5 Amazing Spots for Rural Tourism in Europe

Do you ever feel as though you could use an escapade? A chance to get away from your busy routine… and spend time in a relaxed environment? Then rural tourism is an option you should consider. You can easily find vacation houses for rental in quiet villages where time stands still.

And it can be rather inexpensive, comparatively to conventional urban tourism. If you don’t know quite where to get started, this article highlights five of the coziest spots for rural tourism in Europe.

1 – Campo do Geres, Portugal: You might have heard of the Portuguese natural reserve called the Geres, and there’s good reason why. With luxurious vegetation, unique wildlife and pristine water fountains, it’s one of the best natural spots in the country to get in touch with nature. Campo do Geres is one of the least touristic villages in the area, and it’s where you should go if you’re serious about staying away from the crowd.

2 – Orgiva, Spain: If you’re looking to spend some time in a pretty house nestled in idyllic settings which aren’t entirely reclusive or detached from civilization, Orgiva may be the thing for you. This charming municipality is located in a depression between two mountain ranges (Sierra Nevada and Sierra de Lujar), and it’s usually regarded as a gateway for travelers looking to spend some time exploring those high grounds.

3 – Midi-Pyrénées, France: Roughly translated as the “middle of the Pyrenees”, this area provides a good showcase of all the charms available from rural tourism. You can find inexpensive holiday houses with breathtaking mountain views, or you can look for accommodation in picturesque villages next to the region’s main walking trails. One thing is for sure, you’ll find it hard not to fall in love with this mythic mountain range.

4 – Tuscany, Italy:
Not only is this widely known as one of the most exquisite and beautiful natural regions of Italy, but its strategic location also lends quite well to rural tourism. By looking for farmhouse accommodation or cottage in this area, you will be immersed upon extensive vineyards and olive groves, and at half-hour’s drive from urban hubs such as Florence, Siena and Pienza.

5 – Smolyan, Bulgary: For anyone who’s determined to walk away from the touristic hubs, this is probably one of the most beautiful and romantic options. Bulgaria is not one of the most popular destinations for rural tourism, but it’s certainly one of the prettiest and most untamed. You can easily rent a house in Bulgarian villages where it feels as though the XXI never came by. If that’s something you find intriguing, you should look into this secluded European country.

Do some of these locations sound intriguing to you? Rural tourism is a great opportunity to explore natural settings across different countries, and besides relaxing it can be very inexpensive, since it’s all about looking for the road less traveled.

This guest post was written by Nextor, a group of travel specialists who focus on UK holiday destinations and beyond. Come visit our website, when planning ahead your vacations!

Theme Parks in Italy

Holidays always mean fun and entertainment, especially for children.

It is not uncommon, therefore, for families to look for more and more places to enjoy a few moments of joy, especially involving children.

According to that, it is becoming common in Italy and Europe to find an incredible number of theme parks and wildlife parks.

Theme parks are defined as those proposing just a “theme”, a sort of common thread that often combines various attractions, incredible adventures and continuous entertainment.

Among theme parks we can find all water parks, well known and always crowded during the summer season; the wildlife parks, with attention to nature.

Image by Gardaland
In Italy the best known are Gardaland and Mirabilandia, while in Europe stand Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios, both in Paris.
Among the most curious and unusual parks to visit here’s some suggestions:

  • A world of sports is the motto of “Totem Adventure” in Valle d’Aosta, a playground for rafting fans, including children, as well as kayaking, paragliding, mountain biking, canyoning and hydro speed.
  • Anthares World“, in Candia (To) is one of the most popular adventure parks, which offers summer camps, outdoor pool, acrobatic paths and tools for children aged 5 and over, with expert instructors in a beautiful oasis.
  • Safari Animal Park and Zoo are waiting for you in Bussolengo (VR) at “Parco Natura Viva“, an unmissable opportunity to see up close animals of various species in a natural habitat created especially for them.
  • In Malè (Trentino), the “Flying Park” is a fantastic open-air adventure, which features incredible locations, including lianas, bridges, footpaths and impossible adventure experiences for young and old.
  • In Voghera, the myth of Western is proposed to everybody! At the “Cowboy’s Guest Ranch“, there are attractions for everyone. The Cowboyland is a paradise for children and young indian cowboy who want to enjoy an adventurous time, in a large picnic area, between the animals and play freely. Do you Want to learn to ride like a real cowboy? Here you can!

Chianti area: Peccioli

PeccioliPeccioli is a small town located in the countryside in Tuscany. It is close to many other villages and so it offers opportunities for small and relaxing trips or for more art aimed tour in Florence, San Gimignano or Pisa. It is perched on a hill and it maintains the old medieval structure. Watching at Peccioli from far away it is possible to detect the old bell tower of Bellincioni that dominates all the other buildings of the town. Narrow alleys, little squares and old buildings are the image of this town containing several monuments and valuable art works.

While walking throw the narrow streets visitors can admire several churches. The Church of San Verano and the church of Madonna del Carmine. Both are very old. The first one is much older and was build around the year 1100. It houses several paintings and a valuable crucifix. The second church was completed around the year 1650 and it is famous for it structure consisting a three sides porch around it.

Even if art is always a must in Italy, the atmosphere isn’t less important. Walking in a small and almost intact medieval town is like taking a step back in time. Italians are almost used to it! And that’s a shame!! Being nothing new they don’t always “see” that anymore so all that beauty is just taken for granted. Well, it is a pity!! The old facades, the arches, the tiny shops in rustic style selling fragrant bred or typical sweets are all one suspended between history and the present.

A curious thing is worth mentioning: this small village lost on the Tuscan Hills houses a peculiar museum: the Museum of Russian Icons.

Surprised? Well, I was. So far form Russia and Moscow!!! What this town has to do with Russia? The fact is that a journalist, Francesco Bigazzi, who had worked many years in Moscow, was so fond of Peccioli and admired it so much that he decided to donate to the town a collection of 60 Russian icons of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Something definitely special for a small village.

If you have children, after explaining them history and trying to teach them the idea of art, please leave the centre and go to the Parco Preistorico di Peccioli. Here they can have fun watching 20 reconstructed prehistoric animals and they can learn admiring the remains of the fossils found in this area by the founders of the park. It was the Year 1977, when the brothers Guido and Paul Ghironi, circus performers, decided to start the building of this educational park. The book Jurassic Park was released thirteen years later and the film of Spielberg 16.

Peccioli could be a good destination for spending Christmas holidays in Tuscany!