Europe

Best Hikes in the Faroe Islands

buy provigil from mexico “No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced.”

–         Fildena 200mg David Attenborough

Growing up in the Himalayan Mountains in a small valley known as Rishikesh in India, I have always been in love with mountains and I feel they can take anyone’s breath away.

I am a tough cookie, so it is not very easy to impress me, but it does not mean I don’t appreciate my surroundings or the hard work that has been invested in it. However, in order to make me feel WOW about a certain place, it should be astonishing.

Currently, Faroe Islands have done the trick quite well.

Faroe Islands are an archipelago between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic, about halfway between Norway and Iceland, 320 kilometers north-northwest of Scotland.(61.8926° N, 6.9118° W)

It is ethereal and immaculate. You probably may not have seen anything as pristine as this. The catch here is that you need to be at your fittest to be able to make the most out of your trip.

To reach and witness every viewpoint, you will have to hike, climb or at least walk for a minimum of an hour. It is only then that you will be able to experience the beauty of the Faroe Islands in all its glory.

It truly is another one of those “­­Heaven on Earth” places, undoubtedly meant for nature, hiking lovers and landscapes photographers.

Therefore, I am going to mention the best hikes in the Faroe Islands which you should consider doing. There are more than 25-30 hikes in these archipelagos and all provide you with the best views possible but, these are the best ones according to me which serve your soul purpose. I hiked 6 of them, lets see how many you can conquer. :p

Let’s begin!

  • Slaettaratindur
  • Mykinesholmur
  • Midvagur Bosdalafossur
  • Villingardalsfjall
  • Gásadalsbrekkan or Bøur Gásadalur
  • Eggjarklettur, Høgoyggj or Nólsoy Borðan
  • Kolfjarðardalur Leynar
  • Hvannhagii
  • Tórshavn to Kirkjubøur
  • Saksun TjørnuvÍk
  • Sandur SøltuvÍk

Fact: All the hikes on these islands are free except the one at Mykines Island which is for 100 Kr ($15-20 or 12-15 BP or around 15 Euros). According to me you need not hire a tour guide, but that is always an option. There are many local tour operators who would love to take you around their homeland. What I am trying to say is that this country gives you all the freedom to do what you want. Obviously, there are some limitations. *sly grin*

  • Slaettaratindur (Difficulty: Average | 4 hours return | Kind of Children Friendly | 5 kilometers)

Standing at 880m, this is country’s highest mountain. You will come across a parking area on your left when you will be coming from Eidi. At first you can start to walk towards the mountain from any possible and visible way till the time you reach the altitude of 500-600 meters or say after walking for about 35-45 minutes. At this point the actual hikes starts where you now must follow a particular route. From the moment you start to see Haldorsvik, that’s when you would know your hike has just begun.

 

  • Mykinesholmur (Difficulty: Average | 4 hours return | Children Friendly but difficult at some stages | 9 kilometers)

Nowhere in the Faroe Islands you can experience Puffins as closely as you do here. It is very common to see them fly near you or it might also be possible that they are standing right beside you. I believe they are such pretty birds with such a cute face!!! I totally love them!! They seem like the tiniest creatures who are so friendly. You will always see them with their daily diet.

Fishes!

A lot of them to be precise. They will always have a one or two or even more in their mouth all the time.

Follow the village sign towards Mykinesholmur as soon as you get off the ferry in the Mykines Island. The path that goes up to the lighthouse is the easiest one to follow. You just have to walk on the travelled path without disturbing the flora and fauna of the island.

THAT’S THE ONLY RULE!

 

  • Midvagur Bosdalafossur (Difficulty: Very Easy | 2 hours Return | Children Friendly | 8 kilometers)

I often refer it to as the LAKE ABOVE THE OCEAN. It is one of those famous photos you must have seen before coming to the Faroe Islands. After driving 5-6 kilometers from the airport towards the smallest capital of the world, Tórshavn, you will notice the lake Sorvagsvaten which is technically just beside the airport’s runway.

The hiking route is clearly visible from the works of previous hikers. It is a 120 minutes return hike to the peak which is famous among the travelers as, ‘LAKE-ABOVE-THE-OCEAN‘ point. Reach the top and get those cameras rolling and shooting.

 

  • Villingardalsfjall (Difficulty: Difficult | 4 hours return | Not Children Friendly | 5-6 kilometers)

According to many, it is the most difficult hike on the islands. The reason being many loose stones and its steep angle. It is not suitable for children.

As it is a hike on the Faroe Islands, you basically start from anywhere and end up anywhere because there are no specific rules regarding hiking except for the fact that you don’t disturb the flora and fauna on the islands. In this hike (due to its difficulty factor), you will be guided through every single step you take. For example, there are blue pipes on the way which will show you the path towards the top. If you follow those pipes, as far as I know, you will not face a single problem.

 

  • Gásadalsbrekkan (Difficulty: Average | 5 hours return | Not Children Friendly | 4 kilometers)

You now have two hiking routes to choose from. You have the option to either hike over the Arnafjall Mountain which is in Gásadalur. The route starts in the valley about three kilometres west of the village of Bøur. The path begins about one kilometer south (or left) of the tunnel entrance. You can see the path, which meanders up the Gásadalsbrekkan.

 

  • Eggjarklettur, Høgoyggj (Difficulty: Average | 5 hours return | Children Friendly | 12 kilometers)

The hike is moderate difficulty. You can complete the hike, grab a snack at a local snack shop and catch the return ferry to Tórshavn at 4:50 pm. In the island of Nólsoy this is the only hike possible to see the historical lighthouse. It offers a great view from up there.

 

  • Kolfjarðardalur Leynar (Difficulty: Fairly Easy | 2 hours Return | Children Friendly | 2.5 – 3.5 Kilometers)

 

  • Hvannhagii (Difficulty: Average | 3 hours | Children Friendly | 9 kilometers)

 

  • Tórshavn – Kirkjubøur (Difficulty: Fairly Easy | 4 – 5 Hours | Children Friendly | 8 kilometers)

 

  • Saksun TjørnuvÍk (Difficulty: Kind of difficult | 5 hours | Children Friendly | 6 kilometers)

 

  • Sandur SøltuvÍk (Difficulty: Fairly Easy | 4 Hours | Children Friendly | 8 kilometers)
Góðan dag(in). (go-wan dya-(in))
Good Day!

Vestmannaeyjar (Vestmann Islands) – Pompeii of the North

“To Move, To Breathe, To Fly, To Float. To gain all while you give. To roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live”

–       Hans Christian Andersen

Vestmannaeyjar Islands is a small bunch of islands on the south coast of Iceland. Elliðaey is the northernmost of them. These are basically islands which are formed by various eruptions in the last 10000 to 15000 years. This statistic is pretty new in terms of the formation of the mainland Iceland. The Vestmannaeyjar Islands Area consists atleast 50 volcanoes around it below and above the sea.

Probably, the tallest peak on the island.

I know I keep mentioning Elliðaey,  but, I just can’t help it. Its such a pretty island. Visiting Elliðaey was the most peaceful thing happened to me till now and I just can’t get over it EVER! Stepping onto the loneliest island on the planet was truly a ‘Dream Come True’.

Click here to read about the loneliest house in the world. 

To reach Vestmannaeyjar Islands, you will either have to take a ferry from Landeyjahöfn which is about 2 hours (90 Miles) away from the capital, Reykjavik. You can also  board the ferry from Þorlákshöfn(Harbour used during bad weather conditions). The ferry ride time from Landeyjahöfn is about 30-35 minutes and from Þorlákshöfn is about 2.5 – 3 hours.

 

Tickets can be purchased at Herjólfur.is or visitwestmanislands.com. It will cost around 30$ return trip for one person which I feel is kind of costly because many localites come to and fro from Vestmannaeyjar Islands to South Iceland and paying this amount everyday is kind of a drag. But, truth to be told, its totally worth it. Flying with Eagle Air could also be an option, but I don’t think its really necessary, it will definitely cross your budget.

Even though. There is this one advantage that you will get to see the Vestmfromannaeyjar Islands from above which is a great sight.

1 of the 6 islands with a single cabin

FACT: There are 6 islands (In Total: 15 Islands) among the Vestmannaeyjar Islands  with single cabins built on them. Basically, every one of them is kind of “The Loneliest House on Planet” which is undoubtedly a great caption for your Instagram Post. 😛 Visit any one of them and you may experience the best time of your life.

Click here to read about the “Loneliest House in the World.”

Vestmannaeyjar Islands are so beautiful that at some specific points on these islands, you will feel that how can something this pretty exist in the real world. A fantasyland is what I may call it.

It is a kind of place where you can enjoy the peaceful time GOD has given to you. Just understand that you only have nature to adore here, and if I am honest, that is all I need.

FACT: The eruption that technically built these islands were not any normal eruptions. These were one of the biggest and longest eruptions in the history of Iceland. The eruption in 1963 lasted for 4 freaking years!! This lead to the formation of Surtsey, (the southernmost island of the group)If you think, Kilauea, Hawaii was a long eruption (3 months), then think about this. Even the second longest eruption here took lasted for about 155 days.

 

The place you must visit while you are in Vestmannaeyjar Islands is Stórhöfði.

This is recorded to be the windiest place in Iceland and I definitely believe it.

It is also considered to be a great spot to watch Puffin birds and Whale Watchimng (from the islands itself with the help of binoculars). When you walk from the dead end of the road where the parking lot is, you will find a small gate. Cross that gate and go where the path takes you.

Go till the end of the path, Stand there.

Observe the islands, the birds and the plants around you.

Inhale the silence these islands provide.

Spend as much time as possible.

Because this is probably the only time in your life (which I hope is not) when you will get the chance to listen to the waves around you in such bold silence.

This is the beauty of Iceland.

So, as you might have already understood, one day is enough to experience the beauty of Vestmannaeyjar Islands. I would recommend taking the earliest ferry at 09:45 and return back with the latest one at 22:00,

And guess what? It will all be in daylight in SUMMERS!!!!

Unless, you want to visit every one of those 15 islands which I highly doubt because that requires a lot of time. I clearly have this audacity to do this. There is a person I know, a friend who has done this. He is the one who took me to Elliðaey and I cannot thank him enough.

Contact me via my social media platforms incase you want to visit or leave a comment somewhere. You will get the required details.

He is a great guy and he is doing great work to increase the access to these islands for the tourists with the help of cliff rappelling.

He is so much taller than my brother in law!!

There is a place near/around the islands ,it is known as Sprangan there. He hosts tours around this area quite often.  I will be posting about his plans in the future, do check it out. He is undoubtedly the best person if you want to make the best out of your Vestmannaeyjar trip. Contact me if you need his info.

Thats me getting ready for the climb of my life

You can also hike up to the Volcano or Heimaklettur (which is the highest peak in Vestmannaeyjar) or take a boat tour around the islands. There is a Natural History Museum you can go to and Eldheimar Museum which will tell you about the Volcanic History of the islands.

I hope you get to visit the Vestmannaeyjar as soon as possible because once you do, there is not enough energy in this world that can prevent you from loving it.

Happy Travel!
Þú varst falleg Vestmannaeyjar

The Loneliest House In The World, Elliðaey

“Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Little place right on the

Pacific. You know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific? They say it has no memory. That’s where I’d like to finish out my life, Red. A warm place with no memory. Open a little hotel right on the beach. Buy some worthless old boat and fix it up like new. Take my guests out charter fishing.”

-Andy, The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Elliðaey – The one & only…

When was the last time you felt as peaceful as Andy did at the end of “The Shawshank Redemption”? I bet you have never felt that way. Well, I did. Not because I ran away from prison but, because I could hear the waves which were kilometers away from me, so clearly, that my mind could think of nothing else but, peace. Yes, that’s EXACTLY how I felt. Only if I had the guts to dive down from those tall cliffs of the island into the North Atlantic Ocean, I would have.

Elliðaey is the northernmost of the Vestmannaeyjar Islands in the South Iceland. It’s the first island you see while going on a ferry to the Vestmannaeyjar Islands from Landeyjahöfn (South Iceland port).

Click here to read my blog on the Vestmannaeyjar Islands

Probably, the tallest peak on the island.

Today, I am gonna tell you about Elliðaey, where lies the loneliest house in the world. There is not much information about this island on the internet. Some say that it belongs to an Icelandic singer, some say it’s a haunted house and some say it belongs to the government. None of it is true.

The house shown above, on the island Elliðaey belongs to the Elliðaey Hunting Association. Now, this hunting association does not exist since Puffin hunting was made illegal in South Iceland in the year, 2008. Since then, only on some selected days of the year, it is allowed to hunt Puffin on this island.

Me(Left), My brother in law, Our Angel :p (Right)

Nowadays, the house is locked even though it is all clean and well maintained on the inside. It’s a great house in my opinion.

Elliðaey is basically an island made of rocks and lava. No one is sure whether it came blowing off from another island or a volcano during an eruption and got settled here or the island itself was a volcano and threw parts out of it and created other islands in Vestmannaeyjar Islands.

You can read about Vestmannaeyjar Islands here

I was there with my brother in law and we were scared as hell about the weather being so horrible that day, and we would have to cancel the entire plan and return with disappointment. Although, God was on our side (He always is) and He provided us the finest of the Icelandic weather there is to offer. A clear sunny day. Well, clear and sunny 4 hours, but yeah, it was worth it. Fell in love with it instantly.

I am the guy with the beard.

Now, I have heard and read many strange stories that it is illegal to go on to this island and you can be thrown into prison for attempting to do so. It is all false. I mean, obviously you wouldn’t want to go there all by yourself because it is too risky since it does not have a proper harbor to dock your boat and neither does it have a proper route.

You must sort of jump a little and climb a little and walk (walk cautiously) a little in order to get to the island. Or, in other words, experience the most peaceful time of your life.

Elliðaey was special for me. Not because its one of those places which is hardly touched by humans (Although, it’s a cool reason), but because, the moment I saw the picture of this island on the internet, I knew I had to go there in any possible way.

I literally had to pull some strings, mind it, INTERNATIONALLY to go to this island. I talked to many people from Iceland who made it clear that you will find no one who can take you to Elliðaey  but I was adamant on going there even if I had to do it myself.

Luckily, I found someone who could officially take me to the island and tell me great mysterious facts about it too. He also took me for hiking and rock climbing on this island as well as various other islands among the Vestmannaeyjar Islands.

I will have to ask him to mention his name here, but, if you ever wish to visit any of the Vestmannaeyjar Islands, you can contact me through any of my social media platforms and I will personally guide you how to do so.

Also, I have this audacity to do things which people don’t normally do or to go to places where people don’t normally go to. Its just my thing. So, the day I stepped onto this island, I felt so complete. Like, I could literally hear myself breathing. It was so quiet up there.

Gosh, I feel like going there right now. If you ever go there, promise me that apart from spending time on your phone ,cameras and drones and action cameras, you will give yourself at least 60 minutes to just stand up on the tallest cliff and just listen.

Listen to the waves hitting the rocks, listen to the Piglike grunt of the Puffin birds, listen to the “baa” “baa” of the sheep and listen to your mind talking to itself that how beautiful is this gigantic world where there is so much to see and learn and do. Do this and you will thank me forever.
Þakka þér fyrir Ísland!

Day Trip to Copenhagen

“If Copenhagen were a person, that person would be generous, beautiful, elderly, but with a flair. A human being that has certain propensities for quarrelling, filled with imagination and appetite for the new and with respect for the old – somebody who takes good care of things and people.”

–       Connie Nielsen

Copenhagen - City of Spires

One day in Copenhagen, these are the places to visit:

  •     Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 
  •     National Museum of Denmark
  •     The Christiansborg Palace
  •     Nyhavn (Pronounced as “Ny-Heaven”) {Say “Ny” as you say “my”}
  •     Amalienborg Palace & Frederik’s Church
  •     Den Lille Havfrue (The Little Mermaid)

People call it the Bike capital of the world, the City of beautiful towers (for its medieval and Renaissance architecture) and Kongens Village.

I call it Love.

Copenhagen, which sits on the coastal islands of Zealand and Amager in Denmark is without any doubt one of the most peaceful countries you will ever visit in your lifetime.

The Place is good.  The People are great. The Architecture
AND THE BEER IS FANTASTIC !!!!!!!!

Yes, the hometown of the Carlsberg Beer Group is a pretty famous tourist-ey city. Around 55 % of Europe drinks Carlsberg. Haven’t you seen that famous ad that goes this way.

“If Carlsberg did meeting rooms, they would probably be best in the world.”
If Carlsberg did meeting rooms, they would probably be best in the world.

Now, I am going to tell you what to do or which places to visit in Copenhagen if you are there for just one day.

A little heads-up. If you are a fitness freak kind of a person looking for some extra adventure along the trip, you might as well opt in to travel around Copenhagen on a bike, after all, it’s the bike capital of the world. Its real fun!

  •   Visit the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

Start your day by visiting the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek which is an art museum having some extravagant personal collections of Carl Jacobsen, the son of the founder of the Carlsberg Breweries. It will be the first stop if you go by main road towards the city center or the Kobenhavn Central Train Station. It comes under the City Hall area which can also be paid a visit. It’s all good architecture so you are not going to get a hard time clicking some Instagram-Worthy pictures. :p

While you will be paddling around the city, you will come across some great wonders of the modern and old architecture. Copenhagen is famous for it. Frankly, I just loved biking around the city. Seeing good and different places makes me happy.

  • Visit the National Museum of Denmark

Then you can pay a quick visit to the National Museum of Denmark, which is Denmark’s largest museum of cultural history comprising the history of Danish foreign cultures. This museum is almost 200 years old.  

  • Visit The Christiansborg Palace

The next stop has got to be on the tiny island of Slotsholmen which is basically inside the city. Yes, an island in the middle of the city. Crazy right? Even though it’s a small one, but, it’s fun.

The Christiansborg Palace, which comprises of the Danish ParliamentThe Supreme Court and the Ministry of State. 

Fun Fact: The Christiansborg Palace is supposed to be the place where it all started 850 years ago. Yes, 850 YEARS. You heard that correct. In 1167, a fortress was erected on the location of it. Since then, this event has come to be viewed as the official “birth” of Copenhagen as we know it – and the idea behind the city’s 850th birthday in 2017.

Art lovers could also pay a visit to Thorvaldsens Museum which is located on this very island.

Tiny ME in front of Thorvaldsens Museum. (you wouldn’t even come to know that you are on an island, its that small and near to the main land.)

The entry fee for The Ruins and for the Royal Kitchen, etc are different so it’s better to buy a combined ticket to enter for 150 DKK (20$ or so). The entry for children is free.

There is also a Danish Jewish Museum on that same island but I think you can skip that. the history is better explained in various other Jewish Museums around the world. I really love the one in Washington D.C.  

 

TIP: If you are history lover and you just wanna walk on the paths where some of the great historians or kings or princesses have walked on, put your GPS Coordinates to Gammeltorv which dates to sometime during the 13th century.

Gammeltorv (literally ‘Old Square’ in English) certainly lives up to its name as it is the oldest square in the city.

  • Visit Nyhavn (Pronounced as “Ny-Heaven”) {Say “Ny” as you say “my”}

I hear some voice. Wait! It’s my stomach calling.

It time for some brunch/Lunch on the most photographed street of Denmark, Nyhavn. You must have seen many photos of Copenhagen or basically Europe with all those colorful houses alongside the river and the boats in front of them. Well, Its Nyhavn. In some cases, it could also be Amsterdam. 😛

The Famous Nyhavn

So Nyhavn, undoubtedly has the best food in town. It has everything,

Varieties 

Cost friendly

Costly 

Cuisines 

Boats 

Colors 

Ambience and what not. 

All these combinations give you the best eating experience in the entire city. Also, probably in the entire country. Even though your pockets are not gonna like it that much but trust me, your wives and children will.

😛

There were so many things I wanted to try there but as they say Stomach is full, but not policy. Therefore, I couldn’t eat more after one-point ☹. So, I wrapped up and continued my exciting day ahead.

But I hope you have a giant appetite and some may also have deep pockets. So, it is highly recommended to eat here. Almost, all the restaurants serve great food.

You could also come here at night for dinner. They have great lightening scenes during dark. You folks would love it.

The most photographed place in Copenhagen

There is a restaurant by the name Pizzeria which serves some great variety of Pizzas. The place is little hard to find on Nyhavn.  If you are on the restaurant-side of the river and al the restaurants are on your left, you walk and take the first left. It’s an underground restaurant made in a basement. They are not costly, and the taste of their Pizza is amazing!!!

  • Visit the Amalienborg Palace & Frederik’s Church
HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF YOU COULD JUST HAVE A LOOK INSIDE PRINCE OF DENMARK’S HOME? AMAZING RIGHT?
Well You cannot. LOL!! 

But you can visit that area where lies Amalienborg, the home of Danish Royal Family. My best experience here was to copy the Royal Guards, how they march and how they walk and how they wouldn’t even laugh at your lamest jokes.

Their funny looking hat and the REAL-GUNS. :D. This area with four different buildings on each side are going to look amazing in your photos. I will share with you people a B&W version of the picture I clicked.

As you can see people are also using Hoverboard to see places. I think that’s a cool way to see places. A must try I feel.

The good thing is that you can atleast visit the museum here and get to know about Danish Royal Family’s history. You can hire a guide there which will prove to be very fruitful for you if you are interested in Danish history. I, who always used to fail in history also loved it :D.

 

Just in front of the Amalienborg Palace, is the Frederik’s Church which is famous for its rococo architecture. You might have heard about it as The Marble Church. It was closed due to something when I was in Copenhagen (sad right?) but if you do get the chance, certainly pay a visit inside. Then, let me also know how it was. I will go there someday <3.

I have this audacity of not leaving a single attraction in the city. You never know what may strike your heart <3.

Frederik’s Church
  • Visit Den Lille Havfrue (The Little Mermaid)

Now The Little Mermaid!

Well, this place and this statue wouldn’t eat too much of your time. You can spend 10 minutes here MAXIMUM. But you would wanna spend a nice amount of time at the park where The Little Mermaid is located. It’s called the Langeline Park.

The Little Mermaid

It has many little little attractions to see like the Gefion Fountain and St Alban’s Church and the Prinsesse Marie(another famous statue). All these attractions start with the Churchill Park.

Gefion Fountain
St Alban’s Church

As soon as you will cross the Fountain, on you right hand side you will see a sea-side restaurant names Toldboden. You must try this if you have time which probably you will. If not, atleast try the cocktails.

 

FACT: They always have super-sexy cars parked around them all day. Certainly not a bad way to attract customers.

Outside of Toldboden.

Apparently, our day has come to an end but the night has just begun  :p.

To all the Wise Gamblers out there, Casino Copenhagen is the place for you to reimburse your trip or double the expenditure. It all depends on you. Obviously I wouldn’t want you folks to lose all their money but a little risk in life is always worth remembering. This Casino is a huge one. I wish you a rich night! :p .

Farvel Danmark!

Driving from Naples to Sorrento

“Italy, and the spring and first love all together should suffice to make the gloomiest person happy”

– Bertrand Russell

Driving for Road-Trippers is never tiring. Its their love. Its their passion. Its their life. Amalfi Coast is the ultimate dream for every road lover. Starting from Naples, this one and only driving experience is going to take your breath away. Hop into my car from Naples to Sorrento to experience the Majestic Amalfi Coast.

NAPLES
HERCULANEUM
MT. VESUVIUS
POMPEII
SORRENTO

Naples:

Naples

The trip begins from the Pizza Capital of the world, Napoli. Once, a transportation hub of Italy, is filled with various ruins from the Roman Era, authentic food and UNESCO listed streets! But, this not-so-beautiful city will probably be your car pickup point, so this is the best place to start your journey along the world-famous Amalfi Coast.

In Napoli, Your biggest priority should be to try the Pizza.

It’s so scrumptious.

The most Pizzacious area in Napoli
The reason behind delicious PIZZAS in Italy

The city is clustered with ancient churches, authentic pizzerias and Neapolitan street life. One side of the city is so clustered and touched with old city life experiences and the other side (near to the coast) opens to all the poetic vibes inside of you.

Pompeii Erotica Room experience could prove to be a good start for your road trip.

Herculaneum:

Herculaneum

Easier to reach than Pompeii, this city of ruins is your second stop. The city that was drowned in mud is surprisingly well preserved. Casa d’Argo is one stop you can make which will show you how a noble Roman family’s house looked like back then. Casa dei Cervi shows you the villa type of the same.

Mt Vesuvius:

Mt. Vesuvius

While driving towards Mt. Vesuvius, make sure you stop at Museo dell’ Osservatorio Vesuviano, a museum which closely shares with you, the 2100 years old history of the constantly monitored volcano. It serves as the oldest volcanic observatory in the world.

Mount Vesuvius is located in the Gulf of Naples, Italy. This bus-accessible mountain, standing at a height of 1281 meters, having blown its cap more than 25 times, is the reason of the Pompeii disaster. Still being one of the deadliest active volcanos in the world, claimed 2000 innocent lives in the ancient God’s Act. The Pompeii eruption converted it into a double peaked structure.

Mt. Vesuvius in the background

The peak of Vesuvius also offers a great panoramic sight of Napoli. You can either hike up to the mountain’s peak or take a horse-back ride up to the top.

The end of the road is the summit car park as well as the ticket counter. This is the point where you start walking/hiking. It is mostly windy and cold/chilly at the top so carrying one jacket wouldn’t hurt. Remember, the path is shut during bad weather conditions.

Pompeii:

Pompeii

Heading back from the same road from where you came up for fairly 20-30 kilometers and then heading towards Oplontis & Boscoreale via A3 Highway will take you to Pompeii via these amazing optional one-stoppers.

Pompeii Ruins

The great volcanic forces that reside deep below the city of Pompeii attracts more than 2 million tourists every year to investigate the remains of what was the commercial center of Italy hundreds of years ago. The ruins of Pompeii need a lot of time and dedication.

It is one of the world’s most enthralling archeological experiences. Pompeii was not just blown away by Mt. Vesuvius but buried under volcanic rocks. Till date, you can witness the preserved city of Pompeii with its strong foundations, buildings and brothels from the Roman Era.

Roman Theatre in Pompeii

4 to 5 hours is what you can dedicate to these ruins. There are buildings and important temples inside these ruins which date back to the 2nd Century B.C. An audio guide would be a clever investment (<10$).

I will be writing a separate blog on Pompeii so you can read that (in the future) for a better experience in Pompeii.

Sorrento:

The island Capri as seen rom Sorrento

Making an optional fast stop at Castelllammare which was once a holidaying hub for once-upon-a-time rich Romans, you can start driving towards Sorrento.

I would call Sorrento, the Base of Amalfi Coast. It serves as the perfect place to explore the Northern and Southern coasts. The best of peninsula’s untouched countryside is to the East Coast, to the North- Pizza Capital and offshore is the island of Capri.

Sorrento

If you want to stay anywhere in Amalfi Coast, Sorrento is undoubtedly the best choice. From Marina Grande to Duomo to Valley of Mills, Sorrento has it all. Sorrento is also famous for teaching the art of making your own Gelato, the world-famous ice-cream, and also other Italian specialties. Home to a ‘ lemon-liquor ’ type of drink called ‘ limoncello ’. Also, it is the best port to get to Capri Island. That’s another universe I must tell you. I will be writing about it in the near future, stay tuned!

Vai ad Amalfi !

Amalfi Road Trips

“A road trip is a way for the whole family to spend time together and annoy each other in interesting new places.”

– Tom Lichtenheld

Amalfi Coast is the place which often pops up in people’s mind when they talk about Road Trips. It is one of the best drives in the entire world beating coasts of Spain, great ocean roads of Australia and the Route 66 in USA. It holds a scenic variety which is stronger than any other road trips in the world. The shadows of Vesuvius and the Port of Naples offers you many destinations along the way where could visit, have a cappuccino, shop a little while you drive along the coast.

Today, I will share with you; the possible road trips you can take during your stay along the Amalfi Coast. They can help you plan your trip (also, road trips) perfectly.

Naples to Sorrento (Road Trip Option 1)

Naples

Naples is considered as the starting point of the Amalfi Coast. Mostly, because it is one of the most important ports in South Italy. Also, one of the biggest. Stopping at each town for a day at least would easily consume your week.

Pompeii and Herculaneum consume lot of your time, therefore, keeping a day for each one of them makes sense. Halting at Sorrento is also another wise choice because that is the best place from where you could reach Capri. Even if you decide against staying at Capri, it is only Sorrento from where you se to witness the entire coast on a clear day.

Click here to read about this road trip.

NAPLES
HERCULANEUM
MT. VESUVIUS
POMPEII
SORRENTO

 

Naples:

N.A.P.L.E.S

The trip begins from the Pizza Capital of the world, Napoli. Once, a transportation hub of Italy, is filled with various ruins from the Roman Era, authentic food and UNESCO listed streets! But, this not-so-beautiful city will probably be your car pickup point, so this is the best place to start your journey along the world-famous Amalfi Coast.

Herculaneum:

Herculaneum

Easier to reach than Pompeii, this city of ruins is your second stop. The city that was drowned in mud is surprisingly well preserved. It is destined to be your 2nd stop.

Mt Vesuvius:

Mt. Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius is located in the Gulf of Naples, Italy. This bus-accessible mountain, standing at a height of 1281 meters, having blown its cap more than 25 times, is the reason of the Pompeii disaster. It is still one of the deadliest active volcanos in the world. Around 2000 innocent lives were taken in this God’s act.

Pompeii:

Pompeii

The great volcanic forces that reside deep below the city of Pompeii attracts more than 2 million tourists every year to investigate the remains of what was the commercial center of Italy hundreds of years ago.

Sorrento:

Sorrento

I would call Sorrento, the Base of Amalfi Coast. It serves as the perfect place to explore the Northern and Southern coasts. From Marina Grande to Duomo to Valley of Mills, Sorrento has it all. Sorrento is also famous for teaching the art of making your own Gelato, the world-famous ice-cream. It is also known as the Panorama City because of its ability to provide fantastic views of the coast.

Click here to read about Driving from Naples to Sorrento

Sorrento to Paestum(Road Trip Option 2)

Sorrento

The panoramic city, Sorrento, has a lot to offer. Even this can prove to be a great spot to start your road trip. It could comprise of Capri before you hit the road or could also be your first activity of the trip. Suit yourself! The next stop you would want to make is Amalfi City and Salerno. Both the cities have a lot to offer. Staying there for a day or two would be perfect.

SORRENTO
VICO EQUENSE
PIMONTE
AMALFI CITY
SALERNO
PAESTUM
 

Sorrento:

Capri as seen from Sorrento

I would call Sorrento, the Base of Amalfi Coast. It serves as the perfect place to explore the Northern and Southern coasts. From Marina Grande to Duomo to Valley of Mills, Sorrento has it all. Sorrento is also famous for teaching the art of making your own Gelato, the world-famous ice-cream, and also other Italian specialties.

Vico Equense:

There is not much you can do here but, this cliff-top town looks magical in itself. Crossing it while coming from Sorrento would make it a nice meal-stop at a Pizzeria which is considered to be run by the family who created Pizza in Italy. That’s a BIG YES-YES for a Pizza isn’t it?

Pimonte:

A hidden town among the mountains with narrow streets rolling downwards; this can be your street-shopping stop during this road trip. This town isn’t much of a touristy place so expect some stares for sure. They aren’t used to new people barging in their towns without any reason.

Amalfi City:

Amalfi City

The Amalfi City looks exactly like the paintings we used to see as children. Same old spark along with pretty colors and small houses slanting down a mountain. The scene is immensely beautiful. More than the real paintings. The most important part of Amalfi is that none of the modernization happening in the country has affected its beauty. Be it the construction or technological advancements.

Salerno:

Have you ever seen a perfect Postcard? Yes or No? Salerno is that perfect postcard for you. Even though all the towns and villages along the Amalfi Coast are perfect for creating a postcard, Salerno tops that list. One of the most livable cities in South Italy, Salerno is a major port and a transport hub.

Paestum:

The city of Poseidon is one of the oldest cities along the Amalfi Coast. Although a day trip, there are temples which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Temple of Neptune is the most preserved dating back to 400’s B.C.

Paestum to Sapri (Road Trip Option 3)

This stretch of the drive could take you more than 150 kms away from Salerno through cities like Paestum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Sapri, a Beach-aroma.

PAESTUM
AGROPOLI
VELIA
PISCIOTTA
SAPRI

Paestum:

The city of Poseidon is one of the oldest cities along the Amalfi Coast. Although a day trip, there are temples which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Temple of Neptune is the most preserved dating back to 400’s B.C.

A trading port until Romans finally lost and left. You can see the temples and basilica which is the oldest surviving monument in the city. Ancient churches, remains if various castles and charming streets will keep you all warmed up.

Agropoli:

A tranquil town is what I would describe it as. Agropoli is one of the largest towns along the Cilento Coast, attracting visitors through its sprightliness since decades. Located just south of Paestum, this pleasant town could be an option for your short visit along the coast.

Guardian of the Peninsula is what they call it. A bit unusual name for another unusual name isn’t it?

Velia:

Crossing towns like Castellabate (once used to defend against Pirates), Pioppi and Acciaroli, you come across a town known as Velia. Obviously, created by the Greeks, was once a popular resort for wealthy Romans with theaters and thermal baths attracting most of them. Well, now, only ruins though. Walking inside the ruins is one fun time-travelling activity you can be a part of.

Pisciotta:

One of the most charming towns along the coast, Pisciotta is a senior rule town. Most residents are elderly who kind of think they rule it :p .

Sapri:

This natural harbor could be your lest destination on the Amalfi Coast. A perfect setting for a tourist. This town delivers some high-quality beaches which are just dreamy!!!

 

These are some of the road trip options you should consider while driving along the Amalfi Coast. Road Trips are a great way to be a part of something and yet be able to leave it happily some time later. That tiny amount of happiness you get eating a Pizza in a 400 B.C. medieval town is fascinating. Also, the pizza tastes better sitting beside the mighty sea.

Goditi il ​​viaggio!

Skógafoss – The Mighty Waterfall

“I love places that make you realize how tiny you are”

–          David Attenborough

Aerial View of the waterfall

This mighty waterfall is located around 150 kilometres (90 miles) from the capital, Reykjavik. It is part of the famous Golden Circle route. It left my jaw on the floor when I got there. All of a sudden, everything turned magical for me.

A slight de-route from the Golden Circle can take you to Vestmannaeyjar which is one of the best places to visit in South Iceland, an archipelago.

Click here to read about Vestmannaeyjar

View after hiking up the fall

It was the month of August in 2018; the perfect month to visit Iceland and fulfil my dream of visiting Iceland. There was not the slightest doubt in my mind while making this waterfall one of my biggest priorities in Iceland. Obviously, after the loneliest house in the world. Click here to read about that.

My God!
I was just blown away!!
Look how happy I am!

Skogafoss Selfie

FUNFACT: You can identify this waterfall from the sets of two movies- Thor: The Dark World & The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

As you all know, I was born in a small valley, Rishikesh, which lies in the footsteps of Himalayas. It’s not rocket science as to why I have always had a thing for Nature: her mountains, rivers and lakes. This waterfall had a place in my heart even before i lay eyes on it

My mother, posing as always

“ When I saw it for the first time,

flowing down that misty river,

I was stunned! “

It bore an eerie resemblance to a scene from the Batman movie where there was a cave behind the waterfall with a Batmobile waiting for me to drive. This brings me to tell you a fact about it.

My mom posing with the waterfall

FUNFACT: Legend has it that there is a cave behind the waterfall with treasure hidden inside by a settler named Prasi. Apparently, the cave has been blocked by boulders which fell due to natural calamities. Someone found a ring which was supposed to be a part of the treasure. It was sent to the local church and that original ring is now showcased in the Skógar Museum nearby. True Story

Skogafoss as seen from the road. Pretty huge isn't it?

Skógafoss is a site not to be missed in Iceland. Some might say that it is just an ordinary waterfall that you can skip in Iceland. I would wholeheartedly disagree with them. I think Skógafoss has the best setting around it.

•Best for camping.
•Parking an RV and inspiring the majestic view.
•For a small hike up the waterfall for amazing views.
•For having the best LAMB SHANK in Iceland in Hotel Skógafoss Bistro Bar.
‘Es ist Lecker’
This is what our time-pass was, when we didn't have mobile phones

The photo above teaches us a lot. You can see at the back how everyone is busy clicking photographs (including me) and very few are actually experiencing the water coming down. That sound, that mist. But, then you see him playing with the rocks. This is called ‘Enjoying’ my friends. This is it! I am not saying do not click pictures or don’t snap and all. But, do take out time for moments like these when you can seize the opportunity to witness something this beautiful. #JustAThought

The hike up the hill is kind of like climbing up-stairs; just that there are many steps. Nonetheless, the view from above is to die for. Plus, in my opinion, the world always seems more beautiful from above. Be it Paris, Sydney or Reykjavik, it all looks better from a higher vantage point. You can also check out the river flowing at the top of Skógafoss.

There is another place in Iceland where you can experience the most peaceful time of your life. Click here to read about the loneliest house in the world. 

It looks tiny in the pictures but it is a very gigantic waterfall.

An eye-catching feature of the waterfall is that it can give rise to three rainbows at once. HOW? Let me tell you (attempt to tell you) how that happens. The amount of water that comes flowing down is so much that it produces a lot of mist which can produce at least two rainbows at once. The sight is not to be missed, I swear. I saw two of them and I know MANY people who witnessed three rainbows.

Iceland has over 2000 waterfalls but this one is truly special

We (My brother and I) tried to go deep into the fall, as near as we could; in the process, getting soaked to the skin.

30 meters near to the waterfall and you start getting drenched
What a View!
This is the best shot you can take with a zoom lens

Njóttu Íslands !

Places to visit along the Amalfi Coast

“Be a loner. That gives you time to wonder, to search for the truth. Have a holy curiosity. Make your life worth living”

 – Albert Einstein

Be it Pompeii, Naples, Positano or Capri, all are the Italy you want to see – A rich and powerful tonic of historical and iconic places. Italy is not just Michelangelo’s masterpieces or the Romans’ fighting arenas, it is much more than that. Most of it can be covered by car. Driving a car, you will discover what you can never even imagine experiencing in your lifetime. The rugged mountains, blue coastal grottoes and ancient ruins – you can do justice to them only if you have a vehicle.

Where to start with?

Here-in are all the destinations (West to East) worth visiting as you drive along the Amalfi Coast.

  • Naples
  • Ercolano & Herculaneum
  • Mt. Vesuvius
  • Pompeii
  • Sorrento
  • Massa Lubrense
  • Capri
  • Positano
  • Amalfi City
  • Ravello
  • Salerno
  • Agropoli
Roads like these are very common along the Amalfi Coast

Naples

Naples is the most delicious city in Italy. You might wonder why I would call a city delicious. Just doesn’t sound appropriate, does it? But it is appropriate. Naples is the creator of the world’s most delicious and the world’s most photographed food item. That, is our beloved PIZZA!

The third largest Italian city of Naples is an archeological treasure. It is among the world’s most impressive and glorious places with Roman-style palaces and churches. The elegance is seen in its fantastic panoramas from various viewpoints.

Built on rich volcanic soil, a gorgeous sea and decades of history, this Pizza capital serves as the backbone of Italy. It’s street snacks and dishes consume half of your time in the city and it is all still worth it.

Panoramic view of the city

Ercolano & Herculaneum

Smaller but well preserved, this inspiring Neapolitan Town could prove to be a successful visit for you. The ruins of Herculaneum runs parallel to that of Pompeii. Destroyed by an earthquake in AD 62, this Roman fishing town can be explored properly with the help of a guide. Herculaneum is often upstaged by a better rival, Pompeii. But, trust me, both are worth a visit. But, if you must choose one. Choose Pompeii.

Herculaneum

Mt. Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius is located in the Gulf of Naples, Italy. This bus-accessible mountain, standing at a height of 1281 meters, having blown its cap more than 25 times, is the reason of the Pompeii disaster. It is still one of the deadliest active volcanos in the world. Around 2000 innocent lives were taken in this God’s act in that ancient disaster. The Pompeii eruption converted it into a double peaked structure.

The peak of Vesuvius also offers a great panoramic sight of Napoli. You can either hike up to the mountain’s peak or take a horse-back ride up to the top.

Mt. Vesuvius

Pompeii

The great volcanic forces that reside deep below the city of Pompeii attracts more than 2 million tourists every year to investigate the remains of what was the commercial center of Italy hundreds of years ago. The ruins of Pompeii need a lot of time and dedication. It is one of the world’s most enthralling archeological experiences. Pompeii was not just blown away by Mt. Vesuvius but buried under volcanic rocks. Till date, you can witness the preserved city of Pompeii with its strong foundations, buildings and brothels from the Roman Era.

Pompeii

Sorrento

I would call Sorrento, the Base of Amalfi Coast. It serves as the perfect place to explore the Northern and Southern coasts. The best of peninsula’s untouched countryside is to the East Coast, to the North- Pizza Capital and offshore is the island of Capri. If you want to stay anywhere in Amalfi Coast, Sorrento is undoubtedly the best choice. From Marina Grande to Duomo to Valley of Mills, Sorrento has it all. Sorrento is also famous for teaching the art of making your own Gelato, the world-famous ice-cream, and also other Italian specialties.

Sorrento

Massa Lubrense

Being the very first western town of Sorrento, just about 100 metres above sea level, this town serves you with a great view of the island, Capri.

Sant’ Agata sui sue Golfi, a rusty fraction of Massa Lubrense, offers great hiking options which are fairly easy as compared to other hikes in Italy. These small hikes last for about an hour, making it perfect for one to complete and get back to the hotel early enough in order to have a nice evening view of Capri. Its a place if you want to skip the usual and try something off the style and different.

Capri

One of the most visited islands in the world, Capri has a lot to offer. It has great seascapes, adorable cafes and unspoiled Roman ruins. Accessible via boat from Sorrento, Naples, Amalfi City, etc. This island is a must visit on the Amalfi Coast. Boat inside the Blue Grotto, ride up to Villa Jovis and chairlift yourself to the highest peak on Capri, Anacapri. Often on a clear day, you can see the entire coast of Naples and even other islands such as Procida, etc.

Positano

Undoubtedly, Positano is the most picturesque town among all the destinations along the Amalfi Coast. This colorful town consists of stylish boutiques, glamorous cafes and steep houses. The town claims to be the first Italian town to import bikini ’ from France, hence the name, ‘ fashionable town . It is also considered the most expensive town along the coast due to its seascapes and unbelievable café locations which are not found anywhere on the coast. Hence, the expense. This town with a Mediterranean seascape is a must-visit along the coast.

Amalfi City

Yet another must-visit town along the Amalfi Coast which will leave you breathless, Amalfi City does whatever it can to amaze you as always. Again, one of the most picturesque towns of the coast, it offers sightseeing, hotel views, pizzas and Gelatos. This sweet little town with a tiny square and a church is just so peaceful. Once more I will mention that this is a must-visit.

Click here to read about my Winter Experience in Amalfi City

RAVELLO

Ravello is a day-visit kind of place. Merely a 10 kilometres drive from Amalfi City, this town has an extremely romantic setting. It is home to a live and entertaining street market where fashionable clothes, pure wine and an unlimited variety of pizzas with some mozzarella on it are the highlights. Sites like the Duomo and Vila Rufolo are a must visit. There are also a few music festivals which take place in this town such as International Piano Festival and Chamber Music Week. The venues used for these festivals are remarkable. If you want to stay away from the rush of Amalfi City & Positano, this is the perfect place for you.

Salerno

Have you ever seen a perfect Postcard? No? Salerno is that perfect postcard for you. Even though all the towns and villages along the Amalfi Coast are perfect for creating a postcard, Salerno is on top of that list. One of the most livable cities in South Italy, Salerno is a major port and a transport hub. The vibrant mix of Roman churches will take your breath away. The long coastal strip along the city’s beautiful roads will make for one of the best road trips in the world! It’s a must-visit. Another one!

Agropoli

A tranquil town is what I would describe it as. Agropoli is one of the largest towns along the Cilento Coast, attracting visitors through its sprightliness since decades. Located just south of Paestum, this pleasant town could be an option for your short visit along the coast.

Arrivederci, Addio !

My Winter Experience in Amalfi City

“If bliss could be a color, today would be Amalfi blue.”

–      Anonymous

It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon when we decided to eat real Italian food. After enquiring for 30 mins, we came to know about this cute Italian restaurant that was right in the middle of the main square which soon became our favorite in the beautiful city of Amalfi.

It was Da Maria (Da Maria Trattoria Pizzeria). It was closed the first time we went there because of Italian customs of closing the restaurants (or everything!!!)  in the afternoon. Mostly between 1 p.m to 4 p.m.

 

But we didn’t lose our hope. We survived the afternoon on ice-cream and waited for the restaurant to open and guess what? That night, we came to know what actual Italian food is. As an Indian, my idea and taste about Pizzas and Pastas was entirely different. I always imagined it to be filled with toppings and thin crust bases and what not. But I realized that Italian Food (which I always considered my favorite cuisine) had always been a lie for me.

The reason behind delicious PIZZAS in Italy

Italian food here, was heavenly. Every detail ingredient you can imagine on Pastas and Pizzas was up to the mark, we took away those pizzas and ate them near to the coast (which is another one of those experiences which you should have when in Amalfi City) and let me tell you, IT IS NEVER ABOUT THE TOPPING!

That day, Amalfi City became our favorite destination in Italy.

Main Square of Amalfi City

This restaurant is always busy so it’s better to book a table before you go and whole menu looks so tasty and,

Frankly, is there anything such as bad Italian?

Also, the staff was really polite and were always looking to get into a conversation with us. The setting of the restaurant was obviously Italian. I admired it every time we were there.

All I dreamt of was to learn Italian and move there and never leave!!
How can you not fall in love with a setting like this?

and this is how we mostly found ourselves spending some nice time of our Italy trip in beautiful Amalfi City.

It was my first time in Italy and boy I wanted it more and more. The entire Amalfi Coast is a very popular destination. All the tourists want to visit this place in the summers and the funny part is that, this is the only reason we visited in the Winters!

I don’t regret it a bit.

So Empty and beautifully lit on Christmas & New Years! <3

Winters in Italy are fun in many ways. Most importantly because of the Christmas. You also have the new year coming up so everyone is all jolly-jolly and all the towns are lit up.

It’s just a great time to visit I feel. Well, obviously you won’t be able to bake yourself up under the sun but I am alright to skip that! The most important thing is that the country is less crowded. I hate to go anywhere along with the crowd.

So, basically, we went in off season and that did make us miss a few things in Italy but whatever we saw, it was all worth it with less people around.

The Amalfi City as well as the Amalfi Coast looks exactly like the paintings we have seen as children. Same old spark along with pretty colors and small houses slanting down a mountain. The scene is immensely beautiful. The most important part of Amalfi is that none of the modernization happening in the country has affected its beauty. Be it the construction or technological advancements.

 

You can easily spend a week along the Amalfi Coast discovering towns like Positano, Sorrento, Salerno, Ravello, San Lazzaro, Capri and Minori, etc. All these beautiful towns are hard to be missed. Each one of them has a charm of its own. There are various boat rides you can take along the coast and a few visits to The Grottos should also be on your to-do list.

The word Paradise defines the Amalfi Coast.
The island Capri as seen rom Sorrento

If your trip is around 5 days or a week, click here to know the destinations you should visit.

So, honestly, Amalfi Coast can be quite confusing.

Like, what all to see?

How to travel?

Where to stay?

Where to eat?

Travelling alone or with someone?

Wandering by yourself or going for a guided package?

Too many questions eh?

Well, I can help you out in many ways but at the end of the day, it is all about your choice and all that depends on what you like and how you have been doing this travelling thing in the past?

Some people like lavish stays, some prefer Airbnb’s. Some spend a lot on food and some just pass the day with apples and oranges. But at the end, everyone obviously wants to see as much as they can for as long as they can, and they just do not want to stop it EVER!

So, click here to know about various highlights and the best way to experience the AMALFI COAST!

Wide Angle View of the Main Square at Amalfi City

Goditi la costa!

Day Trips from Florence

Travelling is the ruin of all happiness! There is no looking at a building after seeing Italy”

–        Fanny Burney

Florence is an enchanting place, but Tuscany, as a state is just as astounding. There are so many places and spots around Florence which you would regret to miss out on. Here, I am mentioning some places around Florence which you should visit during your trip to Florence.

Divertiti !!

They are:

  • Giglio & Giannutri Islands of Tuscany
  • Assisi, Cortona & Perugia
  • Montalcino, Pienza & Montepulciano
  • Volterra & San Gimignano
  • Pisa
  • Cinque Terre & Portovenere

GIGLIO & GIANNUTRI ISLANDS OF TUSCANY

Giglio & Giannutri are two different islands on the southern coast of Italy.  They are hidden gems; untouched by the Tourism Industry for the time being and unheard of by tourists. You will not be disappointed.

A boat leaves from the ancient town of Talamone (180 kms or 2 hours from Florence) on the Gulf. The boat ride takes an hour to Giglio Island.

Giglio Island

The best option to explore the island is to rent a scooter. Public transport is a cheaper option. I would suggest renting a scooter and riding off to your own sweet time.

If you make it early to the island, after exploring the island till the afternoon, you can leave for Giannutri Island which is a 40 minutes boat ride from Giglio.

Giglio Island

According to me, Giannutri Island is better than Giglio in terms of beaches and water clarity. There is also a Roman Villa on top of the hill which you can take a guided tour of.

View of Giannutri Island from the plane

These two islands are all about amazing beaches and wonderful views enriched with history and nature. You should surely consider visiting them if you are visiting Florence and have the time for it. Enjoy!

ASSISI, CORTONA & PERUGIA

If you love great landscapes, Cortona (2 hours or 150 Kms away from Florence), a hilltop, is the place for you. Assisi is the topmost point where you can revel in the glory of the great Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi.

A visit to Perugia is a must. The city is famous for its monuments and history. Gaze at beautiful fountains & relish its breathtaking views.

Assisi, Tuscany

The most spectacular monuments of the city are “La Fontana Maggiore” which is an example of medieval sculpture and Etruscan Arch of Augustus which is one of the largest monuments among the Etruscan remains. The Palazzo dei Priori and Rocca Paolina are also must-see(s).

Cortona

I love visiting towns and cities like this- such rich history hidden inside, extremely beautiful and oh-so calm. I JUST LOVE IT!!

The tranquility of places like this always leaves me spellbound. If you are one such person, at least a day’s trip from Florence should be a part of your plan.

MONTALCINO, PIENZA & MONTEPULCIANO

Tuscany is a land of wonderful places but what is it that defines the real Tuscany?

WINE & CHEESE!!

Montalcino

Wine & Cheese – this day focusses majorly on that. Montalcino (2 hours or 120 kms from Florence) is the place where you can sample wines and local delicacies. The city has an astonishing village with a fortress which is a must-see when in town.

There is something that makes you want to stay here forever; perhaps a certain fragrance wafting in the air. Although I don’t drink, the smell of wine is so mesmerizing that you can’t help but like it.

Val d’Orcia, Between Pienza & Montepulciano

Prepare to witness one of the most gorgeous landscapes of your lifetime – Val d’Orcia (The Tuscany you have seen in literally every photo before coming to Italy).

It comes under Pienza (30 mins from Montalcino) and Montepulciano (further 20 mins from Pienza), one of the most important places representing Tuscany.

Pienza is famous  worldwide for its renowned and traditional Pecorino Cheese.

Val d’Orcia

Montepulciano is famous for its local wineries and churches. Walking in the city is like walking inside a fairy tale or a movie with just happiness inside. This day trip was one of my personal favourites from Florence. Try not to miss it.

VOLTERRA & SAN GIMIGNANO

Every 4 out of 5 towns/villages in Italy feel like you have stepped into a dream or a book. Volterra (80 Kms or 90 Minutes) is one of those hill-top towns that would make you realize the actual beauty of small Italian towns. It is called one of the most charmed Tuscany Towns. The boundary walls of the city were built in the 4th century B.C and stand tall strong as ever.

Volterra

Do not miss the Main Square, Palazzo dei Priori, Volterra Cathedral, The Museum of Alabaster (The reason Volterra is famous all over the world) and the Medicean Fortress. You can choose to taste various types of cheeses at local shops. You also have the chance to taste some wine at local wineries just like every other town in Tuscany. 😛

After an amazing time at Volterra, you can go ahead to see a UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Gimignano (40 mins from Volterra) is a medieval city filled with picturesque alleys, various vantage points offering breathtaking Tuscan views.

Piazza Pecori

Also, you cannot miss the Piazza Duomo, Church and Piazza della Cisterna. They are absolute beauties.

FACT: THERE IS A VERY FAMOUS KIOSK FOR GELATO WHICH HAS ALSO WON MANY AWARDS – GELATERIA DONDOLI. GIVE IT A SHOT!!

PISA

Pisa has always been a dream for me. I remember the first time I came to know about the phrase “Wonders of the World”, I have always wanted to visit them all. Currently. I am just left with 2. Cool right?  😛 😉

View from the Tower

Pisa is just an hour away from Florence by road /rail.  I would suggest you to go early in the afternoon in order to witness the Sunset at The Leaning Tower of Pisa.

View from the Tower

Visit the Cathedral, The Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Monumental Cemetery. Take your own time to climb the Tower (It’s not a race, is it?) as it can be little tiring and claustrophobic for people.

Another view from the Tower

Witnessing the sunset there is a GREAT option as the White stone of the Tower turns orange as soon as the sun starts to set. It is a site not to be missed and a sight to behold. Below is the image clicked from my iPhone during the sunset.

Grazie!

Subscribe for email

Subscribe for email

Inspiration
of the day

“You’ve never felt true fear until your passport isn’t where you think you left it.”

– Anonymous