Escape to the sun: Seeing St Lucia

Going on holiday is usually one of the biggest events in your year. Once it’s booked and paid for, you spend your year keeping watch on the shops for holiday bargains and sales, you choose your luggage and you buy your sunscreen. It’s one thing you could look forward to the most above everything else including Christmas.

st_lucia_twin_pitton
Image Source

When you pick your destination, you’ll need to think about what you look for in a holiday and if you want sun, sea, sand and shopping then you need St Lucia. Holidays are the ultimate escape and going as far flung as St Lucia is a potentially once in a lifetime experience. With shores drenched in sunshine, sand as white as snow and towering Pitons overlooking everything you do, St Lucia is an obvious treasure. Take your pick over your activities and get down to business with the locals. Spend one day charting the rainforest on a tour with a group, spend the next day a conqueror of volcanoes. It’s absolutely packed with activities and for the solo explorer, it’s one of the most empowering places to go and discover Just You. Being one with yourself and enjoying whatever you want to do without answering to anyone else? Yep, that’s definitely an experience not to be missed.

So, before you go, make sure you put together a list of things you want to do and see. There’s plenty to do in St Lucia to keep everyone happy and you can find yourself an adventure in St Lucia. Heading to the Anse Chastenet Resort will open up the chance to go jungle biking. If you’ve never been before, you’re in for an absolute treat! You can drive through the old plantations and end up at the Anse Mamin beach, which is secluded, sun-soaked and with unspoilt sands. The views across the calm oceans alone are worth the journey. You can pick up adventure when you go on the Segway trails, get your walking boots on and hike up the volcanic rock and then zip-line down into the jungle. Your heart will be racing with all the sights and sounds, and when you travel in a tour you will get the chance to talk to the locals and the guides, who may have lived in St Lucia their entire lives and can give you interesting little nuggets of information to take home with you.

3172679512_a90b15e14d_zImage Source

St Lucia is the home to the indigenous birds in the Babonneau Rainforest. It’s really hard not to be thrilled and excited by the flora and fauna of the island. You can make a point of going to visit Soufriere, which is known as the Pearl of the Caribbean. It’s home to the world’s only volcano that you can drive into! The volcano is breath-taking in sight, but the smell may take your breath away too as you breathe in the slightly disgusting sulphuric smell of rotten egg! Still, it’s not every day you can course up a volcano so rotten eggs aside, enjoy the experience. If you’ve had enough of rock climbing, visit the botanical gardens at Diamond Falls. It’s not just about the tropical plant life, so different from what you get in the suburbs, but it’s also the place to see hot mineral springs and the falls. It’s one of the natural wonders in St Lucia and while it may be hard to comprehend why when reading about it, you’ll see what we mean when you get there.

While there’s so much to do at land level and then above land level with the volcanos, there’s a whole other world to see below sea level. St Lucia is famed for its coral reefs and plethora of marine life. Cooling off in the sea after a day of sunbathing is one thing, but strapping on that scuba suit and mask and diving below the sea gives you a tranquillity you wouldn’t find with a cocktail in hand on the beach. Sea horses, sea turtles, lobsters and puffers are only some of the life you’ll see below the crystal clear waters and you get a front row seat to how they live below. It’s not The Little Mermaid you’ll be looking for, but Sebastian! The peace you find below the water along with only the sounds of the air you are breathing is something to be discovered. If you fancy something a little more robust, get your feet onto a boat. From kite surfing to boating around the shores there is plenty to do on the water as well as under it. Zip along the crest of the waves as you windsurf around the shores and get active in the azure water. Let the breeze carry you along and experience a world at speed.

While you’re busy with all these activities, you’re bound to get hungry. The cuisine on the island is influenced by Creole and if you make a point of having your holiday out of season in October, you’ll be on the right track to visit during the rum and food festival that St Lucia hold every year. Laze on the beach with curried lamb, jerk chicken and grilled prawns and really get immersed in the culture. It’s the place to go if you are a fan of rum so make time to visit the Rum Distillery on the island.

vigie_beach_st_lucia_4870360796
Image Source

Of course, St Lucia has so much more to offer as an island to visit. It’s suitable whether you bring your family, want a romantic break with your significant other or you just want to go alone to experience the food, the smells and the sights of a land far away. St Lucia has so much to offer that it’ll be hard for you to say goodbye! The historic sites, beautiful bays and the potential for exploring more than just an island is so obvious and your holiday can truly be one of a lifetime here. St Lucia is right there so why not book yourself a break today?

Posted in 2017, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A romantic weekend away: The Valentine’s gift that keeps giving

We’re all sick of hearing about Valentine’s Day by now. Good news, it’s nearly over! If you haven’t found the perfect gift, or want to give something that keeps giving, it’s not too late. Who says you need to keep your present to the day? A romantic weekend could be the perfect gift. And, it means the romance can last for longer! Of course, you’ll need to consider your options before booking. That’s why we’ve made a list of the most romantic destinations out there!

eiffel-tower-1209157_960_720.jpgImage Source

PARIS

Let’s start with the obvious one. No list of romantic destinations would be complete without mention of Paris. It is, after all, the city of love. Whether you’ve been before or not, this is the ideal Valentine’s destination. You could share romantic candlelit dinners, and stroll under the Eiffel Tower. It doesn’t get more romantic than that. Going after Valentine’s Day means you can avoid the crowds. As you can imagine, a lot of people head to Paris at this time of year.

NEW YORK

If you want to stay closer to home, why not book a weekend to New York? The city may not have the romantic allure of Paris, but it has a charm of its own. Don’t hesitate to book cheap flights to New York and get planning! You could take a trip to the top of the Empire State Building and look over the city. Or, keep your feet on the ground with a gentle stroll around iconic Central Park. One thing’s sure; there’s no lack of romantic spots to explore.

2681266059_57788fcf10_b.jpgImage Source

VENICE

Venice is another destination that needed to be on this list. Fancy a night time gondola ride with your lover? We’ve all seen it in the movies! You’ll have a man playing violin behind you as you stare into each other’s eyes. Okay, the reality may be a little different. It’s still a romantic destination to die for, though! Even better, you’ll be able to experience a culture unlike anything you’ve seen. This is a place you need to visit at least once in your life. There’s something majestic about this city on water. Who better to experience it with than the one you love?

BARBADOS

A romantic break is always made better by a little sunshine. Why not take a trip to Barbados and enjoy some beach time with your man? A trip to this beautiful Caribbean island will ensure you can soak up the rays. Find an exclusive beach and spend a little time sunbathing. When you get too hot, you can stroll into town and order a cocktail. What’s not to love? The whole idea of time away is to escape the daily grind, right? Escapism doesn’t get better than this!

Of course, these are by no means the only options out there. If these don’t appeal, research other options. Is there a country that is special to you and your man in some way? Make the gift meaningful by making that your chosen location!

Posted in 2017, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips, weekend | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Four countries that you need to visit at least once in your life

I love the quote by Matthew Karsten that an investment in travel is an investment in yourself. I pretty much live by this and am always planning my next adventure. There are so many places that I’d love to travel to; it can be hard deciding which is next on the list. So here are just a few countries that I think everyone should travel to, at least once in their life. I’d love to know what would be on your list and where you’d like to travel to next.

old-1130731_1920.jpgimage

Australia

Australia is a much bigger country than a lot of people give it credit for. It is rich in culture and ethnic diversity, meaning that no two places are the same. It has amazing landscapes and places to explore, as well as great cities to see and beaches to relax on. The weather and climate is a big selling point for visiting there. Even in their months classed as winter, you are still going to get quite a lot of sunshine. So although their summer months are the warmest, you can pretty much go all year round. Which is great when planning travel, as it can be a little pricey. All worth it, though.

Africa

Africa is a large continent, but the whole thing had to be included in this list, as there are so many diverse and interesting countries within the continent. The wildlife is a massive selling point for making a trip to Africa. There are lots of different wildlife and safari parks to visit so you can make your trip exciting and fun. There are also lots of opportunities to volunteer in Ghana and places like Botswana. So it would be a trip unlike any other.

United Kingdom

The UK offers such a wide range of things to experience, to say that it is such a small little island. There are the far flung and remote islands of Scotland, to the stunning views of the Lake District, to the beaches of Wales, and the hustle and bustle of the city of London. The history is rich in England, so there are lots of historical sites to see. There are lots of great places to stay and restaurants to eat in too. It can be easy to see lots of the country too as it isn’t very large. So if you want to experience all that it has to offer, then it is very possible.

Italy

Italy is the land of beautiful food and beautiful people. It has a good climate with a bit of something for everyone. There are stunning beaches as well as the cities to explore like Rome and Venice. The latter of which is a completely unique place. Where else do you know what you have to take a gondola to get anywhere? The history is rich in Italy too. It really is mind blowing just how old some of the sights in Italy are. A must visit for everyone at some point.

Posted in 2017, Africa, Europe, holiday ideas, travel, travel ideas | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Your African wellness journey awaits

Why Wellness?

One of the fastest growing and most exciting trends in the international travel market is the focus towards locally-inspired wellness experiences – fusing rest, relaxation, exploration, reflection and healing.

When people think of travel in Southern Africa it conjures up imagery of many things. Wildlife. Table Mountain. Beaches. Culture. Cape Town. Wine. Food. Nature. Mountains. Satori Africa believes it is now time to include wellness and wellbeing in this African vacation mix.

Africa, as an historical landmass and a collective people, has long focused on alternative healing and wellness. Using the abundance that nature provides, the people of Africa have used the land for alternative food sources, medicinal healing, skin treatments, enlightenment and spiritual realisation.

Besides from the real healing significance, there is something truly restorative and soulful about just being and feeling the beautiful simplicity of Africa. In the sight of the sunsets, the smell of the ocean air, the taste of the local produce, the touch of the sand and the sound of the bush. This truly is earths biggest and best healer.

On a personal level, a pursuit towards a more holistic lifestyle has changed us at Satori over the years. And we now want to share this with you, our very own African-style detox!

Treat yourself to a total retreat and make your stay in Cape Town and the rest of Southern Africa, a healing experience by embracing in our personal wellness experiences. These are worked into your stay based on how immersed you would like to get.

Just some of our many wellness experiences that we offer.

Private Yoga Classes; Township School Yoga; SUP Yoga; Life Coaching; Transcendental Meditation Introduction; Massage; Aromatherapy; Kinesiology; Pilates; Ayurvedic Treatments & Consulting; Personal Dietician; ROLFing; Cupping and Traditional Healing.

Some of our favourite wellness hideaways.

Whether you are looking for some healing vibrations in the city, beach or on safari, we have the perfect properties just for you. Some of our favourites include: Leeu Estate, Bushmans Kloof, Kapama, Londolozi, Azura Quilalea & Benguerra, Ellerman House and Birkenhead House.

Where can I find out more?

Be sure to follow our blog to learn more about our offerings, tours and retreats.

Better yet, sign up to our monthly newsletter and never miss a beat.

Be sure to also sign up as a Satori Inspirer and get paid for any leads you pass on!

Posted in 2017, photography, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips, weekend, Wellness, yoga | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

West Coast bliss at Sea Shack outside Cape Town

Imagine waking up to the soothing sound of lapping waves as a fresh ocean breeze gently welcomes you to a new day. As you roll out of bed, you open the shutters to your front row view of a private beach.

Welcome to Sea Shack, an eco-friendly utopia just outside of Paternoster up the West Coast of South Africa.

The Story

“Sea Shack began millions of years ago when a beautiful bay was birthed. This bay, like a new born baby, was the calm amongst the storm. Nestled within the ferocity of the West Coasts seas, this bay was like no other. As if it had been from the Mediterranean, it soon became the home to all sea creatures and birds alike, rejoicing in its serenity.

Now some Millions of years later, we have strived to make it a place as special and serene for our visitors as it is for its fauna neighbours.”

We spent the weekend with a group of friends celebrating Debbie’s birthday and it was bliss. We explored the coast, relaxed in the sun with cold beverages, snacks, books and great company before adding some warm layers and cooking dinner around the large campfire.

Watersports

Luckily two couples in our group brought a sea kayak and SUP boards (Stand Up Paddle Boards); which was lots of fun. It’s peaceful yet refreshing being out on the water. The Atlantic Ocean is icey so it was great to be able to enjoy the crisp blue sea from a floating device and not submerged in the ankle-aching water. We happened to be there during a brief crayfish season so a few of the guys bought permits in town and tried their luck at diving for the tasty creatures.

Wildlife

As Sea Shack is situated in the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, it is home to indigenous wildlife. On our walks along the coast we spotted seals, tortoises, a variety of rock pool creatures, and sadly a beached whale.

Eco-friendly with ease

If you are deterred by the eco-friendly nature of Sea Shack, don’t be. I hardly even noticed that we didn’t have electricity as the communal kitchen appliances and geysers are powered with gas, you get your own solar powered lamp and there is a plug point to charge your mobile phones if need be. The showers and toilet facilities are great and are houses in separate sea shacks.

A weekend at Sea Shack felt like a week’s holiday and we left feeling sun-kissed, relaxed and fortunate to have been able to spend time at this lesser-known West Coast spot.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Posted in 2016, Africa, beaches, budget, outdoors, photography, relaxation, sunrise, sunset, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips, water sports, weekend | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amazonian adventures in South America

18420000324_2f66db9bd2_kFlickr Image: Douglas Scortegagna

The New Year is just around the corner so it’s high time to start thinking about 2017’s travel bucket list. Why not discover the wild, breathtaking rain forest filled landscapes of three of South America’s best known and most beautiful countries? Wherever you decide to go, or whatever you choose to experience we’re sure that South America will satisfy even the worst cases of wanderlust!

5831483782_231c799b32_bFlickr Image: Bob Betzen

Peru

High up in the Andes mountains lies the ancient, mysterious and beautiful ruins of a once all-powerful Incan empire. Machu Picchu, a world famous city, is surrounded by many other sites of historical importance including the Sacred Valley, the colonial city of Cusco and the Inca Trail itself. Visitors from all over the world travel to Peru to see the abandoned ruins, as well as the shimmering Lake Titicaca the world’s highest navigable lake. You can choose to hike the entire trail, or instead take a train up through the Sacred Valley. If you don’t want to run the risk of being swamped by tourists, or indeed by the rain, try to plan your visit from November to April! Remember although you can’t walk the Inca Trail without a guide you can visit the ruins themselves For an unforgettable experience take the bus up from Aguas Calientes, around twenty minutes, as the driver masters terrifying hairpin turns with ease.

15266788957_c0998d85f6_kFlickr Image: RL GNZLZ

Argentina

This incredibly diverse country is famed not just for its impressive, strutting namesake the Argentine Tango, but also for the stunning capital of Buenos Aires and the vast, open grasslands, or pampas, where beef cattle graze freely. Argentina is a fast, frenetic hub of music, dance, food, fashion and culture as well as being home to the Casa Rosada, the iconic presidential palace with its imposing grand balcony. The country is very health conscious but do check for any holiday vaccinations for Argentina you think you may need.  During the winter tourists flock to the ski resorts of  Las Leñas and San Carlos de Bariloche, as well as taking trips to the Peninsula Valdes, Patagonia where you can spot guanacos, penguins sea lions, and whales. Come summertime and it’s all about wine tasting, making and selling in the grape rich region of Mendoza where, along with having a cheeky glass or two, you can brush up on your Spanish thanks to friendly, English speaking locals.

6831649996_208578e83e_kFlickr Photo: McKay Savage

Chile

This long, narrow country sits on the western edge of Argentina and has over 6,000 kilometers of Azure, Pacific coastline for visitors to enjoy. Why not head to Santiago, Chile’s incredible capital city? Colonized by the Spanish in the 16th century Chile is now  wealthy, prosperous and leads Latin America on globalization and economic development. Santiago is bright busy and beautiful, over 40% of Chileans live here, and plays host to two extraordinary neoclassical landmarks. Namely, the Palacio de la Real Audiencia which houses the National History Museum, and the 18th-century Metropolitan Cathedral. Here, you’ll find a city full of surprises from warehouse style all night parties, to elegant restaurants, palm-lined plazas, and a growing urban arts scene.

Posted in 2016, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Three unique ways to travel on even your smallest budget yet

If you asked a room of people if they would travel the world if money was no object, you can guarantee that nearly all of them would say yes. Travel is a huge passion for many people, but unfortunately, the one thing that stops most of us doing it is money. If you’ve ever had to shun a trip of a lifetime because your finances wouldn’t stretch that far, you’ll know how disappointing it can be. You may also marvel at the amount of people who seem to spend months at a time traveling between countries, and assume that they have a rich family who is paying for them to do it. Whilst this may be true in some cases, in others, it may simply be down to these people knowing how to save money on the road. If you don’t want to put your travel dreams off for another day, read on to find out how you can do it all on a budget.

Build up your air miles

Fancy getting money off your flights, or even flying for free? This can all be possible now when you cash in your air miles. To do so, look into getting a credit card which supports an airline’s air miles scheme. You’ll need a good credit score to qualify for one of these, so make sure you check your report before applying and look at travel advice. Many air mile points schemes also allow you to up your points if you travel with a companion too. Some credit cards, such as the Venture card from Capital One, also don’t charge foreign transaction fees.

paris_cafe_in_ile_de_la_cite_2010Image source

Look out for food deals

Nearly everyone knows the rule about where to eat when traveling. Avoiding the tourist areas is a must, as prices near popular attractions can be around three times more expensive than the local restaurants. But there are also other ways that you can cut down on your food spend if your budget is seriously tight. Lunch menu deals and set menus will be your best friend in this scenario. Quite often, a dish of the day that would normally be $50 on the evening menu can be priced down to $20 as part of a lunch deal. Keep your eyes and ears open and try to learn a bit of the local lingo, so you’ll be able to read signs advertising this.

Work on a farm in exchange for accommodation

Don’t mind getting your hands dirty? There are now hundreds of places where you can live on an organic farm for free, in exchange for your manual labour. It’s not something to be taken lightly as it requires a lot of hard work, but if you have found somewhere where you’d like to stay for a while, it’s a great way to ‘live’ in new country rather than just visit it. You don’t need any previous farming experience, just a willingness to muck in and commit to the cause! Plus, it can open doors to many other exciting opportunities.

from_the_farm_gotland_sweden_6197462414Image source

Posted in 2016, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips | Tagged , , | Leave a comment