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The UK’s most romantic road trips

northern England

Exploring a new part of the world with your new partner is always exciting, but you don’t have to get on a plane to do so. In fact, you don’t even have to leave the country to get a taste of idyllic scenery. Make the most of your car and country by opting for a scenic road trip when planning your next romantic gesture. As a young couple, it’s a relatively cheap way of seeing a little more of the world before you have the funds later to head abroad together.

Before you set off on your road trip, it’s important you make sure you’re fully prepared for the journey. Grab some snacks for the trip and make sure you have a sat nav at the ready. An emergency breakdown cover policy is an important essential, as well as an emergency kit in your boot featuring items such as a hazard triangle, hi-vis clothing, torches and bottles of water. Most importantly, make sure your young driver insurance and the route you’re going to take is sorted well in advance – nobody wants to cancel a trip because they left the essentials to the last minute.

The Cotswolds

Known for its luscious green hills and charming cottages made of golden stone, the Cotswolds is one of the most picturesque places in the country. A trip to the Cotswolds is perfect for those who want to explore a quaint village before heading to a country pub for a spot of lunch.

Unspoiled and truly traditional, walking through one of these stunning villages will transport you back in time. Make sure you have a spare hour to pop into a tea room for some delicious scones before heading back home.

Spanning nearly 800 miles, it would be pretty much impossible to explore the Cotswolds in its entirety in just a weekend, as much as we’d all love to try. At just 45 miles, the best route for a couple would have to be the Romantic Road from Broadway. If you don’t want to use a pre-set route, it’s worth planning which of the many villages you want to explore rather than driving aimlessly.

The Lake District

The beautifully scenic Lake District is famed for its sprawling hillsides, breathtaking lakes and hike-worthy mountains. There are plenty of routes to take, as listed by the Lake District Drives website. One of those most popular is the Windermere Circuit drive. You’ll see all the popular sights in this drive around England’s largest lake as well as the more untouched parts of this stunning part of the country.

The Keswick, Borrowdale, Buttermere drive is considered one of the most romantic, passing through the most picturesque valleys and mountain passes you’ll ever see. At only 38 miles, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the natural beauty of the Lake District on this route. Stop for lunch in the popular town of Keswick before heading off on the rest of your journey.

The New Forest

When people think of the New Forest, the first things that come to mind are the enchanting forest trails and the wildlife that resides amongst the luscious greenery. Stop off on your trip and hike through these trails for a breath of fresh air with a view.

british pub food

If you want your road trip to be filled with nature, take the scenic route to avoid the busy main roads. This route takes you to the more quiet areas of the New Forest, avoiding the areas that are typically packed with tourists. You’ll start in Lymington and end in Frogham with plenty of lovely little villages to visit in between. Keep an eye out for the famous wild horses that roam the New Forest as well as the beautiful deer located in Bolderwood.

Plan one of these romantic road trips this year and enjoy time away from it all, spent together as a couple.

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The five best long-distances hikes in England

turquoise water

If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you know that I am a big fan of long-distance hikes. After the Salkantay Trek in Peru, the jungle trek to Colombia’s Lost City, and the month-long epic walk across Spain along the Camino De Santiago it is time to plan my next long distance hike, and this year, my Camino BFF Kate and I are planning to do one of England’s best long-distance hikes. All that’s left to do is fill our backpacks with our hiking gear, strap on our walking boots and – most importantly – decide which walk to set out on.

When I started planning this trip, I was not aware how many fantastic walking trails there are in England, and after some research, I’ve narrowed down the five best long-distance walks in England, to give you some inspiration for your very own walking holiday in the UK. There’s something for everyone on this list: from short five-day hikes to epic eight-week walking adventures, from coastal walks to hamlet hopping through some of England’s grandest landscapes.

1 Coast to Coast

Location: Northern England – Cumbria to North Yorkshire

Length: 309 km / 192 miles

Duration: 15 days (without any test days)

What to expect: You’ll start on the west coast, at the Irish Sea at St Bees and end the walk in the North Sea at Robin Hood’s Bay. Walking west to east is the more popular direction for this hike, because this way, wind and rain will be at your back, and you don’t walk against the bright evening sun.

Highlights: You cross three stunning national parks on this walk: the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and the North York Moors. During the walk, you’ll pass through small villages with cozy pubs, the heather-covered highlands of the North York Moors, medieval castles and abbeys, the breathtakingly beautiful scenery of the Lake District and plenty of unforgettable views.

Level of difficulty: This is a strenuous hikes with many hills and mountains – you have to be an experienced hiker and in great physical condition.

2 Cotswolds Way

Location: South-Central England, Gloucestershire to Somerset

Length: 164 kilometers / 102 miles

Duration: 5 – 7 days

What to expect: The Cotswolds Way is one of the country’s most beautiful walks: You’ll walk through charming villages filled with century-old honey-colored stone houses and cozy pubs, follow the trail through the typical ‘rolling hills’ limestone grasslands that the Cotswolds are known for, through farmlands where you’ll encounter cows and sheep.

Highlights: Every single hamlet you walk through will take your breath away – the Cotswolds were awarded the title of ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ for a reason! And then there are the stately 15th-century Sudeley Castle, charming tea rooms, countless viewpoints with sweeping vistas of green, rolling hills, and finally, the city of Bath with its wonderful 18th-century Georgian architecture, where the walk ends (or begins, either way is possible, but soaking in Bath’s famous Roman thermal spas is a rewarding way to end the hike).

Level of difficulty: Moderate – this trail is doable for less experienced hikers.

3 The Pennine Way

Location: Northern England (Derbyshire) into Scotland

Length: 431 kilometers / 268 miles

Duration: min. of 21 days

What to expect: This popular, yet challenging, hike runs along the ‘backbone of England’: the Pennine Hills through a rather remote part of England. It is often named the toughest hiking trail in Britain, and definitely not an easy undertaking. You’ll walk through the remarkable Yorkshire Dales, lots of hilly terrain, moorland, bogs, wildflower meadows, farmland and wild landscapes – every day is very different. Since you’re passing mainly through untouched terrain, it is important to plan ahead – the Guardian has a great list of where to stay, eat and drink along the Pennine Way.

Highlights: Finishing the challenging Pennine Way with 432 stiles, 287 gates and 204 bridges is a huge achievement in itself, but you will also enjoy the vast panoramic vistas from the high-up viewpoints, some of Britain’s most beautiful, untouched scenery, Hadrian’s Wall and the highest pub in England.

Level of difficulty: This is considered a tough hike – long-distance hiking experience is essential, and you must be in excellent physical condition.

4 The Dales Way

Location: Northern England – West Yorkshire to Cumbria

Length: 125 kilometers / 81 miles

Duration: 5 – 6 days

What to expect: The Dales Way is a well-signposted hiking trail that mainly follows river valleys, cuts through farms and lush green fields, and eventually ends in the foothills of the mountains of the Lake District. You’ll walk through two National Parks: The Yorkshire Dales as well as the Lake District National Park.

Highlights: The Yorkshire Dales National Park offers some of England’s most spectacular landscapes: Moors, river valleys, green hills, farmland dotted with cows and sheep, and historic stone villages.

Level of difficulty: Moderate – can be done by less experienced hikers

5 The South West Coast Path

Location: Southwestern England – Dorset, Cornwall, Somerset, Devon

Length: 1,014 kilometers / 630 miles

Duration: about 8 weeks

What to expect: If you feel like all of the above hikes aren’t much of a challenge, the South West Coast Path is the hike for you. This hike follows the entire length of Cornwall’s and Devon’s coastline, and sections of Devon’s and Somerset’s coastlines. With a length of over 1,000 kilometers, it puts the famed Camino de Santiago to shame. Not only is this the longest hiking trail in the UK, but it is often named as one of the best hikes in the world. However pretty this coastal path with its stunning views is, be aware that there are lots of ups and downs involved, i.e. many drops and climbs. If the length of the hike seems off-putting to you, know that many people walk it in stretches over a number of years.

Highlights: You will pass through two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Jurassic Coast, comprised of the Dorset and East Devon Coast, and parts of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape. You’ll also get to walk along the Heritage Coast in Exmoor National Park with its dramatic coastline, ravines and steep cliffs – including the highest cliff in mainland Britain – and you’ll pass dozens of pristine beaches, castles, small harbor towns and seaside resorts, and the iconic Land’s End: the westernmost point of the English mainland.

Level of difficulty: Pretty difficult – not just because of the length of it, but the total elevation climbed during this hike is 114,931 feet (35,031 m), which is almost four times the height of Mount Everest! You have to be an experienced long-distance walker to finish this hike, and you have to have adequate hiking gear.

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Your Guide to Travelling Europe on a Budget

Bavarian village, Germany

When it comes to experiencing Europe on a budget, there are a lot of wonderful ways to do it. Travellers across the globe have ‘backpacking through Europe’ on their bucket list, and it’s not without sound reason. It’s a huge milestone for any traveller, and there are countless things to do in Europe.

If you wish to go on a backpacking trip to Europe on a budget, follow these tips to help you save money while exploring exquisite travel spots throughout Europe:paris sacre coeur

1 Budget Accommodation in Europe

Hostels and Dorms in Europe

Staying in hostels and dorms is a major way to save money on your trip. While you may think hostels are only meant for young people, you would be surprised to know that people from all age groups prefer staying in hostels on their backpacking trips.

Some hostels may even provide single rooms for people who don’t like sharing their accommodation with other travellers.

Camping in Europe

The only cheaper option than living in hostels is camping. There are a lot of campsites in every major city in Europe, and they also offer facilities like bathrooms and cooking areas.

abraham hostel jerusalem roof terrace

2 Eating Cheap in Europe

Cook Your Own Meal

Staying at a hostel or a campsite would mean that you would probably have a cooking facility. And considering food is one of the major expenses while travelling, the best thing you could do is to buy fresh ingredients and cook for yourself. It may not be feasible all the time, but you would be saving a lot of cash to spend elsewhere.

Eat Like A Local

Avoiding restaurants and eateries at tourist spots and finding the ones located a few blocks away will get you the best deals on food (as the food is always expensive at tourist places). Eating like a local can prove to be an important life skill.milan pizza arugalaEat Street Food

While travelling across Europe, you will easily spot food stalls around you all the time. Europe has a rich street food culture, and you could easily grab something to eat, like a slice of pizza or a crepe without having to shell out a fortune. Indulging in seafood across different countries may also prove to be a delicious experience.potosi chocolate crepe

3 Finding Budget Transportation in Europe

European Rail Pass

When you begin your journey through Europe, one of the first things you should do is to get a rail pass as there’s hardly a better way to witness the beauty of Europe than riding a train.

You get a variety of options; from a single country pass to a complete pass that will let you ride trains anywhere in Europe. You may choose a pass according to your travel plans, and this will definitely help you save a lot of travel money.

Tourist Passes

Apart from a rail pass, many European cities offer tourist passes that let you avail public transport at a nominal cost. Some cities may also offer entry to tourist spots, sightseeing tours etc. along with unlimited travel and these are benefits you must take advantage of.italian high speed trainCycling or Walking

Exploring a city on your feet or on two wheels is an immersive experience, and a must try. It doesn’t only help you save money, but also keeps you fit while on the road.

Budget Airlines

A little research before booking your air tickets could get you cheap flight tickets. Hence, it is advisable to book your tickets in advance as they tend to be cheaper when booked months before.flying

Get International Travel Insurance

Travelling to unknown places involves risk, and you can never be too careful, hence, you should get yourself international travel insurance that will come to your aid in case of a mishap.

You may spend a lot of time planning the perfect European vacation, but don’t overlook the importance of getting good international travel insurance.

You are more vulnerable to accidents and illnesses while travelling in a strange land. Although international travel insurance cannot help you avoid misfortunes during your travel, it will offer relief in the form of monetary compensation.dani camino de santiago

5 European cities to travel on a budget

You may have heard about the expensive European cities, but there are a lot of places where you can go on a shoestring budget. Here are five recommended cities when it comes to travelling on a budget:

    • LEÓN, SPAIN: If you consider yourself a foodie, this should be on your list
    • KRAKOW, POLAND: Party animals will find themselves at home in Krakow as it’s undoubtedly the party capital of the world
    • BERLIN: If observing and learning about the culture of the place you visit fascinates you, you should be in Berlin
    • PORTUGAL: It is a small but lovely place for water enthusiasts who would like to unwind around water and watch sunsets
    • TRANSYLVANIA, ROMANIA: If adventure and adrenaline rush is what you are looking for, Romania would be a befitting candidate.

So, stop making excuses! Pack your bags and get planning. Europe is waiting for you!

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Eight Places You Shouldn’t Miss on a Trip To The French Pyrenees

pyrenees clouds

The French Pyrenees are among the most beautiful regions in France. High mountain peaks, green valleys, stunning waterfalls, dramatic gorges, and little towns dotting the valleys – the French Pyrenees offer a photo op around every corner. In the winter months, there are plenty of ski areas, and in the summer, there is a vast network of hiking trails to be explored. To give you an idea of what to see in this mountainous area of France, I put together eight stunning places you shouldn’t miss on your Pyrenees holidays, ranging from world-famous destinations to lesser known hidden gems:

Pay a visit to The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in Lourdes

The small town of Lourdes is one of the most important Catholic pilgrimage destinations in the entire world, thanks to its famous healing shrine. The miraculous cures that have been said to occur after a visit to the Lady attract around six million visitors every year.Morning in Lourdes, France 3-20-2004 019

Marvel at the Fortress of Montségur

The ruins of the Château de Montségur, a Cathar castle perched at the top of a 3,900 feet high rock formation, are a magnificent sight, and should not be missed by anyone interested in the historic Cathar castles. Many people claim that this the most remarkable Cathar Castle.

Indulge In A Luxurious Spa Treatment In Ax-les-Thermes

Ax-les-Thermes is a small town nestled in the Ariege upper valley right in the heart of the Pyrenees, close to Andorra and the border with Spain. It is famous for its thermal baths and recreational spa, but the town itself has plenty of architectural gems to offer, such as the belle-époque Casino and several medieval fountains. The nearby Orlu Valley is worth visiting for its picturesque villages and the Réserve Nationale de Faune Sauvage, a national wildlife reserve.Traffic Management - The Ax-les-Thermes Bypass, Pyrenees, France

Explore historic Foix

Foix is a medieval town that dates back to 849, and its castle, the focal point of the town’s history, was even built before then. The stunning chateau sits on top of a hill looking over Foix, and is one of the most impressive historic castles in this part of France.

Wander The Lush Meadows Of Col du Puymorens

The Col de Puymorens is a famous Tour de France climb in the France – Spain – Andorra triangle. Even though the climb, which was first used for the famous bike race in 1913, hasn’t been used for the Tour de France since 1993, it is still a popular place with cycle tourists and road trippers. You can start the drive in Ax-les-Thermes, and if you take a right turn 2.8 kilometers before the summit, you reach the Port d’Envalira, a scenic high road in the Pyrenees.IMGP1722

Free Your Mind On A Walk Through The Green Aston Valley

The small town of Aston is famous for a number of reasons: Gudanes, a majestic château dating from the time of Louis XIV, nestled among the mountains of the Aston Valley, is the most striking sight in the Aston Valley, but the lush green valley itself, flanked by the Pyrenees and covered in wildflowers in the summer months, makes for a memorable hike. And then there is the Grotte de Lombrives, the largest cave in Europe in terms of volume, with a length of 39 kilometers, which was formed more than 20 million years ago. The caves have an immense geological and historical value, with an incredible karst network which was shaped by long glacial periods.

Marvel at the Rock Church Of Vals

Just a short 45-minute drive from Aston you find the historic village of Vals. When you approach Vals, a tiny hamlet with a population of only 86 people, you wouldn’t think that this village is home to one of the most treasured pieces of religious architecture of the Middle Ages. The church is partly carved into a giant rock and dates back to the 10th century. There are several noteworthy frescoes on the ceiling, and the third level of the church, a chapel dedicated to Saint Michel, lies in a defense tower built in the 14th century. Don’t miss the breathtaking vistas over the Pyrenees from the terrace here.

Climb the Roc of Scaramus For The Stunning Panoramic Views

This hike up to the top of the Scaramus Rock is challenging, but the panoramic mountain views over the Pyrenees make the climb worth it. When you reach the top, you’ll get to enjoy some of the most scenic views over the Pyrenees. The entire round-trip is just over six miles and can be done in about six hours, starting near the Col De Marmare cycling route. Note that this is a strenuous trek – not necessarily for beginners.
Refuge d'Espingo, French PyreneesIf you are planning a trip to the French Pyrenees, head to France-Voyage.com and create your own personalized itinerary. You can easily add all or some of the places listed above to your itinerary, or simply find more information and travel inspiration for the French Pyrenees and other regions of France, or find vacation rentals for your trip!

Photo Credit: All images used via Flickr’s Creative Commons Licensing. (1) Lourdes by Bren Buenaluz; (2) Ax-Les-Thermes by Richard Allaway; (3) Col Du Puymorens by Jean-Marie Pival; (4) French Pyrenees by Richard Allaway

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The Five Prettiest Places To Visit In Mallorca

In recent years the Spanish Balearic island of Mallorca has moved away from the package holiday crowd with the island’s capital Palma de Mallorca leading the charge with its swanky designer boutiques and Michelin star aspiring restaurants. Elsewhere the rest of the island has followed suit with properties being snapped up by wealthy Europeans looking for a home in the sun.

Mallorca has of course for all intents and purposes remained a summer holiday destination, it’s just that now they want to distance themselves from the bad press of young Brits behaving badly in while out partying in Magaluf. In fact, if you were to stay in the north-eastern corner of the island you would think you were the only one to succumb to Mallorca’s many charms.Mallorca
For Spanish artist Joan Miró Mallorca was all about the pure Mediterranean sunlight and the colors reflected off the mountains and sea which is the inspiration for my top 5 prettiest places to see while holidaying in Mallorca.

The best way to get from Palma’s Son Sant Joan Airport to your holiday accommodation is by taxi transfer. It’s wise to read the tripadvisor reviews about Mallorca’s taxis first, as prices & standards on the island can vary greatly. A list of Mallorca airport taxi transfer prices can be found here on Palma airport website. A taxi provides the most direct, fastest & convenient way to get the around the island to any of the pretty destinations listed below. If you want the reassurance that your airport transfer is fully booked & arranged with a trusted transfer company, however like me, you are a little hesitant about paying for your trip in advance, then Solhop transfers may the better option. Here you can get the reassurance from a reliable source that your booking is fully in hand and yet you have the freedom to pay your driver on the day.in Palma, Ausblick vom Hotel

Almond Blossom

My number one choice may come as a bit of a surprise as it is an event that occurs annually between the months of January and February. I am of course referring to the almond blossom when Mallorca’s nearly 5 million almond trees spring to life with their brightly coloured pink, white and cerulean flowers. Almond trees grow all over Mallorca but the best place to see the trees in full bloom is in the central Raiguer District.Mallorca

Cap de Formentor

The lighthouse at Cap de Formentor offers incredible views out to sea any time of day but comes alive in the evening when people gather to watch the sun gently disappear into the sea. The 20-kilometre drive up from Port de Pollenca is not for the faint-hearted and will have your palms sweating as you grip the steering wheel while navigating the hairpin bends. In the end, though it is worth it when you will feel as though you are standing on the edge of the world.Cap de Formentor Panorama

Calo d’es Moro

As you descend into Palma’s Son Sant Joan Airport you will be blown away by how blue the sea looks from the aircraft’s window and of all the coves and beaches on Mallorca my favourite has to be Calo d’es Moro. Located in the south-east of the island six kilometres from the town of Santanyí, Calo d’es Moro is a small beach surrounded by steep cliffs with some of the clearest turquoise coloured water you will find anywhere on the planet. With limited space available for sunbathing it is best to get there early to claim your spot.Caló des Moro, Mallorca

Fornalutx

Often described as being the prettiest village in Spain, Fornalutx is nestled in the Tramuntana Mountain’s surrounded by orange and lemon groves. The stone village buildings and their red-tiled roofs appear to be locked in a time warp where nothing has changed for hundreds of years. Ideally suited for hikers and mountain bikers the town attracts hundreds of tourists each summer to come and wander around its narrow cobbled streets.Todo principio es duro.

Port de Soller

Of all the seaside towns in Mallorca Port de Soller has to be my favourite. Situated on a horseshoe-shaped bay on Mallorca’s west coast, Port de Soller managed to escape the overdevelopment that occurred during the 70s and 80s keeping its traditional old world charm. The town boasts a lovely waterfront promenade alive with restaurants and bars where you can spend a leisurely lunch watching the traditional Llaut fishing boats bob up and down in the harbour. Getting to Port de Soller couldn’t be more fun either with an award-winning 100-year-old wood panelled tram running between Port de Soller and the capital Palma.Port de Sóller

Photo Credit: All images used via Flickr’s Creative Commons Licensing. (1) Mallorca by Kyle Taylor; (2) Mallorca View by PercyGermany; (3) Mallorca Almond Blossom by Tobias Leeger; (4) Cap de Formentor by Vaidotas Mišeikis; (5) Calo Des Moro by Tommie Hansen; (6) Fornalutx by Emilio Vaquer; (7) Port de Soller by John Mason

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East or West From Faro

cascais promenade lisbon portugal

Portugal’s gorgeous Algarve region has a well-earned reputation as a popular destination for sun-seekers. But its capital, Faro, isn’t always at the top of a tourist’s list. Nevertheless, this is a stunning city with a great blend of history and nature that is the perfect place to choose as a home base while you explore the region. Here are the HolidayTaxis teams’ suggestions.

cascais beach estoril

A Trip Back in Time

Faro’s Old Town is well worth a visit if you like history. It’s the perfect chance to escape the hordes of tourists on the beaches. As you wander down the cobbled streets, explore the well-preserved city walls, and admire the glorious Palacio de Estoi, you’ll find yourself plunged into Portugal’s romantic past. You can easily spend half a day enjoying the historical centre of Faro.

Breakfast with a view.

Hidden Treasures in Estoi

This tiny village, nestled 10km to the north of Faro, is the perfect choice for a day trip. Here you can find fascinating ancient Roman ruins, as well as the stunning Palacio de Estoi. This pink palace, built just over one hundred years ago, has been converted into a hotel. Even if you can’t afford to stay the night in such luxury, you can still enjoy the gardens and the wonderful views!

Estoi

A Spooky Surprise

If you really want to do something different on your holiday, then make your way to the Capela dos Ossos, aka the Chapel of Bones. The name will tell you what to expect: inside this little church, you’ll find the remains of monks exhumed from graves around Faro. The bones of over a thousand monks, all on display around the chamber, make this a truly unique experience, and certainly not for the faint of heart!

Capela dos Ossos

Immerse Yourself in Nature

The Ria Formosa natural park is a true highlight of the region, accessible by boat from Faro. Portugal is understandably proud of this beautiful stretch of nature, and works hard to protect it. Seabirds and all manner of sea creatures live here, and you can also see traditional fishermen, who are committed to using the old methods passed down from one generation to the next. Sustainability is the name of the game here, and if you want to get more out of this eco-friendly paradise, you can enjoy excursions by kayak or snorkel, as well as birdwatching.

RIA FORMOSA

A Day at the Beach

Of course, what would a Portuguese holiday be without a trip to the beach? Faro has no beaches within the city itself, but when you get to the Ria Formosa, you’ll find several seaside options. The most famous beach is the Praia de Faro, popular with tourists from all over Portugal and beyond. But if you hate crowds, then you’ll want to go a bit further, and make your way to the Ilha Deserta. Here you’ll find one of the Algarve’s true hidden gems. The name, which means Deserted Island, is definitely well-chosen! Get away from it all and enjoy the 9km of pure white sand, without any of the tourist amenities that can be found elsewhere in the Algarve.

Algarve

Around the Algarve

As the capital of the region, Faro is unsurprisingly well-connected. Heading west, you can find the posh resort of Vilamoura and its more wallet-friendly neighbour, Quarteira. Further inland is Loule, worth visiting on a Saturday for a great market. And if you go east, you’ll find Olhão, a great spot to visit if you want some fresh fish straight from the sea to your plate!

A última do ano velho

Photo Credit: All images used via Flickr’s Creative Commons Licensing. (1) Faro by sushibarista; (2) Estoi by Bert Kaufmann; (3) Capela de Ossos by Nerea Villoria; (4) Ria Formosa by Rui Ornelas; (5) Algarve by Consuelo; (6) Olhão by Jose Moutinho

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An Irish Honeymoon For Couples Who Love Art and History

cornwall beach view

Ireland, the perfect combination of history, art, culture and urban vibes the country has everything to offer that will make the honeymoon blissful and memorable. Irish honeymoon is like a distant dream with castles, gorgeous sunsets, breathtaking scenic beauty and nightlife that will make one feel in a different era altogether. It is a country where modern age television series like Game of Thrones was shot and it is also a place where people have a welcoming smile and known for their hospitality. Plan your itinerary with the help of travel agencies and get a package that includes everything from romantic getaways to adventure in budget using vouchers from Bydiscountcodes.co.uk.

Let’s check out the popular tourist attraction that one should not miss on the first visit to Ireland:

Ireland

    • Cliffs of Moher: Topography of the country is breathtaking and it does not make one feel bored travelling from one place to another. Cliff of Moher is the natural attraction which is an important landmark of the country and its magnanimity is breathtaking. Likewise, there are other natural attractions in Ireland including The Blue Stack Mountains, The Slieve League Cliffs, etc. to enjoy some quiet time amidst nature with your partner.
    • Blarney Castle: Ireland is known for its classic castles and grandeur. If your interest lies in art and history, then Ireland is the perfect place for a honeymoon. Blarney Castle is known for its architectural relevance and of course for Blarney Stone that is believed to give the gift of eloquence if the person kisses the stone but for that he has to be upside down. There are also other castles in Ireland like Ashford castle, Cabra Castle, Dromoland Castle, Waterford Castle and many more were tourists can stay like a royalty.

Ireland, Mullaghmore Castle

    • Phoenix Park: If you are Dublin then Phoenix Park should not be missed. The park is enclosed in the city and is home to the fourth largest zoo in the world. Here, one can stay overnight and enjoy the natural setting of the park, explore zoo animals, especially fallow deer. One can also visit Ashtown Castle which has a beautiful tower house that was constructed in the 17th Apart from the park, Dublin is the modern city of Ireland where tourists can enjoy bar hopping, visiting museums and shopping.
    • Ross Castle: One of the most romantic and beautiful castles, it is haunted and has a painful history. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful castle to visit with your partner and spend some time admiring the artefacts of the castle.
    • Visit to Guinness Storehouse: Guinness Storehouse is the most visited tourist destination in Ireland. It is home to Black Stuff, the world famous beer and now it has become a seven-storey building with a bar on the top to enjoy a beer at Gravity Bar the most popular bar in the world.

"Guinness is Good for You"

The honeymoon is the time where time ceases to exist and one wants to make lifetime memories. But if budget is your constraint then check out Best Hotel deals around UK and Ireland and make prior arrangements, so that accommodation and travel do not kill the vibes of the vacation. Also, while planning a visit to Ireland for honeymoon take out time to explore the country and don’t plan a small vacation.

Ireland

Photo Credit: All photos used via Flickr’s Creative Commons Licensing. (1) Rock Of Cashel by Elena; (2) Mullaghmore Castle by Vincent van der Pas; (3) Guiness by Griffin Stewart; (4) Ireland by Trent Strohm

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Five Reasons You Should Visit Innsbruck (And Not Just Vienna!)

Innsbruck Inn & Mountains

Whenever I tell people that many many years ago, I used to lived in Tyrol, I often get blank stares. It turns out that while this region of Austria is well known throughout Europe, particularly for its fabulous ski slopes in the winter months, beyond European borders Tyrol isn’t a household name. “Innsbruck?”, I then usually try, referring to the capital of the state, but again – barely anyone has even heard of it. And that’s just such a shame, since Innsbruck is a gorgeous city, sitting in a wide valley, fringed by Alpine mountains on both sides.Driving along the Alps

But the city is usually overlooked or foregone in favor of Vienna and Salzburg, which has made it on the international tourist map thanks to its Sound Of Music fame. Innsbuck doesn’t have to hide behind Salzburg though – and did you know that the drive from Salzburg to Innsbruck is a mere two hours? So if you are visiting Austria and Salzburg is already in your travel plans, do yourself a favor and add Innsbruck to your itinerary.

Here are five reasons why you Innsbruck is worth a visit:
Innsbruck houses & snow-covered mountains

1 Alpine Nature Meets City

Innsbruck offers you the best worlds: mountain AND city life! It’s rare to have this combination, because you usually find cute Alpine villages around the popular ski and snowboard areas – but proper cities? Not so much! Innsbruck, however, has both: within minutes, you are in the mountains, but first and foremost, you can enjoy all the amenities that city life offers: there is great shopping, culture and nightlife in Innsbruck, and in addition, you have plenty of good bars and restaurants, entertainment and art galleries. For city girls like me, Innsbruck is the perfect base for a hiking vacation – it has easy access to hiking trails around the city, and several charming Alpine villages are within an hour’s drive, but you can return to the hustle & bustle of a big city (although, to be honest, with a population of ‘only’ 125,000, most people wouldn’t describe Innsbruck as big.)

Innsbruck st jacob's dome & inn

2 Stunning Hikes and Mountain Views

The best way to see Innsbruck is to hike up one of the surrounding mountains and look down at the city from the top. If you’re not a keen hiker, don’t fret – you can also take the easier route, via cable car, which conveniently leaves from the center of town and brings you all the way up to Karwendel Nature Park. There are several stops along the way up the mountain, but Seegrube (at 6,250 feet) and Hafelekar (at 7,401 feet) are the most remarkable viewing points. If you do enjoy hiking, you’ll want to make time for an extensive hike, following one of the many hiking trails on top of the mountain.Mountain & valley

Another option is to take the Patscherkofel cable car to the top of the Patscherkof Olympic Mountain (7,369 feet) and hike along the Stone Pine path, or, if you don’t want to go all the way up into the mountains, the popular short hike from Arzler Alm to Hoettinger Alm. The Bergisel Ski Jump is yet another impressive lookout over Innsbruck. You can find a list of the most popular hikes around Innsbruck here.Innsbruck houses & mountains

3 Tyrolean Specialties

One of the best thing about visiting Innsbruck is that you’ll find yourself in the heart of traditional, hearty Tyrolian cuisine. Some of the dishes you have to try during your visit are Speckknoedel (dumplings with pieces of bacon), groestl (roasted potatoes, speck, and onions topped off with a fried egg), and kaesespaetzle (egg noodles sautéed with a variety of mountain cheeses and topped with fried onions). Don’t miss the Markthalle, Innsbruck’s beloved indoor food market. To try some of Tyrol’s famous cake, head to Café Munding, which has been run by the same family since 1803.Dumpling & mushroom sauce

If you happen to visit around Christmas time, you’ll love the Christmas market right in the center of town, where you can sample dozens of regional foods and mulled wines at the food stands.

After gorging on all the delicious Tyrolian foods, you’ll understand why hiking is such a popular pastime around here 🙂
cake

4 Nightlife and Culture

Of course you can’t compare the art scene in Innsbruck not with Munich or Basel, which are both a few hours away, but considering that it is a moderately sized city, the art and culture scene is remarkable. The annual ART fair (held in January) is even the second biggest art fair in all of Austria! From fine art to contemporary artworks – Innsbruck has something for everyone!

Thanks to its considerable student population, Innsbruck also has a great bar and nightlife scene – obviously not comparable to Vienna, but there are several places that will make night owls happy: Bar 360, aptly named after the 360 degree views of Innsbruck and the surrounding mountains, Moustache Bar, right in the Old Town and famous for their Deadly Moustache Cocktail, and Tante Emma Club, an EDM nightclub that is a favorite among the local dance crowd. If you feel like going on a bar crawl, check out Culture Club’s Top Ten Bars in Innsbruck.cocktails

5 Golden Roof

The Golden Roof, or Goldenes Dachl as it is called in German, is the most famous landmark in Innsbruck, made with 2,657 copper tiles gilded with six kilos of gold. The tiles are still the original ones, dating back to the year 1500! Where else in the world can you see a roof like this? The roof was gifted by the Emporer to his wife during Austria’s Imperial days and there’s always something going on around here. Street performers, other striking Gothic and Rococo buildings, covered in historical murals, and the Christmas market during the Holidays – make sure to stop in one of the many cafes (which all have outdoor seating during the warmer months) and take in this unusual roof and the hustle and bustle surrounding it.Golden roof innsbruck

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The Five Most Romantic Autumn Breaks To Take In the UK

new york fall foliage road trip leaves3

There’s no doubt about it – autumn is here! The leaves are changing, the days are getting shorter, temperatures are dropping. We may long for these long, sunny summer days right now, but autumn is actually a wonderful season for romance and togetherness. A stroll through the park during peak leaf changing season? Snuggling by the fireplace? Having an excuse to stay in bed on a rainy day? No other season is as romantic as autumn.

If you are thinking about booking a weekend getaway for you and your loved one: now is the time! Here are five ideas for romantic autumn breaks in the UK:poughkeepsie autumn colors hudson river walkway

1 A spa weekend

A spa weekend is the perfect way to spend a rainy autumn weekend – a little pampering helps make you feel better and look better, and it helps enhancing your mood if you are prone to November Blues. During a spa weekend, you and your partner can enjoy a couples’ massage, you can heat things up with a visit to the sauna or steam room, and there is nothing wrong with breakfast in bed in your fluffy white hotel robe.

An indulgent spa break is great for self-care as well as spending quality time with your partner. And it doesn’t have to be expensive – many spa hotels offer special weekend spa getaway deals, especially during the winter.grand hyatt playa del carmen cenote spa towels

2 Leaf peeping in the Peak District

If you want to experience the changing leaves and mystic autumn atmosphere in their full glory, head to the Peak District for long walks through the moorlands which turn burnished brown at this time of year, and along trails lined by trees with colorful leaves. Mist lingers in the valleys until long after sunrise, providing an incredibly romantic backdrop for walks with your loved one. To enhance the romance factor even more, stay in a self-catering cottage. Check out these 10 cosy places to stay in the Peak District.bear mountain fall leaves

3 Feel like a King & a Queen for a Weekend

How about pretending you’re a king and a queen for a weekend? Spending a night in a castle is on many people’s bucket list, and the UK has plenty of castle hotels and rentable castles to choose from. Spending a weekend in a castle in the fall means you’ll actually have the perfect excuse to spend as much time as possible inside and you’ll make the most of it. If you’re overwhelmed by the vast selection of available castles, here are some of the most extraordinary ones: Amberley Castle (which is featured on lists of the most romantic hotels in the world all the time), Culcreuch Castle (a 700 year old castle and one of Scotland’s oldest hotels); Hever Castle (all rooms have four-poster beds, and there are monthly Tudor banquets); Star Castle Hotel in the Scilly Islands (star-shaped fortress with sweeping sea views built by Elizabeth in 1593 to defend the Isles of Scilly), Langley Castle (a 14th-century castle with exposed stone walls, suits of armor, wrought-iron candelabras, four-poster beds and a restaurant known for its exquisite cuisine). You can turn this into an even more romantic getaway by whisking your partner away without telling them where you are taking them.

eileen donan castle scotland

4 New Forest

Nature lovers will be in awe when visiting this famed forest with its 500-year old oaks and the wild ponies this area is famous for – there are 3,000 of them! If your lady is a fan of horses, make sure to plan a ride through the area. But there’s more to New Forest than just ancient trees and horses: heaths covered in purple heather, farmland, lush meadows and coastal marshes, and plenty of wildlife. Nothing is more romantic than dinner by the fireplace in a cozy country pub after a long walk through these magical lands. Get some inspiration for the best walks – including some pub walks – here.old oak tree at oak alley plantation

5 The Exmoor Coastline

There are plenty of coastal getaways that are delightful during the most colorful weeks of the year – in Cornwall, Dorset and Kent, there are plenty of beaches and coastal walks to be explored. The unspoiled coast of Exmoor is particularly charming, however, offering the highest coastline in England, including the highest sheer cliff on Great Hangman (244m (800ft). In addition, there are coastal woods and moors, coves and secluded beaches. Exmoor is also home to the South West Coast Path, at 630 miles the longest National Trail in the UK. Walking hand in hand along the beach never fails to evoke romantic feelings, especially on a chilly autumn afternoon.

Cliffs & cottages

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Top foodie destinations in Europe

british pub food

So, Europe. Cobbled streets, blistering sunshine or torrential rain and some stunning architecture probably jumped to mind when you read that word, right? Right. Well, unless you’re a foodie. If you’re a foodie, the chances are your mind jumped to the frankly delicious array of dishes that Europe has to offer. If you aren’t already in the know, what are you waiting for? Pack up your loosest trousers, grab your passport, renew your EHIC and take a look at our list of the top foodie destinations in Europe!milan burata mozzarella

Macedonia

When you think of European food, Macedonia might not be at the forefront of your mind, but believe us when we say that it definitely should be. This frankly gorgeous mix of Balkan, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods makes for quite the unique selection, including an abundance of cheeses, pastries and meats. But don’t fret, you can balance all of this goodness out with even more goodness. Macedonia has quite the selection of super fresh vegetables, and I guess it wouldn’t be a complete experience without a hearty sample of the local wines.mdina fruits

Greece

So, Greece is probably pretty high up there on your ‘first thought of’ list. Greek food is fresh, it’s healthy, and the best part is that it doesn’t necessarily taste healthy, if you know what we mean. Feta cheese can be found on every corner, fresh fish is available by the bucket load, and filo pastry has never tasted as good as it does in this stunning location. Tender lamb and an abundance of dill and mint as staple herbs are all a result of over 4,000 years of culinary history. The dishes are simple, but rustic, so trust us when we say it’s well worth the visit – the beaches and plentiful culture are just a bonus.israel olives

France

Ah, France. Home to frog’s legs and snails. But French cuisine is so much more than that. French chefs are known for creating some of the most amazing, exquisite food in the entire world, so it’s no wonder that the nation is so proud of what it can produce. Take Paris, for example. This city is lined from border to border with bistros, cafes and restaurants, a breathtaking amount of which are Michelin-starred. Haute cuisine is very popular, but side-street bistros can give you the authentic taste of France while the plentiful markets will give you access to fresh ingredients that are perfect for picnics or creating your own dishes. And let’s not forget the Macaroons. You have to try the Macaroons.hong kong passion by gerard dubois

Italy

We couldn’t have a list of the best foodie destinations in Europe and not include Italy. Okay, so Italian food has wandered a long way from Italian soil, but no pizza or pasta will be anything like the ones you can find in an Italian street. But Italian cuisine goes so much further than the two aforementioned favorites. The entire country is filled with vineyards, orchards, olive trees and so much more to give you the best fresh taste you could hope for on European land. Cheese, wine, risottos, Limoncello… the list really is endless when it comes to Italy. We could talk about it all day, but trust us when we say that it’ll be better if you sample it all yourself. Rick Steves has some great tips on how you can find inexpensive eateries in Italy – along with some other useful advice on eating in Europe. keste pizza

Germany

German cuisine is unlike anything in Italy or France. If you go to Germany, you go to eat, and you go to eat well. From Spätzle – a traditional swabian egg noodle dish – all the way through to Currywurst – a pork sausage with ketchup and curry powder – the Germans know how to do good, hearty food. Try the schnitzel, a thinly sliced piece of veal meat that is covered in flour, egg and bread crumbs before its deep fried in oil or butter. Trust us, you won’t regret tasting it, and it’s one of the most traditional, well-known German dishes around the world. In short, German food will leave you feeling warm, fuzzy, and very, very full, but it’s more than worth it!Pretzels, pretzels

Don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of European countries that have an incredible selection of cuisine you need to try, but these are just a few good places to start on your European trip. Happy eating!

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