Archive of ‘Wanderlust’ category

Ibiza

Ibiza

An invitation by Samsung Austria to attend the „Golden Hour“ Photography Masterclass brought me to Ibiza, a place I’ve never visited before, at the beginning of July. The Photography Masterclass was directed by Uli Weber, a German photographer best known for his celebrity portraits. 

Ibiza is, as we all know, a place related to night life and parties that last all night long. But we were not there for that reason. The goal of the workshop was to shoot the sunset with the Samsung Galaxy S9 plus phone and test the phone camera in low light conditions. July could not have gotten off to a better start…

 

On Monday night, I arrived quite late on the island. After traveling all day with a layover in Rome, there was not much left to do than go to bed immediately. My first impressions of the island at that moment were my huge, colourful hotel room and a fancy swimming pool visible from my balcony. All were hints to how much fun the next day would be. 

Ibiza

The next day, right after breakfast, we went on a jeep safari tour together with the Samsung Switzerland team. Mariano and Niko, our guides and drivers, made sure to show us around the non-touristy parts of Ibiza. We mostly drove around the west coast. We saw the island from above and swam in the turquoise waters of Cala Tarida beach. Later on, we headed back to the hotel for lunch, before we arrived at the Cotton Fitness Club for the Masterclass. 

Ibiza

The second day I had a free day to spend on my own, and I decided to use it by heading to Ibiza Old town. Initially I went for a little shopping because it was too hot to walk around. Later on, I walked up to the castle to enjoy a panoramic view of the city, and then down through the little streets in the old town. 

Ibiza

Unfortunately, I don’t have Ibiza tips to share with you, as I was there for just three nights (2 full days). The only thing I would recommend is to avoid the area of Sant Antoni, if you are not that into partying. I am sure Ibiza offers more than that alone.

It was a short yet nice stay in Ibiza. Many thanks to Samsung Austria for one more amazing trip. We love making #withgalaxy thousands of unforgettable moments around the world together.

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Finland

Finland
 
Finland
Finland
 
finland
Finland
 

Finland was not on my favorite countries to visit list for the simple reason that I generally avoid countries where temperatures are low for most of the year. By saying this I am actually referring to all the North European countries. But then of course, I wouldn’t miss a chance to visit Finland if the opportunity presented itself. And it did!

Last week I spent 5 days in Finland. I was invited by Ping Helsinki, the leading digital marketing event in the Nordics. The first two days were spent in Helsinki, exploring the capital city and attending master classes around the topic of online marketing and content creation. The day after the event, we took the train and went to Tampere. Tampere is a little town in southern Finland. It is also known as the Finnish sauna capital, the favorite activity of the Finns! I thought it was a great idea that the Ping Helsinki festival was combined with the post tour, because that gave us the opportunity to get an idea of how the countryside of Finland looks like.

Finland
Finland
 
Finland
Finland
 
Finland
Finland
 

I invited my friend and travel buddy Pauline to join me on this trip. Pauline flew in from Athens and I flew in from Vienna. We met at the Helsinki airport and went to the hotel together. And guess what! The weather forecast was for blues skies, warm temperature, and lots of sun for the entire week. Finland successfully convinced me that I was completely wrong! Yes, the weather can be warm in Finland too! I was such a fool to believe that it wouldn’t.

A welcome party was scheduled to occur a couple of hours after we touched down in Finland. It was to take place at Löyly, a restaurant located in a unique section on the seaside of Helsinki. They couldn’t have chosen a better place to welcome us to Helsinki. I loved this place! We did sauna, some of the bold and beautiful people jumped into the freezing cold water of Baltic sea. After that, we had a great first dinner in Helsinki.

Finland
Finland
 

For the post tour, we got to pick amongst four destinations: Tampere, Turku, Bomba in Koli National Park, and Ruka-Kuusamo. After a lot of discussion, we decided on Tampere because we thought experiencing sauna in Finland was something that we had to try at least once in our lifetime.

A few general thoughts regarding Finland: I found it to be a very peaceful country with very kind people. Also Helsinki was very easy to explore. Grab a city map from your hotel and go explore the city on foot. All the photos of this blog post were shot at our beautiful hotel in Tampere, which happened to be the highlight of the whole trip for me! I just love small boutique hotels that pay attention to detail, and that have beautiful interior designs.

Many thanks to Steve and Chanel from How Far From Home, Urlaubsguru, Ping Helsinki, Visit Tampere, and Lillan boutique hotel for making this trip happen! The people in Finland did an excellent job organizing all this and we were very happy to be part of it! Thanks again for having us!

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Rome

Rome

Rome

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

Rome

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

Rome
Rome
 

Rome

Rome

Rome

Rome hotel recommendation: Relais Rione Ponte

Dress: Longchamp

Jewelry: Pandora Shine

I’ve been to Rome a million times. So many times that I’ve lost count! It has been a favourite destination of mine for many years – a city that has always felt like my second home. Visiting Rome feels familiar – I suppose not only because of my numerous visits, but also speaking fluent Italian helps, too.

Despite all of these trips to the Eternal City, I have never been in Rome to see actual snow on the ground. On Monday morning, after two hours of exhausting flight delays, I landed in an Italian capital blanketed by snow, everywhere. Locals told us that this is very rare. The snow only lasted one day and afterward, the sun finally came out to melt it away. Nevertheless, the wintry chill remained lingering in the air.

This time I was invited to Rome by Relais Rione Ponte, a boutique hotel which partnered with Emmeotto Gallery to present the exhibition “Contemporary Experience”, a project designed to expose guests of the boutique hotel to stunning pieces of contemporary art.

The elegant location and refined rooms of Relais Rione Ponte on the second floor of a seventeenth century building were the ideal spot to showcase works of art by Italian and international artists in a sophisticated atmosphere. Click here for more.

Apart from the Siberian cold, that we obviously disliked, everything else was delightful.

During our three days stay, here are the restaurants and cafes we visited and loved: Ditirambo, Trattoria Lilli, Pizzeria Emma, Brassai Roma and Angelina’s cafe. If you find yourself in Rome, I strongly suggest you pop in for a visit; indeed, just the thought of spaghetti alla carbonara makes my mouth water.

And then, it was time to depart the Eternal City, to fly across the Atlantic ocean to the City that Never Sleeps — New York — followed by another trip to Berlin for the ITB and Hamburg with Pandora, the famed jewelry brand. Hopping from one international flight to the next, soaring over oceans and across continents, and checking in and out of hotels was all quite thrilling to say the least.You can say that March was quite adventurous— and my latest Instagram posts should be proof of that!

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NYC

NYC
NYC
 

That I would find myself in NYC at the beginning of March…not even in my craziest dreams! But then again, reality often surprises us pleasantly when you expect it least and often surpasses our craziest dreams.

This was my second time in NYC. A couple of years ago, a friend of mine and I booked tickets to discover The Big Apple. We spent one week doing sightseeing. We literally saw everything in Manhattan by walking down all the streets and avenues. In order to feed our curiosity, we even went to Brooklyn and Astoria because we never knew if we would ever have the chance again to come back.

Back then, I was the typical tourist doing all the touristy stuff and Instagram didn’t exist.

NYC

This time, I visited NYC with Samsung Austria for their new QLED TV launch event. It was a completely different experience. Samsung Austria always plan the coolest things. How do I know that? You may remember that last year I also travelled with Samsung Austria to London and Paris. Therefore I was more than happy to join the team once more and jumped on a plane to JFK airport that very Saturday morning.

I decided to fly to NYC three days before the Press event began. The first three photos were taken at Hannah’s apartment, the place where I stayed the first two nights. I never thought that I would ever have the chance to stay in an apartment in Manhattan. I don’t know why exactly but I felt like that this could only happen in the movies and not in real life.

I spent the weekend with Hannah and her family, and also met Reed and his friends. I couldn’t have asked for a better welcome in NYC. I also enjoyed a little me time and went for a walk on my own on the Brooklyn Bridge and then back to the hotel on foot.

NYC
NYC
 

On the first day of the press trip, Samsung took us on a boat tour on the Hudson river. Right after that, we visited the Samsung 837 Flagship Store in the Meatpacking District in Manhattan where we spent about one hour trying out virtual reality. We took part in interactive art installations, and saw a larger-than-life, three-story screen. It was actually a space where they show you how to do more than you thought possible using the Samsung devices. It’s a really impressive space that I would recommend you visit if you find yourself in Manhattan.

On the second day of the press trip we headed to the American Stock Exchange Building for The First Look Event. Through a keynote and various presentations, we found out that Samsung QLED TV was made for more than simply watching. Samsung aim to provide various TV experiences, tailored to diverse lifestyles so that every moment spent at home is a new adventure. For more details, please check this link here.

NYC

Maybe it’s not fair to compare and say this, but if I want to be completely honest with you I liked my second visit to NYC a little bit more than my first. Remember, it’s never the place itself, it’s always the people you meet and spend time with that make the trip so special.

From a photography point of view, NYC was overwhelming and trying to create quality content to feed the TVG photography blog, the IG account and the IG stories was quite challenging. As a result, there are not so many photos here. But you can find more, as always on Instagram.

NYC

Here is a list of the restaurants and cafes that I visited and fell in love with this time:

Cecconi’s Dumbo New York / Crosby Street Hotel / Sadelle’s / Morgenstern’s ice cream parlor/ Freemans Restaurant / Cha Cha Matcha / Supermoon Bakehouse / Keens steakhouseThe Butcher’s Daughter / The Standard Grill / The bar room at the Temple Court

Now that I found my favorite spots in the city (and got a little bit addicted to them)…can we please go back? My mind is seriously playing with the idea of attending a Photoshop course in Manhattan

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Malta Gozo Comino

Malta Gozo Comino
Malta Gozo Comino
 

Malta Gozo Comino

Malta Gozo Comino
Malta Gozo Comino
 

Malta Gozo Comino

Malta Gozo Comino

Malta Gozo Comino
Malta Gozo Comino
 

Malta Gozo Comino

Malta Gozo Comino

Hotel in Valletta: La Falconeria

Hotel in Saint Julian’s: InterContinental Malta

Before this year’s travel adventures start again, I would like to share a few photos and infos from my trip to Malta, Gozo, and Comino. This took place last November.

I have always wanted to visit Malta as far back as I could remember. So when the opportunity came, not only was I happy to finally tick this destination off from my bucket list, but I was happy to exchange the cold temperatures in Vienna for the 20 degrees in Malta. In other words, you can say this switch immediately uplifted my mood!

Upon arrival at Malta, a cab brought me to a beautiful boutique hotel called La Falconeria, I had a double room with a traditional Maltese balcony and views to the rooftops of Valletta.

It was midnight when I arrived, so I had no other choice other than to go to bed immediately. But before doing that, I took a quick glance out of the window in an effort to soak in where I was. I saw long narrow streets, elegant tall buildings, and picture perfect wooden balconies everywhere.

During the first two days, Mr. Vince Debono and I explored Malta Gozo CominoMr. Vince Debono was not only an amazingly knowledgeable travel guide, but he was also a talented photographer.

I would need hours of writing in order to do justice to all the amazing places that Mr. Vince showed me. And I am pretty sure I would still leave out some valuable info. So it’s best that you check  visitmalta.com and visitgozo.com before you start organizing your trip to Malta Gozo Comino. 

But what I can do is to point out a few of my favourite activities:

  • The boat ride from Valletta to the Three cities in a typical Maltese gondola shaped boat, called “dghajsa”. That was so much fun!
  • Walking around Mdina, also known as “The Silent City”.
  • The views of Malta’s Grand Harbour from the Upper Barraka Gardens.
  • Valletta’s old narrow streets
  • Lunch at the rooftop terrace of Ta’ Rikkardu, in the historic old Citadel in Victoria.

Regarding the accommodation, I spent the first two nights in a boutique hotel in the heart of Valletta. After that, I changed location and moved to St. Julian’s, where I spent three nights in one of the highline suites at InterContinental Malta.  For me, as a traveller to Malta, it was interesting to see those two different faces of Malta. Valletta was a huge open air museum recognized by UNESCO for its historical and cultural value, while St. Julian’s was in a more modern part of the island and offered nightlife and entertainment.

The trip to Malta ended the best way it could, with a dinner at the Paranga restaurant with a very good company. I savored great local fish and had a glass of wine!

A special thanks to Ryanair and Malta Tourism Authority for organizing this individual press trip for me, and for giving me the opportunity to travel to Malta Gozo Comino.  If you are also planning to visit Malta, definitely check out the flights from Ryanair here and the Malta Airport lounge!

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Crete in October

Crete in October
Crete in October
 

Crete in October

Crete in October
Crete in October
 

Crete in October
Crete in October

Crete in October
Crete in October
 

Crete in October

Crete in October

Crete in October
Crete in October
 

Crete in October

Crete in October

Hotel: Lavris hotel 

While I was strolling the streets of Paris at the end of September, an invitation to join a group of journalists for a press trip in Crete organized by the Greek Tourism board in Vienna landed in my inbox. Needless to say, I jumped in joy! I can’t hide my love for Paris, and at the same time, I can’t hide my love for the Greek islands as well…

What I am going to say right now may sound strange but this was an invitation I was expecting! Why? Because for the past 2 years, I had the chance to visit Crete in October and somehow this trip became a habit that I wanted to repeat every October.

Not bad at all, if you think that in many parts of Europe it starts getting quite chilly and you hop on a plane with Aegean airlines, that brings you to a place where the sky is blue, sun shine bright, and you can still wear sandals and summer dresses and go to the beach! Who wouldn’t accept this invitation, right?

Apart from the fact that in Crete, summer lasts longer, this island has so many things to offer to visitors year around.

Below, you will find a list with things to do, where to eat, and places to visit in Crete. Those are the things we did during the press trip and hopefully they are a great source of information or source of rough itinerary for you when you start planning your next travel to Crete.

I would like to point this out, that Crete is a place to visit year round and not only in summer because of its mild climate and because there are plenty of activities that you can do, apart from going to the beach. Check out the flights of Aegean Airlines that flies you to Crete here!

During the press trip, we did many great things but I think that the best part was kept for the end: horse riding by the beach (thank you Maria Lavdaki for organising this extra activity for me)! Our press trip ended in the most beautiful way and I was the happiest!

Thanks to the Greek Tourism Board, Aegean Airlines, and Region of Crete for making this happen! Very grateful to be invited to join!

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3 days in Amsterdam

3 days in Amsterdam

3 days in Amsterdam

3 days in Amsterdam
3 days in Amsterdam
 

3 days in Amsterdam

3 days in Amsterdam
3 days in Amsterdam
 

3 days in Amsterdam

3 days in Amsterdam
3 days in Amsterdam
 

3 days in Amsterdam

3 days in Amsterdam

3 days in Amsterdam

Amsterdam holds a very special place in my heart because it was my first travel abroad at the age of 18, and it was a trip organized all by myself.

Why to the Netherlands? I had a pen pal who was living in a little town in the countryside, called Gouda, and the plan was to spend one week with her at her place. Back then, Instagram and Facebook didn’t exist, and if you had a friend abroad, you didn’t chat online, but you were sending letters written by hand in order to stay in touch.

All those years, since the age of 18, I always wanted to go back to Amsterdam but it never occured. Until the day an invitation to travel to Amsterdam, while I was vacationing in Mykonos, popped up in my inbox. I was invited by an advertsing agency from Germany to join a small group of creative minds in Amsterdam for a photography project (look for #smartinstabattle on Instagram). How cool is that? And this is how, more or less, I found myself in Amsterdam at the end of September. I was thrilled to be back.

I thought I should write a few words from this experience and share a few photos from the hotel where I stayed, as well as a bunch of insteresting venues that you want to add to the list of places to visit for your next Amsterdam trip.

Day 1:  Together with the team, we had dinner at The Lobby restaurant. The Lobby is situated on the groundfloor of the Hotel V Nesplein and they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. I will definetely come back to this place for one more delightful dinner with candles.

Day 2: After spending a wonderful day with my friend Rebecca driving around the city of Amsterdam in an effort to take the best Instagram picture, I was quite tired in the evening. The best way to end the second day was dining at the Bar Brasserie OCCO which is located at The Dylan hotel in central Amsterdam. That was exactly what I needed for this night: Relaxed ambience, great food and a litte bit of me time. Next time I should remember to check The Vinkeles restaurant (located in the same hotel)!

Day 3: Although there are great museums to visit in Amsterdam, I preferred to spend half of the day walking leisurely through the streets and getting lost in the canals and in the bridges, before I caught the flight to Paris.

Amsterdam tips: Check Benji’s for Balinese vibes in Amsterdam, Van Stapele for the best cookies in the world, Corner Bakery for breakfast and brunch, and Kanarie Club for the best meals, drinks and bites all day, every day!

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Zagorochoria

Zagorochoria

Zagorochoria

Zagorochoria

 
 

 

 

 

 

At the end of May, I joined a group of journalists and together we flew from Vienna to Athens with Aegean Airlines on a press trip organized by the Greek Tourism Board.

I actually joined two trips powered by the Greek Tourism Board in the course of the last two months. Let me make it a little bit more clear for you.

On the first press trip we visited Athens, Ioannina, ZagorochoriaSivota, Parga, Paxoi, and Antipaxoi. After that trip ended, I came back to Vienna for a few days and then left again for Karpathos for the second press trip. Yeap, I am lucky, I know!

On the first trip, Athens was actually just a stop over, because there is no direct flight from Vienna to Ioannina. The two first photos of this blog post were taken at Grecotel Cape Sounio, where we had a welcome lunch by the pool. I loved everything about this short visit at Cape Sounio. The 5 star resort is situated in an idyllic location and has great views of the sea and Temple of Poseidon. They treated us to delicious Greek mezedes. We couldn’t have started the press trip in a better way. It got me immediately into Greek spirit and in the mood for holidays (although this trip wasn’t 100% for pleasure).

After the welcome lunch at Grecotel Cape Sounio, we went back to the International airport of Athens to take the flight to Ioannina (3rd photo of this blog post). We arrived quite late in Ioannina and spent the night at Hotel du Lac. Many thanks for the lovely welcome and dinner. If you ever find yourself in Ioannina and you are looking for accomodation you might want to check out this 5 stars hotel.

The next day we drove to Zagorochoria. Zagorochoria is a cluster of 48 traditional picturesque villages in the Zagori region. Here, we found very friendly locals who did anything they can do to ensure we had a nice time. This is something we have to mention and appreciate. What was the first thing we did once we arrived? We went for rafting in the Voidomatis river. Although I am not so much into sports, as you might have already guessed, I was excited to try out this adventurous activity. It was very nice and I was pretty sure that it would be so beforehand!

My hotel in Zagorochoria was the Aberratio Boutique Hotel. My room was very beautiful and the owner was such a warm-hearted person. My photos will give you a taste of how Zagorochoria is and what you should expect from this place, but if you need more info, please check here and here.

Now if you wanna know what I would choose if  I had to choose between mountains or sea, I would go for the sea. Blame it on my origin. My mother comes from a Greek island and I grew up in a city that was surrounded by water, Athens. I like blue hues more than green hues. I like to listen to the sound of waves. I like to dive in the sea and swim with the fishes (and sometimes with the sharks like in the Maldives). And after all, I am pisces. However the itinerary I describe in this blog post is for people who are seeking both: sea and mountains. I think it’s a great combination and you will definitely not get bored.

I am so happy that I had the chance to visit all those beautiful places and to feature them all now on The Viennese Girl blog. I hope I will always be able to show you more places from my homecountry, Greece, and inspire you to visit them for yourself.

If you have any question, please leave a comment and I will get back to you asap.

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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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