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Travelling to Manchester England from the US

Travelling to Manchester in England from the US, used to be quite expensive, but not anymore. I have just come back from a short trip to the UK for less than $500 return flights. That was Boston Logan International to Manchester England, with the Thomas Cook airline.  Here is a short guest post for the Hotels-Fairy.com followers. Enjoy!!!

VISA – for travelling to Manchester in the UK

First things first, U.S. citizens are not required to obtain a visa for tourist or business travel to the United Kingdom for a stay up to 6 months. A valid U.S. Passport is required.

Manchester Airport

When arriving at Manchester Airport be prepared to tell security exactly what you will be doing in Manchester. I’ve found their security team much more demanding than the US airport security.

A few years ago again at Manchester Airport I was stuck at the gate for two hours while security verified who I was visiting. I have no hard feelings, I appreciate people doing their jobs.

Manchester Piccadilly

Also make sure you have some change on you at all times. Especially if you travel at all after normal business hours. You may be charged to use the restroom at the airport and train stations.

Manchester Piccadilly station charges 30 pence (approximately equivalent to 40 cents U.S.) to use the restrooms. Manchester Piccadilly is located in the heart of downtown Manchester.

Travellers tips

When staying at a hotel there are 3 things I would like to bring to your attention. The first is I didn’t find WiFi included with any of the hotels I stayed at. It was always a separate charge.

Second, in the U.S. many hotels include a continental breakfast free of charge. I didn’t find this to be the case anywhere I stayed. Last but not least if you stay pass your checkout time you will be charged. Keep that in mind (Even if it is a very short period after checkout).

Even these days free WiFi is hard to come by, not only in Manchester but anywhere in the England. However, there is one business that I have found that offers it, Starbucks. The sign in process is very simple.

Enable your laptop, tablet or mobile device in Starbucks wherever you see the Free Wi-Fi signs. Once you’re connected, open your web browser and go to www.btopenzone.com.  Just click on the ‘Connect’ button and you will be instantly connected to free Wi-Fi!

Each Wi-Fi session lasts for 2 hours but you can have an unlimited number of sessions every day – just reconnect after 2 hours. Additional rules may apply but I found it to be as simple as that.

The Manchester city centre has plenty of shopping and pubs to keep you busy. The sidewalks are crowded with people on the weekends. Many people are putting on a show for tips. I was pretty impressed with the football skills of some of Manchester’s locals.

I would suggest before leaving to find some time to get on a train to the Old Trafford Stadium. Old Trafford Stadium is the home of Manchester United. Manchester United’s football team is quite possibly the most popular sports team in England, and in the world.

They offer tours of the stadium just about every day, which includes walking through the team’s trophy room, locker room, and viewing of the field. Also it is highly recommended to check out the tunnel and the entrance to Manchester United’s field.

Where to stay when travelling to Manchester

Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa

Conveniently located, Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa offers easy access to Manchester’s main tourist attractions. It also provides a sauna, free WiFi and body treatments.

Rooms are air-conditioned and feature top-of-the-range amenities such as an iPod docking station, a mini bar and luxury toiletries. They all include a refrigerator, tea and coffee making facilities and a private bathroom.

Guests in search of a meal and wanting to stay nearby needn’t look any further than Macdonald’s in-house restaurant, which is open each day for breakfast. In the evening, guests are welcome to wind down in the cosy lounge bar. A variety of cafés and restaurants are also available close by.

Find the best rates

 

 

SACO ManchestTravelling to Manchester - SACO Manchestererer

Strategically located in the middle of the city, this 4-star property makes for an ideal base in Manchester. Surrounded by local bars and restaurants, it is less than 10-minutes’ stroll from Piccadilly Gardens Metrolink Station.

There are a range of amenities available to guests of SACO Manchester, such as meeting rooms, VIP rooms and free WiFi. A fitness centre is available to those wishing to keep up their exercise regimes while travelling.

All the contemporary apartments at Saco Serviced Apartments Manchester provide internet access and a kitchenette.
SACO Manchester offers breakfast every morning that guests can enjoy before heading out to discover the local region.

Saco Serviced Apartments Manchester is conveniently situated for discovering Manchester with Piccadilly Gardens within walking distance. Guests are also able to visit Manchester Town Hall, the Royal Exchange Theatre and Manchester Central Convention Complex.

Find the best rates - SACO Manchester

 

Holiday Inn Manchester

If you are a member of the InterContinental Hotels Rewards Club you can earn points or redeem your points by staying at the Holiday Inn Manchester, which is set in the heart of Manchester.

Holiday Inn Manchester – City Centre is situated near Piccadilly Gardens Metrolink Station, and just a few steps from nearby dining and nightlife options. It provides free WiFi and a laundry service, and is a short walk from London Road Fire Station.

The hotel has 298 well-appointed rooms that are accompanied by a range of essential facilities to ensure guests have an enjoyable stay.

Holiday Inn Manchester – City Centre features both a restaurant and a bar where guests can unwind at the end of the day.

The hotel is situated amongst the area’s popular sightseeing attractions, including Manchester Cathedral, the Royal Exchange Theatre and Manchester Central Convention Complex which are a short walk away. It is within walking distance of Shudehill Interchange, which allows for convenient access in and around Manchester.

 

 

 

The cost of travelling to Manchester England from the US, is half to what it use to be 5 to 10 years ago, obviously the recent decline of the Pound (the British currency) has attributed a lot to that. So what are you waiting for? Visit the UK while it is a really, good bargain!!

Kimberly Agnes, the author of the “Travelling to Manchester England from the US” is a US fashion executive who regularly travels to the UK and Europe form the US.

Hidden Beaches in Miami for a Winter Getaway

Hidden beaches in Miami

For most people living in the Northern Hemisphere, a tropical vacation is among the best ways to beat the winter cold. Miami, in the south east of the US, is a hot destination full of idyllic beaches and a warm, tropical climate.

But due to Miami being a popular vacation spot, tourists from all over the world flock to the area as well, with the famous beaches in Miami feeling a lit bit crowded and hectic. Fortunately for travellers who want to get away from it all, there are less crowded beaches in Miami which are great for a quieter winter escape.

Check out these hidden Miami beaches, away from the typical tourist hotspots.

Hidden Miami Beaches

Sunny Isles Beach

Around 11 miles from the world-famous South Beach is Sunny Isles described by the Canadian Traveller as a tropical paradise, with coastlines totaling a distance of two miles. Sunny Isles faces the mighty Atlantic on one side, and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other.

If you’ve spent enough time on the beach for one day and still have plenty of hours before dark, consider visiting the Everglades National Park, Fairchild Tropical Garden and Jungle Island which welcome tourists and nature lovers of all ages.

For automobile fanatics, a popular exhibit that is located in the area is the renowned Dezer Collection Car Museum.

While theatre aficionados should check out the local arts scene at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

Hidden Beaches in Miami for paddleboarding

Oleta River State Park Beach

Despite it covering over 1,000 acres, Oleta River State Park Beach is relatively unknown to most Miami residents, according to Departures Magazine. Nonetheless, it’s a wonderful spot for outdoor adventures such as kayaking and stand up paddleboarding (SUP).

Several species of birds can also be spotted in the region due to its proximity to both the sea and the Everglades, making it an ideal location for bird watching.

Virgina Key

Virginia Key greets travellers making their way to Key Biscayne after passing the Rickenbacker Causeway from Downtown Miami. This unassuming location holds a myriad of attractions, which can be best appreciated through kayaking.

Florida Rambler shared the experiences that potentially await Virginia Key kayakers: unparalleled views of Miami’s skyline covering the crystal waters of Biscayne Bay; mangrove lagoons with fish and rays swimming underneath that are perfectly visible to the naked eye and; incomparable vantage points towards the unused Miami Marine Stadium which, at one time, held the record for the longest span of cantilevered concrete in the world. Deep breath.

Miami Beach lifeguard post

These hidden beaches in Miami will cater best to off the beaten path travellers, and it’s comforting to know as well that despite being relatively quieter than some famous Miami attractions, they are totally safe for tourists.

In fact, both Sunny Isles and Key Biscayne are included in the safest neighbourhoods of Miami-Dade county as discussed in a list compiled by Discover Homes.

So if you plan on heading to Miami to escape the harsh winter weather, it is highly recommended to consider one of the hidden beaches in Miami. Take a look beyond the city’s beaches and head to some less well discovered tourist spots for a more secluded and memorable getaway.

 

A travel guide to lesser known attractions in the UK

british-bagpipeMost travellers who plan to visit the United Kingdom for the first time have in mind a dozen or so places or attractions in the UK that they would like to see.

Some very well-known tourist spots are around London, the Big Ben, the Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, etc.

But, if you really want to see and experience the true British culture and hospitality of which the Great Albion is well known, you have to leave London behind and become a traveller not a tourist!

First of all get yourself a standard BritRail GB Pass for 194.00 pounds, which is valid for eight days or if you are on a budget a National Express Brit Xplorer pass for 79.00 pounds which is valid for week.

Either of them will do and they will save you a fortune. Now you can set off and discover some of Britain’s hidden gems.

Barnard castle

Quite often when we talk about famous British castles, the Alnwick castle comes first, obviously the Harry Potter, movie has done a lot to make this magnificent castle the first choices for many travellers. Almost a million visitors went to Alnwick castle last year.

Barnard Castle 2016

However, if you wish to escape the crowds the little-know Barnard castle on the north of England is highly recommended. This 12th-century castle provides an amazing view of the river Tees. On the north east of Barnard castle is the city and county town of Durham, and on the east is the market town of Darlington.

Barnard castle is also the ideal starting point for exploring the Lake District. But before you head to the Lake District, check out the Bowes Museum which is just 15 minutes’ walk to the west of Barnard castle. So what are you waiting for? Add it to your list!

Dunwich Village

Only a few hours away by rail, Dunwich is the ideal destination for a short trip or a long weekend away from London. Dunwich during the Anglo-Saxon period was a major trading centre with a very busy commercial harbour.

Unfortunately the unpredictable weather conditions and ferocious storms that hit the East Anglian coast forced its inhabitants to evacuate the town on a numerous occasions through the centuries.

Due to coastal erosion Dunwich’s population has been forced to relocate and these days less than 200 people live in Dunwich.

Lesser known attractions in the UK - Dunwich heath 2016

Nevertheless, the natural beauty of the coastal lowland heath attracts many, nature enthusiasts, bird watchers and walkers.

If all that walking makes you feel a little peckish, head towards the Coastguard cottages, there you will find a small café that serves tea and freshly ground coffee with a wide selection of delicious homemade cakes.

Next door you will find the Dunwich Heath souvenirs shop to purchase some souvenirs and gifts for the family and friends back home.

the-ship-inn-hotel-dunwich

For a long weekend in Dunwich we highly recommend The Ship Inn Hotel Dunwich a small traditional and cosy guest house just a short drive from Westleton but within a walking distance of Dunwich’s well-known attractions and landmarks.

If you wish to save even more on your accommodation you can check out some cheaper deals with discount codes from Hotels.com

Lansallos Village

Lansallos is a small village and civil parish in south Cornwall that attracts many British holiday makers as it is well known for its stunning beaches.

Lansallos in Cornwall 2016

The Lansallos beach is small natural sandy beach easily accessible to visitors by the footpath next to the St Ildierna’s Church. The longest beach is at Lantic Bay, a beautiful horseshoe shape of beach with a steep climb back up to the coastal footpath.

If you decide to get down to either beach, be aware of the high and low tides in the area so you don’t get caught out. If in doubt ask one of the locals, they will be happy to advise you.

Clevedon Pier

Most people travelling to Britain, are aware of the Blackpool Pier and the Brighton Pier, they are both well photographed and documented in the media, the Clevedon Pier is less well known.

Top attractions in the UK - Clevedon Pier 2016

The Pier located in the town of Clevedon, in Somerset and it was built during the Victorian times as a docking station for the passenger steamer from Devon and Wales.

The Clevedon Pier is 312 meters long and 5 meters wide. The whole structure is designed with metal beams and wooden planks for decking, it stands just 4.30 meters above the sea level.

There are a number of hotels and B&B within a walking distance to the Clevedon Pier, the Highcliffe Hotel Clevedon as well as the The Moon & Sixpence offer comfortable and reasonably priced accommodation. For greater savings on hotels and bed and breakfast deals check out the Dealslands website.

Camley Street Natural Park

Camley street natural park in London Our last suggestion is the Camley street natural park, and there is a good reason why we left it for last. Not because it is inferior to the rest of the attractions but because it is easily accessible by foot. No need for a rail pass or a long distance coach ride.

The Camley street natural park is located in the centre of London just off  the King’s Cross rail station.

So once you are done with the Museums, shopping centres, pubs and cafes, head over to the King Cross station, then just a five minutes’ walk off the station and you will be into an amazing oasis.

The Camley street natural park is managed by London Wildlife Trust and is the habitat of a number of different and rear birds, butterflies and bees all spread across two hectares of land.

The park runs alongside the Regent’s canal where you can see narrow boats, ducks, geese and moorhens. There is also a small visitor’s centre with a cafe and toilet facilities.

So if you really want to have memorable holidays in the UK, full of British history and culture then try our five suggestions above.

These suggestions would not be found on the mainstream travel guides but these lesser known attractions in the UK encapsulate the rich British heritage through the centuries, unique, unspoiled and picturesque, the very best of Great Britain.

Greek Islands: Four romantic days on the island of Naxos

Old windmills at Filoti village

Last summer my girlfriend and I were in a big dilemma regarding our holiday destination where we could spend a few days to relax away from the busy life in Athens. The choices between the Greek Islands?
A few hundreds. After several recommendations from our friends the decision was taken with a great enthusiasm.

What was the destination? The beautiful island of Naxos.

Naxos Town

The island of Naxos is located in the center of the Aegean Sea and it is part of the Cyclades islands. Naxos is ideal for couples and families as it offers an excellent cuisine, perfect beaches and plenty of activities to choose from.

A lovely donkey near Moutsouna beachI would strongly suggest to rent a car rather than a scooter or ATV for your transportation. The distances tend to be long and the roads are in a good shape.

However, some times in order to reach your destination you have to go through gravel roads with sharp stones. Also some times the roads are quite slippery and with many U-turns and relatively high elevation.

In addition you have to bear in mind that the public bus service doesn’t have a very dense schedule so if you wish to explore most of the island you must definitely rent a car.

I will also recommend you arrange your accommodation in Chora (the capital of the island) so you can be near the night life and the harbour so you don’t have to drive more than you really need.

If you wish to be on a more quiet and relaxed area, Filoti village is a very good choice. It is located in the center of the island and getting to all the main beaches around the island is significantly easier.

Four day itinerary on the island of Naxos

 

Marble streets on the island of NaxosDay 1: Leave from Chora and head to Apeiranthos. An amazing village with old traditional buildings, some have been built with marble and they are dated back to the years of Venetian occupation of the island of Naxos, some even predate that.

The village of Apeiranthos is famous for its local meats and cheese delicacies. The locals are extremely hospitable and willing to help you if you need directions to get to your destination.

Go around, walk and explore the side streets, admire the old buildings, the two Venetian towers, when you need a rest sit at one of the local restaurant and enjoy the local cousin.

I would definitely recommend Platanos restaurant, since we sat there and we were very happy with the quality of the food and prices of the restaurant.

After you taste the local cousin and enjoy a cup of coffee, you can head to the beach of Moutsouna which is approximately 25 to 30 minutes by car. The road is full of turns and on a high elevation so drive slowly and carefully.

At Moutsouna beach we discovered two traditional fish restaurants which unfortunately we did not have the chance to try as we were full from our previous stop but both looked quite good. We are planning to try their delicacies on our next visit to the island. Once you eat or swim you can move on to the beach of Panormos which we found amazing, relaxing and very quiet.

The amazing and quiet beach Panermos

On the Southeast side of the island and away from the crowds of tourists it’s definitely a place you should visit in case you just want to relax. However go there well equipped. There is a small and friendly canteen but it is a bit pricey and there are not many parasols.

Once you rest enough by the beach it is time to drive all the way back to your accommodation which is not a short drive so plan ahead and try to head back before the sun sets.

In the evening you can spend your time exploring the town’s side streets, the various romantic restaurants or the night clubs and bars to enjoy your cocktail.

Clystal blue-green water at the hidden beach near AgiassosDay 2: The second day we choose Agiasos beach located at the South side of the island.

However, the beach I am talking about is located 500 meters after Agiasos village. So once you see the sign ‘to Agiasos’’ on your left, simply ignore it and drive 500 meters further down the road. You will see a small gravel road heading to the beach where you can drive and park your car.

There you will find two amazing beaches that are not crowded at all.
Warning the smaller one on the far right end quite often is used by nudists. So be aware and make your choice.

If you continue on the gravel road you will find Alykes beach and Kastraki beach. On the last one try to visit the old deserted hotel and its deserted beach where you can swim all by yourself without anyone else!!! Your own private beach.

On your way back you can visit the cave of Za, which is located on a hill. To get there you have to drive up to a certain point on the road and then walk the rest of the way up.

You will definitely need sports or hiking shoes because a big part of the path is not paved. Be careful when you are entering the cave as its very dark and slippery, but for us it definitely worth the effort.

View from Za cave at the Island of Naxos

On your way back you can stop at Filoti village, where you can enjoy the local meat products (try the lamp chops!!!) at the traditional taverns situated in the center of the village under the huge trees. Many shepherds live in the village so if you are interested in buying dairy products straight from the producers, feel free to ask the locals at the square and they will direct you to one of the producers.

Once your rest you may wish go back to the city and enjoy an ice cream at Waffles house or have a drink at People’s bar.

Don’t forget to visit the famous Naxos candy store situated in the old city. It makes candies with traditional flavours and aromas such as Ouzo, Cinnamon and Citron, you can also find many modern and unexpected ones such as various combinations of Spicy, Sweet and other tastes. The owners were very hospitable; they even gave us a nice shot of a local drink called Raki.

One of the many beaches at Agia Anna on the Island of Naxos

Day 3: On the third day of your stay on the island of Naxos, you can visit Agia Annas beach and then Maragkas and many beautiful beaches situated one after the other, you would be spoiled for choice, believe me. If you like pizza try to find the “Mama Mia” pizzeria which is quite famous on the island. The Italian owners have brought a taste of Italy on the Greek island of Naxos.

A grandpa enjoing his coffe and the wonderful dayDay 4 : I would suggest on your last day to go to the Panermos bay. The driving is a bit long and strenuous for about 1-1.5 hours and there are not many interesting things to see or do on the way. However, the sandy beach is honestly incredible; it feels like you are not in the Aegean Sea but on an island somewhere in heaven!!!

Make sure you bring with you plenty of water, parasols and everything else you might need because after a certain point on the road there are no super markets or villages. Also there are no sun beds or umbrellas for hire so plan accordingly!!

On the right edge of the beach there is a very nice tavern with an amazing view of the beach and the Aegean Sea with very hospitable owners. The Panermos bay is quite far away, but if you can give it a day I am sure it will be the highlight of your trip.

While on the island of Naxos there are certain things you must definitely buy or taste. I would highly recommend the local dairy products such as Arseniko, Graviera and Ksinomizithra. Also the meat products which are produced on the island with traditional methods, the local fish and last but not least the local honey called Zikomelo.

We only stayed on the island of Naxos for four and half days but the people, the beautiful sceneries, the refreshing and relaxed atmosphere of the island were more than enough to recharge our batteries and keep us going through the hot summer.

Sunset,view and your girl._what more can you ask

I will definitely recommend the island of Naxos for a long holiday or even a short trip to unwind, relax and explore the beauty of the Greek islands.

This summer live your myth in Greece!!!

Spyros Skouris the author of the 4 romantic days on the island of NaxosAbout the author

Spyros Skouris the author of the article “Greek Islands: Four romantic days on the island of Naxos” can help you arrange your dream vacations on your visit to Athens in Greece.

He also owns an apartment in Athens which is available to rent on Airbnb.

Destination Morocco: Maroc N Roll 2016

Marocn rollIt is this time of the year again that you have to choose a destination for you summer holidays.

You have worked hard, you saved a bit of money, not enough but you are getting there. However, you can’t make up your mind where to go for your summer vacations.

You have looked into many brochures, you searched on-line but they all look the same boring package holidays, there is nothing exiting for you.

Not anymore we have a suggestion for you “ Maroc N Roll 2016 ”

“ Maroc N Roll 2016 ” will take place next summer between the 4th and the 21st of June. It is a 2 to 3 week road trip around Morocco, a group of 20 plus travelers will be taking part in this adventure. Staying in a variety of accommodations from rooftop terraces to desert hotels, Berber tents and even sleeping under the stars.

The trip has been organized and run by Barney and Lizzie who are both former students of Oxford Brookes University. Most of the participants of the trip are 18 to 35 year old but all are welcome as long as they have a healthy sense of humour and a love of adventure travel.

Maroc N Roll 2016 bus

The highest mountain in North Africa; the largest desert in the world; goats that climb trees; a camel burger; a camel ride (not the same camel ;), big jumps off waterfalls and camping out with nomads. These are just a fraction of what’s on offer in this summer’s Maroc N Roll 2016 adventure!

Highlights include

  • Sahara desert camel trek
  • 100 ft. waterfalls of Ouzoud
  • Climbing North Africa’s highest mountain Toubkal
  • Shopping in the markets of Marrakech
  • Atlantic coast beaches
  • Rock climbing in the magnificent Todra Gorge
  • Quad biking, horse riding, wind surfing….and much much more…

camel riding at Maroc N Roll 2016

“ Maroc N Roll 2016 ” Full Itinerary

Day 1-3 What better place to start a trip than on a beach – Essouaria, a great surfing town on the windy Atlantic coast this is the perfect spot to start our trip.

Horse riding, quad biking, surfing and wind surfing are all options here where we stay together in one huge apartment in the centre of the old medina.

Day 4  Marrakech – for those of you still wondering at the wonderful sunsets on the beach and the lapping of the waves on your toes…wake up!!

This is Marrakech – one of the most vibrant and hectic cities in the world. Keep your wits about you or we’ll lose you to the never ending market souks where you can buy anything from a Magic carpet to a talking chameleon. Staying on the rooftops of Hotel Ali looking out over the famous Jemma Fna square

Toubkal mountain in North Africa - Maroc N Roll 2016

Day 5-6  Toubkal is North Africa’s highest mountain and at half the height of Everest this is no picnic. It takes 2 days and nights to summit but for those of you that make it it’s worth every enduring step!

There’s no experience or equipment needed here, it’s a simple case of mind over matter as you head past tiny Berber villages and up the slopes of the High Atlas mountains before sleeping at the base camp and making your final push for the summit through the odd pile of snow left over from the winter.

Day 7   Back to Marrakech to rest and recuperate – you’ll need it.

Maroc N Roll 2016 jumping in the waterfalls

Day 8-9  Cascades D’ouzoud – the largest waterfalls in Morocco these are really spectacular. Over 100 ft. high and surrounded by campsites and restaurants you can even take a tiny boat and get rowed into the falls themselves – as long as you don’t mind getting wet!

We’ll be staying in some Berber tents down below the falls giving us a great view for 2 days whiling away the time jumping off high things or exploring the pathways on foot.

Day 10  Ait Benhaddou – ‘Hollywood of Morocco’ this is the setting of numerous movies and TV including ‘Gladiator’, ‘Babel’ ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ and more recently ‘Game of Thrones’. One night here sleeping on the rooftops before heading towards the desert.

Day 11-12  Todra Gorge – A couple of hours from the desert and we’re in a completely different setting but just as stunning. A huge gorge in the rocks here opens up to offer spectacular views and some great climbing opportunities. Ropes, helmets and harnesses supplied for those of you wanting to scale the cliffs.

For the rest of you just chill out by the pool washing the sand off yourselves from the desert or walk through the beautiful palmery that covers the river bed below.

Maroc N Roll 2016 Sahara desert

Day 13   Sahara & Erfoud – Arriving in the desert kingdom of Erfoud we’ll have lunch a look around this interesting ‘gateway to the desert’ town. Then in the afternoon we’ll head off to Merzouga where we chill out in a plush hotel with swimming pool before our night in the dunes commences.

If a night in the dunes just isn’t for you then yes you can stay in the plush hotel for the same price as the camel trek. As evening draws in it’s off road into the desert by camel for a 2 hour trek into the dunes.

Sleeping under the stars or in a bed – the choice is yours – you’ll dine in the dunes before sleeping then waking up to the sun creeping over the sand. Leaving before it gets too hot out here we head back with our camels for our next adventure.

Maroc N Roll 2016 crossing the desert by bus

Day 14   Camping with the Nomads. Now that you’re familiar with the culture let’s go and meet some locals, and enjoy their hospitality. Heading south towards the desert we’ll stop over and camp under the stars surrounded by forests where you may well spot a monkey or two as well as learn to make some bread or weave a carpet nomad style.

Day 15-17   Chefchaouen – Hidden in the Rif mountains and only really visible once you are upon it, Chefchaoeun is a stunningly beautiful, chilled out blue and white village where we begin our adventure.

A day trip to paradise falls here in Akchour make this an unforgettable way to start the journey and bring you gently into the dramatic culture change from Europe to North Africa. Staying in a small hotel in the centre of the town.

The Overlanders

Day 18   Heading back to London from Tangier or Rabat on the coast.

This is not a holiday, this is the travel adventure of a life time.

So you better hurry up as places are getting filled up really quickly.

For more information on how to book your “Moroc N Roll 2016” adventure please contact Barney and Lizzie on their website bellow:

http://www.theoverlanders.net/ or you can get in touch with them on Facebook.

 

Maroc N Roll 2016  https://www.facebook.com/events/1035610683137415/

The Overlanders  https://www.facebook.com/foreveroverland/

 

Lads holiday to Antalya Turkey

Andrew Wain 2015With the university exams out of the way, we gathered at the pub debating where to go for our summer holidays.

There were four of us, Mat, George, Kevin, and myself Andrew.

The choices were mainly Spain, Italy, Greece, but with our student budget been on the low side we had to eliminate most of the ideas.

Even if we could get a low cost airline like Easyjet to fly us to Spain we couldn’t collect enough money among us to book a cheap hotel room for four lads in Spain.

Disaster was looming on the horizon, we could all see ourselves spending the summer at home with a trip down to Southampton for a long weekend.

That was all until Murat, the fifth member of our university gang pop in to our table holding a travel map to Antalya in Turkey.

Murat was born in Luton but his parents came from Turkey in the early eighties. His parents still have contacts with their extended family back in Turkey and Murat had been toying with the idea of going to Antalya to see where his parents grew up.

Needless to say the connection was instant!! Murat’s family had a house in Antalya. After a few more rounds at the pub our travel plan was set, hands were shaken, we were good to go. Our first lads holiday to Antalya in Turkey.

easy jet turkey antalya 2015

We flown from Gatwick with Easyjet and we landed at Antalya airport just before 10:00 a night. We were picked up by Bulent, Murat’s cousin who took us to our accommodation and promise to show us around the next morning.

Antalya city is definitely a modern city built on the South Western coast of Turkey with a population of around one million with a lot of buzz and night life for the holiday makers.

Antalya Turkey fish restaurants

In the morning we took the tram upto the Hadrian’s Gate or Üçkapılar in Turkish and we walked into the old part of the city the Kaleici for some sight seen.

Antalya was buzzing, many touristic shops selling souvenirs, beach clothes and café/restaurants are cramped in the rather small space of the old city with narrow streets and paths that somehow all seem to lead downhill towards the old harbor.

Konyaalti Beach

Turkish flag - Lads holiday to Antalya 2015

The next morning we walked back to Hadrian’s Gate and took the tram to Konyaallti beach.

Konyaalti beach is on the western side of Antalya city and it is about 7 km long. At the far end of the beach you can clearly see the Beydagları mountains. Inwards from the beach there is a huge green park with plenty of cafes, bars, nightclubs and hotels.

If you fancy doing more than just swimming and sunbathing on the Konyaalti beach, a short walk towards the park and across the Dumlupınar road are the Aqualand waterpark and the Antalya Aquarium, one of the biggest aquariums in Turkey, it claims to have the longest tunnel aquarium in the world, 131 meters long!!

We really liked the beautiful designed thematic exhibitions of different seas, oceans and rivers. There are many different types of sea species small and big as well as sharks. The sharks are not huge but there are really many of them and you can see the divers swimming among the sharks while feeding them.

Antalya Aquarium - Lads holiday to Turkey

All signs at the Antalya Aquarium are written in 3 languages: Turkey, English and Russian. It cost us 75 Turkish Lira per person for entrance to the aquarium. On the ground floor as you exit the aquarium there is food court with a number of different establishments to choose. By that time we were starving so we marched to McDonald’s which these days seems to be everywhere.

Lara Beach

Lara beach was our second favorite beach in Antalya. You can drive to the beach or get there by taxi but since we were on a budget, Bulent advised us to take a small minibus from the centre. In Turkey they call them Dolmush and they seem to be everywhere and run very frequent services across the city.

However, sometimes they can get very crowded. To the Lara beach you need Dolmush number 18, 30 and 77, it took us around 40 minutes to the beach and it only cost us 2,5 Turkish Lira each, which is around a dollar each.

lara beach antalya

Lara beach was not as busy as Konyaalti beach, which was a surprise as it is the longest sandy beach in Turkey and offers stunning views of the Mediterranean sea. We had a long walk and it seems some spot on the beach tend to be more popular than other with private organized beach clubs.

With the temperature on the beach approaching 40C we decided to rent a couple of umbrellas and sunbeds. There are plenty of bars with cold beers, to keep you cool and refreshed and since we were in Turkey Efes beer was our first choice!!

Side

Side is a holiday resort around an hour from Antalya city, full of 5 star hotels. It also seems to be very popular with Russian tourists. Side has calm water and fine sandy beaches, plenty of water-sport activities and is dominated by all inclusive type of hotels.

Antalya City

During our stay in Antalya we also hopped into a pirate boat and went for a daily cruise. There are many boats leaving around 10 in the morning from the old harbor.

Don’t get intimidated by the Turkish sales men who claim to have a last minute special fare, walk around and compare the different cruises before you make up your mind. Then you are ready to start bargaining, believe me bargaining is part of the Turkish culture.

Fares vary according to the length of the trip, we went for the six hours cruise.

lads boat trip in antalya

Once on board we snap some photos and had a few rounds of beers, loud party music was echoed around the boat reflecting the mood of our group. After almost an hour of sail we stopped twice for swimming and snorkeling in some truly amazing bays.

Complimentary food was also provided by the crew of the boat. We were served spaghetti, green salad and fish barbequed which was delicious and after a tasty lunch, there was even more time to relax as we sailed slowly back towards the harbor.

Night life

The night life in Antalya did not disappoint us. Having a local on our side we were taken to all the best pubs, bars and night clubs. Kaleici at night was heaving with young Turks and tourists, the narrowed streets where full of folk-songs bars and little colorful taverns. The Turks seem to party until the morning, so we joined them too!

Ally’s night club was our favorite night club, great music, amazing sea view, and plenty of girls to dance and flirt until the sun comes out. OK drinks were a little bit expensive but we were lucky to be amongst a group of friends of Bulent so we were charge local prices, no tourist prices. I could write more here but as they say, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!!

club ally antalya turkey

I have to admit that towards the beginning of the second week of our holiday to Antalya we were all running low on cash, our student budget could not support our all night partying lifestyle, so we started spending more time at the beach than going clubbing and partying every single night.

Without doubt this was our best holiday so far, we had great time, we made a lot of friends and we all agreed that we would definitely be going back to Antalya in the future.

I am actually thinking after my graduation to apply for a job in Antalya, Turkey. There are many hotels in Antalya that require English speaking staff, for various roles during the summer.

Andrew Wain, the author of the lads holiday to Antalya in Turkey is a final year student of hospitality and hotel management at LMU.

Vital information You Need to Know Before Travelling to the US

Need to Know Before Travelling to the US 2015One of the worst things you can do is to realize you have left out something or forgotten an important detail just before you board a plane to the United States.

Travelling today is a little bit technical due to issues of global terrorism, changing weather patterns and country specific restrictions that have to be adhered to.

To travel safely and comfortably, Hotels-Fairy.com has compiled a brief guide with the most important things you need to know before travelling to the US.

So here are a few things you might want to check out.

Delays could happen

Remember if you are travelling in winter snow storms could bring about cancellations and delays across the main airline hubs within the US. Before travelling, you might want to contact your airline or travel company to prepare accordingly. You can also monitor the US airport conditions online, such as through the Federal Aviation Administration site.

Do not forget that the US hurricane season usually begins from June all the way to November and it is capable of affecting the coastal regions of the United States.

Medical Cover

Almost 4 million people from Britain visit the US annually and while the visits are usually without any trouble, you might want to get yourself a comprehensive medical and travel cover before travelling. This is very important because anything could happen while in the New World.

Valid travel documents and detailsNew York city 2015

Before you travel to the United States ensure that your passport, Visa or any other travelling document is valid and has not expired. If you are from the UK and other 37 Visa Waiver countries you can easily enter the United States without a valid US visa for three months or 90 days.

The Visa Waiver Program allows you to visit the US for tourism or business reasons and you do not have to wait until a valid visa has been granted. However, as one of the citizens in the Visa Waiver countries you need to apply for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) to be allowed to enter the country.

Citizens of other countries outside the Visa Waiver nations must apply for valid US visa to be allowed entry.

 Travellers from risky regions

It is worth noting that travellers arriving from countries affected by Ebola in West Africa, particularly Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea should arrive at any of the five main airports so that they can undergo proper health screening. While this can change, it is always important to clarify and counter check before you travel.

Taxi-Cab-New-York

Car hire

If you are planning to hire a car in the US to save time and money that you could have used in public transport and taxis, make the arrangements before you board the plane. Renting a car prior to travelling can help you save money and time, especially if done online due to immense deals offered to travellers.

Specific requirements

If you have unique requirements that might complicate your travelling or your health it is important to notify the airline as soon as possible. This could save you a lot of trouble as well as incurring losses while in America, which you could have avoided with a little planning.

Above all, you might want to remain as safe as you can and observe caution. Even in a great country like the US something negative could happen at any moment as history has shown.

america capitol washington dc