Destinations Travel Deals

Give the tourist rush a miss by exploring the awesome outdoors of Tenerife

The most populated island in all of Spain and the largest of the seven Canary Islands, Tenerife is an effervescent hub for tourism and activity.

With great connectivity thanks to the many flights to Tenerife, you will have no problem in reaching this beautiful and at times, breathtaking island.

But considering both the population here and the simple fact that over 5 million tourists visit it on an annual basis, it can be a pretty crowded place indeed, if you do not know exactly where to go to find some peaceful stay.

With events like the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which is one of the largest carnivals in the world, escaping the crowd might be the best way to explore the hidden beauty of this mesmerizing island.

There are plenty of ways you can do this and avoid the usual tourist package of fancy hotels, expensive stays and lovely evenings that are bound by time next to the pool. The island is blessed with wide variety of geographical features that include gorgeous valleys and ravines, the Dorsal Mountain Range that is spread across Tenerife, the spectacular and uneven contours of the massifs and awe-inspiring rock formation thanks to the volcanic nature of this fabulous island. You can also explore the vast protected area (which pretty much makes up almost half of entire Tenerife) which includes the wild beauty of the famous Parque Nacional del Tiede natural forest.

In case you are someone who prefers the wind and waves and the white sandy beaches to the vast stretches of green and imposing mountains, then the rugged coastline has plenty to offer as well. The Montañas Negras in the North-West along with the many rock climbing spots at Mount Tiede will entice adventure sport enthusiasts. From crowded carnivals, to idyllic walkways, Tenerife is a getaway where you can find everything; if you only know where to look!

Destinations

Seoul: Capital of Design

Forget Tokyo. Fans of design have made it clear that one of their preferred destinations is Seoul. Competing with Milan and New York, the capital of South Korea was elected the World Design Capital year. From 17 September until 17 October, the Seoul Design Fair is an event which attracts plenty of visitors — we’re talking a few millions in here.

Destinations

Patagonia: Wine-therapy in Argentinta

A decade ago, a group of adventurers discovered a corner to cultivate fertile grape-vine in Patagonia, San Patricio del Chanar, launching into quality wine production, Black: Merlot, Cabernet and Pinot. To convince yourself just go to Bodega del Fin del Mundo or Enoteca Valle Perdido. Besides tasting, visitors can stay in the 18 rooms available and can avail of the spa that specializes in treatments based on grapes.

Destinations

Algarve among top travel destinations for 2012

If you are a travel enthusiast, then you must be familiar with  Faro and Algarve. The southernmost region of Portugal is renowned for being one of the top travel destinations not just in Europe, but also on the planet. Known for its amazing coastline, wonderful beaches, limestone formations and exotic caves, the region is the third richest in all of Portugal and tourism is the driving force behind its thriving economy.

With economies across the world now starting to get back on track and people far more willing to once again spend cash on luxury vacations, the tourism industry is gaining momentum and the experts at New York Times believe that Algarve is among the best places to visit this year. The region has something for everyone thanks to its mild climate year round and booming luxury hotel industry that is only expanding by the day.

The city of Faro is the ‘seat of the Faro District’ and capital of the Algarve region and the place where your trip kick-starts. Around 7 million international tourists visit the region each year and the best way to get here is obviously flying to Faro. The region is very well connected and flights operate on a daily basis from various parts of Europe and even across the Atlantic.

The limestone caves around Lagos, unending fun on the many beaches and the delectable cuisine, along with this amazing connectivity and the safety of the region make it the tourist hotspot that it is. With a total of 10 million tourists each year and many expatriates from countries like the US, Germany, Britain and Holland coming to spend retirement years here, Algarve tourism industry can only experience an upswing in the years to come.

How about you tell us if the NYT was right or not? Pay Algarve a visit and let us know in the comments below!

Travel Deals

Top 5 Money saving tips to book a cheap holiday

The holiday season is not too far off and if you are seriously thinking about having a great trip that will be both memorable and affordable, this is the time to book your travel. Here are a few money-saving tips, which will help you plan your dream holiday on a budget.

Take advantage of the off season:
You don’t need to travel during the peak holiday seasons. Different parts of the globe have different time periods and seasons where tourist traffic is at its peak. Not only are flight charges higher during this time, but so are hotel rates and prices of other amenities. That is precisely why it is best to enjoy the off-season when there is no rush.

Do not book tickets too early or too late:
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is booking airline tickets way too early. You will not get any great discounts by booking tickets well in advance. Best time to book is approximately 3 months in advance.

Pick hotels smartly:
If you are planning a very small vacation and you would be out for most of the time, then there is no point in opting for a lavish room with expansive hotel TV systems, stylish and luxurious interiors and world-class facilities. Pick something that is both economical and provides the minimum facilities needed.

Look for attractive travel packages:
Instead of picking and booking each of them separately, opt for a travel package from one of the leading travel sites of agencies, which adhere to both quality and relative flexibility. Do double check though on the authenticity of the deals and reliability of the sites before shelling out hard earned cash.

Alternate travel and cheap flight dates:
For domestic travel and holidays, there are far better ways to go around than just flights and often trains and buses can be a lot more fun as you can enjoy the journey as well. Apart from that, surveys show that Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are the cheapest days to book flights; something everyone can take advantage of…

Air Travel

Southwest credits AirTran Airways for its new services at Des Moines International Airport

One of the industries to have taken the biggest hit in the last few years is the aviation sector. The global economic squeeze along with struggling companies, fewer jobs and pay cuts across the board have resulted in individuals and companies drastically reducing their spendings on trips and holidays.

This along with the several fold increase in fuel rates has left many reeling, but the road to recovery might have just started with many airlines starting to find their feet once again and economies on their way back up.

Southwest Airlines are one of those who seem to be doing ‘just fine’ as they made their entry into the Iowa market riding on the wings of AirTran Airways. The integration of both Southwest and AirTran has meant that new avenues have opened up for both and at the end of the day it is the consumer who benefits the most from it. With AIrTran already having a presence in the state of Iowa, the new service between Des Moines International Airport and Chicago’s Midway International Airport was only a matter of time.

The new expansion from Southwest connects the people of the region with their largest service in the country and with two daily flights now on offer, one can expect greater connectivity and quality service that is better than ever before. While the services of AirTran previously offered just 100 seats, the merger sees Southwest flying a Boeing 737 into Iowa, which will offer 274 seats each day, all seven days of the week.

This definitely great news for business travelers, who now need not wait and change over several flights to reach their destination and will have an easy access to Chicago, from where they can easily fly to any other domestic and international destination. Great news for the people of Des Moines indeed!

Destinations

The Goblin Valley in Utah

 

We walk in the Goblin Valley, as complete strangers, probably overshadowed by so many American landscapes. The Goblin hoodoos or fairy chimneys, are actually the erosion-resistant rock tops that left standing after the softer lime stones got eroded.

Hoodoos in Goblin prevail all across the valley forming a unique landscape and a rounded so that resemble giant mushrooms (rather than goblins which gave the valley its name).

Goblin Valley State Park is located in Utah, United States, and you can tour through three marked trails. It is an arid environment with limited wildlife.

 

Destinations

Relaxing in Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

 

Located just two hours by car from Boston, Lake Winnipesaukee has been one of the most popular vacation spots in New England for years. Much of the lake is full of houses worth millions of dollars.

An example is this vacation home in Lake Winnipesaukee which has a price tag of $1.6 million. It has 4 rooms and 3.5 bathrooms. This contemporary property overlooking the lake has a master suite with vaulted ceiling and a living room with walls of glass that allows residents to enjoy the views of the nearby Belknap mountain. Other features include granite ledges, art appliances, a fireplace and a professionally landscaped garden.

Earlier this year, sellers subtracted  $100,000 its price, making it an even more attractive. Rents on properties reach about $ 6,000 per month.

Destinations

The Forest with “Superpowers” in California

 

They have curious ways, even somewhat convoluted. They look strong and resilient. They are supertrees, or specifically, long-lived pines, a species that typically reach ages of 100–1,000 years, some even more.

These species just grow in mountains of western North America, in California, Nevada and Utah and are believed to be cloned of the oldest  living organisms in the planet. Often, barely have leaves and even dead trees appear. The simply survive in extreme conditions, so that even as the worse the conditions, they are living longer.

They are found in the White Mountains of the United States, and in certain areas with higher density, eventually form a small forest and in the county of Inyo, eastern California (Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest). The particular species is Pinus Longaeva  or Bristlecone pine,  a type of tree that grows to about 3,000 meters above sea level, sometimes even in the middle of a forest of other species. One of the oldest is about 4,750 years old, a tree dubbed as the “Methuselah Grove”, which is not marked to protect it from vandalism. But even existed there is the oldest tree, which is estimated to be some 5,000 years old.

 

 

Backpacking Destinations

A Walk in the Milford Track

If you want to experience the nature in its purest form, you must venture deep into the jungle. To know more about the nature and its surroundings, you must make it a point to walk your way. The most famous trail ride in New Zealand is called Milford Track, a hiking trail that crosses an area of mountains and temperate rainforest in the Fiordland National Park.

It is one of the most beautiful walks in the world (between glaciers, giant waterfalls, lakes, giant lived trees, steep cliffs between fjords and waterfalls). Of course, no one would forget to bring anything to guard against the moisture and water falling. This area is one of the wettest spots on earth. Southwest of the South Island of New Zealand receives rain between 6,000 and 8,000 millimeters per year, an amount of water that leaves its mark on the landscape with hundreds of “rivers” that fall on steep slopes of the mountains and forests that are saturated mosses and fungi, as in an enchanted landscape.

The points to be joined are the Lake Te Anau, to go north to the area of Milford Sound, or the country’s fjords area famous for its hot mirrored dozens of waterfalls and streams fall in the sea. All the way you cross forests, wetlands, and to a great mountain pass, all in a way that was used by the native Maori and today is one of the tourist attractions of the country. The following is a selection of images from the trip that do not follow a linear path, but rather, they serve to illustrate the incredible scenery that can wait for those experiencing the place.

To start the journey, we must start from Te Anau, a small town by the lake. Mostly between October and April, you can cover most of the routes north and over four days, sleeping in cabins in specially delimited areas managed by the Department of Conservation. Only allowed a maximum of 90 hikers a day, so it is important to book months in advance.

 

 

Destinations

Traveling to Costa de la Luz (Cadiz)

 

The Costa de la Luz is known as the coast with the most beautiful beaches in Europe. Snow-white sea areas will help tourists unwind as they enjoy the constant breeze and gentle waves of the Atlantic. And Tarifa Africa seems close enough to touch.

Two provinces share this beautiful piece of earth: From Tarifa just talked to Sanlucar de Barrameda which is translated as the “Coast of Light” in Cadiz , the other part – from the mouth of the Guadalquivir River to Portugal – is the province of Huelva.

With over 300 days of annual sunshine, the name Costa de la Luz really suits because the yellow celestial bodies never seem to go down here. Places like Conil de la Frontera, Rota or Sanlúcar act sleepy and fewer tourists visit than its neighbors on the famous Costa del Sol .

West of the provincial capital Cádiz primarily speaks Spanish. The Germans seek their recovery especially around Novo Sancti Petri and Conil de la Frontera. Those who likes stormy place and the waves for kite surfing, surfing and sailing needs of keep their best at Tarifa, Barbate or Zahora. The lighthouse at Cap de Trafalgar is basically the dividing line between Bath and active holiday.

The villages on the coast and in the hinterland are full of history: Cadiz is the oldest city in the Western world, Conil counts with Vejer, Medina and Tarifa to the white villages . In Jerez, El Puerto de Santa Maria and Cadiz are the famous sherry at home. Trips away from the beaches do not only leave formative impressions but it also relaxes the soul.