Sunday, December 30, 2012

Virgin Atlantic December Sale – Offer ends Jan 22: Travel Blog plus 2 more

Virgin Atlantic December Sale – Offer ends Jan 22: Travel Blog plus 2 more

Link to Travel Blog

Virgin Atlantic December Sale – Offer ends Jan 22

Posted: 30 Dec 2012 10:15 PM PST

Virgin Atlantic December Sale - Offer ends Jan 22

The Virgin Atlantic December Sale is now on, offering fantastic fares. Below are a few of the most popular fares:

New York
Economy from £409
Book by 22 January 2013
Departure dates: 25 DEC12-31 MAR13

Economy from £398
Book by 22 January 2013
Departure dates: 25 DEC12-21 MAR13

Las Vegas
Economy from £574
Book by 22 January 2013
Departure dates: 25 DEC12-24 MAR13

Economy from £598
Book by 22 January 2013
Departure dates: 25 DEC 3 – 24 MAR13

Economy from £429
Book by 22 January 2013
Departure dates: 01 JAN13 – 17 MAR 13

Economy from £502
Book by 22 January 2013
Departure dates: 05 MAY 13 -11 JUL 13

Virgin Atlantic December Sale

Travel Deals: Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic December Sale – Offer ends Jan 22 from - Travel Directory

Sydney motion timelapse (hyperlapse)

Posted: 30 Dec 2012 02:35 PM PST

Travelodge January Sale: Rooms from 15 GBP

Posted: 29 Dec 2012 04:20 AM PST

Travelodge January Sale: Rooms from 15 GBP

The Travelodge January sale is now on, with rooms from £15. Stay between 28th Dec 2012 – 17th Feb 2013. Subject to availability.

Travelodge January Sale: Rooms from 15 GBP

Travel Deals: Travelodge

Travelodge January Sale: Rooms from 15 GBP from - Travel Directory

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Red Panda, Chengdu – China: Travel Blog

Red Panda, Chengdu – China: Travel Blog

Link to Travel Blog

Red Panda, Chengdu – China

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 03:55 PM PST

Red Panda, Chengdu - China

A Red Panda at the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base in Chengdu.

Travel Photos: Giant Panda Breeding Research Base Chengdu Photo Gallery

Red Panda, Chengdu – China from - Travel Directory

Nomadic Matt's Travel Site: The Saturday City: Girona

Nomadic Matt's Travel Site: The Saturday City: Girona

The Saturday City: Girona

Posted: 29 Dec 2012 07:08 AM PST

the streets of girona in costa brava, spainLocated in the Costa Brava region of Spain just north of Barcelona, I had the pleasure of visiting Girona when it acted as host city for this year's European travel blogger conference.

This region of Spain is not as popular as Costa del Sol or islands like Ibiza, which is good and bad. Good because there aren't that many tourists here and it’s relatively quiet. Bad because this region is beautiful, picturesque, and filled with gorgeous coastlines that I wish they did advertise more so I would have visited sooner. I can’t believe I’ve been coming to Spain for 6 years and never made it here! Costa Brava has become one of my favorite spots in Spain and Girona one of my favorite cities.

The city of Girona has been inhabited since before the Romans. After the Roman Empire collapsed, the city was ruled by an endless stream of kings and princes throughout the centuries. Girona has undergone twenty-five sieges and been captured seven times in its history. One of the most famous of these sieges began in May 1809 when the city was besieged by 35,000 French Napoleonic troops until disease and famine compelled it to surrender that December. I actually got to see a reenactment of one of the battles from this siege while I was in Girona. It was a quite a spectacle seeing everyone dressed up and unlike reenactments in the United States, you got "on the battlefield" with everyone. Tons of people intermingled with the re-enactors and taking photos on the field. It also meant that the cannons and guns got scaringly close to me.

Modern day Girona is a city filled with abundant food, cheap bars, and winding cobblestone streets that I could spend hours getting lost in. During my amazing stay here, I found a number of activities to enjoy:

current housesit in the wilderness of Wisconsin

Ice cream at Rocambolesc – The three Roca brothers are considered some of the top chefs in the world and run the second-best restaurant in the world (see further down this list). In Girona, Jordi Roca, the youngest brother, runs this ice cream shop with a sort of Willy Wonka decor to it. You can enjoy interesting flavors such as apple, strawberry, various sherbets that can be topped with berries, cotton candy, popping candy, fruits, whip cream, chocolate sauce, fudge, and so much more. I went there two days in a row, and I regret not going more.

Monastery Sant Pere de Rodes – One of the oldest monasteries in Europe, this grand monastery is outside the city but is easy to get to by bus or car. This church is a great example of Romanesque architecture.

The Girona Cathedral – A spectacular cathedral, the interior includes the widest Gothic nave in the world and the second widest overall after St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Construction was first started in the 11th century and wasn't completed until the 18th century. It’s right in the center of town and while not as amazing as the Sant Pere, if you can’t make it there, make it to the cathedral.

colorful houses in girona

Walk the wall – Girona used to be surrounded by a vast medieval wall meant to keep out unfriendly armies. That wall was destroyed centuries ago but you can walk around a reconstructed version that surrounds the historic center of the city and see all the main points of attraction.

The City History Museum – Are you a history buff? Good, me too! I try to visit every history museum I come across. After all, you can't know where people are if you don't know where they have been. The Girona history museum does a good job of explaining the city's complex and often turbulent history.

dali painting in girona, spain

Day trip to Figueres to see Dali – A short trip from Girona is the Dali museum in Figueres. Dali is an important figure in this region, having been born in Figueres, though he lived in the coastal town of Cadaques most of his life (you can visit that house too). Some of Dali's most famous surrealist art and statues can be found in the Figueres museum. The train from Girona takes around an hour. Be prepared for the crowds; at times, you are moving at a snail’s pace to see some of the more famous works. It’s always rush hour here.

The Jewish Quarter – The 12th century saw the birth of a flourishing Jewish community that was ended in 1492 when the Jews were expelled from Spain. Today, the Jewish quarter is one of the best preserved historic sites in Europe with centuries-old houses and facades still in wonderful condition. There is also a museum to visit, though I didn’t make it there. However, this writer did and had some interesting comments.

girona, spain

El Celler de Can Roca – Owned by the famous Roca brothers and considered the second best in the world, a meal here will cost "mucho dinero" (a lot of money) but if you have the money to spend, why not eat at one of the top restaurants in the world? The brothers catered our blogger conference (crazy, huh?) and the food was heavenly. I am sure the restaurant is just as mouth watering.

Gorge on the food – Ok, this activity isn't limited to this city. Eating is one of the greatest activities in all of Spain but in Girona, eating is truly an art form. I went overboard on the tapas, cured ham, and ice cream. For tapas, check out Txalaka.

Girona offers a place to experience the Catalonian region without the hordes in nearby Barcelona. It also makes for a good gateway city into the regions of Costa Brava with its villages, famous coastline, and access to the Pyrenees.

The Saturday City: Girona is a post from: Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Look At The Best Surfing Camps Around The Globe: Travel Blog plus 1 more

A Look At The Best Surfing Camps Around The Globe: Travel Blog plus 1 more

Link to Travel Blog

A Look At The Best Surfing Camps Around The Globe

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 04:57 PM PST

Surf camps are great for catching waves in a relaxed yet concentrated setting. But before you decide which one to attend, it's important to clearly identify what you're looking for. Will this be your first time on a surfboard, or are you looking to refine those backside aerial tricks?

Different camps offer different sorts of waves, and some cater to specific skill levels better than others. And surf vacation accommodation options vary, including everything from luxury Hawaii vacation rentals to windswept island huts.

Oahu: Turtle Bay Resort

We start at the top end in Hawaii, historic home to the sport of wave riding. Located on Oahu's famous North Shore, the Turtle Bay Resort features luxury accommodations spread across nearly five miles of exclusive beachfront.

There are pools, golf courses, tennis courts, and a top-class surfing school. Founded by surfing legend Hans Hedemann, the school offers customized classes and equipment for every skill level.

Turtle Bay Surf

Santa Cruz: Richard Schmidt Surf School

A bit more on the humble side, the Richard Schmidt Surf School Inc. is run by Schmidt himself. A former professional big wave rider, he has been teaching others to surf since 1978.

The school is based in Santa Cruz, California, and offers a guarantee that you'll stand up and ride a wave during your first lesson. Sports massage and video coaching are also part of the package, and you'll stay in a comfortable tent at a KOA campground.

Richard Schmidt Surf School
[Credit: Richard Schmidt Surf School]

Puerto Vallarta: Las Olas Surf Safaris

Las Olas Surf Safaris For Women launched in 1997, back when there were very few surf camps available exclusively for women. Priding itself on fostering a supportive atmosphere, this camp is based in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and features lodging in oceanfront cabana-style villas.

Guest also enjoy daily breakfast and yoga sessions. There is also a bustling nightlife scene just a few minutes away.

Las Olas Surf Safaris
[Credit: Las Olas Surf Safaris]

Brazil: EasyDrop

Down in Brazil, EasyDrop offers year-round surfing instruction for all skill levels in addition to beachfront lodging, food, and spa services. Lessons take place at some of the country's most beautiful beaches in Itacare, Bahia.

EasyDrop has a unique teaching approach designed for maximum surfing success in a minimum amount of time. And all surf lessons are delivered with their motto “100% safe and 200% fun”.

[Credit: EasyDrop]

Portugal: Baleal Surf Camp

Ideal for beginners, the Baleal Surf Camp sits at Cantinho de Baia beach on the Peniche Peninsula in Portugal. Its steady waves peel smoothly both to the left and right, and there are more than 30 breaks nearby to suit every skill level.

Beachside lodging options include a hostel and a few small apartments, and luxury accommodations are just 15 minutes away. Guests also have a choice of camps that can last three, seven, or 14 days.

Australia: Waves Surf School

Finally, any discussion of top surf camps has to include the options down under. Waves Surf School is notable for a flexible schedule that can be customized to suit any needs.

There are one-day surf trips as well as five or seven-day excursions to some of the continent's top spots, some of which are otherwise unreachable. The school offers overnight cabin lodging and all kinds of nighttime entertainment options on dry land.

Waves Surf School
[Credit: Waves Surf School]

About the Author

Jason Laloux is a freelance travel writer. When he’s not planning his next surfing vacation, you might find him being a cosmopolitan hedonist and devouring haute cuisine from around the world. His favorite travel destination include Costa Rica, France, and Las Vegas.

A Look At The Best Surfing Camps Around The Globe from - Travel Directory

Enjoy sight seeing in Barcelona by staying in rented apartments

Posted: 26 Dec 2012 05:30 PM PST

For People planning to visit Barcelona during the year end holiday season, there are a number of popular tourist attractions to see and enjoy. Touring families might need to extend their holidays as two or three days might not be sufficient to visit even the most important places of attraction. It’s better to plan for five days of holiday fun at Barcelona. There are many apartment rentals available in Barcelona to stay and enjoy your sight seeing. While visiting Barcelona, touring families should pay a visit to the following places.

1. Sagrada Familia

This is an architectural wonder conceived and built by the famous Architect Antonio Gaudi. It has taken nearly 80 years to build this architectural marvel, and it is still not finished. One of the highlights of this structure is the usage of 22 kinds of stones for decorating the exterior and the interior of this church. The main facade of this structure called the glory facade faces south East pointing towards the sea and consists of four majestic towers joined together by porticos. There are three chapels located in this majestic complex. These chapels come with intricately designed geometric patterns as part of its interior.

2. Barcelona Aquarium

This is one of the largest Aquariums in Europe and needs at least two days to cover all the sections of the aquarium. Kids and grown ups have a range of activities to experience sea life as it happens. Some of the thrilling activities include becoming an underwater observer, where one would scuba dive deep in to the aquarium waters and closely observe the sharks, the rays and the moonfish. For those new to scuba diving, there are scuba diving instruction lessons available at the aquarium. There is another exciting adventure activity available for thrill seekers in the form of diving with sharks. This event is only open to experienced divers who are above 18 years of age. This diving exercise is split in to three parts, namely the guided tour, theoretical class and dive in the Oceanarium.

3. Spanish Village

This is another beautiful place where one could see a mini Spain in the form of houses and architecture models that can be seen in different corners of Spain. There are also a number of shops available in this village that sells traditional Spanish hand crafted goods. This is the place in Barcelona which hosts the famous Flamenco show every year.

4. Barcelona Football Club Stadium Tour and Museum

One of the most successful football clubs in the world, FC Barcelona had its origins here. Visitors can visit the dressing room and come through the tunnel to enter the stadium. There is also a museum that traces the history of the club including all the famous players who had come to this club from different parts of the globe.

Opting for an Apartment Rental accommodation

One of the ideal ways to stay in Barcelona with family members is to go for apartment rentals, such as offered by Friendly Rentals. By renting an apartment, families get to save substantially on the hotel room per day rentals which are usually on the higher side during holiday season. Families can prepare food of their own choice without having to depend on the menu served by the restaurants. Kitchen comes with all the appliances to cook and store food. Finally family members get to stay in a homely atmosphere and feel at ease.

Enjoy sight seeing in Barcelona by staying in rented apartments from - Travel Directory