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Riomaggiore SP, Italy
Hiking the Cinque Terre is an extraordinary way to explore the Ligurian Coast. Five villages connected only by hiking trail and rail with breathtaking coastal views and colorfully quaint villages. The trails can be challenging at times and it is...
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Plaza de San Miguel, 1, 28005 Madrid, Spain
The Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid is one of the best places to go for a little of everything local, or tapas-style shopping. They are always busy. Whether you are looking for ham or oysters, fresh fruits or desserts, coffee or wine, they have it...
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R. das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto, Portugal
A blend of neo-Gothic and art nouveau, the enchanting Livraria Lello bookshop dates to 1906 and is rumored to have inspired J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts in Harry Potter
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Provença, 261-265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
The mysterious rooftop of Casa Mila both charms and haunts visitors. The glorious October sky above frames the organic forms, each sculpted face watching as I creep up and down the rolling ramps. Children can't resist playing here, and fortunately...
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A new friend I had just met told me that I simply must have afternoon tea in the top-floor restaurant at the National Portrait Gallery, and to sit by the window! I had have scones and jam before, nothing special about that... but these scones—...
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19018 Vernazza, SP, Italy
If you find yourself on the Mediterranean Sea or in Italy then be sure you make your way to Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre, or "The Five Lands" (in Italian), is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and...
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Calle de Alcalá, 42, 28014 Madrid, Spain
When in Madrid, I highly recommend to visit Circulo de Bellas Artes. The views from the rooftop of the Fine Arts Circle is breath taking. Buy a ticket at the reception, speed up to the roof and stand by the feet of Goddess Minerva. Highly...
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Via Borgognona, 11, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
I often take out-of-town guests here for lunch because it feels—and is—so authentic. Whenever I go in, I have ‘my’ table, as do all the other Roman regulars. One of the restaurant’s specialties is the Francovich soup, which is a delicious Tuscan...
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Greece
Thanks to doing research on AFAR.com, I learned that one could sea kayak around the island of Milos. I signed up with Rod from Sea Kayak Milos and had a fantastic time. My fellow kayakers and I paddled through bright blue water, in and out of...
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Via Marina Piccola, 118, 80076 Capri NA, Italy
When going to Italy there are so many beautiful and breathtaking things that have such historical relevance and striking beauty. Venezia, Firenze, and Roma all have very powerful histories from the rule of Venetians to the birth of the Renaissance...
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Plaka, Athens 105 58, Greece
We picked up some gyros to-go during our stroll through the historic Plaka neighborhood below the Acropolis. Thespidos street was particularly memorable for the cafe we stopped at and discovering Brettos bar, which we decided to come back to enjoy...
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1 Dolfor House Capel Deunant Road, Aberdaron, Pwllheli LL53 8BP, UK
The new 870-mile Wales Coast Path knits coastal wilds with the northern highlands and the eastern hill country that borders England. Here are three standout sections: The 30-mile Llyn Peninsula in northwest Wales (above) drew streams of pilgrims...
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Albaicín, Granada, Spain
No trip to Granada is complete without wandering the narrow streets of the Albaicin neighborhood. The courtyards, baths, parks, churches and views of the Alhambra are a collective and colorful open air museum of patterns. This part of town feels...
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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The cathedral, usually called the Duomo, is Florence’s most recognizable building. You are able to catch glimpses of its magnificent red-tiled cupola from just about anywhere in the city center. Construction on the church...
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2520 Peniche, Portugal
Hire a boat out of Peniche, Portugal, when available, and travel six miles offshore to the pristine Berlenga Islands. Then hike, kayak, snorkel, and swim the day away. Pack a picnic lunch and feast on the beach. The perfect day in paradise.
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Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG, UK
Checking out the famously preserved mummies at the world’s oldest public museum is on many London wish lists, but there’s much more to the British Museum than ancient Egypt. Other must-sees include the Elgin Marbles and the African...
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Athens 105 58, Greece

You can’t miss the Parthenon, the majestic ruin towering above Athens. Originally painted in vivid hues, this feat of architecture, engineering, and artistry is still as awe-inspiring as it was almost 2,500 years ago. Le Corbusier, pioneer...

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Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 3-5, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Palau Güell is an early Gaudí masterpiece, designed for his longtime benefactor, Eusebi Güell. The mansion, one of Gaudí's first big projects, was recently restored and re-opened to the public. The centerpiece of the building is the amazing...
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Calle Mañueta, 8, 31001 Pamplona, Navarra, Spain
The churros here supposedly get their crispy exterior from being cooked over an ax-cut beech-wood fire. You can sample the results when the 140-year-old shop is open: only two Saturdays in June, every day during the San Fermín festival in July,...
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Oia 847 02, Greece
This little private church is probably the most photographed stop in Oia. Our rented house was right next to it but lower on the steps so we could see lots of people getting lots of photos. Married couples would take their photos next to it,...
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Praça do Império 1400-206 Lisboa, 1400-206 Lisboa, Portugal
The churches in Portugal are uniquely beautiful in a way that is is ornate but not flashy or gilded. The Manueline style of architecture used to build the St. Jeronimos Monastery was a transitional style that combined Renaissance and Gothic...
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Delphi 330 54, Greece
The belly button of the world lies eighty miles northwest of Athens, where the southern slope of Mount Parnassus, cut deeply by cascades feeding the River Pleistos, drops precipitously into the Gulf of Corinth. High above the ravine in a cleft...
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159 Avenue du Pylône, 06600 Antibes, France
Undoubtedly one of the most popular vacation spots in France, Nice attracts people from all over the world, and although the beaches tend to get especially crowded during the summer, the scenery is absolutely gorgeous anytime of the year. What I...
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Newgrange, Donore, Co. Meath, Ireland
Older than both Stonehenge and the pyramids of Egypt, the monument at Newgrange was built around 3,200 B.C.E. Its use is a mystery, although it was most likely a place of worship, and there are legends that it was used as a burial chamber. The...
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Regent St, Carnaby, London W1B 5AH, UK
It’s no coincidence that walking around Liberty feels as if you’re exploring someone’s grand home; the department store’s founder, Arthur Lasenby Liberty, wanted to create that very feel, and so in 1875 settled on a...
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17 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 Paris, France
Serendipitous light on a September afternoon--a rainbow arcing over the Eiffel Tower and ending at the gold dome of L'Église des Invalides in central Paris. (Under that dome, emperor worship continues--Napoléon I lies buried in a...
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Carrer de la Marina, 253, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
The art nouveau buildings of Antoni Gaudí, the 19th-century architect whose works are some of Barcelona’s most iconic sights, can be seen throughout Catalonia, but Barcelona has the best examples of his genius at work. Former...
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Piazza San Marco, 1, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
This pink-marble waterfront edifice in Piazza San Marco dates back to the 14th century, when it was the residence and seat of government for the doges (rulers) of Venice. Today the ornate Byzantine- and Moorish-influenced Gothic Palazzo Ducale is...
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Siggiewi, Malta
After braving the Blue Lagoon crowds, Ghar Lapsi is the ideal spot for swimming in Malta's pristine waters. A tiny inlet and small fishing village, this is the place to experience Maltese summer like a local. The calm waters and rocky shore are a...
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16B Electric Ave, Brixton, London SW9 8JX, UK
In South London, just off the Victoria line, there's a one-stop-shop for all your boozing and dining desires. But unlike Borough, this isn't a market from which you walk, wait in line, and then eat while standing and walking and waiting some more....
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Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada, Spain
A visit to Granada, Spain isn't complete without a stop at the Alhambra. The Moorish architecture, robust gardens, and stunning views of Granada combine to make a truly memorable experience. Start your day with a tour of the Generalife Gardens....
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Plaza de España, 28008 Madrid, Spain
If you visit Madrid, don't miss the famous Don Quixote and Sancho statues, located close to the Metro stop in Plaza de Espana. They are situated right in front of a fountain and early in the morning the water mirrors the statue—making it feel...
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Córdoba, Spain
The cathedral in Cordova is so much more than a monument to history or a place of worship for Christians. It's a fusion of Islamic and Christian culture. When building the cathedral, the builders kept parts of a mosque, leaving behind a...
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River Tiber, Italy
Rome is one of my favorite cities and I never tire of the architecture and the beauty.
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Bairro Alto, 1200-079 Lisbon, Portugal
If you want to get a good impression of the historical city of Lisbon, and also see how small the city is, a must do attraction in Lisbon is to take the #28 tram, ‘elétrico 28′. This legendary tram 28 is a tourist attraction in itself. It goes all...
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R. de Belém 84-92, 1300-085 Lisboa, Portugal
If you're visiting Lisbon, chances are you'll make your way to nearby Belem to see some age of Discoveries sites like the Tower of Belem or Monastery of Jerónimos. But here's something you must do while you're in the district. Eat pastry. This is...
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87-135 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL, UK
A trip to London isn't complete without a visit to Harrods, the world-famous department store. What I find most fascinating though is the building itself and its interior design. Spend a little time looking beyond the items on sale and check out...
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Navarino Dunes, Messinia, Costa Navarino 240 01, Greece
The 40,000-square-foot Anazoe Spa, shared between the Romanos and the Westin hotels in the Costa Navarino resort, created its oil-based remedies from the prescriptions archaeologists discovered inscribed in clay in the nearby ruins of Nestor’s...
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Herrngasse 20, 91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
People always ask about seeing quaint towns in Germany, but don't want touristy places. I always respond by saying the best and most lovely towns are always frequented by lots of tourists and you will surely miss some grand opportunities for...
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Eleven centuries into its existence, the elegant and sophisticated Alcázar is testament to the idea that good design transcends time. The palace, still the residence of the royal family when in Seville, invites wandering. You'll find...
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Athens 105 58, Greece
Acropolis is one of the world's most famous landmarks and Greece's center of history and culture. The Parthenon is the largest structure of the Acropolis and is admired by the entire world. The temple was complete in 438 BC and was dedicated to...
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Watching flamenco artist Olga Pericet dance at Corral de la Morería in Madrid was an experience of extraordinary intensity. She was a rhapsody of exuberant motion; a piece of poetry that seemed to silence the room with the force of its emotion....
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
I had been skeptical of the Venetian gondola ride, thinking it too touristy and overpriced. Last summer, however, I discovered what is so special about this Venetian tradition. A gondola ride provides a unique view of Venice from the quiet...
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9880 Almas, Portugal
Stay in one of the historic properties that have been converted into bed-and-breakfasts on the islands. Options include Moinho de Pedra (shown), a stone windmill on Graciosa Island, and Pico do Refúgio, a 400-year-old mansion in the shadow of...
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Balkans
To the southwest coast of Crete lies one of the most magical beaches. "Elafonisi" is one of the exotic beaches of Crete, located about 8 km from Chania, is characterized by dunes of white sand, crystal clear shallow waters, the tranquility and the...
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4 Rue de la Herse, 68000 Colmar, France
An incredible French restaurant called Les Bateliers lies over the water just near the Rue Turenne Bridge in Colmar, France, providing a one of a kind view of the colorful historical architecture. If you had to choose one place to eat in Colmar,...
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Calle de Bailén, 10, 28013 Madrid, Spain
After paying your patriotic fee of 10 Euro to enter the Royal Palace, you will notice the Almudena Cathedral beyond the courtyards gates. While I was too late in the day to be graced with the inner divinities of this structure I did in fact, get...
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2300 Tomar, Portugal
Tomar Portugal is an amazing place to visit. Within this small town is a beautiful castle built by the Knights Templar, a jewish quarter with the oldest synagogue in Portugal (museum as well) and one of the funkiest museums ever visited- the...
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Costa S. Giorgio, 2, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The Bardini Garden is one of Florence's best kept secrets. It was built in the 12th century as part of a large estate owned by the Mozzi family. During the 20th century it was closed for many years and only reopened in 2005 after significant...
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19016 Monterosso al Mare, SP, Italy
We spent the day exploring the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre. Since there are no cars in any of the villages, choose to travel by train, ferry or foot to connect you from one village to the next. We opted to hike in and ferry out to take...
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Urgull, 20003 San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, Spain
August, 2010. 9:30pm I was taken with how the setting sun shocked a small cluster of buildings as the mountains behind brushed up against a cloudy roof. Looking across the bay where we tried to locate the spot where we had been sunbathing until...
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Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
Rome is one of the greatest cities in the world to just get lost in and see what is around the next corner. Took this picture and uploaded in instagram. Beauty. Love.
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Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Foodies (and those simply interested in local color and a good meal) should head to San Lorenzo and its covered Mercato Centrale. Florence’s main market for edibles is housed in a 19th-century glass-and-iron building. On the...
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Rua Santa Catarina 112, 4000-442 Porto, Portugal
The Rua Santa Caterina is the most important shopping street in Oporto. It is a pedestrian street which is closed to traffic. Along the Rua Caterina you will find the Mercado Bolhao which is a lively market with many shops to delight the market...
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Strand, London WC2R 1LA, UK
Located less than a ten-minute walk from Covent Garden, Somerset House still manages to be off the beaten track. The site has tremendous historical significance, having served as a residence for Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth I), and...
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Evora, Portugal
Evora is a World Heritage town south of Lisbon in the area of the country called Alentejo. It takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to get there and if you go in the summer you will be sure to experience high temperatures. The food in Alentejo is...
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Taking one of the boat trips from Milos' main port town Adamas out to Kleftiko is a must do when visiting the island. Though rough seas could make the boat ride less than ideal, the clarity and beauty of the water and the uniqueness of the rock...
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28028 Madrid, Spain
A trip to Las Ventas is a must in Madrid. Tickets are available for those who wish to attend un corrido and tours are available for others who don't care for the bullfight. If you decide to watch this Spanish tradition in action, buy a seat and...
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7-9, Calle Lope de Rueda, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
These are the views of the impressive Seville cathedral (the third largest in the world) from the rooftop terrace of one of the best private penthouses in the city (available for rent). The place is magical, especially at night. And yes, it's one...
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Terreiro da Sé, 4050-573 Porto, Portugal
Porto, the captivating capital of northern Portugal. It's got a beautiful river and boats. I'd highly recommend taking a boat bridge tour, the views from the river are tremendous. The bodegas are cool (literally) and nothing beats sipping port on...
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Rambla de Mar, Spain
On the last day we had in Barcelona, we finally made it down to the Rambla de Mar and I got my first glimpse of the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the many boats throughout the area.
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Calle Cardenal Herrero, 1, 14003 Córdoba, Spain
The landmark cathedral in Cordoba, Spain is the Mosque of Córdoba. You might be amazed by the bell tower, the stone path, and the orange trees. However, the moment you stepped into the prayer hall, it will take your breath away.
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Lambeth, London SE1 7PB, UK
London is an incredibly crowded city and when it comes to tourist attractions, it may seem difficult to snag a good view of Big Ben and Parliament. Rise above the crowds and grab a slow and quiet ride on the London Eye, London's famous Ferris...
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Puerta del Cambrón, 45002 Toledo, Spain
Toledo, once the glowing capital of Spain, is today mostly a tourist attraction within the walls of the fort-city. But inside those walls are museums, cathedrals and churches, an ancient synagogue—now a museum documenting the Sephardic Jews, the...
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Agios Panteleimonas site, Kranidi 213 00, Greece
Situated on a seaside promontory, Amanzo’e opens for its first full season in March. The spa draws upon Hippocrates’s holistic health formula of exercise, massage, and bathing in the sea. From $1,423. 30/275-477-2888. This appeared in the...
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Crijevićeva ul. 9, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Climb the grand baroque staircase and pass the Jesuit church, cross Gundulić Square, and follow the COLD DRINKS WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VIEW signs. Then, yes, walk through the walls. Buža translates to “a hole-in-the-wall,” and a...