When going on a holiday you either go to rest and enjoy silent, warm and beautiful beaches, go for different night life and life style, or you go for a kind of tourism that is centered on some kind of activity. So if you are willing to visit the Balkan countries and you are adventurous enough to try new things, there are plenty activities you can do, ones involving mountains, lakes, sea sports etc. and everything is fairly priced.
Most of the countries on the Balkan Peninsula have mountainous terrain and can offer good ground for hikers, mountain climbers, even alpinists. You can visit the Shar Planina in Republic of Macedonia or Albania, Rila Mountains in Bulgaria, Olympus in Greece, where the seat of Zeus was believed to be, the list of scenic mountain regions in the Balkans is endless. This land is also called by many the Mountainous Peninsula. Many mountains here are national parks, and offer traced paths for mountain biking. There are many ski centers, but also untouched regions for extreme skiing.
Water is also abundant on the peninsula; many mountains have fast rivers where anglers and fishermen can enjoy. One of the most popular destinations for rafting in Europe is located on the Balkan Peninsula, it is the Tara Canyon and the River Tara, here you can have a wonderful experience going through Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro in the white waters of the River Tara, there are many organized rafting tours with experienced guides, while no previous experience is demanded from you. The coastal countries Croatia, Montenegro, Albania which are on the Adriatic Sea, than Greece with coast on several seas and Bulgaria on the Black sea offer many water activities, such as wind surfing, diving, snorkeling and other popular watersports.
One of the most popular destination for cruising travel is of course the region of the Caribbean sea, with some many paradise islands, blue lagoons, bays and gulfs, the Caribbean is a wonderful place to go jumping from on to another island and exploring the beautiful beaches with white sands and blue waters. The destination is especially attractive to the American tourist due to the low travel costs and the closeness of the islands to the states.
The Caribbean islands are one of the liveliest and charming islands, so it is hard for cruise liners to choose which destination or port to choose for their cruise. Large numbers of cruises are focused on the southern, western and eastern part, in general most popular destinations are St. Maarten and St. Martin, the American and British Virgin islands too, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas on the Eastern part. Those who go for cruising in the western parts will probably visit the Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Cozumel, a visit to the Mexican Riviera is also possible. The Southern parts are less visited than the previous, if you go south you will cruise Aruba, Barbados, Curacao, Grenada, Antigua etc.
Once you step on the islands many entertaining activities are offered. You can go snorkeling, swimming, diving and scuba diving in the warm and beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea, or just relax and sunbathe. The ports offer charming beaches and small bars, luxurious hotels and shopping malls, there is literally everything. On some of the island, the inland can offer hiking terrains with typical rain forests, there are also volcanoes in the region.
The Caribbean is visited throughout the whole year; it cannot be said with certainty which period is the best to visit. If you go in the peak of the season you should expect higher expenses, there is also a period from June to November when hurricanes are more usual.
Alaska is the largest state in the United States, by area. It is also the country with the longest coastline of the states of America, with its hundreds of thousands glaciers and millions of lakes, more than 100 volcanoes and fields of volcanic lava, nearly 40 mountain ranges and most of the highest peaks in the United states, this is a country that is a one of the most popular places for photographers, hikers, mountain climbers, nature enthusiasts and many more tourist, experts and visitors.
There are six times more pilots in Alaska and even 16 times more planes per capita than any other state in the United States. The world’s biggest sea airbase is located in Alaska. Due to the climate, which is cold and wet in most of the state, especially in the northern region where temperatures are almost always below zero, the air travel is the most important way of travel in Alaska. For the most amazing trips for all those who have adventurous spirit, air travel is extremely important in Alaska. There are many schools that train pilots in Alaska, and this is the reason for the abundance of pilots in the region, there are the Alaska bush pilots who take their passengers to the most remote parts of the region, the mountain glaciers the fast running rivers, beautiful and never touched by human hand beaches etc.
No matter what is your field of interest and which part of the state is you destination, you can always find a proper flight. The goal of the Alaska aviation is to find solution to the needs of the traveller and his comfort. Helicopters and the bush planes will fly you and your supplies to your goal destination and leave you mesmerized of the beauty of Alaska.
The Tsar Peter the Great, who had some interest in gaining new seaport for marine trade, started the building of the city of St. Petersburg, once the city was build it was referred as the capital of Russia. This is the second largest city now in Russia, Moscow, today’s capital, is the only one larger. The city was built in Petrine Baroque; it is a unique style of architecture and one that amazes the masses of tourists that flow in the city.
The city of St. Petersburg was always dear to the royal families of Russia; this is why today the city is extremely interesting experience and wonderful destination to visit. One of the most complete cities when it comes to art and culture, located here is the Hermitage Museum, one of the biggest and oldest worldwide museums; it is home to many art masterpieces by both western and eastern artists.
One of the most famous sights in St. Petersburg is the Peter and Paul Fortress and the Peter and Paul Cathedral, inside you can see and hear of the history of the fortress. If you go on a visit of the Tsarskoe selo you can see the Catherine Palace, Alexander Palace, other buildings and many gardens, parks and fountains. This place was summer residence of the royal elite of Russia, but mostly of Catherine the Great, the same that built the Hermitage Museum. Another interesting location, that shows different epoch of the Russian history is the open air museum at the island Kizhi, where one can see the wooden houses from the Karelian Region. You can go on a boat trip on the river Neva and see the city in its full glamour, there are remarkable buildings everywhere, either by night or during day you will see splendid sights.
In the central part of the Republic of Macedonia is the region of Povardarie, famous for the wines that are produced here. With the river Vardar passing in the region and the abundant sunshine this region has perfect climate for production of grape, and thus for the production of quality wines. There are few villages in the region and two minor towns, where most of the wineries of the country are located. Wines produced in the region are constantly placed in most of the European markets, but also worldwide.
This is a region where the production of wine has not been stopped for more than 2000 years, constant improvement of the grape varieties and the use of new technologies have made this wines irresistible and delightful. Many sorts of red and white wine are produced here; the main two are Vranec which is red and the white Smederevka. Other international varieties are also grown, such are Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir,Merlot all of them red and from the white are Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and many more.
Today, in Povardarie and especially in the Tikveshiya Wine District around the major wineries are authentic hotels, with traditional architecture and traditional Macedonia cuisine. There are organized visits to the wineries which include tours around the wineries, information on the process of making wine, history of the region and the winery. There is also a degustation of the wines, where visitors with proper wine glasses are being offered some of the best wines; and also are being directed on how to taste the wine in order to feel its full taste. Some wineries offer some local cheese with the wines. You can also by bottles of wine here, some of which are many years aged.
The African continent, the African coast and seas are becoming the new destination for cruising tourist. Cruising around the African continent offers beautiful white sands and vivid waters, remarkable continental, but also marine flora and fauna. It is a region with rich history, especially of the northern coast countries. At the north of the continent, The African Mediterranean is one of the world most famous archeological sites;you will visit the Egyptian monuments, the pyramids that withstand the test of time and swings, there are many museums to visit. Another attraction here is the Roman ruins in Lybia, called Leptis Magna, dating 1000 years BC. Another beautiful city with remarkable history and architecture is the city of Marrakesh in Morocco; here go for a visit in the imperial palaces and many bazaars.
Southern from Egypt, at the eastern coast of Africa is the city of Mombassa in Kenya you can go on a safari trip, there are many such organized in the Nairobi national park, during a safari trip in the park, you can see lions and leopards and their prey many species of antelopes , buffalos, monkeys etc. In Mombassa you can buy many tribal hand crafted items. The archipelago of Zanzibar is also good territory for safari trip. Further down on the east coast are the Seychelles and the island of Madagascar, with many beautiful beaches, diverse unique flora and fauna and the rainforest.
At the southern coast two most visited locations are South Africa and Namibia. While Namibian tourism is mainly based on wildlife and national parks, South Africa has many activities to offer.
Isla Nublar – Stephen Spielberg’s imaginary home of Jurassic Park - supposedly lies off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. There is a group of islands close to the Santa Rosa National Park, but not a Cloudy Island among them.
Instead the fictitious island is composed of bits of Hawaii, and bits of the Dominican Republic and a lot of studio space in Hollywood. The majority of external scenes were shot on the beautiful Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi. The oldest of the islands in the Hawaiian archipelago, Kaua’i is known as the Garden Isle and the Island of Discovery. For the tourist, there is much more to the island than glimpses of Jurassic Park. Fifty miles of pristine beaches served by modern resorts or simple cottages, botanical gardens, the only navigable rivers in Hawaii and the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” are the top attractions. The Waimea Canyon is 14 miles long and 3,600 feet deep, with impressive vistas of buttes, crags and verdant gorges.
Quaint small towns, where coconut trees are taller than the buildings, the 80 footWailua Falls and the Spouting Hole blowhole add to the photo ops on this small island. It is a honeymooner’s paradise, and weddings can be arranged at short notice.
Hurricane Iniki struck Kaua’I during filming and became the basis of the storm scenes in the movie. However, shooting was transferred to Oahu for the scene where raptors chase the Gallimimus. The privately owned, so-called forbidden island of Niihau was also used for some shots.
Not only film-makers are attracted to the Dominican Republic: it is the Caribbean’s most visited destination thanks to its great climate, music, sports and year-round golf courses. The wilderness area along the Chavron river was chosen for the movie as there are few signs of human presence and, with a little imagination, it looks as if there really could be dinosaurs around the next bend.
The archaeological scenes set in Montana were actually filmed in California.
It’s not everywhere that accommodation choices include tree-houses and palaces. But then, India is not like most other places.
There are a number of wonderful wildlife reserves and sanctuaries in India. Accommodations tend to be on the outskirts and tourists make a day trip into the wilds to view animals. But at the Mudumai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, one gets to stay in the middle of the lush jungle, actually one gets to stay in the middle of the trees. Without even leaving your hotel room you view elephants and tigers if you are lucky, bear, deer and birds galore. The tree-top hotel of Safari-Land offers an invitation to a sort of paradise.
At a lower elevation than the tree-houses – sea level in fact – are the Otter Creek beach tents in North Goa. These are not sleeping bag and camp-fire tents. Four-poster beds and western bathrooms, an out-door sitting area and a bamboo jetty over the secluded creek provide complete privacy and a level of comfort not normally associated with tents. Add great dining facilities a stone’s throw away and a mile of pristine beach, and you have another sort of paradise.
With typical British understatement the Administrator of Tharangambadi, dubbed his beach-front residence the Bungalow. Built in 1620 by the Danes, The Bungalow was carefully restored in 2004, and now its high ceilings, colonnaded verandas and formal courtyards bring to life the splendor of the British Raj.
That splendor was, and is, completely dwarfed by the grand palaces of India. A few of these have been converted into the ultimate in luxurious hotel accommodations. Four such are the gleaming white Pataudi Palace in Haryani, Darbargadh Palace, Gugurat, where you are greeted by your hosts and dine on traditional home cooked food, Punjab’s19th century architectural marvel, the Baradari Palace and the 15th century Neemrana Fort-Palace, which sprawls up the hillside and commands magnificent views over this part of Rajastan.
The “Pearl” which gives the town of Paarl its name has nothing to do with gems, literal or figurative. Rather, it refers to the second largest granite hill in the world – a great white outcrop which resembles a pearl from a distance.
On the summit, a group of obelisks rise into the clear blue skies. This is the Taal monument dedicated to Afrikaans and symbolizing the diverse origins of the language. In town is the Afrikaans Language Museum. Paarl is obviously a destination for die-hard Afrikaners, but it also has many other reasons to visit:Strooidak Church, one of the oldest in South Africa, and a marvelous example of the Cape Dutch style of architecture; an incredible landscape of fynbos(the natural shrubland vegetation of the region)with wild olives, rock candlewoods and wagon trees; hiking, fishing, mountain biking; the Millwater Wild Flower Garden home to 15 species of proteas; and Le Bonheur, the improbably named crocodile farm where there are 200 Nile Crocodiles on view, homemade crocodile pies to sample and many fashionable articles made from crocodile leather.
And then there are the grapes. Fourteen vineyards in the Paarl area take advantage of the climate and fertile soil to grow the grapes that are turned into wines, some of which are known around the world. A large number of grape growers in the Cape turn their grapes over to KWV, the KoöperatieveWijnbouwersVereniging or Cooperative Winegrowers Association. KWV blends the grapes to produce a variety of wines and brandies, which are mostly exported. The KWV cellar complex inPaarl spreads over 54 acres and is one of the largest wine centers in the world. Here visitors can taste and purchase natural wines, sparkling wines,liqueurs, fortified wines and brandies.
At the foothills of the Groot Drakensteinand Simonsberg ranges liesSimonsvlei where grape varieties such asCabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Chenin Blanc &the universally popular Chardonnayare turned into high quality wines. The nearby Nederburg Estate produces wine that is known worldwide.
Bear Lake, on the Utah-Idaho border, is a favorite holiday resort offering many types of accommodation, many attractions and many energetic activities. But there is one overriding reason to spend at least a few hours at Bear Lake – it is stunningly beautiful.
Starting with the color of the water – a startling, unusualturquoise-blue – extending across white, sandy beaches and open vistas to the distance hills, and the enormous expanse of sky above, this is a place to gaze in awe at the magnificence of the Western United States landscape. If you are lucky enough to catch sunrise or sunset, or a full moon, or, best of all, a wild summer thunderstorm you will have an experience of nature at its very best.
A summer storm is a rare treat as the climate of the Bear Lake valley is warm and mostly dry during the summer. Winter is another matter. The first snowfall arrives in the fall and the lake is icebound for most of the winter. Who cares! You can snowmobile, ice skate, ski downhill and cross country, go ice-fishing and – for the ultimate chilly experience – take the Bear Lake Monster Plunge, named for the American equivalent of Nessie that is supposed to inhabit the depths of this wonderful lake.
In summer activities on the lake include swimming, jet-skiing and sailing and fishing for mackinaw or cutthroat trout. Nearby one can try flyfishing in the mountain streams for brook and rainbow trout, and one can hunt for moose, rocky mountain elk, and possibly mule deer.
For a break from the natural attractions of Bear Lake, one can visit some of the historical locations in the region. These includeThe National Oregon/California Trail Center showcasing the trials and adventures of emigrants traveling west; and the Paris Historical Museum. No, not that Paris. This museum explores the history of the Mormons in this area who built the Paris Tabernacle in 1889.
And don’t miss the raspberry festival in June.
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