Must Do’s Just Outside The Gold Coast

Getting Outside The Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is a city full of fun and adventure, and never a dull moment. But one thing that most people brush aside are the beautiful surrounding areas.

All within a hour are the Springbrook Mountain, Woolumbin National Park and Mount Tamborine, all tropical havens with unbelievable walks, adventure, scenery and waterfalls galore.

We are going to highlight five main attractions and five attractions that we can say we have tried ourselves. So without further ado her is…

Our Top Five Things to Do Outside the Gold Coast

Purling Brook Falls

Set amongst the dense rainforest of the up the top of Springbrook Mountain lies the stunning waterfall of Purling Brook Falls. The Falls is a horsetail waterfall with a mammoth sheer 106 metre drop.

The waterfall has 2 look out points, which are accessed at both ends of a 4 km loop walk. The first point is a front on view of the gigantic falls. The view out and around is just spectacular and shows the size of this falls. The lookout out point number 2 is situated from the top of the fall, where you are barely metres from the fall itself. Looking down onto the bottom of this huge falls.

You can just choose to view the falls but for the more adventurous is the 4km walking track loop to the bottom of the falls and back. When you you arrive at the foot of the falls, at this point you surely do understand the sheer size of this fall, as you look up to it. The walk down to it is a little challenging. But trust us, it is well worth persisting to get the great view up at the fall.

Natural Bridge

The Natural Bridge lies in the Springbrook National park, a naturally formed rock arch over Cave Creek. It came from a waterfall which cut a cave beneath the waterfall and formed a pothole on top, until the two joined and the creek flowed through the cave, leaving an arch across the front.

The cave itself is home to a colony of glow worms and such nightly tours are operated in which to view them. The vast glow from the worms make this a must see tour.

To get to the cave there is a 1.4 km walking track which is mostly a very manageable walk and takes you along some great views on the way, and alends to a few great photo opportunities.

About 3/4 of the way round is the best shot of the Natural Bridge. Face on is a incredible view of gushing waterfall through the rocks, with the beaming sunlight to light up this incredible view. From here you can proceed through into the cave to see the gushing waterfall at its peak.

The final vantage point is at the opening at the top of the fall. Here you can see where this wonder has naturally formed and the sheer volume of water falling into the cave.

Curtis Falls

Set in the tropical Mount Tamborine is the beautiful Curtis Falls waterfall and the Curtis Falls walking track.

Enter the the walk and straight into a world of towering gum trees, Eucalyptus and a ever cool lush rainforest. Broken trees and and only the sound of distant whipbirds make for a peaceful and tranquil visit.

The walk down to the falls is a beautiful flowing track through this lush environment. Well maintained tracks and handrails there to make the trek easier.

Note: As mentioned the track is elevated but not steep it suits most people apart from strollers and wheelchairs as there are parts which involve steps.

You may find platypus, turtles and even the famous east coast Brush Turkey on this trip. In fact there are always plenty of the Brush Turkeys around. these birds otherwise known as scrub turkeys are common on the west coast of Australia. They are black in colour with red beaks and is only one of three species to inhabit Australia.

After the short 1 km walk you arrive at the falls, access into the falls and surrounding rock pools is restricted in order to protect the landscape, however a viewing platform for a great angle and picture opportunity is available.

The waterfall seems to have a constant flow we went on a particularly dry month and as you can see below, was still full of water.

Thunderbird Park

Thunderbird park is an adventure park and camping site on the highly popular Tamborine Mountain.

A great place to take the kids and well as your about to find out adults like us also.

The park is known for it’s main attraction the Treetop Challenge. A obstacle course through the trees in a harness with zip lines and lots of climbing. Can be hard work but very rewarding. The ultimate fun for both adult and children.

The park also offers a few other activities like horse riding, mini golf and the thunderegg crystal mine. As well as a great camp site and restaurant and bar.

Mount Warning NSW

Mount Warning is a Mountain just over the border of Queensland and New South Wales. A medium to challenging hike to the peak with the hardest and the steepest being a the top getting onto the peak.

History

A mountain in the Tweed Range in the Northern rivers region of New South Wales Australia. It was formed from a volcanic plug of the now-gone tweed volcano. The mountain is located 14 kilometres south west of Murwillumbah near the border between New South Wales and Queensland. Lieutenant James Cook saw the mountain from the sea and named it Mount Warning.

The Walk

The walk and the tracks themselves are not to bad to start with its a gradual climb weaving in and out of the rainforest. As mentioned to get to the top and the final 50 metres does require pulling yourself up a stone wall helping yourself by a chain. And can be a little challenging if you are a bit less able. Note: If this is a bit to much there are lookouts along the hike giving fantastic views and vantage points.

Make sure you wear good quality walking boots, bring plenty of water and snacks. The itself to the top and back will take approximately 3 – 5 hours depending on yourselves.

Conclusion

Five must sees for trips just outside the Gold Coast and to be honest there are many more. Just over the hour away you can visit the seaside town of Byron Bay or go inland and see the rural town of Beaudesert, these again are two contrasting places but very worthy of a visit.


Where to Stay in Sardinia, Italy

It’s no secret that Sardinia is one of the best beach holiday destinations in the world. From its turquoise waters to its soft, white sands, it’s also a fantastic water sports destination for global visitors to the Mediterranean sea. 

However, don’t be fooled into thinking you will only find beaches in Sardinia. Other beautiful cities on the island are valued for other reasons besides salt and sand, including secluded mountain towns, vineyard-filled villages, and even some old archaeological sites

Are you planning a trip and want to know where to stay in Sardinia? You’re in luck because we’ll cover where to stay in Sardinia for the best beaches, best Sardinia hotels and even a few places off the beaten track that you may not know. 

Are you ready to find where to stay in Sardinia, Italy? It’s time to find out!

Accommodation in Costa Paradiso, Northern Sardinia

Want to know where to stay in Sardinia? How does paradise sound?

Costa Paradiso, also known as the Paradise Coast of Sardinia, is the perfect spot for water sports lovers. It boasts long coastal stretches throughout, including excellent scuba diving, sailing and windsurfing spots.  

Nature lovers will also be able to hike in this area. Other destinations around Costa Paradiso include Li Vaccaggi, Lu Colbu and Greuli.

Costa Paradiso on a Budget – Resort Gravina

Are you looking for Sardinia resorts that won’t break the bank? Resort Gravina is a budget-friendly choice of note. Every room includes a balcony or terrace and free wifi and air conditioning for visits during the hot summer months.

Book your stay at Resort Gravina

Where to stay in Sardinia, Italy
Gravina Resort in Costa Paradiso, Sardinia.

Costa Paradiso Apartment – Paradise Hill

Built against a rock face on the coast of Costa Paradiso, this luxury apartment exudes coastal charm. Paradise Hill features sweeping panoramic views of the ocean, large bedrooms, rustic rocky architecture and a wrap-around balcony and comfy sun-loungers, we think relaxing in paradise looks something like this.

This apartment is just 8 minutes away from the beautiful sandy beach of Spiaggia di Cala li Cossi, and is one the best places to stay in Sardinia due to its proximity to natural beauty.

Book your stay at Paradise Hill

Places to stay in Sardinia - Paradise Hill
Paradise Hill apartment in Sardinia

Luxury Hotel in Costa Paradiso – Hotel Costa Paradiso

Touted as one of the best hotels in Sardinia, Hotel Costa Paradiso is a luxury hotel boasting a fantastic granite coastal view. Guests have praised this hotel as dreamy for its large clean rooms, refreshing seawater pool, exceptional team of staff and fresh coffee bar.

Book your stay at Hotel Costa Paradiso

Hotels in Sardinia - Hotel Costa Paradiso
Hotel Costa Paradiso in Sardinia

Boutique Accommodation – Costa Paradiso Resort

Do you want to enjoy Sardinia by staying in a boutique resort? Look no further than Costa Paradiso Resort, a favourite amongst Sardinia resorts.

This unique boutique resort offers many villas of varying sizes to guests – so don’t expect a standard hotel room when you arrive! The resort features a large terrace with a private pool, luxury family villas, a private beach area and proximity to Spiaggia Del Porto La Cruzitta, as well as hiking, snorkelling and nearby fishing sites. 

Book your stay at Costa Paradiso Resort

Sardinia resorts - Costa Paradiso Resort
Costa Paradiso Resort

Accommodation in Porto Istana, North-East Sardinia

Porto Istana is a village in Olbia, Sardinia within the Sassari province. This picturesque village offers crystal-clear water at its beaches, as well as glistening white sand and lush green vegetation throughout the town. You will also be treated to beautiful views of the neighbouring island, Isola Tavolara. 

Other destinations around Porto Istana include Li Cuncheddi, Bunthe, Costa Corallina and Murta Maria.

Apartment in Porto Istana – Garden of Plenty

The Garden of Plenty Apartment is the quintessential terracotta home and features in our top list of where to stay in Sardinia. This idyllic apartment features a cactus garden, breathtaking coastal views, an outdoor barbecue, a shaded patio and luscious lawns.

Porto Istana beach is just a five-minute drive away, but we bet you probably won’t want to leave the apartment!

Book your stay at Garden of Plenty

Accommodation in Porto Istana
Garden of Plenty, Porto Istana

Porto Istana on a Budget – Porto Istana Holiday Home

Are you looking for a budget holiday home? You may enjoy the Porto Istana Holiday Home. This quaint one-bedroomed home is pet friendly and includes terrace and garden views. It is simple yet has everything a beach lover might need when the day is over.

It includes a basic kitchenette, air conditioning, and a flat-screen TV for your entertainment. Porto Istana Holiday Home is close to Olbia, and Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport is only 7km away. 

Book your stay at Porto Istana Holiday Home

Porto Istana Holiday Home
Porto Istana Holiday Home, Sardinia

Luxury Resort – Baglioni Resort Sardinia

This hotel is located around 10km out of Porto Istana and is one of the best places to stay in Sardinia. Its steep price tag comes with offers of pet friendly accommodation, celebrity treatment, world-class service, a private beach, sweet and savoury breakfast options, a fitness centre, and three swimming pools.

Couples especially enjoy it, which makes this resort one of the best Sardinia hotels for a honeymoon. This picturesque hotel also has dedicated sun lounge terraces for guests to use.

Book your stay at Baglioni Resort Sardinia

Baglioni Resort Sardinia
Baglioni Resort Sardinia

Boutique Hotel – Hotel Stefania Boutique Hotel 

If you’re after a rustic experience when deciding where to stay in Sardinia, Hotel Stefania is one of the best hotels in Sardinia for a homely experience. It features a Moorish decorative style and is located in Olbia, close to Porto Istana. 

This 4-star hotel is a mere 100m away from Pittulongu Beach. This hotel features a fitness centre, outdoor pool with terrace, paid beach service and restaurant. Hotel Stefania has a unique set-up as the hotel is split into two buildings – the central hotel offers 28 rooms, and the separate Villa Stefania has an extra ten rooms. 

Book your stay at Hotel Stefania Boutique Hotel 

Hotel Stefania Boutique Hotel 
Hotel Stefania Boutique Hotel 

Accommodation in Santa Reparata, North Sardinia

Santa Reparata is a beautiful city in Sardinia and is characterized by its white sandy beaches. This unique location offers impressive coastal views in spades and is close to many other destinations in the region. 

Other destinations around Santa Reparata include Funtanaccia and Capo Testa to the north-west, Santa Teresa Gallura to the north-east and Buoncammino to the east.

Apartment in Santa Reparata – Wilma’s Watch 

One of the best places to stay in North Sardinia is Wilma’s Watch. Named after the Flintstones character, this prehistoric pad, complete with arched walls and thatched roof, offers luxurious surroundings that may surprise you.

Wilma’s Watch features a complete outdoor kitchen with a hob, large barbecue grill, alfresco dining area and shallow pool surrounded by a lush garden. Additionally, you’ll find a hot tub for starlit nights, an outdoor shower for cleaning off after a swim and a flat roof terrace for sundowners. 

While the exterior may look dated, the interior is modern, boasting modern white walls and classy furnishings – which make it the ultimate spot for relaxation in Sardinia. 

Book your stay at Wilma’s Watch

Accommodation in North Sardinia, Italy
Wilma’s Watch

On a Budget – Hotel Da Cecco 

Located just 200m from Santa Tera Gallura’s main beach, this budget hotel offers rustic charm. Featuring a pastel exterior, free wifi for every room and a buffet-style breakfast, Hotel Da Cecco is an excellent choice if you’re looking to save on accommodation costs.

It’s also close to a bus stop that links Olbia and Sassari, making it an excellent choice for city-hoppers in discovering where to stay in Sardinia. 

Book your stay at Hotel Da Cecco

Hotel Da Cecco in Sardinia
Hotel Da Cecco in Sardinia

Luxury Hotel – Colonna Grand Hotel Capo Testa

The Colonna Grand Hotel in Capo Testa offers Mediterranean-style architecture, panoramic views and a private white-sand beach on the premises. 

Look no further if you were wondering where to stay in Santa Reparata, as this location will give you quick access to Santa Reparata and Funtanaccia in northern Sardinia. Every room includes air conditioning, a furnished balcony, a choice of 2 restaurants serving local fare and a terrace bar with views of Corsica and the Mediterranean Sea. 

Additionally, this hotel offers a free shuttle service to Santa Teresa di Gallura, only 2km away.

Book your stay at Colonna Grand Hotel Capo Testa

Colonna Grand Hotel Capo Testa
Colonna Grand Hotel Capo Testa in Santa Teresa Gallura, Sardinia

Boutique Accommodation – Hotel La Coluccia

Located in Santa Teresa Gallura, La Coluccia Hotel is only 50m away from the nearest beach and boasts beautiful views of Spargi island. 

Some of the main features include Turkish baths, a spa and fitness centre, an outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers, buffet breakfasts and panoramic views over the peninsula. It is 17km from Palau, which offers ferry trips to Genoa.

Book your stay at Hotel La Coluccia

Where to stay in Sardinia - La Coluccia
La Coluccia in Sardinia

Accommodation in Cagliari, South Sardinia

Cagliari is one of the best places to stay in Sardinia, the island’s capital. There is an activity for just about anyone here, including museum visits, excellent restaurants, local breweries, shopping malls and unforgettable beaches.

This large piece of land is located close to Quartu Sant’Elena to the east and Quartiere Vivere to the west. 

See also What to See in Cagliari, Sardinia

Cagliari on a Budget – Hotel Residence Ulivi E Palme

Looking to save some money on accommodation? Check out Hotel Residence Ulivi E Palme. It’s located in the middle of Cagliari’s city centre, making it perfect for a cultural tour of Sardinia. 

Some packages include complimentary breakfast for 2, free wifi for every room, and access to the hotel’s restaurant and fitness centre. 

Book your stay at Hotel Residence Ulivi E Palme

Where to stay in Cagliari, Sardinia
Hotel Residence Ulivi E Palme in Cagliari, Sardinia

Boutique Hotel in Cagliari – La Villa del Mare 

Want a truly unique boutique stay in Cagliari? La Villa del Mare might be a perfect choice. This early 20th-century villa boasts an Art Nouveau experience on the seafront, complete with a reading room and furnished garden on the premises. 

A bus stop is located 20m away should you want to visit the city centre, making this central location perfect for a secluded getaway.

Book your stay at La Villa del Mare

La Villa del Mare in Cagliari, Sardinia
La Villa del Mare in Cagliari, Sardinia

Luxury Stays in Cagliari – T Hotel

T Hotel is one of the best hotels in Sardinia. With its modern design, big rooms, and exceptional city views, you can’t miss out on this king of luxury Sardinia resorts when staying in Cagliari. 

T Hotel features a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy spa complete with steam baths, full English breakfasts every morning, and a modern gym. It is close to the Lyric Theatre as well as the Cagliari Cathedral and Cagliari-Elmas airport.

Book your stay at T Hotel

T Hotel in Cagliari, Sardinia
T Hotel in Cagliari, Sardinia

Cagliari Apartment – Right House

Right House is a luxury apartment in Cagliari. It boasts modern finishes and appliances, classy interior decor and a central location close to train stations, restaurants and bus stops right in the city centre of Cagliari. 

The nearest beach, Poetto Beach, can be accessed via a bus close to the apartment.

Book your stay at Right House

Places to stay in Cagliari, Sardinia
Right House in Cagliari, Sardinia

Conclusion

From Cagliari in the south to Porto Istana in the North, you’ll find many beautiful places to stay in Sardinia. Featuring beautiful abodes filled with sunny terraces, cacti gardens and pools aplenty, you’re bound to find something to suit your next trip to Sardinia, regardless of your budget.

Whether you’re budget conscious, looking for a private apartment, want to splurge on a luxury hotel or enjoy a boutique experience, you can find accommodation to suit you in practically every city in Sardinia. 

By now, we hope you know where to stay in Sardinia – at many different price points. Some of the best Sardinia hotels are waiting for you – so be sure to visit Sardinia next time you’re planning a trip to Italy. 

See also Best Towns in Sardinia, Italy


Healthy Food in Vietnam: Tofu & Tao Pho

Now in my thirties, I have clear memories of curling up on my grandfather’s lap, back when I was a small child.

He’d sit on a old wooden bed and smoke a china bowl pope, his ancient shriveled hands breaking grilled tofu into pieces and dipping the morsels into salt.

As a child, I thought that the tofu chinks looked unappealing, but the adults seemed to enjoy eating them. It was common to see cyclo drivers eating this dish by the roadside during their breaks at the time Hai Phong still had many flamboyant trees and low small houses.

If I shut my eyes I can still smell the scent of grilling tofu.

Tofu is among the healthy food in Vietnam not to be missed!

Healthy food in Vietnam
Healthy food in Vietnam

Heathy food in Vietnam

Tofu

Even today grilled tofu is still offered in cheap beer bars, where customers enjoy its pungent taste. Tofu is used in all sorts of ways. Dried boiled or steamed. This ingredient however is rarely served at feasts or fancy dinners.

Most Vietnamese people consider tofu to be humble fare. It is cheap and readily available. In Asia, people have been making food from soy beans for century. Tofu and other soy products are associated with devout Buddhists, who are vegetarian for religious reasons. Soy products are used to make meat substitutes that sometimes look and taste just like meat.

Visit any market in Vietnam and you will see women selling Tofu out of flat baskets. Shoppers come to know who make the best tofu and popular vendors sell out early. In Hanoi, Dau Mo (Tofu from Mo Market) is considered a specialty, like basil from Lang Village or soy sauce from Ban Village.

The Tofu makers in Mo Village have their own secret, although all tofu contains similar ingredients. Perhaps the tofu in Mo Village observe better standards of quality control, using better ingredients and refusing to cut corners to obtain a short term profit.

Making Tofu is time consuming.

Producers are up most of the night in order to get their tofu to market at dawn. First one must grind the soy beans then filter them before cooking, cooling packaging compressing and peeling the resulting tofu. Each step requires careful and experienced hands.

Today, the old villages of Ke Mo are but a memory. The streets feature narrow shop-house and high rises. Even Mo Market is long gone, having been demolished to build a shopping centre. Food lovers in Hanoi, however still recall the excellent of Mo tofu.

Tofu in Vietnam
Tofu in Vietnam

Tao Pho

Tofu makers produce a range of products. The output of their first step of production is Tao Pho, a white, condensed pudding that is serve as a dessert with sweet syrup. Very popular with women, this is a good snack on a hot summer day.

In northern Vietnam, Tao Pho sellers often ride bicycles with a barrel of Tao Pho behind them. The vender uses a flat spoon to ladle thin layers of Tao pho into a bowl before adding syrup.

Today as people are increasingly affluent, the more sophisticated Japanese style of Tofu is gaining popularity. The purest product of the tofu cooking process this type of soft tofu may be found on buffet tables and at fancy feasts.

In my view, this type of tofu is too soft, breaking apart as soon as one takes a bite. For daily fare, I prefer the ordinary, traditional Vietnamese tofu.

Some afternoons, I sit at a roadside restaurant under a flamboyant tree and enjoy the rich taste of grilled tofu flavored with turmeric. This dish never fails to remind me of my childhood.

Good food doesn’t need to be expensive and there’s so much healthy food in Vietnam!

Good food is food that is eaten at the right time and place and that makes you feel good.

Looking for more food in Vietnam? Check out these posts:


Best Beaches in Sardinia, Italy

Some of the best beaches in Italy can be found in Sardinia, flanked by the Mediterranean sea on all sides, and one of its most popular tourist attractions. Renowned for its natural beauty, illuminating turquoise water, the beaches in Sardinia will give you plenty of choices when it comes time to choose a relaxing destination.

Because there are so many beaches on the island, we’ll discuss the best beaches in Sardinia that you absolutely cannot miss.

See also Best Towns in Sardinia, Italy.

Best beaches in Sardinia, Italy
Valle dell’Erica beach, Sardinia, Italy

The Best Beaches in Sardinia

Sardinia regularly tops polls of the best beaches globally, so you can bet that the beaches in Sardinia are breathtaking! Here are some beaches to check out, split into the best beaches in North and South Sardinia!

Best Beaches North Sardinia

The cities of Sassari, Alghero, Stintino and Vignola Mare boast some of the best beaches north Sardinia. 

La Pelosa Beach

La Pelosa Beach is arguably the most famous beach in all of Northern Sardinia. La Pelosa is located a mere 2.5km away from Stintino in the North-West of Sardinia. It’s considered one of the best beaches in north Sardinia due to its fine white sand and shallow sea that boasts a gradient of turquoise hues, including aquamarine and topaz waters. 

This beach is bustling in July and August, so try to avoid these months for a more peaceful visit. As of 2020, the beach allows only a limited number of visitors on the beach, so you’ll need to book your place using the dedicated app

The beach is 300 meters long and up to 60 meters wide in some places. It is labelled as one of the best beaches in Sardinia because it is reminiscent of a Caribbean beach paradise.

La Pelosa Beach in Sardinia, Italy
La Pelosa Beach in Sardinia, Italy

Cala Ostina Beach 

Cala Ostina is a beautiful and secluded beach in Sardinia, located a few kilometres east of Castelsardo. It sits quietly in a small bay under a steep, earthen-toned coastal landform. Its unique appearance and private atmosphere make it a contender for one of the best beaches in north Sardinia. 

It is a small beach of only 60 meters in length, but its deep golden sands caused by volcanic rock nearby and almost translucent water are a sight to behold. 

This beach is part of an inlet, meaning there are no waves at this beach in Sardinia, which helps make it one of the best beaches in Sardinia for tranquility. As a result, you can expect peaceful swimming and an abundance of green plants in the area. This beach is quite remote despite being easily accessible, so visitors should bring their facilities when travelling as none are available on the site.  

Porto Ferro Beach

Porto Ferro is located in the province of Sassari and is one of the best beaches in north Sardinia due to its immense beauty.

For over 30 years, Porto Ferro has been visited by ‘naturists’ or nudists and built a reputation for being one of Sardinia’s most extensive nudist beaches. In 2018, Porto Ferro was labelled one of the first official nudist beaches in Sardinia. As the beach is famous, ‘nudist’ visitors may use only specific beach areas for nudists, including a 200 meter stretch of tiny coves beyond the stone tower at the end of the beach.

Porto Ferro is also well-known for its backdrop of pine forests and towering dunes that make up a truly unique ecosystem. There are ancient towers in this area that add special charm to this beach in Sardinia.

Best Beaches south Sardinia

The cities of Cagliari, Pula, Chia and Porto Pino offer some of the best beaches south Sardinia. 

Porto Pino Beach

Porto Pino beach is widely regarded as one of the best beaches in all of south Sardinia. This oasis of a beach is located at the border of Cagliari and Carbonia-Iglesias provinces, southeast of the village of Porto Pino. 

It is 4km long and is characterised by its pristine dunes and pond surroundings, where bright pink flamingos are often spotted. This beach is one of the best beaches in South Sardinia due to its unique backdrop and crystal-clear shallow waters, making it a good choice for families with children.

Porto Pino is well-equipped with many sun umbrellas, bars, bathrooms and water sport activities, including surfing and scuba diving. 

Poetto Beach

Poetto Beach is the main beach of Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia. It is one of the best beaches in south Sardinia as it is one of the longest, making for some seriously majestic and romantic beach walks. It is over 8km long and offers deep blue waters and hillside views to the South. 

Poetto is well-equipped with kiosks, beach bars, restaurants, nightclubs, water sports facilities and even a marina. It is arguably one of the the best beaches in Sardinia for kitesurfers, and it is easy to reach by access. Many kitesurfing and windsurfing championships take place at Poetto.

There are so many amazing beaches in Sardinia that we couldn’t list all of the beaches in Sardinia here, or you’d be reading for years!

See also What to see in Cagliari, Sardinia.

Cagliari Sardinia beaches
Poetto beach in Cagliari

Best hotels in Sardinia on the beach

A beach getaway wouldn’t be complete without checking out the best hotels in Sardinia on the beach. Naturally, the best beaches in Sardinia should be accompanied by the most relaxing accommodation on the island!

On a Budget: Caesar’s Hotel

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Caesar’s hotel is located only 20-minute walk from the beach. It includes free wifi throughout and is a short bus ride away from the historical centre of Cagliari.

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Holiday House rental: Villa Carina

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Villa Carina is a beautiful 3-bedroomed house in Conca Verde, Sardinia. It has a heated pool, sun terrace with ocean views, private veranda and outdoor grill, as well as a full kitchen and combined lounge and dining room. It can sleep five people in total and includes a full family bathroom and en-suite bathroom.

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Boutique Accommodation: Jatika Boutique Hotel 

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A boutique hotel set on the beach, Jatika has ultramodern, clean white finishes in each room. This 4-star hotel includes a restaurant and bar on the premises and offers free wifi for each visitor.

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Family-friendly Hotel: Chia Laguna Hotel Village 

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Aside from its natural beauty, this resort offers boutique shops, many restaurants and bars, private beaches and even a tennis club. It includes a dedicated children’s area for families with children, including a mini club, kid’s pool, and playground.

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Luxury Accommodation: Petra Segreta Resort and Spa

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This luxury accommodation offers modern wellness facilities, a heated freshwater pool and traditional Sicilian houses known as Stazzi scattered throughout the property. Each room is uniquely furnished in a classic modern country style and includes air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, a private bathroom and a private patio.

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Head to Sardinia for sun, sand and beach vibes

No matter where you choose to go, it’s totally possible to pick a few random names out of a hat and still land up at some of the top beaches in Sardinia; because there are just so many beaches to choose from on the island!

When looking at staying on the island, whether going on a budget tour or staying with family members, there are some of the best hotels in Sardinia on the beach (and in the whole of Europe) when it comes to natural beauty and epic relaxation. 

Check out some of our other posts on travel in Italy:


Not to Miss Experiences in Lisbon

There are many different versions of Lisbon and so many different experiences in Lisbon to explore.

There’s a version of Lisbon for everyone:

  • Lisbon. The White City, as called by the Swiss director Alain Tanner.
  • Lisbon of the Discoveries, the Tagus River, the Belém Tower and St. Jerome Monastery.
  • Lisbon of the beautiful Azulejos (Glazed Tiles) with hues of blue and white – and polychrome ones too. But let’s focus one the cobalt blue and white ones for now.
  • The traditional Lisbon, Alfama, Fado and the Bohemian Bairro Alto.
  • The Picturesque Lisbon, with its typical neighbourhoods and narrow streets and alleys, from Sé to Cais do Sodré.
  • The Elegant Lisbon of the Chiado and Lapa.
  • The Baroque Lisbon with richly decorated churches and basilicas.
  • The Contemporary Lisbon, from the diverse architecture to the lively cultural life.

There’s so many facets to Lisbon that I am sure you’ll be amazed at its diversity and unique beauty.

See also A Guide to Lisbon Neighborhoods and exploring Lisbon in 2 days.

Here are the our top things to do when visiting Lisbon

When seeking the best experiences in Lisbon, make sure to include a few of these on your list. Trust me on those, I’m a Lisbon guide.

The Lookouts Points. The reward after climbing the hills of Lisbon.

The only way is up to visit these spots. Lisbon’s voluptuous topography offers its rewards. After a steep climb, you surely will be rewarded with stunning views.

Ideally, you should do it on foot to have the Lisbon full experience!

For a quick and smoother ride up some of the city’s steepest hills, Lisbon operates three bee-yellow elevadores (funiculars/trams), which were originally water-powered.

One of the most charming rides is the Elevador da Bica which creeps up to Rua do Loreto through the Santa Catarina district. At the end of Rua Marechal Saldanha, is the Miradouro de Santa Catarina with a few popular outdoor cafés, offering exhilarating views across the river and the 25th of April Bridge.

The other lookout point you should not miss is S.Pedro de Alcântara.

The lookout was built in the 19th century. This is Lisbon’s “hotspot” and it was recently restored.

Located at the top of the journey of the Glória Elevator, nearby Bairro Alto, provides a spectacular perspective over Lisbon’s Eastern side. You’ll see the appealing old quarters of Graça, Saint Vincent Monastery and St. George Castle.

You will have the best views at the end of the day, when the lights of Lisbon are lit and the slope of the castle is illuminated.

Belém. Centuries of History and a Little Treat.

It can get very crowded and touristy, but Belém is totally worth a visit. The views to the Tagus River are stunning and, in some days, you’ll almost feel like being at sea.

Belém is intrinsically linked to Portugal’s Golden Age of Discovery, the site where navigators set sail to discover the world from 1400s onwards.

It’s the area where you will find the most visited attractions, St. Jerome Monastery (a must), Belém Tower (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites), the Monument to the Discoveries and The Coach Museum.

The latter being a gem in a worldwide context. Here you will be able to see a precious and one of a kind collection of royal ceremonial coaches and carriages, that will immediately teleport you to ages long gone by.

First stop should be the St. Jerome Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Portuguese), a Manueline masterpiece that will leave you inspired. I could spend hours just looking at its intricate limestone work!

Nearby, in the waterfront, you’ll find the Belém Tower, symbol of Portugal’s maritime glory – also a stone jewel.

A stroll in the Belém Gardens and in the waterfront is mandatory. Open sky, the river breeze, the white hues of the buildings, as well as the contemporary Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT).

Don’t miss the chance to taste the divine traditional Pastéis de Belém (Custard tarts). It’s just a short walk away and fresh off the oven. If it’s too crowded, take them with you to the gardens and have your delicious treat outdoors.

Blessed be the monks that created them!

See also: Ordering Coffee in Portugal

Chiado and Baixa Pombalina. Augusta Street Arch for Stunning Views.

Start your stroll in Chiado, one of the most elegant parts of the city, with centenary cafés and probably the best historic shops in town.

In the beginning of the 20th century the menus of the finest cafés were written in French, as it had ambitions of being “Lisbon’s Little Paris”.

Walk down towards Santa Justa Elevator. It connects the higher part of Chiado and Carmo to the lower streets of Baixa (Downtown).

Baixa, the next stop, is the best place to admire the typical Pombaline architectural style so characteristic of Lisbon.

Pombaline is named after the feared and admired statesman Marquis of Pombal. He was in charge of revamping the city after the devasting earthquake of 1755. The architectural features are spectacular and one of a kind. Especially if you consider it was one of the first anti-seismic construction systems in the world.

Don’t miss the Arch of Augusta street, where you can admire stunning views to St. Jorge Castle, Pombaline Downtown, Commerce Square and, last but not the least, the Tagus River.

Gulbenkian Museum and Foundation

The Gulbenkian Museum houses one of the world’s finest private art collections.

Gulbenkian Museum is a true gem, being voted as one of the seven best small museums in the world.

The Foundation premises include a large auditorium with a wide selection of music concerts, from classical to contemporary. There is also a space for temporary exhibitions, a congress area with auditoriums and other rooms, as well as the previously mentioned Gulbenkian Museum, the Art Library and a Modern Art Centre.

Don’t miss the chance to visit its beautiful gardens. If you visit in the beginning of August you will be lucky to get “Jazz em Agosto” (Jazz in August). It’s a rather quirky jazz festival with worldwide musicians playing live on a beautiful outdoor amphitheatre.

The National Tile Museum. Discover the Unique Art of Azulejos.

The National Tile Museum is one of a kind in the world. It is housed in the 16th century Convent of Madre de Deus – a rather secluded venue in the Xabregas district but well worth a visit.

Over the centuries the Portuguese have developed a particular form of art consisting of paintings on ceramic tiles, a mastery known as “Azulejaria” (from “azulejos” – glazed tiles). Even though not originally Portuguese, the art was developed in the country in a very peculiar and unique way.

You can admire a unique collection consisting of some 1,300 tiles, from ancient to contemporary styles.

The highlight lies on the third floor with a Great Lisbon Panorama tile panel. It dates back to the early 1700s, depicting Lisbon before the 1755 earthquake.

Always look down!

All over the city (that can be applicable all over Portugal too), you’ll find beautiful cobblestone pavements made of several types of limestone.

The patterns can be so ornate and rich that will leave you literally mesmerized. Watch out for the “open sea waves” pattern at the central square of Rossio, in Downtown district.

Last but not the least, bring comfortable footwear with a good “grip” for your trip to Lisbon (check out SUAVS and use the code TRAVELDUDES15 for 15% discount). The Portuguese cobblestone pavement can take its toll on the feet and it can be very slippery – especially on the first days of rain.

For a more in-depth or detailed visit Lisbon with Pats to help you maximize your time and have the best and memorable experience of Portugal’s capital city.


Best Towns in Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia is the gorgeous autonomous region of Italy located in the Mediterranean Sea. Known for its rich history and seductive beaches and stunning landscapes, it is the perfect place to enjoy all that Italy has to offer without the noise and bustle of the mainland.

Divided into eight provinces, the island’s most populous is the Cagliari Province in the southeast. Apart from the beaches and coastal views, the best thing about Sardinia is visiting the many Sardinian towns.

To make the most of your visit to Sardinia, you have to visit some of the best towns in Sardinia. We’ve covered a few of our favorite regions and towns to explore.

Best towns in Sardinia

Here are a few of the best regions and towns in Sardinia.

Bosa: Small but beautiful medieval Sardinian town

Bosa is on the northwestern coast of Sardinia, 45 km south of Alghero, down a spectacular coastal road. A mix of traditional and modern, it has a unique and compelling historic centre. There is a warren of cobbled streets with pastel coloured medieval tower houses called Sa Costa.

The main street in the old town, Corso Vittorio Emmanuele, is lined by 19th century palazzos with wrought iron balconies, and interesting shops, cafes and bars. Castello Malaspina, dating from 1112, guards Bosa at the top of the hill. The river Temo runs through Bosa and is lined with palm trees on one bank and derelict tanneries on the other, which are of historic and national significance.

Bosa has an illustrious and wealthy past, based on its position in a well-defended valley, along the only navigable river in Sardinia, and its (now defunct) leather tanning industry. There is a large cathedral and many smaller churches in the town and surrounding countryside. The feeling is relaxed and the local people are friendly and welcoming.

As it is a real working city, albeit small (8,000 inhabitants) it has an authentic, original character rather than just being an ersatz tourist village. Tourists do come to Bosa, but they tend to be people looking for culture, history, natural and architectural beauty as well as a sun and sand holiday.

There are numerous beaches nearby. The largest one is Bosa Marina, which is regularly voted cleanest beach in Italy. It is a sandy strand, fringed with bars and caffes run by locals, protected by a rocky arm with a Catalan tower at the end. There are also smaller cove beaches accessible by footpath or boat, and stunning and unusual rock formations and natural swimming pools. The sea is clear and amazing shades of blue. The prevailing northwest wind, La Mistrale, cools the air during the hottest summer months.

Just south of Bosa is a fertile valley, where Malvasia di Bosa, a sherry like wine, is produced in tiny artisan vineyards. There is a wine trail and it is possible to go on tasting tours. The sun is strong and the colours are bright — if you are visually orientated the place will amaze you. If you like music and dance, there are frequent public festivals and open air concerts.

If you have a sense of adventure, with every day bringing a new discovery, Bosa will not disappoint. It is a great place to go for a family holiday, or to relax and unwind, and get in touch with yourself. If you are looking for a place with lots of clubs and pubs full of drunken young people, this is not the place to come. There is lots to do and see in the area, but it is more chilled than frantic.

Best towns in Sardinia
Bosa, Sardinia

Costa Smeralda: Some of the worlds most beautiful beaches

Costa Smeralda is a coastal area in the north east of Sardinia, between Palau and Olbia. It is home to some of the worlds most beautiful beaches – great for sun worshippers. In order to have access to the best of the beaches you will probably need to hire a car (mopeds are not so good on the bumpy tracks down to the beaches).

Driving on the coastal roads gives great views over the yacht lined Costa Smeralda coastline. The best of the beaches are Liscia Ruia, Cappriccioli and Romazzino.

You can pick up fantastic bargains from the beach traders who sell jewellery, clothes, CDs etc. But if you want to be as stylish as the rich tourists of Costa Smeralda you may go to Porto Cervo or Porto Rotondo for expensive clothing.

You can get up close to the super yachts when they come in to Porto Cervo in the evening. For snorkeling take a trip around the archipelago Della Maddalena from Porto Palau.

Most restaurants on the Costa Smerelda are overpriced. For authentic Sardinian cuisine try the campsite restaurants where all the locals go.

It can be quite difficult finding accommodation in the Costa Smeralda as the area is mainly serviced by Italian tour operators but some local operators provide detailed accommodation information online. If you don’t have your own private yacht to stay on and can’t afford the £300 per night prices of the exclusive hotels then you might want to hire a villa through a website. Alternatively you can hire bungalows at a number of the Sardinia campsites on the coast, the best of which are Isola dei Gabbiani, situated on promontory in the sea to the west of Palau. It has a particularly good restaurant and is the place to go for windsurfing. Alternatively try Villagio Camping Cugnana, situated on the road to which has great facilities and a massive swimming pool.

Capriccioli beach in Sardinia, Italy
Capriccioli beach in Sardinia, Italy

Cala Gonone: A small fishing village prior to becoming famous among travelers

Cala Gonone is a town in Sardinia, Italy. It lies on the border of the National Park of the Bay of Orosei and Gennargentu. It was a small fishing village prior to becoming a famous tourist destination because of its beautiful beaches. All the variety of seafood is available at local restaurants.

A highlight is to take a boat tour to Cala Luna, Grotta del Bue Marino, Cala Mariolu, Cala Goloritzè. You can choose from the variety of tours offered at the local harbour. Rent a boat to explore the Bay of Orosei on your own. A boat hire is available for about 80€ for a day + gas. Also visit Gennargentu National Park and/or do some rock climbing at Cala Luna.

Gennargentu in Sardinia, Italy
Gennargentu in Sardinia, Italy

Ogliastra: A beautiful natural theatre

Ogliastra is a beautiful natural theatre that opens from the mountains of “Supramonte”, on the border with Barbargia, towards the central-eastern Sardinian coast. The name comes for “Olivastro”, the local wild olive three.

Ogliastra is known and admired for its magnificent coastal area, all surrounded by mountains and cliffs, and for some of the most untouched coast of Italy.

Its natural Mountain-Sea park includes famous spots and landmarks like the “Cale” (beach-harbours); among the most famous ones Cala Gonone, Cala Sisine, Cala Goloritze, and Cala Luna.

Another impressive natural landmark is the massive “Pedra Longa”, a natural cliff literally planted into the sea. Ogliastra is becoming a popular area for lovers of nature, wild landscapes and fabulous local food, it is the area of the island most loved by conscious tourists that like to escape from the crowded areas of the north and the south of the island.

The two major towns of the area are Lanusei and Tortoli. Together, they are the administrative capitals of the recently born “Province of Ogliastra”.

  • Lanusei is a very ancient mountain town overlooking the valley of Ogliastra.
  • Tortoli is a coastal settlement that reached the status of economical centre of Ogliastra, thanks to the proximity of Arbatax port, the main gate to the area from the sea.

Population in Ogliastra is very little, around 45000 people only, with some of the lowest densities in Italy. Dozens of minuscule villages spot the region of Ogliastra, each one with its tradition and its proud heritage. Sardinian language is widely spoken as in most of the Island. English starts to be spoken among the young people, while several elder ones can be surprisingly good in German thanks to the emigration of the 60′ and 70′.

The best towns in Sardinia feature typical Italian small town vibes – great food, beautiful sights, quaint buildings, and, of course, cobblestone streets.

Looking for more posts on Sardinia? Check these out:


What to See in Cagliari, Sardinia

Cagliari is the capital of the island of Sardinia in Italy, and has become one of the most popular destinations to visit in Sardinia.

While it’s a popular summer holiday destination, many don’t know that it’s actually an amazing destination to visit year round. No matter when you visit, among the top list of what to see in Cagliari features many outdoor spots.

And, what’s better than enjoying some fresh air? So, here are five outdoor places to visit in Cagliari, Sardinia!

What to see in Cagliari, Sardinia Italy
What to see in Cagliari, Sardinia Italy

5 Outdoor Places to Visit in Cagliari

If you happen to be in Cagliari and you forgot to buy a guide book, then here are 5 outdoor spots it’s worth seeing in the city! Here’s what to see in Cagliari in the great outdoors!

1. Poetto beach

Whether you go to Cagliari in summer or in winter, you need to go to “Su Poettu” (as we call it in Sardinian!!!). This is the main beach in Cagliari, and being about 8 km long, half of it is actually territory of Quartu S. Elena.

Along Su Poettu there are many bars, services companies and facilities, which are open throughout the year. Here locals go all year long. In winter usually during the day to have lunch, a coffee, watch football matches and have a chat with friends enjoying the sun and the beautiful view. In summer all day long; during the day to get tanned, swim and chill out, and at nigh it becomes a nightlife hot spot, with clubs, cocktail bars and restaurants.

Cagliari Sardinia beaches
Poetto beach in Cagliari

2. Bastione St. Remy

Address: Costituzione Sq.

The Bastione is an old fortification built between the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. It’s located in the old part of the city, and being pretty high you can admire from it all the city and the harbour. The view is really beautiful from here. On the first floor there is an indoor zone, where usually exhibitions are held. On the top floors there is the outdoor zone, where you can find some cafeterias, or you can just sit down on the benches, have a walk, and enjoy the view. A great place to take pictures of the city with an amazing view on the sea!

3. Yenne Sq.

Address: at the end of Largo Carlo Felice coming from Roma St.

This is one of the main squares of the city, located in the very center of the city. This spot is very busy being at the intersection of four of the main streets of the city. There are many bars, restaurants and cafeterias which put tables and chairs outside, so you can enjoy a hot chocolate or a good espresso sitting in the square itself. Although it is populated all year long, it is in summer that it becomes a nightlife hot spot, and it gets very busy with locals and tourists. Here you can sit down and observe the city, or taste one of the best ice-creams of the city!

4. Marina Piccola

Address: beginning of Lungomare Poetto

This is a small touristic harbour located at the beginning of Poetto beach on Cagliari’s side, right underneath the spectacular hill called “Sella del Diavolo”. As all the places, it gets way busier in summer, when people go there to take a walk, have a drink, and buy some local products at the many stands. I suggest to go there early in the morning and enjoy the sound of the sea and the boats.

5. Roman Theatre

Address: Sant’Ignazio da Laconi St.

Also Cagliari has its small Colosseum. This is an amazing architectural old construction in the rocks, built in the 2nd century A.D. n the past it was a place for fights, while nowadays it hosts concerts, plays and other kind of cultural events. I reccomend to attent at least one of them!

5 Must Sees in Chia, Sardinia

Located approximately 45 kilometres from the town of Cagliari, Chia is home to gorgeous white sandy beaches and blue seas.

Here are our top things to do in Chia, Sardinia.

Chia in Cagliari, Sardinia
Chia in Cagliari, Sardinia

Chia Beaches

Chia is famed for its stunning transparent waters and warm sandy beaches, ideal for sunbathing, walking the shoreline, relaxing and taking in the sights.

Located at the foot of the Chia Tower (see images), Porticciolo beach is a natural half-moon shaped beach at the Hotel Torre Chia. Also nearby are Porto Campana Beach, which is famous for its golden dunes, and the picture perfect S’Abba Durci beach. Beaches are the pride of Chia, and there are literally dozens of fantastic beaches to choose from!

Chia Tower

The Chia Tower stands proud on the cosatline of Chia, providing a unique view of the nearby beaches. This ancient stone watchtower once protected the village from pirate raids, and visiting it makes for a charming and relaxed walk on any given day.

Capo Spartivento

This second most southern point of Sardinia is home to the inimitable Faro di Capo Spartivento – a working lighthouse. On a clear day, you might be able to glimpse it from the east coast at Su Giudeu beach. Pay the lighthouse a visit for stunning 360 degree panoramic views over the blue seas of Sardinia, and don’t forget to pay the gardens a visit, too.

Golf

Whether you’re a scratch golfer or a newcomer, golfers of all stripes will revel in Chia’s offerings! These include the nearby Molas Golf Course, and the village’s own 18 hole Pitch and Putt. Some hotels like Hotel Parco Torre Chia in the area also offer exclusive deals for golfers, so don’t forget to plan ahead!

Nora

The colourful nearby town of Pula is home to the ancient archeological ruins of Nora. These remains of the ancient Roman city include ancient temples, baths and mosaics – a lovely visit for tourists and history buffs alike. Nearby is the Nora Lagoon, another gorgeous sight in near Chia that’s perfect for an afternoon stroll.


The Ultimate Bucket List for Foodie Travels

If, like me, you live to eat rather than eat to live…you’re probably on the hunt for some of the best things to eat around the world and adding to your food bucket list as we speak. Foodie travels are the best, right?

Do your travel plans revolve around which restaurants you want to eat at? Or what delicious delicacies you can dip into? Your daily itinerary takes food into account more than sightseeing?

Yes, yes, and yes?

Yep, you’re a foodie! I like you 🙂

After binge watching Netflix’s Somebody Feed Phil I became just a little bit more obsessed with food and how it fits in so well with my passion for travel. Eating in foreign destinations is one of my most favorite things to do. Some of my favorite food memories while traveling include a pulled pork sandwich in Edinburgh, seafood Pad Thai in Koh Phi Phi, butter chicken and garlic naan on a beach in Goa, and the most tender and delicious calamari in Cape Town.

Food is one of the greatest ways to get to know a destination. To delve into its culture, its people, its land, and to figure out what makes it tick. No matter where you go, you’ll likely find something delicious. Though, some places are better than others. And there are certain delicacies around the world that would appeal to more palettes than others. Then there are the foods that are just so damn delicious you won’t truly have lived until you’ve tried them.

These are the foods worth traveling for. The foods that are just so much better when enjoyed in their origin country. The foods that will leave you speechless.

So, for the foodie travelers out there. For the guys that dream about food in far flung destinations. Here is the ultimate food bucket list of things to eat around the world.

Side note: you may want to have a few snacks nearby as you’ll most definitely be salivating before the end of this post. I’ve already dipped into my stash…

Let’s dig in!

Related Read: Best Culinary Tours Around The World

Foodie travels: The ultimate food bucket list

Pizza in Italy

Yes, yes. It’s a bit cliché. But the best things are, aren’t they? That’s why everyone harps on about them. The original pizza originated in Naples, so if you’re the traditional type then that’s where you should head over to. Though, you’ll still find mouth-watering pizza’s all-around Italy – with Rome and Florence being other top spots.

Don’t expect all the toppings. Pizza in Italy is kept basic, as it should be, with the classic margherita being a favorite throughout the country.

While you’re here, you must of course indulge in every kind of pasta available, antipasti, gelato (here’s the best gelato in Rome), cheeses, Parma ham, desserts, Limoncello, and true Italian coffee.

Buon appetito!

Foodie travels: pizza in Italy
Pizza in Italy

Pastel de natas in Portugal

Pastel de natas are like little parcels of heaven, in the form of custard. Nowhere else in the world will you get a custard tart (pastel de natas) like you’ll get in Portugal. These simple tarts are best served fresh, warm, and sprinkled with a bit of sugar. And don’t make the mistake of ordering only one…

One of the most famous places to enjoy these heavenly treats is Pasteis de Belém in Lisbon. Queues often stretch out along the pavement – so go early.

While you’re in Lisbon, other foods to look out for include seafood, piri piri chicken, Bacalhau, and bifana (a beef sandwich).

You’ll want to pair your pastel de natas with a coffee – here’s how to order a coffee in Portugal.

Pastel de natas in Portugal
Pastel de natas in Portugal

Sushi and sashimi in Japan

Head to the source for some of the freshest sushi and sashimi that you’ll ever taste. Be sure to first learn what the difference between sushi and sashimi is before you go. Sushi is combined with other ingredients, namely rice, raw fish, seaweed, cucumber, soy paper, and avo. Sashimi on the other hand is thinly sliced raw fish, like tuna or salmon.

When in Japan, you can enjoy sushi and sashimi all over, from market stalls and simple take-away joints to fine-dining restaurants.

Other foods to try while in Japan include tempura, sukiyaki, ramen, karaage, okonomiyaki, udon, and dumplings.

We love Japanese food so much that we have a few posts about what to eat in Japan, check them out:

Food bucket list: Sashimi in Japan
Sashimi in Japan

Croissants in Paris

We’ve all had the day dream…sitting at a sidewalk cafe on a busy (though, not too busy) side street in Paris sipping on espresso and eating an endless supply of fresh croissants.

Yep, that’s the dream. It’s as simple as a fresh, flaky, buttery, and steaming croissant. We don’t ask for much, do we? Just keep ’em coming.

If you manage to pull yourself away from that quaint cafe, make sure to head to a bakery and pick up some of the other delicious pastries that the French love to produce (pop in a few macaroons while you’re there). Add your patisserie finds to a picnic basket filled with French wine, cheese, cold meats, a baguette, some Le Beurre Bordier butter, and a few chocolates and head to the Eiffel Tower for a picnic. You can’t get more bucket list than that now, can you?

For more Parisian delicacies, check out our guide to food in Paris.

Croissants in Paris for foodie travelers
Croissants in Paris

All the food in Mexico

It’s hard to choose one particular food that you absolutely have to eat in Mexico. Tacos, tortillas, carnitas, nachos, quesadillas, fajitas, and churros are the typical favorites. But then there’s also pambazo (a Mexican sandwich dipped in salsa), flautas, tlacoyos, tostados, and beef barbacoa. Everywhere you look will be something new and different.

It’s a definite food bucket list, that’s for sure. Even vegan travel in Mexico is possible!

Add some tequila, mezcal, margaritas, and a few local beers and you’ve got yourself a good time. And if you love cooking, then check out this culinary experience of learning how to make mole poblano sauce.

P.S – here’s how to avoid food poisoning in Mexico!

Tacos in Mexico
Tacos in Mexico

Bagels in New York

Visiting New York is on many a bucket list. It’s famous for its skyscrapers, Broadway theatres, cinemas, and electronic billboards. It’s also famous for its bagels – you can find them everywhere, from bagel shops and corner delis to street carts. 

You also get all kinds of flavors, like poppy seed, sesame, cinnamon raisin, garlic, dried onion, and salt. They can be eaten plain or smothered in butter and cream cheese. Some have fillings like smoked salmon, red onions, tomatoes, or meats.

Some other typical foods of the Big Apple include pizza, hot dogs, cheesecake, Manhattan clam chowder, pastrami, corned beef, and baked pretzels.

Foodie travels in New York
Foodie travels in New York

Street food in Bangkok

Walking through the streets of Bangkok is an assault on your senses, that’s for sure. The smells, sights, sounds, and tastes that waft through the streets is a unique experience all on its own. From fragrant curries, satay skewers, stir-fries, noodles, and fresh seafood to sweet desserts and a few surprises (hint: they have more than four legs!). 

The best part is that it’s cheap – so you can try a little bit of everything!

Some foods you absolutely must try in Bangkok include Pad Thai, anything that starts with crispy (chicken, pork, beef, duck), Tom Yam (soup), Yum Woon Sen (spicy Thai salad), and sticky mango rice.

Chatuchak market is one of the most popular markets in Bangkok – and you’ll find some great food there!

Add Bangkok to your food bucket list right now!

High Tea in London

Get your tea-drinking pinky finger and best High Tea outfit ready. The scones are waiting! For lovers of the finer things in life, experiencing a typical High Tea in London is top of the list. It can be pricey, but there are quite a few spots around the city offering their own version of this tea time tradition that you’ll likely find a place within your price range.

London’s food scene is buzzing, any foodie will be in gastronomy heaven in the city. Some of the world’s best restaurants are found here, with foods from around the world.

High Tea in London
High Tea in London

Tagine in Marrakech

Like Bangkok, walking through the markets of Marrakech is packed with colorful sights, sounds, and smells. Experience the elaborately poured mint tea in the traditional Riads and take in the colorful pyramids of spices at the markets. Then, when the sun sets, settle down and enjoy a traditional tagine at one of the local restaurants – saffron and lobster is a popular choice.

Full Scottish breakfast in Scotland

Learn to start your day off the hearty way with a traditional full Scottish breakfast. Like a typical British fry-up with eggs, sausages, bacon, beans, and toast, the Scots also add in tatties (potato scones) and a slice of black pudding.

Not everyone is a huge fan of black pudding, but it’s just one of those things that you must try at least once. Even if it’s just to confirm that you don’t like it :).

Check out these other regional British foods to try out and these places to find vegan Haggis in Edinburgh!

Here are a few more of our foodie travels posts:

Group Travel Trips to Take in Your 20’s

Your 20’s is for exploring as much as you can. It’s for taking every opportunity that comes your way, learning new skills, tasting new foods, and discovering new places. Plus, there’s the opportunity for group travel for 20 somethings!

Travel in your 20’s is always so exciting. It’s likely to be the first time that you are venturing out on your own without your parents or family members. It’s your first taste of freedom. You’re getting to make your OWN decisions. Choose your own travel destinations. And explore new destinations through excited eyes. Flip, it’s just so damn cool.

Our 20’s are packed with milestones - college graduations, post-grad, first job, moving house (or cities/countries), new relationships (romantic and friendships), and career jumps. With the various milestones comes various types of trips.

While it’s awesome to venture out on your own and take that life-changing solo trip, there’s also plenty of time to take a few group travel trips while in your 20’s. 

We’ve listed five different options for group travel for 20 somethings. From wild carefree party trips to more serious work trips.

Group travel for 20 somethings
Group travel for 20 somethings

Group travel for 20 somethings: 5 group trips you have to take

1. Group trip with your college friends

Whether it’s just a long weekend trip to a nearby city, spring break party trip, or longer summer vacation, traveling with your college friends is bound to be a fun experience. Gather up your besties, find a road trip car, and head out on an adventure. Do it as often as possible — whenever there’s a break in assignments, tests, and exams. 

This is the time in your life where you have lots of free time – long vacations are a forgotten feature when your working life begins. Take advantage while in college!

2. International post-graduation group trip

You’re free! Celebrate the years of having your head in the books by taking an international group   trip with your college buddies. It’s time to go out and see the world.

Create your own version of EuroTrip and party your way across Europe. Head to Asia for some culture and delicious food. Hike your way through South America. Or join a volunteer group in Africa. The world really is your oyster. Your post-graduation friends’ trip is your chance to let loose and have fun.

3. Family reunion group trip 

It’s time to gather up the family from each of their corners of the world and plan a big family reunion group vacation. As you get older, family time gets more scarce. And you also start to cherish it so much more. If your family lives far from each other, then planning a group trip in a central location is a great way to get everyone together.

It can be for someone’s milestone birthday (happy 90th granny!), a family wedding, Thanksgiving, or just because.

Now, family trips can be tricky. It’s hard to please everyone from granny and aunt Margs to cousin Tom and the kids. Patience will be needed. But, you can do it. It will likely end up being way more fun than you would have imagined.

4. Organized group trip with strangers

Think of it as a solo trip, but you’re not alone. You’re with a bunch of strangers. We’re talking about a Contiki-type trip. Organized group trips are awesome if you’re keen to travel in a group but can’t round up enough of your own friends to join you.

Everything is organized for you, all you need to do is rock up and enjoy the trip. These types of trips generally attract similar types of people, so you’re probably going to make some life-long friends along the way. Though, be prepared for the odd bad egg.

5. Work trip

Your first big work trip – be it a conference, team-building, or seeking new business. If the opportunity to travel within your job comes up, grab it with both hands and pack your bag immediately. Yes, it won’t be all fun and games. You will be required to do some work – they can actually get quite hectic, depending on what you do. But there’s nothing like being able to see a new destination on someone else’s dime. 

Try wrangle it to squeeze in some ‘down time’ for exploring on your own – either in the evenings or perhaps a day or two after the work stuff is done.

Another type of work trip is joining a ‘work-away’ group. This one is for the digital nomads/ freelancers/ entrepreneurs out there. There are loads of organizations that gather like-minded people to travel together to work in foreign destinations. Everyone is doing their own work, but staying and co-working together in a unique destination. This can be anything from a week to a few months at a time. Check out our tips for working remotely!

Places to Stay Cool in Barcelona in Summer

Barcelona in summer is a truly toasty time to be in the city, with temperatures soaring and endless days of sunshine for months on end.

While the warm, summer weather is always well-appreciated, sometimes all you want is somewhere to cool off!

Grab your abanico (traditional Spanish fan) and read on to find out our top recommendations of how to stay cool in Barcelona in Summer!

Places to cool off in Barcelona in summer

Montjuïc Municipal Pool

This iconic pool was the host of the diving events of the 1992 Summer Olympic Games and is now open to the public to cool off in the Spanish sunshine during summer.

It has some of the best views in Barcelona – you can see right out to the mountains, with Tibidabo, the Sagrada Familia, and the Torre Agbar at your feet.

The entry price is pretty reasonable at €6.5 for a full day’s entry for adults, €4.5 for 6–14-year-olds, and kids under 5 go free! The pool is open from the start of July until the first week of September, from 11am-6.30pm.

Illa Fantasia Water Park

Barcelona in summer is all about splashing around in water – whether it’s at the beach, in a swimming pool or at a waterpark!

Slide into ultimate summer fun with the Illa Fantasia Waterpark! It has 22 slides and 3 large swimming pools to enjoy, which is sure to keep the whole family cool on a hot summer’s day.

The Park is open every day from June to September from 10am to 6pm. Tickets are €29 for adults, €17 for young adults shorter than 120cm, and free for kids under 90cm! Book tickets online here.

The Beach!

One of the best parts of Barcelona is its array of excellent beaches. There are 7 main beaches that line the city, stretching for over 4.5 km.

Our favourite beaches are the Nova Icària beach, and Bogatell. These beaches are less crowded than the better known Barceloneta and are locals’ favourites! They have volleyball nets, sun loungers, and a range of beach bars.

Check out our post on the best beaches in Barcelona!

PortAventura Caribe Aquatic Park

Another fantastic water park near to Barcelona is the PortAventura Caribe Aquatic Park. It is near to the town of Salou, near Tarragona, around an hour away from Barcelona.

There are numerous slides, a wave pool, lazy river, as well as an indoor area with kids’ attractions too. There’s fun for the whole family here! Tickets are €29 for adults, and €16 for juniors and seniors for the entire day. Book tickets online here.

Related Read: Water sports in Barcelona

Cool Eats and Drinks

IceBarcelona

Experience the ultimate way to cool down in Summer, in the world’s first ice bar on the beach! Found just next to the hot sands of Barceloneta beach, Barcelona’s ice bar is as cold as they come – it maintains a year-round temperature of between -5 and -10 degrees Celsius.

You’ll be given an artic-style jacket and a pair of gloves upon entry (which will feel incredibly strange in the height of summer!). The bar has impressive ice sculptures to admire too: from polar bears to a frosty version of the Sagrada Familia.

Ice bar IceBarcelona, Spain.
Ice bar IceBarcelona, Spain.

Makamaka Beach Bar

If you decide to head for a beach day to enjoy the warm weather, make sure to head to Makamaka for a bite to eat afterwards. It’s a favourite with both locals and visitors alike, loved for its laid-back beach style and delicious food.

It’s located just off the Sant Sebastià and Barceloneta beaches, serving tasty burgers and thirst-quenching drinks. We recommend grabbing a pitcher of cava sangria for the ultimate cool down!

Makamaka Beach Bar in Barcelona.
@makamakabcn

Vai Moana

Another great beach bar just next to the Bogatell Beach is the fantastic Vai Moana. It has a traditional menu of Catalan and Spanish dishes, as well as a great cocktail menu. We recommend their ‘Frozen Mr.Beach’, which has Bacardi, coconut cream, pineapple juice, and vanilla syrup – the perfect way to cool down after a beach day!

Take a seat in the shade and relax to the cool surfer vibe in the day, and funky tunes as the evening draws in.

If you love tapas, then make sure to check out these cheap tapas bars in Barcelona.

Vai Moana in Barcelona.

Cool Treats

Gelaaati Di Marco

Located in the heart of Barcelona, Gelaaati di Marco is a treasured ice cream parlour that a hot summer’s day calls for. They have an enormous variety of flavours to choose from, that are all 100% natural with no additives or preservatives.

Gelaaati Di Marco in Barcelona.

Manna Gelats

Famed as one of the best spots in Barcelona for ice cream, Manna Gelats is a must visit during summer. They’re an artisan ice cream parlour that specialise in tropical flavours, as well as delicious crepes, waffles, and brownies too.

Check out these spots for the best ice cream in Barcelona!

Manna Gelats in Barcelona, Spain.
Manna Gelats in Barcelona, Spain.

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