Eva Gyllenberg

Travel blogger, gastronaut, photographer and family adventurer with over 55 countries in his luggage. Eva loves trips that include beautiful nature, hiking boots and well-cooked food. On the travel blog Rucksack she takes you to all corners of the world with the help of her inspiring pictures and texts.

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Val d'Orcia - Among Tuscany's most beautiful landscapes - Italy

I am in a classic Italian Renaissance painting. Val d'Orcia is the world heritage site where Tuscany's most beautiful landscapes come together. We drove from Siena to Montepulciano and found here the Italy we dreamed of.

Eva - Sofiero Castle
Sofiero Castle – Fairy Garden in the Shadow of the Ravine – Skåne

When the rhododendron bushes bloom at Sofiero Castle, a rarely seen splendor of color is offered.

Amarterra Villas - Bali
Hotel Amarterra Villas – Nusa Dua, Bali – Indonesia

I found the best hotel breakfast I EVER had at the beautiful Amarterra Villas in Bali - a wonderful hotel for those who want peace, quiet and their own pool villa.

Camping cabins-Australia
Camping cabins - Affordable family accommodation in Australia

A really good accommodation option for price-conscious families traveling in Australia is camping cabins – we tried it and loved it!

Singapore with children - Travel guide to my 14 favourites

Planning a family vacation to Singapore? Singapore happens to be one of our favorite cities! Here you will find the ultimate list for happy children in Singapore!

Bosjökloster - A photo story among roses, towers and old oaks - Skåne

Skåne has many beautiful castles and manors, but this summer I visited the fairytale castle Bosjökloster for the first time. Or as I should really call it – a fairytale monastery.

Eva in Perth, Australia
Perth - 9 attractions in the beautiful capital of Western Australia - Australia

Perth is an exuberant, unique and charming city with an unexpected small-town feel. We spent 5 days here and explored some of the city's sights.

Main pool at Dwaraka Royal Villas
Hotel Dwaraka the Royal Villas - Ubud, Bali - Indonesia

Are you looking for a lovely boutique hotel in Bali, with beautiful surroundings and where you can relax and feel like a Balinese princess? We have stayed at Dwaraka Royal Villas - a dream hotel in Ubud.

Milford Sound
Milford Sound – The fjord in New Zealand where it always rains

On New Zealand's South Island is one of the country's most popular and most dramatic sights. Far from cities and civilization lies the 8th wonder of the world Milford Sound – the strait which is actually a fjord.

Fishing boats in Camara de Lobos
Câmara de Lobos – Fishing boats and grilled conch shells in Madeira – Portugal

Not even Churchill could resist Câmara de Lobo's charm. Here we found a colorful fishing village, perfectly grilled fish and a fruit market with surprises.

Pisa - Italy
Pisa - Or a post about overtourism and travel disappointment - Italy

Traveling should be exciting, inspiring and provide lifelong memories, but what if your destination instead turns into a disgusting soup of over-tourism and all you want to do is leave? That's what happened to me in Pisa.

Riomaggiore - Our last stop in Cinque Terre - Italy

We can't believe it. We are sitting at an outdoor terrace, at the far end of a cliff in Cinque Terre. Sea View. A cold beer in hand. How could we be so lucky? Is this happiness? Our last stop in the Cinque Terre is Riomaggiore, which both charms and surprises.

Pura Taman Ayun - The temple with the beautiful garden in Bali - Indonesia

The Taman Ayun temple with its unique temple roofs and almost 400 years of history is one of Bali's most famous temples.

Segara Village - Sanur - Bali
Hotel Segara Village - Sanur, Bali - Indonesia

For our first nights in Bali, we needed practical accommodation in a good location. The choice fell on Segara Village – a large mid-range hotel in Sanur, which unfortunately did not quite live up to my expectations of a four-star hotel.

Summer summary - long trips, shorter trips and visitor records

It's always a bit sad to sum up a summer, but now I'm getting ready! Here is a summary of long trips, short trips, competitions and statistics!

Skeppsmalen - Surströmming and cliffs on the High Coast - Ångermanland

At the smooth bathing cliffs at Skagsudde is the fishing location Skeppsmalen. Here in the northern High Coast, you will not only find smoked whitefish, but also sour flounder.

Yanchep National Park - among caves and black cockatoos - Australia

45 minutes north of Perth in Western Australia is Yanchep National Park, an important wetland area for the area's birds and with several limestone caves with unique wildlife. We have visited the Crystal Cave and hiked around Loch McNess.

Constructed at the Snösätra Graffiti Wall of Fame – Stockholm

What exactly is art? Yesterday we visited the Snösätra Graffiti Wall of Fame – Europe's largest legal graffiti exhibition.

Manarola - Cinque Terre
Manarola - Where the Cinque Terre takes my breath away - Italy

The third village we visited in Cinque Terre was Manarola. Here I finally understood the essence of Cinque Terre. My hallelujah moment, quite simply.

Pienza - Pecorino and Palace of the Pope's Perfect City - Italy

On a hill in the most Tuscan Tuscany, lies the city of Pienza. Here, among sheep and Renaissance palaces, we found a visionary pope and a really tasty cheese.

Rottnest Island - Quokkas, Bikes and Dazzling Beaches - Australia

Rottnest Island outside Perth has long been on my bucket list. Here are some of the world's finest beaches and "the world's happiest animals" - quokkas.

Eva in Kalbarri
Back home from an adventure in Western Australia (and Bali)!

After almost a month on the road, we are now back home! This year's adventure was a road trip among national parks and nature in Western Australia, which ended with lazy days in Bali. So what was the best, worst and how was the weather? And most importantly - did I find a new mug?

Sweden's "Big Things" - Where are they?

There are lots of weird big statues in Sweden, but how do you find them? Here I have started to create a list - help fill it out!

Hotel Vis a Vis - Sestri Levante - Italy
Hotel Vis à Vis in Sestri Levante - Hotel review - Italy

We have stayed at Hotel Vis à Vis in Sestri Levante, which offered both big pluses - but also big minuses.

Monterosso al mare - Cinque Terre-Italy (1)
Monterosso Al Mare – Cinque Terre's northernmost town – Italy

Cinque Terre's northernmost town offered beautiful beaches, a tower and a lot of construction work…

Santa Margherita - Italy
Santa Margherita - the city everyone passes but few visit - Italy

Some cities are passed on the way to somewhere else. One of these towns is Santa Margherita, the gateway to Portofino. That city that everyone passes by, but no one really visits.

Cinque Terre train
Ride the train in Cinque Terre - Italy

What is the easiest way to experience the five villages of Cinque Terre? Is it possible to visit all the villages in one day? The answer is simple: By traveling by train!

Levada hiking in Madeira
Hiking in Madeira - Levada das Rabacas - Portugal

At the Boca da Encumeada mountain pass, Levada das Rabacas runs through a lush green jungle. We hiked here and marveled at the views – and the escarpments.

Burano - Venice - Italy
Burano - The island where the rainbow meets Venice - Italy

There is an island off Venice that all the colors of the rainbow cannot describe. A place where lavender is a discreet color. On the island of Burano, colors are taken to a new level.

Giant Buddha on Lantau - Hong Kong

Did you know that Hong Kong consists of 250 islands? We went to Lantau Island to visit Po Lin Monastery and Tian Tan Buddha – one of the world's largest Buddha statues.

Bearest berry
Time for the Appetite round again - Spring edition - Södermanland

Yesterday we went around among Södermanland's farms on Aptitrundan and shopped for organic, organic and locally produced products. Everything tastes so much better when you buy from the source!

Vernazza - Cinque Terre
Vernazza – Our second stop in Cinque Terre – Italy

Vernazza was our second stop in the Cinque Terre and perhaps the visit that gave me the most "deja vu" feeling - even though I had never been here before.

Planning is underway - we are going on an adventure to Australia!

At the moment there is feverish planning going on at home - we are going on a camping holiday to the national parks of Western Australia!

Mossman Gorge - Queensland - Australia
Mossman gorge - In the world's oldest rainforest - Australia

We are in Mossman Gorge in the land of the Kuku Yalanji people. For more than 50.000 years they have lived here in northern Queensland, in the world's oldest rainforest.

Eel fishing in Skåne
The eel fishermen outside Åhus - Skåne

My visit to Tvillingaboden south of Åhus offered not only a perfect beach, but also a lesson in the history of eel fishing.

Forsakar nature reserve
Forsakar Ravine – Among giants and waterfalls – Skåne

Waterfall in Skåne? Yes! In Forsakar nature reserve there is not only a magical gorge, but also two of Skåne's highest waterfalls.

Weekend in Kristianstad - Skåne

This weekend I went on a press trip with Kristianstad municipality and got to discover several of the municipality's gems.

San Gimignano - Towers, feuds and truffles - Italy

Feuds, discord and illness. Our history is filled with tragedies. So is the story of the small Tuscan village of San Gimignano. Tuscany's "Manhattan".

Sestri Levante view
Sestri Levante - The stop on the road that became something more - Italy

Sestri Levante was supposed to be just a stop on the road, but the city turned out to be something more. Midway between Portofino and Cinque Terre, between luxury and mass tourism. An oasis to return to.

Gunnes Gård
Gunnes gård – A Viking village in Upplands Väsby – Stockholm

Last weekend we visited a small historical gem in Upplands Väsby. Gunnes Gård is an open-air museum with a reconstruction of a Viking-era farm. A really cozy excursion tip!

Car in Italy - Tuscany
Driving a car in Italy - How to do it? 9 tips for a smooth road trip

Are you going to drive in Italy? What might be good to know before you hit the road? Here are my 9 best tips on things to keep in mind when driving in Italy - everything about tolls, road signs, parking and renting a car!

Portofino harbor - Italy
Portofino - Celebrities' favorite village - Italy

Google Portofino and you will be met with images of luxurious boats, fantastic houses, beautiful clothes and perfect people. Portofino is no ordinary fishing village, but one of Italy's most exclusive holiday resorts.

The lagoon and gondolas in Venice
Italy - What was the best? Worst? And where were we blown?

The day before yesterday we came home from a 10-day road trip in Italy, full of impressions and experiences. What turned out to be the best part of the trip? What was the worst? Where were we really blown away? And why were we stopped by the police?

Cabo Girao
The glass platform at Cabo Girão in Madeira – Portugal

Just outside Funchal on Madeira, lies one of Europe's highest cliffs – Cabo Girao. It is perhaps not so surprising that here at the top of the cliff, a viewing platform made of glass has been built.

Kennett River - Koala
The search for the koala - Great Ocean road - Australia

I love watching wild animals. Be invisible and barely breathe, just watch. But where could I see a wild koala? We headed to Kennett River.

The Surin - Phuket
What do hotel stars really mean?

Are you wondering what the hotel stars actually mean? How can it differ so much between different hotels? The answer turned out to be both quite simple and quite difficult.

Ponta de Sao Laurenzo
Hiking in Madeira - Ponta de Sao Lourenco - Portugal

One of the most popular hikes in Madeira goes to the treeless and barren peninsula of Ponta de Sao Lourenco. A really lovely hike for the whole family!

Flower market in Hong Kong
Flower market in Hong Kong – Among lucky bamboo and penjing

In market-dense Hong Kong, there is an entire street filled with happiness and beauty. Walk past the flower market in Mong kok and you'll see what I mean.

Dreams of travel
Travel planning in progress: Five destinations that attract a little extra right now

This time of year is my big travel planner period. Here are the five travel destinations that are currently gnawing a little in my brain stem and that make my "booking-trip-nerve" twitch a little extra!

Apartment in Australia
Villa, hotel or apartment - what should you choose for your holiday?

I usually book hotels when we travel, but sometimes I book private villas or apartments. But when do I choose what? Here are the advantages and disadvantages of the different options!

Hike to Pico Ruivo - Madeira's highest peak - Portugal

The hike to Madeira's highest peak, Pico Ruivo, offers breathtakingly beautiful views of the entire island and dramatic weather. We trudged to the top in glorious sunshine, but the weather gods must have wanted something else on the way back.

Porto Moniz-Madeira
Waiting for the blue whale - Whale watching in Madeira - Portugal

I've never seen a blue whale. They have stayed hidden every single time I have been out on the high seas. Maybe we would be lucky enough to see the giant of the sea on whale watching in Madeira?

Grand Canyon - Arizona - USA
Grand Canyon - National park in my heart - Arizona - USA

There is a risk that this post might get a little buttery. This post is not only a travel story about the Grand Canyon, but also a small life story about how a national park in Arizona was able to have such a big place in my life.

road trip Portugal
road trip in Portugal: Daily plans for a 10-day road trip

Are you planning to go on a road trip in Portugal? Here are daily plans for a 10-day road trip in northern Portugal - complete with hotel tips, map and restaurants!

Levada hike in Madeira – Waterfalls at Rabaçal – Portugal

The first levada hike we did in Madeira was the hike to the waterfalls at Rabacal. A really magical hike, which in parts could almost feel a little scary!

Madeira - Hiking
Madeira - Tips and reflections the day after returning home - Portugal

Yesterday we came home from Madeira, after a fantastic week filled with hiking along levadas, on mountain tops and on barren peninsulas. What did we think of the island? Here are our quick thoughts!

Porto - Portugal
Porto - When it's not love at first sight - Portugal

Porto would be one of the highlights of the trip. But it wasn't love at first sight between me and Porto – far from it, in fact.

Hoi An
Photo album from Hoi An – Vietnam

For once, I'll leave the history of Hoi An's old town behind and let my pictures speak for themselves. Welcome to a picture gallery with Vietnam's most beautiful city.

Florence Italy
Photo album from Florence - Italy

One of the world's most beautiful cities deserves to be shown off with a few more pictures. Food markets and courtyards, gardens and viewpoints. Here comes a photo bonanza of 40 photos from one of the world's most beautiful cities.

Quinta de Casaldronho
Stay at a vineyard in the Douro Valley - Quinta de Casaldronho - Portugal

I had decided to stay at least one night in a vineyard when we were in Portugal. I saw in front of me round hills with steep vineyards where I would be served the estate's crisp white wine in condensation-sweaty glasses at sunset. So, how did it actually go?

Monsanto - the city under the boulders - Portugal

Monsanto could have been any small mountain village, but you can already tell as you approach the village that this is something unique. Monsanto is a stone city - built in, over and under large round stone mounds.

Hike with the family in the Dolomites
Plan a hiking trip

Going on a hiking trip requires a little planning! Here are my best tips in a practical little list, focusing on what you need to do day hikes.

Krakow - St. Mary's Cathedral
11 attractions in Krakow - Poland

Are you planning a trip to Krakow? Here you will find my favorites for attractions that you have time for during a weekend!

Roswell-New Mexico
When we encountered aliens in Roswell - New Mexico - USA

Heading north in New Mexico, we visited the legendary UFO town of Roswell, in search of aliens – and lunch.

Douro Valley - Portugal
Douro Valley - In the kingdom of steep vineyards - Portugal

In the Douro Valley's hot and dry climate, wine has been grown along the steep river banks for hundreds of years. We drove around among vineyards and wine hotels and learned all about port wine and enjoyed the world's most beautiful views.

Cafiena - Foz - Porto
Porto: Dinner at Cafeína and port wine in fog - Portugal

Our best restaurant experience in Portugal, three kinds of port wine and a meeting with the world's most dedicated beach worshippers. Everything covered in a thick layer of fog…

Hiking in the Dolomites - Seiser Alm - Italy

Sunshine, Italy and hiking. The Seiser Alm in the Dolomites is a smorgasbord of all this – and then some. Here you will find magnificent views and nice hiking trails for the whole family.

The dream of Italy - plan a trip!

The day plans for our road trip in Italy are finally starting to take shape! So what do our plans look like? Where are we going?

Merano 2000 - Dolomites - Italy
Merano 2000 - Hiking in the Dolomites - Italy

Not all hiking in the Dolomites is surrounded by steep cliffs and peaks. On the lush hills of Merano 2000 you will find easy hiking trails, surrounded by cows and kaiserschmarrn.

The striped houses in Costa Nova – Portugal

The small fishing village of Costa Nova outside Aveiro offers one of Portugal's real gems – the polka-dotted houses in all the colors of the rainbow.

White dreamscapes in White Sands - New Mexico - USA

A chalky white natural plaster desert. If I had to choose, White Sands National Monument in New Mexico would be one of the wonders of the world.

Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay – Singapore

The green city of Singapore has built one of the world's most delicious parks, a park that I can never get enough of.

Waldemarsudde, an unexpected hug and some lost French tourists - Stockholm

A Saturday walk at Waldemarsudde, an unexpected hug and some lost French tourists.

Hong Kong Bird Market
The songbirds in the Yuen Po Bird Garden - Hong Kong

In the Yuen Po Bird Garden, the elderly gentlemen meet every day together with their songbirds. This is a beautifully singing little oasis in the otherwise chaotic Mong Kok.

Mata Nacional do Bucaco - Portugal
The fountain at Mata Nacional do Buçaco (Bussaco Forest) – Portugal

The Bussaco forest just north of Coimbra was a spontaneous stop on our way to Porto. We wandered to the beautiful cold fountain and dreamed of a night at the castle.

Test: 9 types of travelers - which one are you?

I came across a funny picture the other day that showed 9 types of travelers. So I did a little research on my own. What kind of traveler am I really?

Volcanic lake in Crater Lakes National Park - Queensland - Australia

A giant volcanic explosion created what are today the lakes of Crater Lakes National Park in Queensland. We went here to hike and (hopefully) see the occasional Australian bush hen.

The barramundi fish of Palm Cove -Queensland - Australia

Sometimes you surprise yourself. Like when we were suddenly standing on a pier in north Queensland fishing for barramundi. But how did we end up here?

Melbourne and Yarra
Melbourne Attractions - My 10 Favorites - Victoria - Australia

Melbourne has become one of our favorite cities. There is so much wonderful to see and do here, but if I were to choose a few favorites, it would be these ten!

Christmas in Umeå
A magical winter Umeå – Västerbotten

Oil pastel shimmering skies. A sunrise that turns into sunset before you have time to blink. Umeå really offered its most beautiful winter scenery when we took a Christmas walk this year.

Christmas table in Umeå
The Christmas that was almost cancelled

This year our plans for Christmas were a cozy Norrland weekend with the whole family. I had no idea that at 5 in the morning I would be thinking about canceling Christmas...

Get to know the whole family Rucksack!

Rucksack is written by me, Eva, but we are a family with three strong wills who must agree on our travels. So where does our dream trip go? Which was the best hotel? And where do we not want to go again? Here are the answers from all three of us!

Melbourne street art
Street art in Melbourne - Victoria - Australia

Melbourne is one of the world's hottest cities for street art. Colorful, changing and innovative – this is simply the art of life.

Hotel Eurostars Heroismo Porto
Hotel Eurostars Heroismo - Porto - Portugal

It is not entirely easy to find a hotel in Porto with a parking garage, but the Eurostars Heroismo was both stylish, fresh and practical!

Christmas baubles with a travel theme
Travel memories in the Christmas tree

During recent years' Christmas trips, I have started collecting Christmas tree decorations. Here are my five most kitschy favourites!

Chillagoe. Population 192. – Queensland – Australia

Chillagoe was never our destination on the road trip. We just happened to pass by on our way to a national park. An ordinary day in the outback in Queensland in northern Australia.

Adventure around the North Cascades and Mount Baker - Washington - USA

An alpine landscape with deep forests hides just a few hours from Seattle. We visited Mount Baker and North Cascades National Park and found glaciers, waterfalls and lots of snow…

The Imperial Palace in Hue
Forbidden City in the Imperial City of Huế – Vietnam

Have you heard of the Forbidden City in Huế? I didn't have it before we went to Vietnam, but the Imperial City of Huế is a world heritage site that you should not miss!

Curia Palace
Curia Palace - A castle night in the spirit of the Great Gatsby - Portugal

There are places that take you back in history. Time bubbles that no one dares to puncture, where everything just continues to live its historical little life. This is a story about how we inadvertently went on a trip back to the 1920s. Complete with a cooking lesson that could have been created by the History Eaters.

Postcard 2018
2018 – the year spent in travel

The year is not over yet, but still I am sitting here writing an annual summary of my travels in 2018. A year with both ups and downs.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park - Otherworldly views underground - New Mexico - USA

Some of the world's largest limestone caves can be found in the New Mexico desert. Wander down into a fairytale landscape of stalagmites and stalactites – and a few hundred thousand bats.

When a hotel reservation does not turn out exactly as expected

Maybe we are lucky with our hotel bookings, but we have NEVER had the booking not match what was delivered. But sometime must be the first…

Manly - Australia
Waiting for the wave in Manly - New South Wales - Australia

Winter winds and waves. If this had been anywhere other than Australia, I would have been wearing a down jacket. But not in Manly, one of the world's most famous surfing spots.

Marble Mountain - Hoi An - Vietnam (1)
Marble Mountains – Temple Mountains outside Hoi An – Vietnam

The Marble Mountains just south of Da Nang offer five beautiful limestone cliffs with a really nice view and a large number of caves, pagodas and temples.

Odd sights in Tallinn - 9 favorites - Estonia

Tallinn offered many unexpected and quirky sights. Those that made me a little extra happy in my heart and soul. Have you seen them too?

Sunrise Premium Resort Hoi An (1)
Hotel Sunrise Premium Resort Hoi An – Vietnam

Today's hotel tip comes from a really lovely resort in Hoi An, Vietnam! Family friendly, beautiful, affordable and with awesome pools. I would love to go back here for a coconut at sunset!

A lunch in Nazare - Portugal
Stared during a lunch at Taberna D'Adelia in Nazaré – Portugal

We had read about a Michelin recommended restaurant in Nazaré – Taberna D'Adelia – where they would serve really good fish. It was only about 12 o'clock, so we took a chance and went there without a reservation. The Portuguese shouldn't be hungry yet, should they?

Fitzroy Island
Fitzroy Island - Paradise Island on the Great Barrier Reef - Queensland - Australia

Great Barrier Reef. Turquoise water. White coral beaches. Lots of fish. Fitzroy Island National Park outside Cairns in Australia is all of this. A real little paradise island.

Photo album from Tallinn - Estonia

Here comes a cascade of photos from our weekend in Tallinn. More precisely, 32 photos from the Old Town. With and without umbrella.

Tallinn - Estonia
Tallinn - 10 Sights and things to do - Estonia

What can you see during a weekend in Tallinn? Here is the list of all the sights in Tallinn that you must not miss!