From PORT d’ANDRATX to SANT ELM – Hike With a View

Crossing the Tramuntana Mountains from Mallorca’s posh yacht harbor Port d’Andratx to the secluded port town of Sant Elm, you’ll find yourself surrounded by all those breathtakingly beautiful sceneries – definitely a hike with a view.

Andratx to Sant Elm Hike: Woman resting on a bench at Sant Elm
Taking a break on the shore of Sant Elm.
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From FELANITX to SANT SALVADOR – an Uplifting Day Trip

The charming town of Felanitx is nestled at the foot of the Serres de Llevant mountain range from where you can climb the slopes of Puig Sant Salvador to the homonymous monastery, statue, and cross on a lovely day trip.

View of the cross of Sant Salvador close to Felanitx on Mallorca
After a sweat-breaking hike way up high a very rewarding view.
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Hiking the Circular Trail Around PUIGPUNYENT

A circular hiking trail that starts and ends at Puigpunyent, a picturesque village located about 16 kilometers west of the island’s capital Palma, is one of Mallorca’s most intriguing yet easiest hikes.

View of the Tramuntana Ridge while Hiking Circular Trail Puigpunyent
One of Mallorca’s most rewarding hikes goes in a circle from and back to Puigpunyent.

In some aspects, I’m kind of a traditionalist. For instance, I do like the idea of a classic Sunday outing to the countryside. Wandering through beautiful sceneries, whistling a joyous tune, having a cheerful dialogue with birds and beasts.

Yes, you basically do find all that around Puigpunyent, but before I get carried away by my own cheesiness, let me introduce the real thing – which is charming enough even without my sugarcoating.

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CINQUE TERRE – The World’s Most Picturesque Hiking Trails

The Cinque Terre, connected by the world’s most picturesque hiking trails, are built on terraces above the deep blue Ligurian sea.

Riomaggiore, one of the Cinque Terre from where you can take world's most picturesque hike
View of Riomaggiore from the Ligurian sea.

Gimme five! High five! Scattered way up high on the steep hills of the Ligurian coast are many small, picturesque villages. Yet, only Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare became world-famous for their scenic views and overwhelming beauty. In 1997, they made it to the list of Unesco World Heritage Sites – along with Porto Venere and the islands of Palmaria, Tino, and Tinetto.

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CUXHAVEN – walking on water

“The sun reflects strongly off the puddles, so don’t forget to put sun protection on your knee pits”, orders Ute pointing at my bare legs as we start walking on water off the shores of Cuxhaven.

Crossing the mudflat from Cuxhaven to the Neuwerk island.
Crossing the mudflat from Cuxhaven to the Neuwerk island. About twelve kilometers laid ahead of us.

I already did, but under her strict eyes, I repeatedly do as I am told. I do everything Ute marshals: The next four hours, she will guide me together with about two dozens other hikers into the tideland off the shore in Cuxhaven. My life will depend on her knowledge and sense of orientation.

We will be sort of walking on water – so I better listen to my leader.

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The Island of NEUWERK – where the way is the goal

“So, by which ferry did you get here?” asks the chubby little lady and her accent gives her away as Southern German. “Well, I came here walking”, I beam at her, still thrilled by my hike from the mainland to the island of Neuwerk.

Hike on tideland from Cuxhaven to Neuwerk
To Neuwerk – this way! You cannot blame people if they don’t believe that you came to an island walking.  

The lady looks over the rough sea where the huge waves are rolling towards the shores of Cuxhaven. She frowns and shakes her head and is, obviously, thinking I’m trying to tell her a cock and bull story.

Little does she know: Visiting the island of Neuwerk, the way is the goal; definitely.

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BARILOCHE – a Swiss Vacation on the Opposite Side of the Globe

Dramatically jagged mountains, covered by a picturesque layer of eternal snow overtowering fir-covered hills – Bariloche is a Swiss Vacation, however, on the Opposite Side of the Globe.
Trouts jumping in ice-cold turquoise waters of glacier lakes, rivers, and creeks.

Renata Green standing on the shore of Lago Puelo close to El Bolson on a day trip from Bariloche - enjoying a Swiss Vacation
Embracing Beauty!

Still not Swiss enough?
Well, the town of San Carlos de Bariloche cranks it up a notch by manufacturing some of the world’s best artisan chocolate and making you pose with a Saint Bernard dog – including the small barrel of rum around the neck; his neck, not yours.

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Rocking it in METEORA: Monasteries and Beyond

I must admit that till the moment I began to plan my trip to Greece, to me, Meteora was not a mesmerizing place packed with monasteries.

Holy Trinity Monastery at Meteora, Greece
The Holy Trinity Monastery is not the largest of the six remaining cloisters, however, the most picturesquely positioned one.

It was just the name of my favorite CD by one of my favorite bands, Linkin Park.

Since last Christmas, I know better; much better: Meteora is a rock formation in central Greece, about 350 kilometers north of Athens. It is famous for one of the largest complexes of monasteries.

So my initial rock-band reference was not that mistaken, after all: Meteora is rocking – big time!

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KAWAGUCHIKO – Taking a Shot at Mount Fuji

I’ve heard that there are people travelling periodically to the Lakeland of Kawaguchiko west of Tokyo just to take a good shot of Mount Fuji.

Mount Fuji seen from Kawaguchiko
This is the picture I intended to shoot.

This majestic, perfectly shaped volcano – that erupted lastly in 1707 – seems to be hiding behind clouds most of the time. Therefore, it can be a challenge – or a hobby – hunting the best view. Or at least a glimpse.

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