EuroTribe

your guide to Europe off the beaten path

4 Best Whiskey Tours in Europe

Whiskey is arguably one of the world’s greatest drinks, as well as one of the most beloved ones. The beauty of it lies in the whole experience: the glass, the…

Whiskey is arguably one of the world’s greatest drinks, as well as one of the most beloved ones. The beauty of it lies in the whole experience: the glass, the aroma, the aftertaste and all that jazz. Its lovers will tell you that it’s not a drink that you should just pour down your throat, but instead, it’s made for savoring and enjoying.

Although it has existed for ages, its popularity is still not declining – on the contrary – it seems like there’s a bunch of new distilleries opening up each year. And is there a better way to try some good whiskey than by doing it right where it’s made – in the distillery?

The fragrant spirit can be found worldwide, but many will argue that the best ones come from Europe. Since most of them have an interesting history besides the quality, a visit to the distilleries could be an incredibly rewarding experience.

That’s why we’ve prepared a selection of European whisky tours that you can treat yourself to on your next vacation!

4 Best Whiskey Tours in Europe

Glenfiddich Distillery, Dufftown, Scotland

You already know that Scotland is actual paradise for whisky enthusiasts. It’s the place everyone goes to when they start learning about whisky, but also the place they always end up returning to.

Although it’s the biggest distillery in the country, the Glenfiddich has that intimate, homey feeling that really makes it stand out from the rest. You can tell that it’s a family-run business with a rich tradition. They offer a number of tours which allow visitors to see the whole detailed process of creating a bottle of whisky from scratch.

The shortest one is called the Explorers tour and it lasts roughly around 1.5 hours. During that time you will be able to try 10 to 18-year-old whiskies and, as the name says, explore the big production complex. The tour costs £10 per person.

They have three more options available, lasting from 2 to 4 hours – the Spirit of Innovation tour, Glenfiddich: Deconstructed tour and the famous Pioneers tour. For £95, the Pioneers tour will take you through the more exclusive warehouses and the true art of creating their product. In the end, you’ll be able to fill up and take home a little bottle of whisky of your choice!

They are open throughout the entire year, except for a couple of weeks during the summer which are reserved for some maintenance work. Make sure that you check beforehand!

The Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh, Scotland

Taking a tour at the very top of Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile is one of the best ways to get introduced to the world of whisky. Don’t shy away from it if you’re a real enthusiast as well – their experts will recommend a more thorough tour that will suit your needs better.

The Scotch Whisky Experience actually has a vault with the world’s largest collection of Scotch whisky! This is a great chance to learn about the various types of whisky and the regions where it’s made.

The Silver, Gold and Platinum tours offer a whisky barrel ride through the production of authentic scotch, which is an interesting experience itself. The trained guide will help you learn and practice the proper nosing and tasting techniques, if you don’t already know them.

The most basic of the three is the Silver tour and it costs £15 for a little less than an hour of guided exploring. Other than the Gold and Platinum tour, which last longer and allow various tastings, there are also some more luxurious ones available.

One of them is the Morning Masterclass, which is recommended for those that already have the knowledge and/or experience in this field. For £40, you’ll be able to taste one blend, one single grain and two single malt whiskies, and have a conversation with the staff about your favorite spirit.

The Taste of Scotland and Tasting Tales tours are also accompanied by some gourmet Scottish food and they cost up to £79. However, if you’re mostly interested in the whisky, we recommend skipping this and taking either the Silver or the Gold tour instead!

The Old Jameson Distillery, Dublin, Ireland

Jameson is one of the most famous whisky brands in the world and visiting the Old Distillery will really take you behind the scenes of this magnificent business. Although they now have a new location for production, the original one is where it all started and that’s what makes it so special.

They have a couple of tours available, starting with the Bow St. Experience which lasts 40 minutes. The prices are a bit higher, since they start at €18 for the shortest tour and go up to €60 for their Whiskey Blending Class. However, at the end of the class, you’ll be able to take home the whisky you’ve blended with your own two hands!

The best option might be the one in between – the Bow St. Experience & Live Maturation Warehouse Visit. The €37 tour includes the tasting of their 14-year-old whisky straight from the barrel! You’ll be able to learn all about Jameson’s history, and, at the same time, try the very best of what they have to offer. If you’re a whisky lover, you definitely shouldn’t miss this legendary distillery, since it’s among the most prominent in the world.

The Jameson Experience, Midleton, Ireland

This is where the magic of the production process of Jameson happens today. Also, it’s a great place to learn about John Jameson and enjoy some of the brand’s legendary whiskies: the Jameson Black Barrel, Midleton Very Rare or the Power’s John’s Lane Release.

The tour offer varies from the Jameson Experience Tour (€18 for students) to their Behind the Scenes Tour (€60).

The most experienced whisky enthusiasts will enjoy the Distiller’s Apprentice Tour. Although it’s quite pricey (a whopping €95), it is the only tour of them all that offers direct access to their current-day distillery! After almost 3 hours, you will know all the details of the production of premium whisky.

 

 

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Best Carry On Luggage You Can Get On AliExpress For Less Than $100

Traveling light will make your journey quicker and easier. That’s why we have compiled a list of the best carry on luggage you can get under $100. With a small…

Traveling light will make your journey quicker and easier. That’s why we have compiled a list of the best carry on luggage you can get under $100.

With a small carry on luggage, you can bypass long queues and get to the final destination quicker than anyone else. Most airlines have almost the same regulations regarding carry on luggage. Be sure to check this before traveling as they may vary.

In this post, we have picked bags for different types of travel, budgets, and style. 

 

Oxford Large Weekend Bag

Waterproof Shoulder Travel Bag

Oxford Travel Handbag MARKROYAL Travel Bag Waterproof Duffel Bag Trolley carry on luggage Z.L.D Canvas Leather Bag MARKROYAL Canvas Travel Bag MAHEU Genuine Leather Travel Bag

Don’t forget to check out these 50 awesome travel products you can get for less than $20 too. 

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5 Fantastic Sardinian Cheeses You Have to Try

Sardinia is a large Italian island famous for its sandy beaches and great hiking trails. However, it’s also famous for its cheeses that are some of the best in Europe….

Sardinia is a large Italian island famous for its sandy beaches and great hiking trails. However, it’s also famous for its cheeses that are some of the best in Europe.

In this post we present the best Sardinian cheeses you should try;

1. Pecorino Cheese 

The sheep’s milk cheese, Pecorino is famous worldwide as one of Italy’s best delicacies. It found its use in various pasta dishes and soups. Also, it’s quite common in pesto sauce. 

There are two types of Pecorino cheese – sweet and ripe. 

The sweet one matures in 20-60 days. It’s softer and more compact than the ripe one. 

The ripe one is left to mature for 5-6 months. It’s hard inside and has a more intense aroma. 

Sardinia is the largest producer of this cheese. It has the Protected Designation of Origin certificate by the European Union. 

If you want to buy this local delicacy when in Sardinia, pay attention whether the cheese has the PDO label. If it does, you’ll know that you’re buying a real local cheese which is prepared by the traditional methods. 

Pecorino goes best with a glass of red wine and good pasta. Enjoy! 

2. Ricotta Cheese 

Sardinia is famous for three varieties of ricotta cheese – smoked matured, ricotta mustia and ricotta salata. All of them are made using sheep’s milk.

Smoked matured ricotta and ricotta mustia are great choices for vegetarians since they contain vegetable rennet. These two are buttery in texture, although the latter is more solid than the smoked type. 

Both of them are often used in cooking and as an appetizer.  

Ricotta salata, on the other hand, is saltier than the previous two types. That’s why it’s typically used in cooking, rather than as an appetizer. It can also be found in foods such as ravioli and traditional Sardinian desserts. 

3. Casu Axedu 

Casu Axedu is made all over Sardinia. It’s soft, uncooked cheese, shaped into rectangles. It can be eaten fresh or matured. It’s often made by the locals at their homes. Rennet and whey, from the previous day of making cheese, are added to the mixture and then they’re left to curdle for several hours. 

Before being eaten, it’s left to stay in brine for 24 hours. 

The fresh version is typically added to salads, vegetables or as a spread over bread. The matured one is used with soups and pasta dishes. 

This is a very popular cheese in the summer, when locals eat it for lunch or dinner, accompanied by a glass of wine. 

4. Casizolu 

Casizolu is a pear-shaped Sardinian cheese made near the town of Oristano. It is a quite distinctive cheese – it’s made from whole cow’s milk which is a rarity on the island. The milk is taken from Sardinian-Bruno and Sarda-Modicana cows. 

It’s white to pale yellow and it’s labeled as a Slow Food Presidium product, meaning that it’s on the list of the world’s endangered heritage foods. 

Casizolu is a table cheese, but it’s also used as a filling for the typical Sardinian fritters – Seadas. It goes great with Jerzu Cannonau wine. 

Its flavor discloses an intense variety of herbal, milky, and almondy aromas. With aging, it becomes spicier in flavor. 

5. Trizza Cheese 

Trizza cheese made from cow’s milk, originates from the Oristano province of Sardinia. It is a stringy white cheese that comes in the form of a braid. 

Where to Try Sardinian Cheeses?

Here are some great activities for the foodies that happen to be in Sardinia;

 

 

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A Brief History of Whirling Dervishes (And Where To See Them)

Although Turkey is a vibrant land of impressive cultural heritage, one phenomenon stands out from the rest. It captures the attention of tourists and believers from the entire world, but…

Although Turkey is a vibrant land of impressive cultural heritage, one phenomenon stands out from the rest. It captures the attention of tourists and believers from the entire world, but it’s equally interesting to locals. It’s hypnotic, unusual and, in a way, calming. Yes, we are talking about the whirling dervishes.

Their authentic dance is a mixture of meditation and a religious ritual. In the text below, we will unpack everything, starting with what the word dervish means to this specific ceremony. At the very end, we’ll show you where you can witness it yourself. Continue reading for a captivating story!

Who are they?

To fully appreciate it, you should understand a thing or two about this spectacle. First of all, let’s start by defining the term dervish in the most simple way possible.

A dervish or a darwish is a type of Sufi (Sufi being a person who practices Sufism). Sufism is a mystical form of Islam which focuses on the inward search for God. It accentuates the personal, spiritual connection with God and self-improvement through various rituals and practices.

Although Sufism is present in many Islamic countries, Turkey is known for the Mevlevi Order of Sufis and their whirling. The order was formed in the 13th century and it still exists to this day.

The members, known as whirling dervishes, are all followers of the very famous Persian poet Rumi. It is believed that he created their well-known traditional ritual called Sama or Sema. The proof is that some references to it have been found in his poetry!

The Whirling Dervishes Ritual – Basics

Sama is one of UNESCO’s Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. It includes music, prayer, various stunts, and their signature spinning.

The point of the ritual is reaching spiritual perfection and maturity through hypnotic states and trances. The goal is to abandon your ego completely, disconnect from your earthly possessions and focus solely on love and God. The trances are the culmination of the practice and they can last up to several hours!

via GIPHY

Sometimes, the trances are so deep that the dervishes go through unimaginable physical and mental strain almost effortlessly. It’s not rare that they pierce their cheeks and throats with large needles without feeling a thing!

The ritual is very precise and well planned and that’s why there are always exactly four stages of it. They are packed with symbolism relating to Islam, the power of God and the gift of life.

The Phases of the Ritual

If you decide to witness one of these rituals, you should be introduced to its phases. It will help you notice their switches and really understand their significance.

The first phase is called Naat and Taksim. During this part, a solo singer recites or sings the Noble Eulogy, which praises the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. This part is followed with a solo improvisation played on the ney (a flute heavily used in Middle Eastern music).

During the second segment, Devr-i Veled, dervishes walk counterclockwise around the sheikh (the ritual leader) three times. They then bow to each other and remove their dark cloaks which mark their earthly life.

The third portion is known as The Four Selams. This is where the magic actually happens. Pay attention to the position of their body – it is not accidental! Their right palm is turned upwards, towards God’s blessings, while the left one is facing the Earth, distributing those blessings.

The first Selam describes humans accepting that they are creatures of God. Then, the second one celebrates the rapture of humans when they witness and experience God’s omnipotence.

The third symbolizes complete surrender and submission to God and his power and love.

Finally, during the fourth Selam, the sheikh joins in and the dervishes descend back to the Earth to continue serving.

The fourth and final part of the ceremony is the reading of the Qu’ran and a prayer led by the sheikh.

Why spinning?

There’s a clear answer to that.

If you think about it, the continual movement is the natural state of things in the universe. The planets of the Solar system revolve around the Sun, atoms and their components move without stopping, etc. Therefore, the dervishes chose their whirling and dancing as a crucial part of the ritual. They view it as moving in complete harmony with all dynamic things created by God.

The Clothing and Its Symbolism

The practitioners’ outfits are also a very important part of the Sama. They wear long white robes that end in skirts and they symbolize the ego’s shrouds. Over that, they have dark cloaks which, as you remember, represent the earthly life, which is why they’re removed during the ceremony.

They also wear tall dark hats, which are viewed as tombstones of their egos.

Besides being a religious ritual, the whirling dervishes show is a very popular tourist attraction. Witnessing it is an entertaining, mind-blowing experience, but remember: be respectful and never applaud during the ceremony!

Whirling Dervishes Istanbul

Now that we’ve explored this fascinating practice, here are some suggestions on where you can enjoy it. Istanbul is one of the best places on Earth to see whirling dervishes and here are the exact places where you can do that.

Galata Mevlevihanesi

This is one of the most popular spots for whirling dervishes ceremonies. You can enjoy the show each Sunday at 5pm, but you can’t buy tickets before Saturday. Therefore, there’s a chance you won’t be able to get in. If you do, though, you will be in awe of their performance!

Address: Şahkulu Mah. Galip Dede Caddesi No: 15 Tünel PK:34420 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Hodjapasha Cultural Center

In case you miss the Sunday show, the Hodjapasha Cultural Center has them each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7pm. You can also visit one of their exhibitions dedicated to whirling dervishes.

Address: Ankara Caddesi Hocapaşa Hamamı Sok No: 3.B;
Sirkeci/İstanbul

Yenikapi Mevlevi Lodge

If you’re on a budget, this is one of the places where the entrance is free of charge! The rituals are held on the first and the third Thursday of the month, as well as the last Friday. However, you must call them in advance to make a reservation. You can ask your hotel or a host do it for you.

Address: Merkezefendi Mah. Fatih Sultan Mehmet Üniversite Kampüsü, 34015 Zeytinburnu/İstanbul

If you’re ready to explore more of Turkey, here are five must have adventures.

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The Best Bike Locks You Can Get On a Budget

If you plan to go on a cycling trip ordering a bike lock will be the first and most important step towards protecting your bicycle. If you’re hunting for the…

If you plan to go on a cycling trip ordering a bike lock will be the first and most important step towards protecting your bicycle. If you’re hunting for the best cheap bike lock look no more. Here’s a list of the best bike locks you can get on a budget.

PAW 2019 Foldable Bike Lock With 2 Keys

ROCKBROS Mini Portable Password Bike

INBIKE Anti-Theft Bike Lock

Universal stainless steel anti-theft bike lock

Universal anti-theft bike lock with 2 keys

INBIKE Bike Lock 0.85m Waterproof with 3 keys

Bike Lock with 5 Digit Code Combination

Anti-Theft 5 Digit Combination Password Chain Lock

INBIKE Bike lock for MTB Road Bikes

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The Ultimate Cruise Packing List For a Relaxing Holiday

Cruises can be some of the most enjoyable trips you’ll ever take. The feeling of trusting someone with the complete organization of your travel, while always being at sea is…

Cruises can be some of the most enjoyable trips you’ll ever take. The feeling of trusting someone with the complete organization of your travel, while always being at sea is incredibly liberating.

You can spend the day lounging in a deckchair or, perhaps, taking part in some activities. The fresh scent of sea air and sunshine will work their magic!

If you’ve picked a good cruise operator, you’ll be able to dedicate all your time to self-care and relaxation. Basically, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is packing ahead of the trip.

Although it sounds easy, sometimes it’s tricky to determine what you actually need and what is simply excess baggage.

We’ve prepared a very useful guide for all of you that plan on going on a cruise any time soon. This cruise packing list will help eliminate any trouble you might have while preparing for your voyage.

The first thing you must know is how much baggage you’re allowed to take. Usually, you’re allowed to bring two large suitcases (23 kg each), but rules do vary. Pack all the essential things in your carry on bag and follow our list of categories below!

Basics

Travel Documents

The first and most important thing on your cruise packing list are your travel documents. Make sure your passport and visas (if you need them) are in your purse or your pocket. It’s good to make copies of them, too. Although everyone knows it’s the one thing you can’t leave without, it often happens that people end up forgetting them.

Money

Also, bring your wallet, but don’t carry all your cash inside it. Always keep your money in more than one place! That way, if you end up losing it or being robbed, you won’t be penniless.

Prescription Medications

If you’re taking any prescription medications, bring them along. Also, don’t forget the earplugs! All this could be part of a first-aid kit (more on that below).

Electronics

In this day and age, it is very important to charge all your electronics. Therefore, bring your cellphone charger, as well as any other charger you might need. Although vacation is the perfect opportunity to limit screen time, we all love taking photos, so chargers are a must! Check this list of 50 fantastic travel products under $20

Print Your Travel Packing List

At last, definitely write down or print your cruise packing list. Having everything on a piece of paper will help with the planning!

Summary: documents (+copies), money, medications, chargers, cruise packing list

Clothes

You probably already know the first thing on this list – bathing suits! Yes, plural, since it’s better to have at least one spare swimsuit, while the other one is drying. Many boats have their own pools, while some cruise operators have swimming in the ocean as part of their program.

Other than that, make sure that you pack some lightweight and comfortable clothing. You are on vacation, after all! So, bring a couple of t-shirts, dresses, a pair or two of comfortable pants (depending on the duration of the cruise).

If you like dressing up for dinner or certain events, pack a formal outfit. However, don’t bring too many options, since you won’t end up wearing them and they’ll just take up space. Sometimes, some cruise events require formal wear, so check with your cruise agent in advance.

Another thing to remember is to not bring your most expensive clothes and jewelry. It’s just too much of a responsibility and cruises are all about winding down. 

Make sure you pack a jacket or a few sweaters, because the nights at sea can get very chilly. Even if it’s the middle of August, you must have something to throw over your shoulders. A rain jacket would be a perfect choice!

Your cruise packing list should also include underwear and pajamas (so, bras, panties, pajamas and socks). You should get a robe when you get to your room, but make sure to check. There’s nothing better than those lazy bathrobe vacation coffees. 

Summary: a few t-shirts, some dresses, a pair of pants, rain jacket, underwear, pajamas

Shoes

It’s crucial that you pack a pair of comfortable shoes that you can walk in for long periods of time. Some sneakers or running shoes are your best option, so consider perhaps packing multiple pairs.

Flip flops are necessary, no matter what type of a cruise you’re on. Wear them on the beach, on the pool, or just getting out of the shower. They also don’t take up a lot of space. 

If you have some extra space, pack the shoes you’d like to wear on special occasions and when going out. You are on vacation, after all!

Summary: comfortable shoes, flip flops

Toiletries

Although most things will be provided, you should still pack a cosmetics case. Bring your toothbrush, dental floss and anything else that’s a part of your dental hygiene routine. Speaking of hygiene, put deodorant on your cruise packing list. 

Also, don’t forget about skincare. Travelling can be rough on the skin, so bring some type of a face cleanser and moisturizer. Most importantly, pack some sunscreen. Sunburns could potentially ruin your vacation, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Bonus tip: bring some kind of insect repellent!

Summary: toothbrush, deodorant, face cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen, insect repellent

Miscellaneous

If you’re travelling to a warm location, definitely pack a hat and some sunglasses. If you have room, pack a small umbrella as well.

Bring a scarf, since you’ll most likely need it. Some places you’ll visit will require you to cover your shoulders or you might just get cold.

Although you’ll spend most of your time enjoying the sights or activities, you’ll definitely have time for a good book. However, don’t bring too many, and, if you have a Kindle, just pack that!

Summary: hat, sunglasses, umbrella, scarf, book

First-aid kit

Last but not least, make a small travel first-aid kit. Pack some motion sickness meds, painkillers and bandages. Probiotics could help with digestive issues many people face while travelling, so bringing some would be a good idea.

Your prescription medication should be in your carry on or your purse. Make sure you don’t accidentally put it in your checked luggage. Once again – have your cruise packing list on paper!

Summary: motion sickness medication, painkillers, bandages, probiotics

So that’s it! You can make a cruise packing pdf list out of this blog post and bring it with you! Happy vacationing! But, if you haven’t made a choice yet, here are best cruises to take this year!

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