Holiday & Travel Guide For Majorca, Spain

Majorca is the largest island of Spain and lies in the middle of the Mediterranean sea. The actual name Majorca derives from the Latin for Larger Island. Majorca is a sun drenched island which has been a go to place for British holiday makers since the package holiday was introduced back in the 1950’s, and the popularity has been on a steady increase ever since. Some Brits liked the island so much that they decide to relocate there, expats now make nearly 12% of Spain’s population.

Majorca is divided up into fifty three different municipalities and since tourism accounts for eighty percent of the annual income in Majorca, it gives this island an abundant amount of things which tourists can jump right into. Whether you like shopping or relaxing, Majorca has it all on one island.

The capital city of Majorca, Palma, has a great atmosphere and is full of examples of exquisite architecture which would be the back drop to any holiday snap which you can boast about back home. Palma, being situated on the south-west coast of the island, has the best of both worlds with the city supplying everything and anything which you could think of and being dominated by the huge Palma cathedral with its Gothic style (dating back to 1601), to the beautiful sandy beaches just a stones throw away.

If you are not really into site seeing holidays then there is also Magaluf, one of the biggest resorts in the municipality of Calvià, situated right next to Palma. Here you can party all through the night and shop all through the day if you so wish, perfect for the younger tourists or for 20-somethings on a fun summer break. If you manage to drag yourself out of bed after clubbing, Magaluf also has two water parks, a variety of water sports including diving and jet skiing, and the mighty Black lizard island so named as it has a large number of black lizards on it. Black lizard island is in the middle of Magaluf bay, around 500 meters from the shore and can only be reached by swimming, making it a real challenge. Magaluf has also been host to many famous DJ’s in the past, such as: Judge Jules, Tiesto, Pat Sharp and Tim Westwood. The action in Magaluf is centred around the main strip, a road with five main clubs on, these can be entered for a fee or a pass can be bought which will allow you access to all five of the main clubs for the night or for a week. Obviously the price varies on which type of pass you wish to purchase.

The region is great for any age, as there are plenty of daytime activities which can keep kids and adults alike busy, and it is easy to get transportation into Magaluf, or a hotel there far enough away from the main strip, that people can party in style and families will not have to be affected.

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Holiday & Travel Guide For Parga, Greece

Sightseeing

The wonderful small town of Parga on the Greek mainland is very picturesque, with its Venetian style white washed houses lining the cobbled streets that are decorated with flowers in bloom all through the Summer months. This delightful town has a few tourist attractions on offer. For one there are more than enough churches to visit, St Nikolas church dominates the centre of the town and is quite impressive from the outside but when you enter its rather disappointing, but still worth a visit. The castle that stands above the town is definitely worth the long walk up the narrow pathway. If you’re walking ability is limited then you may not manage to walk up the many steps that lead you to the castle. Just walking around the narrow streets in Parga is interesting and very photogenic. They are rather steep but at a leisurely pace most people will be able to explore the area. If you’re feeling energetic and would like some fabulous shots of the scenery on the island I would advise a walk up the hill to the little church. The views are panoramic and it really is well worth the walk. For those of you wanting to see something a little more architectural then you could either hire a car to drive to Ioannina or take public transport. The town has an ancient Oracle of the Dead and also a large Amphitheatre to explore along with the old castle that they now use as a museum.

Shopping and eating

The best place to shop is probably in the old part of the town where it is a warren of shops of every kind. You can purchase beautiful handmade jewellery and leather items along with some quality ceramics. There has to be something for everyone whether it’s in the old town or newer part. You will also find some interesting items in the local villages around Parga. There are about as many restaurants as there are shops in this small town so you have an excellent amount of choice. This is excellent for those families on a budget as you will be sure to find somewhere that the price is right. The cuisine is mostly Greek but there are Chinese, Italian and places serving typical international meals. For those of you who don’t like to experiment you will even find a co-op store to stock up on shopping. This is ideal if you are self catering and need to purchase those necessities you may have forgotten to bring along with you.

Beaches

All the beaches in Parga are wonderful, peaceful and not too crowded. Valtos beach is ideal for swimming, jet skiing and having a go on the banana boat along with boating and many other activities. You will find most of the beaches have good facilities and activities to suit most people. With the weather from April through to October being very nice it’s ideal for a holiday away at anytime of the year.

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Holiday & Travel Guide For the Algarve, Portugal

The Algarve makes up southern Portugal and is well known for great seafood as well as the production of other foodstuffs. This means that your holiday there will be fuelled by some fantastic food, from authentic cuisine of the local area, to many English style pubs and restaurants that are an easy choice for any family containing fussy eaters.

A good all round resort, the Algarve is a place where active life can be indulged in. There are many famous golfing courses in the area, which are best used in late Autumn to late Spring, when there is a nice heat and good playing conditions. There are 35 courses to choose from just in the Algarve, so it is easy to get over there with your clubs and enjoy many games as lazy days stretch by and you compete with your fellow golfers. Mostly along the very south of the region, you should explore all of the courses, and work your way from the western tip of the region to the eastern tip in order to make the most of every course you can. With a nice variety of food establishments and club houses mixed in amongst them, every course is a little bit different and a thoroughly relaxing holiday can be had with one of your favourite pastimes as the centrepiece.

Outdoor bowls and tennis are both sports which also have greens and courts scattered around, so you can make the most of your favourite activity in the sun, under the beautiful Portuguese skies. Watersports, with the coast being a dominant part of the region, are also an obviously popular choice for holiday goers too. Go on a coastal cruise in the Santa Bernada Pirate Ship, which goes to Lagos in the west and east to Armação de Pêra. The caves of the area can all be seen and maybe explored by people on board this trip, before a beautiful beach emerges where there will be a barbeque and a chance to snorkel out to see the wildlife. There are 3 programmes offered by the operators of this ship, so you can choose something to suit you for a lovely day out exploring the landscape and hidden treasures of the Algarve.

Zoomarine is a great choice for families and has dolphin, seal and sea lion shows as well as a fairground with amusement rides you can partake in. The Dolphin Interaction Programme is also something that can be taken advantage of here (there is free park entry if you do) and allows you to get close to the dolphins themselves and learn about them whilst being able to swim in the same waters, watched by an instructor.

Similarly, Lagos Zoo is home to the Iberian Lynx and other both regional and more exotic creatures, so you can see an array of wildlife. Young children will love petting ponies, ducks, chickens and other animals in the interactive areas of the zoo. There is plenty to do all day here, with education being a priority through a series of available activities within the grounds, which will promote learning and fun, before a great meal on site.

With many tourist attractions, as well as the usual beaches, the Algarve offers a new world to explore if you book a holiday to this area, either for the renowned sports activities or just for a nice break away from home.

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Holiday & Travel Guide For Hurghada, Egypt

On the Eastern coast of Egypt lies the perfect tourist resort called Hurghada. Bordered by the Red Sea with gloriously golden sands and crystal clear waters, Hurghada is an idyllic back drop to base any family holiday around. Hurghada being situated so close to the Equator means that the temperature is constantly hovering around the thirty degree mark, making it the perfect place to top up your tan. Hurghada has its own international airport, but only a select few European airports fly directly to it. However, it is conveniently only a thirty minute transfer from Cairo airport.

Even though Hurghada is in Egypt it’s not just all about old relics and massive pyramids. Hurghada offers a more cosmopolitan life style in comparison to the traditional holidays in Egypt, with lots of modern activities available. Hughada is an international centre for aquatic sports, offering every type of activity which can possibly be offered within the water domain. If they do not do it in Hurghada then they will not do it anywhere else. Hurghada also boasts being home to the incredible underwater gardens which are only found in here, nowhere else in the world. Hurghada is unique in that it has warm offshore waters making it incredibly famous amongst the diving community, but if diving is not your cup of tea then all of the underwater brilliance is available to see from aboard a glass bottom boat if you wish to stay nice and dry but still experience the wonders.

If you have this picture in your head of a small sleepy port town that has a harbour full of boats and a sea full of enthusiastic divers, then you could not be more further from the truth than that. Hurghada is known as a party town known amongst the European community: it is not unusual in Hurghada for a bar to be taken over by the tourist groups where the parties can go on until the early hours of the next day. Hurghada seems to be a mixing pot of many nationalities, being popular with not only British tourists but Italians, Poles, Russians, Czechs and Germans.

However, this does not mean that Hurghada is exclusively for the teenage population looking for a good party. Hurghada also caters for the younger holiday makers, having a fine selection of zoos, play grounds, aqua parks, isolated child friendly diving areas for snorkelling and tailor made scuba diving trips for children. There are also non water-related activities for children available in Hurghada such as golf and bowling. This is especially true in the north part of the resort, known as El Gouna, which specializes in meeting the needs of the holiday makers by supplying near enough everything that you could possibly want from a holiday. This can range from sleepy markets and bazaars, to fun filled activity centres and play grounds. Taking all of this into consideration Hurghada would make the perfect holiday destination for any family or group of friends that are looking for fun and a memorable time.

Happy Holidays

Coping With Cancer During The Holidays – A Guide For Patients And Caregivers

The holidays can be a particularly difficult time of year when a family is coping with a brain tumor. It is not abnormal to feel like your usual holiday cheer has been overshadowed by incongruent feelings. Here are the Brain Tumor Buzz’s top ten helpful hints to ease the process… “Before you call the whole season off.”

1. Normalcy is Good – This is especially important when you feel so detached from your normal holiday cheer or excitement. The goal this year is to find a new normal, while honoring family tradition.

2. Create a New Normal – Participate in the usual holiday festivities that you feel up to, but do not feel obligated. This is also a great time to institute those new holiday traditions that you have been pining over for the last five years.

3. Do Not Isolate-Even though you may not be in a celebratory mood. Do not avoid the holidays. Most people do find relief in participating in some holiday activities. It is healthy to be around others, and can help you to feel supported.

4. Allow Others to Offer Support – Many people do not know how to respond when someone they know and love has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Allow others to help in their own way. Some are good at cooking, others like to clean, shop, or decorate. These activities can be a big help during this busy time of year. Remember, people would not offer if they did not want to help. Do not feel like you are burdening them. This allows them to feel supportive and helpful to you.

5. Be Respectful-Try to discuss the holidays ahead of time. This will allow caregivers to plan appropriately for parties, presents, and decorating. As caregivers, we help from the heart, but not always the mind. Be respectful of decorating, cooking, and other planning. These activities can be very emotional for someone with a brain tumor, and may be more upsetting then good.

6. Express Yourself-Brain tumors require multifaceted treatments, which often include mood altering agents. Steroids and other medications have a nasty way of wreaking havoc on normally pleasant people. This can become very overwhelming quickly in combination with the normal stress that accompanies the holidays. Therefore, it is important to allow for happiness, sadness, and every emotion in between. Emotions and crying are normal and facilitate the healing process. Remember, mood fluctuations in individuals with brain tumors are normal. Do not take them personally.

7. Set Your Own Pace-Brain tumors often bring aphasia or other speech difficulties. Remember that crowds may be too overwhelming for your loved one. Try to arrange smaller group gatherings if possible. Provide frequent breaks or limit visits to avoid frustration. Make a signal together so that they can discreetly inform you when they need a break.

8. Rest and Relax-Remember, it is important to take care of yourself first. Do not overdue it. Let your body and mind direct your activities, and remember to take a break. Try shopping from home this year or allow others to shop for you.

9. Protect Yourself – This is an important message to patients and caregivers alike. Many germs come with all of those holiday visitors and their goodies. Do not be afraid to set boundaries with others, and limit visitors. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments rely on healthy recipients. Lastly, stay away from the buffet. This is a breading ground for germs from dirty hands, and from food that is often not properly refrigerated.

10. Cooking Caveats – The chemotherapy and radiation that accompany brain tumor treatment often like to bring their naughty friends nausea and vomiting to dinner. Try cooking when your loved one is at appointments if possible or while he or she is sleeping. Have food catered or allow family members to do the cooking for you. Eating out is another option, but beware of germs. Food served cold is also more palatable for some. Avoid foods that are too spicy or bland, depending on your needs. Eating with plastic utensils can help decrease the metallic taste that some people experience.