Article by Justine Richards
Fairy tales and castles are the basis of many a childhood fantasy. Re-create those fantasies and discover the enchanted world of royalty and fine living at one of the many luxury castle destinations available throughout Europe.
Today royal families are few and far between, but there remains a romantic lore and mystique surrounding the lifestyle of kings and queens, lords and ladies who lived hundreds of years ago, and rightfully so. These wealthy and prominent individuals vied with each other for power and prestige and built lavish homes to showcase their wealth. Since most royal descendents cannot afford to maintain a castle as their private home, adventuresome travelers who are looking for the best in luxury travel can experience the romance of the days of yore by planning a luxury vacation getaway at a castle that has been restored to 5-star expectations and beyond.
And true castles these are, huge rambling buildings adorned with gargoyles, towers, turrets and steeply sloped roofs. The old castles, built in the centuries before electric lighting, feature expansive windows that give unparalleled views of carefully manicured lawns and ornate gardens fit for a modern king and queen. For those who are seeking a vacation that provides royal treatment, what better place to find such luxury than at an authentic castle retreat?
The ultimate in romantic travel, luxury castle vacation venues are available throughout Europe. The best feature the latest in modern amenities such as on-site spas while offering traditional royal amusements like horseback riding and custom hunting and fishing excursions. Typically, on-site dining is of gourmet quality served in elegant surroundings of the ancient formal dining room. Travelers who vacation at these luxurious imperial residences should understand that they are also contributing to the preservation of these magnificent historic treasures for future generations.
Castle hotels in Ireland offer world-class accommodations and five-star service. These castles, surrounded by hundreds of acres of private grounds, are ideal for those who are seeking a quiet luxury vacation. Spend time in the formal gardens or wander the private grounds for peace and solitude. Irish castle vacations have particular appeal for golf enthusiasts. Top rated golf courses abound in Ireland plus some castle resorts offer a private golf course as well.
For those who desire the ultimate in privacy, smaller Scottish castles may provide the perfect luxury vacation experience. Nestled in scenic locations, fully restored estates dating back to the 1500â€™s that have been renovated to five-star standards are available for rent by the week or the month. Although smaller than the castle hotels, these estates boast a dedicated full-time staff to cater to the guestâ€™s every need and provide a perfect hideaway in a historically romantic setting.
Germany is the ideal location for travelers looking for a romantic locale. The famed Romantic Road that winds its way through southern Germany from Wurzburg to Fussen through historic architectural districts is one of the worldâ€™s most popular tourist routes, especially in summer. Instead of joining the throngs of tourists on the Romantic Road, experience romantic German castles firsthand on the German Castles Road, which extends from Mannheim on the Rhine River to Neckarzimmern in the Neckar River Valley. Here luxury-minded travelers can choose from dozens of elegant five-star castle hotels.
Southern Germany is, of course, famous for mountain views. There are elegant castle hotels nestled in picturesque Alpine locations that will take a visitorâ€™s breath away each and every day. For those who are wine enthusiasts, look for a castle hotel in the Rhine River wine country.
No matter the setting, expect the best in discriminating personal service and the finest gourmet dining fit for royalty at these luxury German establishments. Experience the feeling of history that is embodied in the surrounding castle walls that is available nowhere else in the world. Whether you are seeking a quiet retreat or a bustling continental hotel environment, there is a luxury German castle hotel to meet your needs.
â€œA manâ€™s home is his castleâ€ is a phrase thatâ€™s been around for a long time. When you are ready to leave your castle for a vacation at a European royal castle, the best advice is to consult a travel company that specializes in luxury travel to help you find the exact location that meets all of your needs and desires.
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10 Important Tips for European Interrailing
Hello there travel addicts,it’s that time of the year when we book our holidays,save, steal and borrow and look for the best trip available for our money. Well look no further than an interrailing trip. Perhaps the cheapest, and most exciting way to see some highlights of what Europe has to offer in a short period of time. It’s the only trip were you can go asleep on a train in scorching Rome and wake up in a train station in freezing Switzerland the next morning in a pair of shorts and sunburnt. With sightseeing and hangover rituals to do in every city, and drunken debauchery to be sought in every bar at night there is something for any youth looking for a memory that counts.
So you have bought your ticket, you’ve packed your bags, you’ve told your loved ones not to ring (because you’ll be too plastered to find the buttons and then even if you do god knows how much the damn thing is going to cost you), so know what else do you need?. What else do you have to know about the trip you’re going to take?. Well technically it is funnier for me just to let you try and work out the tips I’m going to grace you with on your own, but because I’m a nice guy i’ll give you my top ten tips after doing it twice that any youth should know that may make your trip just that little bit cheaper, and that little bit more memorable. Lets get started.
Tip #1—The Less you Bring, the less you carry
It may seem like a stupid tip to start with but believe me when you consider the fact you are going for a month and that a heavy bag can get tediously annoying, the tip starts to make sense. Don’t pack as if you are going for a month. Pack clothes that you think would get you through the week and then simply wash them on your journey. This may seem to some who get tired even at the mention of housework as a pain in the ass but it ain’t that bad. The trick is to book into a hostel with a laundry machine service when you think you are running low on clothes. The first time I went myself and three mates did our washing and sat in the room drinking Vodka until they were dry. Cheaper than paying for a laundromatte in the city. Able to drink while washing. Less straining on the shoulders.
Tip #2— Get Travel Insurance
You may think that this is a needless waste of money but from first hand experience it can save you a fortune in cities you aren’t too sure of. My first time going one of our lads fell off a nine foot rail and ended up in a hospital in Prague with a head injury and short term amnesia. He had a forty-six second memory not a word of a lie for two days. Luckily he had his insurance at the hostel and we weren’t stuck paying. It ain’t worth the risk, and means you can drink and enjoy without worrying. Oh and for those curious readers, yes he did recover in the three days, and yes he was doing a pub crawl drinking in Rome the night after he got out.My hero.
Tip #3— Free internet in Libraries
The most used tool for interrailers without a doubt is the internet. Each time you want to check your email, book accomodation for that night or the next city, or even check train times for tomorrow morning you will find yourself needing an internet connection. Needless to say it could get expensive if you have to do it in each city. My tip would be to ask at your hostel if there are any public libraries nearby with free internet access. For instance when I was staying in amsterdam on a boat there was a library with free access right next door to us that meant we didn’t have to pay a thing.
Tip #4—Get night-trains
Awh the night-trains. If you get sick of daytime travelling on the trains you should give the nighttrains a go. There are a few plus factors to this method of travelling. The first being that it saves you paying a night’s accomodation, saves the money you would have spend in the pub for the next night, and it means you will be in your next city at the start of the next day meaning you get a whole day in the city. My suggestion though is to pay the little extra to get a bed for the night, maybe 20euro, it means you get a sleep and ain’t sitting in an chair for like fifteen hours. Myself and one mate got a bed, the three other guys didn’t the first time we did it. The made sure they got one the next time as a result.
Tip#5—Bring a Credit Card
May seem like a needless tip but believe me if you can’t find a hostel you want it is sometimes easier, and the same price to book into a cheap hotel. Only trouble is that without a credit card you cannot place a booking. Better to bring one just in case, most websites like my favorite www.booking.com only use it for booking purposes, and don’t charge to it.
Tip#6—Do Pub Crawls
No exaggeration, pub crawls were the best thing about interrailing for me. Because you are going to so many different cities, and most cities have them you will find yourself doing different amazing pub crawls every night. The plus factors of pub crawls are many. Firstly if you are in a country were there may be a language barrier then pub crawls will provide certain aspects to help. It will give you as guide that can direct you to the hotspots,get you into the national bars you couldn’t, get you in without queueing, and provide an amazing night in English. The group is always mixed and you can find yourself chatting to people from all over the world so is an incredible laugh. Most will have drink promotions, free shots, and even party games along the way. The cities with the best ones I have found are Berlin, Rome, and Prague. Pay as little as ten euro and have the wildest night of your life.
Tip#7—Don’t change currency in train stations
Unless you have an emergency like needed the currency to take a leak in the station pay toilets and need currency fast, do not change your currency in the stations. I have never been in a train station that offers the lowest currency conversion. Just go out and into the city and you will find that you will stumble across a currency convertor with much better rates.
Tip#8—Check Sights out before going
Although the nights may give the best memories, (if you don’t drink too much to forget them all), you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to explore some of what the city has to offer. Some sights in cities like museums and galleries have special days when at certain times entrance is free to all. If you check beforehand you may save yourself some cash.
Tip#9— Take note of where you are staying
As silly as it may sound it is so easy to get drunk in strange cities at night and end up halfway around the city away from your hostel. Although sometimes taxis are cheap in some cities, there is no point in getting one drunk if you ain’t got any where to send them. The simplest thing to do is take a card from the front desk of your hotel or hostel so you can just hand it to the taxi driver. Be aware though some taxi drivers in cities will try to take you the long route. The way I stopped this is to agree a price roughly before hand. If worse comes to worse just pretend you only have a certain amount. Usually taxis will be happy to get business and will just take you for that price, saving you the rest for tomorrow.
Tip#10— Don’t be afraid to chat to the randomers
Interrailing is all about the random people you meet along the way. You will find yourself chatting to people from all over the world. If you start your night in drinking in your hostel bar you are sure to find some interesting characters who would jump at the chance to join you on your night’s journey. First night I was in Prague we took a strange guy outside our last bar who looked locked and lost back to our hostel with us and threw him into the spare bed that we hadn’t paid for. Funny guy, didn’t even say thanks next morning just shouted ‘Oh shit, it’s waffles for breakfast today i got to run’ and left the room to us laughing. Remember strangers are people you just haven’t had a drink with yet!.
So there you have it travellers. Some tips that may save you a little,or make you trip a bit easier. And hell even if it didn’t I hope you are glad you read it. Who knows I may end up reading your tips in the future. Happy Trails.