It was a good few months ago now that we went on our sneaky Easter minibreak escape to Montenegro and I’m ashamed that I haven’t had a chance to publish a travel post about it yet! So, before we go on our summer holiday (2 weeks and counting!) I thought it only fair to give our trip a little write up and share our photographs seeing as it was so stunning.

The first question most people asked us when we mentioned where we were going was.. well.. why Montenegro? It’s a fair question. Up to this point we are the only people we know out of all of our friends and extended family that have ever been! Scores of people seem to flood to Croatia these days, so I find the lack of the same enthusiasm for it’s neighbour odd, as Montenegro shares a similar vibe, climate and even looks similar! Plus, it’s still a pretty undiscovered gem, so perfect for a quiet, secret escape!

Our holiday

As it was a quick ‘let’s get out of here’ last minute holiday affair, we decided to go inexpensive and simple. Out of season (early April) the climate in Montenegro looked good and we found a great value all inclusive deal at a five star hotel in the holiday beach resort of Budva. All inclusive is not usually something we would go for our main holiday because we like to cook for ourselves and eat out in different places, but for the type of super relaxing short break we wanted we decided to go for it.

The hotel was called the Iberostar Bellevue and it was absolutely stunning. I was blown away when we first got there. Mainly because I’ve never seen a beachfront hotel over looking the sea which is also surrounded by spectacular mountains on the other side! The landscape was just something that you would never see in your normal Spain/ Portugal holidays and I couldn’t get over it! I was super happy to take loads of gorgeous photos with the stunning backdrop. Our room was fine, perfectly comfortable and functional with a lovely big balcony and a sea view which we weren’t expecting and was a lovely surprise. We could actually hear the sound of the waves at night which was amazing.

The Iberostar Belleview hotel

The weather we had was mixed. A bit of rain on the first two days so we took the opportunity to explore the local historic town of Budva and the montain city of Kotor to get some culture and sightseeing in. Due to it being out of season, Budva was a bit dead with a lot of shops and restaurants closed, but Kotor was much more lively and seemed to have a lot of tourists visiting despite the weather. Budva would definitely be worth a day trip particularly the old town to see the historic architecture, and the harbour which had some pretty pricey looking sun seekers! There were also some nice craft shops and cute restaurants.

Budva harbour

Budva old town

The city of Kotor was about an hour bus ride away and it was a whole other level of beautiful! If I had visualised a perfect, quaint Eastern European town then this was it. You can climb up some mountains at the back towards a church and get a load of this crazy stunning view.

The holiday was perfect for what we wanted, a ‘do-nothing’, relaxing break with a bit of sunshine.

 

I would thoroughly recommend considering Montenegro for your next holiday. It’s got great summer weather, beautiful safe beaches and stunning landscapes. Kotor is a stunning historic city and well worth a visit, as it’s a pretty small country most of it is accessible with a short car or bus journey. Although it was a bit quiet when we were there, you could tell that they were gearing up for a busy summer season so there would be no shortage of things to do there.

Have you been to Montenegro? Would you consider it?

 

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One of my hero products of Summer 2016 – Bed Head’s Beach Bound hair protection spray. I have had quite an extended summer holiday this year, what with a week for the wedding and then Portugal for our holiday, so I was very lucky to spend a few weeks in sun, sea and sand.

I’m a low maintenance girl on holiday (no makeup, natural dried hair etc) so it’s not really the norm for me to stock up on ‘holiday products’ but this time I decided to invest in something to protect my hair from all the damage.

I bought the Beach Bound spray because I wanted something that would protect my hair from sun damage and salt water but also something that I could leave in all day and evening and it would give my hair a nice beachy, wavy look. This product delivered on all levels and it lived up to my expectations entirely. It’s also super convenient and portable for travelling due to it’s compact size and smells yummy. I haven’t much experience with leave-in sprays so I can’t really compare it, but for me, it worked amazingly. My hair maintained good condition and I really  liked the way it looked when I had the spray in. It really made my holiday a lot easier and saved my killing my hair by dragging a brush through it every night!

BED HEAD Beach Bound Spray on Feel Unique – £8.40.

xox

From my experience, and I would guess that this is the same for many beach brides, one of the most challenging elements of planning a wedding abroad is choosing a suitable outfit for the groom! If, like mine, he does not really have a fixed idea in his head what his wedding ‘suit’ will look like it can prove very difficult finding something which is smart, cooling, comfortable and in-keeping with the ‘beach’ theme all in equal measure. Throw in the fact that our wedding was in early summer and so we had the British Winter and Spring to search for an outfit – impossible.

We ended up leaving it until the last minute and choosing something in mid May so that we could find some summery things in the shops. Paul decided he didn’t want a jacket, which I was completely fine with; firstly because it would be very hot in Greece for our wedding and secondly because the whole wedding had a really casual feel. As an example – I suggested shorts and flip flops to all the male guests and the Best Man was wearing linen shorts and a shirt so Paul would have looked a bit odd in a three piece suit! It’s not his style anyway. With his long hair and tattoos a much more relaxed and toned down look suited him and the venue much better.

Looking back on the pictures I’m really pleased with what we chose. The trousers and shirt make it smart enough for a wedding, with the lack of jacket keeping it cool and dressed down and the pink bow tie (his idea!) and braces giving the outfit a bit of personality! He looked like himself and I was very pleased about that.  The only thing he would change would be the shoes! They were leather and quite uncomfortable on the day, I think he wished he went for flip flops! The pocket watch was a gift from me to open on the morning of the wedding and I was really chuffed that he decided to wear it on the day.

What he wore:

Shirt: Ted Baker

Trousers: John Lewis

Braces & Belt: H&M

Bow Tie: Mrs Bow Tie

Shoes: Bertie

Pocket Watch: notonthehighstreet.com

xox

Since I was a child, in fact as long as I can remember, my extended family have shared a small apartment in the Algarve and used it for our holidays. It has always been lovely to go back to the same, familiar village in Portugal where we know all the restaurants, best beach spots and walks like the back of our hands. I have been there with every family combination you can imagine; parents, brother, cousins, grandparents, so it was time to go with my new husband! We have actually been before. Last year we enjoyed a quick Easter break there and Paul fell in love with the resort instantly. In fact he still maintains it was on an evening in Luz watching the sun go down together that he made the decision to ask me to marry him later in the year! So it’s a special place.

I am biased of course as it is like a second home to me, so this cannot be taken as an honest and candid travel review, but I would recommend this resort to anyone. It has changed over the years I won’t lie, and is not longer the quiet and unspoilt village that it once was, but I still love it every time I go there. The main reason has got to be the beach. I am lucky enough to have been to many beaches in my life all over the world and it is difficult to find one as beautiful, safe and visually perfect as Praia da Luz. It is literally a picture postcard and great for families, safe swimming and more water sports than you can imagine! As far as European resorts go it’s the combination of the bright blue water, excellent weather, unusually white sand and attractive promenade lined with traditional white villas which makes it one of the best.

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Rockpooling.

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Arty.

So what makes Luz so special? Well, it’s neighbouring Lagos attracts thousands of Brits, so you can have all the excitement of the city from a safe distance somewhere a bit quieter with a much nicer outlook. Luz does have some very nice restaurants and one or two bars (an English pub of course, where can you escape it?!) but no real night life to speak of.  If you do visit Lagos I can’t speak highly enough of Bom Dia boat trips. The trips are great quality, good value and who can think of a better way to spend the day than relaxing on a beautiful sailing boat?

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Luz, although now being a fairly busy tourist resort, still manages to maintain some of it’s traditional charm. It has a gorgeous picture perfect church and some lovely traditional restaurant which serve Portuguese food. I would recommend Onda Luz (slightly out of town but great value), A Concha (beach front view) and the Fortelazia (restaurant set in a beautiful, old converted fort with a stunning garden) for traditional meals. The Fort actually does an amazing lunch on a Sunday with a live Jazz band which is a highlight.

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We had a lovely, relaxing ‘post-wedding’ break to escape the madness and try to ease the bridal blues a bit! Luz isn’t exactly an adventure for me any more having been their so many times but it’s wonderful to have a familiar place I can go back to time and time again and enjoy it each trip as much as the last.

 

xox

I absolutely love the New Forest. Ever since I first visited Paul’s folks down there I have been in love with the place. It is an area of the UK which is renown for it’s stunning, unspoiled beaches, rolling countryside, beauty, green space and they have frigging PONIES running free!! Seriously, how could you not love it.

The particular visit was even better than normal because the weather was actually good and we were blessed with sunshine and warmth both days of the weekend (which is like wining the lottery in England). When we went to the beach I felt like we could have been in the South of France.

Check out the pictures to see how beautiful this part of the country is.

Stunning views from the top.