Why You Need to Visit Zakynthos, Greece as a Food Lover

Fancying a fresh Greek salad? Cocktails for just €4? Or how about some traditional moussaka? Greece is home to some delicious dishes and fabulous cooks, which makes visiting a Greek island like Zakynthos a must. This post includes all the fabulous places where we ate and drank whilst staying in the town of Argassi in Zakynthos. All the prices were extremely cheap but the quality of the food was impeccable. We also found the service to be very quick no matter where we went. I cannot recommend this area enough if you are a food lover.

Here is the link to my previous post which includes all of the beautiful places we visited on the island during our trip.

1. Zorba’s- The BEST carbonara you will find

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It was the gorgeous blue and white rustic decor that caught our eye with Zorbas. The carbonara here was recommended to us by the waitor here and certainly did not disappoint. So much so that we re-visited before our flight to have it again before we left.

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Their vegetable risotto and calamari was also extremely tasty, all the portion sizes in every restaurant here are very generous!

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The banoffee pie here was also divine…

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Serenity

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Serenity was recommended to us from other guests staying in our hotel, it had a lovely view of the town and a gorgeous bright interior inside. I tried the sea bass with lemon sauce, which came with salad and chips. This was a beautiful meal to try if you enjoy fresh sea food.

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The Yard

We went here on our first night, a great start to our trip. We were given a starter of home-made tsatziki and pitta for free, every Brit loves a freebie. I then had calamari, the vegetable moussaka that my friends had also looked lovely.

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The Green Frog

This was the view out to sea from the front of the restaurant if you want to enjoy your meal with an ocean setting before you.

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We chose to sit in the back garden under these gorgeous flowers. We all had the halloumi platter which was one of my favourite meals of the trip. If you love halloumi cheese liek me then eating fresh Greek halloumi is certainly a treat.

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Stars Taverna

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Here I tried the ‘Village Pizza’ which was a veggie pizza option. Above is a Greek dish named ‘Gyros’ which my friend enjoyed, this is on all of the taverna menus here. It usually consists of pitta, salad, chips and meat.

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This was the beautiful location where we spent our Greek night, which consisted of food, wine, smashing plates, and dancing. I would thoroughly recommend going to a traditional Greek night if you are visiting Greece. We had a Greek salad here for a starter, and kebabs for our main course.

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Red Wine

This was another highlight meal; garlic bread and stewed vegetables in a rich tomato sauce.

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Yria

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This was the first time I  had eaten swordfish, it was delicious!

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Magik

If you love a cheap cocktail then Magik will definitely be the place for you! You can sit outside here, the inside turns in to a small club later on in the evening. They had a huge range of cocktails, the pina colada was definitely our favourite.

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Street Diner Cafe

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More seafood! This was a seafood tagliatelle which included mussels and prawns in a tomato sauce.

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St Nicholas Beach Club

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You can’t go to Greece without having a traditional Greek salad, which seem to always come with a lot of feta!

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Are you a fan of Greek cuisine? I hope this guide was helpful if you are travelling to Zakynthos soon!

Hope you are having a great day where ever you are in the world,

Mol x

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My First Visit to Cornwall, Watergate Bay and Swimming in the Atlantic Ocean

Happy Sunday everyone, recently I was lucky enough to head down South to Cornwall for the first time, an area of the country and the British coastline that I’ve always wanted to explore.

I went with fifteen of my friends who I went to school with, before we all headed back to university. We drove down to Newquay and stayed in a gorgeous Air B&B for three nights. The house had everything from a cinema room and pool table, to a jacuzzi, it was a lovely place to call home for a few days. We stayed on the outskirts of Newquay which was a perfect location, far enough so we weren’t right in the centre, but really close to the beaches. We also managed to go outside of the school holidays so we escaped the height of the summer tourist season.

Watergate Bay

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Watergate Bay was about three miles from where we were staying, so it was only about fifteen minutes away by car.

The sunset on this evening was one of the best I’ve seen in the UK, after swimming in the sea and sitting on the beach, we all got fish and chips from the restaurant by the beach and ate whilst watching the sun set over the bay. Also, if you are an avid surfer then this seemed to be a very popular surfing spot!

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Fistral Beach

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Despite the weather being slightly chilly on our first full day, we still wanted to make the most of our holiday, so with body boards and swimming attire, we headed down to Fistral Beach, about a ten minute drive away from our house. This beach was lovely, a long stretch of sand, dramatic and tall waves, there were also places to eat, buy beach and surf stuff and also parking facilities just up the cliff from the beach.

The ocean wasn’t exactly like swimming in the tropics of the Mediterranean, but it wasn’t as cold as I was expecting! We had a great time frolicking in the sea, luckily we had the jacuzzi at the house which we used to warm up in afterwards!

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We also ventured out on a walk round the coastal path, which you can join at whatever point you want to. We walked for about seven miles, we also found a lovely tea room before we did the route back so we were able to enjoy some fab hot chocolates and scones whilst sat outside.

 

Padstow

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We stopped off in Padstow to break up the long journey, this was the most beautiful little seaside town, all the classic Cornish pasty, ice cream and sweet shops. This was the view from the harbour, we sat for a while here just watching the hustle and bustle of people passing by and the boats drifting through the water. I wish I had taken more pictures but unfortunately I was slightly unwell after the long journey!

I would love to know if you’ve ever visited Cornwall and other places that are great to go in the area!

Thanks for reading, hope you’re having a fab day wherever you are in the world,

Mol x

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A Sunny Day in Edinburgh: What to do as a Tourist

“This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again.” – Alexander McCall Smith

One of the most vibrant and fascinating cities I have visited. I am lucky enough to have several members of my family living in the bustling city of Edinburgh, a place that never seems to tire, no matter how many times you visit.

On this day, it was 30 degrees Celsius! For Scotland this is incredibly hot weather so I decided to have a tourist day out for myself  to make the most of the scorching sunshine.

I have been visiting my family who live in Bruntsfield, which is just a mile from the city centre. After having 7 years on dodgy and damp school buses I’m not usually one to enjoy a bus journey, but the 23 bus route going past the National Portrait Gallery, Greyfriar’s Bobby statue, and past the Royal Mile to the middle of Prince’s Street was surprisingly enjoyable!

If you are visiting Edinburgh, here is what I did to fill a beautifully sunny day, with many of these things being free!

The National Gallery, Prince’s Street

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Entry is free, WOOHOO! (Exhibition events may require payment)

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Opening hours are 10am-5pm and Thursdays until 7pm

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I do not have the best knowledge of artwork or artists, but there are some very well known artist’s work in the gallery such as Monet, Van Gogh and Botticelli among others such as Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt and Vermeer. The gallery is beautifully set out, the deep shades of maroon, forest green and tones of blue provide a striking contrast between the intricate gold frames that the paintings are embedded in.

The information boards around the gallery also make it very easy to learn more about both the paintings and their creators. There is seating inside the gallery, and it caters well for buggy and wheelchair access, there is a lift too. I went at around 11 am and it was not very busy at all, do bear in mind though that it is currently the school holidays in Scotland so it could be busier later in the day.

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The Royal Mile

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After coming out of the National gallery, I walked up the winding steps on the left of the gallery and if you keep walking up the hill (the mound) then you will get to the Royal Mile, the rows of old buildings and Scottish themed shops that leads you from the old town to the top where Edinburgh Castle is majestically stood.

From buskers to street artists, the Royal Mile is all you need to showcase the vibrancy of the city, from buskers, street artists to people selling whisky, and there are always melodies of bagpipes to be heard in the distance!

Despite there being large groups of tourists, and people everywhere it does not feel overcrowded, the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming, people from all over the world enjoying the patriotism and pride of Scotland.

Edinburgh Castle

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As you can see from the photos, Edinburgh Castle towering in the blue skies is a spectacle to behold.

The photo above is the entrance to the Castle (at the top of the Royal Mile), but if you just wish to walk up to here and take a picture then this is free up to this point.

I paid £18.50 for an adult entry ticket which as a student, seemed expensive, however since being in the castle, you are easily able to spend a few hours there and are able to make the experience worth the price.

Also bear in the mind that the queue may take about half an hour or more in case you are planning around a time frame!

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This was the view of Edinburgh from the castle, an incredible photo opportunity on a sunny day like this one

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I was surprised at how much time I was able to spend in the castle and how many things there were to see. The Stone of Destiny and the Scottish crown jewels were. Some of the highlights of  things to see in the castle were St Margaret’s Chapel- the oldest building in Edinburgh, the Scottish crown jewels, the war prisons and the firing of the one o’clock gun is a great tradition to see if you are there at that time!

Discover more about things to do at the castle here!

Prince’s Street Gardens

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Again this is a free attraction, the atmosphere on days like this one was lovely, there were lots of people having picnics and making the most of the sunshine

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If you walk far enough along you are able to see the castle stood proudly in the distance. The gardens are below where the National Gallery is

This was a lovely and relaxing end to a day of walking and sightseeing, a relaxing seat in the park surrounded by the technicolor displays of flowers.

There are so many incredible things to do and see in Edinburgh, and you can fit a lot into just one day as I found out!

Thanks for reading,

Mol

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The End of the Iceland Adventure: Basalt Column Beaches and The Blue Lagoon

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These basalt columns set on the deep black sands were created when flows of lava cooled down and contracted to make these vertical structures, an incredible masterpiece of nature, almost looking like towering blocks of marble with the patterns that have been weathered into the rock.

Our guide explained that ancient Icelandic Folklore has it that these these formations were actually once trolls living in the beach’s caves (shown in second photo above). The myth is that the trolls were turned to stone due to being caught in daylight trying to pull a ship from the sea, and that they are now trapped here for eternity.

The Blue Lagoon

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From the photo above it’s clear why this stunning location is a UNESCO geo-park and was named in 2012 by National Geographic as one of the 25 wonders of the world.

There are few places on earth where you can lie back in naturally warm water, heated by only the ground itself, and take in the panoramic views of the lava fields that surround you. If you are looking to relax in one of the most unique locations in the world then this experience will be truly breath taking.

The pool itself was technically man made, while the lava fields around it were made by nature. The water is technically waste water of the nearby geothermal power plant, and comes from 6,500 feet underground where at this point it is around 24 degrees Celsius. The water of this geo-thermal pool is self-cleansing and this means that it renews every 40 hours. Due to bacteria not being able to thrive in such an environment, the water has no treatments in it such as chlorine, meaning it is 100% natural and great for your skin.

There are pots of the Blue Lagoon’s own clay masks dispersed around the lagoon, make use of this incredible product! My skin looked very dewy and fresh after using it and leaving it on for around 15 minutes, I have normal/oily skin and can be prone to break outs but I experienced no issues from using this product.

The package we chose was the Comfort Package, this gets you entry to the lagoon, a towel, a first drink of your choice and enables you to use the clay mask. None of the packages limit how long you can stay for but premium and spa packages are also available at a higher cost, details of what these include can be found here.

Children up to age 13 get in free! A very child friendly place and the frozen slushies at the swim-up bar are likely to go down a treat if you are bringing kids!

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Things to Know Before You Go

Prebook!

The Blue Lagoon is only a 15 minute drive from Iceland’s airport and is around 45 minutes from the capital of Reykjavik so is a perfect plan for either the end or the very start of your trip. It’s opening hours are usually from around 8am-10pm but keep in mind that pre-booking is required to due it being one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland.

You get given a wristband on entry which the staff connect to your credit or debit card, meaning you do not have to take in a wallet or money if you are planning on visiting the swim-up bar, meaning your wallet or purse can stay securely in the lockers provided in the changing rooms.

Hair and What to Wear

The Blue Lagoon staff recommend that you take any jewellery off if possible, this is because the lagoon is not like a regular pool with chlorinated water, the ingredients in the water such as algae and silica could potentially affect jewellery, especially if it is cheap! However, many of the people I was with on the trip left in earrings and rings they could not remove and had no issues.

Swimwear should not be affected by the water, as long as your rinse it with cold water and soap after use to ensure the silica does not stick to it. Swimwear is however available to rent at reception.

Your hair can be affected by the water, especially by the silica levels which can make hair dry and very hard to manage. Make use of the complementary conditioner, you have to have a shower in your swimwear before you enter the lagoon anyway. I simply smothered my curls in the conditioner and tied it up in a top knot. After washing it thoroughly after leaving the lagoon, my hair experienced no change in the condition.

Bring your Shades

Due to the brightness of the gleaming turquoise water, I would recommend taking sunglasses!

Goodbye Iceland

The Blue Lagoon marks the end of the Iceland Adventure for this time around, but I have no doubt that I will be back at some point in my lifetime. Iceland has the amazing quality of making everywhere feel light and spacious, it was a very calming experience, even when trekking up glacier plains and trudging through snow. Even places that were popular tourist attractions never felt overcrowded. If you are looking for a destination where you can relax, but also be active and experience some truly unique creations of nature then you too will fall in love with Iceland.

Have you checked out the rest of the Iceland Adventure?!

Day One:  Travelling from tarmac to tundra

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Day Two: The Golden Circle and Gullfoss Waterfall

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Day Three: Sólheimajökull and Jökulsárlón Lagoon

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Thanks for reading,

Mol x

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The Iceland Adventure: Day Three, Sólheimajökull and Jökulsárlón Lagoon

Welcome to the third day of the Iceland Adventure! This day was filled with stunning glaciers, lagoons and icebergs…

Sólheimajökull Glacier

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Start of the hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This day was spent on the South West coast of the island and began with a hike up Sólheimajökull, a rapidly melting glacier set on an out-wash plain. It is part of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier and is classed a a ‘glacier tongue’. This is where small parts of ice break off from the main glacier and fall into a lake below.

We walked for a total of four hours, sounding like a marathon now but the exquisite views were more than worth the long hike. We did the trip with a  great activity company which can be found at the Adrenalin website. Our guides were very informative and provided us with equipment such as crampons to make the hike easier, they made a tough walk surprisingly enjoyable! It is not recommended you do the hike here without professional guidance for safety reasons so bear this in mind if you are thinking of visiting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo above was the view from the highest point of the hike, incredible views of the snow covered plains for as far as the eye could see. The vast expanse looks untouched, a truly unique environment.

 

Jökulsárlón Lagoon

This jagged glacier lake is located on the edge of the Vatnajökull National Park, the lagoon has been created to due an increasing climate in the area. The contrast between the black rocks beneath you and the gleaming snow is another incredible sight and photo opportunity in Iceland.

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The black sand that can be seen in these photos of the edge of the lagoon is this colour due to the high concentration of basalt lava, meaning many of the coastal and sandy areas in Iceland have this dramatic colour covering them.

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Boat trips are available across the lagoon for only £12 if you want to mimic being James Bond in the film of Die Another Day as it was filmed here!

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This was one of the views from the beach across the aquamarine and the ice…

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And that marks the end of the third day! Have you checked out the rest of the Iceland Adventure?!

Day One: Travelling from tarmac to tundra

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Day Two: The Golden Circle and Gullfoss Waterfall

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Day Four: The Blue Lagoon!

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Thanks for reading,

Mol x

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The Iceland Adventure: Day One, Travelling from Tarmac to the Tundra

Welcome to the start of the Iceland Adventure series, day one!
Flying over Iceland for the first time was a truly serene experience, the clouds above us
and the snow beneath us collided to create a crisp white landscape, unlike anything I have experienced. Even from this high altitude it was evident that Iceland was a peaceful and calming place to be.

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The airline our group flew with; WOW airlines, provided a very comfortable three hour flight with no hold ups on either end, all in all a very easy and stress
free flight!
Booking flights around 6 months in advance can currently range from around £142- £211. This is from Gatwick to Keflavik airport (which is the only airport in Iceland). If you are someone who likes to book flights spontaneously, booking flights that are a week away from when you are booking them, can often range between around £600-£800 so it is definitely advised to book well in advance!
The airport is around a 45 minute drive away from the capital of Reykjavik, the express bus to the city is likely to be the cheapest method of transport but there is not a great deal of difference between this and a taxi. Due to being part of an organised group of students, we travelled by coach.
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View from Reykjavik waterfront
We stayed in Hotel Cabin in Reykjavik for this first night of our adventure. The rooms were clean and comfortable but very small! We did not require a large room so this was not an issue for us, but if space is a feature you are after and you are staying for more than one night then you may want to consider this. However, for a one night stay at around £100 it was just perfect for us students who needed a basic room for just one night.
The hotel was a five minute walk from the water front which had a stunning view out onto the icy cliffs, there were benches to use if you fancy sitting and taking in the sea air, there were also some lovely sculptures placed along the coastline which looked incredible against the backdrop of the still sea and snow covered rocks.
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Sculpture on Reykjavik waterfront

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Thank you very much for reading, have you read my other posts in this series?! This was mainly a day of travelling so the next posts are even more exciting, find them here!

Day Two: The Golden Circle and Gollfoss Waterfall

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Day Three: Sólheimajökull and Jökulsárlón Lagoon

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Day Four: The Blue Lagoon!

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Thanks for reading,

Mol x