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Thursday, 4 April 2019

Roundhay Park with the Tesalate towel

It is the school holidays here in Leeds and in typical British style the weather and road closures have been spoiling our plans! We have been sent a Tesalate towel and a day out at the Seaside with it would be perfect. Fortunately, Roundhay Park is nearby and saves the day.

About the Tesalate towel

The Tesalate towel is a large, absorbent, quick drying towel that is sand free too. They come in a huge range of vibrant designs that both women and men will love.

Tesalate towel - Paradise Found laid out on floor

The towels are lightweight and compact. Despite being a full size towel they fold up neatly into a tiny bag.

Tesalate towel - Paradise Found laid out on floor with bag

Tesalate towel - rolled up in bag

My Tesalate towel review

I have the Paradise Found design Tesalate towel, a super bright tropical print towel with flamingos, flowers and palm leaves. The colours are gorgeous and they instantly remind you of summer holidays. I do like that the reverse of the towel is a monochrome geometric print. It's almost like two towels in one! When it is inside its bag it is small and lightweight, the kind of thing you can throw in your bag and forget about.

Tesalate towel - laying it out on grass in park


Although I couldn't try my towel out on the sand I could use it as a picnic blanket. Roundhay Park is the perfect place to take a seat and watch the swans on the lake or the world go by. It's a windy and cold day but the ground is dry, so no damp soaks up in to the towel. The towel keeps me clean and stops that annoying grass tickle that you think might be a spider every two minutes.

Tesalate towel - sitting on towel in park

A quick shake and all the grass and gravel falls straight off. I obviously can't confirm the towel is sand free but definitely think it will be after using it in the park.
Our towel has been through the washer and out on the line to dry. The colours are just as vibrant and it dries really quickly.


Tesalate towel - shaking towel by lake


I love how small and lightweight the towel is it won't take up much room in my suitcase or beach bag and definitely won't take up much of the luggage allowance weight either.
I can't wait to take our Tesalate towel on holiday. It is going to be perfect to lay on in the sun lounger or down at the beach. As it is so absorbent and quick drying it will be great for the in and out of the pool days. There is nothing worse than laying on a soggy towel is there? I'm really looking forward to not having a beach bag full of sand too.

As well as being a great beach towel it will make a great picnic blanket for dry days here. I can picture us sitting in parks for a picnic with it or pulling it out at festivals for a sit down between bands or while we eat.

You can grab a Tesalate towel here and they are £49 or £79 for a towel for two.

Is a Tesalate towel something you would like for travelling or days out?
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Thursday, 28 March 2019

A weekend getaway in Sicily: a 3-day itinerary

*AD - SPONSORED POST* Offering fine cuisine, incredible history and culture, mild climate all year round as well as unbeatable archipelago sites, the beautiful southern island of Sicily is the perfect destination for a weekend trip away. As the largest and most densely populated island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily is not only a renowned beach destination as it is home to some of the world’s most beautiful sands and water but also home to beautiful traditional cities and locations worth visiting. While in a weekend it may be difficult to visit all of Sicily’s corners, renting a car is certainly a great idea to make the most of the weekend as well as residing in a beautiful Sicilian villa rental, which can be easily booked through online tools like WishSicily. For a 3 day itinerary in Sicily we recommend visiting Palermo, Cefalù and Mount Etna.

A weekend getaway in Sicily: a 3-day itinerary - Day One Palermo

A weekend getaway in Sicily: a 3-day itinerary - Day One Palermo

Many direct flights to Sicily land in Palermo, the ideal base for a short trip around the island. If you have a full day to explore Palermo get to know the town’s fascinating past, hidden passageways and coded paintings located all around the town and left behind by secret society the Beati Paoli. Palermo is also home to some of the most exquisite cathedrals, beach accesses and cuisine in Italy. For a cuisine experience, visit Palermo’s three main food markets, Vucciria, Ballaro’ and Capo all within the heart of the town. Make sure to try Sicilian delicatessen such as Cannoli, Cassata cake, pizza and ice cream! While in town also get to know the Palazzo dei Normanni, the Royal Palace of Palermo which was once the sear of the Kings of Sicily during the Norman domination and is today home to the regional parliament of Sicily. The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo are also an interesting macabre attraction for any horror and history lovers. Here you will be able to find well-preserved bodies of Sicily’s inhabitants and visitors.

A weekend getaway in Sicily: a 3-day itinerary - Day Two Cefalu

A weekend getaway in Sicily: a 3-day itinerary - Day Two Cefalu

Not too far from Palermo is one of Sicily’s most popular and visited towns, Cefalù. The town offers sandy beaches, winding Mediaeval streets, local restaurants and the town’s unique Norman Cathedral. The town’s origins go back all the way to Greek ruling although the town was mostly built during the Norman command. Cefalù’s Norman Cathedral has in fact been granted a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in 1131 the cathedral is a beautiful example of “Sicilian Romanesque”. Just south of Cefalù there is a not-to-miss scenery in the Madonie National Park which features charming villages and towns, as well as impressive mountain sceneries.

A weekend getaway in Sicily: a 3-day itinerary - Day Three Mount Etna

A weekend getaway in Sicily: a 3-day itinerary - Day Three Mount Etna


The highest volcano in Europe and the most active in the world, Mount Etna has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013. Mount Etna has attracted visitors worldwide for centuries as it features geographical peculiarities such as its constant eruptions and spectacular lava flows. Mount Etna is perfect for hikers who can visit its active craters while also enjoying beautiful views across the entire island and sea. During the winter it is even possible to ski down the snow covered slopes. Due to the slope’s different altitudes and exposures, Mount Etna also offers a high biodiversity featuring a rich Mediterranean scrubland and numerous wood species. It is truly an incredible natural site that cannot be missed while in Sicily! 

While these are just a few of Sicily’s incredible destinations to visit, the island truly offers something for everyone. Whether it may be its ancient streets or it’s sandy beaches and crystal clear waters the island is rich in history and beauty. Visitors flood to Sicily from all over the world throughout the year but a great time to visit and not bump into too many tourists is during Spring or Autumn!
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Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia Mallorca

 When me and Ellie go on holiday I almost always travel on a tight budget. I would rather spend a little less and have more holidays and more spending money. For the most part, hotels are simply somewhere to lay your head after a day exploring or laying by the pool. This means we usually stay in smaller, family run hotels that are slightly out of town. When booking our Mallorca holiday it was different as the Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia was the best deal.

Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia

About Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia

Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia white apartment blocks with palm trees in front

The Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia is a 3 star, huge resort / complex. It has 17 hotel blocks, 8 swimming pools, 6 restaurants and 7 bars. The hotel blocks are typically Spanish white buildings surrounded by lots of palm trees, grass and plants.

Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia plants in grass

It has a day and night entertainment package for children and adults. There are lots of extras you can do too like tennis and go karting and there is a children's play area. The hotel resort all sits on a lake.

Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia The large lake with hotels in the distance at the other side

The hotel is 800 metres from the beach, 5 kilometres from the town centre and 3 kilometres to the port.

Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia - The hotel rooms

Our room is in the Sirena II complex which is right beside the lake. The room is basic but very clean and comfortable and has everything you need. It is a really bright and airy room which I always love.

The twin room has two double beds (well singles pushed together) which is a nice surprise.

Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia hotel room beds

There are huge floor to ceiling wardrobes full of coat hangers. No trying to squeeze a weeks worth of outfits on to 4 hangers here - yey! I have major wardrobe envy and would love this much space at home. There is also a desk with shelves and a TV. We didn't actually try the tv so I can't tell you what channels are available or if you need to pay for it.

Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia hotel room wardrobes

And finally in the room there is a balcony over looking the lake. It is small but there is plenty of room for a table and chairs and space for just me and Ellie.The view from the balcony is spectacular through the day and looks even more stunning as the sun sets.

Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia hotel room balcony view - boat by lake

Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia hotel room balcony view - sunset over the lake

Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia - Our review

Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia pool

I was a bit skeptical about going to a huge holiday resort. Both me and Ellie like to spend our holidays either quietly laying by the pool or out of the hotel exploring whichever country we are in. Neither of us are "joining in with the entertainment" people. But we both had an amazing time at Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia. Our stay was in the school Easter holidays so the hotel was busy but it will probably be busier the summer months.

The hotel, rooms and restaurants and bars are all really clean. Some parts could probably do with a lick of paint or modernising but nothing worth especially commenting on.

Our all inclusive food was really good and we didn't once have to eat out as there was nothing we liked. There is sometimes a queue to get in to the restaurant, especially for breakfast, but it moves quickly. I don't drink alcohol when I'm away with Ellie but there is a good choice of soft drinks and hot drinks available with your all inclusive wrist band. There isn't any decaffinated coffee or tea, which is a bit awkward if you're allergic to caffeine like me. The hot chocolate from the machines is especially nice though.

If we had a pool day we actually laid by the liveliest pool. Although we didn't join in with the entertainment it gave us both something to watch and giggle at. The entertainment staff did come around to see if we were joining in, but weren't pushy when we said no. I did go join the yoga class a few times. Doing yoga early morning, under palm trees and in the sun is such a lovely experience.

The best part of Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia for me is the setting. The view over the lake really is stunning, especially in the Sirena complex right next to it. I really love the little rivers that come from the lake through the hotel. Walking over the bridges to various parts of the complex is a super pretty walk.

Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia palm tree lined river with hotel buildings either side

The hotel is really close to the beach, which is definitely worth visiting. The sand is SO white. As the hotel away from the main town the beach here is really quiet too.

Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia - Alcudia beach

It is 5km to the main resort of Alcudia. We didn't have time to head into the resort so I'm not sure what it is like there. There are plenty of restaurants, bars and shops around the hotel though if you are not staying all inclusive.

As a single female travelling alone with my daughter feeling "safe" is really important on holiday. I always felt incredibly comfortable and safe at Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia and walking around Alcudia too.

I would definitely head back to the Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia if I was visiting Mallorca again. It makes a great base and is a clean and comfortable hotel with lots to do. It is perfect for single parents, families and even couples.

Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia view of the sunset over the lake behind palm trees

Would you stay at the Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia? What do you think of the views around the hotel?

If the Bellevue Club Hotel in Alcudia is somewhere you would like to stay why not pin this to your wanderlust board.

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Thursday, 30 August 2018

Spending a day in Palma, Mallorca

 As I was booking our holiday to Alcudia, Mallorca I knew we would be spending a day in Palma. I have seen so many photos of the city and cathedral that I fell in love with. My original plan was to use public transport and bus down to Palma. But as it was April and out of season the buses aren't as regular. Fortunately an excursion shop had a coach trip there for us. The coach takes you from Alcudia to Palma, has a drive around the main sights before dropping you off to explore for yourself. 

Spending a day in Palma - Bellver Castle / Castell de Bellver

At the top of a hill above Palma is the Bellver Castle. A gothic 14th century castle. It looks stunning set behind the trees and is a really imposing landmark sat up on the hill.

Spending a day in Palma - Bellver Castle

Spending a day in Palma - Bellver Castle

Bellver Castle is apparently really popular for weddings at the moment and it is easy to see why. Imagine this in the background of your photos!

Spending a day in Palma - The view from Bellver Castle hill

Sat up at the top of the hill above Palma is the most gorgeous view. You can see the crystal clear blue sea, the harbour and the sprawling city. Although it is busy and bustling up there it is also strangely peaceful. Definitely the kind of place you can happily sit taking in the views and people watching.

Spending a day in Palma - The view from Bellver Castle

Spending a day in Palma - The view from Bellver Castle

Spending a day in Palma - The view from Bellver Castle

Spending a day in Palma - The harbour

The harbour in Palma is definitely worth a walk around. Not only is the water gorgeous but there are some amazing yachts and cruise liners there.

Spending a day in Palma - The harbour

Spending a day in Palma - The harbour

Spending a day in Palma - The city

Palma is the capital of Majorca so it is a busy city. It is full of tourists, city workers and locals. As it is the capital there are amazing shops and restaurants there. There are also lots of winding back streets, boutique shops and cafes hidden away from the main strip. If you are looking to eat or stop for a drink I definitely recommend heading away from the centre through the winding streets. Not only is it quiter there but it is cheaper too.

The streets are exactly as you would expect, terracotta buildings and palm tree lined. I love this statue we found in the middle of the main road.

Spending a day in Palma - statue

Palma has a sephora which was a great find for us! I've got a Sephora haul coming up and I'll share what we bought then.

Spending a day in Palma - Sephora

I really love this art shop we found down one of the narrow back streets. Everything was completely out of our budget but so beautiful to look at.

Spending a day in Palma - art shop

Spending a day in Palma - The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma / Cathedral La Seu

Last stop on our day exploring Palma, and our reason for spending a day in Palma...The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma or the Cathedral La Seu. A huge gothic cathedral built in the 1200's that sits on the Parc de la Mar. It is honestly the most beautiful building I have ever seen and finally seeing it for myself made me feel quite emotional. (I know, I'm strange!)

Spending a day in Palma - The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma / Cathedral La Seu

Spending a day in Palma - The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma / Cathedral La Seu

You can walk up in to the Cathedral and look around the grounds and the inside too. It is quite a steep walk up but definitely worth the exercise. The view as you walk up in to the Cathedral is beautiful too.

Spending a day in Palma - The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma / Cathedral La Seu

The Cathedral is breathtaking from a distance but up close becomes even more amazing. There are details in the carving of every part you look at, the longer you look the more you see.

Spending a day in Palma - The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma / Cathedral La Seu

Spending a day in Palma - Parc del la Mar

The cathedral is set on the Parc de la Mar. A palm tree lined lake you can walk right around. It is well worth a walk around if you have time when spending a day in Palma. It is flat so perfect if, like me, you don't have the best mobility.

Spending a day in Palma - Parc del la Mar

Spending a day in Palma - Parc del la Mar

Spending a day in Palma - Parc del la Mar

Spending a day in Palma - Parc del la Mar

All of our sightseeing in Palma was free, other than the coach ride in to Palma and our food and drinks whilst we were there.

I thought Palma was beautiful when I saw it in photos but it is so much more in real life. The cathedral is the most stunning building I have ever  seen! I definitely left a piece of my heart behind after spending a day in Palma. Although we usually only visit a country once so we can tick off more countries in the world, Palma is a place I can see myself re-visiting.

If you didn't see it already you can read our Mallorca diary here.

Have you been to Palma before? What landmarks are on your wanderlust wishlist?

 

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Wednesday, 27 June 2018

The Malta International Fireworks Festival

*AD - SPONSORED* Malta is a country that has been on my travel wish list for a while now. One thing in particular I am dying to see is the Malta International Fireworks Festival.

The Malta International Fireworks Festival - Why Malta?

All of my travel posts give away the fact I am a sun seeker. I love clear, blue skies and bright sunshine. Malta, a Southern European island in the mediterranean sea, is a perfect sun trap for me. Along with the sun Malta has beautiful beaches and blue seas, another big hit with me.
The Malta Firework Festival - Malta beach and lighthouse
Photo by Micaela Parente on Unsplash

The capital of Malta, Valletta (home to the Malta International Firework Festival) is a city I really want to explore. It has the most stunning architecture and is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Malta Firework Festival - Valletta
Photo by Martin Widenka on Unsplash

I can just picture us wandering around the city exploring and finding new eateries. The winding streets, stone steps and bridges are stunning. I can picture myself standing watching the city go by from there. And ok, it is pretty instagram-able isn't it?
Photo by Micaela Parente on Unsplash 

The Malta International Fireworks Festival

The Malta International Fireworks Festival
Photo by Andrey Larin on Unsplash

For three nights in April the Malta International Fireworks Festival takes place. Each year the Festival has theme, this years "Where fire and culture meet". The finale night takes place on the Grand Harbour in Valletta. As well as the fireworks there is a live orchestra and singers on a floating platform in the harbour.
The Malta International Fireworks Festival
Photo by Alejandro Scaff on Unsplash

I think exploring the beautiful city of Valletta then a night watching fireworks over the Grand Harbour would be the most amazing day. And can you imagine watching fireworks on a balmy night? It will be nothing like the chilly November bonfire nights here in the UK.
If this is making you want to book Malta and see the Malta International Fireworks Festival already Holidaygems.co.ukhave some great deals at the moment.
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Monday, 25 June 2018

Catalonia holiday look book

One of my favourite posts from my last holiday was my holiday look book. A look book is a great way of sharing travel and fashion photographs and are always nice to look back on. Today I am sharing my Catalonia holiday look book. Keep reading to see what I wore whilst exploring Catalonia.

Catalonia holiday look book

Plain black vest top and skinny jeans, both Primark.

Catalonia holiday look book

Coral blouse New Look, Denim shorts H&M and sequin sandals Primark.

Leopard print blouse Dorothy Perkins, leggings Primark and black flip flops Gran Canaria.

Lilac watercolour top Topshop, black leggings Primark and black flip flops Gran Canaria.

Coral beach dress H&M and black flip flops Gran Canaria.

Catalonia holiday look book

White vest top, monochrome jogging bottoms and unicorn sandals all Primark.

Catalonia holiday look book

Slashed sleeve dress New Look, black leggings and unicorn sandals Primark.

Catalonia holiday look book

Black vest top and monochrome jogging bottoms Primark and black flip flops Gran Canaria.

Catalonia holiday look book

Blue hoodie Barcelona stall, monochrome jogging bottoms Primark and black flip flops Gran Canaria.

Catalonia holiday look book

Grey hoodie stall in Barcelona, black skinny jeans Primark and black flip flops Gran Canaria.

Catalonia holiday look book

Unfortunately the weather during our week in Catalonia has really influenced my Catalonia holiday look book. Rain and chilly winds mean my beautiful new summer dresses sit in the hotel wardrobe. I have got to wear some of my new holiday clothes and I have come home with 2 new hoodies ready for the autumn here. I think I have been able to mix and match the warmer clothes I do have quite well to make enough different outfits for a full week.

Which is your favourite look from my Catalonia holiday look book?

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