Cultural Spots to Visit in Tel Aviv

immaculate

The country of Israel is one of incredible beauty and rich cultural heritage. Tel Aviv epitomises this in a variety of ways, most of all through the number of historical sites it boasts – a dream for those with such interests.

With more than 2.5 million international visitors every year, and the second-largest economy in the Middle East, the popularity of this amazing city is constantly growing. People are excited about what it can offer – here, we provide a brief glimpse into some of the cultural spots you should visit.

The History of Tel Aviv Museum

Based in the first-ever municipality building of Tel Aviv, this museum showcases the last 100 years of an intriguing city. From the small suburb known as Jaffa to the vibrant, bustling and entrancing epicentre of culture it is today, this is the number one spot to visit if you’re interested in the origins of Tel Aviv.

The old mayor’s office, first occupied by Meir Dizengoff, has been restored after the building was shut down for a number of years, and visitors can enter to see the amazing views of Bialik Square. The architecture is all original, making a trip to the museum a genuine Tel Aviv experience.

Tel Aviv Museum of Art

The largest art museum in Israel is based in Tel Aviv, and it has been open since before the country itself even existed. It contains a host of incredible artwork from Israeli and international artists, of both impressionism and post-impressionism.
While many interesting exhibits come and go over time, there are works of a number of famous names that are based here permanently – such as Henri Moore, Picasso and Auguste Rodin. The new wing, which opened just three years ago, also has some notable architecture worth viewing.

The White City

Tel Aviv is home to the world’s biggest collection of Bauhaus-style buildings, with their colour earning the area in which they’re located the nickname of “The White City”. They were constructed in the 1920s and 1930s by Jewish people emigrating from Germany, and have been restored following its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.

The intention of building these structures was to recreate the atmosphere of café-culture in Europe, but with a more modernist style. Today, the district has a fun atmosphere with restaurants and boutiques lining the streets.

Trumpeldor Cemetery

When visiting a city for the first time, most people’s idea of fun doesn’t generally involve paying a visit to the local cemetery. However, at Trumpeldor, you’ll find the resting places of a fascinating mixture of local celebrities including artists, politicians and other well-known individuals.

There are also a number of memorials of historical events, such as the 1921 Tel Aviv riots and the 1918 evacuation by the Ottomans. Overall it’s a fascinating insight into local history and the people that have inhabited this city.

Interested in booking a trip to Tel Aviv and visiting some of these locations? Contact Chic Collection for special offers.

Don’t Let Language Barrier Stop You from Enjoying Your Trip

 

kalman imre, budapest
Statue of Kalman in Budapest – English and German description provided on tab

Traveling to another country is something that is probably ever-present in people’s bucket lists. After all, there is nothing more surreal than exploring a place that’s foreign to you and immersing yourself in its culture and traditions. Everything does seem dreamlike, that is, until language barrier decides to step in and spoil the fun.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a problem for you if you come from an interracial family and are well versed with a language other than English or your mother tongue. Nevertheless, not all of us are as fortunate. At the same time, not everyone was able to learn some Spanish, a spattering of French, and some other foreign language back in high school. So will you allow this problem to stop you from enjoying your trip? Certainly not! What should you do, then?

Whether your trip is for business or pleasure, it pays to learn the language spoken at the place where you’re going. You don’t have to be an expert linguist; learning just a couple of important words would be enough. You would be surprised how much better your traveling experience would be if you know how to speak even just a few words from the local language. It can actually enhance your experience in ways you never deemed possible.

Some say, “You can’t teach old dogs new tricks”, and that may be true in this case. You can’t expect to master the language, say French, in a matter of days. Hence, a good start would be learning how to speak a few greetings, numbers, directions, simple questions, and phrases such as “How are you doing,” “What’s your name,” “Please,” “Thank you,” “How much is that,” “Where is (so and so place),” and “Nice to meet you,” among others. You would find these simple phrases very handy when you take a cab, eat in a restaurant, or go shopping.

somewhere in Rome
Roaming in Rome, I ended up at Largo Argentina at dusk

Once you’ve got that right down pat, you could progress to a more (somewhat) complex level that would help you “survive” in that place vocabulary-wise. Of course, if you have plenty of time to prepare for the trip, then you can go ahead and have an in-depth study of the language by attending a class or hiring a private tutor.

Learning the language spoken at a certain country makes it easier for you to deal and interact with locals. Inasmuch as English is considered a universal language, you should never assume that everyone in that place speaks English. Some tourists complain that locals don’t treat them all too well, but maybe the language barrier has a lot to do with it. Therefore, if you want a slightly better treatment from locals, you had better learn even just a bit of their language. Believe me; your efforts won’t go unappreciated.

You can actually learn the basics of a language from the comfort of your own home. The Internet offers many different sources to get you started. Some websites doesn’t only teach words and phrases but these also let you listen to audio recordings so you’ll know the proper pronunciation of the words. This is a good way to pick up the basics of a foreign language.

Try to go to the mall and look for a bookstore or any specialty store that sells books, CDs, DVDs, videos, tapes, and even software designed to teach a new language. Some even offer comprehensive combination packages that would make the experience worth your while.

It may seem bothersome, but learning a foreign language offers countless benefits. What’s more, it can broaden your horizons, and perhaps, open up a growing list of opportunities for the future. So topple down that language barrier, learn a new language, and expose yourself to a world of self-improvement and self-fulfillment.

pantheon, rome
Ended up at the Pantheon

Four Safety Travel Tips to Keep in Mind

travel
image via http://www.diversetraveller.com

People travel for different reasons, for many though, travelling is their form of escape from boredom and the torture of everyday routine. There are people who have made travelling their way of life, but for most of us, we need travel to add dimension, excitement and adventure to our boring lives. When you travel and discover new sights or new places, you also discover new cultures and meet new people. You discover more about yourself and develop your character in ways you never thought it would. Yes travelling brings with it that heady, thrilling and addictive feeling, but when travelling you need to keep your wits around you.

A lot of things can happen while you’re miles away from home. It is very important that you are well prepared – mentally, emotionally and physically. Secure your travel fund and ensure that you have an emergency stash or plan B, C and D in case you run short of cash. Consider selling your unused stuff and gadget on a garage sale to add to your fund. Consider the length of your travel and your destination so that you can pack appropriate clothing or footwear. Be sure to bring enough clothing but leave some room for souvenirs too. Once you’ve reached your destination, never be neglectful. Here are some safety travel tips to keep in mind.

Blend in
Avoid being too flashy and attract unwanted attention from a city you hardly know. Travelling to a new place is not the time to display your Rolex and jewelries. Keep it low and prevent any criminalities from coming to you by blending in and keeping the ostentatious display off for now.

Eyes on Your Bags
Leaving your stuff alone while dining out in a restaurant or in a terminal is a big no-no for tourists and travelers. Keep your bags on your lap or sling the strap around your leg. If you need some shut-eye while waiting for your flight, use those snap on straps to keep your bags close to your body so that nobody will have easy access to it. Secure your gadgets such as your tablet, phones or laptops. Be realistic and avoid being too trusting – there are always people who might want to take your valuables to make money for it.

Separate and Spread Out
While travelling, it is ideal to divide your finances – money and credit cards in different wallets or pouches. Avoid putting your wallet in your jean’s rear pocket – your front pockets or on your jacket pocket is your best option.

Keep Copies of Your Documents
Be sure to keep a copy of your important documents such as your passport, ticket and others. You can have it scanned, printed or emailed to yourself so that you’ll have them handy in case of emergency.

Yes, it’s a jungle out there, but travel changes people – despite potential dangers on the road, people who travel become more compassionate, kinder, motivated and inspired. Just stay alert and be mindful of the culture, belief and practices on top of these safety travel tips to avoid any untoward incidents while travelling.

travel tips
image via http://delta.com

Dubai Supercar Hotspots

 

You like fast cars but you only get to see them on Top Gear. What you really want is some kind of car utopia, where it’s normal to see a Lamborghini or an Aston Martin out on the streets and where the infrastructure and industry reflects a deep passion for beautiful machines. Well my friend, welcome to Dubai.

The Police

Our first hotspot starts on the streets. Why? Well where else in the world a fleet of supercars be owned by the police, patrolling the streets? With a Lamborghini Aventador already in their inventory, it was recently announced the motorheads at Dubai Police had made another small acquisition. A Ferrari FV no less, costing around £350,000, and capable of speeds exceeding 200mph. Audacious extravagance maybe, but surely the cops need something fast catch all the boy racers out there.

At The Mall

Strictly speaking supercar spotting at the Dubai Mall has now been sadly banned but security will only approach you if they identify you as a supercar spotter. So for supercar lovers that means hiding your camera, wiping the drool from your chin and realising a nonchalant swagger, as if being 10 feet away from a Pagani Zonda is a normal daily experience for you. As for getting there, the Dubai Mall is the world’s largest of its kind with 1200 shops. In other words I don’t think you’ll need directions.

Lamborghini Aventador
photo credits http://www.flickr.com/photos/34352388@N07/

Showing Off

Top Gear say it’s the best supercar dealership in the world and they just may be right. Owned by Abdullah Al Ketbi, Alain Class Motors has a showroom of cars that have a combined, mouthwatering value of £80 million. A car enthusiast and collector since 1992, with 18 Ferrari’s in his inventory, some Maserati’s, several Lamborghini’s and one of the fastest cars in the world, the Koenigsegg Agera, it would be an understatement to say that Abdullah Al Ketbi likes cars. Like many others in Dubai, there is nothing else that impresses him more. Alain Class Motors main property is a 10,000sq foot showroom located on Sheikh Zayed Road.

Your Own Drive

All this talk about Koenigsegg’s and Ferrari’s must have put the thought in your head: I’d love to drive one. Well you can. It would be foolish to think the locals would have missed out on that one. There are a number of luxury car rental spots all over Dubai. Lane Luxury Car Rentals is popular, based at the Al Naboodah Building, near the centre of Warson 1. With a fleet including but not limited to Bentleys, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porcshes and Audis, there is something for everything. For pricing just sign up to their mail list.

The International Motor Show

The Dubai International Motor Show, which runs between 5th and 9th of November is the largest of its kind in the Middle East. Who’s it for? The sort of people in Dubai that like to buy cars. What does that mean? Supercars. Lots, and lots, of lovely supercars! With over 150 car manufacturers participating from 30 different countries, there is plenty on offer. Even better, there’s an event that takes place two days earlier in Abu Dhabi, about 100km away. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, on the 3rd November.

This is a car lovers dream holiday and if you’re thinking about planning trip to Dubai, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to get there. You can use a flight finder tool like www.momondo.com that will pull the prices from hundreds of sites so you can pick the best deal for your budget. It’s also possible to find a good deal on top accommodation of you book way in advance or at the very last minute.

Author Bio: David Bell is a freelance writer and blogs about interior design, food, travel, art and culture. Follow him on Twitter @DavidBellWriter

Travel Light on a Full Itinerary with Mini Travel Essentials

Packing. One of the first things one must pay attention to when travelling. Well you’ve read of the many tips on how to pack lightly, I personally am not so good in that department. What I do is list down the essentials, the amount of each I should bring and check them out from my list when I had them tucked in my luggage – which is another thing worth writing about, I’m the worst when putting in stuff there. ^_^

You can actually get the most out of your travel by experiencing all types of activities offered in the land. You can fill your itineraries with indoor and outdoor activities that are unique in the region and bring home more than just photos and souvenirs. However, moving from one place to another can be a bit inconvenient when one has a bulky set of personal necessities to bring along for the trip. Travelling light without leaving any of your travel essentials behind is easy with mini-products that are ideal for travel. Even if you are staying in a hotel, it is best to bring your own vanity kit and toiletries especially of products you trust and use for your hair, teeth and skin. You can never know what the  hotel-provided shampoo would do to your flat hair and you wouldn’t want to go about with fizzy hair while enjoying the scenes…worse, you wouldn’t want to be caught in a less glamorous mane on your photos!

hotel toiletries, travel light, essentials
photo via http://fitnessista.com

Grooming essentials like soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and toothpaste can take a lot of luggage space if one doesn’t pay attention to their sizes. Purchasing mini or travel size versions of these items doesn’t only save on baggage space but also relieves travellers from unnecessary weight. Toiletries for travel usually come in pocket sizes. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion can be found in sachet packs or mini bottles. Those who plan to have these items on their carry all baggage can consider bottle sets that are TSA compliant so they don’t have to worry about meeting travel security requirements for bottled liquids. You wouldn’t want to be hassled by getting them all out of your luggage and confiscated when checked…it’s both waste of time and money so go with the minis.

When it comes to hand or beauty soap, travellers can choose from pocket sized bars or soap sticks that are easy to use and pack-away even when wet. There are also travel shampoos, hand soap, and body wash sheets that are ideal for outdoor travel like camping or trekking. All that is needed is a bit of water and one can lather these thin and tiny sheets  and leave you feeling clean and fresh. For oral hygiene, one can choose from a variety of toothbrush and toothpaste set that come with a handy case. Toothbrushes with foldable or detachable handles are the ones ideal for travel.

Always consider the amount of time to be spent on your travel, if you are staying for more than a week, it is best to buy your essentials from the nearest shop than bring too less…Sometimes, the small issues make the big difference to your travel experience.

  

The top five tourist destinations in Asia

For those that are perhaps a bit bored with the regular vacation destinations, Asia offers a wealth of idyllic, and unique, vacation spots. There are many locations with beautiful beaches, remote islands with tropical palms and fascinating centers of cultural and historical significance. With excellent cheap air flights readily available, travelers can reach any of the five top Asian destinations listed below from their nearest international airport.

Shodoshima, Japan

Japanese tourists taking a home vacation love the ‘Island of Little Beans’, however, this land of hot springs, lush olive groves and wild monkeys is still a well-kept secret when it comes to foreign tourists. The second largest island in the Seto Inland Sea, Shodoshima enjoys a Mediterranean climate, and as a result citrus groves are a feature here. Hikers readily take the trails across the rocks, enjoying the scenic views from the cliffs or those across the Kanka Valley. After a long day of walking and sightseeing, the island’s many hot springs provide a welcome respite for those tired feet.

ubud, indonesia
Ubud Rice terraces – image from http://static.environmentalgraffiti.com/

Ubud, Indonesia

The home of the Balinese royal family, Ubud is a relatively small town, with an impressive number of galleries, museums and a lively arts scene – for example, visitors can try the craft of a silversmith at Chez Monique, and take home some personalized jewelry they have created. For a wildlife treat, the lush greenery of the Monkey Forest is home to a lively bunch of monkeys that are fun to watch.  They will swoop down to steal food or anything that looks like it could be food, so beware!

Goa, India

In South Goa the quiet and beautiful Agonda Beach has smooth, soft sand, stunning sunsets and charming beach huts where visitors can stay. Sea turtles nest at the beach, and there are lifeguards on patrol to ensure that it is safe for children. Definitely a destination for those seeking peace and quiet, it is never crowded, the locals are very friendly and there are enough shops and good restaurants to make it interesting. Hire a scooter to make the most of visits to the other beaches and the local towns.

Xi’an, China

The Tang Palace walls and those of the Ming dynasty are clues to the glorious past of Xi’an, one of the oldest cities in China, which has many ancient tombs and ruins. Outside the city, 25 miles to the east, the 7,000 statues of the Terracotta Army represent one of the most significant archaeological finds in the world. The life-size warriors, their horses and chariots, depict the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, and they date from 210 BCE. Xi’an city has many important historical sites, including pagodas, royal mausoleums and towers, and outside the city walls, the southern area offers shopping, bars and some nightlife.

Penang Island, Malaysia

The “food paradise” of Malaysia, Penang’s rich multicultural history makes it a divine place to enjoy an extensive range of Indian, Chinese and Malay foods – allegedly some of the best cuisine in Southeast Asia. Gurney Drive in Georgetown, Penang’s capital, is a coastal promenade with restaurants and bars. Alongside the huge variety of carts serving some of the best street food available, there are upscale eateries and some Western chain restaurants. Take a break from all that eating and enjoy a trip to the Penang National Park – Malaysia’s newest – to see nesting sea turtles in the turtle sanctuary, and to explore the trails across the pristine beaches or above the jungle canopy from the elevated walkway.

Wild-Goose-Pagoda-Landscape-XiAn-China
Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi’an (image via http://www.asia-trip.info)

 

Vacation Destinations for the Girly Gang

A vacation in any destination is always more fun when it is spent with great company. This is one of the reasons why girly holidays are some of the best vacations that women enjoy. You can expect full attendance among female buddies whenever such excursions are scheduled. The only difficult stage in planning for these holidays is in choosing the destination. Here are some good options for girly getaways that will give the whole gang a good time.

Chapel Porth Beach, Cornwall, girly vacations
Chapel Porth Beach, Cornwall (image via http://www.telegraph.co.uk)

1. United Kingdom (UK). There is no need to travel far to have a good time with your girly buddies, simply look at what UK has to offer and take your pick for a relaxing getaway. City dwellers can get a whiff of the fresh air and a scenic countryside tour by taking advantage of car hire holiday deals. You can choose from a trip to the majestic mountains of Wales and enjoy their warm welcome, a drive to the West Country for a laid back weekend in a cozy cottage, or go to the Scottish Highlands and experience a quiet mountain retreat or some action and adventure activities. Cornwall beaches are also a wonderful go to. You and your girl friends can pick any or all of these adventures for your next road trip.

2. Venice, Italy. One can voluntary lose themselves in the streets of Venice and find their way back to the main roads with a wealth of tidbits about the city. Italy is a great choice for girls who would like to add some sophistication in their holidays. Book a Tuscan Villa or get a room in a luxury city hotel then delve into everything that the city has to offer. This can range from an upscale designer shopping experience at the Milan Quadrangle or a breathtaking trip that showcases the beauty of the Neapolitan Riviera.

3. Greece. Get away from the daily stress and career pressure by leaving traces of modernity behind and heading off to the superb sunsets and gorgeous beaches in Greece. The clear blue waters and superb white sand are enough to create a relaxing ambiance. Add some little taverns in the picture and you got a perfect island getaway for the whole gang.

santorini girl
image via http://wheremyheartresides.com/

4. Barcelona, Spain. Girls who love the sun and the sand along with a bit of Sangria will definitely adore a trip to Spain. They have everything to offer from cosmopolitan city centres that offer dining and shopping experiences, the sandy Costas where the girls can bask in the sun and enjoy the beach, or resort spas that offer great views of the Spanish coast along with some relaxing massage. Those who are seeking some action and adventure can try some of their outdoor activities like horseback riding or cycling.

5. Thailand. Get your girl friends together for an exciting trip to Thailand. Aside from experiencing Asian culture, the girly gang can also witness some striking seaside views and some wild entertainment on the side. Try their full moon parties and risqué cabaret for an unforgettable trip that curious and adventurous women would love.

gondola
fun gondola ride

Smooth and Easy Road Trips for the Whole Family to Enjoy

Road trips with the whole family can be used as bonding opportunities for the kids and their parents. However, they can also bring some stress even at times when the kids are in their best behavior. Here are some ways to get rid of the stress and inject some fun for the whole gang throughout the trip.

family roadtrips
image via (http://parentables.howstuffworks.com)

1. Distract Everyone with Entertainment. Alleviate boredom by bringing along lots of props to keep everyone entertained. Parents with little kids can bring books, toys, mini-game consoles, portable DVDs with CDs of their favorite movies, mp3 loaded with music that everyone can sing along with, or audio books that they can listen to as they watch the scenery pass. Some playing cards or travel board games that require kids to interact with each other while playing is also a good option for long distance drives.

2. Prepare a well stocked snack box for the trip. Hunger can make kids cranky and impatient, and sometimes even adults too. Once the little ones start getting irritable the adults usually get stressed, and a trip can sometimes go downhill from there. Make sure that you have enough water or juice and healthy snacks that the kids can munch on during the trip. Stay away from caffeinated drinks or you might find yourself going to frequent toilet trips, and sugary food with additives as it can increase energy levels of the kids and make them more anxious. A good mix of healthy food and drinks is essential for a pleasant road trip. Remember, a well packed snack hamper keeps hunger at bay.

3. No speeding and no to rush hour trips. Take an easy drive by avoiding the rush hour traffic. Getting stuck in these snail pace jams is enough to stress everyone else in the car. The usual tendency is to make up for the lost time in traffic by speeding on less crowded roads. Speeding can put your passengers’ life in danger and it also consumes more fuel. The benefit on the other hand is just a few minutes of travel time saved.

4. Have a well-organized plan for the road trip. The last thing you want to happen in a road trip is to find yourself in the middle of nowhere with no idea on what to do next. Carefully plan the trip itinerary and routes that you’ll be taking, including alternative ones, so you can avoid bottlenecks or traffic prone areas and get to your destinations faster. Gear up on navigational tools so you can easily find your way around in case of changes in the itinerary.

5. Have your vehicle checked for safety or road worthiness. Proper car maintenance and regular service tune-ups is an important responsibility of car owners. But even a well maintained vehicle needs to be checked thoroughly before any long trip. This will reduce the chances of a breakdown during the trip and minimize accidents due to faulty car mechanisms. Thoroughly check the tires, batteries, oil and water. Also check the condition of the seat belt and other safety features, wipers, air-con, heaters, and everything else that you need to make the journey more comfortable for everyone.

A first road trip with the whole family is usually a memorable experience that everyone will cherish. Some families even make a tradition out of it until the children move-out of the house. These simple tips can help you in making your own family road trips more fun and less stressful.

(image via http://abcnews.com/)

Money Smart Travel Tips for First Time Travelers

sevastopol
Sevastopol

Visiting a different country is a very exciting venture for a green horn traveler but one must not let such excitement lead to a travel frenzy that can compromise budget and safety. A little research can help them plan their travel itineraries and budget to ensure that they won’t find themselves short on cash in a foreign land. Here are some cash savvy tips for those who are new to foreign travel.

1. Set a travel budget that includes emergency cash allowance. Create a financial travel plan by setting a budget for all types of travel expenses. One can list down all the basic travel expenses like airfare, room and board, meals, transportation, travel fees, etc. and deduct it in their travel fund. The excess funds can be allotted for pocket money which can be used for souvenirs, shopping, tips and anything else that they please.

2. Know the foreign exchange rates in the country. Finding out the value of one’s money against a different currency can protect travelers from being taken advantaged on by money changers that charge exorbitant fees or foreign exchange stations with pricey exchange rates. New travelers can easily find currency rates from the daily news which they can use as a guide in finding the best currency conversion rates available.

3. Exchange at least $100 worth of home currency into the local currency of one’s destination country before leaving. There are some expenses at the airport that may require the use of local currencies. Having some readily available is both convenient and practical for travelers as they don’t have to scramble for money changers in the airport and be forced to accept pricey currency rates. Foreign exchange service providers like Travelex can help travelers with their currency exchange needs even before they board the plane. They also have other products like pre-paid currency cards and international payment services available for those who don’t want to carry too much bills during their travel.

With the budget set and financial tools like cash, traveler’s or manager’s cheque, debit cards, etc. ready, travelers are good to go. Along with these tools, financially smart travelers should always bring along with them the reminder to stick with their budget. People who spend more than what they have usually end up in trouble, and one of the worst things that a traveler can experience is to get in trouble while in a foreign land. The best way to protect one’s self is to stick with the budget.

travelex, money, travel tips
get to know trustworthy current exchange stations

Featuring Corfu

Bay of St.George

I can’t remember how many times I’ve featured Greece or its islands here and on my other travel blogs. Looking to it, I could be more of a Grecophile than a Japanophile as I have always thought I was. :D

Growing up, the displays at home – mostly miniature statues of Greek gods/goddesses and those, have fascinated me I always asked my father for stories of his visit to the islands. It was he after all who brought me books relating to Greek mythology, sent me photos of the Parthenon and parts of Athens during his visits and it was he who brought home those displays.

Although there’s anxiety about Greece’s economic conflict, reports of protests and those, don’t let it stop you. It’s not the whole of Greece after all, strikes and demonstrations are on certain areas and you can always avoid being hassled by going to the other islands that comprise the beauty of the peninsula.

Looking around, the best islands or the more famous ones would certainly be Santorini and Mykonos but digging deeper, I’ve learned that Corfu is a nice place for holidays too! Especially for the writer in me! Which would the best travel guide be for Corfu than Lawrence Durell’s Prospero’s Cell? The novelist spent years in the enchanted island and one can actually stay at the White house, a fisherman’s cottage in Kalami, that’s where he wrote the famous write up. Also, one can relive the stories that Lawrence’s younger brother, Gerald, wrote in his book My Family and Other Animals, and  Birds, Beasts, and Relatives and The Garden of the Gods. 

corfu
serene

Aside from the literary importance of Corfu, here are some more things you can put on your checklist when travelling there.

1. Beach hopping. Canal D’Amour, Paleokastritsa, Kalamionas Beach, Arillas and Sidari are some of the more prominent beaches to enjoy in Corfu. Blue and white – the colors of the Grecian flag is reminiscent of all these pristine shores. If you’re looking for a more secluded and less-crowded coast, try Kassiopi – though there really isn’t much to do except to drink in the beauty and blueness of the scenery.

2. Horse trekking (Gouvia). Go adventurous and see the mountainous side on a horse back! It’s an experience of getting closer to nature atop those mighty, spirited creatures.

3. Museum hopping. To understand a city and its culture, visiting the local museum would be best – in any city. The Archaeological Museum of Corfu would be best recommended but, it is at the moment undergoing renovation so try the Museum of Asian Art instead for a crossover experience.

4. Enjoy fun parks. Choose from the Pyramid Adventure Park, Aqualand or the Sidari Water Park Fun Park for some fun with the kids. There’s golf, giant water slides and a lot more fun activity for adults and kids.

5. Picnics and Foodtrips. Tzatziki, Tiropitta, Mousaka, Stifado, Kelftiko, Prawn Saganaki, Oxtapothi and the local pittas are some of those you should try while in Corfu. I will not describe each but be assured that they are worth your adventurous palate! Never miss out on Baclava, Chalva and Galactoboureko afterwards…also, gulp everything down with Metaxa Brandy if you find wine a little monotonous.

Corfu is truly one enchanted island as are many in Greece. Again, don’t let the economic turmoil discourage you. There are so many reasons why it is the best time to visit Greece all in all. The scenery, the experience, the history – they’re all different for each of us but as for me, it’s another lifelong dream waiting to be fulfilled.

corfu sunset
One of the many wonderful Corfu sunsets (photo via http://cristimoise.wordpress.com)