Thailand » why you should visit Ko Lanta

It’s been almost 4 years but I’m still dreaming of this place. Ko Lanta
Ko Lanta is an island Southwest of Krabi, Thailand. 
Young backpacker tribes mainly choose islands like Phuket, Ko Phi Phi or the busy east-side islands like Ko Phangan or Ko Tao.

Koh-Lanta-map
Koh Lanta is the kind of island you will deliberately choose instead of just ending up there by mistake. From Ko Phi Phi it’s about a 2 hour boat trip and will cost about 400 bath. You can book your ferry tickets hereWhen you arrive, there will be enough taxi’s and jeeps waiting in line to take you to your nearest accommodation.

Ko Lanta, Thailand

If you choose Koh Lanta, you know you chose a getaway 

When I arrived, I didn’t come prepared at all. No need to panic on Ko Lanta though. I met a man in Pai and he told me to get in touch with his Thai friend who apparently looked like a Thai version of Jack Sparrow. He didn’t lie. I arrived at long beach and a short Thai Jack Sparrow type man with dreads, walked over and offered to carry my backpack. He arranged some cheap, yet comfortable accommodation for me and I ordered the most delicious prawns at his bar/restaurant called The Pirate Bar. (no, I didn’t make this up)

Schermopname (23)
THE Thai Jack Sparrow look-alike

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Fresh out of the sea, yummie!

The vibe on Ko Lanta is super chill, layed back and it’s the island in Thailand I felt my happiest. I only had 3 days which was a shame. I could have stayed here for much longer. Lucky enough I made some new friends on the day that I arrived. A Dutch couple, an American guy (who traveled around Asia on a dirt bike) and 2 German backpackers. We ended up drinking beers and cocktails until the sun set and watched a fire show (by this time I had seen too many though) after that we made our way to a beach party which I loved!

Now, bare in mind, Ko Lanta is no party island. But if you’re there during the weekend, you will find a few organized parties on the beach and nearby bars. If you don’t rent a scooter like I did, you need to share your tuk-tuk with fellow travelers.

Schermopname (24)
Chillin’ at Long Beach

The island is only 30km long and about 18km wide but without a scooter or quad-bike, you will make it difficult for yourself to travel around.
Ko Lanta consists of several islands, the two largest of which are Ko Lanta Noi (“Small Lanta Island”) and Ko Lanta Yai  (“Big Lanta Island”). Ko Lanta Yai is where it all happens so you will find most tourist here. Saying that, it never feels overcrowded and even though it was almost Christmas, I felt like it was an island I could completely relax on.

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Panoramic view whilst road trippin in Ko Lanta. On the left are gumtrees.

When you start to explore Ko Lanta you have a few highlights you shouldn’t miss:
» Long Beach
I loved this beach. You have so many nice small restaurants and bars where you can chill and drink coconuts all day. Best for sunsets! 
This is also great for accommodation if you’re looking for peace and quiet.
» Ko Lanta Old town
Go back in time and visit old town where the old harbor use to be. Situated right next to the sea, this spooky town has charming features, shops and restaurants.

» Four Islands
If you have the time, visit the small four islands on a day tour. Go snorkeling, have a picnick and check out emerald cave.

» The south beaches
Drive all the way down to the southern part of the island and explore some of the hidden and beautiful beaches. 

» Visit the National Park
Look out for monkeys trying to steal your food. Entrance fee is about 200 THB or free if you arrive late (closes at 6pm)

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Finding a secret beach was no problem (Cape Tanod)

relax on Ko Lanta, Thailand
My own private island! (just ignore the man in the background)

Where should you stay?
Depending on what your needs are, you could stay anywhere really. For the more lively area’s you should stay along side Klong Dao Beach. Here you will find plenty of bars/restaurants and facilities nearby. Long Beach is where I stayed and I highly recommend it although spending more than a week there might be a bit boring at night. Another chilled area is alongside Klong Nin Beach where you will find reggae bars, coffee houses, simple accommodation and luxury resorts.

If you go to Thailand and you haven’t made up your mind yet where you want to go..? Make sure you don’t skip Ko Lanta!

More on Thailand? Check below!

Love,

Elke

New in Amsterdam The Plant Bathing Studio

It’s inspired by forest bathing in Japan. From 15 to 20 October 2018 everyone is welcome to relax at the Plant Bathing Studio in Amsterdam to reduce your stress levels. Crazy trend, or does it really work?

Plant bathing Studio

Plants make you feel better
Plants have a positive effect on how we feel. They are the oxygen in our busy lives. And we sometimes forget that. Because of the different properties, plants can do everything for us. Plants with large green leaves, for example, provide a better state of mind, reduce stress and make you more creative. Do you want to boost your concentration? Then take a few air-purifying eye-catchers like the Zamioculcas to your workplace. In short, a good dose of green is healthy for everyone. In the Plant Bathing studio on the Haarlemmerstraat you can experience the effect of plants.

plants

It’s proven that plants reduce your stress hormones and your immune system improves

How does it work?
For just one euro, you can comfortably sit in between some beautiful pants for five minutes. And those five (or a maximum of fifteen) minutes are entirely for yourself. When the door closes, it’s you and the plants. 

So Are you ready to relax at the pop-op Plant Bathing Studio?

Plant Bathing Studio
Haarlemmerstraat 72, Amsterdam
Instagram

Love,

Elke

9 x Amazing Autumn Destinations for 2018

As the leaves start to fall from the trees, it reminds us that Autumn is really here and it’s time to trade those skirts and short trousers for warm coats. During this time, a lot of travelers seek some sunshine. Here are 8 Autumn Destinations that you want to book NOW.

Lake Placid, New York
As voted by Booking.com and it’s travelers, this region is stunning during the Autumn season. Apart from the beautiful lake, there is a forest with colorful leaves and wild animals. Enjoy the view whilst sipping on a cup of hot chocolate from one of the cabins that you can rent during this time. Check out the Mirror Lake Inn Resort to get the luxurious break from it all.

Autumn Destinations
Stunning views over the lake at the mirror lake inn resort (source: Lake Inn Resort)

Canada 
A friend of mine recently sent me some photo’s of  his trip to Montreal and I couldn’t believe the amount of colors in just one picture. Just wow. Besides the colors, this city gives you the feeling that you’re in Europe. The architecture, street art and food choices make it feel like New York, Berlin and Buenos Aires are added into a blender and poured in your glass. Drink up and enjoy! Flights from Amsterdam are available from around €600.

Canada lake

Budapest, Hungary
This city is beautiful during the Fall but there’s also lot’s to do! There are several Autumn festivals going on like the Cafe Budapest Contemporary Art Festival which runs between 7th and 23rd of October. The summer crowds have disappeared so Budapest is a lot comfortable to explore during this time as it can be very busy during high season.  Outdoor temperatures remain mild but if you want to heat up, you should try one of the many bathhouses the city has to offer. When it comes to food, you can totally find your taste as they offer something for the carnivores but also have lot’s of veggie and vegan options available. Flights to Budapest go from as little as 200 euro if you book for this month.

Budapest in Autumn

Black Forest, Germany
Now, I have been here many times because my sister lives here and I can’t get enough of it. During summer, all you see is green and during Autumn is like a field of colors with snowy mountains in the background. My favorite city near the black forest has to be Freiburg. This is a cute student city near the border of Switzerland and France is packed with lot’s of cute German restaurants, shops and market squares. It was actually voted one of the best cities to live in Germany because of the fresh air, lack of danger and good schools. My boyfriend took his motorbike this summer and crossed through part of the forest so you can only imagine how it looks when the colors are there. You can fly to Baden-Baden or Basel with Easyjet for around €100 euro from Europe.

Black forest Germany
The black forest during summer

Sicily, Italy
If you are looking for the sun and doing nothing more than relax for a whole week, we tip you to take a break with Club Med at their newly opened Cefalù Resort. With wooden cottages nestled atop rugged cliffs with a breathtaking view over Cefalù Bay, you’ll fall for the charm of this amazing (and luxury) Resort. It’s close to Palermo, so if you want to explore, it’s easily done. We are heading over there this October, so keep an eye out for our Instagram Stories! Stay’s are available from €1841,- based on 7 nights for 2 adults.

Club Med Sicily

Prague, Czech Republic
This destination is great if you only have a little to spend but still want to get away. Sarah and I were there during spring time and we also noticed the nature that surrounded this city. Many visitors never set a foot out of old town and although that completely understandable, it’s a shame because just outside the city walls you will find something quiet beautiful. You can do a lot of hiking and enjoy stunning views. 60km outside Prague you will find the Kokořínsko Nature Reserve for example. If you still want to opt for the city itself, you won’t be disappointing. Food is super tasty and so cheap to other European standards! To read our Prague city guide, check here

Old town square Prague
Prague from above

The Lake District, UK
Easily overlooked, but so worth visiting. The colors are amazing, even though it rains a lot over at the lake district. Instagrammers travel to the lake district if they can’t afford a trip to Iceland, and we understand why. 

Raven Crag, Keswick, United Kingdom
Raven Crag, Keswick, United Kingdom

Cyprus
It’s the perfect autumn destination because of the nice temperatures and to soak up the last summer sun that you may need to re-charge yourself. Yes the climate is blissful and it has some fantastic beaches to stroll. But don’t forget about the many vineyards and amazing food. This island is one of best Autumn to-go-tip. 

Cyprus

Jordan
It’s a great time to visit this visitor-friendly country because of the nice weather and golden sun hours. It remains a place this unseen by many, but on the list of most travelers. Don’t forget about those magical nights underneath the prettiest starry sky you may ever see.

Jordan
Stunning, yet unseen by many

Are you going to book any of these last minute Autumn destinations?

Love,

Elke

These are the Top 10 Countries to Live in According to Expats

Expats are everywhere nowadays. Businesses expand abroad more than ever and like to bring in clever, hardworking foreigners who seek adventure and a change of scene. Expat Insider did some extensive research and looked at several topics such as; Quality of Life, easy to settle, personal finance, family life, cost of living etc. We also did some research ourselves by asking around in several Expat groups on Facebook, and these are the combined results!

10. Oman
This country may not come to mind immediately, but according to many expats around the world, it’s a good place to live. Oman is a safe country with a low crime rate, so it’s a particularly good environment to raise young children. Accommodation is usually included within an employment contract, which is also a big plus. Downside; it can be very very hot, so hard to move around.

oman

9. New Zealand
If you scoop around the internet, you see mixed results for New Zealand, and sometimes you don’t even find it in the top ten anymore, but we did a little of research on our own and discovered that many of you actually enjoy working in New Zealand. Yes, it’s expensive, but wages are good, the quality of life is (stunning nature for one!), and friendly people.

Expat Syndrome’ is a condition whereby many expatriates see mostly either the best of their own nationality and the worst of the locals, or see the opposite.

8. Netherlands (Amsterdam)
Everybody speaks English, there is a comfortable way of living and settling in is (fairly) easy. Those were some of the reasons why Amsterdam made it to the top ten. Downside; The Netherlands has one of the highest tax rates of Europe, but on the flipside, The country has also been ranked as one of the places where people are the happiest.


Amsterdam, still popular with expats

7. Costa Rica
It’s sunny, the people are friendly and life is easy according to expats around the world. Costa Rica is popular amongst expats, but they didn’t make it further up the list because they didn’t score very high when it comes to personal finance. If you live there it’s fine, but is it a place to make future plans? Many expats didn’t think so.

Costa Rica
We can see why people like Costa Rica

6. Denmark
No surprise that yet another Scandinavian country tops off a good-place-to-live list. Expats voted Denmark in the top three last year, and after talking to

5. Czech Republic (Prague)
Surprisingly, Prague scored poorly on settling in (such as making new friends, speaking the language), but scored really high on work-living and urban-living. Prague seems to be a great place to make a career, or at least use it as a stepping stone.

Bahrainis are very friendly and welcoming. Everyone speaks English.

Prague
Pretty Prague is doing pretty well

4. Mexico
It’s funny, because we keep hearing more and more people in our direct circle of friends, talking about moving to Mexico. Why? More than half of the people asked, give friendliness of locals highest rating. Cancún is the most popular city to live in, with Playa del Carmen and Tulum close behind. Mexico may not be the safest place, so people tend to be extra careful.

3. Ecuador
Surprise surprise, this country made a huuuuge comeback. We did hear that Equador was doing well a few years back, but dropped back in the list. Four out of five expats say that there is a good financial balance and that the way of living is good. (I’m sure the good weather also helps)


Pink walls in Ecuador

My favorite place to work and live would be on the Moon, coz humans are the worst living parasites. -Unknown Expat

2. Taiwan
Coming in at number 2 is Taiwan! Most expats asked, rated this country as having good healthcare, job security and quality of life.

Taiwan City
Taiwan from Elephant Mountain

1. Bahrain (Manama)
It’s a clear winner! In case you don’t have a clue; Bahrain is located just above Quatar and part of the Arabian Gulf. It’s capital, Manama, scores really good on urban work life. The city shows generally good results in both the Job & Career and the Work-Life Balance subcategories of Expat Insider. It’s also a popular place to live for expat families.

So there you have it, the Expat top 10! What’s your favorite place to work and live, and why?

Love,

Wander-Lust

 

We Visited the Campo Viejo Winery and it was Amazing

Last week we had the unique opportunity to experience the wine making process up close. Campo Viejo invited us to see where their wine is coming from and we even helped out a little!

We had never been to a winery before, so it made this trip extra special

Campo Viejo is a Spanish wine brand that specializes in red wine that comes from the La Rioja region. If you live in The Netherlands, you may have seen their bottles in the Albert Heijn supermarket. Sarah and I are both winelovers, so you we said yes immediately.

The Region
La Rioja is region located in North Spain and is renowned for it’s local wine industry. The climate is very different than that from Southern Spain, so therefore the wines also taste different. You can fly to Bilbao with KLM and it’s only a 2 hour flight. From there you’ll need to continue by car or bus, as it’s in the middle of the mountains.

Tapas Tour in Logroño
First things first; wine and tapas! On our first evening, we met wine lovers from all over the globe. Content creators from Germany, Sweden, England, USA and even China was there. Together with this lovely group of people, we explored the town of Logroño, where the tapas and pinxos are out of this world. The tapas/wine tour took us to 5 local and tasty pinxos bars. The whole town comes alive around 6pm until about midnight. Grilled octopus, green roasted peppers, garlic mushrooms, THE BEST tomato salad in the world, we couldn’t stop eating. If you visit Logroño, make sure you arrive with an empty stomach.

tapas

The Campo Viejo Winery
The next morning we headed to the winery, only 15 minutes away from Logroño. It’s huge and surrounded by the Basque mountains, which makes it look like something out od a wine brochure. Special gear and clothes was waiting for us, because we actually needed to pick some grapes. (next time you open a bottle of Campo Viejo, you might taste a little bit of extra love from us!) Making wine is a detailed process that is so interesting to learn about!

Campo Viejo winery
Arriving at the Campo Viejo Winery

taking photo's at the winery

Drinking wine will never be the same again after you visit a winery

Even though there have been many wineries for the brand, the Campo Viejo winery as it exist now, was opened in 2001. It was build underground to maintain the same temperature during all seasons. Having build underground also means they don’t have to use cooling or heating systems, which is better for the environment. Fact: Campo Viejo was the first Spanish winery to certify its carbon footprint through AENOR, in accordance with ISO 14064 regulations.

Grape picking
Picking grapes at the Campo Viejo Winery

Sorting grapes
Sorting the grapes

Campo Viejo Wine barrels
Let the ageing process begin..

After picking the grapes and sorting them, it was time to taste some of their wines during a wonderful lunch. Did you know they also produce the most amazing cava? And we wouldn’t tell you about it if it wasn’t so. This cava is one of the better ones we’ve had.

Campo Viejo Lunch
Can it get any better?!

lunch
Yes it can! (add Campo Viejo Cava)

Sunset dinner at the Campo Viejo vineyard is something else

Did You Know?

  • That all winemakers at Campo Viejo are women? (yeah, girl power!)
  • That they have an experimental vineyard where they experiment with new methods and flavours?
  • That you can book several wine tours with Campo Viejo? Book it here.
  • Campo Viejo has been recognised as the leading Rioja winery on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to being awarded Winery of the Year at both the Berlin International Wine Competition in March and the New York International Wine Competition in May, Campo Viejo wines have picked up a raft of gold medals from Berlin to San Diego.

Cheers!
Salut!

So now you know where Campo Viejo wine actually comes from! Go and get yourself a bottle, turn on some music, get yourself a plate of Spanish cheese, and live a live UNCORKED.

P.S: Keep an eye out on our Instagram & Facebook, because we have a very special give-away coming up at the end of October!

Love,

Wander-Lust

I stepped on board of The Ark Cruise, and this is what happened

All madness on deck! The Ark Cruise, a legendary party-cruise, sailed out again. This year, they even did two voyages. One in the end of August and one in the beginning of September. We stepped aboard of the first voyage and this is what happened…

A Party Boat? Yes.
The Ark Cruise will prepare you when you enter your cabin: condoms (a lot), sunscreen, beach bag, detox pills and some beauty samples. Trust me, you need all of this. This trip contains a lot of drinking, (guilty) pleasures, dancing, sunshine and little sleep. If you’re smart, you choose wisely while walking down the 4 buffets of food. Some vegetables and fruits never hurt anybody, but never skip the amazing desserts, balance is the key!

During the trip you don’t have to get off at all stops. The party at the big pool on the main deck continuous. Imagine yourself sitting in the water with a drink in your hand while an amazing DJ plays a live set. The party continues at night and these are some of the great sets we danced at: Booka Shade, Boehmer, Erik Hagleton, Fatman Scoop and Lady S.

The Ark Cruise

Sleeping on the Ark Cruise
A rare moment of rest

Another night, other flirts, another bed to wake up in

Don’t Miss Out On Ibiza
If you do get off the big cruise ship, we recommend you to discover the beautiful Ibiza. This island is not only about party’s and beaches. We did a guided tour through the old town (Dalt Vila, World Heritage by UNESCO since 1999) and we loved it. This ‘small’ island has a big history worth knowing about. Discover it for yourself! Also the museum ‘Puget’ is worth seeing. These paintings are made by father and son, very charming. 

For lunch we had a traditional fish dish of Ibiza: Bullit de peix. They serve the best Paella plates at Restaurante Formentera. The portions are mostly for two persons. End your day at Hostal La Torre. Here you’ll find the most beautiful sunset you’ve ever seen. It made us a bit emotional.

Ibiza
Exploring Ibiza

The Party Goes On
Another night, other flirts, another bed to wake up in. What happens on the Ark, stays on the Ark. As long as everybody enjoys it, I know we did. For a change we went to see some live music on our last evening. This is another vibe on the cruise you can enjoy to the maximum.


Cocktails at dawn

Verdict: Every day was another experience. It’s definitely not for those who want a relaxing holiday. You won’t sleep a lot, and your liver is going to be tested to it’s limit. BUT, we did go home with tons of new memories, a couple of which I will not share with everyone…

Love,

Larissa

The Ark Cruise
Prices from €549,-

Website

*Larissa is one of our guest editors from The Netherlands. She is only 21 years old, and just graduated, but already runs the two lifestyle magazines BLVD and MisterDaily for two years. Her dream is to write a book one day, but now she’s focussing on her writing and content creation for brands and magazines among which Wander-Lust. Follow her onInstagram!

*Header photo by Nachtshaduw

Australian Vibes in Utrecht: Surfbar De Rode Vosch

Australian restaurant de Rode Vosch (the Red Fox) has been an Australian hotspot in Utrecht city for almost two years. This last weekend they opened a cool surfbar in their restaurant. If Australia is one step too far away, but you do want to have a taste of Australian culture, this is the place to be!

The Australian restaurant is known for its nice Aussie vibe and delicious Australian meals. They serve a variety of small dishes, so you can taste and share dishes during the evening. Sharing is caring is their credo.

There is good news for TimTam lovers

The Australian kitchen has many elements of different cultures. The restaurant calls their kitchen Mod Oz, modern Australian. You can order smoked salmon, chicken parma, bangers & mash, watermelon salad, haloumi cheesy fries and spicy shrimps. But their most special dishes are the kangaroo sashimi and the kangaroo loin. Talking about exotic! And there is good news for TimTam lovers: they serve a nice cheesecake with these traditional Australian chocolate cookies as dessert.

cocktail

Since the Australian culture is all about surfing, the people from De Rode Vosch decided to open a surfbar inside the restaurant. There are surfboards on the walls and the place is decorated with typical Australian touches like boomerangs, a didgeridoo and koalas. The ambience is really laid-back and it’s a nice place to enjoy Australian booze and various cocktails. They serve many Australian wines and 10 (!) different Australian beers. If you want to drink cocktails with friends, you can order a nice pitcher full of cocktail goodness. How about a pitcher of Mojito, Gin Fizz or Blue Lagoon? If you go there on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. you can get 2 cocktails for the price of one!

de rode vosch

Cheers mate!

Love,

Merel

De Rode Vosch
Voorstraat 14, Utrecht
Website

Luxury camping in Europe!

If you ever been out camping as a child, you know that it’s something special. The outdoor sounds of birds and crickets, and the cozy evening by the fire. However, the damp floor, cold nights and wet socks was perhaps something you would rather forget. As I got older, I realised that I was becoming a glampacker instead of a backpacker. And lucky for me..Luxury Camping (glamping) is hot!

There are plenty of glamping options in Europe and sometimes it’s difficult to choose one. Yelloh! Village, is a network for different campsites-villages that has became THE luxury outdoor hotels reference in France, Spain and Portugal. Yelloh! Village is particularity good if you’re traveling with kids, because of the many options for children.

Yelloh! village

Whether you want to camp near the sea, rivers, mountains or stay in the countryside, it’s all possible. We’ve picked some of our favorite accommodations that Yelloh! Village has on offer.

The Yurt in France
Feel like a nomad is this traditional Mongolian stay. This yurt sleeps 4 people (one double bed and 2 single beds), and is located in France. Outside the yurt is a shower and toilet, plus you can relax in the lounge chairs on the terrace. And it’s not expensive at all! You can book this yurt from 156 Euro for 4 nights!

Yurt
Magical and unique!

Yurt

Experience the traveling nomadic lifestyle, with all the luxury you want


Cabane sur la plage, in Spain
This cabin on the beach is a dream! It’s not the largest stay that Yelloh! Villages has on offer, but the location totally makes up for it. The 15²m cabin/tent has 2 bedrooms and a small terrace overlooking the beach. Waking up here, is the best part! The camping itself offers a swimmingpool, bar, minimarket, restaurant, children activities and sports. Nearby towns are Creixell, Barcelona, Calafell, El Vendrell, Reus, Salou, Tarragona, and Torredembarra. Book it here from just 560 euro for 7 nights!

Cabin on the beach Yelloh! Village
Cabin on the beach!

Beach view


Chalet s’Agaró in Costa Brava
If you are looking for more facilities, like the luxury camping of having your own kitchen and living room, you should check out this chalet in the Costa Brava. There are 3 bedrooms and fits 5 people easily. You have a lot of space, in and outside (and a BBQ!). Wifi, breakfast and sheets/towels are included within the price. You can book this chalet here.

Chalet

Luxury chalet


All campsites have restaurants, swimming pools and things to do.

Yelloh! Village glamping
Luxury Breakfast instead of a burned sausage 

River
Adventurous?

Are you ready for your camping 3.0 experience?

Yelloh! Village
Facebook / Instagram
Website

Love,

Elke

Vergina: The historic hotspot of Greece

Vergina, a small town in northern Greece, will surprise you with historic treasures.

The town became more famous after the important archeologic discovery’s of Mr Andronikos in 1977. He found the skull of Phillip II with a damaged right eye which indicated that he was hit with an arrow. You’ll learn a lot more when you get a guided tour in one of the many archeologic museums Vergina has to offer.

How To Get There!
If you want to stay for a more than a week, plan your stay in Thessaloniki. Vergina has a lot to offer but after a couple days, you’ll be done with all the history and museums. Then it’s nice to get some city-life and enjoy a cocktail or two. It’s easy to get to Vergina from Thessaloniki with a rental car. It takes about an hour and a half. 

Tip: take a detour en route and spot the lovely lunch places with an amazing view of the Techniti Rimi Lake.

Vergina

Get Historical
Make sure not to miss the Museum of Royal Tombs of Aigai. Here you’ll find the grave of Phillip II and Alexander IV of Macedon. The guide told us a lot of complicated stories about their death, marriages and traditions. For example, one of the wives of Phillip II was buried in a chamber next to him in the tomb. Where she came from, it was a tradition to follow the husband into the grave. And so she gave up her life.

Vergina Greece

You can park the rental car next to this museum. The museum is open on Monday from 12:00 to 20:00 and on Tuesday till Sunday from 08:00 to 20:00. A normal ticket is €12. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to take pictures in the museum.

Get Local
If you want to stay the night in this small historic town, I recommend hotel Esperides. The owner (Mr Mantsios) is a lovely host and most of all: an amazing chef! Usually, he doesn’t serve dinner at the hotel, but if you smile friendly and ask nicely you might have a chance. At least don’t miss his homemade olive breadsticks and plum jam during breakfast. This hotel also includes a small spa with sauna and steam bath.

Come to Vergina if you love history, great weather and a wonderful Greek atmosphere. (the food is a huge bonus ;-))

Love,

Larissa

*Larissa is our brand new guest editor! She lives in The Netherlands and has accomplished a lot for her age. She works as an editor in Chief at BLVD

5 places in Costa Rica you cannot miss out on

Costa Rica is the ultimate holiday destination for nature lovers and adventurous travelers. The country has 2 extensive coastlines, lots of jungle and more than half a million different plants and animals. The people and their lifestyle are considered incredibly friendly and relaxed, which rings true with the countries motto “Pura Vida”, meaning “the good life”. Below are 5 hotspots selected for you.

La Fortuna
La Fortuna is a small town at the foot of the Arenal volcano. The Arenal is one of the few active volcanoes in the world and when it is dark you can see the lava flowing down. At the foot of the volcano there are thermal baths and hot springs. It is an unforgettable experience to observe the volcano from the warm water of the springs.

La_Fortuna
La Fortuna

Turrialba
Turrialba is located in the central region of Costa Rica. Along the town runs the river Pacuare and is considered one of the 5 best and most beautiful rivers worldwide for rafting. In addition, Turrialba is located next to a volcano where where you can go hiking.


Hiking in Costa Rica

Dominical
Dominical is located on the pacific coast and those who like to surf will find themselves right at home here. Dominical itself consists of a paved road with some shops and restaurants. It is a cozy place with a hippie-like vibe and many interesting people. Check out this surfschool if you want to learn how to surf.

There are many beautiful beaches nearby and a lot of nature reserves

Ojochal
The small community of Ojochal in Puntarenas is located in the South Pacific, about 30 minutes south from the town of Dominical. Ojochal is a perfect base from which you can do all kinds of activities. There are many beautiful beaches nearby and a lot of nature reserves. It is also worthwhile to do a horseback tour there. 2 local guides will take you through the jungle and across the beach. During this tour you will also pass Cascada El Pavon, a small-but-beautiful waterfall with a pool at the bottom for swimming. Stay at Villas Gaia to get that local feeling.

Ojochal

Cahuita.
Cahuita is located in the northeast of Costa Rica on the Caribbean coast. This town also has a slightly hippie-like feel about it. Take a visit to the Cahuita national park where monkeys jump around all over the place, snakes are hidden in the trees and raccoons cross the paths. The largest coral reef in Costa Rica is also in the national park, so snorkeling in the colorful underwater world is a must. In the evening you will find a variety of good restaurants, as well as locals hanging out in the streets with friends and family, which creates a nice and lively atmosphere.

Love,

Iris

*Iris is one of our guest editors from The Netherlands. She’s got a big interest for fashion, poetry and traveling. She was only 3 months old when she was on the plane for the first time, and she has been to every continent in the meantime. She’s a dreamer and would prefer to be on the beach every day. You can follow Iris on Instagram.