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Before I Die: Europe

Before I Die: Europe

There are 50 countries to explore in Europe by rail, road, boat or bike. Here is my pick of the top destinations to make sure are on your intinerary on your next road trip through Europe.

Santorini Island, Greece

santorini-greece

When walking on Santorini Island you are walking on the result of one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in history (4x the power of Krakatoa!) which wiped out the original settlements. Super-popular with tourists (and for good reason), Santorini has skyrocketed in popularity in the last decade or two thanks to the spectacular sunsets – arguably one of its biggest (but not singular) charms.

If you are there to chase sunsets, make sure you position yourself by the The Byzantine Castle Ruins in the village of Oia (on the Northern tip of the island)

Interesting Facts:

  • The water at the black beach is warmer due to the heat absorbing black lava rock
  • There’s also red beach and white beach
  • Thought to be the site of Plato’s legend of Atlantis – the ancient civilisation, which submerged over 9500 years ago

Google Earth: https://goo.gl/maps/Ex87cp5dEP72

Pamukkale, Turkey

Pamukkale-Turkey

Pamukkale literally means “cotton castle” and the site is essentially a step-like stack of calcium carbonate shelves, filled with warm, milky-blue water. The formation is so striking that the ancient Romans built a spa town here, and UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in the 80s.

For thousands of years bathers have flocked to the site for its restorative, naturally heated mineral waters – like seriously, its like a theme park – don’t expect a relaxing spa session even as the sun goes down.

Top Tip: Stay for sunset. Arrive around 4pm, leave around 7 pm to leave plenty of time in between for pictures and hanging out.

No need to book accommodation in advance. Pamukkale (the town) is so compact and saturated with guesthouses/hotels of every budget. It takes about 15 minute walk to cover the whole town. There are many overnight buses you can take from Istanbul costing around $30.

Interesting Facts:

  • The cliffs cascade downward in a widening series of steps from a plateau more than 100m high on Cal Da Mountain
  • The waters emerge from the hot spring at a temperature of about 97°F (36°C) containing iron, sodium chloride (salt) sulphuric acid, and magnesium, as well as calcium carbonate (limestone).
  • In spring, tadpoles can be found in the pools. Fascinating to watch, they look striking against the white of the travertine
  • The hot springs flow at a rate of 400 liters per second

Google Earth: https://goo.gl/maps/L2DqrMsyq7k

Venice, Italy

Grand-Canal-Italy

Built on over 100 islands at the edge of the Adriatic Sea, Venice has no cars or roads. Instead, 177 canals with 400 bridges give residents and tourists access to the alleys and historic squares.

Today the city faces challenges such as subsidence, flooding and overcrowding of tourists.which places pressure on Venice to accommodate guests whilst maintaining its unique identity and landmarks.

Interesting Facts:

  1. Over 60,000 people visit Venice each day – more than its population
  2. The Bridge of Sighs spans between the Doge’s Palace to the old city prison and is thought to be named because of the sighs of convicts as they walked between the Palace’s interrogation rooms to the prison.

Google Earth: https://goo.gl/maps/s5ZaCXjxGr52

Provence, France

Between June & August the fields in Provence, France shine a bright violet hue due to the abundance of English Lavender.

Between June & August the fields in Provence, France shine a bright violet hue due to the abundance of English Lavender.

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Vibrant colourful gardens, historical monuments, the azure sea and class apart modern art- this is the place where you can find it all!

Tulip Fields, Netherlands

Tulip Fields-Netherlands

Interesting: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1380218/When-spring–The-Dutch-tulip-fields-spectacular-tourist-attraction.html

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If you love the blooming flowers, this is surely a place to watch out for. See the beauty of majestic colours blended into one.

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia - 18

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Some pictures are just too powerful to need words to elucidate the beauty they hold, like this one!

Vatnajokull Glacier Cave, Iceland

Vatnajokull Glacier Cave-Iceland

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When we are talking of 22 of the best astonishing places to see, this one is one of the top mentions. Be prepared for a bone-chilling experience!

Coming soon…

Trevvi Fountain, Rome

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Hveravellir, Iceland

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Lofoten Islands, Norway

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St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow

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Preikestolen, Norway

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Verdon Gorge, France

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Eden Project, England

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Northern Lights, Iceland

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Krimml, Austria

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Dolomites, Italy

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Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

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White Cliffs of Dover, England

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Duomo, Italy

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