Travel

Travel

CRUISE ON GREEK ISLANDS

IMG-20180907-WA0017Greece Cruise

WHY GOING ON A CRUISE

As far as a cruise is concerned, I’ve heard pros and cons. Some are saying that they would feel trapped and afraid not to get bored. Some have movement sick. Some say that the cabins are too small. And so on… But, for most of the people I spoke to was an amazing experience. Me? I would go on a cruise every month! The most amazing thing from my point of view is that you don’t have to pack and unpack every day. Second, you can see a new place every day without having to lose time on flights or on the road. And third, but not least, in the evening you can have an amazing time having a barbeque, sing at a karaoke night, play at the casino, dance in the club or just have a drink with your friends on the deck. And, actually, the most amazing thing that happened to me on the cruise was that I got to be with a lot of wonderful friends and also my mom and dad. Cause it doesn’t matter the age, only your smile and your joy!

HOW TO GET THERE

Depending on the cruise, you leave from one harbor and you come back to the same one, or you embark from one harbor and you end your cruise on a different one. On the cruise I made on Greek Islands I’ve embarked in Piraeus Harbor (Athens) and came back to the same one. Now, depending from which country you fly from, you can choose to fly or drive. As Romania – my country – is close to Greece, some of my friends came by car. I flew to Athens. One thing is for sure: choose a hotel close to the harbor as most of the departures are early in the morning.

ACCOMODATION

Now, depending on your budget, you can choose your cabin. The only suggestion that I can make is to have an outside cabin – cabins that have a window. It is true that most of the cabins are small, but as I said, I will not spend my entire live there. And if you are organized, you can create a very nice environment. Also, think that the low you are as level, the less you will feel the movement, but also the cabins on lower floors are more noisy, as you can hear the engines. So, if you think on spending a bit less money, or a bit more on your holiday, think again what would you like to get from your cruise.

FOOD ON THE CRUISE

What’s amazing about cruises is that you have an all-inclusive package! The bad thing is that you cannot stop!!! Again, depending on the cruise that you choose, the food can be more luxurious or not. The good thing is that whenever you are hungry or thirsty you can find plenty of food or drinks!

BEACHES” ON A CRUISE

This is definitely a big advantage when you are on a cruise. Most of the cruisers have swimming pools and the big ones actually have water parks aboard. Another good thing is that because of the movement you cannot feel the heat of the sun and also you get a wonderful tan on entire body. Careful because the sunbeds are limited and there is a possibility that you find none free.

MYKONOS – Definitely, one of my favorite island from Greece. The views are amazing and the perfect combination of blue color with white, small streets, nice shops and cute taverns make Mykonos a place to dream of! What to see? Mykonos Little Venice and the Windmills!

 

KUSADASI – We’ve had a stop also in Turkey, at Kusadasi, where we’ve had a very nice visit at Ephesus. Here you can explore the remnants of this fascinating archaeological site, walk along marble covered roads and pass by Roman baths and forgotten shops, reach Odeon, Temple of Hadrian and Fountain of Trajan then head to the Library of Celsus and The Great Theatre. The culminant moment is seeing one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis. At your way back, before going back to the ship, have stop in the harbor to have a look in the leather and fur stores and also the Grand Bazaar. Do bargain for the price that best suits you, and remember that some products you can get for less than half of initial price.

PATMOS – Worldwide known as a sacred island, Patmos is considered to be the place where Saint John wrote the Book of Revelation. The Island is an ideal destination for nature lovers thanks to its lace-like coastline, sheer cliffs and volcanic soil.

RHODES – For me, Rhodes Island is definitely a place to go back to. Historical Center is quite nice and the beaches are cute. They have a lot of handmade shoe stores and some of them are quite impressive, and the quality is very good for the price that you pay! A bit disappointed by the animals that hold place of the feet of the Rhodes Colossus.

HERAKLION – is the largest city of Crete and one of Greece’s major urban centers. One of the most impressive sights of Heraklion are the fortification walls that delimit the old city. Also, the old Venetian port still shares the story of the place where ships used to be built. And, in the heart of the city you can find many monuments dating to the Middle Ages, a period in which Heraklion witnessed great prosperity.

SANTORINI – Oh, my lovely Santorini! Always happy to go back there! If you have never visited Santorini, Oia is the place to go. Amazing landscapes, all up and down narrow streets, great combinations of white and blue, nice restaurants facing the water and romantic walks. Definitely one of the best places to take great photos and enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets.  Fira is also nice, if you don’t have too much time to spend in Santorini, but not as impressive as Oia.

 

MUST DO

DANCING LESSONS – As I am a sportive person, I needed something to do to move my bones a little bit. But, it also had to be fun as the gym was not attractive for me at all on holidays. So, I decided to make some moves on the dance floor! One day we learned how to dance cha-cha and every day we were having Zumba lessons (not my favorite, but fun for the holidays).

CABARET NIGHT – Really impressed about the Cabaret Night! Great music and voices, nice choreography and dance, beautiful costumes and amazing atmosphere!!! Big, big like!

LIKE

PACK & UNPACK: One of the big likes for me was the fact that I didn’t have to pack and unpack each time we were changing the destination!

SMART TIMIMG: The good thing with being on a cruise is that while you sleep they change the location and you can enjoy each day a different place without having to take a plane or drive a car

ALL INCLUSIVE: I loved the fact that you had everything in the same place. Restaurants, bars, swimming pools, shops, event rooms, etc.

DIDN’T LIKE

WAKING UP EARLY: I am not a morning person and waking up at 6am is not an option for me. Unfortunately, for some of the harbors we had to take a small boat to get on the shore, and the scheduled boats were at 7am.

SMALL CABINS: If space is a problem for you as it is for me, you will feel at some points uncomfortable, especially if you are a woman and you are caring a lot of unnecessary stuff with you, as I do!

 

 

 

Travel

SANTORINI – THE ISLAND OF LANDSCAPES

20170725_204559

INTRODUCTION

Santorini is a unique island situated in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km southeast of Greece’s mainland. It is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago, which bears the same name and is essentially what remained after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera. They say is one of the most beautiful of all the Greek islands (I haven’t seen them all), but from my point of view is the best of them all, and also one of the most expensive.

WHY VISIT SANTORINI

The island of Santorini is famous for it’s amazing landscapes, loved by the tourists and specially by the photographers who come here for amazing photo-shootings. It’s a place where all the glamourous stores, hotels and restaurants come to live, next to thousands of lights, combining a perfect romantic scenario. So, if you are looking for amazing landscapes, beautiful architecture, romantic places, a place to be loved by day and also by night, one of the bests sunsets, lovely food, impressive beaches and one of the nicest people, this is the place to be! But, if you are looking for a place to party, on a nice sandy beach, not the right destination for you!

HOW TO GET TO SANTORINI

The easiest way to get to Santorini is by plane. There is a direct flight from Athens, and it takes only 45 minutes. What you need to know is that Santorini streets are very narrow, always up and down, and for some hotels almost impossible to get there by car. Why I am saying this? Because if you have to many and heavy luggage, the only way to get with them in one piece is to carry them by donkeys. So, do ask the hotel about location and transportation from the airport.

SANTORINI HOTELS

Hotels in Santorini, not like any other destinations, should be chosen very carefully. There are two districts where you should look for accommodation. Fira is one of them and is suitable if you are looking for a less expensive hotel. Be very careful because not all of them are facing the sea and very few have amazing landscapes. The resort I choose – El Greco Resort – was at the beginning of Fira (so a bit far from the center), with poor view but amazing swimming pools and spacious nice furnished rooms. The food and the services were poor as well. So, not a place a would go back to. The other district is called Oia and if I would go again to Santorini this is where I would choose to stay. It’s more expensive then Fira in terms of accommodation but if you think of going there for an amazing experience, do choose to stay in Oia. From Oia you can also enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets ever! Also, think when choosing the hotel about one with a swimming pool as the beaches are a bit hard to reach and you cannot find not even one with silky sand.

El Greco Resort

FOOD IN SANTORINI

The food in Santorini, like anywhere in Greece, it’s amazing! Do go for the fish and seafood, but also for the traditional moussaka or cheese dishes. One of my favorite food in Greece is mussels or shrimp saganaki and also cheese saganaki. The prices are quite the same in all of the restaurants and I was always choosing one with a nice view. So, for a lunch or a dinner, for 2 persons, you should pay around 80-100 euros. Do expect high prices for drinks. A beer for example is around 8 euros.

OIA

BEACHES IN SANTORINI

Santorini is not a place where you go in a hotel, get out of the hotel on a sandy beach and enjoy all day on a sunbed.  No, Santorini it’s all about narrow streets, lots and lots of stairs up and down and impressive beaches with small stones. So, the beaches in Santorini are much different than other beaches in Greece due to their special geographical features. Red and black volcanic pebbles lay the shores of Santorini beaches and steep cliffs provide a picturesque ambience. Also, do be aware that in order to be able to walk on the beach or enter into the water, you need special shoes. And here are 3 of the best beaches in Santorini:

White Beach & Red Beach
White Beach & Red Beach

Black Beach: it’s a private beach reachable by car or by ATV or scooter with amazing small stones in black color, surrounded by a wild, black landscape. Black Beach is also one of the most isolate and quiet beaches on Santorini.

Black Beach Santorini
Black Beach

Red Beach: can be reached also by car or by ATV or scooter up to some point. After that, you have like a 10-15 minutes-walk, up and down, until you reach the beach. Red Beach is one of the most beautiful and famous beaches of Santorini. It has black and red volcanic pebbles and hot water.

White Beach: the cove right next to the Red Beach is known as the White Beach and can be reached only by boat. It is very similar to the Red Beach, with black pebbles on the shore, but it’s unique because of the surrounding cliffs that are white.

White Beach

MUST DO

THE SANTORINI CATAMARAN CRUISE: Sail into the sunset of Santorini on a 5-hour cruise on board of a catamaran and enjoy a complimentary barbecue supper with wine and soft drinks. Stop at a Hot Springs and sail near a volcano, pass beautiful Red Beach and White Beach, enjoy the views of the Santorini Harbor, and jump off to swim and snorkel.

SUNSET IN OIA: The village of Oia is probably the most popular spot for watching the sunset in Santorini. Some say that it’s also the most beautiful, but for me the best sunsets I have ever had were the ones in California. So, if you do decide to watch the sunset here, you should be aware of two things. Firstly, know that the sunset can only be seen from the very top of the Island, and secondly, you should be ready to secure a good spot well ahead of the sunset (an hour at least).

Travel

NEW YORK, THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS

20160618_131006New York Statue of Liberty

INTRODUCTION

New York, from my point of view, it’s in top 5 destinations around the world. I so dream about me, singing the Frank Sinatra song, one day: “start spreading the news, I am leaving today, I want to be a part of it, New York, New York…”. New York is fascinating from many points of you. So, if you think of shopping, night life, walks, beach, ocean, food, shows, museums, libraries, sky towers, amazing views, and so on, New York has it all! It’s breath taking!

Times Square

Times Square

Central Park Zoo

WHY VISIT NEW YORK

It was my dream to get to New York. For me it was like seeing the pictures on the internet and I was already there with my soul. It was all that I could have imagined and even more. I was so happy every morning to “wake up in a city that never sleeps”. Walk up and down on those amazing streets. Couldn’t stop shopping and gazing at the sky tower buildings. Enjoying the city lights in the night that were giving me the feeling like it was daylight. All the time feeling the vibe, the movement, the beauty, the greatness.

HOTELS IN NEW YORK

Hotels in New York, like in the USA in general are pretty bad. You pay a lot, comparing to Europe, for not so good accommodation and services. So, I would suggest that when you look for a hotel, don’t choose for any circumstance, if possible, under 4 stars.  Even at this segment you will have the feeling of a 2 or 3 stars hotel, for some of them. As far as I’m concerned, as at my first trip to New York I was depending a lot on a fixed budget, I preferred to stay more close to the center, and choose a 3 stars hotel, then to pay a little less on a 4 stars hotel, far from the center.  So I chose Pennsylvania Hotel, close to Penn Station and to Times Square. Very poor hotel, with no internet and old fashioned rooms. Anyway, the price was very low (around 120$/night) and close to the center. The second time I went for a 4 stars hotel, Le Parker Meridien, close to Central Park, with a rooftop pool and amazing big and light rooms. I had a package there and have pay only 120$/3 nights, so really amazing price and hotel!

FOOD IN NEW YORK

My, oh my, I thought I will not fit the door on my way back to my country but was surprised I was actually 4 kilos less on my return. I love food in America. I know people are calling me crazy, but really, those amazing big portions of sweet potatoes, huge ice creams, incredibly tasty burgers and that fluffy pizza??? Ok! One of the most tasteful burger was at the hotel we’ve stayed at Le Parker Meridien. But, don’t worry, there are plenty of restaurants where you can eat amazing burgers, you just have to avoid the ones that are very close to major attractions.

If you are in love with Italian food, pay a visit to Little Italy. You will have the feeling like being in Italy, but the food is nothing like real Italian food. Anyway, not bad either.

So, whatever you do, don’t miss in the morning a nice portion of oatmeal and a coffee at Starbucks, and for lunch the burgers, the sweet potatoes and Ben & Jerry’s and Baskin Robbins ice cream!

Little Italy

BEACH IN NEW YORK

I just love the places where you can go and enjoy the city but also have some rest at the beach, enjoying the sun and gaze at the Ocean. New York has it all! A very nice place to go and enjoy the sun is Coney Island. And if you are into some fun, enjoy the Coney Island Amusement Park! What you need to know, if you come from Europe like I am, is that there are no sun beds or any kind of arranged beach. So, you will literally stay in the sand. As far as I’m concerned, I bought a yoga mat and a nice soft tower and I was ready to rock! Also, be careful that if it feels windy, close to the Ocean it’s really windy and the sand will get everywhere. It took me one hour to remove all the sand from my hair in the shower. So, really choose the day carefully!

SHOPPING IN NEW YORK

Oh, my! The best shopping I have ever had! If you are in love with shopping like I am, choose to go either in June or January when you will find lots of sales and promotions. But, if you go to America for shopping, buy American brands. Don’t expect to find European brands at better price than Europe. 5th Avenue is where you will find all the brands, and of course, the famous Tiffany&Co.

MUST DO

Statue of Liberty Cruise – Excellent choice! We had a very nice lunch on the boat, took pictures at Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge and enjoy the sights of New York from another perspective.

Times Square – The first thing we did was to go to Times Square. All those commercials, the lights, the live, the rumor, day or night, you will find it amazing!

Times Square

Broadway show – Choose whatever you like but do go and see a Broadway Show. Me and my friend went to Stomp (a different kind of show) and we enjoyed it a lot!

The Empire State Building – The views from the top are breath-taking! Must do! Must see!

Brooklyn Bridge – Quite interesting and famous, Brooklyn Bridge is a definitely must do in New York!

Central Park and Zoo – As I am in love with parks, of course Central Park was one of my favorite attractions. I don’t remember of being in a bigger park than this, and for sure not at one with a zoo inside of it! So, from my point of view, definitely a must do!

Take a walk on Wall Street and Broadway – I don’t know about you but I am a huge fan of talking long walks. So, a long walk on Broadway, all the way up, not only helped me burn some calories, but it also helped me see some very nice stores and places. And, of course, wouldn’t miss for nothing a walk on famous Wall Street.

Rockefeller Center – A national historic landmark in the heart of Midtown Manhattan where you can shop, dine and explore at one of New York’s most inspiring locations. And, during the Winter, you can admire the most beautiful Christmas Tree and Skate Park.

Rockefeller Center
Travel

DUBAI, THE “DOOR” TO ORIENT

Burj Al Arab

INTRODUCTION

Dubai fascinated me right from the first time! If I may say, it was love at first sight! It’s hard to describe what I liked the most, because Dubai world is amazing!

Desert Safari
Desert Safari

WHY VISIT DUBAI

It’s a fabulous mixture of luxury, with high-tower buildings (which reminds me of beautiful New York), innovation, technology, the biggest mall and the highest building in the world, with the fastest elevator like no place else. Everything is at superlative, and it’s impossible not to feel important there!

Atlantis

WHAT TO DO IN DUBAI

BURJ KHALIFA

If you are going to Dubai for the first time, Burj Khalifa it’s a must! From the tallest building in the world you will be amazed with wonderful landscapes of Dubai and you will be using the fastest elevator in the world that will get you to the top in only 60 seconds.

DUBAI FOUNTAINS

I have seen the fountains in Barcelona which are amazing, but Dubai Fountains are specials. The water is moving in the rhythms of music and is quite impressive to see it from different positions, even from the top of Burj Khalifa. So, by day you can go shopping in Dubai Mall and by night, join the crowds on the bridge and marvel at the illuminated water and buildings adorning the city. The afternoon shows are at 1:00PM and 1:30PM, except on Fridays, when it’s 1:30PM and 2:00PM. In the evenings, the shows occur every 30 minutes, between the hours of 6:00PM and 11:00PM.

Fountains from top Burj Khalifa
Fountains from top Burj Khalifa

DUBAI AQUARIUM AND UNDERWATER ZOO

If you are in love with the underwater life, within the Dubai Mall you will find the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo that includes the world’s largest collection of sand sharks and one of the world’s largest acrylic panel viewing platforms and numerous marine habitats, including an underwater tunnel, house 33,000 marine animals, from crocodiles to tropical fish.

Dubai Aquarium
Dubai Aquarium

DUBAI MARINA

Unlike anywhere in the Middle East, the Dubai Marina is a district where you can purchase all of life’s pleasures. Upon the development’s completion, it will be the greatest man-made marina in the world with a two mile long waterfront. Dubai Marina is also a great place for shopping as there are various boutiques and high end storefronts scattered along the marina, where you can find all the brands you can think of concentrated. Real estate is the business that created the Dubai Marina, so expect some of the finest and tallest hotels in the world. Also, if you would like to go for a cruise, there are a variety of boat tours and relaxing cruises available along the Persian Gulf shore.

DESERT SAFARI

From my point of view, Dubai desert safari it’s a must! Prepare to spend around 5 hours in an amazing environment and places. If you choose to go in the Winter, take with you a jacket as it gets chilly after the sunsets in the desert. So, get ready for a ride with the jeep on the dunes of sand and take pictures at the sunset! It’s wonderful! Then enjoy a walk on a camel and on top of everything dance, have a traditional barbeque, smoke a shisha, paint your hands with henna and dream under the open sky!

PALM JUMEIRAH & BURJ AL ARAB

If you want to experience Dubai from a different perspective, you can choose to go on a 90 minutes cruise around Palm Jumeirah & Burj Al Arab by unique rib boat. Depart from Dubai Marina and sail around the artificial archipelago of Palm Jumeirah, the smallest of the original 3 planned Palm Islands of Dubai. Admire iconic attractions and luxury hotels, such as the Atlantis the Palm, and get a look at the Burj Al Arab with it’s emblematic design of billowing sails. See the Sheik’s private Island and much more.

DUBAI HOTELS

Depending on what you plan to do on your holiday in Dubai, you should choose your hotel. Do go only for 4 or 5 stars hotel and if possible with a swimming pool if you plan maybe to say a bit in the sun or just enjoy a splash in the pool. So, if you want to visit and have some activities, it’s better to choose a hotel in the center. The best place would be somewhere close to Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa. I have stayed in Millenium Plaza Hotel, very close to Dubai Mall, with a nice pool located on the 10th floor and great pricing (around 110$/night in December, so in season) and it was perfect. We had an amazing view from the 64th floor and a huge bathroom with shower facing the windows. But, if you plan to go for the beach, of course choose a hotel that is close to the beach. One amazing option would be Atlantis, The Palm or Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

FOOD IN DUBAI

Prepare yourself for a harmony of colors and tastes! In Dubai you can find anything your hearts desires. From American restaurants, to Italian food and, of course, traditional, tasty food. A very nice and good restaurant is right in the back of Jumeirah Beach Hotel, located on the beach, where you can have an amazing view of the Burj Al Arab and enjoy a lovely dinner. You can also choose one of the restaurants with terrace at the Dubai Mall and enjoy the lovely fountains. Or you can go to Madinat Jumeirah, which is an amazing place with water canals, gondolas and lots of lights, and restaurants near the water.

BEACHES IN DUBAI

NIKKI BEACH        

If you like the type of beaches where everything is at superlative, go for Nikki Beach! Great sand, turquoise water, amazing pool, nice staff, lovely music and a great place to spend a nice after-noon. Food is also good and you can choose from a variety of cocktails as well, anything you need to make your day lovely. All day long music it’s hosted by a DJ and if you are the kind of person that likes to party, the dancefloor it’s yours! If you prefer to lay in the sun (as I did), just relax on your sunbed and enjoy the music!

Nikki Beach
Nikki Beach

NASIMI BEACH

Nasimi Beach is great if you want to enjoy a day in the sun, listen to good music, enjoy great cocktails and dance! I went there on lady’s day (all the Sundays) when with 105 dirhams (around 30$) you can enjoy unlimited open bar and one meal course. Careful cause it’s very crowded and it’s possible not to get a place. If you can, make a reservation before or be there early.

Nasimi Beach
Nasimi Beach

POINTS OF INTEREST

Legoland & Legoland Waterpark

WildWadi Waterpark

Slope Session at Ski Dubai

IMG Worlds of Adventure

Motiongate Dubai

Bollywood Park

 

Travel

SEYCHELLES, A PIECE OF HEAVEN

Seychelles

INTRODUCTION

If I could imagine Heaven, this is how mine would look like. White, silky sands, turquoise, clear waters, palm trees, silence and great connection with nature. A place where time stands still and it doesn’t matter if you did what you had to do for today, cause there’s always a tomorrow. A place where you are not afraid to walk on streets, where people are greeting you without expecting anything and where you can wear whatever you want without being judged. Welcome to SEYCHELLES!

Grand Anse

WHY VISIT SEYCHELLES

When I first arrive to Seychelles I was disappointed. I have already started from home with some impressions of my friends that were not so fascinated about it, but with my friend that was travelling with me who promised me the most beautiful beaches! And this was one of the many times I understood to take advices but follow my intuition. I knew I was going to love Seychelles, I just didn’t know how much yet!

It was on an early rainy morning, I was flying from Dubai to Mahe, couldn’t sleep and I was hungry and cranky. Needless to say that we had to wait for two hours in the harbor for our ferry to come to take us to Praslin, then we would have had another ferry connection that would take us finally to La Digue. I slept on the bench, freezing because of my lack of sleep and could feel the rain entering into my bones. Of course it was just a sensation as I was covered by a pergola and it was not cold outside.

When we finally made it to La Digue, the rain stopped and I could see the wonderful colors of the island, cheerful people all around me, and I could feel a warmth in my soul that never left me ever since.

So, if you are looking for a quiet place, with wonderful landscapes, the most beautiful beaches, amazing nature and happy people, this is the perfect place to be! If on contrary, you are a person who likes to party, lot of noise and great gang to hang out, this is not the place for you!

Beach

WHERE TO START FROM?

            They say you have to keep the best for the last but I would say it’s advisable to start from La Digue, otherwise the way back to the airport would seem too long. So, from my point of view, even if La Digue is the most beautiful of the islands, in terms of time, I would start with La Digue, then Praslin a few days, and back to Mahe for another few days. Of course from any of them you can go by boat on any other islands, but if you are there first time and you want to spend some time, I think this is the perfect plan!

The ferry is not cheap and you must plan your time very well. It’s 1 hour from Mahe to Praslin and another 20 minutes from Praslin to La Digue. We bought tickets both ways as it was cheaper, careful that you have to choose the hours when you buy your tickets and in case you change your mind, you have to do it 24 hours in advance. We didn’t take this into consideration and we had to pay for other tickets on our way back from La Digue to Praslin.

Book at least 2 nights in each island and I would suggest not to go for a 5 start resort, as you would be tempted not to leave the hotel. Seychelles it’s all about exploration and looking for amazing beaches and landscapes that you are not able to reach in resort. Also, mind that the internet is slow and is not available everywhere. For me, it was amazing! For some might be a problem!

La Digue

LA DIGUE

La Digue is a small island (5/7km), part of the Seychelles Archipelago. Is a popular honeymoon destination offering tourists a great opportunity to immerse themselves into the local culture, relax and explore the surroundings. As I was there with a friend of mine (also woman), for me was the perfect place to discover a part of me that was long forgotten and enjoy the community with nature.

With such small number of cars, La Digue is a great choice for the environmental travel, as most people tend to make use of bikes. An excellent moment to practice my skills as I haven’t ride a bike since I was 12. I managed very well but if you are not comfortable with it or your physic doesn’t merge, you can ask for a driver to take you with the buggy wherever you need at cost of minimum 6euros/ride, depending on where you want to go.

If you want to see beautiful landscapes, reserve two or three hours to go by bike (the buggies cannot reach some of these parts, so the only way to do it is my bike), to the north part of the island. The road is hilly but the views are amazing, trust me, it worth the effort!

La Digue

LA DIGUE HOTELS

            La Digue hotels are mainly small, self-catering villas ran by locals, but opulent choices are of course available. For example, if you prefer a more luxurious option you can choose to stay at Le Domaine de l’Orangeraie Resort and Spa. But if you are looking for a convenient price and a very nice stay you can choose between La Digue Island Lodge or Le Repaire. There are both very well situated, pretty close to the ferry and not so far from the two most beautiful beaches of the Island. Anyway, on such a small island you are not far from anything.

FOOD IN LA DIGUE

            As with all the Seychelles, food is expensive and mainly imported. You can have very nice food as the only Italian restaurant at Le Repaire, owned by an Italian woman, very nice. There are some other small restaurants that provide in some designated evenings barbeque or self cattering, with live music at decent prices compared with local prices such as La Digue Island Lodge or Villa Creole. Or you can enjoy a nice pizza at a very good price at Pizzeria at Gregoire’s. Be very careful as the restaurants are closed for lunch and they open in the evening, after 7.

BEACHES IN LA DIGUE

            If you are in Seychelles for it’s beautiful beaches and for the amazing nature, please don’t stay in the resort or hotel. Rent a bike or ask for a buggy and go looking for the great places that you can reach only if you get out of your area. Some of them are reachable only by foot, but it would worth the effort!

From my point of view, Grand Anse is the most beautiful of La Digue beaches. With amazingly wide beach and white, soft sand, beautiful turquoise water and lovely waves you can play with, this is the place to be! Surrounded by rocks, it’s a great place to have some beautiful photos!

From Grand Anse you can reach by food, climbing the rocks and throw the jungle, about 20 minutes walk, Petite Anse beach. It’s a unique beach, with small tents made out of palm leaves, where in it’s clear water you can see beautiful, colorful fishes.

And, walking again throw the forest and climbing the rocks, about 30 minutes walk, you can reach Anse Coco, a beautiful beach with a small lagoon on the left side.

The most famous beach of La Digue is though Anse Source d’Argent. You can get there either by bike, entering Union Estate Park (you have to pay for the entrance) or walking across the beach (kind of long way). I suggest that you reserve a day to see the park, with amazing plantations of vanilla and palm trees, and it’s lovely big turtles. And for the rest of the day, enjoy some hours at the beach. You can reach the beach also by walking throw the rocks, this time without climbing. It’s a nice place to take some great pictures and to stay at the shadow of the palm trees. The water is a bit weird as it’s very shallow, with rocks and no place to swim. But the views are amazing! Also, they say you can enjoy here the best sunset!

 

PRASLIN

In Pralin we stayed in a hotel close to the ferry, with very nice view and an infinite pool, but the owner very rude and with lots of rules. We moved around the island with the local bus, very cheap (around 50 cents a ticket) and quite decent. The taxis are quite expensive (minimum 40$, depending on where you want to go). I have visited Anse Lazio, a very beautiful beach, reacheable only by foot or by personal car. The bus leaves you 20 minutes distance walk from the beach. The road is pretty uphill, then downhill, so if you are not so good with your physical condition, on that hot weather, I wouldn’t suggest going there by foot.

Anse Lazio
Anse Lazio

 

MAHE

In Mahe we enjoyed a nice hotel on the beach, with beautiful landscapes, very close to Anse Royale. We’ve also moved by local bus as it was way cheaper than the taxi. Also the bus left us a bit far from the beach, so it took us around 30 minutes walking to the Anse Intendance. Very beautiful beach, actually at that time they were preparing for a wedding on the beach. With beautiful waves, very strong current and amazing sand, I would say it’s a must when you get to Mahe!

Anse Intendance
Anse Intendance

POINTS OF INTEREST

LA DIGUE – Union Estate Park – At the southern end of La Réunion, cross over to the l’Union Estate, a former coconut and vanilla plantation that is a real insight into La Digue colonial history. The park has an entrance fee of SCR 100 (about 10$). Besides that, the Aldabra Giant Tortoise enclosure is another popular tourist attraction. Near the tortoise enclosure is the vanilla plantation. Neighboring the vanilla plantation is a 40-metre monolith in the sky. The Giant Union Rock occupies an area of 4,000 m², and is estimated to be around 700 million years old. The walk eventually leads out into the powerful, imposing rock formations that flank the narrow Anse Source d’Argent beach across its 1 km length. Here, the rocks, the green palms, the white beach, and the turquoise ocean blend in perfect harmony.

 

PRASLIN – Vallee de mai – The “Heart of Praslin” is home to remnants of the original palm jungles of the Seychelles and has often been described as a “Garden of Eden” thanks to its secluded and mystical nature. The park was placed under protection as far back as 1966, with over 1,400 trees of the legendary Coco de Mer falling under the protection of the Seychelles Government due to their uniqueness and that of the location. The Coco de Mer, the largest seed in the world, is particularly admired by visitors, and is the reason for the National Park’s world heritage site status. The Vallée de Mai is also home to the rare Black Parrot, of which there are three species in the Seychelles and one more sub-species in Madagascar. The birds are very shy and usually can only be heard.