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The Most Magical Family Vacation Destinations in Europe

Traveling across the Atlantic may be the most magical experience you’ve ever had in years.  Not only is Europe the destination of choice for honeymooners or singles in search of a little romance, but it’s become the choice for wide-eyed, dropped jawed parents with kids.

Let’s look at just 5 exquisite destinations in Europe that will you’re your trip from mediocre to unforgettable.

1. Copenhagen, DenmarkCopenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is Denmark’s capital, as it’s filled with magical wonders and ‘under the sea’ adventures. The Blue Planet is the National Aquarium and the largest aquarium in Northern Europe. Instead of mindless wondering, your kids will experience an educational tour that stimulates their young scientific minds and will also have you captivated. Then there’s the National Museum, Rosenberg Castle, Tivoli Gardens and the iconic Little Mermaid bronze sculpture.

2. Amsterdam, NetherlandsAmsterdam, Netherlands

The first thought that runs through the minds of adults is ‘no-way’!  It may surprise you but Amsterdam is a quiet city to enjoy as a family.  It a good option to hop on a tram and head towards the Rijksmuseum.  This spectacular museum comprises of the largest collection of Dutch art.  Get off the road and onto the Canal Cruise for a different perspective of Amsterdam.  Observe the houseboats and narrow side-by-side homes that line the canal on all sides. Then there’s Rembrandtplein; Jordaan neighborhood and Dam Square.  The infamous Red Light District might not be a good idea after dark especially if you have kids with you.  However, the attractions of the previous sites would be enough to have your kids exhausted by nightfall.

3. Paris, FranceParis, France

Visit the famous Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Chateau de Versailles.  Luxembourg Gardens will provide your kids endless fun with boat rides and carousel rides.  All these mind-boggling sites will make you wish you were a kid again.  You can also take advantage of booking e-tickets or simply plan your program with the Welcome to Paris multilingual program available in the App Store and Google play.  Finally, Paris is known as the ‘City of Love’ so wind down your visit to this city with a glass of wine and a lot of romance.

4. Reykjavik, IcelandReykjavik, Iceland

Being the world’s northernmost capital, Reykjavik offers fascinating geographic wonders.  It’s a place to experience geothermal springs, dress up in Viking armor or even view some of the largest mammals on Earth close up.  This city is a dream for parents as Reykjavik is known to be safe, clean and family friendly.

5. London, EnglandLondon, England

Childhood memories are brought back to life in London, the birthplace of classics like Peter Pan, Paddington Bear, and Winnie-the-Pooh.  When you think you’ve gotten over the dizziness of your childhood memories, turn your attention to the London Eye (the iconic riverside observation wheel), Buckingham Palace (home of the British Queen), Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral.  The entertainment list in London is endless from Trafalgar Square to National Galleries and don’t forget the London Bridge Experience.

To wet your appetite, let me just leave you with the thought that your journey does not have to end here.  There is still Barcelona (Spain), Vienna (Austria), Rome (Italy), Berlin (Germany) and Lisbon (Portugal) that fall into the balance of the top 10 cities to visit in Europe.

The 10 Travel Destinations you Need To Put on Your Bucket List

It’s a great big, beautiful world out there, with so many choices of stunning travel destinations that it’s not easy deciding where to set your sights when seeking the adventure of a lifetime. Not everyone has the luxury of regular travel to glamorous destinations, so for those of us who aim to see at least one magical place before it’s too late, narrowing your options down to just one or two choices can be quite tough. If indecision is standing in the way of your dreams then let’s simplify the choice for you; we’ve handpicked 10 breathtaking destinations which you absolutely must see in your lifetime.

1. Touring Through the Alhambra in Granada, SpainAlhambra in Granada, Spain

The Alhambra is a palace in Granada which dates as far back as 889 AD. The Moors gave it a renovation in the 11th Century, making it a rich historical and cultural experience. This historical monument’s architecture is beautifully intricate and lavishly decorated, guaranteed to both fascinate and inspire.

2. Sledding or Snowboarding down an Active Volcano in NicaraguaVolcano Boarding

Are you a sledding or snowboarding enthusiast? Well, you haven’t lived until you have tried your hand at volcano boarding at Cerro Negro, an active volcano located just outside of León in Nicaragua. The volcano requires a 2388 foot hike up loose, penny-sized volcanic rock, which you then sled or snowboard downhill at a thrilling 30 mph!

3. Go Swimming In Iceland, in the Blue LagoonBlue Lagoon

In a lava field in Southwest Iceland found approximately an hour away from the capital Reyjavík is a geothermal 100°F spa known as the Blue Lagoon. The man-made lagoon appears blue when the sunlight hits it due to its rich silica content, and it also contains algae and mineral contents which are purported to have many healing properties. It is fed by geothermal seawater. 279

4. Releasing a Candle in Thailand during the Yi Peng FestivalYi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai

The Yi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand is a religious ceremony celebrated by the Thai people in which they release glowing lanterns into the sky and make a wish as they pay homage to the Buddha. A week later a second lantern release festival is hosted to give the foreigners a turn to participate, along with fireworks and colorful parades running through the city all through the weekend.

5. Diving with Crocodiles in Wild AfricaDiving with Crocodiles in Wild Africa

If you’re looking for a destination that offers you the chance to be really brave, then travel down to South Africa and meet one of the most terrifying ancient creatures on earth. Crocs have 4 times the bite pressure of the great white shark, getting up close and personal will be the most intense things you will ever experience. You can dive with Nile crocodiles in a bite-proof cage at the Cango Wildlife ranch in Oudtshoorn, South Africa.

6. Exploring the Wildlife of the Galápagos IslandsGalapagos Iceland

The Galápagos Islands are a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Island. Charles Darwin, the evolutionary theorist, spent many years in Ecuador studying the Islands’ vast number of species which are totally unique to the island. See creatures you won’t find anywhere else, like giant tortoises, tiny penguins, and blue-footed boobies.

7. Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia, TurkeyHot Air Ballooning

How better to enjoy Turkeys panoramic vistas, the charming hoodoos, and the balmy weather than in a hot-air balloon floating in the sky? In Cappadocia the sky is littered with them.

8. Wondering Through Japan’s Sagano Bamboo ForestSagano Bamboo Forest

Japan’s Sagano Bamboo Forest sits just outside of Kyoto. Take a walk through a magical world of the bamboo stalks towering abundantly and majestically above you, creaking spookily in the wind.

9. Swinging in Ecuador at the End Of The WorldSwinging in Ecuador

The ‘end of the world’ refers to La Casa del Arbol in Baños, Ecuador. Here you’ll find a tree house, which is actually a seismic monitoring station, with a non-acrophobes swing which hangs over the crater of an active stratovolcana called Mount Tungarahua.

10. Cruising through Vietnam’s Hạ Long BayCruising through Vietnam’s Hạ Long Bay

Picture a bay of emerald green waters dotted with towering limestone rainforest islands. The Gulf of Tonkin’s Hạ Long Bay features over 1600 generally uninhabited islets and islands, making it an ideal tourist destination for outdoor appreciators such as hikers, rock climbers, and scuba divers.

A land of ice, colors and mountains – Reykjavik, Iceland

Beauty at its best is an appropriate description of the landscape in Iceland. National Geographic often takes advantage of its magnificent scenery, producing phenomenal documentaries and incomparable photographs taken in Iceland.  Reykjavik, the capital city, is widely known for its unusually attractive cityscape. Mountain tops with exquisite coverings of white snow can be admired from all over the city, and their majestic presence makes every day a memorable one. Reykjavik holidays promise a relaxing vacation in a picturesque city where the sublime natural setting is unmatched anywhere in the world.

Icelanders love color and this is quite noticeable when one arrives – houses are painted in a wide variety of colors with many decorative styles and shapes.  It’s not rare to see rows of houses each with unusual colors, such as blue house fronts and yellow rooftops.  It is said that this lovely color-scheme reflects the true heart of the inhabitants of Iceland – known as vibrant and joyous people.

The thriving nightlife in Reykjavik is ever-present as bars fill up rapidly in the evening and weekend nights are continually animated. Many bars are situated in Laugavegur, an artery of downtown Reykjavik, and home to nationally famous bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

After an exciting night out on the town, what could be better than relaxing in the well-known geothermal spa, Blue Lagoon?  This much appreciated spa is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. The reason is easy to imagine – the thrilling experience of viewing gorgeous, ice-covered hills while being immerged in 37°c water!  The spa is located on the outskirts of town, with accessible bus transportation.

An important landmark building in Reykjavik is Perlan (the Pearl). Situated on the hill of Oskjuhlio it is a very original building. A large glass dome was built on top of five massive hot-water tanks. One of the tanks has been transformed into a museum called the Saga Museum, which presents traditional Icelandic sagas and lifestyles, both past and present.

The city of Akureyri makes an excellent stop for those wishing to visit nearby areas. This port and fishing center provides exceptional scenic sights while still having all the conveniences of a town.  Akureyri also has many traditional restaurants, which offer delicious Icelandic dishes.

Travelers often say it is only after they have landed at Keflavik Airport and have left the plane that they fully realize how truly lovely this part of the world is.  Flights to Reykjavik arrive quickly, being only 3 hours flying time from London and 6 hours from New York – an advantage especially appealing for people who dislike long plane trips.

Hotels in Reykjavik are generally on the expensive side. The Iceland Guesthouse Hotel does provide reasonable rates in a budget hotel located 15 minutes away from the center, with buses easily available. Prices start at 7 929 ISK ($68). The Grand Hotel Reykjavik offers an ideal stay in first-class accommodations close to the center, with quiet and comfortable rooms. Rates here begin at 27 399 ISK ($238).

Travelers sometimes seek to discover destinations that go beyond the regular sightseeing tours found in most cities. Reykjavik and Iceland tours can unquestionably answer their quest, which may start by taking a very deep breath of fresh, clean air – the pure kind that is still available in Iceland.

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