2 - How to Plan a German Christmas Market Trip

How to Plan a German Christmas Market Trip

Christmas time is all about wonder and magic and there is no better place to spend your Yuletide than at Germany’s famous Christmas markets. Sure, you find Christmas markets everywhere, but none can evoke the sense of awe and childlike wonder that German Christmas Markets can, with their medieval castles and old town squares making for an almost fairy-tale setting. Are you tempted to see all these wonderful sights for Christmas? Well, here is how you can go about planning a German Christmas Market trip, in order to experience its magic in the best way possible:

 

Plan Your Trip Sometime Between 20th November to 23rd December

Christmas is celebrated on December 24th in Germany, which is why Christmas markets usually remain till December 23rd, which is more often than not, the final date. Most of these markets are month-long starting from November 20th or so. It is recommended that you plan your trip accordingly, so as not to miss out on anything.

 

Do Your Homework and Find the Christmas Market that Appeals to You the Most

It is always better to plan your itinerary so as to make sure you don’t miss out on the places that you find interesting and also, so you can pass on the places that particularly appeal to you. That being said, some of the most renowned Christmas Markets in Germany include the ones in Dresden, which has the world’s oldest Christmas Market, Nuremberg, where the world’s largest Christmas Market is held, and Konstanz, which set against the backdrop of the Alps, on the banks of Lake Constance. Apart from these there also some amazing Pink Markets in Frankfurt, Cologne, and Munich that are LGBTQ- oriented. Moreover, Munich has more than 30 Christmas Markets of its own, while Berlin has a whopping 60 Christmas Markets of its own. 

 

Venture to Try Each Town’s Specialties

Be it a special kind of baked goodie or a particular kind of sausage, every German town has its own local delicacies, and it is absolutely imperative that you try them all for the full experience! What’s more? Every town has handicrafts that are unique to it. For instance, Nuremberg is known for its Prune People, which are a specialty.

 

Don’t Overlook Small Towns and Cities

Sometimes the splendor and popularity of big cities and towns tend to blind us to charming little cities right under our noses. Now, the thing about big and popular towns is that most people flock to their markets, making them extremely cramped and congested. Do yourself a favor and visit a small lesser-known town or city instead, so you can actually enjoy their Christmas markets without being hindered by the crowds. 

 

Dress for the weather 

Christmas markets are held outdoors, in Germany, in the dead of winter. Thus, it is important to know that there’s no escaping the cold, but you can avoid the worst of it by donning scarfs, hats, thermals, and gloves. And make sure to wear boots to keep your feet dry and warm in wet conditions. Compassionately, most markets have heater tents where you can catch a bit of a break from the bone-chilling cold.

 

Enjoy the overall ambiance 

There may not be actual sights of sugar plum fairies dancing at these Christmas markets, but the atmosphere is pretty darn close. Sounds of music and laughter from merry-go-rounds fill the air. Fairies stroll together and eat treats. The aromas of fresh vegetables and spiced wine puff through the air. So, before to get stressed about what to do, remember why you’re ultimately there: to relax, step back, and enjoy the scene and the wonderful mood. 

 

All Christmas markets sell amazing fest food, so they usually open at about 11:00 in the morning to catch the excited lunch crowd. The ideal time to go, in our opinion, though is in the evening and into the night. There are plenty of sparkly lights, and standing around sipping some hot cocoa or gluhwein and observing the shoppers is an ideal way to pass some time. 

 

Christmas markets are something the German people do very finely. If you and your partner or spouse get into a “Bah, humbug!” state of mind after Thanksgiving, this will give your attitude a complete makeover. So, is there a German Christmas Market Trip in the offing? Well then, Travel Gooru is your one-stop destination for anything and everything travel related, that you might need, right from comparing airline ticket prices to booking hotel rooms and car rentals, we’ve got it all!

1 - How to Experience the Magic of Inis Mor

How to Experience the Magic of Inis Mor

When you think of Ireland, the places that come to mind are most probably all the major tourist attractions such as the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, and the Guinness Storehouse situated in Dublin. However, a hidden gem that is often overlooked by eager travelers and enthusiastic tourists is the magical isle of Inis Mor. Pronounced ‘Inishmore’, it is the largest of the Aran Islands and happens to be quite close to Galway. The charm of this island remains undiminished despite being sparsely populated, or perhaps because of it. If ever there was an opportunity for time travel, this is it, with the locals freely conversing in their rustic Irish Gaelic and using horse-drawn carriages as a regular mode of conveyance. 

 

Whether you’re taking the island by bicycle, foot, or pony and trap, there are plenty of sights to be explored, a warm welcome to be received and plenty of craic to be had. 

 

Visit the Seven Churches of Aran

The name is a bit of a misnomer as well as an exaggeration, seeing as there are, in actuality, only two churches in all. What is not an exaggeration, however, is the sheer breathtaking beauty of this ancient spiritual destination. In fact, it is actually more of a complex comprising of the old graveyards at Na Seacht d’Teampaill and church ruins. Dedicated to Saint Brecan, and located near the village of Eoghanacht, this site used to be one of the most beloved and popular monastic destinations for devotees all along Ireland’s West Coast.

 

Aran Bike Hire 

The most underrated and fashionable way to take in the picturesque of Inis Mor has got to be by cycling through the island, stopping at your leisure to soak up the peaceful attractiveness. Glide through the countryside and weave through the village with a bicycle from Aran Bike Hire. You can easily find a huge array of bikes for rent for a day or overnight. Whisk yourself out as far as Dun Aonghasa (the oldest of the island’s four large forts) and back to your accommodation to enjoy a calming pint after a busy day of adventure. Each rental comes with a complimentary island map, helmets and roadside assistance is required.  

 

When you come back after enjoying the amazing views and the breath-taking Dun Aonghasa, make sure to enjoy the views of Inis Mor on the walk back to your bicycle. There are some stunning little shops and a café near the bike park for you to peruse and refresh after crossing this amazing spot off your bucket list.  

 

Go Wool Shopping

Aran Islands’ woolen products are famous all around the world. Featuring one of a kind patterns and stitches particular to specific Irish clans, these wonderful warm fuzzies include everything from scarves and mittens to sweaters and cloaks. Honestly, what better way to carry back a little bit of Irish history with you? 

 

Go for A Hike

Sometimes the best way to really discover all the treasures a place has to offer is by wandering around or just taking a hike, quite literally. This is actually one of the best ways to truly experience Inis Mor in all its boundless beauty since the terrain on this island is not very rock and hence, actually quite perfect for walking. So, be sure to carry a pair of sensible walking shoes along! 

 

Check out The Dún Aonghasa

Probably the most famous and well-known tourist attraction in Inis Mor, Dun Aonghasa is a hill fort built really high up on the top of a cliff, presenting a phenomenal view of the entire island and the Atlantic Ocean. This prehistoric structure is believed to go as far back as 100 BC, which means that it has been around since the Bronze and Iron Ages. Wow! Now, isn’t that something?

 

Pay a Visit to The Worm Hole

This place is as interesting as its name suggests. The Worm Hole, as it has come to be fondly called, refers to a square-shaped depression that has been carved out in the rocky bottom part of a cliff. This spot has become extremely popular for cliff diving into the ocean. So, Inis Mor has a lot to offer adventure enthusiasts, thrill-seekers, extreme sports lovers, and adrenaline junkies as well. 

 

Are you looking for cheap international flights, rental cars, and hotels? Well, look no further. Travel Gooru has got you covered. Whether booking a room or comparing flight ticket costs, we are your one-stop destination for all things travel-related! That too at no additional cost! Reach out to us now for happy and safe travels around the world!

3 - 6 Tips to Travel Responsibly in Ladakh

6 Tips to Travel Responsibly in Ladakh

Ladakh is a victim of its own beauty. Every view there is breath-taking, the snow-capped peaks, the green valleys, and the desert slopes. The type of tourism in Ladakh has changed to suit all types. It caters to trekkers, bikers, and car drivers of sorts and makes sure everyone is included. The pressure of tourism has also increased pollution and depletion of resources and it comes down to us, the travelers, to maintain its beauty.

 

Here are some ways to ensure your trip has a positive impact:

1. Don’t Buy Bottled Water

There is no need to buy bottled water in Ladakh. Filtered water is equally safe to drink. Many hotels and guest houses will offer you this. You can easily fill up on filtered water in the town as well. You can invest in a Steripen which sterilizes the river water to make sure you have something to drink while trekking.

 

2. Stretch Your Legs and Lungs by Trekking

Trekking is one of the main reasons people visit Ladakh but these days the number of people interested in getting sweaty has fallen. Ladakh gives you the opportunity to view the sights which cannot be viewed otherwise. This also provides employment to the local guides and also ensures minimal damage is done on the trekking paths. There are various treks of different distances for you to explore. 

 

3. Give More Business to Simple Family-Run Hotels and Guest Houses

It is worrisome to think that up-market guest houses and hotels are getting more business than the local ones of Ladakh. One will obviously miss out on the Ladakhi culture by staying in high-end hotels as they cannot give the same experience and connection to the place. You learn so much simply by spending time with the locals which is an enriching adventure in itself.

 

4. Stay in Eco-Friendly Accommodations

One of the biggest challenges you will face in Ladakh is the lack of water. Most of the water comes from the glacier melt and in the high altitude, the desert land is pretty dry. There is hardly any rain so surviving becomes difficult during winters when everything is frozen. Water needs to be conserved by those living there. Be a part of that sustainable living and try to avoid overconsumption of water. Local guesthouses will also help you in becoming more aware and friendly about the same.

 

5. Share Transport

Another problem faced by Ladakhi is transport. There is a shortage of public transport and buses are the only option and those run only a few times a week as well. Visitors tend to hire private drivers which leads to a shortage of drivers and more cars with only 2 or 3 people sitting in them. You could share a taxi or book one driver for your whole trip, in fact, if you truly want to experience Ladakh, take a Bolero.

 

6. Buy Souvenirs Locally

There are a various gift and souvenir stores in Leh and they are packed with handicrafts. You can help the local business that is overtaken by big businesses and middlemen. You will find hand-knitted soft toys and lots of other beautiful items!

 

If you liked this article and want more information on how to travel, visit us at www.travelgooru.com. We will help you book cheap flights and find the best hotels at the prices you want. Visit us to plan your perfect holiday!

2 - Skiing in Lech Zürs am Arlberg – The Darling Winter Slopes of Austria

Skiing in Lech Zürs am Arlberg – The Darling Winter Slopes of Austria

Lech Zürs is located close to the border with Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Germany. During the winter season, the place turns into a stunning wonderland with beautiful mountain views, delicious Austrian delicacies, and slopes that have played host to numerous ski adventures through the years. 

 

The Lech Zürs has a 200 km descent and is popular for its vast nature. Since 2013, the place has been connected to the one in Warth-Schrocken with the addition of a huge cable car circuit, which means that you can now easily ski across two major areas in one accessible resort. 

 

Skiing in Lech Zürs am Arlberg definitely means upping the bet. Vorarlberg’s position on the northern rim of Europe means fresh snow in abundance and the slopes present more variety and may often need a slightly more advanced skill set and confidence. 

 

For the beginners out there, the snow instructors in Lech Zürs am Arlberg will assist in various activities like snowshoe hiking, telemark skiing, off-piste skiing, accompanied ski touring, and heli-skiing. 

 

Be a Santa Claus for a day and have fun on an adorable sleigh 

That’s right, you can experience what it’s like to be a Santa Claus for a day! Instead of eight reindeers, you’ll be accompanied by a couple of enchanting horses across the snow-covered plains of Lech Zürs am Arlberg. 

 

There are other options too for a one-day trip or a round-trip ride. Among the places, you’ll get to visit while on the adventure are Alpele, Zug Church, Klosterle, or Auerhahn restaurant. 

 

The rest stops and mountains huts set a little up high are picturesque and retain an air of seclusion. It’s the top end of ultimate ski luxury and the resort makes sure to keep it that way. There’s something about the size and accessibility that keeps this delicate balance in strong check. The slopes of Lech Zürs am Arlberg are a network of dreamy power trails against a crisp blue sky. Also, down below the alpine village packs quite the buzz. 

 

Master the basic jumps at the Arlberg Ice Skating rinks 

Inside the Hotel Jagdhaus Monzabon, you’ll come by the first and only air-conditioned ice rink in Europe that covers nearly 300 square meters of artificial ice. On the other hand, there’s a natural ice-skating rink in Zurs, Skating Rink Zurs, which is open and functional all days of the week except Saturday. The rink also offers a range of skate sizes to give everyone a chance to enjoy the sport. In addition, you can play hockey or go alpine curling at the natural skating rink while enjoying hot drinks, music, and a heated hut. 

 

Bars in the village buzz with the same atmosphere up high, and in such a small village that is mixed with seasonal returnees, you can easily jump on board with the homely feel where everyone feels welcomed.

 

Want to book yourself a Skiing trip to Lech Zürs am Arlberg? Wondering how to go about booking tickets and making reservations? Never fear, Travel Gooru is here! Find all the travel information you need and compare prices for hotels, flights, and car rentals. For more articles on traveling, visit our travel blog now!

1 - 6 Reasons You Should Definitely Visit South Dakota

6 Reasons You Should Definitely Visit South Dakota

For your next vacation, if you’re searching for a place that has jaw-dropping natural beauty, iconic national monuments, Wild West Thrills, Native American folklore, American history galore, herds of stampeding buffalos, and freaky natural wonders, then look no further than areas in the South Dakota region. The South Dakota attractions tempt even the most jaded of travelers. From Mount Rushmore to Badlands, it’s a well-rounded vacation destination or an ideal spot for a fun road trip in the United States. 

 

1. Mount Rushmore 

Settled in the Black Hills in the touristy town of Keystone, this iconic National Memorial is definitely the real deal. Giants busts of four US Presidents – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt – are carved into the mountainside. It is one of the most iconic sights in the US, and definitely worth a visit, even if you can’t really get up close to the monument. Hike the half-mile Presidential Trail to get as close as you possibly can, but make sure to carry your binoculars.  

 

2. Badlands National Park 

This stunning national park is home to plains with wildlife like prairie dogs, bison, bighorn sheep, and has a spectacular landscape of rocky pinnacles. The park offers the best of both worlds – superb wildlife in America’s popular prairie and hiking through otherworldly rock formations. You can also camp here and experience the insanely dark skies, meaning that you can easily see the stunning Milky Way in all its glory. 

 

3. Mammoth Site & Museum

This is an archaeological site, which is still being excavated, and was once a sinkhole that swallowed up dozens of mammoths. It is a graveyard of at least 61 mammoths, all of which happen to be male. The spot in Hot Springs, South Dakota, is surely considered as one of the coolest places to visit. Tourists can actually get into the sinkhole to see the bones. 

 

4. Custer State Park

This 71,000-acre state park in the Black Hills is regarded as one of South Dakota’s natural gems. Just like the Badlands, Custer is popular for its bison herds but is also famous for its elk, mountain lions, and coyotes. After animal sightseeing, it would be best to head to one of the park’s five stunning scenic lakes, camp in the pine forests, or drive a portion of the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway. 

 

5. Deadwood 

We are sure that you recognized the name Deadwood from the critically acclaimed but short-lived HBO TV series. But it is important to know that, Deadwood is a meticulously restored 19th century Wild West mining town and a popular tourist attraction thanks to its Main Street which is a National Historic Landmark District. Not only do its various hotels make Deadwood a great base for exploration, but just wandering in and out of the old-time saloons and soaking up local history is time well spent. 

 

6. Roadside Attractions 

Historical places kept aside, South Dakota is also popular for its roadside attractions. The most well-known is Wall Drug, which began as a small-town drug store and now covers the whole city block with all kinds of craziness. Another roadside option is Al’ Oasis, a rest stop along I-90. The place has everything from a grocery store to souvenir shops inside. 

 

With this list of major places to visit in South Dakota, you now have a small base for an itinerary. South Dakota is a land that will fill you with wonders at every turn and you must definitely go explore it. If you desire to see all of these amazing places in South Dakota, connect with us at Travel Gooru today. We help clients search for cheap hotels and rental cars at their vacation destination. We instantly compare prices and provide precise details to make it easy for our clients.