Folegandros – Cyclades – Greece

In our permanent search of unspoilt places, we decided mid August to discover further the Cycladic islands, which we already visited a couple of times the past years. In such a popular destination as the Greek islands, one could say this is an illusion. Or a lost battle. 


The very good news is that it’s NOT ! You can still find very well preserved places. Authentic villages. And local people still living like centuries ago.

The first one we would like to share with you is the very small island of Folegandros. Various options to reach the unique harbor called Karavostasis :
  1. You fly to athens and then take a boat from Piraeus port. ( Count on a minimum of 4 hours by speedboat and the double with regular ). You can check timelines and book tickets here.
  2. You fly to Santorini ( direct flights from most European capitals ) and then take a fast boat from there ( 1 hour cruise with seajet )
In terms of lodging, you can wether stay at the port or at the main town called Chora up in the hill. We did stay at the port in a boutique hotel called Anemi for which a dedicated post will follow. 
Pool at Anemi hotel – Folegandros
Another 2 great lodging options we did visit and recommend are located in Chora ( old white washed village overlooking the Aegan and a great spot to admire sunset ) :
Wether you stay at the port or in Chora, you’ll be just 10mn away by scooter to reach the beautiful beach of Agkali. From there you have a few trails to reach some other small ones. Or you can take small boats leaving every other hour dropping you along the south Coast should you look for empty spots.
Agkali beach – Folegandros
In agkali beach you have several options for lunch or dinner. We tested one and quality was very average. We would recommend you to drive 10mn to the little village of Anomeria and stop by the 3rd “Taverna” when on the main road. We just can’t remember the name of this family owned restaurant. But it’s damn easy to find. We’ve had lunch there a couple of times. They exclusively serve products from the island. All is fresh and delicious. Count on approximately 15€ per head wine included.
Greek salad with local cheese from Folegandros
Folegandros, just like most of the other cycladic islands, has got churches at almost every corners ! They are all extremely well preserved and maintained. They absorb and captivate. We particularly recommend you to walk up from Chora to the top of the hill church. An hour before sunset. Just feel the peaceful atmosphere, breathe and dream !
White washed trail – Church up from Chora – Folegandros
Mi Amor
Magic sunset – View to Chora and Aegan – Folegandros
I hope this island will bring you the peace of mind and happiness we felt. Or at least a parenthesis of it in the everyday life we are all up to. Next stop is Sifnos. So stay tuned and keep on sending your comments or sharing your own experiences.
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Thank you Greece !

We are just back from Greece where we spent 3 weeks visiting 4 islands : Santorini, Folegandros, Milos and Sifnos. This explaining why we kept silent on our blog for some time.

We had possibly our best holidays there. We could not have expected anything better : authentic places and people, excellent food, great small hotels and B&B’s, fantastic weather, unspoilt nature, amazing sunsets, and all quite cheap.

Before to share more, here are a couple of pictures so that you can have a taste of Greece. Of our Greece.

Enjoy and stay tuned.

Benoît and Carolina.

Sifnos – Inlands
Sunset from our terrace – Nefeli studios – Milos
Full moon – Chora –  Folegandros
Octopus drying – Folegandros 
Pasta alla langosta – Amoudi restaurant Santorini

"Bedandbruges" lovely B&B in the charming Bruges

We’re just back from a long weekend in Bruges, Belgium. The best way to reach this UNESCO protected town is with no doubt by train. From Paris it took us around 2H30 mn and you can easily book your tickets on SNCB network. I will not here detail how beautiful and charming bruges is. You will find that on so many other blogs or websites. But it is indeed very true and a stop there when visiting Europe is a must.
You will find dozens of boutique hotels, luxury ones or bead & breakfast. We did stay at Bedandbruges , a lovely B&B ran by Louise and Francis Hardy. Should you go there, stay in “La tour” which is a medieval tower completely restored in 2009. You will enjoy the entire place for you ( 2 people ) at a bargain of 95 € per night breakfast included. The owners do also offer to swap their personal home and that could be an option for large families and a week stay.
“La tour” at Bedandbruges
Peaceful Bruges
This B&B is situated slightly off the touristic heart of the city and you will need a 10mn walk to join the most visited monuments. Which for us was a plus as we could stay out of the crowd. Another possibility is to rent a bike at around 10€/day as this is the perfect way to discover the city and its surroundings. We would even suggest you to bike along the canal from Bruges to Damme ( 7km away, a lovely medieval village ) and then to Sluis ( Holland, 18km from bruges ). You will need around 3H back and forth. We’d suggest to stop for lunch at Damme which offer various excellent options. We personally ate at “Restaurant ZuidKant” whom the chef has been working quite some time with the famous Thierry Marx chef in Cordeillan-bages.
“ZuidKant” restaurant terrace
Langoustines marinées, crème d’avocat et fines herbes
Cappuccino et ravioli de Homard, parmesan et huile de basilic
One of the best and most creative cuisine we’ve experienced lately. By far above most of the 1 or 2 star michelin restaurants we were lucky to taste in France those past years. Count on 50€/person with 1 glass of wine. Another option when in Damme is to eat at “De Bonheur” which has been indicated to us by several locals. The next day we went to have lunch at the Refter which is ran by the son of the nextdoor 3 star michelin “De Karmeliet”. Should you have the choice, eat in the patio. We ate twice there for around 40€/person. Excellent products in general, succulent fish. I personally recommend the fish soup which beats easily many of the ones i could taste in sunny southern France.
La carte, Refter Bistro
Soupe de poisson et sa rouille
Velouté d’asperges, crème de brocolis
The kitchen , Refter Bistro
We also had excellent dinner at Rock Fort ( likely to be rated soon 1 star michelin ). Really amazing quality and very good and affordable wine list. But quite disappointed by the atmosphere ( we were at the bar, not in the main dining area ) and more problematic by the time we had to wait between each plate ( around 30mn ).
All in all we spent a wonderful time and discovered new flavors and tastes, met passionate and friendly people. Without a doubt, the belgian gastronomy is about to play a major role and taking over its French neighbour ( if not already the case ).
Some other places where to SLEEP : B&B Côté canal and B&B number 11
Enjoy bruges !

Lagacio Mountain Resort – San cassiano in Badia

What a trip ! After a couple of days spent in Verona ( a post on that city will soon follow ), we headed 200 km North to the Dolomites region. In san cassiano in badia to be precise. The first excellent surprise was the hotel we picked up called Lagacio Mountain resort, recently opened in December 2009. They indeed do not offer rooms as a typical hotel but apartments. The smallest being 42sqm. We opted for the 47sqm one. Room 602 exactly. 

Bar at Lagacio
View from room 602 terrace
Their website is perfectly designed and really does reflect accurately the spirit and the architecture of the place. What i can add after 6 days spent there is that the staff is extremely well prepared and very friendly. Always with an “anything is possible” approach. The apartments do mix modernity and Alpine standards perfectly. The breakfast is amazing, serving exclusively products from the BIO farms around. The spa and massages ( from Evelyne ) are also of very high standard and affordable ( 65€ an hour ). Within the resort you will find a top end bike shop and rental, which turns into ski/snowboard from November onwards. This is very convenient and quite cheap actually. We’ve paid 23€ for the entire day for an excellent mountain bike + safety equipment.
1 hour walk up in the mountain from San Cassiano
Lagacio is situated at the very heart of the beautiful village of San Cassiano. And is a great base for hiking, cycling or riding your car or bike. However you will decide to move yourself, you will be amazed by the majesty of the Alta Badia and Dolomites region. All in all a place and destination that we cannot recommend enough to escape the brutality of our world sometimes.
Just breath the fresh air and relax. 

Bruges, the city of tastes !

We’re just back from a long weekend in Bruges, Belgium. The best way to reach this UNESCO protected town is with no doubt by train. From Paris it took us around 2H30 mn and you can easily book your tickets on SNCB network. I will not here detail how beautiful and charming bruges is. You will find that on so many other blogs or websites. But it is indeed very true and a stop there when visiting Europe is a must.

You will find dozens of boutique hotels, luxury ones or bead & breakfast. We did stay at Bedandbruges , a lovely B&B ran by Louise and Francis Hardy. Should you go there, stay in “La tour” which is a medieval tower completely restored in 2009. You will enjoy the entire place for you ( 2 people ) at a bargain of 95 € per night breakfast included. The owners do also offer to swap their personal home and that could be an option for large families and a week stay.

"La tour" at Bedandbruges

Peaceful Bruges

This B&B is situated slightly off the touristic heart of the city and you will need a 10mn walk to join the most visited monuments. Which for us was a plus as we could stay out of the crowd. Another possibility is to rent a bike at around 10€/day as this is the perfect way to discover the city and its surroundings. We would even suggest you to bike along the canal from Bruges to Damme ( 7km away, a lovely medieval village ) and then to Sluis ( Holland, 18km from bruges ). You will need around 3H back and forth. We’d suggest to stop for lunch at Damme which offer various excellent options. We personally ate at “Restaurant ZuidKant” whom the chef has been working quite some time with the famous Thierry Marx chef in Cordeillan-bages.


ZuidKant terrace
Langoustines marinées, crème d'avocat et fines herbes
Cappuccino et ravioli de Homard, parmesan et huile de basilic

One of the best and most creative cuisine we’ve experienced lately. By far above most of the 1 or 2 star michelin restaurants we were lucky to taste in France those past years. Count on 50€/person with 1 glass of wine. Another option when in Damme is to eat at “De Bonheur” which has been indicated to us by several locals. The next day we went to have lunch at the Refter which is ran by the son of the nextdoor 3 star michelin “De Karmeliet”. Should you have the choice, eat in the patio. We ate twice there for around 40€/person. Excellent products in general, succulent fish. I personally recommend the fish soup which beats easily many of the ones i could taste in sunny southern France.

La carte, Refter Bistro
Soupe de poisson et sa rouille
Velouté d'asperges, crème de brocolis
The kitchen , Refter Bistro

We also had excellent dinner at Rock Fort ( likely to be rated soon 1 star michelin ). Really amazing quality and very good and affordable wine list. But quite disappointed by the atmosphere ( we were at the bar, not in the main dining area ) and more problematic by the time we had to wait between each plate ( around 30mn ).

All in all we spent a wonderful time and discovered new flavors and tastes, met passionate and friendly people. Without a doubt, the belgian gastronomy is about to play a major role and taking over its French neighbour ( if not already the case ).

Some other places where to SLEEP : B&B Côté canal and B&B number 11

Enjoy bruges !

Hotel Ravesi – Malfa – Eolian islands

We’ve seen many places in Southern Europe the past years. But this one is likely to be our best discovery so far. The Eolian islands are located North-East of Sicily. Approximately 2 hours cruise from Milazzo harbour. The archipel is composed of 7 islands. All being wether former volcanos or still very active ones. The most famous being Stromboli.



We opted for Salina island. The pictures will tell more then hundred words. But here is a non exhaustive list of adjectives i would use to describe it : suprising, impressive, wild, generous, authentic, beautiful, unknown, preserved, different.


We ended in a boutique hotel named “Ravesi” in Malfa, a small village in the Northern Part of Salina. Also one of our best stay so far. The owner, Carolina, will welcome you very warmly. She is also personally cooking both breakfast and lunch. Do not expect any gastronomy there ! But we promiss you will eat fresh, simple and enjoy ! At the reception desk is Giuliana. She is absolutely perfect and will make sure your experience in Ravesi remains unforgetable.




Book in advance as Ravesi does only propose few rooms. The one we had and the others we’ve seen are very nice. Recently remodeled with simple furniture. Most have sea view. From the terrace you will enjoy clear view on the islands of Panarea and Stromboli.


How to get there : by speed ferry’s from Milazzo harbour. Ustica line is one of the company’s which will bring you there in around 2H for 17€/person.

Where to eat : by far the best restaurant is Portobello which is located in Santa Maria, the main island’s harbour. 7KM’s away from Malfa. The fish and sea food are simply amazing as they all come from around the island. Rather expensive at around 50€ per person. But worth especially at night on the terrace. Some other options in Malfa but nothing that spectacular worth more lines. Ah yes ! Avoid the restaurant of the hotel Signum which is clearly over rated and clearly targeting the few VIP’s visiting the island.




We do have many other tips for you on what to do and see when in Salina. Just email us and we will help the best we can.

Enjoy the Eolian islands !

When fruits have colors !

After our excellent lunch at “La cambusa del Capitano” ( see previous post ), we headed to Taormina which is an hour North East by the coast from Aci castello. We had an hotel booked, Villa Carlotta. Soon i’ll tell you more about that great place.
We checked in and 5mn later we were walking in the pittoresque and antique Taormina. Quite quickly we headed to a small store selling fresh fruits and vegetables. That was our first shock : the fruits and especially the lemon and oranges had colors we had not seen for a while ! 

A dream on earth called “Isola di Salina” – Eolian islands – Sicily

We’re just back from 10 days in Sicily which explains why we’ve not been posting anything new for a while. And we’ll still need some days to digest that fantastic trip and share any piece of it with you. We can already tell you we’ve discovered a preserved and authentic place. A little island part of the eolian Archipel. A place called “Salina”. Here are a couple of pictures before we can tell you more.

Pollara Beach & Cliff – Salina
Lounge bar to admire sunset – Malfa – Salina
Malfa’s beach – Salina
Portobello restaurant – Salina
Mattone di tonno – Portobello restaurant- Salina

Tons of tips on how to reach Salina, where to stay & eat, what to see….are coming soon. Thanks for your patience.

Paris je t’aime !

After more then 4 months spent in Buenos Aires and travelling around in Argentina and Uruguay, we’re back home to enjoy the European summer. Paris welcomed us last Saturday the 24th with sun and 24°C ! Since then we do enjoy a fantastic weather and spend all our days riding our city with our Vespa. We found the city more beautiful and romantic then ever and we’de like to share some of those moments and places with you in the next couple of days. Starting with “Le Jardin du Luxembourg” and our preferred market to buy food.

The market is situated on the Avenue du président Wilson ( crossing rue Freycinet ) and  is held every Wednesday and Saturday morning. Go there very early to get the freshest stuff, around 8/9 am. Go there around 12Pm for the best bargains. At the very bottom of the Market you will find “Chez Lorenzo”. Excellent fish. Very reasonable prices. Those days the “Saint Pierre” is spectacular ! The “Salmon label rouge” as well.

Going up mid way on the same side as “Lorenzo” you will find the best “cremerie” and wide selection of cheese. Those days “reblochon” and “Saint-Nectaire” are just perfect.

 Climbing up a bit on the opposite side, you will find potatoes, potatoes, potatoes ! And in season ( August to November ) the best mushrooms of the market. My favorites are of course the famous “Funghi porcini” which we call “cèpes” in French.

More parisian places soon, so stay tuned and feel free to ask for help or advices at bsimeray@gmail.com should you visit Paris.

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