Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cape Verde - a ten of absolutely distinct islands

A view of Praia - the capital city of Cape Verde
The tiny island republic of Cape Verde has some controversies according to its name. Though ‘verde’ means ‘green’ in Portuguese, the territory of the country is not completely overtaken with vegetation, as suggested. The islands are of the volcanic origin, and three of the ten of them are sandy and dry, while the remaining ones tend to be rockier and have a lush flora. The name of the country was inherited from the closest to it African Cap Vert, which in turn means ‘green’ in French. The state of Cape Verde is a world-renowned country, which displays a great rate of economic growth and nearly the highest democracy level in Africa. Its history started with slave trade, which was determined by its expedient location for such a purpose. The wealthy coast attracted pirates, who ransacked the capital, which was then Ribeira Grande, twice. Now the Republic of Cape Verde is an attractive place to visit due to its year-round warm climate and cultural extravagance, and a variety of Cape Verde villas, which makes it much more pleasant to stay there.

Some things need to be sorted out before you can start an enjoyable vacation in Cape Verde, so read several insights on the most interesting particularities of that country.

Each of the nine populated islands holds its individual culture, and every single Cape Verdean identifies himself with a culture of his distinct island. The nation in whole is quite poor, while the small amount of middle class can be found emerging in cities and towns. Despite the overwhelming poverty, the people remain very affable, generous and hospitable. No matter how humble the family lives, they take their pride and enjoyment in presenting a guest with a meal. Both men and women tend to show their affection and goodwill when meeting each other, even if the same persons meet more than once during the same day. That often includes extensive warm greetings and inquiring about health and family. You can be absolutely sure that you will always feel welcomed among Cape Verdeans.

As any tropical island country, Cape Verde is almost a one whole coastline. The stunning variety of beaches and activities will take all your time, so make sure you will arrange it in a way to leave some for inland exploration. The best beaches are located on the Sal and Boa Vista islands. Actually, Sal is the main tourist destination of Cape Verde, as it accepts nearly over 50% of all the visitors. All the modern tourism commodities and facilities are available on this island, since it is the most developed among the others. You can simply relax and enjoy clear water and white sand beach, or, in case you are a water sports enthusiast or even a professional, you can take on the exploration of the magnificent underwater world, surf the high waves or let the wind guide your kite. There are also some dry land attractions. The most renown of them are the salt mine, natural swimming pool Buracona and Murderia, where a lot of brilliant accommodations can be found.

Whichever island will you choose for your Cape Verde holiday, you can have no doubt that it will be outstanding and memorable. There are a lot of opportunities to arrange your stay, be it Maio island vacation rentals or any other of them, so you can devote all your time to having fun and experiencing the unique culture of this colorful island community.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cambodia - a hard path for an outstanding country

Angkor Wat - the most renown symbol of Cambodia
One of the most ambiguous countries in Asia is Cambodia. Torn apart by an authoritarian regime after prominent centuries of building a prosperous kingdom, it is now gaining its way up to the position of developing country and attractive region for tourism. The noticeable sights of this country are both inspiring and depressing, as you may feel like you’ve touched the realm of the gods in all those temples and spiritual places, and still be overwhelmed by the reproachful memorials of the Khmer Rouge rule. The country is presently forming its international image and building a decent future for its entire people, who are by the way relatively young – half of the population is not more than 22 years old. One of the perspective means of the country development is tourism, and that is why there are some Cambodia apartments available. A great part of the world’s history can be found in the country, where the first inhabitants are believed to exist as early as 6000 BC.

Cambodia is becoming friendlier to visitors with every year, but there are some things to be remembered for a safe and easy journey through its wonderful places.

The coastline of Cambodia counts about 443 km, and no wonder there are a lot of nice beaches. Several provinces are facing the Gulf of Thailand. One of the youngest and attractive resorts is Kep city. Fresh seafood is available here in any time of the year. Other distinctive coastal places are Cham Yeam, Sihanouk Ville, Kep Thmey, Bokor Hill Station, which offers a stunning view of the coast, and some others. The southern coast of the country is surrounded by many tropical islands, still none of them being inhabited. But a great opportunity for wildlife observation and ecotourism is provided by this locality, along with Cardamom Mountains. The Mekong River is the one to run through all the country, and it is a home to freshwater dolphins. And if you go farther north, you will find picturesque regions with mountains and waterfalls, inhabited by ethnic minorities of Cambodia.

Probably the most outstanding attraction in Cambodia and truly a symbol of the nation is the Angkor complex. It represents the art, civilization, spirit and power of the Khmer people. The 400 square kilometers of Angkor complex built in early 12th century comprise 200 monuments, Angkor Wat being the greatest and best-preserved of them. Furthermore, it is the largest religious building in the world, representing the main beliefs of the people of that time – Hinduism, and switching to Buddhism in the 14th century. Words can hardly describe the majesty of the temple, so it is absolutely better to experience it by yourself.

One of the most popular destinations in the country and even in the world is the town of Siem Reap. Providing a support for the Angkor temples, Siem Reap does not feel a lack of visitors by itself. The center of the town is still looking old and dormant because of the French architecture houses, slowly flowing river and boulevards lined with trees. But it is expanding quite rapidly, and new houses and resorts are being erected in the vicinity of the town. The only thing that can be a drawback now is an ever-increasing number of tourists, which often causes traffic jams and crowding, but nevertheless it is very good for the locals, as they have the opportunity to get their Siem Reap vacation rentals to use and avow their newly acquired status of hospitable nation.

Though you may have not heard from Cambodia for long, now it is time to learn more and visit it. Every country deserves to be rated highly by foreigners for its natural beauty and wonderful people, and Cambodia is not an exclusion.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Egypt - the most remarkable historical heritage in the world

The Sphinx and the Pyramid of Khafre in Giza, Egypt
One of the most tremendous civilization histories in the world belongs to the banks of the river Nile. Even now there are plenty of the remnants of the different eras of Egypt. It attracts more and more vacationers, history enthusiasts and professional archaeologists with each year. Huge crowds of tourists come to see the Pyramids and the Sphinx, and even larger crowds occupy marvelous beaches of the Red and Mediterranean seas. The options of accommodations vary from extreme luxury to absolutely affordable budget, but whatever lodging is preferable to you, Egypt apartments are among the best, and you will feel like a pharaoh residing in the finest houses of the hospitable Egyptians.

You may have heard a lot about this country, but we are sure there is still much to learn for everyone. Read some Egypt-specific travel information before making a final decision on departure.

Egypt has plenty of unique places to see, whether they are contemporary or ancient. This country is located on African continent, which along with the closeness of the desert determines its tropical dry climate. Major tourist's destinations of the recreational tourism are Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh, Dahab, Safaga, Ras Sudr, Marsa Alam and the northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Besides trivial sunbathing and sea-swimming you can enjoy boat trips, snorkeling, scuba-diving, exotic shows and many more. Egyptian beaches are considered to be truly splendid and affordable. Somewhat apart from the main coasts stands the Sinai Peninsula, which is a remote desert mountain range. But nevertheless it is an attractive destination for divers, who come here despite the extremely hot weather. Tiran and Ras Mohammed belonging there are known as two of the best diving spots in the world.

The historical legacy of Egypt is acknowledged as nearly the most rich and ancient one. A lot of artifacts representing the earliest kingdoms can be observed in the famous museums and prominent universities of the world. There is a great amount of the pyramids, monuments, temples, steles and ancient scriptures in modern Egypt that are unquestionably worth your attention. The most popular of them are the Great Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza, the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, the ruins of Thebes, the great temples of Karnak and many others. For many decades they have been challenging the best archaeologists and Egyptologists to uncover the remaining obscurity which surrounds the times of the pharaohs. Still there is no unanimous opinion on how had the Pyramids been built. That is just one of the reasons to see them with your own eyes.

Cairo, the capital of Egypt, is the biggest city in Africa and one of the most densely populated cities in the world. At first it makes an impression of utter chaos, but you get used to the rhythm of things in the city soon enough. A mixture of epochs and cultures is present on its territory. The Old Cairo draws you back to the remains of the cities which were its predecessors, while Islamic Cairo presents the mosques and monuments of the medieval period. And the fabled Giza takes you almost 4000 years back in time with the Pyramids. But above all this you have to practice exceptional cautiousness, since there are only nine traffic lights in the whole city of about 7.8 million people! The best alternative would be to find an accommodation among Cairo vacation rentals and ask local people to be of some help to you, which they will gladly accomplish.

Such an outstanding country as Egypt has all kinds of attractions a tourist can wish for. When it is dull and rainy outside, think of beautiful beaches and start packing for the Red Sea!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Montenegro - there is no place like mountains

Crno Jezero, a glacial lake near Zabljak town, Montenegro
While you may think that Montenegro is still an inseparable part of Serbia, it is not correct. Certainly, it was once, but now all they share is a similar geographical position and conditions. Montenegro is an independent and sovereign country these days, and it has to offer a lot of magnificent attractions both for local and international travellers. The name of it is translated as ‘Black Mountain’, since its territory is overwhelmed with mountains. This country is successfully on its way to become a member of the European Union, though the economy is still in developing state. Tourism is one of the greatest components of the current and future economic growth, and a lot of expenditures and investments are aimed to maximize its potential. There is a certain amount of Montenegro apartments available to make your stay absolutely comfortable and enjoyable.

You may be an experienced traveller or just looking for the best destination for your first journey, but it is well worth to read our brief advices on travelling Montenegro before approving a final plan.

Generally there are two main periods in Montenegro tourism determined by the amount of sun and snow – summer means coastal tourism, and winter defines recreational and ski holidays. But with such an abundance of nature and cultural heritage left by numerous epochs of the history of the country there is simply no way to spend all of your time lying on the beach or climbing the crests. Nearly anything you may wish for can be found in Montenegro. Inland lakes and rivers, 73 kilometers of beach and pleasant Adriatic Sea, breathtaking mountains and deep canyons – make the most of it in one day or stretch your excitement for the whole vacation. And the historic monuments scattered throughout the country will inevitably draw your attention. The best sights to see are the Ostrog Monastery above the Bjelopavlic valley, the Bay of Kotor, the Mountain of Lovcen, Skadarsko jezero – the Skadar Lake, Durmitor National park, the Tara River and many others.

The place of indescribable beauty and exquisite nature is mountain Durmitor, which was proclaimed a National Park in 1952. It stretches from the mountain massive of Durmitor along with the canyons of the rivers Tara, Susica and Draga to the canyon valley of the river Komarnica. There you can come across evergreen forests, as well as glacier lakes and daunting peaks. Tara River canyon is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world. A town of Zabjak is in the center of this mountain range, and it is the highest town in the Balkans, located at the altitude of 1456 meters. It is the best place to visit in winter.

The city of Budva is one of the most important centers of tourism. This is partly due to the availability of marvelous beaches and on the other hand because of its rich national heritage and cultural memorials. The narrow streets and squares of the Old City are a home to many great churches and monasteries, such as the Churches of Sv. Ivan and Sv. Bogorodica and Stanjevici, Podostrog, Rezevici and Gradiste monasteries. You can enjoy approximately 182 days of warm sun on Budva beaches, leading of which are Mogren, Ricardova glava (Richard’s head), Pizana and some others. The high cultural level of Budva is a result of the influence and mixture of diverse cultures from neighboring nations. To enrich yourself with the experience of the authentic legacy of the city you should stay in Budva vacation rentals, where hospitality and ease combine with natural Montenegrin mentality.

There are nearly not enough words to describe all the attractions of this wonderful land. Montenegro is delightful in any time of the year, no matter what your tastes and budget are.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Serbia - a sway of charm and hospitality

The great fortress of Golubac over the Danube river in Serbia
The purity and naturalness of Serbia is what makes this corner of Europe so outstanding and unique. This is where you can meet hospitable and kind people, taste wonderful cuisine, marvel at the majesty of the mountains and explore vast forests. The country which witnessed a democratic revolution second after France is now a developing European state, which steadily makes its path towards the full-scale participation in the community of Europe. It has been a part of several countries and unions during its long history, and the most recent change was the separation of Montenegro in 2006. Nevertheless it is a charming country and an attractive place to visit since it has preserved its originality and genuineness. As for tourism opportunities, first of all you can check our section for houses in Serbia.

Right after that we suggest you to read some travel information about wonderful Serbia. Though it is a welcoming country, some customs and interesting places may still remain a surprise.

Being very warm towards foreigners, Serbian people show their friendliness and generosity in a number of ways. Usual greeting is a handshake, no matter which gender is the person you meet. But if you wish to show a bigger affection, then it would be normal to kiss three times on the cheeks when seeing. Certainly, it is not mandatory to deliver all the three kisses each time, one or two and a good hug is also enough. A typical Serbian host would never allow a guest to pay a bill for food and drinks, because it is a common practice to handle the expenses while a person stays. And finally you can have a night out on any day you wish, if you don’t have any urgent matters the other day, of course. You are limited neither by your taste, nor by your budget. Moreover, it all doesn’t end when early morning comes, as you can join any company in search of some freshly grilled meat or burek – baked or fried filled pastries.

The diverse geography of Serbia is one of its main attractions. Numerous nature sites, caves, rivers, lakes and national parks are the pearls of Serbia. Seven caves are proper to visit by tourists, but no entry is allowed without an expert guide and speleological equipment. Among them are Resavska, Zlotske Pećine, Bogovinska and several others. The lakes present a perfect place for relaxation and fishing. Mainly attractive are such of them as Srebrno Jezero, Belocrkvanska Jezera and a couple more. As in any country, national parks of Serbia are valuable preserves of its natural treasures. There are five of them: Đerdap, Fruška Gora, Kopaonik, Šar-planina and Tara. They are all administered and maintained by different public companies.

Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is a fantastic city, which is full of visitors in any time of the year. Great variety of tourist attractions forms an unrepeatable image of the city that combines old Slavic traditions and modern European tendencies. A lot of monuments, cafes, restaurants, museums, shops are situated on the both banks of the Danube River. You can see the whole city from the hilltop of the Avala Monument. The main of the sights are Skadarlija, the National Museum and adjacent National Theatre, Zemun, the Kalemegdan Fortress, Knez Mihailova Street, the Parliament and many others. Surely, a lot of time is required to enjoy Belgrade at its best, so it is worth to take advantage of some of Belgrade vacation rentals.

Serbia is one of the most authentic and self-contained European countries. Its rich history and easygoing mentality of the people are the things that make it openhearted towards all the guests.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

St. Kitts and Nevis - easy to explore, but hard to leave

A view of Nevis from the island of St. Kitts
The charm of Caribbean region would be absolutely incomplete without Saint Kitts and Nevis – the islands which were among the first to be settled by the Europeans. These islands were discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, and they were fully colonized only in 1623. They were a subject of dispute and battles between the Spanish and the British up to 1713, when the islands have been finally surrendered to the English rule. Geographically they are a part of the Leeward Islands, together with a number of other large and small isles of the Caribbean. Unmatched natural beauty and wildlife preservations are the main assets of these two small pieces of land. There are a lot of other interesting activities, and to enjoy them in full without experiencing a problem of finding an accommodation browse our St. Kitts and Nevis vacation rentals section.

Just spend a little of your time to read some information about the islands and start arranging your journey. There is much to see and do.

The untouched ecosystems of the both islands are simply the best destinations for eco-tourism. The tropical rainforests along with coral reefs and winding coastlines will astound you completely. Mount Liamuiga, a dormant volcano on St. Kitts, offers a great hiking opportunity to the broad edge of its crater. During the ascension you are sure to see a variety of exceptionally rare birds and butterflies. Nevis brings you a journey up to the Nevis Peak through the rainforests nestling across its slopes. The eastern coast of the island is rich in assorted nature and archaeological sites. You will find more particular information on each of the islands in the following paragraphs.

St. Kitts is the larger island, and there are more places to see and enjoy. Generally it takes several days to explore its attractions, including a variety of beach bars and water activities. Pure relaxation is also an option, since the sands are abundant. Frigate Bay area is nearly the most popular and lively. The capital of the country, Basseterre, is also on St. Kitts. It is a great place to visit and furthermore a commercial center of the islands. Former sugarcane plantations and quiet dormant villages encircle the island. Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, the UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in the northwest, is famous by an 18th-century fort at the top of the hill. An overall impression of a little lack of organization makes St. Kitts provide a more genuine feeling.

Nevis seems like a reduced copy of St. Kitts. The only road on the island is the one that goes around it, and it takes about two hours to perform the full route. But if you are going to see the sights along the way and stop for a snack in one of the plantation inns, you may spend all day marveling at wonderful nature and historical places, such as the ruins of old sugar plantations, a lime kiln, or Amerindian sites. Beach activities are also available, snorkeling, diving and water sports being main of them. Nevis Peak is situated in the center of the island, and its top is often covered in clouds, which makes it even more tempting to climb. The main town is Charleston, and it takes approximately 15 minutes to walk it through. But it is worth to stay awhile too, and that is what Nevis vacation rentals are for.

They say in Nevis: "You're only a stranger here once." Hospitality and charm of these islands is the thing that will make you feel like home, and even better.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Nicaragua - a volcanic country with no street names

Volcán Concepción - one of the greatest active volcanoes in Nicaragua
One of the most thought-provoking countries of the Caribbean is Nicaragua. In fact, it is the largest country in Central America. Its name is literally translated as “Surrounded by Water”. It is of particular tourist interest both to neighboring countries and to travelers from far abroad. Washed by the Caribbean Sea from the eastern side and by the Pacific Ocean from the west, Nicaragua is separated into three regions: the Atlantic Lowlands, the North-Central Highlands and the Pacific Lowlands. Each of them is distinct and differs from the others by geographical conditions and climate. Whether you are looking for relaxation and ease or adventure and activities, houses in Nicaragua are there to help you make your holiday absolutely brilliant.

The people are hospitable, and the country is truly beautiful. To make it easier to plan a perfect journey we present some tips which may prove to be helpful to you.

There are a lot of things to do in Nicaragua, but it is often necessary to interact with the locals in certain cases. This is pretty uncomplicated, because everyone is friendly towards foreigners. Generally this country is considered to be one of the safest in Central America. To feel natural in the Nicaraguan social environment it would be wise to learn some basics of the Spanish language. The locals are very patient with novice speakers. The other thing is that the street names and house numbers are not likely to be found. The point-reference system of direction is used by residents, and it can be quite challenging to find the places you are interested in. But politeness and sociability always do the trick.

One of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of Nicaragua is hiking and trekking. Splendid views and extreme locations are the things that make Nicaragua trekking unbeatable. The best trekking routes are those including the volcanic strip along the Nicaraguan Pacific coast. There are over 50 volcanoes in different condition, some may even be active. Among them are Volcán Concepción, which had had about 25 eruptions, and Volcán Momotombo, the embodiment of one of the symbols of Nicaragua. Astounding views await you at the top of those ash-and-earth mounds. Before climbing the volcanoes it is also very exciting to trek in the cloud forests and pristine jungles. And there are many other opportunities to explore the island, if you’re not fond of volcanoes. Villages, beaches, forests are abundant in Nicaragua, and the choice is only yours.

Managua, the capital of the nation, took its residence on the southern shore of Lake Managua. It combines the role of the largest city and of a center of commerce, finance, transportation, education and culture. The peculiarity of this city is that there is no accurate city center, since it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1931 and 1972. It was never rebuilt and now there are remains of the original buildings serving as sights. Some constructions that survived the ground shaking are still in use, such as the National Palace, the Fine Arts Palace and the Government House. One of the interesting places just at the northern edge of Managua is the Footprints of Acahualinca – human footprints left in the ash and mud more than 2000 years ago. And a small hill of La Loma near the lakeshore harbors a tranquil lagoon, where you can take rest from the activeness and bustle of the city. Managua vacation rentals will provide a nice and comfortable retreat for you to have a great time in the capital of Nicaragua.

After all, the country is a wonderful place for volcano and nature lovers. Keep in touch with the local people, and you may experience one of the best times of your life.