The Must-See Castles In Europe

Beyond being remnants of the past, castles are a must-see when traveling in Europe. There is simply something so romantic about them, especially when you imagine how the royals spend their days inside them back then. Due to the many royal families in Europe, there is no shortage of castles to visit. Here are the ones you should not miss.

1. Carreg Cennen Castle, Wales

For such a small place, Wales has more castles for every square mile than anywhere else in the whole world. Carreg Cennen is also unique because it is in a state of ruins, but it does not mean that it will not fill you with awe.

2. Hohenwerfen Castle, Austria

Given that the royal family of the Austro-Hungarian empire ruled most of Europe for centuries, it is not surprising to find one castle in Austria making it to this list. The views alone will enchant you, as you can see the Salzachtal Valley and the Berchtesgaden Alps. Being more than 900 years old, it has been home to kings, archbishops and even prisoners (it served as a state prison for some time).

3. Predjama Castle, Slovenia

Built on the side of a 400-foot cliff, it will remind you of Tolkien’s Helm’s Deep. The castle itself also boasts of so many dungeons, castles, and hidden tunnels. They also host an annual medieval tournament every July.

4. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

No other castle is as well-known and as photographed as this fairy-tale castle. It has inspired Disney movies, computer games, and books.

5. Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

This is also quite popular, thanks to being a popular feature in Highlander shows and in many postcards. It is also an important site during the 1719 Jacobite Rising. The surroundings, where 3 locks meet at the bottom of the mountain range will also take your breath away.

6. Hohenzollern Castle, Germany

This castle feels like a dream, being literally in the clouds. While it is the 3rd to have been built on the site, visiting it can be surreal.

7. Hunyad Castle, Romania

The impressive Hunyad Castle is known for being where Vlad the Impaler (the inspiration for Dracula) was imprisoned. It is grand, especially since it has a Gothic-Renaissance influence. It has also been greatly restored after being neglected for years.

8. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

This medieval fortress has been fully restored, so locals can enjoy the views on top of an extinct volcano named Castle Rock. Since being built in the 12th Century, the Edinburgh Castle has been passed on from the English and the Scots and vice versa.

9. Versailles, France

No list of best European castles is complete without Versailles. While it started out as a hunting lodge, it is now the most popular castle in the world.

Thanks to the centuries of history of this continent, many relics remain for current generations to explore and enjoy. You can discover the different styles and use them to guess how old the structure is. Or you can simply walk through the halls and pretend to be a princess for a day.

Rediscover Rome

Rome, the sprawling, bustling Italian city that is known to the world for its inspiring architecture and art, still has more to offer besides the iconic Colosseum and the largest St. Peter’s Basilica. Look at a touristy destination like Roman with fresh eyes. Rediscover its beauty with this unique guide.

First, Gelato

It’s tempting to hit the big places right away when you’ve reached the city. But breathe for a little while and try the local Italian foods first. Tourists often prioritize sights over tastes but the best way to know the city is by filling the stomach.

Go on a food tour first. Take your pick, though it’d be nicer if you can go to the Trastevere neighborhood where you taste the very foods that put Italy on the world map street style – pizza, gelato, pasta, and more. There’s also another food tour offering near Campo Fiore, where you not only eat but learn how the Italians cook.

Climp up the Janiculum Hill, next to the tallest hill in metropolitan Rome, that offers a breathtaking city view. When in Rome, you definitely trade skyscrapers for leisure walks and stylish architectural sights.

Stroll in the City

Strolling is the best way to experience any city. You’ll discover nooks and crannies you haven’t heard of. If you’re coming from Travestere, take a bus all the way to the city center. You must see Plazza Navona, surrounded by palatial churches and fountains. The infamous fountain of Neptune is definitely not one to miss.

From there, you can go straight to the legendary wish-granting Trevi Fountain featured in many movies via the stately Pantheon building. The tickets are free in the beautiful temple Pantheon, so you can tour around at will. Then you can proceed and have your ice cream sitting on the Spanish steps.

The list of the many other must-see places in Rome are the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the
Vatican, the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. You can definitely have your desktop research and take a self-guided tour. But if you’re in for some deeper, more interesting facts about these sights, book a tour.

Cruise through the River

A unique way to experience the lively city of Rome is to traverse along the Tiber river. Tickets are available for anyone’s grab. The view from a boat deck offers you a quiet but rich experience in the middle of a bustling city.

As you cruise along, your tour will have stopovers at Roman landmarks like Piazza Spagna, Piazza Venezia, and the Castel S. Angelo (the impressive fortress originally built as a mausoleum for the emperor).

And if you want a more localized experience, you can get back to the Trastevere neighborhood and cross the river. The island called Isle Tibertina offers the best evening merriment with many outdoor activities and quality bars, especially during summer.

Cap the night at Campo de’ Fiori

Rome is a city worth walking every waking hour. Spend your last night at the cool district of Campo de’ Fiori, branded as the hipster ground. But really, anyone who’s up for fun and drinks, is welcome. The cobbled streets of the square look equally beautiful and colorful in the daytime, known for its fruits, veggie, and flower markets.

There’s so much more than the historical tours in Rome. Besides the known places, less mainstream districts offer you just about the same exciting and rewarding experience.

Hong Kong’s Hottest Tourist Attractions 2019

Almost everyone knows that Hong Kong is one of the world’s best places to shop. It is both a tropical paradise and a cosmopolitan city known for its vibrant multicultural makeup. Restaurants fill tummies round-the-clock while two of the largest theme parks slug it out for the attention of kids and kids at heart. Despite having only 428 square miles of territory, almost all of the world’s best are already in this financial, fashion, culture, travel, and retail center. It is not surprising why more than 65 million tourists flock to this Asian pearl of a city every year. This year, 2019, is not going to be any different, especially with Hong Kong’s hottest tourist attractions.

Monopoly Dreams

Starting June 2019, visitors who are fans of the classic board game Monopoly will get the chance to play a life-sized version of the classic game. Monopoly Dreams is for enthusiasts as well as anyone who would like to have a different kind of fun. Creators integrated 4D interactive projections and state-of-the-art augmented reality technology into classic games like Water Works, Jail, and Chance cards. Keep in mind that this attraction will change the way you play board games. It is best to think hard before going as you will no longer want to play your standard-sized board games from then on.

Marvel Hits Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland is welcoming a new brand of characters to beef up the likes of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy. The theme park is on a 6-year expansion program that will showcase a larger Disney castle as well as the entry of Marvel’s iconic superheroes at Tomorrowland. When the Marvel Universe at Disney gets completed by 2023, expect the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Panther, among others to be permanent fixtures in the Hong Kong attraction.

Impossible Burger 2.0

In 2018, Impossible Foods wowed the Hong Kong crowd with their take on vegetarian-inspired burgers that boast of nothing but plant-based meat patties. Today, there are more than 150 HK restaurants that serve Impossible Burgers. This year, the brand has done the impossible. The Impossible Burger 2.0 boasts of meatier and juicier burgers that its creators, Castelo Concepts, says will make you unable to differentiate between a plant-based meat and a true meat. It may not be a place to visit, but the Impossible Burger 2.0 is one of the best experiences you should try this 2019.

Maruju Aburi Farm

You don’t need to go to Kobe, Japan to enjoy luscious Wagyu beef. You can have one at the recently-opened Maruju Aburi Farm. This is a restaurant that serves ranch-to-table wagyu. This means you get only the freshest and most succulent steaks you will ever have in the world. However, Maruju Aburi doesn’t only serve premium cuts. It is a restaurant that offers nose-to-tail dining. The best part of it is that it doesn’t cost a fortune to enjoy a prime wagyu cut. Now that’s an awesome deal worth having this year.

The year 2019 opens up more fascinating Hong Kong sights and experiences for the whole world to see. And that’s just the tip of an ambitious tourism upgrade of the crown jewel.

How to Make a Portugal Vacation Memorable

Everyone wants to have a holiday to remember, because of the great times and not because of unfortunate experiences. Visitors to Portugal can easily have the best vacation of their lives, as long as they prepare properly. By following these tips, you can relax and enjoy your time in this beautiful country.

1. Do Not Hesitate To Get A Tourist Card

One of the biggest letdowns during a holiday is to worry about going over budget. While spending is a natural part of a vacation, it does not mean you cannot control your expenses or save some money. You can opt to buy a tourist card, like the Lisbon Card that will allow you to take public transportation and get discounts on some entrance fees.

2. Learn Some Basic Portuguese

It is not that difficult to get around the country when you speak English, but learning some phrases in the local language is always a good tip when you are traveling. Beyond learning how to say hello and good morning to be friendly and respectful, you can learn some important words you might need, like medicine, doctor, toilet, help, and many more.

3. Protect Yourself From The Sun

Visitors from the cooler parts of the world are always eager to go out into the sun, not realizing that their skin can get burnt quickly. While this is not a health emergency, a sunburn can make you very uncomfortable and ruin your holiday. Make sure you are ready to stay under the sun by stocking up on sunscreen with high SPF and avoiding the sun between 12 and 3 pm when the sunlight is very intense.

4. Pack Light And Wear Comfortable Shoes

Tons of visitors to Europe do not realize that many of its cities are full of cobbled streets dating back hundreds of years. While they make the streets look beautifully old, they are definitely not friendly to heels and stilettos. You should pack sneakers or sturdy sandals instead to allow you to walk without any problems. These cobblestones are also a menace for big suitcases, as they can run down the wheels especially if they are heavy. Pack light instead with a backpack or invest in suitcases with sturdy wheels.

5. Taste The Local Cuisine

One of the highlights of a Portugal holiday is the food. They have many delicious dishes that you should never miss out on, especially if you have the chance to dine at the local restaurants. Avoid fast food restaurants and ask the locals for recommendations where to try out the cuisine.

6. Drink Coffee

Coffee lovers will love the local cup that will certainly put Starbucks to shame. Watch out, however, because they use strong espresso so you might not want to order too many, otherwise you cannot sleep at night. To make it easy for you, a meia de leite contains 50% coffee and 50% milk, while a galão contains an espresso shot with triple the amount of milk.

Thanks to their beautiful beaches and charming cities, Portugal tops the list of favorite destinations around the world. With these tips, you can plan your holiday perfectly and have a hassle-free time.

Why Try Cornwall for a Holiday or Vacation

The UK’s leading holiday destination is undoubtedly the picturesque county of Cornwall. Located right next door to Devon, which is also popular with tourists, Cornwall offers an amazing experience for holidaymakers. Cornwall has attractive beach towns and fishing villages, exceptional sandy beaches, jaw-dropping sea cliffs, rugged moors, dense forests and rolling countryside to discover. It is a fantastic location to visit for a holiday or vacation, consisting of many natural, historical locations and picturesque destinations such as castles and Celtic ruins. And now with a big selection of fantastic tourist attractions, activities and restaurants, it’s no wonder that Cornwall holds the title of the UK’s leading vacation destination.

Great Weather

But why is it so great? To start with, the weather is milder in this remote, south westerly part of Great Britain. Because of that the Cornish peninsula boasts subtropical gardens which motivate and impress visitors. Its steep cliffs are natural tourist attractions worth the journey alone. With its location at the far fringes of mainland Britain, this peninsula is almost surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and bordered on its north eastern edge by the River Tamar, giving it an island feel. This helps to offer Cornwall it’s own character and culture, and a real sense of pride and self-reliance in its citizens.

St Michael's Mount Cornwall

All this makes Cornwall an original and celebrated holiday location for visitors from the UK and many places worldwide. it is always voted the UK’s leading tourist area and for fantastic reason. It’s an amazingly spectacular location with its own laid-back culture and wonderful environment. No wonder families return here again and again to holiday in Cornwall holiday cottages and have fun together in this stunning location.

Celtic Heritage

Cornwall has rich Celtic heritage still intact from its days as a backwater far away from English power. It is at Tintagel where the legend of King Arthur was created. And there are Celtic crosses and monoliths to check out everywhere.

In more recent centuries Cornwall became one of the nation’s important places as its production of tin and clay were exported worldwide for the manufacturing of industrial materials. The remains of these markets can be seen dotted around the landscape. The noticeable outlines of tin mining engine houses are obviously all over and permanently connected with the county of Cornwall. And it’s this human communication with the landscape and environment that is now safeguarded in lots of UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the county.

Dramatic Cornwall Scenery

Untamed Beauty

In spite of it’s industrial past, Cornwall remains an untainted and rural location. There are still wild, wilderness areas and sensational countryside to check out and farming stays a big part of the economy below. If you step away from the towns and villages, and crowded beaches, to find the interior, you will find yourself in a landscape untouched by time and raw and reliable in its spectacular charm.

It is a backwoods with a laid-back environment, you should not be mistaken for thinking Cornwall is old-fashioned. Just recently Cornwall has actually experienced a little a revival and end up being a little bit of a trendy area, with a huge array of trendy hotels, great dining establishments, art galleries, cool stores and hip bars, coffee shop’s and dining facilities opening up in all corners of Cornwall. Star chef Rick Stein has really originated the culinary revolution in Cornwall, now followed by other Michelin starred dining facilities and wonderful dining establishments up and down the county.

Excellent Accommodation

There are many excellent hotels, bed and breakfasts, guest houses, self catering lodges and hundreds of holiday cottages for rent in Cornwall. There are many local holiday companies who can help you find the perfect base for your adventures in this beautiful part of the country. Using these holiday accommodation options as a base, you can explore and enjoy the best that Cornwall has to offer. For those people looking for a less costly vacation, there are various exceptionally located caravan parks and campsites around Cornwall to choose from.

Newquay is among the primary destinations for a holiday in Cornwall and is world-famous for the sport of surfing. The coastline in Newquay and throughout Cornwall routinely produce great waves to be enjoyed by surfing enthusiasts of all abilities. Together with kite surfing, stand up paddle boarding, mountain biking and other modern-day activities, surfing is one of the main reasons for adventurous people to visit Cornwall. But it’s also an excellent destination for people who want to do nothing more than a short walk along the beach.

Perfect for a Holiday or Short Break

Whatever you prefer to do on holiday, Cornwall has something for everyone. From romantic couples, to groups of friends, to families with kids, teenagers or students, Cornwall is a superb place to visit for a really special vacation.

The Best Countries in the World to Visit for Nature Lovers

There’s no doubt that we live in a very beautiful planet. From the deepest oceans to the highest peaks to the most rugged terrains and to the flattest of regions, the planet we live in is full of remarkable contrasts. While most of us are content on seeing the beauty of this planet through pictures alone, there are those who prefer being with nature to feel what it’s really like to be one with Mother Nature. Here are the six of the best countries or places in the world to visit for nature lovers.

Banff, Canada

Banff-Canada-Natural-Wilderness

Covering an amazing 2,500 square miles sprawled in the Canadian version of the Rockies, the Banff National Park boasts of turquoise lakes that are fed by Canadian glacial systems, abundant wildlife, breathtaking Rocky Mountain peaks, and outworldly scenic drives. There are more than 1,000 miles of well-maintained hiking trails that take you on a sunset stroll by the river or even let you feel the Alpine breath of glaciers. There are nearly 120 miles of mountain bike trails making the exploration of Banff more exciting.

Plitvice, Croatia

 

Plitvice-croatia-natural-travel-attactions

Travelers who love to study geologic formations will marvel at what the Plitvice National Park in the Dinaric area of Croatia has to offer. It boasts of being one of the planet’s most impressive and truly magnificent karst entities. It features canyon-like formations, carved by water that flows through the Mesozoic limestone and guarded by dolomitic rocks. Aside from its karst features, Plitvice is known for its forest communities made up of Alpine beech, beech-fir, spruce, and silver pine, among others. Animals that live off these forests abound. It is truly one of the most mesmerizingly beautiful, natural travel destinations in the world.

Pembrokeshire, Wales

Stunning-Sea-Views-in-Pembrokeshire-National-Park

UK travellers have long known that Wales is a first class destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. It’s an incredibly beautiful, but small, country attached to the United Kingdom. Wales has a lot to offer for nature lovers from the mountain top wildernesses of Snowdonia National Park, to wildlife rich estuaries, and thick pockets of native forests to the wild expanses of the Brecon Beacons. But perhaps one of the country’s most beautiful areas for a vacation is Pembrokeshire in the South West of the country. This is a little populated region with some of the most stunning coastline you are ever likely to see anywhere in the world. Here you will see high cliffs, crashing waves, small sandy coves and a plethora of wildlife including seals, dolphins and all sorts of sea birds. The sea views here are astonishing – providing sights you will remember for the rest of your life.

Göreme, Turkey

valley-of-love-Göreme-Turkey

What makes the Göreme National Park so special is its natural land formations that have been shaped by several millennia of erosion. Ancient dwellings can still be seen from these natural rock formations as if you’re essentially looking at a gigantic anthill. But don’t underestimate these dwellings as they provide the world of solid evidence of the exceptional brilliance of Byzantine art from the post-Iconoclastic era.

Khao Sok, Thailand

Khao Sok-thailand-beautiful-travel-location

Actively promoted by the Thai Tourism Ministry as the place where nature meets adventure, Khao Sok is nothing less than a magical place for nature lovers. Covered in the world’s oldest rainforest of evergreens, deep valleys, exciting caves, tall and imposing limestone mountains that reach for the sky, and breathtaking lakes, the Khao Sok National Park is undoubtedly one of the planet’s best when it comes to nature adventures. It’s also within popular southern Thai destinations like Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, and Khao Lak.

Tongariro, New Zealand

Tongariro-National-park-new-zealand

The moment you set foot on Tongariro National park, you will instantly be transported to Middle Earth, specifically to Mordor, in the Lord of the Rings franchise. Its fantastic and very unique landscape can be both incredible and surreal at the same time. Trek the Tongariro Alpine crossing and you’ll find yourself traversing Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngauruhoe volcanic peaks.

From space, Earth is a gem in a sea of darkness, lit up only by distant stars. On Earth, these places are fitting testaments to just how beautiful this planet really is. For more travel inspiration, check out this video:

Best Places in Spain to Enjoy Street Food

A stroll around the streets of the cities in Spain is interestingly bereft of food stalls but this does not mean that the “street food” culture cannot be found here. The main issue is that selling food on the streets is illegal due to hygiene reasons. However, in almost every city, you will see many bars where you can enjoy the delicious local cuisine.

The many different regions of Spain have their own customs and dialects or languages. They also have their own specialties beyond the popular Jamon and churros. To catch the best of what Spain has to offer, head over to these places:

1. The Basque Country

Compared to the rest of the country, this area is lesser-known unless you come to the film festival in San Sebastian or to visit the Guggenheim Museum. But it is truly a destination for food lovers, with little specialties called “pintxos” served in street food sizes. Most pintxos have one small slice of local bread (similar to baguette) topped with different ingredients like seafood, Jamon, cheese, and everything else in between.

2. Galicia

If you are a seafood fan or simply want to enjoy more of the fruits of the sea, then this is the place for you. The most popular is the Galician style octopus (Pulpo a Feira) and the exotic goose barnacles (percebes) which are found on the side of the cliffs where the sea hits. Non-seafood street food to try out includes fried green peppers (pimientos de padron) and empanadas (the traditional tuna pie).

3. Barcelona

Barcelona is the top spot to enjoy history, good food, and the beach. They also have their unique dishes you should definitely try out. One of them is Pa amb tomàquet, a famous breakfast of toasted bread rubbed with tomato and seasoned with salt and olive oil. Some versions have some garlic rubbed on the toasted bread before the tomato.

Some other street food is coca, their version of pizza. Escalivada is a dish with tomatoes, onions, eggplant, peppers and anchovies on top. Butifarra con monguetes, on the other hand, is a traditional grilled sausage with pink or white beans.

4. Madrid

The capital is a perfect stop to enjoy the best of Spanish cuisine. Make sure to try out their local hits like callos (tripe) and caracoles a la Madrileña (snails cooked Madrid-style). If you want to try out something with meat, then go for Cocido Madrileño, which is a pork stew with some vegetables and chorizo.

Other Street Food To Enjoy

Beyond the dishes mentioned above, there are some other street food delicacies you might find all over the country. For example, chocolate con churros is a favorite of those with a sweet tooth. For a quick snack, bocadillo is another great idea, which is Spanish bread with different fillings ranging from cheese and Jamon to seafood like calamares (squid). Lastly, tortilla is another classic, with the combination of potatoes and egg being a filling and delicious snack.

Apart from being delicious, street food in Spain is also inexpensive and you can find them in every bar in every city, so you can pamper your stomach during your trip here.

Uncovering the Best Places in Devon to Visit on Holiday

Devon as a holiday destination has a lot to offer. The landscape consists of sandy beaches, towering cliffs, rugged mountains and rolling green countryside. As one of the UK’s leading holiday destinations there are many things to do, place to eat as well as attractions to visit. The local folk will welcome you with a rich variety of foods, ranging from venison to lamb. At the local markets, you will come face to face with an array of foodstuffs that make your summers even better, from ice cream to cheese.

Yachts sailing on the River Dart in Devon

Yachts sailing on the River Dart in Devon

You can visit any time between April and October, as this is the time of the year most of the main attractions remain open. If you want to beat the crowds to it, avoid the school holiday times altogether when the roads get clogged up with holidaymakers travelling between tourism attractions. But even at this time of year Devon is a great travel destination for holidays and vacations, with plenty of places to stay throughout this amazingly picturesque county.

With so many great places to discover, it’s not easy deciding which are the must-see travel destinations in Devon. As a starting guide here is a rundown of some of the best places to visit while on holiday Devon.

1. River Dart

At River Dart, the scenery is great. The summer scenes will suffice, and the winter aura will blow you away. If you are one for canoeing and kayaking, you will find a lot of pleasure cruising around this well-populated area of Devon. The weather is calm and the waters are gentle. Snack and drink shops will make your day after a long time in the water.

2. Lundy Island

Located near Hartland Point in the northern part of Devon, Lundy is a three-mile stretch whose mix of humans and marine life is unique. If you are a snorkeler or a diver, you will enjoy this destination with tens of others. Sharks, puffins and seals will give you company, although from a distance, as they like to bask far away from the human populace. If watching and studying birds is your thing, then you will fit right in, as the area is a great habitat for many varieties of seabirds.

3. Exeter

Exeter has pretty much everything within its borders. The streets are Georgian and well lined. It is easy to walk around here admiring the sheer lay of the land all day. There is a university in there too, with well-mowed lawns and hundreds of bright faced students fill the streets every weekday evenings to interact with the locals, check out the movies of the day or even sample the foods on the menu. To add to all these, a roman cathedral stands tall within the city. There are even some underground passages to remind you of the vintage years .Throw in a smattering of Roman ruins and you have yourself just the place you need to be at for a holiday.

4. Dartmoor

Out here, you are in the wilderness, as it were. Everything at Dartmoor simply transports you to a remarkable time in the past when the land lay passive and undisturbed. You will enjoy the pleasure of exploring the many hamlets from centuries past, ruins that go all the way back to the Stone Age as well as a collection of country pubs with the perfect crowds and classy music. If you are lucky enough, you will spot kingfishers, otters, wild ponies as well as many, many birds of prey.

5. The South West Coast Path

This is the longest footpath in Britain. It covers the north and south coastal parts of Devon, providing travellers access to deeply hidden coves and cliffs. Here, the environment is tranquil, the hamlets are calm and the higher altitude areas sit in peaceful silence all the time. The southernmost part will give you the cosiest beaches as well as the jagged landscapes around. The view is great, and so are the people who generally hang out here; animated, welcoming as well as resourceful.

6. Living Coasts

This is one of the largest aviaries in the area. The sheer amount of sea birds in this part of Devon will strike you as impressive. The penguins do not seem in the least scared of humans. They peck at your toes as you walk by. The sea ducks and the wading birds are a spectacular sight to start and end your day, whichever fancies you. There exists an underwater viewing place where you can play around with sea gulls using a range of gimmicks and ribbons.

Devon is a great place to be, whether you are looking for calm and tranquillity, noise and fun or just a lazy week outdoors. There is a rare competition of humans, nature and the world, and this is why travellers just keep dropping by.