Spread over an area of approximately 15,000 m2, the Exotic Garden is home to a thousand cacti and other succulent plants with stems or hypertrophic leaves which store water. Originally from the planet’s main semi-arid regions, these plants still produce plenty of flowers. The principal flowering seasons are winter (January–February) for South African succulents such as Aloe and Crassula, and spring and summer for cacti, a family native to the American continent.
The enormous trees which line the paths of the Exotic Garden illustrate the age of the collection which served as the basis for the creation of the garden at the instigation of Prince Albert I. Opened to the public in February 1933, and supplemented in the 1960s by a botanical centre and specialist tree nursery, the garden is one of the Principalities most visited tourist attractions.
At the base of the cliff on which the Exotic Garden is situated (called “the observatory” due to the long-standing presence of a small astronomical observatory), at an altitude of 100 metres, there is a subterranean chamber equipped to receive visitors. The limestone rock, carved out by water containing carbon dioxide, is studded with caverns adorned with geological formations bearing evocative names: stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, columns, soda straws...
Expert guided tours of the cave are included in the entry ticket for the Exotic Garden. The tour travels from a depth of 98 metres to a depth of 40 metres (around 300 steps). The chamber plunges down almost to sea level and is regularly explored by local cavers.
The presence of prehistoric humans in the region of the cave is confirmed by the bones of the animals that they ate. These remains also illustrate the climate variations that have taken place over the last 250,000 years.
The city’s original site, the Castle Hill (Parc De La Colline Du Chateau) once boasted a reputedly impregnable citadel that was entirely dismantled by the soldiers of the French King Louis XIV in 1706.
Truly a maze of greenery that has become popular for its cool undergrowth and surprising waterfall, this wonderful place for strolling offers a wonderful viewpoint over Baie des Anges, Old Nice and the Port (orientation table). Spectacular lighting at night.
It offers many activities and exhibitions on Nature all year long, with - some twenty theme gardens display 2,500 plant species. A lake, where a hundred birds - ducks, pelicans, black swans - live together in peace and in which are reflected the white marble façades of the Asian Arts Museum designed by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. Also one of the largest greenhouses in Europe: the ‘Green Diamond’, that takes visitors through 6 different tropical climates to discover several thousand rare plant species, including tree ferns, an orchid collection... and many more plants. And you can see crocodiles, iguanas and exotic birds. A family of Varis lemurs are currently delighting visitors.
First maritime park in Europe, Port-Cros National Park covers 690 acres on land and almost the double on sea. Its missions are multifold, from devising protective measures to leading campaigns to raise awareness about the park’s natural habitat.
The Parks of Nervi are an important historical/nature complex formed from the combination of several gardens that once belonged to private villas: Villa Gropallo, Villa Saluzzo Serra, and Villa Grimaldi Fassio. Today, these villas belong to the City of Genoa and have been transformed into museums.
The oldest of France’s national parks, the Parc national de la Vanoise was created in 1963 to protect the mountain goat. Situated in Savoy, between the Maurienne and Tarentaise Valleys, it contains almost a hundred peaks of over 3,000 metres.
Follow the coastal road south-west of Porto towards Piana to discover an almost surreal world of weather-carved pink granite, an other-worldly vista of strangely shaped red figures, often plunging dramatically into the turquoise sea below.
The Mont Avic natural park was established in 1989 to preserve the resources ofthe high valley of Torrente Chalamy (Champdepraz); in 2003, a part of the great valley of Dondena was also included in the protected area, reaching up as far as the mountain ridges of the Val Soana and the Valle di Cogne.
Just a few kilometres from the hubbub of tourists visiting Pisa and its splendid piazza dei Miracoli, there’s an island of nature that sits silently and far away from the changes of urbanization. We’re talking about the Migliarino, San Rossore and Massaciuccoli Nature Park, a protected site that includes wet areas, marshes, sand dunes and the large Lake Massaciuccoli, once an ancient salt water lagoon.
The San Rossore Estate is the most important environment in the park: hugged by the Serchio to the north and the Arno to the south, the area conceals dense pine groves and woodlands of deciduous trees from the old-growth forest. The estate’s accessible itineraries zigzags through dunes and tombolos, marshes and woods that hide a wealth of fauna and flora.
Territorially located between France and Switzerland, this needle is characterized by the presence of Saleina glacier on its northeast side, a 6 km glacier , and the glacier du Milieu, on its southwest side, a large ice extent between two high ridges.
Isolino Virginia is one of the oldest pile-dwelling settlements in the Alps and was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2011 as part of a serial property known as the “Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps”. The tiny islet is home to a LIPU (the Italian Society for the Protection of Birds) sanctuary that acts as a stopover for many species of migrating birds, and attracts many visitors as there is so much to see and do. As the area around Lake Varese has a long tradition of marvellous cuisine it also has many traditional restaurants and eateries serving local produce, and Isolino Virginia is no exception – a meal at the islet’s restaurant is a memorable experience. Tourists come to admire Lake Varese’s wonderful sights and culture and small boats ferry them to and from the islet from different points of the lake depending on the time of day.
A walkway built on the right bank of the torrent laeds the visitor. He will see more closely, this tumultuous torrent that descends the slopes of the Aiguilles Rouges. In this place, you must evok the memory of the famous counterfeiter Joseph Samuel Farinet, who would have taken refuge in the nearby cave ...
Culture and nature promenade across beauty, innovation and Como's treasures. A path through Villa Olmo, Villa del Grumello and Villa Sucota where art initiatives grow. A place to meet and "breathe" culture for citizens and tourists.
A city like Florence, well known for its amazing art collections, monumental architecture and rich historic past can sometimes have you forget about the natural beauty that abounds in the form of well maintained gardens and parks. And then, when you do think about them, it is places like Boboli Gardens, the colorful iris and rose gardens, and even the Botanical Garden in the city center that come to mind first.
The magical silence and stunning architecture in the Bardini Gardens seem to get lost in the crowd of places to visit while in Florence.
Virtually unknown, and many times almost deserted, this 4 hectare garden was recently restored to part of its original glory and is now slowly being rediscovered by the locals and guests to the city of Florence. First time visitors to the Renaissance city just might not have time to fit it into their already full itinerary; however, those who are coming back to Florence again should really find time to walk the grounds. In an hour you can stroll the entire garden easily and calmly, and that is what this garden deserves: time for a short stroll that will sooth your soul.
The National Park covers - including land and marine areas - 20,180 ha, with a coastal development of 180 kilometers. La Maddalena, mother island and capital of the homonymous Archipelago, is the Park gateway. It is the one and only inhabited island, except for the village of Stagnali in Caprera Island and the settlements of Santa Maria.
Over the centuries, the river Orb and the Mediterranean have shaped the history of Sérignan. As a direct result, the town now covers four distinct areas with different activities that can be all reached by bike.
"When I get to the top, I feel like Napoleon Bonaparte. Yes, the man who said: “From the top of these pyramids, 40 centuries gaze upon you”. Except, for me, it’s not pyramids but a Tower, the Tour des Prisons. It’s not 40 centuries either, but 10, which isn’t bad either. Because the town of Neuchâtel, spread before my eyes, celebrated its 1000th birthday in 2011.
The promontory of Capo Caccia, also known as the Sleeping Giant, is the undisputed symbol of Alghero, standing just north of the town’s bay. These sheer cliffs, known paradise for climbing lovers, drop to very deep water providing fantastic views of the coast. Not to be missed is the breathtaking panorama from the cliff in front of the island of Foradada.
Chasseral, observation deck of the Swiss Jura, has many faces. Vineyards, meadows and plateaus alternate with gorges and valleys. Its proud inhabitants are still leaders in the cutting-edge world-famous watch industry as well as cheese production. Reliable values, too. Here you can discover the true joy of life.
Chasseral Nature Park is spread over a triangle between La Chaux-de-Fonds, Neuchâtel and Bienne. It was named after the 1606.2 metre highest peak of the Bernese Jura. The top of the mountain is easily accessible, even with public transport.
Backing lower Lake Zurich is a tangle of parks and gardens, collectively known as the lake promenade, that make for a picturesque place to spend an afternoon. And in warm weather, the lake is peppered with boats, while the banks are filled with picnickers and sunbathers. If you're a jogger, the area is also one of Zurchers' favorite places to pound the ground.
For some of the best views of Zurich and the nearby Alps, travelers suggest taking a boat ride on the lake. One-and-a-half-hour boat tours are available throughout the year and are free for Zurich Card holders.
Standing an impressive 2,858 feet above sea level, Uetliberg Mountain offers some of the best views of Zurich and the surrounding Alps. Once at the top, travelers will find multiple trails for hiking, biking and sledding. Paragliding at the mountain's peak is another popular pastime here.
Though traveling to and from this local attraction will set you back about an hour, visitors rave about Uetliberg Mountain's stunning views and superb hiking paths. For an educational twist on your average hike, take the mountain's Path of the Planets, which is designed to mimic the sizes of and distances between the solar system's planets. The trail stretches between Uetliberg and Felsenegg mountains and takes about two hours to complete.
So called the “Canalazzo“, is the most important water way of Venice, about 3800 meters long, it splits the city in two sides..Venice from above looks like a big fish, not bad for a city on the sea! The Grand Canal it's like a thick dark line that creates a kind of "big S" inside the fish.
Wonderful hiking routes, beautiful view of the Rhine Valley – including in the evening, when the sea of lights sparkles far below.
The Karren is a popular meeting point in the region. For one thing, beautiful hiking routes have their starting point here; for another, life is easy at the panoramic restaurant at 976 metres above sea level. Whether you want to go for something to eat or simply want to enjoy some high-altitude air, the cable car brings you high above the city rooftops in five minutes, giving you a wonderful view: the entire border triangle by day, the sea of lights by night.
The centre of the new port is the new port building, designed by architects Nägele, Waibel, Spagolla, Ritsch and Steinmann. While visitors can stroll west through the well-known Bregenz lakeside area towards the Bregenz Festival and Conference House, to the north stretches the so-called “Blumenmolo”, at whose top on the side of the lake a lighthouse rises into the sky. At the same time, it marks the western orientation point of the port entrance. Towards the west, direct access to the lake was created through the creation of sunset seating steps.
The unique panoramic view of all of Lake Constance
240 alpine peaks of Austria, Germany and Switzerland make the Pfänder by Bregenz, Vorarlberg, one of the region’s most famous viewpoints.
The Pfänder, the local mountain of the people of Bregenz, offers a variety of opportunities for both locals and guests to enjoy memorable outdoor experiences. One of the major advantages is that getting there is extremely convenient. The port as well as the port train station are only seven minutes away on foot. Once one has arrived at the valley station, 600 metres in height are overcome with the Pfänderbahn mountain railway in only six minutes. At the summit at 1,064 metres in altitude, with far-reaching views of the deep-blue Lake Constance, the towns and villages along its bank and of the Austrian and Swiss mountains, it is easy to take a deep breath. A trip to the Pfänder is simply always worth it.
"The three towers on the Schlossberg hill (591m) overlook the Alsace plain and date from 11th to 13th centuries. The middle tower, the Wahlenbourg, is the oldest. The Dagsbourg o the north and the Weckmund to the south were built in the 13th century.
If you would like enjoy a journey to the Orient, treat yourself to a Zen promenade in the Japanese Garden, which is labelled a Remarkable Garden.
Situated in the heart of Compans-Caffarelli Park, this garden’s exotic feel is a surprise. A veritable invitation to meditate and relax, it is a synthesis of the gardens you can find in Kyoto, Japan, constructed between the XIV and XVI Centuries.
It is made up of all the characteristic elements: a showcase of the worlds of minerals and plants and the aquatic world complete with traditional decorative features.
You can discover a rock garden with islands devoted to the crane and the turtle, nine rocks, a lake, a tea pavilion and a landscaped garden featuring a dry waterfall, Japanese stepping stones, a lantern, a red bridge, an Island of Paradise, a Mount Fuji and the headstones of three saints.
192 metres! Bungee jumping from the Europabrücke bridge is a truly thrilling and unforgettable experience.
Since Rupert Hirner's first jump on 3 October 1993, this famous structure has been transformed into an ultimate highlight of the bungee-jumping world: thousands of daredevils have already taken the leap into the valley below and one of the world's most spectacular bungee jumps is now open to visitors on more than 60 days of the year!
Towering high above Innsbruck on the wooded Bergisel Hill, the brand-new Bergisel Ski Jump is a sight to behold.
The Tower stands 47 meters tall and provides spectacular views.
he new facilities now can hold 28,000 spectators. Each year, the refurbished Bergisel Stadium plays host to the annual Four Hills Tournament in January and to a Summer Grand Prix Jumping Event.
All Bergisel Stadium facilities, including gondola, elevator, panoramic café, and vantage spot on the jumping platform are open to visitors. From the stylish Restaurant there are uninterrupted panoramic views of the lofty surrounding peaks of Patscherkofel, Nordkette, Hohe Munde and Serles.
Known to Innsbruck residents as a “locals’ mountain” and a three-time Olympic venue, the Patscherkofel ski resort continues to draw wintersports enthusiasts of all kinds.
With its pistes 1,400 metres above Innsbruck, fabulous views of the Inn Valley and rich sporting history, the Patscherkofel mountain and the ski resort it is home to are legendary within Tirol and beyond. This mighty mountain to the south of the regional capital hosted the Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976 as well as the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012. Innsbruck locals appreciate the resort's proximity to the city, which is just a 15-minute drive away. One of the main highlights is without a doubt the large snowpark, where budding freestylers gather to dial in their tricks. The resort also has three children's areas at different altitudes, while from the top cable car station ski touring enthusiasts can climb all the way to the summit at 2,248m. Even those who don't fancy the extra few hundred vertical metres can still look forward to a 6km-long run down to the bottom of the resort along piste number 3.
From the city centre to the largest nature park in Austria in just 20 minutes! The breathtaking 360° views with Innsbruck on one side and the Karwendel Nature Park on the other are sure to leave a lasting impression.
The modern Hungerburgbahn funicular takes you from the historic old town to the Hungerburg district, via the stop for the Alpine Zoo, in just eight minutes. From there, you cross Hermann-Buhl-Platz square, which is named after the world-famous Austrian mountaineer, and continue to the lift that runs up to the Seegrube. The Seegrube is located at an altitude of 1,905 metres above sea level and attracts daring mountaineers in summer and winter alike. Thanks to the direct connections to the city, everyone can also continue up to the Hafelekar – an absolute highlight at 2,300 metres above sea level with impressive panoramic views and natural alpine surroundings. Visitors can often catch a glimpse of the normally shy wildlife, but the real highlight is the unique panorama of city and mountains which leaves nothing to be desired.