As the largest of the seven Canary Islands of Spain, Tenerife is home to more than 900,000 people and attracts around five million tourists each year. A great number of those tourists visit Tenerife to join in the celebrations of the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife held in February each year. The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is considered to be the world's second largest and most popular event of its kind, with the Rio de Janeiro carnival of Brazil being in the number one spot.
Named for the five museums located on it, Museum Island lies in the River Spree in Berlin's central Mitte district. These world-class museums – Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode Museum and Pergamon Museum - are each unique in their architectural structure, as well as in their contents and themes. Museum Island was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1999, being described as a social phenomenon owing its origins to the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century.
Nestled in a valley between sandstone, vine-covered hills in Germany's Mosel wine region, the city of Trier is thought to have been established in 16 BC by Roman Emperor Augustus. Trier lies on the banks of the Moselle River which flows through France, Luxembourg and Germany, watering the fertile land surrounding it. The city has abundant evidence of its Roman origins, bearing testimony to its reputation as having been the Roma Secunda, or Second Rome, during the time of Roman rule. Among the many historic sites to be visited in Trier, are the Cathedral of Trier, Porta Nigra, the Imperial Baths, the Hauptmarkt, and the more recent Karl Marx House.
Built in an era that came to be known as Sweden's Age of Greatness, the 17th century Skokloster castle is located on the shores of Lake Mälaren in the Svealand region of Sweden. The Baroque-style castle was designed by Swedish architect Nicodemus Tessin the Elder, and constructed for Carl Gustaf Wrangel, a high-ranking Swedish military commander, statesman and count. Construction started in 1654 and the castle was completed in 1676. After changing ownership a number of times, it was bought by the Swedish government in 1967 and today stands as a museum and monument to the Swedish Age of Greatness – a period in the mid-17th century when Sweden was one of the major influential powers in Europe.
Traveling north from the capital city of Lisbon, visitors to this scenic part of Portugal will come across the popular coastal resorts of Estoril and Cascais before reaching the charming village of Sintra. With its heavily forested hilltop, Sintra was once the summer getaway for Moorish lords and the kings of Portugal as they sought relief from the city in the heat of the summer months. Sintra is an amalgamation of three villages which were at one time separate. This can prove confusing to visitors, but the spectacular Sintra Palácio Nacional stands as a prominent landmark providing a point of direction.
Located in the Dordogne heartlands of France, just a half-hour train trip from the region’s capital Périgueux, is the Vézère Valley. The area is renowned for its many fascinating caves, subterranean stream systems and ancient, skillfully created rock paintings. Many people begin their journey to this region traveling by train to the village of Les Eyzies.
The grandiose Santiago de Compostela in Spain is known as one of the country's most attractive cities. The city, which as a whole has been named a national monument, centers around the cathedral. The golden granite of Santiago de Compostela draws travelers from far and wide who come to experience the history and artistic magnificence of the city.
Amongst the most popular historical tourist attractions in Switzerland is the Chillon Castle (Château de Chillon), which stands on a rocky outcrop along the banks of Lake Geneva. Also referred to as the Water Castle, this architectural masterpiece has been the inspiration of writers and artists, such as Lord Byron, Victor Hugo and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It continues to capture the imagination of visitors to the ancient site and is well worth adding to your itinerary.