After a long weekend in Hvar we took the ferry back to Split and rented a car to drive up to Istria, the largest (and a super beautiful!) peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. We decided to break up the 6h way from Split to Pula by visiting the waterfalls in the Krka National Park that is located approx. 70 mins from Split.
Bring your bikini…
The Krka National Park offers a range of sights from beautiful waterfalls to a tiny island (Visovac) in the Krka river that was settled by Franciscan monks in 1445. If the weather is hot you can also swim in some parts of the waterfalls :) We didn’t have enough time to visit the island as we had to continue our drive up to Pula so there are no photos of it in this post. The Visovac island is supposed to be very pretty and quaint though, so if you have a bit more time in the Krka National Park, make sure to check it out.
.. and comfy shoes!
It takes around 20-30 mins to walk from the visitor centre to the waterfalls. It’s a hiking path though, so you’d need some comfy shoes. There is also a shuttle bus that takes you from the visitor centre to the waterfalls and back. We decided to hike to the waterfalls and take the bus back :)
There is a pathway that leads through all the different little and bigger waterfalls in this part of the Krka National Park. It took us around one hour for the whole way but we stopped a lot of times and we also had a break for swimming.
Aren’t the Krka waterfalls super stunning? The entire area looks like an enchanted forest from a fairytale! To see for yourself, book your trip to Croatia! It’s such a beautiful country with extremely friendly people. I will post more about my Croatia trip soon! X
There is not always a ‘real’ summer in Northern & Western Europe, so sometimes you just have to do deal with rain. I personally like summer rain but only if the temperature stays hot like in tropical destinations. This generally is not the case in Europe. Quite the opposite. A rainy day usually means that it’s a good idea to bring that jumper or light jacket with you. And an umbrella, of course.
Yet, rain doesn’t mean that the day is not beautiful. I spent a rainy summer day in Ghent and it was gorgeous. I love sitting in cafes, having a cappuccino or a glass of wine and reading in my kindle. What else is there to do when it’s raining haha. If you are not a fan of wine, did you know that Belgium has some really amazing beer?!
Ghent makes a great weekend trip if you are based in Europe. Here are some of the must-see sights in Ghent: Gravensteen Castle, Saint Nicholas Church, Graslei and Korenlei, St. Michael’s Bridge, St. Bavo’s Cathedral, The Belfry, Vismarkt. Check out the Ghent tourism website for much more info and more suggestions for things to do in Ghent: Visit Ghent
Saint Nicholas Church
Graslei and Korenlei & St. Michael’s Bridge
The Belfry & Vismarkt
12th Century castle Gravensteen
Ghent City Centre
There is so much to see in the city centre! Don’t forget to walk through a few of the quaint streets that will lead you to lots of hidden sights :)
.. and if you are lucky, after rain, there will be sun :)
So after all, the sun did decide to make an appearance. Perfect to walk through Ghent’s beautiful alleys and see the city’s stunning historic architecture. And if you like, hop on and have a little tour on the coach. FYI, I’m just pretending – I’m super allergic against horses. This kind of city tour would be such a nightmare for me haha
Ghent is such a beautiful city with lots of stunning historic architecture and quaint little alleys and shops. If you are doing an extended Western Europe trip, make sure to add a couple of days in Ghent to your agenda. And if you are a fan of little coastal towns, check out these 7 reasons why you should visit Belgium’s Ostend.
If you are looking for a quiet and peaceful retreat in Mallorca, the boutique hotel Sa Franquesa Nova might be exactly what you are searching for. We stayed in this charming hotel for a weekend and absolutely fell in love with it.
Peace and luxury surrounded by Mallorca’s countryside
Sa Franquesa Nova is a luxurious finca boutique hotel located near Vilafranca de Bonany in the countryside of Mallorca. It takes around 25 mins by car to get to Palma de Mallorca and around 30 to 45 mins to get to the beautiful beaches in the east and south of Mallorca.
The benefit that comes with the hotel’s remote location is the approximately 4,000 sqm large outdoor space which ensures a peaceful and quiet stay. The finca hotel itself is surrounded by a large garden with plenty of majestic palm trees, a beautiful pond and lots of remote little spots to enjoy the tranquility of the hotel.
The pool is located near the alfresco dining area and has comfy sun loungers with a stunning view of the pretty landscape around the hotel.
Wonderful welcome and lovely staff
We arrived very late on Friday night and had such a lovely welcome. The check-in was super quick and within 10 mins we found ourselves relaxing on our balcony with a glass of cava in our hand. Overall the staff was great and very eager to help and make the stay perfect for the hotel’s guests.
Cava and night sky sparkle
… and that’s what sold me on this hotel. I live in London which means that having a sky full of stars is just something I never experience at home. When I read about the magical night sky in some of the hotel’s reviews, I couldn’t wait for our weekend trip to start! So it didn’t take long for us to move over from the chairs on our balcony to the sun loungers for a session of star gazing. And what did we hear while enjoying our cava and the beautiful night sky? Ha! Nada! Sweet nothingness except the tranquil and calming nocturnal sounds that come with a night in the countryside. Exactly what I wanted :)
The perfect spot for yoga during sunrise
In the morning, just after sunrise, I went for a little walk to explore the hotel’s garden. I was greeted by a few chickens and then continued my walk along the breakfast and pool area further towards the immense countryside that surrounds the finca. Soon I arrived at a gorgeous spot with an amazing view. At that moment I wished I had my yoga mat with me! It would have been such a peaceful and calm place for yoga or meditation.
Making new friends
Near my new perfect yoga spot I came across this little striped fellow below. In fact, except my new friend here and the few chickens earlier I didn’t come across anyone. So much for overcrowded Mallorca… it turns out you just need to know where to go :)
Breakfast by the pool
When I came back from my morning walk I went to our room and picked up Michael for breakfast. We had a really relaxing breakfast and then hopped into the pool before heading out to explore some beaches.
Dinner during the most beautiful sunset
We arrived back in the hotel around 7 pm and then got ready for dinner. I hadn’t had paella for such a long time so I was excited to find it on the dinner menu. We started with an amuse-bouche and then had a large fresh salad before we were served very yummy paella. After a panna cotta dessert and another glass of cava we enjoyed the picture-perfect sunset right from our dinner table.
After dinner we decided to finish our bottle of cava in the jacuzzi. As you can see we managed to get the perfect bubble bath :) After the little SPA session I slipped into my bath robe and curled up in bed with a book :)
How to book your stay at Sa Franquesa Nova
Convinced yet? :) Sa Franquesa Nova can be booked via all major hotel booking websites and via the hotel’s website directly. Click here to get to the website.
I have partnered with Sa Franquesa Nova for this post. All opinions are my own.