Planning a Summer Surfing Trip…to Europe??

179273508Unless you’re a real surfing aficionado, you’ve probably never put the words “Europe” and “surfing” together in the same sentence. Most non-surfers acquaint the sport with locations like Hawaii, Florida, California, Bali, Australia, and other more familiar spots where the surfing scene is quite well-known. But there are a number of spots in Europe where the opportunities for surfing are spectacular, so if you’ve thought about looking for new places to enjoy the sport, consider this list of potential surf spots…some of our favorites. (more…)

Lucerne is One of Switzerland’s Storybook Towns

465786989Just about all of Switzerland is beautiful, from the larger cities like Geneva and Zurich to the wonderful mountain destinations such as Zermatt, which attracts skiers from around the world. Switzerland also has its share of smaller cities and towns as well – many that are truly picturesque – and Lucerne ranks right up there with the most lovely and traditional in style. If you conjure up a picture in your mind of the typical Alpine Swiss town, it’s Lucerne that you’ll see in your mind’s eye.

A city of about 75,000 residents, measuring some 6 square miles in size, Lucerne is situated on the shore of the lake of the same name and is seemingly just a stone’s throw from Mounts Rigi and Pilatus in the Alps. It’s just 40 minutes from the Zurich Airport and is an easy city to traverse once you get there; you can explore on foot or via the city’s very good transportation system, which includes both trolleys and buses. It’s also simple to reach Lucerne by rail. (more…)

A Visit to Europe’s D-Day Beaches Offers a Somber but Rewarding Trip

181912526As the years pass, there are fewer and fewer individuals in the world that truly remember the vivid details of World War II. Of course, we’ve all read about the war in our history books and – if we were fortunate – we were able to hear stories from grandparents and others who either fought in the war or remembered what it was like to be an American (or European) during that time when so much of the world was in conflict.

But we don’t ever have to forget about those brave men and women, even when the storytellers are gone. A visit to the many sights of the battles of World War II are a wonderful way to pay tribute. Especially moving is a trip to the beaches associated with D-Day – June 6, 1944, and as the 70th anniversary of the event approaches, many travelers are opting to include these locations on their next European itinerary. (more…)

Ireland Offers a Vast Array of Wonderful Museums

dv656006Many visitors head to Ireland strictly to enjoy the country’s natural beauty. And beautiful it is…offering dramatic cliffs, lovely green pastures, sparkling lakes, and so much more. But Ireland certainly has an arts-and-culture side too, certainly in Dublin and Belfast, but also in other parts of the country where you might think that locating a museum or any sort is pretty much out of the question.

The museums here range in subject matter from ethnological and natural history museums to art galleries to a place that even offers to educate you about those little magical Irish creatures. Whatever your preference, you’ll no doubt find some great attractions to keep you busy while you’re not oohing and aahing at the scenery. (more…)

Summers are Twice as Fun with Visits to Europe’s Best Amusement Parks

186333393In the U.S., summer often means a trip to the family’s favorite theme park, whether it’s the world’s most popular vacation destination – Walt Disney World – or a small hometown amusement park that’s been entertaining your family for years. Things aren’t so different in Europe. When the pleasant weather of the spring and summer appears, it’s time for theme park enthusiasts to point their cars towards their favorite park for a day or two of fun.

Visitors to various European countries might consider including some of these parks on their next itinerary. Most are just lovely, some are extra exciting, and you’ll probably find that spending time at any of the spots listed below will create lasting memories for you and your companions, whether you’re traveling with children or with other adults who simply love to play. (more…)

Check Out a Few of Europe’s Top Golf Courses on your Next Vacation

477422581If you’re an avid golfer but you live in a cold climate, chances are you really miss the opportunity to play the game during the winter months. Maybe you steal away occasionally to a warmer climate for a few rounds, but there’s a good chance you’re chomping at the proverbial bit, just waiting to get back on the links and hone your golfing skills.

One of the nicest things about being a golfer is that the game is popular the world over. That means you can often squeeze in a few rounds while traveling, especially in Europe, where there are tons of golf aficionados. As a matter of fact, Europe boasts some of the highest-rated golf courses in the world and there are many that we’re certain you’ll want to try on your next visit to the Old Country. Here’s a list of a few of our favorites.

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Cannes has More to Offer than Just a Film Festival

179296046No doubt you’ve heard of the Cannes Film Festival. Each May, celebrities arrive in droves to this French Riviera destination to screen top films in a huge variety of categories. Some you’ve already heard about. Others may never make it past Cannes. It’s a wonderful event that places a huge spotlight on the charming destination. But potential visitors should know that Cannes is much more than just an annual film festival. As a matter of fact, those who don’t particularly relish crowds will enjoy the town much more when the crowds have gone home and there’s more room to stretch out on the golden sand beaches.

But don’t misunderstand. No matter than you visit, Cannes is all about opulence, and even if you’re not there when the film makers and their stars are in town, you’ll still be treated to plenty of celebrity sightings. That said, however, you don’t need to be a famous individual to enjoy your time there, but you will have to drop some serious bucks if you truly want to immerse yourself in the culture and lavishness of Cannes. (more…)

Traveling Solo? Consider these Safe and Friendly European Countries

452532465In the “olden” days, only the bravest traveled alone, making their way from North America to the countries of Europe. Family members back at home worried for the wayfarer’s health and safety, certain that some great catastrophe would befall their very independent relative. These days, however, it’s certainly not unusual for individuals of just about any age to embark on overseas travel by themselves, including women, all of whom can be perfectly safe overseas as long as they heed appropriate warnings.

There are a lot of advantages to travel by oneself. First of all, you can design your itinerary to be as self-indulgent as you’d like and no one will complain. On your agenda should be all the things YOU like and all the things you’ve always wanted to do. You’re not on anyone else’s time schedule. In addition, solo travelers often take more time to stop and smell the roses and to meet the locals as well.  They often connect with the culture more than those traveling with one or more companions, simply because they have more time and a larger desire to truly immerse themselves.

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Ciao, Hola, Guten Tag: Learning the Language Before You Go

172587502Heading to Europe this year? There’s no doubt your vacation will be exciting and may even be that once-in-a-lifetime trip you’ve always dreamed about. But if you’re heading to a foreign country where English isn’t the native language, chances are you’ve experienced a little trepidation about communicating during your travels, especially if you plan to do a lot of independent exploring. Because of that, perhaps you’ve thought about trying to learn some of the language of the country you’ll be visiting.

These days, that’s not a tough task, even if you’re one of those people that hated high school Spanish or French. With so many books, programs, and apps available for those who want to learn just a bit of a new language in a short amount of time, it’s easier than ever to learn to communicate with the locals when you make your trip to Europe. Here’s a list of some of our favorite ways to learn important words, sentences, and more. Check em’ out!

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A Handful of Helpful Tips for Retirees Traveling to Europe

160531809Avid travelers come in a variety of age ranges, but retirees are among the most frequent travelers these days. To many of us it seems natural, of course, to want to travel when you’ve worked hard your entire life to amass enough money to embark on some exciting adventures and when your responsibilities are few enough that you don’t need to stay at home all the time. As a matter of fact, retirees/seniors spend more money on travel each year than any other age group.

However, when you travel at an older age, there are indeed things that you probably want to do differently than if you were still in your 20s or 30s. That doesn’t mean, of course, that you’ll have any less fun. On the contrary, you’ll probably have a better time, be more relaxed, and discover some exciting opportunities if you consider a few of our suggestions and ideas.

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