Posted by Carter | Under Vacation plans, Where to?
Posted by Carter | Under the Outdoors, Where to?
Tourist hotspot like Paris, Rome, Santorini, and Munich are all excellent European cities for vacations, but have you considered a slightly more adventurous vacation in one of these underrated European cities? Discover new and exciting places that you won’t find in a standard all-inclusive European vacation package, and enjoy everything that these relatively unknown places in Europe have to offer!
4 widely underrated European cities:
1. Cologne (Köln), Germany
You may have heard of Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, and Berlin as top cities to visit in Germany, but have you heard of Cologne? Situated in the very west of Germany, Cologne is known as the country’s party city, and it hosts an annual carnival that draws party-goers from all over Europe. Carnival season traditionally starts at 11 minutes past 11 on the 11th of the 11th month (November), pauses for Advent and Christmas, and then culminates in a massive celebration in February. Cologne is full of things to see and do – originally a Roman settlement on the Rhine River, there are Roman ruins and archaeological finds to explore in the Romano-Germanic Museum, there is the iconic Cologne Cathedral, the cable car that offers excellent views of the city, and countless clubs, bars, restaurants, and pubs to entertain those travelers who appreciate cities with a vibrant nightlife.
2. Galway, Republic of Ireland
Galway is a small seaside city in the Republic of Ireland, situated on the north-west coast of the Emerald Isle. It’s known for its artsy bohemian atmosphere, heady traditional Irish culture, and the annual Galway International Arts Festival. Galway is often called “the most Irish city in Ireland”, as you are likely to hear Irish spoken in the streets, shops, bars, and homes of the residents. As well as having a rich and fascinating history, the city has a vibrant contemporary culture that has its fingers on the pulse of modern art, music, and design. Galway is definitely one of the best Underrated European Cities to visit if you love history, art, literature, and nature.
3. Strasbourg, France
A curious mix of German and French cultures with a potent dash of Alsatian charm, Strasbourg is arguably one of the prettiest cities in Europe. The Petite France area of the city is straight out of a fairy-tale, with beautifully restored half-timbered houses, canals, sidewalk cafes, and red flowers spilling out of wooden window boxes. The Alsace region of France is unique – it has its own cuisine, culture, and architecture. Strasbourg is a fantastic example of the beauty this region, and it is well worth visiting for a fresh and exciting experience of France.
4. Lucca, Italy
This Tuscan city is often overlooked by tourists in favor of Florence, Siena, or Rome, but beautiful Lucca is a hidden gem in north-western Italy. With a rich history stretching back to the Etruscans, Lucca has plenty of archaeological treasures and historical sites to visit. The city itself is surrounded by a medieval wall, and the tightly-packed, red-roofed buildings and narrow streets evoke a sense of romance nostalgia. Perfect for a summer vacation!
Finding Your Way to Unknown Places in Europe
You don’t have to be a seasoned explorer to visit the unknown places in Europe mentioned above! Public transportation is a great option for getting around major European cities, but having your own private vehicle will enable you to travel out to underrated cities beyond the limitations of train and bus routes. Rent a car in France and expand your trip to places few other travelers have the opportunity to see while cruising through vineyards and rolling hills. Take your Italy rental car or your car rental in Germany and see the rural alpine region between the two countries, providing natural beauty and exquisite views dotted with quaint villages that offer a taste of authentic culture which simply can’t be found in major metropolitan areas.
The best part is, traveling Europe by car can be your most affordable option! Kemwel is here to help you get the best prices on whatever type of vehicle you may need with the best travel deals and specials, so browse our rates online or call us, toll-free at 1-877-820-0668, and begin planning your next trip today!
Posted by Carter | Under European Festivals
With the entrance tunnel hidden underwater and accessible only by diving 35 meters under the sea, Marseille’s Cosquer Cave is a fascinating historical site to visit in France. Besides the adventurous swim up the long, narrow tunnel into the cave, the main attraction is the 20,000-year-old Cosquer Cave Paintings that adorn the cave walls. The rising of sea levels in the Paleolithic Period that followed glacial melting sealed the cave off, preserving a small section of the ancient cave paintings on the exposed walls above water.
Getting to these Ancient Caves in France is not for the faint of heart; a technical scuba diving level is recommended, as well as using experienced guides and safety precautions. After descending 35 meters underwater off the coast of Calanque de Morgiou, you will make your way up the narrow, 175 meter-long tunnel that serves as the entrance to the cave. Since its discovery in 1985, the cave has been visited by many avid divers who wished to experience its magic in person. It’s hard to imagine that the cave was originally inland, and it can be somewhat of a surreal experience to come out of the water inside the cave and see the artwork of prehistoric people right before you.
Remarkably, over 150 engravings and paintings still remain on the walls of the cave. The images depict animals such as bison, horses, great auks, red deer, seals, jelly fish, and ibex, as well as geometric shapes, hand stencils, and digital markings. These ancient artworks were likely created for a spiritual purpose, for example, for shamans to communicate with the gods or ancestors, but their true meaning and purpose are unknown. Seeing these paintings in the eerie underground caverns is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
In addition to the Cosquer Cave Paintings, there are many other fascinating things to discover in Marseille. There are several shipwrecks off the coastline that you can explore if you are an experienced diver, or if you prefer to stay on dry land while other members of your party do the diving, you can explore the surrounding countryside and beaches. Explore the beautiful city with its eclectic architecture, charming Old Port, and casual seaside atmosphere. There are pebble beaches to sun yourself on by the Mediterranean Sea and plenty of bistros where you can sample fresh French seafood dishes. Visit the Chateau D’If, a fortress located on an island in the Bay of Marseille, or take a day trip to Provence’s wine country with your France car rental for some sophisticated fun with wine tastings and cellar tours.
Marseilles is the oldest city in France, and the region is rich in history and places to explore. Do some research and come up with a list of palaces, cathedrals, churches, and gardens to visit while you are in the city. If you prefer to connect with the more modern side of Marseilles–gritty, vibrant, and chaotic–check out the nightlife in the late evening. The city falls into a lull during the sweltering midday and afternoon hours, so head out for dinner at around 10 pm and hit the clubs and bars afterwards.
Planning Your Own Adventure in Marseille
Whether or not you opt to explore ancient caves in France, the coastal city of Marseille is a fantastic place to host your very own outdoor adventure. Hike the pathways along rocky cliffs, or relax on the beach, but remember that you’ll need a convenient and efficient mode of transportation to see it all; a private and comfortable way to get around wouldn’t hurt either! Book your car rental in Marseille with Kemwel to open up a world of possibilities beyond the limits of public transportation and taxi cabs at a price that can’t be beat. Get out and see the country, or just make things easier on yourself while traveling with your family in tow. Whatever your plans may be, Kemwel is here to provide you with the best travel deals and promotions so you’ll never pay more than you have to! Browse our rates online or call us anytime, toll-free at 1-877-820-0668, to speak with one of our friendly travel experts.
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There are few things better than a relaxing summer holiday in Europe. If you’re searching for adventure, sunshine, unique and fascinating cultural experiences, and plenty of fun, why not check out these great summer festivals in Europe? The exciting and diverse programs of events cater to every interest, from classical music and ballet to modern theater, film, and literature. In between your cultural endeavors, you can enjoy the best of what each destination has to offer in terms of food, history, and nightlife. Expand your mind this summer while enjoying some cultural immersion at these excellent cultural festivals in Europe!
Barcelona Summer Festival / Grec Festival
1st July – 31st July, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain
Get into the vibrant spirit of summer on the Mediterranean with the lively Grec Festival in Barcelona. Complete with international and local contemporary dance, music, theater, and circus performances, the festival is set to showcase of some of the world’s best contemporary talent in the arts. A staggering array of theatrical disciplines, music genres, and art styles are represented, with high quality and inspiration as the common threads running through the program. Enjoy Shakespeare on stage, soul-stirring Latin jazz, modern dance, electronic music, modern theater, and many more performances in various venues around Barcelona this July. Barcelona is not only known for its vibrant cultural pulse; it is also a city of leisure and pleasure, so prepare to feast on tapas and sangria, dance all night in trendy nightclubs, and soak up the sun on the sprawling beaches.
Dubrovnik Summer Festival
10th July – 25th August, 2015 in Dubrovnik, Croatia
The Dubrovnik Summer Festival is one of the more traditional and refined cultural festivals in Europe, with an impressive program of classical music (philharmonic and symphony orchestras, vocal ensembles, chamber music), theater, opera, film screenings, presentations by writers, and art exhibitions. The venues are varied and often surprising, ranging from fortresses and churches to squares and main streets. Dubrovnik is a stunning walled medieval city on the Dalmatian coast, and it serves as the perfect setting for this old-world cultural festival.
Galway International Arts Festival
13th July – 26th July, 2015 in Galway, Ireland
Known as the most imaginative arts festival in Ireland, the Galway International Arts Festival is a celebration of the city’s cosmopolitan atmosphere and its budding creative talent. In July the seaside city of Galway comes to life with impromptu street musical performances, world-class theater and dance, and other new and surprising art forms and installations. The Galway International Arts Festival is dedicated to showcasing new performances and ideas every year, making it an exciting event to attend. The line-up for this year includes performances by Sinead O’Connor and Kodaline, with the full program to be announced later this month. Galway is a charming seaside city with plenty of historical sites to visit and nature areas to explore, so plan your trip carefully to ensure that you have enough time to get around to doing everything you want to.
Plotting a Course to the Best Summer Festivals in Europe
Whether you’re heading to the balmy beaches of Dubrovnik or the cobblestone streets of Galway this summer, grant yourself an invaluable amenity in the form of versatile and comfortable transportation! Rent a car in Spain for an unequaled opportunity to explore the countries rich culture in some of Europe’s best summer festivals, or travel Croatia by car and easily fit everything you want to see and do into one trip. Vacationing is a breeze when you have the reliability and convenience of a car rental by your side, and Kemwel is here to help you book your ideal vehicle at a great price with special travel deals and promotions available daily! Browse our rates online or feel free to call us anytime, toll-free at 1-877-820-0668