New Zealand is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, just south of Australia.

New Zealand is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, just south of Australia. The country is not part of Australia and has never been (many people make that error), but it has been its own country since the late 19th century. Before then, the country was actually considered to be part of the United Kingdom, and was under the laws and jurisdiction of the crown. New Zealand is actually a number of smaller islands, with two main islands (the North Island, also called Te Ika-a-Māui by the natives, and the South Island, also called Te Waipounamu) that comprise most of the land area of the country.

Coromandel Peninsula:coromandel peninsula

The Coromandel’s charms are no secret — tens of thousands flock here from the North Island’s urban centres and beyond every summer. Yet it remains just far enough from the madding crowds, as the intermittent weakness of phone signal and the car radio’s scratchiness can attest.

The peninsula is full of diddy towns, but you can add an extra zero to the populations of many during high summer. Between these townships, there’s white, craggy coastline, green, velvety conifers and creamy, dreamy sands. A mix of pony-tailed painters, affluent Aucklanders and laid-back locals use it as their hideaway and, as a result, the pace of life needn’t rise above a trot.

The Abel Tasman National Park:The Abel Tasman National Park

The Abel Tasman National Park hugs a coastline of extraordinary beauty, its golden sandy beaches and clear turquoise water making it one of the most popular (and accessible) national parks in New Zealand. You can explore by foot, walking into the Park from Marahau, Canaan Downs or Wainui Bay; by sea, taking a cruise to one of the many beaches along the Coastal Track or sea-kayak from various beaches; or by air, flying into the airstrip at Awaroa Bay.

sky towerSky Tower

SKYCITY Auckland is a destination like no other in New Zealand. It’s an exciting hub with dining, gaming, adrenaline activities and the iconic Sky Tower.

If you’re visiting Auckland for just one day then a trip up the Sky Tower which stands above all other high rise buildings high is a must. View the city from 328 metres high above street level and take in the beautiful views, up to 80 kilometres in every direction. Spot the key landmarks, a number of volcanoes and historical locations within the greater Auckland area.

Napier Art Deco:Napier art deco

Napier’s Art Deco town centre is unique. Rivalled only by Miami beachfront’s Streamline Moderne, it is the most comprehensive Art Deco styled town in the world. In 1931 a 7.8 on the Richter scale earthquake hit just 15km north of Napier. Lasting two and a half minutes, it destroyed much of the town, and the ensuing fires levelled the rest of the town centre. Development anywhere in the world at this time was rare due to the Great Depression, however Napier was all but wiped of the map and had to be rebuilt from scratch. By the end of the 1930s, Napier was the newest city on the planet.

Fascination with cinema, Hollywood and exotic imagery from Africa and South America mixed with expressions of new and exciting transport engineering; railway, steamships, cars and airplanes, is what gives Art Deco its distinct look. Other period styles such as Spanish Mission and Stripped Classical were also tested and mixed in. Notable Architect J. A. Louis Hay also experimented with the palette of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie Style.

 

KaikouraKaikoura

Kaikoura is a base for wildlife experiences of all kinds – it’s also a great place to eat crayfish (in the Maori language ‘kai’ means food, ‘koura’ means crayfish). An easy two-hour drive north of Christchurch, Kaikoura makes for a great day trip or a fun stop on your way to Marlborough.

Kaikoura’s environment is truly spectacular – the village is caught between the rugged Seaward Kaikoura Range and the Pacific Ocean. In winter the mountains are covered with snow, adding to the drama of the landscape.

Kaikoura’s special talent is marine mammal encounters – whales, fur seals and dolphins live permanently in the coastal waters. Whale watching trips leave the town several times a day and the local seal colony is always entertaining. There are plenty of cafés, restaurants and shops to explore.

Franz Josef Glacier:Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier was first explored in 1865 by geologist Julius von Haast, who named it after the Austrian emperor. The glacier is five kilometres from the town of the same name, and a 1.5 hour walk will take you to within 750m of its terminal face.

If you want to actually make contact with the glacier, take a guided ice walk or a heli-hike. Aerial sightseeing is another option.

There’s a range of natural attractions in close proximity to Franz Josef Glacier Village. Lose yourself in the rainforests, waterfalls, and lakes.

In the town you’ll find plenty of places to stay and eat, or relax at the glacier hot pools or explore the wildlife centre. At nearby Lake Mapourika, you can take a kayak tour or rent a stand-up paddle board.

 

Wai-o-tapu in new zealandWai-o-tapu

The Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland centers on walking outdoors – but what a walk! The park is New Zealand’s most colorful and diverse geothermal attraction; visitors follow demarcated tracks through a stunning variety of volcanic phenomena. You’ll see fantastic, naturally colored hot-and-cold pools, the world famous Champagne Pool, the amazing Lady Knox Geyser and the massive craters that are the hallmark of the Rotorua region’s volcanic heritage.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing:Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Tongariro National Park is New Zealand’s oldest national park and a dual World Heritage Site.  The Tongariro National Park is rich in both cultural identity and dramatic, awe-inspiring natural scenery.  Unique landforms, including the volcanic peaks of Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu ensure the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is considered a world-renowned trek.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a one-way through hike along a 19.4-kilometer (12-mile) track. Transportation can be arranged to and from both ends of the track (more transportation information below). Tongariro Alpine Crossing can be hiked in either direction, but it is recommend that you start from Mangatepopo Car Park at the southwest end of the track and finish at Ketetahi Car Park at the northeast end of the track. Hiking this direction, you will ascend 765 meters (2,510 feet) over the first 8.3 kilometers and then descend 1,125 meters (3,690 feet) over the final 11.1 kilometers, including a steep slope of loose rock that would be tiring to hike up in the opposite direction. Starting from the higher southwest end of the track, you’ll be treated to a seemingly endless string of impressive head-on views.

bay of islandsBay of Islands

The Bay of Islands offers the visitor so many things to do with lots of activities, short walks, tours and attractions to choose from.

One of New Zealand’s great holiday destinations..stunningly beautiful and historically significant and enjoyed by domestic and international visitors alike.

The range of things to see and do in the Bay of Islands varies from the indulgent to the relaxed to the adrenalin pumping activities. Relax with a massage, body or beauty treatment, enjoy locally caught seafood at one of the many cafe’s or restaurants, or catch your own with one of the local Bay of Islands fishing charters, take a scenic flight over the Bay of Islands, cruise to the Hole in the Rock, view and swim with dolphins, try parasailing to 1200 feet, go sailing through the 144 islands or experience an overnight cruise in the Bay. Take the time to explore the regions historical past of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and experience a Maori cultural show…. the Bay of Islands offers so many things to do to suit all visitors.

Milford Sound:milford sound in new zealand

Milford sound has a long and interesting history, from early Maori habitation to the first European explorers. Milford Sound was recognised by early colonists as a very special place and it been visited by curious explorers for over 200 years. Nineteenth century botanists have found rare plant life and the earliest photographers have documented it’s natural wonders. Please read through some of the pages we’ve created for you to learn more about this amazing place!

You can travel to Milford Sound in our custom-built glass roofed coaches so you won’t miss views of the mountains, glaciers and rainforest … yep, you’ll need the camera on the coach. Or for a different perspective of Milford Sound, take a scenic flight from Queenstown.

 

 

 

Australia is also a land of staggering contrast and spectacular beauty.

Australia is also a land of staggering contrast and spectacular beauty. Along the coast, visitors can explore vibrant multicultural cities, safari across vast sand islands, trek through ancient rainforests, and dive the Great Barrier Reef. In the Outback, rugged national parks and red-earthed deserts offer the ultimate in adventure travel.

Sydney Opera:sydney opera

The Sydney Opera House is Australia’s most recognisable building and is an icon of Australia’s creative and technical achievement. Since its completion in 1973 it has attracted worldwide acclaim for its design and construction, enhanced by its location on Bennelong Point within a superb harbour setting.

Today the Sydney Opera House is a national cultural centre that has gained widespread recognition and respect as a performing arts venue, and includes a concert hall, opera and drama theatres, a playhouse and a studio. It is a fitting showcase for many of the world’s leading performers.

great barrier reefThe Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is blessed with the breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef. The reef contains an abundance of marine life and comprises of over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays and literally hundreds of picturesque tropical islands with some of the worlds most beautiful sun-soaked, golden beaches.Because of its natural beauty, the Great Barrier Reef has become one of the worlds most sought after tourist destinations. A visitor to the Great Barrier Reef can enjoy many experiences including snorkelling, scuba diving, aircraft or helicopter tours, bare boats (self-sail), glass-bottomed boat viewing, semi-submersibles and educational trips, cruise ship tours, whale watching and swimming with dolphins.

Access the reef easily from Port Douglas, Cairns, Townsville, Airlie Beach, Seventeen Seventy and Bundaberg.
Find Nemo and all of his friends including over 30 species of whales and dolphins, 1,625 species of fish, 33 species of sharks and rays and 600 types of hard and soft coral.

Blue Mountains National Park:blue mountain australia1

Spanning 247,000 hectares, the Blue Mountains National Park is an iconic wilderness made up of blue-hazed valleys, sandstone rock formations, rainforests and waterfalls. Visitors come from across Australia and around the world to experience the natural wonders of the Blue Mountains and explore the Blue Mountains National Park.

Home to more than one hundred species of eucalypts, hundreds of bird species, dozens of reptile and amphibian species, and countless rare and ancient plants, this pristine wilderness is one of NSW’s most famous natural attractions.

melbourneMelbourne

Melbourne is best experienced as a local would, with its character largely reliant upon its diverse collection of inner-city neighbourhoods. Melbourne is best experienced as a local would, with its character largely reliant upon its diverse collection of inner-city neighbourhoods.

Sport:

It’s not the high-rises and bridges that strike you when you first visit Melbourne but the vast sporting edifices that fringe the city centre. Melburnians are passionate about AFL football (‘footy’), cricket and horse racing, while grand-slam tennis and Formula One car racing draw visitors in droves. Sport is a crucial part of the social fabric, taking on something of a religious aspect here.

Bondi Beach:bondi beach in australia

World-famous Bondi Beach has something for everyone; surf and sand, glitzy bars and cafés, markets, boutique street stalls, scenic walking trails and accommodation to suit a range of budgets. From Town Hall Station in the city centre, take a train to Bondi Junction and board a bus for the beach.

The main streets leading back from the beach are Hall Street, Roscoe Street, Curlewis Street and Beach Road. Hall Street has cool fashion and designer labels while Curlewis Street has many art galleries. Every Sunday, the grounds of the local public school host the Bondi Beach Markets, a flea market where you may pick up some bargains including locally produced jewellery, handicrafts and vintage clothing.

 

daintree national parkDaintree National Park

The 95 km (60 mile) Daintree region starts at Mossman Gorge, an hour’s drive north of Cairns, continues past Daintree Village, across the Daintree River, through the rainforest of Daintree National Park to Cape Tribulation and along the Bloomfield Tracktowards Cooktown.

The Daintree Rainforest is believed to be one of the three oldest in the world with unique plants and animals found nowhere else, a Paradise for bird-watchers and nature-lovers.

Explore the Daintree on your own or with an expert guide – ancient rainforests, stunning valleys, superb beaches, spectacular forest-clad mountains, clear streams, magnificent rivers and rolling farmlands.

Kakadu National Park:kakadu national park

Kakadu National Park is a living cultural landscape with exceptional natural and cultural values. Kakadu has been home to Aboriginal people for more than 50,000 years, and many of the park’s extensive rock art sites date back thousands of years. Kakadu’s rock art provides a window into human civilisation in the days before the last ice age.
The largest national park in Australia and one of the largest in the world’s tropics, Kakadu preserves the greatest variety of ecosystems on the Australian continent including extensive areas of savanna woodlands, open forest, floodplains, mangroves, tidal mudflats, coastal areas and monsoon forests.

great ocean roadGreat Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road…famous in Australia and around the world as one of the best road trips on the planet. e Great Ocean Road is a magnificent three-day self-drive touring route from surf capital Torquay to the famous 12 Apostles, ending at historic fishing village Port Fairy.

Starting from Melbourne, it’s an easy drive taking you along cliff tops and surf beaches and through lush rainforest. Along the way, spot koalas, kangaroos and even whales, zip-line your way through a treetop canopy, climb to the peak of a volcanic crater, and relax over regional dining atop a cliff or by the beach.

Broome and the Kimberley region:Broome and the Kimberley region

the small town Broome in Australia is a picture perfect tropical paradise, the top destination in the Kimberley region, and therefore you must base yourself in Broome for your Kimberleys visit.
Endless white beaches, fringed by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, strikingly contrasted against the red sands and cliffs.

Larger than 75% of the world’s countries, the Kimberley is hemmed by impenetrable coastline and unforgiving deserts. In between lie vast boab-studded spinifex plains, palm-fringed gorges, desolate mountains and magnificent waterfalls. Travelling here is a true adventure, and each dry season a steady flow of explorers search for the real outback along the legendary Gibb River Road.

South Africa is one of the most diverse and interesting countries in the world. Tourists flock to South Africa for its natural beauty, wildlife and sunshine.

South Africa is one of the most diverse and interesting countries in the world. Tourists flock to South Africa for its natural beauty, wildlife and sunshine. South Africa’s immensely varied terrain supports a rich diversity of animals, birds, and plant-life and offers an incomparable range of experiences.
Whether you’re in South Africa on safari or to enjoy the beaches, breathtaking drives, whale-watching or unspoiled wilderness, SA-Venues.com strives to help you experience the very best that the Country has to offer, including finding the ideal Cape Town accommodation or the perfect accommodation in South Africa for your holiday.

Cape Town

Cape Town is one of South Africa’s most historically important cities. It was here, in the Mother City, where the first European colonists set foot in South Africa—which also marked the beginning of the South African slave trade. It was home to perhaps the world’s most famous political prisoner—Nelson Mandela—who was held on the tiny Robben Island in Table Bay. Here are a few of the landmark historical moments that make Cape Town the place it is today.

City Bowl: city bowl in cape town
Lying snug in the immense arms of Table Mountain, Cape Town’s city bowl is amazingly aptly named. The heart of Cape Town is enfolded neatly between the harbour and the mountain, virtually in the shape of a bowl. The city bowl holds some of the most interesting and historically significant neighbourhoods and the likes of the Bo Kaap, Oranjezicht, Tamboerskloof and Gardens provide hours of easy meanderings, restaurants and historical sights.

Atlantic Seaboard
The Atlantic Seaboard is known as Cape Town’s ‘Riviera’, running from the V&A Waterfront on the north shore of Table Mountain all the way down to Hout Bay.
The much-loved stretch encompasses the vibey hub of Green Point, the Sea Point Promenade, which stretches along the water’s edge from Mouille Point to the end of Sea Point, the upmarket beachfront neighbourhoods of Clifton and Camps Bay, and the quaint harbour village affectionately known as the Republic of Hout Bay.
Sandwiched between the glistening Atlantic Ocean and the slopes of Lions Head and the Twelve Apostles, sundowners are an absolute treat here and there are plenty of places to enjoy them. While the water can be a little chilly, beaches like Clifton, Camps Bay and Hout Bay are popular for swimming.

southern suburbs in cape town1Southern Suburbs
The group of suburbs lying south east of the City Bowl and Table Mountain in Cape Town are collectively known as the ‘southern suburbs’.
For the most part, the Southern Suburbs lie at the base of Table Mountain National Park, a mountainous backbone that stretches all the way from Signal Hill to Cape Point, creating an impressive backdrop that infuses the southern suburbs with a natural leafiness, in most part due to the frequent blanket of clouds that tend to hang over the mountains, and relative shelter from the wind.

Helderberg:

The Cape Helderberg, or Helderberg basin, is one of the most visually dramatic areas in the Cape, with the Hottentots Holland and Helderberg Mountain ranges creating a powerful backdrop against which the valley descends into vineyards and finally on to a coastline swept with warm waters and effortlessly white, sandy beaches.
The Helderberg Wine Route, a subsidiary of the Stellenbosch Wine Route, has a distinct personality and wines produced here are heavily influenced by cool sea breezes and ideal soil conditions.

Blaauwberg:blaauwberg in cape town
The Blaauwberg region stretches from Milnerton in the south to Mamre in the north and offers vast stretches of sandy white beaches on the northern side of the Atlantic Coast.
The Blaauwberg region, one of the fastest growing areas in the Western Cape, lies to the north of Cape Town city centre and is the gateway to the Cape West Coast. There are plenty of bars, restaurants and shopping malls for those so inclined, but best to head for the beaches to watch kite surfers doing ridiculous aerial maneuvers.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Northern Cape
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier park lies in the large sand-filled basin in the west of the southern African subcontinent, known as the Kalahari. It covers almost one third of the area and forms what may be the largest sandveld area in the world.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is characterised by vast arid landscapes with red dunes, sparse vegetation and camel thorn trees. Animals tend to gather in the dry river beds and waterholes. Herds of Gemsbok, Springbok, Eland and Blue Wildebeest follow the seasons, closely watched by prides of Black-Mane Lion. Other predators include Leopard, Cheetah, Brown and Spotted Hyena and birds of prey.

stellenbosch in south africaStellenbosch, Western Cape
The beautiful little town of Stellenbosch, roughly an hour from Cape Town, lies surrounded by the Stellenbosch Mountains in the Jonkershoek River Valley in one of the most picturesque settings in the Cape.
The second oldest town in South Africa has fondly been called ‘Eikestad’ or city of oaks and its streets are lined with some of the most beautiful surviving examples of Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian architecture in the Cape. Dorp Street is a national monument and taking the time to walk around this cosy old part of Stellenbosch, with its secluded lanes, water furrows, cosmopolitan restaurants and coffee bistros, with superb views of mountain, vineyards and orchards, is an idyllic morning venture.

Robben Island, Western Cape
Robben Island has been used as prison and a place where people were isolated, banished and exiled to for nearly 400 years. It was also used as a post office, a grazing ground, a mental hospital and an outpost.
Initially the island was inhabited by a variety of wild life, including birds, penguins, seals and tortoises. Its name “robben” is derived from the Dutch, meaning a seal. It also had a plentiful supply of fresh water available from a number of springs.

Cage Dive with Great White Sharkscage dive with great white sharks in south africa1
Climb into a thick iron cage, plunge into the ocean, and come face-to-face with a great white shark. Believe it or not, this is one of South Africa’s top attractions – for thrill seekers. The sport has become so popular that new tour operators keep sprouting up every year. The best time to try the dive is April through October, but great whites swim these waters throughout the year thanks to healthy populations of seals and fish.

KwaZulu-Natal

Drakensbergdrakensberg
The Drakensberg is not only about its famous mountain peaks – Giants Castle, Cathedral Peak, Mont-Aux-Sources – it is also graced with a number of lower peaks known as the foothills of the Drakensberg. The entire Drakensberg is riddled with incredible waterfalls, rock pools, mountain streams, caves, crisp mountain air, and special spaces that draw both visitors to South Africa and locals alike.

Within the Drakensberg of KwaZulu Natal lies the 243 000 hectare mountain region that is also a world heritage site, known as Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park. Not only does it boast some of the most incredible scenic beauty, but it also has over 600 examples of San rock paintings in caves around the park.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park
iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa’s very first World Heritage site since 1999 (Unesco), it is also the third largest protected area in South Africa.
iSimangaliso Wetland Park covers 10 unique destinations namely, Kosi Bay, Coastal Forest, Lake Sibaya, Sodwana, Mkuze Game Reserve, False Bay, Western Shores & Charters Creek, Lake St Lucia, Eastern Shores & Cape Vidal and Mphelane. Its with out a doubt a wildlife paradise.

durban golden mile in south africaDurban’s Golden Mile:

The Durban coast has been a popular seaside holiday destination for many years, and holiday seasons attract thousands upon thousands of South Africans from far and wide to the Golden Mile, flocking in droves to enjoy its many attractions, which include:
• Blue Lagoon, a popular hangout near the Umgeni River mouth, with picnic facilities, which is also a popular fishing spot
• Mini Town, which displays a scaled model of Durban, complete with a working miniature railway, harbour and airport.
• Traditional vendors, found under thatched roofs along the beach, selling an interesting selection of Zulu art and crafts.
• Suncoast Casino, a casino complex with a private beach, numerous restaurants, shops and public entertainment facilities.
• North Beach, Dairy Beach, the Bay of Plenty and Snake Park beaches, popular surfing beaches separated by piers.
• The Skate Park, which caters for skateboarders, roller bladers and BMX’ers.

Knysna

Knysna is a natural paradise of lush, indigenous forests, tranquil lakes and golden beaches. She nestles on the banks of a breathtakingly pretty lagoon, now a protected marine reserve that is home to the extraordinary sea horse and over 200 species of fish.
Beaches, lakes, mountains and rivers provide endless opportunity for leisure and outdoor adventure. Within the town, craft shops, flea-markets and cosy cafés beckon with small-town charm and hospitality. The area around Knysna is a veritable Garden of Eden. This is home of the only forest elephant in South Africa, the rare Pansy Shell, the brilliantly coloured, and elusive, Knysna Loerie, a plethora of waterfowl and forest birds, dolphins and visiting whales.

Knysna Elephant Park:knysna elephant park

Knysna and the surrounding indigenous forests were once home to herds of Knysna elephants who wandered freely in their natural forested habitat. Due to man’s interference over the years, the numbers have decreased from close to 500, to only three elephants which are believed to remain in the area. The Knysna Elephant Park is a sanctuary for orphaned elephants, and visitors get the opportunity to experience an exciting and up-close encounter with the herds of elephant.
The park offers daily tours everyday, where visitors can learn a bit more about the elephant before spending an hour or so interacting with them – feeding, touching and taking photographs. The tour departs every ½ hour throughout the day.

Buffalo Bay:

Buffalo Bay is a unique, family orientated caravan park that specializes in providing prime tourist caravan & camp sites on the beach. Almost completely surrounded by waves, the best view of the Indian Ocean is at your doorstep.

brenton on seaBrenton on Sea:

Brenton on Sea is situated on the scenic Garden Route coastline and nestles between the Indian Ocean and the hills of the Western Head of Knysna’s Estuary, a 16 km drive from Knysna. It is a breathtaking holiday location and a nature lover’s paradise with its unspoilt beaches and peaceful surroundings. Brenton is the ideal backdrop to an intimate wedding ceremony on the beach with beautiful views and dramatic sunsets. Your accommodation is situated a mere two minute walk from the 7 km beach. You will go home enriched, with unforgettable memories and great stories to tell.

Garden Route National Park

Along the South Coast of South Africa lies one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world, home to the Garden Route National Park.
A mosaic of ecosystems, it encompasses the world renowned Tsitsikamma and Wilderness sections, the Knysna Lake section, a variety of mountain catchment, Southern Cape indigenous forest and associated Fynbos areas. These areas resemble a montage of landscapes and seascapes, from ocean to mountain areas, and are renowned for its diverse natural and cultural heritage resources.

Gauteng

Johannesburg and PretoriaJohannesburg and Pretoria
There is plenty to see, do and experience in Gauteng. Here are a few travel tips from Portfolio for this vibrant region of South Africa.
Cullinan – This is where the world’s largest diamond was discovered. Visit the Premier Diamond Mine and the charming village of Cullinan, just outside of Pretoria.
Halfway House – Take a flip at the Grand Central flying school at Halfway House. Be extra daring and request a helicopter for an adrenalin-filled flight!
Kyalami – Home to the only Lipizzaner school outside of Europe, with spectacular weekly shows every Sunday. Proceeds go to supporting the school.
Magaliesburg – Rise with the sun in a hot-air balloon and drift over fields and valleys. Spend the day doing the Magalies Meander or the Crocodile River Ramble.
Pretoria – Home of Sir Herbert Baker’s magnificent Union Buildings and the beautifully restored Melrose House. While in Pretoria, visit the Sammy and Marks Museum or spend a day at the zoo with the family. It’s all happening around Brooklyn Circle and Hatfield – meet the locals in popular eateries and browse the boutiques, art and décor shops.

Mpumalanga

Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve blyde river canyon
Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve in Mpumalanga, South Africa forms part of the Greater Drakensberg escarpment and features on the scenic Panorama Route.

Activities: Hiking, horse riding, white water rafting, kloofing, hot-air ballooning, fly-fishing, biking, tours and boat trips on the Blyde Dam.

Highlights: Beautiful panoramic views and scenic waterfalls
Incorporating the third largest canyon in the world and impressive lush scenery, Blyde River Canyon Reserve offers visitors a remarkable experience. This Mpumalanga Nature Reserve, South Africa is near Kruger National Park and covers 29 000 hectares stretching from the misty highlands down to the hotter and drier lowveld at the Blyde Dam.

The Maldives, a tropical paradise of pristine beaches, are an archipelago of 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 coral atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts) in the Indian Ocean.

The Maldives, a tropical paradise of pristine beaches, are an archipelago of 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 coral atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts) in the Indian Ocean. They lie south-southwest of India and are considered part of Southern Asia.
Tourism is the largest economic industry in the Maldives. A tourist resort in the Maldives consists of an exclusive hotel on its own island, with its population entirely based on tourists and work force, with no local people or houses. These islands developed for tourism are approximately 800 by 200 metres in size and are composed of sand and coral to a maximum height of about 2 metres above the sea. In addition to its beach encircling the island, each island has its own “house reef” which serves as a coral garden and natural aquarium for scuba divers and snorkelers.

Malé: male island in maldives

Maldives National Museum: The Maldives embraced Islam in the 12th century B.C. For eight hundred years afterwards, the archipelago nation was ruled as a sultanate. The Maldives National Museum in Male is housed in the only part of the sultan’s palace that is still standing. Exhibits include many of the sultan’s possessions, including clothing, furniture, thrones, armor and photographs of the royal family. The museum also contains rare Buddhist statues and a cenotaph that dates back to the times when the Maldives was still a Buddhist nation.

• Maldives Grand Friday Mosque: The Grand Friday Mosque, also known as the Hukuru Miskiiy, was built on the foundations of a much older temple that faced west to catch the rays of the setting sun. Consequently, the structure does not face in the true direction of Mecca, and worshippers must make the necessary adjustments when they pray there.
The mosque itself was built 1656, and its blue and white minaret in 1675. Though its exterior is an unprepossessing façade of corrugated iron, the mosque’s interior wall, made from coral stone carved with geometrical designs and Arabic script, is quite extraordinary. The mosque’s interior also contains elaborate wooden carvings, including a 13th century panel depicting the Maldives’ conversion to Islam.

• Mulee-aage: Directly in front of the Hukuru Miskiiy sits the Mulee-aage, which was built at the beginning of the 20th century as a home for the Sultan’s son. It is an attractive palace with wrought iron gates and a charmingly friezed roof. Today, the Mulee-aage houses the President’s offices.

• Maldives Fish Market: Male’s northern waterfront is the city’s commercial center, and the site of its famous fish market. When fishing dhonis return with their catch every afternoon, the market becomes a hub of activity. These days, the catch is mostly tuna. There are other markets in the area as well that sell dried fish and fresh produce brought by dhoni from nearby atolls.

The Esjehi Art Gallery: The Esjehi Art Gallery is housed in one of the oldest buildings in Male, a 19th century nobleman’s palace. The finely carved wooden panels covering the walls of the building give some sense of what life was like in Male in bygone years. Today the building houses a small collection of contemporary Maldivian arts and crafts

sun island in maldivesSun Island

Best time to visit Sun Island: March to April – the summer season, suitable for water sports.
Major attractions at Sun Island: Diving, windsurfing and snorkelling, relaxation at sauna and spa, Island Divers
Best places to stay: Sun Island Resort & Spa, Holiday Island Resort & Spa, LUX* South Ari Atoll etc.

The luxurious Sun Island Resort & Spa features 9 dining options, an outdoor pool and free Wi-Fi. Each spacious villa has a balcony and TV with cable channels.

The villas at Island Sun Resort come with a sitting area and DVD player. The private bathroom has hot shower facilities and a bathtub.
Facilities at the Sun Island include a fitness center and sauna. The resort provides snorkeling and diving equipment, while sightseeing arrangements can be made at the tour desk.
Local and international buffet spreads are available at Maaniyaa Restaurant. Barbecued seafood is served at Guraamuli Grill Terrace, and Italian cuisine is available at Ristorante Il Pontile. Alternatively, Thai dishes can be found at Sun Star, and refreshing beverages at Mekunu Bar.

Banana Reef:banana reef in maldives

The Protected Marine Area of Banana Reef has a bit of everything: dramatic cliffs, caves and overhangs; brilliant coral growths; big predators such as sharks, barracuda and grouper; and prolific reef fish, including jackfish, morays, Napoleon wrasse and blue-striped snapper. It was one of the first dive sites in the country to become internationally known. The reef top is excellent for snorkelling.

Banana Reef in North Male Atoll was the first dive site to be discovered in the Maldives continues to be one of the most popular. The reef is shaped like a banana, hence it was called the banana reef. The dive, which ranges in depth from 5 to 30 meters, has several interesting characteristics including a pinnacle and some overhangs. Coral formations here are prolific and colorful, attracting an extensive variety of fish, including squirrelfish, bannerfish and oriental sweetlips. Currents can be strong at times around the reef, with occasional turbulence occurring around the overhangs. As such, the use of a surface balloon is recommended.

Alimatha Island:alimatha island in maldives

Alimatha is in Vaavu Atoll and sits on the eastern edge of Maldives roughly 4 degrees north of the equator. Its reef is the southern edge of Myaru Kandu, one of the most famous channel dives in the whole world. This dive location is so beautiful that it has been included within the government-sanctioned list of protected dive sites. Myaru in Dhivehi – the Maldivian language – means shark and Kandu means channel: the name says it all. Another protected dive site is Fotteyo Kandu, a 90 minutes boat ride from Alimatha: the spectrum of different colours found in the wall-covering soft corals is astounding, truly a case of nature being more fantastic than fantasy itself.

Alimatha is the complete Maldivian destination for all tourists because it has it all: world-level diving for both experienced and beginners, aquarium-like snorkeling sites, emerald shallow waters for swimming and playing with the kids, completely surrounded by sand with both secluded areas and a central beach location with bar, music and animation, Areyuvedic massage centre, watersports corner with windsurfing, canoeing and cat sailing, main restaurant and specialty one. By choice Alimatha does not have TVs or telephones in the guest rooms; this by itself says a lot about the philosophy behind Alimatha Resort.

artificial beach in maldivesArtificial Beach:

Male is generally famous as the commercial center of the island nation where people majorly come to experience the culture and traditions, some restaurant-hopping and shopping activities. One thing that Male had been missing was the ability to offer tourists a taste of its beaches as well. But in the recent times, Male has been successful in getting itself some beach fun too with the amazing Artificial Beach. The beach is no less than the other natural beaches on the island and is perfect for enjoying a swim or a long walk with your partner. Not only this, it has gained popularity due to the wide variety of entertainment options that have come up here. These include many water sports, live music shows, as well as several carnivals and parades that happen here time to time.

Veligandu Island:veligandu island in madives

Located in North Ari Atoll, Veligandu Island is a reasonably small island. But in spite of being small, it has its own glory for vacationers. The island is filled with astonishing greenery that provides immense serenity in this land of shimmering waters. Also, the lagoons here provide great opportunities for diving and snorkeling. Being in close proximity to a fishing village, the island also promises to serve you delicious food.
Major attractions at Veligandu Island Beach: Veligandu Island Resort & Spa, snorkeling, diving, fishing, village tours

Mauritius, known officially as the Republic of Mauritius, is an island nation located off the southeast coast of the African continent in the Indian Ocean.

Mauritius, known officially as the Republic of Mauritius, is an island nation located off the southeast coast of the African continent in the Indian Ocean. It is a volcanic island of lagoons and palm-fringed beaches with coral reefs surrounding most of the coastline.

Mauritius is a densely populated island of around 1.2 million people. It has a reputation for stability and racial harmony among its mixed population. Mauritius is known as a plural society where all the ethnic groups present: Hindus, Muslims, Creoles, Chinese and Europeans live in peace and where all the ancestral cultures have been preserved.

le morneLe Morne

Visible from much of southwestern Mauritius, the iconic Le Morne Brabant (556m) is a stunning rocky crag from which this beautiful peninsula takes its name. Shaped like a hammerhead shark, the peninsula itself has some of the island’s best beaches, now home to a number of upmarket hotels.

Black River Gorges National Parkblack river gorges

The Black River Gorges National Park Project was proclaimed on the 15th of June 1994 by the President of the Republic of Mauritius. It is found in the South West of the island, and covers an area of 6,574 hectares of

forests including the highest point at Piton de la Rivière Noire (828 m). The Park is managed mainly for the conservation of endemic flora and fauna, dissemination of and creation of public awareness, education and the provision of leisure to both local and foreign visitors.

Trails lead to all parts of the park, from the shady path up the Black River Gorges, to the often cloud-shrouded ridge walk to the Black River Peak. Some 60 km of trails are there for you to enjoy the panorama and to be closer to the plants and animals of the park.

 

chamarelChamarel

Chamarel is a small village located in the district of Savanne. Chamarel attracts much since you will have the chance to visit the beautiful places in its vicinity- The highest waterfall in Mauritius at 100 metres and the 7-coloured earths. The Chamarel Falls are as impressive a waterfall as you’ll find anywhere and makes up a perfect spot. Climbing the stairs to the viewing platform reveals an awe impressive view as it hits the pool 100 metres below. The ‘Seven Coloured Earth’, made up of sand dunes of different distinct colours including reds, browns and purples will impress more than one. This phenomenon is due to the cooling, at different temperatures, of volcanic rocks which resulted in dunes of different colours.

Île aux Cerfs Island :lle aux cerfs island

Île aux Cerfs Island , known in English as the deer island is an island near the east coast of Mauritius in the Flacq district. This paradise island of Mauritius constitutes of around 100 hectares of land. Nowadays there are no more deers on the island, but you will find there some of the worlds beautiful beaches and as such it is one of the must place to visit and see in Mauritius.

Ile Aux Cerfs is famous for its sandy beaches, beautiful lagoon and big selection of activities and facilities. In Ile Aux Cerfs you are sure to have a day of relaxation and fun on one of the picture-postcard beaches, and to enjoy a swim and snorkeling in the lagoon.

grand bassin in mauritiusGrand Bassin:

Ganga Talao or the Grand Bassin is an important pilgrimage site. It is a natural lake within an extinct volcano crater. According to a mythological story it is believed that the water here is sourced from the sacred Ganges River in India. Taking a dip in this lake during the Shivratri festival is considered auspicious.
At the northern side of the lake, just a little away from the parking lot you will see a 108 feet tall statue of Lord Shiva, which is the second largest statue in the world. The tallest Lord Shiva statue at 120 feet is in New Delhi.

Champ de Mars in Port Louis:

Indian Ocean, Mauritius, Port-Louis, Champ de Mars, racecourse
Indian Ocean, Mauritius, Port-Louis, Champ de Mars, racecourse

This racecourse was a military training ground until the Mauritius Turf Club was founded in 1812, making it the second-oldest racecourse in the world. Mauritian independence was proclaimed here in 1968. The racing season lasts from around April to late November, with meetings usually held on a Saturday or Sunday. The biggest race of all is the Maiden Cup in September. For race dates, contact the Mauritius Turf Club or check local media.

chateau de labourdonnais in mauritiusChâteau de Labourdonnais:

The Château de Labourdonnais was owned by Christian Wiehe, an influential figure of nineteenth century Mauritius. The construction started in 1856 and three years later, the Wiehe family moved into one of the most beautiful colonial houses of the island.

Inspired by Italian neo-classical architecture, the residence stretches out on two levels. The house was built mainly from teak wood and has a double colonnaded gallery. The layout of the house follows that of the private mansions of the nineteenth century, with a central hallway leading on one side to the dining room and on the other to the main lounge. The bedrooms are situated upstairs.

Pamplemousses Botanical Garden:pamplemouses botanical garden

If you love the green sights and colourful flowers of Mauritius, you will enjoy the botanical garden of Pamplemousses a lot. A selection of the most special plants from Mauritius and elsewhere in the world are the decor of this very old garden.
The garden is 37 hectares big, with paths everywhere, making it nice to walk through. Besides a wide variety of trees and plants, you will also find an old colonial castle called ‘Chateau Mon Plaisir’, a sugar mill and a farm with deer and turtles.

 

 

 

 

Cambodia is a Southeast Asian nation whose landscape spans low-lying plains, the Mekong Delta, mountains and Gulf of Thailand coastline

 

Cambodia is a Southeast Asian nation whose landscape spans low-lying plains, the Mekong Delta, mountains and Gulf of Thailand coastline. Phnom Penh, its capital, is home to the art deco Central Market, glittering Royal Palace and the National Museum’s historical and archaeological exhibits.

 

phnom phenhPhnom Penh:

The Royal Palace, the National Museum, and the Toul Sleng genocide museum are all in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city.  The nearby National Museum houses over 14,000 items, from pre-historic Cambodia to periods before, during, and after the Khmer Empire. It is open for public viewing from 8 am to 5 pm every day, and the entrance fee is at $3 per adult.

Angkor Wat in Siem Reap province:angkor wat in siem reap province

The ancient temples of Angkor, decorated with beautiful sculptures, bring a sense of pride to Cambodians. At night, the liveliest areas in Siem Reap include the Pub Street, the Old Market area, and the Night Market area.

Attending a traditional dance performance is a must when visiting Cambodia. Several restaurants offer dinner performances such as the Apsara Theater, Tonle Mekong, and the Tonle Sap restaurant. Other restaurants, like the Dead Fish Tower, offer traditional music at dinner time.

Bousra waterfall in Mondulkiri province


Bousra waterfall in Mondulkiri province:

The town of Sen Monorom in Mondulkiri province is the best camping place for travelers who want to explore the Bousra waterfall which is considered as one of the country’s most beautiful waterfalls.

The double-drop area is very popular with the locals who use it as a bathing and picnic area. Snacks are sold around the area, but visitors can bring their own food.

 Sihanoukville Beach:sihanovukville

If you travel along the national road no. 4 from Phnom Penh, you will reach Sihanokville province in 5 hours or less. It is Cambodia’s premiere island and beach resort.

It is a prefect tropical area, filled with lovely beaches and facilities for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and sunbathing.

Tourists can enjoy the white-sand beaches and fresh air in nearby islands such as the Koh Rong Island, Koh Rong Somloem, Koh TaKiev, and the Bamboo Island.

 Preah Monivong National Park/BoKor National Park in Kampot province

Phnom Bokor (Ox Hump Mountain) was named after its shape and is part of the Elephant Mountain range.

Aside from the adventure the ride to the mountain offers, tourists can enjoy the scenery and the cool mountain air.

Visitors can take a motorcycle or car up to the top of the mountain. If they don’t have their own bike, a big bike can be rented in Kampot for less than $12 a day. Gas costs $1.25 a liter.

Buses bound for the Bokor Nation Park leave Kampot at 10:30 am and 4:20 pm and returns at 8:30 am and 3:30 pm.

Mauritius:

Mauritius is rightly famed for its sapphire-blue waters, powder-white beaches and, yes, luxury resorts that provide a front-row seat onto some of the most beautiful views in the Indian Ocean. These are places of the utmost refinement, of impeccable service, of facilities that range from pampering spas, designer rooms and extensive watersports options to dreamy swimming pools, expansive palm-strewn grounds and world-class restaurants.

Itanbul:istanbul

İstanbul’s strategic location has attracted many marauding armies over the centuries. The Greeks, Romans and Venetians took turns ruling before the Ottomans stormed into town and decided to stay – physical reminders of their various tenures are found across the city. The fact that the city straddles two continents wasn’t its only drawcard – it was the final stage on the legendary Silk Road linking Asia with Europe, and many merchants who came here liked it so much that they, too, decided to stay.

cappadociaCappadocia:

In an extraordinary meeting of nature’s artistic splendor and humankind’s resourcefulness, Cappadocia is one of those rare places that must be experienced at least once in a lifetime. With soaring rock formations, uniquely-rippled landscapes, splendid walking trails, mysterious underground cities and rock-cut churches, Cappadocia is the must-see destination in Turkey.

Located just one hour away from Istanbul or Izmir by plane, adding this wonder of nature & man to your Turkey Itinerary couldn’t be easier. Turkish Heritage Travel is your local expert in all things Cappadocia – allow us to tailor-make your entire Turkey experience and be your regional specialists in Cappadocia.

 

 

 

Life in Bali is always related to Tri Hita Karana or a tripartite concept that include the spiritual relationship between human and God, and their environment

One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, Bali for few years awarded as the world best island by The International Travel Magazine. There, however, are still many people who do not know in depth about the uniqueness of Balinese culture. Life in Bali is always related to Tri Hita Karana or a tripartite concept that include the spiritual relationship between human and God, and their environment.

The rapid growth of development in tourism has had a big impact and influences to Bali tradition and lifestyle. Interestingly, Balinese culture is still as what it was, growing along with the of globalization. It is the Balinese civilization what makes the island different from other destination.

NUSA DUA:nusa dua

The name ‘Nusa Dua’ is derived from the two small islands on its eastern shoreline. Though it’s the most developed area in Bali, it still houses many temples, a museum, and many other attractions to see and visit. The enclave is an idyllic place for honeymooners and for those who bring the entire family for a memorable Bali holiday.

Nusa Dua is an area in southern Bali, Indonesia. It’s known for its sandy beaches like Geger Beach, international resorts and an 18-hole golf course. The intricately carved Pura Geger stone temple sits on a forested bluff overlooking the ocean. Museum Pasifika shows paintings from, or inspired by, the Asia-Pacific region. North of Nusa Dua, boats connect the fishing port of Tanjung Benoa to nearby Serangan Island.

ICONIC RICE PADDIES:iconic rice paddies

Bali rice fields can be found almost everywhere, and the Balinese people have depended on this method of agriculture for almost 2000 years. The terraced rice fields were carved by hand, with the help of some simple tools, and are being maintained by succeeding generations

bali ulwatu templeBALI ULUWATU TEMPLE:

Bali Uluwatu Temple is located in Pecatu Village, Kuta Sub-district, Badung District, Bali. The temple is 30 kilometers to the south of Denpasar. Uluwatu Temple, also called Luwur Temple, is one of the six Sad Kahyangan Temples, the main spiritual pillars in Bali Island.   This temple also shares the splendid sunset backdrops as that of Tanah Lot Temple, another important sea temple located in the island’s western shores.

SEMINYAK:seminyak

Seminyak is a beach resort area at the southern end of Bali, Indonesia, with many luxury hotels, villas and spas, as well as high-end shopping and restaurants. Sleek bars and clubs with busy sunset scenes line Seminyak and Petitenget beaches, which are wide, west-facing stretches of Indian Ocean shoreline with gray sand and good surfing conditions.

sanur in baliSANUR:

Sanur is a seaside town in the southeast of the island of Bali, in Indonesia. Its long stretch of beach offers shallow waters. Colorful jukung fishing boats rest on the sand, backed by a paved cycling path. The Pura Blanjong temple is built from coral and has inscriptions dating from the 10th century. The leafy main street Jalan Danau Tamblingan is lined with art galleries and restaurants.

 

 

 

 

The Emirate of Dubai is the second largest of the seven United Arab Emirates but has the biggest population at over 2.1 million inhabitants

The Emirate of Dubai is the second largest of the seven United Arab Emirates but has the biggest population at over 2.1 million inhabitants. Size has been synonymous with Dubai as it continues to build the first, largest and the biggest constructions in the world. Dubai’s dynamics are always transient and ever-changing with its constant urge to construct something better and bigger than the previous. If there was a Palm Island, Nakheel thought of the World Island. Burj Al Arab seemed too timid when Burj Khalifa cropped up, distancing itself to being a loner in the crowd.

 

dubai museum in dubaiDubai Museum:

Al Fahidi Fort, which houses the Dubai Museum, is another imposing building. It once guarded the city’s landlord approaches. Built around 1799, it has served variously as palace, garrison and prison.

It was renovated in 1970 for use as a museum; further restoration and the addition of galleries was completed in 1995. Colorful and evocative dioramas, complete with life-size figures and sound and lighting effects, vividly depict everyday life in pre-oil days. Galleries rescenes from the Creek, traditional Arab houses, mosques, the souk, date gardens, desert and marine life. One of the most spectacular exhibits portrays the underwater world of pearl-diving, and is accompanied by sets of pearl merchants’ weights, scales and sieves.

Abu Dhabi: abu dhabi in dubai

Abu Dhabi is the largest geographically. Its capital city of the same name is also the federal capital and seat of government. Distinguished by a skyline of ultramodern high-rises, the city of Abu Dhabi sits on a T-shaped island, one of nearly 200 that dot the emirate’s Persian Gulf coastline.
The rise of Abu Dhabi in this global ranking is testament to the ongoing efforts to establish the Emirate as not only a tourist destination of distinction, but a location that international communities want to work, live and do business in”, said Saif Saeed Ghobash, director general of the Tourism Culture Authority Abu Dhabi.

Highlights:

  • Sheikh Zayed Mosque
  • Heritage Village
  • Abu Dhabi Corniche
  • Emirates Palace
  • Saadiyat Island (Louvre Museum)
  • Cultural Visit

desert safari in dubaiDesert Safari:

Trade in the concrete of the city for the sand dunes on a Dubai desert safari. A Dubai desert safari is the ultimate travel experience, out most comprehensive tours come complete with 4×4 dune bashing, camel rides and a mouth-watering barbeque dinner accompanied by a belly dancing performance.

Highlights:

Admire the beautiful scenery of the Red Dunes of Al Hibab
Ride through the dunes in a Land Cruiser
Drive across the sand dunes to a desert camp
Enjoy activities at the desert camp including a camel ride, a delicious BBQ dinner, and an entertaining Tanoura dance show

Thailand is Asia’s primary travel destination and offers a host of places to visit.

Thailand is Asia’s primary travel destination and offers a host of places to visit. Yet despite this vast influx of visitors, Thailand’s cultural integrity remains largely undamaged – a country that adroitly avoided colonization has been able to absorb Western influences while maintaining its own rich heritage. Though the high-rises and neon lights occupy the foreground of the tourist picture, the typical Thai community is still the farming village, and you need not venture far to encounter a more traditional scene of fishing communities, rubber plantations and Buddhist temples.

PATTAYA:

Pattaya is a place that has beautiful temples and beaches but it also has so many activities to get involved in that it is impossible to get bored.  There are a large number of expats living in Pattaya which has led to the city changing over the years, but this has only led to an increase in wealth being brought into the city, with the increased wealth business men have seen an opportunity to create attractions that appeal to holiday makers which is why Pattaya is one of the enjoyable places to stop at for a few days.

silver-lake-pattaya-girl-mill

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Silver Lake                                         Water Sports

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Floating Market                                    Alcazar Show

BANGKOK: 

Bangkok welcomes more visitors than any other city in the world and it doesn’t take long to realise why. Bangkok is a city of contrasts with action at every turn; marvel at the gleaming temples, catch a tuk tuk along the bustling Chinatown or take a longtail boat through floating markets. Food is another Bangkok highlight, from local dishes served at humble street stalls to haute cuisine at romantic rooftop restaurants. Luxury malls compete with a sea of boutiques and markets, where you can treat yourself without overspending.

SafariWorld2_sm

thailand

 

 

 

 

Safari World and Marine Park                  Wat Pho Temple

thailand-bangkok-city-thailand-bangkok-town

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Bangok City                                                     Chinatown

PHUKET:

Phuket was an island of rubber trees, tin mines and cash-hungry merchants. Attracting entrepreneurs from the Arabian Peninsula, China, India and Portugal, Phuket Town was a colourful blend of cultural influences, cobbled together by tentative compromise and cooperation. Today the city is testament to the island’s historical soul. Wander down streets clogged with Sino-Portuguese architecture housing arty coffee shops, eccentric galleries, bright textiles stores, fantastic cheap restaurants and inexpensive boutique-chic guesthouses, and peek down alleyways to serene incense-cloaked Chinese Taoist shrines.

Ko-Phi-Phi-2

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Phi Phi Islands                                                   Krabi

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Fantasea Show                                            Phra Nang Cave

The High snow clad Dhauladhar ranges form a magnificent backdrop to the hill resort of Dharamsala

dharmashala-in-delhiThe High snow clad Dhauladhar ranges form a magnificent backdrop to the hill resort of Dharamsala. This is the principal township of Kangra district and overlooks wide spread of the plains. With dense pine and deodar forests, numerous streams, cool healthy air, attractive surroundings and the nearby snowline, Dharamsala has everything for a perfect holiday. It is full of life and yet peaceful. The headquarters of His Holiness the Dalai Lama are at upper Dharamsala. Covering a wide area in the form of twin settlement, lower Dharamsala (1380m) is a busy commercial centre. While upper Dharamsala (1830m) with the suburbs of Mcleodganj and Forsytheganj, retains a British flavor and colonial lifestyle. The charming church of St. John in the wilderness is situated here and this is the final resting place of Lord Elgin, a British Viceroy of India during the 19th century. There is also a large Tibetan community who have made this place their home. Numerous ancient temples like Jwalamukhi, Brijeshwari and Chamunda lie on the plains below Dharamsala.

ACCESS : Dharamsala can be approached by air from Delhi. The nearest airport is at Gaggal, 13 km away. Pathankot, the nearest broad gauge railway station is 85 km away and the toy train station is 17 km at Kangra. Taxis and Buses for Dharamsala are available at both places. From Pathankot the drive takes about three hours or you can drive from Delhi (526 km) via Chandigarh, Kiratpur and Bilaspur and takes 12 hours. From Delhi and Shimla luxury buses ply to Dharamsala. HPTDC operates a regular Luxury coach from Delhi to Dharamsala.

CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature can drop to freezing point when heavy woolens are required. During summer, the climate is mild and light woolens / cottons are recommended.

Dalai Lama Temple:
There are many Dharamsala attractions to choose from, but among the top things to do in Dharamshala is a visit to the residence, monastery, and temple of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama temple complex, on Temple Road, is just a short walk from the Mcleod Ganj bus stand in upper Dharamsala. The temple complex is open daily, from sunrise to sunset, and visitors are welcome to explore the peaceful ambiance of the surroundings.

In the early morning, you are welcome to participate as the monks chant and meditate. You can join local residents for a meditative walk around the temple/monastery complex. Along the way you will see many prayer flags and “mani” stones.

Residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama – The residence is directly opposite Tsuglagkhang, the main Tibetan temple.

Tsuglagkhang – Central Cathedral -Tsuglagkhang is the temple of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Chamunda Devi:

Located at a distance of 15 km from the main town of Dharamshala, Chamunda Devi temple is dedicated to goddess Durga also called ‘Chamunda’. The pilgrimage site holds immense reverence for devout Hindus and whenever in Dharamshala people of the faith make it a point to visit the shrine. The shrine also holds significance due to the belief that praying here gives moksha or salvation to one’s ancestors. The shrine perched on a hill top gives a breathtaking view of the mountains and the surrounding forests which will surely remain etched in your mind.