You are browsing the archive for Ella Macdonald, Author at YoTravellers.

Travel to Central America

December 3, 2018 in Blog

Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Central America offers travelers the opportunity to visit one of the world’s most amazing ecological and cultural destinations. Central America is home to beautiful jungles, sandy beaches, waterspouts like surfing and SCUBA diving, and some of the western hemispheres most hospitable resort destinations.

While Central America has experienced a tumultuous past that includes colonial exploitation and violent uprisings, travelers who visit today will experience relative safety. For those visitors who choose to travel South America, each country offers a unique experience that will engage and entertain them.

Check out the following countries and attractions when you travel South America:

Belize:
By far, the most stable country in Central America, Belize was created for travelers seeking a Caribbean flavor with a mainland location. In fact, most visitors agree that Belize has more in common with islands of the Caribbean than with its more volatile Central American neighbors. Home to a 180 mile long barrier reef, Belize is a SCUBA and snorkeling enthusiasts dream.

Guatemala:
Despite its reputation for social and political repression, travelers flock to the Central American country of Guatemala in an effort to see its natural wonders. Huge volcanoes and the regions highest concentration of Mayan ruins draw visitors to this turbulent nation.

El Salvador:
With the civil war of the 1980s long over, El Salvador is now transformed into a traveler-friendly destination with huge natural volcanoes. Travelers should certainly visit places like the Montecristo Cloud Forest, which receives over 80 inches of rain annually, and the capital city of San Salvador.

Honduras:
Honduras may appear to be a true banana republic, but travel there is easy, enjoyable and inexpensive. The slow pace, natural beauty and low-profile tourism make it particularly appealing to travelers who enjoy getting off the beaten track.

Nicaragua:
This troubled Central American nation is rebuilding after years of war. Travelers are drawn there by its wondrous natural landscapes and vast natural treasures.

Costa Rica:
Known as the most stable and ecologically stunning nation in Central America, Costa Rica is the most successful tourist destination in the region. By embracing a very progressive attitude towards the preservation of the environment, visitors who travel Costa Rica can experience the amazing natural wonders of the Central American region. With miles of beautiful coastline on both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica provides surfing and snorkeling for its guests. The rain forest of inland Costa Rica is home to monkeys, sloths, crocodiles and exotic birds as well as some rare and endangered plant species, as well.

Panama:
Except for the world famous Canal that bears the country’s name, Panama is largely overshadowed by its neighbors as a popular destination for Central American travelers. Those who do choose to visit Panama will be enthralled by numerous natural and cultural wonders that should not be overlooked. Visitors should be sure to experience the nations native birds and the thrill of off-shore deep-sea fishing.

Crete Greece Vacation

November 2, 2018 in Blog

Crete is another interesting place to go to on your Greece vacation. It is one of the more notable and the largest of the many islands in the country. It is located in the Mediterranean Sea in between the Sea of Crete and the Libyan Sea. Crete is about 260 kilometers long and 60 kilometers wide. The island is divided into four prefectures, namely, Chania, Rethimno, Heraklion and Lasithi. Crete is considered one of the most beautiful of the Greek islands and is always worth exploring.

The biggest and main prefecture in Crete is Heraklion. It is home to about 275,000 inhabitants and is the largest city and the considered capital of the whole island. Tourism is the main industry of Crete. Its economy is mainly driven by the arrival of tourists on its shores. That is why it considers its visitors with care and tries to ensure that the tourists would have a wonderful time in the island. After all, it is tourists that pump blood into the economy of the island.

Crete was once considered as the center of the ancient Minoan civilization. The island provides evidences of the achievements, knowledge and power of this ancient Bronze Age culture through the various palaces, tombs and other sacred sites found throughout the area. This provides a historical backdrop that would guide tourists of what to look for while in Crete.

The main language used in Crete is Greek. And because the island is a main tourist destination, many of the inhabitants can understand and speak English. Even those located in the small villages on the island can speak and understand English, making communication with foreigners not that much of a problem on the island.

Getting into the island can be made through various means. By plane, Crete can be reachable through the three significant airports located in the island. There’s the Nikos Kazantzakis airport that is located at Heraklion. There is also the Daskalogiannis military airport available in Chania where tourists can land on Crete. A new public airport is also located in Sitia where visitors can also make use of to get into Crete. There are several flights available for Crete that usually departs from the main island of Greece.

The island can also be reached by ferry. There are various ferry services located in mainland Greece as well as the other islands that service Crete. The trip usually takes 2.5 hours from the mainland. Going around Crete can be done through an inland bus service that operates around the island. The bus schedules are fairly frequent and serves many parts of the island. Some buses even divert trips from their usual route in order to bring tourists to small villages if asked. Public transportation is by far the most convenient and affordable means of going around Crete.

Car rentals are also available if you wish a more private and more personal adventure on your visit to Crete. But tourists may need to bring along their drivers license for this and make sure that the car insurance covers them to the places that would be visited. Petrol stations are open during the high summer season (May 1 to September 30) from 6:00 am to 10:30 pm, and open from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm during winter (October 1 to April 30).

It might be important for private car tourists to fill up beforehand so as not to let an empty gas tank on an isolated part of the island spoil your Greece vacation.

Santorini Greece Vacation

October 15, 2018 in Blog

When looking for a unique island to go to on your Greece vacation, you might want to try out the volcanic island of Santorini. This island is part of the Cyclades group of Greek islands and is located between the Ios and Anafi islands. Santorini has become quite popular for its stunning views, beautiful sunsets as well as its fantastic beaches.

The small island of Santorini contains a stunning variety of villages and landscapes. There are traditional architectures that can still be seen from its various small villages particularly in the village of Mesa Gonia. Another notable village is Pyrgos which still has some of the grand old houses as well as remnants of a Venetian castle and Byzantine churches.

The island’s capital is Fira, a place noted for the mixture of Venetian and Cycladic architecture evident in its various structures. Fira is also notable for its cobblestone streets that are lined with shops, taverns and hotels. This area is unique in that it clings at the side of the cliff 900 feet above its port. Going to the area can be done by taking the cable car from the port or by opting taking one of the hundreds of mules and travel up its over 588 zigzagging steps.

Just a bit above Fira is Ia, a town considered also as the highest point of the island. This town is known for its whitewashed walls and the magnificent sunset views which is considered as one of the world’s most beautiful.

Aside from the breathtaking view and scenery offered by the island’s many picturesque towns, there are also various beaches worth going to. There is the unique Kamari which is a black pebble beach. Perissa contains one of the island’s well-organized beaches as well as a popular for its Greek fish taverns. Monolithos is a nice shallow beach that is ideal for families with children.

Tourists can head to Santorini by air or by sea. From the air, tourists can get flights from Athens and is the fastest way to get into the island. Santorini has its own airport located at the Kamari village. Charter flights are also available from various European cities. The flight from Athens to the island of Santorini takes about 30 minutes.

The island can also be reached by ferry. There are ferries available from the port of Piraeus by way of Paros and Naxos. During high tourist season, there are also ferry schedules available from the port in Crete. The ferries dock at Athinios where there are buses and taxis available to take tourists to the different villages on the island.

The problem with taking the regular ferry is that it can take a considerable amount of time. A possible problem with taking the ferry is the occasional seasickness that most tourists with no sea legs may be prone to experiencing. A better alternative for such tourists aside from getting to the island by plane is to take the faster high speed catamarans that also service the island. A trip from Piraeus to Santorini on a high speed catamaran can take only four and a half hours.

For those tourists who wish to take a longer Greece vacation trip by sea with style, there are also cruise ships that venture to the island of Santorini but docks at the island’s old port, a couple of miles away from Athinios.

Greek Destination: Places to Visit for your Greece Vacation

September 23, 2018 in Blog

 

Greece is located in the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula. It has been attracting tourists from all over the world throughout the year. Its culture, history and landscape has been constantly drawing visitors. There are numerous places to go to, too many sights to see. LetÆs map out the places that you need to visit to complete your Greece vacation.

Greece is the destination of lovers, honeymooners, family or individuals that would like to experience a one of a kind vacation. Greece is very diverse. It has rocky coasts, sand dunes, golden beaches, gorges, natural waterfalls, caves, rivers. Generally, Greece is mountainous with extensive coastlines and islands.

There are major cities that also house different tourist hot spot like Athens, Crete, Attica, Santorini, Mikonos, Coorfu, Olumpia, Tessaloniki, Rhodes, Chania, Kos, Thessaloniki, Petras, Heraklion.

The capital of Greece, Athens is a place of cultural, political and touristic importance. Athens offers a variety of top tourist attractions like Acropolis and the Parthenon, the Agora, National Archeological Museum, Sntagma Square, the Plaka, Cape Souniou and the Temple of Poseidon.

Located about three hours from Athens by bus is Delphi. Delphi is a seaside town with historic sites such as Temple of Apollo. The Mykonos, the jewel of the Cycladic Islands, has a beautiful harbor with white-washed houses. The warm Mediterranean climate, it is nice place for scuba diving, windsurfing and other water sports.

Aside from the sights in Athens, the monasteries of Meteora are also popular and one of the famous places with visitors in the world. Rhodes has always been an important port through history. Crete presents visitor myths, legends and history with a beautiful landscape.
Santorini is a romantic place that offers visitors beaches and breathtaking cliff top town named Fira. Beautiful beaches run for many kilometers. In summer, the beaches in Greece are considered to be one of the top beaches in the world. Some of the most popular beaches can be found in Crete, Corfu, Amorgos, Ios, Milos, Paros, Serifos and Kithnos.

As reflection of Greece history, there are monuments and temples for the gods and goddesses. Some of the temples that are worth seeing are the Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae, Archaeological Site of Delphi, Mount Athos, Monasteries of Meteora, Mystras, Delos, Corfu, The Palace of Knossos, White Tower, Archeological Museum of Thessaloniki, Byzantine Museum, Ancient Thira, Ancient Akrotiri, The Museum of Prehistoric Thera, and Acropolis of Lindos.

Vacation can never be complete without shopping. There are some wonderful Greek memorabilia that can be bought in the Plaka area in Athens. Greek airports also have shops were last-minute shopping can be done.

Greece is also a mountainous country. Mount Olympus, known as the home of the Gods in Greek mythology, is the highest mountain in the country. Hiking and climbing activities are available.

A vacation, a Greece vacation in particular, will be like a hollow one if we did not get to see the best places. Greece is a mix of all the great places and will help every tourist build their vacation in a unique way.

Sweden Travel Stockholm and Karlskrona

September 3, 2018 in Blog

Known as the land of Vikings, Sweden is actually an odd mix of cosmopolitan cities and vast stretches of wide-open spaces. For budget travelers, Sweden is a bit expensive.

Stockholm

An incredibly beautiful city in the summer, Stockholm is the Venice of Northern Europe. Like Venice, Stockholm is built on the water with canals and waterways criss crossing the city. Instead of marshland, Stockholm is actually a collection of dozens if not hundreds of little islands.

Despite the beauty, Stockholm can seem a bet sterile for a big city. Large parts of the city seem to be devoted completely to either providing working spaces or residences. With a little digging, however, you will find the city has much to offer.

To get a taste of the real Stockholm, throw away your travel guide and head to the Sodermalm area. Sodermalm predates the modern areas of the city and provides a glimpse into the past. In the neighborhood, you will find authentic old pubs, hole in the wall shops selling all manner of strange things and artist enclaves. During the summer, Sodermalm has plenty of outdoor cafes and a friendly feel.

Karlskrona

If naval history is your thing, Karlskrona gives even St. Petersburg a run for the money. The entire city has been designated a historical site and is rife with the naval history of Sweden. Attractions include naval museums, submarines and a variety of ships from differing eras.

While naval history dominates Karlskrona, the city has much more to offer in atmosphere. The older sections of the city have a heavy baroque style whether for architecture, streets or epic park areas. There isn’t anything particular to point out, but it is a good city to relax in during the summer. If you need a couple of days off from racing around Europe, Karlskrona is a good place to recharge.

Like all of the Nordic countries, Sweden is visually stunning during the summer. While the long days give you plenty of opportunity to roam, high prices can put a crimp in the travel budget.

Travel to Spain for the holidays

September 1, 2018 in Blog

Spain abounds with celebrations. Nearly every day, a religious holiday or historical event in Spanish culture is observed. The most common religion is Roman Catholicism, and the majority of the events have a basis in religion. Depending on when and where you travel, you have a great chance of seeing a street festival or procession. Holidays in Spain Good Friday, the Friday before Easter Sunday, is a very important holiday in Spain. Many cities, large and small, celebrate this holiday by having a procession or a festival. There are re-enactments of the crucifixion and Holy Week events. Good Friday is second to Easter Sunday in importance. On Easter Sunday, the resurrection of Jesus is commemorated throughout the country, in villages near and far, in bustling cities and small villages. In late spring, the holiday of Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ) is cause for another religious observance. The Catholic sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is celebrated, and there are events throughout the country that commemorate this. This event falls on the first Sunday after Trinity Sunday. The Feast of St. John is observed on June 24. To prepare, bonfires and effigies are burned. The most widely held believe that people have is that if they jump over the fire three times, they will be cleansed of sins and cured of any disease. This day is celebrated differently throughout the country, with festivals held that are unique to each area. Fall and Winter Holidays Columbus Day, observed on October 12, is also the National Holiday of Spain or Hispanic Day. It honors Christopher Columbus and observes his discovery of the Americas in 1492. You will find a variety of celebrations going on throughout the country. All Saints day is November first. This Catholic holiday celebrates saints and martyrs by offerings made by the people of Spain. Don Juan Tenorio play is traditionally performed on this day. December 6 is Constitution Day This day takes note of Spain transition to democracy. This is a widely-observed national holiday. January 6 marks the end of the Christmas celebrations. This day celebrates the Epiphany, or the day the wise men visited the infant Jesus. It also known by the name El Dia de Los Reyes, or The Day of the Kings. According to Spanish lore, the three kings represented Arabia, Africa and Europe. Many villages throughout Spain observe this holiday with festivals and processions. This deeply Catholic nation celebrates religious holidays with much fanfare.