The Aussie Flashpacker Travel Blog & Magazine brings you the best in luxury and adventure travel.
Bursting with Wanderlust, Luxury, Adventure, Travel tips & Inspiration it aims to inspire you to travel and see the world.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Luxurious Roman Stay at Babuino 181

Rome Luxury Suites are a collection of three luxury, boutique hotels located in Rome's historic centre, within minutes of its most popular sites and attractions. Rome Luxury Suites provide you with the opportunity to live life as a Roman in your very own luxury suite! During our visit to Rome in 2014 we stayed at Margutta 54 and had the most incredible stay in their stunning collection of converted artist studios. On this visit to Rome we booked our stay at another of Rome Luxury Suites' boutique hotels which was Babuino 181 and we had a fantastic stay in our luxurious Italian home away from home!



Friday, April 29, 2016

Our Secret Food Tour of Rome

We are both complete foodies and after our recent incredible Tapas Tour in Barcelona we signed up for a food tour of Rome! We chose to do an Evening Historical Centre Food Tour with Secret Food Tours who we'd previously heard great things about! Our evening consisted of a three hour guided food tour through the historical centre of Rome where we saw incredible Roman ruins, explored the Jewish Ghetto, Trastevere, Compo dei Fiori and Piazza Navona as well as learning about the culture, history and of course incredible food of Rome! Our friendly local guide Sylvia was passionate about both Rome and food and was an incredible guide. We loved strolling through the different neighbourhoods of Rome, seeing secret places that only the locals know about and stopping to try many different types of incredible foods throughout the evening. It was a great insight into Roman history, culture and cuisine and we had a fabulous evening that finished with very full and happy bellies!



Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Luxurious Roman Holiday at Il Palazzetto

Exclusively located at the top of the Spanish Steps in Rome is Il Palazzetto, a luxurious boutique hotel located in a beautiful 16th century building! Il Palazzetto was established by Roberto E. Wirth, President and Managing Director of the nearby Hotel Hassler and is one of Rome's best kept secrets. Our stay at Il Palazzetto was incredible and truly felt like our own private residence in one of the most sought after locations in Rome. Our stay at Il Palazzetto was luxurious, relaxing and magical, it is without a doubt one of the most majestic boutique hotels that we've had the pleasure to enjoy during our travels.



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Full-Day Vatican and Colosseum Tour with City Wonders

Rome is such an incredible city and is without doubt one of my favourite cities in the world. It is a city that had endless attractions to see and countless amazing opportunities to be had and so it is essential to plan your time in Rome well so that you can see and do as much as possible during your time there. We decided to book a tour with City Wonders that was a full day tour and visited the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St Peter's Basilica, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. It was a very full on day but our passionate guides were fantastic and the Skip-The-Line access ensured it was the perfect way to make the most of our precious time in the Eternal City!



Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Returning to Mezzatorre Resort & Spa, an Island Paradise on Ischia

Mezzatorre Resort & Spa is a five star hotel located in Forio d' Ischia, surrounded by seven hectares of pinewood and perched on the cliffs overlooking it's own private bay and is truly a piece of paradise. It's origins are as a defence against the raids of the Saracen army and the antique 16th century lookout tower has been tastefully and skilfully renovated without altering it's original design to retain its incredible history. We fell in love with Mezzatorre when we visited in 2014 at the end of the summer season and jumped at the opportunity to return to this hotel which well and truly deserves its membership of The Leading Hotels of the World collection. Mezzatorre Resort & Spa is a luxurious, secluded hotel which enjoys an enviable, beautiful seafront position. The hotel also boasts its own private thermal source, an extensive spa, three indoor pools, an outdoor seawater pool, its own private beach, two incredible restaurants and seven hectares of natural pine wood. A visit to Mezzatorre is good for the mind, body and soul and we left feeling relaxed and rejuvenated after our return to one of our favourite places in the world.



Monday, April 25, 2016

Breathtakingly Beautiful Maison La Minervetta, Sorrento

During our visit to the Amalfi Coast in 2014 we fell in love with Maison La Minervetta in Sorrento. Maison La Minervetta is not just a stunning boutique hotel, it is a luxury experience that you will never forget. We were lucky enough to return recently and again, this gorgeous hotel left us lost for words as we rediscovered the reasons why we fell in love with it in the first place. With the most incredible location, set high on the cliffs overlooking Sorrento, the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius, Maison La Minervetta oozes understated luxury with its unique, stunning decor and the best views of the whole region. Maison La Minervetta is a must when visiting beautiful Sorrento.



Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Romantic Stay in Positano at Elegant Villa Mary Suites

We fell in love with enchanting Positano when we visited back in 2014 and were ecstatic to return! As our time on the coast was limited we only booked a one night stay at Villa Mary Suites in Positano but from the moment we arrived we wished we had booked a whole week! Villa Mary Suites has a very exclusive location in the heart of Positano's historical centre and boasts the most breathtaking panoramic views of the entire Positano bay all the way to the sea. Our room was elegant and romantic and we loved relaxing on our private terrace, completely captivated by the incredible views!



Saturday, April 23, 2016

Our Amalfi Coast Photo Diary

Recently we returned to the Amalfi Coast, a region in Italy that we fell in love with during a trip there in 2014. The Amalfi Coast is breathtakingly beautiful and we spent a week relaxing, exploring and rediscovering a few of the places we have the fondest memories of from our previous trip. Our itinerary this time included Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano and the stunning island of Ischia and whilst we didn't have the amazing weather we had last time we still loved the region just as much as we remembered. The whole coast is stunning with jaw dropping cliffs and majestic whitewashed pastel villages built into the cliffs that seemingly look to plunge into the turquoise waters below. If you ever get the opportunity to visit this stunning part of Italy we highly recommend it and guarantee you won't be disappointed! Here's a selection of some of our favourite photos and memories from our return to the beautiful Amalfi Coast.



Friday, April 22, 2016

A Relaxing Stay in Amalfi at Panoramic Villa Lara

During our time on the Amalfi Coast we booked a night at Villa Lara in Amalfi. Amalfi is wonderfully located on the Amalfi Coast and is a beautiful town that is also a great base to explore the rest of the coast from. Villa Lara was built in the 1800s and is surrounded by lemon groves, trees and beautiful, bright flowers. We loved that its location was only a few minutes from the centre of Amalfi and the sea but its location perched on a cliff meant it overlooked all of Amalfi with stunning, panoramic views. It also meant that we could enjoy beautiful Amalfi but then escape the crowds to our oasis of tranquillity in our privileged spot overlooking all of the town.



Thursday, April 21, 2016

Our Surprising Afternoon Rediscovering Naples

Naples is Italy's third-largest city and is one of its oldest, most delicious and can also be one of its most charming. The first time I visited Naples was on a school trip to Italy in 2007 where we spent two weeks travelling around Italy's most beautiful cities and historic sites. We spent two nights in Naples so that we could visit the archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum as well as Naples. Our visit unfortunately fell during one of the infamous bin strikes that Naples has had over the years and so my memories of the city were tainted by the piles of stinking garbage which were piled high in the streets. We returned recently on our way to the Amalfi Coast and spent a night in Naples and had the most perfect afternoon and evening exploring the city. I am so glad I gave Naples another chance... it's a city that is crazy, dirty and busy but also has an incredible history, magical buildings, beauty and charm along with being the home of pizza!



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Our Guide to Getting Around the Amalfi Coast

We fell in love with the Amalfi Coast when we visited in 2014 and so when we had the chance to return recently we jumped at the opportunity! Every town in the region is unique and beautiful and whilst you could spend months exploring all the beautiful places along the coast many people only manage to visit for a few days and so in order to maximise your time in the region it is essential to know how to get around the coast. There's plenty of options and we've used most of them and so here's our guide of how to get around the Amalfi Coast!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Romantic Stay at Hotel Santa Brigida Naples

We recently spent a night in Naples on our way to the Amalfi Coast and booked a night at Hotel Santa Brigida. Hotel Santa Brigida is a new design hotel in Naples that is ideally located in central Naples, has original and uniquely decorated rooms, is housed in a historical building and is a very quiet, romantic boutique hotel that was ideal for our stay.



Monday, April 18, 2016

Five Star Luxury at Cotton House Hotel Barcelona

One of the most recent additions to Marriott's Autograph Collection, Barcelona's Cotton House Hotel is located in an iconic 19th century building that was formerly the headquarters of the Cotton Textile Foundation. The hotel was only opened last year and underwent an incredible restoration process which retained the original elements, beauty and charm of the building whilst also ensuring it met the highest quality five star standards for guests to the hotel. The hotel is ideally located in central Barcelona, has a wonderful welcoming and elegant ambiance and our stay at the luxurious Cotton House Hotel was a highlight of our time in Barcelona. 



Sunday, April 17, 2016

Our Sweet Home Abroad in Barcelona

Sweet Home Abroad is an international service offering an excellent selection of over 1,000 apartments and villas for rental all around the world which can be rented on a short term or long term basis! We love staying in apartments when we travel as they very quickly feel like your own home on the road and allow you the opportunity to live life like a local in different cities around the world! We love the freedom, privacy and independence apartment stays offer and especially love having separate bedroom and living rooms especially whilst we are working on the road! Apartments can also save you a lot of money compared to staying in a hotel especially when you can cook for yourself. We had a fantastic stay in Barcelona in a gorgeous apartment with Sweet Home Abroad, a company we will certainly use again in the future!



Saturday, April 16, 2016

An Incredible Barcelona Tapas Experience with Food Lover Tour

It would almost be a crime to go to Barcelona and not indulge in a tapas experience during your visit! We wanted to get off the beaten tourist track and ensure we experienced delicious, authentic tapas restaurants where the locals go, but are yet to be discovered by tourists! As this is easier said than done, we decided to book a Tapas Lover Tour with Food Lover Tour who are a great company in Barcelona that offer numerous different foodie experiences and we had a great evening with them exploring local cuisine, socialising and experiencing over 17 different types of amazing tapas!



Friday, April 15, 2016

Highlights Of Five Days Exploring Sunny Barcelona

After two incredible weeks in Portugal we jumped on a plane to Barcelona where we were greeted by sunshine, beaches, sangria, tapas, Gaudi and much more! Barcelona is a gorgeous city and I honestly don't think I've ever heard anyone say that they didn't like it and now we can see why! We had an incredible five days exploring the city and its many sites and here are our many highlights and tips to make the most of your time in this fabulous, cosmopolitan, sunny city!



Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Private Tour of Sintra, Cascais & Estoril with Selection Tours

On our recent trip to Lisbon we booked a private day tour with Selection Tours to Sintra, Cascais and Estoril. Selection Tours offer a wide range of private and semi-private luxury tours of Lisbon and of surrounding places of interest such as Sintra. We had a fantastic day exploring Sintra, the former summer residence of the Portuguese kings which was classified as UNESCO World Heritage in 1995 and the beautiful Pena Palace along with the beautiful coastal towns of Cascais and Estoril.



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Our Lisbon Photo Diary

After we sadly dropped off our Soul Campers campervan after an incredible week exploring the Algarve and West Coast regions of Portugal we headed north on the train to Portugal's capital city, Lisbon! We had done very little research on Lisbon before we arrived and so didn't know what to expect but had an amazing four days exploring this fantastic city! Our days were filled with sightseeing, getting lost in the windy cobblestoned streets of the old town, indulging in excellent food and strolling the streets looking for new viewpoints over the city! We also took a day trip out to the UNESCO town of Sintra where we explored the charming town and incredible, fairytale-like Pena Palace before finishing our day by driving along the beautiful Atlantic beaches from Cascais to Estoril. The weather was a mixed bag during our stay with a few days of sun and a few days of rain but we still made the most of it and had a great time exploring Lisbon which is a beautiful hilly town filled with history, pastel coloured buildings, charming streets and excellent food! It is a city that is well worth visiting in Europe and if you get time we also highly recommend taking a trip out to nearby Sintra and the beautiful string of Atlantic beaches that are located just outside of the city.



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Stylish Stay at Chic Brown's Central Hotel Lisbon

During our recent visit to Lisbon we stayed at the stylish and wonderfully located Brown's Central Hotelpart of the Brown's Hotel Group in Lisbon which includes three beautiful hotels. The hotel was beautifully decorated, our room was stunning and well equipped and the location could not have been more perfect to explore all Lisbon has to offer! We found the staff to be extremely friendly and helpful during our stay and we loved spending our evenings relaxing in the very chic, stylish hotel bar and lounge. The hotel is a unique and welcoming boutique hotel that is both comfortable and cosy as well as luxurious and modern!


Monday, April 11, 2016

Our Portugal Campervan Photo Diary

Portugal is an incredibly diverse and beautiful country and during our recent campervan adventures with Soul Campers we explored a great deal of the East and West Algarve regions as well as the West Coast and Alentejo National Park. We've detailed all our adventures and travel tips in our recent blog posts but as Portugal is so beautifully photogenic we managed to take thousands of photos and so wanted to finish off with one final post with some of our favourite photos from our time in Portugal x



Sunday, April 10, 2016

An Amazing Week Exploring the Algarve & Alentejo with Soul Campers

If you're a regular reader or follow us on Instagram then you'll certainly know by now that we had an amazing time on our week exploring Portugal in a campervan with Soul Campers. We very quickly fell in love with everything about Portugal and it is without a doubt one of our favourite countries in the world. It is a country where you can relax on some of Europe's most beautiful beaches, eat the freshest of seafood straight off the boat in small, traditional fishing villages, stroll through charming historic towns, surf waves that people travel from all over the world to surf and fall further in love with the country the more you explore. Our week with Soul Campers has been a highlight of our travels to date so far and we're so excited to share all our photos, tips and stories with you!



Saturday, April 9, 2016

Campervanning Through Portugal: Logistics of Life on the Road

We've just finished the most INCREDIBLE week campervanning through Portugal with Soul Campers. We've had loads of questions about our itinerary as well as the logistics of a campervan holiday and so we wanted to share our experiences on the road in order to hopefully inspire others to get out there and hit the open road on their very own campervan holiday. Portugal is such a beautiful country that is well worth adding to your bucket list if it is not already on it and our adventures in our campervan allowed us to travel far and wide and really see a fantastic, authentic side of Portugal and the wonderful Portuguese people that a lot of visitors to Portugal don't get to see.


Friday, April 8, 2016

Our Portugal Campervan Itinerary

Portugal is without a doubt one of the most underrated destinations in the world and during our recent trip there we fell in love with the country, the people, the food & wine, the scenery and everything about this magnificent country. For such a small country, Portugal is incredibly diverse and we were extremely lucky to experience quite a large part of Portugal during our campervan trip with Soul Campers. We were given some incredible tips and advice by friends before we left and by people we met on the road and since then we've been asked loads of questions about where we went and so we've decided to share our week long campervan itinerary in the hope it inspires others to visit Portugal and we think a great way to do it is with one of Soul Campers amazing campervans!



Thursday, April 7, 2016

5 Must See Destinations on the Algarve

We recently spent a week with Soul Campers exploring Portugal's beautiful coastline and spent the majority of our time in the Algarve, Portugal's most southern region. The Algarve is alluring and we fell in love over and over again with this beautiful region. We flew into Faro from the UK and were collected from the airport by our transfer company, hoppa who are a fantastic transfer company that we highly recommend if you're visiting the region. We then started our trip in the Eastern part of the Algarve which is less frequented by tourists and contains naturally beautiful beaches, secluded islands, small traditional fishing villages and authentic Portuguese countryside. From the Eastern part we headed to the more central and more "touristy" part of the Algarve where we chose our destinations wisely to suit us and found paradise in Lagos and the gorgeous beach towns which surround it. From there we headed to the end of the Algarve to the most south western point in Portugal and all of Europe where we witnessed wild, rugged beauty in its most natural form. The Algarve is well known for its sunny Mediterranean climate, its beaches and resorts but it is so much more than just that. Portugal has some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, we found the people to be friendly and welcoming and the food and wine to be incredible! To say we fell in love with the Algarve is an understatement and here is just 5 of our favourite and must see destinations for anyone visiting the Algarve.



Wednesday, April 6, 2016

10 Reasons You Should Explore Portugal with a Soul Campers Campervan

Portugal was the first stop on our travels through Europe and is a country which we very quickly fell head over heels in love for. It is a country where you can relax on some of Europe's most beautiful beaches, eat the freshest of seafood straight off the boat in small, traditional fishing villages, stroll through charming historic towns, surf waves that people travel from all over the world to surf and fall further in love with the country the more you explore. We travelled for a week along the coastline with Soul Campers in one of their new campervans and it was one of the most incredible experiences of our travel lives to date! Here are 10 reasons why you should explore this incredible country with one of their amazing campervans.



Tuesday, April 5, 2016

An Elegant Stay at Valverde Hotel Lisbon

Five Star Valverde Hotel is a luxurious hotel located on Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon's most exclusive avenue. The hotel has been inspired by the beautiful, elegant town houses in the cosmopolitan cities of London and New York. Valverde Hotel is a small, exclusive hotel with 25 rooms and suites and offers guests the ultimate in luxury, comfort and refined elegance. We loved the classic, elegant decor which has been created with a combination of bespoke furniture, vibrant colours, antique paintings and an excellent eye for style and detail. For many, Valverde Hotel will feel more like a private home than a hotel and the professional, passionate staff will ensure everything is done to make your stay at Valverde Hotel perfect!



Monday, April 4, 2016

Our Stress Free Move to Australia with Shiply Delivery Services

Regular readers of the blog will know that last December Dan's partner visa for Australia was finally approved and if you follow us on Instagram you'll know that we left the UK two weeks ago after living there for the past two years. We live and breathe all things travel and whilst we travelled quite regularly and extensively during our time in England there was still so much left that I wanted to see before we moved across the world! We decided we'd travel for just over three months, a trip which totalled 100 days where we started in Portugal and will finish in Greece. It would be impossible for us to travel with all our belongings and I certainly didn't want to just throw out everything we've accumulated over the past two years (although Dan made me cull a lot)! We decided we'd look into either shipping our belongings or sending them with a courier company back to Australia and after a lot of extensive research we came across Shiply who are an excellent, innovative company who met all our requirements!


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Fazenda Nova Country House: A Luxurious & Relaxing Hideaway in the Heart of the Eastern Algarve

During our recent visit to the Algarve we had the pleasure of staying at Fazenda Nova Country House, a secluded, luxurious boutique hotel located in the countryside of Portugal's Eastern Algarve region. Fazenda Nova is a truly unique destination and is ideally located to explore all the region has to offer. We loved its authentic, countryside location and working farm where we could witness a side of Portugal not many tourists get to experience. Despite its seemingly remote location it is perfectly positioned to explore all the Eastern Algarve has to offer including unspoilt beaches, the natural wonder that is the Rio Formosa, authentic Portuguese fishing villages, historical towns and the incredible culture and food of the region. The Fazenda was luxurious, relaxing, romantic and as they perfectly describe a "boutique hideaway in the heart of the Eastern Algarve countryside" and our stay there allowed us to experience this magnificent part of Portugal, a country which we very quickly fell in love with.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

An Authentic, Homemade Portuguese Dining Experience at À Terra

During our recent visit to beautiful Vila Monte Farm House we had the pleasure to dine in their restaurant, À Terra. À Terra is described as being "more than a restaurant, À Terra is a way of life." The dishes in À Terra feature meals created using the finest in homemade, delicious, healthy food. The restaurant is inspired by local products and many of the ingredients used in the restaurant are grown in Vila Monte's own extensive vegetable and herb garden. The restaurant is a place for sharing and has a continuous service all day long. The wood oven and Josper Grill are the pride and joy of À Terra restaurant and many of the incredible, traditional Portugese dishes that are served in the restaurant are cooked in these.


Friday, April 1, 2016

The Ultimate Algarve Retreat: Vila Monte Farm House

Located in Moncarapacho, between Olhao and Tavira is beautiful Vila Monte Farm House which was our first stop in Portugal! Vila Monte Farm House is one of the most unique and beautiful places we've had the pleasure in visiting during our travels. Its beautiful location in the countryside between the Algarve mountain range and the ocean which is only 10 minutes away, allows guests to experience all the region truly has to offer. Vila Monte Farm House is a enchanting combination of timeless simplicity, stylish boho-chic lifestyle, a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere and as they describe "the perfect re-interpretation of the Algarve Spirit". We were won over immediately by Vila Monte's stylish charm and relaxed atmosphere.