Hang by the sea during backpacking trips to Europe
Posted on Saturday 07 July 2012
in London, Paris, Milan, Barcelona
By Dylan Thomas
Backpacking in Europe is one of the most satisfying adventures for travellers of all ages. In a small amount of space, Kiwis can explore a dozen different cities and landscapes in the span of a single holiday. They can choose to reserve a Paris car hire and venture to Spain for Barcelona holidays, or take short flights to London and explore the British capital. During their travels, Kiwi backpackers should be sure to check out some of these burgeoning hot spots on the waterfront of these beautiful European cities.
Traverse the magnificent landscape of Cinque Terre
For Kiwis who have started their travels by taking flights to Milan, the nearby Cinque Terre is a stunning portion of Italy's coastline that will surely bring excitement to a European holiday. A magnet for hikers, the steep edge of land provides every opportunity to discover lesser-known restaurants, shops and cafes simply by venturing off the beaten path and letting the land guide travellers. Some of the trails have names such as Via dell'Amore, or Lover's Walk, which provide a hint of the level of romance Kiwis may feel as they gaze out upon the gorgeous Italian Riviera. This particular hike may take about five hours to complete, but is more manageable than some other arduous climbs. The fairly flat coastal path offers walkers inspiring views that have led some travellers to nickname it the Path of Love.
Kick back in Vernazza at Ristorante Belforte
After a hiking excursion, Kiwis can relax in Cinque Terre's Vernazza neighbourhood, where the balcony at Ristorante Belforte makes guests feel like royalty sitting on a lavish throne overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Specialising in fresh cuisine, the establishment has an extensive menu featuring the culinary offerings of the sea. From octopus salad and seafood soup to salted prawns and the restaurant's special spaghetti Bruno, diners won't be able to keep their mouths from watering as they watch their neighbours receive delectable dishes while waiting for theirs to arrive.
Venture to the South of France
Next, Kiwis should book their flights to Nice and head over to the stunning French Riviera, where the glitterati flock for annual holidays. The town of Villefrance-sur-Mer possesses the stunning beauty of the Cote d'Azur without feeling too pretentious, and is also home to the Europe travel expert Rick Steves' favourite, Le Cosmo restaurant. Looking out at luxurious yachts in the Riviera bay, guests can enjoy a delicious omelette Nicoise complemented with a glass of the red Bandol, often characterised by its rich, dark flavours of vanilla, cinnamon and black fruit. From the terrace of the South-of-France restaurant, Kiwis will be able to see the historic Jean Cocteau's Chapel of St. Pierre in the distance, surrounded by the crystal clear waters below.
Say hola to Ayo with paella and sangria
Lastly, a trip to Europe would not be complete without venturing to Spain. Situated along the southern edge of the country on the coast of the Alboran Sea, Nerja is a small town in the province of Malaga that is lesser known to tourists but worth the adventure to the southern coast. One oceanfront eatery that represents the community's no-frills culture is Ayo's, located on Burriana Beach, which is renowned for its taste bud-tingling paella. Owner Ayo spends the whole day preparing his paella, but guests can choose from an array of different menu items including frutti del mare, fresh pork leg, fried potatoes and vegetables.
One of the best parts of Ayo's is the close-knit, community vibe and the chance to interact with the chef or other guests under a canopy, while enjoying a front-row view of the master serving up his specialty in front of the massive wood fire. Kiwis should try quenching their thirst with the house sangria, served in massive jugs with loads of soaked fruit.
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