Tag Archives: Europe

Spanish Delights !!!

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The kingdom of Spain, located in extreme south-west of Europe, may not be an eye catcher in the world map in terms of size, but when tourism aspects counts it’s definitely a country that’s too good to be missed.

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In its not so large frame, Spain encompasses variety geographic landscapes. Along the coast of Atlantic and Mediterranean oceans there lies almost countless sun-kissed sandy beaches that draws plentiful visitors in summer. Not to mention the two exotic islands that comes under Spain – Balearic and Canary. Apart its splendid seashores; Spain, being the second-most mountainous country in Europe is an automatic winter tourism hub as its high mountains make perfect ski slopes.

More than those diverse landscapes and wetlands, Spain’s long eventful history that includes many a conquests and landmarks, makes it a place of historical importance too. No wonder this country, alongwith Italy, contains the maximum number of World Heritage Sites – Forty two! Thirteen of the Spanish cities have already been declared by UNESCO as world heritage cities. Spain’s inland consists of innumerable picturesque villages, well away from the beaten tourist tracks, that takes one back to a much earlier era.

Thus be it summer / winter tourism, nature tourism, heritage & cultural tourism, etc. Spain has an all-in-one answer. A magnificent combination that can be rarely seen anywhere.

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Prominent ones amongst Spain’s bountiful attractions…

Madrid

Spain’s ‘capital royal’ for the last five centuries as well as its most touristic city… Madrid is a city of elegant architecture and historical monuments including some outstanding ones like royal castle and city square. Art lovers can truly relish in Madrid’s world famous museums.

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Barcelona

Spain’s second largest city and location of some of the best tourist attractions in the country… A city of Gaudi’s architectural brilliance, Barcelona has been the home of many of the country’s famous artists.

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Bilbao

One of the most beautiful cities in the North Spain, Bilbao is best known for its sacred cathedral (a renowned pilgrim spot), the Guggenheim Museum and last but not the least, its seafood.

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Cordoba

A must see city in the South Spain… particularly famous for its Mezquita Mosque – a treasure trove of the Moorish Andalusian arts.

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Costa del Sol

Abode of some fine beaches… With mild climate throughout the year, Costa del Sol makes an ideal beach resort for people from all wakes of life.

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Granada

The gateway to the world renowned sky resort of Sierra Nevada Mountains… one notable Granada attraction is the charming Alhambra Palace, set at the foothill of Sierra Nevada.

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Salamanca

One of the UNESCO-declared Spanish world heritage cities… A city that retains the unspoilt old world charm.

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Seville

Another Spanish city of astounding architecture… Seville’s major assets are its majestic Cathedral (with the tomb of Christopher Columbus), the Giralda tower and the Alcazar – an awesome medieval Islamic palace. Besides, the city is much known for its cultural festivals like the Easter parades and April fair.

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Valencia

A city that lies in the Spanish Mediterranean coast, Valencia is a prime beach destination that automatically draws people in summer holidays… Also well known for its City of Arts and Sciences which consists of amazing eye-shaped buildings!


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Typical ‘Spanish Specials’…

Paella – Spain’s own unique cuisine… available in may versions, especially as a variety seafood…

Scenes from Seville’s annual ‘April fair’ – one of the most colorful festival fiestas in Spain…

Spain’s masterpiece event – the thrilling ‘Bull Fight’!

The ‘Parade of Resurrection’ that take place throughout Spain during the holy week of Easter… The procession is peculiar for its realistic depiction of biblical characters…

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In Spain, it’s delights ‘n delights all the way…

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Fascinating Finland Lakes

The Nordic country of Finland is popularly referred as ‘the country of 1000 lakes’. Indeed it is one of the rarest countries in the world where majority of its landscape is adorned with unscathed thick forests and lovely lakes.

Even the term ‘country of 1000 lakes’ falls short to describe Finland’s amazing geography. Actually there are around 2, 00,000 lakes (official records state: 1, 87,888). However there is a region in south-east Finland that aptly justifies this tag – the biggest Lake District in entire Europe.

This ‘thousand lakes region’ in Finland in fact accommodates much more than 1000 lakes which are dotted by numerous beautiful islands and covered with vast forests. With relatively spare population all over, there are few better locations that offer an ideal travel experience. Another amazing feature of this region is the almost round-the-clock daylight during summer season. When days a so long and nights – almost nil !

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Let it be varying seasons like summer or winter, Finland’s lakes’ offer eye-feats and entertainments in plenty. Summer will be a bustle of spectacular natural sceneries, when people can relish in full by means of lake cruises, yachting, fishing and swimming. Whereas in winter, all the rivers, lakes and even forest stand frozen – making a giant playground for outdoor activities like Nordic skiing, skating, hiking … So nature lovers, solitude seekers and adventurists can choose a season as per their preferences.

Amongst Finland’s around Two Lakhs of lakes (with 20,000+ kilometres of splendid shoreline), the top five, in terms of size and charm, are as follows…

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Lake Saimaa

The largest and arguably most beautiful of all Finnish lakes, Lake Saimaa is situated in eastern Finland, between the cities – Joensuu and Lappeenranta.

A priceless jewel of Finland’s natural beauty, this lake is characterised by an extensive water-body dotted by thousands of isles and countless bays. A fishing paradise, Lake Saimaa is home to ‘Saimaa Salmon’ (a land locked variety of the popular Salmon fish).

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Lake Päijänne

The deepest and second largest lake in Finland, Lake Päijänne extends from city of Lahti to the city of Jyväskylä (Southern Finland). This lake offers diverse sceneries with its landscapes – isles and shores – each varying in geographical shape.

The southern parts of this mighty lake are home to ‘Päijänne National Park’, an apt location for adventurous hiking trails. Päijänne Lake is a famous fishing site too.

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Lake Inarijärvi

The only major lake among the ‘top five’ that doesn’t belong to Finland’s celebrated ‘thousand lakes region’, Lake Inarijärvi comes third in the list of big-sized Finnish lakes.

Perhaps the only one of its kind in terms of pristine nature and wilderness, Lake Inarijärvi accommodates about three thousand isles. This lake area offers one of the very best cruises thro’ unspoilt nature! Another speciality of this lake is its excellent water quality. It is said that there is no need to bring drinking water while travelling in Lake Inarijärvi.

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Lake Pielinen

The fourth largest lake in Finland, Lake Pielinen lays north to the city of Joensuu. Another lake boasting of majestic sceneries, Lake Pielinen is beautified with many little isles and neighboured with pine forests.

Koli National Park, a well known natural site in Finland, is located on the western shores of this lake. Pielinen’s waters also houses a diverse fish variety including the land locked Salmon.

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Lake Oulujärvi

Located to the west of the Finnish city of Kajaani, Lake Oulujärvi is the country’s fifth largest lake. Better known by nickname ‘Kainuu Sea’ due to its vast fishing resources, Lake Oulujärvi is rated as a top pike-fishing destination and is a favourite hunt of trollers.

Apart from its own share of charming shores and sand dunes, what makes Lake Oulujärvi distinct is its Island of Ärjänsaari – an isle with high sand banks.

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In a country like Finland that ranks high amongst the most stable countries in the world… whose capital (Helsinki) is world’s no.2 safest city… outings can be enjoyable in every sense. Almost countless pristine locations lay unexplored in not so large a country!