As one of Europe’s hottest – and most exciting – cultural hotspots, Spain is a popular summer holiday destination for tourists from the UK and beyond.
However, whether you’re keen to explore parts of Spain that you’ve never visited before or you’re a novice to the joys of Spanish culture, it’s important to figure out which areas of the country you’d most like to visit. After all, each area of Spain affords different opportunities to people with different interests – so ensure you make the right option when it comes to your holiday!
For instance, if you’re seeking a cosmopolitan city with a vibrant cultural scene, you’ll love Barcelona. Rent a holiday villa in Barcelona and you’ll be able to enjoy the buzz that surrounds Spain’s second largest city. Take a walk around the city and explore its stunning Gaudi architecture, as well the spectacular churches of the Gothic Quarter. Visitors to Barcelona will also be able to enjoy a range of museums: the Museum of the City of Barcelona, for instance, includes access to underground Roman ruins, while The Football Museum located near Barcelona’s Nou Camp football stadium is one of the city’s most visited attractions.
Alternatively, why not take a holiday in Andalucía and explore the region’s rich historical heritage and stunning coastal landscape? Rent a holiday villa in Cadiz and you’ll find yourself in the midst of one of Spain’s most stunning coastal towns. As the oldest continuously-inhabited city in Western Europe, Cadiz boasts breathtaking sandy beaches and clear blue seas. Every year, the city also plays host to the Carnival of Cadiz, one of the world’s best known carnivals. And while you’re in Andalucía, take the opportunity to visit the Alhambra in Granada and the Grand Mosque in Cordoba – two of the most spectacular monuments of Spain’s Moorish past.
And if you’re planning a party holiday to Spain, you’ll love the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands of Spain. Whether you’re hoping to head to Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Menorca or the ever popular Ibiza, you’ll be able to experience some of the best nightlife in Spain. What’s more, if you’re planning to rent a holiday apartment in the Mediterranean islands of Spain, you won’t be disappointed: these party locations are home to some of the best holiday villas in Spain, so you’ll be able to party and sleep in style!
Ultimately, if you’ve traveled around Spain’s most popular tourist hotspots and you’re looking for a Spanish holiday destination that’s off the beaten track, why not visit Bilbao? The primary city in the Basque Country of Spain, Bilbao is home to a range of museums, fabulous architecture and Spain’s Guggenheim Museum. Or if you’re a keen food fan, take a trip to Valencia – the city that invented paella! Every March, Valencia hosts the festival Fallas, in which the local neighburhoods of Valencia build large paper maché constructions that can represent a range of issues or interests. Rent a holiday villa in Valencia during Fallas and you’ll be able to bask in the buzz of the city and take delight in Fallas’ spectacular firework display! So even if you’ve been to Spain before, you can rest assured that you’ll always find new things that will draw you back to this beautiful country.
About the Author
Andrew Regan is an online, freelance journalist who lists travelling and rugby among his interests.
Lake Tahoe is shared by two states, California and Nevada, with two-thirds of the lake located in California and one-third in Nevada. It is situated between the Sierra Nevada and the Carson Range and is surrounded by very large mountainous peaks. It is the eighth largest lake in the world.
The water is crystal clear (99.1 percent pure) and visibility at times measures two-hundred feet deep. It has its own natural filtering system with water filtered through marshes and meadows before running into the lake.
Sixty-three streams and two hot springs feed the lake and make it popular for fishing. Trout and salmon are the natural inhabitants. Mackinaw and Rainbow Trout are found in the waters of Lake Tahoe. Shore fishing is popular, but the Mackinaw Trout are best found at two-hundred foot levels. The Kokanee Salmon is a sport fish, hard to catch and presents a real challenge for the sport fisherman. Lake Tahoe’s fishing season is open year-round and either a California or Nevada fishing license is required.
Lake Tahoe is considered one of the favorite vacation and recreation places, with over two million visitors a year. Summer is the peak season (July 4th through September 1st). It offers the best outdoor activities and entertainment. Hiking, biking, water sports, golfing, camping, fishing and rock climbing are just a few of the outdoor activities enjoyed by visitors to this area.
There are several sandy beaches where sun bathing and swimming can be enjoyed, with even a nude beach for those so inclined. Age requirement on this beach is eighteen years.
There are several areas where visitors can take short hikes, but be aware that proper clothing is required due to possible weather changes. A wilderness hike is available that takes you through the desolate wilderness. It is twelve and one-half miles long with nature in the raw. High water stream crossings and sudden stormy weather can happen any time. A permit is required to take this hike.
Winter sports include skiing (downhill and cross-country), snowmobile and ice skating. The ski slopes have fifteen downhill and twelve cross-country ski ranges. This is the largest ski resort in the United States. Over half of the winter visitors to Lake Tahoe go there to ski.
Rock climbing is done in Bear Valley located in Central High Sierra Nevada, at Phantom Spires and Sugarloaf on South Lake Tahoe. Sugarloaf has a pitch of approximately 350 feet and is a popular climbing site in the winter, while Bear Valley offers climbs no higher than 100 feet. Phantom Spires’ climbing is steep and best climbed in early summer through fall season.
In addition to the outdoor activities, Lake Tahoe boasts some of the best casino hotels around – Caesars, Harrah’s, Harvey’s and Horizon. The casinos present top-notch entertainers year-round and have outdoor concerts in the summer. You can expect world class accommodations at the hotel casinos at Lake Tahoe with luxurious guest rooms, fine dining in their restaurants, swimming pools, spas and, of course, the casinos. Casinos are open twenty-four hours a day with some of the best gaming tables. The accommodations for Harrah’s and Harvey’s have been awarded the AAA Four-Diamond award.
Yes, the casino hotels even have wedding chapels with an experienced staff to help in planning a wedding, reception and honeymoon package. The chapels are beautifully designed and make a lovely setting for a wedding. Bridal suites are also available in the hotels.
So, whether you want outdoor activities or just simply enjoy the luxurious casino hotels, Lake Tahoe is definitely a place to consider for your next vacation.
About the Author
Michael Russell is your Independent guide to Lake Tahoe
A discussion of top notch golf courses is a lot different than a discussion of favorite golf courses. Although each golfer might have his own favorite, there are a few that have always stood out.
Anyone with a serious interest in golf will have heard of St. Andrews in Scotland. This is not only a Mecca for serious golfers, but is also where the game originated. St. Andrews is really a whole series of different world class courses that surround the town and run along the rugged Scottish coast near the town of St. Andrews. Although some of the courses are over 100 years old, there are some new and modern courses mixed in for variety. Despite year round play, these courses are among the best maintained in the World. It appears that the Scotch have the experience to do this job correctly. They are known for hosting the British Open.
The courses at St. Andrews are across an ocean which poses a slight disadvantage for the American golfer and many who make this journey are a bit shocked by the higher costs and green fees here. Most people are too blown away by the awesome scenery and the sense of golfing history to notice and the thrill of playing St. Andrews is rarely a disappointment.
The Augusta National Golf Club is another top notch course. It was designed and built in 1933 by golf legend Bobby Jones and has hosted the Masters Golf Tournament since 1934. It is a private club golf course that has been in the news recently for more than just the Master’s Tournament. There are only about 300 members. The membership fees range fro $250,000 to $500,000 a year and in its entire history no female has ever been a member. Although women are allowed to play the course as guests of members, they are restricted from membership. This caused a bit of a stink recently as the National Organization for Women put pressure on the club to change its policy.
Pebble Beach in California is like St. Andrews in Scotland. It is not just one golf course, but rather a series of top notch golf courses all in one location. Pebble Beach could be better called a golf destination than a course. There are seven public or private courses located at Pebble Beach. The Pebble Beach Golf Links is one of the public courses and is possibly the most top notch course in America. It is the one of only two courses in America to make the top of the “best courses” list in Golf Digest.
St. Andrews, Augusta, and Pebble Beach might be the most top notch golf courses in the World, although another writer might pick another for this list. In the end, the choice might be personal. The most top notch course in the world, to an individual, might be where they shot their first par or even where they first learned to play and love the game.
About the Author
Aazdak Alisimio writes about golf courses for GolfClubCourse.com.
A vacation is a great get away for one and all and when the vacation is in Orlando, one’s heart beats that much faster in anticipation. Orlando is universally acclaimed as the hottest destination for a vacation. No American Dream is complete without a visit to Disney Land and a brush with the celluloid world at Universal Studios. Well, one cannot visit either without going to Orlando. Orlando is fondly and aptly nicknamed ‘The city beautiful’, thanks to its numerous theme parks, resorts and entertainment attractions which play no mean role in helping to rank it as one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. This being the case, tourism has become the driving force for the area’s flourishing economy.
Although Orlando is a hub of tourist activity and abuzz with happenings for a dozen reasons , the single most factor that makes young and old alike gravitate towards it for vacations is the universal favorite Disney Land. Having opened way back in 1971 it created grounds for unprecedented economic growth which catapulted Orlando to its present day popularity as the ultimate fun spot for a vacation.
Generally, vacationers love to visit Orlando during Spring Break, Easter, Thanksgiving and the December holidays. It is definitely an added edge to a vacation spot when one can reach it not only by land or take the air route but also throw in a cruise for better effect because although Orlando is not a sea port it has a cruise terminal not more than a couple of hour’s drive away from it.
The city’s well equipped hotels and spas are well tuned to the needs of vacationers and cram their days in Orlando with as much fun as possible by designing special packages to include the maximum sight seeing tours, excursions and all that Orlando has to offer to accommodate every budget and to suit the needs of every age group right from the all out for fun youngsters to the discerning and artistically inclined. Also on the must -see list are the Patrick Air Force Base, The Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and The Kennedy Space Center which is approximately an hour’s drive East of Orlando.
Vacations to this part of the world are replete with visits to malls, concerts, restaurants, spas, music shows, swimming, art and culture exhibitions and golf for golfers apart from the usual round of trips to the innumerable theme and amusement parks. All in all, a vacation in Orlando is a complete holiday experience which fulfills the senses, enriches the soul whether one is a single or married with kids.
Every vacationer wants to return home with memories of the experience that will help him relive the trip time after time. Adults rely on cameras to capture these memories, but children all too often fall prey to overpriced souvenirs as a poor substitute.
There is a way to help your child bring back vacation memories — without breaking your trip budget. No matter where you travel, free (or low cost) souvenirs are yours for the asking. Your children can collect everything ranging from postcards to placemats. They are available in restaurants, resorts, and attractions, potentially every place your family might stop.
By showing your child the fun of searching for (not just buying) souvenirs, you can involve him in the excitement of seeking out free souvenirs and keep him away from the trinket stands which plague so many tourist attractions.
Your first step begins before the vacation at your neighborhood discount store. Buy each child aninexpensive photo album with adhesive pages. These pages allow small fingers to stick memorabilia in the book, and they will survive several rearrangements before you have to resort to glue or scrapbooking supplies.
Keep an eye out for these souvenirs:
Restaurants : You’ll find special children’s placemats in many family restaurants, often with pictures or a map of local attractions. Free children’s menus, containing a game or a puzzle, are available in many restaurants. And don’t overlook tiny sugar packets with the restaurant’s name or picture on it. These can act as miniature postcards, ready to assume a place in your child’s scrapbook.
Postcards : You can carry home a professional photo of almost any attraction in the world for a little more than the cost of a postage stamp. And if you’ve heard your child complain “I never get any mail,” encourage him to send a postcard home! They’ll act as miniature vacation diaries when you return home, and give returning vacationers a little something to look forward to as well.
Foreign Money: A sample of foreign currency can be a good souvenir and a great way to learn about a country. Foreign coins can be fun to collect and could even interest your child in an entirely new hobby.
Stamps : Similarly, foreign stamps are also an excellent and inexpensive way to bring home souvenirs. Your child will learn about the government, national heroes, and often the national bird and flower through stamps.
This ‘n That: Theme park ticket stubs, museum maps, brochures, and other freebies make fun and colorful additions to your child’s scrapbook.
Nature’s Souvenirs: Uniquely shaped leaves (or ones from trees unlike those you have at home) make great additions to your child’s scrapbook. Also look for small pebbles, bird feathers, small shells, and even a few grains of sand to help bring home those vacation memories.**
Whether you’re in Arizona for a vacation or for a wedding, you will be pleasantly surprised to discover Sedona.
Sedona is a spiritual and sought-after desert resort destination which features top class accommodations, spas, resorts and lodgings. In fact, Sedona has several highest end AAA Four Diamond resorts that are well-known around the world.
Take for example,
1. L’Auberge de Sedona is a heaven of casual elegance. This grande resort is on Conde Nast’s Gold List as one of the top places to stay in the world. The spa at the L’Auberge de Sedona is world famous. Visitors can experience a relaxing treatment in one of four spa rooms, in the luxurious comfort of their own guest room, or, as the resort lies alongside Oak Creek, guests may enjoy their treatment in a secluded, open, creek-side canaba. Imported treats can be included to enhance the spa experience. The resort L’Auberge de Sedona also boasts an exclusive wine cellar, and offers spectacular & luxurious weddings.
Adobe Grand Villas is a second luxurious AAA Four Diamond resort. The Adobe Grand Villas are well-known for its grand scale accommodation of large open villas, each uniquely decorated with its own desert theme. The villas feature a living room, one or two bedrooms and a bathroom. The villa accommodations have private balconies. There is a pool, a spa, and of course fantastic views all around. Luxury amenities include fireplace, waterfall showers, large whirlpool tubs, and electric bread makers plus supplies of complimentary breakfast, appetizers, and pastry. This Sedona resort is known for supplying grande weddings. This 4 diamond resort is located at walking distance from downtown Sedona for shopping and dining. However, personal chefs are on site for hire.
Last, but not least, is the prestigious Amara Resort and Spa. Its spa facilities are extensive and laid out on 4000 sq foot of loveliness. Its spa services of massage, facial, hair, nails, wraps are classic, while they come with Indonesian infusion. The resort features 100 luxurious guest rooms. Its well-known restaurant ‘The Gallery on Oak Creek’ offers a Sedona Haute Cuisine experience to its guests.
It’s hard to say which is my favorite. I guess, you’ll have to try them all.