Top 10 Things to do in Barcelona, Barcelona Best Destinations, Best Europan Cities for Vacation

March 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Europe Vacations, Spain Vacations

Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is the second largest city in Spain. Barcelona’s magnificent architecture is dominated by the work of the great Antonio Gaudi. Shopping, art, dining, and entertainment also feature prominently in this lively city. Here are 10 things not to miss in Barcelona. If you plan to European cities as a holiday destination, the capital of Catalonia and Spain’s second city should be on the top of the list of your visit.

1    Sagrada Familia Church
With its soaring, expressionist towers, Sagrada Familia is Antonio Gaudi’s most famous creation. And it is not yet finished! Begun in 1882, construction on the church continues, and is funded by Barcelona’s tourism industry.

2    Casa-Museu Gaudi
In his later years, Gaudi lived with his niece in this pink house that looks like something straight out of a fairy tale. The rooms in the house are themed, containing furniture, drawing, and portraits made by Gaudi himself.

3    Bishop’s Palace
A new structure begun in 1889 to replace the original palace, which had been destroyed by a fire, the Bishop’s Palace had a storied history during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Gaudi abandoned the work after the Bishop Juan Bautista Grau i Vallespinós died, and the palace was not occupied until 1961. Read more

Discover Lanzarote, Top Destinations in Spain, Best Island Vacations in Spain

The small Canary Island of Lanzarote is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Spain.  Attracting over 1.5 million foreign tourists every year.  The bulk of them from Britain and Eire – who account for well over 60% of all tourist visits made to the island.

The key to Lanzarote´s popularity as a holiday destination lies in the fact that this island located just seventy miles off the coast of Africa enjoys a great climate all year round.  So even in the depths of winter when Northern Europe is shivering, visitors are able to enjoy a beach holiday in the sun here.  As temperatures average 20 Celsius all year round – even during December and January.

Lanzarote was first conquered by the Spanish in the early 1400´s – and rapidly became an important strategic trading post between the New World and the Old.  As Spanish galleons crossed the Atlantic with Inca silver and returned with African slaves.  Stopping off at Lanzarote and the other Canary Islands to refuel and restock. Read more

10 Experiences to Savor in Monte Carlo, Best Europe Vacations, Europe Tourist Destinations

February 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Europe Vacations, World's Best Places

Monte Carlo is perhaps the most famous of Monaco’s administrative areas. With a permanent population of only 3,000, this tiny geographical gem is known as a jet setters’ and gamblers’ paradise. The best way to explore this affluent and chic city is on foot. You’ll experience not only the best of city living, but also beautiful beaches on the Mediterranean. Here are 10 things any trip to Monte Carlo should include. Monte Carlo is known for its casinos, gambling, glamour, and for sightings of famous people.

1. Monte Carlo Casino
Charles Garnier designed the magnificent gold and marble atrium in this famous casino, which was built in 1863. Overlooking the Mediterranean, the Monte Carlo Casino also includes an opera and ballet house called the Grand Théâtre de Monte Carlo, and is the headquarters of the Ballets de Monte Carlo.

2. Cafe de Paris
A visit to Monte Carlo should definitely include a meal at the famous Cafe de Paris. Opened in 1962, the cafe features both indoor and outdoor seating areas, and is conveniently located in Casino Square.

3. Old Town
This is the more traditional part of Monte Carlo, and it features numerous classy bars and restaurants. The traditional Monegasque cuisine you’ll find here includes dishes like Stocafi, which is dried cod cooked in rich tomato sauce, and Fougasse, a pastry decorated with nuts and aniseed.

Read more

Best Greek Islands to Visit, Best Travel Destinations of Greece, Best Greek Beaches

February 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Best Greece Destinations, Europe Vacations

The Greek Islands can be found all over the coast of mainland Greece and the tip of Northern Africa. To this day, they are very popular destinations for anyone who goes on vacation.

The Greek Islands are hard to miss as they dot throughout the Aegean Sea on the South East coast of mainland Greece. They come in various sizes, shapes, and geographical varieties and the people that come to visit also come in such a variety. While island hopping is always an option, most people decide to stay on one single island for their entire holiday. The Greek Islands are traditionally divided into seven groups: Cyclades, Aegean, Dodecanese, Sporades, Ionian, Argosaronic Gulf and Crete. Crete, as a single island, is the largest one in the group.

When staying on a Greek Island for the holidays, opt to stay at a boutique hotel. This will give you a whole fresh experience by staying in a small, intimate hotel with minimum decorations and very friendly service. Elounda Gulf Villas and Suites on Crete, Katikies on Santorini and Ostraco Suites on Mykonos are unique choices to stay at and offer you the utmost serenity in an understated lap of luxury. Read more

10 Best Things You Must Not Miss in Dublin, Dublin Best Destinations, Europe Best Destiantions

Dublin, Ireland is known for its hospitality, its proud heritage, and its many modern amenities as well. Here are ten great things to do and see when in Dublin.

1.    Dublin Castle
The Normans, who invaded Dublin in 1169, first made their own fortifications on the site of Dublin Castle. King John of England expanded the structure in 1204. Dublin Castle features crystal chandeliers and elaborate painted ceilings.

2.    Christ Church Cathedral
This building, dating to 1038, was built by King Sitric Silkenbeard, the Danish Viking King of Dublin. Christ Church Cathedral is one of two medieval cathedrals in Dublin, the other being St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

3.    Trinity College
Trinity College is Dublin’s oldest university, built in 1592. Besides producing alumni including Jonathon Swift, Oscar Wilde, and Samuel Beckett, it is also home to the famous Book of Kells which is an illuminated edition of the Christian Gospels that dates to the 9th century. Originally featuring a valuable jeweled cover, the book’s manuscript was left behind by invading Vikings in 1007.

4.    Guinness Storehouse
This top tourist attraction was reopened in 2000 and features tours, history of the famous beverage, and even a pod cast of an audio tour of the facility. Read more

Top Tips for a Cheap European Travel (Part I), Cheap European Travel Tips

February 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Cheap Travel Tips, Europe Vacations

Europe is the preferred and a dream destination for every traveler. But traveling to European destinations these days can cost too much money unless you know how to get great deals on everything. Avoid traveling during the peak season to save money. In Europe, traveling, staying, food, and medical expenses can be high, so get early advance information of how you can save on these expenses. There are many ways that you can save and still be able to take that dream vacation to Europe with your family!

The internet can be a great tool to gather information about how and where to get cheap travel bookings, which route will cost you less, which are the seasons to travel to save much money, and so on.

Travel Agencies
There are travel agencies that will offer discounted airfares if you book early. Even the airliners themselves offer great discount prices on selected routes or during selected months. You can also get discount family fares and there may be other discounted fares for young children. You can travel to some European gateway hub cities, like London or Dublin, and from there, you can get cheap airfares to other European destinations. A round-trip ticket will usually cost less than the normal rate. Also, a stopover in these hub cities will be a great way to see the attractions in that city cheaply! Read more

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