A busy and beautiful year has passed again. We fulfilled big dreams and also spent a lot of time exploring “our own backyard” – travelling in Hungary and in Eastern Europe. It made us realize we could spend long years travelling around in these countries without ever getting bored. Actually, we still haven’t been to all of the Eastern European countries. Also, we haven’t even been to all of the national parks of our tiny little home, Hungary. But we started exploring them and we plan to continue it…
Summary of 2017
Overall, we visited 9 countries in 2017: Austria, Czechia, Hungary, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain – 3 of them for the first time (Iceland, Portugal and Spain). The capitals where we were first timers’ are Warsaw, Reykjavík and Lisbon – all of them unique in their own ways and stole our hearts easily.
But our list of amazing new cities doesn’t end with these capitals. We shouldn’t miss Barcelona that instantly became one of our favorite cities in the world! Then there are Łódź and Wrocław, the gems of Poland and Brno, this pretty historical town in Czechia, or Košice, the loveliest town in Slovakia.
We enjoyed returning to places we love so much – like Vienna or the Slovak Paradise and the High Tatras in Slovakia. We also had a bunch of wonderful short getaways in Hungary. It turned out there are places in our country we had no idea they are worth visiting – like Körös-Maros National Park in the far Southeastern corner of Hungary.
Iceland, Iceland, Iceland!
But if we have to choose a favorite destination for 2017, it’s surprisingly easy: nothing can beat Iceland! We’ve been dreaming about visiting it for a while and we couldn’t help arriving there with high expectations. But we simply couldn’t imagine its beauty until we’ve seen it with our own eyes. We love nature and when it comes to nature, Iceland really has it all: ocean, beaches, rugged coastline, fjords, mountains, volcanoes, glaciers, canyons, waterfalls, hot springs… even puffins. 😀
We spent 2 and a half weeks to drive around the island in the summer and we enjoyed every moment!
- Best Short Hikes In Iceland
- Our 18 Favorite Waterfalls From Iceland
- 6 Breathtaking Canyons In Iceland
- Scenic Drive On Iceland’s Snæfellsnes Peninsula
- In Search Of The Basalt Column Canyon Of Eastern Iceland
- No, it’s not all, even more posts will come… 🙂
Beaches: Algarve, Portugal
The most amazing beaches we found this year were the beaches of Algarve in Southern Portugal. Ever since we’ve seen a picture of Benagil Caves we knew we want to visit this region. With golden sand beaches and emerald green bays, orange, yellow and red limestone formations, caves and arches along the coastline, it really didn’t disappoint! Our time there was a perfect combination of lazy beach time and short, scenic coastal hikes.
- Best Beaches In Algarve, Portugal
- Amazing Coastal Hikes In Portugal
- Algar Seco, Portugal – Welcome To Cheeseland!
Architecture: Barcelona, Spain
If Iceland is hard to beat when it comes to natural beauties, the same goes for Barcelona when it comes to architecture. The unique works of Gaudí amazed us just as much as the Gothic Quarter or the fabulous Art Nouveau buildings. Wherever we walked in the city, we liked it. And then, Barcelona has a beach and a beach promenade – a crucial advantage to all the poor cities that doesn’t. It just adds to the vibe of any city. And it makes Barcelona even harder to beat – at least for us.
Old Town: Warsaw, Poland
The title of “Our favorite newly discovered old town in 2017” definitely goes to Warsaw. The Polish capital was the highlight of our second visit to Poland. We especially liked its colorful, intact Old Town, pretty squares, parks and majestic palaces.
- All The Reasons To Love Warsaw
- Photo Essay: Scenes From The Old Town Of Warsaw
- Video: Strolling Through Warsaw, Poland
Castles: Moravia, Czechia & Sintra, Portugal
We’ve never really considered Eastern Europe as a destination for fairy tale castles. So mistaken. Our road trip through Moravia spoiled us with fabulous historical towns and countless stunning castles. Most of them are nicely renovated and we especially liked the Representative Halls of Lednice and Kroměříž Castles. Bouzov Castle on the other hand made us feel like travelling back in time to the Middle Ages.
If we are talking about castles, we should mention Sintra, too. This small town in Portugal is a place to find several 19th-century Romantic architectural monuments. We visited the National Palace of Pena, the Park and Palace Of Monserrate and Quinta Da Regaleira (The Palace Of Mystery) and liked them all so much. If you are on the search for a perfectly romantic setting for your wedding, these are the places for you – except I wouldn’t even dare imagining the price they ask for a wedding. However, the price for visiting them hand in hand with your partner is quite affordable. 😀
- Chasing Fairy Tales In Moravia: Lednice Castle
- Kroměříž, The Unpronounceable Gem Of Moravia
- Greetings From The Middle Ages: Bouzov Castle
- Video: Castle Hunt In Moravia, Czech Republic
Mountain village: Hallstatt, Austria
We found the loveliest mountain village in the world. Or at least we think so. On the shore of Lake Hallstatt, surrounded by romantic peaks of the Alps lies a tiny village with narrow streets and half-timbered houses: Hallstatt. It can maybe explored within half a day but the surrounding Alps offer countless beautiful adventures!
Christmas Markets: Prague & Budapest
We are so lucky to name the place where we live as a favorite travel destination. Budapest offers a lot and it showed its most glamorous face this Christmas season. But we visited another Christmas market in another wonderful city that we love just as much or maybe even more: Prague.
We could wholeheartedly recommend anyone to experience the Christmas magic of these majestic cities at least once in a lifetime. If nothing else, all the delicious chimney cakes you can eat makes it worth. 😀
Read more: Our Best Christmas Market Moments Of 2017
Our plans for 2018
But we are not only being nostalgic about the past, we are getting excited about the future as well. And 2018 does look exciting! We are planning to visit a new and faraway continent: Australia! We can hardly believe it… But since we already have the dates and some reservations it’s not a dream anymore. It’s a plan.
We have another significant country to visit in 2018 that is much-much closer to us. Romania. Because it’s just a shame that Romania is our neighbouring country and we haven’t ever been there. Though there are a bunch of reasons to go – we hope to tell you about them the upcoming year.
No other plans yet… Oh, like it’s not enough. 😀 Have you ever travelled to a faraway continent? How was your 2017? What are your favorite travel experiences?