Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, they say. Not this one. The Whitehaven Beach in Queensland, Australia is definitely the most beautiful beach anybodies eye has ever seen. Located in the Whitsunday Islands in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, Whitehaven is a 7 km long beach reminding of a soft ice cream in white and blue. Check out a couple of things, that might be useful for your visit.Nr. 1: The most amazing view over the Whitehaven Beach is from above. Either you go by seaplane or by helicopter. The advantage of the seaplane is definitely the fact that you can land on the water near the beach and don’t have to go back to Hamilton Island (the main and the biggest island most of the tours start from) and grab a boat to go to Whitehaven again.Nr. 2: There are a plenty of provided tours at Hamilton Island, but not every operator has the license to bring you to the famous part of the Whitehaven Beach. So make sure to ask about it before. Cruise Whitsundays definitely does!Nr. 3: The water at the Whitehaven Beach is pretty shallow and you will find a lot of sting rays sliding around your feet. So watch your step! Also good know: There is a fantastic viewing point 20 minutes walking distance from the beach. It gives you a beautiful view from above – the closest to the one from the seaplane. They had my favorite food on board: seafood tacos!!!Nr. 4: Hamilton Island is a perfect place with a nice marina to start your tours from (also to the famous heart reef), but one day for exploring it would be enough. I can highly recommend the Beach Club (pictures below) to stay at. They have a nice palm beach, an infinity pool and wide white interior.Nr. 5: Don’t miss the chance to have a breakfast with the koala bears at Hamilton Island. I felt really related to these fluffy animals because they have one of the smallest brains compared to their body size and they sleep up to 20 hours a day. Willy (ten years old) hardly wanted to let me go and was smelling like… eucalyptus.Nr. 6: Make sure to get some sexy underwear for you boyfriend at the gift shop!
Hey guys! I’ve been a bit lazy (let’s say busy) for the last few weeks, so I’m sorry to come up with this post when the summer is gone. But hey, it’s never too late to go to Ibiza! And maybe you are more organized than I am and will save this one for the next year. Or just be spontaneous and book a flight to go now. It’s still over 25 degrees over there and the famous closing parties will take place on this and the next weekend. So here we go: These are my favorite things to do during a weekend in Ibiza:
OLD TOWN FOR YOUR CONSCIENCEMake sure to do the serious part first. Exploring the old town of Ibiza won’t take you longer than two hours. And it looks so perfectly white and innocent (the only innocent part of the island I guess). Get lost in the lanes, write a postcard to your Grandma, eat a watermelon ice cream (which was disgusting but nice for a picture). Done.BEACHING AROUNDI loved the beach of Cala Conta. It’s not too crowded with lots of little spots where you can have lunch or jump into the water.Cala Portinatx (pictures below) is more a family beach with shallow water, but you can always swim out. The shades of blue are amazing at that one!MAKE OUT BEATS AT CAFE DEL MARWell, what shall I say: I just came by because “Cafe del Mar“ used to be the perfect make out music during my teenage years. And I had ALL their CDs haha. It’s still a nice place to watch the sunset with relaxing DJ sounds – they would even say they invented the sunset. But it’s quite empty during the day.HOTEL IN WONDERLANDThe Ushuaia Beach Hotel left me astonished all the time. I felt like a grown-up brunette Alice in Wonderland. There are so many cute details all over the place, day beds, an own beach club with snacks and drinks and good looking promoters coming along all the time. The hotel is located at Playa d’en Bossa, which is not the most beautiful beach of the island but definitely the one with the most party going on. And it’s just a couple of minutes away from the airport. So perfect for a short weekend stay. I’ve spent 30 seconds posing on this day bed before a waiter came up to tell me I had to order a bottle of Veuve Clicquot to be able to use it. Well, it’s Ibiza. And I’m perfectly fine laying on the sand…DINING WITH A BUTTI don’t know if the Kardashian sisters designed the chairs at the Minami restaurant, but all of them will make you a perfect butt. No need to worry about eating to much sushi.NATURE AND HIKING AND HEALTHY STUFFIf you can drink you can hike. I really had to watch my feet not to fall down during wandering Cala d’en Serra on that early morning. But these views definitely woke me up. After 2 hours…PARTY WITH ATTITUDE Being a rather quiet hotel during the day Ushuaia turns into one of the most wanted party locations (with DJs such as David Guetta, Avicii, Calvin Harris) shorty before the sun sets. Why is it so special? By providing a rare opportunity to see some of the biggest headliners on the island as the sun is still setting, Ushuaia has brought back the long-held tradition of daytime clubbing back to Ibiza. And there are a couple of benefits about staying at the hotel and not just coming for the party: you can listen to DJ sets from your balcony and you don’t have to pay the entrance fee (which starts from 50 euro depending on the particular event).You can get some really good rates if you book your stay as a package (flight+hotel) with Thomas Cook.
Tonight is the night when the entire Adriatic Coast turns into one huge pink party. Emilia Romagna is celebrating “La Notte Rosa” (this year from 3. till 5. of July) and everything – I mean everything – is covered in pink: streets, fountains, food, clothes, fireworks. The best party takes place in Rimini, the poshest one in the Grand Hotel Rimini where Federico Fellini once loved to stay. Check out the pictures from my last visit. This could be you next year! Even the toughest guys like Bagnino Gabriele take Notte Rosa seriously. He decorates his part of the beach in pink, puts some color into the whirlpools and even dresses up. In between he still manages to save some women’s lives.And to welcome some of his fans.Even I turned into a fan after a couple of minutes.So did Elisabetta Canalis.Give it up for Gabriele! THIS was his most famous outfit, even featured in a local newspaper. Later in the evening you start seeing more of pink in the streets of Rimini. There are over 300 parties, concerts and fashion shows, but everybody wants to be at the famous Grand Hotel Party. The funny fact about Notte Rosa is that it was founded 10 years ago because the first weekend of July was so badly booked. Now it turned into the most booked one with more than one million visitors per year.The dresscode has been… well, I don’t need to say. The decoration and the desserts – everything pink!If it was still not enough, you could put the pink glasses on.With the tallest Italian girls I’ve ever met.After “La Notte Rosa” you do need some serious relaxing. Try the Palazzo Viviani in Montegridolfo 40 km away from Rimini (thanks to the hotel for the amazing picture above). The castle maintains several hotels, restaurants and even a swimming pool. And they gave me the master key. For one night.The color of pink was pursuing me even in the mountains: Look at this sunset!
Unfortunately, I belong to this kind of people who never relax. I just don’t know how to do it. So if you see pictures of me relaxing, it’s probably just for a picture and only took a couple of seconds. Today I would like to share with you some of my best fake relaxation pictures in an especially beautiful setting: One&Only Hayman Island, Australasia’s most awarded luxury nature-resort located on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. After an 80 million dollar refurb it opened it’s iconic doors a year ago and it seems to be like some sort of The Great Gatsby to me. Everybody is talking about it, but nobody really got to know it (yet). I was lucky enough to spend 12 hours at the resort, 8 of which were during the night and 3 of which contained sleeping. I just had to walk around all the time taking pictures of all these beautiful corners. And I even went hiking! At the end of my short stay I decided that if one day I would learn how to relax I will definitely come back to this place and enjoy it again. And I will leave my cam at home, that’s for sure!
I stayed at a suite of the Pool Wing and I could literally jump from my room to the largest swimming pool in the Southern Hemisphere. Or just go down the stairs. The only guys watching were the cockatoos. There are six restaurants (my favorite food will stay pool burgers anyway) and four different room/villa wings at the resort. Check out some of them:The One&Only Hayman Penthouses are located on the top floor of the One&Only Hayman Wing and are all individually designed and furnished, with a great view of the entire resort, the Coral Sea and the Whitsundays. The villas of the One&Only Beach Wing seem to be transparent, but they are still really private. You have a swimming pool on one side and the beach on the other. Tough decision haha!And these were my favorite “rooms”: Beach and pool cabañas, where you could stay during the day.Their signature restaurant Fire offers unbelievably tender Wagyu, but especially good for a picture were the starters (mine looked like a vegetable garden) and the desserts! In the very early morning on the next day I made sure to make one of these pictures I was always dreaming about: Infinity Pool and just me “relaxing”. After that I had 2 hours for hiking to the Whitsunday Lookout, breakfast and packing my suitcase.On the way to the lookout I met my one and only wallaby in Australia and could admire the resort and some of the Whitsundays from above. And I got even higher just one hour later. When they picked me up by a seaplane!!! What a short stay full of “pinch me” moments!Airport.Airstrip.View of the Hayman Island, my One&Only! How to get to Queensland: There are flights with Cathay Pacific via Hongkong to Brisbane and Cairns (from Germany the prices start at 1125 euro).
Fraser Island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world. First, this fact didn’t sound very exciting to me. As I grew up at the Baltic Sea literally surrounded by sand dunes I expected the first island I was visiting in Queensland/Australia to be a way more exotic. And I have to admit I was so wrong: Fraser Island (200 inhabitans, 124 kilometres long) is everything but boring and probably the place you will have the most fun at during your whole trip! First of all: It’s not just sand. Fraser Island is the only sand island in the world with a rain forest growing on it. During the season you can watch huge humpback whales jump out of the water on the east coast. And there are nearly 200 fresh water lakes all over Fraser Island where you can have a quick dip. And they even have a highway on the beach – with two traffic police officers and a speed limit of 80 km/h . The 75 mile beach is also used as a landing strip for planes. Highway rules state that vehicles must give way to aircraft if they are oncoming haha. Unfortunately, I only had one day to explore Fraser Island. Try to stay at least for two days if you can. And see below some ideas about how you could spend your time:
WHERE TO STAY:I stayed at Kingfisher Bay Resort (from 98 euros/night) – it was located in the middle of the jungle but still at just 5 minutes walking distance from the beach.Dingoes are the most famous inhabitans of the island. Even though some of them look like domestic dogs, they are still wild! So don’t feed them, don’t pet them, don’t run away from them. Everything running is always something eatable! Coconut lorikeets love having their dinner upside down as I learned.What a great feeling it was to finally take my shoes off after two days of traveling from Europe to Australia! Our resort was located near the bridge where the ferries arrive. And they had a bar on the top of the bridge with really cold cider – which is probably my favorite sunset drink (well, everything is my favorite sunset drink to be honest). THE HIGHWAY, WHICH IS ACTUALLY A BEACH: Beach walks can get really dangerous on Fraser Island. There are wales and sharks in the water and the waves would be too strong for a swim anyway. And outside the water there are cars speeding on your left and your right all the time. It takes time till you realize that you are actually standing on a highway! So the safest place of the 75 mile beach would probably be slightly in the water or on a rock! NATURAL WATER SLIDE:Eli Creek is the largest creek on the east coast of the island (with a flow of 80 million litres per day) acting as some kind of a natural water ride. I am a lazy person, so it was just a perfect place for me: sitting in a rubber ring sliding down with the urrent. After some attempts I even learned some tricks how to overake others. The photo pose!The reality! There were some cookies waiting at the end of the slide, which also made me happy.THE MOST FAMOUS METAL RUBBISH OF AUSTRALIA:The ocean liner’s Maheno wreck has been here since 1935 and turned out to be one of the favorite photo stops of the island. So it’s allowed to stay.I take danger signs really seriously, as you can see…What’s in there that you are not allowed to see?THE SAND DUNES:The sand dunes in the middle of the island are really worth seeing them! And you can even sandboard on them. The highest is Mount Bowarrady with 240 meters.THE AIRPORT:Guess what! The airport is also the beach! Book a scenic flight to get a better overview of the island, it’s just 50 euros per person. And it’s such an unique experience to take off and land on a beach. We probably had the shiest pilot I’ve ever met.THE “CARIBBEAN” LAKE:Lake McKenzie is the most popular of the nearly 200 fresh water lakes located all over the island. It has an area of 150 hectares and is just over 5 metres in depth, but look at it’s color! It could be the Caribbean.RAINFOREST GROWING ON THE SAND:A huge thanks to our superstar guide Peter Meyer for taking us around his island. See his amazing photographic work of Fraser Island on his website. One of his favorite places to take pictures at is certainly the rain forest. And he showed me the funniest parts of it.The candlestick tree.The bridge tree (the “Dirty Dancing” tree for me).The wrapped tree.My twin tree.On the picture below you can see the road conditions in the middle of the island. It’s really hard to drive and you get stuck in the sand all the time, so consider booking a guided tour instead of renting a car and going by yourself (which is certainly much more fun but maybe too much fun). FOOD FROM THE BUSH:You can book a “Bush Tucker Talk and Taste” at Kingfisher Bay Resort (10 euro per Person) and taste traditional Australian berries, nuts and spicies directly from the bush. That’s a funky experience, many of them tasted copmletely new to me and the cook kept saying : “Oh, please don’t take too much of that one!” To give you some examples of what we had: They a using lillypilly for sauces or marmelades, lemon myrtle for fish or meat marinade and quandong for the cocktails.During the tasting they also give serve xou some emu, roo and crocodile meat. The interesting thing about crocodile (the white meat on the right) is the fact, that its changing the taste depending on what it eats. So it can taste like chicken or fish and if you didn’t like it once, doesn’t mean you don’t like it in general. How to get to Queensland: There are flights with Cathay Pacific via Hongkong to Brisbane and Cairns (from Germany the prices start at 1125 euro).
How to get to Fraser Island: Ferries are departing from Hervey Bay.
Before I went to Dubai, friends kept telling me I would probably not gonna like it. It was like a Disneyland for grown up guys, they said. Well, I love Disneyland. And I love grown up guys. So it was more than obvious that I also loved Dubai. Unfortunately I could only stay for two days. Get some ideas through this post how to make the most of a short stay:
WHERE TO STAYI was staying at the recently opened Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach. As an only resort located in the residential part of Jumeirah it has a unique private beach. And you could nearly jump in from the pool. I loved the huge rooms and the bathtub in the middle of the bathroom. I never get into bathtubes in hotels though, because I am always afraid to fall asleep and miss out some meals. BEACHESKite beach is my favorite in Dubai. It looks more like Ibiza or Miami and is full of havaianas, hotpants and of course some good looking kite surfers. To see the longest beach in Dubai, go to the Dubai Marina. It has skyscrapers and restaurants on one side and beach bars and the sea on the other. And at the end there is even a little park and a farmer’s market.DURING THE DAY
For the highest view you can currently get outside a plane, head to Burj Khalifa – with 829 meters it is the highest building in the world. It is crazy to see how tiny all the other scyscrapers look beside it. Make sure to pre-book your ticket on the website and don’t miss your slot! They are strict.So this is the view! Try to get there between 12 and 3 p.m. when the sun is high and there is no reflection at the window. I went a way too early and couldn’t really take the perfect picture…The entrance to Burj Khalifa is also the Dubai Mall entrance and it’s huuuge (350.000 qm). I nearly got lost between all the shoe stores, sweets and dino skeletons!My favorite place in the mall remained the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. A funky experience to see the belly of sharks and rays while walking the tunnel up and down. The second floor was disappointing though… I also loved the Graffiti-Foodtrucks with Hotdogs and Tacos they put on the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard during the Food Festival, which takes place every year in February.Also make sure to visit Deira, the oldest part of Dubai, and have a lunch in one of their new cafés (like Creekside) before you hop on a boat or spend all your money in the gold souk. Therefore my advice: go the the spice sook instead and save the money for the night! It can become a real challenge in Dubai to see the famous palm. It’s simply too huge and the fronds look like regular streets when you are on them. One option is to go with Palm Monorail, a train which operates on a higher level. Another (superhigh and superadventurous) option is Skydiving, which became so popular in Dubai during the last year. And, of course, there is still a helicopter option for those who don’t dare to jump.Another place I would highly recommend is Madinat Jumeirah, an artificial lagoon city, where abras (watertaxis) bring you to one of the 45 restaurants. A Pacha Ibiza Dubai just opened it’s doors there – another good reason to visit.DURING THE NIGHTGo back to Burj Khalifa in the evening to watch the fountain show (from 6 p.m. every half an hour). It’s short but impressive.For a nice bar I didn’t even had to leave my hotel (lobby on the pictures above). Just went to the rooftop…The new Mercury Lounge overviews the skyline on the one side and the sea on the other (it was too dark to capture it). And they have a bar looking like a huge silver ball in the middle of the place.Also the drinks are creative: served in baby bottles or covered with a slice of pineapple. Accompanied by my favorite food: FRIES! Truffle fries, sweet potato fries, herbs fries…This was favorite: a destructed Bloody Mary haha!If you are only staying one night in Dubai and want to check out several locations, book one of the food tours the agency Lime & Tonic offers (starting from 100 euros with food and drinks). I had the mystery tour, which brought me to 4 different restaurants with two courses each. What a life!The first place to go was Table 9, Dubai’s restaurant of the year. The Chef used to work with Gordon Ramsay in London and the food was fantastic but no view. So this place is more for your tongue than for your eyes…Then we went to Mint Leaf (Indian kitchen), which would be a perfect place to impress a girl. Look at this view! After that we tried Hakkasan (Chinese kitchen) with a nice garden area……the longest bar I’ve ever seen (it didn’t even fit in my picture)……and of course some yummy dim sum and a Peking duck. Concerning food, this place was my number 1!Flying with Emirates is the most convenient way to get to Dubai. Get general Dubai information at www.dubaitourism.ae !
Ilha Grande is one of the most magical places I’ve ever been to. When you arrive to this 150 km long island between Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo, you first keep wondering how they managed to preserve it so wild and untouched. There are no streets, no cars and no cash machines on the entire island. Well, the reason lies in it´s dark history. For almost a century Ilha Grande was closed by the Brazilian goverment because it housed a leper colony and after a top-security jail with some of the most dangerous prisoners within the Brazilian penal system. The jail was closed in 1994 but the island still looks like an unexplored piece of jungle – except the main village Vila do Abraão (approximately 1900 inhabitants), where you can find some bars, shops and affordable places to spend a night. Ironically, everything was booked out in the village at the time we were travelling. We still wanted to stay some days on the island, so we picked the last remaining pousada for nearly 300 euros/per night. First pretty grumpy about the price, by arrival we realized that it was probably the best forced decision ever.
How to arrive? There is a bus departing every two hours from Rio de Janeiro to Angra dos Reis (160 km, ticket aprox. 15 euros), then you take a ferry to Ilha Grande (1h, ticket aprox. 5 euros). Make sure to check the ferry hours before you go, it’s only operating in the mornings and in the evenings. We arrived in the main village where we were picked up by a smaller boat and it took us another half an hour to come to our pousada Atlantica Jungle Lodge. As we were approaching it, I could barely believe my eyes. A house in the middle of the jungle with only 3 rooms, a private beach and a lady preparing the catch of the day just for us. The rooms were beautiful but simple and I loved the smell of the sheets (I am crazy about fresh white sheets).We were having grilled fish and an octopus with a view to a floating bar, which also belonged to the pousada. You had to either swim or puddle to have a drink over there but it was not an option for me after finishing all these beans alone…In case you are asking yourself why I look so weird: This picture has a special story. Before my trip to Brazil friends kept telling me not to take jewellery and nice clothes with me – just some pants and old tshirts. Girls, now I will tell you one thing: It’s a trap! When I arrived in Rio de Janeiro, you really could tell I was a tourist, because all the Brazilian ladies were so dressed up – even at the beach. So I told my boyfriend I was not leaving the hotel room untill we went shopping. On Ilha Grande I finally had the right outfit on, but unfortunately nobody was there watching. Well, at least we took this picture haha.From our pousada you could hike to the famous Lopes Mendes beach (picture above), which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful beaches of the world. I liked our little private beach so much more to be honest, but still: It’s a nice hike through the jungle and you meet some apes and some bats on your way. If you are staying on the island just for a short period time a full day boat trip (aprox. 50 euros/per person) would be a perfect way to explore the most beautiful beaches of Ilha Grande. We shared our boat with a group of Columbian guys who brought some Pisco – so you can imagine the fun we had! At some point we ran out of Pisco. We were lucky the whole island was surrounded by floating bars though. This is the most famous palm tree of Ilha Grande and the pefect proof that it’s never too late to change your mind and go up! I would have loved to stay at least one week longer…
When I was seeing my friends’ carnival pictures from Brasil this week, I could’t help myself but open my old folder and browse through all these photos. Rio de Janeiro seems like a rapper to me: love it or hate it. And I love it. So in this post I would love to share with you my favorite places in the sexiest city on this planet:
1. COPACABANAThis world famous beach doesn’t have a good fame at all in Rio. Cariocas (Rio’s inhabitans) say it’s for old people. Are you kidding? I wished our beaches for old people would look like that. What they actually want to say: Not all of the girls are wearing string bikinis. Which is an absolut no go on the beaches of Rio.So I guess this is before marriage……and this afterI did it all wrong. Had my tiniest bikini on and still looked like a scuba diver compared to the other girls. On the picture above with my beloved Guaraná lemonade at least.How do you know you are in Copacabana? There are two landmarks: Copacabana Palace, the most expensive hotel of Rio, and the Copacabana beach sidewalk designed with black and white basalt and limestone. 2. ESCADARIA SELARÓN You will probably recognize these colorful steps from the “Beautiful” video, where Pharrell Williams and Snoop Dog were sitting on them singing “Beautiful, I just want you to know you’re my favorite girl”. There is a sad story behind these steps though: The Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón started putting tiles on them when he was unhappily in love. He was waiting there for years and tourists from all over the world brought him new tiles – so the 215 stairs finally enden up covered by more than 2000 tiles from 60 different countries. Two years ago Jorge Selarón was found dead on his stairs. Today it’s a place where musicians meet but nobody brings tiles any more.3. LAPA Lapa is a neighborhood in the centre of Rio, famous for it’s impressive aqueduct (Arcos da Lapa) from the the mid-18th century but most of all for it’s nightlife. Some people say it’s dangerous but did you ever have an epic party in a save place? 4. FAVELA ROCINHARocinha is the largest favela in Brazil built on a steep hillside overlooking Rio de Janeiro. So people who live here actually have the best view. What surprised me the most: Villas of rich people were built side to side to the houses of the favela which is nothing usual in South America. And there were even schools located so close on the both sides, that children had a common play yard. 5. IPANEMAIpanema is the sexiest beach in Rio de Janeiro with a perfect view to some beautiful hills haha. For us, it was a perfect place to have a rest before the carnival parades at Sambódromo started. You can watch the Brazilians here playing soccer, eating shrimps or just looking good for hours. Not too many swimmers though, 80 percent of people living here can’t swim.6. SUGARLOAF MOUNTAINRising 396 meters above the harbor, Pão de Açúcar is a perfect place to watch the sunset which covers the entire bay in a shiny gold.7. CORCOVADOWell, what shall I say about this most visited place in Rio? Corcovado is stunning, no doubt, but it’s even more stunning if you go up in a little train. Therefore you have to arrive really early. Otherwise there are only tickets left for busses with no stunning views at all on their way up. 8. BOTANICAL GARDEN140 hectare of peace, palm trees and waterfalls. The Botanical Garden could be such a rehab place, if we wouldn’t find all kinds of caipirinhas everywhere in the neighborhood.9. SAMBÓDROMOOn the friday before the first league parades start at Sambódromo there is a super cute kids parade. The whole family comes together to support these young ladies on their way to the big samba careers.10. LEBLONIf you didn’t get a ticket for Sambódromo so called blocos (street parties with music and drinks) in Ipanema and Leblon are the best alternative to celebrate carnival. Just put some glitter, feathers or ears on and your costume is ready. The Brazilians are not so strict in this aspect. They look good anyway.11. CHURRASCARIAEverybody who knows me will understand why THIS is my favorite place in Rio de Janeiro. The Churrascaria Porcão is the most famous grill restaurant in town and they even let me take a picture in the kitchen (no women allowed normally). Other food I loved in Rio: Grilled octopus with veggetables and of course Feijoada, a traditional sunday dish with beans and again lots of meat.12. HOTELLet’s be honest: More expensive than hotels in Rio are only hotels in Rio during the carnival. After we stayed five days in a tiny room without proper windows for nearly 200 euros a night, for the last night we moved to a suite at Othon Palace, a first row hotel at Copacabana. It only cost us 70 euros more but what a difference! Almost stayed for the whole evening on our terrace staring at the sea. And the mountains. And the lighs.There are flights to Rio de Janeiro with Air France via Paris and with KLM via Amsterdam.
There are a lot of reasons why Dads rock this world. One of them is their patience. Don’t believe me? Ask them to take some bikini pictures and you will get the best prove. During your boyfriend will probably cut your face off (because he just wants to focuse on “really important stuff”) and your girlfriends will use the wide lens (you know why), your proud Dad will capture you in the perfect angle over in over again. The only problem: To pick the picture you want to use because you will like all of them. Like I did during our last vacation in Cuba, when my Dad had a new camera and I had a new bikini and we both had this beautiful beach in front of our bungalow. So see tons of our turqouise-on-turqouise pictures with some pelican models joining the shooting!
If you have ever been to Iceland in summer, you won’t recognize it if you go in winter. It’s not better or worse, it’s just like visiting a completely different country. And if you think Iceland looks grey, dark and uncozy during the wintertime, you gonna be really surprised how many colours can show up during one single trip. You will see the sunrise and the sunset every day, even if you are a lazy tourist and love to sleep, because the sun rises at 11 a.m. and goes down at 3 p.m. There is one colour you should be careful with though: the green of the nordic lights. The Japanese believe it brings a lot of babys… So here are my ten favorite things to do in Iceland in winter, I´ve experienced on my last trip with WOW Air, Iceland’s only low cost airline:
1. VÍK, THE BLACK BEACHThe black sand beach of Vík in South Iceland (180 km away from Reykjavik) is counted as one of the ten most beautiful non-tropical beaches on earth. In winter it’s all covered by snow, but you can still recognize the black colour on the rock formation Reynisdrangar in the middle of the sea (picture below) and on the tiny space between water and snow the waves leave everytime they go back (picture above).Plenty of space in Iceland: on the streets and in the nose…2. WATERFALLSDuring a trip in the Golden Circle, the most famous route in South Iceland, you usually get to see 3 waterfalls: Skógarfoss (first picture), Gullfoss (second picture) und Seljalandsfoss (picture below). All of them are beautiful in a different way: Skógarfoss has a nice setting, Gullfoss is incredibly big, but Seljalandsfoss always used to be my favorite one. You can walk behind it (but watch your step on the icy stairs!) and search for a treasure. 3. FOODPretty sure everybody will like the first dish: icelandic lobster in the traditional Fjorubordid-Restaurant. After that on the pictures below: smoked puffin (yes, the cute bird) in Hotel Rangá, horse meat carpaccio with parmigiano in Cava-Restaurant and Hákarl (rotten shark) from a local supermarket.4. GEYSERSBig plans need big cars. But seriously: in Iceland this size of wheels really makes sence. Like on our way to the geysers of the Haukadalur valley. Strokkur (the geyser on the picture below) erupts every 10 minutes up to 35 meters high. Can you spot the two tiny tourists right to it? There are more than 40 other little hot springs in the area but you are not allowed to touch them because the water can get up to 90 degrees hot. When we were standing in front of Stokkur the sun started to rise and it has been such a magical moment when all the steam got colloured in purple, yellow and finally red. 5. HOT POTSDue to the geothermal activity there are a lot of hot springs all over the country. Some of them are boiling but some have just the right temperature to bath in. These natural jacuzzis – the so called hot pots – are a very important part of the icelandic culture. It’s not just about having a bath. It’s about meeting your friends and family, having a drink, discussing things. The most famous and most touristic hot pot of Iceland is probably the Blue Lagoon (pictures above, tickets for 35 euros – at least the beauty mask is for free) near the airport. But every town bath also has a couple of hot pots outside (tickets for aprox. 5 euros). See the beauty essentials we brought with us on the picture below hahaAnother way to try out a hot pot would be booking a hotel with a hot pot, such as Rangá Hotel. The only obstacle: The hot pots were outside and we had to walk through the snow to get there. With a couple of local beers before no problem…After two beers we even started talking to the bear in the lobby.Still don’t know if it was a good idea to put my Havaianas on for the way to the hot pot. We had minus 17 degrees on that day, if you want to know…Before I left for this trip I promised my Mom always to wear my hat. I kept my promise, Mom!6. WALKING ON THE GLACIERWalking on the Sólheimajökull glacier with spikes under your shoes and a piolet in your hand during the sunset is one of the most breathtaking experiences in Iceland. This glacier is melting away due to the climate change and will disappear completely approximately in 100 years.7. SHOPPINGNever say “Norwegian sweater” in Iceland! It’s Icelandic, even if they look completely the same to us. The Icelandic ones are supposed to keep you warmer though, because they are made from the wool of a special sheep. Anyway, both look nice.The local outdoor label is called 66°NORTH (I had enough money for a hat haha). If you are looking for some hip clothes, you better go to one of the numerous second hand shops in Reykjavik, like Spúútnik on the pictures below. The best thing about shopping in Iceland: it’s duty free when you shop over 25 euros. Just get your taxes (15 percent) back at the airport! 8. LAVA TUBE CAVESIf you think the Blue Mountains are beautiful (25 minutes drive from Reykjavik), wait to explore the hidden world underneath them. All over Iceland lava tubes from the volcanoes have created a huge cave system. The Leiðarendi cave (3000 years old, means “the dead end”) we climbed down into, looked like a castle made of icicles and lava. And from time to time I even had to crawl on my belly from one “room” to another. 9. SNORKELING BETWEEN THE CONTINENTSYeah! It´s minus 19 outside and we go snorkeling! Sounds weird, but the Silfra fissure in the Pinvellir National Park got voted under the top ten dive and snorkeling sites in the world. So we just had to try it! The Silfra fissure is actually a crack between the North American and Eurasian continents, which drift apart about 2 cm per year. So you basically snorkel between Europe and America! There are even places where you can touch both continents at the same time. The second reason the Silfra fissure is so special: The visibility is over 100 meters and I´ve never seen so many different shades of green and blue in my life. The water (about 3 degrees) comes from the nearby Langjökull glacier and needs up to 100 years until it reaches the Silfra fissure – this works like a perfect natural filter. The dry suit will not let the water run inside, they told me. Well, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t…The Silfra fissure doesn’t look special at all from outside, but wait until you jump in!So this is how snorkeling between America and Europe looks like (the picture above is by Arctic Adventures). My underwater camera was dead from the first second it touched the icy water. We stayed inside for about 40 minutes and when we walked out, the boys had icicles in their beards and I had icicles on my lashes. But we felt pretty cool to be honest…10. REYKJAVIKReykjavik is the world’s northernmost capital but I promise you will not feel cold at all. Why? To get from one bar to another you just have to cross the Laugavegur street (well, the good looking guys are also a reason). And there are a lot of nice places to have a drink at . My suggestions: Cava (pictures below) is a bar upstairs and a restaurant downstairs, Kaffibarrinn is famous for it’s famous people hanging around there, Micro Bar has it’s own brewery, Kaldi Bar spreads some kind of industrial charme and you can do you laundry and have a brunch at the Laundromat Cafe. Try Reykavik’s most famous hotdog at Beajarins Beztu Pylsur! The super modern concert hall Harpa has become a landmark of the city. Another special thing to visit: Phallusmuseum where you can find over 280 animal penises. You can book all these tours with Arctic Adventures! Lava caving and snorkeling are available from 189 euros per person as a combo, a Golden Circle safari from 300 euros, glacier hiking & ice climbing from 131 euros. Fly to Iceland with WOW air starting from 59 euros per ticket!