From sub-tropical islands adorned with beautiful beaches to historic city centres bustling with restaurants and shops, join Artigiano as we go through 5 of the best European destinations for travel in 2019.
Where is La Palma, Spain?
La Palma is by far the most underrated of Spain’s Canary Islands. And for those looking for a European destination that is scorching hot all year-round (even during the winter months) it might just be your best bet.
La Palma owes its sub-tropical splendor to its unique location near the equator coast of the Africa mainland. On its east coast you’ll find Santa Cruz de la Palma; a traditional Canarian style city that isn’t just known for its colourful fiestas and pristine beaches, but also its wealth of history. In an age where pirates ruled the open ocean and the New World was still – well – new, the island’s capital was a shipbuilding port that once connected Africa, North America, South America and Europe.
Across the island you’ll also come across lush forests, rugged coastlines and 600 miles of beautiful hiking trails that let you explore impressive vistas such as the surrounding volcanic landscapes. The north itself holds one of the world’s largest and most fertile volcanic craters: The Caldera de Taburiente. From here you will experience scenery you won’t find on any of the other Canary Islands.
Top 5 Things to Do in La Palma
- Puerto de Tazacorte Beach – Popular black sand beach that is ideal for all ages
- The Devil’s Fiesta at Tijarafe – A festival filled with salsa dancing and fireworks held in honour of the devil
- The Caldera de Taburiente – One of the world’s biggest and most fertile volcanic craters
- La Casa del Volcán – An atmospheric bodega restaurant that serves excellent Canarian dishes and wines
- The Gran Telescopio Canarias – Stargaze at the world’s largest telescope
Where is Matera, Italy?
Once one of Italy’s hidden gems, Matera has recently stepped out from behind the shadows of the likes of Rome, Venice and Florence. And as proof of this, the city was declared the Italian host of European Capital of Culture for 2019.
From the Paleolithic era to the present day, Matera is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. But that doesn’t mean the city is stuck in the past as it is rife with fascinating museums, festivals, concerts and multimedia exhibitions.
This ancient city lies in a small canyon carved out by the Gravina river in the Basilicata region of Southern Italy. Within you’ll find the picturesque historical centre “Sassi” (“stones”), which is what the area is known for and has been a World Heritage Site since 1993. Nowhere else on earth will you find such a harmonious display of architecture and nature. With its archaic districts filled with millennia-old cave-houses and stone walls dug into calcareous rock, you’ll discover unforgettable crypts, rupestrian churches, basilicas, sanctuaries and monasteries.
Top 5 Things to Do in Matera
- Palombaro Lungo – The largest subterranean water cistern of Sassi that dates back to 1864
- Chiesa San Pietro Barisano – The largest of Matera’s rupestrian churches, this 12th-century landmark offers amazing views of the Sasso Barisano district
- Vicolo Cieco – Quirky wine-bar found in one of the cities iconic cave-houses
- Casa Noha – Fascinating multimedia exhibit that takes place in a 16th-century family home
- Soul Kitchen – Unique cavernous restaurant that serves sumptuous Basilicatan dishes
Where is Lisbon, Portugal?
Portugal has been a major destination in Europe for many years now. It’s no wonder that a country filled with awe-inspiring landscapes, sandy beaches and incredible cities can bring so many tourists joy. And nowhere is this more apparent than the nation’s capital, Lisbon.
Set against the cobalt blue backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean, this hilly capital city is dotted with bleached white limestone buildings, baroque streets and intimate alleyways.
Dabble in the local wines and get a taste for the capital’s cultural heritage by visiting the emblematic squares and plazas of the Baixa district. Located in the heart of the city, here you will discover magnificent avenues, boutique shopping boulevards along with a wide variety of amazing restaurants and exceptional hotels.
Jump on one of the historic “Remodelado” trams for a charming adventure through the city’s narrow streets. These quaint yellow trams originally date from the 1930s and are usually a quintessential part of Lisbon living. For the best route, go for the E28 which takes you across the stunningly scenic Alfama District.
Top 5 Things to Do in Lisbon
- Tram E28 – Ride the rickety yet charming Remodelado tram through the Alfama District
- Alfama District – Walk down medieval streets and listen to live Fado music shows in Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood
- Mercado da Baixa – A tented market in the Baixa district teeming with stalls selling the finest local gourmet goods
- Mosteiro dos Jerónimos – An enthralling UNESCO-listed monastery that was once home to seafearing adventurers during the Age of Discovery
- Castelo de São Jorge – A mid-11th-century hilltop castle that overlooks the entire city
Where is Salzburg, Austria?
Famous for being the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg is a jewel in Austria’s tourism crown. Known for its interplay of jaw-dropping vistas and unforgettable baroque architecture, the small city exudes a history rich with art and culture.
Salzburg’s historic city centre, known as the Altstadt, is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a definite must-see for visitors. Filled with wondrous sites that are both old and new, with medieval shop fronts adorned with traditional hanging wrought-iron signs selling modern goods and services.
Nearby is Hohensalzburg Fortress, one of the largest medieval castles in Europe, which overlooks the city; offering breath-taking panoramic views to any who succeed in climbing it. From here you’ll see the Mirabell Palace that some may recognize from the film The Sound of Music.
A special time to visit the city is during the holiday season as Salzburg holds its own “Christkindlmarkts” at Cathedral Square and Mirabellplatz. These Christmas markets are some of Europe’s most striking displays of festive cheer and tend to run daily from November 23rd to December 26th from mid-morning to the early evening.
Top 5 Things to Do in Salzburg
- Christkindlmarkts – World-famous Christmas markets held at Cathedral Square and Mirabellplatz during the festive season
- Hohensalzburg Fortress – An enormous clifftop fortress that offers far-reaching views of the city, the Salzach River and the surrounding mountains
- Altstadt – Salzburg Old town is jam-packed with Medieval and Baroque storefronts along with other spellbinding historical sites
- Mirabell Palace and Gardens – a baroque style palace with lavish interiors and the even more spectacular gardens
- Salzburg Marionette Theatre – A world-renowned marionette theatre with a wide repertoire of charming productions
Where is Wroclaw, Poland
Named the European Capital of Culture in 2016, Wroclaw has become one of Poland’s most popular destinations for world travelers.
Dubbed the “Polish Venice” due to its abundance of bridges – over 120 in fact – that connect 12 wonderful islands and numerous riverside parks, including the remarkable Cathedral island.
Explore the city’s historic neighborhoods that are all filled with unique blends of Gothic, Bohemian, Prussian and Austrian architecture. Take a stroll through the Market Square “Rynek”, and its two Town Halls. One of which is home to the oldest restaurant in Europe, the “Piwnica Świdnicka”.
Poland’s 4th biggest city has more to offer than its antiquity, as the capital of the Lower Silsea Province has a penchant for entertainment, with its lively nightlife and regularly scheduled festivals.
Top 5 Things to Do in Wroclaw
- Rynek – A medieval market square populated with beautiful monuments, local eateries, and on occasion, concerts and local holiday festivities
- Piwnica Świdnicka – Founded in 1273, this is the oldest restaurant in Europe and is located within the Old Town Hall in Rynek
- Restauracja Jadka – A sublime restaurant that serves up wonderful modern interpretations of traditional Polish gastronomy
- The Wrocław Dwarfs – Discover these mythical creatures that can be found throughout the city in the form of small bronze sculptures (over 350!)
- Ostrów Tumski – The oldest part of the city houses some of the city’s most remarkable historical buildings and monuments
Styles for Every Type of Holiday
No matter where you decide to go, make sure you step off the plane in style. For the colder climates our collection of jackets and coats will keep you stylish and warm as you experience the local sites. If sun-drenched settings are more to your liking, check our vibrant line of summer dresses.