Stunning Positano Vacation is the Jewel of the Amalfi Coast

There’s hardly a more stunning site along the shorelines of Europe than the amazing Amalfi Coast, a stretch of land in the southern portion of the Sorrentine Peninsula in southern Italy. A favorite destination of Italy’s elite and a preferred vacation spot for many travelers from around the world, the Amalfi Coast is known not only as a prime holiday spot with awesome views but also for its production of limoncello; lemons grow like crazy here on trees in picturesque terraced gardens that line the hillsides.

Many tiny towns dot the landscape of the Amalfi Coast, but the loveliest by far is one that has become known as “the jewel of the Amalfi Coast.” Picturesque Positano, technically a village or “commune”, with most of its structures on the hillside leading down to the coast, was long a port city, experiencing great growth in the 17th century but later failing to prosper, becoming a poor fishing village by the 20th century until a nod from the author John Steinbeck in a 1953 edition of Harper’s Bazaar spread word of its charm to readers, particularly in the U.S. From that point on, the tourist industry in Positano blossomed, and now it’s a stop on just about every Amalfi Coast itinerary. (more…)

German Castle Tours a True Fairytale Experience

As children, we read myriad stories about castles, the real or mythical creatures that live within them, and the tales that surround them. Many of us are fascinated with these structures, with their turrets and thick walls, and – undoubtedly – a room where the princess is being held captive. But castles aren’t the simply the renderings of an illustrator’s imagination. In Europe, such grand structures are plentiful, largely left behind by the Middle Ages but often rebuilt or renovated in later years.

In Germany, especially, when the country was segmented into small municipalities and feudal states, it was commonplace to build a castle for fortification purposes because times were turbulent and protection from enemies was a necessity. After this era, castles were also built as royal palaces, adding to the list of such edifices.

 

 

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Immerse Yourself in Scottish Culture in a Historic Edinburgh Vacation

Scotland is a land of contrasts. Vibrant cities and wide-open spaces provide visitors with a vast variety of experiences, from long strolls through the heather to exciting shopping in the city, from an impromptu ceilidh in the town pub to world-class concerts in some of the U.K.’s finest venues. Indeed, Scotland has a bit of everything for visitors of a variety of tastes.

Especially appealing is Scotland’s capital city and the area that surrounds it. Edinburgh, located in the eastern portion of the Central Lowlands, sits on the Firth of Forth and boasts a population of about a half-million; a mid-sized city that’s not too overwhelming but certainly provides enough attractions and activities to keep visitors busy for several days, especially when you take the time to explore the rural areas around it as well.

 

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Skiing in Italy Rivals that of its More Popular Neighbors

Mention the words “ski” and “Europe” to your travel agent, and chances are that he or she will immediately turn to such lauded destinations as France’s Chamonix or Switzerland’s Zermatt. That’s not unusual. France, Austria, and Switzerland have long been touted as the best countries for skiing in Europe and many of the resorts there cater to the rich-and-famous as well as “regular” people who enjoy an upscale twist with their skiing experience.

However, one would be remiss to overlook the skiing opportunities available in beautiful Italy, a country where there’s plenty of snow and a ton of ski resorts that have produced some of the greatest skiers in the world. Combine these quality resorts with picturesque villages, excellent accommodations, and a lively après ski scene and you’ve got the perfect ski holiday for singles, couples, or families who simply love to play in the snow.   (more…)

The Ins and Outs of Smart Executive Travel

If you’ve got a job that keeps you out of the office and on the road, chances are you know that traveling for business can be both exciting and aggravating. Even if you’re an avid world traveler that loves new adventures, the confines and demands of executive travel can be tough. And for individuals who are just delving into the world of business travel for the first time and the need to be constantly elsewhere besides home, the whole experience can be quite daunting.

That said, however, there are a number of tips and plenty of advice that can make executive travel much simpler and certainly less stressful. In addition, you may even find that traveling for business can result in a world of new experiences, many that you’re likely to want to repeat on your own or with your family when you’re able.  (more…)

Enjoy High Altitude Fun in Breathtaking Zermatt, Switzerland Vacation

Once a quiet agricultural community, beautiful Zermatt, Switzerland has been a skier’s dream since the first commercial resort was organized there in the mid 19th century. Surrounded by a number of the so-called Alpine “four-thousanders” (referring to the height of the peaks in meters), Zermatt – part of the German-speaking section of Switzerland in the canton of Valais – provides vacationers with nearly year-round skiing, a village and surrounding hamlets that are charming and quaint, and plenty of après ski activities to enjoy, whether you’re an avid cold weather fan or just along for the ride.

The village of Zermatt sits at the foot of the mighty Matterhorn which – by the way – is the most-photographed mountain in the world. This and the other mountains that surround the village (Monte Rosa, Dom, and Weisshorn) make this the highest-altitude ski destination in the world, a real adrenaline rush for ski and snow boarding junkies. Furthermore, you’ll find some of the steepest slopes in the world here as well. (more…)

Treat Yourself to a Ritz Carlton European Vacation

The right accommodations can make or break a vacation. If you’re unhappy with your hotel room or suite, it can put a damper on your holiday. After all, staying at a hotel should be a treat – one filled with comfortable beds, excellent food, great amenities, and more. The perfect location is important as well, a fact that the best hotel groups understand is essential to a great stay.

That’s why Ritz Carlton has spent more than 100 years perfecting the art of the luxury hotel, attending to all the little details and scouring locations until they find just the right one for their guests.

There are plenty of luxury hotel chains around the world, but Ritz Carlton is one of the oldest and best. The very name indicates posh accommodations that are sure to please picky travelers, and regardless of the location, each Ritz Carlton hotel provides a touch of local culture combined with the consistent service that’s present in all their properties worldwide.

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Experience a Traditional Catalan Christmas in Beautiful Barcelona

If your idea of the perfect Christmas doesn’t involve the powdery white stuff and if you’d much rather spend time swimming in the warm sea rather than trying to warm up with a cup of spiced cider this holiday season, beautiful, vibrant Barcelona may be just the place for you.

The capital of the Catalan region, Barcelona has become one of the most popular vacation destinations of the past decade. As the second largest city in Spain, it’s a thriving metropolis with a population of about 1.7 million. Blessed with a Mediterranean climate that includes mild winters perfect for holiday hobnobbing, Barcelona has a little of everything, from nearly a dozen UNESCO World Heritage sites and top-notch museums to warm, welcoming beaches that beckon Christmas visitors to come and sit awhile and enjoy the warm Catalonian sun.   (more…)

Germany’s Christkindlmarkets a Treat for Holiday Shoppers

Shopping for Christmas can get a bit mundane, especially in the U.S. Large shopping malls tend to be the destination of choice for most holiday gift buyers, and despite the Christmas “muzak” and cheery decorations, these shopping areas simply don’t put you in the holiday mood.

But in Europe, especially in Germany, the tradition of the Christkindlmarket brings shopping joy to both locals and visitors who hope to purchase something unique for their friends and family during the holiday season. (more…)

Ski Chamonix for Fun on the Slopes…and Off

Skiing in Europe is an amazing experience, especially for those who have never before stepped off a lift onto the powder of the magnificent Alps, surrounded by breathtaking scenery that’s difficult to duplicate.

While the continent has many notable skiing destinations, France’s most popular is undoubtedly the beautiful Chamonix, situated in the northwestern Alps where the borders of three countries – France, Switzerland, and Italy – meet. One of the oldest ski resorts in France, Chamonix and its valley are dominated by the impressive Mont Blanc range to the south and the so-called Red Peaks (Aiguilles Rouge) to the north. It’s a truly international destination that attracts skiers, climbers, and other winter and summer sports enthusiasts from around the world. Anyone who is anyone has skied at Chamonix and it’s not unusual to spy many a familiar face on the slopes and at the après ski locations in the tony village that surrounds them.  (more…)

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