Driving in Majorca

Majorca is a popular holiday destination in the Mediterranean, and is well known for its beaches, as well as its lively resort culture. However unbeknownst to many of its visitors is the vast natural beauty and unspoiled landscape to explore. Driving your way around the island allows visitors to get a true sense of Majorca’s rugged charm and gives you great insight into Majorca’s diverse history.


Here is three driving routes that will let you take in the sights, soak in some much earned sunshine and give you the freedom of the road in Majorca.

North East Majorca

Stretching from Manacor in the centre of Majorca to Alcudia in the North, this scenic route should take roughly half a day to complete. With attractions along the way for children it’s also great for a family drive. 

The first landmark of note is the fantastic Coves dels Hams that are just ten miles past the palm-lined boulevard that leads out of Manacor. These impressive natural caves are perfect for a quick stop off whilst driving, and with younger children you may need to stop off more than once.


Other attractions along this route include the fragrant orchards at Cala Millor, as well as a great zoo and safari park. You’ll pass some more picturesque beaches at Cala Mesquida, before finally arriving at the lively resort town of Alcudia. 

Rural Majorca

Between Lluc and Orient you will find this beautiful route, winding through rural regions in the north of the island. In total, the thirty-mile journey will take you somewhere in the region of an hour. This route is far more rural and is perfect for couples looking to capture some romance whilst on holidays to Majorca. 


Although the ancient Lluc Monastery is the starting point of this journey, it must be explored before setting out on the winding roads towards Inca. Along this road you’ll pass by the beautiful Serra de Llevant before reaching Caimari – a rustic village famed for its delicious olives. You might care to stop off to visit the historic olive mill, before continuing towards Manacor.

From here, head through Biniamar and the quaint village of Lloseta, towards your end destination at Orient. Be sure however, to take a break as you pass by Castell dÁlaro on this final stretch – here you’ll discover a traditional restaurant which serves the finest roast lamb anywhere on the island!

West Majorca

For the ultimate coastal trek, try out this route between the towns of Andratx and Esporles, on Majorca’s west coast. Starting from the southwest tip of the island, this scenic drive will take you roughly two hours.

After departing from the coastal resort of Andratx, you’ll head through a landscape of olive groves and vineyards, following signs for Soller and Estellencs. After a while the scenery on your left will open up into dramatic sea views. The Mirador de Ricardo Roca makes a great place to stop off, and enjoy this breathtaking sight.


After leaving the picturesque village of Estellencs, drive out through orange groves towards the old watchtower at Torres de Ses Animes, and onwards to Banyalbufar.

From here it’s an easy drive through fruit groves and rolling hills, in the direction of Es Verger. After this you’ll need to follow signs for la Posada del Marques, and finally on towards your final destination at Esporles.

Lewis is part of the low cost holidays writing team. 

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Best Winter Restaurants in the Best Cities in the United States

Winter is a great time to plan a trip where the top restaurants serve the best food in the United States. When the dark, cold days are getting people down, they can plan a fun weekend where the food is fabulous, the culture is wonderful, and it is a great place to create memories with your children. Here are five popular choices of restaurants around the United States, where winter retreats are fabulous for the family:



Some of the best performances at the Metropolitan Opera House and on Broadway happen during the winter season, along with the lights and winter decorations throughout the city, and skating in central park! 

Eleven Madison Park - On Madison Avenue and 24th Street, Eleven Madison Park offers a contemporary atmosphere, fine dining and an eclectic mix of foods. The kitchen is under the direction of Chef Daniel Humm, and the plate presentations are works of art. 


Satisfy the children’s sweet tooth, by stopping at The Candy Rush after dinner. This candy store has everything to please everyone in the family. It is located on Franklin Ave between Park and Sterling Pls. 


Besides hundreds of events taking place monthly, Chicago's Millennium Park has another grand Ice Rink that is well-lit at night for a fantasy skating experience surrounded by city lights, and a fun experience for the kids!


Polo Cafe and Catering Bridgeport U.S.A. - Found on South Morgan Street in Bridgeport with a bed & breakfast, this establishment serves the best of American cuisine. The restaurant provides delicious food at a reasonable price like Angus beef, lamb chops and fancy deserts. You won’t be able to find this exquisite food at home, for a price that works for the entire family. 


Houston

The winters are mild in Houston, and the first of March is when the rodeos season starts. Take the children to a rodeo, and dress them up in their jeans and Cowboy Hats.


Pappas Bros. Steakhouse - This family steakhouse is located on Westheimer Road, preparing hearty dinners with steak and barbecue. The menu is a la carte. Sides like crab macaroni and cheese, green beans and asparagus are superb. Making reservations is recommended. 


Lake Tahoe 

Lake Tahoe is one of California and the country's top ski resort areas, a true scenic winter wonderland with multiple runs and slopes. If your family is adventurous and loves to ski, this is the place for you. 


Evan's American Gourmet Cafe - Situated on Emerald Bay Road, this cafe is under the direction of Jimi Lasquete. The gourmet menu includes such marvelous and beautiful dishes as Spinach Salad with Duck Sausage, Grilled Fillet of Beef and Roast Venison with Baby Carrots and Asparagus. Although they produce these extravagant meals, the children can find something they love- especially their pizza! 

Making Food the Highlight 

The United States and its cities have a wide range of cultures and cuisine options. Taking time off at a winter retreat can be exciting, and the top restaurants are sure to be a pleasant change from the normal home cuisine.


About the author:

Megan Gates is an active blogger who provideswritten work to the blogosphere pertaining to New York City Apartments, Hamptons Homes for Sale, home improvement and the latest architecture, design,fashion and travel.  Followher on twitter @MEGatesDesign.

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Madrid, Spain - Travel Guide

Madrid is one of the best travel destinations in the world. The capital of Spain is located in the center of the peninsula, with a population of more than three millions of citizens. Madrid is a cosmopolitan city, which is among the most visited tourist places in Europe. It is among the biggest tourist attractions in the oldest continent right next to Paris, London, Berlin, Barcelona etc. Most of the Public Administration buildings are located there, the city is a giant business center which attracts a massive quantity of business tourists coming and going every day. 



Madrid is a city that offers various tourist attractions. The most important buildings and central offices of the country administration are located there. The home of the Royal Family of Spain is located in Madrid and it is the building that attracts the attention of any tourist that goes next to it. Other important headquarters are also settled there. The Spanish Government and Parliament buildings are there, as well as many working factories in the gigantic industrial zone this city owns. 



Madrid is a destination well known by the intense cultural and artistic activity and a very bouncing night-life. There are fascinating night clubs working all night, that will make you spend a fantastic time until the morning hours. Because the large competition here, the clubs are ultra modern, some of them only for exclusive guests and of course very expensive, while others are quite affordable with a great interior and offering any type of music you can ask for. 



The city of Madrid is very popular by the cultural attractions. It is a city that it is built by people from all parts from Spain, now there are people living here from all parts of the world. And there is a reason for that. Madrid is a city that offers place for everybody. The best of all is that people here are warm and friendly and no one will ask you where are you coming from. Having people from all around the world is a reason why you will find a big mixture of different cultures and traditions which makes the city extremely interesting. 



One of the most inspiring things about Madrid is how this city managed to keep the mass of vegetation which is quite amazing. When you first come to the city, there are places that will make you feel like you are in a forest. There are trees everywhere, which is very unique since we all know how much the rapid development of the large cities destroys the nature. Madrid is one of the rear cities that could keep rising without making a huge damage to the environment. After Tokyo, the capital of Japan, Madrid has the highest number of aligned trees per head in the world. 



Whether you like to watch any kind of movie in the cinema, go to opera, listen to any kind of music, dance flamingo or do almost anything you can imagine in a modern city, Madrid has it all, every night. This is one of the rear places in the world where you can enjoy any type of activities whenever you wish. Night-life is something you could only wish to have in your place. There are all kind of night clubs, chill out bars, places to dance on any kind of music and much more. 

Madrid Map

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Italy - Tourist Attractions in Italy

Traveling to Italy can be a pleasant and unforgettable experience, filled with memories of its great tourist attractions, each corner of this beautiful country will take you back in time to ancient times and you will recognize its great development till nowadays. Italy offers top touristic destinations such as: Rome, the capital city known as the eternal city, Verona, an imposing city setting of the drama "Romeo and Juliet", Venice, the romantic city built under water, Florence and its artistic productions and fashion, and Milan, the most fashionable city in Italy. 


It is easy to reach Italy and travel around the country once you arrive. Italy offers excellent air links with the rest of the world, but it is also possible to come here by train, by sea or by using the extensive motorway network. It is also easy to travel around within the country. All the main cities are connected with frequent daily flights. 

 

The rail network is spread over more than 15,000 kilometres, offering uniform cover throughout Italy, while travelling by coach or car is even more convenient still, with a dense network of motorways, dual carriageways and trunk roads allowing visitors to reach any location in the country simply and rapidly. To reach all of Italy's islands from the mainland, regular ferry services depart from the main towns and cities along the coast.


Travel to Italy, a country with a rich history and many archaeological remains from ancient cultures that take you back in time to the most important eras of development in Italy. Make sure you have enough time to enjoy each place that you are interested in visiting, from villages, churches, piazzas, monuments, museums, and more unbeatble tourist attractions. 



Top Travel Destinations in Italy

Venice
Filled with attractive and beautiful monuments, Venice is one of the most important cities of Italy and of course, one of the most famous tourist destinations the world over. Its history dates back to more than 1,500 years old connecting about 117 islands with about 150 canals, around 400 bridges and innumerable ancient pavements and landmarks that still attract visitors in hordes.

Read more about Venice travel destinations.



Rome

If you are visiting Italy, there is no way you are going to miss out on the Roman experience. Rome is a trek back into time to savor its many colors and tastes. Rome cannot be described simply. It is a combination of the Renaissance, the Imperial Rome, the Rome of the Popes and the Rome of the ordinary people.

Read more about Rome travel destinations.



Florence

Florence is one of the most attractive places to visit in Italy thanks to the rich cultural and historic heritage the area boasts of. Florence is the capital city of Tuscany and is located besides the beautiful banks of river Arno, in close proximity to the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian Seas.

Read more about Florence travel destinations.


Milan

Italy’s most outstanding destination, Milan’s original Latin name is ‘Milano’. Eminent in approach, a chief viable centre, Milan mesmerizes all guests. The city has Spanish, French and Italian cultures blended with the fascist political preeminence at some stage in the medieval times. Its affluent architecture comprising of world renowned structures like Arch of Peace, Chiaravalle Abbey, the Gothic façade cathedral, the royal palace of Milan captivates our sights. Sempione Park, Brera Botonical Garden, Milan University Botanical Garden has made the grounds green and lush. Milan Italy combine rich education, sound economy, foremost fashion hub, spectacular art and entertainment, modified religious faith, highly influential literature and intoxicating cuisine has enthralled the world to focus on Milan in every century.

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Ponza and the Pontine Islands

The principal island in Italy's Pontine archipelago is one of the most naturally gorgeous and downright fun islands of Italy, and just far enough from the mainland to be an impractical destination for mass tourism. So much the better for those who do go to the trouble of making a trip here, because what you'll find is a rare Mediterranean gem that has kept its Italian identity intact and undiluted.

Read more about Ponza and the Pontine Islands travel destinations.


Tourist Attractions in Italy

Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is considered an icon of Italy and Europe; it’s a stunning building because it seems to defy gravity with a lean of 5.5 degrees. The leaning Tower of Pisa is a mandatory stop during a trip to Pisa, Italy; until 2004 people couldn’t climb the tower for safety reasons but now you can climb the 294 steps of the spiral staircase; this highlight is not famous only for leaning, it’s also famous for its design and Romanesque architecture applied, It was built to be the bell tower of the Cathedral and Cemetery. 


Mount Etna
The Volcano Etna is located in Sicily and is the most active volcano in Europe and each time it erupts it looks more glorious, imposing and the Sicily landscape changes with awesome images. Volcano Etna is not only the most impressive volcano; it’s also the greatest mountain in Italy and counts with a rich wildlife that includes different species of animals, such us lizards, foxes, squirrels, cats, falcons and birds as well as plants.


Lake Como
Lake Como is a well-known lake around Italy and the deepest too; many tourists consider it a perfect romantic destination due to its beautiful landscapes and resort villages; The Lake is located in the northern Lakes District surrounded by hills and mountains. Once you get there, you can enjoy vibrant festivals most of them are celebrated in June and September or if you arrive in another season you can enjoy the cruises around the lake, or other outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, skiing fishing or visit the attractions that this place offers you.


Italy is located in Southern Europe and comprises the boot-shaped Italian Peninsula and a number of islands including the two largest, Sicily and Sardinia. It lies between latitudes 35° and 47° N, and longitudes 6° and 19° E. Although the country comprises the Italian peninsula and most of the southern Alpine basin, some of Italy's territory extends beyond the Alpine basin and some islands are located outside the Eurasian continental shelf. 

Italy map
These territories are the comuni of: Livigno, Sexten, Innichen, Toblach (in part), Chiusaforte, Tarvisio, Graun im Vinschgau (in part), which are all part of the Danube's drainage basin, while the Val di Lei constitutes part of the Rhine's basin and the island comune of Lampedusa e Linosa is on the African continental shelf.
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Pattaya, Thailand


Pattaya is a major tourist beach resort location on the South East Coast of the Gulf of Siam Thailand several hours drive south east from Bangkok. Here the coast line has many similar beach resort locations all the way south and to the east and the border with Cambodia near the resort of Trang and the Island and Marine National Park of Ko Chang. The beach quality can vary depending upon the direction it faces, whether it is sheltered from wind, the sand and the depth of the sea. Each location can also vary depending upon the quality of the tourists and their prefernces for entertainment, night life and food.  The half-moon-shaped Pattaya Beach is 4 kilometers long with a road running parallel to the beach. From the mid-section to the southern end of the area, there is a vast array of restaurants, bars, department stores, souvenir stores, as well as other places of entertainment. To the north of the beach are various mini-resorts and hotels in a quieter atmosphere.


It's actually free to stroll along the beaches, but operators will charge you for the services they provide, i.e. the beach chair. A price is roughly $0.5 per chair, though bargaining is rather customary in Thailand. Pattaya City is divided into four major zones: North Pattaya, Central Pattaya, South Pattaya and Chomthian. It should be noted that there is a small mountain known as the Hill, located between South Pattaya and Chomthian. For a visual illustration take a look at the Map of Pattaya and Chomthian with the Hill. Motorbikes are the most popular mode of transport in Pattaya. However, transportation in the city is facilitated through the use of special cars (song taew), customized pickup trucks with passenger seats in a covered overhead back cabin. These pickups, known as Bahts-Bus, can easily carry 8-10 passengers in the back, plus 1 or 2 passengers in front. They circle around the city and are allowed to stop anywhere. In addition to motorbike-taxis, the Bahts-Buses are the only form of public transport permitted in Pattaya. If not occupied, they also can be hired as private taxis. In fact, they are private vehicles in most cases belonging to the drivers. There are so many of them that they end up looking for passengers.













Pattaya is a city that consists of 3 major roads that parallel each other. Right along the beach is Beach Rd., which is a one-way road from the north to south that is a few kilometers long. Second Rd. is a hundred or so meters away and carries city transport mainly from the south to north, although it is partly a two-way road. The last road is Sukhumvit Rd, a continuation of the highway leading to Bangkok. Many small streets called Soi(s) cross the roads. And it's advisable to walk some of the small streets, which are enumerated from north to south, although some have names. Second Rd. continues on to South Pattaya and turns to Chomthian reaching Chomthian beach within 5 minutes, and continues alongside Chomthian beach, which is approximately 20 kilometers long with some secluded escapes.


Pattaya map
                                        
Chomthian Beach Rd., which is a two-way road, also parallels Sukhumvit Rd and is the only road in the Chomthian area, except for some connecting streets. On the other side of Sukhumvit road are several country clubs, golf courses and typical Thai rural villages, providing charming escapes on the banks of sweet-water lakes and small streams in the leisurely and relaxing countryside. Many kinds of motorbikes, convertible monster Jeeps, sport and passenger cars are offered for rent. A driver's license is not required for driving around Pattaya and vicinity, so many tourists are tempted get behind the wheel. It should be noted that in Thailand drivers drive on the left lane, as in England and Japan.


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