5 Hidden Gems to add to your travel list for 2019

January is the perfect month for booking your next trip. It’s great to let your mind wander off during these cold winter months and to look forward to a sunny destination. A ‘hidden gems’ city trip should therefore not be missing on your travel list for 2019.

1. The cozy Zagreb and a day trip to Plitvice, Croatia

Zagreb has grown from a stopover destination into a real travel destination. The charming city has is located on the Sava river. This combination gives a special vibe. With cobblestone streets, boutiques, workshops and cafes that are full of music, Zagreb is a perfect destination for a pleasant and surprising city trip. This city trip can be combined with a day trip to the national park Plitvice. This is a beautiful nature park with azure blue lakes and more than 400 waterfalls. (see photo)

Plitvice Croatia
Plitvice Croatia

Go back in the time of knights in Valetta, Malta

Valetta is the ideal destination for a longer city trip and can be combined with a day at the beach. The capital of Malta is full of sights that come from the time of the hospital knights. In the relatively small city you will find no fewer than 320 monuments, such as church domes and forts. A nice side note; Check out Popeye Village which was once used as a filmset, but now looks like a fishing village that is too cute not to post on the gram!

Malta
The Streets of Malta

Beautiful cities like London or Paris often have an impressive history and plenty to admire, but unfortunately you have to share these cities with hundreds of other tourists.

3. Authentic Italian atmosphere and sea urchins in Bari, Puglia Italy

After all the bustle in Rome, Pisa and Venice, the cozy Bari located in the Puglia region is a real relief. The old center, called Bari Vecchia, is a photogenic labyrinth full of small alleys and churches. Real daredevils taste the raw sea urchins in the port of Bari with a view of the beautiful sea.

Puglia Italy

4. Boutiques and ice creams in Braga, Portugal

Braga is also called ‘the Rome of Portugal’. This is because the city is full of historic cathedrals and elegant architecture. All perfectly maintained squares and alleyways that are only accessible for pedestrians. Because of this, Braga forms an excellent alternative to, for example, the city of Lisbon. From the large number of boutiques and cafés you can clearly see that Braga is a real student city. For a delicious dinner and cocktails, head to the popular Brac Restaurante. Then enjoy coffee and an ice cream at Spiritio.

5. Look for the ‘hidden gem’ at a surprise destination

Every city, big or small, has its own ‘hidden gems’. With a surprise trip you are guaranteed to discover new special places during the city trip, because preparation is not possible. You will not know where the trip is going until the last minute before you board the plane. That is why a surprise trip with srprs.me is the ideal way to experience a special city trip in 2019. Moreover, chances are that you will end up in a place that you might never have thought of yourself. But also on the popular destinations you will discover new places in this way that will surprise you and will never forget you.

Valencia
We traveled to Valencia on our first srprs trip!

Love,

Elke

 

European Hidden Gems | Spain, France and the Netherlands

Whilst it can be all too easy for us to focus on the attractions of our capital cities, there’s plenty of lesser-known European travel destinations out there to satisfy your wanderlust. 

So here’s some European hidden gems in Spain, France and the Netherlands along with some tips!

Spain’s secrets

Ronda_La_Ciudad2004
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Most Dutch travelers to Spain have a tendency to hit the south coast. But the northern coast of Spain also hosts many wonderful locations with the port city of Santander offering a tantalising blend of Gothic cathedrals and windswept beaches like the Playa de la Magdalena that even features a small zoo and locomotive train.

If you find yourself on the Costa del Sol, then book a hire car and head up into the mountains to discover the wonderfully atmospheric mountain towns of Jimena de la Frontera and Ubrique that offer a wonderful taste of Andalucian life. Plus the amazing gorge and bull rings at Ronda complete the picture for a charming glimpse of old-school Spain.

French gems

Vence, Alpes-Maritimes, France
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The French Riviera is also something of a tourist magnet with many visitors showing themselves to be endlessly in thrall to the casinos of Monte Carlo. But a short drive into the hills reveals a succession of quaint towns like Vence that offer commanding views of the Bay of Angels, and some fantastic boutique shopping opportunities too. Also, check out some alternative city trips in France.

Heading up into the mountains means that you can also take advantage of the many vineyards in the area with the likes of Vins De Bandol hosting regular wine festivals that provide the perfect excuse to fire up on your smartphone and pretend you’re in Monte Carlo with the site’s great access to a range of authentic casino games of roulette, poker and blackjack.

Dutch charms

1280px-Oudemannenhuis_toegangspoort_(Haarlem)
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Less than half an hour away from the tourist trap of Amsterdam, lies the pretty town of Haarlem. This town offers many charming cobbled streets and gabled houses to serve the more discerning tourist. Of particular note is the Franz Hals Museum that’s delivers the perfect introduction to the Golden Age of Dutch painting.

And to the south-east, the city of Nijmegen has recently blossomed thanks to a laid-back fun-loving atmosphere that led to the institution of many great pop-up concert events. Also the acclaimed Volkhof art museum and the Velorama – unbelievably the only bicycle museum in the whole of the Netherlands!

So when you visit these countries, be sure to check out these European hidden gems!

Love,

Wander-Lust