Things to do Sharm El Sheikh

Sharm El Sheikh beach
Image by WomEOS (http://www.flickr.com/photos/womeos/)

Sharm el-Sheikh is undoubtedly one of the most exquisite locations in Egypt, and for that matter, the world itself. Situated near the Red Sea, this spot is a favorite amongst holiday goers looking for luxurious experiences and awe-inspiring sights. Littered with fantastic hotels and breath taking beaches, it’s a fantastic place to spend your holiday with your friends, family and loved ones.

However, the area is perhaps most popular with fans of underwater activities. With pristine warm water and some of the most beautiful coral reefs on the continent, it is of little surprise that Sharm el-Sheikh has become a must go to location for divers. There are many diving centers that will take both novice and experienced divers on some of the magnificent coral reef tours. The national park on the tip of the Sinai Peninsula in particular, is one of the most famous dive sites in the world and should not be missed. The coral gardens are some of the most varied and beautiful on the continent, so be sure to gain the relevant training to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

If the idea of snorkeling and diving is a somewhat daunting one however, you can still experience some of the under water delights the sea has to offer. Many glass bottom boats do tours that will give you an impression of how things look down there without the need for you to get your feet wet.

If you’re hoping to spend a nice relaxing time on some of the numerous beaches however, there are a huge amount of activities on offer to keep you and your family entertained. Everything from thrilling beach activities such as kitesurfing and parasailing to the tamer boating and canoeing can be easily be organized through your hotel concierge service.

If beach activities are not your thing you can always venture into the desert for some fun. If you are looking to learn a bit more about the people of Egypt and how they have lived for thousands of years, be sure to go on a Bedouin camping trip where you will be guided into the desert by knowledgeable locals. If you plan to camp overnight be sure to wrap up, the desert gets extremely cold at night and is not an experience for the faint hearted.

Sharm el-Sheikh is by far the most expensive part of Egypt, with prices being almost three times as much as anywhere else in the country. There are generally very few low cost accommodation options but if you look around you can find some reasonably priced hotels. Flights to Sharm el-Sheikh are usually in pretty high demand so it is worth booking well ahead of time and shopping around for the best deal to help keep costs low. Regardless, this little slice of heaven is well worth the visit for those looking to enjoy the sea and desert.

Disclaimer: The information contained within this article is the opinion of the author and is intended purely for information and interest purposes only. It should not be used to make any decisions or take any actions. Any links are included for information purposes only.

Choosing your Caribbean Island Paradise

There are many reasons why the Caribbean islands are so popular with holidaymakers, but even if you’ve decided you want to spend your summer holiday in this idyllic part of the world, your choices are far from over – you also have to choice precisely which island, or islands, you’re going to visit.

Caribbean Island
Image by F H Mira

The Caribbean is a destination unlike any other, but each island has its own unique charms. While you can look forward to a number of common similarities wherever you travel in the region – including tropical weather, secluded beaches, glittering waters and exquisite hotels – there are reasons why people have developed personal preferences for individual islands.

There are more than 35 island destinations in the Caribbean, but there are a number of ways you can narrow your selection down and find the island that’s right for you. As most of the islands possess relatively similar infrastructure and facilities for visitors, it’s mostly down to your choice of holiday activities, with some islands being better suited than others.

The type of waves that hit the islands can be a crucial determining factor in this regard. If you’re just hoping to enjoy relaxing swims in the sea, or you’re on holiday with children, staying on islands facing the milder Caribbean Sea could be the preferable option, where you might even get the chance to swim with dolphins if you’re lucky. The Caribbean Sea is also ideal if you’re thinking of heading into the water for scuba diving or snorkelling. By contrast, the bigger, cooler waves of the easterly Caribbean islands make these the favourable option for surfers and other lovers of water sports.

If you’re hoping to spend lazy afternoons on the beach, Barbados can always be relied on for the quality of its beaches, and there are many resorts to choose from in areas such as Sandy Lane. If you’re looking for romantic Caribbean holidays though, and looking for a destination for your honeymoon, Jamaica has a long tradition of being an ideal couples’ retreat, with many excellent, secluded accommodation options to suit.

On the other hand, if you’re a single traveller looking for somewhere a little more lively and the chance to meet people, you may prefer to head in the direction of Bermuda, Curacao or Grand Cayman, all of which are renowned as safe holiday spots. The Caribbean is a region with much to offer visitors of all interests and from all walks of life, just as long as you choose the right part.

Disclaimer: The information contained within this article is the opinion of the author and is intended purely for information and interest purposes only. It should not be used to make any decisions or take any actions. Any links are included for information purposes only.

The Best Free Attractions in Manchester

In recent years, Manchester has risen in prominence to become one of the UK’s leading tourist destinations, thanks to its wealth of excellent modern and historical attractions. This doesn’t mean a trip to see the sights of Manchester necessarily needs to be expensive though, especially when you look for the best attractions in the city that don’t cost anything at all.

Many of Manchester’s museums are up there with the best in the UK, and can be even more appealing for their lack of entry fees. The Manchester Museum in particular is a popular destination, and was even voted one of the UK’s must-see museums in a recent survey. This eclectic museum offers a comprehensive overview of many aspects of science, nature and history, from dinosaur fossils to artefacts from throughout human history, and can make a great day out for visitors of all ages.

The city’s art collections are up to the same high standard, with centres such as the Whitworth Gallery being particularly acclaimed. This art museum contains more than 55,000 exhibited works, including special, limited exhibitions that often make the headlines for their controversial nature. A fine alternative to the likes of the Tate Modern in London for those travelling to the North West of England.

Another important side of Manchester culture not to be overlooked is its impressive musical heritage, which can be enjoyed at famous venues like the Manchester Academy. While it may not be the biggest venue in the city, the Academy has the distinction of being the hand-picked venue of choice for many local, national and international acts passing through Manchester, due to the crucial role it has played in developing Manchester’s music scene.

Manchester is also one of England’s greener cities, meaning it has plenty of outdoor activities too, especially when heading to its large public parks. Heaton Park is perhaps the best known, and contains a playground and animal centre for kids, but Wythenshawe and Queens Park can make for equally enjoyable strolls if you’re in the neighbourhood.

You can spend some of the money you’ve saved visiting Manchester’s free attractions by taking a shopping trip to popular retail areas such as the Trafford Centre mall, which draws shoppers from all over the UK, to find bargain mementos to take home on your Manchester flights. Manchester city centre contains an abundance of great shops too, including boutiques and one-of-a-kind outlets if you’re looking for that special purchase.

Disclaimer: The information contained within this article is the opinion of the author and is intended purely for information and interest purposes only. It should not be used to make any decisions or take any actions. Any links are included for information purposes only.

The Heavenly Maldives

For the ultimate in idyllic getaways, escape to the tropical paradise of the Maldives. With little to do but relax and revive, surrounded by warm, turquoise waters, glorious sunshine and some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and reefs, a holiday in the Maldives promises to be romantic, peaceful and every bit as magical as you imagine it might be.

Maldives
Image by k_metelev

The Maldives are an archipelago of 1190 small islands, grouped into 26 coral atolls, in the Indian Ocean. 97 of these are resort islands. Most of the resorts take up a whole island, limiting the numbers of tourists on the beach meaning you will more than likely discover your own tranquil oasis on a secluded stretch of sand.

A favourite for honeymooners, the Maldives know how to do romance. Pure, old fashioned, candle-lit, romance. Take pleasure in an exotic picnic on a secluded beach all to yourselves, visit the resort spa for scrumptious body treatments or simply enjoy sipping cocktails and watch the golden sun sink into the horizon. Whatever your celebration, it’s sure to be magical in the haven of the Maldives.

With over 3000 coral reef formations in the archipelago, home to over a thousand different species of fish and other aquatic life, the Maldives are heaven for those that love to explore the underwater world. From vibrant and strange corals, colourful swimmers to magnificent manta rays and even sharks, a diving excursion in the Maldives is sure to be an experience of a lifetime. For something a little different, ask if your resort offers night dives or if diving isn’t your thing, you could always snorkel the house reef, just off shore.

The Maldives enjoy sunshine all year round with temperatures hovering around the 30 degrees Celsius mark, however they do have a rainy season. The southwest monsoon runs from April to October, and rain is particularly likely from June to August. This can make the water murky, meaning diving and other underwater activities become difficult.

Accommodation on the Maldives is mostly luxurious island resorts, although hotel accommodation can be found on the capital of Male. You could also opt to cruise the waters on a safari vessel, however for a true Maldivian experience, you can’t go past the resorts. Choose to wile away your time in a beachfront villa, a palm fringed hideaway or an iconic over water bungalow.

The Maldives are expensive, with little to offer the budget traveller, but it’s a price worth paying if peace and luxury in a pristine, secluded setting is what you are after, which is what holidays in the Maldives are all about. Enjoy a cocktail, soothed by the rhythmic waves, dig your toes into the sand and forget, if only for a little while, that life exists beyond the reef.

Disclaimer: The information contained within this article is the opinion of the author and is intended purely for information and interest purposes only. It should not be used to make any decisions or take any actions. Any links are included for information purposes only.

Make the most of a luxury break in Thailand

Thailand may be a haven for backpackers and bargain hunters, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a budget holiday in the South East Asian country. Far from it, with many excellent hotels, resorts and tour packages available in all the key areas of Thailand for those who are hoping to stay in the lap of luxury during their visits.

Bangkok is the starting point for many people on their visits to Thailand, and while there’s a certain charm to the old part of the city, it’s the bustling, modern Bangkok that’s home to the city’s foremost luxury hotels. Within easy reach of the airport as well as rail, metro and bus links around the country, Bangkok luxury hotels situate you in the heart of the dynamic city so you can experience its unique charms on your doorstep.

Beyond Bangkok, there are many vastly different experiences to look forward to on Thailand holidays – whether you’re looking for adventure in the jungles and mountains of the north or glorious beaches and water sports in coastal resorts and islands in Southern Thailand. Several popular beach towns can be reached just a short trip from Bangkok – namely Hua Hin, Cha Am and Pattaya – and each boasts luxury accommodation right on the seafront.

It’s the islands further south that draw many people to Thailand however, and if your budget allows, you may even wish to spend some of your time achieving a diving certificate. The island of Koh Tao is renowned for the quality of its scuba diving sites, and is also among the cheapest places in the world to take accredited diving courses and obtain your certificate, which will allow you to dive at many more sites across the globe.

Far away from the islands of the south, but no less idyllic, are the mountain towns of Northern Thailand, such as historic Chang Mai. This ancient walled city features many spectacular temples, and you can enjoy luxury Thailand holidays both within the old city walls and in the more modern city outside.

There are many excellent day trips to enjoy out of Chiang Mai, including jungle exploration, elephant rides and visits to more significant religious and historical sites. Air conditioned tour buses can pick you up from your hotel and return you safely in the evening, making it convenient to get the most out of your luxury Thailand break.

Paul Buchanan writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

Be Attracted by Island Based Holidays

For many, the main reason for going on holiday is to get some rest and recuperation. You also want to get away from it all so you can really feel like you are a million miles from home.

US Virgin Islands
Image by F H Mira

It should come as no surprise then to learn that one of the best ways to do this is to head for an island somewhere in the world that is further away from the rest of civilisation. There is something about islands that make them extremely attractive places to head for. You may need to get a boat or a small plane to take you there from the nearest mainland, but once you have arrived you can feel cut off in the most wonderful of ways.

As such islands can also bring you closer to that all important feeling of paradise. There may be less territory to explore but this could be a big advantage if you really want to get away from civilisation and enjoy a much quieter haven for your time abroad.

For instance, many people look at island holidays as the perfect excuse to take advantage of the great outdoors. If someone who was interested in taking part in activities such as snorkelling, kayaking or swimming through caves was interested in visiting an island, somewhere like Koh Samui might be ideal, because of its proximity to the Angthong Marine National Park.

You can see that some research is necessary in order to select the best island based break to suit your preferences. This should entail finding out all the activities you can take part in on your holiday as well. For instance a luxurious island break might include a private spa that you can make proper use of. There is no better way to unwind than to stay in lush accommodation where you can walk just a short distance to enjoy a pampering massage. Alternatively you may like to just take a dip in the sea or relax on a calming sandy beach with nothing to disturb you the whole day.

A true luxury break will involve a wonderful standard of accommodation. Be sure to research any potential holiday ideas online before you book anything. It will not only allow you to find your ideal island, but also to choose the exact place you will be staying in. It might be an idea to have a rough budget in mind at this stage, so you can select the best accommodation you can afford from the range that is available.

Whatever you do, whether you’re escaping to an island on a budget or you’re taking luxury holidays in Koh Samui, you will be able to find out just why island based holidays are so popular. They really can make you feel on top of the world, no matter whether you go for one week or two.

Paul Buchanan writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

The Irishman’s guide to Dublin

Dublin has been one of Europe’s most welcoming and intriguing cities for decades. However, since Ireland was crowned the Celtic Tiger in the early 21st century thanks to the rapid economic growth it experienced, the Irish capital has become one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. This reputation has continued, despite the decline in economic fortunes seen by the country as the global recession took hold. However, while most visitors to the city flock to tourist-friendly hotspots like Temple Bar, the Guinness Storehouse and Dublin Castle, it pays to do as the Irish do when you visit Dublin. So while you’re there, make sure you seek out a few handy hints and tips from local Irishmen and women.

Dublin
Image by Jaime Vera Durán

Unlike some large European cities, such as London and Paris, asking locals for detailed help and directions in Dublin is perfectly normal and most people will be happy to stop and chat. One element of Dublin life on which you should seek advice is how to get around. The tram and bus network is fairly extensive but can be confusing, so local help will not go amiss. If you’re a keen cyclist, you may also want to ask about the best places from which to rent a bicycle or speak to other cyclists about cycling etiquette. And if you’re planning to stay out at a bar or a club until early in the morning, it’s a good idea to have a reliable taxi number to hand.

When it comes to things to see and do, most Irishmen and women will suggest you visit the main attractions in every tourist guidebook. However, they may also point you towards sights that have a strong association with Dublin’s history, which was often violent during the colonial era. Glasnevin Cemetary on Finglas Road, for example, runs walking tours that take visitors past the graves of illustrious figures in Irish history. Kilmainham Gaol on Inchicore Road, where rebels from the 1916 Easter Uprising were executed, also operates guided tours. If you’re more interested in Dublin’s cultural history, don’t miss a trip to the Dublin Writer’s Museum, dedicated to local literary heroes like James Joyce and WB Yeats, or Merrion Square, which is home to a statue of Oscar Wilde.

For those who want to sample the best of Ireland’s food and drink, a chat with locals can be particularly rewarding. The first thing most Irishmen will tell you is to avoid Temple Bar, the primary location for touristy – and very expensive – bars and clubs. Instead, they should be able to point you towards bars that are traditional but not kitsch – like Kavanagh’s near Glasnevin Cemetery or Frank Ryan’s on Queen Street. Food, on the other hand, is a varied mix of hearty Irish stews and multicultural grub but can also be very pricey. To try a bit of everything at reasonable prices, head to the Epicurean Food Hall on Lower Liffey Street, which is very popular with locals at lunch time.

Although city breaks in the Irish capital may require a substantial budget, the frequent availability of cheap flights to Dublin means that actually getting there can be surprisingly affordable. Looking out for these deals means you’ll have more money to spend during your holiday. And with tough economic times persisting, you may even find some great deals on accommodation, food and drink while you’re in town, and the friendly local population may be able to point you towards these offers.

Paul Buchanan writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.