Prince Edward Island: a journey through lighthouses, stories, good food and beaches

Prince Edward Island is Canada’s smallest province and has only 150,000 inhabitants. Despite this, the island has one and a half million tourists a year.
On the island there are 90 beaches, all particular and different from each other: to the north you can find white beaches with dunes, to the south red sand beaches with cliffs.
Prince Edward Island has 52 lighthouses, 38 of which are still active.

Anne of Green Gables

Credit: ©Tourism PEI / John Sylvester

This unique place is also home to the famous orphan Anne of Green Gables, a novel translated into 18 languages as well as a television series.
Although fictitious, Anne of Green Gables is very real in the hearts and minds of islanders and fans.
There are attractions all over the island dedicated to Anne and her author, Lucy Maud Montgomery.

You can visit the Anne Museum in Park Corner, then pop into Lower Bedeque to visit the school where she taught.
You can almost imagine Anne hitting Gilbert in the head with a blackboard! Feel the influence this island has had on Lucy Maud Montgomery and you will understand why Anne was so enchanted by life here. You intertwine them too your braids and come and explore the land of Anne.

And if you want to immerse yourself in the rich history that explains how Anne is become such a phenomenon, you also have to go through the life of Lucy Maud Montgomery.
She was born on the north coast of Prince Edward Island in 1874 and raised in Cavendish by her grandparents.
It was here that she wrote her most famous novel, Anne of Green Gables.
You can visit her birthplace, where she married, where she taught, and find out how she was inspired by Prince Edward Island to create her own novel.

Green Gables Museum aereal view

Parks Canada recently completed a full rehabilitation site in Green Gables, which includes a new visitor center with a lounge exhibit, a gift shop and a coffee shop, as well as items updated interpretative.

Culinary experiences

Credit: ©Tourism PEI / Stephen Harris

Prince Edward Island produces some of the most sought after food products in the world. Traditional Mi’kmaq methods can be used, preparing the bannock and cooking it in the sand. Or you can pick up the clams on the beach and cook them over a high heat.

Island Flavours Culinary Bootcamp Culinary Institute of Canada

Find out why this dining experience was named one of Canada’s signature experiences by Destination Canada! The chef will take you on a delicious culinary journey through local bounty: shellfish, beef, pork and, of course, local potatoes.
Local produce will be used to create a flavorful menu that will include things like cooking lobster like an islander, incorporating seasonal fruit into recipes, and enjoying all of the seasonal vegetables.

Routes and paths

Image by JFGagnonPhoto from shutterstock

Launched in autumn 2021, TheIsland Walk is a 700km walking trail that winds around the island. It takes about 32 days to complete (20-25 kilometers per day) and was inspired by other famous walks around the world.
There are plenty of opportunities to complete the island walk in sections and spend more time exploring certain areas than they could attract you more. The trail will take you along the ocean, through red dirt roads, beaches and quiet back roads along the outer perimeter of the island, with a mix of inland and coastal sections.

The route weaves through Prince Edward Island’s two main towns, Charlottetown, Summerside, and also through many small communities across the island – a large circle that allows walkers to finish the walk where they started.

Confederation trail

The tip-to-tip trail of the island runs on abandoned railway lines and leads into wetlands and deciduous forests, through quaint villages and along sparkling rivers. There is no better way to explore the natural beauty of Prince Edward Island than by hiking or biking along the trails.

Scenic coastal roads

Prince Edward Island’s three scenic trails are a perfect way to explore the island. With over 45 harbors scattered across the rugged coastline, fishing, villages, lighthouses, antique shops and restaurants serving the freshest of delicious island cuisine, there will always be reasons to stop and explore something new. Don’t miss the fairytale villages of Victoria, Cavendish, Georgetown, Souris, or Tignish.

The Confederation bridge

Confederation Bridge
Adobe stock photo

The Confederation bridge is an approximately 12km-long engineering marvel that connects the island to the mainland. It is the longest bridge in the world that crosses frozen waters in winter.

How to discover Ireland and its flavors in an ecological way through bars, restaurants and markets

A small guide for strategic and sustainable stops of taste, all accessible by train, bus or bike!
Ireland is a real treasure trove of taste treasures for those who love to embark on a journey of sustainability and with the desire to be green even when recharging after an excursion!

Belfast

The train is perfect for reaching Belfast and exploring some of the best food sustainability addresses. The Morne Seafood Bar is an offshoot of the place at the foot of the Morne Mountains: here, locally sourced seafood chowder, tasty casseroles and scallops give the sensation of tasting the sea.
Furthermore, reaching the parent company and, perhaps, exploring the mountains of the same name is really simple in an hour by bus from the city center.
Before heading out for a stroll in the hills around Belfast, taking advantage of some really beautiful trails , it’s worth filling your backpack with exquisite locally sourced picnic treats, taking a Saturday ride to the extraordinary St George’s Market . It is also worthwhile as it is housed in a fine, traditional Victorian market in the heart of downtown. Open from 9 to 15, in addition to allowing you to shop for taste, it is perfect for a coffee and to enjoy the music of local artists.
Another place to stock up on a super picnic is Sawer’s Deli , a real city institution where you can find Irish fish, meat and cheeses, as well as warm stuffed puff pastry delights. of delicacies such as, for example, O’Doherty’s black bacon, O’Reilly’s goat cheese or Armagh’s smoked turkey, to name a few. For a special moment focused on seasonality and a little Northern Class, the ideal is an evening at Ox , a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Wicklow

Those arriving in Dublin can head straight to Greystones, using the local DART train, and take a hike between Bray and Greystones on the Cliff Walk, where The Happy Pear , as well as rewarding with taste he will also be able to give an injection of good humor: an address famous for its organic vegetable-based proposals and a gastronomic icon of the county!
Also thanks to its founders – the famous and handsome twins Dave and Steve – who have become award-winning publishers and pioneers of the outdoors.
An example? For some years now they have been organizing open water swimming events, an activity that has made them very popular in their community. A couple of kilometers inland is the village of Delgany, where you can pack some pastries from the Firehouse Bakery, run by chef, baker and author Patrick Ryan.
Specializing in traditional, preservative-free artisan bread making, as well as carrying on the community bakery ethic, pair her irresistible carbohydrates with a stroll in nearby Glen of the Downs Nature Reserve.

Lead wholesome Irish food
Cork

In the 1980s, County Cork pioneered a real revolution in Irish food, with restaurants loved by aficionados from around the world swooping into Kinsale every year, or the inimitable Ballymaloe cooking school, renowned around the globe. And it is no coincidence that the latter was the pioneer of the slow food movement in Ireland.
The list of great restaurants of this glorious part of the island is truly remarkable. However, for green travelers arriving into the city by train, one of the best ways to get some flavor wonders close is to follow the Cork Culinary Tour. Allowing you to discover places such as the historic English Market, West Cork oysters and a gastro pub for lunch, in the company of knowledgeable local guides, makes for an enthralling journey-menu of sustainable tasting.
In the same way, you can also get excited by taking part in the Kinsale Food Tour and, even if the city is not accessible by train, by bus the journey on the number 226, which runs every hour, (buseireann.ie) only lasts 44 minutes.
To experience West Cork cuisine, in a small and delightful place, the bus is again a perfect way! Destination: Clonakilty, just an hour from Cork, where you can be sure of going out with a very pleasant feeling of satisfying satiety. The Lettercollum Kitchen Project is a veritable mine for picnics, with many ingredients sourced right from a field on the doorstep.
Scally’s SuperValu supermarket is also full of produce and An Súgán Seafood Bar & Restaurant has been run by the same family for over thirty years.

Galway Oyster and seafood festival
Galway Oyster and seafood festival
Galway

You can’t actually get to Galway by direct train from Cork, as you would have to go back to Dublin. However, you can take a bus for a 4-hour trip between the two cities, which is perfect time to get an appetite. It is certainly worth it as Galway boasts the world’s first oyster festival, which dates back as far as 1954. A great stop is the weekend market , a centuries-old presence in the city, which has hundreds of stalls dedicated to local food, with a great choice of opportunities for street food.
An excellent combination of craic (an untranslatable term that evokes the pleasure of being together) and cuisine is the one proposed by the Galway Food Tour , which also allows add a cycling lace to this interesting mix. An address not to be missed is Aniar , a Michelin-starred restaurant at the forefront of seasonal and local cuisine, wild and also enhanced by foraging.
Ard Bia is another sustainable gem that changes its menu every day to always be focused on local produce. Also highlight is the Brasserie on the Corner , which offers Irish delicacies such as Aran Island Crab Cake, Connemara mussels and also excellent top-notch beef. Two other must-see spots are McDonagh’s Seafood House and McCambridge’s Deli and Cafe .
Irish gastrocritics and guides McKennas call Goya’s the best bakery in Galway and Sheridan’s Cheesemonger and Winebar the best cheese shop.
Also to consult is the guide McKennas’ Wild Atlantic Way: Where To Eat & Stay, for many other gastronomic delights in Galway, a city that has always had a strong pride as a special place and which now also deserves to be the source of extraordinary gastronomic excellence.

Sheridian’s Cheeesmonger
Westport

If you arrive at Westport train station and are in immediate need of some goodness, you should head straight to Marlene’s Chocolate Haven to indulge yourself with homemade Irish chocolates and coffee, in one of the sweetest places in the city. Another place that is perfect for a sustainable snack is This Must Be The Place.
Right preparation for an excellent slow food dinner is a leisurely stroll along the seafront before reaching Pantry & Corkscrew: as a member of the Euro-toques (European Community of Chefs & Cooks) movement, has a deep understanding of slow food and suppliers include Westernshore Organic Farm, Mescan Brewery and Cornrue Bakery’s excellent leavened products (https://www.instagram.com/cornrue_bakery).

Slow travelers will also enjoy the Great Western Greenway which starts in Westport and ends in Achill Sound. The local community has cleverly created a Gourmet Greenway , with a map of local producers to make some greedy purchases or just to refuel after a day on the bike along its idyllic route. Gastronomic gems include The Blue Bicycle Tea Rooms and Kelly’s Kitchen in Newport, as well as the magnificent Mulranny Park Hotel.
Perfect idea: plan a tour, including a night at this iconic hotel, scenically overlooking Clew Bay. His food ethic is exemplary, his location extraordinary and his knowledge of all the eco-adventure guides in the region very useful.


6 Austrian castles where to spend ( at least) a dream night

Fortresses, noble residences and medieval fortresses are legacies of Austria’s long history. Today many of them have become hotels, where you can spend days of vacation and relaxation, amidst works of art and legends of the past. In nature, on the lake or in the city, all ensure unforgettable experiences.

Let’s see where some are:

  1. Indulge in breakfast under the Rococo stuccoes of the ballroom or a newspaper reading in the original inlaid wood library. Outside the windows, the view of the lake and the mountains excites in every season:
    Leopoldskron Castle ( cover image) seems isolated but is only half an hour’s walk from the center of Salzburg.
    You get lost in its boundless park, where the notes of the film All together passionately resound, of which some outdoor scenes were shot here. Wanted by a prince archbishop in 1736, the palace was purchased at the beginning of the twentieth century by Max Reinhardt, theatrical impresario and founder of the Salzburg Festival: at that time the castle was used for traveling shows, with the public moving from room to room Really magical.
    More infos here
  2. On Sundays you may be awakened by the bells echoing in the valley. A sound that few now remember, but which can be heard if you sleep inside a former monastery with the chapel still in use for masses.
    The Schloss Berg Klösterle stands on a sunny plateau at an altitude of 1,000 meters above the village of Zedlitzdorf in Carinthia. Off the beaten track, it is the ideal choice to isolate yourself in nature. The structure, completed in 1756, housed Carmelite and Capuchin monks, before becoming a school.
    Today it has been divided into apartments with bathroom and kitchen, which can be rented in small groups. The tavern with its barrel vaults, the isolated location, the rustic but comfortable furnishings: everything contributes to keeping the original spirituality of the place intact.
    More infos here
Johann Jaritz / CC BY-SA 4.0, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

3. A small peninsula jutting out over Lake Fuschlsee. All around the silence of snow-capped or lush mountains, depending on the season. At the center is a Renaissance castle that may seem familiar to some: it was in fact a set for the famous Sissi trilogy of the 1950s (it was used as a location for the childhood home of the future empress).
But that’s not the only thing that makes Schloss Fuschl an internationally popular destination. The 5-star hotel has a stormy history and still preserves a valuable collection of works of art collected over the centuries. The most sophisticated travelers appreciate the impeccable service, the Austro-French cuisine, the indoor swimming pool, the refined beach club on the shores of the lake. And the charm of a fairytale castle just twenty minutes from Salzburg.
More infos here

Schloss Fischl Austria
Schloss Fuschl_ Shutterstock Photo

4. You don’t need a lot of imagination to step into the shoes of an emperor or an empress when you choose to sleep in the Grand Suite inside Schönbrunn Palace: just look out the window and admire the Gloriette above the Neptune fountain to immediately feel like the Kaiser Franz Joseph or his wife Sissi (to name the two most famous tenants of the building).
This 167 sqm deluxe room accommodates up to four people and offers the unique experience of sleeping in a four-poster bed in one of the most famous residences in the world, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The rooms of the imperial palace of the Habsburgs tell the story of a glorious past, of family joys and sorrows, of a legendary dynasty that still fascinates visitors from all over the world.
More infos here

Image by Sekau67 from Pixabay

5. The boat glides gently on the most famous river in Austria, the notes of the Strauss waltz immediately come to mind, the hills of the Wachau valley, UNESCO heritage, are covered with orchards and vineyards.
One hour from Vienna, this is the view at Schloss Dürnstein, a 5-star hotel in Lower Austria, a member of the Relais & Chateaux group.
Built in the 1600s, the castle belonged to various aristocratic dynasties until it was bought by the Thiery family, who today manage it with care and passion. Pride of the hotel are the cellar stocked with local wines, the spa with indoor and outdoor pools and the terraces where you can enjoy a gourmet dinner. The region, rich in medieval fortresses and monasteries, is a pleasant stop for those who want to be lulled by the waters of the majestic Danube.
More infos here.

Schloss Dürnstein
Image by Karl Egger from Pixabay

6. A few dozen wooden houses, a church tower and not even 800 inhabitants squeezed between an emerald lake and the mountains: when you think of Austria, you probably imagine the village of Hallstatt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the surrounding region.
Lying on the sparkling waters is Casa Kainz, one of three historic structures part of the Heritage Hotel Hallstatt.
The other two, Casa Stocker and Casa Seethaler, are just a few minutes’ walk away and enjoy the same enchanting view. After a stroll through picturesque alleys or a visit to the salt mines, a coffee on the lakefront is always a good idea to review the images of the day. Hallstatt doesn’t need to be a great photographer to post the perfect photo on social media: every corner is truly magical.
More infos here

the town of hallstatt in austria
Photo by Юрий Лаймин on Pexels.com


7 magical Irish places to escape from stress

Ireland has resources to sell. We all imagine it as the green island where many successful musicians were born or where we can find one of the best and best known beers in the world (Guinness).
Ireland also means spectacular landscapes or famous cities such as Dublin, Galway, Belfast, Cork, just to name a few.

But Ireland is also quiet and relaxing places to get away from it all and forget about stress and little problems. What are these places?
Here are some of them:

1.Devenish Island

Photo by Chris Hill ©Tourism Ireland

County Fermanagh is teeming with rivers, lakes and lake islands. In Lough Erne is Devenish Island which is home to one of the most important monastic sites in Northern Ireland. Founded by San Molaise in the sixth century, it includes the ruins of the abbey, a circular tower and the walls of the oratory. The island can be reached by boat from Enniskillen: with a short trip you will find the tranquility and pristine beauty of an idyllic timeless place.

2. Rathlin Island

Photo by Joshua McMichael from Tourism Ireland

It is located off the Causeway Coastal Route and is the northernmost point in Northern Ireland. This remote island is dotted with intriguing shipwrecks and is also a haven for seabirds. In spring and summer, this island is populated by thousands of birds, including the very nice puffins that come here to lay their eggs. Ferry companies offer regular service to the island from Ballycastle.

3. Strangford Lough, Antrim

Photo by Brian Morrison from Tourism Northern Ireland

South of Belfast is one of the most beautiful places in Ireland. Surrounded by gentle hills, this area, recognized as an “Area of extraordinary natural beauty” is one of the richest in biodiversity in Europe with over 2,000 marine species spread over more than 150 km². Despite the presence of birds, badgers, seals and starlings, this is a place of incredible calm.

4.Garnish Island, Co.Cork

Ferry, Garnish Island, Seals, Glengarriff, Co. Cork

Tucked away in Glengariff harbor, the island is home to a series of ornamental gardens originally the work of former owner John Annan Bryce and Edwardian garden designer Howard Peto. Thanks to its sheltered position and almost subtropical climate, a rich variety of plants can still be seen today along with a colony of gray seals on the southern rocks.

5. Burren, Co, Clare

Photo by Brian Morrison ©Clare County Council

This vast limestone plateau with a lunar aspect extends to the ocean and is home to delicate alpine plants, orchids and vast expanses of grass. Under the surface of the lunar-like stone there is a rich underground world: the Ailwee Caves create a labyrinthine system with lakes, underground waterfalls and karst depths. They are also one of the few cave systems on the island that can be explored without special equipment.

6. Copper Coast, Co. Waterford

Photo by Luke Myers ©Fáilte Ireland/Tourism Ireland

Waterford’s Copper Coast European Geopark is a beautiful stretch of coastline. With an extension of 25 km from Tramore, a Victorian-era resort, this short stretch holds treasures such as spectacular cliffs, inlets, stacks and splendid views. It takes its name from the copper mines that once dotted the area.

7. Keem Strand, Achill Island, Co. Mayo

Photo by Kelvin Gilmor ©Failte Ireland

Achill island alone can boast five Blue Flag beaches and one of them is Keem Strand, cited among the best beaches in the world by Condé Nast. The beach is located in Keem Bay, a horse-shaped bay, surrounded by the cliffs of Benmore: along their top, you can take breathtaking walks of 1.5 km towards Achill Head, the westernmost tip of Achill Island.