Travel Destination: Amsterdam

canal in Amsterdam

Amsterdam and its famous canals

Is Amsterdam the Venice of the North or Venice the Amsterdam of the South? With more than 250 canals, more bikes than inhabitants, a museum for everything (among the most unusual: the Museum of Bags and Purses, the Cat Cabinet, and the Torture Museum) and a vibrant architectural heritage from the Dutch and Flemish Renaissance… Where to start the visit?

Architecture building and river in Amsterdam

Architectural heritage from the Golden Age period – Amsterdam

In order to appreciate the charm of Amsterdam, we highly recommend to do a walking tour. Plenty agencies offer free walking tours and tips are not mandatory but merely suggested.

We originally booked a tour with Sandmans New Europe and ended up doing it with 360 Amsterdam Tours because we showed up too early! We followed Michael, the guide, around Amsterdam where we saw many places such as the Royal Palace, the 800-years-old Oude Kerk (“old church”) and the Nieuwe Kerk (“new church”). The tour is approximately two hours long and presents an interesting overview of the city while having a good time with the group.

Beautiful house in Amsterdam close to the canal

The Bartolotti House – Amsterdam

Walking around Amsterdam is a great start but jumping aboard a boat is even cooler! To do so, you can rent a pedal boat and explore the canals. There are also plenty of boat tour agencies to guide you around.

We tried Those Dam Boat Guys based on their great ratings and clients testimonies. Check their FAQ to have a glimpse of their sense of humor! On board, Jeff was our guide and he made sure everyone felt comfortable. Each person can bring whatever he/she wants on the boat (food, beverages, etc.) to enjoy the tour while discovering Amsterdam with its most unforgettable anecdotes. Isn’t it the best way to spend an afternoon?

Canal, boats and house in Amsterdam

Canal close to the Red Light District – Amsterdam

After walking and boating around the city, it is time to discover the rest of the town like a local would do: on a bike! Amsterdam is known worldwide to be a bike friendly city. For less than 10 euros (15 $CAD) per day you can rent a bike!

Find a list of popular rental locations by visiting I Amsterdam website. Once you get the bike, you can easily bike through the famous Red Light District, then go to the southern and western canal belts and finish your ride in Jordaan District.

Bikes on a bridge in Amsterdam

Bikes on a bridge – Amsterdam

If you visit Amsterdam for a very short period of time, do not miss the Van Gogh Museum, the Vondelpark, and the Rijksmuseum. Please note that if you want to visit those museums, we strongly suggest to book your ticket in advance to avoid the 1 hour (sometimes more) queue.

vegan junk food in Amsterdam

Vegan Junk Food Bar – Amsterdam

Looking for a place to eat? Amsterdam has a very diverse food scene. It is always preferable to reserve in advance when possible by calling the restaurant or by visiting their website especially for hot spots.

One of our favorite restaurant was the Vegan Junk Food Bar where you can taste a double cheeseburgers to fuel your battery. For dinner, we went to another vegan restaurant named Meatless District. This place is perfect for friends gathering because portions are generous and you can share. After an excellent meal, you can sit at the lounge bar and try their great signature cocktails.

avocado toast

Meatless District – Amsterdam

Wondering where to stay? During summer season, the golden rule is to book as early as possible. We booked at Hotel Casa Amsterdam which is located close to the Amstel river. This place is perfect for a morning walk or run.

Moreover, the hotel has a very cool rooftop called the Nest, where you can do a morning yoga session and then have a well-balanced breakfast. Above all, we loved the minimalist decor, the comfort and the large bathroom.

hotel room in Amsterdam

Hotel Casa Amsterdam

From Montreal, there are direct flights with KLM but to save money you can take Wow Air. From Paris, you can either go by plane or by train. The train station is close from where we live so we chose to go by train with Thalys.

First class and breakfast in the Thalys train

First class – Thalys

For the train, make sure to check prices in advance. Sometimes, the first class is less expensive than the economic class. First class rides are very comfortable, offer more space for the legs and include a complimentary meal. Are you ready for the departure?

Travel Destination: Mykonos and Santorini

2 women, the sea and blue sky

Oia – Santorini

There are a ton of reasons to visit Greece: explore world famous archaeological sites, enjoy a honeymoon, healthy and tasty cuisine, walking on sunshine, admire breathtaking landscape, the high level of hospitality, the safety and much more. Before traveling, identify the main purpose of your trip to make sure to do the most while you’re there.

Greece offers several options for exploration and enjoyment. As true lovers of food, wine and azure blue water, let us introduce two major islands of Cyclades region: Mykonos and Santorini (Thira).

1. MYKONOS
beach, crystal water, blue sky and boats

Ornos Beach – Mykonos

The adjective that would describe the life in Mykonos is hedonism. That being said, there is a bit more to do in Mykonos than chasing pleasure.  While there, you can visit the Church of Panagia Paraportiani, the Lena’s House which is a typical Greek home, and the Folkore Museum. Most of those activities are free!

There are several beaches where you can spend your day in Mykonos. Ornos Beach, located in the southwest of Mykonos, is ideal for groups of friends, family or solo. We did some of our favorite activities, which consisted of enjoying local wine, scuba diving for our daily intake of vitamin “sea”, and taking sun bath for vitamin D!

greek food in Mykonos

Bakalo Restaurant – Mykonos

During our stay, we went to Bakalo which is one of the best restaurant in town. Yanis, the owner, welcomed us with delicious food and made us discover Kanenas wines. It was love at first sight!

Mykonos has a CRAZY nightlife and we enjoyed every bit of it. Whatever the kind of parties you are looking for, you will find it in Mykonos. If you don’t enjoy packed nightclubs, avoid the Skandinavian Bar and head to Argo Bar for a more intimated but still crazy party time.

hotel and pool

Rhenia Hotel and Bungalows – Mykonos

As for Venice in Italy, it was quite challenging to find an hotel in Mykonos. If you want to have a large choice, make sure to book as early as possible. We chose Rhenia Hotel and Bungalows based on their very good ratings and also because it was located close to the New Port which is practical when you have to take a ferry to go to another island.

We highly recommend this place for the comfy Greek bungalows, the pool and the incredible ocean view. Greek hospitality is not a myth, we were welcomed by the couple owner who took good care of us. No wonder why their guests come back to see them every year.

2. Santorini
Greek Church in Oia Santorini

Ekklisia Agios Onoufrios – Oia (Santorini)

Oia, the symbol of Santorini, is the most photographed place on the island due to the breathtaking views over the Caldera. Even if the path is not marked, you can reach Oia by hiking from Fira, the capital of Santorini, just by following the edge of the Caldera (allow 2 to 3 hours).

We went to Oia in early morning to appreciate its oasis of peace, explore its pathways and visit its charming little churches. We came back at night just in time for watching the sunset while enjoying homemade ice creams from Lolita Gelato.

glass of wine and food in a Vineyard at Oia Santorini

Domaine Sigalas – Oia (Santorini)

Wine tasting is a popular activity in Santorini, if you don’t know where to go you can follow the wine roads, visit the Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum or book a private tour with an operator. 

As suggested by Lonely Planet guidebook, we decided to try Domaine Sigalas for its refined atmosphere. We had an amazing guided private tasting with experienced sommeliers and were introduced to 15 different styles of wines. If you are looking for a memorable experience, this is the place to try!

greek food in a plate at Skala restaurant in Santorini

Spanakopita – Skala Restaurant (Oia, Santorini)

We had notable culinary moments at Pelican Kipos and Skala restaurants. According to our taste buds, Pelican Kipos is the best restaurant in Fira offering a fine Greek cuisine. The terrace is a beautiful Mediterranean garden and there is also a vineyard for wine tasting workshops.

In Oia, we were delighted by Skala restaurant which has a terrace and an amazing view over the Aegean Sea. They serve generous portions of food, the service is attentive and the house white wine is lovely. We ordered most of the vegetarian and vegan dishes, everything was delicious.

glass of white wine at Kamari beach Santorini

Hook Bar Beach – Kamari (Santorini)

If you plan to go the beach in Santorini, make sure to bring a pair of water shoes to protect your feet from the black sand, your snorkeling kit to admire fishes, and around 7 euros (10 $CAD)  to rent a beach umbrella and a seat.

We went to the famous Red Beach situated in the historical village of Akrotiri but didn’t get the chance to go the White Beach. We also enjoyed Kamari Beach located in southeast of the island and the quieted Exo Gialos Beach at 3 km from Fira.

hotel and pool view in Thira Santorini

Evgenia Villas and Suites – Thira (Santorini)

Depending on the experience you are seeking, there are several sort of accommodations in Santorini: luxury boutique hotels, resorts, villas, hostels, etc. We had a wonderful stay at Evgenia Villas & Suites, loved the warm welcome from the hotel staff and amenities (pool, bar and panoramic view). Moreover, the hotel is well located in Fira, less than 10 minutes walk from the city center.

Smart Car Cabrio in the valley in Santorini Island

Smart Fortwo Cabrio – Akrotiri (Santorini)

To be able to visit at your own rhythm, we highly suggest to rent a quad (35 euros/50 $CAD per day) or a car (65 euros/95 $CAD per day) even if bus is the cheapest option (2 euros/3 $CAD per ticket). Taxis could be very expensive if you don’t know how to negotiate. This is why we opted for a Smart ForTwo and were extremely happy to appreciate AC when it feels 35C outside. Think smart and enjoy your stay 🙂

Travel Destination: Venice, Italy

Grand Canal Venice, boat, water and blue sky

Grand Canal – Venice

Venice (Italian: Venezia) is very famous for its numerous canals, bridges, gondolas, and urban legends of many of its inhabitants, one of the most famous of them, Giacomo Casanova. One thing we really loved about Venice is that it is car-free. Walking is an option to consider to get from one point to another otherwise taxi boats and gondolas are also very useful.

For an authentic immersion in this mysterious and magical city, climb aboard a gondola! A private tour is around 80 euros (115 CAD $) for 2 people but we found out that some companies like Ceetiz offer group discounts. Each participant pays 30 euros to share a gondola with a maximum of 5 other passengers for a duration of 30 minutes which sounds pretty fair.

bridge, canal and water in Venice

Bridge and Canal – Venice

We saw thousands of impressive spots simply from wandering around the streets. Venice is truly an open-air museum. For example, after crossing over the Rialto Bridge and passing along the Rialto Market, we saw the recent modern piece of art Support by Lorenzo Quinn.

We were touched by the meaning of this artwork representing two hands emerging from water and holding the Ca’ Sagredo luxury hotel. The artist highlights the rising sea level caused by climate change. This is particularly relevant for Venice which is concerned by the ocean level rise.

two hands holding a bulding in Venice

Support by Lorenzo Quinn – Venice

Among our favorites sightseeing, let’s talk about Piazza San Marco and Saint Mark’s Basilica. For those who like to take pictures with nobody around, be aware that there are a lot of people so the best way to avoid the crowd is to be there at the sunrise…

Place with people walking around in Venice

Piazza San Marco – Venice

Saint Mark’s Basilica – Venice

The entrance of St Mark’s Basilica is free so the queue is very long before entering into the Cathedral. Your two choices to save time is to opt for a guided tour or to book your reserved access “skip the line entry” on Venetoinside portal. This service costs 2 euros (3 CAD $) per person and is available from April 1st to November 2nd. Moreover, the online reservation can be made up to 10 minutes before the chosen visiting time.

We highly recommend to visit the Saint Mark’s Museum (entrance fee: 5 euros/7 CAD $) to be able to admire the Basilica from above, access the external lodge and capture new details. During the visit, you will learn about the techniques used in laying the precious mosaics and contemplate the four original bronze Horses of Saint Mark’s Basilica which came to Venice from Constantinople.

St Mark's Basilica church in Venice

Saint Mark’s Basilica – Venice

4 horses in a basilica

The Horses of Saint Mark’s Basilica – Venice

After long walks in the city, reward yourself with an Italian gelato! Make sure to try one of those two artisanal spots: Suso Gelatoteca in San Marco and Gelateria Alaska in Santa Croce. If you crave for a pizza, note that it’s not a Venetian specialty but we were able to eat delicious vegan pizza at Pizzeria Il Refolo in Santa Croce and at Pizzeria L’Angelo in San Marco.

gelato ice cream in Venice

Suso Gelatoteca – Venice

A perfect way to end a day in Venice is to opt for one of the many classical music concerts. We booked with Virtuosi di Venezia located close to the Saint Mark’s Basilica and we assisted to a representation of the 4 seasons of Vivaldi.

Also, if you are wondering where to stay in Venice, we suggest you to book a central location hotel even if It can be quite challenging. In fact, many hotel in Central Venice have been built few centuries ago, which make them very charming but not cozy.

We stayed at Ca’Mariele luxury apartment hotel, which is located 10 minutes walk from the Piazza San Marco. The location is ideal to visit the main city attractions cited above and places such as Scuola Grande di San Rocco or Gallerie dell’Academia just to mention of few. At the hotel, the rooms are very spacious (which can be quite rare in Venice) and we got a 2 floors luminous apartment with a lovely bathroom and bedroom.

luxury apartment hotel

Ca’ Mariele – Venice

Since Venice is a destination constantly on demand, it’s pretty easy to find good flight ticket deals and even more if your travel dates are flexible. At the departure from Paris, we chose to flight with EasyJet but did not get the chance to experience their brand new A320 NEO aircraft. If you arrive from Montreal, Air Transat offers direct flights at a fair price. Have a good trip!

Travel Destination: Algarve, Portugal

black lady travel blogger at Praia de Marinha Algavre Portugal

Praia de Marinha – Algarve

When we went to Lisbon for the first time two years ago, we totally fell in love with Portugal and made the promise to visit others parts in this country down the line. Back in June, we decided to visit Algarve, the southernmost region of continental Portugal.

Algarve is very famous for its impressive cliffs and its marvelous beaches such as Praia da Marinha which has been ranked one of the best beaches in Europe. Thanks to its breathtaking landscape, Algarve is the most popular tourist destination in Portugal.

blue sky, blue water and cliffs in Algarve Portugal

Praia da Marinha – Algarve

To explore what the region has best to offer, a number of operator tours propose activities and packages to admire the must-see places. For example, Carvoeiro Caves agency invites you to sail from Carvoeiro  to the famous Benagil cave going through breathtaking Praia da Marinha. After the tour, we recommend you to try A Marisqueira restaurant specialized in sea food and grilled dishes located about 500m up the main road east of Carvoeiro beach.

We chose Islands 4 You which is a new company offering boat tours in the Ria Formosa Natural Park and its incredible islands to visit the area. During the boat tour, we sail around secluded beautiful islands and stopped at Deserta, Farol, Culatra, and Armona.

Once the anchor dropped, we had a time window to visit the villages or take a swim in the crystal clear water. Each island has restaurants and bars offering local and international cuisine. In Armona, we went to Tolinhas restaurant specialized in sea food. Everything was so fresh and delicious that we forgot to watch the clock and were about to miss the boat departure (this is what happens when you are a foodie!)…

During the tour, we learned that the Ria Formosa Natural Park is the most important wildlife sanctuary in the Algarve and plays a considerable role in the conservation of the flora and fauna. With over 170 km², the park is a stopping place for different birds during the spring and autumn migratory periods. If you are a nature lover, you will definitely enjoy yourself there!

crystal clear water and white sands Algarve Portugal

Ilha da Culatra – Algarve

Mosaic Armona

Mosaic in Armona – Algarve

The capital of the region is Faro which is best known for its cultural, artistic, and night life. The best way to visit the city is by foot while admiring the paved street and discover hidden beauties. In order to go back in time, walk around the charming well-preserved Old Town and visit the Cathedral of Faro (Sé de Faro in Portuguese).

Moreover, don’t miss the Municipal Museum of Faro where the archaeological collection is the most significant, with artifacts from pre-historical, roman, and medieval periods. Among the famous objects, you will find the busts of Emperor Hadrian and Agrippina the Younger.

Museum with inside garden in Faro

Municipal Museum of Faro – Algarve

Street of Faro and blue sky

Street of Faro – Algarve

To make the best of our stay, we opted for a central location in Faro and used hotels.com to book a room at Hotel Eva for one night. We loved the warm welcome from the hotel staff, the great amenities, and the brand new rooftop. As luck would have it, the night we stayed happened to be the rooftop opening night and we were invited to join the festivities. Moreover, we were delighted to have this incredible ocean view from our room.

sea, blue sky and boats

Ocean view from Hotel Eva – Algarve

At the departure from Paris Orly airport, a lot of airline companies offer regular flights to Portugal  which will allow you to discover the Algarve region, even just for a weekend. Low cost companies such as Transavia invite you to explore Portugal at a fair price! From Montreal Dorval airport, you will have at least one connecting flight on your route and will be able to find competitive prices on skyscanner, cheapoair, or priceline for example. So, what are you waiting for?

Summer Great Escapes at Aventures Plein Air in Laurentides

nature, jeep car

Jeep Tour – Aventures Plein Air

Located in the Laurentides region at Saint-Hippolyte (50-minutes away from Montreal), Aventures Plein Air offers a full range of activities and packages all year long. With over 16 years of expertise, their guides are specialized in various outdoors activities such as water sports, snowmobiling, ATVing, jeep and much more.

In collaboration with 4-star Auberge du Lac Morency, Aventures Plein Air proposes several long and short term packages including meals and accommodations for a full experience. Among the summer great escapes, you have the choice between: Off Road & Spa, Laurentian Living, Corporate and Summer Fever.

nature, lake

Lake Morency

In partnership with Aventure Écotourisme Québec, I was invited for the weekend to live the adventure Off Road & Spa. This summer great escape is the perfect package to explore the Laurentians area, to take advantage of all the free activities offered by the Auberge (pedal boats, kayak, tennis, etc.)  and to pamper yourself at the Nordik Spa.

The package include a driving lesson, half day of quad or 1h30 of Jeep with guides, accommodations for 2 nights, meals, 60 minutes Swedish massage, access to the Nordik Spa, all equipment for the activities and much more.

 

massage room

Auberge du Lac Morency – Massage Room

nature, water, blue sky

Auberge du Lac Morency – Spa

The Aventures Plein Air weekend getaway was a great experience and I strongly recommend this place to anyone who wants to enjoy amazing outdoor activities this summer. I met a passionate and devoted team who took good care of me.

Moreover, the stay at Auberge du Lac Morency was relaxing and very comfortable. The area offers a stunning view which makes every instant memorable. Also, I had a notable gastronomic experience by choosing the vegetarian menu at the Auberge restaurant. From starter to dessert, each dish was tasty and delicious.

nature, water, blue sky

Auberge du Lac Morency – Pedal boats

food

Auberge du Lac Morency – Vegetarian menu

For more informations about the packages and activities please visit aventurespleinair.com.

Aventures Plein Air

42 Chaumine Street, Saint-Hippolyte (QC)

Travel Destination: Cuba

two persons smiling

Havana – La Bodeguita del Medio (Bar Restaurant)

Throwback to our last holidays in Cuba! Located in the Caribbean Sea, Cuba enjoys a tropical climate ideal for activities both in and out of the water. Discovering Cuba is to encounter history, to endlessly wonder at breathtaking landscapes, and to discover an unique culture!

Heading Havana,  the capital of Cuba, which immerses us right in the heart of the history sharped by its very famous revolution. Havana is principally characterized by its art and architectural heritage. Both vintage and modern, Havana won’t leave you unmoved…

Havana – Street Art

building

Havana – San Francisco de Asís Square

church, blue sky

Havana – San Cristobal Cathedral, Plaza Vieja

To mix enjoyment and adventure, we booked the Jeep Safari excursion with Transat to explore the core and historical values of the Matanzas province. Planning of the day : Jeep excursion in the heart of the nature, strolling at La Dionisia (the ruins of Old coffee plantation dating from 1820), snorkeling along the colorful coral reef, horse riding around the farm, boat trip on the river and much more…

water, bridge, two persons smiling, blue sky

Matanzas – Matanzas Bridge

Matanzas – La Dionisia

nature, water, blue sky

Matanzas – Forest and River

Also, we recommend to book the 3 Cities excursion which allow you to visit Santa Clara, Cienfuegos and Trinidad. We did this excursion during our first trip to Cuba in 2013 and it was incredible. If you prefer to explore the turquoise water, there are daily excursions aboard catamarans where you can relax and snorkel. Find more pictures of those excursions on our instagram account.

After emotionally charged days, what’s better than laying out on white sand beaches, while gazing at crystal-clear sea waters and recovering with drinking delicious cocktails? We chose to book an all-inclusive package with Air Transat which included plane tickets and hotel stay at Mercure Playa de Oro 4 stars resort located at Varadero to conciliate comfort and adventures.

pool, hotel, nature

Varadero – Mercure Playa de Oro

beach, white sands, one person smiling, crystal clear water

Varadero – Mercure Playa de Oro (Beach)

Anytime of the year is a right time to travel to Cuba! For more info about Cuba, visit Cuba Tourist Board of Canada website.

Vegan Food: 3 restaurants to try in New York City

2 persons smiling

Gallow Green Rooftop Bar (Chelsea, NY)

New York City is one of our favorite destination for a weekend getaway near Montreal (1 hour flight away). We recently spent an amazing journey in the Big Apple and would like to share with you 3 must-eat vegan restaurants.

1. Seasoned Vegan
vegan food

Seasoned Vegan (Brunch and Dinner)

vegan food

Seasoned Vegan (Raw Appetizers)

Cuisine: Soul Food (organic/gluten free options)

Menu: Brunch and Dinner

Our choices…

Fried Fermented Soy “Chicken” Drumsticks with Old Fashioned Pancakes

Pizza Quesadilla (marinara & vegan mozzarella on a flour tortilla, extra mushrooms)

Stuffed Avocado (sliced, pitted and filled with almond meat and topped with cashew cheese and pico de gallo)

Baked Mac & “Cheese”

Nori Roll (almond meat, tomatoes, avocado, onion and greens wrapped in a nori seaweed roll with side of peanut sauce)

Seasoned Vegan

55 St. Nicholas Av., Harlem (NY)

2. Délice & Sarrasin
vegan food

Délice and Sarrasin – Starters

Vegan food

Délice and Sarrasin – Main Courses

Cuisine: French

Menu: Dinner

Our choices…

Homemade “Foie Gras” (tahini based) with fig jam

“Cheese” (cashew based) Plate served with bread

“Poulet” Basquaise (vegan chicken legs slowly cooked with vegan chorizo, melted peppers, onions & tomatoes served with couscous)

Tagliatelle aux “fruits de mer” (tagliatelle with vegan squid, shrimp & scallops made of tapioca and potato starch with Mediterranean olive oil)

Délice & Sarrasin

20 Christopher St, West Village (NY)

3. Blossom restaurant
Vegan Food

Blossom Restaurant – Country Breakfast

Vegan food

Blossom Restaurant – Blossom Benedict

Cuisine: International (organic)

Menu: Brunch

Our choices…

Country Breakfast (tofu scramble with onions, mushrooms, spinach, tomato, and bell pepper, served with seitan sausage and mesclun greens)

Blossom Benedict (steamed tofu, soy ham, Hollandaise, whole wheat English muffin, roasted rosemary potatoes, grilled asparagus)

French Toast (strawberries, bananas, maple syrup and tempeh bacon)

Blossom Restaurant

187 Ninth Ave, Chelsea (NY)

Travel Destination: Senegal

Dakar - Park of Remembrance

Dakar – Park of Remembrance

Never been to West Africa before? Why don’t you start by visiting Senegal? Senegal is an excellent choice for a first trip in West Africa. You will be able to discover a diversified culture, friendly people and amazing landscapes.

The city of Dakar is well known all over the world as a host place for international exhibitions, conferences and entertainment activities. During our journey, we visited museums and monuments while enjoying relaxing time at the beach. For those who like to enjoy the night life, you will find a vibrant scene out there.

Dakar - IFAN Dakar Museum

Dakar – IFAN Dakar Museum

Dakar - African Renaissance Monument

Dakar – African Renaissance Monument

Dakar - Beach at Hotel Terrou Bi

Dakar – Beach at Hotel Terrou Bi

Dakar - Little Buddha Lounge

Dakar – Little Buddha Lounge

All along the coast, Dakar is board by islands accessible to the public by boat (cost may vary depending the destination) such as Madeleine National Park, Ngor and Gorée.

Madeleine Island National Park

Madeleine Island National Park

Ngor Island

Ngor Island

Gorée Island

Gorée Island

To visit others cities, the smart choice will be to take a mini-bus (12 to 14 people) available at bus stations. The bus is the cheaper way but it is very less comfortable. From the station Baux Maraichers, we went to the city of Saint-Louis.

Saint-Louis - Oceanfront

Saint-Louis – Oceanfront

Saint-Louis - Langue de Barbarie National Park

Saint-Louis – Langue de Barbarie National Park

Some destinations are not accessible by public transportation or it could take you too much time to get there. In this case, it is recommended to opt for a private taxi (do not hesitate to negotiate the price). This is how we went to Bandia Nature Park for a safari tour and also enjoy a race in desert at Lac Rose.

Bandia Nature Park

Bandia Nature Park

Lac Rose Desert Race

Lac Rose Desert Race

Lac Rose

Lac Rose

Let’s conclude on a foodie note to mention our favorite Senegalese dish: the Tiep Bou Dienn. This is the national dish of Senegalese cuisine and it is made of rice, fish, tomato sauce and vegetables. During our stay, we always ordered local drinks such as bissap juice (extract from hibiscus) or corossol juice.

Tiep Bou Dienn

Tiep Bou Dienn and Corossol Juice

For more info about Senegal or to prepare your trip, visit Senegalese Agency for Tourism Promotion website.

Travel Destination: Israel

Akko Sea Port, 2 persons smiling, blue sky

Acre – Sea Port (Akko)

Summer is about good memories, sun and fun! Israel gives you more than that with his unique historical and cultural background. We deeply fall in love with this country which is easy to visit and rich with his diversified population. We met warm and welcoming people around the country which makes the journey incredible.

Haifa Baha'i Gardens, nature, garden, blue sky and water

Haifa – Baha’i Gardens

Nazareth St Gabriel Church, terrace and chairs

Nazareth – St Gabriel Church

Tiberias Sea of Galilee, 1 person smiling, blue sky

Tiberias – Sea of Galilee

Within 10 days, we were able to visit a couple of city by using bus and train transportation: Haïfa, Acre, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Tiberias, Ein Gedi and much more. To prepare our journey, we bought a Lonely Planet guide book and did some research on Google. Also, we decided to book an apartment on Airbnb instead of a hotel room to embrace local daily lifestyle. Moreover, to be sure to have the best fares, we booked our flight tickets more than 3 months prior the departure on Air France website.

Ein Bokek Dead Sea, blue sky and montains

Ein Bokek – Dead Sea

Ein Gedi Wadi David Waterfall, water and nature

Ein Gedi – Wadi David Waterfall

Jerusalem Dome of Rock, nature and blue sky

Jerusalem – Dome of Rock

Kafr Cana Church

Kafr Cana – Cana Church

On top of the highlights of our stay, we have to let you know that the local food is delicious! It was very easy to find a place to eat but it was difficult to decide where to go. Most of the restaurants are generously rated and have good comments on Tripadvisor. Even by using HappyCow to filter vegan and vegetarian places, it remained a challenge for us to select just one! Among the restaurants we have tried in Tel Aviv, let’s mention Lima Nippo for fancy dinner and Benedict for brunch.

Healthy food, vegetables

Fancy Salad @ Lima Nippo Restaurant (Tel Aviv)

Food and drinks

Brunch @ Benedict Restaurant (Tel Aviv)

Also, here are some must-eat during your stay in Israel: watermelon and cream at any snack bar along the beach (this is how watermelon is eaten in Israel!), fresh made hummus (Ali Caravan Abu Hassan is the number one in Tel Aviv), falafel pita, middle east pastries and Mediterranean breakfast. Find more pictures on our Instagram account.

food, a person smiling, beach chairs and fruit

Tel Aviv – Banana Beach

Food and juice

Breakfast @ Camel Beach (Haifa)

pastries

Middle East Pastries @ Acre Turkish Bazaar (Akko)

For more info about Israel or to prepare your upcoming stay, visit Israel Travel website.