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STA Travel Blog

5 of Europe’s most enchanting Christmas markets

Foliage covered wooden huts, the scent of mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and allll the melted Nutella. Yep you’ve got it, Christmas markets are on their way and boy does Europe know how to put on a show! So grab a scarf, mittens and a bag to fill up with  decorations and get exploring some of Europe’s most enchanting offerings. We’ll meet you in the beer tent…

1. Vilnius, Lithuania

With its medieval layout, baroque cityscape, and cobblestone streets, the heart of Lithuania’s capital city, Vilnius, charms in any season of the year. But with a dusting of snow across the medieval castles, Vilnius is all the more stunning, especially when viewed from the 22nd floor from the town’s coveted Skybar. We can’t explain the locals love for Frank Zappa, but during the winter months – this laid back city is a truly enchanting wonderland.

magical christmas lithuania
Image: Delfi

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Solo female travel in Sri Lanka: How safe is it?

Ladies, it’s official. Sri Lanka is one of our favourite travel destinations of 2017, and if you make the pilgrimage, it’ll no doubt be one of yours too.


This little dot in the Indian Ocean may well be well and truly open for business to backpackers now, but the island still has that whole ‘untouched’ thing going on. Think beach huts and hammock-clad hostels on unspoiled tropical beaches, and misty villages high in the hills. Then there’s gorgeous temples, ample wildlife encounters, great food and authentic interactions with some of the warmest locals Asia has to offer.

We’re not usually ones for blanket statements. But to give you an idea of exactly what makes Sri Lanka such an intriguing destination, we’ll say this. It’s a bit like a smaller (ie. easier to get around), chilled out and polite version of its big, brash brother, India.

And it pulls this off without losing any of that charm, culture, or eye-popping colour.

 

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We know because we go: Our Top Tips – Aussie style

Australia is the sixth LARGEST country on the planet. Like a delicious All-You-Can-Eat buffet, it’s hard to know where to start. You don’t want to fill up on salad, you need to save room for the best bits. So, with that in mind, we thought we’d get sentimental with a few wanderlusters here at STA, to find out their favourite memories Down Under and give you some hot tips to help you get stuck in!

Luke (Social team)

The best thing I did in Aus was buying a camper-van (a 1983 Nissan beast named ‘Roy’) with three good mates. We were on the road for two months (probably the best 2 months of my life!) travelling through every state. We had no itinerary, no set plan and no time restraints… just a map and a boot full of goon (for whoever wasn’t driving, of course!) Yes, there were sketchy moments e.g. close encounters with kangaroos, spiders, snakes and echidnas; But the laughs, sights, stories and memories I have from those two months will live with me forever.

TIP: I would 100% recommend buying or renting a campervan and going as far as you can. It’s the freedom to drive where you want, when you want that makes it the ultimate adventure. Buying can mean you can then sell your camper before you leave, and recouping a lot of dollar! But admittedly, renting is a lot simpler and more hassle free.

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10 Japanese weird and wonderful foodie experiences

We all know that one of the most important parts of any trip is trying the local cuisine. If your dream vacay is sussing out the area with your stomach, we reckon the culinary hot-spot Japan might just be the place for you. Where else could you get toilet-curry (bear with us) or Pokémon flavour Mcflurries?

We are soy into these bizarre but delicious Japanese eateries. No more Mr Rice Guy it’s time to get weird!

1. Catch flowing noodles in Kyoto – Hirobun

What makes a scrumptious bowl of somen noodles even better? Having to catch them with a pair of chopsticks as they zoom out of a bamboo waterfall. This gets our heart racing more than any bungee jump could!

A post shared by nununumako (@nununumako) on

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A Whistler for all seasons

As the largest resort in North America, you’ve no doubt heard about Whistler’s epic snowfall and opportunities to shred the gnarliest powder around! However, for those professional snow-ploughers, there is so much more to Whistler Blackcomb, that goes beyond the ski season. We’ve rounded up our fave 11 activities to do in winter through to summer.

Winter is for dive-bombing into several inches of fresh powder and cosying up in bars…

1. Carve up the slopes.

Well, we thought we’d get it over with at the beginning. Yes, this place is a snow-lovers playground and it deserves that adoration. From the rookie skier to the pro, there is a slope for you. A little more experienced? Choose one of the safe off-piste routes and explore the back country.

A post shared by Sean Pettit (@seanpettit_) on

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