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5 Great Winter Destinations

Have you recently found yourself researching flights to great winter destinations? Well, if you’re looking for a place to head for vacation this winter and haven’t yet settled on where, there are plenty of great options offering everything from snowy peaks to sand beaches. If you can’t quite make-up your mind on what best suits you, here are 5 great winter destinations that are bound to impress.

Iceland

Iceland

For those willing to head deeper into the winter dark, the North Atlantic country of Iceland has some wonderful natural wonders to offer, including the world-famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, a number of breathtaking volcanoes, the stunning Gulfoss waterfall, as well as Thingvellir National Park, which was once home to Viking Althing, the parliament which was first held here in 930 AD.

Greece

Greece is home to a number of important historical sites, including the Athenian Acropolis, which houses such buildings as the Parthenon, as well as the Delphi Archaeological Site, which sits on the slopes of the beautiful Mount Parnassus and holds the temple of Apollo. If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, then consider heading to one of the Greek islands, where you’ll be able to enjoy life as the locals do outside of the booming tourist season.

Italy

There is never a bad time to visit Italy, and as this country attracts millions of tourists a year, heading here in the off-season will not only make your travels cheaper, but it will also cut down on queues for many of the major sites, such as the Duomo and Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and tours of the Vatican and Colosseum in Rome. Venice is also a wonderful city to visit in the winter, as the canals and narrow walkways create a whole new misty atmosphere in the cold weather.

Croatia

Croatia might be best known for its beautiful Dalmatian coast, and while there is still plenty of things to do and see along the coastline and in cities like Dubrovnik, in the northeast of the country, just outside the capital of Dubrovnik, you’ll find the wonderful Mount Sljeme, a ski resort which features offerings for all levels, from beginner to expert. If you’re stuck halfway between a winter-sports vacation and a trip to the coast, then Croatia might be the place for you.

Phuket, Thailand

Thailand

There are few countries that can match the type of winter weather that you’ll find in Thailand, where this season actually provides the country with its most comfortable and enjoyable climate. With some of the  world’s best beaches, extremely kind locals, delicious food, and luxurious resorts and hotels, if you’re looking to trade-in the cold and dark of winter for a traditional beach getaway, there is no better place to head.

Wherever you decide to go for your upcoming winter break, be sure to plan in advance to ensure you get all the best deals possible.

Images by Moyan Brenn and Jeff Gunn used under the Creative Commons license. 

The Best of Umbria

Umbria is a landlocked region of central Italy that is known for rolling hills dotted with castles and fortresses interrupted by lush valleys, and medieval towns that have remained largely unchanged for centuries.

The mighty Tiber River flows through Umbria, and Lake Trasimeno, one of Italy’s largest can be found there. Rich agricultural lands yield black truffles, tobacco and olives, and its vineyards produce fine wines. These make Umbria an ideal destination for anyone interested in eco-tourism.

Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi

The Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi, Umbria

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photo by: Jim Linwood

Why Verona?

Romantic, and beautifully preserved, Verona is a UNESCO World Heritage City and one of the most sought-after destinations in Italy.

It was once a Roman colony, was conquered by the Goths, and was the site of several battles. The French, under Napoleon, occupied the city, as did the Austrians.

Verona Arena

Arena

Verano has also been featured in literature. It was the setting for three of Shakespeare’s plays – Romeo & JulietThe Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Taming of the Shrew, and was also mentioned by Goethe and Stendhal.

All this has given Verona a colorful history, making this city of just under 80 square miles, a walking museum of cathedrals, monuments, and architectural gems from Ancient Rome, the Middle Age, Scaliger and Austrian periods.

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Italy – The Hub of Showbiz

Italy is a country historically rich in culture. From the renaissance era it has been an artistic hub for Europe and much of the western world- and today is no different. From the majestic mountains and tranquil lakes, to the vibrant metropolises of Rome and Milan, it is a country steeped in history. Taking all this into account it is no wonder that, just like in the renaissance era, it attracts a vast array of ‘VIPs’, the stars of show business from across the globe to luxury hotels in Italy.

But what is it that keeps these stars coming back? There are hundreds of fantastic spectacles to see and places to visit as can be seen in this Italian luxury blog. However, many of show business’ biggest names are drawn to Italy for its peaceful holiday locations such as Lake Como and Maggiore. Lake Como and Maggiore are two of the largest lakes in Europe. Situated in the north of Italy near the Alps, they have been vacation get-away spots for Aristocracy and ‘VIPs’ for centuries. Celebrities like world renowned actor George Clooney and British rock band Muse’s lead singer and guitarist Matt Bellamy own properties on Lake Como and are drawn back to the lake’s peaceful waters and magnificent mountainous back drop time and time again. [Read more…]