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Favourite Travel Experiences of the Month #24

As we move into May the Northern hemisphere begins to focus on summer. This months Favourite Travel Experiences of the Month embraces the season of the sun as the Not Just A Holiday team look at a selection of summer themed articles featuring summer favourites ice-cream and swimming pools! This month also includes; Howard Marks, Reykjavik and New Zealand, before concluding with our Holiday of the Month; Sarajevo. 

As per usual we kick off with our top 10 travel articles from across the web:

Ice-creamphoto courtesy of ScRO

1. Summer is just weeks away, what better way to spend it than sampling the world’s most imaginative ice-cream, you don’t have to travel to the other side of the globe for all of them!

2. If globe-trotting in search of ice-cream doesn’t apeal, maybe swimming pools will. Unique and amazing pools illustrates some of the finest swimming pools to spend your summer in luxury.

3. Reykjavik as told by Sigtryggur Baldursson of Icelandic band Sugarcubes.  An inspiring take on the world’s most Northern capital city, giving an insight to local life. Worth a few minutes of your time regardless of whether you have been to Reykjavik or not.

4. Howard Marks returns to Taiwan, albeit for different reasons than his last visit in 1988! His account of both trips is insightful to say the least; from evading extradiction to the US, to making the most of the diverse nightlife, Marks’ trips were action packed throughout.

5. May is upon us and Hostelworld share their favourite events from across the world happening this month. From as far afield as the Australian Heritage Festival and The Houston Art Car Parade.

Houston Art Car Paradephoto courtesy of Isidro U.

6. Marseille: Europe’s Capital of Culture for 2013. What affect is this title having on the city? The Guardian examines Marseille’s cultural side through its outstanding art and impressive architecture projects.

7. National Geographic bring us their Best Guided Tours for 2013. Sometimes it’s better to let the experts guide you, find out where you should be going this year; anywhere from safari in Kenya to cycling in Tuscany, there is something for everyone!

8. Miami bound this year? Make sure you read Miami’s top blogs before you go for all the tops tips on food, arts, night-life and more, the local writers know it best.

9. With the release of The Hobbit on DVD last month, it is time to renew that dream of going to New Zealand. Discover how you can go about planning a trip with Lonely Planet’s guide on how to visit Middle Earth.

10. The ‘trekathon’ a new way of seeing a city, whilst keeping in shape. A 26 mile walk around the outskirts of a city is apparently becoming a popular trend, all in one day. Discover the routes around Paris, Amsterdam of Barcelona.

Holiday of the Month – Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Less than 20 years ago Sarajevo was making the headlines for all the wrong reasons and this unfortunately still lingers in some Western minds. The reality couldn’t be any different, this fascinating city is well and truly back on its feet and provides one of the best value destinations in Eastern Europe. Described as where the East meets West, the city is home to an incredible blend of culture with both its strong Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian influences. There simply is no other place in Europe where you can see Mosques, Synagogues, Orthodox and Catholic churches all in one eye line. Stumbling around the Turkish Quarter you could be forgiven for thinking you were in Istanbul but just a few minutes walk away you find yourself immersed in Viennese architecture.

There are of course remnants of the past horrors that inflicted the city in the mid 1990’s; bullet holes can still be found around the city. However talking to local Sarajevans you are given the impression that this is a city moving forward and there is much to be positive about.

Sarajevo - 'Pigeon Square'photo courtesy of Bryan Pocius

It was not just the Bosnian War which saw the attention of the world on Sarajevo, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 and also the 1984 Winter Olympic games also put the city in the spotlight, albeit for very different reasons! These three historic events are still evident across the city and shape the city’s tourist attractions, ensuring a trip to Sarajevo doubles up as an interactive history lesson. Free walking tours leave from Latin Bridge everyday at 4pm, an absolute must-do; a chance to see Sarajevo from the perspective of a local Sarajevan.

Sarajevo provides excellent value for money in every aspect, certainly one of the cheapest European capital cities. Bosnian food benefits from the diverse culture and consequently there is an excellent range to keep your palate excited. Personal recommendations are Ćevapi, a grilled mince meat dish and burek a traditional filled pastry snack rolled into a spiral, they both taste better than they sound and are extremely affordable!

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