Europe as a dream travel region needs no introduction. From the avant-garde city of London to the romantic streets of Paris, the continent boasts destinations with quirks, sights, activities and histories worthy of piquing any traveller’s wanderlust. Here are four interesting travel facts about the region.
Austria is home to the world’s largest floating stage
For a month every summer, Austria’s Bregenz Festival takes Europe by storm. It’s a celebration of all things operatic and a visual spectacle that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The focal point of the festival is a gigantic stage, which floats on Lake Constance. It is constructed using various props and surrealistic designs that reflect the festival’s theme. With seating for 6 980 guests, this floating stage is said to be the largest of its kind in the world.
Ernest Hemingway was a frequent visitor to Spain and loved bullfighting
The home of modern bullfighting, Ronda is one of Spain’s most dramatic cities, perched above a deep gorge that cuts through its centre. Visitors come from afar to stroll through its cobblestoned streets, marvel at the oldest bullfighting ring in the country and feast on tapas in historic plazas. Ronda’s many charms famously attracted celebrities such as author Ernest Hemingway, who spent many summers enjoying and observing the local bullfighting traditions.
Turkey’s Lycian Way rivals the Camino de Santiago
When it comes to iconic long-distance walks in Europe, Spain’s Camino de Santiago tends to top the charts, but there are many other routes to consider. Take Turkey’s Lycian Way, which has been rated by the UK’s Sunday Times as one of the world’s top 10 walking routes. Covering 540km, it hugs the southern coast of Turkey and takes you past ancient archeological sites, red-roofed villages and turquoise seascapes. You’ll be immersed in off-the-beaten-track adventuring, mingle with the locals and enjoy nature at its best.
Porto is a hub of architectural wonders
Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city after Lisbon, may be best known for being the home of port, but it’s also a notable centre of architectural excellence. The Porto School of Architecture is considered one of the best of its kind in the world and has produced renowned contemporary architects such as Álvaro Siza Vieira. Porto also boasts a number of impressive Baroque-style churches dating back to the 1600s and various bridges that are best explored on a Douro river cruise. Other notable architectural influences in the city include neo-classicism, Islamic styles and modernism.
Experience it all: On Foot Holidays offers seven- and eight-day self-guided walking holidays in the above regions for solo, couple and family travellers. Accommodation at family-run inns, luggage transfers between hotels and select meals are included.
– On Foot Holidays