Escape to Hotel Miramare a gem on the Italian Riviera

Escape to Italy this Summer

Sestri Levante holds the beauty of one of the most extraordinary landscapes of the Liguria Region , also known as the Italian Riviera, and Euroscape Travel offers accommodation at the  beautiful Hotel Miramare  on the Baia del Silenzio ( Bay of Silence)

Summer  Offer : stay 7 nights and pay for only 6 nights in the month of June and October applicable to Euroscape Travel Members. Enjoy a 50% discount on Happy hour  drinks and take advantage of 10% discount when you dine at their Romantic restaurant overlooking one of the most beautiful bay on the Riviera.

Beautiful seacoast villages and hill hamlets, elegant, quiet  and  sophisticated ambience surround you.  The romance of enchanting  emerald green hills and bluest sea,  visitors will have  the opportunity to explore the enchanting landscapes of Sestri Levante  and the Gulf del Tigullio.  Parks and natural reserves, ancient abbeys and delightful villages  from Hotel Miramare visitors can visit Portofino , San Fruttuoso and the famous Cinque Terre National and Marine Park  ( WHH -Unesco)

Hotel Miramare is near:

Beautiful Croatia

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Croatia, a land full of rich cultural heritage, offers its visitors a journey through a thousand years of history. This is where you can walk through deserted, narrow white stone streets, enjoy the teeming life of the country’s port towns, or discover fairytale castles, each one different and unique. The Roman’s and the Venetians had a significant influence over Croatia, as did the Turks, leaving behind them an outstanding treasure trove of buildings and heritage.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik has a special place in Croatia’s cultural history. It is a city of monuments and museums and a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lord Byron proclaimed the city as ‘the pearl of the Adriatic’, and it certainly is.

Founded by Greek refugees, the medieval city was under Venetian rule until 14th century. It shook off its oppressors and became an influential, independent republic and one of Venice’s leading maritime rivals for trade with Europe and Asia. However, in 1667 the area suffered two blows which sent it into decline – an earthquake and the introduction of new trade routes to the east; Napoleon’s invasion of the town in 1806 was the final straw.

Dubrovnik’s most famous landmark are its city walls. Built between the 13th and 16th centuries for protection against the Turks, the walls are 1.5m-thick and fortified with 15 square forts. They circle the Old Town with a curtain of stone which is over 2km in length and up to 25m high in places.

Originally the Customs House, then a building used as the mint, treasury and then a bank, the Sponza Palace has been extensively used, but today the 16th century building houses the State Archives – a priceless collection of manuscripts dating back almost a thousand years. The majestic structure is a combination of Gothic and Renaissance styles beginning with an elegant Renaissance portico, the first floor has late-Gothic windows and the second floor windows are in a Renaissance style. Inside the palace is the ‘Memorial Room of the Defenders of Dubrovnik’, a thought provoking collection of portraits of young people who were killed in Dubrovnik between 1991 and 1995.

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Split

Croatia’s largest coastal city, Split is a principal port. Surrounded by a modern city, the ancient centre with its ancient walls and tangle of streets is joined by a renovated harbour lined with cafes, and behind it a green, wooded hillside which looks down over the beaches. Split was the location chosen by Roman Emperors as a place to retire and to retreat, they built magnificent palaces and defensive walls, some of which can still be seen today.

The remarkable Diocletian’s Palace with its Roman ruins faces the harbour. Now a protected UNESCO World Heritage site, the palace was built from gleaming white stone from the island of Brač, marble from Greece and Italy, and columns and decorative sphinxes from Egypt.

The cathedral of St. Domnius was originally built as a mausoleum for the Diocletian. Its unique octagonal design is encircled by 24 columns, and its domed interior has a frieze dedicated to the Emperor Diocletian and his wife. The Romanesque belfry was added between the 12th and 16th centuries and enhanced with an Egyptian Sphinx made of black granite and two lions, which stand at the foot of the belfry. The oldest monuments in the cathedral are its wooden entrance doors, carved with outstanding scenes from the life of Christ.

Euroscape Travel offers excellent hotels at wholesale prices throughout Croatia, and as well as excellent value, you are also assured of superb hospitality, something offered by all our specially contracted hotels.

For a wonderful Mediterranean holiday we recommend the following Hotels:

Bellevue Hotel

Hotel Argentina

Grand Hotel Park

Hotel Slavija

On your next European Travel experience, book your hotels, apartments and excursions at http://www.euroscape-travel.com/

Spain: Visit Seville with Euroscape Travel

Semana Santa in Seville

Seville, the capital of Andalucia, sits on the banks of the slow flowing Guadalquivir River. It has been influenced by the Roman’s and the Muslim’s, has gained a reputation for its architecture and culture, and was often visited as part of a ‘Grand Tour’ of Europe. But, in addition to that, it was also a popular destination for pilgrims who came to celebrate the Semana Santa – a religious festival celebrated in the week before Easter. Today, the biggest, and most respected of these events is still held in Seville.

In essence, the festivities of the Semana Santa involve marching processions of floats or pasos which carry a representation of the Virgin Mary and scenes from the Passion of Christ. These processions are acted out by members of the churches 55 brotherhoods, known as Nazarenos or penitents, who precede the floats dressed in penitential hooded robes. The processions, which each usually combine three brotherhoods, wind their way through the streets on a designated route from their church to the cathedral. The climax of the event is Maundy Thursday, when at midnight, the processions leave their churches and arrive at the cathedral at daybreak on Good Friday, known as the madrugá.

Each of the brotherhoods, some dating back to the 13th century, can total up to 2,500 Nazarenos. They wear their own colour and shape of garment much like a long robe, which helps distinguishes themselves from the other groups; they march either bare foot or wearing sandals. The hood, or capirote, of these habits can best be described as a pointy hat with fabric which covers the face of the person who wears it. Some of the Nazarenos march in silence; El Silencio is an example of this, whilst others are accompanied by bands that play short, passionate flamenco style hymns about the Passion and the Virgin’s sorrows, as the procession travels through the city.

The Nazarenos are followed by altar boys who carry burners which produce the smell of orange blossom and incense, filling the streets with rich smells. The altar boys are, in turn, are followed by the paso, the band, and then a number of penitents carrying wooden crosses.

Every day throughout the week processions leave their churches all over the city. Depending on the location of these churches, these processions can take anything from four to fourteen hours to reach the cathedral, snaking through the winding streets, past specially constructed viewing platforms. The processions attract an immense audience of spectators, and on the whole, they are watched in a respectful yet cheerful atmosphere, until the passing of the pasos, when it is customary to remain silent. It is also traditional to wear black throughout the week, and disrespectful, even for tourists, to wear shorts and t-shirts on the Thursday. In addition to the black suits and dresses, the women also wear what is known as La Mantilla, a black lace headdress, which is particularly beautiful.

These processions are not just for those who are religious; they are an amazing spectacle for everyone. But, spare a thought for the poor men who carry the floats for several hours. It’s heavy work, but no doubt they receive a well-earned drink at the end, which helps to make the job worthwhile.

But the Semana Santa is only one reason to visit Seville. The city’s architecture and history are here all year round and there is always something wonderful to experience. Here are just three of the city’s best sights.

The Cathedral of Seville. The cathedral is said to be the third largest in the world after Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London, and as you would expect, it is extremely grand.

The large and elegant bell tower of La Giralda is a beautiful minaret tower, a landmark of the city, which was initially intended to be part of the chief mosque. The detail is simply stunning.

Finally, the Real Alcázar, a beautiful Moorish palace to rival the Alhambra in Granada. Here visitors can tour the chamber which Christopher Columbus used to prepare for his journey to the Americas.

There are many, many more incredible sites in Seville which the staff at Euroscape Travel would be more than happy to tell you more about; they can also advise on some of the best hotels for every budget.

View Euroscape Travel  Esc,  Seville Hotels Accommodation offers,

Euroscape Travel recommended hotels in Seville  Tourist Class : Hotel Petit Palace Canalejas; First Class : Las Casas De La Juderia

Venice in Winter

Venice

Beautiful, romantic, and fashionable, Venice can also be a little crowded at times; that’s why my favourite time to visit is autumn and winter. Don’t let the thought of anything but blue skies put you off. Dress in a warm coat and elegant sunglasses, and the gentle, warm sunshine, and even a chilly morning, can provide a totally different perspective on the city.

Autumn and winter are when you can find yourself alone in the maze of tiny side streets, or at the canal side with the water lapping gently against the side of a solitary gondola. Early mornings are the most treasured times for me, the atmosphere is calm, sometimes eyrie, as the sun rises and the lagoon’s mist starts to lift. The locals, more relaxed now, make their way to work and have more time to smile and chat, I like to sit and enjoy a leisurely breakfast, or a Prosecco with lunch. I love the Rialto food market where locals buy their produce, the squares where children play football and residents meet up with friends, this is true Venetian living, and a side of the city not every visitor gets to see. 

For me, the atmosphere is everything and just as valuable as the sights and activities which prove so popular with other visitors. Having said that, another reason I love Venice at this time of year is the opportunity to discover the city’s ancient paintings and surprising oriental architecture, which have remained unchanged for centuries. The grand buildings of the Doges Palace, once the opulent gothic home of the most powerful elected ruler of the Serenissima Republic, the Piazza San Marco with its magnificent Byzantine-Venetian Basilica, and the pretty Rialto Bridge are much less crowded. The wonderful Gallerie dell’ Accademia and Peggy Guggenheim Collection have shorter queues, as well as opportunities to get up close and see details not always possible at other times. Then there are the glass blowing shops, where skilled artisans craft pieces from designs which have been and hand handed down through the generations, and the silk merchants, with historical connections to the orient where Marco Polo first explored; all of this for me makes Venice an extremely unique and historical city.

Finally, another excellent reason to visit in the autumn and winter, are the reasonable hotel rates. Hotels, usually full during peak periods, sometimes offer promotional rates, so rather than staying on the outskirts of the city, I can enjoy a beautiful, historic city centre hotel for a great price.  My favourites are the small boutique style hotels which occupy the typical 14th century Venetian palaces, furnished with sumptuous traditional, Art Deco, or contemporary interiors. For me, a stay in one of these hotels makes an autumn and winter holiday in Venice my absolute favourite time to visit.

Euroscape Travel always offers excellent hotels at wholesale prices, but in autumn and winter, you get even better value for money. In addition to excellent value, you are also assured of a quality stay with superb hospitality, something offered by all our specially contracted hotels. These are just three of our most popular and highly recommended hotels in the city.

Hotel Ca Sagredo Luxury Hotel ,  Historical Palace on the Grand Canal

Venice: View from Luxury Hotel Sagredo

Hotel Ca Pisani Superior First class on Accademia.

Read  the review of a happy Euroscape Travel’s  Customer  :

This hotel was a treat for my Wife and I, a delayed honeymoon. It was a suggestion by a trusted travel expert at Euroscape Travel . They really know Venice!! The hotel was in a great location and very accessible to vaporetto routes (Accademia or Zattere) and many lovely rambling walks to the overwhelming choices of Venice’s wonderful culture. The reception is organised, hassle free and quiet. There are options for guest lounges and quiet areas, a great restaurant which serves as the breakfast (generous) venue and the concierge is a mine of knowledge of all things Venetian. Best of all is the quietness of the place, the boutique charm of the decor (quite art deco’ish) which is unlike the run of the mill modern varieties and yet the personal small touches they add let you know you are important. The room was spacious, with a great layout, safe, lots of hanging space and the options of stairs or lift. The spa bath was very welcome, the shower a little strange (but hey this is Italy) but finally managed to run it and bidet…plus heaps of mirrors which was wonderful for the bride.
( by Mike Turkovic  Brisbane Australia)
 
Hote San Zulian , 3 star hotel , beautifully furnished by a local architect Located near Piazza San Marco

Christmas Markets in Europe

 

Christmas time in Europe conjures up images of frosty air, snow, and best of all, the Christmas Markets which pop up in the centres of historic towns and cities. If Christmas is for children, then Christmas markets have to be for adults. The squares are decorated with twinkly lights, trees are adorned with decorations, choirs sing, and orchestras play festive tunes, the atmosphere is magical. There are traditional toys and mouth watering produce on sale, tempting hot chestnuts and mulled wine on offer, even if you are not a fan of Christmas this will undoubtedly bring on a festive spirit.

Christmas market on Old Town Square, Prague 2007

Image via Wikipedia

Each country has its own style and something different to offer, and its not just Germany and Austria which host traditional markets, other countries such as Italy and Belgium are now becoming popular places to explore and buy unique presents; but my favourite has to be Prague.

The historic city of Prague is beautiful at any time, but in winter, it’s even more so. The Old Town Square, with its enormous Christmas tree delivered from the Krkonose Mountains in the north of the republic, is a spectacular sight against the Gothic Týn Church. The 15th century Astronomical Clock which entertains visitors on the hour every hour, the beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings, and the mural covered Storch building, all surround small wooden huts decorated with pine, fir and twinkly white lights. Stop off at a stall selling svarene vino, hot wine with liqueur for added warmth, and try a traditional slice of Stollen, or a sausage, to soak up the alcohol. All around the square are opportunities to buy beautiful Christmas decorations, baubles made from glass and decorated with intricate hand painted designs, wooden toys, and nativity figures made from corn. AlongCharlesBridge, the gateway between the Lesser and theOldTown, there are stalls selling stocking fillers, scented candles, handmade jewellery and puppets, a traditional Czech toy.

The centre of Prague is small, and easily explored on foot. It’s not just the Christmas markets that make for a festive atmosphere, the shops and restaurants are decorated with traditional decorations, and sights such as the castle come alive. Prague Castle, the biggest and most ancient castle in the world, looks down over the frost covered city and the Vltava River. St. Vitus Cathedral�with its lookout tower is my favourite photo spot, on the way back down, escape the cold and stop off at one of the small restaurants that can be found in the narrow alleyways. Traditionally the main meal of the day in Prague is lunch, which typically consists of hearty pork or beef dishes with potatoes or dumplings, followed by traditional desserts such as ovocné knedlíky, fruit dumplings. These may seem rather heavy, but it beats off the cold and warms your heart from the inside out.

Finally, the highlight of my Christmas market experience in Prague is an evening concert. Nothing can beat a brisk walk through the freezing streets to a venue such as the Prague Castle, St Salvator Church, or the Prague State Opera House for an evening of music by candlelight – it is a totally unbelievable experience.

Euroscape Travel only contracts hotels which provide excellent service and hospitality, so you know that a trip to Prague’s Christmas markets will be a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

You can View and Book our Prague Packages for  Christmas Markets and New Year in Prague online with  Euroscape�Travel 

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