Drinks Europe

Weird Europe Drinks You Must Try on the Next Trip

Are you thirsty while getting ready for your next Europe trip? Here are the best (and weirdest) drinks –warm, cold, soft and alcoholic  – you absolutely must try on your next visit to Europe.

Horchata – Spain

While Spanish are famous for Spain tapas and its alcoholic drinks, from sangria to Agua de Valencia, Horchata is a sweet, smooth and does a good job with cooling you off in summer months in Spain – and all that without any alcohol! The drink is made of rice and almonds and sweetened with sugar. Spanish love it so much that there are special shops horchatarias dedicated to it! Pair it with creamy and sweet dessert, and you will get the most out of your sip.

Poppy Seed Milk – Lithuania

You are probably well accustomed to vegan options for milk, from almond to rice, to soya varieties. But Lithuanians, one of the Balti peoples, are taking another take on it. Poppyseed milk (aguonų pienas) is usually served together with sweet pastries. You can make your own at home, leaving poppy seeds in water for 2 days changing water from time to time. When seeds are soft, crush it with pestle, strain and crush and repeat until the milk is, well, milky.

Rakija – Macedonia

Rakija – or rakia – or raki – is  a fruit brandy from Balkan origin. It is popular all over the region and is one of the best reasons to visit Balkans, and there are several varieties thereof. In Macedonia, the white rakija is one of the most famous, usually served as an appetizer with salad. All over Balkans, rakija is often served to guests as a welcoming gesture, beware the tradition. However, try to dilute it with water, and it becomes milk white!

Kvass – Estonia

Kvass, a traditional drink for Eastern Europe, is made from leavened rye bread. As much as Latvian traditional bread soup (dessert) and fermented bread-porridge, kvass used to be made from what was left over. Today, wheat, rye or barley bread is fermented with an additional sugar and yeast structure for faster processing.

Fermented Baked milk – Russia

The fermented baked milk ryazhenka is a sort of yoghurt, common as a breakfast food. In the olden days, milk was baked in Russian oven and fermented with sour cream. Today, you can try it eat it with Estonian  kama or in the place of regular milk.

Honeywine – Norway

Mead is a honeywine, and when visiting Norway you will see ginger biscuits sitting right on the side of the glass. There are two major varieties of mjød available; Suttungs mjød made in Norway and Valhalla made in Denmark.

Hot beer

Grzane piwo is a hot lager beer, with froth. Spiced with artificial syrups, either ginger or raspberry, as well as spices as cinnamon and clove, it may remind you of the mulled wine. Except the pink colour, in case you choose the raspberry variety. A quick reminder: Polish still hold onto gender standards when it comes to beer. The choice between imbirowy (ginger) or malinowy (raspberry) is largely defined by the colour.

 

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Sinj Croatia

What to Do Around Sinj, Croatia

Cuddlynest vacation rentals travel blog tips and tricks when to go to croatia what to do what to see in croatiaCrowds come to look at the great rally taking place for the 304th time in the Sinj town in Croatia. The annual race gathers men from all Sinj Croatia counties. They rally their horses through the main city street. The goal of the tournament is to target the iron ring (alka) hanging on the rope.

Sinjska alka is a traditional knight tournament, oldest of its kind. It was inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Heritage in 2010. There is no question whether you should go – it is a definite yes. The beautiful horses galloping the city streets, the spectacular traditional dresses and procession held after the race is a truly unique experience in Croatia.

The real question, though, is how to get to Sinj, what to see around and where to go next after you have seen the spectacular racecourse.

Cuddlynest vacation rentals travel blog tips and tricks when to go to croatia what to do what to see in croatiaSinj Croatia, Signo or Zein: A Small Town with Long History

As you may guess by name (or, several of them), the history of Sinj carries through many time periods, and the city landscape provides tourists with diverse cultural experiences.

Since the Stone Age, the place was inhibited. The valley of Cetina river, cast between the mountains and favoured with a mix of continental and sub-Medditarean climates allowed for peoples to settle and flourish. Illyrian tribe, the first discovered inhabitants of Sinj, has left a large footprint in the Croatian culture. For example, the famous peka food preparation style, it is, cooking under the bell jar, is as ancient as 2250-1600 BC. Romans In the 1st century AD founded the first cities. To see the remains of their culture, visit  Archaeological Collection of the Sinj Franciscan Monastery, where the Goddess Diana Lucifera and head of Heracles are exhibited for visitors.

In the late Medieval period, Sinj outgrew the ancient fortress. In the 17th century still, during the times of Ottoman Empire, the city grew around the monastery and the church of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj (Gospa Sinjska), which you can still visit today on the main square. Resisting wars and earthquakes, it is indeed a miracle the church has withstood the time and preserved its original appearance.

By the end of the century, the town was taken over by Venetians. Sinjska alka celebrates the victory over the Turkish army in 1715 when it defended the city from 60,000 troops invading the town. Precisely 100 years after, the town was included in Austria, where it remained for another century. Visiting the In the 20th century, Sinj was under the rule of Yugoslavia, until the independence in the late 20th century. You can visit the monument of Sinjska alka in bronze from this period of the town history which celebrates the 1715 victory.

Sinj: How to Get there

Located just 40 min ride away from Split (bus: €2), this Dalmatian town is a place of contrasting quiet, especially after you come from Split or Dubrovnik, cities full of tourists.
To get to Sinj, you can use the public bus. In Croatia, also UberX works, as well as Bolt, in case you come from Split. There are no trains, but taxi will cost you around €60.

Cuddlynest vacation rentals travel blog tips and tricks when to go to croatia what to do what to see in croatiaBest Daytrips from Sinj, Croatia

Best for Active Adventure Travelers: Orlova Staza

Are you ready to bring a bit of action to your vacation? Orlova Staza or the Eagle’ s trail near Sinj is one of the best Dalmatian countryside cycling routes you can possibly find. The 44 km route is not quite flat, with an elevation of 969 metres. It is not boring, though – the mix of cross trail and road cycling will keep you awake. Starting with asphalt, continuing with picturesque gravel roads and ending with oak forest, the route is demanding but with excellent views. You can also cycle to the spring of the river Cetina.

Best for Families

If you are not certain of your kids enjoying long hours on their bikes, you can go for the Game of Thrones filming location instead. Not all of the GOT was shot in Dubrovnik (read: Game of Thrones Dubrovnik Guide). The Klis Fortress in between Split and Sinj. You can get here from Sinj by taking a taxi (24 km) or by private car. Alternatively, if you come from Split, get a 30 min ride in bus No.22 from the National Theatre (buy the ticket in the kiosk). Beware the 1.5-hour break in the bus timetable around lunch, though.

Best for Seniors – travel from Sinj Croatia

If you are looking for SPA and wellness retreat, the best bet is to go back to Split and enjoy some lazy afternoon at fish SPA or enjoying the pre-historic peka foods in this famous Peka restaurant. Are you ready for Sinj?

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Europe UNESCO Destinations has 3 New UNESCO Heritage Sites

UNESCO New 2019 Destinations: What to Visit in Portugal

Looking for Europe UNESCO Destinations to visit on your holiday? Portugal, the Western-most country of Southern Europe is home to many cultures and peoples who lived here throughout centuries. Therefore, it also boasts 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Portugal UNESCO site CuddlyNest travel blogThe History of Peoples in Portugal

Already 35,000 years ago Portugal saw its first inhabitants. Homo sapiens arrived in Portugal first. Then, Pre-Celtic tribes inhabited Portugal. They left a remarkable cultural footprint around the Algarve and Lower Alentejo regions from the 6th century BC. Further, Portugal saw the Roman invasion in the 3rd century BC. It still manifests today, with Portuguese heritage sites including works of engineering, baths, temples, bridges, theatres, layman’s homes, sarcophagi, and ceramics. Also later, in 711, an invasion by the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate started, leaving a significant Moorish footprint.

Portugal UNESCO siteUNESCO World Heritage Sites in Portugal

The UNESCO World Heritage currently lists 1,092 sites in 167 countries around the world. In Portugal, there are 16 cultural and 1 natural site (Alt Duoro River Region). Also, there are many in Northern and Central Portugal dating back to medieval times: Braga, Porto, Coimbra, and Alcobaça are some good places to visit. But if you go to the South of Portugal, also do not miss Azores, Madeira, and Lisbon sites.

Portugal Adds 3 New UNESCO World Heritage Sites

On Sunday, July 12, UNESCO announced 3 new listed sites. The Royal Convent in Mafra, the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus in Braga and the Machado de Castro National Museum in Coimbra have all are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, considered the news a reason for “great joy for all Portuguese”, reported Portugal News. So what is it that you should visit in 2019 when coming to Portugal, Europe?

Portugal UNESCO siteEurope UNESCO Destinations: The Royal Convent in Mafra

The Palace of Mafra is one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal, and with a good reason. It is a monumental Baroque palace-monastery near Lisbon. In 7 July 2019, the Royal Building of Mafra – Palace, Basilica, Convent, Cerco Garden and Hunting Park was added to the UNESCO list.

Portugal UNESCO site CuddlyNest travel blogThe Sanctuary of Bom Jesus in Braga

Translating in English as Good Jesus of the Mount, the sanctuary sits in Tenões, just outside the city of Braga in northern Portugal. It is one of the main pilgrimage sites. Besides, you can climb the monumental, Baroque stairway 116 meter high.

Portugal UNESCO site CuddlyNest travel blogThe Machado de Castro National Museum in Coimbra

Named after Portuguese sculptor Joaquim Machado de Castro and located in the Portuguese university town Coimbra, the museum was first opened in 1913. Besides, the building dates back to Medieval times when it housed the Roman Forum of the city and later served as a Bishop’s Palace. If you visit Coimbra, do not forget to listen to fado (in Northern Portugal, only men are allowed to sing it!), and go to the Library of the University of Coimbra Biblioteca Joanina. And, you can still spot bats here!

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Vatican Smallest City States Ministates Microstates in Europe

European City-States: The Tiniest Europe Countries to Visit

Ever wondered if Andora, Monaco and San Marino are states or cities? You have all rights to be confused. Europe is a home for 51 independent states. While some of them historically lead the world economy like Germany and the UK, some are well known for law, like France and Sweden, and some like Norway is blessed with natural resources.

But what is it about the smaller states? 

The Micro Monarchies in Europe

There are 6 ministates or microstates in Europe. Andorra, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City are all small countries, but not necessarily states as we know it. In fact, Malta is a traditional example of a sovereign entity under international law other than a state. 

But before you try locating these countries on the map, read further and see what the tiniest countries in Europe have to offer! Andorra and Liechtenstein sit in the mountains in the heart of Europe, while Monaco and Malta enjoy the Medditarean beaches. 

Europe Smallest Countries Destinations Monaco Liechtenstein Malta Andorra Where to Go What to Visit for free and when Vatican City

Vatican City State is the smallest of all states in Europe. Sitting in the middle of Europe, it has an area of just 0.17 sq mi. Ruled directly by the Pope of Catholic Church, it is the of the papal states that once constituted Italy. After unification in the 19th century, it is formally a part of Kingdom of Italy, while politically ruled by the Pope. Enclosed entirely by Rome, there are 600 to 700 people living in the Vatican. 

When to go to Vatican City? It is one of the top destinations all year round, but to beat the crowds, try going to the Vatican from Tuesday to Friday from 12:00 to 18:00. Make sure to allocate around 4 hours for your visit.

What to do in Vatican City for free? Visit St. Peter’s Basilica and walk around St. Peter’s Square for free. Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Dome are paid-entrance only.

Europe Smallest Countries Destinations Monaco Liechtenstein Malta Andorra Where to Go What to Visit for free and whenMonaco

Principality of Monaco with a territory of 0.78 sq mi comes the second smallest in the whole of Europe. Nevertheless, it boasts one of the world’s chicest beaches – a slice of the Côte d’Azur between Nice and the Italian border. Monaco-Ville is its capital, and you can learn more about it watching the famous 2014 Hollywood production. Grace of Monaco is directed by Olivier Dahan and starring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly.

When to go to Monaco? April and October are the best months; the room rates are reduced and the weather is just spot-on.

What to do in Monaco for free? Visit the legendary Monte Carlo casino and walk in the Saint-Martin gardens.

Europe Smallest Countries Destinations Monaco Liechtenstein Malta Andorra Where to Go What to Visit for free and whenSan Marino

The Republic of San Marino comes the third by the area. What’ s more, it is is the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world. It was founded in 301 A.D. and is the last survivor of self-governing Italian communes from the Middle Ages. Located in the Valley of the Apennines, it has a  population of 30,000 people. 

When to go to San Marino? Go to San Marino in September to get to the Feast of San Marino (September 3 2019) and walk the mountain terrains, spotting wild rabbits and hedgehogs and other animals.

What to do in San Marino for free? Hiking is for free – and we definitely recommend it!

Europe Smallest Countries Destinations Monaco Liechtenstein Malta Andorra Where to Go What to Visit for free and whenLiechtenstein

Principality of Liechtenstein houses over 35,000 people. Located between Switzerland and Austria, it is a popular travel destination for winter sports and summer walks in the Alpine resort of Malbun.

When to go to Liechtenstein? It is that simple: you should go in the winter for skiing, and in summer for hiking in the Alps.

What to do in Liechtenstein for free? Walk around the quiet capital Vaduz and visit Liechtenstein Museums for free.

Europe Smallest Countries Destinations Monaco Liechtenstein Malta Andorra Where to Go What to Visit for free and whenAndorra

The Principality of Andorra boasts an area of just 181 sq mi. It has some of the finest skiing and hiking in the Pyrenees, plus a wealth of duty-free shopping. 

When to go to Andorra? Unless you want to go skiing (the ski season in December and ends in April), the best time to visit Andorra is from May to September.

What to do in Andorra for free? You can go hiking! It is a unique experience with breathtaking views to the Pyrenees.

Europe Smallest Countries Destinations Monaco Liechtenstein Malta Andorra Where to Go What to Visit for free and whenMalta

Sovereign Military Order of Malta is an archipelago of 7 islands. No wonder it has much larger population than other ministates (446,000) – it sits in the very middle of the Mediterranean Sea where the sun shines most of the year and people are happy.Europe Smallest Countries Destinations Monaco Liechtenstein Malta Andorra Where to Go What to Visit for free and when

When to go to Malta? Go to Malta in October to avoid the crowds.

What to do in Malta for free? Lay on the beach in Fomm ir-Riħ and walk the Valetta coastline from a group of boathouses to the city walls and bastions of Fort St. Elmo. Europe Smallest Countries Destinations Monaco Liechtenstein Malta Andorra Where to Go What to Visit for free and when

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Europe Smallest Countries Destinations Monaco Liechtenstein Malta Andorra Where to Go What to Visit for free and when

Europe Art Noveau Travel: Riga City Local Guide

Culture travel is on the rise. And a large part of what we can see at the travel destination is the architecture. Chinese influenced Vietnamese pagodas or Spanish Colonial style castles in St. Augustine, Florida are landmarks telling the history throughout centuries. Art Noveau Riga shapes in her own way, though.

European cities offer a large variety of architectural styles to art enthusiasts. You can choose to visit Ancient Roman ruins (read: Southern France Alps Summer Tour Guide). Or, you can go the modern way and visit modern Gaudi architecture in Barcelona Europe seems to have it all. 

Today, let’s have a look at Art Noveau –a late 19th-century architecture style– and share a city guide to Riga, the Art Noveau Mecca. After all, Riga boasts the highest concentration of Art Noveau buildings found anywhere in the whole world.

What is Art Noveau 

Art Noveau, just like many other artistic styles, finds its way through different mediums. You can picture Gustav Klimt’s paintings or Gaudi’s architecture. While Art Noveau differed throughout regions as well. In Spain, Gaudi’s Sagrada Família in Catalan Modernism is also a part of Art Noveau. Nordic countries have their own take on it. In Stockholm, Sweden, Art Noveau is known as the National Romantic style, and you can see it manifest in Stockholms tingsrätt (Stokholm’ s Court House).
As you can now see, many in Europe and favoured the romantic long, sinuous and organic lines. Its mayday was between 1890 and 1910, but you can still travel to Europe and see the beautifully decorated buildings in the European city centres.

cuddlynest riga travel vacation rentals baltics eastern europe budget travel destinationsArt Noveau Europe Cities – Culture Travel Destinations

To see the classic Art Noveau Riga, the best Eastern European travel destinations we suggest going with Budapest, Riga, and Prague. If you travel to Southern Europe, then make sure to visit Aveiro in Portugal and Turin in Northern Italy.

Why are those cities in the spotlight? Some cities, like Barcelona in Spain, Vienna in Austria, Munich in Germany and Subotica in Serbia have spectacular Art Noveau architecture, too. However, buildings are spread far and between. In Riga, Prague, and Aveiro, the Art Noveau style predominates others, making it a large part of cultural heritage.

Riga, Latvia – Center of the Baltic States 

Riga lies in the centre of three Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and is the capital of Latvia. Apart from Art Noveau Riga architecture, the city is famous for its wooden buildings and medieval pedestrian-only Old Town.
The city is the most lively in the summer months when the weather is warm – bubbling with open-air concerts, free music festivals and outdoor cinema on the weekday nights and weekends. However, Latvia offers much more than city entertainment. The country is surrounded by Estonia, Russia, Belorussia, and Lithuania, and sports 500 km of coastline. To enjoy the wild abandoned beaches, you can hop on the train to Jurmala (literally: seaside) or visit Kemeri National Park for its bog lakes, mineral waters and therapeutic mud SPAs nearby. Visiting bordering countries is an option, too (check St. Petersburg, Vilnius and Tallinn)!

cuddlynest riga travel vacation rentals baltics eastern europe budget travel destinationsArt Noveau Riga History

To understand why Art Noveau gained the hype in Riga back in the day, we will drop some facts here. At the time, Riga experienced rapid economic development. It grew by 88% between 1897 and 1913 and on the eve of WWII was the third largest city in the Baltic region. Just in the three years between 1910 and 1913, every year almost 500 new buildings were built. Most of them were in Art Noveau constructed outside of the Old Town of Riga. Architects ranged from Baltic Germans to Jewish, to newly taught ethnic Latvians. While the style finds its roots outside Latvia, mostly in Germany, a large part of architects were locals.

Today, Art Nouveau Riga buildings account for one-third of all the buildings in the center of Riga. Riga, Latvia can, therefore, be awarded as the Art Noveau Mecca with the highest concentration of such buildings in the world.

What to See in Riga Latvia – Art Noveau Route 

As noted before, Riga has the highest concentration of Art Noveau buildings in the world. While you are safe wandering the streets on the outskirts of the Old Town, there are some spots you don’t want to miss. From staircases curving into infinity to beautifully decorated cutlery pieces in a living-room museum, to free dedicated tours – Art Noveau Riga offers a lot to its artistically inclined visitors. 

cuddlynest riga travel vacation rentals baltics eastern europe budget travel destinations

Image source: Latvia Travel

Alberta Street

If there is one street you absolutely have to visit, it is Alberta Street. Named after Bishop Albert who founded Riga more than 800 years ago, the street is a trademark for Eclectic Art Nouveau. Most are living buildings designed by Mikhail Eisenstein, while a large part is by Konstantīns Pēkšēns and Eižens Laube, a teacher, and his pupil.

What not to miss?

While all buildings are prominently Art Noveau, one of the most well-known is a building by Mikhail Eisenstein on Alberta Street 8 built in 1903. You can tell it apart by the sea blue facade quite easily.

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Image source: Latvia Travel

Art Noveau Museum 

Art Noveau Riga Museum is located on Alberta Street in the family building of one of the most famous Latvian Art Noveau architects Konstantīns Pēkšēns. You walk through the exhibition of the 20th-century city family apartment with all its rooms, servant rooms and feel yourself back in time. 

cuddlynest riga travel vacation rentals baltics eastern europe budget travel destinations

Image source: Latvia Travel

What not to miss?

Look up the staircase ceiling when entering the building! It is free and one of the best examples of Art Noveau. Also, here you can take an Instagram-worthy shot for free (opposing the 2 euro payment in the museum apartment). 

When to go?

The museum is open every day (except for Mondays) from 10 am to 6 pm. The entrance fee is 9 euros for the full exposition. 

cuddlynest riga travel vacation rentals baltics eastern europe budget travel destinations

Image source: Latvia Travel

Art Noveau Riga: Route in the Riga City Center

Are you excited after Alberta street? You can surely go beyond and with a little effort to discover all four legs of Art Noveau: Eclectic Art Nouveau, and Perpendicular Art Nouveau, National Romantic Art Nouveau, and Neo-Classical Art Nouveau. 

While the first is represented by Alberta street (which is a must-visit), you can see the perpendicular variety, referred to as s “department store style” or Warenhausstil (in German) on Krišjāņa Valdemāra iela (Krišjānis Valdemārs Street) number 37. 

National Romantic style, or the Nordic Art Noveau, is something you would notice when visiting Helsinki in Finland, or Stockholm in Sweden. But have a look at Alberta 11 building before! A good Neo-classical variety example sits in the very center of the Old Riga, right opposite the Doms Cathedral. It is the former Commercial Bank of Riga.

cuddlynest riga travel vacation rentals baltics eastern europe budget travel destinationsGo on Riga Free Art Noveau Tour

Want to stick to a budget? Then apply for a free Riga Art Noveau guided tour. Tours will take you through Alberta Street and Elizabetes Street, as well as to some less popular Art Noveau buildings during its 2 hours. Tours start daily at 3 pm (until the end of September) at the stairs of the National Opera House of Latvia. 

Have a Coffee in Art Noveau Style

Tired after seeing too many curvy lines and floral decorations? Have a cup of coffee and slice of cake at this boutique Art Noveau cafe Sienna just across Alberta Street. 

 

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Art Noveau travel guide to riga Alberta Street Elizabetees Street Riga Latvia Baltics Best Art Noveau cities in Europe

Travel Guide: Travel Tour de France Route July 2019

Tour de France Cuddlynest Travel Tips Guides French Alps July 2019Travel Tour de France official 2019 route – read this article to learn about the best cultural sights along the famous competition route. 

Since the first race in 1903, the competition grew and gradually race extended around the world. Undoubtedly becoming the world’s biggest annual sporting event, today it unites road cycling fans, UCI professional sportsmen travelers to France alike. Cycling and competing in sports lies so deep in French culture and being that the race was only stopped for the war years. Here is where organizers are bringing fans, sports teams and enthusiasts in 2019. Added bonus? Read and discover French cultural heritage – the architecture, local sights and traditions.

Nimes France Travel Guide What to See Tour de France Cuddlynest Travel Tips Guides French Alps July 2019Visit Nîmes Occitanie in Stage 16 Tour de France

Nîmes, often referred to as the French Rome, is a capital of the Occitanie region. The region is well known for its Southern beauty. Nimes city is enclosed with Medditarean from one side and the Cévennes mountains on the other, so you can have a swim in between race stages. 
What to do in Nimes?

From wandering around Jardin de la Fountaine 17th century parks with botanical gardens, romantic ponds, historic sculptures and Roman ruins, to visiting Arena of Nîmes, an amphitheatre built in 100 A.D., shortly after Colosseum in Rome, there is plenty to do in Nîmes. Even more if you fan about ancient architecture as much as speed, road and pedals.

Pont du Gard France Travel Guide What to See TTour de France Cuddlynest Travel Tips Guides French Alps July 2019Visit Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard is the highest Roman aqueduct bridge, and one of the best-preserved. Why is it so important?  Apart from its ancient origin (built in the first century AD, it carried water over 50 kilometres. You can access it from Nimes, as it crosses Gardon River near the town of Vers-Pont-du-Gard. Even before the global travel, it was a must-visit for European nobles going on Grand Tour around Europe. In fact, it is so popular even to this very day – you can find Pont du Gard on 5 euro banknote.

Tour de France Cuddlynest Travel Tips Guides French Alps July 2019Visit Tour de France Stage 17 Gap, France

Visit Gap, France in July 2019! Gap is a French town on the intersection between Provence and Alps. Eclosed by mountains, its wildly beautiful with forests, wildflowers and wild animals will amaze you.

What to see in Gap, France in summer?

Visit chateau Domaine de Charance, which also serves as an information centre for Ecrins National Park.  It is located 1000 metres high and a 220 hectares large English style garden surrounds the main building. Here you can find a unique collection of old roses.
Enter the main building of  Domaine de Charance which houses Alpine Botanical Conservatory! Here you can learn about plants and rare flowers in the mountains. If lucky, you will even be able to take part in a guided tour to discover the national park flora!

Tour de France Cuddlynest Travel Tips Guides French Alps July 2019Visit Embrun

Embrun, or formerly known as Ebrodunum, is a city that inspired the name of Canadian town in Ontario in 1856. What’s more, the town has one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe. The Lac de Serre-Ponçon is a must-see. Located 780 m high, the lake stretches 20 km in length and has a surface area of 28 km². You can also fish here. Fishermen come here for Tench, Arctic char, Common roach, Brook trout, and Grayling.

Tour de France Cuddlynest Travel Tips Guides French Alps July 2019Visit Valloire on Tour de France Route 

Valloire in France is famous for its ski resorts. As we already wrote before French Alps are one of the best winter destinations, but even in summer months, you can hike the high mountains. If you crave adventure, though, the ski resorts Valloire-Galibier is next to the ski resort of Valmeinier, France. When calculating fr both ski resorts together,  70% of the Valloire/Valmeinier area is above 2,000 m. 

What to do in Valloire in summer? 

In July, you can take a cablecar to the top, and access the ski ring. You can also wander around the hike peeks and meet travellers. There are many, considering that La route des Grandes Alpes, the most famous European mountain route, is passing through Valloire.

Tour de France Cuddlynest Travel Tips Guides French Alps July 2019Visit Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne

The city lies in the valley Maurienne, the valley of the River Arc. The city used to oversee Savoy back in the day, a fact that left many beautiful architectural sights around the city. Well-know for the ski resorts and winter attractions and activities for families and solo adventure travelers, the tow is much more quiet in the summertime. 

What to see in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne?

Go and climb Lacets de Montvernier, and see some art in between. You can also rent a bike here and get to the top faster. The region is rich in natural wonders, one of which Col du Chaussy. It is a sharp mountain edge with vistas – if you are around, do not miss it! It is a true challenge to cycle, but if you are brave, you can rent a bike and cycle the road dating back to 1934.

Tour de France Cuddlynest Travel Tips Guides French Alps July 2019Visit Tour de France Route Tignes

Opposite to the previously mentioned towns, Tignes is a group of villages. Located near the Italian border, Tignes is a part of the Espace Killy ski area. In winter, villages are lively, with many skiers going out to pubs and shopping in charming little souvenir shops. In summer, you can walk trails, play golf and a access bike park. If you still want to ski, you can! Just go to Grande Motte glacier, France.

Tour de France Cuddlynest Travel Tips Guides French Alps July 2019Visit Albertville 1992

Albertville gained world exposure when it hosted the Winter Olympics 1992. Since then, Arly river is famous for trail running infrastructure. If you wish to visit cultural sights and savour traditional high-quality French cheese, go for Tamié Abbey. It is a  Cistercian monastery operating since 1132. Today, it is a Trappist community of 30 monks and is world-famous for its cheese, Abbaye de Tamié.

Tour de France Cuddlynest Travel Tips Guides French Alps July 2019Visit Val Thorens on Tour de France Route

In summer, Val Thorens offers trail running, swimming, nature hiking and minigolf. You can also cycle or enjoy family attractions on Speedmountain.

In winter, the town attracts mostly skiers. Three Valleys, Val Thorens have one of the largest skiing area in the world! What’s more, it is the highest ski resort in Europe, at an altitude of 2300 m.

Tour de France Cuddlynest Travel Tips Guides French Alps July 2019Visit Rambouillet

If you go to Rambouillet, you definitely have to visit Château de Rambouillet. The 14th-century castle architecture took us aback, and it will you, too! After the palace, go and visit Haute Vallée de Chevreuse Regional Natural Park, a nature park with deers, and many other historical figures. In 1985, the park was specially designed for Parisians to spend some time in nature – its historical value has not changed since. Still craving nature? Swim at Étangs de Hollande and see the 18th-century Château de Saint-Hubert built by Louis XV in Perray-in-Yvelines. It was as a hunting residence back in 1758 and ever since.

Tour de France Cuddlynest Travel Tips Guides French Alps July 2019Finish Tour de France in Paris Champs-Élysées

As Tour de France finishes, the last stage ends at The Avenue des Champs-Élysées. 1.9 kilometres long and 70 metres wide, the avenue connects the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle. What to do in Paris? Well, that is a question hard to answer – let us share our Paris travel guide with you another time!

While you are still deciding what stage to join Tour de France, here are 3 fun facts.

3 Fun Facts About Tour de France:

  1. It was first held to increase the sales of a magazine.
  2. The youngest winner won right after the first race, in 1904
  3. More than 42000 water bottles will be used by 22 teams in this year’s race.

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22 Breakfasts Around the World’s 22 Most Awesome Cities

Breakfast Around World Cuddlynest Travel Blog Rent Vacation and Holiday Rentals Online Good morning!

We know you love brunching. We too. That’ s why we sent our CuddlyNest foodie to review this Barcelona brunch bar. But today, we are taking you around the world – and showing you what the world has on the breakfast table, city by city. Let’ s dive in!

Miami – USA

Desayuno! If you travel to Miami, then do it the traditional way – get yourself a  traditional Cuban breakfast. What’ s on the menu? A warm and sweet latte coffee Cafe con Leche paired up with a Tostada Cubana, a flattened bread frilled on a panini grill. 

Miami Florida – Where to Stay

Luxury Miami apartments

 

 

New York – USA

If there is anything that screams New York, then it surely is the Breakfast at Tiffany movie scene. Sounds simple, right? Go out for the amazing music, and start your next day with a  black coffee and croissant, while glazing over the diamond necklaces in a shop window at Tiffany’s.

New York – Where to Stay
Read More: New York – Best New York Budget Activities and Experiences

Midtown West Edward Flat

 

 

Honolulu – USA

Opposing to other USA cities, Honolulu holds a sweet spot for the morning meal.  Portuguese sausage linguiça, eggs, and white rice will fill you up for the upcoming day.

Honolulu Hawaii – Where to Stay

Direct Oceanfront Hawaii Apartment

 

 

Los Angeles – USA

Los Angeles is famous for its doughnuts, and rightly so. From berry to caramel glaze, to chocolate and other varieties, you have all the options you can think of. If doughnuts is not your thing, though, you can get fluffy ricotta blueberry pancakes, topped with maple syrup and served hot to wake you up.  Grab your coffee and get going!

Los Angeles California – Where to Stay

Read More: 6 Romantic California Getaways on Budget

Oceanfront Walk Venice Apartment Rental

 

 

London -UK

British breakfast is world-famous.  Bacon, sausages and eggs, served with English breakfast tea. Are you brave enough? Then try black pudding, a blood sausage made out of pork blood and cereal.

Where to stay in London England

Modern Private City Apartment 

 

 

Berlin – Germany

Berlin is a city of alternative culture, be it music or living, but when it comes to breakfast, Germans like to get it right. Starting with warm tea, coffee, or hot cocoa, you will get a bread (Brot), bread rolls (Brötchen) and a buffet for layerings. Have an orange juice on the side!

Where to stay in Berlin Germany

Bright and Natural Berlin Apartment

 

 

Barcelona – Spain

Have an espresso, a glass of orange juice, and breakfast bikini, a toasted cheese and ham sandwich.

Where to Stay in Barcelona Spain

Read More: Best Free Travel Apps for your Spain Trip 2019

Stylish Wooden Apartment 

 

 

Paris – France

Bonjour! Do you find yourself in Paris? You are probably holding a piece of baguette, spreading a jam on it, and drinking a  cup of black coffee. Oh, and grapefruit juice, of course. 

Paris France – Where to stay?

Charming Duplex in Montmarte

 

 

Rome – Italy

Buongiorno! Get a cornetto – a plain one (semplice),  with jam (marmellata) or cream (crema), and start your day on a cheerful note before heading to Colloseum!

Where to stay in Rome, Italy

Traditional Luxury Rome Apartment

 

 

Lisbon – Portugal

There is Portugal, and there is Pastéis de Nata. The two are inseparable. Bom apetite!

Where to stay in Lisbon, Portugal

Bright Modern Lisbon Apartment 

 

 

Vienna – Austria

Brothen, cheese and ham. Some orange juice, and beautiful ceramic pottery. Here you go, Wiener Frühstück.

Where to stay in Austria

Warsaw – Poland

Keep it simple and balanced with a hard-boiled egg and croissant on the side. Black tea in bonus!

Where to stay in Warsaw Poland

 

 

Athens – Greece

Καλημέρα! The typical greek breakfast is staka (thick butter from goat’s milk, from Crete) with eggs. 

Where to stay in Athens Greece

 

 

Copenhagen – Denmark

God morgen! Contrary to what you may dream of, the Danish puff pastry is not all over the table in breakfast buffets. Have a healthier option instead – get yourself a youghurt and oatmeal, and eat like a Dane.

Where to stay in Denmark

Cosy Minimalist Flat 

 

 

Dubrovnik – Croatia

Dobro jutro! Eat polenta and cornbread with lard. Sprinkle over some paprika, get a cup of strong coffee and feel yourself Dalmatian.

Where to Stay in Dubrovnik Croatia
Read More: Best Croatia Beaches for Family Holidays with Kids

Neoclassical Dubrovnik Apartment

 

 

Seoul – South Korea

There is no defined breakfast – Koreans typically have rice, soup, meat, and side dishes of all can think of.

 

 

Shanghai – China

早上好 Shanghai breakfast has it all – from soybean milk to steamed buns. You can have tofu pudding for dessert! Any excited vegans there?

 

 

Dubai – UAE

Found yourself in Dubai? You are likely to get Balaleet. This breakfast dish consists of sweetened vermicelli mixed with eggs, raisins, cardamon and saffron. شهية طيبة

Where to stay in Dubai حجز السكن

Spacious Apartment with Lake View

 

 

Delhi – India

A bowl of idli, anyone? These steamed black lentil and rice cakes will make your mouth water.

 

 

Sydney – Australia

Fried smokey bacon, grilled tomato and mushrooms. Or, hash brown. The choice is yours, but we can say that everything tastes Aussie-good!

Where to Stay in Australia

 

 

Riga – Latvia

Are you on a  run to grab breakfast! Get yourself a  traditional black bread sandwich!

Where to stay in Latvia

 

 

Lviv – Ukraine

Ukraine is well known for its pancakes, and you should definitely not skip those!

Where to stay in Ukraine

 

 

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Best Eastern Europe Festivals in August 2019

You already attended at least some Europe festivals in the first months of summer? There is still August left to enjoy! Here we list the best music festivals in Eastern Europe in August 2019. While Eastern European events are generally more friendly to pocket, you can expect the line-ups being as diverse and interesting as their British isle and Western Europe counterparts. Let’s dive in!

Image source: Sziget

Sziget | Hungary

When? 7-13 August 2019

Music genres? Electronic dance music (EDM), indie, rock, pop, rap

Where? Budapest

 

Born out of the collapse of the Soviet Union and located on the island in the heart of Budapest, this festival features the best world-class musicians. Find your place to stay here or take a hammock with you to sleep between the concerts of your favourite artists!

Image source: Untold
UNTOLD Festival | Romania

When? 1-4 August 2019

Music genres? Various pop, rock and EDM

Where?  Cluj-Napoca

 

Romania is famous for its wine, warmhearted welcomeness to guests and rose plantations. But what’s more, Romania is expanding with every year in its music scene, and Untold festival is no different. Hosted in the central park of Cluj Napoca, this festival sees 300,000 visitors yearly, and hosts one of the best dance music DJ’s in the world.

Image source: Defected Croatia
Defected | Croatia 

When?  8-13 August 2019

Music genres? House

Where?  Tisno

 

Defected is a boutique festival which has found its venue on the shores of Adriatic. Get yourself a tent, or grab a hammock to go to the house music festival!

Image source: Sea Dance
Sea Dance | Montenegro

When? 30 August – 1 September 2019

Music genres? Electronic dance music (EDM), electronic, house techno

Where? Budva

 

Montenegro is famous for its yet undiscovered nature with mountains and beautiful coastal area. Dance and house will shake you up, and Buljarica Beach will treat you well.

Image source: Awake FestivalAwake | Romania

When? 15 – 18 August 2019

Music genres?  Drum’n’bass, hip-hop, indie, soul and punk

Where? Teleki

 

Awake is a boutique festival in Romania. The rural baroque castle Teleki Estate homes dancers and music lovers from all over Europe, and with a good reason. Not only the festival offers music, but also enhances the experience with interactive theatre and cinema, a forest library, talks from the “feed your mind” and wellness activities.

 

Image source: Uprising Festival | Europe Music Festivals 2019Uprising | Slovakia

When? 23-24 August 2019

Music genres? Reggae, dancehall, ska, latino, hip-hop, jungle and drum’n’bass

Extras: half-pipe, yoga, capoeira (Afro-Brazilian martial art), dance workshops, street art, Jamaican food

Where? Bratislava

 

Slovak festivals marking the anniversary of the second world war resistance movement, the Slovak National Uprising of 1944 is held in a laid-back atmosphere by the natural park with a lake. Take it slow and breathe in – the dance workshops, yoga and other activities will sum up your summer in a relaxing way.

 

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What to Pack for Sustainable Europe Holiday

Holiday in Europe in 2019 is no more about seeing the most touristic cities. But what about visiting tourist-crowded Ancient Greek ruins in Athens, or eating gelato in Rome and taking a boat ride in Venice channels? How sustainable is that?

In order to be a responsible traveller, you can start with the packing list. Zero waste travel ideas, plastic-free life and green holiday is a great idea – and a simple change.

Whether you camp in the German Black Forest with friends or stay at picturesque Croatian village, there is a way to travel smarter, lighter, and more considerate.

Packing List for Sustainable Holiday

Sustainable Travel Packing: Cosmetics

With some simple switches and recipes, you can travel with no waste. Take a jar of coconut oil, and soda and prepare well in advance. Choose a crystal stick over the regular deodorant, and make your own refreshing mint body spray. Use essentials oils to keep fresh when visiting Southern Spain or Italy. Get your bamboo toothbrush and razor with interchangeable parts. Use a natural sponge and lava for scrubbing –  and you are good to go!

What to Pack in Cosmetics Bag:

  1. Bamboo Toothbrush
  2. Wooden hairbrush
  3. Steel razor
  4. Stainless steel nail clippers
  5. Stainless steel tweezers
  6. Biodegradable shampoo soap
  7. Natural sponge 
  8. Soda and mud 

Sustainable Travel Packing List: Clothing

The best way to be more sustainable is to pack less and go with the basics. Mix and match your pieces in a different climate with less luggage taken on board. Added bonus? There is no way you will go shopping aimlessly if you have no luggage space!

Sustainable Travel Essentials: Electronics 

You only need the basics if any. Remember that unplugging is the most important to relax from your city stress! So, unless you need to catch up on work, better leave your PC and tablets at home.
Pro tip? Take your analogue film camera and discover the new way of taking pictures. If you prefer a more authentic way of capturing the moments, try out sketching city scenes or scrapbooking.

Essentials to Bring:

  1. Phone
  2. Camera 

gelato ice cream month 2019 cuddlynestSustainable Travel Tips: Eating and Cooking

Being zero waste does not always mean that you have to stay with restaurant meals. Quite the opposite, if take your own utensils and use no plastic while eating on the street.

What to Pack:

  1. Travel Knife
  2. Travel utensil set
  3. Water bottle
  4. Water purifier tablets
  5. Fruit and vegetable mesh bags for shopping

Even if you do not consider yourself to be a green thinker, then packing more lightly and more considerate will always come with its perks. Smaller luggage sizes, also less stress with finding the right conditioner in the Vietnamese grocery store, and fewer problems with getting a plastic-free street food on the streets of Istanbul.

 

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Spain Travel Best Apps 2019

Spain Travel Apps are most probably the least exciting part of planning your trip to Barcelona or Sevilla in July 2019. Still, to ease your travel planning, here is a list of apps you must download. Most of them are also available for  Android and iOS devices.

Midsummer Day in Europe

Midsummer Night is traditionally celebrated by the pagan countries in the Northern Hemisphere of Europe. But the shortest night and the longest day is, in fact, also popular in Spain. In Christian tradition called after San Juan, it resembles what Northern Europeans know as St John’s Day (British), Jāņu diena (Latvians), Jaanipaev (Estonians) or Midsommardag (Swedish). But instead of decorating the house with wildflowers, and singing around bonfires all night long, Spanish celebrate Midsummer differently.

Hogueras de San Juan Midsummer Celebration History

The name of the festival “Hogueras de San Juan” translating into “Bonfires of St John” finds the roots in pre-Christian era. As far, it is just like its Northern varieties. On June 24t, when it is the longest day and the shortest night of the year people gathered to celebrate. In ancient times, they lit bonfires on the Midsummer night. Collecting herbal plants of various species like fern, rue and rosemary, and dipping them into water collected from seven different springs to give them the most power on the Midsummer Eve. Then, at night, the bonfires were lit to scare off the evil spirits flying around once the sun turns towards the south. Later on, in medieval times, the bonfire lighting was attributed to scaring away witches.

What to Do on San Juan 2019

Today, you can see people drinking and dancing on the streets of Valencia, where Los Barueccos is celebrated, or burning large monumental figures in Valencia, where the traditional Fallas was coupled with the San Juan in 1928. More than everything else, the San Juan celebrations now feature wild parties on the beach on the Spanish coast. From Malaga to Barcelona and Estepona, you can take part in dancing around bonfires all night long almost anywhere.

Where to Go on San Juan 2019

Some of the largest celebrations in 2019 will take place in Granada towns, like Almuñécar, Andalucia region on June 23rd night. You will see bonfires burning continuously, and around midnight, muñecos or dolls are burnt. Once representing Judas Iscariot, the religious aspect of tradition is much less relevant now.

We also advise you to visit Gran Canaria (read on which island suits you the best!) or Alicante for San Juan. However, the largest celebrations take place in Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia, where this year you will see the fire burned is specially brought from the sacred mountain in the Pyrenees, from the peak of Canigou.

Spain Travel Best Apps for Midsummer Trip

Best Offline Navigation and Maps App for Spain CityMaps2Go

Bests offline Spain map and navigation app is hands down CityMaps2Go. With this free app, you can plan your trip easily,   your destinations, bucket lists and city guides into trip selections. Added bonus? Apart from organizing your wishlists, you can access it all offline.

Runner-by: Guides by Lonely Planet.

Spain Travel Best Transportation App 2019 BlaBlaCar

Best Spain transportation App for getting around is BlaBlaCar. While we understand your appeal to GoEurope for finding the fastest, cheapest or most convenient transportation mode, or Skyscanner for getting on the cheapest flight, the sustainable ridesharing platform BlaBlaCar works wonders both in and urban areas and countryside. Want to get from Barcelona to Madrid? Or go on a day trip to Sevilla? There is no need to stick to bus schedules anymore. Popular routes work the best.

Spain Travel Best Weather App for Spain ElTiempo

What works best in Spain is ElTiempo. Try it and you will see. When it says it rains, it does. No tricking here.

Spain Travel Best Museums, Culture, Event App

With Prado, the Reina Sofía and the Thyssen-Bornemisza, three of the world’s leading museums, is located on the same boulevard of Madrid, you cannot say otherwise: best museum guide is also the most useful one; visiting the three world’s leading museums will be no problem. Download the app Passeo del Arte.

Spain Travel Best App for Restaurants in Spain The Fork

Best travel food app in Spain goes to The Fork. The app lets you book restaurants and finds special offers even when you are blind-guessing the restaurant prices on your trip to Barcelona, Madrid or Huelva.

Runners-by: Spontaan, EatWith, ForSquare

Spain Travel Best App(s) for Safety 2019

Food Allergy Cards will let everyone know what works for you and what does not, in any language you need. But whilst on the beach, find out where jellyfish are hiding! Use app Infomedusa and never run into problems with jellyfish bites (again).

Want to learn more which tech gadgets and apps to use on your next backpacking trip?

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