The spectacular city of Dubrovnik - nicknamed the Pearl of the Adriatic Sea and established in the oh-not-so-distant seventh century, is home to a sea port of azure-blue waters, happy friendly locals and Croatian wine not to be missed. Since Dubrovnik juts into the sea and is surrounded by thick medieval walls, it provides the perfect haven of traffic-less and cobblestoned Old Town to satisfy the history buff while pristine beaches and clear waters thrill the sun seeker. Oh and did I mention that it’s the location for filming the King’s Landing scenes in Game of Thrones? (here's a link to a self-guided tour so you can check out the spots yourself).
While you're visiting this part of Croatia, we recommend the necessary things to do in Dubrovnik to get the most out of your visit plus some restaurant and bar recommendations for the foodie and socialite!
Having established ourselves as bona fide Granada locals by now, we felt the need to update our original Top 5 Guide to Granada with even more insider tips on all the newly opened bars and discovered restaurants we've found during our year of this city so far.
These are spots we've discovered that are each special in their own right: Looking for a bite to eat during the siesta hours and everything seems closed? Or aching for a spot of wine tasting while learning about the local wines with a talented Sommelier? We cover it all here:
We list the necessary 'Things to Do' while you're spending time in Granada, and we're sticking by that advice, but here are some updates on those and a few others we've found in the meantime:
If you're looking for some beauty services while you're in town or a day gym pass to work off the extra calories that come with a holiday, here are the best ones we've found:
We're obsessed right now with Santorini, that beautiful little Greek island (actually, multiple islands) with exquisite sunset views, perfect whitewashed houses and lapis lazuli waters surrounding volcanic formations that compose the islands.
So once-upon-a-time, many volcanic eruptions occurred over and over again, creating, destroying, building back up again and forcing more collapse until out of it all, finally, came Santorini; a group of islands in Greece comprising of a still-active volcano, in the southernmost part of Cyclades (the full circle of Greek islands in the Aegean). The caldera is the big, sea-filled crater left by volcanic activity throughout the ages and creates the backdrop for many the beautiful views you'll see from towns, cliffs and overlooks on Santorini.
The best time to visit these islands is from June through September with the edge months being the best in my opinion to catch the heat of the sun but sometimes beat the crowds of the true high season. And September has the bonus of having heated up the sea sufficiently so you barely notice the temperature difference between air and sky! (Sorry, dad, I know you love a bit of shocking cold water!)
Firá is the capital of Santorini - the place to find your grocery stores, a myriad of cafés and restaurants and the spot to party into the wee hours. Surrounded by vineyards and filled with whitewashed cubic dwellings, it overlooks the azure Aegean sea, allowing many a luxurious hotel to build infinity pools seemingly stretching out into the sea, balconies on the edge of cliffs and the most picturesque dining views.
Firostefani and Imerovigli are nearby Firá but maintain their seclusive and relaxing vibe. Just hop over to Firá when you need to inject a bit of nightlife into your holiday!
Oia seems like the perfect spot to stay if you are looking for the best sunset views, relaxing atmosphere (although touristy) and amazing restaurants. Not many shops here but oh! the luxury in these high-end hotels is impressive!
The towns of Perissa, Perivolos and Kamari don't have vistas toward the scenic volcano but instead contain the best beaches you'll find on Santorini.
So you have your choices laid out for you of where to stay when you get to Santorini according to what's most important to you on your holidays: Will it be scenery, buzz or beach?
Our #TTOT chat (Travel Talk on Twitter) posed an interesting question (by @SonjaSwissLife) to the enthusiastic, constant-itchy-feet, world-travelling participants: "Predict the next big destination and why?"
What did this group have to say about it? They come from all over the world and travel it regularly, criss-crossing the globe to experience as much adventure as possible so better listen quick to these suggestions as if the experts say it's gonna get big, then you don't have much time before EVERYONE soon gets in on the terribly-kept secret...
First on our list of destinations that are blowing up is Iceland suggested by @MalloryOnTravel & @SonjaSwissLife, and here's why:
Party scene: You'll surely know some friends who have already hopped over to Reykjavik for a stag do (personally haven't heard of any hens there yet but I'm sure they're coming) to take advantage of the kroner, the craft liquors and thumping nightlife. Here are some must-see bars we recommend:
In the news: Remember we all were made very aware of this little island when in 2010, its impossibly-named Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted and created an ash cloud that disrupted millions of travellers' air journeys when about 20 countries closed their airspace for a period of 6 days.
Football & fan prowess: Even more recently, we applauded Iceland, an island of ~330,000 inhabitants, when their national football team beat England 2-1 to make it to the quarter-finals of the Euros 2016 (where they then lost to hosts, France). Matching the team in statistics, the Icelandic fans had some of their own: that 10% of their population bought stadium tickets to watch their team advance and an astonishing 99.8% of Iceland's TV-audience tuned in to watch the final match. To put that into actual numbers: just 298 individual viewers in the entire country were tuned to channels not showing the game. So when you visit Iceland next, you should definitely congratulate them on their impressive skills on the football field and in the fan seats!
It's time to present you, our lovely readers, with yet another stellar Concierge99 local expert. We've met yoga instructors, personal stylists and now I'd like to introduce you to a private chef: Mouhoub is a very experienced, multilingual chef in London catering to events ranging from an intimate meal for two to a large dinner party for a group of 50. Think of any kind of cuisine you'd like and Mouhoub can deliver - whether it's Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Middle Eastern, Italian, you name it! And don't worry about the language barrier, chances are you share a common language.
Book a breakfast, lunch or dinner party today and see what a fun and delicious meal you can enjoy with Mouhoub as your private chef!
As usual, we've asked our nosy, probing questions and Mouhoub has very graciously answered them:
Q1. How long have you been a Private Chef for?
I have been in the hospitality industry working as a chef for 23 years and 5 years as a private household manager
Q2. What’s your favourite part of being a chef?
My favourite part of the job is getting customer satisfaction by putting a smile on their face and that is the most important for me
Q3. Who are you favourite types of clients?
I had clients from every walk of life but all of them have something in common; to get a good service and a solution to their problem
Q4. Do you have any unusual skills when it comes to being a Private Chef?
I am a polyglot; I do not know if it considered unusual but for the job I do, it gives me an edge and makes my work easy
Siamac and Julieanne are avid world travellers, sun worshippers and enjoy sharing recommendations of treats they've encountered along the way. With this blog and Concierge99's Top 5 Guides, they can help you make the most of your travels, giving you an opportunity to find interesting and unique things to do wherever you are in the world.
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