Posts Tagged 'holiday home'

The Goddess of Love Came to Be in Paphos, Cyprus

All this and Aphrodite too.

All this and Aphrodite too.

Ancient finds are numerous within the islands and mainlands between Greece and Turkey. Paphos can claim to be one huge archaeological site with the endorsement of UNESCO labeled as a world heritage site.  It is here you can visit many points of interest, leaving time as your only limitation.

Along the southwest coast of Cyprus lies the city of Paphos, which originally was the capital in Roman times. It inhabitants date from 1400 BC. Greek Mythology is the basis of Paphos. This is where the legend of the Greek Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, was born. And it was Aphrodite, who in turn, had given the name Paphos to her only daughter.

Besides tales of Gods and Goddesses, Paphos also professes strong ties to the early Christianity period. Many relics can be found here intact; as its treasures have survived the numerous raids it experienced in 3000 years.

Today, Paphos has been revived on the strength of tourism and its ancient finds. The temperate weather, antiquities and the Mediterranean Sea only adds to an ideal vacation. A stay at one of the new vacation rentals that offer panoramic views of the sea and own beachfront such as a 1 or 2 bedroom unit at Cypria Maris is the perfect solution.

Legend states that Aphrodite emerged from the Mediterranean Sea. In Paphos,  two “official” places authenticate her existence. 
To examine one of these breathtaking sites is with a walk along the shore at the Akamas Peninsula. Before you know it, you will be in view of several beautiful rock formations in a natural grotto. This is where the mythological goddess Aphrodite was said to be born, upon the sea foam along the larger rock that juts from the sea. The rock is named Petra tou Romiou or The Venus Rock. Being a daughter of Zeus and Dione, she automatically was given a bona fide goddess title. 

The Baths of Aphrodite, at nearby Polis, are supposedly the “Fountain of Love” or Fontana Amorosa; being a few miles further into the Akamas Peninsula. The painting, “The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli, will immediately come to mind. Perhaps Botticelli observed the formations on a visit and obtained his inspiration of her “rising from the sea.”
Although the romantics will appreciate the story of Aphrodite, there are many more authentic historical sites to visit in Paphos. Some highlights in the archaeological hot spot are constantly evolving;  meaning that more than one visit to this historic island is needed.

Contrary to its name, the impressive Tombs of the Kings bear no true kings or royalty that are buried within. Rather the site is final resting place for those who lived and died in Paphos between 3 BC and 3 AD. The remains are of approximately 100 aristocrats who lie within tombs which are carved out of solid rock.  There are Doric pillars, fresco walls made as if it were for supreme royalty. The 100 tombs on the site cover a wide area, so make sure you take your walking shoes.

Reflect on the history in a relaxing vacation rental.

Reflect on the history in a relaxing vacation rental.

The Mosaics of Paphos were created during the Roman era rule of the island a mere 2000 years ago. Paphos did well financially under Roman rule, however, many of these villas were destroyed by a massive earthquake. The discovery in 1962 is still in its infancy and no doubt more will be unearthed during excavations. Many of the mosaics feature mythological scenes and are one of the best preserved relics to be found throughout the world.

As you can judge, Paphos is not just a beach resort and allows variety for all tastes. To truly enjoy your visit, split up the time between a relaxing day and an intensive one. There is no better way to achieve this than with a vacation rental to lay back, swim and enjoy the sea.

The Sun and Nature are revered in Kozino, Croatia

Chill out with a view like this with a vacation rental.

Chill out with a view like this with a vacation rental.

Provide you and those around you, an entirely new perspective on life. The cure all begins by experiencing the beauty of the sun, sea and stone-built architecture. These are just a few of the excellent reasons to visit Kozino, Croatia. Kozino is situated on the Adriatic Coast in the southernmost part of the country. 

This ideal destination offers a gentle atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of contemporary life. It can only be describes as a true picture perfect Mediterranean getaway at a fraction of the cost of other seaside destinations. There are two possibilities for the area; you can make your holiday as active as you wish with historical points of interest or inactive by taking a more lazy approach and just enjoy the breathtaking change of scenery of Kozino and other remote villages.

And what scenery it is! On the many clear days in Kozino, the natural beauty surrounded by Mediterranean fauna makes it a tranquil retreat, perfect for strolling and meeting the locals. The crisp scent of dawn gives way to the break of day and genuine quiet solitude can be found, especially with a 2 bedroom vacation rental home overlooking the sea.

Beyond appealing to the visual, with the crystal-clear sea, sailing, diving and divine beaches, head towards  the historical city of Zadar; a mere 5 miles away. As the closest neighbor to Kozino, Zadar has a wealth of museums and churches, with historical and cultural heritage dating back to prehistoric times.  Over the years, great care has been taken to preserve the findings as things were not always so peaceful in the land of tranquility. Many wars and disputes are noted throughout the centuries with the ancient Illyrians, Romans and continuing into the 5th century under the rule of Venetians and finally splitting one nation into several.

Great strides have been made to keep in time with modern day conveniences without losing the relaxed pace and strong connection to nature. Many have stated that the ”most beautiful sunset in the world” takes place here.

The admiration of the sun is so strong that a work of modern art known as the ”Greeting to the Sun” was created at the very end of the Zadar peninsula. Your first impression will be that it is an amphitheater because of the circular design; but it actually becomes an impressive show of light with a replica of our Solar System planets and their orbits surrounding it.

Nature at its best in Kozino

Nature at its best in Kozino

This festival of lights protrudes to the rhythm with three hundred multi-layer glass panels. The glass conduction plates are actually photo-voltage solar modules and the displays of colored light become symbolic towards nature. Of course, the sun is the shining star of the show,  for which it is dedicated to as the icon of life. Beside the feast for the eyes, the ears are not left out. Sounds are provided by the Sea Organ with a preference towards  waves pounding and wind whooshing.

There is one thing for sure in Kozino; you will leave refreshed, rejuvenated and more in touch with nature. Isn’t this perfect for sharing Kozino and it neighbors with others in a vacation rental?

Makov, Slovakia Gears up for the Winter Season

 It’s beginning to feel a lot like winter every where;  especially in Makov, Slovakia; and that means winter sports time! As the season progresses the winter peaks become tipped with snow early on. You will appreciate Makov, Slovakia. As a small village it is situated 1900 feet above sea level.

A vacation cottage is the perfect solution to enjoy the countryside.

A vacation cottage is the perfect solution to enjoy the countryside.

One of the best hidden secrets is that Makov, Slovakia, located just south of Poland,  is on its way to become a top notched ski designation. For those who wish to ski but may be intimidated by larger mountain regions, this is a perfect place to begin. Makov’s skiing aspirations as a world class winter wonderland makes perfect sense. Here you will find snow-white blankets gradually rolling down mountainous swells creating a playground for winter sports for the novice and more experienced skier alike.

The ski slopes adheres to easy and medium difficulty and there are several lifts available.  The overall length of the longest run is approximately one mile and is regularly treated.  Most of the slopes are located in the 2000 to 3000 feet range above sea level. The average ski season lasts for 90 days from December thru March, but with the completion of building artificial snow guns, the season may last longer; well into April.

Cross-country skiing paths follow the ridge of the surrounding hills in the heart of the Kysuce Nature Reserve. What better way to be introduced to the most popular winter sport than in the country side of Makov, Slovakia?

Makov and the entire Zilina region are destined to become the most important centers of winter and summer tourism in Slovakia. Located in a pleasant and quiet environment by residing in a modern vacation rental sleeping eight, everyone in your group can have the opportunity learn to ski. Or if you are planning  to visit during the summer, take a dip in your private swimming pool or nature walks through the great raw beauty right outside your cottage. With a vacation rental you will experience first hand the potential Makov offers along with  its wonderful people.

There are several restaurants and shops available in the small village of Makov. If you are seeking  for some historical and cultural quality time away from the slopes and countryside, you will not be disappointed.

The nearby city of Bytca is only just 15 miles away and will appease your wanderlust. Its abundant historic and cultural monuments make for a very attractive day trip. The town features a manor house from the 13th century. It was rebuilt as a Renaissance castle in the 16th century featuring four buildings.  It is one of the few Renaissance manor houses in Slovakia, free from any alterations and has kept its original appearance.

Countryside, skiing, a vacation rental are yours in Makov, Slovakia

Countryside, skiing, a vacation rental are yours in Makov, Slovakia

Another village, Cadca, offers a festival in the summer of spiritual songs. Known as Magnificat, you can find the festivities outside the 18th century Baroque St. Bartholomew church.

The surroundings of Makov appear as though they were made for Renaissance dreams, country living and fairy tales. Groups of young adults, singles, couples and families with children, who desire to experience the atmosphere of outdoor life, are discovering that Makov adds up to the beauty and tranquil surroundings. It is possible for hiking trips in the mountain ranges during most seasons. But do not write off winter, as you take advantage of the snow and learn to ski.

Don’t Just Dance with the Penguins; Dive in and Swim – Cape Town, South Africa

Tranquillity, comfort and all you need in a vacation home

Tranquillity, comfort and all you need in a vacation home

Cape Town is beautiful city with a rich ethnicity, history and unique geography. Its inhabitants are made up of many cultures including Indonesian, French, Dutch, British and German as well as native Bushman, thus making up a motivating blend of heritage.

The city offers an appealing architectural legacy, fine cuisine and blooming gardens. The imposing presence of natural features such as Table Mountain towers above the city on one side as the sea does to the other. The range of museums are so vast, that you will never get to visit them all.

By heading just 15 minutes outside of the city limits, rows of picturesque towns will appear. You will find yourself in a paradise for nature lovers and hikers alike. Cape Town is also within ten minutes to vineyards of the acclaimed South African wines considered outstanding by many wine connoisseurs.

The surrounding mountains and forests will give immediate relief as you’re miles away from the stresses of modern-day life. The whole family can get in the spirit with a vacation rental that is little more than a stone’s throw away from some of Cape Town’s most popular tourist attractions. This three bedroom gem at Silvermist Mountain Lodge sleeps six.

The official National Park, Boulders Beach, is a forty minute drive from Cape Town but is well worth it.  This is a must on your itinerary. Located in a gorgeous haven between Simons Town and Cape Point, this world renowned beach houses something you would never come in contact with during any other seaside visit.

Once there, the cantaloupe-round granite boulders give shelter and affords interesting discoveries of one little cove after another. Boulders Beach is excellent for snorkeling and swimming.

If anyone told you that you could see penguins in the wild along the beach, you would come to the conclusion that maybe Antarctica is not too far away. Penguins are seen as a vulnerable species and can be seen in zoos throughout the world.

Silvermist Mountain Lodge is one of many to enjoy Cape Town

Silvermist Mountain Lodge is one of many to enjoy Cape Town

Instead, discover penguins first hand at Boulders Beach, allowing a real view of their colonies. With your camera in hand, you become completely charmed by their antics as they congregate on the beach. This is probably the only place in the world where you can actually swim among the penguins but keep your distance. Although they are not put off by tourists, let them do their own thing.  Just relish the once in a lifetime opportunity to see them in the wild. 

There are penguins at the aquarium in Cape Town too, but once you have seen them at Boulders Beach, anything else would appear secondary. So if the members in your party insist on heading to the aquarium; visit it first.

Boulders Beach is just one of the many sites to check out in Cape Town and its surrounding areas.  It is so easy to do so much when you stay at a vacation rental home.

Bossa Nova along the Pearl of the Atlantic – Sao Paulo, Brazil

Wake up to view like this one. It will only enhance your vacation.

Wake up to view like this one. It will only enhance your vacation.

Everything in Sao Paulo seems larger than life and rightfully so. Known as the Latin American powerhouse by being the business capitol of South America; it has the busiest port and houses a population of at least 11 million inhabitants just within its urban confines. But Sao Paulo is more than a cosmopolitan city; it is actually a state within Brazil that is culturally diverse, vivacious, and full of unparalleled beauty. A visit to the State of Sao Paulo will give you the best of urban, suburban and rural enviroments.

Enjoy the sun between the mountains and the sea and have the advantage of the close proximity to the capitol, Sao Paulo City. Besides the best beaches south of the Equator along the Atlantic Ocean are in the towns of Sao Sebastiao, Guaruja, Riviera De Sao Lourenco and Ubatuba. This area is known for its excellent waves and it is the place for many International surfing championships.

Obtain the finest holiday along the seaside in the State of Sao Paulo with a vacation rental. Get away to a private sanctuary and rent a one bedroom that sleeps five, such as in this one at the Hotel Wembley Inn located on Toninhas Beach. Make it easy on yourself to obtain great accommodations at a low price in a sought after world class beach resort. You will have the comforts of home in unsurpassed surroundings and access to both natural and manmade wonders.

Head to the city, where you will find numerous art museums and historic buildings. If you don’t take your camera, you’ll regret it. The best collection of colonial art and artifacts found in South America is in The Museo de Arte Sacra & Jardim da Luz. Deemed by many as an opportunity not to be missed, look towards the Sao Paulo Museum of Art (MASP).  The collection consists of both European and Brazilian art dating from antiquity to the present.

The coastal towns offer an abundance of interest too. Guaruja is a popular beach resort near to Sao Paulo City. This beach resort has remains of its former past such as the 16th century Barra Grande Fortress and Armacao das Baleras.  The former was the first industrial plant set up in the State of Sao Paulo for the extraction of whale oil.

The natural wonders are free to see in Sao Paulo, Brazil

The natural wonders are free to see in Sao Paulo, Brazil

The largest aquarium in South America,  Acqua Mundo Theme Park is located along the coast. This aquarium claims to have more than 700 species of aquatic animals and is a place to certainly entertain the smallest member of your party.

The pinnacle of a trip to the State of Sao Paulo is walking through a jungle near the coast among water falls and a portion of nature where the fauna and flora flourish. Become a budget eco-tourist with an outing into the jungles among the increasingly mountainous and heavily forested Serra do Mar. Several operators can arrange day tours to the different jungles within and near the State of Sao Paulo.  Just think how difficult to it will be to decide between the green or the urban jungle as you Bossa Nova the night away. The only solution is just do both on your vacation.

Something to Dive In More Ways Than One – South Sinai, Egypt

One of most admired vacation communities sits on the South Sinai Peninsula, which offers the simplicity of sun, sea and sand.  South Sinai is known for the best snorkeling and scuba diving along the peaceful waters as underwater enthusiasts have been delighted with for years.

Luxury in your own vacation rental home in South Sinai

Luxury in your own vacation rental home in South Sinai

Then there are the endless, shifting dunes of the desert and granite peaks giving the South Sinai a personality never witnessed before.

While on vacation in the South Sinai region, don’t miss taking a trip to the national park of Ras Mohamed. Tour operators in Naama Bay offer day trips by boat, allowing for an abundance of scuba and snorkling.  The Ras Mohamed National Park was established in 1983, both on land and on water, to preserve the area’s unique ecosystems. You’re never far from nature at work within the park.

The most popular area in the South Sinai is Sharm El Sheikh which presents nightlife, spas, international cuisine restaurants, cafés, tour operators, casinos, and internet access.

The Sanafir Vacation Club, shown here, is a two bedroom modern fully equipped apartment sleeping six. The resort is in the heart of Naama Bay, making it a convenient location and still offering privacy.

If diving and snorkeling are not your style; a very popular option for the non-diver are the large fleets of glass bottom boats accessible in Naama Bay, so the opportunity is presented to see some wonderful colorful marine life staying out of the water.

Located in the old town of Sharm, you can find a more “traditional “side of Egypt. The streets are filled with bazaars and restaurants

In the evening, dine under the stars in a tent in the desert. The feast begins after sunset as you are driven into the desert while Bedouin men and women cook a traditional Egyptian meal consisting of meat, fish, rice, pasta with dessert and some herbal homemade tea. As you sit in the Bedouin tent, you will hear the first hand experiences of life and living in the desert and other traditional Bedouin lifestyles.

For some non-traditional times in the desert, try quad biking. This is held in the desert areas outside of Sharm. Better yet, visit the Colored Canyon with a very popular safari tour. The dramatic rock formations and canyon walls will take your breathe away.

One will find a treasure trove in South Sinai, filled with not only diverse landscape but history as well. A tour operator or agent can arrange some unique trips that will create many memories.

Mount Sinai, aka Moses Mountain, is one of the top attractions to visit. It is not for the faint hearted because the climb along the path of Moses is a four hour trek. You can make it easier on your self by riding a camel most of the way. This is fantastic, although the climb by foot or camel may be very tiring, it is worth it for the amazing views.

Pleasant dreams and delightful realities await you.

Pleasant dreams and delightful realities await you.

At the foot of Mount Sinai stands St. Catherine’s Monastery, which in itself is very beautiful and has a real sense of history about it. The richly decorated Orthodox Church, was built around what is thought to be Moses’ Burning Bush and water well, thus making the bible stories come alive.

The pinnacle of a visit to South Sinai is to go back even further in time with an invitation from the Pharaohs with a day trip to Cairo. Be prepared for a long journey that starts very early in the morning taking six hours. This may be your only chance to see one of the last remaining wonders of the world of the Great Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza. The Cairo Museum can be explored also. You will be back in the evening just in time to set your head upon a pillow in your vacation rental.

Tortola is the New Zen!

Zen is all about relaxation and appreciation of the beauty that surrounds you. There are many private islands with villas abound in the Caribbean for those seeking their Zen, both with simplicity and splendor. Many believe that if you are not independently wealthy, the chances of a similar visit are null. Unless of course you consider this alternative solution; Tortola!

Live on a lush island with your own vacation rental

Live on a lush island with your own vacation rental

Appreciate much of its charm, rather than with a short visit, but by staying in a villa vacation rental instead. The beaches on the East End of the island are a lot less popular, not because they are any less beautiful, but they are developed to assure privacy. Have you independence and luxury with this wonderful two bedroom sleeping four. This villa allows you to have the convenience of a resort next door, if you hanker for some live entertainment or dining out.

There is never a long enough visit in Tortola to savor the beautiful scenery and get a feel of this lovely island. Here you can enjoy a fruity rum punch and lounge around in the ambiance of nature for awhile while listening to Calypso band playing in the distance. There are other things to see and do on this lush island.

The Sage Mountain Park

This is tallest mountain in the British Virgin Islands and a delight for hikers. There are remnants of the primary rainforest near its peak. You have numerous trails that will lead right to it. There are also placards that identify various vines, flowers, trees and several rare and endangered plant species that grow within Sage Mountain. If this your only chance to see a rainforest, visit it.

Dolphin Discovery

Yes, swimming and playing with the dolphins will create a fun and unforgettable experience. This is your opportunity to encounter these highly intelligent and friendly marine mammals.

Mount Healthy National Park

The sugar plantation era in Tortola was strong and the evidence was left behind of the windmill and old mill of this National Park. There are also other remains believed to be the Boiling House and the Overseer’s Quarters in the immediate area.

Now is the time for your visit.

Now is the time for your visit.

The Callwood Rum Distillery

Callwood is a historic rum manufacturer that has been in operation for over four centuries. Plan a visit while discovering the family behind the plant and how rum is manufactured. What’s more is that you get to sample the product. 

Fort Recovery

Fort Recovery was built by the Dutch colonists in 1648. The ruins are on the grounds of the Fort Recovery Estate. You are allowed to wander around the ruins and visit the lookout tower.

An open-air jitney bus is a great way to see most of the island’s beautiful beaches, coves, and bays. You will want to swim in them all and it is certain you can never choose a favorite.

Ride along a spiraling road down from the hills and the view as you approached magnificent scenery. Lots of small sailboats may be anchored in the bay making the view even more picturesque if that is possible. Often people sail around the island, anchoring for a night or two; but you have the advantage of a vacation rental villa in Tortola and can stay as long as you wish.


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