Maui, a Tropical Paradise

I just returned from Maui 2 days ago and I am ready to go back!  Ok, that might not be very realistic at this time but I can assure you that you will have a hard time going back home! 🙂 We had a wonderful vacation and I am excited to share some of the highlights of our trip!  If you are considering to visit Honolulu, don’t miss my earlier post on this Hawaiian island by clicking here. Now let’s

Getting there & accommodations:

  • Maui’s International Airport (OGG) is named Kahului Airport.  This is the island’s main airport that can also connect you to other Hawaiian islands.
  • A direct flight from Phoenix is 6 hours.
  • The North and South side of the island are the most popular for lodging due to the nearby attractions.
  • We stayed at Sugar Beach Resort and could have not been happier with our choice.  Not only we had a great deal through our friends at Agoda, but the accommodations were also fantastic.  Condo was right by the beach, and offered a pool, spa, and a tour agency at the site with friendly staff.  The condominium is  located in a city named Kihei about 45 minute South from the airport (with an Uber / Taxi). Click HERE if you want to learn more about the latest  DEALS, they run daily!

Tours & Excursions:

While there is an unlimited number of excursions that you can select from, we chose these 4 because it exposed us to a variety of different experiences while enjoying the island.

Helicopter Excursion:

Did you know that 80% of Hawaii is inaccessible? The only way to take a peek is by taking a helicopter tour.  We decided to go with Maverick Helicopters since we loved their “Molokai Voyage” option.

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Dana and I about to take off on the Maverick Helicopter.

We were amazed by the incredible views from our helicopter adventure!  We were treated with majestic waterfalls and beautiful weather!

 

Zipline:

Another fun adventure.  This time, we were recommended to Pi’iholo Ranch Adventures and we were treated to another unforgettable day.  Our package included 5 ziplines through the mountains and the crew is incredible friendly.  Check them out at www.piiholozipline.com

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Zipline Fun in Maui!

Snorkel & Sailing:

If you just want to spend a good part of your day sailing the Pacific waters of Hawaii and be treated to first class service all the way, you will want to check out Alii Nui. Personally, I wanted to snorkel with sea turtles and visit the Molokini island so this tour allowed me to do both.  You will also have the option to scuba dive if you are certified.

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Sailing with Alii Nui

Turtle watch:

Ho’okipa Beach is known for great surfing AND for guaranteed turtle sighting!  Every sunset, dozens of huge sea turtles come to shore to rest and many spectators line up to watch.  Make sure you don’t miss it, all you have to do is show up!  Just don’t get too close to them, rumor has it that there is a hefty fine if you touch one.

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Sea turtles at Ho’Okipa Beach.  Maui, Hawaii.

That’s all I have for now.  The one activity that I wish I could have done is the Road to Hana but we ran out of time.  Hope you liked the post.  I am looking forward to your comments and suggestions as I am definitely planning to go back.   Be sure to check my instagram account for more pictures!

Have a sensational day!

Nicole

Charming Seville, Spain!

Hello my sensational travelers!

I have been meaning to blog about Sevilla, Spain for a little over a week now and I am finally getting to it tonight!  In a nutshell, you should not go to Spain without visiting this electrifying city.  All you need is 2 – 3 days to enjoy what this energetic city has to offer.

The weather was great in October.  It averaged about 78 degrees Fahrenheit and we enjoyed sunny skies.  We also arrived to Sevilla by bus.  I have to say that it was pretty easy to get there from Sagres, Portugal (about 8 hour ride) and I found the bus transportation system easy to use.  We stayed at a Hilton and while it had a nice accommodation, it was a little removed from downtown so we had to take a taxi every day (which wasn’t difficult).  If I had to do it again, I would stay in a more centric place.

Personally, my favorite landmark was the Cathedral.  Not only is considered the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world but it is truly captivating to just look at it.  So if you have a couple dates to visit this city, these would be my top 5 most visit / do:

  1. Visit the Cathedral of Sevilla
  2. Climb the Giralda Tower (the view at the top is incredible!)
  3. Visit the Real Alcazar
  4. Bring home some olive oil and cherry wine
  5. Have tapas and an authentic paella
  6. Watch a flamenco performance…ok, we ended with top 6 instead of 5 🙂

But let me explain it better with pictures!

 

 

Cathedral Entrance
At one of the many entrances of the Cathedral

 

Cathedral at Night
The Cathedral at night
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Enjoying a beautiful afternoon with some sangria and tapas
Ovejas Negras Sevilla Spain
If you are looking for a restaurant, I highly recommend Ovejas Negras.  Great ambiance, moderately priced and delicious food.
Giralda Tower View
Giralda Tower view next to a handsome olive tree 😉

I sure miss Sevilla, and I want to go back!  Have you been? Did you like it as much as I did? I am excited to hear about your experience in the comment section below.

Until next time my friends!

Nicole

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Let’s go to Portugal!

Widely known for it’s beaches and wine (especially Port!), Portugal is also a country rich in history, beautiful landscapes and great food.

Here is some general info about the country.  Portugal’s total population is about 10 million people (at the time of this writing) and their main language is Portuguese; however, English is also widely spoken in most urban areas.  You might also find you have an advantage if you speak Spanish or French.  Make sure you bring Euros as that’s their main currency.

The weather in the month of October is usually ranging from 59 to 78 degree Fahrenheit and we personally enjoyed sunny skies.  It couldn’t get any better.

In this post I want to highlight two of my favorite places in Portugal.  Let’s go!

Pena Castle Palace

This beautiful and romantic palace is located in the Municipality of Sintra which is about 40 minutes from Lisbon.  Not only the colorful and impotent castle is a sight to look, but Sintra is a welcoming city that you don’t want to miss.

 

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This is me at the main entrance of the castle
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Side view of the Pena National Castle

Also, the castle is located at the top of the mountains which offers a majestic view!

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View from the Pena National Castle in Sintra, Portugal

While in Sintra, you also want to visit the Castle of the Moors located just at a walking distance from the Pena National Palace.

Sagres – End of the World

Definitely my favorite spot in Portugal.  If you are looking for a place to watch some of the most beautiful sunsets by magnificent cliffs, this is the place to be! It is located in the Algarve region in the Southern area of Portugal.  We rented a car, and it took us about 3.5 hours to get there.  The drive was easy and scenery. Sagres is quiet and you won’t find a lot of tourists there.   It also marks the most southwestern point of Europe.  You will want to visit this place if you want to experience what many believed to be “the end of the world”.

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Sagres’ Cliffs, Portugal – End of the World
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Sagres Fortress – Portugal
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Beautiful sunset at Sagres, Portugal
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Cliffs at Sagres, Portugal

What did you think?  Is Portugal on your bucket list?  I am now fascinated by cliffs because of this trip and I can’t wait to discover similar places.  If you know of any and have recommendations, please don’t hesitate to share in the comments below.  If you are reading this post, chances are that you perhaps have some recommendations and I would love to hear what you have to share.  Also, check out my post on Spain to learn more about Portugal’s neighbor country.

Thank you for reading and until next time!

Nicole @ Sensational Chick

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