20 things to do in Naxos, Greece

Things to do in Naxos, Greece

Here are some of my favourite things to do in Naxos, Greece. I fell in love with the island this year and had a good four days there, eating and exploring. I’ve put this together to give you some decent tips on how best to spend your time on this beautiful island in the Cyclades.

Naxos is often overshadowed by its more well-known and well-Instagrammed neighbours, Santorini and Mykonos. But having been to all three, it wasn’t hard to pick a favourite – that being Naxos, of course. Santorini and Mykonos are both thoroughly on the tourist trail. Both (especially Mykonos) are also eye-wateringly expensive. Naxos was much more unspoilt, peaceful and affordable but pretty much exactly the same scenery-wise. The only difference was you could actually get a good photograph of the classic Greek white, winding streets without it being ruined by crowds of tourists. Naxos is also the greenest of the Cyclades islands, so as well as all the beautiful towns, you’ve got lush mountainous backdrops. Lovely stuff. I’ve not even mentioned the incredible food yet either, but don’t worry. It never takes long on this blog to get back to the important topic of eating.

Anyway, imagine the sunshine and the cheese waiting for you, and read on for the best things to do in Naxos…

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How to visit Russia: 20 travel tips, from visas to vodka

20 Russia travel tips: from visas to vodka | PACK THE SUITCASES

Here’s a list of my top 20 Russia travel tips to get you started with planning a trip. Lots of people have asked me exactly how to visit Russia since I got back and where to start with planning a trip, so I’ve been working on this massive Russia travel blog post over the last few months. It covers everything from how to get a Russian visa, to cultural ‘must knows’, to safety and more. 

After falling in love with both Moscow and St Petersburg when I visited, I realised that although I’d blogged a lot about both cities, I’d not written more generic stuff about visiting Russia overall. It’s not somewhere most people have been to in my experience, certainly not here in the UK anyway. I’ve also not been able to find many UK-based Russia travel blog posts out there. So hopefully these Russia travel tips will help anyone planning on visiting this incredible country.

Anyway, pour yourself a vodka and get reading…

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17 things to do in Liverpool at Christmas

17 things to do in Liverpool at Christmas | PACK THE SUITCASES

I’ve just got back from a magical Liverpool Christmas day out and wanted to share what I got up to. I’m trying to type this up as quickly as possible because I’m very aware of how close Christmas is now and for this post to be useful for anyone planning a Liverpool Christmas trip, it needs to go live ASAP. So apologies for it being slightly shorter than my usual mammoth essays, but I hope you enjoy it anyway and that it helps you if you’re planning a Liverpool Christmas trip.

Christmas is my favourite time of year. Although I no longer live there, I usually spend Christmas back ‘home’ in a village near Liverpool, where I grew up. I always try to cram a day out in the city centre in if I can, because it’s so good for getting festive and doing some Christmas shopping. But I love it at any time of year. If you want to read more about my general Liverpool recommendations (non-festive!), have a look at my best UK city break post, which has Liverpool at the top.

Anyway, let’s pour a hot chocolate and start planning a Liverpool Christmas trip with these festive things to do…

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3 days in St Petersburg, Russia: a complete city guide and itinerary

3 days in St Petersburg, Russia: itinerary | PACK THE SUITCASES

This mammoth 3 days in St Petersburg itinerary (and city guide in general) has taken me ages to write up. But it’s been so worth it to share all of my recommendations on what to do, see and eat in this gorgeous Russian city. Having spent an incredible 2 weeks in Russia this year and absolutely LOVING it, I’m now ready to convince everyone I know that they have to go. 

I actually spent nearly a week in St Petersburg after visiting Moscow, but only had a solid 3 days of full-on itinerary blocked in. The rest of the time, we winged it and found extra things as we went. So although you could cram all of this into 3 days and whiz through the city using it, you could also spread it out over longer. St Petersburg involves a lot of walking and you might want a few ‘rest days’.

Anyway, enough waffle from me. Get your glass of vodka and get reading the St Petersburg itinerary and city guide…

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10 things to do in Okayama city, Japan

I wanted to put together this list of things to do in Okayama city, Japan, because there’s very little out there about it. When researching the city for my own visit recently, I managed to find loads about Okayama the prefecture, but hardly anything about where to eat, what to see or things to do in Okayama city itself. So here I am, filling a wee gap in the market.

Okayama is a quiet and small city compared with others across Japan, so it’s probably not that surprising I couldn’t find much on it. It’s not very well known and people visiting the general area tend to go straight to Hiroshima, Takamatsu or the incredible art island, Naoshima. But Okayama actually makes a good base for visiting these places and is a nice little city, worth spending a day in in itself. I wouldn’t go mad and say you must visit Okayama like your life depends on it, but there’s plenty to get up to in one or even two days there.

Anyway, here are some of the things to do in Okayama that I enjoyed and a few places to eat as well (because when is food not the priority in Japan?!). Pour yourself a glass of sake and have a read…

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How to do a day trip to beautiful Burano island from Venice, Italy

How to do a day trip from Venice to Burano, Italy | PACK THE SUITCASES

Here’s how to do a gorgeous little day trip from Venice to Burano, Italy – the island that’s home to a famously rainbow-coloured fishing village. Burano island is unmissable if you’re visiting Venice. Seriously. I’ve never seen anywhere like it and I absolutely get why tourists flock to it.

Originally, Burano’s fishing families painted their houses these bright colours so that they could find their way home on their boats after a heavy night out when thick fog descended on the Venetian lagoon. There’s not as much fishing going on these days, although they do still have some. But the bright colours have remained, much to the joy of photographers everywhere. Burano gives Cinque Terre a run for its money on the picturesque and vibrant front, and it’s only little so it makes the perfect morning or afternoon out on the water bus from the centre of Venice. 

Here’s my little guide to how to get to Burano, things to see there, when to visit, what to eat and just generally what to get up to on a Venice to Burano day trip…

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