There is one thing that most Fairytales have in common, that is the presence of a Castle. Ever wondered how all the Princesses and Princes felt in their luxury castles? Well wonder no more. We have shortlisted our favourite castles from around the world. Your next holiday could involve dungeons, real life forts, stories of knights and kings. It’s the holiday for all the big kids; the kids at heart. But just be warned, you may have to sell that glass slipper to visit all of these mythical properties.
Neuschwanstein CastleA 19th-Century Romanesque Revival Castle located in Bavaria, Germany. The Neuschwanstein Castle is the ultimate fairytale castle. The surroundings itself are unbelievably beautiful. Used as an inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castles in Disneyland parks, you know it has to be spectacular. The tall towers, and the countless windows, you can imagine Rapunzel throwing down her long hair. Although it may not be possible staying the night, a tour of this remarkable property will be the starting point into creating your very own fairytale castle (even if it is just for the kids in the backyard).
Château de ChillonSituated on Lake Geneva in Switzerland, with the picturesque alps in the background, its the perfect setting for a fairytale. Built in the 12th-Century and expanded in the 13th, this medieval fortress is filled with history and legends. On a sunny winters day, the sparkles shinning off the lake, the snow on the alps, it no wonder this is where Lord Byron wished to resign.
Château du Haut-KoenigsbourgRestored by a specialist in medieval fortification, The Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg still today is an accurate model of the prestigious castle; down to the mill, the spiral staircases and the drawbridges. The castles original grandeur has been recreated and is a major piece of European history. The castle has been listed as a Monument of History since 1863. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the Alsace in France. Sitting in the midst of the Vosges Mountains, if there happens to be a queue, you’ll be happy with the view.
Conwy CastleDescribed as the "best preserved suite of medieval private royal chambers in England and Wales", this 13th Century Military architecture is on of the finest Castles in Europe. Although there are many Castles in Europe, not all have played an important role in several wars like the Conwy Castle. The Conway Castle has been well preserved and stands a very proud medieval fortification till this day.
Bran CastleCommonly known as “Dracula’s Castle”, this beautiful Castle is well off the beaten path. Situated between Transylvania and Wallachia in the lush green mountains, Bran Castle looks like a fairytale in every way. With secret passage ways inside the building and Queen Marie’s furniture that dates back to the 1920’s through out the castle, you will feel like you have taken a step back in time. Sit in the sun in the gorgeous courtyard, and don’t forget to get a priceless picture from the upstairs balcony. The views are worthy of those of Royalty.
Exploring Europe during the winter is one of the best-kept secrets in travel!
Winter is such an enchanting time to visit Europe; in fact it should be mandatory that at least once in your lifetime you experience the magic of a White Christmas in this part of the world.
If you are worried about going to Europe during winter – don’t be! You will find the weather is often surprisingly mild, the city streets and attractions less crowded than during the summer, and the local shops filled with incredible winter bargains. Not to mention the great deals you can get on airfares and tours before you leave.
How about a visit to the Christmas Markets in Rothenburg, where you are plunged back into the 16th century as you enter through medieval walls and follow the narrow cobblestones streets to the market square with its town clock, or what about the sparkling festival lights of Prague and Budapest? Or a Mozart and Strauss concert in Vienna.
Winter offers you a chance to see Europe in a whole different-albeit dimmer-light. The season presents you with a chance to put on your woollies and hike snow covered peaks, or squeeze into a tux and go to an opera gala.
Winter has charms of its own. Instead of a seat at an outdoor cafe, think of wandering through Venice's wintry fog, peering into the city's steamed-up windows in search of a cosy café or, better yet, think of eating rich, winter foods beside a roaring fire beneath the intricately carved timber-beams of an historic guild hall restaurant in Basel, Switzerland.
In winter, European cuisine changes dramatically. Southern Mediterranean dwellers wouldn't think of eating heavy cream sauces in summer. But once the leaves fall off the trees, European kitchens burst into winter mode. Creamy, long-cooking sauces, preserved duck and goose, root vegetables, and the roasting of wild game all contributing to aromas that will leave you wishing you could stay in Europe forever.
Of course some places are indeed quite chilly. But the south of Italy, Spain, Portugal and most of Greece are pretty balmy in winter. Winter is a great time to visit Spain's Andalucian trio of Seville, Cordoba and Granada. Or perhaps you'd rather take a winter visit to almost deserted Pompeii with a stopover in Naples in order to eat some of the best food in Italy. So Why not travel in winter? Hotels and airfares are cheap, and sweaty summer crowds are a dim memory!
For more information on any of the areas featured in this blog, contact World Travel Professionals to speak with one of our consultants. We encourage and welcome all user comments and aim to use our blog to interact with our interested readers!