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​Estonia Travel Guide

Estonia is quickly becoming one of Europe’s hottest new getaway destinations. With a completely unique culture that’s unlike any of its neighbours, vast swathes of forest-studded countryside and an enchanting capital whose Old Town has UNESCO status, it’s hardly surprising it’s making waves in the travel space. Whether you are coming to explore Tallinn’s long list of museums or galleries, joining the locals at one of the hedonistic underground clubs or diving into Estonia’s cuisine, you’ll never be disappointed. If you have the time, don’t confine yourself to just the capital. If you’ve scored an Estonia car rental, you can make a dash beyond the city walls to find outdoorsy adventures aplenty.

Dining in Estonia

Estonian cuisine is steeped in tradition. Over the centuries, influences from Russia, Denmark and Germany has permeated every pore of Estonia’s gastronomy. This is a country where food is seasonal, and pork is king. Look out for verivorst, a typical blood sausage served with sauerkraut or sult, a type of jellied meat. During the summer months, the countryside bursts into life with wild strawberries and berries. Whenever you visit, don’t avoid trying leib, a wholesome rye black bread. If you take your Estonia car hire out of the city, you’ll find other typical dishes like beet salads, herring and pancakes topped with jam and cottage cheese.

Attractions in Estonia

The capital Tallinn is packed with things to do – whether it’s bar hopping with the locals, making a dash for one of the world-class museums or galleries or simply strolling through the cobbled streets in the Old Town. Beyond the city walls, there are plenty more places to visit in your Estonia car rental. Try Tartu, a creative student city with won’t break the budget or the waterfront town of Parnu which is often crowned the summer capital of Estonia. Then there are the outdoor activities which are seemingly endless. Saddle up to gallop along the beach, lace up your boots to go hiking in the national parks or don those snow-shoes for wintery adventures.

Estonia driving routes

If you plan to pick up a hire care in Tallinn, you’re in luck because the country is made for road trips. After you’ve had your fill of the capital, you can take to the gorgeous country roads and make a beeline for the national parks. An almost 400-mile route can take you to Matsalu National Park, one of the best places to see birdlife on the continent, the wetlands and rivers of Soomaa National Park, and the beautiful marshlands of Emajõe-Suursoo Nature Reserve. Continue on to Puhatu Nature Reserve to see plenty more birds and mammals and end at Lahemaa National Park to photograph the seriously Instagramable Jagala Falls.

Estonia car rental

If you’re sold on a car hire in Estonia, your best bet is picking up your vehicle at the international airport in Tallinn. The process couldn’t be simpler, and you’ll quickly be on your way. Try to book a hotel in the capital with free parking spots for your car as finding a place to leave your car overnight can be a little tricky. In Estonia, you drive on the right-hand side and overtake on the left. Like much of Europe, all passengers must wear a seat belt and using your mobile phone while driving is illegal. The country has particularly strict rules on drinking and driving – in fact the blood alcohol content limit is absolutely zero. 


Slovenia Travel Guide

Slovenia is quickly becoming one of Europe’s most enviable destinations for summer and winter getaways. Expect staggeringly beautiful countryside complete with snow-capped beaches, winding rivers and a small but perfectly formed coastline which balloons in population during the warm summers. A good starting point is the capital Ljubljana which has continued to be voted one of the greenest and most livable cities on the continent. Here, you can dive into one of the fascinating museums or galleries, take sunny walks along the banks of the Ljublanica River or join the large student crowd in one of the live music bars. If you truly want to explore the country, you simply can’t do better than booking a Slovenia car rental.

Dining in Slovenia

Slovenian food is fusion food. Over the centuries, influences from its neighbours – Austria, Hungary Italy and the Balkans – have all contributed to creating a mouth-watering cuisine. There are plenty of dishes to look out for like belokrajnska pogaca, a type of savory baked cake covered in cumin seeds, kranjska klobasa, a smoked sausage typically served with sauerkraut, or idrijski zlikrofi, a ravioli dish that’s now got protected status. Head out of the capital in your Slovenia car hire and you can try Bled’s famous kremsnita, a buttery cream cake that’s been made in the town for more than 65 years.

Attractions in Slovenia

Whether you’re a culture vulture, history buff or outdoor enthusiast, you won’t have trouble finding things to do in Slovenia. After you’ve explored the exquisite Ljubljana Castle, you can take your Slovenia car rental beyond the city walls where there’s much more to explore. First timers to the country simply can’t miss visiting Bled Lake, one of the most spectacular in Europe, or Lipica to catch a glimpse of the famous Lipizzaner horses which have been bred here for more than 4 centuries. Then there’s the great outdoors. Highlights include Postojna Cave which has more than 20 kilometres of underground caverns and Triglav, a national park made up of jagged mountain peaks, deep valleys and sweeping forests.

Slovenia driving routes

If you’re going to choose just one driving route to take your Slovenia car rental down, make it the Solcava Panoramic Road. This 37-kilomtre stretch winds its way through some of the country’s most spectacular scenery. Head from Kranjska Gora down through the Gorenjska region crossing the magnificent Vrsic Pass. Expect vistas of tall mountain peaks, tumbling waterfalls and deep glacier valleys. There are few roads as impressive as the hairpin-strewn route which meanders up through the truly stunning alpine landscape cut by the Soca River. Be sure to stop en route to take in the fabulous views. Get ready for the drive of your life.

Slovenia car rental

If you’re sold on a car rental in Slovenia, you’ve made the right decision. Your best bet is scoring one of the vehicles at Ljubljana international airport. Once you’ve nabbed the keys, it’s only a short drive into the city and the hotels. It’s worth booking accommodation that has free parking spots included as finding a place to leave your car overnight in the city can be a little tricky. Planning on driving on the country’s motorways? Be sure to pick up a vignette, a toll sticker available for almost any petrol station. 


Top 10 things to see and do in Lapland, Finland

With over 20 locations in Finland, Green Motion is well established in this beautiful and enchanting country. At the northernmost point of Finland you will find the magical region of Lapland. Famous for the northern lights and being the home of Santa Claus, Lapland has so much to offer particularly in the winter months. 

For inspiration for your trip Click here to read this handy guide of the Top 10 things to see and do in Lapland. The list includes snowmobile tours, ice swimming, meeting reindeer, watching for the northern lights, and dining at an ice restaurant to name but a few!  

Bear in mind that temperatures during the winter months can drop as low as -40°C (often around -15°C) so make sure you pack lots of layers, warm gloves, hats and plenty of handwarmers! When driving in Finland during the winter make sure your car has winter tyres on and snowchains if appropriate. If in doubt speak to one of Green Motion Finland's helpful car rental agents. 

For more information on renting a car with Green Motion to see the amazing sights of Lapland and the rest of Finland, visit www.greenmotion.com


Discover Eindhoven in the Netherlands

Whilst one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, Eindhoven is known as a hub for technology and industrial design and therefore the city is a charming mixture of old and new. While Eindhoven is not the most well known tourist city in the Netherlands, its unique character and charm makes it a must-visit during any trip to the Netherlands.

Eindhoven is the fifth largest city in the Netherlands and lies in the south of the country near the Dommel and Gender streams. The history of Eindhoven spans as far back as the 13th century when the town was originally a small settlement with a wooden castle. During WW2 large parts of the city were destroyed, however after this devastation Eindhoven became the Dutch capital of industrial design and is now a thriving city with a great variety of tourist attractions and museums.

Once you have booked your trip to Eindhoven you can look forward to visiting attractions such as the Van Abbemuseum of modern and contemporary art. The museum houses more than 2,700 works of art and the collection includes a mixture of paper, sculptures, video, paintings and installations.

If you are wanting to escape from Eindhoven’s modern city centre, then Genneperpark is the perfect place to unwind and relax within the peace of nature. The nature reserve also welcomes visitors to hike, cycle, go horseback riding, visit the Eindhoven museum and much more.

If you are planning a trip to Eindhoven in November then visiting the GLOW Light Art festival should definitely be on your ‘to do’ list. The annual festival transforms the city after dark with explosions of light and art. The theme for the festival changes yearly, giving you a new delight each visit - check their website for more information.

For more inspiration when planning your trip to Eindhoven in the Netherlands, check out the 15 Best Things to do in Eindhoven and for a wealth of information about travelling around the Netherlands visit yourdutchguide.com.

For more information on renting your next hire car with Green Motion in the Netherlands, in Eindhoven or at any of our other worldwide locations, visit www.greenmotion.com.


What to do in Istanbul

One of the more recent additions to the Green Motion family, Green Motion Turkey already has 13 locations across the country. The capital Istanbul is the jewel in the crown of this amazing and beautiful country.

If you only have a few days in Istanbul, the majority of your time will probably be spent in the area of Sultanahmet.

The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque is one of the most stunning buildings in the world. There is a fountain directly between the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque which is an ideal spot on which to stand and admire both buildings.

As incredible as the exterior of the Blue Mosque is, it is also worth going inside to understand the scale of the building, and to pay your respects to the fact that it’s still an important functioning mosque in the city to this day.

Hagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia (pronounced aya sofya), is an ancient orthodox church turned mosque turned museum. The building exemplifies Byzantine architecture as well as modern day Istanbul. Perhaps no other building epitomizes the history of this city and its transition from ancient Christianity to modern Islamic than the Hagia Sophia.

The Bosphorus Strait

Bosphorus cruises are offered throughout the area of Sultanahmet, and they’re typically fairly decent and reasonably priced. Take a cruise to get out on the strait and see what’s known as the Golden Horn (where many of Istanbul’s major sights are) from the water.

Kadıköy

From Karaköy, you can hop on a ferry that will take you over to the Asian side of the city to an area known as Kadıköy. The ferry ride itself offers fantastic views of the city, and Kadıköy is one of the most dynamic areas in the city with its thriving café and infamous “bar street”.

For more information on hiring a car with Green Motion Turkey to start off your exploration of amazing Istanbul, visit www.greenmotion.com


Explore Canada

In honour of the recent grand opening of Green Motion in the vibrant city of Toronto, here are our tips for your visit!

During your stay in Toronto make sure you include the following destinations into your travel itinerary:

  1. Explore the CN Tower, the world's #1 elevator / lift ride! There are three observation levels including the famous glass floor with a view 324 m / 1,122 ft down, a great way to test your fear of heights! You can stand or even jump on the glass – don't worry, the floor is 256 square feet of solid glass which is actually 5 times stronger than the standard required weight for commercial floors.
  2. If heights are your thing, then you will also love visiting the Fantasy Fair located in the Woodbine Shopping Centre. Ontario's largest indoor amusement park offers the classic favourites – roller-coasters, a train, arcade, carousel and more! 
  3. The Toronto Zoo is home to around 5,000 animals – with that much selection you are guaranteed to find an animal you love or maybe 5 or 10 or 5,000! The zoo is split into 7 regions with the animals enjoying tropical pavilions and naturalistic environments.
  4. Check out a sports game! You can attend ice hockey games at the Air Canada Centre and watch the Toronto Maple Leafs between October and April. When the hockey season finishes, there’s always baseball - watch the Toronto Blue Jays play at the iconic Rogers Centre from April to October.
  5. Go to the beach! Toronto’s Beaches community is a summer hotspot amongst those who like to stick around the city rather than venture to cottage country. Both family friendly and complete with great cafes and restaurants, The Beaches is a favourite amongst tourists and locals alike. Take a ferry over from the waterfront to Toronto Islands to enjoy excellent views back over the city.
  6. Don’t forget to try some poutine (hot chips, cheese curds and gravy) while you’re in Canada.
  7. Also be sure to check out St. Lawrence Market every Saturday – it was hailed as the world’s best food market by National Geographic in April 2012.
  8. Visit the Falls! No trip to Toronto would be complete without a jaunt over to Niagara Falls. Only an hour and a half away, it’s very easy to take a day trip in a rented car to one of Southern Ontario’s most beautiful sights. Along the way there are numerous vineyards where you can try some of the Niagara region’s delicious wines.

For more information on renting a car for your trip to Toronto, Niagara Falls and the surrounding area visit www.greenmotion.com


Looking for some inspiration for your European road trip this summer?

Check out this Trip Advisor post for some inspiration for your European holiday this summer - 10 Pictures of breathtaking European towns you've probably never heard of - why not hire a car with Green Motion, get off the beaten track and away from the crowds in these lesser known but stunningly beautiful European towns.

From the medieval castle city of Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic to the sleepy fishing village of Polperro in Cornwall, Europe is full of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. For more information on hiring your summer road trip vehicle from Green Motion visit www.greenmotion.com

Have you ever thought of making Albania your next road trip destination? Head into the capital Tirana to explore Skanderbeg Square or learn about Albania's rich past at the National Historic Museum. From Tirana, drive along the Saranda coastal road with its spectacular beaches and breathtaking views. Head into the Ceraunian Mountains to explore the castles and woodlands or go inland to visit the city of Fier and the ruins of the town of Apollonia.

Or - if you really want to get away from the mainstream tourist hotspots, how about Serbia - Belgrade, the capital and largest city of Serbia, is steeped in history. The mild climate can be rainy during spring and moderately warm during the summer, so if you aren't a sun worshipper Belgrade may just be the place for you – a historically rich city with warm (not hot) weather.

Planning a road trip this summer? You can keep in touch with us during your travels on Facebook and Twitter! #GreenMotion 


​Explore the mesmerising beauty of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is known for its wonderful combination of sunshine, beaches, rainforests and biodiversity.

A land of cloudforests, smouldering volcanoes and rugged beaches, Costa Rica’s natural environment provides a perfect setting for wildlife experiences and adrenaline-fueled activities alike.

Covering an area of only 51,000 square kilometres (19,700 square miles) it’s a small country, yet one of the most biodiverse on earth. Thick forest canopies protect all manner of flora and fauna, from red eyed tree frogs to three-toed sloths, while on the coast turtles come to nest along Costa Rica’s Caribbean and Pacific facing beaches.

Costa Rica has five percent of the world’s biodiversity, across four mountain ranges, 800 miles of coastline, 200 volcanic formations and hundreds of national parks that are easy to get to from the capital, San Jose.

So why not rent a car from Green Motion Costa Rica, and see for yourself!

Discover San Jose

Costa Rica’s capital and largest city, San José is a cultural hub and home to many trendy restaurants, cafes and museums.

Most visitors flock to San José’s downtown which is a great starting point. From here you can watch the street performers in the Culture Plaza (Plaza de la Cultura) or head south to the National Theatre (Teatro Ncional) which is a prominent centre of tico culture.

Rainforest – Osa Peninsular

Get close to nature and spend some time in one of the country’s eco-lodges found throughout Costa Rica, many in lush jungle in the famous Osa Peninsula. Much of the Osa Peninsular is protected by the Corcovado National Park, sheltering rare mammals such as tapirs, anteaters and ocelots, as well as the rare scarlet macaw.

You can also do your part to protect Costa Rica’s beautiful rainforests no matter where you are in the world with Green Motion’s Green Heart campaign in conjunction with FONAFIFO in Costa Rica.

Beach – Caribbean or Pacific coasts

The Pacific Coast has some beautiful beaches with conditions that offer some of the best surfing in this part of the world. Towns such as Nosara are packed with bright driftwood signs pointing to surf shacks and sunset bars.

Costa Rica also has a Caribbean coastline with a cultural mix of Afro Caribbean, Tico (the name Costa Ricans give themselves) and old hippy vibe. Puerto Viejo has recently become a hit with tourists and has stunning white-sand beaches, tropical vegetation and is close to parks including a Sloth sanctuary.

Volcano

Until recently, the Arenal Volcano was the most active volcano in Central America. Although it no longer delivers sporadic eruptions and night-time lava flows, it remains an impressive, almost perfectly conical peak, and is the heart of Arenal National Park.

One of the most thrilling ways to view it is from above the green canopy of the park as you whizz down a zip-line. Other options for exploring Arenal National Park include kayaking, hiking and horse riding.


For more information about car rental in Costa Rica and Green Motion’s Green Heart campaign, visit www.greenmotion.com


Driving Iceland’s Ring Road

If you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure travel experience, a road trip around Iceland’s Ring Road will not disappoint. There’s nothing like a good road trip - especially when driving past active volcanoes, blue icebergs, roaring waterfalls, and northern lights!

Iceland’s Ring Road encircles the entire country covering over 800 miles on Route 1. While you could technically drive the whole thing in less than 24 hours, the reality is it will take you at least a week with stops on along the way.

Renting a car for your Iceland road trip is essential. There are bus tours that drive the route, but by driving the circle yourself you'll have more flexibility, and can choose how long you want to spend at each location.

In summer this means you could be enjoying the sights until the middle of the night, but in winter you might want to get to your accommodation before it gets dark, but then look up in the sky during cloudless nights in search for the auroras. However we wouldn't recommend driving yourself in winter unless you are familiar with driving on ice and snow.

Most people start their Ring Road adventure from Reykjavik or Keflavik Airport. Don’t miss the chance to spend some time in the vibrant and colourful capital Reykavik either at the beginning or end of your trip.

From there, there are also separate trips to the Golden Circle (highlights include Thingvellir National Park where the Earth’s tectonic plates are being ripped apart, exploding geysers, and the impressive Gullfoss Waterfall), and the infamous Blue Lagoon to do, then look to head off around the Ring Road.

During your road trip around the Ring Road, see huge waterfalls such as Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, go hiking on Sólheimajökull Glacier, check out the abandoned plane wreckage on Sólheimasandur Beach, look out for the magical northern lights – especially on the east coast, investigate the hot springs and other geothermal features in the Myvatn Lake area and go whale watching in the fjords around Akureyri.

This roadtrip really has something for everyone – enjoy the beautiful country of Iceland in all its glory!

To find out more about hiring a car from Green Motion Iceland, visit www.greenmotion.com


Our travel tips for a stress-free bank holiday weekend

With so many motorists on the move over a single weekend, traffic can be atrocious between Good Friday and Easter Monday. If you do plan to hit the road over the bank holiday weekend, there are things you can do to enjoy a relatively stress-free journey. From avoiding traffic hotspots to keeping the kids entertained, here are some simple tips for a hassle-free Easter holiday.

Roads to avoid

According to the AA, the busiest stretches to avoid over the Easter weekend include:

  • M1 — Junction 6A (M25 interchange) to Junction 13
  • M5 — Junction 15 (Almondsbury) to Junction 31 (Exeter)
  • M6 — Junction 4A (West Midlands) to Junction 21A (Lancashire)
  • M25 — Both ways from Junction 14 to Junction 17 (Heathrow Airport, M4, M40 Interchange)
  • If your journey includes one of these – perhaps think about consulting Google maps and find an alternative route!

    Watch the weather

    As shown from the UK’s recent double visit from the ‘Beast from the East’ – that fact that it is March is no reason to assume that there won’t be bad weather. Bad weather makes for challenging driving conditions, which can lead to worsened traffic at best and potential accidents at worst. Check the forecast before you leave.

    Break up your journey

    Take a break! Long car journeys can be arduous for both driver and passengers – as well as the potential danger that driving when tired can present. The UK motorway network has many excellent service stations – why not check them out! Sharing the driving also helps – if you are hiring a car be sure to enquire about adding an extra driver.

    Pack entertainment and snacks

    Particularly if your passengers include small children but this tip isn’t just for the kids – everyone gets bored on long car journeys, especially in heavy traffic. An Easter road trip can be fun if you come prepared though – pack toys and car games for the kids to keep them occupied in the car - magnetic mini board games or a trusty tablet are always good for killing an hour or two.

    Make sure you have sat nav

    Almost everyone has a smartphone these days, and apps such as Google maps are invaluable for finding an alternative route around traffic hotspots. Alternatively, if you are hiring a car speak to your provider about adding sat nav to your hire package – whether its phone or sat nav, make sure you remember to bring the device’s charger!

    Whatever your travel plans this bank holiday weekend, if you plan to rent a car and brave the traffic visit www.greenmotion.com to make sure your Easter road trip gets off to a great start.


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