Posts tagged Europe
Early Spring Hiking & Camping Solo in Southern Europe: Your Complete Packing List

Is hiking in one of the countries of southern Europe on your mind? Early Spring is a fantastic time to do it! Escape the colds and snow of northern Europe and hit the Portuguese, Spanish or Cretan trails in February or March! The weather can be tricky though - with this packing list you will be prepared and safe :)

Whenever it gets uncomfortably cold around, I try to make my escape into the warmer regions of Europe. Over the past years, I’ve solo hiked (and camped) in southern Spain (Catalonia), on the Greek island of Crete, and in southern Portugal (Algarve). Instead of complaining about dreadful freezing air or melting snowpocalypse, I could enjoy an early spring not that far away from home.

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Solo in Portugal on the Via Algarviana Trail: Marmelete - Bensafrim - Cabo de São Vicente

In February I embarked on a three-week-long hike across Portugal. 300 km on the Via Algarviana trail took me through some remarkable landscapes and tested my body's abilities and mind's strength.

In this article, I invite you to read about the section from Marmelete, through the narrow streets of Barão de São João, all the way to the farthest point in Europe: the Lighthouse of Cabo de São Vicente.

The last days of my Via Algarviana adventure took me through some mighty rains, but also beautiful views. I left the big mountains behind me and could experience changing landscapes as I neared the Ocean.

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Solo in Portugal on the Via Algarviana Trail: Silves -Monchique - Marmelete

In February I embarked on a three-week-long hike across Portugal. 300 km on the Via Algarviana trail took me through some remarkable landscapes and tested my body's abilities and mind's strength.

In this article, I invite you to read about the section from Silves, through Monchique, to Marmelete. I can promise beautiful photography of some truly stunning mountain views!

I didn't plan it, but I ended up spending two days in Silves. It proved to be exactly what my body and mind needed - after the break (which was pretty active, sightseeing Silves and taking a trip to the Ocean) I felt refreshed and ready to climb the big mountains of Monchique.

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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!

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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!

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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”.

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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?

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.

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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.

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