Posts in Europe
One Day on Faial Island in the Azores | Self-Driving Itinerary

Known as the Blue Island of the Azores, Faial is part of the central group of the Azores and is especially beautiful in July and August when the island is covered in bright blue hydrangeas. It only takes 1 hour to circumnavigate the island on the main road meaning you can fit all the main sights in just one day. Due to the unpredictable weather in the middle of the Atlantic, we’d still recommend you to stay at least two days on Faial. You can split this itinerary across two days for a more relaxed pace or keep it all in one day if the weather doesn’t cooperate on one of the days.

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Staying in a Windmill on São Miguel Island in the Azores

With the rise of Airbnbs and vacation rental homes, some unique accommodations are popping up all over the world. You can stay in a canal boat in Amsterdam, a treehouse in the rainforest, a castle in Germany, or a cave in Australia. We are always on the lookout for the coolest Airbnb we can stay at in each destination we visit, and so far this spectacular windmill in the Azores takes the prize! What can be better than having 360º views from your bedroom of the Atlantic Ocean and the gorgeous Azorean landscapes?

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The Best Art Museums in Paris for Non-Art Lovers

Spending an afternoon in an art museum is not my idea of a good time.  While traveling I would prefer to be outside enjoying nature, devouring some great local food, wandering around small villages or large cities admiring the architecture or just people watching.  Rarely do I love to be stuck inside a crowded museum looking at boring art.  Art which I cannot for the life of me figure out why it is important or worthy of paying to see.  Paris is full of art museums.  Nearly 50.  Many of which, for me, would be torture to have to visit.  However, Paris does have three excellent ones that anyone would enjoy.  Even if you could not tell me who painted the Mona Lisa.  

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How Much Does it Cost to Go to Iceland?

If you haven't already heard it from everyone else, let me be the first to tell you: Iceland is expensive.  Super expensive.  Iceland is currently ranked as the 3rd most expensive country in the world.  During our visit, we tried to limit expenses where we could without limiting experiences.  We did everything we wanted (within reason... unfortunately, no helicopter rides over the gorgeous landscape), but for the lowest price we could swing.  In this guide, I break down everything we spent money on and how to reduce your expenses while in Iceland.

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The 10 Things You Must Do in Florence, Italy

Florence is the ideal base to explore the gorgeous Tuscany region.  Florence is known for its art & culture, stunning landscapes, exceptional architecture, and cuisine.  We stayed in Florence for 3 nights.  However, we took day trips to Siena and Pisa, so really only had 24 hours to explore Florence itself.  If you only have a short amount of time in the city, here are the 10 things you must do while in Florence.

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A Perfect Two-Day Itinerary for Venice, Italy

Prior to going, we heard a lot of mixed opinions about Venice.  Either it was a completely overrated tourist trap or the most magical and romantic city in Europe.  Our opinion sided closer with the later.  This alluring floating city of marble palaces was the perfect first stop for our honeymoon.  We visited Venice in late May, right before the busy summer season.  While there was a fair amount of tourists crowding San Marco's square, it could have been worse.  Two days felt like the perfect amount of time to spend in Venice.  Here is an outline of what we did while in Venice.

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Scenic Day Trip to Siena from Florence, Italy

Florence is amazing, but to truly experience Tuscany – get out of the big city.  Siena is a medieval city in the heart of Tuscany, just an hour bus ride away from Florence.  It is most famous for a horse race, Palio, which is hosted twice a year (July 2nd and August 16th).  I'd recommend skipping this experience and instead visit for the food, gorgeous views, museums, and architecture.  Even if you are short on time while in Florence, a day break to Siena is a must do!

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The Ultimate Northern France Itinerary: Normandy, Loire Valley, and Paris

Home of grand and impressive castles, spectacular cliffs, historical WWII monuments, a city built on a rock off the coast, picturesque gardens, and breathtaking cathedrals: Northern France is a must visit!  This region has so much to offer and so much great food to enjoy.  We spent a week driving around Normandy and Loire Valley before settling in Paris for another 5 days.  

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The 5 Most Magnificent Castles of the Loire Valley, France

The fairy-tale châteaux of the Loire Valley were built during the Renaissance era and stretch between the cities Orléans and Angers along the Loire river or its tributaries.  These impressive castles are a must visit when exploring Northern France.  Nowhere else in the world is there such an ensemble of majestic monuments of fortune and history.  Overwhelming is an understatement when describing these castles.  Here is our list of the 5 most beautiful Loire Valley châteaux.

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Exploring the Greek Isles on a Cruise

After a whirlwind 8-day trek through Italy by train, we were ready to slow down for the second part of our honeymoon – a 10-day cruise through the Greek Isles.  While the pace might have been a bit slower, it was still filled with exciting adventures and amazing memories.  Whitewashed houses, cobblestone streets, deep blue waters, and the rich history of Greece are just some of the reasons why Greece is time and time again on the top list for Honeymoon destinations.  When picking a route through the mediterrean, our priorites were Santorini and Turkey.  Shortly after booking, Turkey got replaced by Rhodes, due to political unrest and safety concerns.  We were still beyond excited! Beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, and watching sunsets from the balcony were calling our names.

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Caldera and Cable Cars: The Perfect Day in Santorini, Greece

It is hard to put into words how beautiful the cliff-perched towns and stunning sea views are.  Santorini is a caldera or large crater formed by a volcano.  The crater is mostly submerged and what remains is the 5 islands that make up the Santorini group.  The main island of Thera is where you will likely spend all of your time.  To start off with, one day in Santorini is certainly not enough.  We arrived by cruise ship and were severely limited with what we could explore on the island in that time.  

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Is it Worth Visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most well-known landmarks in Italy.  It is also extremely popular among tourists.  The tower is actually just a bell tower adjacent to the gorgeous Pisa Cathedral, which is a part of the larger Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles).  Despite its popularity, does Pisa deserve a spot on your limited time in Tuscany? Here, we outline 5 reasons not to go and 3 reason to make the journey to Pisa.  

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Half-Day in the Stunning Mykonos, Greece

The few hours we spent in Mykonos was our first taste of Greece and what cemented our eagerness to explore more.  For our honeymoon, we were on a 9-day Mediterranean cruise that stopped at 4 ports in Greece and 3 in Italy.  Our first Greek port was the gorgeous Mykonos!  Prior to leaving, Mykonos was near the bottom of our list of what we were most excited for.  However, after we were done exploring Mykonos town, it was our number one place to go back in Greece.  

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Top 5 Free Things to See in Taormina

Taormina is a small town perched on the cliffs of Sicily in Italy.  From the pedestrian-only city center, you can see Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea.  The village of Taormina is a popular destination for wealthy Europeans in the Summer and it's streets are lined with high-end shops.  Fortunately for the more budget-concious traveler, there are many ways to spend a day in Taormina without spending a penny. 

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Our Italy Honeymoon Itinerary

Before planning the wedding, before getting engaged even, we decided on our Honeymoon location.  We were going to eat gelato, get lost along the canals in Venice, journey through the rolling hills of Tuscany, and walk the cobblestone streets of Rome.  We began our honeymoon spending 8 days on mainland Italy, before boarding a cruise to the Greek Isles.

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