Thursday, September 16, 2021

Luxembourg

                                                                                                                       Luxembourg Flag



Why visit Luxembourg?
Appeals to travelers seeking a European experience to enjoy abbey towns, biking, birdwatching, breweries, castles, cross country skiing, fishing, folk traditions, forests, hiking, historical sites, horseback riding, ice skating, museums, river valleys, sailing, scenic countryside, scuba diving, villages, waterskiing, and wineries.



Vianden Castle, Vianden, Luxembourg. Photo Credit: Michael Gaida/Pixabay 



At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Antiques, ceramics, cheeses, designer clothes, jewelry, leather bags, mustard, pâté, porcelain, smoked ham, and sparkling wines.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Bouneschlupp (bean soup). Cancoillotte (cheese). F'rell am Rèisleck (trout). Judd Mat Gaardebounen (pork). Kachkeis (cheese). Kriibsen (pork) Kachkeis (cheese). Kriibsen (crayfish). Quetschentaart (plum tart). Träipen (sausage).
  • Local Drink to Try:  Beierhaascht (beer). Bofferding (beer). Crémant de Luxembourg (wine) Grand Brewing (beer). Ourdaller (beer).


Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Photo Credit: djedj/Pixabay 




Fun Facts
  • During Paleolithic Age between the Rhine and Meuse rivers evidence of their first settlers is known.
  • In 698 AD, Abbey of Echternach (Echternach) was established by a missionary saint and monks.
  • In 1556, became part of the Spanish Netherlands.
  • Hollenfels Castle from the 11th Century has been repurposed as a hostel and youth activity center.
  • World's second largest Investment Fund Center.
  • Southern area (Gutland) is nicknamed "Little Switzerland".
  • Home of world's largest steel company (Arcelor Mittal).
  • Her Royal Highness Grand Duchess Maria Teresa was born in Cuba (Havana).
  • Animated film, Mr Hublot won an oscar.
  • Highly ranked as one of the world's best performers in environmental protection.
  • Largely produces dry white and sparkling wines.
  • One of the least populated countries in Europe.
  • Formerly the second richest country in the world.
  • Sells the most alcohol compared to other European countries.
  • Locals greet kiss one another three times on alternating cheeks.
  • Referred as the "Green Heart in Europe".


Bourscheid Castle, Bourscheid, Luxembourg. Photo Credit: Yvonne Huijbens/Pixabay 



Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (March) Carnival Parade, Printemps Musical, (April) L'Emaischen, Wine Fair, (May) Choréographique Luxembourgeois, Dancing Procession, Danz Festival Lëtzebuerg, Féerie du Genêt, Festival International Echternach, International Classical Music Festival, Octave of Our Lady of Luxembourg, (June) Fête de la Musique, Wine Festival, (July) Agricultural Fair, Beer Festival, Festival de Wiltz, Old Diekirch Festival, Open-Air Concerts, (August) Pottery FestivalProcession of the Holy Virgin, Schueberfouer, (September) Art Kirchberg, Fête du Raisin et du VinWine and Grape Festival, and (December) Marché de Noël.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Easter Monday, Labor Day, Europe Day, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, National Day, Assumption of Mary, All Saints' Day, Christmas Day, and St Stephen's Day.


Photo Credit: Yvonne Huijbens/Pixabay 


Good to Know
  • Sufficient proof of funds and a return plane ticket is required.
  • Avoid public demonstration.
  • Northern region (Eisleck) offers the best dramatic scenery.
  • Petty theft is known to occur on public transportation.
  • Considered accessibility friendly.
  • Prone to road congestion morning and evenings.
  • Diversely influenced by Austrians, Belgians, Dutch, French, Germans, and Spanish.
  • Drivers must carry a blank accident report in their vehicle in the event of an accident. Report is necessary for any accident not involving injury. 
  • Maximum allowable blood alcohol content while driving is 0.05%.
  • Seat belts are required.


Clervaux, Luxembourg. Photo Credit: Yvonne Huijbens/Pixabay 

  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA not required for visits under 90 days.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000USD.


Luxemborg City, Luxembourg. Photo Credit: Sergejs Gubarevs/Pixabay 



  • Best Time to Visit: May - October
  • Coldest Months: December - February 
  • Hottest Months: June - August
  • Peak Season: July - August
Echternach, Luxembourg. Photo Credit: Philipp Semmler/Pixabay 





Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: City of Luxembourg


Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Photo Credit: Pit Karges/Pixabay 



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                                               All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Lithuania

Lithuania Flag




Why visit Lithuania?
Known for art, birdwatching, bicycling, boating, castles, churches, culture, fishing, folk art, forests, historical sites, horseback riding, hunting, ice fishing, lakes, museums, music, nightlife, rivers, and theatre.
   


Trakai Island Castle, Trakai, Lithuania. Photo Credit: Anaterate/Pixabay



At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy:  Amber, Chocolate, Folk Crafts, Leather Works, Linens, Metal Work, Pagan Art, and Wood Carvings.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Bulviniai Blynai (potato pancake). Grybai (mushrooms). Kugelis (potato pudding). Kumpis (smoked ham). Saltibarsciai (soup). Skilandis (sausage).
  • Local Drink to Try: Kalnapilis (beer). Maluninku (liqueur). Midus (liqueur). Raguti (beer). Suktinus (liqueur). Svyturys (beer). Utenos (beer).


Photo Credit: nerami30/Pixabay 




Fun Facts
  • Grand Duke Algirdas built (1346) the Cathedral of the Theotokos (Orthodox Church)
  • The Palace of the Grand Dukes hosted the the first opera (1636).  
  • Kaunas Railway Tunnel is the f

    irst (1860) and still in operation. 
  • In 1918 became independent.
  • Klaipeda port is ice-free all year.
  • The Vilnius Hitchhiking Club is a leading due paying organization dedicated towards getting a free ride.
  • Nemunas River (largest) is used in international shipping.
  • A folklore, a groom carrying his bride over seven bridges on their Wedding Day is said to bring good luck.
  • Speaks one of oldest languages in the world, archaic Indo-European.
  • Birdwatching is popular at Curonian Spit.
  • Romuva Sanctuary (Sambia) is where Krivis, Pagan Pope resided.
  • Aukštojas Hill (Medininkai Highlands) is the highest point (965 ft).
  • Home to over 330 bird species.
  • Rye bread is eaten during most meals. 
  • Launched three satellites to space: LitSat-1, Lituanica SAT-1 and LituanicaSAT-2.
  • Church of St Peter & St Paul (Vilnius) has over 2000 different interior decor items.
  • Has over 75 breweries and 32 of them are microbreweries.
  • A 10 year education is mandated (ends at 16 years old).
  • Asveja is the longest and Tauragnas is the deepest lake.
  • Has approximately 3,000 lakes (majority in the northeast) and over 1,000 rivers and streams.
  • Basketball is their national and most popular sport.
  • Largest fresh water supplies amongst European countries.
  • Has 5 national parks, 30 regional parks, and 402 nature reserves.
  • Amongst those few in the world permitting hot air balloons over the city (Vilnius). 
  • Birthplace of team sport, ritinis.
  • Tourists largely visit from Belarus, Germany, Latvia, Poland, Russia, UK, and Ukraine.
  • Organic farming is popular.
  • Provides free state-funded healthcare to all citizens and long-term residents.
  • SIM cards out number the population.



Vilnius, Lithuania. Photo Credit: Jacqueline Macou/Pixabay 



Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (February) Lithuanian Indoor Athletics Championships, Vilnius Book Fair, (March) Kaziuko Mugė, Vilnius International Film Festival, Užgavėnės, (April) Kaunas Jazz, (May) Kauno Miesto Diena, Miss Lithuania, (June) Kilkim Žaibu, Klaipėda Castle Jazz Festival, Parbėg laivelis, Saint Jonas's Festival, Vilnius Culture Night, (July) Devilstone Open Air, Great Žemaičių Kalvarija Festival, Klaipėda Sea Festival, Lithuanian Archery Championships, (August) Be2gether, Lithuanian Athletics Championships, Mados Infekcija, (September) Vilnius Marathon, and (December) Baltijos Garsas.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Independence Restoration Day, Independence Day/National Day, March Equinox, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Labour Day, June Solstice, St John's Day/Day of Dew, King Mindaugas’ Coronation Day, Feast of the Assumption of Mary, September Equinox, All Saints' Day, All Souls' Day, December Solstice, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Second Day of Christmas. 


Hill of Crosses, Šiauliai, Lithuania. Photo Credit: Arunas Bruzas/Pixabay 



Good to Know
  • Vilnius is often compared to Prague.
  • Vilnius is nicknamed "Rome of the East" and "Jerusalem of the North".
  • Rural areas (south) horses are the preferred mode of transportation.
  • Eastern region has thousands of lakes.
  • Avoid crowds and demonstrations.
  • Few cruise lines offer a port of call.
  • Nightlife is in Vilnius.
  • The National Song Festival (Dainu Svente) occurs every four years.
  • Palanga is a popular summer spot.
  • Tourists are known to be targeted for pick pocketing and purse snatching,
  • Cyclists enjoy the scenic route of EuroVelo 10 which starts in Nida and follows the Curonian Spit to Palanga.
  • Paddlers enjoy Aukstaitija National Park (north-eastern).
  • Curonian Lagoon is popular for sailing.
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious offense.
  • Fishing known for crawfish, carp, crawfish, eel, lamprey, pike, salmon, salmon trout, sardines, and trout.
  • LGBTI are known to be physically and verbally assaulted.
  • Beaches are guarded. Select designated areas are nude bathing.
  • Antiques and artwork 50 years or older require a permit to export.
  • Seat belts are mandatory.
  • Smoked fish is considered a delicacy.
  • Cuisine is influenced by Germany, Scandavania, and Russia.
  • Low beam lights on vehicles are required while driving.
  • Scammers are known to boot rental cars demanding compensation to remove the boot.
  • Requires proof of funds and a return plane ticket.  
  • Rail service connects to Belarus, Germany, Poland, and Russia.
  • Ferry service connects to Ahus (Sweden), Kiel (Germany), Mukran (Germany), and Stockholm (Sweden) from Port of Klaipeda.
  • Prevalent Diseases: Lyme Disease, Rabies, Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE), and Tuberculosis.


Church of St Peter & St Paul, Vilnius, Lithuania. Photo Credit: Makalu/Pixabay 



This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000USD.


Photo Credit: Darin McLeod/Pixabay 


  • Best Time to Visit: May - September
  • Coldest Months: December - February 
  • Hottest Months: June - August
  • Peak Season: December, May - June 


Photo Credit: kmarius/Pixabay 



Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Curonian SpitKernavė Archaeological Site, Struve Geodetic ArcVilnius Historic Centre


Nida, Lithuania. Photo Credit: Makalu/Pixabay 




Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel

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                                              All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein Flag




Why visit Liechtenstein?

Ideal destination for the outdoorsy traveler seeking to experience alpine landscapes, bicycling, camping, fishing, golf, hanggliding, hiking, medieval castle, mineral baths, mountaineering, mountain scenery, museums, music, rare flora, skiing, snowboarding, theatre, villages, vineyards, and winter sports.



At a Glance
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Hafalaab (Soup). Rösti (Fried Potato). Saukerkas (Cheese). Torkarebl (Porridge). Wurst (Sausage).  
  • Local Drink to Try: Liechtenstein Wine.


(Malbun) Triesenberg, Liechtenstein. Photo Credit: ravisimo/Pixabay 



Fun Facts
  • First to introduce compulsory school education in the world.
  • Formerly considered a billionaires tax haven. 
  • Smallest nation to win a medal in the Olympics.
  • There's an old smuggler's trail (Malbun) into Austria.
  • Europe's fourth-smallest country.
  • The Ski Museum (Vaduz) exhibits over 180 pairs of  boots and 300 pairs of skis.
  • One of the world's two doubly landlocked countries.
  • Has 32 mountains. 
  • Has more registered companies than citizens in the world.



Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (March) Monster Concert, Operettas, Treisenberg Spring Festival, (June) LGT Alpine Marathon, and (July) Film Festival Vaduz.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Berchtold Day, Epiphany, Candlemas, Shrove Tuesday, St Joseph's Day, March Equinox, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, May Day, Ascension Day, Whit Sunday, Whit Monday, Corpus Christi, June Solstice, Liechtenstein National Day, Nativity of Our Lady, September Equinox, All Saints' Day, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December Solstice, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, St Stephen's Day, and New Year's Eve.


Photo Credit: Randy Jost/Pixabay 




Good to Know
  • German is their official language.
  • Western side (Low Country) offers meadows, orchards, vineyards and villages. 
  • Eastern side (Upper Country) peaks reach above 8,000 ft.
  • Has no airports.
  • There are only four railway stations.
  • St Gallen–Altenrhein Airport (ACH) and Zurich Airport (ZRH) are the nearest airports.
  • From Zurich the Swiss intercity train stops in Sargans or Buchs. Nearest Austrian rail station is Feldkirch.
  • Liechtenstein Museum (Austria) holds the private Art Collection of Prince of Liechtenstein.
  • Bicycle theft, pick-pocketing, and vehicle break-ins are known to occur.
  • Mountain rescues are extremely expensive, purchase sufficient insurance coverage to include coverage for mountain search and rescue for adventure sports. 
  • Most major credit cards are widely accepted, most vendors only accept chip-and-PIN cards.
  • Turning right at a red stop light is illegal.
  • Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is common. 
  • Vehicle snow chains are required during the winter.
  • Mountain roads are known to close for extended periods due to weather.
  • A Swiss or Austrian toll sticker is required for entry/exit.
  • Drivers entering intersections from the right have priority over those passing on the left.
  • Extensive bus network connects Vaduz (capital), Switzerland and Austria. Tickets must be validated prior to boarding. Failure to do so may result in an on-the-spot fine by an Inspector. If unable to pay the fine on the spot, it can automatically be doubled.


Vaduz, Lichtenštejnsko. Photo Credit: Ondrej Bocek/Unsplash



This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA not required for visits under 90 days.
  • Required Vaccination from select countries. 
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000 Swiss Francs (CHF).

Sudden weather changes occur: avalanches, falling rocks, flooding, glacial crevasses, landslides, and snowdrifts.

  • Best Time to Visit: May - September
  • Coldest Months: November - March 
  • Hottest Months: June - August
  • Peak Season: September - October


Photo Credit: pasja1000/Pixabay 




Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel

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"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine


All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Libya

Libya Flag




Why visit Libya?
Ancient cities, beaches, camel riding, folk culture, history, horseback riding, monuments, mountainous region, ruins, and scuba diving.



At a Glance
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Basbousa (Dessert Cake). Bazin (Bread). Bil-Bosla (Couscous). Hasa Adas (Soup). Kufta Bil Batinjal (Meat Dish). Makaruna Imbaukha (Pasta). Ruz Hoot Bil Kusbur (Fish Dish). Shakshouka (Egg Dish). Tajin Mahshi (Stuffed Vegetables).


Fun Facts
  • In 1951, became independent.
  • In 1992,  broke a world record with temperatures reaching 136.4 °F.
  • Coastline is the longest of any African country bordering the Mediterranean.
  • Arkenu structures once were thought to be two impact craters.
  • Holds the largest oil reserves in Africa.
  • Home to the largest network of water pipes (Great Man-Made River).
  • Nearly 97% are Muslims even though historically one of oldest Jewish communities in the world (300 BC).
  • The city of Leptis Magna is considered one of the best preserved Roman archaeological sites in the world.


Cyrene, Libya. Photo Credit: hamza88/Pixabay 




Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (March) Nalut Spring Festival, (August) Zuwarah Awessu Festival, (October) Ghadames Festival, (November) Ghat Festival, and  (December) Acacus Festival.
  • Holidays: Libyan Revolution Day, May Day, Eid al-Fitr, June Solstice, Day of Arafah, Eid al-Adha, Muharram, Martyrs' Day, September Equinox, The Prophet's Birthday, Liberation Day, December Solstice, and Independence Day.

Good to Know
  • Due to civil unrest travel is not recommended.
  • Compared to other Arab countries women are amongst the most liberated.
  • Does not have bars, concert halls, or nightclubs. Few art galleries or theaters.
  • Do not pass or receive food with your left hand.
  • Culturally avoid exposing the soles of your feet. 
  • Both men and women should dress modestly.
  • Northern region has a milder Mediterranean-like climate.
  • Journalists are known targets from armed groups.
  • Homosexuality is illegal. Subject to fines and incarceration.
  • A large country with a small population.
  • Arabic speaking and Arab culture.
  • Museums are primarily in Tripoli. 
  • Staple food varies by area (western/pasta and eastern/rice).
  • Alcohol consumption is illegal throughout the country.
  • Small towns do not usually have restaurants.
  • The export of local currency is prohibited.
  • A Israeli passport or VISA may not enter. 
  • Egypt and Tunisia borders are known to close without notice. 
  • You're required to carry proof of citizenship and VISA with you at all times.
  • Extremist groups are known to target USA travelers.
  • Do not photograph government buildings, employees, or military.
  • Predominantly “cash-only". MasterCard and VISA are not widely accepted.
  • There is no direct commercial air service to the USA by carriers registered here. Service can be sporadic and cancelled without warning.


Photo Credit: WikiImages/Pixabay 




This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA required.
  • Required Vaccination from select countries. 

Prone to dust storms and sandstorms.

  • Best Time to Visit: November - March
  • Coolest Months: January - February 
  • Hottest Months: April - September
  • Peak Season: June - August


Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Archaeological Site of Cyrene, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna, Archaeological Site of Sabratha, Old Town of Ghadamès, and Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus.

Sabratha , Libya. Photo Credit: Mohamed Sadiq/Unsplash




Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel

Your one stop source: Accommodations I Air I Car Rentals I Cruises I Disney Excursions I Tours I Transfers I Travel Insurance I Villa Rentals


Stay connected, find us online: Alignable Facebook  LinkedIn  Pinterest  Twitter 

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine

                                           All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

Luxembourg

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