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07 October 2022

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  • The most exclusive holiday trips you most probably never heard of!
    07 October 2022

    Bucket lists are made to motivate you, to work towards something, to have that tingly feeling when you know it's coming your way but you still have to wait a few days, weeks, months or even years.

    The post The most exclusive holiday trips you most probably never heard of! appeared first on A Luxury Travel Blog.

  • Shane McConkey Was More More than Just a Skier Skier
    07 October 2022

    Travel your way | Best things to do | Best travel destinations | Road trip planner | Best countries to visit | Cheap places to travel
    Shane McConkey Was More More than Just a Skier Skier

    “We learned so much from that one, silly boy.”

    Sherry McConkey delivers the hammer line at the close of McConkey, the documentary about the life of her husband Shane. Shane McConkey died following equipment failure during a ski-BASE jump in the Italian Dolomites on March 26, 2009. When Sherry speaks about Shane the weight of that event hangs on her words, tugging at emotion and loss. Yet, it is overshadowed almost immediately by laughter, joy, and, most palpably, by enduring, unyielding love. Shane McConkey is still very much alive in the heart of his wife and in the smile and actions of his daughter, Ayla. McConkey was unquestionably one of the world’s most badass skiers. But Shane’s most incredible achievement was one of subtlety.

    Shane’s proficiency on skis was, ahem, noticed. In 1994, McConkey took home the South American Freeskiing championship. In 1995, he defended his title down south and added the U.S. National Freeskiing championship. He then claimed the European freeskiing title in 1996 to complete global domination. In 1998, 1999, and 2000, he podiumed in the freeskiing world tour, freeskiing national and international events, and the XGames. ESPN named McConkey the Skier of the Year in 2001 and he claimed the top spot in Powder Magazine’s Reader Poll in 2002. All the while, McConkey starred in more ski films than most skiers watch in a lifetime. Over twenty films in close to as many years, McConkey always dropped jaws of the loving ski bum audience with his exceptional style—the McConkey turn is a showstopper—and his insane balls-to-the-wall ferocity.

    Aside from collecting blue ribbons, awards, and trophies like the rest of us accumulate core shots and broken poles, McConkey was a ski tech revolutionary. In 1996, he first drew the concept of reverse camber and reverse sidecut on a cocktail napkin after using the Volant Chubb—a 90mm waisted ski—as an everyday option. By today’s standards the Chubb would be considered a frontside carver, but in the mid-nineties it was a pure pow plank. Positive his bigger-is-better design was the wave of the future, McConkey mounted two water skis and shredded a fat, powdery Alaskan spine. It worked. Volant produced the Spatula in 2001 and K2 made the Pontoon in 2006. Since McConkey’s fat powder ski revolution, skiing has never been the same, nor has the sport had such accessibility to pure, unadulterated powder skiing fun.

    McConkey the skier was impressive. Shane the jokester and prankster was in a league all his own. Understanding the humor of the male form, Shane McConkey had a propensity for nudity. During his last high school race at Burke Academy, Shane wore the number 44 bib..and only that. After DQing at a pro mogul event at Vail, Shane the showman finished the course with a backflip, to which Vail pulled his ski pass on the spot. In response, Shane skied the course in the buff and completed one of the most iconic spread eagles in skiing’s history—the picture is amazing. He did the same naked spreadie during his first film shoot with Matchstick Productions.

    McConkey loved to make fun of the ski industry and to pick on friends. He invented Saucer Boy as a way to lambaste the action sports extreme bro attitude. He hid passports and per diem from ski partners. Breaking wind was an art form, as was hiding prophylactics in the jacket pockets or luggage of his buddies. Ever tried explaining a year’s worth of condoms to TSA?

    Shane’s career was spent pinned in the red; dream big, go fast, and send it. But many fans don’t know what truly made him badass. Even when the skiing world exalted him to supreme overlord of gnar, McConkey never took himself too seriously. Sherry says her husband knew that laughter is the soundtrack to a happy life, and the heart must be the symphony’s conductor.

    “He was so honest in everything he did,” Sherry says “It was amazing how real he could be. And it’s incredible how he’s inspired so many people to not take themselves seriously. I just saw a picture of Amie Engerbretson humping a tree in the middle of the woods. To me, that’s Shane, fun, natural, and normal. We’re all just a bunch of dorks, anyhow.”

    Shane truly shined as a loving, attentive husband and father, albeit with some growing pains. “He was the best husband in the world…but, when Ayla was first born, he was pathetic,” Sherry jokes. “I blame myself. I was a neurotic mom. I was so attached to her. But the minute she could talk and walk, everything changed. It was the cutest, most hilarious, most beautiful relationship I’ve ever seen. He just goofed around with her and adored her. He was just fun.”

    “Towards the end, he just fell so deeply in love with both of us again,” Sherry remembers. “It was beautiful. On powder days he’d take her to ballet. I think he realized how amazing being a dad was.”

    The throne of hindsight allows judgment to be cast too easily. Following Shane’s death, critics condemned the way he lived his life. Sherry has felt the criticism but handled it in stride. “Well, thank goodness people don’t get it, otherwise our mountains would be more polluted and much more crowded,” she retorts sarcastically. “I just try to have empathy for those people. But they’re never going to understand his life and how he chose to live. They’re always going to live in their cubicle, fingering their computer. Shane was not some selfish adrenaline junkie, but those kinds of people don’t get our lives and our passions. He was a hard worker, a passionate person, and a loving husband and father. He was the best.”

    McConkey’s impact on the skiing world resonates today just as loudly as it did during his life. The deep snow turns, the lift line high fives, the quotes from Saucer Boy—“I can stick uphill ice!”—McConkey will forever be a part of skiing culture. And Shane will always be with Sherry and Ayla. “There’s just so much of that guy,” Sherry says. “Ayla has his empathy and she’s definitely goofy like him. Her sense of humor is hilarious, just like her dad. And she’s definitely competitive and likes attention. She’s perceptive. She looks a lot like Shane…He’s in us, all the time. There’s not a day when I don’t do the things he used to do. We have fun. We keep Shane present, everyday.”

    Shane McConkey Was More More than Just a Skier Skier
    admin

  • All systems go for PHITEX 2022
    07 October 2022

    Out of Town Blog
    All systems go for PHITEX 2022

    The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines, the marketing and promotions arm of the Department of Tourism, will take center stage to mount one of its institutional events, the Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX) 2022, also known as the biggest government-organized travel trade event in the country, from October 18-24 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom, Newport World Resorts.

    All systems go for PHITEX 2022

    First established in 1996, PHITEX hosts qualified buyers from all over the world to participate in table-top business appointments with Philippine sellers and experience Philippine tourism destinations through pre / post tours to increase tourist arrivals in the country.

    This year’s installment will open with the PHITEX Educational Program (PEP) Talk featuring big industry names, such as Sandra Carvao, Chief and Tourism Market Intelligence of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); Billie Dumaliang, the co-founder and Managing Trustee of Masungi Georeserve Foundation; and Jacques Christophe Branellec, the Executive Vice President and CEO of Jewelmer, among others, who are set to share significant information and updates to help enhance participant knowledge related to this year’s theme, which is “Embracing Responsible Tourism – Making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit.”

    PHITEX 2022

    The PEP Talk will be followed by the main event, the opening of PHITEX 2022 on the 19th, headed by Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco and TPB Chief Operating Officer Maria Margarita Nograles, and the business-to-business (B2B) transactions that will return in a hybrid format – happening simultaneously online and onsite at the Marriott.

    Tours to Philippine destinations, including Batangas, Siquijor, and Davao, will also be offered for foreign sellers before and after the event. As of date, 117 buyers and 133 sellers have registered.

    The PHITEX opening ceremony will be broadcasted live on the TPB Facebook Page on October 19, 2022, at 9:00 am. The closing ceremony will also be broadcasted on the same social page the following day at 7:00 pm.

    Follow Out of Town Travel Blog on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest if you want more travel and tech-related updates.

    Original article: All systems go for PHITEX 2022

    ©2022 Out of Town Blog. All Rights Reserved.

    All systems go for PHITEX 2022
    Melo Villareal
    Out of Town Blog

  • The 5 Best Day Trips From Hong Kong
    07 October 2022

    Hong Kong has a laundry list of top-notch attractions that are guaranteed to keep you entertained for days. But in case your adventure spirit wants to take you further away from the city, no worries — Hong Kong is well located within a short hop from several bucket list destinations that require only a day or two to explore and enjoy.

    From relaxing on sandy beaches to discovering ancient temples and exploring offer beaten track destinations like the tiny fishing village of Tai O, there are opportunities to suit every mood and moment.

    In this travel guide, we’ve rounded up 5 amazing Hong Kong day trips that are just a few hours away from the city. Have a look!

    The 5 Best Day Trips From Hong Kong Island Lantau Island

    Lantau is the ultimate Hong Kong day trip. The island is gloriously located at the mouth of the Pearl River, not far from the Hong Kong Airport, and captivates visitors with an array of glittering beaches, towering peaks, quaint fishing villages, and alluring monasteries.

    One of the top attractions on the island is Sunset Peak, Hong Kong’s third highest mountain, and a prime place for watching the sunset.

    Another must-see landmark in Lantau Island is the Tian Tan Buddha statue, which rests high up on a hilltop facing the neighboring Po Lin Monastery. Thanks to its colossal size — the statue is 112 ft tall, weighs over 280 short tons, and was constructed from 202 bronze pieces —, the sculpture is also known as “Big Buddha”.

    For a one-of-a-kind immersion into the local culture, be sure to visit the Tai O Village, which is the oldest fishing village in Hong Kong. While visiting this traditional fishing village, take a boat ride through the waterways to catch a glimpse of the adorable pink dolphins, which can be seen year-round and are famous for their unique color and friendliness.

    Are you visiting Lantau Island with your family? Then be sure to spend the day at the Hong Kong Disneyland theme park, which is divided into seven main areas, each with its unique array of attractions, experiences, and exciting rides.

    Lamma Island

    Lamma Island is the third largest island in Hong Kong. Also known as Y Island or Pok Liu Chau or simply Pok Liu, Lamma is the perfect destination for travelers seeking to escape Hong Kong’s bustling streets. 

    This peaceful and serene island is praised for its alluring natural scenery made up of gorgeous beaches and scenic hiking trails. Inhabited mainly by fishermen, Lamma is not yet very popular among tourists, making it the ideal option for offbeat travelers.

    Top experiences include visiting the attractive Hung Shing Yeh Beach, hiking the Lamma Island Family Trail, which runs from Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan, and sampling Lamma Island’s famous waterfront seafood restaurants in Sok Kwu Wan.

    Macau

    A Portuguese territory until 1999, Macau dazzles visitors with its rich past and cultural heritage, and still today the city reflects a fascinating mix of cultural influences. This autonomous region is located south coast of China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong, and it’s a must-visit destination for history buffs and culture vultures.

    Macau is particularly famous for its impeccably preserved historic center, which reflects a unique blend of Portuguese and Chinese architecture. While making your way through this history-filled area, you’ll come across an array of treasures, including the ruins of Macau’s greatest Jesuit Church.

    During your visit to Macau, be sure to also visit Barra Square, where you’ll find the Maritime Museum, Mandarin House (a traditional Chinese courtyard-style complex), and the alluring A-Ma Temple.

    Did the hunger strike? Then sample Macau’s top-notch restaurants like A Vencedora, which are known for their winning mix of Portuguese spices and Cantonese cooking.

    Last but not least, be sure to head over to the 1,109 ft-tall Macau Tower, which treats visitors to the most breathtaking views of the city!

    Sai Kung

    Also known as the “back garden of Hong Kong”, Sai Kung town is a popular day trip destination for Hong Kongers seeking a serene time around nature. This charming destination is located on the

    Sai Kung Peninsula is famous for its fishing villages, beautiful beaches with inviting sandy shores, hiking trails, and sprawling parks such as the Hong Kong Geopark.

    This mountainous area is a fantastic day trip destination especially thanks to its abundance of natural attractions. There, you’ll come across enchanting places like Tai Long Wan Bay (Tai Wan), an isolated area dotted with a row of pristine beaches (Sai Wan, Ham Tin Wan, and Tung Wan) where you can swim, sunbathe, or even surf when the conditions are right.

    The mix of natural features and fresh air will certainly tantalize your senses when you visit Sai Kung Peninsula!

    Cheung Chau

    Located 6.2 miles southwest of Hong Kong Island, Cheung Chau is a small, dumbbell-shaped island sought-after by Hong Kong locals who want to escape the hectic city life. The island is particularly known for its gorgeous sandy beaches, like the picture-perfect Tung Wan Beach and Kwun Yan Beach.

    Aside from lounging on the sand and taking in the refreshing sea breeze, visitors can explore Cheung Chau’s dazzling historic attractions. Must-sees include the Cheung Chau rock carvings, which were discovered in 1970, and date back to the Bronze Age, and the Cheung Po Tsai Cave,

    believed to be the place where the 19th-century pirate Cheung Po Tsai stored the loot that he and his men had plundered.

    Cheung Chau is also famous for its alluring temples, such as the dreamy Pak Tai Temple, which is dedicated to Pak Tai, a martial deity, and houses a 3 meters Ming Dynasty statue of Pak Tai built in 1603.

    FAQ What is Hong Kong most known for?

    Hong Kong is a bustling metropolis known for its luxury shopping spots, majestic skyline, temples, shrines, and monasteries.

    What is the best place for viewing the Hong Kong skyline?

    Victoria Peak offers the most fantastic views of the Hong Kong skyline and Victoria Harbor.

    What are the top attractions on Hong Kong Island?

    The top Hong Kong attractions are:

    • Victoria Peak (Mount Austin);
    • Victoria Harbour;
    • Hong Kong Central neighborhood;
    • Man Mo Temple;
    • Lantau Island;
    • Disneyland Hong Kong;
    • Ocean Park;
    • Hong Kong Space Museum;
    • Hong Kong Heritage Museum;
    • Hong Kong Museum Of History;
    • Hong Kong Observation Wheel;
    • Kowloon Walled City Park;
    • Hong Kong Railway Museum;
    • Wong Tai Sin Temple;
    • Chi Lin Nunnery;
    • Temple Street Night Market;
    • Hong Kong Park;
    • Hong Kong Science Museum;
    • Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery;
    Is Hong Kong located in mainland China?

    Hong Kong is a sovereign territory of the People’s Republic of China. It maintains a high degree of autonomy, hence it’s not considered to be part of mainland China.

    What are the best day trips from Hong Kong?

    The best day trips from Hong Kong island are?

    • Lantau Island;
    • Lamma Island;
    • Macau;
    • Sai Kung;
    • Cheung Chau.

    Browse. Book. Stay.

    CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travelers at the best price. Find unlimited travel inspiration on our blogs and our social media channels FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

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    The post The 5 Best Day Trips From Hong Kong first appeared on CuddlyNest Travel Blog.
  • Guinea Pig Fishing At Rare Breeds Centre
    07 October 2022

    Guinea pig fishing does sound rather cruel?

    In fact, its a very popular animal friendly activity at the Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm in Wiltshire.

    Guinea Pig fishing Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm.

    This animal interactive sport involves tying juicy fresh vegetables onto a mini-fishing rod as the 20 plus creatures tuck into the snacks dangling over them.

    Pig racing is also up there as a visitor spectacle! Plus, the chance to interact with a whole host of animals both large and small.

    Pig Racing. Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm.

    Located just ten miles north of Salisbury near to the Hampshire Wiltshire border the family friendly farm opened to the public 30 years ago.

    Open all year round the farm is also now also home to an English vineyard producing Bluestone English sparkling wine.

    Wine Tasting. Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm.

    During your visit you are likely to encounter Goats, Pigs, Donkeys, Ponies, Sheep, Rabbits, Peacocks, Highland Cattle, Chickens, Ducks and Geese.

    Rare Scottish Ponies Currently At The Centre

    More exotic animals like Alpacas native from South America are part of the menagerie.

    Alpacas at the Rare Breeds Farm.

    Currently the team are working on a special breeding programme with rare Eriskay ponies from Scotland.

    Eriskay ponies are among the last surviving original native ponies from the Western Isles of Scotland.

    Dan McSorley Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm.

    However, they are classified as critically endangered by the Rare Breed Survival Trust (RBST).

    Their foals are often born black or bay and usually turn grey as they grow.  For their size they are immensely strong and are able to carry a light adult with ease.

    Guinea Pig Fishing Is Real!

    Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm Livestock Manager Dan McSorley, said, “We have lots of animals that the visitors can get close to and stroke. Activities like Guinea Pig fishing are so popular with our guests. However, its working with the rare breeds animals that we are also known for. The Eriskay ponies are in serious decline there are only less that 300 left in the world.”

    Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm.

    Raising additional funds for the various projects are important for the farm. These include going on an Alpaca walk or having an Alpaca as a ring bearer at your wedding!

    The farm hosts a number of other experiences and functions like, barn dances, weddings plus all sorts of animal encounters and more recently vineyard tours and wine tasting have been added to the events list too.

    Light lunch at the cafe.

    With a well stocked farm food shop and restaurant on site. You can even just come in for some shopping or snack if you do not have time to tour the whole 40 acre farm.

    Being just off the main east west A303 main road its perfect for popping in for a light meal or coffee break.

    Popular at holiday times, half terms they also have hostel accommodation on site as well.

     

    Or just 7 minutes away:

    https://graymanorhotel.co.uk/

    As a place to stay for exploring the wildlife attractions in the area, the Gray Manor Hotel is a great choice. Situated a short drive from Cholderton. Nearby is also the Hawk Conservancy.

    Extensive grounds surround the red brick former manor house and its contemporary rooms cater for couples and families. It’s also a popular wedding venue.

    Wildlife attractions Gray Manor Hotel location is perfect.

    Dining in main dining room or the bar area plus, on the exterior patio. The menu has a good variety of food and the hot breakfast choice.

    Helpful staff, friendly and quick. Comfortable rooms with plenty of parking.

     

    The post Guinea Pig Fishing At Rare Breeds Centre appeared first on The Travel Trunk.

  • Little Cottonwood Canyon Poised to Get a Big Ole’ Gondola
    07 October 2022

    Travel your way | Best things to do | Best travel destinations | Road trip planner | Best countries to visit | Cheap places to travel
    Little Cottonwood Canyon Poised to Get a Big Ole’ Gondola

    Utah’s transportation authorities have been puzzling over how to deal with snarled traffic heading up Little Cottonwood Canyon on State Route 210. Snowbird and Alta ski resorts are up there, which draw huge lines of cars puttering up the road in the winter, but the entire area is a beautiful attraction drawing visitors, hikers, viewshed enthusiasts, you name it.

    Yesterday they announced their decision: A gondola, running from the mouth of the Canyon, up to near the Alta resort. The gondola would support large cars that hold 35 people, arriving every two minutes, whisking people to the terminus in 55 minutes; that’s about 20 minutes faster than it’s expected to take when traveling by car in the next couple decades. Some 4,000 tons of greenhouse gases per year would be eliminated, according to the proposal.

    Ski resorts and interest groups love the plan. Municipal leaders aren’t so sure.

    “This will allow time to implement sensible, cost-effective solutions like enhanced buses, mobility hubs, parking improvements and tolling before incurring massive public cost to build out infrastructure if other strategies work well,” said Monica Zoltanski, Mayor of the town of Sandy, where the gondola would depart. “Now is the time for residents, environmental groups, ski resorts, developers and elected officials to work together to deliver real progress to manage user demand for the canyon we all love and want to protect.”

    “I remain very concerned about the watershed and environmental impacts of a gondola system in Little Cottonwood Canyon,” said SLC mayor Erin Mendenhall in a statement. “The city’s chief concern is that the gondola will create significant risk to the canyon watershed through its construction and operations, as well as by inducing substantial additional visitation and development pressures to the watershed.”

    Estimated cost is $550 million. It is expected to be years away from opening, with expanded bus service attempting to deal with traffic in the meantime.

    The decision is not set in stone, however. UDOT is accepting public comments for the next 45 days. You can submit comments here, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Photo: Greg Rakozy

    Little Cottonwood Canyon Poised to Get a Big Ole’ Gondola
    admin

  • The Ultimate Travel Guide to Umalas, Bali’s Up & Coming Hotspot
    07 October 2022

    Umalas is nestled between Canggu, Seminyak and Batu Belig and by far less built up than any of these areas. With luxurious villas, crafty cafes, and exceptional restaurants set among peaceful rice paddies and small patches of jungle, Umalas is quickly becoming a new Bali hotspot.

    The post The Ultimate Travel Guide to Umalas, Bali’s Up & Coming Hotspot appeared first on Breathing Travel.

  • 13 Things to Do in Joshua Tree NP with Kids
    07 October 2022

    Looking for awesome things to do in Joshua Tree National Park? Then you’ve come to the right place.

    Firstly, visiting Joshua Tree National Park is special. Due to there being no cell service in the park, you can really be at one with nature and listen to your inner voice.

    It helped me keep in the forefront of my mind as we explored this National Park the dangers that can come when humans turn their backs on Mother Nature, thinking they can supersede her.

    Never, it’s where we find our sustenance, not just for our bodies, but more importantly our soul.

    The rock formations are amazing

    In Saguaro National Park in Tucson, we fell in love with the saguaro cacti. Here in South East California, we fell in love with the Joshua Tree, which reminded me so much of the truffula trees in the Lorax.

    It has a similar playful, unique, and striking presence and aura.

    We spent two days exploring the park and have used our experience to present to you the best attractions in Joshua Tree National Park, as well as some tips for visiting and camping information.

    Get excited for one of the best national parks in California.

    About Joshua Tree National Park

    In the 1930s desert lover and community activist, Minerva Hoyt recognized the human threats to the nearby ecosystem and persuaded President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim Joshua Tree a National Monument in 1936.

    It was renamed the Joshua Tree National Park in 1994 and now protects 792,510 acres – mostly wilderness – where the Mojave and Colorado Deserts converge.

    Thanks to Minerva, we have this national treasure where we can disconnect from the chaos of our busy lives to unwind and relax amongst the stark beauty and unique desert trees.

    Love these Joshua trees

    But what’s special about Joshua Tree?

    It’s not just the Joshua Trees to love here but junipers, scrub oaks, Mojave yuccas, and prickly pear cactus, one of our favorites from Big Bend National Park.

    One of the interesting Joshua Tree facts is that it isn’t really a tree, but a species of yucca! They can grow over 40 feet tall at the leisurely rate of an inch a year – typical of a desert plant.

    In February through April it blooms clusters of cream-colored flowers. We just missed it!

    It’s also home to a wide variety of animals such as ground squirrels, bighorn sheep, woodpeckers hawks, ravens and desert tortoises.

    We saw a couple of jackrabbits and ground squirrels during our visit.

    They are so like truffula trees

    It’s only in the Mojave Desert section of the park (the northwest section) where you’ll see most of the Joshua trees.

    The south is dominated by the flora and fauna of the Colorado Desert which has lower elevations. Here is where you’ll find cholla, creosote, and ocotillo.

    You won’t see any more of those beautiful piles of rock boulders either, created as a result of volcanic activity.

    There are a few fan–palm oases within the park. Fan palms are so majestic and magnetic. I loved them as much as the Joshua’s.

    The oasis will also have cottonwoods and mesquites, more plants of the desert I love.

    The longer I live the more I love the desert, and this is one of the best places to visit in California and one of the top California national parks. 

    The desert used to bore me as a child and wondered why anyone would want to visit as wasteland. Now I know it as a place full of life and the chance for spiritual awakenings and soul love.

    When you’re at the oasis, know you are a top a crack in the earth’s crust!!

    But try not to think about the shakes that have to occur along the faultline here!!

    Where is Joshua Tree National Park?

    The park is situated in San Bernardino County in South East Southern California and within a few hours’ drive of several major cities:

    • LA to Joshua Tree is 140 miles
    • Palms Springs to Joshua Tree is 49 miles
    • 175 miles northeast of San Diego
    • 215 miles southwest of Las Vegas
    • 222 miles west of Phoenix
    Getting to Joshua Tree National Park

    Joshua Tree is easily accessible from Los Angeles (140 miles).

    Joshua Tree National Park beauty

    There is an entrance at Twentynine Palms (North Entrance), Joshua Tree Village (West Entrance), and near Cottonwood Springs (South entrance).

    You can rent a car from nearby Los Angeles, or Palm Springs.

    Although we recommend traveling to Joshua Tree National Park independently, if that is not possible for you there are Joshua Tree tours you can take.

    Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park

    Now you know a little about Joshua Tree and how to get there, it’s time to take a look at the top things to do in Joshua Tree National Park!

    1. Hidden Valley Nature Trail A fun hike for kids

    Hidden Valley is named after the cattle rustlers who used to hide their stolen cattle in here.

    Easy to see why when you walk through a narrow passage in the outcropping or rocks into a huge area bordered in a circle by more rock outcroppings.

    You would never know it’s there if you didn’t walk though the rocks.

    It’s a very easy 1-mile loop walk around the perimeter of the valley, and one of the best hikes in Joshua Tree with kids. 

    The scenery is spectacular with it’s white boulders and Joshua Trees dotting the landscape. Act like Savannah and find a rock to sit on and reflect.

    Use your five senses to appreciate the park. Thank goodness for the Junior Ranger program that inspired her to do this.

    This area is popular for rock climbers with various climbing routes. Be sure to pack a picnic and enjoy at the Hidden Valley picnic area.

    For beginning rock climbers with no equipment, you may wish to join this rock climbing tour!

    2. Barker Dam Peetty reflections

    An easy hike for the kids and you!

    Another 1-mile loop walk leading you past Barker Dam Joshua Tree which was created as a watering hole for the cattle.

    It opens up to a gorgeous expansive vista of the surrounding mountains, rocks and Joshua Trees making it one of the prettiest things to see in Joshua Tree National Park.

    Don’t miss the petroglyphs and pictographs on the rocks near the end of the trail. They are very vivid and interesting to look at.

    It’s sad reading how some vandals had drawn over several in an area nearby. I just don’t understand why people want to destroy such natural treasures.

    3. Ryan Mountain Trail A little more of a challenging family activity

    One of the more exciting Joshua Tree hikes is to the top of Ryan Mountain.

    We had many people recommend this to us as one of the top things to do in Joshua Tree National Park.

    Of course we decided to take the girls up there on the windiest day in the world, which only added to the adventure.

    If you’re kids are used to hiking, they will be fine with this walk and will love the thrill of it.

    The Ryan Mountain Trail is 3-miles return and gains an elevation of 1,000ft to the 5,458 foot summit.

    One one side of the mountain (the start of the tail) you get beautiful views of the rocky outcroppings in Lost Horse Valley, and on the other side of the trail you get views of Queen and Pleasant Valley.

    Other Joshua Tree National Park hiking trails I would have liked to do:

    • Fortynine Palms Oasis – a 3 mile walk to a shady beautiful oasis
    4. Pinto Basin Drive scenic drives in Joshua Tree

    If you’re looking for things to do in Joshua Tree besides hike, do this drive. 

    We only drove the Pinto Basin road to a little beyond the Cholla Garden.

    It’s quite a long drive and time was running short. We’re glad we made the call to turn around as it meant we experienced the extraordinary sunset at Key Views.

    The drive is worth doing and if you have time, I recommend going all the way to the Cottonwood Spring Oasis, which was used by the Cahuilla Indian for centuries.

    The landscape changes quite dramatically along the way.

    You lose the Joshua Trees and rock outcroppings and instead have a wide open expanse with mountains as the background as the Mojave Desert begins to meet the Colorado Desert.

    5. Cholla Garden Cholla trees are awesome

    Remember when Kalyra was attacked by a cactus in the Sonoran desert in Saguaro National Park?

    We returned to her foe, the jumping cholla. We hadn’t seen them since Tucson.

    Along the Pinto Basin Drive you will come to a field of them. There are thousands. And this part of the park is one of the most popular things to do in Joshua Tree National Park.

    There is a boardwalk and path winding through the cholla cactus garden to protect you from them.

    Don’t stray off the path. They’re called jumping for a reason, and they do like to embed themselves in your skin.

    You are close enough to admire them from the boardwalk. They really are beautiful and with the mountains in the background it makes for a gorgeous setting.

    6. Skull Rock The kids will love this!

    Be ready to line up for your photo with the haunting Skull Rock, the rounded shaped rock with a pair of shallow caves that resemble eye sockets.

    It’s just off the side of the road so no hiking is required although there is a 1.7 mile nature trail around here you can take to the Jumbo Rocks should you wish.

    7. Keys View Lookout Point Such a pretty Joshua Tree sunset

    Be sure to end your day with a Joshua Tree sunset at Keys View, the highest point in the park with an elevation gain of 5,185 feet.

    It’s just a short walk from the parking lot, and is one of the best spots in Joshua Tree to watch the sun go down! 

    You get a stunning 360 views of the a vista over the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs, Salton Sea and on a very clear day you can even see a mountain in Mexico.

    Even the famous San Andreas Fault, which bounds the south side of the park, can be observed from Keys View.

    The sun sets behind Mt San Jacinto. Don’t forget to look behind to see the colors as well.

    Keys View Joshua Tree is a sunset to remember for your entire USA road trip.

    8. Junior Ranger Program Achieving great things

    Don’t forget to stop in at the Joshua Tree Visitor Center with your kids to grab your Junior Ranger program.

    This is the best way for children to engage with the National Park experience. We LOVE this workshop, and it’s one of the essential things to do in Joshua Tree National Park with kids. 

    The girls take charge of their own learning and are becoming fantastic stewards of the earth as a result.

    The activities will help them learn in an effortless and fun way about the flora and fauna of the park and what makes it so special.

    It’s a great way for them to reflect on what they have learned and accomplished at the end when they turn their booklet in to receive their badges. A ranger will talk to them about their answers and experiences within the park.

    Kane, the ranger on duty was so funny and wonderful in how he interacted with the girls.

    We all found it especially funny when Savannah shared the smells she experienced in the park: rosemary and farts!!

    The kids say a pledge with the ranger at the end promising to protect the park and then they receive their badges!

    We’re doing our best to collect as many as we can on this trip.

    We have two Grand Canyon badges and would have had Saguaro National Park and Big Bend National Park, had the government shutdown not gotten in the way.

    10. Dine at Pappy & Harriet’s near Pioneertown

    Pappy & Harriet’s is a barbecue restaurant that has become famous for being one of the very few consistent music venues in the desert.

    It’s located in the middle of nowhere, 15 minutes drive outside Pioneer town, but still managed to book the likes of Paul McCartney, Rufus Wainwright, and Vampire Weekend.

    You can grab traditional American food such as burgers or mac & cheese, and watch a show.

    11. Visit the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum & Assemblage Sculpture

    The Noah Purifoy Desert Art Museum is a modern art museum that is most famous for housing an art installation, called 66 Signs of Neon, which was constructed from debris from the Watts Rebellion.

    You’ll find many sculptures and installations at the museum, and they are all quirky and interesting.

    Noah Purifoy spent most of his life living and working in Joshua Tree and in LA, and constructed the outdoor gallery to display dozens of large and unique pieces of art.

    It’s free to enter, but of course donations are welcome.

    If you’re looking for free or unique things to do in Joshua Tree National Park that the kids will love, then make a stop by here.

    12. Visit Keys Ranch

    Keys Ranch is the former homestead and ranch of William F. Keys and is located in one of the few hospitable places in the park.

    Keys decided to settle in this area in the 1910s and the property is now part of the National Historic Register. Guided tours of the house, schoolhouse, store and workshop are available by rangers, and this is the only way to see the property.

    Tours only operate in the winter and into spring and offer informative insights into how the family was able to survive out here in the desert.

    Make sure to book your tour early, as they often sell out! Tours run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and are only limited to 25 people per tour.

    13. Go Biking Along the Back Roads

    One of the most exciting things to do in Joshua Tree National Park is to bike along the dirt roads.

    Since there are no bike roads, and all cycling must take place on the roads accessible by vehicles, dirt roads are the best roads for cycling as vehicles tend not to go down them.

    This is a great way to see all the sites of the park and just admire its natural beauty – as well as get some exercise!

    Some of the best areas to bike in the park are:

    • Upper Covington Flat Road
    • Eureka Peak Road
    • Lower Covington Flat Road
    • And across the Covington Flats Crossover Road
    FAQs About Visiting Joshua Tree National Park

    Here’s what people usually ask us about visiting Joshua Tree National Park:

    Can You Visit Joshua Tree in a day?

    Yes. You can. Joshua Tree NP is small enough to see most of it in one day.

    It will involve an early start and late finish however, and you’ll want to take your food and drinks inside the park with you.

    However, there is plenty to do to extend it over several days and I always say, why not?

    What can you do in Joshua Tree in one day? My recommendations would be:

    • Ryan Mountain
    • Skull Rock
    • Hidden Valley Trail
    • Barkers Dam
    • Cholla Garden
    • Keys View for sunset
    What is the best month to visit Joshua Tree?

    The best time to visit the park is in the spring and autumn as the weather is just right this time of year. The best months are March – May and October – November.

    You can visit the park all year-round but the weather in the summer is extremely hot, and that temperature can vary depending on where you are in the park.

    The winter brings in the rainy season from December until March, and while it doesn’t rain all the time, the weather is unpredictable this time of year.

    How long does it take to go through Joshua Tree National Park?

    This is very much dependent on the traveler, but if you were to drive through the park and only see the sites from the car, you can see everything in four hours. However, you won’t get to experience the magic of the place if you rush it.

    We think you should allocate a full 12 hour day, or if possible, spend two days in the park. Spend a night camping in the park and really feel the magic of the place. It’s also way more majestic at sunrise!

    Tips for Visiting Joshua Tree National Park With Kids

    Before you go, we have just a few words of advice for you about visiting Joshua Tree National Park.

    • Watch where you put your hands and feet – rattlesnakes live here!
    • Only rock climb if you know what you are doing.
    • Be careful of flash flooding, especially if you visit in the winter.
    • Off road driving is not permitted in Joshua Tree California
    • There is no cell phone coverage in most of the park – yay. Enjoy being present!
    • Camping is allowed only in designated areas or with a backcountry permit.
    • Joshua Tree Visitor Center, Oasis Visitor Center in Twentynine Palms, and Cottonwood Visitor Center are open daily.
    • Blackrock Nature Center is open October through May.
    Where to Stay near Joshua Tree National Park

    Although you can see Joshua Tree in a day, it’s a good idea to find a place to stay in the Yucca Valley area before you visit so you can spend an entire day exploring. Here’s where we recommend:

    Camping in Joshua Tree National Park

    There are nine Joshua Tree campgrounds inside the park, plus a handful of campgrounds near Joshua..

  • 27 INSPIRING THINGS TO DO IN MONTGOMERY AL WITH KIDS in 2022
    07 October 2022

    Montgomery, Alabama is well worth a stop on a Deep South road trip because of its important and inspiring Civil Rights History.

    It’s known as the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement as it’s where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat and began the boycott movement. It was here where the flame for the African American people was ignited, and brought about change to make the world a better place.

    It’s also where Dr. Martin Luther King rose as a leader of that movement.

    Today, Alabama’s capital is reemerging as a destination offering a unique and diverse culture, family-friendly attractions, cool nightlife, and contemporary eating.

    Montgomery is slow paced and you may wonder where all the people are. But don’t let that fool you, there are tons of cool things to do in Montgomery AL with kids.

    Enjoy the space and take time to look at the ginormous government buildings – I’ve never seen anything like it before!

    You can read more in-depth information here on the US Civil Rights Trail attractions in Montgomery.

    Table Of Contents
    1. Getting Around Montgomery
    2. Things to Do in Montgomery AL
    3. Places to Eat in Montgomery
    4. Where to stay in Montgomery Alabama
    5. Before You Go
    Getting Around Montgomery

    Montgomery is a really easy city to get around. Most of the Montgomery attractions are within walking distance of downtown.

    For those who don’t like walking, there is a Lightning Route Trolley that connects most of the attractions in downtown. It was the first electric trolley system in the U.S. and was built in 1886, so riding the trolley is an attraction in itself!

    If you plan to stay outside downtown, there Montgomery Area Transit System is a bus route that services most destinations in the city and surrounding areas.

    If you’re planning on visiting other parts of Alabama, consider renting a car. Rentalcars.com is a great resource for finding car rentals since it compares all the top car rental companies. Parking in downtown is notoriously difficult so be mindful of this if you are visiting by car.

    Want to save money on attractions in Montgomery? Then check out the 3-day city pass, which grants you access to seven attractions in Montgomery!

    Things to Do in Montgomery AL

    Now you know how to get around Montgomery, it’s time to take a look at the top attractions in Montgomery. Let’s get started…

    1. Freedom Rides Museum Sharing the story with the girls

    The Freedom Rides Museum gives an excellent insight into the brave peaceful protest of the Freedom Riders and is told through a series of artworks, displays, and biographies of key leaders and players within the movement.

    This Montgomery attraction is on the site of the original Greyhound bus station and is the site of the attack on the Freedom Riders.

    The Freedom Riders were a group of blacks and whites who decided to peacefully ride the buses together from Washington DC to New Orleans in protest against the segregation that was happening on interstate bus rides.

    This rehabilitated bus station has been restored to how it looked in 1961 and is the site of the attack on Freedom Riders when they arrived at the station on May 20, 1961.

    They were prepared to meet mob violence with non-violence and courage. They prepared farewell letters and wills.

    Their goal was to help end racial segregation in public transportation.

    They were attacked once they reached the Greyhound bus station in Montgomery and then only made it as far as Jackson before they were arrested and sent to prison for 40 days for breaking segregation laws.

    Our guide, Dorothy, was extremely passionate about the museum. Her stories helped us understand more of what happened during this period of the Civil Rights Movement.

    I thoroughly enjoyed her tour of the museum.

    They also have a scavenger hunt for the kids to help them better understand the museum.

    • Hours: Tues – Sat. Noon to 3pm
    • Tickets: $5 adults, $3 children 6-18 years
    2. Dexter Avenue Baptist Church

    Our tour of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church has been one of our favorite tours so far on our US road trip.

    The Dexter Avenue Baptist Church was built in 1883 and quickly became an important worship and meeting place for the African community.

    The old red brick building with views out to the State Capitol feels very symbolic when you consider what the community within this church was able to achieve in the city that was known to be the Cradle of the Confederacy, born from those Capitol steps the Church overlooks.

    The Dexter Avenue Baptist Church is where Martin Luther King Jr. had his first and only pastor experience from 1954 to 1959.

    It was where he was recognized in the community as an enigmatic leader and was chosen to lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which launched him as a Civil Rights leader.

    The tour is fantastic, mostly due to our guide, Wanda who shared the spirit of King and the movement through her songs, and words of love and joy, peace and unity.

    Wanda

    It was a moving experience and definitely an attraction to put on your things to do in Montgomery, AL with kids.

    Our girls loved it.

    Inside the Church, you get to see Dr. King’s office where he wrote many of his speeches and sermons and stand behind the exact pulpit he stood behind when he gave his famous How Long Not Long speech.

    You can worship with the congregation on Sundays at 10:30. I’d love to experience it. I can only imagine the love, hope and sense of community that lives within that church service.

    • Tours hourly from 10am – 3pm. except for noon.
    3. Dexter Avenue Parsonage Museum

    Do you want to see the home that Dr. Martin Luther King and his family lived in during his years as a pastor at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church?

    This modest but cute clapboard cottage is in Centennial Hill, which was once a vibrant middle-class African suburb.

    The Dexter Parsonage Museum is where previous pastors of the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church used to reside. It’s also where Martin Luther King Jr. and his family lived between 1954 and 1960.

    Martin Luther King’s house as pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church

    You’ll get to see the crater in the porch left over from when his house was bombed and experience the stories of his life within the walls where they happened.

    A most poignant part of the tour is the kitchen where Dr King received guidance from within not to quit on the dream when we were most afraid and troubled over it, but to keep standing up for justice.

    The permanent collection in the Interpretive Center of the museum contains photos and a timeline of the 12 Dexter pastors who lived here as well as inspiring quotes from their Pastoral Wisdom.

    You can also see unpublished photographs of Dr. King and former members of the Montgomery ministers who were active in the bus boycott movement.

    There’s also the Kings-John garden, which you can use as reflection on what you’ve learned from the museum.

    • Tours of the Dexter Avenue Parsonage Museum Hours: Tuesday through Friday: 10am – 3pm, every hour, excluding noon to 1pm, Saturday: 10 – 1pm every hour.
    4. Civil Rights Memorial Center

    The Civil Rights Memorial is the best place to visit after you have seen the other Civil Rights Trail experiences.

    There is a beautiful memorial out the front, designed by Maya Lin, the same designer of Washington’s Vietnam memorial.

    A circular black granite table records the names of the martyrs and chronicles the history of the movement in lines that radiate like the hands of a clock.

    Water flows out the center and across the top of the etched names.

    On a curved black granite wall behind the table is engraved Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s well-known paraphrase of Amos 5:24 –

    We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

    It’s a place to reflect and consider how injustices continue today and what you can do to help correct them.

    Visit the Wall of Tolerance inside where you can add your name to the wall and take the pledge to stand for justice, peace and love.

    By placing my name on the Wall of Tolerance, I pledge to take a stand against hate, injustice and intolerance. I will work in my daily life for justice, equality and human rights – the ideals for which the Civil Rights martyrs died.

    5. Rosa Parks Library and Museum

    See where the Civil Rights Movement began at the Rosa Parks Museum.

    They bring the story alive through an interactive display, 3D re-enactments, and gospel music setting the scene.

    The Museum is located in the spot where Rosa Park was arrested.

    There is also a children’s annex which has an interactive bus taking kids into the past and through the experience making it a worthy stop on your list of things to do in Montgomery, AL with kids. There’s also a station wagon belonging to one of the protestors.

    The Rosa Parks Museum is very well put together with artifacts and is not too overwhelming with information, you get a great sense of what happened and why.

    • Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm; Saturday 9am-3pm
    • Admission Fee: $7.50 Adults; $5.50 Children 12 & under; $1
    6. Museum of Alabama

    The Alabama Museum tells the story of Alabama’s past from prehistory to the present through award winning and interacting exhibits and programs.

    It is located at the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH), a stunning building, and the nation’s oldest state-funded, independent archival and historical agency.

    Interactive and educational displays and areas for kids are in the Hands-On-Gallery and Grandma’s Attic where you can dress in period costumes, play with toys from bygone eras, make crafts, listen to stories, and do more.

    My girls enjoyed using the typewriter, old telephones, and creating sequined Mardi Gras masks for our trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. (Yes you can do Mardi Gras with kids, here’s how).

    This is one of the best things to do in Montgomery Al with Kids.

    • Hours: Monday – Saturday, 8:30 am -4:30 pm.
    • Admission is FREE
    7. Court Square Fountain

    For a beautiful view and photo, that many from our community said made Montgomery look European, stand at the bottom right corner of the fountain roundabout and look up towards Dexter Avenue and the State Capitol.

    This beautiful fountain is topped by a statue of Hebe, Goddess of Youth and Cupbearer to the Gods and was built in 1885 over an existing artesian basin.

    There are quite a few significant historical markers around this fountain.

    It’s where the slave market once used to be and is also the spot where Rosa Parks boarded the bus on the day she was arrested.

    On the corner is the Winter Building where the orders to fire the first shot for the Civil War were given.

    8. State Capitol Tour

    We had done so many museums and tours during our Montgomery trip and the girls were getting really tired so we sacrificed a tour of the State Capitol.

    I hope you have time to make it one of your things to do on Montgomery, AL as I would have liked to have done it.

    It’s a grandiose building built in 1850 in the Greek Revival style with perfect proportions and creamy exterior, which would sparkle against a clear blue sky.

    It’s noted as a national historic landmark and included on the National Register of Historic Places.

    The Confederacy began here in 1861 and a little over a century later the Voting Rights march ended in 1965.

    Out the front of the State Capitol is where the Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights march ended and there Martin Luther King gave his famous speech, “How Long, Not Long!” after the Selma to Montgomery March.

    • Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-4pm; Saturday Guided Tours Only at 9am, 11am, 1pm & 3pm
    • Admission is FREE
    9. Montgomery Riverfront

    If you visit during the warmer months, then the Riverfront is possibly a place for you to spend some time.

    Be sure to check whether there are any local festivals or concerts on.

    There are also river boat rides and a small amphitheater which looks lovely and often has concerts and events. You can bring your cooler, picnic basket, and blanket to enjoy them.

    We had rainy weather on our visit to Montgomery so didn’t get to do much at the Riverfront. The Visitor Center is worth a look and it is close to Downtown and the Alley.

    10. Fly at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival

    Not a festival as such but a theater located in Blount Cultural Park.

    If the weather is kind to you (it was raining for us) arrive early with a picnic and enjoy the 300 acres of ground that will remind you a little of the English countryside.

    The Shakespeare Theater is a fully professional regional theater that produces around ten productions each season.

    While Shakespeare plays are at the artistic core of the company, Broadway musicals, children’s productions, American classics, and world premieres are also put on.

    We attended an afternoon show of Fly, which tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, who trained at nearby Morton Field during World War II, and gained fame during World War II for their bravery.

    Their flying skills equaled those of the whites – dying stereotypes and helped lead to the decision to desegregate the American Military in 1946.

    Fly was funny, sad, and told the story of the pilots in such a moving and mesmerizing way.

    I enjoyed it far more than I though I would. The acting was brilliant. The girls even giggled and enjoyed it despite it being slightly above their age level.

    I love them receiving a cultural education like this.

    Hopefully, Fly is still playing when you visit Montgomery, Al. If not, have a look to see what is playing as the venue is intimate and it could be one of the fun things to do in Montgomery, Al.

    11. Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
  • The best places to visit in Porto 2022
    07 October 2022

    Travel your way | Best things to do | Best travel destinations | Road trip planner | Best countries to visit | Cheap places to travel
    The best places to visit in Porto 2022

    Are you going to Portugal and looking for the best budget-friendly things to do in Porto? Are you considering going on a Portugal road trip itinerary and hoping to see some of the best things to do in Portugal? Then you’re in luck, because these are the 11 best things to do in Porto on a budget.

    With its delicious port wine, steep alleys, and colorful Azulejo houses, Porto is one of the most beautiful European cities. Located in the north of Portugal, close to the sea, it’s also a great starting point if you’re planning a road trip through the gorgeous Portugal.

    You can almost be certain that Porto greets you with blue skies and typical Portuguese flair. The alleys smell like sweet pastries and the wind carries a hint of orange blossom.

    And the best part of it: There are many budget-friendly things to do in Porto. You don’t have to break the bank to have an unforgettable time in the charming city that is home to the famous dessert wine. And in case you may be wondering – yep, even Port wine can be tried on a budget.

    This blogpost will highlight all of the best budget-friendly things to do in Porto and free things to do in Porto, as well as the best places to visit in Porto and the best adventures to go on. We’ve even got some budget travel tips, and advice on when to visit Porto and how to get to Porto. This is the blog post for you whether or not you are looking for the best beaches in Portugal, the best places to visit in Portugal, or the next destination for your Portugal road trip.

    So what are we waiting for? Let’s dive right into it.

    How to get to Porto…

    Porto has its own airport, so you can get there pretty easily. So here comes the first budget-friendly tip: Take the metro to reach the city center from the airport. It’s only 2 euros, and much cheaper than taking a taxi!

    In case you’re living in Europe, or you want to visit Porto as part of a Portugal road trip, you can also drive there. The city is surrounded by amazing countryside, such as the Duoro Valley. So there’s plenty to see on the way. You can reach Porto in just 2 hours by car from the Spanish border.

    Eventually, arriving at Porto’s stunningly beautiful São Bento train station is also a very special experience. But we’ll get to that in a bit…

    The best time to visit Porto…

    You might be wondering when to visit Porto. As a city in a southern European country, the best time to visit Porto is best visited in spring from March to May or in autumn from September to October. During the summer months, it can be extremely hot and in winter a bit cold due to the sea breeze.

    The best places to visit in Porto 2022
    1. Walk across the bridge Dom Luís I

    Taking a walk across the scenic bridge that connects Porto’s center to Vila Nova de Gaia is a must while you’re in Porto. So it takes the well-deserved lead among the budget-friendly things to do in Porto.

    You can cross the massive bridge on foot, by taking the tram, and even by car. Although it may be quite a challenge if you’re scared of heights, the view from the top is so worth it! From up there you can watch the river flowing into the sea, Porto’s hilly neighborhoods, and the other bridges outside of town.

    Fun fact: Did you know that the bridge has a famous relative? When you look at it, you may realize similarities to another massive metal monument. Yep, the Eiffel Tower in Paris! Ponte Dom Luís I is actually the result of one of Eiffel’s students’ designs.

    2. Visit São Bento train station

    Even though Europe has several impressive train stations, Porto’s São Bento is definitely among the most beautiful.

    Thousands of typical blue-white painted Portuguese tiles, the so-called Azulejos, cover the gorgeous entrance hall. With this art, the walls tell a story about important moments in the history of Portugal.

    To admire the art you only have to enter the entrance hall. As you don’t have to buy a ticket, in order to see it, it’s one of the best free things to do in Porto.

    3. Enjoy a budget-friendly port wine cellar tour

    What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Porto? Probably Port wine! So what would be a trip to Porto without Port wine?

    That’s why many port wine producers offer wine tastings and cellar tours. And they aren’t even expensive. For only 15 Euros, you can join a port wine cellar tour followed by a small tasting of three wines. This is one of the best things to do in Porto on a budget!

    Even better if you’re travelling on a shoestring and you’re looking for free things to do in Porto, a few cellars offer tours and tastings for free. Just walk along the riverfront in Vila Nova de Gaia and choose the free tour that sounds the best to you.

    4. Enjoy the riverfront views from Vila Nova de Gaia

    Porto’s neighboring municipality Vila Nova de Gaia is right across the river Duoro. As both municipalities have grown together, they seem like one large city and you can easily walk from one to the other. Just officially, they are separate.

    Vila Nova de Gaia is the best spot to catch the nicest view of Porto’s colorful riverfront with its lively cafes, street musicians, and traditional wooden boats. So it’s also the place to go to get a great shot of Porto. Just find a nice spot along the river where you can sit down, enjoy the sun on your skin and watch the hustle and bustle along the river.

    Besides, a great viewpoint you can easily walk up to is Mirador do Serra do Pilar. Yay, another tip on what to do in Porto for free!

    5. Try Pastel De Nata

    Every time you pass by a bakery in Porto, the smell of buttery pastry will sneak into your nose. If that already makes your mouth water, wait until you try them!

    Pasteis De Nata are the typical Portuguese egg tarts. They’re like small puff pastry tarts with a creamy filling, baked in the oven until their tops sizzle. While they’re traditionally a breakfast, you can have them any time of the day! Usually, they cost only between 1 – 2 Euros. So why not have two? They’re so cheap that even if you’re looking for budget friendly things to do in Porto, you can treat yourself!

    Also, in many bakeries and pastry shops, you can even watch Portuguese specialists preparing the tarts.

    6. Take a free walking tour

    Whenever I’m in a new city, I love joining a walking tour. It’s the best way to explore the place on foot, get the best insights from locals, and learn about the city‘s history. And you simply come across hidden corners that would never find yourself.

    In case you don’t know the concept of a free walking tour, here’s how it works: You can book a spot for free, take the tour and afterward pay the amount you think the tour was worth. So, it’s not really free, but you have more control over what you can afford to pay!

    In Porto, there are several tour operators offering free walking tours. So check out the reviews and select the one you like the most, so that you can enjoy one of the best budget-friendly things to do in Porto!

    7. Ride the historic tram

    Historic trams are a thing in Portugal. You may have heard of the ones in Lisbon that resemble San Francisco‘s steep tram lines.

    While there are also some hills in Porto, it’s by far not as steep as Lisbon. Still, you can see old, wooden tram carriages taking locals as well as visitors across the city. A tram ride is quite cheap, and it can even take you to the sea for just 3,50 Euros.

    8. Spend a day by the sea

    Because Portugal is quite a small country, you’re never really far from the sea. And in Porto, you’re super close.

    You can enter the beach for free, and there are many ways how you can reach it. Besides the historic tram, there are also several bus lines connecting Porto’s city center with the beach. You can also rent bikes for a scenic ride along the river until you reach the sea.

    Enjoy the Atlantic Ocean’s breeze dancing around your nose and feel the freedom of being on vacation! During summer, don’t miss bringing a towel and jumping into the water. Portuguese summers can get really hot, so a day by the beach sounds just right, don’t you think?

    9. Visit museums for free on Sunday morning

    If you’re here on a Sunday and you’re looking for cheap things to do in Porto, don’t miss visiting one of Porto’s museums. Even though some of them are fairly pricey on weekdays, on Sunday mornings until 2 p.m. you can visit all national museums for free.

    And there’s a great variety of museums, such as the Soares dos Reis National Museum, the Tram Museum, and the Photography Museum.

    So enjoy some culture before moving on to some more budget-friendly things to do in Porto in the afternoon. In case you already have plans for Sunday morning, don’t worry. The Port Wine Museum and the Casa do Infante are free all weekend.

    10. Climb up the iconic Barredo stairs

    By now you know: The city of Porto is hilly! So when you’re strolling around, you always come across some hills to walk up and down, or some stairs to climb.

    Among the nicest routes are the Barredo stairs that connect the lovely Ribeira neighborhood and the upper part of Porto’s center.

    Over here, you’re right in one of Porto’s oldest neighborhoods. So there’s a lot to see when you take a look around. Besides, it’s a very authentic area where you can get an idea of how Porto’s elderly inhabitants live. Always look out for the colorful Azulejo tiles decorating the pretty houses. Such a beautiful photo motive!

    11. Visit the Duoro Valley

    If you’ve got enough time, don’t miss a day trip to the Duoro Valley, where the grapes of the famous Port wine grow. It’s an extremely picturesque landscape, as the river Duoro waves right through the valley.

    You need a rental car to get there, but there are so many viewpoints that you can visit for free that offer spectacular views across the wine grapes, the river and some of the wineries. Already the ride along the riverbank is worth it. So don’t miss it!

    Author : Gilian Manassee from jillonjourney.com

    The best places to visit in Porto 2022
    admin

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  • The most exclusive holiday trips you most probably never heard of!
    07 October 2022

    Bucket lists are made to motivate you, to work towards something, to have that tingly feeling when you know it's coming your way but you still have to wait a few days, weeks, months or even years.

    The post The most exclusive holiday trips you most probably never heard of! appeared first on A Luxury Travel Blog.

  • Top Tips For A Romantic Winter Getaway
    07 October 2022
    Keeping the flames of romance alive in a relationship is something we all strive to do, even if we’ve been together for decades. But doing so at home where there is always “something to do” is easier said than done. That’s why many of us still swear by the romantic getaway.



    Now that the winter months are upon us and the nights are getting longer, the time is arguably ideal for a little romance. But if you’re planning a romantic holiday in the next few months, here are a few tips to start those embers burning.

    Plan ahead

    To avoid last-minute chaos, plan the getaway as far in advance as possible. This means sorting out babysitting for the kids and the pets, booking flights (we know how unpredictable they can be right now) and ensuring that everything is ok at work. You might be able to get a slightly better deal if you leave it to the last minute, but it could also leave you in a world of immense stress.

    Pick a peaceful location


    There’s nothing wrong with booking a romantic trip to Disneyland if that’s your bag but, let’s be honest, what you really want is to just chill out with a few glasses of wine and the stars. Right? Check out caravans and holiday homes in UK holiday locations like North Wales with lots of beautiful nature.

    Go to a fancy restaurant

    Not everyone is a born foodie, but we can all appreciate the joys of decadent food. Of course, for you that could mean a greasy burger and a few beers but there is an undeniable “extra something” about Michelin-star dining that makes everything feel so much more elevated and, yes, romantic.

    Don’t talk about reality

    Talking about something like finance can take you right back to reality so while you might not be able to completely forget about your issues at home, don’t talk about them. Try to shut off from your everyday troubles and just enjoy spending time together.

    Hike up a mountain

    I'm not joking here. Going for a hike with just the two of you can actually be an incredibly romantic experience, particularly if it ends up in a log cabin with a warm fire. You might even be lucky enough to catch a sunset or a sunrise together and there are few things in life as romantic as that. Just don’t forget to bring the first aid kit.

    Plan a surprise!

    Your other half might say they hate surprises but that’s probably just because they’ve never had a surprise they genuinely wanted. Try to save at least one major surprise to spring on your beloved towards the end of the getaway and you’ll be returning home from your romantic holiday on a promising note.

    *Collaborative post
  • What 2000 Years Of Spa Culture Feels Like In Hungary
    07 October 2022

    2000 year old spa rituals blended with 1300 underground thermal hotsprings, 270 types of medicinal waters and hundreds of spa retreats equals a true wellness capital of the world.

    ...
    via JustLuxe.com
  • Transylvania, Romania: What to see and when to go
    07 October 2022
    Transilvania evokes tales, mysteries, legends, and even a little fear. It is one of the historical regions of Romania, inextricably linked to the story of Count Vlad Tepes, where history and literature have now merged into a fascinating and attractive intertwining. Today we will take you to discover the best things to see and when to go to Transylvania! The Places of Vampires and Dracula

    Sighisoara is the hometown of Vlad III of Wallachia, known as Vlad Tepes (The Impaler), the legendary Dracula. Within its fortifications, near the Clock Tower, is the birthplace of Dracula and a stone bust of Vlad Tepes, in this square, who witnessed numerous tortures and the burning of spells.

    The Poenari Fortress is located in the municipality of Arefu. now in ruins, it was built by the Boers (subjects) who were then impaled by Vlad, accessed via a staircase of 1480 steps, and is the place where Dracula’s first wife committed suicide by throwing herself from the tower into the Arges river.

    Bran Castle, near Brasov, on the ancient border between Wallachia and Transylvania, is the castle that inspired Bram Stoker to describe Dracula’s Castle (which is Poenari’s Castle).
    Finally, the Snagov Monastery, founded in 1408 by Mircea the Elder of Wallachia, is located 35 km north of Bucharest, on an island in Lake Snagov. It became famous in 1933 when archaeological excavations led to the discovery of a crypt later identified as the tomb of Dracula. You can read more about this castle by going to https://transilvania.it/castello-di-dracula/

    Turda salt mines

    Not only are the Turda salt mines the oldest in the world, but they offer a one-of-a-kind amusement park where visitors can go down to 80 meters underground and learn how the salt was mined. The best way to visit them is to take a day trip from Cluj.

    The largest room in this underground saline is called Rudolf, it is located 40 meters underground and is divided into 13 levels.

    Transfăgărăşan

    It is one of the most beautiful streets in the world, and certainly the highest and most characteristic in Romania. It was built in the 1970s at the behest of Ceausescu, to allow Romanian troops to quickly cross the Carpathians in the event of a Soviet invasion.

    The road is 112 km long, starts in Pitesti, and, crossing the wonderful landscapes between mountains, green valleys, tunnels, viaducts and numerous serpentines, reaches the Balea Lake, of glacial origin. Due to the climatic conditions, Transfogarasan is only open for 4 summer months.

    Corvino Castle

    Corvin Castle is located in Hunedoara and is the most important monument of Gothic architecture in Romania. The best way to visit it is with a guided tour from Cluj.

    It stands on the site of an ancient Roman castrum, has an imposing appearance and dominates the valley. In the past it served as a fortress and housed the Voivodes of Transylvania. Today you can also visit prisons and torture chambers, a large courtyard, several interior rooms with period furniture and a drawbridge.

    There are several legends related to this castle, it is said that Count Dracula was imprisoned here for seven years, and a well in the courtyard was built by some Turkish prisoners who were promised their freedom if they found this place. After 15 years and reaching a depth of over 30 meters, the promise was not kept.

    When to go?

    Climate: moderately continental with temperatures in January down to -6 ° and in summer below 26 °

    Best Time: Spring and summer are the perfect seasons for the best observation of climate and wildlife in rural areas, although it can get cold at night

    Period to avoid: winter is very cold and snowfalls are frequent and abundant, some roads and passes may even be closed due to bad weather and causing inconvenience to visitors to the region

    Tip: The most suitable garment if you are going to Transylvania during the recommended period is layered, mid-season clothing. The temperatures are never too high and it is always better to have at least a warm sweatshirt with you.

    The post Transylvania, Romania: What to see and when to go appeared first on The Luxury Travel Blog - Travel Luxury Villas.

  • Marijuana Tourism 101
    07 October 2022

    Over 200 million people currently smoke medical marijuana to relieve pain and discomfort without having to cope with the major side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. Today, with the increased legalization of recreational use, a new trend has appeared. A trend that can lead you across the country, or the world, on an adventure of a lifetime.

    Marijuana tourism has become a popular reason for people to travel across the states, and countries, tasting the local marijuana flavors as they go. Every area has there own specialized crops, giving a different high every time you light up. Every bud will have a different flavor and aroma.

    Marijuana Tourism And Safety

    You may have forgotten, or not even realized, that not all locations have legalized cannabis products for recreational consumption. While others, even though it is legal to use if you are a citizen of the country, there are no clear laws on whether it is legal for a traveler to use.

    Most locations will not bother you as a tourist because it brings big money to their countries, but it only takes one time to get yourself into some serious hot water. Before moving on, let’s go over some of the best destinations for you to plan on visiting during your cannabis tour.

    • Amsterdam, Netherlands
    • Barcelona, Spain
    • Boston, Massachusetts
    • Denver, Colorado
    • Los Angalas, California
    • Fairbanks, Alaska
    • Las Vegas, Nevada
    • Negril, Jamaica
    • Vancouver, Canada
    • Missoula, Montana

    These areas on the map are some of the best locations to visit during a cannabis tour, and they allow travelers from all over the world to partake in medical or recreational use. You can also have some in your possession without any legal issues, as long as you are not hauling around more than an ounce or so at once.

    A common issue travelers run into is when they try to carry their stash over borders into an area where it is not legal to have it. A place that does not see the benefits of cannabis use or understand why moms who smoke marijuana mean no harm to their families or friends. These locations will not only take your cannabis from you but will, at the least, give you a ticket. If you have a substantial amount, they may even throw you into a jail cell.

    Marijuana Tourism Safety Steps To Take

    Before you hit the road, or the skies, take the time to do a little research. This is especially important if you want to carry pipes, bongs, or cannabis products. It may be perfectly fine to do so if you are traveling around your own state, but there are still many laws on the books that can come around to bite you in the rear.

    If you have too much when crossing state lines in the US, the state that pulls you over can charge with “intent to sell,” which could end up being a federal crime. All this without even realizing that you were doing anything wrong because, in your state, it was legal. You do not want this scenario to be why your vacation must end early.

    Plan your route to go around locations that do not have legal recreational use on the books. If that is not possible, do not carry drugs across the borders. Taking your pipes with you may also get you into trouble, but that choice is left up to you. You can always get some local marijuana to smoke when you get to your destination, and cheap glass pipes can be bought as you go.

    Conclusion

    Marijuana tourism 101 begins with safety and knowledge. It is a fabulous way to spend a vacation, and more and more people are opting to do just that. All you need to remember is that not all locations will understand the appeal of what you are doing, so play it safe and follow the one golden rule of cannabis tourism. 

    Travel without your stash and your favorite pipe, and always follow the laws of the land.

    Marijuana Tourism 101 The Travel Manuel

  • Fairmont Residences Mayakoba Debuts Its Final Collection
    07 October 2022
    Fairmont Residences Mayakoba Debuts Its Final Collection gaurav.banerji Thu, 10/06/2022 - 15:15
  • Four Seasons to Enter Yacht Market; Larry Pimentel to Lead the Enterprise
    07 October 2022
    Four Seasons to Enter Yacht Market; Larry Pimentel to Lead the Enterprise mturner Thu, 10/06/2022 - 13:42
  • Borgo San Vincenzo Now Open in Tuscany
    07 October 2022
    Borgo San Vincenzo Now Open in Tuscany mturner Thu, 10/06/2022 - 12:57
  • Tropical North Queensland Promotes Accessible Tourism
    07 October 2022
    Tropical North Queensland Promotes Accessible Tourism mturner Thu, 10/06/2022 - 12:25
  • New York, Barcelona, London Stand Out on World’s 50 Best Bars List
    07 October 2022
    New York, Barcelona, London Stand Out on World’s 50 Best Bars List mturner Thu, 10/06/2022 - 11:58

Australia Travel blogs

Australia Travel Blogs

07 October 2022

Australia Travel Blogs Australia Travel Blogs

Europe Travel blogs

Europe Travel Blogs

07 October 2022

Europe Travel Blogs Europe Travel Blogs
  • The Best Tours of the Tower of London To Take in 2023 and Why
    07 October 2022

    You’ve heard of the Tower of London as the fateful prison of famous people like Sir Walter Raleigh and Anne Boleyn, but did you know there are 18 acres and multiple buildings to explore here? Visiting the Tower of London takes time and can be underwhelming if you’re unsure what you’re looking at. A guided […]

    The post The Best Tours of the Tower of London To Take in 2023 and Why appeared first on The Tour Guy.

  • Top Art in the MoMA of NYC
    07 October 2022

    The MoMA collection numbers nearly 200,000 artworks, which is probably more than you expected. Not sure where to start? Fear not! Check out our list of top art you’ll see on your next visit to the MoMA!   This article isn’t meant to replace a guided visit – quite the opposite! Reading up on an attraction […]

    The post Top Art in the MoMA of NYC appeared first on The Tour Guy.

  • 12 Of The Most Beautiful & Best Hikes in Colorado Springs To Uncover!
    07 October 2022
    Enjoy a retreat into nature when you explore some of the best trails Colorado has to offer. Here are 12 of the best hikes in Colorado Springs worth exploring. While Colorado Springs is the second largest city in the state of Colorado and the 49th largest city in the entire country, it is also home[…]
  • Read October Gate Magazine!
    06 October 2022

    Get a copy of Rome’s airports free press, in Italian and English

    The post Read October Gate Magazine! appeared first on Italia Slow Tour.

  • 10 unmissable National Trust Attractions in North Wales
    06 October 2022

    There's a new post on The Travel Hack!

    If you’re planning to visit some National Trust attractions in North Wales then I’ve got 10 of my favourites that you can’t miss! I live in North Wales and I’ve …

    The post 10 unmissable National Trust Attractions in North Wales appeared first on The Travel Hack.

  • Coworking Istanbul – Cafes & Best Istanbul Coworking Options
    06 October 2022
    Istanbul is a great place to work remotely as a nomad or traveler. This guide will show you the top cafes & best Istanbul coworking options.
  • Sifnos – A Cycladic Gem in Greece
    06 October 2022

    Sifnos, part of the Greek Cyclades, offers a truly authentic Greek experience.

    The post Sifnos – A Cycladic Gem in Greece appeared first on The Travel Magazine.

  • Things to do in Rotterdam – day trip to 3 day break
    06 October 2022

    Rotterdam is the second-biggest city in the Netherlands but gets a fraction of the visitors that go to Amsterdam. Those people are missing out, as there are lots of things to do in Rotterdam, making it well worth at least a day trip – and ideally a longer stay.

    This post contains affiliate links – all that means is that if you buy something as a result of clicking on a link in the post, I’ll receive a small commission that helps me with the costs of running this site. There’s no extra cost to you. Thanks!

    About Rotterdam

    Rotterdam is in the south of the Netherlands, 50 miles south of Amsterdam and close to The Hague, Dordrecht, Delft and Gouda, but even the briefest visit will show you that Rotterdam looks and feels very different to any of those places.

    The cube houses in Rotterdam, an icon of the city and an example of Rotterdam’s innovative approach to city planning

    During the early part of World War 2, the Netherlands intended to stay neutral, but Germany invaded anyway. The Luftwaffe began bombing Rotterdam heavily on 10 May 1940, and on 14 May, the entire historic city centre was destroyed. The Germans had given the Dutch an ultimatum to surrender before bombing Rotterdam; when a similar ultimatum was received threatening to destroy Utrecht, another Dutch city, the Netherlands surrendered.

    Instead of rebuilding the city that had been lost (as they did in Warsaw), the citizens of Rotterdam chose to build a new, modern city on a new plan with wide boulevards and high rise buildings. Work began within a few days of the attack, and by 1950 much of the plan was complete. A few buildings from before the bombing were repaired; today, walking around Rotterdam it’s surprising and unexpected when you come across an old building like the Laurenskerk or the old city hall.

    Is it worth visiting Rotterdam?

    Rotterdam’s history means that visiting the city is very different to visiting Amsterdam, so if you have the time for a day trip to Rotterdam, it’s absolutely worth the effort to see the city. If you have a few days to explore, Rotterdam makes a great base for exploring the south of the Netherlands.

    Rotterdam’s elegant Erasmus Bridge crosses the Nieuwe Maas riverOne day in Rotterdam

    If you only have one day in Rotterdam or you’re taking a day trip to Rotterdam from Amsterdam, then you’re in luck, as most of the major things to do in Rotterdam are within walking distance of each other.

    Itinerary for one day in Rotterdam

    In this day trip to Rotterdam itinerary I’ve described some of the top sights in Rotterdam, with a suggested route between them. This works as either a walking or cycling route, with some stops for food along the way. Rotterdam has great public transport, so if you want to visit them in a different order and use the metro and tram to get around, that works too.

    Starting point for your day in Rotterdam: Blaak station

    Rotterdam Blaak station, which is on the railway line from Amsterdam and tram and metro lines from elsewhere in Rotterdam, is a good place to start your day in Rotterdam. Coming out of the station you’ll see both the Markthal and the Cube Houses, and you’re just around the corner from the Old Harbour.

    Markthal (Market Hall)

    For me, Rotterdam’s standout attraction was the Markthal, Rotterdam’s astonishing, modern market hall. Opened in 2014, the Markthal is shaped like an enormous upside-down horseshoe, with the market stalls in the vast, cathedral-like space inside.

    Markthal, Rotterdam’s amazing modern market hall is one of the top things to do in RotterdamInside Markthal. A huge mural covers the whole roof.

    The horseshoe part is made up of apartments, even the curvy bits around the top, and the apartment windows open out onto the walls and ceiling of the market hall. When you’re inside, if you look carefully you can see into people’s kitchens and living rooms.

    The whole of Markthal’s roof is covered with a beautiful, 36,000 square foot mural called Cornucopia. The mural, which was created by artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam, depicts fruit, vegetables, flowers, bees and butterflies and is absolutely stunning.

    Some of the stalls inside Markthal. The windows set into the mural belong to the apartments that cover the roof.

    The best time to visit Markthal is during the day and early evening, when all the market stalls are open (it closes at 8pm Monday to Thursday, 9pm on Friday, 8pm on Saturday and 6pm on Sunday). You’ll find amazing cheese, sausage and bakery stalls, along with food stalls selling burgers, sushi, tapas and fish and chips. Some of the stalls have upstairs seating where you can eat what you’ve bought – we ordered a delicious Turkish pizza at Bab Tuma and sat upstairs to admire the mural.

    Cube Houses

    Across the street from Markthal, you can’t miss the Cube Houses (Kijk-Kubus in Dutch). One of Rotterdam’s most iconic attractions, this curious complex was built in the 1970s by architect Piet Blom and looks nothing like any other housing development you might have seen (unless you’ve visited the prototype near Eindhoven). 40 cubes, turned at 45 degrees, sit on brick trunks, like trees in a forest.

    Looking up to the “canopy” of cube houses in Rotterdam

    You can see what it’s like to live in one of the Cube Houses by visiting the Kijk-Kubus Museum-house. The museum is a show house where you can see the joys and challenges of living in a tilted cube. You’ll enter from one of the pedestrian squares, up the external stairs then up the stairs in the brick trunk to the first floor.

    Once inside, you can explore the living room, kitchen, and bedrooms, all with custom-made furniture to fit into the angles of the cube. Up on the top floor, there’s another room which can be used as a bedroom or living space, and which is wonderfully sunny with views over the city.

    Inside the cube house museum. All the furniture is specially shaped to fit into the cube house’s unusual angles.

    Visiting the Kijk-Kubus Museum-house is one of the top things to do in Rotterdam. It’s open 7 days a week from 11am to 5pm and costs just 3 euro to enter.

    There’s another way to see inside the cubes, which is to stay at the Stayokay Rotterdam hostel. The hostel is in one of the large cubes and has rooms with distinctive sloping walls. There’s also a studio apartment for two people in another of the cube houses, with its own entrance.

    Oudehaven (Old Harbour)

    Together with the Delftshaven, this is one of the prettiest places to visit in Rotterdam. The Oudehaven is a small harbour, with the Cube Houses on one side and the historic Witte Huis, an early skyscraper, on the other. This is the old mouth of the River Rotte which gives Rotterdam its name and has been a harbour since the 1300s.

    Oudehaven (the old harbour) in the evening. The white building is the Witte Huis, one of the first skyscrapers in Europe. The red structure is the Willemsbrug bridge.

    Rotterdam is one of the most important port cities in Europe and this is where it all began, although you might find that surprising if you visit Oudehaven today. Restaurants and bars line the waterfront, with outdoor tables decorated with twinkly lights on summer evenings. The lights reflect into the water, where you can see a collection of traditional sailing boats and cargo ships.

    Oudehaven is particularly beautiful at sunset, when the golden light makes the Witte Huis and the red Willemsbrug glow, but if you only have one day in Rotterdam, it’s worth visiting at any time of day.

    Leuvenhaven

    From the Oudehaven, head along the edge of the Wijnhaven, passing the Witte Huis and the Willemsbrug. If you have time, you could visit the Marines Museum, which explores the history of the Marine Corps.

    A historic light ship on the Wijnhaven

    After the lovely Regentessebrug, which was one of the few structures to survive the 1940 bombardment, the Wijnhaven meets the Leuvenhaven. There are a number of beautiful old boats and cranes on the Leuvenhaven, and you can visit the Maritime Museum, one of Rotterdam’s top attractions, with lots of interactive exhibits. It’s particularly good for children with lots to keep them entertained.

    Erasmus Bridge (Erasmusbrug)

    Where the Leuvenhaven meets the Nieuwe Maas, Rotterdam’s main waterway, you’ll see the Erasmus Bridge. Although the bridge only opened in 1996, it quickly became a symbol of the city and acquired the nickname “the Swan”. Seeing the bridge and crossing it is one of the best things to do in Rotterdam.

    A section at one end of the Erasmus Bridge opens to let tall ships through. The large, three-column building in the background is the deRotterdam “vertical city”.

    The Erasmus Bridge is 802 metres long and carries road traffic, trams, bikes and pedestrians across the Nieuwe Mass between north and south Rotterdam. At the end of the bridge where the swan’s neck is, a section opens to let tall-masted ships through, and seeing the road rise into the air is a fascinating experience. The section of the bridge that rises up is the longest and heaviest of its type in western Europe.

    deRotterdam

    There are two of the top things to do in Rotterdam near the southern edge of the Erasmus Bridge.

    The deRotterdam building is a modern icon of Rotterdam, designed by local boy and international architecture legend Rem Koolhaas and built between 2009 and 2013. The building aims to be a “vertical city”, with space for offices, hotels, apartments and leisure, and its striking design is intended to reveal itself with different views as you move past it.

    The nHow Hotel inside deRotterdam has a roof terrace bar where you can admire the Erasmus Bridge below and watch the boats going past on the river.

    Holland America Line headquarters – now Hotel New York

    Past deRotterdam, at the end of Wilhelminakade, you’ll find the old headquarters of the Holland America Line, now Hotel New York. The Holland America Line sailed its first ship from here to New York in 1872, and over the next 25 years, 400,000 people emigrated from the Netherlands to the United States from their dock in Rotterdam. Visitors from the USA often list visiting this spot as one of their favourite things to do in Rotterdam.

    The former headquarters of the Holland America Line, now the Hotel New York.

    There are a couple of popular food places near deRotterdam and the Hotel New York. The Fenix Food Factory food hall and microbrewery is just across the Rijnhavenbrug – I didn’t find it as impressive as Markthal but it is very popular with people visiting Rotterdam. Behind Hotel New York and just across the street from the Nederlands Fotomuseum, Foodhallen Rotterdam has 12 food stands, a gin bar and a coffee shop.

    Euromast and Het Park

    Head back across the Erasmus Bridge to the north bank of the Nieuwe Mass, then turn west, towards Veerhaven, another pretty harbour which is home to small leisure boats. The little white wooden office building is particularly cute. From here, take Parklaan, a wide, tree-lined street with some of the most beautiful houses in Rotterdam. This area was home to well-to-do Rotterdammers during the 1800s and reminded me of fancy neighbourhoods in New York.

    Pretty VeerhavenPark Laan, one of my favourite streets in Rotterdam.

    Parklaan leads, not unexpectedly, to the simply named Het Park (The Park). This large, beautiful park is one of the largest areas of green space in central Rotterdam and is well worth a visit on a sunny day. We visited in the early evening and it was still full of people having picnics, riding bikes, playing with their kids and enjoying time with their families. There are flowers, wooded areas and lawns, along with a couple of cafes and restaurants.

    The Euromast observation platform from Het Park

    When you’re walking through this part of the city, you can’t miss Euromast, another of the top things to do in Rotterdam. Euromast is a huge observation tower and until recently was the tallest building in the Netherlands. A lift whisks you up to a crow’s nest style open-air viewing deck 96m (315ft) up, and a further mini lift, the Euroscoop, takes you up to the very top of the space tower above the viewing platform, a total of 185m in the air.

    The view from the Euromast observation platform. Going up the Euromast is one of the best things to do in Rotterdam.
    Once you’re at the first observation platform, the Euroscoop rotating glass lift takes you to..
  • A visit to the Secret Lagoon in Iceland's Golden Circle
    06 October 2022

    The not-so-secret Secret Lagoon is known locally as "Gamla Laugin" which means "The Old Pool" - a much more fitting name given that this is the oldest swimming pool in Iceland.

    The post A visit to the Secret Lagoon in Iceland's Golden Circle appeared first on A Luxury Travel Blog.

  • The Icelandic greenhouse restaurant where everything on the menu is made from tomatoes
    06 October 2022

    When you think of Iceland, you tend to think of glaciers, geysers, volcanoes, earthquakes and dramatic landscapes. Rarely do people think of tomatoes.

    The post The Icelandic greenhouse restaurant where everything on the menu is made from tomatoes appeared first on A Luxury Travel Blog.

Dubai Travel blogs

Dubai Travel Blogs

07 October 2022

Dubai Travel Blogs Dubai Travel Blogs
  • In pictures: Abu Dhabi’s biggest standalone theatre is now open
    06 October 2022

    The Cinemacity location in Al Qana is definitely deserving of presenting blockbusters. Al Qana currently offers a sizable array of […]

    The post In pictures: Abu Dhabi’s biggest standalone theatre is now open appeared first on Forever Tourism.

  • 5 ramen spots in Dubai are perfect for enjoying a bowl of goodness
    05 October 2022

    We are known to find comfort in eating, and when that food is Ramen, we don’t require anything else. Ramen […]

    The post 5 ramen spots in Dubai are perfect for enjoying a bowl of goodness appeared first on Forever Tourism.

  • Top 10 awesome outdoor breakfast spots in Dubai to start your day
    05 October 2022

    What better way to start your day than by looking for the best outdoor breakfast in Dubai? The sun is […]

    The post Top 10 awesome outdoor breakfast spots in Dubai to start your day appeared first on Forever Tourism.

  • Top 10 delicious places in Dubai to get your matcha fix 
    05 October 2022

    We are all in favour of matcha, which appears to be the newest trend. Matcha is available on Dubai city […]

    The post Top 10 delicious places in Dubai to get your matcha fix  appeared first on Forever Tourism.

  • The Top 10 most adventurous outdoor activities in the UAE
    05 October 2022

    You can simply take the fact that it’s a New Year and decade as an excuse to step outside of […]

    The post The Top 10 most adventurous outdoor activities in the UAE appeared first on Forever Tourism.

  • #dubaifood
    04 October 2022
  • Plan Your Trip to The View at The Palm – Iconic Palm Jumeirah Views
    03 October 2022

    One of Dubai’s most famous and instantly recognisable symbols is, without a doubt, Palm Jumeirah.

    Now, you can visit The View at the Palm to experience this iconic landmark from above. With stunning 360-degree views of Dubai, the shoreline and the Arabian Gulf, this is a chance to see the city from a different vantage point.

    The View at The Palm

    With its 52 floors and standing over 240m high, the Palm Tower is the tallest building on Palm Jumeirah.

    Located at the heart of the Palm Jumeirah trunk and as an extension to Nakheel Mall, the Palm Tower is easily and conveniently accessed via the mall.

    The Palm Tower is also home to several floors of luxury residential apartments, the St. Regis Hotel, the Aura SkyPool – the world’s highest 360-degree infinity pool, and Sushi Samba restaurant on the 51st floor.

    What to Expect at The View at the Palm

    Your visit to The View at the Palm begins at level two of Nakheel Mall, where you enter The View at the Palm Lobby.

    The View Exhibition

    From the lobby, your journey begins here. It is clear that a lot of effort has gone into making this experience more than just purely about the spectacular view. This interactive and immersive exhibition allows visitors to learn in more detail about the Palm Jumeirah project and development. Explore the vision behind the construction of this landmark, which has come to be such an iconic symbol for Dubai.

    Following on from the exhibition, the dedicated elevator takes you to the 52nd floor in just 45 seconds.

    Observatory

    The terrace observatory offers unobstructed 360-degree views of Dubai. Here, you can take in all the wonders of the city and spot iconic landmarks from the Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai, to Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach to the famous Marina skyline and Ain Dubai.

    Next Level, 54th floor

    From here, ascend to an even higher plane as you literally continue to The Next Level.

    This is a new additional viewing deck constructed on the 54th floor. This further elevated level truly captures the spectacular views of the city of Dubai and in particular, the Palm Jumeirah. As the fronds and crescents unfold below you, the true scale and feat of engineering of the Palm Jumeirah is apparent.

    Café and gift shop

    If the dizzying heights and panoramic views have tired you out, recharge with a cup of coffee at the café – back down on 52nd floor. Here you will also be able to pick up souvenirs from the gift shop.

    Opening Hours for The View at The Palm

    The general opening hours are:

    • Monday to Thursday 9:00 am to 10:00 pm
    • Friday to Sunday 9:00 to 12:00 am

    *Last entry is one hour before closing.

    Booking for The View at the Palm

    Tickets to the View at the Palm can be booked online here. There are several different ticket categories depending on timings and type of experience. Here is a rundown of the tickets available.

    Please note junior tickets are for ages four to 12 years. Children below four get free entry.

    General Admission

    Includes access to the immersive theatre and exhibition area and the 52nd-floor viewing deck.

    General Admission Adult Junior
    9:00am to 4:00pm, 7:30pm to 9:00pm  (11:00pm weekends)  100 AED 69 AED
    4:30pm to 7:00pm (peak hours)   158 AED 111 AED
    5:00am to 5.30am (Sunrise Special – Weekends Only)     70 AED 40 AED
    Fast Track to 52nd and 54th floors Adult Junior
    9:00am to 4:00pm, 7:30pm to 9:00pm    (11:00pm weekends)  175 AED 120 AED
    4:30pm to 7:00pm (peak hours)   275 AED 195 AED
    Next Level VIP* Adult Junior
    9:00am to 9:00pm (11:00pm weekends)   325 AED 145 AED
    *Includes access to both 52nd and 54th floors, a guided tour, VIP lounge and refreshments.
    Dining options for The View at The Palm

    What better way to start the day than panoramic views of the stunning sunrise over Palm Jumeirah and Dubai? Enjoy a delicious breakfast with a delightful selection of tea, coffee, juice, croissants and muesli at The View (Saturday and Sunday only).

    Alternatively, if the early start doesn’t suit you, enjoy a cup of coffee accompanied by spectacular views and a scrumptious pastry every day during non-peak hours.

    Other Dining Options Adult Junior
    Breakfast at the View* 125 AED 105 AED
    Coffee at the view* 9:00am to 4:00pm, 7:30pm to 9:00pm  (11:00pm weekends)  125 AED 95 AED
    *Includes access to 52nd floor
    City Lights Experience at The View

    Admire the sparkling lights of the Dubai and the skyline while sipping on the signature welcome drink Astro or mini milkshake for the kids.

    Alternatively, Cheers at The View allows you to celebrate the unparalleled views from the 52nd floor every day during non-peak hours. Receive two house beverages as part of this package.

    Special Events at The View Adult Junior
    City Lights Experience* 7:30pm to 9:00pm (11:00pm weekends)     100 AED 145 AED
    Cheers at The View 9:00am to 4:00pm, 7:30pm to 9:00pm (11:00pm weekends) 220 AED
    *Includes access to both 52nd floor and the VIP Lounge
    How to get to Palm Tower, Palm Jumeirah

    The Palm Tower is conveniently located as part of Nakheel Mall, with ample parking and excellent transport links.

    If you are travelling by public transport, do catch the Palm Monorail and alight at Nakheel Mall Station.

    If you arrive by car, follow the signs in the underground parking to give you direct access to the Palm Tower and The View, and if travelling by taxi, there is a drop-off point outside The View lobby.

    The View at The Palm vs Burj Khalifa

    If you are weighing up your options on visiting two of the most iconic buildings in Dubai, it’s important to note the two towers are very different, and both offer unique experiences.

    • With its 163 floors, Burj Khalifa continues to be the tallest building in the world. The views cannot be compared to anywhere else, and the Palm Tower is quite literally dwarfed by it.
    • The View at the Palm offers a different perspective and perhaps a more considered experience. The exhibition and immersive theatre provide a deeper insight into the concept and creation of Palm Jumeirah, really succeeding at creating a context for visitors.
    • Both are certainly excellent tourist attractions in Dubai and well worth a visit.
    More to know before visiting The View at Palm Tower

    A couple of things to note.

    • The 52nd floor is fully accessible for persons in wheelchairs. However, the Next Level on the 54th floor is only accessible via stairs.
    • Visitors are unable to bring large bags and strollers to the top. These items must be stored in the complimentary lockers in the lobby.
    More frequently asked questions about Palm Tower
    Where is the view Dubai?

    Often shortened simply to “the view”, this is an observation tower in the centre of Palm Jumeirah, situated above Nakheel Mall.

    Can I buy tickets online for The View at the Palm?

    Yes, booking your tickets online in advance to visit The View is highly recommended. Prime spots in particular, can book out.

    Can you get access to Aura SkyPool from the View?

    No, the Aura infinity pool entrance is separate from The View.

    Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai
    Take me back to the best attractions and activities in Dubai

    Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE and transit passengers self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our recommendation links.

    Dubai Travel Planner

    The post Plan Your Trip to The View at The Palm – Iconic Palm Jumeirah Views appeared first on Dubai Travel Planner.

  • Ultimate Top 10 Things to do in Dubai in 2022
    03 October 2022

    After living in the UAE for a decade, we have discovered A LOT of things to do in Dubai.  We’ve made countless road trips across the UAE, taken our visitors up and down towering skyscrapers, bumped across desert dunes, enjoyed delectable dining bites and thrilling theme park rides while being enthralled by traditional Emirati experiences – but how do you pick out a top 10 for Dubai?

    Some of Dubai’s highlights are undeniably expensive but worth it; Others are cheesy but irresistible for the bragging rights to the Insta moment. And many of Dubai’s most incredible attractions are completely free!

    So if you booked your flights and sorted your Dubai visa, it’s time to narrow down your Dubai bucket list. Whilst we have a huge list of 150+ things you can see and do in Dubai here, we’ve selected the top 10 experiences you must try in Dubai. 

    How long will I need in Dubai?

    If you really want to “see the city” and experience the many different sides of Dubai, we think you need at least three days. However, if you only have a day or two on a stopover, that’s OK too; there’s plenty you can squeeze in – we show you exactly how to fit in all of Dubai’s attractions to suit your interests and available time over on our itineraries page.

    You may also want to check in on our best time to visit Dubai guide, where we include month-by-month guides to help you narrow down your ‘must-see’ list for Dubai or these specialised guides:

    Top 10 recommended experiences in Dubai 1. The Dubai Fountains & Dubai Mall

    Let’s start with something free and easy. The Dubai Fountains are an evening choreographed show at the foot of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall. Each fountain show only lasts for around 5 minutes, but there’s plenty to see and do in the immediate vicinity – not least of which is take a browse through the world’s largest shopping mall or dine at one of the dozens of restaurants overlooking the fountains.

    Not just retail theory, you will find many spectacular sites inside Dubai Mall, from the world’s largest suspended aquarium tank (which is free to view) at the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo to the waterfall wall, giant ice skating rink, Kidzania for the kiddos and PlayDXB (Virtual reality theme park) for your tweens+.

    Especially in the summer peak, you can easily spend a day or two stopover in Dubai just around Dubai Mall and the Downtown Dubai area, including Dubai Opera and the thrilling new Sky Views Observatory.

    Click here to find exact fountain timings and our tips on the best viewing spots.

    2. A day at Atlantis the Palm

    If you are looking for an all-in-one package that accentuates Dubai’s luxurious and extravagant side, then Atlantis the Palm pretty much sums it up. Sitting in prime position at the peak of Palm Jumeirah, Atlantis is a luxury 5-star hotel attached to Aquaventure, one of the largest water parks in the world.

    You can simply visit the water park for the outdoor thrills and spills or stay overnight at the hotel for an adventure inclusive of water park action and the impressive Lost Chambers aquarium.

    If a trip to the waterpark is not within budget, you can always enjoy a walk along the Palm Jumeirah Boardwalk or take in the views from The Pointe, opposite Atlantis.

    3. A trip up the world’s tallest tower

    We honestly cringed a little at adding this one.  Should we or shouldn’t we recommend this experience?

    Even at its cheapest, you’re looking at around $30USD to just make it to the lower observation deck levels (still at an awe-inspiring 456 meters above the ground, mind you!). 

    In an honest review – the queues can be long, the observation deck can be crowded, and the Dubai haze and fog can wreak havoc with the views (or make them spectacular, depending on what you’ve come for!)

    But there really is only one record-breaking tallest tower in the world.  And on a good day, those views really are spectacular. Our top tip would be if you only have a day in Dubai, don’t spend it queuing up to get to At The Top. However, if time and budget permit – go for it!

    This is one part of your Dubai trip you will really want to have planned out in advance, as pre-booked tickets are much cheaper and guarantee your spot rather than trying your luck on the day.

    We have a detailed guide here on all your options for visiting the Burj Khalifa.

    If you don’t fancy the price tag or the queues, here are our top alternative suggestions on how to take in spectacular views of Dubai.

    4. A day trip to Abu Dhabi and the Grand Mosque

    Undeniably one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and symbolic of modern Islamic UAE. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque can be found in neighbouring capital city Abu Dhabi, about 150kms west of Dubai.

    Don’t limit your Abu Dhabi trip to just the Grand Mosque, however. There really is a different vibe to Abu Dhabi, and we’d strongly encourage that an overnight trip is needed in Abu Dhabi to fit it all in, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi and Qasr al Watan, the UAE’s presidential palace.

    If you are on a tight timetable, it is possible to spend a half-day checking out just the Grand Mosque. The mosque itself is free to enter; you would only need to pay for transport from Dubai. You can learn more about how to take a day trip to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque here.

    If time does not permit a visit to Abu Dhabi, but you are still interested in experiencing a mosque and learning more about Islamic culture, then pop over to this guide to Dubai’s Mosques open to the public.

    5. Explore Dubai Museum and the Al Faihidi Historical Neighbourhood

    Please note: As of summer 2022, the Dubai Museum remains closed for renovations, but the surrounding areas are still open and very much worth exploring on foot.

    You mustn’t leave Dubai complaining that it’s all shopping malls and concrete if you haven’t at least tried to dig beneath the surface.  The Dubai Museum and Fahidi Fort are great places to start but do continue to explore the surrounding area further on foot.

    The past decade has seen a huge transformation of this small area of the city (formerly known as Bastakiya). Recognising that the city’s historical roots mustn’t get lost beneath the skyscrapers, this is a truly different side of Dubai. It is filled with museums, cafes, and galleries in the small winding alleyways.

    We have a complete guide to Dubai’s many museums and historical sites of interest here if you would like to expand your search of the cultural side of Dubai.

    We also strongly recommend visiting the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU). They can help you with cultural tours, mosque visits, traditional meal experiences, and much more – found at House 26 Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Al Musallah Street.

    6. Wander the old souks

    In complete contrast to modern Dubai and the shopping malls and skyscrapers of Downtown Dubai, you will find the Old Souks on the Deira side of Dubai.

    For a true taste of Dubai, jump on a boat from Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood or the connecting precinct Al Seef over Dubai Creek to Deira. There are many different transport options, including cruises if you’d like to see more of the hustle and bustle along the creek banks or take a traditional abra for just 1 AED.

    On the Deira side of Dubai, you will find the traditional Gold and Spice Souks and the Perfume Souk. Crossing back to Bur Dubai, you can explore the Textile Souk. All are still authentic trading markets.

    Those wanting a more modern Arabian souk experience, head to Souk Madinat, further west in the Jumeirah area of the city. Not quite the same bargain hunting but nonetheless spectacular views and a wonderful shopping vibe, quite different to the malls.

    See our pick of the top souvenirs you should pick up in Dubai here!

    7. Enjoy the Beach

    A large reason many tourists come to Dubai is to enjoy the year-round warm weather and sunshine. There are plenty of beachfront areas to explore around Dubai, but if you’re on a tight schedule, you may want to start with JBR – the Beach

    The area has been designed with the tourist in mind, with perfectly manicured beach frontage offering water sports, camel rides, and everything in between!

    Other beaches you may want to try include Jumeirah Beach for ‘that’ iconic photo of the Burj Al Arab (note current construction work somewhat obscured those views at present), or try the much newer La Mer beachfront area if you enjoy fun and funky vibes and instagrammable beach huts along with plentiful dining options by the water.

    You can see our complete guide to Dubai’s best beaches here or if you are looking for a fun addition to your Dubai holiday, check out these top private beach clubs for partying & relaxation.

    8. Hit the desert dunes

    A fabulous reminder of where you actually are, it doesn’t take long to head beyond the city’s immediate vicinity to one of the many Dubai desert safari camps

    There are many variations on the desert safari available these days, including morning camel treks, falconry displays, and traditional desert camps if you want a full overnight experience.

    Most desert safaris typically offer a hotel pick-up service mid-afternoon, followed by spectacular dune bashing into a camp where a traditional Bedouin dinner is served. Expect your experience to be accompanied by desert sports such as quad bikes, sandboarding, and dune buggy rides.

    You’ll undoubtedly come away with henna hand painting and some incredible desert memories from shisha smoking to traditional Emirati “Al Ayala” and belly dancing shows!

    A morning desert safari is a great idea when the days are heating up or if you’re on a tight schedule.

    If you’re looking for some camel experiences closer to the city, you don’t necessarily need to go on a full desert trek. We explain your camel riding (even camel cuddling!) options here.

    9. Enjoy traditional Emirati Cuisine

    Dubai is renowned for having a huge variety of international cuisine, but don’t leave without trying a traditional Emirati meal. Be it through the SMCCU cultural program or seeking out hidden gems across the city that offer Middle Eastern specialities through to those offering more traditional Bedouin-style dishes.

    You can find our complete guide to Emirati food and where to find the best traditional restaurants in Dubai here.

    10. A day trip to the Musandam Peninsula

    If time in your Dubai itinerary permits for an extra day trip, this is a MUST!

    You would be doing yourself an injustice to get as far as Dubai and not visit the most tranquil and beautiful corner of the Arabian Peninsula. And it’s literally a corner! Jutting into the Strait of Hormuz, it’s actually an Omani enclave.

    We could also compromise and say a visit to the Hajar Mountains in Ras Al Khaimah, or Hatta will also give you a great taster of the country’s rugged beauty. But honestly, Musandam is in a league of its own when it comes to peaceful, raw beauty. 

  • The top 10 outdoor gyms in Dubai you need to try in the cooler months
    01 October 2022

    Although DubaiDubai is a terrific place to stay in shape, it can be challenging to keep up with the constant […]

    The post The top 10 outdoor gyms in Dubai you need to try in the cooler months appeared first on Forever Tourism.

  • The top 10 places in Dubai to get a free cup of coffee
    01 October 2022

    You may get your free caffeine fix at these locations. On Saturday, October 1, these cafés and eateries in Dubai […]

    The post The top 10 places in Dubai to get a free cup of coffee appeared first on Forever Tourism.

Asia Travel blogs

Asia Travel Blogs

07 October 2022

Asia Travel Blogs Asia Travel Blogs
  • Marshall Islands
    07 October 2022
    The Republic of the Marshall Islands is located north of 4° and 19° North latitude and 160° and 175° East longitude. The Ratak (sunset) and Ratak (sunrise) chains are separated by an exclusive economic zone of 990,000 square miles, which is one of the world’s largest. The Republic of the Marshall Islands is a sovereign […]
  • Solo Travel in Macedonia
    07 October 2022
    Macedonia is a solo-tourist destination with a female-friendly atmosphere, but we give it 3 out of 5 stars because the majority of street name signs are in Cyrillic, making navigation difficult. Despite any language barrier, the residents are nice and helpful, so if you want to avoid getting caught up in Greek politics, Albania, or […]
  • A Traveler’s Guide To Vatican City & Rome: How to Make the Most of Your Time in the Eternal City
    07 October 2022
    The city of Rome, Italy’s capital and the most visited city in the world, receives over 7.6 million visitors each year. The city is recognized for its cultural history, architecture, and tenacious past. It is home to a number of significant buildings, including the Vatican City. There is no denying that Vatican City is a […]
  • Things to do Uganda
    07 October 2022
    Uganda has a lot more to offer than just a safari experience.The majority of tour itineraries follow a similar route from one safari park to the next. However, there are numerous intriguing places to visit and activities to do beyond just seeing animals in enclosures. To get you started on making the most of your […]
  • Angola – A travel guide to Luand, Kalandula Falls and Pedras Negras
    07 October 2022
    Angola is a huge country in Africa with a variety of unique travel opportunities. It’s one of those places few people are familiar with, and even fewer have visited. Typically, the only thing you hear about Angola is how expensive it is due to an oil boom. Luanda, the country’s capital city, has even been […]
  • Experiencing Some Of The World’s Most Beautiful Roads On A Scooter
    06 October 2022

    Think outside the box. Think adventure. Think of breathtaking views. This is what to remember when planning a different kind of vacation. What about a scooter ride along some of the most spectacular roads in the world? Sounds like something you will take on? Here are three must-see destinations that you can experience on a scooter:

    1. The Twisting And Turning Roads Of The Amalfi Coast In Italy
    The Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations, and it’s easy to see why. The winding roads offer breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, and the quaint towns are full of charm. But, of course, one of the best ways to experience the Amalfi Coast is on a scooter. Scooters are a great way to get around, and they allow you to really take in the sights and sounds of the area. Of course, scooter rental can be expensive, so it’s essential to do your research before you book. Once you have your scooter, though, you’re sure to have a fantastic experience.

    2. The Switchbacks Of Going-To-The-Sun Road In Montana
    Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state. The road winds its way through the Rocky Mountains, providing stunning views of alpine meadows, glaciers, and peaks. However, for many visitors, the trip’s highlight is the series of switchbacks that take drivers up and over the Continental Divide. While Going-to-the-Sun Road is typically only open to cars and vans, a new way to experience the switchbacks is now: on a scooter. Scooter tours are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer a unique way to see the sights. Riders can enjoy the scenery at their own pace and make frequent stops to take photos and soak in the views. In addition, scooters are much less expensive than cars or vans, making them an excellent option for budget-minded travelers. So if you’re looking for a new way to experience Going-to-the-Sun Road, consider booking a scooter tour. You won’t be disappointed.

    3. The Coastal Roads Of California’s Highway 1
    California’s Highway 1 is one of the most scenic coastal routes in the world. And what better way to experience it than on a scooter? Scooters are a fun, easy, and relatively inexpensive way to get around. They’re also great for exploring new places. The key to scootering Highway 1 is taking time and enjoying the ride. There are plenty of pull-offs and scenic lookout points where you can stop and take in the view. And because scooters are so lightweight and maneuverable, they’re perfect for getting through traffic and exploring this beautiful coastline’s nooks and crannies. So whether you’re a California local or just visiting for a few days, be sure to add scootering Highway 1 to your list of must-do activities.

    4. Safety Always First
    Road trips are a great way to see the country and experience new places. If you’re planning a road trip on a scooter, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to stay safe:

    1. Always wear a helmet and protective gear. This will help protect you in case of an accident.
    2. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Watch for potholes, animals, and other hazards.
    3. Obey all traffic laws. This includes speed limits and traffic signals.
    4. Be prepared for emergencies.
    5. If you have an accident, call a motorcycle accident attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve. 

    By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your road trip is safe and enjoyable.

    In Conclusion
    If you’re looking for a fantastic way to experience some of the most beautiful roads in the world, I highly recommend renting a scooter! It’s a fun way to explore and get to know a place. Have you ever ridden a scooter? What was your experience like?

    Header image photo credit: Via Pexels

  • Your Perfect One Day Phuket Itinerary
    06 October 2022

      Here’s the scenario: You have limited time for your Thailand trip with just enough time to hit the highlights in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Not really a beach person but feel remiss if you didn’t at least see what the hype Phuket is all about. So you say what the heck, let’s spend a …

    Your Perfect One Day Phuket Itinerary Read More »

    The post Your Perfect One Day Phuket Itinerary appeared first on Explorient Travel Services | Asia Luxury Travel Specialists.

  • Ultimate New Zealand Road Trip Itinerary for 1st-Time Visitors (North & South Island with Wild Kiwi)
    06 October 2022

    A lot of you would have known by now how I adore New Zealand — and that’s not just because it’s the set for ‘Middle-earth’. (New Zealand Road Trip Itinerary)

    Regrettably, my first trip to this country felt incredibly short; after all, I barely scratched the surface of the wonders held within the North Island, and I didn’t even manage to drop by the South Island. So when Wild Kiwi invited me to go on a 21-day tour to both of the islands, you bet that I said ‘yes‘ in a heartbeat.

    Looking back, it has surely turned out to be one of the most epic road trips that I have ever done in my life. With that, I hope that the rest of this post will show you why a tour with Wild Kiwi will be worth your while, if not give you ideas for your own New Zealand adventure!

    Find out more about Wild Kiwi and why I have chosen to go with them (despite the number of other New Zealand tour companies who have extended their invitations to me) by reading the post below…
    READ: My Big Adventure to New Zealand with Wild Kiwi

    Table of Contents

    New Zealand Travel Guide
    » Quick Travel Planning

    – – –

    IMPORTANT: New Zealand has STRICT quarantine laws for undeclared food and other biohazards. This means that you should not bring in any kind of fresh food such as bananas, apples, honey, etc. as you make sure that you dispose of them before going through the baggage claim area. Processed or packaged food can be accepted but you are supposed to declare them on your arrival card. If you’re ever in doubt, ask for clarification — otherwise, you will be charged with a hefty fine.

    If you’ve got outdoor equipment like diving gear, hiking boots, etc. you must clean them before you travel to New Zealand in order for the inspection process to go more quickly for you. Be advised that New Zealand is firm about this given how they have sniffer dogs and bio-sensitive X-ray machines to detect any unwanted items.

    » Best Time to Visit

    Technically, there is NEVER a bad time to go especially if it’s for a New Zealand road trip itinerary; yet of course, since both the North and South Islands are long and narrow, the weather is not uniform. So as an overview, below are New Zealand’s seasons:

    • Summer: This is the most popular time; hence, the busiest — but the beaches are great during this time of the year. Take note by the way that January will be the warmest month. Thinking about this, New Zealand is a great escape for these months of the year if you want to get away from harsh winters.
    • Autumn: This time is gorgeous as the leaves change colors and it’s also one of the best times to plan a getaway or a hiking spree since the summer crowds are mostly gone. To add, rates are on an ‘off peak’ level.
    • Winter: Queenstown for instance will be your winter wonderland, but there surely are a number of ski areas around the country. If you come in June you can enjoy the Queenstown Winter Festival.
    • Spring: This is one of the ‘off peak’ seasons as you get to enjoy warmer days and longer daylight hours.
    • WINTER:
      June to Aug
    • SPRING:
      Sept to Nov
    • SUMMER:
      Dec to Feb
    • AUTUMN:
      March to May

    – – –

    » New Zealand Currency

    New Zealand Dollar (NZD) wherein about NZD 1.70 is equal to about USD $1~ / €0.85~ (this is as of August 2022). In the event that you want to exchange your money for NZD, I highly advise that you do NOT exchange your money at the airport since the rates there are not competitive.

    • How to best exchange your currency? Either exchange it at a bank or at a money exchanger in your home country or in the city center. Better yet, just withdraw from an ATM with your debit/credit card — however, you must do one big withdrawal to minimize fees with your bank. Speaking of cards, a lot of the establishments accept credit cards but it’s always advisable to have cash on hand because a lot of smaller shops do not accept international credit cards.

    – – –

    » Cost of Travel in New Zealand

    To give you an idea, you should expect to travel in New Zealand with an average daily cost of about USD $40~ per person on a budget, or at least $70~ if you want to experience more comfort in activities, tours, hotels, and more. (Values below show low-budget to medium-budget ranges).

    • Hotels: $20 to $35 USD / day
    • Food: $10 to $16 USD / day
    • Fun: $10 to $20 USD / day
    • Transport: At least $10 for local transportation

    – – –

    » Visa for New Zealand

    You can check this list of countries to see who does NOT need tourist visas to enter New Zealand. Naturally, if you’re NOT a citizen of any of the listed countries, you will then need to apply for a tourist visa in the New Zealand embassy that’s near you.

    If you’re a Philippine citizen like me, you can read my guide on ‘How to Apply for a New Zealand Visa‘.

    – – –

    » Where to Stay (New Zealand Accommodations)

    There is of course a range of accommodations in New Zealand for you to choose from. To search for the best accommodations at the best prices, I suggest checking out Agoda and Booking.com. But if you’re rather interested in renting comfortable houses, check AirBnB.

    Anyhow, if you’re coming with Wild Kiwi, your accommodations will be taken care of during the tour (a mix of inns and hostels); but it is highly recommended that you book your own accommodation for at least 1 night before and after your Wild Kiwi road trip journey to allot some time of relaxation before and after your flights. For a list of the top accommodations, see my posts below…

    – – –

    » Wild Kiwi Routes

    To date, Wild Kiwi has over 7 kinds of routes and combinations that you can choose from:

    • North Island: 7-day Northern Voyager
      • Stops: Auckland > Raglan > Taupo > Napier > Rotorua > Coromandel > Auckland
      • Price: NZD $1,199 (subject to change)
    • South Island: 7-day Southern Voyager
      • Stops: Christchurch > Franz Josef > Queenstown > Mt. Cook > Christchurch
      • Price: NZD $1,199 (subject to change)
    • South Island: 7-day Southern Loop
      • Stops: Christchurch > Kaikoura > Picton > Abel Tasman > Punakaiki > Hokitika > Christchurch
      • Price: NZD $1,099 (subject to change)
    • North & South Island: 14-day NZ Explorer
      • Combination of 7-day Northern Voyager + 7-day Southern Voyager
      • Stops: Auckland > Raglan > Taupo > Napier > Rotorua > Coromandel > Auckland > (Fly to Christchurch) > Christchurch > Franz Josef > Queenstown > Mt. Cook > Christchurch
      • Price: NZD $2,499 (subject to change)
    • South Island: 14-day Big South
      • Combination of 7-day Southern Voyager + 7-day Southern Loop
      • Stops: Christchurch > Franz Josef > Queenstown > Mt. Cook > Christchurch > Kaikoura > Picton > Abel Tasman > Punakaiki > Hokitika > Christchurch
      • Price: NZD $2,499 (subject to change)
    • North & South Island: 14-day NZ Adventurer
      • Combination of 7-day Northern Voyager + 7-day Southern Loop
      • Stops: Auckland > Raglan > Taupo > Napier > Rotorua > Coromandel > Auckland > (Fly to Christchurch) > Christchurch > Kaikoura > Picton > Abel Tasman > Punakaiki > Hokitika > Christchurch
      • Price: NZD $2,499 (subject to change)
    • ★ North & South Island: 21-day NZ Discovery
      • Combination of 7-day Northern Voyager + 7-day Southern Loop + 7-day Southern Voyager
      • Stops: Auckland > Raglan > Taupo > Napier > Rotorua > Coromandel > Auckland > (Fly to Christchurch) > Christchurch > Kaikoura > Picton > Abel Tasman > Punakaiki > Hokitika > Christchurch > Franz Josef > Queenstown > Mt. Cook > Christchurch
      • Price: NZD $3,599 (subject to change)

    The following are the basic inclusions for all the tours of the New Zealand road trip itinerary…

    • Expert local guide/driver
    • Daily road transportation and stops
    • Unlimited WiFi
    • Accommodations
    • Daily breakfast
    • Local flight (as applicable to the route)

    If you are on the 21-day NZ Discovery tour like I did, you get some more extras such as the following…

    • Surf lesson in Raglan
    • Wai O Tapu geothermal park admittance
    • 3 free dinners

    – – –

    » Packing Guide

    Of course, this will depend on what month and what locations you will be visiting as per the road trip circuit you choose — but for a start:

    • Bring comfortable walking shoes (for those city strolls + hiking sprees) and a rain jacket (just in case).
    • In summer, bring a towel, swimming gear, light summer clothes, flip-flops, and a light jacket.
    • In winter, make sure to pack a warm jacket and lots of layers since the South Island can get really chilly.
    • Don’t worry about bringing fancy dresses because New Zealand has a very casual dress code.
    • It’s best to bring a day bag that can hold some of your essentials since it will be important for the stops you’ll be making.
    • Get a refillable bottle too. After all, New Zealand tap water tastes better than bottled stuff (not to mention, it’s free, which saves you the cost of buying expensive bottled water).
    • Remember to pack sunscreen or a hat because the sun can be quite strong in some places.
    • Feel free to bring your own snacks or alcoholic beverages during the road trip.
    • Bringing insect repellant is a good idea as well because there are little pests called ‘sand flies’.
    • Lastly, you must buy travel insurance, especially since you’ll be doing a lot of adrenaline-pumping activities. For this, I highly recommend buying from World Nomads. I’ve been buying my travel insurance with them for years and they’re amazing. They have wide coverage, they service worldwide and they have a fast and easy purchase process online. Most importantly, they cover adventure activities (which some other travel insurance don’t).

    – – –

    » Helpful Māori Phrases

    English is the dominant language spoken by most Kiwis (New Zealanders) but the country’s de jure official languages are Māori and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Rest assured, Māori people are bilingual and can speak English too, but they’ll be happy to hear you try and speak the Māori language.

    If you want to learn a few helpful phrases, make sure that you pronounce the following properly!

    Hello (to 1 person, formal): Tēnā koe (Te-na koy)
    Hello (to 1 person, informal): Kia ora (Key-oar-rah)
    Thank you: Kia ora (Key-oar-rah) ~ pronounced with a rising intonation
    Yes: Āe (I)
    No: Kāore (Kao-re)
    Goodbye (said by the person leaving): E noho rā (E-noho ra)
    Goodbye (said by the person staying): Haere rā (Hayre ra)
    .
    I’m sorry: Aroha mai (Ar-ro-ha-mai)
    Help!: Āwhina! (Af-fin-nuh!)
    Cheers!: Kia ora! (Key-oar-rah!)

    • • •

    New Zealand Road Trip Itinerary

    NOTE: The following sections are in a tabbed format; so, in order to see the next day’s contents, just click the headings.

    » Northern Voyager «
    » Day 1
    » Day 2
    » Day 3
    » Day 4
    » Day 5
    » Day 6
    » Day 7
    From Auckland to Raglan

    Photo by:

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