velvet | cultural holidays
mdina-malta-photo

Things to do in Malta, Gozo and Comino

Arriving with Air Malta from any of the 45+ European destinations, you won’t always be treated with the most lush views from the sky. Especially when visiting in the dry, warm months of June-August, before the rain falls. But there is much more to these three small islands in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea […]

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hotel-alfonso-xiii-sevilla-entrance-photo

A hotel fit for a king

In my previous post, I talked about what makes an accommodation ‘epic’ and my assignment from Booking.com to find an accommodation that reflects my definition of ‘epic’. I thought hard about what I look for in a hotel and the factors that make me want to gush about the hotel to everyone. It took a […]

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auberge-castille-valletta-photo

The Heritage sites of Malta and Gozo

When you visit some of the heritage sites on Malta, you will find that the architecture on the islands (some dating back to more than 5000 years a go) reveal something exceptional: the Maltese temple culture disappeared abruptly in the third Millennium BC and researchers still don’t know exactly why. Surrounded by mystery, Malta’s megalithic […]

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colorful-street-quito-photo

An unforgettable tour of Ecuador

It was a photo of the spectacular Cotopaxi volcano that first captured my imagination. I was ten years old and I promised myself that I would one day visit Ecuador. I had an opportunity in 2008 while I was in South America on my round-the-world trip. I’d planned to fly to Lima from Buenos Aires […]

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In Flanders Fields (image courtesy of Bernt Rostad).

Ten museums in Belgium to visit

A guest post by Sofie Couwenbergh, a writer and travel blogger from Belgium. Belgium is mostly known for its food and drinks. Visitors to the country want to try our chocolate, waffles, fries and beer. What most of them don’t know is that we also have a very diverse museum landscape. There are museums dedicated […]

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gallipoli-castle-photo

The treasures of Gallipoli

Many people thought I was in Turkey when I posted photos of my stay in Gallipoli (map) earlier this summer. I wasn’t. In fact, I was in Puglia, in southern Italy! Gallipoli in Turkey is especially famous as the site of the ‘Gallipoli Campaign’, a battle during World War I, not to be confused with […]

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lapa-rio-graffiti-photo

Inspired by Rio

Rio de Janeiro is a city that bewilders and inspires. Its spectacular setting is the first thing that will grab your attention but once you start exploring, you’ll discover a city of contrasts, but above all else, a city of immense beauty, colour and warm, engaging people. It’s not hard to be inspired by Rio […]

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sunset-ipanema-beach-rio-photo

The magic of Rio de Janeiro in photos

Rio de Janeiro is a city of contrasts and great diversity. Squashed in between imposing mountains, the ocean and a massive bay, the city enjoys one of the most spectacular settings in the world. There’s no denying that the city has a lot of issues – poverty, inadequate infrastructure, high prices and crime to name […]

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street-sovereign-hill-ballarat-photo

History brought to life

“A theme park?”, I asked my guide as we strolled around Melbourne. Cartoon characters and wild, adrenaline-inducing rides immediately sprang to mind. “Well, no”, she replied, “it’s more like an open-air museum. If you’re interested in history, you’ll love it there”. It was the first of several times that day that a local recommended a […]

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schloss-vollrads-photo

History and wine in Rheingau

Rheingau is one of the most historically significant wine-producing regions in Germany. Situated along the Rhine River just west of Frankfurt, the region is characterised by hilly landscapes, castles, monasteries and picturesque towns (the most famous of which is Rüdesheim am Rhein (a fairy-tale like historic town in the heart of the Rheingau), one of […]

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