Summer ’17 in Europe

Italy; Rome
Kicked off our 6 weeks in Europe with a 2 day stop in Rome, we were here a year ago and couldn't resist coming back,  for a couple of days of pizza and gelatoromeee059A0995
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Travel tips;

If you want to get quiet pictures in the streets of Rome and around the monuments; simple way.. set that alarm!

We were wandering around the streets from 7am and it is literally empty.

Where to eat; best places to eat for good local food; Trastevere, very close to the city centre, just across the bridge!

Ecru; for your healthy veggie/vegan lovers!

Cambio vita; vegan options for Gelato

Taxis were more convenient/cheap than Uber in our experience!

Montenegro; Budva & Kotor

We were invited by the tourism of Montenegro to come check it out in the summer, neither jack or I had been to Montenegro so what better opportunity to check out a new country! We flew directly from Rome to Pogdorica & then had a 40 minute drive into the town of Budva

we stayed at Hotel Adria, which was above a shopping centre, we had the top storey 2 bedroom apartment, which was massive, it had a kitchen, huge balcony with a hot tub & endless living space, which was nice since we had 4 nights here.

After freshening up we headed for lunch at a resort called Dukley lifestyle, a new resort, beach club/lounge, restaurants/bars, boutiques and residences. We started the meal with some special cocktails to celebrate our first time here in Montenegro, the kitchen catered perfectly to our needs & we shared a few things between us, risotto, quesadilla & jack had fresh fish from the Adriatic Sea. The restaurant overlooked the beach club & the bay of Budva, you could see the old town from there also.
After lunch we took their speed boat across the bay to the old town, which is actually much quicker by boat than car.


We met with the tourism official who walked us through the old town and explained all the history, we stopped for a gelato & headed back to the hotel so we could relax for a bit before heading to a spot for sunset.
For sunset we had a driver take us above Budva for some views over the entire coastline and town, I would highly recommend heading up here for sunset, theres a few spots up there usually near churches that I think are the best spots for sunset, it was about a 15 – 20 minute drive from the hotel, I'm not sure of the names of the locations, but if you show our images, all the drivers should know how to get to these spots, I believe they are well known 🙂

The second day we took a drive along the coastline to see some beaches, we also visited Sveti Stefan, which has first mentioned in 1442 but now is a 5 star resort by Aman, we went for a swim, laid by the sea and bought some fresh fruit of some ladies walking down the beach, thats something I love about Europe is when they are selling fresh fruit on the beach, especially when its my favourite- raspberries! We continued further along the coast to a few different spots that overlooked beaches and the coastline, it was a beautiful day, later we headed back to old town to a little cafe that served fresh juices & vegan options for lentil salads etc that I found on happy cow (my go to).
In the afternoon we took a drive to a Kotor where we took a boat trip around the lake/bay to see the monastery and lake side towns.
That night we again headed to those sunset spots the same as last night as it was looking like a better sunset that we just couldn't miss! Dinner afterwards was at a Thai style restaurant not far from where we were staying.

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SHOP SIMILAR SUNGLASSES (SAME BRAND)
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Our final day in Montenegro we went for a trip to Kotor again, this time we were heading to do the hike above the bay which is above a church, its a nice hike, pretty easy and stairs the whole day, gets really hot so best to go earlier, but the view at the top makes it worth it! We had lunch at a lake side Mediterranean restaurant before making our way back to Budva, on the last evening we met with all the tourism team for a dinner at our favourite dining experience- Dukley, it was a great way to end our time in Montenegro.

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Berlin

After leaving Montenegro we decided to head to Berlin for a few nights, we had heard it was the 'Vegan capital of the world' as we mainly eat plant based we headed there for a few days of eating 🙂
We didn't get up to too much whilst in Berlin, mainly just ate good food and a little bit of shopping, we found a couple of good vintage shops around!
Heres my suggestions;

Where to eat;

Daluma;We came here a few times, they did really nice coffee, smoothie bowls & salads, in a good area with great atmosphere, open breakfast, lunch & dinner!

Kopps Berlin; This is like a vegan 'fine dining' it was one of my favourite eating experiences I've had, we went for the degustation because there was too many options, and I was absolutely blown away by the food, I think its a place you could bring your non vegan friends for an amazing experience! ill be back again when I visit Berlin again!

Soy;We came here for dinner one night, all asian food, done vegan. mmm my fav!

Superfoods & Organic Liquids Our first meal we came here; I was so excited I didn't know what to order, they have many ready to go meals, juices & smoothies! Smoothies were my fav here, and right across from Daluma, in a great area!

If I were to come again I would stay in this area, this was close to vintage stores and many other cafes and restaurants.

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Sail Italy with The Yacht Week

We were invited to experience The Yacht Week, something I've always heard about but never experienced, I had a misconception on what yacht week was, and thought that it was just an events company, not realising it was actually the company that started the sailing Croatia that you often hear as of one of the best experiences of that Europe trip.
We wanted to experience one of the less known routes and decided to check out Sail of Italy, we flew into Catania which is in Sicily, the southern end of Italy close to Malta, we took a drive to the port- Portorosa where we would begin our sail, we spent the first night on the yacht in the port, and were welcomed with a delicious and healthy meal made by our hostess Malvina, she had done some planning & looked into Elsas blog before, and knew what kind of food we liked, what a gem! First meal was gnocchi and salad, it was so refreshing to have a home-cooked style meal after travelling and eating not the best for a few days.

The next day we had a pretty long sail to get to the first island, Salina, and we unfortunately were greeted with some unseasonal winds which made it not the most comfortable sail, but we all laid out on the decks and made the most of the first day of sunshine!
When we arrived we had a late lunch, before jumping off the boat to check out the town & head to the local winery, we had a quick walk around the winery, it was so beautiful up on the hillside of the island & after we all sat down for a wine tasting, accompanied with meal tasters.
Afterwards we headed straight to the dinner which was a seafood restaurant, plus other greek favs, els and I were craving pizza, which wasn't on the menu so we cheekily got a takeaway pizza from next door and brought it up and ordered grilled vegetables to put on our pizza 😉

The next day we had a late start, and in the morning els and I went for a run around some of the island, it was a beautiful way to see some of the island, with such a beautiful coastline road to run along, we then hired some old retro scooters that I actually thought were Vespas but after being corrected on my story I learnt they were actually not vespas but similar, we took the scooters for a ride along the coastline to a little seaside town to go for a swim, this was certainly worth it, there was so many insanely beautiful views along the road & the swim spot at the end was so refreshing from the hot Italian sun.
we also stopped at a basketball court along the side of the road for a fun little shoot, we headed back to the main town and boats, dropped our beautiful vintage bikes off and lunch awaited us!
We then only had a short sail to the next island, maybe 1 hour, time for some more European sun tanning..
When we arrived it was afternoon so we headed from the boat to the sunset bar -Bar Raya, there was a big yacht week party, so it was really busy and atmosphetic, we had cocktails and tapas for a few hours, it was a beautiful views over the sea & the entire town as the bar was situated at rooftop, this town reminded me of a greek town, I really liked this spot! after drinks we headed to dinner, we had earlier spotted a Japanese sushi bar, so we headed there, & it was SO good, we all got far too much sushi, and a few too many cocktails went around!

The following morning started with a refreshing swim in the sea, before sailing along to the final destination for us, Stromboli, the active volcano, and certainly a highlight for our trip, in the after we started the hike up the volcano, it was supposed to take around 2 hours to get to the top, but we kinda broke the rules and left the big group so we could get to the top quicker, I've never been keen on group hikes, its just too hard when everyone goes at their own pace, we got to the top in around 1 hour, they had estimated it to take at least 2 hours, at the top we stopped for around 20-30 minutes and watched the volcano erupt many times, none of us had ever been so up and close to an actively explosive volcano, around every 5 minutes it let off a huge explosion of rocks and debris, the sound was so loud, it really is SO worth seeing, and the hike was so much easier than I expected, on the way down you can literally almost ski down, we were down the bottom before some people were even at the top. although I'm sure it would have been incredible to stay up there for after sunset and seeing the colour that comes from the centre but we all had something else on our minds, pizza, which had been talked about all day long, so we were pretty eager to get there, and the pizza was as good as they say!

The next morning it was time to leave, an early breakfast and we headed to the dock to catch the ferry back to the mainland of Sicily, as it was far quicker on the fast ferries than to sail all that way, the actual sail goes for 7 days, but we had to travel to greece to catch the 2nd half of the Yacht Week Greece which you can read about next//


The Crew
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Little behind the scenes 😛

Sail Greece with The Yacht Week

We arrived in Greece to Athens and had to meet up with the yachts as the week had already began, it was a 3 hour drive to the port town of … we met with our skipper and hostess Connie who welcomed us with an incredible plant based meal, soo nutritious and tasty after a big travel day! The sun set as we arrived and it was something special. We checked out our rooms, this time jack and I scored the big ensuite room, which was far more spacious and comfortable than the previous!

That night the yacht week white party was on, but as I'm sure you may have gathered we aren't really the party people haha, next morning we left earlier than all the other yachts and made our way to the first stop- Hydra, with a few swim stops along the way we made it there around lunch time, I'd never explored any of this part of Greece, hydra was a beautiful island, we spent the afternoon exploring the town, jewellery shopping & eating gelato, and a little hike up the town, prior to sunset we wandered the streets for some photos, 1-2 hours before sunset is the best time to shoot around the streets when the light is soft but not too dark. Sunset we headed to this Greek restaurant called 'Sunset Restaurant' they brought out all different dishes for everyone to share, and brought us a few extra of the vegetarian/vegan options, sunset was so beautiful from this restaurant.

The next morning we hit the streets early and wandered about, there was some cute streets and doors for photos, and the town sleepy town was still quiet, just the locals starting their day. We spent the morning swimming near Sunset restaurant, theres a little cliff jump, while jack took a hike up to the top of the town with his mate, which now I wish I had of joined them.

Later in the morning we sailed around nearby to a quiet bay, we parked up and enjoyed chia fruit bowls inside watermelons! fun idea by Connie our Hostess! 🙂
We spent most the day here swimming, having lunch & creating some content, plus lazying on the front of the yacht.

In the afternoon we arrived to Poros, another nearby island, Connie made us our last meal 😦 as we were leaving for Athens the next morning by Ferry, as we only had a few days to experience the Yacht Week Greece.
I really enjoyed our time with The Yacht Week, I think its a really fun experience and to share with friends, The Yacht Week has a more intimate and personalised experience which I think makes a more memorable trip!
You can check out their site here and what other yacht trips they do; next I'd love to try The Yacht Week British Virgin Islands!
Make sure you check out their site for the full itinerary and destinations, plus dates for bookings! There was so many spots on the full itinerary that I wish we could have checked out if we could have had more time, always next time though! 🙂
Website here


Hydra

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Athens for 2 days;

We had a stop in Athens for a couple of days before heading to more islands heres some suggestions;

Where to stay; well I cant really recommend here, we booked somewhere that wasn't that good, So ill leave this open..

Where to eat; now Athens actually had a few good places to eat

Avocado: This was recommended to us and we made it here once, it was so good, I would highly recommend for vegetarians, so many good options, large servings!

Vegan Nation: This is like fast food vegan, everything is in the fridge ready, not to say its not fresh, everything I had was SO yum, they do a vegan moussaka, spaghetti, salads, sushi, carbonara,  falafel wraps, fresh juices and smoothies, chia pots etc. I stopped by here a few times, its really conveniently positioned.

There was also a smoothie/juice shop in the middle of the main tourist area in Athens which did Acai bowls, we went back 3 time for Acai bowls 😛

Lithos: We found this place when wandering the streets the first night, and it was really good authentic greek food, catered well to vegans, and had amazing service!


Greece; Ios

We headed to Ios again to spend 3 nights with some of our friends that are spending the summer working in A bar on the party island!

I love the combination of party young atmosphere, modern restaurants with international influence & beautiful coastlines!

Usually known as a party island of Greece where many young travellers head to, also has so much more than that.

Tips;

Hire a quad or motor bike and go explore more of the island, our friends that own Lost Boys Bar have taken us to some incredible spots on the island

Where to eat;

Harmony, although this restaurant can be very hit and miss with the food and service, I did keep coming back as they had a selection of smoothie bowls on the breakfast menu; acai, dragon fruit etc, and they were always good! A little on the $$ side but well worth curing my craving! First day I got the mango salad, highly recommend not to get that!! My sister got the falafel salad, I'd pick that over what I got!

Sally's kitchen; this had some great options for veggie and plant based eating! They make a vegan moussaka (traditional Greek meal) and the veggie stack is reaaal good!

Thai me up; smoothies and Avo on toast for breakfast, power bowls for lunch and authentic Thai for dinner, tick tick tick ✔️✔️✔️

Where to drink; my kinda night out is a bar where you can still have a conversation, serves cocktails and fun atmosphere; always start the night at Lost Boys Bar, after we ended up at Alt Bar, they do really unique and interesting shots!

Where to stay; last year we stayed at Aguilia Luxury Suites, this year they were sadly booked out 😦 it's really nice, but on the $$$ side!

This year I found a cute little find on booking.com

Yiolos hotel, right near the port, and 10-15 min walk to Ios town, 5 mins by bike/quad!

We had spacious rooms with little kitchens, brand new, clean, good pool area, close to beach and super friendly owners! I'd recommend this place confidently.


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Greece; Santorini


Back in paradise! Charisma Suites in Oia, the most beautiful hotels in the world all lay amongst the hillside of Oia.

We came to visit our friends at Charisma, we spent some time here the summer before and feel in love, the hotel has such a boutique intimate feeling, with only maybe 8-10 rooms it's a real personalised stay.

This time we got to stay in two different suites, both unique gorgeous, extremely spacious cave suites, the first one had a private dip pool with the most perfect spot to watch the sunset from with a glass of wine in hand! And the second room had the unique cave pool/hot tub, this was certainly the highlight of our stay!

They cater so well to my dietary needs & are the perfect choice for a honey moon stay. 🌙

When taking pictures in Santorini, a question I get asked a lot "how do you get no-one in your photos" pick your times! Sunset in Oia is SO busy, there really only is the one sunset scenic picture easily achievable from the spot where everyone sits, in the middle of summer it is insanely crowded, but we usually always head back to our hotel for sunset in peace 🙂
During the morning, not even that early the streets are fairly quiet, we usually shoot between 8-10am, depending where and what.. by 10am it begins to get a little busy and you need to have some patience, in the afternoons we would head out around 2.5 hours before sunset to shoot the streets, much more quiet, any closer to sunset and the crowds all flock in & I can guarantee disappointment.

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On the last day we organised a sunset cruise with Santorini yachting club, began around 2pm and explored along the coast of the island, stopped for swims & finished by watching the famous Santorini sunset from the sea, after the cruise we headed to their restaurant on the beautiful harbour called 'Sunset Restaurant' I'd suggest making a booking here especially during peak season it's a popular seafood restaurant!
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All images edited with our presets that are now for sale head to DoyoutravelXGypsealust

13 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness!!! I can’t believe how amazing your pictures turned out; you all looked like you had loads of fun… I’m definitely planning my Summer in Europe now!I’m curious to know though– where did you rent the scooters from?

    cheers,
    Falyn

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I loooove this post! So many beautiful pictures, your summer seems like an actual dream 😀 I’ve already been in many places in Europe, but you always take it to the next level and show me so many new places I really want to discover myself 🙂
    Its so so cool that you stayed in Berlin for some days, I live nearby and need to try some places that you’ve mentioned! Berlin is really perfect for vegans, but I think LA or Sydney are the capital of veganism 😀

    Love from Germany
    Xx Paulie ❤

    http://www.mind-wanderer.com

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Love your travels through Europe, I love all of them actually. I always check your blog to make sure you haven’t posted anything I haven’t read yet.
    You inspire me to travel more, and visit more places. You actually get me this far, to try and wake up early as well.
    Love from Belgium.

    Like

  4. I love your pictures from Greece, because it’s also my favorite travel destination in Europe! Try Crete next time, there are many wonderful places, too! Greets from Bavaria which is also worth a visit 😉

    Andreas – https://www.imrazor.de

    Like

  5. Your photos are so sublime! When I visited these places I felt these vibes but they never seem to come out in my pictures — but you guys nail it.

    Can’t wait to see what you get up to next and glad you enjoyed your time in Europe.

    Lucy x

    Like

  6. Hi, I’m just wondering, do you collect anything from your travels other than photos? Like souvinirs from each country you’ve been to. Thanks!

    PS. You’re posts are such an inspiration. XOXO

    Like

  7. Hello are you?
    I have notice your blog filter and instagram filter are different. Why is that? I’m just curious or is there any benefits that you can share on why you do that.

    Like

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