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EasyJet Passenger Cultural Experience Guide

A new study conducted by EasyJet of 996 Portuguese tourists, reveals the main must-see experiences in Europe. With 84% of travellers stating that they are looking for a more adventurous holiday, with EasyJet promising to help tourists explore and discover the very best of the European continent in terms of culture and adventure.

Heading the list is the island of Syros, located in the Cyclades in Greece. With stunning views of the Aegean Sea and rich maritime heritage, this island delights travellers wishing to escape the crowds of Mykonos’ white streets. An ancient city built by the Venetians atop the hills of Syros, accessible by an exciting climb of 870 steps, adds a touch of adventure to the experience.

Second is the Rouketopolemos, a traditional event held in Athens, Greece. While the origins of this annual spectacle remain a mystery, the rivalry between the two churches facing off across a 400-metre ravine is legendary. In the past, these churches fired cannons at each other, until the practice was outlawed in 1889. Since then, they have competed with fireworks, winning the one that first hits the bell tower of the other church.

In addition, this new wish list compiled by travel experts and voted on by the public Portuguese includes other unique experiences. These include riding a Bobsleigh in Prague, visiting the Sedlec Ossuary, Prague, Czech Republic, taking a cowboy-style tour in the Taverns desert in Spain, and participating in a Viking Up Helly Aa event in Shetland, UK.

The 25 best experiences, according to Portuguese tourists are:

  1. Visit Syros (Mykonos, Greece) – Take a walk to this medieval village overlooking the Aegean Sea (57%);
  2. Rouketopolemos, Chios (Athens, Greece)- See the fireworks show of the two churches facing each other through a 400-meter ravine (54%);
  3. Bob Sledding Track (Prague, Czech Republic) – A 1 km long bob sledding track that can be enjoyed all year round (52%);
  4. Sedlec Ossuary (Prague, Czech Republic) – Visit a church over 1000 years old, decorated with human bones (47%);
  5. Cowboy experiences in the desert of Tabernas (Spain) – Get to know the desert of Almeria, where you can ride horses through the city (46%);
  6. Up Helly Aa (Shetland, UK) – Dating back to the Victorian era, the city of Shetland transforms into a Viking city for just one night, with several festivities including a parade and the ceremonial burning of a ship (38%);
  7. Festival of the Giant Omelette (Bessières, France) – An Easter celebration with an omelet large enough to feed 2,000 people (38%);
  8. Festa de São João, Porto – An annual party that takes place on the 23rd of June in Porto, which consists of street concerts, dance, bonfires, and a game in which participants try to hit each other on the head with plastic hammers, in celebration of St. John’s Day (35%);
  9. Caves of Hercules, Tangier (Africa) – Visit the Caves of Hercules which are surrounded by legends. According to the myth, the Greek god Hercules slept there when he was going to steal golden apples from the Garden of the Hesperides (33%);
  10. David Hasselhoff Museum (Berlin, Germany) – Visit a museum in Berlin dedicated to everything that concerns David Hasselhoff (32%);
  11. University of Coimbra (Portugal) – Founded in 1290, the University of Coimbra (UC) is one of the oldest universities in the world and the oldest in Portugal (27%);
  12. Livraria Lello in Porto (Portugal) – Located in the heart of Porto, Livraria Lello is considered one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. J.K. Rowling, author of the famous Harry Potter series, was inspired by her to write her novels (27%);
  13. La Raima (Pobla del Duc, Spain) – Also known as “The Battle of the Grapes”, this is a grape fight with 90 tons of ammunition (26%);
  14. Canyoning in Madeira Island (Portugal) (25%);
  15. Torres Catalãs, Tarragona (Barcelona, Spain) – This dangerous tradition of Catalonia consists of groups of participants trying to build the tallest human tower possible (23%);
  16. Dragsholm Slot, Horve (Copenhagen, Denmark) – Visit the Dragsholm Slot, Denmark’s most haunted hotel with 34 rooms, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and more than 100 ghosts (23%);
  17. Wadi Rum Hejaz Railway Train (Shakaria) – Visit a renovated 1900 train located in the Wadi Rum desert (23%);
  18. Coopers Hill Cheese Rolling (Gloucestershire, UK) – A century-old race in Gloucestershire in which participants run with a cheese wheel down a very steep hill (22%);
  19. A’dam Lookout, Amsterdam (Netherlands) – A viewpoint with an unparalleled panoramic view of Amsterdam. Here is “Over The Edge”: The highest swing in Europe (22%);
  20. Valley Motor de Italia (Italy) – Visit the birthplace of the supercar, also known as the Emilia-Romagna region. Visit behind the scenes, factories, and museums of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati (22%).
  21. Goat Yoga (Amstelveen, Netherlands) – Join a different yoga class this Thursday, finding your inner Zen surrounded by goats (21%);
  22. Coffee Museum of Rovereto (Italy) – Visit the beautiful city in Northern Italy, where you will find Rovereto, an equally impressive small town with the coffee museum of Rovereto (21%);
  23. Halle De La Machine (France) – In the south of France, in Toulouse, visit the Halle de la Machine, where giant spiders and animatronic minotaurs are on display. All this is linked to the city’s aeronautical heritage (21%):
  24. Medoc Castle Marathon, Medoc (France) – A 26.2-mile running course between scenic vineyards, where it is mandatory to go masked, and participants taste 23 glasses of famous wines during the course (20%);
  25. Walk in the theWadlopenn, Pieterburn, (Amsterdam) – A walk in the Wadlopen is the ideal way to get to know a unique nature reserve, the Wadden Sea, also the largest continuous national park in Europe (20%).

Getting to know the Catholic festival of Candlemas and Gigiszischtag and the Bern Onion Market in Switzerland, as well as visiting the catacombs “Dei Cappuccini” in Palermo, are also some of the attractions that promise to mark the memory of Portuguese tourists.

For those who wish to start their wish list closer to home, there are amazing options in Portugal. Surfing the giant waves of Nazaré, canyoning on Madeira Island, exploring the historic University of Coimbra, one of the oldest in the world, and touring the beautiful Livraria Lello, in Porto, where author J.K. Rowling found inspiration for the Harry Potter series, are experiences that enrich any trip.

EasyJet’s new list could be inspirational for the 81% of Portuguese who say they are now more fearless when it comes to travelling, compared to the year 2020. The youngest, between the ages of 25 and 34, lead this adventurous spirit, with 87% looking for new experiences. On the other hand, older people, between the ages of 45 and 54; show a different inclination, with 43% of them preferring to partake in their own personality-filled activities during the holidays.

38% of those questioned said they were looking for once-in-a-lifetime experiences, while 29% valued shared moments with family and friends. The influence of social media is also remarkable, with 66% of travellers looking to capture a photograph that no one else has.

Antonio Shabbir, EasyJet’s Director of Customer Experience, commented:

“We’re always looking at new trends and what customers want from their travel to expand our unparalleled short-haul network to fly to the places people want to visit. Our goal is to facilitate the experience of the limitless joy of traveling for more people.”

“We hope this list will surprise people and inspire them to try something or somewhere new. Whether it’s exploring more of the places they love or visiting a new destination and its unique experiences for the first time, we encourage potential travelers to go out there and do it!”

The list, filled with European festivals, unique celebrations, and traditions, was determined by a public vote. The Portuguese chose the experiences they would most like to add to their wish list, from a long list compiled by a panel of experts, which included: BCC travel presenter Lucy Hedges, Culture Trip creative director Cassam Looch, travel writer Katy McConagle and airport network and strategy director Eleanor Ogilvie.

Samantha Gannon

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