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Traveler’s Gazette – Your Monthly Journey Companion

Traveler’s Gazette – Your Monthly Journey Companion

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Exploring the World, One Adventure at a Time

As we are heading into the summer season in the most beautiful cities of Europe, we wanted to take a moment and tell you about some exciting new opportunities coming your way. Walks In Europe is happy to host every guest like a local. Our walking tours are more than guided excursions; they are immersive experiences that unravel the rich tapestry of history, culture, and hidden gems that define our cities.

As you wander through charming alleyways, iconic landmarks, and cultural hubs, our seasoned guides will weave tales that bring the city’s history to life, making every step a discovery and every moment an opportunity to connect with the pulse of the place.

This month, we’re thrilled to share some new and exciting tours that are sure to spark your wanderlust. Picture yourself wandering through the sun-soaked vineyards of Tuscany or exploring the history of Champs-Élysées. We’ve handpicked these routes to give you a taste of Europe’s hidden gems, rich culture, and stunning landscapes.

But that’s not all. We’ve got insider tips from our expert guides, who know these cities like the back of their hands. Plus, we’ll highlight some fantastic local spots to eat, and keep you in the loop with the latest travel news and trends. And, of course, we’ve got some amazing stories from fellow walkers who’ve been on these journeys and have some great tales to tell!

So, grab your walking shoes, and let’s get ready for an adventure. Europe is waiting, and we can’t wait to explore it with you, one step at a time.

Travel News of the Month

ETIAS and EES Implementation: Starting in the second half of 2024, the European Union will introduce the Entry/Exit System (EES) for non-EU nationals traveling for short stays. This system will register the entry and exit of travelers in 29 European countries. Additionally, the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will come into effect in the first half of 2025, requiring visa-exempt travelers to obtain travel authorization before entering 30 European countries​. The Entry/Exit System (EES) is an automated IT system for registering non-EU nationals traveling for a short stay, each time they cross the external borders of European countries using the system. This concerns travelers who require a short-stay visa and those who do not need a visa. Refusals of entry are also recorded in the system.

The main advantage of the EES is saving time. The EES replaces passport stamping and automates border control procedures, making traveling to European countries using the EES more efficient for the traveler.

The countries for this system include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

More Information

Top 3 Summer Beach Destinations

a screenshot of a cell phone in the water

1. Italy

Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is renowned for its dramatic cliffs, picturesque villages, and crystal-clear waters. Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello are some of the most famous towns along this stunning coastline. Some activities in this area include:

Scenic boat rides:

Murano and Burano guided tour

 

  • Private Charters and Group Tours: Charter a private boat or join a group tour to explore the coastline from the water. Highlights include cruising past hidden coves, sea caves, and the famous Li Galli Islands.
  • Day Trips to Capri: Take a day trip to the nearby island of Capri. Visit the Blue Grotto, explore the chic town center, and enjoy the island’s natural beauty.

 

 

Exploring Charming Villages:

a harbor with a mountain in the background

 

  • Positano: Wander through the narrow streets filled with boutiques, cafes, and art galleries. Don’t miss the Church of Santa Maria Assunta with its iconic dome.
  • Amalfi: Visit the Amalfi Cathedral, stroll through the Piazza del Duomo, and explore the ancient Arsenale Maritime Museum.
  • Ravello: Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and visit the stunning gardens of Villa Rufolo, which inspired Wagner’s opera Parsifal, and Villa Cimbrone, famous for its Terrace of Infinity.

 

 

Relaxing on Pebble Beaches:

a large body of water with a city in the background

 

 

 

2.France

French Riviera (Côte d’Azur)

The French Riviera is famous for its glamorous beaches, luxury resorts, and vibrant nightlife. Nice, Cannes, and Saint-Tropez are iconic destinations. Some activities in this area include:

Sunbathe on the Pebbly Beaches:

  • Nice: The beaches in Nice are composed of smooth pebbles called “galettes.” Popular spots include Blue Beach, Plage Beau Rivage, and Castel Plage. These beaches offer sunbeds, umbrellas, and beachside dining.
  • Cannes: Cannes boasts sandy beaches like Plage de la Croisette and Plage du Midi. Many are private, and associated with luxury hotels, but there are also public sections where you can enjoy the sun and sea.
  • Saint-Tropez: Pampelonne Beach is one of the most famous beaches, known for its vibrant beach clubs like Club 55 and Nikki Beach, where you can sunbathe, dine, and party.

Explore Historic Old Towns:

  • Vieux Nice: Wander through Nice’s old town with its colorful buildings, narrow alleys, and lively markets like the Cours Saleya Flower Market. Don’t miss the baroque architecture of the Chapelle de la Miséricorde and the charming Place Rossetti.
  • Le Suquet (Cannes): Explore the historic Le Suquet district, Cannes’ old quarter. Climb the hill to visit the medieval church and castle, and enjoy panoramic views of the city and the harbor.
  • Old Town of Saint-Tropez: Stroll through La Ponche, the old fishermen’s quarter, with its quaint streets, boutiques, and charming squares. Visit the Citadel of Saint-Tropez for a dose of history and fantastic views.

3. Spain

Costa del Sol

Located in the Andalusian region of southern Spain, the Costa del Sol (Sun Coast) is famous for its warm climate, beautiful sandy beaches, and vibrant towns. Marbella and Málaga are among the most popular destinations in this sun-soaked region. Some activities in this area include:

Exploring Cultural Sites:

  • Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle (Málaga): Visit the Alcazaba, a Moorish fortress-palace dating back to the 11th century, and the adjacent Gibralfaro Castle, offering panoramic views of the city and the coast.
  • Picasso Museum (Málaga): Dedicated to Málaga’s most famous son, Pablo Picasso, the museum houses an extensive collection of his works and offers insights into his life and art.

Beach Activities:

  • La Malagueta Beach (Málaga): A popular city beach with excellent facilities, beach bars (chiringuitos), and opportunities for various water sports.
  • Puerto Banús Beach (Marbella): Known for its luxurious setting near the marina, offering upscale beach clubs, water sports, and fine dining.
  • Carvajal Beach (Fuengirola): Family-friendly beach with calm waters, numerous restaurants, and a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Water Sports:Jet Skiing and Parasailing: Available at various beaches, particularly in Marbella and Torremolinos, offering thrilling ways to enjoy the Mediterranean.
  • Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: Explore the underwater world at locations like Nerja and Marbella. There are numerous diving schools and guided tours available.
  • Paddleboarding and Kayaking: Rent equipment or join a guided tour to explore the coastline and hidden coves.

Our Newest Tour for Summer 2024

Guided Tour of Chora Church and Golden Horn In Istanbul

 

Enjoy a guided tour of the 7th hill of Constantinople, where you will see Chora Church and learn about Istanbul’s vibrant history and culture.
Step into the hallowed halls of the Chora Church, a masterpiece of medieval Byzantine architecture renowned for its famous mosaics and frescoes.

Delve into its rich history and envision the devout gatherings of medieval Constantinople as you marvel at the intricate depictions of Christ and the Virgin Mary gracing its interior. Discover the intimate side chapel adorned with poignant frescoes portraying themes of mortality and rebirth from the Old Testament.Capture the allure of these timeless artworks and delve into their significance with your knowledgeable guide.

Then, continue your odyssey downhill to immerse yourself in the colorful tapestry of Fener and Balat, two historically significant neighborhoods nestled along the Golden Horn.

As you traverse the cobblestone streets adorned with the vibrant hues of local life, soak in the authentic atmosphere of these off-the-beaten-path gems. Witness the cultural mosaic the people that have shaped this area. Take a moment to pause amidst the bustling streets and observe the everyday rhythms of this dynamic community.

Conclude your journey in Fener, where the grandeur of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate awaits. Learn of its sacred significance to Orthodox believers worldwide and delve into its historical ties to Mehmet II’s conquest of Constantinople. Gain insight into its role within the broader Christian landscape and marvel at its enduring legacy.

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Travel Tips & Tricks

Traveller Pro Tip: In-Flight Comfort

Optimize Your Rail Travel

Europe’s rail network is extensive and efficient. Consider investing in a Eurail Pass if you plan on extensive travel between countries. For shorter trips, booking tickets in advance on national rail websites can save you money and guarantee a seat. Apps like Trainline or Rail Planner can simplify your journey by providing real-time schedules and ticket booking.

  • Plan Ahead
  • Consider Rail Passes
  • Be Flexible with Travel Times
  • Check Baggage Allowances
  • Validate Your Ticket
  • Arrive Early
  • Keep Important Documents Handy
  • Reserve Seats in Advance
  • Download Travel Apps
  • Enjoy the Views

By following these tips, you can make the most of your rail travel experience in Europe!

Navigating Local Cuisine: A Foodie’s Guide

Our monthly local cuisine takes you to Madrid this time! If you’re looking for a cozy and authentic café experience in Madrid, we recommend checking out Café Central. Located in the heart of the city near the Plaza del Ángel, this café has been a beloved spot for locals and visitors alike for decades.

Café Central is not only known for its delicious coffee and pastries but also for its vibrant atmosphere and live music performances. It’s a great place to start your day with a strong Spanish coffee and freshly baked pastries or to unwind in the evening with a glass of wine while enjoying some live jazz or flamenco music.

The café has a charming, old-world ambiance with its tiled floors, wooden tables, and vintage décor. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful corner to read a book or looking to soak in the lively atmosphere with friends, Café Central offers a warm and welcoming environment.

So, if you want to experience a taste of local Madrid culture while enjoying some excellent coffee and music, be sure to stop by Café Central during your visit.

Customer Spotlight

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This Month’s Sample Itinerary For 2 days in Istanbul, Turkey

a large body of water with Topkapı Palace in the background

​​Day 1: Explore Istanbul’s Historic and Cultural Treasures

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM: Hagia Sophia

  • Start your day at the iconic Hagia Sophia. Marvel at the stunning architecture and rich history of this former cathedral, mosque, and now a museum. Don’t miss the intricate mosaics and impressive dome.

10:15 AM – 12:00 PM: Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque)

  • Walk across Sultanahmet Square to the Blue Mosque. Admire its beautiful blue tiles and six minarets. Remember to dress modestly and be prepared to remove your shoes before entering.

12:15 PM – 1:30 PM: Basilica Cistern

  • Head to the nearby Basilica Cistern, an ancient underground water reservoir. Walk through the dimly lit space, supported by over 300 marble columns, and find the Medusa heads at the base of two columns.

1:45 PM – 2:45 PM: Lunch in Sultanahmet

  • Enjoy a traditional Turkish lunch at a nearby restaurant. Try dishes like kebabs, mezes, and baklava at places like “Sultanahmet Köftecisi” or “Deraliye Ottoman Palace Cuisine Restaurant.”

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Topkapi Palace

  • Spend the afternoon exploring Topkapi Palace, the former residence of Ottoman sultans. Visit the Harem, the Imperial Treasury, and the Sacred Relics. Enjoy the beautiful gardens and views over the Bosphorus.

5:15 PM – 6:30 PM: Gülhane Park

  • Relax with a stroll through Gülhane Park, located just outside Topkapi Palace. Enjoy the greenery, fountains, and views of the Golden Horn.

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Dinner and Evening Stroll

  • Head to the Karaköy neighborhood for dinner. Try out “Karaköy Lokantası” for modern Turkish cuisine. After dinner, take a stroll along the Galata Bridge, enjoying the night views of the Bosphorus.

Day 2: Dive into Istanbul’s Vibrant Markets and Modern Sights

 

istanbul

8:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Grand Bazaar

  • Start your second day at the Grand Bazaar. Wander through the maze of shops selling everything from carpets and lanterns to jewelry and spices. Practice your bargaining skills and pick up some unique souvenirs.

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM: Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar)

  • Head to the Spice Bazaar to experience the vibrant colors and aromas of spices, dried fruits, nuts, and Turkish delights. It’s a sensory delight and a great place to buy edible souvenirs.

12:15 PM – 1:30 PM: Lunch in Eminönü

  • Enjoy a quick and delicious lunch at one of the fish sandwich stalls near the Galata Bridge in Eminönü. Freshly grilled fish sandwiches (balık ekmek) are a local favorite.

1:45 PM – 3:15 PM: Süleymaniye Mosque

  • Visit the Süleymaniye Mosque, an architectural masterpiece by Sinan the Architect. Explore the beautiful mosque and its surrounding courtyards, offering panoramic views of the city.

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM: Galata Tower and Istiklal Street

  • Head to Galata and climb the Galata Tower for 360-degree views of Istanbul. Afterward, stroll down Istiklal Street, a bustling pedestrian avenue filled with shops, cafes, and historic sites. Don’t miss the nostalgic tram that runs along the street.

5:15 PM – 6:30 PM: Taksim Square

  • End your Istiklal Street walk at Taksim Square, a major cultural and commercial hub. Relax with a coffee or tea at one of the many cafes around the square.

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Dinner in Beyoğlu

  • Enjoy your final dinner in the trendy Beyoğlu district. Try “Meze by Lemon Tree” for a modern take on traditional Turkish mezes or “360 Istanbul” for dinner with a stunning view.

9:30 PM – Late: Bosphorus Night Cruise (Optional)

  • If you have the energy, consider taking a night cruise on the Bosphorus. Enjoy the illuminated city skyline, the bridges, and the chance to see Istanbul from a different perspective.

This two-day itinerary offers a mix of historical exploration, cultural experiences, and modern attractions, ensuring you get a comprehensive taste of Istanbul. Feel free to adjust the itinerary based on your preferences and the opening hours of attractions. İyi yolculuklar!

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If you have any questions about tours email us at: support@walksineurope.com

Note: Prices and availability mentioned in this publication are subject to change. Please visit our website or contact our customer service for the most up-to-date information.