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Favourite Travel Experiences of the Month #34 – April 2014

April has always been a good month in the world of travel for the team at Not Just a Holiday, we always seem to find ourselves on an epic adventure somewhere in the world. The changing of the seasons into Spring fills us with a renewed optimism that warmer weather and outdoor fun is on its way. This month we feature a few season related articles including Nat Geo’s 10 magnificent gardens, Best Beaches in the world, and The Guardian’s warm weather finder!

We also look at articles featuring; technology’s impact on travel, unknown European towns, on the road in Kyrgyzstan amongst others, before signing off in our usual fashion with our holiday of the month. This month we look a little closer to home at the beauties on offer in the British coastal town of Brighton.

First, we present to you our top ten articles of the month!

dubai1Photo courtesy of the_dead_pixel.

1. An insightful post by Lonely Planet reveals the truths behind 10 of the world’s wonders. Find out the stories behind ancient wonders such as Stonehenge, Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu, or the more recent tales behind modern marvels such as the Burj Khalifa.

2. Through April we hopefully start to see glimpses of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, thus focus in the world of travel begin to move on to summer themes. Trip Advisor are on the ball with their Best Beaches in the World 2014 list; featuring 25 top spots from across the globe, it is topped by Baia Do Sancho in Brazil.

3. The BBC Travel series, On The Road covers a fascinating blend of destinations over its 20 episodes. One that stuck out for us was the Central Asian destination of Kyrgyzstan, from trips to local livestock markets to home-stays near the Uzbekistan border it makes a captivating watch.

4. With Spring upon us, the natural world enters arguably its most beautiful stage, flowers begin to blossom and landscapes are transformed. It is also an exciting time for the gardening world and National Geographic has compiled an article featuring 10 magnificent gardens, our number one is Kenroku-en in Japan.

5. Remember the world of travel in those pre-internet days? We often take for granted the ease of travel in the modern age but it has only been 25 years since the birth of the internet. The Guardian offer a fascinating article on 25 years of the web creating a travel revolution, where would we stay in a world without TripAdvisor!

 bavaria1Photo courtesy of John-Morgan.

6. We stumbled across an interesting blog post on walking in Bavarian mountains, author Andy Jarosz depicts this mystical landscape in South Germany, complimented with a couple of majestic photos. Worth 5 minutes of your time for sure.

7. With such a great quantity of the world’s population moving and holidaying more than ever, eco-tourism ventures have emerged offering tourists the opportunity to offset some of their carbon footprint and give something back while traveling. Eco-accommodation is a large factor of this new trend and Lonely Planet list their top 10 eco stays around the globe; from tree houses in Tanzania to solar-powered ‘earthships’ in New Mexico, it is most definitely an inspiring article!

8. A useful tool we discovered this month was The Guardian’s ‘destination finder’ tool. Allowing you to search by temperature it is perfect for seeing where in the world to head for sunshine and warm weather right now.

9. Ever felt like escaping to the middle of nowhere, thousands of miles from a neighbouring country? Ascension Island is your answer; situated in the Atlantic Ocean midway between South America and Africa it is an extremely remote island. Getting there isn’t easy, flights from a military base north of London offer 10 civilian spots per flight, but for this tropical paradise it seems worthwhile.

10. With so many countries and cities packed into a relatively small area, some of Europe’s smaller cities often get overlooked in the world of travel. Trip Advisor has compiled a list of 10 breathtaking European destinations you may never heard of, and we must admit a few even stumped us! We shall be adding Dolceacqua, Hallstatt and Gruyeres to our must-visit list!


Holiday of the Month – Brighton, UK

One of our favourite British destinations is the seaside classic; Brighton. Drawing visitors for centuries, it is still a popular spot for a multitude of reasons and appeals to a diverse mix of visitors. Although it has a year-round appeal, we believe the best Brighton days are in the sunshine and as we push on through Spring, a warm day on Brighton beach is hard to top in England.

Famous for its iconic piers, Brighton seaside is a quintessential British sight enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Brighton’s significant LGBT community gives the city a unique and liberal feel which attracts a mix of visitors keen to embrace the friendly atmosphere. Steer clear of chain stores and pubs on West Street and Western Road and you will experience the true unique nature of Brighton’s boutique and bohemian shopping and nightlife. The Lanes and North Laines are two enchanting shopping regions crammed full of one-off stores along winding lanes, at the weekends its hard to move but its worth the venture.

Brighton Pier is a must-see, although some elements feel almost cheesy, it provides outstanding views across the beaches and out to sea and is a prime example of nostalgic British tourism. Away from the seaside the main sight is the impressive, Royal Pavilion with its Indian influenced architecture and accompanying gardens. Built in the 18th century as the official summer residence for the British Royal family, it has since become a museum and a unique site in Brighton that is extremely easy on the eye. All in all its hard to top Brighton for a local weekend getaway.

brighton pierPhoto courtesy of Bev Goodwin.


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