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Destination Tips

If social media apps were cities…

Welcome to Vegas

These days, it feels like most of what I think about is traveling and social media. The two are now so intrinsically entwined that it’s seemingly hard to have one without the other. It’s not just during and after my travels that I use social media, however, but researching places and finding recommendations beforehand is incredibly useful too.

Social media can sometimes feel like a never-ending sea to splash around in, but it’s also fascinating to see which apps sink or swim over the years (remember Myspace?). Even for my blog too, I’ve recently been discovering that social media apps can be beneficial to a website and increase its popularity. My Instagram following has grown drastically over the past 12 months, and I am addicted to Snapchat (follow me: mariposa2711).koh tao officeBut with all this in mind, I wanted to find a way to connect traveling and social media even more, by matching the most popular social media apps to a major city. Let me know in the comments which city you think is matched with each app, but here are my picks.

Instagram = London, England

London is packed with beautiful people, fantastic attractions, great cuisine, and a vibrant nightlife. And what do you find on Instagram? Gorgeous models, arty black and white shots of tourist attractions, pictures of scrumptious meals, and epic selfies at the clubs and bars. London is Instagram through and through.london portobello road buildings

Facebook = New York, USA

The busiest metropolis in the world is NYC: the city that never sleeps. This too is Facebook. The most popular app on the planet is an endless barrage of humorous observations, political rants, pictures of babies and puppies, links to interesting blog posts, and so much more. Like NYC, Facebook is full of opportunity, enjoyment and a place where you can never get bored.manhattan from top of the rock

Snapchat = Austin, USA

A city on the rise and a personal favorite of mine, Austin in Texas is one of America’s biggest areas for tech growth, as well as having an influx of young, talented people. Similarly, anyone who is anyone is on Snapchat. The social media app is new, exciting, and now has around 150 million daily active users. Like Austin, if you want to get on the bandwagon with Snapchat, then get on now.austin congress ave bridge

Pinterest = Paris, France

Pinterest is often said to be used by brides-to-be planning their wedding or honeymoon, so what better place to match it with than Paris? The city of love is so picturesque and has beauty at every turn. Likewise, Pinterest is full of the best of the best, a place to collate beauty and show off all sorts of pretty things. The two would make a great couple.paris louvre

Twitter = Las Vegas, USA

Last, but not least, is Twitter. A social media app that is about brief messages, a place to shout about things you love and hate, and where it looks fun for a little bit, but then you’re happy that you’re only here for a little while. Likewise, Las Vegas is an intense city where you might regret something you did, and if the amount of tweet-then-delete occurrences is anything to go by, then Twitter is the perfect match.The Strip, Las Vegas

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Four Festivals You Can’t Miss In Sydney This Summer

KFOG Kaboom Fireworks

While the northern hemisphere is bundling up and enjoying the first snow of the season, Australia and the rest of the southern hemisphere is gearing up for Christmas BBQs and beach days – summer is here! And there’s no better place to visit Sydney than during the summer months – not only can you enjoy the coast, the beaches, sidewalk cafes and al fresco dining, outdoor movies and markets, but there are also a number of extraordinary summer festivals that make a visit during the summer months even more memorable.

If you are visiting Sydney this summer, here are my top four recommendations for festivals you should try to experience – and for a more comprehensive list, check out this guide to Sydney Summer Events.

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Sydney Festival (January)

For almost the entire month, Sydney is having a massive celebration of culture, arts and entertainment, transforming the city with grand performances: free concerts, burlesque, dances and theater. For the 2017 Sydney Festival (7-29 January), there is an Australian Cirque Du Soleil, the Symphony Under The Stars, loads of art installations, a ferrython, and so much more. The best thing: many of the events during the festival are free! Check out the complete list of events for the 2017 Sydney Festival here.

Vivid

Sydney Mardi Gras

Sydney Mardi Gras is the world’s biggest Pride Celebration: hundreds of thousands of people travel to Sydney to celebrate LGBTQ culture and diversity, and visitors hail not only from Australia, but also other parts of the world. Be prepared for a colorful parade with over 100 floats and over 8,000 (!) participants, over 300,000 spectators, dancing in the streets, Bondi Beach Drag Races, the big Harbor Party and many other post-parade parties. The 2017 Mardi Gras Parade takes place on 4 March.

Sydney Mardi gras

New Year’s Eve

Sydney is among the first cities in the world to ring in the New Year, and the city makes sure to start it with a bang! The spectacular fireworks display over the Harbour Bridge is world-famous. There are a number of vantage points to watch the fireworks from, such as Robertson Park, Waverton Park or North Head, to name just a few. Of course you can also join one of the many ticketed events or a New Year’s Eve cruise, granting you incredible views right from the water, and making sure you ring in the New Year in style.

New Year's Fireworks Sydney 2012

Chinese New Year

Yes, New Year’s Eve is a big deal in Sydney, but so is the Chinese New Year a few weeks later. More than 1 million visitors enjoy the celebrations, making it one of the biggest Lunar New Year festivals outside of Asia. In 2017, the Chinese New Year Festival takes place from 27 January to 12 February, celebrating the start of the Year Of The Rooster with music and nightly entertainment, dragon boat races and performances from over 1,000 participants. Those include martial arts, traditional dance and folklore dance, and from 27 to 29 January, Sydney’s most famous landmarks will be lit in red as part of the festivities.

Chinese New Year Sydney

Photo credit: All images used under Flickr’s Creative Commons Licensing. (1) Sydney Festival by Distan Bach ; (2) Sydney  slr_the_quack  (3) Sydney Mardi Gras by KMJ Photography; (4) New Year’s Eve by Sacha Fernandez ; (5) Chinese New Year by Ashley Ringrose
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Five of The Top Destinations to Visit During December

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Holiday season is almost upon us in every sense of the word. With so much excitement building and preparations to be made some people just want to get away from it all.  There are many great destinations to visit during the month of December and some excellent skiing holidays to choose from.  All those pretty snow scenes would definitely have the avid ski lover gathering up those skis and poles to pack for the snowy climes.Zugspitze view & clouds

Visit the Caribbean for Winter Sunshine

This is the number one paradise of choice with the world’s most beautiful unspoiled beaches, the best hotels, villas and restaurants.  Saint Barth comes highly recommended with one of its highlights being the venue for one of the world’s most thrilling yacht races. It is a hotspot for the super-rich and celebrities from across the globe and especially during December when they need to unwind from hectic schedules.isla mujeres beach mexico

Guatemala

Guatemala comes highly recommended and number two on the top list of destinations to visit during December. It is a beautiful and colourful country. It borders Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador. It boasts astonishingly beautiful coasts both on the Pacific and Caribbean sides. It has amazing volcanic landscapes and very pretty towns and as December has the sunniest and driest days this is the best time of year to visit.Antigua Street & Arch

Things to Do in India in December

December in Konark is home to classical Indian arts and culture. Here one can enjoy a celebration of classical dances hosted by an annual dance festival. Jammu and Kashmir which are known for their nature walks, parks and views during the summer months’ play host to one of the best skiing and paragliding destinations in December in India. India comes in at number three of the best locations worldwide to visit during December.indian family in hampi

South-East Asia, a Top Winter Delight

Cambodia and Laos have the perfect climate during December. Why visit while the weather is hot and wet – wait until it is perfect and embrace beautiful colonial towns buzzing with amazing places to eat and drink. They are both large countries with plenty of space to get away from the crowds and have some peaceful alone time in gorgeous surroundings. It may take some extra planning but nowadays with international money transfers it is always easy to top up while away from home. This destination is rated number four in the world’s top destinations for December.vientiane temple

Prague’s Old Town for December

There is nowhere prettier to be found in December than Prague. Those gorgeous ancient streets look like something right out of a fairy tale, and even come with a real castle. Prague is extremely cold in December but is well equipped with lots of cosy restaurants and rich cuisine. At number 5 Prague must be added to the list.mdina cathedral door

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Golf Destination Travel: Danang, Vietnam

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Danang is the third largest city in terms of urban population in Vietnam and remains one of the most important ports in the country.  Located in central Vietnam, Danang is known for its lovely beaches and interesting history, as a French colonial port.  New hotels and restaurants are emerging all the time and the street food has to be seen to be believed, it’s delicious.  Danang makes a good base for day trips in this region of Vietnam and more importantly, a great base for sampling the nearby selection of golf courses.  Below, we have some of the best Danang golf courses, which are must-play when staying in this region of Vietnam.laguna-lang-co-golf-club

Ba Na Hills Golf Club is a mountainous design, created by Luke Donald.  It’s the first golf course to be designed by the English golfer, not just in Asia but the world and can be found near the cable car station, in the foothills of Bana Hills.  Managed by IMG, the layout of Ba Na Hills Golf Club is spread through several valleys and features plenty of elevation changes, throughout the 18-holes.  The higher points of the course provide great views of the valleys below and large trees and streams are prominent on many of the holes.  Playing at over 7,800 yards, the course is quite long and is enjoyable and challenging in equal measure, for players of abilities.  The back nine holes are perhaps the more testing and come complete with many blind shots and doglegs.  The greens are not as undulated as one would expect, giving the style of the rest of the golf course and this allows them to be attacked, with good pin positions throughout the 18 holes.  With a modern clubhouse, driving range, putting green, pro shop, restaurant and flood lights, allowing late night play, Ba Na Hills is a great Danang golf course.

Another quality Danang golf course, which should not be missed, is BRG Da Nang Golf Resort.  This golf course is designed by Greg Norman and was opened in 2010, to great acclaim, as it went on to win a number of awards.  It was voted best golf courses in Asia, by readers of Asian Golf Monthly on three occasions between 2011 and 2013.  Constructed on the sandy soil of Danang beach, the course is steeped in history, as this was the sight of the first American landing during the war in the 1960’s.  This is a true links-style golf course and has mother nature to thank for its layout, as much as Greg Norman.  The undulating greens, make good approach play crucial and the fairways are framed by long needle pines, so anything off the fairway, can lead to a difficult second shot, off the sand and needles.  Large, natural waste areas have been cut from the sand dunes and the wind can also be a factor here, making club selection tricky.  If the links courses of Scotland are your thing, you are sure to revel in playing at BRG Da Nang Golf Resort, it’s a truly excellent golf course.montgomerie-danang

A 90-minute drive from Danang, is the Nick Faldo designed, Laguna Lang Co Golf Club.  Opened in 2012, the par-71 course is suitable for beginners and experienced golfers alike, measuring 6,958 from the back tees and 5,263 from the front tees.  Nestled in a picturesque area, between the beach and the mountains, the backdrop to the course is a delight, with ocean and mountain views across the course.  The 18 holes weave their way between the natural streams, trees, paddy fields, imposing rocks and alongside the beach itself.  There is a great variety of holes, each offering something different and man-made influences have been kept down to a minimum, which adds something a little special to the course.  Laguna Lang Co Golf Club also includes the Banyan Tree Resort and they combine to make this on of the great Danang golf courses.

When discussing the top Danang golf courses, one which always makes the list, is the Montgomerie Links.  This course was designed by famous European golfer, Colin Montgomerie and was voted as being Vietnam’s best championship course, in 2013.  As the name suggests, this is a links-style golf course and if it was not for the warmer temperatures, you could easily believe you were playing in Scotland or Ireland, it really is that good.  Rolling fairways and huge greens are the key features to this testing and exciting golf course, with thick rough and deep bunkers being the major hazards.  The only difference from a traditional links course, are the natural lakes and streams which are situated throughout but these add a local feel to the course and do not detract from it in any way.  When considering where to play golf in Danang, the Montgomerie Links should be at the top of your itinerary.danang-golf-club2

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The cultural attraction of Havana

street-art-cuba

Cuba is like nowhere else. Thanks to the long trade embargo with the United States the Caribbean island nation has been stuck in its own unique time warp. For better or worse this has given the country a uniquely timeless flavour that endures to this day. As the relationship with its larger neighbor finally starts to thaw, now is the best time to visit and experience this unique country before everything changes.

Havana

Nowhere are Cuba’s contradictions more apparent than in its Capital Havana. The most evocative of all the cities in the Caribbean, Havana has a special dichotomous allure. It is also the best place to experience Cuba’s richly complex and proud culture.

The wealth of different treasures found just below the city’s often shabby façade reward discovery, and before the island turns into another typical holiday destination you should take a chance to experience it for yourself.

One of the most striking this for first-time visitors in Havana is how grand the city is. Despite the obvious signs of neglect, the city boasts impressive boulevards, resplendent city squares and striking colonial architecture all around. Combine this Spanish colonial grandeur with the ever-present 50s muscle cars, erstwhile Americana, and Caribbean verve and you have one of the world’s genuinely unique cities.

Walk along the Malecón

Havana’s most famous thoroughfare the Malecón (or the Avenida de Maceo to give it its official name) is a five-mile-long sea-front road. As popular with locals as it is visitors, the Malecón is one of the best places to people spot and take in the Cuban capital’s atmosphere. Thanks to years of disuse many of the buildings along its length have fallen into ruin, giving you a fascinating glimpse into the history and struggles of the city, yet it remains as alive and vibrant as ever. The street is one of the safest in the city and is seeing improvements as Cuba continues to open itself up to western visitors. Make sure and visit at sunset, as the views across the water are worth it.cuba

Image by neiljs used under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

While more famous for its music, Art plays a vibrant and vital role in the country’s cultural life. One of the best places to experience Cuban art is at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Found in the beautiful surroundings of Centro Asturianas, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes contains the finest examples of Cuban art as well as many international pieces from the colonial period and beyond.

La Fábrica de Arte Cubano

A multidisciplinary cultural/community hub, there is always things going on at the La Fábrica de Arte Cubano. Located in an old renovated government-owned factory, the FAC is always a buzz of life with everything from folk dancing, photography exhibitions, painting, and all manner of other cultural goings-on.cuba2

Image by Anton Novoselov, used under Creative Commons license CC by 2.0

331 Art Space

Another artistic space, Studio 331 offers a small slice of Cuban art as the studio of three young local painters Frank Mujica, Alex Hernandez and Adrian Fernandez. Found in a recently refurbished colonial-era mansion, the aim of the space is to bring attention to contemporary Cuban art and has a range of paintings available to buy.

Fusterlandia

Fusterlandia is the nickname of the seaside village of Jaimanitas on the outskirts of the Cuban capital. It gained this moniker due to the artistic endeavors of local artist Jose Fuster. Originally found in his home of Casa de Fuster, these murals and 3D pieces of art are now found across the village offering visitors a rare way to experience Cuba’s artistic side. You can also still visit Fuster’s original studio for yourself.

 

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Exploring the Hidden Parts of Israel With Guided Tours

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Seeing places like Old Jerusalem and Masada is essential to visiting Israel. But read on to see how guided tours in Israel can take you off the beaten track!

Hidden Gems Uncovered By an Informed Expert

If you want to really discover the depths of a place, isn’t the best idea to go with someone who knows the area well?  It thus makes sense that, while traveling to Israel, you will find the best opportunities to discover new and different activities when you travel with a guide. If you wish to truly understand and explore this marvelous country, then putting yourself into the hands of a well-informed expert truly is the best way to do so.

negev desert trek israelGuided tours in Israel that are off the beaten track give you new understanding of this country’s rich culture and heritage, as well as the wonderful people who inhabit it. Read on to see why a guided tour will allow you to get the most out of your travels!

mount tabor church of the transfiguration

Getting Off the Beaten Path – How Guided Tours Can Assist You

Israel is full of beautiful and wonderful sites that are well known to many people all over the world, such as the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee, the winding streets of Old Jerusalem, and many other beautiful historic sites with deep religious and cultural background.
jerusalem market1However, the things that you may not have heard of in Israel are the places where you can make new memories and capture the spirit of adventure. But how can a guided tour in Israel lead you off the beaten path? What places will you see, and what benefit will your tour guide offer?dani ein gedi

The Value is in the Details

Your tour guide is obviously more familiar with the area than you are: he lives there! So trusting in him to lead you and your group through the streets that he knows well will give you an opportunity to see Israel as you could never see it when traveling alone!
israel golden roofsYou will be introduced to a new culture, a new way of life, and you can be guaranteed to have the best experience because your guide can bring you to the sites that he knows are best!israel national trail druze kunefeFrom large things, like how you spend your day, to small things such as where you will eat or in what part of the city you’ll find a hotel, your guide can offer you the best options. It is in these details that the value of a tour guide is seen. Guided tours in Israel can take you off the beaten path that is frequented by tourists and give you the ability to see Israel in a new and enchanting light that you may not have expected!timna park mushroom

Where a Guided Tour in Israel Can Take You

Imagine visiting the famous grottoes of Rosh Hanikra, but from a completely different perspective. Kayaking instead of taking the cable car is a fantastic and little-known way to see this beautiful site.  A guided tour in Israel will take you off the beaten track to the ancient wine route that dates back over 2000 years where you can see the process and taste the result.
rosh hanikra israelLearn more about Bedouin culture in the Negev at the Sidreh-Lakiya Weaving, or hike your way through the Black Canyon within the Yehudiya Forest Nature Reserve. These ‘off the beaten track’ adventures are available to you with guided tours in Israel, and can create the adventure of a lifetime.israel camelYour visit to Israel should be one that you remember forever. Add these hidden sites to your travel plans by choosing a guided tour in Israel and see things that are off the beaten track, thus creating for yourself an adventure-filled trip that will never be forgotten.acco israel

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Explore America’s Beauty with an off the Beaten Track Adventure

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America is one of the most stunning, diverse and breathtaking continents in the entire world. Great lakes, canyons, desert, swamps, mountain ranges and electric cities are just a handful of what there is to explore. This makes it the ultimate adventure destination. Often, when people visit the States they will fly in to the major cities, which can be fantastic, but often the most amazing experiences are found off the beaten track and in the lesser explored areas of this great country.

The Ultimate Road Trip

It is the dream of many people to do the ultimate American road trip from coast to coast, but sadly not many people get to experience this. A group of friends, the open road, great music and a breathtaking and varied backdrop is the perfect setting for an unforgettable and eye opening adventure. This is not your typical holiday and a break from the norm, and it is always the off the beaten track expeditions which are the most exciting and create the most stories.

Monument Valley street

Must See Places

There are many highlights to see in America, with a few being absolute musts for those wanting to break the norm. Southern gems such as Nashville, Mississippi and New Orleans provide breathtaking scenery along with a distinctive atmosphere, whilst The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also a must and be sure to take your camera.

St Louis CathedralThe Grand Canyon in California will be the top of many people’s lists and for good reason, but be sure to head into Las Vegas for some fun and games. Yosemite National Park cannot be missed, and a drive through the desert will have you reminiscing about all the great Western films. Driving along the Pacific Coast will give you amazing views and an eclectic mix of brilliant cities and perfect beaches which many visitors miss. Deadwood in South Dakota is a charming town where you get easy access to amazing places such as the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park.Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas

Small Group Adventure Tours

All of this only scratches the surface of what you will find on an American road trip off the beaten path. To ensure you do not miss a thing, it may be in your best interest to use holiday companies like TrekAmerica to plan your trip. These companies organise brilliant small group adventure tours that uncover the best hidden gems in all of America. Additionally, many of these companies can also arrange fantastic activities such as horse riding, white water rafting, mountain biking and more.Monument Valley horseback ridingAmerica is a land of awe-inspiring natural beauty. This landscape is also incredibly diverse, making it an incredible place to explore both in the major cities and everywhere in between. An adventure off the beaten path in America is sure to be an astonishing, fun and life changing experience and a trip out of the ordinary.

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Explore the World’s Hidden Treasures on an Unforgettable Cruise

Sunset koh lanta thailand

There is nothing greater than expanding your horizons and seeing more of our beautiful planet. It can be an eye opening experience and also one which gives you a much greater appreciation for the globe, but unfortunately not many people get to see anywhere near enough of it.

An Adventurous Holiday

When deciding on vacations, it is common for people to select predictable destinations and places they have visited before. Whilst this will still be a great trip, it is also not particularly adventurous and there are many incredible yet often overlooked destinations. One terrific way of seeing areas of the world that not many people get to see is to go on a cruise. With cruises, the journey becomes the holiday and you will be treated to often unseen natural beauty out at sea and along the coastlines.

adventure of the seas cruise ship

What You May See

A cruise enables you to see many amazing things, regardless of the destination. You will gain a better understanding of the size of the globe as you will be travelling by sea and not by air, and this will allow you to see and visit many secluded ports in some of the most wonderful countries on the planet. Whilst out at sea, there is a very good chance that you will see some majestic and colourful wildlife which you would not get with any other type of holiday.

The World’s Hidden Treasures Uncovered

On top of all this, some cruises will allow you to explore and get up close to some of the greatest sights in the entire world. The Norwegian Fjords cruise from specialists such as Bolsover Cruise Club, for example, takes you on an unforgettable trip where you get unparalleled views of the breathtaking Fjords. Thanks to these cruises, anyone can explore and discover some of the more unusual and magical places on the entire planet.

cinque terre.JPGThere are many other brilliant destinations that you could visit and cruises that go around the globe. You could see the Polar Regions, Angel Falls (the world’s highest waterfall), Hawaii, the diverse landscapes of the Middle East, the Black Sea, the Caribbean Islands and many other incredible sights. Not only this, but cruises are also brilliant fun and there are many benefits of going on one.

An Eye Opening Experience

Whilst there is a lot to be said for going on a safe and simple holiday, it is also not particularly adventurous. There are all kinds of breathtakingly beautiful places and things to discover out in the world; seeing these could give you a greater appreciation for the planet and be a real eye opening experience. The best way to explore the world and uncover these gems is through a cruise, as this will take you on a fun and unforgettable journey across the oceans to your destination.

corsica & cruise ships

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Seven restaurants you can’t miss in Dubai

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Dubai is one of those idyllic destinations where a traveller can enjoy sunny weather all-year-around, even when the summer heat may prove a little too much for some (there are still many ways to enjoy yourself indoors with air-conditioning on full blast). Everyone knows there’s no shortage of things to do in trendy and sleek Dubai, there’s a plethora of attractions beckoning your call. Endless skyscrapers, huge shopping malls, a buzzing nightlife, fantastic beaches, stunning resorts, desert safaris and many more unique draws makes Dubai a top destination for virtually every type of holidaymaker.

But Dubai is not only known for its skyscrapers, ultra-luxurious hotels and ambitious malls, but also for its extravagant culinary options and gastronomic experiences. Dubai Holidays is a site with a great collection of restaurants for you to plan your trip as it would be incomplete if you don’t take the opportunity to experience at least one of the top culinary options offered across a variety of quality restaurants. And you don’t have to break the bank either, there’s a tasty meal for every pocket, and even some gourmet delicacies to be found at moderate prices. You can also find freshly-prepared meals expressly hand-crafted to satisfy a variety of dietary conditions – from gluten-free to lactose-free, vegetarian and even vegan, there’ll be a restaurant in Dubai (often more than one) to cater for it all. Be it continental, Emirati, Thai, Mediterranean or Indian, you will find a sea of delicacies to taste.

Let us now go over our pick of hotel restaurants where you can experience some of the best gastronomic experiences in Dubai:

Omnia Gourmet: Designed by Silvena, this celebrated Emirati theme restaurant is the best option for health-conscious diners. Foodies arriving here are welcomed with lush green, mismatched ceramic tiles giving a perfect ambience that echoes the restaurant’s green credentials. The 24 carat gold chocolate sphere is a must- dessert to finish off a healthy meal and the cafe is ideal for those looking for vegan, organic, glute-free or raw cuisine.

Bateaux Dubai: If you want to experience dining by the waterways of Dubai Creek, then this restaurant is the best option to go for. There you can enjoy some finely prepared gourmet dishes and premium beverages with top-notch personalised service.

Zuma: Considered one of the finest restaurants in the world, this Japanese restaurant has a variety of menus on offer. It’s most famously known for its Japanese Izakaya specialties, perfectly complementing the Japanese theme prevailing all-around. If you’re looking for a fine-dining experience with a Japanese twist, then this is the one not to miss.

zuma restaurant
Zuma by Côte d’Azur on flickr.com

Mint Leaf of London: This restaurant is the perfect combination of sweet aromas and an electric atmosphere. Located on the 15th floor of South Tower in the Emirates Financial Towers, this is the place to enjoy a contemporary take on Indian food, not to mention the breath-taking views over the city that can be admired through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

Armani Hotel- Amal: If you’re looking forward to enjoying typical Indian fare then Amal is the right option to go for. Located in the magnificent Burj Khalifa, and part of the exclusive Armani hotel, this elegant restaurant serves some authentic Indian food along with signature luxury.

Entrance to the Armani Hotel at the Burj Khalifa
Entrance to the Armani Hotel at the Burj Khalifa by David Jones on Flickr.com

Pier Chic: Located at Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, this refreshing restaurant offers high-end Mediterranean seafood for real foodies looking for a fresh taste from the ocean. This romantic eatery is open for lunch and dinner with a menu featuring the finest selection of oysters, scallops, sashimi and lobster. The restaurant also has bar and lounge for those looking to enjoy a nice pre-dinner or apres-dinner cocktail.

Sarband by Nillo’s: This is the best Iranian restaurant in Dubai, and you’ll find it in Century Village. It’s famous for the high standards of its cuisine and its relaxed al fresco setting. It is also known for a reputed Iranian Head Chef who serves classic Persian fare like Khoresh-e-fesenjan. Many expats and tourists in Dubai are frequent diners and come here for simply the best Iranian food anywhere around.

abshar sangak with cheese, walnuts, greens
abshar sangak with cheese, walnuts, greens by Krista on Flickr.com

As you can see after checking out this list, Dubai’s gourmet gastronomy spans a wide variety of worldwide cuisines. Whether you’re visiting during the Dubai Shopping festival, to enjoy the awesome theme parks and eye-opening attractions, or to simply unwind on the beach, you should certainly not miss the most highly recommended restaurants.

Photo credit: All images used via Flickr’s creative commons licensing. (1) Zuma restaurant by Côte d’Azur; (2) Entrance to the Armani Hotel by David Jones; (3)Abshar Sangak with cheese, walnuts and greens by Krista

 

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How to Mix Relaxation and Adventure in Your Cuba Holiday

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Cuba is an incredibly appealing holiday destination, whether you’re after an action-packed vacation or simply seek a relaxing week or two away. As the largest island in the Caribbean you can create a holiday that has everything, from spending a few days exploring the jungles to chilling out on one of its many beaches.

You can create your own personalised vacation to the Caribbean nation or book an all-inclusive one with Cuba Holidays. Either option can help you have a holiday in such a glorious location that is the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation.

Life On Cuba

Beaches

There’s nothing more relaxing on a holiday than lying on the beach, taking in the sun’s rays with an ice cool drink nearby. As a large island, Cuba has many beaches in every corner. Varadero beach on the north side is a popular tourist destination, great for families with many quality hotels and restaurants nearby. Playa Pilar and Sirena beach on Cayo Largo to the south are also scenic beaches, surrounded by blue waters and golden sands.
Postcard from Cuba
Music and Bars

For the fully immersive Cuban experience you will definitely spend a lot of time relaxing in numerous bars and restaurants dotted across the island. From the hustle and bustle of the capital Havana, that could involve the odd dance in the street, to sipping on Cuba libres, music and food play a big part in the country’s culture. Expect to eat plenty of fish and rice based dishes in your downtime, with rum a key ingredient for a lot of meals and drinks.

Mojito

Water sports

Now for the more active side of things. Trinidad de Cuba is the place to go if you love, or just want to try out, some water sports. The sandy beaches are ideal for anyone not wanting to get involved, while clear blue waters are a dream for water-skiing, swimming, diving and just generally having fun in the sea. It’s also a highly picturesque little place, steeped in tradition.

cuba

Trekking

Get up and out into the hills with one of the many great trails around the country. From dramatic landscapes, mountain treks and strolls by the beach, a wide variety can be found, whether you’re after a short jaunt or long hike. The heat can be pretty intense at the heights of summer, so be sure to pack plenty of water and trek to a place that takes in either a lake or the seas to cool off in.

Cuba Cars

Photo credit: All images used via Flickr’s Creative Commons license. Title picture: Faces Of Cuba by Bud Ellison; (1) Life in Cuba by Angelo Domini; Postcard from Cuba by Nick Kenrick; Mojito by Jean-Philippe Rebuffet, Cuba by Domenic Scarturchio; Cuba Cars by Angelo Domini

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