travelgrove the Travel Enthusiast

 
  • Valentine Weekend Travel Ideas

    February’s most expected event is finally here! This weekend, couples all over the world will celebrate their love for each other with flowers, candies, romantic dinners and cheesy Valentine cards. Valentine’s Day has long crossed the borders of USA and Western Europe and is now celebrated all over the world.

    Despite the fact that Valentine’s Day going global has attracted a lot of criticism (many people would say that it’s just a marketing strategy), more and more people continue to celebrate it every year. After all, any occasion to show your affection for your partner is a good occasion, so, if you forgot or neglected to make some plans for the upcoming weekend, now it’s high time you figured out something. And since such short deadlines are prone to block one’s creativity, here are some ideas on where and how to spend the Valentine’s weekend:

     
  • Iconic Hotels around the World

    Sometimes it’s hard to figure out just what determines people to choose one travel destination over another or just prefer a certain hotel to all the others. The truth is that, when it comes to traveling, people just aren’t willing to take so many risks: a good recommendation is always more effective than the most expensive advertising campaign. And here is where popular culture and the Hollywood film industry have brought an enormous contribution. People just die to see themselves booking the same room with, let’s say, Leonardo di Caprio, or just to take a picture in the hotel lobby where their favorite film was shot. So here comes out list of iconic hotels, made famous by their guests or successful movies:

     
  • Famous Spa Resorts in Europe

    Ever thought about combining wellness travel with sightseeing? Well, if you come to think of it, this is the idea that influenced most luxury hotels’ decision to open a spa center. But most people tend to forget that wellness traveling started thousands of years ago, when the Greeks and then the Romans constructed the first public baths. This is why only in Europe you can find some of this old school spa resorts, where natural resources, modern techniques and luxurious palaces create that unique, retro atmosphere, that seems to project you into a different era.

     
  • Most Beautiful Countryside Landscapes in Europe

    Ireland countryside

    Ireland ©jmenard48/Flickr

    As the travel industry slowly evolves towards a greener way of looking at things, the  countryside and its simple lifestyle are now rediscovered. Although most of Europe’s tourist cohorts are usually targeting big cities like London, Rome or Paris (or/and Mediterranean beach resorts), magnificent countryside remains one of Europe’s biggest assets. An the truth is that few things can compare with the joy of spending a week at the countryside, letting yourself pampered by the discrete aromas of freshly cut grass, home-made bread and allowing yourself to see nothing but trees and blue sky at the horizon. Today we bring you the best of Europe’s countryside landscapes:

     
  • Five of the world’s longest hiking trails

    For most, hiking represents a good occasion to work out, get some fresh air, and enjoy some really beautiful landscapes. For others, hiking is a necessity. And by this latter category of people, I don’t necessarily mean pedestrians or those who don’t have other option, but that category of mountaineers that could walk for days through wilderness just for the pure pleasure of conquering every little step. When it reaches this level, hiking is no longer a sport, but becomes a pilgrimage. Needless to stress out why half of the world’s longest hiking trails are actually the reminiscences of some old pilgrim routes.

     
  • The world in five sips

    Today I’ve decided to tell you a little about those devilish pleasures that, consumed with moderation, make everything around seem pinkish. Five different drinks and their historic routes open the gates towards five different continents. Although, in some points, historical accuracy has been neglected for the sake of variety (“varietas delectat” the wise Romans would say), this post guides you to some of the most amazing places on earth, in an attempt to reveal an often neglected way of traveling.

    Because each of the five drinks, make it coffee, tea, rum, beer or wine, comes with its own legends, secrets and rituals. Following these historical routes represents the perfect excuse to get in touch with five different lifestyles and as many ways of doing things. Here they go:

     
  • It’s Pancake Time!

    Some days ago we’ve wrote a post about Mardi Gras and how people all over the world celebrate and let their senses loose in these few weeks preceding the Easter Lent. When it comes to Mardi Gras, ‘forbidden pleasures’ is the magic formula. And speaking of pleasures, the Lent is not quite the gourmand’s favorite time of the year, if I may say so.

    Especially when it comes to such a ravishingly common and outrageously delicious desert like pancakes. Whether we’re speaking of a huge stack of fluffy American pancakes, decadently soaked in butter and maple syrup, or the sophisticated ‘crepes flambees’, pancakes all over the world will be celebrated, praised and devoured within the next days, as part of the annual Pancake Week.

    So take a pen, cancel out all the plans within the next two weekends with a line and draw a steamy fresh pancake above it, because these upcoming weeks will take your stomach into the most amazing journey to the pancakes’ heaven and back!

     
  • Most Isolated Tropical Retreats

    It’s hard to find a person who has never dreamed about having his or her own tropical island. I mean, what can be better than just lying in the sun, with nothing around you but lush vegetation and crystal clear waters populated by exotic fish? Although it might be absolutely true that every man is an island, as the world is on the verge of becoming a global village, isolated islands are less and less easier to find. An isolated tropical island is the kind of destination that every recently married couple and every adventure traveler would die for. Fortunately, it is not the case, as the world seems to still have enough deserted beaches to accommodate them all. Here are some of the best:

     
  • World’s Best Cross-Country Ski Resorts

    Cross-country skiing is very likely one of the most underrated winter activities. When asked why they prefer alpine skiing to cross-country skiing, many skiers would argue that they find cross-country skiing to be simply ‘boring’, and that they would always choose the steep slopes over the rolling hills.

    However, cross-country ski has its undeniable advantages: not only it reduces the risks of an accident, but it can also offer the most amazing winter landscapes. Although there aren’t many cross country ski resorts per se, there are thousands of beautiful places around the world where cross-country skiing tours are available.

    Whether you decide to try cross-country skiing in the highlands of the Rockies or back to its home country (or rather, countries, as cross-country ski is practiced all over the Scandinavian peninsula), there are some really special places you might want to start with:

     
  • Best Winter Festivals in the US

    As bizarre as it might seem, winter is, despite the cold weather, the most prolific time for festivals. Just think about it: in winter we celebrate the most popular Christian holiday – Christmas, the arrival of a new year, and last, but not least, the carnival period that precedes Mardi Gras.

    Overall, although winter might seem as the last season when people would like to go out in the streets and party (with the exception of the whole Southern Hemisphere, of course, where is summer time), this season sets the tone for the wildest parties and street festivals.

    But apart from the omnipresent Christmas and New Year’s Eve, people all over the world have found their own way to celebrate winter. Some of the most interesting winter festivals take place in the USA, where the festival lover will get a sample of all kinds of manifestations, from the President’s Day to the Frozen Dead Guy Festival.

     
 
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