Tag Archives: Vacation

Beach Resort vs Traditional Town: Where to Stay in Turkey?

Looking at a guide book of Turkey you might be tricked into believing that your only option for accommodation is in an upmarket resort or seaside town however Turkey is also has many small villages and traditional towns which lie inland from the Aegean and Mediterranean sea and offer a slightly more cultural experience. If you plan to visit some of Turkey’s many ancient ruins then one of your first choices may be between staying in Kusadasi, on the Aegean Sea, or in the mountain town of Selcuk, just 18 km inland.

Reasons to Stay in Kusadasi:

For Excellent Location…

Turkey 1

Kusadasi lies on the southwestern shores of Turkey’s Aegean sea, within an hours drive of Izmir’s international airport and just a stone’s throw from the Greek Island of Samos. This seaside resort has regular bus connections to sites and towns of interest along the coast including Bodrum, Fethiye, Pamukkale and Izmir and daily ferries to Samos. If you’re interested making daytrips then Kusadasi has an abundance of sites in the area, you might want to hop on a Jeep Safari to the Dilek National Park or take a bus to the shopping outlets at Soke. Agencies offer guided Ephesus tours or excursions to Didyma and Pamukkale on a daily basis so there’s no need to have your own transport if you choose stay in Kusadasi.

For the Beaches…

Kusadasi is one of the few coastal resorts to have a beach right in the centre of town, so if you choose to make this spend your vacation in this harbour you can be sure that it will only be a short stroll to white sand and transparent water. Aside from ‘Ladies Beach’ – don’t be fooled by the name because it is open to both men and women – on the outskirts of town are 4 privately owned beach clubs. If being served cocktails as you lounge on a shaded sunbed is you style you can head to any one of these. Alternatively take a national park bus to Guzelcamli and relax on the town’s more quiet and scenic beaches.

For the Nightlight…

Kusadasi is one of the top spots in Turkey for dining and nightlife, second only to the country’s party capital, Bodrum which lies further south on the Aegean coast. Start your evening with a glass of wine in an elegant rooftop restaurant as you watch the sunset over the sea. When you’re ready for dinner take advantage of the excellent Aegean cuisine, which will undoubtedly include fresh fish and sea foods. Then head to the Old Town to enjoy live music and quirky bars in the maze of streets before heading to the modern ‘Bar Street’ where you can party through the warm summer night until sunrise.

Reasons to Stay in Selcuk:

For a Little Ancient History…

Visit Turkey

Unlike its seaside neighbors Selcuk had retained much of its Ottoman architecture and examples of its Roman/Byzantine heritage. Just wondering about the town’s old streets you’re sure to notice the remaining pillars of an aqueduct which once supplied the town with clean water. Or you might notice the Byzantine fortress which sits upon a hill overlooking the town. Selcuk is also just 3 km from the 2nd largest city of the ancient world and UNESCO world heritage site of Ephesus. Walking through colossal theatre, well preserved library and marble pillar lined entrance way, far away from modern buildings and technologies, is sure to give you a feel for life over 2,000 years ago.

For Old Trains and Famous Caves…

While most of Selcuk’s visitors have come to for Ephesus Tours and other sites such as the Temple of Artemis, House of the Virgin Mary, St. Johns Basilica and Isa Beya Mosque, the town is also the host of some uniquely interesting sites. Even in the centre of the Old Town there is some exploring to do as one of the country’s first steam locomotives sits between the streets, waiting patiently as tourists and locals aboard for photos. Travelling further afield there is the Camlik Outdoor Museum and the mysterious Cave of the Seven Sleepers, where 7 young Christians hid from persecution and allegedly awoke from a deep slumber 180 years later.

For Family Guesthouses and Homemade Cuisine…

Much of the accommodation offered in Selcuk is in family run guesthouses, built into traditional Ottoman homes, each of which has its own story to tell and it’s own host to tell it. You will probably find yourself dining on a delicious Turkish buffet breakfast of olives, cheeses, fruits, pastries and homemade jams and benefiting from the local knowledge of your host. Far from the modern chain hotels that you would find in coastal resort towns, Selcuk accommodation give visitors the opportunity to experience real Turkish hospitality, taste homemade Turkish dishes and maybe even learn a few words of the local language.

So Where to Base Yourself?

Whether you choose to base your holiday in stylish beach resort or a tranquil mountain town you’re sure to find plenty to do, Selcuk and Kusadasi are actually close enough together that you can easily travel between the two. Stay in Selcuk and take a Ephesus to Samos day tour to visit the beach and Greek Island or check into a hotel in Kusadasi and take a day trip inland to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the village as well as the lively atmosphere and parties of a Turkish beach town.

Where to go for a Holiday out of the Ordinary

When you’ve become tired of working the daily 9-5, the best holiday to have is one that is completely out of the ordinary, so that when you do have to return to work, you’ve got incredible memories to fondly look back on, and to tide you over until your next holiday. Here are five great places where you can experience something new and different.


Live With Monks In Thailand

Living with monks in Thailand is a great way to slow down the pace of your life and finally lift off some of that stress that you have been carrying around for years.  There are several Buddhist temples in Thailand that allow you stay with monks and participate in daily activities with them.  It is a great way to learn about Buddhist meditation, Thai culture, and remove yourself televisions, computers, and cell phones.  You must show respect of their culture or you can be asked to leave.

Trekking In The Himalayas

The Himalayas are the home of the world’s tallest mountains and they are a fabulous for treks that will inspire you.  They are located in several different countries and you can start your trek in Nepal, India, Tibet, Bhutan, or Pakistan.  Everest is arguably the most famous of the peaks, and the tallest, and it can be reached from Nepal. You must be in peak condition to make these treks so make sure you do some training for at least three months in advance.

Hike The Great Wall Of China

Visiting Asia will provide you with many opportunities to try something new and unfamiliar. Hiking on the Great Wall of China is a great experience if you are looking for something out of the ordinary.  You can join tours or hire individual guides to help navigate the wall.  This is one of the most famous iconic landmarks and it is steeped in history.  You can expect to see a few original bricks stamped with the villages that put them in but a lot of the wall has been maintained over the years.

Go Gorilla Trekking

If you like the idea of going on a safari, but you also really enjoy being physically fit and active, then this is the perfect activity for you. Not only will you get to make friends with likeminded people in the group, but you can also get up close and personal with incredible gorillas. You will also be able to take photos of these incredible creatures, the sort of photos you just woudn’t be able to take in the zoo! This will truly be an experience that you will never forget!

Cruise Around Alaska

Alaska is a beautiful state in the US that cruise ships flock to each year. The Holland America Line provides an abundance of activities and entertainment, so you don’t have to worry about getting bored. If you want to see unspoilt nature on your vacation this is the trip of a lifetime. The coastline is beautiful and you can expect to see glaciers, the beautiful Inside Passage, and spot wildlife like seals, dolphins, or killer whales.  Juneau, Anchorage, and Skagway are three of the most popular stops for day excursions.  Denali Park is a 6 million acre nature preserve and a great place to view unspoiled nature.  You can take helicopter rides over the park or spend a few days exploring it.

Take A River Cruise In Russia

Taking a river cruise from St Petersburg to Moscow is a great way to do something out of the ordinary on your time off.  In St. Petersburg you can visit The Hermitage to see countless works of priceless art.  You should also make time to check out the stunning architecture of Church on Spilled Blood.  The Mariinsky Theatre is a great place to catch a ballet, or an opera, and you can check out the world class performers that Russia is famous for.  The cruise ship will cruise down the river between St. Petersburg glide past ancient cities and beautiful natural scenery.  When you reach Moscow be sure to check out the Kremlin and the Red Square and immerse yourself in the culture of this fascinating country.

Amazing Locations for a Big Family Holiday

What could be more fun than getting the whole clan together for an exciting family holiday? It is a great way to relax and unwind together, rehash old memories and create new ones. There are many amazing locations for a big holiday and you can all share one large property or rent several smaller places that are close together.



You can easily rent a castle in Scotland that will sleep more than 20 people. You can live like royalty during your vacation and try things that the kings used to do like archery and falconry, or you can simply wander through your estate. The castles are equipped with all of the modern amenities and you can get them with staff, or you can hire caterers. Some of the castles even have small golf courses on the grounds so you can practice your swing in your own backyard.

The Algarve

The family-friendly Algarve in Portugal is a fascinating place and there are plenty of exciting activities for families to do together. Zoomarine is an exciting place for people of all ages. It has rides, pools, slides and shows to keep everyone happy. There is a dolphin interaction programme, and you can see other wildlife presentations as well. Hit the beautiful beaches for some swimming and a lovely picnic.  The Fiesa Sand Sculpture Festival takes place annually from May to October and the impressive sculptures will inspire everyone. Take a boat trip and explore the exciting coast that is filled with grottoes and caves.



Crete is the largest island in Greece and it is a fabulous place to rent a villa with your own private pool. You can head to the beach during the day for some snorkelling or simply sit in the sun and people watch. Crete’s wine is world famous and there are more than two dozen wineries that you can visit. Be sure to visit the Heraklion Archaeological Museum and see the jewellery, sarcophagi, pottery, and many other treasures that this museum has to offer.


Yorkshire, England is a fabulous place for a family adventure. Head to the Yorkshire Dales National Park where you can wander through pleasant green meadows and quaint villages. Head to the Studley Royal estate and visit the stunning water gardens and the beautiful ruins of the Fountains Abbey. There are plenty of walking trails and it is a great place to get some fresh air. There is a whole variety of group accomodation, during the summer you could camp, or stay in a bunkhouse barn. If you are looking for something a little more luxurious you could stay in a large holiday home.  There is also plenty to do on a rainy day; the National Children’s Museum, Eureka, is always a family favourite.


France is a great country for a family holiday and there are so many things that you can do. You can try cycling tours in Brittany, Normandy, Chablis, Burgundy, Champagne & Alsace, Dordogne, Bordeaux, French Pyrenees, Provence, Loire Valley, or the French Riviera. Cycling is a great way for the family to bond and creates plenty of exciting stories to rehash. You could take a Seine River Cruise and relax in style on a boat. Or you could stay in Paris and do daytrips like Disney World, Versailles, or the magical island village of Mont St-Michel.

Is It Time for a Vacation?


If the time has come for you to get away from the daily stresses that life can bring with it, where do you plan on going?

For many people looking for a little R&R, getting some time off can be the biggest challenge.

In a world today where millions of people are working extra hours, oftentimes for less pay than they may have made in the past, it can seem almost too difficult to work in some vacation time.

That said are you still determined to enjoy some vacation time before the year ends or at some point in 2017? If so put your thinking cap on now as to when and where.

Determine How Best to Plan Time Away

So that you can make your vacation as enjoyable as possible, remember these pointers:

  • Where are you going? – First and foremost, coming up with a destination or destinations is where you kick things off. Are you looking to stay closer to home or visit one or more foreign countries? If the choice is the latter, you certainly have myriad of selections to choose from. Whether those choices include you looking to find vacation packages to Brazil, heading to parts of Europe on hiking excursions, or possibly even taking a tour of some remote island or islands, zero-in on the location. From there, you can then break down prices as far as transportation (see more below), where to stay, what to do for entertainment etc.
  • Getting there – One of the bigger challenges you might find in front of you is how to get to your vacation destination or destinations. That said take the time to do some research on airlines, cruise ships, trains etc. Once you’ve done that, you will be better positioned to ultimately determine your mode or modes of transportation.
  • Where are you staying? Depending on your finances and how much you want to spend on accommodations, come to decisions on where to stay during your vacation. If you are looking to impress (or just live it up on your own), some nicer hotels and/or resorts would be your choices. If, however, you want to save some green, you can scale back and find hotels that are not only less expensive, but may even be closer to what you want to do and see. Keep in mind (just like airfares) that hotel and/or resort prices tend to fluctuate with the time of the year.

Will It Be an Active or Relaxing Vacation?

  • Activities or relaxation? – One of the notable choices you need to make when going on a vacation is what to do. Will it be a trip of exploring various neighborhoods, cultural exhibits and events, perhaps even getting truly active with hiking, zip-lining and more? On the other hand, will it be a vacation more conducive to lounging on a hammock or beach chair, kicking your shoes off in the sand, ending it all with a cold drink? In the best-case scenario, you mix things up, giving you a nice variety of seeing sites and still recharging your battery.
  • Planning for the next one – Once this vacation is in the record books, how soon until you figure on taking another one? While it might seem like rushing things, taking the time to think about the next vacation is good on several fronts. Most notably, you can already start saving up money, allowing that trip to be a little more stress-free where it concerns finances. You can also be better prepared in knowing maybe where you overspent on the most recent vacation, being a little more careful next time around.

Only you will typically know if the time is right for a vacation.

Whether you’ve been burning the midnight oil with work or school (perhaps both), the time will come when you need a recharge.

In doing so, make the most of your plans so that you can relax once you get to your destination.

So, where will you be taking your next vacation?