21 of Europe’s most overlooked spots
21. Bansko, Bulgaria: The largest skiing area in Bulgaria, Bansko has some of the best winter sports action in Europe with affordable lift passes.
20. Pula, Croatia: Pula, on the Istrian peninsula, has sweeping views over the Adriatic as well as Roman ruins at every turn and spectacular beaches.
19. Pristina, Kosovo: The Newborn Monument in Pristina was unveiled in 2008 when the country formally declared its independence. A booming cafe culture is part of the capital city’s draw.
18. Białowieża National Park, Poland: This wooded national park is the best-preserved part of the Białowieża Forest, which has been shrinking in recent centuries.
17. Kalmar, Sweden: This historic city on Sweden’s southeast coast has one of the most beautiful castles in Scandinavia and a range of outdoor offerings.
16. Rotterdam, Netherlands: This industrial city has one of Europe’s most thriving food scenes. Here the Markthal is pictured.
15. Vilnius, Lithuania: This inland capital has a warm, welcoming and energetic vibe and beautiful baroque architecture.
14. Sardinia, Italy: Sardinia blends Italian culture with Catalan, North African and French flavors for incredible food and culture.
13. Picos de Europa, Spain: Spain’s only human inhabited nature reserve, the villages here, including Potes (pictured), offer a glimpse into a simpler, rural life.
12. Wiesbaden, Germany: Wiesbaden is known for its thermal spas and a sparkling wine made in the lush surrounding countryside.
11. Antwerp, Belgium: Antwerp rivals its fellow Belgian cities with its long trading history, beautiful architecture and a cathedral featuring work by Rubens.
10. Lake Inari and Nellim, Finland: Fall colors show Finland’s Lake Inari in a spectacular light.
9. Henne Strand, Denmark: A sandy expanse, crashing waves and bracing wind make this spot on the west coast of Jutland a classic northern European getaway.
8. Patmos, Greece: In the Dodecanese Islands, Patmos is rich in religious history and the types of seascapes that define Greece’s islands
7. Zagori, Greece: A bridge connecting the villages of Vitsa and Koukouli spans the spectacular Vikos Gorge in this lesser-known area of mainland Greece.
6. Basel, Switzerland: In the summer, floating down the Rhine River for a frog’s-eye view of Basel is not to be missed.
5. Apuseni Mountains, Romania: The rugged terrain of Romania’s Apuseni Mountains holds one of Europe’s most unspoiled wildernesses.
4. Irish Midlands: The Shannon River runs through County Offaly in the often-overlooked Midland Region of Ireland.
3. Orange, France: The Théâtre Antique d’Orange, one of the best-preserved Roman theaters, is a remarkable reason to visit this town in Provence.
2. North Uist, Scotland: The Pobull Fhinn stone circle is just one of the fascinating features of windswept North Uist in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides islands.
1. Norwich, England: Packed with pubs, churches and cultural offerings, charming Norwich is well worth a visit. Click through the gallery for 20 more overlooked destinations in Europe:
Europe delays visa waiver scheme till 2024
The long-anticipated ETIAS visa waiver scheme, which will require all non-EU passport holders to get pre-trip permission to enter the bloc, was supposed to launch by November this year. But it has been pushed back to 2024.
It’ll be a fast online authorization for non-EU nationals from the 60 or so countries that don’t currently need a visa to the EU – such as the United States and the United Kingdom – and will work a lot like the United States’ ESTA program.
It’ll cost 7 euro ($7.43 on Friday afternoon’s exchange rates) and will cover you for three years. However, compared to the ESTA – $21 for two years – that’s admittedly kind of a bargain.
So where are you going to head while the going’s still good? We’ve got a couple of suggestions for you right here.
Croatia’s northern Adriatic coast is home to some of the country’s most captivating regions, featuring secret beaches, ancient Roman ruins and Venetian villages. Read our guide to discover culture, history and great food.
Then there’s Italy’s Friuli region, tucked away on the northeast border with Slovenia and Austria, with a stunningly varied landscape of mountains, canyons, beaches and lagoons. Locals are proud of it being one of the Europe’s best-kept secrets, so keep this one to yourself, OK?
As travel returns full-scale, Asian destinations in particular are keen to boost their tourism economies after the pandemic. Hong Kong has already announced plans to give away half a million airline tickets, and now its neighbor Taiwan plans to pay people to vacation there.
Savings like that could leave a little more money free to visit the region’s most exciting new luxury hotels to open this year.
If you’re looking for something even more from your hotel, though, than infinity pools and Egyptian cotton sheets, we’ve found nine hotels in Asia-Pacific where the adventure starts before you even reach the front door.
We’re talking ultimate grand entrances – from zip-lining over a waterfall and landing in the hotel bar to taking a leisurely river cruise through a verdant gorge.
The future of transport
Designers and engineers are endlessly working on new transport solutions for a greener, cleaner, faster tomorrow, from a new generation of airships to a hydrogen-powered superyacht that can “fly” across the water.
But what will transport look like by 2050? Alisyn Malek, managing director of a Detroit-based global mobility innovation hub, gives us the lowdown on hyperloops, supersonic jets and electric aircraft.
Finally, in infrastructure improvements that are happening right now, last month India opened the first section of a 1,386-kilometer (861-mile) expressway linking New Delhi and Mumbai. Once complete, it’ll be India’s longest carriageway and is expected to halve journey times between the two cities.
Misbehaving traveler of the week
A Pennsylvania man was arrested February 27 after allegedly trying to bring explosives on a flight to Florida. The suspect was well known to police in Lansford, Pennsylvania, for a string of relatively minor crimes over the years, but “there’s nothing that would light up and say, ‘Hey, this guy’s gonna try to bomb an aircraft,’” said a former police chief.
World’s best beaches
World’s top 10 beaches of 2023, according to Tripadvisor
10. Ka’anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii: Located on the island’s western shore, Ka’anapali boasts three miles of white sand and a famed cliff diving ceremony at Puʻu Kekaʻa.
9. Varadero Beach, Cuba: Last year’s No. 2 beach, Varadero Beach in Cuba is long on relaxation. “It’s hypnotic,” said one Tripadvisor reviewer.
8. Spiaggia dei Conigli, Sicily, Italy: This powdery stretch of shoreline on Lampedusa Island moved up in the rankings from No. 10 in 2022.
7. Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island, India: Backed by lush vegetation, Radhanagar Beach in the Andaman Islands in one of Asia’s best beaches and No. 7 on Tripadvisor’s 2023 global list.
6. Praia da Falésia, Olhos de Agua, Portugal: From cliffs to sand to sea, Praia da Falésia in Portugal’s Algarve region delivers plenty to look as you’re lulled by the sound of the surf.
5. Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos: Ranked No. 1 in 2022, Grace Bay Beach’s three miles of sand are a sunseeker’s paradise.
4. Reynisfjara Beach, Vik, Iceland: Not every beach on Tripadvisor’s list is known for its warm weather. This striking black sand beach in Iceland is big on drama and has appeared in “Game of Thrones.”
3. Cable Beach, Broome, Australia: Sunset camel rides are a big draw along this 14-mile (22-kilometer) stretch of Indian Ocean coastline.
2. Eagle Beach, Aruba: Fofoti trees grow on the golden sand in Aruba. Eagle Beach is ranked No. 2 among the world’s best beaches for 2023.
1. Baía do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil: Baía do Sancho may not be easy to reach, but it is the world’s best beach, according to a 2023 ranking from Tripadvisor.
The Caribbean is home to three of the world’s sweetest shorelines, according to users of travel site Tripadvisor. However, the best sands of all can be found in an archipelago that’s bathed in the warm waters of the South Equatorial Current.
Great photo book services
“Pics or it didn’t happen” might well be the defining statement of our age. And to make your travel memories even more tangible, there’s now a wide range of excellent photo book services to turn your digital snaps into glossy hardback keepsakes. Our partners at CNN Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN, have rounded up some of the best.
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