The Basque Country in the western Pyrenees, spanning the border between Spain and France, has long been renowned for its outstanding gastronomy. The Basque people have their own culture, traditions and language, although almost all speak Spanish. Friendly and proud, they are also passionate - especially about their cuisine. There has been a long-standing tradition of men cooking and socializing in male cooking clubs called ‘gastronomic societies.’ Hence, the famed Basque male chefs and their coveted restaurants.
The region offers fine wines, stunning architecture, beaches, a scenic coastline and luxurious hotels in addition to its Michelin starred cuisine. Whether pairing the locale with a visit to Madrid, Barcelona or Paris, or opting to solely bask in the glorious Basque, this precious gem will not disappoint.
Mexico’s cruise ports truly provide something for everyone, from the adventure seeker who wants to scuba dive with sharks to the passenger who simply wants to stroll, explore and shop for souvenirs.
The big story in travel news recently has been about the Ebola crisis. The movement of people from one area of the world to another carries with it the possibility to also transport whatever germs those travelers might be carrying. The situation has been changing rapidly, but as of the date I am writing this page, there has been some good news in this health crisis. The twenty-one day period of quarantine for all of those people who were exposed to the Ebola patient in Dallas, TX has passed, with no additional cases reported.
Savvy travel agents know that Air Consolidators can offer a great way for clients to save money on international travel, while enabling you, the travel agent, to earn money selling air travel. Win, win right? But how do you really know if you are getting the best deal for yourself and your client? Until now, you could call multiple consolidators and get a quote over the phone, or you could log onto numerous consolidator websites and find the information yourself. Now there is a third, and better alternative. JAX FAX is now offering travel agents a new “Air Consolidator Request-a-Fare” program that allows you to obtain air fare quotes from multiple air consolidators.
I never cease to be amazed at the ever-changing adult playground that is Las Vegas. I am there at least five times every year, and yet, there is always a new resort being constructed or renovated, a new restaurant or show opening, and new sites to be seen. It truly is the city that never sleeps. Trying to give a comprehensive list of these changes would take a book, so instead I will focus on the highlights of my past few trips.
Starting in mid-November, Europe’s Christmas Markets light up historic town squares and castle courtyards with traditional hand-made folk art crafts and home-baked goods, along with holiday performers in traditional hand-made costumes, even Medieval dress. It’s an ideal time to re-visit favorite cities or discover new ones, and combine the holiday experience with sightseeing, concerts, and, of course, shopping.
Whether it’s freezing winters or sizzling summers clients want to escape, Portugal has an answer. One is its southern coast, the sunny Algarve, a long-time favorite for European snowbirds. The other is a mid-Atlantic archipelago, closer to your US clients and almost undiscovered by tourists - the Azores.
Those nine volcanic islands offer beautiful land and seascapes, from the white beaches and terraced vineyards of Santa Maria to the waterfalls and dazzling volcanic lakes of Flores. In between are windmill-studded Graciosa, the colorful marina and lunar landscapes of Faial, and São Miguel, the largest island with geysers and hot springs.
In the middle of Medellin’s bustling business district exists a Zen-like park dedicated to feet. Barefoot Park is just one of the unique destinations to discover while in Colombia. Hidden between folds of lush Andes landscape, cities throb with visions of yesterday and the future, Botero art and bad traffic. The sprawling countryside really hasn’t changed over the years. It rains often, so flowers are everywhere. You experience a high here, not from its altitude or the drugs that the country is trying hard to eradicate. But because there is so much to learn, see and do.
No other region on Earth bridges two oceans as does Central America. Thanks to modern travel, divers are able to experience marine life in both. Following are the Atlantic and Pacific “hot” spots these countries offer.
Former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney took to the stage set some 9,350 feet high at Ecuador’s Estadio De Liga stage, belting out a special version of “All You Need is Love,” which is currently being used as the background for a global advertising campaign with the market line, All You Need is Ecuador.
Targeting TV ads to 460 million people worldwide and selling tools to more than 20,000 wholesalers and travel agents on three continents, the small country of Ecuador, no larger than Colorado, is hoping to make a big impact on both visitor arrivals and investments from big businesses. The Eucadorian Minister of Tourism reported visitors to Ecuador grew by five percent in 2013; by June of this year, arrivals increased by 16 percent, fueling the expectation the country will have hosted some 1.6 million visitors by the end of 2014.
Ecuador’s dramatic landscapes range from the cloud forests of the Andes to the tangled mangroves and arid landscapes of the Galapagos Islands and counts five UNESCO World Heritage sites: the city of Quito, the Galapagos Islands, Sangay National Park, the Historic Center of Santa Ana de los Rios de Cuenca, and the Qhapaq Ñan - an Andean Road System. Ecuador’s cultural diversity is as compelling as its natural beauty as no fewer than 13 languages are spoken here.