Travel and Leisure Archives

Land of Mysteries, Mythologies, Tales

Greece is a land of mysteries, mythologies, tales of man’s ancient past and the immense developments it has received over the last three millenniums.  It is known for having had a prospering economy, superb beaches, some actually world class Greek hotels and an unparalleled hospitality to supply, since graduating to be a modern western european state.  Travelers flock to its landscape as a consequence, and to hear its 3000 years old account and be a witness of its past glory.  However, there are several other activities apart from visiting the archaeological sites that one should think about undertaking while in Greece.  We are going to chat about a number of these outdoor activities, in the course of next few paragraphs. 
Mykonos I
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Camping, hiking and trekking across scenic islands like Mykonos, Santorini, Tinos and Naxos is a preferred activity in Greece nowadays.  Steep rocks and natural environment make these trekking expeditions fun and excitement.  Greek hotels and tour operators regularly help you plan out these adventures according to your requirements.  Vans and mini buses are pressed into service to ferry up folks to rocky mountains where they are able to climb up sheer slopes under watchful eyes.  Such seven to fourteen day long camps can cost anything from $ one thousand to $2500 per candidate.
 
Thassos (Thasos), Aegean Islands, Greek Islands, Greece
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As an alternative, one should try undertaking a yacht journeys that may sail through scenic Greek islands.  These trips may last as long as 3 weeks and may cover many historical towns and scenic spots as they move from one to another holiday maker destination.  There are many routes that one could opt to have their holidays planned.  Greek hostels, with major tour operators, will offer to order such yacht journeys for you.  Travelers can take part in hiking, snorkeling, and carry on doing similar other stuff while being an element of such tours.  Exploration of assorted heritage sites and visiting taverna-lined harbors also will be part of your fun and relaxation! 

Cycling and biking across Greek mountains and countryside is one more way of enhancing one’s experience of holidaying.  However, no significant help may be garnered either from Greek hotels or tour operators in this example, and one should try looking out for online resources instead.  Some biking and cycling fans will extend guidance and logistic support, to help carry out your biking expeditions.  They are going to lead you into areas deep inside the Greek country and will help you bike through some very unusual routes.  You’ll be in a position to have a close look at Greek countryside as you move on . 

Visiting Greece’s archaeological sites is a key way of vacationing in Europe.  However, it may be further boosted by undertaking further out of doors activities like biking, camping and sailing thru numerous Greek islands.  There can not be a smarter way than spending more time in the Greek country to start to know more about its culture heritage and life.  Greek tourism has taken a good note of this aspect and accordingly worked out plans to provide you with many extra out of doors activities apart from extending an access to top-flight Greek hotels and beaches.

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Asuncion

Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, must be one of the least visited and most misrepresented cities of South America. It’s capital Asuncion boasts a working port which is frequented by barges, small container boats and ferries. Destination guides for Asuncion are sometimes hard to get.  Even more difficult to find are destination guides for handicapped travel.

It is said that a certain Senor Juan de Ayolas sailed the Paraguay river for many months searching for a way to get to the silver mines of Bolivia. Unfortunately he was killed by the Payagua on his return trip. Juan de Salazar was then dispatched to look for him (in vain). In August 1537 De Salazar visited the location of the present-day Asuncion and made the decision to found a fort there. He called it Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion.

It wasn’t long after the erection of the fort that word got out and it soon became an important base to explore from – both Bolivia’s Santa Cruz and Argentina’s Buenos Aires were founded by expeditions that left from Asuncion. Hence the name “the mother of cities”.

Asuncion is located next to the river Paraguay. The old part of the city, including the harbor, looks out over the Bay of Asuncion. A natural bay permits small vessels to come and go to their various destinations, one of which is Brazil.

The old city around the harbor, including the main street (Avenida Palma), is a decaying old place with lots of charm and character. A short trip down Palma will introduce you to many of the delights of Asuncion: you will no doubt be approached by one or more vendors selling chipa – the delicious Paraguayan bread made from corn flour or manioc; you will also no doubt hear traditional Paraguayan harp music emerging from the doorways of various stores and everywhere you will be able to buy the Nanduti lace for which Paraguay is famous.

Staying at the atmospheric old Hotel Armele is an experience in itself. You will have a view across the harbor and the Bay of Asuncion from most rooms. The evergreen Chaco on the other side of the river stretches as far as the eye can see.

Because of it’s heat in the summer months, the locals tend to frequent its many restaurants, bars, night clubs and open air festivals at night. Paraguayans love music and sing spontaneously in the streets. It’s not strange to hear a group of people walking and singing their favorite songs.

Make your way to the east of the town and you will be totally astounded at it’s modern buildings and opulent Villas. The two main arterials namely; Avenida Espana and Avenida Mariscal Lopez connect to this area which is known as Villa Morra. Here you’ll find glitzy shopping malls and upmarket coffee shops and restaurants. If it’s culinary delights you are after, then you need not look any further than Asuncion. The locals are excellent chefs and their food is prepared in such varieties that it’s truly a feast for the eye. You can also catch a movie at many of their multi-screen cinemas. If it’s orchestral music or a ballet you are after then the Paraguayan National Bank Theater offers concerts on a regular basis.

The city has a large number of hotels to suit all pockets. Budget hotels cluster around Plaza Uruguay, while near Plaza de los Heroes there are a number of four- and five star hotels.

Since destination guides for Paraguay are hard to find, the above information should be useful to visitors who plan to visit Asuncion – the Mother of Cities.

Eiffel Tower Paris France

Eiffel Tower, Paris, Ile-De-France, France

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The Eiffel Tower Paris France, erected from 1887-1889, is renowned as one of the most romantic destinations in the world, yet it wasn’t always that way!

As it was initially being constructed, French aristocrats like composer Charles Gounod, painter William Bouguereau, architect Charles Garnier and writer Guy de Maupassant signed a petition in protest of the new monument. According to these countrymen, the tower was “useless,” “monstrous” and an “odious column of bolted metal.”

They feared that this “gigantic black factory chimney” would overwhelm and humiliate all the other monuments, “belittling our works of architecture,” they said. Despite their protests, the tower went up and become one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world, bringing fame and prestige to Paris.

At first glance, the Eiffel Tower looks as though it is firm, immovable and unchanging. Yes, it is constructed using a hefty 7,300 tonnes of metal and it is over 120 years old now, but did you know the 984-foot tower shrinks six inches on cold days?

Additionally, the tower is currently wet. Its massive repainting began in March 2009 and is expected to take 18 months to complete, using 60 tons of paint in three different shades of brown. Occasionally, you may look out your Paris hotel window and catch a glimpse of an Eiffel Tower ad campaign.

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

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In the twenties and thirties, ads for Citroen cars adorned three of the sides. During World War II, German troops hung their banners from the tower to celebrate their takeover of the city. In the late seventies, a Greenpeace protestor hung a “Save the Seals” sign on the tower. Today, ads are rarely seen on the monument, but a company called Apoteo Surprise will flash your personal engagement message under the Eiffel Tower for €2,490.

Engineer and architect Gustave Eiffel is best known for his namesake monument, the Eiffel Tower, Paris France, but it wasn’t his only magnificent feat. Before working on the tower, which was set for completion several weeks before the Exposition Universelle of 1889, he also constructed more than fifty bridges across Europe.

The three-story La Ruche building, beloved by luminaries like Jean-Paul Sartre and Jean Renoir, is another one of Gustave’s historic creations. Eiffel has a train station in Chile, a church in the Philippines, a post office in Vietnam, a bridge in Belgium and a hotel in Romania, to name a few projects.

He was also one of the key designers when the French were in charge of building the Panama Canal. (Well, everything can’t be a shining success, right?) It’s also interesting to note that the tower may have been the “Bnickhausen Tower” had Gustave’s father not changed their surname to “Eiffel” upon arriving to Paris from Germany.

While visiting the Eiffel Tower, many people enjoy walking tours below the monument, where they can view the River Seine, century-old trees, towering skyscrapers and breathtaking palaces. Other people wish to see some of the world-famous museums France has to offer, including the Louvre. Architecture lovers will also want to see the Arch de Triomphe, the Notre Dame de Paris and the Champs Elysee.

Other cities that are less than 3 hours away by train include Dijon, Rennes, Avignon, Aix en Provence, Strasbourg, Normandy, Annecy, La Rochelle, Tours and Lyon.

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Madrid Vacation Attractions

Central Post Office Facade, Madrid, Spain

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Madrid is the capital of Spain, housing 3.3 million in the city centre and 6 million in its metro region. Travelers considering a vacation here will be happy to know that rental cars aren’t necessary, since the inexpensive metro system is one of the best in all of Europe.

There is something for everyone in the Madrid neighborhoods. Malasa?a houses alternative pubs, bars, cafes and novelty shops. Lavapies is both cosmopolitan and hippy at the same time, with African and South American influenced shops, Indian restaurants and some of Spain’s best coffee houses.

The bohemian neighborhood of La Latina offers excellent tapas restaurants, micro-brews and the El Rastro flea market. Moncloa, near Universidad Complutense, is a student hangout with cool shops, cheap food and budget-priced drinks. Chueca is the gay district of Madrid, with trendy art galleries, cafes and high-priced shops.

Another rich area of Madrid is historic Salamanca. Huertas is a popular tourist destination, with a high concentration of popular hotels, restaurants and pubs. Read on for more travel tips to help you get the most bang for your buck in Madrid!

Eating is a crucial component of any vacation and Madrid travel is no exception.

The Spanish are known for their use of spices like saffron, pinchitos, paprika, bouillons and sea salt. They use some of the world’s best olive oil to cook their dishes and combine rice with meat and vegetables in sumptuous feasts. The Spaniards are also very good at using every part of an animal, much to the chagrin of visitors with sensitive stomachs.

Those with adventurous palettes and strong stomachs may want to try local favorites like Oreja (pig’s ears) Callos a la Madrile?a (tripe with beans), Sopa de Ajo (garlic soup), Bacalao a la Madrile?a (salted cod in a sauce) or Rabo de Toro (stuffed cow or bull’s tail). Madrid novelties aside, you won’t want to leave the city centre without trying manchego cheese, manzanilla wine or croquetas and Madrid dipping oil.

Plaza de Cibeles, Cibeles Fountain, Madrid, Madrid, Spain
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Naturally, after eating all that rich food, you’ll need to walk around and see the sights of Madrid. At the ultra-modern Cosmo Caixa (science museum), you’ll catch a glimpse of how the Earth was created, how tornadoes work and play with interactive exhibits that will keep the kids busy for hours. Visit a zoo, an amusement park, a garden and a bullfighting school at Casa de Campo, which is the “Central Park” of Madrid.

At Casa de Am?rica you will see stunning 19th century architecture and, the locals warn, you may even see a ghost! Capricho de la Alameda de Osuna is one of the most tranquil settings in bustling Madrid. As a hideout for Napoleon’s soldiers, these well-manicured gardens are fit for a duchess (the Duchess of Osuna, to be exact). Nuestra Se?ora de la Almudena is a neoclassical cathedral built in the 19th century, which tops many Madrid travel plan itineraries. Similarly, the art museum at Bas?lica de San Francisco el Grande cannot be missed.

A vacation is also a great opportunity to go shopping and find newfound treasures to take back home. Madrid travel offers numerous fashion boutiques, specialty shops and shopping districts to choose from. Calle Preciados and Calle Montera are only accessible by foot and showcase both women’s and men’s apparel. Calle Serrano is home to the most sophisticated designer boutiques and art galleries.

Similarly, Calle Goya and Calle Alcal? are popular designer shopping streets. Calle Princesa and Calle Bravo Murillo have a number of great clothing and shoe shops. In El Rasto, shoppers will find more than just clothing, as pet accessories, furniture, art and books can also be purchased here. Another eclectic area is Calle Gran V?a, which is bustling with clothing shops, cinemas and popular hotels. La Vaguada is the region’s largest shopping mall, with over 300 stores in a small area, as well as a cinema, bowing alley and several trendy cafes. As you can see, there is much to do in Madrid, Spain!

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The Ancient Rome

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Ancient Rome was the biggest city in the then known world. It is assumed that Rome’s population was over one million people when the city was at the height of its power. From Rome, the heart of central authority beat; army decisions were taken and the gigantic wealth Rome earned was invested in a series of impressive buildings.

To begin with, many buildings in Rome were built around the forum. Traditionally, this had been a market place and an area where folks met. Therefore, it would be a natural place to put government buildings, temples and palaces. As Rome grew, howeve , the forum became more and more crowded. Therefore, a second city centre was planned and built some distance from the forum but still in Rome itself.

Rome itself had some impressive buildings erected in the city. Some exist to this day, all be it in a less amazing state. The most famed is perhaps the Colosseum where thousands of Roman citizens would gather for their entertainment — be it animals fighting or gladiators and so on. Such grand buildings were constructed so that emperors would be recollected by future generations. The Colosseum was built on the orders of the Emperor Vespasian and finished when the Emperor Titus was in power. The building was ultimately completed in AD eighty.

Rome also had many triumphal arches constructed throughout the city to celebrate army victories. These served a dual purpose. First, they were a part of the army victories the Romans had and, second, they were a reminder to the people of Rome of how forceful the regiment was.
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As with any city, Rome had its wealthy and poor areas. The poor could only afford to live in wooden houses which were a heavy fire risk in a hot country like Italy. On a number of occasions, Rome suffered grim damage as a consequence of fires beginning in the city’s slums. The slums were also perilous places to go to if you had any money as crime was very common. The Emperor Augustus made a police force to patrol the city but the poor areas remained all but untamed. However, for the influential people of Rome, this was of little importance as they never visited such areas.

The decline of traditional Rome started from about AD 190. The Roman Empire was attacked by tribes such as the Goths and the Vandals. Civil wars in parts of the empire further weakened the rule of Rome and respect for Roman law decreased as a result.
Why was the empire attacked by cruel clans of people? Tribes such as the Goths wished to move south into parts of Europe that experienced a better climate that would aid their farming. This could only bring them into conflict with the Romans. At roughly AD 190, Rome also experienced a succession of poor emperors who simply were not capable of doing the job.

Diocletian faced more than only administrative problems. More army defences had to be built across the entire empire. This cost money that Rome did not have. To pay for these, taxes were increased and extra coins were minted. This lead to inflation causing prices to rise. Therefore, the people of Rome were less than favourable towards those who led them.
With threats from tribes in northern Europe, fiscal issues in Rome itself and a civilian population becoming more discontented, Rome could ill afford further major issues.

In AD 307, Constantine became emperor. He ruled from AD 307 to AD 337. Constantine was Rome’s first Christian emperor and he is considered to have been a strong ruler.
He thought that Rome as a city was too far away from critical areas of the empire to be of value from a governmental level. Constantine moved the capital of the empire to a new city — Constantinople. This was a new city that was built on the old city of Byzantium. Whatever the motives were, Constantine’s call was a poor one. Constantinople was much further east than Rome and firmly in the eastern empire. This left the western empire really vulnerable — though the eastern empire was barely free from attacks.

However, in AD 398, the leader of the Visigoths, Alaric, realised the Roman army was so thinly spread, that Rome itself was for the taking. Alaric moved carefully south but in AD 410 he captured the city of Rome. The city was sacked. Roman held territory in Spain, France, northern Africa and England all slipped to the assorted clans that attacked them.

In AD 455, Rome was attacked again. This time the damage was done by the Vandals. The city suffered serious damage. In AD 476, the last Roman emperor in the west, Romulus Augustulus, was removed from power by Odovacar, leader of the Goths. This date is generally utilised by historians as the year the Roman Empire ended. However, Roman rule continued in the eastern empire for a number of years after this date — in modern Greece, Turkey, the Middle East and northern Egypt. Even if the ancient Rome fell, today it is a cosmopolitan city. If you like to see the old and modern parts of the city do not hesitate and book your Appartment Rome. All the Appartments Rome are a good starting point to make the most out of the city.

Adventure Travel in Russia

Exterior of Winter Palace on Neva River, St. Petersburg, Russia
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Russia used to be a mysterious country that few international travelers would visit for vacations. Today, it is open to everyone and its tour industry is seeing an upward trend. It has so much to offer regardless of whether you are interested in taking an historical trip around its imperial past or you want to do something a little more adventurous. Go to Sports Holidays for more information.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union more than a decade ago, more and more foreigners are traveling to Russia now for business and leisure. However, it can still be a difficult place if you are unable to speak their language. Fortunately, you will find that the Russians are incredibly warm and inviting hosts most of the time. If you are looking for some where that takes you away from the normal holiday routes then you should consider Russia as one of your must visit place.

What kind of adventure travel can a person expect to be able to do when visiting Russia? Let us take a look at a couple of adventurous types of travel that you can do in Russia. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union more than a decade ago, more and more foreigners are traveling to Russia now for business and leisure.

It has so much to offer regardless you are interested in taking an historical trip around its imperial past or you want to do something a little more adventurous

1. Trans Siberian Railway

The Trans-Siberian Railway or Trans-Siberian Railroad is a network of railways connecting Moscow and European Russia with the Russian Far East provinces, Mongolia, China and the Sea of Japan. During this journey, you will travel from Vladivostok Moscow to the wilds of Khabarovsk in the heart of Mongolia.
You will also get to visit Lake Baikal and the snowcapped mountains of the Urals.

This journey is a total of 6,135 miles in distance and you will pass through 8 different time zones during the journey. The trains are very comfortable, but it is the beauty of the country as you pass through the various areas that really gets an adventurer excited!

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2. Journey to the North Pole

With this type of adventure travel, you are given a chance to add your name to the very small list of people who have already made this epic journey in the past. This is certainly the more challenging of any types of adventure travel that you may find, but it will be worth it when you reach the top of the world. When traveling through the Arctic you will notice that everything seems bigger, the icebergs are massive and the horizon just seems to go on forever.

You will board an icebreaker at Murmansk, Russia and sail into the Barents Sea before breaking into the dense Arctic ice. You will experience an ever-changing panorama of wind-polished ice up to five meters thick and enjoy the immense polar landscapes from the Bridge or deck of the ship. And along the way, you can expect to encounter a variety of Arctic wildlife such as polar bears and walrus. Certainly many people have found this particular adventure travel to be a very humbling experience and have put life into proper perspective for them.

As you can see, Russia has so much more to offer the adventurous traveler than just visiting the many historical cities. You will likely find yourself back to Russia for adventure travel and other amazing journey over and over again. Visit Group Sport Holidays for further information.
The Kamchatka Peninsula in Siberia, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia
The Kamchatka Peninsula in Siberia, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia — Photographic Print
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Antarctica Cruise – Did You Know You Can Do These?

Antarctica now tops the list of great travel places for seasoned cruise takers who have experienced the place firsthand. There is nothing like a trip to Antarctica in terms of wildlife variety along with fun adventures and awesome views.

Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes Forsteri) Colony at Dawson-Lambton Glacier, Weddell Sea, Antarctica
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Antarctica cruise vacations may or may not be for you depending on what your interests are but this article contains info on activities available to help you make up your mind quicker.

The part of the world featuring great miles of icy waters can be found in Antarctica. Impressive icebergs are scattered everywhere together with active wildlife. Antarctic summers are sunny but it is during springtime that the most beautiful sunsets can be seen. There are lots of places to see and things to do while in Antarctica and all these make Antarctica cruise travel a great way to spend a vacation. antarctica travel

People can also observe various wild animals while traveling on an Antarctica cruise. You can easily watch sea creatures in the safety of the ship deck or go exploring land territories to observe penguins along with other interesting creatures. Think nothing of it if you see whales like Orcas and Humpbacks or Minke while on the ship as they are fairly common to the area. Antarctica is surrounded by blue freezing waters that are made more amazing by the sight of such lovely animals.

The Antarctica continent is home to a wide range of seals that you might espy during one of your tours on land. Aside from Leopard there are also Crabeater and Weddell seals roaming the area. Springtime is between February and March and this is when seals are all over the place since they have lots of young penguins they can feed on. Watching hulking Orcas and penguin babies at play is also nice to do in the spring season. Penguin chicks begin hatching at the same time more whales show up which is before springtime sets in so you might want to visit the place months earlier if you want to see these happen.

You cannot go wrong with an Antarctica cruise since you will be in for a wealth of beautiful scenery and awesome wildlife along with other great activities. Savor the rugged outdoors briefly by camping out on land which is something most ships offer to passengers as part of the trip. While it might seem similar to camping out in your yard this is a bit different. To enjoy a successful trip you must be prepared for all kinds of climate conditions that you might encounter. Those who are up to it must experience camping out in Antarctica as it is an adventure like no other. antarctica tours

There is wildlife and other scenery to explore while taking the Antarctica cruise and you can do so by going on a smaller boat. This type of cruise likewise offers favored activities like canoeing as well as kayaking. Kayak groups usually go out with a guide to check out the scenery and icy waters. Staff from the ship man smaller boats that take you ashore so you can see whales more completely.

There is also the option of deep sea dives in Antarctica waters as a way of viewing the unique flora and fauna below the ice. Going underwater in this water region is not that hard compared to other waters. However only expert divers can go down and explore Antarctica underwater as the equipment is too heavy and specialized for most people to handle properly. To prepare for the trip, you can earn your certification by completing a dry suit diving course and getting in sufficient diving hours prior to setting sail.

Your vacation is not just about the exciting activities within Antarctica but also about the wonderful cruise you are on so do not forget it. You have fine dining plus accommodations to look forward to after a day of explorations. There is never a dull moment aboard an Antarctica cruise as there are lots of interesting ways to pass the time.

Lanzarote Sightseeing – Year Round Sun

Playa De Papagayo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Atlantic
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The Canaries are a chain of seven Spanish owned islands situated just off the coast of West Africa. A location that makes them very popular with tourists as they enjoy warm weather, loads of sunshine and very little rainfall all year round. This wonderful weather has helped the Canaries to become the second most visited holiday destination in Spain. With over 1.5 million tourists enjoying their holidays in Lanzarote – the fourth largest of the islands – over the course of last year alone.

So lets have a look and see why winter holidays in Lanzarote are so popular and choosing one of the Lanzarote villas and apartments that the island offers is fast becoming the popular self catering accommodation accommodation choice amongst holiday makers.

Lanzarote has a unique character and charm. And is much drier, more arid and barren than the other seven islands. Thanks to the fact that it experiences very little in the way of rainfall and boasts a volcanic terrain created by years of violent eruptions during the 1730?s.

Today this region of the island occupies about a quarter of Lanzarote?s total land mass. And is a hugely popular visitor attraction, known locally as The Fire Mountains or Timanfaya. Where visitors can view a lunar like landscape that has served as a backdrop for a number of science fiction films and most recently the latest release from Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, Broken Embraces. Which stars Penelope Cruz and which was shot on location around the island.

There are plenty of places to stay on the island. With visitors able to choose from a large selection of Lanzarote villas, hotels and apartments. The bulk of which are located in the main resorts of Playa Blanca, Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise. Whilst rural tourism has also started to grow in popularity over the last few years.

Lanzarote offers more than just sunshine and volcanoes alone though. There are over ninety beaches for visitors to explore. The best of which can be found in traditional coastal villages such as Playa Quemada, Famara, Orzola and Arrieta – which all remain largely unspoiled. Whilst each resort boasts a good selection of beaches too – although many of these are man made, created by using sand from the nearby Sahara desert.

Many tourists visiting Lanzarote for the first time are surprised to encounter so much in the way of things to do and see. As the island boasts an abundance of cultural attractions – with no less than twelve fascinating museums. Such as the Museum of International and Contemporary Art in Arrecife. Along with plenty of picturesque towns and villages, such as Haria and Teguise, the first settlement ever established by the Spanish in the Canaries in the early 1400?s.

Lanzarote´s Top Resorts

Boats and Old Red House, Old Port, Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
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The popular holiday island of Lanzarote in the Canaries is home to three main resorts. As well as the emerging marina of Puerto Calero – where visitors will find two upmarket hotels and an abundance of expensive yachts and craft from around the world.

Each of these resorts has a unique identity and offers a number of different attractions. Whilst also offering plenty of accommodation options – with a variety of Lanzarote villas, apartments and hotels available for visitors to stay in.

So where can you find some of the best holiday hotspots that have an excellent selection of holiday villas in Lanzarote to rent.

Puerto del Carmen

Formerly known as La Ti?osa Puerto del Carmen emerged to become Lanzarote?s leading resort during the package holiday boom years of the 1970?s. And is still the most popular destination on the island today.The resort boasts a large number of apartment complexes – reflecting its position as the best spot for a booking a budget holiday. But there are also plenty of decent hotels and villas in Puerto del Carmen for rent too.

The island government has recently spent over €16 million sprucing up Carmen’s image in order to maintain its competiveness against newer destinations around the world. So there’s never been a better time to visit.

Holiday Villas In Costa Teguise

Situated towards the northern end of the island Costa Teguise is just a short hop away from Arrecife airport. And started life as Lanzarote?s upmarket resort. Designed to attract moneyed Scandinavian and German tourists during the early boom years of the 1970?s.

The resort was developed under the aegis of C?sar Manrique – who created the central hub of the Pueblo Marinero and had a hand in the design of the Gran Melia Salinas Hotel. And is also home to some great beaches. However Costa Teguise?s popularity has waned a little over the last decade thanks to the fact that Playa Blanca in the south has emerged as real rival for visitor numbers.

Playa Blanca

Playa Blanca was the last of the main resorts on the island to be developed during the 1990?s. And has quickly emerged to become the second most popular destination on the island – thanks to a winning combination of great beaches and fantastic weather. As well as a fine range of hotels and holiday villas.

The resort is dominated by a sea front promenade that unites the three main beaches of Playa Dorada, Playa Flamingo and Playa Blanca (from which the resort takes its name). Whilst the striking set of bays and coves of Papagayo are around a twenty minute walk from the town centre.

Choosing a Digital Camera for Travel

Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa
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If you’re looking for a digital camera to take on your travels, here are three important considerations to help you select the most appropriate one for your needs.

1. Nature of Travel

a) Fully organized tour — you can safely carry a larger, more costly camera, or camera bag, as you will be with a group, providing greater security.

Suggested: high-quality digital compact camera with at least a 3x zoom lens, but preferably a 10x zoom for greater flexibility. For more serious photographers, a digital SLR with a couple of lenses.

b) Independent traveler, using trains and buses — security is a consideration plus you need to travel light, carrying as little as possible.

Suggested: small, compact digital camera with 3x zoom lens that can safely be kept in a pocket or hand-bag.

c) Back-packing, staying in hostels — you’ll be carrying the bare minimum, with theft a risk.

Suggested: small, inexpensive, compact camera you can carry in a pocket or fanny pack together other valuables. No need for the more exotic features, but should have 3x zoom for some flexibility.

2. Type of Trip:

a) Holiday to a seaside or resort hotel — security should not be a concern, so can carry a larger camera or a camera bag with your gear.

Suggested: majority of pictures likely to be on the beach or at the pool, plus photos of people, so a big camera with 10x zoom not essential. Better to opt for a 3x or 5x zoom that covers a wide focal length for scenic shots. If within your budget, a digital SLR with a wide angle or standard zoom lens — although this set-up can be a hassle to carry around.

b) Focus on sightseeing and historical sites — flexibility important, so need a big zoom range offering wide angle to telephoto.

Suggested: digital camera with 10x or 12x zoom so can zoom out for more expansive pictures of large buildings and zoom in on smaller details. Would also be suitable for street photography, where you can take pictures using a range of focal lengths without having to move around.

c) Great outdoors — if mainly hiking, then weight is crucial, but less so if going on an African safari.

Suggested: for walking or hiking, a light, showerproof compact with a 3x or 5x zoom lens for scenic pictures plus informal people shots. For a safari vacation, if you want to photograph the resident wildlife you’ll need a compact superzoom (10x zoom or more). For more serious photographers, a digital SLR is the preferred option — but try to limit your lens selection because of space/weight constraints.

3. Your Interests:

a) Historical sites, architecture — need wide angle capability for exteriors of bigger buildings and for interiors where space is tight.

Suggested: digital compact with built-in flash, plus capability to shoot at higher ISO for available light pictures. Image stabilization will be a plus, allowing slow shutter speeds in low light conditions. Must have a 3x zoom at the minimum, as wide as possible on the wide end.

b) People, candids, reportage — need good telephoto so can shoot unnoticed from a distance.

Suggested: compact digital camera with 10x to12x zoom or compact digital SLR with one or two lenses that cover from wide angle to tele.

c) General countryside, landscapes — wide angle will be more important than telephoto.

Suggested: digital compact with 3x to 5x zoom should be adequate.

Of course, whatever digital camera you buy for your travels will ultimately be governed by price and your budget. However, if you’re going on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a far-off destination, then push that budget to the limit and get the best you can, as you may never have the opportunity to capture those special events, scenes, and situations again.

My preferred travel gear is a Canon EOS 450D as it’s a light and compact for a digital SLR, plus one or two Canon EF-S lenses, including a Canon wide angle lens for landscapes and scenic shots.

NB: Don’t forget to check out our great selection of Travel Posters and Prints (sampling below).

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