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A beautiful island, pearl of the Balearics, enjoys a unique and irresistible charm because of its suggestive beaches with crystal clear waters and its natural and wild views.

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Washington D.C., a diplomatic city (but not too much!)

Washington D.C. is located in Maryland and more precisely in the District of Columbia, known worldwide for the White House, the seat of the American presidency, in reality its beauty goes beyond its institutional charm.

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A place that has won the title of the happiest country to live in the world

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Discovering Seoul, between innovation and tradition

Here we are with the third appointment for January, a month full of tips to make your travels epic, considering it is always the right time to pack your suitcase and explore new lands. For this reason, sostravel.com is ready to take you on the discovery of a new destination that has a rich tradition, yet modern and with a lot of culture. Are you curious to find out what it is? We will reveal it to you immediately: today sostravel.com takes you to South Korea and precisely to Seoul. Are you ready to discover together the magic of this city, cradle of Korean modernity?

Before starting our journey to discover South Korea, we want to reveal a little curiosity: did you know that the ideogram of its name means “morning calm”? Yes, that’s right. Visiting this country will allow you to live a unique experience that is divided between modernity and the past, between order and civilization. By visiting Korea, you can get to know all the comforts of an advanced country and at the same time discover the exotic side of the Far East made of architecture, and above all, spirituality. South Korea is, as a matter of fact, the cradle of shamanic art. But let’s go in order and begin to explore the modern side of this country starting from its capital: Seoul.

Skyline of Seoul, South Korea
Skyline of Seoul, South Korea

Lying on the banks of the Han River which divides it in two, it is a city with a double life: chaotic during the day and very charming in the evening. A cool megalopolis with very ancient origins that has undergone numerous changes throughout its history and presents itself today as an ultramodern city with a heart tied to Korean tradition. Among the modern testimonies present in the city there are mainly the N Seoul tower and the Dongdaemun historical park.

N Seoul Tower, Seoul
N Seoul Tower, Seoul

With its 245 meters of height, the N Seoul Tower known as Namsan Tower is one of the most surprising attractions of the modern soul of Seoul. A tower born to transmit TV signals which since 1980 has covered the role of meeting place and cultural center. From here you can enjoy a breathtaking view over the entire capital. The second example of modernity is the historical-natural park of Dongdaemun where you can admire a giant silver building with the shape of a spaceship. Inside there are libraries, conference rooms, a design museum, a design market and numerous exhibitions. It is therefore a center where design and innovation meet to give life to the country’s futurist nature.

Bukchon Hanok Village of seoul city in  Korea.
Bukchon Hanok Village of seoul city in Korea.

Despite this futuristic vision of chaos and skyscrapers, Seoul has a traditionalist soul you can notice above all inside the Bukchon Hanok Village: a medieval island surrounded by skyscrapers. A small refuge for those who want to get in touch with the culture of this country and get to know its history in depth. The renovations carried out over the years have made this area more modern and functional but nevertheless it continues to be characterized by its original charm. In the streets of this neighborhood you will find numerous shops where you can buy traditionalist items or, for those who want to totally immerse themselves in the atmosphere, rent one of the traditional clothes or the hanbok. If you wear these outfits you will have free access to the royal palaces nearby.

 Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul
Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul

Among the most important royal palaces in the city we find the Gyeongbokgung royal residence of the Yi dynasty, from the Joseon period of Korea. A palace that contains numerous rooms including the throne, where the kings welcomed their royal guests and the Hyangwonjeong Hall, a quiet place for meditation. Among others we find the Anggyonggung, born as a royal residence during the Japanese rule, it has been transformed into a city park.

Buddhist temple of Bongeunsa
Buddhist temple of Bongeunsa

In addition to the royal palaces in Seoul, there are also numerous temples where you can fully rediscover the spiritualist nature of the country, among them the spectacular Buddhist temple of Bongeunsa founded in 794 by the monk Yeon-hoe. Temples have always been the places where Koreans take refuge to free their innate sense of inner spirituality that inspires every moment of their lives. Indeed, Buddhism and Confucianism influence the life of every inhabitant of this country, creating an ethical and moral system and a philosophy of life which is at the basis of their ability to better govern every moment of life.

Sostravel.com has brought you to discover this country and in particular its capital Seoul, one of the largest megacities on the planet characterized by an order in which modernity and tradition merge, giving each tourist a unique experience. Sostravel.com will meet you next week with the fourth destination chosen to make your travels full of epic experiences.

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Eritrea: travelling to the heart of the Horn of Africa

Last week, we guided you on a unique and unrepeatable journey to discover Armenia making you appreciate a magical land full of epic and evocative experiences. Are you ready to experience new strong emotions? sostravel.com takes you to the heart of the Horn of Africa, Eritrea, the second of four fascinating destinations designed for your Epic Travels.

Mountain range, Eritrea

The mysterious Eritrea is an authentic and genuine land, made unique by its incredible geographical climatic and environmental variety and by the presence of nine ethnic groups that populate it. We can consider this extraordinary country relatively young, born, just over 25 years ago (1993) after a heroic and bloody Liberation War from the neighboring Ethiopia.

The history of this reality, influenced by the Italy of the 30s and 40s, will make your travel experience unique. You will almost feel like living a dejavu walking through the streets of these cities, where you can admire Italian banners and signs and drink an espresso with the locals.

The main destination of this land is certainly Asmara, the capital, a real treasure of mid-century modernist architecture. Located at 2,400 meters above sea level, this city will enchant you with its deep African soul enclosed in an Italian architectural skeleton. Various ethnic groups and religious cults coexist, so you can indulge yourself in initially visiting the Great Mosque, then the Orthodox Cathedral and finally the Catholic Cathedral.

St Mary Church, Enda Mariam, Asmara, Eritrea

The main attraction is definitely the Eritrean Railway, an extraordinary work of Italian engineering which connects the Asmara plateau to Massaua, a torrid ghost port city, with a clear Arab imprint, that has unfortunately lost most of its architectural beauty following the bombing suffered by the Ethiopians during the conflict of the last century. Its locomotive starts only by reservation and is an itinerary that we strongly recommend here at sostravel.com to appreciate the wonderful landscapes that will guide you on an emotional journey from the mountains to the sea.

Dahlak Island Archipelago, Eritrea

Yes, we really said sea! From the port of Massaua it is indeed possible and necessary to reach the Archipelago of the Dahlak Islands. These are 126 between sandy islets and rocks emerged in the southern Red Sea channel, where sparse local communities live. The real wealth of these islands is the sea: crystal clear and unspoiled. An affirmed natural reserve, the rare and extraordinary ecosystem of these islands is dotted with coral formations and ancient ruins that would make even the most experienced diver go crazy with joy.

The inhabitants of the exotic archipelago are said to be different from the people who live on the continent. It must be for this sense of distance, of happy estrangement, or the tenacity that distinguishes those who clash with the forces of nature every day. But in any case, the entirety of Eritrea is, above all, made by its inhabitants, their culture and their genuineness.

Let yourself be enchanted by Eritrea, here at sostravel.com we’ll meet you next week to explore the third seductive stage of our tour together, discovering epic destinations that we are sure will stay in your heart.

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Armenia: a land of epic experiences

We have left another year behind us, a 2019 that we ended recommending the best destinations for your Christmas holidays. We want to start the new year in the best way by immersing you, with the passion that distinguishes us, in unique and unrepeatable trips, always rich in epic experiences and lush emotions. For this reason sostravel.com has decided to take you on the discovery of four new unusual and suggestive destinations chosen especially for you, true explorers eager to undertake new itineraries and experience unique sensations. Are you curious to find out what they are?

The first epic destination that we are sure will fascinate you is Armenia, located in the southern part of the Caucasus and bordering Turkey, Iran and Georgia. A small but legendary country that goes straight to the heart of travelers and conquers it thanks to its precious historical, cultural and architectural sites of great impact capable of offering unique experiences.

Valley of the Monastery, Armenia
Valley of the Monastery, Armenia

Visiting Armenia means relating to a civilization that has gone through three thousand years of history, recognizing itself in Christian values and in its grandiose cultural heritage. The Armenian people are in fact one of the mildest, most generous and hospitable in the world. You cannot fail to appreciate their warm welcome, pausing to drink the famous and typical Ararat Brandy with them, a perfect way to participate and toast to the culture of this wonderful land. You will discover that the true luxury of this country is enclosed in its precious traditions, the soul of this ancient and suggestive land.

Yaravan City, Mount Ararat, Armenia
Yaravan City, Mount Ararat, Armenia

For these reasons, the tour of Armenia can only start from its capital, Yeravan, located at almost 1000 meters above sea level and crossed by the Hrazdan river, from where it is possible to admire the snowy peak of Mount Ararat: a spectacle that, we assure you, is priceless! Indeed, Yerevan is a city where ancient and new architectures, but also religions, come together: a few steps from the amazing Cathedral of Saint Gregory there is in fact the Blue Mosque, remarkable for its beautiful mosaics that decorate the dome and walls.

Blue Mosque, Yeravan, Armenia
Blue Mosque, Yeravan, Armenia

The true beauty of Armenia is certainly the landscape. You cannot help but appreciate the arid simplicity of an area dotted with ancient monasteries that bring peace and tranquility to every visitor. The most suggestive? Definitely the Geghard Monastery, founded in the fourth century by Saint Gregory the Illuminator. An archaeological complex that has become a UNESCO heritage site, the core was built inside a cave where there is an ancient water source.

It is believed that for this reason the original name of the monastery was Ayrivank, which means “the monastery of the cave”. The current name instead means “the monastery of the spear”, with reference to the spear that pierced Christ, brought to Armenia according to the legend by the apostle Thaddeus and preserved in the monastery together with many other relics.

Gherard Monastery, Armenia
Gherard Monastery, Armenia

Why not get lost walking on the shores of Lake Sevan or at the gates of the romantic city of Gyumri? Not to mention the possibility of full immersion Yoga experience in nature between history, art and culture. On the other hand, even the smallest things in this country become unforgettable experiences.

Armenia is the ideal place for those who also want to live intense culinary experiences and love the strong flavor of meat. As a matter of fact, the typical dishes such as dolma, delicious vine leaf rolls stuffed with rice and lamb meat, or the sheep stew with spiced rice, accompanied by the delicious Karas wine produced in the Armavir region, are definitely worth trying. More than enough space is reserved for food and wine lovers and tradition: lavash, tolma, gata, wine, dances and music are the strong points of Armenian culture.

Sostravel.com has thus led you to the discovery of an unexpected and suggestive destination and will meet you next week to reveal the second destination to give life to your epic travel, the trend for this 2020, and guide you on a new journey made of places to visit, experiences to live and emotions to try.

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The most beautiful Atolls for your holiday in the Maldives

Here we are with a new appointment for sostravel.com’s journey to the destinations that will allow you to spend your Christmas holidays nice and warm. A “different” Christmas is an idea that everyone takes on sooner or later, so why not take advantage of our advice?

Sostravel.com has chosen a second, very coveted, destination present in every traveler’s dreams: the wonderful Maldivian archipelago. On the other hand, who does not dream of flying to this earthly paradise composed of atolls and being cuddled by the sound of the sea? All that remains is to start our journey.

Maldives
Maldives

Islands of white beaches, crystal clear sea, temperatures around 28 degrees, December is the perfect month to go to the Maldives, a time in which the dry season begins and therefore the climate reaches the right warmth that will allow you to relax in what will be a dream vacation!

Did you know that according to a popular legend the atolls of the Maldives were born from the tears of God? It is said, in fact, that “God, seeing the beauty of the world, started crying. His tears became this heaven on earth”. A real paradise full of declarations of its beauty. Let’s see them in detail!

Whale shark specimen, Dhidhdhoo Beyru, Ari Atoll
Whale shark specimen, Dhidhdhoo Beyru, Ari Atoll

We begin the review of the most beautiful atolls of the Maldivian archipelago with Ari: 89 kilometers, 50 islands of pure earthly paradise to dive in and admire the immense coral reef of this territory. Among the places that can be reached in this atoll we find Kudafolhudhoo, Maayafushi and Rangali, but if you want to live unique experiences you will have to go to Ari Sud and in particular to Dhidhdhoo Beyru. Going here you will have the chance to spot the whale shark which is considered the largest fish in the world.

The island of Maafushi, South Malè Atoll
The island of Maafushi, South Malè Atoll

In second place among the most beautiful atolls is the one of South Malé composed of 37 islands of which 17 are very well known for the presence of coral reefs inhabited by rare and colored fish. Within this atoll there is also the island of Maafushi among the cheapest in the archipelago and therefore very touristy. But despite this it remains one of the optimal destinations for independent travelers as it is full of resorts suitable for every pocket.

The typical houses among the palm trees on the island of Kurumba, North Malè Atoll
The typical houses among the palm trees on the island of Kurumba, North Malè Atoll

The third atoll considered among the most beautiful is that of North Malé, which also consists of 50 islands where it is possible to find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Immense white sand beaches and crystal clear sea make this atoll gifted with extraordinary beauty. From the tourist point of view this is the most exploited atoll, especially the island of Kurumba with its houses immersed in palm trees and the island of Furanafushi with its bungalows on stilts. This atoll is quite known for activities such as surfing. For this reason it is one of the many reference points for all surf lovers who can enjoy the waves offered by the sea that surrounds it.

Baa Atoll
Baa Atoll

Finally, we conclude the review with the last but no less important atoll, Baa considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Biosphere World Reserve since 2011. This atoll is characterized by stunning coral reefs, especially those located to the east and north. But the most beautiful corner of the Baa atoll is Hanifaru Huraa, a protected marine area that is a UNESCO heritage site. If you love snorkeling surrounded by manta rays and whale sharks then this island is your perfect destination!

Well, after exploring some of the many atolls that make up the Maldivian archipelago, all that remains is to discover the main Christmas traditions typical of this tropical paradise. Despite being a country with a predominance of Muslims, there are also many Christians who celebrate Christmas. From the houses decorated to the long festive processions that run between the houses, knocking at the doors, dancing, bodu beu and bandiya.

Celebrations on the beach during Christmas, Maldives
Celebrations on the beach during Christmas, Maldives

But what happens especially on Christmas day? This is considered the festival of colors and for this reason it becomes mandatory to wear new garments with bright colors. A tradition full of joy that also involves tourists that can buy the traditional saris in the various shops of the islands. But that’s not all! In the afternoon of December 25th you can totally immerse yourself in the Maldivian tradition. It is precisely this afternoon that the beaches of the various islands are tinged with joy and celebration through group games organized to happily conclude this magical party.

Today’s appointment with sostravel.com ends here. Which of the four atolls intrigued you the most? The Maldives represent a land that will allow you to live unique experiences immersed in uncontaminated nature: a true heritage of humanity. Sostravel.com wishes you a merry Christmas and sets the appointment for 2020 with many new trips to take!

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Tulum: a land to be discovered for a warm Christmas

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Discovering Bangkok: the perfect destination for a roaring New Year’s Eve

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