15 Most Instagrammable Places in Santorini You Can’t Miss

Santorini is a Greek island in the middle of the Aegean Sea and it is infinitely famous for its beautiful white and blue towns perched on clifftops and for its incredible sunsets. The island is extremely popular amongst tourists from all over the world and as a result can become incredibly busy. However, once you go there, you understand why.

The charm of the typical white buildings, the blue dome churches, the steep car-free villages, and the backdrop of the Aegean Sea make Santorini an unforgettable destination. It’s no wonder that Santorini is on everyone’s European bucket list.

 

15 Most Instagrammable Places in Santorini

 

With a few villages on the island and consistently great weather, Santorini is the perfect Europe getaway location to take incredible photos and videos. The blue and white backdrop looks stunning in every photo and with the villages being small and walkable, creating content and visiting several different Santorini Instagram photo spots is very easily doable in a short amount of time.

This blog post reveals the 15 most instagrammable places in Santorini, how to get to each place, and what time of day is best to take photos there for optimal lighting and minimal crowds.

Disclaimer:  This blog post contains affiliate links.  Meaning that at no extra cost to you, we will earn a small commission should you click on our links and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support us!

 

How to Get Around Santorini

 

Santorini is a relatively small island and has 3 major and well-known villages: the capital Fira, the arguably most famous village Oia, and the smaller but just as cute Imerovigli. These typical Santorini villages are very compact and small which makes getting around by foot extremely easy. Some parts of are also car-free which means if you want to explore the typical old town, you will need to park your car and set off on foot.

There are a few different options to get around between the villages and between the most instagrammable places in Santorini.

 

Rental Car

 

Our favorite option is renting a car. It gives you the flexibility to go wherever you like and whenever you like and it makes your trip much easier if you are looking to carry several outfits with you for photoshoots around the island. We rented a car with Kronos Rent A Car which we picked up at the ferry port and were extremely happy with our rental. It allowed us to get around the island super quick and visit the most instagrammable places in Santorini in no time.

We recommend you reserve your car in advance as there are limited car rental options on the island, and once they are all spoken for, you are out of luck.

 

Bettina in red dress in blue rental car

 

Public Transport

 

Another way to get around the island to get to all of the Santorini Instagram spots is by bus. Santorini has a well connected and reliable public transport system which can get you to all the major villages. The longest bus routes are about 30 minutes and the buses run from around 7am to 10pm.

Bus tickets are between EUR 1.80 and EUR 2.50 depending on where you are going, and can be purchased from the driver. Make sure you bring enough cash as cards are not accepted.

Make sure you check the bus schedule in advance and note that public transport can get quite full during high season and you may have to wait a bus or two until there is enough space for you to get on. This would definitely be the cheapest option to travel between the most instagrammable places in Santorini but it might be quite time consuming.

 

Taxis

 

If you don’t feel like renting a car or taking public transport, you can also take a taxi to get around. There is no Uber of Lyft in Santorini and all taxis on the island are grey Mercedes. Fira is the taxi hub on the island and if you are looking to get one, you need to call +30 22860 22555. Taxis shouldn’t be more than EUR 25 and you should always ask and agree on the fare before you get in.

 

Where to Stay in Santorini

 

Santorini has an incredible number of gorgeous hotels with personal pools, stunning ocean views, and incredibly cute rooms. There are so many options which make it difficult to decide where to stay in Santorini. These typical Santorini hotels come at a price point, rates for a room in either of Oia, Imerovigli, or Fira start at $200 per night and can get very expensive very quickly which make it difficult to visit Santorini on a budget.

We found the perfect solution for you to avoid these high hotel prices and put together our favorite low to high range AirBnBs to help you find the right fit for your Santorini vacation and a base to visit the most instagrammable places in Santorini. Some of these AirBnBs have incredible infinity pools and stunning views while being right in the city centers.

 

 

 

 

Map of Most Instagrammable Places in Santorini

 

Finding these most instagrammable places in Santorini is relatively easy once you’re in each village, but finding the right angle might be a bit trickier. You can use the below map to help you figure out where exactly each spot is and create your own photoshoot itinerary.

A little trick when using the map is to switch it to Satellite view. Because Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli have car-free city centers and are only accessible by foot, there are no roads showing on Google Maps. The best way to orient yourself is by switching the map to Satellite view so that you can see the tiny streets and stairs and easily navigate to the most instagrammable places in Santorini.

Photo Etiquette in Santorini

 

Santorini is one of the most popular photo locations in Europe because of its gorgeous cities and dramatic ocean backdrop. Walking around Oia or Imerovigli, almost every corner is instagrammable. It is important to remember to stay respectful when taking photos around town and hitting the most instagrammable places in Santorini. Many places have private property signs, specific “do not climb” warnings, or even fences to keep people out. Make sure you respect other people’s property when taking photos here.

Keep in mind that Santorini is an incredibly popular travel destination and there are likely going to be a lot of content creators at the same place at the same time, trying to get that perfect shot. Be mindful of other creators and be patient. It’s best to be at your favorite Santorini photo spots early to make sure you have enough time to get the photo you are envisioning.

 

Blue Dome Churches Oia, Santorini

 

Most Instagrammable Places in Santorini

 

There are so many great Santorini Instagram spots and many of them are located in Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli. We put together the 15 most instagrammable places in Santorini and are also sharing instagrammable places outside the cities which you may not have seen before.

 

Best Photo Spots and Sunset Spots in Oia

 

Many of the most instagrammable places in Santorini are actually situated in Oia. They are relatively close together and easily reachable by foot. If you are getting around the island by car, arriving earlier in the day should guarantee a free parking spot. But even if you arrive later, you should be able to find free parking on Monastiri or you can find a spot in the nearby parking lot.

It’s only a few minutes walk from the parking lot to the city center and you can start exploring the most instagrammable places in Santorini.

 

Classic Greek Church

 

Santorini is famous for its cute churches and the typical church bells. Finding a church top that is easy to photograph without climbing on any rooftops is relatively difficult though.

When walking through Oia, we stumbled upon a classical Greek church with typical church bells that is easy to access and even easier to photograph. It is located right next to a playground and you can easily walk right up to it and take a typical Santorini-style church photo.

The best time of the day to take photos here is really any time you are in the area. Since this church is free standing, you won’t have to think about shadows from surrounding buildings.

Location on Google Maps: Classic Greek Church

 

Bettina twirling at Blue Church with Bells in Oia Santorini

 

Santorini Church Bells with Ocean Views

 

Another location to capture the typical Santorini church bells with the ocean backdrop is further into the city center, close to the two blue dome churches. It is only a few steps down from the main shopping street in Oia and provides all the typical Santorini church vibes. This Santorini church doesn’t feature the famous blue dome but the original bells against the stunning ocean and volcanic backdrop makes for one of the most instagrammable places in Santorini.

This spot is very easily accessible and would be perfect to photograph after you have been to the Santorini blue dome church.

The best time of the day to take photos here is early in the morning. This spot will be completely lit by the sun and can cause harsh shadows if you go too late in the day. In the evening, the sun sets behind the hill, leaving this place completely in the shadows.

Location on Google Maps: Santorini Church Bells with Ocean Views

 

Bettina in Red Dress at Greek Church Bells with Ocean Views in Oia Santorini

 

Typical White Santorini House with Ocean Views

 

Right next to these typical church bells is another perfect Instagram spot which is going to sweep your followers off their feet. The typical white Santorini house paired with the endless ocean views is such a great way of sharing the Santorini vibes. Finding a free-standing house in Oia is quite a challenge, as most buildings are so close to each other. There is no better Santorini Instagram spot than this one to show off the unique architecture style on the island.

Similar to the Santorini Church Bells with Ocean Views Instagram spot, the best time to come here to take photos is in the morning to avoid harsh shadows. If you stop by later in the morning, you might have to take photos directly into the sun.

Location on Google Maps: Typical White Santorini House with Ocean Views

 

Bettina in Red Dress at typical Santorini House in Oia, Santorini

 

Bettina in Red Dress at Santorini House in Oia, Santorini

 

Santorini Pink Church

 

Possibly the most famous Instagram spot and one of the top most instagrammable places in Santorini is the view of the blue dome church next to the pink church against the backdrop of the deep blue ocean. It is not just quintessentially Santorini, it is also incredibly stunning in person. It is no wonder that this is one of the most instagrammable places in Santorini as the architecture of the churches is just breathtaking.

Getting to this spot is a bit controversial as this exact spot is on a private road. If you are staying at a hotel nearby, you will need to pass this road but for non-guests, it is technically private. That being said, when we were there, there were a few locals going about their day and nobody seemed to mind us taking a photo.

If you are planning to take a picture here, PLEASE be respectful! Know what pose and angle you want before walking down the stairs so you can snap your photo quickly. Also, and this should go without saying, do not climb onto the rooftop of the church! We see so many photos on Instagram with people climbing on the rooftop here even though it is explicitly forbidden.

The best time of day to take photos here is early in the morning. Once the sun rises, part of the church will be in the sun, whereas the stairs will be in the shade, making it more difficult to edit the photo. If you come here right at sunrise, you should be able to get even lighting and there will also be fewer people waiting in line to take a photo.

Location on Google Maps: Santorini Pink Church

 

Santorini Pink Church Instagram Spot in Oia, Santorini 

 

Santorini Blue Dome Church

 

Another incredibly famous spot and one of everyone's favorite most instagrammable places in Santorini is the Blue Dome Church. Having the two blue domes standing high in the middle of the white city center is a beautiful sight and so typical of Santorini, you can’t possibly pass it up.

Getting to this location can be a bit controversial depending on the direction you are coming from. If you walk west from the Santorini Pink Church and walk down the hill and then follow the road east and make your way up the hill on the other side of the blue dome church, you won’t pass any private road signs and are able to access this famous spot without issues.

 

Walk Way from Pink Church to Blue Dome Church in Oia Santorini

 

Only when walking further up to the main road, you’ll notice a sign saying the road you were previously on was private.

The best time in the day to take photos here is also in the morning as the sunlight will hit this part of Oia in the morning.

Location on Google Maps: Santorini Blue Dome Church

 

Bettina in Orange Dress at Blue Dome Church in Oia, Santorini

 

Pink Kastro Houses

 

Another one of the most instagrammable places in Santorini is the Pink Kastro Houses. This Instagram spot is known for the pink/orange houses in the middle of the otherwise completely white Oia, and it is just as beautiful as you see in all the photos.

Finding this spot is relatively easy, but getting your desired photo might take some patience, depending on what time of the day you are here. The most popular angle to take this photo is for the subject to walk down the stairs and for the photographer to stand on a street a bit higher up to capture the entire Pink Kastro houses.

Given the distance between the subject and the photographer, it might be a bit tricky to get a photo without other people in it and will require some patience.

As is true in most cases, taking a photo here without the crowds is best early in the morning, however, the Pink Kastro Houses will be in the shade at that time. We shot our photos here at 6pm, about an hour before sunset. The lighting was beautiful but the streets started to get very busy as people were starting to line up to see the sunset.

Location on Google Maps: Pink Kastro Houses (here is where Kyle was standing to take the photo)

 

Bettina Walking around Pink Kastro Houses in Oia, Santorini

 

Bettina in front of Turquoise Home at Pink Kastro Homes in Oia, Santorini

 

Santorini Sunset and Oia Windmills

 

Probably the one photo Oia is most famous for and easily one of the most instagrammable places in Santorini is the Santorini sunset behind the windmills. Oia is known for its incredible sunsets and the hype is very real. If you are trying to catch the sunset here and get a good Instagram spot, make sure you are here at least an hour prior to sunset. We got to our at around 6pm – more than an hour prior to the famous Santorini sunset - and we were not the first ones waiting here.

That being said, getting a Santorini sunset photo here with the windmills, the white buildings, and the orange glow from the sun is everything it is made out to be.

The best time of the day to take photos here is the golden hour in the evening which will create beautiful pink skies and the perfect image of the sun setting behind the city.

Location on Google Maps: Santorini Sunset and Oia Windmills

 

Sunset View with Windmill in Oia, Santorini

Most Instagrammable Places in Santorini you Can't Miss! From blue dome churches, sunset in Oia, typical Santorini-style houses, to the pink church, this post reveals the top 15 Instagram Spots in Santorini and includes tips on how to get there, how to avoid crowds, and the best time to take photos. | Santorini Instagram | Santorini Travel Guide | Best Locations and Photo Tips | Oia Instagram Spots | Imerovigli Instagram Spots | Oia Sunset | Santorini Greece Photography | Santorini house
Most Instagrammable Places in Santorini you Can't Miss! From blue dome churches, sunset in Oia, typical Santorini-style houses, to the pink church, this post reveals the top 15 Instagram Spots in Santorini and includes tips on how to get there, how to avoid crowds, and the best time to take photos. | Santorini Instagram | Santorini Travel Guide | Best Locations and Photo Tips | Oia Instagram Spots | Imerovigli Instagram Spots | Oia Sunset | Santorini Greece Photography | Santorini house

 

Best Photo Spots in Imerovigli

 

Imerovigli is a very charming little town between Oia and Fira. It’s not as famous as Oia but it is arguably even more beautiful and definitely less busy than Oia. We found some of the most instagrammable places in Santorini here. Kyle and I loved it here so much, we spent two days here taking photos and getting lost in the streets.

Similar to Oia, the city center of Imerovigli is a car-free zone and you will need to navigate the cute streets by foot. If you are getting to Imerovigli by car, you can park it in the parking lot here or on the street right in front of the parking lot here.

 

Imerovigli Blue Dome Church (Anastasi Church)

 

Possibly one of the most instagrammable places in Santorini is the blue dome church in Imerovigli. The way the city is laid out, you can get a beautiful close-up photo with this gorgeous church from the street above and you are also able to capture the flowering bougainvillea tree. Because Imerovigli is not as popular as Oia, you should be able to have this Instagram spot all to yourself regardless of the time of day you are here.

The best time to take photos really depends on what lighting you prefer. The church will be beautifully lit in the morning light as the sun will come over the mountain around 9/10am. If you are looking to capture the evening sun, note that you may be taking photos directly into the sun.

Location on Google Maps: Imerovigli Blue Dome Church (Anastasi Church)

 

Bettina in Red Dress at Blue Dome Church in Imerovigli, Santorini

 

Bettina in Orange Dress at Blue Dome Church in Imerovigli, Santorini

 

Flowering Bougainvillea Tree (Cute Pink Tree)

 

If you are looking to get a beautiful Instagram photo with a flowering bougainvillea tree, this is the perfect Santorini Instagram spot for you. The pink flowers are incredibly vibrant and are a great way of sharing the vacation in Santorini feeling.

The best time of the day to take photos here is in the early evening so that you have the sun behind the photographer, rather than behind the subject.

Location on Google Maps: Imerovigli Flowering Bougainvillea Tree

 

Bettina in Red Dress at Pink Tree (Bougainvillea Tree) in Imerovigli, Santorini

 

Santorini Church Bell Tower in Imerovigli

 

Another iconic Instagram spot in Santorini is the church bell tower in Imerovigli. It is one of the biggest bell towers we have seen on the island and incredibly easy to access which makes it a perfect photo spot. Being situated behind the blue dome church, you won’t be able to capture the bell tower from the top of the hill, but you can capture it nicely when standing right in front of the gates leading to the church.

The best time to take photos at the church bell tower is early in the afternoon when you have the sun behind the photographer’s back. You may also be able to capture some great photos in the morning but would be shooting directly into the sun.

Location on Google Maps: Santorini Church Bell Tower in Imerovigli

 

Bettina at Church Bell Tower in Imerovigli, Santorini

 

Bettina in Red Dress at Church Bell Tower in Imerovigli, Santorini

 

Santorini Rooftop in Imerovigli

 

There is no visiting Santorini without taking a photo standing on a curved white Santorini rooftop. These white rooftops are some of the most instagrammable places in Santorini. However, since these buildings are private property, finding a place where you can do so without breaking the rules is a bit difficult.

You probably wonder by now if there is a way to take a photo on one of the iconic Santorini rooftops and the good news is there is! Imerovigli is the best place on the island to get a photo with a Santorini rooftop, without spending the night at a hotel that allows rooftop photoshoots.

We were in Imerovigli with a local who was pointing out the best Santorini Instagram spots and accessible rooftops to us. We are excited to share this spot with you as it is one of our favorites. The rooftop is located right in front of a restaurant. There were no warning signs there when we were there with our local guide, and nobody seemed to mind us taking photos on the rooftop which makes it one of the most instagrammable places in Santorini!

The best time to take a photo on this rooftop is any time throughout the day. In the morning starting at 9am/10am, the rooftop will be in full sun with the sun being on the left side when you face the ocean. As the sun sets on the right, you can get some gorgeous sun flare photos later in the evening, depending on which direction the photographer takes the photo from.

Location on Google Maps: Santorini Rooftop in Imerovigli

 

Bettina in Flying Red Dress on Santorini Rooftop in Imerovigli

Most Instagrammable Places in Santorini you Can't Miss! From blue dome churches, sunset in Oia, typical Santorini-style houses, to the pink church, this post reveals the top 15 Instagram Spots in Santorini and includes tips on how to get there, how to avoid crowds, and the best time to take photos. | Santorini Instagram | Santorini Travel Guide | Best Locations and Photo Tips | Oia Instagram Spots | Imerovigli Instagram Spots | Oia Sunset | Santorini Greece Photography | Santorini house
Most Instagrammable Places in Santorini you Can't Miss! From blue dome churches, sunset in Oia, typical Santorini-style houses, to the pink church, this post reveals the top 15 Instagram Spots in Santorini and includes tips on how to get there, how to avoid crowds, and the best time to take photos. | Santorini Instagram | Santorini Travel Guide | Best Locations and Photo Tips | Oia Instagram Spots | Imerovigli Instagram Spots | Oia Sunset | Santorini Greece Photography | Santorini house

Sunset on Santorini Rooftop in Imerovigli

 

Best Photo Spots Around the Island

 

There is more to Santorini than the beautiful white towns and you can find some incredible Instagram spots all over the island. Some of the less photographed but just as breathtaking views are in the capital Fira, at the lighthouse, the red beach, or the monastery which is also the highest point on the island.

 

Catholic Monastery of Dominican Nuns in Fira / Thera

 

Fira or as it is spelled in Greek, Thera, is the capital of Santorini, the biggest city on Santorini, and by far the best city when it comes to shopping. While Fira is famous for its great shopping and dining opportunities, it is not as well known for having the most instagrammable places in Santorini. Part of the reason is because it can get very busy and taking photos here is generally a bit more difficult. However, the city is just as beautiful as Oia and Imerovigli and spending a few hours here taking pictures is a must.

Getting to Fira is relatively easy by car and by public transport. If you are driving with your rental car, you can park your car outside the city here which is only a short walk to the historic city center.

One of the most instagrammable places in Fira is the Catholic Monastery of Dominican Nuns. The monastery itself is incredibly beautiful and just out front is a cute walkway with an arch, making it a top edition to the 15 most instagrammable places in Santorini.

The best time of the day to take photos here depends on how you want to avoid the shadows. Given that this location is next to some high walls, you might have a lot of shadows in your photos. If you are looking to avoid them at all cost, I recommend going in the early morning. We took photos here in the early afternoon and were able to edit out the harshness of the shadows.

Location on Google Maps: Catholic Monastery of Dominican Nuns

 

Bettina at Catholic Monastery of Dominican Nuns in Fira, Santorini

 

Santorini Monastery of Profitis Ilias

 

Up on the highest point on Santorini 1,860 feet (567 meters) above sea level is the Monastery of Profitis Ilias. It is one of the oldest Monasteries on Santorini and was built in 1711. The Monastery itself is incredibly beautiful and features the typical Santorini curved rooftop, but what you also come up here for is the incredible view. The elevation allows you to see the entire Santorini caldera and the main cities on the island.

The best way to get here is by car as there is no public transportation, but you might be able to book a bus tour that will take you there. Parking is available almost anywhere on the street.

You can take photos here any time of the day as you are on the highest point on the island and won’t have anything blocking the sun. However, sunset photos from here would be phenomenal as you can see the sun set behind the entire caldera.

Location on Google Maps: Santorini Monastery of Profitis Ilias

 

Bettina at Santorini Monastery of Profitis Ilias

 

Bettina looking at the view from Santorini Monastery of Profitis Ilias

 

Walkway at Santorini Monastery of Profitis Ilias

 

Santorini Lighthouse (Akrotiri Lighthouse)

 

The Akrotiri Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses on Santorini ad was built in 1892. Situated on the most western point of the island, the Lighthouse is a great place to see the caldera and get a view of Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli. The lighthouse itself is incredibly cute and the views from here are even more beautiful. However, taking photos can be a bit challenging as it is incredibly windy here. So windy, that I would recommend you wear tight fitting clothes as my skirt almost blew away!

Getting to the lighthouse is very easy by car. There is no public transportation to get here but you might be able to book a bus tour that stops at the Akrotiri Lighthouse.

Any time of the day is great to take photos here as there are no immediate surrounding hills that would cause shadows in your photos. Capturing the sunset from here would be stunning.

Location on Google Maps: Santorini Lighthouse (Akrotiri Lighthouse)

 

Bettina Looking at Cliffs at Santorini Lighthouse

 

Bettina Looking at Cliffs at Santorini Lighthouse

 

Santorini Red Beach

 

While Santorini is not famous for its beaches, you can still enjoy going for a swim in the Aegean Sea and snap some instagrammable beach photos here. One of the most unique beaches on the island is the Red Beach. Contrary to what you might think, it is not called red beach because of the sand but because of the surrounding red rocks.

The red beach might not be one of the most instagrammable places in Santorini that you had in mind but the red rocks and red and black sand against the deep blue ocean blue can make for incredible Instagram photos.

You can easily get to the red beach by car and park your car in the nearby parking lot. From there, it’s a 5-10 minute walk to get to the actual beach. Make sure you wear shoes you are comfortable walking over rocks with as the trail to the beach is pretty rocky.

The best time to take photos here is in the early morning. If you come here right around sunrise, the beach will be completely in the shadow and you will struggle to get the vibrant colors you are looking for. As the beach gets pretty busy, being here in the morning and taking photos right when the sun hits the beach is likely the best plan.

Location on Google Maps: Santorini Red Beach

 

Bettina Walking Along Red Beach in Santorini

 

Edit Your Santorini Instagram Photos with The Next Trip Santorini Mobile Lightroom Presets

 

Spending time in Santorini and taking photos here has been a dream and what I love even more is being able to share my favorite most instagrammable places in Santorini with you! If you have already been to Santorini, you probably have thousands of photos from here (just like we do) and would like to edit them to bring out the vibrant blues and turquoise, the sharp white, and the pink from the blooming bougainvillea trees.

I put together a collection of Santorini Mykonos mobile presets specifically to help you edit your beautiful Santorini mobile photos. These presets are specifically created for mobile photos taken in Santorini and will turn the blues into vibrant blue and turquoise hues, reduce the harsh shadows you might have from taking photos around lunch time, and bring out the magical sunset colors from Oia.

You can get the collection of 3 Lightroom Santorini Mykonos mobile presets here and create the perfect photos from your favorite most instagrammable places in Santorini!

 

Bettina twirling at Blue Dome Church in Imerovigli, Santorini

 

What are Your Favorite Most Instagrammable Places in Santorini?

 

Have you been to Santorini and are we missing anything on this list? If so what are the most instagrammable places in Santorini in your opinion? Let us know in the comments below. I loved Santorini and would be incredibly happy to go back and find some of your suggestions around the island.

 

Make sure you pin this post to your Most Instagrammable Places in Santorini Pinterest board for when you plan your next trip to Santorini!

Most Instagrammable Places in Santorini you Can't Miss! From blue dome churches, sunset in Oia, typical Santorini-style houses, to the pink church, this post reveals the top 15 Instagram Spots in Santorini and includes tips on how to get there, how to avoid crowds, and the best time to take photos. | Santorini Instagram | Santorini Travel Guide | Best Locations and Photo Tips | Oia Instagram Spots | Imerovigli Instagram Spots | Oia Sunset | Santorini Greece Photography | Santorini house
Most Instagrammable Places in Santorini you Can't Miss! From blue dome churches, sunset in Oia, typical Santorini-style houses, to the pink church, this post reveals the top 15 Instagram Spots in Santorini and includes tips on how to get there, how to avoid crowds, and the best time to take photos. | Santorini Instagram | Santorini Travel Guide | Best Locations and Photo Tips | Oia Instagram Spots | Imerovigli Instagram Spots | Oia Sunset | Santorini Greece Photography | Santorini house

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Top 7 Amazing Things To Do In Madeira

For those that don’t know, Madeira is a Portuguese island 520 km (320 miles) off the coast of Morocco, and about a 1.5 hour flight from Lisbon. It's an incredibly beautiful island and is most well known for being the home of Cristiano Ronaldo. It is also great to pair with a visit to other great Portuguese cities. Don't miss out on our Porto and Coimbra adventures or skip to The Next Trip 5 Travel Tips for amazing things to do in Madeira here.

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-viewpoint

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-viewpoint são lourenço

 

Disclaimer:  This blog post contains affiliate links.  Meaning that at no extra cost to you, we will earn a small commission should you click on our links and make a purchase when seeing the best things to do in Madeira. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support us!

 

How to Get to Madeira

 

Being an island, you will obviously be arriving by plane (unless you are brave enough to take a boat!), however flights are somewhat limited to just a few airlines, primarily TAP Air Portugal and all of your favorite European low cost carriers. If you are arriving late in the evening like we did, there are some great hotels close to the airport (and the beach!) such as the Santa Cruz Boutique Hotel. There is no better way to start your island adventure on Madeira than with breakfast with a view like this.

 

Santa Cruz breakfast with view

 

Santa Cruz Boutique Hotel Breakfast View

 

Top 7 Amazing Things to do in Madeira

 

You may be able to drive all around in Madeira in one day, but the island is packed full of beauty and activities so we highly recommend spending more time on the island to explore as much as possible! Read on for our top 7 amazing things to do in Madeira. Our expectations were high for our trip to Madeira, and it easily met and exceeded them!

 

Hike to Ponta de São Lourenço

 

This was one of our favorite spots on Madeira and well worth taking a half day or more to complete. It's a 2-hour hike one way with incredible scenery.

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-viewpoint são lourenço hike

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-viewpoint são lourenço hike

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-viewpoint são lourenço hike

 

We stopped along the way multiple times to snap a picture or two. Also, learn from our mistake and bring your bathing suit and a towel on your hike. There are a few great places to take a refreshing dip in the ocean along the way. Another plus is that there is a small café at the end if you’re a bit thirsty or hungry after your hike out!

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-viewpoint são lourenço hike

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-viewpoint são lourenço hike

 

Swim in the Atlantic Ocean

 

So if you didn’t take our advice above and swim in the ocean on your hike to Ponta de São Lourenço, there is an easier and more convenient place for a swim on the complete opposite side of the island. Porto Moniz is a city at the north-western most corner of Madeira and has a huge swimming pool full of fresh seawater. How fresh you may ask?

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-Porto Moniz Swimming Pool

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-Porto Moniz Swimming Pool

 

Well while we were there, the waves were coming up over the rocks and pathway into the “pool.” Admission is a few dollars to enter, but it is well worth it for a nice relaxing swim and a shower to rinse off afterwards. They have restrooms, showers, and lockers there. Make sure you bring your own towels though.

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-Porto Moniz Swimming Pool

 

While in the area, be sure to check out the islets of Ribeira da Janela rising from the ocean. Watching the waves here is mesmerizing, and a must-see on the list of things to do in Madeira.

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-Porto Moniz Sea Rocks

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-Porto Moniz Sea Rocks

 

Check out the Levadas

 

Levadas are strewn across the country side of Madeira. They were originally created to move water around the island as the west and northwest of the island receive heavy rainfall, but the southeast region is much drier. With more time (and better weather) we would love to hike some of these levadas, which can be tens of kilometers long, run along cliffs, and even through tunnels!

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-Lavada

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-Lavada

 

Don’t Miss the Viewpoints of Funchal

 

Being an island with steep cliffs and mountains, there is never a shortage of views, equally when looking out over the main city. Funchal is the sixth largest city in Portugal, and has been the capital of Madeira for over 500 years. Cabo Girão is a spectacular sea cliff with the highest cliff skywalk in Europe – if you can stomach the walk out over the glass, it is well worth the views!

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-viewpoint funchal

 

A bit closer to Funchal, Miradouro Pico dos Barcelos doesn’t disappoint and also provides a beautiful panoramic view over Funchal.

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-viewpoint funchal

 
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Watch the Sunrise

 

This is the one activity we truly missed out on while on Madeira. The sunrises from a number of the islands peaks are legendary, and in particular we hoped to catch the sunrise from the top of Pico do Areeiro. Unfortunately for us, there were heavy thunderstorms the morning we were there and given our tight itinerary, we had no room in our travel plans to stay a day longer and hope for better weather. Make sure you plan this into your trip as it is one of the amazing things to do in Madeira.

 

Stop by Lighthouses for More Amazing Views

 

One of Bettina's favorite things to do in Madeira was visit the Ponta do Pargo Lighthouse. Situated high up on a cliff, it provides spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Viewpoint ponta do pargo lighthouse

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-viewpoint ponta do pargo lighthouse

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-viewpoint ponta do pargo lighthouse

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-viewpoint ponta do pargo lighthouse

 

Portugal -flowers butterfly

 

It is easily accessible by car and the viewpoint is only a short walk from the parking lot. The lighthouse itself is as picturesque as they come and also houses an exhibit.

 

Watch your Plane Arrive at the Funchal Airport Observation Deck

 

Even for non-avgeeks, planes are fascinating to watch. Once you’ve gone through security at Funchal Airport, be sure to wait for your flight on the outside observation deck which has great views of the runway.  Funchal airport is unique in that it has a particularly steep approach and the runway even extends out over the ocean on a platform. As a result, it is a great place for some casual plane spotting!

 

Where to Stay in Madeira

 

While Madeira is a relatively small island, depending on how much time you have for your trip, it may make sense to stay in more than one location while on the island exploring the best things to do in Madeira. Airbnb is one of our favorite ways to stay while out exploring, and we have compiled our favorite airbnb's on Madeira to help you start planning your vacation to the beautiful island of Madeira.

 

 

 

We put together a list of 5 top tips for your visit to Madeira to make sure you can make most out of this trip and be prepared to complete all of the amazing things to do in Madeira..

 

 

The Next Trip Top 5 Tips for Things to Do in Madeira

 

1. Spend at least one night in Funchal

The surprisingly bustling capital city of the island. While this city is not going to be a party hot spot, it is a great size to explore in a day or two on foot and has a great atmosphere. Be sure to wander the streets to find the perfect restaurant for dinner and take in the island vibes.

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-streets of funchal

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-funchal harbor

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-streets of funchal

 

2. Rent a car.

While Madeira isn’t that large, and does have public transportation around the island, the freedom of having your own car is highly worth the cost so that you can visit what you like at your own pace.  The roads can be narrow, twisty, and steep, but for us that just adds to the adventure!

 

Rental car-driving in portugal

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-driving in madeira

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-viewpoint

 

3. Be prepared for all types of weather.

We experienced torrential downpours, followed by clear blue skies, and fairly frequent wind while on Madeira – such is the case for an island in the Atlantic! Expect to have rain and wind, but don’t let that dampen the mood as the weather is constantly changing and the sun will likely shine again the same day.

 

Portugal mountains view

 

4. Seafood and Wine.

Need we say more? Madeira is well known for it’s local Madeiran wine as well as great seafood. Be sure to sample what you can! We highly recommend the Filete de Espada (Scabbard Filet), traditionally prepared with a banana and passion fruit sauce.

5. Bring your hiking shoes.

Madeira is far from flat, and whether you are hiking to the top of Pico do Areeiro, walking to the end of Ponta de São Lourenço, or walking through the streets of Funchal, there will be hills and cobblestones. Bring a pair of comfortable flats to make your travels easier. Bettina managed fine in some ballet flats but we did get very interesting stares on our hikes.

 

Top 7 Things to do in Madeira-viewpoint hiking

 

Is Madeira on your bucket travel list? Tell us about the places you want to travel to in the comments below!

 

Pin this blog post to your Portugal and Madeira Pinterest boards to save all your ideas and don't miss out on the amazing things to do in Madeira when you're there!

 

Top 7 Things To Do in Madeira

Top 7 Amazing Things To Do In Madeira 14
Top 7 Amazing Things To Do In Madeira 15
Top 7 Amazing Things To Do In Madeira 16
Top 7 Amazing Things To Do In Madeira 17
Top 7 Amazing Things To Do In Madeira 18

 

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A Magical Sintra Day Trip – Why You Have to Go

If you’ve ever dreamed of being a prince or princess living in a palace, then a Sintra day trip from Lisbon is a must! Our day spent here brought all of Bettina’s princess dreams true. To skip ahead to our top 5 tips on how to prepare for a Sintra day trip, click here.

 

What is Sintra and Pena Palace

 

Sintra is a small city on the outskirts of Lisbon, only 30km (19 miles) away, and is surrounded by natural parks and the beautiful Sintra Mountains. There is a lot of history in this area of Portugal as Sintra was a playground for royalty, the rich, and the famous throughout much of history. This means that there is not only the Pena National Palace, which we visited, but also the National Palace of Sintra, the Castle of the Moors, and many others all located in and around Sintra. We drove through Sintra, stopping for a quick coffee, but decided to focus our time on Pena Palace.

 

A Sintra Day Trip View of Pena Palace

 

A Sintra Day Trip View of Castle of Moors

 

How to Get to Sintra

 

We already had a rental car as we were completing a short road trip through Portugal from Porto (you can read about our time in Porto here and Coimbra here). Our drive from Cascais to Sintra was about 20 minutes, and it is only 10 minutes more from Lisbon, making a Sintra day trip perfect for those short on time. We appreciated having a car to get up through the hills to Pena Palace.  The road was steep and narrow, but there was lots of parking when we arrived.

 

A Sintra Day Trip Pena Palace

 

Alternatively you can easily reach Sintra by train from Lisbon. There are numerous bus and tuk tuk options to take you up the hill to Pena Palace, or you can hike! Of course plan a lot of extra time if you plan to hike through the hills.

 

Pena Palace

 

The main attraction! Pena Palace is perched at the top of a hill, and is considered one of the seven wonders of Portugal. This is a Romanticist castle, and we couldn’t agree more. It is one of the most romantic castles we've visited so far. Pena Palace has a number of different sections and design elements, reflecting the tastes of its prior owners through the ages.

 

A Sintra Day Trip Pena Palace

 

A Sintra Day Trip Pena Palace

 

A Sintra Day Trip Pena Palace

 

A Sintra Day Trip Pena Palace

 

A Sintra Day Trip Pena Palace

 

Shop Bettina's Look

 

Top from Chicwish / Skirt from Chicwish / Shoes from Mi.iM (Use beingbettina20 to get a 20% discount)

 

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A Sintra Day Trip Pena Palace
A Sintra Day Trip Pena Palace

A Sintra Day Trip Pena Palace

 

A Sintra Day Trip Pena Palace

 

Explore Pena Palace

 

One of the great things about Pena Palace is that you are allowed to climb up a number of the bastions, parapet walls, and ramparts. As a result, this makes for great pictures! You will have to be patient and wait your turn in line though. Unfortunately not all tourists we encountered were so considerate!

 

A Sintra Day Trip Pena Palace - The Next Trip

 

A Sintra Day Trip Pena Palace - The Next Trip

 

A Sintra Day Trip Pena Palace - The Next Trip

 

A Sintra Day Trip Pena Palace - The Next Trip

 

Definitely make sure to explore all around Pena Palace so that you get views of this truly impressive building from all angles.

 

A Sintra Day Trip Pena Palace - The Next Trip

 

A Sintra Day Trip Pena Palace - The Next Trip

 

A Sintra Day Trip Pena Palace - The Next Trip

 

Inside Pena Palace

 

To truly live out your prince/princess dreams, be sure to take the time to walk through the interior of Pena Palace. The beauty of the outside is enough for the perfect Sintra day trip, but the inside of the palace is also incredible to see. It is set up to serve as the summer residence of the royal family, and is full of period appropriate furniture, paintings, and other artwork.

 

A Sintra Day Trip - Inside Pena Palace - The Next Trip

 

A Sintra Day Trip - Inside Pena Palace - The Next Trip

 

A Sintra Day Trip - Inside Pena Palace - The Next Trip

 

Usually when exploring European palaces you only get to see the fancy sitting rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms of the royal elite. However Pena Palace also allows you to see the working kitchen of the palace, which is a unique perspective and makes you appreciate our modern appliances.

 

A Sintra Day Trip - Inside Pena Palace - The Next Trip

 

A Sintra Day Trip - Inside Pena Palace - The Next Trip

 

Best Views of Pena Palace

 

Once you’ve completed your tour of Pena Palace, take the time for the 20 minute walk through the peaceful surrounding gardens and forest up to the Cruz Alta monument. With a little bit of flexibility you can climb up to the monument and will be rewarded with impressive views of Pena Palace from afar, perfectly completing your Sintra day trip.

 

A Sintra Day Trip - View of Pena Palace - The Next Trip

 

A Sintra Day Trip - View of Pena Palace - The Next Trip

 

A Sintra Day Trip - View of Pena Palace - The Next Trip

 

This view was worth the walk! In addition, this monument had very few tourists, compared to Pena Palace, which was bursting with selfie-stick wielding crowds in the early afternoon.

 

How Long Does it Take for a Sintra Day Trip?

 

We spent a full afternoon exploring the Pena Palace as well as walking some of the pathways in the surrounding park. Arriving just before lunch, we had about a 5 minute wait to purchase tickets and enter the palace grounds, but otherwise could access everything within and around the palace as we liked.

 

A Sintra Day Trip - Pena Palace - The Next Trip

 

You could easily spend a week exploring the hills around Sintra and the many palaces. Another incredible palace you should add to your itinerary if you are in Sintra for more than a day is the mystical Quinta da Regaleira!

Check our top tips below to help plan your Pena Palace and Sintra Day Trip!

 

The Next Trip Top 5 Sintra Day Trip Tips

 

  1. Get there early! Like as soon as they open or even earlier. As the day goes on there will be more and more tour buses full of tourists arriving, so get arrive at the palace as early as you can to have the palace to yourself (more or less).
  2. Take some creative photos. Pena Palace is breathtaking from almost any angle, and with almost all of the walkways and areas of the palace open, you are free to get creative and take more than your standard tourist photos. This is your chance to make your princess fantasies come true on your Sintra day trip!
  3. Bring your best walking shoes. Pena Palace is located at the top of the hill and requires at least a 10 minute walk up the steep cobblestone paths. Further, the surrounding park grounds are full of pathways to explore.
  4. Pack some water.  While there is a cafe in the palace, you’re going to want to pack some water if you are exploring on a hot day as there are no other stores near the palace.
  5. Go for a hike. Take the extra time to walk to the Cruz Alta monument to get the perfect photos of Pena Palace from a distance – no drone required! In addition, if you have the time as part of your Sintra day trip, you can also walk and hike all over the Sintra Mountains for other unique views of Pena Palace and the beautiful Portugal Riviera.

 

Have you been to Pena Palace or on a Sintra day trip? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

 

Pin this blog post to your Portugal and Sintra Pinterest boards to save all your ideas and don't miss out when you're there!

 

A Sintra Day Trip - Why You Have to Go - The Next Trip

 

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting the brands that support us.

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How to Spend the Best Day in Coimbra, Portugal

To be honest, we hadn’t even heard of Coimbra prior to researching destinations for our Portuguese road trip, which is probably why it was the most surprising destination of our trip. We had no expectations and absolutely loved the 24 hours we spent here and can’t recommend it enough! To skip ahead to our top 5 tips on how to spend a day in Coimbra, click here.

 

Disclaimer:  This blog post contains affiliate links.  Meaning that at no extra cost to you, we will earn a small commission should you click on our links and make a purchase for your day in Coimbra. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support us!

 

A Day in Coimbra: Getting There and Around

 

We arrived in Coimbra after a weekend in Porto (read about it here) during rush hour, and since we didn’t know much about the city, we were just following the directions of our GPS to get to the hotel. However, the closer we got, the steeper and narrower the streets became.

 

Narrow Streets in Portugal | The Next Trip

 

Tight narrow roads do not phase us after all of our European road trips, but these were some of the tightest and steepest we ever drove within a city. Our rental car was relatively small, but we took a different route to our hotel as we were not confident that we could make the tight turn without scratching our car.

 

A Day in Coimbra: Where to Stay

 

We spent our one night and day in Coimbra at the Solar Antigo Luxury Coimbra which has very luxuriously designed hotel rooms.

 

Hotel Solar Antigo Luxury Coimbra | The Next Trip

 

Hotel Solar Antigo Luxury Coimbra | The Next Trip

 

Our room was on the first floor but because the hotel is on a hill, there is an amazing view of the city. The room is small but very unique and they even included free of charge champagne and cake in the evenings! Not to mention breakfast in bed in the mornings.

 

Hotel Solar Antigo Luxury Coimbra | The Next Trip

 

We didn’t spend much time in the hotel though as we hit the streets as fast as we could due to the rapidly setting sun.

 

How to Spend A Day in Coimbra, Portugal | The Next Trip

 

If the above hotel isn't to your style, we've also put together a list of some of our favorite airbnb's in Coimbra to make your trip here one to remember!

 

 

 

A Day in Coimbra: What to See

 

Coimbra is a very old city, dating back to the Roman era and is anchored by the University of Coimbra, established in 1290, and perched on top of the hill. The university buildings include the jaw-dropping Pátio das Escolas. This historic square alone is worth the visit for a day in Coimbra as there just isn’t a bad angle to take a picture.

 

University Square, Paço das Escolas, Coimbra Portugal | The Next Trip

 

University Square, Paço das Escolas, Portugal | The Next Trip

 

Shop Bettina's Look

 

How to Spend the Best Day in Coimbra, Portugal 40

 

 

It was particularly beautiful at dusk and includes a view of the surrounding valley.

University Square, Paço das Escolas, Coimbra Portugal | The Next Trip

 

University Square, Paço das Escolas, Coimbra Portugal | The Next Trip

 

University Square, Paço das Escolas, Coimbra Portugal | The Next Trip

 

The next morning we headed back to the University of Coimbra area to see the Biblioteca Joanina, a famous historic library. The next scheduled visiting time was in one hour, so we took pictures in the beautiful Pátio das Escolas square. The nearby chapel and palace are also worth visiting.

 

University Square, Paço das Escolas, Coimbra Portugal | The Next Trip

 

University Square, Paço das Escolas, Coimbra Portugal | The Next Trip

 

University Square, Paço das Escolas, Coimbra Portugal | The Next Trip

 

University Square, Paço das Escolas, Coimbra Portugal | The Next Trip

 

University Square, Paço das Escolas, Coimbra Portugal | The Next Trip

 

University Square, Paço das Escolas, Portugal | The Next Trip

 

Shop Bettina's Look

 

This dress is already sold out, but I linked some of my favorite turquoise and teal dresses below.

How to Spend the Best Day in Coimbra, Portugal 40

 

 

 

University Square, Paço das Escolas, Portugal | The Next Trip

 

University Square, Paço das Escolas, Coimbra Portugal | The Next Trip

 

The palace tour had an outdoor terrace, which provided great views over the city.

View from the Palace, University Square, Coimbra | The Next Trip

 

View from the Palace, University Square, Coimbra | The Next Trip

 

We eventually made it into the library, the Biblioteca Joanina, and it was definitely worth the wait! This is one of the most impressive libraries that we have ever been to, and a definite must-see if you are in Coimbra. You’re not allowed to take photos inside, so check out their website to get an idea of what it looks like inside here.

 

Biblioteca Joanina, Portugal | The Next Trip

 

Heading back down the hill, we explored the streets of the old town more and fell even further for this quaint city.

How to spend a day in Coimbra, Portugal | The Next Trip

 

How to spend a day in Coimbra, Portugal | The Next Trip

 

How to spend a day in Coimbra, Portugal | The Next Trip

 

How to spend a day in Coimbra, Portugal | The Next Trip

 

How to spend a day in Coimbra, Portugal | The Next Trip

 

Because we only had one day in Coimbra, we did not have enough time to see the aqueduct, botanical gardens, and waterfront. From the quick views we saw from afar, they definitely are worth a visit as well!

 

A Day in Coimbra: Where to Eat

 

While in Portugal, we were on a mission to try natas in each city. Pastel de nata’s are custard filled tarts, and are worth eating at any time of day.  A few locals recommended we stop by this café for a coffee and some natas. The natas here are some of the best we tried, with incredibly flaky pastry. They were only surpassed by the slightly more lemony natas we had at the Largo da Portagem square.

We both truly believe that calories don’t count when you are traveling!

Natas to eat in Portugal | The Next Trip

 

For dinner, we can highly recommend Zé Manel dos Ossos. This restaurant was recommended to us by some locals we met the day before. They advised arriving half an hour before the restaurant even opened at 7:30pm! We arrived on time, and were second in line, with a few other groups arriving only a few minutes later. This restaurant is one of the best in Coimbra for traditional Portuguese food. As there are only seven tables inside it pays to arrive early, so there is no need to wait.

 

Zé Manel dos Ossos, Coimbra, Portgual | The Next Trip

 

Zé Manel dos Ossos, Coimbra, Portgual | The Next Trip

 

Zé Manel dos Ossos, Portgual | The Next Trip

 

Time passed by quickly, and soon enough the friendly staff seated us inside the eclectically designed restaurant. The owner is super friendly and since we didn’t know what to order (nor could we read the menu) he chose for us. We shared a starter of mushrooms and pork; it was absolutely delicious, with a nice rich flavor.

 

Zé Manel dos Ossos, Coimbra, Portgual | The Next Trip

 

The main course: seared pork with rice and beans. Again, the food was filled with flavor!

 

Zé Manel dos Ossos, Coimbra, Portgual | The Next Trip

 

Portuguese food is hearty and filling! This was the best meal from our Portugal trip, although the pitcher of wine definitely helped wash it all down. There is nothing like a relaxing  digestive evening stroll around the city after a heavy meal to complete your amazing day in Coimbra.

 

How to spend a day in Coimbra, Portugal | The Next Trip

 

Can't get enough of Portugal either? Check out our blog post on Porto here or get planning your own trip with our free top 10 tips on how to save money on traveling!

 

The Next Trip Top 5 Tips on How to Spend a Day in Coimbra

 

  1. Pick a hotel in the historic old town. There are numerous small hotels in the historic old town with reasonable rates. The location allows you to easily reach all sights by foot, and be close enough to rest your feet in the middle of the day if you need it. We stayed at the Solar Antigo Luxury Coimbra and can highly recommend it!
  2. The first stop when you arrive should be to get tickets to see the Joanina Library. They only allow 60 people in the library at any given time and reservations are mandatory. Get your tickets early so that you don’t miss out! There are so many beautiful photo opportunities all around the University of Coimbra and the square, that even if you have to wait a bit, it is no problem.
  3. Bring your best walking shoes, i.e. comfortable and preferably closed flats. While flip flops might be comfortable, they will hurt your feet after walking up and down these steep cobble stone streets for hours. Walking is absolutely the best/only way to explore Coimbra. This seems to be a common tip in Portugal!
  4. Try the natas – all of them!  We indulged in natas almost every day of our trip in Portugal.  The best ones that we had on our whole trip were in Coimbra. We can highly recommend these two cafes, here and here. We also had The World Needs Nata recommended to us, but it was closed when we were visiting.
  5. Eat at Zé Manel dos Ossos. This is not your typical restaurant and already seems to be gaining a lot of popularity through word of mouth only. Prepare yourself for a hearty meal of traditional Portuguese food and entertainment written all over the walls. If you decide to stop by, make sure you get there a 10-15 minutes before they open for dinner. The place has only a few tables and often lines up out the door, but is an excellent way to cap off a day in Coimbra!

 

Have you been to Portugal? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

 

Pin this blog post to your Portugal Pinterest board to save all your ideas and don't miss out when you're there!

 

How to Spend the Best Day in Coimbra, Portugal 42

 

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting the brands that support us.

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How to Spend A Relaxed Weekend in Porto

Porto is one of those dream destinations in Portugal. It is easily accessible and a perfect weekend destination. Bettina and I can’t believe that we haven’t made it to Portugal until now! We fell for Porto as soon as we had our first taste of the Portuguese life. If you enjoy cobblestone streets, great food, great wine, and great weather, then Porto is for you! Keep reading for how to spend a relaxed weekend in Porto!

Click here if you want to skip to our 5 Top Travel Tips for a weekend in Porto. If you'd like to watch part of our weekend in Porto experience on video, check out Bettina's Instagram stories here.

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

Porto is very walkable, which makes it a great city for a little bit of exercise. In addition, a central hotel location is ideal so you can drop back in at any time of the day. We arrived on a Friday and stayed at the Porto Royal Bridges Hotel. The location was perfect for our relaxing stay, as was the fantastic breakfast and friendly staff! The breakfast spread was impressive, and a great way to start our morning each day during our weekend in Porto.

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

Exploring Porto

 

Bettina ambitiously decided we should wake up early to catch some of Porto’s famous blue-tiled buildings before the crowds set in. We started at Capela das Almas de Santa Catarina, which didn’t disappoint.

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

The azulejo tiles are striking and found on buildings throughout Porto, certainly adding to the charm of the city. Many of the tiles tell a story, making exploring them even more engaging.

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

The historic center has a number of iconic buildings. Two of our favorites are the Porto Town Hall and Porto Sao Bento train station.

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

From the train station head downhill, exploring the many side streets along the way.

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

Eventually, you will be greeted with a fantastic view of the Douro River and surrounding city!  The North side of the river contains many of the famous colorful houses in Porto. Not to mention a lot of the best restaurants in the city.

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

Shop Bettina's Look

 

{Bettina:} My shoes were gifted to me by Mi.iM and they quickly became my favorite travel sandals. I was wearing them all day, every day, walking through the streets of Porto and was comfortable and fashionable all the time.

 

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How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

This was our favorite part of the city. While it is a bit touristy, it has a great vibe, and in March wasn’t overly crowded, but buzzing with the right amount of energy for our weekend in Porto.

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

Port Wine

 

A relaxed weekend in Porto would not be complete without a glass, or two, of some fine port wine! This wine is what the city gave its name to. Your best bet is to cross over the Douro River to the city of Vila Nova de Gaia, the riverfront stretch on the south side of the river. Here there are breathtaking views of the historical center as well as some of the best port wine cellars in the city.

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

Porto Cruz came recommended to us and didn’t disappoint. We were able to snag a seat on the rooftop to rest our weary feet and relax with a glass of port wine and some tapas. Other port wine cellars which were recommended to us but we didn’t try were Ferreira and Graham’s. If you haven’t tried it before, port wine is produced exclusively in the Douro Valley of Portugal, and is typically a sweet red, often served with dessert.

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

Did we mention the stunning views of the old town from the Porto Cruz rooftop? This is a great place to spend a relaxing afternoon tasting wine in the sun, and a must-do during your weekend in Porto!

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

Porto City Viewpoint

 

Before you cross the river again, make sure you stop by Jardim do Morro for the most incredible sunset views. Depending on the number of glasses of port wine you’ve had, you can either walk or take the cable car to the top of the hill at Jardim do Morro. We opted to walk and zigzagged our way up the narrow streets to the top.

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

The views of the city from up here are breathtaking!

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

Walking across the bridge back to the historical center leaves you with just as many beautiful impressions of the city. Watch out for the trams along the bridge as you will need to share the space! If you didn’t enjoy dinner at one of the port wine cellars, head back to the historical center to find your new favorite dinner spot.

 

 

 
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Livraria Lello - Harry Potter Library

 

Early Sunday morning head to Livraria Lello, one of the world’s best bookstores to beat the crowds just before opening. This bookstore has impressive architecture, but is probably most known for being an inspiration for Flourish and Blotts of Harry Potter fame. JK Rowling lived in Porto when she began developing ideas for the Harry Potter series.

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

You can also see into the bookstore from the outside, which may be enough for some. We opted not to wait in the 50+ deep line and pay the 5 EUR per person entry fee, and instead settled on gelato next door!

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

Porto Twin Churches

 

Just a bit further up the street is a beautiful square with Porto’s famous twin churches. Igreja dos Carmelitas and Igreja do Carmo are famous for having the narrowest building in the city between them and having a beautiful outside wall with azulejo tile.

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

The buildings can easily be mistaken as one church, but each has a very unique history. The narrow building in between was created to ensure no contact between the nuns and monks occurred at any time.

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

Continue the neighborhood tour of Porto with a requisite tourist photo at the ‘PORTO’ sign nearby. While we’re into cheesy tourist opportunities, why not get a sardine can with your birth year printed on it? Or try the local cod cakes which are hand-made cakes shaped like a potato, filled with cheese and then fried.

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

While you’re in the neighborhood, snap a picture of the iconic Tram 28 which winds its way through the steep and narrow cobblestone streets.

 

How to Spend A Weekend in Porto - The Next Trip

 

Because no weekend in Porto would be complete without shopping, make sure you head to Porto’s Rua de Santa Catarina which is the main shopping street. Bettina definitely spent some time here and contemplated the limits of her hand luggage and how many clothes she could buy and still fit in.


This is how we spent our relaxed weekend in Porto and we loved it so much, we can't wait to go back. Check our top tips below to help plan your weekend and sign up for our 10 money-saving travel tips to save on your next weekend getaway!

 

The Next Trip Top 5 Weekend in Porto Tips

 

1) Uber from the airport to the city center.

We used Uber to and from the airport as well as a few times within Porto and every time the car was there within 2 minutes, was clean, and had a good driver. As a bonus, it is cheaper than a cab, our rides to and from the airport were just under 15 EUR each way.

There is a bus and metro option, which can definitely save you money, but for our location it was also over an hour vs. 20 minutes in an Uber.

 

2) Drink the wine!

As this is what they are (rightly) famous for. Without a doubt, sampling the many kinds of port wine the city has to offer, is a great way to spend your afternoon and necessary for a proper weekend in Porto. If port wine is not your thing, no worries. Wineries offer all kinds of other regional wines as well. Our favorite wineries, or those recommended to us by locals are Porto Cruz, Ferreira and Graham’s.

 

3) Eat the seafood.

Portuguese food is typically quite hearty, and we found it heavier and greasier than we expected, however the exception is seafood and Porto has that in abundance. There are so many great places to try, just get out there and start eating. Remember that fresh sardines in Portugal are far better here than that old can in the cupboard of your grandmother’s house.

 

4) Bring your best walking shoes.

The city is small enough that you can easily see all of the major sites by foot in a weekend.  There is no need to use the metro, buses, or trams, unless your hotel is slightly off the beaten path. That being said, the streets are cobblestone and there are a lot of hills!

 

5) Do search out your favorite azulejo tile.

The blue tiles are on all sorts of beautiful and very average buildings. Taking pictures of the tiles you come across and searching for the one that speaks to you is a fun challenge we enjoyed while walking the streets during our weekend in Porto.

 

Pin this blog post to your Pinterest board to save all your ideas about spending a weekend in Porto!

 

How to Spend A Relaxed Weekend in Porto 48

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

 

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How to Spend A Relaxed Weekend in Porto 50
How to Spend A Relaxed Weekend in Porto 51

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A Day in Zurich, Switzerland: Exploring Delicious Oro de Cacao Chocolate

It's a well-kept secret that there is a rivalry between Bern (the capital of Switzerland) and Zurich (the largest city in Switzerland). As a result of growing up near Bern, I was always biased towards the city named after bears.

 

A Day in Zurich

 

When growing up in Switzerland, I never really spent much time exploring Zurich. However, after spending a day in Zurich exploring the city with family, I might have to give it more credit.

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

Located right on the river Limmat and Lake Zurich, the city is surrounded by water and offers beautiful views of the Swiss Alps in the distance. The city is relatively small, but packs in everything you need in a walkable and picturesque area.

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

We spent our day in Zurich wandering through the old town, admiring old fountains,...

 

Water Fountain, Switzerland

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

Shop My Look

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland: Exploring Delicious Oro de Cacao Chocolate 60

 

 

... explaining old buildings to my niece (although I think she might be more fascinated by the birds than listening to me) ...

 

A Day in Switzerland

 

A Day in Switzerland

 

... walking past one of the oldest hotels in Switzerland, Hotel Storchen (established in 1357), which even has its very own ferry terminal ...

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland - Storchen

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

... and found ourselves in front of the Oro De Cacao store.  We couldn't resist the idea of some hot chocolate on this cold winter day and stepped right in.

 

Exploring Oro De Cacao, Zurich

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland - Oro De Cacao

 

Oro De Cacao is a brand new Swiss chocolate producer. I am a firm believer that Swiss chocolate is the best chocolate in the world (No offense to Belgium, but i'm also slightly biased, being Swiss and all). However, this store takes the chocolate experience to an entirely new level.

 

Switzerland - Oro De Cacao

 

Dieter Meier revolutionized the chocolate production process by using cold extraction to break cocoa beans into cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and the parts that give chocolate its bitter taste. As a result, you're left with a very intense and flavorful piece of chocolate. By removing the bitterness of the chocolate, but preserving the intense natural flavors, Oro de Cacao does not need to add as much sugar to mask the bitterness. The result is absolutely delicious tasting chocolate, without being overtly sweet.

 

Switzerland - Oro De Cacao

 

Switzerland - Oro De Cacao

 

Completely in awe with this new technology, I sampled a piece of every variation they offered! The new technology process of making the chocolate preserves the intense aroma of the various cocoa beans. As I sampled the various chocolates, I could taste as distinct difference between the various pieces of Oro de Caco chocolate, with the only difference being the country of the source beans.

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland - Oro De Cacao

 

And of course, we couldn't leave Oro de Cacao without trying their home-made hot chocolate which was beautifully rich. I also took some chocolate bars home and love to treat myself after a long day at work. Given the intensity of the chocolate flavor, you only really need a small piece to satisfy your cravings. We will definitely be back to Oro de Cacao the next time we spend a day in Zurich!

 

Hot Chocolate Switzerland - Oro De Cacao

 

Hot Chocolate Switzerland - Oro De Cacao

 

Thank you Oro De Cacao, Zurich for having us and providing us with a delicious and wonderful chocolate experience!

 

Zurich at Dusk

 

We spent the rest of our day in Zurich raving about the chocolate we just tried, and enjoying the beautiful Christmas decorations everywhere. I just love wandering the streets of European cities leading up to Christmas. The cities are nicely decorated and always feature a Christmas market where you can enjoy gluhwein, or mulled wine, and tasty treats! Zurich has multiple Christmas markets, including near the main train station and in front of the Zurich Opera House.

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

A Day in Zurich, Switzerland

 

Although we only spent a day in Zurich, the city impressed me with its old-town flair and international spirit. It is a city that I grew up relatively close to, and as a result never truly took the time to explore as a tourist. Have you been to Zurich? What did you like best about the city? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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A Day in Zurich, Switzerland: Exploring Delicious Oro de Cacao Chocolate 61

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A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go

A few months ago we stumbled across an article from late 2017, saying how the Northern Lights were going to be decreasing for almost the next decade! While we did catch a brief glimpse in Lapland (northern Finland) when we first met almost nine years ago, we didn’t get to see the full sky filled with a beautiful display of aurora. This would be our last chance, so to speak, to try to catch the Northern Lights for the next few years.

Click here if you want to skip to our 5 Top Iceland  Travel Tips. If you'd like to watch our Iceland experience on video, check out Bettina's Instagram stories here.

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

How We Got To Iceland

 

Soon after we read that article, WOW Air came out with a great fare sale from Chicago to Iceland, which allowed us to pick up round trip tickets for the two of us for only $220 each. You can’t beat this kind of price for a direct flight to Iceland! We left Chicago late on a cold Friday in January and flew overnight. The beauty of over-night flying is that you don't need to get a hotel and you have the entire arrival day to explore. Check out this blog post for tips on how to get over jet lag.

 

Weekend In Iceland Itinerary and Story

 

We left Chicago on a cold Friday in January and were actually heading to warmer temperatures up in Iceland, the land of ice and fire! You may know Iceland from Game of Thrones. The series captures some of the most incredible film destinations in Iceland. You may even recognize some of the sights we explored!

Arriving around 5:30am, our first stop was Joe and the Juice, a great coffee shop in the airport, and then to Avis to pick up our rental car.  We then had a 3 hour drive in front of us, to our destination: Vík.

We passed by top sights such as Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss but unfortunately, at this time in the day, it was still pitch dark and we couldn’t see them. It wasn’t until we closed in on Vík closer to 10:00am that the sky started to brighten. We were lucky to have done a complete Iceland road trip back in 2015 and have seen most of the main sights already. We were thus able to focus on one of our favourite areas of Iceland: the South-East coast.

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

When we were in Vík in 2015, it was late August and lush, green, and almost warm. Things were slightly different today, with temperatures hovering around 0C (32F) combined with wind and snow. That did not stop us from getting out and capturing some amazing photos at Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach.

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

Shop Bettina's Look

Chicwish gifted Bettina this gorgeous dress. It also comes in black and white. It's the perfect dress for a wedding guest!

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go 71

The combination of wind and snow meant we ran back to the car quickly to warm up. The clouds had also moved in, and it began to rain, putting a bit of a damper on our moods. However, one thing to know about Iceland is that the weather changes quickly, is unpredictable, so you just have to expect the unexpected!

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

We began our drive back towards our hotel in the direction of Reykjavík and did take the time to stop at the Dyrhólaey lighthouse and both Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss for more pictures despite the continuing rain.

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

The sheer power of the waterfalls is absolutely amazing every time you see it.

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

During the winter months, Iceland does not get a lot of daylight. With 5 hours of daylight, the sun was already setting as we were heading towards our hotel.

 

 
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Since we really only had one night in Iceland, this was now our chance to see the Northern Lights. Unfortunately, the aurora forecast was not great. It was also a cloudy night, so our chances were slim at best. It was however supposed to be clear skies in the early morning, so we decided to get up at 6:00am and see what we could see. We drove a few minutes out of town to get away from the surrounding lights and stared out at the pitch black sky.

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

After fiddling with the camera a bit in the bitter cold, we were able to capture some reflections of the Northern Lights off in the distance. Not quite the epic full sky pictures you see in the travel brochures, but we were happy to have seen something – our trip had not been in vain!

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

After heading back to the hotel to freshen up and have breakfast we were off again, but this time under blue skies and shining sun, exceptionally rare for this time of year, made all the better by the light dusting of snow from the night before.

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

We drove south towards the ocean and stopped for pictures at Strandakirkja. The views here were absolutely incredible and made us so thankful for our decision to actually do this weekend trip.

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

Continuing through the Reykjanesfólkvangur Nature Preserve, we came across even more awe-inspiring views.

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

We were a bit pressed for time at this point to head back to the airport and catch our flight. After a brief stop at the local Costco for a cheap snack and fuel – off we went back to the airport!

 

Costco in Iceland - 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

Costco in Iceland - 5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 


Despite having only about 30 hours on the ground in Iceland, we had experienced so much in such a short amount of time that it felt like we had been gone for days. If you have the chance to spend a weekend or longer in Iceland, we highly recommend – it is one of our favourite places!

 

 

Top 5 Iceland Travel Tips

 

1) Expect the unexpected when it comes to weather.

You could easily experience weather from all four seasons, so be prepared and take it in stride! Make sure you bring warm and water-proof clothing. These are the best coats for Iceland in winter and summer. We wore Sorel boots and Fjallraven jackets to keep us warm.

2) Find meals at the local Bónus or Krónan grocery store.

Eating out is really expensive. We’re talking $20 to $25 for a basic entrée excluding drinks, starters, or dessert. However, you can find a good selection of food for somewhat reasonable prices at the grocery store. If you can, bring some snacks with you. Trail mix and protein bars travel really well.

3) Rent a car no matter how long your trip.

Iceland is all about getting out and seeing nature, and there’s no better freedom than having your own car to explore. We rented a car with Avis and everything went smoothly.

4) Bring your Costco card!

The store is relatively new in Iceland and you will save big time on fuel, groceries, and snacks from their restaurant! We got gas at Costco right before returning our rental car, and even snuck in the Icelandic version of the famous Costco hot dog.

5) You don’t actually need cash.

As long as you have a chip and pin credit card, you won’t need to exchange for any Icelandic Krona. We used our cards everywhere without problem and saved the time and hassle of exchanging currency.

 

5 Things to Know Before You Go - The Next Trip

 

Would you visit Iceland just for the weekend? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go 73

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go 74

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go 75

A Weekend in Iceland & 5 Things to Know Before You Go 76

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Skiing in Switzerland – The Best Day at Crans Montana Ski Resort

Growing up in Switzerland, and learning to ski at Crans Montana Ski Resort, I didn't understand what everyone's fascination with the Alps was. Being surrounded by mountains was normal. I wanted to experience the big city life instead! Things changed very quickly though, once I moved to Illinois - the flattest state in the U.S.  I realized that once I was so far away from mountains, that I actually miss mountains a lot! Every time Kyle and I go back to Switzerland, we like to spend some time in the Alps and go skiing if there is snow and the weather conditions are reasonable.

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Crans Montana Ski Resort

 

I have been to a few ski resorts in Switzerland, but grew up exploring the hills of Crans-Montana, a ski resort in the French part of Switzerland, in the canton Valais. It's a two hour drive to get there from Bern and you can either drive via Lake Geneva and stop in gorgeous Montreux and visit Chillon Castle on the way, or you can drive through the Bernese Alps and take the Lötschberg car train which is a fun experience by itself. If you have never heard of the car train before, check out this video.

The first time I took Kyle to the car train, he was stunned as he had never driven onto a train with his car before! If you are driving from Zurich, it is a bit further, but Zurich is also worth exploring, see our post on Zurich and exploring Oro De Cacao from the same trip!

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Crans Montana Ski Resort is 1,500m or 4,920ft above sea level and from there you can access the glacier Plaine Morte which is even higher at 2,927m or 9,600ft above sea level. Because the Crans Montana Ski Resort faces south, you often get the sunniest skiing conditions and best views of the Swiss Alps and the beautiful valley below. In addition, you may have heard of Crans Montana Ski Resort as it is a famous location in alpine ski racing.

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Hitting the Slopes

 

Once you take the gondola up to the top of Crans Montana Ski Resort, you can even see the famous Matterhorn. Although you'll only see the backside of it which makes it difficult to recognize its famous shaped peak. It doesn't matter which way you look, the views from the top of Crans Montana Ski Resort are incredible!

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

After a bumpy ride up in the cable car, Kyle and I couldn't wait to finally hit the slopes and go skiing in Switzerland at Crans Montana Ski Resort for the first time in 4(!) years.

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Shop My Skiing Outfit

 

Many of the items I'm wearing, I've had for years. My jacket is from H&M and I linked similar ones below. My goggles are by Arnette and you can get them on Amazon still.

Skiing in Switzerland - The Best Day at Crans Montana Ski Resort 84

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

The morning was a bit foggy but it cleared up soon. The afternoon sun brought the most beautiful views and blue skies!

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Luckily, skiing is just like riding a bike if you haven't done it in awhile; although our legs were starting to get sore rather quickly. After a few runs, we had enough confidence to go down a double black diamond run, but regretted our choice as soon as we looked down the hill. Check out my Instagram stories if you're curious to see the run! We certainly weren't graceful, but we made it down without any issues.

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Arguably, the best part about skiing is getting away from the busy city life to enjoy a day in the snow and sun. The fact that you get a little bit of exercise along the way is even better.

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Après Ski - Essential When Skiing in Switzerland

 

While you're out there enjoying your day at Crans Montana Ski Resort, make sure you stop by one of the many slope bars and restaurants and enjoy a drink and snack. Some people would even argue that the après ski is just as important, if not more important, than the actual skiing! There are eleven restaurants and bars scattered all across the Crans Montana Ski Resort. Every single one has a fantastic view.

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

We enjoyed glasses of hot glühwein and a charcuterie board with local Swiss cheese and meats. It was just what we needed to continue skiing well into the afternoon!

 

Skiing in Switzerland - Crans-Montana

 

Crans Montana Ski Resort Village

 

For all the non-skiers among us, I can still highly recommend a visit to the village of Crans Montana, just down the hill from the Crans Montana Ski Resort. You can take the cable car to the slopes to enjoy the views or stay in the resort town. There are options to go ice skating ...

 

Crans-Montana by night

 

... go on a walk around the frozen lakes ...

 

Crans-Montana by night

 

Crans-Montana by night

 

Crans-Montana by night

 

Crans-Montana by night

 

... and enjoy the holiday decorations. The village of Crans Montana is pretty typical for a Swiss resort town. It has a number of high-end restaurants and hotels, plus a few grocery stores and shops down every lane. Crans Montana is one of my favorite Swiss ski resort towns.

 

Crans-Montana by night

 

Crans-Montana by night

 

Have you ever been to Crans Montana Ski Resort or skiing in Switzerland? Where is your favourite place to go? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Skiing in Switzerland - My favorite resort and views of the Alps
Skiing in Switzerland - My favorite resort and views of the Alps

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

 


 

Wandering in the Dolomites

Having spent a wonderful day in Venice (read about it here and see our full itinerary here), we were heading north - to the Dolomites. We rented a Fiat 500 to drive from Venice to the Dolomites (I linked the route here) which made me particularly happy as I love these cute cars and I haven't driven a stick-shift in a long time.

 

Wandering in the Dolomites - The Next Trip

 

After the short 2-hour drive, we arrived and were greeted with sunshine and amazing views of little Italian villages, sparkling alpine lakes, and majestic mountain peaks.