Archive of ‘Wanderlust’ category

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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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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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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Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris

Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris

Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris
Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris
 

Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris

Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris
Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris
 
Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris
Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris
 

Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris

Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris
Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris
 

Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris

Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris

Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris

Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris
Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris
 

Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris

Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris
Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris
 

The first thing that was making me super excited about Paris Fashion Week last March was the Cartier Press Event, and the second thing was the Afternoon tea at The Peninsula Paris.

Oh yes, here on The Viennese Girl blog, we die for little glitter and glamour, why should we hide it anyway? And Paris has a lot of them to offer, that’s why we also go, why should we hide it anyway? And all those things together always remind me the reason why I started this blog: to escape the routine, get access to dreamy places, and do things I’ve never done before.

It was raining cats and dogs the moment we stepped in at The Peninsula for our afternoon tea. Perfect timing to be somewhere indoors. Polina and I hunkered down in the armchair and indulged in delicious finger sandwiches and pastries. While sipping tea and savouring scones served with cream and jams, we took those photos. At the same time, we tried to be as discreet as possible not to disturb other people in Le Lobby, although it was quite difficult to hide our enthusiasm. The luxurious setting at Le Lobby, impeccable service, live music of the chamber orchestra, delicious pastries and two glasses of champagne, everything made a wonderful way to spend an afternoon in Paris. If you happent to be in the city, I would highly recommend you to treat yourself an Afternoon tea at the Peninsula Paris. 

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Corte San Pietro

Corte San Pietro

Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 

Corte San Pietro

Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 
Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 

Corte San Pietro

Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 
Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 
Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 
Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 
Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 
Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 
Corte San Pietro
Corte San Pietro
 

Shoes: Humanic shoes

The perks of being the owner and editor of The Viennese Girl photography blog (TVG) are visiting amazing places around the world, staying in amazing hotels and getting to know amazing people. One of those hotels and places was Corte San Pietro in Matera and the owner of it, Sig.a Marisa and Fernando Ponte.

I kept thinking again and again “This hotel property should be featured on the TVG in the category Hotel recommendations” . And here it is now, online on TVG.

I am not sure whether my photos can do justice of the beauty of Corte San Pietro. This place is way too beautiful! I tried to catch the beauty though. Having just only one lense, the 50mm, is not easy. I know, I know, I have to buy more lenses, but this is another topic of discussion haha. Nevertheless, I took many photos of Corte San Pietro, as I usually do with anything that I like a lot, as it usually happens every time I am in a place I like a lot.

Hmm, what should I say now about this beautiful hotel? I have more feelings than words can describe because it’s special, unique, one of a kind… I loved the minimalism, the attention to detail. And in general, I love people who have an exceptional sense of style and know how to decorate a place. I loved how they managed to turn old caves to a luxury boutique hotel. The Italian breakfast in the morning, a peaceful courtyard, our room the Deluxe Loft Matrimoniale, the view from our window, the umbrellas hanging on the door in case of rain, and our names in front of our cave, because this was our temporary home. Temporary, but still our home in Matera! Amazing place, as I’ve said before. It made me feel special and most probably it will make you feel special too.

The only bad thing is that we had to leave…

If you have the chance to visit the South of Italy, please visit Matera, Corte San Pietro and Fernando!

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