Tossa de Mar is just one of dozens of lovely little beach towns along the Costa Brava, the “Wild Coast” of Spanish Catalonia.
As the bus zigzags and stomachs churn along the looping mountain roads, the Mediterranean comes into view, and you can see where the wild part comes in. Just an hour and a half north of Barcelona, you are already in the Pyrenees foothills, and the coastline is dramatic: jagged golden rocks that slope vertiginously into a sparkling turquoise sea.
Every year in early September, European cities explode in Jewish festivity as they simultaneously celebrate the European Day of Jewish Culture. From Bulgaria to Belgium, Norway to Luxembourg, Jewish art, music and food are in the spotlight.
But it doesn’t end there. In fact, throughout the chilly days of fall, cities across North-Central Europe host Jewish cultural festivals that go beyond mere street fairs to showcase finely curated klezmer, cinema and more.
On my first visit to Germany’s sprawling capital, I spent three weeks without a single glimpse of the sun. True, it was January. But even in August, Berlin often drizzles while other northern latitudes bathe in evening sunshine. “Would it be too much to ask,” one acquaintance sighed, “to see the sun once in a whole week — just once?”
Looking for a late-summer, drivable getaway? One with a foreign flair that’s perfect for both kids and adults?
In a little over five hours from New York, across the Canadian border, you’ll reach the multicultural city of Montreal, an ideal destination for those who want a European twist to their vacation (you’ll hear plenty of French, of course).
It’s August, and just like every year, a good third of the travelers I know are doing the classic Italy triangle: Venice, Florence and Rome.
They have plenty of company, recession notwithstanding. Italy’s three most popular cities are all singularly stunning, brimming with unrivaled art and culture — in short, this itinerary is popular for good reason.
The best time of year to visit Florianopolis is summertime — which, in this idyllic corner of southern Brazil, starts sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving.
That’s when a mild, pleasant spring gives way to the glorious Miami-like weather and spectacular sunsets that make this one of South America’s most popular resorts. For North Americans, Florianopolis offers an appealing alternative to the Caribbean: a winter escape to a land of wide, sandy beaches, sparkling lagoons and green mountains, wrapped in an affordable package of cultural exoticism.
A full-service kosher winery tucked along the Silverado Trail.
Special To The Jewish Week
Napa, Calif. — Hagafen Cellars sits at the end of a country lane bordered by vineyards and olive trees on the Silverado Trail.
There are many wineries on the trail, but what makes Hagafen Cellars different is its distinction as Napa Valley’s only full-service kosher winery. And the man behind it all is veteran winemaker Ernie Weir.
Just a few hours’ drive east from Venice, one of the most-visited places in Europe, lies a magical land that few Americans ever consider: Slovenia.
While Europeans have discovered Slovenia in droves, there are reasons for its obscurity among us Yanks. Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, is hard to pronounce — Lyoo-blee-YAH-na — and impossible to spell. Many of us secretly sympathized with President Bush when he confused Slovenia with Slovakia, another country that didn’t exist when most of us learned geography.
My mother always counseled us not to have a nervous breakdown in August. “That’s when all the psychiatrists go on vacation,” she explained. If you needed medical guidance in the month before Labor Day, she added, your best shot was to hang out on the beaches of Cape Cod and the Islands, because that’s where they all went.
There’s something about the sight of snowy peaks that instantly cools you off, even in the midst of a long, hot summer.
Whether wandering around the stately red-brick buildings of downtown Denver or prowling its pretty Victorian neighborhoods, one never loses sight of the shimmering Rockies that make the Mile-High City so picturesque. Amid the bright, clear mountain sunshine, Colorado’s capital offers a breezy, verdant summer retreat, along with plenty of culture to fill the non-skiing months.