Dora Christofi

/Dora Christofi
Dora Christofi

About Dora Christofi

I’m Cypriot, with a London touch, experimenting with photography, working in marketing, love cooking, reading books and wishing to travel the world. I currently live in Limassol, Cyprus and try to travel as much as I can. Visit the [Meet Dora] section for more.

Agros Rose Festival 2019 – Cyprus Annual Event

Agros Rose Festival is held this year on the 11-12th and 18th and 19th of May in Agros Village in Cyprus. I visited the Agros Rose Festival on Sunday the 12th of May and need to admit that it was one of the best festivals I've been to. If you really want to enjoy this I would advise you to visit early in the morning in order to avoid the crowds. We were there at 10:30 in the morning, when it was still not that hot and the place was not packed - and you'll find a nearby car parking space. During the festival, visitors have the chance to see and enjoy various exhibitions of products made of local roses, learn more about the procedure of making rose water, enjoy a traditional dance program and traditional music and taste some products made of rose also as other Cypriot traditional products. We visited the Rose factory which is one of the most interesting and characteristic spots in Agros. You will be toured around the factory and hear how rose water is made, from which roses, when and long does it take to produce. You'll get to try rose water, rose chocolates, hand creams, liquors, even toothpaste (everything that has to do with cosmetics is considered to be organic).  There are kiosks serving food and drinks, and other kiosks that sell rose products including food, drinks, cosmetics, candles etc. There's a hop on hop off train touring the area (2 EUROS). Check below the festival plan to get an idea of what to expect if you decide to visit. Agros Rose Festival 2019 Photos About Agros Agros is a village built on the Troodos Mountains, in the region of Pitsilia, in southwest Cyprus, which has built amphitheatrically among high mountains at an altitude of 1100 metres with a population of approximately 1,000. The village is located 45 minutes away from the cities of Nicosia and Limassol, 20 minutes from Troödos Square and 80 minutes from the international airports of Larnaca and Paphos [ref: [...]

2019-05-14T08:51:36+03:00May 14th, 2019|

Revolut: Your BEST Travel Card Abroad

To give yourself the best possible rate at the time you are travelling abroad, you may want to get a card that is designed for overseas use. This will help you cut the additional costs of fees and currency exchange which are applied when you use your normal debit or credit cards abroad. The best solution is to get a FREE Revolut Card, a secure, mobile-based current account that allows you to hold, exchange and transfer without fees in 24 different currencies. Launched in 2015, Revolut has more than 4 million customers who, according to Revolut, have completed more than 250 million transactions with a total value of over £25 billion. Opening a standard free account with Revolut, you are able to get a UK current account, a Euro IBAN account, and a blueish or pinkish bank card (or it might be branded some a company who has collaborated with Revolut). With your card, you will get to do the usual things you can do with a current account like send money to friends, set up direct debits, and withdraw money from an ATM, you can use an impressive range of other features, including free international money transfers, fee-free global spending and access to cryptocurrency exchange. Revolut is aiming to break down the borders of banking. If you are travelling, use your Revolut to: spend abroad with a great exchange rate. have affordable worldwide travel insurance which overseas emergency medical assistance, and expenses of up to £15m. GET YOUR FREE REVOLUT CARD One of Revolut’s appealing features is that it lets you spend fee-free at the interbank rate in 150 currencies. When you’re spending abroad, you typically get charged with transaction fees or hidden costs that you tend to discover later on your bank statement. That’s because your bank will either charge you extra fees to use your card abroad, or they change money at a less competitive rate or both. Revolut doesn’t do that, which is why it’s popular with those who have a global lifestyle. Using it abroad is much like using it in your [...]

2019-04-12T14:31:19+03:00April 12th, 2019|

UK Citizens: How will Brexit affect your holidays to Europe

So, UK is about to leave the EU this month, right before the Easter holidays. If the UK leaves with Theresa May's deal,  this means there will be a transition period until the end of 2020. As a UK passport holder myself, I'm writing down how Brexit will affect UK citizens traveling within the EU however, life must go on as normal for British families - and that includes making plans for their holidays within the EU. Brexit Timeline: key dates in the UK’s divorce from the EU What travel documents will I need to travel? European Commission reported that UK citizens will not need a visa even if there's no deal however, you will need a Visa to travel to US after Brexit, whether there's a deal or not. NO DEAL: According to the UK Government, visitors will be able to stay for up to 90 days out of any 180-day period. You might need a visa before travel if you intend to stay in the Schengen area for more than 90 days throughout of that 180-day period. DEAL: EU citizens and UK nationals will continue to be able to travel freely with a passport or an ID card until the end of the transition period in 2020. Should I exchange holiday currencies before or after Brexit? The pound has lost its value against the euro and the US dollar. Nobody knows what is going to happen to the markets and the smallest piece of news can send the pound falling or rallying within minutes. A no-deal Brexit could see the pound weaken, while a deal may see it rise. However, to give yourself the best possible rate at the time, you may want to get a card that is designed for overseas use to cut the additional costs of fees and currency loading that are applied when you use your normal debit or credit cards abroad. The best solution is to get a FREE Revolut Card, a secure, mobile-based current account that allows you to hold, exchange and transfer without fees in 24 different [...]

2019-03-30T11:57:11+03:00March 30th, 2019|

Casale Panayiotis: A luxury resort located in the mountains

"Discover village life in Cyprus through a luxury hotel resort and spa set into an ancient mountain range in this Mediterranean escape". Cyprus is full of surprises and hidden spots. One of these is Casale Panayiotis, a stylish boutique hotel in the heart of Kalopanayiotis Village. It's a place to relax and enjoy the village life. It combines a mixture of a luxury spa, elegant hotel rooms that remind you of Cypriot Village houses - modern and old. Nestled in the Marathasa Valley, on the slopes of Troodos Mountains, Casale Panayiotis is a complex of traditional houses which combine modern luxuries with traditional style. It features a spa center and elegant rooms overlooking the courtyard or the mountains. Rooms All rooms and suites used to be village homes which have been restored, retaining their original Cypriot character and touches. All rooms are heated and air-conditioned, provide a TV,  safe, minibar and kettle, whilst some other rooms have a sink and a mini cooker. Free toiletries, bathrobes, slippers and a hairdryer stock the bathroom. A few rooms have a fireplace (there is a 10 Euros extra charge for a basket of wood). We stayed at one of the 5 Studios, Agia Marina no.5 which is located in the Old neighborhood, near the Agia Marina church (the room was named after the church). Our room had a fireplace which made it extra cozy and warm during the winter nights that we stayed there. BOOK NOW Eating The food we had whilst staying in the village was delicious. Casale owns a few restaurants including Byzantino Restaurant, Byzantino Cafe, Loutraki, Pantheo and Kava. In order to reach most of these places and other eateries around the village, you need to walk, despite at which room you are staying at. We had food in Byzantino Restaurant which serves local dishes. We also visited Loutraki Grill restaurant set in a contemporary environment with amazing village views. But note that Loutraki has a very limited selection of dishes. I won't forget the exceptional breakfast. A variety of traditional Cypriot selections, including [...]

2019-01-18T15:28:17+03:00January 17th, 2019|

Peles Castle, Romania: A must-visit attraction

Peles Castle is been considered one of the most stunning and most impressive castles in Romania, especially in winter. I had no idea about this Castle before I planned my visit to Bucharest. When I was planning my excursions, my main one was to visit the famous Bran Castle (mostly known as Dracula's Castle) between Transylvania and Wallachia. After visiting both castles, Peles Castle is the most stunning one between the two. I visited the Castle on a snowy day. I always prefer to take private tours to save time and reach the places I visit early in order to avoid the crowds. I usually book via Viator (that's my own personal space for booking tickets via Viator). The Castle is located in Sinaia area, located only about 75 miles north of Bucharest, Romania’s capital, or one hour and a half by train. So if you don't wish to go on a private tour, you can easily get to Sinaia either by car (on the E60 or DN1 road) or by train. For this specific tour, you may find a variety of options by searching for Peles Castle. Reasons to visit Peles Castle 1. Rich History The grand castle was built at the wish of King Carol I (1839–1914), the first Romanian King, as a summer retreat. It was one of the most modern European constructions during that period since it had central heating and electricity. Since then, it has accommodated various historical figures and later on it was used as a private haven for communist leaders and senior officials from around the globe. 2.Architecture and Design In order to enter the Castle, you need to cover your shoes with plastic covers in order to keep the place clean and respect the place. As we went through the Castle, our guide explained a lot of things about the architecture, the design and the purpose of each room. Its 160 sumptuous rooms are embellished with the finest examples of European art, including Murano chandeliers, German stained-glass windows, Handmade silk embroideries, Cordoba leather-covered walls. Some of the rooms [...]

2019-01-07T16:13:07+03:00January 6th, 2019|

Conrad Koh Samui: A Luxurious Gateway

Conrad Koh Samui is the most luxurious hotel I have stayed up to now. This is the most exclusive and quiet hotel to stay, relax and enjoy your precious time. Conrad Samui is a 5-star luxury resort that sprawls over a 25-acre property situated on a mountain-side.  The resort features 65 one-bedroom villas, 14 two-bedroom villas, and 1 Royal villa - all villas with their own private pool. Conrad Koh Samui offers a luxurious and private beachfront getaway overlooking the Gulf of Thailand LocationThe Conrad’s location on Samui’s little-developed southwest coast is suited in a hidden area, away from the crowds, overlooking the whale-shaped Five Islands and the luminous Gulf of Thailand. The resort lays on a complimentary 4 times per day shuttle bus to the street markets and beach Chaweng (expect a journey time of about an hour). It takes 45-minutes to reach from the airport. This large modern resort is made up of cube-shaped villas, each one with its own swimming pool, positioned above a small stretch of private beach. The look combines clean lines with subtle Thai touches and breathtaking gulf views. The hotel is appealing to all the guests, who come from all around the world – Asia, Australia, Europe, the US, and the UK – mostly honeymooners. Check-In Once we arrived at the hotel, they offered us a welcome drink, an amazing cold lemongrass tea drink.  Once everything was sorted out a golf car took us to our villa room.  Really, you need a golf car to go around the resort if you are planning to walk long distances (especially if its raining). Rooms The villas are large and each one has their private swimming pool. The interior design is very modern, comfortable and the rooms are extremely spacious. I won't write anything more about the rooms since my photos below show you the best of the villa and its facilities. Room Comforts In-room climate control (air conditioning) Air conditioning Ceiling fan Minibar Espresso maker Bathrobes Slippers Iron/ironing board Sleep well Hypo-allergenic bedding available Pillow menu Blackout drapes/curtains Soundproofed rooms Turndown service Premium bedding Things to [...]

2018-09-26T15:11:33+03:00September 26th, 2018|

Limassol Wine Festival 2018

The Limassol Wine Festival is a 10-day annual cultural and vibrant event that takes place every year, since 1961 at end of August - beginning of September. The Limassol Wine Festival, one of the most popular events in Cyprus, takes place in the Limassol Municipal Gardens, which are located on the east side of the town near the sea.There are pavilions on both sides of the main entrance belonging to the Limassol wineries including ETKO, KEO, LOEL, SODAP, and LAONA, where the visitors can taste, free of charge, all kinds of wines. When you purchase your entrance ticket, you are also given a 20% discount voucher which you can redeem at these wineries.During the event, you will enjoy a celebration of food and wine. There's a variety of kiosks that cook Cypriot food e.g. mostly souvlakia. You'll get to listen to Cypriot music and watch Cypriot and Greek dancing.If you happen to be in Cyprus during this period, a visit to Limassol would not be complete without attending one of the biggest and most significant cultural events on the island.Download the full program to see what kind of activities and events have been planned and plan accordingly your visit. DOWNLOAD FULL PROGRAM Limassol Wine Festival Tickets Adults: over 18 years old: 5 Euro 20% off all bottled wines (applies to 1 bottle, excluding Commandaria) from ETKO, LOEL, KEO or SODAP wineries. Children/ Teenagers from 6 – 18 years old: 3 Euro Plastic wine bottle: 1.50 Euro Wine glass: 1.50 Euro Wine glass with stem: 2.50 Euro Venue AddressLemesos Municipal Gardens28th October AvenueLemesos, CyprusOperating TimesWeekdays 19:00 - 23:00Saturday & Sunday 19:00 - 23:30 ParkingA big parking space located on the Municipal Garden Theatre’s eastern side is provided free of charge by the Limassol Municipality (Pafilia plot). Get a glimpse into last year's event (2017) by watching the video from blogger Amanda Kate at FoodyFair.  

2018-09-03T09:39:59+03:00September 2nd, 2018|

The Great Wall of China – Mutianyu

The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe with an eye to expansion [Ref: Wikepedia] Why Was the Great Wall of China Built? Originally built as a wartime defense, the Great Wall of China features many towers and passes. When Emperor Qin Shi Huang first proposed the so-called Long Wall, it was meant to defend the Chinese states against nomadic tribes from the north. During the Han Dynasty the Great Wall was extended to protect the Silk Road trade. The Ming Dynasty, which “took a largely defensive stance,” according to History.com, is known for not only extending the Great Wall, but also repairing and reinforcing existing structures. Getting to the Great Wall (Mutianyu section) from Beijing The beautiful Great Wall is just 70 miles from Beijing. But getting there can be a bit tricky for travelers making the trek solo. Visitors sticking with public transportation will first need to get to Dongzhimen Station, where you can take an hour-long express bus ride to Huairou Station. Then, you’ll need to transfer to a bus stopping at the Mutianyu Roundabout. Most experts on travel to the Great Wall will recommend skipping the train and opting for a hired car and a guide. Especially when your time in Beijing is limited I would strongly advice you to go there with a private tour guide. A tour guide will take you early in the morning to the less popular sections of the wall will help you to maximize your time. We pre-booked a small-Group Great Wall Experience Tour that started at 7:00 in the morning in order to avoid the crowds. The distance from Beijing center is around 73 kilometers (45 miles). It took us around 2 hours to arrive at Mutianyu by mini bus. Mutianyu Mutianyu is the mostly restored, spectacular [...]

2018-08-23T14:02:29+03:00August 22nd, 2018|

WIN A TOUR: Spain, Thailand, Sri Lanka, or Egypt [EXPIRED]

Have you been dreaming about which corner of the world should be on your radar next? Enter before August 21st for a chance to chase the sun and win a tour for two. Win a Trip for 2: Thailand, Sri Lanka, Spain or Egypt! Explore the historic sights of Ancient Egypt with Timeless Tours, venture into the north of Thailand and explore remote villages with Destination Services, spend time at hidden tapas bars with Trapsatur, or spot wildlife in Sri Lanka with Aitken Spence. No matter which destination captures your attention, you can bet that each one will deliver touring memories to last a lifetime. It’s time to uncover the secret spots you won’t see anywhere else. Egypt Highlights Discover the Ancient Wonders at Giza Cruise the famous Nile Relax on the coast of the Red Sea Explore the Valley of Kings Start and end in Cairo! With the in-depth cultural tour Best of Egypt 10 days & the Red Sea, you have a 10 day tour package taking you through Cairo, Egypt and 6 other destinations in Egypt. Best of Egypt 10 days & the Red Sea is a small group tour that includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more. ENTER TO WIN A TOUR TO EGYPT Bangkok Highlights Discover Thailand's rich history Feast on traditional local cuisine Marvel at ancient temples and sacred sites Enjoy time to explore independently Start and end in Bangkok! With the discovery tour 8 Days Bangkok and Ancient Capitals, you have a 8 day tour package taking you through Bangkok, Thailand and 7 other destinations in Thailand. 8 Days Bangkok and Ancient Capitals includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more. ENTER TO WIN A TOUR TO bangkok Andalusia with Toledo Highlights Spend two nights in vibrant Seville Drive the route of the white villages Marvel at the Alhambra Stroll the winding medieval streets of Toledo Start and end in Madrid! With the discovery tour Andalusia with Toledo, you have a 5 day tour package taking you through Madrid, Spain and 6 other [...]

2018-10-04T17:43:57+03:00August 2nd, 2018|
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