10 Best Places to Visit in Australia

Located between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, Australia is the world’s largest island and its smallest continent. There’s room to move in the Land Down Under, and with so many sights to discover and enjoy, there’s a great incentive to go on a walkabout adventure. Whether exploring the traditional lifestyle of the nation’s Aboriginal people, relaxing on a sun-kissed beach or reveling the night away in a city hot spot, Australia has something special to offer every visitor. An overview of the best places to visit in Australia:

10Adelaide
Adelaide

The capital of South Australia, Adelaide is Australia’s fifth largest city, with a population of over 1.2 million. More than three quarters of South Australians live in the Adelaide metropolitan area. The city is located on a plain between the rolling Adelaide Hills and the Gulf St Vincent and is bordered by many of Australia’s famous wine regions. Historically known as the City of Churches much of the architecture in the inner city is retained from the colonial era.

Read more: Adelaide Guide

9Darwin
Darwin
wikipedia/David Silva

Hugging the coastline of Northern Territory, Darwin has long been the most international of the country’s major cities. Its close proximity to other countries in the Indian Ocean has made the city a transportation hub since its earliest days. Devastated during WW II, Darwin is a resilient town with a spirit that can’t be defeated. Today, the city of around 75,000 people is a popular holiday destination.

Read more: Darwin Guide

8Hobart
Hobart

Hobart is the capital city of the Australian island of Tasmania, as well as Australia’s second oldest city after Sydney. With a population of about 250,000 Hobart is small and intimate compared to larger mainland Australian cities, reflecting the small size of the state. There are many fine examples of Georgian and Victorian architecture in Hobart, such as Salamanca Place, which has a terrace of warehouses dating back to the whaling days of the 1830s. It has a mild temperate oceanic climate, with four distinct seasons.

7Brisbane
Brisbane
flickr/brewbooks

Brisbane is the capital of the state of Queensland. It has a population of about 2 million people, making it the third-largest city in Australia, after Sydney and Melbourne. Brisbane’s year-round warm climate, spectacular scenery and pleasant locals have been the draw-cards for many domestic and international visitors, making Brisbane the fastest-growing city in Australia.

Read more: Brisbane Guide

6Perth

Located on Australia’s southwestern coastline, Perth is the country’s fourth-largest city and the capital of Western Australia. Isolated from other major cities in Australia, Perth has developed its own unique character. Although the area has been inhabited for thousands of years, there’s a youthful atmosphere and a fun-loving attitude in this city of nearly two million people.

5Melbourne
Melbourne
flickr/Pedronet

The capital of the state of Victoria, Melbourne is Australia’s second most populated city. Located near the southeastern tip of Australia on the large natural bay of Port Phillip, Melbourne is considered the nation’s cultural capital as well as an important port. A well-planned city known for its shopping, fine restaurants and sports venues, Melbourne is the ideal destination for travelers who appreciate the good life.

Read more: Melbourne Guide

4Cairns
Cairns
flickr/travelbot

For its tropical climate, easy-going ambiance and close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is one of Australia’s most popular

vacation

destinations. Located on the northwest corner of Australia, Cairns is a provincial but stylish city with a population of around 150,000 people. Few coastal destinations feature more wildlife diversity and more opportunities for travel adventures than pretty Cairns.

Read more: Cairns Guide

3Alice Springs
Alice Springs
flickr/c_neuhaus

Located in the heart of Australia about 1500 km (900 miles) from the nearest major city, Alice Springs is comprised of cavernous gorges, boundless desert landscapes, remote Aboriginal communities and a charming pioneering history. It embodies the hardy outback of the Red Centre, and is a travel hub for sights and hikes in the region, such as Uluru/Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and Kings Canyon. Since the start of the tourist boom in the early eighties, the population has substantially grown to about 28,000.

2Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef

One of the top destinations for underwater explorers and scuba divers, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest barrier reef system. Located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Australia’s state of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef encompasses a huge area of more than 2,900 coral reefs and hundreds of islands and cays. Formed by millions of living organisms over a period of millions of years, the Reef is now one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world and of the best places to visit in Australia.

Read more: Great Barrier Reef Guide

1Sydney
#1 of Best Places To Visit In Australia

Located on Australia’s southeastern coast, Sydney is the capital of New South Wales. A modern city with a long history, Sydney is defined by its scenic harbor. The region’s first inhabitants lived along the harbor’s bank for thousands of years. The harbor was also the landing site for convicts sent to Australia during the 1780s. Today, ferries take visitors for cruises under the famed Sydney Harbor Bridge and past the iconic Sydney Opera House.

Source: http://www.touropia.com/best-places-to-visit-in-australia/

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Best adventure travel for 2014

Mountain biking, Avoriaz, France

Avoriaz is one of 12 interconnected resorts in the Portes du Soleil region of the French Alps, where man-made bike trails and alpine tracks create a spectacular playground for mountain bikers. The area, which includes Les Gets and Morzine, opens 25 ski lifts during the summer for riders who’d rather earn their thrills the easy way. There are more than 650km of trails in Portes du Soleil, ranging from mellow to OMG. At the end of June the Pass’Portes du Soleil mountain bike festival sees 4000 bikers descend on the region for a 75km race that is mostly downhill. The gondolas close to bikers in September, then the skiers get their turn.

The Rustine School (www.rustine.fr) offers two-wheeled tuition to children and adults. Bikes and full-face helmets are provided.Two-wheeling through the green valleys of the Portes du Soleil in France. Image by Ilan Shacham / Flickr / Getty Images.

Two-wheeling through the green valleys of the Portes du Soleil in France. Image by Ilan Shacham / Flickr / Getty Images.

Sailing, Cape Horn, Chile

 Dientes de Navarino Mountains in Chile by Dimitry B. CC BY 2.0.

Dientes de Navarino Mountains in Chile by Dimitry B. CC BY 2.0.

Tall ships may look like they’ve sailed straight out of a classic oil painting, but you don’t need to set your DeLorean to 1870 to navigate the stormy seas in one – but you should be prepared to get stuck in on deck, and climbing the rigging is especially encouraged. The Auckland-to-Falklands route around Cape Horn is one of the gnarliest shipping channels on the planet, and you’ll rack up 5400 nautical miles among some of the world’s biggest waves.

You need some crewing experience for Classic Sailing’s Cape Horn trip (www.classicsailing.co.uk), though they organise shorter voyages for those with none.

Ice Marathon, Antarctica

Antarctica's Lemaire channel at first light. Image by Ralf Hettler / E+ / Getty Images.

Antarctica’s Lemaire channel at first light. Image by Ralf Hettler / E+ / Getty Images.

Sidestep marathon-sponsorship inbox fatigue by doing a race so unusual that your friends will have no choice but to sit up and take notice. The annual Ice Marathon takes place in temperatures of -20°C, though the brutal wind chill whipping round your chops can make it feel another 20 degrees below that. It’s an environment so hostile even penguins won’t call it home. Yet to marathon in this frosted world you don’t actually need prior experience of running in extreme cold. You do need to follow advice on what to wear as if your life depends on it, as it probably does.

The 2014 Ice Marathon (www.icemarathon.com) is set for 19 to 23 November but the dates depend on the weather.

Swimming, Sporades Isles, Greece

 Boating in the Sporades by Anca Pandrea. CC BY 2.0.

Boating in the Sporades by Anca Pandrea. CC BY 2.0.

You don’t have to watch The Beach to figure out that swimming from one island to another is a pretty magical way to arrive at your holiday destination. In this tour of a super-quiet stretch of the Aegean Sea you get to do that every day, Greek island–hopping stroke by stroke without the bother of carrying your kit, which will follow behind in the support boat. You’ll be sharing the craggy coastlines of the Sporades archipelago and its protected turquoise waters with dolphins, seals and scientists, as the area is part of Europe’s largest natural marine park.

Swim Trek (www.swimtrek.com) runs trips in June and July with average daily swims of 5km. Video analysis is on offer to help hone your stroke technique.

Climbing Mount Baker on snowboard or skis, Washington, USA

Climbing the upper slopes of Mount Baker in Washington State. Image by Cliff Leight / Aurora / Getty Images.

Climbing the upper slopes of Mount Baker in Washington State. Image by Cliff Leight / Aurora / Getty Images.

Scaling a summit, though always impressive, is a lot more fun if you plan to reward yourself with a hefty dose of adrenaline on the way down, rather than an energy depleted trudge back to base. It’s also a lot easier and faster to climb using skis instead of feet and now snowboarders can join the party by using splitboards. The peak of Mount Baker is 3285m and on the ascent, which includes glacial terrain, you’ll have stunning panoramic Alpine views plus the sight of the San Juan Islands and Washington’s inland waters to distract you from your toil.

The American Alpine Institute (www.alpineinstitute.com) runs three-day trips in May and June; you’ll need intermediate touring and riding experience to get involved.

Kayaking, Kamchatka, Russia

Sea kayakers float past Karaginsky Island in Kamchatka. Image by John Borthwick / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images.

Sea kayakers float past Karaginsky Island in Kamchatka. Image by John Borthwick / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images.

For an experience so edge-of-the-world you’ll need to be careful you don’t actually drop off, this 160km hike and kayak expedition in remotest Kamchatka takes some beating. Your small group will be dropped by helicopter at the foot of the Karimsky volcano, where you’ll begin crossing the Siberian taiga. You’ll encounter no roads or people, the only tracks being those of the 25,000 brown bears who call this region home. When you reach the headwaters of the salmon- and trout-rich Zhupanova river, you’ll take to your kayak and paddle its entire length to the Bering Sea.

For this Natural Habitat Expedition (www.nathab.com), done in partnership with WWF, you’ll need multi-day paddling experience in rivers and oceans.

Rock climbing, Yangshuo, China

Rock climbing in Yangshuo by Maria Ly. CC BY-SA 2.0.

Rock climbing in Yangshuo by Maria Ly. CC BY-SA 2.0.

Yangshuo, a picturesque former fishing village, has found itself dubbed the adventure capital of China thanks in part to its accessibility but mostly due to the rock-climbing opportunities afforded by its many limestone karst peaks, which rise strikingly from the dense emerald-green vegetation. A buzzing scene of local and international climbers enjoy arguably the best concentration of climbs in Asia, most of which are reachable by a short bike or bus ride from downtown. Many routes are well bolted, though the more intrepid climber can still find fresh, and in some cases nearvertical, routes to conquer.

Insight Adventures (www.insight-adventures.com) do trips to Yangshuo. The best times are March to May and September to December; there’s a climbing festival in November.

Stand-up paddleboarding, Dominican Republic

Cabarete beach in the Dominican Republic. Image by SOBERKA Richard / hemis.fr / Getty Images.

Cabarete beach in the Dominican Republic. Image by SOBERKA Richard / hemis.fr / Getty Images.

If you plan on stand-up paddling (SUP), you’ll want to seek out spots that remain relatively empty, rather than popular surf breaks which increasingly resemble the scrums that follow door-opening at the January sales. The rugged northern coastline of the Dominican Republic offers 500km of such bounty buffeted by North Atlantic swells, and SUP is an easy way to catch these waves, while giving you the option of exploring the region’s river mouths, outer reefs and crystal-blue Caribbean coves in a manner so civilised you may not even need to get your swimmers wet.

Waterways Travel (www.waterwaystravel.com) runs tours most of the year but May to September is the best time to visit for small, fun waves with zero crowds.

Whitewater rafting, Mosquito Coast, Honduras

Team of whitewater rafters navigate the rapids in Rio Cangrejal, Honduras. Image by Devon Stephens / E+ / Getty Images.

Team of whitewater rafters navigate the rapids in Rio Cangrejal, Honduras. Image by Devon Stephens / E+ / Getty Images.

The swamp-ridden jungle that makes up the Mosquito Coast, named after the local Miskito Indians rather than the pesky bloodsuckers, is one of the least explored areas in the Americas. Yet the truly hardy can whitewater raft through its core, riding the Rio Platano river to the Caribbean coast with only the region’s indigenous tribes and unique wildlife (river otters, scarlet macaws, pumas, jaguars and vampire bats) for company. When not riding the rapids, you’ll explore the caves and subterranean creeks (once used for ancient rituals) that line the river, and by night you’ll hone your bushcraft skills by wild camping on the sandy riverbanks.

Epic Tomato (epictomato.com) organises the week-long rafting trips, after which it will transport you to a hidden coastal retreat to snorkel and rest.

Travel by horse and cart, Myanmar/Burma

Temples and horse carts in Bagan by calflier001. CC BY 2.o.

Exploring the ruins of the ancient city Ava by horse and cart is not a tourist gimmick but simply the only way to get around. It’s also the best way to see the Buddhist temples and pagodas in Bagan. Still a popular mode of transport for locals, especially in rural areas, it’s not the smoothest ride nor the speediest, but at least that means you can enjoy your view rather than have everything flying past in one big whoosh. You’ll be sheltered from the sun and rain, should either get too full-on.

All Points East (allpointseast.com) runs tours of Myanmar. Alongside horse and cart, transport options include bike, local train, rickshaw and Irrawaddy cruiser.

10 Best Bali Luxury Resorts

Bali has without a doubt, the best range of accommodation in Indonesia. Most of the budget hotels on the island can be found in Kuta, where most of the backpackers are heading. This list however presents the best luxury resorts in Bali, as rated by visitors. Many of the five-star resorts are clustered in Nusa Dua, Seminyak and Ubud. Ubud’s hotels and resorts cater to those who prefer spas and cultural pursuits over surfing and other beach activities. Nusa Dua and Seminyak are located on the beach but the atmosphere is much more sophisticated and laid-back than Kuta.

Bali has become famous for its large collection of private luxury villas for rent, complete with staff and top-class levels of service. Besides Ubud and the greater Seminyak area these private villas can also be found in the south around Jimbaran and Uluwatu, in Sanur as well as Lovina in north Bali.

10Jamahal Private Resort & SPA *****
Jamahal Private Resort & SPA *****

The Jamahal Private Resort & Spa is situated on the southern edge of Bali. A private beach is just a few steps away from the hotel, allowing for water sports and sunbathing. The hotel features one, two or three bedroom villas. Some of the more luxurious villas include private swimming pools while all villas have high-speed Internet, cable television, and private gardens. A contemporary resort style accommodation, the Jamahal Private Resort & Spa is surrounded by tropical gardens. There is also a swimming pool and an Indonesian spa, which includes a number of treatments and massages.

9Komaneka at Bisma *****
Komaneka at Bisma *****

Located in Ubud, the Komaneka at Bisma is known as one the best Bali luxury resorts. The resort offers a fitness center and an outdoor pool as well as babysitting and other child services. The luxury rooms feature a flat screen TV with cable and satellite channels. All rooms are air conditioned and come with a safe, refrigerator and a mini bar.

8The Samaya Villas Bali *****
The Samaya Villas Bali *****

Situated directly on the beach in Seminyak, the Samaya Villas provides easy access to nearby attractions. Guests cano walk to the Legian area, where they will find shopping, dining, and entertainment options. There are twenty four villas at the hotel. The villa style accommodations at the Samaya Villas offer a variety of choices, including king and queen sized selections with private plunge pools or Jacuzzis.

7Alam Ubud Villas Bali *****
Alam Ubud Villas Bali *****

Located in a tropical forest, only minutes away from the center of Ubud, Alam Ubud is spaciously set within a 4 hectare garden landscape. The resort provides comfortable accommodation, world class facilities and the celebrated Balinese hospitality.

6The Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah Bali *****
The Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah Bali *****

Located only three kilometers from the center of Ubud, Tanah Gajah takes its name from the nearby Goa Gajah elephant temple. Spacious accommodations are designed with comfort and privacy in mind. The villas are set in the natural beauty Ubud. Each villa is thoughtfully decorated and furnished with artistic flair, graceful furniture and local. The restaurant and club lounge overlook lush rice paddies. This open-air pavilion features day beds in a cozy lounge, where cocktails and afternoon tea is served.

5Pandawas Villas *****
Pandawas Villas *****

Established in 2010, Pandawas Villas is inspired from the epic Mahabharata. There are 4 luxury villa rooms: Yudistra, Bima, Sahadewa and Nakula each with an expansive dresser and a large double ensuite bathroom and a central lounge. The restaurant serves many cuisines. There is also a Krishna entertainment room where children can enjoy games and books.

4The Bale Resort Bali *****
The Bale Resort Bali *****

The Bale, overlooking the Indian Ocean, is a healing retreat for adults only with just 29 pavilions all with their own private pools. A sandy beach and an impressive list of spa treatments with holistic programs completes the experience. Calmness reigns in the pavilions. The entire place has a sense of total peace and tranquility with walkways through cooling courtyards and refreshing water pools. Guests can practice yoga, tai chi or choose from an amazing spa menu from Reiki to personally orientated treatments.

3The Samaya Bali *****
The Samaya Bali *****

Located in Ubud, the Samaya Bali offers well-appointed rooms with air conditioning and wireless internet access. The Samaya Bali has a day spa on-site, offering a range of massage treatments and beauty therapy. The hotel’s garden is a peaceful spot to sit and relax. In addition to an outdoor pool and a steam room, the hotel features a spa & wellness center and a sauna. The rooms feature a large tv with satellite channels.

2The Purist Villa & Spa Bali *****
The Purist Villa & Spa Bali *****

The Purist Villas and Spa in Ubud is a small boutique hotel resort. The suites are housed in series of seven unique and private villas combining luxury with traditional elements from several islands of Indonesia. Some of the houses come from other islands such as Java and Timor. These huts are at the inside transformed into real designers hideaways, while at the outside it shows all the typical woodcarvings and other features used in some island. Three of the villas have their own private pools with a separate Balinese hut with mattresses and cushions. Four villas have a more minimal style with Balinese artifacts, and white limestone floorings.

1Ametis Villa *****
#1 of Bali Luxury Resorts

The Ametis Villa is characterized by a combination of modern comfort and traditional element of Bali, making it a distinctive resort. The 14 guestrooms at the Ametis Villa provide all the essential amenities needed by the leisure traveler. This Bali luxury resort contains all of the facilities and conveniences you would expect from a hotel in its class. Facilities available include massage, spa and a private beach.

Source: http://www.touropia.com/bali-luxury-resorts/

The Best Beaches on Bali

The best beaches in Bali are found in the south: around Kuta, Jimbaran, and the Bukit Peninsula. Some of these are also very busy, of course (particularly Kuta). Hop on a bus or rent a car and you can find some great stretches of sand with few other tourists around. Bali is a year round destination so concern about weather and seasons should be put to rest. That said, the best weather on Bali is usually found from April to September.

Walking on the beach in Jimbaran, Bali.

Beach in front of Intercontinental Hotel in Kuta.

Sunset at Kuta beach.

Seminyak beach in Bali.

Beach at the Grand Mirage Bali

Balangan beach in Bali.

Bingin beach in southern Bali.

Sanur beach in Bali.

Family friendly Sanur beach.

The beach in Padangbai.

Beach in Candidasa, Bali.

Amed, Bali with Mt Agung in the background.

The sandy beach in Amed.

Beach in Pemuteran, Bali.

Lovina beach in Bali.

Dream beach on Nusa Lembongan.

Source: http://mylittlenomads.com/best-beaches-in-bali

Top 10 Budget Hotels in Bali

Febris Hotel and Spa

Febris Hotel and Spa

The Febris Hotel & Spa is one of the top accommodations in Bali and is located along Jalan Kartika Plaza, South Kuta Beach. This particular site features popular attractions like the Discovery Mall, Kuta Centre and Kuta Square, making it an essential shopping district in Bali. Housing a total of 70 rooms, the 3-star hotel was originally inspired by Tirta Gangga, an iconic village and palace in eastern Bali. With its contemporary architecture and large open spaces, Febris offers a relaxing ambience for single travellers, honeymooners and family units.

Bakung Sari Hotel

Bakung Sari Hotel

Bakung Sari Hotel is a 2-star accommodation that’s situated along Jalan Bakungsari, very near to the popular Kuta Beach. If you dislike long taxi rides, you’ll be delighted to know that the hotel is also located only 15 minutes from Ngurah Rai International Airport. Each room comes complete with a private balcony offering a stunning view of the beach, and is equipped with standard amenities like multi-channel television and air conditioning. When your tummy starts growling, proceed to the in-house open-air restaurant that serves both Indonesian and Western food.

Sayang Maha Mertha

Sayang Maha Mertha

Nestled within the iconic village of Legian is Sayang Maha Mertha, a 1-star hotel that’s a mere 10-minute drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport, 4-minute walk from Kuta Beach and 16-minute car ride from Bali’s capital, Denpasar. With a total of 40 rooms that are housed within Balinese-inspired cottages set amidst palm and coconut trees swaying gently in the breeze, the landscaping at this humbly-sized accommodation inspires inner peace and tranquillity. The in-house eatery also delights with its Indonesian, European and Chinese cuisines.

Dewi Sri Hotel

Dewi Sri Hotel

For a peaceful retreat from the fun chaos of Kuta, simply make a reservation at Dewi Sri Hotel, a 2-star accommodation that hides behind the foliage of trees growing from its private gardens. If you decide to book a stay at one of its superior rooms, you can enjoy a view of the hotel pool and open-air pavilion which is also referred to as “bale”, where guests can enjoy a therapeutic body massage near the pool bar. Also situated near the swimming pool is Mostic, a restaurant offering Western and Indonesian cuisines. If lazing around for prolonged periods of time isn’t your cup of tea, just head out and head on to the nearby Kuta Beach and Legian shopping and entertainment districts.

The 101 Bali Legian

The 101 Bali Legian

The 101 Bali Legian is an award-winning hotel (awarded the “Gold Certificate Achievement Security & Safety 2011” and “The Best Hotel & Excellent Service at The Year 2011”) that caters to both business and leisure travellers. The winning point of this 3-star accommodation is its 101 ROOFTOP, Dine & Music Lounge, which allows you to enjoy a tantalising cocktail while cuddling up with your partner in one of the private cabanas as you both take in the view of the majestic sunset. Its 197 well-appointed rooms have also been elegantly designed – so much so that it’s hard to believe it falls under a budget hotel listing.

 

Grand Mega Resort & Spa Bali

Grand Mega Resort & Spa Bali

The Grand Mega Resort & Spa Bali is strategically situated at the cross road of Kuta–Seminyak–Sanur-Nusa Dua, in close proximity to Kuta’s shopping and entertainment district, also known as the land of fun. It is also near other iconic attractions like Kuta Beach and the famous Mall Bali Galleria – Simpang Siur Kuta. This 4-star accommodation houses 135 spacious suites and deluxe Rooms that marry traditional and contemporary design elements, and it is also tailored for both business and leisure travellers.

Grandmas Hotel Seminyak

Grandmas Hotel Seminyak

Do not be fooled by the name of this hotel – one look at its interior and you’ll realise that there’s nothing tired or old-fashioned about Grandmas Hotel Seminyak. As a matter of fact, the 3-star accommodation looks very trendy, and it comes with 114 rooms that marry edge and modernity rather effortlessly. The best of Seminyak can also be experienced just outside the hotel, which is in walking distance from eateries like Kudeta and Gado Gado Restaurant, bars like Syndicate Club and of course, the Seminyak, Petitenget and Legian beaches.

Sri Bungalows

Sri Bungalows

Sri Bungalows is one of the most popular hotels along Monkey Forest Street in Bali. Each of the 24 rooms within this rustic 3-star accommodation flaunts Balinese-inspired architecture, as made evident by the thatched roofs and wooden beds. The view from the in-house swimming pool in particular is exceptionally stunning – from the turquoise waters you can see a tropical garden and paddy field. If you’re in the mood for some shopping, sightseeing or adventure, take note that the hotel is in close proximity to the bustling Ubud Market, the artist’s village of Penestanan, Garuda Wisnu Kencana cultural park and, of course, the iconic Monkey Forest.

Abian Boga Guest House and Restaurant

Abian Boga Guest House and Restaurant

You can find the Abian Boga Guest House and Restaurant at the heart of Sanur, surrounded by the best of manmade entertainment and natural beauty; it is a mere 3-minute walk from Semawang Beach and Sanur’s traditional market and nightlife hotspots. Within this 1-star accommodation, however, you can find 24 well-appointed rooms, each with its own mini library and DVD movie listing. If you love fish, in-house dining comes highly recommended as the restaurant eatery specialises in grilled seafood. You can just sit back in your chair and enjoy the special traditional Balinese dance performance while eating your dinner.

Swastika Bungalows

Swastika Bungalows

Swastika Bungalows is a 3-star accommodation that’s situated about 250 metres from the beautiful Sanur Beach. Found within the city center, it’s also in close proximity to a number of tourist hotspots such as the Butterfly Park, Garuda Wisnu Kencana cultural park and the largest and most important Hindu temple in Bali, Mother Temple of Besakih. The hotel itself houses 82 spacious rooms that seamlessly blend modern and traditional Balinese design. If you’re feeling peckish, proceed to any of its two in-house eateries. We recommend the Swastika II Garden Restaurant, a roof-top eatery that allows guests to sample a variety of sandwiches.

Source: http://www.asiarooms.com/en/community/blog/top-10-budget-hotels-in-bali/

Top European Tours 2015: Where to Go Now

With 2015 fast approaching, we’re vowing to make it one of our best travel years yet. But with so many exciting places to visit, it can be hard to pinpoint the next destination. Our advice? Find a tour that gives you the opportunity to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time — then make sure it stops at one of these up-and-coming destinations.

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Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is a cultural melting pot of art, architecture and cuisine, resulting in a city that’s vibrant and exciting at any time of day. Whether you’re there for the tapas or Antoni Gaudí’s many masterpieces, Barcelona has something to please every type of traveler.
>> Explore it on Grand Tour of Spain

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Galway, Ireland
This quaint Irish city is nothing short of lively and is the perfect complement to a stop in Dublin. Known for its small-town feel and traditional music scene, there are plenty of opportunities to get a taste of the local culture by mingling with the locals over a pint in a pub.
>> Explore it on A Week in Ireland: Galway, Cork & Dublin

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Bergen, Norway
Norway is renowned for sparkling waterfalls and awe-inspiring fjords. The country’s second-largest city, Bergen, is also the place to explore the great outdoors and see a number of these fantastic sights up close.
>> Explore it on Scandinavia: The Capitals to the Fjords

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Sorrento, Italy
While the Amalfi Coast has always been a traveler favorite, Sorrento in particular offers a charm unlike any other. From the brightly colored houses perched atop sea cliffs to the hand-painted pottery and fragrant lemon trees, a visit to Sorrento indulges all the senses.
>> Explore it on Grand Tour of Italy

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Bruges, Belgium
Known as the “Venice of the north,” Bruges is exactly what you imagine when you think of Europe. With charming architecture, a network of canals and the feel of a medieval city, Bruges is easy to fall in love with. It (almost) makes you forget the busy and bustling Brussels nearby.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/go-ahead-tours/top-european-tours-2015-w_b_5618496.html

10 of the world’s cheapest countries to go on holiday

 

Angkor Wat

1. Cambodia

With beds for £1 and lip-smacking food for less than that, Cambodia is so cheap you often feel guilty for paying so little. Where once travellers justifably feared to tread, Cambodia is now very much on the SE Asian itinerary for many a school leaver. Perhaps the country’s biggest draw is Angkor Wat, one of the world’s most amazing historical sites. Spiritual, sublime and yours for £3 a day…or less!

 

2. Vietnam

Unspoilt and undeveloped, despite its rise in popularity in the last few years, Vietnam is still super cheap, as well as being a beautiful country (although ‘beautiful’ might be stretching the description of thrillingly hectic capital Hanoi). You can easily get by on £5 a day, which includes a guest house, local food, transport and a bit of drinking. Just imagine the lifestyle you could have if you stretched to £10!

 

3. India

Of course, it is possible to do India on the not-so-cheap. A spending spree in Mumbai’s designer shops and a stay in an Internation hotel in Delhi is going to cost you as much as it would in Dubai, but away from these enclaves the cost of living is ridiculously low. Even if you travel first class on the trains and take taxis everywhere, you’ll be hard pressed to spend a lot of money here. For £15 (1,100 Rupees) a day, you can live like royalty.

 

4. Bolivia

In the heart of capital La Paz’s historic quarter, Calle Jaén, you’ll find one of the best preserved colonial streets in the whole of Bolivia. It definitely has style, and it also has four municipal museums. See them all for the grand total of 30p (55 cents). As if that weren’t enough (there’s more to life than museums?!), Bolivia perhaps boasts the best value for food and drink in all of South America. For example, a bottle of Paceña beer costs less than £1 ($1) and a bowl of chairo (potato soup) about the same. There: beer and soup – bases covered.

 

Budapest

5. Hungary

Budapest, the historic Hungarian capital on the Danube, is a definite must-see on anyone’s European tour. While it isn’t quite as cheap as before the budget airlines got there, it still has prices from its days at the heart of the Ottoman Empire. Indulge in luscious cakes, get refreshed on strong liquor and sweat it out in the famous thermal spas. With meals for £2 ($5), train tickets for £1 ($4) and rooms for £10 ($20), Budapest is a beautiful bargain.

 

6. Honduras

There’s Belize. There’s Costa Rica. There’s even Guatemala. But for real bargain-basement Central American value, plump for Honduras. The country isn’t up there on the most-visited lists, but if you do visit you’ll discover white sand-and-palm beaches like the Maldives, diving to rival the Red Sea, and mega cheap food and drink, while spending less than £18 ($30) a day. Forget your money worries and have another cocktail!

7. Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s Black Sea resorts have undergone a bit of a boom with British visitors in recent years, probably because they offer a total bargain compared with traditional summer sun destinations like the south of Spain. The further east you go, the cheaper it gets. If you prefer city breaking to beaches, capital Sofia offers hearty food, warm company, ‘robust’ drink and a comfy bed, which can all be yours for just £20 a day.

 

8. Sri Lanka

‘With gossamer-fine sands, cloud-wrapped mountains, waterfalls, tea plantations and palm trees wafting in the breeze, Sri Lanka is the picture perfect paradise’…Ok, thanks tourist brochure. We’ll concentrate on feasting on fish curry, trekking in the jungle and staying in hotels on the beach for tuppence. Well, not quite two pence, but you can live right royally for under £25 (5,000 LKR) a day.

Tango, Buenos Aires

9. Argentina

Buenos Aires has earnt a reputation as one of the most exciting cities on the planet thanks partly to its totally up-for-it nightlife. Stay out of its most exclusive nightspots and you can experience the colourful, flamboyant life of the Argentinian capital for less than £25 ($40) a day.

 

10. Greece

Due to the country’s economic crisis, the cost of living in Greece is lower than it used to be (at least for visitors). On famous Greek islands like Paxos, you can bask on the beaches for free, grab a bed for a tenner and a meal for £5 – a fraction of the price of many other European countries. Greece is, quite possibly, the most underrated budget destination in Europe.

Source: http://www.skyscanner.net/news/10-worlds-cheapest-countries-go-holiday