Are you looking for a honeymoon that's a little different from the typical beachside vacation? You don't sit around at home, why should you do so on your honeymoon? Consider a diving trip to the Caribbean or perhaps a hiking trip to the Alps. Below are a few of my favorite choices for an adventure honeymoon:1.Ecotourism in Costa Rica Costa Rica, located in the heart of Central America, is rich with natural wonders. There are miles of uncrowded beach on both the Caribbean and the Pacific coasts, the Monteverde Cloud Forest in the central highlands, and the cosmopolitan capital of San Jose. The country is ideal for adventure seekers. You can swing through the tree-top canopy in the rain forest, windsurf on Lake Arenel some of the best windsurfing in the world, enjoy fishing for swordfish and tuna, and hike the miles and miles of national park land. Costa Rica also specializes in self-sustaining resorts, a big plus for ecologically sensitive honeymooners.2.Diving in Grand Cayman The Cayman Islands, just east of Cuba, offers some of the best diving in the world. Grand Cayman, the largest of the three Cayman Islands, boasts dozens of dive sites as well as the pristine seven-mile beach and Stingray City, a unique stingray refuge where visitors can swim with 30 to 50 relatively tame stingrays. Accommodations on the island tend towards low-rise, mostly beachfront, condominiums. Nothing is too far away on this 22-mile long island.3.Bicycling through Belize Belize, on the Caribbean coast, offers quiet hillside retreats, stunning Mayan ruins, and undiscovered beaches. You can canoe into remote Barton Cove, an ancient Mayan burial site; stay in Francis Ford Coppola's exclusive jungle hideaway; and peddle alongside waterfalls, beaches, and caves. It's like being in your own Indiana Jones movie.4.Heli-climbing in the Rockies Experience the Canadian Rockies like few others have. A helicopter whisks you up to alpine meadows and inclines for a day or a half-day of hiking or you can choose one spot in the morning and another in the afternoon. This trip is not roughing it, however. When you're not exploring Canada's beautiful mountain slopes, you'll be staying at one of the legendary Canadian Pacific lodges, noted for their elegant rooms, spectacular views, and gracious service.5.Hiking in the Alps Join a small group of like-minded adventurers for a trek through the foothills of the Swiss Alps. A typical week-long tour takes you through quaint mountain villages, to secluded mountain meadows, and up steep mountain passes. The average day's travel is about ten miles and in the evening you'll stay and dine in historic and friendly alpine inns.6.Camping in Yosemite The 1189-square mile Yosemite National Park offers over 400 campsites, ranging from primitive to fully-equipped. Yosemite is one of the National Park System's most dramatic, and ranges in elevation from 2000 to over 13,000 feet. Visitors can enjoy the park's over 7000 species of plant life and over 250 varieties of animals. Activities include climbing, hiking the over 800 miles of trails, rafting, and horseback-riding
Well, my week on the Solitaire II, studying Italian and sailing through the Eolian Islands, had come to an end. Last night our sailing group officially said goodbye, and my departure date from Sicily was fast approaching. Only four more days of discovery were remaining.A week on a sailboat does many things, but one thing is for sure it creates a huge amount of laundry. The entire suitcase that I had taken onto the boat was in desperate need of a good cleansing, so it was time to use the washing machine in the spacious five-bedroom apartment above the Laboratorio Linguistico language school. Claudia, being from Germany, was in charge of selecting the laundry settings on this European machine, and shortly after my dirty clothes and those of two of my shipmates were turning happily in the frontloaded washer. Then we hung up the clothes on the balcony of our bedroom and Lorenzo, our favourite Catholic priest, joined us to sit for a bit outside. After a while he headed off to get his hair cut while Claudia and I met our other shipmates, Franco and Agnieszka, who were going to take us on a tour of Milazzo.Milazzo is a town with a population of about 30,000 people on the northeastern coast of Sicily, located about 50 km from Messina. It has a long history, dating back to Greek colonization as the city of Mylai in 716 BC. Milazzo is located on a narrow peninsula on the Tyrrhenian coastline that protrudes about six or seven kilometers into the sea. The tip of the peninsula is called Capo Milazzo which features a variety of restaurants perched on a cliff above the sea as well as nature areas and an 18th century lighthouse.The downtown of Milazzo is located on the eastern side of the peninsula around a bay and the south side of the bay is characterized by a variety of industrial and refinery buildings. Our local expert Franco explained that Milazzo is quite a popular tourist destination for Italian travelers in the summer, but is not particularly well known internationally. It is a reasonably priced destination, much more affordable than some other extremely popular destinations in Italy.Our apartment at Laboratorio Linguistico is very centrally located at Via Nino Riolo, just steps away from the Chiesa di San Giacomo, dating back to the 15h century, and the Lungomare Garibaldi, the beautiful palm-lined waterfront promenade of Milazzo. Franco took us along the Via Medici towards the fish market which features two rows of fish and seafood vendors, selling a large variety of marine delicacies caught locally. One local fisherman in particular seemed to enjoy the camera and held up several different fish with a big smile while his coworker was watching him with an expression of suspicion. We also saw a huge swordfish, it must have been about two meters long and was staring at us with its silver-coloured empty eyes. Another fishmonger had just a head of a swordfish on display, the body had already been cut up and filleted. Fish markets are always an assault to the senses, fascinating visually, but the smell is a different story.We briefly stopped at the municipal tourist office in the Municipio building to get some information on the bus schedules that would take us from Milazzo to Catania for our return flights and were rather impressed by the friendly service that the gentleman behind the counter was providing to us. Now equipped with the knowledge of how we would get to the Catania airport we continued our walk along the Lungomare.The Lungomare is a waterfront promenade, fronted on the eastern side by a long row of attached houses that are several hundred years old, with a paved walkway that is separated from a busy street by a narrow lawn and a fringe of palm trees. On the eastern side is a sandy beach that serves as the starting point for the dozens of fishermen that have their boats permanently parked along the waterfront. The Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore forms the northern end of the of the main section of the waterfront promenade, from where things get a little quieter.Franco pointed out a fascinating classical building that used to be an orphanage, but today lies in ruins. We turned left on Erta San Domenico, a stone-paved road with an interesting pattern that would take us up past a series of steps towards the castle, the Castello di Milazzo.Like all of Sicily, Milazzo has thousands of years of history. Settled since the Neolithic Age, Milazzo has always had a strategic location along the Tyrrhenian Sea, used by the Romans and then the Arabs. The current castle was originally constructed under Norman rule around 1000 AD and later reinforced in the 15th century by Alphonso of Aragon. During the 18th Century and the subsequent Bourbon period it suffered great damage and later became a prison, which it remained until 1960.The structure was extensively renovated in the 1980s and 1990s. The castle sits on a rocky promontory with a view towards all directions and features imposing stone walls aimed at deterring any possible invaders. The main area of the castle was closed to the public at this time of day (siesta time) and would not reopen until 3 pm, but we walked through some of the impressive stone gates and covered walkways that take you to the inner courtyards of the castle. The view from the castles south side towards the Nebrodi Mountains and Mount Etna was stunning. The snowy fields at the top of Mount Etna were clearly visible and not a single cloud was concealing Europes largest volcano.Close to the castle is an entertainment area that features many different bars and restaurants. Although quiet now, this area becomes vibrant and alive at night time. We continued our walk further north along the peninsula and Franco took us to a private residential complex where Laboratorio Linguistico rents some villas for some of its language students. Hidden behind a big steal gate is a beautiful estate with gorgeous gardens and subtropical flowers that features several houses that can be rented by foreign travelers. Franco introduced us to an older couple who was also here to study Italian, and their abode on the edge of the cliff with a perfect westward view of the Sicilian coastline, featuring Milazzo Castle towards the south, was breathtaking.We decided to explore the western side of the Milazzo peninsula and took a steep path down towards the beach, with Milazzo Castle looming overhead on our left hand side. The flat pebbly beach is several kilometers long and on this Saturday afternoon was quite deserted. Only a few sun worshipers were out and enjoying their time on the waterfront. The water had a light blue turquoise colour to it, but when we looked closer we saw huge swarms of jellyfish washing ashore all along the coastline. That may have explained the reason for the absence of bathers.After this extensive walk in the warm sun it was time for another granita, a typical Sicilian treat featuring crushed ice in a variety of flavours. So Claudia and I walked towards downtown again and found a little local bar where we sat down for a solid hour or so to relax and enjoy a cool drink Franco and Agnieszka had already proceeded back towards the apartment, while the two of us, real sailing buddies, were enjoying our last afternoon together since Claudia was going to fly back to Germany early tomorrow morning. We both realized how much we had enjoyed this sailing trip and what an intense experience this kind of trip can be.On our way back we passed by the Piazza Roma and the Monumento ai caduti (Monument to the Fallen Soldiers), constructed in 1924 during Italys fascist era. Back at the apartment we cooked up some pasta with fresh tomatoes and enjoyed our home-cooked meal.Our late afternoon lunch eliminated the need for a dinner, but we still planned to take one final walk through Milazzo before Claudias departure. Around 8 pm we admired the daily ritual of the passegiata, the daily stroll where men, women, children, families and seniors come out, many of them dressed to the nines, to stroll along the Lungomare. This time-honoured ritual exists in most Italian communities and is a perfect opportunity to see and be seen. Many older men sit together on benches, discussing the latest in news and sports, while women walk together, probably debating issues of church and family.A large crowd was gathered at the Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore since the Madonna of Fatima was on display in the church. The church was lit up beautifully and many pious locals were streaming into the church to pay their respect. We strolled around in the area close to Milazzo Castle, and many of the restaurants patios and terraces were full of people socializing, talking, and having fun.The pleasant evening turned into a beautiful starry night and we stood on top of the castle hill and looked out over the surrounding panorama, captivated by the twinkling lights of the city and the lights farther way in the surrounding mountains. Our bonding session, which had begun on the sailing trip, continued, and we decided that if I am ever in the Frankfurt / Mannheim area I would definitely visit Claudia, while she would always be welcome here in Toronto.Around midnight we finally plopped into bed, rather exhausted. Claudia was going to leave early tomorrow morning while I was planning to take the train to the medieval town of Cefalu. After our intense experiences we definitely needed the rest
Many people do not think about Mexico as a place to take a family vacation. You might not know about all the attractions that the country has to offer. You can see ancient sites, beautiful beaches, and colonial cities, the wonders of nature as well as great Mexican foods and culture. You will find the people of Mexico are hospitable and will help you with anything you need. Cheap holidays to Mexico include visiting Cancun, Merida, Ixtapa, Morelia and Oaxaca City. If you plan your vacation to include these areas, you are going to experience Mexico at its best. Now visiting these five cities will take about two weeks or a little less to enjoy everything on the agenda. You do not want to miss some the attractions that are popular and necessary to see while visiting Mexico. In Merida you can take a horse carriage ride around the city to see the beautiful buildings that are comprised of white stone adding to the beauty and cleanliness of the city. Next, it is onto Cancun for a day of snorkeling and relaxing on the beautiful beaches. The theme park Xel-Ha in Cancun is something for everyone to enjoy. You will want to spend the entire day at the theme park, it is always so much fun. After a day or two in Cancun, your cheap holiday travels will take you to Oaxaca City. This area is historical and offers a true look at the Mexican culture. You could spend a week along in this area, but the main attractions can be appreciated in a few days. Shopping in Oaxaca is wonderful. You and other family members will be impressed with the artisanship that goes into to making the items that are offered for sale. Next, you are on your way to Ixtapa for some golfing and extraordinary beaches. You will find that city filled with luxury and amazing restaurants serving fine cuisine. The nightlife is happening until the early hours of the morning and you cannot help but join in the fun. Ixtapa is one place on your itinerary that offers a time to let your hair down. You will enjoy a few days here before moving onto Morelia. Morelia is a city of history with the beautiful cathedrals and the famous aqueducts. You will enjoy the museums and if your plans allow, take a day trip to another great area. Palzcuaro is one place to see folklores and heritage. Visit the market and spend the day learning about this spectacular area of Mexico. Before you leave, make sure you see the festivities. They have the Night of the Dead and Festivity of the Virgin. These are unbelievable festivities to see and enjoy. After the day of adventure, you can head back to Morelia for some more fun. The bars and discos are open late and you can sit and relax while watching the stars in the sky. After the fun, its time for bed at one of the luxury hotels in Morelia. You will find the hotels just as exciting as your visit.
To pack your bags is a very bothersome task as your preparations go on for a vacation. Because it is a battle destined to fail at the end when in your bag you will discover items for which you have absolutely no need, while you will lament that you have left behind a few things you really needed.Further, for a cruise ship vacation it is really more difficult to guess what will be necessary and what will not be so. If you have no cruising experience you will be absolutely ignorant about items to be provided during the trip and therefore high probability of your carrying over packed bags will remain. For example, could you think that in most cabins a hair dryer would normally be provided? In fact, even in many hotels that is not the case. But on consideration of the possibility of its use on ship a number of times a day it is included as a standard feature, while of the cruising luxury it remains an essential part.Therefore decide first with great care which items can be categorized as essential ones, which ones will be helpful if you take those with you, and just for the joy of packing which items you will choose.Among the essential things, especially when you have go beyond country peripheries, can be categorized as 'the fundamentals', are the following: Your passport and/or state identification card or driving license since you need those in most cruise lines that go beyond the country Automobile insurance proof, if renting a car while you halt on land is in your mind As you will cross several time zones a watch with more than one time zone is the need Choice of clothes will depend on your planned tour schedule. Take clothes for dining and dancing events to match your luxury time if that is within your plan. Further, only swimming suite and casual clothes will suffice if moving around the pool and on the deck is the limit of your plan. By gathering the information as to what would be the activities waiting for you, the task of packing clothes will be easy to manage.Now think of those that can be categorized as 'the Less-Than-Fundamentals and include these in that. In this category camera or digital camera with extra memory cards has a very special position Another important thing is camcorder Your reading glasses and of course a book you would like to read Next important thing is first-aid-kit of course For emergencies a small and handy flash light can be useful all the timeThe most important things have figured in the "The Fundamentals" category and those must accompany you. Remember that you are not changing residence but simply going out to enjoy holidays and therefore many items that flash into your mind as essential ones in your daily life may not be that important here. Also keep in mind that many essential items are already provided for your use on the holiday cruise.
The Trisara Resort in Phuket is extraordinary in many ways, from the fact that it is such a short drive from the airport, and yet so quiet, peaceful, private, and beautiful.The ocean view villa we stayed in was exceptionally spacious and private with incredible uninterrupted views over the ocean. Its the kind of place that makes you dream that this is your own private villa.The actual accommodation has so many nice touches it would be impossible to include them all, sufficient to say, that everything you would expect from a five star deluxe resort is there in abundance, and much more besides. We could start with the indoor and outdoor showers, the furnishings are a beautiful blend of colours, with lots of dark wood. The bed was large, and very comfortable, with such fantastic fluffy pillows. I always think pillows are the real measure of the quality. It is the little touches like fresh flowers everywhere, even in the bathroom. The built in window seats and couches, the cleverly hidden large plasma TV, all part of the top quality workmanship that has gone into the construction and maintenance.Outside the villa, it is completely private, with a gate at the entrance, and a large teak sundeck with table and chairs for eating, and four padded teak sunbeds. The infinity pool, is larger than your normal plunge pool, and totally private because of the greenery.The food quite superb, both Thai and Western style. We were on a breakfast included package, and it was a terrific meal in itself, having got used to buffet breakfasts being the norm, it was a pleasant surprise to have it served up fresh from the kitchen. Be warned however that if you decide to take your included breakfast in your suite, then you would be charged at full rate, which seems a little mean.At lunch and dinner, you can choose either the Thai or Western option, although it would be fair to say the Thai food was spicy hot and very authentic, not milder for those of us from the West. I personally like that.You can get most of the food available with room service but it is more expensive, and wine as expected is expensive, because they kind of have a captive audience as there are no nearby restaurants The overall service, and once again attention to detail are fantastic.Small final thoughts are, you will never forget the sunset from the pool villa, and the beach is delightfully private with no hawkers, and very comfortable loungers, and naturally the high level of service continues there.There is not a whole lot to do here except to relax, and unwind, so if that is your thing, there is nowhere better to be.