ISLAND PALAU – South Pacific Island

Beleuu er a Belau or the Republic of Palau is an island nation that very few people have heard about. It is a chain of about two hundred islands, located in the Western Pacific Ocean about 650 kms to the Southeast of Philippines. Only about eight of the existing two hundred islands are populated. It is a constitutional republic and Babeldoab or Babelthuap is the capital city, having a population of about 12,000 people. It became a capital from Oreror or Koror in 2006. Administratively, the nation is divided into 16 states, and has a bicameral legislature or two houses of parliament.

The nation has a high literacy rate of about 92% and the majority of the population is Roman Catholics, followed by Protestants. The people mostly are of the Palauan, Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Carolinian or other Asian ethnicity. Babelthuap is the largest island and is very mountainous. Other important islands are Arakabesan, Malaka, Peleliu, Angaur to the South and Kayangel and Ngeruangel islands to the Northeast. The other islands are mostly coral islands encircled with barrier reefs. This island country is truly virgin and unspoilt. Continue reading ISLAND PALAU – South Pacific Island

Five Popular Music Festivals in Europe

We all know the popularity of Europe as a continent. The romantic cities, the beautiful beaches and delicious cuisine; but one thing that can really set Europe apart is the quality of its music festivals. As it’s such a diverse continent, you can be sure that this is reflected in some of its biggest festivals. Have a look at some of the most popular in Europe, get your festival gear packed and your foreign currency arranged.

Benicassim Festival
Image by HairTransplantPakistan (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourticketmarket/)

The Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, Spain

If you’re a serious music lover you’ve probably heard of this festival. Benicàssim is a small town located between Barcelona and Valencia and every year hosts one of the best festivals anywhere in the world. Taking place in mid-July, it predominantly hosts alternative rock and electronic artists and is well worth a visit.

Roskilde, Denmark

This is one of the biggest festivals anywhere in Europe and is one not to be missed. Running from June 30th, 2011, it is a non-profit event with the aim of developing music and culture in the region, and gives tourists a great reason to visit a usually expensive country. Every year it’s a favorite with visitors from all over the world and this year the headlining acts are the Arctic Monkeys, Iron Maiden and M.I.A.

Exit, Serbia

As one of the most interesting venues to hold a festival, Exit is held in the Petrovaradin Fortress of Novi Sad. Regarded as one of the jewels in the European festival scene, it runs for four days and has attracted a number of big names since 2005. Over the years it has often been used to get across political and social messages and even has its own record label which issues MP3 releases.

Oxegen, Ireland

Why not visit stunning Ireland as part of your European adventure and take in the country’s biggest festival, Oxegen? The four day festival is held at Punchestown Racecourse and hosts over 90,000 people each day. It’s seen as Ireland’s answer to Glastonbury and for some is regarded as a better festival. Some huge names have played here over the years like Green Day, Kings of Leon, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Foo Fighters.

The Isle of Wight Festival, UK

In its original form, this festival attracted such legendary names as Bob Dylan, who played to an estimated 200,000 people in 1969; and The Doors, The Who and Jimi Hendrix the following year, where around 600,000 witnessed one of the best concerts ever held in Europe. These days the festival has been revamped and moved to a different site, but it’s still a great one to enjoy.

Have you decided? Are you going to one or all? Just make sure you book your ticket and get ready to party!

Cruise Ships; Home to Top Entertainment

There is much more to cruising than simply lazing on deck and hopping from one exotic destination to the next. Today’s modern cruise ships are equipped with a comprehensive range of quality entertainment and facilities, which are designed to appeal to all tastes and ages.

Daytime programme of events

Throughout the day modern cruise ships offer a programme of activities and events that are designed to appeal to a wide audience, so whether you are sporty, active and keen to join in the fun or just want to relax on deck, there will be something to suit you. From listening to steel bands by the pool that play a selection of reggae music to joining in with some energetic poolside games, you can take your pick from a host of activities that are included in the price of your cruise.

cruise ship
cruise ship

For many people, cruising is all about joining in and making new friends and for this type of passenger the programme offers the opportunity to have fun at the same time. Games can be as vigorous or as cerebral as you want. Try your hand at a game of bingo or attend a lecture where guest speakers and trainers can instruct you in the fine art of napkin folding, or even wine tasting.

Shopping and spa treatments are always popular with passengers, while those wishing to be a little more active can choose from a range of sports on offer, from golf simulations to traditional deck games.

Evening entertainment

Passengers are spoilt for choice when evening descends on board ship. Most cruises offer a wide programme of evening events, meaning that there is always something to tempt you. For those who like to join in and have a go there are usually options such as a singing around a piano and the ever-popular karaoke nights.

For those holidaymakers who enjoy hitting the dance floor there is usually a wide choice of dance venues on board the ship, so whether you are a keen ballroom dancer, fancy throwing some shapes on the dance floor or hanker to try line dancing you should find something to suit you.

Most cruises feature special ‘show rooms’, which feature a regular programme of nightly entertainment, usually scheduled twice each evening to allow both late and early diners to benefit from the performance. You can choose from a variety of entertainment, from singers and comedians to jugglers and dancers. Every cruise will have at least one night of spectacular entertainment in the form of a Las Vegas-styled performance, which is usually an extremely popular choice with passengers.

If live shows and dancing do not tempt you, then you may prefer to try your luck in the on-board casino or maybe take in one of the films on offer before heading to one of the bars for a nightcap.

With most of the larger cruise ships offering a choice of up to a dozen or so alternatives for your evening entertainment, there is sure to be an activity, entertainer or event that you will want to return to again and again.

A Comprehensive Guide to your Lake District Trip

The UK is often derided as a holiday resort, but the fact remains that it is home to some of the most fascinating locations in the whole of Europe. Take the Lake District, for example, which features spectacular mountain scenery and a number of waterways that provide the ideal backdrop for a relaxing summer getaway.

Lake District Trip
Lake District TripDiliff / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

In total there are more than 100 mountainous peaks and 16 individual lakes within the region, each of which has a unique narrative and numerous highlights to explore. In fact, the hardest part of your trip to the Lake District will be creating an itinerary that allows you to take in everything that the area has to offer.

A Guide to the Lake District: 5 Must See Locations

With this in mind, what are 5 of the must see locations that help to distinguish the Lake District from other British resorts? Consider the following: –

The Gingerbread Shop in Grasmere: If you are visiting with family, a trip to the renowned Gingerbread Shop is a sensational way to spend an afternoon. Home to some of the most delicious gingerbread in the UK, it has been baking since 1854 and remains popular with both locals and tourists alike. The quaint village of Grasmere is also a hidden delight on the Lake District landscape, with a range of unique gift shops and tea rooms accessible to keen explorers.

The Lakeland Segway in Graythwaite: The self-balanced, battery powered segway is considered to be a futuristic method of travelling, and visitors to Graythwaite in the Lake District can enjoy this unique experience in the most scenic location. There is no finer way to enjoy the lush greenery, and after some expert tuition you will be able to navigate the mountainous landscape and see the region in a whole new light.

Derwent Water in Keswick: For those with more conservative tastes, a trip to Derwent Water in Keswick provides the ideal alternative. One of the most popular lakes in the region, it is not only picturesque but also surrounded by beautiful nature trails and quaint coffee shops. You can even hire a boat to traverse the tranquil waters, which allows you to see more of the area and enjoy and splendid afternoon in the sun.

Go Ape in Keswick: At the opposite end of the scale is the ‘Go Ape’ treetop climbing challenge in Keswick, which remains popular with everyone from young children to thrill seeking adults. Featuring numerous treetop courses to challenge individuals of all ages and experience, it is renowned as a family friendly resort that offers spectacular day out. If you are a beginner, you can even rely on experienced instructors to help guide you through the experience.

Theatre by the Lake in Keswick: The Lake District is not readily associated with the theatre, but visitors to Keswick can take in a variety of shows during their holiday. The Theatre by the Lake is one of Keswick’s most famous landmarks, and an entity that combines drama with breathtaking scenery like no other entertainment facility. At the end of a long hike or afternoon bike ride, there really is no finer way to spend a balmy, sun-kissed evening.

Get Out There! Fun and Adventurous Day Trips from Manchester

Whether you are living in Manchester or just visiting, this city makes an ideal base for exploring the fascinating northwest of England. There are so many excellent destinations within a short distance from Manchester, giving you the opportunity to explore everything from cities to historic castles to beautiful English countryside to world-class shopping and dining.

Day Trips from Manchester
Day Trips from Manchester

If you don’t have a car, you can always get a taxi from Manchester directly to any of these destinations, or take public transit if you have more time.

Chill Factore

Perhaps you want to experience the thrill of skiing or snowboarding, but you don’t have the time or the budget to go on a holiday to the Swiss Alps. Chill Factor is the longest indoor snowboarding and skiing slope in the UK and it will give you the opportunity to enjoy an indoor winter wonderland just outside of Manchester. You can even take lessons on the 180 metre long snow slope in order to improve your technique. There is also shopping and dining along Alpine Street and other activities including luging, tubing, indoor climbing and fitness classes.

Liverpool

Liverpool is less than an hour away from Manchester, so why not head over and check out this diverse and artistic city? It was voted the 2008 Capital of Culture and there are a number of interesting art galleries, museums, boutiques and cafes to visit.

Of course, Liverpool is known for being the home of one of the most famous bands of all time – The Beatles. You can learn more about the legendary rockers at “The Beatles Story” museum located on Albert Dock. Also, you could take a tour of the city in an amphibious vehicle known as the “duck” which converts from a bus to a boat to take visitors around the streets and the harbour.

York

York is another ideal day trip destination from Manchester. It is located about an hour and 20 minutes away and it is very different than modern and stylish Manchester. York was a medieval walled city and you can still take a walk along the stone fortification walls along the city. During your trip, be sure to visit the stunningly beautiful York Minster, with its soaring ceilings and impressive stained glass windows. You can take the steep spiral staircase up to the top and enjoy an amazing view over the city. If you want to imagine what shopping would have been like during the Middle Ages, take a walk down “The Shambles” which is a street lined with overhanging timber framed buildings which date back as far as the 14th century. York is also a great starting point for some lovely walks in the surrounding countryside.

Old Trafford

Are you a Manchester United Football fan? If so, take the opportunity to visit the famous Old Trafford stadium and watch the boys in red play a football match. While you are there, you can take a look at the Old Trafford Museum and Tour Centre, which tells the story of Manchester United throughout the years. If you want to make your visit even more special, you can even book a tour. This would make a great day out for a young child who is an avid football fan.

Arndale Centre

If you are in the mood for some retail therapy, head out to the Arndale Shopping Centre for the day so that you can shop until you drop. No matter what you are looking for, whether it is fashions, household items or beauty accessories, you are sure to find some great bargains. There is even a Branded Clearance shop where you will be able to find the top clothing brands at discount prices. There are over 80 stores here as well as several great cafes and bakeries where you can grab a bite to eat.

These are just a few of the many great day trips that you can enjoy from the city of Manchester. If you are visiting, why not take a day out of your trip and explore further afield? If you live here, you will have plenty of fun trips to enjoy every weekend, so get out there and explore!

About the author

Max Wheeler is a travel writer and blogger who is based in Manchester. He likes to take day trips around the area and recently treated his girlfriend to a surprise trip to Chill Factore. 

 

A Guide to Tahiti’s Unmissable Natural Attractions

Tahiti has long had a reputation for being a tropical paradise – and it’s easy to see why. Made up of some 18 islands Tahiti boasts lagoons of turquoise blue, coral reefs, mountains, and white sandy beaches overlooked by palm trees. Whether it’s soaking up the sun, exploring coral reefs, or going on a hike through challenging terrain, Tahiti offers something for the traveller who is in search of the truly exotic.

View From Room 282, Intercontinental Hotel Tahiti
Tahiti

The Waterfall Valleys Of Tahiti

Set in basalt peaks surrounded by ferns, Tahiti’s waterfall valleys are a treat for the eyes – if somewhat off the beaten track. Here you’ll find the mysterious lava tubes of Hitiia and the spectacular Fautaua Waterfall. At a height of nearly a thousand feet Fautaua Waterfall is one of the tallest waterfalls on Earth. The volcanic backdrop helps to make this waterfall in particular one of the most notable places to visit in Tahiti. However, if you want to discover the Fautaua Valley without any guides you’ll have to get an access permit. There are tours available to the crater lake Lake Vaihiria, and these will also travel through valleys of major archaeological significance.

Hotelhibiscus
TahitiFoter.com / CC BY

The Lagoon Sanctuary, Bora Bora

ANZCRO are a travel company that offer Tahiti Holidays that will allow you to take in all aspects of Tahiti. These include being able to visit Bora Bora, which is considered one of the world’s most romantic locations. Bora Bora is also one of the most famous of Tahiti’s islands, and US News has called it “the best island in the world”. The Lagoon Sanctuary on Bora Bora is suitable for the whole family and is home to over a hundred eye-catching marine species, including rays, fish and octopuses. You’ll also be able to see other marine creatures that live in the area. Snorkelling tours of the lagoon can be undertaken while assisted by a guide, with one tailored for children, and one for adults. There is also the chance to feed the fish or octopuses, and look at coral grafting exhibits. The Lagoon Sanctuary is open for people to visit throughout the year.

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa seen from a kite
Bora BoraPierre Lesage / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Great Diving Opportunities On Tahiti Nui And Tahiti Iti

Tahiti is a great place for divers to enjoy viewing colourful sea life close up. The waters around Tahiti Nui and Tahiti Iti are especially good for diving, and some of the best sites include Papa Whiskey, St. Etienne Drop-Off, Tetopa Grotto and Lagoon Hole. Papa Whiskey is an area rich in damselfish, while moray eels can be seen with an array of small, colourful fish at St Etienne Drop-Off. Tetopa Grotto is alive with crustaceans, pufferish and coral, while leopard rays are among the magical sights to be seen at Lagoon Hole.

Stone fishing, an Xtreme KAP session…
Tahiti Nui Pierre Lesage / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Coffs Harbour’s Beautiful Butterfly House

Of all the insects in the world there is one that rather than earning the ire of the masses, instead harbours within us a distinct reverence. The beautiful and noble butterfly is the supermodel of the insect world. Where the mosquito and the blowfly are squashed or swatted away with reckless abandon, the butterfly glides proudly into your life, flutters its wings and we all fawn over its beauty. If visiting the wonderful Coffs Coast region of New South Wales, there is one place to utterly lose yourself in the majesty of this remarkable creature and that is the Coffs Harbour Butterfly House.

Coffs Harbour
Coffs Harbour

Nestled in the foothills near Bonville, a short drive south of Coffs Harbour itself; the Butterfly House is an amazing indoor rainforest garden which is home to hundreds of majestic Australian butterflies which are hatched on site. The Butterfly house is home to around 400 live butterflies of 17 different species all year round. You may be in awe of the size of the Cairns Birdwing and amazed by the vibrant coloured Ulysses as they flutter, mate and sip nectar as you stroll through the gardens. If you’re lucky one may even land on you!

There is something for every member of the family at the Coffs Harbour Butterfly House. While children and adults young and old will love finding and identifying the many butterflies in the gardens the whole family can relax afterwards in the tearooms and enjoy milkshakes and light refreshments. Dad may be interested in the woodturning workshop where local artisans display and create their works made from Australian native timbers while Mum browses the vast selection of butterfly themed gifts at the souvenir shop. Older children may enjoy the outdoor maze which will keep them entertained and excited as they test their butterfly knowledge and hunt for the hidden answers while younger children may like to do some puzzles, colouring or have their picture taken in the butterfly face-in-the-hole.

Spending a day amongst the butterflies is a wonderful way to unwind and release some of the tension built up over the course of a life well lived. There is nothing comparable to having a giant and majestic butterfly land on you and call you its brief home. Insects are a much maligned class of species and one that often gets punished for its prolificness and propensity to be in places that are inopportune to humans but spending a day in the Butterfly Houses will make you realise just how important, beautiful and misunderstood not just butterflies but the whole class of insects are.

Be prepared to go home with a newfound love and appreciation for the butterfly and their amazing lifecycle. The Butterfly House is a truly unique experience set amongst the breathtaking natural beauty of the Coffs Coast. It’s a definite stopover for anyone holidaying in the region along with the Big Banana, Raleigh Raceway, the Dorrigo skywalk and the Coffs Jetty. The Butterfly House is open all year round and is easy to find right off the highway just south of Coffs. Follow the signs.

Would you like to spend a day with the butterflies, or just check out Coffs Harbour in it’s entirety? You should take the time to read Skedaddle’s “Coffs Harbour with a car” guide to see you get the most of the experience.

5 Locations You Must Visit in the UK

When it comes to holidays, some are lucky enough to be able to go once or maybe more times in a year. Some are only able to go on rare occasions, so it is understandable that people seek to holiday abroad. However, there are some quite beautiful locations hidden in the UK which I recommend you visit and make the most of the huge selection of holiday parks that are available. Below I have handpicked five of the most stunning locations that maybe you could consider next time you book your family holiday.

1. Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, England
The Cotswolds are a range of hills that run through a number of counties, most notably Gloucester and Oxfordshire. The exceptional and spectacular landscape led them to be designated as England and Wales’ largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Whether you want to spend time in some gorgeous rustic villages or walk through the valleys surrounding the river Severn, you are surrounded by gorgeous scenery.

Cotswolds
Cotswolds

2. Portmeirion, Wales
Portmeiron, a popular tourist village in Gwynedd, North Wales, is said to be based on the style of an Italian village. Made famous by its use in the 1960’s cult series The Prisoner as The Village, most of the fantastic locations used have remained unchanged 40 years on. The village is situated on the estuary of the River Dwyryd, and makes for some absolutely stunning panoramic views that will take your breath away.

Portmeirion
Portmeirion

3. The Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
I have included The Giant’s Causeway as it is a marvellous natural phenomenon to behold. The 40,000 odd interlocking basalt columns were formed roughly 50-60 million years ago as a result of volcanic activity. There are many picturesque areas in Ireland, however, this made the top 5 as it is something that is only really appreciated by viewing in person and I would highly recommend, if you have the chance, that this is near the top of your ‘to see next’ list.

Giants Causeway
Giants Causeway

4. Tresco Abbey Gardens, Isle of Scilly
Again, the Tresco Abbey Gardens may not be at the top of your list, or maybe they were not even on your radar. If not, then they should be. The gardens are located on the island of Tresco, part of the Scilly Isles, just off the Cornish peninsula. The gardens are home to some exotic plants from all over the world, thanks to the mild winter climates and the long hours of summer sunshine. Entry to the gardens costs just £10, and you would be forgiven for forgetting that this was not located in the UK, and that you were somewhere more exotic.

Tresco Abbey Gardens
Tresco Abbey Gardens

5. The Highlands, Scotland
Lastly, but by no means least are the Scottish Highlands. Now this is a huge expanse of land, but here you will find exquisite views, mountains, and lakes. Be sure to investigate the picturesque village of Glencoe and the Lochan which is beautifully surrounded by amazing woodlands and mountain scenery. Alternatively, just have a look at what is available in the Scottish Highlands, most of it will blow you away. However, if you are feeling adventurous then you could tackle Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles. There are routes available for all difficulties and the views you are rewarded with are breath-taking.

Highlands
Highlands

Please note that there were a lot of choices I considered before finalising on these five. If you have any thoughts on these or any to add, then drop your comments in below.

Author Bio
This article was written by Ricky May, on behalf of Best Holiday Parks, a resource for Holiday Parks, Holiday Lodges and Caravan Holidays

Travel to Venezuela

Venezuela is the country that weaves magic in every element. A land of the most beautiful women, home to the highest water fall in the world, and the house of the second largest river of South America, the Orinoco. Venezuela Travel is a lifetime experience. It has that typical South American touch engraved with a bit of Caribbean touch too.

Travel Information about Venezuela is not too difficult to gather. Caracas is the capital city and has a typical tropical climate. The place is more about concrete buildings and is very happening. This metropolis is a great place to be in. El Hatillo out here is so rich in architecture, and the beaches are so seducing to the minds that every tourist is left awe stuck. Soft and supple skin, tanned skin, great figures are all that you can get to see here on the whispering beaches out here. Snorkeling, Diving are some of the most exciting things you can do while you are traveling to Venezuela. The Venezuelans love to holiday on the beach of Isla de Margarita, Bonaire, and Curacao etc. These are lovely islands, which beckon every individual. Again the Porlamar here offers every modern amenity and facility to make life luxurious. Continue reading Travel to Venezuela

Cruise Casinos – Gambling at Sea

Cruise casinos have arrived and that means gambling at sea is a available to those wishing to take advantage of such adventures.

Is it really much of a secret people love to venture on gambling related vacations? Considering the enormous popularity of gambling resort towns, such a “revelation” is not much of a revelation. We all know that millions of people love to descend upon cities such as Las Vegas, Monte Carlo, Atlantic City, and the like or simply take the chance playing online craps for real money. But, did you know there is another option available to those that love gambling? There is and it comes in the form of cruise casinos like for example the SunCruz Casinos or the MS Golden Princess.

As the name implies, cruise casinos are luxury boat liners that provide on board gambling for those that wish to try their luck. Then again, if you have a lot of experience with gambling you might not need much lick. Rather, you can put your personal skills and talent to the test.

And there would be a wide range of games in which to do this! Card games, table games, games of chance, and, of course, slot machines are all part of the mix with cruise casinos. You will never run out of variety as these types of cruises are no different than traditional “land based” casinos.

Some might look at the concept of cruise casinos as something new. This is really not the case. Anyone that knows a little bit about gamin history is probably familiar with riverboat gambling. Cruise casinos are basically “at sea” versions of this type of gaming. So, rather than just take a short trip up the river, you would be taking part in an actual cruise. Needless to say, a cruise such as that brings with it a lot of potential fun and excitement. Why take part in the traditional casino vacation when cruise casinos have so much uniqueness to offer?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnOEoTAqA_A[/youtube]

When you take part in a casino cruise, you not only have access to a wide range of gaming options, you also have access to the fun and excitement that a cruise can offer. For example, you have access to all the fine entertainment and dining cruises are known for. Depending upon the cruise line you select, you might gain access to all manner of onboard fun and entertainment.

You will have the great option of exploring the destination the cruise takes you to when you arrive at port. There are cruise casino ventures launched from all over the world. You will never run short of exciting destinations to visit which means such gaming cruises will always be exciting to take part on.

In short, a casino cruise is…a cruise. This means it presents a two-pronged approach to the traditional gaming vacation. In addition to all the fun and excitement at a casino, you can also be treated to the fun and excitement of a cruise. For those seeking a uniquely exciting vacation, a combination cruise and gaming excursion might be the perfect solution.