Posts Tagged 'Romans'

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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Romans, Pirates and a Lady – Kalkan, Turkey

A vacation rental with views of where pirates and Romans fought.

A vacation rental with views of where pirates and Romans fought.

It is only speculative as to when Kalkan was founded and even the locals dispute the time frame and who arrived first. Many will point out that their version is correct but one thing is certain; it is apparent that “Old Town” of Kalkan exudes with both Greek and Turkish heritage. History states that the town was previously known as “Phoenicus.”  It is a labyrinth of small cobblestone streets winding down to a picturesque harbor. Today the former ambiance exists but is now lined with roof terrace restaurants, offering spectacular sunset views on the waterfront and trendy harbor side cafes with friendly locals.

The harbor is revered from its past as being the only safe haven for ships during rough weather along the entire coast and beyond. In fact, Kalkan is a Turkish word meaning ‘shield’. It is this cove that housed and hid pirates from the Romans, whom they fought up and down the coast and the nearby Island of Rhodes. The entire region obtains the reputation as belonging to the pirates and the harbor’s strategic location helped pirates seize merchant ships and the goods they contained while sailing through these waters.

The Ogan 3 is a wonderful option as a vacation rental which can accommodate the whole family or a group traveling together, affordable in price with the unobstructed views of the harbor and the Mediterranean Sea. Escape the urban or fast-paced environment of daily life and instead crossover for a total tranquil diversion. An added bonus is obtained of sharing quality time with those who surround you. With averaging 300 days of sunshine a year,  relax by your pool and let your imagination take off releasing thoughts of pirates of the past and their battles.

With its clear, clean aqua color water and beach facilities, Kalkan has been awarded the highly desired European “Blue Flag” year after year. With an honor like that, you can be assured that the beaches are ideal for all types of water sports, diving and swimming.

Take a side trip to visit the nearby villages offering ancient ruins, plenty of documented history and other points of interest. Becoming a popular beach holiday destination for travelers who seek privacy as well as exploration; Kalkan has the charm of a tranquil fishing village. 

Sunny days and delightful beaches await you.

Sunny days and delightful beaches await you.

And who is this unnamed lady the locals speak of? They claim she was instrumental in placing Kalkan on the map 150 to 200 years ago. As the legend begins, the unnamed lady from the Isle of Meis, the sponge capital of the world, took the initiative and arrive in Kalkan with goods from her hometown to sell. She became so successful with her venture, that other entrepreneurs from Meis heard the news of her new found fortune, immediately moved to Kalkan and set up their businesses. The town soon became a small flourishing port filled with a growing population.

Whether this story is fact or not is irrelevant. Today Kalkan is a delight that presents itself with beauty, sunny days and tradition. It is interesting to note though that Kalian’s architectural style closely resembles that of the houses in Meis. You decide when you visit this gem of the Mediterranean.

Lagos, Portugal is the Land of Discoveries.

The Algarve region in Portugal is dotted with many villages along its rugged and sandy coasts. One of the most striking is an attractive waterfront town on the Algarve, Lagos. Here you are in the middle of the cliffs of the most South-westerly point of Europe jutting into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and Moors all settled here. Henry the Navigator launched the age of discovery and arranged Vasco de Gama to set sail for what was to be his discovery of Brazil. There are several interesting statues erected to Vasco de Gama and other famous figures of the past that are associated with the history of this town and their past sea adventurers. The old town of Lagos is still surrounded by the medieval wall. Today visitors and the artists who remain only have found something special about Lagos beside the delightful beaches.

The family will be right at home in their vacation home.

The family will be right at home in their vacation home.

Lagos is popular with visitors for several reasons. The first being it is relatively diminutive in area. This makes it large enough to nurture activities yet small enough to feel quaint. Known for its miles of sandy beaches, Lagos is the ideal place on the Algarve in a holiday home such as this 3 bedroom with unlimited views facing the Atlantic.

It is easy to do nothing at all by lounging on the beach or venture into the numerous hidden gems of the area.  Lagos is a perfect escape for the entire family.

Everyday there is probably a festival of some sort going on in Portugal with its rich cultural heritage and religious roots. The windows of Lagos look towards the Americas, where at one time the view was considered to be the End of the World. That was of course until the discovery and European colonization of the Americas.

That is just what the upcoming Festa dos Descobrimentos (Festival of Two Discoveries) celebrates. It is the pinnacle for both locals and tourists looking forward to each year in Lagos. This year’s event begins near the end of October, running into the first weeks of November. What a wonderful way for any visitor to absorb Lagos’s culture celebrating the discovery period. You have chance to witness the bands, floats and costumes of this popular festival. 

The striking long park-like cobblestone and mosaic-patterned promenade runs along a section of the old city’s stonewall. The promenade stretches directly to the new Marina, totally pedestrian-friendly.

In the Marina visitors will find different boat tours, deep sea-fishing outings that can be arranged in advance. One of the best outing is to take is the grotto tour by signing-up with one of the vendors near the front of town. Observe from the water, the distinctive and magnificent cliffs that surround the Lagos and remember your camera.

A favorite among children and adults is Zoo Marine featuring dolphin interaction in an aquarium setting of over 8 acres. The theater presents One World – One Future a 4D animation concentrating on global warming.

Walk for miles along the coast.

Walk for miles along the coast.

If you are looking to get away for a quiet area within Lagos, consider taking a hike up the coast. There are trails that run along the coast for a couple miles and leads to a nice lighthouse and eventually to some of the “grottos”. It is a great walk and even if you don’t go the whole way you can still get great views of the cliffs and rocky islands.

Krk, Croatia – On the Path of History and Culture.

There is more than one beautiful walled city in Croatia, other than the Pearl of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik. Krk is another, resting along the Croatian coastline and often compared with Dubrovnik because of its old town beauty.

Many people are confused as to whether Krk is an island or a city? Actually, it is both. Pronounced in English as Kirk; today, it is one of the most sought out Croatian Islands by vacationers.

It holds the regarded Blue Flag, designated by the EU Commission for its beaches; the honor guarantees cleanliness and high international standards of environmental protection. The area is extraordinarily plentiful in cultural and historical heritage.

Krk, the city, has close to 3000 years of history with Romans once reigning here. But just as recently as 1995, an ancient artifact found, proved that the predecessors were the Greeks. Time will tell who came before them, as more discoveries are uncovered. The traditional way of life points towards to the sea, agriculture and sheep rearing as is today.

During the Middle Ages, patrician families established chapels throughout the town of Krk and it seems you can not walk more than a few steps without passing a house of worship.

The best way be In Krk with a vacation home.

The best way be In Krk with a vacation home.

Travel is one of those rare phenomena that connect people and places from all over the world. The Latin motto, “Splendidissima civitas Curictarum” (splendid town of the people of Krk) originated from an inscription on a tombstone from the 4th century and splendid it is.

So while enjoying your island hideaway in a modern vacation home that sleeps 6, a visit to Krk, the city, is in order. A vacation home is a  wonderful opportunity to do things your way.

With so many nooks and crannies to explore, shopping for food is a delight. What better way than to bring home fresh produce from the market? The fresh fish, the shrimp and other shellfish are a must prepared with Krk olive oil.

Rise early one morning and sit in a café along the waterfront, sipping a hot cappuccino. During this tranquil and quiet moment, watch the day progress. First hearing the seagulls and watching them follow the arriving boats of fisherman. Walk to the nearby fish market where the activities begin. You could buy your entree for the evening meal or can always grab a pole, head to the waterfront, be patient, and catch dinner yourself.

A great kitchen to create your fresh seafood feast!

A great kitchen to create your fresh seafood feast!

Of course, with the numerous restaurants, you will not want to miss out on any of them; but it is nice to know you can prepare a meal in your kitchen. The special quality time shared inside your holiday home or out on your veranda overlooking the green hills of the countryside with your companions and family is only enhanced.

Some of the many monuments and sights in Krk of historical purpose include:

• The Main Town Gate and Town Walls
When the town was surrounded by walls, this gate became the main entrance to the town from the seaside. The different layers expose different historical periods from Illyrian times to the fall of Venice.  The first layer is 1st century B.C. The last major reconstruction took place at the end of the 15th century.

• Vela Placa
The main city square, called Vela Placa (Big Square), presents the building of the Town Hall from the 15th century and has a Renaissance fountain. There is a most interesting archaeological site under the square.  Among the findings is the oldest part of the town wall from 4th-3rd century B.C.

• Frankopan Castle
The Frankopan castle is currently used for open-air performances in the summer months.

• Cathedral of the Assumption
The religious architecture dates to the 5th century with the churches of St Margaret and St Quirinus, patron saint of the town (11th/12th centuries), in which there is an exhibition of religious items, and a bell tower from the 18th century.

• The Celebrini House
The Celebrini House is a three-storey building with the facade having baroque elements of around 1700. In the past, the building also served as the seat of the district court.

• Franciscan Monastery
The monastery was originally part of the northern defence wall. The east wing was constructed in 1910 as a seminary. The monastery houses a painting by Renaissance painter Vittoreo Carpaccio of the Madonna and Child.

Krk, the island, has many villages to explore also. In the countryside, visit the Cave Biserujka. According to legend, a smuggler’s treasure is hidden within the cave. Even if you do not discover the treasure, the cave is filled with stalactites, stalagmites and calcite pillars in a comfortable spaciousness without feeling claustrophobic.  

It the past few years Krk has been repeatedly awarded for its high quality in tourism and it is no wonder. Between the many restaurants, cafés, boutiques, art galleries by the sea, in the harbor and within the town walls, Krk is a destination not to put off any longer.


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