.
Piazza San Marco
Basilica San Marco
Right next to it stands the Palazzo Ducale, the luxurious palace dates back to the 15th century. In the beginning a massive old castle used to stand here, which served for protection. Until the 17th century this building was housing the Dodge’s apartment, the seat of the government and the jail as well. It was the heart of political life. Today it's a museum, make sure to buy tickets online, audio guide is available inside.
Venice is truly the city of bridges, one of the best-known is the Ponte Rialto, the stone arch bridge over the Grand Canal. It’s the oldest bridge of all. During the history the bridge was damaged by fire and also collapsed twice. What we see today was designed in the 16th century.
After visiting the main sights and strolling the little streets all day, check out the restaurants! Gastronomy really starts in Italy to me, the passion they prepare food is just above anything else. Pizza, pasta, coffee, Prosecco and ice-cream – these things you just can’t miss when in Italy!
Honestly I was shocked by the crowds the first day I arrived, but then I figured out the way to enjoy this magical city. After midnight or very early morning go for a walk and discover the place in a different way! I had a lovely weather and experienced some magnificent sunsets, discovered some great restaurants and enjoyed every second of my stay. Venice is undeniably beautiful and worth visiting at least once in your life!
I'm planning to book an Airbnb experience next time, it allows you to see the city through locals' eyes. However a weekend is only enough to explore the main sights, you can still get the vibes of the city.
It was my first time cruising the Adriatic sea in Croatia with friends. Sailing is a different lifestyle. I must say I was falling in love with it immediately. I'm happy as long as I'm surrounded by the sea and living in this environment is more than blissful. I love the carefree spirit of sailing. In the morning you can enjoy the peace of the marina, daytime lots of adventures are ahead, in the evening you can explore different places and cities. You are constantly on the move while you are relaxing at the same time. This is the perfect getaway! Join me for a catamaran tour!
Get ready for the new adventure!
Traveling light is always my conception and believe me, it works! All you need to do is choosing clothes in matching colors, so your capsule wardrobe will be polished and chic during your stay. For my first cruise on a catamaran I decided to wear only black, red and white, simple but great colors. Choose matching accessories and you are good to go. You might want to eat out in the evening, so grab a nice summer dress, a purse and heels as well! Don't overdo it, you will spend most of your time on the catamaran, dress comfy, get your swimsuit and put on lots of sunscreen!
Catamaran Lagoon 440
Let me introduce you the main features of Lagoon 440! This type is elegant and luxurious. I love the big spaces: cosy living room with kitchenette, lovely outside space and a deck for sunbathing. It's totally comfortable for 8 people with its 4 cabins and separate bathrooms. The cabins are small, but there are many hidden little cupboards where you can store your personal belongings.
While sailing, you can enjoy the sun, read or relax on board. Stop on the way and discover the scenic, little bays and refresh yourself in the sea! Snorkeling is a great option too. I tried the sup first time in my life, it was so much fun.
Crystal clear bay
Me on the sup
We were sailing out of the harbor of Skradin and we planned to sail to the South, but due to the weather conditions, the skipper decided to sail to the North. After leaving Skradin, you will find oyster and mussel farm, it's worth stopping by for fresh seafood!
In the evening we anchored at a little place called Zminjak at the Murter Island. The bay was calm and peaceful, all you need for a pleasant evening.
There was only one restaurant at the place, so it's highly recommended to book a table in advance! They prepare the typical Croatian food, peka, which is basically an oven-baked, traditional meal (roasted lamb, pork, octopus or fish) it depends on what you like. We ordered fish and octopus peka, it was baked together with local spices, potatoes, tomatoes and pepper. It takes hours to cook this specific dish, so it's better to order it in advance while booking your table! Pair it with the sour cherry liqueur, Visnja, another local specialty! It's not that strong and tastes great.
View from the table
Nightlife in Vodice
After chilling at the bay, next morning we stopped bathing at several cute lagoons before we anchored the catamaran in the picturesque little town of Vodice. This evening was all about dancing and having fun.
Right in front of the marina there is a small square packed with restaurants and bars. The town has a great atmosphere: cobblestone streets, charming houses and holiday mood. Restaurant Arausa totally worked out for us, great food and friendly staff. If you like fish, they offer a wide range of all kind of seafood and local fish types. Look for a the sign of the red crab! Later on we had cocktails at Lounge Bar Macando, it's all you need for a party night.
During the four days of sailing my absolute favorite place was the fabulous little bay of Otok Kaprije. First you have the impression that you just arrived to the Caribbean: incredibly blue shades, crystal clear water and sunshine. Croatia is paradise, you only need to discover the hidden gems!
Finally we were sailing back to Skradin and spent the night there. The small town is great for walking and relaxing.
I'm saying Goodbye with my last photos from the catamaran. What a fascinating sunset! I will miss sailor's life so much! Freedom - unforgettable moments - perfect relaxation on board! Loved the feel of wind in my hair and the fact that I could disconnect from the hectic everyday life. I'm sure I'll be back on board next summer!
The strategically important place used to serve as shelter for the ancient people, later on a fortress was built. Since the 13th century Monaco is ruled by the House of Grimaldi. Monte Carlo is today an elegant, posh city. It stretches along the coast as the jewelry box of the Cote D'Azur. To me it was love at first sight: pretty streets, glamorous yachts, stunning panorama. Join me for a short visit in Monaco!
Everything is walking distance here, the harbor is packed with the most expensive yachts and ships, they make a blissful harmony with the sight of the hills and the modern buildings. The legendary Monte Carlo Rally takes place here since 1909, very popular race. From the harbor climb on the hill and as you reach the top, visit the Oceanographic Museum first! You will see many types of sea creatures and learn about the turtles. A huge aquarium features the flora and the fauna of the ocean.
It's a lovely program for families as well, pure bliss for children. On the top there is a roof terrace with a fabulous panorama.
While you are approaching the Royal Palace, stop for a minute at the Exotic Garden, which is located right next to the museum. The garden is built on a rocky hill, so besides the rare types of plants you can also admire the sea view. There is always something blooming here, visit it all year-round! The whole place has a great atmosphere, have a short walk and discover the hidden passageways!
The Prince's Palace is a real historical place on the top of the hill. The building also operates as a museum and it houses many concerts all summer long. The State Apartments are open for public all year-round. If you love cars, here is something special for you: Visit the old car collection of the royal family! 5000 square meter pure joy of cars: Lotus, Maserati, Lamborghini - just naming a few brands.
Get lost in the heart of the old town, stroll the narrow, little streets, have an ice-cream and enjoy the mood! Around the Palace area bars and restaurants are quite expensive, however I discovered a local place at a reasonable price. L'Aurore is a great restaurant with Italian and French style cuisine, they are very popular among tourist groups as well. I chose pesto lasagne, it was delicious and just what I needed after a whole-day visit.
Another emblematic place is the Monte Carlo Casino, it stands at the other side of the harbor. The area is full of designer shops and beautiful gardens. The casino is luxury on top, therefore Monaco is the center of entertainment since the 19th century. This building also appears in many films. Gambling in pure luxury in the city of rich and famous!
If you spend your summer holiday on the Cote Đ'Azur, explore the best of Monaco and get the great vibes of this place!
The last chapter of my Tuscan tour covers Cortona and Florence. Ever since I've seen the American film Under The Tuscan Sun, I wanted to visit this place and guess what, I even found the Villa Bramasole, where the American writer, Frances used to live. Do you recognize it from the photo? Cortona is just how I imagined: lovely, cozy squares, breathtaking views and ultimate Italian lifestyle.
Leuta Wines - Tasting program in Cortona
Once you are in Cortona, don't miss the chance to visit some of the best wineries in the region. I was lucky to book a last minute appointment for wine tasting at Leuta Wines. Their signature wine is made from Cabernet Franc. They represent tradition and innovation, balance and harmony all in one. The winery was set up by two long-time friends, Denis and Enzo, they left the world of finance and followed their dream. Their fields are located close to Cortona, the land is clay-rich with limestone. You will find here many types of grapes from Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, Sangiovese, to white ones like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Incrocio Manzoni. The wine tasting lasts about one hour and you can choose from various packages. The classic package costs 10 EUR and it includes 4 types of wine. They have different tasting rooms depending on the size of the group.
You also have the chance to visit the cellar and taste some types there. The whole place is lovely and nicely decorated. My absolute favorite wine was Syrah from 2015. Since it was aged 12 months in French barrels, that gives a kind of richness to the product. I also felt some pepper and coffee notes in it, while it was well-balanced and elegant with a long ending and soft tannins. If you are really into wines, just like me, I highly recommend you booking an appointment in advance and enjoy the Tuscan wines in a nice surrounding.
Cortona - Home of history and so much more
The beautiful hilltop town is one of the oldest ones in Italy, it was settled down by the Etruscs. There was a period in history when it was under the control of Florence, that's the reason why you may find Medici styled architecture. There are many chruches to be discovered in the cute little town, my absolute favorite one was Madonna del Calcinaio. It's a domed building with Renessaince style built in the 15th century. You can capture a great view of the church from Cortona's center close to the market square.
Piazza della Repubblica is the main square, which is often an important scene of markets and festivals. To me it's the best place to grab a drink and whatch the people around. The square is filled with so much history, the clock tower is original from the 13th century.
I love local markets and I was happy to bump into one close to the main square. The atmosphere was great and so Italian. Local products above all!
For dinner I chose to go to Cortona Bistrot, a family-run establishment. It's a good 10 minutes walk from the main square. You will have an incredible view of the valley around. The food was traditional Italian with a modern twist. Authentic place with style!
View from the town
Walking is the best way of discovering a new place. Being lost is not always that bad after all. I was strolling the little streets in the center for hours: lovely boutiques, chic coffees, ancient houses. I was definitely not ready to leave this place yet.
Florence - Renessaince art and vibes
Before going back to Pisa, I had one more day in Florence. It's impossible to discover the city within a few days. The list of sights is enormous, you'd better check the museums, churches and programs before your departure. Here I'm focusing on a 'what to visit within one day" adventure. I'm showing you the basics and the best pizzeria in town.
I parked close to Ponte Vecchio, the most photographed bridge, so I started my city discovery there. The medieval old stone bridge is the only one that remained the same structure how it used to be, it still features shops and boutiques. The bridge first appeared in the 10th century, but it was destroyed by a flood in 1117. I've never been standing on such an old bridge before. Thank God it was not damaged during WWII, so we can enjoy the ultimate medieval atmosphere while passing by. Be preapred for crowds though!
Uffizi Galleries probably sound familiar to everybody, it's the world-famous museum of Renessaince masterpieces. The first museum was dedicated to the art pieces collected by the Medici family. Be aware of the fact that there is always a long queue, no matter which time period you are going. Buy your entrance ticket in advance, that might help a little, but not much actually, you can still queue for an hour. Once you are finally inside, you will be blown away by the wonderful masterpieces: Boticelli, Giotto, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo. If you really want to see everything, it might take you about half a day to do so.
Did you know that this part of the city used to be the dodgy end? Well, it's not anymore, today it's the posh side.
Florence Cathedral is a Gothic style church from the 15th century with various shades of green and pink, which looks really lovely in this combination. It's still the largest brick dome ever constructed in Europe. There is a crypt under the basilica, it's open for public. The best program is to climb up to the roof and enjoy the best view from there.
What to eat in Italy if not pizza? After such a long day it felt great to sit in a cool pizzeria just chilling. Il Nutino is traditional and offers the best pizza I ever tasted. Choose the house wine and enjoy every bite of your well deserved pizza!
Let's say Good-bye to Italy now, next month I'm dicovering Spain, so join me for new adventures! For Tuscan style wine cellar interiors and decor ideas go HERE. If you are into fashion, natural, sophisticated looks are presented under FASHION.
Join me for the next chapter of my Tuscan round-trip, when I'm discovering some famous, medieval towns in the heart of the region! Spring is my favorite season, it's the perfect time for planning your Italian trip at this breathtaking place.
San Gimignano - The romantic little town
The cute place is about halfway between Florence and Siena. You will immediately notice the high towers that rise above all the other buildings. San Gimignano is famous for its brilliant medieval architecture. Before discovering the place, I checked in at my hotel.
In Tuscany what else to choose if not a countryside-style accommodation, that features traditional and modern elements as well. Podere Bellavista is a typical "agriturismo" right next to the city. What can you expect here? Warm Italian welcome, magical surroundings and fine wines. Your breakfast will be served from fresh ingredients right from their own garden: vegetables, local products, olive and cheese.
You can enjoy a panoramic view of the old city. At summer time the pool is pretty amazing in the middle of the quiet valley surrounded by vineyards. You can enroll for wine tasting and dinner, where Italian dishes are served with their house wine. I loved that evening, give a try! You either walk through a path (about 30 minutes) or take a taxi to San Gimignano.
The place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990, it feels like you step back in time. If you only have one day here, I highly recommend you visiting the Torre Grossa, the tallest medieval tower that was built in the 14th century and it's a museum today. It used to serve as a watchtower as well, but originally rich families built more than 70 towers in the center during the medieval times, these buildings became the symbol of power and richness. Entrance ticket costs 9 EUR, you can climb to the top on old stairs. You will notice frescoes on the walls and temporary exhibitions on the way. The most exciting part is reaching the top, you will be blown away by the view of the town, the forests and the vineyards.
If you are looking for a nice place for dinner, here is something special for you. Le Vecchie Mura offers the best view and the most delicious Italian food in town. You have the feeling, that you are seating in the middle of a rose garden, while sipping a glass of wine. Look at that unfiltered view by sunset!
Tiramisu & Limoncello
Greve in Chianti
In the heart of the wine region, there is a cute, tiny place I stopped by for an hour. Greve in Chianti is just a good 30 kilometers away from Florence. Piazza Matteotti is the main square, that hosts the organic farmers' market every month and it's also known as the "Chianti capital", In September a wine expo is organized where all the best local wine types are available. Chianti Classico is my absolute favorite one when it comes to red types. The place is great for a quick walk and lunch. Dreamy location with the vineyards, olive groves and old castles around.
Siena - A town full of life
The historical city is the capital of the province Siena, it's mainly known for its medieval architecture and the main square, Piazza del Campo. This is the market place where the famous horse race takes place. If you have a closer look at the square, you will notice its shell shape. The city has Etruscan origins, they were the first tribes who settled down here. Today it's popular among tourists.
Siena cathedral is a gorgeous masterpiece of Gothic architecture, it's a combination of white stones and marble design from outside. The floor inside is featuring esoteric symbols and there are beautiful frescoes above the altar. This kind of style is very typical at the whole Tuscan region: rich decoration and medieval mood.
If you have a few hours here, have an ice-cream at the main square and discover the little streets. Getting lost is sometimes the best way of getting to know the neighborhood. Explore the local shops as well! Their leather goods are representing an amazing quality at an affordable price.
In May I'm showing you the beauties of Cortona and Florence, that will be the end of my Tuscan tour. This is the place I keep going back time to time, there is always something to explore here. For fresh, spring inspired fashion accessories go HERE and get ready for a lovely picnic and gardening HERE!