IT WASN’T BY ACCIDENT I arrived early to the train platform that morning. Rumors of the Swiss train system’s punctuality had not only piqued my curiosity but also inspired my 15-minuteearlier wake-up call. I took a seat near my platform in the Zürich Main Station, one of the busiest in the world, and marveled endlessly as the iconic Swiss Railway Clock took its 1.5-second pause before it started its next minute rotation, a design thought to “bring calm in the last moment and easy punctual train departure.”
Like many European travelers, I’ve picnicked beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris, pröst-ed at Oktoberfest in Munich and snapped a selfie at the Tower of Pisa, and now the lesser-known destinations and obscure experiences beckoned. Armed with a Swiss Travel Pass from Rail Europe — the pass gives holders access to trains, buses and boats as well as free entrance to 500-plus museums, with suggested itineraries and tips for getting off the beaten path — I boarded the train on time and set off on a journey to explore the cities I had never heard of before and experience Europe’s less famous foods, sights and smells.
In response to a recent travel report from Intrepid Adventure Travel that found 43.4 percent of travelers look to get off the beaten track, many tour operators increase their offerings to include tours of little-known sites throughout Europe. Rail Europe makes it easy to hop around to these undiscovered destinations, but tour operators like Intrepid Travel also offer options such as hiking tours through Andorra and rafting trips through Slovenia.
Best of the Alps, a cooperation among many Alpine destinations, encourages travelers to get out and interact with locals throughout Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. Its website features a range of artists, adventurous men and women, chefs and others who tell their stories and offer inspiration for ideas on what to eat, drink and do while in town. Hear from a wooden sledge maker about the 100-year-old history of these hybrid snow bicycle/sleds before taking to the hills in his native Grindelwald for a test drive through the snow, or learn why one of the country’s most celebrated chefs now cooks for an exclusive crowd within a furniture store in Davos before you book one of the few tables in the store.
All airplane flights begin on the ground. An airport is the starting point, but airspace issues continue to expand from the terrestrial to the aerial. Altitude is no barrier when countries claim sovereignty from the Earth to beyond the stratosphere.
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
Flanked by the ski resort-studded Balkan Mountains and situated directly downwind from the fragrant pine forests of the Vitosha mountain, Sofia’s gorgeous landscape and strategic location between Asia and Europe put it at a crossroads where business and pleasure intermingle effortlessly. In recent years Bulgaria’s capital city has ranked as one of the top 10 best places in the world for startup businesses, and the onslaught of new tax exemptions for businesses looking to invest in the country make it an attractive option for many corporations to begin operations within the city.
IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.
Leovard skincare, formulated by Dr. Sheg Aranmolate, MD, uses natural ingredients to nourish skin, calm irritation, decrease wrinkles, hydrate and soothe — all while sanitizing skin of bacteria. Leovard’s 06 sanitizer is among a line a like-minded products, designed to ease the stress of environmental damage on our skin while cleansing.
Looking for an escape? Anse Chastanet in Saint Lucia is a one-of-a-kind, 49-room resort with views of the Pitons. The property’s Escape Sale offers travelers who book four nights or more before Aug. 31 the chance to save 35 percent on the entire stay. Book by Aug. 31, but the sale is valid for travel through Dec. 19. Rates start at $513 per night.
Finding a beachfront Punta Cana all-inclusive resort for all ages can be daunting when you want to take home great memories with loved ones but also experience a sophisticated escape. Now, you can have both thanks to a new resort: Finest Punta Cana.
Beer lovers in particular will rejoice with this new offer from The Lion and the Rose Bed and Breakfast in Asheville, North Carolina, and it all starts with a complimentary, icy cold pint upon arrival.