Backpacking, Know the Risks!

Backpacking can be a once in a lifetime experience that allows you to explore the world at your leisure and visit all the places that you’ve always wanted to go to. However, for the unprepared, far from being a dream getaway, a backpacking excursion can turn into something more akin to a living nightmare, with robberies, disease and injury all on the list of potential dangers. Don’t be caught out: understand the dangers of backpacking.

Backpacker

Insurance

Many backpacking holidays go without a hitch, however, on the off chance that something does go awry, it’s vital to get insured. Although it may end up being an unnecessary cost, holiday cover will save you from having to contact a medical solicitor when you get back home in the case that you’ve suffered an injury. Two highly recommended insurers for travelling are red24 and Hiscox, both of which give up-to-date text and email alerts about potential dangers in the areas you’re visiting.

Dangerous Regions

Although backpacking is all about exploring the outside world, this should only be done within reason. Unless you’re travelling with the army, there are certain places that you will want to avoid, such as war torn areas or areas with civil unrest. You can get a map on the Foreign and Commonwealth website of those areas which are considered safe and those which are considered no go.

Illness

Before you leave to go backpacking, it’s important to stock up on any necessary medical supplies, such as aspirin and paracetamol. Although you can buy these abroad, in the event that you fall ill, it will save you the bother of having to sort through aisles of unfamiliar labels in a foreign chemist. It’s also a good idea to stock up on suntan lotion in the UK, as it tends to not only be cheaper but also have better protection levels.

Disease

An appointment at your local doctor surgery will let you know which jabs you need for the areas that you plan to visit. Make sure you prepare early, a course of Hepatitis B jabs takes 6 months to complete. As a general rule you’ll need rabies jabs for any undeveloped areas that you intend to visit and malaria tablets for tropical and subtropical areas.

Refused Entry

Don’t get caught out with visas. Apply early; some countries require several months notice to complete a visa request. If you have a UK passport, you’ll need visas for most places in Southeast Asia, Asia and North America, however, you can travel freely within South America without pre application for a visiting document.

Robberies

Travellers are often targeted by criminal groups and petty thieves. Make sure you have your wits about you at all times and try not to stand out. Don’t go out in flashy jewelry and leave other expensive possessions back at your accommodation. Try not to leave yourself a target if you’re drinking. Stick with friends or people that you know and trust and don’t go off in an unfamiliar part of town with a stranger.

The dangers of backpacking are plentiful, however, with a bit of consideration, and some luck, you can safely avoid the large majority of them.

For more information download a PDF safety guide

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Canary Islands, Which One?

With sun all-year round and a mixture of nature and attractions to enjoy the question isn’t why go to the Canary Islands but which one should you choose? With ferries leaving between islands every day then you could do them all in one go, but let’s take a rundown of the ‘big five’ to see which offers what you want from a holiday.

Tenerife

We start with the biggest island, and the most established tourist hotspot of all 13 islands. With the third largest volcano in the world – Mount Teide – mixed with attractions like Loro Parque and the stunning Siam water park, not to mention the beaches you can enjoy it has something for all the family. The infrastructure of tourism means that everything is catered for and it’s a top family destination. Want something more adventurous? Try diving, parasailing and kitesurfing in the Atlantic whilst you are there.

Tenerife

Lanzarote

If ever there was an island that epitomised the volcanic beginnings of these islands it’s Lanzarote. Sometimes called the ‘Hawaii of Europe’, it is famous for black sandy beaches and the coastline is protected by the recognition that it is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Many of the sculptures and buildings are from the famous architect Cesar Manrique but it’s all about the magic of this unique landscape that makes the island a popular hotspot. The beach of Famara on the north-west coast is one of the best in all the islands and you can check out Lanzarote holiday offers to get the chance to visit hotspots like Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise.

lanzarote, holiday villa

Fuerteventura

Beaches, beaches and more beaches. One of the islands most characterised by volcanic activity is also home to a 340 kilometre coastline that boast some 150 beaches. A relaxed option to the larger, bustling Tenerife it has black and white sandy beaches that have coves to explore. Aside from this 4×4 rides are on offer for the sandy dunes, the smaller towns offer an interesting flavour for a day tri and places like the Baku Euro Waterpark shows there are good attractions on offer.

Aloe Vera plants

Gran Canaria

The microclimates and lanscapes on offer on Gran Canaria means that it offers great trekking and hiking options. Whether you want to spend a day in the enchanting valley of Barranco de Guayadeque, take a trip to the natural dunes of Maspalomas or enjoy Aqualand, this can tick all the boxes. With the capital and industrial city of Las Palmas to explore, along with Palmitos Park and the peaceful streets of La Vegueta to see, there is plenty in the pro Gran Canaria column for it to be your destination of choice this year.

Gran Canaria

La Palma

Eco travellers rejoice, “la isla bonita” is the place to see some of the most amazing landscapes and untouched resources on the planet. While the other islands may have established themselves as tourist havens, La Palma is a lush green island with clear skies and little pollution. Astronomers love is and walkers can get plenty of action from Los Tilos, Ruta del los Volcanos and a hike to the highest point – El Roque de los Muchachos.

These are five of the favourites but that’s before you’ve even considered the unexplored La Gomera and the beautiful El Hierro – the two smallest islands. They all have their plus points and the year-round sun makes them a perfect addition to a family’s holiday wishlist!

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Billiards, Beers, Bazaars and Ballet – The Best Things to See and Do in Bishkek

Bishkek is the capital and also the largest city in Kyrgyzstan. The city also doubles up as an administrative center for Chuy Province. This is a relatively new city and therefore has got limited historical and tourist attraction sites. However, one thing that you cannot overlook is the fact this city makes a great place where you can start trips to the alpine lakes and mountains on Tien Shans. Some of the features that set this city apart from the rest are the many buildings with marble facades, soviet apartments, and the large irrigation canals and trees.

The main square of BishkekIf you come to this city any time soon, you will most definitely love the place. Many new travelers who come here, especially love the night life experience. It might also be worth noting that the locals are pretty much hospitable and friendly. This friendliness also extends to most of the hotels in Bishkek. Many people see the city as being a city of the young or the youth who normally hang around cafes and clubs. If you have been looking forward to visit one of the cities which have got the most liberal tourist regime in Asia, this might be one place you need to come to.

The many leafy parks, tall trees, and monuments are some of the aspects that make Bishkek an awesome city to visit. In as much as you can visit all parts of the city in a single day, you can be sure that you will get the benefit of fun that you are looking for. Here are some popular places that you can visit during your stay:

These are just but a representation of the major attractions that you will come across within the city center. If you want to sample the historical relevance of this great city, you can visit any of the museums here from Tuesday to Sunday. On Mondays they are usually closed.

Hyatt Regency Hotel Bishkek is the only five star hotel in the city, the best of a small, but high quality choice of accommodation in this developing tourist destination. It stands out clearly. The hotel features 178 luxury suites and rooms. These are the kind of facilities that will offer you some breathtaking views and in the end ensure that you appreciate the essence of the Bishkek’s hotel industry even more. The western conveniences you’d expect from a 5 star hotel like as high speed internet and 24 hour concierge service are some of the elements that will make your stay at the hotel comfortable.

In as much as many people might perceive this city as being an underdog in the tourism industry, there is no doubt that the relevance of tourism in this part of the world is changing for the better.

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Seaside Splendor at The Grand Hotel in Eastbourne

The Grand Hotel in Eastbourne

The town of Eastbourne has been one of the top seaside resorts in the United Kingdom for more than 200 years. Its convenient location (just two hours south of London), the spectacular natural scenery of its surroundings, and its quaint character are some of the town’s most attractive features. The Sussex town also enjoys almost 2,000 hours of sunshine every year, so this resort is the ideal destination for those who need a relaxing (but convenient) beach getaway or short break.

Although there is no shortage of accommodation options in town, visitors who want to indulge in some classic luxury during their stay in Eastbourne should consider staying at The Grand Hotel. This venue is the only 5-star seaside hotel in England, and it has been nicknamed “the white palace”, in allusion to its magnificent Victorian architecture. The Grad Hotel first opened its doors in 1875, and a great deal of effort has been put into restoring the building so that it reflects the charm and elegance of its first days. Over the years, the Grand Hotel has welcomed personalities as important as Winston Churchill and Claude Debussy.

Location

The Grand Hotel is located right by the seafront. From its gardens, visitors have outstanding views of the iconic chalk cliff area known as Beach Head. The Grand has been awarded several awards and recognitions, such as the prestigious Condé Nast Most Excellent Waterside Hotel in Great Britain and Ireland or the Best Venue in the Prestigious Star Awards of 2012.

Chalk Cliffs, Eastbourne

Accommodation

Accommodation at the Grand Hotel comes in the form of 152 rooms and suites, where guests can choose between inland or sea views. All rooms at the Grand are decorated in line with the hotel’s classic style and come equipped with tea and coffee making facilities, satellite TV, free Wi-Fi, a safety deposit box, ensuite bathrooms equipped with a bath tub and with complimentary toiletries, and individual temperature controls.

Cuisine

The Grand serves contemporary cuisine at its two restaurants, which include the award-winning Mirabelle, which has also been listed as one of the best 50 restaurants in the country. The Mirabelle is open for lunch and dinner only from Tuesday to Saturday. The Garden restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday luncheons and includes a vegetarian-friendly menu. The Grand also serves afternoon teas and has a dedicated cocktail lounge. Private dining is available on request.

Facilities

The health facilities at the Grand Hotel include a modern fitness club (with sauna, solarium, snooker room, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a gym), and its spa, which offers a range of massage options, aromatherapy and other alternative treatments, tanning, hairdressing, as well as its signature treatments like full body organic Moor mud experiences, luxury alpine foot treatments, and its exclusive dreams ritual.

The Grand also offers business and conferencing facilities and special packages for honeymooning couples and families with children.

For bookings visit http://www.grandeastbourne.com/ or call +44 (0)1323 412345

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Horsing Around – Getaways for the Equinely Inclined

If you’re a riding enthusiast it won’t take much persuasion to get you excited about the range of great riding available across the UK. The question is where to go to make the best of it? Well, if you are a beginner or an experienced rider there are plenty of great options for you, so take a look at our selection of some of Britain’s finest riding destinations and get planning your next equine getaway…

Wheal Buller Riding School, Redruth, Cornwall

This excellent riding school, located very close to the north coast in Cornwall is the perfect choice if you are hoping to take a thrilling beach ride – in fact we think Wheal Buller offers one of the best in country, along the stunning Gwithian sands. The school has recently been given a much-coveted ‘Highly Commended’ award by the British Horse Society, as well as being awarded a Silver in the Cornwall Tourism Awards for best tourism activity, sport & experience, so you can be assured you are in excellent hands.

Prices start from £20 p/h for a Group Lesson with a fully certified BHS instructor – to £60 for a stunning Beach Ride, which lasts for a few hours.

Horse riding on the beach

Snowdonia Riding Stables, Caernarfon, Wales

If you want to ride in endless Welsh countryside, get great views of the mountains and the sea, then a visit to the wonderful Snowdonia Riding Schools will certainly tick all the boxes. This family run riding school has a range of carefully selected horses and ponies, with a suitable steed for any ability – from absolute beginners to experienced riders.

Prices vary from £17 for an Introductory Ride (ideal for learners) up to £70 for a Full Day Mountain Ride.

Horse riding in Wales

Crook Barn Stables, Coniston, The Lake District

This well-established trekking centre offers fantastic riding to riders of all ages and abilities in and around the breath-taking Lake District National Park. Ride across fells and crags, through fields and lanes and of course experience the beautiful Lakeland lakes, from the comfort of the saddle. Experienced riders will enjoy this centre in particular as they offer plenty of rides with lots of opportunity for long canters and the chance to really feel the wind in your face!

Prices here begin at £25 for a One Hour Ride, to £65 for Half A Day in the saddle.

Kilnsey Trekking Centre, Richmond, Yorkshire

Situated in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales this family run centre offers great hacking, on a handful of specially selected horses. You’ll get to experience the Dales, cross streams and explore woodlands – and you’ll certainly have an unforgettable encounter with this stunning natural landscape, which you won’t forget.

Prices start from just £8 for a ½ hour River Trek, to £75 for a full day in the saddle.

Horse riding in Yorkshire

Bosvathick Farm, Constantine, Cornwall

Bosvathick Farm is the perfect spot to choose for a riding break if you’re looking for and abundance of hacks in wonderful country lanes and grassy fields away from busy roads. They have 30 of their own horses and will make sure that you are matched up with the right one for your ability, along with offering the full support of one of their BHS qualified instructors. Nervous riders are welcome to come and learn at their own pace and confident riders who will find plenty of opportunity to stretch themselves too. Bosvathick farm also offers great cream teas in the garden afterwards – and you’ll more than deserve one by then!

All hacks cost £17 per hour, for each hour you’re out.

The UK has an abundance of great riding to discover. We’ve had great fun discovering it and we hope you will too! If you decide to ride in Cornwall Latitude 50 offers range of fantastic accommodation options, which make the ideal place to unwind after a day in the saddle. In fact it’s not too late to book now for February Half Term.

 

 

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Ideal Weekend Breaks for Legendary Stag Dos

Everyone wants that legendary stag do, one which will never be forgotten. However whilst everyone would love to achieve that status, the issue is ‘what makes a great stag’?

Las Vegas welcome sign

What Makes a Great Stag?

Your plans for the weekend will undoubtedly have a huge impact on how the stag is perceived, from what you get up to during the day to where you go at night, but a crucial
element will always be the destination. Many people choose their destination based on convenience to where they live, admittedly others choose it for the destination itself, but if you want an epic time then you need to think big.

Fan’s Favourites

In recent times Eastern Europe has proved to be hugely popular for stag weekends. Low cost airlines and cheap prices have made somewhere like Prague a top stag destination. The prospect of going abroad for a stag is certainly attractive to many groups. Something overseas will always be different to your standard weekend away and that’s what a one-off event like a stag do should be.

Getting on a plane is a great way to start the weekend and will always get the group buzzing for what is going to happen. Whilst Eastern Europe offers affordability, the Spanish destinations offer great weather and a brilliantly energetic culture which sets the tone for a top weekend abroad. Whether you have a stag party in Ibiza or Barcelona, two very different destinations, you’ll find that everyone is hell-bent on having a good time.

Thinking Big

Debatably, thinking big will mean having a stag that goes on for longer than a weekend. Las Vegas is a legendary place to go for a stag do, it has always been a Mecca of entertainment for Americans but recently it has re-emerged as a popular place to go for Brits. Since the Hangover film and the well documented escapades of Prince Harry, Vegas has been firmly put back on the map as a top stag party destination. With the trip across the Atlantic you may find you need longer than a weekend to really make the most out of this destination.

The idea that ‘anything goes’ in Vegas is no doubt a hugely popular concept which sits well with those looking to go large for the stag. The coined phrase “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” aligns itself perfectly with the ideology of any boys weekend away. Although this city has a reputation which is envied by many, for it to be a truly great destination it has to have substance.

Fortunately it was almost solely built as an entertainment hub; Las Vegas has everything, think of it as the Disney World for grownups. Its reputation was built on the world famous casino hotels like the Bellagio, The MGM Grand and The Mirage. These massive complexes are filled with a huge number of pursuits, aside from the obvious gambling there is anything from a rollercoaster rides to superclubs to keep you entertained.

Keeping Entertained

Despite the bravado, no group can continuously drink indefinitely and actually have a memorable stag do. All great weekends will have some top activities to do during the time. Whether it’s a unique activity which captures everyone’s imagination or a big event, it’s always good to have a focal point during the day with which you can spin off and do other things around the activity.

Towards the end of last year a stag group decided to try a break as many Guinness World Records as possible. They were, in true stag-spirit, a series of ludicrous challenges which were fun to try. The group went for records like ‘the quickest space hopper 100m’ and ‘how many burgers you can eat in 3mins’, light-hearted but entertaining. Alternatively if you don’t fancy planning something like that, a lot of groups enjoy going to a festival or event. Something like Oktoberfest in Munich is a great idea for a beer-loving group or La Tomatina, a large tomato battle in Spain, is a brilliant event for those just looking to have a laugh.

 

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Costa Brava: Make a Family Holiday a Greener Holiday!

Now we are well into the new year and Christmas is firmly behind us, now is the time many of us start making plans for the year ahead to give us something to look forward to with the family. With more of us being environmentally aware and Spain being one of the most popular holiday destinations for families, we have chosen to give you ideas of how to make a holiday to the Costa Brava a greener holiday!

Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain

This part of the Spanish coast has been incredibly popular with tourists for decades and has everything you could ask for from a holiday destination. However, if you are trying to live a greener lifestyle you might wonder whether the heavily tourist oriented Costa Brava is going to help you in that respect. The answer is, perhaps surprisingly, that it can work as part of an environmentally friendly life. Here is how.

Go Camping or Self Catering

When you think of holidays in Costa Brava you think of beach holidays and holiday resorts. What you might not think of is going camping or staying in a self catered apartment. While camping is not only a great way to bring families together and self catering is a great way to save money, they are each a great way to help reduce your environmental impact.

Camping and self catering both help limit your impact on the environment by avoiding hotels where high standards mean they  change your towels and bed sheets daily, and buffet food goes wasted.

But are there camp sites in the Costa Brava?

It has been a popular region with campers  and camp sites can be found dotted around the region and now and there are well established  organisations such as Eurocamp.co.uk specialising in camp sites for families.

Go Out and Walk

Instead of getting around by car why not consider exploring the Costa Brava with good old fashioned transport, your feet.  Not only will you keep your kids active, it is a great way to see the region.  There are some unbelievable places round here and getting out and walking is the best way of seeing the sites. Of course, the towns and villages also offer some great things to do but by walking you will make this a holiday an active holiday as well as reducing your impact on the environment.

If you do hire a car like many families do, please refresh yourself with some energy saving driving tips!

Eat Local Food

Like most destinations international cuisine is offered in many restaurants throughout the Costa Brava and whilst some of you are more daring, the rest of us tend to opt for more familiar food on the menu and choose food from closer to home.  Food that has been imported.

By eating locally sourced food, not only will you get to taste the great flavours of Spain and taste some great cuisine, you will also help cut out the mileage ingredients have to travel and limit your impact on the environment.  As well as sticking to restaurants with locally sourced meals you should also check out the local supermarkets and create your own picnics when camping and cook your own meals in your self catered apartment.  One of the best things about camping and going self catered is that you are free to eat what you want and when you want and you can also buy food your kids like to eat.

Wherever you travel to this summer, whether you travel to Costa Brava in Spain or to another destination, responsible travel is something we should all consider.  So next time you go on holiday, why not think of other ways you can help limit your carbon footprint!

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From serene to extreme – our top ten activities in Cornwall

It’s the start of a New Year which only means one thing, New Year resolutions! One of our all time favourites which crops up every year has to be blowing off the cob webs and trying something new that will not be forgotten. We have already discussed some of the ultimate destinations for adrenaline junkies, but what better way brush of the cob webs than start closer to home with a adrenaline packed holiday with activities in Cornwall?

For many people, the ideal holiday has nothing to do with relaxation, but in fact is filled with exciting days out and activities that are sure to get your adrenaline pumping. For those of you that are new to this, we will start you off with the more serene activities.

Playing it safe:

1 Spa Day – Let’s begin with a relaxing Spa Day to not only give your holiday a great start, but to loosen you up in preparation for the adrenaline world you’re about to enter! To make the most of the full spa experience, indulge in a hot bubbly jacuzzi, a gentle swim in the heated pool and finish off with a full body massage. If you have chosen to stay in one of the beautiful cottages in Cornwall that boasts a swimming pool and jacuzzi, why not let the massage come to you?

2 Camel Trail – Enjoy some of Cornwall’s spectacular countryside at your own pace with the Camel Trail, perfect the whole family. Travel by foot or if you prefer two wheels and take a trip down the old used railway between Wenfordbridge, Bodmin, Wadebridge and the picturesque seaside town Padstow. For more information on trails and visitor attractions along the way see www.visitcornwall.co.uk.

3 Laser Tag – is Cornwall’s first Laser Tag and Paint Ball centre. Not only is it an activity to get your heart racing, but a great way to have some amazing fun with the family. ‘

Cycling

Image credit latelettings.com

Medium Adrenaline Activities:

4 Surfing -A smart adrenaline seeking holiday maker often chooses to take on the rolling waves of the Atlantic with a surf! Whether you’re a first timer, intermediate or a pro on the board, Cornwall’s beaches offer something for everyone with top surf instructors at your beck and call. Our favourite beach, attracting surfers from all over the world is Fistral Beach in Newquay. Make sure you head to Bodhi’s cafe to give yourself plenty of much needed energy.

5 Kayaking -Explore the hidden creeks, paddle to spots unreachable by land or boat, spy on some of Cornwall’s amazing wildlife and most importantly try something different! The Helford River offers guided kayaking tours for visitors of all abilities giving you an occasion that will never be forgotten.

6 Zip Wire -Don a helmet and harness and go a little faster on a thrilling zip wire! The famous Eden Project boasts the longest zip wire in the South West, gliding you above the iconic Rainforest, Mediterranean Biomes and huge outdoor gardens. Go on, you can do this one!

Woman surfing

Photo credit CVC

Adrenaline Junkies and Risk Takers:

7 Coasteering -For a jaw dropping experience challenge yourself to a bit of Coasteering off of Newquays narrow cliff ledges and rocky coastline.  Scramble, climb and leap from rock to rock, plunge into the Atlantic Ocean and feel the buzz that the exciting activity brings with it. Make sure you head back to a somewhere warm with a log burning fire to warm you back up.

8 Rope swinging -Are you brave enough to take a leap of faith and have some fun off the ground at High Ropes in Porthbean? This is not an activity for the faint hearted, but will certainly test your nerves for heights.  Swing through treetops over 40 feet off the ground and fly through the air on a giant swing, if this doesn’t get your adrenaline pumping then we don’t know what will.

9 Harness Spheering – This crazy new concept is extremely popular with the younger groups that come to Cornwall and we think it is a definite ‘must do’. Imagine being strapped inside a clear ball opposite a friend and rolling down hills picking up speeds of over 30mph! One thing’s for sure, once you have both stopped laughing you are bound to be feeling dizzy!

 10 Sky Diving – Finally, the king of adrenaline activities, the sky dive! See Cornwall at its best by jumping out of a plane over 3500ft high and parachute down with panoramic views of the beautiful county.
Skydiver freefalling

Photo credit Exelement

Well there you have it, our top 10 activities in Cornwall from serene to extreme! All you need now is the perfect accommodation, it’s a little too cold for camping yet, so we recommend getting yourself a cosy little holiday cottage.

 

 

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The Perfect Itinerary for a Holiday in India

India’s vast cultural differences make it a very difficult place to visit in such a short time. It is usually very difficult to take in India’s historical experience in only two weeks, so the best bet is to make sure that you keep your priorities right.

Mumbai City India

Know your travel intentions

First and foremost, before you start your journey, ensure you have your interests set right. Answer why you are travelling. Are you travelling for cultural experience, business, active tourism, or luxury? When you have these picked out, you can then proceed to pick out places and activities you would like to do.

Start busy, go quiet

City Life

Another important tip when planning your perfect itinerary is to ensure that you start with crowded India first. India’s urban centers can be an overwhelming experience, so start with them first then head to quieter and calmer areas of the beautiful land. For example, start with Mumbai (pictured top): visit Bollywood, enjoy its nightlife, travel on a crowded train and go shopping in one of its very busy merchant markets. Hotels in Mumbai are plentiful, so you can easily just turn up and find something suitable. Then head to Agra for the unmissable sight of the Taj Mahal and the imposing Agra Fort. You can also head to Amristar in Punjab and visit the Golden Temple, what I like to think of as the most underrated site in India. The truth is, even though they are great places to tour, they are also very busy and overwhelming. The constant traffic, heat, and swelling crowds can make for an intense experience.

Peaceful scenery

So after you are through the city life, head to the cooler or more scenic parts of the country. You can do it in stages, travelling by car or train, or you can go directly by air. Scenic areas are found in the west and north western areas of India. Such areas include Kashmir, Jammu, and Himachal Pradesh (pictured below). Driving in these areas is a real scenic experience. You can also check out Kanyakumari and Kerala in the south.

Himachal Pradesh India

Golden Triangle Circuit

By far the most popular itinerary for a tailor made holiday in India is to go through the Golden Triangle circuit. The beauty of this circuit is that it gives you the most tasteful experiences of India packed in a short itinerary. You start of in Delhi, visiting the bustling and busy city. Head over to Agra for the Taj Mahal and Agra fort before moving to the cooler and romantic city of Jaipur. This itinerary allows you to quickly sample authentic India.

Additional Locations

You may consider adding popular areas such as Goa, Kerala, Kanyakumari, and Munnar, all in the Southern area of India. Alternatively, you can indulge by going to the cooler and scenic north near the Himalayas. The province of Rajasthan in particular is very popular since it is home to the Lake City of Uadipur and romantic Jaipur.

So, plan to start off with Delhi, Mumbai and Agra before venturing to quieter areas of India. If time and cost are a constraint, then keep your activities to the south, it offers enough variety within that relatively small area. If you can afford both time and money, then heading toward the Himalayan area will also be a fantastic scenic experience. Whatever you choose, you can be sure it will be an incredible trip!

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A place to ski: The delights of the Canadian Rockies

The unspoiled wilderness and rolling peaks of the Canadian Rocky Mountains will have even the most accomplished skier’s jaw dropping to the floor. The Canadian mountains are home to some of the world’s most renowned ski resorts and to slopes where events and festivals such as the Commonwealth games and the Winter Olympics have taken place.

Alberta, Canada

Alberta, in western Canada, should definitely be an option for people who are looking to go skiing in Canada. The area offers a multitude of visual and cultural experiences as well as the opportunity to ski in one of the world’s most beautiful settings. The province of Alberta is home to two of the country’s most well-kept and protected national parks: Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. Banff national park is host to three very popular and desirable resorts all within an hour of one another: Mount. Norquay, Sunshine Village and the Lake Louise Ski Area.

The Lake Louise Ski Area offers a range of beginner, intermediate and advanced slopes so everyone’s needs are covered. This area is not far at all from the village of Lake Louise and has over 4,200 acres of landscape spread across four mountain faces with views and sights including glaciers, lakes and forests, as well as the breath taking mountain views.

Aside from the visually spectacular, Alberta offers a variety of gastronomic delights to get your teeth into. Alberta proudly offers some top quality beef and venison as well as some local specialities such as elk and bison. If red meat is not your thing, then there’s plenty of delicious wild fish caught fresh, as well as other quality produce farmed in the area. If you are in Alberta you might like to try their famous Alberta cocktail, ‘The Caesar’, a concoction of Alberta premium rye whiskey, beef stock and, of course, a piece of grilled flank steak on a skewer.

After a day’s skiing, a soak in one of the area’s natural springs promises a relaxing end to an active day. This part of the world is one of the few where you can witness one of nature’s most beautiful displays: the northern lights. This spectacle of rippling neon purple and green lights can be seen between September and April in areas of Alberta such as Calgary and Edmonton and makes for unforgettable moments.

For those who are looking for a luxurious skiing holiday there a variety to choose from in the Alberta region as well across the other mountainous regions of Canada. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a famous luxury hotel overlooking Lake Louise itself. This hotel offers a free shuttle bus to the resort, fine restaurants and an array of shops.

Chateau Lake Louise

Ice skating on the lake is also an option and seasonally you can also go for a sledge ride around the lake. Alternatively Deer Lodge offers a more intimate setting where you can enjoy the views of the surrounding region from a hot tub on the roof. This is a historic hotel with many of its original features still intact; a perfect place to escape and relax.

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