Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary (What To Do and See in Sri Lanka)

Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary (What To Do and See in Sri Lanka)

Sri Lanka is a small island just south of India with an abundance of things to experience. Sri Lanka offers a little bit of everything: beautiful beaches, lots of wildlife, gorgeous hikes, serene countrysides, epic train rides, and tasty (spicy) food.

I recently spent 10 days in the beautiful island nation zipping around to experience as much as I could. It was a little hectic to be constantly moving, but I saw and did so much in the little time that I had.

This Sri Lanka 9-day itinerary is for those who are ambitious to see a big amount in a little time frame. It is not for those who like to relax and stay in one spot the whole time. I cut out one day off the suggested itinerary for a specific reason (which you will see below).

What NOT to do in Sri Lanka

I strongly urge you to skip Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. I admit I was lured in by the dreamy pictures that some of my favorite Instagrammers posted from here. It sounded to perfect to wake up to elephants bathing in a river right from your hotel room. But it was everything but dreamy.

The straight up ABUSE that I saw was extremely disturbing. I saw them use these sharp spears to force the elephants to do whatever they wanted and some were chained around their necks. The elephants did not seemed “loved” at all. In fact, they seemed terrified at their “caretakers”. I teared up and left early because I could not stand there for another second and watch these poor loving creatures get abused any longer.

I must say that I am extremely disappointed at these huge “influencers” posting pictures from here glorifying it just to get a couple hundred liked on Instagram. It was sickening. Here is my Instagram post from there which you can scroll through to see the “real” pictures from this terrible “orphanage”.

My advice would be to please research a place thoroughly before you make a decision to go. Just because a place has the word “sanctuary” or “orphanage” doesn’t mean the animals are being treated kindly.

View this post on Instagram

💔🐘DISTURBED AF😭(swipe left). I didn’t post a pic of me on purpose. In fact, wasn’t going to post anything but something has to be said. While I’m not a vegetarian or peta activist, I LOVE animals and would never condone animal cruelty. What I saw made me sick to my stomach and I’m so angry I even came here. 😡. The elephants at this “orphanage” were chained around their neck, and their “masters” walked around with spears in their hands if they misbehaved. Spears that could kill a human being. The elephants were visibly scared of their masters and there was absolutely no loving nature shown towards these poor creatures. I thought maybe they just used these spears to scare them, but then I saw them use them when they didn’t listen. 💔What really pisses me off is that I’ve seen so many big and respected bloggers come here and post cute pics and completely turn a blind eye to this torture just to get the perfect IG shot😡. Its really sickening and they should be ashamed. There is no way you can tell me these elephants were treated nicely. NO WAY!! I’m so upset and angry right now. Please do your research before you support any “orphanage”. Check my stories for more. #pinnawala #animalcruelty #saveelephants #srilankadaily #srilankatourism #srilanka_travel

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Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary


Day 1: Kandy

Day 2: Day trip to Sigiriya Rock

Day 3: Train ride from Kandy to Ella

Day 4-5: Ella

Day 6: Yala National Park

Day 7: Mirissa

Day 8-9: Galle

Kandy

Kandy honestly did not impress me that much. It was hectic city with only a few things to see. I knew this going in, but I stayed here 2 nights for a reason. The first is because this is where you start (or end) the famous train ride through the tea plantations in the countryside. The other reason is because this is where you can take a day trip to Sigiriya Rock.

What to Do in Kandy

Temple of the Tooth-an important symbol of Sri Lanka. It is believed that whoever holds the tooth relic, holds the governance of the country. 

Kandy Lake-a peaceful lake in the center of the busy city that’s a good way to escape the madness and noise. 

Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary

Botanical Gardens (25 minutes outside of the city)-I didn’t have time for this but photos of this place looked lovely. 

Where to Stay in Kandy

I had the please of being hosted by Theva Residency while in Kandy and it was incredible. This boutique hotel is set amongst the beautiful hillside in Kandy, overlooking the lush countryside. 

Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary

The most alluring part of Theva Residency is the infinity pool plunging into the green Sri Lankan mountainside. The views were incredible and the ambiance was super relaxing. It was so refreshing to be able to get away from the crazy noise and crowds from Kandy and sleep in a quiet paradise.

Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary

The floor to ceiling windows in the onsite restaurant is another attractive feature of this hotel. What could be better than enjoying a great meal with a glass of wine with a 180 degree view of beautiful nature? I can’t think of anything. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating and the food was quite delicious.

Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary

The view don’t end at the infinity pool and restaurant. The executive rooms come with a walk out balcony with table and chairs and unobstructed views of the hillside.

Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary

Other unique features of the boutique hotel include a game room with a pool table, board games, DVDs, a sauna, and a steam room! If relaxation and peace and quiet is what you are looking for, Theva Residency is the perfect place to stay in Kandy.

Day Trip to Sigiriya Rock

High on my Sri Lanka list was hiking up Sigiriya Rock. I decided to squeeze it in my short trip by taking a day trip from Kandy. I took a private car from Kandy to Sigiriya for 8000 Sri Lankan Ruppes(SLR) ($50) for an all day trip. This also included a stop at the Dambulla Caves on the way back (which I ended up skipping due to heat exhaustion).

Sri Lanka 9 Day Itinerary

The journey takes 3 hours each way. My only mistake was not going early enough because it was deathly hot during the hike. I would recommend leaving around 6am to beat the heat (I left at 8:30).

Sri Lanka 9 Day Itinerary

The hike takes about 30-45 minutes to the top and it’s uncovered so make sure to wear sunscreen and a hat if you have one. There is no water or snacks inside so make sure to bring some of your own.

Sri Lanka 9 Day Itinerary

The remains on the top of Sigiriya Rock

The entrance fee was very steep at $30 USD, which was very surprising since overall Sri Lanka was on the cheap side.

Train from Kandy to Ella

This journey was voted one of the prettiest train rides in the world, and thus a very popular ride. As such, if you’re looking for first class seats, buy the tickets about 2 weeks in advance. But the fun part is sitting with the locals in 3rd class and hanging out of the opened doors, so I wouldn’t bother with trying for first class!

Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary

Keep in mind, the train ride is 7 HOURS long. The first 1.5 hours and last 1 hour were very busy with locals and we were packed in there like sardines. Not quite the idyllic train ride I was imagining. When it finally cleared up and I got a seat at the door, it was great!

Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary

You can buy 3rd class tickets on the day of the departure about 1 hour before. The tickets cost less than $2 USD. Try to get on the train while there is still daylight so you don’t miss the views!

Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary

TIP: If you’re going from Kandy to Ella, sit on the RIGHT side of the train til about Nuwara Eliya, then switch to the LEFT side for the best views. Trust me on this one.

Note: bring some food as its a long ride! There are some vendors coming through selling fruits and nuts, but nothing major.

Ella

Ella is a backpacker’s town set in the tropical countryside surrounding by nothing but greenery and tea plantations. In other words, its breathtaking! Most people come here to do the hikes they have on offer. The town of Ella itself is just one dirt road with a few restaurants and shops, so not much to do there. I would suggest staying near the Demodara 9 Arch Bridge so you can get the views of the train and the beautiful curved tracks from above. You can take a tuk tuk to get around for cheap so don’t worry about being away from the town.

What to To Do in Ella

Little Adam’s Peak-this is the easiest hike with breathtaking views. It’s only a 15 minute hike for the entrance (or 45mim-1hr from Ella town). It had just rained so it was very misty and foggy when I went, but still pretty. Go at sunset!

Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary

Ella Rock-this hike is a little more difficult at 2 hours each way, but affords amazing views at a higher elevation (I didn’t have time for this one unfortunately).

Demondora 9 Arch Bridge-possibly the most picturesque spot in Ella. Photograph this bridge from above and right down on the tracks. Ask your accommodation what time the trains come so you can get a glimpse of the red or blue train coming through. You can also walk on the tracks all the way back to town. The view below is from my Booking.com homestay!

Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary

Ravana Falls-these falls are less than a 15 minute drive form Ella. There are upper and lower falls and I went to the lower falls that can be accessed right from the road. You can also do a hike to the upper falls. The lower falls was a gorgeous cascading waterfall that was super impressive. Try to get to it on your way out of Ella on your way to Yala.

Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary

Where to Stay in Ella

I found this homestay on Airbnb with an incredible view of the 9 Arch Bridge from my bedroom and the balcony where we eat breakfast. The room was simple but the views made it 100% worth it.

Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary

The host was one of the kindest people I have ever been hosted by and he offered me discounted tuk tuk rides whenever I needed. I highly recommend this place! You can check out the listing here. And if you’re new to Booking.com, you can get $20 OFF your fist stay here.

Where to Eat in Ella

AK Ristoroserves curry, pasta, and sushi. They even had gluten free pasta so I was in heaven. The restaurant has a nice atmosphere and is away from the busy main street. 

Adam’s Breeze-a great local restaurant with a view. They serve traditional curries which were really good. They give you many different small dishes kinda like tapas style. It was very cheap at around $4.50 for my whole dinner (pictured below).

How to Get from Ella to Yala National Park

A private taxi from Ella to Tissamaharama (close to Yala National Park) costs 6000 SLR ($38) including a stop in Ravana falls. The journey takes 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Yala National Park

There are a few national parks in Sri Lanka but my goal was to see leopards, which is what Yala National Park is known for. I stayed in the town of Tissamaharama (aka Tissa) and took the “5-12 safari Leopard Safari” which meant a 7 hour safari from 5am-12pm. The cost was only $36 and included pickup and drop off from all hotels in Tissa. The pickup is at 4:15-4:30am so get some rest! The company I went with is called Janaka Safari Jeep tours. The drivers drive a little wild, but I noticed that most the drivers in the park were driving like that, so hold on tight!

Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary

While I wasn’t lucky enough to see a leopard, I did see a bunch of other animals including a bunch of elephants, crocodiles, buffalo, some colourful birds, mongoose, and warthogs. I had alton of fun and it was definitely worth it! My safari vehicle only had 4 seats so there was no overcrowding and trying to fight to get photos.

Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary

How to Get from Tissa to Mirissa

Take a private taxi from Tissa to Mirissa for 7000 SLR ($44) and it takes 2 hours and 30 minutes. The safari company I used above also had a taxi company, so I just used them for the journey (Janaka Taxi Service). The telephone # is +94 77 297 2639

There is also a bus with 3 connections which takes about 3+ hours and costs a few dollars, but I was short on time so I just wanted to get there ASAP.

Mirissa

I heard Mirissa was touristy and was apprehensive about going, but I’m so glad I did. Mirissa was one of the prettiest places I saw in Sri Lanka. It’s the perfect place for relaxation, sunbathing, and surfing.

What to Do in Mirissa

Parrot rock-here you can see views of the twin beaches from above. Make sure to go at low tide so you can actually see both beaches separated by the sandbar. 

Palm tree heaven-(not sure the actual name of it but that’s what it felt like to me). To get there, it’s about a 15 minute walk all the way to the left of Parrot Rock (keeping the beach on your right side). If you get lost, you can put in Sea Star Hotel in google maps and enter the beach through this hotel then turn left.

Surf-I’m not a surfer but this is a very popular thing to do in this area. It was fun to watch!

Mirissa Beach-take a walk along the coastline or lounge around and get a tan. Mirissa is very relaxing and pretty so take some time to enjoy it.

Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary

Where to Stay in Mirissa

Glamour Mirissa-this little boutique hotel was adorable and in a quiet area right across the street from the beaches. My room came with a lounge area with kitchen and washer. At $38, it was a great deal! You can check out the listing on booking.com here.

Sri Lanka 9 Day Itinerary

How to get from Mirissa to Galle

  • Train: There are 3 trains a day which takes 50 minutes and cost about $1.
  • Tuk tuk from Mirissa to Galle fort is 2000 SLR ($13) and takes 1 hour.
  • A private taxi costs around 4000 SLR ($25).

Galle

Galle was my favourite city I visited in Sri Lanka. Galle fort is an enclosed Dutch fort built in the 1500s and occupied by Portuguese, Dutch, and later the British. It’s now a UNESCO world heritage site. It was such a cute little town with colonial architecture and adorable boutique shops. 

What to Do in Galle

Lighthouse-the most picturesque part of the city with a beach nearby where you can swim and/or sunbathe.

Shopping-Galle definitely had the best shopping in Sri Lanka with cute little boutique shops with unique clothes and souvenirs.

Jungle beach-an excursion 20 minutes from Galle. It requires less than a 10 minute hike to get down. Once you arrive, you’re greeted with beautiful green waters (it feels more like a bay as there aren’t much waves). There isn’t much there besides some fruit juice stands. 

Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary

Unuwatuna BeachFrom Jungle Beach, you can walk 25 minutes to Unuwatuna Beachwhere they have an abundance of water sports, surfing, lounge chairs, and lots of beach side restaurants. There is also some cute shopping on the streets. A round trip tuk tuk ride from Galle should cost you 1000 SLR ($6). 

Where to Stay in Galle

I stayed in the cutest little boutique hotel with the sweetest staff. It was right in the middle of the Galle Fort and walking distance to everything. The room was huge with a strong AC. Breakfast was served in the colorful courtyard pictured below. You can view the listing here.

Where to Eat in Galle

Chambers restaurant– If you get sick of curry (which I did after day 5), Chambers restaurant has good Moroccan tagine. 

Poonie’s Kitchen -serves healthy foods like granola and yogurt bowls, salads, and juices. It had a cute and cozy little courtyard inside. Note: it’s closed on Sundays and closes all other days at 6pm/

How to Get from Galle to Colombo

The train from Galle to Colombo is 180 rupees ($1.15) 2nd class. The journey takes 2.5 hours. The last train leaves Galle at 3:35pm.

Sri Lanka Quick Tips:

  • I had trouble with getting money out of some ATMs as my card kept getting declined. But when I tried other ones, they seemed to work. So if you’re going to a remote area, I would suggest stocking up on cash beforehand. I did notice that HNB Bank worked the best for me.   
  • Ask you accommodation host for a taxi ride to your next destination. I always got the best rates from them and they set up the whole thing which made it easy.
  • Train rides are very cheap in Sri Lanka, but tuk tuks and private cars arent that bad, especially if you are traveling with several people.
  • They drive a bit crazy in Sri Lanka (and on the left side), so make sure you’re prepared for that and have a lot of experience if you plan on renting a motorbike.
  • It’s pretty common for your taxi driver to randomly get pulled over by police (and then pay them off), so don’t let that alarm you. (note: the locals confirmed this and told me it’s a regular occurrence there).
  • ALWAYS negotiate beforehand before getting into a taxi.
  • Safety: I felt pretty safe as a solo female traveler in most places. I did feel a little uncomfortable walking the dark streets alone in Kandy at night (many cat calls from men). I never really felt unsafe though.

Sri Lanka 9-Day Itinerary

Disclaimer: Some links in this article may include affiliate links, meaning I may receive a small commission if you book through these links, at NO extra cost to you. It’s what keeps this site ad free (I hate ads!). Also, I was a guest at Theva Residency. However, all opinions are my own and I am in no way obligated to leave positive feedback. I had an amazing time in the beautiful secluded property and I highly recommend staying here if in Kandy.

 

The Mysterious Faroe Islands: The Perfect 5 Day Faroe Islands Itinerary

The Mysterious Faroe Islands: The Perfect 5 Day Faroe Islands Itinerary

The Faroe Islands are a self-governing region of Denmark located in the North Atlantic Ocean halfway between Iceland and Norway. They are not part of the European Union and aren’t technically their own independent country. It’s complicated. 

There are 18 islands that make up the Faroe Islands archipelago. Most islands can easily be reached by sea tunnels. The islands are pretty small and you can easily navigate a few islands a day in a short time period. The farthest drive took me 1.5 hours and that was basically from south to north. In 5 days (more like 4.5 days), I visited 6 islands in the Faroes with only a little more than one tank of gas. 

Fun Fact: the human population of the Faroe Islands is around 50,000 and the sheep population is around 70,000.

How to Get To the Faroe Islands

The main airport in the Faroe islands is called Vágar Airport (airport code FAE)

The easiest way to get to Vagar Airport is to fly from Copenhagen (CPH) or Reykjavik (KEF). From Copenhagen it’s a 2 hour fight and from Reykjavik it’s about a 1 hour flight.  

Atlantic Airways and SAS fly direct to the Faroe Islands but flights are limited and do not operate every day so make sure to check when booking. 

I flew there with SAS and flew back with Atlantic Airways and the round trip cost me about $280. This was close to peak season in June. 

I booked my tickets with Skyscanner, which is my all-time favorite airline booking site!

Summer Daylight Time (Midnight Sun)

When I was there in June it got dark at about midnight and the sun came up around 3:30am so you essentially have 20+ hours of daylight to explore. Although I was often exhausted from hiking that I didn’t stay out after 9. Go figure.

P.S: make sure your accommodations has black-out curtains/blinds if you want to sleep good!

How to Get Around the Faroe Islands 

Rent a Car

Apparently there is a well connected bus system around the islands, but they don’t go to all the famous places so you really need a car to see all the awesome off-the-beaten path places I visited. 

Renting a car is super expensive, but is the best way to explore the islands. I paid $485 for 5 days for a manual car plus $75 for liability insurance. 

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

Total car price I paid: $560 with insurance (this is for a manual car). If you need an automatic car, expect to pay a few hundred more.

The good news is gas is pretty cheap! I only spent a total of $57 USD in 5 days driving around the islands.

*NOTE: Rent a car ASAP if you plan on going to the Faroe Islands. The prices are only going to go up because car rentals are limited on the islands. I booked in January for early June and still had ridiculous prices. Also, automatic cars are hard to come by so if you need one, plan way ahead!

Helicopter 

Yes, you heard that right. You can ball out and fly to certain places in a helicopter for very cheap! The helicopters are subsidized by the government so they are very affordable. The catch is that you can only book a ticket for one-way, not round trip. For example, you can fly from Tórshavn to Mykines for 215 DKK (about $33). Not bad, huh?

*The only reason i didn’t try the helicopter option is because I heard the weather is very fickle (which turned out to be so true) so I was worried about it getting cancelled. 

To book helicopter tickets in the Faroe Islands, click here.

Driving in the Faroe Islands 

Driving in the Faroe Islands can be a challenge and extra caution should be taken to follow the speed limit and rules.

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

One of the safer one-way roads with guard rails (most of them don’t have any)

Many of the smaller towns required a drive on a one-lane mountain road with no guard rails. There are turn off points on these one lane roads that you should turn into when you see a car coming. Whoever is closest to these turn off points should pull into them and let the other car pass. It was scary on some windy mountain roads because you couldn’t see around the curves at some point. Just go slow and be ready to slow down on a whim and you will be fine.

Oh, and there are one-way tunnels as well (they have turn off points inside also) but they tend to be very dark so you might want to use your high beams!

How to Stay Connected in the Faroe Islands

Get a SIM card at the airport info center. The package is for 2 GB and costs 97 krone ($15). You can top up online for 50 Krone for an additional 2 gb, which I ended up doing since I burn through data. The network worked really good and I got great service in all parts of the Faroes, even on the hikes. You will definitely need to have data to use google maps to navigate. 

P.S: your Faroe Islands SIM card will NOT work in Denmark (and vice versa). Remember that self-governing part? For this reason, my Skyroam did not work in the Faroe Islands.

Currency in the Faroe Islands

Faroese króna is the official currency of the Faroe Islands, but the Danish krone is also accepted. However, credit cards were accepted everywhere in the Faroe Islands, even on the ferries. So you can get by without any cash at all if you really wanted to. 

Sea Tunnels 

There are 2 sea tunnels that require a 100 króna ($14) payment to use. The price is for a return trip so you’ll only have to pay once. One of these sea tunnels is between Vágar and Streymoy and the other is between Borðoy and Eysturoy.

You can make a payment after the tunnel at a pay station. Or check your rental car details because mine had that cost included. When I picked up my car they told me not to pay the sea tunnel fee since it was included. I rented with Avis. 


Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary


Day 1: Mùlafossur Waterfall, & Sørvágsvatn

Day 2: Day trip to Mykines  

Day 3: Tórshavn, Tjornuvik, Fossa Waterfall, & Saksun

Day 4: Day trip to Kalsoy island

Day 5: Gjógv, Slættaratindur hike, & Kvívík

TipStay on Vagar island for the first 2 days of your trip (I stayed in a city called Miðvágur which was a great location). The first day go to the famous waterfall and hike. And then the second day head to Mykines to see the puffins! Then make your way to Kvívík for 3 nights and use it as a base to explore. I have included my Airbnb info near the end of this article. 

Day 1 (Mùlafossur Waterfall, Sørvágsvatn)

Mùlafossur Waterfall

Mùlafossur Waterfalls the most iconic spot on the Faroe Islands. You can now drive right up to it and walk a few minutes to the viewing point. There is only a small place to park a few cars but I saw some cars parked along the street. I would recommend going here the day you arrive since it’s so close to the airport. 

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

There were only 3-4 people at this spot and I was really surprised since it is the most popular attraction in the Faroe Islands. Goes to show that the Faroe Islands haven’t been spoiled by mass tourism yet.

Hike to Sørvágsvatn

If you want to see one of the coolest optical illusions you will ever see, make sure not to miss this hike! The hike takes less than 2 hours round trip including taking photos. Bring food and have a little picnic on the top with amazing views if you can! 

It’s a super easy hike. To get there from the airport, you will pass the pizza place called Smiðjan and take your first right. Then take the first major right after that until you get to a tiny parking lot. You will see others starting the hike there as well. 

Day 2 (Mykines day trip)

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

The ferry costs 120 krone ($19) round trip and takes 45 minutes. Make sure to get tickets in advance as there are limited seats. Also, go early in the trip in case it gets cancelled. I heard it gets cancelled often due to the sporadic weather. The puffin season is in the summer months only so try to make it over there between late May and early September. 

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

Hike to the lighthouse to see the puffins on the way. The majority of them are right before the bridge connecting the islands. The hike takes about 3 (ish) hours round trip including plenty of time for pictures.

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

There is not much else to do in the little town. There is a church and 2 cafes…and that’s about it. Bring snacks for lunch. You must pay a fee of 100 krone ($15) to hike on the island. You can do it online and show them a receipt. Or they will stop you somewhere along the trail and let you connect to a hotspot to pay it online. 

On your way home, stop at Smidjan restaurant in Vagar for pizza (yes, they even have GF pizzas!)

Day 3 (Tórshavn , Tjornuvik, Fossa Waterfall, Saksun)

Saksun

Saksun is a beautiful little village between the mountains with cascading waterfalls running down the cliffs and surrounded by greenery everywhere. There is a picturesque church with a gorgeous lake backdrop that you shouldn’t miss.

You can also walk up to one of the waterfalls and take pictures close up. There is a one-lane road to get there so make sure you drive slow and look ahead so you can turn into one of the many turn offs and wait for the car to pass. Saksun is a quintessential Faroese village with green grass roofs and some horses & sheep.

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

Tjørnuvík

Tjørnuvík is a gorgeous seaside town set on a black sand beach hugged by the mountains.

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

You can do a little hike up the backside to get an incredible view of the town and surrounding islands. There is a winding one-lane road that’s a bit scary to get to it but it’s worth it! 

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

Stop at Fossa waterfall on the way to Tjornuvik. It’s right off the road so you can’t miss it. There is a tiny parking spot for a few cars. Fossa waterfall is the tallest waterfall in the Faroe Islands. 

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

Tórshavn

Tórshavn is Europe’s smallest capital city and is worth a stop. It has a colorful little harbor with cute cafes and shops. Go to Paname cafe for soy milk cappuccino and a quaint and cozy interior. It’s connected to a book shop with cute little unique souvenirs. 

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

Visit Tinganes-home to one of the oldest parliament meeting places in the world and is home to the Faroese government. It’s a gorgeous part of town so make sure to check it out. 

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

Day 4 (Kalsoy)

Hike to Kallur Lighthouse in Kalsoy 

Take the car ferry from Klaksvík to Kalsoy, which takes only 20 minutes. The cost is 160 krone ($25) round trip with a car. When you arrive, drive to Trøllanes and do the Kallur lighthouse hike. It’s an easy hike taking about 40 minutes one way. 

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

Look for this red door for the entrance to the hike.

There is only one road on the island so just get off the ferry and go straight. It takes about 20 minutes to get to Trøllanes from the ferry port. Park in the little parking lot and turn left to start the hike. You will see the red door pictured above. 

Arrive to the ferry 40 minutes or more early during summer as there is limited space for cars. On the way back I got there 35 minutes early and had to wait for the next ferry almost 2 hours later because it was already full. Fail. 

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

The best views of the lighthouse and the surrounding landscape are seen by walking across a little steep pathway with plunging cliffs to both sides. At fist I said hell no, but then I saw a few brave guys doing it and it didn’t seem as bad. It’s actually wider than it looks once you get to the path. If you’re afraid of heights, definitely don’t do this. 

Stop to see the seal lady statue in Mikladalur Town on the way back if you have time. There is a pretty waterfall leading to the ocean which is more interesting than the actual statue in my opinion. 

There is nothing else to do on Kalsoy and no restaurants (that I saw), so bring food and water. There is a tiny kiosk selling snacks in Trøllanes if you really need something. You just ring the bell and the lady comes out. 

Day 5 (Gjógv, Slættaratindur hike, Kvívík)

Gjógv 

A city with a huge gorge running through it, hence the name Gjógv. There are several hikes you can do around the area so give yourself some time. It started storming hard so I didn’t hike here unfortunately. The road leading to Gjógv is winding and steep and only one lane without guard rails so drive carefully. There was so much fog when I went back I had never been so scared driving before.  I couldn’t see 20 feet in front of me. The Faroese fog is NO joke .

Close to Gjógv is the starting point of the hike to Slættaratindur, the highest peak in the Faroe Islands. It is said that on a clear day you can see all the way to Iceland, but I’m kinda doubting that myth.

The “easy” route only takes 45 minutes and it’s considered an easy hike. When I got to the beginning of the hike it was storming so bad with winds at almost 40 mph. It was so foggy I couldn’t see anything so I quickly aborted that hike unfortunately. I was so bummed! But you can’t really compete with Mother Nature. 

Visit the Town of Kvívík 

Kvívík is where my Airbnb was located and an adorable little seaside town. They actually unearthed some former Viking remains so if you’re a fan of Viking history, it’s worth a stopover. I could actually see the site from my Airbnb window!

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

View from my Airbnb in Kvivik

My Airbnb in Kvívík had the most amazing views of the town and water. The host was amazing and served breakfast in the dining room with panoramic views of the town. It was breathtaking. She also rents 2 other rooms out on Airbnb so keep that in mind if you don’t want to be social or share a bathroom. You can check the listing here. And for new Airbnb users, you can use my $40 OFF coupon for your first trip!

Also, here is the Airbnb I stayed in the town of Miðvágur on Vagar Islands here. The room was tiny but its all I needed traveling solo. It was a super convenient location and the host family was so nice!

Getting Alcohol in the Faroe Islands 

Did you know that there was basically alcohol prohibition in the Faroe Islands until 1992?! To this day the government highly restricts alcohol and it can only be bought from government run shops called Rúsdrekkasøla. There are only 9 of them in the whole Faroe Islands and they have extremely limited hours. Most are open from 1-5:30pm and one I saw was only open from 4-6pm! So if you happen to see one, make sure to stock up because you may not get another chance. The wine was pretty reasonably priced at about $12-15 a bottle. 

What to Wear in the Faroe Islands 

The weather is extremely sporadic in the Faroe Islands and changes very quickly. It reminded me of Iceland in that sense, but not as drastic. I went in the beginning of June, their “summer” and the average temperature was 50 Fahrenheit! 

It also rains over 210 days a year there so you definitely want to be prepared for that! 

What to Pack for the Faroe Islands 

  • Rain jacket ( I recently got this one and love it) 
  • Waterproof hiking boots (My Ahnu boots are awesome and definitely waterproof!) 
  • Wool socks (Darn Tough are expensive but the best wool socks on the market)
  • Thermal fleece lined leggings 
  • Thin long sleeve shirt with cuffs 
  • Fleece hoodie ( I travel with this North Face hoodie on all trips. It’s so soft & comfy)
  • Hat 
  • Light gloves 
  • Waterproof camera bag 
  • GoPro Hero 6 Black– it was raining so hard at some points I couldn’t even take out my fancy camera so I resorted to only carrying my GoPro and iPhone 8 for pictures. 
  • Life proof waterproof case for iPhone 8

Where to Eat in the Faroe Islands

Finding restaurants outside of Tórshavn and other major cities like Klaksvík was tough! Most the villages I visited didn’t even have a restaurant or convenience store so make sure to bring snacks and pack lunches for hikes as you may go all day without a restaurant. 

Gas stations strangely serve all kinds of food such as chicken skewers, salads, sandwiches, hot dogs, and fresh fruit. So if you can’t find food, a gas station is always your backup choice! 

Bonus supermarket is an affordable supermarket with many options. I picked up a bunch of things there to pack for lunch and it only cost me $35 for the whole trip. 

Most, if not all, supermarkets and most restaurants outside of Tórshavn are closed on Sundays so be prepared for that.  

You can drink the tap water so reuse your water bottle and fill up so you don’t have to spend money on water.

Travel Insurance for the Faroe Islands 

I NEVER go on a trip without travel insurance. Never. Too many bad things can happen (and they have unfortunately). Shit happens when you least expect it. Travel insurance is especially important when traveling to secluded islands, as you may need to be air-lifted to the mainland in the worst case scenario. Do you know how much air-lifting costs? Think at least 5 digits (i.e. Expensive AF!).

My favorite travel insurance that I have been using for the past 4 years is World Nomads. I have made 3 claims so far and have been fully reimbursed for all 3 without any hassle. I HIGHLY recommend them.

Are you curious to visit the Faroe Islands? Let me know if you have any questions below!

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How to Visit Murano and Burano in One Day (from Venice Airport or Venice)

How to Visit Murano and Burano in One Day (from Venice Airport or Venice)

It took me my 3rd trip to Venice to finally visit the colorful towns of Murano and Burano. I would say they were worth the wait!

Murano and Burano can be visited as a day drip from Venice. Or as I did it, a day trip during a long layover at Venice airport (airport code VCE).

I arrived around 9am and my next flight was not until 7pm so it was plenty of time to get out and explore. The immigration process took a lot longer than I though for a smaller airport (about 40 minutes total) so keep that in mind!). It was a Saturday so maybe that’s why it was so busy.


How to Visit to Murano and Burano in One Day


How To Get To Murano and Burano from Venice Airport

Alilaguna Water Boat

The Alilaguna water boat from Venice Marco Polo airport to Murano takes 30 minutes. The Ticket costs 8€ one way and 15€ return. (The ticket to Venice costs 15€ one way). 

How to Visit to Murano and Burano in One Day

The boat for Murano leaves every 30 minutes from the airport. It is Blue Line B. 

You can buy the ticket online, at the airport, on the boat, or at the dock. They take credit cards in the airport. It costs 1€ more to buy it on the boat. The boat takes cash only.

The dock is a 5 minute walk in a covered walkway that’s connected to the airport.

How to Get to Burano from Murano

Vaparetto 12

The Vaparetto 12 goes to Burano (or Venice).

The #12 leaves from Murano to Burano every 20 minutes and takes 33 minutes from Murano to Burano.  

How to Visit to Murano and Burano in One Day

Note: you MUST validate your ticket at the machine for Vaparetto #12 or it’s a 70€ fine. There is a little box when you’re waiting in line to board that stamps your ticket with the time.  DO NOT FORGET!

It’s about a 7-8 minute walk form the main terminal of Line B to Vaparetto 12 

How to Get to Murano & Burano from Venice

Vaporetto 12 goes from Venice to Burano and the cost is 6.50€. You can get on the #12 from Fondament Nove (near St. Mark’s Sq).

How to Visit to Murano and Burano in One Day

Colors of Burano

The Vaporetto 12 leaves every 30 minutes. Get off on the first stop if you want to go to Murano (Burano is the 3rd stop). It takes a total of 40 minutes to get from Venice to Burano.

The Vaporetto 12 schedule can be found here.

What to do in Murano and Burano 

There isn’t a whole lot to “do” besides walk around and take in the amazing colorful towns. 

How to Visit to Murano and Burano in One Day

Murano is famous for their colorful glass and its fun to walk into all the shops and see all the artsy creations. If you have time, you can take a tour of the glass workshops.

How to Visit to Murano and Burano in One Day

Burano is the prettier of the 2 in my opinion, and I enjoyed just walking around and enjoying the vibe and having a cappuccino with a waterside view. 

How to Visit to Murano and Burano in One Day

Make sure to eat at Trattoria al Gatto Negro in Burano. It’s a Michelin Star restaurant and has fabulous seafood dishes. It’s very popular and there is always a wait. I had to wait one hour. The seafood pasta was amazing and they give you a lot of seafood. They had GF pasta and Gf bread too!

How to Visit to Murano and Burano in One Day

How To Get Back To Venice Airport from Burano

Unfortunately, there is no direct line back to the airport so you will have to go back to Murano first via Vaparetto 12 and then back to the airport via the water boat on Line B. 

Make sure to allow enough time to get back to the airport because both boat rides will take 63 minutes total, plus the time in between to walk from one dock to the other (7-8 minutes), plus whatever time it is until the next boat. So give yourself AT LEAST 1 hour and 30 minutes to get back to Venice Airport from Burano.

Luggage Storage at Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE)

You can easily store your luggage at Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE). The cost is 7€ for the first hour and then 0,30€ (30 cents) for each additional hour. They charge per bag so definitely try to consolidate.

Luggage storage hours at VCE: 5am to 10pm.

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Most Photogenic Landscapes of Iceland: An Action-Packed 7 Day Road Trip with Crazy Travelista

Most Photogenic Landscapes of Iceland: An Action-Packed 7 Day Road Trip with Crazy Travelista

Iceland Group Trip Details

7 nights

Dates: October 2-9th, 2018

Start: Reykjavik 

End: Reykjavik

Come Travel to Iceland with Crazy Travelista!

I am super excited to finally be going back to Iceland and to take a few awesome travelers with me! On my last trip in January, I had the WORST weather and as a result crappy pictures so I am determined to go back and re-do all the awesome places I saw, plus add a few more cool spots!

We will be mostly visiting the South Coast (my favorite area in Iceland) with all the epic waterfalls, as well as the stunning Snæfellsnes Peninsula and Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. We will also stop to pet some friendly Icelandic horses whenever we see them!

I am also making it my mission to make it to a few of the lesser known natural hot pools in Iceland (I have a few awesome ones marked down!). If time permits, we will do a few easy (ish) hikes as well. We will try to get to some of the more famous sites before the crowds, so there will be a few early mornings!

Also, we will be in Iceland during Northern Lights season! So hopefully they will come out to play during our time there. Most our accommodation will be in a secluded area, so if they come out, we should be able to see them without having to drive anywhere! Yesssss.

UPDATE: We will have an outdoor jacuzzi at one of our accommodations, where we can chill in and wait for the Northern Lights…with some wine!♥

Is This Trip for You?

If you are a fun loving adventurous spirit with a good sense of humor and love meeting new people and experiencing different cultures, this trip is for you! These trip will focus mainly on adventure activities, and photography, so a love for both is a must!

This Trip is NOT for you if:

If you love drama, drugs, or getting black-out wasted every night, this trip is NOT for you. This is for the more mature traveler who doesn’t mind long days of adventures and photo taking. There will definitely be some wine drinking as well, so it’s not going to be all serious, trust me. 

This trip is probably not for you if you are a budget traveler. My group trips will mimic my traveler style, which I describe as “ballin on a budget” (I heard it on a rap song and thought it described my style perfectly). This style means not budget, but not super luxury. Basically, I like nice places, but I find awesome deals to make them cheaper. Most the accommodations we stay will be comfortable, cute, and unique. 

Where Will We Visit in Iceland?

  • Reykjavik 
  • Golden Circle
  • South Coast + Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls (+ one secret waterfall)
  • Vik +Reynisfjara black sand beach
  • Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon + boat tour 
  • natural hot pools all over Iceland
  • Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon (where Justin Bieber shot his music video)
  • Thingvellir National Park
  • Snæfellsnes Peninsula
  • Northern Lights chasing (from our balcony hopefully)
  • Plus more!

iceland photo

Rough Iceland Itinerary

*things may change slightly but this is roughly how it will go down

  • Day 1: Arrive/explore Reykjavik
  • Day 2: Golden Circle/Gulfoss waterfall/Thingvellir National Park 
  • Day 3: South Coast Waterfalls (Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss)+ secret waterfall
  • Day 4: Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon + natural hot pools +possible easy hike 
  • Day 5: Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon & Black Diamond Beach
  • Day 6: Drive to Snæfellsnes Peninsula + Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall 
  • Day 7: explore Snæfellsnes Peninsula and back to Reykjavik in evening 
  • Day 8: Depart Iceland/possible Silfra fissure snorkel before departure 

iceland photo

What’s Included:

  • Accommodation in double occupancy (shared room with same sex)
  • Transport starting and ending in Reykjavik
  • Entrance to national parks and natural hot pools (excluding Blue Lagoon)
  • Car rental/gas/car insurance
  • Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon boat tour (get up close to the icebergs)
  • Farewell pizza and wine dinner at our accommodation

What’s NOT Included:

  • Flights to/from Iceland 
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Food (except pizza/wine night, see above)
  • Alcohol
  • Optional Activities 

Optional Activities 

  • Blue Lagoon (I honestly didn’t care for the Blue Lagoon on my trip but I understand some people just have to do it..in this case, we can make it work for those who want to experience it)
  • Snorkelling the Silfra Fissure

Note: depending on how many people want to do the Silfra Fissure, we may not have time to work it in unless the entire group wants to do it. However, if only a few want to do it, it will take place on the last and final day of departure…meaning, you would have to be taking a late afternoon/evening flight (at least 3pm or later) for this to work out. We can discuss this once I get a headcount of how many people want to do this.

Price

Non-refundable deposit: $500

Total Price: $2250

*Discount Price: a few hundred $$ OFF depending on how soon you pay! Hint hint :). Message me on IG or send me an email at crazytravelista@gmail.com.

*If you bring a friend with you and don’t mind sharing the same bed, you will each get $500 OFF the total price.

*if you’ve been on one of my tours before, you’ll get a nice discount as well, just ask! 🙂

*We will have a kitchen most of the trip so we can slash costs of food by cooking. Eating in Iceland is expensive as shit so you will definitely not want to eat out every meal! By cooking/eating packaged meals from grocery stores, you can get by for 8 days in Iceland from $100-120 total in food costs (and even way less if you don’t mind eating mostly spaghetti/pizza).  

You can secure your spot for the trip by signing up HERE!

How To Get To Iceland Cheaply 

WOW AIR!

It’s incredibly cheap to get to Iceland these days on WOW Air. If you can pack light, you can get there for as low as $199 round trip! I flew from Baltimore for $99 each way!  So although Iceland is the most expensive place I’ve ever been (along with Switzerland), you can make it up with cheap flights and cooking meals. Also with your tax return you just got! BAM!

Group Size

I plan on taking 4 people max on this trip, so it’s going to be a really small group. If I get more interest, I may take 6 people, but will then need a volunteer driver! Sign up ASAP as spots are extremely limited!

*Please do NOT book any flights until you receive confirmation from me.

See you in Iceland! ♥

 

Banff, Canada Group Trip: Epic Hikes, National Parks, Lakes & Awesome Instagram Views

Banff, Canada Group Trip: Epic Hikes, National Parks, Lakes & Awesome Instagram Views

Trip Details:

Dates: June 24-30th, 2018

Starts: Calgary, Canada on June 24th

Ends: Calgary, Canada on June 30th

Hosted by: Crazy Travelista & CareBear Abroad

lake louise photo

Crazy TravelistaCareBear Abroad are super excited to be opening up our first group trip together! We have traveled to over 20 counties together and would be delighted to have like-minded travel enthusiasts join us for an awesome trip exploring the Bucket List destination of Banff, Canada.

Come travel with CareBear Abroad & Crazy Travelista and join our fun adventures hiking all around the Canadian Rockies seeking out the most epic instagrammable views of the amazing blue lakes, the gorgeous National Parks, and the epic mountainous landscapes.

Is this This Trip for You?

If you are a fun loving adventurous spirit with a good sense of humor and loves meeting new people and experiencing different cultures, this trip is for you! This trip will focus mainly on hiking and photography, so a love for both is a must!

If you love drama, drugs, or getting black out wasted every night, this trip is NOT for you.

Fitness Requirements 

Because this trip is specifically focused on hiking, a moderate fitness level is recommended. We will be doing 2-3+ hours of hiking per day (maybe a little more on some days). We also may be kayaking and/or stand up paddle boarding (SUP) on some of the lakes (optional activities).

We also plan on mixing in some relaxing activities such as soaking in hot springs and horseback riding (optional).

Trip Style: Comfort/Privacy

For this trip, everyone will get their OWN PRIVATE BEDROOM, so perfect for those who value their privacy. But, if you want to bring a friend or significant other, we are offering a $200 discount (you will have to share the same queen size bed so you should probably really like/love this person). ♥

This trip is going to be co-ed! So both guys and girls can apply!

Where Will We Visit in Banff?

Each day will focus on hiking to the best viewpoints of the Canadian Rockies and vibrant blue lakes. The key places we will visit include:

  • Moraine Lake
  • Banff National Park
  • Peyto Lake
  • Lake Louise
  • Yoho National Park (Lake O’Hara Alpine Circuit)
  • Icefields Parkway 

moraine lake photo

What’s Included:

  • 2 breakfasts
  • Accommodation in your own private room
  • Transportation
  • Gas/tolls
  • Daily entrance fees for ALL National Parks

What’s NOT Included:

  • Flights
  • lunch/dinners
  • Alcohol
  • Any extra activities not mentioned

Optional Activities (additional charge):

  • Horseback riding in Banff or Lake Louise
  • SUP or kayaking on Lake Louise or Moraine Lake

Trip Cost:

Non-Refundable Deposit: $375 due March 15th (this will guarantee your spot)

Total Price: $1675 due April 30th

Early Bird Price: $1575 if paid IN FULL by March 10th or $1525 if pain IN FULL by March 30th

*there will be a $200 discount per person if you would like to bring someone (friend/gf/bf) and share a queen bed with them in your own private room. (We only have room for 2 groups of significant others/friends to join, so make sure to sign up soon if you want to bring someone!)

Sign up at this form here to reserve your spot today!

Photo by benjaminvanwaart