Europe

How to Explore the Hidden Side of Europe

Europe is loaded with popular travel destinations, attractions, and things to do. Rather than travel the beaten path when you go on your European tour, go for a Europe tour package that allows you to step away from the routine and experience the less beaten path on a budget. There are many destinations and attractions that you may have never heard before but worth every moment spent. You can easily find Europe group tours from leading travel companies in India when you conduct an online search. To help you get up and running, we explore some of the ways you can explore the hidden side of Europe.

Visit Kamnik Alps – Slovenia

The tiny country of Slovenia is gifted with countless beautiful places on the less beaten path. The Kamnik Alps is one great place to visit on your European tour. They are home to the magnificent Velika Planina uplands. The attraction is conveniently located just an hour from Ljubljana another great stop on your visit.

Visit Saaremaa Island – Estonia

If you are a fan of beer and windmills, you will definitely enjoy a trip to Estonia on your European tour. Although the destination’s popularity is surging, it is a great stop that is affordable in every way. You will also find Kaali, the unique green-colored Lake located on the Estonian island.

Visit Salzkammergut Region – Austria

Austria is home to one of the most beautiful Alpine lakes in the world known as Lake Hallstatt. The best time to visit the lake for some outdoor adventure is in summer and winter. The popular playground is adorned with stunning views and is connected to a historic salt mine by way of a mountain railway network, and to the Mammoth Cave and Dachstein Ice Caves by cable car.

Visit Perast – Montenegro

Perast offers you the opportunity to enjoy the finer things in life on a budget. The town is situated on the coast of Montenegro and heaven for beach lovers. Nearby you can also visit St George Island and Our Lady of the Rocks, the only artificial island in the Adriatic. You definitely need to visit Perast if you wish to explore the less beaten path without drilling a hole in your wallet.

Visit Asturias and Covadonga convent – Spain

The Asturias region is located near the Bay of Biscay in the center of Spain’s north coast. With a third of the region being protected, Asturias has a lot to offer for its size. It is home to four biospheres that are officially recognized by UNESCO. You can experience the beach, some culture, hiking, wilderness, and nearby cities.

Visit The Azores – Portugal

One European country that you definitely has to be on your itinerary when you buy international tour packages. The Azores is located 800 miles off Portugal’s coast in the mid-Atlantic. The archipelago features nine volcanic islands and presents a great opportunity to experience the divine on a budget.

Last Word

There is a host of other amazing budget destinations on the less beaten path that you can explore on your European tour. Search the web for a reputable provider of holiday packages that gives you fresh Europe tour packages from Mumbai and other major locations in India. Established players offer expertly crafted and affordable Europe individual and group tour packages at affordable prices. Remember to conduct a background search before you proceed to pay for any international tour package. It is important to choose a travel product supplier that enjoys a good reputation in the market as reflected in the testimonies of other travelers. Pack your bags and explore the hidden side of Europe on a budget!

Beach Resort vs Traditional Town: Where to Stay in Turkey?

Looking at a guide book of Turkey you might be tricked into believing that your only option for accommodation is in an upmarket resort or seaside town however Turkey is also has many small villages and traditional towns which lie inland from the Aegean and Mediterranean sea and offer a slightly more cultural experience. If you plan to visit some of Turkey’s many ancient ruins then one of your first choices may be between staying in Kusadasi, on the Aegean Sea, or in the mountain town of Selcuk, just 18 km inland.

Reasons to Stay in Kusadasi:

For Excellent Location…

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Kusadasi lies on the southwestern shores of Turkey’s Aegean sea, within an hours drive of Izmir’s international airport and just a stone’s throw from the Greek Island of Samos. This seaside resort has regular bus connections to sites and towns of interest along the coast including Bodrum, Fethiye, Pamukkale and Izmir and daily ferries to Samos. If you’re interested making daytrips then Kusadasi has an abundance of sites in the area, you might want to hop on a Jeep Safari to the Dilek National Park or take a bus to the shopping outlets at Soke. Agencies offer guided Ephesus tours or excursions to Didyma and Pamukkale on a daily basis so there’s no need to have your own transport if you choose stay in Kusadasi.

For the Beaches…

Kusadasi is one of the few coastal resorts to have a beach right in the centre of town, so if you choose to make this spend your vacation in this harbour you can be sure that it will only be a short stroll to white sand and transparent water. Aside from ‘Ladies Beach’ – don’t be fooled by the name because it is open to both men and women – on the outskirts of town are 4 privately owned beach clubs. If being served cocktails as you lounge on a shaded sunbed is you style you can head to any one of these. Alternatively take a national park bus to Guzelcamli and relax on the town’s more quiet and scenic beaches.

For the Nightlight…

Kusadasi is one of the top spots in Turkey for dining and nightlife, second only to the country’s party capital, Bodrum which lies further south on the Aegean coast. Start your evening with a glass of wine in an elegant rooftop restaurant as you watch the sunset over the sea. When you’re ready for dinner take advantage of the excellent Aegean cuisine, which will undoubtedly include fresh fish and sea foods. Then head to the Old Town to enjoy live music and quirky bars in the maze of streets before heading to the modern ‘Bar Street’ where you can party through the warm summer night until sunrise.

Reasons to Stay in Selcuk:

For a Little Ancient History…

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Unlike its seaside neighbors Selcuk had retained much of its Ottoman architecture and examples of its Roman/Byzantine heritage. Just wondering about the town’s old streets you’re sure to notice the remaining pillars of an aqueduct which once supplied the town with clean water. Or you might notice the Byzantine fortress which sits upon a hill overlooking the town. Selcuk is also just 3 km from the 2nd largest city of the ancient world and UNESCO world heritage site of Ephesus. Walking through colossal theatre, well preserved library and marble pillar lined entrance way, far away from modern buildings and technologies, is sure to give you a feel for life over 2,000 years ago.

For Old Trains and Famous Caves…

While most of Selcuk’s visitors have come to for Ephesus Tours and other sites such as the Temple of Artemis, House of the Virgin Mary, St. Johns Basilica and Isa Beya Mosque, the town is also the host of some uniquely interesting sites. Even in the centre of the Old Town there is some exploring to do as one of the country’s first steam locomotives sits between the streets, waiting patiently as tourists and locals aboard for photos. Travelling further afield there is the Camlik Outdoor Museum and the mysterious Cave of the Seven Sleepers, where 7 young Christians hid from persecution and allegedly awoke from a deep slumber 180 years later.

For Family Guesthouses and Homemade Cuisine…

Much of the accommodation offered in Selcuk is in family run guesthouses, built into traditional Ottoman homes, each of which has its own story to tell and it’s own host to tell it. You will probably find yourself dining on a delicious Turkish buffet breakfast of olives, cheeses, fruits, pastries and homemade jams and benefiting from the local knowledge of your host. Far from the modern chain hotels that you would find in coastal resort towns, Selcuk accommodation give visitors the opportunity to experience real Turkish hospitality, taste homemade Turkish dishes and maybe even learn a few words of the local language.

So Where to Base Yourself?

Whether you choose to base your holiday in stylish beach resort or a tranquil mountain town you’re sure to find plenty to do, Selcuk and Kusadasi are actually close enough together that you can easily travel between the two. Stay in Selcuk and take a Ephesus to Samos day tour to visit the beach and Greek Island or check into a hotel in Kusadasi and take a day trip inland to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the village as well as the lively atmosphere and parties of a Turkish beach town.

Top Things To Do In Newcastle

The Top Things To Do In Newcastle mentioned in this post will make this underrated city your favorite place in the UK

Me and my buddy Haris Ahmed went traveling throughout Europe last year and in particular it was the UK that I really fell in love with. My favourite city in the UK was not London, something which many are surprised at, but rather Newcastle, the north east city where I was fortunate enough to pass much of my time whilst I was in the UK.

Newcastle does not have the glitz and glamour of the likes of London, nor does it have the musical and cultural history of the likes of Manchester and Liverpool. What Newcastle does offer however is a city that is filled with welcoming people and plenty to do and if you can spend some time up there in the old north east air, here are just some of the things that you need to tick off the to-do list.

See a Football Game

Newcastle’s stadium is St.James’ Park and it is here that the city looks towards on a Saturday afternoon when their team is playing at home. The stadium sits right in the centre of the city and it becomes a hive of activity when the ‘toon’ are playing and 40,000+ fans turn out to cheer on their side. The atmosphere inside the stadium is truly electric and if you want to do something fun during your time in Newcastle, this should be top of your list.

Party

You may think that you can party in any city in the UK and you would be right, but nobody parties quite like they do in Newcastle. In fact, I bumped into many people from all over the UK who came to Newcastle just for the nightlife and after spending some time partying in the bars, pubs and clubs in the city, it is easy to see why. If you want to seriously party, this is the city in which you ought to do it.

Bridge Jump

In the centre of Newcastle is the River Tyne, the heartbeat of the city and there are numerous bridges which straddle the water. The most impressive of these is the Tyne Bridge which was actually used as the prototype for the Sydney Harbour Bridge. These bridges make for some fantastic photos but if you really want to take things to the next level, why not take a bungee jump off the top of the Tyne Bridge. There is a company who occupy the bridge each Sunday that will strap you on to a bungee cord and watch you as you fly head first down to the river below. Looking at the bridges is all well and good, but if you truly want to experience the bridges in style, bungee jumping is the way to go.

Newcastle has so much more things which you can do from art museums, science exhibitions and the range of markets available throughout the city, why not cut a few days from your London trip and head up north to the wonderful city of Newcastle.

7 Places you Need to Visit in Italy

Italy is an enchanting country with a rich culture that is fascinating for people to explore. More than 45 million people visit this exciting country that combines history and modernity perfectly. The food is delicious, the wine is fabulous and there are so many things to do and see. Here are 7 of the places you need to visit in Italy.

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Rome

Rome is one of the most fascinating and most beautiful cities in the world and you can visit some of the most iconic landmarks of the world and enter a separate country. The Colosseum has stood for more than 2000 years and this iconic landmark is a must see. The Vatican City is filled with artefacts, glorious art and rich history. You can join tours that beat the lines and see these places at your own pace.  There are many glorious beaches that are less than an hour by bus from the city. This is a great way to beat the heat in the summer and get some people watching in.

Tuscany

A vacation in Tuscany will provide you stunning landscapes, beautiful seaside villages, wine production, and exciting cities like Pisa and Florence. It is known for as the birthplace of Renaissance and you can visit works by the famous artists Donatello, Michelangelo, and Leonardo de Vinci in the city of Florence. Pisa is known for the Leaning Tower of Pisa and visiting this iconic landmark is a must for all who visit the area. Tuscany is famous for its wine production and Chianti is the most popular wine.

Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast needs to be experienced by driving the scenic roads and by taking a boat trip along the coast to explore all of the inlets as well as the gorgeous scenery.  You must stop in the beautiful towns of Positano, Ravello and Amalfi and see the many wondrous churches, beautiful gardens and villas.  Make sure that you take the time to relax in the sun and drink Limoncello, a lemon drink that the area is famous for.

Sicily

Palermo is the capital city of Sicily and it was the centre of many trade routes during the medieval era. It has been influenced by the Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantine Greeks, Arabs, Normans and Spaniards and it is a great place to learn more about history. You can join walking tours that explore the historical centres or focus on the food and wine of the area.

Umbria

Umbria is located in central Italy and it is known as the “green heart” of Italy. It is a network of small intimate lovely towns with many historical locations to visit. There are plenty of charming villas situated in the peaceful countryside, which are perfect if you like walking, horse riding or cycling. In the capital city of Perugia you can find Etruscan, Roman and medieval monuments in its historic centre. Assisi is an area in Umbria that is known for religious pilgrimage and millions of people visit annually. It is the birthplace of St Francis who was also buried there in Basilica di San Francesco.

Naples

Naples is the capital of the Italian region Campania and it is the third-largest municipality in Southern Italy. Be sure to make time to visit Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Cappella Sansevero, and take a guided tour of Teatro San Carlo.

Venice

Venice is built on a series of islands that are all connected by bridges or canals. Be sure to take a romantic gondola ride down the famous Grand Canal that this city is known for. Be sure to make time to visit the beautiful Basilica di San Marco. Venice is known for its hand blown Venetian glass and you can pick up many treasures to take home.