Visiting Ancient Olympia from Katakolo in the Greek Peloponnese

I’ve already rated Greece as the number one in my ranking Map of the most beautiful Countries, as well as one of the best in terms of Historically Rich destinations around the world. Ancient Olympia is one of those places that was on my list and this year it was time to pay it a visit. Birthplace of the Olympic games, Ancient Olympia was the chosen location to build the famous games which were hosted from 776 BC and have been played there for 1169 years before it was destroyed by an earthquake and later rediscovered by German archeologist. Since its opening to the public, it has become a popular touristic place to visit while in Greece, mostly for its significance more than what is left. In fact, very little is left. It seems more like a graveyard of stones laying everywhere than an actual Olympic site. […]

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Visiting Valletta, Malta: World Capital of Balconies

Malta is one of those European countries that “awe’s” me as soon as I set foot on its streets. The proof that a city doesn’t need any fancy activities to make it a great one. A short walk around Valletta, Malta’s tiny capital of less than 10000 people, will convince anybody that preserving its authenticity and showcasing its historical traits is the secret to making any city a great one! I’ve been in Malta for the first time in 10 years ago, and it hasn’t changed that much since then, except for the obvious restorations of the walls. At the time I had the opportunity to dig deeper into the suburbs of Valletta and all around the Island, which is definitely worth it! Mdina is the other highlight that I wish I had time to visit again, but this time I was on a short […]

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Menorca: The Baleares Islands Best Kept Secret

You know the feeling when you go to the cinema to see a movie you have hardly heard of and see it with little expectations? And When you finally leave you are amazed by it? Well that’s what happened to me when I visited Mao, the capital of Menorca, the lesser known island of the 3 Baleares island. If you haven’t heard of Menorca you probably have of its bigger brothers who will surely ring a bell. Mallorca’s beaches and Ibiza’s Party have stolen the show for many years, but Menorca definitely deserves some credit as an amazing destination. My guess is the more people end up going, the more it will gather attention in the next few years which will help it grow exponentially, at the expense of its “little town” charm. Already, the mainstream cloth shops such as Zara, Mango, and Stradivarius have found […]

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Malaga: The Flawless Spanish City that Has it All – City Guide

Sunny Malaga has grown exponentially in the past 20 years to become one of the top 5 agglomerations in Spain. And for a good reason! Its location is just perfect, providing comfortable Andalusian weather all year round, with a nice sea breeze, as well as access to Spain’s best ski resorts around Granada just about an hour away. Culturally, it is rich with Andalusian culture which is to my eyes the most authentic in Spain and the easiest to flavor as a tourist. Being the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, it is easy to see how Malaga reserves a special attribute to culture, offering art museums and many architectural sites throughout the city. Its Alcazaba (a.k.a the little Alhambra) is also a great little extra to sample the Moorish era if you don’t have time to make it to Granada and provides a pleasant afternoon visit right […]

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Tangier: The Moroccan Doors to Africa

Tangier used to be an important gateway to Europe (or to Africa) and seems to have caught up on its lack of interest for travelers which traditionally valued more others cities in the country such as Marrakech, Fes, Tetouan or Essaouira. This was the case when I first came to Tanger back in 2003. The city was known for high crime and was not recommended by most book guides out there, considering it a port of arrival rather than a touristic destination. That was the case for me at the time, having spent only 2 days in the cities before rushing south to more “attractive” destinations. However, this year’s visit surprised me. 15 years later, the Medina definitely has been pumped up with restorations to make it more appealing to the touristic eye. Most of the highlights will be around the Medina (historic old town) […]

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The Canary Islands: What Every Island on Earth Should Look Like!

After a nice 4 months in south-east Asia where I had the chance to visit four countries while settling in their capitals to get some work done, it was time to hit the road again and like almost every year, I am back to Europe on time for Spring and the Summer Holiday! I’m pretty excited about many pans I have for the next months and since it’s still a little cold on the continent, I am starting my adventures in the Canary Islands off the coast of western Africa, more specifically on two of them: Tenerife and La Palma. I’ve visited many islands through my travels, actually I visited all of the islands countries of the world. Among them, many of the most popular islands still “under control” by European nations. I must say that contrary to what many people think, staying on an island […]

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My Russia Top 5 Lists Best Cities, best Nature, Best food, Best festivals

As usual with my country review series, I present my top 5 of different aspects of Russia. Its a great way to start planning your itinerary by seeing the highlights of my trips. Top 5 Favorite Cities 1. Novosibirsk 2. Krasnoyarsk 3. Sochi 4. Vladivostok 5. Moscow Top 5 Most Beautiful Cities 1. St-Petersburg 2. Vladivostok 3. Sochi 4. Moscow 5. Samara Top 5 Best Nature 1. Siberian Forest 2. Black Sea Coast from Krasnodar to Sochi 3. Baikal Lake and Baikal Natural Reserve 4. Altai Mountains 5. The Far East around Vladivostok Top 5 Food & Drinks 1. Borsch 2. Shashlik 3. Russian Dumplings 4. Russian Pancakes 5. Russian Salad Top 5 St-Petersburg Attractions 1. Hermitage Museum 2. Peterhof Palace 3. White Palace 4. Canals 5. Chuch of the Saviour Top 5 Moscow Attractions 1. Red Square 2. St-Basil Cathedral 3. Moscow Metro 4. […]

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3 Best Russian Itineraries You Must Do On Your Next Trip

Following my series about Russia, I describe in this article the best itineraries to be done in this vast countries, from my own experience and personal researchers while on the field, and while talking with other travelers. Itinerary 1: Moscow and around Many people will only have a week to dedicate to visiting a country. And in a country as big as Russia, that means traveling very little distances. Limiting a visit that short will constrain to focus on Moscow and St-Petersburg. This is the itinerary that I have personally done in 2010, arriving by plane in Moscow and leaving the country on the western border into Estonia. Moscow deserves 2 to 3 days to visit all of its highlights, including the Kremlin, the Red Square, and the St-Basil Cathedral. Moscow Subway is also a must, and can easily be taken to go around the […]

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The Trans-Siberian Train: The Ultimate Russian Challenge

My most recent interest since 2013 has been to dig into the cultures of the ex Soviet Union when I moved to Moldova and Ukraine for the summer 2013. Having more than 144 million native speakers, and the seventh most spoken language worldwide and especially in the 18 ex-soviet nations, I knew it would be a very useful tool for my adventures. It was especially interesting to me since I wanted to travel through the 5 Central Asian “Stan” countries, as well as in the Caucasus. So I went ahead and started learning Russian grammar and practiced through my travels and finally made it with at fluent conversational level in Russian by now. I have been back living in Ukraine for several months during the war of 2014 and after the war, back in 2016. My goal in learning the language was primarily to help […]

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World Map of the Best Quality/Price Destinations, Through the Eyes of a Man Who Visited Them All

Using leverage for your dollar in choosing your next holiday destination is super important. People sometimes focus too much on the hype from what they heard of some places without comparing them to others. An example of this is the typical holiday in Maldives or Seychelles as a beach destination. Having visited both a few years ago, I liked the islands but it definitely isn’t’ better than Thailand or beaches around  Mexico and the Caribbean. Seems like all this publicity from Hollywood movies and advertisement in Forbes magazine worked out for them as people rank them as their “dream destination” while they can do a week to Punta Cana or the Riviera Maya for a fraction of the price. Same applies for Mountain destinations… why travel to the typical Swiss mountains or Western Canada, while you can get better quality mountains in Argentina and Chile for Cheaper and […]

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