Sicily Road Trip: The Perfect 9-Day Sicily Itinerary

Sicily Road Trip: The Perfect 9-Day Sicily Itinerary

Sicily Road Trip

Sicily is the largest island in Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, surrounded by the Ionian, Mediterranean, and Tyrrhenian seas. Sicily is more rugged and raw than the mainland, which is one thing really I loved about it! 

Sicily is quite big so you can’t really see it all in one trip (unless you stay 3+ weeks minimum). During my Sicily road trip, I decided to stick to the south east of the island (with a few day trips elsewhere) and I saw so many incredible places. 

Food in Sicily 

One of my Favorite parts about Sicily is the food. I stopped in Sicily on a Mediterranean cruise back in 2007 and had the best pizza of my life (that still stands til this day). I personally think they have better pizza than Naples, but hey, that’s just my opinion! 

Foods you must try in Sicily: pizza (obviously), cannoli (Sicily is where cannoli originated), granita (flavored slushy ice drinks), Arancini (fried rice balls), and anything with ricotta cheese and/or pistachios. I think I gained 5 lbs from that trip alone…and I’m not even sorry about it. 

Gluten free food in Sicily

Sicily was gluten free heaven and probably the most gluten free friendly place in Italy that I have ever been. Almost every restaurant had gluten free options and most pizzerias had gluten free dough. I wasn’t used to all the choices!

Here are a few places I visited on my trip to Sicily:

Licchios bar (Taormina)-gluten free cannoli and fried rice balls. They also had soy milk for coffee. 

Mastrociliegia-gluten free canolis in Ragusa.

Gran Caffe del Duomo (Ortigia island in Syracusa) had an entire gluten free menu and gluten free cannoli. The pasta with mussels was really good.

La Perla (Modica)-all types of GF pizza.

Duomo pizzeria ristorante (Cefalú)-gluten free pizza right in the main square.

Driving in Sicily 

Italians drive fast, that’s a given. The more south you go, the wilder it gets. That being said, I didn’t think the driving in Sicily was half as bad as so many people say it is. If you stay in the right lane (slow lane) on the highway no one will bother you, they will just go around you.

Sicily Road Trip

However on the country roads where there is one lane, just about everyone will be passing you. They pass pretty close to your car so just know what to expect and maybe scooch over a little bit to make room and you will be fine. Oh, and Sicilians don’t stop at stop signs so keep that in mind and use caution. 

I would also recommend a mini car as some of the cities have tiny streets and it would be tough getting through with a regular size car. It’s also much easier to park a mini car also!

I rented a car for $200 for 10 days with Rentalcars.com (through Sicily by car). The company has terrible reviews online but it was my second time using them and it was fine. The big complaint people make is that if you decline their insurance they will take a deposit of 800€ so just know what to expect. 

The total I spent on gas for 10 days was 122€ ($145).

*Make sure you do a walk around to see if there are any additional scratches or dents on the car that haven’t been marked (every time I’ve rented a car in Italy, I ALWAYS find additional scratches and that’s how they get you). If you don’t do this, they may charge you for the scratches later so please don’t forget! (Especially if you are declining their insurance…which I did because I have awesome car insurance through my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card). 

*Please note: my credit card insurance does NOT include 3rd party liability insurance (damage to the OTHER car or bodily harm to the other driver). Most credit card companies do not offer this so you either have to purchase this separately (usually at $15/day) or reserve a car that already has that included. My rental car already had 3rd party liability insurance included so I didn’t need to purchase anything extra. (I always choose the package on Priceline.com that includes the 3rd party liability insurance in the price if there’s an option). 


Sicily Road Trip: 9-Day Itinerary


Day 1: Arrive Catania in the evening

Day 2: Taormina 

Day 3: Caltagirone/Enna

Day 4:Cefalù 

Day 5: Scalia di Turchi/Valley of the Temples 

Day 6: Ragusa/Modica 

Day 7: Marzamemi/Noto

Day 8: Syracuse/Ortigia

Day 9: Necropolis of Pantalica/Fontane Bianche Beach

*I arrived to Catania in the evening on my first day and then went to Taormina all the next day so I really didn’t get to experience much of Catania. But from what I did see, I don’t think I was missing much as there were SO many other beautiful place to see in Sicily.

Taormina

Taormina is one of the prettiest cities in Sicily and one place you don’t want to miss! There is a lot to see and so much history in Taormina.

I didn’t rent my car until the 3rd day because I wanted to take a train to Taormina. The train from Catania to Taormina costs 8.60€ return and takes about 45 minutes. You must then take a bus from the train station in Taormina up to the Taormina center (3€ return ticket).  

What To Do in Taormina:

Teatro Antico di Taormina– the famous Greek theatre built in the 3rd century with epic views over Sicily and the surroundings. Entrance fee is 10€. 

Sicily Road Trip

Piazza IX Aprile-the main square in Taormina with incredible views, cute cafes, and restaurants. It’s a popular gathering place with musicians playing throughout the day. 

Isola Bella (“beautiful island”) -the prettiest beach in Taormina that was purchased by the Department of Cultural Heritage in 1990 and declared a Nature Reserve and remains protected.

Sicily Road Trip

Villa Communale-a public garden with spectacular views of the coastline. It’s a peaceful place to get away from the crowds.

Mt. Etna-you can climb to the top of one of the most active volcanos in the entire world! I didn’t have time for this and it remains on my bucket list! Mt. Etna is also a UNESCO site!

Caltagirone

Caltagirone is a beautiful town with a famous 142-step staircase made from ceramic tiles, each with their own unique design. It’s an artistic masterpiece and has often been used as a backdrop for festivals and cultural events, decorated in flowers, candles, and colorful lights.  

Sicily Road Trip

The Staircase of Santa María del Monte connects the upper old town to the newer lower town. There are some cute shops along the steps. It’s very picturesque and great to photograph. It was a nice stopover on my drive to Agriturismo Bannata, (see below for where I stayed).   

Enna

From Catania to Agriturismo Bannata stop in Enna for amazing views of the countryside and hilltop towns. The best view is from the Rock of Ceres (free entrance) where you can see the castle and countryside with 360 degree views 

Sicily Road Trip

Enna from afar

Cefalú

Cefalù is a cute seaside town located in northern Sicily. It took me about 2 hours to drive there from Piazza Armenia (which is where I stayed at Agriturismo Bannata).

One thing you must do in Cefalú is climb Rocca di Cefalu. It takes about 40 minutes to reach the top and the cost is 4€ cash only. 

Sicily Road Trip

The top of Rocca di Cefalu gives you a panoramic view over the gorgeous Sicilian coastlines on both sides. 

Sicily Road Trip

Cefalù has a wonderful promontory near the sea where you can sit and enjoy the view of the “rock” in the backdrop.

Sicily Road Trip

*Parking in Cefalù is a bitch, to be frank. But there is a paid lot near the beach for 7€ per 12 hours which is where I parked. 

Scala dei Turchi

Scala dei Turchi (“Stairs of the Turks”) is a spectacular site to see in Sicily. You can walk on these ascending stair-like formations composed of soft white limestone marl (it feels like a hardened clay). The dramatic bright blue water contrasting the pure white rock is a natural phenomenon you should definitely add to your itinerary.

Sicily Road Trip

Valley of the Temples 

The Valley of the Temples consists of 8 well-preserved Greek temples and other historical remains perched atop a hill overlooking the valley and sea.

Sicily Road Trip

The Valley of the temples is the most famous archeological site in all of Sicily and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just outside the city of Agrigento, it can easily be combined with a day trip to Scala Dei Turchi. 

Tip: Take a taxi from the car park up to the temple then walk down (2.5km) when you’re finished. The taxi costs 3€ and it saves an uphill walk. The entrance fee is3€. They do take credit cards.

Ragusa

The massive earthquake of 1693-destroyed 8 towns in of southeastern Sicily and they all had to be rebuilt. Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli were all rebuilt in late baroque architecture of the times. The area is known as Val di Noto, and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ragusa is a GORGEOUS baroque town with upper and lower cities. This was my favorite city in all of Sicily and I just loved the old world feel. 

Sicily Road Trip

Ragusa Ibla is the older lower city and more stunning part IMO. 

Ragusa Superiore is the upper town and the more modern of the two. The 2 parts are separated by a deep ravine called Valle dei Ponti.Sicily Road Trip

Some of the best views over the old city below are from the upper town at Chiesa Santa Maria (where I took the photo below). Sicily Road Trip

Duomo San Giorgio is a beautiful cathedral in the center of a square with lots of restaurants and shops. It’s a good place to people watch and enjoy a cannoli. 

Modica

Modica is another baroque town rebuilt after the earthquake that is known for its chocolate. There are many places where you can go in for a chocolate tasting. It had a weird texture and wasn’t my favorite honestly but the town is very beautiful and definitely worth a stop. 

Sicily Road Trip

The center of Modica is at the bottom and Modica Alta is at the top, where you will get the best view.  

Marzamemi

Marzamemi is a cute little seaside town with a Greek vibe. It’s right on the sea and very quiet. There’s not much to do besides eat at one of the seaside cafes or go shopping in one of the little boutiques. It’s great for an afternoon of relaxation and eating seafood. Parking is 3€ in a designated lot.   

Sicily Road Trip

Noto

Noto is a beautiful town with baroque architecture (and also one of the towns rebuilt after the 1693 earthquake). Go shopping in one of the cute artisan shops and pick up a painting or hand painted sculpture.

Go up Chiesa Santa Chiara for views over Noto (2€ entrance fee). There is easy parking at central Noto parking lot. Stroll down Vittorio Emanuel street and stop for a coffee with a view of the many baroque churches. It’s a great place to people watch. 

Sicily Road Trip

Syracuse/Ortigia

Ortigia is the beautiful island connecting to Syracusa. You can walk around the outside along the sea. The water is crystal blue green and gorgeous. There are many cute shops with handmade stuff like leather bags and shoes. It’s a really nice place to just roam around and relax with a view. 

Sicily Road Trip

Parking in Ortigia is an absolute nightmare, to be honest. I found an underground garage with the most confusing directions. I would definitely ask a local to see if you can actually park where you think you can (I got a ticket mailed to the USA 4 months later ugh). 

Sicily Road Trip

Necropolis of Pantalica

Necropolis of Pantalica is home to  more than 5,000 ancient tombs carved right into the rocks. This important archeological site is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rocky tombs are surrounded by a deep gorge with gorgeous views all around. 

Sicily Road Trip

You can also take a hike down to the beautiful grotto water below. It might take you 2-3 hours to complete the circuit, so make sure to make some time for it.

*Beware of snakes! I had one slither by me like 3 inches from my foot and it scared the living shit out of me. So watch where you’re stepping! I don’t think it was poisonous, but still.  

It takes about 40 minutes to reachNecropolis of Pantalica from both Avila and Catania.  

Fontane Bianche Beach

If it’s warm enough, I highly recommend stopping at Fontane Bianche Beach. It’s a gorgeous beach with soft white sand and swirly patterns of deep blue sea.


Where to Stay in Sicily


Staying in an Agriturismo 

I’ve always wanted to stay in an agriturismo in Italy but for some reason it took me so long to do it. An agriturismo is a farmhouse that has been converted into accommodation. It’s kinda like a homestay where you rent a room out (usually you will have your own en suite bathroom). They serve the local wine and food from the farm animals and it is a really authentic experience. 

Sicily Road Trip

Agriturismo Bannata

My first agriturismo stay set the bar really high! Agriturismo Bannata was a secluded piece of paradise with a cozy and homely feel set in the Sicilian countryside. It’s a great place to sit by the pool (seasonal) or lounge on the balcony with a book in hand. There are also some trails you can walk nearby.

My room was spacious and had an amazing round tub in the middle of the room, as well as an ensuite bathroom.

I had dinner there one night cooked with the local ingredients and it was very delicious. I LOVED this place.

Price: $57/night (in April, shoulder season), including breakfast.

Where to Book: I used booking.com and you can check the listing HERE. If you’re new to booking.com, you can use my $20 OFF coupon here.

Baglio Occhipinti

This place was a little more upscale than the other one, but it was nice to try the different styles! I had a single room in the attic with a spectacular view of the land from my window.

Sicily Road Trip

There was a pool and lounge chairs as well as huge comfy couches inside for when it was raining. It was a really relaxing environment and was a great spot to explore Ragusa.

Price: $116/night (in April, shoulder season).

Where to Book: I used booking.com and you can check the listing HERE.

Airbnb in Avola

For my last few days on the islands I stayed at a lovely Airbnb in Avola, a great location to explore the southern jewels of Sicily. I rented a room for $26/night but when I arrived the host upgraded me to the private little detached house with a private bathroom right next to the main house. It was such a great place to stay and the veranda at the main house was super cozy and pretty. The host was amazing and I felt instantly at home!

Where to book: You can check the listing HERE. And if you’re new to Airbnb you can use my $30 OFF coupon HERE.

Travel Insurance for Italy 

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 pic below).♥

Sicly Road T

 

Norway 10 Day Itinerary: What to Do and See on an Epic Norway Road Trip

Norway 10 Day Itinerary: What to Do and See on an Epic Norway Road Trip

Ahhh Norway, one of my favorite places on earth! This was my 4th visit to Norway, and my second in 6 months. I think it’s safe to safe I am absolutely obsessed with Norway. The natural beauty and outdoor activities on offer are hard to beat. The reason I’ve been back so many times is because everything I wanted to see and do is very spread out. Norway is a long, skinny country and everything is very far away away from each other.

So I decided to rent a car and do an epic 10 day Norway road trip. The one place that didn’t really make sense itinerary-wise was Trolltunga. But hell, it was at the top of my Norway bucket list and I was gonna do it in even if it required a ton of driving!

During my 10 day road trip, there were 2 days that required about 8-9 hours of driving. However, the scenery on the way was half the fun. Renting a car is the best way to explore this beautiful country and saves a lot of time and stress trying to use public transportation.

Driving in Norway

Driving in Norway was so much fun because I could stop anywhere I wanted and take in the view. I didn’t notice any aggressive driving there so it was pretty stress free overall. The only thing you need to keep an eye out is the one-way tunnels. There were only a few of them on my trip and they weren’t too bad (probably because I was used to them after all the one way tunnels in Lofoten islands and Faroe islands).

Norway 10 day itinerary

I rented a car from Sixt in Bergen and returned it to Trondheim. When booking your car, make sure you check the one-way fees because I saw some companies that charged $800 for the one way fee! Sixt charged $250 which was the cheapest I found.

I had also used Sixt before a few times and absolutely loved them. Their customer service is great and I never have to wait in any line when picking up the car. This was a godsend at LAX airport!

Also, I’ve gotten upgrades for free 3 out of the 5 times I’ve rented with them. They really are no hassle and the cars are always shiny and new. And no this is NOT sponsored and I’m not getting paid to say this! I just really like the company.

Norway 10 day itinerary

TIP: Get the smallest car possible for those single-lane roads and narrow driveways. You won’t be able to pass some places with a big car

VERY IMPORTANT TIP: A lot of the drives in Norway require a ferry crossing at some point. For this reason, you can’t plan to drive in the middle of the night because you might get stranded and never make it to your final destination until the next day. All the ferry times are different depending on the route, but when I was looking at the schedules it appeared that the last one was usually around 10pm or 10:30pm. You definitely need to keep this in mind when driving in Norway.

If you use Google Maps and put the address is, you will see if there is a ferry crossing or not on the route. Just look for the little ship symbol (below).

Norway 10 day itinerary

Extra Transport Costs

There are a bunch of automatic tolls (mostly when you go into a tunnel) that you will pass while driving in Norway. Check with your car company because I was told not to stop and pay and that they would be automatically added to my bill in the end (way easier). Otherwise, there is a pay station before or right after the tunnel.

I ended up paying $108 in tolls for my long 10 day journey (ouch). The good news is I got upgraded to a Hybrid car and the total for gas was just $105 for 10 days. And that’s with 2 days of 8+ hours of driving.

I also paid a total of $50 in ferry crossings as well (4 ferries total).

National Scenic Routes in Norway

There are 18 national scenic routes in Norway offering stunning scenery with several viewpoints to stop at and have photo shoot or a picnic. You will see glaciers, fjords, coastlines, stunning architecture, waterfalls, and more. These are some of the most gorgeous drives in all of Norway, so make sure to drive at least a few of them on your Norway road trip!

I drove on a few of them throughout my 10 day Norway road trip including Atlanterhavsvegan (the Atlantic Ocean Road),Sognefjellet (on the way to Geiranger), and Geiranger-Trollstigen.

The Sognefjellet passes through Jotunheimen National Park, with towering mountains and some glaciers as well, it was spectacular.


Norway 10 Day Itinerary 


Day 1-2: Bergen

Day 3-4: Odda + Trolltunga hike

Day 5-6: Geiranger

Day 7-8: Trollstigen + Ålesund 

Day 9-10Atlantic Ocean Road +Trondheim

Bergen

Bergen is the most adorable little city and a great introduction to Norway. It is also known as the gateway to the fjords since many of the boat trips out to the fjords start in Bergen.
Norway 10 day itinerary

For all the best things to do in Bergen, I will redirect you to an article I wrote for Eurail HERE.

Where to stay in Bergen

More affordable: I stayed in an Airbnb that was a 15 minute walk to town. It was on top of a hill so the walk had beautiful views most of the way. It was a 2 bedroom apartment on the bottom of the host’s house. It doesn’t have a kitchen or stove but it does have a fridge so you can make sandwiches and such. It was super cute and the host was super warm and welcoming. She even leaves a mug of hot coffee outside your door in the morning. It was only $48/night and for the price, it can’t be beat in Norway! It can sleep 3 people. You can check the listing HERE

*PS: I was supposed to be on this trip with 2 other friends but they cancelled last minute so I had 2 bedroom places the whole trip because of this…not because I’m ballin’ or anything haha.

More luxurious: on my first trip to Bergen I stayed at Hotel Oleana and LOVED it. You can read my review of the hotel HERE.

Drive from Bergen to Odda 

Driving time: about 3 hours

Ferry crossing: there is a ferry crossing from Tørvikbygd to Jondal to get to Odda . It costs 53 NOK ($6) and takes about 20 minutes. (The ferry leaves about every hour). You can pay by credit card. They will come to your car with a card machine while you’re in line and it’s a super easy process. FYI: I didn’t need cash at all on this entire trip!

Odda

Odda is a gorgeous little town set in a fjord and is sort of like the gateway to Trolltunga. This is where you will want to look for accommodations if you plan on doing the Trolltunga hike.

Where to Stay in Odda

Airbnb: I stayed in a 2 bedroom apartment on the top of my host’s house that had the BEST views of the whole city in my opinion! The stairs to get up there were brutal and extra steep, but that’s the small price to pay for incredible views like that. There were sweet views from the main bedroom, the living room, and the kitchen.

The host was just incredible and like your mother greeting you with a big hug like you know each other. She even came and helped me with all my bags up those evil steps. She also brings up a basket of hiking gear that you can borrow like wool sweaters, hats, gloves and gives great tips about the hike and where to park/when to go, etc.

It was also one of the most affordable place to stay in all of Norway at $78/night for an entire 2 bedroom apartment. You can check out the listing HERE. You can also use my $40 OFF coupon here if you’re new to Airbnb.

Trolltunga Hike

Trolltunga is definitely one of the best hikes in Norway and the longest hike I have ever completed. My body was sore for days afterwards and I could barely even walk, but it was definitely worth it!

Norway 10 day itinerary

Tips for Hiking Trolltunga

  • Parking costs are RIDICULOUS so the more people in your car the cheaper it will be
  • Trolltunga upper parking only holds 30 cars and opens at 6am. Get there by 5:30am. I arrived at 5:33am on September 4th (end of peak season) and was number 14 in line. It cost is 600 NOK ($72). The cost to park at the bottom lot is 500NOK ($58) so not much difference.
  • Parking at the upper lot will takes off 3 KM each way of your hike so it’s totally worth it. It turns a 28km hike into a 22km hike.
  • The entire hike is on uneven rocks the whole time. There are no bathrooms or trash cans. There are also no bushes or trees to hide behind so if your bladder is weak, you’re going to have to get creative for your privacy. (I held mine for 12 hours like a champ).
  • The hike will take you 8-12 hours round trip, including a break for lunch and waiting in line for pictures. (I heard some people who completed it in 6 hours total, but they must be VERY fast hikers…it took me 11 hours, but I am on the slower side as I had a partially torn ACL on the hike!).
  • Start the hike as early as possible so you won’t have to wait in the LONG line for pictures on the Troll’s Tongue (Trolltunga). You also don’t want to be hiking back in the dark.
  • If you get in line for the picture before noon you won’t have to wait long for your picture. I heard that in the peak summer months it can take up to 3 hours to wait for your picture (Sucky!)
  • Just below Trolltunga on the left is a mini Trolltunga with a spectacular view. You won’t have to wait long for your picture there. You do have to climb down on some slippery rocks so just go slow.
  • The hike is super safe and can be done solo with no problem. There are many people on the trail so you’re never alone. There is no dangerous wildlife either.

Norway 10 day itinerary

Sunrise on the start of the Trolltunga hike.

Drive from Odda to Geiranger

Driving Time: 8-9 hours. This is the longest drive of this whole trip but you can stop at many places for a picnic or for photo ops. You will pass though a windy road through Icelandic landscape and even a glacier.Norway 10 day itinerary

Drive through Jotunheimen National Park via Sognefjellet, home to Norway’s highest mountains (see National Tourist Routes above) to get to Geiranger. This road was absolutely breathtaking and the time passed so quickly driving through here. Although, in reality it took me forever since I kept stopping every 2 feet for photos.

Norway 10 day itinerary

There was a small fee for driving this road but it was SO worth it. It cost 80 NOK($10).

Norway 10 day itinerary

Just a glacier in the background, NBD

Stop at Lom Stave Church on the way to admire the beautiful traditional Norwegian architecture (and also to stretch your legs).

Norway 10 day itinerary

Geiranger

Geiranger is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and I think it’s one of the most beautiful places in all of Norway.

What to Do in Geiranger

Flydalsjuvet viewpoint and rock-to get to the rock you have to step over a 1 foot mini fence behind the men’s bathroom. Then walk straight down the path that curves to the right. It takes 1 minute from the bathroom. It’s roped off because it’s dangerous so please don’t bring your children or dogs out there. Also, make sure you’re not wearing sandals or unsturdy shoes. There are no rails or anything and the drop is several hundred feet. BE CAREFUL!

 

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Norway leaving me speechless again 🇳🇴. I might like this view more than Trolltunga and it only requires a one minute hike 😋. It’s hard to find though and the tourism board doesn’t tell you where it is because apparently there have been some accidents here. So they built a little one foot fence to “block” off the area 😂. So yeah, that didn’t stop me from seeing it for myself. But in all seriousness, there are no barriers to this few hundred foot drop so please be careful and wear sturdy shoes. Your life is not worth a photo ✌🏼#flydalsjuvet #geiranger #geirangerfjord #visitnorway #adventuregirls #choosemountains #natureonly #norwaynature

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Fjordsetet (the Fjord Seat)-be the queen of the fjord and admire the vast beauty of Norway from this epic seat at the top of the lookout point.

Norway 10 day itinerary

Hike-there are many hikes around Geiranger ranging from 30 minutes to multiple hours. I didn’t attempt any hiking as it was raining most the time, and also because I could barely move from Trolltunga.

There are fjord cruises on offer that will take you around the fjords for 90 minutes. The cost is 350NOK ($41) and it leaves 3 times a day.

Fjordnaer Geiranger Sjokolade-this place is heaven for chocolate lovers. This cozy little cafe does chocolate tastings with unique flavors such as blue cheese chocolate and fresh berry chocolates (It sounds weird, but it’s so good).

Norway 10 day itinerary

They also offer a famous hot chocolate with white, dark, milk, or chili chocolate flavors. Oh, and maybe my favorite, coffee chocolate! My mouth is watering just reminiscing about this place.

Ørnesvingen Eagle road-on your way out of Geiranger, take the Eagle Road up the mountain to a gorgeous viewpoint over the fjord and valley. It’s on the 63 road on the way to Trollstigen.

Where to Stay in Geiranger

I stayed in a cute little 2 bedroom cabin apartment at the top of the hill with a magnificent view of the valley below. The views form the restaurant were mind blowing (pictured below).

A lot of the hikes start right from the accommodation so it’s an excellent place to base yourself. It’s so peaceful and quiet up there and I would definitely recommend it.

Norway 10 Day Itinerary
Where to book: I used booking.com for this place. It cost $140/night and fit 4 people. You can check the listing HERE. And if you’re new to booking.com, you can use my $20 OFF coupon!

Drive from Geiranger to Trollstigen 

It takes 2 hours to get from Geiranger to Trollstigen on Road 63. The drive from Geiranger to Trollstigen is a national tourist route, as mentioned above.

Ferry Crossing: there is a ferry crossing from Geirangervegen to Trollstigen at Eidsal. It takes 10 minutes and costs 98 NOK ($12).

Trollstigen

Trollstigen is known as “The Trolls Road” and is probably the most famous National Tourist Route that you can drive in Norway.

Norway 10 day itinerary

Trollstigen is a famous windy road carved into the mountain that consists of 11 hairpin turns going steeply up the mountain with the gorgeous Romsdal Valley below.

The turns are so sharp at some points that I had to honk because I couldn’t see around the corner. It sounds scary, but if you drive slow, it’s more fun than anything.  You’ll also pass some beautiful cascading waterfalls on your way down as well.

NOTE: Trollstigen is usually closed from October/November to mid May due to snow so make sure you plan accordingly (the dates may vary, but you can check the status here on the official page of the Norwegian Scenic Routes.

Drive from Trollstigen to Ålesund

It takes 2 hours to drive from Trollstigen to Ålesund.

Ålesund

A fire in the early 1900s basically burned Ålesund to the ground and they rebuilt it in the art nouveau style. That’s why it looks different than any other city in Norway. It looks like the old town of a Central European city.

What to Do in Ålesund 

Hike up to Aksla viewpoint (Aka Fjellstua), a mere 418 steps to the top. There is a cafe with an awesome view at the top where I sipped cappuccino and had a lovely GF pastry.

The Ålesund harbor is a nice place to grab a drink and people watch.

Norway 10 day itinerary

Kayak-there are kayaks available to rent to take around the harbor if it’s a nice sunny day.

Ålesund can easily be done in one day (or even a day trip from somewhere else), but it was a nice place to relax and unwind after all the driving I had been doing.

Where to Stay in Ålesund

I stayed in a 2 bedroom penthouse apartment with the most amazing views of the city throughout the whole penthouse. It was right in the center of town so it was nice to just walk outside and be around all the restaurants, attractions, and shops. It was also only a few minutes from the walk up to the viewpoint.

Where to book: My 2 bedroom Airbnb was $200/night and could fit 4 people. This was in September so it might be a little more during peak season. You can check the listing HERE.

Drive from Ålesund to Atlantic Ocean Road

It takes a little less than 3 hours to get from Ålesund to the Atlantic Ocean Road.

Ferry Crossing: You must take a ferry from Vestnes to Molde. It costs 152 NOK ($18) and takes about 40 minutes. (The ferry runs about every 45 minutes).

Atlantic Ocean Road

The Atlantic Ocean Road is an epic windy road connected by peninsulas in northern Norway. The road goes over the powerful ocean and on stormy days the waves come crashing onto the road. Google pictures of it, it’s quite scary looking!

Norway 10 day itinerary

The Atlantic Ocean Toad takes less than 10 minutes to drive and has many stop-off places to park and take pictures. There is a little visitor center with a cafe and toilets. They also built a 360 degree walkway that you can walk full around and see both sides of the road.

Ferry Crossing: from the Atlantic Ocean road to Trondheim takes about 3.5-4 hours and requires a ferry crossing from Halsa to Kanestraum. It costs 106 NOK ($12.50) and takes about 20 minutes. (The ferry runs about every 20 minutes).

Trondheim

Trondheim was founded by the Vikings in 997 and used to be the Viking capital of Norway until 1217. Trondheim is a super colorful town that has lots of things to do so don’t overlook this awesome city. It really surprised me!

What to Do in Trondheim

Go to the old town bridge for the best views of the colorful buildings against the water. The old wooden buildings used to be housing for the working class. They have been beautifully preserved and now house cute cafes, shops, and restaurants.

Norway 10 Day Itinerary

Walk through Bakklandet area for the cutest little neighborhood and cafes. This was my favorite area of the city and I could have gone cafe hopping all day.

Norway 10 Day Itinerary

Walk up to the Kristiansten Fortress for great views over the city. There were many picnic tables and people jogging and working out up there.

Norway 10 Day Itinerary

Go to the famous Bakklandet Skydsstation for fish soup (and GF bread). This is a traditional little restaurant with a homey feel inside.

Where to Stay in Trondheim

I stayed in a 2-bedroom apartment that was about a 15 minute walk to the main part of town. The tram was also right outside so it was very convenient to get around. It was super spacious and cost $120/night and fit 4 people. You can check the listing HERE.

Travel Insurance for Your Norway Road Trip

Shit happens, especially when you’re out being adventurous every day. That’s why I would never travel anymore without travel insurance. Travel insurance doesn’t just cover your delayed/cancelled flights, it also covers medical expenses in case of emergencies, lost or stolen items on your trip, and lost baggage.

My go to travel insurance is World Nomads. I’ve been using them for 4.5 years now and I love them. I have had to file 3 claims so far and I got fully reimbursed for all of them with no hassle. It’s not the cheapest on the market, but they have some of the highest coverage of any travel insurance. For this reason, I will continue to use them!

How to Get World Nomads for Your Next Trip

If you want an idea of how much travel insurance is going to cost, you can get a quick quote below:

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Norway 10 Day Itinerary

 

What to Do in Rhodes, Greece (The Perfect 5 Day Rhodes Itinerary)

What to Do in Rhodes, Greece (The Perfect 5 Day Rhodes Itinerary)

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 beachKalithea 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.

What to Do in Rhodes, Greece

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.

What to Do in Rhodes, Greece

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!

What to Do in Rhodes, Greece

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.

What to Do in Rhodes, Greece


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.

What to Do in Rhodes, Greece

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

What to Do in Rhodes, Greece

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 Marina has gorgeous turquoise waters and a little island with a monastery you can visit.

What to do in Rhodes, Greece

Agia Nikolaos has is a small pebbled beach with a few beach shacks selling food and drinks but it’s pretty secluded. 

What to Do in Rhodes, Greece

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. 

What to do in Rhodes, Greece

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

What to Do in Rhodes, Greece

How to Get to Symi Island

The catamaran from Rhodes to Sými took 50 minutes and costs 30€ round trip with Dodecanese 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. 


You may also enjoy: Why Milos Should Be on Your Greece Bucket List | The Perfect 4 Day Milos Itinerary


Day 3: Day Trip to Lindos & St. Paul’s bay 

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.

What to do in Rhodes, Greece

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).

What to Do in Rhodes, Greece

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.

What to Do in Rhodes, Greece

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!

What to do in Rhodes, Greece

There are many unique openings in the ruins in which you can take some cool pictures (see below). 

What to Do in Rhodes, Greece

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 

What to Do in Rhodes, Greece

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!

What to Do in Rhodes, Greece

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)
  • Knight street 
  • 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)

What to do in Rhodes, Greece

  • Mondraki port
  • 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!
What to do in Rhodes, Greece

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. 

Fly 

The direct flight was 50 minutes from Athens and cost $75 2 months in advance or $90 the night before.

Ferry 

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.

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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 🙂

 

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

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

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

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

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

How to Get To the Faroe Islands

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

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

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

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

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

Summer Daylight Time (Midnight Sun)

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

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

How to Get Around the Faroe Islands 

Rent a Car

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

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

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

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

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

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

Helicopter 

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

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

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

Driving in the Faroe Islands 

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

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

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

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

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

How to Stay Connected in the Faroe Islands

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

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

Currency in the Faroe Islands

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

Sea Tunnels 

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

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


Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary


Day 1: Mùlafossur Waterfall, & Sørvágsvatn

Day 2: Day trip to Mykines  

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

Day 4: Day trip to Kalsoy island

Day 5: Gjógv, Slættaratindur hike, & Kvívík

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

Day 1 (Mùlafossur Waterfall, Sørvágsvatn)

Mùlafossur Waterfall

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

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

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

Hike to Sørvágsvatn

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

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

Day 2 (Mykines day trip)

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

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

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

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

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

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

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

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

Saksun

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

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

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

Tjørnuvík

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

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

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

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

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

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

Tórshavn

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

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

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

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

Day 4 (Kalsoy)

Hike to Kallur Lighthouse in Kalsoy 

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

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

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

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

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

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

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

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

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

Day 5 (Gjógv, Slættaratindur hike, Kvívík)

Gjógv 

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

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

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

Visit the Town of Kvívík 

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

Faroe Islands 5 Day Itinerary

View from my Airbnb in Kvivik

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

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

Getting Alcohol in the Faroe Islands 

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

What to Wear in the Faroe Islands 

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

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

What to Pack for the Faroe Islands 

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

Where to Eat in the Faroe Islands

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

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

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

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

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

Travel Insurance for the Faroe Islands 

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

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

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

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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 🙂

 

Peru | Sacred Valley Quick 6-Day Itinerary

Peru | Sacred Valley Quick 6-Day Itinerary

I recently spent 6 wonderful days in Peru exploring Cusco, Machu Picchu, and the Sacred Valley. I was on limited time so I wanted to see as many places as I could in a short amount of time. I didn’t get much sleep, but boy did I experience some awesome sites! You can sleep when you’re dead, right?

Sacred Valley 6 Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive to Cusco, relax and acclimate

Day 2: Taxi Tour to the Sacred Valley with drop off in Ollantaytambo

Day 3: Morning train from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu, limited afternoon ticket to Machu Picchu

Day 4: Hike Machu Picchu Mountain, take late afternoon train back to Cusco

Day 5: Cusco all day

Day 6: Rainbow Mountain all day tour


Sacred Valley 6 Day Itinerary: Day 1


Cusco

What to Do in Cusco

Saqsayhauman (aka “Sexy Human”)– a 30-minute walk from town with cool ruins and the best view over Cusco.
Sacred Valley 6-Day Itinerary
Plaza de Armas-the beautiful main square lined with restaurants and shops. It’s a good place to people watch, shop, sip coffee, and eat.
Sacred Valley 6-Day Itinerary
San Pedro Market-a large local market with cheap goods and food. It’s about a 10 minute walk from Plaza de Armas.
Chocolate Museo-for chocolate lovers, there is a free tour and chocolate tasting. You will not only taste chocolates, but everything chocolate flavoured, including fruit jams and liqueurs.
San Blas Neighborhood– the hipster area of Cusco that has cute artisan shops and great views over the city.
Sacred Valley 6-Day Itinerary

Where to Get Coffee with Soy Milk in Cusco (Because…lactose intolerance)

Finding coffee with soy milk in foreign lands can be quite tricky, but I found 2 great places in Cusco.
Punchay Cafe– in the San Blas area is a cute little cafe with soy milk options.
Sacred Valley 6-Day Itinerary
Cappuccino cafe-a cafe overlooking the main square with awesome views and soy milk options (pictured above).

Where to Eat Healthy Food in Cusco

As you may have heard me say before, I am allergic to gluten and extremely lactose intolerant. Therefore, most my food choices involve healthy/organic restaurants that aren’t the cheapest places to eat. But hey, being healthy ain’t cheap! The following are my favourite healthy restaurants in Cusco:
Organika-a tiny restaurant with awesome farm to table food and great juices. I tried the caesar salad and substituted the caesar dressing with passionfruit dressing and it was incredible! I am not a salad girl at all, but this one impressed me with the robust flavours.
Nuna Raymi-a large and cozy restaurant with organic food with fresh herbs and veggies/fruit. They have all the herbs and veggies displayed so you can see what you’re eating. I tried the gluten free version of Loma Soltado with Alpaca that was amazingly tender and juicy. Allergens are labelled on the menu.
Per.uk-a small restaurant near the main square that had the most amazing trout ceviche I have ever tasted. Allergens are labeled on the menu.
Greens Organic-an organic restaurant right off the main square that has awesome feta avo salad and juices. Allergens are listed on the menu.
Chia-gluten free/vegan/vegetarian new restaurant with yummy green curry.
Cafe de Museogreat breakfast and coffee with balcony seating outside. It’s also a nice cozy atmosphere inside.
Uchu-upscale steakhouse that I splurged on my last night and it didn’t disappoint. You can cook your own meat on a slab and they had the best side salad I’ve ever tasted. The wine was top quality as well.

Where to Stay in Cusco

I rented a room in an Airbnb for just $16/night. It had an amazing view over Cusco and an awesome host. Breakfast was also included. The room was basic and the hot water only lasted about a minute, but hey for the price, location, and awesome host it was super worth it. You can check the listing here.  And if you are new to Airbnb, you can use my $40 OFF coupon here. (it will also give me a coupon as well, yay).
 The first photo is the view from the Airbnb and the second is the cute little street the Airbnb is on. Sacred Valley 6-Day Itinerary

Sacred Valley 6 Day Itinerary: Day 2


Sacred Valley

I decided to explore the Sacred Valley on the way to Machu Picchu. Through my excessive research I found the taxi company called Taxidatum, which had great reviews for professionalism and safety. I ended up using them 3 times in Peru and they were very professional, punctual, and drove slowly/safely.

The company offers Sacred Valley day tours as well as a final drop off in Ollantaytambo. I did the Sacred Valley tour which stopped in Chincheros, Maras, and Moray. The cost for the entire car was $65 so you can split between passengers. I did it solo and had my own private car, which ended up being cheaper than the train and so worth it. I could go at my own pace and stay as long or little in each place as I pleased. I highly recommend doing this to see some of the awesome sites along the way to Machu Picchu. My favourite stop was Maras, with the endless salt pans set in between the gorgeous Andes mountains.

Make sure to get the touristico bolistico ticket for 130 Soles. It allows entry into Ollantaytambo, Moray, Maras, Chincheros, Saqsayhuaman and a bunch more ruins and museums around Cusco. You can buy the ticket at any of the included sites (I bought mine when I entered Chincheros).

The salt mines of Maras used by the Incas in ancient times are still in use today.

Sacred Valley 6-Day Itinerary

Similar in appearance of a Greek amphitheatre, the concentric circular depressions of Moray remains a mystery. However, because of the vast temperature difference from top to bottom, it is believed they were used to cultivate certain crops and the area at the bottom was used as an agricultural research station.

Sacred Valley 6-Day Itinerary

Ollantaytambo is a common starting point to the Inca trail, this beautiful little city deserves at least a half day to explore. My taxi tour ended in Ollantaytambo and I had a half day to roam around, walk up the ruins, and relax before my morning train to Machu Picchu. From the top of the Ollantaytambo ruins, you can see the whole city and stunning landscape completely surrounded by the Andes mountains. I absolutely loved this city.

Sacred Valley 6-Day Itinerary

Sacred Valley 6 Day Itinerary: Day 3


Machu Picchu Tickets: Things to Know

As you may have heard, new regulations went into place on July 1st this year which is restricting tourists to either a morning ticket or afternoon ticket.  Before you could just go any time of day and stay all day…not anymore.

Sacred Valley 6-Day Itinerary

Despite what you will hear, there aren’t 2 time frames, but actually there are 3. The morning, afternoon, and the limited “Horario Vespertino 13:00 horas”.

Machu Picchu Tickets
Morning ticket + hike allows entrance from 6am-12pm. Cost: 200 Soles ($62)
Afternoon ticket + hike allows entrance from 12pm to 5:30pm. Cost: 200 Soles ($62)
Horario Vespertino allows entrance from 1pm to 5:30pm Cost: 120 Soles ($37)
Machu Picchu entrance without any hike costs 152 Soles ($47)

The limited half day ticket starts at 1pm instead of 12pm. It’s cheaper than the half day and I got this one for my first afternoon there. The next day I got the morning ticket with the hike to Machu Picchu Mountain.

I spent a total of $99 for my 2 tickets to Machu Picchu. It’s not cheap, but I’m so glad I went 2 days. The first day I went in the afternoon at a relaxed pace taking photos and walking around the ruins. The second day I did the hike and after that I was so exhausted I didn’t stay much longer. The afternoon trip plus the morning hike was perfect.

You need to purchase your tickets as far in advance as possible because the number of people per day has been limited, especially for the mountain hikes. They only allow 800 hikers per day for Machu Picchu Mountain. For Huayna Picchu Mountain, the daily limit is only 400 hikers per day. It was actually sold out when I checked 2 months before so make sure to plan way in advance.

There are 2 different time slots for the hikes, and you must pick one when buying your ticket.

Machu Picchu Mountain time slots
1st time slot: 7-8am
2nd time slot: 9-10am

Huayna Picchu Mountain time slots
1st time slot: 7-8am
2nd time slot: 10-11am

Sacred Valley 6-Day Itinerary
To buy tickets, you will have to go The Ministry of Culture Website which is quite confusing. The site is annoying and takes forever to load and sometimes crashes, but just be persistent and try again. They only take Visa card for payment so don’t try to pay with MasterCard or Amex or you will wonder why it’s not working. I found a great step-by-step guide by Thrifty Nomads that will walk you through the confusing process, which is what I used. You can check their article here.

Visiting Machu Picchu

Take the Vista Dome or Expedition train from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu. I booked my tickets on Peru Rail. When you get to Peru, you must take your confirmation to a Peru Rail office and get the actual tickets. They are a little slow with everything so give yourself an extra 30 minutes to get the tickets from them.

Sacred Valley 6-Day Itinerary

The view from the Vista Dome Train

You can only bring one small carry-on bag on the train as there is no overhead storage. If you want to bring anything else, you will need to email them 48 hours in advance and if they still have availability they will tell you yes. Still, no huge suitcases will be allowed due to space.

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Nothing like getting a stranger to hold up your @gopro stick above your head for the money shot! Thanks @_mance_ 🤗. Even cooler that I made Game of Thrones reference cuz his name was Mance and he understood what I was talking about and didn't just think I'm some creepy weirdo😂 • I love traveling solo, I meet so many more people as it forces me out of my comfort zone and to talk to people I usually wouldn't if I was traveling with others. Do you prefer traveling solo or with others? I'm curious to know! 💙 #machupicchu #visitsouthamerica #solotravel #visitperu #gopro #goprogirl #wearetravelgirls #thetravelwomen #mountaingirls #GirlsvsGlobe #girlsborntotravel

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Once in Aguas Calientes, get a round-trip bus ticket for $24 to Machu Picchu and get up there by 1pm. By 3:30-4pm it was virtually empty. I almost had one of the top tourist sites in the world all to myself. I would definitely recommend going in the afternoon when there is less people. The only thing is you can only hike the 2 mountains during the morning time. This is exactly why going for 2 days is key!


Sacred Valley 6 Day Itinerary: Day 4


Machu Picchu Mountain 

Hike Machu Picchu Mountain in the morning. Allow yourself 4 full hours to complete the hike roundtrip. Take lots of water. Because of the altitude, the hike is intense and you will need to stop a lot to catch your breathe.

Sacred Valley 6-Day Itinerary

I caught the Expedition train back at 3:20pm and arrived in Poroy station at 7:10pm. There is no train station in Cusco and the station used is called Poroy, a 20 minute taxi ride outside of Cusco.

 


Sacred Valley 6 Day Itinerary: Day 5


Cusco 

Whatever activities you didn’t get to on day 1, finish up today. Tomorrow will be a very strenuous day so make sure to take it easy.

Sacred Valley 6-Day Itinerary


Sacred Valley 6 Day Itinerary: Day 6


Day Trip to Rainbow Mountain

Pickup is at 3:30 or 4:30 in the AM so make sure you get enough rest. You will drive 3 hours total, with a stop for breakfast, before getting to the entrance. Once there, you will have an option to rent a horse, which I highly recommend unless you have amazing cardiovascular endurance. Rainbow Mountain sits at an altitude of over  17,000 feet, so for most of us that don’t live at high altitudes, this will be the most challenging hike you will ever do. Pace yourself, go as slow as you need, rest when your body tells you, and drink lots of water.

Sacred Valley 6-Day Itinerary

Even with the horse, you will have to hike the last 200 meters which is at an extremely steep incline. I thought I was going to die and had to keep stopping every 10 steps to catch my breathe. My heart felt like it was going to explode in my chest. The altitude is no joke so make sure to listen to your body.

Sacred Valley 6-Day Itinerary

Even through all that extreme exhaustion and fatigue, the views at the top are SO worth it. It’s such an incredible natural phenomenon to see. There will be many tour groups there so it’s a little tough to get photos without a million people in them. But I managed to find a perfect spot. At the top of the mountain, turn left and walk down a little bit and the perfect spot will be on the left. It’s a little farther away from view than you see in photos, but I much preferred it to get some photos without people in them.

Sacred Valley 6-Day Itinerary

I paid $30 and booked online with Haku company via findlocaltrips.com. They were selling the tours in the city for 70 pesos (about $21), but I wanted to read reviews on the company as I have heard many stories of companies in both Peru and Bolivia having a problem with the drivers being drunk. There has also been many accidents with tourists which have resulted in death so I was not going to take that chance. I am willing to pay more for my safety and piece of mind. Please do your research before booking with a company that involves any kind of transport in Peru and Bolivia.

Travel Insurance for Peru

I never go on a trip anymore without travel insurance. Never. Too many bad things can happen (and they have unfortunately). Shit happens when you least expect it.

After crossing into Bolivia, my cellphone was stolen. Traveling without your cell is the worst! I’m so glad I had insurance because when I got back I filed the claim with no hassles and got fully reimbursed for my phone + the expensive case that it was in. Thank God!

My favorite travel insurance that I have been using for the past 4 years is World Nomads. I have made 3 total claims so far and have been fully reimbursed for all 3. I highly recommend them.

*this post contains affiliate links.

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Palawan, Philippines | How to Spend 7 Days in Paradise (Coron + El Nido)

Palawan, Philippines | How to Spend 7 Days in Paradise (Coron + El Nido)

Palawan has been voted the most beautiful island in the world, and for good reason. With its plethora of crystal clear turquoise waters, stunning lagoons, and plunging cliff lines, its not hard to see why. Palawan is the epitome of the word paradise.

There’s a lot you can do and see on Palawan even with a limited timeframe. I spent a week in Palawan, split between El Nido and Coron and it was the perfect introduction to the Philippines.

 


Palawan 7 Day Itinerary


Day 1-4: El Nido, Palawan 

 

How to Get to El Nido

To make it simple, it’s going to take a long time! There are no direct international flights to El Nido so you will have to fly to Manila first, and then either fly to Puerto Princesa and take a 6-8 hour van ride up to El Nido.

Or there is the more direct (and more expensive) option of flying nonstop to El Nido. I flew with Air Swift on a short flight from Manila and it cost me $130. To me the direct flight was worth it to get there quicker.

You’ll be greeted at El Nido airport with a serenade from the local Filipino women, a unique welcome to the Philippines!  Air Swift passengers are also given free coffee, juice and snacks upon arrival.

To get to your accommodation, you’ll most likely have to take a tricycle, which reminds me of a mini tuk tuk. It costs 300 PHP to get to town (around $6) and takes around 15-20 minutes.

El Nido Tours

People flock to El Nido for the famous island hopping tours. There are 4 main tours leaving from El Nido: Tour A,B, C, and D. Creative, huh? They also offer combined tours if you’re super short on time (but some of the stops are cut out obviously).

Tour A & C are the most popular and most the pictures you’ve seen from El Nido are most likely from those tours. If you had to pick just one, hands down I would choose Tour A!

All the tours are a fixed price by the government so don’t bother trying to negotiate. There are dozens upon dozens of tour companies in town and they pretty much all offer the same tour with the same stops so no need to be extra picky on this one. I am one for good reviews so booking online beforehand wouldn’t be a bad option either.

Day 1: Nacpan Beach

Rent a motorbike for 300-500 PHP and drive 45 minutes North to Nacpan Beach. The last 20 minutes is super bumpy and rocky and it’s uncomfortable but not dangerous. There’s a little restaurant that serves fresh seafood and drinks on the beach.

Unfortunately, Twin Beach was closed due to a court case involving squatter activity until further notice so it’s impossible to get that infamous view of Twin Beach. This was the best I could do from the bottom of the hill. You can kinda see both beaches, but not so epically. Meh.

Palawan 7 day itinerary

Sunset at Las Cabanas Beach

Take a tricycle to Las Cabanas. It will cost 150 PHP from town and takes less than 10 minutes.

Las Cabanas is a great place to relax and unwind from the day, and have a drink if you’d like. There are a few cafes right on the beach and it’s a very popular place to catch the sunset. Meremgmeg Beach Bar was really cool and had swings at the bar instead of seats.

Day 2: Tour A 

Take Tour A, the post popular (and my favorite) of the tours. The tour will take you on 5 stops including: Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Simizu Beach (lunch stop), Secret Lagoon, and 7 Commandos Beach.

Cost: 1400 PHP (~$27)

I will highlight my favorite spots below:

Small Lagoon

You can’t swim in this gorgeous lagoon. The boat takes you in and you just sit back and enjoy turquoise waters like you have never seen before.

Palawan 7 Day Itinerary
Big Lagoon

You can rent a kayak (Depending on availability) or snorkel and explore the big lagoon, which was so much fun!

Palawan 7 Day Itinerary

Secret Lagoon

The Secret Lagoon was unreal in terms of beauty. We had to jump off the boat and swim here from a distance where we could explore the hidden lagoons and caves. This is exactly what I imagined the Philippines to be.

Palawan 7 day itinerary

7 Commandos Beach

The last stop of the day is on this long white sand beach. They have a bar and souvenir shop, as well as comfort rooms (what they call restrooms in the Philippines). There is also a fun rope swing that you can play with!

Palawan 7 Day Itinerary

Day 3: Tour C

I booked Tour C with Art Cafe. The buffet BBQ lunch they served was really good! The tour leaves at 9am and comes back around 5pm.

Cost: 1400 PHP plus 100 PHP to rent fins (snorkel masks are already included).

5 stops are included on this tour including: Hidden BeachSecret Beach, Starfish Beach, Miniloc Shrine, and Helicopter Beach.

I found absolute paradise in Hidden Beach. I kinda wanted them to leave me there “accidentally”. 
Palawan 7 Day Itinerary
The Miniloc Shrine had the best viewpoint over the islands (cost is 100 PHP to go here). There are very pointy rocks at the top so please be careful.

Day 4: Mt. Taraw and Kayaking

Climb Mt. Taraw

This is guaranteed to be one of the most risky hikes you will ever do. Do NOT attempt to do this hike without a guide, it’s quite dangerous (and I don’t say this often).

You’ll be stepping on jagged, pointy, super sharp rocks and at some points you will be climbing up a 90 degree angle! It’s honestly more like rock climbing than a hike. Except that you will have NO harness or protective ear. But the 180 degree panoramic view at the top is worth all the fright and agony getting up there, trust me!

Palawan 7 Day Itinerary

You can go in a group or hire a private guide. The whole trip takes about 2.5 to 3hrs. It costs 500 PHP for one person and can be as low as 300 PHP if you get a few people to go.

Tips for Hiking Mt. Taraw:

  • Take a sweat rag. I was dripping sweat and was all slippery. Not cool when my guide reached for my arm to pull me up in some places.
  • Start as early in the morning as possible to beat the heat.
  • I really wish I had brought gloves because the rocks I had to pull myself up on were super sharp.
  • Make sure to bring sturdy shoes (they won’t even let you hike without closed-toe shoes), water, and snacks.
  • Don’t bring many items with you. You do not want a big backpack on your back when you’re doing this climb. My guide actually didn’t let me carry a bag and put my stuff in his backpack.
  • Make sure to grab the rocks with your hands before moving with your feet.
  • On the way down go backwards, it’s easier and safer.

Rent a Kayak

Rent a kayak for 400 PHP and paddle over to Bikal Beach on Cadlao Island. There is a small and secluded crescent shaped beach which takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour to get to. You’ll most likely have the beach to yourself. Unless you go in the morning because I believe tour D makes its first stop here.

Wouldn’t you love to have a whole stunning beach to yourself?

Palawan 7 Day Itinerary

Get a Massage

Get a massage to end your trip in El Nido. It costs about 500-600 PHP per hour for a full body massage and you can find these massage shops all over the city.  I got a head and food massage to end my day and it was just perfect after all that hiking and kayaking I had done.

Best Way to Get between El Nido and Coron

There’s a newer fast boat option by Montenegro Lines that leaves daily from El Nido at 6am and from Coron at 12pm. The journey supposedly takes 3.5 hours (it took about 4 hours and 45 minutes) and is pretty comfortable in a clean and air conditioned boat. They play a movie on the flat screen during the trip. I booked my ticket online through Naturalis.

Make sure to arrive to the port 30 minutes early to check-in and pay your port fee (20 PHP) before you can board. You can pick your seat when you check in so if you’re prone to sea sickness, make sure to pick a seat in the back of the boat.

Cost: 1848 PHP + 20 PHP port fee (about $36 USD).

If you want to save a few dollars there is a slower ferry option on a freight ship that takes 7+ hours. I heard it’s extremely uncomfortable and the boats are older and less clean. Just google it if you want to make your decision easier. It’s literally less than a $10 difference so why put yourself through that hell? Take the fast boat!

Day 5-7: Coron, Palawan

Day 5: Ferry to Coron

There isn’t much to do in Coron town honestly. It was a stark contrast to the lively El Nido, so just take the afternoon to relax before the evening activities.

Head to Coffee Kong, for some good coffee. It’s a cute little coffee hangout and the only place I found with soy milk! They also serve breakfast and have really good Air Con.

Hike Mt. Tapyas before Sunset

You have to walk 700 steps to get to the top of Mt. Tapyas, but it’s well worth it. It will take you about 25-30 minutes to walk to the top. How it works is you hire a tricycle to take you there, they wait for you, and then they take you to Maquinit Springs (which is 20 minutes away). The entire ride only costs 300 PHP (~$5) and I was with my driver for about 4 hours.

Palawan 7 day itinerary

iPhone pic from the top of Mt. Tapyas

End the Night at Maquinit Springs

Maquinit Springs is a huge natural saltwater hot spring surrounded by mangroves in the jungle. It’s a super unique setting and although it’s quite busy, it’s still very relaxing.

Palawan 7 day itinerary

I must say these were the hottest hot springs I have ever experienced. Have you ever noticed that most hot springs are warm, but not very hot? Not this one! It’s super hot and exactly what your body needs after that hike up Mt. Tapyas.

Cost: 200 PHP for adults

Day 6: Island Escapade Tour

I booked with with JY Tours as it was recommended by my Airbnb host.

Cost: 1200 PHP (~$23).

Stops included: Malcapula Beach, CYC Beach, and Waling Waling Island. 

Malcapula Beach

A heavenly white sand beach and crystal blue waters. It’s one of the prettiest beaches I saw in the Philippines.

Palawan 7 Day ItineraryHiked up the little hill for this secret view.Palawan 7 Day Itinerary

CYC Beach

CYC is the only remaining public beach in Coron. Compared to all the other beauty I saw in the Philippines, this beach was pretty run down, crowded, and dirty. Our group was wondering why they even had this stop on the tour. No pictures here because there wasn’t much to see.

Waling Waling Island (aka “Mini Maldives”)

Locals refer to this beach as the mini Maldives due to the crystal waters. It was my favorite stop of the day!

Palawan 7 Day Itinerary

During low tide, a sand bar appears and you can walk out onto it. It is breathtaking.

Palawan 7 day itinerary

Completely unedited iPhone shot of the gorgeous Waling Waling island.

There was another stop on our itinerary but our guide chose to go here instead…which none of us were complaining about!

Day 7: Ultimate Coron Highlights Tour 

Stops included: Twin Lagoon, Kayanga Lake, Skeleton Wreck, Bamboo Beach, and Siete Pecados.

Cost: 1500 PHP (~$29). I also went with JY tours for this one as well.

Twin lagoon

A stunning lagoon where you can swim under the rocks (or walk up steps) to get to the more hidden lagoon.

Palawan 7 day itinerary

Completely unedited shot of the Twin Lagoon on my GoPro

This is the view entering the area of the Twin Lagoon. This was shot on a moving boat with my iPhone and I did NOT edit it at all.

Palawan 7 Day Itinerary

Bamboo Beach

This white sand beach was lined with mangroves and had no one else in sight. This is also where we had our peaceful lunch stop.

Palawan 7 Day Itinerary

Kayanga Lake

Kayanga Lake crystal clear lake known as the cleanest lake in the Philippines and some also say the cleanest lake in Asia.

The “money shot” of Coron you will see if you google “Palawan”. This view is on the walk up to Kayanga Lake.

Palawan 7 Day Itinerary

Skeleton Shipwreck

You can dive (or snorkel) to see Skeleton Shipwreck where you can see the skeleton of a sunken Japanese ship.

This is what you will see above the shipwreck. How amazing is this water?

There are also many bright tropical fish around the area. Can you see the sunken ship? It would have been fun to scuba dive down inside of it!

Palawan 7 day itinerary

WIFI Connection in the Philippines

Wifi connection is very poor in the Philippines, so staying connected was not the easiest. I used a combination of a local SIM and my Skyroam portable hotspot device to stay connected.

You can get a local SIM for 600 PHP ($12) for 4GB plus 1 free GB (5gb) with Global SIM at the airport kiosk. The plan lasts 30 days.

You can also use a Skyroam portable wifi hotspot. You can read my detailed post all about it here and decide if it’s worth it for you: Is the Skyroam Portable Hotspot Device Worth It? The No BS Truth

Where to Stay in Palawan

Accommodations in Palawan were more expensive than I imagined they would be in the Philippines. I spent about $30 per night. When I travel I usually spend on average $25 per night to rent a room (more if I rent out a whole apartment). But the value for the price in Palawan was not that good and the standards were a lot lower than I expected for that price.

That being said, go in knowing what to expect! I stayed in Airbnbs in both Coron and El Nido. While I cannot recommend the place I stayed in El Nido, the room I rented in Coron was very large, clean, and had good Air Con. The host is from California and was really laid back and helpful. It was in a convenient location and was pretty comfortable. You can check out the listing here.

If you’re new to Airbnb, you can use my $40 OFF Coupon. Or even if you are not, you can sign up with a different email and use the coupon as well! ♥

Travel Insurance for the Philippines 

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.

*This post contains affiliate links. 

 


Have You Been to Palawan? Is there Anywhere Else you Would Recommend to Visit that I Missed?

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Palawan 7 day itinerary