Written by Michael

4min read

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Ticking of these 5 best things to do in Kotor will make sure that you get the most out of your stay to the most beautiful town in Montenegro.

Kotor in my opinion is the gem of Montenegro. The old town is situated on the southern tip of a stunning bay that is surrounded by towering mountains.

The towns unique history, stunning scenery, and nearby attractions will keep your jaw on the floor for at least a couple of days.


Kotor Old Town

The old town of Kotor is one of the most interesting old towns I’ve explored.

Down every street you’ll find another smaller side street with something unique to explore. I found the cutest little shops, hidden relaxing areas, as well a cool open air cinema!

The streets are very hap-hazard and random. This was deliberately done by the town planners to confuse potential invading forces!


Take a hike to Kotor Fortress.

Overlooking the old town are the fortifications of Kotor. The fortifications protected the medieval town hundreds of years ago and are still in relatively good condition.

To get to the fort you can take the usual route up the mountains at the back of the old town and pay a fair bit fo money, or you can take the secret route.

My hosel friend and I took the secret route and its a lot quieter, a lot more authentic, and a lot cooler.

The route will take you out of the old town and crisscross up the mountain. On your way up you’ll pass really quirky sites.

An old man who doesn’t speak English will offer you refreshments from his farm house, you’ll pass plenty of goats, and can explore the cutest abandoned church.

The back entrance to the fort is then up a wooden ladder through a back window.

Then you are free to explore the awesome views!


Our Lady of the Rocks

About an hours walk north of Kotor is the cute little town of Perast. Just off the shore of Perast you will find two little islands.

These islands make up what is known as ‘Our Lady of the Rocks’. This little island was once literally a bunch of rocks and has been build on over the years.

In the 1400’s an image of the Virgin Mary was seen on the site and a small Orthodox church was built on the site.

Over the years the Church has changed and now there is a Catholic church that you are free to visit and explore with a ferry service from Perast.


Lovcen National Park

Lovcen National Park
Lovcen National Park Kotor

Towering over the south of Kotor is Lovcen National Park. The National Park contains two large mountains that have a myriad of hikes for you to complete.

A hike to the top of Mount Lovcen to visit Njegos Mausoleum is likely to be the highlight of your time in Kotor. The imposing Mausoleum overlooks the bay of Kotor.

The Mausoleum itself is the highest in the world and is flanked by two towering figures guarding it.

A short walk on from the mausoleum is a circular view pint offering the best panoramic views in Montenegro.


Kotor Old Town Saturday Market

If you’re lucky enough to be in Kotor on a Saturday then I highly recommend a trip to the Saturday Market. Sellers from all over the region converge upon the old Town of Kotor and sell a mesmerising array of goods.

You’ll find food produce ranging from the finest home made olive oil to the tastiest vegetables in Montenegro.

You’ll also find plenty of little handmade trinkets that you’ll be able to take home with you. If you keep them for yourself or use them as gifts for friends and family is up to you!

 

Written by Michael

6min read

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Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains of Southern Spain’s Andalusia region, Granada is not just a hidden gem, but a treasure trove of diverse ethnic groups and cultures. Exotic, breathtaking and serene, the old Moorish city is a cultural delight with its rich history. Striking Islamic architecture and beautiful Arab influence contrast against Spanish heritage, and renaissance and gothic aesthetics.

Tapas, wines, cheeses, jamones, flamenco, art, and history. There is no shortage of activities and sites to see, every corner is bursting with flavor and character. Here are a few highlights that are a must for any visitor.

1. The Alhambra (including Generalife, Nasrid Palace and Alcazaba)

Alhambra granada Spain
Alhambra granada Spain

Set against the backdrop of the stunning Sierra Nevada peaks, The Alhambra is an imposing fortress that sprawls across the hilltop.

The site includes royal palaces, peaceful gardens, patios, fountains and impressive Islamic architecture.

It is the greatest surviving relic of Andalusia’s 800 years under Moorish rule, built between the 8th and 15th centuries.

Once a walled citadel where Sultans resided, Alhambra is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There is little doubt as to why this is the most visited monument in Spain, at times attracting over 6,000 visitors a day

This amazing structure is divided into 3 parts: the Nazrid palaces, the battlements or Alcazaba, and the gardens of Generalife . Dont panic, but there are five different types of admission tickets to choose from. 

  1. 1.Alhambra General (includes everything – the Nasrid Palaces, Generalife gardens, Alcazaba)
  2. 2.Gardens, Generalife and Alcazaba
  3. 3.Night Visit to Nasrid Palaces
  4. 4.Night Visit to Generalife Gardens
  5. 5.Combined Visit Alhambra and Rodriguez-Acosta Foundation

Tickets will sell out quickly during peak tourist season. But dont worry, you will be able to purchase tickets to the Alhambra between two hours and four months in advance.

Purchase tickets:

  • On the Website HERE. If you don’t have your own printer, visitors can print the tickets at one of the vending machines next to the Alhambra entrance using the reservation number. 
  • By Phone (+34) 858 953 616, information 958 027 971. 
  • At the ticket office on the same day if any are still available.

  • Note: You should schedule at least four hours for a trip to the Alhambra. 
  • By Bus: You can take the red minibus Alhambra Bus C30 or C32, which leave every 8-12 minutes from Isabel Catolica Square to the Alhambra. The stop where you need to get off is called ‘Alhambra – Generalife 2’. 

2. Granada Cathedral and the Royal Chapel

Granada Cathedral Spain
Granada Cathedral

In the heart of the city stands a most magnificent cathedral. This massive sanctuary was commissioned by Queen Isabella I in the early 16th century. This was immediately after the conquest of Granada and was constructed on the site of the Main Mosque. It is not only the fourth largest cathedral in the world but the first Renaissance cathedral in Spain. 

Immediately upon entrance, visitors are struck by the beautiful circular design and unique walls of the main chapel. A visit to just the main chapel alone would be worth the trip.

Right next door is the Royal Chapel, the burial site of two of Spain’s most notable historical figures, Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand II. The ornate burial tombs were all hand carved by sculptors from marble and are the real highlight of this monument.

The Granada Cathedral and the Royal Chapel each have a seperate entrance fee. Tickets can be purchased directly at the ticket office of the Granada Cathedral. 

  • General admission, individual or groups: 5 euros (audio guide included)
  • Students and people with disabilities: 3,5 euros 
  • Children under 12: free entry 
  • Note: Photography is not allowed inside the Royal Chapel of Granada.

3. The Sacromonte

  • By Bus: You can reach the Cathedral of Granada using Granada city buses, routes 4, 8, 11, 21, 33 (the bus stop is ‘Gran Via 1’ or Cathedral), routes C31, C32, C34 (the bus stop is ‘Plaza Isabel Catolica’). 

This bustling neighborhood is home to Granada’s Roma community – a 15th century gypsy quarter with many cave dwellings and whitewashed streets to explore.

Youll spend hours roaming the district, being transported back into a place frozen in time. Thanks to the steep streets, the views from the top are picturesque, with panoramic views across the neighbouring towns. 

Sacromonte region buildings
Sacromonte region

The Museo Cuevas del Sacromonte consists of eleven cave houses, giving visitors a tour steeped in customs and history. It takes about one hour and costs 5€ per person. 

While in Sacromonte, allow yourself to be seduced by the strumming of the Spanish guitar and the clicking of flamenco dancers.

It is here that you can witness and experience the most authentic long-standing tradition of flamenco performed by the Spanish gypsies (Gitanos or Roma).

The Gitanos mix the traditional Spanish flamenco with Arab belly dancing and shows are still frequently held in cave homes. 

  • By Bus: You can reach the Sacromonte from Plaza Nueva by bus number C34. The buses have an average frequency of 20 minutes. Duration of the trip is about 15 mins.

4. Granada ancient Arab baths

A hammam is an Arab bath – hot steam bath followed by a massage. Heavenly. In Granada, thanks to the Arab culture influence, visitors can explore the Ancient baths and experience the pleasure in some of the new, modern ones in the El Albaicín district. 

Ancient Arab baths Granada
Ancient Arab baths Granada

El Bañuelo is the most famous of the hammams in Granada and provides a glimpse into Moorish life and history.

While there is no longer any running water, these 11th century baths have been maintained and are some of the few Moorish buildings that were not torn down after Granada was seized by the Spanish Kings.

The original brickwork and windows have been maintained and are an absolute marvel. Visits cost 2 euros per person and are free on Sundays. 

After checking out the old baths, head over to one of the modern ones that are managed by professionals and treat yourself like a sultan with a relaxing bath amid spectacular decor while sipping on mint tea. 

  • By Bus: You can reach the Bañuelo by Granada city bus routes C31 and C32, the bus stop is ‘Banuelo’, or walking. Bañuelo is close to Plaza Nueva. 

5. Painting Excursion

Painting Granadas streets
Painting Granadas streets

Granada is undeniably breathtaking and unique. Between the stunning mix of culturally diverse architecture, steeped in rich history and the magnificent natural scenery of the Sierra Nevada mountains in the background, Granada is awe-inspiring.

No wonder artists of all types have fallen under Granada’s spell and found their inspiration in the ancient Moorish city. For those looking for their muse, a painting retreat in Granada would be a unique and unforgettable holiday. 

About the author:

Cristy “Pandoradota2” Ramadani is a behind the scenes Dota 2 professional Jack of All Trades. A freelancer, journalist, reporter, and travel writer for uptrek.com, Cristy is an avid reader and passionate cupcake baker. 

Written by Michael

5min read

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Myanmar is charming destination which boasts and abundance of temples but also isn’t short of perfect sandy beaches. In general, the country is more expensive than its neighbors in terms of travel cost, so some budgeting may be in order. This guide will help budget travelers plan their dream trip to Myanmar while still enjoying the core charm of this mysterious and majestic country.

Continue reading “Your Guide to Budget Travel in Myanmar”

Written by Michael

5min read

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Looking for the best places to Visit in Istanbul?

Of course you are, its a stunning city just waiting to be explored!

Istanbul is located in the perfect place to enjoy a diverse mix of cultures and all the attractions that these cultures provide.

Situated right in the middle of Europe and Asia, the country is a melting pot of huge civilisations.

Imagine being on one continent, and then in an instant, you are transported to another one via a short boat or taxi ride. Its location makes Istanbul a very unique place to visit that very few other destinations can rival.

Continue reading “The Best Places to Visit in Istanbul.”

Written by Michael

9min read

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It can be pretty overwhelming coming to London and deciding what to do! There’s soooooo much! Well relax, take a chill pill, all is well; a Londoner has written down 40 things for you to do….
Continue reading “The Top 40 Things To Do In London.”