When heading north out of Kerikeri most people will turn off to visit or camp at Matauri Bay. This place is fantastic for swimming, fishing, walking and diving amongst other activities. But make sure you follow the road around to the next bay for a visit. Te Ngaere Bay is a quieter and more secluded area which has lots to offer. There's easy access for boats so it's a great place to go fishing, kids will enjoy the rock pools for exploring and the beach is perfect for swimming. Allow a full day to properly enjoy the surroundings.
With over 35 churches to choose from, Sao Joao del Rei is a great place to view impressive baroque churches. The town also offers a train ride to Tiradentes that takes you on a lovely journey through the different landscapes aboard an authentic 19th century steam locomotive.
Over a hundred islands, sunny weather (the locals call it 'The Winterless North'), and a generally relaxed disposition make the Bay of Islands a perfect place to visit.
Reliable winds, safe anchorages, and stunning viewpoints mean that any sailing trip is going to be amazing. There's quite a few old seadogs living in their boats in the Bay, taking people out for a day or a few days - the best way to see the islands.
Fantastic area. Beautiful scenery, great little villages, pubs and shops. We stayed in a couple of cottages we found on the Lovetoescape portal - loads to choose from. Why holiday abroad when the exchange rate is bad, home has so much to offer.
The Aiguille du Midi is what every tourist comes to Chamonix for. It's the highest cable car in the world and the €38 return ticket is worth every cent. In just eight minutes you're whisked from Chamonix town centre to Plan d'Aiguille where you change cable cars and in another eight minutes you're taken up to the Aiguille du Midi station where you're rewarded with stupendous views of Mont Blanc and Italy.
Fortunately, I chose the right time to go (7.30am) as the light shone on Mont Blanc in just the right way and there were only six tourists on the highest terrace which looks over Mont Blanc, be warned though the cable car does get cramped with all of the skiers with their skis and poles taking up every inch
Note to parents - children under two are not allowed on the cable car.
Aiguille du Midi cable departs from Place de l'Aiguille du Midi cable car station - just a 30 minute walk from Chamonix train station (but bizarrely there are no signs showing you the way from Chamonix train station).
Orsom is a sail catamaran that does trips up the Barcelona shoreline. A great way to see the city. But best of all are their sunset cruises with live jazz and chillout music. They've got a bar on board so get yourself a glass of cava and enjoy.
The port at the bottom of the Ramblas near the Columbus statue.
Forget harbour cruises and the ferry to Lamma, hop in a cab to Sai Kung, HK's seaside getaway. Enjoy seafood on the waterfront or ideally hire a sedate sanpan/racy speedboat to ferry you out along the bay, past the country park (HK isn't all urban jungle!) to the beautiful islands off the east coast. Sail back at sunset, so romantic !
Sai Kung. Hong Kong New Territories. East coast. If you don't want to take a taxi, nearest MTR is Hang Hau/Choi Hung plus bus 101/1a) wander along Sai Kung waterfront and the sanpan hawkers will find you!
This is the medieval castle, often referred to as Dracula's Castle. But it is not only interesting for horror fans; built in 1377 it’s a true art treasure.
Built to protect from invaders it became a royal residence in 1920.
Take your time and enjoy the view of the castle; it sits high on top of a tall rock, overlooking the picturesque village. Inside you can have a look at a rich collection of Romanian and foreign furniture and art items from the 14th-19th centuries.
Location: the village of Bran, 16 miles southwest of Brasov.
Open: Tuesday through Sunday, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
The St Laurent bridge connects the city centre of Grenoble to La Tronche - Grenoble's oldest district. This iron chain bridge is closed to cars and is a great place to take pictures of the famous "Bulles".
It's also the starting point for those who choose to take the arduous 45 minute walk up to La Bastille.
Follow the "Telepherique" signs, go past the cable car station, walk beside the Isere river for about 15 minutes and you'll see the bridge in front of you.
The main reason for taking the cable car up to La Bastille is to take in the 360° view of Grenoble's wide boulevards and motorways as well as the Dauphine Alps which encircle the whole city from the roof of the Terrase restaurant. If you're lucky and it's a clear day you can see Mont Blanc. I saw it and it looked so close!
The views are breathtaking and only from La Bastille can you appreciate the immense size of Grenoble.
Best of all the views are free!
For even better views there is a path which you can walk up which goes up from behind the fortress to the top of the mountain which it sits on.
Just take the cable car from Grenoble city centre up to La Bastille and follow the path behind the Terrasse restaurant to climb the stairs up to the roof.
One thing that you must do is take the speedy "Bulles" from Grenoble city centre up to La Bastille, in just 20 minutes it whisks you high above the Isere river and the La Tronche district of Grenoble, it's the first city centre cable car to be constructed in the world.
Just follow the "Telepherique" signs from the train station - just look out for the cables above the Isere river - you can't miss them.
A return trip costs €5,75 and entry to La Bastille and the 1968 Olympics exhibition is free.
It's cheap and covers some amazing scenery in a comfy environment, even the Amtrak food and drink is cheap. I accidentally booked a hotel in Canada, forgetting when I set it up to check which side of the falls I was on. Check it out at: writeronthestorm.wordpress.com
from Penn station to Niagara Falls
A campsite/hostel for nature lovers. Perfect place to start nature walks all over the Tayrona park and its surroundings.
2 km from the main entrance you find a sign Castilletes on your right-hand side. After 200 metres you get to the beach where the campsite is located. On request they supply good information on the park and its surroundings through email.
See their website: www.campingtayrona.com
You can't go to Annecy and not see its most famous sight - its lake, it's framed by towering mountains on the south side and green hills on the Annecy side, there are plenty of boats which go around the lake but it's far better to walk and take as many photos as you can.
You can't miss Lake Annecy - just follow 'Le Lac' signs from the train station
This is an interesting walk or cycle ride to do, especially in the evening, when the blue walkway lights are on. The blue promenade is a lovely way to bring together all the little harbours around the centre of the city.
From Badedammen all the way to Bjergsted, approximately three km. Here is a free (non-commericial) map: www.stavanger-guide.no/maps/maps_english/city.pdf
The often crowded but peaceful Jardin d'Europe and Champs de Mars look out over lake Annecy and provide stupendous views of the Alps and photo ops. It's a great place for a family picnic as there is a children's park and ducks on the lake. A must do is to walk by Lake Annecy from the Hotel de ville down to the port.
Jardin d'Europe and Champs de Mars are just a 5 min walk from the town hall and from the old city
The castle looms over the old city and lake Annecy, it has a (overpriced) museum inside, but I chose to skip the museum as it was too expensive and you get great (free!) views of it anyway from the lake and from the steep alleyways which snake behind it to bring you back down to old Annecy.
It's a stunning castle with the turrets and gates showing the power and might of Annecy when it ruled over Italy and western Switzerland and its museum is great for families as children will love the suits of armour.
Chateau d'Annecy is only a 20 minute walk from the train station and is well signposted
A footpath leading up to a large hill that overlooks the city and has a mizmaze on top of it.
St Catherine’s Hill Wildlife Reserve
OS Map no. 185
Grid reference: SU 484 276
+44 (0) 1489 774400
Info from my visit there is on my website at www.reeves-hall.net/kids-outings/winchester-mizmaze/
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