Winter Sun And Fun In Dubai

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With the holiday season fast approaching, perhaps Dubai would be the perfect place to combine Christmas shopping while getting some much needed winter-sun. Indeed, Dubai has evolved in recent years to become much more than just a ‘Shopping-Mecca‘ – although it is still one of the best places to splash your cash – with so much more to see and do. Here is a pick of some of the best activities found outside the glitzy and glamorous shopping malls.

Dhow Cruises

After a long day at the shopping malls, you can unwind and enjoy a night cruise in the cool desert air along Dubai’s rapidly expanding canal system. Most evening and night options are for dhow cruise dinner with a wine tasting extravaganza as you enjoy the slow sailing around Dubai’s spectacular city centre, unwinding from a long day of shopping or perhaps a desert safari. Of course, perhaps these luxurious night cruises on large and glitzy modern-dhows is not to everyone’s liking. Those seeking more of an adventure might be enticed with spending the day on a traditional dhow sailing boat outside of Dubai’s main harbour and seafront, enjoying the views of the spectacular cityscape and the vast sweeping deserts beyond.

Fishing Trips

This probably doesn’t spring to mind when people hear about Dubai and what there is to do there, but fishing is now a well established activity, with numerous packages to suit all types of fishermen, from a complete novice to a hardened veteran. Fishing trips in the UAE are fast becoming a sought after option to wind down and get out on the water after long days in the desert, and for good reason. Groups and solo fishermen are both catered for, and the types of fishing, such as deep sea fishing, are varied and can be customised to your specific tastes. This includes add-on extras such a BBQ, to cook your own catch of the day after a long day trolling the ocean.

Luxury Tours

How about swapping the towering buildings and shopping malls in Dubai for the towering desert dunes that surround Dubai? Generally speaking, safaris just outside Dubai fall into two categories, or often both: Dune bashing, or a more traditional camel riding affair. Not only this, but there is a whole host of various luxury tours in Dubai to choose from, meaning you can find the perfect tour for you. Dune bashing is essentially a high speed dash into the desert dunes in modern 4×4 land cruisers which is guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping, while camel-riding will be lead by local Bedouin tribes people and will give more an authentic feel of how desert life was until not so long ago.

Either way, the trip into the desert will finish in the same place: a Bedouin camp. But not before half an hour is taken near the sunset for some amazing views and photo opportunities of the sun setting behind the dunes. On arrival at the camp, a delightful BBQ meal will be served up, and afterwards you can enjoy entertainment such as belly dancing, or perhaps more suited to females is the chance to get a traditional henna tattoo. You will then be given a lift back to your hotel where you can enjoy a good night’s rest!

These 3 activities are perfect for those who are feeling a little weary from all the holiday shopping  and want to unwind outside the glitzy shopping malls that Dubai has to offer.

Fun and Frolicks In Florida – Hitting Up The Sunshine State

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Have you been thinking about the ultimate family getaway but you aren’t totally sold on any one destination yet? Perhaps the kids have been bothering you for months (or maybe even years!) to take them to Disneyland in Florida and you’re seriously considering it. Especially now that autumn is nearly here and everyone is back to school, the low season tends to make big, spectacular trips to tourist destinations a bit more affordable, so now’s the perfect time to head to the Sunshine State. Read ahead for other things to do in Florida that will really make your time in the state memorable.

Disneyland Florida

This is the big reason most people visit Florida – to hit up Disneyland! It’s known as a common request amongst children of all ages to go to Disneyland Florida due to its amazing reputation as being one of, if not the best Disney park in the world. Sure, there’s California and France, amongst others, but Florida is touted as the best one there is. Not only do you have Disneyland though, there are a huge number of amazing parks to choose from including Epcot, Universal Studios, Sea World and more. For those planning to go closer to Halloween there are dates for Mickey’s “Not So Scary” Halloween Party as well which gives kids the opportunity to trick or treat in the park as well as dress up in their favourite scary costume!

Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Centre

This is one of the highlights of Florida for anyone who loves hearing about or studying anything to do with space sciences or space travel. Come see the shells of important rockets that took men to the moon in NASA’s Apollo program in the 60s and 70s and even get a glimpse of their space suits – still caked in some spots with moondust. The outside park contains the remnants of the rockets and you can trace mankind’s history of space travel all the way back to when it first begun. If you’re lucky you can catch a rocket launch at Cape Canaveral – NASA’s launch pad for missions into outer space.

The Florida Everglades

Touted as one of the biggest national parks in the United States, the Everglades are known for their large swathes of wetlands and vast expanses of sawgrass combined with rivers and cypress swamps. Known also for their large populations of crocodiles and alligators, the Everglades enjoy a huge array of wildlife throughout which draws visitors every year who come to explore the park which stretches for over a million acres. It continues to be one of the main draws to the region as well as home to some of the indigenous populations of Florida.
So there you have a couple of great options to check out when you’re in the region of Florida. With so many different things to check out and things to do, it’s easy to see why it continues to be one of the most popular holiday destinations in Florida.

A Yacht Week In Croatia

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If you have seemingly done everything there is to do in Europe and you’re looking for a new and interesting type of holiday, perhaps one where you don’t have to worry about anything, but you don’t want to be trapped inside an all inclusive, gated resort, why not try a yachting week in Croatia? Set sail on a rented yacht complete with everything you need to enjoy a week at sea, island hopping at your leisure and relaxing on your own yacht in the sun.

What’s Included?

Depending on what you’re looking for, you can either opt for a self guided yacht trip or for a hosted yacht which would give you a hostess as well as a skipper. Both are fantastic options, but for a truly stress free option the skippered/hosted option is best. Overall you would get your yacht for the week, any outboard engines and extras such as a dinghy, all equipment required for successfully operating a yacht, GPS and nautical mapping, stereo and cockpit speakers/equipment, bedding and other textiles and the fee for cleaning the yacht at the end. Additionally you would get any water taxis included for your journey.

What’s Not Included?

Most additional fees such as port fees, skipper/hostess tips and food costs for you and your travelling companions plus for your skipper/hostess. While your skipper and hostess will provide much of the work on board the boat for you, they will need to eat as well and you will be liable for the costs of food. In some cases people find it ideal to have meals with their skipper and hostess, making it a lovely experience to make some new friends and get to know people who have been doing this as a job for some time.

What’s It Like?

Imagine being able to cast off and island hop at will, exploring the rugged and varied coastline of Croatia with all its beautiful coves and interesting caves, go diving, start each day with a dip in the warm Mediterranean waters. All this and more await you on a week long trip through Croatia on a yacht, simply the best way to tour the area for those who want some stability but are keen to adventure as well.

So there you have the details about a yacht week in Croatia. Yachting through the summer months in Croatia is a great way to meet like minded individuals who are also yachting, and to really get to know the area as well as develop new skills and interests. Nothing could be more exciting or enjoyable than sailing around the coastline of the beautiful country that is Croatia.

Must Sees And Do’s In The Dominican Republic

 

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If you’re heading to the Dominican Republic for your next holiday, you might be wondering what there is to see and do that you shouldn’t miss while there. Depending what you like to do and your various interests, the Dominican Republic is perfect for both history buffs as well as beach bums, budget travellers and luxury seekers. Read ahead to find out more about the Dominican Republic and the things you should make time for when you’re on the island.

La Aurora Cigar Factory

Cigars have long been a tradition of the Caribbean, from the Dominican Republic to Jamaica and especially Cuba so it stands to reason that the cigar factory in the Dominican Republic at Santiago de los Caballeros is one of the best in the region. Come and experience the history first hand of one of the Dominican Republic’s best cigar brands and learn about all the work that has gone into making it the well known brand it is today. Purchase a sample for yourself to take home from the gift shop and enjoy a bit of the Dominican Republic anytime you want.

Alcazar de Colon

This building, now museum, is the oldest Viceregal building in the Americas and is a shining example of historical Spanish colonial architecture in Santo Domingo. While it’s only around half the size it originally was, it’s still an impressive building nonetheless with numerous rooms, gardens and a colourful history, having been build by Diego Colon, the son of Christopher Columbus.

The Ruins of Monasterio de San Francisco

A keen piece of heritage in the Santo Domingo colonial zone this former monastery was built by the Franciscan monks in or around 1508 and was the first monastery built in the new world following initial colonisation. A few hundred years later, the monastery was used as a mental asylum but when it was damaged by a hurricane it ceased its use for that purpose. These days it’s seen as one of the most historic sites in the city and is used for various events. It’s also protected under law.

Beaches, Seas and Sands

The Dominican Republic is, of course, home to numerous beaches and therefore also home to numerous outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, swimming, water sports, fishing, and just plain old sun bathing. Day trips can be arranged to snorkelling and diving sites from most hotels on the island, and they’re well worth it. Some of the coral gardens and sea life in the area are stunning in their beauty and are definite must sees.

So there you have a couple of great suggestions for things you have to see and do on the island of Dominican Republic. With so many things of historic significance, paired with water activities and a generally beautiful position in the Caribbean, this makes the Dominican Republic the ideal place for any sunny holiday.

A Weekend In Rio De Janeiro

If you have been giving some thought to heading to South America for your next holiday, you might be wondering where you should stay for at least a weekend and what there is to see or do. Rio de Janeiro is one of the hottest cities to spend a couple of days in, and is well connected by both road and air to allow for easy movement to and from other regions not just in Brazil but also throughout the continent and abroad. Read ahead for a short guide about spending a weekend in this fabulous city.

Copa Cabana, Ipanema and the Beaches

Without doubt, the beaches of Copa Cabana and Ipanema are two of the most famous beaches in the world and this is confirmed by the fact that they are absolutely covered in both locals and tourists enjoying the hot sunshine and luscious waters. For more relaxed, lesser visited beaches, try out the beaches of Barra de Tijuca to the west or Prainha. Most of the beaches have great amenities including refreshing iced teas served from barrels on the sand, and many have beach bars or restaurants, so you could literally spend every moment seaside.

Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Trails

The hills around Rio are understandably ideal for hiking, trekking and general walking. With some truly commanding views around the city and over the beaches, some of these trails take you up to heights with truly awe-inspiring views that allow for great photo opportunities. Perfect for those who like to get a bit of exercise and activity in their holidays as well as relaxation. If you want to see the top of Sugarloaf and can’t make the trails, never fear – there is a frequent cable car that allows you to experience the views without having to dedicate yourself to the trail.

Christ the Redeemer

Perhaps the symbol of Rio after the famed Copa Cabana, Christ the Redeemer stands over the city as its eternal protector and eternal tourist magnet. Like many of the other hills around the city, you will find views from the top to be awe inspiring and well worth the climb. Make sure to get a great selfie with this well known statue – a true mark of Brazil’s faith and background of religious culture.

So there you have a couple of suggested sights to see on any weekend in Rio. As one of Brazil’s most well-connected cities around, you can get in and out with ease from almost anywhere and it’s well placed for trips to other countries, including places in Africa as well as North America. The sky is almost literally the limit in Rio, so come see for yourself!