Every time I head over to Europe I try to squeeze as many locations in as possible – if you’re hoping to have a relaxing vacation or honeymoon, I don’t recommend this, but with Matty (my hubby) never been to my favourite continent in the world, I knew I had to squeeze as much in as possible to ensure he fell in love with it too.
Many of you saw my extremely detailed itinerary that was packed into a one inch binder over on my insta-stories and everyone told me I was far too organized and vacations are about “winging it” and “going with the flow” but I’ve got news for you: That is not how I vacation, but don’t worry, I schedule in “free time” 😂 – But seriously, organizing tickets and activities ahead of time saves you $$$ and when your scheduling a vacation of four countries and six cities, you want to do all the saving that you can.
Since it was our honeymoon we flew business class and honestly, I think I can never fly over the Atlantic again and not fly business class. For my business (The Local Space) we use an Aeroplan credit card and I think it’s been the best choice for my business since we virtually got $8,500 seats for a couple hundred bucks. For those of you who have never used points: You just have to pay the taxes on the points. Of course business class is different on every plane but we flew Air Canada so we had our own pods which meant our seats turned into a bed (I usually can’t sleep on planes so this made the jet lag easy to get over), four course meal which they even put a table cloth on your table, endless drinks and of course champagne upon being seated. You definitely feel like a rockstar up in business class, save those Aeroplan points and splurge – so worth it!
Stop #1: Lisbon, Portugal
We really only had 24 hours in Lisbon (Click here for my post on 24 hours in Lisbon) but technically had two nights as we got into our rental late on a Sunday night – If you’re looking for a fabulous flat in the heart of Lisbon, then you should definitely check out our accommodation in Alfama (Click Here for the Listing). We basically only had enough time to get over over our jet lag, eat some delicious food and do a hop on hop off bus tour (my favourite thing to do when having a short amount of time in a place).
Stop #2 & 3: Cork & Dublin, Ireland
I know Ireland isn’t the typical stop for people heading on a European tour as it is a bit out of the way, but I’ve got a fair bit of family there and I think I would feel horrible if we hit up Europe and didn’t give them a visit.
We spent just over five days on the beautiful island of Ireland split in between Cork and Dublin – Next time I would love to spend a little more time there so that we could head out to West Cork and maybe even do the Ring of Kerry (especially since Matty is now an expert driver on the other side of the road). We hit up all the typical tourist spots: Jameson Distillery (Tip: I’ve done both Jameson in Dublin and Middleton and found the Middleton one so much better. Skip the one in Dublin if you’ll be heading down to Southern Ireland), Blarney Castle, Kinsale for Fish and Chips, Guinness Storehouse, Temple Bar, a couple Cathedrals and many, many pints of Guinness.
Stop #4: Athens, Greece
Athens is not a favourite of mine but is is a place that I think everyone should experience once in their life. The history in Athens is just astounding, and I know they are trying hard to preserve it now, but a lot of their history was taken advantage of for quite a while and the city has become quite a “city” and is a bit dirty (like piles of rotting garbage on the side of the road dirty). But I do encourage to look past that part an experience the museums, the acropolis, etc.
Stop #5: Santorini, Greece
Oh Santorini, by far, one of my favourite places in the entire world. This was my third time heading to the small island of Santorini and I still love it just as much. We stayed at the most amazing hotel, the Kasimatis Suites for under $300 CAD per night. It definitely felt like an $800 per night suite, because oh my god. If you’re thinking about going to Santorini, just say there, it’s amazing and it includes breakfast on your patio – done and done.
We used Santorini as the relaxing part of our vacation and I will say, I wish I dedicated more time to just relaxing here, it was absolutely amazing. The city of Oia has definitely became much busier compared to the first time I visited back in 2005, but it’s still an experience that I wanted Matty to enjoy. We walked the steps, we ate gelato, we indulged in delicious food, we walked some more steps and we rode a quad around the island, all in all, it was amazing.
Stop #6: Rome, Italy
By the time we arrived in Rome we were tired, our honeymoon was wrapping up and I think after the relaxing time we has in Santorini we weren’t quite ready for the hustle and bustle again of a big city. We did take a hop on hop off bus tour to see as much of the city as we could since we were only there for three days, but most importantly, we did a PASTA TASTING.