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travel tips

Editorials, Travel Inspiration  • 

5 most incredible places in Sardinia

March 25, 2015

Sardinian beaches

Sardinia, an Italian island on the Mediterranean, is mostly visited for its top-rate beaches and great weather. What most of the tourists are missing though is one of the oldest and most mysterious cultures of Europe, deep forest ravines and one-of-a-kind natural wonders. Each day of my visits to Sardinia was a great adventure and it was hard to choose the most unforgettable experiences, but here goes:

Su Nuraxi

Sardinia nuraghes

Sardinia had for centuries remained the home of a mysterious Nuragic civilization, who built distinctive megalithic towns, fortresses and temples, generally called nuraghes. Though they left over 7 thousand of those monuments around Sardinia, little is known about those people, their religion, origin or even the purpose of their constructions.

The most famous place to explore the mystifying nuraghes is Su Nuraxi site near Barumini town – maybe you will be the one to solve the mystery of ancient Sardinian people…?

Golgo plateau

Donkey in Sardinia

The best place to get to the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia – Cala Goloritze and Cala Sisine. Golgo is interesting by itself, with its San Pietro church, donkey pastures, natural swimming pools and… the biggest sinkhole in Europe. Su Sterru might not look impressive, but the though that this 270 metres (885 ft) deep hole was used for human sacrifice can give you the chills.

Capo Caccia

Neptune's Grotto Sardinia

The peninsula near Alghero town has a lot to offer to the tourists who visit it: panoramic views on the sea, great beaches and the famous Neptune’s Grotto. This 4 km long cave, with many of its chambers hidden under water, is one of the most prominent attractions of the island. Even the steep stairs by the sea are worth a visit.

Orgosolo

Sardinia Orgosolo

This town in Sardinian mountains is famous for murals created here since 1968. The paintings tell the history of Italy but also engage in political and social discussion. Artists, even from outside Sardinia, are encouraged to add their own murals.

Visiting Orgosolo can be interesting from another reason: its locals are native Sardinians, unlike the Italians on the coast. Though they now speak the same language, their heritage is different from the rest of Italy which is clearly visible in small towns like this one.

Cala Goloritze

Cala Goloritze

Cala Goloritze remains my favourite place on Earth and I still can’t even believe I’ve even been there! Turquoise waters and rock formations distinguish Cala Goloritze from other beaches in Sardinia and, as it’s unaccessible by car, the number of tourists isn’t overwhelming. You, too can get to this paradise by taking a trekking route from Golgo plateau (1,5 hour one way) or renting a boat.

Editorials, Travel tips  • 

Winter in Europe – 5 places you must visit

January 5, 2015

Though winter months might be a low time for travel, because of low temperatures that don’t really encourage sightseeing, there’s plenty of interesting places to visit in Europe during this time. From skiing resorts to warm retreats, here are my top destination for winter travel!

Rome

I’ve visited Rome in February and since then I’m convinced that winter is the perfect time to visit the Italian capital. The weather is mild (about 15 degrees Celsius) and there are definitely less visitors than in summer – you can easily get to every tourist attraction, avoiding the usual queues. Streets and restaurants are less crowded, not to mention that hotel prices are three times lower than during high season.

Innsbruck

Austria with its beautiful mountains is a great country to visit during winter. The best place to start your exploration of Austrian Alps is the city of Innsbruck, as it’s located between very high mountains and near several big ski resorts. It’s also very charming and offers lots of activities for tourists all year round.

Budapest

One of my favourite cities in Europe offers the best solution to cold weather: thermal baths. There are over 15 of them in Budapest and some offer outside pools to swim during the winter – you have to try it! To keep your belly warm, there are also two food festivals in February: Mangalica and Gozolgo. If you need some more inspiration, head on to this site!

Les Trois Vallées

A huge region in France where you can ski all interlinked valleys using a single ski pass. It’s actually the biggest area of this kind in the world and quite an impressive one – with over 600 km of slopes and 180 lifts everyone, from a begginner to an expert, will find his perfect piste. Also, due to its size you don’t have to worry about queues and bumping into another skiers. Absolutely a must-see for every ski lover!

Here’s a handy guide for choosing a resort in France if you’re not sure which one would be the best for you.

Granada

The heat of summer in Spain can get unbearable, but mild temperatures of Spanish winter are perfect for sightseeing. One of the most mysterious cities is Granada, with its fascinating islamic legacy and narrow medieval streets. The main attraction is Alhambra – a walled palace on a hill which was once a residence of Nasrid sultans. You can also visit Generalife, a summer estate of the Emirs with a Persian garden – both of the palaces are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Editorials

10 reasons to visit Porto

November 10, 2014

porto ribeiraPorto in Portugal is one of the most surprisingly beautiful cities I’ve visited. Spending 4 days there was a great adventure so here are my 10 reasons to visit Porto!

10 Douro River and Dom Luis bridge

porto douro dom Luis
Douro is one of the longest rivers in the Iberian Peninsula – and also the heart of Porto, as city’s historic centre lies on the bank of this river. The most distinctive bridge across Douro is Dom Luis, constructed by Eiffel’s partner. Its upper deck is used by pedestrians and trams, while motor traffic occupies the lower deck.

9 Ribeira

porto ribeira
The poor port district on the right bank of Douro river. Though it’s loved by tourists for the expensive restaurants and souvenir shops, it hides a darker side. Ribeira is still a poor part of the city, with ruins, slums and stray cats ruling the streets.

8 Azulejos

azuleos church
Ceramic tiles, painted blue and used to decorate, surprisingly, the exteriors of many buildings around Porto.

7 Wine

porto wine

Rabelos boats that were used to transport port wine from upper Douro river

Porto is the home of port wine – a very sweet and strong drink. You can try Porto’s most tasty alcohol in one of the cellars of Villa Nove de Gaia, opposite side of Douro river. English tradesmen, who exported port to Great Britain, lived there and that’s why a lot of port wine’s names are English (like Sandeman or Offley).

6 Fado


You know what comes best with wine tasting? Sentimental fado songs. Telling stories about poverty, loss or life on the sea, they capture the melancholic Portuguese nature perfectly.
I was lucky enough to listen to live fado concert during wine tasting in Quevedo winery.

5 Clerigos Church tower views

clerigos views
I love enjoying cityscapes from above – that’s why I’m always on lookout for viewpoints! Clerigos Church tower was a perfect one – not only the whole (quite big!) city is visible, but also the ocean and Douro river. Awesome!

4 Francesinha

francesinha
Imagine meat… on meat, on another meat and another. Between two slices of bread. On top of that an egg and melted cheese. Then put this thing on french fries and pour some beer sauce on it. That’s how you get the manliest sandwich on Earth – francesinha.
Yes, it has four kinds of meat and it was invented for the sailors. It’s probably not the most healthy food – but it’s delicious, so who cares!

3 Surfing

matisinhos beach

Matosinhos beach, the best place to rent a surfboard in Porto.

This one’s special for me, as it was my first time surfing and I totally loved it. Portugal is a great place to surf anyway – especially if you’re really good at it. Nazare is the best place to surf record-breaking waves – like Garrett McNamara did in 2011.

2 Restaurant Street

seafood porto
Food might be my favourite part of traveling… Which is why I was thrilled to discover that Herois da Franca Street in Matosinhos was full of tasty restaurants with freshly grilled seafood. Seriously, it’s a whole street of restaurants, you have to go there.

1 Sunsets

sunsets porto
I’ve never seen such amazing sunsets like the ones in Porto… Are they like, saturating the sky to make it look better? Yes, probably!

All photos in this post by me, Aleksandra Boguslawska