Hike to Oia – Santorini, Greece

There are many ways to get around Santorini – taxis, buses, vespas, boats – but to access some of the most scenic views, walking is the only way.

After days overindulging in Greek food, we thought it would be a good idea to walk from Grace Hotel to Oia. A good idea it certainly was, just a lot sweatier than we thought.

Santorini Oia hike

So pack your hiking boots, or a good pair of trainers, and follow us!

We started walking from Grace Hotel and headed uphill and north to Imerovigli main square. From there we just followed the flow of tourists and walked along a scenic pebbled alley toward Oia.

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You really can’t get lost as 1) there are plenty of other people doing the same walk, 2) you can see Oia so clearly, you just have to head toward it.

Santorini Oia hike

After a little while we reached Ekklisia Profitis Ilias. You will recognised the little church from the Santorini postcards and guides you see in shops.

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Half way through the hike, we met some new friends, who like us were suffering a bit from the hot temperatures.

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We also made sure to turn around a few time to enjoy the Caldera views and take it all in.

Santorini Oia hike Caldera

After a rather intense hike, we reached Church of Panagia. From there we could finally see our final destination, Oia, almost a stone through away.

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Overall it took us about three hours to go from Imerovigli to Oia. Right on time for lunch!

Santorini Oia hike

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A weekend on the Jurassic Coast – highlights

After a first video of my trip to Puglia, here is my second video creation – the highlights of our weekend on the Jurassic Coast. I like to play with new type of content and thought you would like it!

The Jurassic Coast stretches from Devon to Dorset and offers some of the most impressive and scenic views of England. Why this name? Millions of years ago this was the house to many palaeontology creatures and today it is the house of many fossils. It is a fantastic escape to the English seaside and I will soon share our full itinerary!

Also you may wonder why our car feature so much in the video. Well… This is the creative input of Andrew who is having a love affair with his new Alfa Romeo Giulia…

Hope you enjoy it!

Sunset Cruise – Santorini, Greece

Santorini has some of the most beautiful sunset views in the world, so a sunset cruise is a must if you are visiting the island! It was one of the highlights of our honeymoon.

We booked ours with Caldera Yachting, and even though it is a little pricey it worth every penny.

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A van picked us up from Grace Hotel around 2pm and we headed to the port right by Oia where our catamaran was waiting for us. The drive in itself is an adventure with roads so narrow you wonder how a minivan fits in.

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We boarded the boat with 8 other people. The group was small enough that everybody had enough space on the boat yet big enough that you can have interesting conversations with people from all around the world.

After introductions and the safety brief we were off! Sailing through the Caldera is pretty special!

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First stop Palea Kameni, for dip in the hot spring.

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A guide was with us at all time and answered any questions we may have about the island. An entertaining and educating afternoon!

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Our second stop was next to Nea Kameni. This is where the crew served us dinner. The food, a selection of freshly barbecued fish and meat and salads, was delicious.

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With full bellies we headed to our last stop, the sunset… And because images speak louder than words I am leaving you here to enjoy a selection of my favourite pictures below.

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Skaros Rock – Santorini, Greece

On our first morning in Santorini, we woke up to the view of the Caldera and Skaros Rock.

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After a delicious breakfast at Grace Hotel, a digestive walk was in order, and looking at the view from our table we thought, why not climb Skaros Rock?

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After switching our flip-flops for more hike-appropriate footwear, we headed to the rock. It is good to note that it is a hiking path, and at time a little physical, so please make sure to have the appropriate footwear otherwise you could slip easily.

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After a little climbing we were able to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Caldera where the cruise boats park in the early hours of the morning.

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We also saw some of the remains of the medieval city that was once built on the rock.

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We walked a little further and turned around toward the main island to enjoy the jaw-dropping view of Firá.

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From Skaros Rock you truly see how high Santorini is with the cliffs dropping a good few hundred meters into the sea.

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A little further up, the path started to turn and we could get the first glimpse of Ekklisia Theoskepasti.

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This little chapel clings to the edge of the rock and offers some postcard views of Santorini.

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Pretty sweaty and satisfied with the effort made, we headed back to Grace Hotel for a refreshing dip in the plunge pool!

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The hike on Skaros Rock really worth it! You will have some of the best views of Santorini without any tourists, plus you will burn some calories on the way!

Grace Hotel – Santorini, Greece

Summer is coming to Europe, if you are planning your vacations chances are you are considering Greece, and more particularly Santorini. I mean, who wouldn’t? Just look at that view!

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Now if you want to make your stay extra special, and truly feel like a VIP, I may just know the place. Facing Skaros Rock, the Grace hotel is one of his kind! Nested on the cliff with views to die for.

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Looks familiar? Probably because Grace Hotel feature on Pinterest and Instagram, A LOT!

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Perfectly located in Imerovigli, you will be able to easily walk to Fira and even hike to Oia if you want! It is also one of the best spots to enjoy the sunset.

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We stayed in the Honeymoon suite as we were there for, you guessed it, our honeymoon, and I never felt as special as then and there.

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From the moment you enter the hotel the staff know who you are and why you are here. Everybody is so considerate and lovely!

We spend most of the following 4 days in our very own plunge pool with the best view on the entire island.

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Every evening you will find the most adorable treats in your room.

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And sometime you may even be treated to champagne!

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Whats not to like with breakfast views like this?

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A weekend in Rome – part 3

On day 1, we explored the Antique Rome, on day 2, we visited the Vatican, and day 3 was all about the ‘everyday’ Rome.

After a morning lazing around the pool of our hotel. We headed to the city centre for a last stroll before our flight.

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We first looked for a nice spot for lunch and found a great place just off the Piazza Navona. I talked more about Cul de Sac, there.

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After a very satisfying lunch, we went to explore Piazza Navona and its surroundings.

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The atmosphere of Rome is just intoxicating, you cannot help but feel happy walking in the yellow cobbled streets.
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We walked through the city centre on the look for gelatos.
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And we ended our trip at the Pantheon, one of Rome oldest building still standing!

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It was my third time here and I can say that Rome really never disappoints!

Where I have been so far – 2017

Saying that travelling is my favourite hobby is an understatement. I have been to 5 continents and visited 22 countries, so far. Not bad but I am aiming to do better!

Hopefully I will add at least one other country to the list by the end of the year (Portugal or Iceland I think), but in the meantime, here is where I have been so far!

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Source

Europe

  • France (born and raised!)
  • The UK (London, Cornwall, Norfolk, the Lake District, and Scotland)
  • Ireland
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Luxembourg
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • Italy (Rome 1 & 2, Puglia, Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast)
  • Spain
  • Greece
  • Turkey ( a little guide on Turkish food)
  • The Vatican

Asia

Africa

  • The Seychelles
  • South Africa

South America

  • Brazil

North America

  • The USA (my favourite NYC rooftop, Boston, California, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Missouri)

Now the real question is, where should I go next? I am open to suggestions!

A weekend in Rome – part 2

On the second day of a long weekend in Rome, head to the Vatican. A true architectural wonder and a place filled with masterpieces.

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The Vatican’s queue is notoriously long and bad, so make sure to beat it by ordering your tickets online. I got ours there and we walked pass the 500-meters long queue and went straight in there with very little wait at security.

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The place is huge and filled with pieces you probably first saw in your history books at school.

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‘Ohhhhh’ and ‘Ahhhh’ in the Sistine chapel (but don’t take any pictures, you’ll be told off! Trust me, I tried!).

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Wander for a couple of hours and end your visit in the huge Basilica St Pietro.

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Once out, head toward Piazza del Popolo, on the way you will find plenty of delis and bakeries where you can find delicious sandwiches.

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On Piazza del Popolo grab a gelato and people watch.

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Rome is a very lively city and Piazza del Popolo a great place to see it happen.

Done with your gelato? Good! Now let’s walk it off! Head uphill to the Villa Borghese park, wander along the cypress trees alleys and enjoy the views of Rome’s roofs.

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Have a siesta on the grass and when it gets closer to ‘Aperol o’clock’ head down back into the city via the Spanish Steps and take a sit at a terrace for an aperitivo and more people watching.

End the day with a dish of pasta or a delicious pizza and go to bed for some sun filled dreams.

Here are parts 1 and 3 of our weekend in Rome!

Back from Japan!

I am back beautiful people!

Landed yesterday evening in London after 2 amazing weeks in the land of the Rising Sun.

Japan was beautiful! I loved every minute of it and I am having a serious case of holiday blues as I type this post at 5 am (jet lag!) on this rainy morning day in London.

I will share all my addresses and recommendations on the blog, and maybe a video or two! I have so much content though, it may take me a little while to go through it all, so in the meantime here are some Japan highlights taken on my good old iPhone 6s.

Glad to be back and see you very soon for more!

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Tokyo – Shinjuku
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Tokyo – shrine
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Tokyo – tea house
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Tokyo – Park Hyatt view
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Tokyo – Wagyu beef
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Tokyo – bento box
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Nara – kimonos
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Kyoto – Fushimi
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Kyoto – bamboo forest
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Osaka – by night
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Hiroshima
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Hakone – Mount Fuji

 

A weekend in Rome – part 1

Rome… Ahhhhhh, Rome… I love you so much! You are like a summer flirt – seducing, warm, interesting and beautiful. I have been to Rome several time and I just fall in love more and more each time. It always delivers!

The great thing with Rome is that it is only a short flight away from almost everywhere in Europe so going for a long weekend is fairly easy!

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A quick flight across the Alps and you will be there for dinner on a Friday. Find a nice little restaurant not far from where you’re staying and unwind to the sound of Italian voices.

On the Saturday, head to the Colosseum.

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Yes, it is cliché, but it really worth visiting. You will feel like Russell Crowe in Gladiator for a couple of hours. Note that it is important to buy your tickets in advance to beat the queue.

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Rome offers also plenty of touristy photo opportunities. So go on, be a tourist and proud of it!

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Now is a good time to grab a late lunch. All places around there will be quite touristy so don’t desperately look for something special, just pick between panini and pasta. Or even better, pack a sandwich, from a local baker, so you can enjoy it at our next stop, the Roman Forum!

From the Colosseum, just head to the other side of the street and enter the Roman Forum. The site is mainly in ruin, but it really give you a great idea of how the Antic Rome must have looked like. You can imagine the little food markets, the shops, the temples and all the activity in the very old streets.

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From the Forum, head uphill to what used to be the ‘posh’ neighbourhood of the antic Rome. The Palatine Hill is were the emperors and the cool-kids lived. I did Latin for 2 years, I don’t remember any of the derivatives but I do remember this! My parents would be proud…

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The views of Rome’s roofs are wonderful from there.

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At the top of the hill you will find Emperor Augustus palace. You will also see on the other side of the hill what remains from the Circus Maximus (drop movie reference here: Ben-Hur)

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After the Palatine hill, head toward the Piazza del Campidoglio, where you will find the famous Capitoline wolf statue. You can then head downhill to the Piazza Venezia and the high street area.

By now it should be late afternoon, perfect time for a gelato or an Aperol spritz! When in Rome…

Here are part 2 and 3 of our weekend in Rome!