Malta – tips for visiting the islands

In October I decided to check out the three Maltese islands (Malta, Gozo and Comino) for a long weekend break. This country is an absolute gem and I really did not expect I would like it that much! So much history, well-preserved sights, such a relaxed atmosphere and friendly people..wish I could spend at least a month there!

With Wizzair offering pretty inexpensive flights to the island from most major European cities, I must say – put the country in your must visit list. And, do not listen to people on forums telling you that ‘within 3 days you should have seen pretty much everything on the island’. 3 days are totally insufficient, so stay as long as you can 🙂

I’ll be sharing within a few posts what we managed to see within hectic 3.5 days. However, I will dedicate this post to tips on organizing your stay, so you don’t spend too much time on it.

Fuerteventura – the island of wind and surf

Fuerteventura is the second largest Canary island (1,731 sq km, with Tenerife being the largest) and the one closest to Africa (100 km is the distance to the south of Morocco).

If I have to summarize our perception of Fuerteventura with one sentence, it will be – this is The place to surf!

The very name Fuerteventura means Strong Winds and it’s been given to the island following the constant trade winds blowing on this island, throughout the whole year. These winds help relieve the heat and make the island the perfect gathering place for windsurfers from all over the world.

The island, however, is also popular among fans of Hawaiian surf. There are a few beaches where waves persist, no matter the conditions elsewhere on the island. So after a couple of Hawaiian surf lessons right after arrival – we loaded our rented surfs and equipment on the tiny rented car and – off we went, exploring the island combined with finding spots to surf. So, this post will refer to sightseeing and opportunities for surfing combined.

Pros and Cons of Airbnb

When travelling, my first choice for accommodation is Airbnb. Since so many people ask me recently – is it OK, is it safe, is it clean, etc (some ask what is Airbnb..), I decided to share my Airbnb experience with you.

My first travel with Airbnb was 3-4 years ago I think. Until now I’ve stayed at more than 30 properties with Airbnb. Did I have an unpleasant experience from any of these? Maybe once, related to noise and lack of privacy. Compared to stays with booking.com and other online reservation systems, the disappointment rate with Airbnb, at least for me, is way way lower.

Now, what’s good and what’s bad about Airbnb? Read my impressions below and decide for yourself. For those who have no idea what Airbnb is – it’s a place where you can book privately-owned rooms and apartments, usually for short-term stay.

Gran Canaria – the island of sun

Among all 4 Canary islands I have been to (out of 7), Gran Canaria appealed to me most. When researching it before the visit, it sounded like a crowded touristy place where elderly people occupy the lengthy beaches. After being there, I admit it is fairly touristy in some parts of the island, but in general it’s a truly exotic and diverse island. And it’s sunny – it’s claimed that this island gets the most sun from all 7. If I could visit one island among the Canaries, I’d choose Gran Canaria.

What’s cool about this island? It’s considered a miniature continent due to the combination of different climates and landscapes. The north tends to be slightly cooler, while the south is sunnier and warmer (and hence the more visitors to the southern part). The seaside is dry, the inland (higher altitude) more humid and with lush vegetation.

You may reach CG either by plane to Las Palmas or by going first to Tenerife and then via ferry (2-4 hours) to Gran Canaria. Then, you could move around the island using the bus transport (pretty reliable, but suitable for more popular destinations along the coastline) or via rent a car (cheap rentals available directly on-site).

Top 5 Interesting Places To Visit In Italy

This is a guest post by Jane Roberts.

Italy is one of the world’s most celebrated tourist destination despite the country being the most destroyed and affected during the World War II. The country indeed is a major tourist destination as it is a home to the most diverse and beautiful landscapes in the whole of Europe. The country is home to the world’s greatest reserve of art treasures that is displayed in cities and buildings. Many of the Italians here are indeed proud of their country and whenever you ask them the best place on earth to live, without doubt the response will be “right here”. In this article, you will find the top five interesting places to visit in Italy and without any doubt, you will live to tell your amazing experience.

Lanzarote – the island of volcanoes

If you read my 10 reasons for visiting the Canary islands, you should already have a growing desire to visit this amazing archipelago. But – which islands to start with?

Being a fan of frequent, but shorter vacations for me the best option seems to visit the Canary islands two by two, for a total of 8-10 days. You spend 3-4 days on each island (+you need 2 days for transfers) which is pretty insufficient but still a good time frame to get a taste of the island.

So, my first couple was Lanzarote and Fuerteventura Canary islands. They are close to each other (30 mins by ferry), well-connected to Europe (especially Madrid and Milano) and there’s pretty much to be done there.

10 reasons for visiting the Canary islands

6 months ago I spent an awesome week at two of the Canary islands. Many people asked me what the Canaries look like and what’s to be done there. So, before I start my series of posts on the two islands I visited – Lanzarote and Fuerteventura – let me give my 10 reasons for visiting the Canary islands.

1. The weather is always good

The temperatures on the Canaries rarely drop below 20 degrees, so you can escape there for a vacation anytime. The temperature is highest (around 30 degrees Celsius) during the summer months and this is when most people come over. For me though the off-peak season (we visited in November), with its mild weather and less crowds, is simply perfect.

Croatia gems: Krka National Park

If you are travelling to the southern part of the Croatian Riviera, you shouldn’t miss Krka national park (http://www.npkrka.hr) – an impressive sequence of gorges, lakes and waterfalls laid out on Krka river as it makes its progress to the sea. Krka is located close (23 km) to the town of Šibenik, which is almost in the mid of Zadar-Split road. From Plitvice lakes Krka park is a ~2 hour drive.

Krka park encompasses an area of 142 km2 and extends along a 2 km part of the river Krka, between the towns of Knin and Skradin. It’s a slightly less popular attraction than Plitvice (read my review of Plitvice lakes) – gets 750 thousands visitors/year compared to 1 million for Plitvice – but is an awesome place to go, especially in the heat. Reason: in one of the park waterfalls you can actually swim!

Croatia gems: Plitvice lakes

If you are an avid traveler, there’s no way you haven’t heard of Plitvice lakes in Croatia. It’s a very famous attraction in Croatia (gets more than 1 million visitors every year) and the biggest national park in Southeast Europe. You can reach it by travelling from Zagreb to Zadar, it’s almost in the halfway.

And no wonder it’s so well-known – the park is amazing and is a must-seе. And despite being a popular attraction, it’s actually not that crowded and you may stroll around quite undisturbed. It’s also a perfect place to visit with kids.

The name Plitvice comes from plitvak (meaning shallow in Croatian) – referring to the shallow basins filled with water, which later became lakes.

Croatia gems: Zadar

I love spring and autumn.. these are the best seasons to travel! The weather is good, travel is inexpensive..what more could you want 🙂

Now is just one of those ‘travel-friendly’ times of the year and I’m coming up with a series of posts on some great places you can visit in.. beautiful Croatia!

Why visit Croatia? My top 3 reasons are: the seaside and islands, beautiful nature, historical buildings. Croatia has 500+ km coastline and 1246 islands and islets. Lots of places to go, no? Even during high season, you can find yourself a perfectly peaceful beach spot on an easy-to-reach island. There are 8 national parks (with Plitvice lakes and Krka, which I’m going to cover, being the 2 biggest ones) and 10 nature parks.