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The tiny village of Bagno Vignoni has attracted people since Etruscan and Roman times with its medicinal waters from underground volcanic aquifers. Located in the Val d'Orcia Natural Park, the central Sources Square, the size of an Olympic swimming pool, remains virtually unchanged since medieval times (and was a favourite pilgrimmage stopover). While bathing is no longer permitted in the central square, ....Continue Reading >>
The villages and towns of Germany's Black Forest feature many half-timbered buildings (or fachwerkhäuser in German) including this beauty in Alpirsbach.With only 6500 people, Alpirsbach includes a 900-year old historic monastery/church and a superb brewery. The brewery is well worth visiting with an excellent museum detailing the history intimately attached to the monastery. In medieval ....Continue Reading >>
Every Saturday morning Otavalo awakens from its week long slumber to launch a giant market bazaar selling crafts of all descriptions along with animals, meat, vegetables, fruit, grains and hardware. A similar market has been conducted for a remarkable four thousand years providing a central meeting point for Indian villages from miles around. A cacophony of sounds from the noises of frenzied trading ....Continue Reading >>
Over the centuries, pilgrims crawled up the 216 stairs on their knees to view and pray for a buried saint and a remarkable statue in this cliff-bound travel wonder. Today, bus-loads of “camera pilgrims” crowd the small hamlet of Rocamadour, shop enthusiastically at the throng of market stalls and take a private lift to even avoid expending energy walking. From the nearby vantage points, Rocamadour ....Continue Reading >>
Seemingly lost in medieval times, the central Black Forest town of Schiltach is a jewel of half-timbered houses. The triangular market square has the most impressive samples, some dating back to the early 1600s.Schiltach Vacations ....Continue Reading >>
Where is the biggest church in the world?St. Peters in the Vatican seems a likely guess. Maybe somewhere else in Italy? Milan? Venice? Spain and Portugal have some huge cathedrals. Maybe Canterbury, seat of the head of the Church of England. There are some big churches in Mexico and South America with their strong Catholic populations. The cathedrals in New York and Washington DC are gigantic too.The ....Continue Reading >>
Escaping the rush of Paris and the insane summers of the French beaches, rural France is best experienced in its small villages that sprinkle the country. The best are associated under the banner of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. Part One explored villages in the south and Alps regions of France while Part Two explored the French villages of Normandy and the Dordogne. A further four villages scattered ....Continue Reading >>
France is sprinkled with beguiling villages, many frozen in time that encapsulate much of what people love about this European cultural giant. Associated under the banner of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, these villages share the historic, gastronomic and enchanting nature of rural France. Part One explored villages in the south and Alps regions of France while today we explore Normandy and the ....Continue Reading >>
With its excellence in selling itself, the French encourage visitors to enjoy some of France's most elegant and photogenic villages. Highlighting villages with populations of less than 2000 people that boast at least two historic monuments or sites and striking architecture, unique culture or natural beauty, an initial book published in the early 1980s led to an association of around 150 villages that ....Continue Reading >>
Chomping into the local delicacy of an impossibly rich vanilla and cream pastry (called kremna rezina) and a steaming black coffee on a vivid sun-drenched morning, it is difficult to imagine a more sublime place to be than at a café at medieval Bled Castle. Perched precipitously on a bare rock face, this ancient but uninteresting castle overlooks the glittering turquoise glacial Lake Bled with its ....Continue Reading >>
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Welcome to Travel Wonders

My name is Mark and I’m a keen traveller. In fact, over the last 25 years, I’ve travelled to every continent and over 80 countries. This blog is about the most memorable destinations – the places I regard as the travel wonders of the world. I’m also a keen photographer, and have taken nearly all the photos you’ll see. During my travels, I’ve met some incredible people, seen inspiring places, viewed extraordinary wildlife and scenery and had some amazing experiences, and I’m writing these stories not only to entertain but primarily to inspire others to discover their own travel wonders.

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