Ouzoud FallsIf you are heading to Marrakech and you are looking for a great day trip, Ouzoud Falls would be my first recommendation. Marrakech is an incredible city, but many find it overwhelming. Ouzoud provides the perfect peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Booking

Plenty of stalls in the Medina, hostels and hotels offer the opportunity to book excursions from Marrakech. However, we decided to book in advance through IGoMorrocco which I would highly recommend! The total cost of the tour through IGoMorocco is 25 euros per person (which is cheaper than I saw advertised on stalls in the Medina) and they take a small deposit at the time of booking. 25 euros for an entire day trip to Ouzoud Falls is an absolute steal and completely worth the money.

RELATED: Are you looking for other trips to do from Marrakech city? Check out everything you need to know about a trip to the Sahara Desert here!

The Drive Atlas Mountain Scenery We were picked up at 8am and quickly within the gorgeous Moroccan countryside. This was our first taster of life outside the city and boy was it gorgeous (little did we know that we were in for even more of a scenery treat the next day on the way to the Sahara Desert). I loved passing through tiny rural villages and seeing how the Moroccan people lived their life in the countryside. Tiny villages would appear every so often, miles away from the last with no apparent infrastructure. We passed people (sometimes children) walking along the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. For much of the journey, I wanted to pull over and ask these people where they were going, what they were doing with their life, where they live. I found myself wanting to know everything about people who were simply getting on with their daily routines. Lets be honest, if you saw someone walking along the side of the M25, you'd question their sanity, but these people appeared to be so content.

RELATED: On our way to the Sahara Desert the next day, we were treated to even more stunning scenery, read all about our road trip through the Atlas Mountains here

Arrival at Ouzoud Falls

Ouzoud Waterfall From Above Ouzoud Waterfall Landscape After 2.5 hours driving, we arrived at a Berber Village and were handed over to a local Berber guide who would be showing us around for the day. We paid around 2 euros per person for the guide's services and while this isn't included in the cost of the entire day trip, I never begrudge providing local businesses and people with extra cash when they provide such an excellent service. Our guide was funny and informative and kept us entertained for the duration of the day. We were first taken to see the edge of the falls to see the thundering water beating down below us - while impressive, we knew this wouldn't be the best view of the falls and were excited for the rest of the day. After a steep downward hike with impressive views of Ouzoud Falls (side note: be sure to wear proper shoes for this tour - while one girl did complete the hike in flip flops, it didn't look particularly comfortable!), we stopped at a little stall for fresh orange juice and (of course) incredible views of the falls. After a quick break from the relentless heat, we were back on our feet again and tackling a potentially steeper cliff side decent before reaching the base of the falls!

Journey Behind The Falls

Ouzoud Waterfall Ariel Shot Ouzoud Waterfall Raft Boats Ouzoud Waterfall Posing Girl Boy We were quickly split into smaller groups to enjoy a boat ride around the falls themselves - be warned, you will get a bit wet - but even in March, the spray from the falls was a welcome treat from the heat. The journey cost around an extra £2 and is completely optional but I would definitely recommend it - it may have even been the highlight of the day (other than the outstanding beauty of the area in general). We were one of the first boats to enjoy the trip, so we got plenty of time after wards to take pictures while waiting for the rest of our group.

Lunch

Ouzoud Waterfall Lunch Ouzoud Waterfall Couple After lots of walking, we had definitely worked up an appetite for lunch! The restaurant was on the cliff side with an incredible view. There were a few options to choose from on the set menu including tagines and chicken skewers. After the main course, we were provided with piles of fruit for each table - so much that we ended taking some away with us for the bus journey back to Marrakech! 5 months after my trip and I'm still upset that oranges in the UK don't taste half as good as oranges in Morrocco!

Monkeys!

Ouzoud Falls Monkeys Ouzoud Falls Monkeys Cliff Scenery After lunch, we took a much less strenuous walk on the other side of the falls back up to the top where we would meet our minibus. This walk takes you through a tree-covered area and cliff side filled with wild monkeys! The monkeys are very friendly and not phased by human presence - be careful, if you have any food on you, they will try and steal it! The whole group was left laughing when one jumped onto Callum's back causing him to scream (he would probably call it a "startled manly grunt", but we all know it was a scream). And with that, our amazing day trip was over and we were back in the bus and heading back to the bright lights of the city.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own. Danielle1

      If you are in Marrakech (Morocco) and you're looking for a day trip, travelling to Ouzoud Falls should definitely be considered! Beautiful waterfalls and summer sunshine, what could be better?
Moselle Valley View of River Our trip to Luxembourg was filled with sunny weather and long relaxing days, one of which took place in the Moselle Valley region of the country. We were stuck for ideas for the last day of our trip (we had already decided to dedicate the other two days to Luxembourg City and Vianden), but when colleague of mine suggested a day in the Moselle Valley region - I quickly fell in love with the idea after a quick google image search!

Where Is It?

The Moselle Valley is a region in Eastern Luxembourg, North-Eastern France and South-Western Germany, so if you are crossing borders between these three countries and happen to do so through the Moselle Valley area, make sure you stop and explore! The area centres itself around the Moselle River and has jaw-dropping views no matter which way you turn. But alas, pretty views aren't the only draw to this area - the Moselle Valley is also famed for being a producer of high-quality white and sparkling wines (yippee)!

RELATED: I've visited the Moselle Area of Germany previously - have you read about my trip to Burg Eltz? It is the most beautiful castle! 

How To Get There

As the Moselle Valley is such a large area of Luxembourg, you will need to decide which town to visit (it's possible to do more than one in a day if you travel fast). We decided to visit Grevenmacher (after some very intricate decision making that revolved around the question "what town can we get the most free things from our Luxembourg Card?") You can get to Grevenmacher using bus 130 from Centre Royal bus stop. The bus runs hourly and you can find timetables here. There are a few bus stops with "Grevenmacher" in the name, we hopped off at Grevenmacher Tanneurs and it was the perfect location.

Our Itinerary

Hire Bikes and Cycle Around the Vineyards

Moselle Valley Grevenmacher Bike Hire Grevenmacher Views Vineyard Moselle Bike Girl Resting Grevenmacher Vineyard Using the Luxembourg Card, bike hire was free for up to 24 hours from a nearby campsite. The bikes were good quality and didn't give me severe bum ache (I have been known to struggle walking after riding a bike before). We planned to do the Circular Walk of Nature and Wine Discovery route but found out after a very steep hill climb that bikes weren't allowed on a certain part of the trail and therefore stuck to the lower levels of the vineyards and the river front. As it was such a hot day and there was very little shade, being on the bikes was the perfect way to get around as it meant you got some breeze! We had a great time just cycling and exploring, this ended up being the majority of our day!

Take Hundreds of Photos Along The River

Moselle Valley Grevenmacher River Photos Moselle Valley Grevenmacher With the sun shining, the river looked absolutely gorgeous and I couldn't help but stop every few minutes to take a picture... or two... or three. I remember thinking the river area of the Moselle was beautiful on our train ride through Germany last year to reach Burg Eltz, so to be able to stop and enjoy the views properly (i.e. not on a train) was great!

Explore the Town Centre

Luxembourg Cute Buildings Luxembourg Yellow House On the hunt for lunch, we wandered into the town centre which is set back from the river and of course, as with the rest of Luxembourg,the buildings were gorgeous! The buildings throughout the entirety of Luxembourg were really stunning, a true mix of old and new styles and everything looked immaculate at all times. Luxembourg is a rich yet small country and this could be seen through the always prim and polished exteriors.

Go Wine Tasting with Bernard Massard

Bernard Massard Moselle Valley Bernard Massard Wines We made a slight error when planning our trip to Grevenmacher by visiting on a Monday. More careful research would have told us that Bernard Massard aren't open on a Monday for vineyard tours and wine tasting (which is free with the Luxembourg Card). However, the extensive shop is open all days of the week and is definitely worth a visit! On explaining to the lovely shop assistant that we were hoping to to a wine tasting and vineyard tour, she gave us an explanation of the wines they have on offer and allowed us to taste a few!

Jardin Des Papillons

Jardin Des Papillons Jardin Des Papillons Luxembourg Butterfies Luxembourg After returning the bikes to the campsite (side note: probably the nicest campsite I have ever seen), we went to the nearby butterfly garden before returning to the bus. Butterflies have a significant meaning within my family, so I loved wandering around and snapping photos of the beautiful creatures.

The Things We Didn't Get to Do In the Moselle Valley

Take a Cruise on MS Princess Marie-Astrid

The Princess Marie-Astrid is a large boat on the river Moselle which offers a wide range of entertainment. From simply hopping on board to enjoy the scenery from the river, to entertaining themed nights and even a good old Sunday Lunch! The MS Princess Marie-Astrid is not open on Mondays, check here for timetables.

The Printing Museum

Also closed on a Monday (top tip - don't visit Grevenmacher on a Monday!) is the Printing Museum which houses items dating from the 1930s used to make playing cards. Entry is free on the Luxembourg Card and the building looked small and worth a quick stop while you are passing by. Are you planning a trip to Luxembourg? If so, be sure to add a day trip to the Moselle Valley!

Disclaimer: In light of full disclosure, we did receive our Luxembourg Cards for free on behalf of the Luxembourg Tourism Board, however all thoughts are my own, as always. 

Danielle1 THE MOSELLE VALLEY - When visiting Luxembourg, be sure to visit the country's wine production area - the Moselle Valley!  
Peak District Sheep Peak District Couple The Peak District is somewhere that I have ALWAYS wanted to visit (if you can't tell from that happy face above). So when we were arranging to see my dad’s cousin in the Stockport area, I made sure that the Peak District was incorporated into our itinerary! After spending Saturday with family at Tatton Park (Knutsford), we were ready to make the long drive home on Sunday with a detour through the Peak District. This was just a “taster” of the area and I REALLY want to go back, but if you only have a day, here’s what you can get up to in the Peak District!

RELATED: The Peak District was actually on my list of places I am dying to visit in 2017 - find out where else I want to visit here!

Just Drive Through the Peak District

Peak District Winnatt’s Pass One of the best things that you can do is just drive (or walk if you have more time!). The area is so scenic that you are bound to stumble across some gems. This happened to us when stumbled across Winnatt’s Pass (thank you to Barefoot Backpacker for identifying my Instagram photo for me)!

Head for Epic View Points / Caves

Peak District Landscape Scenery Peak District Friends Family Peak District Girl Pink Raincoat Next up, we were driving without real purpose towards Blue John Cavern (if you didn’t know, the Peak District is home to many really impressive networks of underground caves and caverns). After struggling to actually find the entrance and car parking areas being full (it was a sunny morning after all), we got highly distracted and just spent time at an incredible viewpoint that our Sat Nav had led us to on route!

Bakewell

Peak District Bakewell Tarts Bakewell Town Centre Bakewell Church Bakewell Cute Houses As an avid fan of Bakewell Tarts, the town of Bakewell has been on my radar for years but I’d never been. Although stories say that Bakewell Tarts don’t actually originate from Bakewell and instead the Bakewell Pudding is the local delicacy. Most shops sold both and of course we had to try both! The town of Bakewell is truly picturesque and is definitely worth having a wander around. We first went for lunch in a cute little café, took a stroll around the main town, visited the beautiful church, went on a hunt for Bakewell and finished our time here by sitting in the sun at the edge of the river feeding the ducks. All in all, it was the perfect little stop-off!

Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House Chatsworth House is probably one of the more famous destinations in the Peak District and as you would expect, on this sunny day, the grounds and car park were absolutely heaving with people. We wanted to have a wander around the grounds and not necessarily the house (we had been warned that the house warrants around half a day to fully explore and we simply didn’t have the time). Given how busy it was, we snapped a few pictures and quickly left. But the house is really gorgeous and such an impressive building. Next time I am in the Peak District and I have a bit more time on my hands, I will do a proper stop-off!

Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall After spotting signs for Haddon Hall near Chatsworth House, we decided to follow them, hoping that we would be able to do a similar quick stop off to admire the building before making the long journey home. Unfortunately, we had no such luck! It cost us £3 to park and with no view of the hall. When we walked through to the “admissions area”, we could only see the very top of the hall over some high hedges and trees – with admission at a steep £14.50 per person and us being pushed for time, we decided to give this one a miss! One thing we did learn was if you are looking to hit some of the main attractions in the Peak District, it can lead to being a very pricey day out (especially as there were 5 of us)! Everything has an admission price and a parking price – but never fear, the surroundings are so gorgeous that I would happily drive/walk around and not have to pay a penny! Have you ever been to the Peak District before? What was your favourite part?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own. Danielle1

       
Atlas Mountains You may have read my previous post on “Sahara Desert FAQs”, but I thought I would take the time to properly detail both the road trip through the Atlas Mountains and the actual night in the desert in separate posts. This first one being about the trip through the Atlas Mountains! We had taken a trip to Ouzoud Waterfall the day beforehand, so we had caught a glimpse of the incredible scenery that Morocco offers but it was nothing in comparison to our road-trip through the Atlas Mountains. The trip obviously starts within the city of Marrakech. How people have the courage to drive in the city is beyond me, bikes and cars zoom left, right and centre continuously and I’m really surprised that we never saw any accidents!

RELATED: Find out how to spend two days in the city of Marrakech here!

Rolling Green Hills

Atlas Mountains Valleys Atlas Mountains Green Hills Atlas Mountains Girl Scenery As we headed out of the city, things got VERY green, something that I wasn’t entirely expecting from Morocco which in my head is depicted by warm colours and desert terrain. I’m not sure if we saw Morocco in a particularly “green” season given the fact we visited in March and they will have had rainfall over the Winter period, but seriously, it was beautiful. If you’re thinking of taking this trip, don’t worry about catching photos through the minibus’ windows, our driver made sure to stop at all of the most picturesque spots – but sometimes I just couldn’t help myself and had to take a few shots through the window (despite the glare) – just look at that valley running through the mountains!

Rocky Terrain

Atlas Mountains Rock Roads Slowly, the bright green landscape transformed into rocky plant-less terrain. This is where the roads started to get really crazy (just look at those photos)! If you’re afraid of heights, there may be moments that you peak out of the window an recoil in horror at the tight road bend around the mountain and sheer drop – I can only remember this happening  a handful of times during the 8 hour journey – nothing in comparison to mountainous regions in Europe! We were greeted with nearly 30 degrees heat, yet at all times we could see the snowy peaks of the Atlas Mountains – very surreal and almost taunting when you are THAT hot.

Ait-Ben Haddou

Ait Ben Haddou Ait Ben Haddou Gate Ait Ben Haddou Painter As the Atlas Mountains began to flatten and a more desert-style terrain was in sight, we were told our first lengthy stop was coming up – Ait-Ben Haddou. Ait-Ben Haddou is a small town which houses 8 families (a total of 40 people) who live without electricity and make a 3 km walk for water. While the town is pretty spectacular in itself, it has been famed more recently for being a top filming spot – you may have seen the location in Gladiator, Indiana Jones, Game of Thrones and many more! I was actually playing monopoly with Charlie and Amy recently and was very excited by the fact I could buy somewhere I’d been in real life ha! Of course, as with most towns/stops on organised tour routes, the experience was very geared towards tourists. We were handed over to a local guide who took us on an hour tour of the area and asked for a small fee (the tour is not included in the overall price of the trip). The cost was a few dirham per person and we were more than happy to support a local man. Ait-Ben Haddou is HOT. I felt uncomfortable for much of the tour as it felt like you couldn’t escape the heat at all.

Lunch

The tour of Ait-Ben Haddou finished with lunch at a local restaurant with a view of the main town. It was a really beautiful location and was thankfully a lot cooler! One thing to note about taking tours in Morocco is that the restaurants you stop at usually have a limited menu for tour groups and largely, they offer the same at each. After a day travelling to Ouzoud waterfall and two days travelling to and from the Sahara Desert, I was really starting to get bored of the offerings provided – that’s not to say they weren’t tasty however! Dishes were priced at 100 dirhams per person (around £9 at the time) which is pricey for Moroccan standards.

Sandy Canyons

Atlas Mountains Sand Canyons Atlas Mountains Scenery Next up was terrain unlike anything I've ever seen before - huge sandy canyons as far as the eye could see. There was a big part of me that just wanted to run down the sloping hills... then I remembered how un-graceful I am... it wouldn't end well. Slowly things are starting to look more and more like a desert... eeek!

The Desert

Sahara Desert And with that, we were off. The rest of the journey saw us creep closer and closer to terrain that represented the desert. Of course, a few more photo/toilet stops were made along the way (the total journey was around 8 hours after all). Panic struck as our minibus broke down at the last stop before the desert (where we all stocked up on water for the night) but luckily the driver fixed the problem and it didn’t set us back too far! Unfortunately, it did mean we were only just reaching the desert by sunset, rather than being in the middle of the desert relaxing to watch it properly – but more on that in my next post about the night in the desert! Have you ever been through the Atlas Mountains? What was your favourite part?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own. Danielle1

ROAD TRIP THROUGH THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS ON THE WAY TO THE SAHARA DESERT

Isle Of Scilly Couple Beach Isle Of Scilly Cromwell Castle “Where?” people asked. “Is that the island off the coast of Italy?” others asked. While a part of me wished that I was going to the gorgeous island of Sicily to soak up some Italian sunshine, I was going to somewhere just as beautiful! If you are still confused about where the blimmin’ hell I was heading, the Isles of Scilly are an archipelago off the coast of Cornwall. There are 5 inhabited islands that you can visit with ease but there are a whopping 140 uninhabited islands in the area too! So, here’s exactly why you should consider the Isles of Scilly as your next destination… Isle Of Scilly Group of Friends

The Weather

You’d think that because you’re still technically in the UK, you’d be destined for gloomy, miserable weather no matter what time of year you go (apart from the unpredictable week of glorious sunshine we seem to get in Spring/Summer). But no, given the fact that the Isles are the most Southern point of the UK, their climate is surprisingly tropical! Isle Of Scilly Beach View

The Beaches

So, do you want crystal clear waters? Forget Mexico, forget Bali, head to the Isles of Scilly. When I showed my Uncle some photos of the beach, his immediate reaction was “that is the kind of beach we were looking for when we booked our Mexico honeymoon”! There are hundreds of little beaches dotted around the Island. We visited in May and rarely saw other people on the beaches with us! Unfortunately (despite my previous point), we did have some freak cold/rainy weather in May which meant the sea was absolutely freezing – but the beaches were still the perfect place to chill out and explore! Isle Of Scilly Food Burger

The Food

Oh. My. God. This should be my first point really. The food on the Isles of Scilly is impeccable, no matter where you eat. My personal favourite was brunch in The Flying Boat Bar & Bistro on Tresco Island (which was handily right outside our accommodation), I highly recommend! Isle Of Scilly Flying Boat Cottages Isle Of Scilly Flying Boat Cottages

The Accommodation

We stayed in the Friendship Cottage (one of the Flying Boat cottages) on Tresco Island and I only have good things to say about it. The cottage was spacious, well decorated, modern and had an impressive veranda area that led onto the beach. The master bedroom had huge double doors that opened onto a small balcony with a perfect view of the sea. There aren’t many better views you could wake up to (apart from maybe George Clooney, I don’t know).

RELATED: I've been trying to explore more of England recently, see all of my posts on our glorious country here

Isle of Scilly Tresco Abbey Gardens Isle of Scilly Red Squirrels

The Wildlife

Both in plant form and animal form, the wildlife on these Island will make you feel like you’ve to a tropical Caribbean Island. For plant-life, Tesco Abbey Gardens is where you need to be (and I’m not just bias because my friend works here).The gardens are really beautiful, especially on a sunny day and will make for the perfect afternoon of wandering. For animals, head to St Agnes Island where you will be able to take tours to (try!) see seals as well as many different species of birds. We unfortunately didn't have time to take this trip but we did spot the gorgeous Golden Pheasant! Isle of Scilly Accomodation Isle of Scilly Gallery

The Chilled-Out Lifestyle

If you’re looking for a chilled, relaxing break, there isn’t a better place. If I were to summarise a perfect day on the Islands, it would be waking up to the view of the sea before having your morning cuppa on the beach. A long brunch is the best way to get your energy (especially with the Islands’ great food) before taking a long relaxing stroll across any of the Islands taking in the truly picturesque scenery. While there may not be many people living on the islands (a 2001 consensus shows that there were a mere 2,153 people living there), they have the best lifestyle. Everybody knows each other, everybody is friendly and the relaxing lifestyle works wonders. Isle of Scilly Girl At Sunset Isle of Scilly Sunset View

The Sunsets

If there’s one thing that having a friend in living in the Isles of Scilly who regularly sends me pictures has taught me, it’s that the Isles of Scilly have the most impressive sunsets in the whole of the UK. No, I haven’t tried and tested this, but I am almost 100% sure that this is the case. So, if you’re ever considering a break in the UK, make sure you give the Isles of Scilly some thought, you won’t regret it. If you're thinking of taking a trip, make sure you check out the Isles of Scilly Travel website for advice & bookings! Have you ever been, what was your favourite part?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.

Danielle1

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT THE ISLE OF SCILLY