June 2017 archive

Karpathos island

Karpathos island

Karpathos island
Karpathos island
 
Karpathos island
Karpathos island
 

Karpathos island

Karpathos island
Karpathos island
 

Karpathos island

Karpathos island
Karpathos island
 

Karpathos island

Karpathos island
Karpathos island
 

Karpathos island

Karpathos island
Karpathos island
 

Karpathos island

Karpathos island
Karpathos island
 

Karpathos island

Karpathos island

Karpathos island

Karpathos island

Karpathos island
Karpathos island
 

Karpathos island

Karpathos island
Karpathos island
 

Karpathos island

Hotel: Alimounda Mare

If the first day of June already finds me on a Greek island, this is a sign that this summer is going to be great”. This was one of the thoughts that crossed my mind upon arrival at the airport of Karpathos island.

Even though I grew up in Greece, I never had the chance to visit Karpathos. With my family and friends, we used to always spend summers in Samos, where my mom has a family house there. I can’t tell you enough how happy I was, when the official Greek Tourism board invited me to join a group of journalists and gave me this chance to finally visit Karpathos island, take some photos and publish them on The Viennese Girl blog.

Things that I truly loved in Karpathos island during my stay:

  • everything about the traditional village Olympos.
  • the restaurant Under the tree in Finiki. The owner cooked for us something I will never ever forget in my life. It was one of the best dishes I have ever eaten: Crab Salad!!! To die for!
  • waking up to the seaview from my hotel room every morning.
  • a little bit of “me time” on the last day and discover the island on my own. I looked for green soaps made of olive oil to buy, treated myself twice with iced coffee latte in a cafe called Anoi all day bar in Pigadia (the town of the island) and ate lots of Yogeat Frozen Yogurt.

If you consider spending your summer holidays in Karpathos island, make sure to book your tickets with myAustrian Holidays that flies you directly from Vienna to Karpathos twice a week until the 28th of September this year.

And just to get you in the mood for Karpathos, watch this video.

I gathered a few extra travel tips that might be useful for your holidays in Karpathos:

Restaurants we visited in Karpathos: Mama Maria in Pigadia, Under the Tree in Finiki, Petalouda in Arkassa, I zoi ton Aggelon in Pigadia, Kafe Skopi of Manolis in Mesochori.

Car rental companies: BudgetSofias car rental, Makris Travel in Pigadia.

Karpathos Diving Center Dinos in Pigadia

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One week in Provence

One week in Provence

One week in Provence

One week in Provence

One week in Provence
One week in Provence
 

One week in Provence

One week in Provence
One week in Provence
 
One week in Provence
One week in Provence
 
One week in Provence
One week in Provence
 

One week in Provence

One week in Provence

One week in Provence

One week in Provence

One week in Provence

One week in Provence

One week in Provence
One week in Provence
 
One week in Provence
One week in Provence
 
One week in Provence
One week in Provence
 
One week in Provence
One week in Provence
 
One week in Provence
One week in Provence
 

In this blog post I would like to share a selection of photos that I took during the 5th, 6th and 7th day in Provence, as well as some travel tips that might be useful if you plan to visit this beautiful region in the South of France. Regarding my photos from the first 4 days of the trip, you can see them here and here.

Day 5: On day 5 in Provence, we swapped our rental car for two electrical bikes and went on a cycling tour on the “Luberon by bike” itinerary for 10/12km. The tour started on a little village called Les Taillades. If you like cycling, as much as I do, then you might consider to add this activity to your list with the things to do in Provence. From Les Taillades to our final cycling destination, Oppède le Vieux, there are signs that indicate the route everywhere, so no need to worry about getting lost. Simply enjoy the route and make sure to stop repeatedly along the way to take pretty pictures, as the landscape is ideal for that. En route to Oppède le Vieux, we crossed postcard-worthy villages such as Robion and Maubec where we had numerous photo stops. In Oppède le Vieux, there is a quaint restaurant called “Le Petit Café” with a colourful garden. You might want to stop by for a little break.

Next stop, according to our schedule, was The Museum of the Lavander. Here we had the chance to learn all about Provence’s symbolic flower and its cultivation and buy all things lavender. I personally loved the lavender tea.
We spent the night in the little hilltop town of Gordes, where we dined and stayed at the hotel Le petit Palais d’Aglaé.

If you are around this area, don’t forget to pay a visit to the medieval Sénanque Abbey.

Day 6: Day six in Provence began at the Hotel La Mirande in Avignon. We were supposed to do the check in early and head out to visit Les Halles market but I was captured by the interior design of La Mirande that had me taking more pictures than I should. As a result, we ran out of time and since the market is only open until 1.30 pm, we didn’t make it on time. Nevertheless, we pressed on with our schedule.

Apart from dancing on the famous bridge of Avignon, here are a few other things to do:

  • Visit Palace of the Popes, the biggest gothic palace, home to the Sovereign Pontiffs in the 14th century and stroll through the 19th century hilltop garden (panoramic view on the old city)
  • Visit Avignon’s bridge from the 13th century, famous fot its song.
  • Take the free shuttle boat at the bottom of Avignon’s bridge and walk along the chemin de halage on the Barthelasse island (the biggest river island in Europe). Enjoy the view on the bridge and the city.
  • Stroll around the old city: Have a look at the creators event: Printemps des ateliers in the Cloître St Louis hotel.
  • Shopping areas: rue Joseph Vernet (fashion, antics, creators), rue St Agricol, place Crillon, rue des marchands.

Day 7: In the last day of our Provence trip we crossed the river Rhône and drove to the opposite side to Avignon, to explore another charming medieval little town called Villeneuve les Avignons.

We explored the little town on foot. We visited St-André Abbey and its gardens and the Chartreuse of Villeneuve-Les-Avignon, in warm sunshine. Not so many tourists here. I would rather say, Villeneuve les Avignons is a quiet village but this tranquillity and calmness was all we needed in our last day in Provence.

Last night in Provence was spent at Hôtel Le Prieuré Baumanière where we enjoyed excellent food and wine that made us feel truly cosseted.♥

The Viennese Girl visited Provence in partnership with Atout France and Volotea

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Hotel La Mirande Avignon

Hotel La Mirande Avignon
Hotel La Mirande Avignon
 
Hotel La Mirande Avignon
Hotel La Mirande Avignon
 

Hotel La Mirande Avignon

Hotel La Mirande Avignon

Hotel La Mirande Avignon
Hotel La Mirande Avignon
 

Hotel La Mirande Avignon

Hotel La Mirande Avignon

Hotel La Mirande Avignon

Hotel La Mirande in Avignon was one of the hotels we had the honour to stay in during our press trip in Provence. And for me personally, it was one of the highlights of the trip, and hence I am happy to feature it here on The Viennese Girl blog.

After I’ve stayed in Royal Mansour in Marrakesh and on a private island in the Maldives (both experiences occured last year), I was thinking that nothing else would ever impress me again.

This beautiful mansion at the foot Palais des Papes in the heart of Avignon, La Mirande, proved how wrong I was. If you follow along on Instagram, you might have already seen the live stories and all the excitement we encountered the minute we stepped into our room at Hotel La Mirande Avignon. Once we arrived, we took some pictures quickly of the interior and in the beautiful courtyard gardens and then we headed out to explore the city. I will tell you about that day in Avignon on the next blog post.

In the evening, we had dinner downstairs, in the old-style basement kitchen, where we shared the same large wooden table with other hotel guests and some other foreign travellers who weren’t staying in the Hotel. The meal was prepared by Chef Séverine Sagnet and her assistant. They cooked in front of us, told us stories about food and their love for the local ingredients and we finished the dinner singing the famous children’s song Sur le pont d’Avignon.

What a beautiful experience to stay at Hotel La Mirande Avignon! I added this historical property to the list with my top 3 favourite hotels in the world.

The Viennese Girl visited Provence in partnership with Atout France and Volotea

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Visit Hallstatt with Vienna Sightseeing

Visit Hallstatt with Vienna Sightseeing
Visit Hallstatt with Vienna Sightseeing
 

Visit Hallstatt with Vienna Sightseeing

Visit Hallstatt with Vienna Sightseeing
Visit Hallstatt with Vienna Sightseeing
 

Visit Hallstatt with Vienna Sightseeing

Visit Hallstatt with Vienna Sightseeing

Visit Hallstatt with Vienna Sightseeing

Visit Hallstatt with Vienna Sightseeing

Visit Hallstatt with Vienna Sightseeing

Visit Hallstatt with Vienna Sightseeing
Visit Hallstatt with Vienna Sightseeing
 

Visit Hallstatt with Vienna Sightseeing

I visited Hallstatt for the very first time some years ago with two friends of mine. It was actually a very short visit, as our final destination back then was another little village in Austria, where one of my friends had a country house.

Since then, I have always wanted to get back to Hallstatt, but I couldn’t figure out how. Firstly, there is no direct train connection from Vienna to Hallstatt and secondly, I don’t own a car in Vienna (and don’t think I actually need it at the moment).

One week ago, after I came back from Karpathos, I got to visit Hallstatt with Vienna Sightseeing. Let me tell you a few things about my personal experience and hopefully you will  find a few useful tips over here.

The day trip began at 07:00am in front of the Vienna State Opera but Vienna Sightseeing can also arrange a free pick-up from your hotel. All the night owls (including myself plus many others that I know) might think that this is too early. But believe me: what you will see and experience during the day is worth the early morning wake up call. Just in case you stayed up late the previous night, you can always have a nap on the coach because it’s quite spacious and comfortable and the route from Vienna to the first stop lasts about two hours and a half (depending always on traffic). I personally preferred to keep my eyes open, admire the green scenery and landscape I was surrounded by, and listen to the stories of the English speaking guide who accompanied the group.

First stop was the Orth castle which is located on a tiny island in Traunsee lake. It was quite a short yet pleasant visit for photos and I took it as a hint of what would follow after.

As I mentioned before, Hallstatt is a place I have already visited once in the past but it managed to amaze me this time again. This time I did a few more things. Apart from the guided city walk, we went on a boat tour in the lake and afterwards we took the funicular which took us up to the “Skywalk” viewing platform to see Hallstat from the above and enjoy the panorama. All the activities were organized by Vienna Sightseeing. Of course you are free to choose whether you want to join the group and the activitites or not. Just in case, if you want to discover Hallstatt on your own, the guide will let you know the exact departure time and meeting point where you have to meet for the ride back to Vienna. I am just telling this, because some people are a little more independent travelers than others.

Overall, there was plenty of free time for photos, lunch and ice cream!

As you can see from the photos, the day I did the tour was a sunny summer day, which made the whole experience a little bit more enjoyable. But if you would ask me what impressed me just a little more during that day trip was the scenery on route. We passed by beautiful lakes and stunning mountain ranges, we encountered lakeside villages and all this of course turned out to be very interesting, from a photography point of view as well.

I believe that such an excursion would be ideal for:

-Tourists in Austria, who mainly visit Vienna and want to swap Vienna for the Austrian countryside for one day.

-Expats in Vienna (couples, students etc), just like me, who don’t own a car and want to escape the city, do something different and discover more from the spectacular Austrian countryside.

-All those who want to take a break from the city and are not in the mood for driving or organizing a trip for themselves and would gladly hop on a tour bus for a day of excursion.

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Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence

Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence
Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence
 

Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence

Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence

Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence

Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence

Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence
Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence
 
Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence
Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence
 
Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence
Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence
 
Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence
Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence
 

Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence

Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence

Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence
Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence
 

Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence

Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence

During our fourth day in Provence, we found ourselves on the road with direction to Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence. I have seen this 5 stars hotel in many different publications, as well as photos in social medias. Needless to say, I was very excited for this visit and see it with my own eyes.

Upon arrival at the hotel, we got to try a few delightful regional delicacies at the restaurant La Cabro d’Or. We have been told that the ingredients that were used for the meals were gathered at the hotel’s garden. After we finished lunch, we were invited to have a quick glance into the kitchen, where we had the pleasure of personally meeting and thanking the chef and his colleagues for this lovely welcome.

Although I would have easily spent the whole day in the hotel, there were two activities on our schedule that I didn’t want to miss. First, a visit to Les Carrières de Lumières and second, a visit to Les Baux de Provence Village.

Unfortunately, I don’t have many photos from Les Baux de Provence Village because our visit was quite short, and by the time we were there, the mountain little village was crowded and the light was quite harsh.

Afterwards we returned to the hotel. But before we left for dinner at L’Oustau de Baumanière, we took some photos that you can see in the post above, in the beautiful gardens of Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence.

Later on, at the 2 star Michelin restaurant L’Oustau de Baumanière, we were offered an 8 course dinner. This must have been the best dinner I’ve ever had in my life. It’s hard to describe such a perfection with words. You have to go and experience it yourself. After this experience, I am afraid I will have some troubles with returning to my ordinary kitchen, and I have already started considering taking up French cooking lessons.

We only stayed one night at Baumanière les Baux-de-Provence, but for sure I can easily imagine spending one whole week in this magical place. The next day was day 6 in Provence, a day we had to leave this beautiful property very early in the morning for our drive to the next stop, to Luberon.

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The Viennese Girl visited Provence in partnership with Atout France and Volotea

Restaurant Le Saint Estève

Restaurant Le Saint Estève

Restaurant Le Saint Estève
Restaurant Le Saint Estève
 

Restaurant Le Saint Estève

Restaurant Le Saint Estève
Restaurant Le Saint Estève
 

Restaurant Le Saint Estève

Restaurant Le Saint Estève
Restaurant Le Saint Estève
 

Restaurant Le Saint Estève

Restaurant Le Saint Estève
Restaurant Le Saint Estève
 

Restaurant Le Saint EstèveAll the restaurants we visited during the press trip to Provence were just excellent and one of those was the Restaurant Le Saint Estève. If all the restaurants I get to go are like this, I would quit blogging about traveling and style, and I would start blogging about food, haha..

And indeed, I rarely feature restaurants and food on The Viennese Girl blog, but a place like Restaurant Le Saint Estève shouldn’t be left out of my online photography portfolio. And I am glad we went for lunch at Restaurant Le Saint Estève and not for dinner, because If we had gone for dinner, I wouldn’t have been able to take photos because of the lack of light.

It wasn’t just the food, it was a combination of things together that made it so special: the decor, the view to the mountains, the people, the light and of course each and every dish we got to try. If you happen to be in the beautiful region of Provence, you should definetely visit Restaurant Le Saint Estève because I am sure you will love it as much as we did. We even wanted to go for one last time before we left, but it was unfortunately not possible as we had a precise schedule to follow, and after three days in Aix en Provence, we had to drive to Les Baux-de-Provence.

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The Viennese Girl visited Provence in partnership with Atout France and Volotea

Three days in Aix en Provence

Three days in Aix en Provence

Three days in Aix en Provence
Three days in Aix en Provence
 

Three days in Aix en Provence
Three days in Aix en Provence
 

Three days in Aix en Provence

Three days in Aix en Provence
Three days in Aix en Provence
 

Three days in Aix en Provence

Three days in Aix en Provence
Three days in Aix en Provence
 

Three days in Aix en Provence
Three days in Aix en Provence
 

Three days in Aix en Provence

Three days in Aix en Provence
Three days in Aix en Provence
 

Three days in Aix en Provence

Three days in Aix en Provence
Three days in Aix en Provence
 

Three days in Aix en Provence

Three days in Aix en Provence
Three days in Aix en Provence
 
Three days in Aix en Provence
Three days in Aix en Provence
 
Three days in Aix en Provence
Three days in Aix en Provence
 

Hotel in Aix en Provence: Hôtel Cézanne

On the 20th of April, I hopped on a Volotea direct flight from Vienna to Marseille. A driver picked me and Anastacia up from the airport and brought us to Aix en Provence where we would spend three fabulous and more importantly, sunny days. I wanted to highlight the word, sunny days, because one day before the departure, it snowed in Vienna which was a real damper…

I felt totally smitten with this little pretty city in the South of France from the very first day of my arrival and super excited to photograph this region as we were planning to stay in Provence for one week. Three days in Aix en Provence resulted in thousand of photos. Here I publish my favourite shots that made it to the final selection. The photos of this blog post serve as an overview of how three days in Aix en Provence were spent but let me also go through more details from day 1 to day 3. You might want to use those tips as a travel guide for your Aix en Provence trip.

Day 1: There was not much time at our disposal because we arrived quite late in the city. The first day in Aix en Provence, Anastacia went to a concert at the Jeu de Paume theater but I prefered to walk around (do you know how much I love walking?) and find the most photogenic places of the city. Place d’Albertas was undoubtedly one of those. We met afterwards at Place de Rotonde (the hot meeting point in Aix en Provence) and went for dinner at Le Jardin Mazarin.

Day 2: The second day started with a visit in the Atelier Cézanne. It’s a must for everybody who visits Aix en Provence, and especially for art lovers. I loved finding out more about the painter’s life and being myself in his studio, where he lived, worked and created art paintings. After that, we headed to the Restaurant Le Saint Estève but more of this I am going to tell you in the next blog post. Later on, we were asked whether we would like to visit Château La Coste or go back to Aix en Provence and continue strolling around the city center. I chose the second option. Yay! After a long stroll, we ended the day with yummy french crepes with butter!

Day 3: The third day started with a visit at the market. This is where I bought the straw hat that you see me wearing almost in all the photos. I always buy an accessory from the market everytime I am in France. Last year I bought a straw bag and this year a straw hat. (Next year, what? Stay tuned) We continued the day with a visit at Hotel de Gallifet where we had a look at «Les enfants du Graffiti exhibition» and met the owner of this beautiful space. Hotel de Gallifet was located next to Monsieur Chou shop, where we savoured mouthwatering small round cakes filled with chocolate, vanilla and pretty much with anything you can imagine. In the afternoon, we visited the Caumont Art Center where we checked out the Photo Exhibition «Marilyn Monroe – I Wanna Be Loved By You ». This Art Center was pure magic. I loved everything about it: the photo exhibition, architecture, cafe and restaurant, garden, interior design, everything! As a result, we spent a couple of hours here before we headed to the restaurant Le Môme for dinner.

In general, the old city is small, full of life and very easy to explore. You will find all the hot spots one next to the other. This is something I loved. Grab a map from the reception of your hotel, and go out to explore. To my surprise, there was an Apple Store (which is something we don’t have in Vienna….At least as of now we don’t!)

And now the best of all is that there is a chance for you to win two flight tickets, accomodation and a rental car to see Provence by yourself. How? Just fill in this form. The Viennese Girl blog wish you the best of luck!

Now, can I go back, s’il vous plaît?

Three days in Aix en ProvenceMore on Instagram ♥

The Viennese Girl visited Provence in partnership with Atout France and Volotea

Rue Saint-Dominique

Rue Saint-Dominique
Rue Saint-Dominique
 
Rue Saint-Dominique
Rue Saint-Dominique
 
Rue Saint-Dominique
Rue Saint-Dominique
 

Rue Saint-Dominique

Rue Saint-Dominique
Rue Saint-Dominique
 
Rue Saint-Dominique
Rue Saint-Dominique
 

Paris hotel recommendation: Green Spirit Hotels

Paris restaurant tip: Monjul

After visiting Paris again and again, one thing I can say with absolute certainty is that the 7th district is my favourite. Seriously, I have stayed in each and every arrondisement in this city and I am glad to be in the position to share my opinion regarding which area I liked more and which less.

Rue Saint-Dominique and the surroundings is the winner of my heart. This street has everything you want: flower shops, bakery shops, the cutest french cafes, bars and restaurants, and the cutest hotels in Paris: the Green Spirit Hotels. In addition to that, if you walk to the end of Rue Saint-Dominique, you will reach another one of my favourite boulevard, L’avenue de La Bourdonnais, which leads to the Eiffel tour.

The day I checked in at the Le Pavillon, I left the luggage in my room and went out to take some photos on Rue Saint-Dominique. A while later, it started pouring and I decided to retire to the hotel room to wait for Polina to come and have dinner with me at the Monjul

Monjul restaurant was on the other side of the city, and since it was raining we decided to take a taxi. Monjul was exactly what we needed for that night, a cozy place and great atmosphere to enjoy dinner with my friend and toast our Parisian adventure. For all of you who follow along on Instagramyou might already have seen the live stories from that night.

The Green Spirit hotels consists of 3 small colourful hotels in the 7th arrondisement: Le Pavillon, Amelie and Malar. We checked them all, except the fourth one which is located in Monmartre. They are not like the usual luxury properties that I often get to feature on The Viennese Girl blog. BUT they are an affordable solution for those who want to visit Paris, and maybe stay a little bit longer than a weekend, but don’t want to spend a fortune in accomodations…everybody knows how expensive this city is, and after all, you don’t go to Paris to stay in the hotel. You go to Paris to see the city, walk around and explore. You might also want to save some bucks from accomodation to invest on shopping in the french boutiques or on culinary experiences. At Le Pavillon we had a maisonette with a winding staircase that led from the living room to the bedroom. I recommend that you check out the white maisonette, and if you have children, look for a colourful room. I also recommend that you check the vision of the hotel which I personally found very interesting.

This Paris Fashion week from last March was filled with memories that brought a smile to my face as I am writing this. We met so many people who work in the 7th arrondisement and it felt more like we were home. If we forget that my French cell phone got lost (probably stolen) somewhere in Monmartre, everything else went just fine.

Every night on the way back to the hotel, we had the best view that anyone can have in Paris, again thanks to the amazing location of the Green Spirit Hotels. 

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