Amazing National Parks in Europe

The National Parks in Europe don’t get nearly the attention that the parks in the USA and Canada get. And I think this is a shame because there are so many unique and beautiful parks in Europe. I wrote a post on a few National Parks in Europe a few years ago. So now I want to add to that list. And it’s my hope, that as you travel to Europe, you’ll think about visiting one of the national...

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Amazing Things To Do on the Duirinish Peninsula

There are some awesome things to do on the Duirinish Peninsula of the Isle of Skye. And its neighbor, the Waternish Peninsula, also has some fabulous sites. I find this piece of Skye is a little less visited than other parts of this popular Scottish Island. But these 2 peninsulas are stunning and deserve some time. While most of my time was with Duirinish, I did spend a little bit of time on Waternish. Now, this is not an area that is completely off the tourist track as there are some rock star sites. However, it is a wee bit quieter in general — especially if you stay a few nights which is what I recommend. As usual, we’ll start with the where. So, find the Isle of Skye in the northwest of Scotland. Yes, it is an island — barely. Look to the upper left and find Dunvegan. The piece of land to the far left is Duirinish and the one to the right — with a short piece and a much longer piece — is Waternish. It takes a bit of effort to get out this far onto Skye from a town...

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Awesome Things To Do in Anglesey Wales

While this piece of Wales gets skipped over, I think there are some awesome things to do in Anglesey. Personally, some of my favorite experiences from my time in Wales were on this “barely and island” island. It has a lovely coastline dotted with seaside hamlets, beaches and bays as well as a lovely pastoral interior dotted with sheep, ruins, and paths made for walking and cycling. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised. So let’s start with the where because I know you may not know where this under visited piece of Wales is. So when you look at this map and see Wales, you can...

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Beautiful Dolomite Parks of Italy

Parco Naturale Regionale delle Dolomiti d'Ampezzo Another of the parks that is located in the northern Veneto is Parco Naturale Regionale delle Dolomiti d'Ampezzo. It sits just north of the famous ski town of Cortina d'Ampezzo and is known for the Crystal and the Tofane mountain groups. One of my favorite peaks, the Croda Rossa d'Ampezzo is located in the park. There are some beautiful narrow valleys here as well as some high alpine pastures. The Fanes gorge is one of the highlights where you'll find some stunning waterfalls. One site of note is the ruins of the Botestagno castle, an...

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Best Things to Do in Serralunga d'Alba

Serralunga is in the Province of Cuneo. It’s located about 80km south of the Turin (Torino), the capital of Piedmont and it’s just 15km from the town of Alba. The village only has 535 residents so it’s very small. Serralunga d’Alba sits up on a hill surrounded by vineyards that produce some amazing wine. The castle, castello, is the star attraction — well that and the world class wine. This site sits at the top of the town. You’ll see it as you drive along the rural roads to Serralunga. The castle is only open on certain days and times so do plan accordingly. I didn’t plan...

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Best Things To Do in York

Even though I spent just 2 nights in this English city, I think I found some of the best things do in York. If I had more time, I would have gladly dug deeper and probably found even more awesome experiences. But I think this is a good “starting point” list. If you’ve been reading this blog, then you know I’m more of a nature gal than a city gal. However, York is definitely a city that I really like. And I admit, I’ll go back to uncover more of York and its surrounding areas. So let’s get started on this fascinating English city. York is located in Northeast England, specifically in the Yorkshire and the Humber region. It’s a city of about 208,000 so not a large city, but big enough to offer up quite a bit to do. This fascinating city was under Roman rule way back in the day, then the Vikings came (and went) and then it was eventually put under Norman rule when they conquered the island of Britain. Situated on the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss, York became an...

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Caernarfon Wales: Reasons to Visit this Fascinating Town

Caernarfon is situated right along the water — the Menai Strait — which lies east of the town. To the west you’ll see the peaks of Snowdonia National Park. And there are trees and fields nearby too. It’s really a lovely location. The other great aspect to the location of Caernarfon is that it sits along a main road, so it’s quite convenient. Don’t worry though as this does not...

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Clonmacnoise

Clonmacnoise Clonmacnoise is one of Ireland’s monastic settlements that are scattered about the countryside. It’s one that I had not been all that familiar with until a few months ago. Once I did a bit of research I knew it was a definite stop on this journey to Ireland. If history and ruins are your thing, then you’ll love it. And if you aren’t into this type of experience you still may enjoy it for its peaceful setting. Clonmacnoise was founded by St Ciarán in 548 to be a place for learning. St Ciarán had studied under St Finian and decided to start up his own place and found the banks of the River Shannon to be the perfect spot. Unfortunately Ciarán succumbed to a plague shortly after the first structure was built in 549. He was just 33 years old. But his pupils continued their learning and teachings and built more structures. By the 11th and 12th centuries it was producing some of the great manuscripts of the time. At its height, Clonmacnoise had 2 towers and 7...

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Most Beautiful Towns in Tuscany

There are loads of towns in Tuscany. And most of them would certainly qualify as beautiful. Some are large towns such as Siena which is quite well-known. Others are quaint villages and maybe not a town you’ve heard of such as Casole d’Elsa— which you’ll find out about soon enough. Admittedly, Tuscany is über popular. Finding beautiful towns is easy but finding a beautiful town that’s not so touristed is a bit more difficult. I visited San Gimignano on my third visit to Tuscany. I resisted because it’s on every tourist’s itinerary. But I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. While I did think it was beautiful, I thought other towns were equally so and less kitschy. However, I always say that each person has to travel her own way — to find the places that resonate with you that YOU want to visit. This town is 12km east of Lucca —a bigger and more popular town that is also worthy of spending time. But Montecarlo will get you away from the crowds. Now this is...

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Pri Kafolu

Tourist farm Pri Kafolu is one of those family-run accommodation where you truly feel like you’re at home. Add in a beautiful location with views to the Soca River valley and the surrounding mountains and it’s a wonderful choice for exploring the Soca Valley in Slovenia. It might be one of the best places to stay in the Soca Valley. Let’s start with some basic information. Pri Kafolu is...

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Reasons You Need to Explore the Unique Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park

> Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park is Ireland’s newest national park. And while I only made a quick drive through this area, this park is one I want to explore more and one that I’m recommending to you. This is a gorgeous, unique and time worthy destination as well as a spot for those of you seeking something a bit off the main tourist trail. As always, we’ll begin with the where. This incredible park in located in County Mayo. And specifically Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park is in the northern part of this county between the towns of Mallaranny and Bangor Erris. You can get there from the fun town of Westport in about 45 minutes to an hour by car. This park was first established in 1998 as Ballycroy National Park. In 2017 it was expanded to include the Nephin Beg mountain...

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Skocjan Caves

The Skocjan Caves are absolutely amazeballs! In fact they are so incredible that they’re a site. And cave is probably not the right word as this cave system is really an underground canyon. I toured this site on a day trip from Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Now there are 2 things I want to point out. One is that it was some sort of holiday on the day I visited where sites in Slovenia were free. So I didn’t get the usual guided tour. We were able to simply walk through on our own and ask questions of the various staff along the trail through the caves. In hindsight, I would have...

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Some of the Best Things About Piedmont

Piedmont Italy is the home of the “slow food” movement. So you can bet on some of the best food in all of Italy. Lots of different food grows here, especially in the lowland regions which lie in the central and eastern parts of Piedmont. You’ll find cereal grains such as rice, lots of different fruits, milk and cheese (from all the cows) and hazelnuts which are quite abundant. There are some amazing restaurants in the region — from fine dining to simple trattoria (family run, casual restaurants) that serve up fresh, local and tasty meals. And there are some wonderful markets where you can buy fresh, local food to make your own meal. I went to the Saturday market in Alba which is quite large. It has more than just food, but the food is the best part of the open market with meats,...

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Sot La Napa

I don’t know where to begin to tell you about Agriturismo Sot La Napa in Italy. It was such a wonderful surprise. Located in the wee village of Pesariis — which I fell in love with — this agriturismo is one of the best places I’ve stayed. Period. While it’s not an agriturismo (farmhouse) as in “stay in the middle of the countryside”, it’s still a delightful and peaceful place to lay your head. Sot La Napa not only has rooms, but an incredible restaurant as well. So let’s get started because I’m betting when you get to the bottom of this post, you’ll be ready to book some time here. I recently wrote about Pesariis, the little clock town in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. This region of Italy — the far Northeast — doesn’t see many American or Canadian visitors. In fact, this was the first time I had ventured into this piece of the boot. And I’ll go back because it’s incredibly gorgeous, diverse and is filled with an interesting history. Pesariis is...

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The Best Things To Do in Le Marais

Some of the best things to do in Le Marais — which includes parts of the 3rd and 4th arrondissements — are actually free. And, of course, some are not. I stayed in this neighborhood on my recent visit to Paris so I had the chance to explore it a bit. However, I didn’t get to do all that I wanted in Le Marais because I wanted to experience some other spots in Paris such as my favorite...

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The Best Things To See and Do in North Wales

When my friend told me she was going to be in Wales for a year — attending graduate school — I decided it would be a great destination to travel to. And as I read about North Wales where she would be living, I knew I had to go. So what does North Wales have to offer? Well, quite a lot. But I’m going to focus on the areas I visited. So here are some the of the best things to do in North Wales — in my humble opinion. This little hamlet — on the Isle of Anglesey — is where my friend actually lives. And it sits on the Menai Straight and is the home of the famous Menai Bridge that...

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The Unique and Amazing Fanes Senes Braies Dolomite Natural Park

Fanes Senes Braies Natural Park is one of ten Dolomite parks in northern Italy. Yes the Dolomites aren’t in one location but ten. I didn’t know this fact until my first visit to the Dolomites in 2011 which was to Sciliar Catinaccio Natural Park near Castelrotto. It’s gorgeous! Now all of the parks are stunning but each has its own unique features and special attractions. So as I began...

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Why Castelrotto is the Best Town in the Dolomites

Castelrotto is, in my opinion, the best town in the Dolomites. San Vigilio di Marebbe is a close second for me, but Castelrotto is my favorite. From the first time I laid eyes on this charming village back in 2011, it was love. And that love has grown for this wee town with each visit. Known as Kastelruth in German, this town has it all — small town charm, loads of accommodation choices, an array of restaurants, stunning views, accessibility by public transport, lots of trails, good winter activities and plenty of things to do, see and experience in the surrounding area. Castelrotto is located in the Trentino-Alto Adige region of Northern Italy. And specifically it’s in the Alto Adige part of the region. This town sits in the mountains about 26km from the main town of Bolzano...

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Why You Need To Visit the Amazing San Vigilio di Marebbe

Do you know of San Vigilio di Marebbe, Italy? Maybe you’ve heard of Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park — one of the Dolomite parks. Or maybe not. Well… You’re in luck because I’m going to tell you about this amazing part of Italy … Where I rarely — if ever — run into Americans or Canadians. And I can’t understand why. Because this is an absolutely gorgeous destination. Okay. So...

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Yachats: A Beautiful Destination on the Coast of Oregon

That line sold me on visiting Yachats. And it’s a destination I’m longing to return to. So this week I’m leaving Europe and I’m going to stay here in the USA. This is a new take on an older post. But I really wanted to share my experience in this amazing destination in the hopes that you might add it to your USA list. As usual, we’ll start with the where. Great question. There are...

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