Follow Me Away - Couples Travel & Travel Photography Blog
Follow Me Away is a travel and photography blog featuring photography/model duo TJ Drysdale and Victoria Yore. Traveling couple & trusted resource for travel tips, inspiration, & advice. Capturing the world one shot at a time!
If you’re feeling adventurous, and are seeking out the best Grand Canyon hikes, you’ve come to the right place. Hiking in and around the park is one of the best ways to see all the beauty that the Grand Canyon has to offer. This stunning National Park is considered to be one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, and as you make your way through the park you’ll understand why. Pictures don’t do the Grand Canyon justice. It takes standing there, and looking out into the vast space beyond, to understand the full scale of this majestic landscape.
Hiking the Grand Canyon trails can be an activity for anyone from seasoned, fit backpackers to families with small children. Know your personal limit though, and don’t attempt any hikes that will push you too far. Regardless of the length or difficulty level of the hike, it’s crucial that you head into it fully prepared. Find out ahead of time whether your trail has water along the way, periodically spaced bathrooms, and whether it’s shaded at all or entirely exposed. Particularly in the summer as temperatures rise, it’s best to start your hikes in the early morning to avoid the unrelenting sun. Our guide is designed to help you choose the best Grand Canyon hikes for you, and make sure you’re fully prepared to tackle them.
8 Breathtaking Grand Canyon Hikes In And Around The CanyonThe Grand Canyon’s South Rim Is The Most Popular Side Of The Canyon
Out of the roughly 4.5 million visitors flocking to the Grand Canyon each year, the majority head to the South Rim to get their fix of mesmerizing canyon views. The South Rim is open for visitors to enjoy all year round, 24-hours a day. There are an abundance of spectacular, unobscured views on the South Rim. As you hop from one designated viewpoint to the next, you’ll never be underwhelmed. The South Rim is filled to the brim with hikers, backpackers, rafters, mule-riders, and casual day tourists that hang out at the rim and visitors centers. Though you’ll be sharing the space with many other people, it is well worth it for the unforgettable experiences you’re bound to have. The South Rim trails are incredibly popular, and we hope you’ll try out a few and bask in the beauty of the canyon yourself.
The Rim Trail Has Some Of The Most Spectacular Grand Canyon Views
If you’re looking for easy to moderate Grand Canyon hikes with exceptional views, the Rim Trail should definitely be on your list. This 13 mile (one way) trail takes you from the South Kaibab Trailhead all the way west to Hermits Rest. Don’t let the length of the hike scare you away. The beauty of the Rim Trail is that you can choose to walk the full 13 miles (5-7 hours one way), or you can walk any portion of the small sections that make up the greater trail. The hike is lined with marked viewpoints, leading you to the most spectacular views of the canyon. The trail is divided into 15 different points. Many of these points are shuttle bus stops which is convenient for people looking to only hike portions of the trail. These also mark points of interest where you might want to take a moment to appreciate nature’s work.
As you head west, the stops (and the distance in miles between stops) include South Kaibab Trailhead (.8), Pipe Creek Vista (1.4), Mather Point (.7), Yavapai Point (.7), Park Headquarters Junction (1.2), Village Route Transfer (.7), Trailview Overlook (.7), Maricopa Point (.5), Powell Point (.3), Hopi Point (.8), Mohave Point (1.1), The Abyss (.9), Monument Creek Vista (1.7), Pima Point (1.1), and finally Hermit’s Rest. It’s important that you bring plenty of water with you, particularly on hot summer days. There’s water available in the Grand Canyon Village and at Hermit’s Rest when you end your hike, but the trail as a whole has very little to no access to water.
Much of the 13 mile trail is paved, and from Pipe Creek Vista to Bright Angel Lodge, the pavement is also relatively level. At Powell Point, the trail becomes a dirt path, and remains that way until Monument Creek Vista. The Rim Trail is one of the few Grand Canyon trails that doesn’t allow you the thrill of hiking into the canyon, but the views from the rim are arguably unmatched. This hike allows you to get a grasp of the full expanse of this majestic canyon and marvel at the power of nature. The scenic Rim Trail is perfect for hikers of varying ability levels and is not a hike to be missed.
The Bright Angel Trail To Indian Garden Is One Of The Best Grand Canyon Hikes
The Bright Angel trail is easily one of the best Grand Canyon hikes in the whole park much less the South Rim. The views are stunning, the trail is challenging but well maintained, and hikers of all levels can enjoy at least some portion of the trail. You’ll find the Bright Angel trailhead just west of the Bright Angel Lodge and Kolb Studio, in the Grand Canyon Village. There are a number of parking options. If the upper Bright Angel Lodge lot is full, continue driving down towards the Backcountry Information Center. There’s parallel parking all along that street by the railroad tracks. If you’re not able to find anything along the street, you can park at the Backcountry Information Center lot (Lot D) and walk roughly 5 minutes to the trailhead. Another option is to park at the Visitor’s Center and take the free shuttle over to the trailhead. Located right by the trailhead are bathrooms and the mule corral.
The first 1.5 miles of the Bright Angel trail are the most crowded. With two archways over the trail and impressive views, many visitors who are not interested in an extended hike, stick to this section of the trail to get a taste of what the Bright Angel trail has to offer. The first rest-stop with a bathroom and water station is at the 1.5 mile marker, making it a convenient turn around point for many hikers. As you pass the first rest stop, you’ll continue switchbacking down into the canyon until you hit the 3 mile marker and the 2nd rest stop. After the 3 mile marker, you’ll notice the number of hikers on the trail start to dwindle. Though the hike becomes more strenuous the farther you go, the whole process is incredibly rewarding.
After the 3 mile rest stop, Indian Garden will be your target. Indian Garden, which was last occupied by the Havasupais, was home to Native Americans thousands of years before the first Euro-American visitor happened upon the area. Located 4.5 miles down the Bright Angel Trail, Indian Garden is the perfect rest stop, with a beautiful stream, and cottonwood trees providing much needed shade. This is the turn around point for the mule trains and most hikers. It is possible to camp overnight at Indian Garden if you’ve already applied for and received a backcountry camping permit. But for day hikers, particularly in the summer, it’s advised you turn back at Indian Garden and begin the final 4.5 miles back to the trailhead.
For the fittest hikers who get an early start, or those with backcountry camping permits, you can continue the hike all the way to Plateau Point were you’ll be greeted with views of the Colorado River and 360 degree panorama views of the canyon. This becomes a very strenuous 12.2 mile round trip hike for roughly 8-12 hours total. The hike to Plateau Point should not be attempted as a day hike unless the weather conditions are favorable and you are a very fit, experienced hiker.
As you prepare to hike the Bright Angel Trail, make sure you bring plenty of water. From May-September there’s water at the 1.5 mile resthouse, the 3 mile resthouse and at Plateau Point. Water is available all year round at Indian Garden. If a pipe breaks though, and there’s no water available, it’s critical you’ve brought enough water to last you through the hike. You will also more likely than not be sharing the trail with mules. If your paths cross, step off the trail to the side away from the edge, stand still, and wait for the whole mule train to pass. If you properly prepare for your hike you’re in for the experience of a life time.
The South Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge Is One Of The Most Popular Grand Canyon Hikes
The South Kaibab Trail is one of the most popular and best maintained Grand Canyon hikes into the canyon. Because this trail runs along a ridge line, it offers exceptional views the whole way. The South Kaibab Trailhead, which is located near Yaki Point, cannot be reached by car. The park offers free shuttle buses to the trailhead. You’ll want to take the Kaibab Ridge Orange Route. This route has stops at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, Mather Point, The Yavapai Geology Museum, The South Kaibab Trailhead, Yaki Point, and Pipe Creek Vista. Another option for hikers looking to get an early morning start is to take the Hikers’ Express Shuttle Bus from the Bright Angel Lodge bus stop. This shuttle has three departure times each morning on the hour. The departure times change each month with the earliest departure time being at 4am from June-August allowing hikers to beat the intense heat.
The South Kaibab trail has 3 major turnaround points. The more family friendly version of this hike is 1.5 miles round trip, and takes you to the appropriately named Ooh-Aah Point. The hike to Ooh-Aah Point is the perfect way to get a taste of what it’s like to hike down into the canyon. Though you’ll be escaping the swarms of crowds along the rim, this first section of the South Kaibab trail will be the most crowded, as less experienced hikers or tourists short on time will likely turn around here or earlier. For those looking for more of a challenge, you’ll continue hiking to Cedar Ridge for a 3 mile total round trip (2-4 hours). The 360 views you’ll be greeted with at Cedar Ridge are well worth the strain of the hike. Cedar Ridge is the recommended turn around point for most hikers, and it is highly suggested you don’t hike past this point in the summer.
For the most adventurous souls and the strongest hikers, it is possible to continue the hike down to Skeleton Point. Though the whole Kaibab Trail has stunning views, Skeleton Point offers views of the river below. The complete hike to Skeleton Point is 6 miles round trip (4-6 hours). Plan to start your hike very early in the morning to avoid hiking out of the canyon during the hottest times of the day. As you head down to Skeleton Point, always keep in mind that you still have to hike back up to the rim. You may feel great hiking down into the canyon, but the hike back out is always harder and longer than you think.
Unlike the Bright Angel Trail that has water at each resthouse, there is no water on the South Kaibab Trail. It is absolutely crucial that you bring enough water with you on the hike. The longer versions of the hike can be strenuous, and because the trail follows a ridge line, it is very exposed and offers almost no shade. You should also be sure to bring plenty of snacks with you to eat throughout the hike. Like the Bright Angel Trail, you’ll likely be sharing this trail with mules. You’ll want to do everything you can to avoid unnecessary accidents. As mentioned before, you should move to the side of the trail away from the edge, give them plenty of space, remain still, and wait until the last mule has passed before you continue hiking.
Hike The Grandview Trail to Horseshoe Mesa To See Remnants Of The Last Chance Mine
Though Grandview Trail is less maintained than Bright Angel and South Kaibab, the first mile to Coconino Saddle is a popular descent among visitors. The trail takes you down the path once used by miners and mule trains to cart copper ore up to the rim from the Last Chance Mine. Like the other South Rim Grand Canyon hikes we’ve listed, the Grandview Trail has a number of different turnaround points to accommodate hikers of varying levels. You’ll find the trailhead at Grandview Point off of Desert View Drive. As you start this hike, the trail descends in a hurry through a series of intense switchbacks. Coconino Saddle is the first potential turnaround point, and will take you 1.1 miles into the canyon for a total round-trip hike of 2.2 miles. Spectacular views await you at Coconino Saddle. Whether you choose to turn around or continue descending, the saddle is a great place to rest, take pictures, and enjoy the views. Though much of the hiking trail is exposed, the saddle will provide you with shade.
For fit hikers wishing to continue, you’ll complete a 6 mile round trip hike down to Horseshoe Mesa. This hike will take you through 2,500 feet of elevation change, and is increasingly strenuous. There’s a very small section of the hike that involves rock scrambling, but it doesn’t last for long. When you reach Horseshoe Mesa you’ll start to notice little remnants of the Last Chance Mine. Be sure to leave everything where you found it so the next hikers can have the same thrilling experience. Horseshoe Mesa is the best place to turn around for a day hike. From here to trail splits. The west side of the mesa takes you to Cottonwood Creek for a 9 mile round trip hike. The other option is to hike the east side of the mesa for an incredibly challenging 7.4 mile hike to Page Spring.
Make sure you bring plenty of water with you on your hike. There’s no water available from the trailhead to Horseshoe Mesa. There is water available year-round at Page Spring, but regardless of how far you hike, you should bring enough water to last you through the hike without needing to fill up. The best time to hike the Grandview Trail is in the spring when the weather is pleasant, and the trail is easy to navigate. Ice can potentially make the trail dangerous in the winter, and crampons should be worn at all times.
Visit The Grand Canyon’s North Rim For A More Peaceful Canyon Experience
The North Rim is only open seasonally from mid-May to mid-October each year. If you’re looking to escape the sometimes suffocating tourist crowds at the South Rim, consider exploring the Grand Canyon’s spectacular North Rim for a quieter more peaceful canyon experience. The North Rim is slightly cooler and more forested than its South Rim counterpart, so prepare to get swept up in the forests of Ponderosa pines and Oaks. Though the trees have the tendency to obscure the canyon views in select places, gazing through towering trees at the..
From small to tall, there is no shortage of beautiful waterfalls in Ireland, and we’ve rounded up the top 10 prettiest waterfalls you must see on your next trip to the Emerald Isle. Many of the waterfalls in Ireland can be found with just a short walk, although some require more strenuous hiking to get to. By the way, if you’re looking for the best easy hikes in Ireland, we’ve got you covered there too.
Ireland is known for its stunning landscapes and a mild, though rainy, climate, making it the perfect place to visit in any season (but you will want to pack a raincoat, plus these eleven other things). Ireland is the first country we ever visited together, and we keep coming back. This country is full of historical sites, pretty small towns, and stunning scenery. Whether you’re planning for a solo trek, a romantic getaway, or a family trip, these ten waterfalls in Ireland make the perfect destination. So grab that raincoat, and let’s explore!
10 Prettiest Waterfalls In Ireland You Must See
Torc Waterfall is one of the prettiest waterfalls in Ireland, and one of the most well-known. Located within Killarney National Park in the County Kerry, Torc Waterfall is a popular stop along the Ring of Kerry tours as well as the Kerry Way walking tours. Standing about 20 meters (65 feet) tall, Torc Waterfall is at its most impressive after the rain – which is no problem in Ireland! Because it is one of the more popular waterfalls in Ireland, during the summer months it can be crowded with tourists. We suggest visiting earlier in the day or during the off season!
Visiting Torc Waterfall is easy – from Killarney, you will take the N71 south for 7 kilometers (about four and a half miles). There is a car park located just off the N71. After you park your car, it is about a 200 meter walk (just over 1/10 of a mile) to the base of the waterfall, making it one of the more accessible waterfalls in Ireland. To the left of Torc Waterfall, there is a stone staircase of about 100 steps. It can be strenuous to walk up, but the views are so rewarding!
Torc Waterfall is also the starting point of the hike up Torc Mountain. The summit of Torc Mountain has views of the Lakes of Killarney, Muckross House, and more. The hike to the summit and back is about three hours in total.
At 121 meters (almost 400 feet) tall, Powerscourt Waterfall is the tallest of all the waterfalls in Ireland. Just about half an hour from Dublin, and near the town of Enniskerry, Powerscourt Waterfall is located on the grounds of Powerscourt Estate in Wicklow County. Powerscourt House was voted one of the top ten houses in the world according to Lonely Planet, and the gardens were voted #3 in the world by National Geographic. All in all, Powerscourt Estate is a worthy addition to your Ireland itinerary, especially if you are staying in nearby Dublin.
Because it is located on estate grounds, Powerscourt Waterfall is one of the few waterfalls in Ireland that is ticketed. According to the estate website, opening and closing hours vary, and tickets are €6 for adults and €3.50 for children under 12. If you are on a family trip to Ireland, Powerscourt Waterfall is a great place to visit – it is ideal for picnics and barbecues. There is a kiosk on-site that serves a variety of snacks, from coffee and tea to hot dogs and ice cream. There is also a playground for younger children. To visit, a car is highly suggested. If you are renting a car in Ireland, you’ll want to be sure to avoid these seven big mistakes.
Travel to the southeast of Ireland to find Mahon Falls, located in County Waterford near the village of Lemybrien. Mahon Falls are nestled among the Comeragh Mountains. There is a car park off the N25, and from there it’s a moderate walk to the falls – it should take you approximately 20 minutes each way. Although the walk is not too strenuous for children, the gravel path is not suitable for strollers. If you have furry friends, this is a great walk to take your dog on!
Although Mahon Falls, at 80 meters (almost 270 feet) is not one of the tallest waterfalls in Ireland, the magnificent views of the mountains, and the sheep dotting the countryside, are certainly worth the trip. If you’re in the mood for a hike, then this is a great spot! Ascending the cliffs around Mahon Falls will reward you with views back along the valley, and on a clear day, you may even be able to see the English Channel!
Glencar Waterfall is one of the most popular waterfalls in Ireland. It has even been immortalized in poetry, by W.B. Yeats in “The Stolen Child.” The poem describes fairies beguiling a child to come away with them, and the enchanting surroundings may indeed make you believe in fairies! Glencar Waterfall is located in County Leitrim, close to the border of County Sligo. Follow along the N16 until you spot the sign for Glencar Lake and Waterfall. Near Glencar Lake, there is a car park, from which you can take the short path to the waterfall. If you’re in the mood for fishing, Glencar Lake offers trout and salmon, among others.
Standing only 15 meters (50 feet), Glencar is far from the tallest of the waterfalls in Ireland, but it is one of the most romantic. Even the walk from the car park is charmingly wooded. There are actually a few waterfalls visible on the walk from the car park to Glencar Waterfall, but none are as delightful as Glencar. Take a rest at one of the benches or the picnic area to really take in the natural beauty. If you’d like to climb to the top, it’s about a five minute climb up the steps. There are quite a few steps, although there is a handrail to help you.
On-site facilities include a picnic area, playground, restrooms, and even a small tea room. There is no charge to park or view the waterfall.
At only 12 meters (40 feet) tall, Glenevin Waterfall is one of the smaller waterfalls in Ireland, but it is quite charming! Glenevin Waterfall is located in County Donegal, in the far north of the Emerald Isle and on the Inishowen Peninsula. It sits along the Wild Atlantic Way’s Northern Headlands route. The city of Donegal, about an hour south of Glenevin, was named the “#1 Coolest Place for 2017” by National Geographic Traveller, making this region a must-see on your Ireland itinerary.
The easiest way to navigate to Glenevin Waterfall is to drive to The Glen House, a bed and breakfast that also features a tea room and ice cream parlor. From the car park by The Glen House, it’s a pleasant walk upstream to the waterfall. There are picnic areas along the route. The darling scenery and easy walk (plus the ice cream!) make this a great place for a family outing.
The next stop on our list of the prettiest waterfalls in Ireland is Assaranca Waterfall, which is also situated in County Donegal. In fact, it is only about 75 miles from Glenevin Waterfall! Although it is close to Glenevin, it is remarkably different. Assaranca is approximated to stand about 95 meters (300 feet) tall, making it one of the taller waterfalls in Ireland. “Assaranca” is actually just the Gaelic word for “waterfall,” so it is very aptly named!
Like most of the waterfalls in Ireland, Assaranca Waterfall is most impressive after a heavy rain – which is no problem in this wet country! Assaranca Waterfall is located 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the small town of Ardara, and 1 kilometer (2/3 of a mile) from the village of Leaconnell on the way to the well-known Maghera Beach and Caves. There is a small car park that allows access to Assaranca Waterfall, but there are no on-site facilities. The walk from the car park to the waterfall is short and easy.
If you are visiting Assaranca Waterfall, give yourself time to visit Maghera Beach as well – it is only 1 kilometer away! There are over 20 caves at Maghera Beach which can be explored by kayak or other small craft.
Tourmakeady Waterfall is on the shores of Lough Mask in County Mayo, nestled in a Celtic rainforest called Tourmakeady Wood. An interesting fact about Tourmakeady Wood? It is one of sixteen forests in Ireland where native species were planted in 2000 as part of The People’s Millennium Forests.
Unlike many of the waterfalls in Ireland, Tourmakeady Waterfall takes some walking to get to! There are a variety of trails that lead to Tourmakeady Waterfall, notably the Tourmakeady Loop Trail. This hike is about five kilometers roundtrip (3.1 miles), making it a nice, moderate hike that weaves through the stunning Irish countryside. The trailhead is easy to find at the Tourmakeady Community Center. There are picnic areas along the route where you can rest and look for wildlife. Dogs are welcome here!
You’ll find this enchanting waterfall about midway along the trail. Stop and take in the view of the waterfall toppling into the plunge pool and enjoy the calming sound of the flowing water before continuing on. Once you’re done with your hike, stop by O’Toole’s Pub for refreshments and food.
Aasleagh Falls, sometimes spelled Ashleigh Falls, is also located in County Mayo – in fact, these falls are about 30 kilometers (20 miles) away from Tourmakeady Waterfall! And, just like Glenevin Waterfall, it sits along the Wild Atlantic Way – although it is almost 300 kilometers (180 miles) to the south. To get to Aasleagh Falls, take the R335. Parking is available close to the waterfall.
Aasleagh Falls can be found where the Erriff River meets Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord. The border between counties Galway and Mayo runs down the center of Killary Harbour. This is a very popular fishing location for salmon and trout. If you’re lucky, you may even see salmon jumping out of the water!
At only 3.5 meters (11 feet) tall, Aasleagh Falls is one of the smallest waterfalls in Ireland, but that doesn’t stop it from being beautiful! Whereas some of the waterfalls in Ireland are tall and narrow, these falls are very wide, making for impressive pictures.
If you are looking for where to stay on the Amalfi Coast, you have come to the right place! The Amalfi Coast is located on the western coast of southern Italy, just south of Naples, Mt. Vesuvius, and the historic ruins of Pompeii. A gorgeous Mediterranean climate, the summers here are warm and the winters mild. Positano, Praiano, Amalfi, Sorrento, Maiori, and Salerno are some of the most popular and beautiful towns on the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento technically being considered just nearby.
There are so many options for Amalfi Coast hotels, so planning can get overwhelming, but we are here to make the process easy for you. This is one of the most beautiful parts of Italy and the perfect place to visit all year round. Any one of these gorgeous towns really is a perfect option for where to stay on the Amalfi Coast.
Below, we will break down the best places for where to stay on the Amalfi Coast by village, price, and feel of the town. We will tell you the pros and cons of each village and lay out the best places to stay. We want you to get an understanding of the unique feel and vibe each Amalfi Coast Village has to offer so you can make a decision that is best for your interests. There is something for everyone and we know there will be something for you too! This breakdown will help you get a feeling for which Amalfi Coast hotel and village is best for you and your trip!
Where To Stay On The Amalfi Coast Understanding The Amalfi Coast
If you aren’t familiar, the Amalfi Coast is a dream destination on the western coast of southern Italy, just south of famous places like Naples and Pompeii. Take a look at a photo of any one of the charming towns on the Amalfi Coast and you’ll think it’s from a postcard! When you’re trying to decide which town is the right for you, just remember each one is AMAZING no matter your choice of where to stay on the Amalfi Coast!
Each town on the Amalfi Coast has a unique flavor and flair, but we’ve singled out six stunning favorites for you: Positano, Sorrento, Maiori, Praiano, Salerno, and Amalfi. You might want to visit all of them during your trip to the Amalfi Coast, but we recommend choosing 1-2 towns as your home base. Most of the towns are close together, minus Sorrento, and thus make traveling between them a fairly easy and fun part of your trip to the Amalfi Coast.
If you are renting a car in Italy, please be aware that finding parking in the villages is a bit crazy and expensive. And unless you’re a driving enthusiast, you should be warned that the roads along the Amalfi Coast twist and turn and hairpin up crazy hills and cliffsides! The local drivers know all the tips and tricks on maneuvering these wild roads, which is why we recommend traveling by bus while staying on the Amalfi Coast. We’re not saying you shouldn’t drive, but that if you do, make sure you are able to learn the rules of the road quickly.
There are bus services in every town on the Amalfi Coast. Some connect only a few destinations along the coast, while others connect with locations further away. Most of the towns don’t have a bus station but have at least one bus stop on the main road along the coastline.
Considering the Amalfi Coast is just that–on the coast–an easy and common way to get around is by boat. The Metro del Mare, which is much like a bus on the sea, connects nearly every town along the Amalfi Coast and Capri. It even goes to the northern points of the Bay of Naples and as far south as Sapri. Depending on the weather, the boats might not always be running, so it’s good to keep that under consideration when planning your travels around the towns of the Amalfi Coast.
Also, keep in mind that there are no trains on the Amalfi Coast! You can get as far as Sorrento via train, but then you must choose alternative means of transportation.
Positano Is The Most Popular And The Prettiest
Positano is the most western town on the Amalfi Coast, and also the most easily accessible. Choose a hotel in Positano if you prefer the busier, more touristy town, and don’t mind crowds! If you are looking for where to stay on the Amalfi Coast to start off your explorations, Positano is a great choice. The colorful buildings and mountainous backdrop, and stunning ocean views make this village a popular choice.
Make sure you are in good fitness when choosing to stay in Positano because there are a lot of stairs to climb to reach the beach from the upper area. If you enjoy hiking, you might want to check out The Sentiero degli Dei hiking trail, which links Positano to other coastal towns.
Upsides: Beautiful views, beach access, and a hiking trail. It caters to tourists, so there are lots of wonderful restaurants. The buses and ferries give easy access to other towns on the Amalfi Coast.
Downsides: As the most popular town on the Amalfi Coast, it can get very crowded. There are lots of stairs to reach the beach. It’s very touristy and more expensive than other towns.
Best Hotels In Positano
Affordable: Alcione Residence
Alcione Residenceis a fantastic budget option in Positano. The budget option does NOT mean boring or without charm! This hotel is just a ten-minute walk from the beach, and all the rooms have cute tiled floors, bright colors, flatscreen TVs and tea/coffee ingredients. If you are looking for where to stay on the Almani Coast on a budget, this hotel will fit the bill! The nearby beach access makes for an ideal location when staying on the Amalfi Coast!
Hotel Savoia is the Amalfi Coast hotel for you if you are looking for a great mid-level hotel. Hotel Savoia in Positano is a must! The prices are very reasonable, and it’s just a five-minute walk from the beach! Each room has amenities like satellite TV and AC, and also a terrace or balcony! It’s a charming hotel with tiled floors and vaulted ceilings. If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced hotel with charm and good beach access, Hotel Savoia is a great choice when looking for where to stay on the Amalfi Coast.
The views from this luxury hotel in Positano just can’t be beaten. With rooms equipped with terraces overlooking the sea, Hotel Eden Roc Suites is a luxury lover’s dream. Rooms are modern and updated, and you can completely relax in the Turkish baths, sauna, and hot tub. This Amalfi Coast hotel comes equipped with a pool, a spa, a gym, a sun terrace and more. If you are looking for where to stay on the Amalfi Coast for a luxury getaway, this place is perfect!
Sorrento Is A Gorgeous Place To Stay Near The Amalfi Coast
Sorrento may not technically be on the Amalfi Coast, but it is known as ‘The Gateway to the Amalfi Coast’! It is a beautiful coastal town overlooking a bay to the west, and easily accessible from Naples. If you’re hoping to rent your own car to experience the famed 43-mile Amalfi Coast Drive on your own, or wanting to stay somewhere a little out of the way of some of the more touristy towns, Sorrento is the perfect choice when deciding where to stay on the Amalfi Coast!
Not only does Sorrento have absolutely stunning views, but it also has a wealth of history to enjoy! Famous literary artists like Dickens, Goethe, and Tolstoy enjoyed Sorrento as a vacation destination! And on the amazing, historic cathedral, you will find doors that originated in Constantinople in the 11th century!
We simply love the colorful buildings, mountainous terrain, and gorgeous ocean views of Sorrento! It’s truly a destination gem that’s easy to access and close to the famed Amalfi Coast towns, without being right smack in the middle of the worst crowds! If you’re looking for a stunning town within easy distance of the other touristy towns, Sorrento is the place for you when choosing where to stay on the Amalfi Coast!
Upsides: Beach access. Cheaper than many of the Amalfi towns. An easy destination to reach from Naples. Lots of amazing restaurants!
Downsides: It’s not actually on the Amalfi Coast and can take an hour to reach Positano, the nearest town on the Amalfi Coast. The cliffs to the beach can be difficult to navigate. There can often be a lot of “through traffic” with tourists heading to the Amalfi Coast.
Best Sorrento Hotels By Price
Budget: Ulisse Deluxe Hostel
Don’t let the word “hostel” throw you! Ulisse Deluxe is a charming and quaint place to pick when choosing where to stay on the Amalfi Coast on a budget! The rooms are spacious with private bathrooms, air conditioning, and free Wifi! And it’s only a 10-minute walk to Piazza Tasso, the main square, and Marina Grande! You can also find a spa center with an indoor pool and sauna. Another bonus of Ulisse Deluxe is that the bus stops right outside, and the hostel is only a half-mile from the Sorrento Train Station.
Hotel Michelangelo is a wonderful mid-range hotel in Sorrento with wonderful village views. The outdoor swimming pool is just gorgeous, and the Sorrento Train Station is only a walking distance of 650 feet away! All the rooms come with tiled floors, private bathrooms with a shower or bath, a TV, air conditioning, and a minibar. There’s a buffet breakfast in the mornings, and two different dining rooms, where you can eat traditional Neapolitan meals! Hotel Michelangelo is a great mid-range option for when looking where to stay on the Amalfi Coast.
Heading to Europe for the Christmas holidays? Christmas Markets in Germany are a must-see! Christmas markets are the ultimate way to get in the holiday spirit.
Whether you’re shopping for Christmas presents for yourself, your family members, or just picking up souvenirs, Christmas Markets in Germany are something you definitely don’t want to miss. In this article, we’ve included the most festive Christmas markets in Germany so that you don’t miss a single festive moment.
We love the holiday season and we know that you do too! Here are our top 10 Christmas markets in Germany.
10 Festive Christmas Markets In Germany to See in 2019
The Nuremberg Christmas Market is one of the most famous Christmas markets in Germany.
The first entry on our German Christmas markets list is a big one! The Nuremberg Christmas market is not only one of the most famous Christmas markets in Germany, but also in the world.
The market is famous for many reasons but especially for the food! Guests should be sure to stop by this German Christmas Market to try out the gingerbread and the sausages. Look for the sausages listed as ‘3 im Weggla’ to get 3 sausages in one roll! As for the gingerbread, you can try all sorts of shapes, sizes and flavours. Whatever your choice may be, don’t forget to grab some to-go for your friends back home! German Christmas Markets like this one each have their traditions and for Nuremberg, it’s gingerbread. They have been baking it for over 600 years.
German Christmas Markets all have their own German gifts, but at Nuremberg, you can also purchase gifts from all over the world. The Market of the Sister Cities sells gifts from across Europe and the world. You can find anything from French delicacies to hand-crafted Nicaraguan dolls.
If you are travelling with children, don’t forget to stop by the Children’s market. Here, children can ride the merry-go-round and stop by Santa’s house! The adults can of course enjoy some mulled wine for the journey in a beautiful collectible mug to enjoy for seasons to come.
The Dresden Christmas Market is one of the oldest Christmas Markets in Germany
Did you know that the Dresden Christmas Market has been open for 585 years? This makes it one of the oldest Christmas Markets in Germany and the world! The first ever Christmas Market in Dresden began in the 1400s. Only a few other Christmas Market locations around the globe are older. This makes the Dresden Christmas Market one of the must see Christmas Markets in Germany.
The Dresden Christmas Market boasts some of the most unique regional characteristics of all Christmas Markets in Germany. The specialities include Lusatian blue-printed fabrics, Moravian Stars and Ore Mountain wooden crafts. Perhaps the most unique feature of this market is the Dresdner Christstollen fruit loaf that sits in the light of the step pyramid. In fact, the Stollen is so important to the region that parts of the festival are dedicated just to the bread. If you want to see a giant Stollen, be sure to visit the Dresden Stollenfest happening on December 8, 2019. Here, visitors can see Stollen that weighs multiple tons. Even the Dresdner Stollenmadchen (Stollen Ambassador) will be in attendance.
If you’re in Dresden during the market season, there are many different tours that you can go on. Many of these centre around the Advent. These are so popular that they are likely to sell out so make sure to book in advance! There are many options, and some tours include Stollen for you to eat during your tour. One tour lets you enjoy the music of the advent played by the Dresden Residenz Orchestra.
The Rothenburg Christmas Market is one of the most magical Christmas Markets in Germany
This medieval town is sure to blow you away. This is one of the most romantic and magical German Christmas Markets. The town of Rothenburg is said to seem as magical as the movies! This market has been a highlight of the area since the 15th century! The town turns itself into a winter wonderland, perfect for a romantic Christmas Market. Not much of the town has changed from its original form, making it the perfect historical get-away. This market runs from the 21st of November, right up until the 23rd of December.
One of the characteristics of this market is the continuous implementation of past traditions. The Rothenburg Riders are a staple of the market. These riders were once thought to bring messages from ancestors of doom. Over time, these horses have changed from scary omens to a welcome scene.
Food is a staple item of German Christmas Markets. Like many of the other markets in this list, Rothenburg has its share of delicacies to try out. They sell the usual treats like mulled wine and pastry. The specialty food for the Rothenburg market is the schneeball, which means snowball. This is a circular ball of pastry strips covered in powdered sugar or even chocolate! This is one delicacy of Christmas Markets in Germany that you can’t miss!
For an even better view, those attending on Friday and Saturday nights before 8pm can view the beautiful market form the top of the town hall. What a beautiful view!
The Cologne Christmas Markets are the most diverse Christmas Markets in Germany
If you’re headed to Cologne this Christmas, you will have your fair share of choices. Cologne doesn’t just have one Christmas market, they have many, many choices. This is one of the most diverse Christmas Markets in Germany that we’eve ever seen.
For the more traditional market folks, Cologne has the Cathedral X-Mas Market. The highlight of this market is definitely the backdrop. The market is in front of one of the most famous Cathedrals in Europe. The Cologne Cathedral provides the perfect backdrop for this market. The market also boasts a huge Christmas tree with 50,000 LED lights! The market also features some of the highest quality craftsmen in the country!
The next one of the traditional old Christmas Market in Germany. The Old Market Christmas takes place out front of the town hall and is organized by the legendary house gnomes or Heinzelmannchen. These gnomes are said to have done many different jobs in Cologne, including sewing, baking, and cooking! This market will definitely give you that nostalgic German Christmas market feeling. Children also love this market as there is lots for them to do!
For the more modern visitors, the Heavenue Christmas Market will be your first stop. This market is taking on a completely new look this year under the theme of Christmas heaven. Rather than the traditional German Christmas Market items and food, this market is testing out new treats. Rather than mulled wine, the Market is trying out ‘Rheinhertz’, a new artisanal drink often made with regional ingredients and coffee. There will also be Churros, Bratwurst burgers and much more! Along with other vendors, this is where the Cologne AIDS Hilife and KLuST (Cologne Pride organization) booths will be.
There are many more options in Cologne, including Nativity Scenes, Village of St. Nicholas and the Christmas-Market-Express.
The Hamburg City Hall Market is one of the most festive Christmas Markets in Germany
Get ready because this market has a flying Santa! The City Hall Christmas Market in Hamburg is one of the most visited and well respective Christmas Markets in Germany. Located in front of City Hall, this market operates under the lights of a large Christmas tree. Here, visitors can find beautiful stalls built specifically for the vendors of this market! There are over 80 vendors and booths for visitors to check out.
Hamburg City Hall Market is set apart from all of the other German Christmas Markets by one attraction, the flying Santa! Three times a day, Santa climbs to the flying sled that floats high above the city. Here, Santa rides his reindeer-led sleigh across the city along the tightrope. According to one article, the market has had the same flying Santa Claus for over 17 years! You’ll definitely want to have your cameras out for this one!
The Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market in Berlin is one of the coziest Christmas Markets in Germany.
Like many other cities in Germany, Berlin has a lot of German Christmas Markets. For this article, we’re only going to focus on a couple. The Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market takes place in Gendarmenmarkt square every year from November 29 to December 31. According to visitors, Gendarmenmarkt is the most beautiful square in Berlin. During the summer, it is filled with open-air concerts and bustling tourists. However, in the winter, this former battleground becomes a gleaming German Christmas Market.
This market pairs its traditional history with modern day art. Inside the craft-tents, visitors can see the traditional works of dress-makers, carvers, and welders. But one thing that sets this one apart from other German Christmas Markets is the inclusion of more modern crafting. Visitors can also see graphic designers, photographers, and other modern media artists.
After a walk through the crafts area, visitors can take in a variety of traditional and unique German foods, while watching a variety of performers. Choirs, Jazz-bands and even fire-jugglers grace the stage during the lively month of this market.
To add to the cozy ambiance of the market, over 1,000 fairy lights are strung from tent to tent, making this one of the coziest Christmas Markets in Germany.
The Advent Market at Domane Dahlem is one of the most rustic Christmas Markets in Germany
Another Berlin Christmas Market joins the list! There are so many beautiful ones that we couldn’t just pick one. For this selection, we chose one of the more unique Christmas Markets in Germany; the Doman Dahlem Advent Market.
This Advent Market is held in a 16th-century manor, providing a unique background for a bustling Christmas Market. Domane Dahlem is an open-air agriculture museum and a working farm! Visitors can learn about German Agriculture and visit the organic farm. While visitors learn and shop, animals mill around the country-side creating an atmosphere unlike any of the German Christmas Markets we’ve mentioned before.
The best part? This small-town, rustic feeling Christmas Market is all within city limits. It’s completely accessible by Berlin transit and visitors don’t have to go far to find this rustic atmosphere. It can be a nice break from the bustling inner city markets.
Visitors can also enjoy unique delicacies offered at the market,..
If you’re looking for the best Cinque Terre beaches to catch some sun, you have come to the right place! If you are reading this, you have heard about how stunning Cinque Terre beaches can be, and we are here to tell you that the rumors are right–you want to check these places out. Cinque Terre means five lands, referring to the number of coastal villages found in the Italian region of Liguria, but don’t worry–there are way more than five Cinque Terre beaches. We have the best ones here for you to read about.
Do you like sunbathing by the sea, or do your tastes run more along the unique and unorthodox? Either way, there is a Cinque Terre beach for you. Whether you are trying to find your own spot of tranquility, or just trying to figure out what all the hype is about, there is a Cinque Terre beach for you. If you are looking for something that’s a little different, but still somehow familiar, you guessed it–there’s a Cinque Terre beach for you! Read on to learn more about which one (or ones!) you want to seriously think about visiting.
7 Best Cinque Terre Beaches to Catch Some Sun
Vernazza is often referred to as the most beautiful Cinque Terre village. It is riddled with monuments, and Vernazza even has its own olive groves vineyards to visit. This village is little, but packed with things to do and see. With all of its amenities, it also manages to have a more secluded beach. Vernazza beach is the Cinque Terre beach for those who want more easily accessible solitude. If you don’t want to rent a boat or have to hike down to the beach, but still like that touch of wilderness, Vernazza beach is the one to visit. There is a small sandy beach at the beginning, but don’t let it trick you. Of course, you are welcome to stop here if you want–it has sand and sun, after all. But the real sight to see is located through the cliffs. Passage through them will open up to the remote and stunning beach you have been looking for.
While other Cinque Terre villages have plenty of ancient history (Monterosso Vecchio is coming up and has a lot!), Vernazza beach has its own history at the beach itself. Vernazza beach is the newest out of all the beaches in Cinque Terre. It was created by a flood in 2011 that was so drastic that three locals actually lost their lives. When the flood finally receded, it left a new beach in its place. It is the largest of the Cinque Terre beaches outside of Monterosso. Vernazza beach is a little rough because it is made of the things the flood left behind, but oh so beautiful. From the clandestine entrance through the cliffs to the pebbled sandy beach, to the soothing sea coming in and out, there is very little not to love about this Cinque Terre beach. Its history just adds to the soulfulness of the place.
When considering which Cinque Terre beaches should be at the top, don’t be afraid to look at some of the ones that are a little harder to get to. Canneto beach can only be reached by boat–you read that right, boat. You can’t drive, bike, or climb to the beach. Don’t let that scare you; the best things in life don’t always come easy, right? There are a number of reasons why people go to so much effort to visit Canneto beach. Cinque Terre beaches aren’t very traditional in the lots-of-sand sense, but Canneto beach actually does have a sandy beach to lay out on. However, the primary reason people go here is for the beauty of it.
Imagine boating through crystalline waters with nothing but possibility at your fingertips, and arriving at a remote coast with a touch of desertion–that’s Canneto beach. The landscape of this Cinque Terre beach is surreal, with trees and shrubbery growing down the hillside to the coast. Turquoise waters greet the narrow beach in a crescent cove that promises a respite from life’s daily hustle and bustle. While there is definitely visible evidence of civilization, there is a wildness to Canneto beach that can be hard to find in easier to reach locations. This is the place to come if you want to have a little more privacy than some of the more popular Cinque Terre beaches have to offer.
If getting places by boat and boat alone is not your idea of vacation, that is just fine. Monterosso is one of the five villages and the largest at that, and it has two of our favorite Cinque Terre beaches. Fegina beach is on the more modern side of Monterosso and is the Cinque Terre beach for any of you who broke out in a cold sweat when reading about Canneto beach. You can get here by train, and it has much more than a little narrow beach to offer. (Or less, if you’re one of those “less civilization is more” kind of people, but that’s why we talked about Canneto beach first!)
Fegina beach is popular, and nothing close to the remoteness of Canneto beach. There is plenty of sand to go around here, which is a good thing because there are a lot of people using it most days! Tourists and locals alike flock to Canneto beach. Monterosso is actually the village that Italians prefer due to its ease and modern comforts. Fegina beach is the pillar for these things; it is accessible, beautiful, and has endless possibilities.
Those possibilities may well be why Fegina beach is so loved out of all the Cinque Terre beaches. You can do as little or as much as you want. You can just bring your own towel or rent an umbrella. There are numerous restaurants, casual and otherwise, strewn across the promenade. And of course, plenty of places to find you some classic Italian gelato. A lot of people love Fegina beach, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have your own private escape with a good book while enjoying the amenities. You can make Fegina beach into whatever kind of experience you want to, and that is why we love it!
Monterosso Vecchio Beach
Monterosso Vecchio is the historical center of Monterosso, and the beach here is also popular among the Cinque Terre beaches. It has public and private zones, and is a little less touristy than Fegina beach, although not by much. Monterosso Vecchio beach is sandy like Fegina and has ample room to stretch out. You could even build that professional level sandcastle you have been secretly dreaming about. Umbrellas line the sand, their inviting colors a warm welcome to settle in and relax as you look out over the water.
Monterosso Vecchio beach is a great place to visit because of the beauty of the beach, and the quality of the history a short walk away. Visit the beach, and then visit some of the amazing sites this village has to offer. Cobblestone streets lead the way to beautifully maintained landmarks. There are Medieval fortifications, an old Roman basilica, and the quaint Church of San Francesco with its historic cemetery. All of the Cinque Terre beaches offer a hallowed glimpse into another time, but Monterosso Vecchio takes the cake when it comes to amazing history.
La Fossola Beach
Beaches in Cinque Terre have a reputation for being untraditional, and La Fossola beach is a perfect example of that. Instead of the umbrella lined sand of Monterosso, this beach takes a bit of a hike to get to due to the rocky hillside. You can hike there though, unlike Canneto beach! La Fossola’s beach itself is made up of large and small stones. This is not the place for sandcastle dreams, or for laying out on your towel. It is too rocky for that. However, it is a great place for getting in the water and enjoying the Mediterranean Sea. You won’t want to go too far into the water, it has a reputation for being very dark and deep, and close to a busy boating pier. But you can still get your feet wet and enjoy the sea. And it is definitely a great place to catch some views and soak up some sun!
This Cinque Terre beach is located by the village of Riomaggiore, which has all the amazing traditional Italian cuisine you could wish for. It is a great place to visit for a casual vacation without as many people as Monterosso but with a generous amount of amenities. Because the beach is a little more difficult to navigate due to all the stones, it is not always as crowded. It offers the rugged hillside of Canneto without all the work. The beaches of Cinque Terre all have varying mixtures of civilization and wildness, and La Fossola beach is a good one right in the middle of the two ideals.
Another of the less traditional Cinque Terre beaches is Manarola beach. It actually isn’t a true beach at all, but rather a cement ramp that stretches out into the water. The cement is actually a nice feature though, providing comfortable space to lay out. And if you’re hoping for a classic Italian village on a hillside, look no further. Beauty is abundant everywhere you look, from the incandescent sea to the picturesque village.
Although Manarola’s beach is the least beachy of all Cinque Terre beaches, this village is not one to miss. Manarola’s vineyards are more plentiful than any of the other villages, and it is naturally famous for the wines made here. You can sample them on your way to the beach, or as you peruse some of the other features of the village. Manarola’s artifacts (and it has plenty of them!) also indicate that it is the oldest of the five villages. There is plenty to do and explore in this hillside village by the sea.
We started with Canneto beach to introduce the wildness you can find in Cinque Terre beaches, and end with Guvano beach for the same reason. Guvano beach is most easily reached by boat, but does have a difficult trail if you would rather not rent a boat. Because it is difficult to get to, Guvano beach offers more privacy than many of the others on this list. Do not brush off the difficulty though; the trail is very difficult. The last part of it has to be descended and ascended with the use of a rope, and that’s if the trail is open at all. If you are not able-bodied or if the trail has been closed, it would be wise to use a boat to get here. Why take the risk? By now you realize that all Cinque Terre beaches have their own unique beauty to offer, and Guvano beach is no different.
However, Guvano beach has something else up its sleeve that the other Cinque Terre beaches don’t. Guvano is an old nude beach. Some guidebooks say that going in the nude is no longer allowed, but Guvano beachgoers still often find undressed folks sunbathing there. This is all the more impressive, because this is not an easy place to sunbathe! The more sandy parts of the beach have eroded over the years, leaving behind more of the rocky pebbled beach that is characteristic of Cinque Terre beaches. People still make it a point to find a way to go here though, even as it becomes more difficult and remote. Possibly for the same reason that people go to the trouble of renting boats to visit Canneto beach–there is something about remote and deserted places that call to our own wild souls.
If you’re looking for things to do in Death Valley National Park, you’ve come to the right place. Death Valley is the hottest, driest place in the United States with extreme summer temperatures and drastically contrasting elevations throughout the park. Death Valley is a unique collection of some of the best that a desert environment has to offer. Don’t let its name deter you, because you’re in for a real treat when visiting this remarkable National Park.
Death Valley is a desert environment unlike any you’ve ever seen. Formed by volcanic activity, erosion, and floods, the landscape is awe-inspiring and humbling. This park is an example of nature’s prowess, and every view will leave you more and more impressed. From salt flats to wind-swept sand dunes, the park offers one unique experience after the next. So prepare yourself to tackle the desert heat, bring lots of water, your hiking shoes and discover for yourself why this stunning landscape has become a beloved National Park.
9 Unforgettable Things To Do In Death Valley
#1. Head To Dante’s View For A Stunning View Of Badwater Basin Below
Dante’s View is one of the best things to do in Death Valley when searching for jaw dropping panoramic views. The drive from Furnace Creek is 45 minutes with the final section of the drive climbing uphill on a narrow road up to the viewpoint. The best part is that all you have to do to enjoy the view is step out of your car. There is convenience in its accessibility, though it also means the crowds will be greater. There is no hiking involved to experience the impressive views, although the actual Dante’s Peak and its neighbor Coffin Peak are .4 miles and 1 mile from the parking lot respectively. From 3,000 feet above Badwater Basin, you get a unique bird’s-eye view of the valley below, the surrounding mountain ranges, and the startlingly white salt flats.
Dante’s View is located on the ridge of the Black Mountains. Short pathways allow visitors to walk the ridge to find a suitable spot for taking in the views. Dante’s View is worth the stop at any time of day, any time of year. The morning offers cooler temperatures, although the high elevation of the viewpoint makes for cooler temperatures in general. At night, Dante’s View can be a perfect location for stargazing. Be sure to visit the viewpoint on a clear sky day so the views are completely unobscured. Fortunately the dry air and lack of rain in the desert, combine for a high probability of good viewing weather. Enjoy the views of the valley below and rejoice in the fact that you’re enjoying cooler temperatures than your fellow tourists on the valley floor below.
#2. Visiting Zabriskie Point Is One Of The Most Popular Things To Do In Death Valley
It’s not difficult to see why visiting Zabriskie Point is one of the most popular things to do in Death Valley. These beautiful eroded mountains are part of the Amargosa Range. Though the mountains don’t have quite the color explosion of Artist’s Palette, they still display stunning shades of purple, blue, and yellow. This viewpoint is also an ideal spot for catching the sunrise and sunset, as the sky adds additional vibrant colors to the landscape. You’ll no doubt be sharing the viewpoint with many photographers eager to capture the unbelievable scene on camera.
Zabriskie Point is among the easily accessible things to do in Death Valley. After a short drive from Furnace Creek, you’ll arrive at a parking lot and a paved path leading up to the viewpoint. Though you’ll likely be joined by large crowds, there’s plenty of room on the viewing platform to get that perfect photo shot you wanted. The view of the mountains and valleys is impressive in all directions. For those more adventurous souls looking for a workout and an immersive experience, you’ll want to check out the Badlands Loop. Badlands Loop is a 2.5 mile hike that starts and ends at Zabriskie Point. There’s nothing quite like weaving your way through the maze of jagged eroded mountains.
#3. Visit The Lowest Point in North America At Badwater Basin
Adding Badwater Basin to the list of the best things to do in Death Valley is a no brainer. It is easily one of the most popular spots in Death Valley, and as a result you should be prepared to share the salt flats with many tourists anxious to take in the vast salty expanse. At an elevation of 282 feet below sea level, Badwater Basin is the lowest point in North America. That alone is enough to make it a novelty. When you pull into the parking lot, you’ll see a sign on the mountain across from you indicating the height of sea level. When put in perspective like that, you begin to understand just how remarkably low Badwater Basin lies. Head from the parking lot out onto the wood platform, and continue past it down the brilliantly white lane. Though the sign marking the lowest point in North America is located close to the parking lot, the actual low point is to the west and changes with the weather conditions.
As you walk further out into the salt flats, you’ll see the famous hexagonal shapes. Unlike Devil’s Golf Course, Badwater Basin is heavily affected by the flash floods in Death Valley. The floods create pools of standing water. As the water evaporates (the evaporation rate is ridiculously fast in Death Valley), it dissolves some salt and leaves new salt crystals in its place. This keeps the salt formations intact and keeps the general landscape relatively flat and level. The entirety of the salt flats covers 200 square miles, though many visitors stay fairly close to the wood platform. Regardless of where you stand in the flats you are struck with a sense of awe while gazing at the sparkling white expanse around you and the towering mountains to the sides. The Mojave Desert holds all sorts of wonders, and Badwater Basin is not one to be missed.
#4. Add Traversing The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes To Your List Of Things To Do In Death Valley
There’s no better way to start your Death Valley trip than an adventure through the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. The parking lot and entrance to the dunes begins a couple miles from Stovepipe Wells, and it makes for a great first stop as you enter the park. Though these majestic dunes are not the tallest in the park, they are the most accessible and are stunning and otherworldly. The mountains frame the picture, and the wind (which has the potential to get fairly intense), shifts the sands, constantly creating a new landscape. While watching the shifting sands can be fascinating, you’ll ideally want to walk the dunes when there’s minimal wind. The sand can really sting as it hits your body and makes for a less pleasant experience.
If you’re looking for the ultimate photography experience, you’ll want to visit the dunes around sunrise and sunset when the lighting is spectacular. The shadows on the dunes also make for dramatic pictures, adding depth, and defining the curvature of the sand. Arriving early in the morning has other benefits as well. You’ll have the possibility of seeing animal tracks in the sand left the night before, and you’re likely to see the dunes in their most pristine condition before they’ve been walked all over by tourists throughout the day. Though many tourists come to visit this remarkable piece of nature, the dunes make up a vase expanse of land so they never feel overcrowded. There’s no trails or paths as the dunes are constantly shifting. Your experience out on the dunes can be as short or long and as easy or difficult as you make it. So pave your own route and find the dunes that speak to you.
#5. Visit Artists Drive and Artists Palette To See Vibrant Natural Colors
You would never expect to see such vibrant life-giving color in a place called Death Valley, and yet there lies Artists Drive and Artists Palette. Taking in the spectacular views along the appropriately named Artists Drive is one of the best things to do in Death Valley to see the undeniably brilliant effects of metal oxidation. The eye-catching colors are beautiful at any time of day but light up in especially striking hues in the late afternoon and early evening.
Whether you are just passing through the park or are staying for an extended period of time, Artists Drive is an ideal activity for many, as it is easily accessible and many of the views can be seen from the comfort of your car. The whole drive is a 9 mile, one way road that winds through the mountains and canyons. The most well-known stop along the drive is at Artists Palette which you’ll hit roughly 5 miles into the drive. There are many turnouts throughout the drive to allow people to get out of their cars and appreciate the views, including that of the basin below.
If you only make one stop along Artists Drive, it has to be at Artists Palette. When you reach Artists Palette you’ll find a small parking lot and a short staircase leading back into the colorful mountainside. This is your opportunity to see the dazzling mix of colors, including turquoise and magenta, up close and personal. Take some time to walk through the wash and gaze up at the mountains around you. You’ll find yourself among the people lucky enough to be a part of one of nature’s most impressive paintings.
#6. Tackling The Trails In Golden Canyon Is Among The Best Things To Do In Death Valley For Avid Hikers
If you enjoy hiking, Golden Canyon should be a priority when checking off your list of things to do in Death Valley. In addition to the unique, constantly changing rock formations, Golden Canyon also houses a number of the filming locations from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The hikes through Golden Canyon are easy to moderate, and they take you through the most fascinating rock formations. Just 10 minutes from Furnace Creek, you’ll find the parking lot and trailhead. There are a number of different hiking route options when starting at Golden Canyon. The first option is to hike the Golden Canyon Trail to Red Cathedral for a total of 2.9 miles. The red rock, caused by oxidation, is remarkable in contrast to the yellow and brownish landscape surrounding it. Most of this trail is relatively easy, but as you get closer to the base of Red Cathedral, there is rock scrambling involved.
The second most popular hiking route takes you from Golden Canyon to Zabriskie Point. This is a 6.1 mile roundtrip hike of moderate difficulty. You’ll enter the wash and follow signs for Zabriskie Point. You’ll connect up with Gower Gulch around 1.85 miles into the hike and will hike a narrow uphill path out of the gully. And of course at the end of the 3.05 miles, you are rewarded with the unmatched views of Zabriskie Point. A third possible option is hiking the 4 mile Gower Gulch Loop, the first mile of which takes you through Golden Canyon. It’s easy to spend much of the day exploring the paths in and out of Golden Canyon. The endless hiking and adventure possibilities make it one of the best things to do in Death Valley.
The hiking paths in Golden Canyon are very exposed, and you’ll want to bring ample water..
Visiting Budapest in winter is an amazing and memorable experience you will not soon forget. Like most spots that experience a winter season, the weather during winter in Budapest will be a bit cold, with most of the days being damp and cloudy with the occasional sunny, yet brisk days. Budapest has an average temperature of high/low of 38°F/29°F in December, 34°F/25°F in January and 40°F/29°F in February, but that doesn’t mean you should write off visiting Budapest in winter! Quite the contrary, it is a perfect time to visit.
Winter in Budapest is generally defined from December to February, with shoulder months in November and March. Since the temperature is usually so chilly during the winter months, snowfall can be expected at times. Winter in Budapest means Christmas decorations and a bunch of markets to visit with a chance of snow and fewer crowds. Budapest in winter tends to be budget friendly which is the perfect reason for any traveler to visit. With a few tips and this handy guide by your side, you will be off on your way to an enjoyable trip at one of the coolest locations in Eastern Europe during the winter months.
The Ultimate Guide To Visiting Budapest In Winter
Average Budapest Winter Weather
The average daily weather for Budapest in winter tends to be chilly and cloudy. While it does snow frequently during Budapest in winter, it is not an abundant amount so it should not put a damper in your plans as long as you plan accordingly. Since skies become grayer during the winter in Budapest, the amount of sunshine is fairly low. You can expect at least about two to three hours of sunshine every day during the months of December through February. Sure, this gives you shorter daylight hours, but Budapest in winter offers more time to explore the city by night and it will allow you to see a unique way to enjoy what the city has to offer.
Average Winter Temperatures In Budapest
The average temperature of Budapest in winter is actually relatively reasonable, especially for a city located in the northern hemisphere. The average temperature of Budapest in December hovers around 38°F, the average temperature of Budapest in January is 34°F, and the average temperature of Budapest in February is 40°F. As you can see, these temperatures are not entirely freezing and can actually more enjoyable than similar cities such as New York City, which averages in the mid-to-low 30’s during January. If you are looking to visit Budapest in winter, rest assured that it is no colder than any other large northern city. You won’t show up to your Budapest winter trip and be shocked by the temperature change, especially if you already live in another place that experiences winter. We are from Florida and have visited countries during their winters and survived just fine. If we can do it, you certainly can!
Check out these average highs and lows of Budapest in Winter to get an idea:
November Temperatures For Budapest: 46°F high and 36°F low
December Temperatures For Budapest: 38°F high and 29°F low
January Temperatures For Budapest: 34°F high and 25°F low
February Temperatures For Budapest: 40°F high and 29°F low
March Temperatures For Budapest: 50°F high and 36°F low
How To Get To Budapest In Winter
Getting to Budapest in winter is quite easy! Transportation prices will be at a yearly low during the majority of the winter, so you will save a lot of money by booking your trip to Budapest in winter! If you are traveling by air, Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD) is the main airport in which people fly into and it is located about 25 minutes outside of the city. Once you land, you can take a taxi into town or take public transportation, which is easy and affordable. If you are not traveling with too many pieces of luggage it is recommended to take the airport shuttle bus which costs €3 one way and it will take you to the city center at Deák Ferenc Square. If you opt for a taxi instead you can probably expect to pay around €25- €35 for one way. The taxis do not have a flat rate and they use a meter. Spending winter in Budapest has never been easier or more affordable!
If you are traveling by train then Budapest Keleti (eastern) railway station is the station to pull up into. In Hungarian, it is spelled as Keleti pályaudvar and it is the main international station as well as a hub for the inter-city railways.
Another option of travel to get into Budapest from one of the countries outside of is via bus. If you decide to use this form of transportation you will arrive and depart from the Nepliget Bus station. Depending on which country you are coming from and which bus company you are using they should have easy access to this station. Neploget Bus station is located a little outside the city center, at the corner of People’s Park – you can get to and from there via Budapest’s efficient metro system. There is an option for everyone!
How to Get Around Budapest In Winter
If you want to fit in like a local, consider using the public buses in Budapest! The majority of people who use mass transit use the bus system. They are easily accessible with over 200 routes in Budapest and have express options if you do not want to take the local routes.
Another option to get around Budapest in winter or any time is the metro. The metro is a fast, reasonably priced, and easy way to get around, even in winter! The metro in Budapest will run rain, shine, snow, and sleet, so it is pretty reliable! Depending on where you are and where you need to go there are 4 different metro lines you can ride. The primary hub where three of the metro lines meet is at Deák Ferenc tér station in the center of the city. Depending on your needs and how long you are staying you can purchase different options such as a single ride, 24 hours pass, 7-day pass. Take a look here for the options and pricing based on the length of your stay. If you are not able to walk up and down a lot of steps or you are in a wheelchair, we recommend taking a taxi as it may be easier and safer. Uber and Lyfts do not seem to run in Budapest but the taxis are cheap and fast so it should still work well with your budget.
Walking around Budapest in winter is quite enjoyable because the city will be decked out for the holidays and then may be blanketed in snow during the early months of the year. Budapest is a good sized city so if you plan to walk, remember to wear good walking shoes and to dress appropriately. It is always recommended to walk around a new city as that is the best way to really learn about a place. What is great about Budapest is that everything is within walking distance (restaurants, tourist spots, and thermal baths, of course). If you are not much a walker and prefer to have some wheels under you, consider using BuBi. BuBi is Budapest’s version of public bicycles that are shareable. Biking may not be ideal with cold weather on your face, but hey! maybe you are someone that is not easily affected by the cold.
Top Things To Do In Budapest During The Winter
Visiting Budapest in winter presents a unique opportunity to explore parts of the city that you may have otherwise passed up. While the weather is cold and possibly inclement, there’s plenty of options to head indoors and participate in a variety of options in the city. If the weather is great, you can take to the streets and explore, all while being dressed appropriately! Whether you are looking to spend a long weekend in Budapest or have a week or more to visit, there is plenty to see and do!
Shop the Chrismas Markets
A first and foremost you MUST do when visiting Budapest in winter is to check out the Christmas markets! There are two main markets, St Stephen’s Sq, Budapest and Vorosmarty Sq, Budapest. Both are located in district V and open up around mid-November and close on the last day of December. The big draw to shopping at these markets is to become immersed in the authenticity and efforts put forth by the locals to showcase traditional Hungarian experiences. There are a lot of vendors who are selling handmade items that can’t be found in commercial stores selling mass-produced Christmas gifts. If you want to bring home some unique souvenirs to your friends and family – shop these markets!
Take a Dip in the Thermal Baths
When people think of Budapest the first thing that comes to mind is the famous Széchenyi Baths. It’s easy to see why Budapest got its nickname of “The City of Spas” from the 100+ natural thermal springs that have been housed by dozens of spas around town. Just because you need to be in a swimsuit to experience these baths does not mean this experience is limited to warmer weather. Quite the contrary, because of the natural thermal producing properties there’s no better time to soak in the baths than in the cold weather! Széchenyi Baths have specific winter open hours and yes – they keep the outdoor parts open too! They have different ticket prices depending on if you plan to be there for a certain amount of time or want to purchase a full day pass. Be prepared to spend quite a few hours at the baths if you go because once you go in you may not want to leave!
Ice Skate at Europes Largest Rink
If you ask a European what’s the largest and most famous ice skating rink in Europe, they are most likely going to say Budapest’s City Park, Ice Rink. It’s located in front of Vajdahunyad Castle on the edge of City Park, and visitors can skate during the winter in Budapest between late November and mid-February. Besides being the largest rink it is also one of the oldest and how the rink becomes frozen is through a very traditional process of the times it came from. During the summer months, the rink is actually water so that tourists and locals alike and peddle around in small boats. Opening hours during winter in Budapest are 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. – p.m.
If you are on the hunt for the best GoPro alternative that will take some crazy-awesome photos, but won’t break the bank, you have come to the right place! There are already a variety of GoPros out there, but we know they can be expensive. So, depending on how much you will use your GoPro alternative, your budget, and what type of photographs or videos you want to take, we are here to offer suggestions for the best GoPro alternatives!
While the GoPro brand has set some high standards for action cameras, we have made sure to list some of the best GoPro alternatives that are on the market. Because GoPro isn’t the only name out there now, other manufacturers are entering the market with their own action cameras. But these options can be overwhelming, so we are listing a few fan favorite GoPro alternatives below. Each one listed is a high-quality, low-cost GoPro alternative, and we highly suggest looking into them if you are trying to avoid breaking your bank!
11 Best GoPro Alternatives That Won’t Break The Bank
1. The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Is One Of The Best GoPro Alternatives Out There
One of the best GoPro alternatives out there comes from the Garmin brand. Recently, the Garmin’s line of VIRB cameras came out with a groundbreaking model. While this GoPro alternative is preferred by pilots, it is easy to use and accessible to all users. TheGarmin VIRB Ultra 30shoots ultra HD videos and has a built-in image stabilization, so you won’t capture any blurry photos. It also has GPS logging!
With it not weighing much (3.1 oz), this GoPro alternative is easy to pack and lightweight. It has a battery life of 2 hours and 3 different options for field of view: extremely wide, medium, and narrow. It also has a series of settings, such as burst mode, time lapse, and slow motion. Between this, a color touch-screen, and voice control, this GoPro alternative is one of the best GoPro alternatives out there, and can be purchased for a reasonable price. It can also be purchased in package deals, such as the aviation bundle, which is great for experienced action camera shooters! We know this can be a bit pricey still, but we promise it is a life-long investment and so worth it!
2. The YI 4K Action and Sports Camera Is A Steal
The YI brand also offers a great GoPro alternative, as they ensure that all of their cameras are made with professional quality through advanced technology. They promise maximum fidelity, versatility and ease of use! The YI 4K Action and Sports Camera is one of the best GoPro alternatives because of it’s features and low price. This camera has great image quality, recording videos, raw images via an image sensor and video stabilization for smooth footage.
In addition to this, this GoPro alternative offers longer battery life (2 hours!), an intuitive touchscreen, and instant sharing via Bluetooth. All of these features are worth the slightly over $100 price tag, but you can always upgrade packages as well, purchasing selfie sets, waterproof cases, and more! These sports cameras a great for their action videos, and we highly recommend it as a GoPro alternative!
3. The FitFort 4K Action Camera Is One Of The Best Budget GoPro Alternatives
Still worried about breaking the bank? Look no further! The FitFort 4K Action Camera is one of the most affordable GoPro alternatives out there, but just because it is cheaper, doesn’t mean that FitFort lacks in quality. This GoPro alternative has an action camera that offers 4K recording and 4X zoom. It has built-in WiFi, and comes with a remote control for easy operation! If you are looking for a wonderful starter GoPro alternative, this is a wonderful product for you because of the easy use and lower price tag.
The two high capacity batteries promise a long charge, and this camera is versatile due to it’s multifunctional and waterproof capacities. It comes in a waterproof case, which can go up to 98 feet, and allows you to snap photos of any adventure you have, whether this be biking, swimming, or surfing. This camera is also known for it’s 170 degree wide angle and can be found for for a very affordable price from Amazon! It’s a great deal especially if you want to try out your first action camera!
4. The Polaroid Cube Is Tiny, Cute, And Affordable!
The Polaroid Cube is another great GoPro alternative and is well known for it’s fun and tiny designs! This action camera is pocket-sized and packs an HD video recorder and 6MP camera into a one-inch cube design. It is also splash and shock resistant, which makes it easy to mount to bikes, surfboards, helmets, and other surfaces. It is shockingly affordable for a mini action camera and you are totally going to love its cute design. Just because it is “cheap” doesn’t mean what it offers is cheap!
This action camera has a 124 degree wide-angle lens, which is great considering how tiny it is! It connects directly to the computer, has rechargeable batteries that can record up to 90 minutes a charge, and a microphone. Better yet? This GoPro alternative is cute! It comes in a variety of colors such as black and blue, and it is really cheap, making it a steal. You can purchase it for a very affordable price on Amazon! It’s tiny, cute, effective (seriously the 6MP CMOS Sensor provides crisp images!) and cheap!
5. Cheap and Effective: Check Out The Campark 4K Action Cam!
Another great GoPro alternative is from the Campark brand. Specifically, the Campark 4K Action Camera offers a great alternative to pricey GoPros, with it’s 170 degree ultra wide angle lens and angle adjustment. The multiple view angles can be selected and offer different visual experiences so you don’t miss any background details! This camera records with a Sony sensor and captures photos at 16Megapixels. The really cool thing about this choice is that it is affordable yet looks very sleek and professional for its price!
This camera also has a Wi-fi remote and is compatible with both iOS and Android systems, letting you control the camera via the phone in real time! This way, you can also instantly send pictures and videos via email or share them on social media ASAP. The Campark 4K Action cam is also waterproof up to 30 feet, making it ideal for water sports such as swimming and surfing. Combined with its rechargeable batteries and mounting accessories, this camera is a great GoPro alternative and is a wonderful option if you are going on a cruise or snorkeling or some sort of really awesome water activity that you want to document.
6. The VTech Kidizoom CameraConnect Is The Best GoPro Alternative For Kids!
Have a kid that wants to learn about action camera work but don’t trust them with an expensive GoPro? We have the best GoPro alternative for you! The VTech Kidizoom Camera Connect is perfect for kids, offering a camera with 1.3 megapixels and 4x zoom. It has a color screen and easy-to-use viewfinder. If you are taking a family vacation and your kid has been begging for a camera, why not put a little investment into the perfect child-size action camera? It can be so fun to see what the little ones capture from their point of view!
This camera appeals to children with it’s features that allow for it to take photos and edit them with silly effects, but it also allows them to get familiar with cameras, as it also records video and voice, but still has that splash of fun with 5-voice changing effects. Offered in both blue and pink and is a great starting camera for kids! Let your kids take the reigns when it comes to documenting the family vacation from their point of view!
7. The Versatile Akaso V50 Mid-Range With Great Quality
While a little on the pricey side, the Akaso brand offers great GoPro alternative that promises superb image quality for the price of their cameras. The AKASO V50 is a great action camera that can capture every detail of your outdoor adventures and present immersive footage too. This camera has electronic image stabilization and optional view angles to adjust the camera angle to your needs. It also includes a distortion calibration feature, which offers image distortion improvements!
The Akaso V50 also has a built-in Wifi and HDMI output that is easily downloadable on your phone or tablet, making it easy to connect to social media or television. It also comes with 2 rechargeable batteries and a remote control wristbands for free, which feels like a steal when purchasing it for such a reasonable price. Better yet? This camera has great features and accessory kits, such as a helmet accessories kit that make it accessible to whatever adventure you’d like to record! If you are looking for to break into the action camera universe without buying a full-on GoPro, this is the perfect choice for you.
You have probably landed on this page because you are considering planning a trip to the Westman Islands in Iceland. We are here to tell you to 100% go for it! The Westman Islands are such a unique and incredible place in Iceland and surprisingly, not very many people go or consider. They are located near very popular sites in south Iceland and they are very easy to visit and get around.
We have been to Iceland many times and each time we would drive Iceland’s south coast we would see the Westman Islands bathed in a spectacular light and shrouded in mist. There they sat, right off the coast but so mystical and untouchable. We talked about them every trip but thought they were unattainable and not possible. We knew that one day we wanted to visit to see what all the fuss was about. And that day finally came and we are here to say the Westman Islands are worth the trip and may just end up being your favorite place in Iceland!
This guide is going to break down exactly how to plan your trip to the Westman Islands including helpful information about the Westman Islands Ferry and some of the best things to see and do. We are happy to answer any questions in the comments!
The Complete Guide To Visiting The Westman IslandsWhat Are The Westman Islands?
The Westman Islands are the best-kept secret in Iceland! They are a group of 16 islands located roughly 4 miles off the south coast of Iceland. Compared to other popular towns along the south coast and in Iceland in general, the population of the Westman Islands is actually quite huge at 4200 people!
The main island on the Westman Islands where everyone lives and where you will visit is called Heimaey in English. This is the largest island and also one of the ones you can easily see from the mainland. They are also called Vestmannaeyjar in Icelandic if you would prefer to use that translation instead.
They are located very near the mainland but feel so far away! The views are incredible and let you see mainland Iceland from a different perspective.
Taking The Westman Islands Ferry
There are two ways to get to the Westman Islands. The first is to fly which is expensive and prohibits the amount of luggage you can take due to weight restrictions. We do not recommend flying. The second is taking the Westman Islands Ferry. This is what we did and it cost us $90 USD for two people and a car.
There are two places you can pick up the Westman Islands Ferry. One is from the Reykjavik area Thorlakshofn [in winter] and the other is along the south coast near Selejendafoss Waterfall called Landeyjahöfn [in summer]. We chose the ferry from the south coast as it is a much shorter crossing and we were already on the south coast as it was! This was a fantastic decision and the crossing only took about 30 minutes.
The two mainland ports for the Westman Islands Ferry are known as Landeyjahöfn [on the south coast] and Thorlakshofn is near Reykjavik and operates during the winter time [current as of 2019]. The crossing from Thorlakshofn takes around 3-3.5 hours while the crossing from Landeyjahöfn only takes 30-40 minutes depending on the weather. After all, the Westman Islands Ferry only has to cross a 4 mile span of land to get from the mainland to the islands so it doesn’t take that long at all!
When we were planning our trip, we thought we could get away without bringing a car since bringing a car on the ferry is more expensive. We did a little research in some Iceland groups on Facebook and ultimately ended up taking a car. IT WAS SUCH A GOOD CALL! Unless you just want to get off the ferry and walk around the town and shops, it is essential to bring a car. That being said, if you want to explore the island by bike you can rent bikes or bring your own from the mainland. We would NOT recommend walking on Heimaey if you want to visit every place listed on this guide. It was well worth the price to have a car.
When booking the Westman Islands Ferry, we highly highly recommend booking as far in advance as you are able, especially if you are bringing a car. The ferry to the Westman Islands is used to ship goods as well and it fills up quite quickly. We booked a few weeks out and were glad we did.
You can go to the Westman Islands Website and Book Your Ferry Here! This is the exact site and booking engine we used for our trip and as we said above, it cost around $90USD.
Once you book your ticket, it is recommended to be at the ferry site 30 minutes in advance. We are never anywhere on time but we made it a point to get to the Westman Islands Ferry on time and it was a good decision. You want to get in line while they load up the cars and then get situated on the ferry itself. Keep in mind that only one person is allowed in the car when driving it onto the ferry so all passengers must board the ferry by foot.
While dated, the Westman Islands ferry was quite nice. There were loads of bathrooms onboard, a galley/kitchen that served drinks and food for a price, lots of areas for kids to play and sit, and even a little movie theatre room that was playing the show “Friends.” Like the majority of passengers, we spent most of the time on the viewing decks on the top of the ship. If you are taking the Westman Islands ferry, we highly recommend being on the viewing deck as you come into the islands and the port. You pass by a few islands pretty close.
The whole process of booking and boarding the Westman Islands ferry is quite easy and affordable. Believe it or not, people cross to/from the islands every day so they aren’t as mystical or unreachable as we once thought. On the contrary, they are quite easy to visit and the amazing things you will see is well worth the visit.
How Long To Spend On The Westman Islands?
When we were planning our trip, we heard people recommend spending more than a day there. The main options are to visit the Westman Islands as a day trip [arrive and leave the same day], to visit for one night, or to visit for two nights. Of course, you can visit for as long as you like, but these are the most popular time frames for a visit.
Since we like to slow travel, we decided to visit for two nights. That gave us the day we arrived and another full day. We also visited in summer so the midnight sun was in full force which allowed us plenty of time for activities. We got the majority of things done on the day we arrived, but we both agreed we would have felt very rushed if we had to leave the next morning.
We do NOT think you should skip the Westman Islands on your trip if you don’t have two days to give. Many locals including some of our hosts on the south coast suggest it as a day trip which we can agree you can feasibly do, especially with a car. Just take the earliest ferry to the Westman Islands and leave at the latest.
That being said, people in some Iceland groups on Facebook said they regretted not spending two days. For us, by the second day, we started to feel like we were on a small island. We had pretty much visited every inch of the Westman Islands and there was nothing left to do. Not that we would have been upset to sit and do nothing and enjoy the amazing views and weather!
How long you spend on the Westman Islands depends on your travel schedule and how much time you have. These islands feel far-flung and offer so much all while being easily and affordably accessible from the mainland. We are happy to answer any questions in the comments if you want our thoughts on how long you should stay!
Best Things To Do On The Westman Islands
During our two days on the Westman Islands, we visited every stretch of the island! There are plenty of museums and such that we did not visit that you could if you wanted. We were more interested in the nature and hiking, but the Westman Islands offer something for everyone. Here is what we recommend to see and do while you are on Heimaey.
Heimaey Stave Church
This was easily one of our top things to do on the Westman Islands and we went back each day! The Heimaey Stave Church is the only stave church in Iceland and it is incredible to see. It also made our list of the top churches in Iceland because it is that unique. Many people head to the Budir church to see a black church in Iceland, but that one has white features so it isn’t totally black!
The Heimaey Stave church is 100% jet black and built in the Nordic stave church style. The Heimaey Stave Church was a gift to Iceland from Norway to commemorate 1000 years of Christianity being in Iceland. All of the materials it took to built the church were gathered from around Norway.
Visiting the Heimaey Stave Church is a great thing to do if you are visiting the Westman Islands on foot or by bike as it is located near the downtown and the ferry port. You can put the name in your GPS and after you walk up a road that has a steep hill you will come down on the other side and you will see the Heimaey Stave Church right on the waterfront.
Stórhöfði – The Windiest Point In Europe
We highly recommend a visit to Stórhöfði which is the southernmost point in Iceland and the windiest point in Europe. It is a pretty incredible and diverse place to visit. The strongest winds ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere were recorded here and it is rivaled only by Antarctica. Isn’t that just so insane?
This is one of the places on the Westman Islands that we highly recommend you have a car to access. Although the island is small, there are a variety of uphills and downhills to get here an it would take a long while to walk here [or so it felt to us!] You can arrive here from downtown in literally 5-8 minutes driving.
Once you are at Stórhöfði you can park your car and take a walk around the perimeter of the peninsula. This cliff walk provides lovely views to other islands in the chain as well as spectacular views of Hemaiey and the mainland. It is higher than much of the main island so it provides wonderful views. The cliff walk isn’t anything strenuous and you can see some pretty incredible views all around!
View Puffins On Stórhöfði
While you are on Stórhöfði, you may as well stay and view the puffins. The Westman Islands and Stórhöfði are home to over 700,000 puffins during the warmer months/summer when puffins are in Iceland nesting. If you want to visit Stórhöfði when the puffins are not there, don’t worry, there are still thousands upon thousands of seabirds that frequent the area.
When searching for puffins on Stórhöfði, make sure to go early in the morning or later at night so you can see them before or after they head out to fish on the seas for the day. When viewing puffins on Stórhöfði make sure to be very careful of the edge of the cliff and to stay on the paths. The puffins nest in the grass so you don’t want to step on their precious eggs. There are plenty of paths already worn for walking so you can see all the best views!
Breathtaking landscapes, fresh air, craggy coasts and cliffs, numerous ruins, and more are common when hiking in Ireland. You’ll also find Europe’s largest green space and the longest defined coastal touring route in the World included among Irelands hiking trails. With so much to offer Ireland is a popular hiking destination and has a wide variety of options. Abundant rain, while common in Ireland, may have you considering staying in but you should thank the rain for the lush verdant landscape around you which is gorgeous in any weather. Opt for one of these shorter hikes in Ireland if the weather seems iffy.
May and June are the sunniest months if you want to make the most out of daylight hours for hikes in Ireland you might consider visiting then. Fun fact: there are no snakes in Ireland which means this is one less creature to watch out for while hiking in Ireland. While there is an activity for many interests and hikes for every fitness level we’re going to talk about the best hikes in Ireland that are easy to add to a day of travel, do with the family, or to just make a quick stop and take in the scenery.
If you are in the process of planning travel to Iceland, here are some posts to read later:
Best Easy Hikes In Ireland That Will Blow Your Mind
Howth Cliff Walk, about 3.5 miles and 2 hours
Looking for an easy hike close to Dublin? Look no further! Howth Cliff Walk is one of the most convenient hikes in Ireland for those flying into Dublin and a short 3.5 mile loop along cliff tops with views of the Atlantic, Irelands craggy coastline and cliffs, Dublin Bay, as well as two lighthouses, Baily Lighthouse and Howth Harbour Lighthouse. While hiking in Ireland on this trail, you can also see Martello Tower which was built to protect against French invasion during the Napoleonic Wars, Balscadden House where Yeats lived for three years, Ireland’s Eye with its bird sanctuary, and much more.
To begin this hike in Ireland start from the DART train station in Howth and simply follow the green arrows along the route. There are a few other trails that begin from the train station if you are looking for more, there is also a longer purple trail splits off from Howth Cliff Walk as you approach Baily Lighthouse, or you can also choose to walk down the main road through Howth Village on the way back instead of following the trail all the way back. Of the walks in Ireland on Howth Cliff Walk, you will find the 15th Century St. Mary’s Abbey in Howth who’s bells rang to guide fishermen home in the fog before the lighthouses were built and you can also stop in for a visit. To check out more photos of our visit to this trail visit this blog post.
Bray to Greystones, about 4.25 miles and 2.5 hours
For walking along the edge of a hillside in Ireland instead of on top of cliffs the narrow coastal path linking Bray and Greystones is one of the best hikes in Ireland. A short train ride from Dublin to either town this is another easy day trip to Ireland hiking trails. The path is well maintained so as long as you have the proper footwear and check the weather while hiking in Ireland you can feel safe even on a narrow cliff path. The walk is an out and back hike, not a loop, but you can opt to grab a train on the way back instead.
One of the unique hikes in Ireland the trail was built during the construction of the train rail line so that equipment could be moved as necessary. Along the trail is also the ruins of a small house from that time which belonged to Lord Meath where there was also once a toll gate to charge the public to use the walkway. For a full photo essay from our experience on the trail check out this blog post. Beyond the history, there is the scenery and the wildlife, keep your eyes open for sea birds, dolphins, harbor porpoises, and sharks. Most people journey from Bray to Greystones but you can do it either way based on where you’d like to grab a bite to eat afterward. If you walk from Bray to Greystones towards the end you will descend to sea level and enter the Greystone harbor or you can begin here!
Muckross Lake Loop Trail, about 6 miles and 2-3 hours
Killarney National Park has the most breathtaking landscapes and is a must-see destination for hiking in Ireland with some of the best hikes in Ireland! Muckross Lake is one of the most popular parts of the national park with its stunning scenery, variety of landmarks along the way, and the nearby Torc Waterfall. There are several trails in the area and they can be connected to create hikes of varying lengths, select your path depending on how much time you’d like to spend and where you park.
The shortest full loop around Muckross Lake is about 6 miles and along the way you can see Muckross Abbey, Muckross House, Dundag Beach, Brickeen Bridge, Dinis Cottage (now a cafe), Old Weir Bridge, and more. Keep your eyes open for these unique species whose numbers are dwindling but you still might be able to spot in this unique Ireland hiking trails: the last herd of native Red Deer in Ireland, the rare Kerry Cow, and recently reintroduced to the wild the White Tailed Eagle. With so much to see for one of the walks in Ireland don’t forget your camera and plan a little extra time for your visit. If you are feeling like doing more hiking in Ireland after this loop without going far stop by Torc Waterfall by following the public road after Old Weir Bridge, keep reading to learn more!
Torc Waterfall, 5 minutes
Still at Killarney National Park if you don’t have much time or are tired Torc Waterfall can’t really, on its own, be considered one of the hikes in Ireland, it can be visited just off the road with a 5-minute walk! The falls got its name “Torc” which means boar from the legend of the Irish magical boar who was killed by the Irish hero Finn McCool. If you are in the area you really have no excuse for not stopping by this beautiful and cascading 70-80ft waterfall. A favorite tourist destination, get here early to avoid the crowds and if you’d like this stop can be added to the full Muckross Lake Loop Trail as well.
Of all the hikes in Ireland here you have so much flexibility in how much you choose to do; if you did not do the lake loop a short uphill walk has a viewpoint for middle lake or you can connect from here to the lake loop trail but choose to only do a small section using the road to loop back to the falls and parking area. The Torc Waterfall is also a destination on the Kerry Way long-distance walking route, one of the longest signposted walks in Ireland, as its beauty and that of the countryside around it are a no brainer to include while hiking in Ireland.
Hare’s Gap, about 2 miles (one-way) and 2-3 hours
Depending on your definition of easy hikes in Ireland this trail may or may not fit the bill but its magnificent landscapes make it worth considering. Hare’s Gap is not a long hike, 4 miles out and back total, but it has some steep parts that mean the trail is a bit more moderate than easy. The most dramatic mountain pass in the Mournes this trail was once one of the walks in Ireland used as a smuggling route for items like soap, spices, and coffee. Today, it is a starting point for several hikes in Ireland over mountain peaks. On its own, you can take in stunning views of boulder fields, glacial cliffs, and rolling mountains.
Bushmills to Giant’s Causeway, about 2 miles (one-way) and 2 hours
Giant’s Causeway is the only World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland and can be found along one of the longer hikes in Ireland, the Causeway Coastal Way, which is about 33 miles. To visit this naturally beautiful location in a much shorter distance you can walk from the Visitor Center at Old Bushmills Distillery 2 miles to this scenic area. Giant’s Causeway is made up of three parts the Little Causeway, the Middle Causeway also known as the ‘Honeycomb’, and the Grand Causeway. Look for the Wishing Chair, Wishing Well, and Giant’s Gate from Finn McCool folklore along the walk as well.
Depending on which trails you choose to take you can continue on from Giant’s Gate into Port Noffer, The Bay of the Giant, to experience the rich plant life along the sea. Huge columns of basalt ‘The Organ’ can be seen and approached from here when passing the Giant’s Boot and you can head towards the ‘Amphitheatre’ afterward. You can use Shepherd’s Path with 162 steps to get to or down from the cliff top. With so many sights to explore along this short trail, this is one of the best hikes in Ireland!
The Pilgrim’s Path at Slieve League, about 3.5 miles and 3 hours
We can’t get enough of cliffs and ocean views! For one of the shorter hikes in Ireland, The Pilgrim’s Path still manages to run along some of Europe’s highest cliffs. This trail follows an ancient path that had been used by the Irish Roman Catholics who refused to be forced to convert to English Anglican Church (as required by penal laws in the 18th and 19th centuries). To continue practicing their religion they created roughly made churches from rock in rural areas including along this path.
Follow signs to Pilgrim’s Path when entering Slieve League, and on the trail follow yellow rocks and wooden posts that mark the way. The weather can change quickly in this area so be prepared and aware, check the weather report before heading out. Along the path there are the expected sites while hiking in Ireland—ruins,..