Adore everything exotic and luxurious? Want to travel to some mysterious country? Just don’t know what to choose? Or on the contrary, to travel Japan is your dream? Notwithstanding the reasons, this country is really worth seeing. Its incredible culture, interesting traditions and gorgeous landmarks are not the only things which are necessary to understand while moving around Japan. Just enjoy its calmness. This is the country where everyone is able to feel the life in every minute, in every smile, in every shaft of sunrise… It is the country where you will notice all the miracles of this world again. Continue reading Travel Mysterious Japan
With more and more holiday destinations becoming overcrowded the true holiday makers that want an individual and hustle and bustle-free excursion will always look to relatively new and unfounded places to relax. Whether it’s a superior and tantalisingly beautiful beach holiday you want or you want to backpack through areas that are steeped in rustic history and charm, there is a place out there waiting to be explored and enjoyed. Here are the top four to try out this year before word gets out and the crowds take over.
Image by lyncaudle
Anywhere in Thailand is going to be a big hit this year. Normally there is a particular place in a country that is widely recommended however, with the country’s stunning beaches, authentic way of life and a new stabilised political scene, holiday destinations in Thailand are set to reap the rewards of a booming summer season. There are also some great incentives to going to Thailand this year as there are loads of new flights on the agenda as well as a steady stream of plush new hotels ready to bring Thailand to the forefront of holiday maker’s minds.
Known as the ‘White City’, Tangier in Morocco is on its way to becoming a leading yachting marina. The area itself has some of the most spectacular beaches that boast camel rides, windsurfing and the typical treats such as beach football. A great thing about this area however, is the richness in history that is still evident. With many popular destinations, the magic of the place and its origins can sometimes be lost due to mass tourism, however; this place still has everything in abundance with magnificent gardens and caves of archaeological significance meaning the trip can also be a learning curve for many.
Orhaniye in Turkey has recently performed well in the tourism stakes with many people that are fond of combining a traditional relaxing beach holiday with the option of peaceful scenic walks that revel in natural beauty and stunning coastline views. The area is protected by conservation laws so everything that you see is untouched authenticity. Many people will delight in the waterside eateries and relaxed village atmosphere and will revel in peace and quiet and the escapism from everyday life that it provides.
Bali is set for a new influx of tourists this year and it isn’t hard to see why. Bali is a real eye opener in terms of culture, difference and enchantment and offers a real magical holiday experience. For such a small island Bali can offer a tourist everything that they could possibly wish to experience. There are quaint little beach towns, cultural treks amid the tremendous volcanoes and food and drink options that will simply blow the mind with its originality and class.
About the Author: Toni Devaney is an expert travel author for UK discount website Mega.co.uk, she is currently living and working in Spain. Mega.co.uk are currently promoting the latest Alpharooms voucher code online.
It might be one of the biggest cities in the world, but there’s far more to London than high tea at Harrods and the London Eye, and the city offers plenty of opportunity to get into the great outdoors and get some exercise too. See the city from a different angle with our favourite active pursuits to undertake in London.
London is the cultural heart of the UK and just getting to and from the myriad art galleries and historic buildings can be an event in itself. You could always hop on one of the city’s famous double-decker buses, but letting your feet take you there is great fun and can save you money too. You can pick up a self-guided walking map to take you from Westminster Abbey to St. Paul’s Cathedral and the various palaces or check out one of the many walking tours available. For a more alternative view of the city try the Harry Potter, Beatles or Jack the Ripper walks as well as London pub walks.
You’re never far away from a great club in London and they play everything from Indian Bhangra to indie rock. Get down to some of London’s hottest clubs and work up a sweat as you dance the night away. Even ballroom dancing can burn more than 200 calories an hour! Check out the city guides available at your hotel for more information.
London is a huge city, and if you don’t fancy seeing it all on foot then bikes are a great alternative. You could rent one and plan your own tour or join the London Bicycle Tour Company for night tours, West-End tours of famous sites such as Big Ben and Hyde Park, and an Olympics tour covering the 2012 sporting venues. Experience life as an ‘urban cyclist’ and join the locals at one of their regular “critical mass” events where cyclists gather to demonstrate their strength in numbers.
2012 saw the UK go wild for the London Olympics and since then its sporting scene has enjoyed a real boost. The venues that once hosted some of the world’s greatest athletes and sports stars are now largely open to the public for viewing and sports events. There are also plenty of exhibitions and chances to take part in amateur events, whatever sport you’re interested in. Rent a vehicle to get there if you can’t face the public transport.
Rollerblading in Battersea Park
Offering beautiful views of the Thames, an art gallery by the lake and a children’s zoo, Battersea Park is a fascinating place. But instead of seeing it all on foot or bike, get your skates on and try an eight-wheeled view instead. There’s a free group skate every dry Saturday at 10.30am, starting at the Japanese Peace Pagoda. With no hills or traffic, it’s suitable for children and beginners.
A lot of Mexico’s interior is mainly desert landscapes, especially to the north. The majority of the populace lives in the big cities while other parts are used for agriculture. Here are a few of these places that you can visit.
Located 80 miles from the Mexican capital city and near to the renowned Sierra mountains. It really is popular for their ancient buildings for example the Cathedral which includes fourteen chapels. It really is the largest Cathedral found within Mexico and stands at a height of nearly 230ft. The town provides numerous very good museums and galleries, which includes the renowned Museo Ampara. From inside of the city of Puebla, you can see numerous volcanoes on the horizon which includes Malinche, and also Popocatépetl.
Morelia is actually a town which even now preserves an environment and feeling that can be compared to that of Spain and possesses hardly any modern day structures and buildings. A fascinating drawing card in the town will be the butterflies which travel from the USA as well as Canada every year to the close by mountains of Morelia.
The city of Monte Albán had been a sacred city in ancient times for the Zapotec culture. The amazing plaza, game court, as well as a lot of the tombs usually are available and open to the public. It’s an incredible structure located on a mountain and should be seen.
Tepotzotlán can be found 27 miles from the Mexican capital city, it is famous and well known for their Cathedral of San Francisco Javier, which happens to be decorated with well over three hundred large statues of angels.
San Cristobel de las Casas:
It is a great town with a lovely atmosphere. Throughout the year, a number of Mexican festivals are held in this town which are worth seeing.
Tepoztlán is definitely a beautiful and peaceful community which is set in a very breathtaking environment. Situated inside a valley and encircled by stunning mountains. People may go up these mountain ranges. It is going to be challenging but worthwhile due to the wonderful sights over the actual community and encompassing hillsides.
Guadalajara is an agricultural and industrial town. Guadalajara has a Cathedral with 11 different altars, 30 columns as well as a large art collection. You will find lots of parks such as the Parque Agua Azul and the Parque de las Armas. There is a yearly festival that takes place during October.
San Luis Potosi:
The town of San Luis Potosí is 350km from Guadalajara. This is a wealthy mining and agricultural region.
Toluca can be found 41 miles towards the west from the Mexican capital city. It sits inside of a valley and it has the Nevado de Toluca, a large extinct volcano. The city includes a very good marketplace as well as numerous intriguing museums and galleries. In the area are the communities of Chiconcuac as well as Metepec. Calixtlahuaca is around 5 miles to the north of Toluca and is actually a fascinating Aztec region that is great to visit.
For more great destinations in Mexico such as Toluca and many others, visit our Latin American travel website at latinamerica75.com.
Just earlier today I was chatting to a well-travelled lady who in her passport could count the stamps of Vietnam, Dubai, America, Cambodia and the Republic of the Maldives. But in answer to my broad, unimaginative yet serious question: “Which is the most beautiful place you have visited?” she replied “South Africa- dangerous but so beautiful”. Her head, with piston deep nods, suggested it was so by quite some margin. UNESCO would support this claim as they have listed eight World Heritage Sites in South Africa alone.
Blyde River Canyon
A writer feels insignificant introducing this precious ore buried in nature’s rich mine. The magisterial voice of David Attenborough should take over: Blyde River Canyon is 16 miles in length and around 2,500 metres deep. The rock suspends the pictured adventurer 800m above the riverbed. To look out onto this vista, any human, would be dwarfed by wonder.
Kruger National Park
It’s estimated to be the size of Wales. It is Africa’s largest game reserve. 517 species of bird fly through, some settle down others pop en-route to their migrant destination; cantankerous elephants scythe grass with trunk and foot, while lions and leopards act as nature’s aristocrats cutting down the weak and ruling vast acres with indiscriminate brutality. It offers the visitor an unregulated beauty: despite the far off fences that map the park, intrusion to their habitat is minimal, and while the low hum of a jeep engine may twitch the ear of a gazelle, Kruger National Park reserves, conserves and preserves an environment that few countries can boast of.
If your quads are strong, and you packed a good pair of walking shoes, the best way to visit Table Mountain is by hiking. There is a cable car for the more economic explorer, but it is after plodding up the mountain, gripping his big features, that you deserve this reward: the whole expanse of Cape Town, on a summer evening, surrounded by the biodiversity of sum 2,285 plant species. Take a seat at one of the finest galleries in the world: it is here, outdoors, at the edge of a continent.
Hermanus was once a small fishing village. Fortunately the town still retains this parochial charm. No train tracks. It’s no seat of industry, encased by a sheet of fumes. Industrialization is kept out. The only thing kept at bay are the fishing boats which rock at the docks, transport sumptuous prawns to the plates of hungry guests and better still, take diners to watch the whales fluke in nearby waters. Though quaint, its beauty is found in the bolder form of festivals- large crowds, sport, alcohol, and a beach as the venue.
Beauty isn’t always found on a sun-scorched plane or an oxygen starved mountain-top. Something must be said for the urbane. Durban is jostling with cosmopolitanism, a postcolonial metropolis- it was bound to happen. It has all the hallmarks of a great city: promenades, restaurants, shops, skyscrapers, arts, sport and leisure. It’s not just another city. It is the perfect mix of the new, manufactured, organised city one sees in Florida, USA, with the subtropical climate and beaches, but unlike Florida, Durban has a bit more going on and a richer history. It is a major landmark of British colonial rule, Zulu and Dutch settlements. The beauty in Durban is both obvious and discreet. But the rules in finding it are no different: it can be found in the vastness of the sea or the intricate needlework of a native garment, and as ever, it’s the viewer’s decision which one is preferable.
This article was supplied by Joe Shervell for www.capeportfolios.co.uk, specialists in South African holiday rentals
Sydney’s a pretty good place to be laid over. If your ticket allows you to leave the airport, (check your ticket) you can have a good time in one of the world’s most exciting cities. Sydney’s a big place, and there’s a lot to see and do. Hostels in Sydney are excellent, and there are plenty of choices of where to stay.
Before you do anything, make sure you leave your luggage safely stowed away. Sydney International Airport has a service called Smarte Carte, which has a pretty straightforward scale of fees for types of luggage and terms of storage.
Things to do and see
The good thing about Sydney’s best known landmarks and attractions is they’re actually pretty close together in the business district.
1. Sydney Harbor- Circular Quay, Sydney Harbor Bridge, and the Opera House
Circular Quay is at the harbor end of George Street, a useful navigational street in the city. The Opera House and the Harbor Bridge are right there.
So are The Rocks, a great, good quality tourist shopping spot (even the locals don’t mind shopping there) The Museum of Contemporary Art, the opal dealers, and as much good food as you can eat wherever you look.
2. Sydney City and surrounds- Chinatown and Darling Harbor
Sydney city’s a business type of place, but the fun’s always pretty close at hand. At the other end of George Street is Chinatown, an Australian legend, where you can find the latest from Asia as well as the original Chinese culture. The shopping at this end of town is completely different. World Square, a former city block turned into a building, is a case in point. Old pubs, Tibetan eateries, Chinese herbal businesses, and the celebrated Paddy’s Markets, where you can buy anything.
3. Oxford Street and Paddington
At the lower end of the city next to Hyde Park South is Oxford Street of Gay Mardi Gras fame. If you follow Oxford Street through to Paddington, a few blocks away, you’ll find another different culture. This is the original inner city zone, and it has a fantastic hybrid of old Sydney, new Sydney, and the upmarket shopping boutiques and markets.
4. Bondi Beach
Despite its fame, Bondi Beach actually is a great beach. Just outside the city by public transport, Bondi Beach and Bondi Junction are good places for a great swim and exploration trip. It’s also a good way to check out the city and learn to find your way around all the best places in the eastern suburbs, which are literally only a few minutes away from the city.
At the end of Sydney Harbor near the Heads is Manly, which the proud locals claim to be the greatest place in Sydney, and it’s only a short ferry ride across the harbor from the city. Manly has great beaches, and if you take a tour, some of the best visual evidence of what an incredible part of the world Sydney really is.
The problem with getting laid over in Sydney is you’ll find you want to keep doing it. Don’t find this urge, because you can’t win.
The Internet has been a tremendous advance giving people immediate access to information, products and services from the comfort of their own homes. While there were initial concerns about buying online and indeed the early ecommerce companies budgeted for losses, the consumer has become used to the idea of providing personal financial details through secure payment gateways to buy things that they want online.
Nowhere has this been more apparent than in the travel sector where the consumer almost automatically goes to the World Wide Web to book transport and accommodation; the High Street travel agent is being rendered redundant.
Websites have all the details
Travel companies have met the challenge of replicating the personal service that the agent used to give. The agent needed to keep route and timetable details for all the main travel companies whether by road, rail or air. The telephone was an essential tool but there were often delays in finding out about availability and hence bookings sometimes took time.
Time is occasionally something people do not have, but travel is now easy to arrange because up to the minute availability is presented on quality websites and confirmation of a booking and travel documentation comes via email by return.
That applies equally well to air, rail and coach journeys . Coaches have become increasingly popular as an alternative to driving and similarly cross channel coach journeys utilising the Tunnel in most instances now provide a very valid alternative to flying.
There are several reasons why a coach is preferable to a plane for anything other than long distance and here are a few:
- There is no need to arrive well in advance and suffer the check in and security procedures meaning a two hour wait at departures.
- Road travel allows a passenger to enjoy the journey with the differing views to enjoy as the trip progresses.
- There is plenty of leg room with reclining seats on modern day coaches.
- Luggage is easily handled and available immediately when the coach reaches its destination.
- Coach stations are centrally located within towns and cities; minimal onward travel.
- WiFi, electric sockets and personal service as standard.
Coach travel is a relatively economic way of travelling and certainly it tends to be stress free. There are delays on today’s roads but it is far preferable sitting in a comfortable seat using WiFi to sitting behind the wheel waiting for the traffic to move.
Everyone has experienced airport delays and they are no fun. Budget airlines have headline prices and there has been a move to ensure that the final ticket price reflects the headlines. Unfortunately, excess baggage charges are one detail that does not need inclusion; it is a charge that is taken on check in. That charge can be avoided of course but it is a reflection of the pressure on an airline’s profitability. There seems to be the need to add and add to the basic price.
It is about striking a balance between cost and service and when it comes to last minute travel coach companies seem to have that balance about right.
Due to the closeness of so many European cities, traveling weekend breaks UK citizens can be just great. There are usually around nine 3 day holidays, so one can have an even longer weekend!! What fun!!
Let’s begin with fabulous Paris, the most visited and likely the favorite for city breaks by “weekenders” all year long. Travel to Paris is easily is accessible for lucky UK citizens by taking the cross channel ferry, driving through the channel tunnel, or by a short flight landing in the “Charles de Gaulle” International airport about an hour flight away.
But remember Paris has over 30 million visitors a year from all over the world, so don’t leave travel or hotel bookings until the last minute.
Paris is called the City of Romance and for good reason. There is no place like Paris with many romantic and lovely hotels. Then imagine holding hands with your love while walking near the Seine River, or on the beautiful Avenue des Champs-Elysees with wonderful gardens and the Arc de Triomphe. Shopping on the Avenue des Champs-Elysses is some of the best in the world. A fancy trinket should tickle your sweetheart’s affection. After your stroll, have a lovely glass of wine at one of the outside café. This alone would be a perfect romantic weekend, but, there are so many things to see and do in Paris that it may be difficult not to branch further out.
Famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame are wonderful to visit. For some, looking at the Eiffel Tower from ground level is more majestic, and certainly less hectic than maybe several hours standing in line. However, on a clear day, the view above is lovely. Then there are the famous monuments like the “Grand Arch” and the “Pantheon”.
A visit to the Louvre can be a fairly quick trip on a weekend break if you have decided ahead of time what you want to see such as the Mona Lisa and other famous works of art. However, if you are an art lover spending more time in this wonderful museum is almost a necessity. If you “need” more art, visit the Musee National d’Art Moderne or the Musee d’Orsay with its fine impressionist art
Going on a Seine River boat ride is a wonderful and inexpensive way to view Paris and take great photos, while the boat passes by the Eiffel Tower, the botanical gardens and Notre Dame, the Musee D’Orsay, and more. You can buy a ticket for a day or 3 days and leave and get back on the boat as you like. Riding bicycles is an easy way to get around the city and walking across the city can be done in a day. Of course, likely one will take more than a day while visiting all the many places to tour and see, of course, stopping at a café to enjoy a glass of wine. A self-guided tour is always fun and there are travel guides that will gladly show you the sites.
Then there is the food. Paris has wonderful food and fine wines. A French Brie is almost perfect and there are many other cheeses to try. Buy a baguette and sit on a park bench savoring it with your cheese and a favorite wine, perhaps a Bordeaux or Beaujolais. Crepes are abundant in restaurants and on street carts, either sweet or with ingredients like meat, eggs, and cheese. A fancy drink like a kir royale, made with champagne and black currant-flavored liquor, before a meal is fun and “so sophisticated.” The pastries and so many other desserts are almost indescribable. You can hardly go wrong when enjoying the food, drinks, and, wine in Paris whether it be in one of the wonderful restaurants, sitting on a park bench, on a picnic, or at one of the street corner cafes.
If you want to do something “American,” but with a French flair, go to Disneyland Paris. Whether a couple or a family with children Disneyland Paris is exciting and so much fun and will bring many smiles and laughter.
For so many, Paris is close to perfect. It’s hard to go wrong with all of the many things to do, see, eat, and drink. Go to Paris and take advantage of the many family holiday parks. You more than likely will return to this seductive city.
This article was written by Ricky May on behalf of Holidays 365.
Christmas is the most famous and biggest festival celebrates by whole world with great zeal. During this festival huge Christmas markets are held in various countries, which are great places for Christmas shopping. It is well known that the first Christmas markets were originated in Germany and since then the trend has been continued in almost all places of European countries. A month before Christmas, holiday markets are installed across Europe. Let us find out about these most popular Christmas markets in some detail and if you are on Europe tour this Christmas then don’t miss to visit these extravagant markets.
In the central town square, Marienplatz, Munich Trade Fair is organized. It is the classic example of old German holiday market where the aroma of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts lingers in the air. Sweet biscuits and chocolate fountains with glazed skewered on a stick fruit is found here. If you want take a glance of yester years then do visit the market from November 25 to December 23, Munich Medieval Fair. You can watch sellers dressed in ancient costumes and try out dishes cooked in ancient recipes.
Prague, Czech Republic
Wenceslas Square and Old Town are excellent decorated Christmas markets. Walking pass through these markets make you feel that you are in medieval times. Most of the Christmas markets are alike German markets but the difference is that it has grocery shelves that makes you feel the taste of the Czech Republic. The best place to buy cookies is vanocni cukrovi and you should try a special festive soup vanocni rybi polevka. Take note that this is a rare fair that works after the New Year. Car hire in Prague will help to visit this wonderful city and its surrounding areas.
There is a colorful market held before the grand city hall in the heart of the Austrian capital. The building of the city government is transformed in the Christmas calendar by the local artists. This helps to count the days before the holidays. It is better to walk in the evening in Vienna Fair as it is lit by thousands of colorful lights. You can not resist the special Christmas cookies Vanillekipfer along with tar, hot wine with spices glühwein.
Not lagging behind with other European countries, Copenhagen also gets prepared with the other capitals. The market has already been opened with beautiful decorations all around. Extravagant boutiques come on street Stroget from where people buy expensive Christmas gifts. But the most amusing thing to enjoy is the amusement park of Tivoli. You should not miss the glass of mulled wine which is popularly known as glogg with special apple doughnuts aebleskiver and roasted almonds in these places.
The perfect backdrop for the Christmas fair is in the central area of the medieval old town. It is popular belief of Tallinians that it was here in 1441 the first Christmas tree was established. Cafes situated around the Town Hall Square make you warm in the cold weather. You can enjoy various dishes here from local food and pizzerias to unusual restaurants that offer dishes with garlic. Main Estonian Fair will be open till Orthodox Christmas thus you can even celebrate the New Year enjoying these markets.
So, if you are visiting Europe this Christmas vacation then tries to celebrate it in a different style by visiting these Christmas markets. Christmas market of Germany is most popular among all of them. Germany car hire will be the best option if you are visiting Germany. Chill cold weather of Europe will not able to lower your spirits.
When approaching the French, by all means avoid aggressiveness. Be humble, respectful and self-effacing. And be nice to everyone—the porter may have a son who is your age, and sweetness in women is highly prized in Europe. The aim is to be more polite than the natives.
Most younger Parisians speak English. However, making an effort to speak the native language is always appreciated, and helps to alleviate the image of the Ugly American. It will often gain you an entrée that other methods of striking up a conversation will not.
In a cafe, you could try: “Is the café au lait here good, or should I try something else?” (Est le café au lait ici bon, ou devrais-je essayer quelque chose d’autre?) Take advantage of the French use of food to bond with friends and strangers alike. Try the Web Bar for activities and bonding with fellow geeks.
In a museum gallery, learn enough French to say something intelligent about art, like: “What do you think about the artist’s use of light?” Be sure to work on your pronunciation: (Que pensez-vous à l’utilisation de l’artiste de lumière?)
Besides the Louvre, try the Musee d’Orsay, an abandoned railway station in disguise. The Centre Pompidou is known as the “most avant-garde building in the world.” The Cluny is the ultimate collection of medieval art.
Don’t be afraid to talk to anyone who looks approachable, especially if they are the same sex. European ideas about women traveling alone might seem old-fashioned, so think about bringing another singleton if you are female. Men need to come off as sweet and clueless.
On the other hand, many Frenchmen (and women) really like to practice their English. If you are in a café reading your International Herald Tribune and smile at a promising stranger, you may find yourself caught up in a heated political debate in no time.
Two spots that have a reputation as meeting places are Café Flore and Deux Magots. The only downside is that these two are quite pricey. If you want to go at dinnertime, remember that in France, that’s around 9 pm! You could also try a sushi bar. Between the sushi chefs yelling out the orders and greeting patrons, and diners trying to grab their choices off of the little boats, it’s easy to start up an exchange.
In early fall, take a walk through Luxembourg Gardens, and take in an early evening concert. You will be seated next to a pleasant fountain, and conversation will come naturally. Singles often pair up informally for tennis games in this park as well. If your partner invites you home for a drink, use your best judgment.
If you’re shy, embark on a walking tour. They’re listed in Pariscope guide (available at any news kiosk), and some are in English. Ride the Bateaux Mouches or a guided bus tour, and meet up with fellow single tourists who could become your dinner companions.
Americans living abroad tend to frequent readings at the Village Voice bookstore. You can also take a one-day class at WICE to rencontre like-minded English speakers. WICE is a non-profit Anglophone group that is volunteer run. Its free events include WICE World Watch, Writers on Writing and Upstairs at Duroc, which sponsors readings and special exhibits.
If you want to plan ahead a bit, consult Eventful for a listing of singles events that includes theater excursions, concerts, rencontre for drinks, boat shows and expositions. If you just can’t leave the office at home, network with other professional singles at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles or the Paris Espace Champerret.