27 May 2017

Travel Wishlist: 5 Dreamy European Beach Holidays


I need a holiday. I am sure most of you are nodding away or saying "YES, please" at this stage. With the weather being so nice here in England, as much as I am thankful for local Vitamin D, it's nice to have a little change of scenery. If you're not prepared to travel too far or if you're not sure where to go for a blissful beach getaway this summer, here is my travel guide to 5 stunning destinations in 5 different countries you will enjoy to the max. Pack your suitcases, don't forget the sunscreen and your passport... and we're off!
Since the day we moved from Belfast to the North West of England we've been frequent visitors to Liverpool John Lennon Airport. It is, without a doubt, the most convenient place to hop on a flight to Northern Ireland (35-minute flight - woot woot!). On top of that, it offers flights to many beautiful destinations across the world. When Liverpool Airport* team got in touch with me, I was very excited. Not only it is one of my favourite airports in the UK, I could practically walk through it from the check-in desk to the gate with my eyes closed (it is THAT much loved and visited, haha). So let me introduce you to 5 breathtaking hand-picked destinations I chose, inspired by the destination guide, where you can get whisked off to from Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
I would honestly go back to Gran Canaria in a heartbeat

It's been almost 2 years since our holiday in beautiful Amadores Beach and I couldn't recommend it more. It was one of the most relaxing and fun getaways I've ever had (and I made sure to remind myself about that every morning at 10am while swimming in the perfectly clear turquoise water). Combine that with delicious food available on every corner, and you are in for a treat. Lovely white sandy beaches are attracting many tourists and locals who come out for a quick dip and tan even-out session. The best time to "claim" your sunbed/lounger is 10am. Gran Canaria has a lot to offer in terms of "doing something" apart from lazing in the sun. Las Palmas is a vibrant city to explore, especially if you rent your own car or a scooter. Dunas de Maspalomas is a unique desert experience which is a must-do if you get to visit Gran Canaria. If you have never been to a desert before, make sure to wear comfortable footwear (flip flops might melt!) that will cover up to an ankle, sunscreen, sunhat, sunglasses and water. Speaking of water, if you are more of an all-I-need-is-to-cool-down-in-this-heat kind of person, AquaLand might be the answer. It's a fun waterpark perfect for all ages, and I will go ahead and say that it was the best waterpark I've ever been to! Then, there are also lovely towns like Mogan and Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria. They are worth a visit. 
I mean, Greece...

You guys, if you ever come across a picture of perfectly clear blue water, lots of greenery and snow-white building, 95% of the time you're looking at a photo taken in Greece. Whether you end up in breathtaking Santorini or stunning Mykonos, you will fall in love and will never want to leave. Zakynthos is one of those swoon-worthy destinations. One of the iconic must-do's in Zakynthos is a Shipwreck Beach tour. It's a 6-hour experience which starts from a hotel pick-up, followed by a 3-minute voyage to Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach) where you can swim, explore the sea caves and take hundreds of pictures. Smugglers Cove tour is fantastic if you'd like to explore the world-famous Blue Caves, including the Wall of Ionysos which is the deepest (over 14,000 feet deep!) area in the Mediterranean. Another popular destination to pop into is Banana Beach. That's where you can let your inner adrenaline junkie run wild. If you think you are not an adventurous person, you're in Zakynthos, which automatically classifies you as "adventurous" :) Hire a quad, a jet ski or hop onto a banana boat. Clear water, mouthwatering local food and lots of sunshine sounds like a great deal.
¿Podemos ir ahora {Can we go now?}
I wouldn't say no to that.

Every time I hear the word "Majorca", I automatically think of this old Russian tune which in English would go like this: "I hope you dream about Palma de Majorca...". I sure do wish I could dream about it every single night you guys. Majorca is yet another out-of-this-world destination for a perfect beach holiday. This dynamic, stylish and tapas-loving city that will make you swoon every minute of your stay. Alcudia Beach is the most visited (and biggest) beach and it has everything you would need to have a fab chill day. And if you walk down the wooden pier, you will be amazed at peacefully still and clear turquoise water - you will totally think you are in the Maldives. It's absolutely stunning! Shopping is also a big hit in Majorca: you will find everything there, starting from world's top designers and ending with unique finds at local boutiques. Another must-do is exploring Serra de Tramuntana, Majorca's beautiful mountain range, along with its quaint little towns and rural markets. I won't go into much details about food because I am going to get myself and you guys drooling in seconds. Let's just say, it's a foodie oasis.
Culture-rich Bari could easily be that sweet escape Gwen Stefani was singing about.

Italian Adriatic coast has a lot to offer, including this beautiful gem called Bari. It's jam-packed with Pinterest/Instagram-worthy locations around every corner and would satisfy the most "hyper" tourist's let's-go-explore thirst. If you are a culture vulture, you came to the right place. Basilica San Nicola, Citta Vecchia and Piazza del Ferrarese are must-do's in town. Old Town would welcome you with its brightly-coloured doors and shutters. Traditional Italy at its best. Whether you want to hop on a bike or make those calories melt by exploring the city on foot, you will enjoy it from A to Z. On top of that, there is a ridiculous number of pretty little cafés everywhere as well as a fabulous selection of restaurant that would please the foodie in you to the fullest. Bari Street Food Walking Tour is 3-hour gastronomy experience I would never turn down. The nearest beaches are only 30 minutes away from Bari in the area of Polignano a Mare. Rocky but beautiful.
Flight: Liverpool-Bari
I've never been but it's on my list.

Portugal is such an underrated gem. Algarve is well-known and loved by many globetrotters. And Faro, out of all places, has this vivid Cuban vibe about it. The Old Town has such must-see places like Arco da Vila, a 19th-century entrance into the city, and Largo da Sé square. The best part? Walking down the street and enjoying the delicious aroma from the orange trees planted everywhere in the square. Another must-do while you're in Faro is visiting Ilha Deserta. It's a deserted island with one of the most pristine-clean beaches in the country. Praia de Faro is another great sandy beach loved by many. One of the unexplored treasures of Algarve is a quint village Estói. It's famous for its beautiful azure and pink palace (Instagram haven for pictures, if you ask me!). It is now turned into an upmarket hotel with many parts of it open to public, including the gardens and the restaurant.  
Flight: Liverpool-Faro
* Collaborated post. All thoughts, opinions & recommendations are my own.

Hope you enjoyed this post, lovelies.
Being a travel gal through and through, this was an exciting piece to write.
I get a massive kick from talking about these stunning holiday destinations 
and channelling my inner Frommer.
Kudos if you get the reference! ;)

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Leave a comment and let me know which place out of these 5 you'd love to explore the most & why.
What is your no.1 beach holiday destination?
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