Let’s face it, we all have 3-4 weeks of vacation unless we are a full-time blogger getting paid in exchange for content. We want to use our time wisely therefore, I’d like to share what I call my SOLful 7 travel destinations.
SOLful ESCAPE #1
Greece is the type of place that makes you pinch yourself, that out of this world beauty that can’t be measured. The food, the people, the many things to do and see here are endless. I was fortunate enough to visit Athens and Zakynthos. I decided on Zakynthos because at the time Mykonos and Santorini were saturated with tourists and though people can be fun to meet while you are away, I’m not particularly a fan of huge crowds. My visit was in June of 2017. Try to avoid July and August unless you are sitting poolside because weather conditions are extremely hot and not comfortable for touring by foot. If you are not a tropical baby like myself, I suggest looking into cooler months to enjoy your visit. We explored Athens mostly by foot. Most sights are easy to get to and the locals are super friendly so feel free to ask for directions. After four beautiful days of ruins, magnificent culture, and legendary temples we headed to Zakynthos situated in the Ionian Sea, West of the Greek Mainland to soak up some sun. Renting a car for me was ideal in order to explore and really get a feel for the country. Below is a sample of my itinerary. I hope to inspire you to visit my #1 SOL-ful destination. #visitgreece
- Landed in Athens. Traveled to our hotel via taxi.
Rented a car from #SixtLionCarRental and drove to the Kyllini Sea Port. The drive is approximately 4 1/2 hours. We used the Attiki Highway with tolls to get out of the city of Athens faster versus using the free highway.
- Jumped on the Ferry with our vehicle (ferry ride is about 1 hour). Food and beverages available for purchase.
- Once you’ve arrived to Zante, there are many options to travel to #shipwreckbeach or just stay and enjoy the island and its beautiful beaches. I suggest exploring shipwreck. You can rent a boat and stay at shipwreck for 3 hours. They will wait for you while you enjoy your swim and scenery. Keep in mind #shipwreckbeach has no food, water or anything you can purchase so bring everything you need. #TheSolMat is a perfect travel accessory considering this beach is very rocky. If you like to enjoy the island and visit ship wreck from above, you can use your rental to do so.
SOLful ESCAPE #2
Incredible, picturesque…a feast for your eyes. Those are just a few of the words that come to mind when Ithink of #iceland. First time ever staying at a #airbnb that surely didn’t disappoint. From the cutest coffee shops, delicious food, and iconic sites making it one of the most visited places in the world. Every picture you take will look like a post card or better yet, you’ll feel like a professional
photographer. Why didn’t it make it to SOL-ful Escape #1? Maybe I prefer sunny over chilly weather but it was a toss-up between the two. I loved it so much that I would visit again in a heartbeat. I can’t really say that for 90% of the countries I’ve visited. Have I convinced you yet? Check out some of the sites you can’t go home without visiting. The #goldencircle covers many of the most popular sites including, #Keriocrater, #Geysir, #Seljalandsfosswaterfall, #blacksandbeach, #gullfosswaterfall and #bluelagoon but I recommend also visiting #diamondbeach and covering both the East and West of the country. Give yourself two weeks in Iceland. Renting a car is recommended though during the winter months the weather conditions may make driving a bit more challenging so be safe travelers.
4 night stay at a luxury apartment near Saebraut road in the Reykjavik financial district. $800
total. Hosted by Kristinn. Includes, two bedroom, full kitchen, patio, flat screen TV, Netflix and the decor was modern and gorgeous.
SOLful ESCAPE #3
Have you ever wanted to stay permanently at your vacation location? Well, I almost did when I visited Curacao. I honestly had no clue where it was located at first and didn’t know much about the island. I learned very quickly that
Curaçao, is a Dutch Caribbean island surrounded with pastel-colored colonial architecture, white sandy beaches and activities that will impress your adventure-seeker self. You can also visit Blue Bay, a popular diving site if that is up your alley. My favorite activity while I visited was most definitely #aquafari for underwater fun and adventure. Not only was the experience a blast but the staff was unparalleled which makes you want to revisit. I even became #instagram friendly with my friend, Andy #amelstak who is a staff member at the #aquafari location. You can also #seabob to explore the clear waters of Curacao from down under. The list is endless and so are the many private beaches you don’t hear about on the web. Don’t miss out on this hidden gem. Keep in mind, dry season is from January to September and wet season id from October to December. Enjoy! And make sure to say Danki when you are pleased with your service!
Where to stay:
https://www.paradisebymarriott.com/curacao-marriott- beach-resort- emerald-casino.html
SOLful ESCAPE #4
I visited #Dubai back in 2010 and I would love the opportunity to visit again being that it is constantly evolving. You have probably heard nothing but exciting things about the bustling city, desert tours, skyscrapers so tall you’ll wonder if you are dreaming and camel rides into the sunset. I would start with Burj Khalifa’s light show and the Dubai Mall. The light show is similar to Vegas but wait, who am I kidding? Dubai really doesn’t like to be compared to any other city. The Dubai Mall is the biggest mall in the world. Find anything from an enormous food court, a hotel located inside the mall, and a hospital. They even have an aquarium and skating rink, and of course tons of fancy shops. I didn’t have much time to spend there but I would plan an entire day around the visit. Wealth and fortune in every corner of the city! I also took a road trip to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and visited Spice Souk a traditional market in Dubai
that completes that feeling of really experiencing the culture outside of the busy Dubai life. I like to fly #americanairlines but if you would like to experience luxury at its best I suggest #emirates and business class will do. Look out for promos to save on the flight. I guarantee you won’t ever want to fly coach again.
Where to stay: http://www.shangri-la.com
SOLful ESCAPE #5
Okay, okay so I’m biased being born and raised in PR but my experience is solely based on taking more than ten trips to #laisladelencanto as an adult exploring every inch of the island. U.S. territory, no passport needed, U.S. dollars, English speaking country so when looking for convenience, fun, colonial buildings, some salsa nights and waterfalls, Puerto Rico is the place. Where to stay? #elconvento or #laconchahotel are on the top of my list of hotels. They offer easy access to local shops offering everything from handmade jewelry, leather goods, instruments and more. Walk to #castillosanfelipedelmorro which is a fort with breathtaking views of the ocean. If you like casinos, Puerto Rico has plenty. What I mostly enjoy of my island is that there is something for everyone. Beach bum? No problem! Adventure type? There’s plenty of options.
Or maybe you are just a foodie? Well, that’s easy. Don’t be fooled, PR has vegan and organic places as well as sushi restaurants with some amazing top chefs. This SOL-ful location is one that I never get tired of visiting. Take the trip and share your thoughts with me at myeyes-wandering.
#elyunque - Natural Rain Forest
#LasPailaswaterfall _ Natural water slide in Luquillo
#castillosanfelipe - Fort located in Old San Juan
#gozalandia - Waterfall, Located in San Sebastian
#cuevadelindio, #cuevaventana - Caves with a view
#Flamencobeach, #palominobeach, #culebrabeach, viequesbeach - all must see beaches in PR.
On my last trip this past January, I enjoyed all the locals coming together to paint flags all over the island in solidarity for the Hurricane that struck PR last year. Seeing people come together in honor of something they love was truly touching.
SOLful ESCAPE #6
Sounds pretty simple, or maybe boring? Think again, Cancun waters are the kind of blue you can’t quite explain but trust me, all you’ll need is UV Ray sunglasses, a bathing suit and my favorite beach accessory, a beach hat. I have visited Cancun 4 times. I love visiting different locations, staying at different hotels and every single time I come back saying “TEQUILA!” :) I recently took my mother for her 60th birthday. We stayed at the #riupalacelasamericas located near Quintana Roo. We didn’t leave the all- inclusive hotel b/c they offered about 5 different dining areas, 3 pools and a spa. Water activities
were an option and a schedule of things to do and shows to see daily. The service was excellent and the grounds were impeccable. This location for me is nothing more than an escape from our busy lives. I like Cancun for a few different reasons. I enjoy the food, the spas, and mostly just relaxing. They do offer tours, however, for me Cancun is mostly appreciated poolside and lying by the beach. Bring a carry on, (my choice when traveling #samsonite), pack 3-5 bathing suits and disconnect from the world back home.
Places in or near Cancun on my list:
#chichenitza, #tulum, #coba, #palenque and #xcaret
Where to stay: RIU Palace Las Americas
SOLful ESCAPE #7
Brazil is known for its vibrant energy, Amazon rain forest, carnivals said to be the most celebrated in the world and probably the most fit and gorgeous humans you’ll ever see. The most visited site in Rio is, Cristo Redentor also awarded one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Did you know they don’t speak Spanish but rather Portuguese, making it the only country in South America that doesn’t speak Spanish. Where to stay? #ipanema near the beach. Aside from the many things to do, I really enjoyed the night time strolls on the beach mixing in with the locals drinking caipirinha’s and people watching. We took a taxi to see #christtheredeemer (very cool experience). Cost is about $15 US dollars. You can stay as long as you want but it is extremely difficult to avoid crowds at any time. I also visited #sugarloafmountain, with terrain parks and cable cars that hold about 60 passengers. They are available to take you up to the Sugarloaf’s summit. I went during the cooler months, they call it “Brazilian Winter” (June-September). If you like to go swimming, visit from April-June to enjoy the best weather. Returning to Brazil is in my near future plans. I will be covering different cities and towns the next time around. I like being completely transparent
about my travels. Brazil is dreamy, you feel young and light when you are there. However, I can’t say that traveling there alone is the safest…at least not yet. We became friendly with our taxi driver, he pretty much became our personal tour guide the entire stay. He was honest, informative and clear on what to do and not to do. I ONLY recommend this if you are traveling with a group. I also prefer taxis used by hotels vs random taxis driving by.
Happy travels to you all!