I was introduced to this restaurant by a holiday romance. He insisted it was the best place for seafood in Portugal - he was right. The fantastic but cheap food kept me here all evening, as well as the good selection of wines. It has a great atmosphere with a fantastic view of the coast. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in freshly caught seafood - a truly traditional Portuguese meal.
Estrada da Praia da Bordeira, Carrapateira
+351 282 973 119
Google map: bit.ly/KLjmj0
A majority of the time, this place is so peaceful you can hear the beach from a mile away. Sure, it's a campsite - but its only a short walk to the local village which hosts some of the most wonderful fresh seafood I've ever eaten. Sitting on the top of the cliff looking down at the beach below, I'm constantly remembered about why I love this place.
I've spent a majority of my life traveling around Europe in a VW Campervan, and the only place I wish I had never left was this wonderful campsite south of Bordeaux. It's a prime location for surfers, foodies and hikers alike. The weather is beautiful throughout the summer - and you're allowed BBQs. And what's best, the beach is only a minute's walk, and thanks to the dunes, you can't hear a thing of the (rather tame) beach parties in the night. Fresh fish it served at the local restaurants at a very reasonable price for such good French food.
Pembrey is made of up of 500 acres of nature reserve. It is an idyllic place, perfect for any family trip. In the summer, it is great for camping and has miles and miles of bike tracks through the forests and fields. You could spend a day in Pembrey and not bump into another human being. It's a wonderful location for picnics and exploring the abandoned WW2 bunkers. It is an easy ride, but the park can also be transformed into a dirt bike dream. Everyone is welcome, as the park is suited for any type of outdoor activity, especially riding your bike!
Before I went to San Luis Obispo I had no idea what I wanted out of life. I was young and open to anything. My education was in full swing and I didn't know where to go with it. It was only after a day in SLO that I realized that it was where I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I gave up trying to go into a career that bored me, and concentrated on my geography. Had it not been for this little coastal town, I never would have found my calling. Now, I'm 18 years old and have had all my offers to study geography in university next year. Whenever my workload gets me down, or I think I can't do it, I just think of how this place makes me feel and I push myself. I hope it all pays off in the end.
1039 Chorro St San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, United States
+1 (805) 781-2777
Google map: bit.ly/weP0fv
It might just be me, but I felt like Kings Canyon was the best place for me to get in shape. It's away from the crowds of Yosemite and empty enough that no one will watch you sweating and panting as you hike through the beautiful redwoods. It's a beautiful place, and the weather in the summer is always fantastic. I'd combine a trip here with a tour around northern California. I spent three weeks hiking, shopping and relaxing and I lost two dress sizes without altering my diet! Finally, the best point about the national parks is that they're very family orientated so there will be something for everyone.
I love Hobos. It's the only place I've ever been where I can buy vintage clothes, a retro bag, the wrapping paper and a card all at once. It's perfect for little off-the-wall gifts and is a hippy's paradise. The 60s theme decor works excellently and is very inviting. They also do a 10% student discount, which is great for us lot on budgets! If I need to get something unique and a little crazy, this is the only place to go.
Last year, my aunt and I visited Krakow to do our Christmas shopping. While there, we stayed just off the main market square in a neat little hostel. Every morning we were awoken to the smell of fresh food coming from the market below. It was the perfect place to find homemade, tasty foods and drinks for the family. I bought everything from honey, homemade wine to delicious handmade biscuits. It was perfect. The snowy landscape made the hot foods even better, as it warmed you from the inside out. I enjoyed it so much I'm hoping to go back next year.
The Rynek, Market Square, Old Town
Google map: bit.ly/v0TgXw
Boulders is home to the adorable yet bizarre African 'Jackass' penguin. Just a walk down the road from Simonstown, near Cape Town, Boulders is wonderful for picnicing, surfing and building sandcastles. I first visited this bay when I was about eight years old with my family and some friends. It was nice to be so at-one with nature, yet still have a family holiday. The boulders the beach is named after are also great fun for climbing and jumping off into the warm ocean. The only thing I would be wary of is checking around your car before you leave, just incase one of the penguins has fallen asleep in the shade!
I first visited Arvidsjaur when I was a young teen. My auntie and I went just after Christmas for our annual holiday together. On our first night we witness the Aurora Borealis from just outside our spa hotel - Laponia. Over the course of three days, we went husky sledging, travelled across frozen lakes on skidoos and ate fantastic local food. For those of you not interested in the Christmas side of things and just want a snowy holiday away somewhere peaceful and beautiful, Arvidsjaur is the perfect destination.
If you like colourful, cheap and unique things then head to the souks of Marrakech. I've been several times and have filled my suitcase every time. You can find items here for pennies, which you could end up paying triple figures for back home. Whether it's a multicoloured tea set, some handmade wooden boxes or a faux designer bag, you'll always find what you want here. Unfortunately, if you're not up for bartering then there really is little point in visiting.
Souks, all over Marrakech
The Cango Caves are a huge system of beautifully formed limestone caves that are perfect for an adventure. There are two types of tours that run. A standard tour, lasting an hour, that takes you all over. The other is an adventure tour that lasts ninety minutes where you climb through the system and its natural slides, the 'chimney' and the drum room. It's the best day out I've ever had and great for all the family. Not only will you learn, but you'll have a really fun time.
It's a wonderful little campsite right on the river. Only a five minute walk to the town - BBQs allowed, as are pets, children and smokers. The shower facilities here are better than any others I've ever been to in my life. I'd go as far to say that the showers themselves are better than some in hotels. The owners are British and cook amazing food. The drinks at the bar are ridiculously over-priced but okay for a few nights. They also cook pizza in an outdoor stone oven.
It's also a few miles away from a fantastic volcanic region of France where you can swim in crystal-blue crater lakes.
Sure, you get the awful designer copies and culture shock when you first enter the souks but it's full of the most delicate, pretty and (very) cheap products you could possibly want. For those looking for a slightly more colourful or cultured home, I highly recommend this part of the world - but I'd only go for a day or so. It can get overwhelming, but so long as you know what you're doing, you'll be fine. I plan on heading back within the next couple of years so I can properly kit out my home.
Central Marrakech - Morocco
Google map: bit.ly/mbyDKc
It's possibly the coolest place I've ever been. Sitting in my VW campervan, surfboards everywhere, drinking cold beer and listening to the ocean crash a few metres away - you can't go wrong. I made friends at this place that I'll have for the rest of my life. It's less than a minute walk to the beach where you can see that most spectacular sunsets and eat fresh fish until you explode. Although it's off the beaten track and basically unknown to most people, it really is a wonderful place where everyone will feel at home.
Situated in Pudong New Area of Shanghai, Century Park is by far the most beautiful place I have ever visited. It may be known as a park, but it is so much more than that. With it's sprawling fields, multiple flower garden, forest areas and a huge lake, it is quite simply wonderful.
I was quite young when I visited the gardens. My parents and I visited friends who lived in Shanghai. On our last day, they took as to Century Park. It's well worth the cheap entry fee and the best way to see everything is by pedal-car. For people who love huge open spaces, beautiful scenery and nature at its finest - visit Century Park.
Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai
Google map: bit.ly/iFw2mN
There are really only three things to do in Carrapateira besides soaking up the beautiful weather and stunning surroundings. A clear first choice has to be the surf. Right in the centre of town is a wonderful little surfboard rental that is run by a lovely young man called Alex. He speaks perfect English and if he likes you enough he'll offer to take you to the local break. When I was there, I spent nearly every day with Alex and his part-timer Josh. He took us all over the coast to these tiny little surf spots with no one else for miles and miles. The surf was perfect and so was the setting. It was every surfer's dream.
Obviously, after a long day of surfing a good meal is essential. Luckily, Carrapateira serves the best fresh foods than anywhere else I've been before. Although there are very few places to eat, each one is different to the other. In the centre of town sits a very rustic looking place run by a happy old chap who ensures that you pick out the fish or meat that you want. Everything is fresh but don't ask for olives as 9/10 he'll give you chopped carrots in a fancy dressing. About a ten minute walk down toward the beach is another restaurant, which also serves fantastic fresh fish and has a great selection of wine. If the waiter likes you there, you're guaranteed a handful of free shots and a friend for life.
Throughout my stay in Carrapetiera, I didn't see one mean face. Most of the locals sit out in the sun all day relaxing - if they're not at the beach. Very few tourists can find Carrapateira so it truly is a place for surfers.
I'd been in Morro Bay for less than a day when I realized it was the place I wanted to spend the rest of my life.
The three best things about Morro Bay are very easy to list. The first has to be the people. No matter who you are, what you look like or what you enjoy, they will love you. I have never had a bad day here and I've spent plenty. No one will ever put you down in this place. If you need to find somewhere, something or someone you can be sure they'll make sure you do. Never have I been anywhere more friendly.
The second has to be the weather. Here, you can escape the blistering heat of SLO town and find a cool ocean breeze but still wander around in shorts and a t-shirt. Even out whale watching, all you need is a light jacket.
Finally, you cannot fault the food. Top Dog cafe does the best coffee and cakes in the whole county and the staff will remember your name and your face even if you come back ten years later. My favourite restaurant is Taco Temple, a five minute drive towards Cayucos. The food is fresh and never fails to be the most flavoursome I've ever eaten in California. It's perfect for an evening meal but make sure you get there early otherwise you'll be waiting for a table all night! Of course, the little pizza place just down from Top Dog is awesome for lunch. The owner, a formidable woman, collects foreign coins and will always make sure you get something in return if you happen to throw one her way. I got a free slice of their excellent made-to-order pizza from their fantastic chef.
I'm seventeen now and I'm doing everything I can to ensure that Morro Bay is my home one day in the near future. It's safe to say that it is the only place I truly love.
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