European Destinations to Visit : A Photographer's Paradise
Santorini-Greece : Magical Island that Stirs your Imagination
A Photographer's Paradise
Europe is a picture-postcard photographer's paradise offering so many possibilities in destination and unmatched sightseeing delights.
Filled with color and vibrancy, traveling through Europe is an education in history, culture, gastronomy and landscape.
Every European destination is different with their own unique history, culture and climate. Visually stunning, these places will make you feel as though you are in paradise.
The excitement and the memories of good times is what it is all about.
Renowned for its Beauty, Architecture, Artwork and Grand Canal
Venice, the capital of Italy's Veneto region is located on a group of 118 small islands that are linked by canals and bridges and a stunning backdrop of Baroque buildings and famous landmarks which include the Piazza San Marco, Saint Mark's Basilica, St Mark's Campanile (bell tower of St Mark's Basilica), Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs (enclosed bridge made of white limestone and has windows with stone bars) and the Gallerie dell'Accademia (museum gallery of pre-19th-century art) are just some of its many attractions.
Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages, a cultural center during the Renaissance, and a staging area to free the Holy Land by the Crusader Knights. It was also an important center of commerce which made Venice wealthy.
There are no cars or roads. Just canals and boats. So, the most fascinating way to experience the true charm of this cultural rich city is to take a ride through the serene waters of the Grand Canal on a gondola and float through the world-famous Rialto Bridge.
Venice and its lagoon were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987.
Venice Top Ten Things To Do, by Donna Salerno Travel
Venice : Beauty and a Rich Artistic and Cultural Heritage
“Little Venice of Alsace”.
Colmar is an enchanting town in the Alsace Wine Route of northeastern France, near Germany and Switzerland between the Vosges and the Rhine, Strasbourg and Mulhouse.
Surrounded by unspoiled, natural forests, lakes and vine-covered foothills of the southern Vosges Mountains and the Upper Rhine Valley, the picturesque, historic town of Colmar is another one of the beautiful locations in Europe.
The charm and variety of its many cultural, historical, architectural and natural attractions is like an exciting journey through European history, culture and landscape.
Its historic old town with its famous "Petite Venise", has canal-side neighborhoods decked with colorful flowers, cobblestone streets and walkways lined with half-timbered medieval and early Renaissance buildings which include the Unterlinden Museum with the Isenheim Altarpiece.
The 13th-century, Gothic Eglise Saint-Martin church can be found on central Place de la Cathédrale.
Dotted with wine estates and cellars, the local vineyards specialize in Riesling and Gewürztraminer wines.
Colmar : Historic Old-World Charm
Venice of the French Alps
Located in the Haute-Savoie region of southeastern France and on routes that lead to Italy and Switzerland, Annecy is an alpine town where the River Thiou meets Lac d’Annecy, 22 miles south of Geneva.
Its beautiful, natural settings include other pretty nearby villages, forests, snow-capped mountains and Lake d'Annecy,
Its charming, medieval Vieille Ville (Old Town) with its winding canals lined with shops and cafes, the Perrière Bridge (Pont Perrière), and its cobbled streets with Piedmontese, pastel-colored, geranium-decked houses are a photographer's dream.
Among its many other attractions include the Rue Sainte-Claire with its arcaded houses and fortified Sainte-Claire gate and, you can visit the turreted, 14th Century Château d’Annecy, once home to the counts of Geneva.
Annecy : History and Culture in Alpine Settings
Panoramic views, tranquility and beauty, Giethoorn, “the Venice of Holland” is at the center of Overijssel’s canal system and lakes.
The population is around 2620.
Surrounded by a vast natural De Wieden reservation this dyllic Durch village overwhelms you with its beauty and timeless, rustic charm.
Founded by fugitives from the Mediterranean around 1230 AD, it became well known in 1958 when it was featured in the film Fanfare, made by Dutch filmmaker Bert Haanstra.
No roads or cars, just beautiful canals lined with colorful flowers, traditional 18th century thatched-roof cottages, farmhouses and more than 150 wooden arched bridges. Even the postman has to deliver the mail by punt.
Just imagine walking, cycling or gliding gently along these serene canals and under a wooden bridges in picture-postcard settings to explore and enjoy its beautiful and tranquil atmosphere.
And, you can enjoy a meal or a coffee at a canal-side cafe or restaurant and watch the world go by.
Giethoorn : Water Wonderland
The Garden of Europe
Visiting the beautiful, tranquil settings of Keukenhof will be a unique and unforgettable experience.
Keukenhof is one of the world's largest flower gardens and is open annually from mid-March to mid-May.
However, the best time to view the tulips is around mid-April, depending on the weather.
This panoramic and wonderful Dutch garden is located about 20 miles southwest of Amsterdam in the small town of Lisse in an area called the "Dune and Bulb Region".
Approximately 7 million flower bulbs are planted annually including 800 varieties of tulips and covers an area of 32 hectares (79 acres).
Here you can enjoy breath-taking flower shows and panoramic gardens, unique artwork and you can visit the Tulpomania exhibition in the Juliana Pavilion. Here also, you will find beautiful, iconic Dutch windmills.
Attractions designed for children to enjoy include treasure hunting, a petting farm with lambs, baby goats, pigs and other animals and there is the high-hedge maze and playground. When you get hungry, you can visit the pancake and poffertjes (mini-pancakes) restaurant.
Visual Delights of Keukenhof
The Northern Lights-Sweden
Nature's Natural Light Show
The Aurora Sky Station situated on Mount Njullá, 900 meters above sea level, in the remote, far northwest corner of Abisko National Park in Swedish Lapland is regarded as one of the best locations in the world to observe the breath-taking, Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis.
This natural phenomenon is a magical, awe-inspiring, colorful light show in the autumn and winter night sky that occurs during ideal conditions.
Swedish Lapland’s proximity to the magnetic north provides the ideal conditions across the Arctic skies when charged particles discharged by the sun reach earth’s atmosphere and collide with gaseous particles which in turn produce these different colors called aurora borealis or Northern Lights.
Auroras that occur in the Southern Hemisphere are called ‘Aurora Australis’ or ‘Southern Lights’.
A visit to the Aurora Sky Station begins with a 20-minute chairlift ride up the mountain.
The Northern Lights : Aurora Borealis
Famous for the Colossus of Rhodes, One of the Seven Ancient Wonders
Rhodes Town lies along Mandraki Harbor which is the first of three harbors filled with cruise ships, yachts and fishing boats. This is where the Colossus of Rhodes once stood before being toppled by an earthquake in 225BC.
Mandraki Harbor and the wonderful atmosphere of the New Market (Nea Agora) with its Moorish domes is filled with lively cafes, food stalls, gift shops and souvlaki bars.
Along Mandraki Harbor are neo-colonial and Italianate style buildings, you can see the Palace of the Grand Master by the Crusader Knights of Saint John and a Turkish minaret.
And, you have panoramic views of the fortress of Saint Nicholas, three Byzantine windmills, the medieval Old Town and, at the entrance to the harbor stand two bronze deer where the Colossus of Rhodes once stood.
Around the island, you will find beautiful beaches, varied landscapes, historical sites that date back to the classical era of the ancient Greeks and, you will find traditional, picturesque villages.
Medieval Old Town
The Old Town of Rhodes is one of the biggest and best preserved medieval settlements in Europe.
It is inscribed in the List of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO which recognizes its exceptional value as a cultural site that must be protected for the benefit of all humanity.
The Old Town is a legacy of the Crusader Knights of Saint John who built it to defend the island against invaders.
You can enter the Old Town through eleven gateways and walk through its maze of cobbled streets, alleys and archways.
Life goes on in the Old Town with many homes, shops and business as well as restaurants, cafes, bars, gift stores, pensions and museums.
Medieval Old Town-Rhodes Island : History, Culture and Beauty
Stunning, Panoramic Harbor and Amphitheatrical Town Views
Symi is a Greek island of the Dodecanese island group located about 41 kilometres (25 miles) north-northwest of Rhodes (and 425 km (264 mi) from Athens).
It includes the harbor town of Symi, its adjacent upper town Ano Symi, as well as several smaller localities, beaches, and areas of significance in history and mythology.
It is a popular tourist destination known for its beaches, its annual music festival and for its breathtaking views of one of the most beautiful harbor's in the world surrounded by colorful neoclassical houses built on its hilly slopes.
From its hilly slopes you can gaze out to panoramic views of the the town, the harbor and the surrounding sea, islets and the Datça and Bozburun peninsulas of Mugla Province of Turkey in the distance.
On the southwest coast, the 18th-century Monastery of Archangel Michael Panormitis which overlooks a bay and still inhabited by monks, is a major Greek Orthodox pilgrimage site with a Byzantine museum.
Symi : Beautiful Island Atmosphere.
The Most Famous Island in the World
Santorini, with its classic, Greek architectural beauty, stunning ocean views and breath-taking sunsets provides a unique holiday experience.
Classically Thera and officially Thira, Santorini is an island in the southern Aegean about 200 km (120 mi) southeast of the Greek mainland.
It is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago which bears the same name and is the remnant of a volcanic caldera.
A giant rectangular lagoon, which measures about 12 by 7 km (7.5 by 4.3 mi), is surrounded by 300 m (980 ft) high cliffs on three sides.
Traditional, whitewashed buildings, blue dome churches, thriving nightlife, luxury hotels and boutique guest houses in panoramic, postcard settings.
You can visit the historic Minoan site of Akrotiri, the traditional hilltop village of Oia, cross over the bay to Santorini’s capital, Fira, swim in the famous black volcanic Perissa, Kamari and Red Beaches or go hiking along its adventure paths.
No wonder, Santorini has become a favorite destination for overseas couples who want to get married or enjoy their honeymoon in wonderful, picture-postcard settings.
Santorini : One of the World's Most Popular Destinations.
Armando Mantovani - Around The World
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