A week-end of hiking on the South Downs Way (UK)

I have always liked long distance trails. I like the idea of going from A to B by the simple power of your legs. The idea of hiking part of the South Downs Way came as I was looking for ideas of activities with mum, who was visited me for a few days. But I didn’t want to spend hours in transportation. I wanted an epic week-end adventure just a stone thrown from London, mixing sea and countryside. I had heard about the Seven Sisters hike so I decided we should tackle the last part of this national trail. We went up steep climbs, avoided cows, had fun on bales of hay, embraced Sussex views and ended up with our toes in the English channel – all under beautiful summer skies.

The north panorama from Firle Beacon, highest point of the hike

The South Downs Way

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One week itinerary on the Cote d’Azur (French Riviera)

The French riviera is probably known mostly around the world for its glamour, beauty and amazing coast line. For me, a girl from the north of France, used to grey skies and dark seas, The Cote d’Azur (Azur coast) name could not be more suitable for this place. It doesn’t matter if you are strolling by the expensive yachts in Monaco or just found the perfect local picnic spot on the rocks, wherever you go, the deep tones of the sea and the blue skies are an amazing background for your explorations.
 In this 7 days itinerary, I am sharing my favorite places in this area. Are you ready for a week of blue sea, luxury, picturesque villages and the fresh air of the sea?

A week where you will always keep nuances of blue in sight!

One week to explore French Riviera

Day 1: A day in pretty Nice

Day 2: Charming Provence village – Saint Paul de Vence

Day 3: A spectacular walk by the Antibes’s Cape

Day 4: An active day exploring the Esterel Massif

Day 5: A day in Cannes

Day 6: Iles de Lerins – Sainte Marguerite

Day 7: Frejus or Monaco

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A week-end in Kungshamn, on the West Coast of Sweden

Kungshamn at dusk, Sweden.

Kungshamn at dusk, west coast of Sweden.

Driving 6h across the country on a Thursday evening after several stressful weeks is not exactly what I had in mind when I talked about “spending a relaxing midsummer week-end”.

But going out of town to enjoy life in the family stuga (cottage) is what you are supposed to do for midsummer when you live in Sweden. With no family cottage to crash in, we ended up renting one on the other side of the country (“the right side of Sweden” according to the ones who live there). “It has better worth it!” I mubbled as I packed my bags, annoyed. What I will realise during the week-end is that the great thing about Kungshamn, is that you don’t have to do so much over there.  And just for this reason, it was worth the long drive.

Kungshamn, small town of the west coast is the perfect place to be off for a few days and reconnect with your senses. Here are 5 simple pleasures to experience during a week-end in Kungshamn, Smögen or pretty much anywhere on the Swedish west Coast.

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On the roads of Chilean Tierra del Fuego (Porvenir and around)

There is nothing to see there“. “Yes, it’s precisely what we want to see“. “?” He could not get it, why should we spend 2 days on a small town where there is nothing to do? But for us, it seemed like the only way to truly discover it. Tierra del Fuego. The name inspires hectares of emptiness as far as the eye can see. Wind and desolation. After reading about the small town of Porvenir in our Lonely Planet, we were determined on exploring the place. We didn’t regret it. Adventure starts where good roads ends.

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5 reasons why Ilha Grande (Brazil) feels like a little paradise

“If you want to relax, come to Ilha Grande. If you want to be active, come to Ilha Grande”. Just a few hours from Rio de Janerio, the brazilian island Ilha Grande has seduced locals for decades. Many international travelers now also head off to the lovely island to relax after a few days in bursting Rio de Janeiro. Hikers or beach lovers, all meet at the end of the afternoon by the beach to sip a few caipirinhas.

No cars

Just listen. Did you hear the silence? Maintenance trucks aside, there are no motorized vehicule on the island. Locals like tourists go around by foot, by bike or by boat, highly contributing to the laid back atmosphere of the island.

Chances are you will fall in love with the island even before you leave the boat

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Around Ilha Catharina (Florianopolis) by scooter

So far on our trip we have not been so lucky with the weather when we were on the coast. Florianopolis and Ilha Catharina followed the tradition: we woke up with the sound of the rain and under grey clouds. It was easy to indulge ourselves in not doing much the all day… But this was our unique full day on the island before continuing South!

So we decided to rent a scooter.

Me on the scooter, just pretending (I don't have a moto license)

Me on the scooter, just pretending (I don’t have a moto license)

 

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Travel in time in the charming Brazilian town of Parati

It’s one of these small town where time seems to have stop 100 years back. Parati (pronounce “Paratchi“) is a photogenic postcard town on the coast of Brazil, enjoyable under blue sky as under rain – when photographers get creative with the facades’ reflections in the water pools. The historic center, UNESCO protected, enchants local and international tourists with its aligned white houses with colorful accents.

Add to this the proximity of dozen of beautiful beaches and lands and an ideal location between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and you get the perfect stop over or weekenders’ destination.

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A dream vacation in the Galapagos for $150 a day, all included

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The day tour to Bartholome is not cheap, but you will get the best views of the Galapagos

Galapagos: a remote archipelago of the Pacific Ocean, 1000km from Ecuador, home of fearless blue footed boobies, playfull baby sea lions, giant tortoises, funny iguanas and inoffensive sharks. The Galapagos islands are unique. What if you could make the dream come true for $150 a day?

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Snorkelling in Galapagos: because you don´t need to dive to see sharks (or sea turtles)

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“Did you say sharks?”

I never thought I would ever swim with sharks. I recently took my diving open water certificate, but I didn´t really feel at my ease, so I started to accept that I will never see sharks and other sea turtles in wildlife. So when the sales guy from the agency talked about seeing sharks during a snorkelling session in Galapagos, I was suspicious. Was it one of his sales trick?

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Picture of the day: tenderness moment on the Galapagos Islands

This is probably our cutest picture from the Galapagos Islands… Can you stay indifferent to this one? We couldn´t.

New born sea lion cuddling with his mum under the sunset at La Loberia, Isla San Cristobal (Galapagos).

New born sea lion cuddling with his mum under the sunset at La Loberia, Isla San Cristobal (Galapagos).

Did you know? During the 10 first days of the life of her pup, the mum sea lion will nurse her new born baby 24/7 and never leave the shore.