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Category Archives: Travel

Volterra, Italy

In a country as steeped in history and culture as Italy, it would be impossible to overlook the importance of Volterra, one of the lesser known hilltop towns in Tuscany. Its rich Etruscan heritage and extensive collection of medieval and Renaissance art, sees this tiny Tuscan gem as a destination in its own right; and its close proximity to Siena, San Gimignano and Pisa makes it an ideal base from which to explore the rest of the region. Walking in Italy is practically a national pastime and the area around Volterra also offers some of the most beautiful hiking in the country.

A walled hilltop town, Volterra is set amidst the sunburnt rolling hills and deep valleys that typify this region of Tuscany. Surrounded by a landscape of vineyards, crop fields and forested tracts, it is a wonderful place to explore on foot. The area is criss-crossed with hiking trails and walking in Italy is the best way to get under the skin of this incredibly diverse country. There is nothing quite like a gentle hike through undulating fields splashed with poppies and sunflowers, to arrive at a vineyard for a welcome of the house vintage and a traditional Tuscan feast.

Volterra itself makes for a delightful sojourn. As was the practice of these medieval Italian hilltop towns, it is completely enclosed by a fortifying wall. If your accommodation is outside the walls you have a steep but short climb to enter the town through one of the “Porte”, but once within the cloistered walls its true charm is revealed. A stroll around the perimeter will afford you not only a great orientation, but you will also experience uninterrupted views across the surrounding countryside. And what views they are. Volterra can lay claim to some of the best vistas in Tuscany. For as far as the eye can see, the patchwork of rural land and ubiquitous Cypress groves stretches out before you like a painted canvas.

Known as a ‘citta d’arte’ for its wonderful collection of Renaissance artwork, Volterra is also renowned for its unique alabaster which is mined around the region. Soft and fragile to work with, it is carved into intricate art objects and sculptures. Volterra has been the centre of alabaster production for nearly 2,500 years and it has become a valuable and sought after medium. Although there are plenty of tourist shops selling alabaster, there are also many local artisans, that you can visit in their studios and workshops within the city walls. Walking in Italy around the hill top towns and villages of Tuscany is a charmingly authentic experience, and Volterra is no exception. It is a pleasure to wander the narrow cobbled streets and traffic is strictly regulated and kept to a minimum within the walls. Whilst Volterra has every facility, it has retained an historic village feel, with local businesses outnumbering tourist shops and the delightful Piazza dei Priori (the town square) serving as the hub of day-to-day activity.

You can sit quietly in the piazza sipping a coffee and watch the locals going about their business; or play your own part walking in Italy’s evening ritual of “la passeggiata” – the nightly parade as the Italians stroll through the streets, stopping for an ‘aperitivo’ in one of the town’s many bars or cafes. Take a walk at sunset around to the Roman Amphitheatre, one of Volterra’s most important historic sites; or marvel at the imposing exterior of the Fortress, the town’s original defence built right into the walls. If you get the taste for Italian history and you want to learn more about Volterra’s fascinating Etruscan and Roman roots, a visit to the Guarnacci Museum is a must. It is the jewel in this tiny town’s crown and one of the most comprehensive Etruscan museums in the country.

 

Top Beaches of Mauritius

Belle Mare Beach

Lying on Mauritius’ east coast, Belle Mare Beach is popular with locals and visitors alike. Thanks to the presence of a deep lagoon running along the shoreline and the coral reef which encircles the island, the waters of Belle Mare are calm and safe from strong currents. Like something from a picture postcard, the Casuarina fringed perimeter protects the fine ground coral beach from the bustle of the surrounding town and although very busy on the weekends, at times during the week it is possible to have the beach almost to yourself. If lazing on almost six kilometres of fine, white sand sounds like too slow a pace for you, then the water park just minutes away offers every type of water sport known to man. Belle Mare is also home to not just one, but two 18 hole golf courses; ideal for those who want to add a little sporting flavour to their Mauritius holidays. Spilling right down to the water’s edge, it is definitely one of the most picturesque places in the world to putt a golf ball.

Grand Baie Beach

One of Mauritius’ most popular and lively resorts, not all that long ago Grand Baie was a sleepy fisherman’s village. Recent development though, has transformed this gorgeous beach town into a resort with excellent facilities and a wide variety of activities from water sports to nature walks. The beach itself is breathtaking; wide, sandy shores are shaded by a frame of gently leaning Casuarina trees. The beach slopes gently down to a shallow shelf so the warm waters are ideal for young children to paddle in safety. Many fishermen still work the crystal waters around Gran Baie and the shoreline is dotted with gaily coloured, bobbing boats. To catch a glimpse of how fresh the seafood is on your Mauritius holidays, stroll down to the fish market at the very end of the beach and watch the restaurateurs haggling for tonight’s dinner!

Tamarin Bay Beach

Where the mountains meet the sea, Tamarin Bay Beach may not have the glamour of some of Mauritius’ other favourite beaches, but its location on the fringes of the volcanic landscape adds to its unusual and rugged beauty. Situated at the base of the magnificent Montagne du Rempart on the west coast, its geography makes it one of the best surf beaches in Mauritius and the surrounding landscape has some wonderful hiking paths to explore. For more low key and relaxed Mauritius holidays, a visit to Tamarin Bay Beach will offer you a truly authentic taste of this island paradise.

Sugestion Countries You Should Visit

Egypt

King Tut, The Pyramids, The Valley of the Kings. The list is endless. But it’s just not the history and the culture, it’s the people too. Egyptians are some of the kindest and most generous people on the planet. They will welcome you into their homes in a second and even if they have almost nothing, they will share it with you.

An afternoon on the Nile with an Egyptian felucca captain sailing your boat as the sun sets over the Nile in Luxor is a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed.

China

China is not somewhere people immediately think of when planning a holiday…but they should, and hopefully after the Olympics in Beijing they will. Even if you could only afford 7 to 10 days, an itinerary that takes in Beijing, Xian, a Yangtze River Cruise and Shanghai will be a great introduction.

And for an unforgettable experience, juts visit Guilin. Guilins landscape is amazing and totally unique. It can’t necessarily be called Mountainous as such, but the peaks that do rise, rise almost vertically up into the mist.

If you get a chance take a ski lift up to one of the peaks and just stare in awe at the view, and if you are feeing adventurous, take a kart down a toboggan style run (about 3,000 feet in length) !

Jordan

Handily located, if you plan it right you can visit Egypt and Jordan together to make a real trip to remember. Amman is a great city full of atmosphere, Petra is marvellous, but surely the can’t miss site is the Dead Sea. The only ocean in the world with so much salt in it, you actually float !

This alone makes Jordan a must see country and on top of what I have already mentioned, don’t forget the Wadi Rum, Aqaba, Jerash and the Kings Highway. A week in Jordan is good, but 10 days is better.

Hong Kong

Although there is much more to Hong Kong than just shopping, if you do love to shop, then Hong Kong is the place for you. A stroll along Nathan Road and a visit to the Temple Street market just HAS to be done. And make sure you have your bargaining hat on as haggling is as big a part of the experience as the purchases themselves.

There lots more to Hong Kong too. The great thing is that despite it being a modern city, there is tradition around every corner. Don’t forget to take a trip to Victoria Peak and enjoy the stunning views and remember that even if it’s misty, there are 2 guys at the top who will take your picture and transpose it onto a picture of what you should see if the weather where not so poor ! I also suggest a couple of half day visits out to Lama and Lantau Islands too. A great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the craziness that is Hong Kong.

Thailand

Thailand suffers a little from it’s reputation of being a very hedonistic destination and while it is true that the is a very wild side to Thaialnd (especially certain areas of Bangkok, Phucket etc) there is also an amazing culture to immerse yourself in.

There really is everything there, adventure, culture and even for the not faint hearted, a place about 1 hour north of Thailand where you can go in, yes go in, with real live tigers. No cages, no chains, just you and around a dozen tigers. For me it was a thrill of a lifetime and without doubt it is just one of the many reasons that Thailand is in my top 5 of places you need to visit in the world

 

Things to Do in Brazil

One of the most popular places to visit when in Brazil is Rio de Janeiro. This city is known as the marvelous city and has one of the most beautiful settings in the world. It boasts beautiful beaches and breathtaking views.

While in Rio you can view the Christ the Redeemer statue which sits on top of Corcovado.

There are also a multitude of beaches that you can visit depending on your lifestyle. Rios main beaches include Arpoador, Barra da Tijuca, Botafogo, Flamengo, Leblon, Leme, Pepino and Vidigal.

Rio is also home to some wonderful museums, including the Museu Historico Nacional. However, the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio De Janeiro houses Brazil’s most important collection of modern art. If you are interested in learning more about Brazillian history, be sure to visit the Museu da Republica.

Another great city is Sao Paulo. It is South America’s largest city with over 17 million residents and is Brazils financial, commercial and industrial heartland. As a tourist, you will not want to miss it’s famed nightlife or grand shopping opportunities.

Salvador da Bahia is the state capital and is split into upper and lower sections. This city is perfect for a long walking excursion because most of Salvador’s museum, palaces and churches are concentrated within Cidade Alta. This is also the place to find local craftsmanship finds. Head for the Mercado Modelo to find the best in Brazil, with a focus on rich African flavors. Salvador is known for being the center of Brazilian music and other great clubs and bars featuring live music of Brazil.

If you are interested in exploring underground lakes like Lago Azul and viewing spectacular waterfalls, be sure to visit the Diamantina National Park.

Travel to Northern Brazil and you can visit the Amazon River. You can also visit one of the world’s biggest and most spectacular falls located where Paraguay, Argentia and Brazil meet. If you are more interested in seeing some exotic wildlife be sure to visit the Pantanal Wetlands. The huge area extends into Bolivia and Paraguay.

A heavenly village nestled on the coast is Jericocoara. While there you can take in awesome views of a sparkling white sand-dune desert and a gorgeous turquoise sea.

Brazil ‘s capital, Brasilia, and does not have a lot to offer the tourist as the cities of Rio and Sao Paulo or the Northeast section of the country. However, there is some interesting architecture to see. A guided tour is recommended if you want to venture into the capital.

If you are lucky enough to visit Brazil anywhere from December to March you can participate in Bahia’s Carnival which is a lavish festival with memorable parties, music and great Latin American food. Carnival in Rio takes place in February/March. Local residents dress in lavish, colorful costumes and it is known as one of the biggest parties in the world to celebrate Lent.

Brazil has many other cultural things to offer than just beautiful beaches. Take a trip to Brazil to explore and learn about this rich country in South America.

 

Traveling To Bavaria?, Here Its Tips

The first step is to decide which areas you most want to visit and plan an itinerary. Then you can begin to decide on accommodations. A variety of choices are available from the more affordable hotels to the more expensive resorts. Information on hotels and other rentals can be found and reserved online.

Hotels and Dining

Bavaria is home to large cities such as Munich and many smaller resort towns as well. There is a range of vacation and accommodation opportunities around the state. Smaller resort towns, such as Prien, are smaller than Munich, but still offer plenty to do. Hotels, shops and restaurants are all in walking distance from the train station. The same is true for Munich.

In many resorts, bus services are offered to and from the resort to surrounding attractions. If you plan to stay in the resort and use the bus service, you may not need to rent a vehicle during your stay. If you want to branch out and explore more of the surrounding areas of the region, or if you just want the freedom to go on your own schedule, you may want to rent a car.

There are thousands of restaurants throughout Bavaria for dining. Schweinsbraten is a common food in most places. This is a pork roast with dumplings and gravy. Fresh fish, such as trout and salmon are common foods in the area and are served in most restaurants. Bavaria is home to many beer halls that serve traditional German cuisine with a variety of local beers.

Sightseeing in Bavaria

Bavaria is home to a few castles you can explore. These were built by King Ludwig II. The castle is ornate and resembles Versailles in Paris. The castle and surrounding gardens are open for touring. The areas around the Herrenchiemsee castle have plenty of activities, such as swimming, fishing, hiking, bicycling, boating and windsurfing.

Herrenchiemsee castle was intended to be a replica of Versailles. It has manicured gardens, elaborate decorations and a hall of mirrors. The original plan called for seventy rooms, but it was never finished. There are twenty rooms in the finished part of the castle. Ludwig was declared mentally unfit to rule and was removed from the throne before his plans could be carried out.

Bavarians Forest Zoo has over 300 native animals in natural surroundings. You will see elks, bison, water birds, birds of prey, owls, wild cats, deer, otters, badgers, cranes and fish in the zoo. A main focus is on protecting endangered species, research and preserving the natural habitat of the animals.

Bavaria is home to a wild west theme park. Pullman city is located just north of Munich and has a typical American wild west theme. The park features re-enactments of gun fights, Indians and stage coaches. The main street area is complete with plank sidewalks and clap board facades on replica buildings. It is reminiscent of western towns commonly seen in the movies and old western television series.

The park has activities like shooting galleries, music and rodeos. There are re-enactments of the American Civil War at the park. Guests are often seen dressed up in cowboy or Indian costumes, both adults and children. Lodging at the park includes hotels, log cabins and even teepees. This allows guests to experience the wild west all day in the park and at night as well.

 

Try these Adrenaline in Nottingham

If you’ve got a strong stomach and an adventurous spirit then Zorbing is the perfect adrenalin fuelling start to your day. Zorbing, or Sphering as it’s sometimes known, found its way to the UK from New Zealand, along with many other whacky sports like bungee jumping. Basically, you are harnessed into a giant inflatable plastic ball and sent shooting down a hill, reaching speeds of up to 30mph! You can also try “eclipse-sphereing” where the terrifying downhill run is done in complete darkness.

This is not for the faint hearted! Your hill-roll will last anything from 30 seconds to a minute, which doesn’t sound long, but when each second is packed with adrenalin fuelled heart stomping take your breath away sensations, it’s more than long enough to get your kicks!

So, hopefully your head has stopped spinning, and you’re back on your feet the right way up. It’s time for a spot of blindfold driving. Jeremy Clarkson eat your heart out! Teams shout instructions at the blindfolded driver of the sporty 4×4, who, despite being completely disorientated and confused must steer the vehicle safely round the course.

There’s a huge variety of action packed activities on offer here, so why not try some 4×4 off road-ing or the forest experience, where you’ll learn essential outdoor survival skills. If you fancy a fitness challenge, then have a go at smashing some time records on the Jungle Assault Course as you cover two acres of land attempting to negotiate rope ladders, scramble nets, walls, bridges and pools, to name a few. If you do well, a place on the Krypton Factor may well be yours!! Speed freaks and rally fans have to try the Rally Driving experience; after a tutorial from qualified instructors you’ll be let loose on the tracks in a full-specification Peugeot Rally Car.

Next, we’re heading to the countryside, for something a little calmer; but equally breathtaking. The stunning scenery of the Peak District is the setting for this adrenalin trip; but it’s not the hills or mountains, it’s the underground caves, caverns and mines that you’ll be exploring. You’ll be taken into a unique and totally different world, as you discover some incredible wonders of nature. This is an all day event, and you’re likely to get very wet, so don’t forget waterproof and dry clothing. And ladies, if you’re very lucky, you may even spot a leftover caveman looking for a new mate!

The Beauty of The Waters around Maldives

Being an island paradise with the ocean and reefs all around, every panorama is filled with the bright, sunlit water, startling in colour. Many people will opt to scuba dive during their Maldives holidays and find that the true beauty of this paradise is actually underwater.

With its gradually sloping sea beds, warm shallow waters, good visibility and reef-sheltered bays, the Maldives are a safe and easy location to be schooled in the use of Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA). But as well as the practical concerns, the aesthetic effect of the tropical environment makes Maldives holidays great for learning to scuba dive. The sand of the beaches and the sea bed is formed from powdered coral, so it is fine and white, which means the shallows are illuminated by the intense sunshine, which easily penetrates the clear water.

There is something comforting about the shallow nursery pools where you will get accustomed to the equipment; they offer a more natural surrounding than the enclosure of a swimming pool. The first time you rest on the seabed, at a depth of perhaps as little as five metres, it is quite a sensation being able to settle without any urgency for breath. Once you have passed the tests to ensure you know the safety drills, your dive instructor will accompany you on dives further away from the island. This is when your Maldives diving holidays get really exciting: swimming farther out to deeper reefs and taking a boat out farther still, giving you the freedom to visit any number of reefs in the local area.

For more advanced or qualified divers, the Maldives can rival the best dives sites of the Red Sea or Great Barrier Reef. As well as turtles, guitar fish, reef sharks and eels, you might witness giant glimmering shoals of silver tuna in the distance, or the graceful silhouettes of manta rays. Your hotel and dive centre will offer a variety of dive sites so you can build an exciting schedule of diving for your Maldives holidays. Your itinerary might include some wreck dives or reefs beyond the protection of the atolls where the currents are stronger, or perhaps a visit to the area where the sea shelf drops off abruptly into the darkness of the Indian Ocean, giving you the opportunity to see even larger fish.

The fish are almost unavoidable on Maldives holidays: even knee deep in the gentle breakers, small translucent fish approach with curiosity. Often hotels will put out scraps, feeding the fish from the walkways or quays so that the residents can see the variety of life in the shallows. The reefs themselves which encircle the island atolls are home to innumerable species of tropical fish of yellows, purples, reds and greens, which move and feed among the reef. As you swim among them, you can hear the parrot fish gnawing on the coral.

With luck, by the end of your Maldives holidays, you will have earned a PADI Open Water Diver certification, which will allow you to participate in scuba diving worldwide on subsequent holidays. However, you will have to choose your next destination carefully; the visually stunning underwater world of the Maldives is a hard act to follow.

 

Luxury Holiday Destination in Europe

The charms of a European luxury holiday are sought by the travellers all over the world. What make Europe a dream destination for travelers are its rich cultural and political history,a number of great places, modern lifestyle, and rich accommodations. If you visit Europe, you enjoy a wide-ranging cultural activities like attending in the art scene – with museums, art, literature, theatre, cinema or music of countries like France, Germany and England. Moreover, the lifestyle, architecture,and food will just enthrall you during your European holiday.

Places to visit during your European Luxury Holidays
There is a variety of different places in various cities that you should visit during your visit to Europe. To get the most out of your European luxury holiday, experience all the charms that are in Europe. The best places to visit in Europe are in England, Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus and Switzerland. If you visit these countries, you will just amazed by the cultural diversity of Europe. Each of the places has a unique culture of its own.

Things to Do on a Luxury Holiday to Europe

During your European holiday; you can visit Skye, which is renowned all over the world for its splendid landscapes. In Scotland you can also visit the Kinloch Lodge. Visiting these places will probably make a memory for lifetime. Another place to visit in Europe is the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland, which is famous for its Celtic monuments and a coastline that is spectacularly scenic. Spain offers the best opportunities for festivals and foods and drinks. Spanish foods and drinks are a rich experience. In Spain you can also see the works of great masters like Picasso and Goya, which are displayed in the Mirè Foundation in Barcelona. Another magical experience when on holiday in Europe is a trip to Italy, which offers fine food, finer wine and the best places to see. Your next stopage should be France, where you can visit the Eiffel Tower as well as experience the fine art at the world famous art museum of Paris, Louvre.

Thus, a European luxury holiday is an experience that may not fade away from your mind for a long time. Whether for a family vacation or a romantic honeymoon vacation, Europe should get utmost importance from you.

Holiday in USA

At first, the USA has a lot to offer to its tourists. If you go to the USA on a vacation, you will see a wide variety of places such as theme parks, beaches, etc. You can also visit places historically well known to the people of the world. If you think about the accommodation, there is a perfect solution of the lodging everywhere in the USA. So, from all respects the USA holidays promise an enjoyable time to the travelers.

Places to Visit

If you are planning a USA holiday, you may get confused about the places to visit in the USA. In fact, the choices are many. You can, for example, visit Las Vegas. It is the hot and happening sort of city, where Pubs and Gambling comes at a good price. If you come to the USA on a family vacation, you can go on a trip to Orlando, Florida where your kids can have fun in Disneyland. The city also offers beautiful beaches, amusement parks, Universal Studios and beautiful golf courses. Another famous holiday destination in the USA is New York. The city also has so much to offer; countless museums, Statue of Liberty, nightclubs, bars, theaters, Times Square, shopping till late night, art galleries and so on. Hawaii is also a great holiday destination in the USA. Thousands of visitors come to Hawaii each year. If you love water fun, Hawaii is a must visit place for you during your USA holidays. These are a few of the great places you can visit during your USA holidays.

Things to do during a USA holiday

There are in fact so many things to do during your USA holidays to make your USA stay memorable. If you love beaches and water fun, there are plenty of opportunities for you. In this regard, you can go to Miami, Florida, or Hawaii, where you can spend your time doing surfing, swimming, and boating. If you are a golf lover, Orlando is the best place to go for it. As I have already mentioned, it is also a great place for family vacation with the world famous Disney land. If you want to do shopping, you can do it in such cities as New York, Orlando, and Las Vegas. If you love nightlife and casinos, you can also go to Las Vegas. One thing you must not miss during your USA holidays is a visit to the Niagara Falls. If you visit the Niagara Falls, the beauty of it will just leave you stunned.

Thus, if you are looking for an ideal holiday destination, you can easily opt for the USA. A USA holiday will be such an experience that may not fade away from your mind for a long time.

 

Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka

Adam’s Peak is one of the most recognisable places in Sri Lanka, yet many people are not aware of the island’s famous mountain until they visit it for themselves on their Sri Lanka holidays. The mountain is held in sacrosanct by followers of four religions: Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and Muslims. However, long before any of these religions appeared on the island, the mountain was worshipped by the aboriginal inhabitants of the island, the Veddas. They named the peak Samanala Kanda after one of the island’s four deities.

Hindus also have a different name for the peak and call it Sivan Adi Padham. They believe that the giant footprint left on the peak is Shiva’s and was left on the mountain during his creation dance when he created the world. The large footprint is five foot seven inches by two foot six inches wide, but Buddhists believe that the original footprint is even larger and was left by the Buddha on his third and final visit to Sri Lanka. If you are a follower of the Christian religion, then you’ll most probably hear on your Sri Lanka holidays the story of St. Thomas, who brought Christianity to the island. However, the mountain gets that name “Adam” from the Islamic belief that he stood for a thousand years on one foot as penance. The Islamic tradition tells how, when Adam was expelled from heaven, God put him on the peak to make the shock less terrible. This is because Ceylon was believed to the place on earth that most resembled heaven, with Adam’s Peak being the closest spot on earth to heaven.

On your Sri Lanka holidays you may want to take a boat trip around the peak as the mountain is most impressive when viewed from the sea. Marco Polo was among one of the explorers who visited. Early Arab seafarers, who spotted the peak, described it as the largest mountain in the world. However, the peak is not even the largest in Sri Lanka.

If you want to hike around the island, then the best time to visit is from December to May. This time is popular with pilgrims and gets busiest in the winter months of January and February. The trek takes about four hours and, although it is possible to climb Adam’s Peak from June to November, mist and rain make the climb much less appealing. When climbing the mountain on your Sri Lanka holidays you will spot hundreds of beautifully coloured butterflies on your climb, which have earnt Adam’s Peak its nickname, Samanalakande or butterfly mountain. Once you’ve reached the top, you will notice a small Buddhist temple and the shrine of the strange footprint. It is customary to make offerings here and small coils of silver are offered by those wanting to recover from sickness. Rainwater that falls in the footprint is also said to have special healing properties.

Your Sri Lanka holidays just won’t be complete without taking a visit to Adam’s Peak and after spending time on the spectacular mountain, you’ll understand just why the Islamic tale describes it as the closest place on earth to heaven.

Read more: http://www.articlesphere.com/Article/The-Legend-of-Adam-s-Peak–Sri-Lanka/192839#ixzz4eep4Ny30