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The Most Romantic Places in the World

What better way to celebrate love than a dreamy getaway to one of the most romantic places in the world. Soak in the sun on a beautiful Portuguese beach, stroll hand in hand through the Alps or get close in a Spanish city we can’t help but fall in love with.

Santa Maria Island, Portugal

Santa Maria Island, Portugal
Photo Courtesy of Travel in Portugal

Located in the Azores archipelago, Santa Maria Island is only 2,000 miles east of New England, making it the perfect romantic getaway. It’s known as the sunshine island because it has the driest and warmest climate. The most famous beach on the island is Praia Formosa, or the “beautiful beach.” At the bottom of the bay, Praia Formosa reaches a mile long with clear, light green water and rich golden sand with streaks of black. Spend your day in the sunshine and eat at O Paquete, a restaurant on the beach serving fresh fish and drinks.

Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck, Austria
Photo Courtesy of Telegraph

The city of Innsbruck is located between the Alps in the state of Tyrol, 93 miles south of Munich. You’ll fall instantly in love with this city’s historic old town and the snow-covered mountains as the backdrop. Make a stop at one of the city’s oldest restaurants Kapeller, which first opened in the 16th century. It features authentic Austrian cuisine, like roasted lamb and risotto and dumpling soap. What’s more romantic than a trip to Swarovski Kristallwelten, home to the one and only crystals. Inside you will find creations by artists from around the world using Swarovski crystals, of course.

Barcelona, Spain

La Isabela at The Hotel 1898
Photo Courtesy of Timeout

Barcelona is easy to fall in love with and even easier to fall in love in. Start your evening snuggled up on a rooftop bar with a jug of sangria at La Isabela at The Hotel 1898 in the heart of La Rambla. Then head to Barcelona Pipa Club, a secret jazz club with a dimly lit lounge where you can listen to live music from your own private nook. Spend your day hand in hand strolling through the lovely Park Guell, originally built as a utopian community. Today it’s most famous for it’s mosaic benches and amazing city views.

48 Hours in Cardiff, Wales

Once known as the world’s largest coal port, Cardiff is now Britain’s leading urban center. This vibrant capital is filled with revived shopping arcades, modern architecture and craft beer pubs, yet it remains deeply rooted in its history.

What to See

Cardiff Castle, Wales
Photo Courtesy of Visit Cardiff

Take a look back at the city’s history with a stroll through Cardiff Castle. Originally built in Roman times, Cardiff Castle went through a Gothic transformation in the late 11th century. You could spend all day touring the grounds, including the WWII shelters in the castle’s battlement walls. Then head over to the Pettigrew Tea Rooms in the West Lodge for breakfast or lunch and don’t miss their delicious cakes!

What to Do

Cardiff Bay, Wales
Photo Courtesy of Visit Cardiff

Cardiff is known as one of the UK’s fastest growing cities. Cardiff Bay, which was once a coal-exporting hub, is now filled with shops, restaurants, attractions and modern buildings. You literally can’t miss the Millennium Stadium, which has a 72,500 capacity and is Cardiff’s most visible landmark. The best time to visit is when the stadium is packed with fans during an international rugby game.

Where to Stay

St. David's Hotel, Cardiff
Photo Courtesy of Cardiff Bay

Located in the middle of city center, St. David’s Hotel is a 5-star luxury hotel on Cardiff Bay. The glass fronted façade, private balconies and floor to ceiling windows create the perfect ambiance, whether you are traveling for business or pleasure. Inside you will find Marine Spa, voted one of the best spas in the UK, as well as Admiral St. David, a new restaurant and bar.

48 Hours in Catania, Sicily

Due to centuries of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, little has survived from this city’s early days. Still, Catania remains an ancient port city filled with Baroque architecture, some of the best seafood and lots of energy. Winter is one of the best times to visit, there are less tourists and temperatures are mild.

What to See

Catania Cathedral, Sicily
Photo Courtesy of Typical Sicily

Start your exploration of Catania in the city center, Piazza Duomo. Designed in Baroque style in the 18th century, this area features the whimsical Fontana dell’Elefante statue and the stunning Catania Cathedral. The city’s showpiece church, Catania Cathedral, is dedicated to Saint Agatha and features a tiered Baroque façade fashioned out of volcanic rock.

Mount Etna, Catania
Photo Courtesy of The Guardian

One of Catania’s biggest attractions is that it sits at the foot of Europe’s largest active volcano, Mount Etna which dominates the landscape of north-eastern Sicily. Take one of the buses from the Piazza to the base of the mountain or further up to several of the main cauldrons.

Where to Stay

Una Hotel Palace, Catania
Photo Courtesy of Una Hotels

Located in the artistic and commercial part of Catania, Una Hotel Palace is in the middle of it all. It’s housed in an early 20th century palazzo and features 94 elegant, yet understated rooms with roof top views of Mt. Etna. After a long day exploring the city, indulge in a Turkish bath and relax on the rooftop garden.

What to Eat

La Pescheria, Catania
Photo Courtesy of Dissapore

Catania is home to Sicily’s iconic pasta alla Norma, made with tomatoes, aubergine, ricotta and basil. It’s also known for its amazing and abundant fish market, La Pescheria, which is open daily and surrounded by seafood restaurants. Make a reservation at Osteria Antica Marina, which serves superb seafood with a trattoria vibe. Finish off your evening with gelato at Pasticceria Savia, a local institution in the middle of Via Etnea.

The Jetsetters 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Christmas is a little over two weeks away, let the holiday shopping commence! For the jetsetter who spends more time in the air than on land, we have the ultimate gift guide for you. From the next best in luggage to killer wireless headphones, we have the gifts that your travel trendy loved ones won’t want to live without.

Apple Watch Series 3

Apple Watch Series 3
Photo Courtesy of Apple

This isn’t your ordinary watch, the third generation Apple Watch features built-in LTE cellular so you no longer have to carry around your iPhone to use it. This is the ideal watch for traveling with its integrated GPS and sleek Apple design. Ask Siri to send a text message all while streaming your favorite song. Now that’s multitasking.

Arlo Skye Luggage

Arlo Skye Luggage
Photo Courtesy of Arlo Skye

The jetsetter is always on the hunt for the next best in luggage. Arlo Skye is just that. With sleek looks, silent Japanese engineered wheels, no zippers and a built in battery bank, it will be smooth sailing down the runway. Bonus: Arlo Skye uses anodized aluminum and an alloy shell to help reduce scratching for a clean classic look.

AKG N60 NC Wireless Headphones

AKG N60 NC Wireless Headphones
Photo Courtesy of AKG

If you are looking for the best in lightweight noise canceling headphones, AKG N60 NC Wireless Headphones are it. The lightweight feel and compact size doesn’t put any additional pressure on your ears and can be worn comfortably on cross-country and international flights. They also feature blue tooth connectivity and up to 30 hours of the best-in-class noise canceling technology.

La Prairie Swiss Cellular White Intensive Illuminating Mask

La Prairie Swiss Cellular Illuminating Mask
Photo Courtesy of Nordstrom

For all those ladies (and men!) looking to hydrate their skin after a long flight, look no further. The La Prairie Swiss Cellular White Intensive Illuminating Mask is a skin relaxing two-part mask that saturates the skin with moisture, leaving it smooth and nourished. It also features potent brightening effects that reduce discoloration and even out skin tone. This pack comes with six masks to maintain that glow no matter the destination.

Nerocco iPad Mini Case

Nerocco iPad Mini Case
Photo Courtesy of Etsy

Whether your loved one travels for business or pleasure, it’s always best when the essentials are organized and all in one place. The Nerocco iPad Mini Case is a sleek portfolio made in Germany from genuine leather. It has five slots for credit cards, a slot for bills and most importantly, will keep your tablet secure. The delicate design features a snap closure and a stand function so you can Netflix and chill mid-flight.

Top 3 European Holiday Destinations

With the month of December right around the corner, we can’t help but get in the holiday spirit. For those looking to immerse themselves in all things winter wonderland, there are a few European cities that really come to life. From Christmas markets to a holiday circus, you don’t want to miss these top three European holiday destinations!

Luxembourg

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Photo Courtesy of Visit Luxembourg

Every year traditional Christmas markets pop up throughout Luxembourg, making this city a great holiday destination. The Place d’Armes, Place de la Constitution and Place de Paris turn into Christmas villages with small wooden huts selling candles, toys, decorations and sweets. You will also find traditional food and drink like hot wine and potato pancakes and sausages. While this city does not celebrate Santa Claus, they do have St. Nicholas Day on December 6th!

London

London, England
Photo Courtesy of Town & Country Magazine

This festive city has an array of holiday activities from Christmas markets to ice-skating and the popular Winter Wonderland. The city’s largest Christmas market, Winter Wonderland, fills Hyde Park with over 200 wooden cabins selling handmade crafts and jewelry. After perusing the market, visit the largest open air ice-skating rink in the country or check out the holiday lights at the Royal Botanical Gardens, where over a million bulbs illuminate trees, gardens and buildings.

Zurich

Circus Conelli, Zurich
Photo Courtesy of Weihnachten Zuerich

The city of Zurich turns into an enchanting holiday wonderland come December. The Christmas markets and Advent events will fill your calendar and boost your holiday spirit. Visit Europe’s largest covered market Christkindlimarkt with a sparking 15-foot tree as its centerpiece or watch the historical Lichterschwimmen, where children in Zurich release hundreds of candles on the Limmat River. And not to be missed is Circus Conelli, Switzerland’s first Christmas circus which has been a permanent fixture of Advent for more than 30 years.

 

Top 5 Places to Visit in Barcelona

This bustling capital has been breaking ground in art and architecture since the 19th century. Barcelona continues to impress visitors today with its iconic Gaudi structures, the Gothic Quarter and the Picasso Museum, among others. If you find yourself in this lively city, don’t miss visiting these incredible spots.

Park Guell

Park Guell, Barcelona
Photo Courtesy of Lonely Planet

This whimsical public park was originally supposed to be a housing community. Today Parc Guell covers 42 acres of land with a quintessential Antoni Gaudi twist. The park is built around the natural elements of the land and was modeled after gardens Gaudi had seen in England. The colorful mosaics and Dr. Suess-style architecture draws thousands of visitors daily.

Gothic Quarter

Gothic Quarter, Barcelona
Photo Courtesy of Barcelonando

The Gothic Quarter is the oldest part of Barcelona and also one of the liveliest. Lose the map and let yourself wander through the streets where you will spot Roman and Medieval architecture as well as cafes, bars, clubs and shops. Walk down Placa de la Catedral to see the stunning Barcelona Cathedral.

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
Photo Courtesy of Architectural Digest

For over 40 years Catalan art nouveau master Antoni Gaudi devoted himself to the construction of La Sagrada Familia or Church of Sacred Family. He was not able to finish the structure, but it remains his most recognized work. Gaudi worked off of the neo-Gothic style but went for something more innovative. Through his architecture he aimed to teach people about Catholicism. The four towers represent the 12 apostles and the carved facades show the life of Christ.

Museu Picasso

Museu Picasso, Barcelona
Photo Courtesy of Ajuntament de Barcelona

Discover the many sides of Pablo Picasso at the Museu Picasso. On display are several thousand pieces featured on a timeline that allows you to follow Picasso’s progression from more controlled works to the whimsical paintings and sculptures at the end of his career, including several works from his famous blue period. In addition, you can explore his lifelong relationship with the city of Barcelona.

Palau de la Musica Catalana

Palau de la Musica Catalana, Barcelona
Photo Courtesy of Palau Musica

The Palau de la Musica Catalana is one of the most beautiful modernist buildings in the city. The polychromatic exterior draws visitors in and the flamboyant interior keeps them coming back.  Lluis Domenech I Montaner depicted the Catalan modernista style through the ornate sculptures and inverted stained glass dome. Join a guided tour or better yet, watch a concert!

Travel Guide: Perugia, Italy

The moment you arrive in Perugia it almost feels like time travel. The city is steeped in history, from 13th century Gothic cathedrals to cobblestone streets. More recently Perugia has welcomed modern additions, like new restaurants and boutiques, while still maintaining its historic charm.

What to See

Piazza IV Novembre, Perugia
Photo Courtesy of Sangallo

Start your historical journey through Perugia at the Piazza IV Novembre. In the medieval period, this was the political centre of Perugia and it remains the city’s historic center. From here you are a short walk to Palazzo dei Priori, a beautiful Gothic palace that was constructed between the 13th and 14th centuries. It was formerly the headquarters of the local magistracy and now it houses the city’s main art gallery, where you will find renaissance paintings and frescoes.

What to Do

Eurochocolate Festival, Perugia
Photo Courtesy of Charminly

There is so much more to do in Perugia than peruse historical architecture. If you visit in the summer, don’t miss the Umbria Jazz Festival. This is has been one of the leading festivals in Europe since 1973 and continues to draw tourists every July. In the fall Perugia gets even sweeter with the Eurochocolate Festival or the International Chocolate Exhibition of Europe. Discover the different flavors of chocolate from cultures around the world, and admission is free!

Where to Stay & Eat

Hotel Brufani, Perugia
Photo Courtesy of Sina Hotels

At the end of Corso Vannucci, the city’s main drag, you will find the beautiful Hotel Brufani. Choose from the 94 elegantly styled rooms with sweeping views of the countryside. The basement features a level glass bottom pool that exposes ancient Etruscan ruins. With numerous cafes throughout Perugia, you simply can’t go wrong. For an extra special dinner, choose Il Postale, the only Michelin Star restaurant in the city. Inside the intimate storybook stone castle there are only four small tables that serve a modern menu inspired by local fare.

48 Hours in Palma, Mallorca

The Spanish island of Mallorca is known for its stunning coastline, but the island’s capital is so much more than a seaside beauty. Often compared to Barcelona, Palma is known for its food scene, Gothic architecture and the arts. A long weekend is all you need to explore this growing city!

Catedral de Mallorca and Old Town

Catedral de Mallorca, Palma
Photo Courtesy of Mallorca Holidays

You can’t miss the city’s major architectural landmark and the center of Old Town. The Catedral de Mallorca, more commonly referred to as La Seu, is a Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral built between the 13th and 17th centuries. Make a day of it and wander around the surrounding Old Town, which is filled with shops, cafes, designer stores and galleries. Stroll along the Passeig d’es Born Boulevard for beautiful views of La Seu from afar.

Santa Catalina

Santa Catalina, Palma
Photo Courtesy of abc Mallorca

Santa Catalina use to house fishermen and craftsmen. Today it’s the hip and trendy area of Palma. For some of the best restaurants in the city, make your way to Santa Catalina. The roads are arranged in a grid formation, making it easy to navigate. During the day you will find eclectic boutiques and the abundant food market, Mercat de Santa Catalina. At night, this area truly comes alive with numerous trendy bars and nightclubs.

Es Baluard Museum of Contemporary Art

Es Baluard, Palma
Photo Courtesy of La Perlita

If it’s art and culture that you seek, Palma will not disappoint. The Es Baluard Museum of Contemporary Art is housed in a revamped 16th century fortress that once formed part of the Old Town walls. You can view works by artists such as Picasso and Miro. Miro actually spent 30 years of his life on Mallorca and there is a foundation devoted to his work.

Portixol

Portixol Hotel, Palma
Photo Courtesy of Portixol Hotel

This former fishing village turned trendy hangout has the vibes of a beach town located in a city. Stay in Portixol Hotel, which features 25 renovated rooms that have balconies with views, a tiny spa and a restaurant that serves up fresh fish. Borrow a bike and ride along the promenade and don’t miss a stop into El Bungalow for some delicious paella!

Travel Guide: Devon, England

When warm weather arrives, crowds head to Cornwall for its dreamy beaches. This year venture northeast to Devon, where the beaches are just as dreamy, the Moors offer outdoor adventure and the villages cook up some hearty cuisine. June is the perfect time to visit, as the sun is shining, but crowds haven’t arrived yet.

The Coast

Photo Courtesy of Visit South Devon

While equally beautiful, Devon’s north and south coastlines each have their own appeal. The north coast is known for its killer surf breaks, like the waves at Croyde Beach. The south coast breeds calmer waters and often serves as a yachting destination. The town of Salcombe, known as the “west London of the sea,” has a beautiful harbor, long stretches of sandy beaches and a variety of boutiques and restaurants.

The Countryside

Photo Courtesy of Marc-Oliver Schulz/National Geographic

Head inland and you will find emerald green hilltops, running rivers and rugged moors. Spend your days hiking Exmoor National Park, a hilltop moorland that extends out onto the coastline, or Dartmoor National Park where you will spot wild ponies and grazing sheep. Both parks offer countless trails for walking, hiking and cycling, with plenty of rustic pubs along the way.

Where to Stay

Photo Courtesy of Bovey Castle

If you need a place to crash after surfing on the north coast, opt for Britain’s first surf hotel, the funky Little Beach Hotel. Staff will take you to the best beach breaks, set you up with the best board and offer lessons. If the south coast is more your pace, opt for Thurlestone Hotel, Britain’s oldest family-run hotel.

Located in the Dartmoor National Park, Bovey Castle is set on a private sporting estate. It features an indoor swimming pool, tennis courts, a fly-fishing lake and much more. It’s a popular accommodation for families, but couples will find the stone fireplaces and cozy rooms intimate and comfortable.

Top Five Destinations in Africa (that aren’t safaris!)

There is so much more to Africa than animal safaris. With new flights on the rise, traveling around the continent has never been easier. Visit the dreamy coastal beaches, raft down the Nile River and make your way to wine country, all in a weeks time!

Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Photo Courtesy of Living Stone Tourism

On the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe is the breathtaking Victoria Falls. Named one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls is also called “the smoke that thunders” because you can feel the sprays of the falls from 30km away. Take a short hike down to the Boiling Pot, which has an epic view from the base of the falls.

Senegal’s West Coast

Photo Courtesy of AFK Travel

Just outside the capital of Dakar are some of the most amazing beaches and ride worthy waves in Africa. For the surf inclined, the westernmost point of Africa, also known as the Almadies offers a wide variety of waves. For a truly laid back surf getaway, make your way to N’gor Beach, home to Senegal’s most famous wave. This under-the-radar treasure also happens to be a charming fishing village with fantastic beaches and of course, a surf camp.

Nile River, Uganda

Photo Courtesy of Huffington Post

For those seeking an outdoor adventure, you won’t want to miss white water rafting down the Nile River. The Nile River runs 4,000 miles across Africa to the Mediterranean Sea. The water is warm and along the way you will spot monkeys and the occasional crocodile. Uganda also has some amazing hiking trails in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Kibale National Park.

Johannesburg, South Africa

Photo Courtesy of PRI.org

South Africa’s largest city only recently became a sought after travel destination. Johannesburg is known for being a little rough around the edges, but over the past few years the revitalized business district has been churning out notable eats and a booming arts scene. Plan your visit in October for the City of Gold Festival, which highlights graffiti and street artists and don’t miss Saturday’s Neighbourgoods Market.

Cape Town, South Africa

Photo Courtesy of Telegraph

Known as the Mother City, Cape Town is located where the mountains meet the ocean, giving it a San Francisco-like feel. It’s booming with a mix of old architecture and modern additions, with the stunning Table Mountain as its backdrop. Spend a day taking a walking tour of the city; visit art galleries and brunch among sparkling pools and lush gardens. A visit to Cape Town is not complete without touring wine country!