9 most unique hotels in israel

9 Most Unique Hotels In Israel

9 Most Unique Hotels In Israel

In this article, you will find the 9 most unique hotels (in my opinion). All of them are for adults only and will include both their strengths and weaknesses. This article wasn’t sponsored by anyone and contains information both from my point of view and from other visitors’ stays and their opinions.

Israel is quite a small country but has many changing views, historical places and great food that you will enjoy if you have already decided to visit there. Luckily, you can find great hotels that will suit your budget mostly everywhere, and in most of them, you will be able to taste the local cuisine and go to attractions. But if you’re more into pampering hotels, that will make all the work for you; we are here to give you our list of the unique hotels that Israel offers by area.

Israel’s divided into three main regions: the North region, the Central region, and the southern region; in each part, you will find its capital city and different views, people, and architecture. These cities are simply the biggest city in the area where you will find most of the shopping and trading centers and attractions.

Suppose you are into staying and experiencing one of the big towns. In that case, you should consider Tel Aviv/Jaffa ( yes, they are regarded as one), Jerusalem, Eilat, or Tiberia because all these cities are known for their touristic foundations and attractions.

Not all of the best hotels in Israel are inside these big cities, and a few are pretty remote, but I still advise you to try and stay and experience at least one or two of them.

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UNIque hotels

Central region (“Ha Merkaz”) best hotels

Israel’s main “Ben-Gurion airport” (BGN) is in the central region. with two of Israel’s leading capital cities; Tel-Aviv/Jaffa and Jerusalem

Setai Jaffa hotel

One of the best hotels in Israel for its location and view, The hotel is in the central spot of old Jaffa in a preserved building from the 13th century, near the old clock tower, the flea market, and all of the beautiful old streets of Jaffa. The hotel has 120 big rooms with all the amenities you need for a great stay. But the unbeatable highlight of this hotel is its infinity pool that faces the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, where you will get a spectacular show of dancing colors in the sky every sunset.

The hotel offers a rich breakfast as the Israeli best hotels are offering (the Israeli crowd is big fans of grandiose breakfasts). In addition, the local chef restaurant “Jaya” Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus so that you can book a table anytime.

And The elegant “Kishla” bar, wrapped in blue Brazilian stone, where you will find Local art cocktails, a selection of Israeli wines, a rich alcohol menu, and of course, a great atmosphere.

Pros :

  • The best infinity pool in Tel-Aviv/Jaffa
  • Great breakfast
  • Big rooms
  • Great service
  • The restaurant is open all-day

Cons :

  • Somewhat expensive
  • Paid parking which depends on free slots
  • Late check-out costs extra charges
  • Not-so-good spa service by most of the reviews

9 most unique hotels in israel

Hotel 65 Tel-Aviv

Our favorite hotel in Tel-Aviv. Hotels 65 is part of the extensive Israeli Atlas chain and has 16 boutique hotels in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, and the southern city of Israel, Eilat.

This hotel is located in the heart of and makes the whole city center accessible by foot, including all the restaurants, bars, beaches, ports, malls, and all the other stuff the city has to offer.

9 most unique hotels in israel

Sheinkin Street 0.5 km

the Independence Museum is 0.6 km

Nahalat Binyamin Artists Market 0.7 km

Carmel Market 0.8 km

Habima Theater 0.8 km

Nahalat Binyamin Artists Market 0.7 km

Dizengoff Center 1 1. km

Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance 1.2 km

Neve Tzedek 1.2 km

Tel Aviv Museum of Art 1.6 km

Since there is a huge problem with parking in TLV, this hotel offers its guests free parking inside the hotel, which is a tremendous plus for the hotel.

The Atlas chain accepts pets in their properties, so you can easily travel with your beloved furry pet. The rooms are big and well-equipped with anything you want. The reception is open 24/7, and the highlight is the big terrace that overwatches the TLV skyline. The prices are friendly for most budgets, and you will undoubtedly enjoy the happy hour every day from 17:00 to 19:00 for the hotel guests.

Pros

  • Good prices
  • Free parking in Tel-Aviv (15 places available)
  • Pet friendly
  • City center
  • Great breakfast
  • Stunning balcony

Cons

  • Only 15 parking spots
  • Extra costs for late check-out
  • No in-house chef restaurant
  • No swimming pool

hotel 65
9 most unique hotels in israel

Alegra Ein-Karem 

An award-winning best romantic boutique hotel in the middle east, This hotel is in the heart of Ein-Karem, located at the foot of Jerusalem. It offers you a great romantic vacation in one of Israel’s most beautiful settlements. The proximity to Jerusalem makes Ein-Karem place perfect for those who want to enjoy the historical area without all the hustle and bustle of a big city. Ein Karem is an important historical place for both the Jewish religion and Christianity; if you walk around, you will surely enjoy the beautiful churches, ancient buildings, and beautiful tracks for those who love hiking and, of course, local restaurants and stalls with goods.

Alegra Hotel offers  14 suites and rooms, each with a different character and decoration. A beautiful garden around the hotel and a stunning rooftop that overwatches the whole area. You can also find a spa, dry/wet sauna, and a great breakfast.

Pros:

  • Reasonable price
  • Great location
  • Airport pick services on additional coasts
  • Great breakfast
  • Historical building

Cons:

  • No swimming pool
  • No chef restaurant
  • Hard to arrive without a car

North Region (“Ha Zaffon”) best hotels

With its capital city Haifa. The north region is known mainly for the green sceneries, wineries, small Zimmers, the sea of galilee, and the highest mountain in Israel; Hermon mount (reaching 2 040m (6690ft) above sea level)

 

Dona Castle

Ever wanted to stay in a historical castle and feel like a real king/queen? That’s your chance. The boutique hotel was built within a historical palace founded in 1745 and is one of the only buildings preserved almost perfectly from that time. The hotel has ten big rooms, which are different from one another in design and features. The unique location of the castle allows the guests to oversee the beautiful sea of the galilee from a perfect spot and enjoy breathtaking sunrises for those who are brave to wake up early enough.

Each morning a cook arrives to make you delicious Israeli breakfast a-la-carte, and you can also book all of the activities you would like to have from the hotel itself. So if you are looking for a unique place to stay, this is one of the most amazing experiences Israel offers.

The hotel doesn’t have a swimming pool of its own for right now, but if you are staying there, you will get free access to the swimming pool of the Scottish hotel, which is 20 meters away (or maybe less). You can also ask for a chef’s meal in the beautiful hall in the center of the castle with candlelights and the most romantic environment you can imagine.

Pros:

  • the price is reasonable
  • Sleeping in a historic castle
  • Perfect location
  • Amazing view
  • Delicious breakfast

Cons:

  • Tiberia isn’t the most tourist-friendly city in Israel
  • No swimming pool inside the hotel
  • Only paid parking around the hotel
most unique hotels in israel

Pereh resort

A boutique hotel in the Golan Heights is considered one of the best in Israel, from the same founder as the Alegra hotel in Ein-Karem Jerusalem. This resort contains 27 spacious rooms and suites with all the equipment you will need for a perfect stay, a pampering infinity pool, an outdoor jacuzzi, balconies with stunning views of the Israeli north, and a spoiling restaurant. The breakfast is so good that you might consider taking it even if you are not staying at the hotel.

The hotel’s remote location makes it a perfect place for those who want to rest from the stress of every day and enjoy some fresh air, beautiful views, and wineries,  but you should consider the high prices.

Pros:

  • Beautiful hotel
  • Great staff
  • Amazing infinity pool
  • Outdoor jacuzzi
  • high standard breakfast
  • beautiful rooms

 

Cons:

  • High prices
  • arriving only by car
  • Lots of bees around the hotel in May/June
  • Many guests were disappointed by the dinner at the restaurant.
pereh hotel

Akotika

Akotika Boutique Hotel offers a unique hosting experience In the heart of the Old City of Acre (Ako in Hebrew).

Amazingly well-designed rooms and picturesque alleys, stunning views of the sea, and an authentic experience of one of Israel’s most multi-cultural cities will make your stay unforgettable.

The breakfast is served daily on a stunning rooftop, where you will have your belly full while enjoying the sea breeze. The most exciting thing about this hotel is that rooms are not part of the main building but spread around Acre’s picturesque alleys. Therefore, the hotel is perfect for you to roam around Acre on foot and enjoy all the authentic food, souvenirs, and market stalls.

Pros:

  • Best location in Acre
  • The owner is mostly around and will take care of your needs
  • The ancient and authentic main building and city alleys
  • Fresh daily breakfast
  • Well-thought to the minor details

Cons:

  • No private parking
  • No swimming pool
  • No dinner
  • Room doors connect to main streets, which may cause some noise.
  • The streets around are not always the cleanest
best hotels in israel

South Region (“Ha Darom”) best hotels

The south region, with its capital Beer Sheba (Beer Sheva in Hebrew), is mainly known for its desert, the dead sea, and the red sea in the southern point where you can also cross the border to one of the neighboring countries; Jordan and Egypt.

 

Bereshit (Genesis Hotel)

The combination of the vast desert nature and the extraordinary architecture,

This hotel is one of the unique hotels in Israel.

A vacation at the Bereishit Hotel in Mitzpe Ramon town guarantees an unforgettable hospitality experience

Excellent service, gourmet restaurant, luxury spa, spacious rooms,

A heated pool that has been named the ‘Most Beautiful Pool in the World’,

And as mentioned – a desert landscape that is second to none can be seen from every corner.

The hotel covers about 50 dunams and is built of 111 guest villas scattered over the surface.

The 39 ground-floor units have private pools – and the upper rooms have balconies overlooking the view.

The unique location of the Genesis Hotel combines meticulous luxury with breathtaking nature, and if you are lucky enough, you might see the local desert oryxes wandering around.

Pros:

  • Stunning views everywhere
  • Great facilities
  • Excellent breakfast and restaurants
  • Swimming pool with a fantastic view
  • Rooms more extensive than the standard

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Public transport makes it hard to reach so you better rent a car
  • Quite remote

Six Senses Shaharut

The first Six Senses chain hotel in Israel, which was opened in 2021 and is known for being the best hotel in Israel, is located in the south of the Negev Desert, in the Arava Valley, and the small community of Shaharut. This hotel comprises just 60 suites and pool villas that cover a total footprint of approximately 46 acres and include a Six Senses Spa.

Six Senses Shaharut offers a creative approach to cuisine, combining the best of Israeli and Mediterranean influences. Where possible, ingredients are harvested from the resort’s organic gardens and carefully selected farmers at the nearby kibbutzim.

How to get there?

  • Drive from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem: will take approximately three-and-a-half hours or three hours from Petra in Jordan.
  • 50-minute domestic flight from Tel Aviv to the new Ramon International Airport (ETM) near Eilat, From there, it is a 45-minute transfer to the resort.
  • Helicopter flights from Tel Aviv to Shaharut (must book in advance)

Pros:

  • A unique and new resort
  • Everything was well thought
  • Excellent and most welcoming staff
  • Variety of food and restaurants
  • Big and well-equipped rooms

Cons

  • Very expensive (but you do get the worth for your money)
sixsenses shaharut

Nof Tzukim

A beautiful resort in “Tzukim,” a community settlement located in the south of the Negev desert in Israel. The resort comprises 12 beautiful stone cabins, each named after one of the streams, a romantic place for couples and families.  The cabins spread on the hills around the main building harmoniously with their desert surroundings.

The cabins are divided into five landscape categories, but all have the same beautiful interior design, each equipped with a small kitchen, a spot for a bonfire, and a hot tub!

Our tip is to Pre-book your room in advance because this place is full most of the year, and it could be tricky to find a vacant date.

And another tip you would enjoy; If you made it to any of the hotels in the desert, it doesn’t matter which.

Make yourself a favor and step out of your cabin after sunset when it’s dark outside.

You will be delighted to see millions of stars shining right above your head

Pros:

* villas in the middle of the desert

* great breakfast and kitchen in every room

* many desert attractions around

* pretty close to Eilat

* private Jacuzzi and a place for a bonfire 

Cons:

* Remote and hard to get with public transport 

* Small amount of rooms which makes it hard to find free dates

Final Thoughts

Israel is indeed a small country, but you still have many possibilities and unique places to stay. So please tell us what you think about our recommendations, how you found your stay in any of the hotels we wrote about, or maybe you have any ideas for other unique hotels in Israel.

 

 

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Christmas time in Alsace France

Christmas time in Alsace France

Christmas in gorgeous Alsace

Towns, markets and boxes full of MAGIC

Christmas in Alsace

Imagine entering a fairy tale, where songs about love are all around, and anything can happen. This is Alsace for me at the most beautiful time of the year, Christmas.

House windows are decorated with teddy bears and presents.

Lights lights lights are all around.

Santa is sailing on a lighted gondola while the choir is singing, aromas of mulled wine in every corner, the most beautiful markets, glowing Christmas trees, the yummiest chocolate you’ve ever tasted in your life, and all that joy is happening at the most picturesque towns, where it feels like you’re entering a Disney movie from the very first step.

So after 2020 has been a bit sad; with no Christmas markets to make us escape our reality, there is nothing as exciting to spend these few days in the most magical atmosphere and remember how it feels like to get excited as a child.

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christmas markets

So first of all, a little about the Alsace region:

The Alsace region extends in eastern France and borders Switzerland and Germany. Somewhere in history, this region was transferred between German and French control several times until it was finally annexed to France after World War II. It consists of picturesque villages and its beautiful capital, Strasbourg, the seventh-largest city in France. Along the region, you can find dozens of grape vineyards, which is why this area is called the “wine route.”

The fastest way to get to Alsace:

  1. Direct flight to Strasbourg (SXB)
  2. Flight to Basel Mulhouse airport – about 90 KM away from Alsace.
  3. Flight to Baden-Baden, Germany – about 100KM away from Alsace

The towns you must visit in Alsace:

Colmar

Start at the place that represents the beginning of our love story with Alsace.

 We first met Colmar in 2017, on Leon’s birthday. We fell in love with it the second we arrived. The colors, the atmosphere, the unique fairytale-style architecture, and water canals that pass through the small streets are reminiscent of Venice in the French version (there is also an area called “Little Venice,” which is the most famous and recommended of all, for camera wearers).

The two days we spent there were not enough for us, and we were unfortunate to leave, so in the car on the way to our next destination, Leon booked plane tickets for a few months ahead to return to Colmar, but this time, for the magical holiday season in December.

 From the moment we got to Colmar, everyone just told us about its Christmas celebrations, and I bet they had no idea how fast we would be there to see it with our own eyes.

After three months, we were back in Alsace, and it did not take long until we realized what the fuss was all about. And since then, we have discovered that there are places that enter your heart, and we will probably keep on returning to them much more than once. Well, Alsace is high on this list.

Let’s return to our subject, Christmas.

The whole Alsace area is known for its unique and stunning Christmas atmosphere, but at the top of this list is Colmar, which exceeds all expectations. And is famous for its ornaments down to the smallest detail.

Colmar has six different Christmas markets, each with another character and theme, and to be honest, there was not even one of them where we managed not to spend some cash.

  1. The Artisan Arts Market at Place des Dominicains

A market for local artists where you will find unique handicrafts, painters, and jewelry makers. The ideal place for a special gift. And of course, there is no such thing as a fine market without having delicious local food, mulled wine, carousels, and special amusement facilities for children within.

  1. The gourmet Christmas market at Place de la Cathedrale

The house of food, A market that is all about food. Mostly identified with Alsatian cuisine, which is a bit more sophisticated and “gourmet” than the rest of the street food you will find in other markets. From black truffle risotto to pastry with meat in a special local sauce with potatoes inside which is basically the local Gnocchi in cream.

  1. The Indoor Market at Koifhus

The place to escape the cold for a moment.

More of an exhibition than a market where you will find unique works by local artists, jewelry, hats, magnets, unique ceramic, and charming Christmas decorations.

    4. The Place de l’Ancienne Douane Christmas Market

    The largest Christmas market in Colmar with over 50 small stands. Slightly busier and denser than previous markets. You will find excellent local wine (in special packages of Colmar’s colorful houses), delicious treats, celebrations, and local souvenirs.

    5. The Petite Venise Children’s Christmas Market

    I must mention this is my favorite market of all.

    First of all, it is in the Little Venice area, which is the most beautiful in Colmar. So magical!!  Starting with crazy stalls for kids, and not only for kids, we also found something to buy for ourselves in most of the stands! Heating pillows in the shape of furry animals, lovely wooden crafts, solar-driven spinning toys, velvet purses with spectacular paintings, and more. In this market, I found my favorite food stall! As simple as delicious! Sausage with Emmental and raclette cheeses melted on top!! YUMMY!!

    You can also find some amusements for kids and even a mailbox from which you can send Santa Claus your letters.

     6. The Place Jeanne d’Arc Alsatian Specialties Market

    The market for foodies among you that focuses on Alsatian delicacies like foie gras, jam, and good wine

    Riquewihr

    Riquewihr is A medieval town that enchants everyone; Small and breathtaking. Picturesque and colorful houses when there is not even one house that resembles another.

    By the way, if the town seems familiar somehow, but you can’t put your finger on how, I will give you this story!

    Remember the town where Belle from Disney’s “Beauty and the beast” goes with her books in her hand while singing? That is precisely it!

    The producers of Disney were looking for inspiration for the film, and just before they made the movie, they visited the towns of Riquewihr and Eguisheim (which I will detail later), and since then, it’s all history.

    And as for me, who believes I’m living in one of Disney’s cartoons, I could not help but see the imagination and got even more excited when I did a bit of research and found out why this place looks so familiar.

    The town’s beautiful architecture and the unique Christmas atmosphere create an unparalleled charm:

     

    Riquewhir Christmas markets:

    Le Petit Bistrot d’Alsace

    A small but charming and delicious market!

    It has a wide selection of cheeses, and God knows how much I love cheeses! (Steve Urkel, be aware, you’ve been challenged) Sausages, local wine, mulled wine, Chocolate that makes me dance happily, and sweet souvenir stalls.

    La Cour des Nobles

    A market in the heart of the old town, with delicious Alsatian delicacies, warm addictive chestnuts, mulled wine (of course), gift stalls, and you can even find the Russian matryoshka dolls in every color and shape.

    Ribeauville

    A charming and quiet town considered the capital of the Riesling wine. Fits whoever loves lying down and resting in lovely cafes or walking around small and beautiful streets without the noise and the bustle. But and this is a big but, at Christmas and especially on the weekends, the town imparts an experience you will not find anywhere else, period.

    Ready to get into a shaky and exciting time machine? Because this is the experience, you will get from a visit to Ribeauville during the Christmas period.

    Christmas celebrations can easily be confused with a time trip to the middle ages on the weekends. The townspeople are all pre-time dressed up, going out dancing in the streets, musicians from square to square, singers and artists who will carry you away to join them, sheep roaming the roads,

     And along the way, you will also meet strange creatures .. mysterious characters who came straight out of mythology, and you might even see Merlin, the great wizard walking the streets.

    This atmosphere is indescribable! And of course, let’s not forget all the other great stuff you can find in any different Christmas market, like local delicacies that will make you lick your fingers, beautiful stalls, and lots of gifts, all of those with a little twist of some elves and witches around you.

    BTW. If you have some time to spare, there are three beautiful castles that you might like to see:

    Ribraupierre, Saint-Ulrich and Giersberg.

    Kaysersberg

    Kaysersberg is a very small and romantic town. Nestled on the banks of a river, built over canals, full of small and photogenic bridges and there are houses built right on the river itself. The town overlooks an ancient castle from the 13th century; “Chateau Shloss Castle”

    It is highly recommended to visit and overlook the town from above the castle.

    The Christmas market itself is particularly authentic and Alsatian in its style, Opened on weekends only with about 30 wooden pavilions, located in the very heart of “Cour de l’Arsenal”, just behind the church, overlooking the castle and the whole feeling is as if you’re walking on a 17s century photography set!

    What sets Kaisersberg’s Christmas apart is the local artisan stalls and a variety of the most original and special works of art and souvenirs you can find in Alsace. And of course, delicious food, mulled wine, and anything that gives a warm feeling on a cold day.

    It is also worth a visit to the farmers market located in “Place de la Mairie”:

    Taste the variety of delicious local produce, cheeses, liqueurs, jams, bread, and of course drink good wine and hear about life in Alsace from a local farmer.

    Eguisheim

    To me, a destination not to be missed on your Alsatian tour.

    Eguisheim is the first town we visited when we returned to Alsace for our second visit. We arrived in the evening and were instantly captivated by its charm. The town did not just win the titles of the most beloved village in France and one of the most beautiful villages in France. It is unusually small and beautiful. It was recognized mainly for its medieval churches, unique wooden houses, and narrow alleys.

    Remember I told you that Eguisheim was also a source for doing beauty and the beast? And not for nothing, this town is a real witch in its beauty, and it also has some of the most instagrammable corners!

    And as you already know, It’s Christmas in Alsace! So here, too, you will find thousands of lights that adorn the town, ornate trees, and an exciting atmosphere.

    Eguisheim Christmas markets:

    Place du Marche Aux Saules

    The most magical market! There you will find unique, mind-blowing works of art and, of course, delicious local food.

    Place Monseigneur Stampf

    This market is a small market located in a tiny square surrounded by small, local boutique shops. Here, you will also find souvenirs, handicrafts, and let’s not forget our favorite, sweet and delicious warm wine.

    Saint Leon Square

    A place where Leon felt most at home and most holy!

    In the heart of the town, in a central square, in the shadow of an 18th-century castle. Although there are few stalls and a small selection of souvenirs, the market’s charm lies in its unique decorations and that its central fountain becomes a beautiful winter wonder.

     

    Strasbourg – The Capital of Alsace:

    So as to befit a capital city, Strasbourg is also the capital of Christmas and the most magical destination for the holiday atmosphere that everyone is looking for.

    The secret of the city’s charm lies in the fact that much of its historic center is located on an island

    – (Grande Ile) –Yes, you heard it right!

     And the city itself is simply beautiful and impressive, incorporating magnificent churches, palaces from the 18th century, and not to forget, the Alsatian wooden houses we love so much.

    If you have reached this point in the article, you already know the procedure because we all gathered here to talk about Christmas, right?

    So, as I mentioned, Strasbourg is not to be missed during the Christmas period.

    In total, there are about 300 Christmas stalls throughout the city and about 15 different Christmas markets; sounds tempting, right?

    And as befits Alsatians, every street, house, window, and balcony are all decorated and amazingly impressive in all their glory.

    So out of 15 markets, I have gathered for you the three most extensive and most exciting, and do not worry, Christmas in Strasbourg is on every corner, you will not miss anything that happens, not even if you want to.

     

    Strasbourg Christmas Markets:

    1. Place Broglie market

    In a central square on the island itself, you will find the most worthwhile holiday gifts for your loved ones and yourself, ranging from clothing made of leather, warming socks, and lots of fantastic holiday decorations. In addition to holiday delicacies, mulled white and red wine, and many other treats.

    1. Place Kleber – the biggest market in town

    Here, in the middle of the square, you will find a large and shimmering Christmas tree, an spectacular lights show projected every evening. Around the big tree, you will find many wooden stalls that sell souvenirs, Christmas decorations, and GREAT local food.

    This market is THE best place for all of the foodies who would like to try famous French dishes like cheese fondant, fried mushrooms, sausages in a baguette or a pretzel, melted raclette cheese which is mainly served with potatoes and bread, Tartiflette – which reminds a bit of the French Gratin only with the addition of caramelized onions and bacon and course an endless list of amazing desserts!

    1. Place du Chateau market

    This market is located next to the most impressive cathedral in Strasbourg and surrounded by dozens of decorated stalls, a beautiful carousel to remind us of the little child we all have within, countless lovely souvenirs, and of course, local dishes that warm the stomach alongside the hot wine to warm your hands :).

     

    FINAL THOUGHTS- Are you still here or already gone to book your tickets for the next holiday season??

    For reading this article in the Hebrew language, press HERE

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    זו רק אני או ש2023 הגיעה במצמוץ עיניים? חנוכה כבר מאחורינו, המונדיאל נגמר, כריסמס חלף לו גםהוא. אפצ'י ואנחנו כבר בפסח! אפשר איזו הארכת זמן קטנה שתיתן לנו להתאקלם?בכל אופן עוד קצת לפני שעוד שנה אזרחית חולפת, השבוע קורות להן חגיגות הסילבסטר המרגשותברחבי העולם, ובניגוד...

    האירועים הכי שווים לחורף 22/23

    האירועים הכי שווים לחורף 22/23

    .האירועים הכי שווים לחורף 22/23 .אנחנו כבר ממש יכולים להרגיש את זה באווירThe winter is coming!ריח הגשם על האדמה, הרוח הקרירה, הימים שיתקצרו לנו ללא הכרה. החורף מתקרב לו בצעדי מגפיענק. ואם תשאלו אותנו. אנחנו מאושרים. זו התקופה האהובה עלינו בשנה. מוכנים כבר לשוקו...

    7 most unique hotels in Kenya

    7 most unique hotels in Kenya

    Kenya my love

    Unique hotels , beautiful coastline and all the in between.

    Kenya from a different perspective

    7 most unique hotels in Kenya and more

    Hakuna Matata, the meaning is “no worries”. In the last two years, this phrase felt a little disconnected.

    And yet, after all, we didn’t let the fear get too deep inside and went after our dream, or to be precise, flew after our goal.

    To Kenya, the country where Simba is walking the ground. The land where you wake up each morning to the unbelievable nature and a giraffe is staring right into your eyes. We set out on a journey into a lesser-known world, where we will wander among the most famous nature reserves where the hosts are also predators.

    But this time, we would like to introduce you to Kenya from a lesser-known angle, where hotels are no less than spectacular with white beaches that are empty of people, huge beach camels, coconuts, and tropics that will not embarrass Seychelles.

    If you are looking for an authentic African experience with unforgettable moments alongside a wide variety of wildlife by your side on the one hand and the other hand, get spoiled and rest in luxury hotels; Kenya is the place for you.

    Aside from being one of the best destinations for a safari, Kenya is, without a doubt, high on my list of favorite countries in the world.

    With savannas, mountains, and an endless landscape that changes at every stop, fascinating tribes with ancient cultures that feel like you are entering a time machine and the world is suddenly a bit foreign to you. And if that’s not enough, strips of beaches that will leave any traveler who has seen a world with an open mouth. Although we arrived with an expectation of an unconventional experience, Kenya managed to surprise and transcend any of our wildest imaginations.

    destinations

    UNIque hotels

    Meet the hotels that will make the whole difference:

    Giraffe Manor

    So even when you get to the busy Nairobi, you can land straight for the experience without having to travel far.

    Does breakfast with a giraffe sound tempting?

    Get to know the hotel where a relationship with a wild animal is not a bad word!

    The hotel building throws you into the 1930s when even then this place served as a residence for those coming for a safari experience.

    The fact that the place has only ten rooms gives an intimate, unique, and quiet experience just about half an hour from Nairobi Airport.

    And let’s talk for a moment about giraffes, Because they cannot be ignored. The giraffes are tamed and loose to roam around the hotel grounds as they please, and they will not even be ashamed to put their head in the window to say hello (and if it’s an option to get some of your food, even better) or join a romantic meal as the third wheel with a long tongue.

     Finch Hatton’s

    Watch our Finch Hatton’s Video 

    So after we had breakfast with giraffes, why won’t we swim with elephants?! Finch Hattons, Without any doubt, was the best experience we had in Kenya.

    The hotel, which is located in Tsavo, the oldest and biggest wild nature reserve in Kenya, keeps on getting more and more yearly awards, for a good reason!

    Masai Mara style Olympic games in the middle of nature, luxury tents that are on the same level as the best hotel rooms in the world, private romantic chef dinner in the middle of the reserve next to a huge tree which is all decorated with magical lights, infinity pools with views straight towards the savannah, and all of those, without any separation between you and mother nature.

    It’s you and the wild animals.

    Elephants may stop for a sip of water at your swimming pool, Giraffes and buffalos may gaze at you between the bushes, and hippos and zebras might cross your trails running, but don’t worry, you’re perfectly safe because after the sun sets, every walk you need or want to take inside the camp, including walks to the restaurants and back, will lead by two guides, who most likely are from the Masai tribe! One will walk in front of you and the other behind you, and they will light the way with their flashlights and teach you how to distinguish the animals you see inside the bushes by their eyes’ color reflection, and by another, less shiny way(their poo).

    7 most unique hotels in Kenya

    Tassia Lodge

    “Somewhere over the rainbow” that’s probably the best way to define this place.

    On the edge of a cliff in the Laikipia region, among huge rocks, that’s exactly where you will find Tassia Lodge.

    The place where it’s just you and nature among millions of stars. It was completely isolated from the outside world, from all the noises or technology. And yes, if you are wondering, there is also no cellular reception… so good luck!

    But the really thrilling thing about the place is that it’s all open. Scary at first, I admit, sleeping between lions and maybe occasionally hearing a nearby roar, knowing that there is no wall to separate you from the trouble. But exactly at this same spot where you feel the most vulnerable, you feel the most protected and secured.

    The whole place feels as if it was painted for a fairy tale. Even the birds are singing to you while you’re having your shower as if you were Cinderella herself. There is no better word to describe this place than…ADVENTURE!

    7 בתי המלון הטובים ביותר בקניה

    House in the Wild

    And last but not least, for now, the magic on the Mara river bank.

    House in the wild is a boutique resort with eight quiet private villas. Each of them is totally different than the other.

    Everything about this place gives you the feeling you’re at home, starting from the staff, to the design and decoration of the place, the amazing food, and call me crazy, but there is real magic in the air!

    In this small place, the experience is endless, whether it is going on a safari or, as it is called in Africa, Game Drive in the famous Masai Mara Reserve where the amount of animals and herds is unavailable.

    The only place in Kenya where you can witness one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world – the crossing of the river from Kenya to Tanzania by hundreds of thousands of Gnu during the migration season. And on the way also see a lion yawning at a touching distance, just waiting for a leopard hiding on the top of a tall tree.

    And of course, if you would like to visit the Masai-Mara tribe, they will be glad to host you with songs, dances and lots of jumping. For me, this was a must-have experience that turned out to be the most powerful experience Kenya gave me.

    Excuse me, but how did I get to Zanzibar?!

    So after going through the hotels, let’s talk about the real surprise of Kenya. Because Toto, I have a feeling we’re not on the Kenyazas anymore.

    When you think of Kenya, do you imagine a tropical dream like no other? Because to be honest, it didn’t pass on my mind even for a slight moment.

    White beach and turquoise waters that change their color with every look you take, a coconut drink, or maybe you would prefer a pineapple?

    We give you the places you don’t want to miss when visiting Kenya:

    Lamu

    The island of Lamu is unlike anything you knew.

    Between the spectacular beaches and the addictive tropics, the island has a history that makes the destination no less than a pure gem!

    With a combination of African, Muslim, Persian, Asian, and European cultures, the fact that there are no roads or vehicles, only narrow and ancient alleys and paths with lots of donkeys, it’s not a surprise that you can have an unforgettable experience unlike any other! Alongside authentic and charming moments that throw you back to the 12th century, The old city Lamu is one of the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlements in East Africa, and therefore it was declared a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE. The unique constructions, the ancient port, and the fascinating culture make Lamu the “African Cuba” that you just must visit before the modern lifestyle arrives there.

    Diani Beach

    The place that was declared time after time “the best beach destination in Africa,” and it’s very obvious why!

    Diani Beach Is all that comes to mind when thinking of a tropical paradise. With white beaches full of coconut trees just like in Zanzibar, only empty of crowds and tourists, turquoise waters that will change their colors at each time of the day because of the tides that will make this place even more beautiful!                           

    Among spoiling and beautiful beach resorts, Camels decorated with bougainvillea flowers that are passing on the beach, lots of monkeys are walking among the people, African music, cruises to the small islands near Diani, and just SILENCE everywhere. This is an outstanding destination for snorkelers and divers and one of Africa’s most famous destinations for water sports.

    Watamu

    A small and charming town only two hours from busy Mombasa. Also packed with quiet and white-sanded beaches, but even less touristic than the other towns.

    On the one hand, Watamu is the “Little Rome of Africa” where you can find the remains of the small Swahili village from the 12th century named Gadi, which was built entirely from rocks and stones. And on the other hand, home to countless sea-preserved sea turtles and heaven for diving and snorkeling.

    Islands tour

    Along the coastline are many pristine islands, and almost everywhere, you can hire a local guide who will take you in a small, local boat to all the most extraordinary and authentic places alongside bouncy dolphins and tropical fish. If You’ll ask for my opinion? do not miss this experience, as it’s wild nature at its finest.

    So if you feel like you have not yet experienced a genuinely tropical destination and want to be Robinson Crusoe for a day and disconnect from everything, this is precisely what you need to do. Only you, the starfish, landscapes that will make you shade a tear of happiness (and well… the guide, you can’t get rid of him :) )

    Press here to read this article in Hebrew language

     

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    Top 4 Pizza and Pasta Restaurants in Rome

    Top 4 Pizza and Pasta Restaurants in Rome

    So, it is not a secret that we are big Italian food lovers.

    Whoever knows us a little bit will testify that we will never give up upon a good pasta (for Maya), an awesome pizza (for Leon) and how can we seal a good meal without a tiramisu or an ice cream?!

    After all that has been said, now you can understand our big love for Italy. Rome has always been our favorite European city for its historical monuments all around and beautiful streets, but now it has a really great addition…. FOOD!

    The problem with touristic cities is that not every restaurant is making real local food. That means that if you ate in a restaurant in Italy, it doesn’t mean you ate real Italian, authentic food.

    We’ve been walking around and asking locals where to eat and came to know that if you would like to eat good pasta, you have to go to a place that only makes pasta and the same for pizza

    Does it mean that restaurants that serve all kinds of food are not as good? Well, I have no idea, but that is what the locals say…

    So, these are our top 4 pizza and pasta restaurants in Rome! Enjoy!

    Best Pizza

    Gino Sorbillo

    : Every place we asked for the best pizza in Rome, the answer was the same…Belonging to one of the oldest pizza-maker families from Naples. We were lucky to enjoy the new branch in Rome and after a long time of searching, we finally discovered our favorite pizza in Rome. We enjoyed it so much that we decided to visit this place as many times as we could in our short visit, and still when we’re looking back on the photos we took from there, we can’t help but fantasize about our next pizza slice at Sorbillo!

    sorbillo pizza rome

    When you’ll get there, don’t forget to order the Margherita Bufala, it’s a whole new league of a MAMA MIA!!!!

    Instagram : @sorbillo (more than 300K followers?!?!?!?!?)

    Address: Piazza Augusto Imperatore, 46, 00186

     La Gatta Mangiona

     To be honest, we didn’t eat there but did get lots of recommendations about this place. So, as far as the other recommendations didn’t fail us, we decided to add this place to our list as well so you could go out there and check it by yourself. This restaurant won lots and lots of awards for being the best pizza in many people’s opinion.

    lagatta mangiona rome

    Instagram: @ lagattamangiona

    Address: Via Federico Ozanam, 30-32, 00152

    A tip we got from one of the best Italian chefs in the middle east: wherever you decide to eat a pizza, you first have to try the very classic Napolitana margarita pizza to test whether the pizzeria is good or not.

    Best pasta

    Two main names we heard when asking about where to try the best pasta we can in Rome.

    Salumeria Roscioli

    The making of pasta always sounds so easy, but you will understand that it is a real art after eating in this restaurant. If you love Pasta, wine, good meat, freshly baked pastry with a combination of skillful chefs and kind service. You will thank us after reading this article. The thing we liked the most about this place, besides the food is that you can buy all the fresh products they use in the shop just next to the restaurant, so you can try to make your own amazing Italian food even at home.

    Ps- do NOT miss the Carbonara. It’s absolutely divine.

    Instagram: @roscioliroma

    Address: Via dei Giubbonari, 21-22 00186

    Luciano Cucina Italiana

    On our last evening in Rome, we decided to try our luck once again with this another local Roman pearl that we heard lots of compliments about from the locals. We were lucky to arrive as early as the doors opened because after that all the tables were booked! The pasta was amazing as we expected and even more, the service was kind and nice and the Tiramisu for the dessert was most definitely the best we tasted in Rome!

    Btw- Luciano has been announced as the king of Carbonara and even got a Michelin star!

    Instagram: @luciano_cucinaitaliana

    Address: Piazza del Teatro di Pompeo, 18, 00186

    luciano cucinaitaliana carbonara

    And to you from us with LOVE, here are a few tips on how to behave like a Roman in a local restaurant:

    • Meet the Sciapo. Well, you all know the dry, not tasty, and not warm bread you get as a fresh meal in most Italian restaurants, right? You’ll be happy to know that it’s for a reason, yeah, I know, shocking!! The simple reason is that the bread is tasteless is for you, so you’ll be able to wipe dry all the sauce from each meal you’ve got and to enjoy every bite to its best. In Rome do NOT leave any leftovers from your sauce, thank you!

    • There’s no salt on tables, try not to offend the chef by asking for one. Ask for a pecorino cheese instead😊

    • Do not ask for a cappuccino at the end of the meal, ask for espresso!

    • Al dente is the key. And no, it is not the name of the chef or some poet guy. This is the way Italians are serving their kinds of pasta. don’t expect it to be soft and overcooked, and trust me it’s perfect and that is exactly what makes all the difference.

    • The waiters are not slow or lazy, and the service is not bad. Yeah, you got it all wrong! When in Rome, do as the Romans. Eat slowly, enjoy every bite. As the Italians say “piano piano”. The food culture here is sacred! It’s a tradition, it’s a way of life. You wait a bit between one dish to another, you chat, you laugh, drink a glass of wine. They intend you to do so, so they don’t rush, as you shouldn’t rush.

    Final Thoughts

    With that being said, we hope that you will enjoy your vacation in Rome as much as we enjoyed it thanks to the great local food and of course the beautiful historical city! Don’t forget to tell us where did you enjoy the most and… Buon appetito.

     

    TOP THINGS TO DO IN CRETE ISLAND BY REGIONS

    TOP THINGS TO DO IN CRETE ISLAND BY REGIONS

    Top Things to do in Crete island by regions

    Some History

    Crete is the biggest island of Greece (8336 square KM), it’s more than 6 times bigger than Rhodes island!

    The island is located on a highly strategic spot crossing Asia, Africa, and Europe. For that reason, there was lots of blood spilled for ruling that land across the years and it changed many hands.

    Between the 13-17 centuries, it was ruled by the Venetians.

    17-19 centuries by the Turks

    And the last ones who took over this island were the Germans who wanted to use the island as a base for air operations in the second world war. This was the only island that was taken completely from the air by paratroopers in 1944.

    4 Regions of Crete and what to do in each of them

    Crete island is divided into 4 regions from West to east:

    Region of Chania

    Its capital is the beautiful city of Chania which we think is the most beautiful and impressive city in Crete. Chania, for many years, was the island’s main capital city until 1972 when Iraklion replaced it.

    7 Top attractions in Chania Region

    1. The beautiful city of Chania

    If you are visiting this area, take our advice and don’t hesitate to spend at least one night in the old town of Chania. This city is the most beautiful in Crete. You can see the mixture between the Venetian and the Ottoman architecture style that makes this place so extraordinary and interesting.

    We could spend days exploring every single small alley and entering every small shop we met on our way.

     

    2.Visit the Kucjk Hassan Mosque

    This building isn’t functioning as a mosque anymore, but it still stands out from the local view. It is a place that hosts lots of art exhibitions that are changing all the time and jewelry designers who are coming from all across the island to sell their handicrafts.

     

     

    3.The leather market

    Back in the days, this was the place where shoemakers had their workshops. Now this place offers lots of small shops selling leather items like bags, sandals, purses, belts, and mostly all the leather-made items you can think of.

    This is the place where we are buying our flip flops while in Crete and our advice for you is always to check the prices in all of the stores if you would like to buy something. Many places have similar items at various prices and of course, if you’ve found anything you like, you can always bargain to take the price down a little bit.

     

    4. Samaria Gorge

    The biggest gorge in Europe and a major tourist attraction. The trail of the gorge begins 1200 meters above sea level and goes down for around 18 km till its meeting point with the Libyan sea. The most famous spot inside the gorge is the “iron gate”- where the sides of the mountains are narrowing to a width of 3 meters. The height of the iron gate is 600 meters (two times the Eiffel tower!)

     

    There are two ways of visiting the gorge:

    The first one would be hiking down the whole 18 Km from the highest spot to the lowest STARTING FROM Xyloskalo trailhead.

    The Second option would be taking a short ferry ride from Chora Sfakion to Agia Rumeli at the bottom of the gorge, and then climb up 3 KM till the iron gate

     

    5. Kissamos (Balos Lagoon)

    A PERFECT lagoon with clear water that changes its colors as the day moves on. This beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world, that every time we are vising it, we can’t believe that these shades of blue exist in nature, it is remarkable and more beautiful in real life than in any edited version you’ll lay your eyes on. Trust us.

     

     two ways are arriving Balos:

     

    1.The easy way is by a cruise from Kissamos port (around 40 minutes driving from Chania).

    2.The second way is by car. This way makes it much harder and not only because of the gravel road near the cliff that you have to drive nearly half an hour until you will arrive at the parking spot but because of the curly way down with lots of steps, and of course, you will have to climb the same way when you are will be leaving.

    BUT in our opinion, it worth it. That is the only way you can see the island and all of its stunning colors from above, as the iconic shot of this place, and while driving you’ll pass some beautiful roads and the view is priceless. (FYI, if you’re lucky enough, you’ll meet some new goats’ friends on the road!)

     

    6.Elafonisi

    located in the south-western corner of the island (around one hour and a half from Chania city), Elafonisi is the name of a small island in the Chania region, and of the stunning beach that lays in front of the island and named after it.

    Elafonisi is absolutely a delight to the eyes and is known as one of the most beautiful beaches that Crete has to offer. The most impressive thing you’ll discover in Elafonissi is the color of its sand, which is pink.

    And the last nice thing to know about it is that when the water is shallow, you can walk from the beach to the island itself!

     

    7.seitan limania beach

    Another amazing beach in the Chania region. Located nearby the Chania airport. A narrow tongue of the sea cutting between the mountains, in the shape of lightning, creating one of the most unique beaches you have ever seen.

     

    Note that there is no settled trail to get down to the beach, you need to be careful on your way down, and remember that for getting your way up, you need to climb, so have that in mind before arriving, so it won’t catch you by surprise.

    PAY ATTENTION- the road to the parking could be dangerous and windy so drive with caution.

    Rethymno region

    Top 4 Attractions in Rethymno region

    1.Rethymno city

    where you can find the biggest Venetian fort in Crete. You will enjoy walking around the old Venetian streets with their unique environment, and the lots and lots of local authentic restaurants and shops.

    2.Fortezza castle

    The biggest Venetian citadel in Crete. Built-in the 16th Its purpose was to protect the locals from attacks of the ottoman empire who were threatening to take over the whole region after they conquered Cyprus.

      You still see many structures standing untouched inside the citadel, although many were destroyed during the second world war by air attacks of the Germans.

      3.Rethymno harbor

      A beautiful Venetian port that was built in the 16th century nearby the time when the castle was built, the harbor made Rethymno become the 3rd most important city in Crete, after Heraklion and Chania.

      It’s a beautiful place for having a lovely trip or to find a nice restaurant with a view of the sea.

      4.Lake kournas

      Lays on the border between Rethymno region and Chania, a beautiful sweet water lake, hidden between mountains (also called “The hidden lake”).

      Its clear water and impressive 3.5 km perimeter make it a well-known attraction for families that are renting a small pedal boat for sailing the lake and taking a dip in the cool water. You can also enjoy the restaurants on the banks of the lake and many souvenir shops all around.

      Heraklion region

      What to do in Heraklion City

      Where lays the capital of Crete island, The Heraklion city. Inside the city, there are two main streets with all the attractions. The first is called “Daedalus “after the famous Greek mythology. It is the main street which is paved for pedestrians and has lots of tourist offices and restaurants all along.  The second main street is “25 of August”  street that begins from the Venetian harbor and the fortress of Koules till the city center, this is a very lively street with various bars, coffee shops and places to eat, and of course lots of shopping for those who need their shopping time.

      Markets in Heraklion 

      Open-air market (Thursday and Saturdays only) 

      Located only 10 minutes away from the city center, here you can find lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, meat, cheese and fish, everything as fresh as can be. Also, you will find all of the olive products like local olive oil, olive soaps, cremes based on olive oil, and many other things.

       

       

      Address: Itanou 11, Iraklion 713 07, Greece

      Opening hours: (Thursday and Saturdays 7 am – 2 pm

      Heraklion central market 

      Located on “1866” street and the parallel 1821 street. This market is open all week, unlike the open-air market which is open only two times a week. This is an old-fashion market where the locals are coming to make their shopping, so it’s always full of people. Here you will find lots of souvenirs, clothes, spices, meat, and cheese along with small tavernas and coffee houses. If you will look closely, you will see remnants of the old Heraklion town between and even as part of these little shops, which makes walking around this market even more magical.

      Address: 1866 street, Iraklion

      Opening hours: 07:00 – 23:00 daily

       

      3 Top attractions in Heraklion Region

      1.Fodele village

      This small village is best known for being the birthplace of El Greco, the famous painter, sculptor, and architect who left Crete and moved to Venice when he was only 26 and became known all over the world. You can visit the El-Greco museum during the summer from 9 am- 7 pm.

      Wishes Tree– in the center of the village stands an old Platanos tree. Some stories tell that if you will surround the tree three times clockwise, your wish will come true. Worth trying right?

       

      Byzantine church You can also find a small Byzantine church from the 11th century with beautiful wall paintings that covers the walls and many remains from the 11th and 12th centuries.

       

      2.Matala village

      best known for the beautiful beach – ” Matala beach” where you will find a cliff with caves from the Neolithic age that you can enter easily. These caves were used as living spaces.

      In the 1960s, these caves were occupied by hippies who were driven out of the military forces later on. You can visit the Matala beach festival that happens once a year since 2011

       

      3.Preveli Beach

      Also known as the “palm beach”. A beautiful beach where the Preveli lake meets the sea. You will find lots of palm trees on the banks of the river which gives this place a tropical look.

      You can enjoy swimming in the river, enjoy the shades of the palm trees on hot days and of course, swim in the sea.

      Lasithi region

      The eastern region of the island with its beautiful capital Agios Nicolas

      7 top attractions in Lasithi Region

      1.Agios Nicolas

      Lays on the “Mirabello” gulf ( Mirabello= Beautiful view). In the center of the city, there is a sweet water lake called “Voulismeni” ( Bottomless) lake. IT’s called that way because back in the days no one knew how deep was that lake ( that now we know that it is approximately 50-meter depth).

      Many tourists are arriving in agios Nicolas via the sea so you can see big tourist ships docking in the harbor. We suggest you taking your time walking around the beautiful streets near the harbor and when you want to rest awhile, climb up to the viewpoint above the lake, there you will have an amazing view of the lake, the Kri-Kri island(rare kind of goats who lives only in this place), Mirabello gulf and Sitia mountains.

      kri kri

       

      2.Lasithi plateau (the windmill valley)

      a valley with hundreds of Venetian windmills, most of which are 600 years old. This valley is spread on a territory of 11 KM and is located on mountains that climb up to 1400 meters elevation (while the valley itself is located in 900 meters elevation).

      Some of the windmills are still operative for agricultural uses like pumping water. This place is considered to have the best agriculture in Crete.

       

      3.Elounda

      With one of the most beautiful roads on the island, Elounda is located on a small Fjord, that begins in Elounda and ends in Plaka and the leper island. Not a long time ago, Elounda was only a small fishing town, but because of its beautiful location, it soon became a highly demanded tourist destination. Here you can find lots of exclusive 5 stars hotels, enjoy amazing local restaurants and swim in the gulf.

       

      4.Plaka

      a small fishing town that lays in front of Spinalonga (The leper island) Here you can take a boat and sail around Spinalonga while hearing many stories about what happened on that island and of course see all the stunning constructions that are still standing on the island since 1903

       

      5.Spinalonga

      Spinalonga (long spine) became famous in Victoria Hislop’s novel “The island”. You can access the island from Plaka by tourist boat and walk around the leper colony and the Venetian fortress on the island.

       

      6.Kritsa

      This little village is only 15 minutes away driving from Agios Nicolas. One of the most beautiful and authentic villages in Crete. It’s located 600 meters above sea level and characterized by white Greek-style houses.

      You can enjoy walking the picturesque little streets, but some local handcrafts and drink coffee in small coffee authentic coffee houses BUT, there are two things that this village is famous for:

       

      Their extra virgin olive oil – The olive oil made in Kritsa won few worldwide awards for having the lowers acidity of 0.2! (most of the olive oils you can find in the markets have 0.8 – 0.5)

      The second thing which makes Kritsa famous is because this was the place where many of the “Zorba The Greek” (Anthony Quinn) movie scenes were taken.

      7.Vai beach

      This beach is the biggest palm forest in Europe! This makes this place very attractive for tourists from all around the world. With an amazing panoramic view, clear water, and lots of palm trees you will enjoy this piece of paradise.

      Final Thoughts

      After many years of visiting this island, it never stops to amaze us. Every time we visit, we find about new amazing places that we never heard of and many new attractions to try.

      Feel free to ask/ consulting us about your never vacation/hotel or whatever you want to know about Crete.

      15 unique reasons you must visit cappadocia

      15 unique reasons you must visit cappadocia

      Top 15 reasons you must visit Cappadocia 

      15 unique reasons you must visit cappadocia

      Cappadocia is a magical region in Turkey, known for its extraordinary landscapes caused by geographical events. With fairytale scenery and the most unique rock formations, when you step in Cappadocia it feels like you landed on a completely different planet, and that the familiar earth has left behind.

      The combination of views, culture, and great food, makes Cappadocia be one of the most fascinating places to visit.

      For us, Cappadocia is a land of options, which you never get enough of.

      So we are gathered here today to collect, especially for you, all the best things you can do while visiting the wonderful Cappadocia.

      Are you ready?

      Flying in a Hot Air Balloon at sunrise time

      Have you ever experienced a flight on a hot air balloon? If not, hurry up and put it way up high on your bucket list!

      On the very first time, we tried it, we never thought it will be this GOOD.

      But this is a lifetime experience. Quickly our bodies were filled up with adrenaline and we were thrilled every second of the ride.

      Floating above the historic caves, and the outstanding views, on sunrise time, while the skies are flawless, besides 100 other balloons, is a fairytale scene you thought only Cinderella can witness!

      Thanks to that the Cappadocia hot air balloons became one of the most common travel bucket list items in the entire world. And if you’ll ask me, this is an experience you can’t pass while visiting Cappadocia. Worth every penny!

      BTW- you can enjoy a Hot Air Balloon flight on every season; it’s an all year round activity, in the condition that the winds are not too strong. In this case, the flight will be canceled the evening before.

      Sleeping in a cave hotel

      One of the most exciting things you can do while visiting Cappadocia. Cappadocia’s landscape is all covered with caves that have an enormous part in the history of the region. While geographical events created its special fairy chimneys, The people, over thousands of years, curved caves inside, that have been used as homes, churches, monasteries, and even shelters during war times.

      So for me, sleeping in such a historical place is such an incredible experience! I was so excited just from the thought.

      Today, almost every hotel in Goreme has cave rooms, and not as you probably imagine, staying in a cave room allows you to experience a troglodyte lifestyle BUT in luxury.

      Running with wild Yilki horses

      Can you imagine the intensity of 300 wild horses running together in the wild? And what if you’ll stand right in the middle of that?

      Meet the Yilki horses, Anatolian horse races that have been living wild in these regions of Turkey for centuries!

      Wandering the foothills of Mount Erciyes, on sunset times, it feels like you’re taking part in a national geographic scene. Witnessing so many horses, running together in their full glory, while standing so close you can be blown away by the wind of their run, combined with the most beautiful time of the day, it’s priceless.

      Today these horses have become a must spot for photographers who come from all across the world for catching a moment of their wild run.

      A nice short fact about these Yilki horses: in wintertime these horses are released into nature by villagers and are gathered together in summer for work.

      Where? Hürmetçi, Kayseri

      Love Valley

      Located just outside of Goreme, Love Valley is one of the biggest pearls Cappadocia has to offer.

      Let’s talk honestly. When you are visiting Love Valley for the first time, the first thing you will notice is the resemblance of the iconic rock formations, to a man’s penis, which is why it got its name “LOVE VALLEY”.

      Like the rest of the region, the unique landscape was all made by nature events. You can wander around on an easy trail, almost empty of people, which will get you directly to Uchisar castle, a wonderful viewpoint for watching the sunset!

      Btw, Love Valley is one of the most famous spots for watching the hot air balloons in the early morning.

      Pigeon Valley

      Our favorite valley of them all. Pigeon Valley is a quite big valley connecting the towns of Uchisar and Goreme. Full of small, cute pigeon houses, that have been carved in stones over the years.

      Did you know that pigeons were used as message carriers, back in time?

      An important fact you need to know before starting your trek: the first time we visited Pigeon Valley, we didn’t check for recommendations, so we started the trail from Goreme.

      We had an amazing time but this was a mistake. Most of the trek we climbed up, and of course, clumsy Maya fell hard! Therefore, we’ll recommend you to start the trek from Uchisar, this way it’s mostly downhill and much easier.

      Pigeon valley has such an interesting surface feature, that every time I visit it, my imagination is going wild.  Along the way, you’ll find ancient paintings, cave dwellings, and let’s not forget pigeons.

      Lover’s Hill, on sunrise and sunset

      The most popular viewpoint of Goreme. This location is mostly famous for watching the sunrise, chasing the perfect hot air balloon shot, and also for watching the sun’s going down on beautiful Cappadocia.

      Lover’s hill is a walk distance from most of Goreme hotels, which makes it even easier to get there quickly, and as you can imagine this place is quite crowded as well. So yes, it will be busy but the views and the photos you’ll get will be so epic, it worth it.

      Eat Pottery Kebab

      Cappadocia’s local specialty, the Pottery Kebab is a must-try dish while visiting this region.

      A ceramic pot filled with meat, mostly lamb/ beef or chicken, mixed with vegetables and spices, and sealed with bread dough that absorbed the dish juices for hours of cooking.

      When ready, the boiling jug is brought out and cracked in front of you, sometimes in a play of burning fire, and sometimes in other versions of effects, the famous ritual, is leaving you with excitement and expectations. And what about the result?  Well, absolutely YUMMY.

      Visit an underground city

      Well, this part has amazed us. Cappadocia is full of ancient underground cities that back in history provided the first inhabitants of Cappadocia, shelter, and protection from a harsh winter or a place to hide and escape from the dominance of the Roman empire.

      The biggest, most known 2 underground cities are Kaymakli and Derinkuyu. So you’re probably asking yourselves which one would be more interesting for the visit, but you can’t go wrong here, both undergrounds are giving the best insights into the historical underground life. The only difference between the two is that Kaymakli is a bit smaller in general, with lower ceilings, but wider.

      We visited Kaymakli, and we found it to be so fascinating and enchanting. We will recommend you to take a guide with you because there is so much to miss. All the stories, history, and details, and to be honest, without a guide it’s like a huge labyrinth and you will just get lost. With a proper guide, you will know exactly what was the use of every room and set the traps for enemies?

      Where did they pray? Where did they set their wineries, storage areas, kitchens, and split the family rooms? And how did they communicate between the floors? How they were able to inform each other of a danger that’s coming?

      It was so interesting to feel a part of such an interesting life, to have the opportunity to walk within the historic tunnels and to imagine every single memory. For us, this is surely a must experience.

        Galerie Ikman the carpet shop

      One Thousand and One Nights. That’s the proper explanation I can give to this gorgeous shop. It feels like you entered an Arabian tale, and all that’s left is just to get lost between the traditional carpets.

      Buy old, historical carpets or pillows at such a reasonable price, take photos from every photogenic corner, or just wander around and enjoy this unique gallery. From the Celling to the floor are all covered with carpets and who knows? Maybe you will even find Aladdin trying to fly them around!

      Goreme Open Air Museum

      This Unesco World Heritage site is a must-visit while staying in Cappadocia. Go on, wander around some very old, historical monasteries and churches (some are from the Byzantine era), fascinating, ancient paintings, and cave houses from the 17’s century!

       

       

       

      FYI- there’s an audio tour that guides you through any stop. We recommend you take some time and listen to the explanations. You will learn a lot about the history of Cappadocia, and you would see a clearer picture while stepping the corners of this interesting place.

       

       

      Pasabag Valley

      Pasabag Valley, also known as the monks’ valley. It earned its name from the many monk refuges that curved into the rock cones. One of them was the known St Simeon who built his home up high in one of the fairy chimneys, isolated from everyone, He got down to the ground only for collecting food and water that was brought to him by his followers. In the valley, you can visit a chapel that was dedicated to the memory of St Simeon, and other monks cave houses.

      Pasabag valley is mostly famous by its glorious fairy chimneys, with mushroom-shaped pillars, and this is certainly one of the most photogenic places Cappadocia is offering. Thanks to that, the monks’ valley is one of the busiest places to visit, always full of crowds and tours, so before arriving, we will recommend you to come at sunrise or sunset time, while this place is not as busy as the rest of the day.

      BTW  have you ever wondered why the fairy chimneys called this way? Well, the early inhabitants of Cappadocia believed that these chimneys are for the fairies who lived under the ground.

      Pottery in Avanos

      If you are an art fan like we are and you’re searching for an activity that includes this love of yours, Avanos is the place.

      Avanos is very famous for its pottery, it’s their specialty, and takes a big part of Cappadocia’s traditions. If you would love to learn how to make ceramic pots, we will recommend you to participate in a pottery workshop in Avanos and to enjoy making crafts with the local artists. 

      Visit Uchisar town

      Uchisar town is the highest point in Cappadocia. On top of the town, you will find the amazing landmark, Uchisar castle which was used as the main point of defense, many years ago.

      Today you won’t find much, only some remains of what it used to be

      You can walk within the hollow rooms connected by stairs and tunnels, but the main reason for you to visit Uchisar castle is the breathtaking view that reviles on its top. With a panoramic view on every valley and every chimney, you can sit there on sunset time, have a glass of Turkish tea, and breathe in all the beauty.

      While you are visiting Uchisar castle, we will recommend you to walk around the town itself. Every alley is magical, you can wander the countless souvenir shops and have a tasty Turkish meal, with a gorgeous view that lays in front of the town.

      Red valley

      One of the best sunset spots Cappadocia has to offer. On a sunset time, the mountain sandstones are rich with colors in endless tones of red, pink, and yellow, and there are not enough beautiful words to describe the sights.

      There’s a wonderful trail, you can even do with an ATV tour that leads you through Meskindir and Rose Valley straight to the sunset point, where you can sit and enjoy the silence and the outstanding views while the sun is saying its farewells until meeting again tomorrow.

      For the braves among us, the Red Valley is also one of the most popular hiking areas in Cappadocia. The hike is diverse and leads through ancient churches and remarkable landmarks.

      Cuddling the cutest puppies

      This one is especially for the dog lovers out there! Everyone loves puppies right? Well maybe except Chandler BingJ and we all know how puppies make every shot to be better! So luckily for you, Cappadocia is full of the cutest, most friendly puppies who would love to spend time with you and take part in your magical journey. To be even more precise, people from all around the world are visiting Cappadocia only because they would like to meet some of its most famous pals! The cute hairy ones, yeah?

      So it became a standard that hotels are bringing new hairy members to the family, so all the guests could enjoy cuteness overload and share beautiful memories(and photos of course) with them. What a cute little addition to the magic of  Cappadocia, right?

      Do you love dogs as we do? check out this crazy husky safari in Lapland

       

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      Final Thoughts

      After writing this article I feel like I should visit Cappadocia once again, as soon as possible. There are endless options, for all kinds of travelers, and there is nothing similar to the experience and feeling of meeting this unique region for the first time.

      If you would like to have an adventure that feels like it was taken from Arabian nights, you should book a flight ticket and travel the fascinating Cappadocia. We can assure you,  you won’t regret it.

      We hope you found this article to be useful and interesting! For any thoughts and questions, please comment below, we would love to help and guide!

       

      We are also suggesting you to take a look at That Cappadocia Vlog 

      Maya & Leon