Europe’s Best Culinary Cities are a Foodie’s Delight

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-street-cafe-paris-image21874566Some people eat to live. Others live to eat. If you’re part of the latter group, chances are your vacations always include trips to great restaurants. If you’re an avid foodie, you probably do a little food-based research before you go, zeroing in on a few of your destination’s best restaurants or perhaps some signature dishes that you simply MUST try while in town.

Europe, of course, offers a wealth of some of the world’s most magnificent culinary capitals. Some are easy to guess while others might not be so obvious. A number have been on this list for decades and others are relatively new on the list of notable European food destinations. Take a look and consider including one or more of these on your next vacation itinerary. (more…)

Scotland’s Malt Whiskey Trail is the Only One of its Kind in the World

475441143Wine lovers make it a habit of seeking out great wineries while traveling the world. There’s nothing like discovering a wonderful vintage to add to your list of favorites. But if whiskey is more your speed, you don’t really have the same kind of tasting opportunities as these wine aficionados who kind it easy to locate winery tours and tasting trips in many parts of Europe…unless you go to Scotland.

Scotland’s Malt Whiskey Trail, the only one of its kind on the planet, is the whiskey lover’s dream route, featuring more than half the malt whiskey distilleries in the country. Along the way, visitors are treated to lessons in distilling, behind-the-scenes tours of the distilleries and warehouses, and – of course – the opportunity to taste some of these unique, hand-crafted malts. Add to that the beauty of the area through which the trail runs and you’ve got a vacation activity that’s ideal for anyone who loves that amber-colored liquid and wants to explore Speyside as well. (more…)

Breathtaking Colors Mark the Presence of Autumn in Europe

160541121In the U.S., fall foliage tours are commonplace. Tens of thousands of Americans pile into their cars and head to spots like New England or the north central states to enjoy the wonderful colors of autumn, intent on capturing beautiful photos or simply content to enjoy the view.

In Europe, there are countless spots where the fall leaves are equally as breathtaking. These locations are scattered throughout mainland Europe and the British Isles as well, so if you’re interested in making a trip to see the autumn leaves, you’ve got plenty of choices. But you better hurry up because – before you know it – the leaves will have fallen and Old Man Winter will begin to descend on the continent.

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The Outer Hebrides are Ideal for an Outdoorsy Vacation

87466942Located off the west coast of mainland Scotland, the Outer Hebrides is a lush and historic archipelago of volcanic rock islands that beckon visitors who are looking for a natural vacation. Much of the archipelago is protected habitat, filled with wildlife and breathtaking scenery that’s a photographer’s dream.

But there’s also plenty to explore outside the reserves, and you can easily fill several days making your way between the seven islands that make up the Outer Hebrides. Several of them fill plenty of the needs of visitors including lovely places to stay and even a lively social scene that’s indicative of a wonderful yet rugged island lifestyle.  (more…)

Aberdeen, Scotland’s Other City, is Well Worth a Visit

140402454For decades, Scotland’s third-largest city, Aberdeen, was referred to as “The Grey City”. That doesn’t sound very appealing, does it? But the “grey” in “grey city” doesn’t indicate that this wonderful coastal city is dull or boring. The word, instead, refers to the locally-produced hearty grey granite that was used to construct many of the buildings there. Actually, “silver” is the more appropriate word, as the high mica levels in the granite seemingly make this vibrant city sparkle, making it especially appealing to visitors who want to explore more than just Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The people that made their home in the Aberdeen of old made their living from the sea, in shipbuilding, or at one of the many paper or textile mills that dotted the city. Today, technology and agricultural research top the list of industries in Aberdeen, and the city – which is uber cultural – boasts an excellent tourist infrastructure as well. It’s also known for its stellar nightlife and great shopping!  (more…)

Glasgow is Scotland’s Modern-day Gem

139399257Glasgow and Edinbugh. The two are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Though Glasgow is just 45 miles away from Scotland’s other popular urban destination, it has a mind of its own. Before some renewal projects occurred, it used to be quite gritty, while Edinburgh was quintessential fairytale Great Britain, with its castle on the hill, charming homes, and pretty side streets.

Glasgow, however, never really had that charm. But it has something different. A sort of joie de vivre. A true urban excitement evident in the crowded streets, music-filled “style” bars, and plentiful art galleries. And for the past 20 years or so, it’s really come to the attention of those who love cities, and travel publications keep placing it on their lists of great cultural towns and the like. It’s easy to see why! Glasgow is a true modern city with everything you’d expect to find there, sans the trappings of Edinburgh or even London. (more…)

Catch the Spirit of Scotland on a Fun Whiskey Tour

151521151Okay, admit it! While the idea of seeing Scotland’s wonderful cities and pretty countryside mildly excites you, what you really want to do on your next visit to Scotland – besides perhaps playing a round or two of golf – is to take time to sample the country’s wonderful whiskeys. More than just having a sip or two with dinner, true whiskey aficionados can arrange an official whiskey tour of the country, complete with opportunities not only to taste that “liquid gold” but also to meet distillery owners and learn more about the process of making fine Scotch Whiskey.

If you’re a fan of Scotland’s favorite spirit, you can ask your travel agent to book such a tour for you. These tours can range from trips that take just several hours or perhaps a day to complete to others that are multi-day. You choose how much time you want to spend discovering the fine art of whiskey making and your agent will design a trip to match your interest.          (more…)

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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Book a Luxury Golf Tour of Scotland

Die-hard golf aficionados invest every inch of their being in the sport. They play whenever possible, watch tournaments on television, look for the finest and newest equipment, and do their best to engage their friends and family in the sport as well. So when it comes to vacations, many golf addicts make sure to include at least a little golf time on the itinerary, checking out the best courses at each of their holiday destinations.

But for the ultimate golfer, nothing compares to a vacation that is centered on that favorite pastime. And nowhere is a golf vacation as appropriate is in bonnie Scotland, where the sport originated and continues to thrive centuries later. What could be better than golfing on some of the greatest and most historic courses in the world? How about combining those experiences with stays in upscale hotels, meals at five-star restaurants, and a host of other unforgettable Scottish memories that add up to an unforgettable trip. (more…)

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