Posts in gratuity
The Vélodyssée - Part Two

The overnight ferry arrived in Roscoff early the next morning and we were a little tired, hungover and hungry, but rather than stop immediately to fuel up, we headed in the vague direction of where the EuroVelo route started. The EuroVelo routes are a network of long-distance cycle routes which cover nearly every corner of Europe. Some, like those in France, are completed and offer some of the best uninterrupted, traffic-free, cycling in Europe. Others are still in development, but it’s a great initiative which is getting Europe moving.

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Top-Five Summer Beaches (In the Northern Hemisphere)

Coming into the Summer season (in the Northern Hemisphere anyway) I thought it would be a good time to compile a list of my favourite beach resorts. This is very subjective, so if you disagree i’d love to hear your recommendations too!

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Madrid long weekender by Giedre

Weekend escapes are a great way to really take advantage of a four day working week, as we at Four Day Week Ltd try to do as much as possible. Most of the places that we visit are within a 2-3 hour flight from the UK and prices when you are travelling on a Friday or Monday are generally much lower than the traditional bank holiday scramble.

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Trans-Siberian Express in a Nutshell (Part 1 - Russia)

There’s something about train travel which makes it such a soothing way to get from a to b. For me, everything looks better through a train window and there is no better way to see a country or region (I actually think cycling is the best way to do this, but you definitely need plenty of time to embark upon a long distance cycle tour). Long distance train travel isn’t for everyone though, especially in an age of budget airlines.

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‘Come to the Costa del Sol’ - By Samantha Owen-Stoddart

After visiting the Costa del Sol over Christmas time, I wanted to write a short blog about what there is to see and where you can venture too whilst enjoying southern Spain! I rented a car (the least said about that the better…) as I wanted to get out and about and see this lovely part of Spain. I remember fondly family holidays in this region, I am not sure if you’ll agree, but it seems the older I become the more appreciative I am for seeing places or discovering parts I have never seen. This is how I feel about the Costa del Sol and why I was so determined to travel along this stretch of coastline.

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A Weekend in Vibrant Valencia

Continuing with my exploration of Spain I decided on a trip from Madrid to the nearest coastal city, Valencia. I’d been to Barcelona in the past and loved it, but I didn't know much about Valencia, a city some 350km south of the Catalonian capital.

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A Weekend Break in Seville

When I was based in London I loved to do weekend trips to nearby places. Cambridge, Brighton and St. Albans were just a few of the great places that I went to. Now, having moved to Madrid, i’m getting to experience a whole new culture and some fascinating cities.

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Pottering Around Porto

My only memory of Portugal before this visit was a fairly distant one. I went to the Algarve after University for some ‘real’ sun and, well, because i’m English and that’s where we go. The beaches and scenery were beautiful, but I didn’t really experience any Portuguese culture. Having moved to Madrid in the summer of 2018 I was in a much better location to explore parts of Europe for brief weekend visits.

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Four Days in Fes- ‘Just Like That’ - By Samantha Owen-Stoddart

Fes has always been a place of fascination for us, due to our joint love of ‘magical’ Morocco. Having secured some cheap return flights and our accommodation through the lovely Riad Tizwa, who owns a sister riad near the old medina, we were set…

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R & R @ The Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort - by Samantha Owen-Stoddart

I have wanted to visit Zanzibar for some time now, more out of Intrigue through seeing photos or videos of the Island. After booking the trip nearly a year ago, I spent some time looking and researching where I wanted to stay and see. After speaking to many people, some who had previously visited, I was set on staying on the North Coast. Nungwi was the area I picked, mainly due to it’s beautiful coastline and white sandy beaches, a perfect base…

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Visiting Vegas - My Tips! By Samantha Owen-Stoddart

Las Vegas is situated in Nevada’s Mojave Desert in the United States of America, nicknamed ‘Sin City’. Vegas as its known to most is a renowned resort city, mainly known for gambling, shopping, fine dining and nightlife. Its origins actually date back to 1905!

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‘For the love of Tea’- Nuwara Eliya - Samantha Owen-Stoddart

I departed Kandy for Nuwara Eliya, otherwise known as ‘Little England’ and Tea Country. The journey was long but well and truly worth it. Nuwara Eliya is a city in the hill country of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. Its name means “city on the plain’ or “city of light” and its stands at an altitude of 6,128 feet high or 1,868 metres, with a temperate climate and picturesque landscape. Making it the most important location for tea production in Sri Lanka. Nuwara Eliya is known for its cool climate, the coolest area in Sri Lanka, making me feel right at home.

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Safari and Saltlick - By Samantha Owen-Stoddart

During my time in Kenya I went on a two day safari to the Tsavo East National Park, enjoying the sights and sounds of the park’ animals. They included the elephant, leopard, lion, Impala and giraffe to name but a few. Tsavo East National Park is one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya, opened in April 1948 and is 13,747 square kilometres in size. The location of the park is an area formally called the Taru Desert, next to the town of Voi, in Taita-Taveta County. The Tsavo National Park is split into two sections Tsavo East and West, separated by the A109 road and a railway. Its name came from the river Tsavo, which flows west to east through the national park.

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’48 Hours in Geneva’ - Switzerland (Part Two) - by Samantha Owen-stoddart

Waking after a great night’s sleep, breakfast at the Ibis Petit Lancy was a buffet style, help yourself with a nice variety including make your own waffles! Perfect fuel for the busy day of sightseeing ahead of us. After another short tram ride we arrived at Bel Air and set off for Geneva  Old Town, en route we stopped at the Victorinox store. Adam was eager to get a Swiss army knife, well we are in Switzerland where better!! Two new ‘personalised’ knives later, we were on our way.

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’48 Hours in Geneva!’ - Switzerland (Part One) - BY SAMANTHA OWEN-STODDART

After returning from Geneva last week I want to fill you all in on my latest adventure… about a month ago I was scouring the EasyJet website, as I regularly do, I saw a return flight to Geneva for 29.99 per person on offer! I immediately wanted to book it, so after checking on accommodation availability in Switzerland, I paid for two flights as my husband was accompanying me on this short break. Booking.com was my first port of call for a hotel, I pre booked the Ibis Hotel in Petit Lancy for two nights bed and breakfast basis with payment on departure, which is a great idea. The cost was £90 pp for the stay, so all in all the city break to Geneva was £119.99 each BARGAIN! With a little pre destination reading I was excited to see what Geneva had in store for me.

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Poland - ‘Gdansk with Me’ - BY SAMANTHA OWEN-STODDART

Over the last May Bank Holiday weekend I took a trip to Gdansk, with my mum. Gdansk is a port city on the Baltic coast of Poland. We always plan one or two girls trips throughout the year, mainly to spend some quality mum and daughter time together and live out both of our passions, you guessed it travel! As I have said before my mum and dad instilled the need to travel and learn from other cultures into to me from being small. I am so thankful that they did so. My mum is a lovely lady, so kind and caring. Even though I am 35 soon, she would tell you if she met you I was still her little girl and always will be.. She is not only mum, she’s my best friend. So who better to experience Gdansk with!!

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Making the most of Madrid (on a budget)

City breaks in Europe are great option if you want to save some pennies (assuming your point of origin is also in Europe). Whilst it’s easy to go on holiday and spend lavishly, it’s often harder to go away on a shoestring, yet it needn’t be. Madrid is a city which I know pretty well and there are plenty of hidden cafes and restaurants, hilltop hideaways and basement bars that offer great value for money. So, if you want to explore the Spanish capital on a tight budget, stick with me…

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India - ‘Our handle on the Golden Triangle’ - by Samantha Owen-Stoddart

This is my first collaborative post with my husband @chancetotravel on our recent travels to India and our 7 day tour of the Golden Triangle. We have wanted to go to India for some time but never really knew where we should explore, to what was in each area. This trip actually came about due to a previously planned trip to Bali having to be cancelled due to work. After searching many different destinations we found this tour by chance, in a sale with Kuoni, so we booked it. It was a group tour which was a first for us, having previously toured Sri Lanka on our own. To be completely honest with you we were very apprehensive about being with a group of 14 people, as you worry about personality mix or gelling as a group.

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‘Red City Restaurants’- Marrakech - by Samantha Owen-Stoddart

Each time I visit the Red City I like to try new restaurants. With hundreds of restaurants to choose from in Marrakech you are always spoilt for choice! Sometimes I plan where I would like to eat, to avoid the disappointment of not getting a table and others times it is by other people’s recommendations or sheer spontaneity of seeing somewhere.

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