A male and female couple overlooking the Roman Forum in Rome

How to spend 48 hours in Rome

Rome is a busy place. Dating back 3,000 years, Italy’s capital city has accumulated an abundance of art, ancient ruins, architecture and culture. It was also, at one point, the centre of the Roman Empire. And these days it is home to Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. And who can forget the […]

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Fireworks at night above the city of Valletta in Malta

10 must-visit events and festivals in Malta

With its beautiful landscape, fascinating history, charming culture and sun-drenched weather – Malta is one of the best places in Europe to host an event. Whether it is a cultural festival that explores the Maltese way of life or a music concert that attracts some of the biggest international names in the business. Malta’s events […]

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Vatican City during the sunset

6 ways to experience Classic Italy

Italy is synonymous with sophistication, luxury, and taste. Whether that is in the world of fashion, cars, food, music, or art – there’s no denying that the Italians have a talent for creating some of the world’s most admired belongings.  When you visit Italy, it is the perfect opportunity to admire some of its beautiful […]

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A foodie’s guide to Barcelona

The Catalonian capital boasts a long history of serving up delicious food. Whether that be the world-famous tapas-style small plates or the tasty paella, or the local Catalonian delicacies that are rarely sighted outside of Spain. Barcelona’s rich food diversity is partially attributed to the incredible raw ingredients that its location provides. With dazzling sunshine […]

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6 reasons to visit the island of La Palma

The Canary Islands are well known for their beautiful balance of volcanic landscapes, natural seawater swimming-pools, black sand beaches, and year-round sunshine. La Palma, one of the smallest of the islands, gets this combination spot on.La Palma is known as both the greenest of the Canary Islands and the steepest. It’s more relaxed than the other islands, making it the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts looking for incredible landscapes and a slower pace of life. Here are six reasons why everyone should visit La Palma as part of a Canary Island adventure.

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Which Italian city break should you try next?

Italy is one of Europe’s most diverse destinations. Fancy a quick city break? Check. Want to devour delicious food? Yes. Sip incredible wines? Of course. See world-famous buildings? There’s plenty of that. Or soak up some sun? There’s no shortage of sunny days in Italy.Saying that though, Italy offers a diverse holiday experience because it boasts a number of beautiful holiday spots. There’s the capital Rome, home to the Vatican and the Colosseum. Then you have Venice in the northeast with its iconic gondolas and in the south you’ll find Naples and the beautiful Sorrento. It’s not always an easy choice deciding which one to visit (though we recommend visiting them all at some point). To make your choice a little simpler we’ve compiled this quick guide to help you decide which Italian city is right for your next trip.

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Italy is one of Europe’s most diverse destinations. Fancy an Italian city break? Check. Want to devour delicious food? Yes. Sip incredible wines? Of course. See world-famous buildings? There’s plenty of that. Or soak up some sun? There’s no shortage of sunny days in Italy.

Saying that though, Italy offers a diverse holiday experience because it boasts a number of beautiful holiday spots. There’s the capital Rome, home to the Vatican and the Colosseum. Then you have Venice in the northeast with its iconic gondolas and in the south, you’ll find Naples and the beautiful Sorrento. It’s not always an easy choice deciding which one to visit (though we recommend visiting them all at some point). To make your choice a little simpler we’ve compiled this quick guide to help you decide which Italian city is right for your next trip.

Best for bustling city life…Rome

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Rome is bursting with all the quintessential elements of any Italian city: ancient history, delicious food, fine wines, and fascinating museums. But what differentiates the capital from the others is the multiple world-famous sites (Vatican, Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Pantheon) and its bustling cosmopolitan atmosphere. Rome is perfect for fast-paced travellers who love to explore during the day, then drink stylish cocktails at night.

Best for couples…Venice

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Venice is just lovely. Its picturesque side-streets and scenic canals make the perfect backdrop to a romantic city break. And in the evening you can treat your sweetheart to a gondola ride, an orchestral symphony, or a canal-side dinner by candle-light.

Best for stylish fashionistas…Milan

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Milan is Italy’s fashion and design capital. Every year fashionistas flock here to experience the city’s incredible shopping, whether is the high-end Italian designers, high street favourites, or the independent boutiques. We’ve compiled a shopping guide to Milan if you don’t know where to start.

Best for art and architecture…Florence

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You’ll find extraordinary art and architecture around every corner when exploring the city of Florence. The entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and hasn’t changed much since the Renaissance: offering narrow cobbled streets, 15th- and 16th-century palaces, candle-lit chapels, and world-class art galleries housing works by Botticelli and Michelangelo.

As an extra bonus, you are only an hour’s train journey from the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and the city of Lucca.

Best for Shakespeare fans and easy access to Lake Garda…Verona

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Verona’s claim to fame is its association with Shakespeare’s world-famous Romeo and Juliet. While the play by Shakespeare is technically fictional, the Montagues and Capulets families are very much real. Around Verona you’ll spot Shakespeare fans hunting out the real-world house of Juliet (which is now a museum, and her bedroom is furnished with the bed used in Franco Zeffirelli’s film Romeo e Giulietta), Romeo’s house (which is not open to the public), and Juliet’s tomb.

You can also twin a stay in Verona with a stay in Lake Garda, with multiple trains a day taking roughly 30 minutes.

Best for explorers…Sorrento

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Sorrento is technically a town, but it’s the most popular holiday spot on the Neapolitan Riviera. Built into scenic cliffs, Sorrento is the natural holiday of choice for keen walkers and hikers. But it is also a prime location for exploring the Bay of Naples. To the north, there are the remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum, or you can climb up to the crater of Mount Vesuvius – the volcano that caused the disruption. To the east is the spectacular Amalfi Coast, with its cliff-hugging coastal road. You can also head across the bay to the fashionable islands of Capri and Ischia.

When you’re not exploring the nearby sites, relax with some food and drink – such as the famous limoncello liqueur and locally grown olives, tomatoes, peaches, cherries, and oranges.

Best for foodies…Naples

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If you want to visit the Bay of Naples but really crave a city atmosphere, then we recommend Naples itself. It offers the same easy access to many of the same sights (like Pompeii and Herculaneum) while providing more of a buzz – but Naples’s main bragging right is its foodie heritage.

Neapolitan cuisine is slightly different from the rest of Italy and dates back centuries to the point where it’s hard for historians to establish the exact timeline of when it originated. Pizza is the most famous dish to originate from this city (so adored that the Italian flag was styled after tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil) though you’ll find plenty of ragù, aglio e uoglio (garlic and oil), and seafood here (octopus is especially popular).

Which Italian city is your favourite?

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10 romantic cities in Europe for your Valentine’s Day getaway

Valentine’s Day is two weeks away and it’s time to finalise your romantic plans. Thankfully, Europe is brimming with beautiful cities that are perfect for loved-up couples! So even if you’re not wanting to travel very far – and don’t want to spend too much money – you’ll find somewhere that’s perfect for you and your partner to fall in love all over again.

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Valentine’s Day is two weeks away and it’s time to finalise your romantic plans. Thankfully, Europe is brimming with beautiful cities that are perfect for loved-up couples! So even if you’re not wanting to travel very far – and don’t want to spend too much money – you’ll find somewhere that’s perfect for you and your partner to fall in love all over again.

1. Paris

Paris is considered one of the most romantic cities in the world for many reasons. Whether it’s dinner at the top of the Eiffel Tower, a coffee date on a cobbled street, a night at the Moulin rouge, or an evening stroll along the Seine.

2. Prague

Prague boasts elegant palaces, 17th and 18th Century architecture, scenic cobbled lanes, and incredible city-wide views from both Prague Castle and Letna Park. It’s not called the City of Spires for nothing.

3. Budapest

One look at a photo of beautiful Budapest and you know it’s a city perfect for loved-up sweethearts. The Danube runs through the heart of the city with glitter lights illuminating its bridges and grandiose palaces lining its banks. It’s the perfect place for an evening stroll (or even a proposal).

4. Rome

The first of two Italian cities on our list is the world-famous Rome. Sample delicious food, sip on the some of Europe’s most renowned wines, and explore beautiful streets. It’s the perfect place to fall in love.

5. Lisbon

Lisbon is becoming increasingly popular for all kinds of globetrotters, including couples. And when you look at the beautiful architecture and taste the fresh seafood, it’s not hard to understand why.

6. London

If you’re looking for something a little bit closer to home for your Valentine’s Day escape, then it has to be London. Book your sweetheart tickets to their favourite show in Covent Garden, treat them to a luxury dinner in Mayfair, or watch the sunset from the top of the London Eye.

7. Vienna

If your sweetheart adores impressive culture combined with luxurious surroundings – then Vienna is the perfect destination! Visit world-class art museums, catch a show at the Opera house, and share pastries while sipping artisan coffees. Perfect!

8. Copenhagen

Where better for a romantic city break than the home of fairytales, Copenhagen? Admire the Little Mermaid statue and the Dragon Fountain, then wander down cobbled streets lined with pretty painted townhouses. Finally, snuggle up in the evenings in traditional Danish Hygge style.

9. Venice

Italy is a romantic country as a whole and we couldn’t possibly only include Rome (narrowing it down to two was hard enough!). So we’ve also included Venice, a city filled with mouth-watering food, beautiful side-streets and – of course – the iconic gondolas.

10. Reykjavik

What could more romantic than snuggling up under the glittering Aurora Borealis? Book yourself a city break to Iceland’s magical capital and sign up for one of their many Northern Lights viewing tours that take you out with the city.

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A beach in Tenerife

10 reasons why everyone should visit Tenerife at least once in their life

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Tenerife is one of the most popular destinations in the world for British holidaymakers. If you’ve visited this incredible island you’ll know exactly why its popularity never decreases. But if you haven’t holidayed there, you might potentially still be wondering what sets it apart from the other popular sun-drenched holiday favourites. We’ve got you covered. Here are 10 reasons why Tenerife should be on everyone’s bucket list!

1. The beaches

While there is more to Tenerife than gorgeous beaches, this is still an incredible part of what makes Tenerife such a popular holiday destination. Even if you visit for a two week holiday, you could still visit a different beach every day. Several of them also boast Blue Flag status for their cleanliness.

2. Dramatic landscapes

The interior landscape of Tenerife is just as spectacular as the coastline. The Teide National Park is home to the third highest volcano in the world, and boasts a number of incredible hiking and walking trails.

3. Whale and dolphin watching

More than 20 species of cetaceans can be spotted off the south-west coast on Tenerife, including baleen whales, killer whales, dolphins, pilot whales and even blue whales.

4. Incredible Waterparks

Tenerife’s most out-there waterpark has to be Siam Park: all Thai-inspired 46 acres of it. Swim in the “largest man-made wave in the world” at about 3.3 metres high, or catch your breath while floating along the Lazy River.

Aqualand Tenerife is also a popular option. It’s home to waterslides of all shapes and styles, as well shallow pools suitable for young children.

5. Cultural events

Tenerife’s largest cultural event has to be the Carnival, held in the week running up to Lent. The celebrations start with the Grand Opening Parade, where colourful floats and costumed performers makes their way through the streets. The Carnival then ends with the (unique) Burial of the Sardine ritual on Ash Wednesday, where a sardine sits on a throne, and is carried through the streets of the capital, before it is set on fire.

6. Clear skies for stargazing

The stars shine brightly in Tenerife, thanks to the island’s close proximity to the equator and low-levels of light pollution. In fact, Teide National Park has been recognised by the Starlight Foundation as one of the premier stargazing sites on the planet.

7. Delicious local food

Tenerife’s culinary scene is an exotic mix of Spanish, Andalusian, African and South American influences. A popular dish on the island is papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes), a boiled potato dish with a spicy green pepper sauce. The island is also home to no fewer than six Michelin stars across five restaurants.

8. It’s good for your soul

The volcanic landscape and warm waters of Tenerife aren’t relaxing to look at – spas use the natural resources to literally relax visitors. Natural treatments include thalassotherapy, geotherapy, wine therapy and aloe therapy – the latter using Canarian aloe vera.

9. Year round sunshine

Tenerife’s temperature stays above 20°C in the winter. Plus, there are only about six rainy days a month – so you’re guaranteed good weather no matter when you visit.

10. There’s an incredible range of hotels

Whether you’re looking for a B&B, luxury hotel, or a family-friendly resort – you’ll find it in Tenerife. The island offers a wide range of accommodation options that will make your stay extraordinary, no matter your budget.

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If you’ve been to Tenerife, share with us your favourite thing about the island in the comments!

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Why you should visit Lanzarote in the winter

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Autumn has officially hit the UK and the cooler nights are setting in. So you’d be forgiven if you find yourself browsing holiday destinations looking for winter sun.

If you are looking for a quick holiday to break up the darker nights, we thoroughly recommend the island of Lanzarote. It’s fantastic all year round, but there are a few things that make the winter season extra special.

1. The Lanzarote weather

The most obvious reason to visit in the winter months is the weather. Daytime temperatures in winter vary from 19 to 26 degrees, falling only to 16 to 19 at night. Even the surrounding ocean doesn’t dip below 19 degrees. There’s also a chance that you’ll get a better tan during the winter too, as the UV factor isn’t as fierce so you can stay out in it longer.

2. Hiking

Lanzarote is an outdoor enthusiasts dream, and many energetic visitors prefer the later months of the year when the air is a bit cooler. Hillwalking and hiking are especially popular in the winter.

3. Watersports

Lanzarote loves watersports, and they are available all year round. Windsurfing, kayaking, and paddle boarding are especially popular.

4. The Lanzarote landscape

Lanzarote is famous for its breath-taking lunar-esque landscapes. But something changes about them in winter, aka the start of the island’s growing season. The hills tend to blossom with the most amazing wild flowers, and you’ll see blossoms and fruit all over the hills.

5. Whale-watching near Lanzarote

More than 26 species of whales and dolphin reside in the warm waters of Lanzarote – many of them permanent residents.

6. Carnival

February is Carnival time in Lanzarote. It is a huge affair with outlandish costumes, music, dancing in the streets, drag queen competitions, a Carnival queen contest and performances. A new theme is selected every year, but there’s always a float and the Burial of the Sardine Parade – where locals pretend they are actually at the ‘funeral’ of a sardine, where it gets cremated in a huge bonfire, marking the end of the Carnival celebrations.

7. Gastronomy-themed festivals

The island’s biggest food festival, Tasting Lanzarote Enogastronomic Festival, is held every November in La Villa de Teguise with many visitors booking their holiday to coincide with the dates. Lanzarote boasts a delectable local foodie scene – including fresh Atlantic seafood, award-winning cheese, and volcanic wines – so it’s well worth visiting when the locals bring it all together.

8. The Three Kings Parade

Christmas works a little differently in Lanzarote. On the 5th of January, Lanzarote has a camel procession that includes the Three Wise Men (who bring the children their gifts) who will go through the towns handing out sweets to children. You’ll also find a variety of cakes available, some with a king hidden inside and some with a bean. If you get the king you get the cake for free (but pay if you find a bean).

Have you ever visited Lanzarote in the winter? What was your favourite thing about the island in the later months?

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