Cycling Holidays in France

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-04-2012

Cycling holidays in France allow one to see France up close and personal. You can choose to join a cycling group or opt to cycle alone. Either way, cycling will allow you to see regions of France you might otherwise not get to.

Activity holidays involving cycling can be found for levels to suit all needs whether you are an avid cyclist or one who rides once in a blue moon. The durations of cycling holidays can be anywhere from a single day to several weeks and can include people in all walks of life, and various age groups, such as singles, couples, families and seniors.

A Year in Provence introduced us to quaint villages, sun-splashed vineyards, groves of olives, lavender fields and miles of fruit orchards. Cycling through these, and other, landscapes is the best way to see Provence. You can bike up to the medieval city of Gordes for a fun excursion. Attractions include the castle of Gordes, art galleries to browse through and visiting the Cisterian abbey of Sénanque which was founded in 1148. If you find yourself in Gordes on a Tuesday then you can also attend Market Day where you can try some Provençale dishes, see local crafts and find some souvenirs.

How about a cycling holiday through the Languedoc? What was once the home of the Cathars is now France’s largest wine- producing region and includes coastal plains, mountains, cliffs, canyons and miles of sandy beaches along the Mediterranean. Fields of sunflowers, historic towns, medieval cities and magnificent waterfall, such as the one at St.-Laurent-Des-Mines, are just some of the attractions in this wonderful region. Pedal your way through St-Bauzillé-du-Putois where you can see large stalactites and stalagmite formations in the caverns of the Grotte des Demoiselles. The Pyrénées the Canal du Midi are just two more of the attractions you can expect to see on a cycling tour of the Languedoc.

History buffs will appreciate a cycling tour of Normandy. Known world-wide for D-Day and France’s liberation from Nazi occupation, Normandy is today known for green pastures, apple orchards and the peaceful fishing harbor at Granville. Visit Omaha Beach and Utah Beach in the American Sector where the D-Day Museum and the U.S. Cemetery show the sacrifices American soldiers made in the name of freedom. Le Mont Saint-Michel was used as a stronghold back in the 6th century, became a monastery in the 8th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cycle over to Christian Dior’s Garden and Museum where you can walk the grounds and enjoy a cup of tea, ride next to the Vire River walk through the Old Quarter in Bayeux.

See the castles of the Loire Valley, the architecture of Toulouse, the rugged cliffs of Brittany and the villages of the Alsace. Whether you like quiet roads, bustling cities, sleepy villages or trails by the sea there is not better way to experience France than by bicycle. Check out the many cycling holidays available and choose one for your next holiday.

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 22-04-2012

Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa, as well as the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. It is noted for being a walkable mountain. Most adventure seekers are able to reach the summit with proper planning and the right attitude. Kilimanjaro is over 19,000 feet high and is known for its snowy peaks that tower over the plains of Africa. Climate change has reduced the snow on the summit of Kilimanjaro, but some remains for now.

The quick changes in climate as the mountain ascends account for some of the most diverse scenery in the world. Adventurous travelers who climb Kilimanjaro will experience five ecological zones. Hikers will start out in the bushland region, which is comprised mainly of grasslands. Farms and other signs of civilization will most likely be seen in the bushland.

As the altitude increases to 6,000 feet, hikers will move into the rain forest. This region has an amazing diversity of plant life due to the six feet of average annual rainfall. In spite of the tropical connotation of the rain forest, nights can grow cold. The next region begins at 9,200 feet and is known as the heath region. There are many wildflowers in this semi-alpine zone. Temperatures can vary greatly.

The wildflowers of the heath soon give way to the alpine desert, where temperatures during the day can exceed 100 degrees and drop below freezing at night. By the time hikers reach the arctic zone at 16,500 feet, there is no vegetation at all. Most travelers will experience some form of altitude sickness by the time they reach this zone.

Because of the extreme variations in the conditions on Mount Kilimanjaro, travelers need to carry a variety of equipment. Sunglasses, sunscreen and insect repellant are all necessary during the day. During the nights, and as hikers grow closer to the summit, waterproof gear and winter clothing must be worn. The travel guides will provide a gear list to hikers planning to climb the mountain.

There are eight different routes to choose from when climbing the mountain. They vary in levels of difficulty and the amount of time needed to reach the summit. The Marangu Route is the most popular. It is the easiest to travel, and it is the only route to offer huts instead of tents. The Machame Route is usually chosen by more adventurous or experienced climbers. Although there are not huts on this route to sleep in, those who choose this path are rewarded with the most beautiful scenery of all the different paths. Other choices include the Lemosho, Rongai, Shira, Umbwe, Western Breach and Mount Meru. They are not chosen as often as the Machame or Marangu options, but each route offers a unique and meaningful experience.

The most important consideration when climbing Kilimanjaro is the choice of tour operator to lead travelers up the mountain. There are many outfits to choose from, so adventurers should take their time and make sure they have selected a professional activity holidays supplier with experience and training.