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The island of Cyprus, with its subtropical climate and mild winters, is the third largest in the Mediterranean. Holidaymakers flock here to take advantage of the many activities available. With influences from Europe and the East, it has its own unique character that brings tourists back again and again.

Aya Napia

Cyprus has forty-eight Blue Flag beaches, fourteen of which are situated around Ayia Napa in the eastern part. Ayia Napa Holidays are attractive options for travellers who want to enjoy a fantastic beach destination that is reasonably priced. This former fishing village has transformed itself into an lively resort that has something for everyone.

Sports

Hop aboard a speed boat for an exhilarating trip, or lower yourself into a canoe for something slower. Go scuba diving to discover a fascinating underwater world. Skim across the water as you learn to water ski, or combine sailing and surfing in the sport of windsurfing. Lifeguards and warning notices are there to reassure you, and all the extras are on hand.

Agia Napa_view coast 1

Nissi

Nissi beach is the most popular area. With its extensive water sports facilities, including peddles, inflatables and parasailing, it can get crowded in high season, attracting many young visitors. Luckily, it’s actually composed of two connecting stretches, with the smaller one being quieter. Nissi is the Greek word for island, and you can walk through shallow water out to an islet off the coast.

Sandy Bay

Head for a sheltered spot in Sandy Bay, snuggling between two headlands, from where you can marvel at vistas of the resort and its coastline. With white sand that slopes gently into the sea, it’s just right for families. The rocks are the place for snorkelling and diving, with a good range of other water sports here, too. 

Grecian Bay

Grecian Bay is well named as Glyki Nero, meaning sweet water. Closest to the town, it spreads out to the Ayia Napa sea caves, and includes two other beaches. Safe for children, it’s lined by hotels, and has good amenities and activities, including a water slide. Also called the Harbour beach, it’s the longest in Ayia Napa, and one of the longest in Cyprus. Pernera and Katsarka are close by, with Katsarka one of the few offering deep-water swimming.

Capo Greco

Capo Greco, a ten-minute drive from the centre of town, is one of the most beautiful spots on the island. Sightseeing and admiring the views is the easy option here – other activities include cliff jumping, cycling, swimming and riding.

beach Protaras_Konnos Bay 1

Konnos

Konnos Bay, at the eastern edge of the resort, is part of the Cape Greco National Park, and is much loved by local people, with yachts and motorboats moored in the clear water. Enclosed by rocky headlands, the winding downward path through the pine trees treats walkers to stunning views. Once down, inflatables and water sports are easy to find.

Macronissos and beyond

The more laid-back Macronissos beach is one long stretch with two smaller bays. Kermia or Limnara beach has limited facilities, and a more peaceful feel. Continue to Ammos Tou Kambouri, along an unsurfaced path past the sea caves, to mess around in the many rock pools.

Landa or Golden Beach may be quieter, but it still boasts a selection of activities and water sports. An adjacent picnic area and children’s playground is often used for barbeques. Finally, don’t miss the most westerly location, Ayia Thekla, which can be a welcome change from the more developed complexes.

Ayia Napa Monastery

More To Do

The Ayia Napa Waterworld Themed Waterpark is the largest in Europe. Parents can end their day in the relaxation area! Kids with energy left will prefer the playgrounds, before the whole family samples one of the eateries, or stocks up in the gift shop.

For a change of scene, visit the monastery and the town’s museums, or head for the Makronissos Tombs, an ancient burial site west of the old village. A festival takes place every September in the monastery, celebrating culture, history and agricultural traditions, with music, theatre and folk dancing.

Water sports enthusiasts will love their time in Ayia Napa. Less active types will find plenty to interest them, too. Before you know it, Cyprus will have captured your heart.

If you are planning a trip to Africa and you are looking for fun activities to do with your family, than a safari tour is one of the best and more fun things to do, perfect for both adults and children. Usually the first country that comes to one’s mind when we talk about safari tours is Kenya, but not everyone knows that actually Ghana has a lot to offer, with less expensive costs and equal beauty and adventure and less crowd.

Of course, we all know that safari tours can be expensive, so in order to save money you could consider several accommodation options on classified sites such as Adepafie.com where you will be able to find for example  5 lovely bedrooms villas and apartments for the whole family.

So here are a few ideas on the safari tours you can do in Ghana.

Safari in Mole

When you go on a Ghanaian safari you don’t explore just nature and wildlife, but also culture and history, seeing both natural and manmade West African wonders. Cape Coast and Elmina Castle, for example, besides being surrounded by great nature and wildlife, are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, allowing you to go back in time and find out about the history of slave trade.

For those who are charmed by history too, than the 10 days Ghana Slave Trade Cultural Tour is perfect, allowing you to visit both cultural heritage and rain forests and waterfalls, and also some traditional local markets. The Ghana Cultural Discovery Tour is too a great way to discover natural wanders and the history of modern Ghana, following old slave routes, hiking through forests but also experiencing modern Ghanaian culture.

But if pure nature is what you are looking for, together with a touch of adventure, than there are some gorgeous rain forests in Ghana, where you can spot hippos, elephants, monkeys and antelopes in their natural environment. The Ghana’s Ultimate Mammals Experience is perfect for those who want to meet from close distance big african mammals, while those who are passionate about birds and butterflies will adore the Ghana Wildlife Birding and Butterfly Tours, visiting the richest avian bio-diverse rain forests and savannahs in Ghana, for a truly unforgettable experience.

Baboons outside our room

natural obsession

When it’s time to start planning your family vacation, it’s not always easy picking a place that you know everyone is going to enjoy. But with a little luck (and some Internet research!), you can find the ideal vacation for you and your family.

If yours is like most families, not everyone can agree on a single place that would make them all happy. Mom might be fantasizing about spa vacations while dad is determined to take everyone camping in the woods. Meanwhile, the kids are all trying to figure out how to convince them to go to Disney (again).

You can find plenty of vacation spots that will allow each of you to relax and play in a place that you can all agree on. The key is to find somewhere that gives you all something to look forward to during the trip.

Spa Camping

It is possible for mom and dad to both get exactly what they want when you choose a campground that also offers spa amenities. These places also offer plenty of activities to keep everyone outside, active, and entertained during your trip.

On the west coast you will find plenty of camp grounds in British Columbia close to hot springs. If you want to stick to the east coast, you can book a stay at the Hot Springs Resort and Spa in North Carolina. Guests can choose from a variety of lodging options, from tent camping along the river to plush suites with private mineral bath hot tubs.

The Hot Springs Resort is famous for its natural hot springs and spa. You can take everyone for hikes along the Appalachian Trail, go whitewater rafting, horseback riding or fishing during the day. In the evening, mom and dad can go off to soak in the hot mineral baths together and then enjoy a massage. There are plenty of spa amenities to keep mom happy as well.

Spa Beach Resorts

A lot of spa beach resorts are family-friendly, especially those that are a part of the Club Med resort family. They offer so many different destinations for you to choose from, such as the Bahamas, the coast of Mexico, or the Maldives.

These resorts offer a lot of activities for kids and teens as well as parents. You can spend the day getting pampered while the children go to the Kids’ Club. Play a round of golf or go for a dive out in the ocean. 

A vacation with your family at one of the many locations where you can find a Club Med will be something you can all enjoy and will definitely create lasting memories for everyone.

When you plan it just right, you and your family don’t have to settle for the same old vacation you usually take every year. Everyone can get something they will enjoy during your trip.

 

Photo courtesy of Brian Uphoto on Flickr Creative Commons

Mysore is a stunning city in the southern part of India filled with beautiful temples, parks and palaces. One of the cleanest and most well-planned cities in the entire country, Mysore is also considered the cultural capital of the state of Karnataka. The recorded history of Mysore is over a thousand years old, and its mythological heritage is even older and bears some impressive feats: Legend has it that it was here amidst the Chamundi Hills that the Goddess Chamundi killed the demon Mahishasura.  

Mysore Palace

These days, Mysore is marked by a considerable amount of contemporary growth. Malls, IT firms, stylish apartment complexes — the 21st century is certainly adding to the Mysore’s landscape, but at its core, it is still a peaceful and grand city, and even with all the growth and development seen in recent years, it remains nestled amidst diverse and verdant flora and fauna. In particular, a notable array of birds and butterflies has seen Mysore through its days from demon battleground to bustling metropolis.

Birds

Regardless of whether or not you’re a bird lover, the avifauna of the Mysore area is fascinating. Over 180 species are present year-round, and the list of migratory birds that wander in and out with consistent frequency is almost 90. There are 37 important bird sites in all of Karnataka, and 12 of them are in and around Mysore.

Some of the species that can be observed are remarkably distinct from one another. Some are communal nesters, while some are quite solitary in their behaviour. Some enjoy the tops of trees, while others spend most of their time in and around water. All of their calls are unique, and a day spent in one of the primary bird watching areas, like Karanji Lake or Arabithittu Wildlife Sanctuary, will not only yield plenty of varied sightings, but you will hear a wide and melodious variety of songs, as well. Some of the birds to keep an eye out for the next time you stay in Mysore are:

  • Indian Spotted Eagle. The Indian Spotted Eagle is a large predatory bird, roughly 65 centimetres in size, whose numbers are in decline due to habitat loss.
  • Painted Spurfowl. A beautiful bird that is a member of the pheasant family, the Painted Spurfowl has beautiful markings and spots and showcases a rich variety of colours that range from cream and chestnut to blue and rust.
  • Yellow-Legged Button Quail. A small ground bird with rich brown feathers, the Yellow-legged Button Quail can be tricky to spot as they keep quiet and still in the undergrowth.
  • Spot-billed Pelican. This large water bird has called the Mysore region home for at least four to five centuries.

Butterflies

Butterflies are some of the most delightful creatures to spy in all of nature, and the ones that frequent the parks, gardens and landscape of Mysore are no exception. Colourful, playful, industrious and bearers of one of the most impressive transformations in the entire world — that of the caterpillar that becomes a chrysalis that becomes a butterfly — butterflies are pollinators, which makes them important to maintaining plant life, health and diversity. When an area is thick with butterflies, it means fertility and health are present in its flowering plants.

  • Chocolate Albatross. The Chocolate Albatross is a mostly yellow-winged butterfly with deep brown at the edges of its wings. It also has some streaks of white.
  • Common Banded Peacock. This butterfly is named after the stunning and majestic peacock. Deep and glittery emerald green, it has light blue and black defensive markings that look like eyes along its back to ward off potential predators.
  • Plum Judy. A rusty and deep brown butterfly, when its wings are open, you can see the Plum Judy’s rich deep purple bands that colour the top of its wings.
  • Blue Tiger. One of the most common butterflies in the region, the Blue Tiger is a deep brown with light blue spots.

The wide range and number of flowering plants in Mysore is the dominant reason there is such a wealth of butterfly diversity in Mysore. Over 1600 different species of flowering plants are native to the Mysore area, and their flowers’ delectable nectar attracts a rich abundance of butterflies. The Indian sub-continent supports over 1500 butterfly species — roughly 9 percent of the world’s representative diversity — and the Mysore region can claim 137 of them. Some of the butterflies you can spot in and around Mysore include:

The next time you’re looking to take a holiday to Mysore, why not do so with your eye and ear trained upon its impressive array of birds and butterflies? No matter where you go in and around Mysore, keep a pair of binoculars and a watchful eye with you. The birds and butterflies of the place are abundant and common, and each one is worth observing and musing over.

When the name Broadway is spoken, it’s likely that any tourist immediately thinks of theatre — finding tickets to a showing of Wicked or Phantom of the Opera. But, New York City’s Broadway Street is more than a theatre district. It’s a 13.5-mile street that runs the entire length of Manhattan Island. And, by accepting the challenge of walking this street, you’ll not only stroll through the theatre district, but you’ll also have the chance to explore Wall Street, the World Trade Center, Times Square and St. John the Divine Church, among others. So pack your walking shoes, and be sure to take this list of sites to see along Broadway.

You’ll need to get an early start if you decide to make this a one-day adventure, so grab a cup of coffee and a fresh bagel and head to Battery Park, located on the southern tip of Manhattan island. From this park, you’ll be able to view the Statue of Liberty as well as check out Hope Garden, a memorial to AIDS victims. From the park, you’ll head north on Broadway.

One of the next landmarks you’ll encounter is the Wall Street Charging Bull sculpture, located in the financial district. The bull was sculpted by Arturo Di Modica, who wanted to celebrate the can-do spirit of America and particularly of New York. It was completed in 1989.

The Wall Street Bull

The World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum are just one block off Broadway on Vesey Street. The museum opened in May 2014 and is an educational and historical institution honouring the victims and examining 9/11 and its continued global significance through artefacts and records.

You’ll also make your way past the campus of New York University.  NYU was founded in 1831 and is the largest private university in the United States. It is composed of 14 schools, colleges, and divisions and occupies five major centres in Manhattan. So, if picking up an NYU T-shirt from the campus bookstore is on your list, you’ll find the university a block off of Broadway at West Houston Street.

As you continue up Broadway, you’ll encounter Union Square and will either have to walk around or through it before meeting up with Broadway again. The square is known for its impressive equestrian statue of U.S. President George Washington, which was unveiled in 1856.

The Flatiron Building at Broadway and Fifth Avenue was built in 1902 to take advantage of an odd-shaped piece of real estate. Amazingly, it’s only six feet at the prow and yet, 20 stories tall.

Flatiron Building New York

At 33rd Street, you can take a walk one block to your right to visit the iconic Empire State Building, the 103-story skyscraper in midtown Manhattan. Or, you can turn left at 33rd Street to visit to Madison Square Garden and Penn Station.

You won’t be able to miss Times Square when you hit 7th Avenue. This famous section of Manhattan is lit up around the clock and is home to shopping, theatres, eateries as well as the New Year’s Eve ball drop and the studios for ABC television’s Good Morning America talk show. Almost everyone that travels to New York has to spend at least a few hours here.

As you continue navigating up Broadway, at West 53rd, you’ll find the Ed Sullivan Theater, which is home to the Late Show with David Letterman. This 13-story theatre first opened its doors in 1927.

After walking around Columbus Circle, at West 65th Street, you’ll meet up with the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts (the world’s leading presenter of superb artistic programming, a national leader in arts and education and community relations and the manager of the Lincoln Center campus); the Julliard School for dance, drama and music; and the Metropolitan Opera.

At West 114th Street, you’ll walk upon another university campus — this time the Ivy League’s Columbia University. This university was founded in 1754 as King’s College by royal charter of King George II of England. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States.

Trinity Cemetery is located at Broadway and West 153rd Street in Harlem. The cemetery overlooks the Hudson River from upper Riverside Drive and is home to giant hundred-year-old oaks and elms. This is the only remaining active cemetery in Manhattan and is home to the gravesites of John James Audubon, Alfred Tennyson Dickens and John Jacob Astor.

As you continue exploring Broadway on foot, you’ll complete this adventure at 225th Street, before crossing into the Bronx on Broadway Bridge. And, if you decide this adventure is a bit much for a one-day excursion, divide it up, and conquer Broadway over multiple days during your New York trip to gain a true feel for this iconic American city.

 

 

Italy and the opera are like cookies and milk. They work fine independently, but when they’re combined it’s a whole different experience altogether. This is best exemplified in the historic city of Rome. Most people think of Rome as the home to the Pope and the Coliseum, but it’s also home to some of the most historical and beautiful opera houses in the world. Here are some of the highlights.

Teatro dell’ Opera di Roma

Built in 1880, this is Rome’s most famous opera house and arguably the greatest indoor venue in the world to experience opera. The building itself is designed to amplify the acoustic effect, with the designer conceiving the interior structure as a “resonance chamber.” The result is some of the finest acoustics in the world, drawing luminaries such as Maria Callas and Luciano Pavarotti to perform there. Opera fans should book their accommodation early because once summer gets in full swing rooms in Rome hotels fill up fast.

While this venue is known best for its opera performances (it premiered Puccini’s “Tosca” and houses eight different full productions during its season), it’s also no slouch when it comes to hosting ballet performances and is gaining acclaim for these too. Many of the classics are performed, usually with internationally recognized stars leading the performances.

Untitled

Teatro Flaiano Piccola Lirica

For a more modern take on the opera, look no further than the Teatro Flaiano. This opera house performs the classics but with a twist: they’re condensed to a 90 minute format, which allows for more experimentation and innovation. The Teatro Flaiano is the place to go to see young, aspiring talent, all in a small, intimate venue. It’s a modern take on a classic formula.

The Baths of Caracalla

Lest you think that Rome only has indoor opera venues, the Baths of Caracalla will prove you wrong. Built between AD 206 and 216, these were the second largest bath houses in Rome. Today they’re a typical tourist destination, but during summer they transform into something else entirely. The central part of the complex becomes the venue for open-air opera and ballet performances.

Since Rome has so much to offer, its tremendous opera background sometimes becomes lost in the discussion. To travel to Rome and not see an opera performance would be a shame to say the least. After all, you wouldn’t want to eat a cookie only to forget about the milk.

Baths of Caracalla 09

No matter how old or young you are, theme parks are places where you can let loose, have some fun and get your routine adrenalin boost! If you’re looking for a wild ride or just somewhere to take the kids in 2014, these amazing parks are a must visit: 

1. Efteling Park (Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands) 

Considered the largest theme park in the Netherlands (and one of the oldest in the world), Efteling Park is a fantasy themed wonderland featuring rides and attractions based on myths, fables and fairy tales. High speed highlights include the thrilling Pegasus and Aquanova rides, while the Alternative Realm is a must for those looking for a good scare.

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2. Everland Resort (Yongin, South Korea)

Everland Resort draws over 6 million visitors each year and consists of an ideal mix of action and relaxation – perfect for the whole family! Here, you can ride the world’s steepest roller coaster, the T-Express, body surf in Caribbean Bay, test your driving skills on the Speedway Circuit or relax and enjoy the serenity of the Hee Won Gardens.

3. Europa Park (Rust, Germany)

Europa is Europe’s second most popular theme park (after Disneyland Paris) and this spectacular destination is very much Euro-centric, with imitations of iconic European buildings and sculptures everywhere you look – http://www.europapark.de . You can visit “countries” in the park, like Italy, Russia or Spain and there are 11 terrifying rollercoasters here to get your adrenaline pumping, including the bone chilling Silver Star. 

4. Legoland (Billund, Denmark)

Lego lovers will be in heaven at this fantastic Lego themed park, which is located right next to the original Lego factory in Billund. The stand out highlight is Lego Miniland, where 25 million Lego bricks have been used to create replicas of some of the world’s most famous landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty and Amalienborg Castle. Other highlights include the 4D Imagination Zone, Pirate Land and the epic Lego Polar X-plorer freefall ride.

Millenium Falcon

5. Dreamworld (Gold Coast, Australia)

Australia hit the big leagues in 2014 when Queensland’s Dreamworld was named by Adioso as one of the top parks to visit this year. Dreamworld has something for everyone and highlights include Whitewater World, Skypoint, the Australian Wildlife Experience and Kung Fu Panda’s Land of Awesomeness. The park is also home to 40 thrilling rides, including the blood curdling Tower of Terror and the insane Pandemonium.    

Dreamworld Trip 2007

6. Disney World (Orlando, USA)

The world’s largest theme park, Disney World in Orlando, Florida, consists of 6 distinct areas, each bringing to life their own unique and magical theme park atmosphere alongside heart-thumping rides and attractions. The wizarding world of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley and the Breakaway Falls ride at Aquatica are two of the newest attractions to open in 2014.

7. Ferrari World (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

Considered the world’s biggest indoor amusement park, this impressive destination is a car lover’s paradise, especially for fans of Ferrari. Must-dos include the Junior GT driving school for kids, the Racing Legends history exhibit and the epic G-Force ride where participants are launched over 200 feet into the air!

8. Cedar Point (Ohio, USA)

Cedar Point is the second oldest theme park in the USA and this amazing wonderland is widely considered to be the rollercoaster capital of the world. It is home to 17 rollercoasters, 4 of them in excess of 200 feet tall! To get your thrill on, we recommend having a go on the Millennium Force, Mean Streak, Corkscrew and Iron Dragon. In 2014, two new family rides – Lake Erie Eagles and Pipe Scream – were also opened.

Maverick at Cedar Point

 

 

Walking in the Gibbston Valley

As a parent, you are likely far from a frequent jet setter, but it’s common to take the family on a trip once in a while.

However, holidays can be expensive so a little preparation is always useful. Parents are natural savvy shoppers, doing everything they can to reduce costs and keep within budget, so why not apply this to your next holiday? At the very least, doing some of the following can help open up potential you might have even realised.

Break it down

Every little can help and, when you know the dates, it’s easier to plan ahead. Why worry about a large cost when you can cut it down into weekly payments? If you have an end goal, saving this way is much easier. It’s also quite rewarding too, since you (and the family) can literally watch the savings collect up.

A little help throughout the year

Of course, if you can get free money or discounts along the way, this will always. Air miles are a well known concept, so why not earn these for something you were going to do anyway?

An American Express Qantas Frequent flyer credit card, for example, offers flyer points as you spend, so even the local weekly shop can turn into a small part of your next trip. Considering the prevalence of flights taken by Australians – with official figures explaining that overseas travel rose to 6.8 million trips in the 12 months to June 2010 (a drastic increase from 2.1 million recorded the year before) – the significance of these sorts of benefits is clear.

Qantas card holders can even get complimentary travel insurance for both international journeys and trips across Australia itself. Again, it’s all about knocking small costs off, one by one, to reduce the larger whole.

Avoid extras

Since one of the main problems with getting away is the sheer cost, have you tried cutting out all the extras you don’t need? Many airlines like to charge for extra luggage and other additional features which are not always needed.

If you have young children, for instance, their clothes can often fit into one bag, and entire families can downsize into smaller luggage to ensure nobody has to pay extra fees. The same thing can also apply to hotels and other options throughout your stay – always consider cheaper options or if it’s even necessary at all.

Sydney is home to so many attractions that it’s hard to know where to begin! One of the best attractions in Sydney is the food, and from luxury restaurants to beachside diners, the city is home to a wealth of cuisine that you simply can’t miss out on. There’s no doubt that Sydney is a big place, so make things easier for you when visiting, here are some of the top food festivals to experience, each seamlessly combining culture, cuisine and entertainment, all under one roof!

Fresh From The West Food Festival

Every Sunday, Western Sydney Parklands plays host to the Fresh From The West Food Festival, one of the week’s best hubs for international cuisine. With locals and tourists alike flocking from all over the city, expect there to be queues for pretty much every stall going, however once you get to the front and experience the wealth of selection, you’ll be instantly glad you came. With international chefs cooking up fresh and innovative dishes, live baking shows and a number of television personalities lending a hand on screen, this is an event like no other, and there are even workshops for children as well as adults.

Bankstown Bites Food Festival

Bankstown Bites 2014

Another of Sydney’s famous food festivals, Bankstown Bites is usually held around July, however 2014’s date is yet to be confirmed. This is the real home of foodies in Sydney, and with such a vast selection of dishes and cooking styles from all over the world, the exhibits here are educational as well as entertaining. Sydney is quite a diverse city as it is, but Bankstown Bites is where all the different cultures come together to enjoy the wonderful foods they all bring to this magnificent city. From celebrity chefs to live television classes and cooking contests, you could easily spend the day here, so don’t forget to bring your camera as well as your appetite.

The Secret Vegetarian Food Bazaar

Held every July in the heart of Sydney, the Secret Vegetarian Food Bazaar is a community event like no other. There’s no television cameras here or celebrity chefs, simply just a big group of food lovers who come together to cook and share techniques and recipes. There’s absolutely no advertisements of any kind about the Secret Vegetarian Food Bazaar, and that’s why it’s so secret! Main meals cost around $8, and some stalls will even include a desert too. This festival, although small, is very humble, so there’s no need to expect alcohol stands or rowdy crowds as you make your way through the diverse range of cuisines.

Wahroonga Food and Wine Festival

Food is best consumed when partnered with great wine, so what more could you ask for from the Wahroonga Food and Wine Festival? There’s no better way to spend a warm summers day than sampling the local wines as tasting great cheeses and other snacks, all in the lush outdoors of Wahroonga Park. Celebrating gourmet produce and fresh food, this festival is a must visit for first timers in Sydney.