BALTIC TO THE BISCAY

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You will visit the following 12 places:

Netherlands

Netherlands

The Netherlands is a small, densely populated country, a land of colourful tulip fields and canals, sophisticated cities and some of the most striking coastline in Northern Europe. The people, language, and culture of the Netherlands are referred to as "Dutch". At the head of the state sits the country's constitutional monarchy, whose palaces dominate many of the larger cities, including The Hague and the gorgeous capital city, Amsterdam. Its small size, welcoming attitude to travellers and many wonderful sights make it a unique and fairly easy to discover destination and a great addition to any European trip.

Copenhagen

Copenhagen

Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark. This "friendly old girl of a town" is big enough to be a metropolis with shopping, culture and nightlife par excellence, yet still small enough to be intimate, safe and easy to navigate. Overlooking the Øresund strait with Sweden just minutes away, it is a cultural and geographic link between mainland Europe and Scandinavia. This is where old fairy tales blend with flashy new architecture and world-class design; where warm jazz mixes with cold electronica from Copenhagen's basements. You'll feel you've seen it all in a day, but could keep on discovering more for months. Copenhagen is considered a very liveable place because of its cleanliness. It’s considered as one of the very environmentally friendly cities because its harbour can be swum in and about a third of the city’s people use bicycles as their means of transportation. In their downtown area, the places to visit and to be entertained at are the Tivoli gardens and the Town Hall Square. If you want the very cultural and scenic areas the places to see are the Marble church, the Rosenborg castle, and the Christiansborg.

Bilbao

Bilbao

Bilbao is a municipality and city in Spain, a major city in the province of Biscay in the autonomous community of the Basque Country. It is the main urban area in what is defined as the Greater Basque region. Situated in the north-central part of Spain, its main urban core is surrounded by two small mountain ranges. After its foundation in the early 14th century by Diego López V de Haro, head of the powerful Haro family, the city was a commercial hub of the Basque Country that enjoyed significant importance in Green Spain. This was due to its port activity based on the export of iron extracted from the Biscayan quarries. Throughout the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, Bilbao experienced heavy industrialisation, making it the centre of the second-most industrialised region of Spain. Today, Bilbao is a vigorous service city that is experiencing an ongoing social, economic, and aesthetic revitalisation process, started by the iconic Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, and continued by infrastructure investments, such as the airport terminal, the rapid transit system, the tram line, the Alhóndiga, and the currently under development Abandoibarra and Zorrozaurre renewal projects. Bilbao is also home to football club Athletic Club de Bilbao, a significant symbol for Basque nationalism due to its promotion of Basque players and one of the most successful clubs in Spanish football history.

St Petersburg

St Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject (a federal city) of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. In Russian literature, informal documents and discourse, the word "Saint" is usually omitted, leaving "Petersburg". The city is often described as the most Westernized city of Russia, as well as its cultural capital. It is the northernmost city in the world with a population of over one million. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is home to The Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. A large number of foreign consulates, international corporations, banks, and businesses have offices in Saint Petersburg. Talking of churches, Church of the Savior on the Blood is said to be the most beautiful church in St. Petersburg. Built of beautiful mosaic and stonework, the church gives you an indication of how ancient Russia looked like. The church is built at an equally historic spot. This is where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in the year 1881.

Oslo

Oslo

Oslo is a county and municipality, as well as the capital and largest city in Norway. Oslo was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III "Hardraade" of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The Danish–Norwegian king Christian IV moved the city, rebuilding it closer to Akershus fortress, as Christiania (briefly also spelt Kristiania). In 1925, the city reclaimed its original Norwegian name, Oslo. The diocese of Oslo is one of the five original dioceses in Norway, which originated around the year 1070.

Riga

Riga

Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia, a major industrial, commercial, cultural and financial centre of the Baltics, and an important seaport, situated on the mouth of the Daugava. With 706,413 inhabitants (2010) it is the largest city of the Baltic states. Riga's territory covers 18.60 square miles and lies between 1 and 10 metres (3.3 and 33 ft) above sea level, on a flat and sandy plain. Riga's historical centre has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city is particularly notable for its extensive Jugendstil (German Art Nouveau) architecture, which UNESCO considers to be unparalleled anywhere in the world.

Bordeaux

Bordeaux

Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in southwest France, with an estimated (2008) population of 250,082. The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture of the Gironde department. Its inhabitants are called Bordelais. Bordeaux is the world's major wine industry capital. It is home to the world's main wine fair, Vinexpo, while the wine economy in the metro area moves 14.5 billion euros each year. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the eighth century. The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble" of the 18th century.

Stockholm

Stockholm

Stockholm - Sweden's capital and largest city, and the most populous city in the Nordic region. Without a doubt, Stockholm is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The city is made up of 14 islands connected by some 50 bridges on Lake Mälaren, which flows into the brackish Baltic Sea, and passes the Stockholm archipelago with some 24,000 islands and islets. The city is a cosmopolitan place with both classical and modern architecture, and a captivating Old Town, Gamla Stan. Today, the area is an atmospheric mixture of buildings surrounded on all sides by a latticework of medieval lanes and alleyways.

Porto

Porto

Porto (also known as Oporto in English), is the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon and one of the major urban areas of the Iberian Peninsula. The urban area of Porto, which extends beyond the administrative limits of the city, has a population of 1.4 million (2011) in an area of 389 km2 (150 sq mi), making it the second-largest urban area in Portugal. Located along the Douro river estuary in Northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centres, and its historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. The western part of its urban area extends to the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. Its settlement dates back many centuries, when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire. One of Portugal's internationally famous exports, port wine, is named for Porto, since the metropolitan area, and in particular the caves of Vila Nova de Gaia, were responsible for the packaging, transport and export of the fortified wine. In 2014, Porto was elected The Best European Destination by the Best European Destinations Agency.

Helsinki

Helsinki

Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. Finland's major political, educational, financial, cultural, and research center as well as one of northern Europe's major cities, Helsinki was ranked the most liveable city in the world, in 2011. Approximately 75% of foreign companies operating in Finland have settled in the Helsinki region. The nearby municipality of Vantaa is the location of Helsinki Airport, with frequent service to various destinations in Europe and Asia. Today, Helsinki pulls off the trick of being something of an international metropolis while still retaining a small-town feel. The best time to visit is in summer, when Finns peel off their overcoats and flock to outdoor bars and cafes to enjoy the sunshine.

Malmö Airport

Malmö Airport

Malmö is the third largest city in Sweden and the 6th largest in the Nordic countries. It is also the most populous city in Scania and is the economical and cultural centre of South Sweden. Malmö is also an important part of the transnational Øresund Region, which covers Denmark east of Great Belt (including Copenhagen) and Scania. Since the construction of the Øresund Bridge, Malmö has undergone a major transformation with architectural developments, and it has attracted new biotech and IT companies, and particularly students through Malmö University, founded in 1998. The city contains many historic buildings and parks, and is also a commercial centre for the western part of Scania.

Lisbon

Lisbon

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