Tag Archives: destinations

Where to go next in 2018

New Year and all the new travel possibilities…

Every year there is a buzz about new ‘in’ places to go. Unfortunately by the time they are on the radar they are already ‘discovered’ by hoards of tourists. So this year on my wish list of destinations I’ve picked places often passed over to go somewhere else more popular. Yet all these places are exciting in their own right and will definitely entice travelers in the near future for they are gorgeous destinations with loads to offer. Get there first…

 

BolognaMany times one goes through Bologna by train on the way to Venice or Rome, yet Bologna offers as much history, charm, and most importantly food! as its more famous neighbours. Medieval streets and historical sights in a town almost free of tourists and crushing crowds. Want to taste the real Italy, this is it, from its locals only atmosphere to some of the best food in the world. They don’t call this region of Italy the “Belly of Italy” for nothing, some of the best produce comes from this region along with a legacy of top notch producers keeping the Slow Food movement alive and well. A must see destination for foodies and historians alike.

AmsterdamIs having a moment, a very trendy moment. And wait too long to go and you will get there when it has already become the hipster destination in every Instagram post. It already has the coffee houses. But Amsterdam possesses romance and magic, canals and delightful architecture that win everyone over with its easy appeal. 

Boston – The first proper North American city, Boston is as American as it comes. From Paul Revere, the Freedom Trail, and the Boston Tea Party, the birth of a nation began here. And it is fun and easy to access in this handsome city.  Often passed over for the Big Apple, Boston while smaller, can boast of its own culinary place with choice restaurants and first class cuisine, much of it local seafood. Some great museums makes Boston a cultural city as well, and the continual variety of events means there is lots to do no matter what you fancy.

Antwerp – Yes Brugges is a gem, but Antwerp too is a jewel of its own. While Brugges has  charisma, Antwerp has elegance and sophistication. Astonishing architecture, the city shows off gilded details of its past while incorporating new and exciting design forward modernity. Definitely a destination for designers.

Milos – The allure of the beauty of Mykonos but on a smaller, less traveled, less partied island of Milos is near heaven on earth for those looking for a quieter Greek holiday. Breathtaking views, all turquoise and white, picturesque stone streets covered with cascading branches and vines is the place of dreams.

Puebla – Two hours outside of the massive Mexico City is a much smaller colonial city of Puebla. The historic center is the essence of Mexico and visions of what most people conjure up when they think of this country. Known for its majolica tiles Puebla is stunningly pretty and a region of over 365 churches, one for every day of the year, most covered in these decorated tiles. Streets are brilliantly colourful from the painted houses to the balloon sellers walking along bustling in clouds of shiny bubbles. It is Mexico like you want it to be.

Sorrento –  Most people forgo Sorrento for the more celebrated destinations such as Positano and Ravello. And you are missing out. Granted Sorrento is a bit more town than village, but it has real charm and character. Also this is where the Italians go when they want to spend time on the Amalfi Coast. So, if its good enough for them…

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September getaway…

Once the tourist crowds have left September becomes Summer’s last hurrah!

If you’re like me, you are itching to go away again somewhere by mid August. But that is the busiest time of year for so many European destinations and the last thing you want is to be body checking your way through a sea of people. So if you can hold on just a while longer… long enough for families to return, kids go back to school and high season prices to go down, a September getaway might just be the prefect tonic to get you through the colder months ahead. Here are some suggestions to get you started…

Madrid – A sophisticated metropolitan city with sunshine and more importantly tapas bars! The appealing historic center and the open spaces makes it a great combination of culture both indoors and out. Whether it be taking in a museum or taking in the sun at the Plaza Mayor with a glass of sangria, Madrid makes for a warm cultivated break.

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Seville – A two hour train ride from Madrid takes you to the quintessential Spanish city of Sevilla. Decorative tiles, romantic architecture and colourful streets capture the true spirit of Spain alongside its breathtaking cathedral and Plaza de España. Have drinks and tapas at El Rinconcillo before taking in a flamenco show.

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Ostuni, Puglia – Sea breezes touch this white washed hill town. Puglia is where Italy meets Greece sharing that same blue Aegean sea. And not far from this sea, surrounded by olive trees is the White City of Ostuni, an almost fairy tale like town with charming small cafes and mystical winding streets. It is quiet, laid back yet stylish. The boutique hotel Relais La Sommitá offers a chic stay with a wonderful fine dining restaurant Cielo that makes it easy to sit back over a glass of wine and look out to the sea in the distance.

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Taormina – A perfect late summer escape with the temperatures still quite warm, the seacoast and a charming town to walk in. For cooling off, excellent granita can be found at Bam Bar or an aperitivo on the piazza. Enticing restaurants and choice local wines make it a substantial getaway for foodies, while a selection of refined hotels make it easy to keep everything within walking distance.

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Rome – is always a good idea but in late September when the Italians have resigned themselves that beach days are over and normal life continues there is a relaxed hum of people getting about their business just not too quickly yet. Yes there are still tourists but a few less so the line for gelato at Giolitti is not as long if you want an afternoon treat. The weather still allows for a lazy afternoon prosecco in the gardens of the Hotel de Russie while autumn fashion fills the shops in anticipation. A bit of both worlds and changing seasons.

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Shared Link: The 30 Most Beautiful Towns in Europe

The Telegraph travel team pick some of the loveliest lesser known towns and villages in Europe to offer up fresh travel inspiration…

The 30 Most Beautiful Towns in Europe

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I have wanted to go to Procida for ages as well as Civita de Bagnoregio and this article has once again inspired me to seek out those lovely little towns and villages in Italy as well as broadening my horizons to other European destinations. With the ever growing tourism market, and the crush of more tourists and visitors it is a relief to find little jewels like this, not only to escape the crowds but to get there before the pack follow!

Destinations 2015

Where to go in 2015

Seville, Spain Quintessential Spain at its best. Leafy streets and narrow passages with fashionable old world balconies and baby grand plazas. Add a bit of flamenco and sherry in an outdoor cafe and it makes a relaxing yet cultural getaway.

Taormina, Sicily With the Amalfi Coast being the overly popular spot, exchange lemon trees for orange groves and check out the stylish resort town of Taormina in Sicily. It was a stop on the Grand Tour and it is time to rediscover its charms again.

Denver, CO. Becoming hipper by the day and worth a stop on the way to the excellent skiing throughout Colorado. A bit of Americana and the Wild West.

Oaxaca, Mexico Is the real Mexico at its best. Many archeological sites, baroque Spanish churches and traditional Mexican towns and markets. Some of the best artisans in the country along with great cuisine and powerful mezcal will give you a taste of the true Mexico.

Vienna, Austria Cultured, with a robust cafe life, famous pastries, and music at every corner, makes this historical city, this decade’s Prague.

Milan, Italy Nothing will be hotter or hipper than a trip to Milano this year as it gets ready to host a huge “Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life” Expo from May through October. And lets not forget the fashion…

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“Soooo two years ago”… Brooklyn, New York and Hudson New York are passe mainly due to Hipsters making it way too hip! Everyone has been there and done that and if you haven’t done it you probably don’t want to as all that is left is what has been picked over. Stay tuned though… Brooklyn has a way of making a comeback.

Where’s to Go Now (Italy)

Just like fashion, travel has trends. And while Paris may always be a good idea and New York never sleeps, some places are more popular then others in given moments. There is buzz about certain destinations and suddenly a particular city is seen or discussed in virtually every magazine.

A couple of years ago Sicily was all the rage, and before that Umbria was the new Tuscany, and Puglia was the ‘undiscovered’ Italy. So what is on trend right now and what will be the place to be if you want to be cutting edge and get ahead of the game? Here are some picks:

 

What’s HOT now:

Naples: Those in the know, know about Naples. Not exactly a diamond in the rough but more a baroque pearl in its scraggly shell: sharp and rough on the outside but with huge treasure you have to work at to get to on the inside. Indeed Naples takes over the senses and can be overwhelming but can also be very exhilarating. This is no longer just a stop on the way to the Amalfi Coast and…

Capri: Once the most fashionable place to spend the summer, it’s appeal is once again, well, back in style. To truly enjoy Capri it is best done by staying on the island and not as a day tripper. In the late afternoon when the boat loads of tourists go back to the mainland and the island empties out, one can relax on the piazzetta to people watch over an aperitivo and take in the sea air.

 

Making a Comeback:

Venice and the Amalfi Coast have been visited, photographed, and talked about ad nauseum, but that was a while ago and now it feels fresh again. The point is to go off the beaten track a bit. In Venice go far beyond St. Mark’s Square and when visiting the Amalfi Coast push farther beyond Positano for a less generic experience.

 

The Next BIG Thing

Matera: Located in Basilicata, in Southern Italy, this small hill town was once considered the poorest part of Italy and has changed so dramatically in 20 years it is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site. And understandably so as it is one of a kind. People’s homes are in caves and it is has its own magical appeal. Truly unique.

Ischia: That other island off the Bay of Naples, is quieter, quainter, and at the moment not overly touristy.

 

 

 

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