Many people go to Greece to visit ancient temples and look at historic landmarks. Some people, however, go to Greece to enjoy the sand and surf.
If you are a beach lover and are planning to visit Greece with a partner or with family, you might be looking for hotels close enough to the beach so you can maximize your time by the water.
Want to stay by the beach in Greece and spend more time near the water? Here are 4 beautiful beach hotels in Greece you might be interested in.
Delfinia Hotel, Corfu
Delfinia Hotel is a hotel on Corfu Island that rests amidst the lush wonders of nature just north of the Moraïtika resort’s commercial end.
Its style is an elegant rendition of Meditteranean architecture, with three wings surrounded by an assortment of trees that frame the way down towards the hotel’s private and well-catered end of the beach.
The hotel has 185 rooms including many family-oriented suites. Further encouraging families to come over, the hotel provides a fully dedicated children’s play area, along with fitness facilities, a restaurant and a bar for adults only.
Lindos Blu Hotel, Rhodes
Lindos Blu has an “adults only” policy, making it a great vacation spot for couples who can manage to get away from their children for a little while.
Situated 30 miles from Rhodes Town, this picturesque resort sits on the hills overlooking Vlýha Bay. Its interior is minimally designed, with a monochromatic blue outlay that is calming to the eyes.
All of its 74 rooms and suites come with balcony views of the bay that go as far as Haráki. The hotel has a fully equipped spa and fitness centre and offers regular free yoga classes for its guests.
Adorno Beach Hotel & Suites, Mykonos
Adorno beach is only 1.5 miles from the Old Town of Mykonos, making its namesake hotel an excellent choice of residence for those who want to get as much beach action as possible while in Mykonos and still be close to the many awesome sights and activities in town.
The hotel keeps things traditional, from its architecture to its breakfasts, and each every room is gorgeous, they either have a view of the private pool or one of the sea.
Adorno is welcoming to single guest as well as couples and families, and they encourage intending visitors to make reservations at adornosuites.com.
Skiathos Princess, Skiathos
The Skiathos Princess is among the most impressive beach hotels on the island and is located 5 miles from the Old Town of Skiathos, nestled by the beach of Agia Paraskevi Bay.
Beyond the grand marble lobby, the rest of the hotel gives off a relaxed vibe that gives its guest permission to get comfortable. The hotel has two swimming pools, which are framed by an expansive lawn which in turn leads down to the beach.
Also, a great hotel to take children, there is a kid’s club and play area. Adults are not left out as there is a small gym, and there are two yogalates classes offered daily.
These are only four of the hundreds of beach hotels that beautiful Greece has to offer. If you are planning a trip to Skiathos, Mykonos, Corfu or Rhodes, consider visiting one of the hotels on this list.
It’s no secret: as humans, we love to travel and explore the world around us. And why wouldn’t we? It’s a big world out there!
To prove it, the numbers really do the talking – for example, in 2017 the total contribution travel and tourism made to the global economy was 8.27 trillion US dollars.
Travel is an exciting and enriching experience, and there are many ways to enjoy it – whether that’s with a whole host of friends, a couple of you, or even going it alone.
Solo travel is becoming increasingly more popular, and there are some valid life lessons it teaches you along the way.
In this solo travel guide, we list 5 important lessons that solo travel teaches you. Learn solo travel tips and get solo travel inspiration for your next trip.
First and foremost, solo travel really does open those doors and broaden those horizons, making you a lot more adventurous than you ever thought possible. You really do surprise yourself, trust us!
Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is one of the best things you can do, and those with a thirst for adventure will thrive on the thrill it gives you to go out there and just embrace all you can.
Skydiving in New Zealand? Sure!
Hiking up a mountain in South America? Sign us up!
Boost your confidence
Travelling alone means you have to be a lot more open to meeting new people and, in turn, this helps to boost your confidence.
Being by yourself, trying new things, and having to speak to new people each and every day really pushes you out of your comfort zone – you’ll be surprised at what you can do when you really put your mind to it!
Above all, doing anything alone teaches you how to be independent.
For those who have never lived alone, or pretty much relied on others up until this point in their lives, travelling solo provides a big reality check – and a good one at that.
Getting on a plane, bus or boat and not knowing what the next day will bring is one of the most exciting things in the world.
To make this possible, you need to embrace that independent lifestyle. This can also teach you not be too self-obsessed, either, and not to sweat the small stuff too much.
Life’s too short, after all!
When travelling the world alone, you’ll be able to do exactly what you want without being held back by others.
When in a group, your options are often limited by what everyone else wants to do. When you’re alone, however, the world is your oyster: it’s entirely up to you what the next day will bring.
This will enable you to soak up those new cultures at your own pace. You can learn the local language, speak to the locals and visit all the historical sites to your heart’s content.
You’ll come back a new person, armed with new knowledge and experience to transform other areas of your life in the future.
Plus, what better way to impress everyone on your return than with all the stories of the new places you’ve visited, and new experiences you’ve had?
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many, so you don’t want to waste it.
Trust your instincts
Yes, it’s clichéd but true! Travelling alone is a huge learning curve and it’ll teach you to trust your instincts.
Staying in hostels alone, taking a night bus with no one else there, or boarding a plane solo; they all mean you have only yourself to rely on.
You’ll often find that your instincts are right the majority of the time, and it is even more important to trust them when you’re by yourself.
Always listen to your gut instinct, but don’t forget that solo travel can teach you to trust other people, too.
If you’re open and approachable (whilst still remaining vigilant, of course) you’ll be sure to make many new friends, and you’ll also find lots of people willing to help you out – not only locals but often other tourists, too.
Travelling when pregnant can be an interesting learning curve, especially when it’s your first baby. If you’re asking, “Is it safe to travel during pregnancy?” the answer is yes, as long as you take a few precautions and plan for it.
Travel for pregnant ladies can be easy enough and shouldn’t impact your holiday too much, but there are also a few important rules to keep in mind if you travel during pregnancy.
Pre-plan for pregnancy travel
Pre-planning any holiday is a sensible thing to do, but pre-planning for pregnancy travel is absolutely necessary.
Depending on your travel destination, you’ll need to look into vaccinations. Most which use live vaccines or bacteria is not recommended in pregnancy (for obvious reasons), but always make sure to check with your GP prior to booking.
It’s also worth checking for any recent disease outbreaks at your chosen destination before entering those credit card details on the booking site, just in case, and you’ll also need to consider travel and medical insurance options.
Choose a suitable destination
When deciding on a destination, you’ll want to consider things such as, how much will you be moving around and what the day-to-day itinerary entails.
Is it a beach holiday, where you can be glued to the sun lounger from dawn until dusk, or is it a city break, where there’ll be lots of sightseeing and things to do?
Fresh air and gentle exercise are great for wellness in both mind and body during pregnancy, but you don’t want to overdo it, after all.
Most people on a babymoon enjoy a full-on relaxation mode destination. Taking time to just relax for a week or so in the sunshine with a mocktail in hand can be just what you need for some serious R&R prior to the birth.
On the other hand, if city sights are more your thing, that can be just as relaxing for some.
Select the right trimester
Can pregnant women fly? Well, when it comes to trimesters, the third is the only one where it’s not always recommended to fly, mainly after 37 weeks.
If you’re considering air travel during pregnancy, you should know that many airlines will ask for a letter from a medical professional after 28 weeks, confirming you’re not at any risk before flying.
Any time before then is usually considered perfectly safe for flying when pregnant. The only thing you need to focus on is your comfort throughout travelling and the flight itself.
It’s worth pointing out the further on in your pregnancy, the more tired you’re likely to feel; another factor in deciding which trimester to travel within.
If you’re reclining on a Caribbean beach, it’s probably not a problem, but if you’re going to be up and about it might have an impact on your activities.
Food and drink
One of the best things about travelling is being able to sample all the delicious local food and drink, and this shouldn’t have to change during pregnancy. You just need to remember to be cautious when it comes to particular foods.
Firstly, avoid tap water, and opt for bottled water instead. It’s worth avoiding ice, too, depending on the country. Or you can buy and add your own ice if you know it has come from a bottle.
Raw foods are a no-no and don’t risk any foods which could be served undercooked, seafood and sushi for example.
It’ll also help you from feeling too tired in the heat. And, above all, remember to keep eating fresh, healthy food, and enjoy yourself above everything else!
Holidays are for relaxing and taking time out from hectic everyday life, but that’s not to say you can’t stay active with some gentle exercise at the same time. And when abroad, there are so many options for keeping in shape.
Obviously the most popular will be swimming (bonus if you have a beautiful beach at your hotel doorstep).
Alternatively, you can choose from jogging, cycling, prenatal yoga, or simply just wandering around exploring your destination.
Remember it’s also fine to feel tired during the day, especially if you’ve been partaking in some light exercise.
Your partner will completely understand if you need to take time out and just rest for an hour or so before dinner.
If you come here at the beginning of August, you can enjoy the festival and car show dedicated to the most famous highway on the planet.
Come to visit the ‘heart’ of the Ozarks Mountains and feel the unique mix of amenities typical for a big city and warm hospitality of charming, small town.
If you’re trying to figure out what to see in Springfield Mo, here’s what you should visit first in this Springfield Mo visitors guide.
Things To Do In Springfield Mo
Want to know what to do in Springfield Mo and which places to see in Springfield Mo? Here’s a list of 6 fascinating Springfield Mo attractions that first-time visitors can’t miss.
The Fantastic Caverns, Springfield Missouri
Do you know that Fantastic Caverns, an otherworldly attraction located 10 miles (16 km) northwest of Springfield, are the only caves in the whole North America which you can entirely ride through?
The caves in Springfield Missouri were made in ancient times when a river carved a path you can travel down nowadays.
Since John Knox discovered this place in 1862, while was walking around with his hunting dog, it has become a favoured destination for numerous explorers and even the music venue in the 50s.
Just take a seat in one of the Jeep-drawn trams and enjoy a spectacular 55-minute tour of the caves.
Admire stalagmites rising from the floor and stalactites hanging from the ceiling at the constant temperature of 60 F (15.5 C). Keep in mind that the cave is closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Thanksgiving Day.
The Pythian Castle
If you’re interested in Springfield Mo history, you must visit the Pythian Castle, a 0.9-acres (0.36 ha) large fortress that is considered the home of Missouri.
As the “Ghosts of the Pythian Castle” episode by the Paranormal Task Force in Springfield, Missouri, notes, this monstrous limestone castle has stood tall for the last 100 years.
Knights of Pythias (an international fraternal order) built this place in 1913, having a plan to make an orphanage and retirement home for the members of their families.
In 1942 it was commandeered by the US military and was a prison. Within these walls lie a theatre, a ballroom, a bowling alley, a dungeon and even an interrogation room used for Nazi prisoners and other enemy soldiers during WWII that many are probably unaware of.
It was renamed the “Enlisted Men’s Service Club” and later became a hospital for recovering injured war veterans. It served as a general hospital to help rehabilitate injured America troops during World War II.
This recognizable ominous building takes place on two lists, on the US National Register of Historic Places and an unofficial list of haunted castles.
Nowadays, it is a private property where you can come to catch a feel of ghost-tour, dungeon-tour, creepy murder-mystery-tour, and historical-tour as well.
They also organize private and holiday events, theatre performances, and weddings. Grab the opportunity and enjoy this unique venue no matter if you believe in ghosts or not.
The Springfield Art Museum
The Springfield Art Museum is the oldest cultural institution in this town.
It was founded in 1926 when a few women decided that their beloved town deserves such a place. They wanted to educate new generations and to teach and inspire citizens to appreciate art.
Some of my favourites are the Art of American water media, but you can also admire the Art of the Midwest and European pottery, for example. Moreover, this inspiring place often hosts travelling and rotating exhibitions.
When you visit this museum, you’ll even get a bonus in the form of the fascinating Outdoor Dr Seuss Memorial Sculpture Garden that is definitely worth exploring.
Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield was the site of the famous battle fought on August 10, 1861. It was the first major American Civil War engagement west of the Mississippi River.
During that battle, the Union general Nathaniel Lyon was killed, as the first high officer who lost his life in the Civil War. The video below shows Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, which preserves the site of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek.
Nowadays, we can visit this National Park and show respect for our ancestors who lost their lives on this particular battlefield. Don’t miss going to the Ray House, the only original house which remained after the battle.
Mother’s Brewing Company
If you want to taste probably the best craft beers in the US, come to the locally-owned brewery in Springfield. Mother’s Brewing Company has been brewing beer in the heart of the city since 2011.
Just go downtown to South Grant and try my favourite Three Blind Mice as well as some seasonal beers like Spring Batch or Oktoberfest.
If you like antiques, as I do, I highly recommend you to visit Relics Antique Mall which offers vintage collectables and antiques on impressive two acres (90 000 ft2 or 8360 m2).
When you get hungry, stop in the old tearoom and enjoy their made cuisine and an excellent cup of coffee or tea.
Where To Stay In Springfield Mo
If you’re looking for cheap Springfield Mo lodging, there’s no dearth of motels in Springfield Mo. And if you want luxury hotels in Springfield Mo, you’ll find plenty of options.
From a Motel 6, to a Holiday Inn, and 5-star hotels in Springfield Mo, like the DoubleTree by Hilton Springfield, you’ll find a number of motels and hotels in Springfield Mo for all budgets on Booking.com.
Useful Tips For International Travelers To Springfield, Mo
If you one of the international travellers from a country under the Visa Waiver Program who decided to visit the US for tourism in Springfield Mo, you don’t need a visa for visitors anymore.
Just fill the ESTA application established by the US government on January 12, 2009, and you will get a right to spend 90 days in this beautiful country no matter of the reason for visiting.
Check for the valid, digital chipped passport and credit card, add the correct contact information, and submit the ESTA form.
Keep in mind that you will be adequately pre-screened and the US authorities reserve the right to require additional specific security features if needed.
After passing all the necessary procedures, you can board a plane or a boat and begin your exciting American adventure.
I hope this Springfield Mo travel guide will help you enjoy your Springfield Missouri sightseeing tour to the fullest during your Springfield Mo vacation.
After travelling for two days from Detroit, MI, the last thing we wanted to do once we landed, was to spend another 2.5 hours getting to the resort.
Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica has an airport shuttle and arranged for the airport transfer to the resort, however, we waited outside the airport with our driver for at least an hour for the rest of our party.
Once they finally arrived, we had an hour and a half drive, over some pretty treacherous roads, until we finally arrived at our destination.
Arrival at the Dreams Las Mareas Hotel
Once we arrived at Dreams Las Mareas, we were greeted with chilled champagne and cold towels. A bellboy took our bags while we checked in at the desk. Once this process was complete, we were able to begin our vacation!
We were shown to our room and were immediately drawn to the balcony. Our balcony had a stunning view of the resort property and the jungle-covered mountains in the distance.
The balcony also had a large jetted tub that we enjoyed in the evenings as adorable little geckos appeared on the exterior walls and ceiling. The rooms themselves were pretty basic, although tasteful.
Resort Setting and Activities
I am not familiar with much of Costa Rica’s terrain, however, if the long treacherous drive from the airport was necessary for us to stay in that magical setting, then it was all worth it.
The Dreams Las Mareas resort is located on a small beach, with jungle-covered mountains on either side. The beach is public, however, it was never crowded.
I actually enjoyed the public nature of the beach because we were able to chat with locals and buy souvenirs and enjoy services for a fraction we would have paid on the resort property.
One afternoon my husband and I enjoyed hour-long full body massages on the beach. Two Costa Rican women (I wish I remembered their names) had massage tables set up on the beach in the shade of trees just a short walk down the sand from the resort area.
I have had many massages in my day, and this was by far one of the best massages I have ever had. The Dreams Las Mareas staff make the most of this magical setting by offering yoga every morning on the beach and offering a guided wildlife tour circling the area around the property.
Each morning I walked to the beach, where the sand was still damp and cool from the night tide. An instructor provided us all with mats and instructed us through hour-long yoga sessions, during which we synchronized our breath to the sounds of the ocean waves.
Some very well cared for and friendly beach dogs sat on the sand and watched us sweetly throughout the yoga class. This was such a magical way to begin each day!
One afternoon I also went on the guided wildlife tour led by Dreams Las Mareas staff. This was a fun way to socialize with other vacationers and learn the names of various tropical plants.
When you adopt a dog, it becomes an essential part of the family.
So naturally, when you’re planning any road trip, you don’t want to leave behind your canine friend. After all, they are the most loyal and greatest human companions.
However, road trips can be exhausting, and when you have a pet to look after, you have to do some extra planning and preparation to ensure you have all the things you need when travelling with your dog.
Taking care of some essential guidelines will ensure that you enjoy a stress-free and relaxing journey. Here are 14 tips for things you need to keep in mind when travelling with your dog by car.
1. Safety comes first
When travelling with your dogs, it’s imperative to create dedicated space in the car for them. Not only will it ensure a safe trip but it will also make your pet more comfortable and easy.
For this purpose, you can use a crate or carrier, a pet car seat or a pet seat belt in the car. Also, the carrier should be large enough so that the Dog can move around freely in it.
2. Go for a test drive
Before you embark on the journey, take your dog on a test drive. See how the pet responds to the trip. If the dog gets car sick or anxious, then you have to plan accordingly.
3. Keep the dog engaged
Even dogs can get bored and exhausted on long road trips. To make the journey comfortable for your dog, bring along something for the dog’s entertainment.
You can carry chew toys and fun treats to keep them engaged and occupied.
4. Feed the pets early
Feed your pets at least three to four hours before departure, as it can prevent any car sickness or other problems for your pet.
Moreover, the meals should be light so that the dog doesn’t feel heavy or nauseous in a moving car.
5. Never leave the pet alone
Leaving a pet alone in a parked vehicle is a huge mistake and neglectful to boot. Vehicles can become super-heated in no time during hot days.
Your pet can develop heat stroke and die. The temperature inside a car on hot days is much higher than the outside so take extra care and never leave your pet in the car.
6. Take regular breaks
Regular breaks are not only essential for your own rest but also for the pet. Short breaks and stops will allow the dog to stretch, relax and play and also become familiar with the surroundings.
7. Don’t let pets stick their heads out
When travelling with your dog in the car, never let the dogs stick their heads out of the windows. It can lead to injuries from flying objects. Plus, high-speed winds can cause harm to their eyes and ears.
There have also been incidents of pets flying out moving cars. Keeping the dog restrained is also crucial for your safety as an unrestrained dog can distract you easily while driving.
8. Make a pet-friendly travel kit
Wondering what to bring when travelling with your dog? Create a pet travel kit and carry all the essential items in it such as:
• Pet food
• First aid kit
• Food and water bowls
• Vaccination record
• Waste bags
• Dog bed and blankets
9. ID tags and microchips
Consider getting your dog microchipped before going on a road trip. The chip contains all the identification information of the pets in case they go missing.
Similarly, collar tags with the latest and updated information about the dog should be there.
10. Hydration is important
During long trips, your pet can become exhausted and dehydrated quickly therefore always keep a good supply of water at hand.
11. Vaccination Records and Documents
If you are travelling between states, it’s necessary to carry all of your dog’s vaccination records.
Other than vaccination records, there are some documents that you might need to take to be on the safe side such as pet licenses and proof of ownership.
Some states require a pet’s license, so it’s advisable to carry one.
12. Take your dog for a check-up
Before travelling, it’s essential to take your dog for a checkup with the vet.
The check-up is necessary to ensure that the vaccinations are up-to-date, the dog is generally in a good health condition, the prescriptions are new, and the dog is free of any flea or tick infections.
13. Plan for any emergency
While travelling, there’s always a chance for emergencies. Keep yourself well-informed about the route and the area you are travelling to.
Be aware of the closest vet clinics and keep their contact numbers in your phone.
14. Use Apps
There are some useful apps that assist you while you travel with a dog. BringFido is an app that lets you find dog-friendly accommodations, parks, and other destinations.
Another cool app is the Dog Park Finder which searches for nearby pet-friendly parks based on your location.
Proper planning is vital whenever you are travelling somewhere, and it becomes all the more important when you have a pet accompanying you.
So, never be complacent when travelling with your dog for the first time and enjoy safely travel with your dog.
Dubai is a home to the world’s tallest buildings, biggest man-made islands, and largest shopping malls.
But there’s another addition to this list of superlatives – IMG Worlds of Adventure – the world’s largest indoor theme park. It took around three years and over 1 billion dollars to construct this park.
The park is huge and it measures about 1.5 million square feet in size. It can accommodate over 20,000 guests in one day and includes many roller coaster rides and special attractions to fascinate visitors.
It is located in the City of Arabia, alongside Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road, and sports a slogan that says, ‘Live the epic adventure.’ It was opened in 2016 and since then it has offered great experiences for visitors all year round.
Theme park rules:
Every visitor to the IMG Worlds of Adventure Dubai needs to follow certain rules. These include:
Once tickets are pre-booked, there are no refunds
You must show a valid ticket to enter the park
All kids below 12 years should be accompanied by an adult
A valid proof is required for re-entry into the park on the same day
Tickets with no date mentioned are invalid
Every visitor needs to go through a security check. Some of the items not allowed are weapons, illegal drugs, glass bottles, explosives, alcoholic beverages, skateboards and more.
There are plenty of adventure zones in the amusement park. The four major ones include:
If you’re a fan of Marvel superheroes such as The Hulk, The Avengers, Spider-Man, you’ll love this zone. This is the action-packed area of the park with some amazing rides.
They include Avengers Battle of Ultron, Hulk Epsilon Base 3D, Thor Thunder Spin, and Avengers Flight of the Quinjets. There are dining options and restaurants here too.
This is a fantasy world dedicated to the dinosaurs. There are magnificent rides and special attractions for the people who wish to explore the Lost World.
Some of the rides include Forbidden Territory, The Velociraptor, Dino Carousel, Predator, and Adventure Fortress. Here also, you’ll find some restaurants.
If your kid is a Cartoon Network fan, they’ll love this zone. Some excellent rides include Ben 10 5D Hero Time, The Amazing Ride of Gumball, Lazy Town and more. There are also shopping sites, hangouts, and eating joints here.
This is a combination of thrill and leisure. The attractions include a haunted hotel, popcorn factory, flavours of Arabia, samosa house, and the coffee house.
Movies at IMG Worlds of Adventure
NOVO Cinemas is a 12-screen multiplex in the IMG Worlds of Adventure amusement park located at just a distance of 15 minutes from the Dubai central.
This movie zone offers a 7-star experience to visitors with 3D IMAX technology. If you’re a serious movie buff, you’ll probably never want to leave.
It has state-of-the-art-technology to give audiences a real-life experience and includes some dining and shopping too. Overall, it is an amazing experience to watch movies here.
Dining at the world’s largest indoor theme park
Besides the adventures at this park, there is no dearth of dining options. Every zone of the park has restaurants with different themes and offering unique cuisines.
Some of the places you can enjoy food include:
Hotdog Express: Obviously for hot dog lovers.
Captain Scoop: For ice-cream lovers, yo.
Downtown Shawarma: Love shawarma like Iron Man. Get yours here.
Smoothy: The yummiest burgers!
The Candy Palace: Get your sweet tooth on.
Spice Valley: For tandoor and roasted meat lovers.
360 Burgers: More burgers and hotdogs
I challenge you to not pick up some memorabilia from this fun place on your way out. You’ll be spoiled for choice with all the merchandise available.
A few places for some retail therapy are:
Empire News and Comics: Comic book lovers can buy comics and souvenirs here.
Avengers Exchange: Get all the toys you like from The Avengers Warehouse
Cartoon network classics: Small toys of your favourite cartoon characters
There are many more shopping zones like the ones mentioned above.
Why You Should Visit IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai
If you’re in Dubai, you cannot miss this extraordinary theme park. It could end up being a fun outing for your family where you can spend quality time and create some great memories. After all, it’s not called the world’s largest theme park for nothing.
How To Travel To Dubai?
There are a lot of flights available at Cleartrip that connect to Dubai from different countries. All you need to do is choose the best airline for your trip to Dubai.
Dubai offers a lavish experience to visitors so don’t pass up the opportunity to spend a vacation here. Try to book your flight ticket in advance to get the lowest price.
The Grand Sirenis is a luxury resort in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula that I loved so much that I have actually been there on three different holidays!
Yes, it is fair to say that I am a regular. But it isn’t just the resort that I love so much, but the area as well.
I truly think that if you want to take a luxury vacation to Mexico, then you should consider checking out the Yucatan especially the area between Playa del Carmen and Tulum!
And, if you are going to this area then the Grand Sirenis is an option for a great place to stay!
Where is the Grand Sirenis Located?
The Grand Sirenis is located about halfway between Playa del Carmen and Tulum in the beautiful Mayan Riviera. The closest international airport is in Cancun which is about a 3-hour drive away.
While it isn’t necessarily close to the airport, the remoteness is what makes the location so special. The resort is right on the beach offering lots of swimming and snorkelling in the Caribbean Sea.
It takes about 30 minutes by car to get into the touristic booming city of Playa del Carmen or the smaller but equally as beautiful town of Tulum.
What is there to do near the Grand Sirenis?
Because of the Grand Sirenis’ location in the Mayan Riviera, a there is a ton of things to do and see near the resort! One of my personal Mexico highlights would be exploring Cenotes which are large natural pools in the ground.
Some are intricate cave systems and some connect with rivers, but they are all fun to swim and scuba dive in and make for an adventure!
There are also many amusement/adventure parks nearby. Xel-Ha, Xcaret, and Rio Secreto are just a few of the most popular. I personally loved exploring Xel-Ha.
I went tubing in a natural river and conquered the water-based obstacle course. Xel-Ha even hosts special events throughout the year to celebrate certain Mexican holidays and festivals such as Day of the Dead.
There are also many different ruins to check out near the Grand Sirenis. You could go see one of the wonders of the world Chichen Itza on a day trip organized right at the resort, or explore the Tulum Ruins, or even go to the Coba Ruins.
A tour of ruins is a great way to learn about the Mayan history and immerse yourself in the culture.
Going to different beaches or visiting Playa del Carmen or Tulum are also popular things to do near the Grand Sirenis.
What makes the Grand Sirenis special?
There are a couple things about the Grand Sirenis that I think sets it apart from some of the other resorts in the area.
For me, the best is the snorkelling available right at the resort. Many resorts only have a sandy beach and there are no rocks or fish to look at.
But at the Grand Sirenis, they have a sandy beach and rocky area which attracts tons of fish! Bring your snorkel or rent one and go exploring in the sea!
The other thing that is unique to the Grand Sirenis is the “Lazy River.” While there are several pools throughout the resort, the lazy river is a special feature. It is a man-made river system that winds throughout the entire resort grounds.
The supply air-filled tubes and then you jump in the river and float around the resort with a drink in hand! It makes for a very relaxing way to explore the resort and is more entertaining than just sitting poolside.
The atmosphere at this resort is also very special. There is a mix of families, couples, wedding parties, and partiers that all mix together and seems to work.
The staff keep everyone smiling with games and the bartenders love to have a good laugh. But at the same time, there are plenty of places isolated for those who want to relax or have a fine-dining experience.
What are the food and service like?
To be completely honest, I have been to resorts with better food. One of the Grand Sirenis’ strong points is not its food. They do have “a la carte” restaurants which I find are a lot better than the buffet.
While the food isn’t always amazing, there is always a ton of it and you will not find yourself going hungry during your stay there!
The staff are generally happy and helpful. Some of them don’t speak English but still will greet you with a smile and find another staff member who does speak English to help you if needed.
The biggest downside to the resort is the paper-based reservation system which makes checking in extremely slow and often incorrect.
Is the Grand Sirenis good value?
Overall I think a vacation at the Grand Sirenis is the great value. With the rooms, you get all you can eat food, a la carte restaurants for dinner, unlimited drinks and access to the beautiful resort!
While it isn’t perfect, it is for the great value that I keep returning. I know that if I need a vacation and an escape from reality that the Grand Sirenis resort will leave me feeling refreshed after a fun and relaxing holiday.
It only takes one Instagram story on a trip to Reykjavik before you permanently ink this destination onto your bucket list.
The scenery is beyond amazing, and a trip to Iceland is bound to make you feel like you’ve stepped onto the stairway to heaven.
But there are a few things you should know before that dream trip to Iceland becomes a reality.
Iceland isn’t for the faint of budget
The first thing you’ll notice when you get to Iceland is that nothing is cheap. Prices on this island can range from costly to exorbitant. Expect to pay $20 for one meal at a fast food joint and about $7 for a gallon of gas.
Airport transportation can be particularly expensive, so if at all possible, avoid taxis. Keflavik Airport has a very efficient shuttle service that leaves from outside the main terminal every half hour. It makes stops at all the major hotels in Reykjavik and the BSI bus terminal at the city’s centre.
The ride costs about USD $25, but a taxi would run you around USD $100. The drive from the airport to the city centre is around 45 minutes, so a $25 shuttle fee isn’t that bad. As a bonus, they have complimentary Wi-Fi on board.
This is not something to scare you off from visiting, but you should be prepared and budget for the extra cost. Expect just about everything to be more expensive in Iceland.
There are alternatives to the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa located in a lava field near Grindavik on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Is it amazing? Yes, but it’s also expensive and can get overcrowded.
If you have your heart set on going, just expect to deal with crowds. If you’re open to alternatives, though, you may enjoy the nearby Kópavogslaug in Kópavogur.
Don’t bank your trip on the Northern Lights
Unless you’re visiting Iceland in the winter, you probably won’t see the Northern Lights. A lot of people mistakenly think they can see this spectacular phenomenon any time of year, but that’s simply not the case.
But on the other hand, if you’re visiting at a time when the Northern Lights are visible, you won’t be able to miss them.
In order to see the Northern Lights, you need darkness. And because Iceland sits at a high latitude, you won’t find the necessary darkness in the months between April and August.
The lights typically reach their peak in September and March because these are periods of the equinox. If you’re visiting in the winter and want to catch a glimpse of Aurora Borealis, your best chance is between 9:30 p.m. and 1:00 a.m.
Rent a car
Renting a car is the best way to see all the beauty Iceland has to offer, so you should definitely plan for this. But you should know that Iceland is filled with rugged terrain and weather that’s often punishing.
Most of the roads in Iceland are unpaved, pothole littered and completely jagged. They’re absolutely beautiful to the eye, but they are very rough on your vehicle.
All this is to say that you need to get all the insurance coverage the rental company offers. They’ll ask about the type of driving you’ll do, and you can bet you’ll be off-roading and driving up mountains.
If nothing else, the extra insurance will give you peace of mind as your car is jostled around on Iceland’s primitive roads. You definitely don’t want to be stuck footing the bill for repairs on a new vehicle.
You’ll also need to keep in mind that Iceland’s Ring Road runs about 1,332 kilometres. Bringing the necessary equipment such as a map, a reliable GPS, an extra tank of gas, a flashlight, and snacks are all essentials to help you prepare for the unknown road on your trip around Iceland by car!
The weather changes dramatically
They say if you don’t like the weather in Florida, wait a few minutes and it’ll change. Well, Iceland’s weather can be even more unpredictable and dramatic.
Always dress in layers and always expect rain. Weather changes can be even more dramatic in the mountains, and there’s also more of a chance you’ll encounter ice. Make sure your rental car is equipped with spikes on its tires to get you through these touchy conditions.
Low-grade hurricanes are also very common in Iceland, especially in the winter months. These can have a quick and drastic impact on driving conditions. In a winter hurricane, you may encounter what Icelanders call the “white wall.”
As the name implies, it’s a wall of white snow that takes visibility down to zero. Take the weather conditions seriously and follow vedur.is or road.is to get driving condition alerts as they happen.
If you have Iceland on your bucket list, you’re in for a big adventure. The sights are amazing, and the experience is completely unforgettable.
But just like with any vacation, you should do your homework before embarking on your trip. This way, you can be prepared for the worst and in a good place to experience the best.
Family travel blog on responsible, sustainable tourism.