Camping in the Algarve

Are you planning a camping holiday in Europe? Portugal has some of the best weather and most beautiful scenery in the world and the Algarve in particular is a great place for camping. Whether you are towing a caravan, driving a motor home or hiking with a tent on your back, the campsites of the Algarve will offer you a warm welcome and traditional Portuguese hospitality. Most camps have great facilities; bars, restaurants and swimming pools and are situated near beautiful beaches.

Campsite Turiscampo – located in Senhora da Luz and only 5 minutes from the fantastic beaches of Praia da Luz and the vibrant town of Lagos, this site offers static mobile homes and bungalows for rent as well as a variety of pitches suitable for tents, caravans and motor homes. The site is well appointed, offering a sports ground, beautiful outdoor swimming pool and baby pool, whirlpool and beauty centre. There is also an onsite shop, snack bar, restaurant and pizzeria and Wi-Fi is available covering most areas of the camp. The site offers a full programme of activities including step and yoga classes, football, volleyball, basketball, table tennis and aqua aerobics. In addition, the entertainment team work hard to make your stay enjoyable, offering typical ‘kids’ club’ activities like scavenger hunts, painting and crafts, races, movie evenings and discos. There is also a programme of entertainment for adults, with live music and discos on site. This is a great site in a great location.

Campsite Albufeira – Just a few minutes from Albufeira old town and with a bus stop at the main gate, this site is a real home from home. It is a very large site, almost like a small town, with a range of bungalows and static caravans available for rental as well as terraced, flat pitching areas. The site is kept very clean and is a credit to its staff. Amenities include a supermarket, bars and a restaurant and three fantastic swimming pools. Guests are issued with a 10% discount card to use at the restaurant, which is also popular with non residents. The park offers a programme of entertainment, including live music. Nearby beaches are spectacular. 

Orbitur Camping, Sagres – is a basic site that is beautifully located right on the Western tip of the Algarve. The site offers flat pitches, some of which are concrete-based for motor homes. The site has a bar, restaurant with free Wi-Fi, a nice pool, a playground and a barbecue area. There are also washing machines and dryers available and a car wash. Bikes are available to hire onsite. Nearby beaches are rugged but beautiful and are very popular with surfers due to high waves. 

A massive lighthouse nearby warns ships and boats they are approaching a very rocky and dangerous coastline. The nearby historic town of Sagres has many bars and restaurants as well as nice shopping. Just a thirty kilometre ride along the spectacular coast is Lagos, one of the most visited cities in the Algarve. This is a vibrant city with a great nightlife and is a must-visit during your stay 

Orbitur Camping Valverde – is set near the pretty village of Praia da Luz and is a large site with over 600 pitches and additional chalets and static homes for rental. The site is not far from Lagos which has a range of bars and restaurants and some great shopping. The nearest beach at Praia da Luz is beautiful and this area of the Algarve is truly blessed with a spectacular coastline with all manner of beaches, from small coves to massive stretches of golden sand. The site itself has a supermarket, self-service restaurant and takeaway. There is also a swimming pool, tennis courts, playground and games room and free Wi-Fi is available in some areas of the camp.

Parque de Campismo Sao Miguel – This site is set among the hills of a nature park, between two quaint whitewashed villages. The main building at the site is located around a grassed area and overlooks a fine swimming pool, so you can sit under beautiful verandas and enjoy a drink while the kids play in the pool. Camping here is less structured than is generally the basically pick a spot you like and set up there. Onsite facilities include washing machines, bar, snack bar, pizzeria, a self-service restaurant and tennis courts. Wi-Fi is free and covers the whole site and there is an outdoor cinema that shows films for adults and children in the summer months. In addition to the pitches, there are 25 bungalows and 10 caravans for rental. Outside, there are lots of bars and restaurants and great beaches are about 4 kilometres away. The nature park in which the site is situated offers lots of cycle tracks and interesting walkways.

This article was provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the travel sector working with a selection of companies – including For Airport; the complete traveller’s guide to the stunning Portuguese Algarve.

Visiting Prague

Prague, a place where the beer flows like water and is almost always dangerously cheap is one of the most bustling and buzzing cities on the planet. The current astounding appearance of Prague is gleaming with software company offices, scads of skinny model types gliding in and out and mushrooms of glitzy fashion shops - all of these squeezed to fit among the fabulously restored Baroque architecture and cobbled lanes of Old Town. Prague ranks the 6th most visited city in the Europe and more than 4.1 million visitors’ flock to Prague annually. 

At a glance over the skyline, you will see countless splendid views of the lovely domed churches and soaring old towers that consort together to make Prague one of the top rated attractions in Europe for its architectural gems. Any direction you look towards, you will witness fine examples of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau styles creating the perfect mish-mash for a city backdrop.

You can’t afford to miss the famous Charles Bridge over the Vltava River, the Jewish Quarter with its old synagogues and many other splendid historic churches. Being one of the largest cities of Europe, Prague is also a political, cultural, and commercially important center. Did you know that for centuries Prague has played the part of the capital of the Holy Roman Empire?

The capital of the Czech Republic is neither extremely cold in the winter, nor does it burn your skin in the summer, so any time you plan on visiting Prague is pretty much a good time. If you ask any local they’ll tell you that the best time to visit is probably during spring and the fall when the weather is still quite mild and the tourists have yet to start herding towards the city. In winter the city get rather chilly, and so it is the warmer summer months that the city witnesses the largest influx of tourists so if you’re inclined to visit Prague without any intention to push through crowds of fellow sightseers, plan a winter trip. The city tends to see a fair amount of snow with highs barely reaching the mid 30s, thus making it quite the picturesque location so you’ll be taking some great pictures if you visit this time of year too. 

If you decide to visit Prague in summer, make sure you book your hotel early on as finding great accommodation close to the center could prove quite difficult. The cafes and restaurants in Prague have also got their own charm where a lot of traditional Czech food is on offer. If you’re a meat eater then this place is pretty much heaven as the Czech cuisine is rather heavy on meat and carbs and you will find yourself walking past a restaurant every couple of minutes. The dishes of choice seem to be heaping plates of goulash and dumplings, bowls of sausage in dark beer sauce or carving boards bearing obscenely large pork knuckles. However like any major city of the world, you will also find an international array of choices including Indian, Thai, Greek, French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and even Afghan cuisines, with Veggie options also abundant.

Big Easy on a budget | New Orleans

The home of jazz and Mardi Gras should be on everyone’s bucket list—from Bourbon Street to tasting those sweet, sweet beignets, there’s a reason it’s one of the most traveled cities in America.

But for a young traveler like me, it’s not in the budget to spend like Gatsby and live like it’s 1922, so my trip to the Big Easy was one I planned in advance to keep the costs down.

Just because it’s a plan doesn’t mean you have to skimp on anything though—I like to call it being conscious rather than thrifty—and I lived it big by taking advantage of the free attractions, branching out from the tourist traps and doing just a little pre-trip prep.

So if you’re looking to save on the green while partying it N’awlins style, check out these tips for making the best of your vacation. 

1. Think about taking a cruise.

Want to get two vacations out of one? Take a cruise to (or from) New Orleans and get the tropical experience rolled into your Big Easy trip. Book a jaunt to the Caribbean with Carnival or Norwegian and head down to New Orleans a few days earlier to see the city—it’s like getting two vacations in one.  

To get an even better deal, book your cruise last minute; the longer you wait the more those dollars will just shave off the bottom line.

2. Go in the off-season.

Most of the tourists are going to visit between February and May for all of the festivals and the spring weather so why not decide to head down for Thanksgiving? Or Christmas?

One of the great things about New Orleans it’s temperate winter and for anyone who is used to 12 feet of snow come November, this could be the opportunity for you to take a break from the shovel. With an average high of 64 during the day and low of 46 at night, it’s coat weather but no need to bring a parka and it’s got the added bonus of being a thin time for tourists so you’ll get a better deal everywhere.  

3. Pick one meal to splurge and one to save.

You know what’s free? Water. With all the walking you’re doing while checking out the haunts of the French Quarter, you should be drinking a lot of it. Not only will it keep you from getting heat stroke (it’s really humid in Louisiana) but it’s also an easy way to say $2.50 at lunch.

Pick one meal a day--be it lunch, breakfast, or dinner--and make a budget. Lunch specials make this the easiest choice for the “save” meal and it’s a no-brainer to grab a piece of fruit for breakfast, which can save you upwards of $40 a day. Either you can use the extra money for a night out at the bars or a really nice dinner at R’evolution—either way, it’s more bang for your buck.

4. Check out the free attractions.

Mardi Gras is the biggest free attraction in New Orleans, but the city has many, many more festivals and things to do that are just as friendly for your piggy bank. Depending on when you’re heading down, the French Quarter Festival in April is the region’s largest free festival, and the jazz concerts in Armstrong Park during spring and fall, and both are great options for getting a taste of the local flair for less.

Take a stroll through the French Market, check out Jackson Square and it’s beautiful St. Louis Cathedral, hunt for azaleas in the Garden District, or head to Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve. The options are endless!

5. Don’t waste money on an international phone plan.

If you’re not from the States, your trip to the Big Easy could get really expensive (and quickly) with as much as everyone is on their phones these days. Want to save the hassle of taking hundreds out of your bank account just for a few text message? Opt for a SIM card.

Found in all airport terminals and in local convenient and electronic stores (maybe even Walgreens if you’re lucky), the SIM card is your answer to saving on the essentials and they’re easy to use. Once you’ve bought card and unlocked your phone, all you have to do is install the sim in your phone and viola! Instant savings.  

6. Buy things off the beaten path.

The prices are always going to be artificially high in the tourist areas; everything from gas to groceries will have a price hike the closer you are to the most popular parts of town and New Orleans is no different.

If you need more sunscreen or want to grab a couple of groceries to make your own picnic one day, try going a few streets past St. Charles to get the better deals. Same goes for souvenirs; ditch the shot glasses and opt for something more personal, like a 1920’s postcard from an antique shop. Not only will it be a more personal gift, it will be a fraction of the cost and gather much less dust.

With these money saving tips it will make it easier for you to take it easy in the Big Easy, so sit back, relax, and enjoy your vacation in the heart of Southern Cajun culture!

Galleries and Museums In the North of England

Are you are wondering what to do over the weekend or where to go for your summer vacations without having to spending too much? Why don't you consider exploring places in the North of England? Galleries and museums situated in that part of the country are bound to leave you fascinated and stunned. You can take your family on a historic excursion and visit these galleries and museums, which will prove to be a great trip for the children. You can get to all of these destinations quickly, affordably and safely by train. 

The cost of train tickets will vary depending on your departure destination, but you can usually save by booking in advance. Here is a list of 5 must visit galleries and museums in the North of England:
The Pencil Museum

You begin with entering a replica of Seathwaite mine, which is popular known as the origin for graphite. From there you will embark upon a journey on the history of the pencil. One of the mesmerizing historic importances of the pencil was the manufacture of 'secret pencils' by the British government and M19, which held a secret map and compass to help stranded pilots. They have a kids' art studio which will keep your little ones occupied as you browse through the museum and marvel at its wonders. Visit them for more information or bookings.

The Royal Armouries Museum

It is home to over 75,000 world-renowned objects and it houses UK's national collection of arms and armour from the past. This magnificent array of weaponry is displayed in five impressive galleries: Self Defence and Hunting, War, Tournament and Oriental. It displays armour and weapons, which were used in the early ages by medieval knights as well as modern-day soldiers. There are artefacts that come from different empires and golden ages for instance the Ottoman Empire, Japan, India, Europe and the Wild West. The museum holds an interactive programme of daily events which includes talks and tours and combat demonstration to give you and your family an insightful experience about the specific weapon or armour used in that specific time. 
Yorkshire Museum

This stunning Georgian building is home to some of the greatest collection of Britain's finest archaeological treasures, which include rare animals, birds and fossils, which date back to more than 1000 years. Medieval artefacts from the Roman Empire, Viking Era and Anglo-Saxon include items such as jewellery, mosaics and silver show their lifestyles and rich culture, which surrounded them. From swords, amazing warrior stones, detailed plant fossils to life size statues, hand crafted pottery and battle-axes, you will be left spellbound by all these historic objects. The museum has fun activities for the kids in each of its gallery; there is also a trail that you can follow around the museum and its grounds. 

The museum facade is often illuminated - see below
Royal Pump Room Museum

This bizarre establishment was built by Isaac Shutt in 1842, and is considered one of Europe's strongest sulphur well, which tells the story of Harrogate as a premier spa building. It was reopened in 1953 and since then has served its purpose as a museum and invites people to its absurd spa treatments. The water in these wells is popularly known to have healing qualities that cure anything from lumbago to gout. To know more about this spa building visit their site.

Streetlife Museum

Situated in Kingston upon Hull, it is a transport museum, which dates back to the early 20th century, which includes epic and vintage modes of transportation. Take your children down memory lane of transport history, which is over 200 years old. Let them experience the smells, sights and sounds of the past as they walk down the 1940s replica high street and board a train to enjoy a carriage ride. The museum is popularly known to house veteran cars, horse driven carriages, trams and bicycle gallery.

An Adventure on the South Cornwall Coast

Looking for a summer vacation spot? You should definitely be considering the South Cornwall Coast! This area in the far southwest of England has a long history that includes both a Celtic heritage (it's the mythical birthplace of King Arthur), as well as a smugglers' history. It's easy to access by trains, buses, or cars from other parts of England, and it's easy to get around the county as well—and although you might hear some Cornish speech or see some bilingual road signs, don't worry: everyone speaks English as well. That said, Cornwall has a unique flavor of life not found elsewhere in England.

So what should you do while you're there?
Visit the Seaside

This one is pretty obvious. Although many counties in Britain border on the ocean, South Cornwall has coastline down to perfection. You'll find plenty of beautiful beaches, as well as sweeping coastal vistas that will delight the photographer or naturalist. You've got plenty of options for beaches, which is part of what makes this such a perfect summer retreat. If you're looking for a pebble beach, a sand beach, a beach where you can take your dog, a beach where you can take your kids, or something else, you're guaranteed to find a place that feels like paradise. Don't forget the sunblock!
Take a Hike

But Cornwall isn't only home to beaches; instead, a lot of the land offers spectacular and rugged hiking spots which range from beginner trails to expert ones. Head to Dartmoor National Park for some lovely hiking in the interior of the county. Or hike all or part of the Southwest Coast Path, one of the most beautiful and well-marked long-distance trails in England, where you'll pass by quaint little towns and sweeping coastal vistas that will have you fumbling for your camera every few steps.
Head to Land's End

If enjoy photography or you're really into walking, you should head to Land's End, the place farthest in the southwest in all of Britain. This is the starting point of the trail to John O'Groat's—the longest thru-hiking trail in Britain—but you can also just head to Land's End to enjoy the scenery, snap some pictures, maybe take a day-hike, and drive off to wherever's next! And hey, when your friends ask you where you went on your trip, it's easy to point it out on a map.
Chase the Legends

As mentioned, Cornwall is the mythical birthplace of King Arthur. Tintagel Castle, the place where Geoffrey wrote in the 12th century that Arthur was conceived, is located on the northern coast of the county, but head out into the countryside and you can imagine tales of chivalry and magic. Not doing it for you? Head back to Penzance for some of its festivals—the Midsummer's or Winter Solstice festivals might set the mood
Need to brush up on your King Arthur myths? Watch Merlin, which is available for free streaming on Netflix. You'll need to use a VPN to hide your true location if you want to stream Netflix from outside the US, but it's easy to set one up and you'll have all the magic with you on your vacation.
Become a Pirate

Okay, so maybe you won't become a pirate in modern-day Penzance, but you can check out its plethora of interesting buildings, including its Town Hall and the Egyptian House—and the fish and chips are to die for. The town can also make a good base for exploring places like the Isles of Scilly, which you can easily reach by ferry. These islands are home to some beautiful beaches, and there tend to be fewer tourists here than there are elsewhere. Bonus: from Penzance, you can also view St. Michael's Mount out at sea!
Work up an Appetite

When you go to Cornwall, you're definitely going to want to try all the local dishes. Of course, you're going to encounter a lot of seafood, from fish cakes to creamy fish stew. But there's more to the cuisine than just that! Grab some Cornish pasties, small pies full of meat, potatoes, and vegetables and in the words of the Pasty Muncher . . . munch on!

Or get the squab pie, which is made of mutton, onions, and apples. Or try the Hog's puddin', a kind of thick, white, and spicy sausage. Finish off your meal with some saffron cake or a heavy fruitcake called hevva cake. Whatever you choose, you're in for a real treat.
Whatever you're looking for in a vacation, whether it's relaxation or historical exploration, South Cornwall is sure to have something for you. From the friendly locals to the delicious seafood to the beautiful coastline to the… Well, there's a lot that's going to make this vacation truly, shall we say, magical—even if you don't happen to meet Merlin.

On the road to Marrakech - travelling to Morocco

If you’re lucky enough to be jetting off the sunny, spectacular and diverse cultural land of Morocco, it can help to get a detailed overview of what the country has to offer.

Morocco is located in North Africa and has many different customs in comparison to the UK and Europe. Here is some vital information, provided by the beautiful Marrakech hotel Riad el Zohar covering everything from the people of Morocco to the climate and food options. Enjoy your trip!

Moroccan Climate and Environment

There is a notably diverse climate in Morocco that you will gain familiarity with should you choose to travel across the entire country. 

Some parts of Morocco are affected by the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Coast which is cooler and slightly wetter. Other parts of Morocco, particularly in the South, feature arid and incredibly hot desert and mountain regions. 

There are plenty of different climates you are likely to experience, so this should encourage you to bring clothing to suit all types of weather. Bottled water is a must wherever you go to ensure you stay hydrated. You should also be prepared for extreme conditions which can change dramatically on the odd occasion.
The beauty of the Moroccan environment cannot be ignored, with the stunning central valley’s featuring swatches of farmland and produce that supply markets across Europe. 

While there’s little to interest a tourist around these locations, it is certainly an excellent geography lesson that gives you a better idea of where a selection of European ingredients are sourced. 

The People of Morocco

It is vitally important to understand that Morocco is an Islamic country, with Islam playing an integral role in the laws and culture of Morocco. Many beliefs are based on the teachings of the Prophet Muhamad, written in the Koran. 

Orthodox Muslims will pray five times a day in accordance with the five pillars of Islam, feast during Ramadan and practice charity. You will almost certainly witness the locals taking part in these duties during your visit. It is very important that you respect this.

You cannot visit a mosque in morocco unless you are a Muslim, which is unfortunate considering the beautiful artistry that lies within these stunning buildings. Some historic mosques allow for visitors, so if you are particularly interested in this you should do some background research early on.
Morocco is a liberal Islamic country, meaning it follows the laws of Islam strictly. Alcohol is sold but at an expensive price and with high restrictions. Hotel bars and upscale restaurants will almost always serve alcohol however. 

You should not offer alcohol to a Muslim, yet you will likely find many Moroccan residents welcoming you for a drink, which is a good way to make friends. 

Moroccan Cuisine

The food in Morocco is somewhat different in comparison to other countries in that you won’t find too many Middle Eastern specialities on the menu. There are certain mainstays that will almost always feature on these menus, including kefta, couscous and tagine typically served with vegetables, fish and meat. Tagine is meat or chicken baked in a clay dish accompanied by a thick and incredibly tasty gravy. 

You certainly won’t get western style portions of meat, so don’t expect them! The more expensive the restaurant, the more likely you are to be treated to a much larger portion of meat. The dishes are usually mild to spicy, so don’t be too worried if you’re not a fan of hot food.

Less stress on a long coach journey

Although a lot of the fun is in the journey, sometimes it can be hard to find fun in a long journey, particularly if you’re accompanying hyper children or you happen to have a couple of noisy passengers joining you on the trip. The important thing is not to get stressed and to take the journey one step at a time. If you are sat there for hours on end cramped up with a bunch of strangers you don’t really know, you’re going to get a little sick and tired of it. 

But you can’t let it get to you! Take a deep breath, sit back, and use our list of top tips for helping to reduce stress on your long coach journey.

Take a breath of air at a rest stop

It really is better to make good use of the rest stops you are given, even if you don’t need to buy snacks or use the facilities. Getting out of your chair and just stretching your legs reduces the chances of your muscles cramping up and the fresh air will do wonders after tasting the same air for a few hours on the coach journey. It might not sound like a lot but it really helps!

Plenty of water and snacks

Hydration, hydration, hydration! If you are stuck on a long journey with little to no water, guaranteed you will spend the most of it feeling thirsty. Keep a few different drinks in your hand luggage if you prefer having a choice, or even bring a flask of tea to enjoy on the trip!
No long distance journey is complete without a few snacks and while the coach may take a few pit stops, it is always good to come prepared. Plus in a worst case scenario, you can always hand them out to young children to quiet them down a little, if the parents are happy with it.

Calming music or music that you enjoy

No super loud screaming music or rock music. Remember that there are other people on the coach so you would do well to respect that they might not like hearing tinny rock music from someone else’s headphones. Quiet or calming music is best as it also helps to reduce stress.
Why not download a few audio books to listen to on the way? It will give your eyes a rest, but your brain will still be working to keep up with the story.

Reading book or Puzzle Book – No Phone!

Every bookaholic will bring their trusty kindle or one or two thickset paperbacks to a holiday trip, particularly if there is a long coach ride involved. If reading fiction is not your thing, try an informative booklet about the place you are visiting, or a puzzle book to test your knowledge!

Try not to use your phone as it can give you a headache, especially if you are straining in the dark to read it.

Pack prepared!

Anything could happen on this coach journey so it is good to be prepared. Spare socks, a towel (courtesy of Douglas Adams), hand sanitizer and paracetamol or ibuprofen are all neat little extras that you would do well to pack, just in case. It is also good to pack plasters and tissues, as chances are if you didn’t pack tissues, you will certainly need them, at least that is how it always works out in my experience!

Take a Nap

If you’re feeling bored and stressed, why not settle down for a nice nap. Bring some noise cancelling headphones and an eye mask if you want complete peace and quiet, but make sure that you’ve cleared up your space first. You might end up napping the whole way there and you don’t want to be in a mad rush to collect all your things when the bus driver is calling everyone off!

Of course a lot of our tips are dependent on your individual situation; for example, if your coach is an overnighter, it might just be better to pop some headphones in and try to sleep it out. It all depends. Or why not spend the journey thinking of all the amazing things you’ll be getting up to on your upcoming holiday and making a plan of where you want to go and what you want to see, it’s up to you!

Article provided by, a Capital City branch of the Coach Transport Group.

Off the beaten path in St. Petersburg

The magnificent city of St.Petersburg, the gem of Eastern Europe has a wealth of offerings for any kind of traveller. So whether you’re on a business trip, holidaying or simply passing through, you are most definitely going to be amazed and left wanting more.

 If like me you’re into alternative experiences that aren’t the usual tourist attractions, then keep on reading. These few suggestions will give you a better idea of how to get to do your own thing and indulge in the ‘quirkier’ options the city has to offer.

Gatchina Birch house

The Gatchina Palace and museum is an attraction in itself and you do need to spend a whole day to walk about the magnificent gardens, pavilions and the Amphitieatre, but perhaps the most unusual attraction here is the Gatchina Birch house, built in 1780 as an architectural joke whereby the outside resembles a large number of logs piled on top of each other. Don’t be fooled though as the interior with all its gilded plasterwork and abundance of mirrors is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

Join a Matroyschka doll class

If you’re itching for something to do and aren’t too fussed with getting your hands a bit dirty then make sure to sign up for a Matroyschka doll class. Contrary to popular belief the Matroyschkas (also called nesting dolls or babushkas) are not entirely Russian in origin but were adopted in the late 19th century from Japanese culture and turned into one of the most popular toys in Russia. Some workshops offer classes where you are provided with a 3-5 piece doll ready to be decorated to your heart’s content.

Vodka Museum and Donut Bars

St. Petersburg is famous for having retained some of the oldest Russian traditions, two of which are donuts and yep, you guessed right Vodka. Join the locals in queuing for some donuts and tea at one of the local ‘Pyshechnaya’ in the morning or if you’re a vodka drinker make sure to visit the Vodka museum where you can get some insights into Vodka production and drinking and also get to try shots of some different varieties.

The Gulf of Finland

Why not venture a bit outside the city and head on to the Gulf of Finland? The walk alongside the coast is mesmerizing and there’s a myriad of things to do that are sure to keep your quirk on. From dramatic improvisation theatres, art galleries to small scale museums depicting Russian life and customs this area slightly further out of the center is sure to keep your quirk on!

Featured post supplied by Corinthia Hotels.