I was standing on the edge of the medieval hilltop village of Motovun, deep in the Istrian peninsula of Croatia, looking out on the beautiful countryside dotted with stone farmhouses, old olive groves and vineyards.
It was spring and everything was fresh and beautiful. Beside me, there were two American women, part of a tour that had arrived the night before, who were looking out in the same direction and they were trying to remember which movie star they’d read had purchased a house in the area a few years ago. They argued back and forth, discarding names, and finally decided it might be Anthony Hopkins.
Italy’s diverse and spectacular region of Piedmont is not only a mecca of enogastronomy, textiles manufacturing and world-renowned shopping, but it is also home to a distinctive interpretation of Jesus Christ’s final days on earth. “Passione Di Cristo” or, The Passion of Christ, takes place every five years in the captivating town of Sordevolo. As part of an alliance with the town of Sordevolo, Central Holidays has been named the preeminent tour operator partner for upcoming events in 2015 of this acclaimed Passion Play of Sordevolo.
Maria Claudia Lacouture, president of Proexport Colombia, says, “The most unforgettable experience for a tourist may be the seven tones of the waters of San Andres, the inspiring streets of Cartagena de Indias, the green canopy of the Sierra Nevada parks or the dazzling sands of the Caribbean shoreline.”
It is estimated that the government is prepared to receive four million travelers by the end of 2014, generating an estimated four billion dollars of revenue.
To date, 27 cruise lines dock in Colombia, and new in 2013 was Disney Cruise Lines, stopping in Cartagena. An additional 39 international weekly flights to the country have been added, the most significant from the United States being American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Jet Blue and United Airlines.
Pulling the blinds open at the Hotel Lago Grey (www.lagogrey.cl) in Patagonia’s Torres Del Paine Park was all the wake-up call I needed - no coffee necessary. The sight was far prettier than a picture; the expansive Grey Lake, snowcapped trees, icebergs and Grey Glacier boldly in the backdrop. It was just as I had imagined it. Minutes later, we were able to board the motorboat, the Grey II, steps from the hotel. It could accommodate as many as fifty. Fortunately, there were fewer than ten of us that morning.
With a Caribbean vibe and American appeal, Puerto Rico is numero uno with travelers from the mainland who can do without the hassles of traveling with passports and visas. Plenty of beaches, bars, city hotels and seaside resorts have earned the US territory kudos as an affordable getaway with deals galore during the summer season. A big hit with foodies, menus are a culinary travelogue of Spanish, African, Caribbean, American and Taino Indian influences. From chefs preparing “nuevo criollo” or island cuisine with a fusion twist to mom-and-pops who ladle stews into big bowls, a variety of eateries showcase the fresh bounty from papayas and plantains to cilantro and coconut.
All about upscale indulgences, hyper-attentive service and pampering over price points, vacationing like a VIP is a grand guilty pleasure. Delivering above expectations, luxury in the Caribbean runs the gamut from personal chefs on private islands and butlers who pour afternoon tea to seaside suites that leave no stone unturned. “Our region continues to deliver by embellishing our natural paradise with offerings that easily exceed the standards of elegance,” said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). “The Caribbean has much to offer in terms of luxury, even in an economy that is making a slow return to a steady state.“
New Caledonia is an overseas territory of France, a rare jewel set in the Pacific Ocean. From coast to coast, New Caledonia stretches over 300 miles, passing through the archipelago of the Loyalty Islands. To give a sense of New Caledonia’s location, it is east of Australia, north of New Zealand, south of the Equator, and just west of Fiji and Vanuatu. Uniting the archipelago is a coral reef, second in size only to the Great Barrier Reef. The reef is UNESCO designated, and is an area of exceptional natural beauty, featuring a unique diversity of coral and fish species. It surrounds an astonishing lagoon, which hides its own preserved ecosystem.
China’s Silk Road is as popular today as it was when the route began. Designed for trade and cultural use, it runs throughout the Eurasian continent, extending and connecting the Western and Eastern civilizations from China to as far as
With over 6,000 miles of Silk Road to explore, the road’s moniker originated from the Chinese silk that was traded through this route from as early as the Han Dynasty, beginning in 206 BC. Over time, as the route grew more popular, even the Great Wall of China was extended to protect this valuable route of traffic, peppered with the likes of traders, merchants, pilgrims, monks, soldiers and nomads, all seeking something that a trip along the Silk Road offered.
Having just attended South Africa’s 2014 Indaba Travel Trade Show in Durban, I headed out to explore the country. I was excited to hear about the recently launched Mandela Tourist Attractions Map which highlights historical places that defined Mandela’s life. Included are Soweto, Johannesburg and Robben Island. With this new heritage tour clients can experience the country’s rich and stirring history in addition to the gorgeous topography, fascinating cities, great food, fine wine and wildlife safaris.
With a new global marketing campaign launching this year and an accolade naming this Emirate one of the top 25 places to go worldwide, Dubai has certainly come a long way from the financial troubles that plagued the city back in 2009. There are new airline routes to announce and a summer campaign to attract both business and leisure travelers. We’ll break it all down for you here, giving you the latest information on this