Posted: 31 Jan 2011 08:34 PM PST
Racing, Regattas and Religious Events
Situated in the heart of the Mediterranean, just south of Italy, Malta attracts crowds of tourists every year looking to indulge in the island's idyllic weather, crystal clear waters, vibrant nightlife and dining. While an abundance of Mediterranean restaurants and Malta bars guarantees a relaxing retreat, many travellers are now searching for something more, craving novel experiences and exciting events. Victoria Day, known locally as Il Vitorja, is the perfect antidote to these travelling woes. Transforming the Maltese islands into a thriving hub of historical celebrations, religious events and a competitive regatta, a trip to Malta during Victory Day will offer a travelling experience like no other.
Held annually on the 8th of September, Victory day stands as one of the most important national holidays in Malta. With its dedication to the feast of the Virgin Mary, the Great Siege of Malta (1565) and the Italian navy's surrender of Malta (1943), there are plenty of reasons to celebrate! In small towns and villages such as Senglea, Naxxar, Mellieha, Xaghra and Gozo, church services, speeches and military bands are all dedicated to the festival, extolling a sense of pride around the Maltese islands.
In jubilant celebration, Malta hosts a series of exciting cultural events which travellers can participate in to embrace the local history of the island. In the morning, wreaths are laid upon the Fort of St Angelos in Bigu. Lying at the heart of the Maltese people, this Roman fortification played a central role in Malta's victory during the Great Seige. However, the most prominent event undoubtedly takes place in the afternoon – the enthralling regatta race. Commencing at around 2pm, this colourful boating event draws crowds of buzzing spectators to the Grand Harbour each year. Dating back to 1642, this event oversees six neighbouring towns compete in a mile long race from Marsa to Valetta, Malta's capital city.
At night, the Valetta waterfront transforms into a lively centre of activity. Victory Day revellers can enjoy an extensive program of music, theatre and the arts, breathing new life into Valetta's Manoel Theatre and St James Cavalier art centre.
With this plethora of cultural events spreading across the Maltese islands, finding accommodation here won’t be a problem. Situated in the Xaghra village, abundant with Victory Day festivities, are Abraham's farmhouses boasting a dazzling array of their own amenities. However, those looking for Malta accommodation with a more lavish feel may prefer the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz. Situated in Gozo, the Kempinski Hotel boasts its own seclusion whilst remaining suitably close to the core of the Victory Day action.
With racing, a regatta, historical and religious events, what more could you need for a truly unique and unforgettable travel experience than Malta?
Posted: 31 Jan 2011 07:39 PM PST
Posted: 31 Jan 2011 01:44 AM PST
The opportunity to spend a luxury holiday in Barbados may not be on the list of possibilities for every vacation that you plan, but it should definitely be a contender. Who can resist 70 miles of pure azure wet terrain in the form of 60 beaches on display in perfect subtropical weather? Barbados is located in the western area of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is east of the Caribbean Sea. Once regarded as territory owned by the Portuguese, then English, and finally British, Barbados became an independent nation in 1966. It is now one of the Caribbean’s leading tourist destinations with a population of around 250,000.
What attracts us to a location such as Barbados? Besides the obvious, it is rich in culture and heritage. Some of the historical sites that may draw your attention are the Barbados Museum, Blackman’s Gully and the Arlington House. The Arlington House is a three story interactive museum that resides in a renovated 18th century building. The Barbados Museum is enclosed in a former British Military prison and has been since 1930. It exhibits rare historical maps, artifacts, 18th century plantation furniture, the coral structure of Barbados and a Children's Gallery. Blackman’s Gully, located on the east coast, is the home of the famed Blackman's Bridge. It is a part of a series of gullies that are essential to the ecosystem.
Once you’ve exhausted yourselves sightseeing and participating in sunken ship expeditions, snorkeling, diving, music festivals, and other arts and entertainment, you can always find rest and relaxation in the luxurious hotels that Barbados has to offer. Sandy Lane Barbados has a vast array of accommodations for the most discerning guest. Villas, penthouses, and suites offer beautifully designed interiors. These include bedrooms, foyers, living rooms, bathrooms and outside spaces such as terraces, balconies, patio dining and exquisite gardens. Dedicated and well trained staff are also available.
Golf aficionados and beginners have three courses to choose from. Other guests may choose to make use of the luxurious spa with a beautiful marble reception area, treatment suites, water therapies, fitness facilities and highly trained therapists. If you’re feeling a little hungry or a lot, there are four restaurants with cuisine from around the world to experience. Let’s not forget the younger generation. Sandy Lane also has the Treehouse Club for your kid’s creativity and pleasure.
The Coral Reef Club Barbados is also a spectacular specimen of Barbadian hospitality. Surrounded by 12 acres of luscious manicured gardens and boasting 88 rooms and suites, it is definitely a hotel to consider. Accommodations include spacious interiors, Egyptian cotton linens and feather beds. In larger suites such as the Luxury Plantation Suite, four poster or canopied beds are available, as well as living rooms, dressing areas, covered terraces, open sundecks, pools, complimentary starter bars and much, much more. Don’t forget as you take your body and mind to the next level of extreme rejuvenation to try the very popular rum punch. After all, rum was born and bred in Barbados.
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