Lesser Known Destinations That Are Worth The Try In Europe

More often than not, people would always choose something bigger and more popularly known over something that only one out of ten people would recognize. In the case of places worth setting foot on, most travellers would prefer to go where everyone else has already gone. I would bet a week’s allowance on gas that if any of my friends were given a free ticket to anywhere in Europe, one of their top three choices would most likely be the prominent and widely known Eiffel Tower. If you are the type who would rather go where no one else has gone yet and play the heralding angel when you get back from shall we say a lesser known but worthy destination, here are a few suggestions:

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Korcula, Croatia
The alleged birthplace of no less than Marco Polo himself, this small town brags of astounding and remarkable vistas and opulent local way of life. It hides within its beautiful island isolated beaches and bays as well as unspoiled, picture-perfect, lush, green hills. Its winding streets coupled with the old-fashioned towers securing and supporting its harbours are what make the town so entrancing you would probably never want to leave anymore.

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Azores, Portugal
Once you’ve stepped foot into this little paradise, you will probably realize that there might really just be a small piece of heaven on this earth. One, the really impressive cliff-side mansions. Two, cobalt blue waters on which, during the summer months, the whales can be seen making their annual migration. Three, hot mineral springs. These and a lot more you can explore in this picturesque, charming little town.

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Sintra, Portugal
Situated in the Lisbon Region of Portugal, this visually appealing and impressive town sits in the middle of the pine covered hills of Serra De Sintra. What makes this place even more interesting is the fact that it has long been the home of Portugal’s monarchs so that it is filled with extraordinarily wonderful and stunning historic mansions. What’s nice about the town is that it is small enough that one can easily explore it on foot. It is also classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Bled, Slovenia
Settled on top of a tiny rock island in the middle of Lake Bled, the sight of this town is like looking at a post card that has come to life. Its natural beauty is so mesmerizing that it’s impossible to get the picture out of our mind at all once you’ve set your eyes on this dreamy place. Not only is the town a sight to see, it also boasts of warm, fresh air, and mild, healing climate. It is an ideal getaway place for those who wish to achieve total relaxation with its beautiful alpine resorts and thermal lake water.

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Kotor, Montenegro
This small, old town immersed in tradition and history can found at the base of the mountain Locven. One of the best preserved sights in the Mediterranean area, it is a place filled with primitive, old-fashioned buildings and significant monuments. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one for the bucket list.

I love exotic travels, don’t you? Come with us on exclusive exotic travel at askus@ladyredot.com.


mish

Hello, I am Mish! I used to work as a travel expert, customer service specialist and a communications trainer in the past. After working for eight years straight since I graduated, I decided to give up my corporate job to focuses on my 4-year old son, works as a freelance writer and a real estate assistant. I am a sun-worshipper, a water baby, and an earth warrior. And oh, I’m tiny but I am an Olympic-level glutton. Let me bring your tummy around the globe! You can reach me at LinkedIn.

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Animal Lover Paradise

If you love animals, it is very important to interact and connect with them in an ethical way. While dolphin shows and huge aquariums are fairly common in some areas these days, some of them may do more harm than good. In this article, we have listed five places where you can enjoy the company of animals without harming them.

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The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in Woodstock, New York
Located in New York, this rescue shelter believes that animals should be respected and treated with compassion. Guests can learn about the effects of eating meat from animals during their visit. They rescue, rehabilitate, and care for animals that most people know as food—goats, cows, chickens, and pigs. The best part is guests can even pet the beautiful creatures!

Okunoshima, Japan
Also known as the “rabbit island,” this small island has more than 300 wild rabbits that freely roam around and interact with visitors. It can be accessible by a ferry ride from Hiroshima. Aside from being surrounded by cuddly furry friends, the island is a resort and has camping grounds and swimming pools for use. If you love the furry creatures, this is a must-go-to destination!

Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand
One of the many activities you can do in Thailand is ride elephants. Sadly, many of these elephants are abused to entertain human. Luckily, ENP or Elephant Nature Park, a rescue and rehabilitation centre in Chiang Mai, allows tourists to interact with elephants in an ethical way. You can volunteer and help them bathe and feed the gentle giants. All money earned by the organisation will go back to the elephants and to the local volunteers.

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Serengeti in Tanzania
More than a million animals traverse through the Serengeti every single year. Here, you can witness an incalculable number of lions, giraffes, elephants, hippos, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs, zebras and so much more. This is truly a one of a kind experience!

Bear Rainforest Ship Safari in British Columbia, Canada
Bears may be “beasts” to some, but they are actually very intelligent and interesting creatures. Hop on a wooden schooner or tugboat and cruise through the Great Bear Rainforest where you can observe bears (and wolves, occasionally!) in their natural habitat. Bonus: a percentage of the profit goes to bear and whale conservation research.

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Invernesshire, Scotland
Love dogs? You have to put this on your bucket list! Every year in July, the Golden Retriever Club of Scotland holds the Golden Retriever Festival or Guisachan Gathering in Scotland. Participants can enjoy the dog show and bond with more than 200 fluffy dogs! Heaven!

Senda Verde Animal Refuge and Eco-Resort in Yungas, Bolivia
Make your trip more worthwhile by volunteering at this animal refuge centre. You can care for parrots, turtles, bears, monkeys, wild cats, and more. The site uses solar energy to power the oven that is used to prepare food for the animals, and only sources local raw materials. This place is, on all levels, ethical!

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Lougantai, Zhouzhi
It is without a doubt that pandas are lovable animals. I mean, just look at them! So cute and cuddly, ugh!!! Luckily for those who love pandas, Xi’an has a volunteer program that allows travellers to care for panda and interact with them. Guests can feed them, and of course, clean after them.

We are eco-friendly and we strongly believe that ecotravel. Find out more from us at askus@ladyredot.com on how you can travel responsibly today.


mish

Hello, I am Mish! I used to work as a travel expert, customer service specialist and a communications trainer in the past. After working for eight years straight since I graduated, I decided to give up my corporate job to focuses on my 4-year old son, works as a freelance writer and a real estate assistant. I am a sun-worshipper, a water baby, and an earth warrior. And oh, I’m tiny but I am an Olympic-level glutton. Let me bring your tummy around the globe! You can reach me at LinkedIn.

Terrorism & Travel

Recently, we received sad news on the recent spate of terror events happening to countries that we love. Places like Germany and France are well sought after holiday destinations, very popular with all kinds of travellers and families, especially during summer holidays. With the tragic incidents, many of my friends have chosen to divert their holidays to elsewhere instead, some avoiding Europe all together this year.

If you are still keen to visit Europe this year, it will be the best that you take precaution and be on high alert at all times. Below are some of the compiled safety precautions that you can take to keep yourself safe and still enjoy a wonderful holiday.

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Stay Alert

Always look out for signs of unease and do trust your gut instincts. If you don’t feel safe in the area, move away and go somewhere else. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Where’s your embassy?

Before you travel, always take note of your nearest embassy or high commission’s location. Check if it is near your booked accommodation (can you walk or do you have to take public transportation) and have their 24 hours hotline program into your phone which is usually diverted to a person’s mobile line.

Registration

Most countries allow you to register online with the ministry of foreign affairs when you are travelling to another country. I always make it a habit of allowing my government to track my movement when I’m outbound from my country. This will allow them to outreach to you in the case of emergencies and if they require to evacuate you. It serves the purpose of them contacting your next of kin, should they need to reach out to them.

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Leave a Point of Contact

Notifying your family members and your loved ones of your itinerary is usually a good idea. Giving them a list of point of contact is a great way for them to reach you in case they can’t contact you via your mobile. Numbers such as your accommodation, your tour guide or even your hired driver will help your loved ones if they need to reach you urgently.

Carry Self-Defense Items

I always carried one with me all the time for safety purposes. Self-defense items can be pepper spray, portable high pitch alarm, taser etc. However, do note that some countries or airlines do not allow you to carry such items so always check to make sure you are not carrying a prohibited item.

Keep Yourself Updated

Make it a point to watch the local news at least when you are back to your hotel room. Keep yourself aware of what is happening to your area will allow you to be more aware and take necessary safety measures. Like if there are reports of suspected foul play intended at a certain event, you might want to skip the event.

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Visit your country’s Foreign Affair website

Your country’s Foreign Affair website will probably list a few countries that are not advisable for visits. It will be good if you check out the website a week before you leave for your holiday.

Blown Out of Proportion

The above advice is very similar to what you will give to anyone who is travelling to a high-risk country. What is happening around us has blown out of proportion, you can choose to focus on panicking and avoid travel altogether or you can choose to take necessary precautions and still enjoy your well deserved holiday.


Writer’s Profile

Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

Cycling around Holland

Holland is the perfect place to explore by bike. The country has many cycle paths and sign posted cycle routes, the landscape is flat, distances are short and there are lots to see and do along the way. So come visit the Netherlands and get on a bike!

Nearly every road has a cycle path called a ‘Fietspad’ which links most villages and towns. These ‘Fietspads’ are mostly separate and away from the road itself (unlike most of our cycle paths in Britain which are a miserly bit of the road marked off with a white line, if we’re lucky!). One of the curious facts of the Holland: nearly 85 percent of the population own at least one bicycle. They use it regularly, often daily. There are about 16 million bicycles in Holland, slightly more than one for every inhabitant. About 1.3 million new bicycles are sold every year.

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To make cycling safer and more inviting the Dutch have built a vast network of cycle paths. These are clearly marked, have smooth surfaces, separate signs and lights for those on two wheels, and wide enough to allow side-by-side cycling and overtaking. In many cities the paths are completely segregated from motorised traffic. Sometimes, where space is scant and both must share, you can see signs showing an image of a cyclist with a car behind accompanied by the words ‘Bike Street: Cars are guests’.

A good overview map is the Sterkste Fietskaart Van Nederland. It’s made of a laminated paper that holds up in the rain and 2 maps cover the entire country, one for the north of the Holland and one for the south of the Holland. Countless regional maps are also available, many produced by Falk.

Below routes represent the different types of cycle experiences you can have in Holland.

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Amsterdam Forest

With paths either dedicated to walking, cycling or horse riding, the Amsterdam Forest (Amsterdamse Bos) is probably the best park for cycling in the world. The routes take you through a mosaic of wooded areas, grassland, reed lands and open water. With a high density of things to see and do, it is the perfect playground for youngsters getting used to explore by bike!

 

North Sea

More cycling pleasure awaits along the North Sea, where the LF1 bike route traces the coastline for nearly 300km. The paved bike paths in this part of the Netherlands take you on a rolling ride, over the crests of the endless sand dunes. None of the hills are particularly big but this is a good ride to challenge the notion that Holland is entirely flat.

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Zeeland

The photogenic flatness of the Dutch landscape comes alive in Zeeland, the most south-westerly province where the Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt rivers meet the sea. Its 400-mile coastline has cycle paths through towns such as Cadzand, Oostkapelle and Westkapelle.

 

Dutch Railway

When you want to cycle just for a day or a couple of days the routes of the Dutch Railways are excellent. Main advantages: it is easy to hire a bicycle at the railway station. These routes make a nice day of cycling. An overview of these 18 routes you’ll find on the Dutch Railway website, where you can download the route description.


Writer’s Profile

Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

2016-17 Top Destination in Europe

Each continent has its flavor and uniqueness. If you have not been to Europe, you should visit one of these places. Time and time again, guidebooks and friends will tell you what spots are must-sees for different destination, but everyone has their own idea of where their ideal vacation will take them.

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Rome, Italy
Eternal City – the nickname given by the locals. Rome is a wonderful destination for the holidays. From gorgeous gardens to hidden rooftops, there are the plenty of best spots in the city to find a little Rome romance. Whatever in life you are looking for you will find it. Wander into any church and be amazed by the sheer beauty of it.

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Paris, France
Typically known for the city of love, it is well known for its art, fashion, gastronomy, and culture. Alongside the world-famous museums and monuments, there are also some gloriously eccentric ones. They know how to make a decent pastry, with a good cup of coffee, you can sit in their café and watch the world goes by.

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Nice, France

Although it is France’s fifth-largest city, Nice is just like its name, nice. It has the most enchanting skyline paired with a beautiful sea. However, there is no white sand between your toes, it is a pebble beach. Away from the bustling city center with its flower markets and street performers, and far from the central hub, Nice has a number of fantastic sites that often go overlooked.

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Berlin, Germany
Berlin is a place where East meets West full of historical content. It has plenty of rich history and unique culture. You will immerse into the vast choice of museums, restaurants and art galleries. Like some other European capitals, Berlin has pronounced differences among its many neighborhoods.

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Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona has a great location and is has mild climate throughout the year and is located on the coast and there are miles of beaches all along the north. It’s packed full of creative people and offers amazing food and architectural masterpieces that you don’t often come across in Europe.

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Zurich, Switzerland

Switzerland offers a surprising amount of cultural variety. Zurich is also abuzz with sleek eateries, cool shops, and a full of history. With the most important highlights ranging from historical spots and natural escapes to food and shopping havens, you will have loads to do even as a solo traveler.

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Amsterdam, Netherlands

The city is small enough that visitors can get a real feel for its people, neighborhoods, sights, and secrets. With more than 6,800 houses and buildings protected as monuments and dating from the 16th to the 20th century, Amsterdam boasts the largest historical inner city in Europe.

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Vienna, Austria
A city that charms and seduces from scratch, Vienna may just steal your heart away. Spend a few days getting to know Vienna and you’ll discover its vivid World War II history, radical art movements, and nonstop street life. If Vienna doesn’t steal your heart, it definitely steals your stomach with its variety of desserts.

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London, England

Big Ben, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye… The list goes on and on. There’s nothing quite like the experience of hopping on a red double-decker bus and seeing some of the most recognizable sights in the world from its top deck.

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Brussels, Belgium
Some of the world’s best chocolate and home to more beer varieties than any other city in the world, that is our Brussels. It is a modern, cosmopolitan city at the heart of Europe. Although it is known more for being a political hub, it also has a surprisingly young vibe that makes it one of the more cutting-edge cities in Europe.

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Kotor, Montenegro

Located where the Balkans meet the Adriatic, Kotor sits on a deep bay surrounded by soaring cliffs. Kotor has all the features of a typical Mediterranean town: narrow streets, small shops, antique monuments and picturesque buildings.

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Writer’s Profile

Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com