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7 Little-Known Coastal Cities in Europe to Spend the Day In

7 Little-Known Coastal Cities in Europe to Spend the Day In

A European vacation is more than just a trip. It’s an opportunity to experience a whole different culture and take in the sights and sounds of several famous cities in one go. You’ve heard of Paris, London and Rome, but you may not have heard of these enchanting cities situated along the European coast. Here’s a look at a few of the best European coastal cities you may never have heard of.

Kamenjak, Croatia: Visit Protected Beaches in This Secluded Paradise

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    Kamenjak is an undeveloped protected nature reserve just South of Pula that has developed a following among beach-goers in Croatia. Visitors to the city can experience secluded pebble beaches, beautiful wildflowers and greenery, with access to the pristine Adriatic Sea. A little over 100 miles outside of Venice, Kamenjak is the perfect day trip for a change of pace during an Italian vacation.

    Navigate through the maze of dirt tracks through wildflower gardens and waterfront paths to find the perfect isolated spot on the beach, or head to the southern tip of the peninsula and veer west to experience a spectacular, 2.5-mile stretch of pebbly bays naturally broken up by slab-stone terraces.

    Cala Gonone, Sardinia: Capture Fantastic Views of the Mediterranean

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      Situated along the Eastern coast of Sardinia and the Golfo di Orosi’s coastline, Cala Gonone provides access to about 25 miles of pristine beaches. The town’s port offers a launch pad for boat excursions that take you to incredible cliffs and hidden coves that can’t be accessed otherwise—the perfect setting for a private, romantic jaunt to a magical place.

      If you’re looking for a relaxing day with incredible views of the Mediterranean Sea, this isolated, picturesque place provides exactly the refreshment you’re seeking. If you’re an adventure-seeker, you can get plenty of satisfaction spending the day in Cala Gonone, as well; the stunning cliffs aren’t only good for sight-seeing, but for rock climbing. Cala Gonone is known as one of the primary rock-climbing areas in Sardinia.

      Rovinj in Istria, Croatia: Relax Near Natural Beauty and Ancient Culture

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        Croatia is quickly becoming one of the most talked-about countries in all of Europe. The country as a whole tends to fly below the radar of the major metropolitan areas, such as Paris and London, but Croatia is building a solid reputation for its unique scenery quite unlike anything else you’ll find in Europe. Rovinj is a quaint village in Istria, near Pula, and it’s one of the best locations for capturing the essence of the mysterious country.

        Situated in the Istrian Peninsula, this coastal town rests comfortably in a peaceful, charming bay that has an almost mystical feel. Not surprisingly, the town is a major draw for artists, poets, and those who appreciate natural beauty and ancient culture. There are a few well-known monuments worth visiting in Rovinj, including the Church of St Euphemia, which provides an exceptional view of the entire village.

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        Skagen, Denmark: Beautiful Beaches and an Art Museum to Match

        Skagen, Denmark

          Denmark is usually not known for the beaches, but the town of Skagen easily puts the city on this list with the beautiful beach. White sand makes this quite an aesthetically pleasing place for the eyes. Two Baltic waters flow to this beach so watching the waves overlap each other has become quite a site for the tourists and townspeople alike.

          With the beauty that this town brings, it has become a haven for artists. Many artists come here for inspiration as well as to view works of art at the museum nearby. For the different type of tourist, there is even a teddy bear museum, which proves to be entertaining for visitors.

          Positano in Naples, Italy: An Entrancing Coastal Town with Stunning Architecture

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            Positano is one of Italy’s most architecturally entrancing coastal towns. As you drive along the highway towards this little-known town within the larger vicinity of Naples, take in breathtaking views of Italy’s seaside architecture and the Tyrrhenian Sea.  Positano is about 19 miles from Naples proper.

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            This can be a costly place to visit, as it offers many high-end, exquisite dining experiences. The town has served as the backdrop for a number of romantic films, and it’s the perfect setting for a honeymoon or amorous vacation.

            Oia Santorini, Greece: Rest Easy in This Quaint Town Overlooking the Mediterranean

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              Greece is a common stop on a luxury European cruise, known for its exotic architecture and views of the Mediterranean nothing short of mind-boggling. Oia is one of the most well-known villages in Santorini, but this quiet town often gets overlooked by travelers looking for a big-city experience.

              Oia Santorini’s claim to fame is its ethereal sunsets and “quaint village” feel. The village itself is situated atop a cliff providing amazing views of the volcano of Palia, Nea Kameni and the island of Thirassia. The village also provides easy access via high-speed boats to the popular tourist areas of Crete, Mykonos and Naxos.

              Tivoli, Italy: Walk Through Lush Gardens and Admire Ancient Fountains

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                A trip to Rome is not complete without a day trip to Tivoli, Italy. You can get to Tivoli in about half an hour by taking a train on the Roma-Pescara Line from Rome’s Tiburtina station, then catching a shuttle bus to the popular tourist attractions of Villa d’Este and The Gardens and Waterworks. Villa d’Este is the perfect opportunity to experience Renaissance architecture and Italian Renaissance gardens.

                If you think a trip to The Gardens and Waterworks means you’ll be meandering through gorgeous flower gardens, think again: at The Gardens and Waterworks, you’ll find about 500 foundations constructed using Renaissance plumbing. If you want to take a trip back in time, a day trip to Tivoli will satisfy your thirst for history.

                A trip to Europe is a fascinating experience, no matter where you go, but take advantage of everything Europe has to offer by taking a short day trip to a quaint village or coastal town to escape the hustle and bustle of the major European attractions.

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                Last Updated on September 10, 2019

                7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

                Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

                This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

                One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

                Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

                Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

                1. Gratitude

                Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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                The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

                Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

                So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

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                  2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

                  This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

                  For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

                  What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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                  Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

                  3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

                  This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

                  Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

                  An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

                  Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

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                    4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                    According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                    There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                    5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                    Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                    Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                    6. Rise Earlier

                    The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                    For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                    So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                    Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                    7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                    Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                    Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                    It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                    Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                    More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                    Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                    Reference

                    [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                    [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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