24 April 2013

Reykjavik Tours

Explore Iceland's Splendid Capital City With The Best Excursions

Iceland's stunning capital city Reykjavik is surrounded by a picturesque landscape which adds to its appeal. This clean and attractive city offers something for everyone; from adventure seekers, to nature lovers, to families on holiday. Reykjavik excursions give an inside perspective into the country's amazing geography and remarkable cultural traditions. The city blends warm hospitality, gastronomy, awesome nightlife, and a breathtaking landscape to provide visitors with the ultimate holiday experience. Guided tours give you a chance to explore the area's attractions and activities in a relaxed and convenient way. Some of the city's major excursions include:

Sea Angling Excursions

These trips start off at Reykjavik's old harbor and lead to Faxaflói Bay. Visitors have a good chance of catching halibut, rockfish, haddock, cod, and pollock. You are guided by experienced fishermen who can spot fish in an instant. They will show you the ropes of sea angling and offer their expert advice. Some sea angling excursions include short trips to Puffin Island. The island is renowned for its thriving birdlife and large sea-life including harbor porpoises, humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins, and minke.

Whale Watching Trips

These exciting Reykjavik excursions begin at the old harbor located in the city centre. The ocean that encompasses the city is inhabited by different types of whales. At times, seals and dolphins can also be spotted. The whale watching season is usually between late March and late October.

Reykjavik Excursions
 
Blue Lagoon Tours

While the Lagoon Spa isn't located within Reykjavik city, it is a popular attraction for people visiting Reykjavik. The geothermal spa has healing abilities thanks to its mineral-rich water which remains pleasantly warm throughout the year.

Videy Island Excursions

Take a guided tour to Videy Island and get to know the area's history, nature, and culture. The island is only a few minutes away by boat and offers excellent hiking paths. Take a walk along one of the paths and explore the varied bird life found in the area. About 30 species of birds have been counted in the island making it a birdwatcher's paradise. Videy, which was occupied until the 1940s, is home to Iceland's oldest stone building known as Videyjarstofa. The island also showcases interesting sculptural art work.

The Perlan Tour


The Perlan, also known as the Pearl, is one of Reykjavik's most prominent landmarks. The building was constructed on top of 6 water tanks and looms over the city. The tanks were used to store natural hot water that heated the city for many years. The Perlan is a glass dome with a beautiful rotating restaurant underneath and a viewing platform on the exterior. The platform offers panoramic 360-degree views of Reykjavik city and its environs.

Reykjavik's Museums Tours

A guided tour of Reykjavik's museums will help you to learn more about the country's rich history. Saga Museum and The National Museum allow children to experience the Vikings way of life. Arbaejarsafn, Iceland's largest open-air museum, features live actors who give a deeper insight into how people in Reykjavik lived in the olden days. Arbaejarsafn traces Iceland's development from its very beginning to the present day.

Reykjavik excursions give you a chance to sample the city's best attractions and activities as you enjoy the area's allure, charm, and exceptional hospitality.


This article about excursions in and around Reykjavik was written by an online author on behalf of Icelandic tour company Sterna Travel who offer a wide range of excursions in Reykjavik and throughout Iceland.

Great Outdoor Playgrounds in the UK

No matter how chilly it is outside, when schools are closed  your kids just need best option to spend holidays happily without getting bored.. This means that you are going to need an outdoor space where the children can spend the day. Some of the best playgrounds in the UK are as follows.

Toffee Park, London is highly recommended and in 2011, it won the London Adventure Playground of the Year Award. 



The park consists of an open access playground that will encourage your kids to indulge in creative, physical play. This playground consists of a nature and allotment garden, tree house and a clay oven that can be used to fire pots and make pizzas. An aerial runway is also available and you can also find a multi sports area.

Another playground that is recommended is Creepy Crawlies in York. This is a playground that offers everyone something to do. You can find a miniature animal farm, a high ropes course, quad bike racetrack and wacky swings. The interior of the play area consists of a huge Astra slide in addition to a collection of costumes for a keen thespian. A beauty studio, fitness suite, nursery, riding school and pottery barn are also available in this playground.

Go Ape in Trent Park is another playground that is recommended and it operates nationwide. A new outpost has just opened in London and it sits in the midst of woodland. 



The playground is just a ten minute walk from Cockfosters Tube station. Although the place is not cheap, is an outing for the whole family that you will remember for days to come.

Harewood House in Yorkshire spans over 3 acres and it boasts of the most amazing playground that you can find anywhere in Yorkshire. Children of every age can enjoy the comprehensive list of activities that can be done here and this includes having a picnic in the expansive grounds. Climbing nets and giant swings are available in addition to rope bridges as well as zip wires. Aerial walkways are set against the façade of an 18th Century treasure house.

The National Trust commissioned a World War 2 themed playground at Croome Park near Worcester in recognition of the important role the stately home, Croome Court played for members of the armed forces.  The bespoke playground equipment was designed by Image Playgrounds and includes camoflage huts and a war plane wing slide.


Cave Hill in Belfast is a playground that opens during the weekends. Children between the ages of three to fourteen can explore the cradle swings, slides, spring rockers as well as bicycle roundabouts. If you have older children, an aerial runway and space net is available for them to play in.

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground can allow your kids to be pirates for the day. This is an imaginative playing area and it is located between the Kensington Gardens trees. If is a playground that is accessible and inspiring and your kids will enjoy playing on its beach, teepees as well as running between its sculptures.

So the next time you are booking your box office theatre tickets, remember to book a day at the park for you and your kids. You will get to enjoy the day in the sun and you will cherish such moments for a long time to come.

17 April 2013

Destination Turkey

Looking for a hot holiday that can give you a bit of variety other than just sitting on the beach is a little tricky. This is only due to the fact that most travel brochures focus purely on the beach facilities and leave the rest of the information out. So, if you want to find a holiday that offers nice beaches with good cultural and historical links you may have to do your research. 



While you are researching your choices, have a quick peep at a Turkey holiday. Here you will find some of the most beautiful beaches with fabulous long summer days and more than enough going on, off the beach, to keep the restless occupied. It has managed to maintain the historical and cultural qualities as well as becoming a top holiday destination, so you should find more than enough to see and do throughout your week.

One of the popular regions is Fethiye which is famed for its works of arts as well as its historical landmarks. The county is situated in a small bay and just off the coast are many little islands. Surrounding the bay are pine forests giving the region a unique feel. There is plenty going on in Fethiye but if you want a slightly more hedonistic vacation then maybe try Marmaris. Marmaris is a port town offering everything a tourist could wish for. From the ruins of an ancient city through to some top night spots for the party souls, you can find something to do or somewhere to visit at all times of the day.

Turkey really is a vast country with so much to see and do depending on what area you visit. From the craggy mountains to the beautiful sandy beaches you will be spoilt for choice, and destined to return from the first time you set foot on this spectacular land.

If you fancy a Turkey holiday, take a look at the resorts and special offers available through Thomas Cook. When you book a holiday withThomas Cook you'll enjoy all the package essentials like flights, accommodation and transfers, which helps to get your holiday off to a relaxing start.

11 April 2013

Luxury Holiday Ideas for Families

Planning a luxury family summer holiday that will suit all the members of your tribe and that won’t break the bank can be a daunting prospect. Here are three unusual destinations you might not have thought of that should tick the boxes for you adults and children of all ages.


Argentina



This most enigmatic of South American countries has got everything going for family fun. In terms of activities, adults and kids of all ages will be equally delighted with whale-watching boar cruises, horse trekking through the hills, and exploring the glorious Iguazu Falls. You’ll love the views, the friendly wildlife, and the immense power of the world’s longest chain of waterfalls at Iguazu. You could choose to take a boat out into the hammering mist, but it isn’t for the faint hearted!



The ‘wild west’ feel of the rural parts of the country are a big draw for families that love the great outdoors. Visit an estancia for a glimpse into the life of the gauchos on a traditional ranch. Head to Patagonia to spot whales, sea lions, dolphins and an abundance of marine life. Trek around the hills of Mendoza and tuck the kids up in bed before sampling some of the locally produced Malbec wine.

Buenos Aires is a capital city that’s fairly accessible for kids. They will love exploring the spooky Recoleta Cemetery, trying a family tango lesson, or checking out the many museums and historical monuments.


Marrakech



Try out the family’s skills at haggling in the traditional souks where you can find jewelled slippers, leather belts, bags and every type of spice you can imagine. Perhaps pick something up as a gift for a relative back home such as a copper-work lamp and silver tea set. The medina has a variety of entertainments that are sure to keep kids happy. Barbary apes performing tricks on leashes, children enacting traditional Berber dances, henna-tattooing women.

There are enough family-friendly hotels, resorts and traditional riads to choose from, and if you’re worried about confining your kids to the limits of a city, there are many day trips to take. What about a hot air balloon ride over the surrounding desert and Atlas Mountains, or a visit to a local village?


Tunisia



Tunisia is a great destination for a mixture of sightseeing, beach lounging and outdoor activities. The climate is reliably dry and warm during the summer, which always helps. Plus, there are lots of fantastic resorts along the coastline.

Kids will love voyaging into the desert for a day trip to see where Star Wars was filmed on the back of a camel or in a 4x4. Adventurous groups might even like to camp in the Sahara for a night or stay in a ‘cave hotel’ in Matmata – once dwellings for the local people. Adults will appreciate exploring the remnants of the Roman Empire at the magnificent Amphitheatre of El Djem whilst kids scramble amongst the rocks.


10 April 2013

Travelling Around Turkey

Named as one of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel for 2013, Turkey is a fantastic destination for your next holiday. Whether you fancy sunbathing on a beach on the Riviera, haggling for a carpet in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, or exploring Anatolia, you are sure to find plenty of ways to experience this intriguing country. Here are just a few of the things that await you in Turkey.

Istanbul: The Crossroads of Empires
 
This beautiful city on the Bosphorus has seen the rise and fall of civilizations. Wander through its streets and feel transported back in time. Some well-known sites include the Hagia Sofya, which has a collection of frescoes and mosaics that is world-renowned as a collection of both Christian and Islamic art. You can also visit the Blue Mosque, which is an important religious site in the Islamic faith.



Istanbul also offers a unique shopping experience. In the open-air markets, known as bazaars, you can find just about anything. In the Grand Bazaar, you can find specialty products like carpets and Turkish coffee pots, but in the Spice Bazaar, you can find any number of high-quality spices that you can use at home to cook the delicious Turkish food.

At the end of the day, you can take an evening cruise through the Bosphorus and see the sunset as the city lights up for the evening, a truly beautiful view.

The Fairy Caves of Cappadocia
 
Over in eastern Turkey, you can visit a mysterious and striking rock formation known as the fairy caves, where thin pieces of rock point upward into the sky. It was here where Byzantine Christians carved churches and homes into the caves of these rock formations and hid from the Muslim invaders. It is a unique and interesting place that can be explored either on foot or from above with the aid of a hot air balloon.

Soak Up the Sun in Marmaris
 
If it’s sunshine and sand you’re after, you will definitely find them in the seaside city of Marmaris.



A stone’s throw away from the Greek island of Rhodes, this sunny bit of paradise is know for golden beaches, glittering ocean waves, and delicious food and wine, Marmaris is the quintessential holiday spot. To accommodate the waves of tourists, Marmaris hotels offer a range of prices that make this destination a great choice for just about any budget.

More Turkish Delights
 
These are just a few of the fantastic adventures that you can have in Turkey. You can also visit the ruins of Ephesus and Pergamum, admire the Ottoman architecture in the village of Safranbolu, or go trekking in the Kaçkar Mountains.

The cuisine alone can be adventure, with different flavours coming together in delicious and complicated ways. Some typical dishes include eggplant stuffed with lamb and spices, lentil soup, and mezze dishes such as stuffed grape leaves, olives and cheese. For dessert, you can sample homemade baklava or the famous Turkish delight, which is made with sugar and rosewater.

Either way, Turkey is a terrific place to spend a holiday. On your next holiday, book a trip to Turkey and come and see for yourself!

Tourist Attractions in Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa



Pisa is a city in central Italy and is also the provincial capital. The city has a population of more than 88,332 people. The landscape of the city is much revered due to the presence of more than twenty historical churches. Pisa has a rich history that dates back to the twelfth century. It is also one of the most visited cities of Italy and attracts thousands of tourists annually. 



The tower of Pisa attracts thousands of tourists to Italy due to its inclination to one side. This site is situated very next to the cathedral. According to the records this building is the third oldest in the area. The reason for the inclination or tilt of the tower can be traced to weak construction foundation. The condition was further worsened due to the softness of the ground. The inclination became visible even before the construction of the tower was completed. The height of the tower measures up to 55.86 m on the normal side and 56.70 m on the tilted side. To climb the tower one will be required to climb more than two hundred and fifty steps.

Piazza del Duomo

 

It is popularly referred to as the Cathedral Square and was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in the year 1987. This square lies north to central Italy and is a standing proof of the advanced techniques in construction of the medieval art to the world. The site includes:
  • The Duomo or the cathedral
  • The campanile or the cathedral's free standing bell tower
  • The Baptistry 
  • The Camposanto

Sometimes referred to the site as the “Square of Miracles”, a term which has since then gotten popular with all. The square is full of tourists and locals around the sunset when the sun seems to cast a spell of colors over its marble walls and lush garden that looks absolutely serene in this light.

Camposanto


The terms often used for this site include Camposanto Monumentale or the monumental cemetery
Camposanto Vecchio or the old cemetery. This cemetery was constructed in the year 1278 and was later use as a burial place for the upper class residents of the area. The site according to the legend is built around the area where holy dirt was brought to during the crusades. However the cemetery was damaged during the World War II when it was under the control of the Nazis and was attacked by American warplanes. The war damage was restored later and remains a popular tourist spot for those who come from all over the world to Pisa in Italy.

Getting to Pisa isn't straight forward with visitors to Italy often choosingto fly to larger airports.  However those who do fly direct will be able to collect their rental cars from Pisa Airport and begin to explore the region much quicker than thos arriving elsewhere.