Ten Most Beautiful Camping Spots in the World

When the monotony of daily life starts taking its toll on you, a camping expedition can prove to be a source of revival. As it goes without saying, nothing brings you closer to yourself than a night spent in the lap of nature, with some fire to keep you warm and a peaceful sleep under the stars. So pack your bags, put on your camping shoes and find your way to any of these most beautiful places in the world where you can go camping.

1. New Zealand



Being the most camper-friendly country in the world, New Zealand has the top spot on this list because you can set up your camp almost anywhere in this country. There are deserted beaches for a magical campfire night by the shore, the mountain plateaus with majestic views in every direction you look and the forest clearings for a night in the wilderness. The 'freedom camping' system here allows you to camp on any public land in the country. However, there are serious environmental protection rules you ought to abide by. Given the beauty and the tranquillity of this place, you are in for a fantastic time which includes self-discovery and romancing the natural heritage of New Zealand.

2. Haleakala National Park, Hawaii



Beaches are what comes to your mind when you think of camping in the Hawai. However, there is so much more to this beautiful paradise than just the crashing waves and the stretch of white sand. You can get yourself a place in Haleakala National Park or just put up a camp near the Ohe'o pools to enjoy the last dip before you doze off under the stars. Kimphulu rainforests are another great camping site and if none of these suits you then there are the majestic beaches waiting for you with their arms wide open.

3. Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica



With its vast wildlife and an array of scenic beauties, Costa Rica is a natural wonder when it comes to camping. It's a pleasure filled experience to see forest cover as far as your eyes can see and the Corcovado National Park is a treat for your eyes to behold. The phrase 'enchanting forest' does justice to the scenic beauty of this place. Untouched by human footprints, you can look deep into your soul and discover the joys of being in touch with your inner self. There are deserted beaches, lagoons and waterfalls, all right outside your tent when you camp here. You can surf on the waves, go fishing and even meet some of the residents of the national park- tiger, pumas and monkeys.

4. Sahara Desert, Morocco



The cultural riches of Morocco are known to us all, but when it comes to natural wonders, Morocco is incomplete without the grand Sahara desert, one of the most sought after camping destination for nature lovers. What could be a better camping experience than enjoying the nomadic way of life in the Sahara Desert? This place is beautiful in its own rustic and rural way. You get to camp at the foot of the sand dunes with nothing but the desert spreading all around you. All the life's secrets seem to unfold when you watch the sun's rays melting over the desert as it sets. The tranquillity you experience here gives you unmatched inner peace. You can lay under the stars with plenty of time to rediscover yourself under the night sky.

5. Lake District, England



With its idyllic British countryside charm and its classic setting, the Lake District in Cumbria looks nothing short of a scene from one of Jane Austen's romantic novels. You can lose yourself to its alluring beauty and then go on a journey of self-discovery as you roam among the wildflowers and along the crystal clear lakes here. Despite the constant rains in England, this place is a perfect camping destination to simply get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and watch the raindrops while you enjoy a hot bowl of soupy noodles inside your tarpaulin tent.

6. Laguna Quilotoa, Ecuador



Laguna Quilotoa is nothing short of a sight which makes you gape with your mouth open. You can set up a camp in Insinlivi, by the shore of this mesmerising mirror green lake. The place has a mysteriously peaceful aura about it. With the snow-capped Iliniza Sur and Cotopaxi mountain right at the doorstep of your tent, you can spend the entire night in untangling your thoughts and admiring this majestically beautiful place. As it goes, mysterious places have their way of giving you a solution for even the most complicated situations The Laguna Quilotoa is said to have no bottom and rightfully so, given its simplicity and awesomeness.

7. The Outback, Australia



With vast countryside spreading for miles with grassy plains, meandering rivers and a tinge of desert terrain all along the roads, the Outback in Australia is one of the most beautiful places in the world to set up a camp. Camping in the wilderness has its challenges and benefits at the same time. While it gives you plenty of space for bonding with yourself, it also demands that you stay out of danger and keep track of the path to avoid getting lost. You can also enjoy a little barbeque fire, but it is important that you do it by digging a pit to avoid drawing attention from the animals.

8. Maasai Mara National Park, Kenya



The Maasai Mara is the top camping spot on the list of wildlife lovers since it is the best place to witness the great migration that happens every year. However, it does mean that you will be surrounding yourself with a lot of gazelles, zebras and other wild beasts. The rustic, countryside beauty of this place combined with the large variety of animals that are found here makes it a hot favourite for campers. You also get plenty of scenic beauty to admire- the grasslands spreading for miles dotted by acacia and the red-hued landscape reaching the horizon. The Mara river is another beautiful addition to this site with plenty of crocodiles and hippos to spot here.

9. The Himalayas, India



The Himalayan ranges in India are one of the most adventure-filled camping destination across the world. Not only are the snow-capped peaks of Himalayas world's most vast and tallest but also blessed with some of the most beautiful and eye-catching sights. The Corbett National Park on the foothills of the Himalayas offers you a beautiful abode to camp in. With the eye soothing view of green meadows, locally called 'Bughyals', on your tent's doorstep and plenty of animals including Indian Tigers to spot, this camp can prove to be a soul reviving experience. You can also trek along some of the popular trekking sights in this area and indulge in activities like fishing and water rafting.

10. Yellowstone National Park, USA



With 9000 kilometres of a natural landscape, the Yellowstone National Park is like America's version of the Outback. This place has some of the most stunning backdrops for campers to pitch their tents to. There is noisy traffic and high pitched music blaring in your ears which allows you to indulge in self-discovery for hours here. The vast canyons, fishing options and natural hot springs around every corner in this national park are some other treats on the platter of campers and nature lovers. The only things yo ought to be careful about are the wolves and bears who might care to join your campfire if your barbeque smells tasty enough.

You can learn more about these places and camping locations around them from various travel forums. It is advised to carry less luggage for camping. By selecting the best duffle bags for travel, you can travel light and carry all you need in a single bag without being burdened through your journey by excessive luggage.

Author Bio:


Evans Lily is the founder of SkyWeFly, where she and her associates blog about photographs, stories and travel tips that will help you make a great journey. She hopes to bring her passion to more people via SkyWeFly.
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Three Top Reasons to Bring Your Friends to Singapore’s Universal Studios


While everyone who has rugrats to spare knows that bringing them to one of the many Universal Studios amusement parks that have sprung up around the world is a no brainer, what about your adult friends? If you are looking for a fun addition to your next trip abroad, you might just want to consider this.

Heading out to a beautiful and exotic city like Singapore just got that much more exciting and fun when you add in a day of goofing off with a few of your best pals at Universal Studios Singapore. Not sure that your friends will actually appreciate just how fun an amusement park in an exotic location can be? Here are three great reasons that you can throw at them for tagging along on a vacation of a lifetime.

Relive Your Childhood


Everyone knows that Universal Studios has made some of the most awesome films, especially when it comes to adventure films that the whole family loved. But you can’t beat the company or the amusement park for bringing back some great memories of laughs and thrills when you all were just kids. The obvious fun adventure is heading out to see everyone’s favorite lovable green monster, Shrek.

We loved this guy as kids and when you head out to enjoy the adventure all over again in the land of Far Far Away, you get to once again remember just how great this guy is to kids of all ages. So, bring along some friends, laugh at the crazy antics of Shrek or sing along with Donkey at his own stage show. You know you all love this guy, why on earth wouldn’t you want to share him with your friends.

Get Silly Again


There is nothing quite like an amusement park, especially one this size, to allow us to let it all out and just plain get silly. Ride the carousel, shoot down the rapids screaming your heads off or just run around and enjoy the park. Each of the seven zones has cool places to stop and eat, many of them with Halal menus.

If you are looking for a roller coaster ride to get the adrenalin going again, each zone has their own special ride. No matter what you need to get down and get silly, this is the place to let it all hang out and enjoy yourself.

Have an Adventure


Truth of the matter is, when it comes to just plain great adventure rides this is one park that makes them and knows how to run them. While Disney may be great at fantasy rides for the whole family, Universal knows how to make rides that are a real adventure.

These are not for little kids and you will have a better time when you bring your adult friends with you to ride the wild rides and scream your lungs out. And don’t forget to check out the scary Revenge of the Mummy ride in Ancient Egypt while you are there.

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Colorado’s Top 5 Most Incredible Natural Wonders

Colorado is one of the most magical states in America. Its epic mountains and 300 sunny days per year make it a paradise for the outdoorsy type, while the great beer (200+ breweries!), delicious cuisine (Smashburger anyone?) and plenty of Colorado vacation rentals to choose from, not only promise, but also deliver tons of fun and adventures to remember.




Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park, easily the most popular of the state’s national parks in terms of visitor numbers, is also the most spectacular. Photos of its magnificent snowcapped peaks have graced so many calendars and coffee-table books, people often envision Rocky Mountain National Park when they think of Colorado.

Snow-covered peaks stand over the lush valleys and shimmering alpine lakes that cover the 415 square miles of Rocky Mountain National Park. But what really sets the park apart is its variety of distinct ecological zones. As you rise and descend in altitude, the landscape of the park changes dramatically. The park is also home to bighorn sheep, which have become its unofficial mascots.

This is also one of the best places to camp in the state. And since it can get very crowded, especially in summer, I recommend you go in late September or early October.


Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Just 35 miles northeast of Alamosa, is Colorado’s fourth and newest national park.  Far from any sea or major desert, this 39-square-mile expanse of sand seems incongruous here.

The dunes are the tallest on the continent, piled nearly 750 feet high against the western edge of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The dunes were created over thousands of years by southwesterly winds blowing across the valley. They formed when streams of water from melting glaciers carried rocks, gravel, and silt down from the mountains.

Walk the easy half a mile self-guided nature trail that begins at the visitor center. If you want more of a challenge, hike the dunes. You can get to the top of a 750-foot dune and back in about 90 minutes. Those who make it all the way to the top are rewarded with spectacular views of the dunes and the surrounding mountains.



Maroon Bells

There are practically unlimited opportunities for hiking and backpacking in the Crested Butte area. But some of the best are in the Maroon Bells, accessible from a trailhead at Gothic, above Mt. Crested Butte, where you can hike to Aspen if properly motivated.

The two sheer, pyramidal peaks called Maroon Bells, 10 miles west of Aspen, are probably two of the most photographed mountains in the Rockies.

With a number of fourteeners, including the namesake Maroon Bells, this is one of the most scenic mountainscapes in the West. A vision of glaciated rock and lush greenery, the trails here are popular with backpackers, but there are plenty of good day hikes as well.


Garden of the Gods

There’s nothing like a sunrise at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, with its fantastic and sometimes fanciful red-sandstone formations sculpted by wind and water over hundreds of thousands of years. It’s worth spending some foot power to get away from the crowds on one of the park’s many trails, to listen to the wind and imagine the gods cavorting among the formations.

One of the West’s unique geological sites, the 1,300-acre Garden of the Gods is a giant rock garden composed of spectacular red sandstone formations sculpted by rain and the wind over millions of years. 

The park has a number of hiking trails, that offer great scenery and an opportunity to get away from the crowds. Many trails are also open to horseback riding and mountain biking.


Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde is the largest archaeological preserve in the United States, with some 4,000 known sites dating from 600 to 1300 AD. The earliest known inhabitants of Mesa Verde built subterranean pit houses on the mesa tops.

During the 13th century, they moved into shallow caves and constructed complex cliff dwellings. Although it was a massive construction project, these homes were only occupied for about a century. Their residents left in about 1300 for reasons as yet undetermined.

The area was little known until ranchers Charles and Richard Wetherill chanced upon it in 1888. Looting of artifacts followed their discovery until a Denver newspaper reporter’s stories aroused national interest in protecting the site.

The 52,000-acre site was declared a national park in 1906. It’s the only U.S. national park devoted entirely to the works of humans.

Photos by Steven Bratman & USFWS Mountain-Prairie under Flickr Creative Commons
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What to Do in Northern Spain This Summer

The overwhelming majority of travellers heading to Spain make an instinctive beeline for the country’s southern towns and cities. Blessed with beautiful beaches and excellent weather for most of the year, it’s easy to understand the pull of Spain’s south. But at the same time, overlooking the true treasures of the north is something of a shame.

On the plus side, the fact that Spain’s north is far less travelled than its south helps it retain a gloriously undiscovered feel about it. And given the fact that Spain is now so incredibly easy to reach from the UK by ferry with Brittany Ferries, there’s really no better place to head for a fantastic holiday of adventure and discovery.

So if the undiscovered north of Spain has caught your attention, here’s a quick rundown of just a few unmissable highlights to check out over the summer:

Picos de Europa National Park


Founded in 1918, Picos de Europa National Park was the very first national park in Spain and was previously known as Montana de Covadonga National Park. A popular region among hikers and anyone with a taste for the great outdoors, the stunning vistas over the national park make it difficult to believe you are in fact still in Spain. The region is dotted with gorgeous traditional mountain villages and settlements, presenting Spain in a rustic, charming light most travellers never experience. There’s a fabulous cable car at Fuente Dé for those who prefer not to strap on their hiking boots and it’s possible to see snow-capped peaks at any time of the year.

Santander


Occupying a stunning plot on the Bay of Biscay, the port city of Santander is not to be missed while visiting Spain’s north. Santander is home to some of the most stunning beaches in Spain, which mercifully do not tend to get nearly as crowded as those to the south. The ancient city centre itself is also a truly captivating experience in its own right, with a sizeable arsenal of important museums, galleries and theatres to check out. Food is nothing short of a religion in Santander, making it the perfect place to sample all the regional delicacies you can lay your hands on.

Rioja Wine Region


Continuing with the theme of gastronomic delights, it would be a crime to visit this area of Spain without taking a trip through the home of the country’s world famous Rioja wine region. Home to 500+ wineries which in most instances continue to follow centuries-old crafting techniques, there’s no better way of taking it all in than embarking on a horseback ride through a working vineyard. Needless to say, sampling the very best of what’s on offer comes as standard and it’s impossible not to be blown away by the masterpieces these artisans come up with. But then again, they have been making wine here for over 1,000 years!

Oviedo


A trip to the Asturias province capital also comes very highly recommended. Famed for its important religious monuments and churches dating as far back at the 8th century, Oviedo is in many respects a living museum to Spain’s ancient past. And if you happen to find any of the sights you come across somewhat on the familiar side, it might be because a fair few scenes from Vicky Cristina Barcelona were shot here.

Bilbao


The cosmopolitan, cultural and wholly refined city of Bilbao today is a far cry from its origins as a highly industrialised port city. Bursting with incredibly beautiful buildings and more museums and galleries than a dozen lesser cities, Bilbao is the real deal for culture vultures. Of course, the highlight of the city is the spectacular Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, which is just as impressive from the outside as it in on the inside. The city’s setting among the surrounding Basque country hills is truly majestic.

Gaztelugatxe


Always an amusing challenge for newcomers to attempt to pronounce, Gaztelugatxe is located just off the shore at the Bay of Biscay and can be accessed by way of a pedestrian footbridge. There is a small chapel on the island at its very top, which can be reached by scaling the 230 or so rather steep steps. It’s not a climb for the faint-hearted, but there’s no disputing how the jaw-dropping views from the top make it an exertion that is more than worthwhile.

Burgos


An often overlooked yet breathtakingly beautiful Spanish city, Burgo is home to some of the country’s most important religious architecture. Deeply historic and steeped in local legend, Burgos features the only cathedral in Spain that has individually been awarded UNESCO World Heritage designation. While visiting the Castile-León region, it is also more than worth taking the time to pay a visit to the towns of Santo Domingo de Silos, Covarrubias, Frías and Aranda de Duero. Outstanding gastronomy is no less than a religion throughout this beautiful region.

Santiago de Compostela


Santiago de Compostela is the Galician capital city and one of the most important religious sites in the whole of Spain. Pilgrimages from across the country and beyond continue with the main square as the primary arrival point. Occupying a stunning spot right at the centre of the city, the main square is a stunning landmark in its own right and home to Santiago Cathedral. It is believed that an Apostle of Jesus Christ – St. James – was laid to rest in Santiago de Compostela.

Santillana del Mar


You might want to consider packing a sturdy pair of shoes if you decide to visit Santillana del Mar – an absolutely beautiful medieval village where cars and vehicles in general are not permitted. It’s walking all the way in Santillana del Mar, which is often referred to as The Town of Three Lies - it is not a Saint (Santo), nor flat (llana), nor is it by the sea (Mar).

San Sebastian


Last but not least, the stunning beach resort of San Sebastián is absolutely worth a visit during your stay, not to mention the outstanding restaurants, bars and nightlife of the nearby Old Town. There is an extensive calendar of cultural events to check out throughout the year – one of the most notable being the extraordinary jazz festival which takes place every July.

Photos by Jaime Gonzalez and Sandra Cohen-Rose & Colin Rose under Flickr Creative Commons
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Top 4 Events Not to Miss at The Patras Carnival

Patras Carnival, also called Patrino karnavali, is one of the most famous carnival in Europe, and the largest event of its kind in Greece. If you ever plan to visit Greece, I recommend you to pick the month of January for it. Not only the weather is excellent, as while the rest of Europe is covered with snow, here you will find optimum temperatures for traveling and discovering this great country. On top of that, in the second part of January, on the 17th, the Greek carnival starts. Patras Carnival has more than 160 years of history and traditions. So what you shouldn't miss?

Carnival at Patras

The Opening

The Opening of the Patras Carnival takes place on the 17th of January in the Georgiou Square. You will have a blast admiring the pantomimes, the dances and the fireworks... all accompanied by the beautiful Greek music. Now what I really recommend you not to miss is the entrance of the Carnival Queen. With her the Patras Carnival will spread from Athens throughout the Greek nation.

Carnival Girls

Burnt Thursday

11 days before Ash money, all over Greece, people enjoy roasting and barbecuing meat, for this nation-wide custom called Burnt Thursday. Here I am going to teach you a word that you have to know: Tsiknopempti. It comes from two words: tsikna that stays for the smell of barbecued meat and pempti, that simply means Thursday in Greek. Imagine groups of Greeks, and not only, meeting all over in homes, in taverns  even outdoor, in the streets, to enjoy great Greek barbecue accompanied with the inevitable wine and Greek live band music. 

Greece_Feb07_Patras_Carnival 079

The Treasure Hunt Game

What is a carnival without a good game? So here comes into play the Treasure Hunt Game. The first part consists of a car with two women. One is wearing a black domino and the other a bikini. All they have to do is search for hidden items, their only guide being a radio. The total number of participants every year is somewhere around 50 000. Riddles and theater, dances, pantomime, artistic creations and more and more quizzes make this part of the carnival irresistible.

Fireworks at Patras

The Bourboulia

By tradition women do not pay entrance fee to the famous Carnival Dance Hall Ball. It's one of the main attraction of the event. There is though a dress code for the women. They have to be properly closed for a black domino, meaning that they need a dark dress and a mask. Interesting is that the paying customers, the men, come in regular street clothes. And one more detail for you guys, with this occasions, it's the women who invite their dance partners. Yes, it's a very old Greek tradition of empowering females.
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5 Ways to Have Fun During A Bike Tour

Vacations are supposed to remove your stress, but after sitting on a plane for eight hours straight, you would wish you should have stayed in your apartment. To change your perception about your vacation, join a bike tour and have a new way of discovering new places.



Bike tours are getting popular these days because they give a fresh way of seeing beautiful destinations minus the traffic and numb bum. But, if you want to make this experience an absolutely unforgettable moment, then follow these tips:

Register as a Group

As the cliché says, “The more the merrier.” Invite your friends and book a bike tour as a group. Enjoy the company of the people you are closest with and build memories together. When biking with a group, there will always be those silly moments that make every vacation special. Interact with other tour groups as well. Who knows, you might find your next travel buddy from them.

Follow the Rules

This means, when the organizers say no, you must follow. Rules ensure the safety of the group. You’ll never enjoy a tour if one of your friends got lost or hurt just because he did not obey the rules. Ensure your safety by wearing a helmet and knee pad. Also, check the stability of the bike so it won’t break while you are traveling.

Make sure that bikes are comfortable

Bike tours last for up to three hours or more, depending on the travel agency, so be sure you are comfortable throughout the tour. While bikes are relatively comfortable than sitting in a bus, it is still difficult to pedal if the vehicle is bigger than you. When choosing a bike be sure you don't tip toe when the bike is at rest. 

Bring a camera

What’s a vacation without a camera to immortalize every moment? Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture every precious event. If you plan to bring a huge DSLR camera, pick a bike that has a bag rack where you can strap your camera safely. You may also bring an action camera, to make an interesting video of your adventure.

Take Your Time

Sure, riding a bike is a fast way to move around than walking, but you have to slow it down to enjoy your vacation. This is like eating a new cuisine, you have to eat slowly to savor every flavor. Remember, bike tours are not supposed to be like bust tours where you visit a dozen of places in a limited period. So, enjoy and don’t rush.

Stress is difficult to avoid when having a vacation, but you can always make it special if you try new activities. Follow the tips above when joining bicycle tours to ensure your safety and happiness. Book a tour now and build memories with your friends.

Photo by Roman Boed via Flickr Creative Commons
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6 Hiking Adventures in Peru

Peru is a great destination for hiking, with a number of organised trails and routes. The country offers something to interest almost every traveller, depending on the season and the hiker’s level of fitness. There is a surprisingly varied range of climates due to its geography and land formations, with rivers and jungles. Apart from preparing well for your itinerary with essential equipment and first aid supplies, do remember that because Peru is a distant location outside Europe, travel insurance is as important as ever.

Here, we review some of the most popular treks.



Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

A definite challenge, this trail is considered a ‘must do’ by many hikers. The route follows ancient Incan paths along passes over the Andes Mountains, before descending into the Amazon jungle. There are opportunities to explore Inca ruins, settlements and tunnels and before reaching Sun Gate, high above Machu Picchu. To appreciate this forty-kilometre (twenty five miles) trail to the most, a four-day itinerary is best, although a two-day option still gives a quick introduction to the area. One’s first glimpse of the forgotten city of Machu Picchu is more than sightseeing – it is a moment to remember.

The trail is closed in February for maintenance work. Booking well in advance is advisable; the government of Peru limits the number of hikers to five hundred per day including porters and guides.

Salkantay Trek

The nearby Salkantay Trek offers magnificent views of the incredibly tall Andes. The route has been classified by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine as one of the twenty-five best hiking trails in the world: its remote, ancient footpaths combine peace with breath-taking scenery. Fitness preparation and good breathing technique are important, due to the altitude.

Lares Trek

This route starts to the east of Machu Picchu and is shorter than the Inca Trail. Because of its altitude, the Lares Trek is spectacular, but requires proper planning.

Santa Cruz Trek

Starting in Huraz, the Santa Cruz route takes you over the White Mountains, usually with good weather from May to September. There are fewer regulations than other trails; the route is generally considered safe – though beware of cattle while marvelling at the unspoiled landscapes.

Choquequirao Trek

About five hours from Cusco, Choquequirao is the sister city of Machu Picchu and a peaceful alternative with similar structures and remarkable ruins. Four or five days are necessary and a good level of physical fitness due to the ups and downs, climate and altitude. Nonetheless, this tough trek is one of the least trodden and most rewarding.

See Lima

Finally, if you have spare time in Lima, why not enjoy a free guided tour of the old colonial town, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site? At 12.30pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the interesting free tour starts from Plaza Peru and lasts for around an hour and a half, with no booking required.

Photo by Emmanuel Dyan
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6 Things to Know Before Visiting Sicily

Sicily is a must-visit place. There is action and drama in this beautiful Mediterranean island, with its colourful history of ancient influences. There is so much to see and do and a few days will definitely be insufficient to see the whole place. Before leaving for the island, make sure to prepare for your trip beforehand. Knowing a few facts will always come in handy in making your holidays worthwhile. Here are a few things to keep in mind.



1. Visit the ruins. Sicily has some of the best-preserved archaeological ruins rivaling even those in Greece. You can’t miss to visit the area of Agrigento and Segesta for a tour of the Valley of the Temples. Take a ride to Segesta to see the temple - one of the world’s best examples of Doric architecture as well the well-preserved roman theater. Hop off to picture-perfect Taormina to see the Greek Theater and take advantage of the wonderful panorama of sea and Mt. Etna! Archaeological heritage are scattered around the island and you will be wowed by each one. Syracusa boasts the largest ancient theater in the island.

2. Book in advance. The island is a haven for tourists all-year round so it’s better to book in advance for your lodgings. 

3. Visit in spring. If you can’t stand hot temperatures, then spring is the best season to visit Sicily. This is also a perfect way to avoid the huge crowds during beach season. As the island can get pretty hot during summer, the climate will be milder in spring, perfect for lying around the beaches or for going around, with a cool breeze and scents of blooming flowers everywhere.

4. Indulge in Sicilian food. The cuisine of Italy is divine. Make sure to try the iconic Pasta alla Sarde. The island prides itself in having a cuisine more intense and different to the mainland fare. This is because of the mix of Arab ancestry and other cultures.

5. Visit Mt. Etna. You can actually ski on the slopes of the volcano and jump over lava bumps. You can also walk up to the crater with professional guides. If you are into wine, this is perfect for a wine-tasting excursions.

6. Rise early for the markets. Here you will find it exhilaratingly intriguing and interesting as you get to see various displays of artisan products as well as the possibility to buy fresh produce. Visit Palermo’s Ballarò where you will find yourself in a real Sicilian lifestyle.

Photo by Tomie Hansen via Flickr CC
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10 Things To Do In London This Summer


Enjoy the Weather


Take advantage of the sunshine with a stroll and perhaps a picnic in one of the capital's magnificent parks. From Great Portland Street tube station, set off across Regent's Park to the zoo or watch a play at the open-air theatre.

Take a Promenade


Proms at the Royal Albert cater for all musical tastes and include late-evening concerts. Join the traditional promenaders to queue on the day for cheap tickets, or take in a free one at the Royal College of Music. If you can't get in to the famous Last Night, head to Hyde Park for Proms in the Park.

Culture


There's something for everyone at art venues like the V&A, Tate Modern or Britain, National or Portrait Galleries and the Museum of Childhood. Many are free apart from special exhibitions. History enthusiasts will love the British Museum, Museum of London or its Docklands outpost and the Imperial War Museum. Try Fashion on the Ration, 1940s street style!

The Summer Exhibition


Don't miss the Royal Academy's popular annual show, where a panel of judges chooses submissions from the public to hang alongside work by members of the Academy. Most are for sale so get your offering ready for next year.

Discover the Magna Carta


This year is the eight hundredth anniversary of the signing of this iconic document. The British Library's Law, Liberty, Legacy exhibition displays two of the original documents and other artefacts, together with the first British showing for Jefferson's handwritten Declaration of Independence and an original copy of the US Bill of Rights.

By the River


The arts and music complex on the South Bank at Waterloo hosts diverse events, festivals and outdoor activities, with many being free. Summer additions include Udderbelly, the Wonderground Festival, Meltdown and the Big Wedding Weekend as part of the Festival of Love.

Totally Thames


If your holiday insurance stretches to September, immerse yourself in one of the many local events that commemorate this great river's relationship with the city and its people. Past years have seen exhibitions, walks, river races, foreshore archaeology, a floating HippopoThames and Battersea Power Station's Fire Garden.

Anyone for Tennis?


If you have the stamina, join the queue for Wimbledon, but get there very early. Celebrate with a Pimms when you make it through the gates or just drink in the atmosphere. Rub shoulders with players from the past, and catch some action by today's talent anywhere except on show courts - pay separately for these.

The Anniversary Games


If you weren't able to attend the 2012 Olympics, cheer on many of the Olympic and Paralympic athletes at July's Anniversary Games in the Olympic Stadium, and explore the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Climb the Orbit for a great view or just admire its shape and colour from afar.

Festivals


Be in the heart of things with music, discussions and events in and around historic locations during the City of London Festival, or understand how immigrants integrated as weavers at Huguenot Summer in Spitalfields.
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What to Look for When Choosing your Travel Insurance Provider

When you prepare for your adventure away from the restlessness of real life, the last thing on your mind is travel insurance. Sure, you’ve sorted out your passport, paid any airport taxes, secured awesome window facing airline tickets and pre-booked a list of attractions you absolutely must fit into you jam-packed itinerary, but travel insurance? Isn’t that for overly paranoid travel luddites without a sense of caution? Not at all. Things go wrong all the time, striking when you least expect it, despite how experienced you are or how lucky you’ve been in the past – unfortunate events know no bias. So what is travel insurance, anyway? In laymen’s terms, travel insurance covers you in the event you are robbed, lose your luggage, find yourself injured and, depending on the plan you purchase, protects you in the case of missed flights. It’s certainly very important, but what do you look for?

Copa

Multiple Cover

If you’re travelling with a partner, family or group, you’re in luck, occasionally it ends up quite cost effective to place everybody in one party under a single insurance umbrella, reducing paperwork and excess. Though it may be difficult to discover a plan that allows you to separate and explore different corners of the country or continent, they do exist, so keep an eye out.

Inclusions and Exclusions

Now, this is where the article enters a grey area. Every circumstance is unique and travel plans vary from person to person, so there’s only so much guidance one can give in this regard. Shop around on these factors and determine what inclusions are non-negotiable, those that are and those you can either take or leave. Categorising your desires and needs accordingly will assist you in eliminating poor contenders; sadly, most travel companies, including fan favourites and big blue chips generally prefer customers to chase them, distributing a bare minimum of information on their website. It may be painful to spend so much time on the phone, but it is well worth the time to talk to a professional and nail down your needs, work through inclusions and ask questions.

The Proof is in the Pudding

It is one thing to take out insurance, pay the premium and be protected, and quite another to make a successful claim. While the majority of companies do the right thing by their customers, researching customer service and past claims on travel forums will give you an idea of how you will be treated if things do indeed go wrong. Are they speedy and efficient? Were they empathetic? Did they match the right service to the customer’s needs and was the end result satisfactory? These are all very essential questions to ask yourself before signing the dotted line.

Of course, things go wrong all the time, without warning or exception. Don’t think about it too much; instead, be safe, sane and secure, keeping a money stash aside in the form of a Cash Passport to cover immediate emergencies. Between planning and insurance, your trip away will be one to remember for all the right reasons.

Photo by Iaszlo-photo via Flickr Creative Commons

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