A perfect 7-day itinerary to the highlights of Madeira

Madeira is one of those places that has everything. From beaches to lush green forests to mountain peaks, amazing viewpoints and great food. It’s heaven for nature photographers like me but also for people who like being outdoors, hiking, tanning at the beach,… I went there for 1 week with 2 friends of mine because of our interest in nature photography and Madeira just blew our minds. It’s a place I will definitely return to as there’s a lot more to see. In this blog, I’ll write down the perfect 1 week itinerary to see the highlights of this island.

Madeira lies in the Atlantic Ocean out of the cost of Portugal. Many people call it the Hawaii of Europe and if you go there you’ll easily see why. The cliffs, tropical vibe and volcanic landscape make you feel like you’re on an island far away in the tropics. I’ve listed some tips and must know items down below at the end of the blog, but I already want to mention now that we used a rental car to explore the island as this gives a lot more flexibility than taking public transport or booking tours (which is all perfectly possible to see most of the highlights, but we like to be as flexible as possible and stop where we want to). We booked our car with Sixt, it was the best price we could find for our travel dates.

As always, I do tons of research before going somewhere and always look for the most beautiful spots, viewpoints and fun things to do. We’re rather adventurous and try to see as much as possible with the time we have but you can adjust the itinerary to your liking. We adjusted our itinerary upon arrival as the weather was really bad for our first 3 days so we first went to the spots where we would not be bothered by the bad weather. We had a hotel booked in Funchal for the whole week but when looking back, it’s better to spend a few nights in the south and a few nights in the north of the island to reduce your time in the car. Now let’s get started.

Madeira cliffs along the coast of Seixal

  • Day 1: Arrival in Madeira + afternoon in Funchal
  • Day 2: Hike PR9 Levada do Caldeirão Verde + Levada dos Balcões
  • Day 3: Fanal + Ribeira da Janela + Seixal + sunset at Miradouro do Ponta da Ladeira
  • Day 4: Hike PR8 Ponta de São Lourenço + afternoon by the pool
  • Day 5: Sunrise at Pico do Arieiro + pool time + Funchal + sunset at Bica da Cana
  • Day 6: Hike PR1 Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo and back
  • Day 7: Hike PR6 Levada das 25 Fontes / Levada do Risco + Garganta Funda + sunset at Miradouro do Raposeira

Fanal forest

Day 1: Arrival in Madeira + afternoon in Funchal

We arrived at the airport just past noon and decided to explore Funchal first. Funchal is the capital of Madeira. It’s by far the biggest city on the island and it has a really beautiful historic city center. We decided to take it slow and just strolled around the city streets, the harbor and the city parc with all it’s tropical plants. The city has a lot of beautiful old buildings and giant trees covering the streets. I can’t compare it to any city I’ve seen before but I just loved the look of it. We strolled around, got something to eat and checked in at our hotel in the evening, which was just outside of the city center. There’s lots of things to see and do at Funchal, which we didn’t because we decided to take it slow on our first day, but some of the best rated things to do are:

  • Visiting the old city center
  • Taking the Monte Cable Car
  • Visiting Monte Palace Tropical Garden
  • Wicker Toboggan ride (sleighing down the steep streets)
  • Madeira Botanical Garden
Beautiful street in Funchal

I didn’t take much photos of Funchal because we were tired of the early flight so I guess I should go back!

Day 2: Hike PR9 Levada do Caldeirão Verde + Levada dos Balcões

We had hoped to do a sunrise at Ponto do Rosto and do the PR8 Ponta de São Lourenço hike but the weather would be bad for the next 3 days with only a little bit of sunshine so we changed our plans and went to hike the PR9 Levada do Caldeirão Verde, which is one of the prettiest levada hikes on the island. A levada is an irrigation canal and Madeira has more than 3000km of levadas on the island. These levadas bring the rain water of one side of the island to the other because it rains a lot more in the north than it does in the south of Madeira. The PR9 Caldeirão Verde will lead you through the heart of Madeira and makes you really feel like you’re in the jungle. You will be treated with some gorgeous views and waterfalls along the way. There’s a paid parking lot at the start of the hike.

Hike details: 13 km in total (6,5 one way), this will take you around 4 hours and it’s easy to do (barely any elevation gain).

The hike takes you along narrow paths which makes it challenging (but not impossible) when passing other hikers if the trail gets busy. I suggest you to bring a headlight because you will pass some tunnels which are completely dark. After +/- 2 hours of hiking you come by one of Madeira’s biggest waterfalls, Caldeirão Verde. We hiked until this point and then returned to the car.

The hike starts and ends at these really cute houses where you can get a drink before/after.

It was early in the afternoon when we ended the hike so we decided to drive to Levada dos Balcões. This viewpoint treats you with superb views over the inland mountains all the way to the seaside. We just put Levada dos Balcões in Google Maps and parked the car at the side of the road where the walk starts. It takes only about 15/20 minutes to reach the viewpoint.

View at Levada dos Balcões

In the beginning there were a lot of people but we just waited for 30 minutes until we had the view all to ourselves. We wanted to be alone because this viewpoint is known to have lots of little birds flying around and if you are patient enough, they come eat out of your hand so be sure to bring something to eat for these little guys!

Day 3: Fanal + Ribeira da Janela + Seixal + sunset at Miradouro do Ponta da Ladeira

It seems like this is a long and exhausting day but most of these spots don’t require a lot of walking or hiking so it was actually pretty relaxed. All of these spots are on the Northwest side of Madeira so we combined them as it’s more than a 1h drive from Funchal. The weather was still bad but for these locations this wasn’t much of an issue to us, especially because we really wanted to visit Fanal when it’s covered in heavy mist. On our way to Fanal, we passed a road with a free car wash, just like the famous Cascata dos Anjos, a small waterfall in the middle of the road.

For me, Fanal forest (also called Laurisilva) is in my top 3 highlights of Madeira and might even make it to number 1 of that list. It’s just nothing I’ve ever seen before. The fairytale like laurel forest if one of the last laurel forests on the planet. These trees have all sorts of forms and are covered in different kinds of moss. Due to the high humidity and relatively mild, stable temperatures they have the perfect opportunity to grow. Fanal forest is located on the Northwest side of Madeira which is often covered in clouds, this makes for the perfect conditions to visit Fanal. It’s one of the few spots you just don’t want any sunshine as it’s so mystical to visit it when it’s covered in dense mist. The best place to park at Fanal: click here for Google Maps. From here you walk right into it!

There is a path between the trees but we just wandered around. I think we spent over 2 hours here in the mist and the rain but for us these were the perfect weather conditions to get some special photos. When it’s covered in mist like when we went, you can’t see more than 20m in front of you. If you don’t want to miss any spots, just use Google Maps on satellite mode and you’ll find your way around (and back to the parking lot). There are cows walking around as well so watch out and give them their space. When we went in the beginning of May, there were quite some freshly born calves as well which was pretty cute.

We were soaking wet when we left but it was so worth it. Time to dry up a bit in the car. On our way down to the coast, we made a short stop at the famous sea stacks of Ribeira da Janela. We didn’t go down to the beach but there is a small viewpoint right in front of the sea stacks.

From here it’s only a short drive to Seixal. Seixal is a city located in the North of Madeira and it’s part of the township of Porto Moniz. Seixal is famous for it’s black beach with a stunning backdrop of huge cliffs and a beautiful waterfall.

There are also some natural pools (which you can find in different spots on Madeira as well). We visited Seixal for the black beach (which we couldn’t really enjoy because of the bad weather). When we arrived, it started to rain a bit so there were not many people around. After a few minutes the rain stopped and we had the beach almost all to ourselves.

Seixal by drone

The day was coming to an end and despite the bad weather, we wanted to test our luck by catching a nice sunset. We drove to Miradouro do Ponta da Ladeira. There’s a small parking spot and from there, you can see a small sketchy path which goes down. It only takes you 3-5 minutes to reach the viewpoint. We had a short moment of sunshine before the sun disappeared behind the clouds but it was a great moment. There were only a few other people which made it even more special.

Day 4: Ponta do Rosto + Hike PR8 Ponta de São Lourenço + afternoon by the pool

We started the day with the hope to catch a nice sunrise at Ponto do Rosto but the weather was still bad so we didn’t get lucky here. We stayed a while to get some photos as the views are still incredible and then drove on to do the PR8 Ponta de São Lourenço hike. The start of the hike is only a short drive from the Ponta do Rosto viewpoint.

The landscape here looks totally different from the rest of Madeira. A long time ago, there were multiple volcanoes here but now it consists of cliffs and dry landscape. It’s a unique part of Madeira and along the way, you’re treated with many beautiful views, like Miradouro de São Lourenço and Ponta do Castelo. Both of these viewpoints are really impressive!

Hike details: 7km, this will take you 2-3 hours with a height difference of 470m. It’s an easy walk and at the end you have the chance to take a rest and get something to drink/eat.

End of the Ponta de São Lourenço hike

The rest of the day we decided to just relax and spend the afternoon by the pool. In the evening we went to Funcal to get something to eat and had a delicious Prego Especial, THE Madeira sandwich at Theo’s Bazar Café. We also went to this local cocktail bar which serves delicious cocktails, called Rei da Poncha.

Day 5: Sunrise at Pico do Arieiro + pool time + Funchal + sunset at Bica da Cana

Sunrise at Pico do Arieiro

The weather finally seemed to be clearing up so we made our way to Pico do Arieiro for sunrise with the idea of doing the hike to Pico Ruivo. You can easily find Pico do Arieiro on Google Maps and you can’t miss the parking lot. Sunrise in the beginning of May was around 7h20 so we arrived by 7 AM and there were already quite some cars parked and at least 40-50 people waiting for the sun to rise. Needless to say this is the most famous spot in all of Madeira. Maybe it was extra busy because the previous days were so bad and now the weather conditions were perfect with a cloud inversion (when the clouds are below you) and with a view on the highest peaks of Madeira. We hoped it would be less crowded but the views were stunning!

After a while of photographing the sunrise, we wanted to start the hike to Pico Ruivo but as soon as we started, the clouds started moving up and after 5 minutes, everything was covered in clouds. We did the 1st kilometer but it was really cold as well so we decided to go back and do the hike the next day. It’s the prettiest hike of Madeira so we wanted to enjoy it in full glory and not walk in the clouds the whole time.

We drove to our hotel in Funchal, where the sun was shining bright and spent the day by the pool until the early afternoon. We went back to Funchal to get another cocktail and something to eat. Then we left to see the sun set at Bica da Cana. To see Bica da Cana, you can park your car at the side of the road and follow the way up for about 10 minutes. It’s a lesser known viewpoint and when we arrived, there were only a handful of other photographers.

At Bica da Cana

We were above the clouds again and enjoyed watching the clouds fall down into the valley below.

Day 6: Hike PR1 Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo and back

We dicided to set the alarm early again for another chance of catching sunrise at Pico do Arieiro. The day before, we weren’t really prepared for our sunrise mission and ended up at the viewpoint called Miradouro do Juncal. This viewpoint is very easy to access (only 2 minutes from the parking lot). Even though the views are gorgeous, it’s the viewpoint where all other tourists come to watch sunrise at Pico do Arieiro and we wanted a spot that would be less crowded.  

Our preferred sunrise viewpoint at Pico do Arieiro is called Miradouro do Ninho da Manta. Here you’ll also find some people but it’s less crowded than the first viewpoint I mentioned. You can easily find Miradouro do Ninho da Manta by starting the hike to Pico Ruivo and after 15 minutes you come by this balcony. We stayed here to watch the sun come up, took some photos and started the hike around 8h30.

Hike details: 11 km in total (about 5.5 km one way), this will take you 5-6 hours with an elevation gain of 1200 meters. You start the hike at Pico do Arieiro, which is at 1818 meters and end the hike at Pico do Ruivo (highest point of Madeira) which is at 1862 meters. That isn’t a big difference but the hiking trails descends and rises a lot along the way. There are other options to visit Pico Ruivo as well if you don’t want to do the full hike. The hike itself is gorgeous with some of the prettiest views ever but it’s also quite heavy so take your time.  

The best tips for the hike from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo that I can give:

  • Take enough water with you
  • Take sun protector
  • Start the hike early as it’s one of the busiest points of Madeira and it’s way nicer to experience it without hundreds of other hikers blocking your way

When we got back, we didn’t have much energy left so we decided to relax for the rest of the day.

Day 7: Hike PR6 Levada das 25 Fontes / Levada do Risco + Garganta Funda + sunset at Miradouro do Raposeira

On our last day in Madeira we had a few options left but we chose to do the PR6 Levada das 25 Fontes / Levada do Risco because we hadn’t seen many waterfalls yet. From the parking lot to Levada do Risco you can either walk down yourself or take a minivan that drives people up and down. The walk to the waterfall is only 3km from the parking lot so we decided to walk. Levada do Risco itself is really cool and we had some fun feeding the birds asking for food. In the end we decided not to hike further until Levada das 25 Fontes, which is another 2,2km.

Afterwards we had a drink and grabbed something to eat at the cafe near the waterfall, before heading back up. Next stop: Garganta Funda. Garganta Funda is one of the highest waterfalls in Madeira with a height of about 140 meters. What should be one of Madeira’s most impressive waterfalls, was for us the most disappointing view ever. Because the sun had been shining bright the past few days, there was barely any water. The viewpoint is cool but I highly recommend visiting this spot after a rainy day. I didn’t even take a photo as we were really disappointed.

To end our final day in Madeira, we wanted to catch one last sunset. We chose to go to Miradouro do Raposeira because it was on our way back to the hotel. It’s not a famous viewpoint and we were all alone. In the beginning we had some nice light from the sun but it was quickly blocked by the clouds. It was not the sunset we had hoped for but we did get a short glampse of golden hour. Afterwards we drove back to the hotel because we had a nearly flight to catch.

Last but not least, there’s some tips I really want to share with you before you go:

  • Check the webcams of Madeira regularly, it might change your plans depending on how the weather is at different locations
  • 1 week is enough to see the highlights and have some time to relax but you can easily spend more time on the island as there’s a lot more to explore
  • Be prepared to drive some steep roads (rent a car if you can, it gives you more flexibility)
  • Take a headlight if you want to do some early hikes. Some people like to start off at sunrise to beat the crowds and tour busses
  • Take sun protection with you everywhere
  • Dress in layers as the weather can vary a lot in short timeframes
  • Dolphin and whale watching in Madeira is really popular too. We didn’t book a tour this trip but it’s something I will certainly do if I return
  • Try some of Madeira’s specialties. The food is great!

Equipment used:

  • Camera: Sony A7 III
  • Lenses: Sony 24-105mm f4 & Tamron 70-180 f2.8 & Tamron 17-28 f2.8
  • Drone: Mavic 2 Pro with Polarpro filters 4, 8, 16

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1 week in South Tyrol exploring the Italian Dolomites: a photographer’s perspective

  • Day 1: driving from Belgium to South Tyrol
  • Day 2: Lago di Braies + Lago Dobbiaco
  • Day 3: Tre Cime di Lavaredo + Cadini di Misurina and short stop at Lago di Misurina
  • Day 4: Lago di Sorapis
  • Day 5: The most beautiful churches of the Dolomites and a good hike: Church of St. Valentin + Geisler alm + church of St. John
  • Day 6: Sunrise at Alpe di Siusi + Seceda + Lago di carezza
  • Day 7: The end (or continue your holiday to Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia or drive further down south in Italy)
  • Extra: My top 3 places in the Dolomites/South Tyrol
Alpe di Siusi/Seiser Alm at sunrise

The Dolomites: massive mountain views, gorgeous landscapes everywhere you look, some of Europe’s most beautiful hiking trails (both for experienced and inexperienced hikers), delicious food,… Sounds good? I promise you that you have to put South Tyrol on your bucket list and I will help you plan the perfect trip!

I remember going to the Dolomites for the first time in 2019 and falling in love with the mountains. There are no words to describe how epic the scenery is in South Tyrol and how gorgeous the Dolomites really are. I went back in 2020 with my girlfriend during a 3 week roadtrip through Italy (and a few days in Germany + Austria). In this itinerary I’ll list the most beautiful places in the Dolomites for a 1 week stay. If you love nature, landscapes and outdoor activities, this is a must read. For your information: both times I went were in September.

The Dolomites (or Dolomiti as said in Italian) are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. In 2009, the Dolomites were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll notice that in the area both German and Italian are used as common language so all location names are indicated in Italian and German as well. In this blog, I’ll try use both the Italian and German names of all the places we visited. Let’s dive into the perfect 1 week Dolomites itinerary!

One of the views when hiking around the Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen

Day 1: driving from Belgium to South Tyrol

We woke up early in the morning and hit the road around 4.30 AM. We like to leave early to beat morning traffic in Belgium and to arrive at our destination in the afternoon so we still have some time to chill and maybe explore a bit. We booked our stay up front at Camping Toblacher See for the next 4 nights. Camping Toblacher See is well located to visit quite a few highlights in the area without having to drive too far. We like to stay a few nights at the same place so we don’t have to lose too much time breaking up the tent and setting it up somewhere else. For people who don’t like camping, there’s plenty of hotels in the area as well as nice airbnb’s. We loved our stay at the campsite but it was really cold in the evenings (it was beginning/mid September) and the sun disspeared behind the surrounding mountains early in the afternoon, between 4 and 5 PM. When I went with my friends in 2019 we did airbnb’s only which was more pleasant given the cold evenings and mornings. The first day we didn’t do much but set up the tent, get a shower and go to bed in time. I stayed out a little while longer to photograph the Milky Way above Lago Dobbiaco.

The Milky Way above Lago Dobbiaco

Day 2: Lago di Braies + Lago Dobbiaco

Lago di Braies/Pragser Wildsee

We got up early to catch sunrise at Lago di Braies (only a 20 minutes drive from the campsite). You can park your car really close to the lake. Lago di Braies is gorgeous but also way too touristic. If you go during the day, it’s packed with tourists who rent a boat to go on the lake or do the 1 hour walking tour around the lake. Both in 2019 and 2020 I visited it at sunrise and even then there were at least 30 people (mostly photographers). It’s gorgeous any time of the day, but at sunrise you have more chance of catching perfect reflections of the mountain in the back. When the sun comes up, the first light touches the top of the mountain giving it a beautiful orange hue.

After photographing sunrise at the lake, you can go on a walk around. This will take you 1 hour. If you go later in the day it will be beautiful as well, just way more crowded. A fun activity is to rent a boat and go for a tour on the lake.

After visiting Lago di Braies, we went to a nearby town, got breakfast, went to the store and strolled around a bit. After that, we went back to the campsite to explore Lago Dobbiaco. The camping is located near the lake so we just put the car next to the tent and spent the next few hours walking around the lake (it isn’t big) and the walking trails that are made in the area. I left the camera in the tent so I don’t have any photos of the walk but I’ll share some photos soon in this blog of a moody morning at the lake.

Day 3: Tre Cime di Lavaredo + Cadini di Misurina and short stop at Lago di Misurina

The next morning was very cold and moody with lots of fog over Lago Dobbiaco. I quicky grabbed my camera and went to take a few photos before starting the day.

After getting ready, we left to hike to Cadini di Misurina and the famous Tre Cime di Lavaredo (maybe the most famous place in the Dolomites, also called Drei Zinnen). You can start both hikes from Rifugio Auronzo. Coördinates: 46.612404321613866, 12.29535912162288. It doesn’t matter which hike you start with, but we chose to start off with Cadini di Misurina (see photo below). Driving there from the campsite took us only 40 minutes but there was quite a line to pay to get to the parking (parking cost is 30 euros).

Cadini di Misurina, near Tre Cime di Lavaredo

Amongst photographers, Cadini di Misurina is well known and chances are very likely you’ve seen this place on Instagram before but to most people, this gorgeous place is still pretty well hidden. Almost everyone that parks their car at Rifugio Auronzo comes to visit the famous Tre Cime di Lavaredo and they don’t even know a more epic view is hiding right around the corner.

Since the parking at Rifugio Auronzo is located at 2320 meters high, we were surrounded by clouds and couldn’t see much beyond 30 meters away from us. We decided to test our chances and do the hike to Cadini di Misurina anyway.

Rifugio Auronzo after the clouds cleared up a bit on our way back. On the right you see the walking trail to Cadini di Misurina.

How to get to Cadini di Misurina: You park your car at Rifugio Auronzo and you start the Sentiero Bonacossa trail. If you stand in front of Rifugio Auronzo as you see it in the photo above, the trail starts on your right (Coördinates for start of the trail: 46.61201906117308, 12.29640179689467). Every so many meters, you’ll find white/red marked signs that indicate you’re still on the right way. You can follow these and after 45 minutes you’ll reach the most gorgeous viewpoint in the Dolomites.

I could put 100 photos here but I think you get the point. Don’t miss this spot. We spent a little over 1h30 here since we had to wait a very long time for the clouds to clear. Afterwards, we went back to Rifugio Auronzo to start the Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen hike.

Rifugio Auronzo and the Tre Cime di Lavarezo/Drei Zinnen covered in clouds

You can’t miss the start of the Tre Cime hike, if you look at Rifugio Auronzo, the trail leads around the mountains you see on the photo above. The hike around Tre Cime is 7+ kilometers and will take you 2 hours and 30 minutes. You can extend you hike if you want as there are many other trails in the area. I could go to the Dolomites for a third time to visit this area again and sleep in the Dreizinnenhütte to enjoy sunset, stargazing and sunrise here.

The hike is pretty flat, there’s only a height difference of 200 meters. There are gorgeous views all around so you’ll have plenty of time enjoying the views and taking some cool photos!

We spent a little over 4 hours here because we stopped for a drink on our way (you’ll pass 2 huts where you can get something to eat and/or drink) and because we took our time taking photos. On our way back with the car to the campsite, we made a short stop at Lago di Misurina for a photo.

Lago di Misurina

When we arrived we looked for a pizzeria in the area of the campsite and went to Pizzeria Hans (coordinates: 46.72909288326031, 12.222239118412032). Add this pizzeria to your list! To us, these were one of the best pizza’s we had during our trip (we were on the road for 3 weeks, more about Italy will come in another blog post). I suggest you make a reservation here because we had to wait quite a while to get a table. After dinner we made a reservation to come back the next day. The staff was friendly, they advised us on some good wine and the pizza was delicious. It was perfect to end the day.

Day 4: Lago di Sorapis

Lago di Sorapis is located at a height of 1925 meters and is known for it’s turquoise color. You can only reach the lake by foot or by helicopter. I think Lago di Sorapis is a must see during your trip as it is absolutely stunning. We did it on a Sunday and that seemed to be a big mistake because it’s a well known hike among tourists and it was way too busy and crowded. If you can, don’t visit this place during the weekend.

You can start the hike at Passo Tre Croci near Cortina D’Ampezzo. Here you have 2 options: take route 215 or 217. Both are beautiful but apparently 215 is a bit more convenient so we took that one. The hike isn’t hard but it will take you 2h30 to reach the lake. For this hike I do recommend you to take enough water with you as you can’t fill your bottles along the way and get yourself some good hiking shoes.

Afterwards, we had another delicious pizza and a few glasses of wine at Pizzeria Hans.

Day 5: The most beautiful churches of the Dolomites and a good hike: Church of St. Valentin + Geisler alm + church of St. John

In the morning we left the camping at Lago Dobbiaco and drove on to our Airbnb in Ortisei (also called Urtijëi). You can also stay in Val Gardena or any other town in the area for the next few days. Ortisei and Val Gardena are the most known and are well located for the spots we’re about to visit in the next days.

On day 5 we have 2 photogenetic churches on our schedule and a hike to Geisler Alm. Our first stop was at the church of St. Valentin. The church itself is really small but so beautiful. The majestic mountains in the back make it a perfect spot for photography lovers like me. Coördinates of the church: 46.54973276972923, 11.56295971369339.

Besides the church there’s not much to see here but we stayed a while to enjoy the good weather, take some photos and went on to our next activity: hike to Geisler Alm.

You can reach Geisler Alm by hiking the beautiful Adolf Munkel Trail (Via Delle odle). The Adolf Munkel Trail is considered one of the most impressive hiking routes in the Dolomites. You can park your car at the Zannes/Zans parking, close to Zanser Alm. From here you walk through the woods to Dusler Alm. After a while you’ll leave the woods behind and you’ll be able to enjoy the views on the mountain peaks. Once you’ve reached Dusler Alm, you continue your hike to Geisler Alm. You’ll find some signposts so it’s hard to miss. Once you reach Geisler Alm, you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful views and rest a bit before continuing the trail back down.

Geisler Alm, resting spot when hiking the Adolf Munkel Trail

When we did the hike, the Geisler Alm was closed so we just stayed here on the wooden benches for an hour enjoying the view and the good weather. Hike details: 9,5km. This will take you 4-5 hours.

After the Geisler Alm hike we got in the car and drove to the last spot for the day, the church of St. John (coordinates: 46.63531752485578, 11.724405361309648). You can’t walk to the church as they put fences around the area but you can leave the car near the road, take some photos and get going. It’s close to the Geisler Alm parking and doesn’t even require much of a detour.

church of St. John

Day 6: Sunrise at Alpe di Siusi + Seceda + Lago di carezza

Alpe di Siusi/Seise Alm

On our sixth day we got up early to see sunrise at Alpe di Siusi/Seiser Alm. Alpe di Siusi is without a doubt one of the most popular places in the Dolomites and I’ll show you why you need to visit this place as well. In 2019 we went during the day where we took the cable car up from Ortisei and we walked the plateau in the afternoon. If you don’t mind getting up early and want to see it in the most gorgeous weather conditions (at least if you’re lucky), you can visit it at sunrise as well.

Important note: there are no cars allowed during daytime at Alpe di Siusi so the only options to get there are either taking the cable car (if you go during the day) or parking your car at the Compatsch 50 car park (coordinates): 46.54068532712365, 11.618597533373148 and walk to Alpe di Siusi. The walking trail is flat so it’s not exhausting but it will take you 1 hour. Make sure to reach the plateau in time before the sun peaks over the mountain because you’re in for quite the show. The photos below show the different stages of the sunrise.

The best photo spot to enjoy sunrise (the one we used in all photos below) is Belvedere dell Alpe di Siusi, coordinates: 46.55264593368049, 11.656292335275515. On our way to the viewpoint we saw some deer running across the plateau which was a beautiful sight to see.

Alpe di Siusi/Seiser Alm

I’m not even sorry for the photo spam, no picture can do this sunrise justice. This might very well be the most gorgeous sunrise I have ever witnessed. It’s on a very close call with sunrise at Augstmatthorn in Switzerland (check my 1 week Switzerland itinerary).

After watching sunrise here, we went back to the car and to our Airbnb for breakfast and getting a shower. It was still morning so we had plenty of time to see some other places. Our next stop would be Seceda. Seceda is a mountain peak with a height of 2519 meters and is located in Val Gardena. The easiest way to reach Seceda is by taking the cable car in Ortisei (which costs 34 euro’s per person). From the cable car top there’s a few walking paths so it’s up to you to decide how much time you’re going to spend here. We walked a part of the ridge and enjoyed the views. You can also get a drink at the cable car station.

Seceda by drone

When we got back down it was early in the afternoon so we decided to visit Lago di Carezza (Karersee) as well. Coördinates: 46.40935924120133, 11.575099242282974.

Lago di Carezza/Karersee

Lago di Carezza is one of the many beautiful lakes in South Tyrol and is known for it’s reflections. The lake itself is really small. You can walk around it, which will take you 30 minutes or so but that’s it. If you have the time it’s nice to visit because it’s really lovely.

After visiting the lake we went back to our Airbnb, got some pizza in a cosy restaurant in the area and got ready to leave the next morning.

Day 7: The end (or continue your holiday to Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia or drive further down south in Italy)

This blog article ends here but I will make another blog post about the rest of our trip. After the Dolomites we continues down in Italy to visit Lago di Garda, Cinque Terre and Tuscany. You can also drive on to Switzerland, Austria or Slovenia from here as they’re all pretty close. If you only have 1 week then this itinerary is perfect to see the most beautiful places in the Dolomites. Enjoy planning your trip!

Extra: My top 3 places in the Dolomites/South Tyrol

In case you haven’t guessed it from the article, I’ll write down my top 3 spots in the Dolomites. I also made a Youtube video about it with drone footage, you can check that out here.

  1. Alpe di Siusi (preferred by sunrise)
  2. Cadini di Misurina
  3. Lago di Braies

Equipment used:

  • Camera: Sony A7 III
  • Lenses: Sony 24-105mm f4 & Tamron 70-180 f2.8
  • Drone: Mavic 2 Pro with Polarpro filters 8,16,32

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Solwaster – the most beautiful walk in Belgium

A while ago I uploaded a short Tiktok video about our walk in the Hoëgne valley and in the comments someone recommended us to walk the Solwaster trail in the province of Liège. Sol-what? That was my thought when I first heard about Solwaster. Is this even a place in Belgium? Apparently it is and what a place. One of the most beautiful we have discovered!

I searched on Google and quickly found out about this 6 or 12km hike in Solwaster, Jalhay in Liège. The photos were gorgeous: a trail with lots of small wooden walkways, bridges crossing the river, lots of trees,… a typical walk in the Belgian Ardennes.

About the walk:

We got in the car and drove off to Solwaster. The walk starts at the church of Solwaster. It’s a really small (but beautiful) village so just put Solwaster in your GPS and you’ll be fine. Once arrived, the parking spots in front of the church were full so we parked our car in a street nearby. Once at the church, you see the white signs with a yellow square which will lead you in the right direction. Don’t worry, the whole walk is very well indicated you can’t miss it. The walk starts off into the village but after less than 10 minutes you’ll find yourself surrounded by nature following a small river into the woods.

The walk will lead you along a small river, over wooden bridges and walkways and through the forest. The whole walk is magical and you will absolutely love it! After a while you come to a spot where you can rest (if needed) and where the kids can play in the river. Here the walk splits up into the short version (6km) or the longer version (12km). It’s indicated which is long and which is short so you can’t be mistaken. We did the longer one and really recommend it. When you’ve reached 2/3 of the longer route you’ll also find a lookout point at a rock formation which is pretty cool as well.

Back in the village you can get a drink at the café. We went there in January but can’t wait to go back in spring as it must be even more beautiful.

All the info you need about the hike can be found on the website of tourisme Jalhay.


  • Can it be done with kids: yes!
  • Can it be done with dogs: yes!
  • Are there benches/picnic tables along the way: yes!
  • Bring hiking shoes or shoes that can get wet/muddy
  • We went there in January but can’t wait to go back in spring as it must be even more beautiful
one of the many beautiful photo spots along the way of the Solwaster walk

I also wrote a blog post about my 13 favorite places in Belgium, you can find it here.

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13 Places you must visit in Belgium – Highlights and true hidden gems

  1. Ghent
  2. Bruges
  3. Castles of Walzin & Vêves
  4. Dinant
  5. Castle of Freÿr and an unknown viewpoint
  6. C-Mine
  7. Rocher du bieley – hidden gem viewpoint with a stop in Monschau, Germany
  8. Lier
  9. Abbey de Villers
  10. Hallerbos – possibly the most magical place in Belgium for only a few weeks every year
  11. Hobbit house
  12. Halte Royale  d’ardenne – a real hidden gem
  13. Durbuy – smallest village of the world

Belgium might be a small country but it has so much to offer. You will find beautiful cities like Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels as well as lots of wonderful hikes in nature, old castles and architecture and lots of cultural activities.

The best time to visit Belgium will be in the summer months from June to September. The only downside of visiting in the summer months is that it’s busier everywhere due to the holiday period. Spring and fall are great months as well to visit Belgium.  

In this blog article I’ve listed 13 places you must visit in Belgium. You can expect a whole lot of variation from cities to hikes, culture, Belgium’s most beautiful castles, a once in a year unique location and even an abandoned royal train station!

  1. Ghent

Belgium has many beautiful cities but there are 2 that you really need to visit: Ghent and Bruges (I will cover Bruges in the next topic). Ghent has a historic center with a lot of history behind it. The cityscape of Ghent is often described as the ‘three towers’ of the Belfort, Sint-Baafs cathedral and the St. Nicholas church.

Graslei, Ghent and the three towers

There’s so much to see and do in Ghent and the inner city is really beautiful so you’ll have a great time strolling around. To me, Ghent is one of the more cosy cities in Belgium. You’ll find plenty of cute streets, shops, bars, restaurants,…

Gravensteen, Ghent

2. Bruges

Bruges is without a doubt one of Belgium’s hotspots amongst tourists and it’s easy to see why. The historical center is absolutely gorgeous and there are so many streets to see as well as old buildings, cute shops, etc. I’ve been to Bruges countless times but if you haven’t, count at least 1 day here to see most of this city. There’s not really anything I would recommend for Bruges as you just have to walk around and see everything. Take your time to walk around the city, find some cozy place to get something to eat and/or drink and just enjoy the city.

Of course the city center of Bruges is very crowded but if you want to beat the crowds, I do recommend walking the ‘Silent Bruges’ city walk (click the link for more info on the walk, the explanation is in Dutch but you can just follow the map).

3. Castle of Walzin and the castle of Vêves

My favorite castle in Belgium is the castle of Walzin in Dinant. The castle is located on a steep cliff above the Lesse, a famous river in Wallonia and offers some very impressive views. There’s a beautiful hike you can do in the area, it’s only 4,5km and it’s not very hard but offers wonderful views on the castle. You can find a map of the hike by clicking this link.

I added the castle of Vêves as well because they’re located pretty close to each other so you can easily visit both of them in one day.

Chateau de Vêves

Other fun activities to do in the area are kajakking the Lesse and visiting Parc De Furfooz.

4. Dinant


When visiting the castles of Walzin and Vêves, it would be a shame if you would miss visiting Dinant. Dinant is what we call a postcard city. With it’s colorful houses along the river and the Citadel in the back it makes for wonderful views. The city itself isn’t big so you won’t need much time here but visiting the Citadel is a fun activity if you have the time. It will offer you a great view over the city and the area. When you drive to Dinant, you enter the city by driving through a road carved out between some rocks and it looks really impressive.

5. Castle of Freÿr


The Castle of Freÿr is also located close to Dinant and the castles of Walzin & Vêves so it is possible to see all of them in one day but it will depend on how much time you spend at every spot. The castle of Freÿr is often called the mini version of Versailles because there are some similarities. You can visit the castle and its gardens but the most impressive way to view the castle is by visiting the viewpoint across the river. Coördinates: 50.22307350399916, 4.895546453782002. If you park the car here, you’ll see a small walking path through the woods and after a few minutes you’ll reach the rocks for some awesome views. Not many people know this place so it definitely is one of Belgium’s hidden gems.  

6. C-mine

C-Mine is located in the eastern part of Belgium and it’s a great activity if you like to go back in time. C-mine is an old mining site and takes you back to the industrial history of the area. The building is renovated and used as museum and often used for exhibitions as well. You can do the C-Mine expedition and walk the underground tunnels with visual experiences. Outdoors you can go up the tower and find your way through the maze. A perfect activity for people with children!

7. Rocher du Bieley

Rocher Du Bieley is a viewpoint located in the eastern part of Belgium, very close to the border with Germany. It’s also located close to the ‘Hautes Fagnes’, one of Belgium’s most famous walking regions and also one of the highest points in Belgium. It’s not easy to find but I’ll give you some information so you can start exploring already. Coördinates of Rocher Du Bieley : 50.495795636674075, 6.26373353342307. To start the hike, you best park at Ferienhaus Gut Heistert (Coördinates: 50.505898523876716, 6.246492024241124). From here it’s a 45 minutes walk to the viewpoint. The parking is located just across the border of Germany.

It’s a big area so after visiting the viewpoint you can continue exploring and do some of the hikes there or you can visit Monschau, which is located really close to this spot. Monschau is one of Germany’s most beautiful little towns. It’s really small so it won’t take much time to see all of it.

8. Lier

Maybe I’m a bit biased because I’m living in Lier, but it’s a wonderful little city in Belgium not far from Antwerp. Lier is like a small version of Bruges with a cute historic little city center, the famous ‘Zimmertoren’ and some views along the river flowing through the city.

What to do in Lier: just stroll around the city, visit the Center of the city: Grote Markt, the famous Zimmertoren and the Begijnhof (Beguinage). Have a drink at one of the many café’s and do some local shopping! Maybe you’ll even find me here photographing some of our beautiful streets and buildings.

9. Abbaye de Villers

Abbaye de Villers

The Abbey of Villers is a remarkable well kept abbey south of Brussels. With almost 900 years of history you go back in time visiting the old structures and beautiful flower gardens.

10. Hallerbos

Hyacinths in the Hallerbos, Brussels

The Hallerbos in Brussels is world famous for an event that occurs once every year. Every year around April, the floor of the forest is covered in thousands and thousands of these gorgeous purple hyacinths. Only for about 2 weeks you can enjoy the forest in the most fairytale-like scenery you have ever witnessed.

During this period, the Hallerbos is flooded by people that want to see this phenomenon so if you want to go, I suggest you go early in the day. We went there by sunrise to capture it with the golden light of the sun.

There are quite a few walking trails you can find here. Info about these trails in the Hallerbos can be found on their official website.

11. Hobbit house

Hobbit house in Domaine de Chevtogne

The Hobbit house is another spot on this list that is not well known by many, which makes it nice to visit as you won’t find too many other people around. You can find this place in Chevtogne, Provincial Domain (it’s located not all too far from Dinant, in the South of Belgium). It’s a domain with some walking paths where an artist has built some creations for the park. Normally they take them down again after a while but they let the Hobbit house stay. Exact coordinates: 50.22683117050933, 5.136831696085608.

In the summer and during holidays you have to pay an entrance fee to enter the park but we went there in fall and could enter without paying any fee.

12. Halte Royale d’ardenne – a real hidden gem

Halte Royale d’ardenne

I like visiting abandoned locations and on one of my searches, I found out about Halte Royale d’ardenne. This train station was built by King Leopold II where he welcomed royalties that were invited in his luxury hotel in the area. Guests were welcomed in this train station and taken to the hotel by carriage along the spiral road. Now, it’s been out of use for years and it’s completely abandoned and overgrown. Trains still pass here but they don’t stop there anymore. The last train to drop off passengers did so in 1919. Coördinates of Halte Royale d’ardenne: 50.19979785285484, 4.999325642343071.

13. Durbuy

Last but definitely not least: Durbuy! Durbuy is called the smallest town in Belgium and it named itself smallest village of the world. I don’t think that’s really true but it is very small and won’t take you that much time to see it all. You can walk the streets, passing historical houses and buildings, small and cozy shops, bars and restaurants. This town is a must see and is lovely in whatever season you’re visiting Belgium. Those who like some action can also visit the adventure park nearby!

Important note: Belgium is a small country but it has so many great spots you can visit. Of course there’s tons of other places I could add like Antwerp, Antwerp’s world famous train station ‘Antwerpen Centraal’, Brussels, the seaside, some more hikes in southern Belgium,… but maybe that’s for another blog post. Enjoy planning your trip!

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6 days in Italy: exploring Veneto and Verona with some culinary experiences

  • Day 1: Triëste
  • Day 2: Venice
  • Day 3: Burano (Venice) and driving north to Valdobbiadene in the prosecco region
  • Day 4: Exploring Valdobiaddene and the prosecco region in Veneto with different prosecco tastings and cheese tasting
  • Day 5: Soave wine region and Verona in the evening
  • Day 6: Borghetto + Riva del Garda + Lago di Nembia
  • Day 7: Back to Belgium

Do you want to visit Italy and have a combination of both famous locations as well as some gems? Then this blog article might be interesting for you! As you see in the itinerary we have visited some of Italy’s most famous places (Venice, Verona, Garda) but also some lesser known areas which are very unique (Triëste, Prosecco region, Soave wine region). Get ready to plan your Northern Italy trip already and have some great culinary experiences!

Some info before we dive into it: In June of 2021 we traveled to Europe’s hidden gem, Slovenia (read all about that here) and decided to add 6 days in Italy as they are neighboring countries. We ended our trip in Slovenia in Piran, which was only a 30 minutes drive from the border with Italy. In this blog post I will focus on the Veneto and Verona region in Italy for people who like to have a chilled out holiday. I will write another blog post about other areas in Italy in the future.

Molinetta Della Croda

Day 1: Triëste

In the morning we drove from Piran to Triëste. We spent half a day here as a stop on our way to Venice but the city is big enough to spend 1 or 2 days in the area if you have more time.

We arrived around 11 AM and did a tour through the city with Joorinde Steinhorst. Joorinde is a guide and knows the city very well. She took us around Triëste for 2h30 and showed us all the best places while providing us with historical information about the city and the buildings. There’s so much history in the city which makes it very interesting because it feels like you’re going back in time.

After the tour we got lunch in the city and enjoyed a drink in the sun before driving on to our stay in Venice. From Triëste to Venice it’s only 2 hours by car. You can also easily visit Triëste by train as a day trip if you’re staying in Venice.

Day 2: Venice

We stayed in an Airbnb north of Venice because we did not trust leaving the car unattended because we had a lot of stuff in the car (we were on the road for almost 3 weeks and had a lot of camping gear we used in Slovenia) + we did not want to pay a parking garage for 2 days. When you’re staying outside of Venice it’s easy to take the metro into the city but I would recommend staying in the city itself if you can as that is way more charming.

We already visited Venice a few years back in 2019 and were loving it. You can get lost so easily in all the beautiful little streets, it’s amazing. We did not follow a map but just let the streets guide us and automatically you will pass by the most famous hotspots.

There are so many beautiful places to visit in Venice but if I have to choose one you must see, it would be Burano (see day 3 of this blog) and Murano. Near St. Mark’s Square there are a lot of ticket booths where you can buy a ticket for a tour to Burano and Murano. Murano is known for it’s glassblowing artists because in 1921 all glassblowers were ordered to move to Murano because the Venetian Republic feared for fires in the city as most of the buildings and bridges were made out of wood. In Murano you can witness the glass blowing process which is a real work of art. Burano on the other hand looks like a small version of Venice but even more colorful.

I would also recommend paying a visit in Libreria Acqua Alta. It’s a little book story but it’ll be like no other bookstore you’ve seen before! Coördinates: 45.437988718860424, 12.34228998641416

We wandered around all day exploring all the beautiful streets, enjoyed the views on the many canals, got some delicious ice cream and enjoyed the Italian cuisine before returning to our B&B. We went there during covid times and it was really weird to see how empty Venice was. Ofcourse there were other tourists but St. Mark’s Square was not crowded at all while during our previous stay in 2019 it was packed with people.

Note: I could describe all the famous hotspots in Venice in here but like I said, the best thing to do is just wander around and you’ll end up at the most famous locations on yourself.

Day 3: Burano (Venice) and driving north to Valdobbiadene in the prosecco region

In the morning we went back to Venice to explore Burano, before leaving and driving north to the prosecco region. We had great memories of Burano back from our first trip and wanted to see it again. Burano is a smaller island filled with colorful houses. It’s a smaller and more colorful version of Venice itself.

Burano isn’t big so it won’t take you more than 1 hour 30 to 2 hours to stroll around. After wandering there, we left Venice behind us and continued our trip to a region we were really looking forward to: the prosecco region of Italy! Last note about Venice: 2 days should be enough to explore it.

We drove from Venice to Valdobbiadene, a township north from Venice (only a 1 hour drive). The prosecco hills there are on the Unesco World Heritage list since 2019. We stayed at Hotel Municipio, which was a cosy B&B surrounded by vinyards. We arrived in the afternoon and drove around in the car to enjoy the scenery. You can drive around the Strade del Prosecco which is what we did to get a nice view of the area and basically you’ll pass by most of the best views of the prosecco region. Everywhere you’ll find yourself surrounded by vineyards.

Day 4: Exploring Valdobiaddene and the prosecco region in Veneto with different prosecco tastings and cheese tasting

Our day started with exploring the town of Valdobbiadene. Valdobbiadene is not big and besides the town square, there’s not that much to do or see in the town itself. It’s nice but doesn’t offer many activities. We drove around the Cartizze area and went to a local shop owned by a few brothers who make their own cheese, bread, meat,… The shop is called Storica Latteria di Miane and their cheese was delicious. I’m not a cheese lover but enjoyed every bit of what they had to offer. We tasted a bit of different cheeses (with a glass of prosecco ofcourse). Afterwards we could watch the cheese making process.

After this, we went to our first wine house for a prosecco tasting. We started off with Col Vetoraz in Valdobiaddene, one of the more famous wine houses in the area. They tell you all about their wines, the process of the grapes and how the prosecco is made. Col Vetoraz itself is located on top of a hill and gives you far stretched views over the surrounding prosecco hills. It’s not like we are experts in prosecco but their products were delicious! We bought a few bottles after the tasting and went on to the next one.

After the tasting we had lunch somewhere we drove by and afterwards we did some more exploring of the area and went to Molinetta Della Croda. We arrived here and were all alone, which amazed us as this is such a gorgeous gem and no one was there. You can enjoy the view and explore the little museum inside, which tells the history of the mill. It’s not that big so it will only take you 30 minutes. I highly suggest you to visit this as it’s really beautiful and not a known touristic spot. We felt like we were in a fairytale place or a famous Instagram spot that no one discovered yet.

Afterwards we did our second tasting of the day at Cantina Gregoletto in Miane. This was a smaller wine house which also produced great prosecco’s. Both houses let us taste 5 or 6 different wines.

After our second tasting we drove on to the Soave wine region as we would be having another day of wine tastings here the next day. The Soave wine region is located east of Verona and was only a 1 hour 30 minutes drive from Valdobbiadene.

Day 5: Soave wine region and Verona in the evening

We stayed the night in Cantina Tessari, a lovely B&B owned by some wine house owners. When we arrived in the evening we relaxed in the hot tub before going to bed.

On day 5 we started off with a lovely breakfast at the B&B and a wine tasting at the Tessari wine house, next to the B&B. A perfect way to start the day, right?!

Tessari wine house

After the wine tasting we went to explore the area a little bit since we only arrived late in the evening the day before. After driving around in the area and enjoying the views on the vineyards, we went to the second tasting of the day at Ca’Rugate in Montecchia di Crosara. The tasting was great here with a lot of information and afterwards they showed us around in their ‘museum’ in the winery. Which was nice to see the history of the wine making process.

After the tasting we did some more driving around to enjoy the area and had lunch at a small restaurant on the road to our next stop.

In the afternoon we had planned 1 last tasting at Cantina di Soave. Cantina di Soave is one of the bigger wine houses and in our experience one of the best we went to (together with Col Vetoraz which we visited the previous day in the prosecco region). The main difference is that in the Soave region there’s more focus on red and white wines, while the prosecco region is mainly producing prosecco.

Cantina di Soave

After the tasting we were shown around the hillside behind the wine house where they host events and where you have a great view over the surrounding town and the castle next to it.

We did 5 wine houses in 5 days and they all were a great experience. Every wine house is different and the taste of the wines varies a lot depening on the process, the kind of grape etc. If you have the time, you’ll enjoy doing a few of these houses to get to know the different tastes. We experienced that every wine house is very proud of their product and their region and they all speak with passion about their wines, it was nice to experience that.

By the time we finished the last tasting it was 4 PM and we drove on to our next stop: Verona. We arrived in our B&B 40 minutes later, checked in, left our bags and went to explore the city. We did not have many expectations for Verona but I must say I’m impressed. It’s a lovely city with lots of beautiful streets and buildings. Almost all the buildings have beautiful facades and cute balconies.

Verona is the city famous for Romeo & Juliet and there are a lot of things to do and see here. We got a city map at the B&B and asked our host which spots she recommended. Most of them were already indicated on the map so we strolled around the city enjoying to see the beautiful architecture. We did not go to see the famous Juliet’s balcony because we don’t like tourist traps but if you want you can easily visit it as it is in the middle of the city. Just like other cities in Italy, Verona has a very rich history and a whole lot of beautiful old buildings.

We spent about 5 hours in the city walking around and enjoying all the different streets, grabbing something to eat and to drink before we returned to our Airbnb. As it was late afternoon/evening when we arrived in the city, we did not visit any museums. We enjoyed our short stay in Verona but if you really want to enjoy all of it, I suggest you have at least 1 full day there.

Day 6: Borghetto + Riva del Garda + Lago di Nembia

On day 6 we had some stops planned when driving from Verona to the north of Italy (border with Austria because we had to go back to Belgium the next day). We started off with Borghetto, a very small, cute and lovely medieval town not too far from Verona (35 minutes by car). Look how stunning this place is, it’s like a movie scene! We strolled around a bit but it’s really small.


After visiting Borghetto, we drove north with a stop at noon at Riva Del Garda. We visited the Garda Lake the year before so this year we didn’t have a lot of time planned here. It was our last day so we just stopped to enjoy the sun by the lake and to grab some lunch. You can easily spend a lot of time around the Garda lake and I’ll make another blog post of our roadtrip around Italy where I’ll put in more details. After having lunch and enjoying the lake views, we hit the road again to our last scenic stop: Lago di Nembia.

I don’t have photos of Lake Garda or lago di Nembia as my second camera sd card lost all data. I lost almost all my photos of the last day + my video content of our trip (guess I’ll have to go back). Lago di Nembia is a small mountain lake with some wooden walkways over it. Very lovely scenery to enjoy the sun and to go swimming in the lake. We spent 1h30 here and then drove further north to our stay at the border with Austria.

Day 7: Back to Belgium

I will make another blogpost later about other regions in Italy where we traveled to as well during another roadtrip (Dolomites, Cinque Terre, Lake Garda, Tuscany) so make sure to subscribe to the blog to get updated whenever I publish a new article!

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10 days Slovenia itinerarary – an unknown gem in Europe

  • Day 1: Driving from Belgium to Lake Bled
  • Day 2: Mostnica Gorge with Voje valley and Slap Voje + drive the scenic route 907
  • Day 3: Explore Lake Bled + viewpoint mala Osojnika for sunset
  • Day 4: Pericnik waterfall + Zelenci Nature Reserve + Kransjka Gora with Lake Jasna + Vintgar Gorge + boat tour Lake Bled
  • Day 5: Hike Mt. Golica, mountain of daffodils + sunset Lake Bohinj
  • Day 6: Explore Lake Bohinj + random driving around + sunset at Vodnikov lookout point (hidden gem)
  • Day 7:  Soça river
  • Day 8: Kozjak waterfall + Kanalski Most
  • Day 9: Skocjanske Jama + Postojna cave + drive on to Piran
  • Day 10: Piran
  • Day 11: Piran to Italy (or home if your time is limted)
Daffodils hike at Mt. Golica

In June of 2021, my girlfriend and I traveled to Slovenia by car. I already fell in love with the country on my first visit in 2018, my girlfriend fell in love with it during our trip. This definitely wasn’t the last time that we visited this gorgeous country and I’ll show you why in this blog as you will fall in love with it as well. Slovenia isn’t that big which makes it pleasant to travel around. In the North-West you will find Triglav National Park where there are tons of outdoor activities to do: hiking, rafting, climbing, canyoneering,… and it’s all relatively close to each other. Slovenia has it all: beautiful landscapes, high mountain peaks, cute towns, massive caves, coastline,… Down below you’ll find our 11 days Slovenia itinerary.

Best time to go to Slovenia: from May – September in the summer months. We went in june and had 25-30 degrees. The weather in the mountains can be somewhat unpredictable though.

Why do we love Slovenia so much?

  • I’m not going to say it’s a hidden gem, but it’s far less traveled than other surrounding countries like Croatia, Italy and Austria. Around Lake Bled and in Ljubljana you’ll find quite some tourists but when you leave these places, you’ll find lots of beautiful spots almost all to yourself.
  • Affordable. Slovenia isn’t expensive to travel. It’s not cheap either but it’s somewhere in between.
  • Beautiful scenery everywhere you go.
  • The water is so blue, there’s not many places where you’ll see such clear water as here.
Kanalski Most

Day 1: Driving from Belgium to Lake Bled

The drive from Belgium to Lake Bled is around 10 hours and 30 minutes. We left Belgium early in the morning and arrived in the afternoon. We had plenty of time to set up our tent, enjoy the late afternoon sun and go for a short stroll to the lake. We went to bed in time so we could start exploring the next day.

We spent the first 6 nights of our trip at Camping Bled. We chose to stay here for a longer period of time because we did not want to move the tent after a few days. The distances to the places we wanted to visit weren’t long (max 40 minute drive) so we decided this would be a good base for exploring. If you want more variation, you can spend a few nights around Lake Bled and the next few nights around Lake Bohinj (we did this with some friends in 2018). Camping Bled is a wonderful camping, probably one of the best we’ve ever stayed on. It’s located right in front of the lake, the viewpoints are only a short walk from the campsite, you can lay by the lake, go swimming, rent a boat,… Facilities were super clean and there was a baker coming by every morning with fresh bread rolls, there’s a restaurant,… If you don’t like camping, there’s plenty of hotels and Airbnb’s in the area.

Lake Bled, viewpoint close to Camping Bled

Day 2: Mostnica Gorge with Voje valley and slap voje + drive the scenic route 907

We got a tip to drive the scenic route 907 in Triglav National Park so we started our day just driving this route and enjoying the scenery. The start of the route isn’t far from Bled. We barely met any other cars whilst driving this road so we could fully enjoy the views and being surrounded by the mountains. Afterwards it turned out that Waze sent us via this route quite often the next few days. You’ll drive past fields full of wild flowers and high grass when seeing the mountains in the back with little wooden huts everywhere.

From there we drove on to the Mostnica Gorge. Coördinates for parking close to Mostnica Gorge: 46.290745007707216, 13.886861691898586.

After a short walk, you’ll pass a small hut where you have to pay an entrance fee. It’s only a few euro’s and you’ll be given a map as well. You have 2 options here:

  • Either you explore the gorge, which is around 1h30 maximum
  • Or at the end of the gorge you keep walking to the Voje Valley, which is a real hidden gem. In the Voje Valley you can find a 21m waterfall as well. I highly recommend exploring the valley as it is absolutely stunning and there aren’t many people here. Near the waterfall there’s a scenic little restaurant where you can get something to eat and/or drink. From the beginning of the gorge it’s about 2 hours until you reach the waterfall.

After getting a drink, we walked back to the car (another 2 hours) and drove back to the campsite. We had a few more hours but decided to enjoy the sunshine and read a book. The next few days would be sunny as well so we had plenty of time to visit all the places we wanted to. We did go to the lake to catch sunset and blue hour after dinner.

Note: The most logical day 1 activity would be to explore Lake Bled itself but we chose to have a relaxed day in nature as our first day because we would have more than enough time on these 6 days to see Lake Bled in all it’s glory.

Day 3: Explore Lake Bled + viewpoint mala Osojnika for sunset

On our third day we wanted to take the time to explore Lake Bled and the town of Bled itself. We walked around the lake for a while starting from the campsite and afterwards we took the car to drive to the town of Bled (you can do this by foot as well but it will take some time). Here we strolled around, had a drink and went to the tourism office to see if they had any recommendations for us that we didn’t include in our itinerary. We had hoped to do the Seven lakes hike the next day but apparently there still was too much snow so they gave us another option (I’ll talk about it later in the blog). Since we had some time left, we decided to visit the ‘amazing animals’ indoor zoo. This was quite a cool experience as they had a lot of different reptiles, insects etc.

VIew on the island in the middle on Lake Bled

We had a pizza at Pizzeria Rustica in Bled (decent pizza) and went back to the campsite because we wanted to catch sunset over the lake. The best viewpoints to watch sunset over Lake Bled are Mala Osojnica and Mala Ojstrica. There isn’t a very big difference between the 2 but we chose Mala Ojstrica because it’s higer. We watched the sunset and went back to the campsite to enjoy the rest of our evening. I let out the drone as well for a short flight since I’ve been dreaming to get a drone shot of the island in the middle of the lake for a very long time.  

Day 4: Pericnik waterfall + Zelenci nature reserve + Kransjka Gora with Lake Jasna + Vintgar gorge + boat tour lake Bled

I know it looks like there’s a lot on the agenda on day 4 but since most of these places only require a short walk it’s not a very exhausting day.

We started our day by driving from the campsite to the Pericnik waterfall, or as they say in Slovenia ‘Slap Pericnik’. The drive is only 45 minutes and we got to do route 907 again so our day started great. Coördinates to Slap Pericnik: 46.43916042191971, 13.89377895513616.

You can park your car up close and the hiking trail only takes you around 15 minutes to get to the Pericnik waterfall. The cool part is that you can walk behind it. I really recommend this one as it’s a cool experience and doesn’t require a lot of effort to get there.

After the waterfall, we visited the Zelenci Nature Reserve. It was only a 30 minutes drive from the waterfall and once again the parking is really close. Coördinates parking Zelenci Nature Reserve: 46.49458793798632, 13.734303877713218. I thought this place would take some time to explore but apparently it’s really small. You can enjoy sitting by the water, climb the (small) watch tower and that’s it. It was a sunny day so we enjoyed sitting here for a while until we continued to our next stop.

Zelenci Nature Reserve

The third stop of the day was the Lake Jasna in Kransjka Gora or in Slovenian ‘Jezero Jasna’. Once again, you can park your car near the lake and just stroll around a bit. We just walked around the lake, got some lunch and enjoyed the sunshine. The views are wonderful with the mountains in the back. Coördinates of the lake: 46.4738771858482, 13.784237979978027.

Lake Jasna at Kransjka Gora

After visiting Lake Jasna, we drove back in the direction of Lake Bled but first we’d make our last stop of the day at the Vintgar Gorge. The Vintgar Gorge is located north of Bled and is a must visit. For entering the gorge you’ll have to pay an entrance fee of 10 euros per person. Even though the weather was beautiful, we only passed a few people here so I guess we were lucky. A wooden walkway leads you through the gorge and it’s crystal clear water. This place is spectacular, look at this! At the end of the gorge’s walkway, you will find Slap Sum (the Sum waterfall). The route itself is simple and flat but extremely beautiful. It’s about 1,5km to reach the waterfall.

Important note: The Vintgar Gorge is only open in the summer months so do your research if you’re going there. Normally they’re open from end of May until somewhere in September.

In the beginning when you pay the entrance fee, they give you a map and tell you there’s 2 routes back: the short one and the longer one. I did both and highly recommend taking the longer route back. For the shorter one you walk mostly on a muddy path through the trees. The longer one will take you higer up with impressive views over the area. For some reason I did not take many photos but believe me when I say it is worth it. If you have some energy left, make sure to take the longer route back. From beginning until the end it will take you about 2 hours and 30 minutes to get back to the parking.

When we reached the car we drove back to the campsite. It was 3 or 4 PM and we decided to rent a boat to explore the lake and the island in the middle. Near the campsite there was a boat renting office called ‘Rent A Boat’. Coördinates: 46.36178044857931, 14.083943912280752. The next hour we just chilled on the lake and went to explore the island itself.

After that, we decided it had been enough for one day. We had a chill evening and went to bed in time because the next day we had a heavy hike waiting for us.

Day 5: Hike Mt. Golica, mountain of daffodils + sunset lake Bohinj

As I told you before, originally we wanted to do the 7 lakes hike but apparently there still was too much snow and in the tourism office they told us we could hike mount Golica. You can walk the mountain ridge which literally is on the border between Slovenia and Austria so you can see both countries. The Mount Golica hike is also well known for it’s famous hills full of Daffodil flowers. Normally you only see those late April, early May but because they weather had been so bad, they were still there mid June.

From our campsite we drove to Planina Pod Golico, which took us 50 minutes to get there. Once we arrived we had to look for a while to find the right parking spot and there were no signs we could find to start the hike so it took us quite a while to find the right trail. We got the tip to put ‘Planina Pod Golico 42’ in Waze to drive and park the car but once we arrived we had to drive on for a little while longer until we parked the car. For the hike, it is best that you use maps.me for tracking the route. After a while you’ll find signs that will show you the way but in the beginning it wasn’t clear to us where to start.

The hike itself will take you 4 hours in total and it’s not the easiest one as you have about 700/800 meters elevation gain. We walked from Planina Pod Golico to a mountain hut where you can get some food and drinks, coordinates: 46.48602293961718, 14.061888133636739.

At the hut you can go 2 ways:

  • Either you go right to the Daffodils mountain ridge (takes about 1 hour in total)
  • Or you go left to extend your hike with a 40 minute walk to the peak of Golica (1835 meters high)

We decided to just do the Daffodils ridge which was one of the most beautiful and unique sights we have ever experienced. The ridge was fully covered in thousands and thousands of Daffodils.

The weather was great so we spent some time on top enjoying the magnificent views over Slovenia on one side and Austria on the other before we went back down.

We were quite exhausted from the hike and didn’t want to do anything too active anymore so after dinner we decided to drive to Lake Bohinj or as the Slovenians say ‘Bohinjsko Jezero’ to enjoy sunset there. Too bad we were too late as the sun already had disappeared behind the mountains. Nonetheless we had some nice views there.

Day 6: Explore lake Bohinj + random driving around + Vodnikov lookout point

Lake Bohinj

Our sixth day we visited Lake Bohinj. We didn’t really have a plan and just drove there and parked the car at this spot: 46.278437, 13.836616. It seemed that a nice and not too long walk started really close to where we parked the car. It looked more like a walk for people with children because you had to find the troll statues along the way but we had a good time as the scenery was stunning! Coördinates to start the walk: 46.279058513297876, 13.83496904648296 in total it was only 1 hour and 30 minutes or something. You can also choose to walk around Lake Bohinj which will take you a lot longer. Here are a few impressions.

There are tons of other things to do around Lake Bohinj, like renting a canoe, visiting Slap Savica, go swimming, do some other hiking trails,…

After our hike we got in the car and just drove around the area and enjoyed the scenery. This way we found some nice unexpected places.

In the evening we decided to watch sunset at the Vodnikov Lookout point. Coördinates of the viewpoint: 46.3021899273987, 13.977127998131163. Coördinates of the parking: 46.305315, 13.983599. The walk to the viewpoint isn’t long and will only take you 30 minutes. I suggest you use Google Maps or maps.me. After a while you’ll also find some signs. The great thing is that not many people know this place whilst the views are gorgeous. We were there all alone, except for some furry friends that came to enjoy the sunset together with us. This is also one of the hidden gems in the area.

Day 7:  Soça river

After 6 nights at Camping Bled, it was time to move around. When I went to Slovenia in 2018, I really loved the Soça river and had to go back. We spent 1 night at Camp Soça where we arrived before noon (1h45 minutes drive from camping Bled). We set up the tent and explored the area of the campsite. The camping was located right next to the river and had a bridge to cross it. There were multiple spots to go for a swim as well. If you don’t want to camp, it’s recommended to stay in or near Bovec as it’s a very good base to explore the area. There are lots of adventurous activities such as canyoning, rafting, canoeing,… We wanted to walk a part of the Soça river and just left from the campsite. The Soça river has many beautiful places to rest and enjoy the scenery but I will give you the coordinates to my favorite spots:

  • No name for this viewpoint, it was right at the campsite. Coördinates: 46.34033605410182, 13.64892440211402
  • Great Soça Gorge (my favorite). Coördinates: 46.34094974027703, 13.651057402979502
  • Small Soça Gorge. Coördinates: 46.34179793344555, 13.684284835199835

If you want to see the same spots we visited, then you just park your car at Camp Soça and walk the trail until you reach the Small Soça Gorge and go a little further beyond it. You can walk the same trail back to the car. It will take you 1 hour each way if you go slow like us and take a lot of photos.

What I can also recommend if you don’t want to hike a long part is just take the car and drive along road 206 which runs next to the river and stop whenever you see a beautiful spot. You can leave the car and explore a part of the trail. There’s plenty of authentic wooden bridges along the way which give beautiful views.

We decided to just walk a part of it but if you want you can do the Soça trail, which is 27km. You can get a bus to drop you off or get a taxi. Another great walk is to go to the source of the Soça river (I did this in 2018). There are plenty of options depending on how active you want to get.

In the afternoon we drove to Bovec to have dinner and found a really good cocktail place: Bar Gouf.

Day 8: Kozjak waterfall + Kanalski Most

This day we drove further down south. First we went to see the Kozjak waterfall (we parked our car at parking Kozjak: 46.249698158361475, 13.587481663395405). From where it was around 30 minutes to the waterfall. There’s a small entrance fee to be paid (just a few euros). The parking is only 2 minutes walking from the Napoleon’s bridge which is also a nice place to take some photos.

The walk to the waterfall wasn’t long but gave some nice views along the way.

From there we drove further south with a stop at the Tolmin Gorge, also very impressive but I don’t have much photos of that place as we’d seen so many gorges by that time.

Tolmin Gorge

The Tolmin gorge is beautiful as well and not that expensive either. Afterwards we continued down south with a short stop at Kanalski Most because I really wanted to get a photo of these houses by the river.

Kanalski Most

From there it was not that long anymore until we reached our stay for the night, Ošterija Na PlaninciB&B (via Airbnb). This place wasn’t that special but we were looking for a place to stay close to the Skocjanske Jama and Postojna cave. The people here were very friendly and the food was great so if you’re looking for a low budget stay I can recommend this one.

Day 9: Skocjanske Jama + Postojna cave + drive on to Piran

The 2 most famous caves in Slovenia are Skocjanske Jama and the Postojna cave. We couldn’t choose which one to do so we did both because they’re not that far from each other. I was not allowed to take photos in Skocjanske Jama so the only photos I have are from Postojna Cave. Both were impressive so it’s hard to choose one but I think I’ll go with Skocjanske Jama if I had to choose one. It left a bigger impression on me but maybe that’s because it was the first we visited. There’s a few tours going each day so it’s perfectly doable to do I cave in the morning and the other in the afternoon.

After exploring the caves we drove on further south to Piran for our last 2 nights in Slovenia.

Day 10: Piran

Piran is one of the 3 port cities that Slovenia has on it’s short coast line. Piran itself is a lovely town but very small so it won’t cost you a lot of time to see everything. You can’t park the car in the city itself unless you have permission but you can drive to the hotel to drop off your bags and then park the car outside the barriers. The most used parking garage is this one: 45.51992640895593, 13.569678614876246. It’s just outside the city barriers.

Our last full day in Slovenia was dedicated to exploring the town. We walked through the cosy streets, chilled by the water and went to see the walls of Piran where you have a great view over the city. We did not go to the beach but there are several beaches in the area if you like to soak some sun.  

We stayed at Hotel Piran which was a lovely hotel. Great room (we had sea view), food was great, staff was very friendly. I would recommend going here.

Day 11: Piran to Italy

We were sad that our stay in Slovenia was over as we really, really enjoyed this country. It has so much to offer and there’s still so many places we did not even see yet. The good thing was that our trip wasn’t over because we still had a short week planned in Italy but the details of that trip are for another blog post.

Important notes:

  • It’s easiest to travel Slovenia by car so if you don’t own a car or travel by plane, I recommend you rent one. If that’s not an option then you can use the bus but you will need to do good research up front to plan your trip accordingly.
  • Would we follow the same itinerary again? Triple yes! The only thing we would change is adding 2 more days to visit Ljubljana. I visited it in 2018 and loved it but it wasn’t a must for us to include it in this trip. Ljubljana is only a 1 hour drive from Bled so definitely worth checking out as well.

Other things to see/do in Slovenia that are not included in this itinerary:

  • If we were to go back we’d love to do the 7 lakes hike.
  • In 2018 we did Slap Boka and Slap Savica, both beautiful waterfalls we did not visit in this itinerary but worth checking out if you have the time. We saw Slap Boka from the car when driving south but you can also hike up and see it from other viewpoints.
  • Visit Ljubljana as mentioned above.
  • Apparantly the Martuljek waterfall hike is beautiful as well but we didn’t have time for it.
  • When you’re in the Bohinj region you can add a trip to the Pokljuka Plateau. It’s one of the less known places in the area but apparently it’s also gorgeous.
  • We stayed in the North-West and South of the country but there’s plenty of beautiful regions if you go to the south. This is interesting if you like wine because it’s the wine region of Slovenia and Slovenian wine is really good!
  • Since Slovenia has a big national park there are lots of adventurous activities to do. In 2018 we went canyoneering and it was awesome! You can also go rafting, canoeing, mountaineering, do multiple day trekkings in the mountains, do via ferrata’s,… Enough to do for everyone!

Equipment used:

  • Camera: Sony A7 III
  • Lenses: Sony 24-105mm f4 & Tamron 70-180 f2.8
  • Drone: Mavic 2 Pro with Polarpro filters 8,16,32

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Perfect 1 week Switzerland itinerary: Journey through the Swiss Alps

  • Day 1: Driving from Belgium to Interlaken, visiting Lauterbrunnen
  • Day 2: Sunrise hike to Augstmatthorn + Blausee + GOMS bridge
  • Day 3: Aletsch Glacier + Rhone glacier (Furka pass)
  • Day 4: Lavertezzo (Valle Verzasca) + medieval town of Foroglio
  • Day 5: Limmernsee + staying the night in the Muttseehütte SAC
  • Day 6: Schäfler ridge in the Alpstein region
  • Day 7: Taking in the last views + driving back home to Belgium
  • Extra: Few other beautiful places to visit in the Swiss Alps such as Rosenlaui, Triftbrücke, Bachalpsee (Grindelwald), Saxer Lücke
Augstmatthorn sunrise hike

This itinerary is for people who love being out in nature and want to see the most epic sceneries that Switzerland has to offer. Maybe you’re a hiker, maybe you’re a landscape/nature photographer looking for the best views, maybe you just love being outdoors. I will share with you which places we visited on our 7 day trip from Belgium to Switzerland and where we stayed the night. This trip was without a doubt one of the most beautiful I have done until today and I’ll show you why in this blog. I’ll also share coördinates to some locations in the text so it’s easy for you to find the exact locations. What you will not find here is a summary of the most beautiful towns (except for a few gems) and cities in Switzerland. I’m sure the country has a lot to offer for citytrip enthusiasts as well but that’s not why we went to Switzerland.

Why Switzerland? Switzerland is located centrally in Europe and is not all too far from Belgium. A 7 hour drive takes you to the middle of this beautiful country and gets you surrounded by some of Europe’s most beautiful mountains. Switzerland is not too big so it doesn’t take you all too long to go from A to B. There’s so many beautiful places to fill your days easily. The only downside is that it’s a really expensive country and as we say in Belgium “you’ll feel this in your wallet”. We traveled on a budget during summer (we went in July) so we could cut costs by staying on campsites and sometimes cooking our own food.

Tips and need to know:

  • Get a Switzerland sim card once you arrive, data costs are crazy here (not part of the EU). We went to Swisscom in Interlaken, it cost us about 20 euros per sim card for unlimited data
  • Install maps.me. Great app for finding trails, way more accurate than Google Maps for example and it will show you the smaller hiking trails that Google Maps doesn’t show
  • Get yourself some headlights if you want to do sunrise hikes like we did
  • Take enough water when you’re out exploring
  • Just enjoy the view when driving around Switzerland, it’s gorgeous everywere
  • Cable cars are expensive, count at least 30 euros per person for a round trip, some were up to 60 euros per person. Get a Swiss half-card to get discounts if you plan on taking a lot of cable cars (you got to see for yourself if buying the card is worth it, will depend on how many cable cars you’re gonna take).
  • The best time to travel to Switzerland is june until september, during the summer months.

Day 1: Driving from Belgium to Interlaken.

Our first day we left around 5.30 AM in Belgium to drive to our first stay in Interlaken. The drive to Interlaken was not too far from Belgium (we wanted to have some exploring time on our first day already and not spend all day in the car), it’s well located to visit Lauterbrunnen and was the closest we could get to the start of our sunrise hike to the Augstmatthorn the next day.

The drive was around 7h30 minutes so in the early afternoon we arrived at the Jungfraucamp campsite. We quickly set up our tents, had lunch and went to explore Lauterbrunnen. Lauterbrunnen is not just a town, it’s a fairytale place. Fun fact: Tolkien got his inspiration for Rivendell when he visited Lauterbrunnen and fell in love with the scenery.  I can tell you one thing: it did not disappoint.

Another campsite tip: in September I went back with my girlfriend and we stayed at camping Jungfrau, right at the famous waterfall. The location was perfect and the campsite was great.

We just strolled around the place for a few hours, going up close to the waterfall, looking for some beautiful points of view to take some photos. Coördinates for the best photo spot in Lauterbrunnen (see photo below): 46.594856, 7.908370.

There are some other things to do in Lauterbrunnen, like taking the train or cable car up to Murren for a nice viewpoint over the valley, visiting Trümmelbach falls,… But after a few hours of strolling around, taking photos with camera and drone we decided to turn back to the campsite to have dinner, get a beer and go to bed early because the next day would be an exhausting one with a sunrise mission, which turned out to be the most beautiful sunrise we ever witnessed.

Rating of camping Jungfraucamp: don’t expect anything crazy here but the people were friendly, the campsite looked nice and the facilities were clean.

Day 2: Sunrise hike to Augstmatthorn + Blausee + GOMS bridge

On our second day we woke up really early around 3.15 AM. It was summer so the sun would rise around 5.30-5.45 which meant we had to be on top of the Augstmatthorn in time to watch the sun rise over the mountain peaks. We left the campsite early (tip: always check up front if the campsite has barriers that close during the night, if so make sure to park your car somewhere you can leave the campsite or you’re stuck till the barriers open which often is 7 or 8 AM. In this campsite that was not the case).

There are a few options to start the Augstmatthorn hike and after some research we decided the best for us would be to drive up to Jägerstübli Lombachalp (location: Lombachalp, 3804 Habkern, Zwitserland) where you can park the car and walk up to the Augstmatthorn viewpoint. This was a 30-40 minute drive. The trail leaves right in front of the parking lot. We used maps.me to guide us as the first part was just walking through a muddy field and it was not easy to find the trail in the dark (we had headlights but still it wasn’t easy). Coördinates for the viewpoint: 46.7423367328461, 7.92857570314724. The hike takes around 1h30, but we went crazy and did it in 1 hour. We were exhausted and it was cold at the top but we were there in time as the sun wasn’t up yet. On the top we found 3 people who spent the night there in sleeping bags which is also an option if you’re even more adventurous. Once the sun came up we did not believe our eyes and did not have enough time to take all the photos we wanted but here are some impressions.

We spent around 3 hours at the top walking the ridge, taking photos from all views possible before we went down again. While descending we came by quite a few hikers so we were lucky we beat the crowds by going early. The view was still beautiful but nothing could ever beat watching the sun rise at this spot.

We went back to the campsite, packed our stuff and drove off to our next stop, Blausee. While Blausee does have a nice walking trail and the lake itself is quite nice, it’s most definitely a tourist trap. Very small, way too busy. We spent only a short amount of time here.

After Blausee we drove off to the GOMS bridge, our last stop before taking the cable car at Fiesch to Fiescheralp.

Day 3: sunrise hike to Aletsch Glacier + Rhone glacier (Furka pass)

You have a few options to visit the Aletsch Glacier:

  • You can take the cable car from Fiesch to Eggishorn, the viewpoint over the glacier is located right outside the cable car stop.
  • We chose to spend the night in Alpenlodge Kühboden at Fiescheralp. The best way to get here is to take the cable car from Fiesch to Fiescheralp. The hotel is located in the same building as the stop of the cable car (tickets from Fiesch to Fiescheralp are included in the hotel price). We chose to stay here because the morning hike trail started right in front of the hotel and we really wanted to visit this place at sunrise as well to beat the crowds.

Review of Alpenlodge Kühboden: very friendly staff, the 3 person room we got was very basic but enough for us. Breakfast was decent. Cable car tickets from Fiesh to Fieshceralp are included in the price of the hotel so that’s a bonus.

We got up at 3.15 (again) to check the weather conditions. The night before, we arrived in the fog and couldn’t see more than 30 meters in front of us so we were scared our views would be limited the morning of our sunrise hike. We were lucky to find the sky had cleared so we got dressed and left for our hike. We used maps.me here as well which is really necessary as the road is not clearly marked and even with maps.me we were in doubt quite a few times which route to take. More than once it’s not clearly shown which ‘path’ you should take and a few times you’ll have to cross parts of ice. After 1hour 15 minutes we arrived at the top. We chose to do this on sunrise to enjoy the beautiful morning sun and because we wanted to be alone on the 2964m viewpoint over the glacier.

The view over the glacier was insane! This place is so majestic I have no words to describe it. The sunrise wasn’t great as the sun got covered by clouds but standing here with only the 3 of us like we were the only people on the planet was unforgettable. After a while clouds came rolling in and it was like we were standing on top of the world. We spent 2h30 here taking photos and flying the drone while waiting for the first cable car pod to come up. We took this one to get back down to Fiescheralp to get a shower and enjoy breakfast (we came back right before breakfast hour ended, we asked the day before if that would be an issue and they assured us they’d wait for us to make it back). Fun to know: from up the viewpoint we could see the top of the Matterhorn in the distance.

After this, we went back down and got in the car to drive to the Ticino region with a stop at the Rhone Glacier. We saw some awesome photos from the Rhone Glacier on Instagram where you could walk on a made path inside the glacier but in reality most of the ice had melted and it just looked really crappy (they cover the glacier in cloths and they were hanging in the glacier tunnels which looked really bad). The entrance fee is not much and it’s a cool experience but I think you’ll have to go sooner in the year to find it more intact (we went in July).

The views when driving to the rhone glacier are so gorgeous so make sure to enjoy the scenery. You’ll be driving the Furka Pass which is incredibly beautiful. We drove on to our campsite for the next 2 nights, being the TCS Camping Gordevio Valle Maggia. We arrived and did nothing much but set up the tent, enjoy a fun evening because we were exhausted and got to bed early.

Day 4:  Lavertezzo & Foroglio in the Ticino region

We slept a little longer today and left around 8.30 AM to visit Lavertezzo. We arrived early but soon after a lot of tourists came in to climb the rocks at the river and to go swimming. We stayed a while to take some shots and left for our next stop.

Afterwards we went on our way to visit Foroglio, a medieval cute little town located near a big waterfall, the Cascata di Foroglio. On our way we had a very good pizza at Hotel Al Lago (coordinates: 46.215182178215194, 8.860402730151277).

On the way to Foroglio, make sure to make a stop at Cascata Di Salto. It’s on the way, the walk up isn’t that long and it’s definitely worth it. Location: 46.25107028866804, 8.706567966695843. Great for taking a dip in the water as well.

After visiting Cascata di Salto, we continued our way to Foroglio and enjoyed the small road and great views. We stopped by the river to get a drink and to fly the drone for a while before we drove on. When we arrived in Foroglio it was about 3PM or something and there was no one but us. Even though it’s really small we wandered around for more than an hour finding good photo spots with the waterfall in the background. Afterwards we went to visit Cascata di Foroglio, the waterfall near the village. Foroglio itself is gorgeous and a real hidden gem.

After exploring the old town, we drove back to the campsite and went to sit by the river which seemed to be a gorgeous place as well. Some people were making a fire on the rocks near the river which seemed really cosy.

Day 5: Limmernsee + staying the night in the Muttseehütte SAC

We left the campsite in the morning to drive to the cable car stop to reach our place for the night. Parking location: Luftseilbahn Tierfehd – Kalktrittli. On our way there we made a short stop at the beautiful and lesser known Berglistüber waterfall. You can park very close, it’s not even a 10 minute walk from the side of the road to the waterfall.

Once arrived at the cable car parking, you take your ticket and wait for the cable car to come down. It’s a very steep one and the views are crazy. Once you arrived with the cable car, you can take 2 routes to the Muttseehütte SAC (coordinates of the hut: 46.85823576002044, 9.021043779716585).

  • The first option is to turn left once you step out of the cable car. This route will take you along the mountain trail. The hike to the hut is indicated by signposts so you can’t miss it. We took this route on our way up. It provided us with really nice views (see pictures down below).
  • The second option when stepping out of the cable car is going straight and taking the door that leads into the tunnel. You’ll have to walk 3 km in this tunnel (it seems endless) and then you arrive at Limmernsee. From there you have to do the last incline to the Mütttseehütte SAC. We took this way down.

In total this hike will take you 2-3 hours. A little longer if you stop every few minutes to take photos like we did.

Once arrived, we took some photos of Limmernsee but it started raining really heavily so we went inside to get dinner. Besides us there were only a few other people staying the night. The owners cook one meal for everyone and it was really good. We had a few beers and went to bed. Even though we had bad weather, I would really recommend this place to get away from everything for a night.

Day 6: Schäfler ridge in the Alpstein region

We put the alarm early for sunrise but it was still raining and it was so cloudy we could barely see anything so we decided to stay in bed and sleep a little longer. After breakfast we took the route down to Limmernsee and then via the tunnel. Before reaching the tunnel we enjoyed some of the views in the rain. We were lucky to encounter a wild group of ibex.

We arrived at the car soaking wet from the rain, put on some dry clothes and left for our final 2 nights at Berggasthaus Schäfler in the Alpstein region. We drove to the Talstation Luftseilbahn Wasserauen-Ebenalp AG (Coördinates: 47.286719098218875, 9.428787098903964) and took the cable car up. The rain stopped for a while so we quickly made our way up to Berggasthaus Schäfler whil enjoying the views around us. The walk to the inn is about 1h30 and you stay right at the Schäfler mountain ridge. Next photo is taken with the drone of the view on Seealpsee.

Seealpsee in the Alpstein region

We arrived in the early afternoon but because it was raining non stop we decided to stay in, have some beers and enjoy a good meal. When we finished the meal we saw it stopped raining for a while and went out to see what was the most epic sunset we ever saw. The sun came though just for 5 minutes before it started pouring again but the sights we had, we will never forget.

Schäfler ridge

The day after, it was still raining but we decided to go for a hike and visit the famous Aescher restaurant. Since the weather was so bad there was no one there when apparently sometimes in the tourist season you have to wait in a long line to take a photo. Location: 47.283609, 9.414945

Since the weather was really bad and there was a thunderstorm going on, we decided to turn back to the hut and spend the rest of the afternoon indoors.

Review of Berggasthaus Schäfler: great place to stay, friendly staff. Views are crazy. I hope you have better weather than we had. Would definitely recommend but then for 1 night only. We booked 2 nights in the hope to have perfect sunrise/sunset conditions. Schäfler dorm rooms are around 50 euros per person for a night. Surely worth it for the views you have here. The best thing I haven’t even mentioned yet: the Schäfler ridge viewpoint is literally 3 minutes from the Berggasthaus. Perfect, right?

Schäfler mountain ridge

Day 7: Walk back down and drive back to Belgium

Since the weather was really bad we just went back home but our original plan was to explore Saxer Lücke, which is close and then drive home. I’ll explain how to get there down below.

Important note:

As you may or may not notice, we did not visit all the most touristic spots in the country. We skipped the Matterhorn for example as it was too far a detour for us and we did not want to do the most touristic spot either. For many this would be a must visit, we were okay not to go there and see some lesser visited places and we definitely do not regret it.

If we would do the trip again with the knowledge we had now, would we do it again? 3 times YES but with 2 slight alterations to the itinerary: first of all we would skip Blausee and take the time to explore Oeschinesee and the mighty viewpoint it has (look it up on Google it’s really cool). Second, if we could we’d add some more days to visit even more spots but our time was limited.


In september, 2 months after this trip, my girlfriend and I visited Switzerland again for 5 days and visited some other places. I really recommend taking a look at these as well:

  • Triftbrücke: start at the Triftbahn, hike up to the bridge for very impressive views. Coördinates Triftbahn: 46.70424885441222, 8.336207277482341. Total is around 6km, 3hour hike.
  • Rosenlaui: easily accessible by car, no hiking required but you can go to the Rosenlaui glacier closeby. Coördinates: 46.68885974974545, 8.161514235503049
  • Saxer Lücke hike: there’s different ways to access this place, what we did was arrive in the afternoon at Brulisau and take the cable car up to Hoher Kasten. Walk around here and enjoy the crazy view you have.
VIew from the Hoher Kasten viewpoint. You can see Saxer Lücke in the distance

Then walk to Berggasthaus Staubern and stay the night there.

The next morning we walked from Berggasthaus Staubern to Hoher Kasten, then down to Fälensee where we had the craziest reflections ever. We stayed here for a short while to take some photos and then continued walking back to the car in Brulisau. We stopped at a local bakery with some delicious bread rolls (Bäckerei-Konditorei Fässler).

You can also do this in 1 day, we just wanted to stay the night on top of the mountain. Total is about 17 km, which will take around 5 hours. It’s mostly downhill and flat but in the beginning you’ll also have to climb a little bit.
Another option to visit Saxer Lücke and Fälensee if you don’t want to hike too much, is taking the cable car from Frümsen straight to Berggasthaus Staubern, from there it’s not a long walk to Saxer Lücke and you can take the same road back.

  • Last but definitely not least: Bachalpsee. To get to Bachalpsee, be ready to pay up on cable car tickets (we did not have a reduction card so we paid 120 euros for 2 persons up and down). Take the firstbahn in Grindelwald up to the last stop. From there it’s only a 1h30 hike to Bachalpsee.

Equipment used:

  • Camera: Sony A7 III
  • Lenses: Sony 24-105mm f4 & Tamron 70-180 f2.8
  • Drone: Mavic 2 Pro with Polarpro filters 8,16,32

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Drone video with footage from our Switzerland trip


Hi everyone! For those who don’t know me, my name is Felix and I’m a 29 year old photographer from Belgium. I was born and raised here and started with photography in 2017. Even though I do all kinds of photography (street, architecture, portraits, business shoots,…) my all time favorite is travel and landscape photography so this will be the focus of this blog.

On my Instagram I had a lot of questions about the trips I did and the places I went to. Therefor I decided it was about time for me to start writing everything down so you can find all the information about my adventures in one place. In this blog I’ll share all my travel experiences with you. You’ll find everything you need to know about the places I visited so you can have an easy time planning your own trips. I did the best research I could and spent hours planning my own trips to find the best spots so I hope you’ll find the information useful!

If you want to support me, you can find me on Instagram and Youtube. Come over to say hi on my socials! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!

You can leave your Email adress down below if you want to get notified whenever I publish a new blog article.