Posts in Guide
5 Reasons Normandy Should Be On Your Bucket List

Fairytale villages dot a countryside filled with cows producing buttery, soft cheese, and farmers perfecting their unique apple brandy. A wealth of bed and breakfasts await, their warm and welcoming hospitality turning up a collective nose at their snobby neighbors in Paris. All of this quaintness and comfort is surrounded by a rich history of some of the most important, and tragic, events the world has ever seen. This is the region of Normandy, a two hour train ride northwest of Paris, and worthy of inclusion on your bucket list. If you’re planning a trip to Paris, carve out a couple of days, at least, for Normandy. There’s so much to learn and explore, so here are a few can’t-miss sights, along with some tips on travel logistics. 

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An Honest Guide to Paris

What hasn’t been written about Paris? It’s stunning, of course it is, but it’s also crowded, hectic, and overwhelming. “But it’s romantic,” you say, to which I reply, “Only if you make it.” With so much to see during what is inevitably too short a timeline, a visit to Paris can quickly turn from a fantasy to a whirlwind of missed expectations. Use the following as your guide, and you’ll give the City of Lights a chance to illuminate your heart, and your travel dreams.

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Perfect Provence: Serenity in Southern France

Bunches of lavender hang from the beams, beeswax colored pastel pigments cover the walls, and homemade jams accompany a gluttonous breakfast spread on our patio table as we linger in bed late into the morning. The scents from the surrounding fields of cypress, almond, and olive trees on the warm trade winds blow through the curtains, cleansing our senses with each deep breath, and preparing us to enjoy the finer things that only the French know how to provide. Stress? Gone. Worries? Forgotten. Cares? Just bring another pastry please. The serenity of southern France has won. 

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Ultimate Swiss Chocolate Tour - Gotta Try 'Em All

It is pure magic, either dark or milk magic, depending on your preference, what the Swiss can do with only four ingredients. They have discovered a way to combine cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar, and milk to produce the finest tasting chocolate treats anywhere in the world. You owe it to yourself to ignore anyone else’s opinion of a favorite and to go ahead and try each one for yourself. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Willy Wonka’s Factory, and you don’t even need a golden ticket.

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Must-See Switzerland Itinerary

You’re convinced, you want to see the Alps, but which Alps should you see? Switzerland is a maze of mountains and valleys, each with their own flavors and experiences to be tried. But with so many options, and often so little time available, how will you choose? To help, we’ve listed our recommendations for the can’t-miss places in Switzerland.

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Perfect Day in the Perfect Alpine Town: Gimmelwald

Gimmelwald is Switzerland’s best-kept secret, one that has been wonderfully hidden and faithfully maintained by its forward-thinking people. Beautifully stuck in tradition, and the simple, pure pleasures of life, Gimmelwald is the perfect place to experience the Alps. In all of our travels, it’s the closest we’ve found to everything being exactly as it should be. What follows is our recommendation for how to spend the perfect day in this most perfect alpine hideaway.

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Zermatt: Nonstop Alpine Adventure

It looms over the land, like a great king surveying his kingdom from the top of his keep, casting a great shadow so all will know who rules these lands. The Matterhorn, the icon of the Alps, and the most photographed mountain in the world, is even more imposing in person. It will stagger you with its dramatic, awe-inspiring face, and is worth a trip to Zermatt on its own. But there is so much more to this quintessential ski town sitting at the base of the Matterhorn, with near endless alpine adventures to be had in all directions. And all can be enjoyed in clear view of the ancient mountain peering down at you.

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Guide to Sintra: Fairy-Tale Day Trip from Lisbon

Located in the hills just 25 km to the northwest of Lisbon, Sintra has been a forested retreat for generations, complete with beautiful villas, hilltop castles, and over-the-top palaces to gawk at. Even if you only have a short time in Lisbon, visiting Sintra is the perfect destination for a quick day trip. Highlights include the historic National Palace, the hilltop Moorish Castle, with expansive views over all of Sintra, and Pena Palace, occupying the hilltop across from the Moorish Castle, with eye-catching architecture and colors.

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Best Beaches in the Algarve

The western Algarve is one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be picky about which beach you choose to stretch out your beach towel upon. We’ll provide the pictures, first hand experience, and the logistical details for the best of the best beaches, so you can focus on what matters: relaxing. 

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Tips for Driving in Portugal

Driving in Portugal is one of the best ways to explore its beautiful scenery, particularly its majestic beaches. Cruising through the Algarve, marveling at tiny white-washed villages and cliff-side beaches, is the only true way to experience this part of the world, but it’s important to be prepared. Here are some important differences that you should prepare for when driving in Portugal.

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Top Day Trips from Lagos

The English language doesn’t have enough beautiful adjectives to describe the beaches along Lagos’ coastline. But if you get the need to venture further afield from your secluded beach and glass of port, spectacular day trips await: The end of the known world at Sagres is a 30 minute drive west, the caves of Benagil are a 30 minute drive east, and the always beautiful Seville is just across the border in Spain. 

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Where to Stay in Lisbon

Choosing a place to stay in Lisbon can be difficult as each of its neighborhoods have their own unique advantages, which means the disadvantage of each is that you have to choose only one. Let us help you decide by outlining the unique aspects of each, so you can make sure you pick the right neighborhood for your style.

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Where to Still Find Magic in Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre was one of the first places we visited away from home, and is primarily responsible for our love of travel. It is that good. So as painful as it is to say this, we’ve already strongly argued that it may be best that you not visit these 5 majestic lands at all, as the massive crowds often spoil them beyond hope of redemption. However, we understand the allure of this place, and its power to pull you in. So if you must, here are our tips for how to visit Cinque Terre like a pro.

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Read This Before Driving in Italy

Driving in Italy can be a delight. Cruising down narrow country roads through the vineyards and hills of Tuscany is a wonderful way to experience the Italian countryside, and the only real way to see this part of Italy. Driving through the center of ancient cities and small, narrow hill towns, however, is not an enjoyable, or advisable, experience. If your itinerary calls for reaching some out of the way places, go ahead and rent a car, but do your homework before you go. There are some important differences that you should prepare for when driving in Italy.

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Best Italy Itinerary for First-Time Visitors

With everything on offer in Italy, how do you best spend your time exploring all of the wonders of this magnificent country? Fear not, because thankfully you can take in all of the highlights and still have some time to relax, wander the quiet alleyways, and sip sciacchetra from your harbor-side table next to the Mediterranean. Here is a suggested itinerary for trips ranging from a few days to a couple weeks that allow you to take it all in.

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