Fall Into These Cities: Autumn’s Top 5 Destinations

Many people have summer holidays, but if you want to beat the crowds and see some cities during their best, coming during the autumn months might just be your best bet. If you are ready for some fantastic locations, and can hold out on your holiday just a bit longer, these places will be well worth your wait.

Île de Ré, France

This spot is riddled with people during the summer months with French holiday goers on the hunt for a charming little island getaway. Come September, everyone has gone back to their normal lives in the big cities leaving this place available to anyone wanting peace and quiet. Sandy beaches, most which are empty, flat cycling tracks to explore the entire island, vineyards, forests and perhaps some of the best fresh lobster to top your day off.

Kas, Turkey

It’s still sunny here during autumn, but luckily the sun’s strength has dwindled down a bit, so it’s not too hot. This gem in the southern coast of Turkey is a chill little fishing village on the Lycian coast. The Lycian Way is 500km foot-track that runs through the ancient land of Lycia, and the stunning towns of Fethiye and Antalaya. If you’re a diver, you’re in luck, because the best diving is during the months of September and October when all the fish are out and about. Other water sports are also perfect during this time, so feel free to get that swim suit on and head to the coast. The easiest way to get to Turkish visa is by applying Turkish visa online.

Lanzarote, Canary Islands

This place is perfect year round, but if there was a “best” time, autumn is it. Since it’s so close to the Sahara, its weather more closely resembles desert-climate. During this time, the water is just right, the temperature is at a comfortable mid 20s, and the large tourist crowds have mostly all gone back home. Getting holiday insurance will serve you well while you are here since there are a few pretty extreme activities you should try out. Try trekking up volcanic peaks for starters at the Timanfaya National Park (Fire Mountain), take it to the water and dive in or participate in any of the exciting water sports.

Dahab, Egypt

Sweltering summer conditions are usually a deterrent for this destination, but since you will be enjoying it during the fall, there’s no need to worry. Temperature take a turn from 38C to the lower and more bearable 30s. Renowned for its fantastic diving with a vast array of coral reefs and vibrant fish, it’s a stunning spot both under and out of the water. Back on top, windsurfing is a favorite spot in the area, and the sweeping beauty of the Colored Canyon makes for some dramatic scenery.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

The last place on the list is also a popular summer destination with crowded streets and a filled port, as well as hotter temperatures. When you come to Dubrovnik during the fall months you can rest assure things will be a bit calmer. Swimming won’t involve hoards of others with you and the accommodation is far more affordable. The best beaches in the region are located here, and the tranquil feel this place has after the crowds have left are well worth your time here.

The 4 Things You Have to Do If You Visit Botswana

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Botswana, home to 2 million people on the continent of Africa is one of the most rapidly changing places on Earth. With a population hungry to succeed and escape from their poverty-ridden past, Botswana is one of Africa’s most truly dynamic places, and one that you have to visit. If you’re considering going travelling in the near future and aren’t sure why you’d choose to go to Botswana over any other territory in Africa, we’ve put together a handy little guide to help persuade you. So, without further ado, here are 3 of the best reasons to go to Botswana for.

1 – Drive across the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan

If you want a truly unique experience, nothing could be more so than picking up an ATV and driving it across Botswana’s Makgadikgadi salt pan, an expansive natural area where the soft ground has been covered by a crunchy salt layer. You can pay for the privilege of camping out under the stars by a warm fire and admiring the southern sky. There’s also a great amount of wildlife in this desolate place, with meerkats calling the pan their home.

2 – Take a Trip to the Tsodilo Hills

If you’re interested in the history of the human race, where we all came from or even simply that you have a passion for art and culture, you should definitely take a trip out to the Tsodilo Hills. This is essentially a historic rock art site, with a twist, because as well as admiring the art created by people thousands of years ago, you can also choose to strap on your climbing gear and assail or abseil the hills in the area.  However, with over 4,500 paintings, you’re bound to be astounded by the amazing ingenuity of those early human artists.

3 – Build Homes for the Homeless

If you’re looking for a reason to go somewhere that’s more selfless, then there can be no greater reasons than to build homes for people who are really in need of them.  Companies can facilitate a number of ways that you can help to give back to a community who really need it, and in doing so, you’ll get to work alongside the locals and experience the real Botswana way of life.  The work will be challenging, but it will also be rewarding, so it’s worth it if you really wan to have an experience that will last in your memory forever.

So there you have it – some of the best reasons to go to Botswana if you go travelling.

Hit the road … to the airport!

How do you get to the airport? Do you book a train or coach? Do you go through endless phone listings for airport taxis? Or are you lucky enough to live within a stone’s throw to the terminal building, so it’s simply not a problem?

Well, if you fall into one of the first couple of categories above, then maybe it’s time to think about changing your routine.

Nowadays I always drive myself to the airport, and I book airport parking, to make sure I get the best possible deal. Why do I do this? Well, through experience I guess.

Basically I caused chaos at the train station, but I really didn’t mean to. Picture the scene, if you will – one harassed woman, trying to drag a very large leopard print suitcase across a very crowded train platform, with oversized hand luggage to add to the drama. It basically caused bruised toes, stressed expressions, and my blood pressure soaring through the roof. This isn’t even an extreme example, as this is generally run of the mill, especially if you have to travel during rush hour.

If you’re booking a coach, you’re also very lucky if you go direct, because a lot of the time you have to stop and swap coaches, or it goes so far around the houses that you wonder if you’re ever going to get there.

Airport taxis? One word – expensive.

Believe me, I’m very well practised in this area, so learn from my mistakes and take my advice. I found getting to the terminal building became infinitely easier and less stressful when I decided to drive myself, and I also saved money too, when compared to the cost of public transport. If you’re travelling as a family, that cost saving is doubled, tripled, or even more.

Heathrow parking is now on my check list when it comes to booking a holiday and sorting out all my travel arrangements that go alongside it. Having said that, wherever you fly from you’ll no doubt find a service to suit your needs, as this is a nationwide arrangement, and like I mentioned before, one that will save you money and stress.

Starting a holiday in a hair-raising manner isn’t the best way to begin something that should be a happy and fun experience. Think about it, we spend so long saving up for our annual holidays that we owe it to ourselves to make sure every facet of it is enjoyable and memorable for all the right reasons.

Listen to my advice, believe me, I’ve made plenty of travel mistakes to know what I’m talking about!

Going Greek

Greece is a fantastic spot to get a rich history lesson, beach bum just outside your Greek villa, and island hop to some of the most picturesque places you have ever seen. These are just a few of the hot spots you can find yourself at as you make your way through the beautiful country of Greece, starting with your last minute flights from Monarch.co.uk.

Athens

This will very likely be your welcome to the country if you’re flying in, and what a wonderful welcome it will be. This capital holds some of the most prominent buildings in Greek history and they are all magnificent. The parthenon sits majestically on the Acropolis at the top of the city. Besides the great views from above, the structures themselves are breathtaking despite their ruinous state. These are the structures where Plato and Socrates once roamed, how humbling it will be to walk in their footsteps around this major historical area. For more information on the history of this city, there are a few museums of interest like the National Archaeological Museum and the New Acropolis Museum.

Thessaloniki

While you might be spending a pretty penny here, it will be well worth. This is the capital for the nightlife-loving and culture enthusiasts. After roaming around the interesting and eye opening art galleries and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Byzantine-era churches, you can spend your night partying around some of the trendiest and coolest bars and clubs around.

Crete

It wouldn’t be a complete Greek holiday without visiting one of the most famous islands in the country. This is one of the pictures in your mind when you think of Greece, and you will just need to see it for yourself. Besides ogling the beaches on the biggest island in the country, you can see many points of interest. The Archaeological Museum of Iraklion has artifacts dating back hundreds of years and the Minoan artifacts here have been the most important found to date. The birth place of Zeus is located at the Dhiktaion Cave which makes for an interesting and adventurous day out.

Santorini

Another island beauty in the country is the hilly and stunning island of Santorini. This is listed as one of the most beautiful islands in world, and it’s really not hard to believe that title once you lay your eyes on it. This is a volcanic island and due to the red and black volcanic sands that make up the beaches here, it makes this spot more unique. It also offers amazing opportunities to get under the water and dive and snorkel. Oia village is a fantastic spot to end your day and catch that beautiful sunset.

Delphi

For more history, Delphi is the spot to go. The Sanctuary of Apollo on Mt Parnassus, the Temple of Apollo, the Delphi Museum, the Sanctuary of Athena will keep you busy for a couple of days.

Top 5 Holiday Destinations for History Buffs

If you can’t tear yourself away from your history books during your travels, or you simply can’t set foot in a city without wanting to find out about every major event there for the last 500 years, make sure you head to the top destinations for history enthusiasts. Here are our top 5…

  1. Rome

Interesting fact: Did you know that gladiator blood was used to aid fertility in Ancient Rome?

Before you sigh, yes, Rome can be tourist nightmare in peak seasons, and shuffling through the Vatican like squashed sardines isn’t a great experience. But that shouldn’t take away from the incredible history of the Roman Empire; go in the off season if you have to. The Colosseum and the Forum ruins is a window into Italy’s interesting past. A great book to take with you is Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (read reviews here).

  1. Angkor Wat

Interesting fact: Did you know that the Cambodian flag is the only flag with an image of a building?

War tourism is a funny thing these days. We’re fascinated by our violent past but the terrifying fact of it is, the Khmer Rouge happened within the now older generation’s lifetime. This modern history holiday destination is not made for the faint-hearted and anyone leaving Cambodia without compassion must have a heart of stone. Take First They Killed by Father by Loung Ung (review here) but be prepared for tears.

  1. Petra, Jordan

Interesting fact: Did you know that Petra is home to 800 carved tombs?

An archaeologist’s dream, Petra in Jordan is truly one of the most fascinating historical places to visit on this planet. The Treasury is one of the most amazing architectural attractions and dates back over 2,000 years. It is said that the ‘lost city’ still has many secrets to reveal. A great read is the Holidayplace.co.uk blog – there’s been an excellent recent post on discovering Jordan.

  1. Athens, Greece

Interesting fact: Did you know that the Virgin Goddess is a notorious killer of women?

Athens isn’t a luxury holiday, for those who are mistaken. This is a history geek’s heaven but luxury seekers may turn away now because it’s a clash between the beautiful and the ugly. Due to the economic difficulties which persisted in Greece for several years, many parts of Athens are a little run down. But if you’re travelling to learn about Greek history, you won’t find anything more spectacular.

  1. Beijing, China

Interesting fact: Did you know that Fortune Cookies were not invented in China? (They were invented in San Francisco)

There’s no doubt that Beijing is a becoming city. The country itself has changed dramatically in recent years and ever since the Beijing Olympics, the world has looked upon China differently. The Great Wall remains to be one of the most amazing wonders of the world and the country is rich in breath-taking history.

For a controversial read to accompany you on your journey, take Empire of Lies: The Truth About China in the 21st Century (read a review here).

Technology That Helps You Keep In Touch

Love to travel but hate being away from your loved ones? Join the club. As much as you want to go off, have adventures, and see the world…it can be difficult to lose communication with the people you care about most. The next time you take a trip, do your best to stay in touch. How? By making the most of technology. These days, there are many different gadgets and gizmos that make staying in touch easy. All it takes is a little preparation before you jump on that airplane!

These gadgets will help you communicate with your friends, family members, and that special someone – while you’re off seeing the world.

Technology is pretty useful. Whether you have an iPad, tablet, laptop, or smart phone, you can send emails, check Facebook, or surf the net with WiFi. Unfortunately when you are in another country, using WiFi can be pretty costly. Some hotels charge a flat rate while others charge by usage. Free WiFi in restaurants or cafes exists in some places – but can be slow, spotty, or unreliable. Say you are visiting Spain, for instance. You need to quickly check work emails, but you can’t get an Internet connection. Talk about frustrating! The best solution is www.alldayinternetspain.com. There you can rent a pocket portable WiFi device…. which means a reliable Internet connection any time you need it. This is one simple way to stay connected to home while you are travelling.

One of the fastest ways to rack up a giant bill is to place a couple of long distance phone calls. Even if you are only calling home to say hello – it adds up! By the time you return home, you will have spent exorbitant amounts of money on simple hellos and goodbyes. Forget international phone calls. Start using video calls instead. Not only are they more personal but they can also help you save money. Most video clients are free to download and use. Something like Skype or FaceTime works well while travelling. Just be sure that your Internet connection is decent. Oh, and you might want to schedule your video calls in advance. That way both parties will be ready to chat when the time comes.

Know that incredible holiday photo you just snapped? Share it! One great way to stay in touch with all of your family and friends, rather than just one or two people, is to use sharing programs to your advantage. For instance, you can upload a picture from your phone to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Or you might want to use something like Dropbox to send images, documents, or other important information to your friends, family members, or colleagues. It can be done through your phone, computer, or tablet. Plus, you get a certain amount of space for free. All you need is an Internet connection to make it happen.

Want to talk to the people you love without going broke? Then be smart about the technology you use. These gadgets, programs, and solutions will make communication easier and more convenient than ever before. Even when you are on the other side of the world!

3 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in Rome

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Rome is one of the most famous cities in the world, and rightfully so. Where else can you see The Colosseum and other iconic wonders? But what if you want to find some treasures that are off the beaten path? Here is your guide to exploring three of the coolest, lesser-known attractions the ancient city of Rome has to offer.

See St. Peter’s Bones at the Vatican

Yes, everyone knows that you can go to the Vatican. But did you know that you can actually go under the Vatican? There is a tour that takes you underneath the famous attraction, to the excavation area. A necropolis rests there, with the tombs of many prominent Roman citizens. Archaeologists believe that the graffiti “Peter is Here” in one area alludes to the bones of the Catholic church’s first pope, St. Peter. This tour is not available for younger children and those who are claustrophobic may want to avoid it, as there are some sections which will feel quite confined.

More Bones… Arranged Intricately

Another unique attraction is The Capuchin Crypt, which is an unforgettable museum of sorts. Back in 1631, the collection commenced with the bones of 300 deceased friars. As the years passed, bodies underwent a burial and exhumation process, after which their bones would be removed from the ground for inclusion in the artistic arrangement. All in all, the bones of approximately 3,700 monks are believed to included in the six rooms that comprise the crypt. This famous attraction courted controversy in the 1850s, with some visitors appalled by the macabre nature of the exhibit. The order insists, however, that the Capuchin Crypt exists merely to remind us of the swiftness of life’s passing.

The Keats-Shelley House

At the foot of the Spanish Steps lies a lesser-known attraction, the last home of poet John Keats. He was only 25, but his contributions were great. His bedroom is preserved for visitors to see, and the house also boasts a collection of over 8,000 volumes of Romantic literature. A small cinema room, gift shop, and book shop are also on hand for visitors who want to pick up trinkets reminding them of their visit.

With so many impressive, off-the-beaten path attractions, tourists to Rome have a wide range of options. These are just a few, but they’ll definitely whe your appetite for more!

Finding Accommodations in Perth, Australia

You’ve done it. After months of saving and planning, you have finally booked a plane ticket to Perth, Australia. Now that the sheer excitement of your decision has faded, it is time to start booking the rest of your essentials…. namely accommodations. It is all well and good to fly to the capital of Western Australia – but you probably want somewhere to put your feet up at the end of a long day of sightseeing, hitting the beach, or dining out.

The good news? There are many different options available to travellers visiting this beautiful city. Accommodations range in both price as well as the type of places that you can stay. It all depends on what you want for your Australian vacation. Are you ready to find accommodations in Perth? Let this be your guide!

Hotels: From Budget to Luxury

One of places you can stay during your trip is a hotel. This is often the first choice for travellers. That is the benefit of Perth being home to 2.8 million tourists every year – there are hotels available for every budget and price range. If you are looking for a hotel that is nice but won’t break the bank, then opt for accommodations that have a three or four star rating. Or for comfort and luxury, stay at a five star hotel instead. For quality accommodations, you can always stay at the Crown Hotel in Perth. It provides guests with a variety of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and a casino floor. If that wasn’t enough, there is also a swimming pool and two hotels to choose from. Everything you need is right there at your hotel! Before you make the decision to stay at a three or a five star hotel – remember to consider the extras that go along with your accommodations.

Hostels: a Money Saving Option

Just because money is tight doesn’t mean you can’t find suitable accommodations in Perth. It just means you need to get a little more creative! An alternative to a hotel stay is booking a room at a hostel. This is an ideal choice for backpackers, people travelling in groups, or those who are simply looking to save some cash. There are many different hostels in the city. Some are located in the downtown core while others are a little further away. What you choose will depend on how you plan to spend your time in Perth – and how you will get around the city each day.

Alternative Accommodation Ideas

There is more to accommodations in Perth than just hotels and hostels. Yes, you have options – and lots of them. You may want to choose a motel, go the couch surfing route, or even try out AirBnB. The latter allows travellers to rent out lodgings. That might be a house, apartment, or another type of accommodations altogether. You can read reviews from previous travellers and look at response ratings. It makes finding somewhere to stay easier than ever.

There are so many things to see in Perth – and there are just as many places to stay during your trip. So, think about what you want, consider your budget, and determine what you hope to gain from your accommodations. Once you have it all figured out, your choice will be nice and simple.

Reasons You Should Head To Paris This Fall

Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. No wonder so many couples choose to visit year after year. The city is full of romance and beauty – especially during the fall season. The cooler temperatures and falling leaves work to create the perfect atmosphere. With historic sights and picturesque views, there is no better time to plan an unforgettable trip. So, why should you head to Paris this fall? There are so many reasons!

You Can Save Money On Your Hotel Booking

Paris is a stunning place to visit. Unfortunately, a trip to this exquisite city in France can cost a little more than you may like. The solution? Take a trip during the fall months! Many travellers choose to go to the city during the summer and winter…. but you can save big time by visiting during off-peak times of the year. So, head to Paris this fall. The city has plenty of accommodation options for you to choose from – and plenty of them can save you money. That means more left over for fresh baguettes, French bistros, and memorable museums.

 

There Are Special Events Going On All Over The City

Paris is always bustling with energy, crowds, and tourists alike. In the fall months, this is especially true. Thanks to all of the special events taking place, there are many different things to see, do, and experience. That makes a fall trip to Paris even more wonderful! Some unique ways to spend your days? The Biennale des Antiquaires takes place each September 11th to the 21st and features antique dealers and jewellery designers. You can stop by, take a look, or pick up something special.

Later in the month is the Journees du Patrimoine, which runs from September 20th to 21st. During that time, the annual heritage days feature a chance to take a look at historical buildings that are normally kept private. Talk about a wonderful opportunity to see Paris! If that wasn’t enough, the Festival d’Autonme also runs from September 1st to December 31st. It is dedicated to the fall season in Paris! The autumn arts festival includes theatre performances, music, dance, and more. Find an event that will help make your trip one to remember.

The City Looks Absolutely Breathtaking

The last reason to head to Paris this fall? All of that gorgeous scenery! There is something special about the fall weather. The leaves have started to change colours and have started to fall on the ground. That can take an already beautiful city to a whole new level of stunning. This is especially true at some of the city’s most beautiful spots, like the Seine, Notre Dame de Paris, and other notable monuments. During this time of year, the city gets a little quieter and more peaceful. Add that to the scattered leaves and mild weather – and there is truly no better time to experience the city.

Have you been dreaming of Paris? Don’t put off your trip for another moment. The fall months are the ideal time for you to book a vacation and start enjoying the city.

Exploring Scandinavia – The Viking Holiday

Scandinavia is an awe-inspiring country, full to the brim with breathtaking scenery and steeped in incredible and rich history, a legacy left behind by the Vikings. From bloody excursions, to pre-Christian burial rituals, to ships and weaponry; although the Vikings disappeared long ago, their artefacts, folklore and the intrigue that came with them is still around today. The legendary Vikings were well known for their love of adventure and their exploration of new and exciting lands, so why not follow in their footsteps, book a trip to Scandinavia and have a Viking inspired adventure of your very own?

The Icelandic Horse

There is one thing that certainly should not be missed when discovering your own piece of Viking history, and that is a horse back tour on the aptly named “Icelandic Horse”. This particular breed of horse was introduced to Iceland by the Vikings themselves and can still be found in Iceland today. The tours run daily and allow you to leisurely discover the stunning Icelandic scenery including waterfalls and geysers. Suitable for Vikings of all ages.

Viking History

The Vikings built some of the most structurally impressive and intimidating ships ever to grace the seas. The Viking Ship Museum is home to one of the world’s best preserved Viking Ships – the Oseberg Ship, which displays some of the finest examples of intricate Viking woodcraft and carvings. To get a real taste of Vikings traditions, the preparation of their ships before they set sail on their brave voyages and the ship burials that housed the rich and powerful after they died, this museum is a must-see.
For a true taste of Viking culture, visit the Lofotr Viking Museum, home to the largest reconstructed Viking longhouse in the world. It features tradition-inspired decorations and carvings, a mead hall and the opportunity for you to witness an authentic Viking feast, wild boar, mead, bonfire smells et al. If you want to discover just how tough the Vikings were, there are even seasonal events such as archery and axe-throwing for you to try.


Sail the Seas

If you’d rather experience life as a Viking in a more traditional sense, then why not do so in a way in which they were accustomed – by the sea! Opting to take a cruise will allow you to take in some of the same sights the Vikings did all of those years ago. Companies like Hurtigruten offer cruises with stops allowing you to explore some of the most magnificent scenery, fjords, national parks and wildlife you are ever likely to see.

Whether you’re travelling with children, or you’re travelling with a friend or partner, there really is something for everyone, and you’ll soon discover why the Vikings were so fond of this land.