Holiday Blog from eShores
04 April 2013 09:31
UK Olympics most popular with Americans?
An interesting little infographic from the ONS showing the effects the 2012 Olympics had on tourism last year - unsurprisingly London benefited the most from the Games, but what is surprising is the number of Americans visiting our country. More US citizens visited the UK for the games than any other country, including our closest neighbour France!Infographic by Office for National Statistics (ONS)
25 February 2013 12:26
Titanic sails again in 2016
2016 will be the year the Titanic II sails from Southampton to New York, according to The Sunday Times.
Australian billionaire Clive Palmer is funding a replica of the famous cruise ship, with plans for building to start at China based CSC Jinling Shipyard Company.
It is estimated the the 840 cabin ship will take roughly three years to build, with an exterior exactly the same as the original Titanic, but an interior boasting the latest technology.
The ship will however feature swimming pools and gyms designed in the same style as the original ill-fated vessel, and guest will be able to dress up in clothing from the era to give the full Titanic experience.
Some may think rebuilding the ship, given the tragic story behind it, might be in poor taste. However Clive Palmer is confident that the venture will be popular around the world, and has no worries over generating revenue from his latest project.
30 January 2013 15:52
Helen Explores Washington
I recently took the opportunity to visit Washington DC & the surrounding areas as part of a work trip.
We travelled from Manchester Airport direct to Washington Dulles International Airport with United Airlines, having flown with them a couple of years ago when they were Continental I was looking forward to see how they had progressed. The aircraft was modern and each seat had its own entertainment on demand with the latest films and music to enjoy throughout the flight, we upgraded our seats to the economy plus seats and these were definitely worth the extra $89!!
Upon arrival we were transferred to our hotel for the next 3 nights by shuttle bus – unfortunately we hit ‘holiday traffic’ as we had arrived over the Colombus day holiday. The 45 minute journey took us nearly 3 hours, but we had a nice air conditioned minibus so it wasn’t as bad as it sounds! We were staying at the Loews Annapolis which is in the state of Maryland. It is home to the US Naval Academy and a lovely harbour of which the annual boat show was being held. The Loews is the only 4* hotel in Annapolis and had recently undergone a refurbishment on the lobby and restaurant – ‘West’. The hotel had lots of function space and we saw a couple of wedding receptions being held there over our 3 night stay. The bedrooms at the hotel were large and the beds were the most comfortable thing that I had slept on for a while!
The first evening we ventured into Annapolis to see what the nightlife had to offer and it didn’t disappoint. There were lots of bars offering different varieties of music, from live bands to DJ’s. We sat outside enjoying the mild autumn weather sipping on cocktails – it was bliss!
Our first day consisted of visiting the US Naval Base and then walking around the town on a site seeing tour. It was amazing to see the Naval Base and to see all of the history and effort that goes into running a school of this size. The dormitories alone were bigger than some schools here in the UK! The grounds were lovely and the facilities on offer to the men & women who attend the school are second to none – 2 Olympic sized swimming pools, onsite restaurants, cinema and they don’t even have to do their own laundry! However, they then took us into one of the dorms and shown us how the students are expected to keep their sleeping quarters and not a speck of dust could be seen. I was thinking of signing my husband up there and then!
We then went on a walking tour of Annapolis to see the historic sights such as the Maryland State House which is the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use and the Charles Carroll House who was the only Roman Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. If travelling to Annapolis I would definitely recommend doing one of these tours and using the free services of visitannapolis.org
The next day we went to Washington DC for the day. As there was no traffic it took us 45 minutes so not long at all. We visited the Crime Museum first of all, which was very interesting and I learnt lots about crime in the US. It would be fantastic for children as there were questions and little clues to the answers all over the museum and a trail to follow. There are games to play as a team as well so would be good for anyone to visit. We then moved on to the old Post Office where there was a clock tower that we climbed, well used the lift to get to the top! The views are spectacular from here, I got some fantastic pictures of the Washington Memorial and the Capitol Building. We then went on what I thought was the highlight of the trip – a bike tour around the sights on DC. This was arguably the best way to see everything up close and without hitting any city traffic. We got to see all of the memorials in our own time and some of them are huge! The Lincoln Memorial has 58 steps to get to the top! The war memorials were quite emotional and we saw groups of people searching for names of family members who had unfortunately died while serving their country.
In the evening we went to Georgetown for dinner. This area has lots of designer shops and lots of restaurants and bars, we didn’t get to explore these further, much to my disappointment, as we had to get back to Annapolis to pack ready for our flight home the next day.
On our last day we travelled to an adventure park – ‘Terrapin Adventures’. We got to take part in some group team building activities and some zip lining, this would be fantastic for a small or large group or families to enjoy young or old! The instructors are all friendly and will help you out if you need it. You can rest assured while dangling however many feet in the air that you are well taken care of!
Finally, we got to enjoy some shopping! We visited the Leesburg Corner Outlet Mall where my credit card definitely got some beating! The amount of shops there would satisfy any shopaholic from designer brands to normal high street stuff and also major department stores. I saved at least 75% off the UK price and managed to pick up some Christmas presents for friends and family. The only problem I had was trying to fit my new purchases into my suitcase for the way home!
I would love to visit Washington DC & Annapolis again – it is perfect for families with older children, couples or even groups of friends as there is something to suit everyone. Whether as a city break or as part of a longer USA multi centre holiday you have to go. I learnt so much about US history and also to always do my Christmas shopping there as I saved a fortune!!
30 January 2013 16:04
The Magic and Mystery of Chichen Itza in the Mexican Riviera
Multi Centre Holidays are great as you can visit various parts of Mexico all in one holiday, you can also combine different destinations such as combining the USA and Mexico, or a Caribbean island with Cancun - anything is possible. Read our guest blog on the Rivier Maya and contact us for a holiday there, or to plan it in as part of a Multi Centre trip:
The Riviera Maya, just south of the popular resort city of Cancun, is famous for its miles of pristine beaches and amazing views. Many people also travel to this region in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula for its link to the enigmatic Mayan Empire.
Chichen Itza was one of the largest Mayan cities and was built around the 9th century AD. It is also one of Mexico’s most visited tourist destinations, was granted World Heritage Site status in 1988 by UNESCO World Heritage and was recently selected as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. There are a lot of astronomical marvels at Chichen Itza, but one of the most exciting is the Descent of the Feathered Serpent. The central Pyramid of Kukulkan is built in such a way that on the equinoxes a shadow play is created where serpent heads on the staircases become whole snakes through the shadows of the pyramid’s terraces.
Just as the sun hit a certain spot and immediately before the heat turned my brain to mush, I looked up and saw it. There it was, a massive snake descending the ancient pyramid. The head was a statue at the base of the pyramid’s stairs and its back was comprised of seven triangles created through shadow, an engineering feat that boggles the mind.
I stood there watching the creature slowly take shape, a giant monster forming right before my eyes. I couldn't help but think back to the ancient Mayans and how important this ceremony was for them and the great lengths they went to in order to create a massive pyramid just for this moment. And then it was over. It was as if a siren had sounded; the snake was gone and the crowds all started migrating towards the parking lots and their giant motor coaches.
I stood back for a minute to look up at the colossus again, marvelling at the ingenuity of the Mayans and wondering not for the first time what other marvels lay strewn about the tropical jungles undiscovered. And that is why I travel, to capture, even for a few seconds, moments like those.
A luxury adventure traveller at heart, Matt Long shares his adventures with more than 16,000 Twitter followers and runs one of the top travel blogs, LandLopers.com.
21 August 2012 16:23
Travelling through Miyajima
If you’re on your way to or from Kyushu (Japan’s southern island) back towards Osaka or Kyoto, you’ll likely pass through Hiroshima, and if you do, you should definitely make it a priority to detour to Miyajima.
Miyajima is a small, mountainous island approximately 40 minutes away by tram from Hiroshima city centre. It is a very holy place in the Shinto religion, and has been an important destination for religious visitors since ancient times. To get there you need to take the 10-minute ferry ride from the mainland to the island, which is a very scenic journey!
For me, there are three awesome attractions on this island. Number one is the various shrines and religious iconography visible throughout the (mostly uninhabited) island. These include a beautiful 5-storey pagoda called Goju-no-To (???? – literally, “five-storey pagoda”!) built in the 1400s in a skilful combination of Chinese and Japanese architecture styles of the time:
At various points along the scenic route to view the island, you may come across these fellas (see left image).
These are called “komainu” (??, literally “lion-dogs”) and you can see them guarding the entrances to many holy places throughout Asia. You can see that one of the pair has its mouth open and the other has its mouth closed. This is because one is saying “ah”, which in Buddhist thinking is the sound made at the beginning of the Universe, and one is saying “om”, which is the sound at the end of the Universe.
The second awesome thing about Miyajima is:
The torii (See right image), officially called Itsukushima Shrine. Toriiare usually quite small, standing at the entrances to shrines, believed to mark the transition of outsiders from the world of the profane to the world of the sacred, but in ancient times so holy was the island of Miyajima that they built a huge one to protect the whole island. Today it is one of the most iconic artifacts in the whole of Japan, and each year thousands of people visit the gate. At high tide the base of the toriiis hidden beneath the water, but at low tide you can walk underneath the gate for luck. Believe me, it is a lot bigger when you’re standing underneath it!
The extremely cute deer population! Deer, in Japanese culture, are very holy because in the Shinto religion they are said to be messengers of the gods. The deer on Miyajima are extremely tame and can be seen anywhere and everywhere on the island, from the top of Mt. Misen to the town of Miyajima itself. They will often approach you and gently butt you with their heads, begging for food. In the island’s shops and various street stalls you can buy shika senbei – deer crackers – to feed the deer. They are adorable and very iconic of Miyajima. They can gang up on tourists though, trapping them against walls to make sure they get some food!
J. D is a freelance writer who loves to travel!
20 July 2012 14:04
With the Olympics all set and ready to go, airports surrounding London are bracing themselves for what could be a turbulent couple of months. Over 120,000 passengers will pass through Heathrow alone in a single day, with many expecting more once the sporting event gets underway.
This week the first wave of athletes touch down in Britain to train and prepare for the games. Whilst local businesses will be looking forward to the economic boost brought in with the extra tourists and spectators, airports will be looking to see these travellers entering and leaving the building very swiftly.
Heathrow airport will witness the main bulk of people congestion as over 80% of passengers they are expecting to handle will be Olympic related; a welcomed joy for airline companies but a rather severe headache for airport staff.
With the recent upheaval over immigration queues in recent weeks at the popular airport, the UK border Force has assured the public that there will be extra staff to cover the desks during the length of the games. This has been further confirmed by the promise made by immigration minister Damian Green, who states that desks will be manned at all peak times of the day.
The ‘Games Lanes’ that have been implemented on all major routes to the stadiums will hopefully ensure that commuting disruptions can be kept to a minimum. However, after the trouble at the recent opening of the lane on the A1, travellers aren’t expecting miracles any time soon.
12 July 2012 12:51
Daves holiday with friends to Fuerteventura
We decided we wanted some winter sunshine, good flight times and a good 4 star hotel. We opted to go for an all inclusive holiday, I haven’t done all inclusive in Europe before but thought it would be a better idea as there was a group of us. The hotel we picked was the Elba Sara Resort in Caleta de Fuste which was only a 10 minute drive from the airport.
On first impressions on pulling up at the hotel we were really impressed, the reception was very impressive and the check-in was smooth and quick. We requested rooms close to each other and the rooms we received were right next door to each other. We were given rooms on the top floor (sixth floor), there were plenty of lifts throughout the hotel so you never had to wait too long. The rooms were very large, we had a king size bed and a sitting area and the all the other amenities we needed. The view from the balcony was amazing we looked over the pool and the sea and I could of sat there all day taking in the views. It cost 4 euro’s a day to rent the safety deposit box and if you wanted to rent a beach towel you could do from reception by leaving a 10euro refundable deposit. The hotel was right next door to the Atlántico shopping centre with plenty of shops and also had a Euro Spar encase you wanted to pick up anything.
It was 2 minute walk to the golden sandy beach which is very safe for the kids and about a 20 minutes stroll to get into town or around 3euros in a taxi. The pool was huge, one was heated where all the activities took place and the other was cold, there was also a children’s pool. There were plenty of sunbeds and we never struggled to get a group together. The gardens and the grounds are kept immaculate and there is a river with fish in, my god daughter especially loved feeding the fish every morning after breakfast.
The food in the hotel was brilliant, there was a massive selection of food to choose from and they had cooking stations so you could see the chefs freshly preparing the food in front of you. The staff would take your orders at the table and bring your drinks to you, as there were a group of us we always got wine by the bottle and the staff were very generous with us! The drinks on the all-inclusive basis were fantastic and there was plenty of options to choose from, all were local products but you couldn’t tell the difference.
The entertainment in the hotel was mainly based around the children, there was the normal day time activities like pool volley, aqua gym etc. and in the evenings there was always a kids disco and then a show on afterwards in the Broadway bar, like parrot show, snake show, clowns etc. if you wanted a quieter evening there was a bar in the lobby which was more chilled out and relaxed.
Overall my experience at the Elba Sara Resort was fantastic, me and the rest of the party came away extremely pleased with the choice we had made to stay there and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good all inclusive holiday on a beautiful island.
30 January 2013 15:50
The sun baked walls, gardens, covered markets and magical main square have become worldwide icons of exotic elegance for the grand Moroccan city of Marrakech. Fringed with palm trees, olive and orange groves, it is sheltered from the fierce Saharan winds by the snow-capped peaks of the Atlas Mountains. It’s a vast storehouse of architecture, culture, history, cuisine and craftsmanship built from mud, stone, wood and tile. It wears its Muslim heart on its sleeve with pride and shouts about its colourful influences including; Berber, Roman, Arab, French and even Andalucian.
Marrakech is well connected to its surroundings. Team up your stay with other Moroccan cities for a multi-centre holiday with a difference. Travel first class inexpensively by train to Casablanca, Rabat & Fez in the North or have a few days relaxing on the east coast beaches at Agadir. Trek up in to the High Atlas Mountains for the experience of a life-time visiting the Berber tribes or lay low in a Gite in the foothills or even try out the ski slopes if you’re there between November & March.
The old medina is the vibrant heart of the city of Marrakech. It is contained by the 12 mile long & red in colour wall and is a labyrinth of narrow alley-ways which are home to over a million people and reportedly over 60,000 individual market stalls. You can spend hours bartering over the eclectic collection of local hand-crafted wares and the further in to the Aladdin’s Cave you venture the more interesting the Souks become. Every section has its own speciality: carpets and textiles; ceramics and woodwork; spices and magic creams; slippers and kaftans; jewellery and lanterns; and most importantly raffia bags and baskets which you'll need to carry all of your purchases in.
For those who aren’t confident at haggling visit the Ensemble Artisanal where you can see all of the products being made and then sold with visible & fixed prices. The prices are similar to those you’ll eventually haggle to in the souk but without hassle. For those looking for more luxurious and designer items head outside of the walls and across to the Ville Nouvelle, (New Town) known as Gueliz, where you’ll find up-market boutiques including Louis Vuitton.
Dine in one of the many roof-top cafés & restaurants overlooking the main square, Jemaa el Fna, whilst soaking up the atmosphere of the entertainment below; drummers, snake charmers playing their pipes, monkeys jumping around and even acrobats cart-wheeling, spinning and somersaulting in the midst of it all. As dusk draws closer lots of tented eateries pop up from nowhere and fill with locals cooking and serving their delicacies of lambs brains and cooked snails; smoke and steam rising into the warm night air from the bubbling pots and barbecues.
Walk through the luscious gardens around the Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech’s most famous symbol. The minaret, built in a traditional Almohad style and topped with four copper globes is visible from near and far as local ordinance forbids any other building in the Medina to be higher than a palm tree, it towers majestically over its surroundings. Listen out for the regular call to prayer, which can be heard for miles around and use the tower as a ‘compass’ and focal point when scurrying through the mystical Medina maze.
Stay for a night or two in a traditional Riad within the Medina walls; with their open courtyards rising through the centre, mosaic walls, carved archways, plunge pools and roof-top restaurants; a truly special and authentic experience not to be missed. For more of a luxury holiday why not stay at La Mamounia with its art-deco splendour; the choice hotel of the rich and famous or just outside of the city wall in the trendy garden suburb, Hivernage, is the Es Saadi Gardens & Resort for a quieter, sanctuary spa.
The sun is always shining in Marrakech and from March to October it’s pretty difficult to avoid. There are lots of fabulous places to relax & unwind and watch the world go by. There’s so much to see & do with the famous gardens, tombs & palaces, so many more places to explore and so much more to write about…you’ll wonder why you didn’t stay for longer.
04 June 2012 11:33
Vietnam - A Destination In the Spotlight
A destination that is growing in popularity is Vietnam, mainly because of what the country has to offer. From the Vibrant Colonial Cities to some of the most wonderful beaches in Asia. Recently Vietnam airlines started offering direct flights from London Gatwick to both Hanoi and Saigon making travelling there much easier. Due to the size of the country and in order to see as much as possible many people opt to do a Vietnam Tour spending a few days in each place. It is however easy to get from place to place with various daily flights so a Vietnam Multi Centre Holiday is also a great option to explore the country at your own pace.
Northern Vietnam where you will find the capital city of Hanoi, the pace of life is a lot slower compared to the hustle and bustle of many other cities in Asia. You can spend your day wandering the Colonial streets and visit the Old Quarter which houses many merchant shops such a Jewellers, silk traders, shoe shops, tailors etc. You can also experience the magnificent cuisine from the various restaurants in the area. Hanoi is also home to the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh the former leader of Vietnam, visit this in the morning between 9am and Noon. Around 3 hours from the city take a trip to the magnificent Halong Bay where you can board a private junk boat and take a day cruise or even spend a couple of days cruising amongst the thousands of limestone islands. Northern Vietnam can be quite cool between December and February with the rest of the year being great weather.
From Hanoi you can fly down to Central Vietnam where there are some stunning beach resorts. The most popular being Hoi An which is a large resort there, very popular for all travellers whether you want to stay in a small b&b or a luxury 5 star resort. The old town of Hoi An is a UNESCO heritage site and is a very popular place to visit either In the day or of an evening to enjoy the local cuisine and culture. You can also visit the coastal resorts of Danag and Hue. Hue is the old imperial capital which has many historical attractions from the Tomb of the Emperors and the Imperial Citadel.
If you are looking for something more fast paced visit Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) from here you can take a river cruise down the Mekong Delta and visit the famous Cu Chi tunnels, a network of tunnels where the Viet Cong Guerillas lived during combat for months on end. If you are brave enough you can go down into the tunnels to get a true feel of what it was like to stay there. Ho Chi Minh City is the perfect place to learn about the compelling military history of Vietnam, take a visit to the War Remnants Museum, Reunification Palace and the Ho Chi Minh Museum. Southern Vietnam is also home to some wonderful beach resorts. You can take a short flight from Saigon or take drive which takes a few hours. One of the most popular beach resorts is Nha Trang, an old fishing village with some fantastic beach front hotels suitable for all and an ideal retreat from the Cities. The best time to travel to the South would be between November and April.
22 May 2012 17:15
Choosing the right island in the Maldives
I’ve recently returned from a work trip in the Maldives. We visited several islands to get a better understanding of what each island offered. My biggest surprise was how different each resort was and how important it was to understand the different islands.
We visited a number of 4-5 star islands which were very back to basics - you took your shoes off as you arrived at the island and didn’t put them back on until you left. These islands didn’t have luxury facilities; they were about leaving all you worries at home and completely relaxing with no distractions. These are ideal islands if you’re looking for the true Maldivian experience. You do need to enjoy complete peace and quiet. You need to be content with a good book and the company of your companion. These islands would not be suitable if you’re after a range of facilities to keep you entertained, and want your home creature comforts.
Some of the islands we visited were more traditional all-inclusive complexes and in complete contrast to the islands mentioned above. We visited a number of 3, 4 and 5 star islands and they reminded me of the Caribbean, large hotels with everything you can imagine on offer. They had various restaurants to choose from, endless activities to enjoy on land or in the water and great entertainment programmes. The rooms had all the mod cons including plasma tv’s and coffee makers and the islands tended to be larger in size so either provided golf buggies or buses to take you around the islands. If I’m honest I have to say that you do lose a little of the Maldivian feel when the islands are larger but these style of islands are great if you’re taking children or if you prefer a lot going on to keep you entertained.
There were also a number of 5 star islands we visited which were the height of luxury and elegance. Aimed at the discerning traveller that won’t accept anything but the very best. They had chic fine dining restaurants on offer. They boasted amazing infinity pools with most offering private pools in the hotel rooms too. The designs ranged from traditional to contemporary but all were amazing.
We also visited a number of specialist islands too, including ones that specialised in diving holidays, and a couple that specialised in surfing holidays.
There really was a complete mix of different islands and choosing the wrong one could have a detrimental effect on your enjoyment of the holiday. Speak to either me or one of my colleagues who have also been and we’ll be able to recommend the most suitable island for your Maldives Holiday.
Out of the islands I visited, here are some of my favourites::
Maafushivaru – This is an island that in my opinion really captures the true essence of the Maldives. It’s a small island so you really get the feeling you’re on a dessert island. It’s modern but is still in keeping with the Maldives. There isn’t a wide choice of facilities or restaurants but if you’re after that this island isn’t suitable for you anyway… it caters for someone after time to completely relax and get away from it all.
Vilamendhoo – This was my favourite all-inclusive resort. It wasn’t a small island by any means, but wasn’t as big as most the other all-inclusive resorts. It has a wide choice of activities on offer, had a selection of restaurants but still had that Maldivian feel. It was recently renovated so is like a new hotel, and for the 3½ standard I felt it was more luxurious than some of the 4 star islands we visited.
Kuramathi – This resort is one of the larger islands but is great if you want a wide choice of restaurants and facilities to choose form. It really does cater for everyone so whether you’re a couple that wants a wide choice of restaurants or a family looking to have lots to keep the children entertained this is ideal.
CoCo Palm Bodu Hithi – If you are after 5 star luxury, this hotel certainly delivers. From the private pools in each of the island villas, the several fine-dining al a carte restaurants on offer and the chic design running through the property this hotel is simply amazing.
If you’re planning a holiday to the Maldives or a Maldives honeymoon, get in touch and we’ll happily tell you all the suitable hotels and get you the best deal! It's an amazing place and somewhere everyone should experience - just choosing the right hotel couldn't be more important!
30 January 2013 15:49
Nadine's Multi Centre Honeymoon in the USA
I chose this destination as a honeymoon so we had something to remember. We have done so many longhaul All Inclusive beach holidays they all just roll in to one, so I wanted something we could look back on with a clear picture. A USA Multi Centre Holiday seemed a great choice.
Our 1st stop was LA for 3 nights, we stayed in the Best Western on Santa Monica Boulevard, it was just a simple basic hotel but in the perfect location. If you want to be able to get around on the buses in the day and then walk to the bars and restaurants at night then this is the best area to be in. We walked up to Sunset Boulevard at night for drinks in the cool bars and saw some (want to be celebs) and the odd famous local pulling up in their Ferrari’s and getting noticed. During the day we visited Universal Studios, the stars homes of Hollywood, the Chinese Theatre, Walk of Fame and Rodeo Drive!! Santa Monica beach is nice, just how you imagine an LA beach to be, lots of people blading and jogging and hardly any sunbathers except me and the new Hubby sat people watching, very nice and relaxing. Also another beach to visit was Venice Beach now that was an experience; you have to see it to believe it, great fun. If you like the gym, Muscle Beach, the outdoor gym on Venice Beach is the place to be! A trip to the mall is worth it for any sports stuff, although the trainers are not much cheaper than here. Apart from Universal Studios you can also get to Disney Land and Knott’s berry farm from here, these are great family days out.
2nd stop was Vegas for 4 nights at the Luxor, Wow the hotels here are amazing, it doesn’t really matter which one you stay in as you can visit all the bars, casinos and shops in each of them and it’s good to walk to them in the day and have a mooch. They all have their own theme that runs throughout the hotel so they are all different but whichever you choose to suit your budget will be good. The Outback Steak house is half way up the strip which serves the best steak I’ve ever had, and cheap too. The shopping mall at Ceasers Palace is fantastic, Abercrombie is cheaper in here! Casinos are the main thing in Vegas but there are also shows to see, clubs to go to and pools to sunbathe around so there is enough to keep you occupied for a good 4 days. The day trip over Grand Canyon by Helicopter is a must if you can.
We then flew to San Francisco and spent 3 nights here at the Hilton Golden Gate Bridge, we hired a car from the airport here to drop off in San Diego. A sat nav with car hire is important for these areas as you don’t want to get stuck somewhere you are unsure of, there are many areas that you need to avoid in America so I would recommend a sat nav. In San Francisco we took the trams and did it in true style! we visited china town, Union square and fisherman’s wharf with a day trip to Alcatraz, I loved Alcatraz it was definitely one of the highlights. Union Square is good for shops and bars.
From San Fran we drove down the coast road to San Diego, stopping off at various places. Santa Cruz, my hubby loved this place as it is where they filmed the lost boys!! Then moving down we found this little town called Buellton, not far from Santa Barbara. We stopped for petrol and the lady recommended it as it’s where Michael Jackson and Dolly Parton have their ranch; it reminded me of a little Holland, such a pretty place and a good overnight stop half way. Next stop was Malibu and then the OC, Newport Beach, we just pulled up at a Motel and stayed overnight, we had a walk down the moorings for a meal overlooking the water, this is definitely a place I could live (if I had the money!!)
The next day we went on to San Diego for 6 nights at The Solemar, A Kimpton hotel located in the gas lamp quarter. This is the place to be if you want the cool bars and nice restaurants, there is the TGIs and Starbucks but there are also some nice Fish Restaurants, we had one of our best meals in one, the starter was enough to fill us and we shared that!! A car is a must in San Diego as everything is very spread out and nothing is in walking distance. Mission bay and Coronado bay are the nicest beaches, Mission bay is where people have their beach houses, hotels and boats moored and Coronado bay is more like its own little beach town, with a promenade of shops and cafes. You can do various day trips from San Diego, there is Sea World, San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND and you can also drive in to Mexico and do some shopping in Tijuana.
Overall I would definitely recommend this multi-centre trip to anyone looking for something different and to take home some wonderful memories! So much to see and do but with also the option to relax by the pool or chill out at the beach, perfect for a honeymoon or those important family holidays before the kids grow up!!
30 January 2013 15:49
Phil Goes All-Inclusive In Sharm
Last June my Fiancée and I fancied a bit of sun at short notice. We’d normally venture further afield, but we only wanted a quick week away and Sharm seemed to fit our requirements; 4-5 hour flight, a selection of good 5* hotels to choose from and not to forget the 30+ degrees of dry desert Sun.
Our main intention was to be self-contained with no real need to leave the hotel, so we decided on all-inclusive. We wanted a hotel with fine dining, decent entertainment, good pools, great service and a nice private beach to relax and soak up the sun. We were also toying with the idea of our first Dive so a hotel with a diving centre would also be a big plus. So I picked what many regard to be the best all-inclusive hotel in Egypt – The Baron Palms….
I already knew that the Baron Palms was a good hotel as I’ve sold it many times, but In all honesty it still managed to exceed my expectations. Top quality service, great food and a really beautiful stylish Andalucian design throughout make it one of only a few hotels in Sharm that truly merit a 5 star rating.
The hotel does cater for families, but I’d say it’s predominantly suited to couples and ideal for anniversaries or honeymoons. The attention to detail is what makes the Baron Palms an ideal place to stay on special occasions.
The hotels private sandy beach is 600m away and shared with the hotels neighbouring sister property, the Baron Hotel which is also a classy 5 star, with an informal atmosphere. One example of the high service levels was being able to order drinks from your sun lounger on the beach. When they brought ours they’d also gone to the effort of bringing us a couple of chilled towels soaked in Rose water to freshen up from the immense desert heat. One bit of advice I’d give would be to take a few one dollar bills because with such high service levels they deserve to receive the odd tip now and then.
During the daytime if we weren’t on the beach we’d be in or around one of the hotels 2 large swimming pools. Each pool has its own cascading waterfall. The hotel run daytime entertainment is pleasant, but I found it could be a bit distracting if had my head in a book. I’d read a review on trip advisor before going that advised to sunbathe on the loungers near the waterfalls as the noise of the waterfalls blanked out the entertainment, and it proved to be good advice.
If like me you love your food, then you won’t be disappointed. The hotel has a nice buffet restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner and you’ll find that they cater for all tastes. The food looked and tasted delicious. The hotel also has an Egyptian a la carte restaurant which you have to reserve in advance. Sadly we never ate there as we ended up going to Naama bay on the night we’d planned to eat there. I am however aware that the food is fantastic, one of the best Egyptian restaurants in Sharm.
On our penultimate day we decided to take the plunge, and booked to go scuba diving through the hotel’s PADI approved dive centre. We booked in for a 30 minute dive with an approved instructor from the hotels 150m jetty. I was amazed by how stunning the coral reef is and also by the variety of marine life we encountered – baby barracudas and sea snakes to mention a few…
In the evenings there is a good variety of hotel entertainment. Shows, dancing, live music. There is also a nice little pool hall and a disco where they play mainly western music.
Overall the holiday was great and if your after an all-inclusive holiday in Egypt it's ideal. Also if you fancy visiting the pyramids, or venturing over to Luxor we can arrange Egypt Multi Centre Holidays so get in touch and we'll tailor make you an itinerary.
03 May 2012 15:11
Helens Wedding & Honeymoon In Cuba
I decided to get married abroad due to a few reasons – 1) the cost of weddings in the UK 2) I wanted some actual sunshine if possible and knew that there was no way it was guaranteed in Manchester! I looked at a few options and then decided Cuba met the bill in more ways than one. We travelled with 20 of our family and closest friends. We chose to stay at the Melia Cayo Guillermo located on the island of Cayo Guillermo – the Cayo’s are small islands just off the north coast of Cuba, connected to the mainland via a 70km causeway. We flew into the airport of Cayo Coco and transferred to the island, this took approx. 45 mins but we managed to spot some flamingos on the way!
The hotel was amazing, we had stayed at the Sol Cayo Guillermo 2 years prior and knew that the Melia would be something special, and it didn’t fail to please. We had been allocated a Junior Suite in the hotel which consisted of a living area, 2 bathrooms and a king bedroom. We had 2 balcony’s where we could enjoy stunning sea views every evening while enjoying a glass (or 2) of champagne – included in the all-inclusive package of course!
The beach at the hotel has to be the best beach I have ever seen in my life, I felt as if I was in a Bounty advert! Powder white sand, clear blue sea and hammocks in the water! I spent my days sipping cocktails and reading books – not the stressful lead up to a wedding I had seen my friends go through back in the UK!
On our wedding day, we chose to have the ceremony in a private pavilion in the hotel gardens – we chose to get married at 4pm as we thought it may be cooler and more comfortable for everyone, especially the men who were wearing shirts, waistcoats and cravats! The ceremony was beautiful and even I shed a tear!
On our wedding night we had arranged private use of the beach bar and held a BBQ where we had a private chef and staff for the entire evening! We hired a Cuban band and we handed cigars out so that everybody could really savour the atmosphere! The night was over too quickly and I retired to my room now a married lady!!
For the rest of the holiday we mainly spent the days by the beach and our evenings having dinner in one of the 3 restaurant options available to us – Italian, International or the buffet restaurant. Even Lobster was available! We also enjoyed a catamaran cruise and snorkelling excursion which took us out into the ocean and we were dropped at an area where we could go into the water and snorkel away – I didn’t know that fish that colourful existed!! We also enjoyed lunch and drinks before heading back to shore.
The end of the holiday came too quickly – we had made friends with all the staff and said our goodbyes before heading back to the UK as husband and wife. We will return for a holiday in Cuba one day and hopefully the Melia Cayo Guillermo. Our wedding was definitely the best day of our life and I would recommend a wedding overseas to anybody!!
30 January 2013 15:48
Damyon Travels to Thailand
My fiancé & I went on our Thailand Multi Centre Holidays in May of last year. It was the latest in many visits to the Country we both adore. First was the capital, Bangkok followed by the tropical island of Koh Samui.
BANGKOK - An ideal city to spend two or three nights in. A nice way to acclimatise yourself to a different world, which is the Far East. There is a great choice of excellent hotels available to suit all budgets. Bangkok is a truly Asian City and retains its strong Buddhist heritage. Although there are many high rise hotels and office blocks, you will never feel that you could be in London or any other European City. The people are helpful, though often shy and always polite.
Popular attractions include The Royal Palace – a complex of gold topped buildings of amazing style which has to be seen to be appreciated. The Klongs or Canals can be visited by longtail boats. A trip away from the City itself will take you to the Damnern Saduak Floating Markets which is still charming despite its “touristy” overtones. This can also be combined with a visit to the Bridge on the river Kwai. There are a variety of other trips to be enjoyed including a “City & Temple” tour where you can visit stunning Temples & behold the Emerald Buddha and the breathtaking reclining Buddha at Wat Pho. You can even visit a snake farm! So you will always find something new and amazing to visit.
If shopping is your thing, you will find day markets, night markets, the largest Sunday market in the World, department stores, Malls and many quality jewellery and tailoring outlets - all at incredible value for money.
The eateries available are as varied as everything else in Bangkok. From small, family run often quirky properties to 5* dining in the top Hotels. If you like something different, seek out one of the high rise rooftop Bar/Restaurants…..The Banyan Tree’s “Vertigo” and Moon Bar boasts stunning views of Bangkok’s skyline. But, for sure, it lives up to its name and is certainly not for the faint hearted!
Krungthep is the (shortened) Thai name for the city. They call it the “City of Angels” – for us, it is vibrant, spectacular, fascinating and so welcoming ………in short, a truly must see of the East.
KOH SAMUI - This is the “Island of Palms” and can be reached easily by a short flight from Bangkok. It is also possible to do the journey by road and ferry if you have the time to spare.
The main tourist area centres around the beach of Chaweng on the Eastern side of the Island. It is a delightful Bay with calm seas and tropical sand backed by palm trees. Like us, some visitors may prefer to stay in a Hotel a little outside the centre while still being close enough to enjoy the lively night time atmosphere and restaurants – of which there are many.
You will find a wide choice of restaurants serving both Thai and International foods. Those in search of fine dining would do well to try the Page restaurant at the chic, modern Library Hotel. On the road leading North from Chaweng itself, you will also find other smart restaurants such as Rock Pool which is set on a wonderful decked area right at the sea’s edge and boasts some divine seafood tapas.
If you are looking to stay outside of the Chaweng beach area as we suggest, then you may like to consider quality 4* stars such as Bhundhari (where we in fact stayed) or the Peace Resort and Bandara Spa Resort on Bo Phut beach on the North Coast. Slightly more remote are the Luxury options up in the North East tip are the World Class Six Senses & Tongsai Bay.
Round Island transport could not be easier. Songthaew are small passenger open top “trucks” and are intensely regular and VERY cheap. You simply flag one down, tell them where you want to go & jump on. Taxis are available but more expensive and undoubtedly less fun!
As mentioned, at the North of the Island, is Bo Phut (Fisherman’s Village) where you will find Big Buddha Beach - a very pleasant area with a good selection of shops, hotels and restaurants (Zazen being our personal favourite) on a much smaller scale to Chaweng. It is an ideal spot for another reason…..the Island’s two ferry terminals operate from here where you can enjoy Snorkelling, Fishing and Kayaking trips. A great day out is a visit to the Anthong National Marine Park…….a protected area of 42 Islands covered in limestone mountains. It boasts a kaleidoscope of rainbow- coloured corals and tropical fish. Another full day visit that will not disappoint is over to Samui’s smaller sister Island Koh Phangan. This Island is most famous for its Full Moon & Half Moon parties, but it is an excellent excursion destination (indeed, we have been over to it twice in our last two visits to Samui for some elephant trekking!)
For us, Koh Samui has it all. A tropical climate which can be enjoyed most of the year. Superb beaches, great places to visit, a wide variety of activities to suit most tastes. It is a dinners paradise and you can lay your head at the most basic of abodes through to some of the best beach Hotels in the World - what more can you ask?
12 April 2012 13:46
James Visits Mauritius
When I thought of Mauritius, I always had a vision of pure white soft sands and dazzlingly clear aquamarine waters. I envisaged relaxing on the beach in the glorious sunshine until watching the mesmerising sunset in the early evening and being fixated on the ever-changing skies; from turquoise to pink to red to purple, with millions of stars eventually emerging from nowhere. And to be fair I wasn’t far wrong. As Mark Twain said “Heaven was copied after Mauritius”, so whether you’re looking for the picture-perfect honeymoon destination, an island luxury spa retreat or just a well-deserved break in paradise, you will not be disappointed with Mauritius.
As you travel around the island you’ll notice the roads are lined with fields of sugar cane and in the distance the extraordinary peaking Moka Mountain range in the centre of the island. Stay in Trou Aux Biches on the North-west coast for a stunning beach to relax on and to see the best sun-sets. It’s a pretty resort lined with Casuarina trees that is close enough to visit some of the islands must-see places as well as being far enough away to feel like you’re on a remote island. Take a boat trip out and swim with the tropical fish in the coral reef, scuba dive or even do an under-water walk. There’s everything from five-star luxury resorts and boutique hotels, (such as Trou Aux Biches Resort & Spa and Le Cardinal Resort & Spa), to all-inclusive hotels, self-catering bungalows and villas to choose from.
Experience the Mauritian night life in Grand Baie and order one of the many exciting cocktails on offer at Banana Beach Club whilst listening to a live band playing a mix of up-lifting holiday vibes, new & old. The hundreds of restaurants along the main road from Mont Choisy to Grand Baie offer many different cuisines. The islands population consists of many different ethnic groups, including French-Mauritians (originally from France), Indo-Mauritians (from India), Creoles (from Africa), and Sino-Mauritians (Chinese), giving the island a diverse mix of wares to sample. Dining out can be a fairly expensive experience, so it’s always worth asking hotel staff and of course your fellow holiday-makers for recommendations to suit your taste and pocket. Try Le Capitaine with its romantic setting and sea views for some excellent sea-food at a reasonable price.
Take a day trip to Port Louis, the islands capital. Experience Mauritian life and mix with the friendly locals by taking one of the in-expensive, yet frequent local buses. In the city you’ll be reminded of the islands colonial past with the central post-office and its museum, the traffic lights & signs, policemen’s uniforms and there’s even a marble statue of Queen Victoria. The natural history museum houses a Dodo bird exhibit which was native to the island until it became extinct in the 15th Century. Visit the St.Louis Cathedral which is one of the island’s oldest buildings or the Port Louis Theatre which is the oldest theatre in the Indian Ocean.
The Cauden Waterfront is the place to be seen and to mix with the trendy and wealthy locals in Port Louis. With its luxury hotel & marina, shops, restaurants, casino and museums there’s plenty to see and do amidst the hustle and bustle. If you’re in Mauritius during the pleasant winter months, (between May and October), enjoy a Saturday afternoon spectating and people spotting at the Champs De Mars, (Ladies can enter the enclosure for free, gents a small charge). Sip a glass of champagne or have a glass of Phoenix, the local beer, or even try your luck and have a flutter on the horse races; a favourite Mauritian past time.
The main languages spoken in Mauritius are either French or English. As far as religion goes Hinduism is the predominant religion at around 50%, followed by a good mixture of Christians, Muslims, and Catholics. Visit the colourfully decorated Maheswarnath Temple in Triolet, the islands largest Hindu temple and take a guided tour with the High Priest who is never too busy to show you around.
Mauritius has a subtropical climate all year round, averaging 30 degrees during the summer & touristic high season, (November through to April), but also an impressive 25 degree average during the quieter winter months. So along with the faultless weather, the freshest seafood you will ever taste and the unspoiled beaches of powder soft sands, you’ll wonder why you haven’t booked your Mauritius holidays sooner! Mauritius really has something for everyone.
28 March 2012 09:40
Daves Honeymoon In Lombok
What a beautiful, lush tropical island with happy smiling people.
We stayed at the Qunci Villas, in a pool villa room. The resort’s located on Mangsit beach which is lovely and it’s only a 5 minute drive (£1.20 in a taxi) from the main resort of Sengiggi. The hotels staff were superb, so friendly they couldn’t do enough for us. Food in the hotel was excellent and similar in price to what you would pay in the UK (beer approx £2.50). There was a small local supermarket across the road too so if you wanted snacks or drinks to take back to the room you could also go there.
As all beaches in Indonesia are public spaces you do get hawkers, but it’s a great way of getting some cheap souvenirs, well as long as you can barter a good deal! In the evenings we used to go in to Sengiggi where there’s a good selection of bars and restaurants. Away from the hotel food was really cheap, with a great selection of cuisine to choose from. Our favourite bar was Happy Café where we spent several nights listening to local live bands until the early hours.
One day we hired our own private boat with a driver/guide who took us to the Gili Islands. First we stopped at Gili Trawagan where we took a horse and cart around the island, their local mode of transport. We paid around £10 for an 1 hour trip so really good value. After this we jumped back onto the boat and headed for the next island of Gili Meno where we snorkelled and saw some amazing sights, including their famous sea turtles.
We then headed for Gili Air which is the smallest of the islands, we had a late lunch and sampled the local cuisine – absolutely delicious. Around 4pm we took a smooth easy crossing back to the hotel, which took about an hour and we got dropped off on the beach right outside our hotel. The Gili Islands are simply amazing and a must on any trip to Indonesia.
After seeing the beautiful Gili islands we wanted to explore more of Lombok, so we organised a private driver for the day to take us around the island. We were picked up at around 8am and headed south to the capital city of Mataram. We passed through the bustling streets and saw local vendors selling everything from bike tyres to apples. We stopped at a local coffee shop for a bite to eat and soaked up the atmosphere. We then headed 40mins further south to Banyumulek to see the islands biggest pottery factory.
We saw local women making pottery and stacks of pots piled high, ready to be shipped around the world. Next we went to the traditional village of Sukarara where we met local villagers, saw children playing in the streets and watched women using the old traditional looms. We got the chance to go into their local meeting room where we tried on traditional wedding attire and had a chance to buy some of their handmade attire. Next we drove to another nearby village called Rambitan, this was a Sasak village where the houses and rice storage buildings were still constructed with wood, bamboo and thatched roofs. We met more of the locals and were offered the chance to look in their houses to get a true insight in to their way of life.
We then headed to Kuta for lunch; Kuta is located on the south coast and is a small resort with a stunning golden beach. We had lunch in one of the many beach restaurants and then drove north to the Sendang Gile waterfalls which are 600 meters above sea level. A fantastic site and we managed to swim under the falls in one of the many pools (the water was freezing though). After a couple of hours we headed back to the car for the 2 hour drive home. This was certainly a day we wouldn’t forget as we got to see so much of the island and its culture.
To sum Lombok up, it’s an absolute AMAZING place and we would return in a flash! Contact us for one of our Tailor-Made Holidays and we'll put you a quote together!
28 March 2012 09:35
Kadie Tours Sri Lanka
I've recently got back from Sri Lanka after doing one of our Sri Lanka Multi Centre Holidays. Arriving into Sri Lanka at 7am it was an early start but as soon as I left the airport I felt energized with excitement. I was amazed to see the streets already buzzing with people, either on their way to work or walking to school. Throughout the week I travelled around this stunning Island and was fascinating to see all of the different cultures and sights, where else would you see a giant 10ft statue of Jesus on the side of a road apart from in Negombo – brilliant!
I stayed my first night in Negombo; around 30 minutes north of the airport. There’s a selection of luxury hotels, as well as more basic properties situated on the Beach. I stayed at the 4+ Star Jetwing Sea hotel (Above Image - left). It’s recently been renovated; the lobby is a large open plan space which leads down to the restaurant and has spectacular views of the Indian Ocean. I stayed in a deluxe room which is almost twice the size of the superior rooms with a large sunken bath and rainforest shower – very plush! All rooms are sea facing with all mod cons. We also visited their sister hotel, the 5 star Jetwing Beach (Above Image - centre), with more restaurants and located on a nicer part of the Beach it's definitely a superior option.
The following day we drove down the coast and visited the Turtle Sanctuary at Kosgada. Over 3 million turtles have hatched there in 30 years. They’re protected whilst nesting and then released back into the Ocean when they’re just a few days old. It’s not expensive and definitely worth a visit.We then drove through Colombo which is a fascinating city; the architecture a mixture of Dutch, British Colonial and Contemporary Modern.
We stopped for a few hours at the Mount Lavinia Hotel (Above Right) which is around 15 mins drive from Colombo. If you’re doing a Sri Lanka Tour, this is an ideal hotel to stay at for a few days, either before or after your tour. It used to be the Governors house and was built in the 18th Century. It has been extended over the years but has so much character and there are still parts of the property which still have the original features. We also popped in to see the nearby Saman Villas which is ideal for honeymooners, a small secluded resort with various suites, some which include private plunge pools.
After the Coast we went to Habarana which is a great base for touring the surrounding area. We stayed at the Cinnamon Lodge which is a luxury property, ideal location for touring and also has ideal facilities if you simply want to relax by the pool or enjoy the spa. From Habarana we visited the Sigiriya Rock (Above Image - Left), it was transformed into a fortress around 470 AD and at the summit there are ruins of the old castle, it’s a good half a day excursion as there are over 1000 steps to climb. Inside the rocks there are various chambers which have various artifacts such as the Mirror Wall and ancient traditional paintings. From here you can also visit the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage (Above Images - Centre).
Next we drove to Kandy; en-route we visited the Heritance Hotel Kandelama which is a beautiful 5 star resort, with stunning views of the surrounding area. From here you can spot a lot of wildlife such as exotic birds, herds of elephants and monkeys. We had a brief stop at the Dambulla Rock Caves to take some pictures of the Giant Gold statue of Buddha. We also stopped at a Spice Market and had a quick tour, which was really interesting - the products were not cheap though!
In Kandy we toured the city, known as the Spiritual Capital of Sri Lanka. It’s home to many temples, most famously the Temple of Buddha’s Tooth. Kandy was the highlight of my trip and I wish we’d had a few extra days there as there was so much going on and it was such a vibrant city. In Kandy there also the Famous Botanical Gardens which was the first place in Sri Lanka to start growing Tea before it was mass produced down further down in the South. We also visited the Millennium Elephant Foundation in Kegalle which is around 24 miles from Kandy.
After Kandy we visited Nuwara Eliya where the scenery is stunning. We commented that it reminded us of the Lake District. You also feel like you’ve stepped back in time, the Architecture being very British in Style. We stayed at the Grand Hotel which is classed as a 3 star hotel, however it is being renovated and the standard you couldn’t fault. The hotel was lovely, in really nice gardens and the food was Fantastic.
Our last day we spent the morning at a working Tea Factory (Above Images - Right), we were walked through the process of producing tea. We also saw how technology is changing the way it is produced with one machine being able to do the job for 10 people which was a shame but it looked a lot safer as a lot of the equipment that is used by the workers looks like it hasn’t been updated in hundreds of years!
Overall an excellent trip – The interior of Sri Lanka is amazing, Kandy and Habarana are such impressive places, with so much culture and sights to explore, with impressive hotels and great pools to relax by during the day. You don’t even need a beach, I could have just spent the whole holiday in Kandy and Habarana. Give us a call if you fancy doing something similar, we can creat your own Sri Lanka Tailor-Made Holiday and it’s a great way to see this country. Don’t just go to the beach as you miss all the best bits.
30 January 2013 15:46
America Multi Centre Holidays
If you’re going to America then it’s a shame to just visit one place. Multi Centre Holidays allow you to see more and do more, and combine it all in to one holiday.
Images: Left - Statue of Liberty (New York) | Centre - San Francisco Skyline | Right - New York Yew York Hotel (Las Vegas)?
You could combine some of the great East Coast cities, visiting places like New York, Washington, Boston and Philadelphia all in one trip. Instead of just going Orlando to enjoy the thrills at the theme parks, why not stop at New York en-route for a little shopping. If California is more of interest, before heading to the popular cities of LA, San Francisco and San Diego, why not start with a little partying in Las Vegas.
With all the excitement of the big cities how about some time relaxing on the beach and again America has a wealth of choices. You could combine your California adventure with a visit to the tropical paradise of Hawaii. If trendy beaches and partying is more your scene, why not combine your New York City Break with some time at Miami Beach. However if you just want time to relax with the family Florida’s Gulf Coast is just perfect. These ideas are just a taste of what’s on offer… the choices are endless!
Images: Left - Hawaii | Centre - Yosemite National Park | Right - Gulf Coast Beach (Florida)
Is it going to cost you more than just a standard holiday? A little yes but not as much as you may think. There’s the cost of getting you between the different destinations which is extra expense, but dependent on what you want to do some international flights allow certain stops or offer add on internal flights for just a few extra pounds. Some places are easy to drive between and this can actually become a highlight of your itinerary. If the itinerary is put together properly it can be done cost effectively.
The best thing to do is contact one of our specialists who will advise you what destinations work well together and how to get the most out of your USA Multi Centre Holidays. So if America is on your list of places to visit, get in touch today and have a chat with us. We can give you some great ideas and help you find your dream USA Holiday.
30 January 2013 15:45
Visiting Cape Town (The Highlights)
Whether you're looking to simply relax, after exciting nightlife, amazing wildlife or adventure sports - Cape Town has it all. So on you next South Africa Multi Centre Holidays make sure Cape Town is part of your itinerary.
The scenery is stunning, a trendy city and harbour front with the spectacular Table Mountain acting as a back drop. A vast array of breathtaking beaches and bays dot the coast with lush landscapes surrounding it all. With all the photographic opportunities around every corner you're going to need a lot of film for your camera.
Fantastic cuisine and wonderful wines await you in every restaurant and the wealth of culinary options means you can try something different every time you dine. Crocodile, Ostrich, Springbok and Kudu are just a few of the wonderful Game meats on offer and it's all cooked in a variety of ways, however my favourite is to simply have it flame grilled as its just so tasty without any sauces. If you want to stick with chicken, beef or Lamb then you won't be disappointed as an array of traditional and unusual dishes await you. The seafood is amazing too - to be honest I'm not a huge fan of fish and seafood but I wanted to try it and I was amazed. The Calamari was just so tender, the fish so tasty and the choice was just so wide. All I can say is if you like your food you will love Cape Town, the choice, the quality is the best I've found from all the places I've visited.
If seeing the local wildlife is at the top of your list then there's a huge diversity of animals you can see on safari as well as in the wild. Everything from Lions and wild cats, to whales and dolphins. Make sure you go to see the penguin on the Cape Peninsula - there a must see.
For a bit of retail therapy then you can hit the designer shops at the V&A waterfront. There are also various smaller boutiques in the city bowl or if you're after locally produced crafts then there are various markets throughout the city.
If history interests you then there are plenty of opportunities to soak up a bit of culture; from the numerous museums to the various sites you can explore just wondering around the city. A boat trip to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for many years is also a must.
Now if adventure sports and activities is your thing then there are just too many to name, but a firm favourite whilst in Cape Town is diving with the sharks. If you like watersports then there's a number on offer including surfing or sailing. You should also make the most of the mountain sports which include paragliding or abseiling from the top, mountain biking around many of the trials and not forgetting hiking up and down it.
If relaxing is at the top of your agenda then you can choose to visit one of the many beaches. You can go wine tasting in the Winelands or just wonder around the beautiful streets and have a glass of wine whilst watching the yachts in the harbour.
Whatever you enjoy doing Cape Town can deliver... so when it comes to booking your next Tailor Made Holidays contact us and we can make sure its one of your stops!