Category Archives: Travel Tips

A Beginner’s Guide to the Canary Islands

If you’re eager to go on a cruise holiday this year but don’t yet know where to go, I heartily recommend that you consider the Canary Islands. This part of Spain has long been popular among British travellers, but don’t worry if you’ve never been here before and aren’t sure if it’s right for you. You’re certain to find it an enthralling destination!

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As you may have already guessed, given the fact it is in Spain, the archipelago benefits from some truly terrific weather. Not only does it receive around 3,000 hours of sunshine a year (which is more than anywhere in Europe), but its annual temperature is a thoroughly pleasant 22 degrees C.

You’ll develop a glowing tan wherever you go, but it’s important to think carefully about what you’d like to see and do. With the Canaries consisting of seven islands, I recommend you look for cruise deals that stop by at least a couple of them so you get a fuller sense of its terrific culture and landscapes. To give you an idea of where in the region to go, I’ve set out some information about three of what I think are its best islands.

Lanzarote

While the Canary Islands is famous for its lunar-like terrain, there is perhaps no isle where this is more the case than Lanzarote, which formed after a series of volcanic eruptions that started some 22 million years ago.

Come here and you’ll have the opportunity to explore some diverse terrain, ranging from towers of solidified lava to vast canyons. The Timanfaya National Park is a particularly good place to get acquainted with the island’s stunning landscape, while in the Chinijo Archipelago Nature Reserve you’ll get to see a vast range of marine birds.

Lanzarote also contains a wealth of golden beaches that are perfect for relaxing on and soaking up the famous Spanish sunshine. Among these is Dorada, a 300 m stretch of golden sand in Playa Blanca that is well sheltered from the wind and, as such, is great for families to visit.

La Palma

Nature lovers, meanwhile, are bound to enjoy a cruise that calls in at La Palma. Often called isla bonita – which in English translates as ‘beautiful island’ – this part of the Canaries is a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and features a number of stunning nature reserves and parks.

One place I particularly recommend is La Caldera de Taburiente National Park. This is the ideal destination for keen walkers, not least of all because it is home to a towering volcano that has a 5-mile wide crater. Elsewhere, you’ll discover verdant laurel forests, black sand beaches and towering mountain ranges, while adrenalin junkies will have the chance to try their hand at everything from paragliding to mountain biking.

Gran Canaria

The final island that I’m going to look at is Gran Canaria. If you’re hoping to develop a golden tan on a cruise holiday, you’ll be glad to know that the isle offers ample sunbathing opportunities, thanks to its 236 km of coastline. Among the many beautiful locations you can recline on is Maspalomas – a sandy stretch that is nearly 3 km long and is good for bird-watching – and Las Canteras, which is ideal for a variety of sports.

Head to La Cueva Pintada (‘the painted cave’ in English) and you’ll get to see some fascinating aboriginal cave art, while the Guanches archaeological site contains artefacts made by the island’s first settlers.

This is just a brief guide to the Canary Islands, but if you’re thinking of making it the destination for your next holiday let us know by leaving a comment below.

 

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Cultural experience in Stockholm

Stockholm is both the capital city of Sweden and the largest city in the whole of Scandinavia. As you might expect from such an important metropolis there are numerous attractions and entertainment options to be found here, including plenty for culture vultures to enjoy. The city’s impressive architecture, theatres, museums and landmarks all combine to provide options for several days of seeing the sights and evenings of artistically rich entertainment.

Denmark in Winter

Flights to Stockholm regularly depart from a large number of major airports in the UK such as London Heathrow International Airport. People who take the time to search for the latest deals and discounts will soon discover that there are plenty of cheap flights to Stockholm to choose from, especially in the low season. For example take a look at SAS’ cheap flights to Stockholm and it is very likely that you will find the fare that suits you.

Birka the Viking Town is situated on the island of Björkö in the middle of Lake Mälaren and is a great place to explore during the day. The town is the remains of a real Viking community and visitors will be able to spend time exploring the town before learning more about its rich history and culture in the onsite museum.

The Royal Dramatic Theatre is Sweden’s most important venue for spoken drama and more than a thousand performances are staged here each and every year. The theatre boasts a total of six different stages and some of the world’s most celebrated actors have travelled to tread the boards here over the years.

Drottningholm Court Theatre can be found in the magnificent Drottningholm Royal Park and boasts a magnificent stage that dates back to the 18th century. Visitors who arrive in Stockholm between May and September will have the opportunity to take in one of the numerous opera and ballet performances that mark this season.

Few culture vultures could resist the chance to enjoy a night at the Royal Swedish Opera. This impressive institution is known locally as the Kungliga Operan and has been hosting unforgettable performances since 1773. A large number of famous figures from Stockholm society including visiting dignitaries and celebrities can often be seen at the Royal Swedish Opera and tickets are highly sought after.

Visiting the Museum of Dance is a great way to discover Stockholm’s cultural roots. The museum is located on Gustav Adolfs torg and features numerous artefacts related to the arts including Russian ballet costumes, African masks and Indian demon statues, while the museum’s temporary and permanent exhibitions offer an interesting glimpse into the history of dance.

Stockholm also features numerous other interesting and informative museums for visitors to explore that provide an insight into the city’s rich culture. The Stockholm City Museum is the largest museum in the whole of Sweden and contains a collection of more than 300,000 historical artefacts as well as three million photographs and 20,000 pieces of artwork. Art lovers will want to allow plenty of time to fully soak up all of the treasures that located within the walls of the Swedish National Museum of Fine Arts, while a trip to the Swedish Museum of Architecture is a must for lovers of architecture.

All this and more combines to make Stockholm an extremely exciting cultural destination. Visitors who have limited time to spend in the city and want to get the most out of their experience can also arrange to take a tour with a knowledgeable local guide, who will be able to provide inside information about certain attractions as well as revealing a number of hidden gems that are often overlooked by tourists who choose to explore the city independently.

 

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Test your grit on a double volcano trek in Tanzania

If the challenge of scaling one summit isn’t enough for you on a walking holiday, why not consider tackling two? Tanzania might be most famous for Mount Kilimanjaro, but the country is also home to Mount Meru, another volcano that it’s possible to climb.

At 4,562 m, Mount Meru is the smaller of the two, so it’s this volcano that you’ll trek up first. One of the big advantages of choosing to take on this walk ahead of your Kilimanjaro climb is that it will help you acclimatise to being at a high altitude, which means you will improve your chances of reaching Uhuru Peak (Kilimanjaro’s highest point) successfully.

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Opting to do the Mount Meru trek before attempting to summit the Roof of Africa is just one of the ways to climb Kilimanjaro – as there are six routes up Tanzania’s tallest mountain, you have plenty of other options if you don’t have long enough to do the two treks.

Mount Meru – a warm-up for the Kili climb

Although Mount Meru makes an excellent warm-up for your ascent of Kilimanjaro, it is also worth climbing in its own right. There are excellent wildlife spotting opportunities in the early stages of this walk, with the likes of giraffes and elephants often seen on the grassland and in the forest that you’ll hike through on the first day of your trek.

The views across the crater of Mount Meru are spectacular, particularly as you climb higher. One thing you shouldn’t miss is the optional walk to the summit of Little Meru, from where you can see the crater’s sheer walls and the bed of the horseshoe-shaped crater below.

Reaching the summit of Mount Meru on the third day of trekking is really special, though, as you’ll hopefully arrive in time to see the sunrise behind Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance – a spectacular view that you’ll remember forever. After descending from Meru, you’ll typically have a half day of walking before you are driven to the starting point for your Kilimanjaro climb.

Mount Kilimanjaro – the big challenge

One of the best routes to follow to the summit of Kilimanjaro after successfully completing the Mount Meru trek is the Rongai trail. This will give you six days on the mountain (five for the ascent and one for the descent), so you won’t be rushing your hike. This particular track is less crowded than some of Kilimanjaro’s other paths and is the only one to approach the mountain from the north.

It still has a real sense of wilderness about it, which only serves to enhance your experience when climbing the mountain. There is some spectacular scenery on this route up Kilimanjaro, too, with the track leading you through vast swathes of moorland, verdant pine forests and a desolate lunar-type landscape as you get closer to the summit.

On the day that you push up to Uhuru Peak – Kilimanjaro’s highest point at 5,896 m – you’ll aim to reach Gilman’s Point on the crater rim, which is a little lower than the peak itself, in time to see the sunrise. Once the sun is up, you’ll continue to the top of the Roof of Africa, where you can admire the vast plains that spread out around the volcano, see Mount Meru in the distance and get a close-up look at some of the glaciers and ice cliffs that are found near the summit.

There’s no doubt that tackling Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro on one trip is physically demanding, but it’s an incredibly rewarding experience and an excellent way to really test yourself on a trekking holiday.

 

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5 Tips to Have A Successful Camping Trip

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I read a great article, here, with lots of camping tips, but I wanted to make one of my own. I hope it’s useful to you. Camping season is here, inspiring many city dwellers to pack up and head out into the wild to try and get some peace, some quiet, and some fresh air during their days off.  That being said, a camping trip will only be peaceful and fun if you properly plan ahead and make sure that you’re prepared for your trek out into the wild.  Here are our 5 top tips that will help you have the camping trip of a life time:

 

Hike to Your Destination

If you plan on driving right on in to your camp site, then get ready for crowds and a noisy campground – you’ve been warned!  Any time that you can drive directly to a site means that you’ll have 5 to 10 times or even more people being around you at any given time.  So if you’re going for “peace” and “quiet”, choose to hike to your site. Tours such as Kakadu tours in the Australian outback will offer endless peace for people chasing some serenity.

Even if you have to only hike a couple of kilometres/miles down the road to get to your camping destination, you’ll be cutting down the amount of people around you and giving yourself the promise of a far more relaxing camping experience.

 

Eat Well

Why is it that when people think “camping” they immediately think “hot dogs”? Even if you’re camping for only two days or so, you’ll undoubtedly tire of hot dogs by lunch time on the second day.  Add some variety to your menu and throw in some of your favourite treats from home.  Haul along that watertight cooler and throw it in the lake if you want to have some cool bevies to enjoy as you lounge in the lake under that hot afternoon sun (though don’t forget to tie the cooler down!) and bring:

  • A camping stove
  • At least one frying pan
  • A plate, bowl, and set of utensils for everyone coming along on the trek.

 

Comfortable Accommodation

This depends on how tough you are and how lightly you sleep. If you are a slave to comforts and can’t stand the idea of being away from your bed, then make sure you bring an inflatable mattress and a pillow. In for a penny, in for a pound; if you love comfort, you could always glamp and get a big fancy bell tent from one of the higher-end tent stores like Boutique Camping in the UK, or make sure you have a look on Glamping Hub if you’re living in America. But, if comfort isn’t that important to you, and you don’t want to carry something so heavy, then the smallest, light weight tent you can get hold of will probably do. After all, you’ll probably spend most of the time outside and only use the tent for sleep.

 

Bring the Essentials

This means bringing along a real first aid kit (not just band aids and some antibacterial cream), a compass, rain gear, matches, a map, and water.  It’ll only take you a few minutes to put these things together, but it’ll be well worth it should you need to use them on your trip.  Some other essentials include:

  • Sunscreen
  • Towels
  • Rope
  • Bear spray
  • Propane

 

Be Friendly With Campers and Park Staff

To get the inside scoop on where the best trails are or what the history of the area you’re camping on is, then you need to make friends with the experienced campers in the area as well as the park staff.  Get friendly with the ranger and the camp host.  Even saying “hi” to them every morning while you cook over your Bunsen burner stove will go a long way in helping you get the information on the area.

 

Less Is More

When it comes to camping, you don’t want to go all out and bring every single thing that you think that you may need.  Stick to the “less is more” principal and bring along only the basics.  Don’t bother spending a ton of cash on you camping gear and just stick with what you know you’ll definitely need.

 

 

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A Look at Malaga’s Top Museums

I’ve got a real passion for art and history so I’m always urging my friends and family members to take holidays where they can soak up a little culture. One destination that really fits the bill in this regard is Spain and, although I haven’t been there yet, Malaga is a city that particularly stands out as being perfect for a culture-focused getaway.

picasso museum malaga

Given that it is among the largest cities in the country, I don’t think you will have any trouble finding museums or galleries to take in. If anything, you might struggle fitting all the fantastic sights that there are on offer into a single holiday!

As such, I recommend that you spend a little time planning what attractions you would like to visit the most in advance. While you can do this after you have taken care of essentials like booking a flight to Malaga from Birmingham and sorting out accommodation, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t make a head start on planning which museums to see as soon as possible!

Pablo Picasso is undoubtedly one of Malaga’s most famous sons – not to mention being among the world’s greatest artists – so I certainly recommend you get an insight into the life and work of the local hero. The best place to do this, perhaps unsurprisingly, is the Picasso Museum.

Established in a direct response to the artist’s wish for his work to be shown in the place he was born, this institution’s permanent collection features more than 200 of Picasso’s pieces. These include, among others, Acrobat – an oil painting that was made in 1930 – and Insect, a ceramic work that contains blue decorative motifs.

In addition to being a great place to find out more about Picasso’s career, the museum hosts a range of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Many of these focus on artists that have some kind of connection to Picasso, with previous shows looking at the work of Alberto Giacometti and David Douglas Duncan.

Admission to the museum’s permanent collection costs €6 (£5.10), though if you just want to see the temporary exhibits you can buy a separate ticket for €4.50. Alternatively, you could get a combined ticket for €9 that will provide you with full access to the entire institution, while a range of package and discount deals are also available.

To get an even fuller flavour of Malaga’s terrific culture, I suggest you head to the Museo Carmen Thyssen. Situated in the 16th century Villalon Palace, this museum focuses on 19th century Spanish art, with a particular emphasis on art that has been produced in Andalusia.

Casas Carbo Ramon, Maria Fortuny and Francisco de Zurbaran are just some of the artists whose works are exhibited in the permanent collection, though the array of temporary displays will always offer lots of variety in terms of the works you can see. This is supplemented by a fantastic range of events, including workshops, seminars and cinema screenings, so you can easily have a fun-filled day out here.

You will have to pay €6 to see the permanent collection, while €4 will get you admission into the temporary exhibits. A combined ticket for both parts of the museum costs €10.

Whether you go to the Picasso Museum or Museo Carmen Thyssen – or, even better, both – I’m sure you’ll have a fantastic cultural city break in Malaga.

 

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How to eat like a local in Oslo

Oslo, similar to Norway generally speaking, is not the most affordable vacation destination, aside from the flights to Oslo, for consuming and drinking. However despite the fact that myths of the price ranges of an evening out in the town are renowned, you can still find certain areas where one can grab an inexpensive bite to consume.

Aker Brygge
And also in case you are in a position to manage it, eating away in Oslo is excellent. Along with all the normal wise worldwide dining places that series Bogstadveien as well as Hegdehaugsveien, in addition there are a lot of spots in which conventional Norwegian delicacies is offered.

With the close by North Sea to trawl, there’s seldom any specific deficiency in fresh new sea food available in the city’s dining places. The ideal place to choose seafood is the region of Aker Brygge, a dynamic region down by Akershus Fortress to the southwest of the town.

The accommodate (constructed on the long used shipyard) is furthermore an excellent destination to go for a walk, have a beverage and scrutinize the boats bobbing away on the lakes on comfortable summer time evenings, even though the price ranges appear a bit daunting.

In addition there are a good amount of areas to take flights to Oslo select from on the side roads that run off the main thoroughfares of Stortingsgaten as well as Karl Johans entrance. Nevertheless, these additionally are usually in the direction of the high end of the value range.

Exactly what low-cost eating you can find in the location practically solely revolves around dining places opened up by the big immigrant populations. In the market to the east of the town, places similar to Grunerløkka, Storgata, Gronland as well as Brugata provide you with a dizzying selection of cuisines. Consider taking flights to Oslo that are less expensive so you can enjoy the taste and variety of all the food they offer. Why not take a look at flights from SAS?

Torgatta, and also on and around Hausmanns entrance (to the northeast of the town), has its reasonable share of inexpensive Asian dining places along with the strange kebab store. Just a little to the southwest, Gronlandsleiret with its low-cost curry locations is yet another high-quality spending budget choice.

Nevertheless, self-catering is honestly  the main section of the typical spending budget traveler’s vacation in the town. Grocery stores similar to Rema 1000 or Kiwi can be obtained across the city, although the outside marketplace on Youngstorget is a good destination to grab garden-fresh produce.

Purchasing alcoholic beverages in Oslo may be a little complicated, as well, as the region has certain uncommon regulations concerning its acquisition in outlets. Even though you can purchase beer in grocery stores, anything more powerful has to be purchased from a government liquor shop, or ‘Vinmonopolet’.

However possibly the most convenient way to consume and drink in Oslo (in summer time, at the least) is always to make like the locals; purchase a throw away bbq and proceed to one of the close by islands of the Oslofjord. Very few dining places, of course, may outrank resting on the beach and consuming freshly-cooked sea food.

Oslo is an absolutely contemporary capital with a sizable selection of cultural cuisines, fast food shops, exquisite dining places, and vintage cafes for example Theatercaféen. Get ready for substantial price ranges, the oil profits make Oslo into one among the world’s most valuable metropolitan areas. As opposed to planning your flights to Oslo, you may want to think about setting aside extra money for your eating.

In the focal point of the town can be found one of Oslo’s most ancient establishments where folks have accumulated since the early on 1700’s. Right here it is possible to consume, drink and take pleasure in the hereditary environment, regardless of whether you are by yourself or are going to pack as much as three hundred of your buddies /colleagues. The pleasant waiters and cooks are concentrated on top quality and thrilling preference encounters.

 

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Australia has more to offer than just beaches and the Great Barrier Reef

When you think of Australia, what comes to mind? Kangaroos? BBQ’s? Cricket? Of course they all do, these are the things we associate with OZ – but there is much more to this vast country. It’s the perfect holiday destination with such a diversity of experiences and places to explore. Start planning your adventure now, who knows what you will discover on a holiday down under.

Fraser Island

Fraser Island

Australia is of course renowned for its spectacular beaches and glorious shore lines. Many journey to Australia to see these natural world icons – with the Great Barrier Reef being amongst the most famous. Yet, there is so much more to see! The Blue Mountains offer a breathtaking blue-hazed vista of natural beauty. This World Heritage Area contains an amazing one million hectares of tall forests, sandstone cliffs, canyons, waterfalls and bushland.  Here you can let your adventurous side escape and go mountain biking, rock climbing, canyoning, and abseiling or simply take a Bush walk to absorb the astonishing panoramas. You can very easily find discounted hotel rooms in Blue Mountains on Expedia. The hotels are mostly located in the small city of Katoomba, approximately1h30 from Sydney. These valley hotels will give you an easy access to the many local activities and wild hiking trails. Plus, you will have an amazing view with on the valley, which is really breathtaking at sunset.

Or take a trip to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island which is the world’s largest sand island. The Aboriginal founders called this island ‘K’gari’, or paradise, and it’s no surprise as to why with its 75 mile long beach and an abundance of wildlife. Here you can four-wheel drive next to the coloured sand cliffs or take a bushwalk through heathlands full of wild flowers after a spot of peaceful swimming in the beautiful surrounding lakes. You can even see kangaroos, wallabies and possums as you picnic in the Happy Valley, perfect!

If thrill seeking isn’t your thing, and you want to escape it all but still be close to Australia’s astonishing natural landscape, then restore body and mind whilst staying in the luxury accommodation which can be found at Bloomfield Lodge. Here you’ll be amongst the tropical Daintree rainforest but have the comfort of luxurious lodgings and outstanding food. The Daintree Rainforest is the largest tropical area in all of Australia and is home to the infamous Bennett’s Tree-kangaroo, 430 species of birds and 12,000 species of insects. At Bloomfield Lodge you can of course also experience the Great Barrier Reef and beautiful beaches to get the best of both worlds.

If cities are more your thing, then a visit to Sydney is not to be missed! Sydney is Australia’s famous harbour city and the capital of New South Wales. You can easily explore all the sights and beaches within three days or so, making this the perfect beginning or end to your Australian holiday.

 

 

 

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Mountain Holidays in Switzerland

The Alps are one of Europe’s most beautiful locations to visit and also one of its most popular. Tourism began in the early 19th Century and large scale tourism industry started in the 20th century with large hotels being made. Over the past 30 years or so all tourist facilities have been modernized and a large number of tourists are attracted throughout the year. Switzerland boasts about its cultural and geographical diversity but what stands out the most are its mountain ranges. They attract a number of different types of tourists be it those who come for just the scenic views or for cycling, skiing, lakes, food or just some place to relax and spend time with their family.

With the fresh mountain air carrying the scent of flowers growing in the meadows with mountain peaks surrounding you from every side Switzerland feels like a magical place in its own right. Even just going for a walk is a magnificent experience in such a place. You don’t need to be a hiker to go see what Switzerland has up to offer because all types of people, even someone with an average physique can be catered to amongst the vast array of choices. Be it a cycling enthusiast or someone wanting a look at the great outdoors Switzerland offers the best mountain holidays experience.

Grindelwald is a mountain village with cafes restaurants and a good number of shops. It is a fantastic place for country walking and enjoying the scenic beauty present there. You can also get a chance to travel on one of the world’s most famous railway journeys to Europe’s highest railway station at 3454 meters. The railway will take you through tunnels and past glaciers which is truly a journey to remember. Holidaying in Grindelwald also leadsup to other scenic resorts including the lakes of Thun and Brienz.

Davos is one of Switzerland’s top walking destinations and has 700km of marked walking trails.  Guests even receive free use of some cable cars so the majestic beauty can be enjoyed by all. There is abundant wildlife and beautiful traditional Swiss villages to be enjoyed in your walks. There is abundance of paths for people to choose from.  Tirano in Italy is just a train ride away to visit and the skiing resort of St.Moritz can also be reached easily. A cheese factory and a brewery are also present in Davos for those looking for a bit extra than just the walking.

Switzerland is also famous for its world class ski resorts and attracts a lot of skiers from all over the globe. Resorts like Zermatt are considered one of the best in the world to go for skiing. Not only are Swiss resorts for professional skiers but teachers are also available who can teach you how to ski in English and Swiss resorts like Wengen have nursery as well as intermediary slopes for those who are not so familiar with skiing.

Whether you are a fan of skiing, cycling, hiking or only plan on seeing the scenic beauty of the great outdoors, Switzerland is the ideal destination to spend your mountain holidays, giving you an experience that is next to no other.

Switzerland has policies and institutions in place which make it very convenient for tourists to exchange currency. ‘Franc’ is the currency used in Switzerland you can check up to date currency rates online with the Travelex currency converter. The best places to exchange currency are Railway stations where they accept foreign currency notes as well as travel’s checks. ATMs can also be used to acquire your currency and most Swiss banks, shops and restaurants in the major cities accept international credit cards.

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The pros and cons of different holiday accommodation

Whenever you book a holiday, one of the important decisions you have to make is the kind of accommodation you choose to stay in.

gran canaria

Of course it depends on who you’re going away with and what they want from a holiday. Some people prefer the freedom of self-catering as you can choose to eat out whenever you want, but you have the facilities in your own place to cook your own meals. It’s a really popular choice for people with young children and fussy appetites. Having a self-catering apartment or villa also gives you more space than you’d get in a hotel room, so there’s less chance of going stir crazy in the evenings with toddlers in a confined space! You can also choose to have your own private pool – which can be a big plus for some holidays.

However, what you don’t get from self-catering is so much opportunity to interact with and meet other holidaymakers. Hotels are a great place to do this, and meal times are the ideal time to socialise. A big advantage with hotel accommodation nowadays is that you can often choose which level of board you want – just bed and breakfast, half-board, full-board or even all-inclusive. Going all-inclusive is a great way to budget ahead for your holiday. The whole trip is paid for before you get on the plane, save for any spending money and excursions you might feel like doing while you’re away.

Pretty much every holiday resort now offers all types of accommodation, so if you prefer to book your accommodation and flights separately, it’s no problem. So if you see some cheap flights to Gran Canaria, for example, there’s no need to worry about sorting out accommodation immediately – in fact you often get a better deal if you leave booking where you’re going to stay until the last minute.

If you’re in two minds about booking self-catering accommodation if you’ve only ever stayed in hotels, what risk is it really? You’ll either enjoy the experience or not, and if you don’t, you can always go back to the hotel option for your next trip!

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When is the best time to visit the Nordic Countries?

The Scandinavian countries have always been very popular destinations among travellers. They are popular not only for some of the best and naturally beautiful stunning scenic vistas in Europe, but they are also well-renowned for their laidback attitude, and their relaxed and easy lifestyle. For readers who are unaware, the Nordic Countries is a collective phrase used to refer to Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland. Also included in this collection of regions are the autonomous regions of Greenland, Faroe Islands, Svalbard and Aland. Scandinavian Countries is also a term used to refer to this region, but that does not include Greenland.

Denmark in Winter

Denmark in Winter

These countries share a common heritage and immense similarities in their societies. They are independent in their governing systems, but their cultural traditions and languages are similar. The Nordic nations have been renowned not only for their unique beauty, but also for the fact that they are among the most eco-conscious nations in the world. ‘Green’ is a term that is not used loosely here; it is a part of their persona, and they go to immense lengths to preserve their flora and fauna and to take care of their environment.

The best time to visit the Nordic countries is dependent upon the kind of holiday you would like to have. Flights to Stockholm are popular all through summer, and flights to Copenhagen always seem to be jam-packed with holiday travellers. If you are planning to have a summer holiday, then the best time to visit the Scandinavian countries would be the months from May till September. Why not take a look at the airfares now on a major Scandinavian Airline SAS (www.flysas.com/en/uk).Each country has its own special seasons, but if you are planning to travel through all the Nordic countries then travel towards the end of June till mid-July. The weather is beautiful with temperatures in Stockholm hovering around 16 C. The best aspect of this season is the fact that daylight hours last for 17 hours a day and you can travel around the country quite easily, as a result. These countries are within the Arctic region and during summer, the midnight sun is an unforgettable experience.

In Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the summer months have a fairly mild climate. This is quite surprising, especially when one considers the fact that all of these Nordic countries are so close to the Arctic. Finland has the most stable summer weather among these countries. In August, the weather in Norway can be very erratic, with sudden cold rain dropping the temperatures to an uncomfortable 8 C.

Winter sports are the forte of these nations and if you are a die-hard fan of mountain sports, then visit the Nordic countries during the winter season. Be prepared for harsh temperatures but amazingly white winter lands. Flights to Oslo in winter are easily available and there are not too many tourists. The countries are well-equipped for the skiing and winter sports aficionados, and there are world famous resorts as well. Except for coastal Norway, you will find a winter landscape here which is equal to none other in the world. The northern parts of Scandinavia are full of snow during winter months, but do remember that daylight hours are very short. And in the Arctic circles, the sun does not emerge for days on end.

Flights to Copenhagen from London are available all through the year, and this lovely city can be used as a starting point for your travels through this region. Visit Greenland for a totally unique experience; Finland for a crowd-free holiday; Norway for some fabulous fjords and quaint villages; and Sweden for the best castles and manors.

 

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