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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Best Places in Spain by Benton Harbor

It is needless to say that Spain is one of the most popular tourist destinations considering that it is the second most visited country in the world. Spain has a variety of features that can't help but attract world attention. Most people would love to visit Spain as their last wish because of what it has to offer in terms of natural features as well as valued manmade features.

Most of the attractions in Spain have a lot to do with its past. Its history is presented in the form of monuments, museums, palaces, castle and buildings which date back to hundreds of years ago. It is amazing that some of these buildings are still well preserved and appear very strong despite the years they have been standing.

Barcelona

The city is the largest of Spain's and has a very unique feel and look from the rest of the towns. This could be because of the wonderful pieces of architecture created by the famous architect Antonio Gaudi. Some of his works that attract a majority of peoples is the controversial church Sagrada Familia which is yet to be completed to date. This is a city you don't want to miss visiting.

Madrid

The fact that it is the capital city of Spain makes it attractive to everybody including Spaniards. It has a variety of museums, spectacular monuments and wonderful architectural work that will take your breath away. Those who appreciate art should make a point of visiting this city.

Costa del Sol

This is one of the most beautiful spots you could ever visit. The natural landscape is continuously spotting high rise apartments which are an eyesore with most locals here. This sandy beach is perfect for sun seekers who want to bask and enjoy the warmth of the summer sun. The scenery here is magnificent with towns like Malaga looking very striking from here. You definitely want to have a feel of this wonderful place.

Cordoba

This region is considered to be among Southern Spain's most beautiful spots. It has Cathedrals and Churches which hold great value. You will also have a chance with nature on the available beaches and mountain ranges. Exciting sporting activities will definitely relax your mind and make your trip worth and memorable.

The list of Spain's best places goes on and on and you will run out of time before you run out of places to visit. Take the chance of your life and visit Spain for a wonderful change and experience.

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Visit Pink City and Blue City of Rajasthan During Your Rajasthan Tour by Sanjog

Rajasthan is the heritage land of India whose history begins with the Indus valley civilization. Centuries after centuries of rising and falling dynasties added several interesting chapters to this Desert state of India whose glory call on scores of tourists from several parts of the globe.




Tourists who want to experience the royal saga of bygone era prefer Rajasthan Tour. The most famous attractions of this state are Pink City Jaipur and Blue City Jodhpur. Jaipur is one of the most popular destinations of Rajasthan Tourism. The magnificent forts, beautiful havelis and colorful bazaars make it a popular destination among tourists. This city affectionately called as the Pink City because of several pink color buildings present in city vicinity. These mind-blowing structures are among the finest example of man-made wonders and testimonial of the bygone era.




Hawa Mahal is the mind-blowing monument and spectacular example Rajput artistry which was built by the Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799. This beautiful monument is constructed from red and pink sandstone which is beautifully outlined with white borders and motif's painted with quicklime. This five storied pyramid-shaped facade has 953 small windows known as Jharokhas which was used for the women of royal families to see street procession.




Amber Fort is another architectural splendor of this place made up of white marble and red sandstone. This grand edifice utters the saga of royalty and craftsmanship of the royal dynasties who ruled it for centuries. It is renowned worldwide for its architectural beauty, exterior as well as interior decorations, frescoes, paintings, murals, mirror and mosaic work.




Blue City Jodhpur is a popular tourist destination set in the stark landscape of the Thar desert and renowned for its magnificent forts and elegant palaces. Jodhpur is called Blue City due to the blue-painted houses around the Mehrangarh Fort. This is among the most sought after tourist destinations of Rajasthan Tourism where tourists from across the globe come to witness the leftover legacies of royal dynasties.




The Mehrangarh Fort which was built by Rao Jodha in 1806 is the leading attraction of this place. This magnificent fort is the storehouse of the glorious history of the Rathore rulers and known for its brilliant construction and decorated palaces. Some of the palaces inside this spectacular fort are Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Sileh Khana, Sheesha Mahal (Mirror Palace), Daulat Khana and Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace).




The Umaid Bhawan Palace is another attraction of this place which is visited by large number of tourists during their Udaipur Tour. It was the last palace which was built in India between 1929 and 1944 by Maharaja Umaid Singh. The Throne Room which is known for the Ramayana murals is the foremost attractions of this palace. Some of the other known attractions of this palace are wood-paneled library, Billiards room and museum having vast collections of weapons, antique and artifacts.


The Pink City Jaipur and the Blue City Jodhpur are two most popular destination of Rajasthan Tourism. These two cities are renowned for its magnificent forts, ornate palaces, and colorful bazaars which enthrall tourists most during their visit to these two places.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Revel In the Colonial Era by John johnnathl

Surabaya is the capital of East Java. It is also known as the 'City Of Heroes' due to the Battle of Surabaya which took place there. The name Surabaya is derived from Sura or 'shark' and baya or 'crocodile'. It is an enchanting city with its myths and mysteries.

Investigate its magical cultural history. Enjoy the plethora of sights and immerse yourself in the history of Surabaya. The weather is tropical so casual, light clothes would do and have a great time wandering through an ancient land. There are many 5 star hotels in Surabaya offering a high standard of accommodation and hospitality.

Once you have settled in one of the 5 star hotels in Surabaya you can go on a local sightseeing tour. You can visit one of the oldest churches in Surabaya with its beautiful glass paintings or go to the Grahadi, the residence of the Governor of East Java. Here, you can watch the Rego dance, one of the traditional dance forms of the country. You can also visit the food stalls and many bazaars located in west Surabaya. The House of Sampoerna is a Dutch compound which houses an art gallery, a café, a museum and souvenir shops. It is considered as the top tourist destination in Surabaya.

You can book your accommodation at any of the 5 star hotels in Surabaya. If you are looking for something easier on your pocket without compromising on comfort and class you can visit an exciting website and choose from the list of 4 star hotels in Surabaya.

Enjoy Scintillating Surabaya

Enjoy the local arts and have a look at the colonial buildings. Drive to Malang, a beautiful mountain city filled with charming cottages from the colonial period. Or if you want to have some fun, then experience the exhilarating night life of Surabaya. From your 4 star hotels in Surabaya you can also head to some of the shopping malls which offer great deals on all their merchandise.

Experience the colonial era luxury at the 5 star hotels in Surabaya. Enjoy its old fashioned charm. Surrounded by art and culture, it will truly make your trip a memorable one.

Excitehotels.com is your perfect choice to help pick out the most luxurious and exotic 4 star hotels in Surabaya. From the traditional to the modern, find everything that you are looking for in Surabaya and let it mesmerize and engulf you.

Excitehotels.com offers a Kaleidoscope of Charm with 5 Star Hotels in Surabaya

Offering hot hotel deals and stunning discounts, Excitehotels.com leads visitors to Surabaya hotels where they can experience the much-spoken about hospitality, culture and cuisine.

Tourism and Honeymoon in Kerala by Terence Lewis

A charming state on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India, Kerala is a prominent destination for tourism and holiday India. It is one of the most charming and captivating states of India. Its capital city is Trivandrum. Also known as God's Own Country, Kerala is noted for its lush greenery, scenic landscapes and truly amiable ambiance for peaceful vacations. The state has great tourism opportunity with beautiful beaches, breathtaking backwaters, luxuriant jade hill stations, fragrant tea & spice plantations, exotic wildlife, rich flora & fauna, historical places & monuments, religious places & shrines, etc. Excellent accommodation facilities at different beach resorts and hotels are available according to your needs and budgets. Tree houses are houseboats are unique forms of excellent and unique accommodation in Kerala, God's Own Country.

With great tourism opportunity, excellent accommodation facilities and peaceful ambiance, Kerala is also popular among honeymooners or newly wed couples. It presents truly amiable and romantic ambiance for honeymooners coming from different parts of the world. Beaches and backwaters; hill stations and mountains; lakes and rivers; forts and monuments; historical places and religious places - Kerala has all to make it popular destination for honeymoon vacations in India. Water spots, river cruises and lots of beach activities give honeymooners a mind-boggling charm of Kerala tourism. Kovalam is an internationally famous beach town in the state. It is very famous among other kinds of vacationers along with honeymooners. Varkala, Fort Kochi, Beypore, etc are some other popular beach destinations in the state.

Backwater cruises on enchanting Kerala backwaters are perhaps the most entertaining activities in this charming state. Backwater cruise can surely enhance the charm of your Kerala honeymoon tour. Alleppey, Kuttanad, Kollam, Fort Kochi, Kozhikode, Kumarakom, etc are prominent backwater destinations in the state where honeymooners can enjoy cruises over the breathtakingly beautiful and tranquil backwaters. One of the main tourist attractions, the backwater cruises in Kerala are dream experiences on houseboats or kettuvalloms that are especially designed with open lounge, one or two bedrooms with attached bathrooms and a kitchenette. Houseboat stay is a truly romantic experience for honeymooners or romantic couples.

Hill stations of Kerala are equally famous among honeymooners and newly wed couples. There are some beautiful hill stations in the state which attract couples for exciting and romantic honeymoon tour in India. Munnar, Wayanad, Ponmudi, Peermede, etc are popular hill stations the state where you can seek delight for your honeymoon vacations in Kerala, God's Own Country. Well, if you too are looking for a right destination for honeymoon, Kerala can perfectly cater your needs for dream honeymoon destination in India.

This article is written by Terence Lewis an eminent writer of travel and tourism related topics. Know more about honeymoon tour Kerala and beautiful Kerala tourism destinations

City Guide to Traveling in Birmingham by Justin Juarez

Britain's second biggest city after London is Birmingham. Birmingham is the cultural centre of the West Midlands and offers the casual visitor an enormous range of exciting opportunities and things to do. Offering an unsurpassed range of shops and shopping centres, and literally hundreds of activities and things to do, Birmingham is the ideal tourist destination; a city that is always guaranteed to keep you occupied.

As a city, Birmingham is packed with places to visit, enabling you to get a real taste of the city's culture. Just a few of the places include:

Birmingham Cathedral: Built in 1725, this is one of the city's most beautiful historic buildings, complete with four Pre-Raphaelite stained-glass windows.

The Royal Air Force Museum: Treat yourself to a stunning display of aviation history and witness over seventy aircraft situated within three separate wartime hangars. You'll see Spitfires, Hurricanes, Vulcans and more.

Cadbury's World: One of the country's biggest and most popular museums. You'll find out about the history of chocolate, and how it originated in South America, as well as seeing a genuine production line. Of course, a visit isn't complete without sampling the produce...

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery: Witness a huge variety of exhibits that range from spooky Egyptian mummies to a wooden toy collection for the kids. Treat yourself to some culture and examine the largest collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings in the world.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens: An astonishing fifteen acres of beautiful gardens are available for exploration, as well as four glasshouses containing exotic plants.

When it comes to finding something to do, you'll find that Birmingham has it covered. Some ideal places for pursuits include:

The Ackers: If your family's into sport, then enjoy taking part in a variety of activities including climbing, canoeing, skiing, snowboarding and more. Occupying over seventy acres and located just two miles from the city centre, The Ackers couldn't be more convenient.

Second City Canal Cruises: Enjoy cruising down the Birmingham canals and buy gifts from the souvenir shop.

The National Sea Life Centre: Witness over sixty displays of exotic marine life, and find yourself enthralled by the undersea world. See giant turtles, reef fish and sharks too.

Newbrook Farm Experience: Visit a working farm and keep an eye out for the many rare breeds of animals that include cattle, hens, pigs, ponies and goats.

Woodgate Valley Country Park: The perfect place for walkers, with mile upon mile of tracks to explore. There's something for the kids too, with a farm, play area and a fun pony-trekking centre.

If you're feeling hungry after touring Birmingham, you'll discover that Birmingham is renowned for its culinary diversity - meaning that you'll find the right meal, no matter what variety of food you're looking for. Within the city, home-cooked traditional British food goes hand-in-hand with exotic cuisine from India and China, and all of Birmingham's eateries are in easily accessible locations. Whichever end of the scale interests you - whether it is a simple takeaway or a slap-up three-course meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant - Birmingham has it covered. Here's a small selection of the city's eating-places:

City Café Birmingham: Service, style and ambience are on the menu at this top-rated restaurant that offers a la carte menus, a famous Sunday lunch buffer and a vegetarian garden. Enjoy a live Jazz band every Thursday evening.

Metro Bar & Grill: Free-range meats are the order of the day here, along with a comprehensive fish board that changes daily. Metro also serves a range of sandwiches and simple snack foods if you're looking for something quick.

Peppers: Birmingham's top-rated Indian restaurant has every kind of Indian dish imaginable, and you'll be spoilt for choice when you see the menu. The restaurant's ethos is value for money.
San Carlo Ristorante: Authentic Italian food is what this restaurant offers, with many of the ingredients imported directly from Italy. The chefs and the management bring real individuality to the menu.

Opus Restaurant: Seasonal and regional are the keywords for this eatery's menu, which offers genuine British meals with the ingredients locally sourced.

When it comes to finding somewhere to stay in Birmingham, the only problem you'll experience with Birmingham is the amount of options available - so many, in fact, that you'll be spoilt for choice! Short breaks and long stays are catered for in hotels and guesthouses in the city centre or on the outskirts. Further, the prices range from the immediately affordable to more expensive and luxurious rooms. If you're looking for an alternative, then you'll find that Birmingham has plenty of options ranging from campsites to self-catering accommodation. There are also special packages available, such as the spa break, where you'll find yourself pampered into luxury.

When you've finished exploring Birmingham by day, you'll discover that the city comes alive at night with some of the coolest pubs and nightclubs around. Whether you're looking for a relaxing sit down and drink, or want to party away the small hours, you'll doubtlessly discover the ideal venue. The Nightingale Club, located in the heart of the city centre, has three levels incorporating numerous bars, discos, a restaurant and a games room. Meanwhile, The Jam House is a nightclub supported by music maestro Jools Holland, and holds up to 600 people. Alternatively, Rick's Garden Café & Bar in Birmingham offers you the opportunity to enjoy Mediterranean cuisine under the stars.

The above information should give you some idea of just what Birmingham has to offer as a city. There's something to keep you occupied whatever your interest, with a whole range of different cultural activities. If you're traditional, you'll enjoy visiting the city's many museums and art galleries, and learning about Birmingham's history. If you're part of a family, you'll discover attractions that have proved to be popular with thousands of children while in Birmingham. Eating, shopping, seeing and doing... all four bases are covered when you come to Birmingham.

Hotels in Birmingham

Birmingham NEC/Airport Premier Travel Inn
City Inn Birmingham
Campanile Hotel - Birmingham
Copthorne Hotel Birmingham
Birmingham Great Barr Hotel
Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport
The Norfolk Hotel
Portland Hotel
Ye Olde Station Guest House Birmingham, Shustoke
Days Inn Birmingham East
Britannia Hotel Birmingham
Macdonald Burlington Hotel
Best Western The Westley Hotel
Central Guest House
Express by Holiday Inn Birmingham Castle Bromwich
Heath Lodge Hotel
Express by Holiday Inn Birmingham NEC
Novotel Birmingham Airport
Hagley Court Hotel
Apollo Hotel
Corus hotel Birmingham South
Bridge House Hotel
Fairlawns At Aldridge(Best Western)
RAMADA BIRMINGHAM (FORMERLEY DAYS HOTEL)
Express by Holiday Inn Birmingham Oldbury M5, Jct.
Novotel Birmingham Centre
Paragon Hotel
Thistle Birmingham City
Birmingham Edgbaston
Jurys Inn Birmingham
Premier Apartments Birmingham
The Edgbaston Palace Hotel

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How to Make African Safaris an Affordable Vacation For You by Frederic Pittman

An African Safari is the vacation of a lifetime. Make sure you choose your tour company wisely as there is a lot of difference between tour operators. Looking for great value? Ask a travel agent to keep an eye out for African Safari special offers to find exclusive tours at unbeatable prices. Or if you have some extra time, surf the internet for a few weeks before booking so that you get a good idea of the tours being offered. Safaris, aside from the airfare, are not much more expensive than other guided tours unless you take the luxury option, and it's bound to be an unforgettable vacation.

Safaris to the Kruger Park, which is roughly the size of a small country, are always popular. This area of Africa has seen human habitation for roughly 40,000 years. Indigenous populations coexisted in balance with the local game, but after Europeans arrived and began to hunt for trophies, game populations declined drastically due to the uncontrolled slaughter despite hunting laws introduced to South Africa in 1858.

The area first became protected in 1989, just before the Boer War, after a campaign by Paul Kruger to establish the Sabi game reserve between the Sabi and Crocodile rivers. After the Boer War ended in 1902, the James Stevenson-Hamilton was appointed warden of the Sabi Game Reserve, and formal protection and rebuilding of game stocks was instituted. Stevenson-Hamilton became determined to protect the area permanently by making it a national park. After much lobbying, he succeeded. The national parks act was passed in 1926 and the Sabi and Singwitsi reserves (by then the Transvaal Game Reserve) became the Kruger National Park.

It took a few years before visitors discovered the park. In 1927, a total of 3 tourist vehicles ventured into the park, bringing in an income of 3 pounds. By 1930, there were 900 vehicles roaming on the 500 kilometres of new roads in the park, and staying in the huts and tents that could accommodate up to 700 people. Stevenson-Hamilton was an outdoorsman who disapproved of luxurious facilities, and he attempted to maintain a rustic atmosphere. However, when he left, accommodations were upgraded and the park became a reknowned destination for tourists from all around the world.

By 1955, visitors flocked to the park in numbers exceeded 10,000 a year, prompting extensive development of roads and tourist services along with the fencing of the park boundaries. During peak holiday season, such as Christmas, Easter and July, the park can be quite crowded. There is now a daily limit to number of visitors, so if you must travel in peak season, reserve well ahead of time.

Adjacent to the Kruger on its Western Boundary are a number of private game reserves, including the Sabi Sand, Timbavati and Manyeleti. Kruger Park Safaris offer a huge variety and density of wildlife, as well as a wide range of safari experiences. You'll never be able to see the whole park in just one tour. Safaris include everything from tented walking safaris and self-driving safaris to ultra-luxurious fly-in safaris. Kruger Park holds hundreds of lodges for different tastes and budgets.

The Kruger Park is a year-round destination, but there is a seasonal difference in climate. The dry season (winter) is usually between May and August, although rainfall starts declining in April and is still fairly low in September and October. This is the best season to see game, as permanent waterholes attract animals, the vegetation becomes thinned out, and trees have fewer leaves to obstruct the view. Winter has warm days and chilly nights. The average maximum temperatures is around 24 degrees in winter, and the average minimum is about 8 or 9 degrees, although it can drop as far as 5 degrees. It is important to bring along a warm jacket for early morning and evening game tours.

The wet season (summer), is from November to March. This is when the Kruger Park receives most of its rainfall, usually in dramatic afternoon thundershowers. The weather is hot and balmy, with Average maximum temperatures of about 30 degrees Celcius, with an average minimum of 20 degrees. The summer grass and foliage becomes lush and green, and while this makes for beautiful scenery, it can also make game viewing difficult. Also, animals no longer concentrate around waterholes because there are now widespread sources of water.

However, for birdwatchers, the wet season is the ideal time to visit the Kruger Park, as this is when the migrating birds arrive, and when all the local birds are at their most active. The Makuleke region of the park is renowned for its many species of birds, and visitors may see exotic specimens such as Scarlet Chested Sunbirds, Broadbilled Rollers, Redheaded Weavers, Wattle-eyed Flycatchers and owls, such as the Pels Fishing Owl, the Scops, Whitefaced, Pearl-Spotted and Giant Eagle Owls.

The wet season is also the best time to see baby animals, as most animals calve at the beginning of the rainy season to take advantage of the lush grazing grounds.

Luxury resorts in and around the Kruger Park are not cheap, but offer services such as massages, reflexology and room service for guests who like to remain within the bounds of civilization while still having an opportunity to take day tours and see game.

Overland Safaris in a tour group are the most economical way to see Kruger Park. These group tours are a great way to meet like-minded eco-tourists and enjoy a genuine outdoor experience. Both camping and hotel options are available.

The bush of the Kruger Park can also be experienced on hiking tours. These walks are conducted in parts of the region not accessible to vehicles, including the spectacular Lanner Gorge.


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Key Largo - A Floridian Paradise by Robert Guthrie

Key Largo is an island in the Florida Keys archipelago and one of the largest of its islands. Key Largo is a popular tourist destination and calls itself the "Diving Capital of the World". Tourists enjoy Key Largo's scuba diving and sports-fishing. Key Largo's proximity to the Everglades also makes it a premier destination for kayakers and ecotourists

Key Largo Florida. Even the name invokes a feeling of a tropical paradise. Key Largo was the first of the Florida Keys resort towns. Now Key Largo is called the dive capital of the world. But there is much more to Key Largo than only scuba and skin diving.

Key Largo has the world's largest artificial reef, the 510-foot USS Spiegel Grove and is home to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef. The waters surrounding Key Largo are a National Marine Sanctuary, guaranteeing the best, most pristine waters available for your pleasure at the Stephen Frink Underwater State Park.

Here you can see the world Christ of the Abyss underwater statue famous while taking a glass bottom boat from Key Largo.

There are many opportunities to fish around Key Largo, both salt and fresh water. For the more adventurous, Key Largo offers kayaking, swimming with the dolphins, air boat rides and everglades tours.

On the other hand, my favorite Key Largo activity; kicking back with a tropical beverage and doing nothing at all but watching the beautiful sunsets.

The Key Largo Chamber of Commerce likes to say this: "Come stay in Legendary Key Largo, where reality ends and tranquility begins". I cannot blame them for expressing those sentiments.

Key Largo is the gateway and first stopping off point for a trip to the Florida Keys. Key Largo is only a short drive from Miami but is a world away. Nevertheless, that does not mean that you have to give up any of the amenities of a world-class resort area. Key Largo has a huge range of accommodations.

If five star luxuries is your desire, Key Largo has it. If you are more interested in a self-contained vacation, there are even private home and bungalow rentals in Key Largo. Bed and breakfast suit your fancy?

Key Largo goes out of its way to accommodate your needs. All budgets and all choices are available in Key Largo. Key Largo also has a wide array of RV and camping sites if that is your pleasure.

Great choices also apply to the activities you may want to pursue. In Key Largo, you can take a charter or rent your own boat and snorkel on nearby exotic reefs. On the other hand, you can dive some of the sunken wrecks that dot the undersea landscape at Key Largo.

If land based activities are more to you liking, Key Largo is nest to the Florida Everglades, where you can, take an airboat tour, see the bird sanctuary, or visit an alligator farm.


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