Going Back to Paradise|Tróia

This is not the first time I write about Tróia on the blog. The first post was in 2015, while I was still living in Portugal and Tróia was one of my frequent visited beaches.


Now I don’t have the option to visit it so frequently, which somehow makes the visits even greater. It’s always good to come back to this relaxing peninsula located in Grândola Municipality, Portugal, next to the Sado River estuary.



To me, this is one of the most beautiful coastlines of Portugal, with a 13km stretch of pristine sands, crystal clear waters and pine forested sand dunes. The beaches aren’t as crowded as the ones in Arrábida, which makes the whole experience even better.


I usually take the ferry ride across the cooling water of the Sado estuary, while looking for dolphins. But if you definitely want to see the dolphins then you need to try Vertigem Azul’s Sunset Party, which I wrote about in this post.


So my advice to you is, go visit the scenic and unspoilt eastern shoreline of Tróia. The deserted beaches are a true chance to escape from it all.



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Instagram: @melissanunes.salvador



Santiago Hotel Cooking & Nature

This summer, I’ve planned a very relaxing trip to what is called, an obligatory destination on the Alentejo Coast, in Portugal. Nothing compared to holidays at the busy city of Lisbon and nothing compare to the expensive places in Algarve, full of tourists.



I was searching for a few relaxing days in the sun along with great gastronomy and while being very close to nature.


The Santiago Hotel Cooking & Nature has gastronomy and culinary as the main attractions, without forgetting the nature, the sports, the nearby ocean and outdoor activities.


It’s located in the heart of the historic city of Santiago do Cacém, and close to desert beaches, my favourite ones.


We’ve stayed in a Twin room furnished with two single beds, a balcony with a view of the castle, free Wi-Fi, a very needed coffee machine and a very elegant bathtub with shower. You can find photos of this room or other types of rooms they have to offer here.


The breakfast was included and no need to explain how delicious it was! From traditional pastries to very fresh fruit and juices, the selection was very varied.

The Santiago Hotel offers several types of cooking lessons, workshops, days with Chef, visits to the local market or even picking vegetables and herbs from the Chef’s garden.

You can visit their free workshops here.

We’ve spent most of the time at the outdoor swimming pool because the weather was really enjoyable and the views of Santiago were very inviting.



My boyfriend and I ended up spending our 3rd anniversary in this beautiful place and we promised that we definitely need to come back for a longer period of time because it really helps to recharge our energy.


You can visit the Portugal highlights on my Instagram profile for videos of this amazing place here.

For more information on this hotel, visit Tripadvisor here.

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Instagram: @melissanunes.salvador

5 Hidden Gems on Australia’s East Coast| Guest Blogger Zara Lewis

5 Hidden Gems on Australia_s East Coast

Everyone knows that Australian East Coast is stunning – from Sydney to Cairns, we all know the famous beautiful sports that are worth visiting. But what about those less popular? Are there any unknown locations with untouched beauty that we haven’t yet discovered? Yep! A ton of these, but here we’d like to show you some of our favorites. Want some inspiration on what to visit on your next trip to Australia? Look no further.

Rainbow Beach

Rainbow beach

Rainbow beach, photo by Texaus1

What other town is going to let you sand sled down the hills? An amazingly fun place that definitely deserves a stay, Rainbow Beach is full of multi-colored sand, friendly, folk, and excellent little inns that offer some of the best seafood dishes around. After this, you can simply go see the more popular Fraser Island, but do try to spend at least a day or two here to enjoy the atmosphere.



Town of 1770, photo by Eyeintim

A town named after a year! How charming is that? Named because James Cook came ashore there in 1770, it’s a quaint, beautiful little place that’s perfect for anyone who loves watching sunsets and lazing around, surrounded by nature. You can go kayaking, surfing, or simply stay at the Tree Bar in one of the beach hotels if you want to grab a good bite to eat. This little town was the founding spot of Australia, and as such it carries history and culture in it, along with fun water sports and nice town folk.

Byron Bay


Byron Bay, photo by Delphine Ducaruge

Mmm, Byron Bay, what a gorgeous coastal town. An excellent choice both for adventurers and fans of luxury, since it has some of the best Byron Bay accommodation options that will let you stay at a beautiful resort and enjoy a few relaxing spa days, good restaurants, and stunning sights. Make sure to visit Cape Byron Lighthouse and the Lighthouse Trail, and enjoy the opportunity to dive, swim, or have a bike ride tour around the whole place. The Arakwal National Park is also really close, and it’s well-known for its wildlife and swimming opportunities. If you have the time, definitely check it out.

Port Douglas

Port Douglas

Port Douglas, photo by James Jardine

Right after Byron Bay, it’s easy to make a trip to Port Douglas and enjoy competing in a sailing race or simply learning how to sail. This little town is really special mostly because of its incredible atmosphere – everyone is really sweet, friendly, and they absolutely love hanging out, so it’s the nicest place to go to if you want to meet some new friends. Who knows, maybe you even meet a cute Aussie guy that will show you how to surf? After this, continue on to finally see the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree National Park and you won’t regret it.

Emu Park

Emu park

Emu Park, photo by Philip N Young

Peaceful, tiny, and absolutely charming – this little village is full of parks and beaches and it’s the perfect spot to go to if you want some quiet nature and leisurely strolls by the sea. This place also hosts big monthly markets and ‘Festival of the Wind,’ so there’s plenty to do and see, and a lot of places where you can shop. There’s a nice little fishing creek for anyone who’s a fan, and there’s also the famous Singing Ship sculpture that produces gentle, singing sounds whenever the wind blows through the fluted pipes.

The best way to explore Australia, or any place at all, is to simply go on an adventure. Both luxury and sense of fun can be present if you allow yourself to be spontaneous and explore these less-known places that are full of utterly unique, interesting things. Snap some pics, enjoy yourself, and then brag to your friends about your discoveries when you return.

Zara Lewis

Contributing editor at Ripped.me

Contributor at TheWellnessInsider

mail: zaraelewis@gmail.com