Tour de France is an amazing travel destination promotion tool

Vuelta a Valencia, road cycling race in Spain
Every July the world’s biggest sports event – as measured by the number of spectators following the live event where it happens – road cycling race the Tour of France travels along the roads of Europe. The actual race takes three weeks to complete. It is 3540 km / 2200 miles long (in 2017). Millions and millions of people arrive to the roadside to cheer the riders.
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Fells, fjords, reindeer, Sami, hiking, fishing, mountainbiking: the great outdoors

Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland, Scandinavia, Europe
A popular method for tourists to absorb the landscapes and sceneries of Lapland is road travel. Roads maybe few, distances long and services infrequent, but very few destinations in the world has the same variety, wildlife and rough beauty as Lapland. Read the story “Fells, fjords, reindeer, Sami, hiking, fishing, mountainbiking: the great outdoors”

In Paris, France, you can stay a night at a bookstore

Paris Boutik Hotel
In Paris, France, a special hotel room has been opened for travelers who like to sleep surrounded by books. Paris Boutik Hotel has rooms that are all different, each room has been designed to a theme. One of these rooms is like a small bookstore. It is located in Marais district of the city. Read the story “In Paris, France, you can stay a night at a bookstore”

Guidebook to Gothenburg, Sweden and the West Coast

The City of Gothenburg is Sweden’s second largest city after the capital Stockholm, but Gothenburg is closer to Copenhagen, Denmark and Oslo, Norway than it is to Stockholm. Scandinavian city life mixed with international trends from Continental Europe is perhaps Gothenburg’s asset as far as city life goes.
Gothenburg, Sweden - West Coast archipelago Read the story “Guidebook to Gothenburg, Sweden and the West Coast”

A travel guide to Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, the capital of Finland in North Europe, is one of the fastest growing travel destinations in Europe. There are two reasons for it: air travel from Asia and cruise ships.

The Finnish airline Finnair has managed establish regular flights to Chinese cities and other major cities in Asia by marketing Helsinki as the gateway to Europe. The Asian tourists change planes in Helsinki and stay a night exploring Helsinki’s sights.

Another major group of tourists arrives in Helsinki on cruise ships that are touring the Baltic Sea.

The Best of Helsinki is a travel guidebook for tourists who like to absorb information via images and maps. The book is clearly designed to be a visual guide that shows the places to explore and helps visitors navigate in the destination.

This guidebook can be browsed in order to get an overall understanding what the city has to offer, and once interesting sights or attractions has been discovered, it is easy to study details of those places that seem interesting.

I found the chapter that describes the places and events local people like the best as the most valuable. Those tips will definitely be on my agenda when I plan my trip to Helsinki.

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The Best of Helsinki travel guide

Is Nice, Antibes, Grasse, Monaco, or Cannes your favorite in the French Riviera?

The Gems of Nice and the French Riviera travel guidebook focuses on the coastal section of the Alpes-Maritimes region in southeast France (also known as the Riviera or locally, Cote d’Azur). The book covers the Riviera from Mandelieu to Menton, describing towns like Antibes, Grasse and Monaco, In addition, the book unveils Riviera gems tourist buses haven’t discovered yet.

I recently visited Cote d’Azur, and two things caught my eye: the popularity of cycling and camping. Road cyclists and mountain bikers are all over the place, especially, during the weekends. Often, in big groups. Sometimes, old men take it easy and chat more than pedal. The point is to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise. Camp sites are open only from spring until autumn, and you won’t find many near the beaches, but on the hills and mountains.

Riviera is not only about the sun and the sea, but it is also about spectacular mountain sceneries and exciting activities. The city of Nice is much more than the Boulevard des Anglais – the old town, market places, galleries, restaurants and shopping streets are buzzing with locals and visitors. St Paul de Vence is advertised as the most visited medieval village, and that’s how it feels. Why not try Vence, a larger medieval village further up the mountain as the guidebook suggests?

My favorite place in the region is Antibes, but my travel companions like the mountains (Vence, Grasse) and the little bit more quiet side of the Riviera in Mandelieu.

The best thing with this travel guidebook is that it includes plenty of pictures. Some places reveal their characteristics in two or three photographs. It makes it easier to decide if a village or a town is worth a visit. All and all there are more places and things to do in the book for many weeks in southern France, even if you try to visit a new place daily.

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Finland can be fun

Summers are full of light in Nordic countries – that much we knew already, but the book The Lighter Side of Finland claims that it is not all grey and gloomy in winter, either. The book is an entertaining description of the Scandinavian country that is renowned for its education system, racing car drivers, and Nokia (well, used to be, anyway).

For a tourist, the biggest attraction is the capital Helsinki, followed by Lapland, lake district in the East and the South-West archipelago. This book, however, is not a travel guide (even though it includes a few travel tips as well), but a warm and fun account of the culture, people, traditions, food and sauna etiquette.

It is a well-written book that is a pleasure to read even if your next travel destination wouldn’t be Finland, but if it is, and you are interested what makes the nation tick, this book is worth your time.

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The Lighter Side of Finland

A culture shock in Italy and in Finland

Finns are icemen and Italians hotheads – that is what someone moving from Italy to Finland (or vice versa) might think. The differences in culture, behavior and socializing – not to mention weather and food – are so great that it can drive a normal, healthy person to suffer from a culture shock.

Spaghetti and Sauna is a very personal story of a young woman who moved from Italy to Finland in order to study and work in the Nordic country. Her personal story, however, develops into a insightful description of Italian and Finnish cultures. The author believes that these two countries are the remotest countries in Europe culturally. She tells countless funny and humiliating stories how easy it is to misinterpret people who have different background than yourself.

The detailed insight in the book on the people, their customs and the way of thinking and behaving is intriguing, pleasure to read, and learn about these cultures. I would recommend this book to everyone who wants to understand at least two from the many diverse cultures of Europe.

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