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Maria Spyrou

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Katerina enjoys driving as long as it doesn’t involve getting stuck in traffic on her way to work. In contrast, I am not particularly fond of it. Travelling by car or motorcycle stresses me out more than any other means of transport. That said, I share Katerina’s enthusiasm for a good road trip and this is why we often travel by car within Greece. The first time we ever drove abroad was back in 2014 during a mini road trip across Tuscany, which we probably hadn’t planned so well, in retrospect. However, we recently planned an amazing Romania road trip thanks to the lessons learnt from our past mistakes. So, here’s our ultimate guide to help you plan and enjoy a fantastic road trip in Romania, one of Eastern Europe’s best kept secrets.  

Do you believe in love at first sight? We do. Our love affair with Matera started the very second the existence of this ancient cave town in Southern Italy came to our knowledge. We don’t remember exactly when that was, but as soon as we googled Matera and hit the Images tab, we were hooked. We knew we had to visit Matera at the first opportunity. So, when we (finally) planned our long-awaited Puglia road trip, Matera (although not in Puglia) was the very first city we added to our two-week itinerary.

Romania’s stunning countryside, fairytale-like castles and fascinating recent history were among the main reasons we wanted to visit the country. However, there was yet another one. We desperately wanted to drive along one of the world’s most scenic routes: the Transfagarasan Highway. So, in an Inception-like kind of way, we decided to plan a short Transfagarasan road trip as part of our longer Romania road trip. Planning our Transfagarasan experience, though, was not the easiest of tasks. This is why we decided to put together this useful guide. This way you can keep everything you need to know in one place.

Who wouldn’t love to spend a day at the sea? Planning a Princes Islands day trip from Istanbul is an excellent idea for a relaxing escape from the city. The Princes Islands, or simply The Islands (Adalar) as locals call them, are an archipelago of nine islands in the Sea of Marmara of which only four are inhabited and open to visitors: Kınalıada, Burgazada, Heybeliada and Büyükada. Since cars and motorbikes are not allowed on any of them, the Princes Islands provide a peaceful haven away from the hustle and bustle of busy Istanbul.

During our travels, we always do our best not to miss out on unique experiences. In a strange way, while travelling, we are also more open to trying things that we wouldn’t easily try back home. I wouldn’t know how to explain this but it’s the truth. So, although there are very good hamams in Athens, we never thought of visiting one. However, making reservations for a traditional Turkish bath was among the very first things we did in view of our recent trip to Istanbul. But what happens in a Turkish bath anyway? We are assuming that many of you are sceptical about the idea of being bathed in public. We know we were. This is why we decided to write a useful guide with everything you need to know so as to enjoy your first Turkish hamam as much as we did.

Perhaps the most enchanting city we have ever visited, Istanbul is one of the largest and most populated ones too. We know from personal experience that choosing where to stay in cities of that size can be rather difficult. Even though we spent only 5 days in the city, we managed to get a clear picture of the best places to stay in Istanbul. Therefore, we decided to write this guide so as to help all of you who plan a trip to this city of magic make the right choice. Both in terms of neighbourhoods and hotels.

The hardest thing about being part-time travellers is not missing out on major sightseeing while at the same time staying true to our love for slow travel. Finding the right balance between sightseeing and leisurely taking in the local feel of the destinations we visit is really important to us. We have come to understand that the best way to achieve this balance and save ourselves loads of valuable time is by leaving most of the sightseeing to the hands of experts. This is why we are happy to have come across the best sightseeing tours in Istanbul during our recent trip to Turkey.

Sitting on two continents, Istanbul is an utterly magical and literally unique place. One could argue that Europe and Asia alike claim the Turkish city for her charms. It is a melting pot of cultures like no other. Therefore, Istanbul food couldn’t be any less fascinating. A mixture of tastes from both East and West, food in Istanbul is a vital part of the city itself. A touch of spice here, a sprinkle of sugar there and the mesmerising scent of butter make the Turkish cuisine one of the most diverse in the world.

Tasting a country’s food is definitely among the best ways to connect with its culture. Though it seems simple and mundane, food has the power to initiate us into a whole different world. Food is one of the most vital parts of any given society and it reflects aspects of a people’s history, traditions and lifestyle in the most striking way. At the end of the day, food is life itself. But food is also great fun. For all those reasons, we love tasting the world’s cuisines. This is why we decided to take a food tour in Istanbul. The meeting point of Europe and Asia couldn’t possibly have boring food. Therefore, we were determined to learn as much about the secrets of Turkish cuisine and the food culture of Istanbul as possible.

We’re pretty sure that the Greek Islands need no introduction. Especially the world-famous ones like Mykonos or Santorini. However, there are quite a few Greek Islands which have managed to keep a low profile and offer their visitors authentic and laid-back moments to remember for life. One of those hidden gems is Andros which happens to be one of our favourite islands and one that we know extremely well. That’s why we thought we’d help you plan the perfect Andros holidays by compiling a list of the best things to do in Andros Greece, an off the beaten path island just 2h away from Athens.