Hacks & Tips 4 MINS READ

The Smart Guide to Sustainable Travel and Ecotourism

The Smart Guide to Sustainable Travel and Ecotourism

Hacks & Tips 4 MINS READ

Do you consider ecotourism and sustainable travel when making your travel plans? While we do not encourage hoping in a plane or train to explore right now, we can take advantage of learning more about the importance of traveling sustainably and how to reduce our carbon footprint on our next adventure. We at CuddlyNest believe in eco-friendly travel and want to share our smart guide on ways to make your next getaway your greatest yet, for both you and Mother Nature.  Educate yourself on the best ecotourism practices with us.

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Choose ecotourism and a destination that is off the beaten path.

When choosing your next destination, consider visiting a place that is already putting forth measures to increase sustainable travel. Off the beaten path, getaways allow you to connect with the great outdoors and decrease the opportunity for additional waste. Consider visiting a national park, secluded beach, or desert oasis. 

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Book an Eco-Hostel or Green-Minded Vacation Rental.

These days it is more common for boutique hotels and hostels, as well as vacation rentals, to have sustainable methods in place for their guests. From off-grid penthouses to luxurious eco-friendly pop-up tents in the middle of a desert, you can find a stay that offers your desired comfort but also respects the environment.

Before booking a stay, make sure the eco-hostel or community-led accommodation utilizes green practices, such as limiting the use of harmful cleaning chemicals, bleaches, or other anti-environmental substances. This will ensure your holiday is both safe and enjoyable for you and the environment. 

Consider your means of transportation.

While many of us love to jet-set across the globe, unfortunately, air travel is one of the biggest factors in pollution every year. On your next trip, embrace slow sustainable travel and see the world around you. Consider adding travel by bus and train to your itinerary. Countries all over the globe are putting forth larger efforts to improve their ground transportation to make it more comfortable and eco-friendly to use. One of those ways is by adding wifi to buses and trains, which makes travel for business even more convenient and sustainable. Night buses and trains are even providing affordable options to make your trip budget-friendly as well…

If you are looking to explore a destination however it requires short air or train travel to get there, consider parking your car near the airport, to avoid long travel and leaving a larger carbon footprint. Websites like Park Fellows will allow you to find the best-priced parking, which will help you save for more future sustainable travel and ecotourism.

ecotourism train travel

Skip motors, get the bike rolling!

While motorbikes and scooters are fun means of transportation, on your next trip rent a bicycle or an electric scooter to get from place to place. Cycling is not only great for the environment since you are reducing your carbon footprint, but it is also great for your health. It’s the perfect solution to seeing a place and promoting ecotourism.

You won’t need to worry about missing the gym while biking around each city. Many major cities now offer bike rentals that you can pick up, go, and park. You may unlock a bike via a mobile app, take a stroll and drop it off on the nearest bike station. Take your time to get from place to place  – either on a bike or using your inner motor and walking! 

sustainable bike travel


Reduce your waste and use of plastic!

When traveling it may be hard to resist grabbing something to go so you can see as much as possible. To boost sustainable travel, we recommend you take your time, enjoy the sites, and eat at local restaurants. Contributing to the local economy is not only good for the restaurant but the community as a whole. Reduce your waste and use of plastic. This will ensure you leave the city even better than how you found it. 


Instead of souvenirs, collect postcards.

Last, but not least – be mindful of your consumption of gifts and souvenirs. While it is always fun to have trinkets from your travels, consider collecting postcards or making a photo album. 


These are just some small changes that you can implement to make tourism a little bit more sustainable. As travelers, it is our responsibility to keep the planet safe so we can all continue exploring. 

Do you have any other suggestions on how to practice sustainable travel and ecotourism? Don’t hesitate to comment, we would love to share all the knowledge to make a better world!

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Croatia 7 MINS READ

Fun Facts About Croatia: 50 Things You May Not Know

Fun Facts About Croatia: 50 Things You May Not Know

Croatia 7 MINS READ

One of Europe’s most beautiful coastal countries, Croatia has many things to offer visitors. But what do we really know about Croatia? We know it has incredible food, dreamy landscapes, and some of the friendliest people. We know it is one of the most famous film locations and is very well-known for its picturesque red-roof houses and crystal blue waters.

But there is still so much to learn before packing your bags and heading off to the Dalmatian Coast. That’s why we are sharing with you the most interesting fun facts about Croatia, that you cannot find anywhere else. Whether you have or have not visited this Balkan country, there is so much to discover, that you’ll want to visit again and again.

What is Croatia known for?

fun facts about croatia with a view

Croatia has one of the most fascinating histories, cultures, and environments of all the European countries. With incredible outdoor attractions and historic monuments, it’s important to learn all the interesting and fun Croatia facts, and more to plan the perfect getaway. Let’s dive in, starting with the history of this Balkan country.

Quick Croatia Facts

CapitalZagreb
Official LanguageCroatian
Country Code+385
Currencykuna (HRK)
Time ZoneUTC +1
FlagThe Tricolour (Trobojnica)
Population4.076 million (as of 2019 report)
LocationSouthern Europe
Area56,594 km2
Neighbouring countriesSlovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro,
and Bosnia and Hezergovina
AnthemLijepa naša domovino (“Our Beautiful Homeland”)


Croatia’s History

View of the historic buildings in the coastal city of Rovijn, in Croatia.

Fact 1:  The country of Croatia was inhabited as early as the Paleolithic Age. The Croats then arrived in the 6th century.

Fact 2: On June 7, 879, Croatia was internationally recognized as an independent state. 46 years later, Tomislav became the first king in 925. Croatia thus became a kingdom and maintained its sovereignty for two centuries.

Fact 3: After years under different rules including the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Croatia finally gained its full independence on June 25, 1991.

Fact 4: Zagreb is the capital and largest city in Croatia. It became the capital of the Balkan country in April 1941. and is 247 square miles (641 square kilometers). It is home to a fifth of the country’s population.

Fact 5: Croatia is also home to an original Egyptian sphinx. In 297, twelve sphinxes were brought to Split, Croatia. Currently, only a black granite one remains and is standing at the Peristyle.

Fact 6. The Pula Arena in Pula, Croatia is the only remaining Roman amphitheater in the world to maintain its four side towers. It is one of the remaining three pieces of Roman architecture to keep its architectural integrity.

Did you know any of these fun facts about Croatia?

Croatian Geography & Cities

croatia cathedral in zagreb

Fact 7. Croatia borders five countries. Hungary to the north, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, as well as Serbia to the east, Montenegro to the south, and Slovenia to the west. The Adriatic Sea borders the majority of Croatia’s southwest region. While it does not directly border with Italy, the two countries share a maritime border.

Fact 8. Croatia may be one of Europe’s smaller country’s but it is actually the 127th largest country in the world.

Fact 9. There are nearly as many Croatians living outside of the country as there are living there. The current population is a little over 4 million people. 

Fact 10. Croatia has more than 1,200 islands, islets, and crags off the coast of the mainland. However, only 48 are inhabited. Hvar and Korcula receive the most visitors of all the islands.

Fact 11. The largest island in Croatia is Krk, with a surface area of 405.78 square meters. 

Fact 12. Croatia has a heart-shaped island, Galešnjak, which is also known as the Island of Love or Lover’s Island.

Fact 13. The city of Dubrovnik, in Croatia, had one of the first medieval sewer systems in Europe.

Fact 14. The world’s smallest town is in Croatia. The town of “Hum” is so small its population is only between 17 to 23 people.

Fact 15. Vinkovci in eastern Croatia is one of the oldest towns in Europe. It has been continuously inhabited for more than 8,000 years!

Fact 16. Zlatni rat beach changes in shape and color depending on the wind. This beach is in Bol, on the island of Brac. Its nickname is the Golden Horn.

Fact 17. Dubrovnik was the main film location for King’s Landing in the popular HBO show Game of Thrones. The city of Split was also used as one of the film locations.

Fact 18. Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, used to be known by the name Agram.

Fact 19. Every first weekend in August since 1715, the Croatian town of Sinj hosts a knight tournament named Sinjska Alka. During the chivalric tournament, knights ride horses along the main street, aiming lances at an iron ring.

Fact 20. The 108 meters high Zagreb Cathedral on Kaptol is the largest building in Croatia.

Croatia’s Culture

dalmatian dog and child in croatia

Fact 21.  Croatia is the home of the popular dog breed Dalmatians. The breed dates back to the 17th century. The coast is named after the breed.

Fact 22. The Croatian military first wore knotted neckties in the 1600s, thus many historians believe the necktie was invented in Croatia.

Fact 23. Croatia is very well known for its delicious cuisine, including specialties like Peka and Pag Cheese.

Fact 24. There are names of two Croatian’s on the map of the Moon. Scientists J.R. Boskovik and A.Mohorovicic.

Fact 25. Nikola Tesla was born in the northern Adriatic region of Lika.

Fact 26. The world’s first torpedo was constructed by Rijeka native, Ivan Lupis.

Fact 27. Croatian innovator, Slavoljub Penkala, invented the very first mechanical pencil. The name pen comes from his surname.

Fact 28. While the popular film Mamma Mia 2  takes place in the Greek Isles, it was actually filmed on the Croatian Island, Vis.

Fact 29. The main exports of Croatia consist of textiles, transport equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, and fuels.

Fact 30. On the Island of Susak, in Kvarner, women are known for wearing the shortest folk costumes in Europe.

Fact 31. The Croatian currency, the Kuna, is named after the pine-marten, a cat-sized mammal that’s part of the weasel family. This is because, in the past, pine marten’s fur was used for trading.

Fact 32. Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night was set in Dalmatia, a historical region located on the east shore of the Adriatic Sea, in Croatia.

Fact 33. The Croatian alphabet is also a form of the Latin script, but it has 30 letters in total. Their alphabet does not contain the letters q, w, x and y, but it has the following additional letters č, ć, dž, đ, lj, nj, š and ž.

Fact 34. The longest Croatian word is “prijestolonasljednikovičičinima”, which means “heirs to the throne”.

Fact 35. Croatia has the highest number of UNESCO Intangible Goods of any European Country. In addition to our Croatia interesting facts, there are also 10 sites in Croatia listed on the UNESCO World Heritage site list. The list includes the Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian, Dubrovnik city, and Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Fact 36. The Irish author James Joyce worked and lived in Istria, a peninsula located at the Adriatic Sea and shared by three countries: Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy.

Fact 37. Lord Byron, British Romantic poet, was said to have called Dubrovnik, in Croatia,” the pearl of the Adriatic”.

Fact 38. The traditional Zagreb Advent was voted the best Christmas Market in Europe for 3 years in a row.

Croatia’s Food

Fact 39. The medieval Croatian town of Motovun, in Istria, is known as the ‘land of truffles’.

Fact 40. One of the largest truffles in the world weighing 1.31 kg was found in Istria by Giancarlo Zigante and his dog, Diana. The truffle was listed by the Guinness World Records.

Fact 41. In Croatia, there are nearly 300 wine regions with a strict classification system for quality check. 

Fact 42. The peninsula of Istria, in Croatia, is a big producer of award-winning olive oils. The region is often referred to as the ‘new Tuscany’.

Fact 43. In 2016 the village of Jaškovo, in Croatia, has entered the Guinness World Records for being home to the world’s longest strudel, which was 1,479 metres long.

Croatia’s Great Outdoors

Plitvice Lake National Park Croatia

Fact 44. Croatia’s highest mountain is the Dinara peak which over 6,000 feet (1,831 meters).

Fact 45. Croatia is one of the most verdant and green countries in the world. 10% of the country is home to 11 Nature Parks, 8 national parks, and 2 nature reserves. One of it’s most famous national parks is Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Fact 46. Croatia enjoys 2.715 hours of sunshine a year. That’s more than Sydney, Australia. The Hvar Island, located off the Dalmatian Coast, receives the most with almost 2,800 hours of sunshine. 

Fact 47. According to Alfred Hitchcock, the city of Zadar has “the most beautiful sunset in the world, more beautiful than the one in Key West in Florida, applauded at every evening.”

Fact 48. Aside from having the most beautiful sunset in the world, the Croatian city of Zadar is home to a Sea Organ. Designed by Nikola Basic, this experimental sound object captures the movement of the waves and transforms it into music.

Fact 49. The national flower of Croatia is the iris.

Fact 50. Croatia has the richest collection of remains of Neanderthal people in the world.

Extra fun fact: Croatia has some of the best vacation rentals and hotels found on CuddlyNest. Plan your dream vacation in Croatia!


Now that you know the most interesting and best facts about Croatia, it is time to plan your getaway. Let us know what destinations you can’t wait to visit first, and we will help you find the perfect place to stay in Croatia.

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Croatia 7 MINS READ

The Top 10 Foods To Try In Croatia

The Top 10 Foods To Try In Croatia

Croatia 7 MINS READ

If you’re a real foodie, then your favorite travel moments in Europe happened while you were eating. From the delicate Italian pizza and the hearty German cuisine to the soulful Spanish tapas, the Old Continent offers delicious treats that appeal to the most demanding food connoisseurs.

Aside from the most obvious gourmet destinations, such as Italy, France, Portugal, and Spain, there are also remarkable offbeat hotspots for foodies in Europe. In Croatia, for instance, food is taken with pride, and family recipes are a legacy passed through generations and generations.

Rich and varied, Croatian food is one of the must-try cuisines for those who are planning a trip to the Balkans and during your trip, you’ll find yourself filling your itinerary with famed eateries where you’ll be able to sample the most delicious flavors of the country. But, before your trip, read our comprehensive guide to learn all about this flavorful cuisine and learn what are the top 10 foods to try in Croatia.

An Overview of Croatian Cuisine

Croatian Food: Rich and Varied

A plate with blitva and grilled squid, a traditional Croatian dish.

Croatia might not be the first destination foodies consider when planning a trip to Europe. But, surprisingly enough, the country is filled with traditional eateries, offering world-class options that are sure to please the most demanding palates.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the local food when visiting Croatia is that the country’s cuisine is extremely heterogeneous, and it varies both in preparation and ingredients according to the regions. This means that every region of Croatia has its own staple culinary traditions, which are highly influenced by the location. Croatia is located on the Adriatic Sea, and the coastal region of the country is characterized by the use of olive oil, sage, lemon, orange rind, and super fresh seafood. Also, thanks to it’s proximity to Italy (Croatia shares a maritime border with Italy), Croatia was highly influenced by Roman and especially Venetian cuisine, and many Croatian dishes are Italian fusions.

Dalmatia, which is a region of Croatia that encompasses a central coast strip along the Adriatic Sea, is known for using a lot of fresh vegetables and seafood in its dishes, aside from Mediterranean ingredients such as olive oil and garlic. One of their most famous dishes is the black risotto, which is made with squid’s ink.

Another amazing spot for coastal food in Croatia is Istria, which is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. Just like Dalmatia, Istria’s food was also influenced by the Mediterranean flavors, but the difference is that Istrian cuisine is a blend between continental and Mediterranean food. In Istria, a lot of fresh seafood is eaten, aside from homemade pasta.

While the coastal regions of Croatia take influence from the Mediterranean the mainland region of the country incorporates Slavic tradition and ingredients in its food, including stuffed bell peppers, poppy seed strudel, and other ingredients that can be found in neighboring countries, such as Hungary and Turkey.

Fun Facts About Croatian Food

A man holding a basket filled wih black truffles.

Fact 1. Croatia has 7 Michelin Star restaurants: LD Terrace, Korčula; Boškinac, Novalja, Pag; Noel, Zagreb; Draga di Lovrana, Lovran; Monte, Rovinj; Pelegrini, Šibenik, and 360, Dubrovnik.

Fact 2. Istria is known for its white and black truffles, and is regarded as “Croatia’s Truffle capital”. In fact, one of the largest truffles in the world weighing 1.31 kg was found in Istria.

Fact 3. Legend says that Julius Caesar bought his olive oil from Istria, as the region is a premium olive oil producer, and named the best in the world by Flos Oleil (the world’s most prestigious olive oil guide).

Fact 4. Croatia produces some of the finest sea salts in the world, which can be found in Nin, in Northern Dalmatia.

Fact 5. About 25 food festivals are held annually in Croatia.

Must-Try Foods in Croatia

1. A Vegan Delight: Poppy Seed and Almond Strudel

strudel desert foods of croatia

If you think Strudel is for Austrians, think again. Croatian poppy seed-filled strudels fill the air with the sweetest smell you’ll ever experience. The slightly crunchy top, sprinkled with snow-white sugar, and the rich taste of poppy seeds make the strudel a perfect start to the day. Paired with a soy cappuccino from freshly ground coffee beans, nothing can beat this duo for breakfast. Our favorite place in Zagreb for the best pastries in town is Dubravica pekarnica – just make sure to be early enough to get some right out of the oven!

2. For Dairy Lovers: Pag Cheese

Croatian Pag cheeses on the shelves.

If you are a fan of natural, free-range food, Croatian Pag cheese is a must. Made from sheep on Pag island, this treat is hard, salty, and gets more flavorful with age. For cheese lovers, it may remind you of Italian pecorino. One of the peculiarities in this cheese is the strong and distinct taste resulting from the sheep freely grazing the natural herbs, like rosemary. Paški sir, as it is referred to in Croatian, can also be tasted in a variety of food tours, so do not forget to consider checking some out before going to Croatia.

3. A Croatian Elixir: Korčula White Wine

croatian wine

Croatian weather and climate are especially good for winemaking. Traditional wineries offer one of the best white wine varieties in the region. In Croatia, Korčula Island is well known for its winemaking tradition. The island is proud of its white sand beaches that offer wine drinking paired with unforgettable views. Make sure to look for the distinctive dry taste, which is produced exclusively in Croatia. Croatia’s Korčula’s forests hide two well-known wine villages, Čara and Smokvica, where the famous pošip grapes are grown. Both wines go well together with seafood, lamb, and even traditional Peka stews. You can also taste the prošek, a sweet dessert wine, to accompany dessert fruits.

4. A Croatian Speciality: Octopus Salad

croatia octopus salad with olive oil

Croatian food is said to be similar to Venetian traditional cuisine, due to the abundance and variety of seafood it features. When traveling through the coastal regions of Croatia, you must order seafood. While the best Croatian restaurants offer a wide variety of lobsters, mussels, octopus, even black ink fish foods, and others, one of the best and most distinct traditional Croatian specialties is the octopus salad. Grilled and served with fresh leafy greens, it is the perfect lunch on a hot summer day. Some restaurants even add potatoes and capers, whilst others go for cherry tomatoes. You may want to order a glass of Korčula wine to go along with your meal. This is the best way to experience some of the best food in Croatia during your journey.

5. The Iconic Dalmatian Dish: Peka

croatian food with olive oil

In the winter, fish stew and hearty vegetable and meat dishes take over Croatian cuisine. One of the specialties and must-tries in case you visit Croatia in the chillier months of the year is Peka. Traditionally sauteed in a metal pot, this stew can include any kind of meat together with root vegetables. Its rich taste and full flavors come from hours of spices, vegetables, and meat simmering over an outdoor open flame. One enjoyable meal, and you’ll be energized to experience everything Croatia has to offer. Be sure to include Peka on your dinner or lunch menu the next time you’re in Dalmatia.

6. Pašticada: A Hearty Comfort Dish

Pasticada with gnocchi.

Pašticada is the ultimate Croatian comfort dish. It consists of slow-cooked meat, which is previously stuffed with garlic, cloves, carrot, and some bacon for extra flavor. The meat is salted and marinated in vinegar overnight, and it’s then roasted and cooked in a rich red sauce for 4 to 6 hours. The traditional Dalmatian pašticada is served with gnocchi or homemade pasta.

7. Crni Rižot: The Black Risotto

A squid risotto topped with three grilled shrimps.

Known as Crni Rižot, this risotto has an intense flavor, which is perfect for seafood lovers. The black risotto is made with cuttlefish or squid, aside from garlic, onion, rice, and squid ink. Crni Rižo is particularly famous in the coastal areas of Croatia.

8. Brodet: An Italian-Style Croatian Dish

Croatian style brodet with shrimp.

Brodet is a Dalmatian fish stew that is made using a variety of fishes such as dent fish, sea bass, tuna, and eel just to name a few. Famous in the coastal cities of Croatia, this fish-heavy soup can be served with polenta or bread to suck up all the flavorful sauce.

9. Fritule: A Sugary Christmas Treat

A copper bowl filled with Croatian fritules with powdered sugar on top.

Fritules are a popular sweet treat in Croatia, especially during Christmas time and Lent, which is the period before Easter. These fried dough balls are made with eggs, milk, flour, and usually contain citrus zest and rum. After they’re fried, the Fritules can be powdered with sugar and cinnamon for extra sweetness.

10. Ham: The Pride of Istria

Thin slices of ham.

You already know that Istria is famous for it’s black and white truffle and premium olive oil. But the region is also a renowned producer of ham. Cut into delicate thin slices, the Istrian ham is made from high-quality meat, which is enriched with sea salt from the Adriatic coast. Unique in flavor and texture, this ham has no adipose tissue, and the meat does not contain additives or nitrates. Another element that ensures the flavor and aroma of the Istrian ham is the fact that the meat is curated without smell, only with the help of clean air. Plus, the Istrian ham is legally protected, and it must be produced only in the hinterland of Istria.

Taste Croatia Your Own Way

Grilled squid with espargus and potatoes.

After reading our guide there is only one thing left to do: to go and experience the Croatian cuisine yourself. Aside from soaking up the sun in the best beaches of Croatia, take some time to eat your way out through the country and taste some of the best dishes it has to offer. Go to a new restaurant, be spontaneous, and keep in mind that every experience counts.

We hope you enjoyed our Croatian Food Guide. Make sure to try these incredible dishes during your next visit!

Browse. Book. Stay.

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

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Bucket List Travel 9 MINS READ

11 Best Road Trips You Need to Take During The Summer

11 Best Road Trips You Need to Take During The Summer

Bucket List Travel 9 MINS READ

There has never been a more perfect time to go on a road trip. For many around the world, the best way to ensure a safe, and hassle-free vacation is to either opt for a staycation within nearby areas or go on a long trip to rediscover the beauty in their own countries.

So, whenever you’re craving a city break, going on a road trip and heading somewhere new is a great idea, especially during the summer when the weather is warm and pleasant. Aside from skipping the heavy costs that come with traveling internationally, road trips can also be fit into your weekend and short breaks. Plus, road trips are pet-friendly and allow you to spend more quality time with your loved ones.

Ready to turn your next 4-wheel ride into an adventure? Then have a look at the 11 best road trips you need to take during the summer. You’ll find yourself escape to natural environments and enjoying the great outdoors like never before.

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

The Best Road Trips For The Summertime:

We have created the perfect guide to the best road trips you need to take this summer. That way when you settle in for an epic excursion, you’ll know exactly where to head. And the options are endless. For the ultimate North-American road trip, you can pick Route 66 or the Pacific Highway. For a vacation surrounded by gorgeous forested mountains, choose Nha Trang to Quy Nhon, in Vietnam. Looking for a postcard-worthy scenario to enjoy your summer vacation? Then the scenic Amalfi Coast, in Italy, is the right bet for you.

Take a look at the list and pick your favorite summer road trip destination.

Route 66 – United States

The route 66 during an orange sunset.

If you have ever taken a drive in the United States, you most likely heard of the U.S. Highway, Route 66. This highway first gained popularity in the mid-1920s as the country’s first all-weather highway linking Chicago to Los Angeles. In total, Route 66 spans over 2,400 miles and offers so much to explore along the way. This route became very famous as it goes straight through the heart of America crossing over eight states and three time zones. These states include Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and finally California.

This road trip route will take you through historic and natural landmarks in the southern half of the country including the Grand Canyon, the Ozarks, Mojave Desert, The Painted Desert, and more. You can even pop in and visit the Route 66 Hall of Fame, to learn more about the history of this national treasure. One thing is for sure, if you are embarking on a USA road trip this summer, you better take a drive down Route 66. You’ll be mesmerized by scenic landscapes filled with mountains, mind-blowing National Parks, forests, and other natural wonders in the United States.

Mongol Rally – Mongolia

The green hills of Mongolia at dusk.

Buckle in, bring a good book, and get set because the Mongol Rally road trip extends over 10,00 miles. That’s right! This epic adventure takes you all the way from the UK to Mongolia. While there is no official route, the goal of this road trip is to make it from any European destination to Mongolia in one piece and sometime between mid-August to mid-September. It can also take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months depending on your route and can cross over 18 countries. So if you are looking for a wild ride through the world’s most intense terrains, and the opportunity to see Europe and Asia unlike ever before, then this is the perfect road trip for you. One adventurer, Bassam Tarazi, put it best when he said “When you travel across half the world, you learn some things.”

Amalfi Coast – Italy

The Amalfi Coast dotted with pink-hued houses at dusk.

A UNESCO Heritage site, due to its scenic beauty and rare natural landscape, one must visit the Amalfi Coast in Italy at least once in their lifetime. The actual town of Amalfi and its neighbors are located in the southern province of Salerno. While the towns are typically only accessible by bus and ferry, this is the perfect destination for summer road trips from cities like Naples, Rome, Florence, and Milan.

Often compared to a painting, the Amalfi Coast cities welcome thousands and thousands of visitors every spring and summer to back on its beaches and take in the panoramic views from the top of the hills. If you’re looking to fall in love with a destination this summer, then you definitely will with the Amalfi Coast.

A great idea for an Amalfi Coast summer road trip is to plan a 7-day itinerary and drive along the southern tip of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula. During your trip, you can make pit stops in cities such as Salerno, a port city southeast of Naples; Ravello, and the jaw-dropping Positano, a cliffside village dotted with pastel-hued houses.

Costa Verde – Brazil

The blue-green ocean surrounded by rocks and a forested hill on Trindade Beach, Brasil.

The journey from Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo is one for the books. While you have to pass through some busy traffic in the city first, the drive along the Costa Verde is absolutely breathtaking. The full route is 350 miles (560 kilometers), and there are multiple stops you will want to make along the way. One of the best stops in the historic city of Paraty, which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Framed by mountains and filled with 17th- and 18th-century buildings, Paraty is the perfect destination for a weekend on the beach.

During your summer road trip in Costa Verde, you can also plan to take a boat tour to one of the 365 islands off the coast and hiking the Serra do Mar, a 1,500 km mountain range. We also recommend taking a surf lesson, go paddleboarding, and enjoy the sunshine off the Atlantic Coast. This is one of the best ways to see the best Brazil has to offer.

Great Ocean Road – Australia

The turquoise ocean surrounded by cliffs on the Great Ocean Road, in Australia.

If Australia is in your travel plans this year or you’re an Aussie and want to explore your own country, then take a drive down Great Ocean Road. The expansive stretch of coast will take you along some of Australia’s most beautiful landscapes. Including the 12 Apostles, Great Otway National Park, London Arch, and more. The entire drive is about 250 miles (400 kilometers), about a 90-minute drive from Melbourne’s city center. It extends all the way to the southernmost point of the continent. Extend your getaway and stay at one of southern Australia’s vacation rentals or hotels to indulge in a one-of-a-kind outdoor getaway.

Panorama Route – South Africa

A small lagoon surrounded by rocks at the Panorama Route, in South Africa.

South Africa’s scenic road trip, Panorama Route, is not just a beautiful drive but a historic adventure through the world’s third-largest canyon, Blyde River Canyon. The entire route takes you through the Mpumalanga province and takes about two to three days to complete. Visitors will love adventuring through waterfalls, forests, and South Africa’s many natural landmarks including Echo Caves and God’s Window. You can also visit national parks and reserves including Kruger National Park and Mount Sheba Nature Reserve. Take a safari drive through the game reserve. You may even spot some of the big five along the way. This will be a trip unlike ever before.

Ring Road – Iceland

The Ring Road leading to a range of snowy mountains, in Iceland.

Iceland’s Ring Road will take you around the entire island. If you ever dreamt about exploring Iceland’s breathtaking waterfalls and geysers, then this is the best way to see it all. The full drive will take about 12 to 13 hours. However, due to the conditions and roads usually takes about a week to complete. There are a few routes you can take, and route one is about 800 miles long. Your trip will most likely start in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. Start off day 1 of your adventure by indulging in a day of luxury at the Blue Lagoon. Your excursions will also take you whale-watching, glacier walking, hiking, and so much more. Discover it all on your once in a lifetime road trip around Iceland.

Cabot Trail – Nova Scotia

The Cabot Trail Road surrounded by green forests, at Nova Scotia.

While this list of road trip includes many that last anywhere from a few days to over a month, Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia is one of the shorter road trips on this list. However, that does not mean it does not have just as much to offer road trippers. The drive takes up to five hours and is 185 miles (298 kilometers). The route will take you around Cape Breton Island allowing you to enjoy the gorgeous views. The trail is named after John Cabot, an explorer who found his way to the islands in 1497. The rugged coastline will present you with a relaxing journey of views right over the highlands. Canada has many road trips you will want to embark on, and this one makes the top of the list.

Patagonia – Chile

While this time of year is actually the winter in Chile, June-September is still an excellent time to take a road trip to Patagonia. One of the most jaw-dropping sights in the world is a view of the Torres del Paine national park. Seeing the glaciers and frozen lakes up close offers such a remarkable feeling. You have to see it for yourself. There are also many advantages to road tripping in Patagonia this time of year. Including ice-skating on the lake, watching for arctic wildlife, and hiking. While many people choose to take this drive on their own, it is always a good idea to consult with a tour company or guided road trip. Extra planning comes in handy to make sure conditions are optimal before embarking on your journey. Find incredible accommodations on the way.

Nha Trang to Quy Nhon – Vietnam

The blue ocean framed by cliffs in Nha Trang to Quy Nhon, Vietnam.

This road trip is filled with sweeping views of the Vietnamese countryside, which is dotted with fishing villages, and incredible lush verdant landscapes. If you are a fan of motorbikes and bicycles, you’ll enjoy taking this road trip. On your route, you’ll also have a great time if visiting sites such as the Ba Ho Falls and Da Dia Reef. The journey up highway one takes a total of four hours and is 131 miles (212 kilometers). Not only is Vietnam very peaceful and beautiful, but it is also an incredibly budget-friendly destination for your vacation. Extend your trip by staying at one of the charming hotels along the South China Sea.

Pacific Coast Highway – United States

The Big Sur, on the Pacific Coast Highway, in California.

This is definitely one of the most epic road trips of all time. The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most famous highways in the United States, and it’s part of the State Route 1, that runs along most of the Pacific coastline of California. Many travelers begin their road trip in Los Angeles, but a great idea for a summer trip is to start driving from Seattle. You can then drive along the coast, and explore cities such as Portland, in Oregon, until you reach Eureka, which is the first stop in California. In Eureka, make sure you go to the Sequoia Park Forest & Garden before making your move to San Francisco. You can then head south and stop in Santa Barbara for a romantic weekend in California, and finally in San Diego.

This authentic North-American road trip will take you to uncover gorgeous ocean views — especially in San Diego — gorgeous Instagrammable places in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and plenty of amazing wineries in Santa Barbara.


Are you ready to embark on one of these incredible road trips? Let us know which you plan to take this summer, and we will help you find the perfect accommodation. Check out our blog for more summer adventures.

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Destination Deep-Dive 7 MINS READ

Discover the New Seven Wonders of the World

Discover the New Seven Wonders of the World

Destination Deep-Dive 7 MINS READ

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

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.

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

The New Seven Wonders

pyramids in egypt

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, in Jordan, The Colosseum, in Italy, The Great Wall of China, in China, The Christ the Redeemer, in Brazil, The Chichén Itzá, in Mexico, The Machu Picchu, in Peru, and the Taj Mahal, in India.

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.


Petra, Jordan

new seven wonders of the world petra

Petra, Jordan is one of the most remarkable landmarks on the planet. This ancient Jordan city dates back from the 1st century B.C., and it used to be the Arabic capital of the Nabateans Empire. Back then, 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.

Home to 800 tombs, known as the “Royal Tombs”, including one estimated to be over 2,000 years old, Petra is an exhibiting travel destination for history-enthusiasts. As one of the oldest cities in the world, the site was inhabited by the Edomites (from 18th to 2nd century BC), the Nabateans (2nd century to 106 BC), and the Romans (106 to 395 BC).

The beautiful sandstone walls of Petra became famous after they were featured 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.


Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

new seven wonders of the world christ the redeemer

The colossal Christ the Redeemer statue looks over Rio de Janeiro from the summit of Mount Corcovado, a privileged location in Rio. Considered Rio de Janeiro’s most famous landmark, the statue sits in the National Park of Tijuca, towering 2,310 feet above the city. The statue is 98 feet tall and its arms span 92 feet wide from fingertip to fingertip.

The construction of this gigantic statue took place in April 1922, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and it was completed in 1931, and its design was crafted by many different designers and engineers, such as the Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski and the engineers Heitor da Silva Costa and Albert Caquot.

And in case you’re wondering how did Christ Redeemer was placed at the top of Mount Corcovado, here’s the answer: because of its massive size, the statue was put together on top of the mountain, and the necessary materials were transported on a small cog-wheel train.

Visited by nearly 2 million people each year, it is the largest Art Deco-style sculpture in the entire world. Christ the Redeemer, in Rio de Janeiro, celebrates and honours the 100th year anniversary of the Brazilian Republic. It is still one of the most visited sites in not only Brazil but the world, and there is even a replica of the statue in Lisbon, Portugal. A great tip is to try to visit it during a day with clear skies, so you can enjoy the best views of the city.

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.


Chichén Itzá, Mexico

new seven wonders of the world chichen itza

Over 2 million tourists visit Chichén Itzá, the second most popular archaeological site in Mexico, a year.  This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an ancient city, which consists of Mayan ruins located on the northern half of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It’s a great day trip if you’re traveling to Cancun or Playa del Carmen, for instance, and when taking a tour to Chichén Itzá, you can walk among the giant pyramids.

The El Castillo, also known as the Kukulkan Pyramid, which is located in the very center of the site, is one of the only buildings to maintain its original structure. Historians say Chichén Itzá 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. Curious fact: the term Chichén Itzá means ‘the mouth at the well of Itza’, and it’s believed that Itza means ‘water magicians’.


The Great Wall of China, China

new seven wonders of the world great wall of china

A visit to the Great Wall of China is usually on top of the bucket list of people who want to uncover the new seven wonders. But why? Well, first of all, because it’s one of the most famous structures in the world, acknowledged it as the largest man-made structure on Earth. Built in the early 7th century B.C. the Wall took over 2,500 years to be completed, and its construction spanned over more than 10 Chinese dynasties, which is a very long time.

It’s impossible to precise the wall’s location, since it winds up and down the country in a dragon-like shape, extending over 13,170 miles (21,196 kilometers) and winding through h 404 towns in 15 provincial regions across northern and central China. Made out of a range of materials, like stone, brick, rammed earth, and wood, the walls were used for border control and for defence against nomadic invaders. 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.


The Colosseum, Rome, Italy

new seven wonders of the world colosseum

Located in the heart of Rome, Italy, The Colosseum stands proud as a symbol of power for the country. The construction of the Colosseum started in 70 A.D, however, it did not officially begin until 72 A.D., being finished only in 80 A.D. Built in the heart of Ancient Rome, 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. With an oval shape, the structure is 189m long, 156m wide and 50m high, and it’s made from stone and concrete. During its time, the Colosseum could seat as many as 50,000 to 70,000 spectators, and it was used to host gladiator contests, and the vast majority of combatants were men slaves, condemned criminals, or prisoners of wars. The Colosseum also hosted mock sea battles and animal hunts, and some of the animals even included big cats and crocodiles.

By the 20th-century, two-thirds of the Colosseum was destroyed by neglect, vandalism and natural disasters, including the arena’s marble seats. A careful restoration program began in the 1990s, and this historical landmark is still one of Italy’s most famous tourist attractions in the world, being visited by over 7 million people a year.


The Taj Mahal, India

The Taj Mahal is so much more than just a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. Listed as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, the monument was built by Emperor Shah Jahan from 1632 to 1648 for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died on June 17, 1631.
Representing the emperor’s everlasting love for his wife, the building stands as a beacon of light and strength for India and the global community.

Made of white marble from Makrana, in Rajasthan, the Taj Mahal combines a range of architectural styles, such as Islamic, Persian, and Indian styles. For the construction, other noble materials were used, such as turquoise from Tibet, jade and crystal from China, sapphire from Sri Lanka and Arabia, and lapis lazuli from Afghanistan.

Over 2.5 million visitors go to Agra, India, 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, Peru

machu picchu view

Last, but not least is Machu Picchu as one of the 7 New Wonders of the World. 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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Athens 9 MINS READ

Interesting Facts About Greece: 50 Things You May Not Know

Interesting Facts About Greece: 50 Things You May Not Know

Athens 9 MINS READ

Before booking your next getaway, learn 50 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.

What is Greece known for?

greek island santorini view of the sea

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.

Quick Greece Facts

AnthemAthens
Official LanguageGreek
Country Code30
CurrencyEuro (EUR)
Time ZoneGMT+2
FlagThe “blue and white” (Galanólefki)
Population10.72 million (2019)
LocationSoutheastern Europe
Area131,957 km²
Neighbouring countriesAlbania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey
Anthem“Hymn to Liberty” or “Hymn to Freedom”

Ancient Greek History

view of the acropolis in athens greece

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 Olympic 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: Women were forbidden to watch or participate in the ancient Olympic Games;

Fun Fact 6: The two major Greek poems, the Odyssey and the Iliad by Homer were written during the ancient Greece period.

Fun Fact 7: Greece’s official name is the Hellenic Republic, also known as Hellas.

Fun Fact 8: In ancient Greece, there were over 1,000 city-states (Greek Polis). The main were Athína (Athens), Spárti (Sparta), Kórinthos (Corinth), Thíva (Thebes), Siracusa (Syracuse), Égina (Aegina), Ródos (Rhodes), Árgos, Erétria, and Elis.

Greek Geography and Cities

The Oia Santorini Village at dusk.

Fun Fact 9: Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece and one of the highest peaks in Europe. Located on the border between Thessaly and Macedonia, the mountain rises up to 2,917 meters above sea level.

Fun Fact 10: Greece is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe, and 80% of the country is mountainous. Aside from Mount Olympus, the country is home to other well-known mountains, such as the Parnassus, Taygetos and Pelion;

Fun Fact 11: Greece has the longest coastline in Southern Europe – over 60 km of it surrounds Athens!

Fun Fact 12: Greece is smaller in size than the state of Alabama, in the USA;

Fun Fact 13: About one-third of the Greek population lives in the capital Athens.

Fun Fact 14: Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece;

Greek Mythology & Architecture

The ruins of the Poseidon Temple, in Cape Sounion, Greece.

Fun Fact 15: Greece has more archaeological museums than any country in the world. Some of these archaeological museums include the most famous, Acropolis in Athens, The Archeological Museum of Rhodes, National Archeological Museum, and many more.

Fun Fact 16: 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 17: Aside from being one of the most prominent World Heritage Sites in Greece, the Acropolis is considered to be the symbol of Athens and Western Civilization. It’s also the most popular tourist attraction in the country.

Fun Fact 18: 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 19: 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 20: 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.

Fun Fact 21: The famous saying “taking the bull by its horns” comes from the Greek myth of Hercules saving Crete from a raging bull by seizing its horns.

Greek Isles

greek beach and island

Fun Fact 22: 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 23: 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 24: Greece is one of the sunniest places in the world, with 85% of sunshine a year. This means that country has 300 days of sunshine per year.

Fun Fact 25: 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 26: Many houses in the Greek isles are white-washed with blue doors and roofs. That color is believed to keep evil spirits away.

Fun Fact 27: One of the Greek Islands, Mykonos, has an official mascot, which is a pelican named Petros.

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.

Greek Culture & Lifestyle

view of greek theater

Fun Fact 28: 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 29: 98% of Greece’s population are ethnic Greeks. 40% of the entire population resides in the capital city, Athens.

Fun Fact 30: 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 31: There are over 4,000 official traditional dances throughout Greece.

Fun Fact 32: 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.

Fun Fact 33: The word “alphabet” refers to the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha (α) and beta (β);

Fun Fact 34: The Ancient Greek alphabet is the oldest written language to still be used to the present days;

Fun Fact 35: You speak Greek and you don’t know it! The Greek language has contributed to the English vocabulary, and 150.000 of English words derive from Greek. Examples: economy, academy, paradise, school, poem, and decade, just to name a few.

Fun Fact 36: The evil eye, or mati, is a common Greek superstition. It’s believed to be a negative energy, such as jealousy or hostility, and it can cause several bad things, such as headaches, weakness and bad luck. To protect against the harmful energies of the evil eye, Greeks wear a mati pendant, a blue and white eye charm which dates back to the 6th century BC.

Fun Fact 37: 90% of the population of Greece is Christian Orthodox, and the Orthodox Church is the third largest branch of Christianity, after the Roman Catholics and the Protestants. There are also Muslims, Jewish and Catholics in Greece.

Fun Fact 38: In Greece, it’s common to celebrate name days instead of birthdays. They have a holy name calendar, and each day of the year is dedicated to a Christian saint or martyr. According to the Greek Orthodox tradition, when someone is named after one of these holy figures, that saint’s day becomes their “name day”.

Fun Fact 39: “ Eleftheria i Thanatos” is the motto of the Hellenic Republic and it means Liberty or Death.

Fun Fact 40: The Greek flag, also known as the Γαλανόλευκη (galanolefki) or Κυανόλευκη (kyanolefki), consists of a cross in the upper left corner, and nine horizontal lines of sky blue and white alternated. It’s said that the nine stripes represent the nine syllables of the phrase “’Eleftheria I Thanatos”, but some say they symbolize the nine letters of the Greek word “freedom” (eleftheria).

Fun Fact 41: At traditional Greek weddings, the best man will shave the groom on the day of the ceremony. This gesture symbolizes trust.

Greek Cuisine

greek food

Fun Fact 42: A typical meal in ancient Greece always included bread, olives, and wine.

Fun Fact 43: Lunch is called “mesimeriano” and it is the most important meal of the day in Greece.

Fun Fact 44: 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 45: Winemaking in Greece has been a tradition for 4,000 years. There are over 600 wineries in Greece.

Fun Fact 46: Olive oil is a staple thanks to the thousands of olive trees that have been in the country since ancient times. Greece is also known to be the country in the world with the most olive oil consumption per capita. In fact, many greek women rubbed olive oil into their skin to make it soft.

Fun Fact 47: Greece is the third-largest producer of olives in the world, and it produces more than 430,000 tons of olive oil annually.

Fun Fact 48: According to Greek mythology, goddess Athena gave the first olive tree to Athens before it spread to the rest of Greece.

Fun Fact 49: Aside from being a leading producer of olives, Greece is also known for its Feta Cheese, which is one of the country’s most important exports. In fact, the cheese was affectionately nicknamed “white gold”.

Fun Fact 50: The ancient Greeks believed that milk was a sacred food and, according to Greek mythology, the gods sent the son of Apollo to teach the Greeks the secrets of cheese making.


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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California 8 MINS READ

Top 9 Affordable Romantic Getaways in California

Top 9 Affordable Romantic Getaways in California

California 8 MINS READ

California offers some of the most romantic getaways, as well as affordable accommodations to stay at. In almost every city you’ll find a great hotel room, a cozy inn for a more intimate experience, or a resort with a spa. 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.

Explore Northern California

romantic getaway in san francisco

Take a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, experience the rolling hills of Napa Valley, watch the stars from Yosemite or relax at a spa on Catalina Island. Northern California simply offers some of the most unique 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

view of couple in 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. Book a room for the weekend at one of the incredible vineyard hotels to enjoy a private hot tub, 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 in the California Wine Country.

Find Hotels in Napa Valley, California

Yosemite

View of the Yosemite Park mountains covered in fog during the sunset.

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, Yosemite is placed in the western Sierra Nevada of Central California. 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 at a boutique hotel, if an outdoor getaway is what you are in need of, this is one of the best places to visit. You may even be lucky enough to see some California wildlife along your adventure.

Find Hotels in Yosemite, California | Find Homes in Yosemite, California

Big Sur

Aerial view of the Big Sur, in California.

Adventurous couples who are looking for romantic getaways in California will have a great time in Big Sur. Featuring a dramatic scenery filled with cliffs and forests, this area is not a city or town, but a 90-mile rugged and mountainous section located in Central California within a 2h30 hour drive from San Francisco.

Since the Big Sur is home to a multitude of state parks, natural preserves, beaches, and hiking trails, some of the finest activities for the adrenaline-seekers are the ones that happen outdoors. For an easy walk with a stunning view at the end, opt for the McWay Waterfall Trail. For a moderate roundtrip with ocean vistas, the Ewoldsen Trail is a good bet.

And because you’ll get away from the hustle and bustle of other cities in California, ditch the award-winning restaurant and take your romantic dinner outside by organizing a picnic on a stretch of beach. Top the Big Sur travel experience by booking a stay at a cozy rustic hotel. The Fernwood Resort, for instance, offers its guests different types of private accommodations, like forest cabins, motel rooms, and adventure tents.

Find Hotels in Big Sur, California

Marin County

los angeles view

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 and book a room in a cozy inn, such as the Mill Valley Inn, for a more intimate feel. 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.

Find Hotels near Marin County, California

Discover Southern California

View of the Santa Monica Pier from a beach during the sunset.

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 romantic weekend getaways 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

view from 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.

For maximum relaxation time, go to the Island Spa Catalina. Placed inside the El Encanto building, the spa has nine treatment rooms, a Jacuzzi, a dry sauna, a soaking pool, and a eucalyptus steam room that are guaranteed to rejuvenate mind and body.

If a romantic getaway in Southern 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 a near city like Laguna Beach. It’s the best of both worlds. 

Find Hotels near Catalina Island, California

San Luis Obispo

View of the blue ocean dotted with boats in San Luis Obispo, California.

Located on the Central Coast, almost equally between Los Angeles and San Francisco, SLO for short is one of the most charming counties in Southern 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.

San Luis Obispo is also home to Paso Robles, a city well-known for having more than 200 wineries and 40,000 vineyard acres. Also known as “Pass of the Oaks”, Paso Robles it’s a great pitstop in case you want to book a private tour and try some of California’s finest wines.

Find Hotels in San Luis Obispo, California

La Jolla

The La Jolla Beach during a yellow sunset, in California.

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.

Find Hotels in La Jolla, California | Find Homes in La Jolla, California

Santa Barbara

View of the Santa Barbara coastline with mountains and palm trees during sunset.

Framed by the dramatic Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Santa Barbara is one of the most romantic getaways in Southern California. This coastal city is often referred to as the “American Riviera” thanks to Mediterranean-style buildings, stunning ocean views, and excellent shop and dining options. With 300+ days of sunshine a year, Santa Barbara is a great destination for couples all year round. In the summer, get ready to explore the city’s finest sandy beaches, like the perfectly sheltered Leadbetter Beach and the Miramar beach, right in front of the world-class Rosewood Miramar Beach resort. 

During the harvest season, in fall, book a private wine tour at some of the city’s best vineyards. Santa Barbara is a premium wine-growing region in California, and for a truly romantic weekend, head over to wineries such as The Valley Project and Presqu’ile.

Foodies can also benefit from a weekend in the city, which is home to more than 450 restaurants that are sure to please the most demanding travelers. If you feel like having a fine dining experience, head over to the Loquita Santa Barbara, at Lower State Street. The restaurant is famous for its tapas menu filled with Spanish-style appetizers such as croquetas, pan con tomate (bread with tomato), goat milk cheese, tortillas, and more.

Find Hotels in Santa Barbara, California

Laguna Beach

Aerial view of the ocean in Laguna Beach.

Laguna Beach is the right destination for couples who want to enjoy a warm summer in Southern California. Located along the Pacific Coast Highway, within an hour’s drive from Los Angeles, the city is home to secluded beaches, rocky coves, and coastal parks, which make an unforgettable scenery. 

The best way of taking advantage of a romantic weekend in Laguna is by booking a room in a local hotel or inn, and then visiting some of it’s most beautiful beaches, like the 1,000 Steps Beach and the ones located inside the Crystal Cove State Park. 

And not only paradisiac beaches make Laguna one of the most romantic California destinations. There’s more. The city is also known for its vibrant art scene, being home to 100 art galleries and a renowned art museum, the Laguna Art Museum. With sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, the institution exclusively features works created by Californian artists and it’s a must-go for couples who want to get their culture fix together.

Find Hotels in Laguna Beach, California


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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Destination Deep-Dive 5 MINS READ

The Top Female Travel Spots

The Top Female Travel Spots

Destination Deep-Dive 5 MINS READ

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

Destination Deep-Dive 6 MINS READ

Top 10 Things to Do in Dubai

Top 10 Things to Do in Dubai

Destination Deep-Dive 6 MINS READ

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.

Browse. Book. Stay.

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

Hacks & Tips 6 MINS READ

8 Countries That Boost Pet-Friendly Travel

8 Countries That Boost Pet-Friendly Travel

Hacks & Tips 6 MINS READ

When planning a getaway there is a question that every pet owner has to ask themselves: to bring or not to bring our four-legged friend? Well, we are here to help you make that decision a little bit easier by sharing the top 7 countries that boost pet-friendly travel. It’s no surprise that travelers all over the globe would rather bring their pets with them along for the adventure. Especially, if the alternative is leaving them at home or at an over-night kennel.

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

Tips For Traveling With Your Pet

Before choosing the right travel destination, a good idea is to do some research and learn everything you can pet travel. You can look up what airlines offer the best conditions for pets, what are the ones that allow them to travel in the cabin, and what are the most dog-friendly airlines if this is the case.

Once you have an idea about the best airlines, learn the basics about pet travel, especially about the bureaucracy. You might need to bring your pet’s medical records, and even get an ID for your animal, so it’s better if you learn about that in advance.

Before your travel, also be sure to look up accommodation that allows pets, and book it in advance. In many cases, pet-friendly hotels only have a limited amount of rooms available for travelers and their pets, so it’s best if you get all the necessary information about it beforehand. You should also find out if the hotel offers any pet-sitting service, just in case you need to go sightseeing in a specific place and not allowed to bring your furry friend.

Pet-Friendly Destinations

When planning your future trip to these locations, you won’t have to worry about that at all. The memories you make with your special companion will last a lifetime. While taking a trip tomorrow is not possible everywhere, we can use this time to plan the perfect adventure. Check out the top countries for pet-friendly travel in the Americas, Asia, and Europe to start preparing your itinerary for you and your pet, today.

Switzerland

woman and her dog

The Swiss really go the extra mile to ensure that your pet-friendly experience is of the highest quality. Restaurants even make it a priority to offer your dog water and treats. Have you heard of the fondue tram? Well, your dog can even enjoy this delicious and cheesy experience with you too, for a small fee of course. Enjoy hundreds of hikes in the Alps to walks around the stunning cities such as Zurich and Geneva. Your furry friend will adore your trip to Switzerland together.

The United States

man and his dog

It’s no surprise that with over 60 parks protected by the National Park Service, the United States is one of the best places to go with your four-legged friend. From road trips to outdoor monuments and sight-seeing in pet-friendly cities like Chicago, Seattle, and San Diego. To beach getaways in Florida, from coast to coast there are thousands of travel destinations to visit with your pet. Pick the perfect pet-friendly accommodation on CuddlyNest, and start planning the adventure you and your furry friend have always dreamt of.

Germany

Black and white dog running on a green park during the day.

The doors of almost every establishment are open to pets in Germany. Known as one of the most pet-friendly countries in the world, Germany takes a lot of pride in their animals and is a global example of how to treat pets with care and respect. In fact, Berlin is home to the largest animal sanctuary in Europe. By following their pet-friendly policies you and your pet can visit the country and have a one-of-a-kind experience amongst the resident pet. You may even want to consider adopting another furry friend after learning about the adoption possibilities in Germany.

Canada

A wet German Shepherd dog standing by a lake at the foothills of the North Shore Mountains, in Vancouver, Canada.

British Columbia’s city, Vancouver, is known worldwide as one of the best places to bring your pet in North America. While there are hundreds of pet-friendly vacation rentals and hotels to visit, Canada also boasts epic road trips filled with nature fun for you and your pet. From visiting Lake Banff to taking the pet-friendly Canadian ferries where your pet will travel in ultimate comfort, there are so many ways to explore Canada with your dog or cat by your side. He or she will love traveling by both land and sea.

France

Dog looking at the Eiffel Tower on a cloudy autumn day in Paris.

Does your pup want a seat at the dinner table? If yes, then take your pet on a French escape. France has a pretty relaxed policy when it comes to traveling with your pets because this country deserves to be visited by everyone and everything. Looking for the perfect destination to mix fun and exploration? Take your furry friend to the Pyrennees where they can roam freely while you sit back, relax, and enjoy your holiday break.

The Netherlands

White and brown chihuahua on a bicycle carrier.

What’s one of the best parts of visiting the Netherlands with your pet? They can ride on any public transport for free, and on trains for just 3€ for an all-day pass either in your lap or in a carrier, depending on their size. While like all destinations your pet will require the proper paperwork and vaccines to visit, The Netherlands is a great place for you and your dog to explore the many open-air outdoor attractions including parks, the Amsterdam canals, the charming neighborhoods, and more. Amsterdam was even named the most animal-friendly city in the Netherlands in 2019. We can’t wait to visit with our own pets.

Japan

Kitten up on a cherry blossom tree, in Japan.

While the busy streets of Japan’s larger cities, including Tokyo, may not seem like the best place to visit with your pet, the country has actually made major strides to promote a pet-friendly culture and atmosphere for both its residents and tourists. With almost 1,000 pet-friendly hotels, pet-friendly offices, and spacious parks, there is so much to do, see, and explore, with your pet pal. He or she will also love visiting Japan’s beautiful beaches where they can run and enjoy the water. Be sure to check Japan’s passport rules for animals before jet-setting off to the country to avoid any issues upon arrival.

Austria

Woman walking with her unleashed white poodle in Vienna, Austria.

From Vienna to Salzburg, Austria is home to many places for you to explore with your furry friend. In the capital city, you can take your pet on a cruise along the Danube river, stroll with your dog in the Ring Road and go to the famous Naschmarkt, Vienna’s outdoor market, with 120 food stalls and restaurants. Vienna also has a multitude of pet-friendly cafes and restaurants, and dogs are allowed on public transport. Small dogs traveling in a container or in a fully-enclosed bag are free of charge. Other dogs have to leash and muzzled and have a half-price ticket.

Salzburg, the Austrian city located on the border of Germany, is also a perfect pet travel destination. The city is more compact and walkable than Vienna, so you won’t have any problems strolling around with your dog when exploring the history of Salzburg by wandering around the narrow alleys of Salzburg’s Old Town.

So where will you plan your first pet-friendly getaway?

With so many places to explore, you and your pet will have a full itinerary ready for future trips. Be sure to check the pet-friendly travel policies and guidelines for both you and your pet before making any travel plans, including paperwork and vaccines. Always take the extra time to make sure you have everything, so you can avoid pre-trip mishaps and focus on the experience with your best pal.

We can’t wait to hear what are the travel destinations you plan to visit. Let us know and we will provide you with the perfect pet-friendly accommodation on CuddlyNest. Find more information about pet-friendly travel on our blog.

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Culture and Experience Travel 2 MINS READ

CuddlyNest Staff Picks: Favorite Books to Read While Traveling

CuddlyNest Staff Picks: Favorite Books to Read While Traveling

Culture and Experience Travel 2 MINS READ

Do you have a favorite book? A story that took you on an adventure? A collection of essays that inspired you to experience life to the fullest? The CuddlyNest team is sharing our go-to books that we could not get enough of this year. As our team is based all over the world, we love to stay connected and let each other know what we are up to, reading, listening to, where we are planning to visit one day, and more. And, we want to share that with you, as well, starting with our favorite books.

favorite travel books

CuddlyNest’s Favorite Books

Although our travels are on hold, we can start putting a list together of books we want to take on our next getaway. So check out this incredible list of books. By the end of this list, you will want to read every single one. Let us know what you add to your list.

Manuela – Italy

Book: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Author: Haruki Murakami

Genre: Fiction, Surrealism, and Magical Realism

Adi – India

Book: 48 Days to the Work You Love: Preparing for the New Normal

Author: Dan Miller

Genre: Business and Non-Fiction

Sali – Albania

Book: Shuni

Author: Naomi Fontaine

Genre: Nonfiction

Igor – Brazil

Book: Cien Sonetos de Amor

Author: Pablo Neruda

Genre: Poetry

girl reading while camping

Andrei – Croatia

Book: Old Man and the Sea

Author: Ernest Hemingway

Genre: Novel and Nautical Fiction

Ritesh – India

Book: The 5 am Club

Author: Robin Sharma

Genre: Parable and Self-Help

Jessica – The United States

Book: To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret

Author: Jedidiah Jenkins

Genre: Travel, Autobiography, and Nonfiction

Rahul – India

Book: The Immortals of Meluha (Shiva Trilogy)

Author: Amish Tripathi

Genre: Fiction and Fantasy

Kristina – Croatia

Book: Led by Faith: Rising from the Ashes of the Rwandan Genocide

Author: Immaculée Ilibagiza, Steve Erwin, Rick Warren

Genre: Nonfiction and Autobiography

Dmitry – Russia

Book: Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life

Author: Rory Sutherland

Genre: Business and Psychology

man reading on the beach

Hassan – Pakistan

Book: The Alchemist

Author: Paulo Coehlo

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, and Classic

Rachel – The Phillippines

Book: The Kite Runner

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Genre: Fiction, Historical, and Contemporary

Hana – Morocco

Book: En tenue d’Eve: Féminin, Pudeur et Judaïsme

Author: Delphine Horvilleur

Genre: Jewish Literature

Nitin – India

Book: Mastering In-House SEO

Author: Simon Schnieders

Genre: Business and Encyclopedia

Sufyan – Pakistan

Book: The Forty Rules of Love

Author: Elif Shafak

Genre: Novel and Literary Fiction

We can’t wait to hear what you are reading. Would you be interested in a CuddlyNest book club? If you are, let us know your favorite books in the comments below!

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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

Press Release 3 MINS READ

CUDDLYNEST STARTUP NOW PARTNERS WITH NEXTPAX FOR INTEGRATED RENTAL INVENTORY DISTRIBUTION INCLUDING MULTI-UNITS

CUDDLYNEST STARTUP NOW PARTNERS WITH NEXTPAX FOR INTEGRATED RENTAL INVENTORY DISTRIBUTION INCLUDING MULTI-UNITS

Press Release 3 MINS READ

Cuddlynest startup, one of the top rental websites to watch in 2019, is integrated with NextPax to distribute rental inventory including multi-units

  • Cuddlynest startup now has a two-way integration with NextPax channel manager
  • The global online rental marketplace startup automates bookings, payments, content distribution and availability updates
  • The channel integration allows any rental type distribution on CuddlyNest website

Berlin, April 2019 – CuddlyNest startup, a fast-growing online rental marketplace startup, is excited to announce the integration with NextPax. “By integrating to NextPax, CuddlyNest now has access to a potential additional inventory of 600,000 vacation rentals and more than 10,000 hotels”, says Erik Engel, CEO & Founder of NextPax. “NextPax provides direct technical integration of any inventory type onto the channel for property managers that are connected to our platform”.

CuddlyNest, the online rental marketplace with the lowest aggregate fees and total price in the market has grown ever since 2016, disrupting the cost-leadership rental platform oligopoly. Integrated with several large channel managers in both Europe and North America rental markets and listed among “ones to watch” in 2019, CuddlyNest is one of the uprising industry rivals to integrate with in order to drive bookings for any kind of rental property type managers.

The distribution channel is integrated in a two-way flow with NextPax, allowing for real-time booking retrieval, synchronization of content (images, descriptions, and facilities), property availability updates and price updates. CuddlyNest takes care of payments and has a fully integrated content distribution, making the onboarding seamless for any property managers. The CuddlyNest platform is currently listing over a million properties around 100 countries worldwide, providing any type of accommodation, from long-term serviced apartment rentals to hostels and shared rooms.

The key to success and growth of CuddlyNest lies in its cost leadership. CuddlyNest’s innovative booking fee sharing model to list properties at the lowest price online. The cost advantage of the lowest aggregated commissions translates into cost advantage and higher booking rates for any property listed on CuddlyNest.

“Travel accommodation booking has become increasingly expensive, with online travel agencies charging vast commission fees. We are building a platform to democratize the market and bring power back to travelers, charging the lowest aggregate commission fee in the market, and therefore the lowest price in the market”, says Ritesh Raj, COO & Co-Founder of CuddlyNest.

CuddlyNest is not stopping at its current success. The company is releasing an app for easier instant bookings for travelers on the go this summer, and major online platform experience upgrades are in the pipeline for this summer as well.

About CuddlyNest

Chicago based start-up was founded in 2016 and has grown ever since,  today offering safe bookings of over million properties all around the world. CuddlyNest innovative booking fee sharing model has been the key to the company’s success. The lowest aggregate commission fee in the market allows property managers to be in charge of their earnings while providing guests with the lowest booking price in the market. CuddlyNest is integrated with major channel managers NextPax, Ciirus, Escapia and is preferred partner of Avantio.

About NextPax

Founded in 2006, NextPax is a tech company specialized in providing complex API – connectivity solutions that enable seamless two-way connections between property management systems and distribution channels worldwide. The extensive network of NextPax consists of 600,000+ properties and is continuously growing by connecting new professional property managers, hotels and channels to the network. The cutting edge and highly automated distribution technology provided by NextPax, allows properties to be distributed via all major distribution channels and numerous niche channels. Connectivity includes availability, rates, inventory, bookings, and content updates.

For more information, visit www.cuddlynest.com

Contact details:

 Ritesh Raj, COO & Co-Founder of Cuddly Nest

Phone:+49 174 3726 462

Email:  [email protected]