A Holiday Break to the Italian Lakes

Savvy travelers have long known that seeing the best travel destinations in Northern Italy requires that one leaves the confines of Milan or Venice to make the quick journey to the Italian Lakes, the most popular of which are Lake Como, Lake Maggiore and Lake Garda. And with plenty of affordable holidays around the lakes available from Neilson, there’s no reason not to visit the lakes and see what all the fuss is about.

Lake Garda

Lake Garda is just outside of the city of Verona and is known for its bustling resorts. Medieval-era villages line its mountainous shore, and when visitors aren’t exploring the lake via leisure cruise, they can enjoy some of the region’s famous wines at any of the many charming trattorias. The village of Sirmione is a big draw, as visitors come to see its castle and traipse along its cobbled lanes.

Lake Como

Lake Maggiore and Lake Como, on the other hand, are both about an hour’s drive north of Milan, near the border with Switzerland. The lakes share an Alpine landscape that

Visiting the Ancient City of Luxor

At one time, 4,000 years ago, the ancient city of Luxor was one of the greatest cities in the world. The golden-era of Thebes, as Luxor was then known, lasted for thousands of years and its grandeur rivaled even that of Athens or Rome. Great pharaohs built an almost unbelievable amount of tombs, temples and monuments in the city and its surrounds, which even today retain much of their incredible glory.

Roughly 700 kilometers south of Cairo, Luxor, like most Egyptian cities, sits on the River Nile. The longest river in the world, a small patch of greenery lines the shores of the River Nile as it snakes through the Sahara Desert and its waters are the only reason civilization ever flourished here.

In Luxor it creates quite the contrast, as the city itself is rather green with its suburbs dominated by small farming plots, but travel just a few minutes outside of the city and one could be forgiven for thinking that the massive sand dunes and mountains of the Sahara were endless.

Today, most travelers begin

The Five Best Temples in Hong Kong

Ditch the shopping malls and skyscrapers and delve into the city’s rich cultural heritage with a visit to one of Hong Kong’s top five temples. Nowhere is better to learn all there is to know about the hopes, dreams, fears and superstitions of this city’s industrious urbanites – especially true during Chinese New Year and important lunar calendar festival dates. While some places of worship have been given a glossy new makeover, many of Hong Kong’s oldest temples have been serving as important community gathering points for hundreds of years.

1. Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

 With its bold, red pillars and ornamental latticework, Wong Tai Sin displays all the qualities of the archetypal Taoist Chinese temple. Colorful and noisy, worshipers come year round to pray for good fortune and divine guidance from the “Great Immortal Wong.” Crowds flock here during the Chinese New Year to offer incense, make wishes and visit fortune tellers in hopes of an auspicious and prosperous year to come. Visiting the temple during this time may be interesting from a cultural perspective,

Asia’s Top 10 Backpacking Destinations

Southeast Asia’s lush tropical landscape and patchwork of ancient civilizations, combined with relatively low prices for western travelers, has drawn a steady stream of backpackers since the counter-cultural movement of the sixties. The current flows as strongly today as ever before and, as this list of the region’s gems attest, it’s easy to understand why. Climbing limestone cliffs from the soft sand of pristine beaches, diving into emerald waters to explore submarine worlds of colorful coral, and weaving handicrafts with a cosmopolitan population of ragged travelers are among the experiences these ten destinations have to offer.

1. Climb or Recline on West Railay Beach, Thailand

Located on the tropical shores of the Railay peninsula, this stunning setting is among Thailand’s most picturesque white sand beaches, lapped by emerald tides and enclosed by towering limestone cliffs. These cliffs cut the peninsula off from the mainland, so it can only be reached by boat, which enhances its atmosphere of isle-like seclusion. Rock climbing up these jagged sentinels above the soft-sanded beach draws enthusiasts from around the world. And there are

A Romantic Trip to Cleveland

For most people Cleveland is firmly off the radar when it comes to romantic holiday destinations, but, for those willing to give the city a chance, there are a number of excellent attractions that are perfect for couples.

The city’s West Side Market is a well-known culinary attraction and a good place to start our romantic adventure. Wandering through its aisles of fresh and cooked-food stalls is a hugely satisfying experience for food enthusiasts and it’s made even better by the market’s historic setting

If the weather’s nice outside, buy some food at the market and have a romantic picnic at Edgewater Park, which is just a few minutes away by car. This park is set on Lake Erie and offers great views of the city skyline.

One neighborhood that couples should make a point to visit while in Cleveland is University Circle. Here visitors will find tree-lined streets, historic houses and a host of attractions suitable for couples.

The Cleveland Botanical Garden is in the neighborhood and is the place to go for a romantic stroll. Once visitors are done exploring its ten acres of manicured gardens they can visit the garden’s glasshouse,

Travel Guide to Kathmandu and its Attractions

Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal is a haven for tourists. The moment you step off the plane you’ll feel you are in another world altogether. The sights, sounds and smells are a prelude to the excitement, adventure, and exhilaration that await you in this enchanting city.

Kathmandu has attracted tourists ever since Nepal first opened its doors to foreigners in the 1950’s. The first visitors were the mountaineers who came here with dreams to conquer the highest peaks in the world including Mt. Everest. Gradually it became a haven for the hippies who flocked here in the 1960’s and 70s in search of the ultimate Shangri-la at the end of the trail.

Visitors to Kathmandu seek enlightenment in the heart of nature, in the serene Buddhist monasteries, and in the magnificent Hindu temples. It is believed that once upon a time, the number of temples in Kathmandu equaled the houses of the people who lived in the city. Gradual urbanization, however, took over, yet even now you can find a medieval temple tucked away in almost every street in Kathmandu.

Today, tourism is a major industry in the city and indeed in Nepal. Look around

Five Days in Japan

With just five days in Japan, it’s time to hustle. The wealth of offerings means there’s no shortage of customizable itineraries, but one that allows a look into both the traditional history and modern oddities of Japan is Osaka-Kyoto-Nara-Tokyo. This route is also a good compromise for those who want a balance between urban and outdoor settings as well as modern sites to temper the overwhelming number of temples and shrines.

Day 1: Get accustomed in Osaka

Osaka is excellent starting point to a Japanese adventure. The city is busy but safe, and although the train lines are complicated, the streets are not. The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Noodle Museum is a fun, family-friendly adventure, and visitors can even make a cup of instant ramen with freeze-dried toppings of their choosing to take home. In the afternoon, it’s time for some culture in the form of Osaka Castle, which now operates as a museum and is especially breathtaking in cherry blossom season, and Shitenno-ji, a Buddhist temple built in 593.

Dotonburi is the best neighborhood for nightlife. Tons of bars, some barely big enough for the bar and six stools, crowd the streets. Fill up

Modern Art in Berlin and Historic Sights in Munich

Germany is one of the most pleasant travel destinations in all of Europe and no cities encapsulate what Germany is all about more than Berlin and Frankfurt. Berlin showcases the hipness and creativity of modern-day Germany, while Munich is a living museum of the historical and cultural charms of the German past.

Also, just because the two cities are on opposite sides of the country doesn’t mean that one can’t visit both in a single trip, as Munich to Berlin by train can be done in as little as six hours.

Modern Art in Berlin

It was only 20 years ago that Berlin was a city divided and the Berlin Wall stood between West Berlin and the Soviet-dominated East Berlin. When the wall came down in 1989 the two cities merged and became one of the world’s most eclectic capitals.

Though the contrast between the two sides is less clear today, the area formerly encompassing East Berlin has long been a haven for artists and bohemians looking to live affordably and harness the city’s creative vibe.

One place to see Berlin’s creative vitality on full display is the neighborhood of Mitte. Formerly a

Great Choices for a Weekend Break in England and Wales

The title pretty much says it all – if you’re hoping to get away for the weekend somewhere in England or Wales, there are plenty of options available to you. Let’s jump right in with some of the best luxury hotels in the English and Welsh countryside!

A luxury country stay at Nash Hall in Powys

This former threshing barn dates way back, all the way back to the 1600s, in fact. It has since been rather beautifully restored (you’ll be pleased to hear), and has a number of great little pieces such as its very own games room and a proper vintage jukebox.

It is very close to the great Offa’s Dyke Path, so it makes for a fab starting point for any exploration of the area and of Hay-on-Wye. So get to Nash Hall to get your country chic on.

The Hotel and Extreme Academy in Cornwall

If you’re looking to take to the water and try your hand at some surfing, get yourselves down to Cornwall and stay at this hotel just above Watergate Bay, a two-mile long stretch of golden sands famous for its surfing opportunities.

The hotel

The World’s Sexiest Travel Destinations

The world is full of beautiful places, many with enchanting stories to tell. But what can be said about the spots that sparkle with hedonistic promise throughout the day and come charging to life after sundown? You know what I mean: the inventive party cocktails, spectacular scenery and sun-kissed bodies a plenty. Yes, one can visit Paris for fashion, the Mayan ruins for their fascinating historical value or New York City for its pulsating energy. But when it comes to all that sizzles with a capital “S” these sexy locations are hard to beat:

1. Marrakech, Morroco

Marrakech has enjoyed a positive evolution in the last few years; from a historic destination –with a rather seedy nighttime environment — to a classy and upscale community of jetsetters. Only a few hours from the fabled Sahara Desert, visitors can indulge in the curious duality of this landmark Moroccan destination: traditional marketplaces, mosques, and beautiful landscapes on one side and a modern array of dazzling restaurants, bars and clubs on the other. Be prepared to pay for your revelry, as with this rise in popularity comes an exponential increase in the consumption of alcohol and other decadent goodies.

Best Vacation Islands in the Caribbean

Magnificent surroundings, turquoise blue water, palm trees, sandy beaches, exotic food and diverse cultures all come to mind when one dreams of escaping to the Caribbean isles. With over 7,000 islands to choose from, each one with its own unique charms, it can be a daunting task trying to plan the perfect Caribbean holiday. But that’s what we’re here for! So take a look at our list of the Caribbean’s best vacation islands.

1. U.S. Virgin Islands

The US Virgin Islands, only 1,000 miles away from the city of Miami, are something akin to 50 floating emeralds in a sapphire sea. Because they are part of the United States, the islands have somewhat of an American feel, but they nonetheless remain quintessentially Caribbean.

There are three main islands, all located within easy travel distance from each other. St. Croix, the easternmost island is also the largest and covered in green, rolling hills. St. Thomas hosts the capital city of Charlotte Amalie, and offers 13 miles of sandy beaches along its irregular coastline. Then there is St. John, the smallest of the three, most of which is covered by national park.

The US Virgin Islands

Exploring the Texas Hill Country

Just north of San Antonio and west of Austin, the Texas Hill Country is one of the state’s most pleasant surprises, as its rolling green hills, wineries, orchards and charming towns present a scene that doesn’t altogether resemble the stereotypical image of Texas as a dusty, Southwestern state. Visit in the spring to see wild flowers like the Texas bluebonnet – the state flower of Texas – infuse some color into the hillsides.

Most travelers will start their trips from either San Antonio or Austin, and driving around the region visiting quaint communities like Fredericksburg and Kerrville and stopping to enjoy the beautiful countryside at places like Lake Travis is a great way to experience Hill Country. Reservation services like Gastehaus Schmidt make it easy to stay awhile and book bed and breakfasts or country inns in communities across the Hill Country region.

Let’s start our exploration in the town of Medina, which is just northwest of San Antonio, where we’ll stop in at the Love Creek Orchard for a tour of the apple orchard. Tours are only $5 and visitors can buy some apple pie and other apple-related products to have a wonderful picnic lunch

Amazing Travel Desinations in India

When travelers think of India they could conjure up any number of images, but they most likely still think of it as a uniform destination – as if traveling to one part of India were the same as traveling to another. In reality, though, India is a vast country and its many different regions have entirely different feels when it comes to culture, cuisine and landscape.

Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Agra is the most significant city in India from a tourism perspective for a single reason: the Taj Mahal. Built in the 17th century to serve as a mausoleum for the wife of a Mughal emperor, the Taj Mahal is an exemplary piece of Islamic architecture and one of the world’s most iconic sights. It’s rare that a sight like the Taj Mahal lives up to the expectations that tourists have for it, but the Taj Mahal not only matches those expectations but blows them away. Visit just before sunrise when the crowds are at their smallest and watch the sun rise over the building for the full effect.

Most luxury India holidays tend to stick to the “Golden Triangle” region of Delhi, Agra and Jaisalmer,

Cycling from Vienna to Budapest via Bratislava

Vienna and Budapest are linked by a continuous cycle route which broadly follows the curves of the Danube. The journey is around 250 kilometers (155 miles), a distance that can be navigated alone or with the help of various companies.

The route is a little different to the driving route outlined in our travel article on driving from Vienna to Budapest. From Vienna, pedal directly east to cross the border into Slovakia. Vienna and Bratislava are the closest capital cities in the world, and traffic-free cycle paths connect them throughout the 70km (43 mile) distance.

The Vienna-Bratislava route begins on Lassalstrasse (“Lassal Street”), beside Prater Metro station. Just round the corner is a friendly, independent bike shop, Pedal Power, where you can hire bikes, buy maps and ask for advice. The cycling is straightforward, following the north bank of the Danube for 45km before crossing the river at the town of Hainburg. Hainburg’s city gates are a mighty portcullis-framed slab of medieval fortification, and the city is a perfect place to wipe one’s forehead and grab something to eat. From Hainburg the rest of the route follows the Danube’s south bank. It finishes in spectacular style

The World’s Five Best Places to Watch the Sunset

Watching the sun set seems like a rare treat with all the day-to-day nonsense, but it’s possible to make it a real luxury by seeing the sun melt into the horizon from a spectacular location. Whether from a mountaintop, next to the ocean, on a glacier or at the top of a skyscraper, looking to the west has never been so inspiring than from these 10 incredible vantage points.

1. Taj Mahal, India

Dulcet tones of yellow, orange and pink enhance the warm glow of the Taj Mahal at sunset. With such a saturated palette against the white marble and delicate carvings, this striking sunset is a paragon of romance, and one that will whisk away any negative thoughts, along with the sun, into the night.

2. Empire State Building, New York

This one’s a must for rom-com lovers everywhere. Cemented by Sleepless in Seattle as a place of true love, the Empire State Building evokes a feeling that everything will be alright, especially when watching the sun go down over one of the most vibrant cities on Earth. And who knows, maybe certain someone will be waiting up on the viewing deck!

Two Weeks in Australia

Australia’s vast wilderness, relieved by a handful of vibrant modern metropolises, is one of the world’s great travel destinations, containing an immense diversity of cultures and climates, tastes and terrain for wanderers to explore. This two-week itinerary winds its way up the country’s east coast, taking in cities such as Sydney and Brisbane, sojourning in the sun-drenched Whitsunday Islands, and finishing in the great wild worlds of reef and rainforest that surround and enclose the city of Cairns. This is an unforgettable trip, encompassing almost 3000 km and some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world.

Begin in the southern hemisphere’s greatest colonial metropolis, Sydney

First stop, follow the example of the early colonists and drop into Sydney, built on the site of the first British settlement in Australia. It was originally established as a penal colony, but is situated in an ideal location for a city – on the hills surrounding one of the world’s largest natural harbours. This harbour is now an icon itself, framing a skyline composed of iconic structures including the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The shoreline where the city meets the sea is defined by a string

Martingale House in Cape Town

Snuggled along the deep valleys, rolling hills and mountain cliffs, on the western cape of South Africa, the small city of Hout Bay is encroached with snow-white sandy beaches and framed with trees & thick flora. In the midst of this artistic African wonderland is where we spent an entire month during our 8-month extensive tour of S. Africa. An eye opening drive of about 40 minutes from the amazing port city of Cape Town Hout Bay offers a peaceful and serene setting of breathtaking beauty. It rests precariously between towering, jagged peaks, thick jungle and the whitecap surf of the Atlantic Ocean.

As a photojournalist, I have traveled the world seeking the unknown, the beautiful and the amazing. I found it all in S. Africa and especially in Hout Bay. Even though I was fascinated by Cape Town I do love the solitude of the less touristy areas and felt immediately rejuvenated as we entered this haven by the sea.

Our crew had arrived late on the night of October 28th 2003 at the Cape Town International airport and had made arrangements to spend at least a month touring just the Western Cape. Our perspective

Best Places to See Wildlife in Asia

It’s true that illegal logging, poachers and globalization are all taking their unfortunate toll on lush Asian terrain and the wildlife it houses. However, many sanctuaries and national parks are doing their part to rehabilitate endangered species and reintroduce them into the wild, as well as to establish eco-tourism adventures. And with so many refuges across Asia, travelers can choose by country, animal or type of adventure for a customized visit to the animal kingdom. To make that choice easier, however, we have collected the ten best places in all of Asia for wildlife watching.

1. Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Yala National Park is one of Sri Lanka’s oldest and most well-known national parks. It’s most famous for its large numbers of elephants and leopards, which can be seen when on safari. The park covers several ecosystems, including moist and dry monsoon forests and wetlands. Historical and religious sites and ruins add to the must-see list. The park is divided into five blocks, making it easier to plan a trip.

2. Ranthambore National Park, India

The former hunting grounds of the maharajas of Jaipur, Ranthambore National Park is now one of the largest national parks in northern India. Its main draw is seeing

25 Signs You are Already Successful and You’re Simply Unaware

We have all had that period in our lives where we feel, regardless of what happens, we simply have nothing positive going for us. It’s easy to criticize yourself in just about anything–from your competence in the workplace to how you deal with situations at home–and this can make it easy to become clouded to our own successes in life.

This kind of constant action and lack of clarity can make it easy to believe that you are a failure, even when all the evidence in your life–personally and professionally–points to other conclusions. If you are too busy in life fighting fires, you’ll likely never make the time to actually appreciate your own success and accomplishments. You could already be successful and just not realize it. Here are some signs that is the case:

1. You aren’t controlled by your income.

Many people feel like they are tied to that next paycheque to make things work for them. If you are able to go day-to-day without the worry that you won’t have enough money to last until the end of the month, then you are most definitely a success! You might not be able to

Why Frequent Travelers Are More Likely To Be Successful

Success can be defined differently for everyone but the fact is some people achieve it and some people don’t. What is it that successful people do or have to find success that others don’t? There has been a lot written about the skills and habits needed to live a successful life and I think most of us know the things we could work on like building confidence or overcoming fears to be more successful in areas we want to. There are people that have a higher likelihood for success than most. Frequent travelers, people constantly on the move learn many life skills exploring our world. Here are 15 reasons why frequent travelers are more likely to be successful because of that:

1. They Know how to Thrive Outside their Comfort Zone

Frequent travelers are in unfamiliar situations regularly. They must work through the unknown because of necessity. Faced with countless new experiences they learn valuable coping strategies that help them shoulder uncertainty and remain calm and effective. This is a key skill for success in both business and leading people.

2. They Welcome and Embrace Change 

Travelers invite novelty. People constantly surrounded by new