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STA Travel Blog

ASOS Insider: Shope Delano in Croatia

This summer we followed ASOS insider Shope Delano on her Croatia sailing trip and omg did she have the most sun-filled, blue-skied, blissful time EVER! Shope spent 8 days on a yacht sailing the Adriatic coast from Split to Dubrovnik, stopping off at hidden beaches, party islands and cultural cities. Does life really get much better than that?

Here’s a little rundown of her time spent sailing one of the most picturesque coastlines in the world…

Time for take off

“Should count my lucky stars as i’m leaving this dreary weather behind and am off to sail around Croatia with STA Travel” – Shope Delano
Time to take off
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Top 4 quirkiest festivals in Europe

Travelling through Europe is often considered a rite of passage; where else could you discover jaw-dropping historical sights, stumble happily from gigantic beer halls, fall madly in love with the world’s most romantic cities or yodel yourself hoarse on green pastured mountain peaks. With festival season just around the corner, there is no better excuse to start planning your European summer trip!

1. LA BATALLA DEL VINO


Image: www.hoy.es

Where? Haro, La Rioja, Spain
When? 28-30 June
Why? We’ve always been told wine is too precious to waste, and if you are going to waste it – do it wisely. However, in the small town of Haro – a battle to end all battles takes place to celebrate the Spanish wine festival. This is not the kind of wine festival where people stand around swirling glasses, scoffing camembert whilst discussing bouquets and undertones. This is rioja-soaked carnage involving the entire town throwing over 50,000 litres of red wine all over each other. Rest assured, the wine is no Gran Reserva – so grab a jug and get stuck in. With no rules, teams, winners or losers – why not celebrate St. Peter’s Feast Day with the locals, get a bit drunk and turn a beautiful shade of purple.

2. LA TOMATINA

Where? Bunol, Spain (close to Valencia)
When? 31 August
Why? There is something strangely enticing about a festival dedicated to throwing squashed tomatoes! That’s why thousands flood in to Valencia each year with the specific intent of taking part in the world’s biggest food fight. The fight begins at 11am when a loud firework will go off, and then participants are left to stand their own over the next chaotic hour as the streets and the people turn into a sea of red, until the second firework goes off to indicate the end. The fun doesn’t stop there, the palo-jambon event will see people climbing a soap-covered pole to reach the prosciutto on the top, with the first person to grab it claiming victory and the ham! So if you are a bit of a foodie, be sure to get a ticket to this event.

3. HALLOWEEN


Where? Translyvania, Romania
When? 29 Oct – 4 Nov
Why? We know Halloween is worldwide, but there’s something about Transylvania that sends an icy chill down the most fearless adventurer – would you be willing to spend the one of the most haunted days in the year in Dracula’s castle? You can attend a Halloween party in an authentic, gothic castle and rave the night away to the monster mash. While you’re there explore Romania’s haunted castles, Gothic architecture and enchanting forests. You might even meet some lovely locals.

Fact: Dracula was based upon the Transylvanian villain known as ‘Vlad the Impaler’.

4. OKTOBERFEST

Where? Munich, Germany
When? 19 Sep – 4 Oct
Why? Oktoberfest is the German beer folk festival held once a year in Munich. It celebrates the anniversary of the wedding between Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and his wife. Oktoberfest takes place in giant beer tents, serving the best German beer and food you’ll enjoy for a long time! But it’s not just about the beer, each tent has a brass band playing everything from chart hits to traditional classics. All you have to do is grab your mates, don the lederhosen, pick up a pint glass and party German style…worry about the hangover tomorrow.
Fact: Bavaria does not run out of lederhosen. For cheap outfits try C&A in Neuhauserstrasse at Marienplatz. A one litre Stein costs about £8.

Europe has got some wicked festivals, let’s just say it’s going to be a great summer!

Why You Should Take a Trans-Mongolian Adventure

Let’s get one thing straight from the start, you’ve got to at least be able to tolerate trains. Preferably, you’ll have a kind of quiet delight for the idea of being gently rocked to sleep while travelling at (slow) speed through the Mongolian steppe. At the thought of having up to 5 days in front of you with nothing to do but read, watch half the world go by out of the window, walk to the dining car, walk back, and repeat.

But, aside from the time on the train, you should also be ready to experience travelling in a whole new way. To take the slow route and have a better trip because of it. Here are just a few reasons we think you should hop on board the Trans-Mongolian railway.

Just one of the routes available for the Trans-Mongolian

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6 Reasons Why Europe Group Travel Rocks

Travelling Europe in a group rocks and we’re here to tell you why? With group travel, you’re not alone but have the freedom to explore Europe independently – so if your mates can’t be bothered to come along, you don’t have to brave it alone. Plus, you’ll have the added bonus of meeting different people from all over the world and make new mates!

Group travel takes the stress out of sorting everything, like knowing where the best places to eat in Rome are or how to book that train in French. You’ll be taken away from the touristy hot spots and see sights you couldn’t have discovered alone!

But we’ll let the blog do the talking, here’s six reasons why Europe group travel rocks:
Europe group tours
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12 Festivals For Your 2015 Wish List

The chill of winter is (finally) beginning to clear and, if you’re anything like us at STA Travel Towers, your thoughts are turning towards a time when your white white toes will see the light of day in fancy flip flops.

And with the coming light nights and hot(ish) days comes thoughts of festivals. While the UK is still an amazing musical hub (and we’ve included a couple here for good patriotic measure) European festivals really are amazing when it comes to value for money, hot line ups and, sometimes, more reliable sunshine.

Summer is coming…you better be ready.

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