Traditional Venice today can be a nightmare to navigate – especially during summer’s warm months, where tourists flock in their droves to take selfies in St Mark’s Square against the backdrop of gothic architecture that is the Basilica of San Marco and Doge’s Palace. However, there’s more to Venice than meets the eye, and here at Wowcher, we know exactly where you should head if you’re after a true (tourist-free) flavour of Venetian Italy…
Before you go exploring, first get your head around how Venice is divided. Think of it in the same way as you would think of New York, Paris and even London, which all have their structured street patterns – except Venice is a kind of archipelago, made up of lots of tiny islands that are divided by canals with hundreds of bridges (or dead ends). The one thing you won’t see in this city is a car! Read more
We do a lot of cruise deals here at Wowcher, so to gain an insight into these so-called floating hotels, we asked our expert Hannah for her tips on what to really expect on-board…
If your idea of cruising equals a fear of being trapped on a boat with your Gran and all her mates, think again. While the older generations love to sail the seas, there are also plenty of young people who have cottoned on to this value-for-money, 24-hour food and drink culture too. And why wouldn’t you?
Today, everyone’s after a bargain. Primark’s always rammed, you can never find a table in Maccy D’s and don’t get me started on the bartering found at car boot sales (you want my Abercrombie hoody for 10p? I don’t think so). So when you come across a holiday deal that says it’s only a few hundred pounds for a week’s accommodation, all your meals, activities (if you choose to take part), nightlife and lots of picture-perfect places to see in one go, you’re thinking where’s the catch, right?
Forget the horror stories, it’s time to dispel a few myths about cruises… Read more
Here at Wowcher, we’re all about thinking outside the box and nothing changes when it comes to our summer holidays. We like to maximise our beach breaks and city vacations by getting a real flavour of the area and exploring hidden gems as well as the major tourist attractions. Bustling Barcelona is one of Spain’s most culturally-rich hot spots for beach bathing, nightlife and history – but again, we strive to bring you the freshest and most exciting excursions… Read more
Image courtesy of Suzie Boswell
New York, New York… It barely needs an introduction, but now that Frank Sinatra is stuck in your head grinning and clicking in an inviting manner, he and those ‘little town blues’ can be hard to ignore. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best bites, sips and sights of The Big Apple ready for your next trip across the pond.
Food, Glorious Food
Some call it the city that never sleeps. But from personal experience, the city that eats and eats and eats is far more fitting. New York is a culinary playground for the hungry and is forever fusing cuisines, perhaps owing to its diverse demographics. Many gastro mishmashes have made their way to menus – bacon and maple syrup, fried chicken and waffles – you name the questionable combo, they’ve done it (and probably served it on a bed of pancakes with a blob of ice cream).
But New Yorkers aren’t limited to breakfast, lunch and dinner. No, the most important meal of the day is undeniably brunch. The best part about this jolly compromise between breakfast and lunch is that it’s completely acceptable to quaff cocktails like there’s no afternoon, evening or tomorrow, and many brunch joints (such as East Village café Sidewalk) will even serve unlimited refills. From Bellinis to Martinis, the cocktails scene starts flowing at 9am and ends at… well, never. So when you’re feasting on eggs benedict, remember it’d be rude not to invite Bloody Mary along. Read more
Through a tumbling criss-cross of never-ending souks, where slender cats swoop down from stalls, and there’s a roar, and a rattle, and a ring at every corner, you know that here, within the whirring madness, you’ve made it to Marrakech. But the question is, where to explore first?
Learn the lingo, and arm yourself with some nifty Arabic phrases – la shkran translates as no, thank you – that’ll be gold dust in a square filled with persistent sellers. Tempted by the funnel-shaped spices and medicinal Argan oil? Resist the urge, as goods in the square are not government controlled – and are often diluted. For a little extra, you can buy 100% naturally sourced Argan oil straight from the High Atlas Mountains.
Jemaa el-Fnaa, while infamous for its snake charmers and storytellers, is also home to dizzying orange juice stalls. I met a Slovenian tourist who stocked up on three a day for only 12 dirhams (12 MAD-£0.86p). For more fresh food, you can find cheap eateries littered about the bazaars: lively places where local couples and travellers come to chat over the steam of sugared mint tea. On the menu are traditional meat and veg dishes slow-cooked inside piping tagine pots, but you can get anything from a morning coffee to lentil soup here with ease.
You know that festival thing in Spain somewhere with the tomatoes? Well, we think it’s a festival, and we think it’s in Spain. Right? Come on, you’ve seen the pictures a hundred times. Well it actually looks like a hoot, and yes it is a festival. In fact, it might be the the most frantic, ridiculous, delicious and nutritious festival you’ll ever go to… Read more
The clear aquamarine waters, ancient fortifications and distinctive red-tiled roofs of the picturesque city of Dubrovnik
OK, so the first thing that many of us will associate with Croatia is 1989 Eurovision Song Contest-winning pop act Riva. Whilst achieving a total of 137 points in a Eurovision final is nothing to be sniffed at, trust us when we say there is far more to Croatia than the great keyboard-led melody of Riva’s hit Rock Me.
Sitting between Slovenia and Bosnia & Herzegovina on the stunning Dalmatian coast, Croatia is a place of outstanding natural beauty with vast swathes of practically untouched landscape and the thriving cultural hubs of Zagreb and Dubrovnik. As well as being the birthplace of Real Madrid central midfielder Luka Modrić, Croatia has so much to offer as a place of history, culture and stunning scenery. Here is Wowcher’s guide to one of Southeast Europe’s most intriguing destinations… Read more
Woolacombe Sands, North Devon
Whether heading abroad is out of your price range this summer or you simply want to experience the beauty of our own fair isle (and we don’t blame you!) we’ve got something for beach bods and party-goers. Here are our top coastline suggestions to give you inspiration for that spontaneous mini break…
A stone’s throw from Exmoor National Park, Ilfracombe’s coastline stretches for as far as the eye can see, encompassing the sights and sounds of Devon. Home to the ‘Tunnels Beaches’, these unique attractions were carved into the cliff face in the 1820s and still remain a favourite for children and adults to explore. No trip to the area would be complete without a visit to the nearby Woolacombe Sands, famous for its sand dunes, rock pools and marine life. Those who fancy a little more than bathing on the beach can depart on a boat trip to barely-populated Lundy Island, a unique area voted Britain’s tenth greatest natural wonder and renowned for its flora, fauna and serene jetty and harbour…
With its tall, grey stone buildings, hilltop castle and narrow cobbled streets, Edinburgh is truly a city with a sense of history. The striking old architecture, and the forward planning of the council to restrict the erection of bland modern buildings in the Old Town, means that Edinburgh can truly claim to be one of the most visually striking and beautiful cities in Europe.
The steep hills and dramatic gradient around the city mean that the roadmap of the town necessarily works on several criss-crossing levels, which can confuse the un-initiated traveller. For example, be prepared to enter a building at street level on George IV Bridge, walk down four flights of stairs and leave the building at street level again on Cowgate (this took me several attempts to get my head around). It’s quirks like this that lend the city part of its undeniable charm and make a stroll around the beautiful Old Town feel like walking in an MC Esher print. Read more
Some people don’t like camping because they say it’s too in-tents, but that’s not even remotely true. There are tonnes of ways you can enjoy the great outdoors this summer, and you don’t have to be Ray Mears or Bear Grylls to do it. Whether you want to go back to basics or you prefer a more glamorous experience, camping caters for all… Read more
Tags: adventure holiday
, campervan holiday
, camping holidays
, festival holiday
, Wow Go!