Fairytale Trips: From Fantasy to Fact [Guest Post]
Being a bit of a Disney-fan, and with recent blockbusters such as ‘Frozen’ capturing both children and adults hearts, as a travelling addict I always find myself dreaming of visiting far off places that resemble the worlds in which some of my favourite childhood characters live. But rather than being a fairytale in itself, actually, most of the places in the stories resemble real-life locations. So, the lovely people at Holiday Lettings from TripAdvisor have kindly given an exclusive insight into these wonderful places!
Frozen has led to divorces, eBay bidding wars and five-hour queues for Disneyland experiences. Blizzards of travellers are visiting Norway, the land of glaciers and ice palaces that inspired the film.
Do you, like me, long for destinations that will make your Disney dreams come true? Well, Holiday Lettings will be your fairy godmother, so stand back while they wave their wand to reveal their favourite fairytale holidays.
The Sleeping Beauty – Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Once upon a time Ludwig II of Bavaria built this Romanesque Revival palace atop a rugged mountain as a bewitching retreat. He didn’t live there happily ever after: he resided in the unfinished castle for less than a year and a day, and it was not completed for six years after he died.
1.4 million visitors now brave its spindle-related dangers every year. After all, it appeared on a €2 coin and featured in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It also inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. So it’s no surprise that every turret feels familiar (minus baby-pink paint and animatronic dragons).
The Princess and the Frog – New Orleans, USA
Gumbo, bayous and voodoo priestesses conjure up the spirit of the Big Easy in this film. From its playboy princes to fake princesses, steamboats, mardi gras celebrations and jazz bands, we’re ensorcelled.
This city’s a vibrant melting pot of music, food and culture that puts the art into party. It’s steeped in influences from Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, plus the odd cocktail from Bourbon Street. Be warned, though, you’ll set curses on anyone who deprives you of local specialties including, but not limited to, jambalaya, beignets and pralines.
Aladdin – Marrakech, Morocco
Snake charmers, storytellers and sheep’s head “delicacies” work their magic on everyone. Exploring the old medina is as exciting as it is tempting – the carpets are interior design magic. When you’ve picked up (almost) too many backstreet bargains, you can drink tea in a riad courtyard or relax in Hammam steam. You are unlikely, though, to make it beyond the spices.
Call us Scheherazade or, indeed, Princess Jasmine, but this enchanting city drips in the exoticism of Aladdin and The Arabian Nights. Where else can you ride on a magic carpet (OK, in a hot air balloon) and visit the sprawling ruins of a 16th-century sultan’s home? It’s a whole new world.
Cinderella – The Loire Valley, France
You can follow the famous Briare canal-bridge over the Loire. You can admire the colourful countryside from the top of Bourges and Chartres Cathedrals. You can sample wines in Sancerre.
Chateaux at Usse, Aubiry and Chenonceau compete to be Cinderella’s castle, and you’ll be charmed by them all. In fact, we love them nearly as much as we do Christian Louboutin’s take on the iconic glass slipper, made with glass-effect lace and crystal-covered heels. And that’s a lot.
Amy is the founder of thewanderlustadventures.com. Currently residing in Reading, UK with a love of adventure travel, writing and photography - she pretty much writes about whatever the hell she wants!