Travel and Leisure Archives

Aerial View, Old Town, Dubrovnik, Croatia

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With the rapid pace of our society it might be difficult for people to take some long holidays. This is why it is advised to take some short breaks quite often. One great destination for a weekend trip is Croatia. This country has a great history and some beautiful landscapes that will really please the most difficult of tourists.

The aim of this article is to provide you more information on this so that you can take a better decision.

Croatia has indeed many advantages as a weekend destination. For instance its proximity to some major cities makes it an ideal place to be for those that do not want to travel for a long time. This is especially true when you are on a weekend trip where you do not want to lose time in travelling. What you are interested in is fun and Croatia fulfills well this purpose.

A weekend can also be a good moment for a cruise in Croatia. With cities such as Split and Dubrovnik, Croatia indeed offers some great opportunity for cruises. Those that desire a bit more adventure will certainly prefer to discover the numerous islands that are spread across the Croatian shores. With the great variety of Croatian cruises that exist you are surely going to discover something that interests you. This French article on holidays in croatia (voyages en croatie) and weekend break abroad has truly grabbed my attention and should be worth reading.

A weekend can also help you to discover some amazing facts about Croatia. Did you know that Croatia has a port that was once rivaling Venice in maritime trade? Dubrovnik, also known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, was once a prosperous city-state with its economy based on trade. Together with cities such as Rijeka and Split there are indeed some great discoveries to be made there.

If you have only a weekend off to take some holidays then you should surely consider Croatia. Due to its proximity with major cities you will save a lot of time on travelling and have plenty of time to enjoy your holidays. Speak to your travel agent today to find more.

Written by Louis Balue for the French site where you can find more information on croatian holiday and short weekend break.

Harbor, Hvar, Croatia
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NB – Please don’t forget to browse our compelling gallery of Croatia Posters and Fine Art Prints.

The Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy

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The famous Spanish Steps, or Scalinata Spagna, make up another one of Rome’s amazing tourist hot spots. Designed by Francesco di Sanctis and built in the 1720s, the Spanish Steps continually draws tourists and locals alike out of their apartments in Rome.

Created by the French diplomat, Étienne Gueffier, the monumental Spanish stairway contains 138 steps and subsequently boasts the longest and widest staircase in all of Europe.

The steps lead to the French church, the Trinita del Monti, which provides an amazing site for those at the base looking up with its twin towers that dominate the skyline. The church is also representative of the French legacy that built the attraction on land that was previously owned by them.

However in the 1700s during the construction of the steps, their popularity grew exponentially and guards from the nearby Spanish Embassy were sent to maintain the peace.

Ironically many Spaniards continued to flock to the stairs, resulting in French protests against the Spanish for an intrusion onto their land. Eventually a decision had to be made by the Roman Authorities and they sanctioned that the stairs fell under the jurisdiction of the Spanish. As such, time went by and the stairs eventually formed the name it is commonly referred to today as the Spanish Steps.

Furthermore, at the base of the stairs lies the beautiful Barcaccia Fountain, or Fontana della Barcaccia, which translates to “Fountain of the old boat”. The fountain derives its name from the shape of a half sunken ship with bows that contain overflowing water. In the middle of summer in Rome, many tourists use the fountain in order to cool themselves from the scorching heat, whilst others may toss a coin in for good luck. Whatever the reason, the Barcaccia fountain provides a great element to the popularity of the Spanish Steps and for bringing guests out of Rome apartments.

NB: Don’t forget to browse our riveting selection of Rome Posters and Prints.

A Short History on La Rambla

La Rambla, Barcelona, Spain

La Rambla, Barcelona, SpainBuy at

Until 1860, Barcelona’s city walls were greatly restricting as regards geographic growth of the city was concerned. From the 15th Century up to that point the city was comprised within these streets: the Rondes de Sant Pau, de Sant Antoni, d’Universitat, and de Sant Pere, the Passeig de Lluís Companys, the Avinguda Marqu’es de l’Argentera, which continues as the Passeig Colom, and the Avinguda del Paral.lel close to your Barcelona apartments.

La Rambla was the only wide street within this area. Until the beginning of the 18th century La Rambla was simply just a stream running alongside a path, but soon houses were being built and trees planted.

By 1775 the old city walls by the medieval shipyard at Drassanes had been destroyed and towards the end of the century the Rambla had taken on the appearance of a sort of tree-lined avenue.

The top (and start) of the Rambla runs from Plaça Catalunya down to the bottom where it merges with the junction where you can see the Columbus monument. While most refer to it simply as La Rambla (Catalan) or Las Ramblas (Castilian), it is actually possesses five names.

First up at the top end is the Rambla de Canaletes, given its name due to the presence of the Font de les Canaletes fountain which has existed there since ancient times. Following that is the Rambla dels Estudis, which bears that name as a result of the 15th century building, Estudi General or Universitat. This university was subsequently demolished in 1843.

The Rambla dels Flors comprises the next section and takes it name from the fact that it was the only place in the city during the 19th century that sold flowers and of course the many stalls found there are still selling them. The Rambla dels Caputxins follows; it takes its name from the old house of Capuchin friars there.

Finally comes the Rambla de Santa Mònica, taking its name from the parish church located there. Unfortunately this area has become one of the less savoury parts of the city and at night finds itself acting as a sort of red light district.

NB: Don’t forget to browse our gallery of colorful, eye-catching Barcelona Posters

Flamenco …. Catalan Style

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We may be in the land of the Catalans but that hasn’t stopped them embracing a piece of culture from another part of Spain. You see, in Pueblo Español near your Barcelona apartments you will be able to immerse yourself in something very Andalusian.

In the Tablao de Carmen spectators can witness on a daily basis mesmerizing shows combining authentic Spanish dance and music.

The Tablao de Carmen was created as a tribute to Carmen Amaya, a famous Flamenco dancer who made her name in Barcelona. She was born in 1913 in a gypsy quarter in the area now known as Vila Olímpica. It was in 1929 before King Alfonso XIII that she made her debut and it is in this very location that the Tablao de Carmen was set up.

The shows put on by this organization are known for delivering only shows of the highest quality. Viewers are guaranteed great rhythms to go along with the dance. Well known Spanish artists, accompanied by aspiring artists looking for their big break, (tablaos have historically acted as a springboard for young artists) participate alongside the dancers.

The show explores the many different facets of Flamenco so visitors can really absorb the variety of this musical art. Guests will be spoilt rotten with the focus of the show alternating between music, song and dance.

The venue is superb as well. Designed predominantly with the colours of southern Spain in mind, albero yellow and red ochre, the room is laid out like a small theatre ensuring every table has a great view of the entertainment.

But you can really make a night of this event as there is the option of being served dinner or tapas before the show. Guests can buy dinner and show tickets or simply just skip the dinner and pay a little less to watch the show.

For 69€ you can enjoy dinner and the show. At 45€ you will get tapas and for 35€ you will just see the show, but of course be prepared to buy drinks (a jar of sangria is refilled for free!)

It is located at Avenida Marqués de Comillas in Pueblo Español. It’s a short walk from Plaza Espanya which can be reached by taking the green or red metro line from your apartment.

NB: Please also take a moment to view our superb gallery of Barcelona Posters & Fine Art Prints

Has your group decided where you want to go on your summer vacation? You are not alone, most families have not yet decided where they want to go. It can be a quite time consuming process to discover that perfect vacation escape, so explore the choices for your New York Tourism. You will experience exciting alternatives and it may not be a simple decision!

Good news, if you are thoughtful and take the commitment to do some planning, it should make your summer vacation exciting and one of those “family memories” that you will treasure forever. The most frequent mistake people experience is first choosing a “destination.” The ideal vacations occur when you first choose “what you want to do”! Do you want to go hiking, tanning on a beach, playing and relaxing at a pool, or touring cultural or heritage attractions? By deciding “what you want to do” to start with, you are off to the best start of choosing that perfect family New York vacations destination!

Since you know “what you want to do” – you can sift through the various tourism destination locations and discover those ideal attractions that you hope to go see or do. By spending a short time planning, you can also choose those destinations that include a variety of attractions that are of interest to both you and your whole family. Online travel guides are available that can help you choose detailed information about activities that are more comprehensive than a simple attraction name and address. Once you know “what” you want to do and “where” you want to go, a legitimate high quality online New York attraction guide will provide you a quality article describing each attraction to assist you making an educated decision about what you want to do and where you want to go.

Here are 3 New York vacation alternatives that you might want to consider:

Idea #1: Lake Placid Lodge – Lake Placid, New York. Deluxe Accommodations at Lake Placid for Ice Skating Enthusiasts. Lake Placid, NY is synonymous with winter sports, and it is a wonderful destination for a weekend getaway or longer visit if you love ice skating. If you are interested in luxury accommodations in a serene natural setting, consider staying at the Lake Placid Lodge.

Idea #2: Adirondack Museum – Blue Mountain Lake, New York. There are six million acres of lakes and forests as well as villages and towns that make up the Adirondack Park. The museum is dedicated to sharing the history of the park and its people with visitors from all around the world. There are 32 acres with 22 indoor and outdoor exhibits and programs offered at the museum. Enjoy the beautiful gardens and the magnificent views while on your vacation to New York.

Idea #3: Visit Howe Caverns in the Catskills, NY. Howe Caverns is an exciting and popular attraction visitors to New York State have been enjoying for decades. Take your choice of Howe Caverns tours and explore a very unique and beautiful underground cave that was formed millions of years ago.

As you have discovered, you have a significant choice of alternatives available to your family when it is time to select that perfect family attractions in New York state. Take your chance to plan carefully what you want to do and where you want to go. Select a professional travel guide to help you discover those perfect New York City attractions. And you will find that you will experience a wonderful vacation with a lifetime of stories.

NB: Don’t forget to browse our most popular New York Landmarks Posters & Fine Art Prints.

Discovering your favourite Paris Places

I‘ve simply got to tell you about some of my favourite places in Paris. You honestly haven’t lived until you’ve been to them.

The first is a little piece of heaven at a corner shop and it’s called “Delmontel” (39, Rue Martyrs, 75009 Paris). They make the most delicious desserts; tarts and cakes of all kinds covered in cream, chocolate biscuits and of course, the French treat “macaroons”.

I went there on a quiet Thursday afternoon with some friends, only to be astounded by the enormous queue outside – my jaw hit the floor. Was this place really THAT good? Of course, as I later found out, it really was.

You can tell just by looking through the shop window that everything made here is of the highest quality. This was confirmed to me later when I found out that the shop won the 2007 first prize for the Best Baguette in Paris, adding to its fame.

Needless to say, we went back to our apartments in paris absolutely stuffed with food and our pockets stuffed with goodies to eat back in the comfort of our own homes.

It was then when I started thinking about a place I had visited six months or so before. This place was called Ladurée and is Paris’s most famous macaroon maker. Elegant and chic in every way, I’d often seen posh women enjoy an afternoon in the Ladurée Royale, sipping coffee and nibbling away at their macaroons.

I’d often wished that I too could one day do the same. That day came… I left my apartments paris and dashed off to Ladurée on my own, I don’t know what came over me! I then spent the entire afternoon like a posh lady.

It is popular with locals and tourists alike, but I have to warn you, you might simply want to enjoy a coffee and a cake, but it’s bound to turn into two, three or four!

NB: Don’t forget to browse our selection of outstanding Paris Posters and Fine Art Prints!

Night View of Albert Dock and the "Three Graces," Liverpool, United Kingdom
Night View of Albert Dock and the Three Graces, Liverpool — Buy at

Liverpool, once the second city of the British Empire, has since World War II been in decline. In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in investment with the centre of the city witnessing regeneration.

In 2008 Liverpool was the European Capital of Culture; throughout the year there were countless events ranging from world class music concerts to unique art exhibitions.

Now the year has passed, what is there to draw visitors to this wonderful city? Well there are definitely a number of new hotels in Liverpool to satisfy all tastes. In the text below I introduce 3 visitor attractions in Liverpool.

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

Liverpool is renowned for having two cathedrals: the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral and the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. When John Charles Rye was nominated Bishop of Liverpool in 1880, ironically there was no cathedral in Liverpool as that time. Eventually, after a lot of deliberation, the powers that be decided that a cathedral was required.

In 1902, they chose to hold an open competition for the design of the cathedral. The winning proposal was chosen in 1903, and surprisingly, was a proposal by student Giles Gilbert Scott, who had no preceding building experience. Another architect, George F. Bodley, was assigned to work with Scott, and oversee all designs and construction works.

King Edward VII laid the foundation stone in 1904, and in 1910, the first part of the cathedral, the Lady Chapel, was finished.

Albert Dock

Liverpool’s Albert Dock was named after Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg, who opened the docks in 1846. The docks were very busy over the years, but regretably they eventually were forced to close to shipping in 1972. For many years the docks lay derelict and quiet, until the 1980’s when they were redeveloped with funding from the Merseyside Development Corporation.

The dock consisted of five warehouse buildings, all of which are Grade I listed, making the Albert Dock complex the largest set of Grade I listed building in the United Kingdom. The docks are now home to a variety of visitor attractions, including the Tate Liverpool and the Merseyside Maritime Museum.

Tate Liverpool

Standing on the Liverpool waterfront, as part of the Albert Dock complex, is Tate Liverpool. Since opening in 1988, the Tate, for a short time, was the largest gallery of contemporary and modern art in the United Kingdom, besides London.

The Tate is an extremely popular visitor attraction in Liverpool, catering for more than 600,000 visitors through its doors each 12 months.

The gallery is in one of the 5 converted warehouses originally converted by James Stirling. However, the building had to undergo further refurbishment in 1988 to create more gallery space. In 2007 the foyer was redesigned, giving the gallery a more modern appearance and better proportions in the reception area.

Besides the 3 visitor attractions discussed above Liverpool has a great many more. Not only this there are a great many more not too far away, perfect for a day visit. If you are planning to spend time in Liverpool you may wish to take a look at our web site which has a comprehensive list of Liverpool hotels as well as a selection of unserviced and services apartments in Liverpool.

NB: Don’t forget to browse these superb United Kingdom Posters and Fine Art Prints

Have your friends decided where they want to go on your summer vacation? You are not alone, most families have not yet decided where they want to go. It can be a quite time-consuming process to find that ideal vacation escape, so explore the choices for your Hawaii Vacations.

You will find exciting alternatives and it may not be a simple decision!

Good news, if you are careful and take the commitment to do some planning, it should make your summer vacation exciting and one of those “family stories” that you will cherish forever. The most simple mistake people experience is first choosing a “destination.”

The ideal vacations occur when you first select “what you want to do”! Do you want to go camping, tanning on a beach, playing and relaxing at a pool, or touring cultural or historical attractions? By deciding “what you want to do” to start with, you are off to the best start of choosing that perfect family vacation destination!

Once you know “what you want to do” – you can sift through the various tourism destination areas and find those ideal attractions that you hope to go see or do. By taking a short time planning, you can also find those destinations that have a number of attractions that are of interest to both you and your inclusive family.

Online travel guides are useful that can help you choose detailed information about attractions that are more detailed than a short attraction name and address. Once you know “what” you want to do and “where” you want to go, a real high quality online Free Attraction Guide will provide you a comprehensive article detailing each attraction to assist you making an informed decision about what you want to do and where you want to go.

Here are 3 vacation alternatives that you may want to consider:

Idea #1: The U.S. Army Museum in Honolulu Offers up History Galore. The U.S. Army Museum is located on Honolulu in Hawaii and has a number of very interesting exhibits to offer visitors. Today, the museum houses the history of military power in Hawaii, from the first people all the way to the Vietnam War. Those who visit Hawaii will have a great time learning and checking out all the exhibits at the museum.

Idea #2: Learn about the Island of Kauai at the Kauai Museum. The island of Kauai is a beautiful place to visit, with great wilderness to explore, from the forests to the beaches. Swimming, snorkeling, and surfing are all great fun for vacationers. However, those who want to learn more about Kauai and its history as well as enjoy all of the scenery, the best place to visit it the Kauai Museum, established in 1960.

Idea #3: Keahiakawelo, the Garden of the Gods, on the island of Lanai, is also known as the Garden of the Gods. When you enter this area you will be astounded by the lack of vegetation until you learn to appreciate the beauty of the rock formations formed by centuries of erosion. Here the setting sun casts a warm orange glow on the rock sculptures turning them into brilliant reds and purples.

As you can see, you have a wide choice of alternatives available to you when it is time to select that ideal family vacation getaway. Enjoy your chance to plan carefully what you want to do and where you want to go. Use a professional travel guide to help you find that perfect Hawaii tourism. And you will find that you will experience a family vacation with a lifetime of memories.

NB: Don’t forget to browse our superb selection of Hawaii Prints and Posters in our Hawaii Gallery!

Curacoa is a tropical island just off the coast of Venezuela and is considered one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. Part of the Netherland Antilles, Curacao is the largest island in the group and covers approximately 171 square miles. It is oval shaped, with an estimated population of 140,000 people.

Being just outside the hurricane belt, Curacao receives little rainfall – less than 21″ – and, as a result, the terrain is arid and savannah like. It is also flat, with the highest elevation being only 1239 feet (Mount Cristoffel). The northern part of the island includes Cristoffel National Park, which is home to an abundance of local flora and fauna.

The coastline is jagged, with many coves and bays. The northern area of Curacao is more rugged, with cliffs, rocks, and a strong current running offshore. However, in the south and west are many undeveloped beaches with clear, calm water.

Naturally, the main hotels, resorts and facilities are located in the south of the island, near the beaches. There are about 40 beaches, offering the visitor variety, as well as seclusion for basking in the sun and swimming. (for more travel info please visit African Safari)

Most of the beaches in Curacao consist of sandy beaches and crystal blue water. However, these are not the long sandy stretches to be found on other islands but are often well hidden. They are known as “bocas” in Papiamento (the local language). The secluded beaches are especially popular with honeymooners and those who wish to have a more tranquil experience, away from the resorts and hotels.

A popular activity is shore diving, as the sea floor drops sharply just off shore and visibility in the water is excellent. This is largely due to the low rainfall and absence of rivers – there are no rivers on Curacao.

The water activities available include not only deep sea diving and snorkeling but also kayaking and windsurfing. The resorts and hotels on Curacao are well-equipped to offer these options to their guests.

Tourists mostly come from Europe, South America, and other Caribbean islands, with a growing number from the United States and Canada. Of more than 500,000 visitors to the island each year, over 300,000 arrive on cruise ships.

Resort accommodation is luxurious in Caribbean hues for those who stay, and the service is friendly and obliging. Your terrace overlooks a tropical garden with palm trees, colorful flowering bushes, and many birds that come to feed.

A popular choice at the resort restaurant is a lizard dish, as lizards abound and are everywhere in Curacao.

Some of the resorts also have animal enclosures, with activities such as feeding the flamingos and a variety of sea creatures, including sharks.

Perhaps better known than the island itself is Curacao liqueur (such as cointreau and triple sec), an orange-flavored liqueur sold world-wide. This is made from the dried peel of “Laraha” – bitter oranges (descended from the Valencia orange) that grow wild on the island. (for more travel destinations please visit Safari Travel)

The inhabitants of Curacao consist of more than 42 ethnic groups, mostly of African and European descent. The language, Papiamento, is a mixture of Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch, as well as the African languages brought by the slaves. English is widely spoken.

The island is a territory of The Netherlands and has had full autonomy in domestic affairs since 1954.

The capital city of Willemstad is a large port with much colonial architecture and was declared a “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO in 1997.

An especially strong element in Curacao culture is the love of music and dancing, with a major influence from their African heritage. Known as “tambu”, its main foundation is drumming. The early slaves used dried goatskin over hollow containers to provide rhythms for their dancing. The partners in this dance leave their feet in place and only make contact through their hips and bodies, to the rhythm of the drums.

With its low rainfall, sunny conditions, tranquil atmosphere, secluded beaches and modern resorts, the island of Curacao has much to offer the tourist who wants to experience still pristine conditions in an exotic location; where the inhabitants are as warm and colorful as any to be found in the beautiful Caribbean. (for more holiday info please visit Cheap Holidays)

NB: Don’t forget to browse these gorgeous Curacao Prints and Posters in our Curacao Gallery.

Canary Mellow – Discover Lanzarote

It may lie just 70 miles off the coast of West Africa, but the small Canary Island of Lanzarote is Spanish owned. And has long been a hot favourite with British and Irish tourists – who accounted for over one million visitors last year – attracted by a delightful year round climate, good quality holiday accommodation and the island’s unique volcanic scenery.

Flights to Lanzarote depart on a regular basis from most European countries, and once you arrive there are some fantastic villas in Lanzarote for you to stay in or you could choose a hotel or apartment depending on your preference.

Lanzarote is just four hours flying time from the UK – making it the closest winter sun destination to Britain and Eire. And it’s serviced by numerous low cost flight operators, such as Monarch, easy Jet and Thomas Cook. Making it possible to book flights to Lanzarote from around £200 per person – depending of course on the time of year.

Despite the number of tourists visiting the island there is only one international airport on Lanzarote – and it’s named after the nearby island capital of Arrecife. Although locals refer to it as Gaucimeta. Thanks to its central location and the small size of the island transfer times to the three main resorts are very quick, averaging out at only 20 minutes.

The majority of visitors to the island arrive on package holidays. So they are usually transferred to their resort on board coaches provided by their tour operators. But Lanzarote is also very popular with independent tourists who like to make their own travel arrangements. And they rely on either taxis or hire cars to get them to their resort accommodation.

Hiring a car in Lanzarote is surprisingly cheap in relation to many other holiday destinations around the world. It’s possible to rent a basic class C vehicle for as little as €20 per day, whilst petrol is also much more affordable than in the UK or the Republic of Ireland.

Around 40% of all visitors book hotels in Lanzarote, which are of a high standard, particularly in the island’s newest resort of Playa Blanca in the south of the island. There all establishments built over the last 10 years are of a four star standard and above.

Puerto del Carmen is the spot to head for for those planning to book apartments in Lanzarote, as the island’s oldest resort has the highest concentration of apartment complexes of any destination on the island.

Lanzarote also offers holiday makers plenty to do. The island boasts lots of natural beauty – such as the Valley of 1000 Palms and the famous Green Lagoon at El Golfo. Along with some incredible man made attractions – such as the Mirador del Rio and the Cesar Manrique Foundation. Which was constructed by the island bon artist of the same name from five underground bubbles in the lava flow. And which is – by some distance – the most unique property in lanzarote.

NB: See our Lanzarote Gallery for outstanding Lanzarote Prints and Posters.

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