The World First Wander – Europe’s hottest travel destinations
Welcome to another World First Wander, our weekly look at what’s hot in the world of travel blogging and writing. As always it’s compiled by Tristan Rothwell, the man who scours the internet for the very best travel related stuff so you don’t have to.
Travel bloggers. You’ve got to love them. Remember when we recently mentioned how many of the bloggers we follow have been talking about Iceland? This week a study confirmed it is officially surging in popularity, with a 30% growth in visitors in the last 12 months. To the list of so-hot-right-now destinations you can swiftly add - deep breath - Romania, Slovakia, Montenegro, Ireland, Croatia, Portugal and Greece. So this week, armed with our European travel insurance, that’s where we’re heading: Europe’s travel hotspots.
It’s a geological marvel. And it’s home to some of Mother Nature’s most visceral scenery. How could you not be intrigued by Iceland? Our first blog post this week is from the Fuji film blog, dedicated to all things photographic. Prime your jaw to hit the floor as you take in part 1 and part 2.
Okay, that’s the snaps taken care of. Now you need to know how to discover the secrets of this enchanting island. First up is California girl Kiersten, who knows how to make the most of an Iceland stopover. Staying a little longer? Then you need two things: some wheels and Escape Brooklyn’s advice for a roadtrip in Iceland.
If you’d rather not forego the finer things, you’re in good hands with Matt Long from Landlopers. You may not associate Iceland with luxury, but it’s time to put that myth to bed once and for all: Enjoying a luxury Iceland getaway in three steps.
It’s home to the largest collection of Brown Bears in Europe. But that isn’t stopping people flocking to Romania, which is enjoying 17% growth as a tourist destination. Most travellers head for the capital. But before you do the same, make sure you’re aware of the common misconceptions about Bucharest. Then whet your appetite with Nomadic Matt’s Romania travel tips and TripAdvisor's Romania travel forum.
Chances are you will leave Romania with a heavy heart (albeit one that’s less jumpy about the chances of coming nose to snout with you know what). Yet there is no finer way to leave Romania than jumping on a cross-country train bound for another magical city. But hey, don’t take our word for it: Everything you need to know about travelling by train from Bucharest to Sofia
With 16% growth in visitors, Slovakia is another bona fide European hotspot. And that’s where we head next with Touch The World Travel and their guide to Bratislava in Slovakia. What to see, where to see it and - more importantly - where to eat. It’s all there. For pudding? A few generous dollops of Bratislava travel tips from Nina Travels. Delish.
The Visit Bratislava website is another one-stop-shop for what to do in the Slovakian Capital, packed with everything you will ever need to know, from why you should visit to the gastronomic delights available.
Black Mountain. Montenegro. Call it what you will. Just know that it’s seriously in vogue right now, seeing a 15.5% increase in tourism on last year. Our first stop here is with My Well Travelled Friend, who travelled to Montenegro with son Oscar and has wrought the English language into this: Montenegro with kids – what to do and where to go.
As you might expect given the name, Montenegro is home to stunning mountain scenery. Fetch your crampons and join the Travel Tramp in Durmitor National Park. Stunning photography awaits in Durmitor: The mighty mountains of Montenegro. And if that’s enough to get you booking your flights, bone up on the need-to-knows with The traveller’s guide: Montenegro from The Independent and Montenegro.travel.
The best of the rest of Europe
To help us cover the rest of Europe we start off with The Roaming Renegades. “Question normality” is their travel mantra. And who are we to argue? We start off a whistle-stop tour gazing at some of Europe’s most stirring, beautiful buildings: Churches of Eastern Europe: A photo essay.
Rock & Stroll – Some walking holiday ideas
Sometimes you can’t beat a good stroll. But if your love of exploring the world on two feet is more than fleeting fondness, you will find plenty of inspiration for your next stomp from Global Help Swap: Rock & Stroll: great European walking holidays.
A City of Romance
You know about Paris. And Venice is just a cliché. Nope, when it comes to romance, spontaneity is the order of the day. You might think that Heidelberg in Germany is a bit of a curveball when it comes to a backdrop for romance, but that’s only because you haven’t read this from Heather On Her Travels: Heidelberg – Germany’s city of romance.
Are you a Game of Thrones fan?
Spurred by the stunning scenery in Game of Thrones, Croatia has become a must-visit for any self-respecting telly addict. But why waste your time searching hither and yon for those dramatic GoT backdrops when the legwork has already been done for you? All you need to do is follow in the footsteps of StoryPick: See the real shooting locations of Game of Thrones.
But of course there’s much more to Croatia than pretty scenery. Feast your eyes on the people, the places and the mouth-watering plates of food with travel photographer Travel Experience Live: 32 Croatia photos that will make you want to visit this gem of a country. Which way to the airport?
Got a travel blog? Tell us about it so we can feature you! Just leave a comment below.