Do you dream of a weekend shopping trip with a friend, romantic moments with your husband, or perhaps a solitary beach vacation with a book in hand? There are plenty of places in Europe where you can fly. But what to choose when an excess of directions overwhelms? You’ve already seen the most trite ones…. You’ve eaten the best tapas in Barcelona, explored the boutiques of Milan, and even fed moose in a Swedish reserve. That’s why we have prepared for you 3 alternative destinations for your trip in Europe!
The land of Italian trattorias
Italy’s Amalfi Coast, located on the Sorrento Peninsula, is considered the most beautiful in Europe. This is the land of Italian trattorias – that is, modest, family-run restaurants – as well as golden beaches and towns perched above the cliffs of the Tyrrhenian Sea. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the azure Amalfi Coast is located in the province of Salerno, part of the Campania region. Famous for growing lemons and flowers, the Amalfi Coast is home to thirteen villages, including: Vietri Sul Mare, Cetara, Maiori, Minori, or the cradle of the coast – the city of Amalfi, located approx. 70 km from Naples. It is from the city of Amalfi that the coast owes its name, called the Republic of Amalfi in the Middle Ages.
Today it is primarily a place suitable for a weekend break from work or a romantic getaway. Azure water, sunshine, golden beaches, flowers, Italian delicacies – tempt and attract with an idyllic aura, allowing you to get away from the gray reality. It is certainly one of those places where one would like to live forever. However, there is no denying that it is one of the most expensive cities in sunny Italy. Nevertheless, Amalfi is a veritable paradise for dreamy travelers and seafood gourmets. Juicy shrimp, squid, fish – this is something that will be prepared with Italian passion and love at the family-run trattoria. A traditional dish is Scialatielli, or fresh pasta, often used in Neapolitan cuisine, served with seafood. The regional product is a lemon liqueur – limoncello – which is made from native lemons that grow on the Amalfi coast. Among the most important sights on the Italian coast is St. Peter’s Cathedral. St. Andrew the Apostle, But what is most delightful is to indulge in walking along narrow and winding roads over the azure Tyrrhenian Sea, as well as spontaneity, savoring the cuisine that reigns on this side of Italy, and enjoying the romantic mood and hospitality of the locals there.
Intra Muros - or the port city of Saint Malo
Another port town is Saint Malo. This small city, located on the Atlantic Ocean in northwestern France, is often referred to as Intra Muros – meaning “inside the walls.” The charming port city of Saint Malo is famous for being surrounded by walls and numerous fortifications that give the impression of being one of those places at the end of the world.
It is also a city of buccaneers, sailors and voyagers. This is where French buccaneer Jacques Cartier was born in 1492, and it is here that we will sample the Hydromel – a honey-based tincture, considered by the ancient Celts as a magical drink that influences the state of mind and vitality. As for regional delicacies, this is another city for seafood lovers, which is a symbol of port cities.
Charming in its simplicity and harmony, Saint Malo is a particularly apt choice for travelers in May and June. It is during these months that it is free from the hustle and bustle of tourism, allowing for a peaceful experience of the local traditions and culture. Saint Malo, named after the Welsh monk Saint Malo – one of Brittany’s Seven Holy Founders – delights especially at night. The small, illuminated city, located on the Atlantic Ocean, invites you to take an evening stroll and observe the simple life of the residents, as well as the many tides of the ocean.
Saint Malo is famous for having the greatest sea level differences! The beaches there, at low tide, reveal a wealth of marine flora and fauna, and countless clusters of shells and mussels can be found on the beaches. Among the tourist attractions of this French port is the Old Town. There you will find such monuments as the Ducal Château – Château de Saint-Malo, and the Romanesque Cathedral of Saint-Malo. St. Vincent. While you’re in Saint Malo, take a trip to the St-Servan district, where you’ll find the Solidor tower dating back to the second half of the 14th century and the remains of the medieval Cathédrale Saint-Pierre dAleth cathedral.
Zaragoza - or an affluent city with class
The famous Zaragoza from the novel “Ashes” by Zeromski, is the capital of the region of Aragon and the province of Zaragoza. It’s a symbol of a wealthy city with class and elegance, where you’ll find architecture in the “mudejar” style, or a combination of Christian and Islamic elements, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is also home to numerous boutiques of global designers, native to Milan. Lying at the foot of the Pyrenees, Zaragoza is famous for its fountains and festivals. One of the most important is the Fiestas del Pilar, held every year, in the second week of October. When planning a trip to Spain’s Zaragoza, there are three main sights not to be missed, which include the Nuestra Señora del Pilar Basilica, the Plaza del Pilar square leading to the La Lonja neighborhood and Seo Cathedral, and the remains of the Roman walls. Of separate note is Zaragoza’s modern district located on the north side of the Ebro River. There you will find steel office buildings erected for the 2008 World Expo, as well as, among others, the Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion – a bridge-pavilion, resembling a woven basket, designed by the most famous architect of the 21st century, Zaha Hadid. While strolling through the streets of Zaragoza, check out the local restaurants and try tapas and local wine – this is sure to be a delectable end to the weekend, as well as a respite after an eventful day. And what destination do you choose this spring?