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From Serbia with love

Warm, welcoming and a lot of fun – everything you never heard about Serbia (Србија) is true. Exuding a feisty mix of élan and inat (Serbian trait of rebellious defiance), this country doesn’t do ‘mild’: Belgrade is one of the world’s wildest party destinations, the northern town of Novi Sad hosts the rocking EXIT festival, and even its hospitality is emphatic – expect to be greeted with rakija (fruit brandy) and a hearty three-kiss hello.

Picture everything you want from a classic European country, then add a level of quirk that you won’t find anywhere but the Balkans. Serbia is one of Europe’s more sizeable countries, yet it remains largely overlooked by travellers who tend to flock westward rather then venturing east.

The capital Belgrade offers a laid-back welcome to visitors. Spend a couple of days exploring vivid museums, the Sava and Danube rivers and the Kalemegdan Citadel by day, and prowling town for a scene that suits at night. Serbs are proud of exploring limits and letting go; while artists and thinkers gather in creative cafes and alternative clubs, Balkan beats blare all night along the Danube. Meanwhile, there’s some fine bohemian dining to be enjoyed in the old quarter of Skadarlija.

Not far from the capital are rolling plains dotted with welcoming villages, winter ski resorts and summer hiking spots, castles nestled in jagged mountains and monasteries hidden in the foliage of national parks. If you go in winter, head to Kopaonik for skiing, or try Zlatibor if you’re not one for sliding on the slopes. In summer months, the Zlatibor region is great for gentle immersion into rural life. Spend a few days exploring the folklore, superstition and tradition of proud villages (including the not-really-real Drvengrad village) and ride the delightfully disorienting Šargan 8 railway.

Further south towards Kosovo, Novi Pazar is a hotchpotch of east and west. The mostly Muslim town is dotted with Islamic minarets, ruined hammams and old cafes still serving Turkish coffee, but not far outside you’ll discover some of the loveliest Orthodox Christian monasteries in the country. If you’re looking for louder inspiration down south, brass bands battle it out every year over four heady days at the famous Guča trumpet festival. This otherwise sleepy town is taken to a whole new decibel level each year as the region’s Roma musicians outshine international guests who watch in awe as cheeks and competition flare.

Up north, a whole other kind of loud is going on in Novi Sad during the annual Exit festival. The ‘State of Exit’ on a mighty citadel towering over the Danube was founded in the spirit of grass-roots resistance to the Milošević regime in 2000 and continues growing each July as a new generation with something to say comes together to party about it.

Music aside, Serbia would still be one of the most unique travel destinations in Europe even if it were stone silent. Its architecture is a three-dimensional timeline of the country’s socio-cultural history. Between the ubiquitous socialist concrete blocks you’ll find medieval monasteries, Ottoman spires, Orthodox churches, Austro-Hungarian fortifications and even some pristinely preserved art nouveau buildings in Subotica near the Hungarian border.

Serbia is nevertheless a cultural crucible: the art nouveau town of Subotica revels in its proximity to Hungary, bohemian Niš echoes to the clip-clop of Roma horse carts, and minaret-studded Novi Pazar nudges some of the most sacred sites in Serbian Orthodoxy. And in the mountainous Kopaonik and Zlatibor regions, ancient traditions coexist with après-ski bling. Forget what you think you know: come and say zdravo (hello)…or better yet, živeli (cheers)!

​Going Down Under: An Australian Travel Guide

Going Down Under: An Australian Travel Guide

There’s a lot that Australia is known for; primarily its interesting wildlife and vast open spaces.

It’s the kind of place we should all visit at least once, especially when you realise just how diverse one country can be in terms of terrain and culture. Of course, Australia is also incredibly large and not somewhere you want to be without a vehicle if you plan on visiting multiple locations. So, when you plan your visit (using the little tips below) don’t forget your low emission rental car from Green Motion Australia for a smoother journey.

Things to do in Sydney

The hub of Australia, there is so much to do in this iconic city and with Green Motion Australia based in the city there is no excuse not to explore further afield too. Of course, you mustn’t miss the opportunity to tour the opera house (or maybe even see a show). The architecture both inside and out can never truly be described until you see it in person. There is also the steel harbour bridge, which has a magnificent lookout spot so that you can look over the city across the water. With Bondi Beach as the perfect finisher during those Australian summers, you’ll never be short of things to do. Not to mention that some of the best eats can be found on the streets of Sydney.

Things to do in Melbourne

The coastal capital of state Victoria, Melbourne, is a beautiful stretch of coast that requires a vehicle to effectively explore. For the eco-tourist that loves nature, there is no shortage of it here. Most notably, you have the Yarra River, which is home to some beautiful wildlife and plants. You can kayak along the river in quiet in order to spot them, or decide to hike along the water’s edge if you want something a little less wet. The Royal Botanic Gardens are the perfect place to have a leisurely afternoon followed by a spot of lunch, and the landscaped grounds are sure to leave you in a tranquil state.

Things to do in Perth

Destination extraordinaire for the wine lovers out there, Perth is not only home to fictional dragons. The Swan Valley has rolling hills, lush vineyards, and some of the best wine on the continent. Paired perfectly with gourmet goods, it makes for a glorious day out with friends and family. The Bell Tower is also a popular site to visit, with dramatic views and a construction that seeks your attention in all the right ways. For sweeping views of the city of Perth, you can also visit the botanic gardens atop Mount Eliza. Prepare your cameras for a sight that will stop your breath.

Things to do in Brisbane

Home of the koala sanctuary, animal lovers will surely want to visit this center. Injured and orphaned koalas are carefully cared for by the trained staff in this facility, and you are free to visit to see how they are doing and also learn more about both koalas and the efforts of the volunteers. Why not stop by the Brisbane vehicle hire and borrow an electric or hybrid car so that you can make your way to the next big location; South Bank. Home to glorious public lawns and gardens, it is also a popular swimming spot in the summer. Perfect for those who prefer the comforts of nature.

Things to Do in Adelaide

Markets, good food, and excellent shopping, there is a lot to be said for Adelaide. If you want a place to try some truly Australian cuisine, it’s right here. The central market is the perfect place to pick up fresh foods and fruits that you can sample later in the day. It is also home to the Adelaide Zoo, where you can see local and exotic wildlife; all cared for by the dedicated staff and zoologists. The Art Gallery of Southern Australia is also home to some striking indigenous art, allowing you to walk through history and watch the evolution of this fascinating country.

So Why Visit Australia?

Hopefully, this has given you some inspiration for your next adventure. The people, the food, the nature; all of it is worth visiting and really taking in. There is so much to see and do, that you will really need that vehicle hire in the end. The fact that there are plenty of eco-friendly car rental options from Green Motion Australia also provides you with a little peace of mind. You’re going to love every second that you spend in Australia, and this guide will give you the perfect advice for getting on the right track.