4 Types of Break Where Travel is the Holiday

CAMPERVAN TOUR OF THE UK

There is no greater fun than heading outdoors and enjoying the flexibility and freedom of exploration when you hire a campervan. With caravan parks littered all across the UK there is no limit to the places you could visit; from the excellent beaches of Cornwall to the glassy lakes of the Lake District and the towering heights of Scottish highlands and the charm of Cotswolds. The road network in the UK is well connected, and if you are armed with a good map, then prepare to be thrilled on your road trip, pulling over for short breaks and exploration before moving on. Most sites offering campervan services are well organized with up to date facilities and fixtures and fittings. They provide entertainment activities and fun clubs for kids.

RIVER CRUISE IN RUSSIA

Russia is a country full of intriguing wonders, magnificent imperial cities, opulent ancient palaces and awe inspiring cathedrals framed by charming towns and vast breathtaking landscapes. Exploring this mighty country via land only will only make you miss a major part of its character and history. Discover the heart and soul of Russia by cruising down the Volga River. Follow the path of Peter the great and sail from Moscow to St Petersburg, experience the enriching culture of these two grand cities, the royal histories and traditions. Also discover a different side of Russia along the shores of the river; its remote forested islands, massive lakes, vast pastoral landscapes, impressive summer houses and quaint lifestyles.

RAIL HOLIDAY IN AUSTRALIA

Australia is a vast country with a lot of spectacular attractions on its varied landscape, the best way to explore the land of the kangaroos is via train. There are places and experiences that are only possible in a train, the unwinding, marveling at panoramic views and travelling at your own pace. Discover the remote interior of Australia, the rich history, the indigenous culture and natural beauty of this expansive country.

Each new day you will awake to a different side of Australia, exploring sites and visiting national parks at your own pace. Enjoy some of the world’s greatest train journeys on the Ghan, Indian Pacific, The Overland and the Southern Spirit. Each of the trains takes you to a different yet interesting part of the land down under.

CARAVAN HOLIDAY IN FRANCE

France is a country full of amazing contrasts, glamorous cities and serene countryside, towering mountains and fine beaches that deserve to be explored properly. A caravan holiday in France will lead you to great regions in France. Loire valley is also known as “The Garden of France” has a magical blend of rolling hills dotted with superb chateaux and vineyards. It is also home to many fine wines including Muscadet and Sancerre and is also said its magical beauty inspired the story of ‘Sleeping Beauty’. Burgundy on the other hand is a place worth exploring especially to fill up after a long time on the road; it is famed for its fine food and splendid wine routes. Whether you rent or buy a caravan in France, this is one heck of an adventure.

 

Why Lisbon? Why Not Lisbon?

In recent years Lisbon has become one of the most popular cities in Europe, both with other Europeans looking for a weekend break, and with tourist from other continents who want to get swept up in its Old World charms. Luckily, there is something in Portugal’s capital city that will please everyone, from history buffs to nightlife lovers.

Lisbon is the oldest capital city in Europe and even beats London and Rome by a few hundred years. Because of its long and storied history as a sea port, Lisbon charms with its maritime feel everywhere you look. This hearkens back to the time when Portugal was a major world power and its sailing ships colonized lands the world over.

lisbon

Things are different in the Portugal of today, but there are still a number of things that make this city sparkle.

The Amazing Food

It makes sense that a seaport of Lisbon’s caliber would have incredible seafood, and it does. Around every corner you can find delicacies from sea, from calamari from a street vendor to five star restaurants serving the finest, and most expensive, lobster and fish. Lisbon also prides itself on serving great meat dishes, and perfectly cooked lamb and beef can be found everywhere. While the city might not be big on vegetarian restaurants, you can be assured that the fruits and vegetables that you do find are top notch.

Exceptional Hotels

Like any city, prices in Lisbon can run the gamut from budget to outrageous. Finding accommodation in Lisbon is quite easy, but don’t let your champagne tastes run away with you. If you can afford to spend a bit of money on your accommodations, any of the city’s high end properties will suit your needs. For the rest of us, Lisbon offers mid range and budget options, as well as some sites that allow camping. Apartment rentals are also an option for those who prefer to be a bit more comfortable, or those who plan to stay longer than usual.

Things to Do

Lisbon is full of things to do and activities that will inspire just about anyone. The trick is to decide which sites to see before you run out of time. Museums in Lisbon are some of the top draws, with art museums and history museums being the most popular. Another popular museum is MUDE. Museu de Design e da Moda is a newer museum that celebrates art, fashion, and minimalism all at once.

If you’re looking for somewhere in Lisbon to simply relax, be sure to check out of of the city’s many parks and promenades. Cafes and bars line the streets of every neighborhood, or you could take the city’s number 28 tram which will pass by most of the important sights.

 

For anyone who loves European architecture, delicious food, great nightlife, and incredible weather, Lisbon is the place to be. Make sure that you consider Lisbon for your next weekend break, or longer. You never know what you might find!

 

Photo credit to Luca Sartoni via Flickr Creative Commons

 

A Cruise Just Because

From the dramatic (“Titanic”) to the dumb (“Speed 2: Cruise Control”), cruise ships have been the muse for directors dating back for years. They never seem to paint the ship in a flattering light though. Ships either sink, or get overtaken by _____ (terrorists, ghosts, you name it). So unlike, say “In Bruges,” where watching the movie makes you want to visit the place it was based in, cruises tend to get the short end of the stick. That said, there are many reasons why you should consider a cruise the next time a holiday comes up.

A) You’re not gonna get hijacked

You’ve got a higher chance of getting struck by lightning as you do of a cruise ship hijacking. As much as Hollywood says differently, cruise ships are extremely safe. Rigorous screening is done on all passengers and there’s a wealth of security measures on board. Why some cruise ships even have a resident shaman to ward away evil spirits (no, no they don’t).

B) They’re really fun

How does all the food you can eat, any time you want sound? Or how about free shows, each and every night? Some ships even have a freshly kept lawn on the top deck, such as at Celebrity Cruises! There are cruises for any and all types of vacations. There are family cruises, where water slides and arcades dominate the landscape. There are adventure cruises, with zip lines on top of the ship and skydiving simulators inside. No matter what type of cruise it is though, there’s always the free food waiting for you.

C) It’s not going to sink

According to the Cruise Line International Association, passengers have roughly a one in 6.25 million chance of death. To put that in perspective, you’ve got a one in 650,000 chance of dying due to fireworks. So yeah, it’s pretty safe.

D) It’s an inexpensive way to see a lot

Typically, cruises stop at three or more ports of call. For instance, if you’ve ever wanted to see the Bahamas, Miami, and Puerto Rico, you can do the lot all aboard one ship. You don’t even have to unpack at each destination, nor do you have to buy separate plane tickets to get to each place. It’s a way to see a lot for a little.

As you can see, a cruise holiday is nothing like Hollywood makes it out to be (except maybe The Love Boat). They’re fun, cheap in regards to all the places you go, and are ghost free. What’s not to love?

Explore Cape Verde on a Budget

Cape Verde

Cape Verde has recently seen a significant boom in tourism thanks to the hot sun and cool sea currents that keep this volcanic archipelago temperate and tempting. Composed of ten islands and three islets, Cape Verde sits off the west coast of Senegal and features a vast array of landscapes. There are rocky plains, sandy beaches, salt flats and active volcanoes that tower above sea level, making Cape Verde holidays in 2014 the ultimate destination for sun, fun and epic adventure.

However, Cape Verde is as rugged as it is remote which can mean that budget travel is a bit of a challenge. For travelers in search of the amenities of a resort vacation, there are plenty of facilities that offer all-inclusive packages for reasonable rates. For those in search of a somewhat more adventurous itinerary, there are still ways to navigate these magnificent islands without breaking the bank.

Accommodation

While budget accommodation options may be few and far between, they are available to resourceful travelers and range from private apartments on Santo Antao to low-cost hotel deals on remote Boa Vista. If you’re on a strict budget, try to find somewhere with kitchen facilities or where eating and drinking is included in the upfront price, which will greatly alleviate the strain of Cape Verde’s most expensive element – food.

Food

Almost 90% of the food on Cape Verde is imported thanks to its rather inhospitable growing environment and low rainfall. Restaurants are quite expensive and can quickly eat up a budget which is why savvy travelers interested in spending their money on other things should source meals (or at least meal ingredients) from local markets and small local restaurants.

Activities

Activities

One of the easiest and best ways to work within a budget is to indulge in the island’s nature-based tourism. Hike to the top of famous Mt. Fogo to behold an active volcano or snorkel among some of the most magnificent and well-preserved coral reefs in the world. The flora and fauna on Cape Verde are truly remarkable and well worth the time and effort required to witness them firsthand.

Hiking, trekking and exploring the islands’ many caves are all spectacular experiences and cost very little (if anything at all). But for the ultimate in Cape Verde natural adventure, take a trip on a turtle watching tour or visit the hatchery on Ponta Preta to contribute to the conservation efforts and get an up close look at these magnificent and endangered animals.

For great fun and winter sun there are few more appealing destinations than Cape Verde. Spend your next holiday indulging in the African island culture and reveling in the wild and majestic landscapes of these fascinating and beautiful islands, and you may not have to pay as much as you imagine.

Image by Cayambe and Neil Inglis

Why You Should Visit Panama Immediately

Bocas del Toro sunset.

Bocas del Toro sunset.

 

Central America has long been on the radars of many travelers. It’s a quick flight from most of North America, it’s relatively inexpensive, and it’s home to a number of incredible places to visit. While Panama might not be quite as popular as its neighbor to the north, Costa Rica, in my opinion it offers a better experience with less crowds.

For most travelers, their introduction to the country is likely to be Panama City. This capital city is a financial hub, and attracts bankers and financiers from around the world. As far as big cities go it has a lot to offer, including great urban parks, historic neighborhoods like Casco Viejo, great nightlife, and more. However, its most popular attraction is a giant hole in the ground.

The Panama Canal is a wondrous feat of design, but unless you’re a passenger on a cruise ship making passage, it can be difficult to see the canal from any vantage point other than the banks. However, one company in the city offers partial transits of the canal several times a month, and full transits on one Saturday each month. Either of these options is perfect if you want to see the operation of the canal up close and personal.

Once you’ve finished visiting Panama City, there are several options. My favorite place in the country is the small town of Boquete which lies northwest of the capital. A short flight will take you to the city of David, and Boquete is about 40 minutes by car from the airport. This little gem of a town lies in a lush valley surrounded by coffee farms. This area is an outdoor lover’s paradise, with hiking, zip lining, river rafting, and camping abundantly available.

If you’re craving some beach time there are many options, but we like the Caribbean area known and Bocas del Toro. Located on Panama’s eastern coast, Bocas offers the crystal blue water and white beaches that the Caribbean is famous for. You can feast on delicious sea food, take a private boat to a deserted island, go horseback riding, or join the party at one of the town’s many bars and nightclubs. The weather is hot here, and hotels can be a bit on the pricey side, but it’s a great place to kick back and have a good time.

Another beach area that Panama is famous for is the town of Santa Catalina. Located way off the beaten path, this lush area overlooking the Pacific is a hot spot for SCUBA diving, as the famous dive spots near Coiba Island are just a boat ride away. The surfing can be great here as well, with both left and right breaks and miles of coastline. Services are sparse here, and the wifi isn’t always what it should be, but if you’re looking to get away from it all, at least for a little while, Santa Catalina might just fit the bill.

If you’re looking for a destination with a cosmopolitan city, incredible beaches, and stunning mountain villages, Panama should definitely be on your list.Learn more about this incredible country and book your flights as soon as possible.

 

Photo by berkuspic via Flickr.