From our pre-sessional magazine – here are some easy trips from Southampton.
First things first – living in Southampton makes it SUPER convenient to travel to Europe and beyond. We have Southampton Airport just a 15 minute drive from the University and Southampton Cruise Terminal too, with major cruise companies such as P&O Cruises, Princess, Royal Caribbean (with its very new and massive ship Harmony of the Seas) departing from there!
Here are some nice places that I would highly recommend visiting during your time at the University of Southampton:
Naples is a beautiful city on the south coast of Italy. It is a great city to experience rich architecture and art. If you go, you must eat its distinctive thin-crust pizza; which Naples is particularly famous for! You must, also, visit Pompeii; which is a buried Roman City. Although, I’m not a history nerd, the visual evidence of Roman Civilisation and the deconstructed landscape is great for gaining some cultural knowledge and the site is a big hit with photographers!
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2. Sicily (Italy)
Sicily is a well know Island in the Mediterranean Sea and is definitely a hit with many tourists! It is a great spot for art lovers, shopaholics and nature-lovers! I would personally recommend visiting a small town called Marinaa (in the south of Sicily) for the day. On a hot day you can visit the fine sandy beach called ‘Marina di Monica’; which is a small corner of paradise for lovers of surf and windsurf (thanks to its exposure; which guarantees favorable wind conditions). The presence of shops and nightlife makes this spot lively and vibrant during the summer season. During low and mid season; however, this stretch of coast is converted into a charming seaside town that is “deserted” and “wild” – ideal for a holiday of relaxation and tranquility. I would also recommend cycling around the town: bicycle hire in the high season costs approximately €10 per day and scooter hire €35 to €45.
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3. Dubrovnik (Croatia)
Croatia is THE place to visit this year! With blue clear water, beautiful cliffs to walk up, picturesque landscapes and hot weather- what else is it missing? It is a hit with almost every person! When visiting Dubrovnik, I would definitely recommend that you walk the Ancient Walls of Old Town- you get to walk atop the giant castle walls that surround and protect the Old Town of Dubrovnik. The walk around the walls is about 1.2 miles long and can be done at a fast or leisurely pace. Some parts of the castle walls reach up to an impressive 82 feet in height and up to 20 feet wide. You get to capture some amazing photo opportunities along the way!
Also, if you are a Game of Thrones fan, the tour of film-set is not worth missing and there is a 3 hour tour; which takes you to many of the locations used to film the hit series. With an expert guide by your side, you’ll climb the city walls (via stairs) while reminiscing about some of those bloody battle scenes you saw on the show. You’ll get to visit Lovrijenac Fortress to learn about the evil ways of King Joffrey and so much more.
Check out this site to know more about these tours and many more : http://www.dubrovnik-walking-tours.com
Currency: Croatian Kuna (but most places do accept Euros too)
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4. Venice (Italy)
I guess by know you’ll guess that I love love love Italy and Venice is the height of this love! This floating city lives up to the hype and is a definite must see! During the day there are beautiful lanes to wander through, with beautiful shops and restaurants (with Gelato ice-cream to taste). I would recommend purchasing ‘marina glass’ and ‘Venetian Masks’ as that is what Venice is famous for. One must also visit the Churches- from its Byzantine domes and luminous mosaics to the 24-carat gold leaf paint, Basilica di San Marco; which is a sight that won’t be forgotten. Dress modestly when you visit (ie cover your knees and shoulders) to be allowed to enter.
The evenings in Venice are, also, just as enchanting. St.Mark’s square is beautifully lit and surrounded by live music, classy bars and positive vibes…you will probably witness a proposal there too!
Venice is best explored in small groups (max 3) or with a loved one. When you arrive in Venice, be warned as there is old venice and new venice- old venice is the famous one and there are plenty of hotels and hostels to stay in. If you travelling on a budget, I would recommend staying in Camping Jolly (located in New Venice and takes around 30 mins to get to Old venice) or if you are on a higher budget, I would recommend staying in Carnival Palace Venice (great breakfasts, great location and fantastic views of Old Venice) .
Cost Scale: € € € € (so save up )
This is just a snippet of some of the cities you can visit whilst studying in Southampton. We are so spoilt for choice; because of our location and whether you choose to fly or cruise, there is a beautiful Europe to explore. Remember to travel safe, ensure your travelling with the correct VISA and to have fun! More information can be found at the Foreign and Commonwealth or why not check out Southampton University’s Travelling Society