Visit Disneyland Paris’ 20th Anniversary celebrations

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Europe, Travel Destinations, Travel Guides

If you’ve started thinking about booking your summer holiday for this year, you need look no further. Whether you are a family with small children or they’re growing up, this is the perfect holiday for you: Disneyland Paris. What child doesn’t want to visit Disney? And what could be better than going to Disneyland Paris, the closest Disney Park to home, and in the year of the 20th Anniversary celebrations?

Disneyland Paris is the most recently opened of the Disney Parks, in April 1992. The 20th Anniversary celebrations began in April 2012, but due to their popularity, they have been extended until September 2013. So what extra things are there to see and do over the summer?

The most exciting thing for park guests is the Disney Dreams evening show. Once the sun has set, the show begins with a fantastic array of lights, colours, lasers, water and fireworks. The main event in the show is Sleeping Beauty Castle, which through the magic of Disney and technology is transformed from its normal self into the waterfall from the Lion King, Notre Dame Cathedral and a lantern covered night time sky. It follows in the footsteps of Florida’s amazing Fantasmic show using water screens to project all of your favourite characters and bring them to life.

The park will also boast extra magic hours for guests, opening its doors earlier and staying open later into the night so that everyone can enjoy the magic of the celebrations a little longer every single day.

Disney Magic on Parade is another feature of the celebrations for the anniversary, with the usual daily parade transformed with a fantastic new soundtrack and floats. The characters even dress up for the occasion in specially designed costumes.

Brand new for the 20th anniversary are new meet and greet opportunities with some of your favourite characters. Mickey Mouse awaits each and every guest who would like to meet him in his own private rehearsal room. While you queue, there are shorts of Disney cartoons to keep the kids occupied. Make sure to meet the Disney Princesses in their brand new pavilion near It’s A Small World too.

Picture: Tom Bricker

Amazing Escapes

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Europe, Travel Destinations, Travel Tips

If sat lounging by the pool or on the beach isn’t your cup of tea and you’re looking for an amazing adventure from your holiday then we have three options which might be up your street. They are normally considered top beach holiday destinations, but the hold so much more, from amazing histories to beautiful scenic countryside.

Egypt

Home to one of the Wonders of the world, Egypt is a treasure trove of history and the red sea region, in particular is home to one of the best diving spots in the world. Stay at the Sultan Garden Egypt for a great base to explore this fascinating region. On the Sinai Peninsula, Sharm el Sheikh is surrounded on one side by the Red Sea and on the other the Sinai Dessert.

You can also visit Hurghada City, exploring this fascinating city from its ancient mosques to its harbour. It’s also well worth a trip to Jerusalem, taking time to visit Mount Of Olives, or the Old City, as well as the Western Wall, Via Dolorosa and Church of Holy Sepulchre. Make sure you save time to go to Mt. Zion for a look into the Last Supper room and spend some time at the fascinating Dead Sea.

Cyprus

For a country with a turbulent history, you forget about the beauty of its landscape and the history of the country which has made it what it is today. Paphos is a beautiful place, for a base to explore this region, stay at the Constantinou Bros Pioneer Beach Hotel.  From here you are able to visit fantastic places such as Troodos, venturing through the pine clad Troodos Mountains to the Kykkos Monastery.

You can also head north, through the UN patrolled border and explore the Turkish Northern Cyprus and its vast history. Cross the Pentadaktlos Mountain range and view the Abbey of Bellapai. Or explore the City of Salamis and Othello’s Tower where you can see this famous ghost town.

Turkey

It may be popular with those looking for a sun holiday, but the Turquoise Coast is also home to a wealth of history and some amazing countryside. To see the most of this amazing region, you are in prime position, staying in Icmeler, the Munamar Beach Hotel and Residence is a good affordable option.  Here you aren’t too far away from many of the popular tourist spots.

A trip to Ephesus is a must; you can explore the 2,000-year old Roman city and an open air museum including the Temple of Hadrian and the Celsus Library. Or how about a boat trip, from Dalyan and passing the ancient Lycian tombs which were built into the mountainside, to the Iztuzu beach nature reserve. With a holiday to Icmeler you can also take a day trip to the Greek Island of Rhodes, and explore its ancient castle.

Picture: whl.travel

For a City Break choose Bath

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Europe, Travel Destinations, Travel Guides

Breaks to cities both in the UK and Europe have become increasingly popular over the last few years as many people look for something different from taking in the sunshine on a Spanish beach. Shorts breaks are increasingly popular as they give the holiday maker the chance to spread their holiday weeks over many different periods.

A city that offers the traveller a wealth of choice and is very easy to access by both rail, road and air, is Bath with its imposing Georgian terraces and of course Roman Heritage, many would put Bath in the category of England’s most beautiful small city. Shopping is well catered for and the city has been praised for retaining many independent shops, unlike some other UK towns and high streets with have sadly declined. There is concern though that the newly opened SouthGate shopping mall could have a negative impact, so now is the time to enjoy roaming these small independents during a city break.

A good morning sightseeing or shopping can be tiring so what better way to relax those aching muscles through a visit to the recently refurbished Thermal Baths, here you can wallow in the hot, mineral-rich spring-waters, following the Roman occupiers of some 2,000 years previously.

Bath also has a number of museums for those interested in our heritage, but many visitors prefer to go on organised walking tours which are arranged through the Mayor of Bath’s Corps of Honorary Guides, details can be found at their website,  many prefer to take a hop-on, hop-off open-top bus tour. Excellent food can now be found at the city’s pubs, high quality restaurants, including one from Jamie Oliver have become well established.

Bath has much to offer the short break visitor and it is no surprise that many return, to repeat their enjoyable short break at this lovely English city.

Picture: Liminae

Off the beaten track in Turkey

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Europe, Travel Destinations, Travel Tips

Turkey is definitely an up and coming resort for a sunny holiday with plenty to keep you busy. As a slightly less popular resort than places like Spain and the Canary Islands, but this means you’re getting better value for your money.

Some resorts, such as Marmaris, in Turkey have already been bombarded by the British. But just a 10 minute dolmus ride away is the lesser known resort of Icmeler. Still within the beautiful bay of Marmaris, it has gorgeous sea and mountain views but fewer people, meaning more empty sunbeds! If nightlife is your thing though, Marmaris is still close enough to travel to nightly.

For those who want a little more from their holidays, Turkey is a fantastically cultural country, with a history stretching back over thousands of years. In every resort you will be offered a range of trips from historic sites, such as Ephesus where you can wander the remains of an ancient Greek city, to days out at traditional Turkish baths where you’ll be treated to a relaxing massage in a peaceful environment.

You can’t visit Turkey without sampling some of the local cuisine. If you’re not one to venture out of your hotel, you’re likely to be treated to authentic doner kebabs and meze, a variety of Turkey appetizers. But if you’re feeling a little braver, you can try anything from kokorec (lamb intestines) to gozleme (a savoury filled pastry). It wouldn’t be Turkish holiday without a sample of their traditional apple tea, usually served in small glasses with sugar on the side while your other half is bargaining with shopkeepers, it’s tasty and refreshing.

Top Tips for Holidays to Tenerife

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Europe, Travel Destinations, Travel Tips

A popular holiday destination, Tenerife, has plenty to offer its visitors, from amazing volcanic beaches to soft golden sand beaches. Small traditional white washed villages to lively holiday resorts. And a wide range of activities from walking tours to aqua parks and wildlife centres.

Flight times from UK to Tenerife are around the four hour mark, with flights available from major UK airports and a number of local airports. You can easily find flights to Tenerife online, with plenty of good deals offered. Tenerife also has a temperate climate with warm temperatures all year round. It can range from 15°C in the winter months up to 28°C in the summer.

On the island, there are a number of popular holiday resorts, each offering something different, depending on what you’re looking for. Playa De Las Americas has something for everyone; fantastic beaches and plenty of water sports. On an evening you will find a lively nightlife, featuring karaoke bars and cabaret clubs as well as a number of enticing restaurants.

Costa Adeje is a slightly more relaxed resort. Black volcanic beaches, you will easily be able to a spot to relax, or if you prefer to be busy then there are a number of activities on the beach. Costa Adeje has a quieter nightlife, so makes a good choice for those looking for something a bit more relaxed but still with a traditional Spanish Feel.

On the south of the island, you will find one of the first purpose built resorts; Costa del Silencio. This small resort is the perfect escape if you want a quiet break away. It’s a popular area for snorkelling and there are a number of excellent walks around the surrounding area.

You won’t be short of things to do when you take a Tenerife holiday. The island is packed full of exciting excursions and activities. Popular with families is the Tenerife Zoo Monkey Park where you can feed the Squirrel Monkeys & Baby Lemurs. Aqualand and Jungle Park makes for a great day or days out. Plenty to keep the kids and adults entertained.

If you like to get out and about and explore then you should check out Teide, the 12,402-foot, one-million-year-old volcanic peak which forms the centre of the island, is like something out of this world. For one of the best views on the island a visit to Roque de Los Muchachos is well worth the journey up there.

On an evening you won’t be short of things to do, many resorts have plenty of their own entertainment lined up, one must see is Showtime – The Sound of Musicals; a celebration of West End and Broadway hits, which is guaranteed to get everyone up singing along.

Once you have visited Tenerife you won’t be able to stop yourself booking another holiday to this fantastic island.

Travel Guide to Vienna, Austria

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Europe, Travel Destinations, Travel Guides

As well as the Schonbrunn Palace, Viennese waltz, interesting historic sites and beautiful parks, Vienna is famous for its chocolate cake, sachertorte and coffee.  Additionally, this city offers exquisite restaurants, great views, entertainment and exciting nightlife.   

Attractions

One of the major tourist attractions is the carnival season, when tourists and locals alike can attend the most glamorous balls in the city.  The City Hall and the Hofburg Imperial Palace are two amazing venues that typically host these balls.

You can also enjoy a wide range of other activities including river and canal tours, open-air film festivals and classical music festivals.  Or you could visit splendid buildings such as the Belvedere palace and gallery, the Botanical Garden, Leopold Museum, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Vienna State Opera House. 
For shopping addicts there are numerous supermarkets and outdoor markets.

Climate and weather

Vienna has a mild climate, with warm temperatures during summers but relatively cold winters.  Snowfalls typically occur from December through March. 

Travel information

Situated in Eastern Austria, Vienna can be reached by plane from London in about two and a half hours.  Travelling by train is not a good idea since the entire journey takes about 24 hours.

Ryanair to face probe

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Europe, Flights

It looks as though Ryanair the no frills carrier is set to face more probes about the way it runs its planes after it has been accused of  putting pressure on pilots to fly with minimal fuel to cut costs. The accusation comes from the Irish pilots union IALPA which has suggested that pressure is being put on pilots to carry the minimum amount of fuel required under European regulations. This decision has come about after a meeting which took place in Dublin after a series of incidents over Spanish airspace involving Ryanair.

Although the probe is to look at the latest of the incidents which involved a Ryanair plane being diverted to Madrid because of a technical issue, it is understood that the authorities will be looking at around four other emergency diversions to the Spanish airports of Barcelona, and Valencia. Rules about the amount of fuel that has to be carried are strict and aircraft have to carry sufficient fuel, not just to complete the journey but enough to cope with other factors such as delays or re-routing to other airports for whatever reason.

Ryanair has rejected both unions’ claims, and has also accused Spanish aviation authorities of falsifying information on incidents.

Europe is tops

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Europe, Travel Destinations, Travel Tips

There is more to Europe than sunshine and beaches, much as we British love to take a couple of weeks lying on them soaking up the sunshine, reading and having a cool beer or two. No Europe is a continent rich in gorgeous scenery, it has some wonderful traditions, lots of culture and for those of us who like it some night life, which can be as hectic as you want. Europe is of course a very large and diverse continent, and just about every country has something which is different from its neighbour.

To illustrate let us look at just four cities beginning with our own capital London. This is a city that is rich in culture and history and is the world’s most famous cosmopolitan city, but is really very modern is many ways, the fashion industry for example. Free museums and parks, shopping and night life eateries, pubs, bars, you will not be bored in London.

Paris is famous for its fashion and entertainment, the Eiffel Tower, the most recognisable landmark of the city; Notre Dame, La Conciergerie, Musee d’Orsay and Musee Picasso. As you stroll down the banks of the Seine, you will fall in love with Paris.

Amsterdam, canals scenic waterways, tall houses and imposing monuments, add to that the internationally renowned museums, markets, boutiques and above all for us Brits is that the Dutch all seem to speak impeccable English. Try to visit this most fascinating, fabled and fabulous of European cities.

Italy’s most famous and beautiful cities just has to be Rome and time here means that you can get lost in its ancient history. Rome will give you beautiful piazzas and eye-pleasing fountains. If you can drag yourself away from the delicious cuisine, go to the Coliseum, Capitoline Hill, The Vatican, Piazza Navona and Piazza Venezia.

Campsites Close to Disneyland Paris

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Europe, Travel Destinations, Travel Tips

Disneyland Paris is one of the world’s leading tourist attractions with around 15 million visitors every year.  It is a major topic of discussion among children, and the same can probably be said of their parents, although they are just as likely to be debating the cost.

A family holiday to Disneyland Paris is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and every parent will want to give their children the best time they can.  For those on a budget, one way to maximise the spending money and reduce accommodation costs is to look at camping rather than hotels.  There are two campsites offering easy access to the Disneyland resort.  The first is Camping La Croix du Vieux Pont, a lakeside complex beside the Compiègne Forest.  It offers excellent camping facilities, as well as a swimming pool, restaurant and bar, beauty spa and angling facilities, so there is plenty to keep parents entertained.

The second is Camping International by the banks of the River Seine near Maisons Laffitte.  The campsite itself does not have a huge range of amenities, but it is only a short walk to Maisons Laffitte, which has a good selection of shops, restaurants and bars.  Both campsites offer tents and mobile homes as accommodation options with electricity, gas and water all provided, and are open from early April to late October.

These campsites are not only close to Disneyland, but are also conveniently located for exploring the French capital itself, and could provide the ideal base for a holiday that appeals to both adults and children.

Taking The Children To Paris

Author: jayzep  |  Category: City Guides, Europe, Travel Destinations

If you have young children, you may have discounted Paris as a destination for a family break, but there is no need.  Paris is not all about couples’ romance; there is plenty for families to see and do too.

Paris is just a short flight away from the UK, or alternatively why not travel by train?  Small children often love the experience, and the train has the benefit of more space, more opportunities to stretch your legs and fewer luggage constraints.  Departing from St Pancras station in London, the Eurostar high-speed train can whisk your family away to the French capital in around 2 hours 15 minutes.

Once you are there, Paris has a plethora of family friendly small hotels or B&Bs happy to accommodate you and your offspring, or you could choose a small apartment; well-known apartment chains Citadines and Adagio both have a number of locations in Paris and there are many privately owned rentals too.

What to do?  For a start, there are parks and playgrounds all over Paris, so you will never be far from a place to play.  The Jardin Des Tuileries, next to the Louvre, is free of cars and offers a range of fountains, sculpture and meeting places including an impressive children’s carousel and a little pond for toy boats.

Taking a ride on the Batobus enables everyone to have a rest from walking whilst seeing some of Paris’s amazing sights, as well as proving an efficient way to get around with a buggy or toddler.

Just standing underneath the Eiffel Tower is an amazing experience, and there is a trail around (and up) the Tower designed just for 6 to 10 year olds.  Every evening, the Tower is lit up in a sparkling display for five minutes every hour on the hour.

As a short haul, short break destination, Paris has much to recommend it to families with children of all ages.