Category: Europe

WILD ATLANTIC WAY

WHERE TO STAY ON THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY

Posted By : wpadmin/ 36 0

The Wild Atlantic Way is a 2500km motor route along the Atlantic coast of Ireland.

Choosing where to stay on the Wild Atlantic Way can be overwhelming, but don’t worry, we’re here to help you choose the best accommodation.

There are hundreds of choices for accommodation along this epic road trip way ranging from hostels and B&Bs for as little as €20 a night to five-star resorts costing several hundreds of Euros per evening.

We had the chance to sample a wide variety of Wild Atlantic Way accommodation from hotels and farmhouses to castles and boutique hotels.

Of course, we can’t cover everywhere to stay on the Wild Atlantic Way. We’re only two people.

So if you have some suggestions, please feel free to leave a link and suggestion in the comments.

When planning our trip up the coast starting in Dublin, working our way across the country and up the coast.

We made sure to plan a route that included all types of accommodation fitting all types of budgets.

The glorious thing about the world’s longest defined coast touring route is that there is something for everyone including camping. So no matter what your budget, you can enjoy it as we did.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, here are Dave and Deb’s suggestions for Where to Stay on the Wild Atlantic Way.

THE BEST PLACES TO STAY ON THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY

We made our way up Ireland’s coast from South to North beginning in County Cork. So let’s start there.

STANELY GUEST HOUSE – CORK COUNTY

The Stanley House Guest House is located in Schull, West Cork. It has a spectacular view of the sea and is a pleasant and quiet setting on a hill.

It makes for a good base when exploring Cork with Mizen Head just a short drive away.

We only had one night at the guest house, but another couple had booked their stay for two weeks while they explored the surrounding area.

THE MOORINGS – COUNTY KERRY

marina
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The Moorings is located in County Kerry, the Moorings is an excellent spot to base yourself for a trip to the Skellig Islands.

It’s located just off the Ring of Kerry, so you can stay here and do day trips around the ring and make your way back in time for dinner at the restaurant. Owner Gerard is welcoming, friendly and passionate about his area.

He and his wife Patricia own the hotel, but also the restaurant and adjoining pub, as well as a gift shop.

There’s local traditional music in the Bridge Bar and in the summertime across the street, they have storytelling about the history of this fishing village and the Skellig Islands.

BENNERS HOTEL – DINGLE

Dingle Benners Hotel is located in the town of Dingle and it was a place we could have stayed for days.

Its charming old world feel is exactly what you’d expect of the Wild Atlantic Way and Dingle Benners is the place to stay.

This historic hotel is located in the heart of town and is one of the most luxurious in the area.  It’s also the oldest hotel in town and it is filled with old photographs and artifacts transporting you back in time.

DOONEGORE FARMHOUSE – COUNTY CLARE

breakfast

Doonegore Farm House is located in County Clare just a short drive down the road from the Cliffs of Moher.

Owned by Pat Sweeney, this farm is the place to stay if you want to explore Ireland’s most famous sea cliffs.

Pat runs daily walks from the town of Doolin to the cliffs. The farm is a working farm run by Pat and his wife Mary.

At breakfast, you may have the opportunity to meet his well-mannered kids.

His son was setting out to work for the day and we were impressed with his confidence and respect for visitors and his family. We don’t see such well behaved kids these days so kudos to the Sweeney’s.

DOLPHIN BEACH HOUSE – COUNTY GALWAY

Dolphin Beach House is located near the town of Clifden in Connemara and is an s an excellent spot to unwind and relax.

It’s another perfect place to base yourself on the Wild Atlantic Way. Nearby you can explore Killary Harbour, Kylemore Abbey, The Clifden Castle Walk and the Sky Road Loop.

Dolphin Beach House is comfortable and modern but is also has a homey and welcoming feel set directly on the sea, you can spend hours walking along the 14 km of rugged coast or relaxing in the quiet garden.

G HOTEL GALWAY

wild atlantic way accommodation bar

Located in the city of Galway the G-Hotel was as modern and chic as it gets on the Wild Atlantic Way.

It was Easter Sunday when we checked into the G-Hotel so there wasn’t much open to explore in the city that day.

If there was one time when we were grateful for not having to explore, it was today.

We were so happy to relax in luxury and bask in the opulence of our room. Our favourite part of the hotel was all the different coloured dining rooms themed for different experiences to enjoy high tea.

PIER HOUSE – ARAN ISLANDS

bed and breakfast

Pier House on the Aran Islands are a must stop on the Wild Atlantic Way and the Pier House is a good choice for Inishmore.

It’s located right at the ferry pier, or it’s a €5 return ride from the airport. They’ll drop you off and pick you up any day you wish to catch your return fight back to the mainland.

You can rent bicycles across the street and they can take you anywhere you want around the island.

WESTPORT PLAZA HOTEL – COUNTY MAYO

suite county mayo

Westport Plaza Hotel is located in the town of Westport in County Mayo, the Westport Plaza Hotel is a good family spot in the centre of the city.

It’s located on a courtyard with several restaurants to choose from.

There’s a spa and the rooms are well appointed and cozy with jacuzzi tubs and interactive TV.

SOLIS LOUGH ESKE CASTLE HOTEL – COUNTY DONEGAL

WHERE TO STAY ON THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY

Home » City Guides

Updated: August 25, 2020 by The Planet D

Where to Stay on the Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way is a 2500km motor route along the Atlantic coast of Ireland.

Choosing where to stay on the Wild Atlantic Way can be overwhelming, but don’t worry, we’re here to help you choose the best accommodation.

wild atlantic way accomodation pin

WILD ATLANTIC WAY ACCOMMODATION

Contents [hide]

There are hundreds of choices for accommodation along this epic road trip way ranging from hostels and B&Bs for as little as €20 a night to five-star resorts costing several hundreds of Euros per evening.

We had the chance to sample a wide variety of Wild Atlantic Way accommodation from hotels and farmhouses to castles and boutique hotels.

For more information on the WAW – Get your hard copy of the Wild Atlantic Way Route Atlas

wild atlantic way accommodation car rental

Of course, we can’t cover everywhere to stay on the Wild Atlantic Way. We’re only two people.

So if you have some suggestions, please feel free to leave a link and suggestion in the comments.

When planning our trip up the coast starting in Dublin, working our way across the country and up the coast.

We made sure to plan a route that included all types of accommodation fitting all types of budgets.

The glorious thing about the world’s longest defined coast touring route is that there is something for everyone including camping. So no matter what your budget, you can enjoy it as we did.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, here are Dave and Deb’s suggestions for Where to Stay on the Wild Atlantic Way.

THE BEST PLACES TO STAY ON THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY

We made our way up Ireland’s coast from South to North beginning in County Cork. So let’s start there.

STANELY GUEST HOUSE – CORK COUNTY

wild atlantic way accommodation ocean

The Stanley House Guest House is located in Schull, West Cork. It has a spectacular view of the sea and is a pleasant and quiet setting on a hill.

It makes for a good base when exploring Cork with Mizen Head just a short drive away.

We only had one night at the guest house, but another couple had booked their stay for two weeks while they explored the surrounding area.

THE MOORINGS – COUNTY KERRY

marina

The Moorings is located in County Kerry, the Moorings is an excellent spot to base yourself for a trip to the Skellig Islands.

It’s located just off the Ring of Kerry, so you can stay here and do day trips around the ring and make your way back in time for dinner at the restaurant. Owner Gerard is welcoming, friendly and passionate about his area.

He and his wife Patricia own the hotel, but also the restaurant and adjoining pub, as well as a gift shop.

There’s local traditional music in the Bridge Bar and in the summertime across the street, they have storytelling about the history of this fishing village and the Skellig Islands.

BENNERS HOTEL – DINGLE

wild atlantic way accommodation beds

Dingle Benners Hotel is located in the town of Dingle and it was a place we could have stayed for days.

Its charming old world feel is exactly what you’d expect of the Wild Atlantic Way and Dingle Benners is the place to stay.

This historic hotel is located in the heart of town and is one of the most luxurious in the area.  It’s also the oldest hotel in town and it is filled with old photographs and artifacts transporting you back in time.

DOONEGORE FARMHOUSE – COUNTY CLARE

breakfast

Doonegore Farm House is located in County Clare just a short drive down the road from the Cliffs of Moher.

Owned by Pat Sweeney, this farm is the place to stay if you want to explore Ireland’s most famous sea cliffs.

Pat runs daily walks from the town of Doolin to the cliffs. The farm is a working farm run by Pat and his wife Mary.

At breakfast, you may have the opportunity to meet his well-mannered kids.

His son was setting out to work for the day and we were impressed with his confidence and respect for visitors and his family. We don’t see such well behaved kids these days so kudos to the Sweeney’s.

DOLPHIN BEACH HOUSE – COUNTY GALWAY

wild atlantic way accommodation restaurant

Dolphin Beach House is located near the town of Clifden in Connemara and is an s an excellent spot to unwind and relax.

It’s another perfect place to base yourself on the Wild Atlantic Way. Nearby you can explore Killary Harbour, Kylemore Abbey, The Clifden Castle Walk and the Sky Road Loop.

Dolphin Beach House is comfortable and modern but is also has a homey and welcoming feel set directly on the sea, you can spend hours walking along the 14 km of rugged coast or relaxing in the quiet garden.

G HOTEL GALWAY

wild atlantic way accommodation bar

Located in the city of Galway the G-Hotel was as modern and chic as it gets on the Wild Atlantic Way.

It was Easter Sunday when we checked into the G-Hotel so there wasn’t much open to explore in the city that day.

If there was one time when we were grateful for not having to explore, it was today.

We were so happy to relax in luxury and bask in the opulence of our room. Our favourite part of the hotel was all the different coloured dining rooms themed for different experiences to enjoy high tea.

PIER HOUSE – ARAN ISLANDS

bed and breakfast

Pier House on the Aran Islands are a must stop on the Wild Atlantic Way and the Pier House is a good choice for Inishmore.

It’s located right at the ferry pier, or it’s a €5 return ride from the airport. They’ll drop you off and pick you up any day you wish to catch your return fight back to the mainland.

You can rent bicycles across the street and they can take you anywhere you want around the island.

WESTPORT PLAZA HOTEL – COUNTY MAYO

suite county mayo

Westport Plaza Hotel is located in the town of Westport in County Mayo, the Westport Plaza Hotel is a good family spot in the centre of the city.

It’s located on a courtyard with several restaurants to choose from.

There’s a spa and the rooms are well appointed and cozy with jacuzzi tubs and interactive TV.

SOLIS LOUGH ESKE CASTLE HOTEL – COUNTY DONEGAL

things to do wild atlantic way lough eske

You have to stay in a castle like Lough Eske.

There are many opportunities to stay in a castle on the Wild Atlantic Way and we got our chance at the Solis Lough Eske Castle Hotel in County Donegal.

bedroom

Solis Lough Eske Castle Hotel is an award-winning hotel that has the honour of being named Ireland’s best hotel, it has claimed the world’s luxury hotel award, and it’s been recognized as one of the world’s best castle hotels.

lounge

Dinner was to die for and rooms were so luxurious, you’ll never want to leave. If you are going to stay in a castle, this is the place to be.

ARNOLDS HOTEL DUNFANAGHY

slieve league ireland images

Slieve League Ireland – The Highest sea Cliffs in Europe

Located in the town of Dunfanaghy,Arnolds Hotel – Dunfanaghy is the place to stay for your Northern Wild Atlantic Way experience.

From here you can easily drive to Malin Head, the northernmost point in Ireland but also other lookouts such as Slieve League, Fananhead and Hornhead.

There are so many scenic lookouts in the area, you’ll need days to explore. Arnold’s is a great spot with a down-home feel.

The front of house is friendly and informative and happy to help if you need any suggestions.

EVERYONE’S FRIENDLY ON THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY

things to do wild atlantic way doolin
Hanging out with Pat in Doolin from Pat’s Cliff Walks

An ongoing theme we noticed at all accommodation on the Wild Atlantic Way was how friendly everyone was.

It didn’t matter if it was a farmhouse or a castle, everyone was down to earth, welcoming and just plain nice. Irish hospitality is alive and well.

Everyone goes out of their way to make sure your stay is a good one and everyone takes pride in their corner of the country.

They know it inside out and are happy to share a story or some tips on where to go and what to see.

No matter where you stay, I know you won’t be disappointed. So get yourself to the Wild Atlantic Way, it’s like nowhere else on earth.

Source: Theplanetd.com

SLOVENIA

WHY YOU SHOULD TRAVEL TO SLOVENIA RIGHT NOW

Posted By : wpadmin/ 34 0

Slovenia. If I were to tell you the truth about this Eastern European country, I’d tell you that it took me exactly 0.0 seconds to fall in love with it. That, and it’s one of the most underrated countries I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. Ever.

I adore Slovenia for many reasons, one of them being the spellbinding views and picturesque landscape. Another is the budget-friendly price, which is low compared to European standards. However… the best part of Slovenia is that most people haven’t discovered what a hidden gem it is (yet), and that’s why you should visit now.

THE FAIRYTALE SCENERY OF SLOVENIA

Visiting Slovenia is like stepping into a fairytale. It’s a wonderland of ever-changing scenery and ethereal beauty of the nature.

Lake Bled is one of those serene and fairytale-like locations. And it’s also one of my favorite places in Slovenia. The landscape here is so spellbinding that I immediately wanted to stay and write that book I’ve been talking about for a gazillion years.

It tends to have that effect on you.

There is a church with a looming spire on Bled Island. Lots of people get married here, and according to tradition, it’s good luck if the groom carries his bride up all 99 steps.Bovec, Slovenia

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The beautiful Soca River where a Narnia scene was filmed

Traveling to Slovenia? You may be interested in checking out Bosnia & Herzegovina

Lake Jasna

THE OUTDOORS ACTIVITIES

Aside from the fairytale scenery, Slovenia is the perfect place for outdoors activities. Hiking, biking, skiing, kayaking, and paragliding are just some of the many ways to be adventurous.

Slovenians themselves are also quite active, and they especially love their mountains. So much in fact that according to locals you aren’t a real Slovenian until you’ve climbed Mount Triglav, which FYI is obnoxiously challenging. I haven’t met a Slovenian – young or old, man or woman – who has not climbed it.

Savica waterfall, Slovenia

1. HIKE TO WATERFALLS
If you’re as much of a waterfall enthusiast as I am, you’ll be thrilled to know that Slovenia has more than 300 different waterfalls, one more gorgeous than the other. There are some really pretty ones in Soca Valley and in Bohinj.

2. CLIMB A HILL OR A MOUNTAIN
Another must-do activity is hiking. Slovenia is home to the Julian Alps which is a hiker’s wonderland, and you can choose both challenging trails and easier walks along the valleys and foothills.

(tip! tip! tip!) If you’re at Lake Bled, climb Ojstrica hill for stunning views over the lake. The hike is steep, but the view is SO rewarding.

3. BIKING
Slovenia is also an excellent destination for biking, both on-road and off-road. I did a bit of both and can highly recommend.

Bohinj
Slovenia-3

THE HISTORY AND CULTURE

War history, legends and folktales are a significant part of Slovenian heritage. You will hear tales about gods and fairies, about sacred mountains and how towns came to be.

History is preserved, too.

I passed an old war monument on my way through the Vrši? Pass in the north. The road though the pass was built by Russian prisoners during World War 1 to supply the front line, but an avalanche swept through the mountains and killed almost everyone on site. The road was renamed Ruska Cesta, the Russian Road, in their memory and is marked by a Russian Orthodox Chapel.

Russian Chapel at Vrši? Pass

Other cultural monuments are the beautiful churches. Slovenia has thousands of them, and the most beautiful ones are placed on remote hilltops or surrounded by mountains.Dreznica

The Catholic church in Dreznica

THE LOVELY LJUBLJANA

Getting around Slovenia is easy, although it’s a bit difficult to pronounce some of the town names, especially Ljubljana (li-ubli-anna). In the cute capital of Ljubljana you’ll find gorgeous architecture, creative street art, cosy café culture, an enchanting castle, romance, and lots of dragons.

And, you can spend a night in a former Yugoslavian prison.

Dragon bridge, Ljubljana

One of the dragons at the Dragon Bridge

Ljubljana-43

Ljubljana

Ljubljana River runs through the city

Ljubljana

THE WINE

Another great reason to visit Slovenia is the wine. The quality is striking, and you can get various sparkling wines, pearly, sweet wines or liquor wines.

Imagine sitting on a rooftop bar, enjoying a glass of well-chilled, fresh & dry wine with a cold appetizer, while watching the sunset in the horizon. It is D to the Licious.

Ljubljana

AND LASTLY… THE SUNRISES

I’ve seen many spectacular sunrises in my life, but none have been as enchanting as those in Slovenia.

The snow-capped mountain tops, the fairytale castles, the enchanting forests and the magical glacier lakes simply makes the perfect settings for a sunrise.

Source: Theplanetd.com

ATLANTIC

WILD ATLANTIC WAY – DRIVING IRELAND’S COASTAL ROUTE

Posted By : wpadmin/ 36 0

The Wild Atlantic Way of Ireland is the longest defined coastal driving route on earth. It’s easy to navigate and understand, but there are a few things you should know before you go. tips-for-driving-the-wild-atlantic-way

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Tips for Driving the Wild Atlantic Way

THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY TRIP GUIDE

We started in Dublin where you will most certainly want to spend a few days. Check out The Best Things to do in Dublin. We’ll let you read that at another time and get down to business now to talk about the Wild Atlantic Way.

#1 GO SOUTH TO NORTH

The Ireland tourism website has the route outlines from North to South, but we chose to drive it starting in the south of County Cork. Why drive South to North? For one, you will be on the ocean side of the road.

Remember, driving in Ireland is on the left hand side of the road, so if you drive north, the Atlantic Ocean will be on your left allowing you to pull of easier to take photographs and take in the view. You won’t ever have to worry about crossing traffic.Mizen Head

The View from Mizen Head in Co. Cork, Ireland

It’s difficult to get lost on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, roads are marked with the WAW logo. If Dave and I ever took a wrong turn, we’d just look for the signs, if we didn’t see one for a few km we knew we were off the WAW and turned around until we saw the sign again. It’s brilliant!slea head drive

Just follow the signs on the Wild Atlantic Way.

TRAVEL TIPS: WHERE TO STAY ON THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY

#2 GIVE THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY TIME

Most people think of Ireland as being a small country, but remember, the Wild Atlantic Way is 2750 km in length. You can’t assume that you will be able to see everything in a week or two. We found two weeks to be quite rushed and feel that three weeks to a month would have been the perfect length to explore all of it.

If you don’t have that long, choose either the South or North portion to explore. Don’t try to rush to fit it all in.

We found that we could have concentrated on just one or two counties of the Wild Atlantic Way and still be quite content. There are spectacular lookouts all along the routes and often times we wished that we had more time to explore one place rather than moving on the next day.

#3 ALL TWO TO THREE NIGHTS IN EACH LOCATION

We suggest giving yourself 2-3 nights in each location and either exploring less of the WAW or taking longer than the 2-weeks that we had.bee hives

#4 CHECK DISTANCES

Distances may seem short on the map, but you will find that you are in your car a lot. In Canada and the US, 100km takes one hour to drive. (Less than an hour if you are like most people and set the speedometer at 118 kph)

While most of the time the speed limits posted on the Wild Atlantic Way are 100km, you are driving on narrow and winding roads.

We found it nearly impossible to keep our speed up due to sharp curves, giving the right of way to oncoming traffic, following tractors, cyclists and even stopping for cattle and sheep crossing. You will need a few hours each day to get to your destination.wild atlantic way tips road

Remember, the roads are narrow and curved. I think this is the straightest road in the country.

#5 CHOOSE THE RIGHT AUTOMOBILE

As we said, roads are narrow, so don’t rent a large 4X4 truck. Rent a medium sized sedan for comfort. Cars felt a bit narrower and smaller in Ireland, so a medium size automobile should do well. If you can drive stick, rent a car with a manual transmission.

wild atlantic way tips

Because most people from North America prefer automatic, Dave and I received and upgrade to a manual BMW. Manual transmissions are cheaper to rent too.  Also, book yourself a diesel – they go longer and diesel is cheaper  by a few cents a litre in Ireland.wild atlantic way tips car

A mid-sized rental car is perfect when driving the Wild Atlantic Way.

Note: Ireland speed limits are in KM and gas is measured in Litres. 1 US Gallon = 3.7 Litres  and 1 mile = 1.6 km

#6 STAY IN DIFFERENT ACCOMMODATION

There are several different types of accommodation along the Wild Atlantic Way ranging from BnB’s to farm houses, hotels and luxury resorts. You can even stay in castles. Most places offer breakfast included in your stay.

It’s a good idea to plan your route and book your accommodation in advance, however, we were there in April and most places had a lot of vacancies.

WILD ATLANTIC WAY – TIPS FOR DRIVING IRELAND’S COASTAL ROUTE

Home » United Kingdom » Ireland

Updated: August 23, 2019 by The Planet D

Wild Atlantic Way – Tips for Driving Ireland’s Coastal Route

The Wild Atlantic Way of Ireland is the longest defined coastal driving route on earth. It’s easy to navigate and understand, but there are a few things you should know before you go. tips-for-driving-the-wild-atlantic-way

Tips for Driving the Wild Atlantic Way

THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY TRIP GUIDE

We started in Dublin where you will most certainly want to spend a few days. Check out The Best Things to do in Dublin. We’ll let you read that at another time and get down to business now to talk about the Wild Atlantic Way.

#1 GO SOUTH TO NORTH

The Ireland tourism website has the route outlines from North to South, but we chose to drive it starting in the south of County Cork. Why drive South to North? For one, you will be on the ocean side of the road.

Remember, driving in Ireland is on the left hand side of the road, so if you drive north, the Atlantic Ocean will be on your left allowing you to pull of easier to take photographs and take in the view. You won’t ever have to worry about crossing traffic.Mizen Head

The View from Mizen Head in Co. Cork, Ireland

It’s difficult to get lost on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, roads are marked with the WAW logo. If Dave and I ever took a wrong turn, we’d just look for the signs, if we didn’t see one for a few km we knew we were off the WAW and turned around until we saw the sign again. It’s brilliant!slea head drive

Just follow the signs on the Wild Atlantic Way.

TRAVEL TIPS: WHERE TO STAY ON THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY

#2 GIVE THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY TIME

Most people think of Ireland as being a small country, but remember, the Wild Atlantic Way is 2750 km in length. You can’t assume that you will be able to see everything in a week or two. We found two weeks to be quite rushed and feel that three weeks to a month would have been the perfect length to explore all of it.

If you don’t have that long, choose either the South or North portion to explore. Don’t try to rush to fit it all in.

GET YOUR HARD COPY ROUTE ATLAS AT AMAZON: THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY ROUTE ATLAS

Rossbleigh Beach

The beautiful Rossbleigh Beach

We found that we could have concentrated on just one or two counties of the Wild Atlantic Way and still be quite content. There are spectacular lookouts all along the routes and often times we wished that we had more time to explore one place rather than moving on the next day.

#3 ALL TWO TO THREE NIGHTS IN EACH LOCATION

We suggest giving yourself 2-3 nights in each location and either exploring less of the WAW or taking longer than the 2-weeks that we had.bee hives

The famous Bee Hive Huts at Skellig Michael, Ireland

One of the must see places on the Wild Atlantic Way is Skellig Michael, read all about it here!

#4 CHECK DISTANCES

Distances may seem short on the map, but you will find that you are in your car a lot. In Canada and the US, 100km takes one hour to drive. (Less than an hour if you are like most people and set the speedometer at 118 kph)

While most of the time the speed limits posted on the Wild Atlantic Way are 100km, you are driving on narrow and winding roads.

We found it nearly impossible to keep our speed up due to sharp curves, giving the right of way to oncoming traffic, following tractors, cyclists and even stopping for cattle and sheep crossing. You will need a few hours each day to get to your destination.wild atlantic way tips road

Remember, the roads are narrow and curved. I think this is the straightest road in the country.

#5 CHOOSE THE RIGHT AUTOMOBILE

As we said, roads are narrow, so don’t rent a large 4X4 truck. Rent a medium sized sedan for comfort. Cars felt a bit narrower and smaller in Ireland, so a medium size automobile should do well. If you can drive stick, rent a car with a manual transmission.

wild atlantic way tips

Because most people from North America prefer automatic, Dave and I received and upgrade to a manual BMW. Manual transmissions are cheaper to rent too.  Also, book yourself a diesel – they go longer and diesel is cheaper  by a few cents a litre in Ireland.wild atlantic way tips car

A mid-sized rental car is perfect when driving the Wild Atlantic Way.

Note: Ireland speed limits are in KM and gas is measured in Litres. 1 US Gallon = 3.7 Litres  and 1 mile = 1.6 km

#6 STAY IN DIFFERENT ACCOMMODATION

There are several different types of accommodation along the Wild Atlantic Way ranging from BnB’s to farm houses, hotels and luxury resorts. You can even stay in castles. Most places offer breakfast included in your stay.

It’s a good idea to plan your route and book your accommodation in advance, however, we were there in April and most places had a lot of vacancies.

wild atlantic way tips hotel

The B&B options are amazing like this one at the Dolphin Guest House in Clifden.

Often times we were the only people staying there, so if you are more of a go with the flow type of person, you may be able to take a chance and keep an eye out for accommodation on the road. We saw rates as low as €20 per person and stayed in places with prices as high as €500 per night.

#7 FOOD – WHERE TO EAT

The Wild Atlantic Way food choices can range from budget to five star. It depends on what you want to spend. Many times we’d buy lunch in a gas station and spend less than €10 on our meals.

tim hortons ireland

Tim Hortons has invaded Ireland!

Pubs are quite reasonable to eat at and there are supermarkets in towns to pack picnic lunches as well as food carts all over the country.

Tim Hortons has infiltrated Ireland, so you can get coffee and donuts on the road as well. We found gas stations best for take away coffee. If you want upscale dining, the hotel restaurants were our choice for a night out. People in Ireland are always open to giving recommendations.

But for us it was the Pubs that offered the perfect combination of something hearty to eat and the true Irish culture. You don’t want to miss that.

#8 MUST SEE SITES ON THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY

There are so many things to see along the Wild Atlantic Way, it’s impossible to tell you what to see and do, although we’ve made a few lists at Top Scenic Views on the Wild Atlantic Way and Offbeat things to do on The Wild Atlantic Way.

Our best advice is to decide what you like and plan your trip around that.

Do you like active vacations? Scenic vacations? Photography? All along the coast there are amazing scenic views and activities to suit everyone’s needs.

Source: Theplanetd.com

IRELAND

IRELAND TRAVEL GUIDE

Posted By : wpadmin/ 39 0

Shrouded in a veil of mystery, Ireland entices and surprises all who step foot within its mystical boundaries.

Fairy tales, stories, myths, and legends rule the land along with stunning landscapes, many of which can be found on the Wild Atlantic Way.

And when everything is said and done nothing quite beats a relaxing pint in a pub with the locals while listening to traditional Irish music.

Fast Facts

  • Currency: is the EURO and is around 1 euro to 1.15 USD
  • Power: voltage is 230 V 50 Hz; Power sockets G
  • Visa: 90-day visa on arrival for most nationalities (click here for more info)
  • Driving in Ireland is done on the left-hand side of the road! 
  • Value added tax (VAT) is charged on purchases, such as meals at restaurants, shopping expenses, and hotel accommodations. If you are resident of a non-European Union country, you can get a refund of this tax in certain participating shops. For more info on VAT refunds, click here.
  • Best Sim Cards: We use KnowRoaming. PlanetD readers receive an extra 50% off using promo code DDSave50
  • When to visit Ireland: Expect rain and clouds year round and it can get below zero in the winter. Best times to visit are March to May and then September to November when the temperatures are still good and the crowds are smaller.
  • Best Way to get around: The best way to explore Ireland is by renting a car.

Budgeting

ACCOMMODATION

Budget: These can run between $50-60 USD per night, have a private bathroom and often include a free breakfast. Note that prices increase in larger cities like Dublin and at busy times of the year by about $10-20 per night.

Mid Range: These usually run about $70-90 USD per night and usually come with free wifi and free breakfast. Air B&B is a really popular option in Ireland with most accommodation, with a private room, going for about $65/night.

High End: If you want to be pampered on you visit Ireland it is possible in the larger cities like Dublin where high-end accommodations like the Fitzwilliam Hotel can start at $400/night. In the smaller cities, it might be best to check out an Air B&B for more of a selection.

If you are doing the Wild Atlantic Way please check out our Accommodation Guide for that trip.

FOOD

We found the best way to keep food costs down, especially for dinners, is to look for the “Early Bird” special. Most pubs and restaurants offer this at a certain time a day and you can get a meal for a fraction of the cost it would normally set you back.

Fast food will cost you around $5-6, a good hearty meal in a pub will run between $10-15 and dishes in high-end restaurants start at approx. $21.

Most importantly a pint of Guinness will set you back about $5!

TRANSPORTATION

Getting to Ireland: Dublin Airport is the main hub for travelers but you can also get to Ireland through various combinations of Air and rail and ferry from Britain. It will take longer but it’s often cheaper depending on where you are flying from.

You can check for the best flights to Ireland on Skyscanner.

Inter-city Transportation: With Ireland being a fairly small country getting around is fairly easy and cost-effective. If you are only traveling the main cities then bus or train is your best way.

Train cost varies by distance but to get from Dublin to say Cork will run you $60-75 and takes about 2.5 hours. Considering that is only about $12 more than the bus it is the preferred way to travel.

City Transportation: We thing Ireland has some of the best public transport around. It is fast, timely, inexpensive and all busses and trains have free WIFI.

In Dublin expect to pay 3 Euro for a single journey. For a cheaper option use their Bikeshare service.

Car Rental: By far the most flexible way to discover the country is by renting a car. It is fairly reasonable ($40/Day) and allows to reach those charming little towns you might not otherwise be able to discover.

Just remember they drive on the left-hand side of the road and almost all cars are a manual transmission. If you want an aoutomatic you will have to pay more.

Packing Tips

Ireland’s weather is mild throughout the year. In fact, the country’s weather can be summed up perfectly in three little words: mild, moist and changeable with lots of rainfall.

  • Pack a raincoat – chances are that you will encounter rain no matter what month you travel. A light rain shell is highly recommended as it will combat the rain AND wind you will probably face in Ireland.
  • Layers – When traveling to different climates remember that layering is the key to effortlessly transitioning from cold to hot climates or vice versa. For travel during winter months, make sure to bring a heavier coat as air frost can be common in certain areas.
  • Footwear– Whether you are exploring Ireland’s rocky countryside or spending the day discovering the country’s cities by foot, expect to spend a lot of time on your feet. Pack a pair of lightweight, durable, waterproof and comfortable shoes and/or a pair of light boots with lugged soles and ankle support if you plan on doing a lot of hiking
  • Classic Basic items – You do not need to be a fashionista to blend in. The key is in embracing neutral-toned items that can be mixed and matched easily. Avoid logos, baseball caps, shorts, hoodies, flip-flops, and running shoes as these items scream tourist!

When to Go

June through September is the best time to visit Ireland

But the weather is unpredictable at anytime. We have been to Ireland in February, April, Mid Summer and Autumn and have had sunny days during them all.

It can rain anytime.

The temperature is warmest from June – September (an average of 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit), which makes it great for exploring the outdoors.

April to June is a good month to go if you want to avoid some of the crowds before the tourism peak occurs in July and August.

Things to Do

WHAT NOT TO MISS

THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY

Considered one of the most epic road trips in the world, this drive has something for everyone. From the incredible scenery to the incredible people this is a something you should definitely add to your bucket list.

Places to Stay

Check out our favorite booking platforms Booking.comTripadvisor and Air B&B for the best deals on accommodation in Ireland.

Booking Resources

Whenever we travel to Europe we make sure to start with these companies.

We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices as well as great customer service. 

We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.

Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It is usually the has the cheapest prices, especially in Europe and we love their interface. Not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.

Trip Advisor:What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation. TripAdvisor is where we go when we want to compare prices with multiple accommodation providers.

Air BnB: Airbnb is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It can sometimes be cheaper than hotels and it is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.

Skyscanner:This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.

Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.

Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs. I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.

Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.

World Nomads Insurance: When traveling to Ireland you always should have travel insurance. We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.

Source: Theplanetd.com

UKRAINE TRAVEL GUIDE

UKRAINE TRAVEL GUIDE

Posted By : wpadmin/ 38 0

Ukraine is definitely one of Europe’s last genuine travel frontiers.

One of Europe’s biggest country (not counting Russia), it is a country full of diversity where travelers can’t shake the feeling of being elsewhere while actually still being in Europe.

It is a country that is known for its hospitable locals, interesting (and yes a little bizarre) Soviet legacy, diverse landscape and gorgeous landmarks that seem frozen in time.

This Ukraine travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.

Fast Facts

  • Ukranian power voltage is 220 V 50Hz; Plug C & F
  • The Ukrainian currency is the Ukrainian Hryvnia and is around 22 UAH to 1 USD.
  • Beware of scam artists. If a “transport inspector” asks to see your ID, ask for your own proof of identification otherwise he may try to fine you for not having the right ticket. Also make sure to watch your wallet, too!
  • WARNING: There are risks in traveling to eastern Ukraine because of the war between the Russian irregular forces and the Ukrainian forces in the eastern areas of Luhansk and Donetsk.
  • It is illegal to take any items of historical importance out of the country. This includes badges, medals, icons, historical paintings, etc. This law is strictly enforced at all exit points.
  • Drink vodka! The Ukrainian specialty is horilka (the local name for vodka) with pepper. Other kinds of vodka that are popular are linden (tilia), honey, birch, wheat.

Budgeting

ACCOMMODATION

Budget: Ukraine has a variety of hostels for about 140-430 UAH per night. These hostels come with dormitories, shared kitchens, bicycle rentals in the summer, free Wi-Fi, and storage lockers. The Dream House hostel in Kiev even organizes group tourist activities for its members.

Mid-Range: Mid-range hotels will cost around 580-2,400 UAH per night. Enjoy cable TV in your room, free Wi-Fi and breakfast, a hot tub, sauna, a hotel restaurant and bar, and an airport shuttle.

High-End: For five-star hotels, expect to pay around 2,520-7,562 UAH per night. Take in the best with top-of-the-line hospitality, room service, decorated rooms, and suites with terraces and kitchenettes, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, multiple hotel restaurants serving fine dining, and playrooms for children.

FOOD

The cuisine of Ukraine favors grains, dairy, meat, vegetable oil, nuts, and fruits and vegetables as staples. The national dish is borsch (sour soup made with beetroots). Other popular dishes include varenyky (dumplings) and holubtsi (cabbage leaves stuffed with meat or vegetables).

When out and about, look for supkultura (portable soup) in Kiev or go to Odessa for falafel, or head to a restaurant to try more Ukrainian cuisine. In total, expect to pay around 180 UAH per day for food.

Transportation

Flights: Ukraine’s main airport is the Kiev Boryspil Airport, located 25 miles from the city center of Kiev. Odessa also has its own international airport and is 7 miles from the downtown area, though it mainly serves European flights. You can check for the best flights to Ukraine on Skyscanner.

Train: The trains in Ukraine link most cities and towns. Go from Kiev to Odessa in roughly 10 hours for 650 UAH. To get the best prices, book in advance by at least a week or two, if not more.

Metro: Kiev has its own metro and is a fast and affordable way to travel throughout the city. Prices start at 2 UAH and trains come every 2-10 minutes. The metro runs daily from 6 AM to midnight.

Buses: Buses are an excellent way to travel, and tickets cost about 8 UAH. Tickets can be bought when boarding or at a kiosk.

Funicular: Kiev has a funicular, which is a type of rapid carriage, and goes from uptown to downtown. This is a scenic, not to mention a unique, way to travel and costs 3 UAH.

Taxis: For major cities like Kiev, taxis have a typical starting fee of 45 UAH and increase 11 UAH per mile traveled, though it varies slightly for each taxi company.

Car Rental: To rent a car, you need to be at least 21-25 years old and have an international driver’s license. A typical price for a standard car is 1010 UAH per day.

Uber: Uber is available throughout Ukraine.

Packing Tips

Ukraine has a temperate continental climate with cold snowy winters and warm summers.

The only exception is the southern coast of Crimea, where the climate is subtropical of the Mediterranean type.

The southern coast of Crimea is the warmest place in Ukraine with temperatures reaching 39 – 40 degrees Celsius in the summertime and often not dipping below 20 degrees throughout the year.

  • Classic Basic items – You do not need to be a fashionista to blend in. The key is in embracing neutral toned items that can be mixed and matched easily. Avoid logos, baseball caps, shorts, hoodies, flip-flops, and running shoes as these items scream tourist!
  • Layers – You could possibly be sweating all afternoon and then be freezing by nightfall! Make sure to stock up on the layers. If you plan on heading to Ukraine during the winter make sure to pack the winter essentials: Warm, high, waterproof, fleece-lined boots big enough to wear with heavy wool socks, hat, waterproof gloves and thermal long underwear.
  • Rain boots – It rains a lot during fall and spring and since there aren’t always a lot of sidewalks, make sure to bring a good pair of boots to splash around in.
  • Shoes – a good pair of sturdy shoes are a must. Ukraine isn’t known for being a flat country and Kyiv especially has a lot of inclines.
  • Personal Safety products – Certain areas in Kyiv are known as pickpocket hotspots. Before leaving for your trip, make sure to pack some personal safety products, like money belts and locks, so that you can keep your valuables safe on your trip.

Check out our Packing List for more ideas on what to bring with you.

When to Go

The best time to visit for good weather is between June through September, where the weather is sunny and perfect for many outdoor activities. If you are looking to save some money, go in April or October.

Both of these months are in the off-season, so there will be fewer crowds, but still fairly pleasant weather for roaming around or heading to a beach by the Black Sea.

Things to Do

ADVENTURE

Hike Mount Hoverla – This is a tough hike out of Yaremche, but you’ll be rewarded with amazing views when you get to the top of the mountain.

Go paragliding – There are plenty of places in the countryside where you can go paragliding over the land for a fun adventure.

CULTURE

Learn about Chernobyl – Take a tour to this historic site to see the remains of Chernobyl, the site of a nuclear reactor meltdown in 1986.

Kiev Planetarium – Space lovers will enjoy exploring the planetarium that has been up since the 1950s. You can learn about space, look for planets at night, and watch movies.

WHAT NOT TO MISS

Museum of Scythian Gold – When you’re in Kyiv, stop by the Museum of Scythian Gold. You’ll see hundreds of beautiful treasures and learn about the mysterious Scythians.

Places to Stay

Premier Hotel Rus: When in Kiev, stay at this highly rated hotel. Just a short walk to numerous shops and about a mile from the Golden Gate replica, choose from a variety of rooms (regular to suites with whirlpool tubs and separate rooms), enjoy the hotel restaurant and sushi bar, get a drink at the cocktail bar or at the café, or order room service. St. Sophia’s Cathedral and Independence Square are both a short bus trip away.

Chichikov: Stay at this great hotel in Kharkiv. Just a short walk to the metro station and just a mile from Gorky Park, the hotel comes with rooms and suites with flat-screen TVs and minibars, free breakfast, room service, a Mediterranean restaurant, and a lobby bar.

Panorama De Luxe: If you’re in Odessa, this is a great hotel to stay at. Across from the Black Sea and near many local cafes, this five-star hotel has numerous amenities, including a heated outdoor pool, private rooms with sea views, suites with whirlpool tubs, complimentary breakfast, a spa and sauna, and a rooftop bar.

Booking Resources

Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies.

We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.

We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.

Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It is usually the has the cheapest prices, not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.

Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation. 

Air BnB: Airbnb is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.

Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.

Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.

Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs. I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.

Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.

World Nomads Insurance: When traveling to Europe you should always have travel insurance. We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.

Source : Theplanetd.com

Italy

ITALY TRAVEL GUIDE

Posted By : wpadmin/ 39 0

Located in southern Europe, Italy is a Mediterranean country bordered by three seas (Adriatic, Tyrrhenian, and Ionian).

Known as the birthplace of Western culture, Italy is a stunning country affectionately referred to as the Bel Paese (the beautiful country).

A country full of history and beauty, it is a must-see for travelers.

From Unesco World Heritage Sites like the ruined city of Pompeii to coastal beauties like the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre, Italy is a great place for those who want to experience something different.

Add in great Italian cuisine and it makes a perfect vacation.

Fast Facts

  • Currency: The official currency is the euro and 1 euro is equal to 1.12 USD.
  • Power: Power voltage is 220V at 50 Hz.
  • Entry: To enter, you will need a U.S. passport valid for at least 6 months after your departure date.
  • Getting Around: The best way to get around is by public transport or renting a car but beware, Italians are hairy drivers!
  • Sales tax: The value-added rate (VAT) rate is 20%. 
  • Best Sim Cards: TIM, Vodafone, WindTre, and Iliad are the main mobile providers. A prepaid SIM card can be purchased through any of them.
  • When to visit Italy: The best time to visit Italy is Spring (April to June) or Fall (September to November) prices are lower, crowds are less and the temperatures drop.
    Summer is the high season in Italy. It is hot, busy, and expensive.
    You can visit Italy in winter and see far fewer crowds and lower prices but expect cool, damp and grey weather.
  • The Capital City of Italy is Rome – See the Best Things to do in Rome

Budgeting

ACCOMMODATION

Budget: You can find a number of budget hotels in Italy for around 30-40 euros per night. Enjoy free Wi-Fi and breakfast, private rooms, and great city locations. 

Mid Range: For mid-range hotels, expect to pay between 50-80 euros per night. Enjoy private air-conditioned rooms, indoor and outdoor pools, a hotel restaurant and bar, and free Wi-Fi.

High End: Upscale hotels will range from 150-1,220 euros per night.

Take in the best with top-of-the-line hospitality, elegant rooms and suites, spa services, indoor and outdoor pools, multiple fine dining restaurants, fitness centers with personal trainers, private balconies, and more.

FOOD

Italian cuisine is famous for pasta, tomatoes, cheese, fish, and meat.

While many might think that spaghetti and meatballs are the traditional dish of Italy, this is not true, and in fact, is rarely eaten in Italy (except for tourist places).

The national dish is Ragu alla Bolognese Sauce (meat-based sauce served in tortellini, gnocchi, or tagliatelle pasta). Other favorites include pizza, lasagna, and bottarga (cured fish roe).

There are a number of restaurants where you can try authentic Italian cuisine, as well as cafes.

Try a cappuccino for about 1.34 euros (but remember, if you want to follow tradition, it is custom not to drink one after 10 or 11 AM).

In total, expect to pay about 10-20 euros per meal for most restaurants, or 50 euros per meal for three-course restaurants.

TRANSPORTATION

Getting to Italy: The Leonardo de Vinci-Fiumicino Airport is one of the busiest airports to fly into and is 20 miles from the city center.

The Malpensa International Airport is great when going to Milan and is a 20-40 minute train ride to the city of Milan.

Transportation: Trains are a fast way to get around. You can find trains both for regional trips as well as between cities. High-velocity trains are a speedy and fairly inexpensive way to travel throughout Italy.

Go from Rome to Florence in 2 hours, for example, and pay just 25 euros.

Buses: Italy has a number of buses for shorter trips, as well as metro services in larger cities like Rome and Milan. Tickets start at 1-2 euros.

Make sure to purchase your tickets before boarding or you can get a fine up to 100 euros.

Taxis:  Taxis are an alternative way to get around. You can hail one down or call for a taxi, though note that if you call, the meter starts running once you call.

A typical price for a taxi is about 15 euros, depending on the distance .

Car Rental:  To rent a car, you must be at least 21 years old and have a U.S. license as well as an International Driver’s License.

It is advised that you know the rules of the road before driving in Italy. Prices start at around 55 euros per day.
But you can find great deals for car rentals too so look around.

Packing Tips

Similar to many European countries, the climate of Italy is highly diverse depending on where you plan on traveling.

Considerable differences in temperatures between the north and south are more prominent during the winter months.

Winters are cold and damp in the north and milder in the South.

However, most of Italy has hot dry summers with July being the hottest month of the year.

  • Toiletries – beauty items and toiletries can be expensive in Italy if you want to save some money than pack some extra in your bag.
  • Blend in – Italians love to dress up, so why not pack some basic classic items that you can mix and match throughout your trip. Try to avoid baseball caps and white sneakers.
  • Wedges – Italy is known for its cobblestone streets. If you want to pack a fancy pair of heels for a classy night out on the town than stick with wedges over stilettos. Wedges allow you to walk smoothly over the cobblestone.
  • Layers – this is especially important for those traveling throughout Italy during the winter months. The general rule of thumb is to pack at least four layers: a base layer,  long sleeve shirts, a fleece (mid-layer) and a top layer such as a windbreaker. Don’t forget a warm pair of gloves, a thick scarf, and a hat!

When to Go to Italy

The two best times to take a trip to Italy are from April to June and September to October.

Summer months can be more crowded, and hotel rates are at their peak, whereas spring and early autumn have lower prices and the temperatures are neither too hold or too cold for outdoor and sightseeing activities.

Things to Do

ADVENTURE

  • A Vespa Tour of Rome – Scoot around the ancient city of Rome on your own Vespa!
  • Off the Beaten Path – step outside of Rome and explore the many villages that surround Italy’s capital.
  • Hike Mount Etna: Take your adventure to a new level by climbing Italy’s highest Volcano.

CULTURE

WHAT NOT TO MISS

  • See Venice by Boat – take a private tour through Venice on your own personal luxurious water taxi.
  • Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa – Pisa may be crowded with tourists, but this is one sight you do not want to miss.
  • Explore Romagna – not only is Romagna home to Pavarotti, Enzo Ferrari, Ferrucio Lamborghini but it is also the gastronomical capital of the country.

Places to Stay

Hotel Italia: A traveler favorite, stay at this great hotel in Rome. Just 9 minutes from multiple airports and minutes away from numerous attractions (including the famous Trevi Fountain), this is the place to stay.

Acca Palace: Stay at this four-star modern hotel in Milan. Sleep in private suites with a balcony and a minibar and enjoy amenities like room service, dry cleaning and laundry services, the hotel’s restaurant and bar, free high-speed Wi-Fi, and transportation to the airport.

San Gallo Palace—Florence: Just 30 minutes from the Florence airport and minutes from attractions like the Florence Cathedral and the Uffizi Gallery, this hotel puts you in the heart of everything.

Booking Resources

Whenever we travel to Europe we make sure to start with these companies.

We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices as well as great customer service. 

We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.

ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation.

It is usually the has the cheapest prices, especially in Europe and we love their interface.

Not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.

Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation. 

TripAdvisor is where we go when we want to compare prices with multiple accommodation providers.

Air BnB: Airbnb is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental.

It can sometimes be cheaper than hotels and it is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.

Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.

FLIGHTS

Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options.

It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.

PLANNING

Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs.

I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.

Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.

World Nomads Insurance: When traveling to Italy you should always have travel insurance.

We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.

Source: Theplanetd.com

WALES TRAVEL GUIDE

WALES TRAVEL GUIDE

Posted By : wpadmin/ 34 0

Wales is a Celtic country in the United Kingdom. Known for its friendly locals, rugged coastlines, beaches, castles, and national parks, this is a great place to see something different.

Committed to preserving its history, Wales has a number of fascinating medieval castles waiting to be explored.

Add in natural wonders like caves, flower gardens, waterfalls, mountains, and lakes, and it makes a perfect trip for fans of the outdoors. There are many things to do and see here.

This Wales travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.

Fast Facts

  • Power: Power voltage is 230V at 50 Hz.
  • Currency: The official currency is the Pound Sterling and 1 Pound Sterling is equal to 1.22 USD.
  • Getting Around: The best way to get around is by car. You check for great prices here.
  • Entry Requirements: You do not need a visa to enter, just a U.S. passport valid for 6 months after your departure date.
  • Sim Cards: 02, Vodafone, Three, and EE are the main mobile providers and a SIM card can be purchased through any of them by visiting their official stores or local supermarkets and kiosks.
  • Tax: The sales tax rate is 5.1%.
  • If you are traveling for a short time, we use KnowRoaming International SIM for all our travels.
    Readers Receive a 30% Discount with our promo code DDSave30. You can order here and have it delivered or find out more at our post. 

Budgeting

ACCOMMODATION

Budget: You can find a number of budget hotels and B&Bs for 15- 50 pounds per night. Enjoy private rooms, free breakfast, en-suite bathrooms, and Wi-Fi, and central locations. Many of these hotels come in 17th-century-style buildings, adding extra charm to the place.

Mid-Range: For mid-range hotels, expect to pay between 65-110 pounds per night. Amenities include sea views, free breakfast, hotel restaurant and pub, and free Wi-Fi.

High-End: Upscale hotels will range from 120-230 pounds per night. Take in the best with polished rooms and suites featuring HD TVs and espresso makers, spa services, fine dining, and prime locations.

FOOD

Popular staples in Welsh cuisine include lamb, cabbage, leaks, mutton, potatoes, and fish. Bacon, eggs, laverbread, and cockle is a typical breakfast here.

Cawl (meat broth, typically lamb or beef) is the national dish. Vegetarians can look for the Glamorgan sausage, which contains no meat.

While you can find street vendors throughout Wales, many feature more international cuisines instead of Welsh food.

To sample more of Welsh cuisine, head over to a local café, pub, or restaurant. In total, expect to pay around 15-20 pounds per meal, depending on where you go. 

TRANSPORTATION

Getting to Wales: The Cardiff Airport is the main airport in Wales and is 12.5 miles from the city center.

Flights: You can check for the best flights to Wales on Skyscanner.

Train: Trains are a fast way to get around, especially between larger cities. Take a train from Cardiff to Swansea, for example, in about an hour and pay just 5-7 pounds.

Note that tickets get cheaper the further you book in advance.

Buses: Buses are a good way to get around, either for shorter trips or between cities. You can find a variety of buses that run frequently, though many routes take Sundays off.

The best way to get a bus is to wave it down and pay when you board. A typical fare is 3 pounds.

Taxis:  Taxis are an alternative way to get around. In larger areas like Cardiff, the taxi fare starts at 2.5 pounds and increases 1.12 to 2.75 pounds per kilometer.

A typical fare from the airport to the city center, for example, will cost around 30-45 pounds.

Car Rental:  To rent a car, you must be at least 21 years old and have a U.S. license, though purchasing an International Driver’s License is recommended.

Prices for car rentals average around 30 pounds per day.

Check for the best prices on rental cars here.

Uber: Ubers are an alternative option and can be found especially in major cities.

Packing Tips

July and August are peak season in Wales and accommodation will have to be booked well in advance.

Shoulder season” (May, early June, September, and early October) is a more preferable time to travel.

Crowds are smaller and the weather is pleasant. Just note that it can get cool in the mountains so dress appropriately.

  • Raincoat: Make sure to pack a raincoat so you can be prepared for rainy days.
  • Walking/Hiking Boots: Bringing a pair of sturdy boots will keep you dry and comfortable as you explore Wales.
  • Power Adapter: As the voltage is higher than the US, bring an adapter to make sure you can charge your electronics properly

See our packing tips: packing list for smart travel.

When to Go

March through May is considered the best time to visit Wales.

During this period, flowers are blooming, the weather is warm, and you can find many festivals to attend.

This is also an excellent time to find lower prices on hotels. A popular period to visit is between June and August, as exotic flowers and rare birds can be seen, and the weather is at its hottest (around 60 degrees Fahrenheit). 

Things to Do

ADVENTURE

  • Coasteering in Wales: It’s a thrilling adventure of a lifetime! Imagine jumping off cliffs into the freezing Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the UK while being slugged in the face with crashing waves. 
  • Bounce Below: Wales has an amazing adventure infrastructure with a lot of adventure activities like zip lining

CULTURE

  • Steam Train or Hike up Mt Snowden: Take the historic steam train up to the summit or enjoy a 3 hour hike to the peak. It’s the highest point in all of Wales and offers incredible views of Snowdonia.

NOT TO MISS

  • Top places to visit in Wales: Get your adventure on, we’re rounding up the top places to visit in Wales that will make you want to pack your bags right now. 

Places to Stay

Park Plaza Cardiff: A favorite among travels is this four-star hotel located right in the center of Cardiff. Enjoy numerous amenities, including air-conditioned rooms and suites with minibars and flat screen TVs, a restaurant with a special diet menu, a nightclub, spa services, a fitness center, a heated pool, and express check-in and check-out.

When you’re ready to explore, Cardiff’s many attractions are just minutes away.

Towers Hotel & Spa: Stay inside this beautiful Victorian tower hotel in Swansea. Enjoy views of the Swansea Bay from your room while taking in the hotel’s other amenities, including a pool and hot tub, spa, complimentary breakfast, room service, a fitness center, and the hotel’s restaurant.

Swansea Bay, Swansea city center, and the National Waterfront Museum are all just a short trip away.

The Priory Hotel & Restaurant: When in Newport, stay at this unique hotel that was once a 12th-century Monastery. Located in the historic town of Caerleon, the Priory is a great relaxing getaway.

Check out our favorite booking platforms Booking.comTripadvisor and Air B&B for the best deals on accommodation in Ireland.

Source: Theplanetd.com

BELGIUM TRAVEL GUIDE

BELGIUM TRAVEL GUIDE

Posted By : wpadmin/ 33 0

Belgium is probably not on many people’s radars, apart from a quick trip to the capital of Europe, traveler’s often skip this amazing country.

Many may say Brussels is boring but that could not be farther from the truth.

Brussels is the capital of Europe so it has all the food that the world has to offer. It is also one of the gourmet capitals of Europe, boasting many different restaurants that have garnered coveted Michelin Stars in gastronomy.

Outside of Brussels, lies marvels like Les Ardennes, a region of extensive forests and rolling hills, vibrant, eccentric and beautiful cities like Antwerp and Ghent.

It has a coast that beckons beach loungers and extreme sports aficionados, like surfers and kite surfers. 

This Belgium travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.

Fast Facts

  • Belgium power voltage is 230 V 50Hz;  Plug E
  • The Belgian currency is the EURO and is around 1 Euro to 1.35 USD
  • Be careful when ordering food in tourist hotspots! A common trick is to offer you items which you might presume are free (bread rolls for example), which then end up on your bill!
  • Most restaurants will not serve you tap water so if you order water, presume that the waiter will come with a bottle of water and charge you for it!
  • Get ready to drink beer!
  • Skip the cheap Juplier brand and try one of Belgium’s famous beers. Beer in the country varies from a pale lager to lambic beers and Flemish red. In fact, there are approximately 180 breweries in the country. Our recommendation?
  • Why not try a Trappist beer, brewed by monks!
  • If you are traveling for a short time, we use KnowRoaming International SIM for all our travels.
    Readers Receive a 30% Discount with our promo code DDSave30. You can order here and have it delivered or find out more at our post. 

Budgeting

ACCOMMODATION

Budget: You can find cheaper options for hostels at around 15-28 euros per night. Enjoy dorm-styled or private rooms, free Wi-Fi and breakfast, storage lockers, laundry facilities, and great central locations. Many hostels also have a bar.  

Mid-Range: For mid-range hotels, expect to pay around 60-100 euros per night. These hotels include private rooms with flat-screen TVs and minifridges, a sauna, a gym, and great city locations. 

High-End: Upscale hotels will cost around 100-220 euros per night. Enjoy refined rooms and suites with whirlpool tubs and sitting areas, a hotel restaurant serving fine dining, an indoor pool, sauna, babysitting services, and a hotel bar.

FOOD

Mussels and fries are popular foods to try when in Belgium and are often served together (moules–frites). Of course, no trip to Belgium would be complete without trying a Brussels waffle, which most closely resembles a Belgian Waffle in the US.

The Maison Dandoy tea house in Brussels is one of the most popular places for waffles. For main dishes, try some chicken waterzooi (chicken stew dish from the town of Ghent) or carbonade flamande (beef stew made with beer). In total, expect to pay around 35 euros per day for food.

TRANSPORTATION

Flights: The main airport to fly into is the Brussels Airport, located 7.5 miles from Brussels, Belgium’s capital. Antwerp and Ostend also have their own international airports. You can check for the best flights to Belgium on Skyscanner.

Transportation: Be adventurous! Belgium has an excellent transportation system that is also pretty cheap so why not hop on a train and check out what Belgium has to offer.

Some recommended spots are: Ghent, Antwerp, Flanders Fields, Les Ardennes, and Oostende.

Metro: Day passes for the metro will save you money over the cost of a single ticket. A single metro ticket is €2.10 while a day pass is around €8 euros.

Visitors can also opt to buy a MOBIB Basic card and refill it with 5 or 10 rides.

STIB also has an app for Android and iPhone users that informs travelers of next departures in real-time as well as the timetables.

Buses: Buses are a cheap way to get around and frequently travel to places not reachable by train or metro. You can find both regular buses and express buses. For the cheapest prices, book a ticket online and in advance. Prices start at 3 euros for regular buses, and 5.5 euros for express buses.

Taxis: Taxis are a good way to get around and are metered. Most taxis will have a starting fee of about 3 euros (except Gent, which starts at 8.25 euros) and adds 2 euros per kilometer traveled. Take a taxi from Brussels airport to the city center for about 45 euros.

Car Rental: To rent a car in Belgium, you need to be at least 21 years old and have a driver’s license that is a year old. If you’re under 25, you’ll typically have to pay more per day. For drivers 25 and older, prices start at 55 euros per day.

Uber: Uber is available throughout Belgium.

Packing Tips

Packing for Belgium can be tricky due to the unpredictability of the weather. 

Brussels has a temperate climate with four seasons spanning the whole year. 

Temperatures are relatively mild during the whole year with the average low at 1°C in winter and only 23°C in summer.

On average Belgium receives more rainfall than the United Kingdom and slightly less than the Netherlands with the rainiest months being in July and in December.

  • Rain gear – weather can be incredibly unpredictable. It can be pouring rain and then half an hour the sun is out and there are no clouds in the sky.
  • Make sure to always carry either a raincoat or an umbrella so that you do not get caught in the rain.
  • Warm clothes – the weather, even in the summer, can range from 15°C to 25°C degrees with temperatures dipping once the sun goes down. Make sure to bring warm clothes, like a sweater or even a light jacket.
  • Walking shoes – Opt for closed toes shoes that are also waterproof, just in case.
  • Many cities in Belgium are covered in cobblestone streets that are incredibly uneven, so leave those high heels at home!
  • These streets can also be dirty, that paired with the possibility of a downpour, means that travelers should pack dark colored walking shoes – leave those nice white sneakers or suede shoes at home!
  • Rethink the summer clothes – the chances that you will be able to rock that beautiful summer dress or romper is slim. Limit the summer clothes to a few key pieces, instead pack spring/fall type clothes.

See our packing tips: packing tip for Europe list for smart travel.

When to Go

The best time to visit Belgium is between March and May and September to October. During these two seasons, you can find better deals on hotels and fewer crowds, as peak tourism season is between June and August. Temperatures during these two seasons are in the 50s and 60s. If you come in May, you can attend the Iris Day Festival in Brussels.

Things to Do

ADVENTURE

  • Ride a cuistax: Head to the sea to ride a cuistax, which is a mix of a bike and a car. You can ride this along the boardwalk to explore the city and enjoy the weather.
  • Mini-Europe: See this unique miniature park in Brussels. Travel through Europe and see landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben or watch Vesuvius explode, recreated on a scale of 1 to 25 and with sound effects added in. Admission includes a guidebook where you can learn more about Europe.

CULTURE

  • The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula: Come to Belgium’s national church. Opened in 1519, it has held numerous events, including royal weddings. Attend a mass service or take a guided tour to learn more about the cathedral’s history while exploring the ground floor and towers.
  • Atomium: Shaped as an iron crystal magnified 150 billion times, come see this unique building in Brussels. Constructed in 1957 for the World Expo and reconstructed in the 2000s, the building is a symbol for peace between nations and using atomic energy for science.

WHAT NOT TO MISS

  • Grand Place: Travel back in time and stroll through this large market square. Sometimes called the “capital” of Brussels, Grand Place has beautiful buildings that date back to the 14th-century, as well as the Museum of the City of Brussels.
  • Gravensteen: Explore this 10th-century castle that includes a moat and an armory museum. Once used to house the Counts of Flanders, the castle is full of history and also includes beautiful panoramic city views of Ghent.

Places to Stay

Check out our favorite booking platforms Booking.comTripadvisor and Air B&B for the best deals on accommodation in Ireland.

Booking Resources

Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies.

We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.

We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.

Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It is usually the has the cheapest prices, not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.

Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation. 

Air BnB: Airbnb is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.

Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.

Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.

Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs. I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.

Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.

World Nomads Insurance: When traveling to Thailand you should always have travel insurance. We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.

Source: Theplanetd.com

CZECH REPUBLIC TRAVEL GUIDE

CZECH REPUBLIC TRAVEL GUIDE

Posted By : wpadmin/ 36 0

Although the Czech Republic has only been around since 1993, it is definitely a country filled with exciting history.

Prague might be the world’s most beautiful and cultured cities but the country is known as having some of the best breweries you have ever encountered and it is filled with amazing castles and chateaus that will leave you breathless.

This Czech Republic travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.

Fast Facts

  • Czech power voltage is 230 V 50Hz;  Plug E
  • Czech currency is the Czech koruna and is around 25 CZK to 1 USD.
  • Drink some Czech beer. The Pils beer was invented here! Try the Pilsner Urquell, the world’s first pilsner. International SIM for all our travels.
  • SIM Cards:
  • Readers Receive a 30% Discount with our promo code DDSave30. You can order here and have it delivered or find out more at our post. 

Budgeting

ACCOMMODATION

Budget: You can find hostels for 210-600 Czech Korunas per night. Enjoy dorm-styled or private rooms, security lockers, free Wi-Fi, a shared kitchen, coffee and tea, and a lounge area with a TV.

Mid-Range: For mid-range, expect to pay around950-2,110 Czech Korunas per night. These include private rooms with coffeemakers and flat-screen TVs, a breakfast buffet, free Wi-Fi, an indoor pool, and a spa. 

High-End: Luxury hotels will cost about 2,350-11,000 Czech Korunas per night. Enjoy private suites with sitting areas, a hotel restaurant with fine dining options, massage services, an indoor pool and hot tub, complimentary breakfast, and a hotel bar.

FOOD

The cuisine of Czech Republic is influenced by the surrounding countries. Pork, fish, thick soups, sourdough bread, vegetables, dumplings, and desserts are found in many meals. Popular meals include roast pork with dumplings and cabbage, marinated sirloin, and beef stew with onions and spices.

When out and about, look for some Kofola (Czech’s version of Coca-Cola) and some Trdelník (grilled spit cake topped with walnut powder). There are many restaurants where you can sample more of the country’s cuisine. In total, expect to pay around 470 Czech Korunas per day for food.

Transportation

GETTING TO THE CZECH REPUBLIC:

Flights: The main airport to fly into is the Václav Havel Airport Prague, located 7 miles from the city center of Prague. Other airports include the Brno–Tu?any Airport (7.5 miles from Brno city center) and the Leoš Janá?ek Airport (12 miles from the city of Ostrava). You can check for the best flights to the Czech Republic on Skyscanner.

Metro: Prague has its own metro that travelsfrom 4:45 AM to midnight throughout Prague, with new trains arriving every few minutes. Buy a ticket for 24-32 Czech Korunas (good for 30 or 90 minutes) and is also a valid transfer for buses. You can buy a ticket at the ticket vending machines.

Buses: Buses are one of the cheapest ways to travel in the Czech Republic, both through cities and more remote locations.The best time to take a bus is during the week, as it can be harder to find a bus on the weekend.

Taxis:  Try not to pick up a taxi on the street, instead, program Tick Tack Taxi or AA Taxi on your phone, both services are available 24 hours, charge a fair rate and also speak English!

Car Rental:  To rent a car, you need to be at least 21 years old and have a driver’s license as well as International Driving Permit. Prices start at 610 Czech Korunas for drivers 25 and older.

Uber: Uber works throughout the city of Prague.

Packing Tips

The climate differs among the various regions of the Czech Republic.

But the climate can be described as a typical European continental influenced climate which includes warm and dry summers with cold, cloudy and yet humid winters.

  • Rain gear – weather can be incredibly unpredictable. It can be pouring rain and then half an hour the sun is out and there are no clouds in the sky.
  • Make sure to always carry either a raincoat or an umbrella so that you do not get caught in the rain.
  • Warm clothes – the weather, even in the summer, can range from 15°C to 25°C degrees with temperatures dipping once the sun goes down. Make sure to bring warm clothes, like a sweater or even a light jacket.
  • Walking shoes – Opt for closed toes shoes that are also waterproof, just in case.
  • Classic Basic items – You do not need to be a fashionista to blend in. The key is in embracing neutral toned items that can be mixed and matched easily. Avoid logos, baseball caps, shorts, hoodies, flip-flops, and running shoes as these items scream tourist!
  • Layers – The Czech Republic has four distinct seasons with summer being hot and the winter being pretty cold.
  • In the wintertime, it is important that you bring some warm clothes with you, specifically a warm coat, hat, and gloves. On any given day you might encounter a variety of different temperature so get ready to live in layers and peel off a layer in a moment’s notice
  • Leave your heels at home – Cobblestone streets are common in many cities and towns across Czech Republic. Heels and cobblestone do not mix so opt for flats, boots and/or sandals.

See our packing tips: packing tip for Europe list for smart travel.

When to Go

The two best times to visit for fewer crowds and better deals on hotels are March-May and September-October. Spring has numerous events, including the Prague International Music Festival.

Temperatures during these seasons range from the 40s to the 60s. If you’re looking for the hottest months (upper 70s), then June-August is the best time, though you should know it is also the peak tourist season.

Things to Do

ADVENTURE

  • Krkonoše Mountains – This area is a great place to get outdoors to enjoy nature. There are numerous waterfalls as well as glacial formations.
  • Cycle to castles: There are more castles per capita in the Czech Republic than anywhere else, so you can enjoy them by biking to them. The Ohre cycling route goes by some of the most majestic castles in the country.

CULTURE

  • Festival galore –  Summertime is Festival Season and Prague seems to know how to party.
  • Prague Castle: Built in the 9th century, the Prague Castle is the official office of the President of the Czech Republic, as well as the largest castle complex in the world. With Gothic and Romanesque architecture, it is a stunning sight. Explore the insides and outsides and head to the exhibitions to learn more about this castle.
  • Lesser Town: Also known as Malá Strana, take a stroll through this scenic town that’s filled with Renaissance and Baroque-styled pastel houses and buildings, cobblestone streets, and numerous shops and restaurants. There’s also a John Lennon Wall where you can write a message.

WHAT NOT TO MISS

  • Prague Zoo: Visit this popular zoo in Prague for a fun day out. Featuring over 5,000 animals and 679 species, it is a dream for animal lovers. See Asian elephants, Chinese Giant Salamanders, antelopes, giraffes, and more.
  • Take a beer tour: Head to Pilsen, Czech Republic to tour Pilsner Urquell brewery. They’ve been making beer here since 1824 and are still going strong. You can see how the factory works and sample the beer while you’re there.
  • Charles Bridge: See this iconic medieval bridge that features 30 Baroque monuments of saints. Once used as a trade route between Prague and Eastern and Western Europe, the bridge is now a popular spot for local artists and for seeing beautiful views of the Vltava River down below.
  • Petín Tower: Dating back to 1891 and once used as an observation and transmission tower, this tower is a popular tourist spot. Standing at 63.5 meters, visitors can marvel at its size before heading up the 299 stairs to observe great city views.

Places to Stay

Mamaison Riverside Hotel Prague – This 4-star hotel is a great place tostay when you’re in Prague. It’s right on the river, so you’ll have an amazing view of the city life. You’ll be within minutes of multiple bus stops so you can easily get around the city. They also have paid parking if you’re renting a car.

Imperial Hotel Ostrava – This is a great choice to stay at when you’re staying in Ostrava. They’ve had a reputation of being welcoming to all guests for over 100 years, although their decor has been updated over the years. The hotel offers free breakfast, a fitness center, and has family suites available for bigger groups traveling together.

Parkhotel Plzen – This hotel is a great base located on the southern end of Pilsen. If you want to stay active during your trip, you can check out the tennis courts or the pool. They also allow pets if you’re traveling with your dog on your trip.

Check out our favorite booking platforms Booking.comTripadvisor and Air B&B for the best deals on accommodation in Ireland.

Booking Resources

Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies.

We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.

We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.

Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It is usually the has the cheapest prices, not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.

Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation. 

Air BnB: Airbnb is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.

Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.

Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.

Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs. I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.

Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.

World Nomads Insurance: When traveling, you should always have travel insurance.

Source: Theplanetd.com

CROATIA

CROATIA TRAVEL GUIDE

Posted By : wpadmin/ 34 0

Stepping foot on Croatian soil was a breath of fresh air.

It still has those old fashioned values where people are nice to one another and they greet you with a smile when you say hello.

They care whether you are having a good time or not and give you water with your meals and coffee.

They don’t charge you a €3 sitting fee or inflated price just to sit down at a table. Everyone is welcome and everyone is a friend. 

This Croatia travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.

Fast Facts

  • Croatian power voltage is 220 V 50 Hz; Power sockets C & F
  • The Croatian currency is the Croatian Kuna (HRK) and is around 7 HRK  for 1 USD
  • If you tend to venture off the beaten path, beware of unexploded minefields in inland areas like Eastern Slavonia, Brodsko-Posavska County, Karlovac County, areas around Zadar County and in more remote areas of the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Croatia is expected to be mine-free 2019.
  • The mines are not in tourist spots and chances that foreigners would visit many of these places are slim. But if you plan on heading to any of the aforementioned areas, stay on cultivated paths and look out for warning signs.
  • Haggling is not the norm but can be done when shopping in local markets; do not try to haggle in other instances, for example, taxi fees.
  • Island hopping up and down the Croatian coast by commercial ferry is neither easy to plan nor an efficient mode of transport. The north-south ferries (Rijeka to Dubrovnik) run only two times/week.
  • In high season, combine coastal ferries with local catamaran service to island-hop independently.
  • Dubrovnik Tip: Do not walk the City Walls in the middle of the day as it is hot (offering no shade) and crowded, especially if cruise ships are in town. Go early in the morning or late in the day.
  • SIM Cards:
  • Readers Receive a 30% Discount with our promo code DDSave30. You can order here and have it delivered or find out more at our post. 

Budgeting

ACCOMMODATION

Budget: You can find hostels in the range of 140-300 HRK per night. Enjoy dorm-styled or private rooms, free Wi-Fi, a lounge area, security lockers, great city locations, and occasionally a restaurant and bar.
Mid-Range: Mid-range hotels will cost about 450-875 HRK per night. These hotels come with private rooms with flat-screen TVs, a hotel restaurant and bar, an indoor pool, free breakfast, and a café.
High-End: Pay between 860-4,000 HRK per night and take in the best. Upscale hotels come with private suites with balconies and living rooms with a kitchenette, a swimming pool, sauna, massage services, elegant dining, a cocktail bar, a gym, and a ballroom.

FOOD

The cuisine in Croatia varies throughout different parts of the country and has influences from Hungary, Italy, Turkey, and Austria. Meals on the Dalmatian coast are more Mediterranean, while in the capital of Zagreb, the food is closer to Central Europe cuisine.

Popular dishes include crni rizot (squid risotto), pasticada (marinated beef fillet, typically served with gnocchi), and buzara (seafood cooked with white wine and breadcrumbs). When in Zagreb, look for strukli, a cottage cheese-filled pastry. In total, expect to pay around 150 HRK per day for food.

Transportation

GETTING TO CROATIA:

Flights: The main airport in Croatia is Zagreb Airport, located miles from the center of Zagreb. Split (11.8 miles from the city of Split) and Dubrovnik (9.5 miles from the city center) also have their own international airports. You can check for the best flights to Croatia on Skyscanner.

Metro: The city of Split has its own metro system. Trains arrive every 20 minutes and travel from Koplica to the ferry terminal in Split. Tickets are 11 HRK.

Buses: Buses are a cheap way to get around and can travel throughout towns, as well as between cities. You can get from Split to Zadar in about 2.5 hours for just 37 HRK.

Taxis: Taxis have a starting fee between 10-30 HRK and increase about 7 HRK per kilometer traveled. A ride from the Zagreb airport to the center of Zagreb will cost around 200 HRK.

Car Rental: To rent a car, you need to be at least 18 years old and have had a driver’s license for a year. If you are under 25, you will have to pay more. Prices start at 180 HRK per day for drivers 25 and older.

Uber: Uber is available in Zagreb, Zadar, Split, and Sibenik, as well as Dubrovnik (June-October only).

Packing Tips

Croatia has two climates; one along the coastline, and one for the interior of the country. 

The coast has a typically Mediterranean climate consisting of hot, dry, sunny weather during summer, and relatively mild (and sometimes wet) weather in winter.

The interior winters can be pretty cold.  Snow is very likely and can be pretty heavy during the winter.

On the other hand, the summers can often be sweltering hot and with no cool ocean breeze, it at times, can be a little unbearable.

  • Water shoes – these bad boys are incredibly useful as the Croatian coast is rocky and its beaches pebbly, so everybody wears water shoes. Water shoes will enable you to be more adventurous and explore more unique swimming locations
  • Water bottle – many towns have public water fountains that have been around since Roman times. During the sweltering summer heat, fill up your bottle and cool off while also saving a couple of bucks!
  • Swimming suits (plural!) – Croatia is all about frolicking under the sun, lazing at the beach or taking a dip in its pristine waters.
  • Make sure to bring more than one swimsuit as no one likes putting on a damp suit!
  • Towel – Many accommodations may provide bathroom towels, but beach towels are usually not provided, at least not without an additional fee.
  • The protection basics – Travellers should stock up on the essentials: sun block, mosquito/insect repellant containing DEET or a pyrethroid insecticide, sunglasses and a hat.

See our packing tips: packing tip for Europe list for smart travel.

When to Go

The two best times to visit are May and September. During this time, the weather is still great for outdoor activities, but there are fewer crowds, and you can often find better deals on hotels.

Temperatures around these times have highs of low 70s. For the hottest temperatures, go between July and August, where the high is the upper 80s, though know it is also the peak tourist season.

Things to Do

ADVENTURE

  • Kayak through Croatia – take an 8-day excursion and visit several of the country’s 1000 islands containing ancient cities with narrow passageways and medieval buildings, old churches and Roman archways.
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park: Come explore the largest national park in Croatia. Featuring 16 beautiful turquoise-colored lakes that merge into waterfalls, including the 78-meter Veliki Slap waterfall, the park is also home to beautiful forest vegetation.

CULTURE

  • Dubrovnik City Walls: Stroll through the historic Dubrovnik Old Town. See historical city walls, beautiful seaside views, and even some filming locations from Game of Thrones (King’s Landing in the show). While you’re there, visit the Lovrijenac Fortress.
  • Diocletian’s Palace: Dating back to 3rd century A.D., walk through the palace of Roman Emperor Diocletian. Found in Split, this palace has numerous antiques, such as 3,500-year-old sphinxes, as well as breathtaking architecture.

WHAT NOT TO MISS

  • Museum of Broken Relationships: If you’ve suffered heartbreak recently, or if you just want to see art, you will like this museum in Zagreb. The museum is a collection of true individual stories and mementos from relationships past, all submitted anonymously.
  • St. Mark’s Church: One of the oldest buildings in Zagreb, the church includes works from Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic. Opened in 1261, the church has gone through many restorations due to fires and earthquakes throughout history. The church now serves as a fascinating historical spot.

Places to Stay

Canopy by Hilton Zagreb City Centre: Stay in the heart of Zagreb at this four-star hotel.

With the train station just a short walk away and numerous restaurants and attractions right by the hotel, this is a great place for those who want to see everything Zagreb has to offer.

The hotel comes with a variety of rooms (regular, suites, and family rooms), a café/bar with its own library, bicycle rentals, and massage services.

Kastel 1700: Stay right near the Adriatic Sea in this hotel in Split.

Just a short walk to Bacvice Beach as well as Diocletian’s Palace, you can enjoy sea views from your hotel room or explore Split for yourself. Amenities include a casual restaurant and bar, a fitness center, room service, airport shuttle, and a breakfast buffet.

Bed and Breakfast Villa Flora: When in Dubrovnik, stay at this B&B in Old Town.

Explore the charming and historic Old Town before heading back to the hotel for board games, a library, and entertainment services for the whole family. Pets are allowed.

Check out our favorite booking platforms Booking.comTripadvisor and Air B&B for the best deals on accommodation in Ireland.

Booking Resources

Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies.

We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.

We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.

Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It is usually the has the cheapest prices, not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.

Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation. 

Air BnB: Airbnb is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.

Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.

Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.

Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs. I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.

Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.

World Nomads Insurance: When traveling you should always have travel insurance. We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.

Source: Theplanetd.com