All in destination

Hiking & Camping Solo in Norway: Høgabu to Vending near Bergen

I stopped my previous reporting in Høgabu – a lovely mountain shelter run by the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT). I met three families with kids there and two of them were heading the same direction as me, so we kept bumping into each other every now and then.

The morning started really chilly and gloomy. A few hours later there was hardly any sign of it – the skies cleared and the visibility became absolutely fantastic. I had a feeling I could see to the Earth’s corners and loved every minute walking this trail.

Hiking & Camping Solo in Norway: Dale to Høgabu Near Bergen

This past July my dream came true: I went back to Norway and spent a couple of weeks hiking and camping solo. I think Norway is just the perfect destination for all who love big views, adventure, and beauty. I am a loner who hikes solo and I can highly recommend Norway for all fellow solo hikers and campers!

Narrowing down the choices

Norway is huge and there is no region which lacks in beauty. I would have a really hard time choosing trails if it weren’t for the fact that I have a friend living there. She lives a few hundred kilometers north of Bergen, so it made a perfect sense to make Bergen my starting point.

Why Hiking & Camping Solo in Norway is Simply the Best

This past July I was extremely lucky to spend a whole month in Norway. It was not my first time there but this time it included long-term hiking and wild camping. It is hard to find words which would describe how wonderful my backpacking in Norway was. I have realized that fell in love with that land and that I want to walk more through its majestic mountains and fjords.

What is so special in Norway?

It’s not just about the stunning natural landscape – although it’s probably one of the major reasons. It’s a collection of multiple factors – natural beauty, safety, good trails, an amazing web of mountain shelters… all of that creates the perfect destination for all adventure lovers – especially for women hiking and camping by themselves.

Let me pick a few subjective reasons, why I think Norway is just perfect.

Visiting Rabka Zdrój and Hiking Solo In the Gorce Mountains, Poland

Don't be afraid to modify your plans mid-way, you can discover some true gems that way!

When I was hiking in the Island Beskids, I didn't enjoy them much. I liked the views - all mountains are beautiful, but the hiking was boring, horribly tiring, and just not much enjoyable. I started to questions my initial plan to spend all my five days on the red trail, so-called the "Small Trail of Beskids". I decided to go to Myślenice and take a local bus to Rabka Zdrój, one of the most famous spa towns in the Polish mountains. It's a hub for many trails and I could hike for the two days I was left and take a bus back to Kraków to catch my train.

Must-see in Málaga: Alcazaba and Gibralfaro

Recently I visited Málaga again. My first time was some five years ago as a chaperone to a group of teenagers. Not exactly the perfect conditions for slow travel. This year I went with my Mom for a week, starting with the Great Friday. We had the freedom to do whatever we wanted and spend as much time as we needed in every place we visited. 

I was lucky to witness the Semana Santa celebrations and processions but I also had a chance to revisit Alcazaba. Five years ago we had to go pretty quickly through it (and with my eyes all around my head to see if kids were behaving) and we skipped the Gibralfaro. This time, we took our time and made sure to walk also to Gibralfaro.

Female & Solo Hiking in Polish Beskid Wyspowy (the Island Beskids)

The beginning of May in Poland is called Majówka. As the 1st and the 3rd of May are state holidays, it’s not only a chance for a long weekend but if you are lucky (and can take some days off) a nice long week of spring break.

This year I decided to head to the Polish mountains for my Majówka. I hoped for a pretty long trip – 8 days but had to cut it to just five because of work-related responsibilities. I wanted to go and see some places I haven’t had a chance to explore yet. I know Beskid Śląski (the Silesian Beskids) pretty well but there is much more to the east of it, where I had never had a chance to hike.

I decided to go to Beskid Wyspowy (The Island Beskids). It’s rather less popular of the various Beskids ranges so I thought it would be the perfect hiking destination.

Walking Solo through Athens and the Acropolis - a Photo Essay

Athens welcomed me with a powerful storm, streams flowing down its streets and train workers strike. I came to hike on Crete but planned to have one day to see the Greek capital.

I’d never been to Greece before that and wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I wanted to see the most important remnants of the ancient city but had no time to properly research anything. And I think it turned for the good. I had only basic memories of what The Acropolis looked like from old history books.

I started to walk through Athens up north as I had to buy a gas canister for my camping trip. I walked a few different districts before finally reaching the oldest parts of the city.

Experiencing Semana Santa in Málaga, Spain

I am not a Christian but I grew up in a Catholic country so I am pretty well versed in the basics of Easter celebrations. But nothing like Semana Santa happens anywhere in the world. The famous processions are unique to Spain and their history reaches centuries-old traditions.

What exactly is Semana Santa?

During the Holy Week, a number of brotherhoods and fraternities perform processions on the streets of major Spanish cities. The processions are religious and their nature is penance for sins in spiritual preparation for the upcoming holiday. In some places, the celebrations have been taken place for over five hundred years!

All You Need to Know About Hiking Solo in Iceland

I am so happy you plan on hiking in Iceland. And a bit jealous – I loved it so much that I wish I can go back as soon as possible! But to make sure your stay on this gorgeous island is all good, I want to you to know a few things.

When is the best way to go hiking in Iceland?

This is a crucial question. There are so many places in Europe where you can safely hike from very early on (I hiked in Spain in February) all the way till late fall in mountainous areas. In some areas, you can basically hike the whole year. Not so in Iceland.

Female & Solo on Crete: Days 15-16 | Ano Asites - Profiti Ilias - Archanes

Starting a new section of the E4 trail

I started the day in a very comfortable bed at the Iraklio Hotel. After a proper shower and delicious breakfast (they even had gluten-free bread!), I moved towards the bus station (on the other side of the town) to catch a bus to Ano Asites.

When I got there, I was told I was on the wrong bus station. See, there are two of them in Iraklio – the “A” for long-distance buses and the “B” for local ones. I had to get a city bus to reach the other bus station… which was just steps from my hotel. Oh, well. I was glad I made it to the bus – at the last minute!

Female & Solo Hiking on Crete: Days 9-12 Agia Roumeli - Chora Sfakion - Rodakino - Plakias

After a very nice rest day in Agia Roumeli, I was ready to move on along the E4 trail. The forecast didn’t sound good - I was getting ready for a rainy hiking. The hotel’s owner said it would be raining only in the mountains – and he was right!

At first, the trail took me to Agios Pavlos along the coast. This Byzantine chapel was a stunning shape against the raw view. Throughout my Cretan hiking, I loved seeing the tiny chapels, dotting the landscape in most surprising places.

Female & Solo Hiking on Crete: Days 7&8 Sougia - Domata - Agia Roumeli

This part of my Cretan hiking was described by the very helpful site Destination Crete as „One of Crete's most tiring and difficult routes”. Their description of the hike from Paleochora to Sougia was dead on with “the most beautiful hike on Crete” so I was really nervous about that part.

On the map it does not look all that bad. There are no high mountains, you go along the coast and there is a bit of up and down. Well, nothing unusual for a hiking trail, right? And yet…

Female & Solo Hiking on Crete: Day 6 & 7 Paleochora - Lissos - Sougia

The trek from Paleochora to Lissos was one of many on my long-term hiking trip but it is also the perfect destination for a lovely day hike. If you have the time, I highly recommend wild camping in Lissos and going back (or on) the next day – either by walking to Sougia or catching the boat/ferry (if you happen to be there in the season).

I truly believe this was the most beautiful hike I've done on Crete. 

Goats of Crete: the Furry Companions of My Solo Hike

I spent some three weeks on Crete this winter. I am pretty sure I'd seen a few times more goats and sheep than humans.  There were many days that the only companions I had were goats - no humans anywhere. I absolutely loved it.

When I came back home and went through my photos I've realized I had so many pics of goats and sheep, I just had to make a post dedicated just those adorable creatures. The fabulous landscape was the perfect background for our lovely models. 

Female & Solo Hiking on Crete. Days 3-5: Kampos - Elafonisi - Paleochora

Whenever I have to make up my mind, I spend way too much time agonizing over my options and possible consequences of each decision. But this time there was no problem.

The night before I got picked up in Kefali by the wonderful owner of a rental in Kampos. If I went by the E-4 trail, I would have to retract the exact route from the day before. Some 12 km over a paved road, mostly uphill to Kefali and then an extra 10 km to get to Moni Chrissoskalitissis. After a second-long consideration, I came to a conclusion of a big “NOPE”.

Female & Solo Hiking on Crete. Days 1&2: Kissamos - Sirikari Gorge - Kefali

The first two days of my Cretan adventure were filled with history, sunshine, Nature, olive groves, goats, some bushwhacking… and a lot of road walking. But let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

Finding the trail

When I was planning my hiking trip to Crete, my main plan was to follow the E-4 trail. It’s one of the long European trails that span for hundreds of miles across Europe.

The Big Drama of Winter in Chania, Crete.

I arrived in Crete very early in the day, aboard a ferry from Piraeus. It was dark and cold, I was tired and cranky. The first thing I realized was that I didn’t actually arrive in Chania. The ferry arrives in a small town of Souda, some 12 km away from Chania center.

I am really glad there is a nice, warm café pretty close to the port. I could get a coffee, wi-fi and figure out how to get to the center. I had plenty of time – it was just after 6 am. Soon after I sat down a horrendous storm blasted over the town. Now I had even more time. After two hours the rain and gale strength wind quiet down a bit, enough for me to make the short walk to a bus stop. There is a ticket machine so no problem with buying one.

A Woman Afoot... Hiking Solo on Crete!

On Friday I'm boarding a plane to Athens. For about three weeks I will try to walk its biggest island - Crete - from West to East. 

Last year, I went hiking in Catalonia during my winter break, this year it's Greece. I tried to find a place where there is a big chance of many days above 10*C to enjoy hiking and camping. There is plenty of nice, warm days along the shore of Crete - but not so much deep into its mountainous spine. 

I chose the E-4 trail because I like to have a longer trail to stick to - it makes it so much easier to hike in a new country than jumping between many short ones. 

The Vatican: Beauty, Crowds, and the Dark History

Visiting the Vatican is a must-do thingon most Rome visitors' itineraries, and so it was on ours..

A few weeks ago I went with my Mom to Rome for our first ever visit. We were mostly trying to see the most famous structures and places… To me, it was mostly trying to rein in my anxiety over the constant flood of the human form whenever we went.

Beyond the looks: the Vatican's heavy history

But the Vatican was high also on my list. Not only for the pure visual artistry have I known I would find there. I wanted to go and see with my own eyes the place that has been the most important source of pain, terror and progress inhibition in the history of the Western World