Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Things to Do in Portugal - Part 2 Central Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city is full of life and a melting pot of nationalities. With direct flights to Lisbon operating daily from all over the world, it is one of Portugal’s busiest airports.

If you are planning a holiday in Lisbon, then a must see of your list is the Torre de Belem (Belem Tower).  Open from Tuesday – Sunday 10am until 5.30pm. The Torre de Belem is Portugal’s most expressive monument and marks Portugal’s age of discovery. Built in 1515, it was the gateway for many a fleet of ships as they settle sail in search of new lands, in particular India.

Now a UNESCO world heritage monument, you will find many stone sculptures and craving depicting the historical events and figures.

Those looking to take advantage of Lisbon’s shopping need to head to Chiado Down town, bustling with all the brands you can imagine. 

If shopping is not your thing, then simply pull up a seat outside one of the many coffee shops where you can enjoy a famous “Pastel de Nata” whilst listening to the sounds of a saxophone player allowing the sun to soak your skin and charge your batteries ready for the night ahead.

When eating out in Lisbon, a recommendation cannot come higher than that of “100 vicios”. Located in Cascais, the restaurant offers magnificent dishes with flavours of Portuguese style and the Mediterranean, in a simple, clean and modern looking restaurant. 

With Comfort and service at the top of its list, you are sure to meet the nicest staff that have every served you.  Catering for  lunch and dinner opening 11am-3pm and 7pm – Midnight Tuesday –Sunday. As with a lot of places in Portugal Monday is traditional a day of rest, so the restaurant is closed. 

Lisbon's nightlife is buzzing, and one of the best places to go for a few drinks whether its day or night, has to be Docas de Alcântara e Santos, easily reached whether by Subway, bus, taxi, train or car. It is located in the City of Lisbon Docks that bank the Tejo River (Portugal’s largest river) it stretches for 9 or 10kms offering bars, restaurants, and discos.  

Packed full of life, each establishment offers a different type of entertainment, so it should be easy to find a place to for everyone to enjoy.   
Keep following next week, when tell you about Things to Do in the Algarve.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Traveling to Portugal's World Heritage Sites

Portugal is located on the Iberian Peninsula right next to Spain. People have been living in this area since prehistoric times. Portugal has been influenced throughout the ages by several different cultures including the Romans, Muslims and Visigoths. By the 15th and 16th century, Portugal had established a global empire that lasted for nearly six centuries. Due to Portugal’s long and colorful history, it is the home of thirteen UNESCO World Heritage Sites and thirteen proposed sites that people are trying to get added to that list.

All but one of these World Heritage Sites is cultural in nature. One such site is the Alto Douro Wine Region. This region became a World Heritage Site in 2001. People in this region have been making wine here for over 2,000 years. Alto Douro has been world famous since the 18th century for its port wine, which also happens to be the region’s main product. Thanks to a long history of winemaking, Alto Douro’s landscape reflects the evolution of this human activity over time, as can be seen through its terraces, quintas, villages, chapels and roads.

Several monasteries in Portugal have made it on the World Heritage list. These monasteries include the Monastery of Batalha, the Monastery of Alcobaça and the Monastery of the Hieronymites.The Monastary of Batalha became a World Heritage Site in 1983. It was built throughout the 14th and 15th centuries in order to celebrate the victory of the Portuguese over the Castilians at the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385. The Monastery was built in a Gothic style strongly influenced by Manueline art and is composed of several sections such as the royal cloister, chapel-house and funeral chapel.

The Monastery of Alcobaça became a World Heritage Site in 1989 and was built in the 12th century. It is considered to be a masterpiece of Cistercian Gothic art due to its large size, exquisite architectural style, the high quality materials used to build it and the amount of care that was put into the craftsmanship. T he Monastery of the Hieronymites (also known as Jerónimos Monastery) stands at the entrance to the harbor of Lisbon. It is one of the most notable structures in all of Lisbon and an incredibly successful example of Manueline style architecture. This monastery, along with the nearby Belém Tower, became a World Heritage Site in 1983.

The sole natural site on the Portuguese World Heritage list is the Laurisilva of Madeira, added in 1999. Even though this site is the largest laurel forest left in the world, it seems almost small when you consider that it was once part of a much larger laurel forest that has since been wiped out. The only places in the world you can find this type of forest is in the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands. It is an incredibly biologically diverse area, filled with many unique plants and animals found nowhere else.

Ryan Embly is a writer from the car rental website Car Rental Express. They have cheap cars for hire in cities all over Europe and North America

Friday, 25 March 2011

5 Things to Do in the Lake District

The Lakes within Cumbria is among the most picture postcard destinations in Britain , with it's diverse countryside and outstanding coastline it attracts 1000s of travellers and holiday makers every single year to marvel and relish the fabulous landscape.

Amongst its hills, wetlands, gorgeous countryside and the many small villages and towns to check out and see, you can guarantee that you will have an active and fun packed holiday.  Self-catering cottage holidays in the Lake District offer a distinct style of accommodation with fantastic locations and unquie style, suited for all family members, groups and also couples to enjoy the comfort and charm they have to offer.

An ideal location to explore sights, enjoyable days out, walking, hiking or riding, you can be certain the a cottage rental will be the excellent retreat after a fun time plus action stuffed days out.

Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk
Ennerdale Bridge is the final part (or first part depending on where you start) of Alfred's Wainwright's famous Coast to Coast Walk from Robin Hood's Bay on the east coast to St. Bee's on the west coast, which in Wainwright's own words takes in 'the grandest territory in the north of England'  Alfred Wainwright's Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, first published in 1952 contauned detailed information on 214 peaks across the region with carefully hand-drawn maps and stories of the area, drew many to the area and are still they are used  by many visitors today as a guide to walking excursions. 

West Cumbria Cycle Path
This10-mile path that runs from Whitehaven to Rowrah, and continues along minor roads towards Ennerdale Bridge, provides a great way to see some of wonderful unspoilt countryside that the Lake District has to offer.

Ennerdale Valley Forest
One of the largest forests in the whole of Cumbria, Ennerdale Valley Forest contains around 20 miles of forest road, beautiful and picturesque footpaths and cycle path routes. It is also an excellent place for horse riding.

Rock climbing - Pillar Mountain
Pillar mountain is one of classics of Lakeland climbing and is great place to visit if your into climbing. The rugged north face of Pillar Mountain offers superb rock climbs for all levels of ability with the western part of the area between Buttermere and Wasdale , with Sty Head forming the apex of a large triangle. Ennerdale bisects the area, which consists of the High Stile ridge north of Ennerdale, the Loweswater Fells in the far north west, the Pillar group in the south west, and Great Gable (2,949 feet / 899 metres) near Sty Head. Other tops include Seatallan , Haystacks and Kirk Fell . This area is craggy and steep, with the impressive pinnacle of Pillar Rock its showpiece. Wastwater , located in this part, is England's deepest lake. Rising up around the Western Valley of Wasdale is Scafell Pike , England's highest mountain.

The Eskdale Mill
In the hamlet of Boot, the Eskdale mill takes its water from the beautiful Whillan Beck, which runs down from Burnmoor Tarn, high on the fell below the imposing Scafell. The current mill dates from the 1700s this wonderful piece of working history, today it is open to the public, with tours of the milling process and the 2 waterwheels that still work. The mill is usually open 11.30 to 5.30 from April to September.and is great to combine with a trip on the Larl Ratty, which if take the train to the final station at Dalegarth, is a short 10 minute walk to Boot.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Things to Do in Portugal - Part 1

Over the course of this 3 part article, we will explore the various regions of Portugal and what they have to offer when you are on holiday in Portugal, because there is more to Portugal then  just beach, wine and food.  

We hope that by showing you some different options you can return from your holidays in Portugal truly say that you had an amazing, fun, active time.  This week, will with start with the North, and over the course of the next few weeks we will work our way down through Central Portugal and the Southern Portugal – Commonly known as the Algarve.

Those looking to visit the North of Portugal can find regular flights into Porto.  Considered as the capital of Northern Portugal, whilst in Porto, take a trip to the Centro Português de Fotografia (Portuguese Photography Centre (C.P.F.)).

A beautiful building dating back to the XVII century (1767 to be exact) it is brimming with history; previous uses include a district Prison and Courthouse. Look carefully and you will still find details from that era on the Judge's private room, court and toilets.

Open to the public from Tuesday to Friday 10am-12.30pm/3pm-6pm and Weekends/Bank holiday from 3pm -7pm. The C.P.F is closed every Monday.

Afterwards, pay a visit to Restaurante "Uma Rosa", just a few minutes away. Serving typical Portuguese dishes from all regions of Portugal, you can enjoy the ambiance whilst enjoying a breath taking sunset and magnificent views over the Douro River, one of Portugal’s largest rivers.

Another great place to visit is the Teatro Nacional de São João.  Unknown by many, Portugal has a long history with the arts. Opened in 1992, it boasts to having houses plays  such as “The Storm” from Shakespeare, produced by Silviu Purcarete.

In the month of June, Porto plays host to the traditional commemoration of Dia de São João (St.John's Day) between 23rd & 24th

A very Portuguese party, the air will be filled with balloons, music and the streets covered with colours, as people dance and sing to live music played by local artists. Celebrations start in the early evening and continue until dawn, as locals and visitors alike will head to the Douro River and invade the small street. 

Don’t be alarmed if you receive a knock on the head from someone with an oversized plastic hammer, join in the amusements and purchase one yourself.  As the night draws on the main events take place around midnight, with 1000 balloons being released and an intense firework display. But don’t expect to head to bed before 6/7am, full of exhaustion and muscle fatigue from laughing so hard from all the fun.  

Those looking for Porto’s nightlife, will not go wrong with a recommendation to visit Porto-Rio bar, located on a huge boat on the Douro River, it offers a peculiar and unique atmosphere, with a variety of entertainment. 

On the main floor you will find staged rock concerts , with the upper deck offering a chill out area. Whilst in the warm months an outer deck offers the prefect seating area to enjoy the balmy evenings, with its own bar and a area reserved for the smokers amongst us.

Stay tuned next week, for more Things to Do in Lisbon, Portugal.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Best Sporting Activities on San Diego Beaches

When you have year-round sunshine and a sandy playground at your door, it’s no wonder that San Diegans are always in great shape! Here are a few of the best beach sports and activities; get a tan while you cater to your competitive side!

Beach Volleyball: What’s not to love about this beach-friendly sport? Players become addicted to this super-social sport no matter what their skill level is. Games range from the highly competitive to the mostly-for-fun social players. Both competitive and social players love the side benefits of the sport: getting a tan and getting fit at the same time. It’s a great spectator sport as well. Who doesn’t love watching tall, tan, and fit men and women in a fast-moving and easy-to-follow game of sport like volleyball? Mission Beach is a great place for watching volleyball in San Diego. If you need a place to stay for a few days to watch the action, try Googling Mission Beach vacation rentals for a good place to stay near the beach.

Surfing: San Diego is a city steeped in surf culture, and for good reason. The Pacific Ocean meets the shore in some terrific local breaks. With both gentler surfing areas perfect for beginners and more demanding breaks that are ideal for expert surfers, San Diego is a supreme breeding ground for generation upon generation of surfers to grow up to become excellent wave riders. If you like watching others frolic in the waves more than you like getting wet yourself, head to local spots like Windansea beach where it’s easy to grab a perch on a rock to watch the surfers until the sun sets. Ocean Beach is also a good area to get a dose of surfer/biker culture so check out the vacation rentals in this area if being a surf bum for awhile sounds like your cup of tea.

Stand-up Paddle Boarding: This relatively new sport is a great way to get a workout if you’re not quite up for the challenge of surfing. It’s easy to pick up. You hardly need a lesson—just a little bit of balance. It’s a great relaxing way to cruise around if the surf is down. Try checking out the mission bay area for a relaxing cruise. You can even lie down and work on your tan when you get tired of paddling. If you want more of an adventure, Coronado is a beautiful area of San Diego that you can attempt stand-up paddle surfing if you feel like braving the waves in the Pacific. If this sounds appealing you’ll want to look up Coronado vacation rentals to stay nearby.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

5 Must Do Things When Visiting Las Vegas.

In a city like Las Vegas, packed with its casino's, gaming table and countless activities around every corner. There is something for everyone all hours of the day and night.
So, if you looking for a fun filled holiday in Las Vegas, and are seeking a thrill bigger than winning at blackjack, your trip will not be complete unless you experience one of these must do activities.

Las Vegas Sky Diving
For a bigger thrill than winning at roulette and a different view of Sin City, why not strap on a parachute and take a free fall sky dive from 10,000 feet. With most sky diving companies based just outside the Las Vegas, there's no better way view the contrasting ariel view of the glittering strip with its casino's surrounded by baron dessert.

Big Shot at the Stratosphere
Located on the top of the Stratosphere hotel, the big shot is not for those with a weak heart.Launching you at a speed of 45 mph (that's 4 g's) you will be shot 150 feet upwards in just 2.5 second,before free falling to a bungee that will bounce you up and down before returning you to the launch pad.

Imperial Palace Auto Collection
There is no other showroom on the planet where you will find such an assortment of antique, classic, muscle, hot rods, movie and celebrity cars rarely seen elsewhere in public, all of which are on sale if you pockets are deep enough. As the worlds largest and finest collection, it boasts over 250 of the most unique and rare vehicles, across a 125,000sq ft showroom, With knowledgeable staff always on hand able to answer questions on the history and background of each individual car.

Las Vegas Space Flight
Brought to you by The only company of its kind Zero G started out offering zero gravity flights out of Cape Canaveral in 2002 and have now brought the experience to Las Vegas. Using a specially designed Boeing 727, the experience will allow you to feel the effects of a real space filight by re-creating lunar gravity. With a $3.500 price tag it may not the cheapest thing to do whilst in Vegas, but it is certainly the most fun.

Diving with Sharks
For a truly "only in Vegas" experience, take yourself to the Mandalay Bay Hotel's, shark reef aquarium, where as a certified diving you will have the opportunity of a life time to slip into a stainless steel chain mail suit and swim amongst 30 sharks, schools of fish and sea turtles in the 1.3 million gallon exhibit.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Driving Through Northern Scotland in the Summer

The country of Scotland is located on the upper third of the island of Great Britain. In addition to this mainland, Scotland also consists of over 790 smaller islands. Northern Scotland consists of an area known as the Highlands and Islands. This region contains the Scottish Highlands, Orkney, Shetland and the Hebrides. The counties in Northern Scotland are Argyll, Inverness-shire, Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland, Caithness, Orkney and Shetland. Scotland is a breathtakingly beautiful country, and is especially lovely during the summer. Here are some suggestions for places to visit when driving through Northern Scotland in the summer.

Inverness The city of Inverness is the northernmost city in the United Kingdom. When you’re visiting Inverness, you really must check out the site of the 18th century Battle of Culloden, Culloden Moor. There’s a visitor centre nearby where you can learn about the battle and how they tried to preserve the site. Inverness is also close to the famous Loch Ness, where the legendary Loch Ness monster supposedly lurks. In the summer, Inverness hosts several festivals such as the Highland Games, RockNess and Tartan Heart Festival. Some of the museums in Inverness include the Nairn Museum, Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and Fort George.

Aberdeen Aberdeen is the third most populated city in Scotland. It is located on the eastern coast of Scotland and is known for its long, sandy coastline. Aberdeen is a cultured city filled with museums, art galleries, performing arts theatres and companies, and music. Aberdeen is quite famous for its Aberdeen International Youth Festival, held every year during the summer. If you’re lucky enough to be in Aberdeen when this festival is running, you’ll be treated to some of the best youth dance, theatre, choral and music companies in the world. Other festivals that take place in Aberdeen include the Doric Festival and the Aberdeen Student Show.

Cairngorms National Park Located in northeast Scotland, this national park includes the Cairngorms range of mountains and hails. It’s one of the largest national parks in all of Britain. The park contains more than 1,748 miles of land. Things to see in this park include Blair Castle, a major stately home; the Cairngorm mountains, home to five of the six highest mountains in Scotland; Highland Wildlife Park, a safari park and zoo; and the Dalwhinnie Single Malt distillery, the distillery at the highest altitude in Scotland.

Peterhead The town of Peterhead is the easternmost city in mainland Scotland. People enjoy visiting Peterhead due to its lovely harbours and its heritage as a maritime town. You can enjou fishing and golfing during the summer in Peterhead, You can visit the Arbuthnot Museum and Aden Country Park, or learn about how to research family history at the nearby Fraserburgh Heritage Centre.

Trevor Stuart writes about road trips and travel topics for an auto insurance website.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Algarve's Best Kept Secrets

The Algarve is the most popular tourist destination in Portugal. The area is known for yielding some the best seafood and fresh fruit in the region, but another popular "export" is the region's beautiful beaches. There are more than 70 that are considered "blue flag" or among the best. Those straying from the most popular beaches can still find some hidden treasures that aren't so crowded, but still offer plenty to enjoy and are not too far from the area's many hotels.

Praia da Batata
The beach at Praia da Batata is literally a great little hide away nestled among cliffs and offers a breath-taking view. The deep blue water and rich, sandy beach is ideal for a casual stroll or casual swim. This beach is just a five minute walk away from Lagos' historic center.

Praia da Mareta
The beach at Praia da Mareta is a great place to take it easy. Visitors will find a restaurant and beach bar (known as "the Raposo") along with a spacious, sandy beach with cliffs on each side to provide shelter for sunbathers. This beach is easily accessible by walking from the Vila de Sagres or visitor's can park at the cliffs.

Praia da Cordoama
The beach at Praia da Cordoama is a spacious area with plenty of room for taking casual walks or wading in the water or striking up a game of volleyball. The calm waves are another nice feature of this beach, making it ideal for families.

Praia do Odeceixe
The beach at Praia do Odeceixe are protected by majestic mountains and guarded from winds to the north and south. There is plenty of space to find your own private location to enjoy the beauty of the sand and surf.

Praia do Vale de Centeanes
The beach at Praia do Vale de Centeanes is just east of Carvoeiro. Visitors can access this book via foot on a row of stone steps. This beach, nestled among steep rocks, offers an amazing view with the feel of a secluded getaway.

Praia da Ingrina
The beach at Praia da Ingrina is known as one of "most romantic beaches in the world." This beach, close to Faro Airport, is easily accessed from EN125. A number of activities and facilities will accommodate visitors to what is described as an incredibly beautiful, yet quiet beach.

Praia de Cabanas-Mar
The beach at Praia de Cabanas-Mar is beautiful island beach offering plenty of sun, sand and surf. This beach can be accessed by walking or a short car ride and isn't that crowded. A hidden gem for beach lovers.

Praia do Barril and Praia da Rocha Baixinha Poente are a few other hidden treasures in The Algarve for those looking to experience the fun of the beach without large crowds. Think of all of these beach locations as some of the best kept secrets of The Algarve.

Sergio writes about travel destinations and reviews hotels around the world.

Pioneer Holiday Rental Auction Site Announces Website Re-launch

Pioneering holiday rental auction website Bidabooking ( is back and blazing new trails online with a recently revamped website., recognised as one of the most unique online holiday rental portals, having once been compared as “like Ebay for holiday accommodation” helps connect home-owners and property managers with travellers who seek the space, value and amenities of holiday rental homes as an alternative to holiday packages or hotels. New interactive features and fresh content make it easy to actively market your holiday homes availability whilst taking part in one of the latest trends in UK travel industry today. If you market a holiday home on line and aren’t already using this site to efficiently generate rental revenues, now’s the time for you to get to know

At visitors may bid on holiday accommodation in a live on-line auction environment, search for a specific destination or facility, access several live auctions simultaneously and automate bids setting a maximum bid.

One of’s unique attributes is the fact that all content is added and maintained by member of the public, whether they are holiday home owners or rental companies
specialising is specific locations. This feature assists property owners with an alternative method of selling available holiday weeks ensuring they can efficiently post properties and market to prospective buyers.

Since its initial launch, the website has undergone a complete transformation, now providing a host of new features like bulk listing, Rental stores, and offers accepted. Whilst remaining easy to use, safe and convenient. The addition of a rentals and exchanges wanted category allows visitors to post there rental requirements on notice board so that owners may contact them with offers of accommodation, furthering the site’s goals of promoting the power of the internet to benefit holidaymakers and motivated holiday home owners. was originally launched in 2008 by Mother and Daughter team Linda and Keely Capel from London, England. Both have worked in the travel and property rental industries for a number of years and believe that there are common misconceptions relating to the holiday rental market. With many owners ending up with vacant weeks they have been unable to sell, in view of the recent economic crisis. Some have a genuine need to secure bookings so as to cover expenses and costs. Inspired by eBay’s auction business model, they set up the UK’s first on-line auction for holiday rentals, and hope that will assist with the promotion of holiday rental availability auctions not only as an alternative method in which to book, but also as a more enjoyable way to experience the journey from booking to destination.

MEDIA, PLEASE NOTE:’s founders are available for interviews to discuss their views on holiday rentals, the purpose and goals of their website, as well as their own personal experiences of independent travel. Please contact them directly, using the email address:
[email protected]

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About is a website dedicated to holiday rental auctions. The site contains detailed information on each individual listing as well as the holiday rental industry. Regularly updated by the community, it features holiday rentals worldwide and allows users the freedom to bid on where and what they want, whilst remaining in control of how much they want to pay.

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