Tag : europe

The delights of northern Europe and Scandinavia

The great thing about Europe is the incredible variety it offers. Think of a cruise around the continent and you probably assume I’m talking about the south – an itinerary that visits all those sun-drenched Mediterranean beaches. But a cruise around Europe doesn’t have to be about sun and sand; pick an itinerary to northern Europe and Scandinavia and you can discover everything from soothing hot springs to the Northern Lights. And personally, I think that beats a traditional seaside break any day of the week.

Of all the countries you can visit on a trip like this, Iceland, Norway and Sweden are my favourites. Below, I’m going to outline a few of the highlights of each place, while you can get an idea of potential itineraries at Fred. Olsen.


It’s no exaggeration to say that Iceland is full of wonders. Famous for waterfalls, wildlife and geysers, this country is somewhere that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. The capital city, Reykjavik, is the ideal place to be base yourself, and is a popular port of call on cruises.

First off, explore the city itself, such as the incredible sports area of Laugardalur, which is home to an open-air Olympic-size swimming pool. What’s even more remarkable about it is that it’s filled with thermal water. Other highlights include the lovely old quarter, which is home to narrow streets full of colourful wooden houses.

Another thing that makes Reykjavik such a fabulous destination is that there are so many amazing things to do and see in the local area. For instance, you could explore the ‘Golden Circle’, which is the nickname for the city’s three main local attractions – Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss and the Geysir area.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Thingvellir is famous for its remarkable landscapes, while Gullfoss is the most famous – and arguably most beautiful – waterfall in Iceland.


Next up is Alta, one of the best places in the world to see the beautiful phenomenon of the Northern Lights. The optimum time to see them is between late winter and early spring, but while they’re certainly a highlight, they’re not the only reason to come here.

You see, Alta has a great history too, dating all the way back to prehistoric times. That said, it’ll mostly be modern buildings you see, given that a sizeable chunk of the town was rebuilt following World War II. There are some historical marvels you can see just outside Alta, though, like Hjemmeluft – the largest collection of rock carvings in Scandinavia. Remarkably, these carvings date from as far back as 5,000 years ago.


Last up is Sweden. A cruise can take you to fantastic cities like Gothenburg which, like Reykjavik, offers a great mix of urban and natural attractions. What’s nice about Gothenburg is that it’s full of pretty 17th-century canals – and if they put you in mind of Holland, so they should, because they were designed by the Dutch.

If you come here, make sure you don’t only visit its amazing cultural attractions like Gotaplatsen (which is filled with museums, galleries, restaurants and more) but also the gorgeous rural areas just outside it. In fact, there’s a lovely little archipelago that gives you the chance to experience a totally different side of the city.

Called the Ockero municipality, this area consists of ten islands and is famous for its wonderful flora and fauna, not to mention scenic harbours. Make sure you bring your camera, because you’ll have the chance to get some absolutely stunning shots of the archipelago.

Categories: Uncategorized

Unique Places to Stay Around the World




The Cotswolds is one of the gems of the grand English Countryside with outstanding natural beauty and a great deal of homely accommodation. However, nothing beats staying in your very own rustic log cabin complete with hot tub. It is the perfect place to relax away from the bustling city, in a quiet self catering holiday or a weekend break.

All the way from Oxfordshire through Gloucestershire and down towards Bath sprawls a large number of log cabins with exclusive settings; from quiet country side lodge in Stratford to lakeside settings like the  Lake Porchad Lodges in Gloucestershire.

You can enjoy fun activities like swimming, cycling, trekking or sightseeing with full knowledge that you will relax in a warm log cabin some with extra facilities such as hot tubs and private pools. Visit the restaurants and sample the delights of the Cotswolds.


India boasts of a rich culture, broad variety of natural beauty and outstanding architectural beauty. So why not crown your Indian experience by staying in this culturally themed resort and step into a whole new adventure.

The Chokhi Dhani resort has a concept derived from the rich culture of the Rajasthan people: from the creative paintings to the traditional cuisine specially prepared to satisfy every curious culinary desire. Enjoy dishes served on leaf platters in traditional Manuhaar style.

The accommodation is an “out of this world” experience as you will be faced with a challenge to choose from the fifty nine ethnically designed cottages yet tastefully cozy and the luxurious Shekhawati Haveli Suites which define the history and culture from the Shekhawati  region of India. The intricate carvings, heavy mirror work and the artwork of the Shekhawati region are the inspiration for these grand havelis.

You will not only be enjoying a unique stay but also be thrilled by peculiar rides in this resort; you may ride a camel, elephant and bullock cart, or try boating on the tranquil Tal Talaiya Resort Lake with a fantastic waterfall at the end.



The chilling cold weather up the Alps may not be as welcoming as much as the tropical sun drenched beaches, but it is the coziness of staying in some of the world’s most luxurious ski chalets that is most welcoming. It is a place where the whole family can enjoy practicing their skiing skills while anticipating that hot mug of chocolate and rolling fire set in world class facilities.

Gone are the days when French ski chalets consisted mainly of woods, delicate fabrics and reindeer motifs. The Chic Chalet in particular is lavishly decorated in silver, grey, adorned in furs and installed with high-tech gadgets. Flat screens have technically replaced board games and indoor pools bring in a wholenew holiday touch to these luxurious chalets. Whether you are a seasoned skier or a learner or simply looking for adventure in the French Alps you will find something to suit you in the luxurious chalets; just pack a kindle if you plan to snuggle in the cozy chalets.




Categories: Uncategorized

Laponia, Sweden


Since time immemorial, travelling has been at the core of human activities. People travel for business trips, leisure or even pilgrimage. Thanks to improvement in the global transport systems, it is now much easier to access different destinations around the world.

Laponia, Sweden

Laponia, Sweden

Rather than flying down or hopping aboard a cruise ship for a transatlantic cruise from London to New York, you could opt for a more exotic travel experience. The United Kingdom offers a great deal of travel options outside of London; some of which may appear to be unusual destinations. Notwithstanding, these destinations make for a breathtaking travel experience.

Scandinavian Countries
Scandinavian is a historic region in Northern Europe that has a rich cultural heritage. It encompasses countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland. It is historically and geographically associated with a shared Scandinavian peninsula. The Scandinavian countries offer an array of travel options thus giving you more reasons to make it your premier travel destination.

Superb Transport Systems
Travel expenses are one of the factors you should consider before embarking on travelling. The type of transport system and modes in place for the same, determine travel costs. There are various transport systems and modes linking the Scandinavian countries together, starting with trains, road and air transport. What’s more? There are numerous connecting flights to world famous capital cities and you can take a flight to Stockholm, Copenhagen, and cheap flights to Oslo from anywhere in the world.
The flights to these capital cities are also cheap as compared to other capital cities. Into the bargain, there are cheap flights to Copenhagen and Oslo from any destination in the world.
There’s superb integration of the transport and communication systems of the Scandinavian countries with other European and worldwide countries. For example, there are flights to Copenhagen from London.
There are numerous benefits that come with taking flights to Scandinavian countries. Taking a cheap flight to Copenhagen or Oslo or Stockholm ensures that you enjoy magnificent scenery of islands, lakes, fjords and the spectacular view of the North-Atlantic Ocean from the heavens.

With the recent rise in global terror activities, there’s nothing more comforting to know when you are travelling that your relatives and friends’ security is assured. It’s worth-noting that Copenhagen flights have never been subjected to any terror attack in the history of terrorism incidences in civil aviation.
The political climate of the Scandinavian countries has been stable for a long time. Any chance of your flight to Stockholm or Copenhagen being ruined by political uprisings or turmoil is slim to none. This guarantees peace of mind and the security which is essential to any tourist who is interested in visiting unusual destinations found in the Scandinavian region.

The Scandinavian region presents an unusual destination for anyone wishing to travel and trust me, it’s worth the try. After all, it’s said the world is a book and those who do not travel adventurously read only one page!


Categories: Blog, Inspiration

Fixed up Abroad: 5 Countries with the Highest Quality Healthcare

The UK receives a great deal of attention for its universal, tax-funded healthcare system. Through nationwide contributions, the government is able to provide greatly reduced rates for its citizens on procedures ranging from cardiac and pulmonary surgery to tummy tucks and laser eye treatments in manchester. That being said, on a global scale, if you’re looking to travel abroad for an operation, it helps to have options. The UK’s healthcare system is truly fine, but surprisingly, the World Health report has it listed in spot #18. Fortunately for the European traveler, the top five are all in western Europe.

5. MaltaBecause Malta is an island, it already has a tourism-minded attitude. The hospitals have an elegant atmosphere and are staffed with US- and UK-trained specialists. Its small size makes medical facilities easy to access, and it boasts no waiting lines. This also means it doesn’t take long to get to the beach and unwind after the procedure.

4. AndorraThe big perk of visiting Andorra is that it does not require citizens of the USA, Canada, UK/EU and Australia to procure visas for visits up to 3 months. That makes it an excellent place for major surgery requiring longer recovery periods. Also, considering Andorra has the highest life expectancy in the world, you can imagine they’ve got something right.

3. San Marino

Not only does the Most Serene Republic of San Marino have the distinction of being the third smallest country in Europe, but it also has the third best healthcare system in the world. It can be an excellent alternative if you find yourself by the Adriatic coast and have trouble finding a hospital. That being said, you may not need to visit San Marino if you’re already in…

2. Italy

Apart from having one of the best healthcare systems in the world, Italy also may be one of the nicest places to convalesce after your procedure. The Mediterranean climate and relaxed lifestyle (not to mention the food) make this an excellent place to combine healing with fun.

1. France

After centuries of cultural rivalry with the UK, France has pulled ahead in healthcare. Combining public and private healthcare funding, France offers substantially lower prices than much of the rest of Europe, one more reason to smile in this romantic country. They’ll help straighten that smile too, if you want.

Categories: Travel Tips

backpacking in rome

The best places to get married in Europe….

Your Wedding day is special. It is probably going to be, without exception, the biggest day of your life and you are only going to do it once. So, most important of all, you need to get the location right. But where are some of the best places to get married in Europe…?

backpacking in rome

Firstly, what could be more romantic than getting married in Paris, The City of Love? You could take a trip down the Seine, visit the Eiffel Tower and exchange your vows in opulent beauty in one of Europe’s most glamorous cities! And after the Wedding, you could even take a trip to the Loire valley to visit the Chateau d’Usee; said to be the inspiration behind the French fairy tale of the famous Sleeping Beauty! What could be more romantic than that?

Well, how about getting married in Rome? Another of Europe’s most beautiful cities, Rome boasts some of the finest, most stunning churches in all of Italy and is a great location to tie the knot. Again, you could easily combine your Wedding with your Honeymoon as there is plenty to see and do in Rome from a trip to the Vatican to a journey up to the top of St.Peter’s Basilica that affords some of the greatest views all across the city…..

Finally, you could keep things more traditional and simply get married in Scotland. With its fine array of historic Castles, Scotland is a truly fine Wedding location and another great place around which to base your Honeymoon. You can’t get much more traditional than having your Groom wear a kilt in order to say his vows and this could be the final touch that makes your Wedding day more memorable for all…

Just remember, getting married outside of the U.K is not without its share of risk so wherever you choose, one thing you should definitely ensure is that all you and your guests have adequate Travel Insurance. You want your day to be memorable and special, but you should also ensure that it is so for all of the right reasons!


Categories: Blog, Business, Education

Shop Till You Drop – Milan

Milan has developed such a high-end reputation for everything stylish that it has become a hunting zone for budding fashionistas seeking to enhance their stalking stills so they can track down and bag those designer prizes. Whether your fashion goal is stark minimalism or decadent extravagance, once you are snuggled into a cozy Milan hotel you can find some on Hostelbookers.com and you can devise the best strategy for tackling the glitzy jungle of the latest trends and hot retro gear. Here are a few suggestions for your safari…

Shop on the Streets

Devote sunny mornings to cruising through venues like the Mercato di Via Lorenzini, a flea market that had developed into an open-air clothing extravaganza. Stalls carry everything from gently-used vintage gear to brand new fashion overstocks from top Italian designer houses. Expensive watches, hand-made Italian loafers, silk shirts and beaded evening gowns are interspersed with gaudy jewelry, cheesy knockoffs and fake relics — but half the fun is honing that instinct for what’s worthy of your consideration and what’s just junk. Expect discover something you never knew you wanted until you saw it and just had to have it…especially since it’s usually a bona fide bargain!

Shop by Label

From Armani to Versace, Milan is where the top designers showcase the best of their lines in exclusive shops devoted entirely to their label. The Montenapoleone district in the center of Milan has the densest concentration of designer boutiques, along with stylish spas and beauty shops that have beauty experts who can tweak you out with the latest cosmetic tricks. Fashion designer teams like Dolce & Gabban provide on-site tailoring and advice on accessories so your new threads look as impressive you feel.

Shop with a Tour

For a crash course in Milan shopping without the hassle of driving or parking, sign up for a tour led by a skilled guide who understands how to apply “retail therapy.” For bargain hunters, the price of the tour is easily compensated by trips to outlet malls like Serravalle. You see, as a tour member you receive even deeper discounts on the already slashed prices you’ll find on high-demand names like Calvin Klein, Nike, Bulgari and Cavalli.

Shop by Gondola

For the ultimate fashionista experience, hire a private gondola to take you on a cruise of the romantic section of Milan, enchanting Navigli. Glide up to fashionable boutiques and eateries with entrances right on the canals. Shop for handmade Italian shoes, contemplate fledging designers’ cutting-edge styles or revert to tried and true fashions at vintage stores where they will not only perform on-the-spot alterations, they will suggest appropriate accessories from their ever-changing inventory. As evening falls, your gondolier returns you and your purchases to home port while you admire the sunset reflecting on the silky waters and pass under beautifully arched bridges trimmed with sparkling lights.

Where to Drop

Eventually, even the most die-hard shopper has to call it a day, and THE place to drop when you’re all shopped out and ready to play in Milan is the B:free Cocktail Bar at Via Lecco 21. A perfect place to show off your new threads and pick up tips for future excursions, this contemporary lounge sports a hot pink décor that somehow makes everyone look good. Expect fashionable drinks and artsy nibbles for a reasonable price.

Categories: Blog, Business, Money