This is a guest post from Arpi.

Like any mountain, it's attractive here

Mount Aragats

Are you a fan of extreme tourism? Then welcome to Armenia!

Due to the mountainous terrain, favorable climate, and amazing natural attractions such as extinct volcanoes, cliffs, and mountain lakes, Armenia is one of the most suitable countries for adventure tourism. Moreover, the world-renowned National Geographic Traveler magazine has included Armenia in the list of the top three countries in the nomination “Active and extreme tourism”. At the moment, the country’s tour operators are working on the developing of this kind of tourism creating tours to the best spots throughout Armenia. So, if you cannot imagine your holiday without a portion of adrenalin consider Armenia as your next travel destination. And in this article, you can get acquainted with the country’s best options.

MOUNTAINEERING AND CLIMBING

Photo from Arpi

Khustup Climbing

Armenian reliefs are ideal for climbers. There are not so many specially equipped climbing routes, but all of them will fully satisfy lovers of climbing.

Noravank gorge. The gorge is located 80 km south-east of Yerevan. The steep limestone cliffs are ideal for rock climbing, and the surrounding nature with its vegetation and a river are indescribably beautiful. There are several climbing routes equipped with station hooks and jumpers in the gorge.

Garni Gorge. At a distance of 30 km from Yerevan, there is a Garni gorge with its rocky basalt columns. Due to its uniqueness, the gorge was called “the symphony of stones” – a beauty beyond words. The basalt columns emerged because of the eruption of volcanic lava. If you look from a distance, the valley reminds of a huge organ (musical instrument). The gorge stretches along the River Azat, with a total length – 55m. Tourist buses stop far away from the gorge, so you will have to go there on foot or you can take a taxi or rent a car in Yerevan which will take you directly to the gorge.
Mountain Khustup. One of the most popular destinations for mountaineers is a peak of Khustup Mountain – the highest peak (3206 m) in Khustup-Katari range. Climbing to it is rather difficult, but you will get experience and impressions for a lifetime.

Mount Aragats. One of the four peaks of Mount Aragats is the highest in the country and if you are a professional climber, you should definitely conquer it. The height of the lowest peak is 3879 m, and the height of the highest one is 4090 m. If you want to get more information or professional advice on mountaineering in Armenia you can contact the Armenian Federation of Mountaineering and Mountain Tourism.

SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING

Man on a slope

Skiing in Armenia

Tsakhkadzor. For winter recreation, Armenia invites fans of adventure tourism to the ski resorts. The most popular resort of Tsakhkadzor is located 60 km from Yerevan. It is located on the slopes of Mount Teghenis which are perfect for skiing and snowboarding. The resort town has all the necessary equipment for these outdoor activities: three-stage cable car corresponding to the highest standards and the ski tracks with a total length of 7200 m. The highest point for skiing which is 2819 m high offers a magnificent view of Mount Ararat and surrounding beauties. In the town, you can rent skis, snowboards, and snowmobiles as well as use the service of instructors.

Jermuk. Another great place for outdoor activities – Jermuk resort, which is located at a distance of 180 km from Yerevan. The resort town has a modern double chairs cable car and two tracks for skiing (1400m and 1300m).

PARAGLIDING

Paragliding

Paragliding, also popular

The climate and the reliefs in Armenia are also suitable for paragliding flights. In recent years, this kind of activity is becoming more and more popular and the tour operators in Armenia started to develop special paragliding tours in various places.

Hatis Mount (starting point at an altitude of 1890 m). Hatis Mount is located about 25 km away from Yerevan, it is of volcanic origin, and its height is of 2520 m. The terrain has plains for planting, and moreover, here you can fly at any time of the year. The best season is spring and autumn. It is an ideal place for beginners.

Aparan (starting point at an of altitude 2450 m). The mountain range is 60 km away from Yerevan. The area has a smooth take-off area, but the winds here are frequent and strong. Take into account that you can reach this place only by off-road car as there is no asphalt route leading to the flying area. An appropriate car you can rent in Yerevan.

Tsovagyugh village (starting point at an altitude of 2300 m). The village is located at a distance of 75 km away from Yerevan, on the shore of Lake Sevan – the pearl of Armenian nature. The flight over the lake and the mountains will give you unforgettable impressions. In addition, the area is ideal for long-term soaring. The weather here is capricious: frequent fogs, strong winds, and high humidity. The best season for flights is from July to September.

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This guest post is by Jessica Gold of Travel Wkly, enjoy!

South Korea’s largest city is its capital Seoul. The city dates back to 18 BC and now has a population exceeding 10 million and the city’s metropolitan area has a population exceeding 25 million, making it the second most populated metropolitan areas in the world. Located on the banks of the Han River, the city is surrounded by mountains, the tallest being Mt. Bukhan home to the most visited of any national park in the world, by square footage. In the center of the city is Namsan Mountain which has a cable car that runs to the peak where there is the N Seoul Tower, which, although primarily a communications tower, also has an observation and entertainment amenities. There are, of course, many attractions in a city this size and it is the most popular of any city visited by Chinese, Japanese and Thai tourists. Some of the most amazing places to see in Seoul are:

5. Hike in the City

Hamsan Mountain

Namsan Mountain

Perhaps somewhat unusual for a major city, you will see people dressed for hiking even in the subways, complete with their hiking poles and backpacks. This is because there are some amazing walks, not only on the mountains surrounding the city but also within the city. Hiking up Namsan Mountain is a popular pastime, as is hiking along Cheonggyecheon Stream. This is a stream 8.4km long that runs through the center of the city and has whose banks have been made into a green recreation area where people go, not just to hike but also just to get away from the bustle of the busy streets.

4. Go Back in Time

K houses

Old Korean Houses

When you walk through the hills and winding streets of the Bukchon Hanok Village, located near the Royal Palace, the houses have been maintained in their old traditional ancient style. Walking through these streets is like walking through the history of Korea, even though some of the houses are now guest houses, souvenir shops, restaurants or boutiques the houses themselves evoke an amazing ancient Asian atmosphere.

3. Discover the Amazing Array of Museums

Museum in Korea

Seoul Museum

As with most major cities, Seoul has its share of museums but apart from the main historical museum that includes exhibits dating all the way back to the stone-age and the War Memorial and Museum which has some interesting outdoor exhibits that feature giant missiles, helicopters, planes and tanks, there is the Seoul Museum of Chicken Art which exhibits the well-known chicken in less traditional style, as it has been portrayed through culture and art through the ages and the Bomun Pavilion which has been nicknamed a museum without walls. The pavilion is a small gazebo, made of wood that stands beside a duck pond and is said to be the ideal place to witness the four seasons; winter with its blanket of snow, fall with its mixture of mustard and scarlet foliage, the summer’s lush green and of course the magnificence of cherry blossom at its best.

2. Enjoy a Theme Park Fan’s Dream

Theme park

I want to go here!

Lotte Amusement Park is the second largest theme park in the world which also includes perhaps the largest indoor theme park in the world as well as skating rinks and bowling alleys. Although theme parks may now be fairly common, most are not as big or amazing as this one.

1. See Royal Extravagance

Looks cool

Royal Palace

According to many tour guide blog, Seoul’s Royal Palace is Korea’s most popular tourist attraction and although restored as late as 1867, some of the over 300 buildings date back to 1395 when the palace was first built. The opulence that the old royalty enjoyed is evident in some of the 5,793 rooms. The palace covers over 4 million square feet, which fortunately, possibly because only 40% of the buildings still stand, allow room for the millions of visitors it receives annually.

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Sausalito, San Francisco

November 9, 2014 · 1 comment

After crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, we decided to continue our bus tour to the end before returning into the city centre. The bus continued in an extended part of the tour to Sausalito, somewhere I’d never heard of or planned to visit, but thought we should as it was part of the tour so had free transport there effectively. The tour used a separate smaller bus for this, as the main tour bus turned around and went back across the bridge and into the city.

Sausalito had a similar vibe to SF but on a smaller scale, and more themed around the bridge and sea, mostly noted by the sea food restaurants, some of which were on their own raised platforms over the sea. It was late morning for us, so we stopped in a cafe and enjoyed the view al la carte, something well worth doing after a long walk across the bridge.

Sausilito backstreet

Backstreets of S Sausalito with art galleries

There isn’t a whole lot to do in Sausalito besides a couple of art galleries and tours, so I wouldn’t recommend going there for long or putting it on a bucket list, but what it does offer is a welcome break from the city and walking or cycling across the bridge, it makes a decent lunch break, although if you’re not into sea food then the choices are limited especially compared to SF’s usual foodie choices. What you do get however is a nice overview of the city, and the bridges crossing into it. Maybe it can’t be appreciated as much on a typical SF foggy day, but I can’t find much reason to complain on a clear day. I don’t think I’d make my way there again without a good reason but wouldn’t advice against it for people who have never been before.

Another view from the GGB

Sausalito Port from the Golden Gate Bridge

Before we set back on the bus into the city, we got to walk right at the bottom of the bridge and look up at it. It seems that at any angle this bridge is viewed, it’s impressive. Even the ducks seem to think of it as a nice place to live.

Golden gate bridge in a blue tone.

Ducks under the bridge

 

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When preparing to take a holiday, travellers have a lot of options in regards to possible destinations. Often the climate and weather of a certain region comes into play and for some people, the nations of the South Pacific provide a temperate climate that appeals to them while on holiday. Not only do these nations offer temperate climates but they also offer visitors a host of activities in which to participate. For instance, casino gambling is popular in this region with many countries having their own casinos.

The Australian City of Perth provides an excellent casino for travellers. Formerly known as the Burswood Entertainment Complex, the name has since been changed and shortened to the Crown Perth and this casino offers casino gambling opportunities around the clock. When guests which to take a break for a meal, they can select from seven different restaurants offering an extensive range of cuisine.

The Philippines offer many different casinos and one of the best is located in Cebu City. Here the Casino Filipino offers guests a midsized casino, expect to find a nice range of casino games, these would include: blackjack, craps, baccarat, roulette, bingo, mini baccarat and slot machines. The casino is opened 24 hours with the exception of certain holidays when it is closed.

Photo courtesy of carawah on FlickR

Two casinos have been opened in Vanuatu since it gained its independence from France and Britain who co-managed the island nation. Both casinos are found within the same city and are part of hotels. One of these is the Club 21 Limited – Its game offerings are a bit more limited than the second casino here which is the Palms Casino. Expect to find only two kinds of table games at Club 21 which are baccarat and blackjack.

New Zealand is also home to several casinos, both of the online type such as GamingClub.com, and many land-based ones, for example the capital city of Auckland is where you can find the SkyCity Auckland Casino. The complex is centrally located within the city and sites below the Sky Tower and this makes it possible to view the city for 360 degrees. The Sky Tower is the tallest manmade structure in the country and the casino has over 100 table games and the gaming machines number over 1600. When taking a break from the casino action, guests can enjoy one of 20 different eating establishments.

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This is a post written by Allison.

Tunisia holidays have long been a favoured destination for tourists getting away to soak up the year-round sunshine in the resort hotels of the coast, but to discover the real character of this magical North African land, you must go off the beaten track. Here are the top 5 things to do for adventurous travellers.

1. Trek into the Sahara Desert

Yep. That's how good it looks

Yep. That’s how good it looks

The Sahara truly is another world. The largest desert in the world is far from being just a flat expanse of sand; you will travel through diverse landscapes from rolling sand dunes and remote valleys to vibrant, green oases. Whether you travel by jeep, quad bike or camel, to trek through the Sahara is an unforgettable experience. When you stop for the night at a traditional Bedouin encampment, you will be awe-struck by the magnificence of the night sky: the stars really do seem closer here.

2. The caves of Matmata

Familiar to millions of movie-goers as the base of the young Luke Skywalker, in the Star Wars films, the caves are also home to thousands of Troglodytes (cave-dwellers).You can stay here in an underground troglodyte hotel. The caves are a popular destination for travelers, so get here early to avoid the crowds and enjoy the incredible atmosphere of this unusual community.

3. Tunis and Sidi Bou Said

A street in Sidi Bou Said

A street in Sidi Bou Said

The contemporary city of Tunis includes the ancient area of Sidi Bou Said. Its cobbled streets, white-washed buildings, draped with bougainvillea, giant eucalyptus trees and constantly changing views of the glimmering blue Mediterranean will charm every visitor.

4. Carthage

Tunisia is rich in archaeological remains, and the city of Tunis contains the spectacular remnants of the legendary city of Carthage, the birthplace of Hannibal. Carthage was razed to the ground by the Romans, only to be rebuilt later by Julius Caesar. It then became one of the three most important cities of the Roman Empire.

5. Tozeur

This ancient, inland city was once the hub of the old caravan trading routes, and is still a fascinating place to visit. Here you can see the incredible irrigation system, thousands of years old, which is still used to water the date plantations. Tozeur is an excellent place to visit to get a real flavour of Tunisian culture; the Ouled el Hadef quarter, built of the characteristic local brick, dates back to the 14th century.

Bursting with character, history and intrigue, Tunisia is a place well worth exploring.

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