Nicole

Hi, wir sind Nicki & Janosch. Wir nehmen uns eine kleine Auszeit, um für drei Monate mit dem VW Bus durch die schönsten Plätze Europas zu reisen...immer mit dabei: die Kamera, Musik und unsere Surfboards!

Simeon

Simeon, a Frankfurt-born hip-hop artist, has started rapping in his early years at school and for many years, not even his friends and people close to him knew of his skills.

Back then, rapping was a way for Simeon to cope with emotional chaos and today he produces rap-music with a deeper meaning, packed with emotional aspects. His texts are inspired by personal experiences and his perspective of his surrounding and the world – sometimes in a critical way.

Every now and then, Simeon performs on stage and, wow, we are glad to have seen him perform…so powerful. His teammates on stage are DJ Steez and Philip Kressin. Great show…thank you guys!

Simeon – Hip-Hop Artist
Local in Frankfurt, Germany
www.simeonmusik.com
https://soundcloud.com/simeonmusik


TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO? 
→ I’m a Frankfurt born and raised singer of Swiss-Bulgarian heritage. I make German rap music and after releasing a few singles and an EP, I am excited to release my debut album “Alles auf Null” this fall.

WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?
→ Music – of course – but I also love good food and drinks and the company of nice people.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO YOUR PROFESSION? 
→ I actually started by writing lyrics back when I was still in school. It took me a few years to transform my writing into music. I always dreamed of making music but I was very shy about it to begin with. I am also very critical about my work, so it took me quite a while to create music I was comfortable to put out.

DESCRIBE IN THREE WORDS, WHAT MAKES YOUR HOMETOWN SPECIAL
Big but small


Nanna Geller Jewelry

Nanna Geller Portrait

Nanna Geller‘s fine jewelry line playfully combines a vintage feel with a modern look. She designs and handcrafts each of her unique, made to order pieces, in her Frankfurt Atelier.

We visited Nanna for a full day and she gave us a look behind the scenes to her beautiful designs, talked about Frankfurt and gave amazing local insider tips to her hometown.

Check out Nanna’s website and fall in love with her beautiful jewelry: www.nanna-geller.com

 

Nanna Geller – Jewelry Designer
Local in Frankfurt, Germany
www.nanna-geller.com
www.instagram.com/nannagellerjewelry

 


TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO? 
→ I am a German sculptor, goldsmith and stone setter. I design a collection of fine jewelry in which I hand make each piece from start to finish, in my Frankfurt Atelier. My work is very much about shape. The colors often moody hues of each other. Blush-colored diamonds set into rose gold, light grey pearls set onto white gold, bleached silver with white topaz. Have a look… www.nanna-geller.com

WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?
→ I‘m passionate about anything and everything “beautiful”. Vintage, fabrics, blown glass, jewelry, furniture, leather goods, design objects of all kinds and art, of course. Anything unique and handmade. Craftsmanship of any kind fascinates me.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO YOUR PROFESSION? 
→ I knew as a child that this was it. I had to create. I sculpted, I sewed, I painted. My love for rocks and metal , small design objects took me to flea markets every weekend. By the time I was a teenager I was so inspired I couldn’t wait to grow up and study art and design. I‘ve just always wanted to be part of this life.

DESCRIBE IN THREE WORDS, WHAT MAKES YOUR HOMETOWN SPECIAL
Short distances. Big city. Very international.


Biarritz | France

CHARMING OCEAN-RESORT AND SURF HOT-SPOT

→ Whoever thinks Biarritz is a place for old ladies with little dogs is wrong…

…because this elegant seaside resort, that is located on the rough Atlantic Ocean, has been a hot-spot for surfing since the 60’s and offers great surfing conditions all year round. We quickly decide, this is the right place to be.

Having felt ill for a while, we check in at the hotel „La Regina“ to relax and recover for a few days. This beautiful and really impressive hotel in belle-époque style, that was built in 1907, takes you back in time and makes it seem that you are set at the beginning of the last century. The hotel is located a bit outside of the city center, elevated behind a stretch of cliffs and near the city’s lighthouse. Every day we enjoy the incredible view over the bay and watch the waves come in. This is the perfect spot to start the day, either for a walk to town or to the nearby beaches. In the early evenings, we enjoy some drinks at the impressive james-bond-like hotel bar and watch exciting European Cup football games.

Bar @ Sofitel MGallery Biarritz, FranceBar @ Sofitel MGallery Biarritz, France

A walk through Biarritz

We walk along the beach promenade toward the city center – the ocean and waves always in sight. We arrive at the city beach “Grande Plage” where the people of Biarritz and tourists sunbathe, beginners try their luck at the surf schools and locals show their skills in the roaring waves. We enjoy the relaxed atmosphere while catching some sun during a light ocean breeze. We walk through old town of Biarritz past impressive mansions from the turn of the 20th century in typical Basque style architecture with colorful shutters – painted in azure blue, green, dark red. Every now and then we see local surfers walk through the middle of the town dressed in wetsuits and their surfboard under their arms – a big advantage to have a city with a perfect surf beach right in front of your doorstep. Once a fishermen’s village, Biarritz became the summer residence of empress Eugénie in the year 1854 and has since flourished to be a cozy but energetic ocean-resort with its unique French flair.

Grand Plage Biarritz, France

Grande Plage Biarritz, France

It is really worth a visit to the local market hall “Les Halles” in the center of the city. Every morning until early afternoon, a number of stands sell typical French and regional Basque food specialties, but also regional ceramics and clothes can be found. Once done with shopping at the market, we sit at one of the many bars, brasseries and restaurants around the market hall to get a typical Basque lunch and local wine, while observing the scene.

We continue to walk along the beach promenade and pass the small fishermen’s harbor with small local seafood restaurants that serve fresh catches of the day and, of course, oysters from the region. We reach the “Rocher de la Vièrge”, a cliff in the middle of the ocean surrounded by water, and enjoy the stunning panoramic view of Biarritz and the French and nearby Spanish coast. We end our tour at the wind protected beach “Plage du Port View” – also know as “Arena” – and simply enjoy the wonderful view over the beach and ocean.

Our tips in Biarritz:

  • Oyster-Restaurant „La Cabane á Huitre“ – Best restaurant for fresh oysters
  • Café & Brasserie „La Coupole“ – Great fresh oysters, drinks and local meals in the middle of Biarritz
  • Healthy Snack Bar „Beach Garden“ – Near the city beach “Grande Plage”. Try the delicious Gazpacho!
  • Seafood Restaurant „Chez Albert“ – Great seafood in the old fishermen’s harbor of Biarritz
  • Beach Bar „Etxola Bibi“ – On top of an elevation by the beach „Cote des Basques“ with an amazing view over the coast
  • Ceviche Bar & Restaurant „Saline Ceviche Bar“ – Very delicious fresh Ceviche in many variations
  • Organic Supermarket “L’Eau Vive”
  • Surf Shop „Rip Curl Bidart“ – a surf shop that has everything you need and carries a nice selection of pro boards
  • A real insider tip is to watch the sunsets on the cliffs right behind the lighthouse at the north end of Biarritz. Although the path to get there is closed off, the locals just climb over the barriers and so do we…enjoying a “bottle” of local red wine with an incredible sunset in front of us
  • Find our favorite beaches at the bottom of the page…

After a short surf session at the Grande Page, we have a healthy snack at the nearby snack bar “Beach Garden”. They offer fresh salads, sandwiches, bagels and a very delicious Gazpacho. This place is a great alternative if you have missed lunch, as most places don’t really serve good food (apart from French fries) after 14:30 or before 19:00 in the evenings.

Arena Plage Biarritz, France

Arena Plage Biarritz, France

Back to good health and full of energy, we take our VW California to spend a few day on the 5-Star campsite “Le Pavillion Royal” between Biarritz and the town Bidart. We are lucky to get one of the best spots on the site with an amazing view over the coastal landscape and ocean. The campsite is very well maintained, clean and has direct access to a very long beach stretch that is also a top spot for surfing. We spend some days to discover the nearby surf beaches and visit the beautiful little town “Saint-Jean-de-Luz”, where we have some incredible typical Basque seafood food for dinner. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough time to visit the world heritage city San Sebastian in nearby Spain, as we need to move on and head north toward the city Nantes.

On our way north, we stop at the famous and the largest European sand dune “Dune du Pilat”, which measures 118 meters in height and is 2.7km long. We underestimate the hike up the dune, but get rewarded by the stunning panoramic view over the ocean and the bay of Arcachon.  We watch the sailboats cruising along the horizon and the many paragliders that pass through the air only meters away from us – the dunes offer perfect thermic conditions and people from all over Europe come to enjoy hang-time at this awesome place.

→ Check out our next stop:  Nantes | France

Nantes | France

A CITY IN CULTURAL CHANGE

→ Creative, innovative, versatile, dynamic, young, modern…this wonderful city along the Loire-Delta – only 60km from the Atlantic Ocean – surprises in many ways. Actually, the future of Nantes did not look good at all with the fall of the shipyard industry in the 80’s and the consequent regional economic crisis and high unemployment rate. But Nantes managed the cultural change and these days many students, creative people and artists from all over the world call Nantes their home. We actually learn from a local, that Nantes and Bordeaux are the two current cities where young French people want to be.

In the early evening, we arrive at our Hotel “Oceana” in the middle of the city center at “Place Graslin”, where public cars are restricted. We don’t waste time and go straight to discover the city and walk through the lively streets with small restaurants, cafes, boutiques and bars. Very close to the hotel is the shopping mall “Pommeraye-Passage”, an architectural masterpiece from the 19th century, with beautifully decorated galleries over three floors – it counts as one of the nicest shopping malls in Europe, which we can now certainly confirm. Later in the evening we decide to have dinner right around the corner of the hotel at the restaurant “My Resto”; and we can only recommend this place for good fusion food.

Open air art

We start the next day with a typical French breakfast – Croissants, Pain au Chocolate and Coffee – at the traditional brasserie and restaurant “La Cigale”. This elegant art-nouverau-style brasserie from 1895, with beautiful wooden and ceramic art covering the walls and ceilings, is a landmark of the city and a place that everyone should visit. We start to explore Nantes with a visit to the city district “Bouffay” and the imposing city castle “Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne” from the 15th and 18th century. The historic museum gives a good impression of the beginnings of the city all the way until today’s metropolitan city and its uncomfortable past around slavery, the driver of the economic wealth in the 18th century.

The lovely park “Jardin des Plantes” is very close to the castle and is one of the 4 biggest botanic gardens in France. With 10.000 exotic and domestic plants and many little surprises like giggling mushrooms in a bed of flowers or an oversized park bench, make this city park a small gem and a must see for all visitors.

Art installation "Nymphe", Nantes France

Art installation “Nymphe”, Nantes France

A short visit to the former cookie factory LU “Le Lieu Unique”, which today offers plenty of space for the creative, art exhibitions and shows, a book store, bar and restaurant and even an oriental Hammam. My personal highlight: after nightfall, projectors show the image of young woman – “Nymphe” or “Sirene” – on the surface of the water in the adjacent canals…purely ingenious, fascinating and somehow magical.

“Le Grand Éléphant” – The trademark of Nantes

Most of the following day we spend in the city district “Ile de Nantes”, the old harbor and industrial area of Nantes that has developed into a dynamic, cultural and creative center of the city. A number of bars, cafes and exhibition areas have established along the quayside. A large recreational area was created for the young and the old to spend their day and the large old cranes remind of the shipbuilding days. We explore the rather large area with bicycles, which can be rented at automated stations at many places around the whole city. A real highlight is the encounter of a huge mechanical elephant that slowly walks around the area, escorted by an excited audience on its side. Many other mechanical wooden and metal sculptures, that were created with the inspiration of the novels by Jules Verne, can be seen at the museum “Machines de L’Ile” and at the fascinating carousel “Carrousel des Mondes Marins” is certainly worth a visit. People can actually ride or fly on some of the machines including the elephant. I have the pleasure of riding on a giant ant and Jan joins the fun on a huge spider.

After two amazing days in such an inspiring and exciting city, we must continue our journey. But we will return, as we have not nearly had enough of this great place.

→ Check out our next stop: Corsica & Sardinia

Porto & Douro Tal | Portugal

MYSTERIÖSE STADT MIT WELTOFFENEN BEWOHNERN

→ Unser nächster Stopp führt uns nach Porto! Wir haben großes Glück – das Wetter meint es gut mit uns und die Sonne lacht. Das ist in Porto leider nicht immer so. Oft versinkt diese alte Handelsstadt am Rio Douro im dichten Nebel und verleiht ihr einen ganz eigenen märchenhaft-mysteriösen Charme.

Wir checken ein im DesignPalacioFlats – ein erst kürzlich eröffnetes und ziemlich cooles Hotel mit gemütlichen Apartments in einem beeindruckendem Gebäude aus dem 13. Jahrhundert. Nach einer kurzen Verschnaufpause gehen wir unmittelbar auf Erkundungstour, schlendern durch die engen, gewundenen Gassen der Altstadt und bestaunen die dicht aneinander stehenden, uralten schiefen Häuser. Später am Abend treffen wir unsere Freunde Francisco und Nita zum Abendessen im Restaurant 5 Oceanos in der Hafengegend Matosinhos und genießen die wunderbare portugiesische Küche mit frischem Fisch und gutem Wein aus dem Douro Tal.

Auf Entdeckungstour durch Porto

Für den nächsten Tag steht Sightseeing auf dem Programm. Dank der großartigen Tipps unserer Freunde sind wir bestens gewappnet für Porto: wir besteigen den Kirchturm „Torre dos Clerigos“, von dem man eine fantastische Aussicht über ganz Porto hat, überqueren die von Gustav Eiffel entworfene Brücke „Ponte Luis I“, besichtigen die im 12. Jahrhundert erbaute Kathedrale „Sé do Porto“ und bestaunen die zauberhafte Buchhandlung „Livraria Lello & Irmao“, welche zu den schönsten Buchläden Europas und der Welt gehört. Einen kleinen Mittagsnack nehmen wir im „Mercearia Das Flores“, ein kleines portugiesisches Bistro mit leckeren lokalen Bio-Produkten. Für einen Nachmittagskaffee gehen wir in das sehr beeindruckende Kaffeehaus „Cafe Majestic“, welches bereits seit 1921 seine Gäste empfängt. Mit einer Führung und anschließender Portwein-Verköstigung gemeinsam mit unseren portugiesischen Freunden im Sandeman Weinkeller, lassen wir diesen ereignisreichen Tag voller neuer Eindrücke entspannt mit leckerem Portwein ausklingen.

Tag drei unseres Porto-Aufenthaltes lassen wir etwas relaxter angehen. Wir fahren zum örtlichen Stadtstrand und checken die Wellen. Leider nicht gut genug zum Surfen und so bleibt uns Zeit für einen ausgiebigen Strandspaziergang mit anschließendem Mittagessen im gemütlichen Beach Restaurant „Praia da Luz“. Wir genießen das leckere Essen und den unglaublich tollem Blick auf das Meer. Am Nachmittag wird’s wieder richtig spannend, denn ein weiteres EM-Fußballspiel steht an und wir fiebern mit beim letzten Gruppenspiel Portugal – Ungarn beim Public Viewing auf dem „Base Porto“ mitten in der Stadt. Nach einem nervenaufreibenden 3:3 Unentschieden feiern wir das Weiterkommen Portugals bei der Europameisterschaft 2016 und unseren letzten Abend mit unseren Freunden Francisco und Nita im hervorragenden Fischrestaurant „Ode Porto Winehouse“ in der Altstadt.

 São João Fest, Porto

Am nächsten Tag wappnet sich die Stadt bereits für São João, das alljährlich stattfindende Johannesfest von Porto. Wie auch in Lissabon werden an jeder Ecke kleine Stände aufgebaut, an denen Sardinen und Fleisch gegrillt und verkauft wird. In Porto ist es allerdings Tradition, Freunde und Nachbarn mit einer Lauchstange am Kopf zu berühren, was dem Anderem Glück bringen soll. Aus der Lauchstange wurde irgendwann ein Plastikhammer mit Hupe und aus der Tradition ein Riesenspaß. Wir machen natürlich mit und hämmern uns gegenseitig was das Zeug hält Glück zu. In weiser Voraussicht und in guter Erinnerung an unser vergangenes San Antonio-Fest in Lissabon (s. a. unsere Beitrag zu Lissabon) verlassen wir diese wunderbare Stadt Porto am frühen Nachmittag und brechen auf ins Douro-Tal, Richtung Pinhao.

Das Douro-Tal – Heimat des portugiesischen Portweins

Da die Fahrt erst ab Peso da Regua richtig schön wird, wurde uns empfohlen, auf der Autobahn A 4 Richtung Vila Real die Abfahrt Cavalho de Rei zu nehmen und dann weiter auf der Landstraße entlang des Rio Douro, Richtung Pinhao zu fahren. Der Blick lohnt alle mal: satt-grüne Weinberge, unzählige Weingüter und stattliche Quintas liegen entlang unseres Weges und jede weitere Kurve die wir nehmen, bietet einen neuen atemberaubenden Blick auf das Douro-Tal.

Leider ist das uns empfohlene Hotel „Quinta do Vallado“ bereits ausgebucht und wir entscheiden uns spontan bei der „Quinta do Pego“ nach einem freien Zimmer zu fragen. Wir haben tatsächlich Glück! Die Quinta liegt ruhig und malerisch hoch oben auf einem Weinberg, umringt von grünen Weinstöcken und bietet einen atemberaubenden Blick auf das Douro-Tal. Der Empfang mit hauseigenen Portwein ist äußerst herzlich und das Abendessen ziemlich lecker. Wir fühlen uns wie Zuhause und genießen zwei ruhige und beschauliche Tage in diesem kleinen Paradies, bevor wir weiter in Richtung Spanien aufbrechen.

→ CHECK OUT OUR NEXT STOP:  Biarritz | France

→ Check out our next stop: Biarritz

Cascais | Portugal

ELEGANT SEASIDE RESORT WITH MARITIME FLAIR

→ Because it is close to Lisbon, Cascais, that has great beaches and breathtaking cliffs along the shore, is the perfect weekend escape for the people of Lisbon. So we decide to do the same and take a few days to relax by the sea.

After visiting the old town of Cascais, we rent some single-speed beach bikes and ride to Guincho Beach – not so easy with heavy headwinds on the single-speed bike. It is extremely windy on the beach and the waves seem to be huge, but these are apparently best conditions for the local kitesurfers and windsurfers. As it would be impossible to surf, we take a hike through the dunes right behind the beach.

On the next day, we explore the region around Cascais: “Cabo da Roca” – the most western point of Europe – and the impressive “Palacio Nacionla da Pena” in Sintra, which is considered the Castle Neuschwanstein of Portugal.

Highly recommended is a visit to “Casa da Guia Cascais” at the exit of the town toward Guincho Beach. On the quiet premises of this antique villa, you will find a number of small shops, boutiques, bars and restaurants. We have a delicious lunch in a very comfortable atmosphere and great views of the ocean at the restaurant “Grelhas” (the fish soup is just awesome).

We need to move on and, unfortunately, won’t have enough time to see everything such as the famous surf paradise “Ericeira” and the walk to the magnificent beach “Praia da Ursa”. Cascais, we will be back!

→ Check out our next stop: Porto & Douro Valley

→ Check out our next stop: Porto & Douro Valley

Lisbon | Portugal

MELANCHOLY AND PURE ZEST FOR LIFE

→ Finally we reach Lisbon – our favorite city in Europe! We’ve been here many times before, in this wonderful city right on the river Tejo. Every time we visit, we discover new and exciting things – the city has just so much to offer. What we don’t know on the day of arrival, it is Santo-António-Festival. At this annual event, the whole city celebrates the holy António, the patron of the city Lisbon. The streets are covered in colorful garlands, sardines (a national dish) are grilled and sold at nearly every corner and there is party music everywhere you go. Our hotel is in the middle of the traditional old-town Alfama, in the center of Lisbon. When we arrive at the hotel “Santiago de Alfama Boutique Hotel”, the whole city is a big party and there is not even the slightest chance to think of getting any sleep when everyone is celebrating in front of the hotel’s doorstep. Even being totally exhausted from a wedding that we’ve been to the night before, we decide to join the party and walk through the small streets of Alfama – we have the best time dancing, eating Sardines like the locals and just purely celebrating until the morning hours.

What a party, what a night!

The next day, not only we feel it, but the whole city seems to be hung-over. The streets are quiet and the people of Lisbon take it very easy on this lazy day, and so do we. We walk to the “Café a Brasileira”, a wonderful café from the turn of the 19th century in belle époque style and where intellectuals and artists of Lisbon used to meet. A double espresso and a couple of “Pasteis de Natas” (very delicious puff-pastry filled with vanilla and cinnamon pudding that should actually be forbidden for specific reason), we get enough energy to start the rest of the day. We continue walking to the district “Principe Real” that lies on a hilltop with many small boutiques, cafes and restaurants. We have lunch at “A Cevicheria” and enjoy different unique creations of ceviche at a stylish but relaxed atmosphere. For dessert we got some frozen yoghurt at “Frozz” right next door and walk across to the small park “Jardim do Principe Real” to enjoy our dessert on a bench underneath our favorite tree, a large really old cedar.

Gin Lovers Lisbon

Gin Lovers Lisbon

A few steps down the road, we then go to “Embaixada Concept Store”, an impressive antique villa (more like a small palace) with a number of small boutiques with unique and Portuguese products. We meet Fabio, a cool bartender of “Gin Lovers”, a bar and provider of well-selected global gins – this place is already well-known in Portugal, as we find out later in the city Porto. We have a nice conversation with Fabio and speak about Gin, his hometown Lisbon and his favorite hobby, cliff-diving (!). He then invites us to watch the next Portugal game of the European Championship the next evening together with his friends and family.

After a long last night and an extensive tour through Lisbon, we feel exhausted. Our feet are tired, so we take the famous tram number 28, which runs through the most prominent districts of Lisbon, back to our hotel. The white and yellow trams of the city go back decades and represent a landmark of Lisbon, they are still used as daily means of transport by the Lisbon people. In the evening, we take a sundowner and some Portuguese Tapas on the roof terrace of the Hotel “Memmo Alfama” with a stunning view over parts of Lisbon and the Tejo river.

6 weeks “on the road” take effect

Jan needs a haircut! “Facto Hair” is a really stylish hair saloon in the district Bairro Alto and the stylist André gives Jan a cut that fits to his already imposing moustache. We get some tips to take a short ferry-ride across the river Tejo to have some authentic fish-dishes in the city quarter “Cacilhas”.

In the early evening, we go after Fabio’s invitation and watch the Portugal vs. Island game in the small streets of Alfama with his friends and family. The game ends 1:1 and on the way home, we take a final drink at the bar “Ao Pé da Sé” in Alfama – on the men’s toilette, you will feel like Superman (see photo). As with many people in Lisbon, we have a nice conversation with the bartender Duarte – also a surfer, so we arrange to meet for surfing around his hometown Cascais, our next destination.

After exploring Lisbon the next day, we have a drink on the roof terrace of the “Bairro Alto Hotel” – a chilled Gin & Tonic and a view over the roofs of the city while the sun sets in the distance, is just the perfect way to end the day and our stay in Lisbon.

Here some additional tips for restaurants in Lisbon:

  • Manteigaria – Fabrica de Pastéis de Nata: the famous Pastéis de Nata are just the best and are served still warm (!) if you enjoy them in the shop
  • Cervejaria O Zapata: a small authentic restaurant with great Portuguese cuisine, served with fluorescent lights, TV and Portuguese tiles on the wall
  • Jardim da Cerejas: Indian restaurant with tasty vegan dishes – all you can eat lunch menu for unbeatable EUR 7,50 per person
  • Cervejaria Ramiro: great for all seafood lovers – this place serves seafood in the finest quality. You should consider reserving a table if you don’t want to wait in long lines for lunch or dinner
  • Espumantaria: a small selection with fresh Mediterranean dishes. And a small bar at the entrance to have an aperitif or drinks after dinner
  • Time Out Mercado da Ribeira: Old market hall with a large variety of food in all directions and some restaurants to have lunch or dinner
  • Ao Pé da Sé: A small cozy restaurant and bar in Alfama that serves great cocktails – you will find Superman in the men’s toilette

→ Check out our next stop: Cascais

→ Check out our next stop: Cascais

West Algarve | Portugal

SAGRES: SUN, BEACH & SURF

→ We reach Sagres in the South of Portugal. With more than 30 fantastic and scenic beaches in close proximity – almost each one is ideal for surfing – making Sagres a real surfers paradise in Europe. Yet the atmosphere is friendly and quiet. Apart from a number of surf shops, bars, cafés and restaurants, there is not much else than sun, beaches and great waves. It’s all about kicking back and relaxing!

Our daily morning-routine is: Espresso and Pastel de Nata at the café of the “Mareta Beach Boutique Hotel” and wave scouting at Sagres’ best surf spots: Mareta, Tonel and Beliche. Even though Sagres is a small, quiet secluded fishermen’s village on the far southwest part of Europe, you can get great food – especially fresh fish that comes straight from the fisher boats in the harbor of Sagres. Our favorite place for fish is the “Restaurante Zavial” directly on the beautiful beach “Zavial”. The owners and siblings Ivo and Neuza (the mom is the chef) are great boogie boarders and have won several international contests (you can see them on amazing photos on the walls of the restaurant).

Some tips for food around Sagres:

  • Pizza Mobile– small pizza place that also offers gluten free pizza in Salema
  • Three Little Birds – a surfer bar that offers great drinks, burgers, sandwiches & snacks
  • Restaurante O Lourenço – small but fine restaurant that offers a great selection of fresh fish and seafood
  • Chiringuito Last Chance – small café with a terrace and great view over Mareta beach that offers coffee, drinks, tapas and snacks

→ Check out our next stop: Lisbon

→ Check out our next stop: Lisbon

Andalusia | Spain

THE WILD SOUTH OF SPAIN

→ Off to Cabo de Gata! Our local friend Frank – a German Spain emigrant and who has a passion for paragliding – gives us the best tips for the south of Spain and we drive to Agua Amarga, a really small coastal village in the middle of a natural reserve. It is pre-season and the atmosphere is authentic and purely relaxing, as every traveler would wish for: the beautiful beaches are nearly empty, the locals very welcoming and lively. Guests eat on the verandas and terraces of the few restaurants in town, kids play football on the local marketplace and the youth of Aqua Amarga celebrates and dances to Flamenco on the streets in front of bars and pubs. And we?…are in the middle of it all, are amazed by the life that we see and enjoy the seemingly unreal moments. We spend a few days to relax and stay in a small apartment of the hotel “Real Villas Agua Amarga”. We enjoy the sun and the Spanish cuisine and take a number of excursions around the natural reserve of Cabo da Gata – among others, we visit the beaches “Cala los Muertos” and “Cala Enmedio” and we can only highly recommend to drive along the mountain and coastal roads to the the small fishermen’s’ villages “Las Negras” and “Isleta del Moro” in the south.

On our way to our next destination Marbella, we visit our friend Frank and his girlfriend Isabella in Alhaurin El Grande that lies in the mountains and backcountry of Malaga. But before we arrive, we have a tasty lunch – catch of the day, variations of seafood and tapas – in the beach restaurant “La Sardinia” in the beach town La Herradura. Following lunch, we head toward Alhaurin along pretty steep and curvy mountain roads. We pass the beautiful white mountain village Mijas with fantastic views over Malaga, the Mediterranean and Gibraltar in the far south. In the evening, we are welcomed by Frank and Isa in their Finca in the middle of nature on a hill and a great view over the valley just outside of Alhaurin. We have some tee and beer (Jan loves beer) until late into the night and speak about life in Spain, traveling and paragliding.

Ronda

Ronda

Marbella’s charming historic center

The next day we arrive in Marbella and despite the many large hotel complexes built around the city, the old-town is charming. The beach promenade between Puente Romano Beach Club and Marbella Beach Club is definitely worth a visit. We spend some wonderful days in a small AirBnB Apartment in the heart of the really beautiful Marbella old-town. From there we explore the neighborhood and the region such as “Ronda” and “Granada” to see the world famous Alhambra fortress that was built by the Moors.

A couple of nice places for food in Marbella:

  • Restaurant Casa Tua: a small cozy restaurant in the middle of Marbella’s old town with superb Italian cuisine
  • El Estrecho: great traditional tapas bar in the old-town of Marbella, hidden in a small alley, that serves simple traditional but delicious tapas and great local wine
  • Restaurant Paella’s y mas: typical authentic Andalusian kitchen including Paella, seafood and Spanish steaks
  • Rachel´s Organic Eco Love Food at Punta Romano Resort: cute Café that serves healthy food, smoothies and refreshments right at the hotel’s pool
  • Celicioso: comfortable Café and own gluten-free bakery and tasty snacks, salads, smoothies not far from the beach
  • Organic Market & Food: Restaurant & Café with healthy and delicious meals, snacks, smoothies and small items, fruits and vegetables in an integrated organic shop

We leave Marbella with destination Portugal and drive via the most southern point of Spain that lies only miles before Africa (Morocco). The beach “Playa de los Lances Tarifa” is famous for best Kitesurfing conditions – we see hundreds of kitesurfers and are amazed about the pure action in the heavy wind and wild waves. Before heading to Portugal, we spend a couple of days in Conil de la Frontera (Cadiz) and its famous surf beach “El Palmar”.

→ Check out our next stop: West Algarve

→ Check out our next stop: West Algarve

Barcelona | Spain

THE CITY THAT SIMPLY HAS EVERYTHING TO OFFER

→ Art, culture, history, design, architecture, restaurants, bars, clubs… Barcelona has something to offer for any type of visitor.

We arrive in the evening and stay at the boutique hotel “H10 Cubik” – a pretty new and very stylish hotel in central location. The roof terrace with a pool, is the perfect place to relax in quiet atmosphere, as opposed to the vibrant city right outside the hotel – the view over Barcelona is amazing.

The next morning, we walk through the old-town of our favorite district “El Born”. There are numerous boutiques, galleries, cafés, restaurants and bars in the very old and small alleys and streets – a perfect place for a shopping-spree. I meet Sonia, the owner of the small boutique “Conpasion” and I find out that she loves surfing as much as we do. The chemistry between us is perfect and we spend a lot of time speaking about the Spanish way of living, the background of the Catalan independency-move and, of course, surfing.

We meet our local friend David in the evening for a drink and dinner in the city district “Gracia”, which is a bit less touristy with many bars and restaurants – a perfect place to go out in the evening. After a few drinks at the cocktail bar “Dos Rombos”, we have dinner that the restaurant “Taverna El Glop”, where they serve great traditional Catalan cuisine – this is where the locals go.

Sightseeing is mandatory

The next day we do some classic sightseeing including the hotspots “Sagrada Famila” and “Parque Güell”. Unfortunately, groups of tourists and long lines are inevitable, but the stunning buildings and architecture by Gaudi compensate for the exhausting tourist-program. In the evening, we get some real authentic tapas in the tapas bar “El Xampanyet” in El Born. We end the day with a drink on the roof terrace of our hotel.

After some exciting and inspiring days in Barcelona, we need a souvenir as a memory of an amazing time in a great city. Before we continue our travels, we have another walk through El Born and find the small gallery “Generos de Punta”. The artist Gaston Liberto is originally from Argentina, but has been living and working in Barcelona for many years now. His illustrations are inspired by the people and life in Barcelona and we find the perfect souvenir.

→ Check out our next stop: Andalusia

→ Check out our next stop: Andalusia