Rhodes was a place that I only had mediocre expectations for and it blew them all out of the water! Rhodes was absolutely awesome and I’m kicking myself for not going sooner.
Rhodes’ appeal lies in their spectacular turquoise beaches, beautifully preserved medieval towns, gorgeous mountains, awesome food, and more cats than I have ever seen anywhere! Basically, Rhodes was complete bliss!
When to Visit Rhodes
Rhodes stays unbelievably warm even through the fall! I went in mid October and it was sunny and 75-78 degrees every day! The “season” in Rhodes ends October 31st (a little longer than most Greek islands). That means a lot of the day tours and ferries are still running daily.
This was a great time to visit because it was at the tail end of the season and the crowds had gone and the prices had dropped tremendously, yet everything was still open.
I would avoid July and August due to high crowds, prices, and intense heat.
Rhodes, Greece 5 day Itinerary
Day 1: Anthony Quinn bay, Lakido beach, Tsambiki beach, Kalithea springs.
Day 2: Symi day trip
Day 3: Lindos, St. Paul’s bay
Day 4: Kritinia, Monolithos, Prasonisi, Glystra
Day 5: Rhodes town
What to do in Rhodes, Greece
Day 1: Anthony Quinn bay, Lakido beach,Tsambiki, Kalithea Springs
Tsambiki beach: long sandy beach with many bars and restaurants. It’s framed by the mountains on each end. If you want a beach with a lot going on, this is the beach for you! In terms of beautiful beaches, the others I visited while on Rhodes were much more impressive.
Kalithea Springs: Gorgeous Italian architecture that’s a great place for weddings. There are sun beds and a little cafe on the water to just relax. It’s less than 15 minutes from Rhodes. While the hot springs are no longer in use, I still really enjoyed my time here.
There is a 3€ entrance fee, but i think it’s definitely worth it.
Anthony Quinn Bay: tied for prettiest beach on Rhodes island, this is an absolute must! As you can see below, Anthony Quinn Bay is a small coved bay that has the most beautiful clear blue/green waters. I can imagine this place being super popular in the summer, but it was very calm and unpopulated when I went. I LOVED this place.
There is a little cafe overlooking the bay with the best view that you must go and experience, not for the food but for the view!
Lakido Bay: a gorgeous bay right across the parking lot from Anthony Quinn Bay. If you have time, definitely stop here for a bit also.
Day 2: Day Trip To Symi Island
Symi is a short 50 minute catamaran ride away (or 1.5 hours by ferry) and definitely the one day trip you should take when visiting Rhodes.
I read online that you could take a taxi boat to the beaches, which was my plan when I arrived. But I soon realized that the taxi is more like a bus in that it has a schedule so you can’t just randomly arrive and get a taxi boat (which is what I thought). The taxi boats cost about €10-12 each way.
There was only one taxi boat that leaves in the morning, hits up all the popular beaches, and then returns at around 4 or 5pm, but it wouldn’t give me much time to see the beautiful port of Symi or walk up to Chorio so I decided to pass and hope to get a taxi at Pedi Bay.
What to Do in Symi
Walk up the 400+ steps to Chorio
Chorio is the main town that sits perched up on top of a hill overlooking the gorgeous marina and surroundings. From Chorio you can walk another 20 minutes to Pedi Bay, and then to 2 other beaches from there.
Stop at Olive Tree Cafe for a healthy brekkie/brunch of Greek yogurt, honey, and fresh fruits. The setting is super cute as well with a view of the town below.
Visit the Beautiful Beaches
The 2 beaches I was able to visit were Agia Marina and Agios Nikolaos.
Agia Marinahas gorgeous turquoise waters and a little island with a monastery you can visit.
Agia Nikolaos has is a small pebbled beach with a few beach shacks selling food and drinks but it’s pretty secluded.
How I got to these beaches:
I missed the morning taxi but I got really lucky and met these amazing locals who offered to take me for free! They first took me to Agia Marina just for pictures and then dropped me off at Agia Nikolaos. They even picked me up later to bring me back! The Greek hospitality is unmatched. So you could try your luck in Pedi Bay or make sure to get on the morning taxi boats when you arrive in Symi harbor.
Walk: from Pedi Bay you can walk 30 minutes to Agia Nikolaos or about 50 or so minutes to Agia Marina. To be honest, the path to Agia Marina looked extremely rocky and like there wasn’t a distinct path. Good sturdy hiking shoes would be required.
Some Symi day tours take you to Panormitis Monastery on the south side of the island. However, I decided to skip this because they leave you there for about 1.5 hours which is so long. I decided to go to the beaches instead of the monastery because you won’t really have time for both.
The other beach I didn’t have time for but was on my shortlist is Nanou beach (I heard random goats come on the beach and try to steal your food here so beware).
If you don’t care to go to the beaches the day tours offer plenty of time to see the monastery and then around 3 hours in Symi to explore (which is plenty).
Visit Nos Beach Near the Port
There is a beach called Nos beach in Symi and is only a 7-8 minute walk from the harbor (where the ferry drops you off). It’s gorgeous and there are many cute cafes along the water in that area.
There are also many cute little boutique shops with unique things to buy in Symi.
They are also famous for Symi shrimp, but I didn’t have time to sit down to try them.
Play with the cute little kitties swarming the island
How to Get to Symi Island
The catamaran from Rhodes to Sými took 50 minutes and costs 30€ round trip withDodecanese pride. I bought the tickets the day before online and then picked up the tickets at the little booth in front of the boats. Make sure to arrive early to get your paper tickets and find your boat!
Tip: They had some day tours they were selling at Mandraki port that were as cheap as 15€, however, they all had a stop at Panormitis Monastery, which like I mentioned above, I didn’t have that much interest in visiting.
St Paul’s Bay: this is the other prettiest beach I saw in Rhodes and you cant beat the view of the Lindos Acropolis in the backdrop.
As a bonus, the summer crowds had long gone and it was pretty empty when I went. I could have spent all day relaxing here lounging and sipping drinks.
Lindos Acropolis– while the 12 € entrance fee is pretty steep compared to most ancient ruin sites I’ve been to, you can get the best aerial view of St. Paul’s Bay and Lindos Beach on each side. You can also see the beautiful white Lindos town below (although I flew my drone there and had the same view honestly).
It takes about 20 minutes to walk uphill from St. Paul’s Bay to the entrance of the acropolis. There is free parking right next to St. Paul’s bay.
There is one restaurant at St. Paul’s Bay that’s pricey but you can’t beat the views! There are also hanging day beds and lounge chairs available to relax all day.
On your way up to the acropolis, stop at Lindian Apollo bar for a nice rooftop view of the acropolis. And make sure to order a cappuccino freddo! Yum.
Day 4: Kritinia, Monolithos, Prasonisi, Glystra
Day 4 will bring you to the west and south of Rhodes Island, the less busy part of the island.
Stop in Kritinia castle (free entrance) for amazing views over the sea. Also stop by the little cafe at the bottom of the castle. It’s super cozy and cute. They also do free wine, honey, and oil tastings.
Kritinia is 1 hour from Rhodes by car.
Leave Kritinia and drive 35 minute to Monolithos Castle. It’s a beautiful windy drive through the mountains, so take your time and enjoy the scenery.
Monolithos castle (free entrance) is perched upon a steep hill overlooking the coastline and it is stunning!
There are many unique openings in the ruins in which you can take some cool pictures (see below).
Prasonisi is at the very tip of the south of Rhodes island. It is very unique in that it is where the Mediterranean Sea and Aegean see meet and makes up a double beach in the summer (a peninsula). In the winter when the waters rise, Prasonisi becomes an island.
Prasonisi is a also very popular spot for wind surfing due to the winds.
Definitely stop at Glystra beach on the way back, which has golden sands and turquoise waters. It’s a little coved beach off the coastal road. There is a little beach shack for drinks
Glystra Beach from above
Day 5: Rhodes Town
There are SO many things to see in Rhodes town so if you only have a day, get an early start!
Inside the old city walls of Rhodes
In case you don’t know, Rhodes is surrounded by a walled city, with many grand entrances to this Medieval town. You will also notice many Turkish mosques throughout the city that are interesting to see and beautiful to photograph.
Palace of the Knights
What not to miss in Rhodes town:
Palace of the knights/Grandmaster’s Palace (6€ entrance)
Walk the ancient city walls (2€ entrance)
Discover all the epic entrances to to the walled city
Church of the Virgin of the Burgh (pictured below)
Windmills of Rhodes (there is a kitty sanctuary near the windmills, an added bonus!)
Windmills of Rhodes
Shopping! The street shopping was pretty good inside the city walls.
Acropolis of Rhodes has amazing view of the coastline just across the street (free entrance)
Elli beach is only 6-7 minute walk from the old town and a nice way to cool off during the day
Ronda Rhodes is a swanky beachside cafe on Elli beach with amazing decor and view. It’s pricey but well worth the view!
Ronda at Elli Beach
Mama Sofia Rhodes has awesome food! The dolmades were the best I ever had and also the lamb kleftiko was bomb.com (i.e. good AF). This was the best restaurant I found in all of Rhodes.
How to Get Around Rhodes Island
Rent a car and ATV from Zeus cars. The owner is super chill and nice and very helpful. The prices are pretty good. A 50cc ATV was 25€ per day and an automatic car (on the spot) was 30€ per day. They won’t rent you a scooter without a motorcycle license but you can rent a 50cc ATV with a regular US license. An international license is not required.
How to Get to Rhodes
Rhodes is one of the furthest Greek islands in the east, near the coastline of Turkey.
The direct flight was 50 minutes from Athens and cost $75 2 months in advance or $90 the night before.
The ferry from Athens takes 11-24 hours (depending on the company) so you might as well fly. The water tends to be choppy on Greek ferries so being on that thing for 11+ hours sounds like hell to me. Just fly.
Where to Stay in Rhodes
7 Palms Hotel
My plan was to take a bunch of day trips from Rhodes town so I stayed in the new town (which was a 20 minute walk from the old city). This location provided a better starting point for all my day trips.
The hotel had the best host who was super positive, energetic, and helpful! She gave me good restaurant recommendations and helped me add some secret spots to my itinerary that I would have never known about.
I stayed in a studio apartment at the hotel, which had a little stove and refrigerator. It also had an outdoor pool (seasonal). The hotel was spacious, comfy, quiet, and I highly recommend it! They also provide free bikes which came in handy.
I booked this place for $267 for an entire week on booking.com. You can view the listing here. It got a review score of 9.2! And if you’re new to Booking.com, you can use my $20 OFF coupon here (I will get $20 off too, so it’s a win-win, thank you!)
MY TOP RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TRAVEL GEAR
1.Sony Alpha 6000 Mirrorless Camera: I made the switch from my huge DSLR and I wouldn’t go back. It’s light, compact, and takes amazing photos!
2. Sony 10-18mm Wide Angle Zoom Lens: this wide angle lens is the key to landscape shots. I use this lens more than the original and am super happy with it. It’s not cheap, but super worth it if you want to get those special nature shots. Honestly, I would purchase the Sony alpha 6000 camera body only and save up for this lens to go with it.
3. E Bags Packing Cubes: the biggest life changer to keep me packing light! This is my biggest travel gear obsession and I have NO idea how I traveled without them before.
4. LifeProof NUUD Waterproof Case (iPhone 8): this helps protect my phone from water, sand, dirt, and the numerous drops that incur while I travel. I love it!
5. GoPro Hero 6 Black: I am a proud GoPro ambassador and obsessed with GoPro selfie pics if you didn’t notice! It’s super small, compact, and easy to travel with. Plus it’s so much fun to use! 🙂
6. Jackery Power Bank: This is hands-down the best external battery charger I’ve ever used. It has dual charger capability and I can charge my phone 3 times or more. It’s awesome!
Travel Insurance for Greek 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.
If you’ve enjoyed this post, please PIN it (just hover over the photo)♥
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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!
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!
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!
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 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!
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!
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.
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.
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 Ristoro–serves 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Unuwatuna Beach–From Jungle Beach, you can walk 25 minutes to Unuwatuna Beach, where 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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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
Tip: Stay 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 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.
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 Smiðjanand 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)
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.
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.
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 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.
Tjørnuvík is agorgeous seaside town set on a black sand beach hugged by the mountains.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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!
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)
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 reuseyour 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!
♥If you’ve enjoyed this post, please PIN it (hover over pic below)♥
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. This helps keep my site ad free (I hate ads!). I only recommend products that I have used before on my own and that I truly love 🙂
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).
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
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.
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).
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.
There isn’t a whole lot to “do” besides walk around and take in the amazing colorful towns.
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.
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.
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 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.
My ultimate goal is to inspire others to travel more. I love solo travel and love empowering women to do so. I also LOVE the camaraderie and friendships made from going on group trips. Which is why I have decided to make 2018 the year I open up some fun group trips and have a small group of adventurous souls join me.
These group trips are perfect for those who usually venture solo but who want to connect with new people. But if you would like to bring a friend along, go right ahead!
What Sets Crazy Travelista’s Mini Group Trips Apart from Other Group Trips?
First off, the group size will be capped at 8people max to focus on a more intimate feel so we can really get to know each other.
These group trips are designed for the lone traveler who is scared to travel alone, who has no one to go with, or who just loves connecting with new people around the world.
The tours would be heavily photography based, so a love for taking awesome shots is a must! Although I’m not a professional photographer by any means, I do have a knack for finding the best viewpoints and framing the shots and I would like to help out in any way I can.
I will share all my tips on how I get all my shots when I travel alone and help everyone get their own awesome shots on the trip. Even if you suck at taking pics, I guarantee you will go home with some amazing shots (even if I have to take them all for you myself♥).
The trips will be for adventure lovers who love hiking, discovering off the beaten path places, and the best photo spots.
The trips will be based on a “rough” itinerary I designed…but we will also leave plenty of room for unplanned adventures (because those are always the most memorable, right?).
I have been on 5 group trips so far and the best part about these trips is the life long friendships that develop from them.
As soon as you sign up, I will start a private Facebook group to introduce everyone as soon as possible. They did this on one of my previous group trips and it was awesome because it was like we knew each other by the time we actually met in person.
Are These Trips 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!
These Trip are 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 adventure and photo taking. There will definitely be some wine drinking as well, so it’s not going to be all serious, trust me.
These trips are probably not for you if you are a budget traveler. These 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.
22-38 years old
I’m not trying to be a dick, but I am going to put age limits on my trips, just because it gets very awkward when there is too much of an age gap. It’s such a better vibe and more cohesive when people are closer in age and in more in the same stage in life.
However, if you are a little but outside these age limits and you think you would still be perfect for these trips, send me a message and let me know. I am willing to make an exception in some circumstances. 🙂
Most of these trips will be female only (sorry guys). I am all about the female empowerment thing and encouraging girls to venture out on their own. Although if you want to come with your boyfriend, let me know and I may be able to make an exception on some trips.
*the co-hosted Banff trip is open to boys :)*
I have 4 group trips planned so far (& I may add 1-2 more later). Here are the timeframes for each just to give you an idea:
Lofoten Islands, Norway: March 1-5th, 2018
Croatia: May 26-June 6th (& maybe again in early September 2018)
*This trip is tentatively full, but there could possibly be one opening so make sure to sign up on the form on the blog post if you are interested in going! OR you can access the form here.
Best of Croatia: Dalmatian Coast + Istria (+ Slovenia day trip)
Length: 11 days/10 nights
Dates: May 26-June 6th, 2018
Start: Split, Croatia
End: Split, Croatia
I am especially stoked to host this Croatia trip as Croatia is like my second home. In case you don’t know, my boyfriend of 4 years is Croatian and lives in Split. I live in the USA, but that means I am in Croatia MANY times a year. In fact, I have been to Croatia 20+ times! I know the country very well and know the best places to go. I also know where to avoid. You can say I’m basically a Croatia expert so I am going to take you to all of my favorite places! 🙂
Plus, I think Croatia is one of the most beautiful countries in the entire world!
This road trip across Croatia will combine the most popular seaside towns and islands on the Dalmatian coast, the most stunning national parks, and the lesser know Istrian region. If you haven’t heard of Istria, think gorgeous medieval hilltop towns surrounded by Tuscany-like rolling hills and vineyards. We will be basing ourselves in Rovinj, one of the most colourful and underrated picturesque towns in all of Europe.
This 11 day/10 night trip will pack in as much of Croatia as possible, and also a day trip to Ljubljana, Slovenia (one of the most underrated cities in Europe in my opinion).
And if you are a Game of Thrones fan, we will try to squeeze in some optional tours in Split and/or Dubrovnik.
Where will we visit in Croatia?
Coastal port of Split (the gateway to the islands)
Ritzy/picturesque Hvar Island
Small town of Omiš, beautifully framed by the Cetina River
Dubrovnik, aka King’s Landing
Plitvice National Park, the most stunning national park in Croatia
Rovinj, the colorful gem of Istria
Medieval hilltop towns of Istria
Ljubljana, Sloveina-one of the prettiest capital cities you will ever see
Daily continental breakfast
Accommodation in double occupancy (shared room)
Transport that starts and ends in Split (AC vehicle, all ferry tickets to islands)
Local SIM card with 10GB data (phone must be unlocked)
Entrance to Dubrovnik City Walls
What’s NOT Included:
Any extra activities not mentioned
Dubrovik cable car
Ziplining in Omiš
Price range: $1980
Non-refundable Deposit: $300
Sign up here. You will get email confirmation by next week of the final price and dates.
*Please do NOT book any flights until you receive confirmation from me.
Dates: late June 2017 (will be finalized in the next 2 weeks)
Starts: Calgary, Canada
Ends: in Calgary, Canada
Hosted by: Crazy Travelista & CareBear Abroad
CareBear Abroad & Crazy Travelista 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.
Why you should join us on this tour?
Come travel with Crazy Travelista & CareBear Abroad and join our fun adventures hiking all around the Canadian Rockies seeking out the most epic Instagrammable views of the amazing blue lakes and stunning mountainous landscapes.
Should You Join us on This Trip?
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! This trip will focus mainly on hiking and photography, so a love for both is a must!
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 will also 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.
*If you love drama, drugs, or getting black out wasted every night, this trip is NOT for you.
Where will We Visit in Banff?
Each day will focus on hiking to the best viewpoints of the vibrant blue lakes of Moraine Lake, Banff, Peyto Lake, Lake Louise, and Yoho National Park (Lake O’Hara Alpine Circuit).
Daily continental breakfast
Accommodation in double occupancy (shared room with same sex)
Transportation starting in Calgary
What’s NOT Included:
Any extra activities not mentioned
Horseback riding in Banff or Lake Louise
SUP or kayaking on Lake Louise or Moraine Lake
Total Price: TBD in the next 2 weeks
*We will be going in June which is the beginning of peak season. We picked this time since we wanted to ensure the lakes are NOT frozen and the hiking trails are not closed due to snow. (i.e. it will be more expensive than off season but we will see more awesome stuff!)
Sign up for Banff trip here. You will receive an email as soon as final trip details are released.
*Please do NOT book any flights until you get confirmation from me.
Most Photogenic Landscapes of Iceland: Epic 8 Day Road Trip
Tentative Dates: September 20-27th, 2018 (will be finalized by next month)
As another whirlwind travel year comes to an end, it’s about that time to reflect and reminisce on my crazy year and highlight my top moments/surprises. In 2017, I traveled to 13 new countries including, Ecuador, Finland, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Cuba, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Cyprus, Oman, and Jordan. I also revisited some of my favourite countries including Italy, Greece, Croatia, and Norway.
In 2017, I visited a total of 17 countries on 4 continents. WOW. I didn’t even notice it was that many until I typed it out. I guess I’m really living up to the name Crazy Travelista. 🙂
Without further ado, here are my Top 10 Travel Highlights & Surprises of 2017:
1. Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos is on many bucket lists and a dream destination for animal and sea lovers. But it costs a fortune, right? WRONG. I did one week for under $1K. Yep, I got skills like that haha. You can read about how I did it here and also free or cheap things to do in the Galapagos here.
It was just so fascinating to me walking around and seeing Sea Lions sitting on park benches, marine iguanas (that look like mini dinosaurs) wading next to me in the water, and stopping for a traffic jam of life size turtles in the wild. Oh, and seeing a sea horse up close in the wild was freakin incredible!
But my ultimate favourite memory was swimming with hammerhead sharks and sea lions at Kicker Rock. I’m not going to lie, I was scared shitless of jumping into the water above a shark, let alone a whole swarm of them. But it was a once in a lifetime experience and I wasn’t going to pass it up. If you do ONE thing in the Galapagos, take the tour to Kicker Rock on San Cristobal Island.
2. Northern Lights in Tromsø, Norway
One of my top 5 bucket list items of all time was finally fulfilled in Tromsø, Norway this year. I miss the Northern Lights in Iceland the year before and was so bummed. But let me tell you, it was well worth the wait and just made it that much more special when I finally got my first glimpse.
Not only did I see the Northern Lights, but they really put on a dramatic dancing show of electric neon green in the sky that I cannot describe it with any other word besides MAGICAL.
God, I loved Lapland. I didn’t think i would enjoy it that much but it really surprised me. I’m not the biggest fan of freezing cold destinations, but Lapland has single handedly changed my mind!
What really captivated me was all the super unique winter activities that you can try that are specific to this region. My favourite activities were the Husky ride, snowmobiling on a lake to see the Northern Lights (unfortunately they didn’t come out that night), taking a photography tour of the arctic landscapes, and especially the sauna plus an arctic ice dip. I did end up seeing the Northern Lights in Levi the next day!
I also really enjoyed a reindeer ride and visiting an ice hotel. Oh, and you can also visited Santa Clause Village and cross the arctic circle! Where else in the world can you do these things?
The only thing I missed was sleeping in an glass igloo hotel, which I plan to return for one day!
My favourite destination of 2017 goes to Japan! Japan is like steeping into another world and I definitely experienced the most culture here than any other place in 2017. I’m not usually a big fan of huge capital cities, but Tokyo is certainly an exception.
My senses were constantly stimulated walking around the chaotic yet peaceful city, and I could have spent my entire time in Japan exploring Tokyo and been satisfied. My favourite part was experiencing an owl and cat cafe.
Other favourites included expiring Kyoto (dressing as a geisha is a must), climbing the Fushimi Inari shrine, taking a sushi making class, visiting the Bamboo forest, and walking part of the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage route.
Japan is easily one of my top 5 favourite countries in the world and it’s somewhere I will 100% return to. Japan was the cleanest and most organized country I have ever been with the most respectful people I have ever encountered. If only the rest of the world would follow their lead.
Indonesia was near the top of my bucket list, especially Bali. And boy did it live up to my high expectations. I spent 2 weeks hopping around the islands, swimming with manta rays, snorkelling, surviving the craziest driving on a motorbike ever, chasing waterfalls, frolicking through rice fields, and slurping down smoothie bowls.
Bali is the perfect place to live it up in luxury, for next to nothing in cost. The people were amazing, the temples were grande, and the option for healthy food was endless. What’s not to love about Bali?
When I was younger, my family sponsored 2 Filippino girls who became like family (and lived with us for years). I always wanted to go see where they came from and I finally got the chance this year. With over 7000+ islands to choose from, it was hard to pick where to go. But since Palawan got rated the most beautiful island in the world, I knew I couldn’t miss it.
I spent a week between Coron and El Nido island hopping some of the most beautiful waters I have ever seen. I climbed the most dangerous hike I will ever do at Mt. Taraw and motorbiked around El Nido. I caught some epic sunsets at Las Cabanas and got daily massages.
I rented a kayak and paddled out to Bikal Beach on Cadlao Island through a gnarly storm that came out of nowhere (I’m glad I didn’t capsize and lived to tell about it hehe). Palawan was outstanding and gave me just the ideal amount of adventure and relaxation.
My second trip to South America this year brought me to the super dangerous country of Colombia (extreme sarcasm people). Colombia is such a colourful and vibrant country and I felt completely safe traveling there solo.
My favourite part of Colombia was visiting Tayrona National Park. It’s basically a national park filled with endless gorgeous beaches. You can even rent a hammock and stay the night there if you are into the camping (and spiders) thing. My only regret is that I only spent one day here.
Other highlights included climbing El Peñol for the EPIC views from above and visiting the most colourful city I’ve ever seen in Guatape. Oh, ad you can’t miss the beautiful and lively city of Cartagena. I basically spent all my days eating ceviche and photographing the dreamy colorful balkanise of the city. Colombia quickly became my favourite country in South America!
Another top 5 bucket list items was checked on my trip to Peru when I visited Machu Picchu. The long wait was more than worth it and it didn’t let me down one bit! What was even more special is that I miraculously almost had the whole place to myself. What a dream!
I spend 6 days in Cusco and the Sacred Valley constantly being awed of the next site. I attempted and completed the most exhausting hike of my life at Rainbow Mountain (above 17,000 feet altitude).
And to top it off, I enjoyed one of the most scenic train rides I’ve ever taken through the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu.Oh, and I ate ceviche just about every day and didn’t feel guilty about it one bit. All in all, Peru was awesome!
Another “dangerous country” I visited myself this year (sarcasm again people). I want to start by saying that the hospitality I experienced in Jordan was some of the most heart felt i have ever experienced. I felt super welcome and super safe the entire time.
I spent 3 days in Petra and it blew my mind!!! Along with Japan, it was my favourite destination of 2017. I felt like Indiana Jones discovering the lost city of Petra and I had so much fun hiking around the city and doing some mini photo shoots.
The highlight for me was Petra by night which was pure MAGIC. If you go to Petra, definitely don’t miss it!
Most people I know have never heard of Oman and/or don’t know where it is on a map. And this is exactly why I wanted to visit! For the few people I knew who have visited, I have never heard a bad thing about the country.
The main attraction for me is all the Wadis in Oman. Think a desert oasis with a bright green body of water in the middle, lined with palm trees. It was like a mirage, but in real life. Oman was amazing and I had the best time renting a car and driving around to find new places. The Omani people were very kind and I felt right at home in this beautifully untouched Middle Eastern country. I highly recommend you visit soon before it becomes super touristy.
So What’s In Store for CrazyTravelista in 2018?
Well, let’s just say that 2018 is going to be the year of GROUP TRIPS and I’m super excited about it! I have 4 trips planned so far to Lofoten Islands (Norway), Croatia, Banff, and Iceland. The Norway trip is tentatively filled, but keep a look out very soon for details on Croatia, Banff, and Iceland. So excited to meet like-minded travellers!
In terms of solo travel, I have my eye on some places that I’m hoping to get to this year. But as always, who knows if I will actually make it to all these places.
CrzayTravelista’s 2018 Travel Wishlist
HaLong Bay, Vietnam
Rio de Janeiro
Back to Albania
Looks like I have lots of planning to do! Cheers to 2018!