Hope you enjoyed the Santorini post as much we did.
Sad to be leaving Santorini but 4 days was good enough for us because it was more of a relaxing and romantic one. We stayed in Greece for 10 days, so it was time for us to explore other Greek islands, where we’d heard about Mykonos as a party island with very nice and long sandy beaches. So we took a boat from Santorini to Mykonos for 65 euro each which was a reasonable price, we were so impressed with Hellenic Speedway High Speed 7. The ferry is big, spacious, comfortable and you have to book the tickets online if you want to visit the Greeks islands.
We have always dreamed of going to the beautiful Santorini and Mykonos, we were so excited that it became a reality to visit the place.
For those who do not know Mykonos, be prepared, is also the most expensive island in Greece, in the high season, and can cost you a lot! We will get back to you about where we stayed in Mykonos, stay tuned then.
We have to say that it’s incredible beauty and visually even better than we could ever have imagined. Mykonos is the winner for hidden gems and we loved walking around the narrow streets with beautiful traditional white houses and colourful doors, with deep blue oceans and it will never stop.
The Mykonos culture, the delicious food and especially, the nightlife were like nothing we have ever experienced, Mykonos people know how to have a good time and even the shops stay open til late. How cool is that?
Apparently, the nightlife in Mykonos is one of the best and liveliest in Europe. We’d have to say we loved the Queen of Mykonos, one of trendiest spots to start your night in Mykonos but be aware that it’s a bit pricey!
We found a lovely shop where you can find the most beautiful sandals made by hand and we loved everything in the shop. If you are looking for something unique, you’ll thank us later!
Little Venice and The Windmills are probably two of our favourite spot in Mykonos. Little Venice looks vibrant and colourful like we didn’t expect the real Venice looks. There are lots of various bars, and restaurant to watch the sunset across the deep turquoise sea and the windmills. A perfect place for romantic! Wandering a town with no plans is always a good idea.
Fira is the capital of Santorini, it is the busiest part of the island, it has magical views of the caldera and volcano and beautiful white building such as churches, museum and cathedrals. There is a lively atmosphere with plenty of shops, restaurants and bars.
We strolled up along the narrow paths in the evenings and enjoyed the scenery. One evening we had delicious sushi at a restaurant called ‘Ginger Sushi’. We knew that this was not traditional Greek food but how could we say no?
The best place to relax, have a cocktail and watch the sunset was ‘PK cocktail bar’ where you can admire the breathtaking view. We saw our first Santorini sunset, this was one of the longest and most beautiful sunsets we’d ever experienced. If you ever decide to go make sure you reserve front row tables in advance, especially just before sunset for the best views to avoid disappointment.
We highly recommended visiting Fira than Oia if you are wanting to let loose and be wild. It has more nightlife and shopping and obviously the best views! Fira’s more charming, rather than Oia as this was more of a local town rather than a tourist location. We really enjoyed it but be prepared for the large crowd though!
Hope you enjoyed our post “We Heart Santorini – Imerovigli” If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the LINK
And it’s not over yet, here we go!
The first thing we saw when we woke up the first morning, the views from our room every morning was just amazing. We couldn’t believe the breathtaking panoramic views stretching as far as the eye could see in Imerovigli. We were thinking are we really in Santorini? We had to pinch ourselves to make sure it was real!
We’ve decided to take a walk from our hotel to Oia. We happily agreed to go ahead to do this walk on a recommendation from our hotel manager, we were told that the walk from Imerovigli to Oia could take up to 3 hours. We love getting out of town because there are so many places to just sit and admire the view in every stop. The funny part was that we end up hiking in sandals and dress. Everyone looked at us in a good way and they probably said we must be crazy, haha.
The walk is the toughest for Heroda in her sandals because Heroda hadn’t experienced it before and Hermon had it in South America. The most challenging part of the walk was going down a long, steep, rocky hill. We were so determined to get there to Oia even the weather was hot. Hiking is the best way to experience Santorini, it’s easy to follow the awe-inspiring coastline. The view was jaw-dropping, incredibly beautiful from the darkest blue sea, caldera and interesting volcanos. This is one of those places where you are reminded that nature is purely natural and beautiful. As you keep on walking, you can see lots of little-whitewashed villages dot the edge of the caldera.
We finally reached Oia, we wandered a beautiful area of Santorini, with whitewashed buildings, blue domes and cobblestone streets, even though it was insanely busy and too crowded for us. We know how popular Oia is, the hot spot for Instagrammer, wedding photo and obviously sunsets. It can be hectic though. We stayed in Oia all day and catch the taxi back to Fira for sunset.
Yes, it is possible to walk from Imerovigli to Oia in 3 hours, take your time, enjoy the walk, and soak up the views. Allowing between 4 and 5 hours would be ideal. Be sure to wear a comfortable pair of shoes, some snacks, and some water. Remember to wear a hat and sunscreen!
We are so glad that we planned to go hiking in Santorini, it ended up one of our favourite adventures, we would definitely come back in a heartbeat. Travelling with your brother or sister is important. It makes for better memories, a better appreciation of each other and a stronger relationship.
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.
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.
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.