Explore the magnificent landscape of Cappadocia in a hot air balloon

You’ve probably seen the photos of dozens of colorful balloons floating through the sky above a magical moon landscape and wondered where it was? This historical region is called Cappadocia and is located in south central Turkey. We sent over our photographer Ilsoo van Dijk to shoot this spectaculair sight and enjoy some of Turkey’s best treasures.

The Beautiful landscapes of Cappadocia
Cappadocia is home to one of the world’s most unique landscapes in the world and therefore placed on the World Heritage List in 1985. The region has a surface of 2000 km2 and lies in between the rivers: the Kizilirmak and Euphrates. It’s best known for its unique moon-like landscape, underground cities, cave churches and houses carved in the rocks. The remains of a traditional human habitat dating back to the 4th century!

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This unforgettable experience and will definitely set the bar for you next adventure.

Hot Air Balloon
If you want to get the best impression of Cappadocia, you have to fly in a hot air balloon. It’s total magic to say the least. Imagine spectacular surrealistic landscapes while the balloons to gently drift over and between the unique rock formations, orchards and vineyards. You will fly over and through impressive valleys, each with distinctive rock formations and beautiful colors. You will continue to float up over rippled ravines for breathtaking views over the region. Even if you have a fear of heights, the view will keep your mind of it. To experience all the beautiful colors, you need to get up early and be ready at around 5am, so you can see the sunrise.

Hot Air Balloons over Cappadocia
What a sight!

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Like something out of a fairytale

Wander-Lust in Cappadocia
Up in the sky

Where to Book
You can say that no trip to Turkey is complete without treasuring this unforgettable experience and will definitely set the bar for you next adventure. (plus you will have the best Instagram feed for weeks!) An 8 day trip to Cappadocia is available for as little as 199,- euro per person with Corendon (inclusive flight, transfer and accommodation) Do you want a little more luxury? You can also opt for 8 days to Antalya and stay in the luxurious All Inclusive Delphin BE Hotel (inclusive of flight and transfers) for 620,- euro! Check all the trips to Turkey on www.corendon.nl

Hotel Dephine BE in Turkey
Hotel Delphin BE in Antalya

Love,

Wander-Lust

All the images were shot by Ilsoo van Dijk

A little Romance on Sicily

We all know, Italy is for lovers. And so is Sicily. Lovers of people. Lovers of food. Lovers of ocean views and mountain roads. It doesn’t really matter what kind of love, Sicily is the perfect place to enjoy it. And here’s exactly where to do that in the North-Western side of this stunning island.

Dine your way through Trapani
The small city of Trapani isn’t the first spot people think of when they want to book a trip to Sicily. Which leaves Trapani a little bit undiscovered, always a good thing! It’s the type of town where you will get lost the first few times you walk around the city-center and every time you’ll discover something else to marvel about. Maybe an ancient church, the magnificent views from the boardwalk or a cute little cafe in a corner somewhere. Here you will find the most delicious food and drinks in narrow Italian alleys or on grand marble boulevards. Everything for very reasonable prices. And by reasonable I mean you can go for breakfast, lunch and dinner every night without a worry in your wallet. Feeling romantic? A must-go is Osteria I Vitelloni, situated in one of the main streets in the centre of Trapani. Order the tuna in a pistachio crust and let them pick the wine. But, skip the dessert. You’ll need some room for an amazing ice-cream at Panna & Co. If that isn’t love in a cone.. You can thank me later.

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Osteria I Vitelloni

Scooter your way around
Trapani is also a perfect gateway to a ton of other places you must see while you are on this side of the island. A scooter will take you and your loved one(s) everywhere! Go to Marsala for instance, a famous wine town a little drive to the south. Along the way you’ll see the salt pans this area is known for and feel the wind in your hair. A little more inland (after a fun drive) you can find the majestic temple complex of Segesta. A history lesson has never been more exciting as you climb the ruins and check out those magnificent views. Another piece of the past can be found in Erice, a medieval town which you can find hovering on a mountain above Trapani. Get there by scooter, or by cable car! And try not to get lost in all the bumpy, winding streets. Although I didn’t try it, I have been told you can buy the best canolli on the whole island here (why I didn’t try it myself will always be a mystery).

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Whatever you do in Trapani, don’t forget to visits the Egadi Islands. They are only a boat ride away but you’ll feel as if you travelled back years in time. The little villages cannot be any more picturesque and the surrounding waters couldn’t be more azure. If you have the chance to stay a few days on one of these islands, go for it. Opting for a day trip? Don’t fall for the tourist trap, the packed boats. If you are on a ‘everything is possible’ trip, book the catamaran. Little more of a budget? Just take the ferry to one of the islands and rent a bike once you are there. Exploring a tiny tiny island together, oh the romance.

San Vito Lo Capo, just the sound of it makes you want to go
Trapani is the perfect place to stay and to explore this side of Sicily. However, if you are a beachlover, this town’s city beach won’t fulfil your sandy and salty dreams. Luckily there are some options for you to get your toes touching some lovely blue water. When traveling a lot to find that perfect spot isn’t your cup of tea, then head over to San Vito Lo Capo. It’s possible to scooter there for a day trip from Trapani, or if you want to lounge around the beach for a few days you can book a place to stay. It is a bit more touristy, best don’t expect the Robinson Crusoe vibe and book your accommodation in advance (in the high season from June to August). This little coastal village offers a beach that makes you feel as if you are on a tropical island. There are plenty of cute shops and spots to grab a bite, put on your holiday hat and enjoy. Every year in September they host the Cous Cous Fest in San Vito. Do check it out whenever you are in the area at the right time and feed each other some couscous!

Not far from San Vito Lo Capo lies the Riserva Naturale Orientata Dello Zingaro, a nature reserve which holds some beautiful bays with rocky beaches and ridiculously azure water. Bring your goggles for some underwater fun with the fishes! The park is not accessible for cars or any other type of vehicle, be prepared for some hiking. It’s worth it!

Chill in Cefalu
Want to head over to a different side of Sicily to chill? Cefalu is your town! From Trapani you can book a ticket with public transport and it will take little over half a day of travel by bus and train. Cefalu looks like the Italian coastal towns that you see in paintings. It’s got the maximum idyllic factor. There’s lots to do here if you want to, from sailing to an active volcano-island to day trips to other well-know Sicilian places like Taormina. Or you can just stroll through the paved alleys, have an iced-cappuccino every once in a while and stretch your legs on the beach. I have to admit, that latter was how I filled my days in Cefalu.

Sicily Cefalu view point

Even if you are feeling the lazy vibe, you should get of your beach bed once to climb Rocca di Cefalu. This massive rock towers above Cefalu and will give you some breathtaking views and historical facts. It is quite the climb, leave your flip flops at home and put on some more solid footwear. Once you’re on the top, there are loads of spots for that perfect lovey-dovey selfie. Just like in Trapani, San Vito Lo Capo and probably all the Sicilian towns, the food in Cefalu is amazing and the amount of restaurants to try is enormous. You cannot leave without trying at least five different types of pasta (more is better in this case). Many restaurants have hidden terraces overlooking the sea, be there in time for sunset!

Give each other a kiss, and book that ticket to this North-Western part of Sicily!

Love,

Jill

*Jill is one of our guest bloggers living in Amsterdam (@jillgwendolyn) where she works as a content manager for a digital agency. She’s Crazy about traveling and has spend her studies in New Zealand . You can read a new article from Jill in every 3rd week of the month!

Camptoo, the Airbnb for Campers!

As a traveler, you always have a few things on your bucketlist that NEED to be done. These could be destinations, but also experiences. Most people would agree if I said that taking a roadtrip with an old Volkswagen Van would be one of them. I certainly had it on my list and 2 weeks ago I was so lucky to cross it off my bucketlist! Camptoo, the Airbnb for campers and mobile homes, asked me to take an oldtimer Volkswagen T2 for a little roadtrip.

What is Camptoo?
It’s too easy to compare Camptoo with Airbnb but it’s really the best comparison to make. It basicely works like this; most mobile-home owners only use their ride half the time so it just sits there, in front of their garage. Camptoo makes it possible for those owners, to rent out their camper. Just look on their website and select the camper you want, for how long and which date. You get several options and all you need to do is to pick your favorite and send the owner a message. You will see if it’s available and if they accept your request.

After a quick check up, we were handed over the keys and headed on our little adventure.

Once accepted you will receive a confirmation email plus a text message. I picked the beautiful (and in a very good state!) Volkswagen T2 Van owned by Nicole from Limburg. Not really knowing what to expect, me and my family drove down to her house where Nicole explained everything we needed to know about her precious ride. Camptoo makes sure that you are all-risk insured and you pay a deposit to cover yourself for any damages along the way. Just make sure to have your travel insurance sorted. After a quick check up on damages and details, we were handed over the keys and headed on our little adventure.

On an adventure with Camptoo

I have a baby of 3,5 months old so I was a little nervous about sleeping in a van of course. What about the cold? Would the rain come inside? What if the van breaks down? All the motherly instincts you would expect, but as a true traveler, I needed to let some of these insecurities go and enjoy the ride. Literally.

Volkswagen dreams. Camptoo

The Route
The first thing I noticed is that driving a car like this get’s a lot of attention. A lot. People waving, throwing up peace signs or giving you a thumbs up out of respect. Pretty cool. We decided to drive to The Ardennes, an area with hills and greenery and lot’s of adventurous roads. From Limburg we had about 2 more hours to go and we found this amazing camping online called Les Cabanes De Rensiwez. Here you can camp but also rent the most amazing lodges such as treehouses, Norwegian style cabins and hobbit-like-houses. Our campervan included a little kitchen with a stove so we could prepare dinner and make some tea. Very handy if you need to warm up! No camping adventure is complete without a little thunder storm and boy did we have one on the first night! It rained and rumbled for about 3 hours but it just made the whole experience even more special and cozy. TIP: Bring your own pillows for comfort and a (extra) warm sleeping bag as it get’s very cold at night even during summer. Many camper owners have blankets available but they can be too thin for your liking.

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Bohemian dream
Yep, this is soo me!

Breakfast at the camping
A breakfast basket brought to our camper

The next we drove down to a special place called the Jan Foppen Forest. This is a small forest on top of a hill where you can do crazy survival stuff like abseiling, climbing, paragliding, horse riding and more. My boyfriend and his parents used to come here and group of friends book a weekend here to spend quality time. We just came to say hello and show off our amazing campervan of course ;-). It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re heading to the Ardennes. Check here for more info.

Camptoo at The Foppen Bos
Our VolkswagenT2 at the Foppen Forest

On our last and final day we really got to drive through small towns where we stopped if we saw something nice such as a little Sunday market or a beautiful viewing point. We had to deliver the Van back to it’s owner in the early afternoon so we decided to sleep at a camping in Limburg, near the Belgian border. This camping was very modern and even had a swimming pool, restaurant and beautiful forest nearby to walk in.

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We stopped at La Roche, a town visited by many cyclist 

My Verdict
A dream come true. honestly. Okok, I didn’t have a lot of sleep like I would have in a 5 star hotel but that’s not what camping is about. Camping and especially, camping in an oldtimer, is about the magic of it. The adventure without knowing where you will sleep the next day and to follow your own path. I’m so glad I did this as a family so I can tell my son about our little adventure when he’s older. I felt like a true nomad and how amazing that he was a part of it. Besides that, the whole thing was so well organized from beginning to the end.

Me and the VolkswagenT2, Camptoo

Do you want to go on the same adventure? You can find the Volkswagen Van that I traveled in, here: camper/2553. Thinking about renting out your mobile home? Visit Camptoo’s website and check their Facebook & Instagram for inspiration!

Check out my video to get a good impression!

Love,

Elke

8x tips for a weekend citytrip to The Hague

I love springtime! For me it’s the best time for a citytrip. Last weekend I played the tourist in the royal, majestic The Hague. Let’s zoom in on some great trendy and even some vintage hotspots I figured out for you. Here’s the wanderlust citytrip to The Hague. 

Where To Eat
Food, food, food. I can think about it the whole day long if you give me the chance. Because I really see the daily ‘food moments’ as something important, I don’t take pleasure with every standard looking food spot just around the corner. It’s a discovery tour to find the gems! Below you’ll find a couple of (coffee) spots which caught my attention. pistachecafe.nl

Pistache Café
Located behind the royal palace ‘Noordeinde’, this healthy oriented hotspot is definitely one for your food bucket list. Why? The Pistachers only work with fresh ingredients and are figuratively allergic for E-numbers and other chemical stuff. Most of the foodies tried the bread with avocado, looked finger lickin’ good! I ordered the sweet potato pancakes – what a surprise – which were also yummy, but a bit too little if you’re hungry after a city walk ;)

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Pistache Café, one of the hotspots I’ve tried during my citytrip in The Hague

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Blij
Drop by and enjoy a good cup of coffee, fresh juice, breakfast, lunch or dinner. I’ve tried the Eggs Florentine which was really delicious. Tip: order the hollandaise sauce on the side. Especially, I would like to point out the genuine hospitality of the staff, thumps up for them.
Little V – This Vietnamese hotspot is tha bomb! They’re famous for their homemade ice teas, worth to try. If you’ve ever been to Vietnam you definitely will taste the real Vietnamese buns, pho’s and spring rolls in the beating city heart of The Hague. Also the laid back ambiance is great. And for the dessert lovers? The chocolate mousse with a Vietnamese touch is the one you definitely have to order! *Update, we are told that Blij is sold to new entrepreneurs and is called restaurant KADE from now on.

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Vietnamese food lovers, this is your spot to drop by in The Hague

The Hague Bookstore
Located in the city center, this is the vintage spot for your shot of caffeine, cakes – the cake of dates is heavenly – and books. They have a kind of a garden where you can escape the hustle and bustle of The Hague. Sit back and relax! Website.

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The Hague Bookstore, the place during your citytrip in The Hague for a relaxation moment

Lola  
A bike and coffee shop in one, love the concept! It’s a heaven on earth for cycling enthusiasts, no doubt about that. Expect an easy-going atmosphere – even in the weekend -, superb coffee and cakes ánd friendly staff who like to make a chitchat. lolabikesandcoffee.nl

LISTed
You definitely will fall in love with this fashion meets coffee concept store. They have in my opinion the coolest Scandinavian clothing brands, original accessories and…coffee! Girls, take your time, the boyfriend will enjoy their coffee with a book in the chill chesterfield. Win – win! Facebook

Where To Stay
The best way to explore The Hague is to stay a night in one of the mostly classical designed hotels or Airbnb’s. I tried the budget proof The Student Hotel, located nearby the train station The Hague HS. It’s a place where students can live for a couple of months and design-savvy travelers can stay for a few nights. My opinion? It’s a modern, simple and very clean hotel (room) with all the facilities you need. No foolishness, only functional design. I really loved the helpfulness of the receptionists, credits for them. Besides I prefer the smaller boutique hotels instead of the – with all the respect – more ‘room factories’ like The Student Hotel, I absolutely recommend The Student Hotel when your budget isn’t sky high. You can book your room here. Book your stay here.

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The Student Hotel, my stay during my citytrip to The Hague

Oh and by the way: In 10-15 minutes you’re in Scheveningen by tram, the place to be when it’s a blue sky, sunny day. There are a lot of beach resto’s where you can have a pit stop for nibbles, drinks and more. Locals told me the less touristic spots are located around the ‘Zwarte Pad’ (Black Path).

Keep the above tips in mind and go for your The Hague citytrip as soon as possible. The welcoming inhabitants are waiting for you!

Love,

Sharmaine

Check Sharmaine’s midweek citytrip to Maastricht and get all the tips! Follow Sharmaine on Instagram.

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6 x Ibiza Hotspots where you can Chill Out

The first flights to Spanish island Ibiza have been booked. Ibiza keeps on attracting sun seekers from all over the world which can make the island a bit busy at times. If you’re looking for a place to relax, idyllischibiza listed 6 Ibiza hotspots for us where you can chill out at.

Sa Trinxa – beach club with hippie vibes
Sa Trinxa is Ibiza’s no nonsense beach club. It’s always busy at this Salinas beach club and arriving here will give you instant happy, summer feelings. DJ Jon Sa Trinxa plays the best beats while the crowd is enjoying a day in the sun, whether that means dancing on the beach or lounging at the beach bar roofed in palm leaves. The waiters will help you with great enthusiasm and the public is always having fun, most of the time spotted with a sangria in one hand and a smile on their face. www.satrinxa.com

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Source: Satrinxa

Cala Bonita – picture perfect beach restaurant
Former PK2 was turned into Cala Bonita in July 2016. Right away, this stylish beach restaurant with its large terrace and a few luxury beds on the beach became a populair spot to escape from the crowds. Famous Australian chef Karen Martini is responsible for the restaurant’s mouth watering menu, and the picture perfect coast of S’Estanyol beach makes a perfect setting for a beach restaurant extravaganza on the bustling South side of Ibiza. Cala Bonita offers a peaceful and laid back base for a perfect day at the beach. The picturesque beach club is also available for private celebrations, like weddings and corporate events. www.calabonitaibiza.com

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Tasty prawns at Cala Bonita

Elements Ibiza – for the hidden hippy inside
Located on the famous hippy beach of Benirrás in the North of the island, some real chill out vibes define the atmosphere of Elements Ibiza. Ever since the start Elements was winning the hearts of locals and tourists in-the-know by offering extra services on top of an outstanding fresh local menu. Yoga classes, a juice & cocktail bar and massages after class include of the many possibilities at Elements Ibiza. A perfect time to visit Elements is on Sunday evening, when you can experience the famous sunset drums on the Benirrás beach. www.elements-ibiza.com

elements Ibiza
Elements

 

Babylon Beach – Ibiza’s first organic beachclub
This beachclub is a synonym for laidback and relaxed. The restaurant offers some real great island food. Organic, fresh ingredients come directly from the Babylon farm, C’an Pere Mussona. (When you’re at Babylon, don’t forget to taste the homemade organic ice lollies!)
Though the drinks from the adjoining cocktail bar might be a bit pricey, fortunately, the menu is affordable and suits most people’s budget. After passing the entrance of Ibiza’s first organic beach club, a bohemian vibe is immediately revealed. A long row of waterfront sun loungers, a kids’ playing area and a floating pontoon to hop onto – as your meal and drink await you – are all included at Babylon. The perfect beachclub to visit when you want to experience the best of Ibiza: from delicious food to cool vibes, music and mindset! www.babylonbeachbar.com

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Kumharas – chill-out restaurant & bar
This chill-out restaurant and bar in the San Antonio bay includes an impressive bohemian decor along with a relaxed atmosphere. Kumharas has the perfect summer getaway feel: an Asian influenced menu, four different areas to dine, a laid back chill-out area and an intimate lounge. The Moroccan style interior offers many cushions to relax on, along with great architectural features. The menu is a blend of international flavors with dominant Asian influence, but all made with fresh local ingredients. Not feeling like ordering a menu? Just simply go for one of the many famous cocktails. Visit this beautiful venue around sunset to watch the sun sink into the sea while sipping on a mouth-watering cocktail, while live music is played in the background. Kumharas is also available for special type of events, from weddings to corporate events like business dinners. www.kumharas.org

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Bambuddha – spiritual & luxurious ambiance
Ibiza’s newbee Bambuddha is already running for place to be in 2017. This venue is a cocktail of luxury, spiritual, exotic and erotic altogether. Owner Jon Moon knows how to impress with this new Tantra Cocktail Palace. Islanders and visitors order a drink at one of the bars before making their way tot the restaurant for a ‘Mediterranean’ inspired dinner. This place is also famous as chill-out lounge before a night out. The interior – surprise – consists of a lot of golden Buddhas, led lights, wood and a jungle themed ambiance. While you’re at Bambuddha, don’t forget to try on the signature cocktails (tip: try the black sheep tribe, bamboozle or sassy Bamburrita!). During summer evenings, top DJ’s play the best beats until the early hours. The temple of Bambuddha is also available for private parties, extraordinary events or anything else with a festive theme. www.bambuddha.com

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Source: Bambuddha

Love,

Ellen

Flevoland » Relax & Unwind in The Netherlands

Get lost in 56 km of untouched nature, stand face tot face with wild animals during a safari or survival on a deserted island. I’m not talking about Kenya, South-America or Sri Lanka. Adventure awaits and it may be closer to home than you think. Actually, for Dutchies not even a two-hour car ride. You can find it in the Oostvaardersplassen in Flevoland, the youngest province of the Netherlands. 

Flevoland nature

Nature
The polder was created in the center of the country, where the Zuiderzee used to be. Officially established in 1986 and already an attractive residential and recreational area with a growing number of inhabitants. Let me take you on a virtual tour through the largest artificial island in the world. Not only humans enjoy the wide marshlands and pristine grasslands of the Oostvaardersplassen. It’s also a paradise for birds, Konik horses and deer. You can spot these wild animals and many others during a safari or together with the local forest ranger. There are also special cycling and hiking routes set around the area. More of an water person then an animal lover? With over 90.000 hectares of water, Flevoland is heaven on earth for sailors, fishermen and watersport enthusiasts. After all, Flevoland used the be the Zuiderzee so it’s not a big surprise. The remaining water consists of the IJsselmeer, the Markermeer and the Randmeren. You will find modern marinas and various possibilities of all kinds of water sports to explore the wild (and not so wild) waters of Flevoland. For example, rent a Catamaran at Sail Today for physical action or take a trip on a Rib Boat to enjoy the water at the speed of light (of at least, it feels that way).

Nature in Flevoland

Flevoland Harbor

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Tip » Do you prefer a spot on the front row and are you not afraid of heights? Experience the Oostvaardersplassen, LandArt and BataviaHarbor from a small air plane. Book your flight here.

Flevoland from above
Flevoland from above

Culture
Do you like art and architecture? Flevoland has many exhibitions, festivals and special buildings. You don’t even have to go to a museum to check out the artworks. Seven of the eight Lands Arts Works that the Netherlands have to offer are hidden in Flevoland. In place you didn’t expect, in the middle of the landscape. They created a car and bike route along the different Land Arts Works, a great way to discover Flevoland.

Art in Flevoland

Tip » Getting hungry? Enjoy freshly caught fish at Restaurant de Kaap in Urk, a traditional and characteristic fishing village in the northwest of Flevoland. The village used to be an island and still has its own dialect and way of living. When you’re there, don’t forget to check out the small monumental houses, cozy squares and beautiful harbor.

Where to Sleep
Go back to basics in a tipi on the desert island De Kluut or spend your night underneath the starts on Camping Raft in the midst of the beautiful, rugged nature of the Stille Ken in Zeewolde.
My favorite place to sleep is at Netl, the wildest garden, in the north of Flevoland. Beaches, natural playgrounds, bamboo jungle, 18 hole pitch & putt golf course and cozy beach pavilion; the perfect place break and balance your daily routines. Sleep at the campsite or in one of the unique accommodations, for example the sea container or Pipowagen.

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One of the accommodations in Netl

Verdict
Flevoland is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature close to home. A 50-minute car ride from Amsterdam brings me to a whole other world, far away from the buzz from the city. Summer dress and flipflop weather is not guaranteed unfortunately, but the landscape and tranquility brings a valid holiday vibe (even when it rains). And beside that, just imagine how romantic it would be to sleep underneath the stars in the middle of a lake…

Love,

Eva

7 accommodations with a picture perfect view

We’ve stayed in many hotel rooms and some are better than others. There are several factors that make a stay memorable and one of those important factors has got to be the view from our hotel room. Hotel website Booking.com has recently published 7  accommodations with a stunning view which will make your travel photo’s stand out. Feast your eyes on the accommodations with a picture perfect view!

Overlooking the Big Ben, London
Stay at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel if you want to have the best view of the Parliament House and Big Ben. It offers stylish rooms, studios and apartments plus the award-winning Brasserie Joel features classic French bistro dishes with a twist. The modern hotel is an excellent choice if you want to stay in the heart of London and take a picture of this historic monument from your bedroom window.

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Park Plaza Westminster Bridge

Looking at the historic Acropolis, Athens
Across the Acropolis, you will find the stylish AthensWas Hotel offers a phenomenal view of the Parthenon. The Modern Rooftop Restaurant is located on the 7th floor of the hotel and is the perfect spot to enjoy modern cuisine with a refreshing cocktail. The evening illuminates acropolis which makes it the picture opportunity.

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Credit: AthensWas Hotel

The Empire State Building, New York
The iconic American building, across from your bedroom? Yes, The Langham Place in New York makes it happen. Located in midtown on Fifth Avenue, features modern rooms and a Michelin Star restaurant. Because the hotel is just 300 meters away from the Empire State Building, you can easily visit the famous skyscraper in the late hours and avoid the long queues.

the-langham-place, accommodations with an amazing view
Credit: The Langham Place

Get up close with the Eiffel Tower, Paris
Résidence Charles Floquet is located in a renovated historic building just 50 meters from the Eiffel Tower. It offers spacious accommodations with private cooking facilities and views of the Eiffel Tower, which after sunset gives a brilliant light show. Sounds ‘formidable’ right?


residence-charles-floquet, accommodations with an amazing view
Résidence Charles Floquet

Dreaming of the Taj Mahal, India
Just 600 meters from the Taj Mahal, you will find The Oberoi Amarvilas Agra. This accommodation has luxurious rooms, a wonderful spa, beautiful gardens, an outdoor pool, four restaurants and a great view of the Taj Mahal. Guests can enjoy delicious traditional Indian specialties in the restaurant or enjoy a good glass of wine overlooking the imposing Taj Mahal.


Credit: The Oberoi Amarvilas

Overlooking the Duomo, Florence
People visit Florence because of the many Musea and beautiful architecture. Hotel Firenze Rentals Corso 12 is located in central Florence and a 5-minute walk from the architectural sight they call the Piazza del Duomo. This beautiful property features self-catering apartments and the balcony overlooks the famous Duomo.

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Credit: Firenze Rentals Corso 12

Skyline & Marina Bay, Singapore
Wow, this must be the ultimate skyline view from a bedroom in the Ritz-Carton, Millenia. Okok, we’re talking about the Ritz here of course and there is always a price tag attached. But hey, we can dream of staying here one day, can’t we?!  

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Credit: Ritz-Carlton Singapore

All there is left to say now is; we are looking forward to see your stunning bedroom shots soon! If you have any tips on accommodations with a picture perfect view, let us know and we might add it to the list!

Love,

Wander-Lust

Ever wondered what the most sustainable hotels in Amsterdam are? Check them here:

how to decrease your ecological footprint

12 x Tips for a Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht

We Dutchies are globe-trotters with a capital ‘G’ and an exclamation mark. Our travel-around-the-world-craving seems to become bigger and bigger, year after year. But besides all the international magic, did you know our own Dutchieland has just as much to offer as the most distant destinations? A nice side note: you save yourself a pricey ticket and killer jetlag (here’s how to avoid one). Let’s go back to our roots! Last midweek I traveled to Maastricht and it’s surroundings. Wander-Lust received the invite by the VVV Zuid-Limburg and Marketing Maastricht to experience how interesting and beautiful it is to go on a discovery trip in your own country. I can tell you, it was livin’ the good life.

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht in a nutshell
Would you like to experience life like the Maastricht citizens do? Drop by on a Sunday afternoon till Thursday and you’ll get that slow living, enjoyable feeling! No hustle and bustle, just everything at ease. The authentic atmosphere of Maastricht made me feel like I was on a laid back mini vacation abroad – and that wasn’t just because of the lovely spring sunshine, cold beer with Italian nibbles and a hospitable community. There is so much to explore, let’s zoom in on a few highlights and to do’s I’ve tried & tested.

Where to Stay
In my opinion the best district to stay is without doubt the hip and lively district ‘Wyck’. Extra plus: it’s near the train station, which is super convenient. Let me give you three really cool hotel tips for your citytrip in Maastricht:
» The Dutch: My first choice in Maastricht. The colorful, trendy design with international allure would certainly not be missed in Amsterdam, London or Barcelona. I’m in love with their breakfast bag, which they hang on your door in the early morning, so cute. Food allergy, vegan or other wishes? No problem for the genuinely friendly staff! www.hotelthedutch.com

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht The Dutch

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht The Dutch
The Dutch, one of my stays during my midweekend citytrip in Maastricht

» Kaboom Hotel, are you smart, worldly-wise and a tad of a rebel? Did you hear yourself saying three times ‘yes’ than you definitely have to stay here. Rewarded as the best hotel concept in 2015 according to Entree Magazine, good job! Oh and they’re nice for your wallet: budget-friendly without feeling cheap. Book your stay here.
» Townhouse Hotel. They want to give you the feelin’ like home-away-from-home experience: rent a goldfish for one night – how funny is that! – and enjoy their homemade soup or a little alcoholic drink in one of the comfortable, retro sofas. If you prefer a pure and ‘down to earth’ hotel, this is your match! Book here!

Townhouse Hotel
The Townhouse Hotel

Where to Eat
Oh Yes, we have arrived (figuratively  speaking) at my favorite chapter: Food! During my citytrip in Maastricht I spotted many pretty new hotspots.
» Jack White’s, I’ve started my food fest at Jack White’s creative fish & chips, a fairly new resto. Normally fish & chips is made of a white fish, mostly codfish. The heroes of Jack White’s have given it an original twist. They can do the same delicious, fried trick with fresh salmon, mackerel and even sea bass. Give it a try with a Goose Islands beer during your citytrip! Facebook
» Mr. Smith, Say hi to this new kid in town. A stylish cocktailbar of two hipsters. This cocktailicious hotspot is one you need to know, otherwise you will spontaneously go along. Press the bell and a small-scale, hidden cocktail heaven will open in front of you. Go for their fresh GT’s or ask the staff for a tasty advice. In advance #sorrynotsorry for your hangover. mrsmithmaastricht
» De Poshoorn, on Sunday evening I went to the well-known De Poshoorn. In the past a brown, tiny unobtrusive pub, nowadays a vibrant beer café with a fresh, contemporary atmosphere. Sixteen beers on tap and hundred on bottle. Go local and try the ‘Mestreechs Zoervleis’, a local food specialty. In spite of the fact the Maastrichtians see this dish as something unique, for this girl from above the rivers it’s a look-alike of the meaty hachee, so delicious! www.poshoorn.nl
» De Tapijn, is a very cool 4-year catering project in a former barrack. Relaxed location near the park, welcoming staff, a huge terrace and yummy food. I love the fact they know the origin of the fresh, local ingredients. This alone makes the food even better. Lunch, dinner or a Friday drink with friends, this hotspot in Maastricht has it all! www.tapijn.nl

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht
Jack White’s, one of the hotspots I’ve tried during my citytrip in Maastricht

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht
Never mind the beer! ;-)

What To Do
Boy o boy where to start, there’s so much to do during a (mid)weekend Maastricht and other parts of South Limburg! Here are my favorite highlights:
Let’s start with the city walk through the urban part of Maastricht. Honestly, the excitement of the guide is essential for making or failing it, but luckily I had an amazing time with Lianne Schuuring, credits for her. She showed all the interesting ins and outs of Maastricht from the history till today. Bucketlist proof!

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht
Sightseeing Maastricht, a must do during your citytrip!

Midweekend citytrip to Maastricht

If you’d rather ride a bike than walk, rent a mountainbike and work on your condition in this hilly area. There’re so many bike routes. I cycled to the newly opened ENCI-quarry, a wonderful spot for a swim in summertime. Just a guess, I think you’ve never thought about a kickbike tour in the caves of Zonnebergust. In the Maastricht underground nothing is too crazy. Although I do not have much with visiting caves, the whole new experience ánd power chick Niké Hermans made it really enjoyable. See the Southern part of South Limburg from a fascinating, different angle. Are you claustrophobic? Let shake hands…but I can tell you this wasn’t too claustrophobic for me, so don’t worry.

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Entering the cave

A herbal walk in Maastricht or other parts in South Limburg, have you ever done it? Come one, once has to be the very first time. Definitely book it via the enthusiastic master herborist Anne van der Linden. She’s is a running encyclopedia, she really knows everything about herbs and their special function: tea of nettle for blood purification, the juice from the dandelion for drying out annoying pimples and so on, and so on.
If you’re very interested in the history of historical buildings go to Abdij Rolduc in Kerkrade and book a tour. To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite, but I can imagine you don’t want to miss it during your midweekend in Maastricht and surroundings. Afterwards you can have some food in the Brasserie or have a quick look in the microbrewery, a hidden gem!

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Maastricht

An information overload summarized in a city guide for you, you’re welcome ;)
I’ll definitely go back to the south if I need a mini-break!

Love,

Sharmaine

Read more of Sharmaine’s foodie tips here!

Sleep in a giant Air-Bubble on top of an Amsterdam rooftop

Sleeping under the stars and feeling on top of the world is now something within your reach, in Amsterdam!  Floor 17, — the rooftop terrace of the Ramada Hotel, has invested in a very special hotel room this month. A giant Air-Bubble is situated on top of the hotel with an impressive view of Amsterdam. 

Air-bubble
Are you ready to sleep under the stars?

Inside the Air-Bubble on Floor17

This unique experience starts with a personal check-in that includes champagne (always a good thing), before you will be guided to your rooftop suite. You will have the exclusive access to a private rooftop terrace overlooking the city. Taking a shower or need to fresh up? No problem. When you book the Air-Bubble, it automatically includes a hotel room where you can also store your luggage. In the morning you will receive a Floor17 private breakfast. The special accommodation is decorate by Made.com to give it finshing touch. You and your guest can enjoy the stars at night and the panoramic view in the morning. Suuuper romantic!

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zithoek Air-Bubble
Details by Made.com

In addition to sleeping under the stars there is also the possibility of:

» Private Chef’s dinner for 2 for € 105,-
» A Private Rooftop Movie Night for €50,-
» Floor17 Cocktail workshop for €100,- per hour

The Air-Bubble is available to book from €270,- until the 9th of June and there are only a few nights left. Book it here!

Love,

Elke

Want to know where to catch the best terraces in Amsterdam West? Check them here:

Westerunie best terraces in Amsterdam West

The Cuba Experience

It has been said a million times: “go to Cuba now, while it is still authentic”. And people will probably say it a million times more. Before the Americans flood this paradise, with their all-inclusive resorts and McDonald’s and the Cuban culture is lost. But after spending three weeks on this island, I am convinced it will take a lot more than some Americans and hamburgers for the Cuban culture to get lost. These people are proud of their country, of their food and of their way of living. Even if they don’t own a fortune and have some struggles. So. I would like to rephrase that sentence “Go to Cuba”. Into; it will be authentic for a pretty long time if you ask me, it’s a hell of a country. And while you are there, here’s what you definitely should do to enhance that Cuba experience:

1. Turn of your phone and enjoy the ride
If you are as addicted to your smartphone as I am, this might sound a bit scary. But after a few days of digital detox, you’ll ask yourself why you have never done this before. You see, in Cuba internet and WIFI are not that common. A lot of people don’t even have an internet connection in their homes, let alone on their mobile phones. And they don’t miss or need it. Some Cubans even believe that the internet should be banned from their country since it is making people less and less social. Do as the Cubans do, let go of the feeling of always wanting to be connected to the whole world. Yes, this also means no Google maps and no Instagram. Just look around you, talk to people and feel completely lost and happy.

cuba_havana_oldtimers

2. Drink a Mojito every day, wherever you are
Relax, you’re on a holiday, a little boozing and snoozing won’t hurt. Specially not when you are in Cuba, home of the Mojito. This delicious rum cocktail is what it is all about in this country and you should try as many as possible. No Mojito is the same, whether it’s because of some secret ingredient, the vibe or the view. Not to mention that fact that this elixer of life usually is cheaper than a cola. So it’s best to take another one.

cuba_cienfuegos_mojito_punta-gorda_cocktail_travel
The Cuba experience is not complete without a Mojito!

You can get one on every street corner, but these are my favourite places:
Hotel Nacional – Havana Vedado: this famous hotel bursts with history and the drinks come with an amazing complementary view.
The little beach hut on Playa Los Cocos – Playa Giron: where the lifeguard is your bartender and the prices will have you order round after round. Centro Recreativo La Punta – Cienfuegos: in a little park, at the southern tip of Cienfuegos, a perfectly well dressed bartender will create a masterpiece for you with precision and craftsmanship. Of how I wish I was there right now. Hostal Colina – Trinidad: on the road to disco Ayala, this casa particulara offers ‘special Mojito’s’, and they sure are special. Just like the garden you will be in while drinking them.

3. Travel with a Taxi collectivo, even if it is just once
Getting around Cuba is easy if you book the Via Azul tourist busses. But it’s fun when you book a taxi collectivo! You’ll share this oldtimer ride with as many people that fit in the vehicle (and sometimes even more) and your luggage on top. This is traveling in style, Cuban style. it’s easy to arrange your taxi collectivo on the streets, many drivers offer their services. Usually it’s easy to bargain and to come to an agreement of the price. Just never pay in advance, you can settle that with the actual driver on the day of your trip.

cuba_taxi-collectivo_travel

4. Only stay at Casa Particulara’s
Thinking about booking a hotel in Cuba? Don’t even bother (unless you have unlimited funds and are aiming for an ultimate high-end holiday). Try a casa particulara, you won’t be disappointed. these casa’s are rooms that are rented out by the Cubans. Usually they come with your own bathroom, your own rocking chair on the porch and sometimes your own entrance. And if you are lucky, with breakfast. It’s the best way to travel for a reasonable price and feeling the local vibe. Also, Casa owners have lots of friends and family in other cities, so if your traveling onwards they always know a new casa and will even arrange it for you. Easy does it!

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Check out:
Casa Eliza – Rafael Trejo, Vinales: spotless rooms, your own entrance and breakfast under the gazebo. Oh and it’s just on street behind the mainstreet, hello centre location!
Casa Hostal El Castillito Yaya y Monolito – Playa Giron: great food, big rooms and Yaya is like a mother to the guests.
Casa Castro & Anita – between C43 and C44, Varadero: big rooms, great location and sweet people. What more can you ask for?

5. Taking a dive
Cuba is home to some real sweet diving spots. However, the best ones are hard to reach and will eat half of your budget. But there is this one place, between two very tiny villages, where the water calls your name and you won’t loose oxygen over the price. Bahia de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs) is where you need to be. There are several dive spots, suited for beginners to the more advanced Dive Masters. First timer? At Playa el Tanque you can go into the water without a boat. Just put on your tank and goggles and go! Best village to stay for this dive trip: Playa Giron. It offers not more than about 4 dusty roads, some houses and a war museum. But it has a beach, some restaurants and the divers bus to take you to the fishes. Dive and chill, my friends.

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6. From Cienfuegos to Trinidad through the mountains

Cienfuegos, it’s a pretty town a lot of travellers skip. Which is a shame since it is the perfect city to do absolutely nothing for a day or two (and sip on those amazing Mojito’s I mentioned earlier). But beside that cocktail, there is one reason why I would urge you to go to this city, and that is the way out to Trinidad. In Cienfuegos you can book a tour at Cubanacan to travel to Trinidad through the beautiful Parque Natural Topes de Collantes, including the amazing El Nicho waterfalls. At the end you will be dropped off in Trinidad. This private tour will take you through the mountains in a jeep, with a real Cuban tourguide. He can tell you all about the surroundings as well as the (communist) culture and lots of other stories. Plus, he knows exactly when El Nicho is not flooded with tourists and you have the natural swimming pools to yourself (oh and he can take stunning pictures from you). You’ll drive past small, simple villages (which have a school and a discotheque) and taste the most amazing coffee you will ever taste at this small cafe in the middle of the mountains. If you are lucky, you’ll also have the chance to sing along to The Backstreetboys playing on an old CD in the car. Here’s your authentic experience!

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Cuba’s nature is stunning too

Enough said. Go to Cuba. Enjoy it to the fullest.

Love,

Jill

Read Jill’s tips about New Zealand here:

south-island of new zealand__adventurous