Monday, January 13, 2014

Things to Do In and Around Pula, Croatia

When most people travel to Croatia the tendency is to flock to the popular tourist centres of Dubrovnik and Split - or maybe go partying on the island of Hvar...but while all these are great places to visit and should not be ignored, if you're looking for something more relaxed and serene why not try visiting Pula and the surrounding area of Istria? Here are a few of my pictures of things to do in and around Pula....

Visit the Amphitheatre

Pula's most famous landmark is genuinely impressive, and one of the worlds largest and best preserved amphitheatres - plus its less hassle than Rome!

If you have kids, then one of the live Gladiator shows is a must see - and fun for big kids too even if just to soak up the atmospheric building in evening time. :-)

Visit the Brijuni National Park

A short trip from Pula are the 14 islands that make up the Brijuni National Park. This place offers a wealth of activities for all ages and is one of the most naturally beautiful places in the region.

If you're feeling fit you can hire a bike for the day and enjoy the dusty trails on the islands..

There is also a great nature reserve and zoo!

Historical ruins to explore....

and scenery to die for...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Discovering Amsterdam's Artwork

Europe is a haven for art lovers. From London to Paris, Prague to Stockholm, the continent is home to some of the most inspiring destinations for artists in the world.

The Dutch capital, Amsterdam, is no exception. The streets of the city are dotted with some of the finest art galleries in Europe, as this map below aptly demonstrates. Feel free to explore by zooming in and clicking the interactive pointers.

View Amsterdam Art in a larger map

Arriving and Staying in Amsterdam

Home to one of the busiest airports in Europe, Amsterdam is one of the most accessible cities in the world. Schiphol Airport is only 6 miles away, and hundreds of flights to Amsterdam  land there every single day.

Schiphol is also a great destination for art lovers on their way home, as one of Amsterdam’s biggest museums Rijksmuseum has a small spin off exhibition in the airport.  Located after passport control, the attraction is free of charge and a great opportunity to get your final art fix before you leave.

Schiphol airport is only a 20 minute train ride from the city centre, so you can get stuck right into the action shortly after you land. If you are really keen on immersing yourself in Amsterdam’s many galleries, try booking a room near Museumplien, which is home to the city’s most iconic museums such as Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum. Alternatively, look for accommodation slightly further north in the city centre to be closer to some of the more off-beat, contemporary galleries.

Exploring Amsterdam’s Galleries

If you haven’t been in Amsterdam before, you should probably start in Museumplien. The hint is in the name, literally meaning “museum square”, because it has some of the biggest museums in the city. If you were to choose one museum in this area, visit Stedelijk. Recently reopened after quite a substantial renovation, it is one of the most important exhibition spaces for modern art in The Netherlands today, and where you will find some of the most popular contemporary pieces in Amsterdam.

After you have endured the crowds at Museumplien, head north towards the city centre and experience some of the smaller, but equally inspiring, galleries. On the Hazenstraat is the Witzenhausen Gallery, which hosts a wide selection of contemporary pieces that deal with a variety of issues such as relationships, love and society. With a sister exhibition space in New York, it is an international institution that hosts a lot of interesting pieces from artists all over the world.

A five minutes’ walk away is the Galerie Fons Welters on the Bloenstraat, which showcases work from more up and coming artists in Amsterdam. The front part of the gallery hosts a space called “Playstation”, which gives younger artists the opportunity to showcase their work. It’s a worthwhile stop for anyone who likes to keep their eyes open for new talent.

Whatever your taste in art, Amsterdam will have a gallery for you. Feel free to explore the map, but it really only scratches the top of the surface. There are many more exhibition spaces in the city, the best of which you are more likely to find by simply exploring the streets and seeing what you stumble upon. You never know what you might discover!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Best Golf Holiday Destinations in Europe

The ceremony and sportmanship, the years of perfecting that swing, the sound of a well timed strike of club on ball, the feeling of self satisfaction as your well placed approach shot creeps up the green towards the pin, and of course; the unmistakable golf attire. With such unique characteristics, is it any wonder that so many people across the globe can think of no better way to spend their holiday and spare time than down on the golf links?

OK, so admittedly the actual act of playing golf may not necessarily be everyone's cup of tea - but surely even the most avid golf hater could find it hard to argue against the pure visual and aesthetic beauty of these wonderfully manicured and picturesque golf courses. If you are lucky enough to be able to get a round, these superb European courses  must rank amongst the continent's finest golfing holiday destinations as well as remaining a source of envy for greenkeepers around the world.


Few UK based golfers can resist the allure of packing there bags and jetting off for a golfing holiday at one of the many great golf resorts available across the coast of Spain and dotted around the regions Balearic Islands. With a much greater assurance of sunshine and more tolerable playing conditions there are likely to be fewer climatic conditions to ruin your round. If the Costa Del Sol is your destination of choice then the  La Cala, Finca Cortesin and San Roque courses offer great options, whilst if Majorca is more your idea of a great holiday you should enquire about visiting the Poniente and Bendinat courses in the West of the island.


For the golfing traditionalists and purists amongst us, a perfect golfing holiday isn't necessarily all about sunshine and exotic locations. For the ultimate golfing experience, a player has to go back to the historical roots of the game which means a trip to Scotland and its many immaculate courses and clubhouses. Whilst only a very select few will have the opportunity to play at the exclusive club at St Andrews , if you have the budget available you may be pleasantly surprised to find that getting a round at the stunning PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles may yet be within your grasp - but ensure you enquire well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Beyond Europe: Exploring India and the Beauty of Goa

Goa is a particularly interesting area in India. Many foreigners live here, making it a cosmopolitan province and is popular with tourists. Whenever tourists think of Goa, they think of the beach life that is found in this coastal province. Why wouldn't they anyway. Goa’s culture makes its beach life particularly attractive to foreigners. It is more westernised than other provinces in the country, partly because of its heavy Portuguese influence.

The world-renowned beaches of Goa provide a relaxing location for peace and quiet, as well as great spots for water sports. Beaches such as the Arambol Beach are famous for its hippy crowd. If you are into yoga, meditation, reki and the likes, you should visit this beach area. For the party crowd, head over to the northern beach of Anjuna. Here, you will find trance parties, hippies, music, and an energetic crowd to top it all up. However, if you are looking for a quiet experience, Baga and Morjim Beach, are good options. It is advisable, however, to look for beaches on the southern part of Goa if you want quiet and seclusion. In all these areas you can find affordable accommodation, as you’d expect in India! Choose from backpacker hostels, cheap hotels like the Holiday Inn in Goa or luxury 5 star hotels that come with all the trimmings.

But Goa is so much more than just the beaches. Despite being the smallest province in India, it still has a sizeable area to offer delightful experiences. As stated earlier, the area has a lot of Portuguese influence. As a result, there are quite a number of ancient Portuguese buildings around worth touring. The Fort Aguada is one of the most famous structures in Goa. The streets of Panjim, Goa’s capital, also bear signs of the Portuguese architecture especially in the Sao Tome area. What’s more, a visit to Old Goa, also known as Golden Goa, reveals the full extent of the former colonial power’s influence. Grand churches stand along this glorious section of the city. The SE Cathedral, for example, is an imposing structure, complete with tapestry and paintings influenced by Portuguese royalty. There are many other ancient churches in this area too.

Even with Portuguese structures, Goa still has Indian culture. There are temples, shrines, and festivals that are much like the rest of the country. The local festivals are colorful affairs, with vibrant street processions to celebrate. Even though Goa has a more relaxed lifestyle compared to the rest of the country, festivals are still very exciting affairs.

You can learn more about Goa in its museum areas. The different museums here focus on different aspects of Goa’s history. The Museum of Goa Daman & Diu showcases the archaeological side of Goa, complete with Hindu relics. The Archaeological Museum of Goa leans toward the Portuguese influence of Goa. Other museums in the area also include the Naval Aviation Museum, not forgetting the Menezes Braganza, both of which highlight a special aspect of Goa’s history and culture.

One of the undiscovered gems in Goa is its nature. While most come here for the beach life, they miss out on some of the interesting wildlife on offer. The area boasts of a national park, five wildlife sanctuaries and even a bird sanctuary for aviary lovers. These areas form enjoyable alternatives to going to the beach.
Whatever you choose to do, there’s no doubt you’ll love Goa. With something everyone set in a beach paradise, there’s nowhere quite like it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Beautiful British Holidays in the Lake District

For a break from the fast paced lifestyle of the UK’s cities, many flee to the serene and breathtaking surroundings of the Lake District. Many people look for travel destinations outside the United Kingdom, though there are many destinations within the UK that will make for a phenomenal holiday. The beautiful Lake District is one such destination. Tourists that come here are lured to this magnificent gem as it is close enough to reach for many local visitors but still far enough away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Things to do
The Lake District has gained popularity with people from all walks of life seeking a relaxing holiday near the lakes shores. Activities here include water sports and adrenalin adventures such as canoeing, kayaking and wind surfing. However for people looking for something quieter there are various parks and trails that you can go on either on foot or your bicycle. This will give you the opportunity to take in the scenery amongst the natural beauty of the lake and surrounding wooded area.

Family Fun
A holiday in the beautiful Lake District is ideal for the whole family. There are many activities appropriate for all ages. Children can go swimming, biking and hiking in the area. Since many families flock there every year, accommodation in the Lake District is usually child friendly and hence comfortable and safe. For families that are more adventurous, there are various campsites that will give you the opportunity to have some outdoor fun with the family.

Couple’s retreat
This is also a great destination for a couple looking for a romantic break. There are many quaint cottages in the area that would be ideal for a getaway. You can go on long walks scenic surroundings; enjoy multiple couple spa treatments and breathtaking views while having dinner in this picturesque town. There are also many places to go swimming and the evenings provide many fun events to enjoy.

Food and Drink
Apart from the beautiful natural surroundings, the social atmosphere in the area is fun and vibrant. There are many pubs and restaurants where you can go to enjoy a meal after an activity filled day. You’ll be able to find some traditional, wholesome meals as well as experience some fine dining in the local inns and restaurants. Visitors will also find that they are able to buy locally made foods at the farmers markets such as preservatives and breads. One can even travel to the local breweries and try a glass of ale.

Few places can measure up to the beauty that you will find in this area. The lakes, panorama of mountains and hills make it an incredibly rich area to visit. It’s no wonder that so many people travel here to experience it. Not only is it remarkable, it is also filled with history and culture. So, instead of worrying about the stresses of travelling abroad, why not consider a trip in the beautiful British Lake District? It is well worth the effort.

This is a guest post from John at, a guide to the best things to see and do in the Lake District.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Overwater Bungalows: The True Meaning of Luxury

In the world of beach luxury, it doesn't get much better than overwater bungalows. These bungalows are designed with luxury, privacy, and exotic nature in mind. They typically fuse modern facilities with natural material to create beautiful holiday residences. They also sit on top of the ocean, allowing you to enjoy the delights of the sea throughout your stay. These residences are very intimate too, making them the perfect romantic destination.

What facilities to expect 

An overwater bungalow is an en-suite facility. It is designed like a hotel room, with a beautiful bed area, relaxing lounge, along with access to the sea. For more luxurious overwater bungalows, you even have a Jacuzzi and/or swimming pool area overlooking the ocean. For those built over coral reefs, they may have transparent floors that allow you to catch a glimpse of colorful fish and other sea creatures.

Where can they be found?

Most of the world’s overwater bungalows are located in the Asian islands of the Maldives. These beautiful islands are home to a wide assortment of luxury water bungalows run by some of the world’s most prestigious hospitality groups. Bora Bora comes in second, also with a large assortment of beautiful but very expensive bungalows. You can also find them in the Tahiti, Malaysia, Philippines, Caribbean, and Moorea.

Cheap options

For the average traveller, forking out between $800 - $1200 per night to enjoy these fine facilities is way out of their price range. Yet these are prices that are common when browsing through the list of elite overwater bungalow resorts. Fortunately, there are places in the world that you can stay for as low as $150 - $300 and still enjoy these luxurious facilities.

The Golden Palm Tree Sea Villas in Malaysia is the world’s biggest overwater bungalow resort. With a whooping 392 water villas, it quadruples the second largest in the world! This allows the resort to offer much more affordable pricing, as low as $106 per night. The villas themselves are quite large, with some even having 3 bedrooms, great for a family vacation.

Another resort worth looking into is the Medhufushi Island Resort in the Maldives. This 4-star resort offers stunning views, quality amenities, as well as great hospitality at prices that will leave you puzzled. The villas are perched over a beautiful lagoon, and the place receives great reviews. It is surprising therefore when you can pay $274 per night! Other places worth looking at include Meeru Island Resort & Spa in the Maldives, Vilu Reef Beach Resort also in the Maldives, Intercontinental Tahiti Resort, and the Hilton Maldives Irufushi Resort & Spa.

How to choose best overwater bungalow

In order to enjoy your stay, pick the water bungalow according to your needs. If you are looking for privacy, pick one out in the water that is facing the sea rather than the island. Also, if you are not too good at swimming, stick to bungalows that are closer to shore. Ensure that you pick the location properly too. Picking a bungalow in a coral area is great for seeing many different sea creatures, but may be scary for those who don’t want to swim next to unknown sea animals.

This is a guest post from John at

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Advantages of Buying Travel Money Online Prior to Arrival

When backpackers or holidaymakers alike travel to Europe or the UK it is often the case that they will choose to buy the majority if not all of the appropriate local currency on arrival at their chosen destination - be it London, Prague or Paris. Some may also take the option of using a local bureau de change in their hone city or town. However, in both of these instances, travellers may find that the rate of exchange may not be competitive - or that the broker may offer a good rate to entice customers in but then whack on a "service charge" or commission which can regularly stand at around 10%.

With the growth of online shopping in the last decade or so, it is perhaps not surprising to know that a lot of the services that consumers would regularly source locally are also moving to the world wide web - bringing with them similar advantages of reduced overhead and staffing costs which can then be passed on to customers. The travel money exchange market is indeed no exception to this rule - with foreign currency exchange sites now servicing countries across the world from Bahrain to Zimbabwe.

So if you are travelling to Europe this winter to enjoy the holiday season, why not first consider if you could save money by buying foreign currency online in your country of origin before you depart to Europe.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Beautiful Beaches in South Thailand

I have been lucky enough spend around 3 weeks during November 2012 visiting Bangkok, as well as a range of beaches in southern Thailand's beautiful islands. Here are some of my own snaps of a few of my favourites taken on my backpacking travels.

Bhoput Beach (Koh Samui)

Koh Samui is somewhat westernised and touristy these days - but the tiny fishing village of Bhoput still retains a little of its old school charm amongst its small strip of bars and restaurants as well as a beautiful beach.

Sairee Beach (Koh Tao)

Think Thailand, think tropical island paradise, think Kho Tao and dream of Sairee. Divers and snorkellers flood to Kho Tao for its fantastic facilities and wide range of trips in and around this wonderful island, and many find a home from home at the beautiful beach at Sairee.

Klong Dao Beach (Koh Lanta)

My favourite of Thailands "resort" destinations, there can be few better placves to enjoy a beachside sunset than Klong Dao.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hiking Up the Three Peaks in the Yorkshire Dales, UK

Those who love the great outdoors who have a chance to travel to the North of England – particularly if you are staying in or around the Yorkshire Dales National Park – should plan a day visiting the so called “Yorkshire Three Peaks”. As the name suggests, the area comprises of 3 moderate mountains which are part of the famous Pennine range which defines the physical landscape of this area of the UK. The peaks are Whernside (the largest at 736 metres), Ingleborough (second at 723 metres and my personal favourite) and Pen-y-ghent (smallest at 694 metres high).

While scaling all three and the distances between them is certainly not a challenge to be taken on by the faint hearted, it is achievable for the extremely fit who are well prepared, have sufficient time available and attempt the hike in good weather conditions. Most visitors prefer to tackle just one of the slopes – which can be achieved in an afternoon – but be warned even in summer conditions can be cold and wet making outdoor clothing and strong suitable footwear essential.

The photos here are taken on a rare sunny day up in the Dales - which is perhaps the most physically demanding of the peaks due to the very steep steps that are encountered further into the walk.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Great Cycling Holiday Destinations in Europe

Cycling holidays are a great way of seeing some of the most attractive rural landscapes that can be found throughout Europe and also gives the holidaymaker the additional bonus of being able to enjoy Europe's mild summers - whilst getting in a good bit of exercise to boot! Here we examine some of Europe's top cycling holiday destinations:

Cycling in Provence, France

There are fewer areas of greater natural beauty throughout France than Provence - and what better way to get around the area than by bike as you pass through this rich and historic area of Europe. With Roman and medieval settlements to explore, and for the more adventurous; Mount Ventoux to traverse (the highest point in the Provence region). Meanwhile your trip will be broken up nicely with fantastic French food to keep you well fuelled for the next day's ride!

Cycling in Sardinia, Italy

Pack up your mountain bike and rucksack and head off for a great Italian cycling holiday in Sardinia. Enjoy all the ups and downs of this exciting cycling terrain as you head through Supramonte and enjoy all the great unnatural scenery that Sardinia offers visitors from around the world - but make sure you are well filled on the local pasta as these trips are not for the faint hearted!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Photos of Split, Croatia

If you are travelling to Croatia than visiting the city of Split on the Dalmatian coast is an absolute must. And here are some of the reasons why...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rigor or Relaxation – Exploring 2 Sides of Canada Holidays

In this blog I often look to document many of the great holiday destinations that Europe has to offer, but as a traveller of the world it’s always good to look at areas further afield. In this post we examine 2 different sides of holidaying in Canada – a beautiful and expansive country that certainly offers something for everyone, whether you are the all-action outdoor type or looking for a more relaxing holiday experience.

Canada for Adventurers!

If your personal idea of a great holiday is an outdoor, adventurous affair then you can hardly pick a better holiday destination throughout the world than Canada. With miles of rural, untouched landscape to explore Canada offers any intrepid outdoor type enough excitement and appeal to last several lifetimes. The Rocky Mountain range cover an area of approximately 3000 miles – plenty to keep even the most daring of explorers busy – and are perfect for anyone looking for outdoor experiences including fishing, camping, walking and climbing.

A More Relaxing Side of Canada 

Although perhaps not the first destination that springs to mind when many people consider the best holiday destinations to take a cruise break – Canada actually offers some stunning water born experiences. Cruises in the Alaska region offer breath-taking sites and scenery – as well as the opportunity to visit some of the region’s best city destinations such as Vancouver. As you would expect, liners operating in this region offer luxurious service and facilities, making Canada cruises an excellent getaway for those looking for a more relaxing and refined side of Canada.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Exploring North and South Italy by Car

Exploring North and South Italy by Car

Italy is split in two by the Appenini Mountain range and either side of its rocky midriff is a country that’s easy to fall in love with.  Rent a car here and you’re free to explore anywhere in the Bel Paese (Beautiful Country).

The best way to enjoy Italy in its entirety is from the top down, beginning at one of the most loved driving roads in the world – the Stelvio Pass.  Tucked beneath the Swiss border, this awe-inspiring, peaceful and trafficless strip of road can set you off from Bornio, through Parma to the city of Milan – one of the coolest places on the planet.

If you want to skip the raw Italian inland and get straight to the coast, start your holiday in Pisa.  The Leaning Tower isn’t the only draw to the beautiful shoreline city – there’s up to 20% off car hire from Pisa Airport if you book in October.

Go through Holiday Autos Car Hire to get the discount – you can have a two-door mini from £9 a day and it comes with air-con which is a godsend in the Mediterranean heat.  So, once you’re finished driving your mini around the cobbled streets of Pisa’s city centre, re-enacting scenes from the Italian Job, you’re free to head south in style…but don’t enter the Mezzogiorno (Southern Italy) without spending the night in Rome first.


The capital city is just 3.5 hours down the western coastline from Pisa and is home to the mesmerising Colosseum, Spanish Steps and Vatican City.  Rest up for the night in a hotel along the moonlit River Tiber and look forward to experiencing your very own Rome the next day.

You can choose to stay in Rome for the rest of your holiday, with so much to do and see there, nobody could blame you.  Still, if you want to continue south then you have to start the day with a wood-roasted coffee at Sant Eustachio – the best cafĂ© in Rome (and probably Italy). It’s a family-run business founded in 1938 and the device they use for making the coffee has been functioning for over 60 years. Plus it’s just 10 minutes away from Vincenzo alla Lungaretta, a bistro marking the next stop on the tour.

The narrow street isn’t short of street performers and charming rose sellers but it is a nice, secluded spot for some brunch before the big drive out the city and towards the toe of the ‘Big Shoe’ that is Italy.

The South

Southern Italy begins in Naples and becomes even more beautiful and raw the further south you travel.  The beauty of a car rental in Italy is that you can reach this hot, almost tropical side to the country and be back up to Pisa or Milan the next day.

While you’ve got the car, make the most of your time in the south and hit the Amalfi Coast.  Set off in either direction and you’ll be spoilt with paradisiacal scenery: You can visit the Castello di Arechi to get the best views and photos of the Mediterranean possible or park up at Spiaggia Del Fornillo beach, just make sure you’ve packed some towels in the boot. One thing is for sure, before you leave the area get a natural lemonade from a roadside stall – the best thirst quencher ever.

There is far too much of Italy to fit into one blog but hopefully, you’ve got a better idea about just how individually amazing both the north and south can be.  The Apennines split the country down the middle and we’ve only discussed the western side here, travel back up on the East coast and you’ve got a host of Adriatic Sea towns to explore all the way up to Venice – a blog worthy location in itself.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Things to Look for in Holiday Accommodation

Without question central to any holiday experience is accommodation - after all, however grand or humble your options may be, everyone needs a place to stay the night and store their belongings - and whether your budget is large or small its always a key consideration to take into account as part of any travelling experience. Its perfectly natural that whether backpacking on a budget or living the life of luxury, any holidaymaker will always tend to try and find a place to stay that offers the sort of facilities and features that suit their individual needs and tastes - but of course the choice of accommodation must also offer the best value for money relative to how much you can afford to spend. Here we examine what features to look for in your lodgings when travelling Europe and how to get the most out of your money.

Location, Location, Location

When picking accommodation  its proximity to your main places of interest in the area must always be a key consideration. Sure, not everyone who visits Venice can afford to stay on the Grand Canal or in St Mark's square - but there are often cheaper hotels and hostels tucked away in close proximity to major tourist attractions in holiday destinations across Europe that offer great location for little cost.

Search Online for the Best Deals

If money is no object then Europe is indeed your oyster when it comes to first class hotels, but even some accommodation that may seem out of reach to the vast majority of us may be more affordable than you think if you have the time to seek out the best European hotel deals online in advance. Off peak seasons may offer rich pickings for holidaymakers who don't necesarily have the deepest of pockets.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Reasons to Choose a Cruise Holiday

All people are different and accordingly will have different interests, personalities and tastes - so it is perhaps not surprising there is no "one size fits all" approach to choosing a holiday destination. After all, not everybody is the backpacking type, some people may prefer a more relaxing and refined option for their holiday choice - and a cruise holiday can provide just the ticket.

A cruise holiday in some ways offers a similar experience to that of a backpacker - in that you get the chance to visit multiple exciting destinations on a single trip rather than being tied down to one place. This gives great variety through your cruise vacation - whilst all along the way you can enjoy great comfort, hospitality and entertainment.

As well as getting to visit numerous exotic locations on your cruise, many travellers will choose to take up this kind of holiday because of the superb variety of different cuisine available on board, as well as first class entertainment on a daily basis. Modern cruise liners have the facilities to rival most holiday resorts around the world - so if just chilling out with a delicious cocktail or relaxing by the pool is more your thing then a cruise holiday will offer up this option too.

There are a number of well established companies offering first class cruise holidays operating in regions across the globe including cruises to the Caribbean, the Adriatic, Amsterdam and Europe plus many other fantastic areas of interest. Perhaps the best and most established operator is P & O. Its fleet of stunning liners include the Oceana, Oriana, Ventura and a more recent and modern additions in the form of the Adornia and the Azura.

So if you are looking for a different kind of holiday experience that offers the holidaymaker comfort, style, excitement and variety all rolled into one, why not opt for a cruise vacation with P & O ferries?