My next 4 destinations are not as obscure as the first 4 but still need to be considered as you may not know what you are missing.
5. Lolland/Falster Denmark - The southern islands of Denmark have a charm of their own with each offering something different. Copenhagen is on the island of Zealand and because of Copenhagen most people are aware of what there is to do in and around Copenhagen.Did you know that south and west of Zealand are the islands of Mon, Falster, Lolland, Funen, Langeland, Aero and Als. My family lives on Lolland so I am very familiar with Falster and Lolland but I have also been to Mon and Funen. All of these islands are connected by bridges and ferries. I will give you a brief description of each with some things to see and do.
Lolland is a flat island and is one of the southern most islands. It is an easy drive from Copenhagen on E47. you will drive across bridges connecting Zealand, Mon, Falster and Lolland. The road may end in Rodyhavn but from there you can catch a car and passenger ferry to Germany which is a 45 minute ride. My relatives ride the ferry to Germany to do shopping and to also take advantage of the duty free shopping on the ferry. Lolland has beautiful beaches and also a very nice beach resort and golf course outside of Rodyhavn called Lollandia. There is a nice beach facing Germany with plenty of lodging and an indoor swimming pool. Lolland itself is very laid back as it is primarily a farming community but there are things to do and see. Knuthenborg Safari Park is located just outside of Maribo and is an animal park that you can drive through. You feel like you are more in Africa than Denmark. It is located on an old estate with plenty of room to drive around. Maribo Domkirke is the seat for the Church of Denmark in Lolland. The church is very old and worth taking a tour. One other interesting tour is in the town of Naskov. A few years back Naskov was a ship building city and built a lot of the ferries in Denmark. When bridges took over the ship building declined and Naskov needed something to attract visitors. They sent a letter to Russia asking if there was an old submarine they might want to part with. Russia replied that there was a WWII era submarine and they could have it if they could get it back to Denmark. Well, now it sits in Naskov and you can tour the submarine. Now Naskov is flourishing as a builder of electricity producing windmills. For me the charm of Lolland is the small towns and countryside. Take a drive and see towns like Nysted and Saskobing. You won't be disappointed
Falster is connected to Lolland by a short bridge. The channel between the two islands is more like driving across a river. Middelaldercentret is medieval park with knights and buildings. I have been to Marielyst Strand as my cousin camps there a lot. The beach there is one of the best in Denmark and faces Germany on the other side of the channel. Marielyst is a typical beach town. One like you would see on the Pacific Coast Highway in California. There are plenty of places to stay in hotels, cabins, tents or trailers. This is one of my favorite places to go in the summer. As with Lolland, just drive around. You will see castles, glass blowing factories and beautiful countryside. Both Lolland and Falster are small and can be seen in a day.
The only other island I have spent time on is Funen. Funen is the home of Hans Christen Andersen in the city of Odense. You can tour his house and when we were there they had an outdoor theater showing plays from his famous stories. I would recommend going there especially if you have children.
6. Jaco, Costa Rica - For those of you that read my blog you already know that Jaco is one of my favorite places to go. How could you not like it with the warm weather, great beaches, activities and friendly people. If you want to know more just read some of my previous posts. I like Jaco so much I am going back this January 2015.
|Only clock in town is a sundial|
|Italian Riviera Resort - Loano|
7. Italian Riviera - I know that you already have heard of the Italian Riviera but how much do you actually know. Many of you have been to the French Riviera but in my opinion the Italian Riviera is much better. Start with the beaches. Where beaches in France, such as Nice, are rocky the beaches in Italy are sandy. Then you have the drive along the coast with the mountains stretching to the Mediterranean Sea like fingers touching the water. Drive along the coast and you will either be in a tunnel, one of the fingers, or on a bridge with a coastal town below. The coast has plenty of beach resorts in towns such as Pietre Ligure, Loano, Savona and San Remo. You also have the birth place of Columbus, Genoa. If you want to venture outside of Italy you can also do a day trip to Monaco or Nice. If you desire you can also take a drive up one of the fingers and end up in the Alps with towns like Torino where they held the 2006 Olympics. If you want to go to a place with beautiful beaches and rich history with great food then I would research the Italian Riviera.
|View from our room|
|On Lake Como|
8. Italian countryside - If you go to Italy I would certainly suggest Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan but after seeing those cities I would get out and see the country. Driving in the different regions, especially Tuscany is really a treat with the food, wine and beautiful cities. Do some research and pick a few cities to stop in. The experience is completely different than the larger cities and you will experience history and society that you had never known existed. One recommendation is after a trip to Italy you may feel like you have seen a lot and maybe had over did it. Not feeling as relaxed as you could. Italy has a lot to offer and you may be overwhelmed.
One year my wife and I visited the relatives and then went to Venice and Rome. All with a rental car so there was a lot of driving. We were flying out of Milan so for the last few days of our vacation I booked a hotel about an hour from Milan on Lake Como. I think that made the whole trip. We stayed at the Clarion Collection Hotel Griso Lecco in Malgrate. We had a suite overlooking the lake in the town of Malgrate on one of the tips of the lake. Lake Como sits at the base of the Alps and the views are incredible. One day we went to the store, bought some wine, salami, cheese and bread and rented a boat for a half day on the lake. There we passed villas along the shore, churches and towns. That night there was a thunder storm and we sat on the deck with the view of Malgrate and watched the lightning. We were able to relax before heading home and brought back some additional memories.