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Favourite Travel Experiences of the Month #37 – July 2014

In this months blog post from the Not Just a Holiday team we scour through the world of travel news to find our top ten travel articles from the month gone by. We take a look at the worlds most remote airports, Croatia on a budget, and a fascinating post on buzzfeed listing 20 spots to see in Colorado, one of our favourite states.

Also featured this month includes; family vacations on Greek islands, world food in Sao Paulo and Paul Salopek’s 780 mile journey through the Hejaz desert in Saudi Arabia.

We conclude with our holiday of the month; Austin, Texas. A creative city with a liberal feel that seems somewhat out of place in Texas.

First, enjoy our top ten travel experiences of the past month:

 gotg1Photo courtesy of snowpeaks.

1. A great buzzfeed article caught our eye recently; 20 Colorado place that will take your breath away. It was especially appealing to us as we are off to Colorado this month to explore the beauty!

2. The world’s most remote airports compiled by Lonely Planet is a thrilling read, with Nepalese airports on mountain sides and runways made of ice in Antarctica; you are guaranteed to gasp at the thought of landing at one of these!

3. The World Cup is still under way in Brazil and has been dominating media across the globe throughout June. Some of the more interesting articles to emerge include Rough Guides’ article on searching across Sao Paulo for cuisines from nations playing in the World Cup. From Spanish tapas to Japanese sushi, there is plenty to keep world cup revelers busy in Sao Paulo.

4. Summer is in full swing and soon kids across Europe will finishing school for the summer break. The Guardian lists 10 top family vacations on Greek islands for families to discover over the next few months. Some are obvious such as Crete and Corfu but there are also some hidden gems to be found.

5. National Geographic recently featured an article on Paul Salopek’s 780 mile journey through the Hejaz desert in Saudi Arabia. Salopek has become one of the first travelers in a century to make this journey – this truly is traveling in it’s epic extreme end!

Sheikh Zayed Grand MosquePhoto courtesy of M. Khatib.

6. Trip Advisor named their top 25 rated landmarks in 2014 from around the world. Whilst many are familiar names such as Angkor Wat, Machu Picchu and the Lincoln Memorial making the top 15. There were a few surprises with the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi grabbing the #2 spot!

7. Over the past decade, Croatia has strongly emerged as a top destination for a Mediterranean trip and with their accession into the EU a year ago this has only strengthened. Thus a cheap trip to Croatia is a lot harder to come by than at the turn of the century. Rough Guides feature an article of where to stay in Croatia on a budget, worth a read if you are considering a trip!

8. Thanks to NY Times, we now know that there is a bustling art scene on the coast of Uruguay! The article depicts a variation of different galleries and street art that show the region to be a mecca for the arts.

9. Our favourite Trip Advisor compilation from the last month was their ‘14 natural swimming pools‘ from around the globe. Havasu Falls in Arizona and Nanda Blue Hole in Vanuatu particularly caught our collective eye!

10. An interesting read to conclude from Stephanie Dandan via the Huffington Post on ‘the truth about travelers – why we travel’. We shall say no more, give it a read.

Holiday of the Month – Austin, TX

Very much an anomaly in Texas, the city of Austin is a liberal oasis amongst a traditionally conservative state. This has seen the city grow rapidly in the last 30 years and in turn become a popular destination for visitors from across the States and beyond. Known for it’s vibrant and alternative music scene, Austin is home to arguably the globes best festival for new music, SWSX – pronounced south by south west. This has helped put Austin on the map musically with tourists and visitors alike frequenting the bars along 6th St and Red River St in downtown Austin. However Austin has a lot more to offer than just music fans. Arts in general is prominent across the city, it is home to several alternative galleries and independent cinemas for instance.

Barton Springs provides an awesome natural escape minutes from the city. Fed by natural spring water, it’s a great spot to cool off from the often harsh Austin heat. It is also close by to the bohemian South Congress district home to countless independent stores, bars and the food trucks Austin is known for. Congress St is also home to one of the stranger attraction Austin has become infamous for, the largest urban bat colony in the US. During the summer months they can be seen flying from under the bridge at dusk in their thousands, a unique sight in such an urban location.

austin1Photo courtesy of Charles Henry.

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