Imerovigli


Santorini is one of the most beautiful places in the whole planet for its rare natural beauty that every traveller should see once in a lifetime.

⇒   Santorini’s official name is actually Thira. It’s a gifted and small Greek island

⇒   The active volcano of Santorini erupted in the 1950’s and ruined many of the towns of Island

⇒   The island sits in the water-filled caldera of a massive volcano that is thought to have ended Minoan civilisation on Crete.

⇒   Before it was called Santorini, the island was known as Kallístē, meaning “the most beautiful one.”

⇒   Due to its volcanic past, Santorini has white, black, AND red beaches.

⇒    Despite a harsh, dry climate, Santorini has a flourishing wine industry.

We have always wanted to visit Santorini for years, became obsessed with the idea of visiting Santorini after seeing so many pictures on Instagram and other social media. We knew it was going to be ridiculously expensive, but we were determined to visit there on a budget and managed to find a fantastic deal!

Finally, we made a stop on one of our bucket list destination in Santorini, Greece. There is no other word to describe this place other than magical.

Imergrovigli is the quietest town along the caldera and has the island’s best sunset views and everything else! It is a perfect spot for taking pictures and it is so romantic. It is not far from the town, Firostephanie and Fira, about a 15-20 minutes walk.

We stayed Zenith Blue Hotel in a family cave suite with Panoramic Caldera and Volcano views private terrace, this was a tremendous view. The room was great and the breakfast was included but it wasn’t as great as we hoped. This was overall an amazing location, one of the best views on the entire island.

We wanted to explore this area in Imergrovigli and find out what’s out there. It was very peaceful to walk around with lots of hidden gem along the path and there were no tourists at all!

However, there’s one place you must visit – Skaros Rock. A place to enjoy the silence, nature and the wonderful view we doubt you’ve seen before. This probably had one of the best sunsets in town.

La Maison Resturant is a Greek fusion cuisine, it’s a gem with amazing foods and friendly service. It’s great spot overlooking the cliff and sunset. To be honest, the price was quite expensive, we had two meals and drink costing approximately 60 euros, we think it is worth it if you want to experience Greek foods. Also, they offer a free mini starter and cute dessert

We’re pleased to be a brand ambassador for Maureen Ayite, Nanawax from Africa. Nanawax is the ready to wear brand and they’ve got a beautiful collection which is African print with a modern twist, which we LOVE!. We’re wearing a very colourful and gorgeous print top with the wrap belt, that you can wear in two ways, off the shoulder and v-neck. We admire Maureen because she supports deaf community and knows the sign language.

Stay tuned for Oia and Fira!


 


 

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We have been wanting to go to Lisbon for a long time. Our brother booked his holiday in Azores, Portugal and thought it would be a bonus to spend time with him in Lisbon after his trips in Azores. We booked last-minute flight and Airbnb apartments for 5 days. I’m not sure if you remember when we told you that our goal for 2017 is to travel to 12 countries in 12 months? We are delighted that Lisbon is our 2nd of the 12 countries/cities in 12 months, it’s getting excited now!

We arrived in Lisbon in a warm weather and felt very welcome. Thankfully the host organised a private taxi for us. If you don’t like wait in the line for a normal taxi at the airport, I’d advise you to book a taxi in advance and if you are a real traveller, take a train or metro.

We stayed in the apartment in Barrio Alto, and it was even better than we expected. The location was perfect. The view was unbelievable. There’s something really nice about staying in an apartment when you’re in a charming yet quirky city, you can almost pretend you’re local for 5 days. The balcony is a great bonus for experiencing the buzz of the city whilst being private.

The Bairro Alto/Chiado is one of the most characterful and attractive neighbourhoods in Lisbon. It’s a place where people meet in an eclectic and multicultural atmosphere. At night everything is different, you’ll see people drinking out on the streets and having a good time, we loved every minute of it. If you need some shopping in Lisbon, this is the place to go.

Wandering a city with no plans is always a good idea. We love wandering through the narrow streets and stunning traditional buildings. Lisbon is colourful and it just made us fall in love with the city even more. We walked a LOT for the last 5 days, be prepared to walk up and down the hill to explore the city.



Alfama is our favourite gem where you can feel the old soul of the city. It’s a place to wander and get lost in the maze of the streets to find the real beauty of Lisbon. We stopped by at Ai Maria where you can drink the cherry liquor. Ginjinha in a  little cup made of chocolate  and it was delicious. If you are in Lisbon, you must try!

The view was breathtaking at Miradouro das Portas do Sol.



LX Factory is a hidden gem where no one goes. It seems that people go  there to enjoy an awesome vibes of this creative spot. There’s also lots of independent shops, bars and restaurants all with their own character. Oh! Brigadeiro is a charming little café and they are Brazilian sweet, made from condensed milk and chocolate, very popular in Portugal.

Timeout Market, Mercado da Ribeira. If you love food and drink this is a must whilst in Lisbon. The whole concept of the market is brilliant, it is a vibrant and fun place to eat. We were amazed when we arrived, all the food you can eat from the best independent food brands, which by far is always the best to try out. We went insane and couldn’t decide but ended up going for Marlene Vieira which is a popular food with octopus, spinach and potato gratin. Heaven foods and the environment were so lively. You can’t go wrong!

The most popular of these little treats is a must, the pasteis de nata after our dinner. We have never been an egg tart fan, but after having one at Manteigaria, we understand why people love this pastry, but for Heroda the flavour was too rich  but overall it was delicious. It’s also awesome that you can eat while you watching them baking.



SINTRA

When you visit Lisbon, you have to spend a day to explore Sintra. It’s a real gem where fairytale comes to life! There are so many historical treasures that are worth to see.

From Lisbon, it is easy to get to Sintra on a direct train from Rossio Station. It takes about 40 minutes and you can get tickets face to face or self-service machine. When you arrive, you will need transport between the palace and there are lots of options to choose but we decided to get on the private hop on hop off tour called Sympathy Paradise Tour.

We spent the whole day in Sintra and managed to see three of the most famous fairytale spots which are Pena, Castle of Moor and Quinta da Reganleria Castles. The guide was warm and open-minded,  he showed us around and dropped us off where there are special things to see, and a lovely local restaurant, good and cheap!

Quinta da Reganleria

A rich land owner employs an amazing young architect and this is what they create. Simply superb. It’s a maze of paths, tunnels, secret passages and mysterious things underground. We spent hours wandering around or running through caves and up hills like kids. It was such a fun time and so beautiful.

Castle of the Moor

This castle was built during the eighth and ninth centuries, on top of the mountains, so it offers a panoramic view of the town. Inside the walls of the castle is a chapel, which was built much later, in the 12th – century.

Walked the length of the entire grounds and it was absolutely beautiful. The views of the castle as well as from the castle are worth taking all those stairs and hills in a short of time because it was raining heavily and foggy, we didn’t even take photos. We were hoping to visit Pena when the rain stops and WE DID!



 Park and National Palace of Pena

The Pena National Palace is a classic example of 19th-century Romantic architecture. It was constructed by King Ferdinand and Queen Maria II as a vacation home. The opulence of the place may have something to do with why the royal family was exiled in 1910 and Portugal became a republic. Since then it’s existed primarily as a tourist attraction. 

We were so glad when the rain stops and it was cloudy, which mean less tourist. It’s a wonderful palace to visit. Very fairy tale like, we felt like a princess exploring the quirky and colourful palace. Beautiful surroundings and views.


You understand why Sintra is called a fairy tale town. This may sound cheesy, but the palace kind of gives us a Disney feeling because it is so charming, colourful and romantic. It’s everyone’s dream of castle.

That’s a wrap for Portugal, we will be back!

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Remember when we told you that our challenge for 2017 is to travel to 12 countries in 12 months? Well, guess what? Iceland is our first of the 12 countries in 12 months, so 11 countries left to go and we still haven’t decided it yet. The later the better!

Here we go!

We spent 4 days on the spectacular island with our gorgeous friends but wish we could stay a bit longer to explore more. We flew with Icelandair for almost 3 hours and apparently, there was 50cm snow. You have no idea how excited we were! Iceland has been turned into winter wonderland we can’t describe how beautiful the island is. We stayed in Fosshotel Reykjavik, honestly, that was the best hotel we’ve ever stayed in. It is brand new, awesome surroundings and amazing facilities which is a bonus (the heated floors in the bathrooms made us very very happy haha)  They have a cool beer garden too! The city is packed with bright colourful houses, the downtown area is full of great shops, places to grab a bite to eat, and a beautiful and quirky outdoor area to explore. Whilst we were there at the end of February, the weather is extremely changeable and unpredictable so you should always be prepared for the unexpected. Luckily, the weather since has been a lot better with days of plenty of sunshine.

Starting our private 4×4 experience tour bright and early the next day was perfect because Iceland in the winter has a limited hour of daylight so we were lucky because we were able to see all of the sights at the right time. Our tour guide was lovely. He took us to the south of Iceland all the way to Vik from Reykjavik. This is a long trip we would say about 10 hours but the view is absolutely breathtaking whilst we were in the car. Full of snow make it even more magical.



THE SELJALANDSFOSS WATERFALL

The waterfall is very famous. It’s where you can walk behind it but we didn’t try this as it gets very icy and slippery during the winter, so the ice made it even more dramatic and dangerous. The view is wonderful, it’s a beautiful sight getting closer and closer but we found that too many tourists spoiled it for us but we were trying to get a decent shot of SELJALANDSFOSS and we did!



THE EYJAFJALLAJOKULL VOLCANO

We stopped at Eyjafjallajokull Volcano (we can’t even pronounce it haha) anyway, this is where a famous volcano in the world. It is huge and powerful, I think back to 2010 and all the flight cancellations this volcano caused. Seeing it in person is amazing.



So while driving in the full of a white countryside, all the way to Black Beach Sand. We yelled, “Stop we want to take picture of the Icelandic horse!” The tour guide knew the best place where you can see them in the middle of nowhere on the farm. The Icelandic horse is a breed developed in Iceland. They are special (something in between a pony and a horse) and adorable. They love to be petted. Did you know that the Icelandic Horse is the only type of horse breed in Iceland? Apparently, no other horses are allowed on the island. If one leaves Iceland, it is not allowed to enter back into the country. I recommend stopping whenever you see horses because it is SO worth it!



THE BLACK BEACH

After that, we headed down to Vik where the Black Sand Beach is, It is one of the ten most beautiful non-tropical beaches on Earth. How cool is that? The beach was incredibly beautiful from the darkest sand, crashing waves and interesting rock formations. Iceland is one of those places where you are reminded that nature is awesome.



THE SKÓGAFOSS WATERFALL

This is one of the most beautiful waterfalls of Iceland in winter. It’s like a fairyland of the winter wonderland, you can walk and close to it. The sun was shining and we saw a rainbow. This actually made the whole experience seem a bit like a dream and a magical one.



WATCHING THE AURORA BOREALIS IS MAGIC. FOR REAL.

We went back to the hotel and had a quick dinner before the Northern Lights. This is another reason why Iceland is one of the best places in the world to see colourful lights dancing in the night sky. So we waited in freezing cold for two hours and there’s no light at all. Before we had to go back to the city, there they were, the lights were so incredibly bright, like magic lighting up the sky. During our stay 3 nights, we managed to see them twice which is very lucky. One of the best things we’ve ever seen, definitely worth the wait. Seeing the Aurora (Northern Lights) was a dream come true for us!



THE BLUE LAGOON

Lastly, we went to the famous Blue Lagoon on our last day (and of course it’s part of our bucket list!). It’s milky baby blue water and the view is like something out of a dream. The weather was perfection, white snow and sunny (Not warm, though. It is Iceland, after all.) We sinking into the hot water and we could physically feel our muscles relax and said AHHH! This is a perfect way to end of our trips, we stayed from 10.30 am to 4 pm, I know we are crazy but loving it every minute of it! The water was hotter than we would expect with a temperature of 38 degrees C. It had a thick and silky feel like a bath full of salts. The water is self-cleansing – it renews itself every 40 hours. The geothermal water has a unique composition, featuring three active ingredients – Silica, Algae & Minerals If you want to know more information HERE. You’ll also find as much FREE silica mud at the mud bar where we applied the mask. After taking it off, our skin felt smooth.

We really loved this place sitting in the warm water and staring up at the sky and the landscape, with the cold wind rushing through the rock walls around us.

Tip: Don’t let that water touch your hair, (haha but you can use lots of conditioner in the bathroom before you go in!)



Iceland is one of the most awe-inspiring places we’ve ever been to. What are you waiting for? GO!

Happy Weekend!

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