Tenerife Gears Up To Host Deep-Sea Themed Carnival For 2019

Tenerife Gears Up To Host Deep-Sea Themed Carnival For 2019

The much-anticipated Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife will return in 2019 with a deep-sea theme that will see the island’s streets flooded with music, dancing and celebration for a month-long calendar of festivities. With vibrant parades, show-stopping costumes and unmissable dance performances that rival Rio, the Carnival promises even more fun and creativity this year, with its main events taking place between the 20th February and 10th March.

The internationally renowned Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the Canary Islands’ largest and most anticipated festival that attracts hundreds of thousands of people of all ages to Tenerife’s capital city every year. Considered the world’s second largest carnival after Rio, visitors fill the city’s squares and streets to dance salsa and view the spectacularly put together parades, which are all free for visitors.

Among the highlights of this year’s Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife are:

  • Carnival Queen Election Gala (20th February, 8pm): Considered by many as the highlight of the Carnival, the spectacular Carnival Queen candidates are often the focus of the stunning iconic images each year. Shimmering sequins, feathers, colours, fabrics and textures – the huge structures that the aspirant queens wear look truly amazing, and every costume seems to have been inspired by a fairy tale. The beauty and flair of the wearers make it even more difficult to choose one favourite design.
  • Opening Parade (1st March): The queen’s costume, her maids of honour and the Carnival groups take on a whole new level when seen close up parading down the streets of Santa Cruz, followed by costumed performers, dance troupes and musical groups.
  • Family-friendly Day Carnival (3rd March): The other face of Carnival: the daytime festivities. Groups of friends, children and families stream by in their finest costumes. Under the bright light of day, people of all ages and origins share the streets looking to have a good time.
  • Coso Apoteosis Parade (5th March): On Carnival Tuesday, when everyone’s muscles ache from Monday night’s dancing and their faces are still speckled with glitter, the city is once again filled with colour to celebrate the Grand Final Parade.
  • The Burial of the Sardine (6th March): The Burial of the Sardine takes place on Ash Wednesday and features a crazy, irreverent procession of weeping “widows” with a huge model fish, which is finally “cremated”.
  • Fireworks (10th March): The Carnival ends with a show-stopping fireworks display.

Together with Santa Cruz, other Tenerife towns will be also celebrating their own carnivals in February and March with lively street parades and parties, including Puerto de la Cruz, Los Cristianos and Los Gigantes.

More information

Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife 

Travel to the Spanish Islands with Globe Trekker!

Most Instagrammable Spots Along The Mediterranean Coastline

Most Instagrammable Spots Along The Mediterranean Coastline

Set along 28,000 miles of beautiful coastline, there’s a magnitude of opportunity for avid photographers to capture scenes of turquoise waters, secluded landscapes and historical sites in the Mediterranean. To help those deciding where on this famous coastline they want to snap next, read on for the most Instagram-worthy locations.

Kassiopi, Greece

Situated on the affluent north coast of Corfu, the popular horseshoe bay of Kassiopi is relaxed by day – perfect for a snorkel in the shallow shingle bay – yet close to the heart of the village, which comes alive at night. The village itself is steeped in history, with Emperor Nero and Cicero some of its ancient visitors. Nowadays, the village has transformed into something of a luxury hotspot, with stunning blue coastal views by day and the twinkling lights of tavernas creating a buzz at night.

med-sailors-greece

Loviste, Croatia

This little town on the Peljesac peninsula, far away from the light pollution of large cities and tourist hotspots, is the perfect spot to unwind and capture some great snaps. Enjoy the calm, warmer waters of the bay by paddleboard before spending a night stargazing from the beach.

medsailors-loviste-croatia

Fethiye, Turquise Coast, Turkey

Turkey’s Turquoise Coast has quite the history; legend has it that Marc Anthony declared the whole coast as a gift for his lover, Cleopatra. Discover the area both underwater and from the sky; with ancient ruins to snorkel and the famous Oludeniz beach to paraglide above, these glistening turquoise waters are an Instagrammer’s dream.

med-sailors-turkey

Diamond Bay, Croatia

Hidden away on Vis Island, Diamond Bay is home to the crystal clear waters of Stiniva Cove and the ancient Blue Grotto. Paddle into the caves to experience deep blue caverns teeming with sea life. Film buffs may also recognise the island’s quaint villages and golden orchards from Mamma Mia 2.

med-sailors-croatia

Hydra, Greece

Named after the natural springs found across the island, Hydra is a rustic gem. Vehicles are banned on the island, so donkeys remain the most popular method of transport and the pristine forests that line the beaches are not to be missed. With many beaches only accessible by boat, Hydra is the perfect destination to watch the sunset in solitude.

med-sailors-greece-1

Cala Junco, Italy

Located on the most beautiful of the Aeolian Islands, Panarea is the home of Cala Junco, a stony shored beach with crystal clear waters, rocky outlets and hidden coves to discover. A short ride away from neighbouring towns that are popular with the yachting elite, Cala Junco gives a taste of Italian luxury, without the matching price tag. Head into town for fashionable Italian boutiques and to rub shoulders with Uma Thurman, Naomi Campbell, The Dolce and Gabanna designers, all famous fans of this beautiful island.

medsailors-sicily-stromboli-snorkelling

More information

Med Sailors
Offering balanced sailing holidays in the Mediterranean, MedSailors create seven-day trips for 20-35 year olds in Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Italy and Antigua. Trips are created to offer authentic, memorable experiences while providing holidaymakers the opportunity to relax and, if they want to, learn new skills.

All images © Med Sailors

Want know more about all things Mediterranean? Read our diverse range of articles below.

Location lovers follow in the footsteps of their TV heroes: Rise in number of people coming to Wales

Location lovers follow in the footsteps of their TV heroes: Rise in number of people coming to Wales

A North Wales hotel says the increasing number of high-profile feature films and TV programmes being made in the principality is proving a real boost for the local tourism industry.

Steve Lee, manager of the Royal Victoria Hotel in Llanberis, says productions such as Journey’s End, Requiem, Britannia, and Keeping Faith, are providing a stimulus to the local economy.

“We’re getting a lot of ‘first-timers’ who may have seen the region on their favourite TV show and want to come along and experience the landscape,” said Steve. “Places like Snowdonia have always been popular for their dramatic beauty, but there is now a whole new audience coming here and discovering it for themselves.

Steve says location lovers now make up a growing percentage of Royal Victoria guests, alongside the regular hill walkers, triathletes and railway enthusiasts.

South West coach firm, Bakers Dolphin, says it has also seen an increase in the number of people keen to experience wonder of Wales as captured on film and TV.

“You can’t beat North Wales for glorious scenery,” said Amanda Harrington, sales and marketing director of Bakers Dolphin, “and the Royal Victoria’s a big favourite with our guests”.

“Films like Guy Ritchie’s ‘King Arthur’, and the S4C series ‘Hidden’, which was shot at locations in Snowdonia, are attracting a whole new audience of coach trippers.”

In 2017, the Lonely Planet placed North Wales fourth in in the publisher’s annual Best in Travel list as one of the top five places in the world to visit, the only UK destination to be featured in its rankings.

Tourism is estimated to be worth more than £5 billion to Wales as a whole.

For episodes, articles, short-form content and tips galore about Wales, then click here to read our destination guide!

 

Brits vote for the top 20 British bucket list experiences

Brits vote for the top 20 British bucket list experiences

Seeing Giant’s Causeway, whale watching in Scotland and visiting the Roman Baths have emerged among a list of British bucket list aspirations, a study has found. Spending the day at the Wimbledon tennis tournament, walking along Hadrian’s Wall and celebrating the summer solstice at Stonehenge also featured. A number of other quintessentially British experiences made it on to the list of must-dos, including enjoying a clotted cream tea in Cornwall and staying in a thatched cottage in the Cotswolds.

Despite these dreams, the survey of 2,000 adults commissioned by Sykes Holiday Cottages, revealed just how unexplored the UK really is, as Brits are more likely to have visited France, Spain and Italy than England’s home counties. According to the stats more than 6 in 10 (63%) have spent time in Spain, compared to just a third who’ve been to Surrey. And more Brits have visited France (67%) than Cornwall, Manchester and even London. In fact, the same number of us have travelled across the globe to Australia as those who have been across the border to Aberdeenshire (16%)!

And although Giant’s Causeway tops Brits’ home-based bucket list, only a quarter of the nation have visited Northern Ireland, where it’s located.

Graham Donoghue, CEO at Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: “Despite a desire to tick off our British bucket list experiences, these results show how undiscovered the country actually is. Lots of us are more likely to get on a plane or a ferry and go abroad than take in everything the UK has to offer. Although it’s brilliant to travel to other countries and cultures, many people would be surprised at how much there is to see just a hundred miles away from their hometown – Britain isn’t called great for nothing!”

The study also found that the average Brit has visited just 15 out of nearly 50 counties in the UK – although more than 1 in 10 (11%) admit they’ve been to a maximum of three. In comparison, the average person has travelled to 10 different countries around the world.

The north-south divide is also ever-apparent in Brits’ travel choices, as almost 1 in 5 southerners said they’ve never ventured up north. And nearly half (48%) of the population of Wales and Scotland haven’t ever been to each other’s country.

The decision to holiday abroad must be affecting our knowledge of the UK, as a 10th of Brits think Land’s End is in Scotland – when that couldn’t be further from its location at the very foot of Cornwall. A further 12% think the Brecon Beacons is in Scotland, and 6% are even convinced that London is in the north west of the country.

Brits’ top 20 British bucket list experiences:

  1. Visit Giant’s Causeway
  2. Go whale watching in the Scottish Highlands
  3. Visit Bath’s Roman Baths
  4. Walk along Hadrian’s Wall
  5. See in the summer solstice at Stonehenge
  6. Spend a day at Wimbledon
  7. Enjoy a clotted cream tea in Cornwall
  8. Stay in a thatched cottage in the Cotswolds
  9. Visit the Edinburgh Festival
  10. Visit Buckingham Palace
  11. Watch a show on London’s West End
  12. See the White Cliffs of Dover
  13. Eat fresh fish and chips in Whitby
  14. Walk through Cheddar Gorge
  15. Climb Mount Snowdon
  16. Take a boat trip on Lake Windermere
  17. Stargazing in Northumberland
  18. See the crown jewels at the Tower of London
  19. Look for Nessie at Loch Ness
  20. Search for fossils on the Jurassic Coast

Read our array of travel articles about the above destinations to start planning your next English adventure now:

Travel to Finland on the rise: Helsinki Airport breaks another record

Travel to Finland on the rise: Helsinki Airport breaks another record

Air travel via Helsinki Airport has been growing rapidly over the past few years. A historical milestone was surpassed today as the 20 millionth passenger of 2018 visited the airport.

“This is a momentous occasion for Helsinki Airport and the entire Finnish aviation industry,” says Joni Sundelin, Director of Helsinki Airport.

“The number of passengers has been growing faster than we predicted a few years ago. Back then, we talked about 20 million passengers in 2020. However, we hit that mark already this year.”

Up to 21 million passengers are expected to visit Helsinki Airport by the end of the year. The corresponding figure last year was 18.9 million passengers.

Sundelin says that responsibility is a key factor in the growth of Helsinki Airport. “We do our best to ensure that the volume air traffic can grow responsibly. Helsinki Airport is already a carbon neutral airport. We use renewable energy and fuels and compensate for other emissions.”

The volume of international transit traffic is increasing rapidly

The increasing number of passengers is due to the growth of international transit traffic, the attractiveness of Finland as a travel destination and Finns’ increased tendency to travel by plane.

“All areas of our operations have grown. The majority of traffic is still within Europe, but Asian transit traffic, in particular, has been growing more rapidly than expected.”

The growth of international traffic at Helsinki Airport has continued to be stronger than at the other main Nordic airports.

“We are currently among the most rapidly growing air traffic hubs in Europe. We have established our status as a hub of transit traffic between Europe and Asia.”

Finavia works arduously on getting new routes and airlines to use its airports. The main airlines, Finnair and Norwegian, have increased their range of services considerably this year. In addition, the airport has secured new airlines as its clients. FlyDubai, for example, began operating daily flights to Helsinki.

“Hopefully, we will continue to acquire more clients next year,” says Sundelin.

“We expect Helsinki Airport to continue its strong growth, but we also assume that the rate of growth will become more moderate in the coming years.”

A frantic year of development coming up at Helsinki Airport in 2019

The rapid rate of growth at Helsinki Airport is, of course, a positive sign, but the rapidly increasing number of passengers also sets certain challenges for the capacity of the airport. That is why, already in 2014, Finavia initiated a €1 billion development programme that is helping Helsinki Airport to prepare for serving up to 30 million passengers a year.

“The next year of the development programme will be very remarkable. In February, we will open the new heart of long-distance traffic, Aukio, and later on, the expansions of the west pier, border control and Terminal 1 will be opened,” says Sundelin.

The construction of the new entrance to Terminal 2 and the new departure and arrivals halls will also begin in early 2019. Passengers will have to take the construction work into account when arriving at and leaving the airport.

“The new premises of Helsinki Airport and the entire customer experience of passengers will be world-class. Nevertheless, we need to focus on maintaining the level of customer satisfaction during the construction work,” says Sundelin.

More Information

Finavia
Finavia provides and develops airport services with a focus on safety, customer-orientation and cost efficiency in Finland.

Ever heard of Finland’s Wife Carrying Festival? Watch Neil Gibson buckle under the pressure of this once gimmick, now national institution in the episode below, July Globe Guide.

Top winter cities to guarantee a white Christmas

Top winter cities to guarantee a white Christmas

Gear up for the festive season by reading the ranking of the world’s ultimate Christmas cities.

Is London going to provide a blanket of snow this December?

London is known as one of the best escapes for Christmas but isn’t often covered in snow. London gets an average snowfall of 21.9 inches all year round. The last white Christmas was recorded in 2010 so there is a slight chance that Londoners could get some magical timing with the weather to offer a Christmas postcard picture.  The odds currently stand at 3/1 on Skybet for a London white Christmas.

The top Christmas cities for a white Christmas:

snowfall

Canada has two the top winter cities for a guaranteed white Christmas

The UNESCO world treasure of Quebec City averages a snowfall of a 124 inches, the cobbled streets become paved with a white dusting more often than not and is ranked the second best Christmas city overall. Montreal follows closely behind with an average snowfall of 82.5 inches. These two Christmas cities are likely to provide a white blanket of snow for the 25th of December.

Helsinki, Finland revealed as the ultimate Christmas city worldwide

The vibrant seaside city of Helsinki, the capital of Finland transforms in the winter time to become the most Christmassy city, and ranked in 1st place as the top Christmas city. Berlin with it’s famed Christmas markets had the best value Christmas lunch at under £40 came in at number 3, whereas Prague is the best place to nab a 6ft Christmas tree for less than £10 placed 9th in the listing. The data revealed that Helsinki rated the best in overall value to create the most magical Christmas, with the total cost of ranking factors amounting to £302.95; with the light switch on celebrations starting at the 25th of November and the average snowfall hitting 26.9 inches.

Edinburgh outranks New York as one of the best cities to visit at Christmas

Edinburgh with easy travel on train from London, it makes the perfect Christmas escape. With the streets being adorned with lights at the 18th of November it is an early start to the season and the chances snowfall with an average of 18.3 inches make it a great winter escape.

Ranking:

  1. Helsinki – Best for Scandi-magic
  2. Quebec City – Best for a white Christmas
  3. Berlin – Best for cheap Christmas dinners
  4. London – Best for beautiful Christmas lights
  5. Salzburg – Best for fairy tale views
  6. Copenhagen – Best for culinary delights
  7. Edinburgh – Best for all the family
  8. Montreal – Best for snowman building
  9. Prague – Best for Christmas trees
  10. Dublin – Best for merriment
  11. Bruges – Best for chocolate lovers
  12. Reykjavik – Best for the Northern Lights
  13. Aspen – Best for skiing
  14. Strasbourg – Best for Christmas markets
  15. New York – Best for wonder and excitement

More Information

Bloom & Wild

Want more Christmas cheer? Read about the 10 Christmas Markets You Might Not Have Heard Of.

Parker’s Piece: Cambridge Rules and the Birthplace of Modern Football

Parker's Piece: Cambridge Rules and the Birthplace of Modern Football

Parkers’s Piece is a 25-acre park near the centre of Cambridge, where modern football, or soccer, was first played.

It was originally owned by Trinity College and was named after the college cook who leased it from the college to farm.

In the first half of the 19th century students from various English public schools and universities began playing various football games at Parker’s Piece. There was no standard set of rules for these games.

But it was here that the Cambridge Rules of 1848 were first put into practice. They were very influential in the creation of the modern rules of Association Football, drawn up in London by The Football Association in 1863.

Parker’s Piece is also known for its 1838 feast for 15,000 people, which celebrated the coronation of Queen Victoria.

Cambridge, Oxford, Brighton, Windsor, Eton… there are so many amazing day trips from London just a short train ride away!

Which Products Are British Expats Living Abroad Importing Most?

Which Products Are British Expats Living Abroad Importing Most?

Baked beans, crumpets and Jaffa cakes are among the top items homesick expats are getting shipped across the globe. New data has revealed Brits abroad are enjoying a taste of home by having a string of traditional foods sent to them, with cheese and onion crisps, squash and Bisto gravy also common shelf fillers. Scampi Fries, Frazzles and tomato soup also emerged among a list of goods those who have left the shores of the UK cannot live without.

According to figures released by British Corner Shop, Brits who now live in Australia are rushing to cram their cupboards with Shreddies and oxtail soup. Ex-pats who now enjoy life in the United States are opting for Heinz baked beans, Warburtons Crumpets and Robinsons squash. And those who now live in Spain are buying gingernuts, Bisto gravy and Aptamil baby milk the truckload.

British Corner Shop also revealed some of the orders they have shipped to more unusual parts of the world. One expat in the Philippines got in contact to satiate their craving for Ambrosia, with an order of five Milk Chocolate Custard Pots and four Strawberry Rice Pots.

Most Popular Expat Products In The US

1. Heinz Baked Beans in tomato Sauce – 5,870

2. Warburtons Crumpets 6 pack – 3,454

3. Robinsons Apple and Blackcurrant Squash – 2,720

4. McVities Jaffa Cakes 10 pack – 2,645

5. Robinsons Orange Squash – 2,614

6. Milupa Aptamil Follow On Milk Ready to Drink – 2,448

7. Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup – 1,958

8. Cadburys Flake 4 pack – 1,840

9. Cadburys Crunchie 4 pack – 1,587

10. Bisto Gravy Granules – 1,576

Most Popular Expat Products In Spain

1. Warburtons Crumpets 6 pack – 1,125

2. McVities Ginger Nuts – 1,114

3. Robinsons Orange Squash – 645

4. Robinsons Apple and Blackcurrant Squash – 530

5. Milupa Aptamil Follow On Milk Ready to Drink – 473

6. Milupa Aptamil First Milk Ready to Drink – 468

7. Bisto Gravy Granule – 439

8. Paxo Sage and Onion Stuffing Mix – 400

9. Rubicon Sparkling Lychee Juice Drink – 361

10. Robinsons Squash’d Summer Fruits – 305

Most Popular Expat Products In Australia

1. Heinz Baked Beans – 2,230

2. Milupa Aptamil First Milk Ready to Drink – 535

3. Walkers Cheese & Onion Crisps 6 Pack – 443

4. Smiths Bacon Fries – 399

5. Smiths Scampi Fries – 351

6. Walkers Frazzles 8 pack – 307

7. Nestle Shreddies – 294

8. Mr Porky Prime Cut Scratchings Single Bag – 274

9. Heinz Oxtail Soup – 271

10. Walkers Prawn Cocktail Crisps 6 pack – 270

World Cities Day: The top cities for millennials to live, work & travel

World Cities Day: The top cities for millennials to live, work & travel

On the occasion of today’s World Cities Day, search engine Nestpick has released a study revealing the top 110 cities for millennials, based on factors such as startup ecosystem, housing affordability, immigration tolerance and quality of nightlife. Nestpick conducted this study, for the second year in a row, in order to pinpoint which cities are successfully attracting this generation, and therefore a core future workforce.

Building on last year’s study, the research encapsulated a wider scope of criteria and sources for the 2018 ranking, including an analysis of top universities and personal freedoms. In addition, the main categories were weighted to reflect the concerns and mindsets of the generation. For example, while housing affordability is a major concern for most, it is even more so for young professionals at the start of their careers. With these interests in mind, 110 cities were analysed taking into consideration four main areas of concern; the business ecosystem, the essentials (housing, food etc.), openness, and recreation.

The top 20 best millennial cities are revealed below. Scores are from 1 to 10, with 10 indicating the highest possible score. The results for each 17 criteria have been combined into four main categories for clarity, but the full results can be seen here.

Results: The Top 20 Cities for Millennials

#

City

Country

Business Ecosystem

The Essentials

Openness

Recreation

Total Score

1

Berlin

Germany

6.1

5.9

8.3

8.8

7.14

2

Montréal

Canada

6.4

5.8

8.6

7.9

7.10

3

London

United Kingdom

8.1

3.5

8.7

7.2

6.71

4

Amsterdam

Netherlands

8.0

3.0

8.5

7.9

6.63

5

Toronto

Canada

6.6

5.3

9.0

5.5

6.60

6

Vancouver

Canada

7.1

4.4

9.0

4.9

6.34

7

Barcelona

Spain

5.5

5.2

6.8

8.5

6.31

8

New York City

USA

8.8

2.9

6.7

7.5

6.25

9

Cologne

Germany

3.2

6.0

7.8

8.0

6.17

10

Manchester

United Kingdom

5.0

5.1

8.5

6.1

6.12

11

Hamburg

Germany

5.9

4.2

7.1

7.9

6.10

12

Bristol

United Kingdom

5.7

4.9

8.1

5.7

6.06

13

San Francisco

USA

8.9

2.8

7.0

6.2

6.04

14

Austin

USA

8.1

4.0

6.4

6.0

6.03

15

Paris

France

6.9

3.3

7.0

7.6

5.98

16

Miami

USA

8.4

2.5

6.2

7.6

5.90

17

Munich

Germany

4.7

4.5

7.8

7.0

5.87

18

Lisbon

Portugal

4.5

6.0

5.9

7.3

5.84

19

Glasgow

United Kingdom

5.0

6.3

7.7

3.8

5.82

20

Madrid

Spain

3.2

6.1

6.7

7.6

5.82

These final results reveal the best overall cities for millennials, based on all four factors, but by looking at the top 10 cities for each individual category, the results indicate which location would be best for a young person based on their strongest concerns.

For example, those millennials looking for an adventure or experience abroad should focus on the Essentials Top 10, which looks at factors such as housing, food, internet, and transport, which are all important for short-term movers, while employment or openness might not be such a primary concern. Likewise, young professionals looking for work opportunities should focus instead on the Business Ecosystem Top 10.

The tables below reveal the top 10 cities for millennials based on each larger category:

Top 10 Cities for Business Ecosystem

Top 10 Cities for The Essentials

#

City

Country

#

City

Country

1

San Francisco

USA

1

Seoul

South Korea

2

New York City

USA

2

Taipei

Taiwan

3

Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia

3

Bangkok

Thailand

4

Miami

USA

4

Brno

Czech Republic

5

Los Angeles

USA

5

Bucharest

Romania

6

Seattle

USA

6

Prague

Czech Republic

7

Beijing

China

7

Porto

Portugal

8

London

United Kingdom

8

Mexico City

Mexico

9

Portland

USA

9

Budapest

Hungary

10

Austin

USA

10

Guadalajara

Mexico

Top 10 Cities for Openness

Top 10 Cities for Recreation

#

City

Country

#

City

Country

1

Helsinki

Finland

1

Buenos Aires

Argentina

2

Toronto

Canada

2

Berlin

Germany

3

Vancouver

Canada

3

Barcelona

Spain

4

London

United Kingdom

4

Cologne

Germany

5

Oslo

Norway

5

Amsterdam

Netherlands

6

Copenhagen

Denmark

6

Montréal

Canada

7

Montréal

Canada

7

Hamburg

Germany

8

Amsterdam

Netherlands

8

Bogotá

Colombia

9

Manchester

United Kingdom

9

Bangkok

Thailand

10

Stockholm

Sweden

10

Rio de Janeiro

Brazil

Further findings:

  • Beijing, China ranks highest for Employment, followed by American cities San Francisco and Austin.

  • New York City, USA has the highest score for their Startup ecosystem, followed by San Francisco, USA and London, UK.

  • Hong Kong, China ranks highest for Tourism, followed by Bangkok, Thailand and London, UK.

  • Guadalajara, Mexico has the highest score for Housing, followed by fellow Mexican city Monterrey and Medellín, Colombia.

  • Bangkok, Thailand ranks highest for Food, followed by Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Lima, Peru.

  • Oslo, Norway has the highest score for Transport, followed by Washington D.C., USA and Paris, France.

  • Japanese cities Tokyo and Osaka rank joint highest for Health, followed by Singapore, Singapore.

  • Seoul, South Korea has the highest score for Internet Speed, followed by Bergen, Norway and Denver, USA.

  • London, UK ranks highest for Universities, followed by Paris, France and Seoul, South Korea.

  • China and Hong Kong rank highest for Access to Contraception, followed by the UK.

  • Norway ranks highest for Gender Equality, followed by Finland and Sweden.

  • New Zealand ranks highest for Immigration Tolerance, followed by Canada and Norway.

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands has the highest score for Personal Freedom and Choice, followed by Oslo, Norway and Helsinki, Finland.

  • Madrid, Spain ranks highest for LGBT Friendliness, followed by Amsterdam, Netherlands and Toronto, Canada.

  • Berlin, Germany has the highest score for Nightlife, followed by Paris, France and Melbourne, Australia.

  • Beijing, China ranks highest for Beer prices, followed by Colombian cities Medellín and Bogotá.

  • Miami, USA has the highest score for Festivals, followed by fellow American city Washington D.C. and Paris, France.

Want to learn more about your favourite world cities? Watch how other people live as our travellers guide you through the cultural and aesthetic delights of some the world’s most renowned cities in our series Bazaar.

 

Estonia Is Named The Best Alternative Holiday Destination In Europe

Estonia Is Named The Best Alternative Holiday Destination In Europe

The European summer may be over, but British holidaymakers are taking more holidays than at any point in the past five years. With many already planning their next break of the year, a relaxing holiday on the beach just doesn’t cut it any more. With so much choice and flexibility, travellers are on the hunt for something – and somewhere – as unique as they are. With city breaks being the top holiday type of choice last year, followed by beach holidays, alternative destinations are constantly emerging as travellers search for more authentic experiences.

To uncover what makes British holiday makers tick, ebookers have conducted research into some of the most popular European countries, analysing each destination and ranking them on a variety of factors to produce the Alternative Holiday Index.

The Alternative Holiday Index ranks 31 cities across Europe by analysing 24 factors including:

  • Arts and culture
  • Authentic food
  • Interesting architecture
  • Cheap Beer
  • Good for solo travellers
  • Friendly locals

Combined and weighted, they produce an overall index score for each country. So which destination came out on top?

Top 10 alternative holiday destinations in Europe

1

Estonia best alternative holiday destination in Europe!

Known for its untouched nature, medieval architecture, and Nordic food, Estonia is revealed to be home of the best alternative holiday destination in Europe.

Located in Northern Europe, Estonia was ranked highly for its interesting architecture scoring nine out of ten, which may come as no surprise as Estonia’s capital Tallinn is known as the best-preserved medieval city in Northern Europe.

Estonia’s vast woodland meant the country ranked highly within the ‘natural beauty and exploration’ category with an index score of ten out of ten.

Estonia also ranked highly for its ‘Instragrammability’ (10/10), authentic high-quality food (10/10), and friendly locals (10/10).

Estonia was followed by Lithuania and Latvia as the best alternative holiday destinations with index scores of 195.6 and 180.9 respectively.

The Alternative Couples Destination

Lithuania ranks particularly high for authentic food (9), nature (10) and romantic settings (9), making it the perfect destination for couples in search of outdoor adventure, great food, and cheap beer (9.13).

Situated between Lithuania and Estonia, Latvia ranks highly across the index – with high index scores for interesting architecture (9), arts and culture (8.71), and ‘Instagrammable’ surroundings (8.71).

Cyprus offers a home from home

The research also reveals the European countries which are perfect for those looking for something a little more within their comfort zone; a home away from home!

Cyprus ranks the highest out of the 32 countries for the ease of finding British food, pubs and home comforts (7.12) and for having a high number of fellow Brits visiting the country (6) each year. However, it is not the best country to visit if you can’t function without a good cuppa, only scoring 5.57 on the index.

Authentic experiences

On the other end of the spectrum and those looking for an authentic experience in another country’s culture, central and northern Europe offer the best destinations with Slovenia and Slovakia.

Estonia and Slovenia are ideal alternative holiday destinations for Brits wanting to lose themselves in another countries culture and not run the risk of bumping in to fellow Brits. With both countries scoring low in the research for the number of British visitors, travellers can really escape and experience something completely new.

Going solo? Best destinations for going it alone

Google trends reveals searches for ‘solo travel’ have increased steadily year on year with queries around ‘travel alone’ peaking in January this year and more people than ever before consider an adventure of a lifetime on their own.

The new research questioned solo travellers on each locations suitability for travelling alone with a key focus on safety and relevant activities.

Estonia is again the highest rated country in Europe for those looking to explore the world on their own.

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