Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, January 2019
Cruising might not be for everyone, but it’s an economic, efficient, and popular of mode of travel in Europe and beyond.

Recently, I was on a massive cruise ship with 3,000 passengers blitzing the great ports of the Mediterranean -- and having lots of fun. No, I'm not suddenly abandoning my independent travel principles and becoming a huge proponent of cruising. But I am impressed by the economy, efficiency and popularity of this kind of travel ... and, to be honest, I enjoy cruising.

I'm the first to admit that cruising doesn't appeal to everyone. For some, it's anti-travel....

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, January 2019
One of the best ways to see the University of Cambridge is by punting on the River Cam.

Cambridge and Oxford have been in a centuries-long competition as England's top two universities -- but I've always felt that seeing one is enough. The big question is: Which one?

For years, I've had it lodged in my mind that Cambridge was much better to visit than Oxford. But on a recent visit, I changed my view. Though it's a close call, I'd give an edge to bustling Oxford -- the more substantial town with plenty to see and do. Cambridge is a close...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, January 2019
Blogging, trip planning, and sending updates back home are great ways to combat loneliness while dining solo.

I've been inspired over the years by female colleagues and friends who happily and safely travel solo overseas. There are challenges, but also many rewards awaiting women who venture out on their own.

Whether it's due to concerns about loneliness or safety, many women put off their travel dreams because they don't want to do it by themselves. But traveling with the wrong person can make you feel lonelier than traveling alone. When you're solo, you're more...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, January 2019
Portree, the largest town on the Isle of Skye, is nestled deep in its protective harbor, where colorful homes look out over bobbing boats and the surrounding peninsulas.

Scotland's islands may be distant fringes, but those who venture to them are richly rewarded with dramatic landscapes, a rich heritage, and a warm welcome. Among Scotland's countless islands, the favorite among travelers is the scenic Isle of Skye, with its narrow, twisty roads winding around the island in the shadows of craggy, bald mountains, and a coastline ruffled with peninsulas and sea lochs.

Just off the northwest coast, Skye is the country's...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, January 2019
A footpath is all that connects Italy’s Civita di Bagnoregio to the “mainland.”

In my early days as a guidebook writer, Europe's undiscovered nooks and undeveloped crannies held the most appeal for me -- and they still do. But with ever more sophisticated travelers armed with enough time and money to see the Europe of their dreams, places I "discovered" a few decades ago are now suffering from Back Door congestion.

Given that, I've come to treasure even more those destinations that still have the feeling of a world...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, January 2019 -- Page 49
Porto Venere is the perfect jumping-off point for scenic boat rides along the Italian Riviera. Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli

When it comes to basking in the beauty of Italy's Riviera, the Cinque Terre is tops for me. But there's much more to this region on the Mediterranean coast than those famous five villages.

A handful of charming towns lie within an hour of the Cinque Terre, with posh ports set against rugged mountain backdrops that have drawn poets, authors and romantics over the years, from Lord Byron to Elizabeth Taylor.

To the north of the Cinque Terre is a trio of beach towns...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, December 2018
Guided food tours provide thoughtful explanations of the authentic foods we travel so far to taste.

When I arrive in a new city, I book a private guide straightaway -- someone who can bring the architecture, history and culture to life. Lately, in the spirit of experiential sightseeing, I've been taking specialized tours that highlight unique, local experiences or historical themes. Particularly in big cities, I've found all kinds of focused tours, from guided night walks to musical pub crawls.

One of the most popular sightseeing trends is food tours, which reward travelers...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, December 2018
Ronda is the birthplace of modern bullfighting and home to a venerable bullring that dates to 1785.

When my travel dreams drift off to Spain, they often include visions of Andalucía, the southern part of the country that feels so quintessentially Spanish. With a string of whitewashed hill towns, sunny skies, vibrant festivals and tempting tapas, Andalucía is the soul of Spain -- almost stereotypically so.

Most tourists hit Andalucía's three great cities -- Granada, Córdoba and Sevilla -- or the Costa del Sol. But for something more authentic, I like...

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