26 Nights | LANDSCAPES & LORE
You will visit the following 22 places:
Bilbao is a municipality and city in Spain, a major city in the province of Biscay in the autonomous community of the Basque Country. It is the main urban area in what is defined as the Greater Basque region. Situated in the north-central part of Spain, its main urban core is surrounded by two small mountain ranges. After its foundation in the early 14th century by Diego López V de Haro, head of the powerful Haro family, the city was a commercial hub of the Basque Country that enjoyed significant importance in Green Spain. This was due to its port activity based on the export of iron extracted from the Biscayan quarries. Throughout the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, Bilbao experienced heavy industrialisation, making it the centre of the second-most industrialised region of Spain. Today, Bilbao is a vigorous service city that is experiencing an ongoing social, economic, and aesthetic revitalisation process, started by the iconic Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, and continued by infrastructure investments, such as the airport terminal, the rapid transit system, the tram line, the Alhóndiga, and the currently under development Abandoibarra and Zorrozaurre renewal projects. Bilbao is also home to football club Athletic Club de Bilbao, a significant symbol for Basque nationalism due to its promotion of Basque players and one of the most successful clubs in Spanish football history.
Gdynia is a city in the Pomeranian Voivodeship of Poland and an important seaport of Gdańsk Bay on the south coast of the Baltic Sea. Gdynia, together with nearby Gdańsk and Sopot are often referred as Tricity (pl: Trójmiasto). Gdynia was first mentioned in the 13th century as a fishing village. Its career began after World War I, when it became Poland´s main harbour and the big sea port at the Baltic Sea, which it still is. Gdynia is one of the youngest and modern cities in Poland. In the early 1900s it was a little village, but after WW1 and establishing the Free City of Gdańsk, the Polish Government decided to build a deep-sea port. Construction began in 1921. The city rose fast in the 1920s and 1930s, so architecture and planning reflect European trends of the day - Modernism. The city continues to grow to this day. Today, Gdynia is a modern city with a population of a quarter-million and is the second major polish port in the Baltic Sea after Gdansk.
Stockholm - Sweden's capital and largest city, and the most populous city in the Nordic region. Without a doubt, Stockholm is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The city is made up of 14 islands connected by some 50 bridges on Lake Mälaren, which flows into the brackish Baltic Sea, and passes the Stockholm archipelago with some 24,000 islands and islets. The city is a cosmopolitan place with both classical and modern architecture, and a captivating Old Town, Gamla Stan. Today, the area is an atmospheric mixture of buildings surrounded on all sides by a latticework of medieval lanes and alleyways.
Gothenburg is the second-largest and a major city in Sweden, situated off the Göta älv river on the country's west coast. The City of Gothenburg was founded in 1621 by King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. An important seaport, it's famed for its Dutch-style canals and leafy boulevards like the Avenyn, the city's main thoroughfare, lined with many cafes and shops.
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in southwest France, with an estimated (2008) population of 250,082. The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture of the Gironde department. Its inhabitants are called Bordelais. Bordeaux is the world's major wine industry capital. It is home to the world's main wine fair, Vinexpo, while the wine economy in the metro area moves 14.5 billion euros each year. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the eighth century. The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble" of the 18th century.
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. Finland's major political, educational, financial, cultural, and research center as well as one of northern Europe's major cities, Helsinki was ranked the most liveable city in the world, in 2011. Approximately 75% of foreign companies operating in Finland have settled in the Helsinki region. The nearby municipality of Vantaa is the location of Helsinki Airport, with frequent service to various destinations in Europe and Asia. Today, Helsinki pulls off the trick of being something of an international metropolis while still retaining a small-town feel. The best time to visit is in summer, when Finns peel off their overcoats and flock to outdoor bars and cafes to enjoy the sunshine.
The capital of Portugal, Lisbon (Portuguese: Lisboa) has experienced a renaissance in recent years, with a contemporary culture that is alive and thriving and making its mark in today's Europe. Perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon is one of the rare Western European cities that faces the ocean and uses water as an element that defines the city. Lisbon enchants travellers with its white-bleached limestone buildings, intimate alleyways, and an easy-going charm that makes it a popular year-round destination.
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject (a federal city) of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. In Russian literature, informal documents and discourse, the word "Saint" is usually omitted, leaving "Petersburg". The city is often described as the most Westernized city of Russia, as well as its cultural capital. It is the northernmost city in the world with a population of over one million. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is home to The Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. A large number of foreign consulates, international corporations, banks, and businesses have offices in Saint Petersburg. Talking of churches, Church of the Savior on the Blood is said to be the most beautiful church in St. Petersburg. Built of beautiful mosaic and stonework, the church gives you an indication of how ancient Russia looked like. The church is built at an equally historic spot. This is where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in the year 1881.
Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It occupies an area of 159.2 km2 (61.5 sq mi) with a population of 412,144. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, on the banks of the Gulf of Finland, 80 km (50 mi) south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg. Tallinn's Old Town is in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Tallinn is ranked as a global city and has been listed among the top 10 digital cities in the world. Tallinn is a European Capital of Culture for 2011, along with Turku, Finland.
Warnemünde is a seaside resort and a district of the city of Rostock in Mecklenburg, Germany. It is located on the Baltic Sea and, as the name implies, at the estuary of the river Warnow. Founded in about 1200, Warnemünde was for centuries a small fishing village with minor importance for the economic and cultural development of the region. Today, it's known for its long beachfront and marina, a cruise-ship stop.
Oslo is a county and municipality, as well as the capital and largest city in Norway. Oslo was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III "Hardraade" of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The Danish–Norwegian king Christian IV moved the city, rebuilding it closer to Akershus fortress, as Christiania (briefly also spelt Kristiania). In 1925, the city reclaimed its original Norwegian name, Oslo. The diocese of Oslo is one of the five original dioceses in Norway, which originated around the year 1070.
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark. This "friendly old girl of a town" is big enough to be a metropolis with shopping, culture and nightlife par excellence, yet still small enough to be intimate, safe and easy to navigate. Overlooking the Øresund strait with Sweden just minutes away, it is a cultural and geographic link between mainland Europe and Scandinavia. This is where old fairy tales blend with flashy new architecture and world-class design; where warm jazz mixes with cold electronica from Copenhagen's basements. You'll feel you've seen it all in a day, but could keep on discovering more for months. Copenhagen is considered a very liveable place because of its cleanliness. It’s considered as one of the very environmentally friendly cities because its harbour can be swum in and about a third of the city’s people use bicycles as their means of transportation. In their downtown area, the places to visit and to be entertained at are the Tivoli gardens and the Town Hall Square. If you want the very cultural and scenic areas the places to see are the Marble church, the Rosenborg castle, and the Christiansborg.
Porto (also known as Oporto in English), is the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon and one of the major urban areas of the Iberian Peninsula. The urban area of Porto, which extends beyond the administrative limits of the city, has a population of 1.4 million (2011) in an area of 389 km2 (150 sq mi), making it the second-largest urban area in Portugal. Located along the Douro river estuary in Northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centres, and its historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. The western part of its urban area extends to the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. Its settlement dates back many centuries, when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire. One of Portugal's internationally famous exports, port wine, is named for Porto, since the metropolitan area, and in particular the caves of Vila Nova de Gaia, were responsible for the packaging, transport and export of the fortified wine. In 2014, Porto was elected The Best European Destination by the Best European Destinations Agency.
The Convent Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is the country's largest city and its financial, cultural, and creative centre. Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters there, and seven of the world's 500 largest companies, including Philips and ING, are based in the city. In 2012, Amsterdam was ranked the second best city in which to live by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and 12th globally on quality of living for environment and infrastructure by Mercer. Amsterdam derives its name from the city’s origin as “Dam” of river “Amstel”. In the past, the name was "Amstelredamme" which later changed as “Amsterdam”. The city is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, attracting over 7 million international travellers annually. The city is colloquially known as ''Venice of the North'' because of its lovely canals that criss-cross the city, its impressive architecture and more than 1,500 bridges. There is something for every traveller's taste here; whether you prefer culture and history, serious partying, or just the relaxing charm of an old European city!