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Maria Spyrou

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Sri Lanka has no shortage of stunning seaside towns. One of them is Trincomalee, a beach town located on the East Coast of the country, which suffered greatly during the Sri Lankan Civil War (1983-2009). Nowadays, Trinco, as locals like to call it, has put its difficult past behind and looks to a future of welcoming travellers from all over the world. Trincomalee is a laid-back destination which is a lot quieter than the beach towns of Sri Lanka’s Southern Coast. That said, it is equally fascinating. We spent 2 days there. If you wonder what to do in Trincomalee, here’s our guide to Sri Lanka’s popular yet not at all crowded beach resort.

Do photos of super crowded beaches in Italy (or Greece) make you think that the script of a sci-fi movie is far more realistic than the notion that one can actually have a relaxing summer vacation in said countries? Well, we can’t blame you. We’ve seen those scary shots, too. However, it’s all a matter of where you choose to go and WHEN. The when part is easy. Stay away from beachside destinations in Italy (and Greece) from mid-July to end of August. As to the where, we’re here to introduce you to the three best beach towns in Puglia, the gorgeous region in Italy’s Deep South.

Most travellers to Sri Lanka tend to overlook the capital city of Colombo, eager as they are to discover the island’s treasures, such as its stunning nature and spectacular beaches. Who can blame them? Yet Colombo is really worth spending some time at. This is why we’ve put together a list of the best things to do in 2 days in Colombo so as to inspire you to sit back and experience the ambience of this vibrant city before starting your magical journey across the rest of the country.

Katerina and I have been travelling together for more than 10 years now. With the exception of our trip to Egypt in 2010, we have only travelled within Europe. Which is great considering there are tons of things to do in Europe. But, once you catch the travel bug, there is no going back. So, early this year, we decided it was about time we went somewhere outside of Europe. I wanted to cross the Atlantic to the Americas but Katerina wanted to fly over the Indian Ocean and land in Asia instead. She won. But why visit Sri Lanka on this first trip to Asia of ours?

When we were kids, our school teachers would go on and on about how Ancient Greek settlers founded many important towns in Southern Italy. All this sounded really exciting. For 15′ or so. However, as grown-ups and avid travellers, we were fascinated by the idea that there are still Greek communities in Italy’s Deep South and genuinely intrigued by the prospect of visiting some of them one day. So, once we decided to visit Puglia, we were determined to explore as many of the region’s Greek towns as possible. This is why we planned a 2-day Grecia Salentina trip as part of our two-week Puglia itinerary.

We don’t normally spend much time (or money) shopping during our travels. We prefer to spend as much time (and money) as possible on unique experiences we will cherish for life instead. Actually, we don’t particularly like shopping because it’s usually difficult to find something to buy that’s tasteful, authentic and affordable at the same time. And this frustrates us. However, shopping in Sri Lanka is one bright exception to this rule. With a wide array of smart and reasonably priced gift ideas, deciding what to buy in Sri Lanka was equally difficult but for a different reason. We had a hard time figuring out how much of this stuff we could actually fit inside our suitcases.

Perhaps you’ve come across it in another post of ours and know it already. Or maybe this is the first time you hear about it: we love bridges. Not only in terms of architecture. We first and foremost love bridges for their superpower, which is their ability to connect. Places, people, cultures. This is why we find Istanbul so fascinating. The entire city is itself a bridge. It connects two continents. Europe and Asia. In fact, it connects two different worlds. The East and the West. All along our 5 days in Istanbul itinerary, it was mostly this blend of cultures that we tried to explore. Ultimately, this was also what made us fall unconditionally in love with this unique and beyond words charming global city.

There is a dot on the map right next to the southernmost tip of India. Looking closer, one realises that it’s not actually a dot but a teardrop-shaped island. This is Sri Lanka, the precious hidden gem of the Indian Ocean. Less popular than other Asia destinations, Sri Lanka is an authentic island country waiting to be discovered. With 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 26 national parks and endless stretches of enchanting coastline, Sri Lanka has something for everyone. In this Sri Lanka 10 day itinerary of ours, we have included a little bit of everything the country has to offer so as to help first-time visitors get a real taste of the dream that is Sri Lanka.

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.