Less than three hours on a plane at Dublin Airport, I was kicking back in the sunny Croatian city of Dubrovnik, a jewel wall overlooking the Adriatic Sea and now a UNESCO World Heritage site. A good way to start a vacation. Since the mid-1350s-1800s, the capital city of Dubrovnik was rich maritime republic of Ragusa – a name that seems almost fantastic today. Later, he boasted one of the largest military fleets in the world. Today the old town with its splendid Baroque churches, palaces and pristine beaches in the region. Walking, hardened these rocky coasts, atmospheric streets without traffic and the sun is a wonderful feeling. Word gets around, too … the younger visitors are Beyonce and John Malkovich (but not together, we understand!).
And there is a memory of the past at every turn. Our group was only a few days into our holiday when news broke that a Malaysia Airlines plane with 298 on board was tragically crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border. While both countries are about 800 miles away, the incident was a stark reminder of the fragility of a society is Europe – particularly in the Balkans. The 19th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre was committed a few days before.
It is on the European continent, you can not turn a corner here and will not be stored, often crude, the key role played in the history of continent formation.
Dark and all these events, however, was the former Eastern Europe is more than a playground for lovers of history. Many pieces are truly magical tourist destinations and Croatia is no exception. For food lovers, there are many choices in a variety of restaurants. Influences of nearby Italy are everywhere – you will find a good pizza and pasta in Dubrovnik – but the sea is very popular. Croats also very good wine … Greeks no less informed.
For the real-experience Dubrovnik, is the best time to see the old town early in the morning or evening / night. That’s when the light to its friendly, the heat is less intense sailed on cruise passengers and seem to take pictures. A morning walk along the ramparts is a must.
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Another classic view Dubrovnik comes courtesy of a cable car (below) and increased to about 450 meters above sea level, as it slides up Srd Hill. The journey takes just three minutes, the cars range from 9.00 bis 09.00 clock in the high season, and there is a decent snack bar at the top to toast the Adriatic Sea. There is more to his Dubrovnik old town, of course. A few minutes outside, opens a new world with the sea sparkles preserved one hand, and the Croatian countryside on the other. This is where we stayed.
My trip was organized a seven-day trip by becoming more efficient travel department, and it took less than an hour to get from the airport to our accommodation Dubrovnik Hotel Tirena. This small three-star hides in the Babin Kuk peninsula – only 6 km from the old town, with local bus services stop at the end of the road. The hotel was clean and comfortable and the staff friendly. A swimming pool nearby was immaculate, with plenty of seating and there were two beaches within walking distance. Our package was booked half board, so breakfast and dinner were included, and free us from wandering off for lunch.
The Food? Croatia is not renowned for its fine cuisine, but the food here was good – local, we were sure – with wonderful salads and vegetables as well as a good selection of meat and fish dishes for dinner. How many half-board arrangements, he must escape a bit repetitive towards the end, but we were still in the old town.
Excursions were included in our package, including trips to Medjugorje (optional) and Kotor in Montenegro. Since it was only a week long vacation, I had not had the time on the bus so I decided to only take the Elaphiten island hopping trip Lopud and Sipan.
The smallest island reminded me of what Inishmore must have been like in the 1950s – but with lots of sunshine! Also served a brief visit to the ravages of communism brand and how a small island community of courageous move become an attraction these bands. Again, I have the feeling of being remembered in a corner of the depth in this place, and events that played well in history.
Sometimes it’s the people you meet who made a special trip that more-in this case it was the beautiful Ann Kiely Limerick and friends who had their husbands, families fleeing domestic work and employment for a week bit in the sun.
It illuminates the space and put a smile on the faces of everyone.
Travel Service offers seven night cruises (from traveldepartment.ie), including direct flights back Aer Lingus (aerlingus.com) in Dubrovnik. Prices start from € 667pp at different dates for April to October, including hiking, boat trips a day to Elaphiten islands and a day excursion Montanegro.
where to sleep
A selection of the 3-star hotel Dubrovnik Department travel packages. We stayed at the Hotel Tirena (valamar.com) on the bank Babin Kuk and found it clean, friendly and a short walk to two beaches. It also has a decent sized pool. If you have a room with a sea view, the better.
Take life in your hands!
Take a trip (not part of the travel service schedule) on one of the small boats of the old town of Dubrovnik. I went down to the coast in Cavtat on a small boat, run by a skipper enjoy a post-breakfast beer bottle! There were no life jackets, but it me or the 15 other passengers not to disturb a. Cavtat is quickly becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia.
What to pack
The usual summer clothes work perfectly. Croatia, evenings can be a bit chilly, so bring a light jacket or fleece. If you do not want to pack on gravel beaches, beach shoes. Insect repellent should also be added to your bag when these little devils it!
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Portugal might be one of the smallest countries in Europe but the potential for tourism is high in this west European country. Everyone can enjoy a trip to Portugal be it in the backpackers budget or in a luxury travel budget. Right from castles out of fairy tale books to beaches and ancient architecture, there is everything a tourist might want in a trip. If you are planning a trip to Portugal, here are few tips you can remember.
Book accommodation in advance – accommodation is relatively cheaper in Portugal when compared to other European destinations like London and paris.
If you are a single traveler, you can get dorm rooms in the capital city for as less as $15 per night. Search for accommodation using trusted online booking sites or directly with the hotels and get your confirmation mail before you start for your destination. Booking in advance will also get you better rates even if luxury or boutique hotels. If you are planning a longer stay, look for serviced apartments or hostels where cooking facilities are available.
Getting in & around – If you are flying from Asia Portugal travel tips will come in handy especially for getting around. Book your flight after using price comparison sites.
If you are planning to rent a car, book it in advance. But public transportation is much cheaper and the public transport network is quite enough for a tourist. You can buy metro day tickets for the city travel which can be used unlimited times for a day. You can move from one city to another using national train.
Must see & Do things – The capital city Lisbon itself is quite enchanting for a traveler. The st.Jorge castle should certainly be in your itinery when you visit Lisbon. If you are fond of stretches of sandy beaches, you can visit the southern coastal town of Algarve.
The fishing village Nazare can be visited for a different experience and can also be used as a center point for visiting Batalha monastery, walled town of Obidos and many of Portugal’s ancient churches with wonderful architecture. You can head down to Sinatra praised by Lord Byron as the most delightful town in Europe. Visit Porto to enjoy the original port wine.
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