As everyone wants to experience the best things to see, places to stay, and things to eat while traveling. My blog is just a hint of some of the cool things to make your adventure that much more memorable. Now, let’s travel around the globe!
Positano is a gorgeous seaside town south of Naples. I would recommend this place for couples, or people who want to have a luxurious, relaxing vacation.
How to get there:
Fly into Naples.
Private Sedan: hire a driver to take you to your hotel. Sometimes the hotel will provide this service for a fee. The roads are windy and very narrow, I do not recommend renting your own car to this destination.
$$$$ Eden Roc:
This hotel is on the main road, so the driver will be able to drop you off at the door. It is about a 10 minute walk to the beach and the rooms have spectacular views.
Be aware that some hotels near the ocean are not ideal to be traveling down with luggage. The cars are only able to go so far, so they drop you off and you have to walk the rest of the way with your luggage. Positano has a lot of stairs, you will be constantly walking on an incline or decline, this isn’t something you probably want to walk on while hauling your luggage.
$$$$$ Il san pietro di Positano
If you have a little more money to blow, this hotel would be the way to go. Services include access to a private beach, pool, tennis court, private yacht , boat trips, and shuttle service to and from the airport.
L ’Incanto: Enjoy Italian/ seafood entrees, and fruity drinks while sitting steps away from the beach.
Dinner at Rada: Italian cuisine
Piano Bar: Head up stairs from Rada for some unique cocktails while enjoying some romantic music.
Portifino consists 5 small fishing villages off the coast of northern Italy.
If you are on a budget, I think the best way to see the 5 fishing villages is to stay in La Spezia at an Airbnb.
If you want to stay at a hotel in one of the villages, La Torretta in Manarola or Hotel Palme in Monterosso, are more flat of the five villages so these would be the best places to stay when you are hauling around luggage but be prepared to walk up some steep hills. There are no 5 star hotels in these villages but these look like the closest thing you can get to that.
Corniglia: Extremely high up on a hill, probably very difficult to get to with luggage.
Manarola: second smallest of the 5 villages. Beautiful sunset, some great restaurants including the “instafamous” Nessun Dorma. This restaurant can get very crowded, so I would go sometime after lunch, but before dinner. We went around 4pm and stayed close to sunset and we were able to get a good table with no wait.
Monterosso al Mare: Largest of the fishing villages with a proper beach.
Riomaggiore: a small u-shaped village, which is said to be the most photographed village, few restaurants overlooking the harbor. a few boats in the harbor you can rent or do some trips to the other villages. Also able to swim in the harbor, bring your goggles, it is extremely clear water.
Vernazza: Beach, boutique shops, and harbour. Doria Castle is here which was used as a look out for pirate raids back in the day
How to get to the villages:
Boat: If you are staying in La Spezia, there is a port with boat rentals that will take you to each of the villages. You can go on the public boat, which I can only imagine will be quite crowded in the high season, or you could rent a private boat with a skipper.
Train: Traveling by train, it is easy to get from one village to the next. There is a central station in La Spezia that takes you straight to the fishing villages.
What to do:
Sentiero, also known as the “blue” coastal trail. This trail goes through all 5 villages. The hiking path is said to have spectacular views and is part of the UNESCO world heritage site. You can start in Monterosso and head south or Riomaggiore and head north. Check out the status before you leave, certain times of the year some of the trails will close down for safety precautions due to landslides.
Fried cone seafood in Riomaggiore.
Geloato! This can be found in all the villages.
When traveling sometimes the furthest thing from your mind is exercise . Long flights, fatty foods, alcohol intake are all part of a normal vacation but exercise while traveling is very important. Hotel rooms can be small, and they don’t always come with a work out facility, so simple yoga moves can help you start the day feeling rejuvenated. All you need is a towel and small space. These 5 poses are great for your cardiovascular system, as you scroll down, I will list the major health benefit each pose focuses on.
Helps open the lungs
Alleviate lower back pain
Strengthens your arm muscles
Lowers blood pressure
Activates abdominal muscles
Strengthens your spine
Strengthens joints, spine and muscles
Stimulates abdominal muscles
Strengthens your knees
Stretches your hips
Helps build mental focus
Helps with fatigue
Stretches your back torso
Relaxes the front of your body
I am far from a professional photographer, but because I’ve been traveling the world, being a picture taker has become my favorite hobby. Here are some of the devices I use to capture the coolest spots.
This is a beginners camera with a guide button to change the aperture, and shutter speed automatically by choosing the kind of image you are trying to portray. (If you know how to do that manually it is easy to choose your own settings.)
18-55mm. “Kit Lens” This camera comes with this lens and is easy to use for all types of pictures.
70-300mm. This lens also comes with the camera, as a package deal. It has a mega zoom but I have never used it just because it was a big lens to be carrying around, don’t get me wrong it’s definitely a good lens I could have used a few times on my trips and I wish I would have had it.
35mm. This lens allows you to choose a low aperture to focus on one thing and get the “blurry background” effect.
10-20mm. The wide-angle. This lens is my favorite and the one I use the most to get as much in the images as possible, especially when shooting landscapes.
Hero 4. This is best for underwater shots, or activities that require a more durable camera.
Accessories we use for this camera is the go pro dome, to get half under and above water shots.
DJI mavic pro. This is easy for traveling due to its small size, and light mobility. The image quality is also better with this specific model because it shoots in 4k.
There are many different cities that are quite popular in Morocco but only a few I would recommend going to.
- Marrakesh: seems a bit more quaint than the other cities. The markets can get a bit pushy on what they are selling but all are different, each selling something unique.
- Chefchaouen: also known as ‘the blue city’. This is a pearl in the middle of Morocco. A very small town, mostly locals and you aren’t harassed at every street corner you turn down.
- Sahara desert: of course this has to be a stop on everyone’s list that is going to Morocco. Seeing nothing but sand for miles and miles watching the sun rise and the sunset, laying under the most sparkling stars you’ll ever see. This is a one of a kind adventure that you don’t want to miss out on.
- Fez: This place is a pretty big city, looking out over the city from the hills above is pretty cool. Other than that, I wouldn’t recommend going. The street vendors are all the same, nothing original I would want to purchase here. Not to mention I felt like I was being harassed just walking through the markets here. The restaurants are bland, and only have a small menu of chicken kabob, couscous, and tagine. Don’t get me wrong the tagine is fabulous but when that is all you have to eat all day every day it gets a bit old.
Where to stay?
Riads. They are very welcoming and safe to stay. They are originally palaces, or big family homes, with Moroccan style architecture, and rooms on two or more floors all surrounding a courtyard. These places made me feel at home, they are normally back away from everything and it feels very safe. They welcome you with mint tea and food, if you requested it. Some of the best food I had in Morocco came from the riads homemade food so I would recommend eating here if you have the chance. You can just google ‘Riads in Morocco’ a list will come up on the places they have around the area you are looking for.
Tours; The Sahara desert tour.
We went with Authentic Morocco. This tour was from Marrakech to Fez, three days two nights, and we booked the luxury option which was about $1800. They have tours from different destinations, so it depends on which ever city’s you want to see. There are also cheaper options by taking a bus, and sleeping in tents. Check out my Sahara Desert blog for more info.
Have a great time! Message me with any questions!
Luxury 3 days 2 nights.
There are plenty of companies that plan day trips for where you want to go in Morocco. We went with Authentic Morocco, and this is the experience we had.
Private driver will pick you up from your riad about 9am and you will start your 9 hour drive into the desert. They have a few stops for some cool sites on the way. They day ends about 6pm. The hotel is included in the price of the tour. So lounge by the pool while they serve you some authentic Moroccan cuisine.
The day starts at 8am. The same goes for the second day, the driver will stop a few times for food, and sight-seeing. You will arrive around 6pm in the dunes where your camels will be waiting for your arrival. You will take about an hour and a half camel ride through the desert to watch the sunset. After sunset you ride your camels back to the luxury camp site where they greet you with cold rosewater towels. As we all know the desert dunes are full of sand, so they kindly provide a walking path of rugs to guide you to your tents. These tents have a king bed, sitting area, and private bathrooms. Outside you have a sitting area to enjoy a glass of wine while they prepare your dinner. Your dinner will be served in a large tent, with 4 appetizers, four large entrees, and desert! So I hope you come hungry! After dinner you can enjoy the view of 1000 stars.
Day 3. Outside your tents they prepare you with a large breakfast, and coffee while you enjoy the sun rise. After breakfast a Toyota 4 runner picks you up and takes you to meet your driver at the front of the camp. You then begin the journey to Fez. It is about a 10 hour day as well, you stop at some sites along the way and around an hour for lunch. The driver drops you off at your riad around sunset, so you are able to walk the city for a little bit and grab some dinner.
Pisa is a small town about an hour outside of Florence. A day trip is all the time I would recommend spending in Pisa.
If you are renting a car, it is basically a straight shot from Florence on one of the major interstates. Google maps is the best way to go when you don’t want to use your data and don’t have wifi on the roads.
There is a popular train route that takes you to Pisa from Florence. You can purchase tickets online, they leave several times per day.
What to do there:
The tower of Pisa. Yes, the Italians have a structure that appears to be “leaning” due to apparent foundation problems.
At the tower, you are able to walk up the top and see panoramic views, for a small price.
Gelato! At every corner, its Italy, Gelato can not be passed.
Donor kebab. Shaved meat from a rotisserie, they make into a popular sandwich.
Exploring Florence on a budget is a bit hard, especially when they have some luxurious spots of accommodation, dining and drinking.
Airbnb is the best way to go when booking on a budget. They have some cool places to rent out for the week, not far from the city center. Also cooking at home, and packing sandwiches for day trips is an easy way to save money. The food in Florence can be pricy, as this is a popular tourist spot.
The airbnbs are normally equipped with cooking utensils and basic cooking ingredients, so my advice would be to find a local grocery store and cook at home. Florence is beautiful at night so grab a bottle of wine and enjoy it on the steps of Piazzale Michelangelo where you will see panoramic views of the city.
Things to see:
The David: Michelangelo’s masterpiece ‘the David’ is in Galleria dell’Accademia. I recommend buying your tickets a few day in advance online, it is a few dollars more, but you get a faster entrance to the museum, than buying your tickets at the door, which can be over an hour wait.
Santa Croce: The tombs of Michelangelo and Galileo.
Michelangelo’s apartment: If you decide to take the free walking tour, they will guide you down a narrow alley, where you will see the first floor apartment where he use to live.
The cathedral di Santa Maria del fiore: This cathedral is the largest brick dome ever constructed, and built in beautiful gothic architecture. For 10 euro you can climb to the top to get panoramic views of the city. Inside the church is free of charge.
The central market: Most of the locals go here to get authentic Italian dishes at reasonable prices.
Free walking tour is always a good way to get information when exploring a city for the first time. It gives you an inside of the city’s history from a locals point of view, which is the best way to see a city. This tour is free but it is appreciated to tip at the end. I think around $10 a person is acceptable.
Day trip to Tuscany: Check with trip advisor if you do not have a car, they have day trips that provide you with a shuttle service and wine tours all included in one price.
If you have a car I would check out some wineries that have a bed and breakfast and stay up in Tuscany for a night, the countryside is beautiful. We went for a wine tasteing and tour at Viticcio, they also have accommodations that we wished we would have known about.
Tours: Walking some of the most historic cities is be incredibly captivating for tourists and locals. Starting your trip in Athens with a Free Walking Tour helps you gain an understanding of the rich history. These tours are normally led by locals who are very passionate about sharing their city’s story. Their genuine enthusiasm and knowledge of the city is translated wonderfully. The typical tour lasts about three hours and you can expect to walk away with a true understanding of Athens and it’s culture over the years. It is also a great way to find areas and places the locals hang out as well as some cheap authentic greek cuisine.
Accommodations. I highly recommend staying at airbnbs while traveling in Greece. I’ve never had a more memorable trip than when staying in Greece. Make sure to read the reviews, anything over 10 reviews is legit, if you see an Airbnb with 2 reviews and sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Staying in airbnbs the hosts make you feel as if you were a long lost family member they just met. All The while staying in greece I’ve had the host greet me with coffee, drove me around town, invited me to a dinner party at their home where they prepared traditional homemade Greek food, gifted me with a bottle of wine made at a local winery, and shared history of growing up there. While the tours are able to offer history of Athens, the hosts are able to offer firsthand experiences about growing up in this picturesque city that they are able to call home, it really is a great way to see the difference of cultures, and the way they live. I’ve never experienced greater hospitality than I have here in Greece.
Santorini; The best way to get around the islands is a scooter or four wheeler, whichever you prefer. The roads are windy and narrow, so this way of transportation is the way to go. Its also easier to hop off and see some goregous scenery on the backroads. Check out tripadvisor for some private boat tours normally includes drinks, and food while taking you to some of the unique places around the island like the beaches, or even the crater! The Sunset is mesmerizing in Santorini. If you are looking for a romantic dinner on the water, head to Oia. The place to go here is called ‘Sunset’, call ahead and reserve a table on the water, the view is unbeatable.
Zakynthos; yes you guessed it, the island with the famous shipwreck beach. This island has grown popular with tourists over the years now that there is an international airport on the island, so it can get pretty crowed with people trying to take advantage of you. Once again staying at an Airbnb is the way to go, the host drove us to get a rental car and told us all about the places to go and not to go. Also, the island is much bigger than Santorini so I would not recommend getting a 4wheeler, rental car is strongly recomended. As you head north of the island towards the shipwreck beach there are a lot of people are on the roads trying to get you on the boats of their company, which a lot of tourists fall for, I would not suggest going with these companies, most of the time they only allow a few moments to swim in the caves and can be a bit pricy for what they have to offer. We drove all the way to the furthest point of the island, be careful the roads are narrow and windy, we went with a company called Potamitis Brothers. It was pretty secluded and not over crowded. The rates are 15 euro per person and its an hour and a half boat ride to the blue caves, and an hour and a half for the shipwreck. Getting to the beach is about 15 mins, they drop you off on the beach for an hour, which is just enough time, and then they come pick you up. If you go to the blue caves around 12, when the sun is right above you the caves turn your whole body blue, and it is a magical experience. This is worth the 15 euro and a bit longer drive up the hill.
Have a great time in Greece! Email me or leave a comment for any questions!
Ooh la la. Paris, a summer abroad. Whether you’re painting your masterpiece, becoming the next Pablo Picasso on left bank, or strolling along Rue montorgueil, and sampling sugary snacks along the right bank, Paris will keep your summer abroad fulfilling. Now let’s do as the Parisians; wake up, grab your chapeau and begin the day.
Across endless roads of cobblestone, and restless nights at Le Baron, Paris has become a muse to us all but nothing is more wonderful than seeing this city lit up at night. Of course, the first thing everyone wants to cross off their list when they come to paris, is seeing the one of a kind iron structure located on champ de mars that keeps everyone coming back for more. The effile tower sparkles for the whole city to see every hour on the hour, and when it does the city, and tourists are mesmerized.
Moving on, the arc de triumph. Another one of paris most famous monuments, which napoleon I had built to honor his army. A tomb of an unknown solider lies here, and a candle is lit every night in remembrance. This 164 foot tall monument has a 284 step stairwell inside and the view from the top is worth every step.
The Louvre; The worlds largest museum. This place first started out as a fortress to protect the city from viking attacks, and then went on to house Louis XIV before he moved his home to Versilles. The museum expanded a great deal over time and then of course in the 21st century the Pyramids were built. This grand museum holds some of the work of the most famous artists since the beginning of time. Yes, this museum is where the mona lisa sits, alone on a free standing wall in the middle of the room. Lines can be extremely long waiting to get into this place, by purchasing the paris pass you are able to skip the line and walk right in, worth every penny. This pass can also get you into a lot more attractions in Paris so don’t forget to check it out before your trip abroad.
The palace of versilles. Outside the city lights, in what then was a quiet country side, is where king louisXIV built his palace. This is where the chandelier room sits,also know as the hall of mirrors, with hundreds of visitors each day. Get there early this place fills up fast and the lines can get extremely long, but its worth the wait. You can walk through the palace and see the history through all the rooms, or you can wander around the property, where they have gardens, a few cafes, and The estate of Trianon which was the home of Queen Marie Antoinette.
Notre Dame, “Our lady of Paris.” A cathedral catholic church that sits along side of the seine. Climb upstairs to enjoy wonderful views of the city while rubbing the shoulders of a gargoyle. The architecture will leave you breathless.