Croatia – Greece Wellness Eco-Tourism and Health Itinerary

Balkan Albania Greece Travel Itinerary Plan Holiday Travel Advice Blog for November 2019

Balkan nature holiday 2019 is a popular bucket list item, and rightly so.
In the previous post, we looked at the senior nature travel starting in Croatia continuing to Montenegro. From Balkan Croatian beaches and Split 19th-century
 SPAs to Croatia islands with legendary sights from Roman times in Brac islands, to the best European beach 2019 in Croatia Pasjaca beach. 

  1. Split, Croatia
  2. Brac Island, Croatia
  3. Pasjača Beach, Croatia
  4. Vranjina, Montenegro
  5. Locven and Skadar Lake National Parks, Montenegro

In this article, we are continuing the travel through Balkans – you can visit Albanian and Greek nature parks, cities with Hellenistic and Roman heritage sites, with Adriatic Sea waters taking care of your health and Corfu and Patras in Northern Peloponnese being just in few hours reach to Athens. However, this guide is all about avoiding tourist crowds and getting the most out of Albania and Greece SPAs and nature parks with less populated yet still tourist-friendly infrastructure. The Balkan nature holiday 2019 road trip is starting from:

  1. Durrës, Albania
  2. Sarandë, Albania
  3. Corfu, Greece
  4. Patras, Greece

Balkan Albania Greece Travel Itinerary Plan Holiday Travel Advice Blog for November 2019

Albania and Greece Wellness and Health Itinerary

Albania is usually well known for its green nature, woods and blue pristine sea. But the health and wellness travel can go much further, as the country has lots to offer when it comes to pampering you, giving massages and world-class SPA experiences for a fraction you would spend elsewhere in Europe. As for Greece, the best way to take care of your mind and body to come back from vacation healthy and productive is to simply get enough vitamin D laying on the Greek island beaches, and diving in the pristine blue Ionian Sea.

Best Massage, Day SPAs and Wellness Centres in Albania for Balkan Nature Holiday 2019

As for the best wellness and day SPA centres in Albania, there are many to choose from. While quite many are located in the capital city of Albania, Tirana, there are several great relaxation possibilities in other cities surrounded by Adriatic Sea. 

If you are about to have a massage or enjoy a beauty routine by professional cosmetologist, we suggest staying a little longer in Albanian Saranda, or Sarandë, and book a day or two at French Beauty & Massage or Kaonia Wellness & Massage

As for other retreat options, there are many if you look beyond the Albanian cities and go for nature reserves and parks instead. Senior-friendly and accessible tourist wellness and spiritual meditation retreats are growing, but still hard to find. However, have a look at what the Italian and English-speaking Beachfront yoga retreat in Durres has to offer. Organic meals and yoga meditation practice daily can seriously up your tranquillity and make you ready to return home. Are you on the budget side? You can also go and volunteer in Albania to enjoy the luxurious nature without spending anything on accommodation.

Best Yoga and Spiritual Retreats in Greece

As for Greece retreats and wellness travel, travelling to the centuries-old health and wellness tourism spot may turn out to cost a little over what you would pay in Albania, but as long as you search well, there are many more offerings to English speaking people. Before booking your tickets for Greece, we therefore suggest checking out Corfu retreats with international yogini ashrams hosted every summer with travellers and yogis coming to achieve spiritual awakening from all over the world.

Balkan and Greek Unique Health and Wellness Travel Experiences 

Although therapeutical bathing and wellness retreats date back to prehistoric times with Babylonians and Egyptians practicing bathing rituals already long ago, the earliest descriptions of Western bathing practice come from Greece. Public baths, showers were meant for relaxation and personal hygiene, but the natural springs and tidal pools had a sacred power of healing, as told in Greek mythology.

Therefore, one of the must-to-do things when visiting Albania and Greece is to enjoy the natural springs and tidal pools, and if possible, also dive into the millennia-old Greek balneum bathhouse practices.

Travel to Durres.

Balkan Albania Greece Travel Itinerary Plan Holiday Travel Advice Blog for November 2019

Durrës, Albania: Balkan Nature Holiday 2019 Hotspot

To continue the last Balkan nature wellness road trip ending in Virpazar, Montenegro, the next destination is Durres in Albania. However, there is a lot to see in between – you should visit Buna River – Velipoja protected landscape and then have some quiet time for meditation into Kunë-Vain-Tale.

Buna River-Velipoja Protected Landscape in Albania, Velipojë

The Buna River, or Bojana, of the South Western Balkans is an important river containing the most important wetlands in Eastern Medittarean. To get the best views, we recommend hiking on the coastal wetlands. Not only you will see the relaxing waters of the river, but also the estuary of Drin, and the lagoon of Viluni. The gulf of Viluni running across the city of Velipojë alongside the Adriatic Sea is one of the most beautiful ones you will see.

How to get from Skadar (Shkodër) to Buna River Protected Landscape – Balkan Nature Holiday Destination 2019

To get from Skadar to Velipojë in Albania, it will take 40 minutes by car. There is no public transport, as the area is far from the main cities, but renting car in Albania will allow you to experience one of the best views and peaceful road trips in vacation.

Kunë-Vain-Tale Nature Park: Balkan Nature Holiday 2019 Destination

Balkan Albania Greece Travel Itinerary Plan Holiday Travel Advice Blog for November 2019The nature reserve Rezervati Kunë-Vain-Tale is something you do not want to miss on your way to Greece either. From the beautiful Illyrian deciduous forests to Mediterranean woodlands, the nature reserve is  one of the most biologically diverse areas in Albania. With more than 277 species of plants, 23 species of mammals, 196 species of birds, and many more insects and fish, there is always something new to see and learn. Take your yoga mat, hiking boots, a warm sweater and a hammock, and go explore the beautiful nature with lakes, walking paths and hardly any people in sight. After all, upon returning to work, you ust relax your mind. As Spanish proverb claims, How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward. Except for… afterwards you go to the beautiful Durres city in Albania!

Durrës, Albania

Durres in Albania is surely one of the most beautiful and historically rich cities you should visit in Albania. Being the second largest city, and the summertime resort paradise, it also has the largest port in the Adriatic Sea, and connects well with Italy and Greece. No matter your destination, when coming to Durrës, you should visit the ancient remains. Although there are not many left from the Ancient Roman times, the Durrës Amphitheatre built in the 2nd century AD is definitely worth a visit, but you will find all types of architecture in Durres. Starting from Illyrian to Greek, Roman and even Italian architecture, Durres is definitely worth a stay for a day or two. Make sure to go to Royal Villa of Durrës, among other museums.
Durres SPA scene is offering many different possibilities, from Palace Hotel & Spa, Durazzo Resort and other luxurious options, to more laid-back, natural atmosphere of Durres beach and nearby city guest houses where you can relax and take a bath in the Adriatic Sea,

Balkan Albania Greece Travel Itinerary Plan Holiday Travel Advice Blog for November 2019

Vjosë-Nartë – Balkan Nature Holiday 2019 Destination

To go further from Durres and arrive at Vjose Narte, you will ride through the beautiful Divjaka-Karavasta National Park. The nature park has the largest lagoon in Albania, and one of the largest ones in the Mediterranean Sea. The Karavasta Lagoon, in Albanian: Laguna e Karavastasë is the must-see for birdwatchers in Autumn, and definitely a good place to camp and enjoy nature in October.
Once in Vjose Narte, though, you will find the Narta Lagoon, and the famous “Land of Eagles and Castles” at its brightest. Ecotourism is huge in Albania, and Balkans overall, but it is even more important for the Bjose Narte and other coastal regions. Still unspoiled by tourism wave, the region is the best place to go for eco-tourism enthusiasts and slow travel supporters.

Vlorë

Without Vlora or Vlorë , the Albania travel destination guide would not be complete. Lying on the foothills of the Ceraunian Mountains at the Strait of Otranto, the city was founded long ago as an Ancient Greek colony and was the birthplace of Albania in 1912. While you are welcome to visit and see museums, and lie in the beach to catch some sun, the Gijpe Canyon, Zvërnec Island and House if Ismail Bej Vlora will add to your experience of Vlora. The bay of Vlora is also considered the frontier between Adriatic and Ionian Seas. The island of Sazan so close, it may be a good idea to go there for a couple of hours. Vlora weather is one of the best in Albania, and you cannot really go wrong when there are 300 sunny days per year.

Travel to Sarande Albania for Balkan nature holiday 2019.

Sarandë Albania Travel 

To get to Sarande, we first recommend you pass the Mount Cika close to Vlora city. Hiking Llogara National Park to the peaks if Cika Mountain Maja e Çikës, at 2,044  will give you great views to the surrounding area and Albanian Riviera.

Arriving at Sarande, however, you should start with some historical sights. From the medieval 

Lëkurësi Castle to Monastery of 40 Saints, there are many things to do in Sarande apart from taking a stroll around the beach or booking a yacht to see the city from far away in the sea.

Balkan Albania Greece Travel Itinerary Plan Holiday Travel Advice Blog for November 2019

Travel to Corfu Greece.

From Sarandë to Corfu Greece

Getting from Sarandë to Corfu island in Greece is more than affordable when you go from Albania. The service is run every day and takes no more than 30 minutes costing you EUR 24. You can book your ticket via Ionian Seaways before going. 

Corfu in Greece will present much different way of relaxation, and you can expect to be one of the many tourists here, but enjoying slightly different health and wellness retreat in Corfu will make take your wellbeing trip to the next level. Massages, day spas and wellness centres in Corfu Greece are widespread, and you can get one of the best saunas, massages and SPA services in Europe for a good price on the idyllic coastal SPAs. From naturopathy to yoga and massage, the healthcare in Corfu is as diverse as its past.

Travel to Patras, Greece for your Balkan nature holiday 2019.

From Sarandë to Patras Greece

If you struggle with seasickness, but visiting Greece in October 2019 is on your bucket list, then there are both buses available. You can get to Patras from Sarande in 4-hour drive. The fuel cost 45€ – 65€ will surely cover and beat the cost of tickets to Corfu island, especially if you are going on vacation with your family. However, Patras city is quite large, and while you may relax visiting museums and remains, the beachside and nearby area are metropolitan. However, you can go to  Roman Odeon and visit Voundeni Mycenaean Cemetry. By the way, the three skeletons have lain there for at least 3,500 years!

 

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Cuddlynest blog 2019

Balkan Nature Wellness Roadtrip Itinerary to Croatia and Montenegro

Balkan Croatia Montenegro CuddlyNest blog roadtrip senior nature getaway relaxing

Senior travel in 2019 is great and booming. But while hotels and resorts offer more and more yoga and health, meditation and yoga holidays, some elderly prefer to go on an active holiday and enjoy nature hikes, mountain climbing, and even canoe trips, discovering what Europe has to offer from a different perspective.

Senior Holidays in Europe

If you prefer visiting Europe and its Central European capitals, or travel to Northern Europe for Art Noveau architecture, or visit

other Balkan countries for great food, go and visit some of our previous blogs. But if you want to treat yourself well, and allow your body to relax on holiday while giving it enough active time, keep reading and learn what great Balkan destinations to visit and add to your South-Eastern Europe bucket list when going on winter or spring holidays 2019. CuddlyNest put up an itinerary for your active, adventurous, and yet not too much physically demanding holidays – and we are sure you would love to get some relaxation time with SPA and beauty retreats in between! 

Balkan and Greece Itinerary Plan for Active Seniors

Balkan and Greece itinerary is a great option if you are looking for a laid-back travel destination country and want to go somewhere you’ve never been before. From Croatia to Montenegro, from Greece to Albania, there are well-known and popular destinations as well as harder to reach, much more rural and even abandoned nature-only places.

  1. Split, Croatia
  2. Brac Island, Croatia
  3. Pasjača Beach, Croatia
  4. Vranjina, Montenegro
  5. Locven and Skadar Lake National Parks, Montenegro
  6. Durrës, Albania
  7. Sarandë, Albania
  8. Corfu, Greece
  9. Patras, Greece

Split, Croatia.

Balkan Croatia Montenegro CuddlyNest blog roadtrip senior nature getaway relaxing

Split, Croatia Best SPA and Nearby Beaches

While Split is the capital of Croatia and one of the best-connected cities in the region, there is not much nature around the city, apart from the very well-kept white sandy beach. To relax and care for your health, we recommend staying at SPA apartments and enjoy the Split hospitality for very affordable prices. 

There is a SPA and wellness centre also in Divota Apartment hotel, where private studio apartments in Veli Varos District just 5 minutes from the UNESCO-listed Diocletian’s Palace and the Riva seaside Promenade. The rooms have access to massages and SPA and wellness centres.

If you are more into hotels than private apartments, Hotel Park Split has a seasonal outdoor pool, and couped with SPA and wellness centre Filomena Priska Spa on its underground floor. The center includes a hot tub, sauna and even a gym! Located on one of the Split’ s most famous beaches Bacvice, it is Make sure to try out their 19th century inspired massages, facial and body treatments, as well as services like waxing, manicure and pedicures.

Balkan Croatia Montenegro CuddlyNest blog roadtrip senior nature getaway relaxing

Makarska, Sumartin and Brac Island 

To truly enjoy the wild spirit and sense the Split itself, you must dive into island-hopping even if only for a short time. From Split, you can travel to Makarska, a nearby town just a 1-hour ride away. Makarska is known for its Riviera beaches, and seafront promenade, but to get to less crowded and wilder beaches, we suggest visiting Kačić Square and then continuing to port and getting on a ferry to Brač island.

How to get to Makarska

To get to Makarska, get on a Promet Makarska bus. It will take a little over 1 hour from Split to Makarska. Get your tickets at the bus station, but check the schedule or if you wish to, then book your tickets on their website. The bus goes hourly from 5 am to 10.30 pm daily, and you can get a ticket for 50 HRR, approximately €7.

Sumartin and Brac.

Sumartin and Brač Island are an old and scarcely populated island. Sumartin village is the youngest town on the island, homing around 500 people only. Established in the 17th century, the town comprises Fraciscian monastery, and some other religious buildings, among old farmhouses. When visiting Brac island, take it slowly and enjoy the local wines, food, and other  . If you earlier visited Split and saw the UNESCO inscribed Diocletian palace. Built for Emperor around 4 AD, today it forms around half of Split old town. If you wonder where the material for the magnificent building was taken, then it is just there, in Brac. Near Supertar, there were dolomite Rasohe quarry, in which slaves worked day and night to gather material for the palace. Still today, you can see a small engraving – the legend says the picture was engraved by slaves asking for guidance and strength to Hercules, the Roman hero famous for strenht and other features. When visiting Splitska, Smartin and other places in Barc, you can rent a bike to get around the island faster.

There are also several SPA resorts and nature and eco-travel guest houses offered for staying at and enjoying your holidays in a laid-back, natural atmosphere on this Croatian island.

Makarska to Brač Island ferry

To get from Makarska to Sumartin, you can take a ferry by Jardolinija route 638. The service runs 3 times a day in the off-season, 4 times a day in June and September, and 5 times a day in July and August. The ferry costs 30 HKR for an adult, but you can check more precise ticket information here

Pasjaca Beach.

Balkan Croatia Montenegro CuddlyNest blog roadtrip senior nature getaway relaxing

Best Beach in 2019: Visit Croatia Pasjača Beach

If you are keen to see one of the wild beaches compromising both white sand, pristine blue water and even some cliffs, then look for it no more and head to the now-famous Pasjaca beach. It was claimed to be the best beach in the world in 2019, sporting the 1st place and ranking above the world-famous beaches of Spain and Greece. If you can catch both, we also suggest going to Nugal beach just to see what the hype is about.

As for the origins of the beach, it is not exactly a natural beach, as you may expect. Developed from a symbiosis of man and nature, the origins of the Pasjac (or Popovic) beach date back to 1955 when there was a tunnel constructed, leading to the sea. Workers left the excavated rocks just there, and in a few years, the waves crashed against to fill the shore with white sand at the bottom of the majestic cliffs on Konavile. Today, you can, therefore, see both white sand and cliff shore watered by the blue Medditarea sea water.

How to get from Brac to Pasjaca

To get from Brac island to Pasjaca, the easiest way is to go from Supertar to Split by ferry, and then take a bus from Split to Popovic. The whole trip will take around 4 hours, and cost from €31. The bus route is not going by the seaside but is surely a picturesque journey, taking you through the mountainous region of Dio Kanjona Rijeke Cetine, the Dio Canion of the river Cetina. 

Kotori, Montenegro.

Balkan Croatia Montenegro CuddlyNest blog roadtrip senior nature getaway relaxing

Bay of Kotori, Montenegro

To continue your road trip, you can head to the nearby Cavtat caostal town to rent a car and go further on your own into the nature parks of Montenegro. The car drive from Cavtat to Kostanjica in Kotor, just by the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro will take you no more than a 1-hour drive, and the road is simply beautiful, with flat and landscape, small road going through the coastal towns. If you are not in a rush, definitely stop at Igalo Игало in Montenegro, take a dip in the water at Tople, walk the promenade and see the Old Škver Harbor, before heading to Kamenari passing Savina Monastery in Herceg-Novi, on the way overseeing the most beautiful bay in Montenegro, Boka Kortska.

Cavtat Car Rental 

Renting a car at Cavtat Croatia will not cost you a fortune. While some car companies allow you to drop a car off at your hotel in Cavtat for free and renting within Croatia will be around £54 for an economy car but you would have to pay €40 to take it into Montenegro. Axa rental service offers the prepayment to be around £21 for the excess, while for other companies, like iCrahire, it would cost 45 Euros for the green card to take it out of Croatia. There is also another cost you must take into account, hence the insurance To reduce the insurance to zero, you can use iCarhire and reduce the 1500 euro excess to £20 for the week to reduce it to zero. However, the company will still need your card to reserve the insured amount, and 15 euros to reduce the excess. All in all, you will hardly spend over 100 euros for a week of car rental, and the money will get you much further than taking buses. However, we only suggest booking a car after going to the islands, as ferry fees can quickly add up if you want to take your car with you.

Ferry from Kamenari to Lepetani

 To get from Kamenari to Lepetani by car, you cannot take a ferry or ride the walking bridge connecting Kamenari to Lepetani. Instead, you shall ride all the way the scenic route by the inner part of the bay, and going through Dobrota and Kotor towns. Whilst on the road, we recommend also take a chance and enjoy the local cuisine, and get some of the best Montenegro food, ordering either the tasty fish soup or squid-ink-colored black risotto at one of the restaurants in the towns.

Lovcen National Park, Montenegro

Balkan Croatia Montenegro CuddlyNest blog roadtrip senior nature getaway relaxing

Visit Lovcen National Park, Montenegro

Visiting Lovcen National Park is a must if you want to wind off and just enjoy the wild beauty of Montenegro. From weeklong meditation retreats on your own in the 62 km2 area in the central highest part of the mount Lovcen, to wandering the historical buildings, farmhouses and village guvnas, cottages in katuns and more man-made but integrated spaces. The mountainous region is popular with tourists but less so in September and October season. The best time to camp here in July and August, but for a digital recharge, or off-grid life for a few days to relax your senses and get back the health, you may also visit the park in the shoulder season. 

Lovcen National Park Practical Information: Entrance Fees and Accommodation

To enter the National park, you must buy a ticket for £2, but the entrance for children under 7 years old is free. You can also camp here, with your tent or camper. Sleeping in nature will cost you 10€ while there are also several hotels located within the nature park, hence Hotel Ivanov Konak ad Hotel Monte Rosa. The former one also has a bicycle and car rental for your convenience. 

Skadar Lake National Park in Montenegro

After taking time in Cetinje in Lovcen National Park, you can drive further to either Podgorica and Budva, to visit either the capital or one of the best-rated resort towns in Montenegro. However, you can just continue along the road  M23 from Centinje t Podgorica, and take a turn at Meterizi, turning onto a small countryside road going to Skadar. Skadar is well known for its nature, and the lake feels untouched by men.

If you wish to deep dive into nature and relax, then gong for birdwatching either alone equipped with a book and binocular, or in an organized tour, you can spot all kinds of birds all season long. As for other activities, like boat rides, you can relax taking a sunset ride into the beautiful lake.

Rijeka Crnojevića

Before coming to the lake itself, you will pass by the Rijeka Crnojevića, Ријека Црнојевића. To take the most from the local cuisine, we suggest having lunch with the local scallops in the Old Bridge Restaurant, alternatively heading to the nearby Šinđon and get some lake fresh food fro the Eko Restaurant Šinđon.

Balkan Itinerary: Visit Virpazar

Virpazar is one of the smallest villages around the lake, at the same time offering one of the best options for winding off, taking a break from city life and enjoying yoga retreat, off-grid life, and fresh air all day, all night. With a population of a little over 300 inhabitants, both Serbs and Montenegrins, the  village is the perfect place to escape the city buzz. When bored, you can climb up the Besac Castle which is open every day and watch the lake from up.

 

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Balkan roadtrip senior nature getaway relaxing

The Balkan nature itinerary will be continued by a trip to Albania and rural Greek islands.

Lobos island ferry hotels and travel permit Travel tips

Sojourn to Lobos Island, Spain: Why is it the New Mallorca for Nature Holidays in Spain

Lobos island ferry hotels and travel permit Travel tipsLobos island ferry hotels and travel permit Travel tips Cuddlynest blog

Lobos Island, or Isla de Lobos, is a small island you probably have not heard much about, apart from the fact that it is a part of the Canary island archipelago just about 100 km west of Morocco. But more interesting about the warm climate, the famous Playa de la Concha beach with its clear waters and hornitos is the nature preserve with one of the most diverse flora and fauna found in Europe. The uninhabited island, therefore, makes just about the perfect sojourn destination for those seeking to swim the pristine blue waters together with dolphins and wander around the Martiño lighthouse for sunset. Read on to understand what makes the island the perfect destination for couple weekend getaway and Spain island holidays.

Lobos Island – What to Expect

While Spain islands are well known for their playas, blue waters and crowded tourist attractions, and especially so are the Canaries, Lobos island differs in the offering quite a lot for those seeking natural beauty. From pristine blue beaches with white sand to rocky cliffs for those who seek for more adventure, to loads of fish and yellow-legged gulls, you can observe around 130 plant species in less than 5 km2 area. If you fancy some fairy-tale beauty, be ready to spot the Shearwater Cinderella, and climb mountainous trails. The natural beauty, interesting geology, and huge biodiversity make the island a great tourist destination.

Lobos Island History

Lobos Island was named after a large number of sea wolves, or monk seals, that once lived there. The island has preserved its natural beauty throughout the centuries, only recently attracting inhabitants, mostly nature lovers, and geologists from all over the world.

Located just around 100 km from Morocco, it was once a temporary part of the Roman Empire. However, Romans were here only seasonally, establishing a seasonal settlement to obtain the purple dye. In the 15th century, the island served as a base for the French explorer Jean de Béthencourt in his conquest of the near Canary Island Fuerteventura. However, the only inhabitants of the island in modern times up until 1968 were the lighthouse keeper and his family, who were operating Faro de Lobos lighthouse at the Northern tip of the island. In 1982, the island was the first of the Canaries which has a special park designed as a nature area.

When Spanish discovered the island, these were the only inhabitants. A lot has changed since, but nature is still dominating. The best part of being a visitor to Lobos Island is the fact that nature is not commercialized yet, and you can hike the trails and watch sunsets right from the cliff without hordes of tourists behind you. So – catch it while you can! 

Lobos island ferry hotels and travel permit Travel tipsLobos island ferry hotels and travel permit Travel tips Cuddlynest blog

The Canaries, in Isla de Lobos style

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria municipality, under which the Isla de Lobos lies, is scientifically enjoying the “best climate in the world”, sporting the hot desert climate which is well balanced with the cool Canary current.  Lobos Island, however, with its mix between the white sand and volcanic origin is one of the most amazing destinations for sojourning couples for a weekend.

What makes it different from other surrounding islands, like Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Palma, or La Gomera, is the fact that the islet of Lobos is one of the flattest ones, with the highest peak on Caldera de Lobos raising only 126 meters above the sea level. Compared to Teide in Tenerife, or Roque de Los Muchachos in La Palma, it is much easier for visitors to climb.

As for hotels, hostels and tourist infrastructure, you can stop worrying about crowds. Not entirely abandoned, the island is also not overcrowded, lying in the middle of the perfect balance of tourist-friendly infrastructure and transport connections, tours and fun activities to do, and the wanderlust abandoned vibe.

What to Do on the Isla de Lobos, Fuerteventura

Keeping one entertained on Lobos Island is no harder than taking a walk to the mountaintop. However, there is much more to Lobos to do. From tours of dolphin watching to local music concerts, to even day trips to surrounding islands, Lobos deserves more than just a mere 1-day visit.

Best Hiking Trail: What to See in Lobos

The island is a good option for those seeking an easy-to-hike route with the relatively new (2 million) volcano being the highest point at 127 meters. We would still suggest you bringing some extra water bottles in your bag, as the sun and desert climate is especially tiring if you are not from the South. You can explore the island form an easy and largely flat path with stairs going around the island, and reaching the peak of Montana de Caldera, you will get to know the whole island. Remember that for the efforts of its biodiversity maintenance, it is forbidden to step off the walking path, so keep on the road!

The path will guide you through the whole island. From the Greek-looking El Puerterito houses with white-washed walls and romantic, narrow streets. The trail takes you further to 8-meter high agave plants. If you wish to lay down and just enjoy the views, catch some sun, stop at the Faro de Martino beach with white sand and hornitos, small pointy hills that were once crater pipes. It is located at the Northern tip on the island, but when returning to the main path, you can reach the sand dunes at the Playa de la Concha beach, with its sandy dunes and blue waters. Before returning to

Some practical information:

  •         Free toilets are available at the Centro de Visitantes (tourist information center)
  •         It is forbidden to step off the walking pathway
  •         You can learn more about history at the visitor center
  •         If you are on wheelchair or with a stroller, the Montana de Caldera is not accessible

Best Mountain Biking Activities to Do in Lobos Island

To get around the small island faster, you can also rent a bike (or take one with you on your ferry when you come to the island) and cycle around and explore the island with less effort.

Easy Riders offer 5 types of bikes, from heavy-duty, mountain X-trail to road bikes, so you can choose one yourself for €10 per day. You can cycle the same China Cove Trail on  Lobos Island to save time getting around and choose the place you want to spend the day at. Cycling around te island is the perfect option if you are just visiting the island for a day.

Best Culture Events and Festivals

As the isle of Lobos is hardly inhibited and specializes in nature preservation, the only concerts and music festivals nearby are held on the 2 kilometer-close Fuerteventura island. If you happen to visit in June or July, make sure not to miss the Canarian fiestas and festivals, such as Fiesta de San Juan (read: Hogueras de San Juan in Spain) on the last week of June to celebrate the Midsummer solstice or the Fiesta de Nuestra Señora del Carmen, held on seaside towns on the week of July 16th. If you are coming to Fuerteventura on other seasons, make sure not to miss out by visiting the visitor website of the island.

Best Paid Tours to Lobos Island

Best tours in Lobos island include a day tour from Lanzarote to on Tuesdays and Thursdays, picking up travelers in Costa Teguise, Arrecife, Playa Honda, Puerto del Carmen, Puerto Calero, and Playa Blanca. 5 hours of wonders of the Canary Islands will cost you around €55.00 for adults and €38.00 for children up to 11 years.

Likewise, you can take a catamaran trip from Fuerteventura, or watch dolphins on a Lobos half-day dolphin watching trip. The dolphin route includes the shuttle to the port, a boat tour on the super-fast Biosfera Jet, picnic-lunch and drinks while looking for dolphins. The tour starts at Lanzarote where the shuttle bus picks you up in the center of the city, traveling to the Marina Puerto del Carmen. The 1.5-hour boat ride will take you to Lobos, to explore the small village and its natural pool, serving you drinks and picnic, and taking you back to the Marina Rubica in Playa Blanca where a shuttle takes you back to the hotel.

Lobos island ferry hotels and travel permit Travel tipsLobos island ferry hotels and travel permit Travel tips Cuddlynest blog

Lobos Island Hotels and Places to Stay

Staying in Lobos island is impossible, but the closest stays in Lanzarote will make it easy to go and visit Lobos island taking a shuttle bus and hopping on a tour ride. There are several sustainable nature and eco-conscious sustainable hotels near Lobos island to choose from, among more generic ones.

Where to stay – Nature Sustainable Hotels

Finding a sustainable stay on the nearby Lanzarote or Fuerteventura islands is not much of a hard task. You can book camping and spend a warm night under the blue sky, or booking an apartment in Canary Islands just for yourselves.  To travel more sustainably while at the hotel, we suggest going by the simple tips for sustainable travel.

What to Eat in Isla de Lobos

On the Isla de Lobos, there are no restaurants, but we suggest going all natural and picking your own fruits in the morning before you go on a day trip to Lobos island. Some Canary-specific fruits are bananas, or papaya. We also suggest that you eat gofio for breakfast to keep the hunger at bay until your daytime snacks.

We also suggest you try out all almond-based desserts – make sure not to miss Principe Alberto!

What to Drink in the Canary Islands?

What to order when you are visiting the Canary Islands? Go for the local wine, or get a Barraquito,  condense milk with liquor. Sometimes, it is served as a coffee with liquor, but to try the real thing, go for the sweet Canarian tooth.

Also, when you finish your meal, do not skip the Ron con Miel. Most places will serve you this rum with honey after a meal. Made from liquor or cane molasses, it is a typical drink from the Canary Islands. What makes Ron con Miel to be served as a dessert after meals is its sweetness – the drink has at least 2% of the honey in it! 

Best Romantic Restaurants for Lunch in Fuerteventura

Are you starving but want to make the right choice for lunching out? Fuerteventura offers some good restaurants for those looking for a light, inexpensive but nevertheless great meal. To make the most of the natural Canary vibe, we suggest you visit Casa de la Naturaleza for lunch.  Operating from 10 am to 5 pm, this restaurant is housed at a fantastic old farmhouse, serving everything from beer to Canary island wine, to almond cakes and Canarian – not Spanish tapas. Overlooking the valley, you will surely have a good rest and meal here during a day.

Lobos island ferry hotels and travel permit Travel tips

How to Get to Lobos Island, Spain

As for practical matters, the most sustainable (and surely most romantic way) to get from the mainland to Lobos island is by taking a ferry. If you are used to kayaking in the sea, you can get from Fuerteventura to Lobos with no problem.

To get to Fuerteventura, you have several options. We suggest taking a  train or driving a car to Huelva, and then taking a ferry to Arrecerife (ferries go once a week) and then to Fuerteventura Puerto del Rosario. However, if you are very tight on budget, direct flights may turn out to be a better choice, saving you over €100 one way.

Visiting Lanzarote is slightly cheaper if you go by train and ferry via Cordoba, but flights from Sevilla and Malaga cost around the same as to Fuerteventura. In the low season, you can get to Lanzarote for as little as €75, but the best time to travel for the cheapest tickets in October.

How to Get a Permit to Visit Lobos Island

To visit Lobos island, you will have to get a permit through an online system to save the island from crowds. The capacity of the island is limited to 200 simultaneous visitors. Therefore, before planning to go to Lobos, go to Cabildo and Fuerteventura online page and obtain a permit to visit Los Lobos.

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Colorado where to best bars

The Best Bars You Need To Know About In Colorado Springs 2019

Colorado Bars 2019

Phantom Canyon Brewing Co: Selection of Draft Beers and Vegan Foods

Phantom Canyon Brewing Company is a casual, old-style bar on the first floor with reasonably priced food and drinks, mostly beer. While you may enjoy the special menu offerings if hungry, we do not recommend going to Phantom to savour your meals. Instead, go there for variety of beers, and casual atmosphere. You can chill outside on the street, but do not expect anything more than muchies. Draft beers, microbrews are available, and you can first taste samples, before making your choice for ordering beer, even a local one.

What makes the place special is the view at the Pikes peak and Cameron. For vegan options, in case you are hungry, go for vegan green chili and buffalo hummus, and vegan Sheperd’s pie. If you want a great amber beer, go for the Howitzer Amber.

Red Leg Brewing Company

What makes the place so different is the beer choice. The Red Leg has wide selection, and if you can’ t choose yourself, the standard flight offerin is six beers. Some safe choices are The Devil Dog Stout or  Howitzer Amber, and when ordering more you can make yourself feel better by reminding that this decades-old establishment also supports non-profits. Looking for something less traditional? Try coffee Porter.
Although the bar does not serve food, there is also a food truck at the garden, and you can safely count in for good grab.

The atmosphere is amazing, and you can safely bring your family and friends again and again – the Red Leg is just perfectly made for re-visits!

Loonees Comedy Corner

Although the place is one of the best ways to spend a night out in Colorado Springs – it is a comedy club of Colorado Springs – the show is good, and does not cost you  a fortune. The comedians range from Sam Butler to Tim Gaither, but you shall not expect the jokes to get political. The cost to visit the club is $10, and the best part is – you also have drinks and food in Comedy Club! Drinks are reasonably priced, about $7 for some of their specialty drinks, so you do not have to worry to go over the top when enjoying beer in a good company with laughter.

Pro tip – if you want to save on tickets to the comedy, go and book your show online and get 20% off the price!

Ohana Kava Bar

If you want to go local and really try out the taste of kava, you must try this one. Ranked as one of the best across the whole country, even in Hawaii and Ohana, this bar will serve you the real thing – and do not expect the drink not to taste nasty! The place has super friendly staff and patrons. We recommend to order the regular kraken with peppermint – you can then go and get stoned with savages, just as in  J. Maarten Troost’s book.

Colorado is not necessarily famous for bars, but it is no wonder that after a hike in the mountains you will long for a refreshing drink. Indeed, when you’re visiting Colorado, you may feel the need to kick back and relax at a nice bar. Come prepared with taking a look at some of Colorado’s finest bars list:

Thunder and Buttons

This bar is known for people to kick back and relax. Food is prepared fresh and daily, including daily specials of up to five specialty items and a soup of the day. Thunder and Buttons has a fantastic Happy Hour all day on Sundays and Karaoke on Wednesday – Saturday nights. This bar is so much fun that it was voted “Best of Westside and Karaoke Bar” 2012 – 2015. It was also rated as “Best Staff” and “Best Crowd”.

Back East Bar and Grill

If you’re looking for a bar that has craft beer, live music, special events such as pool tournaments, and one that is a sports bar all-in-one – You will love Back East Bar and Grill. Not to mention, if you visit around July 4th, you will be able to take advantage of their expansive balcony to view the fireworks! Looking for a good time with Happy Hour? Visit this car Monday through Friday 4 PM – 7 PM where you can choose select drafts, well drinks, and house wine – all on special!

Zodiac Venue

Located downtown in Colorado Springs, Zodiac Venue is the bar to be if you’re looking for premium craft cocktails. This place offers a laid back but fun atmosphere. There is an additional 400 ft. patio to smoke or bring your drink out to enjoy. This bar lays out their schedule a bit more in depth. Here are some exciting events for each day of the week:

  • Monday nights – Andrea Stone hosts Open Mic
  • Tuesday nights- Dance Worship and Goth Style
  • Wednesday Nights – Viva La VooDoo meetup & Ladies Night
  • Thursday Nights – Hazel Humdinger hosts Karaoke
  • Friday Nights – Live Music, Burlesque, and Performance Art
  • Saturday Nights – Live Music, Burlesque, and Performance Art
  • Sunday Days – Opens at 2 PM with Happy Hour all day and night

*Additional Happy Hour Times: Monday – Saturday 2-7 PM

Legends Rock Bar

Looking for a place that has your favorites? Food, fun, and live music? You’re in for a good time if you visit Legends Rock Bar. Appetizer food is offered all day and night. Full menu food is available after 6 PM. Fun includes karaoke, which is Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday – Additional fun includes darts, beer pong, pinball, pool, foosball, corn hole, and more. During your visit, enjoy some live music ranging from country to heavy metal with one of the best sound systems in Southern Colorado Springs.

Oscar Oyster Bar

If you’re in for some Cajun food and good drinks, Oscar’s Oyster Bar is where it’s at. There’s nothing like sitting back enjoying a good drink paired with some delicious food. Happy Hour is Monday – Friday 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM, which includes $1 off drafts and wine wells. Other specials include:

  • Monday- Thursday 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Oyster Happy Hour– Half price oysters in half shell.
  • Tuesday 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM – Fat Tuesdays – Two for one Cajun martinis, drafts, wells, and wine.
  • Tuesday & Wednesday 8:00 PM – Open Mic Nights
  • Thursday 9:00 PM – Karaoke
  • Friday & Saturday – Live Music with no cover
  • Saturday & Sunday 10:30 AM – 3:00 PM – Breakfast served
  • Saturday & Sunday after 9:00 PM – $4 Car Bombs

Copperhead Road Bar

If you’re going to venture out to Colorado Springs, why not go out for a night of fun? Head on down to Copperhead Road Bar. This bar always has something going on. Some of their specials include:

  • Ladies Night Thursdays – Ladies receive FREE drinks from 10 PM until midnight PLUS no cover all night.
  • Red Solo Cup Fridays – Come in at 9 and stay til Midnight to enjoy the $10 all you can drink special! Splurge with $15 and you can drink until 1 AM.
  • 18+ Saturdays – $20 cover for those under 21 years old. $5 cover for anyone over 21 years old.

*Board game nights coming soon*

Swirl Restaurant and Wine Bar

Located in Manitou, Colorado, Swirl Restaurant and Wine bar has a lot to offer. You can enjoy some good food until 10 PM while sipping on your favorite alcoholic beverage. If you’re looking to host a private event, they have options. Swirl bar also has events for almost every day of the week:

  • Monday – I.N
  • Tuesday – Lasagna Night
  • Wednesday – Spirit & Cinema Night
  • Friday & Saturday – Live Music
  • Sunday – BOGO Mimosas and The Wine Blitz

*You can find an entire calendar with detailed events on their website here.

Have you ever experienced any of the bars in Colorado? Did we miss one that should have made it to the list? Fill us in.

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Travel Europe after Brexit travel after brexit

Travel Europe After Brexit: What to Keep in Mind to Stop Losing Money Abroad & Travel Sustainably

Travel and Visit Europe After Brexit on 31 October

What else will change after October 31? With no-deal Brexit, visiting Europe after Brexit may become a bit more of a struggle. Read further to know what to expect and how to prepare in advance.

Visas to Europe

There will be no visas. The European Parliament has granted Britons right to travel to the European Union without a visa after Brexit, staying in Europe visa-free for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. It is, however, only granted if the UK implements similar measure for EU citizens.

Travel Europe after Brexit Eurail Interrail

Travel with Pets to Europe after Brexit

After October 31, there will be slight changes in pet travel to Europe. To prepare for travel with your pet, there are some simple steps you should follow.

If the United Kingdom becomes the third country once it leaves the EU, and automatically an unlisted country. However, it can apply to the European Commission to be listed (Part 1 listed or Part 2 listed), in which case pet travel becomes easier. If leaving with no-deal Brexit, then with conditions of the unlisted country, you should follow the following procedure to travel to Europe with your pet.

  1. You have to microchip and get your dog/cat/ferret vaccinated before you travel, and take a blood sample within 30 days of the last rabies vaccination.
  2. Your vet will send the blood sample to the EU-approved testing laboratory and wait for the blood test results.  When 3 months from the successful blood test sample have passed, you can now go to Europe to travel.
  3. Your vet will give you a copy of test results and enter the date of a sample taken into your pet’s health certificate.

If you are a frequent traveller to Eu, your pet will not need a repeat blood test if the previous one was successful and rabies vaccination history is up-to-date. However, you will need to get a new health certificate for each trip within 10 days before your trip.

Returning to the UK, you will need your EU pet passport, animal health certificate and UK pet health certificate. To learn more about pets travelling with UK nationals living in the EU or scenarios in which the UK becomes a listed third country, read more on UK government Animal and Plant Health Agency guide here.

Holidays to Europe after Brexit: How Not to Lose Money?

With the British pound tumbling long-term low ( lowest since 2012), it is a serious matter to manage your pounds before going on holiday to Spain, Italy or Croatia this autumn. To plan ahead and not to exchange pounds in Europe is a must; to be exact, it is much more of a better deal if you take cash with you – this way you will not lose 15% of your money on airport booths. Want to save even more? Buy your holiday currency now.

Spain Listeria Outbreak: Keep Safe from Bug

The food poison and listeria outbreak in Spain have been on news recently, with 200 Britons suffering. To keep safe, you should stay away from meat products and rather go for vegetarian and vegan Spain meals. To learn how to ask for a no-meat meal at a restaurant, read our advice  here.

Travel Europe after Brexit by train Interrail

Sustainable Travel and Responsible Transportation in Europe

If you think that sustainable travel is all about booking a green hotel, visiting countryside tulip farms, then you may as well be tricked into buying a refillable water bottle while waiting for a carbon-fuelled cheap airline flight from one city to another.

While crossing out the overcrowded destinations and cutting out plastic is indeed important, even more so is your transportation mode and dietary habits. While we already wrote about how to eat sustainably in Spain, what to pack for zero-waste travel and where to switch from overcrowded Europe destinations, the transport is oftentimes overlooked as neutral to sustainable travel when in fact, it is not. 

Train Travel in Europe after Brexit

There is only as far you can get walking, running or pedalling on your bike. While we strongly encourage you to go on a cycling tour in France, or all across Europe, it is almost inevitable to use a transport mode powered by other than man energy, unless you are up for riding a horse or sailing across Atlantic to attend a business meeting like Greta Thunberg.

There are a few simple ways to switch from unsustainable low-fare, high-emission short flights to green vehicles, like electric trains and electric buses to get to your holiday destination. For visiting Europe, one of the most convenient, no-fuss and also the most sustainable way to get around the continent is to get a Eurorail pass. Partnering with national train lines, routes include thousands of European towns and cities in 31 countries for Eurorail global pass. Alternatively, you can slash your expenses and choose one country pass. Easily accessible, customizable train passes may not be the cheapest, but definitely the most convenient way of getting around, allowing for days, weeks and even months of travel.

Buses

Unless you are going on family Europe holidays and your rental car is fully loaded, public buses come second best choice to tackle transport carbon emissions. European public inter-city and international bus lines are quite well developed, especially in less populated and developed regions, like Balkans and the Baltic States, or in between smaller towns. If you are up for a long-haul bus ride, though, be prepared to check reviews first, to avoid smelly toilets. Most buses in Europe these days come from with reclining seats, free WiFi, and silence, instead of the latest Eurovision song on repeat.

Hitchhiking

Not being an option if strive for convenience or try to juggle across Europe with a family or dog, but.. As long as you are (young?), wild and free, hitchhiking around Europe is the easiest way to travel with zero regrets about environmental track left behind you, as you are simply making the trip of somebody else to be more resource-effective. As for the budget, it is also a more budget-friendly option, while for safety you should always check Hitchwiki site for tips, tricks, best spots and even gatherings and hitch-races.  

Carpooling

An alternative to blind hitchhiking is other sharing transportation services, like carpooling. Hopping into Oskar in Hungary, BlaBlaCar in Southwestern Europe, or Carpool.be in Belgium and Netherlands, you can give a boost to shared services. These will work the best in mainstream hours following people who do daily or weekly commuting to work, university or countryside house.    

Eco-friendly Travel Transportation Apps

To choose between the modes of transport, we suggest always go for road transportation and if possible then sharing services, but if you are still puzzled what’ s the best for planet, here are some apps to guide you through travel ecology and help to plan you travel consciously.

Green Travel Choice

Green Travel Choice app allows you to track your CO2 emissions, no matter if you are driving a rental car, taking a  bus or riding a motorbike. The app logs your trips, travel distances, and your emissions over time, and you can travel and learn at the same time. Partnering with TIES, The International Tourism Society, developers have worked hard to provide accurate data in collaboration with one of the most influential ecotourism organizations.

To download the app, you will need to have $1.99 on your card and iPhone, iPod or iPad running at least iOS 3.0 

BlaBlaCar Travel After Brexit

BlaBlaCar is an app dedicated for people to share rides. You can look up rides several weeks In advance or create search reminders for either carpooling or bus taking you to the destination. You can decide between the cars based on who has booked a ride already – red their profile feedback before sharing a long-haul ride. The app is for free, available for both iOS and Android devices.

FlixBus

Need a last-minute bus from one city to another? There is no better (and almost no greener) way to get around Europe – just open the app, book your ride and hop on the bus to get to your desired destination.  according to the reviews, however, the FlixBus app does not always update the time schedules for buses, so beware the fact that there is a slight chance of you staying on the road.

Eurail vs Interrail – Carbon Neutral Travel Transport Options

Eurail and Interrail passes are probably the best option to anyone coming to Europe for sustainable holiday and visiting several cities at once. 

Eurail or Interrail – What’s the Difference and Which One Should You Get?

Both are referring to international or intercity train network passes for the European 31 country network. The difference here lies In the fact that all-in-all, while InterRail passes are for Europeans, Eurail passes are for non-Europeans, it can get a bit more tricky with residence area. You cannot buy a Eurail pass if you reside in Europe, as well as you cannot buy an InterRail pass if you don’t.

As a UK citizen, you are in luck, as InterRail is much cheaper (under 25 years of age one-month pass goes for €422 for InterRail and €568 for Eurail). While Eurail pass offers many more options for travellers to choose from: one-country pass, two-country and regional passes.

Just in case you wonder, there is a difference in train types included in each type of pass. InterRail Global Pass also covers Ecostar high-speed train connecting London, the United Kingdom with France and Belgium. You can reserve the train up to 3 months in advance. However, for many other high-speed trains like French TGV, night trains and scenic trains, reservation with an additional fee is required. 

InterRail – Is it Worth it? Budgeting for Sustainable Travel

Is Interrail worth it? To say the least, Interrail pass is quite a splurge. While flexibility and city-hopping may be worth it, we advise you to always check the trains available on your approximate travel route. More often than not, with good planning and booking bus and train tickets well in advance, single-ticket rides are much more budget-friendly, allowing you to save some money.

However, if you are with your backpack, open to spontaneity and rather horrified of catching free WiFi’s across the road trying to look up train schedules and understand the timetables in a foreign language, Interrail may be for you.

However, you should still remember to make reservations in advance – you can do it via Rail Planner app.

Travel for Free with UK youth pass to Europe after Brexit

If you are a student coming from the United Kingdom and wishing to travel for free, go for it! Even after Brexit, British teenagers will be able to apply for free EU rail passes awarded by European Union on its 20,000 free train passes within “DiscoverEU” project. No matter if UK exits EU on 31 October, British teens will be continued to be awarded EU train passes, to be “ambassadors” of Europe and share their travels on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you missed the deadline on 16 May, there is still a chance to apply for tickets in the second round in Autumn 2019. 

Once the UK leaves the EU, the British will not be able to take part in European programmes, like the Erasmus student exchange, so InterRail pass may be one of the last chances to milk Europe.

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Miami Art Basel Blog CuddlyNest 2019

Art Basel America 2019: Experience the Alternative Miami

Miami Art Basel 2019 AmericaArt Basel in Miami is the premier art show of Americas, hosted in Miami Beach in December 5 to 8 this year. But what to do, and where to go around Miami to discover its authentic face? What to experience for getting off the beaten tourist track and get artistic?

Art Basel America 2019: What’s In (and Underground) in Miami Now

Art Basel America 2019 is promised to be one of the most interesting, featuring work form Modern and Contemporary art masters from North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. Painting, sculptures, films, and editioned works of the top-tier artists are all exhibited. Over 250 world’s leading galleries are taking part in the art show, drawing more than 70 000 artists, collectors, curators, critics and art enthusiasts for a week in Miami Beach.

This year, Miami Beach Convention Center will be open for public on afternoons starting Thursday, December 5. While opening for public only for afternoon, on the weekend the venue is open to public all day long, from 12 noon to 6 pm. For invitation-only events, like Meridians Opening on Tuesday 4pm, and Tuesday Private Day, as well as Thursday morning hours, the Convention Center is closed for the public. However, to see the best-of-arts, you can buy a ticket starting from $65.00 for day tickets. For students or senior enthusiasts wondering if there are any discounts available – the reduced-price ticket goes for $45.00, and you can buy it either online or at the lobby of the Art Basel America venue.

Miami, South Florida: What to Do Around Art Basel 2019

So how to extend your Art Basel experience beyond the walls of Miami Beach Convention Center? While Art Basel is surely mind-blowing experience offering a wide range of emotions, intuitions, and recovering desires, your trip to Art Basel can go further than discovering ourselves deeper down and seeing what’s new in the world of Arts.

Where to Go in Miami – Without Bikini

Taking a bit of time to go off the biennale, and into the street, arts may open new horizons for those used to galleries and curated art spaces. Visiting Leach Arts District and indulging in free art is something you must experience once you are in Miami. Being somewhat different from Wynwood Art District, which now homes only a little over 10 galleries, museums and art collections (in comparison, there were over 70 art spaces some 15 years back), Leah is the new hotspot for those looking to explore the free street art. Today, the Leah Art District is not only a place for artists to gather and do exhibits and art fairs, but also to live and work together in community living spaces.

Born out of the city councilman’s Paul B. Hernandez’s vision to reposition local artists in forgotten industrial city by creating space for artists to rent spaces for as little as $12 per square foot, the Leah Art District is now booming with visitors form all Miami. To get there from Miami beach Convention Center, all you have to do is to hop into a bus No. 112 route L run by Miami-Dade transit and enjoy the stroll through the city for an hou before arriving at the destination.

What Music to hear in Miami

Wynwood Art District Bars – after Art Basel

If your bucket lists includes the Wynwood Art District, then one good reason, if not for street arts, is to go to the top pop-up music venues. When getting there, the best choices for semi-alternative music scene are the Vegas in Miami dance club, one of the first-comers to the district, along the Electric Pickle. Both being loved by Wynwood visitors, they differ quite a lot in the music scene. Go to Electric Pickle if you are after some less mainstream electronic house music, taking you back to 80s and 90s. One thing to remember, though, is to ask for tap water, if possible, as bartenders are known for charging $7 for bottle even when it is unbearably hot outside.

Vinyl Records and Vintage Groove

As for some vintage vinyl’s to take back home with you, or gift to some of your collector-friends, go to Yesterday and Today Records. It is the oldest independent record store in Miami, celebrating 35 years in South Florida in 2019, and definitely will not leave you with empty hands.You can both buy and sell records, carrying all types of music, with specialization in domestic and import LP’s, 12’’ and 45’s.

Miami Art Basel 2019 America

Eating Treating your Taste Buds in Miami

From avocado wine tasting to seasoned grasshoppers, Miami has definitely some sparkle to effer to your taste buds. Here is the list of what you should have a look at when going out after closing of the Art Basel Miami.

Frita Traditional

Eating frita, the Cubano version of the American burger, is a must. More than the burger, the Miamian style frita comes with papitas (matchstick potatoes) and a secret sauce which will make you come back again and again before leaving on Sunday!

To have a good frita traditional, head over to the El Mago de las Fritas in West Miami. They serve the bets fritas of all types, so you do not get bored (and have an especially hard time choosing the right one!)

Chicken, Watermelon and Waffles

Yes, all of it on one plate. The combination is especially distinct for Southern Florida, making it essential to try on your Florida trip. Vermont sharp cheddar, hot honey sauce and Bourbon maple syrup – it all placed on one plate, and it is as good as it can be! Make sure to satisfy your taste buds visiting Yardbird Southern Table & Bar on Miami beach after a long day sunbathing.

Chapulines

Always thought grasshoppers are reserved for Asia and Africa? No, chappulines translating into grasshoppers are one of the best bar snacks in Miami. Mixed with peanuts and cilantro, the snack is just about to make the perfect beer add-on when ordered at The Vagabond Restaurant and Bar in MiMo. They also have frequent concerts!

Cortadito

Is it 3 pm yet? It is coffee o’clock! Order yours and sip in alongside Cuban seniours arguing over politics. Where to get it? The choice is yours – any ventatita will do, as long as you speak Spanish!

Pastrami & Sauerkraut Dumplings

Looking for something vegetarian? Usually hard to find, Miami also serves Asian dishes. Get yourself a Pastrami and sauerkraut dumplings at Pubbelly on Miami beach. If you are a following a vegan or gluten-free diet, though, it may not be the best choice, as the dish contains flour in the dumpling version of pastrami on rye with white cabbage soy, Thousand Island, and caraway powder.

Pastelitos

Craving for some pastries? These are the cheapest option on the oftentimes overpriced Calle Ocho, but that’ s not the main point. The fresh, flaky and generously filled pastelitos are good enough passing the approval of Latin grandmas abuelitas.  To get yours, head to Yisell bakery in Little Havana district, and you will surely come back again.

Kinoko No Kama Meshi

Are craving something umami? Get there without heavy meats! Instead, go to Zuma for hotspot with extra woodsy flavours and tons of wild mushrooms and filling vegetables. To get to Zuma, walk to downtown Miami.

Miami Art Basel 2019 America

What to Bring Home: Shopping for the Real Miami Thing

Art Deco Posters

Art Deco style architecture and Miami Beach go hand in hand, and for a good reason. As inseparable as Miamians and their café con leche, you will be amazed by Miami’ s colorful buildings, from peach to periwinkle to turquoise, adorned with detailed motifs. Embodying the Miami architecture with its extravagant style, Art Deco Welcome Center and Gift Shop, a part of the oldest Art Deco Society in the world, is the best place to find a wide collection of artwork and books. Priced from $9.99 at kiosks and beachfront stores, these posters may cost you around $20 at the gift shop, so we recommend strolling around the city and put an eye on your favorite posters with their prices, to get the best deal.

Native American Miccosukee Patchwork

Miccosukee Indian Tribes of Florida are now known for their casinos and resorts, but you may be surprised seeing the wide variety of off-tourist spot offering. In the heart of Florida Everglades (read about day trip to Everglades) the Miccosukee Indian Village finds its home and purpose of saving the culture and traditions of the native Indian tribes. You can learn and see the native American artesian work in clothing, bags and decorative artwork. While it is the total opposite of the contemporary and modern Art Basel America exhibits, museum fine designs are just magical. You can purchase souvenirs here starting from as little $4.99.

To fully enjoy the art exhibit, make sure to take advantage of the local culture as well!

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What to Pack for Sustainable Europe Holiday in 2019

Updated September 9  2019

Holiday in Europe in 2019 is no more about seeing the most touristic cities. You can experience the charm of ancient ruins by visiting less touristic and overcrowded European destinations, choosing a green transportation mode and enjoying sustainable European delicatessens. But before getting to Europe travel destinations that are not only trending but also has something special to offer – what should you pack for a holiday in the Old World? Read on to discover what’s goes in and what stays out of your bag for zero waste, plastic-free green travel – read on to learn more!

What is Sustainable and Eco-Conscious Travel

Sustainable travel means travelling with a long-term perspective, and in a way that is harming neither local people nor culture or environment neither economically nor ecologically.

The Sustainable Travel Formula

As you may have heard, sustainable travel is hardly about getting a bamboo toothbrush and booking an eco-hotel anymore. With the diverse opportunities for travel, there is a lot you can improve to make your travel more sustainable, and improve the lives of others, have a less impact on the environment and act in an economically sound way.

Choose Your Destination Wisely

Travel destinations in Europe most of the times so popular that the cities are turning against the tourism industry. Chances are, your bucket list of Europe cities, places to visit and things to do, sounds much like from travel advertisements and movies, from eating gelato on the Spanish Steps to swimming in the Trevi fountain at the midnight.  But with popular travel destinations trying to fight mass tourism, there are new offerings springing up for luxurious offbeat travel experiences, like those of Salvador Ferragamo.

That said, choosing the destination wisely does not only mean that you (and locals) are better off if you are only avoiding high-season in popular travel destinations, although it is a pre-condition to have a wonderful holiday in any of Mediterranean countries, Germany or France.

Choosing your destination is also tightly related to the distance between your home town and the destination, which affects your mode of transport to get there. Getting there fast and cheap usually comes at a cost plied on future generations all over the planet. Flying should be off the table as long as you can do make it to the destination by ferry and ground transport. Flygskam, a recent flight-shaming movement is transforming a way people see travel destinations. If there is absolutely no other way to get to the other side of the world, make sure to get a direct non-stop flight, as these are easier on aeroplanes’ fuel usage. For example, going from Washington to Philadelphia, more than a half (51%) of fuel is burned only for the taxi, take off, climb, and for landing, whereas getting from Washington to St. Lis on one direct flight, there is only 16.6% burned for the operations. So, with a whopping 23% of fuel going toward take-off and landing, you may want to reconsider your flight stop-overs if that’s an option.

As for other modes of on-the-ground transportation, read our comparison here – but you should always keep in mind that sharing a ride in a car, train or a public bus is not only more eco-friendly and carbon-economically. To calculate your carbon footprint, go to the free carbon calculator and see how environmentally friendly are your travels by plane, car, or motorbike!

Go to One Place

Going to one place instead or trying to cram in as many destinations as you can in a record-short time is the best way to keep our planet green and happy.

Remember that what the Europe journey is called now emerged from a long, 1-2 yearlong trip when young adults used to travel around Europe and stay at the same place for more than 1 month to live and learn from local bright minds. Not only it is the best way to get acquainted with the local culture when you go to one region per vacation, but it also helps the planet! City 24-hour visits and 48-hour travel guides to some of the European regions may help you to understand what’s the best in town, but to truly experience the region, it is better to stick to one place at a time.

The emerging backyard travel is possibly one of the best ways to enjoy your surrounding area not only on cheap(-er), but also on an eco-friendlier note. Going around your state, visiting you family at a far-away family house, or even just taking a train and going somewhere exotic for a weekend may play out to be the most wonderful trip. You can easily access the local culture and not harm the locals by disturbing their daily routines and ways of living by bringing in something too exotic.

In case you are with a family, always consider day trips – going on a day trip with a car away from the city for the weekend can prove to be as refreshing as taking a vacation far away in Vietnam or Thailand, less the time lag and inner clock adjustment.

Accommodation Matters

What if this time you would sort the comfort and assign stars, not by the number of towels you get? Instead, try to look at the sustainability policies of the hotel. While environmental care and standards are important, try not to fall for greenwashing. Before booking, check for the stars – do you really need the extra star? Check for the hotel waste management policy instead, and the energy-saving rates.

While staying at the hotel, hostel or shared accommodation, do not extend your showers for longer than you usually do, escaping your own bills. Studies have found the average tourist consuming more that 350 litres of water per night, and this is, although not totally, largely up the choice as a guest. You can take shorter showers, ask to not have the daily room cleaning, and go for the same towel for beach and room.

As for other tricks to make your stay in accommodation more sustainable, shared spaces are always preferred over personal stays, as these make a better use of the resources – think how CuddlyNest shared apartments are housing both host and guest at the same time, so your energy usage to keep the light of the common area and clean are slashed, making it  a better choice for the environment.

Act Like a Local

Acting like a local is a no-brainer for anyone who wants to fit in and experience more authentic travel. As sustainable travel goes for cultural and social sustainability as much as for environment and economy, acting like a local can reduce your footprint substantially.

Eating like a local – going to places where locals are sipping their traditional drinks, going for tapas or weekly groceries, or taking their morning coffee wit croissant – is much more rewarding. Beware the fake-local, though! Many of the farmers’ markets or shop-local markets in the old city town centres are made exclusively for tourists, and you will see no locals there.

Eating out in local restaurants also mean that you eat what they serve, not requesting too many exceptions. You will both receive better service (waiters hate exceptions!) and get to taste the real thing, not adapted to tourist taste.

Choose Souvenirs Well

We already wrote about choosing souvenirs and bringing back the travel memories in a sustainable way – but to make it clear once more, there is nothing more unsustainable that buying third country origin, handmade-label souvenirs your loved ones will never use, just to have something to bring back home. Instead, opt for consumables, like spices, or cosmetics, like artesian soaps, or essential oils, or if you are sure to invest in the gift, then something truly traditional, like an embroidered shirt, earrings or another jewellery piece. If you want to give something personal, though, it is always a good idea to send a postcard back home.

Get Involved with the Local Community

Travelling sustainably does not only mean going for green hotels and shopping in local markets. You can skip the tourist route and ways of travelling for good, and join a volunteering program instead. Choose to volunteer and connect with the local community, contributing to their social, economic development, as well as environmental protection. You can travel and volunteer for student organizations, as an international association member, or volunteer for international development or organic farming organizations.

This way, most of the time you live at a shared housing, and your work is directed towards sustainable development. Good for you – good for the planet!

Watch Out for Greenwashing

Last but not least, you should always watch out for greenwashing when booking a hotel, buying local-made or free-trade souvenirs, or purchasing vegan, vegetarian or eco-friendly products (which appear to be safely packaged in 3 plastic wraps!). Greenwashing is a thing, and only truly understanding the way how sustainability can be achieved on your travels, will make you a better consumer, both ecologically, socially and economically.

Packing List for Sustainable Holiday

Now, when you are more or less acquainted what it means to travel sustainably, you have chosen your destination and probably booked your train tickets, it is time to pack your bags. To do so with the most considered approach, always try to pack less – and more important than packing less is to pack smarter. Instead of 5 shirts, get 2 shirts, 1 sports underwear that can survive multiple wears, and a bar of soap to wash your shorts in the hotel sink when there us a need. But let’s go step by step – read further and learn what to pack (and what to leave)!

Pack Only Things You Need

What is a no-brainer for some, is hard to twist their head around for others. Packing for a week may be the same as packing for a month (or few), given that you pack only the things you cannot live without.

It will differ from travel to travel, but the rule of one pair of shoes holds pretty well if you are on a casual, no-work trip. Packing in flats for work meetings and leaving heels at home will make getting ready and getting around much easier in Europe, as most cities are walkable. As for hiking and leisure, leave flip flops at home, and always opt for proper shoes instead of sandals.

Shoes are nowhere close to the only unnecessary items we usually pack in. Always consider how many electronic devices you will actually need, and which ones you can safely leave at home. Travelling with a laptop may be inescapable for some, but in case you are going on a vacation with your family, consider to take the least amount of electronics with you, to dedicate more quality time to your family members instead.

Pack Reusable Items

Packing reusables is a must, especially if you are on a leisure trip and plan to walk the city most of the time. Getting a water bottle, reusable stainless-steel utensils, a short pocket knife (4.5 cm long, so you can take it with you on a plane) and reusable produce bag set, as well as a tote to skip the plastic shopping bags.

Skipping some cosmetics items, like liquid shampoo and wet napkins, and switching over to bar soaps and DIY busy mists to refreshen yourself while walking for hours in the hot streets of Sevilla or Dubrovnik, will do wonders to your skin, take the stress off for cabin baggage allowances, and make the planet happy.

Invest in Quality

Quality over quantity may be something you hear every single day and for a good reason. Why buy tens of sweaters when you can get one that sticks with you for years and serves perfectly well for many occasions?

Learn Some Water Hacks

In some cities, you may find your water bottle to sit around your hotel room, never to be taken with you on your hikes or day trips further from the city. But learning some water hacks is essential to make the use for reusable items even in places where water quality is not the highest, and it is not safe to drink the water from a tap.

When travelling to Vietnam cities, for example, you should always ask for a jug of water in your hotel room. This way, you can refill the water bottle without calling a room service every time you are thirsty, and always refill the bottle with fresh and safe drinking water before you leave.

More than that, asking for free bottle refills at restaurants is ultimately the best choice when you are out of town. In European countries, free tap water is not commonly offered, but if you ask for it, you get it. Otherwise, you will likely end up with several plastic bottles sitting on your lunch table.

If asking favours is out of your comfort zone, then going for a travel water purifier may prove to be worth it, especially if you travel frequently and most times are out in the city or on the run. These small reverse osmosis RO or ultraviolet light UV devices do not take much space in your bag but come at a price (around $100) to kill bacteria and viruses.

Water purifying tablets are much cheaper, costing around $10.00 per pack – and serving you around 2500 litres of water per pack.

Sustainable Travel Packing List

Get your bamboo toothbrush and razor with interchangeable parts. Use a natural sponge and lava for scrubbing – and you are good to go!

sustainable travel packing list camera

Sustainable Travel Packing List: Cosmetics

  • Bamboo Toothbrush
  • Wooden hairbrush
  • Steel razor
  • Stainless steel nail clippers
  • Stainless steel tweezers
  • Biodegradable shampoo soap
  • Natural sponge
  • Soda and mud

Sustainable Travel Packing List: Clothing

The best way to be more sustainable is to pack less and go with the basics. Mix and match your pieces in a different climate with less luggage taken on board. Added bonus? There is no way you will go shopping aimlessly if you have no luggage space!

sustainable travel packing list cameraSustainable Travel Essentials: Electronics

You only need the basics if any. Remember that unplugging is the most important to relax from your city stress! So, unless you need to catch up on work, better leave your PC and tablets at home.
Pro tip? Take your analogue film camera and discover the new way of taking pictures. If you prefer a more authentic way of capturing the moments, try out sketching city scenes or scrapbooking.

Essentials to Bring

  • Phone
  • Camera

Sustainable Travel Tips: Eating and Cooking

Being zero waste does not always mean that you have to stay with restaurant meals. Quite the opposite, if take your own utensils and use no plastic while eating on the street.

What to Pack:

  • Travel Knife
  • Travel utensil set
  • Water bottle
  • Water purifier tablets
  • Fruit and vegetable mesh bags for shopping

Even if you do not consider yourself to be a green thinker, then packing more lightly and more considerate will always come with its perks. Smaller luggage sizes, also less stress with finding the right conditioner in the Vietnamese grocery store, and fewer problems with getting a plastic-free street food on the streets of Istanbul.

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Colorado where to best coffee shops

Best Coffee Shops in the Colorado Mountains to Visit in Fall 2019

Visiting Colorado in Fall 2019 and looking for a coffee shop to work at or meet your travel buddies for a relaxing end of the day? We have your back.

There’s nothing like a large cup of coffee to give you the boost of energy you need. Whether you are travelling full time and looking for a comfortable place to sit down and get your work done, or you simply want to that caffeine dose after long Saturday night out, knowing the best spots is a must.

What’s more than coffee shops with their unique atmosphere? You must taste Colorado coffee brands to get a feel of what Colorado taste for the famous drink is like! From sustainable travel solar-energy fuelled coffee shops for eco geeks to family-friendly laid-back spots, we will point you in the right direction. Read on to experience the best of Colorado coffee shop scene!

Colorado where to drink coffee best coffee shops instagrammableColorado Coffee Brands & Best Coffee Speciality Stores to Try

Colorado Coffee Brand Novo Coffee

Colorado coffee scene saw the Novo Coffee for the first time in 2002, when Brodsky brothers founded the now popular coffee brand. When it comes to Colorado coffee brands, Novo Coffee goes all out, offering not only coffee blends to local restaurants and natural grocers, but also hosting public tasting every Friday as part of their coffee educational courses. If you have a minute and want to master the coffee, making, you can learn to make the best Colorado-style coffee in coffee brewing, milk steaming, or even drink building classes. Who knows when it comes handy, even if you are always relying on coffee takeout at one of the four Denver Novo Coffee shops!

Pablo’s Coffee

One of the oldest Colorado coffee brands, Pablo’s has been around for almost 25 years. Serving coffee in Denver and boasting green coffee from around the world , this coffee is truly a must-try. Together with the internet-free policy, you can step back from virtual word and take the moment, to breathe in the roasted bean aroma, deeply sense the taste and tune in with surrounding atmosphere while at one of the Denver’s coffee shops. The proposition of the founder Craig allows to immerse yourself into the coffee-lover community and connect with the Colorado crowd more easily.

Corvus Coffee Roasters

Corvus Coffee, recently marking their 10 years, has shaken up Denver with its crop-to-cup approach to coffee trading (and making!). The brand has established relationship with individua; Africa and Latin America coffee farmers and provides single-origin coffees from around the world. The transparency of the coffee making process from hand-picking beans to serving you a cup of coffee in their Denver speciality shop will not leave you indifferent.

Family Friendly Colorado Coffee Shops

Coming from what speciality coffee brands for coffee lovers, there are times when you want to go to coffee shop just for an easy afternoon. When  out on a family holiday, it’s unlikely you’re going to want to wander off without them. Thankfully, there are plenty of options to get your caffeine fix and still enjoy the company of your family.

R&R Coffee Cafe

R&R Coffee shop is not just a coffee shop; if you crave that Sunday brunch, you can also enjoy a home cooked meal.

Family Friendly Colorado: Cafe 225

Talk about an ideal place for the entire family – This cafe offers a kids play area, so you can enjoy a hot cup of coffee and enjoy a delicious sandwich. Additionally, this place has a designated reading room and even an event space for live acts. There are several options for this place to please anyone.

Family-friendly Café: Susie’s Westside Cafe

This is a small mom & pop type of coffee shop. In addition, they serve breakfast and lunch. Susie’s is the perfect spot to venture to with the whole family while on vacation. The kids can get their favorite pancake breakfast while mom and dad gain some energy with the assistance of a nice, hot cup of coffee.

Sustainable Coffee Shops

If you’re looking for some vegan options, you’re in luck. Colorado has a few options for you to choose from.

Solar-energy powered Solar Roast Coffee: New Café 2019

The newest addition to Colorado Springs’ coffee scene is the coffee shop that uses solar energy to roast its beams. Replacing Starbucks on the street corner near Acacia Park, the new café features local ingredients in many dishes, and will also serve you handmade pastries, sandwiches and other meals made with Pueblo childes.

Nemo’s Coffee

Nemo’s coffee is a great place to stop if you’re looking for high-quality coffee and teas. This place offers almond milk, soy milk, sugar-free, and other fat-conscious options. Additionally, Nemo’s Coffee is very health conscious and grinds their own wheat to craft delectable goods. They have gluten free and vegan options available.

Adam’s Mountain Cafe

This cafe is not only a place where you can enjoy some nice, quality coffee – but you can also order some vegan food to go along with your morning cup of coffee.

Natural Epicurean

This place is home to fresh, healthy, and organic dining. While you’re sipping on some coffee, you can flip through a menu that focuses on local, fresh, and sustainable ingredients. You can rely on quality food when you eat at this location as they use their own garden and partnerships with several Colorado ranchers and growers.

The Perk Downtown

This place believes that each customer deserves the best quality cafe. The Perk Downtown strives to make sure they are 100% local as possible. They try to get as close to 100% vegan as they can, and even include gluten-free items. They love good food, and they want their customers to have good food – but they also want you to enjoy it in a healthier version.

Fancy Fancy – Get Your Cup in Style

Some people want more of a fancier type of coffee shop, and that’s okay. Here are some options for those who are in love with everything “trendy”

Alpine Modern Cafe

The layout and decor of this coffee shop will make you feel rejuvenated while you sip your coffee. Their coffee is brewed with MiddleState Coffee beans and Huckleberry Roasters.

The Pop

The rave reviews say it all – This coffee shop is trendy and serves great-tasting coffee. Not to mention, if you’re in a hurry (which you most likely are during vacations) you can take advantage of their drive-thru.

Loyal Coffee

Not only can you enjoy a delicious cup of coffee here, but they also have irresistible food options. There’s no doubt your cravings will be fulfilled here.

Dog-friendly Café in Colorado

If you are bringing your dog with you on vacation, you are likely going to feel quite guilty leaving them behind when you go to certain places on your trip. Thankfully, when you go out to have some coffee, you can bring your furry friend along to the following places:

Bon Ton’s Cafe

Enjoy a nice, warm breakfast each morning with some coffee at Bon Ton’s. Their outdoor seating is dog-friendly.

Shuga’s

This place offers several inspired eats, as well as coffee. Enjoy a cup of coffee each morning before tackling the day during your vacation – Don’t forget your dog, though, as he is welcome in the outdoor seating area.

How do you like your coffee? If you don’t like coffee, what do you reach for instead? We are excited to hear!

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