Romance Travel Blog
The Latest Information on Destination Weddings, Honeymoons, Anniversaries and Romantic Getaways
Four Incredible Hiking Trails In Europe
Europe is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world, making it a popular destination for hiking enthusiasts. Whether you're an experienced hiker or a beginner, there's a trail for everyone in Europe. Here are four incredible hiking trails that you should consider adding to your bucket list.
1. The Tour du Mont Blanc, France/Italy/Switzerland
The Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the most famous and challenging hiking trails in Europe. The trail covers approximately 170 kilometers (about 105.63 mi) and takes hikers through three countries - France, Italy, and Switzerland. The trail takes hikers through stunning alpine scenery, including glaciers, snow-capped peaks, and crystal-clear lakes. Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc takes approximately 10-12 days (about 1 week 5 days), and hikers can choose to camp or stay in mountain huts along the way.
2. The West Highland Way, Scotland
The West Highland Way is a 154-kilometer trail that starts in Milngavie and ends in Fort William. The trail takes hikers through some of Scotland's most beautiful landscapes, including Loch Lomond, Rannoch Moor, and the Devil's Staircase. The West Highland Way is a popular trail, and hikers can choose to camp or stay in guesthouses or B&Bs along the way.
3. The Camino de Santiago, Spain
The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James, is a pilgrimage trail that has been walked by millions of people for over a thousand years. The trail covers approximately 800 kilometers (about 497.1 mi) and takes hikers through stunning landscapes, including rolling hills, ancient forests, and picturesque towns and villages. The trail ends at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where pilgrims can receive a certificate of completion. Hiking the Camino de Santiago can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the route chosen.
4. The Cinque Terre, Italy
The Cinque Terre is a series of five picturesque villages on the Italian Riviera that are connected by a hiking trail. The trail is approximately 12 kilometers (about 7.46 mi) long and takes hikers through stunning coastal scenery, including vineyards, olive groves, and terraced hillsides. The trail is relatively easy, and hikers can complete it in a day. The Cinque Terre is a popular destination, and hikers can choose to stay in the villages or in nearby towns.
In conclusion, Europe has some of the most incredible hiking trails in the world, and these four trails are just a few examples. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a beginner, these trails offer something for everyone, from stunning alpine scenery to picturesque coastal villages. So, grab your hiking boots and start planning your next adventure in Europe.
Discover These European UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Defined by UNESCO as places with “outstanding universal value” UNESCO World Heritage sites are natural and cultural treasures around the globe. Broken down into three categories: cultural, natural and mixed, World Heritage sites include some of the world’s most iconic tourist attractions.
As one might imagine, Europe, with its historical cities, impressive landscapes and cultural significance is home to a bounty of World Heritage sites — 412 to be exact. And while we don’t have the resources to break them all down for you, we have chosen a handful that stand out from the pack.
Berlin Museum Island, Berlin, Germany
A collection of six world-class museums — Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode Museum, Pergamon Museum and James Simon Gallery — in one central location, culture and history collide on Museum Island. Situated in Berlin’s bustling city center, Museum Island was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. In addition to housing some of the world’s most culturally significant artifacts, this group of buildings is also an important representation of the evolution of museum design throughout the 20th century.
For visitors, Museum Island is a great jumping-off point for sightseeing adventures in Berlin thanks to its close proximity to many popular attractions including the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Cathedral, Berliner Fernsehturm, Reichstag Building and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
Fit for a fantasy novel, France’s Mont-Saint-Michel is an awe-inspiring vision of granite and stone, an IRL fortress that’s an island all its own. Towering atop the border of Normandy and Brittany, this mirage-like structure sits in an unlikely spot, surrounded by seemingly endless sandbanks that disappear with the changing tide.
Picturesque and remote, Mont-Saint-Michel was built between the 11th and 16th centuries with its most notable feature being its Gothic-style Benedictine abbey dedicated to the Archangel St Michel. The historic property and its corresponding bay were dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and is one of France’s most popular tourist destinations.
Grand-Place, Brussels, Belgium
Opulence is the word at Grand-Place, Brussels’ intricately decorated central square. As gorgeous as it is historic, the stunning architecture preserved at Grand-Place is what remains of the 15th and 17th-century businesses that set up shop in the then up-and-coming port town. Today, a quick stroll through the fabulous city center reveals a fascinating amalgam of old and new. Miniature busts and statues adorn modern shops and businesses, their facade paired with gold-plated accents and intricate stonework.
Cited as an “architectural jewel,” Grand-Place gained its UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1998. Those looking to explore this glamorous public space can do so in a variety of ways, however, a guided tour is recommended to gain the most insight into the famous square’s historical impact.
Stari Most, Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
For a taste of ancient life, travelers can head to the historic city of Mostar where they’ll encounter Stari Most, the famed bridge for which the town was named. Featuring pre-Ottoman, eastern Ottoman, Mediterranean and Western European design elements, this historic architectural feat is a famed example of a multicultural urban settlement.
Stari Most dates to the 16th century and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. Interestingly, Stari Most and much of the historic old town were damaged in the 1990s during the Croat-Bosniak War. What we see today is a rebuilt version of the once-bustling city, a project headed by an international scientific committee with help from UNESCO.
Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia, Central Anatolia, Turkey
Instagram famous for its otherworldly scenery and colorful hot air balloon tours, Cappadocia, Turkey is catching the eyes of intrepid travelers looking to plan their next far-flung adventure. However, what travelers may not know is the region’s incredible volcanic landscape is more than just a pretty backdrop, instead, it's a historical site worthy of protection.
Kissing the sky in sandy shades of red, gray and yellow, Cappadocia’s Göreme National Park is home to hundreds of “Fairy Chimneys”, unique geological formations with an appearance nothing short of magical. A sentiment that must have been shared by early civilizations as humans have called the place home since the 4th century, creating dwellings, troglodyte villages and even subterranean cities within the area’s rugged landscape. These ancient structures — and the incredible archeological findings within them — are protected by national and regional governmental administrations within Turkey and the site gained its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
The Acropolis, Athens, Greece
Perched atop a towering limestone cliff in the heart of Athens, Greece’s famous Acropolis sparks feelings of awe and inspiration, instantly transporting visitors to a time long, long ago. Overlooking civilization from the comfort of a lofty limestone cliff, it’s easy to see why ancient people thought the acropolis, aka the “high city”, to be the perfect home for their kings, gods and citadels.
The ancient structure dates back to the Bronze Age and the Acropolis has played many roles throughout its life housing local rulers, fabulous temples, intricate statues and more. In fact, the space was deemed so sacred that it even acted as the venue for various religious festivals. As far as the Acropolis we know and love today, 460 to 430 B.C. is often cited as the golden age of the Acropolis as the structure underwent massive changes under the rule of Pericles who worked alongside a team to erect the iconic structures we know and love including the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and The Statue of Athena Promachos.
The Acropolis became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and is accessible to visitors year-round.
No one can deny the beauty and appeal of Paris, France. There’s a magical, romantic quality about the city that is evident wherever you go. It’s the perfect city to explore on foot, simply going for a stroll seeing one stunning vista after another or relaxing with a latté at a petit café. The art, the history, the fashion, the architecture, the food – there are so many reasons to love Paris. Whatever your passion, you’re likely to find what you’re looking for in the City of Light!
In 2024, Paris will host the Summer Games for the third time. There’s little doubt Paris’ Games will be remembered for years to come. Whenever a major sporting event is hosted by one of the most popular destinations in the world, the result is an incredibility attractive vacation for a wide range of travelers. We’re already excited to host our guests as they experience Paris during this once in a lifetime event.
Paris is a beautiful city, full of spectacular places to explore and is sure to be at its best for the 2024 Summer Games. As is usual when traveling outside of our home country, there are always challenges present, extending from differing customs and common practices, but with some preparation and a willingness to be flexible, travelers are easily won over by Paris’s charm. It doesn’t hurt to brush up on the local language; even a little French can make navigating your way through Paris easier.
We want to help set your expectations and do whatever we can to ensure we create the best experience for our Summer Games guests.
Our Top 5 Things to do in Paris
1. The Eiffel Tower. It’s one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. Built in 1887 for the 1889 World Fair, this 325-meter tower was the tallest manmade structure in the world until 1930. With about 7 million visitors annually, it is the most visited monument in the world. What’s a trip to Paris without a touristy picture in front of the famous tower?
2. Musee du Louvre. The Mona Lisa is one of many treasures that resides inside the Musee du Louvre, one of the most famous art museums in the world. The museum is packed with masterpieces at every turn. You can spend hours exploring the museum and still not have enough time to see every beautiful work of art on display here.
3. The Palace of Versailles One of the most beautiful and opulent palaces in the world, the Versailles is a symbol of the ostentatious and decadent lifestyle of the French monarchy. Its garden is so beautiful that it is like a piece of paradise on earth.
4. The Catacombs of Paris This is a medieval underground burial complex where six million human skeletons are stacked neatly along endless corridors. If you are not one to be frightened by the dark and haunting sight, then the Catacombs of Paris is one place that you must not miss.
5. Notre Dame Cathedral Situated in the heart of Paris, the Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most iconic landmarks of the city. With its looming ceilings and beautiful stained-glass windows, it is also one of the most beautiful and impressive places to visit.
Also worthy of a visit are: The Paris Pantheon. The Paris Pantheon is a strikingly beautiful building in the Latin quarter of Paris. Originally a church dedicated to St. Genevieve, it is now a secular mausoleum and the final resting place of distinguished French citizens. This magnificent building is one of the best in Paris.
Crypte Archelologique Paris. Lying directly below the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Crypte Archeologique is a relic from France’s Roman past. If you would like to see Roman ruins, then you will find it a very interesting and educational place to visit.
Pere Lachaise Cemetery. If you think a cemetery is not the best of places to visit when in Paris, then the Pere Lachaise Cemetery will help you see things from a new perspective. The cemetery is the final resting place of many famous French and foreign figures, including Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison.
THE BIGGEST SPORTING EVENT OF 2024
If there is one sporting event that should be on everyone’s bucket list, it’s the Summer Games. The atmosphere surrounding this event is like nothing else in the world. While most people will enjoy the Summer Games from their televisions, those in Paris will experience something truly extraordinary.
Now is the time to book your ultimate Summer Games vacation to Paris. Our 2024 Summer Games travel packages are custom-designed to your preferences, complete with everything you need to experience the trip of a lifetime. Choose your accommodations from our extensive luxury hotel collection and then personalize your itinerary with as much (or as little) activity as you like. Travel stress-free, knowing our team of Sports Travel Specialists and onsite hosts will ensure that you are fully taken care of throughout your experience. To learn more visit https://bit.ly/3WJghv2.
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