Travelling Your Own Backyard – Europe

Happy 2016 everyone! This year, one of my Travel Resolutions is to explore more of my amazing home country, beautiful Great Britain. After I got back from South America in 2014, I spent several months housesitting around England, from the Lake District to Winchester, and discovered some really beautiful places in my home country. Since then I’ve travelled as much as I could within the UK, and this year I’m forming some really exciting plans to see as much of Britain as possible.

As travellers, I think we often overlook our own countries in favour of the rest of the world, so I asked five European travel bloggers to share where they hope to travel within their home countries this year…

Andalucia Road Trip, Spain

Inma Gregorio, from Galicia, Spain. A World to Travel

In about a week, we’ll be flying to Andalucia, in the sunny South of Spain, to road trip our way around its main highlights: The coast path between Malaga and Cadiz, where windy Tarifa stands out as a must see destination on its own. Seville, Ronda, the ‘caminito del Rey’ hiking trail – once named the most dangerous one in the world – and Granada as well as its Sierra Nevada snow-capped mountains are definitely on our list.

Although I’ve paid this part of Spain four visits already, I never got to explore it at the right pace and I know it won’t disappoint us this time. If you want to follow along, we’ll be posting our best snapshots on our Instagram under the #AndaluciaRoadTrip hashtag.

Do you travel much in your own home country?

I was born and bread in Galicia, in the North West coast of Spain and usually go somewhere else in my own country at least a couple or three times a year. After a few years of heavy travel, I am based again here, in Galicia, which of course feels like home to me and is a jewel on its own!

Skellig Michael Island, Ireland

Janet Newenham, from Ireland.

I travel so much I sometimes forget there are so many hidden treasures in Ireland left to explore. One of the most incredible places in Ireland to visit, and a place I am dying to go back to in 2016, is Skellig Michael island situated off the west coast of Kerry. While primarily famous for being a UNESCO world heritage site that is home to an ancient Christian monastery and thousands of Atlantic Puffins and other wildlife, it is not gaining fame thanks to its recent appearance in the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens! It is unlike anywhere you will ever see on your travels and because they seriously limit the number of visitors (no more 12,000 per year), only the lucky ones will ever get to step foot out there. It’s a travel memory you will never forget.

Travel Bloggers Europe Recommendations

Skellig Michael Island

Do you travel much in your own home country?

I never used to appreciate how beautiful Ireland was until I started meeting people on my travels in Asia who all raved about how incredible Ireland is. When I returned home over a year ago I set out to see as much of my own country as possible and slowly began to plan road trips and visit friends around the country. Now I believe that there is honestly no place I would rather be than Ireland…when the sun shines, that is.

Marble Caves, Italy

Luca Priami, from Viareggio, Italy.

A place I’d definitely like to visit next year are the Marble Caves in Carrara! They’re close from my home city and Carrara marble is world-renowned due, especially, for the majestic sculptures of Michelangelo like the David in Florence or the Pietà in San Peter’s Basilica. There are tours who let you visit inside the mountains they get the marble from, and that would be a very particular place to visit once in a lifetime.

Travel Blogger Europe Recommendations

Marble Caves Fantiscritti, Carrara

Do you travel much in your own home country?

No, I don’t travel that much in my country. I’d like to but I leave closer destinations for when I’ll be older! And I have to admit that, no matter how beautiful my country is, I prefer to see what other countries have to offer to me.

Rundale Palace in Riga, Latvia

Anita Sane from Riga, Latvia. The Sane Travel

I would definitely come back to the Rundale palace either in June to the Garden Festival when the roses are in full bloom, or in July for the International Early Music Festival for the opportunity to become familiar with the Middle Ages, renaissance and baroque through music.

The palace was built by Count Ernst Johann von Biron, later the duke of Courland, in the end of the 18th century. The architect of the palace was the court architect of Russia Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli. After 50 years of restoration work the palace appears in all its splendour again.

Travelling Your Own Backyard - Travel Blogger 2016 Plans

Rundale Palace in Riga, Latvia

Do you travel much in your own home country?

Latvia is a beautiful country. I travel in Latvia several times a year. I especially like to stay in the hotels situated in old manor houses, like this in Diklu pils. Also I am visiting towns of Latvia, for example Cesis, when they have their town festivals, usually in the summertime.

Sicily, Italy

Valter Balducci, from Rome, Italy.

With +3000km covered in 2015, in the New Year, my plan is to go to the beautiful island of Sicilia (Sicily)! I cannot wait to experience the exceptional food, the beautiful crystal blue beaches, the history, the culture and the hospitality of the South, all with the eyes of a blogger. A few years back, I had been to Catania for 2 days with the parents, so not exactly the adventure holiday you look for. Located in the South of Italy, just off the coast of Calabria (Italy’s ‘toe’), I look to explore Palermo, moving along the coast to Cefalu, Taormina, Syracuse, Trapani, Agrigento, through to Messina. This 2 week expedition, will be with be my trusted camera, no guide book, a few glasses (ok more like bottles) of Sicilian wine, all with the help of my Fiat 500! So make sure to follow my adventure through Twitter (@touristbychance) and feel free to send me any tips while I travel or if you have a particular part of Sicily you would like to see, I’ll go there for you!

Do you travel much in your own home country?

My whole blog revolves around travelling through my home country, Italy. With millions of tourists visiting per year and being one of the most desirable destinations in the world – why wouldn’t I, right? Why not make the most of the fact that I have moved back here? I have had the fortune of visiting a large number of countries and the pleasure of living in 4 different, amazing locations, however, a lot of Italy remained a a bit of an unknown. The majority of us have the tendency to go abroad and be a tourist, when really there is so much to see and do in our own backyards – especially Italy. I thought I would put international travel on pause for now (except for my random trips to Cyprus) and really enjoy the true meaning of discovering ‘Il Bel Paese’. I also found that traveling as a blogger makes you more aware of where you are, makes you more curious to see the life of a local and not just rely on reading a guide book. So you could say that having lived many years abroad, moving back home has made me appreciate it more and want to learn more about it – hence my blog name – Tourist(s) by Chance – I rarely plan and come across some amazing places, that I am just uncovering now, even though I am Italian.

Some great tips here for European travel – stay tuned for part two which will involve bloggers from the rest of the world! 

Have you travelled much in your home country? Where’s been your favourite place so far? Come tell us in the comments! 

About Emily Luxton

Award-winning writer and solo female travel blogger on a mission to explore the world through deeper travel. Lover of fun, adventure, food, Harry Potter, hiking, beaches, and chatting about the weather. Can be bought with cake.


  1. so many places so close to you! So so lucky!

  2. amazing places…….

  3. We are in England too and also guilty of overlooking our own front yard. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to visit everywhere we want to, both at home and away! We will do our best to see as much as we can though!

    • I have the same problem. Too much world, not enough time! And because of that I’ve often overlooked my own country in place of more exotic or far off places, because what’s close by can be visited anytime. This year, in between my trips abroad, I’m going to actually use that “anytime” and visit some of the places in Britain as well! I can’t wait :)

  4. It is really amazing how little we know sometimes about the countries we live in. I have also traveled much more in South America and Asia, than in Britain, where I live. I really have to start doing that. Thanks for sharing!

    • Haha I’m the same, though. There are so many places around the UK, even big cities (like Manchester and Liverpool) that I’ve never visited and when I think about it I’m really ashamed of myself. Planning a trip to Ireland as soon as I’m back from Asia so that’s the first step :)

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