Visiting Europe? Avoid Tourist Traps with these Travel Tips12 July, 2015
Thinking of visiting Europe? With its myriad architectural splendours, delectable cuisine, ancient history and breath-taking landscapes, it’s small wonder that you feel the lure of the continent beckoning. Naturally, it is the monumental landmarks that intrigue us the most – and we feel the need to make a pilgrimage to the Louvre and La Sagrada Família. But to capture the true spirit of a destination entails more than just sightseeing. It means venturing out into unexpected places to experience an immersive and authentic journey; one that reveals not only the character of the locale, but which is also a revealing and memorable experience for ourselves.
Step outside the big cities
Enthralling as Europe’s capitals are, there is much to enjoy beyond their rambling walls. River cruises and day tours are especially popular for people on the Danube who have the chance to experience the charming rural landscape as well as the spectacular wilds. Rustic Alpine villages, dreamy Mediterranean ports and the gleaming pastures and vineyards of the continent not only allow an escape from the traffic and mayhem of tourist crowds, but wine, food, festivals as well as sites and accommodation can also give better value for money. Travellers who wish to enjoy an extended stay can bask in the luxury of a home away from home – cottages, villas, and flats like Bruxelles apartments provide a relaxing ambience while capturing the essence of the region, making the holiday that much more enjoyable. In fact, apartment rentals are among some of the most popular options for holidaymakers who can reap the benefits of a beautiful location that feels that much more intimate and personal than a hotel.
Off the beaten track
Whether it’s the Dolomites in Italy, the Atlantic coast in Portugal, or the Nordic reaches of aurora-cloaked Scandinavia, remoteness does not mean obscurity, but equates to a mystery waiting to be unravelled. Perhaps you may find yourself capturing glimpses of the northern lights from a hot spring in Lapland, or watching the mist unfurl around the gothic spires of Neuschwanstein Castle. Tuscany’s golden fields and majestic pines might lure you away from the pillars of Florence to savour some of the world’s finest harvest bounty. Destinations that have been relatively untouched disclose traditions and cultural treasures that are sometimes lost in the bewildering clutter of the big cities and their attractions. Just as importantly, the investment from tourism into the local economy also means you are supporting the very people of the region itself, rather than big corporate resorts and sites – the sustainably produced, organic breakfast, handcrafted sculpture, local theatre production, etc benefit the local people directly.
They say that through travel we discover ourselves as well as the world, as long as we are prepared to embark on new experiences. It is not enough to simply travel to a place, but to truly live it – and this is why taking an experience that is off the beaten track is so worth it.