Vejer de la Frontera, a Spanish town in the province of Cadiz. Andalusia, perches on a hilltop, overlooking a stretch of water connecting the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Here, the white stone buildings and soft skies blend into one as birds fly low out to the surrounding valleys, dotted with farmland, orange groves and orchards.
Simply put, France is a beautiful cliché. With its traditional castles, chateux, ancient churches, centuries-old principles of rich food, fine wine and joie de vivre underpin everyday life.
P A R I S
A sexy and sophisticated metropolis, Paris gave the world the can-can, rejuvenated itself during the Renaissance, bopped to the beat of the jazz age and glittered during the belle époque (beautiful era). A trendsetter, market leader and cultural capital, Paris is strewn with historic architecture, glorious galleries and cultural treasures.
Croatia is a unique destination boasting a 1,778km-long coastline and a staggering 1,244 islands. The Adriatic coast surrounding Croatia is nothing short of crystal clear sapphire waters, remote islands, hidden coves and traditional fishing villages. All the while touting the unmissable beach and yacht scene. With pockets of authentic culture spread out throughout this gem, Croatia showcases luscious landscapes couples with captivating gastronomic delights across wines, bars clubs and festivals.
It’s been over a week now since I’ve come back from my three month European adventure, and no doubt the post holiday blues have started to set in. I wanted to share my amazing holiday with my readers through a photo diary of each beautiful country I got to explore. First stop Italy.
The Italians know how to live well. The locals embrace the finer things in life, family, faith, friendship, food and wine reign supreme contributing to the famous Italian dolce vita. The sweet life.
S I C I L Y
Being the Mediterranean’s largest island, Sicily boasts the beauty of a rugged landscape, the robust flavours of regional cuisine and the relentless summer sun.
P O M P E I I
S O R R E N T O
This beautiful cost side town overlooks the Bay of Naples and Mt Vesuvius. It’s profusion of sweet smelling citrus trees and laid-back local lifestyle are attractive elements for holiday makers.
C A P R I
Beyond the glamorous veneer of chichi cafes and designer boutiques is an island of rugged seascapes, desolate Roman ruins and an unspoiled rural inland.
T U S C A N Y
The fabled landscape of rolling vine-covered hills dotted with cypress tress and stone villas, Tuscany is one of those places that truly lives up to its hype. The embodiment of rural chic, Tuscany’s historically intact cities are home to a significant portfolio of the world’s medieval and Renaissance art.
F L O R E N C E
Stunning Firenze is a Renaissance time capsule. A list of this lustrous city’s who’s who reads Medici, Machiavelli and Michelangelo, each adding to the treasure of galleries, museums and churches showcasing an array of magnificent Renaissance artworks.
V E N I C E
Venezia is surreal. Where most cities have roads, Venice has canals, gondolas and Vaporetti. It’s a hauntingly beautiful place and its labyrinth backstreets exude and unique and almost eerie atmosphere.
M I L A N
No doubt Milan is Italy’s fashion capital. It exudes the cosmopolitan, can-do atmosphere, the vibrant cultural scene and of course the sophisticated shopping.
C I N Q U E – T E R R E
The picturesque five lands, where colourful coastal villages dot 18 kilometres of ragged cliffs and old walled vineyards tumble down the hillside almost to the water’s edge.
P I S A
The world’s most famous leaning tower is more stunning than the novelty card it often plays out to be.
R O M E
Pulsating, seductive and utterly disarming, Rome is special. The Italian capital is an epic, monumental metropolis that will steal your heart and haunt your soul.
Situated on Louttit Bay, Lorne is a seaside town along Victoria’s well-known Great Ocean Road. Officially beginning in Torquay, The Great Ocean Road is a 243-kilometre winding stretch of road notoriously known for its epic views of picturesque Victorian coastline. Lorne is located roughly 140 kilometres from Melbourne and is about an hour and 50-minute drive from the CBD.
Well known amongst local Victorian’s as the Surf Coast, Lorne is no doubt a hot spot for surfers of all calibers. With endless stretches of beach to claim, the opportunity to catch a gnarly wave is endless. Lorne’s beach is not only for surfers though. Surfers, locals and tourists all share the clear aqua coloured bay, under the watchful eye of the Lorne Surf Lifesaving club.
Along with its pristine coastline Lorne’s national parks are also a must see. There are a number of scenic bush walking tracks on offer, all complete with their own waterfall backdrop. The Lorne information centre will provide helpful maps in order to navigate your way around the various national parks. In particular the Erskine Falls are not to be missed. The Falls are a 17-minute drive from Lorne’s town centre but if you’re feeling adventurous the Erskine River walk will get you there in 7.5 kilometers, roughly two hours and 15 minutes! If you’re after something to substitute your routine run with, the Doug Stirling Walk is an easy three-kilometer run with some epic coastline views.
If you do indeed decide on trekking the entire 7.5 kilometers to the Erskine Falls, the recently refurbished Lorne Sea Baths have exactly what you need. A fully equipped heath, fitness and leisure facility, the Lorne Sea Baths strive to provide patrons with optimal comfort and convenience all with a nature beach backdrop as you enjoy their amenities. In particular over the summer season, the sea baths host daily yoga classes as well. Classes are available to students of all levels of yoga experience. Sessions times run from 7:45am and 9am, until the 2nd of February.
Despite its array of sport and leisure activities, Lorne definitely boasts some hip eateries and social venues as well. Always packed and blasting some mellow tunes is The Bottle of Milk is Lorne’s very own take on the humble Grilled burger. Filled with some juicy goodness, these burgers are pure wholesome yumminess and should definitely be on your things to eat in Lorne! Two doors up from The Bottle of Milk is a newly opened fresh-faced café called Shells. Always greeting their customers with a friendly face, their food is modern and tasteful, which accompanies their funky décor and overall vibe. If you’re craving some spicy and exotic Mexican, then Mexican Republic provides you with all the flavors of Mexico in one mouthful. Their fresh and tasty menus are to either share or have all for yourself, complimented with none other than Mexican beers and Spanish wines of course.
More than just a regular seaside settlement, Lorne has become a hip and upbeat beach town bustling with good vibes and all the right people. If you’re looking for something that’s got it all, Lorne is hard to be beaten.