We are happy to announce our ridiculously exciting plans for the summer!
On Thursday we’re flying to Finland! It will be our first trip to a Nordic country and we’re looking forward to visiting somewhere completely different from our usual tropical destinations. We’re being hosted by the Visit Finland tourist board who have arranged a number of activities for us, but we’ll also have plenty of time to explore on our own. Finland is known for its winter activities but our trip will focus on what to do in Finland in the spring.
It has been seven years since we’ve been snowboarding (as we avoid winter) and it’s about time we hit the mountains again. I knew we wouldn’t be back in Europe until May so I researched ski resorts with the longest running seasons and discovered Ruka in Lapland. Skiing in Lapland sounded so exotic that we couldn’t resist. We’ll be there for the last weekend of the season (9/10 May) so we hope there’s some snow left!
There’s plenty to do off the slopes in the Ruka-Kuusamo area but we’ve missed most of the winter activities, so sadly no northern lights, husky safaris, or reindeer sleigh rides for us. We might just have to brave the crazy freezing temperatures and come back in the winter.
Instead we’ll be taking advantage of the milder spring weather (although it’s still very cold for us!) and long days (over 18 hours of daylight) to go hiking in the Oulanka National Park and riding on the beautiful Finnhorses.
We have five days in Helsinki but that’s not going to be enough for all the art galleries, islands, coffee shops, vegetarian restaurants, and markets we want to visit. We’d also love to do a day trip to Porvoo, Finland’s second oldest town which dates back to the 13th century.
Luckily we’ll be in the city for Restaurant Day, a worldwide food carnival that the Finns started to encourage anyone to set up a restaurant, café or bar for a day—in their garden, home, local park, or on the street. We’re looking forward to eating our way around the city that day.
Please let us know if you have any other Helsinki tips!
At the end of May it’s time for Italy. This will be my 11th trip there and we never tire of it.
We’ll spend a week in Rome, renting an apartment in our favourite neighbourhood Trastevere. We’ve visited the major sites before so we’d love to get your tips on more off the beaten track things to do and cool neighbourhoods to explore.
Hiking the Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is a new part of Italy for us. Our main focus will be hiking the Path of the Gods which has gorgeous views of the coastline. Amalfi is renowned for its high prices but we found a great deal on Airbnb—for just £33 ($50) a night we get a lovely double ensuite room in the quiet village of Agerola up in the mountains near the trail.
Capri and Ischia are the well known islands in the Bay of Naples but Procida is where the locals go. The tiny island looks lovely with colourful houses tumbling down the hillside towards the marina. We’ll have a week there to work and explore.
Sailing the Amalfi Coast
We announced last month that we are joining Intersailclub on a Wine and Sail trip on a luxury 20 metre yacht along the Amalfi coast. Yes, we’re rather excited! You can read more about Intersailclub and our trip here.
Lucca or Orvieto or ??
By the end of June we know we’ll need to settle down for a month and we’re looking for a small attractive town accessible by train. Tuscany and Umbria have the most options—Lucca and Orvieto are top of our list but it really depends where we can find an affordable apartment.
We’ve booked all of our accommodation in Italy with Airbnb as it’s cheaper than hotels, and we like renting apartments to have more space to work and cook for ourselves. If you are interested in trying it yourself, check out our getting started tips and favourite rentals in our Airbnb guide. If you sign up using this link you get $25 (£17) off your first stay.
It’s about time we gave our home country more attention.
We have a three week housesit in Barnes, a rather posh part of south London by the River Thames. Despite growing up 50 miles away we’ve never spent more than a few days in the city so are looking forward to getting to know it better and catching up with friends.
Cornwall is a beautiful peninsula in the southwest of England. Our first stop is the south coast where we’ve found a great Airbnb—a cosy cabin in a large garden in the countryside inland from Fowey. We’re hoping for good weather for coastal hikes, exploring picturesque villages, and visiting the quirky Lost Gardens of Heligan.
We then move to the north coast near Port Isaac where we’ll stay in a tipi in a forest for our friends’ wedding which is sure to be the most unique wedding we’ve been to.
Beyond Cornwall nothing is definite but Asia is calling us back again so by the end of August we hope to be on a plane to Bali. We’ve visited Ubud before and with its vegetarian food, yoga, and digital nomad scene it seems like the ideal base for us to spend three months. We’re hoping to rent a villa with a pool surrounded by rice paddies.
We’d love to get your recommendations of interesting things to do, vegetarian eats, and running routes in any of these places.
Are you planning your travels for 2018? See our Travel Resources page for our favourite tools and gear to help you plan the perfect trip.