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Culture Travel vs Tourism

Cultural Travel Versus Tourism

Are You A Culture Traveler Or A Tourist?

It is said that Tourism is on its way out, and Cultural Travel is the IN thing nowadays.

Cultural Travel is more than just a trend; it’s a distinction that frequent travelers use to differentiate themselves from tourists. But are things really so black and white? Is being a tourist much different than being a culture traveler?

Let’s begin by looking at the differences between

Cultural Travel and Tourism

Tourism, in fact, is an industry. It provides services and activities, such as accommodation and entertainment, to people who are traveling to a certain destination. Tourists usually prefer popular attractions and trendy areas, as these are easily accessible and offer a range of entertainment and distraction options. Many tourists are simply trying to escape the routine and boredom of their own daily life.

Cultural travel, on the other hand, involves taking the time to learn about the history and customs of a place, as well as engaging with the local people and their culture. Cultural travelers usually venture off the beaten path, seeking out unique experiences that cannot be found in a traditional tourist destination, such as visiting local festivals, attending cultural events, exploring unknown places, and tasting exotic food.

Culturally immersive trips that engage with local communities are trending, as demand for meaningful and useful travel experiences is on the rise among those looking at travel as a tool to learn about the world and enrich their own life.

Some Cultural Travel experiences may include participating in activities like language classes, culinary experiences, music and art classes, volunteering, and nature immersion. All of these activities offer a more in-depth understanding of a culture and its people and can help create more memorable holidays and even lasting friendships.

Juxtapose this with tourism as a form of escapism for mere pleasure and entertainment. In many parts of the world, and in many cases it’s the tourists themselves who ruin a destination or depreciate a culture
when they support unsustainable tourism practices and are simply spectators in a foreign country.

By engaging in culturally immersive travel, we can help protect and preserve the places we visit, and even contribute to sustainable development projects. We can make sure that our presence is not having a negative impact on local people, their livelihoods, and the environment. Plus, we can help support local businesses and contribute to the local economy. Above all, it can open our eyes to the beauty of different cultures and help us to become more open-minded, open-hearted individuals.

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Luxury Train Travel in Europe

The Grand Luxury Transcantabrico Train

“The train is a small world moving through a larger world.

Elisha Cooper

Luxury Train Travel in Europe

A relaxing and peaceful journey is what luxury trains are all about. The trains go through breathtaking scenery, mountains and valleys, or along beaches, rivers, and lakes, providing views not available from highways or skyways.

The accommodations are of impeccable quality, with ample space. A dedicated cabin crew is always on hand, and you can expect fresh linen, amenities, and turn-down service equal to any 5-star hotel.

The cuisine on a luxury train is of the highest standard, offering fine dining to rival even some of the most notable restaurants known. With large bars, impressive wine selection, and enticing menus that celebrate the culinary highlights of the towns and cities which are traveled through, you will enjoy unforgettable feasts with friends, or make new ones along the way.

The Golden Age of rail travel is recalled on several luxurious European train rides. Utmost comfort is guaranteed for passengers during the whole journey thanks to the attention of the uniformed staff. The private cabins are outfitted with luxurious furnishings, and the observation carriages are attractively decorated.

Of all the opulent trains in Europe, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is possibly the most famous. Stepping onto the train, guests travel back in time between Venice, Italy, and through intriguing places such as Vienna, Prague, Berlin, and Paris. Sleeper cars from the 1920s and 1930s have been lovingly refurbished, with rich upholstery and vintage fittings. The train features three restaurant cars from the 1920s, each with distinct and unforgettable elements, as well as a sophisticated Bar Car where passengers can relax over drinks or coffee. A journey on this train is just one of the many luxurious options in Europe.

Venice Simpleton Orient Express

Other noteworthy luxury train tours in Europe

1. The Royal Scotsman, a cross-country train in Scotland that takes in the breathtaking beauty of the wild Highlands.

  1. The Golden Eagle train runs 8,000 miles between Moscow and Vladivostok.

3. The Golden Eagle Danube Express travels along historic rail routes in Central and Eastern Europe.

4. The Transcantábrico Train, a prestige jewel of a railway converted into a luxurious hotel that travels across northern Spain.

Traveling by luxury train is like taking a trip in a lavish rolling hotel. With first-class facilities and opulence throughout, the railway, unlike a hotel, also transports you to your destination, making it a great value since it combines travel and lodging.

Luxurious rail travel is uncommon, and only a small percentage of passengers can say they have experienced one. Nothing quite compares to being on board a train that is both an icon in its own right, and an indulgent mode of transportation.

Trains pass through some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes and can span large areas and reach incredible places that other modes of transportation can only dream of. Through panoramic windows, you can watch the world go by in the most remarkable and relaxing manner imaginable.

I think David Baldacci put it best when he said “It’s not the beginning or the destination that counts. It’s the ride in between”.

Have you experienced luxury travel by train?
If so, leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear about it.

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Brilliant Travel Accessories for 2023

Brilliant Travel Accessories for 2023

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the travel accessories you’ll need for your next trip, especially if you’re planning on traveling lighter and smarter.

It’s important to think about size and weight, which are equally important factors. You should stick to fairly small devices that don’t take up too much space or that won’t put your bag over the allowed weight limit especially if you’re planning on traveling with only a carry-on bag.

With these 5 ingenious travel gadgets and accessories, you can travel wiser and lighter in 2023. Everything from the top adapters, space-savers, and travel safety items.

5 Top Travel Gadgets

  1. Have you ever been surprised by having to pay for excess weight at the airport on your way back from your holiday? This small, portable, Digital Luggage Scale is compact and lightweight and can weigh up to 110 lb / 50 kg luggage. And best of all, it doesn’t require any batteries.

    2. This Universal Travel Adapter is the only travel adapter you’ll ever need! It’s an all-in-one International Plug Adaptor with 5.6A Multi USB + 3.0A Type-C + AC power adapter that works worldwide – UK, USA, Thailand, Japan, the EU, AUS + 224 Countries.

    3. And check out this travel-sized Wireless Router with USB Media Storage. This TP-Link N300 Single Band Wi-Fi Nano Travel Router supports multiple operating modes, and has a single-core CPU, with 1×10/100Mbps WAN/LAN Port, 1 Micro USB Port, and 2× fixed antennas.

    4. Avoid the knots and frustration at the security check with this nifty cable organizer. This multifunction electronic bag is exquisite and lightweight, easy to carry, and very suitable for traveling. It can store cables, memory cards, hard drives, mobile power supplies, USB cables, mini cameras, and phones.

    5. Stay hydrated and save the environment with this collapsible water bottle. Uniquely portable and incredibly versatile, the Nomader® Collapsible Water Bottle keeps you hydrated NOMADer where you go. Nomader® eco-friendly water bottles are designed and rigorously tested for health-conscious consumers. Made of 100% food-grade materials that are free of BPA, BPS, lead, PVC, phthalates and other harmful leaching chemicals.

    What other travel accessories do you recommend?

    Have you used any of these?

    Let us know in the comments section.

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    Travel Trends in 2023

    After years of lockdowns and public health restrictions, the world has officially reopened to travelers. We can finally take to the skies, seas, and roads with more confidence than we have since 2019.

    International travel nearly tripled between January and July of 2022—up 172 percent from the same period in 2021, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). With 2022 serving as the year of recuperation, it’s predicted that 2023 will be the year of innovation.

    According to the UNWTO, the travel sector has regained over 60% of its pre-pandemic levels. 2023 will see a new way of exploring the world with a shift in why we’re looking to get away, as well as the types of vacations we take. This year, slow travel, domestic travel, or visiting a dream destination are all possibilities for travelers.

    According to, 73% of people feel more optimistic about traveling in 2023 than they did the previous year. Travelers want to have a more long-term positive impact on the places and people they visit to deepen their own experiences. They also want to make more conscious decisions about how they travel, keeping the preservation of our planet in mind.

    Let’s look at a few travel trends likely to influence how we see the world in 2023.

    1. Responsible Travel is no longer a niche. Globetrotters are emphasizing responsible travel more and more as they want to experience a place like a local. Your effect as a traveler is more obvious when you’re bridging the gap between tourist and local and creating personal connections. According to a Virtuoso poll, customers are willing to spend extra if doing so will help the community and local economy.

    2. Digital Nomadism was becoming more popular long before remote work became the norm. But, long-term digital nomadism may not be suitable for everyone. Consequently, “hush” trips have the potential to be the newest travel trend in 2023. This allows remote workers to pack their belongings and leave for a short period of time-say, a week or two-without informing their employer. They, log in, get on with work, and set aside some time for exploration.

    3. Personal Growth is a consideration for travelers in 2023. Many travelers have expressed that they will be looking to improve themselves and their talents, and they will organize their excursions based on the lessons they will pick up along the way. 58% of individuals desire to travel for this reason, thus personal growth is one area they are giving priority to.

    4. Budget Conscious travelers are carefully considering their travel expenditures for 2023, with 50% of respondents stating they still view vacation spending as a top financial priority. 68% of travelers are cost- conscious, choosing experiences over costly travel expenses like luxurious lodging. Millennials are the generation most likely to use the available applications and search engines to find the best prices.

    5. Family Trips will be focused on human versus digital connection. Families that spent too much high-stress time together during the pandemic are looking for purposeful, bucket-list trips to reconnect and bond with each other. The post-pandemic family holiday experience is centered on broadening children’s horizons via genuine human interaction, stressing “green time” over screen time.

    We can see that in 2023 there will be an emphasis on meaningful and sustainable travel and even more attention to the activities you participate in once you arrive at your destination.

    We hope that this brief list of travel trends will inspire you as you explore what form of travel might be in store for you in 2023.

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    25 Romantic Destinations To Visit This Valentine’s Day

    With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching on the 14th of February we have put together this fantastic list of the top 25 romantic places to go on Valentine’s Day this year. Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse for a special getaway to create unforgettable memories with the person you love the most. Fortunately, there is no shortage of beautifully romantic places in the world to unleash your passion.

    We have put together this collection of well-known classics with some lesser-known personal favourites of ours to help you plan your next daring romantic getaway. Choose the option that best suits yours and your partner’s tastes and start making plans for your romantic Valentine’s Day holiday.

    1. Paris, France

    Paris is renowned for being the city of love and easily tops the list of any romantic destinations for Valentine’s Day. Paris is the perfect destination for les amourex who can walk along the beautiful streets of Paris, hand in hand, whilst visiting the Eiffel Tower. Indulge in the glittering lights of the city at night to set a romantic mood whilst taking in the cultural attractions of one of Europe’s cultural capitals.

    2. Rome, Italy

    Rome is one of the most visited cities in Europe and is a perfect choice for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Explore the amazing relics of Rome like the Colosseum and Roman Forum, alongside the renaissance monuments such as St. Peter’s Basilica and the Trevi Fountain. The city is also renowned for its excellent cuisine and offers plenty of romantic eating spots.

    3. Barcelona, Spain

    Barcelona is a city with a vibrant tradition with Valentine’s Day. Catalunya also celebrates its own version of lover’s day on the 23rd of April when men give out roses to women whilst women give books to men. The entire city celebrates this event and is filled with stalls selling roses and books, creating a charming and beautiful site. Barcelona is also famous for its amazing food and beautiful beaches.

    4. Ljubljana, Slovenia

    Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and is known as the Green Capital thanks to its abundant green spaces. Stroll through the beautiful Tivoli Park or visit the Dragon Bridge before heading to Ljubljana Castle to learn about the history of this city. If you are interested in art and culture, you will find Ljubljana has plenty to offer you as you explore the city’s museums and art galleries.

    5. Venice, Italy

    When you are creating a list of romantic cities Venice is bound to be one of the first that comes to your mind. There is something extremely magical about the sinking city on the water. Imagine yourself and your loved one floating along the Venetian lagoon, being serenaded by a Gondolier whilst you enjoy delightful wine and food. The best part is the pink glass in the street lights of the Piazza San Marco casts a beautiful rosy hue onto lovers as they walk through the city at night.

    6. Bruges, Belgium

    The quaint Belgian town of Bruges is famous for its picturesque looks and cosy atmosphere and is the perfect destination for a couple this Valentine’s Day. Explore the Medieval streets and tree-lined canals before heading to the Minnewater Park where, legend has it, that you will find true love if you cross the lake with your partner.

    7. Aachen, Germany

    This German city is the perfect romantic spa break destination for you and your partner this Valentine’s Day. Located close to the Dutch border, Aachen is a charming city that’s bursting with history for you to explore. It is also famous for its healing waters and thermal springs. In fact, ancient celts, Roman legionaries and the emperor Charlemagne all made use of the springs here and there are several spa resorts for you to enjoy in Aachen.

    8. Prague, Czech Republic

    Prague is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and is full of romance. Walk around the city’s old town and feel like you are the protagonists of your own love story whilst you take in the sites and live music of the city. Head to the Charles Bridge early before it gets busy and enjoy one of the most romantic spots in Prague.

    9. Vienna, Austria

    Vienna’s unique atmosphere gives it its place as one of the most romantic cities in Europe. With the perfect balance of old and new Vienna has plenty of narrow cobbled streets to explore, cafes and coffee shops to relax in and plenty of artists to watch and enjoy. We recommend taking your partner on a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride or even having dinner at the top of the world’s oldest Ferris wheel.

    10. Santorini, Greece

    Santorini is one of the world’s most popular honeymoon destinations and is the capital of romance. The island in the Aegean Sea is nestled with beautiful beaches and picturesque landscapes for you to enjoy in tranquillity. Santorini is a classic romantic choice for those looking for a peaceful and secluded getaway. February is also the low season which might help you find a great deal.

    11. Rovaniemi, Sweden

    Rovaniemi is the perfect destination for those looking to snuggle up with their loved one in a winter wonderland. Enjoy the arctic nights in an open igloo whilst you stargaze and wait for the beautiful northern lights or ride a sleigh pulled by reindeer in this region of Swedish Lapland. If you are an active couple try your hand at skiing in one of the most wonderful winter landscapes we have ever seen.

    12. Brasov, Romania

    Romania might not be the first place that comes to mind when you are thinking about a romantic getaway but the fairytale town of Brasov is a magical place. Brasov is the perfect place to walk hand in hand with your loved one through the snow-covered streets whilst you take in the beautiful surroundings of the Carpathian Mountains. Treat yourself to a candlelight tour of the town to learn about its history and architecture that involves a local legend about a vampire.

    13. Edinburgh, Scotland

    Scotland is the perfect romantic destination for those who aren’t looking to travel far this Valentine’s Day. With its Rolling hills, striking lochs and local tales of love and heartbreak Scotland is full of romance. The capital city of Edinburgh is the perfect destination for a romantic city break this Valentine’s Day. Explore the cobbled streets and admire the medieval architecture before trying some delicious whisky.

    14. Belgrade, Serbia

    Belgrade is the perfect romantic holiday destination for couples looking to get off the beaten track. The Serbian capital boasts elegant boulevards, beautiful monuments and amazing restaurants for you to explore. We recommend visiting Skadarlija, a cobblestone street so beautiful that it is often compared to Montmartre in Paris.

    15. Florence, Italy

    Italy is full of beautiful and romantic cities that are perfect for a Valentine’s Day getaway but Florence is easily one of the best options. The city encapsulates renaissance art and architecture and boasts a wide range of beautiful attractions to explore. Visit the Florence Cathedral, Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio and the Palazzo Vecchio before enjoying some delicious Italian food and wine with your loved one. In short, Florence is defined by romance, art and amazing cuisine.

    16. Budapest, Hungary

    Budapest is often referred to as the Paris of the East and it is easy to see why. The Hungarian capital is an incredibly romantic city with beautiful monuments and a majestic aura. Spend your day exploring the city’s rich historic heritage before trying one of the world-famous thermal baths. The outdoor pools are especially romantic in winter as you sit in the thermal pool whilst taking in the beautiful snow-covered landscape before indulging in a relaxing massage.

    17. Granada, Spain

    Granada is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain and really showcases Andalusian culture at its best. Explore and enjoy the Moorish architecture that defines the region and get lost in the amazing Alhambra. Try the Arab baths or relax in one of the city’s tearooms before watching a beautiful sunset from the Mirador de San Nicolas.

    18. Buenos Aires, Argentina

    For those couples who don’t mind travelling further afield this Valentine’s Day, Buenos Aires is the perfect romantic destination. Celebrate your love to the rhythm of tango in the beautiful capital of Argentina. Try your hand at dancing with the locals in this Latin paradise as you fall in love with the city almost as much as you are with each other.

    19. Verona, Italy

    Few places in the world can be as romantic as the setting for the famous story of Romeo and Juliet. Verona is located close to Venice and is a beautiful medieval town beautifully positioned on the Adige River. If you are interested in the history of the Shakespearian story, visit Juliet’s famous balcony or, if you are interested in creating your own romantic tale, take your loved one to the hidden grounds of Gardino Giusti and roam its maze before heading to Castiel Saint Pietra to watch the sunset.

    20. Seville, Spain

    Seville is another beautiful Andalusian city located in the south of Spain that is perfect for those looking for a romantic getaway this Valentine’s Day. Enjoy the sun and warm weather as you walk hand in hand by the Torre del Oro or as you explore the City’s Jewish quarter. Give in to the corny feeling as you kiss your love on the beautiful Triana Bridge before trying some local tapas with a rebujitos (a local cocktail).

    21. Amsterdam, Netherlands

    The Dutch capital might not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of romantic destinations, instead conjuring images of the city’s famous red-light district, but Amsterdam is actually a wonderful destination for couples. Stroll through the beautiful canals before enjoying a romantic dinner onboard a cruise. We also suggest enjoying a kiss with your loved one on the Magere Brug bridge, which local legends say is supposed to guarantee eternal love.

    22. Kyoto, Japan

    The perfect Valentine’s Day destination for those who would go to the end of the world for their partner. Kyoto is a magical city and is Japan’s cultural capital. The city is full of history and tradition for you to explore. Don’t forget to visit the amazing bamboo forest of Sagano. This unique natural space is the perfect place to spend Valentine’s Day.

    23. The Maldives

    The Maldives are considered to be a literal paradise and are the perfect place to relax with your loved one this Valentine’s Day. This romantic archipelago boasts amazing beaches, resorts, villas and restaurants for you to enjoy. Relax in the sun on the white sandy beaches before swimming in the turquoise sea.

    24. Sintra, Portugal

    Sintra is a beautiful resort town in Portugal located between the sea and the mountains. The city is famous for its 19th-century Romanticist architecture, which includes royal palaces, castles and historic estates. Sintra was also a favourite of Bohemian writers and artists of the 18th and 19th centuries and is the perfect place to escape the cosmopolitan culture and lose yourself in the relaxed atmosphere.

    25. Marrakech, Morocco

    Travel to the magical city of Marrakech this Valentine’s Day and explore all this beautiful city has to offer. Explore the beautiful architecture and try the amazing food of this Morrocan city with your partner. Visit the Medina with its beautiful souk or let yourself be carried away by the scents of the Djema el Fna square. We recommend visiting a Hammam, or luxury spa, to relax as a couple.

    Valentine’s Day is all about spending time with the person you love the most, but why not spend it exploring a beautiful romantic city together? Here at Panoramic Villas, we hope this list has inspired you to take your partner on a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway this year.

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