The Wild Atlantic Way

Officially starts in Kinsale, County Cork and follows the path around the west coast and finishing in Malin Head, County Donegal.

Wild Atlantic Way route is a major draw of visiting Ireland with covering some of Ireland’s top attractions such as Cliffs of Moher, Ring of Kerry and Dingle. The best way to experience is a hiring a car for a couple weeks to thoroughly enjoy the drive with the luxury of taking your time and stopping whenever a photography opportunity presents itself.

County Cork is located in southwest Ireland, and this driving route starts in Kinsale and follows the N71 towards Baltimore, stopping at Clonakilty.

There are smaller routes to take from Wild Atlantic Way and highlights;

Ring of Kerry
Slea Head
Sky Road
Ring of Beara

Kinsale

A colourful village that worthy to spend a couple hours walking through the small side roads & alleys. Being located on the coast offers fresh fish to be had, check out Fishy Fishy restaurant or their takeaway.

Nearby is the Charles Fort which you could walk the coastal trail from Kinsale to the fort via Scilly Walk, a 6km round trip. The Charles Fort is a 17th century military based with a star-shaped fort on the water’s edge.

Mizen Head

The most Southerly point of Ireland looking out to the Atlantic seascape with an iconic Mizen footbridge which you can cross. Great clifftop scenery.

Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is a 179km loop in the southwest of County Kerry, a popular route for visitors to take by a tourist bus or their own car. Commonly driven counter-clockwise to avoid being stuck behind a coach – an important note to take as you would want to see the beautiful views.

Skellig Ring & Islands

A detour off the Ring of Kerry drive, an 18km route taking in the views of the famous Skellig Michael islands which has recently been featured in Star Wars films. Do visit Valentia Island for 360 viewpoints from Geokaun Mountains.

Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey & Walled Garden is located on a beautiful castle grounds with a picturesque entrance. Located in County Galway in the Connemara National Park.

Sky Road

A small route with large scenic views, this is an 11km sky road touring route starting from Clifden in Connemara region. Follow the signs for Sky Road to enjoy fantastic views of the coastline, old coast guard, bays and more.

Slieve League

Actually higher clifftops than Cliffs of Moher and equally matching dramatic clifftops. This free clifftop attraction is one of the highest in Europe and worth a visit without the Cliffs of Moher crowds. Located in County Donegal.

A Traveler’s Tale of Athens to Nafpion

I can scarcely describe what I felt during my trip to Greece. It is a country that is staggering in its beauty, virtually every month of the year! There are so many travelers who want everything to be perfect and planned but sometimes it is the spontaneity that makes the difference. What is the point if you will tour according to a schedule and then go home? I have found the best way to just use a rented car and blend in with your surroundings as if you have always lived there. There are delights to be found in each corner of the city if you know where to look!

For true Athenians, there is no greater joy than to spend the weekend or even just a day in the spell-bounding city of Nafplion. There are twisting roads in this seaport and breath-taking scenery to take in and you can always indulge in a little shopping and an afternoon respite at the numerous roadside cafes there. If you are an enthusiast of Venetian and Turkish historical buildings, you will love roaming around and taking in the architectural fortifications as well as sculptures which have rich tales of the past to tell!

I almost felt like I was in a fairytale- what with the magnificent Palamidi Fortress that towers over a thousand steps of stairs, the Boutrzi Castle which is also known as the ‘water castle.’ Imagine that! It was made to protect the city of Nafpion from pirates and invaders. When I visited it, I could almost see the castle back in olden times-it hadn’t changed all that much. Amidst all this rich culture, there is bougainvillea almost everywhere in the city with a number of colors to entice the weary traveler. Sometimes it will provide a shower of color when the wind blows and other times much needed shade under its petals.

When I was travelling from Athens to Nafpion, I had to stop in a dear little town called Loutraki. It is a vacationing spot that falls right on the Gulf of Corinth and is a mere sixty kilometers from Athens. I soon found that Loutraki had been almost entirely destroyed by an earthquake in the year 1928 which is why there is little apparent history here and all the architecture is fairly new and boasts of modern design. As a tired traveler, I took part in their world-famous spa-like baths and it was an invigorating experience like nothing I have ever had! After a nice hot bath I enjoyed a gelato by the sea in a little place called the Koukos Glace. It was very hard for me to decide, so many flavors of gelato and some so new, like Baklava!

I had been told that the best restaurant to enjoy authentic Greek Cuisine is Maestrali and hence I visited that next. Even a simple dish of beef pasta is enough to arouse the senses; believe me! Not to mention you get a considerable entrĂ©e size. For lovers of seafood I recommend Giannis which has a lovely Pikilia seafood platter and shrimp saganaki- again with portions big enough to serve an army! If you find you are craving a bit of American food, the Loutraki casino is a wonderful place for a buffet breakfast. On your way out of Loutraki, remember to snap a lot of photos in the Corinth Canal- I know I did. It’s the perfect tourist spot.

Speaking of which there is much history to be devoured in the ancient Corinth as it is known as the location of the Greeks learning about Christianity for the first time from the Apostle Paul. There is a museum made here to the effect for history enthusiasts to brush up on their facts. Next head on over to Nafpion but make sure it is before the sun sets as you want to be able to enjoy this seaport in all its glory which may be masked by the cover of night. When the evening does descend however, don’t waste an opportunity to shop a bit more! When I was there I found this small shop and thoughts I’d spend all my money even though I’m usually a careful spender- such is the magic of the place!

I found the perfect little souvenir shop on Amalias 4 called Takis Souvenirs and found myself striking up a conversation with the shop-owner who you could tell was madly in love with the city he lived in and had a lot to say about it. What a delightful man! The energy was so good, we did some serious shopping with my friend and loved every minute of it!

In Nafpion I found the best dining experience to be provided by Kipos, at Plateia Filellinon, although I wish I could have visited every restaurant in the city. As a tourist I would say keep your belongings close by and in check as a foreign country can pose any number of unique challenges- it is better to not draw too much attention to yourself. Do visit Nafpion at least once; I know you’ll love it!

Travel Essentials for Family Summer Getaways

As soon as the temperature rises, school’s done for the year and about any cold beverage or dessert is being craved, you’ll know it is time to dust off your straw hat, swimming gears and of course try fitting in those swimwear. Yes, it’s summer! The one season we will be enjoying the 2 month vacation from school as well as look for that family destination to savor the sun, the sand and the sea.

But, before we all get excited, let me give you tips on the travel essentials to bring for your chosen (if not favorite) summer getaway. Grab your pen and paper and take down this list.

Travelling with Family Must-Haves:

Travel Documents. If you plan to travel here in the Philippines, make sure you bring your valid IDs for documentation of possible verification. If you will be travelling outside the country, then passports, visa must come in handy.

Funds. Importantly, you must bring cash and/or your credit cards for all the payments. However, you must be cautious enough not to bring too much cash at hand as we know robbers may be eyeing on you. So basically, practice being safe at all times specially when withdrawing at ATMs. Better yet, keep a note in your mobile phone or a little notebook where you write down your budget and possible expenses so you would be able to track down in/outs of your money and keep the whole vacation on budget.

Medicines, medical tools and first aid kit. If you or any of your family member have an existing medical condition, make sure to always bring enough and a little extra of the maintenance medicines. You may not be able to find an immediate pharmacy on the place you will going and you may need prescription as well, so keep that with the medicine kit. You can place this in a pouch or a small bag that you can bring with you at all times while travelling. This goes with your first aid kit. At least, make sure that the first aid kit contains medicines for common illness like headache, stomach pain, loose bowel movement, anti-allergy as well as band aids, betadine iodine, alcohol, cotton swabs and a nail cutter. You will need to bring also blood pressure monitor and blood sugar monitor in case you have diabetic loved ones.

When travelling with kids or babies, this will be a different story. You will pack another set of essentials just for them. Clothes, diapers, wipes, feeding bottles, sterilizer, just no name a few. So keep that in the list too!

When you will be commuting for the travel, make sure you have all commute stops planned. If you will need to be travelling by plane, you must be making the booking ahead of time. While, when you travel by land, make sure you will know the bus stops, etc. And when you will be driving, Google maps and GPS will be your best friend. Plan and make your research ahead of time. And when you are driving, make sure that your motor vehicle is at its best condition with enough fuel, air and water.

Accommodation at destination. Make sure you have booked ahead for resorts and hotels as they might not entertain you via walk in. Sometimes, you can save time and money by booking or making your reservations online.

Clothes, swim wears. Make sure you bring enough appropriate clothes. To save some space in your bags though, consider bringing lightweight clothes and learn how to pack smartly.

Gadgets, camera. What would capture your memorable summer but bringing in your mobile phones for your selfies! Bring in your digital cameras or action cameras too! Keep your gadgets in waterproof pouches in case you want to bring them while swimming.

Padlocks. For security reasons, make sure your bags have padlocks. Make sure you attend to you belongings as just about any establishment have no responsibility on your belongings in case of loss.

Snacks, water. Due to the hot season, we tend to be dehydrated. So make sure to pack some snacks and water while travelling to fill up that energy.

Toiletries, cosmetics. These are important too. Make sure you have napkins, tissue paper, wipes. Your toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner. Sunblock and sunburn recovery lotion. You may want to have travel kits where you can keep these essentials so you won’t need to bring the big bottles of shampoo. Just take a portion and place in these travel kit containers and you can refill those on your next travel destination.

This is my list when we go travelling. I will be making a series to this to include some more tips on my next blog. You may need more than this essentials, make sure to customize and tailor this list to your own needs and situation. Meanwhile, enjoy you summer destination and make memories!