spa holidays in the UK

Relax and Enjoy These UK Spa Destinations

A spa holiday is one way of freeing yourself from stress but once you see your bill for a three-day relaxation and treatments, you might feel stressed again. This does not mean you cannot spend time in a spa if you are not rolling in money. It is just a matter of finding the most affordable place. Here are the most affordable spa places in Europe.

Bedruthan Steps Hotel

Located in Mawgan Porth, North Cornwall, this is where luxury and good value always come together. This place is ideal for people looking to have the best spa vacation at a price that they can easily afford. The Ocean’s Spa overlooks the Atlantic, The Ocean’s Spa is for adults only. It has a thermal pool where you can soak and feel relaxed afterward. You can enjoy a 70-minute massage from a former therapist of Chiva-Som for a super low price of £60. A three-night spa break can cost around £300, which is a great bargain since it includes breakfast and dinner.

Wellesley Park, Wells, Somerset

The five cottages in the property used to be farm building. They were converted into cottages that can easily accommodate a whole family.  Children will love the 200-acre of pasture and woodland and the lake where they can go fishing. The newly completed spa has a whirlpool, heated indoor pool, sauna, steam room, and treatment room.

A family of four can enjoy a week of relaxation, treatments, and fun for only £575. You will have to prepare your meals but if you want to have a day off from cooking, you can hire a local chef to prepare food for your family.

Tuckenhay Mill, Totnes, Devon

This property is composed of a hamlet with several cottages that can sleep two to eight guests. There is a badminton and tennis court, snooker room and play areas for the children. Adults can work out in the gym or relax in the indoor Roman and waterfall pools, sauna, steam room, and Jacuzzi.

A cottage that sleeps two people costs £259 for seven nights, which is a great bargain indeed.

Telowarren, The Lizard, Cornwall

This is a 1,000-acre property dotted with eco-friendly and decorated cottages. Guests can prepare their food on wood-burning stoves. There is also a restaurant on site for those who prefer to eat out. There are two heated pools, a gym, a spa, and a tennis court. It has an impressive garden that has just been completed.

A two-bedroom cottage costs £595 a week and £350 for a short stay of three nights.

The Lodge at Ickworth, Horringer, Suffolk

This place offers apartments on the grounds of the Ickworth Hotel. The units can sleep up to seven people. It has a garden, a trampoline and play area for the kids, and bikes for rent for those who would love to explore the area. It has a spa where adults can relax and enjoy a stress-free vacation. Price per night is from £95 during the low season and £175 per night during the peak season.

Pamper yourself with a relaxing day in the spa as your children spend an exciting day in the property’s child-friendly grounds in these affordable holiday destinations.

Petra, Jordan, Middle East

10 Must-See Travel Destinations in the Middle East

Sandy dunes spanning across the wide horizons, warm breezes that fill your soul, and natural formations replete with aesthetic and cultural values – the Middle East couldn’t get any more beautiful than it already is. Indeed, there is beauty all over this sunny region that the world has to explore. As a tourist you can explore the wonders of this magical region. For more detailed information visit Lonely Planet’s Middle East guide. In the meantime, below are the ten must-see travel destinations in the Middle East.

1. Dome of the Rock

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Dome of the Rock remains to be one of the most recognizable landmarks of Jerusalem, visited by tourists all over the world. It is located in the heart of Jerusalem, particularly at Haram Al-Sharif. The shrine boasts of an astounding Islamic architecture, including its spectacular golden dome and intricately beautiful tile works, patterned after the Byzantine style during the 7th century. This Islamic masterwork houses the Foundation Stone, an artifact deemed holy and valuable by the Jews and Muslims.

2. Khawr Al Udayd

Who says you can’t go for a nice swim in the Middle East? Khawr Al Udayd, sometimes spelled as Khor Al Udaid, is Qatar’s very own sensational desert which lazily stretches and borders a magnificent crystal-clear beach. In the morning, the water advances on to the desert which gives that exotic resort ambiance, and at night, the sea recedes, unveiling once again the beautiful desert. This changing scenery further adds to the beauty of the beach.

3. Hurghada

If you love windsurfing, Hurghada is perfect for that. Witness the turquoise waters and the beautiful coral reefs right before your very eyes. Hurghada is a busy town and you can easily go to Eastern Arab Desert and Giftun Islands as you visit the place. Tourists flock in this place because of the beach escape.

4. Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv thrives in beaches, music, young professionals, arts, bars, clubs and gay life. This place is a modern metropolis and is known as the White City. In fact, the architecture in the city has been UNESCO-designated. Catch cabs, drive or walk to experience the beautiful and historic place of Tel Aviv.

5. Luxor

Experience the exciting city life in Luxor, Egypt, branded as the world’s greatest open-air museum, where the hot-air balloons and casinos are among the many splendid sights you will see. You will not only enjoy magnificent ancient sculptures, but also the modern vibe of the place.

6. Cairo

If you’re a lover of purely ancient cities, then don’t miss the chance to visit Cairo. It is one of the biggest and most modern cities in the Middle East. This city is a spending location to explore the culture and history of Egypt.

7. Petra

Famous for its rock-cut architecture, Petra is part of the prestigious 2007 New 7 Wonders of the World. This stunning southwestern desert in Jordan houses the famous Al Khazneh temple and many other archaeological and historical sites.

8. Dead Sea

The intense heat in the Middle East sometimes makes you long for a long, breezy atmosphere. The Dead Sea is that one place you must go to. Bordered by Palestine, Jordan, and Israel, this salt lake gives you that scenic view, calming vibe and quiet space in the Middle East. You will even enjoy the salt formations gorgeously and naturally formed all throughout the years.

9. Dubai

If your agenda is to shop until you drop, surely Dubai suits you. The place is a mixture of top-notch shopping centers, historical sites, adventure parks, and other entertainment centers. This bustling city is considered the business hub of UAE. Many tourists enjoy the one-of-a-kind desert dunes adventure and underwater hotel in Dubai, so make sure you don’t miss out the fun.

10. Istanbul, Turkey

Of course, who would forget Istanbul? Its history is as colorful and elaborate as its Ottoman – and Byzantine-inspired structures. Visit the Topkapi Palace, the museum Hagia Sophia, the iconic blue mosque Sultan Ahmed, the colorful labyrinth Grand Bazaar, the 67-meter high tower Galata Tower, and many other sites.

Traveling in the Middle East surely suits everyone. The place offers various destinations for your different travel needs.

tropical beach vacation

Top 10 Best Beaches in the World

Year in and year out, millions of people all over the world head to their favorite beaches for some relaxing time, superb fun, and wonderful memories in the surf, sand, and sun to be created. You don’t have to go very far because one of the top 10 best beaches in the world might just happen to be a few miles from home. So, take out your holiday planner and start jotting down notes to beach experience of a lifetime.

1. Honokalani Beach, Hawaii

If you’re into beach and nature photography, this is your paradise. Located in the island of Maui, Honokalani boasts of an unusual geographic feature. Instead of sand, you get miniature lava pebbles forming its signature jet-black shore and washed by its lapis lazuli waters.

2. El Nido Beach, Palawan

With 50 different pure white sandy beaches, it’s virtually impossible to pick just one. Many international beachgoers pack to this remote Philippine island and marvel at the limestone formations that guard its beaches. The crystal clear blue waters make the Caribbean look murky. Wait ‘til the sun sets and everything is almost magical.

3. Reduit Beach, St. Lucia

It’s designed by nature to be the perfect getaway for beachgoers who prefer some privacy without having to sacrifice its authentic beach experience. Reduit is just 10 minutes to the south of the Pigeon Island National Park and is perfect for Caribbean relaxation.

4. Palm Beach, Aruba

For those who want to enjoy the beach during the day and splurge on some decadent entertainment at night, the 2-mile strip of sand on Aruba’s northwest is the place to go.

5. Matira Beach, Bora Bora

Situated in the South Pacific, this famous silky, powdery white sandy strip in Tahiti, gently slopes down into an emerald lagoon. You don’t even need to pay 5-star resort prices since the beach is a public-access one.

6. Treasure Beach, Jamaica

Perfect for snorkelers and swimmers, Treasure Beach boasts of 6 miles of sandy coasts that are actually divided into several coves. If you’re tired of the waters, then you can always head to the local community comprised of artists and writers for a cultural journey.

7. Dreamland Beach, Bali

This Indonesian beach is very popular especially among Australian tourists primarily because of its proximity to the island-continent. It’s considered the top destination for surfing made possible by its excellent shore breaks.

8. La Concha Beach, Spain

It may not have white sands to boast but this Spanish beach in Donostia makes for a very romantic beachwalk for couples and lovers everywhere.

9. Elafonissi Beach, Greece

The calm waters of the Mediterranean has always drawn large numbers of beachgoers. You can always rely on a calm sea with intense light blue waters and sand that takes on a pinkish hue.

10. Anse Lazio, Seychelles

Located on Praslin Island, Anse Lazio boasts of picture-perfect beaches washed by warm, crystal clear waters, and provided with powdery white sand for its blanket amidst a backdrop of greens.

Every region on the planet has its own spectacular beach. These are just 10 of them.

mountain view with backpacker

The Most Spectacular Mountains in the World to Visit

Forget about Mt. Everest for now and check out these ten most spectacular mountains in the world. We’re not saying Mt. Everest isn’t, but with so many peaks to choose from, why would you want to limit it to the most famous?

The Matterhorn, Switzerland

Without a doubt, The Matterhorn is among the most recognizable peaks in the world. It’s ultra-sharp profile complete with chiseled ridges make it look more like a gigantic stepped pyramid. It’s your stairway to heaven, so to speak. While it may look gentle enough, the unpredictable and often stormy weather make the Matterhorn a real challenge to conquer.

Denali, Alaska

Need a snow-covered leviathan? Then the 20,300-foot Denali is the answer. It has a very imposing profile and a size that would make you think part of the Himalayas is already in this part of the US. It’s like having the Gods of Olympus looking down on you.

Tre Cime Di Lavaredo, Italy

Considered an oddball in this list are the three peaks that jut from the earth’s surface and sticking straight up in the clear blue Italian sky. They resemble monuments or towers making them the subject of awe and inspiration from many nature lovers and geologists alike.

Mount Fuji, Japan

Known for its grace and majestic appearance, especially when framed with cherry blossoms in full bloom in the foreground, Mount Fuji is easily one of the world’s most recognizable and perhaps most famous mountains. Set on a relatively flat landscape, it stands majestically reaching for the heavens.

Huayna Picchu, Peru

First of all, it is a mountain. Second, part of it was home to one of the most celebrated ancient civilizations in the world, the Incas. Again, it’s not tall but its archeological and historical significance are enough to make it on this list.

Kirkjufell, Iceland

Like a mini Matterhorn but with distinctly unique geology, Kirkjufell is a butte. Sedimentary lines naturally draw the eyes to its orderly and neat look. It has a smooth, gently sloping base that talks of its geometric symmetry and elegance. It’s not tall, but it’s marvelous, nonetheless.

Grand Tetons, Wyoming

If it’s a fairy tale-like appearance that you’re after, then the Grand Tetons south of the Yellowstone is the one to seek. Creating a wonderful reflection on the Jackson Lake, you wouldn’t think that these peaks are real. It’s got an ethereal appearance that borders the magical and enchanting.

Ama Dablam, Nepal

Famous for its geometric diversity, Ama Dablam is like Matterhorn but with sharp, often unexpected angles that are further accentuated by snow. It’s the planet’s Picasso, if there ever is such a thing.

Table Mountain, South Africa

Set on a backdrop of the blue ocean, Table Mountain in Cape Town in South Africa makes up for its lack of height by providing a very flat, plateau-like geographic feature that you won’t see anywhere else in the world. It’s all horizontal lines, blending well with the horizon.

Alpamayo, Peru

Famed for its near-perfect pyramid shape, the Alpamayo is one of the most spectacular mountains in the Peruvian section of the Andes. The icy pyramid juts straight up at a 60-degree angle. It may not have the height of its neighboring peaks, but it sure deserves a place in the world’s most beautiful.

These are just 10 of the world’s most stunning peaks. And there are plenty more left undiscovered.

rollercoaster theme parks

10 Countries in the World with the Best Theme Parks

Do you love traveling with your children? Then you had better head on to the best theme parks in the world. Not only will you enjoy the rides and tasty foods, but you will also embrace the quality time spent with your family. Here are the top 10 countries with the best-known theme parks in the world.

Singapore’s Universal Studios

One of the frequently visited theme parks in the world is Universal Studios, replete with the world’s nerve-wracking rides and fun sights. Not to worry as there are available rides safe for your little children. They can also enjoy meeting and greeting real-life Disney characters at reasonable prices. Wild Wild Wet and Big Splash adventures are also there for those who love a splash.

The USA’s Luna Park

If you like a less crowded place and the Magic Kingdom is off your list, then try the Luna Park. One of the favorite family destinations in New York is Luna Park in Coney Island. The open-gated park boasts of about 30 different rides, ranging from mild to extreme. There are food booths lined up along the coast, giving you a relaxing vibe while the kids enjoy.

Denmark’s Bakken

Bakken, which stands for “The Hill”, is the world’s oldest amusement park, about 4 centuries old. Although established in 1583, it still is fully operational and frequently visited by tourists not only for its rides, but also for its historical significance. Enjoy different rides, from the oldest LadyBird, to the newest The Wild Mice. Plus, there are shows like cabarets, circus, and animal shows, perfect for those who like to simply sit down and be entertained.

USA’s Island of Adventure at Universal Studios

Are your kids certified lovers of prehistoric animals, legends, and superheroes? Then Orlando, Florida’s Universal Studios is perfect for your next family getaway. Around over 8 million guests have visited the park as of 2013, making it the 7th highly frequented park in the US. Today there are 7 islands at the Universal Studios including the newest Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Ohio’s Cedar Point

America is not done with its theme park surprises just yet. The Cedar Point in Ohio is considered the roller coaster capital of the world. Whether you’re a born thrill-seeker, a beach lover, a social butterfly, or a vacationer with family, the Cedar Point has different rides and attractions in store for you. Apart from the gigantic roller coasters and spinners, the beach and barbecue areas are there to complete your theme park adventure.

Japan’s Disneyland

It’s no surprise how the Disneyland dominated the theme park industry. They’re everywhere. But for your next vacation, choose Tokyo’s version of Disneyland. Although the place is also loaded with the typical palaces and rides as those found in Orlando and California, Tokyo’s Disneyland is uniquely amazing. The river canoes in Tokyo’s DisneySea are a hit at anytime of the year. It makes you feel like you’re in a real Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Tokyo Disneyland is also bigger and its glass canopy shelters the guests from the harsh weather. So go ahead and meet Mickey Mouse in Tokyo.

Japan also has the Nagashima Spa Land where you find the adrenaline pumping Steel Dragon coaster. If your kids are old enough to try the ride, then this place is perfect.

South Korea’s Lotte World

The largest recreation complex in South Korea is Lotte World, included in the Guinness World Record for indoor theme parks. The complex consists for 4 main floors filled with the never-ending number of rides and adventures, including swings, drops, roller coasters, boat rides, jungle adventures, bumper cars, trains, and other multi-motion rides. There are also live magic shows for those who like relaxing amusement.

Hong Kong’s Ocean Park

The city is bustling with tourists from nearly every corner of the world, and one of the main tourist attractions is Ocean Park. Experience underwater animals and adventures at Ocean Park. This combined oceanarium and amusement park will never disappoint you. Don’t miss out on their Marine World, Adventure Land, Polar Adventure, and Thrill Mountain. Book your tickets in advance if you wish to see their infamous Symbio and Ocean Theatre.

Paris’ Disneyland

If you wish a more laidback yet sophisticated theme park adventure, Paris Disneyland in France is your perfect getaway. Feast your eyes on Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. It sure does feel like you’re in a fairyland with all its intricately designed structures. Avail of their holiday packages to save costs.

China’s Chimelong Ocean Kingdom

There are plenty of splendid amusement parks in China, including the Disney Resort, Happy Valley, and Window of the World. But if you like an underwater park, visit Chimelong Ocean Kindom in Zhuhai. It bagged the 2014 Outstanding Achievement Award for theme parks and it features rare water species like beluga whales and polar bears.

The list can actually go on. But surely, these top 10 picks will never disappoint you.

food-meal

Six of The Best Foodie Destinations In Europe

It is a fact that while we are likely to struggle to remember the landmarks, monuments, and exhibits that spurred our travels, there are those quasi-religious, life-altering culinary experiences that remain etched in our memories for life. And as most European gourmands will attest, it is generally not those haute cuisines with hefty price tags that stimulate food epiphanies that feel almost like erotic pleasures. Most likely, it is that wild boar that has been faithfully cooked in accordance with a centuries old recipe in some rustic tavern somewhere on a hilltop village between Siena and Florence, or a rosette de lyon sausage in the spectacular food markets of Lyon, or a sample of bulbous snails.

Since the turn of the century, culinary travel has grown tremendously. As food continues to become an art form and with the term ‘foodie’ entering the lexicon as a person who has turned their passion for food into a very civilized hobby, our new relationship with food is invariably dictating why and how we travel. While the mega cities of New York, London, Tokyo, and Paris combine multiculturalism with celebrity chefs to create a dynamic global flair with a fancy soundbite, that elusive ecstasy of taste and flavor lies beyond these gastronomic powerhouses in the local bistros and taverns where menus are defined by what speaks to the region’s cultural heritage and what is fresh. Below, therefore, we take a look at 6 of the best foodie destinations in Europe as follows:

Brussels

While Belgium has long been a foodie destination, there is even more reason to seek out its capital above its other delectable spots like Ghent or Bruges. In Brussels, you are likely to find a dense concentration of Belgium’s most renowned edible traditions such as frites, waffles, mussels, and beers. Plus, you could also wander through the Old Town’s traditional sweet shops, and grab yourself a skewer of strawberries served on a paper plate that has been run under a chocolate fountain. The best thing about Brussels is that it is easily accessible from much of Europe, so most travelers can be able to come up with an excuse for spending a day or two in the Belgian capital snacking on these classic treats.

Copenhagen

This friendly city is characterized by a laid-back feel, so visitors may be forgiven for not realizing that it also famed for some serious culinary credentials. In keeping with Denmark’s no-fuss attitude, a traditional Danish lunch is likely to be an open- faced sandwich (smorrebrod) although recent years have seen Copenhagen play host to delicious events such as the Copenhagen Cooking Festival.

Cornwall

Cornwall is the one UK region which really stands out when it comes to food and drink. This large county in the south west of the UK has more Michelin starred restaurants per head of population than any other part of the UK. Perhaps this is because it is a major holiday destination that there is a special emphasis on quality, upmarket restaurants. Or maybe it is to do with the abundance of fresh local produce available thanks to its location next to the sea and full of rolling green fields for fresh farm produce. Padstow restaurants are favourites for tourists and locals thanks largely to the famous chefs based here. Other hotspots include Newquay, Falmouth and St Ives.

Barcelona

While most of Catalonia prides itself in its rich culinary heritage, bustling Barcelona perhaps takes the cake. The food here is divine- from rustic tapa dishes e.g. pan con tomate (grilled bread with ripe tomato juice) and patatas bravas (spicy potatoes with aioli) to rich chorizo and crisp, inexpensive cava. But even more than its delightful flavors which set it apart as a city with food that is worth fighting over is Barcelona’s mealtime culture. Supper does not commence until at least ten o’clock in the evening with meals stretching for hours. Families and children are always welcome, and it is not unusual to see servers going out of their way to provide a comfortable seat or bassinet for a young one so that everyone can spend time together, and the little ones can even pick up on the restaurant culture- a welcome respite from the messy, harried family dinners often seen in many households elsewhere.

Zurich

The Swiss city may come across as a dull option, better known for its businessmen and deadlines. But Zurich’s corporate dominance has inevitably contributed to one of the most vibrant street food cultures in all of Europe. The best known is, arguably, the Vorderer Stemen Grill- a trusted standby for the best wurst in Zurich. The winter months also see plenty of roasted chestnut vendors pop up all over, giving the city not only a Christmassy feel, but a savory aroma as well.

Rouen

Omitting Paris as one of Europe’s great food cities may seem a tad odd, but the fact is as the world’s unofficial tourism capital, the city is getting harder and harder for visitors to navigate And even though there is still a lot of amazing food to be explored, you are more likely to experience a dud in Paris now than ever before. It is for this reason that foodies are advised to try out Rouen- a smaller city in Normandy and a destination with plenty of delicious food for devoted eaters and uncharted areas for travelers. When it comes to pastry in particular, Rouen has some outstanding chops- try the local tarte normande (an apple pie that is open-faced), croissants, or éclairs for tasty treats that satisfy.