Unveiling Mallorca’s Hidden Gems: El Molinar & Paguera – Your Tranquil Escape

Mallorca, the vibrant Balearic island, is renowned for its stunning beaches and bustling resorts.

However, beyond the tourist hotspots lie two hidden gems, El Molinar and Paguera, each offering a unique charm and peaceful atmosphere. If you’re seeking a more authentic Mallorcan experience, these tranquil escapes should be on your radar.

El Molinar: A Seaside Village with Old-World Charm

Just a stone’s throw away from Palma, the capital of Mallorca, lies the picturesque village of El Molinar. This former fishing village has retained its old-world character, with charming narrow streets, colorful houses, and a lively promenade.

  • What to See and Do:
    • Paseo Marítimo: Stroll along the promenade, lined with traditional fishing boats and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Bay of Palma.
    • Molinar Beach: Relax on this small sandy beach, popular among locals, and take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters.
    • Windsurfing and Sailing: El Molinar is a haven for windsurfing and sailing enthusiasts, thanks to its ideal wind conditions.
    • Gastronomic Delights: Indulge in fresh seafood delicacies at the numerous restaurants and tapas bars dotted along the promenade.

Paguera: A Secluded Oasis with Natural Beauty

Nestled on the southwest coast of Mallorca, Paguera offers a serene retreat away from the crowds. This picturesque resort town boasts three beautiful beaches, surrounded by lush pine forests and dramatic cliffs.

  • What to See and Do:
    • Paguera Beaches: Explore the three beaches – Palmira, Tora, and Romana – each with its own unique character.
    • Hiking and Biking: Discover the stunning natural landscapes of Paguera through scenic hiking and biking trails.
    • Boat Trips: Embark on a boat trip to explore the nearby coves and hidden beaches.
    • Boulevard de Paguera: Wander along the vibrant boulevard, lined with shops, restaurants, and bars, and soak up the lively atmosphere.

Why Visit El Molinar and Paguera?

  • Authenticity: Both destinations offer a glimpse into traditional Mallorcan life, away from the touristy crowds.
  • Tranquility: El Molinar and Paguera provide a peaceful escape, perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation.
  • Natural Beauty: These hidden gems boast stunning natural landscapes, from picturesque beaches to lush forests.
  • Variety of Activities: Whether you’re seeking water sports, outdoor adventures, or cultural experiences, El Molinar and Paguera have something for everyone.

Conclusion

El Molinar and Paguera are two hidden treasures waiting to be discovered in Mallorca. These off-the-beaten-path destinations offer a unique blend of authenticity, tranquility, and natural beauty, making them ideal for travelers seeking a more intimate and enriching experience on the island. ☀️🌊

Unveiling the Charm of Zutphen

Zutphen, a hidden gem in the Netherlands, offers a delightful escape for a day trip. This historic city, nestled in the province of Gelderland, boasts medieval architecture, charming canals, and a vibrant atmosphere. Here’s your guide to maximizing your exploration:

Step Back in Time:

  • Walburgiskerk: Immerse yourself in history at the iconic Walburgiskerk, a 13th-century Gothic church. Don’t miss De Librije, the oldest public library in the Netherlands, housed within its walls.
  • City Walls and Gates: Stroll along the remnants of the city’s ancient walls, offering a glimpse into Zutphen’s fortified past. Enter through the Berkelpoort, a majestic water gate, and feel transported back centuries.
  • Hidden Courtyards (Hofjes): Wander through the city and discover the unique “hofjes,” secluded courtyards surrounded by almshouses. These peaceful havens offer a glimpse into Zutphen’s social history.

Embrace the Local Flavor:

  • Canal Cruise: Experience Zutphen from a different perspective with a relaxing “whisper boat” tour on the Berkel River. Glide past scenic canals and learn fascinating stories about the city.
  • Foodie Delights: Indulge in Dutch delicacies at Zutphen’s cafes and restaurants. Sample “poffertjes” (tiny pancakes) or savor a traditional “broodje kroket” (bread roll with fried meat ragout). Don’t forget to try the local cheese!
  • Shopping Spree: Explore Zutphen’s vibrant shopping scene. Browse through independent boutiques, antique stores, and local markets for unique souvenirs and Dutch treats.

Bonus Tip: Consider joining a guided walking tour for a deeper dive into Zutphen’s rich history and hidden gems.

With its charming atmosphere, historical treasures, and delightful local flavor, Zutphen promises an unforgettable day trip. Pack your walking shoes, embrace the Dutch spirit, and discover the magic of this captivating city!

Hengelo hidden gems: Where Street Art Meets Shopping Spree

Hengelo, often overlooked, is a Dutch city brimming with artistic flair and surprising shopping delights. Unwind and explore with this guide to unearthing Hengelo’s hidden gems:

A Canvas Come Alive:

  • HeArtlane: Embark on a self-guided walking tour, following the HeArtlane route. These vibrant murals, splashed across buildings throughout the city center, showcase the creativity of local and international street artists.
  • Hidden Gems: Keep your eyes peeled for unexpected artistic treasures! Duck down side streets and explore unexpected corners to discover hidden works of street art waiting to be unveiled.
  • Interactive Art: Hengelo embraces interactive elements in its street art. Look for murals with playful optical illusions or pose with a quirky character for a unique photo opportunity.

Shopper’s Paradise:

  • Boutique Bonanza: Delve into the charming Binnenstad (city center) and discover a treasure trove of independent boutiques. Find unique clothing, handcrafted jewelry, and locally-designed homeware.
  • Market Marvels: Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Hengelo’s Wednesday and Saturday market squares. Browse through stalls overflowing with fresh produce, regional specialties, and handcrafted goods.
  • Modern Malls: For a wider selection, explore modern shopping malls like Winkelscentrum Beekhoven. Find a mix of popular brands, department stores, and specialty shops catering to all tastes.

Sweet Treats and Local Delights:

  • Koffie Break: After exploring the HeArtlane and indulging in retail therapy, refuel at a cozy cafe. Savor a steaming cup of coffee with a traditional Dutch pastry, or grab a refreshing ice cream for a warm day.
  • Local Bites: Hengelo offers a diverse culinary scene. For a unique experience, sample Indonesian cuisine, a nod to the city’s colonial past. Alternatively, enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner at a traditional Dutch restaurant.

Hengelo offers a surprising blend of urban art, charming shops, and delicious treats. Lace up your walking shoes, grab your camera, and embark on a journey of discovery through this Dutch gem!

Groningen’s Groovy Grind: Beyond the Bloemenjaarmarkt

Groningen, a Dutch dynamo, pulsates with energy. This vibrant student city isn’t your typical relaxation haven, but for those seeking a dose of lively Dutch culture, it’s a captivating choice.

Blooming Beauty:

  • Bloemenjaarmarkt (Flower Year Market): Immerse yourself in a riot of color during the annual Bloemenjaarmarkt (held on Good Friday). This massive flower market transforms the city center into a fragrant paradise, boasting a dazzling array of flowers, plants, and gardening supplies.

Beyond the Blooms:

  • Martinitoren: Ascend the iconic Martinitoren, the city’s leaning tower, for breathtaking panoramic views of Groningen’s vibrant sprawl.
  • Groninger Museum: Delve into art history at the renowned Groninger Museum. This architectural marvel houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art.
  • Canal Cruise: Experience Groningen from a different perspective with a relaxing canal cruise. Glide past historic buildings, bridges, and charming cafes lining the waterways.

A City that Buzzes:

Keep in mind: Groningen is known for its energetic student life. The city center can be quite loud, especially in the evenings and weekends. Bustling bars, lively cafes, and street performers contribute to a vibrant atmosphere, which might not be ideal for those seeking peace and quiet.

Embrace the Buzz:

However, for those seeking a dynamic Dutch experience, Groningen delivers. Sample delicious international cuisine at its diverse restaurants, catch a live music performance at a local bar, or simply soak up the infectious energy that permeates the streets.

Groningen offers a unique blend of history, culture, and youthful exuberance. If you’re looking for a lively Dutch adventure, embrace the buzz and discover the city’s hidden gems!

Day trip to Enschede

I ended the year with a nice day trip to Enschede in the Netherlands. I totally digged their easygoing lifestyle, positive attitude and very laidback atmosphere.

The city is pretty small so that you can easily walk through the whole city center – it’s just a ten-minute walk from the train station and you can get everywhere by foot.

Oh, and their cuisine: loved it. 🫶🏼 🇳🇱

If you ever get a chance to visit during the holiday season, do it. And not just for some Christmas shopping, enjoy this peaceful break.

xoxo

Best Christmas Markets in 2023

I have been living in my new hood for almost a year now and love exploring new places. These are my three favorite Christmas markets this season:

I. Essen

Twinkling lights as far as the eye can see and endless inspirations for your Shopping Spree. There are Christmas decorations from Israel, jewellery from the Baltic States and delicacies from Italy, Greece and France. An excellent range and quality, for which the Essen International Christmas Market was voted 6th in Europe and even 1st in Germany in the “European Best Christmas Markets” online voting.

II. Bückeburg Castle

Majestic views, gorgeous light installations and breathtakingly beautiful settings inside the castle. This one is a must for all holiday lovers.

III. Christmas lights at the Munster Zoo

Though it is a bit expensive, the interactive walk through the themed light show was simply magical.

Wishing everyone happy holidays with your loved ones. 🎄♥️ Stay healthy and happy and see ya back in January 2024.🍀

A weekend in Bremerhaven

I am really digging the North Sea vibes. Whenever I am up north, I feel relaxed, happy, am totally in balance and extremely fit. It’s like the fresh breeze is my natural energy source.

This time, I explored Bremerhaven and was surprised by its chill atmosphere. It wasn’t crowded, rather quiet and peaceful, great nature spots for my fitness routine and magical moments at the water front. Will definitely come back.

I also took a little detour to Cuxhaven in order to go for a swim and to relax at the beach. Though I love the sea, Cuxhaven is not a place I would recommend. Didn’t like the vibe at all. Next time, I will be back at the beach in Norddeich or Schillig.

But all in all, it was an awesome road trip and I cannot wait to plan my next one in early October.

So, see ya soon.

xoxo

San Genesio Atesino in South Tyrol

If you ever wanna take a break, need to unwind, simply getting away from everything, this is your place to be: Jenesien, northwest of Bolzano. Here are some impressions from a long weekend.

And if you are looking for a wellness hotel, I can recommend the Hotel Saltus: no TV, no screen time, no social media, pure relaxation, peaceful and quiet, excellent food. 

I for myself will take more days off for the rest of the year, simply taking care of myself, staying in balance and refueling my energy from these crazy past months.


xoxo

Destination Norddeich

Hello Vitamin Sea. I gotta say that I am starting to love the North Sea, especially since I have found my own routine to relax and refuel my energy. Either it is a day trip with my bike or a whole weekend filled with sports, sun and beach time. 

Norddeich has become a regular spot for me, since it is not too far from my new home and can be reached by both, car or public transportation. 

Here are my tips for a beach weekend in Norddeich:

Get ready for the most magical sunsets. I don’t think, I will find any words that do them justice. At around 9:30 p.m. people gather at the beach, sit on the stairs and simply enjoy the calmness of the sea. See for yourself. Pure magic!

Go for an early morning run. Watching nature wake up has always been soothing to me. It is a very special atmosphere in the early morning at 5 a.m. and you are mainly by yourself. Try it!

If you wanna go for a beach day, start early at around 9:30 a.m.. It is better for your skin and not crowded. The crowds will arrive at around 2 in the afternoon, which is your time to go for a swim and then treat yourself with some wellness. Today was my first time I actually went swimming in the North Sea and I loved it. 😍🌊 

The water was extremely warm, for me, even a bit too warm, but it was awesome and I will be back soon. Also make sure to book your beach chair online. You pay 10 EUR for a whole day from six till midnight.

Well, if you wanna dine at your hotel, go for it. I recommend: buy a pizza, some cold drinks and have a picnic in your beach chair till the sun sets. Or do it like I did and stop by at the best ice cream shop: Frieseneis.

Watch out: their portions are huge!! One scoop is more than enough. I made the mistake not to look at their size and ordered three scoops. For me, this was lunch and dinner. 🙈 But it is the best ice cream in town.

I have only stayed at one hotel so far: the Regina Maris. Since I am a very private person, I really appreciate this accommodation. Private, extremely cordial and helpful, excellent service, clean and charming rooms, coffee machine in the room and great food. You can even use their small pool and sauna, if you need some time to unwind. If I had to name one thing: missing air conditioning. But seriously, it is not really necessary. I can totally recommend this one and will be back.

If you need any tips for Norddeich, send me a DM or maybe meet me for a coffee at the beach. You can expect me to become a regular this summer. ☀️

xoxo

Frankfurt will be a real gem for NFL fans

I recently traveled to Frankfurt on business and tried to explore the city a little bit, checking out future travel potentials during the NFL German games.

And I gotta say: Frankfurt is probably one of the most underrated cities in Germany. From arts, sports & culture, to nature, architecture & food, this city has a lot to offer.

I attended the Banksy exhibition, checked out some local bars & restaurants and attended the first home game of the local Football team Frankfurt Galaxy.

Though I only got to check out some spots while away on business, I totally digged the relaxed atmosphere and loved the diversity of the city. The only thing I really hated was this high humidity – there were moments when I felt like I was in Singapore. 

So, all in all, NFL fans definitely have something to look forward to this fall season, besides the actual game.

xoxo