Discover the Riveting Beauty of Norway’s Fjords

Norway is synonymous with fjords – that’s the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of this beautiful country. And for good reason: The fjords are Norway’s main attraction!

Typical of Scandinavia, the dramatic fjord vistas – the narrow waterways, coming in off the coast and bordered by steep cliffs – make for some of the most dramatic sights available. The high rock face set against the waters below render the Norwegian fjords one of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the world..

Though the scenery may vary from fjord to fjord, spectacular waterfalls, sparkling glaciers, and adventurous caves are all part of the panoply. Norway’s ancient ruins, from Viking times and earlier, are scattered among the stunning panoramas of bright wildflowers, and verdant forests which flank the fjords. Besides the scenery, active travelers will delight in the adventure opportunities on offer in the these regions, among them hiking, biking, kayaking, ice-climbing, skiing, and white-water rafting.

With over 4,000 fjords, the entire western coastline of Norway is rippling with splendid views and active vacation opportunities. Hiking through miles of nature trails that meander along the coast, you can bask in the splendour of the fjords from land. Rafting or cruising, the same fjords take on a completely different perspective, yet no less magnificent, from the depths of the waters. You may well enjoy the comfort of a cruise along the calm, smooth mirror-like waters far inland.
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Among the most spectacular of the fjords are the Sognefjord and the Nordfjord. The Sognefjord, the longest fjord in Norway, wends its way inland for more than 125 miles (200 km). Its massive size and depth make it the perfect destination for an overnight cruise. On the way, the 218 m. high Feigumfossen Waterfall presents a majestic view, and the beautiful tiny village of Undredal, famous for its goat cheese, offers a typical portrait of a fjord village. Just a short distance further north, the Nordfjord, covered in ice and snow-capped peaks, is the perfect venue for glacier- climbing and skiing. Close by, you’ll also find the ruins of a 12th century monastery. Among the other superb fjords in this region are the Geirangerfjord, the Vanylvsfjorden, the Stortfjord and the Midfjorden.

Further north the wide Trondheimsfjord, with Trondheim, a lovely vibrant city at its center, has the feel of a series of wide, open lakes, joined by narrow passages. Its lovely landscape, imbued in a soft golden hue, makes it an impressive attraction.

Set on the coast at the entrance to many of the fjords, Bergen and Stavanger are two of the best places to start your travels along the fjords.. Whether you cruise or prefer to stay on terra firma, Norway’s fjords combine a world of magnificent scenery with amazing adventures not to be seen nor experienced anywhere else in the world.

I’m a trip consultant, planner and manager who loves creating unique intercultural adventures for families. I want to impart information, tips and personal experiences especially related to family adventure travel. Please contact me to help you in planning your travel adventure.

Holidays in Chile – The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful

Chile is a country that is of ever increasing interest as a tourist destination. The last 2 decades have seen year on year increases in the numbers of foreigners arriving in this beautiful and dynamic country. The same period has also seen strong economic growth and continually improving infrastructure. This relentless march towards modernity, like all economic progress, has its winners and losers.

Some of the worst casualties have been environmental: rivers like the Bio Bio, one of the world’s great white-water havens, has fallen victim to one of several dam building projects; up on the Altiplano, large mines have damaged ecosystems by draining lakes and polluting with their effluent; in Santiago, the air pollution gets so bad during winter that on occasion schools have to be closed…to mention but a few examples of environmental damage.

Santiago has also suffered from a nostalgic point of view. The city has lost much of its quirky charm, the autochthonous businesses being usurped by the global giants and chains that are now entrenched in every street and mall. The same usual suspects that have homogenised so many other cities in the developed and developing world, making them ever more similar and familiar.

However, the new Chile is a more dynamic, vibrant, optimistic and confident place. Despite the growing pains of development, the lot of everyday Chileans has improved greatly: fewer people live in poverty; families have more disposable income and greater purchasing power; access to good health care and education has improved; and the strength of the Chilean peso has allowed many more Chileans to travel abroad.

The negative environmental issues are also outweighed by the good. Chile is blessed with vast areas of pristine wilderness of staggering beauty. From Patagonia to the Atacama Desert there are awe inspiring landscapes that have to been seen to be believed. Few places in the world have scenery of such obvious beauty. Furthermore, so much of the country’s environmental wealth is protected within a system of well managed national parks.

Chile’s great outdoors is not only good to look at, when it comes to things to do, it also has an embarrassment of riches: walking and hiking in Patagonia; salmon and trout fishing; horse riding in the Andes; world class skiing and boarding; archaeological treasures in the Atacama; rafting and kayaking; wine tasting; paragliding from giant sand dunes; climbing live volcanoes; cruises turquoise lakes with icebergs; exploring penguin colonies, geyser fields, desert ghost towns, flamingo colonies in the desert, forests of 4000 year old trees; visiting the 7000 year old Chinchorro mummies; relaxing in natural hot springs; and so much more.

It is this combination of breathtaking panoramas, wildlife, adventure activities, modern infrastructure and a sophisticated tourist industry, that make Chile the ultimate destination for the thinking traveller.

Beautiful Beerwah and the Australia Zoo

There are not many places in the world as loved and talked about as Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo, home of his beloved crocodile and myriads of other wildlife friends. Visiting South East Queensland would seem incomplete without a day or two allocated to this fascinating attraction.

Pick up your campervan in Brisbane and head north an hour on the Bruce Highway, heading to the Sunshine Coast. This is one of my favourite drives, with pine trees lining the highway and clear open skies ahead. You know you’re getting closer when the Glasshouse Mountains come into view, a mesmerising panorama of bluffs and sheer cliffs that rise up to the clouds. Many tackle Mount Tibrogargen and Mount Beerwah, with their spectacular views a drawcard for adventurers all over the world.

Once you have seen these mountains you will know you are close. Beerwah is accessed via the Steve Irwin Way just left off the Bruce Highway. Most visitors to this area have one destination in mind, Australia Zoo. And why wouldn’t they? However, this part of the world was still gorgeous before the zoo, with the Blackall Ranges skirting the borders, and untouched natural beauty in every direction, it was just a matter of time before the world came to visit.

My first impression of Australia Zoo was of complete excellence and dedication to the preservation of wildlife. There is something for every age group, and each attraction is fascinating and educational. The Crocoseum is centre piece, with seating for thousands surrounding the crocodile pool. The shows are entertaining and passionate, just like Steve Irwin, with just as much support and enthusiasm from the audience.

Don’t leave without a python photo, and some time out at one of the many food kiosks available. You could easily spend a few days here (or longer) learning about our valuable wildlife and getting back in touch with nature at its best. My children were in awe of the giant turtles, albino kangaroo and gentle elephants. It’s an experience everyone who visits Australia will never forget.

If you want to stay a while, my choice would be the Landsborough Pines Caravan Park, located just two kilometres from Australia Zoo. With excellent facilities and a fantastic location surrounded by trees and parkland, you might end up here for a while. Just fifteen minutes to Caloundra, you can take a number of day trips from here to enjoy the Sunshine Coast hinterland or the sunny beaches.

Montville is perfect if you feel like a step back in time with craft shops and art galleries galore. There are fantastic bushwalking tracks, and spectacular views across the Blackall Range and through to the Coast. Take a relaxing drive through to Maleny and Mapleton and enjoy the quaint shops along the way.

Head to Maroochydore (just fifteen minutes away) for a day trip and if you are heading further north to Noosa, don’t forget to drop in on the famous Eumundi markets complete with entertainment, art and craft, local cuisine and fresh food. Held on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, try to time your itinerary around this fun outing.

There are plenty of activities central to Beerwah. Not only is their an abundance of mountain climbing and walking tracks available, but horse riding is also popular here, as is fishing, swimming and canoeing. The Beerwah Golf Club provides a challenge for the amateur through to the avid golfer, complete with kangaroos observing on the fringes.

Just down the road at Landsborough, still on the Steve Irwin Way, is the Big Kart Track, perfect for the kids and big kids at heart. Another attraction here is the Bungy Bullet, not for the faint hearted, but another great thrill close to home.

If you haven’t already, mark Beerwah and Australia Zoo on your to do list when you next visit Queensland. There is such diversity in this region alone, with a great choice of attractions and things to do. You can put your feet up and relax a while in your campervan, or head out daily and never tire of the natural beauty so close to home. It’s beautiful every day.

Unveil the Amazing Amalgamation of Beauty and Adventure Paradise – Ladakh

For several years now, numerous travelers have embedded their footmarks on the land that carries an age-old heritage and diverse cultural panorama, India. The country is not just the land of sand dunes or mere colorful people, as it was believed, but encapsulates much more than this. This is the only reason, that several travelers and modern-day nomads flock the country in masses and are left completely spellbound with the features of the places that are manifold. One such destination is Ladakh, a place that is reckoned for its truly amazing beauty and a whole lot of fascinating routes that voyages you across the hypnotic world of adventure.

Ladakh scales mesmerizing altitudes that ranges from about 9,000 feet (2,750 m) at Kargil to 25,170 feet (7,672 m) at Saser Kangri in the Karakoram. Owing to such heights, the temperature in summers rarely exceeds about 27°C in the shade, while in winter they may plunge to minus 20°C; even in Leh. What more can a traveler desire? Chilling gush of air that mightily faces the brawny mountains standing tall in the lap of Ladakh altogether makes a perfect option for adventure enthusiasts, who have penchant to exceed every possible limit and putting everything at risk.

Ladakh boasts of a couple of mountain ranges that are appreciated for their amazing heights. Some of them are the Greater Himalaya and the Karakoram, along with two others, the Ladakh range and the Zangskar range. These burly structures proffers terrains and steep routes that seems quiet luring and manages to attract huge number of fun-lovers for trekking and other adventure activities. Ladakh also has High Mountain passes that comes on the adventurous routes giving you chance to get a glimpse of colorful mountains and amazing landscape. Amidst several audacious trek paths, Spituk to Markha Valley, Zanskar Valley, Nubra Valley, Changthang Valley, Rupsu Valley, Stok Kangri, Darcha – Padum, Frozen River, Kanji Trek, Junglam Trek, Lamayuru Gompa – Chilling and Likir to Temisgam are some of the popular treks that one can take.

When it comes to offering fun-filed trekking routes, Ladakh has much more. Some of the fascinating trekking routes for travelers are:

Markha Valley

Markha Valley is popular for its age-old history and beautiful paintings that are spellbinding and represents true Indian workmanship. Some of the places of interest are Leh – Shey – Thiksey – Hemis, Zinchen – Yurutse (3900 M) Via Rumbak, Thochuntse – Nimaling (4700 M), Nimaling – Kongmaru La (5150 M) – Sumdo, Sumdo – Hemis (4 Hrs Trek) – Leh and many more.

Lamayuru

A mirror image of true essence of Ladakh, Lamayuru links two of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh at its either end. The trail passes through desert mountain scape with vivid verdant villages tucked away into the hillsides. Along this fascinating trekking routes, one can peek into the world of Gompas at Lamayuru, Wanla, the Sumdochoon valley, which is inhabited by descendants of Nepalese, craftsmen brought by the king of Ladakh in the 18th century. Other trekking routes are Lamayuru Martselang Trekking, Lamayuru Chilling Trek.

Trans Zanskar

Trans Zanskar is one of the massively flocked regions in Ladakh, which proffers travelers an apt choice for expedition and other adventure activities. The starting point of the region is Lamayuru gompa, the most ancient monastic site in Ladakh and the travelers cross 4 high passes to reach Zanskar’s capitol of Padum.

Nubra Valley

Reckoned as the “Orchard of Ladakh”, Nubra Valley is a tributary of the Shyok River that flows parallel to the Indus on the northern side of the Ladakh range. Mild climate, scenic beauty and rich vegetation & flora take you on a pleasant journey. Some of the places of interest are Sabu Village – Digar La Pass, Digar Village – Agyam Village, Khalsar Village – Diskit, Diskit – Leh and many more.

Rupshu Valley

Situated between the Zanskar and the Tibetan border to the east, Rupshu is the highest and least known part of Ladakh. The region is a part of the Chang Tang plains that extend eastwards from Rupshu for almost 1000 kilometers across the land of Tibet. Boasting of a association of high valleys, estranged by impressive ridges, coupled with snow – capped peaks with altitude 6000 meters, Rupshu is a rugged land apt for adventure activities. Some of the palces of interest are Latza Gongmaru-Kongmaru La (5030m) – Langtang Chu (4250m), Langtang Chu – Yakrupal (4700m), Sorra – Dat (4200m) and many more.

Stok Kangri

The sturdy peak of Stok Kangri (20075ft.) is prominent on the southern skyline and contributes in offering travelers, a true trekking experience. Colorful monasteries at Shey, Thikse and Hemis and top of all, lovely trek through the Markha Valley are some of the highlighting features of the region. Some of the places of interest are picturesque villages to the high Nimaling Plain below the imposing peak of Kang Yatze, Kang Yatze, a 6400 metre high peak that has a subsidiary summit at around 6100 meter, which is flocked heavily for trekking and many more.

If you really want to have a glimpse of a destination that personifies natural marvel and experience the true adventure jerks, Ladakh is the right option. The only place in the northern arena that wraps up the picturesque sceneries and steep roads to proffer you the most exciting as well as intriguing trekking rout

Bawa Gardens – An Ethereal Wonderland Wrapped in the Beauty of Nature

Some of the top tourist hotspots in Sri Lanka can be found concentrated in Bentota. It is a stunning coastal city resting in the Galle District in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. Bentota is quite popular among tourists as it offers an exciting array of water sports from windsurfing to jet-skiing, diving as well as parasailing. Bentota is blessed with stunning panoramas of a meandering river, serene lagoon and golden sandy beaches.

Among the scores of tourist attractions found in Bentota there is a one that invites you to a blissful wonderland, known as the Bawa Gardens. It is a fruition of meticulous gardening and expert landscaping that blends in harmoniously with the surrounding natural beauty. Bawa Gardens is an impressive retreat created by Geoffrey Bawa, a world renowned architect. He is well known for his unrivalled works which also includes the impressive Sri Lankan Parliament Building in Colombo.

Widely popular as Lunuganga, literally translates to salty river, this mesmerizing tropical retreat was once a forsaken rubber estate spanning ten hectares. Bawa bought this piece of land in 1948 with the sole intention of creating his dream home wrapped in lush greenery. The land was perched on a promontory between two low hills facing the lagoon. The lacklustre vistas of the old rubber estate gradually departed, welcoming the spellbinding vistas of an ethereal wonderland in reality.

A stroll in these gardens will take you to lush turfs dotted with realistic sculptures, facing the serene deep blue waters. Neatly trimmed hedges invite you to absorb myriads of green vistas in all directions. While some lead you to lily infested lakes, some will take you to verdant paddy fields and most surprisingly to tropical jungles, bringing you much closer to the heart of nature. These picture perfect gardens are inspired by Italian garden styles and stretches through acres of land beautifully wrapping the plantation house.

It is the perfect escape from the bustling city to experience a high dose of greenery mingled with serenity. Accommodation in Lunuganga, Bentota is an experience you would not want to miss, as you can soak up the breathtaking beauty of Bawa Gardens, all day and night. Their exquisite rooms and suites are furnished with fine antiques and art to suit the discerning travellers’ refined taste. The cottage by the lake provides complete seclusion and is ideal for writers and artists seeking heightened inspiration.

Explore the Riveting Beauty of Nepal’s Heart of Adventure

Nestled at the foot of the awe-inspiring Annapurna mountain range in a valley floor, scenic Pokhara is an area of tranquil lakes and ancient caves. The city’s eponymous name, derived from the Nepalese “Pokhari” – pond- reflects its status as the center of 5 rivers and 8 lovely surrounding lakes. Situated about 200 km from Kathmandu, Pokhara is one of the most picturesque spots in Nepal, offering magnificent views of the Annapurna and other Himalayan peaks.

Pokhara serves as the starting point for most treks in the Annapurna range. Beyond trekking, it is a base for a myriad of activities, including kayaking, paragliding, mountain biking and ultra-light flying. Its numerous, lovely lakes offer opportunities for fishing, boating and swimming, and its scenic environs are home to short treks and walks with stunning vistas. Mountain flights offer aerial views of the dazzling Annapurna Range.

To the backdrop of high glacial peaks, Lake Phewa, enshrouded in thick forests, is home to numerous monkeys and other wildlife, and features serene, mirror-like waters reflecting Annapurna and Mount Machhapuchhre. Boating in the lake, you will come upon an island housing the Barahi Temple; a two-storied pagoda dedicated the Ajima, the protectress deity representing the female force Shakti.

Short treks take you to Sarangkot and the Shanti Stupa (temple) for awe-inspiring scenery. One of the highest viewpoints in Pokhara, Sarangkot features magnificent sights, the crowning glory at its summit being the ruins of a stone fortress built by the Kashi Kingdom. From here, splendid panoramas of the valley, Lake Phewa and the Himalayan peaks can be observed.

At dawn and sunset, the view from Sarangkot is striking, yet it is even better from the Shanti Stupa, the World Peace Pagoda. Nestled atop a hill overlooking Lake Phewa, the stupa was built about 20 years ago and offers the same sweeping scenery found at Sarangkot, with the additional beauty of Pokhara and the sapphire blue lake cradled in the valley below. On the way, stop at Devi’s Fall, a unique waterfall plunging into a deep, narrow endless canal.

Among the caves, Mahendra Cave, in the northern Pokhara valley, is one of the few stalactite-stalagmite caves in Nepal. Along with the Chamare Gufa, the Bat Cave, both are home to rare species of bats.

Pokhara’s colorful Old Bazaar provides an up-close encounter with local life and is an experience not to be missed. Bustling with ethnically diverse stalls from places as far as Kashmir, Tibet and China, the market abounds with monuments depicting Newari culture and tradition. Additionally, it is home to the Shrine of Bindabasini Mandir, dedicated to the goddess Bhagwati, another manifestation of Shakti.

Kathmandu may be the cultural hub of Nepal, but Pokhara is considered the country’s center of adventure. This enchanting city exudes a sense of vitality and excitement and affords a great base for family adventure travel.

Flowering Trees – How to Make Your Garden Shady and Beautiful at the Same Time

The most important components in a landscape are probably trees. Their prominent shape and size gives the necessary depth to any garden or lawn. Such a large and tall plant can be impossible to ignore in any scenery and they can add a sense of permanence with their remarkable longevity, making it possible for them to be enjoyed through generations. Additionally, trees attract life as they have the ability to support whole ecosystems being a possible home to birds, bees, butterflies, squirrels, small plants, and other creatures. Moreover, trees can also become aesthetic, flowering trees can add beauty and grace apart from a sense of strength and prominence.

There are many kinds of flowering trees, each being valued for their distinct qualities. Here are some of the popular flowering trees in the landscaping scene:

Dogwoods – these are among the most popular and well-loved flowering trees that blossom in the spring. The soft white or pink flowers are indeed pleasing for to the eyes. Additionally, dogwoods also look good in the autumn as their leaves turn to a rich and bright red tinge. Having a dogwood in one’s backyard can definitely light up one’s surroundings for much of the year.

Rose of Sharon – while the rose of Sharon is technically a shrub, most people think that it is a tree because it can grow tall and be trimmed down to a single tree-like trunk. Its lilac-tinted flower is very attractive. The blooms come relatively late which makes it good to be planted with early blooming trees to enjoy flowers throughout the season.

Cherry, Mulberry, and Crab Apple – these flowering trees are generally grouped as weeping trees because of their teardrop-like buds. The elegant white to pastel pink flowers create a cozy ambience that is quite calming. These ornamental flowering trees add color and excitement to any panorama.

Washington Hawthorn Flowering Trees – this trees are very much valued because of the distinct time when they bloom. They usually flower from the latter portion of the spring to the early part of summer which makes them ideal in the transition period between the two periods, when most spring trees have shed they blooms and most summer trees have just started budding.

Magnolias – these are sometimes called saucers obviously for their big flowers that are very noticeable to anyone nearby. This type of flowering tree makes a big impression on anyone who beholds its beauty.

Crape Myrtles – this tree is considered as the queen of the flowering trees in the south as it is a very popular choice for Southerners. They bloom for long periods starting from the middle of summer to autumn. The flowers bloom in clusters that can be white, red, pink or lilac, which are attached to the tips of new wood. In temperate regions, these flowering trees can die in the winter, but come back in springtime.

Harry Lauder’s walking stick – this unique tree with an odd name is indeed a distinct flowering tree as it becomes beautiful only when it sheds its leaves. This is also technically a shrub that looks at a tree because it can go over four feet high. Harry Lauder’s walking street is ideal for those who have winter planting in mind.

There are several other kinds of flowering trees and each could add beauty as well as strength to any landscape. Planting trees can be such a worthwhile endeavor to beautify any piece of land.

September Selection – Rome’s Hotel Lord Byron Chosen As A Most Beautiful Hotel in the World

There no more beautiful place in the world than the golden skyline of Rome in autumn. “La dolce vita” never seems more intense as the hot days of summer fade into a warm glow. The gas heaters make outdoor dining a pleasure even through early December and while still lively, the summer throngs are gone. Travelers can enjoy this perfect time of year at September’s selection as a “Most Beautiful Hotel in the World.” This month’s beauty is the Art Deco marvel, Hotel Lord Byron, in the exclusive Parioli district of Rome, just north of the Villa Borghese Park.

A member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World, the Hotel Lord Byron is known for top notch service and elegant comfort and well as a keen sense of style and design. The hotel is convenient to the Spanish Steps, Via Veneto, Trevi Fountain, and the exquisite shopping districts that connect them. A hotel shuttle also serves further points.

The lobby features fresh flowers and books. Continuing the Art Deco style, the elegant restaurant serves Italian dishes such as pasta rolls with trout and black truffle sauce. At Il Salotto Lounge and Wine Bar the late-night crowd can enjoy Mediterranean cuisine and cocktails in a 1930s-style setting with mirrors, striped carpets, deep-red fabric chairs and dark wood furnishings. Original art from the owner’s collection decorates the bar. The hotel serves evening port and petits fours and complimentary buffet breakfast. There is also a stunning rooftop garden for guests to enjoy Rome panoramas.

The Hotel Lord Byron’s 32 climate-controlled guest rooms feature 1930s-inspired interiors, floor-length curtains and mahogany or rosewood furniture. Some rooms have balconies with garden or city views. All include satellite television, dial-up Internet ports, mini-bars, and complimentary bottled water. Traditional paintings decorate the vintage-marble bathrooms, which contain bathrobes and slippers.

For intimate spaces, fine service and a tranquil ambience with a location slightly off the beaten track, the Hotel Lord Byron is an exquisite choice for a Rome autumn getaway.

Luxury experiences for Rome explorers:

Make a reservation at the Villa Borghese museum to see the incomparable masterpieces by Caravaggio and other Renaissance artists. Only a limited number of viewers are allowed in, so reservations are essential.
Plan an outing to the Pantheon and marvel at this nearly perfectly preserved Roman structure. Outdoor cafes line the square and invite contemplation of Rome’s antique past.
Taste some scrumptious Roman gelato, available at stands all over the city or as a dessert item at many restaurant. Italian gelato is several steps up from premium commercial ice cream due to the intensity of the natural flavors used.

Hotel Lord Byron

Location: Via Giuseppe de Notaris 5, Rome, Italy 00197; 45 minutes from Fiumcimo airport.

Luxury style: For travelers who want a tranquil spot amid Rome’s big city noise, but convenient to all sights and shopping, the Hotel Lord Byron is an excellent choice. It will also please those who really hate staying in a tourist-only neighborhood, as the exclusive Parioli district is a very Roman neighborhood.

Experience the Beauty of Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is a majestic city in the beautiful state of Florida. Positioned on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, Fort Lauderdale enjoys a prime position on the southeast coast of Florida, right in the middle of Miami and Palm Beach.

This city is an extremely popular tourist destination and this is essentially what drives the economy here. It is sometimes known as the “Venice of America” owing mainly to its expansive and intricate canal system. Fort Lauderdale is also home to some fantastic museums, beaches and nightlife, with something for everyone.

Take some time to discover the blue waterways, golden sands and gentle ocean breezes and you will, along the way, discover a city that is truly mesmerising.

1. Fort Lauderdale Beach

The main beach in Fort Lauderdale is enough to make you want to stay forever. Home to an award-winning wave wall and signature beachfront promenade, Fort Lauderdale Beach is a truly remarkable oasis that is just bursting with beauty and fun.

This beautiful piece of world-famous coastline is perfect for activities such as wind surfing, jet skiing, beach volleyball, snorkelling and scuba diving and is equally ideal if you simply want to sit back, relax and breathe in the fresh sea breeze. You will also discover a unique array of shops, restaurants, sidewalk cafes and entertainment venues. A day at the beach will offer the perfect beginning or end to your Fort Lauderdale adventure, and this is the perfect beach to do it at.

2. Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science

Home to over 200 fascinating interactive exhibits, the Museum of Discovery and Science is an ideal place to take the family for an adventure like no other. This museum is home to the largest living Atlantic coral reef in captivity offering beautiful colours that will immediately capture your eye’s attention. You will be given opportunities to hang out with the sharks, bats, turtles, alligators and iguanas, opening your mind to the wonders of nature.

Popular exhibits here include space exhibit, “Runways to Rockets”, which will take you on a simulated visit to the Moon or Mars. The IMAX theatre is another popular attraction here and will take you on the ultimate film adventure of unparalleled sight and sound.

On your way out be sure to check out the Explore Store, where you will find intriguing games, toys, books and other unique gifts, allowing you to document your amazing experience here.

3. Museum of Art

Located right in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale, the Museum of Art is a truly unique cultural experience that anyone who merely appreciates art can enjoy. The museum is housed in a beautifully architectured building and is famous for its fabulous exhibitions.

As one of South Florida’s leading attractions, the museum actively engages diverse audiences in the appreciation of works of art through innovative exhibitions, education programs, publications and collection activities.

4. Bonnet House Museum and Gardens

This 1921 plantation-style waterfront home is surrounded by ponds with Bonnet Water lilies and stunning tropical gardens. The house itself still features the original furnishings, allowing you to step back into the past and experience life from decades ago.

The gardens encompass some of the last examples in southeast Florida of a native barrier island habitat. They range from desery arid plantings to stunning hibiscus and orchid settings. The gardens make the house even more majestic so it’s no wonder it has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

5. Fort Lauderdale History Centre

The Fort Lauderdale History Centre brings history to life, preserving it for the enrichment of present and future generations. The permanent exhibitions here include “Panorama of the Past”, “King-Cromatie House” and “Digging up History: An Archaeological Excavation of the Second Stranahan Store”. The centre is also home to a stunning photograph collection, history files, artefacts, newspapers and manuscripts, which will excite and enchant your minds and hearts.

Fort Lauderdale is a truly remarkable city that encompasses the best of seaside living with the perks of the city lifestyle. There is something here for everyone, making it an ideal holiday destination for a trip of any kind.

Top 10 Most Beautiful Golf Courses in France

Throughout France you’ll find some superb golf courses: in the north, in the south,and even in the mountains. The most renown is The Albatros in Guyancourt/Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines but the beauty of it could be questioned, due to the airport which disrupts the quiet a golf player needs. Nevertheless, the best European players produce some of their best games there at the French Open.

Have a look at the 10 best French courses not to miss:

1-ETRETAT:

Famous for its cliff as well as its sea views, it remains quite hard to find golf courses with such a picturesque location to attract its customers. Located between Le Havre and Fécamp on the Upper Normandy coast, golf courses can rarely enjoy such a superb site, overhanging the sea and bay of Etretat. Classified among the best golf courses in Europe by the famous specialist newspaper Golf magazine, it is easily accessible by ferry since it is near Le Havre port. If you come to play golf in Etretat, you will discover quite a hard course as soon as the wind blows. But whatever your score, you will undoubtedly have many a magic moment- pure pleasure for golf lovers!

2-SPERONE:

Let’s stay by the seaside! A magnificent course in Corsica called Sperone is located near Bonifacio at the very south of the Ile de Beauté as it is called by the French. This time you’re faced not with cliffs but with clear waters and a magnificent view of the corals. With views over the sea, the bays and even the Sardinia Mountains, the charming creeks are sometimes flooded by the tide which means Sperone has its own natural ponds on the course.

3-DINARD:

Set in Brittany close to Saint Malo, the Dinard golf course is one of the oldest in Europe as it was built in the late 19th century. It was founded by a small colony of British people during the Industrial revolution when the railway and the enthusiasm of a new lifestyle arrived. This course extends over 12 acres of dunes and fields along the coast. The view over the Channel is stunning and the number of lost golf balls due to the wind should be impressive as well.

4-PONT ROYAL:

Absolutely marvellous! A stone’s throw from Aix-en-Provence on the French Riviera, the Pont Royal Golf course enjoys a magnificent view over several streams and the mountains. Set in Mallemort, Pont Royal benefits from many prestigious residences with individual swimming pools enjoying a breathtaking view over the mountains and the course. It is surrounded by a nature full of fragrant herbs and undulating hills, where hikers had been coming until 1989 when the golf was created. Nowadays, tourists and locals form the population of the area, which offers all amenities from a post office to the tourist information office. This cohabitation gives its charm to Pont Royal, as tourists bring activity, and residents contribute to the durability of the region. Classified one of the best courses in Europe, the 18-hole golf was designed by the recently late Spanish champion Severiano Ballesteros.

5-EVIAN:

Shrine of the female golfer, the Evian Masters Golf Club is one of the 4 Grand Slam tournaments on the Female Golf Tour. Overlooking the Leman Lake in the French Alps, the view is absolutely magnificent and its greens are perfect. The resort’s residents are always welcome with no entrance fee. It is located only 45km from Geneva airport.

6-LA BAULE:

La Baule Golf courses are just a few kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean. Well known by British golfers for the quietness of the surroundings and the quality of the greens, La Baule is among some of the most challenging courses. It has three different courses:

Lucien Barriere golf course: The presence of several water obstacles makes these greens a delicate challenge.
Diane Barriere Desseigne: this course offers a clear contrast of styles between holes out in the wide open, and those which weave their way around a 5-acre lake.
Francois Andre: situated in a marvellous natural setting, this golf links is suitable for all levels whilst also respecting the standards of difficulty applicable to modern courses.

7-CHAMP DE BATAILLE:

Located between Rouen and Evreux in Normandy, the Champ de Bataille Golf Course surrounds a superb castle. It has a huge garden and beautiful ponds which constitute the icing on the cake!. The course has even recently been named the finest course in the region “thanks to its design, the exceptional setting and the quality of maintenance according to European Golf, a specialist magazine”.

8- LE TOUQUET:

Set on the Cote d’Opale in Northern France, The Touquet Golf Course called La Mer has strong British connections not because it was laid out by British architects, but because it was originally the playground of the British gentry. Nominated as the most stunning golf course of the Nord Pas-de-Calais, La Mer is perhaps one of the only true links course in France with its high tees that enable a very distant view.

9- FONTAINEBLEAU:

There is one of the largest and most beautiful French forests in Fontainebleau. A place of history and royal association, the course is situated in an ancient walled site, which strengthens the historic atmosphere. Opened in 1909, its greens are small and well guarded: an excellent short game is paramount for any golfer on this course! There is a little rough here but this is offset by the thickness and density of pine and oak trees.

10-CHANTILLY:

One of the most beautiful courses in Europe and set in the forest of the Ile de France, it was built in the same years as Fontainebleau and hosted numerous French Opens; including the 1913 Open de France before the test was definitely based in Guyancourt (see above). With 36 holes, many famous players teed off here, including the great Bobby Jones and The Golf Channel’s Nick Faldo. Faldo even won the French Open at Chantilly.

This top 10 has been compiled due to their beautiful landscapes and panoramas, the course characteristics and the availability of French properties in this area. Now take your clubs and enjoy a great afternoon in one of these courses…