Everyone knows Oktoberfest, Tomorrowland and Running of the Bulls but with over 10,000 festivals every year in Europe, it's hard to know which rabbit holes to travel down. Luckily our mates at Stoke Travel have helped put together a must-do list of lesser known festivals for 2018 that’ll set your jowls quivering and get you saving up your sick days.
10. Secret Solstice - Reykjavik, Iceland (June 21-24, 2018)
Iceland brings to mind long cold nights, big hairy vikings and, the Northern Lights! But at this time of year Iceland’s proximity to the Arctic Circle provides 24/7 daylight which promises an unforgettable experience, especially when combined with the Norse themed decor of the festival (did you know the Vikings loved their psychedelics??). Combine all this with a line up made of established and up and coming artists and the stunningly varied scenery Iceland is famous for and you’re in for one hell of a trip!
One of the world's most visited cities, London has something for everyone: from history and culture to fine food and good times. New restaurants and bars, outstanding museum extensions or refurbishments (and yet many remain free), once-derelict but now trendy neighborhoods, and four distinct seasons that each brings unique pleasures. We've put in the groundwork for what's good to do - so you don't have to!
As much as its great monuments – the Colosseum, St Peter’s Basilica, the Pantheon – what's great about Rome are its details: the cobbled lanes and hidden corners, the vivid colours and the aroma of freshly ground coffee wafting out of its cafes. Rome's streets and piazzas are an endless source of entertainment and if you're a history buff, you'll get a real kick when you think of all the legendary events that have taken place here.
Amsterdam is famous for its's cultural attractions, bike lanes, liberal policies and lack of sunshine hours. The Dutch Capital manages a total of 187 rainy days a year, so it pays to know some sheltered local spots to hangout on a rainy day. We have compiled six of our favourite spots to keep you busy for a rainy day or two in Amsterdam.
Jam-packed with attractions, it's easy to see the appeal of Amsterdam. While most visitors don't leave the cities boundaries, a day trip from the city can prove rewarding with culture and beauty, only the Dutch countryside can provide.
Barcelona is a magical coastal city with plentiful culture, beautiful architecture and a world class drinking and dining scene. It's no wonder why it's one of the most talked about destinations in the world.
We've put together our top pic of attractions so that you don't have to do the thinking when it comes to planning your vacation!
Glamping with Stoke: For when you want to be a lil' fancy
While our beloved campsites were pretty great already, we here at Stoke Travel like to push ourselves a little and so we just made them better. For those softie Stokies out there with a little extra cash and little less tolerance for camping we bring you Glamping. Convinced yet? You will be.
The Essential Stoke Travel Passport
When you’re in the city that has it all (Amsterdam, duh), the only thing you really need is a ticket out of there and maybe a little more sun. Stoke Travel, your infamous friends with the €10 open bar and unbeatable ambience across Europe’s greatest festivals, can offer you both, simultaneously, and we’ll tell you how in three easy-to-follow steps.
There are some languages in the world that are pretty damn beautiful to listen to (French, Italian or Spanish, for starters). Nederlands (which you may have heard referred to as "Dutch" in more casual settings) does not fall into this category. Very throaty, pretty blunt, and kinda abrasive, its main redeeming feature is how linguistically close it is to English. That being said, Amsterdam is one of those cities you simply HAVE to visit, and there's nothing like really immersing yourself in the culture by using the local lingo. So, if you're too lazy to download an app and learn it properly, just brush up on these phrases that are essential for any trip to the Netherlands.
BTW, take the phonetic pronunciation with a grain of salt...
European summer is the perfect time to get in the water, with the Atlantic Ocean lapping at your door and tonguing your toes with accessible surf spots to suit all levels. But travelling with a board for the sake of a few day’s surfing here and there can be expensive and inconvenient, seaside towns tend to mean pricier accommodation, and you might lack confidence if you’re new (or brand new) to surfing. Surf camps and van surfaris allow you to make the most of the Atlantic coast, offering cheaper accommodation in popular beachside areas, removing the hassle and cost of travelling with a board, providing you with gear and lessons and, most importantly, a crew. Here are our three top picks for surf-packages along the Atlantic coast.
The saying ‘It’s not the destination, but the journey, that matters’ was definitely written about Iceland…
…Okay, I made that up, but it may as well of been! The adage rings nowhere truer than the Nordic Island Nation, defined by its surreal landscapes that change with every corner you turn - making the ‘journey’ of an Iceland road trip the ultimate bucket list experience.
Home to a vast variety of dramatic sceneries, I’m calling Iceland to be Mother Nature’s finest masterpiece. From snow-capped mountains that watch over powder-blue glaciers to lava fields that mingle with bubbling geysers, this country is nothing short of a road-trippers dream. So clear all your phones memory space and prepare yourself with these Dam Essential Do’s and Don’ts:
Europe is a continent so vast and diverse that every time you think you’ve finally worked out what you want to do with your time there, someone will say, Oh, are you going to check out [insert festival/place/sight here] while you’re here? and then you have to start planning all over again. To help you decide which famed European festivals will best suit your tastes, we’ve put together a short-list of five must-see European celebrations.
Have you heard of Andorra? It’s a tiny nation nestled in the Pyrenees mountain range between France and Spain, where glamorous Europeans go for tax-free shopping and Europe’s most shreddable slopes. Thanks to its altitude and numerous snow cannons, the resorts of Andorra guarantee powdery slopes even when runs elsewhere in Europe have turned to icy slush. But the best thing about Andorra? it's only a hop, skip and jump from Barca and you can join the snow bunnies even if you’re on a budget.
A Dam Essential Guide to Reykjavik, Iceland - You asked for it. Well, according to google you did, with Reykjavik, Iceland topping the most searched cities of 2016.
Pronounced Ray-Key-Ya-Vik, known as one of the most expensive places in the world, and being temporary home to the author, we thought we'd arm you with some local knowledge to ensure you save some money and get the most out of your stay in the Northernmost Capital of the world.
One beer festival a year isn't enough for the Germans. Oktoberfest, widely publicised as the biggest and best, is now being challenged by Springfest, which if it was a person, would be arguing “even though I’ve got it, size isn’t everything”. And as Spring is just around the corner, we thought we’d look take a look at the differences between the two.
Summer's here so we thought we'd chuck together a list of our favorite canal front hangouts for 2016. Fill the boat or jump on your fiets and head down to one of these local spots this summer for a few cold one's in the sun.
5. Amsterdam Roest
Amsterdam Roest. A new love, creative city oasis, café and bar, town beach and cultural sanctuary.
5. Get on a Bike
Life's too short to walk. It's also too short to drive a car and ride the metro! You're only here for a while so get among a special part of the culture that is whizzing through the city's ancient, cobbled streets on a fixed speed bicycle.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 200 years, there's no doubt you've heard tales of the annual 16 day Bavarian beer fest. Running from late September through til the first week of October, young and old strap on their Lederhosen, lace up their Dirndl's and gather together to consume copious amounts of golden nectar and Bavarian cuisine.
Don't get me wrong, I love meeting new people. Especially in an environment as diverse as Europe which welcomes every second a multitude of different nationalities. There is however a certain inkling of uncertainty that tugs at the roots of my awkward New Zealand upbringing when meeting somebody of an unfamiliar nationality. How do we greet in a culturally neutral way without looking and feeling like fucking idiots?
What's a Stokie you ask? The backpacker on a budget, the student with some study abroad holidays to burn, the gap year gapper with a gap in their galavanting, the solo traveler looking for some soul mates or the group travel group!
Started by a bunch of expat mates running a muck abroad, Dam Essential quickly evolved from a loose pack of animals roaming the streets and into a network of expats, travelers, local businesses and fun loving criminals chasing good times in Amsterdam. Whilst blazing a trail of glory through Amsterdam's cobbled streets and winding canals (You like what we did there?) we discovered tonnes of epic shit, some not so epic shit, and we too, fell sucker to your typical tourist traps.
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