Greece, Travel

Greek Gift Guide

November 16, 2020

This year has been a rough year for travel. Most of us have been unable to travel as we would like. Are you missing Greece or know someone who is? They might enjoy getting something from my Greek Gift Guide! Every artist or brand on this list has something I have bought something from or use on regular basis in my daily Greek life.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

The Round Button

I discovered The Round Button on Instagram and have been hooked on her products ever since. Alexandra’s inspiration is the island of Tinos. From her Tinos and Athens’ studios, she creates prints, pillows and jewelry. She began with prints and has expanded over the years. All the designs are clean and simple but no less stunning.

My personal favorites are the items she has created based on the Tinos’ dovecotes. The circle design and what it represents speak to me and really remind me of a Greek island. Greek islands are simple, beautiful places full of stunning landscapes, wonderful people, and ancient history.

The necklace above is the one I have purchased and the print I have is the same design but in simple black and white. However, I know the print is no longer sold. She has plenty of other beautiful prints available though. The Round Button ships internationally and when in Greece she items for sale in many shops all over Greece.

Ena Karo

The Round Button actually introduced me, via Instagram, to Ena Karo, a natural soap producer, also from Tinos. Ena Karo makes handmade soaps and toiletries on the island of Tinos. I bought two soaps in Athens so I could try them out and the smell is divine! They have also just released a Christmas collection of soaps that include scents such as Holy Night and 3 Magi.

All the soaps contain natural oils and herbs. This is definitely product you want to give as a Greek gift and a gift to yourself! My favorite scent is the Poppy Seed. I am dying to try more scents as well. If you want to watch some cool soap making, I recommend you watch their stories! Ena Karo’s e-shop isn’t ready yet, but you can reach out to them and they will get you sorted out!

In Athens, you can find Ena Karo at Flaneur. Flaneur sells unique souvenirs in Plaka and is worth a visit when you are here.

Aggeliki Stavrianou

Aggeliki Stavrianou is actually a friend of mine from when I lived in Naxos. She and I met while helping the local animal welfare. Her paintings of the Greek Islands will transport you! She still lives in Naxos and paints daily. Her art depicts island scenery in a realistic vivid way and you are likely to find a painting of your favorite Greek Island. This is the small painting I purchased from her earlier this year.

Aggeliki doesn’t have a shop online but you can get in touch with her to order either through her Instagram or her website. Act fast though as most paintings are one of a kind. She will ship anywhere in the world.

Olive Era

Olive Era is a Greek brand I discovered while staying at a hotel in Athens. The products have an amazing smell and will transport you to Greece just by using them. All products use Cretean olive oil! At the time of my discovery, they didn’t have an online shop. They now do and will ship internationally. If you are in Athens, they now also have a physical store to visit at Perikleous 28.

Olive Era

They have a variety of products, such as skincare, hair care and candles. I love the simple packaging of everything and the fact that it uses Greece sourced ingredients.

Apivita

While Apivita is a more well known international brand, it is no less Greek! This was one of the finds in the pharmacy that I still use today. My favorite products are the hair care products. I love that they are silicone-free and smell like Greece in a bottle. The hair products I am currently using are the Oily Roots/Dry Ends Shampoo, the Intense Repair Conditioner, and the Moisturizing Hair Mask.

Some Apivita products are available at Amazon if you can’t get them to ship directly to you from Greece. If you are in Greece, you can get Apivita products at most pharmacies. There is also the Apivita Experience Store in Kolonaki, which carries the full range of their products.

Korres

Korres was one of the first Greek beauty products I tried. They have great body washes and lotions. The scents are also some of the best I have ever tried. They also make skin care, hair care and face care products. Some Korres skin care products can be found at Sephora and on Amazon.

Most of their products are ethically sourced here in Greece. Some of the most popular products are the ones made with Greek Yogurt including their sunscreen and after sun line. Korres can be found in most Greek pharmacies if you are visiting Greece.

I hope this helps you give or receive a little bit of Greece this year for your holidays. Since most of these companies are small, you will be helping them in a year in which tourism dropped dramatically and still has not returned to pre-2020 levels. Other than the Amazon links, all the links are direct to the artist or brand and are not affiliate links. I want to support my local Greek artists and brands this year! Happy Holidays!

Greece, Sailing, Travel

Sailing in Greece

September 28, 2020
Sailboats with sunset behind them in Athens, Greece

Sailing in Greece is how fell I in love with Greece on my first trip. Taking a sailing holiday in Greece is a great way to see several Greek islands and even some of the mainland in one trip. Not only do you get to see many places in one trip, but you can find spots that you want to revisit on your next Greece trip.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

You sail from one beautiful Greek island to the next. Each will have a wonderful beach with clear turquoise or blue waters that practically beg you to swim in them. Then each night you will dock under the glowing harbor lights of a Greek village harbor and get to know the warmth of Greek hospitality.

There are several options for taking a sailing trip in Greece that can fit all types of vacations. Except for a few options, anyone can go on one of these sailing trips.

Sailing Charters in Greece

A sailing charter in Greece is probably the most common kind of sailing trip. On a sailing charter, you rent the boat, get crew, and the boat is provisioned for you. Usually, the crew and provisioning are included. Sometimes a hostess or cook is also included or can be added to the rental.

If you want a luxury sailing holiday in Greece, this is the way to go! You and your friends can rent the sailboat or yacht together to split the cost.

The other good thing about this option is that you usually have much more say in the itinerary so you can visit the Greek islands that you want or make a change if you decide to stay longer in one place. Dietary issues may also be more manageable since they will provision the boat as requested.

You can opt to have all your meals onboard or visit one of the many tavernas or restaurants in the places you visit.

Cabin Charters in Greece

A cabin charter is how I did my first sailing vacation in Greece. The cabin charter allows you to book a cabin on a charter with others. It can be a cheaper option if you can’t find enough people to charter a whole boat.

On a charter like this, the itinerary is set with mostly set in advance. Although, all sailing trips are dependent on the weather. The nice thing about this is that the captain usually knows the islands or towns very well, so you get top tips for each place.

I have done this type of sailing trip in Greece twice. Most recently, with Sailing Jollies. Although we were also doing a boat delivery and there was no hostess, and there was more responsibility. What I like about the cabin charter that usually you can learn a bit about sailing if you want.

 

Bareboat Charter in Greece

If you have your skipper’s license, you might be able to charter a yacht in Greece. Usually, this means there is no crew, and you provision the boat. This is a great option if you have a large family or group of friends already ready to go on the trip. You can make the food you want.

You also get to set your own itinerary so you can see the places you want without compromise. The only thing is having the yacht or sailboat back to the agreed-upon marina by the end date.

A bareboat charter in Greece is probably only a good idea if you have sailed in Greece before since the winds can be strong at certain times of the year. Another option is to join a flotilla of boats that may be a combination of bareboat or charter sailboats. Going on a flotilla is useful if you are confident in your sailing ability but unsure of the sailing waters. 

Day Sails in Greece

Almost every island has an option for a day sail around that island or to another island nearby. A day sail in Greece may also be possible from Athens and other major ports on the mainland. 

A day sail means that you will leave early in the morning and sail to points during the day. It usually consists of sailing to a swim stop, having lunch, and then sailing to another swim stop before returning to the port. Many times these swim stops are in spots on islands that may be unreachable by car or walking. 

Going on a day sail in Greece means that you might get to see parts of the country you may not have seen on your island vacation only.

Boat Delivery

Maybe you have some sailing experience and would like to build miles, then going on a boat delivery is a great option. The only drawback to these is that sometimes the delivery is on a schedule, and you cannot stop much for leisurely days in the ports. You may only have a few days to make the delivery.

As with some cabin charters, the trip is not going to be round trip, so you will need to find your way back to the starting point if that is where your flight leaves from. Of course, you might be able to pick up another boat delivery or enjoy the place you are in for longer.

Most boat deliveries need people with sailing experience, so this might not be an option for the casual sailor. It depends on the skipper that sail with.

Sunset Sails on the Greek Islands

By far, the most popular option for sailing in Greece is to take a sunset sail. Greek sunsets are out of this world, and unless a cloud blocks it, I have never seen a bad Greek sunset.

A sunset sail will usually leave in the late afternoon or early evening, depending on the activities involved. Some are quick for about two hours just to get out to watch the sail, usually with a drink. Others include swimming and a light meal. The boat will head back to the harbor as soon as the sun sets to avoid getting back too late in the dark, usually.

Keep in mind that the time of the sail may vary during the year for the sunset sail since the sunset changes times.

Greek Island Hopping Itineraries

Now, where should you go on one of these fantastic sailing trips in Greece? There are so many options. Of course, if you are going on a cabin charter, flotilla, or boat delivery, you may not have much choice in your sailing itinerary.

However, if you have booked the entire boat, you get to choose! If you depart from Athens, you can choose from the Saronic islands, the Peloponnese, or the Cycladic islands. For example, my first sailing trip was Athens, Aegina, Poros, Hydra, Sifnos, and Ios. The return was Ios, Paros, Syros, Delos, Kea, and Kythnos. This trip was great since we got to see both the Saronic and Cycladic islands.

If you have less time, you could leave Athens and head to Aegina, Poros, Hydra, Spetes, and return to Athens. My second trip was from Athens to Corfu. This trip was great as we saw lots of mainland villages and sailed through the Corinth Canal.

Another area to consider is the Dodecanese islands in eastern Greece. These islands are closer to Turkey so your itinerary could include Turkey as well as Kos, Kalimos, Leros, and Patmos.

Each of these areas of Greece offers something different, so you will want to do your research and see what kind of experience you would like to have.

Types of Boats

There are many options for types of boats to charter in Greece. If you know what kind of boat you want, you have already narrowed down your choices of charter companies. Some companies only do monohull sailboats and some do a mix of monohulls and catamarans. If you are only looking for motor yachts, then you can look for those as well.

Going on a monohull sailboat is my top choice. If you are unfamiliar, a monohull is a single hulled boat with sails. Many sailing enthusiasts prefer this as you get the real feel of sailing this way. When underway with higher speeds the boat will keel to one side. This is when one side of the sailboat is lower than the other. The wind whips through your hair and occasionally you will get a light spray of seawater!

Another type is a catamaran. These usually have two hulls that are connected. These offer more stability than a monohull. The cabins tend to be larger as is the saloon. These are a great option for people new to sailing or those traveling with young children.

Then there are motor yachts. There are many different kinds of these and I won’t go into them all. The ones you charter will have cabins for sleeping and it will vary on where the helm is. This may or may not matter to you if you are the skipper or not. If you are skippering your own boat, you will know what you prefer. If you going with a skipper, make sure the yacht has the features you desire.

Wondering what to pack for you Greek island sailing trip? Check out my post all about it by clicking here!

Have you been sailing in Greece? Share your experience in the comments!

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Greece, Travel

One Year Living in Greece

August 24, 2020

This week marks one year of living in Greece. The year has not gone as expected for so many reasons! I am sure many of us are feeling that way about 2020, though. This year has tested my patience, made me question my decisions, brought new opportunities and new friends.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

What happened in Naxos

The plan all along was to live on the island of Naxos. Island life is what appealed to me about Greece. Life on a Greek island is slow, and the beach is always nearby.

However, finding an apartment on an island that is slowly bringing more and more tourists every year made it hard to find an apartment. Many apartments have been converted to Airbnbs, and landlords want you leave during the summer months.

There is no central real estate listing in Greece, and on the island, they tend not to use internet listings. This meant endless asking around and looking for these bright yellow stickers that had for rent listing on them, in Greek!

After some weeks of bouncing around hotels and Airbnbs, I found a studio apartment. The rent was a great price, and the location was perfect. It was in the center of town and about a 10 minute walk to the beach. I thought all was well.

Then after about two weeks, my landlady complained about my air conditioning usage. I wasn’t quite sure why since I was paying for electricity. I found out later that it was because her and her husband’s bedroom was right above the unit, and they slept with their windows open. Long story short, I moved out. Back to a hotel I went!

Resident Permit Issues

All during this time, I was trying to get an appointment with the Alien’s (Immigration) office, which is on another island. The phone would ring, and ring and sometimes no one would answer. Then if they did answer, they didn’t speak English.

Friends who speak Greek called, and either couldn’t get someone to pick up, or they wouldn’t help them either. It was a nightmare.

Between never getting anyone on the phone at the office and my lack of long term accommodation, I decided that Athens might be a better option even if that meant not living near the beach and my friends. I returned to Athens in late October with a plan to go to Spain for about a month to think.

My one extra suitcase went into storage in Athens, and in November, I headed to a co-living space in Spain.

One Month turns into Two

Once I got to Spain, I had a great time and really didn’t want to stop traveling. After the co-living space, I spent another ten days in Valencia. Although some of that time was not supposed to be spent there, a train strike in France change my plans to take a train all the way from Valencia to Amsterdam.

Eventually, I made it to Amsterdam for Christmas. I had secured a pet sitting job in exchange for a place to stay, and Amsterdam is very expensive, so I was glad to have this option. Plus, the two kitties I watch were adorable and were 19 years old!

I spent Christmas Day wandering the Van Gogh museum and eating at Christmas markets. All the while reveling in the fact that I was traveling again and really not wanting to face up to the things I need to do back in Greece. So I went to Germany for New Years’. One of my friends from the co-living space invited me to stay with her for a while, and I got to see a small part of Germany, a new country for me.

Back to Greece

Knowing me, I could have kept running around Europe forever. My desire for a Greece resident permit brought me back to reality, and I returned to Athens in early January.

The apartment hunt began again. This time there was much more online, but good luck getting someone to write you back, and I couldn’t call since I knew almost no one in Athens to help me translate. I ended up taking the second place I saw as it was in my desired neighborhood.

Hindsight is 2020, though, and now I wish I had looked longer and found a place that was cheaper and had a balcony. This all revealed itself in March when the world changed forever again.

I contacted a lawyer right away to get the resident permit sorted, but due to his fees, I delayed so I could save up some money. That was probably a mistake, but again I had no idea what was coming.

Lockdown in Greece

Blaring emergency notices came out from my American and Greek phones one evening announcing that we would be going into lockdown starting March 23 at 6 AM due to COVID-19. We had already had one emergency alert a week before telling us to be cautious, and much was closed already.

I had been dating someone, so he quickly came over to bring me food and give me a hug. He was one of the few people I knew in Athens, so I felt overwhelmed with the thought of being alone for an unknown amount of time. Not only that, but now my resident permit was going to be delayed because the office was closed.

There were many days of thinking I had made the wrong decision to be here and whether or not I should return to the US. Ultimately I decided to stay. The guy I was seeing broke it off in the middle of all this, leaving me even more alone. I took many walks around my neighborhood to cope.

Freedom!

In late May, Greece lifted our strict restrictions on going out, and while there wasn’t much open, I could go for further walks. In June, restaurants could let people sit outside, and I started to make friends.

It took to a few more months to get all the offices opening and working in Greece and much of their processes online. Just last Friday, I learned I have an appointment for my resident permit interview. Ironically, one day after my visa expires!

What I have Learned

One of the biggest things is to learn to have more patience or at least to tell myself to be patient. With the delays of the resident permit, I have learned that I just need to let things work themselves out since they are beyond my control anyway. This is still hard for me.

Greece operates on its own timeline, and I knew that, but now I know it usually works out in the end.

Good things can come from bad experiences. During lockdown, I started doing weekly vlogs on my very small YouTube channel. These were a big hit, and while my channel is still very small, it has grown into something I really enjoy. I am teaching myself about filming, editing and YouTube.

Some flowers along all my walks

Despite what you might think, I have always been an introvert. Coming out of lockdown turned me into a person who wanted to go out all the time. I am just starting to return to my introvert ways, which might be good since cases of COVID-19 are increasing here daily.

Being away from my family has been hard, but we talk a lot which we always have. My mom has learned to text better, and even send photos to me!

In one way, I am grateful to the virus. My best friend had been terminally ill for several years when I left. I had hoped that when I left, she had a few more years left. However, I was wrong, and she passed away in July.

This was my biggest fear of going away and that I wouldn’t be there to say goodbye. COVID-19 made it impossible to go home, and ultimately her family decided to only have immediate family at the funeral, and to broadcast it live on Facebook. So I was able to attend all the way from Greece. It wasn’t the same, but I was grateful for this small comfort. Her family also allowed me to write her obituary as my final gift to her.

The last year of living in Greece was nothing like I expected and I think that is the biggest lesson of all. Expect the unexpected, and when the unexpected comes, go with the flow.

What is Happening to the Blog

A few people have asked me about the blog since I haven’t written anything in so long. With travel being suspended in most of the world, it didn’t seem right to keep writing about travel, and then I stopped traveling.

For now, I will only be traveling in Greece and plan on sharing those experiences here again soon. The blog is not going away, but there will be fewer posts than in a normal year. My traffic had tanked, and while I thought this was the year I was going to make a profit on the blog, I hope that I can rollover the small successes from this year into 2021! I hope you will join me over on my YouTube channel as well.

Wishing you all health and happiness. Stay safe

Travel

Armchair Travel with Live Webcams Around the World

April 13, 2020

With all of us stuck at home, I wanted to provide a way for you to travel virtually. When I am researching places, I often look at webcams of the area to get an idea of what it looks like. Many locations have multiple webcams as well. I have asked travel bloggers to share with us so we can do some armchair travel with live webcams around the world.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Keep in mind the webcams may go down from time to time for maintenance or lack of internet. They usually come back up quickly. Also, not all of them are live 24 hours a day because they don’t have adequate lighting at night.

Europe

Naxos, Greece Webcams

My favorite Greek island, Naxos, has several webcams around the main tourist areas. Naxos is one of the larger Cycladic Islands and has many beautiful beaches. The port is a lively area during the day and at night.  I have even called my family while standing in front of one, so they could go see me in real-time there, which I can’t wait to do again.

You can watch the ferries come and go. Some ferries are even running during the lockdown because the islands still get supplies this way. Check out the beach cam to see the waves and the sun.

Naxos beach webcam

Webcams of the Basque Surfing Spots from Ethno Travels

Did you know that the Basque Country is the birthplace of surf in Europe? It was introduced in Biarritz by two Californian guys, Dick Zanuck and Peter Viertel, in 1956.

Nowadays, from Anglet to Hendaye at the Spanish border, the Basque Country has several famous surf spots, giving us some of the greatest webcam views! You can find them on Quicksilver’s website here.

Basque Country Webcams

From North to South, you will find:
1. Anglet, with the view of Biarritz lighthouse.

2. Biarritz la grande plage. You will see the other side of the lighthouse. On the right, you can see a small part of l’Hôtel du Palais. This magnificent building, now one of the rare palace hotels in France, was built by Napoleon III as a summer residence for his wife, Eugenie de Montijo! When Napoleon arrived, Biarritz was only a tiny fisherman harbor. Thanks to his influence, most of the European Princes and Emperors of Europe built a summer residence here.

3. Biarritz la Côte des Basques. This is the place that was surfed for the first time in 1956! On the right, you can watch the Virgin’s Rock and Villa Belza, built as a Casino for Russians escaping the Revolution and now a residence for celebrities.

4. Saint Jean de Luz Sainte Barbe et grande plage will offer you some of the best views of the little town where King Louis XIV was married. You will see the seafront with its small houses, the Pyrenees mountains, the town of Ciboure where Maurice Ravel was born, Socoa Fortress, the dikes, and Sainte Barbe hill.

5. Parlementia Bidart center, Guéthary, is the favorite spot of the 1998 World Champion football player Bixente Lizarazu, who was born here.

6. Hendaye plage & Deux Jumeaux. The two rocks on the right are strangely called “deux jumeaux,” “two twins” in English. They are the departure point of one of the most scenic road here: the cliff road from Hendaye to Saint Jean de Luz.

Abbey Road from Where You’re Between

Throughout the 1960s, The Beatles regularly turned fairly mundane places into world-famous landmarks.

Two of the most famous examples are in the band’s home city of Liverpool. A garden called Strawberry Fields and a suburban street called Penny Lane were both used for song titles. The songs became two of their biggest hits, and both places still draw an army of tourists to this day.

In 1969, the Beatles needed a title for what would be their next album. They toyed with the idea of calling it, Everest. They even considered flying to the Himalayas for a photoshoot in front of the world’s tallest mountain.

Abbey Road webcam

Ultimately they decided to name the album after the street outside their recording studio. The album’s iconic cover shows all four Beatles walking across the zebra crossing on Abbey Road, in St John’s Wood in northwest London.

Just yards away from the front steps of EMI Studios in London – where The Beatles recorded almost all of their music – Abbey Road’s zebra crossing has been a mecca for the band’s fans ever since. For decades fans from all over the world have flocked to the world’s most famous zebra crossing.

A webcam faces the zebra crossing from outside Abbey Road Studios. The camera regularly captures Beatles’ fans posing as they attempt to recreate the album’s famous cover, often to the annoyance of waiting drivers.

Prague Old Town from Travel Geekery

This webcam of the Old Town Square in Prague streams from the Hotel U Prince. You can see the Old Town Tower with the Astronomical clock. If you look close enough, you’ll notice some movement of the clock on the hour. Normally, it’s a time when the whole area under the clock gets crowded with eager tourists. Nowadays, it’s eerily quiet.

Prague Old Town webcam

The majestic church on the right side is the Church of Mother of God before Týn, or “Týn Church” for short. It’s hiding behind some architectural gems of houses. The one that looks like a small tower itself is the Stone Bell House, and you can find the Prague City Gallery inside.

Other than the occasional pedestrians strolling through, you can see pigeons reclaiming their territory on the roofs and the beautiful play of light and shadows.

St. Petersburg, Russia from Travel Cultura

Let’s have a look at Palace Square — the main square of St Petersburg, Russia.

The webcam is installed at the top of one of the buildings surrounding the square. Due to this location, we can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the city. Thus, we see the building of the Hermitage Museum. It’s also known as Winter Palace, former residence of Russian Emperors.

St. Petersburg webcam

The museum is a must-see place in St Petersburg. I suppose that most tourists coming to the city visit the Hermitage.

Another camera shows the yard of the Hermitage Museum. What for?

The Hermitage is an extremely popular museum in St Petersburg. During the peak tourist season, lines on the entrance can be very long. And usually, the Hermitage Museum uses this webcam to show how long the lines are. Thus, we can check if it’s reasonable to go to the Hermitage Museum right now, or it’s better to postpone the visit.

Bansko, Bulgaria from A Social Nomad

The webcams in Bansko, Bulgaria, will show you to ski areas and the ski conditions, while its winter season, but also what the weather is like in the summer, which is an amazing time to visit Bansko! 

Bansko Webcams

Bansko is Bulgaria’s largest ski resort, but it’s also an incredible town to explore the mountains of Bulgaria during all seasons. You’ll find great hiking, fabulous mountain biking, amazing fresh food, and amazing local life.  Here you’ll find the most amazing tomatoes, incredible cheese, and fresh river trout.  In the mountains, which you can access easily from Bansko, you can experience crowd-free hiking, hot springs, and great fresh air and a superb mountain experience.

While the Bansko webcams are a great way to see what’s happening on the mountain, what you’ll miss is the friendliness of the local welcome and the amazing taste of the local food.  So, when you can, come to visit, because you’ll always be welcome.

Stonehenge from Live in 10 Countries

If you’ve ever wanted to get a perfect view of Stonehenge, free from tourists, poor weather, barriers, or crowds, English Heritage’s fabulous skyscape webcam is the way to go. No entry fee either!

Stonehenge Webcam
Don’t get me wrong, visiting the real thing is a great experience too – especially during the unmissable solstice celebrations, but sitting back in the comfort of your home and clicking a link is hard to beat!

Set in the heart of the stone circle, the camera shows you star alignments and astronomical information, perfect for anyone interested in the monument’s history and possible meaning to the people who built it. And you can cycle back though previous hours on the cam’s timeline to see the movement of the sun and the shifting views of the stones.

The Eiffel Tower from World in Paris

If you are missing the French capital and its main sights, you should know that there are many ways of visiting Paris without leaving home.

For example, you can watch the Eiffel Tower through its live webcam and see how it still lights up every evening from sunset to 1 am (2 am during the three months of summer). This webcam is facing the Eiffel Tower, so you get an amazing view of the Iron Lady, especially at night when it shines.

Eiffel Tower webcam

The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic sights in Paris, and one of the most popular spots for taking pictures. Therefore, this live webcam is very popular amongst professional photographers who tend to head to Trocadéro at sunrise to take pictures with fewer crowds. In order not to be disappointed, they can check live if the weather is good – not cloudy – from home before deciding to go or not to go.

Madiera from SolarPoweredBlonde 

Madeira really is a place where the weather changes from one second to the next. One minute you can be in boiling sun, the next minute you are engulfed in thick fog and clouds and cold! Therefore, the webcams on the island are crucial to planning your day. This is also because the weather can vary so much around the island.

Madeira webcams

One of the most useful webcams on the island is the webcam at Pico do Arieiro. This is the most incredible hike at the highest peak which is best done at sunrise. However, if you go at sunset then use this webcam to decide whether it is too foggy or whether it will be a good day to hike. On a foggy day you won’t see anything on the webcam and even more so in real life! On a good day, you will see rolling hills and incredible views, with clouds below. As you watch the sunrise here you are literally above the clouds and the sun will pop up over the clouds and you will never forget this moment!

North America

Hawaii from This Hawaii Life

Looking to get away for a brief moment and seeing what it’s like? How about a tropical getaway – Waikiki beach, to be exact, and this webcam shows you how beautiful it is on the beach day and night for you to just indulge in and enjoy like you were there. The webcam is taken from above at the Hilton Hawaiian village, looking down on Waikiki Beach with Diamond Head in the background. It’s an iconic view of the beach, coastline, and view of the beach all the way to beautiful Diamond Head. When you are looking to pretend to get away and enjoy the nice sandy beach and people watching on Waikiki beach, take a moment and check out this magnificent view.

When you get a chance to visit Oahu and Honolulu, check out this post on the top things you can do in Honolulu and the surrounding area for images and inspiration to planning a visit to the islands.

San Diego from Coleman Concierge

San Diego Beaches are the epitome of California dreaming. Blue water, soft sand, and the perfect hybrid of hippy and Hispanic. I long for a beaches and brew tour of America’s Finest City, but for now, I’ll have to dream through the lens of a beach webcam.

All of these cameras remind me of when we lived on Pacific Beach. Surfing at Law Street, biking the boardwalk at Mission Beach, paddling on Mission Bay, or taking in the cool hippy vibe of Ocean Beach. If we felt like taking our bikes just a little further, we would visit the sea lions in La Jolla. If we ever took our car out, it was to watch surfing at Imperial Beach or the luxury yacht traffic cruise San Diego Harbor.

San Diego webcam

San Diego beaches always make me smile. They’re so alive with activity from surfing to smashball on the sand. You never knew what a trip to the beach would uncover. It was always a surprise and usually beautiful.

Times Square from Gourmand Trotter

Times Square in New York is one of the most crowded places in the United States and worldwide. It is usually full of people from early mornings to late at night. It is famous for its huge billboards and advertisements, as well as being a commercial intersection and entertainment center in New York City. It goes from West 42nd to West 47th Streets and has even been given the nickname “The Crossroads of the World.” More than 460,000 pedestrians walk through Times Square on a busy day, and with 50 million visitors annually, it’s very strange to watch live cams from Times Square at this moment.

Times Square Webcam

A place that is usually full of crowds is now almost deserted with little to no people. It looks like something taken from a horror movie, but this is the reality now. There are lots of live cams from various angles at Times Square, and now is a great time to travel there virtually and experience it without the crowds.

One of the best live cams to see Times Square in real-time can be found here.

New York City Skyline

This my current webcam obsession. The photographer, Joseph DiGiovanna, bought an apartment in New Jersey to set up a 30 year timelapse of the New York City skyline! The camera is permanently set up in his living room. Every sunrise and sunset, he has been going live on Instagram as well. The project is called NYC TimeScape. The live webcam stream can be found here.

New York City Skyline Webcam

During the arrival of the USS Comfort Hospital Ship, he had several views happening all at once between Instagram, Twitch, and YouTube. Twitch is where the main live stream occurs, though. He has already been filming for almost five years. I recommend going and checking out his YouTube and Instagram for complications of the live feed.

Yellowstone National Park from Explore More Clean Less

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most popular parks in the United States, full of diverse geological features and lots of wildlife. Covering over 3400 square miles, Yellowstone is found in three different states: Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming! Old Faithful is one of the most famous landmarks in the park, erupting regularly multiple times throughout the day (typically between 45 minutes- 2 hours apart).

Yellowstone Web cam

If you haven’t visited, you might not realize that Old Faithful is actually a part of a larger geyser basin with approximately 500 active geysers. You can observe Old Faithful and other nearby geysers without the acrid sulfur smell via their live-streaming web cam! When the park is open, they update the website with predicted eruption times but outside that season you just have to be patient and get lucky. Keep an eye out for buffalo and other wildlife who might wander through the geyser field! If you’re inspired to take a real trip in the future, read these tips for visiting Yellowstone before you start planning.

Asia

Shibuya Crossing from Wander-Lush

Shibuya Crossing, AKA ‘The Shibuya Scramble,’ is the world’s single busiest pedestrian crossing and a Tokyo icon. While there’s no substitute for being in the thick of the hustle and bustle, it’s almost as satisfying to watch the organized chaos from afar.

 

Eyes on Shibuya Crossing is one of the most hypnotizing and addictive live webcams anywhere in the world. The camera is perfectly positioned to capture the five pedestrian walkways that make up the crossroad outside Shibuya Station, a popular stop on the city metro line. You might recognize the view from a number of travel films set in Japan, including Lost in Translation.

The lights cycle through every two minutes, and a crowd of up to 2,500 people moves like a wave through the crossroads. Most people walk with Tokyo-like purpose; others float through the junction. You could say it’s the ultimate people-watching experience! It’s especially interesting to watch at this time because the crowds are noticeably sparse.

Japan’s Jigokudani Monkey Park from Webcam Traveler

As the publisher of a blog called Webcam Traveler, I have been researching webcams for a long time.  My all-time favorite webcam is the one I heard about first–the webcam focused on the snow monkeys (also known as the Japanese macaques) in Japan’s Jigokudani Monkey Park.

Japan webcam

They are particularly fun to watch because they like hanging out in the area’s natural hot tubs.  There they sometimes loll, but mostly groom each other, continuously.  The adult monkeys have red faces and bottoms and can be ill-tempered.  I recently took my first trip to Japan and had the exciting pleasure of visiting them on their home turf.  In fact, my husband, who did not accompany me, was able to sync his iPhone with mine and actually tune in to the webcam at the time I was visiting and see me.  That was quite the thrill.

Africa

Kruger National Park from The Travelling Chili

Kruger National Park is the largest and the most visited safari park in South Africa. A very wide diversity of wildlife can be seen while visiting the park; however, the webcams in Kruger National Park are strategically located at various waterholes and provide an excellent remote view on wildlife coming for a drink to cool down or take a bath.

Both the live stream cams in Kruger National Park are located at waterholes in the central part of the park, in Satara and Orpen, where lots of large herds of animals as well as the big cats are plentiful.

Kruger National Park webcam

With the open plains, the webcams can provide a great overview of the surrounding areas where animals are often waiting their turn to go for a drink safely.

Also, have a look at the still cam from the Punda Maria waterhole. This waterhole receives lots of wildlife, especially during the dry season, from July to December. This particular waterhole is known to receive large family groups of elephants with lots of babies.

Similar to a safari, try not to miss anything or any animals that might be sitting in between the foliage. You might see one of the rarer species.

So don’t miss out on the experience of a lifetime by viewing and observing animal behavior in their natural environment and creating your own National Geographic channel from the comfort of your own sofa.

Australia

Blue Mountains from Globe Blogging

Katoomba’s Scenic World is a prime Blue Mountains attraction, perched on the top of a cliff looking down on the Jamison Valley. It is home to a number of local attractions, including the Scenic Skyway, a cable car that travels across the valley at a height of 270metres. It arrives on the other side close to the world-famous Three Sisters.

It is here that a live webcam located on top of Scenic World’s main building points, on a clear day offering views across the valley and the Three Sisters basking in the sunlight on the left-hand side of the image. For travelers to the Blue Mountains, its also an excellent live check of the current weather conditions in Katoomba. I’ve used it to check whether it is snowing before I take the drive up the mountain to see.

Worldwide

Wildlife Webcams from FlipFlopGlobetrotters

Wildlife webcams are an awesome way to see more of the world from the comfort of your own home. And there are some fantastic wildlife cams to be found. It’s almost as good as going on a real safari! Used to the fast pace of tv shows and the continuous narration in documentaries, watching a wildlife cam may seem a bit boring at first. But, just like going on a real safari, the wait is part of the excitement. 

Wildlife webcams

The quality of the cams isn’t always the best, but you can see the animals pretty well, and they include sound, which really adds to the experience. Some of the cams also film during the night.

The live cams of  Explore.org show over 100 different streams, so there’s plenty of choice. My favorites are the cams that show African wildlife. How cool to see the elephants bathe at the Tau Waterhole in the Madikwe Game Reserve on the border of South Africa and Botswana. And just this morning, I saw lions and hippos in Kenya and watched gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Kongo. All the cams offer information about their exact location and some details about what you might see.

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