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Europe Guides

An Insider’s Guide to Mykonos, Greece

*Covid-19 edit: this guide is for bookmarking purposes only, please stay home as we all help to flatten the curve*

Mykonos is a Greek island that is part of Cyclades archipelago in the Aegean Sea. In recent years, it has been getting more and more popular among the rich and famous and also in the Instagram community. Thanks to its bright white buildings, turquoise water, vibrant nightlife, and picturesque streets, it attracts millions of visitors every year.

Mykonos is also a unique destination for fashion lovers. Many known and less known greek designers are present here. Just walk around colorful streets of Mykonos town, the biggest town on the island, and you will for sure find an outfit that will make you look like a Greek goddess.

Getting around

There are year-round flights to Mykonos from Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as flights from various European destinations during the high season. Mykonos is also pretty small, so you can easily get around by moped, taxi or bus.

When to Travel

The main season on Mykonos lasts from May to October, with summer months being more popular. However, if you want cheaper hotel prices and a more relaxed atmosphere you could go in April to early June or late September and October.

Night Life

Mykonos has a well-deserved reputation of being the “the Ibiza of Greece”. Its Scorpio beach club is one of the best beach clubs in Europe. It offers stunning sunset rituals, live music, delicious food and excellent views with a romantic atmosphere. If you are on a budget it can get a bit pricey here, so you may want to consider the many other party locations in the downtown area of Mykonos, or Paradise and Super Paradise beach.

Best Photo Spots

Mykonos is a real paradise for photography lovers. Every corner and street, colorful balconies make it feel and look like a fairytale. To avoid crowds it’s better to start your photo session as early as possible, preferably before 8 am.  The top locations are the narrow streets of the town, the windmills of Kato Mili, Paraportiani Church, cafes and the beach in Little Venice. Read more here.

An Insider's Guide to Mykonos, Greece

 

Caribbean Cruising

The Top 5 Best Destinations to Visit in the Caribbean

When most people think of the Caribbean, they think crystal clear waters, all-inclusive resorts and soaking up the sun on the beach all day. But we’re here to share the vibrant towns and cities that also make the Caribbean the beautiful part of the world that it is.

1. San Juan, Puerto Rico
With colorful, Spanish colonial architecture lining the streets of San Juan, white-sand beaches as well as rain forests in the surrounding areas has something for almost everyone. The El Morro fortress surrounds the city to watch over San Juan Bay since the 16th century and the its 20 foot thick walls and cannons are remarkable. A UNESCO World Heritage Site for good reason, is one of the most beautiful cities in the Caribbean.

Important sites:
– La Princesa
– San Juan Gate
– Plazuela de la Rogativa
– Fort San Felipe del Morro
– Cathedral of San Juan
– Plaza de Armas

2. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
As the capital and cultural center of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo transports you to another time and place with its rustic facades and history. As the oldest settlement in the Americas, Santo Domingo is also home to the oldest churches, castles, homes and fortresses in the Americas. You’ll find tons of beauty by getting lost throughout its Old Town, the Zona Colonial.

Important sites:
– Cathedral of St. Mary of the Incarnation: oldest cathedral in the Americas
– Calle de las Damas: the New World’s first paved street)
– Calle El Conde: shop lined street
– Alcázar de Colón (pictured)

3. Curaçao
Dutch style buildings and vibrant facades, Curaçao’s harbor is one of the most picturesque harbors in the world. It’s like a Caribbean version of Copenhagen’s Nyhavn! It’s no wonder Willemstad, the island’s capital, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tow sides of the island are connected by a movable pedestrian harbor bridge crossing and it’s a joy to watch it open with people still on it! In addition to the colorful town, Curaçao is home to vibrant reefs, crystal clear waters and more.

4. Saint Kitts & Nevis
The lush, dramatic landscapes of Saint Kitts & Nevis will surely take your breathe away. Visit Timothy Hill (pictured below) to witness the Atlantic and Caribbean oceans all in one view. You can also take a sailboat to nearby Nevis and/or take in the views on board the oldest and the “Last Railway in the West Indies” departing from Needsmust station.

5. Aruba
Old world and dutch architecture combined with stunning lush trees, cacti and stunning blue waters make Aruba one of the most popular islands in the Caribbean. Get in touch with nature by visiting the Natural Bridge carved out of stone by nature and soak up panoramic views from the Alto Vista Chapel.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

 

 

Caribbean Insider Tips

An Insider’s Guide to Barbados

Barbados is a beautiful country, known for it’s pristine beaches, friendly locals, delicious cuisine, and yes, Rihanna. The island has an infectious energy and it’s no wonder they produced a world famous pop star. That Barbadian energy can be felt every Friday at the fish fry, pumping through the speakers of the bars on Saint Lawrence gap, and even at the grocery stores! Music is everywhere and you can’t help but get into a festive mood once you step foot on the island.


Photo by Willy Joseph Louis

How to get there
There are frequent flights from the USA, UK and other Caribbean islands with international carriers. Bridgetown, the country’s capital, is also one of the most popular cruise ports in the Caribbean. I flew from Martinique to Barbados with Air Antilles.

Best time to go
High season correlates with dry season, which starts in November and wraps up towards the end of April. If you want the best deals then I suggest you book a trip in May. Hotels experience a steep decline in bookings due to the end of high season, which means they slash their prices – some luxury hotels even offer free nights or 50% off deals! If you consider yourself to be a risk taker then you can go ahead and book a summer fare as they will likely cost less. Just take into consideration that you may end up rained out for your entire vacation or caught in a hurricane!

Where to stay
Barbados has no shortage of wonderful places to stay on any budget. There are plenty of big-name hotels, like the high end all-inclusive Sandals Resorts or the Hilton. Travelers who like to be low key and mix with locals will feel more comfortable renting an apartment or villa during their vacation. Those seeking absolute seclusion will be in paradise at The Crane, a private resort on Crane Beach, voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world!

Photo by Willy Joseph Louis

Where/what to eat
Oistins Fish fry is an absolute must! Hundreds of people descend upon this food haven every Friday for music, performances, and you guessed it – fried fish! Get the Flying Fish or the “Dolphin” (Mahi Mahi) with a side of macaroni pie and plantains and you won’t be disappointed. For those seeking a chic vacation dining experience, try one of the hotel restaurants. You’ll get the chance to dress up and eat great food with a magnificent view. Lobster is a must when fine dining in the Caribbean! It doesn’t get much fresher than on an island. Grabbing poolside drinks at a hotel bar is also a nice way to have a chic Caribbean experience without breaking the bank.


Turtles: a must see!
Barbados is known for it’s sea turtles, which are numerous and quite big so they are hard to miss! There are plenty of catamaran companies that offer day cruises which include a guaranteed sighting, but I’ll let you in on a little secret – you can pack your own snorkel gear and get out there and see them for yourself! If you’re a good swimmer you’ll be able to swim out to where the catamarans dock and join the fun.

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Australia Food Guides Insider Tips

Insider Guide to Noosa, Australia

We’re @emmakateco and @carlystephan – bloggers, travelers + soul sisters. We’ve packed our Noosa essentials – bikinis, sunglasses, and a map. Kicking off today with fruity frappes and coffee. Excited to share our road trip to Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast!

Noosa National Park
We’re following a stunning forest trail with hidden turquoise beaches along the way. This national park is an important refuge for black cockatoos and koala bears – we saw a cute little koala snoozing the day away in a tall gum tree.

We made it to the jaw-dropping jagged cliffs of Hell’s Gates – amazing 360 degree views of the entire region. Perfect spot for a picnic, and some amazing photos!

On our way back, we stopped at Granite Bay for an afternoon dip in the rock pools. This beautiful beach is made up entirely of black granite boulders and stones. Beautiful to photograph, hot under foot!

A day in Noosa is not complete without a visit to Massimo Gelateria, a local spot. It’s pistachio and macadamia for Carly, pink grapefruit and coconut for Em. Our tip – eat them quickly or face the consequences! Eating gelati and cruising Hastings Street in this shopping mecca is highly recommended.

Front row seats to a spectacular ocean show. Cool breezes and breathtaking colours greet you at every turn on this trail. If you’re lucky you may spot turtles, dolphins and breeching whales. Mother nature turns it ON in this part of the world.

Dotted along the beautiful coastal track of Noosa’s National Park there are many little slices of paradise to explore. We saw these amazing boulders from afar and had to have a play on them. A little bit of ‘bush-bashing’ off the beaten track, and we were there! They made for fantastic perches to admire the view.

We cap off a perfect day with sunset at the Noosa river mouth, where fisherman, family and friends all gather to salute the sun goodbye after another gorgeous day. Thanks for following our Noosa soul sister adventure! We hope you venture down here some day xx

Emma Kate is a designer, blogger, author, traveller, and founder of the Emma Kate Co. stationery/lifestyle brand.

With her lighthearted and whimsy designs, Emma Kate is in the business of making days all over the planet – for customers, virtual visitors, creative clients, and everyone in between. Her words + imagery inspires unbridled freedom, unabashed love, and unforgettable kindness. 

When not tapping away on her laptop, you can most likely find Emma brunching, or cross-legged + barefoot on a plane, daydreaming about how deep down, she really wished she lived in Paris.

For more from Emma, her creations and writings, or to work with her yourself, hop online. She’s got something very special waiting for you. www.emmakateco.com // @emmakateco

 

Carly is a passionate international aid and development project manager, writer and blogger. Her work has taken her across the globe many times over, working on projects in East Africa, South East Asia and throughout the Pacific Islands. These projects have focused on cultivating sustainable livelihoods, the empowerment of women, community enterprise, local market development and positive social change. Growing up in Singapore, Carly’s wanderlust and wonder for the world was stoked at an early age, her passport heaving with stamps by the age of 10.

Carly also has a blog, Pockets of Peace, where you will find spirited musings on peace, wellness and living an inspired and light-filled life.

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