Thursday, January 29, 2009

European River Travel: Don't Leave Home Before Having Read This

By Samson Mandez

If you are thinking about river travel, you should spend a moment to consider a European cruise. These kinds of waterborne trips are great to explore the interior of a country, and especially so no the European continent, with its tightly packed and diverse cultures and nationalities.

Regardless of whether you will be cruising by yourself, as a couple, or with a group of people, you will find that European river travel has something special, and that every cruise that you will take on the continent's waterways will be a trip to remember.

Compared to seaborne cruising, there is much more inland territory you can cover on a river trip, and compared to car-borne holidays you won't have to experience the discomfort of constant hotel changes. Plus who has ever heard of a river traffic gridlock?

Even though a European river cruise ship is smaller than an ocean going ship the facilities on board are no less numerous with most ships boasting a ball room, plentiful bars and restaurants, possibly a cinema as well as numerous viewing decks from which you will be able to admire the scenery and the architecture of many of the most beautiful European countries and cities.

Before looking at the boating companies that you may want to book your trip with, it would make sense to decide on the length of your voyage, as well as on the location that interests you and on the amount of amenities that you would expect to come with your package.

Concerning the length, one or two weeks is standard but there are also short break offers for a weekend, and on the other end of the scale, six week Rhine-to-Danube extravaganzas for people with a lot of leisure time.

As for the location, trips tend to concentrate on the bigger rivers such as the Rhine, the Danube and the Seine, but there are also lesser-known alternatives, such as the tributaries of the Elbe in Germany, the Po in the north of Italy, or the rivers of Poland and European Russia.

Another crucial thing to consider is the season of the trip. The south of France or the flower-growing areas of Holland are great for a late spring or summer trip, for instance.

As for the winter, Germany and Austria are great cruising spots because of the snow, the renowned winter markets, and also because of the cakes and cookies! And don't worry, European river boats are all well heated.

As for budgeting, you can find luxury ships, or ships that cater to a more conservative budget when you look for European river travel. One of the best places to find the cheapest fares for European river travel is on the internet. You can always find hot deals for last minute trips when you are looking for European river travel.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

What To See On Holiday In Cantabria

Cantabria is actually an autonomous Spanish community having Santander as the capital city. This beautiful city has many self catering holiday apartments to rent as holiday accommodation.

It is bordered by Basque Country towards the east, Leon and Castile towards the south, Principality of Asturias towards west and Cantabrian Sea towards the north. It is an amazing place for holiday makers staying in holiday rentals to visit and has some of the most spectacular views anywhere in the world.

Each year people from all over the world make plans to come here and stay in holiday villas and cottages. As there are so many great activities in Cantabria to indulge in, people like to come to this region of Spain to spend their holidays.

You can also have the most remarkable time of your life here and relish the scenic beauty and amazing recreational facilities offered. It is an ideal place to stay in self catering holiday accommodation with family and friends.

Santillana del Mar is one of the most picturesque towns of Cantabria, Spain. It is known around the world for its superb architecture and is a very popular holiday home destination. As there are so many scenic places and other attractions here, it is an ideal place to visit for a holiday.

Another great attraction of Cantabria is Mount El Castillo which is an incredible heritage site of the Paleolithic age. It consists of the great El Castillo caves and caves of La Pasiega, Las Chimenneas and Las Monedas.

The El Pendo caves are quite popular too as they are very impressive. They are famous for their exquisite beauty and size. There is a contemporary interpretation centre also that provides tourists with educational and enjoyable insights into prehistory of the place.

The beaches of Cantabria are one thing that you simply can not afford to miss at all. There are about sixty different beaches in this region of Spain that are very popular with tourists. You can visit a different beach everyday of your holidays and each beach offers its own particular charm. Many of the beaches have holiday villas next to them that can be rented as holiday homes.

The white fine sand beaches have clear blue water and are ideal for sunbathing and watersports. The most popular of the beaches are the Salve Beach, Laredo, Oyamnre Beach, El Teio and the La Concha Beach. You can also try your hand at many of the water sports that include diving, sailing, swimming and wind surfing.

Cantabria also hosts a couple of great events that you can not only enjoy, but you can also take part in. For instance, Orujo Festival is one such festival that is loved by locals and tourists. Many families now come to this beautiful region of Spain and stay in self catering holiday accommodation.

They find that by renting holiday villas and self catering apartments is a great way to get to know the area. It does not matter what type of holiday home that they want to rent as there are holiday homes in Cantabria to suite all tastes and budgets.

Andrew Gibson is MD of They have a great selection of holiday villas and self catering holiday apartments around the world.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tourism in Spain Tops the Charts

According to recent tourism reports, Spain has welcomed 3 percent more tourists in 2008 than in 2007. Between January and September 2009, 41.5 million tourists arrived in Spain. Certain locations in Spain, like the Balearic Islands, are great year-round vacation destinations. Winter temperatures are very nice compared to the snow-covered places in the world and a very welcomed change for tourists who enjoy warmer climes.

Catalonia is Spain's Number One Destination

Catalonia is located in the northeast corner of Spain. It is divided into four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona. Each province holds the attention of a different crowd of tourist. Barcelona often attracts beach-goers and sight-seers. The capital city is Barcelona, home to some of the most impressive architecture in the world. A simple walk through the streets of Barcelona is a history lesson.

Catalonia's nearest neighbours are France and Andorra to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the east. Paris, France is also a very popular European tourist destination with millions of tourists per year. Andorra is one of the most popular ski areas in the world and is quickly becoming a year-round vacation spot for extreme sports fans. The Balearic Islands are situated south of Catalonia in the Mediterranean Sea and rank number two in Spain's most popular tourist destinations.

The Balearic Islands Tourism Hotter than Ever

As the second most popular vacation destination in Spain, the Balearic Islands welcomed 7.5 million tourists during the first nine months of 2008. The Balearics are comprised of four large islands: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The capital city is Palma, also called Palma de Majorca. Each of the Balearic Islands offers a new, exciting experience to all who visit. Due to their location, the Balearics are a very popular year-round vacation destination.

Package tourism officially began in Majorca in May of 1952. Prior to 1952, doctors from the northern climes would send patients to the islands to unwind, de-stress and keep warm during the winter months. A good, long holiday away from the stress of everyday life was quite literally "just what the doctor ordered." Since the introduction of mass tourism, Majorca has grown in popularity with beach lovers around the world.

The Balearics Appeal to Families

Mass tourism opened the floodgates for less expensive travel opportunities and great deals. In recent years, low-cost airlines have boosted tourism to an all new high. Several European based airlines offer lowered fares in effort to gain more business. In the actual swing of things, these airlines opened a plethora of vacation possibilities for Europeans and tourists from around the world. Some famous families who call Majorca home include Catherine Zeta-Jones and husband Michael Douglas, Claudia Schiffer, Julian Lennon and Steve McManaman.

Many of the resorts on the islands offer great opportunities for children, teens and parents. Children's activities and teen clubhouses give mum and dad time to relax and enjoy time together.

The variety of resorts allows families to choose the best location for their specific needs. Some areas have a very vivid nightlife, while others may have an almost non-existent nightlife. The variety of vacation options available in Spain is one of the many reasons to be one of the millions of visitors to vacation there in 2009.

More information about the Balearic island of Majorca is available with

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The 10 Greatest Castles of Germany

If you like castles, you'll love Germany, for Germany has castles the way Venice has canals, or Norway has fjords, or the Napa Valley has wineries. There are literally scores of them, virtually in every German state and seemingly on every other hilltop, especially along the river Rhine. There are schlosses (which are essentially castles or palaces) and there are burgs (castles or fortresses); and then there are festungs (quite simply, fortresses).

Here are ten of the most famous German castles, the must-sees, the "great castles" of Germany.

Burg Eltz

At the top of the list is Burg Eltz, one of Germany's most beautiful medieval castles, 850 years old and unscathed! It is located in the lower Mosel Valley, high above the Rhine. Although still family owned and occupied, it can be seen on guided tours for 6 euros a pop. And it's well worth it, for you'll get a peek at not only the original period furniture and decor, but you'll also get to see 20 flushable toilets that supposedly date back to the 15th century!

Meersburg Alte Burg

Another famous 'burg' is the Meersburg Alte Burg, located in the scenic Black Forest area in Baden-Wurttemberg. It dates from the seventh century and offers superb views out to the Bodensee. This is also the oldest of Germany's castles that is inhabitable. A Merovingian king, Dagoberth, originally started it, and it then served as the residence of the bishop of Konstanz for decades. For 8 euros you can meander through 30 rooms of the castle, including the chambers used by the famous 19th-century German poet, Annette von Droste-Hulshoff.

The Wartburg

The Wartburg, situated just outside Eisenach in the Thuringia region, is considered to be the most German of the German castles. It was here that Martin Luther translated the New Testament from Greek into German while in hiding. The castle is open to public tours for 5 euros per head.

The Marksburg

This one, the Marksburg, is perched on a hill on the shores of the Rhine, high above the town of Braubach in the Rhine Valley. And make no mistake, this is not just another 19th century imitation - and yes, there are several of those in Germany! - this is the real thing, boasting one of the most impressive armory collections anywhere, including one of the oldest cannons in Germany. And for 4.50 euros you can see it all on a guided tour.

Schloss Sanssouci

Here's a castle that's hard to miss, Schloss Sanssouci. It is centrally located in Potsdam in the Brandenberg region, not far from Berlin, and is a genuine masterpiece from the Baroque period. What's more, it has its associations with Frederick the Great. It was in this small but lively summer palace that the sovereign entertained the thinkers and musicians of his time, notable among them Voltaire. The Rococco residence can be toured for 8 euros apiece, albeit with German-only commentary.

Schloss Braunfels

Schloss Braunfels is an 800-year-old palace located in the Hesse region's Lahn Valley. While well worth visiting, the unfortunate thing about it is that it was rebuilt in the 19th century in the Neo-Gothic style. But don't let that deter you. A guided tour of the castle's interior is a realtime romp through rooms filled to the gills with medieval weaponry, porcelain, and paintings. And it's only 4 euros for the tour.

Schloss Neuschwanstein

And then there's Schloss Neuschwanstein, perhaps the most picturesque, the most recognizable of Germany's great castles. In fact, this is the one that inspired the magical castle at Disneyland, the one with interiors that resemble scenes from Wagnerian operas. Set on a hill in an alpine setting in Schwangau, along Northern Bavaria's Romantic Road, the castle follows a distinctly Romanesque style. It was built between 1869 and 1886 and was the ultimate fantasy of the Mad King Ludwig. Public tours of it are 9 euros each, not cheap, but worth it.

Festung Konigstein

Festung Konigstein, located near Dresden in the Saxony region, is easily the largest fortress in Germany, and a triumph, if ever there was one, of fortress construction in Europe. Now more than 750 years old, it represents a confluence of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and 19th century architecture. During world War II, it housed senior French prisoners of war as well as Dresden's best artworks. Guided tours of the fortress and its grounds are available year-round for 6 euros.

The Residenz

The Residenz, the principle address of the ruling Wittelsbach family for over 500 years, is located in Munich, Bavaria. It is a massive complex, lavishly decorated, constructed between 1720 and 1744 by Balthasar Neumann for the bishops of Wurzburg. It is also one of the finest Baroque palaces in Europe and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. And it's 4 euros for a guided tour.

Schloss Heidelberg

Schloss Heidelberg, located in Heidelberg of course, in the Baden-Wurtemberg region, is easily Germany's most famous ruin, and possibly also one of its most romantic sights. For five centuries the principle residence of the Prince Electors of the Kurpfalz, it was destroyed by the French in the 17th century but continues to dominate Heidelberg's skyline. Photograph this, if only for the memories and the joy of it!

BJ Sangwan is a globetrotter, travel editor and published travel writer. He is a contributor and co-publisher at, where these castles (with photos) can be found at

Friday, January 23, 2009

What To Do On Holiday In Spain

Spain offers a wide variety of snow-covered mountains, arid desert, superb gold beaches and lush green valleys. It is not only diverse in landscapes and scenery, but the climate, art, culture and also languages vary throughout the country.

Holiday rentals in Spain offers great beaches, reliable climate and a wide variety of things to do that are not possible to be found in any other single place.

The first thing that holiday makers love to do here is taking part in its water activities. Scuba diving is one of the most famous activities that the holiday makers can enjoy during their vacations in Spain.

There is a huge variety of conditions, diving sites and wrecks, catering to the needs of every scuba diving lover. The country offers excellent scuba diving conditions for all visitors of different levels and is available throughout the year in the coastal regions of Spain.

Almost all kinds of water sports are available at most of the beach side resorts of Spain and if you are a windsurfing enthusiast then Tarifa is the best place for you. There are some great holiday villas to rent by the sea in Spain and many families use them as a base to enjoy the local water sports.

The second thing that is most enjoyable in Spain is horse riding. You will be able to discover the real Spain on horse back. You will definitely enjoy horse riding where you will be able to explore the mountain trails, traditional villages, wide plains and river valleys of the country.

If you have not rode on a horse before, there are several schools in Spain that offer horse riding lessons to beginners as well as to experts. The instructors in these schools are BHS qualified and give all the necessary instructions regarding riding a horse.

The third thing to do in Spain is a treat for the golfing lovers. Golfing is an excellent way to spend your holidays in Spain as there are more than 200 resorts and golf courses. Holiday makers are able to play golf in the country all through the year and the premier golf destinations of Spain are Costa Del Sol and La Manga.

The fourth thing you will love to do in Spain is visiting its national parks through which you will be able to experience the country's natural beauty and wildlife. While on your visit to these parks, you will be able to enjoy leisurely walks, excitement of jeep excursions and hiking on the tails.

The national parks of Spain have their own unique landscape that includes marshes, coastal dunes, wetlands, deserted beaches of the Atlantic and isolated peaks of the mountains.

There are also several zoos, water parks, theme parks and amusement parks in Spain. Ideally suited for young couples, groups and families, some of the most popular attractions include Aqualandia and Port Aventura.

The fifth thing to do in Spain is taking part in its traditional village fiestas and experiencing its city festivals. Most of these festivals and fiestas are based around dance, food, music and religion. 'Running of the bulls' is one of the most popular fiestas held in Pamplona.

Andrew Gibson is MD of They have a great selection of holiday villas and self catering holiday apartments around the world.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Houston Space Center - The Number One Tourist Attraction in Houston

The Houston Space Center is the top tourist attraction in Houston Texas and it is very easy to see why more schools and private visitors come here than any other tourist attraction in this great city.

President Kennedy threw down the challenge for America to reach the moon by the end of the 1960's and the story of mankind's first steps on the moon and even further into the depths of space are preserved here at the Space Center. From the very earliest days of man's efforts to create a propulsion vehicle that could get itself off the ground to the most advanced and dangerous efforts to send man to other planets in the solar system, the Space Center is the most comprehensive display of its kind in the world with many exhibits having actually been used in space and one of the very few places in the world where you can hold an actual moon rock

The Space Center will take you on a journey through time and space as the equipment and technology that was developed since the days of Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry, are preserved for posterity and your enjoyment

It is not just the huge array of equipment that is on display here as there are numerous opportunities to see and become involved in the training programs that have been used to train and prepare astronauts for their trip into space. Now people from all walks of life and of all ages are able to experience for themselves what it takes to become an astronaut.

Becoming an astronaut is a dream many of us have had from childhood, however the reality is very different from what we imagine; training is stringent and before training can even begin there are minimum mandatory requirements in respect of education, physical fitness and mental aptitude. Less than 5% of applicants are actually passed for astronaut training but you can gain firsthand knowledge of just what it takes.

You can experience weightlessness and the sensation of lift off from the launch pad of Cape Kennedy while talking to a real life astronaut who has ventured into space. Try your hand at landing the Space Shuttle and experience what it feels like to walk in space wearing a space suit! Get an inside look at how we are preparing for manned missions to Mars and elsewhere in the solar system too. There is the Kids Space Place section where children can experience and interact with exhibits and explore the many different facets of space flight and exploration while living on the Space Station of commanding the Space Shuttle.

The Space Center is open throughout the week with extended opening hours during the summer and some holidays. You will find the Houston Space Center at 1601 NASA Parkway, Houston TX 77058 which is about 25 miles south of the downtown area and provides a stunning and memorable day out for you and your family.

Freelance author Lawrence Reaves uses SnagAJob when searching for jobs in Houston. A great resource for Houston Texas jobs on the web. Visit

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Five Things To See On Your Holidays In Madeira

Madeira Island is a safe refuge from the modern and hectic society of today's age and the best part is that it is located at a very short distance from most of the major European cities.

The pearl of Atlantic, the Madeira Island, was found by the British more than a century ago as an island to spend holidays and due to this, it is the oldest tourist spot of Europe.

The spirits and wines are cheap and there are several casinos, discos and night clubs in Funchal. If you like to travel alone then Madeira Island is a nice place to select as it is safe. Locals are extremely friendly and you will not get bored for a single minute on this island.

Madeira is part of Portugal and in recent years has become a popular holiday rentals destination. There are many superb holiday villas and self catering apartments in Madeira that can be rented as holiday homes.

Madeira Island offers you a huge array of opportunity which will satisfy all your leisure time requirements. The first thing you should never miss to enjoy in the island is the water activities, including fishing, sailing, dolphin and whale spotting, surfing, diving, swimming and water skiing.

Recently, some of the excellent surfing destinations were located in Madeira Island and since then, it has attracted a large number of surfing lovers every year.

The mild climate throughout the year, crystal clear water and the probability of viewing creatures, such as barracudas, dolphins, rays, monkfish and mantas have resulted in a large number of scuba divers coming here to spend their holidays.

Because it is located in the middle of the ocean, the Madeira Island is blessed with some very special events of visiting dolphins and whales. Many of these tourists book self catering holiday homes as their holiday accommodation.

The second thing to do in Madeira Island is enjoying the golf and tennis. Apart from all the natural attractions provided by the island, it also offers perfect conditions to practice outdoor sports all through the year.

As far as golf is concerned, there are two spectacular courses on the island: Santo da Serra golf club and Palheiro golf. There are 27 holes in the Santo da Serra golf club and 18 in the Palheiro.

The Santo de Serra club hosts the Madeira Island Open every year and it has been rated as one of the best golf courses in Europe. There is also a golf course in Porto Santo which has two 9 hole circuits and one 9 hole illuminated pitch and putt course. Many golfers rent some of the splendid holiday villas that are located near and around the golf courses.

The third thing to do is mountain biking. The journey, which goes through some of the most excellent trail roads ends up down alongside the stunning beachs. The fourth thing you should not miss to do in Madeira Island is visiting its beaches.

Almost all the beaches of the island are pebble and can be very exciting for those who are fed up of visiting sandy beaches that are very common. In spite of that, if you still want to see some sandy ones, you can take a ferry to the Porto Santo Island that leave generally from Funchal.

The fifth thing to do is enjoying the nightlife of the island. Depending upon your preferences, budget and mood, you can visit any of the discotheques, night clubs, bars, cafe bars, casinos and pubs located throughout the island. Many holiday makers rent self catering apartments in the local towns and use them as an ideal base to sample the local food and culture.

Andrew Gibson is MD of They have a great selection of holiday villas and self catering holiday apartments around the world.

What To Do On Holiday In Costa Verde

The beautiful coast of Costa Verde located is undoubtedly, a captivating terrain to visit. It is blessed with the picturesque landscapes of the high mountain ranges of Cantabrica and Cordillera.

This region of Portugal is very popular with families staying in holiday rentals. They come to Costa Verde and rent holiday villas and self catering holiday apartments as holiday homes.

The breathtaking views of the mountains, beautiful clear lakes and river valleys help make it a relaxing holiday. Tourists like to visit the local fishing villages, lush forests, narrow passes and deep ravines during their time in Costa Verde.

The assortment of colors of the landscapes is quite stunning. They contrast against the deep blue waters of ocean and green shades of the valleys and forests. This part of Portugal has beautiful crystal blue lakes and rivers that attract many people on fishing holidays. When you are on a self catering holiday in Costa Verde you can visit the mountains and explore the stunning local countryside.

The great thing about this part of Portugal is the diversity of things to do and see. You can go hiking in the countryside, try your hand at climbing or opt for a holiday villa by the sea.

There is so much to see and do in Costa Verde on a family holiday. Many families rent holiday homes and use them as a base to explore the local countryside. Then at night they can sample the local food and wine before returning to their holiday accommodation.

The Costa Verde is recognized across the world for its excellent culinary delights. As this part of Portugal is blessed with a sea full of fish and a rich fertile landscape, there is a great variety of local food. Costa Verde has many specialist local dishes and many tourists are amazed at the variety of excellent local food and wine.

The ambience of this region of Portugal is reflected in its cuisine and you can sample many of the different local dishes. Some of the most popular are salmon, trout, venison, lamb, morcilla, tierra, pork stew, fabada, tipicos and chorizo. There are also many local wines that can be sampled with each course. It is said that this part of Portugal is a culinary dream.

It does not matter if you are looking for a relaxing day by the pool or an energetic day trying your hand at water sports as Costa Verde has so much to offer. It is popular with tourists of all ages and has self catering holiday accommodation to suite all tastes and budgets. You can rent a farmhouse in the country, a self catering holiday cottage in the mountains or a holiday villa by the sea.

For lovers of local night life, you can rent a holiday apartment in one of the local towns and enjoy the busy bars and restaurants that this region of Portugal has to offer. It is no surprise that tourism is growing each year in Costa Verde and many families return this beautiful place year after year renting holiday homes.

Andrew Gibson is MD of They have a great selection of holiday villas and self catering holiday apartments around the world.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Amsterdam, City Of Wonders

This outstanding city counts on a magnificent weather and marvelous landscapes, perfect elements to have a joyful and unforgettable holyday.

Too many tourists around the world come every year to this great city searching for something different because they know down there in Amsterdam freedom is palpable.

The magic city of Amsterdam mixes genially its large canals and several bridges with the marvelous original architecture from XVII century, all of this concentrated onto a small surface. Art pieces by masters like Rembrandt and Van Gogh might be admired in some of its many museums and walking along the city is meeting face to face with the history of one of the most gorgeous and romantic cities in Europe.

Amsterdam is an open and tolerant city. It combines a strong cultural background with simple habit folks. This city has a varied and permanent entertainment offer and visiting it is very easy thanks to its efficient urban transportation system. Here, everything is close, and usually it is even possible to see the local princess while riding on bicycle.

Nightlife in Amsterdam is simply amazing. Many people refer to it as a 'human zoo'. Several marvelous places might be found here. The city is perfect to take a romantic walk over its bridges by the moonlight reflected on the water canals or to go to have frenetic fun in the red light district, a wonderful place full of clubs, pubs, chillouts and discotheques. If you are looking for mature entertainment, the red light district is the best place to visit; here, prostitutes exhibit themselves in brothels and passersby can look at them through big windows and get fascinated with their sensual moves and sexy bodies. Other special places in this district are the ones called coffee shops. Here, if you are over 18, you can buy and smoke up to 5 grams of marihuana or hashish while you enjoy a coffee or a soft drink. These places work legally and every single one of them has a special theme and unique style. Some are full of rasta decoration and some others look like pop bars.

If you are looking for accommodation offers in Amsterdam you can find many different nice places where to stay. One of the best options is renting an apartment. There are many superb available apartments and most of them are located close to the most popular touristic attractions along the city.

Living and enjoying Amsterdam will results as a very exciting experience which you surely never forget, especially if you are looking for a different and more liberal source of entertainment.

Gaizka Pujana is a big fan of amsterdam city. He reccomends to book accommodation in amsterdam apartments.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cuba Makes A Great Holiday Destination

Located in the North of the Caribbean, Cuba boasts a wide variety of people and cultures. Many different customs have been bought onto the island including those from the Taino, Spanish colonialism and African slaves. With such diverse cultures present, the country provides a fascinating experience for people from all around the world so it's no surprise that Cuba travel has become so popular.

No doubt the tropical climate and beautiful beaches also contribute to the hoards of tourists who contribute to Cuba travel every year. Playa Paraiso and Playa Sirena are possibly two of the most beautiful beaches you will ever see. The two are connected and stretch the length of Cayo Largo del Sur which is on the western end of the island. If you think that you only see fine, white sand and clear blue waters on postcards you are mistaken because that is exactly what you will see here.

There is so much to do when you go on Cuba holidays that you definitely won't be bored and there is always something for everyone. With over 30 dives sites at Varadero alone there is something for everyone from beginners to experts. One of the world's biggest coral reefs is at Cayo Coco which is a dive that will never be forgotten and is one of the many reasons why Cuba travel attracts people from all over the world.

Typical Cuban cuisine is wide and varied so there is something for even the fussiest of eaters. A few examples of the local cuisine are black beans and rice, fried sliced banana and boiled Yucca plant. It is also very common for most dished to include an olive oil and garlic marinade to give them extra flavour. Sampling the local cuisine is a must when embarking on Cuba travel because without doing so you won't really get a true taste for the country.

For nature lovers a trip to Sierra Maestra National Park is a must as a spectacular range of plants and animals live on Cuba's southern coast. No doubt this is down to the fact that the U.S embargo protects the area from development. It is here you will see stunning scenery including mountains, rivers and plenty of animals.

Make sure you visit Havana and Santiago de Cuba while on your Cuba travel as they are the biggest and most important cities on the island. Both of them offer plenty of sites, activities and nice little restaurants if you want to sit back and relax and enjoy the tropical climate.

Cuba travel may not seem like the typical thing you would do for a holiday but it offers plenty of new experiences for those who are looking for something with a twist. If you are looking to explore new cultures and sites in beautiful surroundings then Cuba is definitely the place for you.

Travel Collection offer a selection of package tour holidays to destinations all around the world. has all the information you need to help you select the destination and package holiday that is right for you.

Top Five Things To Do In Turkey

A short break in Turkey is an ideal place to go if you are looking for sun, fun and culture. It can be quite difficult to decide what to do on holiday and where the best places to go are especially if you are only on a short break in Turkey. In order to help you decide what the 'must do' things are this list contains all the best parts of a Turkish holiday.

The first thing that you should definitely try whilst on your short break in Turkey is a Turkish Bath. The Turkish bath has been present in Turkey for thousands of years and became popular when local residents didn't have the facilities in their own houses so would go to the local public Turkish bath. It was tradition for people then to view going there as a day out and would prepare picnics to take with them to eat when they finished bathing. Despite the fact that most people now have baths in their own homes, the traditional Turkish bath is still as prevalent as ever and they can still be found in almost every neighbourhood of all the big towns and cities in Turkey.

The magic carpets are definitely something you will come across while on your short break in Turkey. Carpet weaving has long traditions and you can take trips and tours to learn how the carpets are made by hand and what determines their value. Throughout the country you will see carpets for sale in every size, design and colour scheme in stalls, street - side shops and elegant showrooms. No trip to Turkey would be complete without a trip to a carpet shop and many claim that the purchase of a Turkish carpet is number one on their shopping list.

Taking a boat cruise on the Bosphorus (Istanbul) will probably be one of the highlights on your short break. You will see so many sites that you literally won't know where to look including the Selimiye Barracks where Florence Nightingale worked, Topkapi Palace, Rumeli Hisari and many more stunning sites. You can chose whether to take a traditional Istanbul ferryboat or a faster TurYol boat depending on how long you want to stay.

Catch a performance of the renowned Whirling Dervishes for a truly unique experience. Known to the west as Whirling Dervishes, the members of the Mevlevi Order lived in monasteries and their rituals are among the enduring as well as the most exquisite ceremonies of spirituality.

Folk and belly dancing performances are both very popular forms of entertainment in Turkey. Belly dancing is called "gobek dans" and it is still custom for the bride and groom to hire a belly dancer for their wedding. You can still go and see various performances with belly dancers all around Turkey today. Folk dancing normally involves the dancers wearing special costumes and often reflect natural events or daily life. Again, there are many performances you can go and see wherever you are staying.

With so much to see and do a short break in Turkey is ideal for everyone regardless of how old you are or what interests you. provide flights and holidays to destinations all over the world helping you to find your perfect holiday.

Guide To Tourism In Canada

When planning a trip to Canada, you will find a wealth of attractions, activities, and a natural allure that brings millions of travelers to the vast country that offers visits to destinations, such as Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Niagara, British Columbia, and Quebec.

Brief History of Canada

According to aboriginal tradition, it is said that the First Peoples (Native Americans) populated various parts of Canada since the land was inhabitable. European exploration of Canada is recorded to first take place around 1000 AD with an array of Viking pursuits. Their adventures were followed by the Atlantic coast discovery of Englishman John Cabot in 1497. The French then landed on Canadian soil in 1534 with the efforts of Jacques Cartier. The first permanent European settlements were established in 1605, situated at Port Royal. Quebec City was created in 1608.

Over the years, French colonists and fur traders took to the land as the St. Lawrence Valley and the Great Lakes became separate settlements, where Catholic missionaries also found a home. Soon, the French and Iroquois Wars erupted during the mid-17th century, fueled by the fur trade. A slew of inter-colonial wars broke out between 1689 and 1763, followed by an assortment of agreements, such as the Treaty of Utrecht. The 19th century in Canada saw the War of 1812 (between the United States and the British Empire); Irish immigration, and the timber industry replace the fur trade.


As you scan a map or spin a globe, you will find that Canada takes up the majority of the northern part of North America. Canada stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, touching upon the waters of the Arctic Ocean. The second-largest country in terms of total land area also shares space with the United States with an array of borders including Niagara Falls and the Ambassador Bridge, crossing over the river in Detroit, Michigan.

In the eastern part of the country, the Gulf of St. Lawrence represents the largest estuary in the world, surrounded by Newfoundland. In the north, coniferous forests characterize the vegetation of the region. It is also here that some of the largest islands in the world are situated. The country is also home to the Appalachian Mountains, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Rocky Mountains.

Holiday Hot Spots

Millions of tourists flock to Canada to experience their own slice of heaven. For some, a wilderness adventure provides a satisfying getaway, while soft sandy beaches allows others to work on the perfect tan. Some destinations offer intriguing village exploration, while tradition, culture, and history present an appealing atmosphere. Some of the top holiday stops in Canada include the likes of destinations, such as Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, and Calgary.

In Vancouver, you will encounter Stanley Park, Grouse Mountain, Yaletown, Gastown, the Vancouver Aquarium, and the VanDusen Botanical Garden, where Montreal offers the Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, and the La Ronde Amusement Park to explore. Some of the popular things to do in Toronto include attending a Toronto Blue Jay baseball game, browsing the Art Gallery of Ontario, visiting the CN Tower, or dining at Wayne Gretsky's Restaurant. The Canada Olympic Park is situated in Calgary, where visitors also enjoy the Calgary Stampede, Calgary Tower, and the Historic Inglewood District, while visiting the largest city in the province, Alberta. supplies business class travel to Canada and North America.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Roatan: The Scuba Mecca In The Caribbean

Roatan, Honduras is a jewel in the ocean where scuba divers from all over the world come to enjoy its spectacular underwater wildlife and glistening beaches.

Located just off the coast of Honduras in the Caribbean Sea, it boasts the second largest coral reef in the world! In fact, most of Roatan's shore is rimmed by this reef, making access to scuba and snorkeling areas a breeze. At only 30 miles long and a mere 3 miles wide, the island is easy to circle by boat, and a trip out on the waters gives visitors glorious views of the beaches encroached by dense green jungles.

The underwater Bonacca Ridge, a submerged mountain range, is responsible for Roatan's famous diving venues which are teeming with life. Divers will be treated to a swim with colorful parrot fish, seahorses, pufferfish and a myriad of other species. One of the many things that sets Roatan apart is the health of the coral on the reef: it is unusually colorful and is as beautiful to look at as the fish.

Because of the calmness of the sea around the leeward side of the island, underwater visibility is seldom a problem. Divers report relatively unfettered viewing all the way down to 100 feet. These conditions make the waters ideal for snorkeling as well: those who prefer this type of underwater tourism will not have to constantly fight strong currents and will enjoy clear looks at the reefs all day long.

Divers can also enjoy a variety of experiences during their stay. There are 38 dive sites scattered within the West End Marine Preserve, and each one is truly unique. Scuba enthusiasts can choose to explore caverns, do swim throughs, seek out life in the underwater canyons and hover over deep drop offs.

If you want a day out of the water, there are plenty of beaches to laze on and a tour of the island might allow you to glimpse some of the drier wildlife: there are over 40 species of reptiles on Roatan alone, as well as 12 native mammals! You may want to try your hand at deep sea fishing or relax at one of the islands many resorts. Nothing caps off a day like dancing on the beach at one of the island's many watering holes and night clubs.

But despite Roatan's many landlubber attractions, the scuba diving is the main reason enthusiasts choose to spend time on this island. It is important to choose a reputable outfitter who knows all of the best dive spots and offers scuba classes if needed. Visitors who have traveled to this little jewel in the Caribbean to dive or snorkel rave about the beauty of its underwater marvels and many return again and again. It's well worth the trip!

For the most unforgettable Roatan Honduras scuba diving experience, visit the professionals at Roatan Live Aboard ( Art Gib is a freelance writer.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Five Great Things To Do On Holiday In Sicily

If you looking forward to spend a vacation with your close relatives in complete bliss and stunning scenery, then Sicily is the place for you. Being an autonomous area of Italy, Sicily is a great place to go on a relaxing holiday staying in holiday rentals.

Many families come to this part of Italy and rent holiday villas and self catering holiday apartments as their holiday accommodation.Sicily is visited by a large number of tourists due to the fact that it is the biggest island in the entire Mediterranean Sea.

Also, numerous smaller islands that surround this region are taken to be an important part and parcel of Sicily. Apart from Sardinia, this island is classified as the area of Insular Italy.

The five important things to do include experiencing the Greek temples, climbing the Mount Etna, exploring the Medieval jewel of Old Palerma, dancing at the Giardini Naxos and trying the local wine and enjoying the sports and activities.

If you are a sports enthusiast, you can find some interesting games and sports to play in the Sicily countryside. Most sports that holiday makers can enjoy in Sicily include the water activities. Whether it is scuba diving, fishing or windsurfing, there are a large number of water sports to do.

Hiking is another activity that can be enjoyed in Sicily. There are special paths and courses so that the hiking experience can become all the more easy and enjoyable. In the winter seasons, tourists can also try the activities of snowboarding and skiing. Other activities in Sicily include bird watching, mountain biking, running, trekking, camping and horse riding.

The second most important thing to do in Sicily is to sample the wine from a local vineyard. Sicily's flagship red grape produces a spicy and exotic wine. The leading towns producing wine includes Messina, Ragusa, Noto and Marsala.

Also, if you are a great lover of dance, there are brilliant nightlife destinations so that you can have a great night life. The seaside resort Giardini Naxos is a highly admired family venue where people can enjoy the various open-air bars, night discos along with an excellent party atmosphere.

Thirdly, tourists can climb the highest volcano in Europe, Mount Etna. This activity can serve as a great thing for all those who are energetic and who wish to do something adventurous. You can also try your hand at night climbing. Another option worth consideration is that of walking the Circumetnea Railroad that circles this active volcano.

The fourth thing to do is to explore the capital of Sicily, Palermo. The metropolis is full of unique medieval buildings, monuments, shady squares and Baroque churches. Last but not least, this island has a large number of ancient sites that include the Greek temples.

The ancient Syracuse played an important role in mythology of Greece. Due to this it is home to various impressive ruins that can be dated back to the 6th Century BC. When there be sure not to miss visiting the Doric Temple and Temple of Apollo.

You can now understand why Sicily is such a popular holiday destination with families staying in holiday rentals. This part of Italy is perfect for a self catering holiday staying in holiday homes. There are many splendid holiday villas and apartments that can act as a base to explore the beautiful island of Sciliy.

Andrew Gibson is MD of They have a great selection of holiday villas and self catering holiday apartments around the world.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Five Great Things To Do On Holiday In Sardinia

Sardina is a an Island off Italy that is a popular holiday destination with tourists staying in holiday rentals. Many families like to rent holiday villas and self catering holiday apartments in Sardina as holiday accommodation.

The area is rich in its culture and history and is has superb scenic coastlines. The Sardinia vacation nightlife has a traditional Italian feel about it and is made up of mainly small bars and romantic restaurants.

The first and foremost thing to do in Sardinia is to try out the activities like mountain biking, golf and hiking. For those holiday makers who love the thrill and adventure related to biking through the rough gravel, steep climbs and single trails, Sardinia is the perfect place to be. The travelers can enjoy the turtle's wayside, bizarre rocks and unspoilt nature while biking in the mountains of Sardinia.

There are numerous wilderness areas in Sardinia as well, that are great for short walks or hiking. Also, the mountains of this Sardinia are not really hard to climb but are peaceful and pristine. People from different parts of the world visit this destination in order to enjoy its great golf courses.

These courses are featured in unique settings and scenery in order to provide the golfers with a great golfing holiday. It is also possible to stay in holiday villas that are dotted around many of the golf courses.

The second thing worth considering while vacationing in Sardinia is its water sport activities. Windsurfing, scuba diving and sailing are the top three activities that tourists should consider in Sardinia. The options of windsurfing and sailing are perfect to view the coastline of Sardinia.

You can also take a trip on a sail boat that is a relaxing way to spend your day and is also an ideal way to see the Sardinian coastline. Many windsurfers like to go to Sardinia on holiday due to its excellent wind conditions. Even scuba diving is a loved sport here as there are various artificial reefs, underwater caves and areas that have exceptional sea life.

Exploring the beaches is the third thing to do in Sardinia. The area is full of marvelous sandy beaches along with clear water that is simply perfect for having a relaxing holiday. There are a large number of isolated, idyllic coves and unspoilt beaches for all those who love to explore such natural beauty. These make an ideal place to rent a holiday villa and enjoy the terrific views.

The fourth thing to enjoy in Sardinia is its festivals and events. The area has a huge number of festivals and it seems as if some event is talking place every week. The literally festivals are great to know the different aspects of the Italian and Sardinia culture, traditions and history.

Some of the festivals involve religious processions and parades as well in which the Sardinian residents dress up in different traditional costumes. In addition, most of these Sardinian festivals involve games, competitions and live music.

Needless to say, the fifth important thing to do is to visit the museums of Sardinia. The history of this destination dates back a large number of years and this is the main reason that the island has so many museums and historical sights.

Many families return to Sardinia year after year and stay in holiday rentals. They are drawn here by the ideal climate, good food and superb scenery. The island has a great selection of self catering holiday homes that act as a base to enjoy this beautiful island.

Andrew Gibson is MD of They have a great selection of holiday villas and self catering holiday apartments around the world.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What To Do On Holiday In The Canary Islands

The Canary Islands or you can say a Spanish archipelago, consists of seven main islands, and one small island, and other small islets. These islands found in the North Atlantic Ocean are of volcanic foundation. They lie on the west coat of Africa.

The islands enjoy constant hot sunny weather throughout the year and have some of the best beaches in Europe. Many often describe the beauty of these islands as paradisiacal.

These sun-drenched islands have a unique exotic flavor of their own. There are hundreds of volcanoes, rich forests, rolling sand dunes and rugged cliffs in the Canary Islands.

Many families come on holiday to the Canary Islands and stay in holiday rentals. There is a great choice of holiday villas and self catering holiday apartments to rent as self catering holiday homes in the Canary Islands.

Once there, you must take a trip to the metropolitan city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, also the capital of the island. Along with the rich culture, the city offers a colorful busy market.

Although the islands are a part of the European Union, they avoid the various European custom/duty charges, thereby, making shopping in the Canary Islands even more pleasurable for the visitors.

One can also study the varied wildlife and marine life of these islands. It is a home to varied plant species, its wild life includes geckos and wall lizards and three endemic species of critically endangered giant lizards.

Its marine life is a mixture of North Atlantic, Mediterranean and endemic species. It has 5 different species of marine turtle including the endangered Loggerhead Turtle.

The Loro Parque in Santa Cruz de Tenrife is one of the world's finest marine and wildlife parks. It showcases a wide range of colorful parrots and various other tropical birds.

Park Las Aquilas Jungle Park in Abona has a wide selection of animals in a healthy environment including the rare white lions. It also offers great scenery and photo opportunities. Its wonderful marine life has led to an increase in the popularity of scuba diving and underwater photography.

If you are looking for some fun and relaxation, you can visit the Siam Park located in Adeje. It has amazing slides and the lazy river is a perfect way to ease and relax. Or you can also visit the Jardin Canario in Las Palmas.

It may be a little difficult to find on your own as the road signs are not very helpful but walking in the peaceful environment of the park outside the noise of the city makes the trouble worth it.

One can also enjoy windsurfing or kite surfing in Fuerteventura's fantastic soft golden beaches. The island has unspoiled beaches with giant dunes. It also hosts world championship events in the south at Jandia.

Caldera de Taburiente on La Palma is an excellent place to go hiking. It is one of the largest and most fertile volcanic craters on Earth. If one is not adventurous, one can simply enjoy the beautiful view offered by the Mirador de La Cumbrecita.

It is believed by some historians that the legendary continent Atlantis was located here. Legends and myths apart, there is no doubt that the Canary Islands is a great place to go on holiday and stay in holiday rentals. Its villas and holiday apartments are great value and allow you to explore the local culture.

Andrew Gibson is MD of They have a great selection of holiday villas and self catering holiday apartments around the world.

Five Great Things To Do On Holiday In Macedonia

Macedonia is a historical and geographical region in Greece situated in the south-eastern part of Europe. It is the second most populated and largest region in Greece and it is informally known as Northern Greece together with Thrace and Thessaly.

There are two types of climates in the region including Alpine in the mountain areas and Mediterranean or Temperate types in Central and East areas.

Macedonia is an area of Greece popular with tourists who like to stay in holiday rentals. There is a great selection of holiday villas and self catering holiday apartments in Macedonia that can be rented as self catering holiday accommodation.

Traveling around is the best thing to do in Macedonia. Thessaloniki is am important Greek city and serves as a major industrial, cultural and economic centre. Katerinin is also one of the must visit places of Macedonia. It is the capital of Prefecture of Pieria and stands on the plains between Pieria Mountains and Mount Olympus.

The second best thing to do in Macedonia is visiting its historical sites. If you are interested in historical architectures and sites, then there are many medieval monuments in Thesssaloniki for you to see.

These monuments are evidence of the great prosperity and former splendor of the city in ancient times. It is a port city and the second largest one in Greece. It is one of the most ancient cities in Europe and most of the Agora ruins date back to the Roman period.

The third attractive thing to do in Macedonia is enjoying the beaches of Makriyalos, Methoni, Plaka Litochorou, Olympiaki Akti and Platamonas.

Holidays in these beaches are quite popular among the water sports and beach fans who want a village life in a relaxed atmosphere. Apart from that, these beaches also provide tavernas and other nightlife for those who are interested in living their life with fun.

The beaches are unspoilt stretches of fine shingle and soft sand with shallow deep blue water, good for swimming and children. There are also beach side restaurants and bars and they also offer plenty of water sport activities.

These beaches are attractive for relaxing, sunbathing, eating well and finding entertainment around the quayside and harbour. You can rent holiday villas and self catering holiday apartments next to the beach.

Going on a visit to the Litochoro is the fourth thing to do. It is a pretty village serving as the starting point of Mount Olympus which is the highest Greek mountain. It has schools, a post office, banks, sports centre, harbor, town hall, hospital, museum, concert hall, squares and shopping facilities, all of which are enjoyable for the visitors.

Agios Nickolaos and Agios Dimitrios are the two major churches in Litochoro and Hogios Athanasios is the most traditional cemetery in Greece. Visiting the historical town of Kozani is also a must for the visitors.

It is located on the crossroads of Epirus, Western Macedonia, central Macedonia and Thessaly and is most famous for its library that houses innumerable previous and rare manuscripts and written documents. Siatista is situated to the west of Kozani which is a medieval town having interesting Byzantine cathedrals and some huge traditional buildings.

The fifth thing to do is to see the two lakes, Mikri and Megali which form borders between Albania, Yugoslavia and Greece. It has an amazing landscape and there is an ancient Byzantine Church on the Aghios Achielleios, which is a small islet. Ancient Macedonia settlement remains have also been found in the nearby area.

Andrew Gibson is MD of They have a great selection of holiday villas and self catering holiday apartments around the world.

Monday, January 12, 2009

What To Do On Holiday In Austria

Austria has unexplored beauty that makes it a perfect destination for all the vacationers. Travelers who want to have novel experience in traveling; Austria is, undoubtedly, the best place on this earth. This is because it has picturesque locations that can be cherished by everyone.

Skiing holidays are very popular in Austria. Many families come to Austria and stay in ski chalets and self catering holiday apartments. In recent years holiday rentals in Austria have become the best way of booking your self catering holiday accommodation in this beautiful country.

Once you travel to Austria, start your travel unraveling the beauty of the Alps Mountains. These mountains are world popular for their unmatched serene beauty and that is why they are referred as eye soothers.

These mountains are also visited for their sprawling adventurous activities including snowboarding, skiing, skating, trekking, sleigh rides, tobogganing and curling among others. These activities are facilitated with hi-tech amenities so that travelers can have a great time in the ambience of the Alps.

While unraveling the beauty of the Alps Mountains, you can also visit the famous Hohe Tauern National Park. This is one of the most visited attractions of Austria as you can view a wide range of species of flora and fauna.

The main attraction of this national park is the migrating birds. A wide variety of migrating birds listing swans, swallows, pelicans, geese and quail among others can be viewed here. Moreover, the spectacular views of glaciers and forests will simply mesmerize you in a blissful manner.

The next best to do in Austria is to visit the operas here. You can watch the best rated performances that are masterpieces in themselves. This is because Austria is also referred as the city of operas and moreover, you can also view the world's biggest floating stage for the opera productions.

Austria is also a paradise for wine lovers as this country has many wine-growing regions. Be it red wine or white wine, this nation is a major producer in growing each of them and supplies to the world. The most popular wine brands including Riesling, Baden as well as Burgenland come from this nation only.

This terrain is also a shopper's stop for vacationers hugely interested in shopping. This is because there are wide range of retail outlets, shopping centers and shopping malls.

Here you can shop for the latest gadgets, designer attires and fashionable accessories. The most visited markets are flea, farmers and potters market. Shopping here will give truly the most exotic experience to all the travelers.

This country is a feast for all people willing to enjoy night life. This is because Austria has splendid nightlife as there are night ball rooms, night clubs and discos where you can enjoy recreational activities to a large extent. Also, there occurs the annual festival of Johann Strauss Ball where you can have thrilling experience of fun and enjoyment.

The next thing to enjoy on this terrain is golf activity. You should not miss this activity as you can enjoy golf even on alpine terraces and valleys. Austria is also regarded as one of the fastest growing destinations for golf.

Andrew Gibson is MD of They have a great selection of holiday villas and self catering holiday apartments around the world.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Top 5 San Francisco Tourist Spots

So you're heading out to San Francisco and you want to know what to see? Here's a list of the top 5 San Francisco tourist spots, from those you might have heard of to those you might not have.

I've included only places located within the city, so place further afield like Marin and Alcatraz didn't make the list. So here are the places within city limits that you really need to see when visiting San Francisco.

Coit Tower - Located on a hill with 360 degree views, Coit tower is a landmark that provides the best views in town. The walk up the hill can take a bit of work, but once you are there, you buy tickets for an elevator ride to the top. Make sure you bring a camera and binoculars if you have them, because the views in all directions are truly breathtaking.

Golden Gate Park - Located at the western end of the city, from the Haight all the way to the Pacific Ocean, Golden Gate Park is a truly beautiful and enormous area, with lakes, forested areas, museums, gardens, hiking trails, and even bison roaming! You can really spend the entire day here and barely cover half of what there is to see. The park can be reached by the Muni light rail line, so you don't have to even have a car. But if you do drive, parking is available throughout the park, though it can be tighter on weekends.

Union Square - Located in the heart of the city, Union Square is it's urban shopping and theater center. Within walking distance are some incredible department stores and shops along with live theaters and restaurants. You can also catch a cable car directly to the Fisherman's Wharf, making for one perfect San Francisco day.

Fisherman's Wharf - The classic San Francisco tourist destination on the breathtaking waterfront and the end of the cable car line. There are plenty of shops, art galleries, and restaurants plus a maritime museum, sourdough bread, and the famous Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory. It's a great place to spend a day taking in San Francisco.

Golden Gate Bridge - Whether you go by tour bus or car, crossing the Golden Gate is an experience to remember. Stop and enjoy the views from the San Francisco side, with the old fort, and from the Marin side, with the Marin Headlands to the right and the city and Alcatraz across the bay. Explore the World War II era gunnery placements on the Marin side of the bridge, then spend the rest of the day enjoying magnificent Marin County, from the redwoods at Muir Woods to the incredible coastline at Point Reyes. There really is so much to do in this incredible region.

For more information on San Francisco attractions visit

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Grand Cayman Island: A Caribbean Pearl

Grand Cayman Island has become a destination of choice for sun worshippers from all over the world. Its aqua hued waters, breathtaking beaches, and sophisticated night life make it an ideal tropical destination.

Christopher Columbus discovered this island south of Cuba in 1503, and the Spanish influence was felt strongly here for the next century and a half. It was originally called "Tortugas," the Spanish word for turtle, because of its abundance of the creatures. When Spain ceded the island to England in 1670, and, along with Jamaica, became part of what became known as the British West Indies.

Grand Cayman has a rowdy, romantic past. Its early denizens were routinely subject to run-ins with pirates and the buccaneer ships that marauded through the warm Caribbean waters. The early Spaniards spent a lot of time defending the area from invaders, and skirmishes continued under British rule as well.

Today, Grand Cayman is subject to pleasant invasions of tourists and sun seekers who come to enjoy its restful island charm. The climate is temperate, and winter is dry season, making it an ideal place for northern country denizens to get a break from the snow and ice. Air temperatures average between 78 and 90, depending on the time of year, and the waters are always comfortably warm.

Scuba diving is a popular water activity for visitors, and there are many commercial companies to choose from on Grand Cayman and her sister islands of Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. Much of the coastline is ruggedly beautiful, and divers cruising the shoreline can enjoy the amazing sights both in and out of the waters.

The capital city is Georgetown. It boasts a medical school, great shopping for everyone, art galleries, and an active night life. Although the island's economy is largely tourism driven, it is also supported by the international banking business.

Banking aside, fun is still the order of the day in this tropical paradise. The island hosts a Rio-styled carnival in the winter and, true to its roots, puts on a Pirate Festival in the late fall. So no matter what season you care to visit, you are sure to enjoy beautiful weather, friendly people, and a rip roaring good time.

There are plenty of places to stay, from hotels to luxurious condos to glorious villas by the sea. Imagine having breakfast on the balcony of your rental condo, with a lovely view of the clear waters and sandy beaches!

If you are considering a Caribbean vacation, take a look at Grand Cayman Island. It is a pearl in the middle of the ocean that is just beginning to come into its own.

If you plan to visit and stay on Grand Cayman Island are would like to get Cayman rental information, visit the beautiful properties at ( Art Gib is a freelance writer.

Berlin A City That You Will Not Forget

Berlin was over 30 years 'the city of the wall' and nowadays it is home of the Parliament and Government. Everywhere around the city it is possible to find traces not only of German history but European too.

The magnificence of this metropolis takes root mostly at the architectural splendor of its buildings which represent a perfect mixture of Prussian baroque and Classicism. Among the finest examples of Berliner architecture you may find Charlotte Palace (where the Goldene Galerie is located) which was rebuild after been almost destroyed during the Second World Ward; or the Reichstag building, seat of the German Parliament.

Another example of the architectural wonders of Berlin is The Berliner Dom, an Evangelic church which dates back of 1905 and the place where the remains of some earlier members of the Prussian royal family lie. As the most representative piece of Berliner architecture there is The Brandenburg Gate, a former city gate which is considered as an icon of both Berlin and Germany and one of the most famous landmarks around the world.

None other city in the world has as many green spaces as Berlin does. In the city center you may find The Tiergarten, considered as the 'green lung' of Berlin. At southwest of the city it is located Grunewald Forest, a perfect place to enjoy some fresh air while taking a walk or a bike ride. Several lakes are also the perfect place to enjoy a wonderful time having the sun or a boat promenade. Wannsee Lake and ggelsee Lake are two recommendable options for those who look for such a recreation.

Berlin has an intense night life that satisfies all the expectations and it is always in the forefront of new trends. There is no close time for bars and discotheques and fun usually lasts all night long. Renowned places like Sage Club or Kit Kat Club or ever-new bars, lounges or clubs offer varied possibilities for every single liking and style. Most of those splendid paces are located on fashionable neighborhoods like Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain or Kreuzberg.

Berlin offers a long list of annual events, some of them very traditional and some others relatively new. Amongst the most impresive events there are the Love parade, The Berlin International Film Festival, Berlin Marathon, JazzFest Berlin, Melt Festival Ferropolis, Fete de la Musique. Definitively, options for every liking.

If you are looking for accomodation in Berlin there are lots of comfortable hotels, hostels and apartments all around the city that best meet your budget. Regarding to apartmnets for rent, they offer extra confort and a cheaper and more independent option than hotels. Most of these apartments for rent are located in the city center or in atractive residential neighborhoods, close to the main atractions and well communicated.

Get Ready Berlin.

Things To Do On Holiday In Cyprus

Cyprus is a great island that attracts families looking to stay in holiday villas or self catering holiday apartments. People love to spend their vacation at this travel destination with their family and friends in order to have a time of complete joy and excitement.

The best part about Cyprus is that its tourist attractions are well located and distributed all around the beautiful island. The old-fashioned bars, cafes and taverns are simply amazing to visit if one wishes to have simple services.

All the nature lovers can conveniently enjoy the scenic and outstanding beauty of Cyprus by walking on the outstanding trails in the Akamas Peninsula and Troodos Mountains. Even the churches and monasteries of Cyprus are great places to visit such as Trooditissa, Ayios Ioannis, Kykko Monastery, Byzantine churches and Machairas.

The first and foremost thing that the travelers will surely love in Cyprus is snowboarding and skiing. Cyprus is soon becoming the established destination for exciting winter sports.

Skiing on the Mount Olympus is a great way to spend your time in eth beautiful natural landscapes of Cyprus along with enjoying your favorite activity. The Mount Olympus offers 4 ski-lifts and the Troodos Mountains are famous for providing exceptional winter sports.

Watersports is another thing that can keep you busy while holidaying in Cyprus. Opportunities about this island for the lovers of activities like swimming, paragliding and windsurfing.

Some of the recommended beaches include Dasoudi, Larnaca and Geroskipou. Scuba diving, diving and sailing are also open for the adventure lovers at certain locations. Also, it is best to spend a day with your loved ones on some of the magnificent and scintillating beaches of Cyprus.

The island offers peaceful conditions for each type of water sport. There is outstanding snorkeling option as well, particularly around the Cape Greko.

The third important thing that the travelers can enjoy in Cyprus is that of cycling. It serves as the effective as well as cheap way of watching serene atmosphere and scenic beauty of the island. Facilities to rent bicycles are easily available in the resorts and towns. The terrain of Cyprus offers various choices for mountain biking option.

In addition, trekking and hiking is one of the other great facilities that the travelers can take pleasure in while vacationing in this island. There are various unspoilt areas that serve as the perfect lands for hiking.

Some of the advisable nature trails are Kaledonia, Persephone and Atalante in Troodos region and Adonis and Aphrodite in the Akamas region, with other marvelous trails in Limassol and Machairas forests.

Needless to say, the events and festivals of Cyprus are simply amazing. The Carnival is widely celebrated with joy in almost all the towns of Cyprus. A week of entertainment is enjoyed accompanied by the orchestras, marching bands and serenading singers.

Birdwatching is another event that is taken with due interest. Cyprus serves as a brilliant destination for birdwatching as it as about 350 different bird species including the huge flocks to small clusters. Other must-watch events and festivals include Children's Festival, Cyprus International Fair, Greek Independence Day and Anthestiria Flower Festival.

There is so much do and see when on holiday in Cyprus and one of the best ways to enjoy this beautiful island is for families to rent holiday villas or self catering holiday apartments.

By renting holiday accommodation in Cyprus you are able to sample the local food and culture. Many families choose self catering holiday accommodation in Cyprus and come back to this great holiday destination many times.

Andrew Gibson is MD of They have a great selection of holiday cottages to rent in Cornwall.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A New You - Massage Vacations in Thailand

Thai massage is the first and only reason that many people visit Thailand - famous for its unique style of massage, the way it incorporates the posture of the recipient into the relaxing and healing process, the time-honored theories, and of course, the abundance of massage venues!

Ancient medicines recognize the enormous benefits of massage as a wellness treatment, and everyone that experiences one recognizes them also! Here we look at different types of Thai massage, and how to have the ultimate relaxation experience by combining your Thailand accommodation or Thai villa for rent, and Thai massages.

Foot massage is one of the quickest ways to be refreshed and relaxed, Thai massage style. The massage works on reflexology principles, where different spots on the feet correspond to different organs of the body.

You'll start off with a foot soak and moisturize, and then the massage begins. The foot that isn't being worked on is wrapped in a towel. Of course, if you take advantage of these in your Thailand villa for rent, you can maintain those lovely clean, scented, refreshed feet for quite a while afterwards!

You'll find traditional Thai full body massage facilities right next door to your Phuket villa or Thailand villa for rent, down the street from it, on the sand next to your Phuket beach villa, two streets away, as well as several blocks from your Thailand villa in any direction. It is one of the most sought after, and then fondly remembered, tourist activities in the entire country!

Thai traditional massage has you remain fully clothed and uses posture and stretching more than rubbing and oils. Hands, forearms, elbows knees and feet are all used. To get the most from the massage, breathe in while pressure or tension is applied, and exhale on the release.

A wonderful way to make the most of Thai massage's prevalence in tourist areas is to have a massage at your Thailand villa for rent. You can flop straight into bed or the pool afterwards, making the most of its relaxing properties. Villa Salika in the Rawai area of Phuket is a great choice - sleeping up to twelve people in bedrooms, this Phuket villa for rent has a private pool and sparkling outdoor sunken spa bath, with a massage pavilion adjacent.

Thai massage can be arranged on request, and there is no need to exert yourself and waste all that relaxation any more than absolutely necessary - there is a daily maid service at the Phuket villa, as well as a chauffered Honda CRV available for guests here. Super-peak customers live like royalty, with a full time Thai chef!

There are plenty of Thailand villas for rent where Thai massages are offered as a welcome, or a good-bye bonus. Baan Karon beach is one - this Phuket villa sleeps four people over two bedrooms in European style luxury, for those who like the comforts of home.

There are always staff around, including housekeeping, maintenance and security staff - just ask one of these friendly people how to arrange your free Thai massage when you stay for 7 days or more. This seventh-night stay in the luxury Phuket villa for rent is also marked by a free Thai barbeque - different and delicious! provides accommodation options in various locations around Thailand and features some of the most beautiful villas available. Book your vacation today at

Five Things To Do In Lower Austria

Lower Austria is one of the famous tourist attractions of Austria as the place offers rich culture and various beautiful places to explore.

Although it is a small country, it is occupied with various tourist attractions, such as the alpine region, water parks and national parks. It is also famous for outdoor sports like golf, cycling, horse riding and skating.

Lower Austria is a perfect dream destination for adventurous sports lovers who can enjoy ice skating and sailing to the fullest. In lower Austria, more than 900 resorts offer more than 23,000 km ski areas making tourists enjoy ice skating and excellent ice sailings.

For kids, there are ski instructors available that can ensure safe and fun filled skiing for your kids. Tourists should not miss climbing frozen waterfalls as it is a remarkable and thrilling adventurous sport.

Lower Austria can be an ideal romantic destination for couples where they can enjoy wonderful sleigh rides and memorable evenings amidst mountain huts. Beside these couples can also enjoy the remarkable candle light dinner with music in specially designed mountain huts. There are some great ski chalets to rent in Lower Austria.

The best thing to do in this city is to visit the Aqua Splash Water World. It is one of the best and attractive tourist places of lower Austria and offers amazing water sports and facilities. Gigantic slides, fountains and whirlpools make it a tourist attraction for families to visit.

For children, there are specially designed slides and pools, such as the snake slide and kiddy pool. Beside these water related fun activities, tourists can also enjoy a skate park, sauna bath and spa facilities.

Lower Austria is also famous for its wines and vineyards. Tourists who visit this beautiful state should not miss the superb red wine as it serves the most delicious wine of the world. Lower Austria is gifted with the best red wines grapes.

Vineyards are also an important tourist attraction of this state; if you want to see the best one then Vienna is the really best region to choose. Wachau is the best wine producing districts of this state due to its large production. Kremptal also produces wines but not as well as Wachau.

If you are nature lover then this is the best place occupied with one of the biggest national parks Hohe Tauren National Park. It is famous for countless species of flora and fauna and amazing birds. Tourists can also explore this park through hired and private cars.

It is one of the largest parks of Europe covering almost 1786 sq km area of Europe. The highest mountain of Austria Grossglockner also lies in the center of this park. The roads of this park are the most beautiful sight seeing of Europe.

Last but not least, lower Austria is also famous for its inescapable alpine region, which is fully covered with the mountains. Beautiful lakes and green valleys can be the most attractive part of this region. Tourists can also find various fast flowing rivers and the Europe's biggest river; the Danube.

Many holiday makers come to Lower Austria year after year and many rent ski chalets as their self catering holiday accommodation.

Andrew Gibson is MD of .They have a great selection of holiday cottages to rent in Cornwall.

Miami Beach and South Beach-Why You Should Visit

When you are visiting Miami Beach, one of the best places to visit is South Beach. It is a small part of Miami Beach which is about 23 blocks. It is part of an island which divides the Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The area has had numerous makeovers since the 1870s due to changes in tastes, hurricanes, and the evolution of the economy. Miami Beach is connected to Miami through a bridge and this is where having a car rental in Miami is important if you want to visit Miami.

If you are visiting South Beach, you can look at either a simple car in Miami or you may want to upgrade for a luxury car rental in Miami. This can add to the fun of the weekend. If you decide to get a luxury car, this may add to the fun of the weekend. There are many trendy and upscale clubs within the South Beach area and sometimes it is simply about the appearances someone brings. If you want to truly go all out in style, a luxury car may be a way for you to go.

South Beach may be a bit different from other parts of Miami. Due to the upscale nature, there are many Americans and international visitors who own second homes in this area. As a result, public beaches do have a lax policy many times about topless sunbathing. There are many different areas you can visit within South Beach.

If you are looking for a major place to party and go out for dinner, South Beach will be one of the hotspots that you have to look into. There are many different areas that you can visit here. If you want to do some shopping, visit the local outdoors mall, Lincoln Road. If you want to shop, this is considered the best place to go. South Beach is one of the places which is synonymous with spring break. The area is called Ocean Drive.

South Beach is one of the places you will want to go when you visit Miami Beach. Miami is so large that it is advisable to get a car rental in Miami. You can spend a great deal of time within South Beach but may want to go elsewhere. Remember to think about going in style with a luxury car rental in Miami. It may be the small difference which makes a good weekend a great weekend.

Ray Subs is a public relations specialist working with Miami Car Rental. To check out their website, visit

What To Do On Holiday In Famagusta

Capital of Famagusta District lying on the eastern coast of the land of Cyprus, Famagusta is a great place to go on holiday and rent holiday villas.

Located on the bay that lies between the Capes Eloea and Greco towards the Nicosia East, Famagusta is a place that possesses the very deepest of the island's harbor. If you are planning a trip, then it can be one of the most memorable ones of your entire life.

Not only can you take the guided tours, you can also go by yourself by renting a car and driving around the area. Many families come to Famagusta on holiday and rent holiday villas and holiday homes in Famagusta.
One of the major reasons why many people come here from all parts of the country and the world is the International Famagusta Culture and Arts Festival.

This spectacular event came in to existence in the year of 1995 and has been famous ever since then. It is held with a lot of fun and frolic every year with a number of dance performances and music concerts being held to entertain the visitors and the guests.Many holiday makers who come here for the festival stay in holiday villas and holiday apartments in Famagusta .

There is a magnificent amphitheatre, the roman baths, the royal tombs and the grand gymnasium that can be visited during your holiday in Famagusta. The mosaics of the place are particularly beautiful and are very popular with tourists.

You can also visit the enthralling monastery and the church that is dedicated to the revered St. Barnabas that lies just inland of Famagusta. This church has been exactly preserved since it was abandoned in the year 1976. The great collections of all the icons from 18th century are showcased here while the monastery houses a remarkable archaeological museum.

When you visit this great place, the cuisine is one thing that you should never miss. Many holiday makers rent holiday villas and self catering holiday apartments and use them as a base to explore the local area and to sample the local food. It is so because the land is famous for having its specialization in mezze, kebabs and Turkish coffee.

This coffee is very thick and has a great taste making people more. The cafe bars of Famagusta are also very well known and are ideal for long leisurely lunches and are popular with locals and holiday makers.

Famagusta has grown very popular with families going on holiday who want to rent self catering holiday accommodation. There is a great selection of holiday villas with swimming pools that are ideal to rent as family holiday homes. There are also some self catering holidays in Famagusta.

It is little wonder that many families now return to Famagusta year after year and rent self catering holiday homes. They are drawn here by the excellent sunny weather, good food and warm and friendly locals.

Andrew Gibson is MD of .They have a great selection of holiday cottages to rent in Cornwall.

What To Do On Holiday In Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura is a great Spanish island that is famous for its exceptional water sports activities and other attractive tourist destinations. Being one among the seven Canary Islands, this island is a great place to be with family and friends when renting self catering holiday apartments in Fuerteventura.

Some of the attractive things that are not to be missed while holidaying in Fuerteventura include shopping, water sports, golfing, mountain biking and cycling, and fiestas.

The island of Fuerteventura has a complete variety of shops and centers that cater to the requirements of all the locals as well as the foreign tourists. One of the mind-boggling features of Fuerteventura shops are that they are specially designed in such a manner that they can easily cope with its climatic conditions.

As the island faces winds and also experiences dusty environment, various shopping centers are featured with small entrances. Apart from Atlantico Shopping Center, there are various commercial centers as well. These shops include perfume stores, jewelers, gift shops, electrical and clothing retailers.

The two premium shopping streets found in the Puerto del Rosario includes the Avd Juan de Betancourt and Leon y Castillo.

Golf is a highly famous sport found on the Fuerteventura Island. Many golfers go on holiday here and stay in self catering holiday apartments and holiday villas. The very first golf course was created on this island in the Caleta de Fuste.

It is a really brilliant course that is specially designed by the popular Juan Catarineu. Despite the little rain and constant sunshine in Fuerteventura, the golf course has charming greens. Also, the winds offer a great challenge to all the golfers.

The golf course features a chipping area, putting green, practice bunker and driving range. The island's course is primarily made around holiday villa complexes and many of such villas are also available to rent.

In addition, mountain biking and cycling are the popular activities that are not to be missed at any cost. The Fuerteventura Island provides a large range of options for these cycling and biking enthusiasts. There are special cycling paths so that the activity can be made all the more easy and effective.

Also, the asphalted roads are usually of good condition that makes it really possible for the mountain bikers to carry on with their adventure. There are some cycling events that have turned into as important parts of the Fuerteventura calendar.

There is a bike marathon that is conducted in the month of February. Many of the riders chose to rent holiday villas and self catering holidays in Fuerteventura when staying here during the marathon.

The fourth thing that the travelers of Fuerteventura can take pleasure in is its events and fiestas. The island is popularly known as the La Isla Tranquila but this travel destination is always busy with fiestas, general meetings, market fairs and sporting events.

Apart from the regular markets held at Caleta de Fuste and Corralejo, there are numerous social gatherings and fairs organized all through the year as well.

Last but not least, this island is popular for its water sports activities such as scuba diving, sailing, windsurfing and snorkeling. With the island's crystal clear water along with consistent temperatures, Fuerteventura Island is surely a paradise for the divers.

There are many superb holiday villas in Fuerteventura with swimming pools to rent as holiday homes. They can be used as a base to explore the island and experience the local food and culture. There are also self catering apartments that can also be rented as holiday homes.

Andrew Gibson is MD of .They have a great selection of holiday cottages to rent in Cornwall.