Holiday & Travel Guide For Tenerife, Canary Islands

Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, which is Spanish land and a popular destination for many tourists every year, both in winter and summer months.

Santa Cruz is the capital of Tenerife, and is a popular winter sun holiday destination in February every year, as it is host to the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Attracting a million tourists to see it, this is a large carnival that has a real buzz. The Friday before the start, people will come to the streets of the city en masse, in fancy dress costumes of all types. Dancing and partying will go on until the early hours, and will start the opening parade for the whole event. The carnival itself has many musical groups and comes after a weeks of selecting some of the best people to take part through many competitions. The official song of the carnival is one such contest, and is an important one as it is presented to the carnival queen contestants. If you head to Tenerife during carnival time, you will notice that the festivities go on for many days.

The Friday is the Announcement Parade, Saturday is the carnival dedicated to dance, Monday is the big day of the feast. Tuesday marks the end of the carnival with another procession. Following all this is Ash Wednesday, which is the Burial of the Sardine and has many religious undertones and marks the beginning of Lent for the nation. The party is resurrected on the following Saturday and Sunday with many musical performances and presentations to the winners of some of the contests. Sunday night pays an end to the carnival with a firework display.

During the festival, much music and dance is celebrated, and on the first Monday there is the Santa Cruz Dance Carnival, which often has guest DJs such as Armand Van Helden and Roger Sanchez. Because of the carnival, Tenerife is twinned with Rio de Janerio, which also has a world famous carnival.

If you choose to visit during later months of the year then there are many other ways to celebrate the culture of Tenerife. With a volcanic origin, you should be sure to pay a trip to Mount Teide in the Las Canadas National Park. With stunning views, you can ride a cable car up through the clouds to see the crater and even the sea which surrounds the coast of the island. Not one for those scared of heights, this is truly a once in a lifetime experience if you can embrace it. Another marvel is in the south of the island and is the Valley of Guimar where there are 6 pyramids, not dissimilar to those of South America. These are mysterious and a great site, handmade from lava flows many years ago.

If staying in or near Los Christianos then make sure you take the hydrofoil to see another natural wonder, the Parque Nacional de Garajonay, which has 100,000 acres of land and canopies of trees and wildlife. Around the Los Christianos area (and near Playa de las Americas too) is also a host of family activities such as the Tenerife Zoo and Parque Las Aguilas, making it a great tourist spot.

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Holiday & Travel Guide For Bali

Beaches

Bali in Indonesia is a small island that can be pretty much navigated around by car in around an hour, but it has some beautiful beaches with many activities available. Like the popular Kuta beach, for example, where water sports like wakeboarding, surfing and swimming are offered and on the beach there are activities like kite flying as well as slingshot activities. But if you’re looking for something more relaxing while you’re lying on the beach then there are many pleasurable experiences to be had with wonderful massages, manicures and hair braiding. It’s ideal for those of you wanting to bake in the sun and be pampered at the same time. For family fun there is a brilliant waterslide park called Waterbom. It is filled with exciting slides and exhilarating raft experiences, along with wall climbing and tubing. There is plenty to do there for a full day excursion in this tropically green and lush environment.

Sightseeing

There are so many highlights to this small island as it is crammed with culture and nature, from volcano tours and botanical gardens to amazing rice fields and trips to see the beautiful Hindu Temples that are dedicated to different spirits. These Temples are dotted all around the island. The court house Kerta Gosa is a fabulous building built in the 18th century that has now become quite famous for its bright and lavish ceiling paintings that depict the hell that awaits the law breaker. Some of the buildings in Bali are truly amazing and there are so many photo opportunities.

Shopping

As to be expected on such a small island, there are no malls, or international chain stores, but what there are is plenty of buying opportunities, because this small island has plenty of small shops selling designer fashion ware. There are also open air markets to tempt you with handmade clothing to your personal preferences, beautiful jewellery and many handcrafted items. Not forgetting the bright and wonderful art work. The prices are excellent, but a little haggling won’t do any harm. You won’t be going home empty handed, so be sure to leave some spare room in your suitcase.

Eating

There are many eating establishments in Bali, but very few selling typical Bali food like suckling pig with rice. Most of the restaurants and hotels sell international cuisine to appeal to the tourist market. Eating out in Bali is very cheap and not to be grumbled at as there are very few cheap places left nowadays. The outdoor markets sell some delicious fruits for you to taste and there are beach hut vendors selling snacks and drinks.

Nightlife

There are plenty of nightclubs and bars around this small island, but they don’t open until around midnight and the best place to be at that time is in Legian; any of the taxi drivers in your resort will take you there. The clubs are very popular in this area, it is very well known as it’s more upmarket, the place where everyone dresses to impress in their designer clothes. International imported drinks can be very expensive in these places though, so don’t expect the night life to be cheap.

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Holiday & Travel Guide For Malta

Malta is one of the smallest countries in Europe, with one of the highest populations for its size. In southern Europe, it is pretty central to the Mediterranean region, offering a nice climate to holiday-goers as well as a good selection of things to do.

If you go to Malta then be prepared to explore. The buses in the country are eclectic and a beautiful way to travel around, as you get to see many shrines and sites along the way to your destinations. The network of towns around the main area of Valletta is excellent, so you can get to the capital from virtually anywhere in the country.

If you love culture then Valetta is definitely a place where you should spend a night, as the theatre there (Manoel Theatre) is supposed to be the oldest one in Europe for disciplines such as ballet and opera, as well as putting on play performances. St James Cavalier is excellent for a day and night out as there is a theatre, cinema and gallery in the same place, allowing you to soak up as much Maltese heritage as you can.

Look for local glass blowing places, as Maltese glass is well known everywhere. Get custom made souvenirs to take back to people, or else just watch people at work so you get to see the real heritage of the small island. The colours in the glass can be spectacular, and very fitting with the Mediterranean lifestyle, so it is great to take a piece home with you as a regional souvenir which has a bit of a twist compared to the usual things that you may collect from holiday destinations. Try the Ta’ Qali Crafts Village for nice things to look at, made by locals.

If you go to the local villages, there will often be festas, which is where people will take to the street playing music and decorating themselves and their surroundings with beautiful flower garnishes, as well as other items. This can be a great alternative to the nightlife which you may normally seek on holiday, and can get you in a great mood and holiday spirit if you get swept along in it. Ask locals joining in about local attractions you may like, as there can be beautiful places around all of Malta at different times throughout the year, which are literally just local, seasonal beauty spots. Other museums and suchlike can be learnt about by enquiring in this way.

Malta is somewhere which has all of the usual tourist things to offer, such as watersports on the lovely south coast where there are nice temperatures, to nightclubs along the main roads in towns, as well as a great nightlife region in Paceville. However, it is a place where a seasoned explorer can find some real joy and there are many more local based activities that you can indulge in as a holiday maker.

Many catacombs and local architecture can be found around Malta, which has a good history and a lot of sights that can be seen by tourists. From Valletta to the smaller villages and countryside, make sure you take advantage of travel and tour operator trips whilst on this small island, which is packed full of wonder.

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Holiday & Travel Guide For Lefkas and Preveza, Greece

Nightlife

Party lovers will love the town of Nidri the streets are full of loud bars and lively nightclubs pumping music out into early hours of the morning. The vibrant towns of Lefkas and Preveza have something for everyone especially the 18 to 30 age group wanting to party the nights away. There are also lots of nice bars to sit and relax in and have a pleasant drink while the party revellers do their thing in some of the other resorts.

Things to do

Lefkas or Preveza don’t have a great deal of sightseeing, but there are a few places that may interest you if you have managed to drag yourself out of your room after partying all night long. Agia Mavra castle has undergone some renovation work and is worth a visit. Also the church there is used during the summer months for concerts and festivals and tends to attract quite a few visitors for the cultural events. Lefkas was mostly ruined in the earthquakes in 1948 and hit again in 1953 so a lot of the Venetian style houses have gone, with only a few examples of traditional buildings dotted around. A lot of the buildings tend to be built with wood and sheet metal. They are not what you could really call charming but they are painted in bright summer colours along the narrow alleyways, and I suppose they make a good photo opportunity. The monastery of Panagia Faneromeni is well worth a visit. It’s not the original one that was built in 1634, as since then the monastery has been burnt down twice and re-built. Today it houses a superb collection of rare Byzantine icons and old manuscripts among other items of interest. You could also take a walk over the bridge that connects the island to the mainland if you’re looking to do a lot of exploring while on your holiday.

Beaches

The beaches around the coast are wonderful, you have the pebbled beaches then the ones that stretch as far as your eye can see of golden soft sand. During the summer months most of the beaches are very busy. As the island does cater for a lot of the younger age groups you will find a great variety of water sports available like jet skiing, speed boats, wind surfing, kayaking and loads of other activities that will suit most people’s needs. The bars and restaurants are close by the beaches so you won’t need to travel far from your sun bed for a drink or lunch. Not to worry if you have brought a young family, there are quieter beaches with shallow waters for the kids to play and have fun in without having a back drop of loud music and a feast of water sport activities ruining your swim.

Eating

You will pretty much find a budget meal in any of the towns and villages, and there are those restaurants that cater for the ones that have no need to worry about expenses. Fast food outlets are found everywhere. Typical international foods are served as well as the traditional Greek cuisine, fresh fish is also very popular.

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Holiday & Travel Guide For Bodrum, Turkey

A Turkish port town, Bodrum is host to many tourists every year who enjoy the variety of activities that are traditionally Turkish, as well as a host of water sports.

Sitting on the Aegean Sea, it is easy to see why water sports are a popular activity with those who come to the area, which is in the Mugla province of the country. Just a short distance away from Greek Island Kos, there are regular boat trips out to visit this island, which could be a good addition to your holiday, as you will have stepped foot in two countries if you are technical about it. There are plenty of activities to do within Bodrum itself though, so there is only a need to take such a trip if you have a free day and would like to do a bit of exploring further afield.

A Turkish Bath trip should be on the itinerary for any trip to Bodrum, or anywhere in Turkey. A combination of Saunas, steam rooms with plentiful buckets of cold water and a scrub down make this a very relaxing experience and will slough off all of the dead skin on your body. A good start to a trip, this will be an excellent base to build a tan upon, so make sure you do not ruin your sunbathing by having this trip at the tail end of your holiday and removing the tan you may have worked up in the heat of the days because of the Mediterranean climate.

In Bodrum itself, you should make use of the watersports on offer. You can hire a yacht or else try snorkelling, wind surfing and many other activities on the ocean in this smaller port town in the South-Western port of Turkey. These are plentiful during the day and mean that you can easily relax in the town in which you are staying if you do not feel like going to explore other sites in Turkey in general.

In the town used there used to be a mausoleum that was believed to be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. This is no longer there, but in its place is a museum which tells all about the history of the building, which was set up by King Mausolous who died in 353 BC. The Christian Crusaders took down the building to use the materials in order to help protect themselves with a stronger base against attack. The museum is open from 8am to 6pm every day.

The nightlife in Bodrum is good, although if you are a family visiting the area, it would be advisable to get a hotel which is not in the centre of the area, as it can get loud into the early hours and so sleep can be hard to get. Many bars and discos will operate to entertain tourists every evening.

If you wish to take trips out of Bodrum, try local tour operators and go to places such as Pamukkale which has beautiful salt calcification, Hierapolis for thermal baths and Aphrodisias which is dedicated to Goddess Aphrodite.

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