Posted on June 25th, 2009 No comments
The Hapsburgs, once a major and long-ruling family in Europe, were based out of Austria and one of the most remarkable structures of the continent is the Hofburg castle, their former residence in Vienna. With its varied and intriguing architecture displaying a mixture of many different styles because the initial medieval castle was expanded upon time and again over the six centuries they retained power, the Hofburg is unequivocally a must-see attraction when touring the country. Also of important note are the Schonbrunn castle and the Belvedere castle, both of which can be found in Vienna. Indeed, Vienna itself seems more like a work of art than a city, as to saunter the streets is to experience a sensory delight and a tour not soon forgotten.
Posted on June 24th, 2009 No comments
Read about Czech Republic Trips
Few destinations can claim to have the variety and abundance of sightseeing attractions as the landlocked Czech Republic. A region inhabited since the Stone Age, its long and fascinating history is well recorded in the architecture of its cities, be it in: the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Old Town in Prague or Telc, the best preserved Renaissance town north of the Alps; the mediaeval town of Cesky Krumlov; or one of the literally thousands of fortresses, monasteries or chateaux sprinkled across the land. With styles and designs ranging from Gothic to Renaissance, from Classicist to Baroque and from Romanesque to Art Nouveau, the cities of the Czech Republic feature greater diversity in and superior preservation of architecture than most countries far larger in size and reputation.
If wandering the narrow streets and gazing at spellbinding architecture sounds like a lot of work, you can always head for some relaxation at one of the dozen or so spa towns that lie peppered between the borders of the Czech Republic. Each drawing from different springs and having its own methods of hydrotherapy, balneotherapy and relaxation techniques, the spa towns, such as Karlovy Vary or Marianske Lazne, are the ideal means to replenish yourself or simply make the most of your relaxing holiday.
Man-made attractions aside, the Czech Republic lays claim to a natural environment that is of equal note. The Czech Greenways, a corridor of 100-year-old hiking trails that stretches the 400km from Vienna to Prague, gives travellers the opportunity to take in the best of the country’s landscapes, as well as providing plenty of choice as to how energetic the journey should be. Looming mountains, shimmering lakes, fertile valleys and lush forests are but a few of the fantastic natural wonders in the Czech Republic, all of which lend themselves to a variety of more strenuous activities like skiing, climbing, mountain biking or watersports.
Eastern Europe is a travel destination with a huge array of fascinating historical monuments, a varied and highly memorable breadth of sceneries and a wide range of diverse and welcoming peoples, each with their own unique culture. Though the more affluent Western Europe is, for the most part, favoured over the East by the majority of travellers looking to Europe to provide a tour destination of distinction, the East can often be the more rewarding option. A region with a history as long and as intriguing as any other on the planet, Eastern Europe also caters to a range of holidaymaker. Magnificent cities like Prague and Budapest offer the luxury that discerning travellers crave, where more remote destinations sacrifice a degree of comfort for the opportunity for travellers to see the real faces of the countries and people.
Posted on June 10th, 2009 No comments
We offer many tours to Australia, check some out here:
We also updated the web site with information about Australia
Posted on June 5th, 2009 No comments
Despite its designation as semi-arid when it comes to climate, there is a great deal of variation across the land. On one end of the spectrum, there are the dry deserts near Namibia, and on the other, there are the fertile subtropical areas near Mozambique and South Africa has just about every degree in between. The vast majority of the South African landmass is constituted of grassland and with its abundance of plant species (about 20,000 or more), the country houses around 10% of all the known plant species on the planet. This, along with the close to 900 species of bird, means that touring nature enthusiasts will particularly enjoy the bounties of South Africa.
South Africa also has a lot to offer the sun-worshipper and the active holiday-maker.
The 2,500km of coastline that skirts the Indian and Atlantic Oceans is a prime location for travellers looking to take it easy on the glistening white-sand beaches and for the more active traveller will be delighted to discover that the country’s reputation for housing some of the best wildlife parks in the world is no exaggeration. Kruger Park in particular is a destination not to be missed on a tour to South Africa.
WEST AFRICA – by Tour Leader Claude Morency Claude Morency
Over the last four years I had the pleasure and also faced the challenge to develop and lead our Adventures Abroad West African series. This is not a trip for the faint-hearted. The going is tough. We link together six different West African countries. And most of them are among the least economically developed nations in Africa. A lot of travel is done overland. In often difficult road conditions across serious bush country. We reach remote destinations where the infrastructure is poor. No fancy restaurant or super lodge at the end of a long day.
But the rewards are many. The natural and cultural diversity is incredible, the sites fantastic. They resonate like drum beats in the night. They bring you right back to the origins of civilization in Africa: the arid Sahel; the acacia-studded savannah region; the living rainforest; the Senegal River; the Niger Inland Delta; the stunning Bandiagara escarpment; Dakar; Bamako; Ancient Djenne; fabled Timbuktu; the Kumasi market; the Abomey palaces.
Great peoples form an interwoven fabric of countless languages and traditions. Wolofs, Bambaras, Dogons, Tuaregs, Lobis, Ashantis, Ewes, Dahomeys. Ancestral beliefs, fertility cults, Voodoo spirituality, Christianity, Islam.
Nomadic cattle herders share the land with sedentary farmers in vast seasonal cycles. People and land form one. Spectacular traditional architecture provide the background to village markets and celebrations where music, mask dances and rituals bring you back to the true values of the African spirit.
I strongly believe that Adventures Abroad offers here in West Africa the most extensive and comprehensive tour ever, unequalled by anyone else in the field in its scope and approach. It is a real odyssey.
We take our people from one end of West Africa to the other providing our travellers, along this dusty West African track, in this modern age of technology, movement and globality, a true human connection and a deep personal experience.
Almost a millennium ago, the great empires and civilisations of West Africa flourished with riches unimagined by the Europeans and though these kingdoms have long since vanished, their cultural legacy lives on in the traditions and lifestyles of its diverse peoples. A visually stunning blend of antiquity and modernity greets travellers on our West Africa tours; quaint country villages untouched by time and ‘progress’ and the much misunderstood and widely practised ancient religion of Voodoo sharing ground with booming metropolises boasting gleaming skyscrapers and distinctive architecture that rivals cities of the Western World in modernity.
Join our Africa Travel Tours for an experience not soon forgotten as we journey through vast lands of untamed wilderness, traditional ancient civilisations and excitement without end on a continent that boasts more countries within its boundaries than any other. Long has Africa captivated the imaginations of avid explorers, intrepid adventurers and enthusiastic naturalists for its unsurpassed safari opportunities and our extensive range of Africa Travel Tours guarantees wild times in this unique and special destination.
[The highlights were] visiting Goree island in St Louis, Senegal; taking a late afternoon camel ride into the desert to have dinner with a nomadic tribe in Tomboctou; the incredible architecture and spectacular dance performance in the Dogon Country; the largest mud building in the world in Djenne (the most impressive mosque in the world); the huge arts and crafts festival in Ouagadoudou.
-Felicia Grey Tour WA1 Senegal, Mali & Burkina Faso (West African Wonder)
Posted on June 4th, 2009 No comments
This must be one of the cutest things; a Leopard and Rat having lunch – well not having lunch together – hehe – more photos follow the link
Photographer: Casey Gutteridge
Posted on June 4th, 2009 No comments
Only recently has Albania become accessible. In ages past, the territory that is now Albania was invaded, plundered and re-invaded countless times by a host of foreign powers. Among those who had a lasting influence on the country were the great Roman and Byzantine Empires, but Goths, Visigoths, Huns, Bulgars and Turks all ventured into the borders of Albania at various points in history, more often than not bringing with them destruction and persecution. Few other peoples have endured such perpetual torment over the years and the Albanians’ ability to keep their traditions and language alive throughout the onslaughts speaks volumes about their nature. Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that in more recent history, authorities in Albania effectively shut the doors on the Western World and Albania became isolated until its communist regime collapsed in the 1990s. Only then were the Albania borders re-opened to the outside world. Albania today is a country under reconstruction, a nation in the throes of trying to adapt to a democratic system and a country still licking its wounds after a volatile past. A tour here is a tour to a beautiful nation with a plethora of sights and attractions and a proud, unique and welcoming people.
Albania has a mixed topography: unspoiled, sandy beaches; rugged, picturesque mountains; green, plentiful forests; and placid, enticing lakes. Travellers satisfied with admiring the Albania scenery alone will not be disappointed, but those seeking a more active tour have on offer a wide range of activities: sunbathing, hiking, sailing, football (soccer), fishing and cycling, to name but a few.
Albania is an enigmatic country boasting some wonderful Greco-Roman sites and a distinct culture politically isolated from mainstream European society for generations. The mountain scenery is also spectacular, with small villages and remote valleys that have been cultivated for centuries. This country is a living museum—visit before it is discovered by mass tourism. With its fascinating history, along with its hitherto inaccessibility, Albania is a truly distinctive tour destination and well worth a visit.
Posted on June 2nd, 2009 No comments
Fiji, After a century under British rule, Fiji managed to gain its independence in 1970, leaving the inhabited regions of the country displaying a charming blend of traditional and colonial architecture, with modern skyscrapers and edifices perforating the skyline in some of the larger cities. With a curious blend of Polynesian, Melanesian, Indian, Micronesian, Eastern and European influences, Fiji serves as a feast for the eyes for any traveller.
As interesting and noteworthy as its cities are, Fiji’s natural environment is in a different league when it comes to scenic marvel. Indeed, the small South Pacific country has few rivals even on the world stage, so abundant and striking as its topographical, ecological and physical surroundings are. Rugged mountains, volcanic craters and dense tropical rainforests with spectacular, cascading waterfalls dominate much of the inland portions of the Fiji islands, providing not only stellar vistas and considerable biodiversity (hundreds of plants and more than two dozen species of animal are endemic to Fiji), but also ample opportunity for exploration, hiking and other such active pastimes.
The most famous features of Fiji’s natural surroundings, however, are undoubtedly its coastline and offshore attractions. Boasting a total coastline that exceeds 1,000km, Fiji has a worldwide reputation for being home to some of the most paradisiacal and pristine beaches on the planet. As palm trees gently sway in the warm afternoon breeze and the tranquil, clear ocean waves tenderly lap against glistening white sand, you can’t help but relax and savour the best that Mother Nature has to offer. The plethora of sparking lagoons serve as the perfect swimming locales and more adventurous travellers may venture to the iridescent coral reefs that skirt the islands for a spot of snorkelling or diving, where they will be well rewarded with sights of a huge range of colourful tropical fish.
As tempting as it might be, staying close to Fiji’s coastlines will mean that travellers miss out on what makes Fiji unique. Venturing to the cities and mingling with the cosmopolitan mix of indigenous peoples is the only way to understand the reason behind most return travellers’ love of Fiji.
Posted on May 27th, 2009 No comments
Antarctica is a continent that is truly unique. Sprawling over the South Pole and taking up a landmass area greater than that of Europe, Antarctica remains the most desolate, wild and uninhabitable location on the globe. Holding the records for the coldest, windiest and driest place on Earth, it is a continent that appeals only to a select few people and leaves others to wonder about their sanity. What these bold travellers have discovered, however, is that Antarctica is one of the rare destinations that can have a profound effect on not only their perception of the world, but also of themselves. To tour Antarctica is not so much to set off on a short holiday as it is to embark on a life-changing and redefining experience.
With only a very small percentage of the continent not covered by ice, Antarctica is a winter wonderland with only the most resilient of wildlife being able to withstand the conditions. Glistening glaciers and inconceivable icebergs bring an eerie beauty to the forbidding wilderness and to see this barren land teeming with life in the forms of penguins, birds and seals is a sight to behold. Unbeknownst to many, Antarctica is designated a cold desert, thereby securing it the title as the world’s largest desert and the inland regions surprisingly have less precipitation than the arid Sahara desert in Africa.
There is nowhere on Earth like it and a tour to Antarctica is the ultimate experience that provides more than just a few nice postcards or photographs.
Posted on May 26th, 2009 No comments
The country the highest population of all Persian countries (with about 65 million inhabitants), Iran is also a land of incredible cultural diversity, with dozens of languages, several recognised religions and a broad spectrum of ethnicity in its people. Religion, the dominant faith being Islam, pervades every aspect of Iranian life, an aspect that the majority of visitors find one of the most fascinating features of the country and its people—for Westerners, few other destinations can provide a cultural experience that lies so many leagues away from the familiar. Although Iran does display some similarity to the West in that its governance incorporates a degree of democratic process, the fact that this ideology is balanced against, and often outweighed by, a theocratic authoritarian rule means that trying to draw parallels between the two is sometimes hard to reconcile. Regardless, as a traveller in the country, Iran’s similarity to the West in any sphere seems unimaginable.
Iran lays claim to the largest population of nomads in the world, the vast majority of whom continue to dress in traditional attire, live in traditional housing and follow customs handed down through countless generations of their ancestors. It is a country wherein a unique tribal culture has survived over millennia, leaving a legacy that allows travellers an intriguing sneak-peek into ancient Persian life, and a land that brings the past to life in a contemporary setting. In a similar vein, the remnants of eras gone by dot the Iranian landscape and even the most modern cities, like the capital Tehran, make concerted efforts to preserve the beautiful monuments, art and architecture from the country’s long and fascinating past. Ancient ruins, a plethora of colourful, exquisite mosques and magnificent palaces dating from a multitude of different dynasties lie in wait for the traveller who chooses Iran as a tour destination, sights that only add to the irrepressible impression that Iran is a land of great historic importance.
The enigma that is the Arabian Gulf will cause you to ponder societal directions and intentions. The rapidly modernizing Middle East is in a constant tug-of-war between the traditional past and the pressures of our times. Oil is big business, but trade is much bigger, leading to an awful appropriation of resources and workforce into stunningly ambitious projects. Some of the wealthiest countries on the planet are oases of excess, founded on under-appreciated foreign labour. The surprises continue along the gulf until we reach Oman; jaw-dropping scenery, exciting remoteness, and unspoiled beaches seemingly presented solely for you.
This is a unique opportunity to explore a corner of the world previously misunderstood and almost ignored.
Our Middle East Tours journey to where it all began; to the Cradle of Civilisation and to the birthplace of four of the world’s major religions. Often misunderstood and seldom given the credit it deserves, the Middle East’s recurrent troubles in recent history have seen it relegated to one of the last alternatives when it comes to opting for a tour destination. What lies in wait for travellers on tours to the Middle East, however, is an ancient land of richness and plenty and one whose bounties yield incredible rewards.
Posted on May 21st, 2009 No comments
The highlights were the people of Turkey that we met and interacted with. Everyone we met on tour seemed genuinely interested in our presence and generous in giving to us whatever we needed, be it a glass of chai or directions to a shop. I came back with a deep respect for the people, the Muslim religion and its practices and beliefs, and the incredible story of this remarkable country.Most memorable were sailing the coast on our gulet, Cappadocia in all respects of the outdoor hikes and tours and experiencing the Turkish baths.
Turkey – Though only a small percentage of Turkey lies in Europe—about three per cent of the vast country—due to its political and cultural nature, many consider it more a part of Europe than Asia. Turkey has a long and fascinating history, as its roots lie 10 millennia in the past and it has been called home by at least half a dozen ancient civilizations over the ages; Persian, Roman and Byzantium to name but a few. For the traveller, this means a tour to experience a wealth and variety of architectural and cultural sights in a place that is in many senses a unique blend of West and East.
Turkey’s largest and capital city, Istanbul, epitomises the country’s meshing of cultures and is a tour destination not to be missed. The only city in the world that can claim to lie on two continents, Istanbul mixes modernity with antiquity and the bustling day-to-day activities of the culturally and socially advanced society in the major metropolis occur against the backdrop of majestic and well-preserved reminders of the past. After touring Istanbul’s numerous stunning mosques, palaces, cisterns and castles—or perhaps visiting some famous historical places, like the remnants of the great city of Troy—all dating from different eras and engineered by different civilizations, travellers can sample some of the delicacies on offer at a local café and can opt for either Turkish or Eastern cuisine.
Turkey holds among its treasures beautifully preserved Greco-Roman and Islamic monuments, geological wonders, and inviting cultures. Our tour of the western part of the country showcases some of the most spectacular Islamic and Graeco-Roman sites in the world, while our unique and exciting programs in the East reveal a mysterious and seldom-visited side of this incredibly varied and hospitable land.
Turkey’s population of close to 70 million enjoy a range of geographical differentiation and available activities. The Taurus Mountains serve as the ideal locale for hiking or mountain biking, where the Turquoise Coast on the lapping shores of the Mediterranean is the beach-lover’s paradise and perfect for a quick swim to cool off or a relaxing sunbathe to warm up.
Turkey remains the quintessential adventure, with the perfect blend of ancient mystique and myth, breathtaking scenery, awesome Greco-Roman ruins, sumptuous food, music and laughter, sun and sea. One could return over and over (and some of our travellers do!) and never experience the same thing twice. Go in spring–perfect temperatures and green landscapes festooned with wildflowers.
Sailing the Turquoise Coast: This special program features a salubrious 4-night cruise on a traditional Turkish gulet, along with an exciting, highlight packed land itinerary through Western Turkey. As we travel the coast, we have chances to sample stretches of the Lycian Way, stretching between Fethiye and Antalya through some of the country’s most spectacular coastal scenery. Lycia is an area steeped in history and with a rugged charm all of its own; our easy walks provide a way to escape the “usual” and take a look at the country that lies beyond the reach of the majority of travel companies. The route winds along mule paths on hillsides sometimes overlooking the Mediterranean-turquoise in the shadows, indigo or deep green further out. Tiny boats chug past far below, birds wheel far above. Cyclamen and other bulbs peep from dark corners; the scent of thyme fills the air. Turkey’s indigenous sea-going vessel, the gullet, blends practicality and tradition. Over the years they have evolved from traditional crafts for fishing to their present shape, equipped with private cabins, motors, as well as fully-functional rigging. The land portion of our trip also includes Bodrum, Antalya and Kusadasi, with a possible extension to Capadoccia. Codes TQ1 and TQ2.
With one foot in southeast Europe and the other in southwest Asia, Turkey has long acted as a gateway between the East and West. As a result, in addition to evidence of its own history whose roots stem from the Ottoman era, Turkey displays indications of both European and Islamic influences, giving travellers a variety and profusion of architecture and cultural attraction that few other countries can rival. So too is Turkey’s natural environment of considerable note, with the mighty Taurus Mountains offering striking vistas and the lapping waters of the Turquoise Coast beckoning water- and beach-enthusiasts alike.