Top Europe travel destinations for 2013 (part 1)
For those already living somewhere on the continent, they will know about at least some of the top Europe travel destinations for 2013 that we’ll be talking about, but those from outside the old continent may not, so this article is more focused on the latter but the former may still find some information about places that they weren’t totally familiar with, because we won’t be focusing on the very obvious.
Europe may not be nearly as large as Asia, Africa nor the United States, but considering its history for making most of the world’s history, it cannot be matched in regards to possible tourist attractions. And as we mentioned earlier, we’re not focusing on the obvious places that would spring to mind when thinking of a European holiday, places like London or Amsterdam. We will focus on places that have been a bit overlooked and that are poised to be the next big thing in regards to travel destinations.
Porto and the Douro Valley
Porto used to be a rather sleepy riverside city, world-renown for its fortified wines – Port wine – but in the past couple of years the city has started to be known as something of a vibrant arts capital, getting a bunch of well-deserved positive reviews as a great value destination.
The gallery-lined Rua Miguel Bombarda is at the vanguard of the city’s art scene, featuring a great mix of styles and exhibitions. There are also big museums in the city, such as the Museu de Arte Contemporanea, situated in parquet de Serravales, that hosts cutting-edge exhibitions all the time, while the Rem Koolhaas designed Casa da Musica fuels the music scene all year-round.
And of course this is still the city that gave birth to Port wine, so historic Port wine lodges offer tours and tastings for free sometimes or a nominal fee.
The Douro Valley is located just beyond Porto, an incredibly picturesque region featuring steep hillsides with terraces that are covered with the country’s most celebrated vineyards. The valley can be visited via day-trips, train rides, river cruises, but also car rental is always a valid option.