Marie Nieves

Marie Nieves

Marie Nieves is a travel blogger who loves unusual trips, active holidays, gadgets and creative ideas. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag.

Most of her free time at home she spends walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences.

 

. . . .

5 Reasons To Get You On The Next Plane To Portugal

Put your finger anywhere on the map without overthinking it. Now move it over to Portugal. Congratulations, you’ve done yourself an immense favor and have set in motion what is bound to be an adventure of a lifetime! You see, Portugal is one of those enchanting places so rich, so diverse, and so mesmerizing that it never fails to steal the heart and satisfy every traveler’s longing and desire. So here to give you a glimpse of the wonderful experiences that await in the westernmost country of Europe are the five delicious reasons why Portugal should be a prominent bucket list destination.

 

1. A heaven for foodie travelers

A perfect vacation abroad can constitute many things, and the quality and diversity of the local cuisine is definitely among the most important requirements. Even if you’ve never considered yourself a foodie traveler up until now, there is simply no way to elude the enchanting charms of the sweet and savory aromas at every corner.

The Portuguese food palate is rich and diverse, with fresh fish dishes crowning the local menus, accompanied by a vast array of wines to perfectly complement every meal. Be sure to try the traditional Bacalhau – salt cod prepared in more than a thousand ways – and don’t leave without a sip of true Port and Madeira wine. The local culture takes pride in their sweet delicacies as well, and tasting the numerous iterations of a Portuguese pastry is truly a religious experience.

 

Image 2

 

2. that breathtaking landscape

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the Portuguese countryside is, in that case, a novel. Now imagine actually visiting these places – truly an unforgettable experience. So are there any particular locations you shouldn’t miss? Oh yes.

One of the most scenic spots in the country, Peneda-Geres National Park is an expansive mountainous region in the country’s far north. Unencumbered by the dread of mass tourism, the region offers plenty of outdoor opportunities from hiking and trekking, to cycling and even canyoning for the adventurers among you.

Be sure to visit Madeira as well, the hiking central of the country off the western coast of Africa. Take a trip to the Azores for some good old whale watching, and don’t forget to bring a picnic basket to Lake Alqueva where you can spend the day soaking in the beautiful scenery.

 

Image 3 2

 

3. Lisbon - where history and innovation live harmoniously

By now you’ve gotten to know that truly unforgettable Portugal holidays must include a comprehensive visit to the historic capital of Lisbon. There is no better way to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience it for all its worth than to walk the picturesque streets of downtown Lisbon. Soak in the architecture, the aromas from the cafes, and the positive vibes that permeate the setting.

Although a cultural sanctity in its own right, Portugal has also become Europe’s major tech and startup hub. It attracts digital nomads, entrepreneurs, and millennials from all around the world. This harmony between tradition and innovation creates a thriving urban setting that preserves the local culture while making Lisbon a great place to have a good time. Speaking of, here’s what you shouldn’t miss.

 

Image 4

 

4. The sights, sounds, & tastes of Lisbon

First off, you want to take a ride on the iconic Tram 28 that will take you through the heart of the city. It passes a plethora of breathtaking landmarks from cobblestone streets all the way to the architectural wonder that is the Estrella Basilica.

Next, visit the old town of Alfama, preferably losing yourself in the tiny streets and exploring the historic neighborhood on foot. Make a pit stop at one of the quaint cafes and order a cup of freshly-brewed coffee with a side of Madeira Honey Cake – you’re welcome.

Needless to say, revel in the masterpieces of Portuguese painters and sculptors at the National Museum of Ancient Art, and it is also a must to make a visit to every art gallery along the way. Before the day is over, be sure to visit the Lisbon Oceanarium and watch in awe as the rich marine life unique to the region frolics before you.

 

Image 5

 

5. Travel the small towns & quaint villages

Finally, every town and village in Portugal is a unique depiction of the country’s long history and cultural heritage. As such, it would be a shame to skip this valuable part of the Portuguese escapade. Among the most prominent locations, the Venice of Portugal, Aveiro, is a must-see.

The town of Coimbra should be in your itinerary as well, as it’s has been one of the most prestigious arts and culture centers in the country for over half a millennium. Don’t forget to visit the scenic town of Evora as well, a meticulously preserved historic setting with medieval walls and palaces dating back to the 14th century.

 

Image 6

 

Amazingly, even though a relatively small country, Portugal has more to offer that can be experienced in a single trip. And another good thing about this enchanting region of the Iberian Peninsula is that it always seems to offer something that’s worth taking a trip back. With these five delicious tips in mind, go ahead and live out your Portuguese adventure of a lifetime.

 

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MAILING LIST

 
 

 

Read more...

Out & Around Downtown Sydney

If you love traveling around the world, visiting Sydney should definitely be on your bucket list. Despite its size and population, it’s surprisingly easy to navigate, and there are so many things to see and do. Visiting is bound to be the experience of a lifetime, so depending on your preferences, here are a couple of suggestions on how to spend your time in this beautiful city.

 

If you enjoy rides

One of the best ways to explore the city is through a Hop-On Hop-Off bus. It can take you to most of the city’s important attractions and tourist hotspots. Also, one of the most popular ways of appreciating Sydney’s coast is by taking a ferry ride, like the two-hour Sydney Harbour Sightseeing Coffee Cruise, for example. The ferries that depart from the harbor will take you to some of the prime tourist spots, like Watsons Bay and Taronga Park Zoo. So, whether you prefer land rides or water rides, you will surely enjoy Sydney.

 

Image 1 Sydney

 

If you like relaxing walks

Sydney has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, which is perfect for all the people who love taking long, relaxing walks. So, visit the Bondi beach and soak in the sun while taking a stroll along the coast. Or, if you’re more into greenery, you can visit Sydney Blue Gums and explore the breathtaking nature of the area, or you can check out the Royal Botanic Garden, which is a tranquil paradise located in the middle of the city. Also, if you consider yourself to be an experienced walker, consider the Berowra Waters to Cowan Station walking track. Just don’t forget to take your camera with you as there are many amazing views you will want to remember.

 

Image 2 Sydney

 

If you like art

Sydney is home to some of the world’s finest performance art venues, and weekends are the best time to see a nice play, movie, or some other type of art event. For example, you can check out The Riverside in Parramatta or Glen Street Theatre in Belrose as you are guaranteed to find an array of interesting performances all year round. Also, don’t miss out on the chance to visit the Art Gallery of New South Wales since it is one of the most distinguished art museums that has one of the largest collections of Aboriginal art in the country. Also, there is a beautiful boutique hotel in Sydney designed in Victorian style, in case you want your trip to Sydney to be all about luxury and art.

 

Image 3 Sydney

 

If you are a night owl

If you’re more interested in Sydney’s nightlife, make sure to visit Newtown, as it has some of the best bars, cafés, and music venues. There are also many cocktail spots, pubs, jazz clubs, as well as many restaurants serving different types of food.

However, if you’re more interested in having a quiet evening with your family or friends, don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit Sydney Harbour. It is one of the most popular nightspots in Sydney, and it’s not hard to see why. There are waterside fireworks every Saturday and stunning views every night – it’s definitely something you should experience. Plus, thanks to the many bars and restaurants in the area, you will easily find a nice meal in case you get hungry.

 

Image 4 Sydney

 

If you like food

Whether you prefer vegan food, gluten-free, or sweet, there are many amazing restaurants in Sydney that can cater to all your needs and wishes. You can enjoy a simple but delicious pizza in restaurants such as Lucio Pizzeria or Da Mario, or you can enjoy some of the best seafood in the country in Sake the Rocks or Bennelong. Moreover, if you’re into Asian cuisine, make sure to visit Chinatown where you will have a chance to taste all kinds of delicious Asian dishes. Regardless of what you feel like eating, have no doubt that you will find the perfect restaurant for you in this amazing city.

 

Image 6 Sydney

 

Whether you are a foodie, an explorer, a night owl, or an artistic soul, Sydney has something for everybody. Enjoy your walks along the beautiful beaches, go on ferry rides, and enjoy Sydney’s rich nightlife. Have a taste of the city’s delicious food in some of the finest restaurants, and immerse yourself in its art scene. Make use of every moment in this breathtaking city, and you are guaranteed to have the time of your life.

 

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MAILING LIST

 
 

 

Read more...

Why Spring Is The Best Time To Visit Paris

In all honesty, there is no such thing as the wrong time to stay in Paris. The snowy winters are enchantingly romantic, the soothing autumn palette feels like living in an impressionist painting, while summer is rich with festivities. However, spring is a special treat for spending time in this sleepless, timeless city. Drier than those autumn days, and much more pleasant than the summer sizzle, this is the season that makes Paris truly blossom!

What makes it all the more appealing for first-time visitors is that during spring months of the year, you’re able to enjoy its streets and hidden nooks without all the tourist crowds that congregate during summer. You can forget about lengthy museum lines and waiting for hours for a famous French baguette sandwich while you take a stroll by the Seine at your own pace.

 

Image 2 paris

 

Parisian art galore

Every year, the French capital opens its mesmerizing doors to everyone in Paris to experience their museums and galleries free of charge. The event is called La Nuit des musées and it takes place on the third Saturday of May, which means that there will be art lovers flocking to Paris on the 19th this particular year. While it’s impossible to sneak a peek into every major museum available, you can at least stop by some of their most world-renowned collections.

Since the Louvre takes weeks to absorb its wonders, you might want to dedicate the entire night for just this famous ensemble of art, but you can also leave it for another time and head to Musée d'Orsay and Palais de la Découverte instead. The list is practically endless, so it’s best to do your homework before you arrive and have a night of falling madly in love with all the artists hiding in this breathtaking metropolis.

 

Image 3 paris

 

Wallet-friendly opportunities

Even though Paris is a favorite destination for travelers in spring, if you opt for mid-week getaways and book ahead, you will likely have a plethora of affordable accommodation options to choose from. Both hotels and private residencies cut their prices significantly during this pre-tourist season, and flights are even easier to come by if you look for them a few months in advance.

Due to the wonderful weather, you can visit some of the city’s most notable monuments and spots which are completely free of charge. Nothing sings Parisian life quite like a walk by the Seine or a sightseeing afternoon on Montmartre, where you can see the picturesque Sacré Cœur and a stunning panoramic view of the city stretching before your feet.

 

Image 4 paris

 

Basking on the Seine

Since it’s impossible to catch a glimpse of every single architectural marvel around, Paris has come up with other creative ways for you to explore the city. If you want a unique vantage point of this European gem, opting for barge cruises in France is a seamless way to travel via Parisian waterways to discover this city’s immortal charms.

Now that its streets are in full bloom, the allure of everything on the sightseeing menu is all the more awe-inspiring. You can enjoy a slow-paced cruise down the Seine and the well-known Canal Saint-Martin, and immerse yourself in the ingenious creativity that surrounds you: the Eiffel Tower feels as if it’s at your fingertips, while Cathédrale Notre-Dame will take your breath away as soon as you lay your eyes on its towering beauty.

 

Image 5 paris

 

The mecca of shopping

No place in the world screams fashion quite like the capital of France, hence the need for every fashionista to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience. As the birthplace of haute couture, from Coco Chanel to Yves Saint Laurent, the city prides itself on massive shopping centers created for your ideal shopping spree, as well as vintage stores tucked away in the bosom of Paris.

Head straight to designer depots where you can find famous and less-known designer clothes for a bargain, such as the Priscilla Depot-Vente with a vast selection of classics such as Kenzo and Dior. For a complete shopaholic experience, head to some of Paris’s shopping streets where bags rustle and heels click-clack almost non-stop.

 

Image 6 paris

 

French breakfast with a view

Couples will adore a brief escape from the city centre and into the Bois de Boulogne, the largest verdure-laden slice of Paris with so many romantic picnic spots that you’ll have a hard time settling for one. If you cannot stay still, then by all means, rent a boat on the lake, and enjoy your meal on its crystal waters. Wine aficionados will love that Paris hides in its embrace numerous boutique vineyards that are lesser known to tourists than you’d expect – consider trying Clos de Belleville’s Chardonnay, or another delicious vintage during your stay.

In the mood for a more urban breakfast? Then you can take your pick from a wide range of cafes and restaurants that serve incredible local delicacies. For those who have never had the pleasure of tasting Parisian culinary wonders, go to Colorova Patisserie for a classic toasty croissant with a fresh cup of coffee. Le Bal Café is famous for their pancakes, and their coffee also makes it to the top of the list of Parisian tastiest treats.

 

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MAILING LIST

 
 

 

Read more...

Top 10 Wine Destinations Of 2018

 

 Image 1 Wine Destinations

In a simpler time, you had one or maybe two choices for a wine tasting adventure – France or Italy. Nowadays, it seems that quality vintages can be found in every corner of the world, with wine tasting becoming a vacation unto itself.

Prominent wineries offering tasting tours overlooking their magnificent, expansive vineyards along with impeccable service and fine-dining are growing in popularity among wine aficionados and travellers alike. So why dream about it when you can experience a wine adventure for yourself? Here are the world’s top 10 wine destinations you have to visit in 2018.

 

Tuscany, Italy

When you think of wine and natural beauties, Tuscany might be the first place that comes to mind, and rightfully so as this ancient Italian wine-making region still stands tall as one of the most prominent travel destinations for any wine connoisseur. Enjoy a glass of old Chianti while revelling in the beauty of the vineyards embraced by the sloping hills in the distance – truly an unforgettable experience.

 

Image 2 Tuscany Italy

 

Finger Lakes, New York

While the U.S. might not be the first thing that comes to mind, any avid wine lover will attest to the quality of the vintages stored and served in the wineries of Finger Lakes. Boasting an amazing array of over 100 wine houses spread across the hillsides surrounding the lakes, you will have the chance to taste the opulent aromas of a local Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Vidal Blanc.

 

Image 3 Finger Lakes New York

 

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Just north of the U.S. border, in Canadian British Columbia lies Okanagan Valley with more than 100 wineries and their signature vintages. This fertile land brings numerous varietals to life, including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. You will also get the chance to taste a variety of fruit wines as well.

 

Image 4 Okanagan Valley British Columbia

 

Bordeaux, France

Probably one of the most iconic wine regions in the world, Bordeaux is a true wine aficionado’s must-see. While France has more than several esteemed wine regions, such as Loire Valley, Cognac, and Dordogne, the famed Bordeaux wine tours will give you the chance to enrich your palate with wines from the venerated chateaux of Medoc, Saint Emilion, and Graves.

 

Image 5 Bordeaux France

 

Yarra Valley, Australia

Australia is slowly becoming one of the prominent wine countries of the world, with Yarra Valley situated near Melbourne being the most promising prospect for an upscale wine tour. Enriched with quaint villages, restaurants, and numerous wineries, the region’s own Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah can be enjoyed while relishing the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

 

Image 6 Yarra Valley Australia

 

Napa & Sonoma, California

Napa Valley is also one of the most famous wine regions in the U.S., with more than 450 wineries situated within its borders, offering a vivid and diverse display of vintages such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. In the neighbouring region of Sonoma, you will find similar grapes along with boutique hotels and quaint towns that have preserved the timeless aesthetic appeal.

 

Image 7 Napa Sonoma California

 

Cape Winelands, South Africa

Another wine region growing in popularity among connoisseurs and aficionados across the globe is the Cape Winelands in Cape Town, South Africa. The combination rich soils and a moderate climate allow the production of many fine wines, among which are Shiraz, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Be sure to visit the famed wine routes of Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, and Groot Constantia.

 

Image 8 Cape Winelands South Africa

 

Catalonia, Spain

Famous for its dry white wines and brooding red vintages, Catalonia is home to nine wine regions where you can find numerous esteemed wineries. The region is dominated by unique Catalan grapes such as Garnacha and Tempranillo, as well as Macabeo and Parellada. Be sure to visit Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia during your trip.

 

Image 9 Catalonia Spain

 

Mendoza, Argentina

Argentinian wines have long been established as some of the best wines in the world, with the palate dominated by Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Be sure to book your tastings in advance, as the region’s wineries require reservations, oftentimes being fully booked for months.

 

Image 10 author Chris Parker

 

Crete, Greece

Home to grape varieties unique to the region, Crete is truly a place to sip on exquisite wines forged from local Thrapsathiri, Mantilari, and Kotsifali grapes. The region proudly produces its magnificent white wines along with an array of opulent reds worth experiencing. Combining Cretan wines with their national cuisine is as close to a perfect seaside adventure as you can get.

 

Image 11 Crete Greece

 

In every corner of the world, there is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered by an avid wine traveller. With these top 10 wine destinations in your itinerary, 2018 is bound to be remembered as one of the most exciting year-long adventures of your life.

 

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MAILING LIST

 
 

 

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed