There’s no denying the benefits of a sunshine holiday. We all dream about lying on a beach and sipping cocktails, while binge reading the latest blockbusters. But if doing next to nothing for a fortnight doesn’t really appeal, a culture break might be the vacation for you. Taking time away to immerse yourself in the language, culture, and traditions of another country has been growing in popularity for several years, and it is a trend that looks set to continue.
There is no end to the places you can visit to enjoy a culture break. The following are a few notable cultural centers.
There’s a reason that many school kids enjoy a school trip to Barcelona to complement their studies. The capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, Barcelona is the ultimate cultural destination. It has a rich heritage, stunning architecture, beautiful beaches and world-class cuisine.
The city’s architecture spans over 2,000 years and is best appreciated when navigating the city on foot. Perhaps most notable is the work of Antoni Gaudí and the Casa Vicens, La Pedrera, Parc Güell, and Casa Batlló are not to be missed. Barcelona is credited with inspiring numerous artists such as Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró whose works can be seen in the city’s many museums.
For anyone with an interest in the Ancient Romans, Pompeii is a must. In August of 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted, leaving the city of Pompeii completely covered in a layer of volcanic ash. The ash preserved everything that lay beneath for 17 centuries providing an unprecedented insight into this lost world.
The amphitheater at the end of Via dell’Abbondanza is the oldest surviving stone building and is not to be missed. Large holes are still visible at the top of the amphitheater which were thought to hold up the roof to protect spectators from the sun and rain. Other sites of interest are The Villa of the Mysteries, the Garden of Fugitives, and the Forum.
3. The Loire Valley
If you’re looking for history, stunning scenery and first class wine and food, the Loire Valley won’t disappoint. Just a short ride from Paris this beautiful region has significant historical importance and has been the seat of many kings, queens, and French nobility. Ornate châteaux are surrounded by picturesque villages and vineyards.
Don’t miss the châteaux of Blois, Amboise, and Chenonceau. Intersperse your trip with visits to the many vineyards and sample the delights of this stunning region.
In order to sample some cultural delights, you needn’t travel very far. For those opting for a staycation this year, make sure to check out your local history and amenities. It’s likely you walk right past buildings of historical interest each day and never stop to check them out. Or when was the last time you visited galleries and museums in your area? Many places offer summer activities for children. So it’s something the whole family can get involved in.
If history, culture, and architecture are your thing, bring them into your holiday this year. A culture break, not matter how long or short, will inspire, delight, and entertain the whole family.