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Top 10 destinations by continent

5 Reasons to Choose a Mauritian Holiday

Sparkling like a diamond in the midst of the Indian Ocean lays a classic example of tropical elegance and luxury. Mauritius is an island located off the South-East coast of Africa and a destination of sheer relaxation. Indeed, holidays in Mauritius are often so memorable that you will cherish the experience forever.

1. Climate

Holidays in Mauritius are enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year, due to its warm climate which is one of the island’s most enticing attractions. Lying in the path of the tropical Trade Winds, Mauritius holidays are not often affected by adverse weather conditions; consequently, light clothing attire with sandals is appropriate throughout the year in either day or night.

Mauritian Holiday - Strolling on the beach

Strolling on the beach

2. Holidays in Mauritius mean exciting world class water sports and relaxing golf

Mauritius with her pristine, warm, and turquoise waters hosts some of the finest and richest diving spots, fishing grounds and sailing locations in the world. Enthusiasts may tackle marlins, barracudas and sailfish while a magnificent procession of beautiful yachts and catamarans offer captivated visitors relaxation and diversion. Yet, Mauritius holidays would be incomplete without an opportunity to explore the eight world-class 18 hole and five 9 hole golf courses.

Golf at the Heritage Awali

Golf at the Heritage Awali

3. Ground Facilities

Language and Currency

Creole, English and French are the official languages spoken throughout the island. International banks, ATM machines and phone card booths are widely available as are wireless cable with internet facilities 24 hours a day.

Health Facilities

Being internationally recognised for its modern, state-of-the-art health care facilities, visitors are ensured of a safe and healthy holiday experience.

Accommodations are world-class and of the first order

Setting the stage for the ultimate experience in luxury destinations, Mauritius holidays offer a wide range of 4 and 5 star hotels from which to choose.

Mauritian Holiday

4. International Restaurants

With an abundance of delectable and exclusive Creole, Italian, Indian, Asian and International restaurants and cafes, your time in Mauritius will be a rich and rewarding memory to be savoured for a life-time.

Fine dining, al fresco

Fine dining, al fresco

5. Shopping
Wide displays of jewellery, needlework, crochet, stained glass, bamboo and wood crafts, mother-of-pearl objects and shells are proudly displayed in ateliers and other specialty shops. Not withstanding, some of the world’s most exquisite collections of cashmere items and black pearl necklaces can also be found in the shops.

Many mature and discerning connoisseurs consider Mauritius to be one of one of the richest destinations in the Indian Ocean: Old World sights, smells, sounds and tastes will help this island nation shine for many years to come. Visit your local Mauritius travel specialist for more information on how best to enjoy your Mauritius holiday.

Cultural Tourism: A never ending quest for history & culture

Everybody likes to be on vacations away from work and we all have our own special little ways of making our holidays more enjoyable and memorable. A holiday is a dream of a life time for many.

Some travellers prefer to be in big holiday resorts with many activities for families, some others prefer holiday resorts with a night life. There are also some who prefer to go solo, beyond the beaten track, find new places on the map and explore new cultures.

Cultural Tourism is one of the largest and fastest-growing global tourism markets. For many years it was undeveloped and on the sidelines as the main tour operators worldwide, where focusing on the mass market and developed their products accordingly.

In recent years many cultural travellers being unsatisfied with what was on offer have decided to go the opposite way, by using the internet they can now search on-line for places of culture, art, and history and book their flights and accommodation independently away from the main tour operators. They plan their own itinerary and create their own tailor maid holiday activities.

Today we present you five places in the world (some not very well known to many) where a cultural traveller will be hugely satisfied in his quest for history, art, culture.

 

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Cambodia – Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is the largest Hindu temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world. The temple was built by a king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yasodharapura the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum.
The temple was dedicated to the god Vishnu. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It clearly represents one of humankind’s most astonishing and enduring architectural achievements.

 

 

Cultural Tourism

The ancient city of Aptera

Greece – The ancient city of Aptera

The ancient city of Aptera was build by Glaukos, The name Aptera, according to one tradition, derives from Apteron, king of Crete, who is said to have lived in the time of Moses around 1800 BC. Alternative legends claim the city of Aptera took its name following a musical competition between the Muses and the Sirens held in the Temple of the Muses. At the time of the competition the city was renowned as a center for musical expertise.

The ancient city of Aptera walls still standing today 3.480 meters long are reminiscent of the Cyclopean walls of Tiryns and Mycenae. One can also see the remains of a small 1st c. B.C. temple of Demeter, a Roman theatre and the enormous vaulted cisterns of the Roman era.

 

Uqba Mosque Kairouan

Uqba Mosque Kairouan

Tunisia – Mosque of Uqba

The Mosque of Uqba, also known as the Great Mosque of Kairouan is one of the most important mosques in Tunisia, situated in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Kairouan. Built by the Arab general Uqba ibn Nafi from 670 AD at the founding of the city of Kairouan, the mosque is spread over a surface area of 9,000 square meters and it is one of the oldest places of worship in the Islamic world, as well as a model for all later mosques in the Maghreb.

The Great Mosque of Kairouan is one of the most impressive and largest Islamic monuments in North Africa, its perimeter is almost equal to 405 meters. This vast space contains a hypostyle prayer hall, a huge marble-paved courtyard and a massive square minaret. In addition to its spiritual prestige, the Mosque of Uqba is one of the masterpieces of both architecture and Islamic art.

 

Cultural Tourism

Hatshepsut Temple

Egypt – The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut is the focal point of the Deir el-Bahri complex of mortuary temples and tombs located on the west bank of the Nile, opposite of the city of Luxor (ancient Thebes). It was built by architect Senmut at 1490-1460 BC at the order of Queen Hatshepsut, stepmother of pharaoh Thutmose III and the construction of the temple of Hatshepsut took fifteen years. The temple was dedicated to the sun god Amon-Ra.

 

 

Cultural Tourism

The Citadel of Herat

Afghanistan – The Citadel of Herat

The Citadel of Herat also known as the Citadel of Alexander, and locally known as Qala Iktyaruddin, it is located in the center of Herat in Afghanistan. It dates back to 330 BC, when Alexander the Great and his army arrived to what is now Afghanistan after the Battle of Gaugamela. Many empires have used it as a headquarters in the last 2,000 years, and was destroyed and rebuilt many times over the centuries.

 

The Best Greek Islands for Family Holidays

The Greek Islands offer exciting activities for the entire family to enjoy and visiting these islands is the perfect way to learn more about the fascinating history and culture of Greece. Visitors can also find plenty of posh hotels during their stay, allowing you to experience this ancient land in complete luxury. Here is just a small selection of the perfect places to enjoy luxury family holidays in Greece…

Crete

This popular island is particularly known for its ancient ruins and spectacular scenery. Visitors on luxury family holidays can spend a day relaxing at one of the island’s picturesque beaches. Families also have the option of learning more about the island’s history by visiting museums such as the Heraklion Archaeological Museum or the War Museum of Chania. Children will certainly be amused by the large collection of marine animals featured at Aquaworld Aquarium.

Daios Hotel on Crete

Daios Hotel on Crete

Lesbos

Known for its stunning historical structures, this enchanting island is also a great place to connect with nature. An intriguing petrified forest contains many different types of fossilized plant. Adventurous visitors can try climbing Mount Olympus. Lesbos is additionally known for its abundance of olive and fruit trees. Other sites of interest include an ancient Roman aqueduct and Ipsalou Monastery.

Rhodes

This Island has long been a popular destination for tourists taking luxury family holidays. The Water Park in the resort town of Faliraki is the largest water park in Europe. Younger visitors can also find entertainment by taking a trip to the island’s marine aquarium. The historic Jewish Quarter tells the story of the island’s Jewish population during the Middle Ages. The Palace of the Grand Master is one of the island’s architectural masterpieces. Families can swim and sunbathe while visiting Vlicha and Tsambika beaches.

Rhodes the best Greek islands for family holidays

Rhodes

Corfu

Charm and elegance are the defining characteristics of this lovely island. Clean streets and manicured gardens enhance the splendour of this family holiday destination. Aqua land, the island’s famous water park, features several water slides and rafting rides appropriate for all ages. A horse trekking trail offers horseback rides for families. Kalypso Star, a boat with a glass bottom, allows guests to see the ocean beneath their feet as they tour the harbour. Once the site of brutal wars; Corfu additionally showcases a series of monuments and memorials paying tribute to the island’s tumultuous past.

Corfu

Corfu

Zakynthos

Magnificent cliffs along the sea make this island a marvellous wonder of nature. Zakynthos is also known for the radiant shades of blue and turquoise seawater along its coast. Diving is one of the island’s most popular activities. Any spot on the island offers a terrific opportunity for a memorable family photograph. Families can also take part in the cultural festivals commonly found around many parts of the island.

Zakynthos' famous shipwreck

Zakynthos’ famous shipwreck

Author: This article was written by Tom Browne, a travel writer who recently went to Greece with his family.  Luxury family holidays in Greece are an excellent way of combining family time with an unforgettable experience.

Top 7 Things to See in Bali

Although Bali is a small island, it is absolutely packed with things to do and see. With enchanting temples, captivating dance performances, glorious beaches and incredible rice terraces you will find no end to the list of sights. This small list should get you started on what is sure to be an unforgettable trip.

1. Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot is a temple of great Hindu importance. It is said to be the work of a 15th Century Hindu priest named Nirartha who saw the rock, which is just offshore, as a place of religious importance. It has since been an important place to worship the Balinese sea gods. The walk to the temple is bursting with souvenir shops and restaurants for tourists.

2. Dolphins

A dolphin at Lovina Bay

A dolphin at Lovina Bay

Holidays to Bali include the opportunity to interact with dolphins. Lovina’s most popular attraction is dolphin watching. Here you will find plenty of boat trips out to sea where more often than not they are spotted. At Serangan near Sanu you have the opportunity to swim with dolphins in a floating sea pen. This gives you the chance to get close to the mammals in a well cared for environment.

3. Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Tegallalang Rice Terraces

Tegallalang Rice Terraces

Bali holidays should include a visit to the Tegallalang rice terraces. The beautifully terraced paddies were created over 2,000 years ago by natives that carved them into steep hillsides with stone hand tools. Here you can see the Balinese farmer work and enjoy the view of the valley.

4. Pura Besakih

Pura Besakih

Pura Besakih

Another temple, but this is an important one. Although there are thousands of temples to be discovered during Bali holidays, Pura Besakih is the most impressive. Situated on Mount Agung, the temple is a sacred pilgrimage site that features shrines to 30 various Hindu gods.

5. Batubulan

Things to See in Bali

Batubulan

Along the way to Batubulan, stone figures dot the roadside. Here, you can visit an artisan workshop to witness the creation of the internationally famous sandstone demons and deities that decorate the village’s houses and temples.

6. Ubud

A flower seller in Ubud - Things to See in Bali

A flower seller in Ubud

Ubud is widely regarded as the cultural centre of Bali. It is the home of arts and crafts and is bursting with artist workshops and galleries. Ubud’s Museum Purl Lukisan exhibits an extensive permanent collection of Balinese artworks created since the beginning of the 1900s. There is no shortage of handmade wooden carvings of animals on sale either.

7. The Bali Orchid Garden

The Bali Orchid Garden, located near Sanur, makes a perfect relaxing retreat during holidays to Bali. Here, thousands of varieties of orchids bloom throughout the year. The landscaped topical gardens provide a relaxing and peaceful environment for thousands of visitors every month.

The “Top 7 things to see in Bali” was written by Tom Browne, a travel writer who went to Bali back in 2012. Bali holidays are perfect for travellers looking to combine temple-hopping and traditional cultural pursuits with world-class beaches, luxury hotels and unforgettable sunsets.

Why there has never been a better time to visit Russia

Famous for leaders like Vladimir Putin and Joseph Stalin and the longest reigning woman leader in the world, Catherine the Great, Russia is a fascinating land full of contrasts and interesting history. Presently, there has never been a better time to visit Russia. The tumultuous time of change in the government has ended and life in Russia has settled into a relatively peaceful and pleasant existence. Russian holidays are more interesting today because places that were once closed to tourists are now open to them.

Why there has never been a better time to visit Russia - Red Square in Moscow

Red Square in Moscow

Russia is a huge country, spanning over eleven different time zones. It is best to look at visiting Russia in the same way you would consider a visit to several countries. It is smart to allow plenty of time to take in all the sights you’d like to see while on Russian holidays. When there is such a fascinating landscape before you, it is best not to be rushed.

The sights of Russia are best seen either by private tours, or in small group tours. Private tours allow one to view the sights at their own pace, stopping to spend more time doing things that are of a more personal interest. Visiting in small groups is enjoyable allowing one to have the comfortable experience of a knowledgeable guide. Often times, friends can be made on a small group tour due to commonality of experiences.

Why there has never been a better time to visit Russia - St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow

St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow

Visiting Russia provides exceptional memories that last a lifetime. Sights like the Kremlin, St. Petersburg square, the Hermitage and the Russian landscape complete with famous onion shaped domed buildings are important to see. Interesting baroque and aristocratic architectural design make visiting Russia a memorable adventure. The Hermitage is a huge museum that began as a place to hold the treasures that once belonged to Catherine the Great. She had a love for the arts and literature and felt strongly about providing good education to young people.

Why there has never been a better time to visit Russia - The famous Mariinsky Ballet

The famous Mariinsky Ballet

Formerly behind the famous iron curtain, Russia is a unique country that was always shrouded in mystery. It has captured the imagination of tourists. Russian holidays are the best ways to visit historic and cosmopolitan areas like Moscow and St. Petersburg. Other places like the Winter Palace, St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Church on the Spilled Blood provide excellent memories and good history lessons.

Why there has never been a better time to visit Russia - Church on the Spilled Blood in St Petersburg

Church on the Spilled Blood in St Petersburg

Far from being a drab area full of plain buildings made of concrete, modern Russian cities are bustling with life. Those on Russian holidays today enjoy such cultural experiences as art galleries, famous Russian ballets, museums and cultural exhibits. Visitors leave with a better understanding of Russia and its people.

Author: Travel writer Tom Browne has visited Russia several times in his life. He says Russian holidays never fail to surprise and enthral, such is the sheer epic scale of the country as well as the warm hospitality of its people.