Category Archives: Destinations

Key Destinations When Moving to Southern Europe

Getting to identify the countries that comprise Southern Europe can be a bit tricky. This is because some of these countries are technically considered as part of Central Europe as well. A good example of this is Austria where Vienna is the premier city and a place where people living abroad have formed various social groups in order to answer their need to belong.

The idea of working abroad and consequently living abroad in Vienna can be a bit daunting for the average expatriate worker, including British expats. This is because Austrians, particularly the Vienesse, are very reserved people; they do not readily welcome foreign workers.

Nevertheless, many expatriates like British expats have come together in Vienna to form many different groups catering to a wide variety of interests. These include book lovers, writers, mountain climbers, museum workers, and many others. The aim of these groups is to make working abroad in this particular city in Southern Europe better and more manageable.

When it comes to medical healthcare, Austria is said to be among the best providers this side of Europe. This is because medical healthcare is extended to both Austrian citizens as well as tourists at no cost to the party involved. Additionally, all expatriates who have found employment in Austria should be enrolled in an expatriate health insurance system where they are expected to make monthly contributions. The amount involved in a given expatriate health insurance in Vienna will normally be based on the salary scale of the expatriate worker involved.

One other country in Southern Europe that many British expats will find inviting is Greece. For starters, the cost of basic commodities here is about 30 percent lower when compared to other countries in Europe. At the same time, however, the average Greek salary is just as low. Still, the equally low rates for social security more than makes up for this, enabling many expatriate workers working abroad in Greece to lead generally comfortable lives.

Unfortunately, when the issue is about medical healthcare, Greece is one of the few countries in Southern Europe which is unable to provide this particular service, even to expatriates. If you have plans of living abroad in Greece, it will definitely be a good idea to consider getting an independent expatriate health insurance to keep you protected.

Despite this grim scenario, Greece is one European nation that welcomes expatriate workers like British expats even if this is not really among their top destinations. This is mainly due to the lack of multinational firms operating in these parts where these expats can easily find employment.

Up in the Air While Hiking – 5 Great Destinations

Some of the best hiking destinations are up in the air, in the mountains. They all offer plenty of fresh air, great exercise and amazing scenery from their lofty vantage points. These five hiking destinations get progressively higher in attitude although it depends on the actual trails you chose for your own up in the air experience.

Five great mountain hiking destinations:

Haystacks – Lake District, England
Starting from the town of Gatesgarth you have a steep climb of 1,775 feet (541 meters) with some easy scrambling to Haystacks, one of the most popular hikes in the northern Lake District and final resting place of famed English author Alfred Wainwright. While you are up in the air you have a commanding view of the picturesque Buttermere Valley and lake. There is a great pub in the town to enjoy after your hike.

Sulphur Skyline – Canadian Rockies
This trail is located in Jasper National Park with 2,296 feet (700 meters) of steady climbing. Close to the top and above the tree line the trail become very steep with a path of loose stones. Up in the air from the top the view is spectacular with the valley of the Fiddle River below and the Miette Mountain range is the distance. The area is known for afternoon thunderstorms and bears (we saw one during our visit).

The Eiger – Swiss Bernese Alps
Start from Grindelwald and hike up the mountain for 1,027 meters (3,369 feet) to Mannlichen, located at the top of a ridge with views of the valleys in both directions. Then continue along the ridge to Kleine Scheiedgg as it provides excellent views of the Eiger in distance. Continue up the well maintained path for an additional 259 meters (849 feet) to Eigergletscher station. Your up in the air experience offers views of the Swiss Alps and Grindelwald deep in the valley below. Use the mountain railway for the return.

Machu Picchu – Peru
The Inca Trail will take you 3 or 4 days starting near Cuzco 3,352 meters (11,000 feet) above sea level. Dead Women’s Pass is the highest on the trail and you continue through gateway of the sun before arriving in Machu Picchu. The ruins of this former Inca city sit up in the air mountainside with views of the mountains and a tributary of the Amazon in the jungle below.

Everest Base Camp – Nepal
A strenuous climb of 2,700 meters (8,858 feet) which takes several days. This is the ultimate up in the air experience with incredible scenery, small Himalayan villages surrounded by terraced rice fields.

Any of these five up in the air mountain hikes will all be worth the effort for the views.