greek beach and island

Interesting Facts About Greece: 25 Things You May Not Know

Before booking your next getaway, learn 25 interesting facts about Greece that will make you want to pack your bags and head to the Mediterranean country. This summer, there has been one European destination on everyone’s mind. Greece. Known for its beaches, isles, culture, and ancient history, Greece offers so much to its visitors. But how well do you really know Greece?

Sure you may know many common fun facts about Greece including that is is one of the oldest countries or a thing or two about Greek mythology, but we are diving in to share the most interesting facts about Greece you need to know before your visit.

greek island santorini view of the sea

What is Greece known for?

From the population to ancient history, for centuries Greece has been one of the most popular and interesting countries in the world. The Greek culture and lifestyle are craved by international visitors who after experiencing just days in the coastal paradise, never want to leave. Learning these interesting facts about Greece and its history, food, culture, and more will make you want to visit the country, travel like a local, island hop from the mainland to Santorini to Milos and beyond, and give Greece a top spot on this year’s bucket list.

view of the acropolis in athens greece

Ancient Greek History

Fun Fact 1: Ancient Greece refers to 700-480 B.C. It’s no surprise that Greece has one of the oldest and longest histories, but one of the biggest misconceptions is that the period most famous for architecture, art, and philosophy is the Archaic or Ancient Greek period. However, it was in fact the Classical Age (480-323 B.C.). Ancient Greece is responsible for advances in art, technology, and poetry. One of the most interesting facts about Greece’s Ancient Greek period is that it was during this time in which the city-state was invented.

Fun Fact 2: Athens, the capital of Greece, is Europe’s oldest capital. Athen’s origins date back as far as 3,400 years ago making it one of the oldest cities in the entire world.

Fun Fact 3: The first known democracy began in Athens around 500 B.C. This democracy allowed citizens to directly vote on laws.

Fun Fact 4: The first ancient Greek games were held in 776 B.C. in Olympia. The tradition of the games lasted until 393 A.D. and did not return until the first Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, in 1896.

Fun Fact 5: The two major Greek poems, the Odyssey and the Iliad by Homer were written during the ancient Greece period.

greek mythology on ceramic

Greek Mythology & Architecture

Fun Fact 6: Greece has the most archeological museums in the world. Some of these museums include the most famous, Acropolis in Athens, The Archeological Museum of Rhodes, National Archeological Museum, and many more.

Fun Fact 7: Greece is home to 18 UNESCO World Heritage sites including the Acropolis, Mount Athos, Old Town of Corfu, and Medieval City of Rhodes. According to the official list, there are 14 locations that are currently pending consideration for becoming a Greek UNESCO World Heritage site.

Fun Fact 8: Greek mythology is still relevant in Greece today. There were twelve Olympic gods celebrated in Ancient Greece, including Zeus, leader of the Olympians, Hera, Zeus’s wife and sister, and Athena, goddess of wisdom, defense, and war. The famous Hercules, a son of Zeus, was not actually a Greek god but is still known as the greatest hero in Greek mythology.

Fun Fact 9: Athena defeated Poseidon to become the guardian of Athens. They each gave the city a gift, Athena an olive tree and Poseidon water in the form of a spring. The people of Athens thought the olive tree was much more useful as it could provide food, oil, and wood.

Fun Fact 10: Columns are very symbolic of Greek architecture. There are three main types of columns used to build Greek temples and structures. They are Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.

greek beach and island

Greek Isles

Fun Fact 11: Greece has over 5,000 islands. These islands are spread throughout the Aegean Sea and are some of the most popular destinations to visit in the world. Only 200 of these islands are populated.

Fun Fact 12: Crete is the largest Greek Island. The entire island is 3218.548 square miles (8836 square kilometers) and has a population of over 630,000 people. In comparison, Halki is the smallest inhabited Greek island and is only 11 square miles (28 square kilometers).

Fun Fact 13: Greece has 85% of sunshine a year, meaning the country has 300 days of sunshine per year.

Fun Fact 14: Santorini Island is an active volcano. The last eruption recorded was in 1950. Santorini is also commonly known as the most popular Greek Island to visit.

Fun Fact 15: Many houses in the Greek isles are white-washed with blue doors and roofs. That color is believed to keep evil spirits away.

Bonus Fun Fact: Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, Corfu and Preveza, Greece, were named two of the European Best Destination‘s safest cities to visit in summer 2020.

view of greek theater

Greek Culture & Lifestyle

Fun Fact 16: Athens has the most theatrical stages in the world. More than New York’s Broadway or London’s West End. There are a total of 148 theatrical stages in Athens.

Fun Fact 17: 98% of Greece’s population are ethnic Greeks. 40% of the entire population resides in the capital city, Athens.

Fun Fact 18: Ikaria is one of the five blue zones in the world. Blue zones were founded by Dan Buettner. The concept of a blue zone is based on people living longer and happier lives based on the average lifespan of the population in the area is one of the longest in the world.

Fun Fact 19: There are over 4,000 official traditional dances throughout Greece.

Fun Fact 20: Greek grandparents usually live with their children’s family until they pass away. There are very few retirement homes in Greece, so grandparents will live with the family of their children for the rest of their lives.

greek food

Greek Cuisine

Fun Fact 21: A typical meal in ancient Greece always included bread, olives, and wine.

Fun Fact 22: Lunch is called “mesimeriano” and it is the most important meal of the day in Greece.

Fun Fact 23: The famous term, the “Mediterranean Diet” is based on food patterns that originated in Crete, Greece. It’s impossible not to eat well when visiting this island in Greece. And the country as a whole. The Mediterranean Diet includes vegetables, olive oil, nuts fish, grains, and a low intake of red meat.  

Fun Fact 24: Wine making in Greece has been a tradition for 4,000 years. There are over 600 wineries in Greece.

Fun Fact 25: Olive oil is a staple thanks to the thousands of olive trees in the country. Greece is known to be the country with the most olive oil consumption per capita in the world.


Bonus Fun Fact: Greece officially reopened for tourism on June 15 and began allowing international travelers on July 1st.

What new things did you learn about Greece? Now that you know the most interesting facts about Greece, it’s time to pack your bags and explore the beautiful Mediterranean destination. Start by booking one of Greece’s most affordable hotels and vacation rentals on CuddlyNest.

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female travel

The Top Female Travel Spots

Embrace your inner wanderlust by visiting one of the top female travel spots around the world. Although this summer may have thrown a few curveballs in your trip plans, there is still time to pack your bags and set off on the adventure you crave. Whether solo or with your best gal pals, there are certain destinations that stand out among the rest when it comes to taking a female-centric getaway. But first, take a journey to learn more about the shift in female solo travel popularity and how this movement has become so powerful for women over the years.

top female travel spots

The Rise in Female Travel

2018 notably became the “year of the woman.” Between major political advances and powerful social movements, the travel industry saw an increase in female-driven travel. According to Travel Pulse and a global study conducted by British Airways, nearly 50% of the women surveyed had taken a solo trip, and nearly 75% said they planned to in the next few years. When focusing on the American women surveyed, half of the women were between 18-25 years old when they took their first solo trip.

While embracing their womanhood and taking cues from popular books and movies like Wild and Eat Pray Love, women across the globe began exploring the ends of the Earth…on their own or with groups of girlfriends who share a passion for exploration and female empowerment!

travel documents

Tips for Females Embarking on their First Solo Getaway

Since then the tourism and hospitality industries have worked very hard to not only create an environment that is extremely welcoming and hospitable but also safe and secure. So whether you are a full-time explorer, or planning on taking your first solo trip, there are a few things to keep in mind when planning your getaway.

  1. Choosing the right locations. Whether the destination of interest has world monuments or five-star cooking classes, make sure to have your trip and location planned ahead of time.
  2. Pack light and only bring what you need. You never know where your travels may take you. Especially as a solo traveler, it is important to keep light in case you need to keep moving.
  3. Embrace sustainable travel. Not only will this help you save money during your trip, but by putting your eco-friendly foot forward you can also learn more about local culture, protect the planet, and make friends along the way.
  4. Keep your funds and documents safe. Especially, when traveling to a far and foreign area it is not only important to have copies of your documents including your identity cards and passports, but also have the contact information to the nearest embassy on hand. Be sure to check with your local embassy or consulate before traveling internationally to find the nearest location.
female travel

Best Female Travel Spots

Now that you have embraced your feminine power and are ready to explore, start with the best female travel spots. These locations offer safety, budget-friendly accommodations, and plenty of adventure. Check out the top female travel spots, and why they are the best according to some of the world’s leading female travelers.

female travel in new zealand

New Zealand

From the North Island beaches to the South Island mountain escapes, any woman would fall head over heels for New Zealand. Not only does New Zealand offer some of the best natural landscapes, but it is also famous for its honey farms, wine regions, and of course, kiwi fruit. It also is one of the best places in the world to road trip either solo or with your best gal pals.

Travel professional, Liz of the Young Adventuress says, “solo travel in New Zealand is easier than ever.” Why? Because getting around is super easy, there are many ex-pats throughout the country, and the locals are very welcoming. We’ll be adding New Zealand to our bucket lists this year. Starting with a stay at one of the hundreds of hotels and vacation rentals.

female travel in canada

Canada

From the peace and tranquility to the safety and security offered to female travelers, Canada is unbeatable for travel. Coast to coast, there is plenty to discover including Lake Banff, Toronto, Vancouver Island, and more. Go! Girls Guide says Canada is the perfect place for women to explore solo thanks to its “natural beauty, world-class cities, and because it is insanely safe.” According to the Global Peace Index, in 2017, Canada was named the 8th safest place in the world. You heard it here! Find over 1,000 hotels and homes in Canada, here.

female travel in switzerland

Switzerland

Did you know Disney’s famous roller coaster, the Matterhorn was modeled after the country’s iconic peak with the same name? Switzerland is filled with unique mountainous and lake villages that make the perfect sites for hiking, boat rides, and breathtaking landscapes. Female adventurists can skydive above Interlaken, see the famous fountain in Lake Geneva, and dine on raclette and fondu in cities like Zurich and Lucerne. There is something to love around every corner.

Award-winning female led travel blog, Girl about the Globe, ranked Switzerland 5 out of 5 stars for solo travel for women. She even insists that the biggest problem you would have in the European country is running into one too many cows, which sounds like a great problem to us! Check out the best hotels and vacation rentals in Switzerland, here.

female travel in japan

Japan

Japan offers one of the most unique and rich cultures in the entire world. From hustling fast-paced cities such as Tokyo and Yokohama to tranquil locations including Osaka and Kyoto, there is plenty for any woman to fill her bucket list. Take your adventures to the next level with a visit to Mount Fuji, and spend your evenings relaxing in one of Japan’s many natural hot springs.

Adventurous Kate says Japan makes for one of the best places for women to visit because it is “culturally fascinating” and the food is “universally excellent.” Those two reasons are enough to make us want to book a trip there immediately. Check out the many hotels and accommodations in Japan, here.

female travel in the united states

The United States

Whether beaches and coastal cities are your cup of tea, or you would rather spend your getaway in the mountains, the United States offers everything an empowered female would want on an unforgettable trip. While some places are more well-known than others, make your next trip to the U.S. one for the books by exploring the off the beaten path locations. The states offer some of the most unique variety of accommodation than anywhere else in the world.

Kristin of Be My Travel Muse listed a few of the CuddlyNest team’s favorite American outdoor locations in their female solo travel list. Including Page, Arizona, Moab, Utah, Big Sur, California, and more. Start your U.S. adventures with a trip to 10 of the first United States national parks.

Are you and your best friends ready for your trips together or solo? Let us know where your travels will take you this year, and we will help you find the perfect accommodation on CuddlyNest.

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best friend vacation in bali

7 Budget-Friendly Places to Visit with your BFF

Celebrate the International Day of Friendship by taking a best friend vacation to one of our top 5 budget-friendly places to visit. Not only do certain destinations across the globe make top travel lists due to their attractions, accommodations, and cuisine, but also because of their affordability. You and your BFF can explore, eat, and see the world without breaking the bank. Some of these popular locations on this list may even surprise you. But first, let’s take a look at the history of this special holiday.

International Day of Friendship

In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly announced that July 30th would be the official International Day of Friendship. The holiday was created to celebrate the friendship between countries, communities, and people, to inspire unified global peace efforts. Since then, every year global events, activities, and celebrations are held on the 30th of July to encourage respect for diversity and understanding in the global community. Another popular way to celebrate this beautiful international holiday? By planning a trip to spend quality time with your best friend.

The Best Budget-Friendly Places to Visit

Whether you and your forever friend are looking to lounge on one of the best beaches, or explore the world’s national parks, these destinations make for the best budget-friendly getaway locations. While certain countries instantly come to mind for affordable trips, there are specific places that make the perfect best friend vacation spot. If you live in one of these locations, then it’s time to plan your BFF staycation. Check them out here:

best friend vacation in vietnam

Vietnam

Over the last ten years, Southeast Asia has become increasingly popular to visit especially for millennials. This is both due to the incredible cultural experiences and the most affordable prices. With hundreds of hostels to stay at for less than $20 a night to street food that adds to the experience, one country stands out from the rest. Vietnam is one of the most unique countries to visit in SEA, as well as one of the cheapest.

The entire country’s architecture and design are influenced by both indigenous and foreign cultures. You and your best friend can spend your vacation sightseeing Hoi An’s popular attractions, taking a boat ride through Halong Bay, and indulging in a cooking course in Ho Chi Minh City. There is something for every pair or group of pals to enjoy in Vietnam at a budget-friendly price. Find the perfect hotel, hostel, or beachside villa for your trip.

best friend vacation in portugal

Portugal

Take a road trip from the Algarve to Porto when visiting Portugal with your best friends. The Iberian Peninsula’s sister country borders the Atlantic Ocean offering visitors a refreshing experience within Europe. With hostels along the country ranging from 5€ to 20€ a night, you can relax in luxury at a budget-friendly price in one of the world’s most beautiful verdant locations.

Attention digital nomads: Lisbon, is not only a culturally exquisite city, but it is also one of the best locations to work remotely in. With over 100 co-working spaces in the country, you and your pals can extend your European vacation by adding a couple of weeks of exploration and working abroad. The perfect combination of combing work from “home” with travel.

Turkey

If you and your best friends are craving a cultural experience unlike any other, then Turkey is the place for you. From coastal cities with beautiful beaches like Ephesus to Cappadocia’s unique fairy chimneys and hot air balloon rides to Istanbul’s rich art and religious influence, the country is full of bucket list adventures. And the best part is they are all incredibly affordable.

Turkey has one of the oldest civilizations in the world. The country alone has over eighteen UNESCO World Heritage sites including Göreme National Park, the Great Mosque, and Archeological Site of Troy. Visiting best friends can book a hotel or hostel room, or an entire vacation rental in Turkey for as little as $9/night on CuddlyNest.

best friend vacation in croatia

Croatia

Summertime calls for a trip with your BFFs to the Balkans. Croatia is not only one of the most beautiful places to explore in Europe, but it is also one of the cheapest. With meals for as low as 5€ a day and hotels and vacation rentals for as low as 10€ a night you and your pals can have your Mediterranean vacation for under 20€ a day. That sounds like an excellent plan for us. Book exciting excursions including hiking through Plitvice National Park or take a boat ride to the nearby Hvar and Montenegro islands. There is so much to do and discover on your Croatian getaway.

Pro tip: When in Croatia be sure to check out the hidden Game of Thrones film scenes to really discover parts of the country that will transport you and your friends to another period of time.

Colombia

Discover Colombia’s charming hotels in the heart of the jungle and cities throughout the South American country. If you have ever dreamed of exploring South America without breaking the bank, then Colombia is the best place to start. With hotels and hostels for as low as $12 a night, you and your best friend can save your travel funds to splurge on delicious meals, excursions, and backpacking adventures. Bogota’s museums will enchant you while the historic streets of Medellin and Cartegena take you to another world. After having a cup of fresh Colombian coffee in the morning, your group of BFFs will be ready to start the day. You can’t miss adding Colombia to your budget-friendly bucket list.

Indonesia

It’s no surprise that Indonesia makes it high on our list of incredible, budget-friendly places to visit for your best friend vacation. The entire country celebrates life, joy, and all wonders. You can spend the day exploring the stacks of rice fields, and afternoon taking a surf lesson all without spending your life savings. Might we suggest spending the night at a beachside bungalow or hostel near the Ubud Forest?

From the incredibly inexpensive meals of chicken skewers, mixed vegetables, and homegrown rice, to dancing on the beach with both old and new friends, the Indonesian country offers so much to fall in love with on each of its islands. You will have to visit to experience it all.

South Africa

For best friends who have a safari trip on their list of dream experiences, South Africa is the place for you. Cities including Johannesburg and Capetown are not only ex-pat hubs, but excellent cities to visit to learn about African lifestyle and culture. Hike to the top of Table Mountain to get a full view of the South African coast and visit one of the famous national reserves including Kruger Park to see the big five animals up close.

Although safari and other tourist experiences have a reputation of being pretty pricey, we are here to debunk that notion by sharing CuddlyNest’s most affordable South African accommodations. You can visit South Africa and experience it all while staying in a budget-friendly rental or hotel. A rooftop pool with a view of the beach sounds like heaven.

Now that you know the top budget-friendly places to visit with your BFFs, it’s time to plan your best friend vacation. Find the best-priced hotels and vacation rentals on CuddlyNest. You and your BFFs are just a few steps away from exploring the globe at an affordable price.

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CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travelers at the best price. Find unlimited travel inspiration on our blog and social media channels

the world's best national parks

10 of the World’s Best National Parks

Did you know there are over 4,000 national parks around the world? From underwater caves to verdant forests, the world’s best national parks are undeniable. Countries including Australia, China, and the United States have some of the most popular outdoor spaces in the world. These national parks consist of bodies of water, mountain ranges, wildlife, and more. For years, people have traveled to visit and experience the natural power of these sites.

As we begin to travel this summer, locations with close access to nature have become more popular than ever. This will continue to grow in 2021, as travelers embrace the great outdoors and open escapes. Mother Nature is getting ready to welcome visitors again. But how much do we know about these parks and why they are important to travelers and the planet?

History of National Parks

Every year, millions of visitors travel around the world to hike, swim, bike, and explore some of the world’s best national parks. But, did you know that the first national park in the world is not even 150 years old? In 1872, Yellowstone in the United States became the world’s first national park. Since then over 4,000 parks worldwide have been given this honorable status. Many of these national parks are even UNESCO World Heritage sites. According to Classzone.com, to become a national park, the natural location must meet the following criteria:

  • The natural, recreational, and or natural resources the area has must be unique in nature.
  • The outdoor location must be in need of protection. The National Park Service (NPS) is the only government body that can provide the right type of security and protection.
  • It must be possible to even protect the area. If the outdoor area is not accessible by the NPS to protect, then it cannot be claimed as an official national park.

Importance of Park Preservation

To continue enjoying the world’s national parks, they must be preserved and protected. They are vital for protecting the world’s population of flora and fauna. As well as beautiful places to visit. They are also important for sustaining renewable resources that can contribute to saving the planet. Organizations like the NPS, National Parks Conservation Association, and the National Park Foundation have created dozens of helpful programs about the national parks. Their goals are to educate and welcome the public to aid in the contribution, restoration, and preservation of the world’s parks.

The Best National Parks in the World

Now that you know national park history and why park preservation is so important, check out the world’s best national parks. You will want to add each of these to your bucket list.


Plivtice Lakes National Park

Plitviče Lakes National Park, Croatia

Croatia’s outdoor treasure is its largest national park, Plitviče Lakes. This park is located in central Croatia and spans over 73,350 acres (295 square kilometers). The park is famous for its 16 terraced lakes, that join by waterfalls that drop into a limestone canyon. This park, in particular, is so beautiful and untouched, that it is often compared to the Garden of Eden.

Not only was Plitviče Lakes one of Southeast Europe’s first national parks, but it is Croatia’s very first. It became a national park in 1949. In 1979 the lake became a UNESCO World Heritage site and welcomes over 1 million people a year. During a visit, you may even see some of the popular wildlife including brown bears, lynxes, and eagles. It is one of the most impressive and best national parks in the world.


Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park, South Africa

Visit South Africa’s Kruger National Park to see wildlife unlike ever before. This national park is one of Africa’s largest game reserves. It is 7,523 square miles (19,485 square kilometers). The park itself belongs to two South African provinces, bordering Mozambique and Zimbabwe. This national park also has the largest species of mammals than any other game reserve in Africa. Including all big five game animals, lions, elephants, rhinoceros, cape buffalo, and leopards. Take an adventure to explore this African national park and marvel at the wonders of nature.


Dolomite National Park

Dolomite National Park, Italy

Formally known as the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park, the Dolomites is an Italian wonder. The famous park is located in the Veneto region. It became an official national park in 1988, and a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2009. This Italian national park is 12 square miles (32 square kilometers) which makes it the smallest park on our list of the world’s best national parks. That does not take away from its beauty and sheer power. The Dolomites includes 15 municipalities, several alpine mountain ranges, and springs and streams. If you are looking to pair a trip to Italy’s beautiful towns with an epic outdoor escape, then this is one of the best national parks to visit.


Iguazú National Park

Iguaçu National Park, Brazil and Argentina

Iguaçu National Park in the Paraná State of Brazil is one of the largest national parks on this list. The park is about 457,794 acres, and 260 miles (420 kilometers). The park and its sister park in Argentina, often draw confusion, as Iguaçu park is located in Brazil, bordering Iguazú park in Argentina. Ultimately the same park, they are separated by the Iguaçu river which creates their border and drops into the Iguaçu Falls. The largest cataract in the park is named “The Devil’s Throat” which consists of 14 large falls over 350 feet deep.

The falls are the main sightseeing spot for both local and foreign visitors. This Brazilian park became a national park in 1939 and made the UNESCO World Heritage site list by 1986. Fun fact! The Iguaçu Falls are taller and twice the size of Niagra Falls in the United States. For natural wonders, it’s no surprise that this site makes the list for the world’s best national parks.


Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park, United States of America

The Grand Canyon National Park, in Arizona, is one of the world’s most famous and best national parks. Spanning over 277 miles in length (446 meters), and over 6,000 feet deep (1800 meters), the Grand Canyon is one of the largest national parks in the world. Fun fact! It is larger than the state of Rhode Island. It is the 17th oldest national park in the country, founded in 1919. Although there are 419 national park sites in the US, the official list consists of 62 national parks.

The Grand Canyon is a very important site for geologists who track the erosion of the canyon. This erosion is caused by both the climate and the Colorado River. For travelers looking to visit natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon is the perfect spot. So much so that it too belongs to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. An estimated 5.9 million visitors travel far and wide to marvel at the beauty of this famous U.S. national park.


Göreme National Park

Göreme National Park, Turkey

Since 1986, Turkey has welcomed visitors to its jaw-dropping Göereme National Park. Located in Central Anatolia in the Cappadocia region, this national wonder is known for its rock formations, or “fairy chimneys.” Ancient volcanos are believed to have spewed ash all over this region. The remains then solidified into the famous rock formations. In the millions of years following, erosion from wind and rain began to carve these rocks into the cones you can see above.

The Turkish people began to carve homes, churches, businesses, and stores out of the rock to make this area liveable. Not only above Earth, but below as well, the park and region are famous for its underground cities. Göreme became an official national park and UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986. People around the globe travel from every end of the planet to visit this very unique national park. Also to experience a bucket list a hot air balloon ride above the city.


Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China

Found in the Hunan Province, Zhangjiajie, is China’s first national forest park since 1982. This specific forest park is part of a much larger park, the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, which is another UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992. There are over 3,000 peaks, spires, pinnacles, and skyscraper high rock formations.

One of the main peaks stretches over 3540 feet tall (1080 meters), and was renamed “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain” in 2010. In 2002, China opened the Bailong Elevator, also known as Hundred Dragons Elevator. It is the world’s largest outdoor elevator and is almost 2,000 feet tall (over 330 meters). The elevator can take park visitors from the foot of the mount to the top in under two minutes. It the best way for park-goers to see the entire forest and exploring the hiking trails.


Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

The beautiful Fiordland National Park is located on New Zealand’s South Island. The park is 4867 square miles (12607 square kilometers). One can’t help but feel impressed by nature and its wonders after a visit to this pristine haven. The snow-capped peaks, breathtaking fjords, and cascading waterfalls are stunning. It truly is one of the world’s best national parks and most beautiful outdoor locations.

Fiordland became a national park in 1952. Although it is one of the country’s most popular sites, human activity in the area is limited. The largest and deepest fiord in the park is Doubtful Sound at 1381 feet deep (421 meters). This fiord is home to bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, and even penguins. When visiting New Zealand, this site is a must-visit.


Whitsunday Islands National Park

Whitsunday Islands National Park, Australia

Whitsunday Islands National Park is one of the most fascinating outdoor landscapes in the world. This national park is in Queensland, Australia. The group of 74 islands can be found right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Whitehaven Beach is often named one of the top beaches in the world. Its crystal blue waters, white sand which is made of 98% pure silica, and incredible views are hard to pass up. This beach can only be accessed by seaplane, helicopter, or boat. this makes the area remote, secluded, and difficult to visit regularly. A visit to Whitsunday Islands National Park is a once in a lifetime experience.


Arenal National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

The mighty Arenal Volcano and the surrounding national park are both a favorite for Costa Ricans and visiting tourists. The volcano itself was Costa Rica’s most active volcano, and it is roughly 5,358 feet tall (1,633 meters high). The park is located in the central region of Alajuela. Near the park, visitors from all over the world come to indulge in the spas and hotels, that offer natural hot springs on the volcano’s base.

While the volcano has not erupted in over 10 years, experts believe it is still active, ust in a “sleeping phase.” Other attractions near the park include ziplining, horseback riding, and hiking trails. If a visit to Costa Rica is on your bucket list, be sure to add Arenal National Park to the very top.


Now that you have explored the world’s best national parks, it’s time to plan your visit. Learn more about CuddlyNest’s incredible hotels and vacation rentals to stay at during your national park adventure. Discover endless staycation opportunities for your summer travels.

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Things to Do in Dubai

Top 10 Things to Do in Dubai

One of the most beautiful and unique places to visit in the world is Dubai. As the city reopens this week to welcome tourists, now is the perfect time to learn about the top 10 things to do in Dubai.

Dubai is one of six emirates of the United Arab Emirates. The city is most famous for its high-end and luxurious lifestyle. As well as its unique experiences and attractions.

Dubai is filled with stunning mosques, incredible architecture, and world-renowned pieces of art. Start preparing for your trip by planning all the things you want to do and the popular places you want to visit.

What Should We Do in Dubai?

You may be wondering with so many things to do in Dubai, how long do I need to plan my trip? Dubai is one of the many places in the world where it doesn’t matter how long you intend to visit.

Whether for a quick trip, a week-long visit, or a long stay, you can fit all these popular things to do and attractions in. A great way to start is by finding very accessible accommodation.

Areas like downtown Dubai where you can get to many of these attractions and sites will give you time to see it all. Let’s dive into the many things to do in Dubai starting with Jumeirah Mosque.

Dubai Jumeirah Mosque

Jumeirah Mosque

Worshipers and travelers come from far and wide to visit the Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai. The mosque has been open since 1979 and is definitely one of the most visited and beloved landmarks in the city.

Although the mosque is temporarily closed, it can fit up to 1,500 worshipers and curious visitors a day. Tours of Jumeirah occur daily. They include stories about the history, religion, and culture of the Emiratis. Be sure to check the official website for daily updates on the mosque’s awaited re-opening.

View of Dubai Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab

One of the most notable attractions in Dubai is the luxurious five-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab. The hotel itself is located on an artificial island, connected to the mainland by a bridge. It stands over 1,050 feet high (321 meters) and has 202 rooms. The most expensive suite in the hotel can cost up to $130,000 for a one-night stay. If you wish to explore the luxurious hotel for the day, visitors can dine in one of the nine restaurants on-site. Including the Al Mahara Restaurant, which is actually located underwater. Dining with a view of the underwater aquarium is definitely on the list of top things to do in Dubai. When visiting this Middle Eastern city, stop by the popular Burj Khalifa skyscraper.

Dubai Frame

Dubai Frame

This picture frame is worth a thousand words. This is structure is located in Zabeel Park. While the Dubai Frame is one of the most incredible structures in the UAE, it is also one of the most controversial. The frame’s design was created during the ThyssenKrupp Elevator International Award competition. The winning designer never actually received official credit or compensation. It was built to be the face of the “new Dubai” and it’s much more than the tallest building in the city. In fact, it holds the record for being the largest frame on the planet. If you’re looking for a picture-perfect moment, visit the frame in downtown Dubai.

Dubai Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood

Dubai’s Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood

For cultural and historic things to do in Dubai, pay a visit to the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. The site is open all day long, but be sure to check the official website for museum hours. Take advantage of learning about Dubai’s early life and culture. The district hosts many different exhibits, presentations, and heritage events. If you want to learn a cultural thing or two during your getaway, then this will be the perfect place to start.

Dubai Aquaventure Waterpark

Dubai Aquaventure Waterpark

A visit to the  Aquaventure Waterpark is one of the best things to do in Dubai with kids. While the park is part of the Atlantis Hotel, you do not need to be a guest to visit for the day. This water park is also one of many in the whole city. There are over 30 attractions to visit in the park. You and your little ones can have the opportunity to spend the full day there.

Dubai Palm Island View

Skydive Dubai

Looking to cross off a bucket list item while in Dubai? Skydiving above Palm Jumeirah Island is by far one of the most epic things to do in Dubai. Skydive Dubai has broken several world records. This extreme sport has been a tradition in Dubai for over 10 years, with hundreds of jumps a month. It is something everyone must experience once in their lifetime, especially in Duba. Check out the official website to book your unforgettable excursion in the air.

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

The Dubai Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums and animal sanctuaries in the world. People can see the underwater creatures in their habitat, as well as interact with them. Several encounters and tours include cage diving, shark feeding, snorkeling. The aquarium and zoo are located in downtown Dubai in the famous Dubai Mall, an attraction of its own. If you have ever dreamt of getting up close and personal with ocean and sea creatures, this is your chance. Witness one of the largest creatures in the world, the whale shark, swim just a few feet away from you. This experience will surely take your breath away.

dubai miracle garden

Dubai Miracle Garden

Although Dubai’s colorful Miracle Garden is closed until November 2020, this beautiful site is one of the city’s treasures. This garden is not just any plant home. In fact, it is the world’s largest natural garden with over 150 million flowers. The normal season for the garden is mid-November until mid-May, which is when the flowers are in full bloom. Witness hundreds and thousands of flowers illuminate the garden in a matter of days.

What’s extra special about this garden? Each year the site introduces a new theme. It adapts its arrangements into large structures and designs. On average, over 1.5 million people visit the Miracle Garden every year. Making it one of the most popular attractions not just in Dubai, but in the entire country.

Dubai Desert

Dubai Safari

From camel rides and quad bikes to dune buggies and Jeeps, if you are going to Dubai, you can’t miss out on taking a safari excursion. With several different desert safari tours to choose from, this is definitely one of the best ways to experience Dubai’s desert. You may even stumble upon some of the UAE’s hidden gems if you know where to look. You can spend a day at a theme park, explore the gardens, and enjoy the desert by night.

Dubai Fountain

The Dubai Fountain

The Dubai Mall Fountain is one of the city’s most mesmerizing attractions. The founds shoot 22,000 gallons of water up to 460 feet (140 meters) high. The show occurs every day for 30 minutes at six PM. It includes music by Andrea Bocelli, Michael Jackson, Sarah Brightman, and more talented artists. Listening to music with a view of the water dancing in the sky is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. Plan at least one of your evenings around the show to admire the work of art that is this performance.

Looking for more things to do in Dubai?

How about places to stay? Although Dubai can be an expensive city to visit, CuddlyNest offers some of the most affordable hotels and vacation homes in Dubai. These properties come with some of the best amenities, activities, and excursions. Browse through one of the many popular neighborhoods to find the perfect accommodation for your trip to Dubai.

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Staycations: 5 Benefits of Vacations near Home

This summer is the perfect opportunity to embark on a staycation. You heard that right. Staycations allow travelers to explore their own cities, states, or countries and discover what their own backyard has to offer. As domestic tourism continues to rise this year, the tourism industry is helping create the idea that just because you can’t travel far does not mean you can’t travel. So let’s find out what our home away from home can teach us about the world, and why you need to embark on a staycation this summer.

What it Means to Staycation

This trending style of vacationing is actually not a new concept at all. Many times when people want to have a quick getaway without going very far, a staycation has provided the perfect solution. Maybe a new hotel opened up down the road from your house that you would love to stay at. Maybe you just bought an RV that you would love to take to the nearby national park. The benefits of taking a staycation are endless, and we will share with you some of the best ones.

The Benefits of Staycations

As countries around the world including Australia and New Zealand, offbeat destinations within the European Union, and more, begin to form travel bubbles to boost summer tourism, there is even more of an opportunity to explore near home and experience the benefits of staycations. While we could list hundreds of the benefits staycations provide, here are five that truly make the case for why taking a vacation near home is the perfect solution for travel this summer.

reading a book during staycations

1. Staycations are Affordable

Whether domestic travel or international travel if you have long-haul transportation involved your travel bill can spike very quickly. By taking a staycation you can skip the heavy costs that come with booking flights and accommodations for long periods of time and focus on indulging in fun amenities and activities. Find the perfect stay on CuddlyNest at the best price, so that you can indulge in a nearby getaway without having to break the bank.

2. Reduced Travel Time – More Time for Vacation

Now that you don’t have to hop on long-haul transportation to get to your destination, you can focus on the most important part of your trip. Enjoying your vacation. Reduced travel time allots for more time spent relaxing, adventuring, and fulfilling your goals for your getaway. Whether that’s treating yourself to a nearby day spa or hiking at your county’s national park, when you don’t have to worry about getting there, time, stress, and cost is eliminated very quickly.

pet-friendly trips

3. Your Pet Can Come Too

Although many hotels and vacation rentals strive to be more inclusive towards pet visits, when you take staycations, that is one thing less to worry about. You can rest easy and comfortable knowing that whatever experience you embark on, your pet can come along with you. Did you know there are certain countries that specifically boast and encourage pet-friendly travel? If you live in the US, Germany, Japan, and several others, then you’re in the perfect spot to staycation with your pet.

4. Boost Sustainable Travel in Your Neighborhood

Is there a new restaurant you have been craving to visit? How about a new eco-friendly boutique hotel? Staying near home will not only benefit you but also your local economy. Check out the local food markets, places of interest, and accommodations to help boost your neighborhood’s revenue and sustainable travel efforts. Staycations can contribute directly to businesses that rely on tourism and ecotourism in your area. You can help them economically, make a difference, and feel great about your getaway for being sustainable.

eco-lodge to visit for staycations

5. You Can Staycation from Anywhere in the World

While some countries like Australia, the UK, Brazil, Germany, the US, and more are more well-known for their domestic tourism, you can take a staycation from anywhere in the world. Whether you’re originally from Rome and have never visited Florence, or are from Hawaii and have never been to Maui, your very own place can offer you experiences you can’t get anywhere else.

As hotels, vacation rentals, and businesses begin to open up to welcome visitors again, be sure to check with your local governments and policies to ensure that your staycation is not only the best yet, but extra safe and secure.

Plan Your Next Steps

As July begins and travelers prepare to explore again, CuddlyNest wants to remind all wanderlusts to practice safe travel and continue to follow CDC and WHO guidelines and recommendations. Tour and sightseeing company, Headout is providing travelers with up to date information on what attractions are reopening, and where, allowing you to plan things to do during your staycation and future long-distance vacation. We can’t wait to travel the world with you again.

Looking forward to planning a summer staycation with CuddlyNest? Let us know where you are from and we will help you find the perfect staycations at the best price.

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6 Affordable Romantic Getaways in California

California offers some of the most romantic getaways, as well as affordable accommodations to stay at. Between the sandy beaches, gorgeous views of all types of landscapes, and relaxing ambiance, it’s no wonder why California is one of the most popular places to visit.

While the golden state often garners the reputation for its overpriced cities, we recommend going off the beaten path to experience its hidden gems. There is so much to discover beyond the big cities. If wine-tasting, dolphin and whale watching, and hiking in national parks are on your bucket list, then California is the place for you. Find your romantic getaway and the most affordable home or hotel to keep you comfortable your whole trip.

romantic getaway in san francisco

Explore Northern California

Take a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, experience the rolling hills of Napa Valley, and watch the stars from Yosemite. Northern California simply offers some of the most unique and one-of-a-kind experiences for couples to enjoy? If you and your partner are looking for romantic getaways to take during your road trip or honeymoon, then NorCal is the place to go. Here are three of the must-visit Northern California locations and the affordable accommodations that will offer you endless romance.

Napa Valley

When it comes to romantic California getaways, Napa Valley wins every time. Couples will love spending the day at any of the 400 wineries in the valley and indulging in the spectacular views. Spend the weekend at one of the incredible vineyard hotels to enjoy spa services and seclusion. The city is just a short 50-mile drive (80 kilometers) out of San Francisco. While Napa’s peak season is typically August to October, there really is no bad time to explore this area. If you and your partner are up for a little adventure, you can even bike around the vineyards through the calm streets connecting them together. All couples will simply fall in love with each other, the valley, and the amazing places to stay.

view of couple in napa valley

Yosemite

Couples looking to take their love to new heights will be enchanted by Yosemite National Park. Most famous for its giant Sequoia trees and natural landmarks including Half Dome, adventurous duos can explore the park by day, and relax at a nearby vacation rental at night. Hikers and visitors can wander through 110 trails in the park. From days by the lake and nights star-gazing from the Jacuzzi, if an outdoor getaway is what you are in need of, this is the best place to visit. You may even be lucky enough to see some California wildlife along your adventure.

Marin County

Cross the Golden Gate Bridge to visit San Francisco’s neighbor Marin County. Boasting beautiful views of the city and charming neighborhoods to explore, Marin offers the perfect romantic escape out of the big city. Spend the day biking around the harbors in Sausalito and indulge in shopping at Mill Valley’s boutiques. If you’re really looking to surprise your partner during your trip, plan a picnic at the top of Mount Tamalpais. Enjoy the unobstructed views as you both watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. There is something so special about this destination, that you’ll have to visit for yourself.

los angeles view

Discover Southern California

The best part about California is you can experience it all. You can spend a day in the mountains and arrive at the beach in the afternoon. It truly offers a once in a lifetime opportunity for couples you cannot get anywhere else. While Northern California is known for its coastal and mountainous regions, SoCal boasts chaparral, deserts, and beaches. As you make your way down the coast, Southern California has some of the most incredible destinations for couples to visit. Indulge in a beach outing, island escape, and desert exploration. Let’s discover California’s most romantic getaways for couples to enjoy.

Catalina Island

Right off the coast of Orange County and southern LA, is the enchanting Catalina Island. Just a short ferry boat away, couples will love exploring Catalina’s port town. You and your partner can enjoy a day of hiking to the top of the cliffs while enjoying a view of the coast. You also cannot be snorkeling in the bay to search for California’s state fish, the garibaldi. If a romantic getaway in California is what you are in search of, then there is no better place than Catalina. You can even combine a trip to Catalina Island for the day with a stay in Laguna Beach. It’s the best of both worlds.

view from catalina island

San Luis Obispo

Located almost equally between Los Angeles and San Francisco, SLO for short is one of the most charming counties in California. With its Spanish design and architecture, San Luis Obispo will give you the feeling that you’re in a completely different country, even though you are right in the heart of California. You can be at the beach, in the wine country, or in the mountains within 10 minutes. Embrace the small-town charm with incredible restaurants, boutiques, and of course, romantic getaways. This town is ideal if you are looking to embrace quality time with your significant other in a serene location.

La Jolla

Just 15 miles north of San Diego is the oceanfront community, La Jolla. Known for its upscale vibe and beach town ambiance, La Jolla is the perfect escape for couples looking for a relaxing coastal getaway. Indulge in the gourmet restaurants and take a walk through the Old Town. Couples will love taking a drive down to Cove Beach to walk through the crystal blue waters at sunset. It really is a one-of-a-kind spot for a romantic weekend with your partner. You can even add adventure to your trip by taking a surf or paddleboard lesson. Check out the amazing hotels and vacation rentals in the area.


Fall in love with endless romantic getaways in California. Incredible hotels and vacation rentals await couples looking for a one-of-a-kind getaway with their special someone. Already planning your trip? Check out CuddlyNest for accommodations in the area you wish to visit. We can’t wait to explore California with you, soon.

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11 Sacred Attractions Around the World

Some of the most popular places to visit around the globe are sacred attractions.  Found in both popular cities as well as off the beaten path locations, these holy sites attract millions of visitors a year. Valued for being places of worship, and for their beauty and uniqueness, one can’t help but admire these structures. Some of these sites were even considered when choosing the new wonders of the world. We are here to share 11 of those sites with you and some things you may not know about each. Get your maps and travel wish lists ready.


white temple thailand

Wat Rong Khun, Thailand

The White Temple, Wat Rong Khun is located in the Chiang Rai region in Thailand. At the end of the 20th century, the temple in this location was in complete ruins. Thai artist,  Chalermchai Kositpipat, decided to completely recreate and rebuild the temple. He funded the project completely on his own and began working on it in 1997. While it is not completed and may not be for another 50 years, it is open to the public to visit and explore. When it is completed it will have a total of nine buildings. It is filled with Buddhist relics that tell ancient stories of the religion. It has become very a important part of Buddhist present-day culture. The temple also serves as a monastery for monks.


sacred attractions uae

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, The United Arab Emirates

The largest Islamic mosque in the UAE is the Sheikh Zayed Grand. This stunning mosque, located in Abu Dhabi, is world-renowned for its ornate decoration and design. It was commissioned by the late president of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and built from 1996 to 2007. He wanted a place where the Islamic culture could blend with the art and history of the modern world. The beautiful mosque can fit up to 40,000 people at one time. During Ramadan, the mosque welcomes millions of visitors. It is declared by many as one of the most important sacred attractions in the world.


sagrada familia in barcelona

La Sagrada Familia, Spain

One of the most revered places in Spain is La Sagrada Familia located in Barcelona. Construction on the Roman Catholic Basilica began in 1882, and to this day it is still not completely finished. In 1883, Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi took over as chief of the project and combined a mix of Gothic and Art Noveau forms. When he died in 1926 the building was no more than 25% complete. It is the most visited tourist site in Barcelona, and one of the most visited sacred attractions in Spain, with over 3 million visitors a year. It remains one of the most cherished works of art and architecture in the world.


temple mount sacred attraction

Temple Mount, Israel

Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, Temple Mount is an integral structure and part of multiple world religions. It is a holy site for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and is one of the most visited sacred attractions in the city along with the Western Wall and Dome of the Rock. It is the holiest place in the world for the Jewish people, creating a lot of contention with the other faiths. Historically, the Jewish people are forbidden entry into Temple Mount due to Jewish law stating their people cannot enter Jewish holy grounds. Instead, to worship, they visit the Western Wall located at the bottom of the hill. Pro tip: spend a little extra time reading the updated policies before visiting. Those can be found, here.


sacred attractions the cathedral in russia

St. Basil’s Cathedral, Russia

St. Basil’s Cathedral is one of Moscow’s most famous structures and pieces of artwork. Not only is it important to the people of Moscow, but to all of Russia. The cathedral is located in the center of Red Square and is viewed as a symbol of Russia’s past, present, and future. Ivan the Terrible ordered its building in 1555. He wanted to celebrate defeating the last of the Mongol empire in Europe. After it was built, he was determined that the architect never build a cathedral as magnificent as this. While it is still a religious symbol for the Russian Orthodox Church, the cathedral now belongs to federal Russia and serves as both a Christian Church and a museum.


monastery in bhutan

Paro Taktsang, Bhutan

The astounding Paro Taktsang Monastery clings to a cliff above Paro Valley, Bhutan. It is a cultural phenomenon and a very big part of the Buddhist Himalayan culture. While it appears impossible to access, visitors can arrive at the monastery by trekking paths along the mountain. This has created some difficulty in maintaining its structure over the years. It is also commonly named “Tigress lair” or “Tiger’s Nest” from the legend of Padmasambhava flying to the site on the back of a tiger. The temple offers one of the most beautiful views and one of the most unique experiences when visiting the Himalayas.


blue mosque in turkey

The Blue Mosque, Turkey

Located in Istanbul, Turkey, the Blue Mosque is an Islamic place of worship. It is originally named The Sultan Ahmet Mosque after the sultan who commissioned its construction in 1609. Although the mosque is not blue on the outside, its interior is adorned with 20,000 handmade Iznik ceramic tiles that create a blue color. Hence giving it its nickname. It was built to rival the Hagia Sophia which sits opposite the mosque no more than a four-minute walk away. Due to its similar design and structure, many tourists question if they are the same building. The builders made six minarets to match the most important mosque in Mecca.


basilica in italy

Madonna Della Corona, Italy

Santuario Madonna Della Corona is one of the most stunning religious sanctuaries in Italy. It is tucked into the cliffs of Mount Baldo in the province of Verano. Visitors come to la Madonna for silence, worship, and meditation. The sanctuary also symbolizes a place between heaven and earth. The church was built in 1530 and appears as if it is almost hanging off the cliff rather than sitting in a cave. The structure was heavily renovated in the 1970s proceeding a visit by Pope John Paul II. The actual chapel can only be reached by foot, representing the path Jesus took during the Passion of the Christ.


angkor wat in cambodia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992, Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. This Buddhist temple was originally constructed for the Hindu religion, during the first half of the 12th century. It is built across 400 acres and took over 40 years to construct. It served as the capital city for the Khmer empire until the second half of the 12th century when it was converted into a Buddhist temple. Its name directly translates to “city of temples.” It still remains an active place of worship for Buddhists, today. In 2019 it was recorded that over 2.6 million people visited the temple complex in 2018.


notre dame french sacred attractions

Notre-Dame, France

The Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of the world’s best examples of medieval gothic architecture. Notre-Dame translates to “Our Lady” and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary by the Parisians. Located on the Île de la Cité in Paris, construction on the Notre-Dame began in 1163 and was completed in 1345. It is also believed that the cathedral was built on top of ruins from the ancient pagan city, Lutetia. Tragically, the Notre-Dame caught on fire in April 2019 which destroyed one of the spires. Before the fire, the cathedral welcomed more than 35,000 visitors a day. Although the renovation is currently on hold due to the pandemic, France has ensured that the restoration of the cathedral is a priority and will begin as soon as possible.


golden temple in india

The Golden Temple Amritsar, India

The Golden Temple in Punjab, India is formally known as Sri Harmandir Sahib Amritsar. It serves as both a place of worship for the Sikh religion, as well as a symbol of community and equality for all of India. It is also considered to be the national Sikh temple of India and a Gurdwara which means “door to the guru.” Construction on this remarkable structure began in 1581 and was not completed until 8 years later in 1589. In 2017, the World Book of Records declared and verified that The Golden Temple was one of the most visited places in the world.


Have you visited any of these sacred attractions? Let us know in the comments. Stay tuned for more must-visit global sites this month on the CuddlyNest blog and social media channels.

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Explore Europe’s Offbeat Vacation Destinations

Are you planning a trip to Europe this summer?  While there is a possibility your vacation may look a little differently than you had in mind, do not worry. As many of Europe’s destinations begin welcoming tourists, there are a few locations we suggest putting at the top of your list. Start with the best offbeat vacation destinations Europe has to offer. Instead of your overcrowded tourist spots, swap that for a getaway to a secluded beach or an isolated hilltop house. With so many beautiful and hidden locations, you will forget that you are even in some of the most popular locations.

Find your offbeat vacation destinations:

a view of slovenia's lake

Summer nights will be unforgettable when visiting Bohinj, Slovenia.

Swap a city break for a visit to the great outdoors in Bohinj, Slovenia

What’s not to love about Slovenia?  Slovenia is famous for being one of the greenest places on Earth. It will come as no surprise that Slovenia’s northwest municipality, Bohinj, is the European Best Destination’s “best destination for sustainable tourism in Europe.” As summer tourism picks up now more than ever it is vital to practice ecotourism. So by booking your vacation to Bohinj, you can help stimulate eco-friendly travel in the great outdoors. Sounds to us like a great plan! The isolated town is located in the Julian Alps and boasts incredible views, hiking and trekking, and warm days by the lake. It is also only 40 minutes away from Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana. Find the perfect vacation rental or hotel near Bohinj, Slovenia.

corfu greece beaches

Indulge in a beach getaway in Corfu, Greece.

Instead of a crowded beach in Santorini, visit secluded Corfu, Greece.

While tourists around the world usually flock to Santorini and Mykonos for summer, we suggest switching it up by visiting Corfu, Greece instead. Did you know Greece has 6,000 islands in the Ionian and Aegean Seas? Corfu is on the northwest coast in the Ionian Sea and is famous for its incredible beaches and ideal resort location. This is the perfect island to catch up on your rest and relaxation with incredible views, and ideal seclusion for a socially distant getaway. We recommend spending your day at the spectacular beaches in Kavos, Kontokali, Paleokastritsa, Glyfada, Kontokali, and more. In the evening take a stroll through Corfu’s old town which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. You’ll absolutely fall in love with this island.

the beach in malta

Enjoy the sunset over Marsaxlokk, Malta.

Craving an island escape? Give Malta a visit!

If sitting by the sea drinking a glass of chilled wine is something you are interested in, then Malta is the perfect destination for you. The entire area of Malta is about 95 square miles, 246 square kilometers. You can have breakfast in the south and dinner in the north, on the same day. The close proximity from the city and beaches to the next to make it a great island to take a road trip on as well. We recommend staying in the capital city, Valetta. Pro tip: you can take a ferry boat or boat cruise to enjoy the turquoise blue waters of the blue lagoon in Cominos Island. Malta will prove in seconds why it’s one of the best locations for an offbeat vacation.

zagreb capital in Croatia

Discover the delicious cuisine in Zagreb, Croatia.

Have you heard of Game of Thrones? If you’re a fan, Croatia is for you!

Now we know what you are thinking… Croatia has too many incredible places to visit, how can you choose just one? From its charming capital of Zagreb to the beach towns of Split, this Balkan country has so much to offer visitors. But we recommend going off the beaten path to visit some of its more secluded and hidden gems like Cavtat and Rijeka, too. The best part about taking an offbeat vacation to Croatia is you will have an opportunity to explore it all. And, after trying some of the traditional Croatian cuisines, you will never want to leave. Find your one-of-a-kind affordable accommodation in Croatia, here.

azores island portugal

Soak in the incredible views from the Azores Islands.

Take a road trip through Portugal.

From north to south, Portugal is a country you do not want to miss visiting, especially in the summer. With incredible sites to go winetasting at in Porto to the stunning beaches in the Algarve, you can experience it all by taking a road trip. If you really want to explore offbeat Portugal, then you need to book a stay on the Azores Island. There are many trails to explore offering beautiful views of the entire island. With dozens of national parks to visit you will adore your offbeat vacation alongside the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll want to visit again and again.

warsaw poland center plaza

Enjoy a coffee with a view in Warsaw, Poland.

Explore the historic streets of Poland.

Looking for another European country to cross off your bucket list? We recommend a visit to Poland. Not only is Poland incredibly budget-friendly, but it is also one of the safest destinations to visit in Europe. The charming towns and cities boast historic architecture and monuments to admire. Looking for traditional Polish food to try? Grab a pint and order a pierogi, you’ll want to eat a dozen. A visit to Poland will leave you with a deep appreciation for the history Poland and Europe have.


Excited to visit these locations and more? Find the perfect hotel or vacation rental on CuddlyNest. We are working hard to update our blog with the best places to visit this summer. Stay tuned for more!

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Discover the New Seven Wonders of the World

Across the globe, people travel far and wide to visit The New Seven Wonders of the World. But, do you know the history of theses sites and how they came to be so important to the global community?

pyramids in egypt

For centuries the world has celebrated amazing sculptures and architecture. So much so that seven of these landmarks have the global status of being a “Wonder of the World”. Although there are now several categories with this title, the original list of ancient wonders dates back to a piece of work written in 225 B.C. by Philo of Byzantine called On Seven Wonders. These landmarks are revered because they show the true capability humans have for incredible imagination and creativity. After all, each of these architectural phenomenons is manmade.

The New Seven Wonders

The only ancient wonder that still exists today is the Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt. In order to choose the new seven wonders of the world, a foundation was created in 1999 to vote and choose them. After over 100 million votes, the new sites were revealed in 2007. They are Petra, The Colosseum, The Great Wall of China, Christ the Redeemer, Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu, and the Taj Mahal.

Although these sites are currently closed to the public, travelers can still admire and explore them through virtual tours. Learn about each of the new seven wonders of the world and plan for your future visit.


new seven wonders of the world petra

Petra, Jordan

Petra, Jordan is one of the most remarkable landmarks on the planet. This ancient city is from the 1st century B.C. and served as the Arabic capital of the Nabateans Empire. The state became very wealthy due to its position in the trading routes between Arabia, India, Africa, and the West. Its moniker is the Rose City and it became a UNESCO Heritage site in 1985. The beautiful sandstone walls are famous for their feature in the 1989 film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. According to the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA), Petra welcomed over one million visitors in 2019.


new seven wonders of the world christ the redeemer

Christ the Redeemer, Brazil

The colossal Christ the Redeemer statue looks over Rio de Janeiro from the summit of Mount Corcovado. Construction on the statue took place in April 1922 and it was completed in 1931. The statue is 98 feet tall and its arms span 92 feet wide from fingertip to fingertip. It is the largest Art Deco-style sculpture in the entire world. Christ the Redeemer celebrates and honors the 100th year anniversary of the Brazilian Republic. It is still one of the most visited sites in not only Brazil but the world. There is even a replica of the statue in Lisbon, Portugal.

In March 2020, the statue was illuminated with flags of all the countries heavily affected by COVID-19. An act that showed an outpour of support for the global community.


new seven wonders of the world chichen itza

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Over 2 million tourists visit Chichen Itza, the second most popular archeological site in Mexico, a year. The ancient city is on the Yucatan Peninsula. The Kukulkan Pyramid, which is located in the center of the site, is one of the only buildings to maintain its original structure. Historians say Chichen Itza was built from 600 A.D. until 1221 during the Mayan empire. Due to its location and size, it stood as one of the most important places in Mayan culture. In December 2019, a new daily visit record was broken, with over 18,000 visitors in just one day. It is a must-visit when planning a trip to Mexico.


new seven wonders of the world great wall of china

The Great Wall of China, China

One of the most famous structures in the world is the Great Wall of China. Built in the early 7th century B.C. it took over 2,500 years to complete the entire wall. It spanned over more than 10 Chinese dynasties. The wall winds up and down the country in a dragon-like shape and extends over 13,170 miles (21,196 kilometers). Due to both human and natural causes, almost 1/3 of the wall is missing today. Thus, the Chinese government has commissioned many restoration projects to renovate the wall and its missing parts. The Chinese don’t refer to this wonder as “the Great Wall.” They call it Chángchéng, which means Long Wall. Visited by over 10 million people a year, this wonder of the world became a UNESCO Heritage site in 1987.


new seven wonders of the world colosseum

The Colosseum, Italy

Located in the heart of Rome, Italy, The Colosseum stands proud as a symbol of power for the country. Construction on the Colosseum started in 70 A.D. However, it did not officially begin until 72 A.D. and finish until 80 A.D. Building the Colosseum was ordered by Emperor Vespasian who wanted to build the largest amphitheater in the world. In fact, it is still the largest in the world. During its time, the Colosseum could seat as many as 50,000 to 70,000 spectators. It was used to host gladiator contests, mock sea battles, and animal hunts. Some of the animals even included big cats and crocodiles. The historical landmark is one of Italy’s most famous tourist attractions and welcomes over 7 million visitors a year.


The Taj Mahal, India

The Taj Mahal is so much more than just a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in 1632 to 1648 for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The building represents the emperor’s everlasting love for his wife. Today, it stands as a beacon of light and strength for India and the global community. Over 2.5 million visitors come to visit the Taj Mahal every year. As are the other wonders, the Taj Mahal is also a UNESCO Heritage site since 1983. While photos of the building show its beauty, they cannot truly capture the delicacy and attention to detail. It is truly a place one must see in person in order to know its magnificence.


machu picchu view

Machu Picchu, Peru

Last, but not least is Machu Picchu. This site is one of the most breathtaking global landmarks and the true pride of Peru. Machu Picchu belongs to the Incan empire from the mid-15th-century. However, it wasn’t rediscovered until 1911 by archeologist Hiram Bingham.  He was searching for another ancient city when he found the green terraces and remains of the structure. Many historians commonly use the term “ruins” when referring to this wonder, however, that is an incorrect description according to Machupicchu.org. It is best to describe this city as a sanctuary as it was a spiritual and sacred place for the Incans. Machu Picchu became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.


Have you ever visited one of the new seven wonders of the world? Let us know! Check out our blog to learn about more places you can virtually visit today.

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