France attracts each year millions of foreign tourists making it the most popular tourist destination in the world. 

It offers anything your heart and mind desire: Paris, one of the world’s truly great cities, the large cities of Lyon and Marseille and even every town and village seems to have something to offer. Beyond urban France, there is a diverse range of nature, with everything from Alpine peaks to the amazing sea cliffs on the Atlantic coast and some of Europe’s wildest areas, like the Camargue in the south.


Paris is one of the most fascinating cities in Europe, and tourists will find, in this wonderful city, those things to see and to do which are almost limitless. Known as the ‘City of Light’, the beauty of Paris is overwhelming and the architectural and artistic heritage both combined make any visit an unforgettable experience.

Paris is the second-largest city in Western Europe, and it is probably the city with the most things to see. It is impossible to count all the highlights Paris has to offer, but some of the most famous are the world-renowned Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre-Dame and also other notable city jewels such as the Musée d’Orsay.
If time permits, other must-see sights in Paris include the Panthéon, the Musée Rodin, the Basilique du Sacré Coeur, the Catacombes des Paris and the beautiful Place des Vosges. For relaxed wandering choose and explore the Luxembourg Gardens or Le Marais, elegant St-Germain and romantic Montmartre.


Bordeaux has been officially included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites as of 28 June 2007. 

With over 350 historic monuments in a protected area of 147 hectares, as well as 3 churches (Saint-André, Saint-Michel, and Saint-Seurin) that were already listed as World Heritage sites on the pilgrim road to Santiago de Compostela, Bordeaux had a number of assets to convince the jury. Above and beyond its lovely architecture, Bordeaux was chosen for its attractive, vibrant, and cosmopolitan districts. From the narrow streets of the Saint-Michel quarter to buildings from the 60s and 70s in Mériadeck, these districts reflect the life of a city that has evolved without losing its character or identity.

French Riviera – “Cote D’Azur”

The French Riviera (known in French as the Côte d’Azur) is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from Cassis, Toulon or Saint-Tropez on the west to Menton at the France–Italy border in the east, where the Italian Riviera joins.

Nice is the capital of the French Riviera and is the 5th largest city of France. Throughout the ages the town changed hands many times. Its strategic location and port significantly contributed to its maritime strength. For years, it was an Italian dominion, and then became part of France in 1860. Culturally and architecturally enriched over time, today Nice has become a truly cosmopolitan tourist destination. The city’s main seaside promenade, the Promenade des Anglais (‘the Walkway of the English’) owes its name to the earliest visitors to the resort. In the Old City of Nice, you will discover the narrow streets, the history of the town and the well known baroque architecture.


Lourdes is a small market town lying in the foothills of the Pyrenees in southwestern France. It was best known for the Château fort de Lourdes, a fortified castle. It later became one of the world’s most important sites of pilgrimage and religious tourism due to the Marian apparitions claimed to have been seen by the peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.

Boly Mill where St Bernadette was born, and the “Cachot,” an abandoned prison where Bernadette’s impoverished family lived is a must see. You can join your prayers with those of pilgrims from around the world as you pray for the sick, drink water from the miraculous spring or submerge yourself in the healing baths. Experience Christ’s love as you walk the life-sized Stations of the Cross overlooking the holy Grotto.

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While it’s true that Portugal is no longer the Iberian Peninsula’s best-kept secret, it’s fairly easy to escape the crowds. 

Even at the busiest resorts in the Algarve, it only takes a short bus ride or a walk across countryside to reveal rarely visited places that still offer the feeling of discovery – a sentiment close to the Portuguese soul. Portugal has an old-fashioned charm, with medieval castles and picture-perfect villages scattered over meandering coastlines and flower-covered hillsides. From the ancient university town of Coimbra to Lord Byron’s favourite Portuguese haunt, Sintra, the country’s proud history can be felt everywhere. Sun-kissed beaches like Cascais and Sagres offer enticements of a more hedonistic sort. Indeed, the dramatic end-of-the-world cliffs, wild dune covered beaches, protected coves and long sandy islands of Portugal’s coastline have long enchanted visitors and locals alike. Meanwhile, the country’s capital, Lisbon, and its northern rival, Porto, are magical places for the wanderer with riverside views, cobblestone streets and rattling trams framed by looming cathedrals.


Spread across steep hillsides that overlook the Rio Tejo, Lisbon offers all the delights you’d expect of Portugal’s star attraction, yet with half the fuss of other European capitals. 

Gothic cathedrals, majestic monasteries and quaint museums are all part of the colourful cityscape, but the real delights of discovery lie in wandering the narrow lanes of Lisbon’s lovely backstreets. As bright yellow trams wind their way through curvy tree-lined streets, the citizens stroll through the old quarters. Village-life gossip in old Alfama is exchanged at the public baths or over fresh bread and wine at tiny patio restaurants while fadistas (proponents of fado, Portugal’s traditional melancholic singing) perform in the background. Meanwhile, in the other parts of town, visitors and locals chase the ghosts of Pessoa in warmly lit 1930s-era cafes or walk along the seaside that once saw the celebrated return of Vasco da Gama. Yet, while history is very much alive in centuries-old Lisbon, its spirit is undeniable youthful. In the hilltop district of Bairro Alto the visitors will find many restaurant, bars and nightclubs. The Lisbon experience gathered together so many things from enjoying a fresh pastry and bica (espresso) to window-shopping in elegant Chiado or watching the sunset from the old Moorish castle.


Porto, also known as Oporto, is the second-largest city in Portugal, after Lisbon, and one of the major urban areas in Southern Europe. Located along the Douro River, Porto is one of the oldest European centres, and registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996.

Its settlement dates back many centuries, when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire. One of Portugal’s internationally famous exports, port wine, is named for Porto, since the metropolitan area, and in particular the adegas of Vila Nova de Gaia, were responsible for the production and export of the fortified wine. The history of Porto dates back to the 4th century, to the Roman occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. Celtic and Proto-Celtic ruins have been discovered in several areas, and their occupation has been dated to about 275 BC. During the Roman occupation, the city developed as an important commercial port. In 1387, Porto was the site of the marriage of John I of Portugal and Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John og Gaunt. The Portuguese-English alliance is the world’s oldest recorded military alliance. In the 14th and the 15th centuries, Porto’s shipyards contributed to the development of Portuguese shipbuilding. The nickname given to the people of Porto began in those days; Portuenses are to this day, colloquially, referred to as tripeiros (English: tripe peoples), when higher-quality cuts of meat were shipped from Porto with their sailors, while off-cuts and by-products, such as tripe, were left behind for the citizens of Porto: tripe remains a culturally important dish in modern day Porto.


There are many archaeological structures which date to the Roman era, when Coimbra was the settlement of Aeminium, such as its well-preserved aqueduct and crypto-porticos. 

Similarly, buildings from the period when Coimbra served as the capital of Portugal (from 1131 to 1255) still remain. During the Late Middle Ages, with its decline as the political centre of the Kingdom of Portugal, Coimbra began to evolve into a major cultural centre, helped by the university finally established there in 1537. The university, one of the oldest in Europe, apart from attracting many European and international students, is visited by tourists for its monuments and history. The city, located over a hill by the river Mondego, was called Aeminium in Roman times.
As early as the Middle Ages, Coimbra was divided into an upper city (Cidade Alta or Almedina), where the aristocracy and the clergy lived, and the low city (Cidade Baixa) by the Mondego River, where most commercial activities took place. The city was encircled by a fortified wall, of which some remnants are still visible like the Almedina Gate (Porta da Almedina).  In the 15th and 16th centuries, during the Age of Discovery, Coimbra was again one of the main artistic centres of Portugal thanks to both local and royal patronage.
The University of Coimbra was founded as Studium Generale in Lisbon in 1290.  The collections of scientific instruments and material acquired since then are nowadays gathered in the Science Museum of the University of Coimbra, and constitute one of the most important historical science collections in Europe. Apart from the monuments already mentioned, it is also worth a visit to the New Cathedral of Coimbra and the Machado de Castro Museum. The city also houses the University of Coimbra General Library, Portuguese second biggest library and the Botanical Garden.


The name of the town and parish actually evolved from the Arabic name Fatima, the name of Moorish princess. 

The history of Fátima is associated with three children: Lúcia and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto who, on 13 May 1917, while guarding their sheep in Cova da Iria and witnessed an apparition of a lady dressed in white (today occupied by the Chapel of Apparitions). The lady, later referred to Our Lady of the Rosary indicated that she was sent by God with a message of prayer, repentance and consecrations, and visited the children in the next few months (all on the 13th of each month). The last apparition occurred in October, and was witnessed by 70.000 pilgrims, who saw the Miracle of the Sun. In addition, Our Lady of Fátima sent a message that consisted of three secrets: first, a vision of Hell where the souls of the sinful would travel without prayer; the second, prophesied the beginning of the Second World War; and ultimately, the mysterious third secret, which was written down by Lúcia dos Santos in 1944, and held by the Vatican, since 1957. Much later, sister Lúcia (she had become a nun), recounted visits between April and October 1916, by an angel to the children (three times) twice in Loca do Cabeço and the other by the well in Lúcia’s garden, who invited them to pray and penitence. Jacinta died in 1919 and Francisco in 1920 from the Spanish flu Epidemic of 1918-1920, and were later beatified on 13 May 2000 by Pope John Paul II. Lucia lived until 2005. In order to mark the location of the apparitions, a wooden arch with cross was constructed in Cova da Iria. The faithful began to travel in pilgrimage to the site, and on 6 August 1918, with donations from the public, a small chapel was begun, built from rock and limestone and covered in tile and it began to become a centre of Marian worship, receiving names such as a fé. Fátima, cidade da Paz (the faith of Fatima, City of Peace), or Terra de Milagres e Aparições (Land of Miracles and Apparitions).

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Spain attracts every year millions of foreign tourists making it one the most popular tourist destination in the world. 

It offers anything you may desire: Madrid, one of the world’s truly great cities, Barcelona, the avant-garde and modern one, other large cities of Sevilla and Santiago and even every town and village seems to have something to offer. Beyond urban Spain, there is another to discover: the nature here is amazing and you can find nearly everything: from Alpine peaks to the amazing sea cliffs on the Atlantic coast and the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea.


Madrid is a destination as well as a million other things. For many centuries a meeting point, it offers a great deal of cultural, leisure and entertainment activities to please millions of people who visit it every year. 

Madrid, with its cosmopolitan air and its growing amount of tourists is still the open city it has always been and its well known night life has not lost any of its vitality. This modern air harmoniously contrasts with its important old quarters and its cultural traditions. Its great transportation network makes getting around to any place you wish easy and quick, adding to this the best and most exclusive hotel accommodation network.


Valencia is one of the liveliest Mediteranean cities, known for its numerous gardens. The town has a rich history. It was in Muslim hands for five centuries, its Christian European history has been shaped as much by Catalonia, its neighbor to the north, as by Castilla. 

The region’s flag bears the red and yellow stripes of Catalonia and the mother tongue of many is the “Valenciano”, a dialect of Catalan. Valencia is famed for its nightlife, the wild Las Fallas spring festival and the stunning architecture of its Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. It is also worth a visit the cathedral with a bell tower of 8 angles – the symbol of the town and a walk through the lively streets of Barrio de Carmen.


Set on a plain rising gently from the sea to a range of wooded hills, Barcelona is Spain’s most cosmopolitan city and one of the Mediterranean’s busiest ports. Restaurants, bars and clubs are always packed, as is the seaside in summer. It regards its long past with pride. 

From Roman town it passed to medieval trade juggernaut, and its old centre constitutes one of the greatest concentrations of Gothic architecture in Europe. Beyond this core are some of the world’s more bizarre buildings: surreal spectacles capped by Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia church. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a region with its own language, character and history. The city itself could keep you occupied for weeks but just outside it are sandy beaches, Sitges and the Montserrat mountain range – so be sure to make time for a few day trips during your stay.


Spain’s most southerly region is the true home of typically Spanish experiences. Bullfighting, tapas, flamenco, the guitar itself, all began in Andalucía and remain deeply embedded here. 

Andalucía is the proud home of Spain’s most famous building, that bejeweled diadem of Islamic architecture, Granada’s Alhambra, as well as other marvelous relics of medieval Islamic Spain. The region also has a lesser-known but as fabulous heritage of cathedrals, palaces and castles from later eras. Contemporary Andalucía is ever more cosmopolitan and fashionable, with towns and cities like Cordoba, Cadiz and Malaga full of hip boutiques and hip bars, stylish restaurants and pumping nightlife. Andalucía is a land of surprises and contradictions. Away from the mass-tourism resorts you’ll find some of the most pristine beaches in the country, while inland are green hills, white villages, huge nature reserves and the snowcapped highest mountain range on the Spanish mainland, the Sierra Nevada.

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