Mozart Lovers will Adore Charming Salzburg

177827639If ever there was a city that was proud of its native son, it’s Salzburg. Birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg continuously puts its best musical foot forward, with the quirky genius at the forefront of concerts and festivals offered throughout the city just about all year long. It was the backdrop for The Sound of Music too, and is home to a few of the most excellent musical venues in Europe.

Music aside, however, Salzburg offers plenty more as well. First of all, it’s just plain stunning. With the beautiful Salzach River running through it and dramatic mountains framing the cityscape, Salzburg is breathtaking, whether you visit in the winter when it’s dusted with snow, in the spring when the flowers are abloom, in the colorful autumn, or even in the summer, when it’s full of Mozart-loving, Sound-of-Music-singing tourists. It’s a city you can easily spend a week exploring and not be bored. Or combine your trip to Salzburg with a visit to Innsbruck, Munich, or even Vienna – the latter ideal for those who truly love music history.  (more…)

Tiny Luxembourg Small European Gem

184445632Though the hoopla has been nothing compared to the birth of England’s Prince George, the people of tiny Luxembourg have been in the news lately, delighted over the announcement that their prince and his wife will soon be welcoming their first child. It’s a happy time for the small country whose citizens love their royals as fiercely as the Brits adore theirs.

Actually, there’s plenty to love about Luxembourg, the Grand Duchy sandwiched between Germany, France, and Belgium. It has a lot going for it, from lovely natural scenery to gleaming cityscapes and plenty of cultural offerings as well. It’s well worth a stop if you happen to be nearby and it’s a nice change from the many busy spots that surround it. Furthermore, it’s super easy to navigate by car but there’s also great public transportation. The urban areas are wonderful to explore on foot as well.  (more…)

Corfu the Ideal Destination for Beachgoers AND History Lovers

150512388Located off the northwestern coast of mainland Greece, lovely Corfu is one of those vacation destinations that have a little bit of everything. As an island, of course, it’s strewn with beautiful beaches and plenty of water-based activity, but – just like the rest of Greece – it’s also full of fascinating history in the form of fortresses, castles, stunning architecture, and so much more, including an entire Old City that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

So, you can visit Corfu to enjoy some fun in the sun or to take in its often turbulent but certainly fascinating past. Ideally, you’ll want to do a little bit of each.  (more…)

Explore The Netherlands’ Lovely Castles

177128987If you’re a lover of castles, manors, and other royal residences, you’re in for a treat while exploring the beautiful countryside of The Netherlands. From the borders near Germany and Belgium to the vast expanses by the North Sea, The Netherlands is full of spectacular castles, some in excellent condition and others little more than barely recognizable ruins. But for the castle fanatic, a trip from one to another is certainly exciting, and the opportunity for great photos abound.

Below we’ve listed some of our favorite Netherlands castles you might want to consider visiting next time you’re heading to Holland.

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Spend This Year’s Spring Break in Europe!

174426845Okay, you’re not the Ft. Lauderdale/South Padre Island/Puerto Vallarta spring break type but are looking for a fun and perhaps slightly more sophisticated opportunity during your weeklong hiatus from college life. So why not go to Europe?

There are a number of destinations in Europe that have landed on the spring break hot list, from beach locales to cities that provide not only plenty of young adult fun but also a little culture as well. Which you choose will depend on how you want to spend those precious seven days in the middle of your stressful semester. But here are a handful of our favorite spring break recommendations for your consideration.

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Enjoy City Life in Sprawling Auckland, New Zealand

176796713(1)As big cities go, Auckland is right up there with the best of them. If you seek cosmopolitan excitement on your Down Under excursion, you’ll find that Auckland offers just about everything you’ll need for a true urban vacation, from great hotels and restaurants to top-notch shopping, club-hopping, and sightseeing. Add to that the fact that you can reach non-urban destinations, like beautiful beaches and forests, in just minutes and you’ve got the perfect base for your New Zealand vacation.

Auckland is home to some million-and-a-half Kiwis and boasts the largest Polynesian population of any city on the planet. But don’t let the crowds scare you away. The city really does exude that laid-back feeling you’d expect to find in a spot with so many friendly Polynesian peoples, and it’s long been ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world and a great place to raise children. It boasts a temperate climate and though the summers can be humid, the average January, February, and March temps top out at only about 75 degrees, making it a great place to visit while the U.S. is buried in snow. (more…)

Already Sick of Snow? Plan a Spring Vacation to Beautiful Lake Como

157831203Snow gotcha down? You’re not alone. Every year, those who simply don’t like the cold weather – and even those who do – profess to miss the warmth and sunshine of the milder months. They long for higher temps, blossoming flowers, and the opportunity to walk around without worrying about slipping on the ice. Some escape to warmer climates. Others get to work on planning their spring getaway – a great way to celebrate the end of the often dismal winter months.

Italy is beautiful in the springtime, especially the Lake Como region, where the water is sparkling and the new buds of spring are beginning to peek through the dirt. Located in Lombardy, the lake is 56-square-miles in size and is the third largest in Italy. It has long been a popular vacation destination with royalty and well-to-do visitors – with many “famous” visitors, like George Clooney, owning property there – and remains as such to this day, offering not only captivating scenery but also excellent hotels and plenty of things to do.

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Extreme Sports Fanatics will Love Ice Climbing in Norway

160058937If you’re thrilled when the temps reach below freezing and you can’t wait to get out there in the snow and ice, perhaps you’ve already pondered the possibility of doing a little ice climbing. Or maybe you’ve already given the sport a try, excited about the adrenaline rush that comes with climbing frozen surfaces in some of the most stunning locations around the world, from the U.S. to the Alps to the ultra-cold locations found in Scandinavia.

Norway, in particular, has become quite popular with avid ice climbers. Winter climbing enthusiasts from around the world flock to Norway in droves – starting in about mid-to-late October straight until early April – eager to find the best climbable ice available for their sport. Experts say the most optimal time to go is from about mid-January to mid-March, when the ice is at its finest and there are plenty of daylight hours available for climbing.

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Get a Taste of the Good Life in South Australia’s Prolific Wine Regions

144874921Australia is home to so much diversity, not just in its population but also its landscape. On one hand, there are marvelous sunny beaches where visitors can swim, surf, and dive, while – on the other hand – the continent plays host to some of the driest, most barren spots on the planet.

Australia is also home to locales where the conditions are just right for growing grapes and producing some of the finest vintages available. Some of the best spots for winemaking are in South Australia, just outside the region’s wonderful capital of Adelaide, a smallish city that provides urban perks while also serving as the gateway to the area often referred to as the wine capital of the continent.

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Dublin’s Top 5 Hotels Ideal for a Late Winter Vacation

106457930If you’re the type of traveler who just doesn’t enjoy dealing with crowds AND is blessed with a schedule that allows for traveling flexibility, you probably already know that the late winter and early spring months are often an ideal time for a vacation to Europe. Though the weather in most locales can be a little iffy, if you’re heading to a vibrant city like Dublin, you’ll find that there’s so much to do and see that you won’t even notice the chilly temps or the less-than-blue skies.

Dublin, increasingly popular with international travelers, can be overwhelmingly crowded in the summertime but wide open and wonderful to explore when it’s mostly you and the locals. Furthermore, if you’re interested in a stay at one of the city’s luxury hotels, you’ll find the prices lower and the service especially top-notch, simply because there are fewer guests to please.

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