All posts by Lauren

10 Most Awe-Inspiring Places in the World for an Unforgettable Christmas Celebration

It’s time for Christmas celebration 2021, and here are some of the best places to celebrate Christmas in the world, perfect to put you in a merry-making mood.

A snowy escape or a cheerful getaway, or a hopelessly romantic staycation, no matter what your heart wants this Christmas, these magical destinations are going to fill your soul with the merriment and blissfulness you are seeking for on this Christmas.

Scroll below to discover where to go for the Christmas celebration this year with your bunch of dear ones:

1 – Cologne, Germany

Lit Christmas markets with the crowd going Ho Ho Ho, spreading the Christmas cheer everywhere is sure to warm your heart in the Rhine Metropolis city of Germany, Cologne.  This charming city offers you not just one but seven winter-themed Christmas markets embellished with lights, Christmas trees, and other decorated items. The oldest Christmas Market in Cologne is the Neumarkt Christmas Market, where you will find dozens of wooden stalls, all ignited with bright, colorful Christmas lights selling thoughtful handmade gifts your dear ones will love.

Read More: Best Places Around The Globe to Fly Away on New Year’s Eve

2- Lapland, Finland

The reasons are unmissable why you should visit Lapland this Christmas. If you haven’t still planned how to celebrate Christmas with your family, this is for you.  Yes, visiting Lapland will be a Winter Wonderland fantasy come true for your kids and family because in Rovaniemi in the Lapland region of Finland lies the Santa Claus Village. Here you can take cosy winter walks, meet Santa, ride the reindeer, go ice-fishing, and witness the breathtaking Northern lights. Sounds like a merry Christmas, right?

Read More: How is the festive period likely to be different this year?

3 – Bethlehem, West Bank

Christmas is just around the corner, and for those looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience this Holiday season, going to Bethlehem would be a great idea.  This place with so much positiveness, Xmas cheer, love, and warmth allows you to visit the Church of Nativity where Jesus Christ was born.  The City of Bethlehem comes to life during Christmas as the streets can be seen fully lit up with colorful lights, decorated Christmas trees along with Santa Clause, and a Christmas parade.

Read More: Best Places to Visit in Europe in January

4 – The Vatican, Italy

As the Holiday season arrives, the Christmas magic starts spreading to every corner of the beautiful Vatican City. People from around the globe visit the Vatican City on Christmas to witness the incredible sight of the Christmas tree at St. Peter’s Square and attend the world-famous Christmas Eve Mass in the beautiful setting of St. Peter’s Basilica.  And, what could be more perfect than to spend Christmas by taking part in a Christmas Mass and wishing all the happiness for your family.

Read More: Top Christmas Markets in Europe

5 – Copenhagen, Denmark

If you are bored with Christmas celebrations at home, fly to Copenhagen this year for a magical time with your family or friends. Get a taste of the Copenhagen Christmas spirit by drinking a warm cup of Glogg, a traditional Nordic winter drink infused with aromatic spices and wine. See the tree lighting in the City Hall, listen to the Christmas carols by a choir, take a kayak ride, and make your Christmas celebrations a merry one this year.

Read More: Most Festive Cities to Spend Christmas

6 – Dublin, Ireland

Dublin celebrates Christmas with gusto and glee. Whether you want to hit the light-adorned streets of Dublin with your friends or celebrate some quality time with your family at an Irish restaurant, Dublin is one of the most magical places to be on Christmas.  The Xmas celebration begins in Dublin with the Grafton Street ceremony, with switching on the Christmas lights. For a carol service, go to the  Christ Church Cathedral and celebrate Christmas traditionally.

Read More: Places in the World to Welcome Christmas and New Year

7 – Salzburg, Austria

Experience a fairy-tale atmosphere in Salzburg during Christmas. Yes, the picturesque city of Salzburg looks magnificent, beautifully decorated with street lights and Christmas trees. It appears to be a dream with the snow-covered Alps in the background. In such a romantic place, it would be just so perfect to go for dinner in a cozy restaurant with the love of your life beside you.

8 – New York City, USA

Christmas in New York City is a beautiful feeling you cannot quote in words. The sight of the tallest Christmas tree in the world at the Rockefeller Center is a must-watch when you are in New York on Christmas. Here, you can go ice skating with your friends and family and have a happy time together. Moreover, you can explore Columbus Circle Holiday Market, Union Square Holiday Market, and Bryant Park’s Winter Village to shop Christmas gifts for your loved ones.

9 – Edinburg, Scotland

Edinburgh is one of the best places to celebrate Christmas. From the beautifully Christmas-themed seasonal markets to the Christmas Tree Maze as well as the family-friendly rides in Santa Land in East Princes Street Gardens, Edinburg is sure to uplift the spirit of your Christmas celebrations this year. Also, keep a check on the winter festivals of Edinburgh during Christmas to turn your Christmas into a memorable affair.

10 – Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town makes one of the best beach destinations for Christmas celebrations. So, if you want to skip the conventional snow and Christmas celebrations this year and rejuvenate your soul in the white beaches then, Cape Town would make a perfect choice.  Explore the picturesque beaches, gorge on delicious Christmas delicacies, go kite-surfing in this beautiful city with pleasant weather for the unlimited merriment you are looking for in Christmas celebrations 2021. Make the Holiday season spectacular this year by visiting one of these awe-inspiring places and come back with happy memories to cherish forever. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

10 Best Places Around The Globe to Fly Away on New Year’s Eve

Bidding adieu to the old year and welcoming the New Year makes everyone ecstatic. It’s that time of the year when you reminisce the fondest memories you’ve spent with your loved ones, leaving the sad ones behind forever. It’s also the perfect time to unite with your friends, family, and relatives to celebrate New Year Eve at one of the top destinations in the world.

So, whether you are planning to party all night in the best clubs or witness some of the most spectacular fireworks or have a fine dining experience in the middle of the sea, here is a list of top places to visit on New Year for an unforgettable celebration.

Sydney

A beautiful destination for the New Year celebration, Sydney displays one of the best fireworks in the world on New Year Eve. As it is the first major city to hit midnight, after Auckland, the New Year celebration in Sydney becomes even more special. The best things to do at New Year in Sydney have to be reserving a table at a restaurant with a harbor view and booking a cruise in Sydney Harbour.

Read More: Best Places to Visit in Europe in January

Amsterdam

If you are still wondering where to go on New Year, you should stop right away because visiting Amsterdam would be a fantastic idea. From fireworks illuminating the sky to cozy rooftop parties and people from different countries jamming at street parties, this place provides you with a plethora of choices to dance to the year away. Apart from great parties, you get the chance to gorge on Oliebollen (deep-fried dough balls) along with champagne on New Year Eve, as this Dutch New Year tradition is believed to ward off evil spirits.

Read More: Warm Places to Visit in February Around the World

LAS VEGAS

The party life gets even real in Las Vegas on New Year Eve with its lively nightclubs, events, mind-blowing fireworks, casinos, and much more. If you are a party animal and want to have unlimited fun with your bunch of crazy people on New Year 2022, you should start planning it out now. Don’t miss out to witness the eye-catching fireworks, live concerts, and light shows along the Las Vegas Strip.

Read More: Top places to see when you are in Johannesburg

Bangkok, Thailand

The biggest New Year countdown in Bangkok takes place in front of the city’s biggest shopping mall, Central World. It’s the place where both local and international artists perform on a big stage and there is a huge screen at the mall for the display of the countdown. What’s more impressive is the fireworks at Central World Plaza which is the longest in Thailand, lasting for about 15 minutes. So, don’t get stuck with ‘where to go on New Year” when you have Bangkok on the list.

Read More: Warm Places to Visit in Europe in February

Rio De Janeiro

New Year celebration in Rio De Janerio is beautifully different from other places in the world. It’s all about a magical night full of life, fireworks display, delicious food, and live concerts by Brazillian artists. Your heart fills with glee when you see thousands of people dressed in white (as it is said, white brings good luck in the New Year) gathering at Copacabana Beach for a New Year carnival. Surely, it is one of the best things to do at New Year.

Read More: Most Popular Tourist Attractions in Rio de Janeiro

Dubai

The “city of dreams,” Dubai displays one of the most expensive and elaborate fireworks in the world you will ever see in your life. As the clock strikes 12, a number of extravagant and dazzling fireworks explode into a rainbow of colours in the sky. On such a lit New Year’s Eve in Dubai, it feels surreal to witness fireworks at the city’s iconic landmarks; Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Global Village, etc.

London

London makes it to the list of one of the best places to visit on New Year with family, friends, and loved ones. Book an NYE cruise with views of fireworks or visit the towering London Eye and take a spin with your loved ones or catch an abundance of fun activities around the Thames River. So, if you haven’t made any plans yet on how to celebrate this New Year, you must pick London as your New Year travel destination.

Paris

This New Year, get your family and friends together for a colorful and exciting New Year celebration in Paris. Go for a traditional French dinner with your loved ones or attend the Champs-Elysees Festivities. This place is the center of the New Year Eve party in Paris that starts around 9 p.m., and you get a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower with its sparkling display at midnight. You can also find several attractive spots to dine and dance here.

NEW YORK

You all know the ball drop over Times Square in Manhattan, New York is one of the world’s most iconic New Year’s Eve celebrations. Thousands of people gather to watch the ball slowly dropping at the countdown at midnight. The celebrations begin by lighting and lifting the ball on the rooftop of Times Square followed by the distribution of New Year themed props like hats and glasses among the crowd to ring in the New Year with a bang.

Cape Town

Cape Town is a perfect place to visit on New Year for all because you can find all types of entertainment here, from live music to jamming sessions and circus performances to cruise parties and much more. If you are with your friends, the ideal plan would be to go to a street party on Long Street in the city center. For a perfect New Year celebration with family, you should go to a concert at Kirstenbosch Gardens.

These incredible destinations will ensure you the ultimate New Year Celebration full of merry-making moments, and that’s what you all wish for on a New Year Eve, right? Yes, we all do! If you want to do some exciting things on New Year while you are at one of these beautiful destinations, search New Year celebrations around me on the internet, and you will find a plethora of choices to make your New Year celebrations even more remarkable.

Where is Hot in November? Top 20 Warm Places to Visit in November

There is nothing more heart-breaking that watching the sunny days of summer slip away from your grasp. It is still dark when you leave for the work in the morning and the cold air feels harsh to your skin. But summer doesn’t have to end just yet. Cheer up; it’s always hot and sunny somewhere in the world. While the Mediterranean is basking in a golden, pre-Christmas glow, rainy season has died up in Africa and South-east Asia. If you want to see how the winter is done, leave behind your soggy days for an epic holiday to some hot destinations to travel in November that offers hours of winter sunshine and warm Temperature.

1. Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is a remarkable mix of innovative architecture, ancient heritage and jaw-dropping natural surroundings. The scorching heat in the city drops to a milder Temperature- ideal for lazying around on the beach or adventure in the desert. It is much more than your average city breaks and has plenty of activities for a fun-filled holiday. If you are a beach lover, there a number of beaches to choose, from family-friendly Corniche and isolated Mirfa to action-packed Yas and picturesque Saadiyat. The Louvre Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque are some other must-visit places in the city.

Average Temperature: 25°C

Things to do: Sightseeing, beach-hopping, desert-safari

Currency: Emirati Arab Dirham

Languages: Arabic, English

Read Also: Top 20 Things to do in Abu Dhabi, UAE

2. Canary Islands

It remains warm and sunny throughout the winter months in the Canary Islands, making them ideal November Holiday Destinations. Travellers have several islands to choose from. The Canaries located over 50 miles from the coast of Africa has a pleasant climate in winter hovering around a very mild 22C Temperature. The weather is great for sunbathing around the pool or the beach. Tenerife is the largest and most popular with some of the most stunning beach resorts – notably Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos. Some of the beaches have black sands due to ancient volcanic activity. Gran Canaria is also home to some pretty beaches – Maspalomas, in particular, is quite popular for with its white beach and sand dunes.

Average Temperature: 24.3 °C

Things to do: Beach-hopping, sunbathing, watersports, hiking

Currency: Euro

Languages: Spanish, English

Read Also: Top 20 Smallest Countries in the World

3. Cyprus

Blessed with all year round sunshine, the Mediterranean island of Cyprus is also known as the Island of Aphrodite. Expect around six or seven hours of sunshine a day in the winter months making this destination perfect for enjoying a sunny holiday in November. There are numerous sandy beaches ideal for sunbathing and a varied range of watersports. You will find both luxury resorts, such as Paphos, and small villages that offer a glimpse of the simple life away from the hustle and bustle. If you are travelling with your family, you will enjoy the Coral Bay area with its relaxed atmosphere and plenty of bars and restaurants alongside a beautiful sandy beach. With a wide range of accommodation options suiting every budget, Cyprus could well be the winter getaway you’re looking for!

Average Temperature: 22°C

Things to do: Beach-hopping, watersports, sunbathing

Currency: Euro

Languages: Greek, Turkish, English

Read Also: Go Where is Hot in February to Escape the Wintry Blues

4. Morocco

Morocco is another destination that is ideal for a visit during winter when intense summer heat has died down. You will find the average Temperature still around the mid-20s in winter with sunshine for around seven hours a day. The coastal region of Agadir is popular for its luxury resorts with swimming pools, tennis courts and wellness suites. There are also plenty of restaurants serving both international and authentic Moroccan cuisine. Agadir enjoys pleasant weather it November and its beach is sheltered from Atlantic winds. Marrakech is another city that you must explore for its bazaars, souks and historic sightseeing. Another attraction is Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco that has been listed to UNESCO world heritage site since 1987.

Average Temperature: 17°C

Things to do: Sightseeing, shopping

Currency: Moroccan dirham

Languages: Arabic, English

Read Also: Top 15 Tallest Hotels in the World with Jaw-Dropping Views

5. Cape Verde

Located off the coast of West Africa in the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Verde consists of a group small islands and enjoys cultural influences from Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean and Portugal, offering a unique mix of Caribbean, African and European food experiences to the visitors. Sharing the same climate as that of the Canary Islands, it is slowly developing into a mainstream tourist destination. Travellers will love the unspoilt and stunning beaches of Sal and Boa Vista islands. If you are looking for more than a sunbathing holiday, go hiking on hillsides layered with frozen lava or enjoy water sports like surfing, windsurfing and deep sea fishing.

Average Temperature: 28.3 °C

Things to do: watersports, hiking, beach-hopping

Currency: Cape Verdean escudo

Languages: Portuguese, English

Read Also: Top 15 Stunning Fairy-tale Villages around the World

6. Barbados

Famous for its fantastic beaches, Barbados is an island that has everything for its visitors. You will not only find here fine powdery sand and brilliant turquoise bays but also splendid nightlife and a UNESCO World Heritage-listed capital. It enjoys a hot tropical climate with rainy season tapering off in November; light showers are still likely on some days. Humidity is high at this time of year but this month marks the end of the official Atlantic hurricane season. You will find little climatic variation across the island depending on its unvaried and flat topography.

Average Temperature: 30.3 °C

Things to do: beach-hopping, clubbing, sunbathing

Currency: Barbados Dollar

Languages: English

Read Also: 15 Most Amazing Secret Beaches in the World

7. Singapore

Singapore is a melting pot of cultures and fast becoming one of Asia’s top travel destinations. If you are confused about where to go in November, this is the place to travel. With a tropical rainforest climate, visitors will find the city always hot and humid with chances of rainfall- November is no exception. Temperature reaches around 31.3 ºC with high humidity. However, November marks the beginning of the pre-northeast monsoon season in Singapore which means rainfall increases to an average of 243 mm and cool sea breeze provides relief from the afternoon heat. Singapore is also a haven for food lovers and shopping freaks.  Indulge in some ‘me time’ by having a retail therapy.

Average Temperature: 31.3 °C

Things to do: Shopping, sightseeing

Currency: Singapore Dollar

Languages: English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil

Read Also: 15 Weird Restaurants Around the World You Must Visit

8. Malta

Surrounded by beautiful clear bays and scenic beaches, Malta is another hot place to visit in November that experiences a temperate climate all year round thanks to its enviable location. Even in November, enjoy seven hours of sun and the Temperature hovering pleasantly around the 20s mark. The island is not crowded with scores of tourists during this month which means lower hotel prices. The UNESCO city of Valletta, coastal resorts Sliema and St. Julian’s, and Marsaskala in the south are some of the best places to stay during November in Malta. Travellers can also explore the option of hiking because of mild weather. Trek through the rural highlands of Malta or scale the dramatic cliffs of nearby Gozo, exploring Malta by foot in November is a great way to experience the different facets of the island.

Average Temperature: 21ºC

Things to do: Sightseeing, hiking, watersports

Currency: Euro

Languages: Maltese, English

Read Also: Where to Go on Holiday in October around the World

9. Seoul

An exciting city to explore, Seoul is just the right mix of comfort and exoticism. The city features exemplary transport and general infrastructure, and you will also find numerous Confucian Temples and cafés for an interesting holiday. Being South Korea’s flourishing capital; the city has been turned into a hi-tech and high-design hub, pulsating with dynamic youth culture. However, visitors will also get to witness the remnants of traditional times in its cobbled streets and classic architecture, flea markets and narrow street- food alleys. November brings out the autumn colours in the city making Seoul’s many parks and hiking trails picture perfect. The mild temperatures and low rainfall offer great opportunities for outdoor activities.

Average Temperature: 12 °C

Things to do: Sightseeing, shopping, clubbing

Currency: Won

Languages: Korean, English

Read Also: 10 Most Amazing Waterfalls in Philippines

10. Vietnam

Vietnam is the best-kept secret of South-east Asia and one of the hottest destinations to travel in November for a great holiday. Phu Quoc, Halong Bay and Ho Chi Minh City are some of the most popular places to explore. Get a real taste of local life in Phu Quoc while discovering its numerous beaches, national parks, pearl farms, fishing villages and night markets. Remarkable experiences are everywhere in Vietnam. Whether it is the natural beauty of the place or its cultural complexities, Vietnam impresses its visitors with sublime and compelling experiences. You can also combine Vietnam with a visit to Cambodia to see the famous Temples of Angkor Wat.

Average Temperature: 17 °C

Things to do: Shopping, Safari, hiking, beach-hopping,

Currency: Vietnamese Dong

Languages: Vietnamese

Read Also: 20 Best Places to Visit in Europe for Summer 2019

11. Cuba

Cuba is constantly changing and you must visit it before it’s changed forever. The big resorts haven’t covered all the beaches and one can still find the old time-warp romanticism in Havana. One of the Best Places to visit in November, it remains warm and sunny without the touristy crowds that fill out the destination from December to February. From an ever-evolving boutique bar and hotel scene to the colonial charm of Twenties-era Casa Habana, or cocktails at 304 O’Reilly, there is so much to explore and experience. Take time out to the Caribbean shores of Holguín mostly untouched by the crowds and to find small and barefoot beach hotels at affordable prices.

Average Temperature: 24°C

Things to do: Museums, Stroll around Havana Malecon & Old Havana

Currency: Cuban Peso

Languages: Spanish

Read Also: Top 20 Most Popular Places to Visit in Manila

12. Antigua

Home to 365 beaches-one for every day of the year, Antigua is a beach lover’s paradise. Beyond the white sandy beaches and swaying palms, it is an intriguing destination with a rich history and complex culture. With its winding roads and charming villages, travellers will find a distinct English charm to this Caribbean island. Explore the historic district of English Harbour or shop for souvenirs in St. John’s or perhaps enjoy the panoramic view from Shirley Heights. Visitors can also go to its sleepy sister island, Barbuda that has a more relaxed and less touristy feel to it.

Average Temperature: 27.5°C

Things to do: Historic forts, beach-hopping, shopping

Currency: Eastern Caribbean dollar

Languages: English

13. Dubai

Travellers mostly use Dubai as a stopover destination for flying in and out on Emirates but the city is so much more than that. There is a surprising amount of activities to do here for those who want to spend some time in the city. Dubai is the city where is hot in November with an average of 25°C with little humidity which means perfect for chilling at the beach or sunbathing by the poolside. Dubai is trapped between the old and the new-   a place with a conservative culture and old world charm, and a hi-tech hub with malls and high-rise buildings. It is a fascinating, multi-cultural city that promises a sunny and fun-filled holiday, one that won’t break your budget!

Average Temperature: 25°C

Things to do in Dubai: Visit the Top at Burj Khalifa, Dubai Aquarium, and Dubai Mall

Currency: United Arab Emirates Dirham

Languages: Arabic

Read Also: 15 Most Amazing Places to Visit in Dubai and things to Do

14. Bali

Bali is more than a place; it’s a tropical state of mind. A favourite destination for people, the mere mention of the name evokes thoughts of a paradise. From unending idyllic beaches and ancient Temples to terraced rice fields, there is so much to see and experience on this stunning island. With an activity to suit every soul, it feels like a never-ending adventure. Experience activities like surfing, yoga, meditation and hiking on your visit. Go on a delicious food trail or enjoy its amazing nightlife and what’s more, November is the cheapest time to experience all this and much more!

Average Temperature: 27°C

Things to do: Sightseeing, surfing, yoga, meditation and hiking

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah

Languages: Indonesian; Balinese; Balinese Malay; English; Mandarin

15. Thailand

With its glittering temples and tropical beaches, Thailand is the travel hub of Southeast Asia. Bangkok is often used as a base for circuit for backpacking around Southeast Asia. Beyond the cluttered cities and towns, you will find the rural heartland which is a mix of rice fields, tropical forests and squat villages. Thai cuisine is adored around the world and a trip to Thailand is a great chance to experience all aspects of its culture, heritage and food. Go on a food trail to Bangkok noodle shacks or explore the seafood pavilions in Phuket, and perhaps eat your heart out at the Burmese market stalls in Mae Sot- Thailand promises an ultimate November Holiday Destination.

Average Temperature: 33.1 °C

Things to do: Sightseeing, beach-hopping, watersports

Currency: Thai Baht

Languages: Isan; Kam Mueang; Pak Tai

16. Athens

With a heady mix of history and contemporary, Athens was the birthplace of democracy, theatre, and Western civilization. Visitors can see a glimpse of its rich history in the city’s architecture which is one of the many reasons for visiting this destination. Enjoy the panoramic views of the Acropolis that is visible from almost every part of the city. The social and cultural life revolves around the landmarks built more than centuries ago. November is a good time to visit Athens as the city experiences autumn with warm weather and a lot of sunshine, quite suited for sightseeing and other outdoor activities.

Average Temperature: 15°C

Things to do: Explore markets, historical monuments and cafes

Currency: Euro

Languages: Greek, English

17. Jamaica

Enjoy the Caribbean sun in Jamaica with rum, reggae and plenty of adventures. It is the perfect place to swap minus Temperature and soggy winter weather for ticking off the bucket-list adventures like jungle safari, hiking and mountain-biking. Jamaica is brimming with palm-lined golden beaches, thriving plantations and rugged interiors. The crystal-clear beaches host a wide range of water sports and other activities, from volleyball to deep-sea fishing. Dunn’s river falls near the Ocho Rios is the highlight of the Jamaica national treasure.

Average Temperature: 30ºC

Things to do: Visit Dunn’s River Falls, Rose Hall Great House, Bob Marley Museum & Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios

Currency: Jamaican dollar

Languages: Jamaican Creole, English

18. Puerto Vallarta

With a collection of sandy beaches, trendy restaurants and quaint cobbled streets, Puerto Vallarta happens to be a popular beach destination with a sweltering high Temperature of 31 degree Celsius in November. It is also the start of the dry season which means almost all the activities are open for the visitors. Banderas Bay is the star attraction of the region that boasts of postcard-worthy beaches. Puerto Vallarta also happens to be one of Mexico’s best places for dining, so visitors can eat their heart out around the town, and sip margaritas on the Malecon. November is also time for the Puerto Vallarta gourmet festival that lines up tasting events, themed nights at the local restaurants and cooking demonstrations by professional chefs.

Average Temperature: 25°C

Things to do: zip lining, snorkelling, jungle canopy tour, sunbathing

Currency: pesos

Language: Spanish

19. New Zealand

An adventure destination for the free-spirited, New Zealand is action-packed, with extraordinary opportunities for wild swimming, white-water rafting, bungee-jumping, sky-diving and horse-riding.  While South Island is popular for its skiing, the hot springs of North Island are pure bliss. You will also find some of the most amazing beaches off the coast of Auckland. Take a couple of days to explore the mammoth national parks and experience dynamic Māori culture. New Zealand has a variety of super lodges in outstanding settings, from remotest locations to rugged mountaintops and lake-side, so enormous and pretty that it’s entirely another level of luxury to experience.

Average Temperature: 17°C

Things to do: White-water rafting, bungee-jumping, sky-diving & horse-riding

Currency: New Zealand Dollar

Languages: English

20. Mauritius

Famous for its azure waters, powder-white beaches and luxury resorts, if Mauritius is somewhere on your travel bucket list then November is the best time to plan that holiday. Things are just warming up nicely and the rainy season is still at least a month away. The average sea temperature is 25 degrees, so make the most of it by indulging in various water sports. Trou aux Biches with its shallow waters is the perfect spot for snorkelling. There are plenty of coral reefs to explore, too. Away from the luxury resorts, there is a mix of different cultures and fishing villages to discover.

Average Temperature: 29°C

Things to do: Snorkelling, hiking, boat-rides to nearby islands

Currency: Mauritian rupee

Languages: English, French, Mauritian Creole

Best Hotels To Stay At In The Maldives

Ever wondered why the Maldives is so sought-after among leisure seekers? Well actually, there are multiple reasons – the romantic overwater villas, mouth-watering cuisine, water excursions and state-of-the-art spa retreats, to name a few.

If you’re wondering where to stay when you travel to the Maldives, look no further. We’ve handpicked a list of seven stunning resorts sure to satisfy from the moment you check-in…

1- W Maldives

W Maldives Resort

A perfect example of style meets comfort; 5-star island resort W Maldives has been satiating the needs of visitors with its panoramic ocean views and unmatchable service. You’ll find everything you need and more at this elegant resort, from private access to white-sand beaches, turquoise lagoons and alluring reefs to discover. This heart-shaped island resort is perfect for couples seeking ultimate R&R.

Location: Fesdu Island, North Ari Atoll.

Rooms: Overwater villa, Ocean Escape Suite, Beach Oasis Villa, Ocean Haven Suite, Beach Oasis Villa.

Activities: Snorkelling, Luxury Yacht Tour.

2- Taj Coral Reef Resort & Spa Maldives

We love boasting about this property due to its long list of salient features. Located on Hembadhu Island by a coral reef lagoon, this luxury resort includes access to the beachfront, a stunning outdoor swimming pool, pampering spa treatments and a selection of activities available. The Vivanta By Taj diving school is a must for those eager to discover the rainbow-coloured marine life, have fun snorkeling or organise island-hopping trips. Plus, guests can indulge in superb Pan Asian, Italian and Japanese cuisine at the on-site restaurant – or perhaps you want to order romantic in-villa dining, instead?

Location: North Male, Atoll.

Rooms: Water Villa, Nirvana Presidential Suite, Beach Villa.

Activities: Diving, Fishing, Coral Regeneration, Fish Feeding.

3- Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

If you’re looking for a home away from home, then you’ve just found it. You’ll feel pampered as soon as you step foot in this incredible resort, which is set on two separate islands and connected by a bridge. Relax in the private villas packed with amenities, indulge in some R&R at the lagoon Spa Retreat and Over Water Spa – or why not treat yourselves to an unforgettable dinner at the famous underwater Ithaa Restaurant? Whatever you do while you’re here, you can be sure it will be luxurious.

Location: Rangali Island.

Rooms: The Muraka, Beach villa, Beach suite, Water villa (Sunset, Premier, Grand).

Activities: Catamaran sailing, Jet skiing, Paddleboarding, Scooter-snorkelling, X-Jetpacking, X-Jetblading.

4- Hurawalhi Island Resort

Hurawalhi Island Resort

You’ll certainly experience world-class service at Hurawalhi Island Resort. Set on the idyllic Lhaviyani Atoll in the Maldives, this adults-only luxury resort is one you’ll swoon over long after you’ve visited. The stylish overwater villas serve up panoramic views of the blue water and comfortable amenities, making the perfect base whether you want a laid-back or lively retreat. The Duniye Spa is an oasis of relaxation perfect for those who like to be pampered, while the action-packed activities are sure to keep the adventurous guests entertained, from snorkeling to diving, yacht experiences and even an on-site marine biology centre for those eager to learn more about the exotic reefs. What better way to end the day than at the resort’s underwater restaurant, an incredible experience matched by mouth-watering cuisine crafted by sought-after chefs? Need we say any more?

Location: Lhaviyani Atoll, Hurawalhi Island.

Rooms: Ocean villa, Pool villa (Sunset, Beach).

Activities: Snorkelling, Dolphin Safari, Parasailing, Kneeboarding, Canoeing, Catamaran sailing.

5- Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives

Taj Exotica Resort and Spa, Maldives

This luxurious 5-star beach resort on Embooghu Finolhu Island – nestled in the middle of one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives – is the perfect hideaway for those seeking tranquility. Renowned for its unique flora and fauna, this tropical isle is a haven for wildlife lovers and is surrounded by coral reefs – so don’t forget your snorkel! The sea-view villas and suites come complete with an infinity pool with views over the twinkling lagoon, plus there’s the Jiva Grande Spa, which is perfect for unwinding. If you need to blow off some steam, why not take part in a variety of watersports activities on the island, from fishing to windsurfing, diving and boat trips. There’s never a full moment when you’re on Taj time.

Location: Emboodhu Finolhu, South Male Atoll.

Rooms: Lagoon villa, Premium villa, Ocean suite, Beach suite, Beach villa, Presidential suite.

Activities: Scuba diving, Snorkelling and Parasailing.

6- Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort

Asad Photo Maldives from Pexels

Indulging in delectable cuisine and admiring the sunset is one of many pleasures you’re signing up for when you stay at the iconic Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort. Renowned for providing unique experiences, there’s an abundance of things to see and do at this resort situated on the private Furanafushi Island, North Male Atoll. When you’re not relaxing in your deluxe suite or soaking up the sun at the beach, how do you fancy an afternoon getting pampered at the award-winning Shine Spa for Sheraton? For something faster-paced, go on a snorkeling safari or try your hand at diving or parasailing – a few of the popular watersports to do while you’re on the island. When it comes to gastronomy you’ll be spoilt for choice, with no less than seven spectacular restaurants to dine in under the stars from Asian-influenced cuisine to Maldivian, Arabian, Indian and Thai to choose from. With a family programme fit for tots to teens, this spectacular resort has got everything covered.

Location: Furanafushi Island, North Malé Atoll.

Rooms: Ocean pool villa, Water suite, Cottage, Water bungalow, Water villa.

Activities: Dolphin watching, Wakeboarding, Boating, Bobbing.

7- Cocoon Maldives

Cocoon Maldives

Located on the island of Ookolhufinolhu in the Lhaviyani Atoll, this stunning resort boasts stylish interiors by Italian designer Daniele Lago, plus private beach access and exciting watersports facilities. A perfect choice if you like to be at one with nature, lush vegetation and the turquoise Indian Ocean surround the guest rooms – creating a calm and tranquil atmosphere you’ll feel relaxed in. If you want to lap up the luxury (why not, you’re in the Maldives after all!), the XXL All-Inclusive package is ideal, offering delicious meals at award-winning restaurants, a BBQ dinner on the beach, a daytime excursion and 20% discounts on all SPA services.

Location: Island of Ookolhufinolhu, Lhaviyani Atoll.

Rooms: Beach Villa, Beach suite, Lagoon villa, Lagoon suite, Lagoon suite pool.

Activities: Snorkelling, Jet skiing, Dolphin cruise, Sunset fishing.

We hope we’ve inspired you with our list of the top hotels in the Maldives. If you’re interested in booking a holiday here, give us a call on 0207 612 0500 and allow us to tailor your holiday to best suit you – plus, our fantastic flight deals mean you can enjoy a Maldivian adventure for even less.

A Backpacker’s Travel Guide To Ukraine

Ukraine is a beautiful corner of Eastern Europe that many tourists overlook. It’s a large country and therefore has an abundance of exciting things to see and do different kinds of things to do, from admiring the Black Sea coastline to its awe-inspiring gold-domed Cathedrals and ancient-old capital. We’ve got the latest if you’re a backpacker looking to soak up the sights, sounds and scenery in Ukraine, for less…

Where to stay and when to visit

Ukraine fits perfectly in the travelogue of a backpacker since the daily cost is the bare minimum (depending on your necessities). You can easily discover a different kind of rooms, guesthouses, hostels, resorts and more – even in popular cities like Kyiv.

Be mindful about staying in a hostel if you prefer to keep to yourself, since there’s a mixture of different people, aside from tourists, who may be sharing a room with you. If you’re open to meeting new people though, hostels can be your best bet for both experience and cost.

The food is pretty cheap in Ukraine too, so you can easily fix up a bite to eat for breakfast or lunch in a cafeteria for no price at all.

National Natural Park Synevir, the Carpathian Mountains, Ukraine

The climate in Ukraine is continental, meaning freezing winters and toasty summers (which are progressively warmer the further south you move). Do not visit in the winter since the average temperatures plummet below 0°C, and while spring brings the warms, it turns the ice and snow into mud – not ideal for backpackers to explore in! From May onwards, the summer months boast pleasant temperatures averaging at 25°C – but there is the possibility of thunderstorms throughout these peak months. The autumn month of September sees a drop in temperature but pleasant blue skies remain, with highs around 23°C – making this time of year the best for tourists to get the most out of the country and all it has to offer.

What to do

There are plenty of cheap things to do in Ukraine, which is ideal for savvy backpackers to save on money while exploring at the same time. We’ve highlighted a few of our favourite pastimes that are either free or totally affordable:

KYIV

Autumn view of Kiev

The capital of Ukraine, Kyiv is one of the best and cheapest places to visit in the country, with plenty of history, sights, shops and tours to discover if you’re new to the area.

  • Chernobyl Tour: Discover the site of the worst nuclear disaster in human history with a guided tour.
  • Kyivo-Pechers’ka Lavra: Built by monks, you won’t find another holy place quite like this.
  • Andriyivski Uzviz: Connecting two neighbourhoods, this street is bursting with wonderful architecture to admire.

ODESA

Odesa is a vast and beautiful city sure to keep you entertained while you’re visiting, with some pretty landmarks to tick off.

  • Deribasovskaya Street: A bustling pedestrian walkway full of food, drinks and entertainment.
  • Primorsky Boulevard: Take in the architectural wonders along the boulevard and towards the seafront.
  • Potemkin stairs: Enter the city through these iconic stairs, symbolic to Odesa.

UMAN

Sofiyivka park in Uman, Ukraine

This city has panoramic views that’s why tourists don’t leave this city unexplored if they land in Ukraine. If you visit Uman in autumn then you are not going to leave this place easily as it looks breathtakingly awesome.

  • Sofiyivka Park: An English garden hidden in the heart of Uman.
  • Tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslev: If you’re spiritual, it’s the best place to visit in Uman.
  • Ostashivskiy Lake: A pretty spot for picnics, with beer tents and pop-up food stalls.

LVIV

Lviv, Ukraine

There is a whole UNESCO protected town in Lviv, which is the main reason this place is our highlights – a must-visit for history-lovers. There’s more to Lviv than it’s history and culture though, this town is quirky and vibrant in the right balance – so you’ll find something to suit everyone here.

  • Rynok square: A 13th-century square that can’t be missed for its intricate architecture.
  • Old Town: This quaint square is bursting with local food and drink, shops, cafes and more.
  • High castle: Take the small walk up the hill for some amazing food and views to match.

If you want to explore the more rural areas and uncover the real Ukraine, visit Mezyn, Dzembronya, Strusiv, Grushevka, Opishnya, Iza and more.

How to explore

Tourist girl with a backpack and camera standing in the meadow at the mountains. Carpathians. Ukraine

There’s no better place than Ukraine for a backpacker because everything is so cheap and convenient. The public transport in Ukraine is easy to navigate, economical and efficient, so you won’t have to worry about walking from A to B!

Here are the different modes of transport that you can take in Ukraine:

  • Train
Train on the railway bridge in Carpathian mountains, Ukraine

The cheapest mode of transportation that you can find in Ukraine is a train ride. But if you have a time crunch, then it might not be the right option for you, since the trains are pretty slow here. If you know where you’re heading, there are newer express trains available which run between different destinations  – but you’ll need to book tickets in advance.

  • Bicycle
Explore Ukraine by bicycle

If you don’t mind a little exercise then why not hire a bike to explore the place at your own pace? Plus, it all adds to the backpacking experience, right? You’ll pass bustling markets and have a chance to stop and mingle with the locals.

  • Bus
Explore Ukraine by Bus

Buses come in handy when you don’t want to take the train, however, they can be a little crowded – so if you get claustrophobic it might not be the best option for you. If you’ve ever been on the London Underground, we’re sure it’ll be a doddle.

  • Taxi
Explore Ukraine by Taxi

Taxi services are available around Ukraine and you can order an Uber from 7 major cities, but it’s worth noting that travelling by taxi here can be an unpleasant experience for foreign tourists and service can be patchy, so it might be best to take the train instead?

Try not to hitchhike while you’re in Ukraine; while the destination is safe for tourists it’s sensible to not get into a vehicle with other strangers if it can be avoided.

Tips and Tricks to get the most out of your Ukraine holiday

Holidays to Ukraine

Here are some of our top tips that can come handy if it’s your first time in Ukraine.

  • Forgot something essential? You can always buy in the small underground shops.
  • Inside an orthodox church, it’s respectful to cover your head if you are a female and uncover it if you are a male.
  • You can’t use any other currency in Ukraine, so you’ll have to use ATMs where you can.
  • Carry proper documents while you’re here

If you go on backpacking tours often, then you may already have this wonderful destination on your list. But if you’re new to the whole spontaneous thing, then Ukraine is definitely the best place to start your journey. Fancy booking a last-minute trip? We’ve got fantastic flight deals available to book with Crystal Travel, simply give us a call and we’ll do the hard work for you.

Grab your bags!

A Backpacker’s Travel Guide To The Bahamas

Long gone is the era of well-crafted itineraries, today, travellers are all about spontaneous travel and impromptu plans – adding to the overall excitement. And why not?! We got in touch with a nomad who lives for the moment and spoke about their latest travels in the beautiful Bahamas…

Bahamas Beaches

Where to Stay

Enjoy your stay in Bahamas

The Bahamas is not exclusively cheap in terms of travel or living, but if you know where to look you’re in luck. There are a few islands that are somewhat untouched by the prying eyes of abundant tourists, but if you look hard enough, you can find accommodation here to be extremely cheap – plus you won’t have to fight for a space on the beach!

Such islands include Cat Island, Andros, Abaco, Long Island, Crooked Island and Inagua, where you can experience total R&R amid the Bahamian beauty. On these islands, you’ll find that seafood is fairly cheap – and of course delicious – helping you to keep your pockets fuller for longer. It’s worth noting however that if there’s a popular upcoming festival, the islands prices will shoot up in anticipation of partygoers visiting to celebrate – so it’s best to avoid these dates if you’re trying to travel on the cheap.

when to visit the bahamas

Best time to visit Bahamas

The best time of year to visit the Bahamas if you want to soak up the Caribbean sun, is between the months of November to April when the weather is pleasantly warm yet with less rain than the summer months. The average temperature is around 24°C, which is ideal if you want to explore without overheating!

What to do

Want to explore the island without spending a small fortune on attraction tickets and tours? We’ve rounded up some of the best things to see and do in the Bahamas, that won’t cost you so much as a penny.

Pristine Beaches

Pristine Beaches in Bahamas

The Bahamas is brimming with exotic white-sand beaches, so you’ll have your fair share of time spent on the sand. As a backpacker, you have total freedom and flexibility with regards to where you go and when, but we have a few favourite beaches we’re sure you won’t want to miss while you’re here. A few of these best public, free beaches include Cabbage beach, Cable Beach, Coco Plum beach, Lighthouse beach, Pink Sands beach, Jaws beach and beyond.

Queen’s Staircase

Queen’s Staircase in Bahamas

If you want a change of scenery beyond azure blue waters (we could personally stare at them for weeks on end!), then you need to visit Queen’s Staircase. This historical landmark in Nassau – the capital city of Bahamas – consists of 65 steps, carved out of solid limestone by slaves in the late 1700s. If you like history and culture, this attraction is free to visit – however you can hire someone if you wish to know more about the history of this place.

John Watling’s Distillery

JOHN WATLING’S DISTILLERY

If you fancy a tipple, take a free independent or guided tour of the John Watling’s Distillery. You’ll see barrels of rum lined up and discover the processes of rum making. There is a minimal charge for tasting their in-house rum, where the waiter explains the art of tasting and how to do it properly!

Port Lucaya Marketplace

PORT LUCAYA MARKETPLACE

It’s one of the top open-air marketplaces in Freeport, which you can visit while you are in the Bahamas. There are many opportunities for dining, entertainment and shopping within this bustling market; and in addition to local shops, there are boutiques too, which offer something different yet local. If you get tired of all the exploration, take a seat and unwind in the bars or diners within the market.

Dean’s Blue Hole

Dean’s Blue Hole

If you’re after a dive-in experience in paradise, you’ll find one at the Long Island area of the Bahamas. Dean’s Blue Hole is believed to be the deepest blue hole in the world, where the water plunges to a depth of 663 feet (202 metres) sure to test your adrenaline! Not into watersports? Lace up and go for a climb up one of the rugged cliffs, the effort will be worth it when you’re rewarded with breathtaking views at the top.

How to Explore

Explore Bahamas

Another way of living like a local on your Bahamas holidays is by using the local transportation. If you want to explore the roots of the place, interact with locals and join them on the public commute – you’ll soon get talking about the best places to visit unknown to tourists.

The cheapest and easiest modes of transport in the Bahamas are:

Jitney

This bus has a capacity of around 30 people, making it a spacious way to travel from A to B. However, these are not available on all of the islands, so be sure to check in advance.

Water Taxis

Water Taxis in Bahamas

The Bahamas houses around 700 islands, and taking the road can rack up some serious dough. There are plenty of ferries available with a variety of different routes – the prices vary depending on your destination, availability of seats and age.

Taxi

Taxi services in Bahamas

If you can’t flag down a Jitney, taxis are the next best way to travel if you’re not comfortable with driving in another country. The rates may vary but be careful as some journey costs may be fixed.

Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Bahamas Holiday

Holidays to Bahamas
  • Seafood is cheap and fresh, so you’ll want to indulge in local food at local eateries as much as you can.
  • Don’t get in a vehicle with strangers, especially at night time
  • You can camp at the beach if you don’t fancy renting accommodation.
  • If you want to explore nearby places, hire/buy a bike for a cheaper way to travel.
  • Travel off-season, avoid crowds and lap up the island’s natural beauty yourself!

Inspired by this carefree way of travelling? You can catch a last-minute flight to this Caribbean Isle for fantastic prices when you book with Crystal Travel. Explore our deals today and call to tailor your backpacking adventure…