French Alpes

French countryside looks rather featureless for addicted travelers like me. I spent 4 days in Rhône-AlpesDepartement Haute Savoie, more precisly in Beaumont  just beyond the French border when leaving Geneva. There, I visited several places worth sharing:


DSC08228-150x150That is a small country town on a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains. You can enjoy a walk around it. My recommendation is to hire a row boat for an hour and enjoy the lake side. Avoid midday hours, otherwise you can get sun burn there!

After rowing for an hour, you can go in the old town for a relaxing walk. There are a lot of small cafes and restaurants, but the best thing to eat there is an ice-cream – it will be hard to choose only one ball through the enormous variety. Forget for your diet when you go there.


DSC082361-150x150The best way to get a bird’s eye view of Geneva is to get to the top of the mountain Saleve with the cable car. You have to buy a guide about the routes starting from the final station in advance. There are no good maps at the top station but all routes are marked accordingly. On every milestone you can see the hours to the next one – very useful. You can make a round trip and get back to the teleferique (closing at 6 p.m.).

My recommendation is to spend a day there and to prepare a good plan in advance:

  • start with the cable car;
  • choose your favourite trip – guides contains detailed description of the difficulty of the tracks;
  • calculate the time and add an hour for taking pictures;
  • organize someone to pick you up from one of the small villages around the mountain – I love Beaumont.


– you will love buying homemade bread in any village bakery. You can find fresh baguettes and home made cakes as well.

Market place – ask your host (or anyone local) about the nearest marketplace. You will be surprised by the variety of fruits, vegetables, home-made cheese and bread you can find there. Best season – end of spring / begin of summer time. French cuisine is famous with its quality, however be mindful of the quantity of calories (some dishes are rather creamy).


The best place for swimming is Vitam parc. When you are travelling with kids – that is a perfect place for you to relax and for them to have a lot of fun.

My recommendation for burning the calories (after a bakery visit) is power walking or jogging in the spare time. The roads are quiet and there is enough space for people and cars and you can choose round trip trough the villages. The houses around the road worth seeing and the gardens and flowers will inspire you to start your own!

If you find these tips useful, don’t forget to post a comment!

Mallorca with kids

Traveling with kids could be a lot of fun. However, most parents tend to worry too much, if the destination offers enough entertainment for the children as well.

My last post about Mallorca best places to visit helps you to organize your stay there. Now it’s time to think about best places to visit with kids.

Here’s my survival kit when traveling with kids:

  • (sand) spoon and plastic container;
  • mini travel puzzle;
  • drawing set

My recommendation is to rent a house or apartment and a car when traveling with kids. You can check my article Mallorca travelling tips and tricks.

The best choice is a place with a garden or at least with a big veranda. The children will love to play there and you will have peace of mind without worrying where they are all the time. If you prefer lonely beaches, you can easily prepare sandwiches and light beverage in advance.

Make your daily plan suitable to adults and kids. You can start the day with a sight-seeing. Do not worry whether your kid will enjoy the ride – there are a lot of orange, lemon and olive trees along the road. It will be fun to count them for example (full disclosure – I teach math). We were extra lucky to see a lot of wild goats on the way to Fornalutx.
After the sight-seeing, it’s time for a lunch or coffee break at one of the many beaches. Your kids will enjoy playing with sand and you can read a book or magazine or have a drink.

Final tip: the travel puzzles are useful when you stop in a mountains village and go to a cafe or a restaurant.

Mallorca attractions for kids

Our favorite attraction is the Safari Zoo. Visitors are allowed to enter it with own car. There is a road through it but animals are crossing it often to visit their neighbours. Do not stop in the middle of “monkey” alley. We did it and more than ten curious monkeys jumped on the car.

I was afraid that I could not continue the trip without hurting one of them. They were playing on the roof, knocking on the windows. It was weird but fun! My son was asking ‘Could they open the door?’ There is a small “conventional” zoo at the end of the road. There is a small cafe and a colorful children playground. The Safari zoo is open all year long.

My second recommendation is for the Mallorca Aquarium, especially if your kid loves sharks and octopus. Do not forget to check the opening hours in advance. Unfortunately, I did not visit the rest of water attractions. They are closed in the low season.

Your kids will enjoy the open-air marketplaces such as the one in Soller. You can find freshly made croissants and a variety of fruits. There are children attractions as well. Ask your host about the nearest traveling fair. Go there with a lot of coins. Every attraction is payed for separately and there is no entrance ticket.

My last advise is to print my posts about Mallorca, go there and have fun. Do not forget to post a comment for me, once you are happily back!

Mallorca sights

I assume that you have already organized your Majorca vacation using my previous post. The next step is to select at the six best places to visit (one per day for a week long stay). Of course, here is my list of six recommendations.

The main attractions there are the beaches, cafes, restaurants and small villages. Get a book or magazine, sit  at one of the many water-front cafes – take a drink, eat a salad with fish, a home-made cake and you will find the best definition for relax.

There are several must-to-see places and there are cafes around all of them. You have to be prepared for different types of adventures. Keep in your car  a book or magazine, good hiking shoes and swimming gear. Do not forget the mineral water and your camera!

Cuevas del Drach
If you have already visited a lot of caves in you life, you might think that you can skip this one. You will be wrong. At the very least, spare 10 minutes of your time for the lake concert. The concert is held by an ‘orchestra’ in a boat passing trough a small lake. It is an incredible way to enjoy the magic of classical music.

You can visit the famous monastery where George Sand and Frédéric Chopin spent several months in the period 1838 – 1839. The monastery is turned into a nice museum. Just entering the building will make you go back 160 years, what a great way to time travel!

Portocristo – great cafes – my favorite place for a coffee, book and a magnificent view of the sea!

Plaja Romantica
Visit it on a sunny day when you need a walk in the open with breathtaking sea views. Park your car in front of the beach, leave you flip-flops there and change to good hiking shoes.

I’m not sure how long the round trip takes, I gave up after an hour and did not reach the end. The path is a little bit rocky, with a meter high wall on the sea side – so you can enjoy the views without triggering your fear of heights every step you take.

Calobra is the perfect place if you enjoy driving and windy roads are your passion. I was there out of season, so I’m not sure how busy the road is during the high season. The road is slow and if there is a lot of traffic, it can be quite nerve wracking. On my vacation, I was in the only car there in the company of a lot of bikers.

At the end of the road, there is a big parking area. The last 200 meters of it are pedestrian zone. There is a small harbor there and a nice path to a hidden gulf. The path consists of several small tunnels – you have to see it!

Port de Soller
There is a Historic Train To Soller from Palma but I strongly recommend using only the tram. Do not forget to take the tunnel to Soller.

Yes, the train is historic, but you will have to organize your day around its schedule. I found the tram interesting enough – it runs every 30 minutes and you can always take the next one if you want to stay more at the port and watch the sea and mountains while having a cup of hot chocolate. Visit the souvenirs shops – you can find unique gifts for your friends at a reasonable price.

Alcudia – a nice little port and cafes, perhaps too busy during the high season (it was closed out of season).

Lluc monastery – an old monastery with an ancient sundial and a path with great view to the valley.

Cap de Formentor – Definitely a must-see! A cobbled-stoned alley has some of the most amazing view to the rocks and sea. Strongly recommended to go there with your camera and to capture the beauty of Mallorca’s nature!

– a mountain village with nice restaurants and lots of trees – very pastoral!

Puerto Pollensa – another port for relaxing walks along the sea side

Every guide says that there are two main points of interest there (I agree):

Castell de Bellver – Great place for a walk in the surrounding park and one of the best view points over the Palma harbour.
The Cathedral  – Very majestic! You have to visit it! Plan an hour to walk around it and through the small streets of the ‘old town’.

My inspiration for this post was VirtualTourist article Majorca Island Things to do. Without it, my good plan for Mallorca vacation would have been nearly impossible.

Stay tuned! There will be one more post – Mallorca with kids. If you don’t have kids, either don’t read it or make love (and kids), so you can take advantage of my unique tips.


There are a lot of wonderful islands on the Earth. I’ve visited some of them and now I’m ready to recommend one more – Mallorca.

Summary: 7 days – 1500 km drive – rain, sun, wind, calm sea, big waves – caves, curves, sandy beaches, rocks, wild animals, orange trees, lemon trees – great food and coffee, wonderful views. Are you already curious?

First, check out my album Mallorca round and about. You can find pretty much all the important activities that you can do on the island – you can drive, bike, hike, or just relax.

However, you have to organise your stay there first. Here’s my list of recommendations.

Rent a car

There are a lot of companies offering rental cars at very good price of 6-8 euro a day. Is it too good to be true? Yes and no.

They are offering a car with full tank and expect you to return it empty. They will charge you about 80 euro for the fuel. The included taxes are the airport fee, and very basic insurance. So by booking online, you will only see a price of about 50 euro for a week. When you actually get the car your bill will be about 220 euro (that’s if you want a full insurance, second driver, and baby chair).

The important point is you pay the full tank no matter what. There is no reimbursement if you return the car with non-empty tank.

If you plan to drive a lot (more than a tank) – this is still a good deal, otherwise – check the price of companies offering another fuel policy. We used GoldCar – good price, good cars, good service.
Generally when you go to an island – my advice is – use a local company.

If you do not mind driving, you will enjoy the roads. They are in perfect condition and there’s usually no toll for tunnels, highways, etc. The only exception comes if you want to visit Soller – on the road to Soller there is the only paid tunnel, but it is worth it. The alternative is a very slow road, full of curves, I’ve tried it and do not recommend it. It seams that the road trough the tunnel is only 2km less, but counted in minutes its two times quicker to get you to your goal. The tax for the paid tunnel is about 5 euro.

Where to stay

This decision always depends on your expectation of luxury level of your vacation. There are hotels for every taste in Mallorca. I personally prefer to stay far away for the hotels and crowded areas. If you do not expect room-cleanup on a daily bases and do not mind making your own coffee in the morning, then we have the same vision. You have to choose our Finca on Mallorca – you can see the ex-clients feedback and the schedule for the house.

Here’s what you need to check carefully about your Mallorca villa:

  • Is the quoted price per villa or per person?
  • What is the charge per child?
  • Is there an internet connection? You could need it for fine-tuning of your plans, although there is wifi almost in every cafe.
  • What is included in the price? Do you need to pay extra for amenities such as the electricity (you may use airconditioner);
  • What is the fee for the end-cleaning? Normally, this is not included in the price and is about 60 euro.

Where to eat

Everything is a la carte – you can order a coffee, explain how you want it done and you will get exactly what you want. Do not forget to order fresh home-made cakes and sweets! All of them are delicious.

You should definitely try the fresh fish while you are at Mallorca. I’m vegetarian and have to stick to pasta, tapas, salads and soups. My four year-old son claimed the fish was wonderful.

Spanish cuisine is delicious, so the list of recommended dishes could be very long. Just make sure you still take only one seat on the plane ride home. One of my best memories is cup of coffee with milk, cake and unforgettable view to the mountains and the sea on Port de Soller.

Daily Shopping – if you need a cheep supermarket – Eroski is your place. You can find there everything you need for a week-long vacation, especially, if you have forgotten anything or want to cook in the finca.
Marketplace – the village market takes place on Sunday or Saturday, so check in advance which one it is. You can find there fresh fruits and vegetales, bread, nuts, cheese, even smoked pork. Do not buy fruits and vegetables in the supermarket, so check open markets and vegetable farms.
Water on Mallorca is TERRIBLE. You cannot even wash you teeth with it. Do NOT try to prepare tea or coffee with tap water – use mineral water instead.
How to plan your stay there – you will be surprised by the number of places you have to see there. Stay tuned when I cover a dozen of them in my next post!


Ако някога тръгнеш за Йордания и искаш да се потопиш в атмосферата на страната и да видиш максималното за времето, което имаш при това на разумна цена – ето няколко съвета:

Моят опит е базиран на екскурзия с АлмаТур. Тук споделям впечатленията си, а ти сам прецени дали ще пътуваш с тях:

  1. Отзивчив техен представител можеш да намериш на Skype, e-mail, при необходимост ще ти се обадят по телефона;
  2. Бързо и адекватно обслужване с офиса им – когато отидеш, пакетът ти е готов, за минимално време уреждат всичко;
  3. Консултация и точна информация за хотел. Аз отседнах в хотел Marina Plaza Tala Bay – страхотен хотел, невероятна храна;
  4. Допълнителни екскурзии, учтиво предложени и описани. Заплащат се предварително. Местният екскурзовод беше посредствен, организацията направо липсваше, по никакъв начин не се оправдава предварителното описание. Представителите на фирмата на място също се оказаха неподготвени, много хора се дразнеха на невежеството и непрофесионализма им, което разваля почивката.

Съветът, който давам на приятелите ми, ако използвате тази агенция – НЕ взимайте допълнителни екскурзии. Ето паралел и какви алтернативи има:

Организирана екскурзия, предлагана от АлмаТур:

  1. Голям автобус, чести почивки, свързани с много чакане.
  2. Екскурзовод, който не си е ‘научил урока’.
  3. Петра:
    ~ тягостно дълга разходка по каньона, където забележителностите се свеждаха до оглеждане на всички скални образувания;
    ~ късно стигане до The Treasury;
    ~ реални никакво време за долината;
    ~ стигаш до омайни места, но няма време – трябва да се връщаш, защото си прекарал цялото си време в мотане по каньона ;
    ~ не знаеш какво и откъде да си купиш за спомен, информация, която е редно да получиш от гита.
  4. Мъртво море и река Йордан:
    ~ започва повторно мотане, но няма мърдане – предплатил си, защото МИТ 1 – на място е ’невъзможно’ да се организира такова нещо.
    ~ екскурзията е до Мъртво море, но представителката от българска страна дава всичко от себе си да обясни, че няма нищо особено в това море – просто много солено, МИТ 2 – няма време и смисъл да се мокрите, много е студено…
    ~ мозайки – водят ви в работилница за мозайки, който са красиви и интересни, но много скъпи, а по-евтините много некачествени. Грижата за туриста не е грижа нито на йорданския представител, нито на българския…
  5. И от двете екскурзии се върнах (и това не беше само мое впечатление) изтощена и изнервена. Лоша организация, малко информация, внимание към дреболии, липса на фокус към основните неща, а има толкова много за виждане и научаване.

Направи си сам:

  1. Прочети си всичко предварително в пътеводители и интернет.
  2. Разучи местния транспорт близо до хотела ти. Целта е да знаеш предварително как можеш да стигнеш до близко по-голямо населено място, ако хотелът не се намира в такова.
  3. Около автогарите има таксита – наеми такси, като предварително се уговориш за цената за двете посоки, колко време ще те чака на съответната дестинация и че парите се плащат в края на тура. Пазаренето е задължително – това е част от културата им.
    Цената на таксито за 2ма за един ден до една от по-горните дестинации е по-малко, от екскурзията, която се предлага.
  4. Разговори се с шофьора, хората в Йордания се гордеят със страната си и на драго сърце ще спира да показва красоти по пътя, да разказва каквото знае за миналото и каквото мисли за настоящето.
  5. Помоли шофьора да те упъти какво и откъде е хубаво да се купи за спомен. Всички там са си ‘братовчеди’ – ще те заведе в работилнички и магазинчета, в които ще видиш местен колорит и продавач и купувач ще са доволни накрая.
  6. Не се изкушавай да наемаш кола за тези дестинации – няма да си починеш и видиш толкова и ще ти е по-скъпо. Такситата им са прилични, бързи и напълно те потапят в атмосферата на страната.
  7. Когато стигнеш входа на комплекса Петра – на касата, където се купуват билетите, помоли продавачът да ти препоръча маршрут. Ще ти предложи някой от стандартните, но ако си максималист – попитай го за неговия любим. Тогава ще ти начертае пътче, маркирано с пирамидки, предлагащо спиращи дъха гледки. Трябва да си с удобни спортни обувки, раница на гърба, за да са ти свободни ръцете, да си в добра форма и с много мерак!

Йордания и невероятна страна. Смесица от

  • красиви заливи на Червено море, където ако не можеш да се гмуркаш, задължително трябва да влезеш с лодка и шнорхел и плуваш сред приказни корали и риби. Препоръчвам Japanese Garden coral reef – Tala Bay.
  • пустиня;
  • зелена около разлятата се река Йордан;
  • несравнимо по цвят Мъртво море, в което непременно трябва да се потопите и изплувате, усещането е несравнимо, но не си и помисляй да пиеш :)
  • мозайки, ръчно изработени и украсени чинии, купи, вази.
  • планини.
  • Петра, която е достатъчна причина да се отиде там.