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What to pack for your trip to Iceland!
This checklist will give you an idea of what you'll need for your trip to Iceland, this is based off my experience of visiting in February. February is at the height of winter where you will expect a lot of snow and for it to be very cold. However relying on the weather apps is no good, so making sure you're covered for all bases is the best idea and I aim to help you with that. I have three categories that are worth mentioning, clothing and footwear , accessories and equipment . Clothing and footwear - My packing list on the clothing front was very minimal as I went for practicality over style due to how cold I knew it would be. I would make more an effort at night to wear something a little more dressier but in the day when doing excursions and activities I planned for warmth and comfort. Thermal base layers, this will include anything from tops, leggings to socks. These are the most important layers as they need to be skin tight to lock in any heat. Fleece Jacket, in my case I took two puffer jackets. These were a life saver as they didn't allow any cold to pass through, ensuring I stayed warm all day. Cargo trousers Over trousers, these were the best things to bring. For rainy days especially, you just slip them over whatever trousers you have on and they will not only protect them if you're doing an activity but they are waterproof and an additional layer is always ideal. Jeans Leather trousers Jumper Swimsuit, this is a must need for trips to Blue lagoon or Sky lagoon (or any thermal spa of your choice) Trainers, these were my evening shoe of choice as well as my travel shoe. Winter boots, these were my go to shoe for the days especially during excursions. I bought this pair from hunter which were waterproof/resistant, non slip and could handle up to -15 degree temperatures. Flip flops, these are also to take to the lagoons so that you're not having to walk around barefoot. Accessories - Scarf Gloves/Mittens Hat Ear Muffs Hand warmers & foot warmers Equipment - Tripod, this will come in handy when you go to see the northern lights as you can keep your hands in your pockets and also set up your phone or camera so that your images aren't shaky due to the long exposure. Camera Waterproof phone case, this was specifically taken to use at blue lagoon just as a precaution, they do sell them there but the price is hiked up so if you feel you would like to use one to protect your phone you're better off bringing one with you. Ice grips (Crampons), these are spiked frames that you attach to your shoes/boots especially in icy conditions as extra grip. I only used these once on my trip but if you feel you may encounter very icy locations during your visit these are a good addition. That would complete everything I took on my trip and I hope it serves as a guidance on what you can also take on your future trip to Iceland!
72 Hours In Iceland Itinerary!
Iceland for many is a bucket list location and you're not wrong to have it on there. Also known as the land of fire and ice, Iceland offers polar opposites which draw in a crowd year after year. With northern light hunting, volcano exploring, snowmobiling on glaciers and relaxing in thermal waters, it's a destination that offers you it all. So if you're reading this you've finally bit the bullet (or your very close to and need that little bit of a push) and booked your dream trip to Iceland and now you're tasked with deciding what to do during your stay? Look no further, here I will lay out a day by day itinerary that you can adjust to suit your trip. Of course the seasons impact certain tours so make sure you go at the time that suits the activities you have in mind. The day you arrive - Northern Lights Tour 13.00 - This is the best time to get your bearings and figure out the area around where you're staying. (A hotel recommendation if you're looking to stay in the centre would be Skuggi hotel, this is where I stayed and thought it was lovely and in such an ideal location that most places weren't hard to get to) At this point you're probably hungry so I'd suggest heading out to find something to eat so that you're ready for your first evenings activity. 21.00 - 00.00 - Northern Lights Tour I'd highly recommend booking this for the evening you arrive as if you see them, tours often offer you a second attempt at no extra cost. This is one of the main things visitors come to Iceland to see so let me inform you on the best times to visit to see this phenomenon. Of course you will need to visit in the months with longer nights, this starts from September up until March. During the summer, Iceland can experience daylight all day long (midnight sun) and this makes it very hard to see the northern lights so winter it is! If you're staying in Reykjavik you could be taken to Thingvellir National Park, which is about an hour drive from the city. However the location is often decided on the day for best results. If you're serious about capturing them bring a camera and tripod or a very good quality mobile phone as because its so dark, you'll need to use a long exposure to catch them on camera.
Day one - Golden Circle Tour, Reykjavik Exploration 10am - Golden Circle Tour - This tour is roughly six hours, with a lunch included and takes you around the infamous golden circle, this route is comprised of three of iceland's most visited attractions. Of course, if you are renting a car you can still do this trip yourself and it will probably still take the same amount of time. The three stops are Thingvellir National Park , Gullfoss Waterfall and Geothermal Geysir area. The Geothermal Geysir area is a hot spring s anctuary. It is home to the famous Geysir which in fact is the reason all other geysirs have been given this name. However this Geysir is currently inactive but the attraction is not let down by that as another Geysir by the name of Strokkur erupts every 5-10 minutes. It sends a column of boiling water into the air reaching up to 40 metres 131 feet. Gullfoss Waterfall is separated into two tiers, the falls are a whopping 32 metres or 105 feet and this flows into river Hvítá. Thingvellir National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site) is set in a rift valley that is home to the Eurasian and north american tectonic plates, this is one of the few places in the world where you can walk between the continents . In the "warmer" months when the water isn't frozen over, you have the opportunity to snorkel or scuba dive between the two of them, in the spring water called Silfra and it is an experience that you can not have anywhere else. 16.00 - Once you're back in the city, head out for something to eat. If you're looking for a sweet treat there are plenty of ice cream parlours, there is a greek doughnut place called Lookoomas and a waffle restaurant with all you can eat waffles and yummy toppings called Saeta Husid. 17.00 - Head to Hallgrímskirkja, one of the tallest structures in Iceland. This church has the highest 360 viewing point of the city. 19.30 - Dinner (Option - Reykjavik Fish and chips )
Day two - Lava tunnel excursion, Food hall, Museums 10am - Another early start but this time for a lava tunnel excursion, this typically is a three hour tour including the journey to and from Reykjavik. A fun and unique experience exploring a tunnel created by volcanic eruption. It had a magical feel to the entrance due to it snowing. 14.00 - Lunch time (some recommendations are Mandi - middle eastern, Devitos Pizza, Grandi Matholl (food hall in the old harbour), Reykjavik Chips and Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur for the best hot dogs in Reykjavik) 15.30 - Explore Reykjavik, visit a couple museums (some options below) Punk Museum Icelandic Phallological Museum Aurora Reyjkavik Reykjavik Maritime Museum Whales of Iceland Perlan Museum (Wonders of Iceland) 20.00 - Dinner (Option - Vietnamese restaurant -Pho)
Day three - Blue Lagoon, Fridheimar Greenhouse, Harpa Concert Hall, Shopping 11.00 - Spend some time soaking at Blue Lagoon , I'd recommend sunrise to midday for a reservation. There is also the option to add a lunch to your booking, if you want to make a full day of it. If you want to try a different lagoon there is Sky Lagoon , which I'd recommend in the evening, as it is only a few minutes drive from Reykjavik city centre. 14.30 - For lunch, if you have your own vehicle head out Fridheimar , this is a restaurant set in a tomato greenhouse, with the menu offering all things tomato. So if you love tomatoes this is for you. They have tomato soup, ravioli, tomato ice cream, tomato beer and more. Definitely book a table in advance to avoid disappointment. 16.30 - Do a spot of shopping for gifts on Laugavegur. There are various tourist shops as well as independent businesses offering all sorts of goods. Deffo worth a look even if you're not looking to bring anything back. Also gives you a brief break from the cold. 18.00 - Visit Harpa concert hall, there is free admission. You can have a guided tour around the concert hall and also stop for a meal at Hnoss, the restaurant located inside. 20.00 - Dinner (options - Hard Rock Cafe, Gaia) Food - Below are images from the meals I had whilst in Reykjavik. Restaurants are Reykjavik Fish and Chips, Devito's Pizza, Mandi, Pho Vietnamese, Lookoomas, Saetahusid and Pastagerðin.
Note - If you visit in February ( W inter light festival in the evening) If you visit in June (Reykjavik arts festival) If you visit in September (Reykjavik International film festival) If you visit in November ( Iceland Airwaves music festival)
List of alternate activities - (to replace the already suggested or as additional activities if you have a longer stay) South shore tour Explore a Glacier and snowmobiling Volcano hike Whale watching (summer months) Black beach atv tour List of alternate hotels - (to replace the already suggested hotel) Hotel Leifur Eiriksson Alda Hotel Hotel Reykjavik Centrum Canopy by Hilton CenterHotel Skjaldbrei ION City Hotel CenterHotel Klopp Sandhotel
Inside Body Holiday - St Lucia's Best Choice For A Wellness Retreat
"Give us your body for a week and we’ll give you back your mind." - Body Holiday Set in north St Lucia, Body Holiday is a 4 star Hotel located in Gros Islet. This hotel is your go-to for all things fitness and wellness related. Set up in the hills, this hotel overlooks the sea and 18 acres of tropical gardens, with an activity to do in every corner of the resort. From yoga, to hiking and cycling, from snorkelling, to diving and water-sports. And I can't forget the Wellness Centre aka the spa! The choices are endless. The hotel also has themed months. Whilst I was there in December, the theme was pre-Christmas restorative break, which featured two Olympians leading fitness classes, hosting dinners and more. In this 'Inside' I will let you in on all the good stuff, from the rooms, to the food, staff and activities. Luxury Ocean View Room The room I stayed in during my time at Body Holiday was a luxury ocean view room. This offered a beautiful view and was perfect for sunsets. From this room I was able to see Pigeon Island. The bedroom was clean and really well put together but not the most modern, there was a built-in speaker which you could connect your phone to and have your own little party which I did most mornings and nights. There isn't a television, but I think this is purposely done as it is meant to be a wellness resort. The bed was the most comfortable I've slept in, and you can request pillows to suit your preference. The wardrobe space was a great size with a large safe. The bathroom had a large shower however a bath was very much desired. The toiletries were all Ren skincare. The room also came with personalised water bottles, face masks, hand sanitiser and wipes. Staff From the moment I arrived I felt welcomed and so comfortable. The staff were some of the most friendly people I have ever met, everyone went above and beyond to provide excellent customer service. Every single member of staff came across so genuinely and you could tell they loved what they did around this resort. It was fun to engage in conversation with those I did come in contact to and that alone is enough to make me want to stay there again. Restaurants There are six restaurants TAO, Cariblue, Pavilion, Cariblue windows, Wellness Cafe and ITAL however ITAL was closed during the time of my visit. TAO is an asian restaurant which offers a five course menu and every course was delicious. There were three to four options per course to choose from. The portion sizes are perfect, and you definitely leave the restaurant feeling full. The menu also alternates so there are two menus. Cariblue is open everyday for a buffet breakfast and lunch and a-la carte dinner. There are also times where it is open for a buffet dinner for themed nights. For me personally the dinner menus can be a bit hit or miss. There were nights where there were multiple choices on the menu that I wanted to try, but there were also nights where there wasn't anything to my fancy. Cariblue Windows is a themed menu restaurant located in the transformed buffet room of Cariblue . It only seats about 6 tables so make sure to book in advance. This changes nightly (the restaurant doesn't open every night) unfortunately the night I had it booked for it was seafood night and I'm not the biggest seafood fan, so I didn't end up eating there but from what I heard from others it's great. There are also four or five courses so like TAO you feel very content when leaving. The wellness cafe is where you to go get juices, smoothies, sandwiches, wraps and bento boxes. The Pavilion is open for a-la carte lunch, afternoon tea and buffet dinner. The lunch will typically have pizza, pasta, catch of the day and more. The pizza and pasta toppings/sauces change daily. The pavilions lunch can also be served to you on the beach. My favourite lunch was definitely the Saltfish Pizza! You must try it if you decide to stay here. The afternoon tea features around six choices of sweet treats as well as a choice of sandwiches. We went for an outdoor seat, so we could enjoy the last of the sun. Location Set in the hills of Gros Islet, the hotel has one of the best unobstructed views. The water isn't the calmest here as there isn't much to soften the impact of the waves, but that won't stop you from enjoying the sea. The water is great for snorkelling as it's so clear. The hotel is about an 8-minute drive from Rodney Bay, a 10-minute drive from Pigeon Island and 25-minute drive from Castries. You can actually see Pigeon Island from the hotel, and on a very clear day after strolling up Mon Sol you can spot Martinique. Activities Body Holiday boasts a countless number of activities. Outside of the pavilion there is an activity board which is updated daily for the activities taking place. This includes hikes, dance classes, yoga, pilates, water aerobics, snorkelling, bike rides and plenty more. Water sports are also included in your stay with you only having to pay for one to one sessions or more advanced classes. They also offer excursions such as hiking Gros Piton, Island tours and more. Wellness Centre During your stay, you have daily 50 minute spa treatments included, however this doesn't include arrival and departure days. Upon arrival you are given your treatment itinerary, which you can amend to fit your schedule. The treatments I had were the Serenity massage, Skin Specific facial, Coconut and Spice Combo, Sizzler Massage and Lucian Ginger and Lime Scrub . These were all free treatments, but they offer plenty more options at an extra cost. Think of the spa as the hotspot of the resort, as well having treatments done here, the gym is located here as is the dance studio. Nightly Entertainment Each night I was lucky enough to experience different entertainment. There was a cultural night with dancers and musicians. Another night there were fire dancers, a singer and saxophonist performing and a DJ night. There were nights where a steel pan band accompanied our dinner. The majority of the entertainment was held at the Pavilion. There is also the Piano Bar, which is open till the last person leaves, if you are wanting to hear live music played by a pianist, this is the place for you. So if you have a trip planned to visit St Lucia, but haven't chosen accommodation yet. I'd highly recommend staying here. As their motto is "Give us your body for a week and we’ll give you back your mind."you'll definitely feel rejuvenated by the end of your stay.
Inside Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel - A Peaceful Hotel Set In A Secluded Beachfront Location
September 2021, whilst in Dubrovnik, Croatia I stayed at the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel in Mlini. This hotel is only a 15 minute drive or a 45 minute boat ride from the World Heritage Site that is Old Town Dubrovnik. I decided I would give my insight into what it's like to stay there. This review takes into account the buffet breakfast, room, entertainment facilities and location. In summary, I'd say this is the ideal stay for those who want a serene and peaceful environment to relax in after a busy day out. This is due to its proximity to the Old Town and the location. I hope this post will encourage you to make a booking, once you've finished reading. Deluxe Twin Room With Sea View and Balcony - I stayed in a sea view room and let me just say it is so worth it, waking up every morning to a sea view really lifts your spirits. The room was spacious and contemporary. There were three mirrors and they were all the perfect size. For those over packers the wardrobe space is your dream set up, with enough space to unpack everything in your suitcase. The bed was snug and provided the best nights sleep. You have the luxury of both a bath and a shower, always appreciated. There are also complimentary bottles of water in the room which are restocked every day to ensure you stay hydrated on those hot summer days. Buffet Breakfast - The breakfast was definitely an enjoyable one, with a variety of pastries and fruit. Hot and cold food, so you won't get bored. They definitely took into account the visitors. There are Croatian delicacies as well as your typical breakfast foods. It is definitely worth including the breakfast in your stay as there is so much variety. Breakfast is open from 6:30 am to 11:30 am, which I feel is one of the best time slots I've had in a hotel, as this allows for early breakfast before an excursion as well as a later breakfast if you want a lie-in. Additionally, you don't have to worry about there not being any food left as it is constantly topped up. Facilities - The main pool is outside, however there is another pool indoors located near the Spa. Speaking of the Spa if you are interested in having any treatments you can do so here for an extra charge. They offer water sports during the summer months. This includes paddle boarding and kayaking. The hotel has two tennis courts to use free of charge. There may be additional charges for these, so it is best to ask the team upon arrival. There is also the piano bar, which is open from 7am - 12am, suiting every guests needs from a cup of coffee in the morning to a glass of wine or a cocktail in the evening. There are two restaurants located in the hotel, the first Lungo Mare features an À la carte menu with focus on local specialities using the freshest ingredients whilst also making international favourites. This restaurant is set on the Sea front, and offers tremendous views with your meal. They are open from 3:00pm to 11:00pm. The second restaurant is Restaurant Leut, this is where breakfast is located as well as lunch to dinner option. They serve a combination of local and international dishes. They are open from 12pm to 11pm Location - The location is wonderful with breathtaking scenery. A five-minute walk takes you to a shopping centre, basic but very handy. It has a supermarket, fitness shops and restaurants. Also walking along the waterfront there are numerous cafes/restaurants and you can even stumble across an abandoned derelict hotel. If you are interested in heading to the old town you can get a water taxi (boat) with the option of one way or a return. Something to note is that the water was quite choppy when I went which isn't great for those who get seasick easily. Value for money - Overall when considering value for money, taking all of what I've said about different aspects of the hotel into account. I would definitely say it's an excellent choice when factoring in the cost for the location, comfort and facilities. This is a contemporary midrange hotel worth staying at whilst visiting Dubrovnik.
Postcards From Dubrovnik, Croatia
Having never been to Croatia before I was excited to see what was in store for me and I was not disappointed. It is a beautiful and friendly country and exceeded all expectations I had. So enjoy these postcards from my first trip to Croatia. Every turn in Old Town Dubrovnik offered such mesmerising scenes. It is such a picturesque location. Even at night the Old Town is buzzing and offers great places to eat and drink. A Christmas shop! Need I say anymore! Sheer beauty! I hope these photographs have encouraged you to add Croatia to your travel list!
Seven Things To Do In Dubrovnik, Croatia
So Croatia has piqued your interest! Here I am to provide you with seven things to do in Dubrovnik that will have you sold. First I want to give a little bit of my own take on Dubrovnik. It was one of the cleanest places I have ever visited, the people were all lovely and it just had such a positive and free air about it. I believe it is a destination one will visit over and over again as it so enjoyable. !As of November 2021 the current travel advice in place when entering Croatia (in relation to Covid-19) is that you are required to show proof of vaccination (not older than 365 days), a negative antigen test (no more than 48 hours in advance), a negative PCR test (no more than 72 hours in advance) or a doctors certificate of recovery from Covid-19. You will also need to complete an online entry form, which can be found here ! Spend The Day Wandering Around Old Town Dubrovnik Of course this would be top of the list how can you not have a wander around the old town, surrounded by medieval walls, it is almost maze like inside every turn leads you to something mesmerising. Definitely pick up a map as you may find yourself going round in circles. Old town Dubrovnik is your one stop shop for all things to souvenirs, gelato, jewellery, art and historical buildings. It is bustling with restaurants and you'll have too much choice but you can't go wrong with that! From day to night this a hot spot and definitely worth a visit. You can choose to have guided tour around the old town or just amble along on your own. We opted for just exploring ourselves. Walk The Walls Whilst you are in the old town, this is definitely an activity you should do. With access to the walls you are able to walk along the top of the old town and marvel at it and the Adriatic Sea from a great height. You will need about 2 hours to complete the walk, however if you do get tired there are few exit points along the way, where you can leave and rejoin at a later time. The walls are 1940 metres long and have 6 fortresses. If you are a Game Of Thrones fan these walls were one of the filming locations. There isn't any shade up this high so be prepared to bring a hat and a drink although there are numerous rest stops selling drinks along the wall. Ensure you have on a pair of comfortable shoes, as well there being a lot of walking, when you combine it with the cobble stones and steep stairs it makes the most sense. Take A Ride In A Dubrovnik Cable Car Ahh yes, who can refuse a cable car ride right? Although a short journey the cable cars provide brilliant views of the old town and the sea and is most popular during sunset and you can imagine why. The journey time is roughly 4 minutes but once you reach the top of Mount Srd you can see why it is such a popular attraction. Mount Srd is located 415 metres above the sea level so you can just imagine how incredible the views are. With just one restaurant up at the top (Panorama) it is an ideal lunch or dinner stop, but be prepared to book in advance as they have no competition they are often fully booked. Once you're on the mountain, there is also a quad bike adventure you can go on. Explore The Elaphite Islands With A Boat Tour We all love a boat tour right? So whilst you're visiting Dubrovnik, this offers a change of scenery. There are multiple tour companies offering this tour so you'll definitely be able to ensure a ticket. I happened to book it through GetYourGuide and thought it was a great choice. During this tour you visit three islands, these are Lopud, Koločep and Šipan. The first stop is Lopud. A small car free island, where you have the most time to explore. There are botanical gardens, beautiful sandy beaches, a number of churches, the ruins of a fortress and more. At this first stop before heading to the next island, we had lunch on the boat which was included. You had the choice of grilled chicken or grilled fish with potato salad, with a bottle of local wine. The second stop on the tour was Šipan , the largest of the islands, also referred to as the island of Olives, figs and vineyards. It offers the chance to hike, cycle, swim and explore. There are also numerous independent businesses selling olive oil and wine. Koločep was the final island on the tour, the smallest of the three islands. This island again is great for swimming. This is where the Blue Cave is located. As this was our last stop of the day, after a brief walk around we settled at a restaurant and soaked up the sun before heading back to the port. Find A Beach To Relax On Take a morning or day depending on how much you love relaxing on a beach to enjoy the beauty of the Dalmatian coast. It shouldn't be very hard to find a beach to set yourself up on as Dubrovnik is home to numerous beaches all having something different to offer. From pebbly beaches surrounded by cliffs, soft sand beaches to secluded beaches with calm and clear water. A few worth mentioning are Betina Cave Beach, this beach can only be accessed by the sea, so either a kayak or a boat is your best bet for getting here. Another is Coral Beach Club and lastly Beach Pasjaca, this beach is one of the most interesting with high red rock walls and a steep descent you find yourself at one of the most picturesque beaches. Get Adventurous With Sea Kayaking No matter what time of day when you find yourself looking out to the sea you are bound to see people kayaking. So why not get involved. There are numerous kayaking tours you can do and its best to pick one you feel best suits you. You can combine a kayaking tour with snorkelling. With these tours you can get a different perspective of Dubrovnik and visit places in a less conventional way. There are opportunities to do sunset kayaking too. Venture Further Out With A Day Trip To Neighbouring Montenegro If you have extra days that you haven't planned anything for and have the urge to roam a little further why not consider a day trip to Montenegro. With only a 2 hour drive to the Croatian/Montenegrin border, you get tick off another country visit and with a tour company they include a boat tour and the chance to explore the old town of Kotor. Once you've finished up in Kotor the next stop of the day is the town of Perast, described to have Venice like architecture. Other tours include white water rafting on Tara River and visits to Cetinje and Budva. If after reading this you're not even more excited about booking that next trip to Dubrovnik, I'd be surprised! Feel free to let me know in the comments what activity you'll be adding to your list and even share one I haven't mentioned!
Three Restaurants To Eat At In Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik is home to thousands of restaurants, making it difficult to pick somewhere to eat when you only have a short amount of time there. So I've decided to let you in on my three favourite and well picked restaurants from my stay in Dubrovnik. The three restaurants I ate at for dinner were all incredible and offered a great variety of dishes, meaning there is something for everyone. With fish, meat and vegetarian dishes, you won't be disappointed. Trattoria Carmen - Italian food A very quaint but highly regarded restaurant located in Old Town Dubrovnik with few tables, they have five tables out side and four inside so make sure to book in advance. This restaurant was such a delight to eat at, not only were the staff friendly but the food was delicious. I had seen talks of this restaurant on Instagram and knew I had to give it a go. I had the beef pasta, whilst my travel buddy had the truffle and shrimp pasta and shared a chocolate lava cake. From start to finish I enjoyed my visit to Trattoria Carmen and highly recommend for those craving a bit of freshly made pasta. Taj Mahal - Bosnian food Located also in old town Dubrovnik, this restaurant boasts the feeling of being in home like atmosphere. The menu is derived from the mix of inter-knitted cultures and the love of food and traditional family meal settings. Another favourite of mine, with this restaurant there is much more seating but still make sure to book because it is jam packed of a night. This menu is much larger than you'd expect ensuring there is something for everyone down to dietary needs. With all the choices you'd want to go in a group so you can try as much of the food as possible. I went for the Cevapi, a meal I had been excited to try since first seeing the menu. The meat was beautifully cooked, and the bread was crisped to perfection. My travel buddy went for the Taj Mahal special, which is veal, chicken, mushrooms and cheese in puff pastry. For dessert I went for the baklava with ice cream whilst my travel companion chose the Tufahija, which is a baked apple with cream, walnuts and caramel. Konavoski Dvori Eco Green - Classic Croatian food This restaurant is a little way out of the centre of Dubrovnik but it is so worth it because of the atmosphere and the serenity of the area. The restaurant is located on an ancient mill, which you can still see the remnants of it now as you enjoy your meal. Whilst this restaurant is further away, the flavours and the style of cooking is out of this world. Paired with the tranquil environment this is a must visit. Do make sure to wrap up in something warm as it does get quite chilly this high up in the mountains, especially in the evening. We had booked this in advance as we didn't know how busy it would be but when we turned up it was relatively quiet which wasn't an issue for us. I went for the grilled duck breast with potato croquettes and some sort of grain, whilst my travel companion chose the Dubrovnik style stewed beef. That sums up my post, I hope you've enjoyed my selection of restaurants and if you do decide to visit Dubrovnik that you try these restaurants for yourself. If you do go or have been before I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Eight Budget Friendly Countries To Add To Your List!
I know we've all had the desire to travel at some point, then we start to think about the costs and whether it is possible with the budget we have. I'm here to show you that it is a possibility. Within this post I will share destinations that are all incredibly budget friendly and ready to give you an amazing story to share with friends. First let's start with the three questions that you should ask yourself and that I ask myself every time I want to travel; Are the prices suited to your budget? Is it safe and will you be able get around easily? Am I ready to have a once in a lifetime experience? The answer to these questions will help deciding on your starting point. It's entirely possible to live on anywhere between £10-£45 a day while travelling depending on where in the world you are, and to still fully experience each place.A good website for booking activities, transportation and more is Klook , they are often reasonably priced and there's a wide variety to choose from. Of course, this should come with a disclaimer that where you are located in the world will impact the prices and how you view it as budget friendly. It's up to you to make that call on whether you are willing to spend that little more just to get to the country. However once in the destination they are budget friendly to all. South East Asia South East Asia is always mentioned when thinking of budget friendly places to travel and for good reason. This following group of countries offer you cheap accommodation, local food and transportation, for as little as £10 - £18 a day. Conveniently they are next to each other. You'll be able see amazing places like Bangkok, Hanoi and Angkor Wat. Vietnam Although prices increase yearly in Vietnam it still remains relatively cheap and your daily budget will fall between £35-£50. There any many things to do in each city and these all vary in price but activities can start around a couple of pounds. What's also good to note is that it may be cheaper to book activities in person, always look online beforehand to keep as a comparison to what they offer. Thailand Thailand is probably one of the most visited countries in relation to being budget friendly and here's why. Traveling during low season, which is between April and September offer big price drops. To get from one place to the next, take overnight buses, not only does this save on accomodation fees, you don't miss out on any days. Thailand is full of beautiful attractions, and many are free to visit or have very low entrance fees. The culture and history of Thailand make it a must visit if you stop off in South East Asia. You can spend as much as £35 a day. Cambodia Cambodia is definitely considered the most affordable of the three, it's also beautiful. The locals are incredibly hospitable, and you can get an air conditioned room at a hotel for less than £17 a night. Street food for less than £1.50 and transportation across the country for around £20. Cambodia has a rich history and there is so much to learn about the culture and the impact events that happened not to long ago have affected the country today. North/Central America Visiting most Central American countries you can get by on as little as £40 a day. If you want to splurge that bit more £60 a day will get you a little bit of luxury. It is worth keeping in mind that Costa Rica and Panama are the more expensive countries so your money might not stretch as far in those destinations. Mexico Mexico is a very popular tourist destination and with the wide array of cities and towns that all offer something unique. You are spoilt for choice. There have been concerns over it being dangerous. This shouldn't be a worry as long you stay in locations that are popular for tourists. Nicaragua Nicaragua is home to beach side hostels that start at just under £5 a day, and you can find delicious street food from local vendors for around £3. Avoiding tourist restaurants will keep your budget intact. To get from place to place the buses are affordable and prices range from £1-£4 depending on the length of the journey. Africa African countries aren't the most budget friendly when you take into consideration the expense of needing to apply for visas. A lot of places can also be quite remote, which make them hard to get to and this can really add up with the cost of transportation. However, there is the exception of one country. Morocco Morocco is probably one of the most inexpensive African countries to visit and a little goes a long way. Staying in Riads offer you luxury but at a fraction of the price of staying in a hotel. These guesthouses are often beautifully designed with an interior garden. Your budget can fall anywhere between £50-60 per day. Europe Europe has always been a must visit destination for tourists from all over the world, due to its appeal for all tastes and interests. From historical monuments to miles of sandy beaches with blue coast lines to mountain trails. It boasts a new experience everywhere you go. However, most of Europe can be relatively expensive especially the more popular countries like Greece, the Netherlands and France. The lesser-known countries offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences just as much. Bulgaria Bulgaria is one country in Europe that is largely undiscovered by tourists, it offers almost everything the popular western countries offer but at a fraction of the price. In the off season you can ski, eat and travel around the country for very little money. Hotels often offer free breakfast and shuttle in the off-season meaning you have little to worry about with transportation costs. If you are a fan of Hiking Bulgaria offers breathtaking views and these can often have free entry. Italy Although seen as an expensive location, Italy is in fact one of the cheapest of the western european countries. With a really good public transport system there is no need for taxis which will cut your costs. Staying in an Airbnb is a must here as it means you can prepare your own meals, which will be a fraction of the price as sitting in a restaurant. The local markets are bustling with fresh bread, cheese and sweet treats which will make a perfect on the go snack. Let me know in the comments, have you been to any of these countries? Is there somewhere you travelled that you were surprised by how affordable it was? I would love to know!
JOWJ Insider Guide To: Bermuda
This is the fourth instalment of a new series in which I virtually sit down with my friends who are currently living/grew up in different countries. I thought it would be a great way to get their insights in to what they would recommend for tourists. From untouched gems to food hot spots to so much more. Keep reading to hear what Alize has to say about her home country of Bermuda. Shorts and triangle are words typically associated with Bermuda, what's a fact you have about the island? "One interest fact about Bermuda is that our tiny little island is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs. As a result, this restricts large fish like sharks and whales from entering our waters. However, this has also caused many shipwrecks in the olden days. These reefs are so difficult to navigate that all ships entering Bermuda must meet a highly trained Bermudian pilot out to sea, in which they will then climb aboard the ship, take control and navigate through the reefs themselves to avoid crashing. But these reefs and shipwrecks both create amazing snorkeling and scuba diving experiences!" What is your favourite part about living in Bermuda? "As cliche as this sounds, I have to say the people! Bermudians are known for their friendliness. When you walk down a street, nearly every Bermudian will acknowledge you with a smile and/or a “Good Morning/Good Afternoon”, even if they don’t know you! This ‘small country warmth’, is something that I miss when I am traveling abroad." "A close second is the pink sand beaches. It is something that I have learned to appreciate over the years. It’s what makes our beaches completely different from the beaches worldwide." Tell us a secret location that only Bermudans know about! "A secret gem that I’ve only just discovered is an area in Bermuda called Blue Hole . It is a lagoon nature reserve that is known for its hidden caves, walking trails and stunning beauty. Not only is it an Instagram worthy location, but you can also jump in and take a swim!" Do you have any recommendations for an area to stay in? "There aren’t any bad or unsafe areas truthfully. It all depends on what you are looking for out of your vacation. It is interesting to note that there are no bad hotels. They are all of a great standard, so you really cannot go wrong!" "That being said, If you’re looking for a quieter vacation, I’d recommend staying somewhere in the eastern end of the island. It’s a nice place to disconnect, unwind and relax. If you’re interested in the beaches or water-sports, the western end is definitely your pick. There are dozens of beautiful beaches to choose from in this end of the island!" What are some must see attractions in Bermuda for tourists? "I always tell visitors to visit The Royal Naval Dockyard. It is a former Navy base from during the wars. The architecture itself is amazing and worth the visit, but it is also a popular Tourism spot. There are nightclubs, a shopping mall, restaurants, boat excursions, water-sports, museums and even an interactive dolphin experience! You can do almost anything there. As a kid my grandmother would take me every Sunday to grab some ice cream and sit off somewhere and admire the views." "Another must see attraction is the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse. It’s one of the highest points on the island and the views are unmatched! And you can actually climb the stairs and visit the top of the lighthouse!" What's a national dish we must try when visiting? Which restaurant would you recommend us trying this dish at? "Bermuda is know for the best fish sandwiches in the world. It is one of my personal favorites and I’d recommend everyone to try one! Being surrounded by the sea, fish is a main part of our diet here and you can assure that the fish is always fresh." "In my opinion, the best places to grab yourself a fish sandwich are from Woody's Sports Bar and Restaurant or Seaside Grill. In fact, just speaking about this now makes me want to get one!" "A national drink that we have is the Swizzle - an alcoholic rum punch! What makes these so great (yet so dangerous) is that you cannot taste any trace of alcohol. But there is indeed alcohol in it - PLENTY! You can find these at any restaurant or bar here and they all taste more or less the same." Wow that's definitely got our taste buds excited! Holiday weekend is coming up, what would you do? "If the weather is good, my friends and I would plan a beach day! Nothing beats a nice day out in the sun, swimming, enjoying good music, drinking some ice cold beverages and bbq food with some close friends." "That’s my absolute favorite way to spend a holiday weekend. Whether it is 2 of you or 20 of you, it is always a good time." Teach us a few local words or phrases that could come in handy! "There are so many! It’s almost as if we have our own language here. I’ll share a few of the main phrases:"
We all refer to Bermuda as “ Bermy ” or “ De Rock. ” Bermy is just a shortened version of Bermuda but De Rock is a silly nod to the fact that Bermuda is literally a small rock in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean! One thing EVERY Bermudian says (regardless of age, race or gender) is “ Mug ”. For example “That shirt is mug” or “He’s so mug”. Basically meaning that something or someone is boring and just not good. It’s one our most frequently used phrases! More Bermudian words that cause confusion are both “ Buh ” and “ Bie ”. They have no real definition but they’re used as a way to punctuate Bermudian sentences and to dramatize the point being made. We subconsciously say either of the two at the end of most of our sentences. For example, “I’m so tired today buh!” or “What is Arsenal doing today bie?!” One last one is “ Bermuda time ”. Bermudians are infamously known to be bad at being on time to places (myself included!). So this phrase basically means ’late’. For example, “Its 7:15 already and Jazz was supposed to get here at 7:00, she must’ve meant 7:00 Bermuda time.” Where is the best place to go for night out or a day party? "In the summertime, the best day party (we call them dartys) are boat raft-ups. These are just when loads of boats tie together and form one large boat party." "These include loud music, lots of food and drinks, your best swimsuit and your best floaties! These happen every weekend (both Saturday’s and Sunday’s). During night times, our main city is the hub for night parties and clubs, particularly on Front Street. Front street is a corporate and commercial center during the day, but transforms into the place to be at night. There is a bar or club for everyone. There are never any entry fees, just good music, good drinks and good vibes." Shout out a local artist/musician/creative "There are too many to choose from! But I’d have to give a shout to:" -Stylist and fashion blogger @shantia.aiyanna -Bermudian culture photographer @queendom_heights
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Three Countries That Will Be On The Green List From May 17th!
We've all been waiting for good news and things are looking up as the green list will soon be announced leading up to the relaxing on the ban of travel. I've narrowed it down to the three countries that are most likely to be welcoming U.K. travellers this summer. Remember even though we have been given the go ahead those countries may not be accepting U.K. travellers, so make sure to do your research. This is based on vaccination rates in each individual country. From May 17th these countries look likely to be added to the green list. Being on the green list means on return from a country, you will need to take pre-departure test and PCR test but you will not need to quarantine on arrival back in the U.K. The full list of green list countries are: 1. Portugal 2. Singapore 3. Australia 4. New Zealand 5. Brunei 6. Iceland 7. Gibraltar 8. Falkland Islands 9. Faroe Islands 10. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 11. St Helena, Tristan de Cunha, Ascension Island All details subject to change due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Singapore Singapore is known as the most expensive city in the world. But it is so much more to it, it is also the cleanest, most entertaining and more. Also known as The Lion City it offers you countless adventures.
Things to do Get a futuristic feel at the Gardens by the Bay . Explore Singapore's oldest Buddhist Temple, Thian Hock Keng . Enjoy the greenery during a walk along The Southern Ridges. Witness some of the world's rarest mangroves at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve . Vibe to Singaporean music at Blu Jaz, Timbre or Hood Bar . See the wildlife in during the Night Safari. Visit Jewel before leaving Changi airport .
Where to stay
Luxury Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa - Sentosa Island Naumi Hotel - Central Business District Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa - Sentosa Island
Mid-range Hotel Jen Orchardgateway - Orchard Gateway Lloyd's inn - Somerset Ascott Orchard Singapore - The Heeren Budget KINN Capsule Hotel -Boat Quay The Pod Boutique Capsule Hotel - Beach Road Hotel 81 Gold - Geylang District Travel requirements Singapore are not currently letting U.K. visitors. However for those eligible to enter you need to have a negative PCR test result. Iceland Iceland is a country that most want to visit, and this could be the perfect time. Known as the Land of Fire and Ice due to its volcanoes and glaciers it's not a surprise why this country has gained so much traction from holidaymakers. June is the perfect month for hot spring bathing and staying up late to enjoy the midnight sun. Things to do Soak in the hot springs - Blue Lagoon or GeoSea sea baths . Be awed by the Great Geysirs . Go diving where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meets. Witness the northern lights. Explore the black sand at Reynisfjara beach . Try not to get swept away by the waterfalls - Gullfoss, Hengifoss and many more. Where to stay Luxury Hotel Rang á - Hella ION Adventure Hotel - Nesjavellir CenterHotel Midgardur - Reykjavik Mid-range 201 Hotel - Kopavogur Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina - Reykjavik Skuggi Hotel - Reykjavik Budget The Barn Hostel -Vík Galaxy Pod Hostel - Reykjavik Reykjavik City HI Hostel - Reykjavik Entry requirements As of now you still need to quarantine and present a negative PCR test. However for those vaccinated you may be able to bypass those requirements. You can also provide a certificate of previous Covid infection enabling those with antibodies to be exempt from the testing and quarantining. Gibraltar Gibraltar is often visited as a day trip but why not have an extended stay and see more that the country has to offer. Not only does it boast warm weather all year round it is home to some unique experiences. Things to do See both the north coast of Africa and Europe from the top of the rock of Gibraltar . Marvel at the Saint Michael's caves . Get your nature fix whilst dolphin watching. Relax along Catalan bay beach . Get your adrenaline rushing whilst walking over the Windsor Suspension Bridge . Where to stay Luxury Sunborn Gibraltar - Ocean Village Promenade The Eliott Hotel - Governor's Parade The Rock Hotel - Upper Town Mid-range Bristol Hotel - Cathedral Square Holiday Inn Express - North District Entry requirements Nothing has been revealed as yet. However, it is very likely a negative PCR test will be needed. I will keep this updated as and when I find out more information.
JOWJ Insider Guide To: Netherlands
Introducing the third instalment of a new series in which I virtually sit down with my friends who are currently living/grew up in different countries. I thought it would be a great way to get their insights in to what they would recommend for tourists. From untouched gems to food hot spots to so much more. Keep reading to hear what Jessie has to say about her home country of the Netherlands. Tell us a little bit about your hometown of Maastricht. " Maastricht is located in the southeast of the Netherlands and is the capital of the province Limburg. The city was built at a point where it was easy to cross the river ‘Maas’, from which the city derives its (Roman) name: Maastricht = Mosa Trajectum = passage through the Maas. The city developed from a Roman settlement to a medieval religious centre. In the 16th century it became a garrison town and in the 19th century an early industrial city. Today, the city is a thriving cultural and regional hub. It became well known for the Maastricht Treaty and as the birthplace of the Euro." What are some non-touristy things to do in this city? " Maastricht has a very good shopping centre! " Most people head to Amsterdam, where would you say in the Netherlands equally deserves attention? " Some other nice cities to visit in NL are Utrecht , Rotterdam, Leiden , Nijmegen , ’s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch in short), Delft and Valkenburg . The best theme park would be De Efteling. " Show us your favourite picture you've taken in the Netherlands. What is your favourite dish? And where should we try it for the first time? " ‘Friet met frikandel. ’ These are chips, usually served in a paper cone covered with mayo, ketchup or curry and onions, and a traditional dutch sausage snack called frikandel. The best place to try this is at Reitz , a chip shop located on the ‘ Markt ’ in the city centre. " "In Maastricht however, chips are often served with ‘ zuurvlees ’ (sour meat), rather than a dutch frikandel. You’d be able to eat ‘ friet met zuurvlees ’ in pretty much any normal restaurant in the city. " Great we know what food we'll be trying! Teach us a few words or phrases that could come in handy! " An important thing to know is that people from the province ‘Limburg’ speak ‘Limburgs’ alongside Dutch. Depending on the city or village you go to, this Limburgs dialect changes a lot. In Maastricht people speak ‘Mestreechs, which is rather influenced by the French language, whilst some other dialects are more influenced by the German language. So don’t be surprised to hear people speak rather different from Dutch!" "However, Limburgers all speak Dutch as well so a few Dutch words and phrases that could come in handy are:" - Hallo or hoi (Hello) - Goedemiddag (Good afternoon) - Tot ziens (Goodbye) - Hoe gaat het? (How are you?) - Alstublieft (Please) - Dankjewel (Thank you.) - Sorry (I’m sorry.) - Ja / Nee (Yes / No) What would you say the Netherlands is famous for? " The typical things the Netherlands are famous for are cheese, wooden shoes, windmills, tulips, innovative water-management and bikes. You won’t find most of these stereotypes in Maastricht, however. This southern city is culturally quite different from the north of the country. " What is a must visit store located in Maastricht? " A must-visit store is Boekhandel Dominicanen . This old church, called the Dominicanenkerk , is a national monument which had been converted into a bookstore in 2007. " It's a holiday weekend, what would you get up to? "On a holiday weekend I would go shopping in the city centre, or I would go for a walk in ‘ het Heuvelland. ’ The Netherlands are known for being flat, but the southern province Limburg is pretty hilly! " Finally, I know you're a composer so tell us a little bit about that and where potential clients can get in contact! " My name is Jessie van den Boorn and I’m a film composer located in Bristol (UK). For contact or examples of my work, please visit my website: " www.jessievandenboorn.com This has been great thank you for such in depth answers! If you've enjoyed this post and are looking forward to where the next insider is located or would like to be an insider reach out here or join the mailing list to be the first to know when that post goes live!
Photography Insight: Useful Travel Photography Gadgets!
When travelling we all want to ensure we capture our trips the best way we can for memories and to share with our loved ones. So I have put together a list of both affordable and high end gadgets that I like to take when travelling. Some of these may already be in your kit, some you might have never thought about. It is very rare that I'll need all of these gadgets, so I'll most likely choose two or three from the list below. Keep reading to find out what gadgets I recommend. Instax instant camera - mini, wide, square For the modern-day social media enthusiasts who live in a moment of needing pictures instantaneously this is for you. This is the camera of instant gratification. Once you've taken a picture it will automatically print out and there you have a print that will be one of a kind. 35mm point and shoot For those who reminisce on buying that disposable camera in your childhood to take photographs like I do this is for you. This style of camera is straightforward to use and very easy to carry around as they are quite small in size. All you need to do is insert a roll of film, and you're ready to take pictures. This is one of my favourite ways to capture memories as it's a surprise seeing all the pictures at the end once you've finished the roll and had it processed. You can often find these cameras in a local charity shop for a steal so look around for what best suits your needs. Gopro or action camera adjacent For the adventurers, this is your dream camera! From skiing, diving to ziplining. This camera is fit for it all. It comes with a waterproof casing to protect your camera from drops, water and anything that could cause it some damage. This style of camera also comes with various additional equipment to be fit for whatever sport/activity you're getting up to. DSLR For the food bloggers, travel bloggers, the photographers and anyone in between, this will be your best friend. To get the best high-quality images of your trips, this is what you will need along with one or two lenses to get the best results. Make sure you have the equipment insured! Tripod It goes without saying really, a tripod can be very handy so a lightweight one is the best way to go when travelling. The tripod I have can convert into a monopod which is ideal for crowded spaces and are more mobile. My tripod also comes with a mobile phone attachment meaning you can use it for both cameras and smartphones, even if yours doesn't you can easily find additional attachments on Amazon to fit your tripod. Gimbal/Gimbal camera For those that want to record/vlog their travels but don't want to carry around large equipment this is for you. A gimbal is essentially a tripod that is on an axis that moves smoothly in order to give you the best looking videos. It removes all the usual jumpy footage and creates a seamless recording. Therefore, the gimbal camera does that, but it is now built into a tiny system which you can connect to your phone to see what you're capturing without taking up the space on your phone. This is great for those that don't want to draw too much attention to themselves as it is very small. A backpack Lastly, we need a bag for all this equipment of course! I like to bring an actual photography backpack as it is lined to protect the equipment, it has multiple compartments and also has features like velcro dividers for organisation. Do you have any of these in your travel kit?