Breathtakingly European Places

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Euro A
Reine, Norway

Reine is a fishing village and the administrative centre of the municipality of Moskenes in Nordland county, Norway. Wikipedia
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Euro B - Bled Slovenia
Bled Slovenia

Bled, a Slovenian resort town in the foothills of the Julian Alps, is set along the glacial Lake Bled. On a cliff overlooking the lake is the 11th-century Bled Castle, which houses a museum, chapel and printing press. Atop an inslet in the lake’s center is the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria and its steep staircase and bell tower.

Euro C - Germany
Quedlinburg, Germany

Quedlinburg is a town situated just north of the Harz mountains, in the district of Harz in the west of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. In 1994, the castle, church and old town were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Wikipedia
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Euro D - Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt, in southern Switzerland’s Valais canton, is a mountain resort renowned for skiing, climbing and Alpine recreation. The town of Zermatt (elevation: 1,620m) is set below the iconic, snowcapped Matterhorn peak. Its main street, Bahnhofstrasse, has upscale boutiques, lodging from luxurious hotels to modest chalets, and a lively apres-ski scene. There are public outdoor rinks for ice-skating and curling.

Euro E - Aiguèze, France
Aiguèze, France

Aiguèze is a commune in the Gard department in southern France. Since 2005, Aiguèze has been a member of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, the first such location in Gard. Wikipedia
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Euro F - Lacock, England
Lacock, England

Lacock is a village and civil parish in the rural county of Wiltshire, England, 3 miles from the town of Chippenham. The village is owned almost in its entirety by the National Trust and attracts many visitors by virtue of its unspoiled appearance. Wikipedia
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Euro G - Reine, Norway
Reine, Norway

Reine is a fishing village and the administrative centre of the municipality of Moskenes in Nordland county, Norway. Wikipedia
.
EURO H - Procida, Italy
Procida, Italy

Procida is one of the Flegrean Islands off the coast of Naples in southern Italy. The island is between Cape Miseno and the island of Ischia. Wikipedia
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Euro I - Sintra, Portugal
Sintra, Portugal

Sintra is a resort town in the foothills of Portugal’s Sintra Mountains, near the capital of Lisbon. A longtime royal sanctuary, its forested terrain is studded with pastel-colored villas and palaces. The Moorish- and Manueline-style Sintra National Palace is distinguished by its dramatic twin chimneys and elaborate tilework. The hilltop 19th-century Pena National Palace is known for its whimsical design and sweeping views.

Euro J - Korčula, Croatia
Korčula, Croatia

Korčula is a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, off the mainland’s Pelješac peninsula. The town Korčula is known for the medieval towers and walls fortifying its harbor. Its central square features the Cathedral of St. Mark, begun in the 14th century. The island’s beaches include Vela Przina, a wide crescent that’s popular with families, and Pupnatska Luka, a turquoise cove.

Euro K - Bickensohl, Germany
Bickensohl, Germany

Bickensohl is located in the region of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Baden-Wuerttemberg’s capital Stuttgart (Stuttgart) is approximately 138 km / 86 mi away from Bickensohl (as the crow flies). The distance from Bickensohl to Germany’s capital Berlin (Berlin) is approximately 643 km / 399 mi (as the crow flies).

Euro L - Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt is a village in Austria’s mountainous Salzkammergut region. Its 16th-century Alpine houses and Gothic Catholic church sit on Lake Hallstatt’s western shore. A funicular connects to Salzwelten, an ancient salt mine with a subterranean salt lake and multimedia presentations on the village’s mining history. To the west, a trail leads to the Echern Valley with its glacial potholes and Waldbachstrub Waterfall.

Euro M - La Rock France
La Roque-Gageac. France

La Roque-Gageac is a commune in the Dordogne department in Aquitaine, southwestern France. Perched above the Dordogne River, the village is a member of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France association. Wikipedia
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Euro N - Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Portree is the largest town on Skye in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. It is the location for the only secondary school on the Island, Portree High school. Public transport services are limited to buses. Wikipedia
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euro O - Greece
Oia, Greece

Oia or Ia is a small town and former community in the South Aegean on the islands of Thira and Therasia, in the Cyclades, Greece.Wikipedia
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Top 10 Extraordinary Long Distance Hikes in Europe

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Europe is not only about magnificent historic cities, food and art; Europe also offers a wide range of outdoor activities. The continent is crisscrossed by long distance cycling routes as well as long distance hiking trails. If you are one of those people who need to get out and about during their vacation, you might want to consider the following ten long distance hikes in Europe.

EU11. Slovenian Mountain Trail, Slovenia

This challenging 500 kilometre hike connects the major mountain ranges in Slovenia—Pohorje, the Julian Alps, the Kamnik-Savinja Alps and Karavanke—with the sun-soaked Adriatic coast. It takes in Mount Triglav, the symbol of and tallest mountain in the country. This superb trail starts in Maribor, a town in the Alps, and takes in mountain ridges, valleys, plateaus, farmlands and vineyards before ending in Ankara, a town on the Adriatic Sea coast. This is a well-signed and well-maintained trail, featuring more than 50 huts and almost 80 checkpoints.

EU22. Müllerthal Trail, Luxembourg

Maybe not the most well-known long distance hiking trail in Europe, but absolutely a recommend one is the 112 kilometre Müllerthal Trail in Luxembourg. This well-marked six-day hike takes hikers past the stunning rock formations, castles, farmlands and forests that characterise the beautiful Little Switzerland region in Luxembourg.

EU33. Laugavegur Trek, Iceland

Also known as Laugavegurinn or the Hot Spring Route, the Laugavegur Trek in Iceland is not that long of a hike with its length of 54 kilometres, but it does require hikers to spend a few nights on the trail. This is arguably the most exceptional long distance hike in Europe because hikers will traverse volcanoes, glaciers, valleys and multi-coloured mountains. It’s this sheer variety of landscapes that makes this hike so unique.

EU44. Alta Via 1, Italy

The 150 kilometres long Alta Via 1, or High Route in English, snakes its way across the magnificent Dolomites in northern Italy. Although these mountains stand in the shadow, literally and figuratively, of the Alps, they are considered to be the most striking in Europe. They’re made up of incredibly sharp peaks, rock formations, photogenic alpine lakes and expansive alpine meadows. It’s a downright extraordinary trail. To top it off, the entire region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

EU55. Kungsleden, Sweden

Sweden’s Kungsleden, or King’s Trail in English, runs for no fewer than 440 kilometres across the vast plains of Swedish Lapland. It crosses one of the largest remaining wildernesses in Europe, taking in huge areas of tundra, birch woods, glaciers and mountains. This challenging trail—there are few facilities on the way—is typically done in four one-week-long sections. The trail is also opened in winter, when it’s a popular cross-country ski trail.

EU66. Tour du Mont Blanc, France, Italy and Switzerland

Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in western Europe, rising 4,810 metres to the sky. The Tour du Mont Blanc circumvents the entire base of this mountain, crossing three country borders on its way. The trail is 169 kilometres long and runs underneath towering mountain peaks and across scenic valleys and meadows. Hikers generally start and end in Chamonix, France, and sleep in the many huts that line the trail.

EU77. Lycian Way, Turkey

This is without question one of the greatest historic long distance hikes in Europe. Running for about 540 kilometres along Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, from Fethiye to Antalya, the Lycian Way is an extraordinary trail that combines several shorter ancient trails. Attractions on the way range from rocky coastlines and beaches backed by pine forests to ancient ruins and historic coastal towns.

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EU88. Hadrian’s Wall Path, England

The 135 kilometre Hadrian’s Wall Path follows what used to be the northernmost border of the Roman Empire. Running from the North Sea coast to the Irish Sea coast across northern England, this epic trail is lined with Roman ruins, including many sections of UNESCO World Heritage Listed Hadrian’s Wall, and crosses spectacular rural landscapes. It doesn’t take longer than six days to finish the walk.

EU99. West Highland Way, Scotland

EU1010. Camino de Santiago, Spain

Undoubtedly the most famous hiking trail in Europe, the Camino de Santiago, or Way of St. James in English, is made up of numerous different trails, all of which end at the old pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. The most popular route begins in St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port just across the French border in the Pyrenees and measures about 800 kilometres. It takes more than a month to complete this iconic trail.

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Hilton London Metropole

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Stay in the heart of London

Hilton London Metropole 1

Hilton London Metropole has a modern leisure club and executive lounge. The hotel is a 15-minute walk from Oxford Street, and just 600 metres from Paddington Station.

Hilton London Metropole 2

he rooms at Hilton London Metropole have LCD TVs with on demand movies and wireless internet access. All rooms feature a private bathroom with toiletries, tea/coffee facilities and air conditioning.

Hilton London Metropole 3

The stylish Fiamma Restaurant offers an international menu and Sports Bar. Guests can also enjoy cocktails, a full food menu, and ice cold beverages.

Hilton London Metropole 3a

The LivingWell Health Club features an indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room and sports shop. There is also a fully equipped gym, and an on-site hair and beauty salon with treatment rooms.

Hilton London Metropole 4

Hilton London Metropole is a 2-minute walk from Edgware Road Underground Station. Madame Tussauds is a 15-minute stroll away, and leafy Hyde Park is just half a kilometer away.

Hilton London Metropole 5

Westminster is a great choice for travellers interested in shopping, theatre and monuments.

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A three-day London Break

London, Westminster Bridge near the Houses of Parliament
Westminster Bridge near the Houses of Parliament is the ideal spot to start a quickie tourist visit to London you can get your bearings from this bridge over the Thames River.

There’s plenty to see and d in London. Here’s a list of what you can realistically cover in a three-day break.

London is one of the most-visited cities in Europe, attracting 17.4 million visitors from abroad last year and boasting enough attractions for a three-week stay. Yet many people come for just three days.

There is more than enough to see and do. But it takes some discipline to tick the boxes in only three days. The following is a blueprint for a three-day visit.

Tower Bridge, London

DAY ONE

The tourism hotspot and ideal starting point to explore the city is a bridge. The whole world meets up at the 250-metre-long Westminster Bridge.

Here you’ll probably see a Chinese travel group led by a woman signalling with her black umbrella, or Indian newly-weds having their picture taken a few metres away by a photographer, with the Houses of Parliament in the background. A Scotsman in a kilt might be playing the German folk song, “Muss i denn,” on bagpipes.

The giant ferris wheel London Eye is one of the newer tourist attractions. A ride on it is more meditative experience than adrenaline kick. The cabins move so slowly you hardly notice they are turning at all.

One time around takes 40 minutes. While taking the ride, you’ll get a good view of the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, and then suddenly you’ll be at eye level with the face of the clock on the tower of Big Ben at Westminster Palace. That’s the point when the smartphones are pulled out and people start taking selfies with the huge tower in the background.

The London Eye ferris wheel

DAY TWO

This should be a day for the classics. One of these is the Horse Guards, the soldiers sitting atop horses and guarding the entrance to Buckingham Palace. Except for the changing of the guards at 11am – an hour earlier on Sundays – there is not a whole lot going on there.

The uniformed soldiers with their white gloves, shiny breastplates and equally gleaming helmets are not there for a chat. Selfies in front of the Horse Guards are highly popular.

Those in a hurry will hustle directly from the Horse Guards on over to Buckingham Palace. But such haste can be tiring. Much better is to take a break the way many Londoners do. The lawns of St. James Park are there for relaxation with deckchairs to rent. And as long as it is not raining, there is a lot going on there every day.

After a break, stroll to Great Russell Street and to the mother of all museums, the British Museum, where to this day entrance is free of charge. The first crowd of people will be found in front of a display case on the ground floor admiring the Rosetta Stone, which scholars used to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Today, the Rosetta Stone is just one of thousands of items of world-class renown at the British Museum. To try to see everything would be madness, or better stated, impossible. Just the special exhibitions are interesting enough.

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DAY THREE

This should be a day for contrasts. Oxford Circus is the ideal spot for shopping junkies to get off the bus. This is where Regent Street and Oxford Street, London’s two most important shopping streets, intersect.

It is said that nowhere else in Europe is so much money spent as on Oxford Street. That may be. And nowhere else is there so much traffic. There is an enormous choice of department stores, franchises and fashion shops and labels to choose from – everything from discount places like Topshop to the largest single store of Marks & Spencers to the classic department store Selfridges, which also features the largest men’s shoes department in the world.

After so much shopping, those needing to clear their minds are best advised to head outside the city a bit into some greenery. A good destination is Kew Gardens, the royal botanical garden. It’s very British: female visitors like to show up in flowery dresses and a large hat.

The gardeners get around on small black bicycles because the grounds are so huge. Some 120 hectares are home to around 40,000 plant species. There are beds and beds of sumptuous roses, and greenhouses with plants from around the world. The palm house built in 1848 is the place for tropical plants including lush mango and fig trees.

One of the oddities of Kew Gardens is the constant roar of the low-flying planes on their way to land at an Heathrow Airport some 5 kilometres away. This is disturbing on at least two levels. First, because plane noise is so out of place in such a lovely setting. And second, because it is a painful reminder to the tourist that the time for the return flight home is getting nearer.

Source: The Nation

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