There is nothing quite like going on a tropical holiday. If getting your regular dose of sun, sand and sea is a priority, surely the Caribbean is a dream destination. And what better way than to start your Caribbean adventure in Jamaica?
The island nation has long been a tourist favorite with its lush rainforests, pristine sandy beaches, natural falls, impressive mountain range, and intoxicating music scene. But with a growing number of incredible all-inclusive resorts that offer everything you could possibly need, more travellers are flocking to the island.
If you come to Jamaica for the beach life, expect to experience so much more. With a vibrant cultural heritage and multiethnic society, Jamaica thrives in its diversity. People from different nationalities have called this island their home for centuries. Music is an important aspect of Jamaican culture. Well-renowned artists have brought reggae and dub music into the international stage including the music powerhouse Bob Marley. This caused a surge in the popularity of the Rastafari culture so much so that many consider it synonymous with Jamaica. Surprisingly, less than 5% locals practice this lifestyle.
The locals, resilient survivors of oppression and enslavement in the past, are warm and welcoming in nature. They believe in the power of community and importance of strong family ties. With this, it is easy to feel at home on Jamaica’s shores. While English is the official language, you will encounter locals who stick to their own linguistic style—a mix of African, Spanish, Rastafarian and English.
The traditional wear, usually handmade clothing from calico cloth, oozes with vibrant colour. A headscarf used to keep hair in place is a vital part of the typical Jamaican ensemble.
You’re also in for a culinary adventure on this Caribbean island. The distinct flavorful cuisine incorporating Caribbean spices and influences from different ethnicities is another key aspect of Jamaican culture. The ‘jerk’ technique is probably the most popular method for food preparation. A must-try is the jerk chicken, a dish whose seasonings are distributed in various parts of the world.
There are three main areas that you can explore in Jamaica—Ocho Rios, Negril and Montego Bay. The port town of Ocho Rios is situated in the northern part of Jamaica with a cruise ship harbor and luxury resorts. Negril has the best beach among the three. Meanwhile, Montego Bay is the most accessible as it is nearest to the airport.
Kick off your adventure in Jamaica with this incredible all-inclusive offer. Indulge in seven nights within an adult-only resort at the Secrets Wild Orchid. The resort features an amazing range of amenities that are at your disposal. Boasting a modern and contemporary style, the suites are designed ultimately for your comfort, entertainment and relaxation. Each room has a full entertainment system and a whirlpool tub. Find out more about this special offer here while it lasts.
Have a different Jamaican itinerary in mind? CLB Global Travel will create a holiday that is tailored fit for you with every destination, sights and experiences you are looking forward to. Be it a quick city break or a long vacation, we can assist you! Email [email protected] or call +44 (0) 7484 703 647 to get your trip off to a perfect start
With the busy demands of modern life, setting aside time for a quick getaway or an extended vacation can be helpful in relieving stress. There are many factors to consider in taking a trip though: your timeline, your destination, and your commitments. And that’s barely scratching the surface. Quite frankly, it can be hard to get excited for your well-deserved holiday with the amount of planning needed to ensure every aspect of your trip is covered from booking flights, choosing the best accommodation for your price point, and sorting out your travel fund to building your itinerary. Hiring a highly experienced travel consultant with access to exclusive offers like CLB Global Travel can solve all of these dilemmas. You can also go for an all-inclusive travel package so you have fewer decisions to make and more time to prepare for your trip.
Founded in 1950 with the vision of an all-inclusive vacation experience, Club Méditerranée or simply Club Med has grown into a global leader in its market. This unique selling point of an all-inclusive package incorporating all of the ingredients that make for a dream vacation is what made Club Med a standout. The French company now boasts an impressive 70 premium resorts that are located in stunning sites all over the world.
Whether you want to go on a solo break, relax with your partner or enjoy a holiday with the entire family, Club Med is an idyllic choice. Their distinctive offerings have all the ingredients for a relaxing and enjoyable stay.
Here are just some of the reasons why you should visit a Club Med resorts this summer:
You have a wide range of accommodation options from comfortable club rooms to luxurious suites. Designed by outstanding architects and designers, the accommodations are modern, contemporary and have a unique touch depending on the location you are in. But of course, there remains a common ground. Whatever type of accommodation you choose at any Club Med resort, you can rest assured that each room is designed with the guests’ comfort and well-being in mind. Sleep in after a day filled with great activities, take restorative naps in the middle of the day, or simply spend time in your own private space. Each room also features a modern, contemporary design.
Your journey to a fun-filled vacation should be free from any hassles. By booking with Club Med, you do not have to worry about your transportation needs. Their team will take care of flights from regional airports as well as transfers to and from your resort of choice. All the documents and information will be promptly delivered to you. All you need to do is pack your bag and be on time for your flight departure.
Get ready for an amazing gourmet dining experience while staying at Club Med. With resident international chefs, you can enjoy a generous selection of delicious meals at all hours. Whatever time of the day, you can indulge in an open bar with a varied selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Start your morning with a good cup of coffee, sip refreshing juice by the pool, or a drink a glass of wine or cold beer by the beach.
One of the things many people look for in a vacation is the opportunity to unwind. Each Club Med resort has an amazing spa that seeks to help you relax and relieve stress while getting top notch beauty and massage services from world-renowned spa partners.
There are many activities to do at Club Med. Try out circus inspired activities and get an adrenaline rush from flying trapeze. Stay active while on vacation as Club Med resorts offer the space and equipment for your sports of choice. You can play tennis, golf, archery, volleyball, football, go mountain biking, and horse riding. You can also hit the gym to keep your fitness routines. There are also live bands, theatre shows, and more entertainment options for children and adults.
Book an affordable all-inclusive holiday and save up to 20% with the Club Med All Inclusive Summer Sale available at selected premium resorts. Yes, you can have a luxurious summer without breaking the bank! This fantastic deal is available from the 13th to 30th June.
There is no denying that koalas are an iconic image of Australia. So much so that seeing these adorable creatures with their furry ears and little black button nose is on top of tourists’ bucket list when they go on a trip down under.
The common misconception is that koalas can be found all throughout Australia. The truth is you are most likely to encounter koalas in the east and south coastal regions. Meanwhile, the chances of seeing these creatures when you are visiting Perth or Tasmania are slim to none.
One of the best places you can visit for koala sightings in Australia, however, is the small hamlet of Kennett River. The area, situated in Victoria along the Great Ocean Road, is home to hundreds of koala colonies. They live in dense forests as well as the more urban spots. If you are taking the famed Kennett River Koala Walk, it is not uncommon to spot a koala nonchalantly crossing the road, munching on leaves, casually jumping between gum tree branches, or relaxing in a resident’s balcony. Koalas usually rest for most of the day and become more active in the late afternoon.
The towns in and around the Otway Coast are also great spots to see these charming creatures thanks to the abundant Eucalyptus plants in the area.
Bring a good pair of binoculars to help you spot koalas in their natural habitat. Take note, however, that despite their appearance, koalas are considered wild animals and may become stressed or aggressive in case they feel threatened or cornered. Make sure not to disturb the koalas in their native habitat.
Koalas are herbivorous marsupial native to Australia. These adorable creatures are among the most popular animals in the country. The koala interestingly got its name from the ancient Aboriginal word that means ‘no drink’ because its main water source is the Eucalyptus leaves it eats.
Want to know more about koalas? Here are ten little-known facts about them:
There are more than just koalas in Kennett River. Soak up the amazing views, observe wild animals, and enjoy viewing the diverse bird life. There is a wide range of bird species in the area including cockatoos, robins, thornbills, kookaburras, parrots, and more. Drop by the Koala Kafe, buy some bird feed and have a close encounter with beautiful birds in the area.
Kennett River also offers a pristine beach known as a reliable surf break spot. Want to find out if the surf is up? You can easily tell by looking at the available car park space. If it is full, then you better have your surfing gear ready. It is also perfect for taking an easy relaxing beach walk with a fantastic view. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the migrating whales during May to September.
Ready for an adventure? We, at CLB Global Travel, can arrange an all-inclusive Australia holiday for you. Call us at +44(0) 748 470 3647, email us at [email protected] or explore our latest promotions for more information. We specialize in Far East Travel but can assist with your trip anywhere you wish to go.
Imagine taking a scenic road trip through history that features a marriage of stunning natural scenery and phenomenal manmade architecture as your backdrop. The rest stops involve sites of both historical and cultural importance. Throw in some fine wineries, authentic cuisine and diverse attractions, and you have the historic and scenic route called Journey Through Hallowed Ground.
Make no mistake: the Journey Through Hallowed Ground is more than just a picturesque landscape. The route, tucked in perhaps the most momentous corner of the country, is a passage into American history. It courses through three eastern states namely Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. The region is flourishing with vibrant towns and villages, thriving agriculture, various cultural events, and an abundance of accommodation selections.
Not long ago, the route was designated as a National Heritage Area with a Scenic Byway running through it. The efforts of conservationists to preserve this superior stretch of American geography paved way to a memorable drive that is rich in culture, history, and adventure. The designation elevates the historic, cultural and natural resources of the region to national prominence. It also puts a specific weight on its role in preserving the natural and built environment around the area.
The 180-mile long, 75-mile wide area spans from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Charlottesville, Virginia. Along the way, one can get a fascinating glimpse of American history. Among significant events that took place in the area are the greatest battles of Civil War including Gettysburg, Antietam, Manassas and a dozen others. Additionally, the Declaration of Independence, Marshall Plan, and Emancipation Proclamation, which are important documents that shaped and transformed the country, were either inspired or crafted by the vital events that transpired in this momentous trail.
Furthermore, no less than nine US presidents have lived along the byway. You will encounter presidential estates including Thomas Jefferson’s stately Monticello, James Monroe’s modest Ash Lawn-Highland, and James Madison’s Montpelier.
The lush countryside surrounding the route is a tapestry of orchards, vineyards, wineries, unspoilt rivers, and sparkling streams. Driving through such scenery is relaxing, invigorating and also eye opening. Within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area are 13 national parks that are perfect for recreational adventures.
Plan to take the drive through the historic route during the late spring from April to May and early fall in between September to October. Travelling in the summer can be quite humid and hot. Meanwhile, the winter can be too cold for comfort.
When you think of the safari, South Africa undoubtedly comes to mind. The nation, with nine diverse provinces, has much to offer any wanderer willing to brave the wild.
Imagine getting lost in the epic wilderness of the safari, encountering wildlife creatures, surfing off the Eastern cape coast, trekking through nature reserves, and filling your belly with hearty local meals like Bobotie. Elevate the experience by understanding the nation’s tumultuous history, embracing its colourful culture and mingling with the natives.
Already craving for your South Africa holidays? If you ever have to be selective in the provinces you visit, we urge you to never pass up on KwaZulu-Natal.
KwaZulu-Natal may be the third smallest province in South Africa, but it is not to be missed. Overflowing with scenic views, wildlife, historical sites, and cultural attractions, the eclectic province is an all-around great destination.
The historical battlegrounds, stunning beaches in Durban, dramatic Drakensberg mountainscape serving as a backdrop make it a truly memorable destination.
Durban, the central hub in KwaZulu-Natal, is the third largest city in the entire South Africa. The laid back but busy city combines an eclectic mix of difference cultural backgrounds. You will meet people from all walks of life: a thriving Indian population, a community of English-speaking South Africans, and diverse travellers from all over the globe.
The city is the busiest port in Africa. With a yearlong subtropical climate, the warm waters of the Indian Ocean are especially inviting to those who crave for some sun, sand and sea.
The beachfront is endearingly called Golden Mile that shows six kilometres of golden sand along the coast. The most popular and prestigious resort in South Africa, uShaka Marine World, can be found in Durban. Beyond having one of the largest aquariums in the world, it also boasts world-class entertainment facilities.
If you are looking to enjoy Durban’s trendiest cuisine, arts and crafts, head over to the Wilson’s Wharf on the Victoria Embankment. Have fun amidst the rustic border of a boating marina.
It is easy to wander around the historic city. Get to know the city by exploring structures from the past. A visit to the City Hall, the local history museum, and the Old Fort is in order. The famed Mahatma Gandhi used to work as a barrister in Durban. It is disputed that his civil rights struggle may have started here. Many travellers take a tour around the city to retrace the steps of the well-loved and prominent Indian political leader.
No visit to Durban is complete without exploring its wildlife. Two of the popular, more accessible and easy to reach reserves are the Hluhluwe Umfolozi and Tala Private Game Reserve.
The Krantz Loof Gorge Nature reserve, situated on the outskirts of the city, is widely known for its incredible waterfalls. Looking for a coastal wildlife experience? Do not miss to visit the ST Lucia Waterlands Park.
The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, with its two hundred kilometres long escarpment, is easily the most impressive mountain in South Africa. Locals endearingly call the diverse wonderland the Berg. With peaks exceeding 3000 meters, the uKhahlamba or ‘barrier of spear’ in Zulu, sets a vibrant backdrop to the province.
A trip to the park is simply a perfect excursion for nature lovers. The high-altitude wetlands serve as home to a wide variety of flora and fauna as well as animal species. Additionally, it features river valleys, rugged cliffs, mountain streams and scenic hiking trails. There is no doubt why the Berg draws thousands of wanderers every year.
Did you know that you could experience chilly weather in South Africa? Plan your trip during the winter season. The slopes are will be coated in snow and are easily transformed into a haven for winter sports enthusiasts!
Do not fret if you are not a huge fan of skiing or snowboarding. There are many adventures awaiting anyone who travels to the Berg. Go kayaking, tube riding, swimming or even fly-fishing. Appreciate the landscape more by doing 4×4 trails, mountain climbing, and hiking. You can also try spelunking in hundreds of caves in the valleys and cliffs of Drakensberg. While there, do not miss the chance to appreciate the rock art paintings that San people created to record their life stories over a 4000 year period. These remarkable images dating back to the 19th are of great historical significance to the locals.
The best time to visit is during the warmer months of December through February. Not only is the weather agreeable but you can make the most out of the long days.
Many people travel to the nation to have an encounter with the ‘Big Five’. The term refers to five most difficult animals to hunt in the on foot in Africa namely the African lion, Cape buffalo, African leopard, African elephant, and rhinoceros.
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi in KwaZulu-Natal is among the largest game reserves in the country. It is a safe haven for the rare white and black rhinoceros.
Photographers and explorers have a lot to look forward to. The reserve is also home to cheetahs, hippos, hyenas, jackals, giraffes and wild dogs, which makes the reserve an ultimate wildlife escapade.
For tourists who visit the park, having a close encounter with the world’s largest animal can easily be the highlight of their visit. There are well-hidden viewing spots put in place so visitors can have a unique and unusually close experience with these beautiful creatures.
Let us help you get unique and tailor-made experience in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Get the best the province has to offer by booking your trip through CLB Global Travel.
It’s all about the RIDE! And Route 66 is iconic!
After a year of slogging through the swamps, rice paddies and jungles in Vietnam, in 1966, I was ready for a ride. Two of my cousins met me in Chicago for our incredible journey down Route 66.
The Route is 2400 miles of asphalt and called the American Highway. It runs from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles in California, ending up at the Santa Monica Pier. If you are into riding, this is a trip that you need to take. After a few hours of catching up and some beers and food, we found our way to the motel to get some sleep.
Bright and early the next morning, we packed our stuff and fired up the Harley’s to get on the road. We figured to get an early start to beat the traffic and find somewhere to stop and get something to eat on the road.
Chicago faded out behind us as we headed towards Springfield, Illinois…the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. This was the 1960’s. 1966, in fact and even though, “all men are created equal”, the country was still filled with inequality. We stopped along the way for gas, beer and something to eat in Joliet, but we wanted to keep on going. There is a new Route 66 museum along with the Joliet Museum that you should stop and see. It used to be the Ottawa St. Methodist church when we came through.
Heading down the road to Wilmington, Illinois, we check out the Gemini Giant at the Launching Pad diner. He is one of the most photographed “people” in the world.
We stop at the Standard Oil gas station in Odell to fill up the tanks and grab a quick drink. Today, that station serves as a
museum/monument to the days when gas stations stayed open day and night and actually had attendants that checked your tires, oil and water for you.
From Odell, we head towards St. Louis, Missouri. The first thing we see is the Gateway Arch, which is the beginning of the American West. It sits on the bank of the Mississippi River, and we decide to take a little while checking it out. This is where Lewis and Clark set out to discover the American West. Looks like it may be an exciting day.
We then drop in at Ted Drewes frozen custard stand on Chippewa Street. The place has been a landmark since 1929 on Route 66. Plenty of things to do in St. Louis, so we decide to spend another day there. Went to see the St. Louis Cardinals play a game of baseball. After the game we cruise over to C&K Barbeque restaurant on Jennings Station Road for some St. Louis style barbeque. To finish off the evening we stop at a couple of the blues clubs.
You can also do a tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery (free beer tasting) or even take a trip down the Mighty Mississippi on a replica of an original paddle wheel boat. Lots to see and do, but we need to get back on the road.
Out of Rolla, the roads are winding through some great scenery and are a dream to ride. We come up on the Devil’s Elbow, named after a bend in the nearby river. Great place to stop is the biker bar called the Elbow Inn and Barbeque. Good atmosphere, good food, campground in the back and women tend to leave their bras nailed to the ceiling! Really! This used to be a sandwich shop when we came through.
Leaving the “Devil”, we head out of the valley on Route 66. When Route 66 was in constant use, there were all kinds of businesses offering food, drink and lodging to the vast amount of people travelling towards Los Angeles. Although some remain, most have closed up shop. When we came through Paris Springs Junction, we pass by the burned out remains of a Sinclair gas station. The original one burned down in 1955, but it has been recreated now as a tourist attraction, called Gary’s Gay Parita Sinclair. From here we head over to Joplin, Missouri to get some sleep. If you have the time and inclination, you could always detour to Branson, Missouri, the new Nashville, for a show at one of the country western star’s theatres.
Heading out of Missouri and into Oklahoma, where the idea of Route 66 started, you can stop in Clinton, Oklahoma to see the Route 66 Museum. The folks that left the “Dust Bowl” of Oklahoma, travelled the “Mother Road”, as they called it, looking for a better life. The museum shares the history of the road from the 1920’s to present day. It has a 1950’s style diner or pick up some memorabilia in the gift shop. Although the museum wasn’t here when we came through, it is worth a stop. Riding on, we find a lot of the old Googie style architecture. Googie is a style of “Modern” architecture designed in a futuristic style heavily influenced by car culture, jets, space age and atomic age and was popular in designs for motels, coffee shops and gas stations. We see this all along the way.
Leaving Oklahoma behind us, we head off to Texas. Passing miles of cactus, we get close to the “panhandle” and continue to the small town of Shamrock. We gas up at one of the original gas stations of the old Route 66, the U-Drop Inn and grab some food, before heading off to McLean. From McLean, we ride up to Amarillo in the northern panhandle. Amarillo seems to be cut off from the rest of Texas, but it is at the crossroads of one of the greatest American cross country roadways.
Although we are in the northern part of the state, it is still a long journey to get across. Passing the rolling meadows, filled with green grass and the famous Texas cattle ranches, you soon see what Texas is all about. We head into Amarillo and decide to stop at the Big Texan Steakhouse for dinner. At the time, you could get a steak dinner for a couple of dollars and both of my cousins are BIG men! You can stop in there now and try to finish the 72 ounce Rib Eye steak with all the usual trimmings. That is 4.5 pounds of MEAT. If you can finish it all within an hour, it is free.
We leave the restaurant filled up and decide to take a short detour to the Palo Duro Canyon, a few miles south of Amarillo. Fantastic sandstone sculptures created by the wind and water, make this one of the nicest views in Texas. This is a State Park and we decide to camp out here for the night. Something about being out in the wide open spaces really creates a special feeling of singularity with the universe and nature.
Heading into New Mexico, we leave Oklahoma and Texas behind. We are now officially in the West! First stop is one of the most beautiful cities, Santa Fe. It is one of the oldest capital cities in the US and the oldest city in New Mexico. Founded in 1610 by the Spanish, the city is full of architecture from days long past. The town is high in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, which get their name from the red colours of the mountains at sunrise and sunset. The blend of Native American and Spanish cultures is evident anywhere you look. We decide to try some local restaurants and cantinas in Old Town, before finding a motel to spend the night.
Heading south towards Albuquerque, we watch the scenery change from the mountains to the high desert. We are now riding towards red plateaus and seeing the cactus in bloom. And we wonder what it was like in centuries past when only the Native Americans inhabited the land. Here, we see some more examples of the old adobe buildings and decide to stop and have a look around at the unique structures. Heading out of Albuquerque, we travel on towards Gallup. On the way, we pass Sky City on the Acoma Pueblo. This is the longest inhabited city in the US.
Populated by the Anasazi (the Old Ones) for thousands of years, the Pueblo was founded in the 13th century. We have to stop and have a look. We are travelling through the Navaho Nation, known as Shiprock, the largest Native American reservation. Then we pass roadside stands where the Navaho sell their turquoise jewellery, so we stop and buy some nice rings and I pick up a squash blossom piece. It is a lot cheaper than buying in Gallup, but Gallup will have some good bargains as well.
We didn’t waste a lot of time getting through Gallup and headed for the Arizona Border and Holbrook. As we head onwards, we start to see more rocks. A closer look shows that these are actually petrified trees! We are near the Petrified Forest National Park and decide to stop to check it out. The visitor centre has the info about how and why all the trees are petrified. The trees actually lived about 225 Million years ago and were pushed up to the surface about 60 million years ago, during volcanic activity.
Stopping in Holbrook, it seems that our ride is just getting better and better each day. We stop at the Teepee motel to spend the night. The rooms are made to look like Teepees but made of concrete and steel. I used to see some of these where I grew up in Orlando on the South Orange Blossom Trail.
In the morning we head towards Flagstaff, Arizona. Stopping in Winslow for gas and something we eat, we take a quick look around town. I am sure that everyone has heard the song by the Eagles, “Take it Easy”, “standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see” The Eagles must have passed through Winslow, Arizona and didn’t have anything else to do, but write a song!
Continuing on to Flagstaff, we start back up into the mountains. The miles of road just before Flagstaff are great riding. We stop in Flagstaff and check out the local life. Flagstaff is a neat town that I wouldn’t mind living in. Lots of Route 66 mementos still around. Next stop: The Grand Canyon. Although it is north of Flagstaff on route 180, we have to go and see it, as my cousins have never been there. We turn up on the North Rim at Grand Canyon Village.
Nothing can describe the sense of nature at work here. We decide to spend some more time here and take a donkey ride down the canyon. Nowadays, you can also do a helicopter ride for a truly great experience. After all, how many of the 7 wonders of the world do you think you will get to see in your life?.
Leaving the Grand Canyon, we travel south, back to Route 66 in Williams. Once we are back on the 66, we make stops in Seligman, Peach Springs and Hackberry, on the way to Kingman. Once in Kingman, we decide to stop for the night. Tomorrow is another day and the cousins decided that they want to go to Las Vegas.
In the morning, we grab some breakfast and mount up to get on highway 93 and head north to Vegas. Anything you want is available in Vegas, dining, gambling, shows and entertainment. It is an adult playground and beside the life on the strip, there are lots of sights to see like the Hoover Dam, the deserts and the night sky. Like they say, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, so I won’t bore you with what we got up to.
Two days in Vegas and we are ready to get back on the road. We plan on getting to Pasadena today. Out of Vegas, the Mojave desert beckons. The stillness and colours are something that most people ignore. On a bike, it is easier to discover the joys of the ride and the sense of freedom that the scenery offers. Just keeping one hand on the throttle, we relax and cruise on, enjoying the ride.
We pick up Route 66 in Barstow, California and stop at a diner for some lunch. Lunch over with, we fire up the bikes and head towards Pasadena. Getting closer to my old stomping grounds in L.A. We take the road towards San Bernadino or Berdoo as we call it, to see another cousin that I haven’t seen in a few years. He decides to come along with us for the last bit of the ride.
Almost home now as we ride into one of the world’s most famous cities. From Pasadena, we pass Dodger Stadium and head into Chinatown. Now we are downtown, Los Angeles. Continuing on through Culver City, we are getting near the end of the journey. Crossing the 405, we head for the Santa Monica Pier and the end of Route 66. Arriving at our destination, we can smell the ocean air and see the palm trees. The Ferris Wheel is turning and it hits home…we are done with the ride.
For your opportunity to ride the Famous Route 66, just contact us. We can arrange transportation, bikes, tour guides, hotels and everything else to make the trip the most memorable ride of your life. Go to www.clbglobaltravel.com and fill out the form to inquire about how we can get your trip going.
The mountainous terrain of Greece easily makes it a hiker’s paradise. With scenic trails, picturesque roads, and ancient pathways, the peninsular country is a dream for those who enjoy exploring by foot. Travellers are spoilt with options from climbing the mountain of the gods, Mount Olympus, to walking on shepherd’s trails to trekking in unmarked trails to finding their way in small islands with cobbled paths that date back to the Byzantine times.
The island capital, Santorini, is bursting with mesmerising natural beauty that it may as well be a life-size painting. With a mix of picturesque cliffs, turquoise seas, and charismatic towns, it is a dream destination for travellers all over the world. This is true especially for wanderers with a knack for hiking.
On the western part of Santorini is a cliff that gazes into a partly sunken caldera. Each town on the side of the caldera has something special to offer. Fira is considered the island’s hub as it hosts the most shops, cafes, restaurants and clubs. Firostefani, just a stone’s throw away from Fira, is a quieter town. Imerovigli features the best views in Santorini. And lastly, the dreamy Oia, which is reputed to have the most stunning sunset in the world.
Walking along the caldera can easily make one appreciate how incredibly scenic the island of Santorini is. The hiking path from Fira all the way up to Oia rewards travellers with a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the volcano and the Aegean Sea. For this magical experience, the ten-kilometer hike that could take up to four hours is definitely worth taking.
The journey begins from the capital of the island, Thira. Heading north, travellers will come across the Orthodox Metropolitan Church and the central shopping street of Fira. The beautiful cathedral, built in 1827 and later on renovated in 1956, has a wonderful mosaic and impressive bell tower that can be seen on its exterior. The walk along Fira provides an impressive view of the vast sea. This makes it a great spot for taking photographs or simply enjoying the view.
The next village, Firostefani, almost appears connected to Fira with its houses and hotels seemingly attached. Many hikers stop at this point. But those who push forward reap the rewards of gorgeous spots along the way.
Trudge on the inland road through Firostefani and you will pass by the Monastery of Saint Nicolas. The church, established in the 17th century, serves as home to significant icons from the Byzantine period.
Moving forward, you will reach the picturesque and quiet village of Imerovigli. Adventurers at heart may choose to do a quick detour and hike up the well-known Skaros Rock for a priceless view of the island.
Continuing to the north, there are two churches that are worth stopping by for. The Church of Agios Antonios and the Church of Prophet Elias feature Cycladic architecture style. Both ancient structures offer a magnificent view of the Thirassia Island as well as the caldera cliff.
Not far from these churches is Oia. This enchanting village is arguably the most picture-perfect in Santorini with its traditional whitewashed houses, blue-domed churches, old-fashioned windmills, and verandas bathed in sunshine. Walking its paved pathways, hikers will find quaint art galleries, taverns, souvenir shops, and boutique hotels. They may also spot talented artists busy drawing portraits on street sides that all the more adds to the Oia’s charm. The hike culminates at the old Castle of Oia where one can take in the magical view of Santorini and experience one of the best sunsets in the world.
An ideal time to travel in Santorini for hiking is during the months of March to June and September to October. These months are conducive for hiking as the weather is just right for long hikers—neither too hot nor too cold. If you are taking this scenic, it is best to start early in the afternoon so you can arrive in time for the glorious sunset in Oia.
Bequia is like a moving, breathing screen saver. The picturesque Caribbean island features palm-fringed beaches, turquoise waters, lush landscape, rugged hills, stunning sunrises, dramatic sunsets—nearly everything you can ask for in a picture perfect paradise.
But Bequia is far from typical Caribbean destinations. Positioned in the more off beaten track in an array of already remote Grenadines islands, Bequia, while not entirely unknown, remains untouched by mass tourism. There are no shopping centres, casinos, high-rise structures, or large glitzy hotels here.
The island, quiet and peaceful, is an idyllic place for travellers looking to unwind and relax. Make no mistake; it has a lot to offer those who seek adventure too. Make the most out of your busy mornings and enjoy the warm tropical nights under a starry sky while an orchestra of nature sounds serenades you.
One of the eight islands in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines nation, Bequia is considered the second largest island after the mainland. The charming destination, measuring only seven square miles, serves as home to a small population of over four thousand people.
The heart of this charismatic little island is its people. The friendly and welcoming natives are a diverse mix of African, Caribbean Indian, and Scottish people.
As you wander around, you may notice people acknowledging each other with polite nods or little waves. The locals are kindhearted and willing to mingle with outsiders.
There is also a small but thriving community of artists and writers who call the island home. This does not come as a surprise as the colourful isle is a great source of creative inspiration.
Seafarers have long been drawn to the island of Bequia for its striking beaches, busy port that is filled with yachting supplies, great bars and restaurants that make it a perfect shore leave.
Port Elizabeth, the vibrant main town, is busiest during the annual Easter Regatta. During this time, it may be difficult to find lodging around the area.
For people vacationing and living in the island, the port has the essential shops for everything they need.
From the port, the national ferry service can take visitors to the other scenic and stunning islands of the Grenadines. There are also exceptional restaurants for diners to choose from. Those who would like to go on boating trips can organise it in the port. Diving equipment can also be rented here.
Here, you may also find a number of operators that offer charter boats. You may arrange private boat excursions and choose from a wide array of day trips. Local water taxis operating in the port also offer trips between beaches and trips to nearby islands.
During the peak season, the Caribbean Sea is filled with yachts and sailing boats. For years, the easiest way to visit the island was through a yacht or one ferry a day. Today, large public ferries are now able to link Bequia with Saint Vincent. Meanwhile, commuter airlines transport guests from Barbados.
The Bequia Maritime Museum is located on the road from Port Elizabeth to Hamilton. Here you can take a guided tour to find out more about the island’s maritime tradition. A visit here will help you understand why Bequia is regarded as the model sailboat capital of the world.
Meandering in the museum, you will be able to appreciate how Scottish ancestors of the island introduced the art of boat building. You may also see a collection of intricately created model boats that includes detailed replicas of historic vessels. Nearby, you can visit boat shops in the area that display locally crafted model boats.
Additionally, take the time to find out when the tradition of whaling began. This is more than a century old tradition that continues up to this day. The island is one of the few places in the world permitted by the International Whaling Commission to carry out limited whaling. Each year, the natives are allowed to capture up to four humpback whales as long as they use traditional hunting methods. This involves hand-thrown harpoons in tiny sailboats.
Relax and unwind in Bequia’s beautiful beaches and secluded bays. Soak up some sun, walk on fine white sand, and swim in the clear turquoise sea. The choices are bountiful including Princess Margaret Beach, Friendship Bay Beach, Lower Bay Beach, Industry Bay Beach, and Spring Bay Beach.
Spring Bay and Industry Bay, on the windward side of the island, are perfect spots for snorkelling and scuba diving. Travellers can take a short diving course from professional divers, rent equipment, and arrange a snorkelling trip or book a scheduled boat dive in Port Elizabeth.
Explore your eco side, as you get up close and personal with sea turtles. A visit to the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary offers travellers with an enjoyable and educational experience rolled into one. Here, you can view young sea turtles and find out more about how to protect these gentle giants of the sea.
And if you simply want a look into the local way of life, head to the busy marketplace whether you are buying anything or not. See the tables upon tables heaped with colourful and fresh produce. And if you already took the time to wake up early and visit the local market, better treat yourself to fresh coconut water straight from the coconut. You are in a tropical paradise after all.
A natural beauty stretching more than 30 kilometres into the Tasman Sea, Farewell Spit truly is a beauty to behold. The dramatic coastal cliffs lend a spectacular view of the island, its shoreline, and stunning landforms. The windblown sand creates remarkable patterns—from contoured ripples to crests—that become more picturesque as the colour changes during sunrise and sunset.
Farewell Spit is positioned at the northernmost tip of the Golden Bay, South Island. Running eastward from Cape Farewell, it is twenty-six kilometres above sea level whilst the remaining six kilometres are underwater. The spit, made from fine golden sand, is considered to be the longest sandspit in the entire country. The narrow sandbar is also known in Maori as Onetahua, which means ‘heaped up sand’.
But equally impressive is the spit’s climate, alluring birds and diverse wildlife. Travellers from all over the globe can immerse themselves in the exploration of both the open sea and the sheltered waters.
The spit, a bird sanctuary since the early 1930s, serves as home to thousands of birds and as a vital staging area for migratory shorebirds. An impressive total of 90 bird species has been recorded in this extraordinary ecosystem. These include herons, red-billed gull, wrybill, golden plover, black swan and whimbrels, among others. If you are lucky, you may have a close encounter with the birds inhabiting the spit. There is also a gannet colony which nests in colonies above the high tide line.
If, however, you are more fascinated with marine life forms, then you must head towards the crystal clear shores where seals and whale sightings, especially the Long-Finned Pilot Whales, are very common. Unfortunately, the area is also known for whale strandings that usually happen when whales become stuck in shallow waters.
Considered as a wetland of international importance, the spit is strictly protected by the New Zealand’s Department of Conservation. With great emphasis on preserving the seabird sanctuary and natural reserve, the department has only opened a small area that could be accessible to the visitors through organised tours.
As such, anyone who wants to visit will only be given access if they go through the two approved tour operators. Taking a trip organised local and friendly guides that are passionate and knowledge about the ecology of Farewell spit is your best bet in experiencing everything the place has to offer.
Venture into a journey of discovery in the seabird and wildlife reserves. At the base of the spit is the Fossil Point—a popular hauling out spot for New Zealand fur seals. Here, you can observe fossilised shells and worm casts emerge from mudstone found at the base of the cliffs. Nearby, you can see an abundance of sea life thriving in exposed rock pools.
Ascend the Farewell Spit lighthouse located thirty kilometres along the ocean beach. Take the opportunity to discover the Maori legends of the spit. Or have a peek at the spit’s local history. You may also view the wood carvings and enjoy some refreshments in the century-old lighthouse keepers’ cottage.
Remember to bring a pair of binoculars, arm your skin with sunscreen, and stay hydrated so you can enjoy your journey.
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Travel has the immense power to transform people. Seeing the world gives one invaluable insights and learnings that may not have been possible to gain in the confines of a classroom. It transports you not only to places but also to the past.
If you ever happen to find yourself in Southern Italy, you will be remiss not to schedule a visit to an old town that stands upon layers and layers of rich history. Do not miss the unique opportunity of taking a glimpse into the historical town of Matera. A place that boasts nine millenniums of constant human habitation.
Situated in the Basilicata region, Matera is globally recognised for its ancient town ‘Sassi di Matera.’ A designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sassi features cave dwellings dating back to the Palaeolithic era, a prehistoric period of human history.
Meandering in Matera allows one to retrace the steps of the inhabitants that graced the cave dwellings. To say Matera is timeless is an understatement.
The ancient town features two sections— Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano. The cave dwellings are separated by a ridge where Matera’s ancient cathedral sits.
The dwellings are primaeval natural caves that were excavated by hand out of tufo or calcarenite rock by hand. The cave dwellings have improved over time and featured more rooms and more sophisticated exteriors.
Stand in a spot that lends a panoramic view of Matera and you will instantly be treated to an almost cinematic scene in Holy Land. The ancient village on the side of Gravina village displays a breathtaking landscape that has drawn both curious travellers and inspired filmmakers. In fact, the town served as the backdrop for the international film The Passion of Christ, a biblical film that depicts the final twelve hours in Jesus life.
According to the UNESCO, the cave dwellings are the finest example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean. But while this natural settlement proved to be perfect in the Palaeolithic era, they have become less acceptable in modern times. Imagine the poorest of the region are crammed into the sassi. By all means, the people live without access to basic needs such as heat, light or sanitation. Since space is lacking, residents live with animals. There is no surprise that the town had very low illiteracy and mortality rate. The unsanitary place also has high susceptibility to malnutrition, cholera, malaria and other diseases. The sassi surpasses any other standard of any other poverty-stricken province in the south.
In 1952, the local government finally took action. This gave way to the rehousing of some 20,000 residents into modern homes. Since then, the sassi remained derelict, abandoned and bricked up.
Later on, hippies moved in and tried to live in the caves. These illegal settlers, ironically, have jumpstarted the resurgence of Matera. The council made them legal residents and connected them to utility services. Then the gentrification began—small businesses started opening starting from a café, a gallery here, and a shop there.
Meanwhile, the international film shot in Matera brought the place to the limelight. It was only a matter of time before chic hotels, bars, and restaurants started to rise in the area as the atmospheric ancient town welcome more tourists.
Right now, travellers are able to choose from different accommodations in the area including hotels, cottages, bed and breakfasts, apartments and luxury hotels. Some of the structures are at the heart of the sassi, which lends an amazing view of the ancient city. While some are in the modern part of the area.
Perched on top of Civitas hill is cathedral that offers visitors with a phenomenal bird’s eye view of the Sasso Barisano. The cathedral, featuring a Romanesque-Apulian style, was built during the 13th century. In 1967, the structure was dedicated to the protectors of the city—Madonna della Bruna and Sant’Eustachio.
The structure is impressive not only in its resilience to time but also in the treasures it houses. From the intricately decorated portal, the statue of Madona della Bruna stands proudly alongside an impressive rose window and a statue of Michael the archangel.
The monastery also features a bell tower that stands tall at an immense 52-meter height. The interior, which has seen some restoration in the Baroque period, is a sight to behold. Here, you can gaze at the popular stone crib made by Altobello Persio in 1534, a Byzantine fresco of the “Madonna della Bruna and Child”, fragments of a cycle of paintings, a stunning wooden choir carved by John Wee in 1453, and “Virgin and Child with Saints” from the artist Fabrizio Santafede in 1580.
The Basilicata region is characterised by an amalgam of nature, history, and culture. Wherever you look, the flora and fauna are diverse, the natural reserves and parks have boundless cultural value, and the wildlife sanctuaries are inviting.
Matera is home to natural areas such as the Reserve San Giuliano, the Colle Timmar, and the Park of the Murgia. In the Timmari hill, you will find a residential village which is a well-known significant archaeological site. Here, you can observe objects from prehistoric time. If you are exploring around San Guiliano Lake, you can also pass time by observing birds from over 140 species from designated sighting huts.
In the same way, the upland area will give you the gift of discovery. Walking to the area will help you discover remnants of ancient Neolithic villages.
Travelling to Italy? We can assist with your travel arrangements. You may call us at +44(0) 748 470 3647, email us at [email protected]. Feel free to explore our latest promotions on our website. We specialise in Far East Travel but can also assist with your trip anywhere you wish to go.Request A Quote