Patagonia Itinerary: How to See the Best of Patagonia in Just 8 Days

Patagonia Itinerary: How to See the Best of Patagonia in Just 8 Days

If you’re into hiking and nature, there’s a good chance Patagonia is on your bucket list. It’s the ultimate nature lover’s dream. It had been my dream for years and I finally made it a reality with this epic Patagonia itinerary.

But I will be honest, planning a trip to Patagonia was the most complicated and stressful trip I have ever planned. There isn’t a lot of good info on Patagonia and I gave up planning 3 years in a row because it was too much work and extremely time consuming.

I wanted to see as much as possible in a little amount of time, so hopefully this Patagonia itinerary that I tried out will help you plan with a lot less stress.

Where is Patagonia

Patagonia is a sparsely populated region in southern south America that’s between Chile and Argentina. Patagonia contains many gorgeous National Parks, stunning lakes and glaciers, a vast desert, and of course the Andes Mountains.

PATAGONIA MAP

How to Get to Patagonia

Patagonia is HUGE so it depends on where exactly you’re going. But I would say the classic Patagonia trip would most definitely include Torres del Paine National Park, which is located in Chile.

There are 2 options for getting to Torres del Paine National Park. You can fly into Punta Arenas (farther away but many more flights) and then take a bus to Puerto Natales and then another one to the the National Park.

OR you can fly directly into Puerto Natales Airport (airport code PNT), which is what I did (from Santiago). There was a direct flight that took about 2 hours and 40 minutes on Sky Airline. The cost was only $38 with only a personal item. The carry on cost $32, so $70 total to get from Santiago to Puerto Natales. There is only ONE flight per day max during peak season and it’s not every day. I bought my ticket 6 months in advance, so make sure you buy in advance if you want to do this option.

There are taxi stands at the baggage claim at Puerto Natales airport where you pay $8000 CLP (about $10) to go to Puerto Natales city center. It takes about 15 minutes on a scenic drive along the water. You pay and get a voucher and then take it outside to the taxi stand. It’s a fixed price.

My Patagonia Route:

I flew into Puerto Natales and out of El Calafate during my Patagonia trip. I wanted to avoid as much backtracking as possible due to time constraints.

I flew from Santiago to Puerto Natales, then took a bus from Puerto Natales to El Calafate, then a bus to El Chalten, then a bus back to El Calafate where I flew out from. From El Calafate you can continue on to Buenos Aires directly or to Mendoza with a connection. Flying within the country is pretty cheap but it’s expensive if you want to fly between Chile and Argentina.


8 Day Patagonia Itinerary

Day 1: Fly into Puerto Natales from Santiago

Day 2: Mirador Los Torres all day hike (8-10 hrs)

Day 3: Bus to El Calafate

Day 4: Day trip to Perito Moreno Glacier

Day 5: Bus to El Chaltén + Mirador De Los Condores hike for sunset

Day 6: Mirador De Los Tres (Fitzroy) all day hike (8-10 hrs)

Day 7: Laguna Torre all day hike (5-7 hrs)…I dod NOT get to this hike as the weather was bad and my legs were dead. Instead, I had a spa day at Spa Yaten! (see below)

Day 8: Bus back to El Calafate and fly out from El Calafate airport

Pro Tip: I would highly recommend adding an extra day before or after the 2 big hikes (Mirador Los Torres and Mirador De Los Tres) because sometimes the trails are closed due to high winds or other crazy weather. This DOES happen in Patagonia since the weather is so unpredictable. You wouldn’t want to go all the way to Patagonia and then miss one of these bucket list hikes because you didn’t allow enough time. Take an extra day and relax if you need! I actually did that after the first big hike (and due to the weather the second hike as well). The hikes will drain your energy so having that extra time to recover is key!


What to See in Chilean Patagonia

Ok, now let’s get into that famous Patagonia hiking! I mean, isn’t that why most people come to this region?

Torres Del Paine is said to be the most popular destination in Patagonia so no trip would be complete without a visit to this spectacular natural park in Chile.

Most people opt for the multi day hikes such as the W circuit and O circuit in Torres Del Paine. However, if you don’t have the time or are not into overnight camping, you can easily do a day trip to the best hike in the park! (which is what I did).  If you only do one thing in Torres del Paine National Park, make it a day hike to Mirador las Torres for the best views!

Patagonia Itinerary

Patagonia Hikes: Mirador las Torres 

Distance: 11 miles round trip

Elevation gain: 3000 ft

Time it takes: 7-10 hours (depending how fast/fit you are)

Where to start: Hotel Los Torres

Which park entrance to use: Amarga

Torres Del Paine Entrance Fee is $21,000 CLP (about $26) and it lasts 3 consecutive days (there are other options if you stay longer to do the multi-day treks). You must pay in CASH in Chilean Pesos only. You must also have your passport number for the form but they didn’t actually ask for the passport.

The drive from puerto Natales to the entrance at Amarga was about 2.5 hours with 2 quick stops for viewpoints. Then it’s another 20 minutes on a dirt road to Hotel Los Torres.

Mirador las Torres Hike

The first hour or so of the hike is uphill, then it evens out a little until you get to Refugio Chileno (about 1.5 hours from the start) where you can buy snacks, food, and use the restroom. (They have pizza, burgers, and sandwiches). They accept cash only. The bathroom costs 500 CLP. This is a good stopping place to rest and eat a snack or lunch. I stopped here on the way in and the way out to rest and recharge.

Torres Del Paine

The next part of the hike is through a little forest where there is shade for about another hour and 15 minutes.

The last part of the hike is about 1 hour uphill on steep rocks. Some of the rocks are loose so just be careful. The last hour is brutal and the hardest part of the hike, But the reward at the end is SO worth it!

Tips:

  • start early because technically they close the top at 4:30pm (there are park rangers up there and they will make you to start to go back down).
  • bring plenty of snacks because this is a very tiring hike
  • you can refill your water bottle in any of the natural springs on the way, the water is fresh
  • make sure to bring a hat and gloves because the top is windy and chilly

Where to Stay in Puerto Natales

I don’t know if there is such thing as Patagonia for cheap, but I decided to go cheap with accommodations on this trip since everything else was so expensive. Most the places I stayed were around $40 a night on average and I had my own place (except in El Claltén, where I just rented a room in a nice house and it was great!).

I rented this little cabin in the back of the host’s house on Airbnb and it was pretty good for the price. It had 2 floors and could sleep 3 people. The neighborhood wasn’t my favorite but it was only a 10 minute walk to the center of town. It was basic so don’t expect anything too fancy, but I was happy with it. It was $35/night and this was peak season. If you’re new to Airbnb, use this coupon for $30 OFF your first trip!

PS: while staying in Puerto Natales, make sure to go to Coffee Maker for amazing views of the water and mountains and good coffee (they have soy milk, yay!). It had a cute and cozy interior with faux fur cushions and couches. Great place if you like coffee and views!


What to See in Argentinian Patagonia


El Calafate 

El Calafate is a small touristy town where you will base yourself for the next big attraction in Argentinian Patagonia: Perito Moreno Glacier!
Perito Moreno Glacier

Perito Moreno Glacier

Here are 5 interesting Perito Moreno Glacier facts:

  • Perito Moreno Glacier is HUGE, covering 100 square miles (a length of 19 miles and a width of 3 miles). It’s also 560 feet tall! You can’t really appreciate the vast size of it until you see it in person.
  • Perito Moreno glacier is the 3rd largest freshwater reserve on the entire planet!
  • Glaciers help regulate the earth’s temperature as they reflect 45-85% of the earth’s sunlight!
  • Unlike most glaciers which are receding, Perito Moreno is actually advancing! (by 2 meters per day).
  • it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Patagonia Itinerary

How to Get to Perito Moreno Glacier

From El Calafate you can take one of many daily busses that go to the glacier. It takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to get there by bus.

I went with the company Andesmar. The bus costs $1000 ARS ($16) and it takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to get there. I heard it gets super busy in the morning so I decided to go in the afternoon, which was a good call! I liked this company since the bus was more like a mini van and it wasn’t crowded at all.

I took the afternoon bus at 1:30pm and departed the glacier at 6pm so you get about 3 hours which is enough in my opinion if you’re not going on the boat tour (boat tour is $1000 ARS).

Patagonia Itinerary

The entrance fee to Perito Moreno Glacier is $800 ARS ($13). You CAN pay by credit card despite what every blog says that you can’t. However, in my experience the credit card machines in Argentina sometimes don’t work so it’s better to have the cash with you (there are NO ATMs in the park or anywhere around).

I completed the orange, black and the first part of the blue trail in about 2 hours. The green trail was closed. In my opinion, the central trial has the best views (orange) as well as the first part of the blue trail before it wraps around to the other side of the lake.

Tip: Bring some snacks (and some wine) and have a little picnic with great views!

Where to Stay in El Calafate 

I stayed in this studio Airbnb right in the middle of the town and it was great! Super spacious and so close to everything. It had AC and cable TV which was also a plus. My only complaint is the pack of dogs barking outside my window at night, but I think that’s a problem everywhere in the city as I saw stray dogs literally everywhere. It cost $40/night.

El Chaltén

El Chaltén was probably the most charming of the 3 small towns I stayed in around Patagonia. It is located in Los Glaciers National Park. It’s also the perfect location for many hikes as most of them start right from the town! The most famous hike here is the Laguna De Los Tres (aka Mt Fitzroy) hike. This ended up being my favorite hike in ALL of Patagonia!

Patagonia Hikes: Laguna De Los Tres hike (aka Mt Fitzroy hike)

Patagonia Itinerary

Distance: 13 miles round trip

Elevation gain: 3300 ft

Time it takes: 8-10 hours (depending how fast/fit you are)

Where to start: either in El Chalten town or at Hosteria Pilar (my choice)

Laguna De Los Tres hike

This hike is a loop hike so you have the option of going a different way on the way back for different scenery.
What I recommend:

Take a shuttle bus (I used Frontera Sur company) to Hosteria Pilar to start the hike to Mt. Fitzroy. It cuts about 30 minutes off your hike and you get to see Piedras Blancas Glacier on the way (seen in the pic below!).

Patagonia Itinerary

It’s a pretty flat hike most the way through woods except the last hour to the top. This last hour is pretty steep up a hill and kinda like the Mirador Los Torres hike, except I thought this one was a lot easier. The last 20 minutes you will be climbing up a hill with loose rocks so be careful.

There is a campground called Poincenot on the way about 10-15 minutes before you hit the uphill climb. It takes 2 hours to get to Poincenot campground from Hosteria Pilar. There is an outhouse here (there is also another outhouse at the beginning of the steep climb). Bring your own toilet paper because there was none at either!

Patagonia itinerary

Once you reach the top, you can go down towards the lake on the left side and then up the little hill. It takes about 7-8 minutes to get up the hill where there is another glacier thats absolutely gorgeous.

Patagonia itinerary

You can see both lakes from the top and it’s an EPIC panoramic view. This was my favorite view in all of Patagonia!

On the way back from the hike, take the route towards Laguna Capri. Stop at laguna Capri on the way back for a rest and a snack. It’s a peaceful crystal clear lake with Mt. Fitzroy in the background. From there it’s about 1.5 hours back to El Chaltén, mostly downhill.

Patagonia Itinerary

It takes about 4 hours from the top to get back down to El Chaltén. You do go through some wooded areas with mosquitos so bring mosquito bracelets and/or spray (I have mine linked below!).

You can drink all the water in the streams on this hike as they are fresh! Make sure to pack lots of snacks and a lunch as this is going to be a long day. (tip: Circumin vegan restaurant in El Chaltén will pack you a lunch for hiking that’s vegan and gluten free if that’s your thing. Costs is $600 ARS {$10})

Patagonia Hikes: Mirador de los Cóndores

This is more like a little walk than a hike, so it’s super easy to add it onto the end of any day. It takes about 20 minutes one-way from the visitor’s center and about 30 minutes from the town. It’s a super easy hike up to view the whole city and Fitzroy in the backdrop. This hike would be great to do during sunset.

Patagonia itinerary

Tip: Go to Spa Yaten in El Chaltén after all your hikes for a nice massage. It costs $1900 ARS ($30) for 30 minutes. They also have a sauna and personal size jacuzzis if you fancy. It’s the perfect way to relax after all that hiking.

Where to Stay in El Chaltén

I stayed in a room in my host’s house and it was perfect! It was right in the center of town and the shuttle bus to the Mt. Fitzroy hike stopped right in front of it (and the host set it up all for me). The host was super helpful and friendly. I would definitely recommend it! This is the Airbnb link HERE. It was $50 per night.

How to Get in Between Towns in Patagonia

I originally wanted to rent a car for all of Patagonia, but realized most companies will not let you cross over the border (and the few that do charge an arm and a leg to do it). So I decided to rent a car from Puerto Natales just to go to Torres del Paine National Park. Then from Puerto Natales I took a bus to El Calafate, and then eventually to El Chaltén.

For the car rental, I found a local branch of Avis called EMSA Rent a Car. I went through them and it was SO much cheaper than any other company for an automatic car. I ended up paying about $71 a day for an automatic when most other companies online were charging about $200 per day (yes, you heard that right). If you can drive stick shift, consider yourself blessed in Patagonia!

The busses were clean and comfortable and most of them allowed you to pick your seat in advance. Make sure to take the front seat on top for the BEST views! I used 3 different companies and all were pretty similar in terms of quality and price.

Patagonia Itinerary, busses in Patagonia

Views from the top of the double decker bus from El Calafate to El Chaltén

Bus Companies in Patagonia:

Bus-Sur: I took this from Puerto Natales to El Calafate. This trip took about 5 hours and 30 minutes with the border crossing. You get to pick your seat when you book, but it was not a double decker bus. Cost: $20,000 CLP (about $25 at time of this article).

Chaltén travel– I took this from El Calafate to El Chaltén. It’s a a double decker bus and you get to choose your seat when you book. The trip took 3 hours with a stop at the ranger station for orientation and a quick lecture about the rules of Los Glaciers National Park. Cost: $1000 ARS (about $16 at time of this article).

Cal-Tur-I took this double decker bus from El Chaltén to El Calafate. The trip took 2 hours and 40 minutes on the way back (as you don’t need to do the orientation again obviously). This company had free seats so get there early to choose your seat. Cost: $1000 ARS (about $16 at time of this article).

Note: due to the crazy inflation and exchange rates in Argentina, these prices will fluctuate drastically. So it’s hard to predict how much they will cost during your trip. I got lucky and had a very good exchange rate at the time so the prices were very low compared to what I’ve read in other blogs.

What to Pack for Patagonia 

This was tough as I only carried a tiny carry on for my Patagonia trip, and I also went to other areas in Argentina for 9 days after that.  With 2 different climates, I brought only the essentials.

Patagonia itinerary

My foldable backpack really came in handy on my Patagonia hikes! (also pictured: my super comfy leopard leggings, best hiking socks, waterproof hiking boots, and cute baseball cap).

Patagonia is notorious for crazy changing weather and high winds strong enough to blow you down to the ground so you definitely want to be prepared. I went during their summer in December and it was actually a lot warmer than I expected and I hardly got any of the harsh winds. However, I had everything I needed for the crazy weather with me just in case.

The 3 things you absolutely cannot forget to pack for Patagonia are: waterproof hiking boots, rain jacket, and puffer coat.

Here is everything I packed for my Patagonia hikes:

Base layer.-This one from Amazon is a total dupe of Lululemon and such good quality! I loved the thumb holes.
Merino wool hiking socks-hands-down the BEST hiking socks! Expensive but worth it! They don’t absorb sweat so never really smell. You can re-wear them if you don’t have access to a washer. I have 2 pair and recycle them throughout my trips.
Tank tops-a basic tank for when you get hot from hiking is essential. I like the longer ones that cover the bum!
Leopard Leggings-my new favorite Amazon leggings. So comfortable and awesome quality!
Hiking boots-these are my favorite hiking boots! They keep my feet totally dry in wet weather and have good grip.
Waterproof rain pants-I brought these but ended up not needing them, but they were good quality for the price.
Packable puffer jacket-I was amazed at how warm this kept me with how thin it is! Great for traveling light!
Beanie-it gets really cold and windy at the top of the mountains so you definitely want to pack a beanie.
Gloves-again, it gets cold up there so be prepared!
Hiking poles-I didn’t end up buying these but regretted it. They could have saved my knees. These are the ones I had saved to buy on Amazon (so I don’t actually know hoe they perform honestly).
Rain jacket-this is the best lightweight rain jacket! I’ve been using it for years and it keeps me pretty dry.
Hoodie/fleece-you definitely want to bring this for an extra layer.
Sunglasses-my $12 Amazon sunglasses are great! They feel like much better quality and really block the sun.
Packable backpack-this was SO handy for this trip. It was super sturdy quality as well. Was hard to get it to pack into itself the first few tries, but you will get the hang of it after 3-4 times. I’m bringing this on all my trips now!
Baseball cap-I have a blue and black one in this hat and I love it! I always get compliments on it.
All Natural Mosquito bracelets-so glad I brought these because there were more mosquitos than i thought in Patagonia, especially walking through the wooded areas.
Natural Mosquito lotion-I used this in combo with the bracelets and did not get one bite! It does not contain DEET, which is very toxic to breathe in.
Compression socks-these are for all the plane rides to prevent swelling in the legs and possibly a clot. I wear them on any flight over 1 hour!

Electronics

Good power bank-this is the BEST power bank I’ve ever used. It charges your iPhone 3-5 times (Depending on which one you have). It also has 2 plugs so you can plug more than one device into it at once!
Sony Mirrorless Camera with Wide Angle Lens (crucial for getting all those mountains in the shot!)
GoPro Hero 8-also great for that wide angle effect or if you want to make cool videos!
GoPro selfie stick-been using this one for years! It’s so small and compact and you can screw a little trip onto the bottom.
iPhone selfie stick-this one works for your iPhone and your GoPro. It’s lightweight and super easy to carry around everywhere. It also has a remote!
iPhone 10-the camera on the newer iPhones are incredible!
iPhone 10 screen protector-this is the BEST screen protector I’ve found! I actually forgot my hard case in Patagonia and dropped my phone hard and the screen protector totally protected it. The screen protector cracks and it saves your phone!
Outlet converters for Chile and Argentina
Noise cancelling headphones-this is a great alternative to the super expensive Bose headphones. No way I’m paying $300+ for headphones. But i use these and I’m happy with them.

Travel Insurance for Patagonia 

I would never travel without travel insurance anymore. I learned my lesson. Too many bad things can happen (and they have unfortunately). Travel insurance is especially important when traveling to islands or remote places in the mountains, as you may need to be air-lifted 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.

If you found this post helpful, please PIN it for later!

Patagonia itinerary

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a super small commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I have used before on my own and that I truly love♥

 

The Best of Turkey Mini Group Trip (11 days/10 nights) with Crazy Travelista

The Best of Turkey Mini Group Trip (11 days/10 nights) with Crazy Travelista

I let you guys decide where we will go next, and I must say I’m SO excited you picked TURKEY! I’ve secretly wanted to go back there for a while now. I’ve been three times now and I can never get enough. Turkey is truly one of the most  diverse countries in the world with SO much to offer and so many amazing places to experience.

If you’ve been a little too afraid to make the journey there yourself, this is the perfect opportunity to come experience the country with a small group of girls! In my 3 visits to Turkey, I have never once felt unsafe. It’s an incredible place and I’m excited to share my favorite places with you!

This trip is special because I have hand picked the best places based on my experience there and excluded the places that weren’t worth it. Turkey is huge and although I haven’t been everywhere, I can assure you we will visit all the top highlights of Turkey! It’s going to be a lot packed into 11 days, but SO worth it, and you won’t go home missing out on any of the best places in Turkey.


Turkey Trip Details

Trip Dates: May 24th-June 3rd, 2020

Trip starts in: Istanbul, Turkey

Trip Ends in: Istanbul, Turkey

Trip Price: $1950

***a VISA is required for Turkey. US citizens can get a visa beforehand online now. (They are in the process of eliminating the visa on arrivals). It costs $30. If you’re from another nation other than the US, please do your research on visa requirements to make sure you can enter Turkey!


Itinerary: we will spend 3 nights in Istanbul, 2 nights in Cappadocia, 1 night in Pamukkale, 1 night Izmir, and 3 nights in Kas.

Places we will visit in Turkey: Istanbul, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Galata Tower, Grand Bazaar, Cappadocia, Galata Tower, Love Valley, Tokapi Palace, Pamukkale, Kas, Kekova castle, Kaputas Beach, Ephesus, and more!

Istanbul, one of my top 3 favorite cities in the world!

The magical hot air balloons in Cappadocia

“Cotton Castle” aka Pamukkale

The incredible ancient city of Ephesus, a UNESCO site.

What’s included

  • All accommodations in Turkey (a mix of hotels and apartments; Cave hotel in Cappadocia). Shared room with another female (with your own bed obviously)
  • Some breakfasts (when we stay at hotels)
  • All transportation within Turkey (except airport pickups on the day of arrival and drop-offs day of departure)
  • 3 plane tickets within Turkey (from Istanbul to Cappadocia, Cappadocia to the Turkish coast, and then back to Istanbul). **  This includes a carry-on bag ONLY.
  • Boat day tour in Kas
  • Entrance fees to Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Galata Tower, Tokapi Palace, Pamukkale, Ephesus.

What’s NOT Included

  • Airfare to and from Turkey
  • Travel Insurance (this is mandatory for this trip)
  • Visa fees (the cost is $30 for US citizens)
  • Food (excluding breakfasts at some hotels)
  • Entrance fees not mentioned above
  • Pick up and drop off from airport upon arrival and departure
  • Any optional activities (example: hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia)

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. 

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 in will be comfortable, cute, and unique. 

Trip Cost

Non-refundable deposit: $500 due February 3rd, 2020

Total trip cost: $1950 due March 24, 2020

Discounts for past group trippers: $100 off if you’ve been on one of my trips and $200 off if you’ve been on 2 or more of my trips!

PS: This price is guaranteed until February 3rd because of the 3 plane tickets involved. If those prices go up, the price will be increased accordingly. So it’s better to reserve earlier than later to assure those prices!! 🙂

To Reserve Your Spot

You can fill out the form HERE to reserve your spot if you’re a new group tripper. If you’ve gone on any previous trip of mine, please fill out THIS FORM instead. Spaces are limited and only open to 4 people max so if you’re interested, please sign up as soon as possible to assure your spot!♥

Please DO NOT buy any plane tickets until you talk to me first! If you have any questions, you can email me at Crazytravelista@gmail.com.

 

The Perfect Sardinia Road Trip: Best Sardinia Beaches and Scenic Routes

The Perfect Sardinia Road Trip: Best Sardinia Beaches and Scenic Routes

Sardinia island is overshadowed by the other more popular Italian destinations and took me about 10 years of traveling to Italy to finally visit. My Sardinia road trip blew me away and surprised me in so many different ways. Sardinia is a lot bigger than I thought and there is SO much to see!

Sardinia is the 2nd largest island in the Mediterranean behind Sicily. One week was not nearly enough to see all the highlights and I barely scratched the surface of the amazing-ness of this island.

Sardinia (aka Sardegna) is an agricultural island and very mountainous. It’s rough around the edges and perfect for those who want to see more off-the-beaten path beaches. Most the Sardinia beaches were a little hard to get to honestly, but all SO worth it.

For this 8 day trip, I focused on the East Coast of Sardinia and part of the Northern tip and I think it was a perfect introduction to Sardinia. But if you want to see most of the island highlights, you will need at least 2 weeks, or multiple trips. 

How to Get to Sardinia 

There are many daily flights to Sardinia from the mainland of Italy for very cheap, if you don’t mind the budget airlines. 

My ticket from Milan to Olbia, Sardinia (on the Northeast of the island) cost $40 flying on EasyJet. It was less than a 1-hour flight. On the way back I flew to Rome on Meridiana for $88 on a direct flight. 

Note: I went in the off-season in April. Expect much higher prices during peak season.

As Always, I used Skyscanner to find my tickets (9 out of 10 times it results in the cheapest tickets for me).

Renting a Car in Sardinia 

Let me start by saying that having your own car is a MUST to explore the hidden spots and places that aren’t on the map. I have never rented a car on my own because it’s usually too expensive (and more so because I can’t drive stick shift). But through much research I realized that most of the best beaches in Sardinia can only be reached by car (or foot).

The public transportation is lacking on the island, especially outside of July and August. After spending a week there, I realized I definitely couldn’t have seen half of what I saw without a car and it was great being able to go at my own pace. I did LOTS of stopping at random cliffs to take pictures and I was loving it! 

Note: the road conditions were not good in Sardinia, so drive carefully so you do not get a flat. There were a lot of potholes, even on the freeway. So just make sure to stay alert to avoid them.

Sardinia road trip

It was also great not having to lug around all my camera equipment on my shoulder all day like I usually do when exploring a new place.

I went with Sicily by Car and paid $180 for an 8-day automatic car rental (which is SUPER cheap for an automatic in Europe). Prices were half that if I only knew how to drive a manual car! One day I’ll learn, damnit!

The company had mixed reviews and I initially had my concerns and said “oh hell no”. But I spoke with my host in Sardegna beforehand and she assured me she had used the company many times without any mishaps so I trusted that! In the end, Everything went smoothly and I don’t have any complaints.

I booked this car on RentalCars.com, which I love to use when renting cars in Europe.

PRO TIP: if you want to avoid a large deposit on your card, get the extra full coverage insurance (it’s worth it if only to avoid the 800 euro deposit). I paid a 250 Euro deposit. Also, make sure you walk around your rental and check for scratches that weren’t marked on the rental agreement. I saw 4 extra scratches that weren’t marked and had them added on the agreement so I wouldn’t get charged for them later! They happily agreed to sign off on it and I was on my way! Simple. Quick. Efficient. Bam!

(PS: this is before I had the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card, which I always use for car insurance overseas so that I don’t have to pay for extra coverage).


Sardinia Road Trip: Where to Visit in Sardinia


Best Beaches in Sardinia (North East)

Let me start by saying this list is my personal opinion. In one week I was only able to visit a handful of Sardinia beaches and wasn’t able to see all of the most popular beaches on the island as they are all spread out. I will say that Sardinia has the most consistently breathtaking beaches out of any country I’ve been. Every little beach I saw was spectacular, even the random little ones I saw while driving. Here is a list of the best beaches in Sardinia on the North East coast of the island. 

My Top 5 Favorite Sardinia Beaches

1. Cala Goloritze

Cala Goloritze requires a 2-hour hike but is so worth it! This beach alone is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that’s how special it is. It’s a rocky beach with huge boulders in the water with the most crystal blue/green waters.

 

Sardinia road trip

The photos I took do NOT do it justice as it was super overcast and about to rain. Even so, it’s still gorgeous!

Tip: Drive to Brainei and then look for signs for Golgo. From there it’s about 20 minutes. Follow signs for Golgo restaurant/bar.

2. Capriccioli

Capriccioli is one of the famous beaches of the ritzy Costa Smeralda region and was my second favorite beach in Sardinia.

It is made up of 4 small half crescent shaped beaches. There are 2 on the East and 2 on the West about 5 minutes walking distance from each other. The 2 small beaches on the East are prettier and less windy.

Sardinia road trip

The 2 East beaches are separated by huge boulders and green vegetation. It’s absolutely breathtaking. You can drive right up to it and one of the easiest beaches to access on Sardinia, yet one of the prettiest.

Sardinia road trip

3. Spalmatore

This stunning beach was on the Island of La Maddalena. I stopped at this beach randomly on my road trip and it ended up being the nicest blue/green contrasted water on the island. It was one of the clearest waters I’ve ever seen and I was in a daze just staring out at it.

No filter whatsoever on the below photo. How freaking pretty is that water?
Sardinia road trip

4. Capo Coda Cavillo

As you drive to it, you will be greeted with a beautiful panoramic view and private beach on the way. You will need to drive down a dirt road with lots of pot holes to get to it but it is worth well it.

Sardinia road trip

There was a private little beach on the way to Capo Coda Cavillo that I just had to stop at and climb down to. There wasn’t a single soul there besides myself. Just the way I like it!

Sardinia road trip

5. Cala Luna

Located in the gulf of Orosei, Cala Luna (“Moon Cove”) is a spectacular beach that has caves you can go into and get away from the sun. You can take a €12 boat ride from from Cala Gonone and get dropped off at this beach. You can also reach this beach by hiking from Cala Fuili about 1.5 hours and I heard it’s a difficult hike (proper shoes required!)


If you’re also interested in doing a Sicily road trip, check out my detailed itinerary: Sicily Road Trip: 9 day Sicily Itinerary 


Other Awesome Places to Visit in Sardinia

Cala Brandinchi

A sandy beach known as the “Tahiti of Sardinia” by the locals. The crystal waters are very shallow and you can walk out pretty far. 

Sardinia Road Trip

Cala Lunga Di Porto Massimo

A tiny private beach on La Maddalena with cascading colors from light blue green to rich blue and turquoise hues. 

Porto Cervo

Puerto Cervo is a beautiful colorful village that reminded me of Arizona with the sand blast orange on the streets and buildings. For the best panoramic viewpoint, head to Stella Maris Church. 

Best Scenic Routes in Sardinia 

There were so many beautiful stops along the coastline during my road trip in Sardinia, so I thought I would mention a few here. 

1. Road from Cannigione to Palau. On my way to catch the ferry to Maddalena I was slapped in the face with numerous turquoise waters that lined the coastline making this a great drive for photo ops. 

Sardinia road trip

2. Road from La Maddalena port to Cala Francesca. Blue, blue, and more blue. 

3. Road from Caprera to Cala Coticcio (on Caprera Island). This drive is through a pine forest and up into the nature where you will have a great panoramic view over the island.

Sardinia road trip

4. Northeast on Maddalena Island passing Spalmatore and “panoramica“. This stretch of coast took me awhile to pass since I kept stopping for photos of jaw-dropping waters. 

Sardinia road trip

Where to Visit in Sardinia: La Maddalena and Caprera Islands 

La Maddalena and Caprera islands are part of the Sardinia archipelago and you can cover them both in a day if you start early. They are both gorgeous and should not be skipped, especially La Maddalena.

La Maddalena Island

La Maddalena is a small island off the Northeast of Sardinia. It is a short 20 minute ferry from Palau (€23,80 for 1 person plus car roundtrip) and I highly recommend you make a trip here while in Sardinia. 

Sardinia road trip

La Maddalena had the most consistently pretty waters in all of Sardinia. I would have liked to stay one or 2 more days. The island is very small, but there is a lot to see. You can drive the whole island in half a day.

Make sure to stop at Porto Massimo, a tiny private beach with cascading colors from light blue green to rich blue and turquoise hues. 

Caprera Island

Caprera island is a 10 minute drive from La Maddalena which is connected by a bridge. Caprera is uninhabited so it’s perfect for nature enthusiasts. There are endless walking/hiking trails to explore.

The drive around the tiny island will mostly be through a beautiful pine forest. It’s a very quiet and peaceful place and I really enjoyed it. 

Prettiest Regions in North East Sardinia 

Orosei-way more rugged and untouched than the rest of the island. Mot of it is part of huge national park with lots of hiking and hidden beaches. This was my favorite area on Sardinia. 

Costa Smeralda-more polished than the rest of the island kn own as being the playground of the rich and famous. It has beautiful beaches but they are more crowded.

Budoni-gorgeous beaches that are made of white sand and less crowded.

Where to Stay in Sardinia

L’essenza Luxury Huts

L’essenza eco friendly luxury huts (aka tipis) are set in a beautiful natural environment surrounded by lush greens and great views. Also, the kindest and most helpful hosts! This is truly a unique experience and if you go to Sardinia, you have to try it out

L’essenza Sardinia

You can ready my detailed post about it here: Ecofriendly Luxury Huts at L’essenza, Sardinia

Su Gologone Boutique Hotel

Su Gologone is a GORGEOUS art hotel secluded in the mountains the perfect place to get off the grid and relax. What really impressed me is that the owner hand-painted all the designs by herself!

Su Gologone

You can ready my detailed post about it here: Su Gologone: A Secluded Oasis Igniting the Inner Creative in You

Airbnb in Azeachnea (Costa Smeralda)

I stayed in a cute Airbnb up in the hills with the most spectacular view over the surroundings. The host was super kind and attentive. She even came with her car a few times to bring me back as I got lost (my sense of direction sucks). She served a filling breakfast and we had wine together each night. I wold highly recommend this place. It was only 20 minutes from Costa Smeralda and 30 minutes from the airport.

I paid $45 per night for this Airbnb. You can check out the listing on Airbnb HERE. And if you’re new to Airbnb, you can use my $40 OFF coupon HERE.

Travel Insurance for Italian Islands 

I would never travel without travel insurance anymore. I learned my lesson. Too many bad things can happen (and they have unfortunately). Travel insurance is especially important when traveling to 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.

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Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a super small commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I have used before on my own and that I truly love

 

 

Ninh Binh Vietnam: The Incredible Day Trip You MUST Take from Hanoi

Ninh Binh Vietnam: The Incredible Day Trip You MUST Take from Hanoi

Day Trip to Ninh Binh Vietnam

If there is ONE day trip you take from Hanoi, make sure it is to the serene Vietnamese countryside to an area called Ninh Binh. It was such a nice escape from the insanely hectic city of Hanoi and it ended up being my favorite place in all of Vietnam!

It’s an easy stress-free day trip from Hanoi and is 100% worth doing, especially if you love nature, mountains, and epic panoramic views. Here is a quick guide on how to do an easy day trip to Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

How to Get to Ninh Binh from Hanoi

Train

Hanoi to Ninh Binh:

The earliest train to Ninh Binh leaves at 6 am and takes about 2 hours.

Ninh Binh to Hanoi

The last train leaves Ninh Binh at 5:27pm and takes 2 hours to get back to Hanoi.

The cost of the round-trip train from Hanoi to Ninh Binh is 216,000 dong ($9.50). To get your ticket, go to the tourist info center in the train station. You will see someone behind a desk and you sit on a chair and wait for them to process your ticket. I waited 10-15 minutes and they wrote me a paper ticket. You must bring your passport to purchase a ticket (a photo of your passport works too).

Note: I went the day before to get my ticket because I wasn’t sure what time they opened and I didn’t want to miss the first train. I’m glad I did because they were very slow in processing the ticket! Apparently you can book on the official site of Vietnam Railways but when I checked the online prices were way higher than the in-person prices.

Bus

There is also a bus that runs from Hanoi to Ninh Binh and takes about 2.5 hours. The cost is around $7. But honestly, when it comes to public transportation in Southeast (SE) Asia, I would definitely trust the train over the bus as bus safety is a big issue in a lot of SE Asian countries.

What to Do In Ninh Binh Vietnam

Hang Mua (Mua caves)

Hang Mua is the crown jewel of Ninh Binh in my opinion. I went here first because I wanted to beat the crowds and the heat. I went right when they opened and was the first person there so I had it to myself for a bit which was really nice.

Ninh Binh Vietnam

You must climb almost 500 steps to reach the top of the Hang Mua Peak and the views from the top will blow your mind! The entrance fee is 100,000 dong ($4), cash only!

Ninh Binh Vietnam

At the top of what the locals call, “dragon mountain” is a HUGE carved out dragon that is said to be watching over the valley.

On the other side you will have a sweeping panoramic view over the Tam Coc Valley, and the BEST view I saw in all of Vietnam.

Ninh Binh Vietnam

Tam Coc Boat Tour

You can take a quick taxi from Hang Mua to Tam Coc for 50,000 dong ($2). Tam Coc is part of the Tràng An Scenic Landscape Complex which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Tam Coc Boat tour costs 270,000 ($12) dong per boat (2 ppl max). The trip is 1.5 hrs long and goes through the gorgeous valley, passing under some caves and past some rice fields. You also randomly stop to feed some hangry goats, which was fun!

Ninh Binh Vietnam

The fun thing about this boat trip is that one of the locals pedals the oars with their feet for the entire ride. They work really hard so make sure to give them a good tip at the end!

Rent a Bike in the Tam Coc Valley

One of my favorite things I did in Ninh Binh was rent a bike and wind through the gorgeous rice fields with the river on one side and the mountains on the other. There were many different paths to take and I had such a blast exploring the peaceful countryside.

You can rent a bike from across the street from the Tam Coc Boat tours at one of the shops for 50,000 dong ($2).

Get a Famous Vietnamese Egg Coffee

Brick coffee shop was only a 5 minute bike ride away from the boats. It had the most amazing egg coffee and was a super cute/trendy coffee shop. This was a great way to end my day trip in Ninh Binh before returning my bike and heading back to the train station.

Taxis in Ninh Binh Vietnam

I took taxis the whole time I was in Ninh Binh and it was super cheap and convenient. The taxi from Ninh Binh train station to Mua caves cost 100,000 dong ($4). The taxi from Mua caves to Tam Coc cost 50,000 dong ($2). The taxi from Tam Coc back to the train station cost 100,000 ($4). So in total it costs 250,000 for the entire day of taxis ($10).

Grab App

The Grab app is like the local version of Uber. But you can see messages through the app, good for when you have WiFi but not a local phone number to call. You can also add a quick note to the driver when you book (ex: I’m right outside the train station). You pay them in cash. You can set up to pay by card but you have to buy credits in increments of 100,000 dong so if you don’t use them all you waste money.

Tours in Ninh Binh

If you don’t really want to lift a finger and have everything planned out for you, I would recommend the tour company Get Your Guide. I usually like to do thing on my own, but when I do a tour, I usually choose this company. You can check the Ninh Binh tours HERE.

 

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Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a super small commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I have used before on my own and that I truly love 🙂

 

Why You Need to Add Cyprus to Your Travel Radar: Cyprus 5 Day Itinerary

Why You Need to Add Cyprus to Your Travel Radar: Cyprus 5 Day Itinerary

Cyprus is an often overlooked destination in Europe as it’s kinda hidden under the radar and overshadowed by the other beautiful islands on the continent. I also think that it may frighten people to see it on a map how close it is to Syria and they question the safety. But let me tell you, Cyprus is SO underrated and actually quite safe! It’s one of those place I kicked myself for not visiting sooner.

Cyprus is a small island, but it really has it all: mountains, hiking, beaches, Ancient ruins, lots of cats, amazing food, and the only divided capital in the entire world (more on that later). Mix that in with a flare of Greek and Turkish culture and you have the magical island of Cyprus!

I rented a car and spent 5 days on the island packing as much stuff as I could in that small amount of time. My only regret is not spending longer there. This article highlights the best places to visit in Cyprus on a 5 day self-drive road trip.


Best Places to Visit in Cyprus

Cyprus 5 Day Itinerary

 

Day 1: Arrive in Cyprus and Explore Nicosia

Day 2: Cape Greko | Stone Arch | Konnos Beach | Fig Tree Bay | Nissi Beach

Day 3: Troodos Mountains | Kakopetria | Omodos | Agios Nikolaos Stegis 

Day 4: Baths of Aphrodite | Akamas Peninsula | Blue lagoon | Lara Beach | Avakas Gorge | Coral Bay

Day 5: Paphos | Tomb of the Kings | Ruins of Ancient Kourion | Commanderia Wine Route


Day 1: Arrive in Cyprus and Explore Nicosia

I didn’t arrive to Cyprus until around 3pm so I only had a few hours to explore Nicosia by the time I picked up my car and got to the city from the airport. I really regret not adding an extra here day because Nicosia was such a cool city!

Nicosia is one of the most interesting cities i’ve ever visited mainly due to it’s complicated history.

Best Places to Visit in Cyprus

Nicosia is the world’s ONLY divided capital city. The capital city has been separated into a northern Turkish section and a southern Greek section by a “Green Line” created by the United Nations. You will need a passport to cross over from the Greek to Turkish side, and vice versa.

Once you cross from one side to the other it’s a world of difference instantly. I stayed in the southern Greek part and once I crossed the line into the norther part, it was as if I stepped into Turkey. I have never experienced anything like it! I was able to buy some yummy Turkish delights and admire the gorgeous mosques as I walked through the ornate alleyways. Being able to experience 2 different culture by just stepping over the boundary line was something unique that I will never forget.

IMPORTANT NOTE: if you rent a car in Cyprus, you will NOT be covered by insurance if you drive into the norther Turkish part. I was told you may be able to purchase an additional insurance at the border, but it’s not widely known. This is precisely why I decided to walk over the border instead. Plus, it was more fun that way anyway!

Day 2: Cape Greko | Stone Arch | Konnos Beach | Fig Tree Bay | Nissi Beach

Cape Greko National Park-the most beautiful area of Cyprus that you could spend days exploring. The Cape Greko National Park is filled with nature trails, coastal walks, gorgeous turquoise waters, sea caves, and the best Cyprus beaches.

Ayia Napa Sea Caves-one of the best places to visit in Cyprus and definitely the most picturesque thing I saw in all of Cyprus.Best Places to Visit in Cyprus

The Sea Caves are a natural phenomenon on the east of Cyprus. It’s a popular place to cliff jump, dive, and snorkel. The water is super warm and clear and you could really spend all day swimming and sunbathing on the rocks. Make sure to look for the arched cove to take some epic photos. You have to climb down a few rocks to get to it, but it’s pretty easy. 

Best Places to Visit in Cyprus

Konnos Beach-a gorgeous bay with soft golden sand and lined with lounge chairs. It has some of the deepest blue/green waters on the island. The beach area is small and get get really busy, so get there early if you want to lounge. 

Kamara Tou Koraka Stone Arch-a natural stone arch formed from erosion. You can quickly stop here as to see it as it’s on the way to Konnos Bay. (Please DO NOT ignore the warning signs and try to take a pic on the arch, it looks likes it’s going to crumble into the sea).

Fig Tree Bay-a busy (but very pretty) sandy beach with lots of water sports and activities. There are some good areas for snorkeling in the coral and the water is pretty crystal clear. There is free parking on the side of Silver Sands Beach Hotel. This is rated as one of the top Cyprus beaches. 

Nissi Beach-during low tide there is a sand bar that splits the beach in 2 crescent shapes. There is a little hill you can climb up to get the best views. Unfortunately I was there during high tide so the sand bar was under water. The water at Nissi Beach was incredibly clear and gorgeous and probably the prettiest waters I saw after the sea caves. It’s a very busy beach with many people, restaurants and bars lining the beach, and lots of beach chairs. It’s definitely not a place to go to relax, but it’s still worth a visit because it’s so damn pretty! It’s also a good place to drink a cocktail right on the beach. 

Day 3: Troodos Mountains | Kakopetria | Omodos | Agios Nikolaos Stegis 

Troodos-There are several hikes you can do in this mountainous region. Also in this area is Caledonia waterfalls, one of the highest water falls in Cyprus. (it started storming when I got to the mountains so I didn’t get to complete any of the hikes unfortunately. 

Kakopetria-a small little village at the foothills of the Troodos Mountains where I stopped to get coffee at the Old Mill Restaurant, a family run restaurant. The Old Mill has an amazing view over the village and mountains and is also a hotel you can stay in. 

Omodos-the cutest little village with tiny alleys, lots of local music, a pretty monastery, restaurants, and many wine tastings around town. They even have an old wine press you can go see. This was the most adorable and charming little town I saw in all of Cyprus. 

Agios Nikolaos Stegis– One of the 10 UNESCO churches in Cyprus located close to Kakopetria. It is surrounded by a beautiful peaceful setting with the mountains in the background. Best Places to Visit in Cyprus

Stop in Vavla, a tiny traditional Cypriot village with narrow streets and cute little alleys. But make sure you have a small car to go through the narrow streets!

Best Places to Visit in Cyprus

Day 4: Baths of Aphrodite | Akamas Peninsula | Blue lagoon | Lara Beach | Avakas Gorge | Coral Bay

Baths of Aphrodite-you can go see the baths where Aphrodite supposedly met Adonis. It’s a little mystical cove with a small spring and vine and a fig tree adorning it. It’s fun to use your imagine and open your mind to what happened many many years ago at this same spot. If you’re into Greek mythology, it’s cool to see.

Best Places to Visit in Cyprus

Akamas Peninsula-a rugged National Park on the north west of Cyprus accessible by 4-wheel drive or by boat only. There are gorgeous bays and beaches to swim in and admire in a natural area. 

Blue Lagoon-a gorgeous bay with crystal waters and popular with boat and snorkeling tours. DO NOT try to attempt to drive this road with a regular car. An off road vehicle is necessary. The road is on the cliffside with no railing and is very steep in some areas. There are huge potholes and rocks on the road so make sure to have experience driving in places like this as it can be very dangerous.

Best Places to Visit in Cyprus

There is a company called Aphrodite Safari Bus Tours that has a little kiosk before the entry that will take you there in a big 4-wheel drive safari keep. It takes 30 minutes to get there and the driver drives very slow and safely. The cost is €15 roundtrip per 2 people. 

Best Places to Visit in Cyprus

Exploring the rugged landscape near the Blue Lagoon. No people in sight!

Lara beach-contains protected areas for turtle nesting. If you’re lucky enough to be there when they hatch, you can watch the newborn turtles make their way to the sea. Unfortunately I didn’t see any turtles while I was there but this would have been awesome to experience. The road leading to Lara beach is very rugged so drive very slow so you don’t damage your car. 

Avakas Gorge-on the way to Lara beach is an impressive canyon/gorge that requires a 15 minute walk. It’s a beautiful walk through the limestone cliffs where you will pass numerous fauna and flora as well as some streams. The gorge is huge and very nice to photograph and is definitely worth a stop. It’s also a nice cool place to escape the Cyprus heat. I would rank this as one of the best places to visit in Cyprus. 

Note: when you see the sign for the gorge, make sure not to park in that lot and go up the hill with your car. You can actually ride all the way down to the footpath and then walk the 15 mins from there. I didn’t know this and ended up waking the whole way which took 35 minutes each way. 

Coral bay-a sandy crescent-shaped beach that is great for water sports and sunbathing on sunbeds. 

Day 5: Paphos | Tomb of the Kings | Ruins of Ancient Kourion | Commanderia Wine Route 

Paphos Archeological Site-this park is still under excavation and contains ancient Greek and Roman ruins as well as beautiful mosaic floors. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1980. Entrance fee is €4.50

Best Places to Visit in Cyprus

Tomb of the Kings-a huge necropolis that is part of the Archaeological Park of Paphos. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tomb of Kings are actually tombs of the rich aristocrats and high ranking officials, but not actually of kings. They gained the name due to their grandiose appearance. Nonetheless, the tombs are worth a visit. Entrance fee is €2.50.

Ruins of Ancient Kourion-I actually thought these were much more impressive than Paphos with the dramatic ocean cliffs in the backdrop. I would definitely stop here if you have time! Entrance fee is €4.50.

Commanderia Wine Route-driving this route you will pass through beautiful tiny little local villages and green hills. I passed through 14 villages and 4 wineries on the route and the drive was breathtaking.  

Karseras Winerya small family winery that I highly recommend. One of the family members gave me the presentation and then let me loose for my own free tasting. He literally left me all the bottles and said that I could have as much as I wanted. That could have been dangerous if I wasn’t driving!

Best Places to Visit in Cyprus

How to Get to Cyprus

There are 3 airports you have the option of flying into: Larnaca, Paphos, and Ercan (North Cyprus). Most of the cheapest flights fly in and out of Larnaca (LCA) and secondly Paphos (PFO).

If you’re already in Europe or the Middle East, its pretty easy and inexpensive due to its strategic location.

From Athens, Greece you can fly direct to Larnaca for around $35. The flight is about 1 hour and 40 minutes.

From Amman, Jordan you can fly direct to Paphos for as little as $17. The flight is about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

From Beirut, Lebanon you can fly direct to Larnaca for about $75. The flight is about 45 minutes.

From London, England you can fly direct to Larnaca for about $65. The flight is about 5 hours.

I always use Skyscanner to find my tickets because they are usually the cheapest and it’s super easy to use. I use Skyscanner for about 95% of the flights I book.

Where to Stay in Cyprus

I stayed in the best Airbnb in a small town called Tala right outside of Paphos. It was a little one bedroom apartment on the bottom of my host’s house and had the best views over the coast. The host is an expat form the US and super accommodating and kind. She rescues cats so you will see many on the property. The location was great as you could reach all the great sites in the area in less than 45 minutes maximum. It was only $30/night so you can’t beat that!

Best Places to Visit in Cyprus

View from my lovely Airbnb in Tala, Cyprus. Only $30 per night!

You can check out the listing HERE. And if you’re new to Airbnb, you can use by coupon for $40 OFF HERE.

I also stayed briefly in Nicosia to explore the Cape Greko area and just rented a basic room for $28 in an Airbnb. You can check the listing HERE.

How to Get Around in Cyprus

Renting a Car in Cyprus

Fun Fact: They drive on the LEFT side of the road in Cyprus! I’m an idiot and almost drove off the lot on the right side until the rental dude said “you know we drive on the left here?”.

I rented an automatic car from a local company called Stevens Car Rentals. I really liked this company because you can either rent from the airport or they will pick you up and drop you off from your location at no extra charge! And even when you rent from the airport, you don’t have to take a shuttle or anything. They send someone there to personally escort you to the car. I loved it! The prices were super affordable and they were very responsive over chat. I highly recommend them!

I paid $175 for 5 days for an automatic car. It’s definitely cheaper if you can drive a manual (as is most of Europe). Note: I have NO affiliation with this company, I just really liked them!

Travel Insurance for Cyprus Island 

I would never travel without travel insurance anymore. I learned my lesson. Too many bad things can happen (and they have unfortunately). Travel insurance is especially important when traveling to 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. They might not be the cheapest, but they have the BEST coverage, especially for emergency medical!

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