Lithuania is the largest of the three Baltic countries and the one with the most troubled history. After having been a great kingdom, constantly occupied by Poland, Germany, Russia, it was Lithuania that first faced the USSR, in 1989-1990, showing the way to independence. Today, like its Baltic counterparts, Lithuania integrates the European Union in a dynamic way and adopted the euro on January 1, 2015.
This is the perfect opportunity to discover these little-known regions with many lakes, thick forests and some beautiful national parks. Beautiful towns in Lithuania are described below –
Vilnius, which for a long time, thanks to its very important Jewish community, had the title of “Jerusalem of the North”, is a magnificent conservatory of cultural and artistic influences. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to its architecture, Vilnius is the least famous of the Baltic capitals: lost in the middle of the land, it does not enjoy access to the sea, unlike Riga and Tallinn.
This city whose Jewish population was decimated during the Second World War was in turn Polish, Nazi, Soviet. Projected towards the future, Vilnius has the charm of cities with multiple cultural and architectural influences.
Kaunas is the major river port of the Baltic countries, and the second largest city in Lithuania. Polish, then Russian, the city was, from 1920 to 1940, the capital of independent Lithuania. Occupied by the Germans, she saw the establishment of an extermination camp: a museum of deportation and resistance preserves this memory.
The old town of Kaunas is attractive with its restored medieval towers and its beautiful Town Hall. A mixture of baroque, medieval and Gothic architecture overlooks the city with its museums and religious buildings. Crossed by the Niemen from west to south, the landscape of Kaunas offers beautiful manor houses, wooden houses and an open-air museum that offers a panoramic view of the harbor. Kaunas is one of the most beautiful towns on Lithuania.
An old fishing town 52 kilometers from the peninsula of the Curonian Spit, Nida stretches across a strip of sand covered with forests. Old village town of the 18th century, it is best known for the wooden architecture of its houses planted in the sand. Beautiful dunes overlook the area for beautiful climbing. The highest, Parnidis has a solar clock, installed at its summit. Every year, traditional festivals and folklore concerts take place in the village to relive the ancient times. It is one of the beautiful towns in Lithuania.
Surrounded by centuries-old forests and immersed in an exceptional ecological atmosphere, Palanga is Lithuania’s most popular seaside resort and one of the beautiful towns in Lithuania. With its modern architecture, Palanga is immersed in a cosmopolitan atmosphere with thousands of restaurants, cafes, toy stores and boutiques on its streets.
A soft sea and smooth beaches, the resort allows doing water activities such as surfing, scuba diving, and water bikes. In the middle of a landscape accentuated with pines, the ballades by bike or on horseback constitute a real pastime.
Located near the Russian and Polish borders, Druskininkai is a known spa resort in Lithuania since the 19th century. Today, the city is a tourist center of international renown, marked by a certain well-being as evidenced by opulent villas.
Located in the Balkan Peninsula, Macedonia shares borders with Bulgaria, Serbia, Kosovo, and Albania. Far from being a small country, Macedonia has more than two million inhabitants who occupy more than half of the territory. Macedonia is becoming more and more interesting for tourists wishing to discover new destinations.
Some of the places to visit in Macedonia are listed below –
In the north of Macedonia, Skopje, the capital, saw the Romans, Bulgarians, Serbs, Byzantines, the Ottomans, before being integrated into the kingdom and then part of the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia. Skopje has grand buildings and monumental statues making it important among places to visit in Macedonia. In the center of the great square of Macedonia stands the fountain-statue of Alexander the Great. On the other side of the River Vardar are tall buildings, including the archaeological museum.
Old Bazaar is the largest in the Balkans after Istanbul. The heritage of the Ottoman Empire is present at caravanserais e.g. Kapan Han, ancient hammams such as Daut Pasha and Cifte and mosques at Mustafa Pasha, Sultan Murat. There are also several churches, such as Church of the Ascension of Jesus, which has a remarkable iconostasis. Finally, overlooking the old town, the Kale Fortress, built by the Byzantine emperor Justinian, is now a place of archaeological excavations.
Ohrid is the most attractive places to visit in Macedonia. The region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been populated since prehistoric times. In ancient times the already flourishing city was called Lychnidos and had an acropolis and a theater, which was used as an arena by the Romans and now serves as a backdrop for the summer festival of Ohrid. In the 9th century, the city became an important religious center. St. Clement and St. Naum, followers of St. Cyril and Methodius (inventors of the Cyrillic alphabet), settled here and founded the first Slavic university and monasteries.
There are about twenty churches in the old town. In St. Sophia Cathedral, one of the architectural jewels of Ohrid, you can admire frescoes from the 11th century. Finally, do not miss to visit the Church of St. John at Kaneo, built in the thirteenth century, installed on a rocky promontory, facing the lake. At the top of the old town, the medieval fortress offers a breathtaking view of the lake from its walkway.
• Lake Ohrid
Straddling two countries (Macedonia and Albania) and surrounded by mountains, Lake Ohrid, the largest in the country (358 sq km), is often compared to a sea. One of the most attractive places to visit in Macedonia its shores have pebble beaches, campsites, hotels, cafes and lounge bars where you can drink cocktails. In summer, translucent water has an ideal temperature.
Around the lake, there are several villages worth a visit, such as Trpejca, nicknamed the “Macedonian Saint-Tropez”, and Radožda, a small fishing village where you can taste the famous Ohrid trout.
It is good to stroll through the long pedestrian street of Širok Sokak one of the most enchanting places to visit in Macedonia, lined with elegant colorful buildings, shops, restaurants, and cafes.
The second city of Macedonia has beautiful buildings built in the time of the Ottoman Empire. In the Muslim part, you can see several mosques, an old bazaar and a covered market dating from the fifteenth century. The archaeological site of Heraclea is close to Bitola.
Located in the western United States, bordered by the Pacific Ocean, California represents the allure of a “world end”, both highly urbanized and very wild.
California also offers a kaleidoscope of wild and majestic landscapes and California vacation ideas include the relentless Death Valley desert, the extraordinary Yosemite Park, the forests that dart to the skies of Sequoia National Park.
• San Francisco
A mixed collage with colorful neighborhoods and beautiful views, San Francisco attracts free spirits seeking cutting-edge art, the taste of ingenious cuisine and the enthusiasm of adventure. It is an unavoidable California vacation idea. The city has impressive venues, world-class cuisine, cozy cafes and many thriving nightclubs. Spend an hour or two relaxing on the shore of the sea lions in the bay, admiring views of the city from Twin Peaks or walking through the marina. And for the quintessence of the Franciscan experience, take the cable car ride.
• San Diego
The sunny weather and 70 miles of beautiful coastline attract fans and sun lovers throughout the year. Mexican cuisine, vibrant nightlife and one of the favorite zoos in the country are located here. And then there are beaches – retreat to Mission Beach to take a wave, to La Jolla, to enjoy the sun and to Coronado for a quiet stroll by the sea. For the more formal groups, you will find the lively nightlife, including the historic Gaslamp Quarter.
• Yosemite National Park
California vacation ideas include one of the most challenging natural landscapes in California, Yosemite National Park is home to almost 1,200 square miles of high waterfalls, ancient sequoias, high cliffs and some of the country’s most unique rock formations. Despite the enormous size, most of the tourist attractions are carried out in the 8 square mile area in the Yosemite Valley, an unparalleled California vacation idea. Here you will find, Half Dome, and El Capitán, very famous monuments of the park as well as great hiking trails through the wilderness.
• Lake Tahoe
Call it incredible and impressive but you would find it difficult to find words that do justice to the beauty of Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe, which sits on the California-Nevada border, has long been a favorite vacation destination that receives more than 2.7 million visitors a year. Visitors are drawn to the steep walls of the granite cliffs and mountain peaks, as well as the crystal clear waters that have brought to Lake Tahoe the reputation of one of the most beautiful water reservoirs in the United States. While the beautiful blue lake is worth a visit, the area is also known as Lake Tahoe, offers miles of hiking trails, dozens of scenic views and some of the best skiing in North America.
• Big Sur
Extending 90 miles between the Gulf of Monterey and San Simeon on the west coast of central California, the secluded spot of Big Sur, its peaceful nature and incomparable beauty inspire visitors to change fashion, literally and figuratively, the Pacific Coast Highway, built less than 100 years ago, it is a road through this area and it becomes the most picturesque town of Big Sur. Big Sur with its spellbinding beauty is an exceptional California vacation idea.
• Santa Monica Beach
Santa Monica Beach is located 24 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. This coastal area offers many hotels, restaurants, and shops, as well as an iconic attraction: the Pacific Park pier and the beach. After a relaxing day on the sand or on the famous Third Street, visit Palisades Park to watch an unforgettable sunset in Southern California.
For lovers of altitude and adventure, Colorado is a real Eldorado to visit during a trip in the American West! Mountain towns invite adventure lovers with all kinds of sports and outdoor activities – hiking, canyon climbing, rafting, winter sports.
Driving through tree-lined parks and along state roads are the best way to get to know the amazing attractions and Colorado attractions. The remaining traces of the cultures that once flourished in this region and the ancient dinosaurs that once roamed the earth can be better understood by visiting some of the national parks and monuments.
• Rocky Mountain National Park
Only a few miles from the town of Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most well known national parks in the United States. Mountain peaks, alpine lakes, abundant forests and rolling meadow create diverse scenery. The park has many peaks over 10,000 feet, including Longs Peak, the highest in the park which stands at 14,259 feet.
The Trail Ridge Road, which in turn reaches an altitude of more than 12,000 feet, is the main route through the park and provides easy access to this unbelievable terrain. You can easily sightsee from your car or take a walk along a hiking trail. The park has an extensive network of trails that range from less than half a mile to one day or long walks of several days.
• Mesa Verde National Park
Regardless of whether you have seen the houses on the cliffs, you will be surprised by Mesa Verde and the amount of access to the magnificent ruins that the park allows visitors. The focal point of the park, and one of the Colorado attractions, Cliff Palace, is one of the most famous cave dwellings in the south-west, with well-preserved ruins. Guided tours, which take place regularly in the summer season, allow you to climb the stairs in the heart of the house. If you are not prepared for this level of activity, you can get a full view of the site from a nearby lookout point.
• The Garden of the Gods
Colorado attractions include The Garden of the Gods is a one of a kind landscape with jagged stone towers and fins that span 300 feet off the ground with giant rocks and scattered piles of rocks dotted across the landscape. There are over fifteen miles of hiking trails which allow you to get close to the rock formations. The park is a popular destination for rock climbers and also horseback riding as well as mountain biking.
• Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak which stands tall at 14,115 ft is one of the most famous peaks in the USA. It is close to the town of Colorado Springs. The summit of the peak is fully accessible and you can drive to the top or take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway which is one of Colorado attractions.
• Durango and the Silverton Narrow Gage Railway
In southern Colorado, the city of Durango enjoys a beautiful location at the foot of the surrounding mountains. In the area of the historic center, there are old, well-restored buildings that function as hotels and restaurants. In summer, the narrow-gauge railway Durango & Silverton is one of the city’s major tourist attractions.
This historic train provides day trips to the valley, from Durango to the old mining town of Silverton, at the top of the mountains.
A city with two different faces, Pattaya will appeal to young and carefree people, who looking for bars and nightlife in this coastal destination, but it has also become a place where one can bring one’s family with its attractions and many activities and fun to discover. If you like shopping, culture, temples, amusement parks, dining or nightlife, Pattaya has it all.
• Wat Phra Yai
The Big Buddha of Wat Phra Yai Temple is one of the principal attractions in Pattaya due to its size, color and hilltop location. In addition to its huge Buddha statue, the location at the top of the hill offers some of the best views in the city. The Belvedere built on a rocky promontory will allow you to enjoy a panoramic view of almost the entire city and the bay shaped crescent. As for the 18 meters tall Big Buddha itself, this is the main attraction of this small temple located at the top of the hill. The hill is located between South Pattaya and Jomtien Beach.
• Walking Street
By day, Walking Street is like any other street, but it’s from its closure to traffic at 6 pm that it begins to come to life. Walking Street is probably the most famous street in Pattaya. It is a hotspot for nightlife and one of the captivating attractions in Pattaya. Every night, the streets, as well as all of its bars, restaurants, clubs, and discotheques, are filled with foreign tourists as well as Thai nationals. Start your evening with a good meal at a seafood restaurant, then head to a beer bar before choosing where you want to spend the rest of the night. There are concerts, sports broadcasts, and discos in plenty.
• Coral Island
The Coral Island is a small island officially called Ko Lan and is 7.5 kilometers off the coast of Pattaya and it is one of the mesmerizing attractions in Pattaya. If you want to spend some time out of the city, Coral Island is the place to go. It’s quieter and the beaches are cleaner and more attractive than those in Pattaya. It’s a place where you could have a great day relaxing on the beach, swimming in the clear waters or enjoying all the fun water activities. You have a choice of different beaches, while the quaint little town has several local restaurants and shops where you can eat a tasty and affordable meal surrounded by locals.
• Sanctuary of Truth
The Sanctuary of Truth is one of the most stunning attractions in Pattaya. Despite the fact that this grand temple will not be completed until 2050, it is nevertheless a spectacular place to visit, generally listed as the first thing to do in Pattaya. The construction of this incredible temple began in 1981, so it is not a place you will visit for its historical value. However, its architectural value is quite different. The detail and know-how that characterize this temple built entirely of wood are simply breathtaking.
• The Pattaya Floating Market
You can easily spend a few hours wandering around the floating market of Pattaya strolling through the various stalls, most of which are on small boats that give the floating market its name, while others are inside the buildings located at waterside.