Take the train to the most exciting cities in Europe

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 30-04-2012

Eurostar breaks can take you to many exciting destinations. Here we will look at some of the more popular ones.#

Probably the most popular destination of all is Paris and there is no better way of reaching the city that with Eurostar. One of the major advantages is that you do not have to make that unpleasant journey from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the centre of Paris, as Eurostar takes you right to Gare du Nord railway station which is right in the heart of the city and close to many Paris hotels. In no time you will be enjoying the most romantic city in Europe.

Lille is another great French destination and getting there from London takes just one and a half hours. Once a fairly run down industrial town, Lille has been rejuvenated and now sparkles with stylish shops, superb restaurants, and art museums. The city is very different from Paris, and it has a strong Flemish influence which is particularly apparent in the old town.

Brussels is also a popular destination and there is plenty to do and see there. The city boasts both French and Flemish influences and there is a clear yet harmonious division between the two cultures. Wining and dining and café culture is prominent in this European centre. Enjoy the chocolate and the fruit beers; visit the Grand Place and the many museums and galleries.

If you have never visited the Belgium coastline, then you are likely to be surprised by its mile after mile of sandy beaches. The Eurostar destination is Ostend. Once just a small town, this vibrant city by the sea has much to offer the visitor; promenades along the sea front, piers, tiny streets, busy markets, grand churches, the Napoleon castle and a casino are all part of the scene.

Are you interested in diamonds? Then take a Eurostar break to Antwerp, the European capital of diamonds and pick up a bargain; there is no better European city to get engaged in. It is both sophisticated and charming offering the visitor a combination of the metropolitan and coastal resort. It boasts many monuments dating from medieval and renaissance times and is also a major fashion centre.

Ghent is another favourite Eurostar destination and it is just three hours away from London. The town is renowned for its cobbled streets, stunning architecture and serene waterways. It is only recently that the wonders of Ghent have attracted the modern tourist who is looking for something different. It has an exciting history and there are many things to do and see. It is also famous for its cloth production and there are some fine examples available for purchase.

Travelling a little further afield to the Netherlands, Eurostar breaks in Rotterdam are very popular. You will need to change trains at Brussels, but the whole journey takes just four hours. The city was virtually destroyed in the Second World War and what awaits the visitor is a modern city with a thriving nightlife. If you love fun, then there is plenty to be had in this energetic city.

Unusual Holiday Destinations for 2012

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 27-04-2012

Many unusual destinations around the world welcome visitors on holiday. Some locations attract tourists because of their rare beauty and others are just remarkably odd. Travel to areas created by nature, man or a combination of the two. Here are some interesting places you can visit this year which you can book flights to with Direct Line Holidays.

Goreme National Park
In Cappadocia, Turkey, volcanic eruptions combined with erosion created unusual rock formations that many refer to as fairy chimneys or hoodoos. Varying in size and shape, these formations became homes to the Christians who fled here from Roman persecution in the 3rd century A.D. Carving into the side of the soft structures, the people created homes, churches and schools. The site welcomes visitors who spend hours climbing in and out of the cave dwellings where they witness examples of the ancient culture that include Byzantine art. While visiting the unique destination, guests often stay in the equally unusual nearby Cappadocia Cave Resort and Spa. Built into the side of a mountain, the luxurious resort offers an extensive list of amenities plus amazing views over the otherworldly landscape.

Haucachina Oasis
This tiny village containing a mere 115 residents lies close to the city of Ica in the dessert of Peru. Accessible by bus or taxi, the unusual oasis began in the early 1900s. Wealthy Peruvians built the palm tree laden resort around a natural lake, which bears the legend of an Incan princess. The massive dunes surrounding the facility remind many of the Arabian or Sahara desserts. Most come to relax in the peaceful environment, but thrill seekers enjoy dune buggy rides and the chance to sandboard down the grainy slopes. The resort features many hotels and hostels, along with restaurants that serve a variety of world cuisines. Many use the oasis as a stopover destination before venturing to Peru’s more famous locations that include Machu Picchu or the Nazca Lines.

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Located in central Croatia, near the border of Bosnia, visitors find this unique national park. The scenic location more closely resembles a tropical paradise than a park in Southeastern Europe. The attraction lies in the series of 16 cascading lakes that follow one after the other. The lakes vary in clarity and colour, depending on the minerals and plant life found in each location. The picturesque landscape also boasts lush forests, mountains and massive cave systems.

Socotra Island
In the Indian Ocean, between the coast of Yemen and Africa, lies the archipelago known as Socotra. The largest of the islands bears the same name. Isolated for millions of years, the islands developed unique and unusual animal and plant species not known anywhere else in the world. Once only explorers and scientists visited the main island but now tourists enjoy the location’s strange features. The terrain varies from white sandy beaches and dunes of the coast to mountainous regions. Some of the unusual plant life includes the dragon trees, which resemble monstrous mushrooms topped with pine needle filled branches. The cucumber trees resemble gigantic, upside down carrots. Though many stay in the capital city of Hadiboh, guests do not have to travel far to witness majestic peaks with waterfalls and tranquil pools.