Spain solo trip: Day 2 Lloret De Mar

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Lloret De Mar is a former fishing town on the Costa Brava in Spain’s Catalonia region. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Costa Brava. I could clearly see why as I walked around and discovered the area myself.

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It boasts a stunning, lively stretch of beach lined with bars along its promenade, along with hidden beach spots and rocky coves.

As I wandered around the colourful streets in the early morning, I got the feeling this place could become pretty lively. In fact, I had read this was a place of a vibrant nightlife where places to drink are open 24/7 between the months of May and September.

I’m not really one for going out when I travel, (nor at home tbh) so I can’t tell you about all about the bars and clubs, but I can tell you I did see several pretty cool looking ones, from the outside, of course 😉. As well as this, there are plenty of restaurants, coffee shops , supermarkets and shops to wander around in.

Although I was staying in Lloret De Mar, I only got to explore here for one day because I had plans to travel to other places. Therefore, I didn’t really get to explore as much as I had initially hoped.

After wandering around the shops, I began to look for The Parish Church Of Sant Romà, which conveniently for me, was around a 5 minute walk from where I was in the centre.

The Parish Church Of Sant Romà (Iglesia de San Román de Lloret)

After a few missed turns I eventually come to the Church Of Sant Romà, the patron Saint of Lloret De Mar.

The church has two very different types of architecture. The forefront part is in the Gothic style and was built around the years of 1509 and 1522. While the other part is strikingly colourful and influenced by the Catalan modernisation movement which started in development at the end of the 19th century.

How beautiful is the architecture? Unfortunately, I didn’t get to visit inside because I arrived just as it was closing.

If you would like to know more about this place, visit it here.

D’en Plaja Castle

After a visit to the church, I took a stroll along the beach and went to D’en Plaja Castle.

The hilltop Castle is located at the end of Sa Caleta beach and is one of Loret De Mar’s best features.

It’s not a castle!

I never knew this at the time, but since returning home and researching a little more about the castle, I learnt that it wasn’t a castle at all, but a summer home. The home was constructed in 1935 by Girona industrial magnate Narcís Plaja, and an architect named Isidor Bosch.

It apparently caused a fair bit of controversy amongst the locals at first, but has since become one of Lloret De Mar’s favourite features.

The most beautiful coastal views

Once past the Castle, there is a foot path I walked along that took me to the most scenic coastal line views!

The further I walked along the path, the fewer people I came across until I came to a perfect beauty spot to just sit in the stillness and enjoy all the surrounding areas. It was just pure bliss!

The best part about it was it was completely unexpected. I only found it through curiosity, as I wondered what was beyond.

The trail goes all the way to a beautiful town called Tossa De Mar, though it is a 12-km walk, so it would take a few hours. It is said to be an incredibly magical walk that I would have loved to have done had I known. I did, however, visit Tossa De Mar by bus, which I will share with you in a later post.

Thank you for visiting my blog today, its much appreciated.

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤

I finally plucked up the courage to travel abroad!

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As much as I have been enjoying travelling and exploring the UK, like many people, I had been hoping for the return of the travel industry to open again.

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Location

Everything felt a little overwhelming

I knew from the end of last year this would be the year when I returned to continue my dreams of traveling the world. I began to look for a small trip to book last year for this year. However, with all the uncertainties, everything felt so overwhelming so I didn’t end up booking anything. Instead, I decided to wait until I felt confident enough.

I felt a strong impulse

It was the beginning of May and I had a few days off work coming up and I just felt a strong impulse to book a flight to somewhere. I took this as a sign of being ready to fly again. Within 8 days of booking, I was on a flight to Spain.

I look forward to sharing my solo travel adventures in my next blog.

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤

Hilbre Islands Part1: A beautiful Uninhabited Island near Liverpool

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Travelling to Liverpool? You may want to take an adventure over to these cool islands located between England and Wales.

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The Hilbre Islands are an archipelago made up of three Islands: Little Eye, Middle Eye and the largest of the three, Hilbre. They are located at the edge of the estuary of the River Dee, at the border of England and Wales. The Islands can be reached by foot during low tide from West Kirby on the Wirral peninsula, Merseyside and can take anywhere between around 50 – mins to an hour and a half to get to all three, depending on your own pace.

Once you arrive, it offers amazing photo opportunities of beautiful beach houses, panoramic sea views, and wildlife. If your lucky you may even spot some grey Seals!

Most Challenging trip of my year so far

This adventure has been my favourite adventure so far this year, but it has been my most challenging of the year so far.

I first made the discovery of the Islands back in February. I was super excited so couldn’t wait to do the adventure. Although, I hesitated for around two weeks before booking the trip.

The thought of crossing over was causing me to feel a little nervous. I kept reading about how the tide comes in so quickly and about people who had to be rescued after getting caught in the tide. Also, I was a little confused about the safest times to cross over. I understood it to have a safe journey. You must cross 3 hours after high tide and be back on the mainland at least 3 hours before the tide comes in. The times of low and high tide are stated clearly on the few websites I visited, but the times stated for low and high tide were always six hours apart, which didn’t make sense. Therefore, I wasn’t sure if these were the times I should head out and come back, or wait three hours after the times shown 🤔. I eventually found some really helpful websites that put my mind at ease ,which I’m so grateful I did as the ones shown on the beach were confusing. ( I will share these websites along with other advice and information in a later blog)

It was a little frightening

I eventually booked the trip in the first week of March. I arrived at the beach around 8.45am and started to walk out, but got cold feet when realising no one else was walking out to sea. I headed back and asked a kind man with a dog if I was heading in the right direction. Looking quite worried about my wellbeing, he said “Yes, but have you checked the tide times? Be careful the tide comes in quickly”. His reaction made me want to check to see if a coastal guard was around, but there didn’t seem to be any around. I spotted a lady working near by the lake, so asked her if it was a good time to walk out. She, like the man earlier, had the same reaction. She explained to go immediately, but to not hang around for too long once there. She also told me the safest way to reach all the islands. Well, I am definitely a lot more nervous now. Regardless, I started to head out there.

The further out I got, the more my fears grew to the point of wanting to turn back. It was an incredibly frightening experience for someone who can not swim. 🤣 Nonetheless, I would not allow myself to turn back with the promise to myself of being allowed to turn back after reaching the first tiny little island.

I had tortured myself enough, Therefore, I didn’t want to force myself to reach the other two. Well, not this day anyway, but definitely next time.

Once there, I felt better, but still didn’t feel brave enough to attempt the other two Islands. However, was really proud of myself for facing this challenge.

On Little Eye are the remains of a brick and concrete moorings a long with a substantial iron bolt remaining in place. The island is mostly made up of red bunter sandstone and grass.

I must admit it felt great heading back to the mainland having not been swept out to sea 🤣.

My return journey was much more successful. I will share that in the next blog.

Thanks for reading

Stay blessed 🙏🏾❤

Yorkshire Dales National Park: Malham Cove

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Yorkshire Dales National Park is an area that covers most of the Yorkshire dales, England.

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It is filled with hay valleys, waterfalls, beautiful woodlands and greenery, dry stone walls, scattered remains of the past industries and is home to over 1,000 farms. It is by far one of the most beautiful landmarks of the country, so its hardly surprising it was named ‘The best National Park in Europe on the TripAdvisor website.

There are so many places to visit here such as Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, Hardraw Force Waterfall, Whernside Moutains and the white Scar Cave but one of its most popular sites is Malham Cove.

Malham Cove

Malham Cove is a huge cliff formation of limescale rock that stands around 80 meters high and 300 meters wide.

The top of it is of deep groved eroded limescale slabs of pavement, that I must add is incredibly slippy on a rainy day if your wearing the wrong footwear like I did 🙄.

Harry Potter

The top of Malham Cove (pictured above) is also featured in the movie Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. So if you’re a Harry Potter fan, this would be an more fantastic experience.

The surrounding area is so serene with the beautiful sounds of water running through the streams.

Thanks for stopping by today

I hope you enjoyed my short blog on Malham Cove. I didn’t get to visit any of the other attractions, but hopefully I will revisit soon and share with .

Stay blessed

Natalie ❤

A place to wash your spirit clean, Snowdonia

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In September I visit North wales. One of the places I stopped off at was Snowdonia National Park, the largest national park in Wales and the proud owner of the highest mountain in both England and Wales. Yes, you probably guessed it, Mount Snowdon. Did I climb mount Snowdon? No I’m far too lazy for that, but I did hike a little into some moutains, after being driven up most of the way that is, Sshhhhhhhh!

Although my face says different, I really was having the time of my life here 🙂

I visited on a minibus shared with eight other travellers. We were taken to the most tranquil place, it literally felt like we had the whole national park to ourselves.

I honestly could not believe how beautiful and relaxing this place was! It was so silent with only the sounds of the waterfalls. It was like stepping into another world where everything stood still. A place where you could forget every worry in the world, a place where you could wash your spirit clean.

If your thinking of visiting North Wales, this is one place not to be missed.

Thanks for reading 🙂 Stay safe x

Exploring Liverpool Part3

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Video from my day trip to Liverpool three months ago! Better late than never.

Thanks for watching 🙂 Stay safe x

Solo Trip To Zadar, Croatia Part 2

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Day 3 of my trip here was spent wondering around Zadar’s beautiful old town. The journey was around a 15 – minute bus ride from the Donat Hotel where I was staying. The journey cost me 10 kunas which was around £1.15 in sterling pounds or €1.31 in euros at the time of being there.

What the video if you would like to see this beautiful old town. You will also get to see the sea organ, which was definitely the highlight of the day! It was so fascinating!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Solo trip to Zadar, Croatia Part 1

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If you read my last blog you will know I was feeling a little worried about this trip…. Well, there was no reason to worry! I had the most amazing time!

Watch the video below which shows my arrival and first day in croatia. If you want to learn more about where I stayed scroll down to read.

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Where I Stayed

I stayed at the Donat Hotel * Please not this is not a paid review*

I found the hotel basic but clean, the staff were very pleasant and helpful, Although, I do have to admit the restaurant staff were extremely miserable!

The food is buffet style with a fairly good selection every day and is served at breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, all the drinks are not all-inclusive! Red wine, white wine, beer, juices, sprite, coke, coffee and tea are all included in the package, everything else you are required to pay for. Many people were unhappy with this in the reviews, I for one was fine with this however, I did understand why people were disappointed. Correct me if I’m wrong but, all-inclusive usually includes all drinks but exclude champagne or branded drinks in the package.

The Hotel is located on a huge complex along with other hotels. In fact, the hotel has two separate buildings, one where the restaurant is located and the other where the reception and bar is located, this is the one I stayed in. The beach is pretty much on the door step of this building and is less than a 3-minute walk from the other building.

In the reviews people complain of the hotel being situated in a remote area, which is somewhat true to some extent. The surrounding area is quiet, but is rather enjoyable and not touristy. Outside the complex is a restaurant, gift shop, super market, ice cream shop and the beautiful harbour. Also, right outside the complex is the bus stop where you can take a short bus journey into the centre.

I really had no problem with this hotel and would recommend it as a very good choice to stay in zadar, especially if your looking to stay somewhere cheap and cheerful. It’s incredibly cheap! I paid £243 for the entire trip which included flights and airport transfers! *Please bear in mind this was booked for October and prices will vary*

A Day In Tarragona/ Catalonia, Spain

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Tarragona is a port city situated in north-east Spain on the Costa Daurada Although, it only sits 100 km to the south of Barcelona, It is by far less known. It’s full of well-preserved medieval and roman charms and is listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO.

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The majority of tourists visit Barcelona and the more popular locations such as Madrid, Seville and Valencia. It’s surprising how many people have never heard of Tarragona here in the UK, especially since it is located only 11 km from Salou, the hugely popular British tourist destination.

Now I have to admit, I had never heard of it myself until I was searching for a city to visit on my 6th day in Salou. I come across it on trip advisor and was completely blown away by the pictures and reviews.

That morning I made the 15- 20 minute journey by bus for €2.50, I was so delighted I did! It was full of wonders!

I got off the bus at Tarragona bus station, google maps directed me to turn right and to walk straight ahead.

After 5 minutes of walking, I arrived at the beautiful port.

I was then lead slightly to the left off the port to this bridge.

I could see the views of the Amphitheatre as I walked further along the bridge.

Tarragona Roman Amphitheatre

This Roman amphitheatre built approximately in the 2nd century sits on the coast just of Rambla Nova. Initially, it was used for battles of the gladiators and fighting and hunting of animals. Later on, it was used for undertaking executions of people who were sentenced to death.

Circ Roma

Directly across the road from the amphitheatre was the Circ Roma (Roman Circus). Circ Roma is the underground open-air ruins of the 1st century where horses and buggy racing took place.

Admission is €3.30, free for children under the age of 16 years. €1.70 for groups of over 25 people, pensioners, students and one parent families.

Inside is spectacular! Full of dark underground tunnels. I didn’t get as many pictures as I would have liked but here are a few.

I made my way up the building, stopping to admire the contents inside until I reached the rooftop. The views from the rooftop were stunning!!

A 10-minute walk from here is the Roman walls and the cathedral.

The Cathedral

The cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church from the late 11th century and was declared a monument in 1905. The architecture inside is truly astonishing!

More wandering

I found a little people square surrounded by shops and cafes where I stopped to refuel. It was the perfect place for people watching and taking in a bit of the culture, as many locals seemed to be here with their dogs.

After here I wandered into the centre and browsed through the shops, whilst also wandering down the side streets.

I was entirely fascinated by this little cosmopolitan city, it completely took me by surprise! There were lots of little hidden gems everywhere! I could go on and on but then this blog would be far too long. I would highly recommend visiting this place, it’s especially worth visiting if you’re in Salou, Barcelona or any of the other nearby destinations.

Thanks for reading 😉

Salou, Spain: Part 3

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My trip to Salou has been far by the most challenging up to date. You can read more about this in my blog Nightmare in Salou part 1 and part 2 nonetheless, I still managed to make the most of the few days where no dilemmas transpired.

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Salou is located in Costa Dorado in the Catalonia region of Spain and is the most popular in Costa Dorado. It has two main beaches Playa Ponent which is the biggest of the two is a sandy beach along Catalonia with a wide variety of cafes and restaurants. The other is Playa Llevant which sports a gym, volleyball and children’s play area. Both beaches offer a number of water sports activities.

Spain’s top theme park PortAventura is just next door, as well as a number of golf courses and a world-class water park.

Salou sets a vibrant pace for nightlife offering a number of bars, clubs and restaurants. And those who want a change of scenery Barcelona is only 90 minutes away via train. Then there’s Tarragona, a city declared a world heritage city by UNESCO in 2000.

This is a tremendous family destination with something for everyone of all generations. But, just how did I spend my time here as a solo traveller?

Day 3

It’s the third day in and the first day I’m actually able to enjoy the holiday. I don’t really have a plan other than to explore the local area.

It’s around 12 noon by the time I leave my apartment. I’m staying at the Salou Pacific Apartments in a self-contained apartment. I would definitely recommend these apartments for low budget travellers.

The sun is beaming down on me from the moment I step outside. It was beautiful! just what I needed! I walked and walked just taking in the scenery. It was definitely that typical British tourist destination. Don’t think I have ever been to a holiday destination surrounded by so many British accents. That being said, it felt rather comforting after everything I’d been through.

It wasn’t long before my stroll brought me here.

Salou Promenade

It’s was so beautiful and seemed like an endless abundance of palm trees, waterfalls and monuments.

Avenida Jaume l

Cambrils

My roaming walk brought me to the small town of Cambrils.

Cambrils Habour

Cambrils is a coastal town, a quieter alternative to its more full-on neighbour, the resort of Salou. It is more low key and is regarded as a foodie place due to its wonderful seafood restaurants and local ingredients.

I enjoyed the quieter beach, the harbour, strolling through the back streets, a fine bite to eat at Denver Restaurant (highly recommend) before heading back to Salou.

On my back through Salou, I come across some interesting architecture but one that struck me the most was the stunning Xalet Bonet.

This wonderful private home was built by Ciriac Bonet in 1918. The architect for the piece was Domenec Sugranyes I Gras disciple and colleague of Antoni Gaudi.

The house is not open to the public but, it is extraordinary just to admire, even if it only from the exterior.

Xalet Bonet

Day 4

This day consisted of more exploring locally around Salou.

Again there were no plans, I just wondered around. This time my wanders took me to Parque Municipal de Salou, a beautiful quiet park in the centre of Salou.

Parque Municipal de Salou

It was such a quiet, relaxing place with only the sounds of the waterfalls and birds twittering away. The ponds had small fish and I’m pretty sure I saw tiny turtles (I think)

The park also had a cafe, a small child’s play area and an outdoor gym, which was pretty cool.

After here arrived at the beach. I walked pretty much the whole way around admiring all the beach bars restaurants, and the beauty of the sea.

Levant Beach

On the way back to the hotel I opted to walk on the street that runs parallel to the beach to avoid the crowds. This meant I was walking up the steep streets, which was rather exhausting after a while. Just a few steps ahead was a sign that read Koko Beah Bar, in need of rest I was grateful to see this. I really needed to sit down, my legs were like jelly, I’d been wandering around for so long.

To my surprise, they had the most remarkable terrace with the most incredible views over the sea.

Views from the Koko Bar

If I hadn’t of wandered down this street I would have never found this place. I was so delighted to have come across it! Not only was it a great place for relaxation and to watch the sunset. It served a great selection of drinks, cocktails and delicious gourmet dishes all at reasonable prices, given it’s the location.

My time in Salou was mostly spent relaxing on the beach. It was a trip with quite a whirlwind of events and emotions, so I needed a lot of time to recharge. Having said that, I did, in fact, make the journey to Tarragona whilst here. Tarragona is an extraordinary place which deserves a blog of its own. I’m super excited to share the place with you, so I will be doing a write-up on this Shortly.

Thanks for reading 😁