Earlier this month we headed all the way to California and were lucky enough to have some time to visit Venice Beach! The sun was shining, it was 30 degrees, in the middle of winter and I couldn't be happier!
We met up with Raven (@helllosunshine) and enjoyed the sunshine!
Pictured: Alexis one piece
For more travel inspiration check out our Rottnest Island Guide.
Photos copyright of Ete Swimwear
We are lucky enough to live in sunny Perth, Western Australia, which means Rottnest Island is just a short ferry ride away. In January, Charlotte (@luluescapes) came to visit, so the #1 thing we had to show her was Rottnest Island!
We packed our backpack with lots of water and snacks for the day and headed to the ferry wharf in Fremantle bright an early to catch the first ferry of the day. We took the new Sea Link Rotto ferry over to Rottnest. The team made it super easy for us and before we knew it, we were on the shores of Rottnest.
My number 1 tip for heading to Rottnest is that you must hire a bike! There are no cars allowed on the island which makes it so peaceful, but the best beaches are a little further away so you'll need a bike.
First stop was the lighthouse and The Basin. Because we arrived so early, we had the whole beach to ourselves!
We then made our way up the north side of the island stopping at all the stunning beaches along the way. There was barely anyone around, it was like we had the place to ourselves!
After a full morning of riding we stopped off at the Geordie Bay general store for some lunch at the cafe there. There are only 2 areas where you can get food on the island; Geordie Bay and the Main settlement near where you board the ferry. We didn't want to ride all the way back to the settlement so Geordie Bay was perfect. After lunch we continued up to the top of the island.
The clearest water you will ever find!
Photos by Charlotte & Jess
For more travel tips and inspiration read our Road Trip Guide to the Surf Coast of Victoria, Australia
We recently caught up with the beautiful Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson to hear all about her trip to the tropical paradise of Samoa!
We heard you grew up in Samoa, what was that like, how long were you living there?
I lived in Samoa for four years and then moved to Fiji, England and later back to Australia. Even though I was at my youngest in Samoa, that is the country I always go back to, and the one I feel a special pull toward.
Recommended areas to stay?
The Southern Coast of Upolu (the main island of Samoa) is exceptionally beautiful. Staying in a fale (a traditional Samoan hut) is the best way to authentically travel in Samoa. We normally stay at Vaiula Beach Fales.
Where did you stay this time?
Because we were working for a few different travel organisations and hotels; this time ‘round we stayed at Sinalei Reef Resort in Upolu which is absolutely incredible. We also went to Savai’i (the other island of Samoa) and stayed at Amoa hotel.
How many days do you recommend we spend in Samoa?
The more the better, but 10 days - at least.
Must-go places to eat and drink or cuisine we must try?
Definitely head to the markets in Apia to taste all the local cuisine. For the vegans/vegetarians (like me) I always stuff myself full of palasami (tastes kind of like a Samoan version of spinach & feta) and taro chips. Oka, fresh fish, and the most exotic fruit is all at your fingertips. Oh, and the freshest most delicious coconuts!
As a local, can you let us in on some of your secret spots/places to go/things to do?
I’d suggest going to a beautiful waterfall - one I always visited as a child - called Togitogiga. Surrounded by forest and very easy to get to.
There’s also a beautiful secret beach off the main road in Siumu village that not many of the villagers know about. It takes about 20 minutes to get to by car from the overgrown entrance. I’m not going to tell you any more on how to get there - but if you manage to find it, you’ll have found an untouched paradise.
Top actives we must try?
Kava ceremony, learn Samoan cooking, and just go and talk to all the locals. Samoans are proud of where they live and are some of the friendliest, happy people on the planet - spending time learning about the culture will change you for the better.
Top Tips for others travelling to Samoa?
- Be open and friendly.
- Generally people won’t try to rip you off, so don’t barter - things are cheap enough.
- Hire a car.
- If you want easy luxury, Samoa may not be for you. There are luxurious places to stay, but I’d recommend doing it a little rough. Stay in a fale, wash your hair in fresh waterfalls, and eat traditional food. You’ll leave feeling like a new person - a better one.
To get more travel inspiration read our Greek Island Travel Guide by Lucia.
We recently caught up with the beautiful Lucia (@lucyinthesskyy) and we were lucky enough to get her to share some top places to explore and travelling tips when visiting Greece.
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Lucia Tranos (@lucyinthesskyy) and I was born and grew up in Greece. I have a BSc in Economics and an MSc in Management from Imperial College London. I lived in London for 5 years but could not live without the Sea and Sun so I returned back to Greece eventually. I love island hopping and taking wanderlust pics during my travels. At the moment I’m obsessed with the off the shoulder style and ruffles everywhere (bikinis, tops dresses, shorts).
Where are your favourite places in Greece and why?
The islands of course, especially the Cyclades! I think it’s the best place for island hopping! I love that each island is different to one another. They have the most amazing crystal clear beaches, delicious food and picturesque scenery.
Where can we find the best beaches?
Koufonisia, Milos, Antipaxos, Ios, Mykonos and Crete.
Where are the best views?
Famous Santorini and Zakynthos but also less known Folegandros Island.
Must-go places to eat and drink or cuisine we must try?
My favourite Greek cuisine is found in Chania, Crete and Sifnos Islands. Local dishes you should definitely try are Pastitsio, Mousakas, Greek Salad (Choriatiki), Tzatziki, Souvlaki, Tomatokeftedes, Spanakopita and Dolmadakia. Try Bougatsa and Loukoumades for desert, these are just some but there are so many more. I am getting hungry just thinking about all these!!! You should also try the local wine, Ouzo and Raki (local Cretan drink)
How many days do you recommend we spend in Greece?
It's difficult to say there is so much to see and do! I live here and still haven’t explored so many places I would like to visit. For a first visit though I would recommend a minimum of 12 days in order to visit 3 islands.
As a local, can you let us in on some of your secret spots/places to go/things to do?
Visit Koufonisia Island for amazing turquoise water beaches, visit Crete for loads of activities, go on a sailing trip to Kleftiko beach in Milos, visit a village called Olympos in Karpathos Island with amazing views and ladies wearing traditional uniforms.
Greek Island style: what do you pack to be so stylish on your trip?
Lots of bikinis- current favorites are by Ete Swimwear- white and blue dresses, a sunhat, flip flops, flat shoes, a beach towel and sunscreen!
Top activities we must try?
Apart from swimming in crystal clear beaches, you should try hiking and sailing to secluded ones, wine tasting and a cooking class!
5 Tips for others travelling to the Greek Islands?
Avoid visiting during August as it’s peak season and the islands get really crowded. Best time to visit is from the 15th of June to the 15th of July and end of August to end of September especially for super popular islands like Santorini or Mykonos.
See more from Lucia Tranos on Instagram @lucyinthesskyy.
Trevi Fountain – Rome
Govetts Leap – New South Wales, Australia
Oahu – Hawaii
Tiu Kelep Waterfall - Indonesia
Barcelona – Spain
Eiffel Tower – Paris
Top of the Rock – New York City
Tumalog Falls – Philippines
Oia – Santorini
Karnak Temple - Egypt
Main cover imaged credited to @life.with.three.
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Rosie and the main lady behind La Luna Rose Jewellery. Since I started La Luna Rose 4 years ago I have been living between Bali, NZ (My original home!) and Melbourne. Mainly to escape Winter(s) but also because I have extremely itchy feet and can’t stop the travel itch! In my spare time I love to eat (Dur – who doesn’t?!) and also head off on any kind of adventure! When I’m in Australia I love packing our Van and heading down the coast to the beach and hike through the bush. When in Bali you will generally find me down in the Bukit or over on Nusa Lembongan island chilling with a Coconut in hand and book in the other! I’m currently obsessing over how I can get to Hawaii as quickly as possible and for as long as possible…and how I can start baking again! (We don’t have ovens in our kitchens in Bali – it kills the inner-home-maker in me!)
Where in Bali do you spend the most time?
I spend most of my time in Canggu which is (used to be) a quiet and relaxed beachside settlement just north of Seminyak. Filled with cafes full of delicious vegetarian food, a couple of awesome yoga studios and great boutique shops, it’s the perfect place to call my island home. On the weekends you will find me down at the beautiful Bingin Beach or over on Nusa Lembongan island if I really need to switch off.
What is your favourite part of Bali?
Ooooh that is such a tough question! For being such a small island, Bali has so many different places and types of experiences you can have. You could be sipping Coconuts beach front on one of the many islands (Gilli’s, Nusa Lembongan), white water rafting through the lush jungle canals of North Bali, visiting one of the many spiritual water temples scattered around the island, Chasing waterfalls or hiking up a Volcano for Sunrise. I have explored so much of the island already but it never gets old. There is always more to see and experience and the people here make up so much of that. To me, when someone asks me what my favourite thing about Bali is, my answer is always the People.
Where can we find the best places for breakfast?
Oooh again – SO TOUGH! In Canggu alone there is probably 30 places you could go to that would serve up an epic Breaky! Top 3 for me right now would have to be Shady Shack, Vida Café and Nalu Bowls for a delicious Smoothie Bowl. I often write about Bali Best eats over on the La Luna Rose Blog if you’re looking for more inspiration :)
Can you share your favourite beach spot with us?
If the tide is right (mid – high tide) then nothing beats an afternoon session at Thomas Beach down near Ulluwatu. It’s also relatively un-developed and lined with Palm Trees which makes it pretty dreamy! (Note: there is around 200 stairs to climb down to get there first!)
Where is the best spot(s) to have cocktails and watch the sunset?
For me personally, I just love heading to my local beach and sitting on the bean bags for a sundowner. If I am down in the Bukit for the day, nothing beats the Sunset from Ulluwatu’s Single Fin or any of the Warungs underneath there – mind blowing.
After cocktails we will need somewhere delicious for dinner, can you share your favourites?
Oh man, my mouth is watering just thinking of all the possibilities! I love Da Maria in Seminyak they serve some pretty epic Pizzas & salads, Shady Shack in Canngu for some straight up health in a bowl, and my all time favourite go to would have to be Sarong on Petitinget. Perfect for date night or night out with the ladies, their food is a really unique indian-fusion in a very luxe-casual setting.
5 local tips for others travelling to Bali?
- Get a Scooter and simcard on arrival. This way you will have so much more freedom for your trip and not be confined to your hotel/resort/guest house and relying on taxi’s to get everywhere. You’ll thank me for it!
- Try the local Warungs. They may look a little ‘funky’ at first with all the food sitting out in the open but I promise its some of the best food you’ll eat on the island and so cheap!
- Be Patient. Bali is extremely busy and filled with cars and scooters that don’t necessarily fit on the island so things take time. I mean a long time…
- Get out and explore different areas. Its so easy to stay put in your one area but there is so much to do and see on this island, and you’ll get a much better understanding of the island and the Balinese people and culture.
- Stay hydrated to avoid any signs of Bali Belly!
Tell us a bit about La Luna Rose and why you started and how you found Bali to be the perfect place to run your business?
La Luna Rose was born out of a desire to inject more fun into beautiful jewellery. Long story short, back in 2011 I went on a Game Show, won a small amount of money and was looking for a special piece of jewellery to mark such an outrageous life experience. Everything on the market at the time was very serious and‘normal’looking, I wanted something unique, something fun that I would look at and remember that memory and how hilarious it was! I was also bored of my job at the time and looking for a new challenge so everything just rolled together nicely.
I had recently been on a trip to Bali with some girlfriends and had seen the amazing Silversmiths work here, not to mention I loved the idea of living in a permament Summer paradise! I saved my arse off for the next 6 months, packed my bags, sold most of my life ‘assets’ and headed North to start La Luna Rose Jewellery. Bali has now become one of my homes and I absolutely love the feeling of flying in here. The warmth, the people, the food and the lifestyle are all very aligned with the La Luna Rose brand. We’ll be here for a while I think, I couldn’t think of any better place to launch and grow my brand!
Tell us a little about yourselves.
I am from Valencia, Spain and Jeremy @mrmonnet is French, we both met during Paris Fashion Week, and since then we decided to travel the world! After few days knowing each other we flew to India and Sri Lanka, and we got married! It´s a crazy story but we have different versions of how we ended up getting married after an 8 day trip! Since then we get married every year in a different religion (Cambodia, Marrakech, Bali etc). Although currently based in Hong Kong, we travel 11 months/year. We are obsessed with the beach, it has to be summer wherever we travel, I don’t see myself planning a trip to a cold destination.
What area of Tanzania did you travel to? And where did you stay while there?
We visited Kilimanjaro and Serengeti. In Zanzibar, we did everything, from the North to the South and the islands around. Additionally, we spent a lot of time on the east, Jambiani and the Rock.
We stayed in different places, our favourites so far were Park Hyatt in Stone Town (it´s cool for a couple of nights), Tulia that has amazing villas and Upendo, in front of the Rock.
In Serengeti, we stayed at the Four Seasons Safari Lodges, it was the best hotel I’ve been to in my life. Our daily wake up was surrounded by zebras and elephants. A dream come true! I cannot compare that experience with anything else.
How many days did you spend in Zanzibar? Was it long enough?
We have been travelling 2 months around the island, and then 2 weeks in Serengeti doing a Safari. 6-8 days is more than enough to discover Zanzibar, as well to have time to relax.
Was there anything that surprised you about Zanzibar?
It´s still very wild and authentic, not so crowded and the turquoise water is unbelievable! The beach in the morning is amazing and always with different colors. At low tide, you can see the fishermen walking around surrounded by the Dhows (typical local sailing boat).
Where was the best places to eat and drink?
Brunch on Sunday at Upendo, the lobster is amazing!
We saw you visited such beautiful white beaches, what was your favourite beach and why?
Jambiani was so wild and in the middle of the village. As soon as we left our villa, we were surrounded by kids to play with!
What was your favourite thing about Zanzibar?
Nnemba island, you can swim with dolphins in a crystal-clear water, we counted up to 40! It´s one of the best experiences in my life. At low tide, sandbanks show up, perfect for a breakfast picnic.
What was the first thing you wanted to do when you arrived?
Enjoy the sunset in the north. Cool music, good vibes and surrounded by dhows, it’s worth a view.
What did you pack to be so stylish on your trip & other packing essentials?
Tons of bikinis and sunglasses!! White dresses, almost no shoes or sandals, I´ve been barefoot during 2 months!
What are your top 5 activities people should do when visiting Zanzibar?
- Picnic on a sandbank in front of Nmemba island
- Starfish gardens
- Sunset in the north
- Visit Mafia island to swim with shark whales (at least 1 or 2 nights there)
- Swim with dolphins in Nmemba island - so far the best
5 Tips for others travelling to Zanzibar?
- Don´t forget a GoPro!
- Dhow (traditional boat) excursion
- Try to spend time with the kids of the villages and bring old things for donation (school things such as books and pens, clothes, etc.), their smiles are priceless!
- Visit the villages, to understand the real culture
- Ask the fishermen to get you some fresh fish for very cheap
- Bring cash $ for your visa upon arrival (to speed up the process)
See more from Mr & Mrs Monnet on their Instagram accounts:
For more travel inspo read our Bahamas Travel guide by Brooke Mcauley.