Spring has sprung; the warmer weather is on its way, and you know what that means: summer holidays are just around the corner! If you’re a late bloomer and haven’t decided where you want to go for your summer break this year, do not fear – HND Insider has done a little digging for you.
The Independent reports that travellers seem to be setting their sights on Europe in 2018. If you love to travel Europe and enjoy spending your holidays rubbing (sweaty) shoulders with fellow tourists, we advise heading to the likes of Amsterdam or Madrid, but if you’d like some breathing space – some time to exhale and really enjoy your vacation – you might want to consider visiting some hidden gems in Europe instead.
1. They say visit Athens, we say visit Kokkari, Samos, Greece
Kokkari is a picturesque, old fishing village located on Samos – a Greek island ruled by legend and splendour. Samos is said to be the birthplace of the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, the philosopher Epicurus, and the astronomer Aristarchus – the first known individual to propose that the Earth revolves around the sun. The isle was an important centre of trade in the Aegean and a major naval force in ancient times – it came into contact with important Mediterranean cultures. Samos is a place of spectacular vegetation; all that surrounds the island seems to be made of colour and light. Visitors can enjoy the handful of clear-water beaches, harbour fronts and trails leading into the countryside, and let their breath be taken away by the caves, canyons and imposing mountains (the three capped peaks of Mount Karvouni).
2. They say visit Rome, we say visit Cinque Terre, Italy
The five enchanting, old Italy-style villages of Cinque Terre are located on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. Lonely Planet says that Cinque Terre is set amid some of the most dramatic coastal scenery on the planet. The location has been protected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) since 1997, and represents one of the best-preserved natural areas of the Mediterranean – excessive housing development and the creation of major roadways are banned, for example. If you’re a romantic, this location is a wonderful part of Italy to travel to as romance oozes from every pore – sun parched lemon groves, century-old fig trees and dramatic natural scenery are a plenty in the region; the cultivation of grapevines has also contributed to a unique and beautiful landscape surrounded by crystal clear waters.
3. They say visit Madrid, we say visit Cala Figuera, Spain
Cala Figuera is a district of Santanyí on the island of Majorca; it is described as one of the most beautiful places in the Balearic Islands; it’s known locally as ‘Little Venice’ likely due to its attractive traditional buildings and is a popular location for artists as well as visitors looking for authenticity and tranquility. Cala Figuera can be found on the quiet, secluded eastern coastline of Majorca and has been spared from most of the mass commercialisation that has swept across the island in recent decades; it was once a small, picturesque fishing village and now serves as the home to a thriving fishing community. Despite some inevitable tourism development, Cala Figuera remains discreet and has retained its inherent charm.
4. They say visit Paris, we say visit Bonifacio, Corsica, France
Bonifacio is a harbour town, rich with history, on the southern tip of the “weird and wonderful” island of Corsica, France. Bonifcio is Corsica’s oldest town and was founded around 830. More than half of Corsica falls within a park of which the hiking trails include the challenging GR 20. Trip Advisor recommends taking a train through the spectacular mountains to the beach and visiting the prehistoric Araguina-Sennola caves and Genoese towers. With plenty of adventurous activities (such as hiking, rafting, diving etc.), its millenary fortress, five historical monuments and 120 kilometres of coastline, Bonifacio offers enough to satisfy curiosities and fulfil holiday desires.
5. They say visit Amsterdam, we say visit Zaandam, the Netherlands
Leave Amsterdam in the dust and travel 30 minutes to the dream city of Zaandam, situated on the back of the Zaan river. The city comprises of strikingly-beautiful villages, canals and windmills (as the city used to serve as a milling centre in the Dutch Golden Age (17th century)). Zaandam’s most famous attraction is the neighborhood of Zaanse Schans; this is where the 18th and 19th centuries come back to life through the likes of a bakery museum and warehouse where clogs are still made today. Why not enjoy the Dutch landscape by going for a cycle or boat tour around the authentic wooden houses, mills, sheds and workshops?
Do you have a taste for travel? Perhaps a travel and tourism HND could be the perfect next step on your career path. Contact HND Insider today for more information.