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Up 'N' Coming Corners Of Europe

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Up 'N' Coming Corners Of Europe

story by: Anna Sarjeant

Beach lovers of history buffers, early-risers or night crawlers, no two travellers are the same. Except for the one question posed by all those who travel... "So, where next?"

For: Culture vultures
Your travel style: Culture and history combined, you thrive in locations where the stories leave you wide-eyed.
A country 7,000 years in the making, Malta bears the stamp of the Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs and Normans, before the Knights of St John who ruled from 1530 to 1798, finally left the most lasting mark. Malta’s past – specifically in its capital city, Valletta – will astound. It quite literally heaves with liveable, breathable history. Moulded by centuries of savage warfare, including invasions as recent as WWII, Valletta is defined by its great fortresses and a network of secret underground tunnels. Some of these housed British spies and Maltese allies as they plotted against Germany; deciphering enemy code from within Lascaris War Rooms. Malta’s artifacts are seemingly endless, from Valletta to the back-in-time villages that seep with fascinating stories, you can’t help but fall over its antiques.

Active relaxers
Your travel style: A seeker of cultural highlights, from the local food and drink, to history and traditions.
Geography and history have blessed Sicily with both astounding beauty and mouth-watering cuisine; the architecture dappled with Greek and Arabian influence, its food sweetened by North African flavours. But it’s the relatively undiscovered Aeolian archipelago that’s really stirring the interest of travellers. Comprising seven slow-paced islands, Aeolian life still swings to the pendulum of the 1940s. Step onto Lipari and you’ll be greeted by the lingering scent of sage. The dusty streets warm beneath your feet; deserted save for fishermen and local Sicilians retrieving laundry from their balcony. Come nightfall, the European-night glows. Stone houses and cobbled pavements still emanate with heat; the smell of sun-baked terracotta almost as seductive as home-cooked Sicilian cuisine.

Your travel style: Always in pursuit of the unique, you crave to get off the beaten track and to fill your passport with multiple stamps.
Your eyes won’t adjust. One-hundred metres below ground and it’s pitch black. This is Bled, Slovenia. You’re kayaking the abandoned chambers of Bled Mine and it’s a black abyss. So quiet only the stalactites murmur. Defined by soaring alpine peaks and pine-green valleys, townships flecked with toy town houses and glacial lakes, Slovenia’s landscape is startling. The rolling pastures – so steep you’ll strain your neck – are freckled with farmers tending to their land, the air so pure it cleanses the soul. Yes, Slovenia is beautiful, but it’s the boom in adventure tourism that’s really putting her on the map. From underground kayaking to skiing in the Slovenian Alps and lengthy treks across the mountains, if it’s a high-octane pursuit you seek, it’s an adventurist’s dream you’ll find.

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