Posts Tagged 'vacation rentals'

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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Head to Zakopane in Poland for some fresh powder this winter

Your vacation rental in a typical mountaineer's house on Kasprowy Wierch

If you enjoy skiing and winter sports and are always on the lookout for new slopes to conquer you may want to try your luck this year at Poland’s premier mountain resort – Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains. Zakopane for years was a well kept secret which was popular with Poles and other Eastern European tourists who used to come here for the skiing in the winter and for hiking and camping in the lush mountain forests the summers. Now with the opening up of Eastern Europe, ski enthusiasts from all over the world head to Zakopane for its many world class ski slopes and its virgin natural beauty.

Like many other Alpine resorts, Zakopane is not really accessible by air and if you are headed to Zakopane from overseas you would have to fly into Cracow’s  Balice Airport  and then take a local bus or train or hire a car  to take you into the mountains in order to get to your vacation rental in the mountain resort of   Zakopane.  As many of the vacation rentals in Zakopane are equipped to sleep small groups perhaps you would like to ask a few friends to come along for the ride as skiing itself is quite a social sport which is best enjoyed with a bunch of friends.

Zakopane is located in the heart of the Tatra Mountains which are the youngest alpine mountain range that offer a variety of ski slopes to suit all levels of skiers. About fifty ski lifts abound in the region which is gaining much popularity among ski enthusiasts and winter sport lovers as the skiing in Zakopne is still more reasonable than in Switzerland or in the many  winter sport resorts located in the US.

A vacation rental located in the heart of Zakopane gives you access  to slopes and much more

A vacation rental located in the heart of Zakopane gives you access to slopes and much more

Kasprowy Wierch offers one of the best ski slopes in Zakopane and its summit can be reached via an ancient 1930’s cable car from Kuznice.  This slope is immensely popular with tourists in the peak ski season and in order not to get stuck in a queue for hours waiting to get access to the summit you should try and buy your cable car ticket at a travel agency in downtown Zakopane before you attempt to get the top. You could also try other slopes like the one at Nosal or the slope at Gubalowka, which is the closest slope to the town of Zakopane and whose summit is accessible by a newly built rail car or one of many T bar lifts.

For the more adventurous folk in your group, the slopes frequented by the locals from the surrounding mountain villages may also provide a new challenge.  The slopes at Bialka, Poronin  Bukowina Tatrzanska are perfect for this kind of adventure and for those who prefer cross country skiing to hurtling down long slopes the nearby Krokiew area may be ideal.

After you energetic day at the ski slopes you may want to head into the Zakopane town to take in many of its nocturnal delights which take the form restaurants, bars and clubs that line its main drag of Krupowki street. Krupowki street  is also home to all sorts of vendors and ski so if you want to shop for new ski gear its best to try the shops which are located here as prices for skiing gear in Poland are still lower than elsewhere.

Zakopane being largely a seasonal resort Krupowki street is particularly busy in the peak tourist season which is winter when ski enthusiasts from all over head to Zakopane  in search of fresh powder. So if you want the total mountain resort experience with the  skiing and the après-ski  nightlife  its best that you book your vacation rental for the coming ski season.

Escape to the Golden isle in Georgia to relax and rejeuvenate your body and soul

On the coast of the southern US state of Georgia lies a tranquil paradise in the form of Georgia’s ‘Golden isles’. These golden isles which are made up of four barrier islands-St Simons island, Sea Island, Little St Simons island and Jekyll Island are all accessible from the main land city of Brunswick. These islands were named the golden islands by the Spanish explorers who came here more than four hundred years ago in search of gold and instead found a serene stunning paradise which had golden sands and amiable year round weather.

Your beach-front vacation rental overlooking the golden sands and the ocean

Your beach-front vacation rental overlooking the golden sands and the ocean

St Simons Island is the largest of these four sun-dappled islands which is located across the Marshes of Glynn and is accessed by crossing two bridges that have been built over the river inlets and the marsh lands. This quaint island which has an all pervading sense of calm is characterized by a lush verdant landscape which is made up of gently swaying green grasses, tall palm trees and massive ancient oaks which are filled with Spanish moss. The marshes and creeks that surround the island teem with many kinds of birds, fish, crab and white tail deer and greatly enhance the ambiance of serenity which prevails on this stunning island. Moreover the island is constantly cooled by a gentle ocean breeze which blows in from the Atlantic Ocean and no matter where you are on the island you are always enveloped with this fresh breeze from the ocean which does provide a respite from the intense southern summer heat.

Majestic Oak Trees on St Simon Islands

Majestic Oak Trees on St Simon Islands

The beaches which are the biggest draw of the island are especially beautiful as they port a golden hue due to the mineral enriched sand which is packed tightly down. The sand on the beaches of St Simons Island is so firmly packed because the beaches are constantly washed by the waters of the changing tides. Most visitors to this tranquil golden paradise choose to book their vacation rentals close to these golden sands and luckily for them many of the vacation rentals on St Simons Island are located in beach-front condominiums which afford spectacular views of the ocean and these golden sands.

Moreover having a beach front vacation rental on  St Simons Island offers you easy access to  the water based activities that are offered on the island like sea kayaking, canoeing, boating, deep sea fishing, swimming, wind surfing, parasailing and of course simple beach combing. Another activity here which visitors to St Simons Island find most intriguing and extremely entertaining as well is ‘crabbing’. The islands waters are home to hordes of blue soft shell crabs and the local islanders  stand on the shoreline to fish for these crabs in a practice which is known as ‘crabbing’ wherein they  use a piece of chicken as a bait to attract and catch the crabs. Once you get the hang of crabbing it can provide you with hours of entertainment.

Your beach-front condo vacation rental on St Simon affords you easy access to its manywater based activities

Your beach-front condo vacation rental on St Simon affords you easy access to its many water based activities

The island is also well equipped for bicycling as it has many paved trails that you can follow from your vacation rental at the coast to the center of town or the Pier. If your vacation rental doesn’t offer you a bike rental you can easily rent one in town and enjoy exploring the island on your own. St. Simons Island is also home to seven fine golf courses and is also a popular destination for golfers from around the world. Apart from all these sporting activities the island also has many dining and shopping options in its main village.

For those who enjoy sight- seeing the island also has  much to offer in the form of its many renowned national monuments like its imposing  Ford Federica which was built in 1736 by James Oglethorpe to  protect the British colonies in North America from the marauding Spaniards in Florida who had  expansionist designs. The island also has other national treasures and historical landmarks like the Christchurch Church, the Bloody Marshes, the St Simons Lighthouse and the Neptune Park which has a mini golf course, a playground and even a fishing pier. In fact the golden isle of St Simon has much to offer for everyone and a vacation on this serene tranquil paradise is sure to relax and rejuvenate your body and soul.

Break new ground on the slopes of Oščadnica, Slovakia

If you are looking for some new challenges this Ski season why don’t you head to one of the newly discovered ski resorts in Slovakia? The Republic of  Slovakia is located to the south of Central Europe and it lies sandwiched between its more well known and prominent neighbors, Italy, Croatia, Hungary and Austria. The city of Bratislava located on the banks of the River Danube is Slovakia’s capital and its political, economic and cultural center as well.

Bratislava has become a popular tourist destination in recent years as it is served by many of Europe’s leading low cost airlines and now visitors to this lively city use it as a gateway to many of Slovakia’s other attractions like skiing on its Alpine slopes, bathing in its thermal springs, exploring its mysterious limestone plateau of Karst, walking in its many ancient forests and much more.

Why not stay at an apartment house rental in the village?

Why not stay at an apartment house rental in the village of Oscadnica?

Skiing is in fact become a big business in Slovakia as this tiny republic has established many ski centers at various Alpine locations which are constantly being upgraded and are always vying with each other to attract the many ski enthusiasts who traverse the globe in search of new slopes. Jasná, Ski centrum vrátna, Ski Park Ružonberok, Park Snow Donovaly, Park Snow Vysokétatry, Tatranská Lomnica and Snow Paradise Vel’ka Rača Oščadnica  are some of Slovakia’s most popular ski resorts which are constantly upgrading their facilities by installing new ski lifts and establishing many new après-ski activities in order to attract winter sport enthusiasts  to their slopes.

In fact one of the fastest growing ski resorts in Slovakia is Snow Paradise Vel’ka Rača Oščadnica which is a mid size ski resort located near the Slovak- Polish border. The resort is easily accessible by road from Bratislava and if you fly into the Slovakian capital you can get to this increasingly popular weekend getaway in under three hours.

In order to get to Snow Paradise from Bratislava you could also ride the convenient coach service which is run by the Skibus Company. This service departs from Bratislava’s Bajkalská station daily in the morning during ski season and offers a package which includes your bus ticket and a day ski pass. These coaches then return once the slopes close for the day.

Your vacation rental at a charming Slovak Alpine cottage close to the Ski runs

Your vacation rental at a charming Slovak Alpine cottage close to the Ski runs

The Snow Paradise ski resort is located near the tiny village of Oščadnica and offers 420 metres of vertical ski slopes. At Snow Paradise, skiers can test their skills on eleven trails including a 2350 meter long intermediate trail as well as two expert runs. All levels of skiers are catered to at this resort which is spread over three valleys -Dedovka, Marguška and Laliky all of which are connected by ski lifts.  The runs at this resort are all located within ancient forests and are equipped with artificial snow.  Also located on the slopes are several Chaty( huts) that offer reasonably priced, hearty  and delicious Slovak fare like sausages, goulash, and pirohy s bryndzou (pirogies filled with sheep cheese) to help you recharge your batteries after a particularly energetic run.To enhance the pleasure of ski enthusiasts further Dedovka offers night skiing while the lower Marguška base area offers a terrain park for snowboarders. Snow Paradise opens its doors for business in December and stays open until mid April.

Actually the best way for you to enjoy its many attractions is to book one of the many vacation rentals that are available in close proximity of the ski resort in and around the village of Oščadnica. Located here are a number of vacation rentals which take the form of apartment houses, picturesque alpine cottages and modern builds all of which come equipped with many amenities to make your skiing holiday at Snow Paradise an extremely pleasant experience.

Your adorabale Oscadnica village vacation rental located close to its  many attractions

Your adorable Oscadnica village vacation rental located close to its many attractions

If you choose to hire a vacation rental in Oščadnica you can also take time out from the slopes to explore the surrounding region for located close by is the Budatín Castle in the historic city of Žilina which is easily accessible via a 45 minute ride on a public bus and near Žilina is the village of Čičmany which showcases much well preserved typical Slovak architecture. If sightseeing is not your thing you could always opt for an invigorating soak at the thermal spa of Rajecké Teplice which is also located close to the village of Oščadnica. So booking a vacation rental at Oščadnica  for a skiing holiday  makes much sense as it opens up a world of opportunities apart from the skiing.

Enjoy a vacation that you desire in the ‘Land of Eternal Spring’, Canary Island, Spain

The seven Canary Islands or the Islas Canarias are a part of Spanish territory but are actually geographically much closer to Africa than to the Spanish mainland. They are in fact located nearly 1350 kilometers to the south of the Iberian peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean with  the island of Fuerteventura  being  situated  95 kilometers to the  east of Morocco.

Your gorgeous vacation rental in Gran Canaria which is close to all the hedonistic action

Your gorgeous vacation rental in Gran Canaria which is close to all the hedonistic action

The seven Canary Islands enjoy a year round temperate climate which is guaranteed by the Gulf Stream and the Trade winds as a result of which the islands are perfect for a getaway all year round. This amenable climate brings 11 million tourists to the shores of the Canaries annually.  In fact these Canary Islands are often described as the ‘Land of Eternal Spring’ because they are blessed with this ‘fine’ weather year round.

The archipelago of the Canary Islands is made up of the five main tourist-centric destinations which are  Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote  and La Palma. In addition to these five main islands are two relatively quiet unspoiled natural paradises called Hierro and Gomera which are a favorite with walkers, hikers and nature lovers.

These islands are all volcanic in nature though they are characterized by extremely different landscapes that include towering mountain peaks, tropical forests, white sand beaches, verdant pine forests and majestic sand dunes. Four of Spain’s seven major natural reserves are located here in the Canaries.  The Tiede volcano which is located on the island of Tenerife and is the third tallest volcano in the world is one such natural reserve as is the Taburiente crater on the island of La Palma. Similarly the island of Lanzarote has the Timanfaya Park which is a UNESCO declared globally protected biosphere while the island of Gomera has an old laurel forest which is located in the midst of its Parque Nacional de Garajonay which extends over 10,000 acres.

Enjoy a golfing vacation at your vacation rental on Tenerife's Golf del Sur

Enjoy a golfing vacation at your vacation rental on Tenerife

The liveliest of the seven islands are Gran Canaria and Tenerife as they have well developed tourist centers which are a magnet for package tourists but if you step away from these touristy areas you can actual enjoy the wild beauty of these islands which is made up of volcanic peaks, lush forests, and beautiful beaches. In fact the landscape on  Grand Canaria is dominated by banana, coffee, sugar cane and tobacco plantations as the weather here is perfect for the cultivation of several tropical fruits and trees.

Your vacation rental options on the island of Gran Canaria are located within fully equipped resorts which are located on its main hubs of activity like the renowned Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas from where the many hedonistic delights of Gran Canaria including its all night dance clubs and bars and its camel treks on the dunes of Masplaomas  are easily accessible.

Enjoy Lanzarote's pulsating nightlife from your conveniently located vacation rental

On the largest Canary island of Tenerife you have a plethora of choices for your vacation rental and depending on what kind of holiday you want to have  you can choose to book a vacation rental on the Golf del Sur which would make teeing off a breeze  or  then you  could book a vacation rental located in the quaint district of  Puerta del Cruz which is populated with historic buildings or you could choose to stay at a vacation rental located  near the stunning cliffs of Los Gigantes on the south west coast of the island. No matter where you stay on this 2000 square kilometer island you can indulge in its many delights. You can either choose to be a sun worshiper and lay out on its black volcanic or imported golden sand beaches or you could party away all night at its many night clubs and bars or you could join its  band of enthusiastic eco-tourists and go on to explore the various natural bounties of Tenerife like its ancient dragon trees that have grown here since the ice ages.

On the island of Lanzarote, you can choose to book a vacation rental in its main tourist areas of Puerto del Carmen or Costa Teguise where nightclubs, bars and restaurants abound but the  nightlife here is trifle tame  when compared to  that on Gran Canaria or Tenerife. If you are a beach lover then perhaps you will opt for a vacation rental on the island of Fuerteventura which though not as lively as its neighbors is blessed with the longest beaches in the archipelago and is an ideal destination for a quiet family vacation especially of you are looking to escape the winter sun.

Whatever you want from your vacation get away as long as you choose your island with care you are sure to find it in the Canary Islands  which have something for every kind of traveler.

The Blues Won´t Get You Down in Kinsale, Ireland

Even if you are not Irish, your eyes will be smiling with a visit to Kinsale, Ireland. Just a stroll along the river, by the harbor, on the upper side of the town consisting of its charming shops and of course, Irish pubs will exhilarate you.

Besides the pubs, Kinsale is known as the “Gourmet Capitol of Ireland,” and you will find wonderful cuisines that will suit all palates. It is said by many that the best tasting meals you have ever had will be here! You can even learn some the specialites at the Kinsdale Cooking School, featuring guest chefs each week.

Desmond castle is a short walk uphill and was a 15th century Custom and Town House that has had a checkered past with many stories to tell. Besides serving as a Customs house from around 1500, it became a prison for French prisoners during the Napoleonic Wars and relief centre during the famine. It is now finally converted to The Irish Wine Museum, where you become a connoisseur or perhaps just a little more knowledgeable than you were before.

Kinsale can easily claim its place among being one of Ireland’s more historic locations, as the town with its castle, can boast two historical forts, Charles Fort, and James Fort.

Dating from 1677, Charles Fort  can give visitors a good chance to familiarize themselves with the history of the town. A wealth of information is supplied by the Exhibition Centre and do not miss the chance to view the fort from a vantage point at the mouth of the harbor.

The pentagonal shaped fort with a covered walkway leading to it, is James Fort, constructed between 1601 and 1603. Here, again, you will hear the tales behind the walls.

A vacation rental in Kinsale, Ireland is the way to go.

A vacation rental in Kinsale, Ireland is the way to go.

No wonder so many visitors head back year after year. With great food, wonderful shops, and amazing views, Kinsale will be one of your favorite places to vacation. Stay at a vacation rental overlooking the River Bandon, sleeping six, so bring the whole family to explore.

This little Irish village nestled between the hills and the shoreline hosts and coincides with Cork’s well-known jazz festival with one of their own. The best of Jazz and Blues takes place in Kinsale, Ireland featuring international acts from the US, UK and Ireland. The music spills out on October 24th to the 27th.

Among maze of narrow picturesque streets, never far from the water, Kinsale will resound to the sounds of this party during four days of live jazz performances. Live it up and then after the festival, enjoy this small quaint city when it returns back to its normal flavor.

Although Waterford reigns with its crystal, Kinsale Crystal is gaining fast. Take a peek inside and you will even find that you can watch some of this beautiful work being done on the premises and not mass produced. Kinsale Silver is another shop, where the craft is made with pride  as the silversmiths create one of a kind silver jewelry.

A visit to kinsale can be yours, with or without jazz. So when will go head there?

Beijing welcomes the world to discover its many delights

Beijing, the capital of China was the cynosure of the world’s eyes all throughout the month of August 2008 as it put on a spectacular show for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.

Poster boy of the Beijing Games -American swimmer Michael Phelps- Photo MarcoPacko

Poster boy of the Beijing Games -American swimmer Michael Phelps- Photo MarcoPacko

From the fantastic special effects filled opening ceremony to the multiple gold medal winning exploits of American swimmer Michael Phelps and the artistic gold medal displays of the Chinese gymnastic and diving teams, sports fans all over the world were captivated by the games which also showcased the many delights of this previously unknown secretive city. The Beijing summer Olympic Games have gone down in history as the most expensive but also the most well-planned and executed games and have created a huge interest in this Chinese city which actually benefited from the many infrastructural improvements and building that were undertaken for the games.

The image of Beijing, most people saw on their televisions was that of a modern city whose skyline was peppered with towering skyscrapers but the broadcast of the games, also highlighted many of Beijing’s many cultural and historical attractions like the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Summer Palace. The best way for you to see all this first hand is to book your vacation rental in the fascinating and exciting city of Beijing as soon as possible.

vacation rental home at Jiuhua Spa and Resort

Savor the peace and tranquility of your vacation rental home at Jiuhua Spa and Resort

The are various vacation rentals on offer in Beijing and depending on the size of your group, you could book a one, two or three bedroom vacation rental in Beijing. All these vacation rentals are conveniently located close to the heart of Beijing, so that the city’s many attractions, markets, restaurants and bars are easily accessible to you via the excellent Beijing public transport system which is made up of subways, buses and taxis. Once you have your conveniently located vacation rental in Beijing you are free to explore its myriad attractions some of which are listed below:-

Delight in your centrally located vacation rental at Blg-Beijing longtou apartments

Delight in your centrally located vacation rental at Blg-Beijing longtou apartments

The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City which is known as Gu Gong in Chinese was the Imperial Palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. This is the premier attraction of Beijing and is made up of complex network of buildings which were built to shield the Chinese emperors and their entourages from the prying eyes of the common public. The 800 buildings that make up this magnificent attraction are constantly being restored so that they are fit to be visited by the hordes of tourists who come to gawk at these buildings each year.

Beijings fascinating Forbiden City -Photo Credit -Dan

Beijings fascinating Forbiden City -Photo Credit -Dan

Tiananmen Square

This square which is the largest square of the world has been the epicenter of many historic events through the ages. During the Cultural Revolution, which was launched by Chairman Mao in the late 1960’s the square was used for the review of military parades . More recently the square was the site of a pro-democracy rally that was staged by Chinese students in 1989 and which culminated in a large-scale massacre of the students. The square is surrounded by several monuments both ancient and modern like the old gates to the Forbidden City, the Gate of Heavenly Peace and the Chinese Revolution Museum

Summer Palace

Be close to the many delights of Beijing from your vacation rental at Shihao International Hotel in the center of Miyun in Beijing

This stunning attraction is located in northwest Beijing at Kunming Lake. The Palace and its gorgeous surrounding gardens were the creation of Emperor Qianlong who resided here until the Empress Dowager Cixi died in 1908. Visitors to the attraction traverse through the East Palace gate to get into the various attractions of the Summer Palace like the Hall of Benevolent Longevity, the Hall of Jade Ripples, and the Hall of Joyful Longevity and Empress Cixi’s private theatre in the Garden of Moral Harmony.

The Great Wall

You can actually see several sections of this man made wonder of the world in several areas of Beijing. Some sections of the wall can be seen at Yanqing county in northwest Beijing while other sections can be seen at Jinshanling, Mutianyu and Simatai.

The Mao Mausoleum

Pay your respects to the Great leader as his body lies in State at the Chairman Mao Mausoleum near the Tiananmen Square.

The Beihei Park

Enjoy the beauty and tranquility of this old world park which consists of a traditionally landscaped imperial garden with was built and added to by five Chinese dynasties and is full of artificial hills, quaint pavilions and carved temples.

After visiting these attractions of old world Beijing discover its modern side at :-

789 art space - Photo credit Kent Wang

789 art space - Photo credit Kent Wang

789 Space

This former electronics factory is now Beijing’s foremost art showcase and it often has exhibits of contemporary Chinese art within its huge airy interiors. Gallery 789 is located in the city’s arts district which is a hip, invigorating area full of art galleries, coffee places and noodle shops.

Sanlitun Bei Lu

This is Beijing’s main bar strip which is located near the embassy area in the Chaoyang District of Eastern Beijing. Visit this bustling nightlife area for a taste of Beijing nightlife in the bars like the World of Suzy Wong, D22, and White Rabbit etc.


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