Escaping Abroad | Adventure Travel Blog & Photography
If you’re thinking about taking the plunge and travelling solo, James’s blog - Escaping Abroad will probably push you over the edge. The Blog features photos, videos and stories from adventures around the globe. He started this blog to share his passion for traveling and to inspire readers to go out and do more exploring of their own.
Puglia offers many sites of cultural interest and breathtaking landscapes including beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters. In the wonderful scenery of Valle D’Itria you will also find the calm of its countryside together with the explosion of life of the many festivals where you will be able to taste the most typical flavours and listen to the most authentic sound of this region. There are gentle hills and scenographic villages, but above all there is the incomparable opportunity of spending some days in one of the symbols of this region, the typical Trullo houses, famous all over the world for their beauty and simplicity, as well as for their coolness that make them the ideal solution for a summer vacation. Many of them have been renovated in recent years and now host luxurious and exclusive holiday accommodation. Here is my personal selection:
This Trullo House offers the best of outdoor summer life, with its green corners spread all over the outside, his beach volleyball court, its enchanting infinity pool, its wonderful outdoor kitchen, its patios to relax and enjoy the cool of the night. It has just been renovated with a unique and refined taste. With few minutes’ drive you will reach Alberobello, the capital of the Trulli, Unesco World Heritage Centre from 1996.
Among the most luxurious Trullo Houses of the countryside around Alberobello, Trullo Athena has been designed for a holiday of relaxation and well-being and offers an unforgettable experience. The exclusive features of this real gem include an outdoor gym, a Turkish bath and a fantastic patio to enjoy fantastic meals under wonderful starry nights, accompanied obviously by a glass of an excellent local wine. All this immersed in a sensational landscape and having Alberobello 10 minutes’ walk away.
Just two kilometers away from the historic center of Alberobello, surrounded by a beautiful olive grove, stands Trullo Sofia, a perfect combination between the tradition of an ancient stone building and the comforts of a modern and luxurious villa. Particularly appreciated are the layout of the internal spaces that make up cozy convivial spaces and the stunning outdoor space dominated by the beautiful swimming pool.
Of Trullo Stefano you will appreciate above all the charm of the historical building and its peaceful environment, immersed in the Apulian countryside but at the same time not far from the most famous attractions. Hidden on a quiet country road, Trullo Stefano is surrounded by ancient olive groves and dry stone walls for an unforgettable holiday in the Apulian countryside. Relax in the swimming pool or try your hand as pizza chef at the stone-fired pizza oven. For the children a playroom just for them!
On a hill covered with olive grove and fruit trees, Trullo Badessa is surrounded by natural beauty and boasts beautiful views. This 18th century Trullo House has been recently renovated to preserve many of its original features while still offering a high standard of modern comfort. Outside you can enjoy a shaded veranda and a paved barn with a wood-burning barbecue. At your disposal there are two bicycles, for unforgettable rides in the amazing Apulian countryside.
Studying abroad is a European tradition. The next question for many is, where should they go? Know that you shouldn’t use tourism posters, a desire to sight-see on weekends or your favourite cuisine as a deciding factor. Let’s look at the practical reasons as to why you’d want to study in a particular country. Here are the five best EU countries for studying abroad.
Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Learn Spanish in the mother country, and you’ll be able to converse with people from Mexico, Central America, South America and a large portion of the Caribbean. Just know that you’ll have to learn Spanish because nearly all programmes are taught in that language.
This country is a must-see for history and politics majors. And you certainly benefit from spending time in cosmopolitan cities like Madrid and Barcelona.
Tuition in Spain is cheaper than in Britain. You could save even more money by sticking to the smaller cities instead of staying in Madrid.
Italy is a popular study-abroad destination. Rome is an excellent choice for art and history majors. Italy has extra weight for those studying international business or fashion. You can find decent programmes in art, design, engineering, and architecture. Note that few schools have programmes entirely in English. A point in favour of Italy is that tuition costs are generally cheaper than the UK.
Portugal has a number of benefits in its favour. Portugal has a number of universities recognised worldwide. The University of Coimbra is the oldest, and it is renowned for its sociology, law and philosophy programmes. The credentials awarded here are recognised across the EU.
The incredibly low cost of living is another one. For example, you can find luxury student accommodation Coimbra facilities that cost less than you’d pay in the UK even though they’re a clear notch above. You can find out more about this at Collegiate through the following link: https://www.collegiate-ac.pt/en/student-accommodation/coimbra/.
Portuguese is an often-overlooked language, but it shouldn’t be. It is the sixth most commonly spoken language in the world, and learning it positions you to work in fast-growing economies like Brazil and a few countries in Africa.
Germany is one of the core countries of the EU, so learning German is definitely a plus if you want to work in international business or engineering. A major attraction of studying here is that English is taught as a second language to most students, so you could get by even if your German is weak.
Another benefit of studying Germany is the low overall cost. It has low tuition fees, and sometimes there are no tuition fees at all. If you’re working towards an undergraduate degree at a public university, there is no tuition, just an administrative fee billed each semester.
Whether you want to study business, finance, diplomacy, or international relations, Switzerland is the place to be. It’s also an excellent place for those studying multiple languages to stay. The country has four official languages: Italian, German, French and Romansh. If you already know one or more of those languages, you can become fluent through practice by staying here and conversing with the locals.
Studying abroad is always an enriching experience. Cost, educational programme quality and the value of the language in relation to one’s chosen career should be the main factors in deciding where you want to study.
When people used to mention holiday rentals to me I used to think back to a time when I would travel with my parents and we’d stay in a pretty basic house or villa. There were no frills or luxury, the rental would always be pretty basic but at least it was in a nice place. Well, those days are now gone because vacation rentals have upped their game!
If you want to treat yourself on your next holiday you can have a villa with its very own recording studio, a gold bathroom and even a fleet of Harleys to ride around. It’s safe to say that this is how the rich and famous holiday, there’s no expense spared and no end to the luxury on offer.
I love staying in some of the Exceptional Villas holiday rentals because it gives me and my group a little insight into how the ‘other half’ live their lives. We have put together a list of what we think are the top 5 luxury vacation rentals on the planet right now – you can guarantee that they’re all in top locations, offer ultimate privacy, are beautifully designed and no expense has been spared!
Necker Island, The British Virgin Islands
When I hear Necker Island mentioned by someone I instantly think of the gold standard in luxury and privacy. The island is owned by the popular billionaire Richard Branson, if you know him then you’re aware that he really does think outside the box when he creates anything. Just name an A-list celebrity and the chances are that they’ve been to Necker island at least once. When Obama left office he headed there with his wife Michelle to relax and take a well earned break.
Of course the island is a celeb hotspot but you don’t need to be a former president of supermodel to stay here. If you want to hire the whole island you can – it can accommodate 30 guests and is probably one of the best locations for a special wedding. Don’t worry though because you don’t have to bring the whole family with you, if you don’t mind sharing a piece of paradise then you can rent one of the Balinese style villas.
Why do people fall in love with Necker? I would have to say that it’s the clear blue skies, sweeping white beaches, jaw dropping views and the stunning sea. It also has a very special vibe to it, luxurious but super chilled out. If you want to taste luxury then Necker should be high on your list!
I think Greensleeves has to be the most stunning beachfront home I have had the chance to visit, the estate is out of this world. There you will have 11 acres of tropical gardens all to yourself, access to both of the islands top beaches and of course 7-star accommodation and facilities.
When you drive up to the huge gates and they open, your eyes will get wider and you’ll instantly know that this is a very special place indeed. After crossing the bridge over the Japanese water garden you’ll be able to take in the mind blowing views as you approach the house.
Once you get inside a pool, pool bar, gym, tennis courts, cinema and huge play area for the kids awaits. All of those are amazing but my favourite part of the whole house is the master bedroom, it feels like it has been taken straight out of a palace and has the most stunning views I have seen. If you plan the trip for your group then make sure you’ve reserved this room for yourself!
Located in the world renowned resort of Zermatt, Chalet Les Anges must be on this list because it has twice been voted as the World’s Best Ski Chalet. The service here is incredible, so much so that I got the impression that the staff were able to read my mind! Lounging in the great room next to the grand piano, checking out the amazing art work, gazing through the floor to ceiling windows at the Matterhorn, I was thinking how great it would be to sip on a glass of champagne – from nowhere a glass was put in my hand! I don’t know how they knew it but somehow they knew it’s what was needed!
I really love Zermatt because it’s one of only a few towns in the world that is completely car free, this adds to the appeal of this stunning mountain town that is full of top class restaurants and boutique shops. If you love hitting the slopes then it’s the place for you because it is one of the largest skiing areas on the planet. How does eating breakfast in Switzerland, lunching in Italy and the returning back for dinner on the estate served up by your personal michelin chef sound? It sounds perfect and that’s exactly what you can expect when you stay at Chalet Les Anges. There are 7 beautiful bedrooms for your whole group to enjoy when you’re not on the slopes, in the cinema, enjoying the spa or relaxing in the outdoor jacuzzi.
It really is no surprise why this chalet has won the prize for being the best in the world!
Have you been lucky enough to stay in any of these fabulous places? Maybe you’ve stayed in somewhere that you feel should make the list? Are you planning to stay in a luxury vacation rental? I would love to hear all about your experiences and stories. Just pop your thoughts in the comment section below, thanks for sharing!
Africa is a continent which everyone should try to get to at least once in their lives. This diverse and fascinating place offers a huge amount of destinations, where there is something suitable for just about any type of traveler. Wildlife livers can enjoy seeking out the big 5 on a safari, sun worshippers can find glorious beach spots throughout the coastline, and those looking for adventure can find it throughout the continent. If you fancy heading to Africa in 2018, these are our top picks for where you should look to go.
Unfortunately Rwanda is better known for its genocide which took place in 1994, rather than the impressive and forward thinking country which it actually is. Rwanda is arguably the most progressive country in the whole of Africa, English is widely spoken here, they have female politicians, dependable and safe public transport with wifi and they are committed to being eco-conscious, having outlawed plastic bags over a decade ago. The cities in Rwanda are cool and trendy and the national parks here make for perfect places to wildlife spot and take treks.
Right in-between the East African savannah and the rainforest of Central Africa, Uganda is truly a spectacular place to discover. During your time here you should most certainly head off on a Uganda safari, which will see you get up close and personal with big game animals such as leopards, lions and hippos. Uganda is home to mountain gorillas too, which are absolutely breathtaking when you set eyes upon them. The most remarkable thing about Uganda for me is the scenery, which is other-worldy. From mountain ranges to enormous rivers, forests to wetlands, you can find it all here in Uganda.
Right up in the north of Africa you’ll find Morocco, a diverse and culturally rich nation which is more akin to an middle eastern country than an African one. Here you can take some time out in the coastal cities such as Agadir and Casablanca, with white sandy beaches and plenty of activities taking place. Alternatively you could head to the bustling streets of Marrakech, which will make you feel as though you have stepped back in time to a world which was far easier, and far more relaxed. Moroccan culture can be found in the architecture and the art installations, as well as the food and the markets that you will find throughout the cities.
Tanzania is a wonderful place for a vacation and if you are lucky, you may even get a chance to watch the great wildebeest migration, right in front of your eyes. Beyond the movement of over million wildebeest, you can also find some great places for a safari in Tanzania, in one of the many national parks that you will find here. Tanzania is a much cheaper option than some of the other safari nations in Africa, which makes it accessible to everyone.
Have you been to Africa before? What was your favorite country?