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Discover Crete’s Hidden Treasures

Many people take a holiday on the Greek island of Crete and enjoy the fantastic beaches, charming villages and endless sunshine. But Crete offers the visitor much more than this.

As if welcoming people, charming mountain villages, rocky bays, sandy beaches and one of Europe’s best climates were not enough reasons to visit Crete, it is also a historian’s and an archaeologist’s paradise. Its fascinating archaeological ruins and world-class museums are surely a bonus. And in the far northwest, east and south of the island, away from the tourist trail, you can expect to see some really excellent smaller Minoan sites that are hardly visited.

But before heading for the archaeological ruins, check out the stunning collection of the Iraklion Archaeological Museum in Heraklion, the capital of the island. Home to the world’s finest collection of Minoan art and culture in the world, the twenty rooms and galleries provide the perfect introduction to 5,000 years of island history from the Neolithic to the Graeco-Roman era.

The famous Minoan Palace of Knossos, just south of Iraklion, was one of Europe’s finest buildings during Bronze Age (2800-1100 BC) with around 1,400 rooms. Staircases with shallow alabaster steps lead to upper or lower floors and lovely frescoes, with scenes from everyday life, decorate the Palace walls. The King’s and the Queen’s apartments feature blue dolphins, while the throne room contains the oldest throne in Europe, the alabaster throne of King Minos.

If you are feeling more adventurous head for remote Central Crete’s prehistoric site of Gortys, once the largest city in Crete. Besides being the first city to accept Christianity, and with a history as far back as the Minoan period, Gortys was occupied by the Romans in 68 BC and destroyed by the Arabs 900 years later. This layer on layer of civilization brings history to life as you discover an ancient past that helps explain the present.

The great thing about Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, is that it’s big enough to get away to places that are not teeming with visitors all the time. As well as resorts and nightlife you can also enjoy simple pleasures such as sipping a coffee at a roadside café in a mountain village. But, whatever you do, be sure to soak up the island’s history through the archaeological remains of the past civilizations. And remember, entrance to all archaeological sites, museums, archaeological collections and monuments is free on Sundays and public holidays between 1 November and 31 March.

Tips For Family Holiday In Bali

Bali is a perfect place for those who are on holiday with children. Bring all your family to explore the island. You all will love the natural surroundings, and it is definitely easy to find a baby sitter or somebody to take care of your kids.

Kids club are available in major hotels. Many hotels offer family room with children discounts policy which is good optional for family term.

Bali villa is also a good alternative for accommodation, which is now becomes holiday trend in Bali. Mostly one villa consists of more than one bedroom that caters for family.

Range of attractions that are friendly for children can be also easily found in Bali.
Children’s attractions in Bali vary from surf, sand and beach activities; cultural activities such as dancing, temple visits, and traditional Balinese life style experiences; adventure activities such as rafting, cycling, horse ride, dolphin/turtle tour elephant rides; and theme parks such as Bali Bird Park, WaterBom Park, Bali Butterfly Park, etc.

Travelling with the family can be hassle- free and loaded with fun. There is no reason you shouldn’t bring the kids and the entire family with you. Here are a few tips you can use for an easy, stress – free travel.

Plan with the entire family
Get each family member’s opinion on which places to go. Kids love it when they get involved. Make a short list of the places they want to visit and get the majority’s preference. Plan simple yet fun activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Distribute tasks
Help each other especially when packing. Give each one a responsibility. You can have your kids check on the first- aid kit, your husband to bring all bulky equipments and you take charge preparing the food. This way, your load can be lessened and everyone would feel the importance of each one’s contribution.

Travel light
Since most of the space of your car would be for people, pack only the essential things you need. If possible you can hire strollers for the kids instead of carrying one. Transfer shampoos, mouthwash and the like in small plastic containers instead of bringing the entire thing. Remember that travelling light doesn’t mean travelling incomplete. Carry all important stuff you need to bring.

Secure your house
Since all of your family members are with you on the trip, you can opt to hire a house sitter. If not, have a neighbour look out for the house for you. Unplug all electrical appliances and be sure to secure all door and windows.

Be safe
Always carry with you a medicine kit for emergencies. This should include aspirins, laxative, insect repellant, bandages, ointments and alcohol. More importantly, bring enough prescription drugs if any of the family members is on medication. Bring enough to last for the entire duration of the trip.

Bring in the fun
Take pictures and videos to document your trip. Take turns in using the camera, this way everyone will get a memorable shot taken. You can take the pictures and put them in a nice travel journal when you get home. This way you can enjoy the fun memories as often as you want.

Remember that the entire objective of a family trip is to have fun. Follow the quick tips above and you can head your way to an enjoyable travel in Bali.

A Quick Guide To The South Of France

The South of France has the enviable combination of miles of coastline and fertile rural landscapes and has been the inspiration for artists, composers and writers as well as the new visitor.

Where is it?

The term “South of France” is usually used to describe the southern stretch of the country’s coastline that runs between Spain and Italy, and the rural inland areas that include Provence and the Lubéron. With its warm climate, fertile landscape and developed coastline, it is one of the most regularly-visited parts of Europe.

Where can I stay?

Unsurprisingly, for somewhere as popular as the South of France, there is no shortage of hotels, guesthouses, bed and breakfasts and camp sites. For a true taste of the area though, stay in one of our recommended boutique hotels. Small and intimate, they are a home from home and turn a basic holiday into a luxury retreat. All of these hotels offer well-designed and contemporary rooms and the service is discreet and impeccable. Good food usually goes hand-in-hand with the cool rooms and public areas – by choosing one of these hotels you’ll be treating yourself to a memorable stay in the South of France.

What can I see?

The South of France is too big an area to be fully explored in a single holiday, which is why many people return year after year. Some of France’s most expensive resorts lie on the south coast, including St. Tropez and Cannes, and where better to watch the yachts and fashions of the rich and famous? The area is famous for its coastline, sailing and water sports and for the cities that lie near it: Nice, Marseilles and Montpelier for example. Inland, Provence is well-known for its rolling landscapes, stretches of vineyards and swathes of wild flowers. With no shortage of historic buildings, local markets and museums to explore, the South of France has something for everyone.

How do I get around?

If you’re planning on exploring the South of France, you should hire a car. The French, like most European countries, drive on the right hand side of the road and the roads are largely well-maintained, although many are toll-controlled and you will have to pay at marked toll stations to use the main road network. If you are planning on staying mostly in one place and just visiting major cities or tourist areas, then opt for the train system, operated by SNCF.