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The Best Places to Explore on an Adventure Holiday to Cuba



Vibrant buildings, a rich history and pulsing salsa rhythms blasting through the streets, there’s no doubt Cuba is one of the most exciting places in the world to enjoy an adventure holiday. But, with so much to discover and experience it can be hard to choose the best places to explore. From the buzz of driving a sultry Cadillac through the busy Havana streets, to the bliss of swimming in crystal clear waters and strolling along powder white sand beaches, here’s the best places to explore in Cuba:

Is Dubrovnik In Croatia Really Worth The Hype?



It's hard to believe how much Dubrovnik has changed over the years. As recently as in 1991, it suffered an enormous damage during the horrific war in the Balkans - at that time it would have been the last place on Earth you would have thought of visiting. Today, not even 30 years after those dramatic events, the city has regained its grandeur - Dubrovnik is one of the most popular walled cities in the world, especially within the past few years when it has been featured in the extremely popular "Game of Thrones". But what can you expect from visiting it? Is it really as spectacular as in the famous show?

The Best Hike In Polish Tatra Mountains - Trail To Dolina Gasienicowa, Zawrat And Swinica Peak



Many of the visitors coming to southern Poland and Krakow region end up in Zakopane - the little town located at the foot of the Tatra Mountains. Some hike (or take a horse cart ride) up the easy and quite boring trail to the most famous landmark in Polish mountains - Morskie Oko lake which is undoubtedly picturesque and beautiful, but so overcrowded that it can get really irritating.

In this post, I'll try to encourage you to leave Morskie Oko behind and venture into the real, wild beauty of the area. As usual, the most attractive and stunning views are awaiting those who are brave enough to take a risk and explore something beyond the beaten path. I've already described the trek to Dolina Pieciu Stawow which is way nicer than the one to Morskie Oko and now it's time to write about my favorite trail in the Tatras - to Swinica peak via the less known Dolina Gasienicowa (Gasienicowa Valley) and Zawrat saddle. This trail features not one but several crystal clear lakes of different shapes and colors, spectacular views - incomparable with those on the way to Morskie Oko and it's perfect for those who love adventure and adrenaline rush!

From Johannesburg To Lesotho - Malealea Lodge And Pony Trekking



Having spent a day in controversial Johannesburg, we decided to use the final 3 days of our journey for venturing into the unknown kingdom of Lesotho which is entirely surrounded by South Africa. Although located literally within such a popular destination, Lesotho remains a black spot on the tourist map of the world. And, for us, that was a good reason why we wanted to see it. From our experience, usually, the less visited and less popular the place is, the more excitement of discovering its authentic and unique culture awaits for the visitors - still unspoiled by cheap souvenir stands and hordes of tourists. It was the case with places like Kazakhstan, Turkemnistan or Albania. And after all, we hadn't been mistaken about Lesotho either - it turned out to be an amazing, beautiful and inspiring country.

Ancient Cave Towns of Cappadocia, Turkey



The unique and beautiful region of Cappadocia in Turkey is known for its original rock formations, balloon flights and cave towns where people have lived for millennia. The soft sandstone made it easy for the locals to carve out caves large enough to create their own homes inside. Some of the ancient settlements are located in cliff walls, others in the mountains and some are even composed of a complex network of underground tunnels resembling a termite mound! In this post I'll describe the most spectacular as well as easy to reach ancient cave towns that we visited near Goreme - don't miss them while exploring the region!

Antibes, France - Lesser Known French Riviera, Part 1



A few months ago we had a chance to visit the famous all over the world French Riviera. I usually prefer way more off the beaten path places (like my favorite Balkans or Caucasus) but the winter sale of airplane tickets to Nice (I'll also share my thoughts on Nice soon) was so tempting that only a fool wouldn't have taken advantage of it. Also, the winter was coming to an end and the only way to escape the cold, grey and gloomy landscapes of Northern Europe was to head south. During the few days along the French Riviera, we decided to skip the most popular cities - Cannes and St. Tropez and look for something more quiet, local and charming. We came across the little, beautiful towns of Antibes and Eze. In this part I'll show you Antibes and in the second, the magnificent Eze - a hill town which was my favorite in the entire French Riviera.



How to get to Antibes



Although the French Riviera is pretty expensive, the public transport is just amazing and affordable. There are multipe buses and trains daily that run from the center of the region - Nice, both south towards Cannes and north to Monaco. To reach Antibes, you have to head south. The bus 200 costs less than 2 EUR/2.50 USD! The journey takes over 1 hour. If you want to save time, you can catch a train which is a bit more expensive.



What to see in Antibes



Old town



The old town in Antibes is located around a 15 minute walk from the station. It's absolutely lovely - old-style, stone houses, red roof tiles, resembles a lot the Croatian seaside villages. I just loved it! And, visiting it in winter felt as if we had just discovered a hidden little place that no one knows about. I know it's hard to believe, but there were virtually zero tourists in Antibes during our stay.

The best thing about Antibes is the fact that you can admire both: the amazing, snowy peaks of the Alps in the background and the contrasting, blue Mediterranean Sea. Apart from that, Antibes has everything a little, charming village needs to have: ancient defensive walls, old churches (Church of the Immaculate Conception), beautiful, tiny streets, cozy restaurants and cafes and above all that - the Picasso Museum!

Antibes also has beaches, however they are not as beautiful as in Nice or Eze. The water doesn't have this strong azure color. They are not bad, just OK. The only "bad" thing about Antibes old town is that it's very, very small. You can walk around it within a few hours. Nevertheless, it's perfect for a half-day from Nice!



The port



The port in Antibes has been used since antiquity and it's surrounded by huge defensive walls (Bastion St-Jaume). Now, it's a harbor dedicated for world's most luxurious yachts and boats where the richest of this world keep their expensive toys. Nevertheless, when we were there, we didn't have such feeling at all - maybe if you're visiting Antibes in the summer or look more closely, you can see that the place is so over the top. During our stay, it looked like a normal, little, local sea village.



Nomade monument



I am a fan of original, unique things. Antibes has the amazing sculpture called "Nomade" which is around 10 meters (30 ft.) high. It's entirely composed of the Latin alphabet letters. Some of the braver kids were climbing up the monument up to the very top. It looked very interesting. If you like such original monuments and sculptures, have a look at my article about Batumi which boasts the moving monument of love (the only moving monument I've ever seen).


Along the promenade
Winter flowers
Houses in Antibes
Houses in Antibes
Antibes old town
Old street in Antibes
Old street in Antibes
Antibes
Antibes
Antibes and the Alps
Church of the Immaculate Conception
Antibes
Antibes
Picasso Museum
Antibes
Antibes
Antibes
Antibes
The sea and the mountains
The port
The port
The "Nomade" scuplture
Bastion St-Jaume



Short visit in Cannes



Cannes is very close to Antibes, and before leaving the French Riviera (the airport is on the way back to Nice from Cannes and Antibes), we decided to get a glimpse of the famous city. We spent there only an hour or so and were quite unimpressed. The famous building where the festival is held is really nothing special and the whole city has the stuck up atmosphere, even more than Monaco (which I've described here). If you like authentic, sincere places rather than plastic and full of pretentious people, choose the smaller villages rather than Cannes. We were so happy we did!



See also



Eze



Eze


In the second part, I will write about my favorite town in the French Riviera - Eze. If you're planning to see Nice, don't skip Eze! It's beautifully perched on a hill and overlooks amazing beaches and the azure coast of the world's most famous riviera. It has a unique garden full of cactuses and other succulents which, together with the sea, offers spectacular and pretty unique views. Not to mention the little streets and stone buildings. It's way less known than other towns and so amazing for a day visit!


Tip: To browse photos in a high quality gallery, click on the first photo.


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What to See in Zadar - Less Known Croatia
Batumi, Georgia - Mini Las Vegas of the Black Sea
Lake Orhid - Macedonia's Best Summer Spot
Herceg Novi - Beautiful Coastal Town in the Bay of Kotor
Valletta - What to See in Malta's Golden Capital
One Day in Monaco - Is it Really Worth a Visit?
Algarve in Portugal - Where Europe Comes to an End
Majorca (Mallorca), Spain - Beyond the Beaches and Resorts


Travel Guide to Macau



A combination of a fascinating history and stellar casinos have made the Chinese territory of Macau one of the world’s premier tourist destinations for those seeking both culture and entertainment in equal measure. With tourism in Macau booming and looking set to continue doing so, we take a look at some of the top things to do there.



Casinos 



You can’t really discuss Macau without mentioning casinos. The territory is the world’s largest gambling centre, far surpassing second place Las Vegas. The scale of Macau’s casino scene is unlikely to hit home until you hit the Cotai Strip where the majority of the territories casinos are located. The pick of the casinos is the City of Dreams where you’ll find tables to suit all markets, from minimum spends of HK$0.05 right up to HK$5,000. Not only will visitors find a whole host of table games and slots in the City of Dreams, they’ll also discover out of this world shows such as The House of Dancing Water.



A-Ma Temple 



Away from the bright lights of Macau’s casino district you can find the serene A-Ma Temple. First built in 1488 during the Ming Dynasty, the temple is the oldest in the Macau. The temple is made up of six parts, each of which contains what can only be described as simply stunning examples of classical Chinese architecture. Not only does the temple provide visitors with man-made beauty, its location affords mesmerising views out across Macau and the peninsula. The A-Ma temple is free for all ages is open from 7am – 6pm.



Macau Tower 



While A-Ma temple is a shining example of classical Chinese architecture, Macau Tower, located over on the other side of the lake represents the more modern side of Macau. Completed in 2001, Macau Tower stands at an impressive1,108 ft., making it comfortably the tallest building Macau. The top floor of the tower is located 731 ft. up the tower and is home to an observation deck the offers incredible 360-degree panoramic views out over Macau. Tickets to the observation deck cost roughly £11. You can do a lot more than just admire the view though, if you dare. Why not follow in the footsteps of Jack ‘Adrenaline Junkie’ Osbourne and bungee jump off the top of the tower.



Ruins of the Church of St Paul 



The Ruins of the Church of St Paul is one of Macau’s best and most visited tourist attractions. Built in the 17th Century as a Jesuit church, a fire in 1835 destroyed the bulk of building, leaving only the front and staircase standing. Nevertheless though, the Church of St Paul has gone on to become one of the most recognisable structures in the whole of Macau. The ruins are located in Senado Square and are free for all visitors.

With a host of landmarks and activities it’s clear to see why Macau is becoming a tourist hotspot for culture vultures and fun seekers alike.

This is a sponsored post.
Image source: Pixabay.



10 Best Summer Destinations You've Never Heard Of



I just came across a tripadvisor article about the most popular summer destinations. Again and again, the same places are being featured mercilessly: Paris, Las Vegas, Miami etc. This makes me think, is there no sense of wonder in us anymore? Do we just blindly follow the masses to stay in the fenced resorts or overcrowded cities just because they are trendy?

Based on my own amazing travel experiences, I have prepared a list of 10 unique summer destinations that possess everything in order to offer a great vacation: the sea, beach, amazing cuisine and local traditions. They are 100% authentic, beautiful and perfectly safe yet have little or virtually zero exposure in the media. Why is that? Probably not enough western corporations.

I'd love to inspire you so you could open your eyes, see the world beyond what's in the media, set out on a great, adventurous journey, surprise yourself and enjoy discovering a new, different world you probably didn't know exists!

Fogo, Cape Verde - What To See And How To Get Around



Despite of the increasing popularity of the Sal island among European tourists, the other islands of the Cape Verde archipelago are pretty much unknown to an ordinary traveler. Although Sal is packed with resorts as well as fancy hotels and resembles a typical, ordinary beach destination, Fogo remains quiet, idyllic and perfect for those who love different, off the beaten path places. Not to mention its moon-like landscapes formed by the very recent eruption in 2014 of the volcanic peak overlooking the island. Fogo was by far my favorite island of Cape Verde.

The Best Beaches in Albania - Jala and Gjipe - Albanian Riviera, Part 2



Traveling along the wild Albanian coast, after visiting tropical looking, white sand beaches at Ksamil, old town Himare and the surrounding seaside, I thought it just couldn't get better. Then, we went to see the two beaches a few miles north from Himare - Jala and Gjipe, hidden in picturesque coves and surrounded by the spectacular canyon. The color of water was so unusually clear and the scenery so exotic that this spot could easily pass off as tropical heaven. Why is such a place still virtually unknown despite being right in the middle of Europe, is a mystery to me. But it's a good thing! You can feel as if it's your own, private paradise. And, if you want to still see it this way, hurry up, as unfortunately there has been some new development around - soon it may become as crowded as Albania's famous neighbors - Croatia, Italy and Greece.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - How To Have A Fun And Safe Trip



There’s no other place like Rio de Janeiro in the world. It’s stunning sunset and ‘samba’ ambiance until dawn are exactly why travellers worldwide keep visiting it year after year. The Rio Carnival itself attracts millions of tourists worldwide, just to experience this one-of-a-kind street party. In fact, the 2015 Rio Carnival was able to welcome as much as 977,000 tourists, while ‘blocos’ or free street parties had a combined attendance of more than 4.7 million last year.

Who wouldn’t fall in love with this paradise? But, even with its lively and vibrant day and night life, Rio de Janeiro is plagued with plenty of crimes and scams that are also apparent in other parts of Brazil. Here’s how to survive Rio safely while continuously enjoying your trip in this party capital of the world:

On The Island of Zakynthos, Greece - Beyond The Paradise Beaches



Although Zakynthos villages don't have the spectacular architecture of Santorini or Mykonos (I'll describe them soon), it is quite nice if you want to explore the off the beaten path, local sites. In this article, I'll describe all the places to see on the island of Zakynthos, besides the coast and beaches. To get a bit deeper inland, you'll need to either drive around or take a tour. A tour is a good and cheap option as you'll also find out about the history of the island and its people.

We took a tour called "Back to the roots", however, to be honest, our primary goal was not the interior of the island but to be able to see the view of the most beautiful beach in the world (at least among the beaches I've seen) - the Shipwreck beach from the top of the cliff. Only this tour offered a stop at the viewing platform, all the others went straight to the beach by boat where there's no way to admire that exceptional bird's eye panorama.

Johannesburg - Safety, Crime And Contrast In South Africa's Largest City



Johannesburg, the biggest city in South Africa has its share of bad reputation and, comparing to the extremely famous and attractive Cape Town, receives relatively low numbers of tourists. We would have probably skipped it too if it hadn't been for the super cheap last-minute flights from Europe (500 EUR return!). Johannesburg is nothing like Cape Town - there's no beach, no mountains, no architecture that could stand out, it's a very new city (a bit over a century old) and only looks nice seen from afar. If you come closer, the filth, poverty and chaos prevail in the streets. On the other hand, Johannesburg is an interesting point in the turbulent, recent history. It's the city of gold and the birthday place of Nelson Mandela. And, what most of the visitors come here for - it's a great gateway to the beautiful wild game reserves, natural wonders and... Lesotho - the little, forgotten country completely surrounded by South Africa.

Istanbul, Turkey - Beautiful But Disappointing (And Is It Safe To Visit?)



Some cities are so famous and we expect so much from them that when we finally arrive, after the initial moment of joy, the other, less pleasant phase of disappointment comes over us. Yes, the monuments are stunning, the food is good, the weather is perfect, but there is something missing. And it's hard to explain what. On the other hand, there are places pretty ugly, chaotic or completely unknown - we don't even know what to think - and we fall in love with them. That was the case for me with Tbilisi in Georgia, Prishtina in Kosovo or Kiev in Ukraine - although virtually non existent on the tourist world map, they enchanted me beyond imagination. Istanbul, in turn, was the place I had always dreamed of visiting and in the end, although I enjoyed it, I felt that thing that there's something missing. You will surely find the photos in this post absolutely stunning and you might think that what I say is silly. But I'll try my best to explain my point of view below.

Chernobyl, Ukraine - 30 Years After The Disaster



Chernobyl in Eastern Ukraine is one of the most infamous places on Earth. It used to be a normal, ordinary town, no different from thousands of others in the Soviet Union. It was quiet, peaceful, had its own theater, cinema and amusement park. People lived their life according to a daily routine until the 26th of April, 1986. In the middle of the night, a disastrous explosion shook Chernobyl. Reactor number 4 failed and ejected radioactive particles high up into the atmosphere. With the clouds and wind, the fallout was subsequently spread all over Europe, reaching as far as Scandinavia. Chernobyl and the surrounding area were evacuated virtually overnight. Only recently more and more people have started to return to their old homes. Three decades after the disaster, I visited Chernobyl and in this post I'll show you the way it is now.

One Day In Monaco - Is It Really Worth A Visit?



If one excludes the Vatican City, Monaco is the smallest country in the world. It's a popular tourist destination due to its proximity to the French Riviera and tax free status. It's also the place where the rich and famous come - full of luxurious hotels, resorts and casinos. It could be compared to Las Vegas or Dubai, however, on a much smaller scale - the whole area of Monaco is only 2 square km (less than 1 mile)!

Monaco was never a destination I dreamed to visit. Nevertheless, we got a great deal - extremely cheap flights to Nice in winter, so why not also see the surrounding towns (and a completely different country)? On the way from Nice, we stopped in a spectacularly beautiful, although lesser known town of Eze perched on a steep, rocky cliff overlooking the incredible coast, then we continued on to Monaco itself.

Ljubljana - Why The Capital City Was The Most Disappointing Place in Slovenia



The title of this post is a bit tricky - it doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy my time in Ljubljana or that it's an ugly city. I chose this title to be somewhat controversial because this is what attracts people nowadays. In reality, it's the opposite - Ljubljana isn't too big, it's pretty, with little winding streets and for me, has the same charm as Bratislava or Riga. However, Ljubljana was our last stop in Slovenia and after visiting such wonders as Piran and Koper with red roofs and Mediterranean coast, Soca river (which was so clear that it seemed just unreal) flowing through white gorges, spectacular Slovenian Alps, magnificent lake Bled with the famous island in the middle, nearby Vintgar Gorge, lake Bohinj - shores of which resembled tropical seas, the medieval Predjama castle built into the cave and Postojna cave - one of Europe's largest, Ljubljana appeared so bleak and ordinary.

Pompeii, Italy - World's Best Preserved Ancient Site



Pompeii is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. It's been featured in numerous Hollywood productions and is a symbol of the sophisticated life in ancient Rome. The tragic fate following the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD made this beautiful seaside town cease to exist overnight. The ashes of the volcano sealed and protected the streets with houses of Pompeii from invaders and atmospheric conditions for centuries to come. Excaveted as late as in the 18th century, the perfectly well preserved statues, frescoes, shops and streets have revealed how advanced the ancient Romans were. Pompeii became a literal time capsule.

10 Things To Do At Night While Traveling In Europe



Europe is one of the most diverse and truly inspiring continents on our planet. The number of cultures and languages that collided and mixed with one another is astonishing. What's more, different climate zones allow you to experience various natural landscapes within relatively close distances. Additionally, after the sunset the old continent is getting even more exciting! In this article, I want to present 10 things you can do and see while traveling in Europe at night. Apart from those obvious ones (like enjoying beer in pubs and clubbing), I would also like to open the door for you to the unknown parts of Europe which you can rarely find in tourist guides - head a little more to the East, and a different, colorful, exciting and undiscovered world will unveil itself in front of you!

The cover photo, from top left: Port Hercule, Monaco; Batumi at night; Skopje in Macedonia and northern lights in Iceland.

Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Poland - Lesson Never Learnt



This article will probably be a bit off topic but I felt a need to write it after a visit in one of the world's most infamous sites. Auschwitz Concentration Camp in southern Poland has recently become one of the most visited tourist attraction in the Krakow region. However, in my opinion, it should never be perceived as one. The site of incomparable genocide that was committed by the Nazis during the second world war should be seen only if you fully understand what really happened there and what consequences it entailed for those involved in those horrific events.

The south of Poland offers many beautiful (although typically unheard of) natural and architectural wonders (besides Krakow): Wieliczka Salt Mine, the town of Zakopane and Tatra Mountains with emerald lakes and numerous mountainous trails and shelters. If you're not ready to face one of the most horrible places on Earth which Auschwitz undoubtedly is - choose the surprising and unspoiled Polish countryside instead. However, if you're open minded and willing to learn something, do go and see Auschwitz, but do some research and prepare yourself before the visit.