Land of legends
Visiting Brittany is reviving the exciting European medieval history, delving into their cultural roots, their traditions and their legends. Rennes is the capital of Brittany, but it is also at the gates of the Normandy region and is a leading architectural heritage place and witness of the history of the region. Around the two Royal squares, Parliament and the City Council, and their features wood and Renaissance mansions half-timbered houses, centuries of history are drawn.
30 kilometers from Rennes you will find the leafy forest full of oaks and beeches in Brocéliande, a magical place of Celtic myths and legends. Here is where you usually place many episodes in the novels of the Round Table. This was the place where King Arthur ordered to seek the Holy Grail and also where lived the fairy Viviana, the knight Lancelot and Merlin, friend and adviser of the young Arthur, who was trapped by love there as it is rumored.
On the magical forest of Broscelae, you will travel across hidden paths that will lead you to the Secret Bridge, Paimpont village and its beautiful abbey or to Brocéliande castles and the Holly Pasage.
If you like being on the lookout for the best bargains and deals, you have at La Grande Braderie in Rennes one of the best chances. That days Rennes becomes this huge outdoor market where you can find some hidden treasure and many bargains among antiques, clothes, ornaments or jewelry, because everything is bought and sold at La Grande Braderie in Rennes.
With the large street market in Lille, this is the biggest Opportunities Fair in France. Here you may search and dig through thousands of stalls belonging to shops, scattered around 60 streets of the city.
And to eat, you will find in the medieval heart of the city, on a picturesque XVIth century inn, the Auberge du Chat-Pitre that will take you to the Middle Ages. Here the bartenders are dressed as innkeepers of the time. Do not worry as they will not force you to eat boar thighs by your hands like Asterix and Obelix, but you will feel the atmosphere of a magical night with the animation of minstrels, jugglers, storytellers and magicians in a memorable meal.
And with such funny names for their traditional recipes as druid stew, wild boar hugs or mountebank you may have with Hypocras, a drink made of red wine, honey and spices that made the delight of our ancestors.
Makes you want to go, right? Do it! Check out our prices here!
The best lochs in Scotland
The geographical beauty of Scotland is known worldwide. Its identity, landscapes, moors, mists or castles, make this land a unique place with its own great personality. But if there is something Scotland is well known for is for the loch, a symbol for the country, where traditions, tales, myths and legends merge the waters with the character and personality of the Scots. The characteristic topography and landscape of this country cannot be understood without them.
Why don’t we take a swim in some of the most beautiful lochs in Scotland?
Loch Rannoch: Located in Perth and Kinross, this loch is over 14 km long. The River Tummel begins at the eastern end and the Tay Forest Park lies along the southern shore. The lake and its surroundings offer good places for fishing and walking. The small village of Kinloch Rannoch is on the eastern end of the loch, and near the western end a crannog, an ancient artificial island, can be found.
Loch Lomond: The largest in Scotland with its 37km long and 8km wide. There are a big number of islands inside the loch, many of which are artificially created in ancient times to be inhabited.
Loch Ness: This is the lake of Scotland, the best known and most visited. The legends and tales told about its waters have become worldwide famous. It is about 39 km long, it forms part of the Caledonian Canal and has one of the most visited and photographed ruins of Scotland, Urquhart Castle. If you have good luck, maybe you’ll see Nessie.
Loch Tummel: One of the most famous viewpoints in Scotland is the Queens View, on the north of Edinburgh. The views over Lake Tummel and surrounding mountains are spectacular. Also, very close, in the town of Pitlochry, every October you can find the sound and light show known as the Enchanted Forest, which attracts thousands of visitors.
Loch Duich: The Eilean Donan Castle, one of the most famous and photographed castles in Scotland, located between lakes Alsh and Duich, makes this large lake one of the most visited in the country.
Loch Coruisk: The trip to this lake is one of the most beautiful of Scotland. Located between the "Munros" of Sgurr Alasdair, Sgurr Dearg and Bla Bheinn, to access it you have to take a boat from Eigol and just get carried away by the landscapes that go through a half-hour drive along the bay until you reach the dock. Curiously, depending on the season, you can see colonies of seals sunbathing or swimming in the lake.
Image from Jacob Martin
A place well worth discovering! Check out our flights here.more info
Eerie Fun In Barcelona
While modest in size, Barcelona packs a punch, boasting myriad leisure facilities which are up with the much bigger cities in terms of area and population. This is evident in the host of activities scheduled for Halloween. In effect, on 31 October, the city morphs into one of Europe’s great capitals of witches, pumpkins and monsters. Take note, though – these events are paralleled by the traditional Castanyada, a grass-roots Catalan festivity at which celebrants feast on chestnuts, sweet potato, panellets (small marzipans coated with pine nuts) and muscatel in family circles. Here, then, are five ideas for enjoying the best Halloween possible in Barcelona.
The Vampire Route & Other Legends
A millenary city, Barcelona has all sorts of historical legends related to the supernatural, some of which are charted on the route organised by the folks at Go Bcn. Best of all, you can do it on the night of 31 October. The story of Enriqueta Martí, the protagonist of some macabre events in the early-20th century, and the telluric significance of certain buildings and other spaces in the city, are chronicled on this two-hour route during Halloween, which roams mainly through Barcelona’s city centre and historic quarter.
Hotel Krüeger, in Tibidabo
Located in the Tibidabo fairgrounds, Barcelona’s iconic amusement park, with splendid views over the city, the Hotel Krüeger is one of the few Houses of Terror still operating in Spain. You can experience fear live, in the course of an entertaining, fast-paced ride in which fair-goers are subjected to frightening situations by actors dressed up as notorious characters from horror movies. They always lay on new predicaments and frights for Halloween, so Hotel Krüeger is a must-visit venue on 31 October.
Terror Marathon at Phenomena
No Halloween would be complete without horror movies. They know that only too well at Phenomena, one of the best cinemas in town. To mark the occasion, they have scheduled a movie marathon for 31 October and, if you decide to come along, be sure to don a suitable fancy dress for your trick or treat. The main feature films for that night are two 80s classics, Dolls and Pet Sematary, plus a surprise movie to be announced minutes before its screening. Incidentally, the cinema is almost next door to the Sagrada Familia, so you can score a double by also visiting Gaudí’s masterpiece.
The Sala Razzmatazz requires no introduction – it is Barcelona’s most acclaimed dance club and the nerve centre of independent pop-rock and fresh, cutting-edge dance music. On 31 October, this disco in Poblenou will morph into Razzhalloween, the premises divided up into various spaces decked out in Halloween motifs and as horror movie sets. Two examples – the emblematicLolitahall will be converted into the Horror Camp, and thePop Barinto Psycho Fan.
The Poblenou and Montjuïc Cemeteries
Graveyards set several kilometres apart, but united by seniority and charm. One near the sea (Montjuïc) and the other in one of the city’s iconic districts – Poblenou. Both are open to the public and admission-free. Take note – the Poblenou Cemetery cemetery will lay on a guided tour on the night of 1 November to celebrate All Saints. It is free-of-charge, and guests will be chaperoned by actors dressed up as some of Barcelona’s famous historic figures.
Book your Vueling to Barcelona here and enjoy its eeriest offerings.
Text by Xavi Sánchez for Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS