On my last trip to France, we visited the scenic southwestern area of Provence, famous for its lavender fields, stunning landscape and unbelievable food. Provence has several famous towns you can stay in while travelling, places like Arles, Avignon or Marseille are all very popular with attracting tourists. And while these incredible towns were a joy for us to visit, we decided to make our mainstay in the almost unheard of town of Merindol. But why stay in a small town, that is farther away from all the big sights and doesn't immediately appear to cater to foreign tourists? Well, I'll tell you why and hopefully at the end of this you'll be convinced that a small, unknown town is just right for your next trip to Provence.
Near the Bamboo Grove in Arashiyama, you'll come across the entrance to the Ōkōchi Sansō Villa Gardens. After traipsing through the groves and narrowly escaping peak tourist hour, we were in need of a break from the selfie sticks and loud tour groups. Before entering we poked ours heads in the front gate. From there, it looked like there wasn't a soul inside. Immediately as we passed through the gate and started to walk up the hill, the noise from the tourists below disappeared. We could hear our footsteps on the stones below and the sound of the wind in the trees. It wasn't until the very end of the tour that we ran into another person. It was the perfect escape from the crowds below and more beautiful that we could have imagined.
The Hakone Open Air Museum is located in the heart of the Japanese countryside. Nestled in between the green hills and valleys of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Almost most people who travel to the Hakone region come for the views and the onsens, not the art, I highly recommend making a stop here, trust me, you won't regret it!
The origins of Scottish whisky come from a drink once called “uisge beatha” which means “water of life”. The first whisky ever is known to have been produced back from 1494! From there, the distillation process has been refined over the years, but the taste and recipe remain much unchanged.
Areo or Ærø is one of the destinations in Denmark that doesn't get a lot of attention but is a hidden gem that any traveller who is anxious to find something a little bit different should try and visit.