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TOP FIVE OF 2014 - BLOG

1. Chateau de Challain, FRANCE

WOW! Is pretty much all I could say rolling up to this stunning chateau in the Loire Valley. With 52 rooms, one for every week of the year, 365 windows, and a tower for each season, it is one impressive building. Clearly fit for a princess, which is why I was there, to be a bridesmaid for one of my besties Lulu. The wedding was off the rails and just getting to experience life in a place like this for the weekend was an experience i’ll never forget.

One of the rooms at Chateau de Challain

Clearly having fun on the dance floor!

2.Coastal drive from Split to Dubrovnik, CROATIA

It’s rated one of the best drives in the world and you just have to look at this photo taken from the side of the road to see why. It is simply breathtaking ... and a little scary at times! We took a few days to do the trip stopping along the way at small towns. Each one was as stunning as the last and the locals were lovely. Once you reach Dubrovnik a visit to the Old Town is a must. It’s jam packed with tourists, but it’s one of the most amazing history lessons you’ll ever get. Note: You have to travel through Bosnia for a few kilometers along the way. Don’t worry about the massive machine guns - just make sure you have your passport!!

A tiny restaurant we found on Hvar - just 5 tables in a stunning little bay. I can't remember the name or where it was... the glass of vino is a small tip!! :D

3. Lunch at Spilia, MYKONOS

My most memorable lunch of the year by far! Spilia is a restaurant/bar built in a cave right on the waters edge on the south side of Mykonos. By land it’s about a 10 minute drive from Psarrou (the upmarket area home to Mykonos Blu and Nammos restaurant), but by boat is much more fun. After cruising around the Island from wherever you‘re staying you’ll drop the anchor and swim in for an awesome lunch experience. Sharing it with some good friends makes it even better! :)

Sunset over the pool at Bill and Coo Suites, Mykonos

4. Cruising the Whitsunday Islands, QUEENSLAND

We’re often so quick to look abroad when we want a gorgeous holiday, but Australia has so many beautiful locations on offer. The Whitsunday Islands are some of the nicest for sure! The best way is to see it is by boat and I was lucky enough to cruise around for three days in October - based at Hamilton Island. Must sees include Whitehaven Beach, The Great Barrier Reef, and the One & Only Resort on Hayman Island. Note: You can’t just cruise up to Hayman Island you have to get permission to dock, which can be hard to come by. Unless you’re a multi millionaire (or billionaire) try asking your skipper. He’ll most likely know everyone who works on the Island and you may get lucky.

Lunch at the One & Only Restort, Hayman Island

Soaking up the sun on Whitehaven Beach

5. Barcelona, SPAIN

Clearly didn't take many photos here we were having WAY to much fun! :D

Everything about this city is amazing and right up my alley. The shopping, the people, the culture, the food markets and tapas bars, and just the overall upbeat and happy feel about the place. It’s unlike anywhere else I’ve experienced. We only had a couple of nights there, after staying longer in San Sebastien (which I loved too!!), but we will go back. The W Hotel is where it’s at for accommodation. Hotel 1898’s roof top bar on La Rambla is worth a look too and you must save plenty of time for shopping. I found it the best out of all the places we visited in Europe this summer (Aussie winter). There's only one downside to Barcelona - the traffic!

Even the doggies are fancy in Spain! The pier in San Sebastien.

#TravelAdvice #victoriamurphy

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