Where to stay in France For a Romantic Vacation

France – the country of love!  How many couples are dying to have a vacation in this country? In fact, thousands of people every year have expressed their fascination and dream to have a honeymoon in this country. Well, if you are ever planning a romantic vacation in France you need to check out these beautiful hotels.

Le Chardon Mountain Lodges

These native Scottish-owned chalets will give you the best view of the French Alps. Many tourists who like to ski would drop by this hotel and spend their nights. In fact, it is a favorite of many celebrities since it is secluded, discreet, and beautiful. It is located in Legettaz with 1,900m altitude.  Beyond the hotel is an avalanche, which is why there are no buildings farther than this hotel. You can go here to spend some solitude or bring your friends over to have an unforgettable vacation in France.

Terre Blanche

Talk about wine and walking country, Terre Blanche will never disappoint you. Terre Blanche is a Swiss hotel with huge swimming that overlooks the lush green forests of Belgium in the mountainside. It is a popular spa and golf resort and although it is a favorite of loveless people who simply want to chill, it is becoming a popular destination for families as well because of its sprawling grounds and kid-friendly service.

Chateau de Berne

Located in Provence, Chateau de Berne is a modern hotel that serves a model for wine resorts. It offers fine-dining and grand-living to its guests not to mention the spacious rooms and expensive furniture. We love the service and the staff is friendly. What makes this hotel unique is the vast Chateau de Berne where you can enjoy many activities like hiking, cycling, and quad-biking. Even if you stay in the hotel for two days, the bunch of activities will keep you occupied so you don’t feel bored at all.

Domaine Les Crayeres

Everything in this hotel will fulfill your wildest French dreams. From the manicured ground, two Michelin-star finery and wine cellars, this hotel will leave you praising its French perfection. The style and character of the rooms will make you like a French Royalty the minute you arrive here. As you might expect, the service here is formal and flawless. There is a concierge and lots of activities to enjoy such as horse riding and tennis.

A Weekend Vacation in Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is a top destination in South Africa. Every year thousands of tourists flock here to see the sweeping view of the city through a slowly rotating cable car, watch the busy harbour, and visit museums.

However, there is more to Cape Town than how it looks from above. The only way to see the real beauty of this city is get to through its iconic places. So here are the top tourist destinations that you may consider when touring Cape Town.

Table Mountain 

Table Mountain is whooping 1, 087 flat-topped mountain and is considered South Africa’s most popular landmark. A day tour usually includes viewing the Table Mountain where you can capture its beauty. You can reach its peak by riding the cableways with two revolving cable cars. When you reach the summit, you can venture a series of hiking trails that show off Table Mountain’s geographic features.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

 Seated on the eastern slope of the Table Mountain is the wonderful Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, UNESCO World Heritage Site with more than 20, 000 different species of flora and fauna. There are also trees and shrubs in the area planted by popular figures such as the wild almond-trees by Jan van Riebeeck and the fig trees by Cecil Rhodes.

Signal Hill and the Noon Gun 

Your Cape Town day tour is not complete without catching a view of the historic noon gun pointing at  the flittering Atlantic Ocean. This particular tourist attraction is located west of the city center in Signal Hill.

Chapman’s Peak Drive 

Locals usually call this place “Chappies”, an affectionately toll road with stunning view of the South African sea. They say it is one of the most jaw-dropping routes with 114 curves and clearly not for individuals with motion-sickness. Nevertheless, the sunset in Chapman’s Peak Drive is absolutely the most amazing thing you can ever witness in Cape Town. You can just drive and stop by a corner in Chapman’s Peak and watch the sun sets.

Robben Island

Robben Island used to be a brutal prison. Throughout the times, the government has developed it into a living museum so people can develop an appreciation of the past. In fact, it was hailed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the site and see for yourself Mandela’s former cell. Robben Island is accessible via boat trip from the main city which usually takes around 30 minutes to one hour.

Bo-Kaap

Bo-Kaap, also known as Cape Malay is a vibrant neighborhood of colorful houses. Simply walking through its main thoroughfares can be truly delightful. You can even take pictures of the houses and remind yourself how colorful your Cape Town tour was. Bo-Kaap is also the seat of Cape Town’s Muslim museum where you trace back history of the times when this city was occupied by Indonesian and Malaysian settlers.

Travel & Destinations

Exciting Destinations to Visit in Scotland

Scotland is the U.K.’s northernmost country, and this is a land of mountain wildernesses. If you’re searching for the very best things to do in Scotland, then look no further. We have actually obtained renowned castles, incredible museums, gorgeous yards as well as much more in this checklist of leading traveler destinations in Scotland.

The National Museum of Scotland

Establish on Edinburgh’s Chambers Street, the National Museum of Scotland is a treasure of old artifacts and also priceless items. It’s one of the most popular destinations in the UK beyond London and also supplies an excellent, year-round program of short-term events.

St Giles’ Cathedral

Situated midway down the historic Royal Mile, the framed crown spire of St Giles’ Basilica is just one of the most well-known features of Edinburgh’s skyline.

Loch Ness

Here at Loch Ness, the majority of the travelers intend to see Nessie, the mythical woman of the lake. Possibly, you won’t see the Loch Ness Monster, yet a cruise on the lake is an enjoyable way to find. Loch Ness is rather deep, greater than 230 meters in some areas, supplying galore of hiding places for Nessie.

Glencoe

Among Scotland’s prominent glens or valleys, Glencoe is just outstanding as well as beautiful in its occasional violence. Located 26 km south of Ft William, Glencoe is nestled between hillsides as well as mountains, consisting of the pyramid-like Buachaille Etive Mor.

Glasgow

Glasgow is the greatest city in Scotland, dates back to prehistoric times on the River Clyde. The largest port in Britain, it was when an essential hub for shipbuilding and profession with The United States and Canada. It’s an amazing place to visit, where you can imbrue on your own in friendship, appeal, and also music– the city hosts 130 music events usually weekly.

Stirling

The wolf is a crowned pet in the main Scotland city of Stirling. According to local legend, a wolf wailed when Vikings were about to attack, thus signaling villagers to invade so they can conserve their homeowners. Stirling is an appealing place to see a medieval Scottish town, full with imposing fortress, 12th-century castle, and the church where Mary Queen of Scots’ kid King James VI was crowned in 1557.

Edinburgh

Located on the Firth of Forth, The funding is Scotland’s Edinburgh as well as has worked as the seat of Parliament because of the 15th century. The city has heaps of things to see and do as well as is the 2nd most prominent vacationer destination after London in Great Britain.

Inverness

Inverness is one of the most northern cities of Britain is the portal to the Scottish Highlands. Located in the north end of Loch Ness, Inverness is an attractive place to visit in Scotland if you are such as to walk. Stroll along the River Ness to the Ness Islands, the Caledonian Canal or the Churches Along the River.

Orkney

Seventy islands, consisting of 20 that are inhabited, comprise the Orkney Islands, an island chain off the northern coastline of Scotland. Orkney citizens pre-date the Romans by numerous thousand years, and when became part of Norway. It has some of the best-preserved and also earliest Neolithic websites in Europe.

National War Museum

Set within the walls of Edinburgh Castle, the National Battle Museum is filled with exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of the influence of war on Scotland’s background, identification and also reputation abroad.

 

Travel & Destinations

A New Zealand Vacation to Remember

If you are making plans for your first trip to New Zealand, or if you are planning to go back there to see more of its beauty, you may want to check out this list in order to not miss out on the beautiful sights of New Zealand.

Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands is one of the top places to go when you are New Zealand for sailing, fishing and for other watersports. It is about three hours from Auckland by car. This beautiful place consists of 144 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula.

Milford Sound, New Zealand 

Milford Sound was referred to as the “eighth wonder of the world” by Rudyard Kipling, when you visit this place, you’ll see for yourself why. The best way to have a proper view of Milford Sound is from a boat. Take a cruise to sightsee of the fjord to see the wildlife and waterfalls.  You can navigate the waters on a kayaking tour.

When you experience the water from the surface, then you should go underneath- visit the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory.

Auckland, New Zealand 

Being the largest city in New Zealand and its international air travel hub, this is one of the best places to visit in New Zealand. You have to stay for at least one or two nights in Auckland. There are so many things you’ll love to do in Auckland. Here are few of them- visit the Auckland Art Gallery (the largest art institution in New Zealand), take a stroll the Auckland Domain Park; if the weather is nice, you can as well stop over at the Parnell Farmers’ Market if you are visiting on a Saturday.

White Island, New Zealand 

This is the most active volcano in the country, so we recommend this region for adventurous travelers. Your stroll at the White Island won’t be leisurely; you’ll have to wear a hard hat and a gas mask because this is a very active volcano. If the conventional helicopter tour of the island isn’t your thing, you can still explore the volcano via other ways like taking a boat to White Island.

 

Vacationing in Italy for the First Time

Do you have a flair for traditional festivals in other countries? Well, here is a detailed list of the top festivals in Italy. Most of them are free, but you have to get tickets for certain events. These Italian festivals are based on past events, and they also involve parades with people dressed in certain costumes, food, fireworks, flag throwers and contests between neighborhoods of the town.

Festa Della Madonna Bruna – Procession and Fireworks

Festa Della Madonna Bruna takes place on the 2nd of July in Matera. It is certainly one of the most exciting procession you’ll ever see in Italy. After the procession, there are spectacular displays of fireworks at night over Sassi di Matera. This is really a sight to behold.

Il Palio di Siena – Horse Tace in the Main Square

The Palio of Siena is one of the most famous Palio competitions in Italy. Palio di Siena is a horse race run in the unusual fan-shaped Piazza del Campo. The horse race holds in both July and August.

L’Ardia di San Costantino – Ancient Horse Race

This is one of the biggest and most popular festivals that occur in Sardinia. This festival takes place in July, this horse race honors Constantine’s conquest at the Mulvian Bridge in 312. This event is more than a race, and it has an exciting spiritual-twist. This is also an amazing eating festival.

Summer Music Festivals

If you go on a trip to Italy, going to music festivals and outdoor concerts in summer will definitely make your vacation more enjoyable. You’ll see many concerts in public areas and squares all around Italy.  We went with friends who helped us launch our Mesa Painting Pros business over 10 years ago and had an absolute blast dancing in the streets with the local residents!

Carnevale – Italy’s Carnival Festivals

Carnivals are celebrated in many towns in Italy. Viareggio, which is on the coast of Tuscany, is popular for their elegant floats, and the parades occur on so many weekends. Carnevale holds before the actual carnival date; Carnevale mostly occurs in February.

There are so many other festivals in Italy such as Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics, La Quintana, and Disfida. You shouldn’t miss any of these festivals we’ve mentioned when you finally go on that vacation to Italy.

 

 

Travel & Destinations

Sightseeing in Germany

If you have not  had the pleasure of vacationing in Germany I would highly recommend you add this beautiful country to your bucket list.  Here are some of the best places you should see when in Germany.

Neuschwanstein Castle

The Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most stunning castles in Germany.   My family and I had the pleasure of taking a horse drawn carriage to the castle. It was snowing lightly and it made the castle look even more fairytale like.

It is definitely a must see with the idyllic view and the stunning interior. This 19th century hilltop fairytale castle, prized home of King Ludwig II,  is one of the most popular and most recognized of all the palaces and castles in Europe. An estimated 1.4 million people come to visit the castle every year.  Photos are not allowed.

Linderhof Palace

You must visit the LInderhof Palace, a 19th-century Bavarian treasure. You have to see it to believe all the richness inside and out.  The castle is small but does not disappoint. The detail in each room is rich with exquisite gold leaf decorating  like you would expect any castle to have. The fireplace and the mirrors are quite extraordinary to see. But you must walk through the immaculate gardens with statues and fountains.  It is magical to see. Note: Photos are not allowed inside but you can get breathtaking views outside.

Zugspitze

At 2964 meters (8892 feet) above sea level, the Zugspitze is the highest point in Germany and a very popular getaway destination.The Zugspitze is very accessible.  We traveled to the top by train where you will enjoy the view of four different countries. You can also take a cable car to the top. Just plan to go on a day when the weather is nice so you have a clear view. As attractions go, the Zugspitze ranks a solid zehn on a scale of ten.

Europa-Park

If you are looking for some family fun then you need to visit one of Europe’s best theme parks. Germany’s Europa-Park is a perfect vacation for children of all ages. It is located  in a lush area near Germany’s Black Forest.There are more than 100 attractions that are spread out over 13 different themed areas representing Europe. This park is sure to amaze you.  There are 11 rollercoasters, the variety of food is amazing and it is a budget friendly vacation. My kids loved the FoodLoop, where our food was delivered to us by rollercoaster. That was a highlight for them.  They also have shows if you are wanting to do something more leisurely. This park is definitely worth checking out. Just give yourself a few days to make sure you can take in the full experience.

Brandenburg Gate

If you are into architectural beauty then you need to visit  the Brandenburg Gate.You will be awe struck just looking up at this monument that was a dividing line from East to West Berlin. It can be busy with lots of tourist or school trips.  The best time to go is earlier in the morning to walk through and get some good photos. This is an iconic piece of German history and you will not want to miss seeing it.

Want to bring the ambiance of Berlin to your own home? We know someone who can paint your home and make you feel like you’ve never left Berlin at all. Feel free to check Mesa Painting Pros when you have time. 

 

Satisfy Your Taste for Adventure in Morocco

This North African country is characterized by a cocktail of religions and languages, ancient culture and modern sensibilities. This fascinating country is a land complete with majestic natural beauty. With affordable flights to Morocco being available online all through the year, thousands of tourists reach its coasts from around the globe to explore the yet unexplored phases of this country. It’s no surprise that the hospitality and tourism infrastructure of the country has witnessed unparalleled growth since the last decade or so.

Spectacular mountains

The many mountain ranges of Morocco create the setting for some great treks and rambles, varying from simple to hard. Ochre-colored cliffs line Todra Gorge while the Jebel Sahro is a contorted jumble of volcanic monoliths, gouged and chiseled to form mesas, plateaux, and stark canyons. Jebel Toubkal is home to the High Atlas – North Africa’s highest peak. And in the valleys, mud-brick kasbah villages nestle in clusters between rose, orchards of peach trees, and apricots.

Hot air ballooning

Morocco is a country of both striking landscapes and captivating cities, so if your sense of adventure includes the love of heights, then you are in for a treat. Picture yourself setting off on a hot air balloon from Marrakech and tranquility glide over Morocco while experiencing the breathtaking view. The hot air ballooning adventure will also include a visit into a village and have mint tea and home-baked bread whilst mingling with a local Berber family.

Sand Sea of Merzouga

The great shifting Sand Sea of Merzouga which is part of the Sahara Desert lies in the east of the country. This is the perfect place to camp out under the stars and try your hand on camel riding. Nearby, the Valley of a Thousand Kasbahs is just waiting to be explored. Further south, it’s one of the many traditional villages that make a great base to experience original Berber culture.

Marrakech Piste Oasis

Bike lovers will love the experience of riding around Palm Grove where you can dash around, admiring the pleasant ‘green region’ of Marrakech which is home to some of the most beautiful luxury homes, hotels and golf courses in the world. You will also get to tour the famous Marrakech Piste oasis, bike some impressive dunes, and visit some Berber villages before stopping off to enjoy a tea break with some of the locals.

Casablanca

This is the hottest Moroccan destination that boasts of ultra luxurious and world-class hotels and resorts characterized by the most beautiful and exquisite architecture. Check out the most elegant Royal Mansour Meridien that is located right in the heart of the city that host several international events and conferences of great importance. Beautifully located on a hilltop and overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar and the Bay of Tangier, the El Minzah Hotel is renowned the world over for its beautiful views, luxurious rooms, and exotic architecture. Last but not least it’s the Melia Al Madina Salaam Hotel in Agadir that blends the old Arabian architecture with greenish landscaping.

Morocco is a country full of scents and colors, and it is waiting for you to explore it.