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Every April, Shaun and I like to have a little holiday to celebrate my birthday. Last year it was Cyprus, this year we picked Sicily. Neither of us have ever been to Italy before, so it seemed like the perfect destination for our next holiday together. We chose well and turned out to be a great week in the sunshine (eating way too much pizza and ice cream) but you gotta enjoy yourself on holiday, right?!

Here are a few snapshots from our adventures in Sicily:

We were staying in bungalows overlooking the sea which was a scenic 30 minute walk to the town of Cefalù. The walk everyday was much needed to burn off all those extra (delicious) calories though.

Cefalù is your traditional Italian town – think balconies, washing, cats, mopeds, galeto and tons and tons of pizzeria restaurants.

If I could describe Sicily in one photograph is would be this cat on a moped.

Everywhere you look there are little ice cream carts and shops with so many delicious flavours. 

This was our first Italian pizza out of a week of many many more. I can now officially say Italian pizza is better than Dominos.

Cefalù is a coastal town so you get to enjoy both the beautiful town and stunning sea views too.

After we spent a day wondering the streets of Cefalù, we decided to go exploring the island and picked the small village of Sant’ Ambrogio to check out.  This place was a short 15-20 minute car journey along the coast and is a bit of a hidden Sicilian gem.

Sant’ Ambrogio is a beautiful village which overlooks the sea. There are only two restaurants and a little shop but we easily spent a few hours wondering around here, enjoying the peace and quiet and stunning views.

The locals in Sant’ Ambrogio are the most friendliest people. We had a bit of an English/Italian communication breakdown with our taxi driver via text so a very kind waiter texted him on our behalf which was extremely helpful.

MORE PIZZA! There is pretty much only three things on the menu in Sicily: pizza, pasta and fish. I certainly ate my fair share of pizza on this trip (I’m now on a pizza detox for a week or so).

The beach town of Capo d’Orlando is about an hour on the train from Cefalù and was were we went for our next day out.  It was one of the most sunniest days of the week, ideal for a leisurely walk along the seafront.

The promenade stretched on for a miles and miles and as we were slightly early for the tourist season, the place was incredibly quiet and relaxing.

Being out of tourist season also meant that practically everywhere was closed. Well, everywhere but the Sweet Bar, so it seemed rude to walk past without popping in for a little tasty treat

Our last day out of the holiday brought us here to Santo Stefano di Camastra. This was a 35 minute train ride from Cefalù, accessible from the station by climbing tons and tons of steps. The climb was worth it though to reach this charming little village in the mountains famous for its pottery.

The place is bursting with colourful ceramics which are displayed outside the shops dotted around the village. Again, this place had such a friendly community (I think my camera and pale skin was a bit of a tourist give away) and we were pointed in the direction of all the pretty sights and architecture.

Shaun and I got a little addicted to the brushetta and ordered it on quite a few occasions.

Overall, I would recommend Sicily if you are looking for a nice break in the Italian sunshine. The weather in April was on average about 20 degrees, so just nice and warm (Shaun didn’t need his 3 bottles of factor 50 after all, but I suppose it’s always good to be prepared he he). I would say Cefalù is a good place to stay as it has reliable public transport to nearby towns and villages and all the shops and restaurants were open already for the season. It’s also super pretty and you can get some real good Instagram pics there, so what more could you possibly need!

Have you ever been to Sicily? Did you enjoy it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments – I’d love to hear from you.

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A couple of weeks ago, for my sister’s birthday, I made her two alpaca pin cushions as she had recently taken up sewing. The other day she surprised me with two gorgeous bags which she had created as one of her projects. She made me a colourful pineapple bag and a cute cat bag (she knows me so well). I gotta say for a newbie stitcher, she is very good indeed. Thank you Vicky! (Go check out The Sewing V on Instagram and give her some loveeee).

As Shaun and I are going on holiday to Italy on Sunday, I thought these bags would be ideal for my in-flight essentials. Also, this will be my last post for a week as I haven’t scheduled anything whilst I am away (I am not that organised, hah). So before I go, I thought I’d share with you what’s in my bag.

Soap & Glory Antibacterial Hand Cleansing Gel (50ml) – I mean any antibacterial hand gel will do, but this one is pink so it went in my basket. It’s always good to carry a little bottle of this around with you when travelling as it leaves your hands feeling fresh, smooth and germ-free. It has a nice fruity smell too.

Soap & Glory Hand Food (50ml) – Another essential for me is hand cream. The air con on planes can leave skin feeling dry, so a little top up of this every now and then keeps your hands soft and hydrated. As you can’t take anything over 100ml on a flight, these 50ml bottles are ideal.

Ted Baker Pink Mini Body Spray (50ml) – This stuff smells gorgeous so I couldn’t resist adding it to my in-flight essentials. It’s a nice light fragrance and perfect for freshening up during a flight or at the airport. You really don’t need much so I imagine this will last a while.

Macmillan Cancer Support Compact Mirror – I saw this at the counter in Boots whilst I was checking out and knew it needed to go in the bag. I can’t seem to find them anywhere online, but you can grab one in store and support the charity.

Ultra Soft Pocket Tissues – These pocket tissues were bargain of the day: I got a pack of 6 for £1. Tissues can come in handy for all kinds of situations and you can’t go wrong with a pretty pack of for 16p.

Vaseline Lip Therapy with Rose and Almond Oil – You may have noticed a bit of a pink theme going on in the in-flight essentials bag and this item is no exception. You can get loadsa different pocket-sized Vaseline flavours though and they are super cheap as well so definitely a handy item.

Pocket Posh Crosswords – The only time I ever do a crossword is when I am in the air.  So when I saw this little book of SEVENTY FIVE I thought yesss, this is a must-have for the flight. If crosswords are not your thing, do not fear – there are pocket books on logic, sudoku, wordsearch and many more!

Pink Polka Dot Pocket Notebook – I picked up this cute little book with pencil from Waitrose. It is always handy to carry around a notebook when travelling to jot down important things to remember like train times, hotel details, emergency contact numbers (in case you lose your phone) and so on.

Here is the cute cat bag which I am going to put passports, Euros, E-tickets and my iPod and then I’m ready to go! I hope you enjoyed checking out my in-flight essentials. What do you have in your bag when you travel? Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links which means I will receive a small commission for each purchase at no extra cost to you.

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I love keeping my holiday memories alive in various travel scrapbooks. Today, I am going to share with you my Gran Canaria scrapbook and the highlights from the very first holiday Shaun and I went on together. At the time we had only known each other about six weeks but we still decided to book a spontaneous sunny break to this beautiful island in the Canaries. Why wait, hey! Thankfully it was a good trip and 18 months on, we are still together.

So whether you are looking for a romantic couples break or just some fun in the sun with family and friends, Holiday Gems have some fantastic offers right now, go visit the website and book that dream getaway.

Gran Canaria has year round sunshine and there is so much to see and do. This holiday had a good mix of days out, boat trips and just chilling on the beach with a glass (or two+) of sangria. We stayed in the resort of Bahia Feliz, which gave us good access to visit different parts of the island by bus and taxi.

Playa del Ingles is a gorgeous part of the island. It is a lively resort with white sandy beaches and miles and miles of sand dunes. We walked along the sand and it felt like we were in the desert. You can even go camel trekking if you want to have that real desert like experience. On our visit, we enjoyed a few games of mini golf and a leisurely stroll around the town. Such a fun day!

For something a little different, we spent another day in Puerto de Mogán. This is such a picturesque, peaceful little fishing village and I remember we ate a very tasty spaghetti bolognese here. It made me laugh when I asked the waiter if he had wi-fi and he replied with a straight face: ‘No, but I have white fish’. This place was stunning and perfect for those photo opportunities. 

Our holiday was in July and the weather was absolutely gorgeous. If you are a spontaneous kinda holiday-goer and you can’t wait until the summer, you can be sure Gran Canaria has sunny weather whenever you arrive. The average temp. in February is 21°C, getting warmer and warmer as the year goes on. Perfect for relaxing on the beach and soaking up some sunshine.

Our most favourite activity was to enjoy a few glasses of sangria on the balcony, playing cards and enjoying the glorious weather. It was such an amazing holiday and always has so many special memories for Shaun and I. We would definitely go back again as it is such an affordable, sunny getaway which isn’t too far to travel from the UK. So I say why wait, go book yourself a week or two on this beautiful island today.  

Have you been to Gran Canaria? Do you enjoy exploring or relaxing on the beach? Let me know in the comments!

*This is a sponsored post which means I received a product/payment in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own. 

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If you are anything like me, as soon as the Christmas tree is packed away I start to think about holidays. January is normally a grey and gloomy month so booking a holiday in the sun seems like the perfect escape and something to really look forward to. In my opinion, Greece is an ideal location – it has sunny months from April – October, the flight from the UK is not too long and there is so much to see and do once you are out there. I’ve been holidaying in Greece for about 7 years now and have visited quite a few stunning islands. Here are the places I visited to inspire you to go plan your next sunny holiday!

Like in my Thailand post, the Polaroid photos in my scrapbook are from Printiki. You can use the voucher code S6THU8R2 to receive free shipping at checkout. Check out Printiki on Instagram and Twitter for more DIY photo project ideas. (Paperchase Travel Notebook / Travel Stickers)

Rhodes

Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands with 43 towns and villages. The popular tourist resorts are Rhodes Town, Faliraki and Lindos. It takes 3 and a half hours to get there from the UK. I visited in July and the temperature was reaching highs of around 31°C (probably why I look a bit pink in the photo!)

Where I stayed: In a little village called Pastida located in at the northern tip of Rhodes in The Garden Hotel.

Things I did: Visited the seaside resort of Faliraki, went to the Rhodes Old Town and saw the Kallithea Springs (an ancient Greek spa with lots of flowers).

Corfu

Corfu (Kerkyra) is the second largest of the Ionian Islands. It takes 3 hours 15 minutes from the UK and even in April it was such a sunny holiday with highs of around 19°C. The popular destinations are Corfu town, Sidari and Acharavi.

Where I stayed: I stayed in the Aiolos Beach Hotel in Perama on the southwest edge of the Aegaleo mountains.

Things I did: I went on an coach trip island tour but not exactly sure what I saw as the guide could not speak English very well. She just pointed out the window and said “lovely views”. We did stop at Achillion which is a palace built in Gastouri which did also have lovely views.

Crete

Crete is the overall largest island in Greece. Along with Rhodes, it is one of the warmest Greek islands. The average daytime temperature in January is 16°C so if you can’t wait for a summer, Crete is perfect for some winter sun. The popular tourist towns are Chania Town, Rethymnon and Heraklion. As it one of the hottest, it is therefore one of the further away with a flight time from the UK of 4 hrs 40 mins.

Where I stayed: I stayed in the Atlantica Sensatori Resort in Analipsi, a small village only 5 minutes from popular tourist city of Hersonissos.

Things I did: Got the bus to the harbour town of Agios Nikolaos, visited Heraklion and went to Santorini for a day trip.

Santorini

Santorini is the classic picture postcard destination of Greece. It’s about 120 miles southeast of Greece’s mainland. Thira is Santorini’s main town and Oia is said to have the best sunsets on the island (and its where all those pretty white houses are located). From Crete it’s 1 hour and 45 minutes on the ferry, if you fly from the UK it is 5 hours and 45 minutes.

Where I stayed: This was just a trip from Crete for the day.

Things I did: You can rent out a quad bike and travel around the whole island in a day. We stopped at both Thira and Oia and it was very beautiful.

Kefalonia

Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece. Popular places are Argostolion, Skala, Lixoui and Fiscardo. It takes about 3 hrs 40 mins from the UK and the temperatures range from 23°C to 26°C in the summer. It is closely situated to the island of Lefkada so you can see two islands on one trip.

Where I stayed: My sister and I stayed in the Olive Garden Apartments in Lassi which was a short hilly walk to Argostoli.

Things I did: We visited the beach town of Skala, went on a boat from to the island of Lefkada, visited the caves in Melissani and tried to spot the rich and famous in Fiscardo.

Kos

Kos is the third largest island of the Dodecanese by area, after Rhodes and Karpathos. It is just 4km from the coast of Bodrum in Turkey. Popular towns and villages are Kos Town, Kardamena and Kefalos. We visited in September and it was still a warm 23°C. The flight time from the UK is 4 hours 15 minutes.

Where I stayed: Shaun and I stayed in The Sunny View hotel which was a short walk from the beach and the lively town of Kardamena.

Things I did: We visited a lovely moutain town called Zia, had a day trip to the nearby island of Nisuros, went to Kos Town and had a boat trip.

Zante

Zakynthos or Zante is the third largest of the Ionian Islands. Popular places to stay are Laganas , Tsilivi and Zakynthos Town. It takes 3 hrs 35 mins to get there from the UK. Again, in Septmber the weather was warm with an average of around 24°C.

Where I stayed: Shaun and I stayed in The Contessa Hotel in Argasi which was 4 Km from the town of Zakyhthos.

Things I did: We went on a boat trip to see the famous Zante Shipwreck, went turtle spotting, visited Zakynthos Town, had a beach day in Tsilivi and Gerakas.

You can read more about the trip here in my Zante Travel Diary.

I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe feel inspired to book a holiday to Greece this year! Which islands are your favourite? We are planning to visit another island in September for Shaun’s birthday so would love to hear your recommendations!

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