Goa: Beyond the Beaches

Goa, the beach capital of India, is the most-talked about holiday destination in the country. With lush wet beaches swarmed by water sports & trees, the place is a blissful paradise for any tourist. There are over 40 beaches flanked in various corners of the state. But an ideal tourist should not limit himself to the beaches, even though their fascination can make one rooted! Goa tourism has scaled unsurpassable heights of popularity for quite a few other things. Those who dare to travel beyond the beaches inevitably come across the state’s heritage sites and serendipitously bump into the history & culture which the place silently holds on to its cusps.

Here are a few attractions (outside the beaches) offered by Goa packages:

i.    Churches: Se Cathedral, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Church of Immaculate Conception, Church of Our Lady of the Rosary and many more- Goa is a trove of a huge galore of cathedrals most of which are a few centuries old.

ii.    Wildlife sanctuaries: Goa tourism has also climbed the popularity charts amongst the wildlife lovers, thanks to its slew of sanctuaries including the Salem Ali Bird Sanctuary and the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary! If you have a fetish for birds & beasts, then the state has the perfect ingredients to keep you going!

iii.    Historic sites: Other than the churches, Goa packages also establish your rendezvous with forts (like the Aguada Fort), mansions (like the Braganza House) and old cemeteries and museums.

iv.    Nightlife: Though, the beaches too are known for their exciting party-life, Goa brews up a delicious concoction of bars, restaurants, casinos and clubs to leave you shaken & stirred!

Waterfalls, seafood, luxurious resorts, spa parlors, swamps, aquariums, malls, markets and the Portugal-Indian culture- the real ‘Goa’ lies outside the turf of the beaches!

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The best Beaches in Kerala

Kerala, one of the most hypnotic states in the world, is bejeweled with lagoons, lakes and, of course, beaches. Since, it shares it neighborhood with the Indian Ocean, the state boasts of a number of exotic beaches which are a heady mix of green and blue!

Kerala tourism has always enjoyed a high reputation which keeps growing as it rides on the ever-scaling popularity of these 5 beaches:

i.    Kovalam Beach: With the sun-kissed golden-blue waters making their presence felt under your feet and with the tall palm trees swooning wildly in the mild breeze, Kovalam Beach is the best beach in Kerala. Most Kerala tour packages make sure that the tourists get to spend a few memorable hours on this heavenly shore line!

ii.    Varkala Beach: A pleasant fusion of rock and sun, this beach takes the cherry when it comes to the most photogenic beach of Kerala. The place is enveloped by a number of attractions including temples in the vicinity. The beach has made it to the posters of a number of advertisements promoting Kerala tourism.

iii.    Payyambalam Beach: This is one beach which will transport you into the bygone times. Its tranquility and nostalgic romance will creep into your veins and travel within your memories till the rest of your life.

iv.    Kozhikode Beach: Kozhikode Beach stands out for its exuberant sunsets and for its historical significance. It is also noted for being the site of landing by Vasco Da Gama.

v.    Bekal Beach: If you are itching for solace, then Bekal Beach, under the Kerala tour packages, is the ultimate place of quiet, seclusion, serenity and romance. It is also studded with a historic fort which adds another feather to its heavily-laden cap.

Things to do in Lucerne and Geneva

Whenever you ask a girl about her dream honeymoon destination, most of the times, the instantaneous reply is Switzerland! Lucerne, Geneva, Zurich etc. are not only naturally picturesque, but they are also replete with historical and religious architectures that will stun you.

Sightseeing in Geneva

Geneva has the second highest population in Switzerland. There are a number of monuments and sites in the city that the Geneva Tourism department recommends you to witness.

  • St. Pierre Cathedral- It is a part of the Swiss Reformed Church in Geneva and was constructed in the 12th Century. A recent excavation has revealed that the premise was developed by the Roman Empire.
  • Jet d’Eau- Touted as the world’s highest fountain, it shoots up water up to 140 metres at a speed of 200kmph. At a go, close to 500 litres of water is thrown up. The best time to visit is in the evening when it is lighted.
  • Place de Neuve houses three halls- the Grand Hall or Opera House, Rath Museum and Conservatory of music.

Touring Lucerne

Lucerne has a lot to see and do as well. The Lucerne Tourism sightseeing list includes:

  • Chapel Bridge on the River Reuss: It has a water tower too which adds to its beauty.
  • The Lion of Lucerne: This is a monument made to commemorate those soldiers who lost their lives in the French Revolution.
  • The mountain Pilatus, 15km south of Lucerne: Climbing the mountain is a popular excursion.  You need to descend by way of cog railway, cable car and gondola. The bookings can be done through the Lucerne Tourism office.

These sights and landscapes are breath- taking and are sure to make you fall in love with Switzerland!

Sydney Opera House

Australia has a lot to offer to any visitor. Good shopping destinations, scenic beauty, adventure sports are some of the things that makes Australia a hot tourist destination. Sydney is one of the cities that you should make a point to visit. And if you are visiting Sydney, the Sydney Tourism department always recommends that you don’t miss out on visiting the Sydney Opera House.

Touring the Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House was designed by a Danish architect, Jorn Utzon around 50 years ago. The tour conducted through the Opera House is covered in Australia tour packages. A guide will take you around and explain the different sections. You will be taken through the various halls and rooms. There are 1000 rooms and 300 corridors in the Opera House. More than 1600 performances take place in the theatre throughout the year. Shakespearean theatre, classical music concert and other popular forms of art are showcased here as well. When you come here with your tour group, you can also book a show.

Backstage Tour of the Opera House

The backstage tours will reveal to you what goes on behind the stages. You can get to know the different secrets, tricks and tales of the industry from the guide who steers you through the tour. This is usually not included in the Australia tour packages.

The Sydney Tourism office will give you all the needed information for the tour although you will have to buy the tickets from the Sydney Opera House. So, don’t miss out on this opportunity as you can trace the footprints of Ella Fitzgerald, Pavarotti and others stalwarts here!

Italy – A Honeymoon Destination

Considered to be one of the most romantic countries in the world, Italy is a destination where every second spent with your beloved is either etched into eternity or time here stops to flow. So if it’s a honeymoon trip that you are looking for, place your trust in Italy tourism and waste no time in booking your package tour to Italy! Though the nation in its entirety brims with love, these are a few of the Italy tourist attractions you can head for on your honeymoon:

Tuscany – If classic old romance of poetry is what you seek, Tuscany is the place for you. Sun-bathed countryside, vineyards, villas with sweeping driveways, smaller hill towns and the beautiful sea coast will leave you in bliss. Or you could choose to ski on the snow-covered slopes of Garfagnanain in the winter months. Being Italy’s art capital, the cities of art in Tuscany – Florence, Siena, Pisa being popular Italy tourist attractions will fulfill your craving for art and architecture more if you enjoy it with your spouse. Not to mention that the gourmet and wine of this region are simple yet delectable.

Lake Como – George Clooney settled for a property here for good reason. The Y-shaped lake is a weekend getaway for the Milanese so if you can get here on a weekday you’re in for a treat. Set amidst the hills and resembling a river, it has inspired poets for generations. What better than taking a cruise in these romantic waters with the love of your life!

Amalfi coast and the Isle of Capri – A honeymoon stands for romance, excitement and being alone with your soulmate! This is exactly what the Italy tourism guarantees with AmalfI. Full of sparkling beaches, islands and caves off the coast where you can experience the most unforgettable moments of newly married bliss, Amalfi is a must for a honeymoon amidst nature’s beauty.

Venice – if your idea of a honeymoon is a romantic gondola ride with the gondolier serenading you and your spouse, then Venice is the destination of choice! St. Mark’s Square has been the setting for innumerable romantic rendezvous – you could arrange to ‘meet’ your spouse here for coffee!

Sicily – If you’re wondering what the tour-guides of Italy pick as their favorite spot then it is Sicily. It’s an experience of the ‘real’ Italy minus the crowds and one of the most private spots for a honeymoon destination. You can also soak in some of the sun and see majestic Greek and Roman ruins with your beloved while you’re at it!

Cinque Terra and Liguria – Even though this place is minus the art and architecture which the rest of Italy tourism attractions stand for, there’s a reason for it to be one of the top honeymoon destinations in Italy. The Ligurian coast forms an elegant arc rising into the foothills of the Appenines which gives dizzying views of the sea embracing the shores making the medieval villages up on these jagged hills a perfect honeymoon destination. Everything about these villages speaks of a time standing still and what else is to be desired when you are here with the one you are spending your life with!

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Volcano Tours in Bali

Volcanoes, even though destructive, haven’t stopped fascinating people. Tourists to Bali can now check out either the scenery around the Batur Volcano and its neighbouring lake or the volcano at Mt. Agung and its lovely surroundings. Bali Tourism offers Bali packages that include tours to the different volcanic regions. These are reasonably priced and do not take much time up.

Visit the Fuming Mount Batur

Mount Batur is one of the famous volcanos in Bali and it is still very active. You can see smoke emanating from its crater. You can opt for the guided treks included in Bali packages for volcano tours, up to the mount to watch the mesmerising sunrise from there. The best time of the year to witness the sunrise from Mt. Batur, is the when its comparatively drier, that is between April and September. Wet seasons make the trek a bit risky due to the slippery paths. From the Kintamani hill, the view of the volcano and its lake is splendid. The volcano last erupted in 2000.

Agung: the Highest Volcanic Mount

Being the top most point in the Bali Island, this active volcano influences the surrounding climate quite a lot. While the western part of it is thriving with vegetation due to the rain clouds that shower water there, the eastern part is arid. You can avail the Bali tourism department’s guided tours for a trek to the top of this mount too. A view of the entire island of Bali from the top of the mount will make you spellbound.

A Venetian Holiday

I have always envisaged Venice as the most feminine city – perhaps because the city floats on water, perhaps because hundreds of canals move in and out through the city giving an image of a beautiful beguiling woman or perhaps because the city has often been called a jewel city. Standing on one of Venice’s bridges in the evening when the lights from the buildings make fascinating reflections in the water and one murmurs goodbye to the last gondola which silently passes by, it is then when the impact of being transported to this fantasy world where time seems to stop, where one can’t differentiate between the past and the present or even dream and reality seems to strike; what one knows is that the city is drugging us by its cadence of charm.

Although Rome tourism might boast of a greater line-up of things to visit and do, Venice tourism matches up to it with its fashionable charm and intriguing city structure.

On a holiday in Venice, one starts with the magnificent piazza San Marco first from where you can catch a three-in-one glimpse of St Mark’s Basilica (reminiscent of the country’s ties with Byzantium), Doge’s Palace (a former political hotspot) and Torre dell’ Orologio (Venice Clock Tower). One can sit down at Europe’s oldest café, the Florian on the Market Square, listening to a cellist. Or one can wander to where the gondolas are tied; ebony colored and shiny and rocking on the green-blue water of the lagoon, pompous but with unsurpassed elegance. The afternoon end can be spent on a satisfying gondola ride accompanied with gelato ice cream from Boutique del Gelato, a perfect way to end the evening.

The dazzling theatre of the city is showcased at Gallerie dell Accademia, Scuola Grande di San Rucco and Teatro de Fenice but this is not all. The art scene visit is incomplete without a taste of the backstage experience. The crammed calli (streets) to San Marco are brimming with all kinds of behind-the-scenes creativity that keeps the art scene of the city afloat: it is here that the artisans are sweating at work in their tiny studios and the Venetian chefs are whipping out hot plates of cicheti. Many of the small plazas that lie in front of one of the hundreds of ornate churches offer outstandingly good morsels of food – Venetian delicacies like Fegato alla Veneziana are very enticing.

Venice tourism guarantees that a visitor is going to go around all the islands. Vaporettos (water buses) constantly make trips to the cemetery island of Isola di San Michele – and to Murano where glassblowers create extremely delicate artifacts or to Burano – where the houses are painted in spectacular colors. Or one can take a trip to the Lido with its sophisticated colors that is a hotspot for painters and film directors. Then there is the charming degenerate Venice, particularly during carnival; carnival was rekindled in the 1970s and has held its space since then as a third season; Carnevale is the world’s largest masked ball and one can pick up carnival paraphernalia before going there.

Answering the dilemma faced by tourists to choose either Rome or Venice, Rome tourism will excite if you are interested in history, monuments and a full-plate trip but if you want to spend quality time just relaxing on the banks of Venice canals and watching time sway past, you know the place to choose.