Sabtu, 15 September 2012

The Great Mountains of Provence

Provence provides the traveller with a wide choice of mountainous regions to explore. The warm Mediterranean location is home to a variety of landscapes and topographical features that make up the diverse wildlife areas of the region: from the Alps in the north west, where mountain streams transform into rivers that feed into lush valleys, to the coastal regions where warm waves wash up against sandy shores.

With so many natural wonders to explore when you holiday in Provence, many travellers are in awe of the spectacular mountain ranges that are found in the region. No visit is complete without exploring at least one or two of these spectacular peaks rising high up into the sky.

Mount Ventoux

Located approximately 20km to the north east of Carpentras, this legendary summit rises up a mile above the surrounding Provence countryside. Although it forms part of the Alps, it is considered separate from the rest of this mountain range. Popular with cyclists the world over, Mount Ventoux is famous for the long windy ascent from Bedoin, which is included as part of the route in the Tour de France cycle race. If you enjoy mountain biking when you are on holiday in Provence, there are many trails and routes which are renowned for their spectacular views as you pedal your way to the top of the peak.


This small mountain chain located to the south of Avignon, is in striking contrast to the luscious Rhone valley plain from which it rises. The range extends for 25km in an east to west direction and is approximately 10km wide. The white and grey limestone cliffs give this mountain range the name "the little Alps", as, at their highest point, they stand at only 387m above sea-level. If you decide to include Alpilles in your itinerary when you holiday in Provence, you may even be fortunate enough to see some rare wildlife such as the Egyptian vulture and eagle owls which nest up high on the craggy cliffs.

Montagne Sainte-Victoire

Considered to be a significant landmark of the surrounding Aix area, this towering peak reaches up to a height of just over one kilometre. With an east to west orientation and sheer cliffs consisting mainly of limestone, Montagne Sainte-Vicoire drops down sharply on its south side towards the Arc basin. This peak has trails which are very popular with hikers and is definitely worth a visit when you plan your holiday in Provence.

Massif des Maures

Stretching from Frèjus to Hyères, this mountain range consists of forested ridges interlaced with shrub covered hills. Hiking through the cork oak and pine tree valleys is a popular activity for anyone visiting during the summer season. If you are interested in visiting this region when planning your holiday in Provence, there is plenty of accommodation available all year round in the picturesque towns that are scattered around the base of the mountain range.

Liz Olkowicz is the Business Development Manager for Footprint Holidays, a tour operator, based in Surrey. If you are looking for a self-guided walking holiday in Provence look no further. Explore the countryside, beautiful coastlines and charming villages on a holiday in Provence with Footprint Holidays.

The Colourful Georgetown Festival in Penang

Penang is undoubtedly famous for its rich cultural heritage and well-preserved colonial era buildings. You can definitely find all of these wonderful sights and sounds in Georgetown, the capital city of Penang. If you happen to be in Georgetown Penang during the month of July, you are really in for an awesome treat since the bright and colourful Georgetown Festival happens throughout this month in Penang. You're guaranteed to be blown away by all the events during Georgetown Festival!

Georgetown Festival Penang started off in July 2008 to celebrate the inclusion of Georgetown in the UNESCO World Heritage listing. Ever since 2008 Georgetown Festival Penang has become an annual event for the residents of Georgetown as a symbol of their pride being a part of this wonderful Penang city. The festival highlights the arts and cultural heritage of this magnificent island state of Penang. During this month long festival you will see a lot of exciting events such as theatre, dance, music, art exhibitions, cultural performances, inspirational talks, food fairs and fashion shows. The list could go on and on. Maybe it's more accurate for you to ask what is not included in the Georgetown Festival Penang.

The most recent Georgetown Festival was held from 15th June until 15th July 2012. The festival this year showcased a blend of local performances and events with contemporary international-flavoured performances. It is unsurprising that the Georgetown Festival will help to put Penang on the international scene as the destination to go to for arts and culture.

The Georgetown Festival 2012 gala opening kicked off with a Silat performance on the 15th of June at the historical Fort Cornwallis. This spectacular performance showcased the unique grace of this ancient Malay martial arts. The Straits Quay witnessed a contemporary hip hop performance on the 17th of June where rappers and street artist showed off their talents and took part in a hip hop workshop. You can see the blend of the modern and ancient arts in the festival seamlessly integrating into a unified mosaic that testify to the diversity of the Georgetown and Penang contemporary culture.

If you are a Shakespeare fan, you would be delighted to know that the Penang Performing Arts Centre staged 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' play on the 10th until 15th of July where local performers presented their own unique spin of this famous Shakespearean play. One of the main highlight of the Georgetown Festival in 2012 was the Live Heritage show being performed right on the streets of Georgetown itself to mark the anniversary of Georgetown's inclusion in the 2008 UNESCO World Heritage listing. Apart from showcasing Penang's unique blend of cultures through theatre, music and dance, this year's Live Heritage show also included traditional and rare performance arts from other UNESCO-listed sites within the ASEAN region for the very first time. You can see that the festival had become more international in its scope.

It does make you wonder what excitement the next festival will bring. If you want to experience the colourful Georgetown Festival in Penang, you should make it a point to be there around the months of June and July. It will be an experience that you'll never forget as you begin to soak in the variety of both modern and traditional Penang culture being displayed in the festival. It is simply a magical moment not to be missed.

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The Many Festivals of Provence

If you are looking to immerse yourself in some local cultural events, you will be spoilt for choice by the multitude of festivals and celebrations that Provence has to offer. You can make your holiday in Provence even more enjoyable if you add at least one of the region's spectacular annual festivals to your travel itinerary.

The multitude of celebrations and religious festivals of Provence offer anyone visiting the region a unique and personal insight into the local culture and heritage that has made this area so popular with visitors from all over the world.

Avignon Festival

Witness the streets of Avignon come alive for three weeks in July with a spectacular show of performing arts and dance. The entire city turns into a stage as performers entice and excite crowds with over 40 shows being performed. The gala event takes place in the Honour Courtyard located in the Palace of the Popes, where the famous Gérard Philippe once performed to crowds of cheering fans. If you are planning to take a holiday in Provence, be sure to avoid disappointment by booking your accommodation early, as this city often finds itself packed to capacity during the month of July.

Summer music festival in Lourmarin

Running from the start of July and ending in late August, this seven week summer festival showcases the talents of numerous world class chamber music orchestras and pianists. The main repertoire of the performers focuses on the works of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. When you go on holiday in Provence, be sure to book your seat at one of these spectacular classical music shows to enjoy an authentic musical experience.

Cannes Film Festival

The internationally renowned Cannes Film Festival, which is held annually on the French Riviera in May, attracts celebrities and film stars from countries all over the world. Although the main event is by invitation only, smaller screenings of independent films take place in a multitude of cinemas across the city. If you are an avid film buff on holiday in Provence, you will not be disappointed by including this glittering event on your itinerary - even if just to watch the stars arrive.

Vaison Dance Festival

Showcasing many diverse styles and dance cultures, this colourful event, which takes place in July, comes alive with expression and movement to enthral audiences of all ages. Shows take place in the magnificent Roman theatre located in the heart of Vaison-la-Romaine, whose spectacular architecture provides the perfect backdrop for this energetic festival.

The Choregies d'Orange

As night falls during the long summer evenings, famous symphonies and world class musicians converge in the magnificent Roman theatre located in Orange. With the rear theatre wall extending an impressive 103 metres across and 37 metres high, the acoustics rival any modern day musical stage. Music lovers booking their holiday in Provence will definitely want to include this event on their travel itinerary.

Liz Olkowicz is the Business Development Manager for Footprint Holidays, a tour operator, based in Surrey. If you are looking for a self-guided walking holiday in Provence look no further. Explore the countryside, beautiful coastlines and charming villages on a holiday in Provence with Footprint Holidays.

Living in Portugal: Practical Steps to Buy a Property in Portugal

The process of buying a property in Portugal is not as strictly regulated in this country as it is in France or Spain. However, this step is exhausting and comes with a myriad of details that need to be taken care of. Despite strong competition from other countries, Portugal still is a preferred destination for UK expats. Those who want to move to this country can buy a property in the Algarve, Lisbon, Alentejo, Porto and other regions. From start to finish, the entire process can take anywhere between a week and five months.

Here are the basic steps involved in buying a property in Portugal:

Determine Your Needs

Decide what type pf property you want to buy. Are you looking for a retirement home, a holiday home, a permanent residence, or an investment? This will help you focus on your priorities - for example, being close to the beach, schools, or shops. Do you want a quiet lifestyle or an active social life? Would you prefer to live in an area with a mix of expats and locals? Are you willing to rent your house out?

Get a Fiscal Number

Anyone can buy a house in this European country. However, it is important to be aware that non-residents need to obtain a Número Fiscal de Contribuinte or a Fiscal Number from the local tax office. This number is used on all documents related to the purchase of the house. If you are married, then both you and your husband must obtain a Fiscal Number.

Analyze Your Budget

When you buy a property in Portugal, you have to be aware of all the costs involved. Buyers have to pay the following taxes:

• Real estate agent's fees
• Fiscal representation fees
• Legal fees
• Land registry fees
• Property registration fees
• Notary fees
• Stamp duty
• IMT or Municipal Transfer Tax (Imposto Municipal Sobre Transmissões Onerosas de Imóveis)
• Registration of mortgage
• Registration of purchase

Hire a Lawyer

It is necessary to appoint a lawyer or a solicitor to act on your behalf. A lawyer will perform more detailed investigations during the purchase, while a solicitor will only perform the basic actions required to ensure the purchase of a property in Portugal.

Get Documents Ready

Before you buy a house in Portugal, its owner must provide you with four documents, including:

• Licença de Utilização - Confirms that the property's description is in accordance with the house you are buying.
• Caderneta Predial - Confirms the size of the building and its boundaries.
• Ficha Tecnica de Habitação - Gives detailed information about the property.
• Certidão de Teor - This document shows that the seller has title to the property.

Both parties must sign a Promissory Contract after all the correct checks have been made. Once this document is in place, the Deed of Purchase and Sale is released.

Moving to Portugal and buying a house in this country can be difficult and exhausting, but it's well worth the effort. Whether you choose to live in the Algarve, Lisbon, Porto or other important region, you will enjoy the peaceful lifestyle and idyllic landscapes.

Polar Expeditions - Know Your Whales

Many species of whale migrate back to the Arctic during the summer months when the vast areas of winter sea ice have melted. The nutrient rich waters and churning currents of the Arctic and sub-Arctic seas provide the perfect environment for these iconic animals to feed. If you are planning to take a boat cruise whilst on your polar expeditions, you will be in the perfect position to see these magnificent creatures up close. Read on for a list of the whales you may be lucky enough to see.

The Bowhead Whale

Bowhead Whales, otherwise known as "Bowheads" are a large species of baleen whale which do not migrate out from the Arctic waters. They have a light underside and are a dark grey on the back. Their name is taken from the bowed appearance of their mouths. The species' most significant features are the elevated nostrils and distinctive lack of a dorsal fin. The most often sighted whale on polar expeditions in the Arctic area, the Bowhead spends most of its life near to the southern winter ice boundary.


Humpback Whales, recognized by their long flippers and distinctive hump located just above a pair of small dorsal fins, are another species of baleen whale that can be found feeding on the abundance of krill in the cold Arctic oceans. Being a very active and social whale, they often swim together in small groups called pods. Whilst on your polar expeditions, you may be lucky enough to view this graceful creature, whose distinctive song can be heard underwater by other whales many miles away.

Fin Whale

The Fin Whale is the second largest species of whale in the world. This impressive mammal has a long, slender body which allows it to move relatively quickly underwater. It is a brownish-grey colour on top with a lighter underbelly that has pleated grooves running from its chin down to the navel. Often sighted on polar expeditions, this whale was once heavily hunted but is now on the endangered species list.


Often referred to as the white whale, this small species of whale is insulated by a thick layer of blubber which makes up almost half its weight. This protective layer allows the Beluga to store energy and provides it with excellent thermal protection. Whale watchers on polar expeditions will often spot these creatures swimming between the Arctic icebergs and ice floes commonly found in the northern oceans.

Enjoy the Attractions of Vienna

Holidays by train offer a unique opportunity for the traveller to experience a country in a truly original way; vast vistas of open countryside and hills roll off to the horizon, gliding past as you gaze out of your cabin window.

Whether you are exploring Europe by yourself, with your family, or are on a romantic retreat with a loved one, Vienna is a remarkable city that has many delights just waiting to be discovered whilst on a rail journey. As the capital of Austria, this lively metropolis is buzzing with excitement and promises to offer the traveller an unforgettable experience that will be looked back upon fondly for many years to come. Here are a few of the highlights.

Schönbrunn Palace

If you are planning to take your European holidays by train and are stopping off in Vienna, a visit to the Schönbrunn Palace should be high on your itinerary. This famous cultural monument is a world famous tourist destination. Being part of the World Cultural Heritage, this magnificent palace, with its colorful flower beds and garden mazes, opens its doors to give you a glimpse into the lifestyle of the former Imperial Family that once took up residency here.

Kunsthistorisches Museum

This historic museum, also known as the "Museum of fine arts", is one of the oldest and most well known fine arts museums in the world. It is home to an impressive assortment of rare and priceless pieces, including the treasured Imperial Collection. If your holidays by train allow you to stop over in Vienna, be marvelled by the decadence and incredible wealth of masterpieces on show at this grand museum.

The Imperial Butterfly House

The historic Schmetterlinghau, can be found right at the heart of beautiful Vienna. It forms part of the Hofburg Palace, which is the official residence for the president of Austria. Once you step inside you will be amazed by the hundreds of butterflies that fly free in the recreated tropical rain forest which provides just the right environment for the diverse and colourful species to thrive. If you take your holidays by train, you will be able to enjoy a slower pace - perfect for exploring attractions such as the Imperial Butterfly House, where you will be mesmerized for hours by the rhythmic fluttering of wings.


Designed by the Austrian artist Frederich Hundertwasser, and built in 1985, this unique apartment block is a revolutionary blend of art and functionality. With a roof made from earth and grass, large trees protrude out of windows and grow freely from the walls and balconies. European holidays by train through Vienna will provide you with the time you need to relax and explore the unique architecture of the Hundertwasserhaus, with its multicoloured apartment blocks and unique approach to redesigning a futuristic urban dwelling.

Anna Copeland is the Marketing Manager for Danube Express, which specialises in European holidays by train. Danube Express have a range of exclusive train holidays to Europe, travelling across countries like Poland, Hungary and Turkey.

The Majestic Mammals of India

India is a vast and fascinating continent, home to some of the world's most precious species of plants and animals. Owing to its abundant diversity of wildlife, it is a top destination for viewing large mammals, including the Bengal Tiger. Travel through this amazing landscape and witness how man and animal live side by side in this luscious paradise.

If you are an avid nature lover and are planning a trip to India, here is a list of some of the magnificent animals you will be able to see.

The Indian Elephant

Native to the Asian mainland, the Indian Elephant is a slightly smaller species compared to its relative, the African Elephant. Its specially adapted wide feet allow for the even distribution of this animal's hefty weight over a large surface area. The thick soles of the feet make excellent shock absorbers which cushion its body whilst walking or running. Their most significant feature is the large tusks which often extend out a distance of five feet or more. Due to its size and stature, the Indian Elephant is in no danger of being preyed upon by the Tiger. Travel to India to see this wonderful animal and you may even be able to experience a ride through the jungle on a domesticated elephant.

The Indian Rhinoceros

Found in most parts of north eastern India, this majestic mammal is included on the vulnerable species list. It is the second largest rhinoceros in the world, with an extremely thick skin that is silver-brown in colour. Also known as the Greater One-horned Rhino, both the males and females have a single horn composed of compressed keratin. If you are hoping to see the rhino as well as the Tiger, travel with a specialised tour group into the dense jungle for the best opportunity of a sighting.

Indian Leopard

The Indian Leopard is one of the biggest cats found in India and also one of the most sought after animals for viewing by tourists - second only to the Tiger. Travel in the jungle is a way of life for the locals; however, they are always aware of the danger these stealthy animals present, as they remain well camouflaged in the forest undergrowth.

Bengal Tiger

Often referred to as the most dangerous wild cat in India, the Bengal Tiger is also one of the most spectacular. Being the national animal of India and an icon of India's wealth of wildlife, the Bengal Tiger holds a special place in the hearts of the proud Indian people.

Marissa Ellis-Snow is a freelance nature writer. If you're looking for Tiger travel, Naturetrek specialises in expert-led natural history and wildlife tours worldwide. Naturetrek brings over 25 years of experience to Tiger travel in some of the most spectacular regions on Earth.

Jaguar Watching - Other Animals You May See in Brazil

Enjoy Jaguar watching in Brazil and you will have the chance to see a wide variety of South America's indigenous wildlife. Home to thousands of species of plants and animals, Brazil is a top destination for those seeking adventure holidays in natural habitats. Teeming with wildlife, the wet tropical rainforest is a unique and diverse ecosystem that provides the perfect opportunity for spotting Spider Monkeys, Capybara, Sloth and, of course, the magnificent Jaguar.

When planning your next trip to South America, visit Brazil and explore the beauty of the rainforests and get up close to some of these unique and exotic animals.

Spider Monkeys
Spending most of their time high in the forest canopy, Spider Monkeys can often be seen hanging upside down or swinging between branches looking for fruits and seeds. They have a long haired coat which can be brown, black or bronze-tinged red in colour. Their long, powerful tail allows them to leap long distances and anchors them securely to delicate branches. If you are lucky enough to see a Spider Monkey whilst Jaguar watching in Brazil, you may observe that they have only four fingers and no thumb. This is a unique characteristic that has evolved over time as a specialised adaptation for living in the forest tree tops.

Having the title of the largest rodent in the world, the Capybara has a barrel-shaped body and small, stunted head. They prefer to live near bodies of water surrounded by dense vegetation, which provides them with protection from larger carnivorous animals such as the Jaguar. Watching these animals from river rafts is the best way to see them as they forage around the river banks feeding on grasses and aquatic plants. An interesting fact about the Capybara is that they are able to submerse themselves underwater for up to five minutes.

These extremely slow moving animals spend most of their lives in a single tree. Sloths are nocturnal mammals and can be seen during the day sleeping curled up with their heads nestled between their legs and arms. This helps to camouflage them from larger predators such as the Jaguar. Watching the Sloth, you will notice how lethargic its movements are - living up [or down] to its well known reputation. Seeing this fascinating animal is a highlight of a trip to the Brazilian rain forest.

The Jaguar
By far the most anticipated encounter for anyone travelling into the forests of Brazil, spotting the Jaguar remains unsurpassed as the highlight of a South American nature watching trip. This elusive ambush predator is the largest and rarest feline on the South American continent and one of Brazil's most iconic apex predators.

Marissa Ellis-Snow is a freelance nature writer. If you're looking for Jaguar watching tours, Naturetrek specialises in expert-led natural history and wildlife tours worldwide. Naturetrek brings over 25 years of experience to Jaguar watching tours in some of the most spectacular regions on Earth.

Kerala Packages

For a traveller, Kerala is a well-known place that offers many places to see and explore and many curious little facts and folklores that they will remember for the rest of their lives. Though it is a tiny state that lies towards the southern-most tip of India, Kerala has been so much blessed by the Mother Nature that a first visitor to this place would be completely overwhelmed and in awe. And Kerala, realising its potential for tourism, takes maximum advantage of this. The multitudes of travel experts and specialists here, thus, offer so many different Kerala packages that include almost all major tourist destinations in this state.

With so many travel specialists and all claiming to provide the best and most cost-effective Kerala packages, it might be difficult to find the right travel expert in Kerala, especially if you are visiting this place for the first time. As the tourism market is huge there are several travel agents who claim to provide the best packages for you and end up looting your money, which you realise only when its too late. This is why you need to find a travel specialist who can give a good package that is affordable and of quality. And you need to do this even before you land in Kerala.

The best and easiest way to find a travel specialist is of course the internet. Searching in Google or any other major search engine can bring you thousands of names. However, it is not possible to check each and every website, therefore, you need to narrow your search to the first few pages of the search engine. Adding adjectives like "affordable" or "cost effective" to the a keyword like "Kerala package" can bring down the number and now you can find more targeted results.

When you are in a different country it is not very easy to find such a good package even if you search the internet. Though the testimonials of previous customers can help you to some extent websites can always lie. Hence, it is better to take those words with a pinch of salt and better not to rely on these testimonials alone to take a decision.

A shortcut to finding the real comments from customers is to check the social media pages of these companies. They could offer you the feedback from the customers as well as the replies of the companies to those comments. This would tell how good or bad the travel specialists are and whether to avail their services when you reach Kerala. If you have already done some research on Kerala and its major destinations like Munnar, Wayanad, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, etc., you'd know what to look for and how.

Kerala is a mesmerising place that offers great scenic beauty and calm and peaceful holidays to its visitors. No matter why you reach here you'll find what you are looking for, and even more. An experienced and reputed travel specialist can help you in finding the perfect Kerala package you need and thus turn your vacation into an awesome and unforgettable experience in your life.

Affordable Autumn Break Ideas

Looking to go on a brief and affordable autumn break somewhere on your own, with pals or a partner? It's best to choose a medium-sized city so you can manage to see most of what's on offer in just a few days, and save money by avoiding the public transport you'd have to take in large metropolises.

Brussels, Belgium

No trip to the Belgian capital is complete without visits to the Grand Place, the Manneken Pis and his little sister, and the Atomium, as well as gobbling down at least one warm waffle and a portion of fries with mayonnaise or sauce andalouse. But any old guide book will tell you that.

Some of the city's lesser known sights of interest are located along and around the tree-lined Avenue Louise. Abbaye de la Cambre is a beautiful old abbey that serves as a great setting for a picnic or afternoon stroll. Nearby Bois de la Cambre park is a haven for nature lovers who can stroll there aimlessly for a few hours.

For great cafes and bars, head to Place Chatelain and Place Flagey where you can savour some of the world's best pizza at Mama Roma outlets. On Wednesdays, Place Chatelain is also host to a gourmet food market frequented both by locals and the many expats in town.

If you're looking to do a bit of shopping but want to avoid the beaten track, then the flea market on Place du Jeu de Balle could be right up your alley, as well as all the quirky vintage and interior shops in the surrounding Chapelle area.

Bristol, United Kingdom

Bristol is a very up and coming British city with one of the most active and promising art scenes. With its strong student population, the city very much caters towards the young generation with excellent nightlife and a steady cafe scene.

One of the most loved parts of town among the many students and visitors is the Gloucester Road area. It's home to many a great restaurant and cafe, quite a few of which specialise in vegan and vegetarian cuisines. Nearby Montpelier echoes the feel slightly with more great restaurants to choose from, and trendy shops to browse.

Some of the coolest attractions in town include the Tobacco Factory arts and exhibition centre, and the new M Shed Museum.

Choose from a range of cool Bristol city hotels to spend the night in.

Harvey McEwan writes to offer information on a variety of areas, from business networking abroad to Bristol city hotels. View Harvey's other articles to find out more.

Walking in France - Best Beaches Guide

There are many definitions of what makes a beach great; it could be a rugged coastline, unspoilt scenery or a bustling seafront town with promenades and exotic retail stores that attracts us. One thing is for sure though, if you are planning on walking in France and looking to dip your toes in welcoming waves, follow winding paths along seaside cliffs or stroll along soft sandy shores, you won't be disappointed by the many excellent beaches you can find along this tranquil coastline.

So, if you are planning to book your next holiday on the French coast, below is a list that highlights some of the region's best beaches for you to explore.


Flanked on its western side by a rocky coastline steep with cliffs and coves, this seaside town, popular with French tourists during the warm summer months, offers its visitors white sandy beaches surrounded by turquoise blue waters. If you are going to be walking in France here, be sure to take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk which is lined with bustling eateries and kitsch boutiques.

La Baule

Often referred to as "Europe's finest beach", La Baule boasts an impressive nine kilometre-long stretch of sandy coastline that sees visitors from all over the world walk along its inviting shores. If you enjoy unspoilt natural scenery while walking in France, then this should be your beach destination of choice. Even during the busy summer season, this vast coastline has plenty of space to accommodate anyone looking to enjoy themselves outdoors.


Located in south western France this luxury beach resort, boasting a casino on the waterfront, provides plenty of activities and attractions for the curious visitor. Well known amongst the surfing community and summer beach goers, Biarritz offers five separate beaches that attract a cosmopolitan mix of visitors. If you enjoy walking in France, a stroll along this vibrant coastline will have you exploring colourful market stalls whilst you make your way through the crowds of bustling beach goers.

The French Riviera

If you are taking a holiday walking in France, your visit would not be complete without visiting the sparkling shorelines of the French Riviera. Renowned as a playground for the rich and famous, the beaches along this stretch of coastline are some of the most well known in the world. Enjoy the natural beauty and stunning scenery that these beaches are famous for whilst soaking up the warm Mediterranean rays. If you are feeling adventurous, take a stroll along La Croisette, a well known stretch of public beach in Cannes, and you may even meet a celebrity or two!

Animals of the Arctic

The Arctic is a unique region of our planet with extreme weather conditions that require special adaptations by the people and animals that inhabit it. With temperatures well below freezing and long periods of darkness during the winter months, the animals that make the Arctic their home have learnt to adapt and thrive in this hostile environment. Polar expeditions will give travellers the opportunity to learn more about these wonderful animals and allow an insight into how they are able to survive. Here are a few animals you may find in this extreme environment.

The Arctic Fox

This crafty little animal, although small in size, is a good example of a creature that has adapted to maintain its survival in a harsh climate. Its small body, covered in a thick fur coat, is able to retain the heat it produces, which saves the animal from expending vast amounts of energy to keep warm. When not scavenging for food on the tundra, it can be found curled up and hidden away in a hole below the surface. This enables the Arctic Fox to escape underground when the freezing winds blow across the surface. Whilst on your polar expeditions, you will have to look hard to find this fox as it is well camouflaged and hard to spot in the snow. Due to its incredibly acute hearing, it is able to locate and pounce on the smaller rodents on which it feeds.


These mammals are truly mammoth in stature, reaching lengths of up to 2.5 metres and weighing up to one and a half tons. Although specially adapted to living under the sea, the Walrus can often be found basking in herds on land. The most striking feature of the Walrus is its tusks. Used for hunting prey and dominant displays of power, the long tusks are an indication of how mature the Walrus is. Walruses find food by diving off their ice shelf platforms and foraging for shrimps and crabs on the sea floor. When observing them on polar expeditions, you may notice how their bodies are scarred from fights with other males during displays of strength whilst trying to secure mating rights with the females.

Arctic Polar Bear

This magnificent animal is the world's largest land-dwelling carnivore. Its specially adapted paws enable the mammal to spread its weight out evenly and move across vast areas of relatively thin ice. Polar Bears are born and reared on land, but tend to spend most of their lives at sea hunting seals, fish and other smaller mammals. Due to its vast fat reserves, the animal is able to go for long periods without having to feed. Polar expeditions to the Arctic will take you right into the Polar Bears' habitat, where you will see first-hand how they have evolved to survive in this harsh sub-zero environment.

Top Attractions to See in Brazil

If you are looking to plan an unforgettable holiday experience, visit Brazil to immerse yourself in the unique wildlife, flavour and culture of this amazing South American country. Known worldwide as a top destination for Jaguar watching, Brazil also has many other top attractions waiting to be discovered by the curious traveller. The fifth largest country in the world, Brazil's superb wildlife exists side by side with its wealth of history and culture. Here are just a few sites not to be missed.

Teatro Amazonas
This grand opera house, with its colourful dome and intricate architecture, can be found in Manaus, a city which lies deep in centre of the Brazilian rain forest. Built from materials imported from all over the world and decorated with the very best of Italian furnishings, the Teatro Amazonas will amaze you with its impressive grandeur. If you plan to do some Jaguar watching in the Brazilian rain forest, be sure to make a stop here and enjoy a performance in this iconic opera house for a change of pace.

Iguazu Falls
Famous for being one of the world's great natural wonders, the Iguazu Falls' thunderous roar can be heard from miles around as you approach. In a gigantic display of nature's power, spanning the border between Brazil and Argentina this impressive waterfall rises up to 80 metres above river valley. When on a tour Jaguar watching in Brazil, this famous waterfall will be an impressive stop-off on your travel itinerary.

Christ the Redeemer
This magnificent statue, perched high on the Corcovado Mountain overlooking the city of Rio De Janeiro, is the world largest art deco statue and one of the new seven wonders of the world. Visited by almost two million tourists every year, the Cristo Redentor is a truly amazing Brazilian icon. Travel to the base by railway or walk up the 222 stairs for an inspiring view overlooking the bright blue waters of Guanabara Bay.

The Amazon River
No trip to go Jaguar watching in Brazil would be complete without a boat ride down the Amazon River. Stretching for 6400 kilometres, it is the second largest river in the world and home to over 3000 species of fish, including the much feared carnivorous Piranha. The Amazon River provides drainage for the northern half of South America and is responsible for the discharge of 20% of all the fresh water that annually flows into the oceans. Whilst Jaguar watching in Brazil, enjoy a cruise down the Amazon and discover for yourself the diversity of animal and plant life that inhabits this exotic region of the world.

Marissa Ellis-Snow is a freelance nature writer. If you're looking for Jaguar watching tours, Naturetrek specialises in expert-led natural history and wildlife tours worldwide. Naturetrek brings over 25 years of experience to Jaguar watching tours in some of the most spectacular regions on Earth.

Non-Skiing Trips to Avoriaz

On the route to Chamonix, the trip from Geneva to Avoriaz is simple and a stop off here offers a fair amount of excitement. As a mountain resort that is part of the French commune of Morzine, in the very heart of Portes du Soleil, it is an ideal place to spend your winter holidays hitting the huge array of pistes. It now ranks as one of the top French-based destinations for skiing and one of the best places in the world for excellent snowboarding.

But what about for those who want to experience this wonderful location, but aren't overly keen on the idea of spending days skiing down mountains and riding up lifts? Don't worry; Avoriaz has a plethora of activities to keep everyone busy and happy, no matter the time of year you arrive.

Mountain biking

If skiing isn't your thing, and you plan your trip from Geneva to Avoriaz in the spring and summer months, then a world of mountain biking awaits you. The biking in this area is some of the best in Europe based in a winter-time ski resort. The huge variety of trails and paths allow for all levels of experience and ability to be accommodated. Not only does the mountain biking offer trails for beginners, it also provides those who are experts the space they need to practice their freeriding and pro-level downhill events.

If you are not yet at the level where you can call yourself a pro mountain biker there are plenty of companies based in Avoriaz and the surrounding areas that will rent you equipment and provide training in the sport of mountain biking. They can take you on trips out into the countryside based on your ability and what you want to do and/or see after coming from Geneva to Avoriaz. Even if you are an experienced biker, you may want to enlist the help of a guide to help you find the best trails in the area; since there are so many, finding just the right one can be an art in itself.

Visiting the Aquariaz

You may think you are travelling from Geneva to Avoriaz to explore the great outdoors, whether that be on skis, hiking, on a bike, or some other form, but when you arrive, you will discover Aquariaz - an acquatic paradise in the heart of the resort.

As Europe's highest water park, Aquariaz is not as large as some in the world, but still covers 2,000 square metres. An enclosed space that offers lush vegetation (over 1,700 plants), babbling waters and fun year-round, you really shouldn't pass up the opportunity to experience it when in the region. The park boasts a great area for the younger children to play in, water slides, a great climbing wall and a gently flowing river. Or, if you prefer, you can swim in the large indoor pool, or go outside and swim in the heated outdoor one while taking in a view that is stunning and, quite simply, unforgettable.

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct. If you're looking for a transfer from Geneva to Avoriaz, Shuttle Direct provide pre-booked shuttles to major destinations all over Europe. Wherever you travel, Shuttle Direct can make sure that you don't miss your car on your holiday abroad.

5 Great Summer Activities in Val d'Isere

When you travel by shuttle from Geneva to Val d'Isere in the summer, you will probably be keen to take part in many of the fun activities available at the resort. Although it is known mainly for being a ski resort, summer is still a great time to visit as there are numerous activities to enjoy. Here is a selection of five of the best.

1. Rock Climbing
Rock climbing is one of the most popular activities in the summer months after your transfer from Geneva to Val d'Isere. There are many places to enjoy a spot of rock climbing in the mountains around the resort, and no matter what level you are, you can enjoy some climbing here. One of the best places to check out is Roc de Tovière which is especially suitable for beginners.

2. Paragliding
Even if you have never tried paragliding before you can still have a go after you arrive in the resort on your transfer from Geneva to Val d'Isere. This activity is undertaken along with an instructor, so you can enjoy the thrill of paragliding without having to worry about any of the technical details. Whereas in winter you will need to have basic skiing skills for the take-off, in the summer you can simply run down the slope.

3. Mountain Biking
Skiing is not the only way to race down the slopes in the resort: mountain biking is another excellent way to do just that, with the added benefit that it is available in the summer! There are many areas in the region where you can enjoy navigating some steep and thrilling slopes, but be careful where you go because some areas are only suitable for experienced riders.

4. Helicopter Tours
If you want to enjoy a thrilling activity that does not involve any effort on your part, helicopter tours could be ideal. This is the ultimate way to see the spectacular scenery surrounding the resort from the air, and you can simply relax and enjoy the views below of forests, mountains and glaciers.

5. Canyoning
This activity is exhausting but a whole lot of fun. It involves abseiling, jumping into streams, climbing around rocks, crossing rapids and getting very wet! It would be too cold to do this in the winter so the summer is the perfect time to have a go, and it is also suitable for complete beginners - although not advised for young children.
When you take a convenient transfer from Geneva to Val d'Isere in the summer months for a short break, you should definitely try out a few of the activities above. All of these are available during the summer, and there are many others to try out as well.

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct. If you're looking for Geneva to Val d'Isere transfers, Shuttle Direct provide pre-booked shuttles to major destinations all over Europe. Wherever you travel, Shuttle Direct can make sure that you don't miss your car on your holiday abroad.

Summer Time in Courmayeur

If you are one of those hearty souls who look out for adventurous holiday destinations that allow you the chance to stretch your legs and get outdoors in beautiful settings, then you should consider taking the easy 100-kilometre trip from Geneva to Courmayeur.

Courmayeur is located in the northern part of Italy, at the foot of Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in western Europe. The town shares the administration of the mountain with its French neighbours St Gervais Mont Blanc, who can actually claim the title of "highest town in Europe". During the winter months, Courmayeur is known for its fantastic skiing and it shares glacial ski access of the Vallee Blanche with another French neighbour, Chamonix. But if you are not a fan of the cold winter months, then don't worry, a summertime trip from Geneva to Courmayeur is simple and opens up a world of hiking and biking.


On the journey from Geneva to Courmayeur, it is the last town before the Mont Blanc tunnel, and it is a great location if you want to get in some hiking in the warm summer months. Not only does staying here offer you the option of going hiking or climbing up the face of Mont Blanc, it also provides a range of hikes that last from two hours to many days and cover a variety of skill levels and difficulty. While here, you certainly need to try some of the local hikes such as the Gran Paradiso, trekking the Alta Via Dei Giganti, or any of the 280 kilometres of mountain trails for summer hiking.

Mountain Biking

Much like the hiking trails that so many travel from Geneva to Courmayeur for, the mountain biking circuit here is rich with diversity. You can rent your bikes in the town and hit the Aosta Valley to find your perfect trail.

If you want something that is challenging, then try the Mont Blanc tour by mountain bike which takes you on a demanding 230 kilometre trip with 8,500 vertical metres to climb (during the course of the ride) over one mountain and three countries. Likewise, you can take a mountain biking tour of the Gran Combin, which will take you along the border of Italy and Switzerland and covers three hills, which range from 2500 to 2800 metres, on a trail that is 125 kilometres long. If you are one of the ultra-active souls that wants to combine a bit of biking and climbing then book a trip through Gran Paradiso National park by mountain bike, where you will take the trails and arrive at the mountain face where you then lose the bike and climb the 4,061 metre mountain using traditional climbing gear. But if you like to bike but want a more gentle [and gentile] route, then there are rolling hills and plenty of vineyard trails to ride that lead between the picturesque towns and green valleys that don't feature the daunting vertical climbs.

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct. If you're looking for Geneva to Courmeyeur transfer, Shuttle Direct provide pre-booked shuttles to major destinations all over Europe. Wherever you travel, Shuttle Direct can make sure that you don't miss your car on your holiday abroad.

Discover 5 of the Best Bars in Chamonix

When you arrange a transfer from Geneva to Chamonix, the main activity on your mind will be skiing. However, after a hard day on the slopes, the perfect way to chill out in the evening is to visit one of the numerous bars in the resort. Here is a guide to five of the best bars here, where you can either put your feet up or hit the dance floor at the end of the day.

1. Le Lapin Agile
This bar is known for its excellent wine selection as well as its delicious menu. With a focus on pasta and typical Italian cuisine, this is the ideal place to stop for a meal and a glass of wine to relax in the evening. Despite being quite small, especially from the outside, for those in the know this is one of the best bars in the resort and one of the first places you should check out following your shuttle ride from Geneva to Chamonix.

2. Slalom Bar
This cosy bar has a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere, making it the perfect place to head to straight after you end your skiing for the day and want to enjoy some après ski. With large armchairs to slouch back in, you can enjoy some live music, live sports and a happy hour - making it the ideal place to chill out.

3. Le Vert Bar
This is the place to go for a more active night out. It has been named the 'Best Bar' in the resort on a number of occasions, and welcomes numerous guest DJs throughout the year. The fun starts at 4 p.m. and carries on until late, and there is also a large plasma screen for live sports.

4. Les Rhododendrons
This bar opened in 2009 and has been one of the most popular places in the resort ever since, so make sure you check it out when you arrive following your transfer from Geneva to Chamonix. You will find it on the roundabout next to the Flegere cable car, and inside there is a cosy atmosphere complete with a log fire. Pick up a newspaper, sit back and watch some live sports, or, if the weather is good, head to the terrace for some live music and to watch the sun setting.

5. Les Caves du Pele
This is one of the best wine bars in the resort and it is located right in the centre of the action. It has a great atmosphere and plenty of good wines to choose from, and there are also a couple of restaurants upstairs.
These are just a few of the bars that you will find when you arrive in the resort and settle in after your transfer from Geneva to Chamonix. Whether you spend every night in the same one, or you decide to try them all out for yourself, they make an excellent way to end the day after all that time on the slopes!

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct. If you're looking for a transfer from Geneva to Chamonix, Shuttle Direct provide pre-booked shuttles to major destinations all over Europe. Wherever you travel, Shuttle Direct can make sure that you don't miss your car on your holiday abroad.

Top Activities to Enjoy in Val d'Isere

If you are planning to catch a shuttle from Geneva to Val d'Isere then you will probably have one thing on your mind: skiing. However, just because skiing is the main activity at this resort, that doesn't mean there aren't other activities to try out during your time here.

Here is a quick list of some of the most popular alternative activities that you might want to try out when you arrive in Val d'Isere.

Put On Some Snowshoes

Snowshoeing is a lot of fun, and when you arrive following your journey from Geneva to Val d'Isere you will be able to arrange a snowshoeing expedition easily. No matter how deep the snow is, these special shoes will allow you to cross it without fear of sinking. Book your day out with a guide and you will see some of the hidden areas around the resort that you would not be able to see on your skis.

Go Snowmobiling

If snowshoeing is just not fast enough for you then you might want to have a session on a snowmobile. This is the fastest way to get around when you arrive following your transfer from Geneva to Val d'Isere, and if you are a thrill seeker then this will be ideal.

Even if you have never had a go on one before, you'll soon get the hang of it. Then you will find yourself whizzing around the valleys at full speed, after which even skiing will seem slow by comparison.

Walk on a Glacier

If you want to get well away from the slopes and experience something completely different, a trip to one of the nearby glaciers is a great option. Whether you choose Pissaillas Glacier or Grand Motte Glacier, you will enjoy a real adventure while traversing the ice and witnessing some awe-inspiring views.

Fun with Four-Legged Friends

If you enjoy speed, but you would prefer not to sit on top of a snowmobile, then you might want to try out an exciting alternative: husky sledding. Learn the basics of how to get your team of huskies to stop and start, and then you will be off - shooting through the forests and watching the world race by. It can take some getting used to, but after a while you will get the hang of it and there is simply no better way to explore the surrounding area.

When you arrange your transfer from Geneva to Val d'Isere, remember that there is more to this resort than skiing. The above activities are just a selection of the best on offer, but there are plenty more to choose from. There are also lots of summer activities if you decide to visit during the warmer months. So make sure you try out some of these the next time you travel to Val d'Isere.

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct. If you're looking for Geneva to Val d'Isere transfers, Shuttle Direct provide pre-booked shuttles to major destinations all over Europe. Wherever you travel, Shuttle Direct can make sure that you don't miss your car on your holiday abroad.

Enjoying Some Water Sports in Courmayeur

If you have been looking for a great destination for summer water sports but don't really fancy heading to an overcrowded beach, then Courmayeur in the shadow of Mont Blanc is a perfect destination. Taking the easy 100 kilometre trip from Geneva to Courmayeur will be worth while when you arrive in the Italian village that simply oozes charm.

Though this village is a Mecca for wintertime skiers, it offers a large variety of outdoor activities for those who want to spend their summer holidays here too. There are over 200 kilometres of hiking trails and mountain biking passes, and the culture and shopping are some of the best in the area. But the region also offers a variety of water sports that you may not have expected. Travel from Geneva to Courmayeur to experience what has been called "the European Colorado". Here you can experience the roaring waters of the River Dora Baltea and the peaceful pools at different altitudes, or just a simple spot of fishing.

Water sports on the River Dora Baltea

The Dora Baltea is a tributary of the River Po and begins its life at the foot of Mont Blanc as the confluence of the Dora di Ferret. During the spring and summer months it is fed by the melting ice and snow and is a great place to go white water rafting and kayaking. You don't have to worry about getting equipment or have your own knowledge and experience of rafting when you travel from Geneva to Courmayeur, there are various outfits that can teach you the ropes and provide all the gear, no matter your level. If you want to give kayaking a go, you can sign up and take lessons to get yourself acquainted with the sport of white water kayaking, where there are a variety of styles of paddling, kayaking and river rapids levels you can tackle.


If you are a bit sore from all the active white water kayaking and rafting on the River Dora Baltea, or if you just prefer a bit more relaxation, then take one of the cable cars up to the first swimming pool, which is located 1,700 metres up the mountain. Or, if it's still too warm for you at a mere 1,700 metres, go farther up to the outdoor swimming pool at 2,050 metres. These two swimming pools are a great additional novelty and reason alone to make the journey from Geneva to Courmayeur to experience them.


If the idea of rafting is too much, and lounging by a pool at high elevations isn't your thing, then why not spend an afternoon fishing after arriving on your transfer from Geneva to Courmayeur? In the Val Ferret, you can enjoy a spot of peaceful fishing by the shores and cast your rod and reel to catch Char, Steelhead and Brook Trout, and in the protected areas of the water, you can even find Mediterranean and Marble Trout. As easy and relaxing pastime, fishing is a great way to unwind before hitting the hiking trails.

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct. If you're looking for Geneva to Courmeyeur transfer, Shuttle Direct provide pre-booked shuttles to major destinations all over Europe. Wherever you travel, Shuttle Direct can make sure that you don't miss your car on your holiday abroad.

Making the Most of Transfers From Geneva

Let's be frank, nobody really enjoys airport transfers, do they? Yet, when you're heading off for a ski holiday to the Alps, Geneva airport transfers may just offer the opportunity to make the whole process a little less tiresome than normal.

Ho hum

Once you pass a certain age, airports can start to become fairly tedious places. Yes, they have some connotations with holidays and the anticipation of departing to exciting foreign places, but they equally suggest delays, crowds, lengthy queues and waiting for baggage. None of that latter category of activities is typically associated with having a good time on holiday!

Of course, the reality of life is that we have no choice but to put up with these things if we wish to get from A to B quickly and enjoy our precious recreation time. However, in the best traditions of management, sometimes a potential problem can be seen as an opportunity. For example, if you are involved in Geneva airport transfers, have you considered that it might be an opportunity to explore the area in and around this fascinating city?

Manageable size

Geneva is a fascinating city, and it and its airport don't meet the criteria associated with being described as being vast and intimidating. The town itself is beautifully positioned on the side of the lake (with its famous monumental water jet) and is of manageable proportions. Its history goes back to before the Roman period and it is possible to explore much of it using nothing more than your own feet and a relatively comfortable pair of walking shoes. The old town is fascinating and a walk along the lake's quayside can be followed up by a cruise around the water itself.

Cosmopolitan nature

One of the most famous things about this city is its central role in many European and global humanitarian activities. That means that for many years it has been a centre of international diplomatic and financial activity, and this has resulted in a culture that is an interesting mix of Swiss and international. The upshot of this is a truly great selection of international cuisines and restaurants ranging from those associated with, say, the Far East right up to local French and Swiss alpine traditions.

Breaking the journey

The bottom line is that this Swiss gem may be a more interesting city to visit than some associated with typical airport transfers. Of course, you might understandably be interested on getting to the slopes or the mountains, depending upon the time of year you're taking your holiday, meaning that you may not wish to break your journey. However, if you would normally view the idea of Geneva airport transfers with trepidation, why not seek to use it as an opportunity to extend your break and explore the city and its surrounding areas? It might be a decision that you won't regret.

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct. If you're looking for Geneva airport transfers, Shuttle Direct provide pre-booked shuttles to major destinations all over Europe. Wherever you travel, Shuttle Direct can make sure that you don't miss your car on your holiday abroad.

Three Secret Spots to Visit on a Romantic Trip to North Devon

Devon is a rural and beautiful county in the Southwest section of England. Its white sandy beaches and high cliffs in the northern and in the southern area are historical and present day fishing ports. Tourism is a vital industry in Devon counties. North Devon homes two of the highest cliffs in the southern area of the United Kingdom and is recognized as one of the U.K.'s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Global visitors are warmly welcomed in North Devon. No matter what your vacation plans are, you will find them in this rural northern territory. Are you seeking a quiet, rural get-a-away, rather than checking into a North Devon B&B then North Devon beaches and coves are what you are looking for. Head your car toward the town of Lynton and onto the Martinhoe cross until the road ends in a junction. You are now 500 meters above Woody Bay beach, which is an enclosed bay with densely wooded steep cliffs. Let your eyes follow the gushing stream flowing downward, pointing the way to Wood Bay beach. A narrow winding path, following along-side the gushing stream, will take you to the beach, where you can just sit, relax and meditate in a beautiful environment. The beach is filled with pebbles, large rocks and smooth gravel, surrounded by dense woodlands, which is why it is called Woody Bay. This beach is a secluded wonderland, which is open year round.

For a picturesque view of lush valleys amid a secluded rocky cove, then take the A39 Atlantic Highway, away from North Devon B&B inns and you will arrive at Bucks Mills. The Bucks Mill area of Clovelly is popular for great fishing, but there are areas which are somewhat isolated, yet set in a pleasant quiet setting. Bucks Mills, is an out of the way retreat, featuring a sandy white beach, located at the bottom of an old fishing village. Its roadway, narrowly winds down a river valley, which passes through the village, ending at the beach, where persons are unhampered by noise, shops or in any cases, other persons. When people feel adventuresome, they can find their way to the beach, where you can relax, picnic, sun bathe or swim in the waters near the beach.

Located within the Lynton parish is Wringcliff Bay. Known as part of the Valley of Rocks, this coastline beach stretches for miles and miles, winding throughout majestic cliffs. Wringcliff Bay is a great beach for secluded picnics, sun bathing and relaxing, with the only sound of your breathing and the sea lapping against the many large and jagged rocks around you. Hidden coves are sprinkled amid limestone cliffs and are an ideal remote environment for exploring or just meditating on the beauty which will surround you.

Entertain The Kids During Your Holiday In Christchurch, Canterbury

If you're visiting the South Island of New Zealand, it's likely that you will be going through or stopping off in Christchurch. The city might have been hit hard by the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, but it's still one of the country's top destinations for tourists and travellers, local and international alike. When you have kids you're constantly thinking of how you're going to keep them entertained - especially if you're taking them with you on a family trip or holiday!

Fortunately Christchurch and the Canterbury region as a whole has plenty of places you can take everyone to enjoy a day out. If you are flying in, consider a Christchurch car rental to make getting around easier - there's nothing worse than trying to get everyone from A to B on time when you have to rely on family, friends or public transport. Book your holiday today and check out some of these great Garden City hotspots that will be sure to keep you and the kids happy.

Orana Wildlife Park

One of the coolest places in the country, Orana Wildlife Park is the country's only open range zoo. Orana Park has some of the most exciting animal species from all over the world - check out zebra, lions, giraffe and cheetahs; the park is home to more than 70 different species in total. Free shuttle services can take you around the zoo itself and you can find Orana Wildlife Park on McLeans Island Road.

International Antarctic Centre

Learn about Antarctica as a family at the International Antarctic Centre's visitor centre. Spend time in the snow room, ride the Hagglund and see little blue penguins at the NZ Penguin Encounter. While a great tourist destination, the International Antarctic Centre also serves as a base for the NZ, US and Italian Antarctic programs. The centre does all the administration and warehousing for these programs and runs a clothing store and post office too. Find the International Antarctic Centre close to the airport on Orchard Road.

Adrenalin Forest

Adreanlin Forest operates a fantastic outdoor experience for all ages. Located in Christchurch's Spencer Park, there are 6 pathways and 102 different challenges that range from 2 metres high to 20 metres. Test yourself physically and mentally, outdoors, in a fun and safe environment and overcome challenges together!

Entertain the kids and entertain yourself in Christchurch visiting some of these local attractions. Enjoy your holiday as a family and make your South Island experience one that you'll remember forever, together.

At Pegasus Rental Cars Christchurch Airport we are a 'second tier' company, which means we do not have new cars rentals, but instead offer a wide range of vehicles; size and age are competitively priced and provide the customer with a car hire that meets their need and budget.

Geneva to Chamonix - A Top Journey

Some airport transfers offer the opportunity to take in some breath-taking scenery en-route. Geneva to Chamonixis one such and it'll whet your appetite for your holiday ahead.


This is perhaps one of the best-known ski and Alpine leisure resorts. It is famous as the site of the first ever winter Olympics and is surrounded by some of the highest peaks in Europe. One of these is the legendary Mont Blanc, which is often stated as being in Chamonix but which, in reality, actually sits partly in an adjacent commune and partly in Italy.

The town is surrounded by excellent winter and summer sporting and holiday facilities.

It's also known for its nightlife and après-ski, which kicks off around 4pm and goes on until 4am - for those with the stamina! It's also close to the equally famous Mont Blanc tunnel linking France and Italy - in the case of the latter to Courmayeur. Connection with Italy's Aosta valley resorts and those in Switzerland, is therefore easy.

Getting there

The nearest airport of size is Geneva at around 90kms and Geneva to Chamonix transfers are fast and frequent. If you automatically associate the concept of airport transfers with rather tedious journeys on motorways through industrial suburbs, then prepare for a surprise!

The drive up is spectacularly beautiful and offers some unparalleled scenic views across the mountains and down the surrounding valleys. In fact, some might actually claim that the Geneva to Chamonix transfer is a great part of the holiday itself.

It is also perfectly possible to drive to Chamonix from eastern channel ports such as Calais, Boulogne, Dunkirk and Zeebrugge. You'll need to allow about nine hours, depending upon your own driving techniques and traffic. You can also get there by train and the line has the distinction of being one of the steepest gradients on a standard railway anywhere in the world.

Wider attractions

If you either get tired of the slopes and mountains or simply would like to combine an altitude holiday with other forms of pastime, Chamonix is well placed to deliver. The relative proximity to Geneva means that you would have the opportunity to explore this interesting and ancient city. Montreux and Lausanne are also within a relatively easy reach in the wider Swiss arena.

If you like sophistication and ancient history, Lyon is an easy 150-kilometre drive to the west. This is a beautiful city and well worth going out of your way to visit. Once through the Mont Blanc tunnel, much of northern and north western Italy is also within relatively easy reach, including the great cities of Turin and Milan. It's a great chance to try some of the incomparable northern Italian cuisine.

All of this starts with a simple Geneva to Chamonix transfer. Who would have thought?

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct. If you're looking for a transfer from Geneva to Chamonix, Shuttle Direct provide pre-booked shuttles to major destinations all over Europe. Wherever you travel, Shuttle Direct can make sure that you don't miss your car on your holiday abroad.

Student Group Travel to Cleveland: Expect to Be Wowed!

Whether the sun is shining or the snow is falling, one thing is for sure... your group won't be lacking any amusement in Cleveland. Few cities of comparable size can match Cleveland's mix of premier attractions, friendly atmosphere and big city feel. From cutting-edge museums, a spectacular theme park and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to big league sports, signature shopping and delicious food, Cleveland has what it takes to tailor an itinerary that's right for your student group.

There's a lot to love about Cleveland. Student groups visiting this diverse city will experience a charm only found here. Even the Cleveland Convention and Visitors Bureau brands the destination as "Positively Cleveland" because of its vibrant spirit, warm and friendly atmosphere, and the level of positive service the city provides to its guests. Cleveland offers more to see, do and experience than you and your group will ever imagine. When visiting Cleveland, expect to be "Wowed!"

Your Student Group Won't Want to Miss...

Cedar Point Amusement Park: Voted as the World's Best Park 14 years running, Cedar Point Amusement Park features 17 roller coasters, including four over 200′ tall, over 150 rides and attractions, award-winning entertainment and four children's areas. Cedar Point also offers unique educational programs including weather education classes and physics activities, and classes where students learn the intricate details of running an amusement park. New for 2012: Luminosity, an incredible breath-taking show and dance party. Cedar Point also invites band, choirs, orchestras and dance ensembles to perform in their park.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum: This museum is home to the history of America's greatest musicians. Seven floors of exhibition space spanning 150,000 square feet hold 18 permanent exhibits and three to five featured exhibits that are introduced regularly throughout the year. The museum's award-winning educational programs and exhibits teach students how music has played a role in social, cultural and political issues in modern history through live demonstrations, musical examples, video excerpts and multimedia presentations. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is also a great performance venue for visiting bands, orchestras and choruses wanting a site to perform.

Greater Cleveland Aquarium: One of the country's most unique aquariums, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium was constructed in the Powerhouse building along the Cuyahoga River in downtown. Being located in a National Historic Landmark (built in the late 19th century to provide power to the city's streetcars), the aquarium's nearly 5,000 underwater residents swim in tanks doubling as smokestacks and coal tunnels, framed by original bricks lining the 70,000 square feet environmental experience. This repurposed historic building includes 40 tanks and 1 million gallons of water. One of the most exciting exhibits is the SeaTube which allows visitors to experience life under the sea in a clear, 150-foot walk-through tunnel. Students enjoy an exciting journey through four aquatic habitats during hands-on educational tours.

Great Lakes Science Center and Omnimax Theater: Experiment with sound, light, gravity and more at the Great Lakes Science Center. Situated right next door to the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame Museum, Great Lakes Science Center offers 400 hands-on experiments, daily demos, the NASA John H. Glenn Visitor Center, Steamship William G. Mather and an Omnimax Theater with a giant domed screen six stories high. Schedule a camp-in to explore the science center after dark and sleep among the many exhibits.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and The Rainforest: Home to 3,000 animals from six continents, student groups can connect with wildlife and learn about nature and conservation. Speaking about wildlife projects, they don't get much bigger than the massive African Elephant Crossing at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, which opened in 2011. Five acres of grasslands, swimming ponds and a heated outdoor range give animals natural habitats. Your student group will see elephants, plumed birds, meerkats, African rock pythons, pachyderms in addition to many other animals. The zoo also has open-air views, a nose-to-trunk window, an easily spotted feeding station, gated elephant crossing and an education center modeled after an African village. Beyond traditional zoo field trips, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo offers overnight adventures in the Australian Outback and the African Savanna. The zoo also offers supplements for groups, like veterinarian role-playing activities and cell phone audio tours for a more hands-on zoo experience.

Playhouse Square: Located at University Circle, Playhouse Square is the second largest theater district in the nation. Visit The Idea Center, the home of the arts education programs of Playhouse Square, providing opportunities for students leading to discovery, appreciation and development in and through the performing arts. Enjoy a theater post-show discussion, behind-the-scenes tours, spoken word poetry workshops, and mentoring sessions with actors, choreographers, and set designers.

Cleveland Museum of Art: Located at University Circle, the Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the nation's most preeminent art museums featuring 6,000 years of the world's great art. The museum offers student groups hands-on art classes for grades 1-12, with studio topics including animals in art, landscapes, and classical art. Students may sketch with pencils in the galleries on their visit if arrangements are made in advance. Guided tours and scavenger hunts are available as well.

Cleveland Museum of Natural History: From dinosaurs to diamonds, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History is a beautiful blend of traditional and interactive galleries related to history, art and the natural world. Located at University Circle, this museum offers various hands-on workshops for students from interaction with live animals to planetarium activities. Examples include Stars in the Universe, the Science of Climate Change, and Prehistoric People. Mentor Marsh, an off-site interpretive nature preserve of the museum, also hosts student groups. Distance-learning and treasure hunts are available as well as performance venues for band, orchestras, choirs and dance ensembles.

The Cleveland Orchestra: The Cleveland Orchestra hosts educational performances specifically designed to introduce students to the format of orchestral programs. Pre-concert materials are provided to help students better understand orchestral music. Tours of Severance Hall, pre-concert seminars, and student orchestral clinics are available.

Cleveland Botanical Gardens: With 10 acres of gardens and an exotic glasshouse, the Cleveland Botanical Gardens is a one-of-a-kind visit for student groups. The garden offers interactive 1-hour programs where students get a hands-on learning experience, supplemented by pre- and post-visit activity suggestions. Topics include food chains and webs, symbiotic relationships, and evolution plus adaptation. Students may tour and learn about urban farms and healthy local food from Green Corps staff also. The Botanical Gardens loves to play host to middle school and high school band, choral and orchestra performances as well.

Cleveland Browns & Cleveland Indians Stadium Tours: Behind-the-scenes tours of Cleveland Browns Stadium and Cleveland Indians Progressive Field are popular amongst student groups. These stadium tours are filled with fun facts and historical details, including press box, luxury suites, locker room and more. There's only one thing better than taking a tour though... actually seeing a game!

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Learning Center and Money Museum: Students learn why we have money, how money helps the economy prosper, and what gives money value with 30+ displays and hands-on exhibits. The museum offers 1-hour interactive lessons in a classroom on the topics of inflation, saving vs. spending, bartering, and the Federal Reserve System.

Of special note, in addition to the above-mentioned attractions, museums, educational opportunities and performance venues, Cleveland is home to Cleveland State University, where music clinics and workshops are offered to visiting bands, choirs and orchestras.

Overall, there are few places where a destination can offer so many fascinating attractions and museums all within minutes of each other. Cleveland provides student groups and class trips a wonderful opportunity to study music, science, history or just have plain ole fun. For educators, Cleveland should be at the top of the list when selecting destinations for student group trips. Without a doubt, Cleveland will entertain your group like no other city.

Steve is the Marketing directory for Kaleidoscope Adventures. Being in the tourism industry for 21 years, group travel is a passion of mine. My background is as an Independent Contractor in Tourism Sales and Marketing in Orlando, Florida. My goal is to greatly increase revenues within the companies I work with via sales and marketing efforts.

Born and raised in southern Illinois, I have lived in Orlando, Florida since 1986. I have a beautiful wife, two daughters and love to write, sail and exercise.

Living in Paris - In the Paris State of Mind

We do agree with the statement, that a picture is worth a thousand words. But recently we have gotten many inquires about living in Paris so voila there it is, our description of Paris lifestyle.

To make a long story short, most of the stereotypes about Parisian are true. Yes, we do enjoy great and cheap wines and cheeses, we do spend our lunch breaks in the beautiful Paris parks and we do have the access to the latest collections from the top fashion houses.

All of those aspects please us a lot, but the main reason why we love the town is "The Spirit of Parisians".

"I like Frenchmen very much, because even when they insult you they do it so nicely".

(Josephine Baker)

I believe, that all the Parisians have only one thing in common: We do have guts, because we need them so much. Life in Paris is a permanent fight. It starts with the apartment searching. Looking for a place to stay in Paris is pretty much like a casting. We have 5 minutes to convince our future landlord that we are the nicest, the most intelligent and the most honest candidate among 30 others people, who dream to live in this perfect, dirty, 20 square meters, cheap studio (700€) in the Parisian suburb.

The second round starts, when we need to convince the Very Important French HR Lady, why this creepy, minimum salary position is in fact our dream job, repeating like a mantra "No Madame, it's not a problem that I need to spend 1.5 hours in the train to work, because I really love to read" or "No Madame, I do not have a car, but in case of the metro strike, I know how to use a bike."

We also need to fight, on the daily basis, to comfort our classmates. Inviting to our new place, the Champs Elysses born princess, or the daughter of Eastern European oil millionaire is a long and energy consuming process, as they believe that visiting Parisian suburbs must result in the kidnapping, the murder or the rape (or in all three).

Oh, and we do fight with our Mummies a lot, as they call us, at least 2 times a week, posting the same question: "When are you coming back home? Your daddy/uncle/brother will find you a great office job in our home town and you will get mummy's old car! Just think about it!"

An artist has no home in Europe except in Paris.

(Friedrich Nietzsche)

Last but not least we fight for our dreams. Every day I am meeting the actors, the designers, the bloggers and the stylists who freelance for countless unpaid artistic projects during the days, and work the minimum salary night shifts. Of course I have met many amazing people all around the world, but Paris has changed my attitude. All my life I used to admire those who are trying to make it, and now... Well I think that they are great, but I do not find anything special in fact that that someone is fighting for his/her passion. We all do pretty much do the same thing here. We fight.

Some of us already made their dreams come true, while the others are still waiting. And in the meantime "we will always have Paris".

Virgin Trains - Joining The Exclusive Traveller Club For Enhanced Travelling Experience

At a certain point of time in the past, train journeys were almost discarded by the travelers because of the advent of cheap and convenient airline services. But in a recent while, railway industry has made a thrilling comeback and has led to a gradual drop down in the domestic airline business. Europe is one of the most affected places in terms of decreased number of domestic airline passengers. People prefer traveling through high speed and reliable service providing trains amid the beautiful European landscapes, rather than traveling in airplanes. Eurostar, First ScotRail, London Midland and Fastline are some of the main railway carriers that have completely changed the face of railway transportation. Virgin trains is also one such renowned names in the British Railway Network that attracts a good number of passengers all through the year because of its high quality and reliable services.

Virgin train franchise is providing various special privileges to the passengers in order to enhance their overall traveling experience. Traveller Club membership is one such privilege for the regular customers of Virgin trains. The travelers who have made at least 8 First Class return journeys through Virgin Trains are eligible for this membership plan. All you need to do is to download a form from the official web page and post it back with your original tickets of next journey. The members are provided with certain kind of facilities and some of them are highlighted below in the article.

1. Free Of Cost First Class Travel On Any Weekend
As a member, you along with your partner can enjoy a free travel in First Class at any time, from Friday until the Monday noon. The kids can also accompany you at a mere additional charge of just £10 each. Kids under 5 years of age can travel without paying any charge. The tickets are to be booked as per the availability and can be booked till 18:00 hours of the day before your actual journey.

2. Priority Parking
Horns blaring out loud, no space to park the car, only a few minutes to catch the train, who wishes to start a trip like that? Do you? Well, if you are a Traveller member of Virgin Trains, get ready for a special treatment. You will be able to enjoy the facility of priority parking at various up and down stations. Just display the Traveller parking sticker on your windscreen and pay for the usual parking in order to get your ride parked safely.

3. Special Priority Seating
Have an urgent meeting popped in your way from nowhere? Are you anxious about the last minute bookings? Well, you can relax if you are a Virgin Travellers member. Special priority seats are available in First Class coaches H and J of Pendolino trains from Monday to Friday for the members. Virgin Trains have already booked seats waiting for you to occupy in events of emergency traveling.

So, these are some few benefits made available to the Traveller member of Virgin Trains.

For Getting First Scotrail ticket visit our website. Virgin Trains tickets are popular worldwide for economical rates.

Fun Times at La Plagne

With 100 square kilometres of ski area, 225 kilometres of ski slopes, eleven resorts and a host of activities beginning with skiing, La Plagne is a great place to look for a chalet. Catered accommodation here is some of the best you will find.

A modern ski resort area serviced by two cable cars - the Telemetro and the Vanoise Express - getting to and from your accommodation to wherever your adventures take you within the resort and nearby is made simple.

About La Plagne

Located within the Tarentaise Valley of the Savoie region, it was created in 1961 as a resort town with two drag lifts accessing its four slopes. There are eleven resorts in the area offering a wide variety of choices for a chalet. Catered or self-catering options are available.

These include Plagne Centre, an urban resort where form follows function; Aime-La Plagne, which opened in 1969; Les Coches; Champagny-en-Vanoise, a little village within the Vanoise National Park that boasts a sunny south-facing slope; Montchavin, with three chairlifts, one of which links to Les Coches; Plagne Villages; Plagne Bellecôte which boasts the area's first eight-seater chairlift; Montalbert; Belle Plagne; Plagne 1800, a charming old mining town with wood chalets and blue slate roofs; and the newest among them, Plagne Soleil, which was built in 1990.

The Skiing

The aforementioned 100 square kilometres of skiing area in La Plagne is distributed over the four communes of Aime, Bellentre, Champagny-en-Vanoise and Mâcot-la-Plagne.

All in all, skiers visiting the area have access to 225 kilometres (140 miles) of slopes of various degrees of difficulty for all levels of expertise.

For beginners, there are 10 green slopes for easy skiing, while for those with more skiing expertise there are 30 red (advanced) and a whopping 72 blue (intermediate) grade slopes. For the experts, there are 15 challenging black slopes, making a total of 134 slopes all accessible from your chalet. Catered accommodation can also be accessible to the large off-piste skiing area, Bellecôte's North Face.

Adrenaline Without Skiing

Skiing isn't the only winter activity you'll want to get out of your chalet. Catered accommodation may make it very tempting to stay inside, but there are many enticing forms of sports and entertainment to be had in La Plagne.

Head towards the halfway point between Plagne 1800 and La Roche for one of the most exciting places in the area outside of a ski slope! A skeleton, luge and bobsleigh track specially made for the 1992 Olympics, this is the only track of its kind in France, and is now a popular location for different international competitions. Experience high-velocity twists and turns at speeds of 80 kph - it's sure to be an unforgettable experience!

Danielle Hodges is the Marketing Manager for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service offering bonded holidays staying in a chalet catered or self-catering, in La Tania and other fantastic destinations. For a luxury or good-value skiing holiday and the best catered chalets call us.

Getting the Best out of Geneva

You've disembarked from your flight, adjusted your watch and checked your phone, and soon you'll be heading out from Geneva to Val Thorens for some of the finest skiing in the Alps. But perhaps you want to spend a little time soaking up the sights and sounds of Geneva, first - and even with limited time it's more than possible to enjoy the city, with plenty to see and do in easy distance of the International Airport. The city centre is a few minutes away by train and, to make it even easier, the airport has a left luggage, so there's no need to haul your suitcases around all day. Here are some suggestions for how to make the most of your time in this Swiss city, however brief it may be.

See the Big Three
For those who have never been to the city before, there are three 'must see' attractions: Lake Geneva, the Jet d'Eau, and Cathedral St-Pierre. The lake that shares the city's name is famous across the world for its charm, bordered by beautiful parks and promenades and with an undeniably inspiring backdrop featuring the mighty Mont Blanc. On the lakeside, at the point where the lake meets the Rhone River, you can see the Jet d'Eau, a stunning 140 metre high fountain that is one of the city's most unique sights and well worth a visit. For a star attraction that isn't made of water, be sure to visit the Cathedral St-Pierre, where John Calvin famously preached, which offers visitors a real sense of the history that pervades the Old Town. When you move on from Geneva to Val Thorens you'll do so in the satisfaction of having seen the city's finest features.

Explore Further
Those who have visited before, however, may wish to get to know new dimensions of the city before continuing on from Geneva to Val Thorens for some much anticipated skiing. Wander through the Old Town and take corners on a whim and who knows what hidden gems you might discover? One particularly charming spot is La Treille park, which contains a chestnut-lined promenade and boasts the longest bench in the world, at 120 metres. Like all of Geneva's parks, this is a good place to go to get a feel for the more laid-back side of local life.

What's On?
In such a vibrant city as this, there's always a lot happening - from classical concerts and art exhibitions to festivals and farmers markets. So if you want to enjoy a bit of cosmopolitan culture before setting off from Geneva to Val Thorens for a different pace of life, why not use your phone or a local magazine to look up what's on?

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct. If you're looking for a transfer from Geneva to Val Thorens, Shuttle Direct provide pre-booked shuttles to major destinations all over Europe. Wherever you travel, Shuttle Direct can make sure that you don't miss your car on your holiday abroad.

Preparing for your Geneva to Val Thorens Trip

For anyone looking forward to a trip to one of the Alps' finest ski resorts, such as Val Thorens, it may be tempting to wish away the hours until you're hitting the slopes. But if you are travelling via Geneva and have time to spare, it can be well worth taking in some of what the city has to offer. Not only is this stylish city packed with life, art, and culture on a scale that can be hard to come by further afield - it's also the perfect place to do any last minute preparation for your trip that may be necessary. Here are some ideas for what to do before making the journey from Geneva to Val Thorens.

Enjoy city life

Even if you are heading for the mountains to escape the stresses of modern life, an afternoon in a vibrant European city can be wonderfully refreshing in its own way. The time between arriving and continuing your Geneva to Val Thorens journey from is a great opportunity to tip your toes into the best of the city. The faded splendour of the Old Town, the dazzle of Lake Geneva in the sun, and the fashion boutiques, concert pavilions and enticing restaurants of the lakeside area are all at your fingertips.

Finalise your plans

If there are any aspects of your trip that still need arranging, such as money changing, equipment hire, updating your hotel booking, arranging travel from Geneva to Val Thorens, or planning the next leg of your holiday, the time after disembarking from your flight and before journeying onwardsmay be the best time to do it. Internet access is easy to come by, and there will be plenty of useful information for travellers. You could also take the opportunity to send a postcard or two home, and tell everyone about your day in this gorgeous Swiss city.

Stock up on kit

If your Geneva to Val Thorens trip is for the purpose of mountain sports, chances are you are already amply prepared in terms of equipment. But the city is a fantastic place for finding all kinds of outdoor wear and sports kit; so whether it's buying a replacement for the hat and gloves you forgot or treating yourself to a brand new piece of designer gear, the city centre's sports stores have you covered. This is also a good opportunity to stock up on high energy snacks, first aid essentials - something to fight off a cold or cough that could be brought on by the temperature drop is always a good idea - and any other essentials you might need. And, of course, this is also a good time to investigate the shops selling Geneva's most famous products - chocolates and gold watches.

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct. If you're looking for a transfer from Geneva to Val Thorens, Shuttle Direct provide pre-booked shuttles to major destinations all over Europe. Wherever you travel, Shuttle Direct can make sure that you don't miss your car on your holiday abroad.

Premier Palm Trees of the Southeast

In 1755, Colonel William Moultrie was asked to design the flag for South Carolina troops to use during the American Revolutionary War. The design he came up with had the blue of the militia's uniforms, along with the crescent from the emblem on their caps. In the 16 hour battle on June 28, 1776, the flag was shot down, but raised again by Sergeant William Jasper until it could be mounted again. The flag came to be the symbol of the Revolution, along with the state's new nation. In 1861, the palmetto tree was added to the flag, representing Moultrie's defense on Sullivan's Island. The fortress Moultrie had constructed, survived largely because the palmetto trees which were laid over the sand walls were able to withstand the British cannons.

Today, there are over 2,500 different species of palm trees in the world. Each species can be divided based off of characteristics such as their trunk, size, growth rate, cold tolerance, etc. While most palm trees grow in tropical and subtropical environments, there are some that are able to withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit. These trees have been a long-standing symbol for the south for many years, representing bravery, strength, along with those who fought for our freedom.

Palms, Cocus, Pindo, Palmetto, Windmill, European Fan, Sago, the possibilities to choose from in premier palm trees can seem endless, not to mention overwhelming. Which type would be best for you? How would you like to present your palm tree? Is landscaping an issue? The questions can be endless, and seem frustrating without the proper guidance and knowledge.

Living in the south, a premier palm tree, the signature tree of the Palmetto State is a great representation of your Southern heritage, as well as a way to spruce up the look of any home or office, but don't let yourself get bogged down with questions. There are experts who would be more than happy to help you get the best of your experience, as well as offering affordable pricing for your purchase.

Today there are so many accessories such as belts, shirts, shoes, wallets, etc. that bear the beloved symbol of the palmetto tree. Supporter's of state universities may also display this flag in their school colors. Although these make great gifts, why not show your support for not only our state, but for those who have served us by displaying a premier palm tree today.

Crabtree Garden Center offers the most affordable palm tree prices in the Southeast area, and offers contractor pricing for home and business projects. Give them a call for further questions, such as pricing, as well as what would be best for your next landscaping project.