Posts Tagged 'museums'

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?

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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.

Ditch the City and Head to South Bohemia, Czech Republic

Traveling to the Czech Republic should demand some attention away from the delightful city of Prague.  After all, Prague is certainly worth a visit but it is not the entire country. Exploring the fairy-tale like South Bohemia region with its many assets will have you gain insight as to what makes the Czech Republic tick.

South Bohemia is plentiful in historical sights with numerous castles and untouched nature.  The perfect way to enrich yourself in everything it offers is to choose one town and use it as your base to explore the rest; whether by car, on foot or on a bicycle.
 A vacation rental affords you the flexibility in discovering the entire South Bohemia region or just settling in for a quiet retreat type of vacation. Either way, you certainly will have numerous choices to rent including this 3 bedroom, Haus Fürst, that sleeps eight and is just 200 meters from a lake. Not only that, it is close to some of the best historical sights and terrain around.

One of the most beautiful towns nearby should not be missed and it is a pinnacle of the area.  Known as Cesky Krumlov, near the Austrian border, its fortress is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Certainly considered a cultural destination town; it can boast, besides its heritage site, an international art gallery, seven museums and four private galleries.

The city’s castle is the second largest in the Czech Republic with the fortress and castle complex built over six centuries. There are 40 buildings concentrated around five courtyards and well maintain gardens that demand a visit. The oldest structures are the winter riding hall and Baroque Castle Theater. This theater is one of most preserved halls in Europe.

With so much to investigate, if walking is not your thing, then you could always rent a Segway to transport you around the town.

Whether villages, heritage sites or nature; it is all in South Bohemia.

Whether villages, heritage sites or nature; it is all in South Bohemia.

Another dominant feature of South Bohemia is the amazing geography of rolling hills, rivers and forests. If you are yearning for the countryside, you are surrounded by the best Mother Nature could present anyone. Day trips can be easily arranged or head out on your own to one of the largest National Parks, Sumava National Park, within easy reach from most anywhere in South Bohemia.

As active the park is in the summer with visitors who love to trek and partake in summer activities; the park is simply as popular in the winter with a winter sports center that offers a number of ski runs and cross-country trails, cable-cars and a ski jump bridge.

Your options are limitless in South Bohemia with such activities as medieval festivals, a graphite mine, parachute jumping, beer tasting in the local brewery and historical wooden rafting along the Vltava River. There is no doubt the there is something that will appeal to everyone in your family and you can be assured to see more than the average visitor to the Czech Republic.

Bicycles, Cheese, Windmills and Volendam! – Netherlands

Be close enough to enjoy all of what a great city has to offer, while maintaining the country and seaside lifestyle. Sounds impossible?

Traditional ways are strong in Volendam.

Traditional ways are strong in Volendam.

You can actually have both with a visit to Volendam. Being only 20 kilometers away from the capitol of the Netherlands, Amsterdam; Volendamis a fishing village with the picturesque traditional Dutch architecture along the waterfront.

Among its bridges and channels, known as Doolhof(similar to a Labyrinth), this small village is an ideal holiday choice. Amsterdam can boast many activities but Volendam can take you away from the far and maddening tourists within the city and let you experience Dutch rural life. It is here where many of the natives actually still don traditional Dutch attire. 

Volendam, from its humble beginnings in 1462, began as the small rural borough and gradually developed into a prosperous fishing-village. The old village is left intact near the harbor, but to view what life was really about, a visit to the Volendam Museum located near the old quarter and the Volendam dyke. This small building is built on stilts at the edge of the main harbor. The stilts are there to protect the building from frequent flooding that occurred before the Zuider Zee was cut off from the ocean in the early 20th century.

Within its confines, the Volendam Museum offers exhibitions that include a wonderful display of traditional Dutch clothing, gorgeous original Dutch genre paintings, furnishings and interesting historical displays. 

A modern vacation rental at a Marinapark Volendam rowhouse.

A modern vacation rental at a Marinapark Volendam rowhouse.

Your accommodations of a vacation rental is a modern row house in Volendam, where you can enjoy all of Holland at its best. It is a perfect location to share with the entire family in a 3 bedroom at the brand-new Marinapark Volendam, located right on the water with its own marina and views of windmills in the distance.

Broaden your knowledge of Volendamand its history, not only at the museum but along the countryside and waterfront.  At the harbor, view the long-established fishing boats leaving in the morning and returning with their catch later on in the day. Purchase some before the catch heads to the market. Much of the attraction of Volendam is to sample fresh seafood, such as salted herring and smoked eel. The outcome is reminiscing of past centuries fishing atmosphere that you can not easily find elsewhere anymore.

Sample the very best of Dutch cheese on a traditional farm, in Edam, located only 2 km away. Of course you can always rent a bicycle, as biking is the preferred mode of transport. Go on a trip of discovery along scenic routes and if you happen to arrive in the spring, the colorful bulb fields are in full bloom. Don’t forget to balance your time with a visit to Amsterdam; its bustling city centre offers an abundance of culture with an air of cosmopolitan and is easily accessable by train.

Afterwards, it will be pleasure to return to the wholesome and hearty Volendam; where time seems to have stood still, except in your vacation rental.

The Night is White Until Daybreak in Madrid, Spain

For the past two years, Madrid, observed the Uno Noche en Blanco (one night in white) and due its amazing success it looks it though it has become a yearly tradition.

This year’s occasion will be celebrated on September 13th and can be defined as “the greatest expression of public art that has ever been organised” according to city officials. The influence of this interactive, artistic and alternative event is based upon the last full moon prior to autumn. A similar version is celebrated in many other European cities. What makes this happening even more exciting in Madrid is its inhabitants spend more time outdoors naturally even without an event of this magnitude. The mellow evening temperatures do not hurt either to walk around the many exhibits.

The best way to know a city like Madrid; with your own place in the center of it all.

The best way to know a city like Madrid; with your own place in the center of it all.

The event of the year begins at 9PM until 7AM the following morning. That gives you hours to discover some of the 150 great cultural activities planned throughout the city. There can be an opera concert on one street, a modern art exhibit on the next and even an acrobatic performance in the park. It is all there for you to discover with many surprises throughout. Just remember to take a nap during the day of the 13th, so you can enjoy the 10 full hours of a once in a lifetime memory.

Obtain a vacation rental to hang your hat, get some sleep and place on your walking shoes for this wonderful night or any other time in Madrid. With a loft 2 bedroom apartment, you have all the comforts of home for less than the price of a hotel room.

Be thrilled to know and experience that this lively metropolis and capitol of Spain is anything but boring even without Uno Noche en Blanco. Between theatres offering touring Broadway shows, an Opera house, great monuments, a Royal Palace  and multitude of renowned museums consisting of art, archaeology and history, Madrid proposes something for all. While the museums contribute both worldwide permanent and visiting collections; a visit to the green oasis, Retiro Park, affords some quality time with nature adjacent to the Royal Botanical Gardens. Take some time to explore the stylish architectural fine points along the Grand Via. These details will convince you that Madrid is a grand city not to be missed.

Holiday home in Madrid.

More room than a hotel can offer for less in price.

There are plenty of fine cafes and restaurants in Madrid that cater to all kinds of tastes or head to the Mercado (market) and obtain the fresh goodies and whip up something in your holiday home like this 2 bedroom duplex loft.

When should you visit Madrid? This is a city that is contemporary and on the go with a vibrant feel that draws you to her; so the perfect time is anytime.

Barcelona’s Last Hoorah of Summer!

The city of Barcelona’s biggest party, The Festes de la Mercè, is getting ready to have a good time! Parades, street music, dancing, a swimming race across the harbor, and a correfoc (fire race) are just a few of the activities to anticipate. There is something for everyone on the 19th leading up to 24th (a public holiday) 2008, which celebrates the day of the city’s patron saint … the Virgin de la Merce.

Events include the parade of the giants which is a procession through the streets is made up of enormous wooden figures operated by a group. There are fantastic firework displays and plenty of eating and drinking as is the case most festivals throughout the year in Barcelona.

Who is La Mercé? According to legend, Barcelona went through a tedious plague of locusts. La Mercè removed them and they never returned again. The festival is to honor her for her continuing protection against the locusts.

One highlight that you must look out for is the competition for which group of people can form the highest human pyramid. The best place to find the towers is in Placa de Sant Jaume where participants in traditional costume climb on top of one another until they can hold no more. This human tower often reaches around eight but who knows, the record may be broken!

What better way to enjoy the festival and Barcelona then in an apartment in the center of the city? Barcelona is so cosmopolitan whether there is a festival or not, and there’s no better way than with a vacation home.

Barcelona Holiday Apartments

Walking along Las Ramblas in the morning before the tourists get there or watching the sunrise on the Med. You can, by renting at the base of the Port Vell, such as the apartment at the right for less than a hotel would cost.

As the capitol of Catalunya, Barcelona can be appreciated by all age groups and interests. Primarily a cultural city, it consists of art, music, theater and other forms of entertainment, which are readily available. As a city, it comfortably maintains its centuries old past with the demands of a modern day metropolis with touches of Dali and Miro thrown in throughout.

The most prominent image of Barcelona is the Temple de la Sagrada Familia. Every art history and architectural major finds this incomplete church a vision come true. No where has design defeated what is written in text books. It is a canvas where the artist let his imagination run wild. The church was designed by Gaudi and has been under construction since 1882 and current estimates are that it will be completed by 2020. This gives you a chance to visit Barcelona more often and check out the progress.

Jazz It Up in Beaune, France!

Everybody loves French Wine! Well, that might be a bit over-the-top but the upcoming festival takes place from September 11 to 21 is a sure crowd pleaser especially with jazz thrown in. The festival brings about the major international players in the world and gets bigger every year for this 10 day festival.

The festival repeats the success of previous years and combines tasting of Burgundywines before each concert with a program of swing, blues, harmonies and improvisations. Where will this take place? In Beanue (pronounced bone), where the rest of the year it manages to retain the old world quality of small quaint village.

But this charming town is actually known as the capitol town of wines in the Burgundy Region. Made up of narrow cobbled streets and sunny squares dotted with cafés make it a lovely spot to sample the region’s wine anytime of the year. Besides fine food and classic French décor, you can even take a balloon ride over the entire Burgundy region. Beaune still manages to retain its air of an ancient French town while catering to the influx of tourists who come to sample and buy the wine.

Beaune Vacation Rental, France

Beaune Vacation Rental, France

What better way than take in the full aroma of Beaune than with a rental vacation home? It makes for the perfect hub to discover the entire region of Burgundy.

With many properties to choose from such as this 100 year old totally renovated 3 bedroom jewel for as low as $68 a night, you can see all of Burgundy too!

This way you can enjoy the festival, Beaune and Burgundy as well!

Things to do in Burgundy:

The prominent product in the Burgundy region naturally is the grapes. By not tasting and learning about these fine wines available would be a loss to recognize the true value of the culture of this province. One tour not to be missed is visiting a wine chateau where you will never feel like a tourist. You will grasp the influences of how the weather, types of grapes make up the classification system of grand, premier or table bottle of wine. Once home you can put that knowledge to good use and impress your family and guests.

Walking and cycling are popular activities in all of Burgundy and you can follow trails right through the pleasant wine-producing areas near numerous villages.

There are many galleries, museums and ancient villages within the area. You may not be able to hit on the entire area, but there is always time for another visit in the near future.

Musée Rolin – This museum has a vast collection of artifacts from the ancient Romans who settled in the small village of Atun, in which many of the structures within the confines of the fortified walls of the old town.

Fontenay Abbey – This UNESCO world heritage abbey was built in the middle of the 12th century near the town of Montbard. It is privately owned and is open for guided visits.

Hospices de Beaune – Founded in 1443 as a hospice for the poor of Beaune following the Hundred Years War, now converted, and preserved as a museum.


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