• Capital: Baku
  • Main cities: Ganja, Sumqayit
  • Populations: 9,100,000 (As per the year 2012)
  • Currency: New manat (AZN). Travellers can take US dollars (Pristine condition only) and convert them to local currency. Most businesses accept credit cards, while there is very limited circulation of travellers' cheques. Visitors must fill in a custom declaration form on arrival and get it stamped by a customs officer. Visitors to Azerbaijan must declare amounts above AZN 10,000 (approximately 10,000 euros). Exchange rate approximates (AZN 1.28 = Sterling pound1) Tipping (10% is expected in restaurants).
  • Time: GMT +4
  • Electricity: 220 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving: Traffic drives on the left. International Driving permit recommended
  • Public Holidays: Include January 1,20; March 8,21; April 18,21; May 9,28; June 15,26; July 28; October 4,9; November 12,17; December 31. The list includes Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate.
  • Language: Azerbaijani. Also Russian, English and Turkish.
  • Religion: Shia Muslim
  • Country Dial Code: + 994
  • Getting there: (Major gateways, including Heydar Aliyev International Airport, Baku (BAK)). Typical flying time from UK is 6 hrs while from New York is 14.5 hrs via Frankfurt
  • Transfers: Baku (15 miles/25 km) bus 40 minutes; taxi 25 minutes
  • Visa requirements: A single – entry, 90 – day visa costs $ 160. All foreign visitors must register with the State Migration Service of Azerbaijan within three days of arrival
  • Health requirements: Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended. For visitors travelling outside the capital Baku, also Malaria.
  • Climate: Summer in Azerbaijan is hot and humid and autumn is warm and wet. Winter is cold and windy, while spring weather is generally unpredictable. Maximum summer temperature is an extremely high 41C; however, temperatures in the mountains and valleys can be very low. The majority of rainfall occurs in the west of the country.
  • Safety by security: It is advised to be aware against all travel to the region of Nagorno – Karabach and the surrounding military – occupied area.
  • What to eat and drink: Azerbaijani cuisine is a blend of Turkish and central Asian dishes, including kebabs, soups, spinach, rice, chickpeas and yoghurt.
  • Frequently asked questions (faque):
  • 1. What religion do Azerbaijanis follow?

A: Most of the population are Shia Muslims. There are also Russian Orthodox and Jewish communities. All religions are guaranteed freedom under the terms of the constitution

  • 2. What is the capital?

A: Azerbaijan's capital is Baku, a leading port on the Caspian Sea. With a population numbering more than 2.5 Million, Baku is Azerbaijan`s largest city; other cities include Ganja (285,000) and Sumqayit (240,000)

  • 3. Where is Azerbaijan?

A: Azerbaijan is a former soviet republic that is located on the western shore of the Caspian Sea. It is bordered by four countries; Russia to the north, Georgia to the north west, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south.



  • Capital: Vienna
  • Main cities: Graz, Linz, Salzburgh, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt
  • Populations: 8,387,742(As per the year 2010)
  • Currency: Euro =100 cents. ATMs are widely used in Austria and are called “Bankomat”. Major credit cards are in widespread use. Exchange rate approximate (Euro 1.18 =Sterling pound 1). Tipping( It is customary to leave a 10 percent tip in restaurants and round up to the nearest euro in bars.
  • Time: GMT + 1
  • Electricity: 230 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving: On the right. An international driver`s license is required
  • Public Holidays: Include January 1, 6; April 18, 21; May 1, 29; June 9,19; August15; October 26; November 1; December 8, 24, 25, 26, 31.
  • Language: German is spoken by 99% of the Austrian population. English is the second language and is widely spoken throughout the country.
  • Religion: Mainly Catholic. Also Protestant and Muslim minorities Some 2% belong to another faith and 17% are non-denominational. Also Jewish.
  • Country Dial Code: +43
  • Getting there: (Major gateways, including Vienna International Airport (VIE), Salzburg(SZG), Innsbruck (INN), Graz (GRZ), Linz (LNZ), Klagenefurt (KLU). Transatlantic flights operate via Vienna (VIE), Munich (MUCH) and Zurich (ZRH). Connecting flights operate to Salzburg (SZG), Innsbruck (INN), Graz (GRZ), Linz (LNZ), And Klagenfurt (KLG). Typical flying time from UK is 2 hrs (to Vienna and Salzburg), While from New York is 8 hrs, domestic 30 – 50 minutes approximation.
  • Transfers: Vienna (11 miles/ 18 km) S - Bahn 25 minutes; airport bus 30 minutes; taxi 20 – 30 minutes; City Airport Train (CAT) 16 minutes; Innsbruck (3.5 miles/ 5.5 km) bus 15 - 20 minutes; taxi 15 minutes; Graz (5.5 miles/9 km) train 12 minutes: bus 20 – 30 minutes; taxi 15 minutes Klagenfurt (3 miles/ 5 km) bus 20 minutes: taxi 15 minutes; Linz (7 miles/ 11 km) bus 20 minutes: taxi 20 minutes.
  • Getting Around: Car hire is available through international companies. The rail and bus networks in Austria are both modern and efficient. It is also possible to travel by river boat along the Danube.
  • Accommodation: Hotels up to five stars in Austria, include design hotels; apartment rental; B & B accommodation; camping; private room rental; alpine huts and also chalets.
  • Visa requirements: Austria is party to the Schengen Agreement. No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement. Direct questions to the Austrian Consulate General.
  • Health requirements:  None
  • Climate: Moderate. Summers are warm with cool nights; winters are cold, but with sunny days. The winter snow cover lasts from December to March in the valleys and November to May above 5,906ft; it becomes permanent above 9,186 ft.
  • What to eat and drink: Specialities include soups, various types of dumpling dishes and delicious sweets, cakes and pastries. Famous dishes are wiener schnitzel (breaded veal escalopes), tafelspitz (boiled beef with chive or horseradish sauce), Tiroler knodel (Tirolean dumplings), a variety of strudels like apple strudel and sachertorte (Chocolate cake with jam) or kaiserschmarren (chopped, sweetened pancakes). Vienna is famous for its coffee.
  • What to buy: Embroidery, porcelain, Lodden coats, antiques.

Major Events;

  • 1. International Balloon Festival, Filzmoos, Salzburg (January).
  • 2. Ball of the Vienna philharmonic, Vienna (January)
  • 3. Mozart week, Salzburg (January)
  • 4. Opera Ball at Vienna State Opera, Vienna (February)
  • 5. Hahnenkamm Downhill Race, Kitzbuhl (February)
  • 6. Ski and Wine Weeks, Lech (March)
  • 7. Vienna Spring Festival (March - May)
  • 8. Easter Festival, Salzburg (April)
  • 9. Vienna Life Ball (May)
  • 10. Jazz Festival, Vienna (June).
  • 11. Salzburg Festival (July - August)
  • 12. Opera Festival St Margarethen, Burgenland (July - August)
  • 13. Bregenz Festival (August)
  • 14. Imperial Ball, Vienna (December)
  • 15. Christmas Markets (Mid – November - December)
  • 16. Salzburg Jazz Autumn, Salzburg (October - November)
  • 17. Steirischer Herbst (September / October)
  • 18. Bruckner Festival, Linz (September / October)
  • 19. Haydn Festival, Eisenstadt (September)
  • 20. Danube Island Festival (September)
  • 21. Innsbruck Festival (August)
  • 22. Ambras Castle Concerts and Festival (July)
  • 23. Styriarte, Graz (June / July)
  • 24. Schubertiade, Schwarzenberg (June /August -/September)
  • 25. Narzissenfest (51th Narcissus Festival), Bad Aussee (May)
  • 26. Easter Festivals in Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck (April);


  • 1. Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna
  • 2. Belvedere, Vienna
  • 3. Giant Ferris Wheel, Vienna
  • 4. Secession, Vienna
  • 5. Hohen Salzburg Fortress, Salzburg
  • 6. Golden Roof, Innsbruck
  • 7. Swarovski Crystal Worlds, Wattens, near Innsbruck
  • 8. Salt Mines, Hall Statt and Hallein
  • 9. Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Salzburg/ Carinthia.
  • 10. Mini Mundus Model Village, Klagenfurt
  • 11. Benedictine Abbey, Melk
  • 12. Armoury Graz
  • 13. Albertina, Vienna
  • 14. Museum of Fine Arts, Vienna
  • 15. Hofburg Palace, Vienna.
  • 16. Salzburg Carolina Augusteum, Salzburg
  • 17. Stift Admont, Styria
  • 18. Ambras Castle, Innsbruck
  • 19. Ambras Palace, Innsbruck
  • 20. Schonbrunn Christmas Market, Vienna



Viennese history is peppered with musical heritage (the likes of Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn once called the city home), so it comes as no surprise that the capital has some of the best opera houses in the world including the Vienna state opera and the Vienna volksoper. Tickets to the most popular performances go like hot cakes, so book early.


Formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian artists, the gold - leafed  dome roof of the secession is an iconic sight, with the beautiful exterior a work of art in itself. Home to Klimt’s famous Beethoven Frieze and with regularly changing exhibitions, this is the place to be to get your art fix.


Explore Vienna’s magnificent ring boulevard, Ringstrasse, on a tourism tram, complete with LCD screens giving information on highlights along the way, including the state opera house, Imperial palace, Parliament and Vienna city hall. However, for the real experience, grab a guide book and jump aboard a regular tram to mix in with the locals. It is a great way to get an overview of the city’s grandeur and is easy on the legs as well as the wallet


A baroque palace complex with an upper and lower section housing expansive galleries and quaint tea rooms that can keep visitors occupied for hours. The lower belvedere houses the kiss, Viennese artist Gustav Klimt’s most evocative and famous work of art. The gardens in between the two stunning buildings are extensive and very well-tended.


The Viennese coffee house scene is more alive and diverse than ever. Its sumptuous and traditional cafes are a big attraction, as are fancy chocolatiers like Demel. Visit the Sacher Hotel to taste sachertorte, a decadent chocolate cake coated in a thin layer of apricot jam and chocolate icing.


A short distance from St Stephan’s cathedral is Plankenglasse, an architecturally impressive shopping centre with the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Balenciaga. Luxury shoppers should head for the Kohl markt area, home to traditional Viennese jewellers as well as international designer brands. For something more rough and ready, a flea market comes to life at Naschmarkt early on Saturday morning, selling everything from brick – a – brac to valuable antiques.

  • 7. MELK

An important cultural and spiritual center for over 1,000 years, MELK is famous for its Benedictine abbey - a veritable master piece of baroque architecture. Once residence of the Babenberg family, it was founded in 1089. Melk’s other buildings of note include Renaissance post office.


Best  - known as the birthplace of 18th - century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg was also  the setting for parts of the movie the sound of music. The entire old town of Salzburg was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996; highlights include Salzburg cathedral and Hohen Salzburg Castle.



With the Alps right on its doorstep, the capital of the Tirol is one of Europe`s loveliest cities, with a fascinating old town whose streets are worth lingering in. Highlights include the lavish baroque St Jacob`s cathedral, completed in 1724; the Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof) built for Emperor Maximilian I; and the Hofburg (Imperial Palace), which was rebuilt by Empress Maria Theresa in the 18th century.


This top ski resort owes its early prosperity to silver and copper mining now winter and summer visitors throng the streets of this delightful place. In winter, skiers hit the 60 - plus runs around the Kitzbuheler Horn and Hahnenkamm; in summer the alpine flower garden has more than 100 species in full bloom


The largest national park in central Europe, Hohe Tauern covers 700 square miles and is conveniently accessed from Zellamsee, Lienz, Bad Gastein and Matrei. Besides the magnificent scenery - there are gorges, ravines, mountain lakes and waterfalls - the park offers a wealth of activities, including hiking, rock climbing, Kayaking, alpine rafting and fishing. For further details, please read - National parks around the world from this website(Tour destinations in Europe/AUSTRIA).


Dominated by its castle ruins and with superb views of the Danube, this picturesque walled town in Austria`s wachau region is postcard material. Within the ruined fortress, King Richard the Lionheart of England was held captive by Leopold, Duke of Austria, in 1193 and there are 16th century renaissance houses to be found.



Situated in the hills above Innsbruck, this 16th – century Renaissance castle is one of the city`s most stunning attractions. Built for Archduke Ferdinand II of Tirol, it consists of two parts. The upper castle has regal rooms to explore, including a portrait gallery featuring works by Titian and Velazquez, among others. Elsewhere, you can visit the sunken bath where Ferdinand’s beloved Philippine bathed, as well as the 141ft long Spanish Hall, one of the most beautiful halls built during the Renaissance. Constructed according to Archduke Ferdinand II`s instructions between 1529 and 1572, it is dominated by 27 Portraits of Tirolean rulers, from Count Albrecht I of Tirol to Archduke Ferdinand II. It now plays host to events, such as concerts of the Innsbruck Early Music Festival.


Innsbruck`s old town has plenty of gorgeous streets worth lingering in, with its 800 -year history fusing both baroque and gothic architectural styles. This charming alpine town’s main street, Herzog Friedrich – strasse, is a great way to see buildings featuring porticos, decorated loggia and insignia beaten iron. Along this stretch, you can find the 15th - century Gasthof Weisses Kreuz, a house where Mozart resided.


Rising above the city is the impressive glass – and – steel ski jump, designed by the renowned Iraq – British architect Zaha Hadid. Eager fans visit from May to July to witness athletes training. The biggest event on the Ski jumping calendar is the World Cup four hills tournament in January. For a fantastic panoramic view of Inn valley, the charming city of Innsbruck itself and the Nordkette range, you have the option to climb 455 steps or take a picturesque funicular ride to the 164 ft. – high viewing platform.


A Rococo treasure, this Austrian historical building is adorned with chandeliers and gold swirls. Visit the 101ft long Riesensaal (Giant’s Hall), which is lavishly embelished with frescoes and grand paintings of Empress Maria Theresa and her 16 children.


Innsbruck’s gleaming attraction is a gothic oriel built in 1500. In the heart of the old town, the three story Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof) glitters with 2,657 fire –gilded  copper tiles. Constructed as a loyal box for Emperor Maximilian I to enjoy tournaments in the square below, there are images and coats of arms adorning the balcony in his honor.



Around 60% of Austria’s grape harvest is produced in Lower Austria. This wine museum, by American architect Steven Holl, is a contemporary work of art encasing 900-year-old wine cellars surrounded by a landscape of vineyards in the renowned wine district of Niederosterreich. The tour takes visitors through the history of wine before ending in the Vinotheque, where it is possible to taste and and buy some of the best wines of Lower Austria, taking advantage of tips from the in – house Sommelier.


The first Alpine railway of its kind in the World, this mountain rail road - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - opened in 1854 and connects Lower Austria with Styria, taking 25 miles to overcome the pass at 2,939 ft above sea level. Many visitors combine the train ride with a hiking tour on the rail road trail to appreciate the stunning views and incredible feat of engineering which incorporates 14 tunnels,16 viaducts and more than 100 curved stone bridges.

  • 3. BADEN

Lower Austria is home to more than a dozen spa resorts, including Badenbeiwien (Baden near Vienna), 16 miles south of the city. Famous for its beneficial sulphurous springs with a natural temperature of up to 36C,  the curative water is the basis for numerous treatments. Take the healing waters, or head for the beautiful gardens of Kurpark, where you can watch concerts, plays and operas at an open  - air theater. The Rosarium (rose garden), with more than 20,000 roses and 860 varieties, is another peaceful haven.


Located in the market town of Klosterneuburg, seven miles from Vienna, the abbey dates back to 1114 and houses a number of important artworks, including the World - famous 1181 Verdun Altar. It is also Austria`s oldest and largest winery, with a baroque cellar extending over four levels to a depth of 118 ft.


The verdant wachau river valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, follows the River Danube for more than 20 miles from MELK to KREMS and is known for its stunning baroque architecture, monasteries, churches and vineyards. An hour`s drive from Vienna, MELK is the gateway to this region, and top attractions include MELK ABBEY, with its enormous dome and ornate bell tower. Built by Benedictine monks over 900 years ago, it is Europe`s largest Benedictine monastery and home to the world`s largest ecclesiastical library, with more than 80,000 priceless leather - bound volumes. Other highlights include the cobblestone village of Durnstein, where visitors can sip some of wachau's best crisp, dry white wines and explore the abbey and castle ruins - a great vantage point from which to enjoy the wonderful views along the Wachau Valley.



Capital: Canberra

  • Main cities: Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Hobart;
  • Populations: 22,674,736(As per the year 2011 estimates).
  • Currency: Australian dollar (A$) =100 Cents. Major Credit cards accepted. Exchange rate approximates: A$1.06=$1. Tipping (No service charge is added to restaurant and hotel bills, although a 10% tip is customary in restaurants for good service. It is recommended to round up taxi fares).
  • Time: Northeast/Southeast GMT +10. Central time is GMT +9.5. West is GMT +8.
  • Electricity: 240 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving: Traffic drives on the left. International driving permit is required.
  • Public Holidays: Include January 1,26; April 18,19,21,25; June 9; December 25, 26;
  • Language: English.
  • Religion: Catholic, Anglican and smaller minorities.
  • Country Dial Code: +61
  • Getting there:(Major gateways, including Adelaide(ADL), Brisbane(BNE), Cairns(CNS), Canberra(CBR), Darwin(DRW), Hobart (HBT), Melbourne (MEL), Perth (PER), Sydney (SYD). Typical flying time (New York to Sydney is 22 hrs. Los Angeles to Sydney is 14.5 hrs. New York to Perth is 25.5 hrs via Dubai. Los Angeles to Perth is 21.5 hrs via Brisbane. From UK to Perth is 18 hrs 30 minutes; UK to Sydney and Melbourne is 21 hrs 30 minutes.
  • Transfers: In Sydney, a rail link connects the airport with Sydney central station and city center. Melbourne has the Skybus Super shuttle, taking half an hour. Adelaide and Perth airports are linked by bus to their city centers, while Brisbane has the Air train. Sydney (6 miles/10 km) train 10 minutes; Melbourne (14 miles/22 km) Skybus super shuttle 30 minutes; taxi 25 minutes; Adelaide (4 miles/ 6 km) taxi 10 minutes; bus 25 minutes; Darwin (8 miles/ 12 km) bus 20 minutes; taxi 15 minutes; Alice springs(10 miles/15 km) bus; taxi; Brisbane [9 miles/15 km] Air train;taxi; Perth [6 miles/10 km] airport bus 30 minutes; taxi 20 minutes; Hobart[10 miles/16 km]. Redline bus 30 minutes; taxi 20 minutes;
  • Ports: Cairns, Darwin, Hobart, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide               
  • Getting Around: Australian cities have efficient public transport systems, most offering a range of passes for unlimited travel. Taxis throughout Australia are usually metered and are reasonably priced. For getting around the continent, visitors benefit from discounts and deals on all forms of transport. Domestic airlines fly between the major cities and to the smallest towns in the outback; the extensive rail network includes not only suburban services, but also luxury long - distance trains such as the Indian Pacific, which crosses Australia from Sydney to Perth in 65 hours. Coaches have air - conditioning and washrooms.
  • Accommodation: Everything from world class hotels in the major cities to motels, guesthouses, private homes, self - catering apartments, farmhouses and caravan/ campsites are all officially graded.
  • Visa requirements:All visitors to Australia, with the exception of New Zealand citizens, require an Electronic Travel Authority Visa (ETA), which is obtainable online or through travel agents, airlines and specialist providers. (Full details on
  • Health requirements:Yellow fever certificate if arriving within six days of having stayed at least one night in infected area.
  • Climate:Australia is in the southern hemisphere, so the seasons are the opposite to those in Europe. There are two climatic zones - the tropical north, with hot, wet summers and dry winters, and the temperate south, which has all four seasons. Snow is confined to the mountainous southeast of the country.
  • What to eat and drink: With a large immigrant population, cuisine in Australia is multicultural, from Greek, Italian, Spanish and French to Chinese, Thai, Lebanese, Indian and African. Beef is the most popular meat, lamb is of high quality; Indigenous fish dishes include Sydney rock oysters, mud crabs from Queensland, snapper, barramundi and freshwater lobster; there is a variety of fruit and vegetables. Among the drinks are wines from noted regions like the Barossa valley and renowned OZ beers such as Fosters, Becks and Castle Maine XXX. BYO (Bring your own) restaurants allow customers to take their own alcohol for consumption.
  • What to buy: Australian opals, sheep skins and leather goods, wine, Aboriginal artefacts/ Paintings.

Major Events;

  • 1. Australian Open Tennis, Melbourne(Mid-January)
  • 2. Tour Down Under, South Australia (Mid-January)
  • 3. Sydney Festival (Mid/ late January)
  • 4. Mardi Gras, Sydney (Late February/early March)
  • 5. Formula 1Grandprix, Melbourne (Late March)
  • 6. Spring Racing Carnival, Melbourne (October)
  • 7. Sydney - Hobart Yacht Race (Starts December 26 in Sydney)
  • 8. New year`s Eve celebrations (December31)
  • 9. Wildflower Festival, western Australia (September)
  • 10. Mark weber challenge, Tasmania (November)
  • 11. Sydney - Hobart Yacht Race (December)


  • 1. Kakadu National Park (Northern Territory)
  • 2. Great Barrier Reef (Queensland)
  • 3. Sydney Harbor Bridge and Bridge climb (NSW)
  • 4. Wineglass Bay (Tasmania)
  • 5. Monkey Mia (Western Australia)
  • 6. Kangaroo Island (South Australia)
  • 7. Blue Mountains National Park (NSW)
  • 8. Uluru (Northern Territory)
  • 9. Sydney Opera House (NSW)
  • 10. Whitsunday Islands and Beaches (QUEENSLAND)
  • 11. Huntger valley wine country (NSW)
  • 12. Port Stephens (NSW)
  • 13. Freycinet National Park (Tasmania)
  • 14. Pinnacles (Western Australia)
  • 15. Great Ocean Road (South Australia)
  • 16. Philip Island Nature Park (Victoria)


Capital; Oranjestad

Populations; 110,000 (As per the year 2013 estimates)

Currency; Aruban florin/guilder (AFL) = 100 cents. US dollars are widely accepted. Euro exchange at local banks. Major credit cards accepted. Exchange rate approximate (AFL 1.80=$1). Tipping (service charge is usually included. If not, tip 10 - 15%) is suggested.

Time; GMT - 4

Electricity; 120 volts. Adaptor can be required or not.

Driving; Driving is on the right.

Public Holidays; Include January 1, 25; February 16; March 18; April 3, 6, 27; May 1, 14; December 25, 26.

Language; Dutch is the official language.  Papiamento is the local language. English and Spanish are widely spoken.

Religion; Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish.

Country Dial Code; +297/+1297

Getting there; (Major gateways, including Queen Beatrix International Airport, Oranjestand (AUA). Typical flying time from Miami 2.5 hrs,  New York 4 hours.  From Uk is 12 hrs via Amsterdam.

Transfers; taxi

Port; Oranjestad

Visa requirements; Visa is required, with except by US visitors for stays of up 30 days as well as by British passport holders for stays of up to three months

Health requirements; None.

Climate; There is a sunny climate all year round, with temperatures averaging 28C. The island is away from the traditional path of hurricanes, so tropical storms are rarely experienced. Average rainfall is moderate, with about 20 inches falling annually.


  • 1. Oranjestad, the capital
  • 2. Hadicurari Beach
  • 3. Seroe Colorado
  • 4. Chapel of Alto Vista
  • 5. Arikok National Park
  • 6. Fort Zoutman


Capital; Yerevan

Main cities; Gyumri, Vanadzor, Vagharshapat

Populations; 3, 254, 300 (As per the year 2010 estimates)

Currency; Dram (AMD)=100 lama. Major credit cards are widely accepted. Exchange rate approximate (AMD 411=$1). Tipping (10% expected).

Time; GMT+4

Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving; Traffic drives on the right. International licence needed.

Public Holidays; Include January 1, 6; March 8; April 7, 18, 24; May 9, 28; July 5; September 21; December 7, 31.

Language; Armenian,  with Russian and English also spoken

Religion; Christian (Armenian Apostolic). Also Catholic, Protestant, Russian orthodox.

Country Dial Code; +374

Getting there; (Major gateways,  including Yerevan Zvartnots Airport (EVN). Typical flying time from UK is 5 hours and from New York is 14 hours.

Transfers; Yerevan (10 miles/16 km) bus; taxi;

Visa requirements; Visa is required whereas US passport holders require a visa, costing $8 with up to 21 days validity while British passport holders no longer required a visa. Entry stamp is valid for a period of 90 days

Health requirements; Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended; also malaria for certain areas.

Climate; Continental, hot, dry summers (22C to 36C) and cold winters (-5C to  -10C) with plenty of snowfall. Average annual rainfall varies from 12 to 25 inches, with a low humidity level in summer.

Safety and security; Check(

Getting Around; Buses in the cities. Yerevan has a subway system.


  • 1. Zvartnots temple
  • 2. Garni pagan temple
  • 3. Echmiadzin, ancient capital
  • 4. Lake sevan
  • 5. The khosrov preserve
  • 6. Dilijan National Park

FAST FACTS;               

Capital; Buenos Aires

Main cities; Cordoba, Rosario, Mendoza, Santa Fe,  Tucuman, Mar del Plata

Populations; 40, 091, 359 (As per the year 2010 estimates)

Currency; Peso (ARP) =100 centavos. The best currency to take is US dollars. Visa, American Express and Master card credit cards are widely accepted. Exchange rate approximate (ARP 8.13=$1). Tipping (10% recommended).

Time; GMT -  3

Electricity; 220/240 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving; Traffic drives on the the right. International driving permit required.

Public Holidays; Include January 1; March 24; April 2, 3; May 1, 25; June 20; July 9; August 17; October 12; December 8, 25.

Language; Spanish

Religion; Catholic

Country Dial Code; +54

Getting there; (Major gateways, including Ministro Pistarini  International Airport, Ezelza, Buenos Aires (EZE), Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, Buenos Aires ((AEP). Typical flying time (From New York 10.5 hours, from Miami 8.5 hrs.) while from UK is 12 hrs 30 minutes.

Departure Tax; $ 18 plus $ 2.50 security tax is sometimes included in ticket price.

Transfers; Ministro Pistarini International Airport 22 miles/35 km to Buenos Aires (Shuttle bus 40 minutes). Aeroparque Jorge Newbery 2.5 miles/ 4 km to Buenos Aires.

Ports; Mar del Plata (Buenos Aires),  Ushuaia.

Getting Around; Argentina has a modern transport infrastructure. Trains connect all the main cities in the country and there is an efficient bus network in place. The capital, Buenos Aires, also has an extensive subway system.

Accommodation; Hotels in Argentina are classified as one - to five - star,  with the big international chains represented in the main cities. There are also youth hostels and pensions, which are mainly for longer stays. A wide selection of estancias (farms), some 200 years old, offer an exclusive experience for visitors to enjoy country activities and sports.

Visa requirements; Visa is required, except for US citizens who stay for up to 90 days. Also none for British passport holders travelling for up to 90 days.

Health requirements; Yellow fever vaccination recommended if travelling to regions bordering Paraguay and Brazil. Precautions against hepatitis A, polio, typhoid and malaria (some areas) recommended.

Climate; Wide climatic variation. The north is subtropical, with rain year - round. The temperate central area of Argentina is hot and humid in summer, while Tierra del  Fuego,  in the south, has a subarctic climate.

What to eat and drink; Argentina’s cuisine is influenced by Europe, and includes many Spanish - style dishes, Italian pastas and pizzas, and French pastries but the Argentinians and their own style to this food, making them their own. Steaks and as ado (barbecue) are Argentina’s most popular dishes. Regional specialities include empanadas (pastries), locro (stew), humita (corn - based dish) and carbonada (stew). Mate,  also known as Paraguayan tea is made using the dried leaves of Liex paraguayensis, which is related to the common holly plant. It is then soaked in boiling hot water to release the flavour and drunk through a bombilla (a long metal straw). This is a traditional drink in Argentina and drinking it socially can often be an occasion of great ritual and custom. If traveling across the country, you may find that your own supplies of mate are an excellent way to make new friends as the whole point to this drink is sharing it.

What to buy; High - quality goods to buy include leather,  wool or designer fashion and crafts and antiques.


  • 1. Littoral Carnival, Gualeguaychu, Entre Rios and Corrientes (March).
  • 2. Wine Harvest National Fair, Mendoza (March)
  • 3. Trout National Feast, Bariloche, Rio Negro (March)
  • 4. Easter Festivities, Tilcara, Jujuy (March)
  • 5. Argentina World Rally, Cordoba (May)
  • 6. Poncho National Festival, Catamarca (July)
  • 7. Yerba Mate National Fair, Misiones (July)
  • 8. Snow Festivities, Bariloche (August)
  • 9. Buenos Aires International Festival (September)
  • 10. Flower National Fair, Escobar, Buenos Aires (September)
  • 11. Youth Welsh Eistedfodd, Trelew, Chubut (October)


  • 1. Perito Moreno Glacier, El calafate
  • 2. Iguazu Falls, Misiones
  • 3. The capital, Buenos Aires
  • 4. Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires
  • 5. Ushuaia, World's southernmost city, Tierra del Fuego
  • 6. Valdes Peninsula (whale watching), Chubut
  • 7. Train to the clouds, Salta
  • 8. Dinosaurs' tracks in Ischigualasto, or 'Moon Valley' and Talampaya (San Juan, La Rioja)
  • 9. Ski centers (Mendoza, Rio Negro, Neuquen)
  • 10. Estancias/ ranches; province of Buenos Aires/ La pampa
  • 11. Bariloche and the Argentinian lake district.


  • 1. Animal - and bird - watching
  • 2. Fishing
  • 3. Polo;


Capital; St john's

Populations; 80, 161 (As per the year 2011 estimates)

Currency; Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$) =100 cents. US dollars are widely accepted. Exchange rate approximates (EC$ 2.70=$1). Tipping (usually 10%)

Time; GMT - 4

Electricity; 110/220 volts. Adaptor required

Driving; Traffic drives on the left. A local driver's permit can be obtained on presentation of a full driver’s licence, valid 90 days, for a fee of US$ 20.

Public Holidays; Include January 1; April 3, 6; May 4, 25; August 3, 4; November 2; December 9, 25, 26;

Language;  English

Religion: Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, Moravian, Seventh Day Adventist.

Country Dial Code; +1268

Getting there; (Major gateways, including VC Bird International Airport (ANU). Typical flying time from UK is 8 hrs,  while from New York, 5.5 hrs via San Juan.

Transfers: St john's (5 miles/ 8 km) taxi 15 minutes

Departure Tax; US $20 or EC$50

Ports; Heritage Quay, Nelson's Dockyard, Falmouth harbour, Jolly Harbour

Getting Around; There are limited bus services from St John's, the Islands' Capital, while  taxi and rental car are other means of getting around the island.

Accommodation; Ranges from luxury to more modest hotels and guest houses. There is no official classification in Antigua and Barbuda, but hotels are of good quality and accommodation standards   are generally equivalent to three - or four - star properties. There are also villas, cottages, inns and condominiums, but no youth hostels or campsites.

Visa requirements; An onward or return ticket and proof of funds are required for a tourist stay of up to six months.

Health requirements; Yellow fever immunisation essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A and typhoid recommended.

Climate; Temperatures range from 23C in winter to 30C in summer. The rainy season is

September to November, with showers usually of short duration. Annual rainfall averages only 45 inches, making it the sunniest of the Eastern Caribbean Islands, and the northeast trade winds are nearly constant, flagging only in September. Humidity is low all year round.


Seafood, particularly lobster, is a staple of Antigua. Other favourite dishes are dukana (sweet potato and salt fish balls),  bacalau (salted fish) and pepper pot (vegetable and salted meat stew). Cavalier Antigua rum and wadadli beer are some of the favourite tipples on the islands.


  • 1. Round the Island Race (January)
  • 2. Antigua Classic Regatta (April)
  • 3. Antigua Sailing Week (May)
  • 4. Carnival (July/August)
  • 5. Independence Homecoming (November)
  • 6. Caribbean Comedy Festival (December)
  • 7. Annual Charter Yacht Show (December)
  • 8. F. Nunes Jr. Sport Fishing Tournament( September)
  • 9. Christmas Valley Mango Festival (August)
  • 10. Sports Fishing Tournament (May)
  • 11. Tennis Week (May)
  • 12. International Kite Festival (April)
  • 13. West indies Vs England Cricket ODI's (February/March)
  • 14. Jolly Harbour Valentine’s Regatta and Rum Festival (February)
  • 15. RORC 600 (January)


  • 1. St john’s Cathedral
  • 2. Devil's Bridge, natural rock arch and popular swimming spot
  • 3. Nelson's Dockyard, with the 18th - century Royal Navy Dock
  • 4. Shirley Heights, an 18th - century fortified lookout
  • 5. Betty's Hope, the sugar plantation museum
  • 6. Fig Tree Drive
  • 7. Museum of Antigua and Barbuda
  • 8. Martello Tower, Barbuda.
  • 9. Frigate Bird Sanctuary, Barbuda
  • 10. Harmony Hall
  • 11. Pillars of Hercules
  • 12. Fort James
  • 13. Sir Vivian Richards Stadium
  • 14. Heritage Quay, St john's
  • 15. Red Cliffe Quay, St john's


Capital; The valley

Populations; 15, 236 (As per the year 2011 estimates)

Currency; Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$) =100 cents. All credit cards and US dollar travellers' cheques widely used. Exchange rate approximates (EC$2.70=$1. Tipping (10  - 15% is suggested).

Time;  GMT -  4

Electricity; 110 volts. Adaptor needed

Driving; Drive on the left. Holders of a foreign driver’s license must buy a US $ 20 temporary license from car rental agencies.

Public Holidays;  Include January 1; April 17, 20; May 1, 30; June 8, 15; August 3, 6; December 19, 25, 26;

Language; English

Religion; Mainly Anglican and Methodist.

Country Dial Code; + 1264

Getting there; (Major gateways, including Antigua. Also St Maarten and San Juan. In Anguilla, Clayton J. LLody International Airport (AXA) is 2 miles/3 km from the capital, the Valley. Typical flying time from UK is 8 hrs30 minutes to Antigua, plus 40 minutes transfer to Anguilla. From New York is 6 hrs via San Juan.

Transfers; via taxi

Departure Tax; By air US$20 and US$5 by ferry plus new $3 security fee.

Port: Blowing Point.

Getting Around; There is a limited bus service on the island plus taxis. Car hire is also available.

Accommodation; The island of Anguilla has many five - star resorts and luxurious villas available but it also has its fair share of more affordable accommodation including small inns, friendly guest houses and apartments to suit travelers on a smaller budget.

Visa requirements; Six-month validity required on passport and return or inward ticket.

Health requirements; Yellow fever immunization essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, B and typhoid are recommended.

Climate; Warm all year; hottest from June - October. The rainy season is August  --November; the hurricane season is June -  November.

What to eat and drink; Cuisine on the island combines native Caribbean cooking with Spanish, French, English influences and a strong base of African traditions. Lobster, crayfish, snapper and tuna are popular dishes as well as barbecues. Pyrat rum is the local specialty drink.


  • 1. Moonsplash Music Festival (March)
  • 2. Festival Del Mar (April)
  • 3. Anguilla Day (May)
  • 4. Anguilla Lit Fest: A literary jollification (May)
  • 5. August Monday (August)
  • 6. Anguilla Summer Festival (August)
  • 7. Various golf and tennis tournaments and boat races.


  • 1. Beaches: 33 in total, including Rendezvous Bay
  • 2. Wall Blake House, the Valley National Trust Museum
  • 3. Sandy Ground Village Walking Tours
  • 4. Art trail with galleries in various locations
  • 5. Prickly Pear Island sailing trips.
  • 6. Scilly Cay
  • 7. Music Festivals
  • 8. The Fountain, an important archeological site
  • 'Big spring' Amerindian site.


  • 1. Wreck diving
  • 2. Sailing
  • 3. Walking tours
  • 4. Golf
  • 5. Snorkeling


Capital; Luanda

Main cities; Huambo, Malanje, Benguela,  Cabinda,  Lubango,  Kuito.

Populations; 18, 993, 000 (As per the year 2010 estimates)

Currency; Angola kwanza (AOA). Exchange rate approximate (AOA 160= ($1).

Time; GMT + 1

Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving; On the right. International driving permit is required.

Public Holidays: Include January 1, 4; February 4; March 8; April 3, 4, 6; May 1, 25; June 1; September 17; November 2, 11; December 25, 26.

Language; Portuguese

Religion; Indigenous beliefs, Catholic, Protestant.

Country Dial Code; + 244

Getting there; (Major gateways, including Luanda (LA). Typical flying time from London, 14 hrs via Johannesburg. From New York, 20 hrs via Johannesburg.

Safety and Security; Check with travel. you travel. There is also a high level of crime in Luanda.

Visa requirements; You must get a visa before travel or you will be detained at the airport and deported. Apply at least eight weeks in advance.

Health requirements; Yellow fever immunisation required. Precautions against hepatitis A and B, typhoid, rabies, polio and malaria are also recommended.

Climate: Angola has two distinct seasons; the 'rains' from October to April and the 'mist' (May to October). The 'rains' tends to be hot with high rainfall, while the 'mist' is a much cooler, drier season. Temperatures in the north are high, while they fluctuate in the south due to the Kalahari Desert.



Capital; Andorra la vella

Populations; 76, 098 (As per the year 2013 estimates)

Currency; Euro=100 cents. All major credit cards accepted. Exchange rate approximate (Euro 0.77=$1). Tipping (hotels and restaurants normally include a service charge; waiters generally expect a further 10% tip however)

Time; GMT + 1

Electricity; 220/125 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving; On the right. No special license required.

Public Holidays; Include January 1, 6; March 3, 14; April 3, 6; May 1, 25; August 15; September 8; November 1; December 8, 25, 26.

Language; The official language is Catalan, but Spanish is most commonly spoken; also French and English.

Religion; Catholic

Country Dial Code; + 376

Getting there; (Major gateways, including Barcelona (BCN),  Toulouse (TLC). Barcelona 125 miles/200km (Spain); Toulouse 110 miles/180 km (France). Both have several bus connections to Andorra. Typical flying time from New York is 7 hrs, while from UK is 2 hrs.

Transfers; Barcelona (126 miles/210km) minibus; Toulouse (118 miles/196 km)

Port; The nearest seaport is Barcelona, Spain.

Getting Around; Good bus and minibus networks around the country conveniently link Andorra’s towns, villages and also the ski resorts. Alternatively, car hire is available.

Visa requirements; Visa is essential.

Health requirements; None

Climate; Andorra has an alpine climate that is temperate,  dry and sunny in summer. In winter a generous amount of snowfall ensures good skiing. There is a high percentage of sunny days overall.

Major events;

  • 1. Big Snow Festival (March)
  • 2. Colors de musical (Escaldes - Engordany( July)
  • 3. International Festival Narciso Yepes Ordino (September)


  • 1. Old town, Andorra la vella
  • 2. La Margineda Bridge
  • 3. Ordino's Main Square
  • 4. Sant Joan de caselles church
  • 5. Skiing, climbing, trekking
  • 6. Caldea health spa

FAST FACTS:        

Capital; Algiers

Main cities; Oran, Annaba, Constantine, Batna

Populations; 36, 300, 000 (As per the year 2011 estimates)

Currency; Dinar (DA)=100 centimes. No credit cards. US dollar travelers checks or euro are preferred. Exchange rate approximates (DA 79=$1). Tipping (10% is acceptable for good service).

Time; GMT + 1

Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving; On the right. International driving permit required.

Public Holidays; Include January 1, 3- 7; May 1; June 19; July 5, 18; September 23; October 13, 23; November 1. The list includes Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate.

Language; Arabic, French

Religion; Sunni Muslim.

Country Dial Code; +213

Getting there; (Major gateways, including Algiers Houari Boumediene (ALG). Typical flying time from UK is 2 hrs 30 minutes, while from New York, 14.5 hrs via Paris.

Transfers; Algiers(12 miles/ 20 km) car 30 minutes; bus 30 minutes;taxi 30 minutes;

Ports; Algiers, Annaba, Oran;

Safety and security; Check with travel. state. gov/ before you travel.

Visa requirements; Visa is essential and required.

Health requirements; Yellow fever vaccination certificate required by those arriving from infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended.

Climate; Hot summers, particularly in the south, with little rainfall. Pleasant from September to May in the north, and from October to April south of the Sahara.



Capital; Tirana

Main cities; Durres, Shkodra, Vlora,  Elbasan, Korca, Berat,  Fier,  Lushnje.

Populations; 3, 195, 000 (As per the year 2010 estimates).

Currency; Lek (ALL) =100 qindarka. Euro is preferred foreign currency. Credit and debit cards limited, mostly used in the capital Tirana. Exchange rate approximate (ALL 103=$1). Tipping (10% is acceptable)

Time; GMT + 1

Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required

Driving; Traffic drives on the right. International and national driving licenses required.

Public Holidays: Include January 1, 7; March 15, 21; April 3, 6, 12; May 1; July 18; September 23; October 19; November 28, 29; December 25; Other Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate, and Christian holidays are celebrated.

Language: Albanian. Some English spoken.

Religion; Islam, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox Christian.

Country Dial Code; + 355

Getting there; (Major gateways, including Tirana Mother Teresa International (TIA). Typical flying time from New York is 12 hrs via Munich,  while from UK is 4 - 5 hrs via Zurich or Rome.

Transfers; Tirana (18 miles/29 km) bus 30 minutes; taxi.

Departure Taxi; Sterling pound 8.

Ports; Durres, Vlore, Saranda

Visa requirements; Entry card valid for 90 days will be issued at the point of entry for $ 12.

Health requirements; Yellow fever certificate for arrivals from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended, also tick borne encephalitis if travelling to the north of the country. Drinking water outside main cities and towns is likely to be contaminated.

Climate; Temperate,  with warm and dry periods between June and September and cooler,  wetter spells from October to May.

Safety and security; Check, with travel .state. gov/ before you travel.



Capital; Kabul.

Main cities; Kandahar, Herat, Ghazni,  Balkh, Mazar -e Sharif, Nangarhar

Populations; 29, 117,000 (As per the year 2010 estimates)

Currency; Afghani (AFN)=100 Pul. Exchange rate approximate (AFN 56=$ 1). Typing (10% is acceptable)

Time; GMT + 4.5

Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving; Road travel remains very dangerous. Only travel in secure transport with close protection, using reputable local drivers and guides.

Public Holidays; Include January 3, 7; February 15; March 21; April 18, 28; May 1; July 18; August 19; September 23; October 23; other Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate, are celebrated.

Language; Dari, Pashto.

Religion; Sunni and Shia Muslim

Country Dial Code; + 93

Getting there; (Major gateways, including Kabul International Airport (KBL); Kandahar International Airport (KDH). Typical flying time from UK is 13 hrs via Delhi, while from Washington Dulles is 24 hrs via Dubai.

Transfers; Kabul (10 miles/16 km) bus, taxi, private car.

Accommodation; Few hotels are of western standard, with very basic accommodation outside Kabul.

Visa requirements; Visa is vital and needed.

Health requirements; Precautions against hepatitis A and B, typhoid, rabies and polio recommended. Also malaria if travelling to areas under 2,000 metres in altitude.

Climate; Continental type with harsh winter. Warm summers everywhere expect in the highest areas of the country.

Safety and security; Check with travel. state. gov/ before traveling.


FAST FACTS;           

Capital;  Bujumbura

Main cities; Gitega,  Muyinga,  Ngozi, Ruyigi,  Kayanza.

Populations; 10, 216, 190 (As per the year 2011)

Currency; Burundi franc( FBU). Exchange approximate( FBU 2, 531 = Sterling pound 1)

Time; GMT + 2

Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving; Traffic drives on the right.

Public Holidays; Include January 1; February 5; May 1, 29; July 1; August 15; October 13, 24; November 15; December 25;

Language; Kirundi, French.

Religion; Christian, mainly Catholic. Also Muslim and traditional beliefs.

Country Dial Code; + 257

Getting there; (Major gateway, including Bujumbura International (BTM). Typical flying time from UK is 11 hrs.

Transfers; Bujumbura (7 miles/11 km) taxi.

Departure Tax; US $ 20

Visa requirements; A visa is required for visits of more than three days and must be obtained in advance of travel to the country.

Health requirements; Recommended vaccinations include hepatitis A and B, typhoid, yellow fever, polio, rabies and tetanus. Also malaria precautions.



Capital; Sofia

Main cities; Plovdiv, Varna, Bourgas, Veliko Tirnovo,  Rousse, Vratsa, Stara Zagora.

Populations; 7, 364, 570 (As per the year 2011 estimates)

Currency; Lev (BGL)=100 stotinki.  Credit cards accepted in most major hotels and restaurants. Sterling, euro and US dollars are highly recommended currencies to take when visiting Bulgaria. Exchange rate approximate (BGL 2. 34=Sterling pound 1). Tipping (optional; up to 10% for good service)

Time; GMT + 2

Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving; Traffic drives on the right. International permit required

Public Holidays; Include January 1; March 3; April 18, 19, 20; May 1, 6, 24; September 6, 22; November 3; December 24, 25, 31.

Language; Bulgarian. English spoken in main towns and resorts. Russian is also spoken.

Religion; Bulgarian orthodox

Country Dial Code; + 359

Getting there; (Major gateways, including Sofia (SOF), Varna (VAR), Bourgas (BOJ), Plovdiv (PVD). Typical flying time from New York is 11.5 hrs  via Zurich, while from UK is 3 hrs.

Transfers;  Sofia (6 miles/9 km) taxi 20 minutes; bus 30 minutes.

Ports; Varna, Bourgas, Russe, Vidin

Visa requirements; Visa is required.

Health requirements; Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended.

Climate; Bulgaria’s climate is temperate,  with Mediterranean -  like conditions on the Black sea further west and subject to icy blasts from Russia. Summers are generally warm, although it is generally cooler in the mountains. Winters are cold with snow. Rain falls year - round.

Accommodation; There is a wide of hotels, from luxury to modest private establishments, many of which are new. Self-catering chalets and villas are available in resorts and mountains, as well as B & Bs.  Large monasteries also offer accommodation.

Major Event;

  • 1. Koprivstica Folk Festival
  • 2. Rose Festival, Kazanluk
  • 3. International Folk Festival, Plovdiv
  • 4. International Jazz Festival, Blansko
  • 5. International “Apolonia” Festival, Sozopol
  • 6. International “culture of wine” Festival, Sofia
  • 7. International Theatre Festival, Varna


  • 1. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, Sofia
  • 2. Rila Monastery and 25 other monasteries, Including Bachkovo, Troyan and Cherepishki.
  • 3. Tsarevets Archaelogical Reserve, Veliko Turnovo
  • 4. Old town of Plovdiv
  • 5. Hissarya Balneological Resort
  • 6. Augusta Roman Fortress (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • 7. Vratsata Gorge and Ledenika cave
  • 8. Vrachanski Balkan and Okolchitsa nature park.
  • 9. Koprivshitsa museum and town
  • 10. Kazanluk and Sveshtan Thracian Tombs
  • 11. Pirin National Park
  • 12. Old town of Nessebur
  • 13. Thracian golden treasures and ancient tombs
  • 14. Black sea coast
  • 15. Blansko, Vitosha, Borovets and Pamporovo ski resorts.
  • What to eat & drink;

Bulgarian cuisine is spicy, hearty and tasty. Local dishes  include cold yoghurt soup, Kebapcheta (spiced minced meat rolls) and banitsa (pastry stuffed with fruit or cheese). Fresh fish can be found along the Black sea coast. Bulgarian wine and plum brandy are popular drinks.

  • What to buy;

Embroidered clothes and table linen, crafts, icons, rose oil perfume, woodcraft, wine, plum brandy.

Frequently asked questions (Faque);

  • 1. What and where the Rila Cross?

Answer: Carved by a monk over a 12-year period, the cross consists of 1,500 human figures, each smaller than the size of a grain of rice. Rila Monastery is found 75 miles from Sofia.

  • 2. What wildlife can be found in Bulgaria?

Answer: There are around 13,000 species of fauna in Bulgaria, along with 3,000 species of flora. The Vitosha Mountain, South of Sofia, reputedly attracts more than 200 varieties of butterfly in summer.

  • 3. Is self - drive a holiday options in Bulgaria?

Answer:  Those who want to see more of Bulgaria than the beach and enjoy the freedom of travelling by their own pace can enjoy a self – drive holiday with various companies specialising in this very area.

  • 4.  Is there plenty to keep children occupied?                    

Answer: Besides the wonderful sandy beaches that are perfect for family holidays, there are attractions for kids such as water slides, trampolines and horse riding on the Black sea coast. Holidaying families are welcomed in restaurants throughout Bulgaria.

  • 5. What are Bulgaria's beaches like?

Answer: The beaches are superb. The main Black sea resorts of Golden sands, Sunny Beach and Albena have wide sandy beaches up to six miles long.  Many Bulgarian resorts have gained the EU Blue Flag award for clean water.


  • Plovdiv is situated between the Rhodope Mountains, the Thracian plains and the Balkan Mountain Range, Plovdiv is Bulgaria's second - largest city after Sofia, the country’s capital. Dating back 6,000 years, Plovdiv is the oldest continually inhabited city in Europe and the sixth - oldest city in the world. In addition to modern art galleries and bohemian cafes, ancient Plovdiv is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, complete with a Roman Amphitheatre and Ottoman - era baths.

Only uncovered by a freak landslide 1972, Plovdiv’s most - beloved architectural attraction is its second - century Roman Amphitheatre,  built by Emperor Trajan. Now restored, the site is the best - preserved theatre in the Balkans. It once held around 6,000 spectators and is now used for large - scale performances.

  1. MUSEUM;

Situated in the old town, the Plovdiv Regional Museum of Ethnography - the second largest museum of its kind in Bulgaria - occupies the former home of merchant Argil Kuyumdzhioglu, built in 1847. The building is a beautiful example of local, 19th - century architecture and includes a tranquil courtyard and carved wood ceilings. The museum, which moved into the house in 1938, features six exhibitions illustrating the various historic traditions of Bulgaria, covering subject areas as diverse as farming, folklore, pottery, jewellery, music and dance.

  1. SHOP;

Stalls spilling with silver jewellery, clothes, icons and paintings line the pedestrian mall of Ul Knyaz Aleksandar Located on the southside of the Maritsa River, this strip passes over the Roman stadium and leads up to the Tsar Simeone Garden, filled with gushing fountains and shaded spots to relax in after a day spent hitting the shops.

  1. EAT;

Art cafe philipopolis is a restaurant - cum - art gallery. Once the home of famous merchant Hadzi Aleko, the building showcases contemporary art and Bulgarian classics by artists such as Vladimir Dimitrov and Nenko Balkan ski. The garden restaurant dishes up an extensive array of meat and fish alongside a variety of wines.

  1. BAR;

The famous sky bar is located atop one of the city’s tallest buildings. Grab a cocktail and enjoy panoramic views from the terrace. The vista is particularly impressive at night.

  1. VIEW;

Like Rome, Plovdiv originally had seven syenitehils, although one was later flattened and the others used for quarries. Those offering the most impressive views are Nebet Tepe,  which holds the remains of an ancient Thracian town, and Bounardjik Tepe, where visitors will find the Alyosha monument, a statue of the unknown soldier erected in dedication to Russian soldiers who died in the Russian - Turkish war.



Capital; Bandar Seri Begawan

Main city; Kuala  Belait

Populations; 407,000 (As per the year 2010 estimates)

Currency; Brunei dollar (B$) =100 cents. Major credit cards accepted. Exchange rate approximates (B$1.25=$1). Tipping (not customary).

Time; GMT + 8

Electricity; 220 - 240 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving; On the right. International driving licence required.

Public Holidays; Include January 1, 13, 31; February 23; May 27, 31; June 28; July 15, 28; October 4; 25; December 25; the list includes Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate.

Language; Malay. Also English and Chinese are spoken.

Religion; Mainly Muslim. Also Buddhist,  Christian and indigenous beliefs.

Country Dial Code; + 673

Getting there; (Major gateways, including Bandar Seri Begawan (BWN). Typical flying time from UK is 17 hrs, while from New York is 20.5 hrs via Hong Kong.

Transfers; Bandar Seri Begawan (7 miles/11 km) taxi; bus; car.

Departure Taxi; BR $ 12

Visa requirements; Visa is required, prior to arrival in Brunei for visits of 90 days or longer. Visitors must have onward tickets or sufficient funds to support themselves in Brunei and a minimum validity of six months is needed on your passport.

Health requirements; Yellow fever vaccination certificate required by those arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio are recommended; also hepatitis B (highly endemic)

Climate; Tropical,  hot and humid. Monsoon season is November - December.



Capital; Road Town

Populations; 28, 882 (As per the year 2009 estimates)

Currency; US dollar (US$) =100 cents. Major credit cards are accepted in many, but not all establishments. Exchange approximate (US $ 11. 64=Sterling pound 1). Tipping (10% recommended for good service).

Time:  GMT – 4

Electricity: 110/220 volts. No adaptor required.

Driving; Traffic drives on the left. Visitors staying for less than 30 days are not required to purchase a temporary driver’s license; if staying for more than 30 days, a license is required.

Public Holidays; Include January 1; March 3, 10; April 18, 21; June 9, 14, 30; August 4, 5, 6; October 20; December 25,26.

Language; English

Religion; Protestant denominations, Christian. Also Hindu and Muslim

Country Dial Code; + 1284

Getting there; (Major gateways, including Terrance B Lettsome International Airport (EIS), 9 miles/15 km from Road Town, Tortola; Virgin Gorda,  Airport (VIJ). Typical flying time from UK is 8 hrs30 minutes to Antigua, 1 hr from Antigua to Tortola. From New York is 3.5 hrs;  Miami 2.5 hrs;  San Juan (SJU) 45 minutes.

Ferry Time; From St Thomas (STT), the ferry link to Tortola takes 45 minutes.

Departure Tax; $ 20 by air; $ 20 by sea; $ 7 by cruise ship.

Transfers; Road Town (9 miles/15 km) taxi 20 minutes

Ports; Road Harbour (Tortola), West End Harbour (Tortola), Great Harbour (Jost Van Dyke), St Thomas Bay( Virgin Gorda),  Gun Creek, Virgin Gorda.

Visa requirements; Visa is required.

Health requirements; Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended.

Climate; The British Virgin Islands climate is hot and sunny year - round, with temperatures of 28 - 30C moderated by trade winds. The hurricane season is June through November, with November being the rainy season.



  • 1. BVI Spring Regatta
  • 2. Beef Island
  • 3. Trellis Bay
  • 4. Full Moon Parties
  • 5. Sailing, scuba diving, caving
  • 6. Multiple, private and uninhabited islands
  • 7. Emancipation Festival
  • 8. Sage Mountain, Tortola

9. The Baths, Virgin Gorda



Capital; Brasilia

Main cities; Rio de Janeiro,  Sao Paulo, Salvador, Recife, Manaus.

Populations; 190, 732, 694 (As per the year 2010 estimates).

Currency; The real, plural reais (R$). Most widely recognised foreign currency is US dollar, but Sterling is easily changed in the main cities. All major credit cards are accepted in Brazil and there are ATMs. Exchange rate approximate (R $ 2.26= $ 1). Tipping (10% - 12 % suggested for good service).

Time;  GMT  - 2  to GMT  - 4

Electricity; Current varies in Brazil. Some cities, such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, are 127 volts, while others are 220 volts. Most hotels offer both.

Driving; Traffic drives on the right.

Public Holidays; Include January 1; March 3, 4; April 18 -  21; May 1; September 7; October 12; November 2, 15; December 24, 25, 31.

Language;  Portuguese

Religion; Catholic

Country Dial Code; + 55

Getting there; (Major gateways, including Sao Paulo (GRU), Rio de Janeiro (GIG), Salvador (SSA), Recife (REC), Fortale 29 (FOR), Natal (NAT) and Belo Horizonte (MG). Typical flying time from UK is 12 hrs to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo; 11 hrs to Recife,  Natal and Salvador (via Lisbon). From Miami is 8.5 hrs.

Transfers; Rio de Janeiro (13 miles/21 km) airport bus 40 minutes; bus 45 minutes; taxi 30 minutes. Sao Paulo (16 miles/25 km) airport bus 60 minutes; taxi 40 minutes.

Departure Tax; US $ 38 (Sterling pound 23.75), is usually included in the price of the ticket.

Ports; Rio de Janeiro, Santos (Sao Paulo), Salvador, Recife, Fortaleza, Manaus.

Getting Around; All the major cities have relatively good and cheap public transport systems and taxis are also cheap and easy to find. Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo both have underground systems that are well signposted. Travel between cities is by bus or air; visitors looking to travel extensively should purchase an air pass before arrival.

Visa requirements; Visa is required

Health requirements; Yellow fever immunization is essential if arriving from an infected area and recommended for visitors to Acre, Amazonas, Amapa, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso do sul, Parana,  Rondonia,  Roraima and Tocantins. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio advised; also malaria, depending on area visited.

Climate; Due to the immense size of the country - Brazil is larger than Europe - there are five climatic regions in the South American Country;  equatorial, tropical, semi - arid,  highland tropical and subtropical. Cities on the plateau, such as Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Belo Horizonte,  have a mild climate with temperatures averaging 19C. Meanwhile, the coastal cities of Rio de Janeiro,  Recife, Natal and Salvador have warm climates balanced by the trade winds. The average annual temperature is approximately 28C in the north of Brazil and 20C in the south. The seasons are the complete opposite to those of UK.

Accommodation; Brazil offers a complete range of accommodation for visitors, from major international hotel chains to the simplest run guest houses. Outside the main cities, especially in the beach resorts and historic areas, Pousadas -  most are owner run -  are a popular and comfortable option. There is no official hotel star - grading system at present.

Safety and security; Crime rates are very high.  Visitors,  particularly to large cities, should exercise caution and common sense,  especially when traveling at night and around ATMs and banks.

What to eat and drink; In the major cities of Brazil, visitors will find just about every type of cuisine and Sao Paulo in particular is one of the World's great cities for dining out. Every region offers its own cuisine alongside international favourites. They range from the traditional barbecue of the south to the spicy dishes of Bahia in the northeast, a cuisine that has been heavily influenced by Africa and Portugal. If there is a national dish it would be feijoada, a type of stew traditionally served for Saturday Lunch.  Brazilian wines are highly drinkable, if not up to the standards of Argentina and Chile. The local cocktail of choice is the caipirinha, which is based on cahaca,  a spirit made from crushed sugarcane. Brazil's non - alcoholic drinks include Guarana,  made from a plant native to the Amazon basin.

What to buy; clothes, jewelry, leather goods, handicrafts, gemstones.

Major Events;

  • 1. New year celebrations (December 31)
  • 2. Formula 1 Grand prix, Sao Paulo (October)
  • 3. Carnival (February)


  • 1. Bonito - capital of the ecotourism (winner of WTM - best responsible tourism)
  • 2. Sao Paulo - Santos - North coast
  • 3. Pantanal
  • 4. Historic towns of Minas Gerais
  • 5. Iguazu Falls.
  • 6. North - eastern Brazil
  • 7. Rio Grande de Norte (Natal)
  • 8. Pernambuco (Recife)
  • 9. Manaus and the Amazon rainforest
  • 10. Bahia (Salvador)
  • 11. Rio de Janeiro.

Frequently asked questions (FAQUE);                                                                                     

  • 1. Will I get to see a football match in Brazil?

Answer; In the cities it is not difficult to see a top - level match. Football is played throughout the year, but don’t look for action around carnival time.

  • 2. Do I need to take malaria tablets?

Answer; Every doctor will have their own answer to this question. The majority of Brazil is malaria - free and occurrences of the disease are very rare, even in the Amazon region around Manaus. It is more a matter of better to be safe than sorry.

  • 3. Is Rio safe?

Answer; Rio is as safe as any major city. Unfortunately, the sheer beauty of the city often puts people off guard and they behave as if they are at a small beach resort, forgetting to take the normal precautions they would in any major city.

  • 4. When is carnival?

Answer; Carnival is a moveable feast that always ends on Ash Wednesday. The world - famous parade of samba schools in Rio takes place on the Sunday and Monday nights of carnival and tickets should be purchased in advance through a tour operator.

  • 5. Is it really worth buying an airpass?

Answer; If you plan to travel extensively in Brazil, the TAM Brazil Airpass represents excellent value, as internal flights in the country are expensive, for details, visit .

  • 6. When is the best time to visit the country?

Answer; Brazil is a year round destination, but it is probably best to avoid carnival time unless you actually want to experience the carnival itself

  • 7. What is the weather like in Brazil?

Answer; It depends where you go. In the north and northeast of the country, the weather is tropical year round. As far south as Rio, winter days will be hotter than the hottest summer days, say UK as an example. Remember the seasons are reversed and in winter it can get quite cold from Sao Paulo to the south, especially around popular tourist sites such as Iguazu Falls.




This atmospheric antique and craft fair, held on the first Saturday of every month, buzzes with street performers and dinners at pavement cafes.  There is also plenty of brick -  a - brac for collectors and bargain hunters.


For an immersive experience a world away from the city's air - conditioned malls,  try shopping in this chaotic and colourful market. Lay your hands on the some carnival feathers or beachwear at non - tourist prices.


This cultural centre,  in a 19th  century building,  has a charming cafe and a rolling programme of world - class theatre,  art, music and cinema.


Nearly 20, 000 pieces fill the National Museum of Fine Arts, Rio's answer to the Louvre.  Look out for paintings by Brazilian artists such as Candido Portinari and Vitor Meireles


This striking modernist building, housing more than 11, 000 pieces, is arguably Latin America's leading modern art museum. Taking New York’s MoMA as its model,  it is very much a 'living' museum, with workshops, accessible archives and gardens by Brazilian Burle Marx.


A stroll among fountains and sculptures will bring you encounters with humming birds,  monkeys and marmosets while ancient royal palms, a Japanese - style carplake and giant Amazonian lilies are some of the other highlights in these gardens.


For a preview of the world’s biggest football tournament, visit the city's most famous stadium the Maracanã, which attracts huge crowds on match days.


The cog -  wheeled train that chugs up 2,300ft Corcovado (Hunchback) mountain drops passengers off at the soap stone statue that presides over the city in Tijuca National Park. This is an activity for a clear day, as the panoramic view of Rio is breathtaking.


Two swaying cable cars make the delightful ascent up iconic sugar loaf mountain, which rises from a skinny peninsula in the broad sweep of Guanabara Bay.  The best time to come is just before sunset, when the city begins to sparkle in the evening light.


One of South America's most impressive natural attractions, Iguazu Falls is shared by Brazil and Argentina(Read - National Parks Around the World section of this wonderful website).  Iguazu is made up of 275 cascading falls, with each side offering a different perspective  -  the Brazilian side, Foz do Iguacu, provides visitors with a complete panorama, while the other side, Puerto Iguazu, allows one to walk to the edge of the falls. For the full adrenalin experience, take a boat ride from the Argentinian side.


Brazil's most dominant landscape, the Amazon Basin, carved by the huge river system, comprises dense forest and lush vegetation, packed with a huge variety of wildlife - and large numbers of mosquitoes. Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas, is the ideal base from which to explore the rainforest, with local operators running boat tours to accessible areas of the region, including the Rio Negro, Lago Mamori,  Rio Juma, Lago Manaquiri and Presidente Figueiredo. Accommodation ranges from tents to luxury lodges and boats.


Brazil's most famous stretch of sand is Copacabana in Rio,  which attracts tourists and locals day and night with its wide range of beachfront bars, concerts and night markets.



Capital; Gaborone

Main cities; Francistown, Selebi - phikwe, Lobaste,  Ghanzi.

Populations; 1, 900,000 (As per the year 2012 estimates).

Currency;  Pula (P)=100 thebes. US dollars are quoted /charged in the majority of tourist game lodges and safari camps. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted credit cards.  Exchange rate approximate (P 8.80=$1). In restaurants 10% is acceptable as no service charge is levied. The norm for safari guides and polers would be US $ 5  per person per day for a guide and US $ 3  a day for a poler.

Time; GMT + 2

Electricity;  220 - 240 volts. Adaptor required (square and round pin sockets are used)

Driving; On the left. International driving permit is required.

Public Holidays; Include January 1, 2; April 18, 21; May 1, 16; July 1, 14, 15; September 30; October 1; December 25, 26.

Language; English is the official language, the national language is Setswana, while each individual tribe has a different language.

Religion; Christian and various beliefs.

Country Dial Code; + 267

Getting there; (Major gateways, including Gaborone (GAB), Maun (MUB), Kasane (BBK). Gateways for travel onwards to Botswana include Johannesburgh in South Africa, Windhoek in Namibia and Harare in Zimbabwe. Regional flights operate to Gaborone, Maun and Kasane. Typical flying time from UK is 12 hrs,  while from New York is 20 hrs via  Johannesburg.

Transfers; Gaborone (9 miles/15 km) taxi 45 minutes; bus services and local shared taxis are also available to get there. Maun is the gateway to the Okavango Delta; a light aircraft transfer from Maun takes 15 - 40 minutes. Kasane is the gate way to Chobe National Park; light aircraft transfers are available. There are no taxi ranks at Maun or Kasane. Tourists generally fly by small six - seater charter air craft between lodges; 4WD vehicles are recommended for all routes in wildlife areas and game reserves.

Getting Around; Tourists generally fly by small charter plane between lodges. 4WD vehicles are recommended for game reserves. Trains and buses tend to be in frequent and operate between Gaborone and Francistown. Very little public transport away from urban areas.

Visa requirements; Visa is important and required.

Health requirements; Yellow fever immunisation essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended; also malaria (especially in the north) depending on area visited and time of year. HIV/AIDs is prevalent and visitors should take every precaution. Bilharzia is also endemic and swimming in untreated water is dangerous.

Climate; Mainly temperate. Summer (October - April) is very hot,  with temperatures rising to 40C and the odd torrential downpour. Conditions are cooler and drier from May to September, with temperatures dropping to around 5C and overnight frosts;

Accommodation; Botswana offers luxury safari accommodation, which is generally tented though of a high - standard with en suite bathrooms. Lodges and camps are small, catering from six to 24 guests. Hotels from one to five stars are found in the capital Gaborone.

Major Events;

  • 1. International Trade Fair, Gaborone (August)
  • 2. Trans Kgalahadi Road Race (April/May)


  • 1. Rock Art in the Tsodilo Hills
  • 2. Nxai Pans National Park
  • 3. Chobe National Park
  • 4. Moremi Game Reserve
  • 5. Okavango Delta (The largest inland delta in the world)
  • 6. Central Kalahari Game Reserve (The world’s second largest reserve)
  • 7. Makgadikgadi Pans National Park (which includes a portion of the huge, salt - encrusted pans.
  • 8. Khama Rhino Sanctuary,  to protect the few remaining rhinos.
  • 9. Gaborone, Botswana’s vibrant and colorful capital.
  • 10. Tuli Game Reserve
  • 11. Linyati, Selinda and Kwando.

What to eat and drink;

Botswana is famed for its excellent beef. The local brew, St Louis,  is a  popular lager.

What to buy;

Diamonds,  baskets, iron and also metal work.



The world’s largest inland delta forms at the point where the mighty Okavango River soaks into the sands of the Kalahari Desert, producing a wonderland best explored by canoe. As the flood peaks between June and August, the waters of the delta attract Africa’s largest concentrations of wildlife. Safari camps offer every level of comfort, from basic to complete tented luxury.


The central Kalahari Game Reserve lies at the very heart of Botswana and, at 20,000 square miles, is one of Africa’s largest and most remote reserves. Visitors may not always find the same abundance and variety of wildlife as in the Okavango Delta – the seasonal nature of the Kalahari’s arid grasslands can make game viewing a matter of feast or famine – but they are guaranteed a pristine wilderness, which they will have pretty much to themselves. Peak safari time is, unusually for southern Africa, the December to April rainy season. Then, the lush growth draws huge migratory herds of springbok, wildebeest, oryx and other grazers, and their attendant retinue of predators, including cheetahs, hyenas and the Kalahari’s famous black – maned Lions. At other times, large game can be elusive, but there is always a fascinating supporting cast of smaller creatures, from desert – adapted birds such as ostrich and sandgrouse to porcupines, meerkats and other smaller mammals. Activities on offer include walking safaris, often in the company of san (bushman) guides who reveal the traditional arts of tracking and field – craft. Accommodation is limited to just two private lodges in the park, located in the deception valley area, plus a handful of camps around the perimeter. Mobile safaris offer some truly remote campsites for the wilderness aficionado. Kalahari itineraries are usually combined with Chobe and the Okavango delta, to ensure Botswana’s entire safari spectrum is covered.


Chobe is one of the oldest game areas in southern Africa and is famous for its herds of elephant and Buffalo. Up to 60,000 elephant live here, many notable for their size, largest in Africa. Cut by the chobe river, there is a wide range of landscapes, from swampy marsh to dry bush.


Covering almost 2,000 square miles, these pans are a wonderland of waterbirds and vast migrating herds of wildebeest and zebra during the rainy season from mid – November to April. The rest of the year, they are a flat, dry wilderness,  a place to feel truly in significant amid the vastness and strange beauty of nature.


Mobile safari’s, as the name suggests, move from one location to the next, staying in temporary tented camps. The standard varies from basic, in which participants help with meals and put up their own tent, to luxurious, where no effort is spared in providing a top – end level of comfort, service and cuisine. The more exclusive mobile safaris visit pristine wildlife areas in small groups with expert guides, but all have the advantage of flexibility. They are available from operators in all major regions, including the Kalahari, Chobe and the Okavango.


Botswana offers Africa’s best opportunities to meet big game on horseback. A number of riding companies operate in the country’s wildest regions, from Tuli and the Kalahari to the western fringes of the Okavango. The scent of a horse masks that of its human charge, enabling riders to canter alongside plains game such as giraffe and zebra although experienced guides take every precaution around the more dangerous animals, such as elephant or lion. All levels of riding expertise are catered for on horseback safaris. The accommodation combines high – end lodges with comfortable fly camps, while standard safari activities are also available.


This expansive region of private reserves and concessions forms the central part of a huge jigsaw linking Chobe to the Okavango delta, and provides an exclusive safari extension to Northern Botswana’s rich wildlife habitats. Game viewing on the open floodplains around the Kwando – Linyati river system can be spectacular, especially during the dry season. The area is renowned for its predators, including good numbers of the elusive wild dog. This is the domain of the luxury fly – in safari, with small, top – end camps offering plush accommodation, fine cuisine and excellent private guiding. Night drives are also available.


Moremi is a community – run reserve at the eastern edge of the Okavango. It embraces such legendary safari hotspots as chief’s island and the Khwai riverfront, and merges seamlessly with Chobe to the north. The tapestry of ecosystems – from flooded wetlands to Mopane Woodland – offers outstanding game viewing, including large elephant herds and abundant predators, notably wild dogs. Accommodation ranges from exclusive lodges, such as the world – famous Mombo, to government campsites that comprise little more than a clearing. You can view wildlife on game drives or (from private lodges) on foot. With no fences, the wildlife wanders freely through camp. The dry season, from August to November, sees peak game concentrations.



Capital: Sarajevo

Main cities: Banja Luka, Tuzla,  Zenica, Mostar.

Populations: 3,843,126 (As per the year 2010 estimates).

Currency: The convertible mark (KM),  which is pegged to the euro. Exchange rate approximates (KM1.44 =$ 1). Tipping (10% recommended for good service)

Time: GMT + 1

Electricity: 220 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving: Traffic drives on the right. International driving permit  required.

Public Holidays: Include January 1, 7, 14, 27; March 1; April 20; May1; August 15; November 3, 25; December 25.

Language: Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian. English is widely spoken. German is spoken in western Herzegovina and northern Bosnia.

Religion: Predominantly Muslim and Orthodox. Also Catholic, Protestant and others.

Country Dial Code: +387

Getting there: (Major gateways,  including Sarajevo (SJJ), Mostar (OMO)). Typical flying time from New York, 12.5 hours via Munich, while from UK is 2 hours.

Transfers: Sarajevo (3 miles/5 km), Mostar, 30 minutes to Medugorje.

Visa requirements: Visa is important and required.

Health requirements: Precautions against hepatitis A and typhoid recommended.

Climate: Hot summers and cold winters. Winters average a daily high of 3C, with snow at high altitudes. In summer temperatures rise to 30C.

Safety and Security: Land mines remain a problem in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Take care when near former lines of conflict, including the suburbs of Sarajevo, and stick to hard - surfaced areas, check travel. state. gov;



Capital: Kralendijk.

Populations: 15,800 (As per the year2010 estimates)

Visa requirements: Visa is important and required. An onward or return ticket and proof of sufficient funds is required. Length of stay is granted at 30 days and may be extended for 180 days.

Health requirements: Yellow fever immunization if arriving from an infected country. Precautions against hepatitis A  and typhoid are recommended.

Currency: Netherlands Antilean guilder (ANG)=100 cents. Traveler's checks and major credit cards are accepted all over the island. Exchange rate approximates (ANG1.76 = $1). Tipping (10 – 15% expected when service has been good).

Time: GMT -4

Electricity: 110 – 130 volts. No Adaptor required.

Driving: On the right.

Public Holidays: Include January1; February16; April 3, 5, 6, 30; May 1, 14, 24; September 6; October 21; December15, 25.

Language: Dutch.

Religion: Mainly Catholic

Country Dial Code: +5997

Climate: Fairly temperate with year - round sunshine. Average temperature is 82F and average rainfall 22 in. There is a consistent breeze.

Getting there: (Major gateways, including Bonaire International Airport, Flamingo (BON). Typical flying time from Miami, 7 hours via San Juan.

Departure Tax: Included in aircraft.



  • Capital; Sucre (constitutional);

La Paz (seat of government)

  • Main cities; Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, EL Alto.
  • Populations; 10, 426, 154(As per the year 2010 Estimates).
  • Currency: Boliviano (Bs) = 100 centavos. The US dollar is the most accepted form of currency. Major credit cards accepted in larger cities. Exchange rate approximation (Bs 6. 90 =$1). Tipping (it is customary to reward good service with a tip in Bolivia). 10% is acceptable.
  • Time; GMT - 4
  • Electricity; 220 volts. (Lapaz also 110 volts). An adaptor may be required for some electrical appliances).
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the right. An international licence is required.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; March 3; April 18; May 1; June 19; August 6; November 3; December 25;
  • Languages: Spanish. Also Quechua and Aymara.
  • Religion: Catholic
  • Country Dial Code; + 591
  • Getting there: (Major gateways, including La Paz(LPB), Santa cruz(VVI). Typical flying time from Miami is 6.5 hrs, while from UK is 14 hrs30minutes. There are no direct flights between the UK and Bolivia. (& miles /14KM) bus 20 minutes, taxi 15 minutes.
  • Transfers; La Paz (8 miles/14km) bus 20 minutes, taxi 15 minutes. Santa Cruz(10miles/16km).
  • Departure Tax: $ 25
  • Getting around

Domestic air services are best form of travel in Bolivia.  The country's road network is not generally good, due to a lack of paved roads, but work is underway to improve this and major highways are well - maintained. Long - distance buses tend to travel through the night. Rail travel is slow and generally unreliable. Car hire is available in La Paz.

  • Visa requirements; Visa is essential and required.
  • Health requirements;

Yellow fever immunisation essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended; also malaria (below 8, 200ft). Altitude sickness can be a problem for visitors to Bolivia, particularly in mountain regions.

  • Climate;

Bolivia winter is May to October, which is dry, and summer between November and April, which is generally wetter. The highlands and altiplano can be cold in winter; in the tropical lowlands summer can be steaming hot with lengthy downpours.

  • Accommodation;

There is a selection of deluxe as well as first class hotels in La Paz, along with a wide range of mind - range hotel accommodation. There are guest houses in La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.

  • What to eat and drink;

Bolivian food shows a wide variation with altitude and distance. In LaPaz, a great choice is Sajta de pollo, hot spicy chicken with potato and onion. No visitor to Cochabamba should leave without trying silpancho – fried breaded meat with eggs, rice and bananas. Carne de sol is grilled salted meat salted meat served with beans, rice and vegetables. The local brandy is singani.

  • Major Events;
  • 1. Fiesta de la virgen de candelaria, Copacabana, Lake Titicaca (February).
  • 2. Carnival, nationwide (February).
  • 3. Phujilay festival, Tarabuco (March).
  • 4. Festividao de Nuestro senor Jesus del Gran poder, La paz (May /June).
  • 5. Independence Day (August 6).


  • 1. Amboro National park, nature reserve with more than 800 bird species and 125 mammal species.
  • 2. Lake Titicaca, 3800 meters above sea level, was a sacred place for the Inca civilization.
  • 3. Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde, salt lakes where it is possible to see flamingos.
  • 4. The chore Trek, an Inca trek from the mountains to Yungas.
  • 5. The pantanal, with incredible flora and fauna.
  • 6. LaPaz, the world's highest capital.
  • 7. Cochabamba, the third largest city in Bolivia.
  • 8. Takesi trail, beginning in LaPaz and following Inca - paved roads.
  • 9. Tiahuanacu, key pre - Columbian archeological site.
  • 10. Potosi, one of the world’s highest cities at 13, 420 ft.
  • 11. Salar de uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat.
  • 12. Christo de la Concordia, this immense statue stands atop Cerro de san Pedro behind Cochabamba. It is a few centimeters higher than the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.
  • 13. Museo & Convento de Santa Teresa in Potosi.


  • 1. Lake fishing.
  • 2. Jungle tours.
  • 3. Eco - tourism.
  • 4. Mountaineering.
  • 5. Trekking.




The world's largest salt flat sits at a lofty 11,985 ft and blankets an amazing 4,633 square miles. It was once part of a huge prehistoric Salt Lake called Lago Minchin, which covered the majority of southern Bolivia.


Straddling the Peru -  Bolivia border and flanked by snow - capped mountains, the glimmering, Sapphire - colored Lake Titicaca sits at a breathtaking altitude of 12, 507ft.  At 118 miles long and 50 miles wide, it is the largest high- altitude lake in the world and has long been a place of religious significance for communities in the Andes. In the Bolivian section is the serenely tranquil Isla del sol (Island of the sun), which is covered with the ruins of more than 80 Inca shrines and temples. On the Peruvian side of the lake, meanwhile, the uros people continue to live on artificial islands constructed from tightly - bound reeds, some of them large enough to house 10 families.


Bolivia’s coroico Road, descending from the capital La Paz to the hill top town of coroico, has been dubbed the ‘death road'.  Daring mountain bikers can complete a 11,000 ft descent, from snow - capped peaks to steaming jungle down a hair - raising mountain track. The 43 - mile route takes around four hours. Experience is not required, although a head for heights is certainly helpful.


Known to the locals in the Bolivian Capital La Paz as El Mercado de Las Brujas, this is the one of the most unique sights in Latin America. Bewitching, bewildering, bizarre and also occasionally down right disturbing, the market is full of odd displays and sometimes even odder vendors. This is the place to pick up amulets and potions, jewelry and dried snake skins. Not somewhere for the faint -hearted.


Once the center of a mighty pre – Inca civilization, this impressive site enjoys a dramatic setting 12,500 ft up in the Andes. Unique stone carvings and impressive structures such as the Gate of the sun and Gate of the moon, as well as the Akapana pyramid, ensure the site, often called Tiwanaku, is one of Bolivia’s star attractions



  • Capital; Thimphu.
  • Main cities; Phuntsholing, Panakha.
  • Populations; 742,737(As per the year 2012)
  • Currency; Ngultram (Nu) = 100 chetrums. Hard currencies and American Express/ Visa accepted. Indian rupees can be used. Exchange rate approximation (NU 59=$1).
  • Time; GMT +6
  • Electricity; 220 Volts. Adaptor may be required
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the left in Bhutan. International driving permit required.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 2, 31; February 21, 22, 23; March 2, 3; May 2, 9; June 13.
  • Language; Dzongkha
  • Religion; Buddhist, Hindu.
  • Country Dial code; +975.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway, including Paro (PBH). Typical flying time from New York is 27.5 hrs. via Delhi, while from UK is 10 hrs via Dhaka, Calcutta, or Kathmandu.
  • Transfers; Paro (5 miles/8 km) bus to Thimphu 90 minutes; taxi 75 minutes.
  • Departure Tax; $ 10.
  • Visa requirements;

You will need a passport valid for at least six months from date of arrival and a visa to enter and exit Bhutan. Visas are only issued to those who have booked travel with a local licensed tour operator, either directly or through a foreign travel agent.  Visa clearance takes at least 10 days.

  • Health requirements;

Yellow fever immunisation essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended. Also malaria, depending on area visited, and Meningitis, depending on area visited and time of year.

  • Climate;

Conditions vary with altitude high in the Himalayas.  Spring and autumn are warm. Summer is hot, but winters can be severe.


  • 1. Taktsang monastery and National museum, Paro.
  • 2. Painting school, as well as the National memorial stupa, Thimphu.
  • Safety and Security;

Medical facilities are limited and altitude can be a problem, it is generally peaceful, but with a significant number of areas closed to foreigners.

  • What to eat and drink;

Bhutanese cuisine includes chicken, yak meat, dried beef, pork, pork fat and mutton, usually eaten with red rice. Drinks include butter tea.



With a name which translates as 'fortress on a heap of jewels'.  It is easy to see why this is one of the most impressive examples of Bhutanese architecture.


The traditional summer capital of Bhutan and once the seat of power for Dharma Raja, who built the dzong (fortress) and was founder of the Lho - drukpasect, it has been the seat of Bhutan's government since 1952. The two - storey building is surrounded by three storey towers surmounted by a three - tiered golden roof.


This widlife preserve in Thimphu is for takin, the national animal of Bhutan. Originally a min -  zoo, it was converted into a preserve when it was found that the animals would not live in the surrounding forest even when they had been set free.


The festivals of Bhutan have a reputation for being raucous, joyous affairs, but they are also spiritual events, believed to gain attendees merit for the next life. Tshechus (festivals) dedicated to Guru Rinpoche are celebrated for between three and five days, according to the location. Highlights are the classical, religious - based dances, and in some tshechus the viewing of the thongdrei (a huge and sacred thangka, or pointed banner).


Housed in the refurbished Ta - dzong building in Paro, the national museum of Bhutan displays cultural artifacts gathered from different parts of the country. The exhibition includes bronze statues, paintings and handicraft items that cover the country's cultural heritage of more than 1,500 years. The museum contains more than 3,000 items.


This prominent sacred Himalayan Buddhist site and temple complex is built into the cliff side of the upper paro valley. The first temple complex was built there in 1692, around the Taktsang senge Samdup cave where Guru Padmasambhava - credited with introducing Buddhism to Bhutan and the tutelary deity of the country - is said to have meditated for three months back in the eighth century. The monastery, which is six miles north of Paro, hangs onto a precipitous cliff at an altitude of 10, 240 ft (3,120 meters).



  • Capital: Hamilton.
  • Populations; 64,566 (As per the year2010 estimation).
  • Currency; Bermuda dollar (B$) =100 cents. Us currency is accepted at equal value. All major credit cards accepted. Exchange rate (B$ 1=$1). Tipping (Generally included by hotels and guest houses, otherwise 10 - 15 %).
  • Time; GMT - 4
  • Electricity; 110 Volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; On the left with a 35 Km/h to limit. A license is required to rent a motorcycle. There is no car hire availability.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; April 3; May 25; June 15; July 30, 31; September 7; November 11; December 25,26.
  • Language; English
  • Religion; Christian
  • Country Dial code; +441/+1441

                         Getting there; (Major gateway, including Bermuda international airport (BDA). Typical flying time from Atlanta, 2.5 hrs, while from UK is 6 hrs 30 minutes.

Transfers; Hamilton (10 miles/16 km) taxi 30 minutes.

Departure Tax; Included in the cost of air tickets.

Ports; St George’s, Hamilton Dockyard.

Getting around;

There are no rental cars available on the island of Bermuda, but visitors are able to easily get around by taxi, bus, ferry and motor - scooters. Bus and ferry passengers can also take advantage of the transportation pass, which is available to buy for one, three and seven day’s unlimited use.

Visa requirements;

Visa is essential and required, but you must book accommodation before you arrive. Passport must be valid for proposed duration of stay.

Health requirements; none

Climate; Mild, subtropical climate, with hot summers and mild winters and no official rainy season. The odd shower can be heavy.  Temperatures on the island range from 68F to 84F.



  • Capital; Belmopan
  • Main cities; Belize City, Belmopan city, Orange walk.
  • Populations; 351,600 (As per the year 2013 estimation).
  • Currency; Belize dollar (BZ$) = 100 cents. Credit cards and US dollars widely accepted. It is recommended you enter Belize with US dollars. Exchange rate approximate (BZ$1.99=$1). Tipping (10% suggested).
  • Time; GMT – 6
  • Electricity; 110 volts. An adaptor may be required.
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the right. National driving licence valid for up to 90 days.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; March 9; April 3,4,6; May 1; September 10,21; October 12; November 19; December 25,26.
  • Language; English
  • Religion; Mainly catholic. Also protestant, Adventist, Baptist, Jehovah’s witness, Anglican and Methodist, Mennonite.
  • Country Dial Code; +501
  • Getting there; (Major gateway, including Philip S.W. Goldson international airport, Belize City (BZE). Typical flying time – Direct flights depart from Atlanta (3 hours), Dallas (3 hours), Houston (2.5 hours), Miami (2 hours) and Los Angeles (4.5 hours). From UK, 11hours via Miami.
  • Transfers; Belize City (10 miles/16 km).
  • Ports; Belize City, Big creek, San Pedro.
  • Visa requirements; Visa is essential and needed.
  • Health requirements; Yellow fever immunisation essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, polio and typhoid recommended; malaria if traveling outside Belize City.
  • Climate; The weather is subtropical in Belize, with temperatures averaging 86F all year – around. The wet season runs from June – October, while the dry season is from November – May and the hurricane season goes from June – October.
  • Getting Around; A bus system operates within Belize City and around the local districts. There is no rail network in the country. Air services operate within Belize and to neighboring countries. There are also water taxis that travel between the mainland and the islands.
  • Major events;
  • 1. New Year’s Cycling classic (January).
  • 2. San Pedro Carnival (February).
  • 3. Placencia sidewalk Arts & Music Festival (February)
  • 4. La Ruta Maya Belize River challenge (March).
  • 5. Holy Saturday cross – country classic (April)
  • 6. Whale shark Day (April)
  • 7. San Jose Succotz Fiesta (April).
  • 8. Cashew Festival (May)
  • 9. Chocolate Festival of Belize (May).
  • 10. Sovereign’s Day (May).
  • 11. Lobster Festival (June).
  • 12. Hopkins Mango Festival (July)
  • 13. Benque Viejo del Carmen Fiesta (July)
  • 14. Deer Dance Festival (August)
  • 15. Costa Maya Festival (August)
  • 16. Carnival (September)
  • 17. Rum Fest(October)
  • 18. Garifuna settlement Day (November);
  • 1. Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest on the planet.
  • 2. Great Blue Hole, which is believed to be the world’s largest underwater sinkhole.
  • 3. Archaeological sites – Cerros; Maya Hill, Altunt Ha; water of the Rock, Lamanai; submerged crocodile, Cahal Perch, place of Jicks, Caracol: the snail, Xunantunich; Maiden of the Rock, Lubaantun; place of Fallen stones, Nim Li Punit; Big Hat.
  • 4. Caves – Rio Frio, Barton creek cave, chechem Ha Cave, ActunTunichilMuknal, St Herman’s cave, Tiger cave, Hokeb Ha cave, caves Branch.
  • 5. The rainforest, which covers half of Belize.
  • 6. Cocks comb Basin Wildlife sanctuary, protecting jaguars.
  • 7. Belize zoo, set in more than 29 acres of tropical savanna.
  • 8. Ambergris Caye, the largest cave in Belize.
  • 9. Placencia, the only place in Belize where you will find pure white sand beaches.
  • 10. Half-moon caye, an island nature reserve with more than 98 bird species.
  • 11. Laughing Bird caye, which is named after the laughing bird gull, which breeds there.
  • 12. Turneffe islands, an atoll with more than 70 dive sites.
  • 13. South water caye marine reserve, known for its snorkeling, diving, and fishing.
  • 1. Diving
  • 2. Snorkeling
  • 3. Fishing
  • 4. Watersports
  • 5.  Hiking
  • 6. Caving
  • 7. River rafting
  • 8. Canoeing
  • 9. Bird watching
  • 10. Zip line.


  • Capital; Brussels.
  • Populations; 10,839,905 (As per the year 2010 estimates).
  • Main cities; Bruges, Liege, Namur, Mons, Antwerp, Ghent.
  • Currency: Euro = 100 Cents. All credit cards accepted. Exchange rate approximate (Euro 0.73= $ 1). Tipping (A service charge is generally included in hotel and restaurant bills, but tip 10% for great service. It is normal to tip cloakroom staff and porters.
  • Time; GMT +1
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the right.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; April 21; May 1, 29; June 9; July 21; August 15; September 27; November 1,11,15 and December 25.
  • Language; French, Flemish (Dutch) and German, although English is widely spoken.
  • Religion: Catholic majority.
  • Country Dial Code: +32
  • Getting there: (Major gateways, including Brussels international (BRU); Charleroi(CRL); Brussels Midi Railway Station (Euro star), Antwerp (ANR). Typical flying time from New York is 7.5hrs, while from UK is 1 hour.
  • Transfers: Brussels international (7.5 miles/13 km), Antwerp (2 miles/3km).
  • Ports: Ostend, Zeebrugge, Antwerp (cruise);
  • Visa requirements: Belgium is party to the Schengen Agreement. No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement. Sufficient funds and a return airline ticket are required.
  • Health requirements: None.
  • Climate: Continental European, except for the Ardennes, where temperatures are 3 – 5 C lower than in the capital Brussels.
  • Getting Around: Belgium has a comprehensive railway and motorway network linking all major cities in the country.
  • Accommodation: Hotels and campsites are star rated one to five. Holiday villages can be found in the country side and self- catering is available on the coast. There are many B & B establishments throughout the country, as well as camping (trekking) huts and also youth hostels.
  • Major events:
  • 1. Dead Rat Ball, Ostend (March).
  • 2. Binche carnival (March).
  • 3. Tour of Flanders Rally (April).
  • 4. Jazz marathon, Brussels (May).
  • 5. Cat Festival Ypres (May).
  • 6. Mechelen Hanswijk procession (May).
  • 7. Ostend at Anchor (May).
  • 8. Procession of the Holy Blood, Bruges (June).
  • 9. Zandfeesten, giant flea market, Bruges (One day in July, August, September).
  • 10. Ghent festivities (July).
  • 11. Brussels Omegang (July)
  • 12. Bath Jub Regatta, Dinant (August).
  • 13. Bruges pageant of the Golden Tree (August).
  • 14. F1 GP SPa (August Bank holiday weekend).
  • 15. Brussels Beer Weekend (Early september).
  • 16. Hop parade & Festival, poperinge (September).
  • 17. Diksmuide Beer Festival (end of September/early October)
  • 18. Halloween in Ostend (October).
  • 19. Hasselt Jenever Festivities (October).
  • 20. Armistice commemoration, Ypres (November 11).
  • 21. Chocolate Festival, Bruuges (November).
  • 22. Christmas markets; all cities including Brussels, Bruges, Liege, Mons and Ostend.
  • 23. Battle of the Bulge event, Bastogne (December).
  • 24. Flower carpet, Brussels (August).
  • 25. Battle of waterloo (June).
  • 26. Ommegang, Brussels (June).
  • 27. BRAFA, Brussels antiques and time art fair (January).
  • 28. Festivity “Namur en Mai”, Namur (May).
  • 29. Festival “couleur café”, Brussels (June).


  • 1. The beaches of Ostend and Belgian coast.
  • 2. Herge museum (Tintin), Louvain La Neuve.
  • 3. Waterloo (site and museums of the battle field).
  • 4. Walibi Theme park, wavre
  • 5. Toy museum, Mechelen.
  • 6. Technopolis science attraction.
  • 7. The Beguinage, Town Hall and Museum, Leuven.
  • 8. MAS museum, Rubens House and Diamond Museum Antwerp.
  • 9. St Bravo's cathedral, STAM and castle of the counts.
  • 10. Basilica of the Holy Blood and Belfry Tower, Bruges.
  • 11. In Flanders Fields Museum and Bellewaerde Park, Ypres.
  • 12. Mini Europe Park; Atomium museum of musical instruments, comic strip museum, and Magritte Museum, Brussels.
  • 13. The Horta House (art nouveau), Brussels.
  • 14. The town of spa, known since Roman times for its baths.
  • 15. Grand place and Hotel de Ville, Brussels.
  • 16. Statue of the Manneken pis, Brussels.
  • 17. Autoworld car museum, Brussels.
  • 18. Historic center of Bruges, a UNESCO world heritage site.
  • 19. The battle of the bulge memorial sites, Bastogne.
  • 20. Galleries St Hubert 19th - century shopping arcade, Brussels.


What to eat and drink;

Belgium has some wonderful hearty regional dishes and sea food features heavily, as do tempting waffles, pastries and chocolates.  Specialties include shrimp croquettes; boulettes a la Liegeoise (meat balls) and carbonades a la liege Oise (beef marinated in beer); mussels (best season being September -  March) with frites (fries); waterzoo (a creamy fish or chicken stew); strawberries from wepion. There are more than 600 beers to choose from, while jenever is a strong spirit.

What to buy;

Beer, Lace, Belgian chocolates are world famous, tapestries, leather goods such as handbags, crystal, diamonds, fashion items, comics and also cartoon memorabilia.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQUE);

  • 1. Does Belgium have Christmas markets?      

Answer; Most Belgian villages have a market in December, but be aware that dates sometimes vary. The main ones are in Brussels, Liege, Mons, Bruges and Ostend.

  • 2. Do Belgian museums have a closing day?

Answer; Yes, closing day is usually Monday, but days may vary between cities.

  • 3. Is it true you can travel to any Belgian station using a Eurostar ticket? 

Answer; No. Tickets on Eurostar to Brussels used to be valid to any station in Belgium within a 24 - hour period. However, for a small surcharge at the time you book the ticket, you can still choose the option to travel to any Belgian station. This way you can avoid having to queue at the booth in Brussels Midi station.



A shrine for the true car enthusiast, this museum has more than 400 vehicles on display. The entire history of the motor vehicle is covered from 1886 through to the 1970s. There are also rare pre—WW11 models on show.


The little bronze boy peeing has been the pride and joy of the inhabitants of Brussels for centuries. Nobody knows why the statue is there and he is the subject of much mythology.    He has a collection of more than 500 costumes, which are on display in the Musee de Ville -  you may even be lucky enough to see him wearing one. He received his first costume as long as 1698.


This grand 19th - century shopping arcade near the Grand place has been restored to its original grandeur. Once the haunt of writers such as Charles Baudelaire and Victor Hugo, the arcade now provides a welcome escape from modern day shopping. With its cinema, cafes, bookshops and theater, there is plenty to see and do.


Built for the 1958 world Fair, the Atomium has become a symbol of the country. The 334ft – tall steel and aluminium structure is designed to represent the atom concept, enlarged 165 billion times. It offers a superb panoramic view of Brussels and its surroundings.


This is housed in a charming art nouveau building designed by Victor Horta, creator of Lucky Lulle, Spirou. The Smurts and Gaston Lagaffe. You will see how cartoons are made, wise up on production techniques and see antique comic strips of many characters. The museum shop, packed full of books, gadgets and posters, is worth visiting.


Grand place, in the very heart of Brussels, was described by Victor Hugo as “the most beautiful square in Europe” it contains numerous impressive baroque and gothic buildings, many with dazzling gilt details. They include the Hotel de Ville (town hall), a gothic masterpiece from the early 15thcentury. A guided tour takes you into many of its art -  adorned rooms.



  • Capital; Minsk
  • Main cities; Gomel, Mogilev, Vitebsk, Brest, Grodno.
  • Populations; 9, 577, 552(As per the year 2011 estimates).
  • Currency; Belarus rouble (BYR). US dollars are suitable for exchanging money.  Visa and American Express accepted.  Also euro. Exchange rate approximate (BYR 10, 189 = $ 1).  Tipping (10% in restaurants).
  • Time; GMT +2
  • Electricity; 220 Volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the right. International licence is required.
  • Public Holidays; Includes January 1, 7; March 8, 15; April 12; May 1, 9; july3; November 2;
  • Languages; Belarusian, Russian, English widely spoken.
  • Religion; Orthodox, Catholic.
  • Country Dial Code; + 375.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway, including Minsk International (MSQ). Typical flying time from New York is 10 hrs, while from Uk is 3hrs.
  • Transfers; Minsk (27 miles /43 km) bus and taxi 60 minutes.
  • Visa requirements; Visa is essential and required.
  • Health requirements; Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended.
  • Climate; Continental, variable in both summer and winter. Average January temperature is – 6c and average July temperature 18c. It rains heavily in late summer and autumn.
  • 1. Orthodox cathedral, Minsk.
  • 2. The Hill of Glory, Minsk
  • 3. Botanical Gardens, Minsk.
  • 4. The 16th - century Mir castle
  • 5. Nesvizh palace and town.
  • 6. Sofia cathedral, Polotsk.
  • 7. Palace and park, Gomel.


  • Capital; Bridgetown
  • Populations; 278,000 (As per the year 2012 estimates).
  • Currency; Barbados dollar (BDS$) = 100 cents. All major credit cards accepted. Exchange rate approximate (BDS$2=$1). Tipping (Hotels and Restaurants generally include service.  Otherwise 10%. For porters, BDS $ 1(27p) per bag.
  • Time; GMT—4 (summer), GMT- 5 (winter).
  • Electricity; 110 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; On the left. International driving permit recognized.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1, 21; April 3, 6, 28; May 1, 25; August 1, 3; November 20; December 25.
  • Language; English.
  • Religion; Predominantly Anglican, with more than 100 religious denominations.
  • Country Dial Code; +1246.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway, including Grantley Adams International Airport, Christ church (BGI). Typical flying time from UK is 8 hours, while from Miami is 3.5 hours.
  • Transfers; Bridgetown (7 miles/11 km) bus 40 minutes; taxi 30minutes.
  • Port; Bridgetown.
  • Getting Around; Buses operate a wide network of scheduled services and taxis have set fares. Rental cars, beach buggies, mopeds and bicycles are options; visitors are required to produce a valid driving license for the issue of a Barbados driving permit, valid for one year.
  • Visa requirements; Visa is essential and required.
  • Health requirements; Yellow fever immunisation essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, polio and typhoid recommended. No visa is needed to enter Barbados for stays of up to six months.
  • Climate; Barbados is consistently hot all year round, but temperatures are never extreme and sea breezes help to offset humidity. The wettest months are June to November, when there is also a risk of hurricanes. Barbados has not had a major hurricane since 1955.
  • Accommodation; Barbados offers a broad selection of places to stay, ranging from luxury and A class hotel to less expensive options, including guesthouses, villas and self-catering establishments.
  • What to eat and drink; Fresh sea food is the islands specialty. The flying fish emblem of   the island Permeates Bajan culture and is eaten baked, steamed or fried. Crane, chubb, kingfish, snapper, dolphin fish (mahimahi) and tuna are popular fish, along with lobster. There is also roast suckling pig, sea urchins, crab soup and   coconut bread. The main drink is rum, which comes in a variety of forms, including planter’s punch, and beer.
  • What to buy; Local handicrafts, a variety of rum, duty - free jewelry, crystal and fragrances.
  • Major Events;
  • 1. Independence Festival of creative Arts (November).
  • 2. Crop over Festival (July – August).
  • 3. Congaline carnival (April - May).
  • 4. Oistins Fish Festival (April).
  • 5. Holders opera season, Bridgetown (March – April).
  • 6. Hole town Festival (February).
  • 7. Barbados Jazz Festival (January).
  • 8. Gospel fest (May).
  • 9. Run Barbados (December).


  • 1. Atlantis sub and other cruises.
  • 2. Welchman Hall Gully.
  • 3. Andromeda Gardens.
  • 4. Flower Forest.
  • 5. Wildlife reserve and zoo park.
  • 6. Farley Hill National Park.
  • 7. Gunhill Signal Station.
  • 8. Barbados museum.
  • 9. Harrison’s cave.
  • 10. Francis Plantation.
  • 11. Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary.
  • 12. Chalky Mount Potteries.
  • 13. Francia Great House.
  • 14. Lancaster Great House Gallery & Gardens.
  • 15. Garrison savannah.
  • 16. George Washington House.
  • 17. Atlantis Submarines.
  • 18. Ariel Trek.
  • 19. Catamaran Cruises.
  • 20. Jolly Roger Cruises.
  • 21. Oistins Fish Fry.


  • 1. Catamaran cruising.
  • 2. Deep - sea fishing.
  • 3. Scuba diving.
  • 4. Surfing.
  • 5. Water skiing.
  • 6. Golf.
  • 7. Coastal hiking.


  • Capital; Dhaka
  • Main cities; Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet.
  • Population; 150,493,000 (As per year 2010 estimates.
  • Currency; Taka (TK) = 100 poisha. US dollar is the preferred foreign currency. Exchange rate approximate (TK 77 = $ 1). Tipping (between 5% and 10% depending on service).
  • Time; GTM + 6
  • Electricity; 220 volts. An adapter may be required.
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the left. International permit required.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,3; February 21; March 26; April 14; May 1, 16, 25; July 13,18; September 23; October 13, 22; November 7; December 16.
  • Language; Bengali. English is widely spoken and understood.
  • Religion; Sunni Muslim and Hindu.
  • Country Dial Code; + 880.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway, including Dhaka (DAC)/Hazrat shahjalal International Airport. Typical flying time from New York is 18.5 hours via Dubai, while from UK is 12 hours.
  • Transfers; Dhaka (11 miles/17km), taxi 45minutes; bus; tuk-tuk.
  • Departure Tax; TK 300, usually included in ticket price.
  • Ports; Chittagong, Mongla.
  • Visa requirements; A visa and an onward or return ticket are required; the visa should be obtained prior to arrival.
  • Health requirement: Yellow fever immunization is essential if arriving within six days of having visited an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid, polio and malaria recommended.
  • Climate; Subtropical, ranging from a daytime low of 18C in the cold season to a maximum 40C in summer. The monsoon season is June – September.

Accommodation; There is a variety of places to stay in Bangladesh. These include hotels, guesthouses as well as self – catering accommodation.


  • 1. Victory Day (December)
  • 2. National Revolution Day (November)
  • 3. Durga puja (Dashami) -  October
  • 4. Buddha Purnima (May)
  • 5. Bangla New Year (April)
  • 6. Independence Day (March)
  • 7. International Mother Language Day (February)


  • 1. Mainimati Ruins
  • 2. Bangladesh Tea Research Institute
  • 3. Lalbagh Fort, Dhaka
  • 4. Shankharia Bazar, Dhaka
  • 5. Painam Nagar
  • 6. Karnaphuli river.
  • 7. Sitara mosque, Dhaka.
  • 8. Liberation war museum, Dhaka
  • 9. National museum, Dhaka
  • 10. Suhrawardi park, Dhaka
  • 11. Somapiri vihara archaeological site
  • 12. Bhawal national park.
  • 13. Folk Art Museum, Sonargaon
  • 14. Tribal cultural institute museum, Rangamati
  • 15. Dharmarajikha Buddhist Monastery, Dhaka

What to eat and drink;

Bangladesh cuisine contains numerous Persian - Arabic elements and the use of beef sets it apart from the cuisine of west Bengal in India. A staple throughout the country is rice, various kinds of lentil (known locally as dal), fish and mutton. Curry dishes vary from sweet and mild to extremely spicy. To drink, there is borhani, a spiced Mughal drink made from yoghurt with eastern spices.

What to buy; 

Jewellery, items of copper or leather, carpets and clothing.


FAST FACTS:                                      

  • Capital; Manama.
  • Population; 1,200,000 (As per the year 2011 estimates)
  • Currency; Dinar (BD) =1,000 fils. US dollars and credit cards widely accepted. Exchange rate approximate (BDO.37=$1). Tipping (Not expected)
  • Time; GMT+3
  • Electricity; 240 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the right. International driving licence accepted
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1, 3; July 17; September 23 -25; October 14, 23; November3; December 16. The list includes Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate.
  • Language; Arabic, with English widely spoken.
  • Religion; Muslim
  • Country Dial Code; +973
  • Getting there; (Major gateway, including Bahrain international airport (BAH). Typical flying time from New York is 14 hours via Heathrow, while from UK is 6 hrs. 30 minutes.
  • Transfers; Manama (4 miles/6.5 km) taxi 15 - 20 minutes.
  • Port; KBSP Khalifa bin Salman port
  • Visa requirements; Visa issued on arrival for three months. Six - month validity required on passport.  For details, see (www. evisa. gov. bh).
  • Health requirements; Precautions against polio and typhoid recommended; there is a risk of hepatitis A and B.
  • Climate; October to April are mild months in Bahrain with occasional rainfall; the summer is very hot and humid. The best time to visit is from October to May.


Hotel options in Bahrain cover the accommodation range, with a good selection of five - star properties available. There are two tourist resorts and a number of tourist apartments.

Major Events;  

  • 1. National Day Carnivals (starting December 16)
  • 2. Eids Festivals (October and December)
  • 3. Music Festivals (October)
  • 4. TA'A Alshabab (September)
  • 5. Heritage Festival (July)
  • 6. Bahrain Summer Festivals (June)
  • 7. Formula 1 Grand prix (April)
  • 8. Spring of Culture Festival (March)
  • 9. Bahrain International airshow (January)


  • 1. Seef Mall and Moda Mall
  • 2. Bahrain World Trade Centre
  • 3. Green Building
  • 4. State of the art Malls
  • 5. Market 338 Adliya
  • 6. Bab Elbahrian Arch
  • 7. Adhari Theme Park
  • 8. Lost Paradise of Dilmun
  • 9. Al Areen wildlife park
  • 10. Bahrain National Museum
  • 11. Dar Islands
  • 12. Suq Alqaisariya
  • 13. Old houses of Muharraq
  • 14. Arad Fort, Sheikh Ahmed bin Salman Al Fateh Fort
  • 15. A'Aali Royal Burial mounds and pottery workshops.
  • 16. Bahrain Fort (UNESCO World Heritage site)
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQUE)
  • 1. What will Bahrain do when the gas and oil reserves eventually run out?

Answer: Although the economy of Bahrain is based on natural gas and oil, as reserves dwindle the economy will increasingly look to alternatives such as aluminum processing, financial services and tourism for its income.

  • 2. Is Bahrain linked to Saudi Arabia?

Answer: The 16 - mile/25 km King Fahd causeway connects the Island nation to Saudi Arabia, with which it continues to retain close relations. Other causeways link Bahrain to the neighbouring islands of Muharraq and Sitrah.



  • Capital; Nassau.
  • Population; 353, 658 (As per year 2010 estimates)
  • Currency; Bahamian dollar (B$) =100 Cents. Parity with US dollar. Exchange rate (B$1=$1). Tipping (Most restaurants include a 15% service charge. It not, it’s the usual tip.
  • Time; GMT - 5
  • Electricity; 120 Volts. No adaptor required.
  • Driving; Traffic drives on left.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; April 3, 6; May 25; June 5; July 10; August 3; October 12; December 25, 26;
  • Language; English
  • Religion; Baptist, Anglican, Catholic
  • Country Dial Code; +1242
  • Getting there; (Major gateways, including Nassau (NAS); Freeport (FPO). Typical flying time from Miami, 1 hr., while from UK is 9 hours.
  • Departure Tax; $18.


  • Nassau to city centre (17 miles/27 km); to paradise Island (20 miles/32 km); to cable beach (6. 5 miles/10 km) Freeport to Lucaya (8 miles/13 km).
  • Ports;

Nassau (New Province); Freeport (Grand Bahamas Island).

Visa requirements;

Visa is crucial and needed

Health requirements;  

Yellow fever immunisation essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended.


The Bahamas' climate is temperate year round. Temperatures rarely drop below 16 C or rise above 32 C. Rainfalls year - round, with the wettest months June to October, and the driest December to April. There is a risk of hurricanes between July and November.


There is a wide variety of accommodation on the Islands of the Bahamas, from guest houses and self - catering apartments and villas to world -  class resorts. Camping is generally prohibited for tourists.

Major Events; 

  • 1. New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parade
  • 2. Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade (December)
  • 3. One Bahamas Music & Heritage Festival (November)
  • 4. International cultural weekend (October)
  • 5. Junkanoo Summer Festival (July - August)
  • 6. Eleutheria Pineapple Festival(June)
  • 7. Family Island Regatta (April.)


  • 1. Dolphin encounter, dolphin experience in Nassau and Grand Bahama Island.
  • 2. Forts (three) in Nassau.
  • 3. Straw markets in Nassau and throughout the islands
  • 4. Crystal clear waters and water sports - fishing, diving, sailing, snorkelling
  • 5. Vendue House, Nassau
  • 6. Christ church cathedral, Nassau
  • 7. Bay street and the woodes Rogers walk, Nassau
  • 8. Atlantis Paradise Island Resort & Casino
  • 9. Freeport, Grand Bahama.
  • 10. Quaint out Islands.

What to eat & drink;

Conch (seafood) prepared as fritters, salads, chowder, deep fried; boiled fish (grouper); macaroni cheese; peas 'n' rice; guava duff; Johnny cake (sweet bread). Kalik is the local beer and popular cocktails include Bahamamama,  Goombay smash and yellow Bird.

What to buy;

Duty-free perfume, watches, jewellery, china, crystal, linen, cameras, leather goods. Barcardi and other spirits are also good value for money.


FAST FACTS;                                                                    

Capital; Beijing.

Main cities; Shanghai, Gungzhou, Shenzen, Wuhan, Chongqing, Hongkong, Shenyang.

Populations; 1,339,724,852(As per year 2010 estimates)

Currency; Renminbi yuan(RMB).  US dollars are the best currency to take.  Credit cards are accepted. Exchange rate approximate RMB 6.23=$1. Tipping (service charge normally included. But in mainland China, tipping, not generally expected.

Time; GMT +8

Electricity; 220 volts.  An adaptor may be required for some appliances.

Driving; On the right.  It is possible to hire vehicles for use in Beijing, Shanghai, Hongkong and Sanya, on Hainan island.  International driving licence/permit required.

Public Holidays; Include January 1, February 19-21; April 5; May 1; June20; September27; October 1-3;

Language; Chinese Mandarin.

Religion; Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Taoist.

Country Dial Code; +86

Getting there; (Major gateways, including Beijing(PEK), Shanghai(SHA), Guangzhou Baiyun(CAN), Hongkong(CLK), Macau(MFM). Typical flying time from UK is 9-12 hours, while from Los Angeles to Beijing is 12.5 hours; New York to Beijing 13.5 hours.

Transfers; Beijing (16 miles/26 km) airport bus 50 minutes; taxi 35 minutes. Shanghai (8 miles/13 km) airport bus 30 minutes; taxi 25 minutes.

Ports; Guangzhou, Xiamen,Tianjin, Shanghai, Hongkong, Dalian, Qingdao.

Visa requirements; Visa is essential and needed to enter mainland China, but not Hongkong or Macau. For mainland China, you must get a visa prior to arrival, including for Hainan Island. If you visit Hongkong from the mainland and wish to return to the mainland, you will need a visa that allows you to make a second entry into China. From January 1, 2013, Beijing and Shanghai began allowing foreigners from 45 countries witth visas and plane tickets to a third country to transit through Beijing and Shanghai for 72 hours without a visa for China.  Contact(www.china

Health requirements;

Yelow fever immunisation essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid, polio and malaria (depending on area visited).

Getting Around;

Beijing and Shangai have underground railway systems, and there are bus and trolley bus services throughout the country. Major towns are linked by bus and and efficient and punctual rail service.

The principal means of transport is bicycles, which are used by the majority of the population; bike hire is easy and cheap. Ferries operate between Dalian, Tianjin, Quingdao, Shanghai, HongKong and on major rivers.

Climate; The south is hot and humid with cool winters; the north and central areas have high rainfall, hot summers and cold winters; and the north east has hot, dry summers and severe winters. Beijing has a continental climate, with warm to hot summers and cold winters, with plenty of frost and some snow

  • Accommodation;

There are more than 6,500 hotels in China, with between three and five stars.

  • What to eat and drink;

Main cuisines; Cantonese, Sichuan, Huaiyang and imperial. Drinks; tea, rice wine.

  • Major Events;
  1. Chinese New year, spring festival (January/February).
  • 2. International Labour Day (May 1).
  • 3. National Day (October).
  • 4. Harbin international ice and snow festival (January).
  • 5. Zigong International Dinosaur Lantern Festival (During the spring festival).
  • 6. Annual water – splashing festival in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan (Mid - April).
  • 7. Annual Ethnic Minority singing festival; Lunar March 3 festival (April 21 – 22).
  • 8. China Luoyang Peony culture festival (end of April to the beginning of May).
  • 9. Dragon Boat Festival (June).
  • 10. Naadam Festival, Mongolia (July).
  • 11. Qingdao International Beer Festival (Mid – August).
  • 12. Dalian International Fashion Festival (September).
  • 13. Beijing International Tourism Culture Festival (September).


  • 1. Great wall of China, Beijing.
  • 2. Forbidden city, Beijing.
  • 3. Summer Palace, Beijing.
  • 4. Terracotta Army, Xi'an.
  • 5. Three Gorges, Chongqing (Yangtze river)
  • 6. Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Shanghai.
  • 7. Potala Palace, Lhasa
  • 8. Lijiang River, Guilin.
  • 9. Chinese Gardens, Suzhou.
  • 10. Olympic Games sites, Beijing.
  • 11. Ancient cultural street, Tianjin.
  • 12. Mountain Resort of chengde (BishuShanzhuang), Hebei.
  • 13. Mt. Wutai, Shanxi.
  • 14. Yabul International Ski Resort Heilong jiang.
  • 15. Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai.
  • 16. Chinese Gardens, Suzhou, Jiangsu.
  • 17. West Lake, Huangzhou, Zhejiang.
  • 18. Mt. Huangshan, Anhui.
  • 19. Mt. Wuyi, Fujian.
  • 20. Mt. Taishan, Shandong
  • 21. Shaolin Martial Arts, Henan.
  • 22. Zhangjiajie, Hunan.
  • 23. Splendid China, Shenzhen, Guangdong.
  • 24. Sanya, Hainan.
  • 25. Dazu Rock Carvings, Chongqing
  • 26. Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan.
  • 27. Huang guoshu waterfall, Guizhou.
  • 28. Lijiang Old Town and Mt. Yulong, Yunnan.
  • 29. Mogao caves, Dunhuang, Gansu.
  • 30. Ta’er monastery, Qinghai.
  • 31. West xia Tombs, Ningxia.
  • Population; 7,000,000 (As per the year 2011 estimates).
  • Currency; Hong Kong dollar (HK$). Major credit cards are widely accepted. Exchange rate approximate (HK$ 7.75=$1).
  • Tipping (hotels/restaurants add a 10% service charge, but an additional 5% may be given).
  • Time; GTM + 8.
  • Electricity; 220 volts, adaptor required.
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the left. International driving permit is recommended.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1, 31; February 1, 3; April 5, 18, 19, 21; May 1, 6; June 2; July 1; September 9; October 1, 2; December 25, 26.
  • Language; official languages are English and Cantonese.
  • Religion; Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian.
  • Country Dial Code; +852
  • Getting there; (Major gateway including, Hong Kong International (HKG). Typical flying time from Los Angeles is 12 hours, from New York 16 hours, while from UK is 11hours 45 minutes.
  • Port; Hong Kong.
  • Transfers; Central/Kowloon (22miles/36km), Airport Express train 23minutes; Airport bus 60-90 minutes to the city center.
  • Visa requirements; Visa is essential and important.
  • Health requirements; No vaccination certificates are required.
  • Climate; Subtropical – hot with high humidity May to September, when there is a possibility of monsoons and even the occasional typhoon. From mid – October to March, it is generally more pleasant with rain; weather conditions are also cooler from December to February.
  • Accommodation; There are over 200 hotels in Hong Kong, from luxury properties to hostels and the YMCA. Most are modern with very modern facilities. There is also a wide selection of budget hotels and guest houses for tourists.


  • 1. Chinese New Year (January/February)
  • 2. Hong Kong Arts Festival (February/March).
  • 3. Rugby World Cup Sevens (March).
  • 4. Cheung ChauBun Festival (April)
  • 5. Dragon Boat Festival (June)
  • 6. Hong Kong Summer Spectacular (June-August)
  • 7. Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Festival (September)
  • 8. Wine & Dine Month (November)
  • 9. Hong Kong Winter Fest (November – January)


  • 1. Victoria peak, central, Hong Kong Island.
  • 2. Open – air markets; Ladies’Market, Temple Street Night Market, Kowloon.
  • 3. Tian Tan Buddha statue and Po Lin Buddhist monastery, Lantau.
  • 4. Ocean Park, Aberdeen, Hong Kong Island.
  • 5. Hong Kong DisneyLand Resort, Lantau Island.
  • 6. Repulse Bay, Hong Kong Island.
  • 7. Avenue of stars, Star ferry, the symphony of lights, Tsim ShaTsui, Kowloon.
  • 8. Sik sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon.
  • 9. Stanley market, maritime museum, Murray house, Stanley, Hong Kong Island.
  • 10. Lamma Island, Pengchau, Cheung chan Island, and other outlying Islands.

What to eat and drink;

There are over 11,000 restaurants in Hong Kong, Serving Chinese, Asian and Western Cuisines. They include Cantonese (dim sum, fresh sea food, noodles, rice); Chiu Chow (favourites are duck, goose and sea food,); Peking (Highly flavoured roots and vegetables); Shanghainese (similar to Cantonese Cuisine, featuring preserved vegetables, pickles and salted meats); and Szechuan (Hot and Spicy). Different islands have their own specialities.

What to buy;

Silks, linens, antiques, handicrafts, gold jewellery, fashion, Electronics.

Frequently asked questions (FAQUE)

  • 1. When is the best time to visit Hong Kong?

Answer: Hong Kong is a year – round destination with a mild climate from mid – September to the end of February; from May to mid – September is warm and humid.

  • 2. Is English widely spoken?

Answer: Yes, but it helps to have your destination written down in Chinese for tax drivers.

  • 3. Where is the best area to stay in Hong Kong?

Answer: Most hotels are in the centre, on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. There are also several in the New Territories and on the outlying islands that offer a relaxing alternative to the bustle of the city.

  • Population; 591,900 (As per the year 2013 estimates).
  • Currency: Macau Pataca (Mo$) = 100 avos. Pegged to the Hong Kong dollar (HK$). Both are accepted, as well as major credit cards. Exchange rate approximate (MOP$ 7.98=$1). Tipping (Most hotels and restaurants include a 10% service charge, but it is customary to leave a small additional tip. Porters should also be tipped.
  • Time: GMT +8
  • Electricity: 220 volts. Adapter is required.
  • Driving: On the left. International licence required.
  • Public Holidays: Include January 1; February 19; April 3, 5, 6; May 1, 25; June 20; September 27; October 1, 21; November 2; December 8, 20, 22, 24, 25.
  • Language: Portuguese and Cantonese are the official languages. English is Macau's third language.
  • Religion: Majority Buddhist, also Catholic.
  • Country Dial Code: + 853.
  • Getting there: (Major getaways, including Macau International (MFM), Hong Kong International (HKG). Also Macau Heliport.
  • Typical flying time from UK is 12 hours.
  • Departure Tax: MOP $ 130 airport tax included in ticket and MOP$ 20 departure tax in ferry ticket.
  • Port: Macau ferry port.
  • Visa requirements: Visa is essential and required.
  • Health requirements; Precautions against hepatitis A and typhoid are recommended.
  • Climate: Moderate to hot. Average annual temperature of just over 20C and a yearly mean average between 16C and 25C. Humidity and rainfall are high. You can expect the occasional typhoon between May and September.


  • 1. Ruins of St Paul’s
  • 2. Museum of Sacred Art
  • 3. Guia Fortress and Lighthouse
  • 4. Lou Lim Leoc Garden
  • 5. Museum of Macau
  • 6. Macau cultural centre
  • 7. Coloane
  • 8. Senate Library
  • 9. Leal Senado
  • 10. Monte Fort
  • 11. Kun Lam Temple
  • 12. Tin Hau Temple
  • 13. Taipa
  • 14. Old City
  • 15. MGM Grand Macau
  • 16. Colonial Macau.
  • Major Events in MACAU/ CHINA;
  • 1. 61st Macau Grand Prix (November 13, 16)
  • 2. Macau Food Festival (November)
  • 3. 17thLusofonia Festival (October)
  • 4. 28th Macau International Music Festival
  • 5. Mid - Autumn Festival (September)
  • 6. 26th Macau International Fireworks Display Contest (September)
  • 7. Macau International Dragon Boat Festival (May)
  • 8. Feast of the Drunken Dragon (May)
  • 9. 25th Macau Arts Festival (May)
  • 10. Processions of Our Lord of the Passion (March)
  • 11. Chinese New Year (January – February).

Known as “the loveliest mountain in China,” this UNESCO world heritage site in southern Anhui is one of the country’s most popular attractions, a series of steps leading visitors between key beauty spots and picturesque temples, built by Monks during the Ming Dynasty.


Home to more than 30% of the world’s giant pandas and over 100 other animal species, these seven nature reserves are spread across Sichuan’s Qionglai and   Jiajin Mountains. As the chance of spotting a panda in the wild is slim, the best opportunity of an encounter is at one of the breeding centres within the reserves.


Tall, spindly sandstone formations rise out of the valley like giants’ fingers, over grown with dense green plant life. But they are not the only geological marvel here in far northwest Hunan Province – you will also find two natural bridges, including the ‘Bridge across the Sky’ which towers an impressive 1,170ft above the valley floor.

  • 4. LI RIVER

The area around this river in Guangxi province is renowed for its natural beauty and it is easy to see why. The greenish water is flanked by spectacular mountains, karst caves and grazing water buffalo, with picturesque towns along the way. A cruise from Guilin to Yanghuo takes around six hours.


Stretching across almost 300 square miles in Northern Sichuan, Jiuzhaigou’s valleys and jugged peaks are a patchwork of dense forests, waterfalls, hot springs, Tibetan villages and more than 100 impossibly blue lakes. The reserve is home to countless animals, including the giant Panda, Sichuan golden snub – nosed monkey, and 140 species of bird.


The city of Suzhou is located south east of Jiangsu province in eastern China, around 30 minutes by fast train from Shanghai. Often referred to as the Venice of the East due to the high number of canals and bridges in the city, it is located in the Yangtze Delta, with around 42% of its area covered by water. Its classical gardens with pagodas are a significant attraction which saw the city awarded UNESCO world heritage site Status in 1997, while its teahouses, embroidered goods and silk factories are also major draws.

  • 1. PIN VON TEAHOUSE: One of the many places to drink tea and snack on dim sum.
  • 2. SILK ROAD CENTRE: Take time out to browse silk shops after a trip to the silk museum.
  • 3. CLASSICAL GARDENS; The four most famous include Lion Grove Garden, the Lingering Garden, Humble Administrator’s Garden, and Master of the Nets Garden.
  • 4. SONG HE LOU (PINE AND CRANE RESTAURANT): This 200 - year- old restaurant serves traditional Suzhou specialties and is located in Taijian Nong (Taijian Lane), also known as Gourmet street, around the Guanqianjie area.
  • 5. RIVA STAKE HOUSE: Located inside the intercontinental hotel, this is Suzhou’s first Mediterranean steak house. Expect a cosy rustic atmosphere, a sophisticated wine list and deliciously decadent desserts.
  • 6. TIGER HILL: Said to resemble a crouching tiger, this is the burial site of King Helv, who ruled the state of Wu from AD 514 - 496. Wander around its pathways to discover the learning pagoda.
  • 7. OPERA: Some of the classical gardens offer free opera for performances during the afternoon. Or try Fu Xi Qin Guan, where you are guaranteed to see performers dressed in elaborate robes and full make – up.
  • 8. LANTERN FESTIVAL: This colourful festival takes place on Jinji Lake, Usually in February or March.
  • 9. SILK FESTIVAL: Discover more about a vital local industry in this annual September/October festival.
  • 10. DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL: A yearly May festival featuring colourful boat races on Jinji Lake.
  • 11. PINGJIANG LU: This cobble stone street features authentic traditional teahouses and cafes, as well as antique shops, and is the place to grab a 45 – minute boat rides through the canals.
  • 12. GUANQIAN JIE: A popular commercial street with century – old stores interspersed with modern chain stores.


Chengdu is a large and diverse city in the Sichuan province of western China with 12 million residents. A host of cultural and entertainment options keep locals, expats and tourists occupied, while 100 parks – 70 of them public – give the city its laid – back vibe while earning it the title of “National Forestry City”. Chengdu is also the home of the giant panda.


A visit to Chengdu would not be complete without a trip to see the rarest member of the bear family, the giant panda. Chengdu’s Giant Panda Breeding Centre – located six miles north of the city – was established in 1987 to protect the species through breeding; 50 of the lovable, lazy black and white bears now live at the centre. There is no need to pre - book-just turn up and buy tickets on the day.


One of the oldest temples in Chengdu, the Qing-Yang palace is a must see. Built during the Zhou Dynasty (1022 - 486BC), this beautiful, typically Chinese building once served as a place of worship for Taoists from all over the province. Two symbolic bronze goats stand guard outside.

  1. SHOP;

Shoppers won’t be disappointed in this sprawling city, with options ranging from quaint boutiques to gargantuan mega-malls.  One of note   is chicony, a Taiwanese -developed mall selling big brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Dolce and Gabanna. Head up to the ninth – floor food hall to refuel.

  1. EAT;

Eating is big business in Chengdu, with hot and spicy Sichuan hots

pots, wontons, and sticky rice balls readily available to test your chilli tolerance. From hole - in - the- wall, cheap and cheerful spots to more upmarket options serving roast rabbit, diners are spoilt for choice. Vegetarians are well catered for, too. You won’t have to go far to find a typical tea house either.

  1. BAR;

In the 1990s the face of Chengdu’s traditional pub scene widened to offer sophisticated bars and coffee shops, but the most interesting additions to the conveniently named pub street were book bars, establishments combining a love of books with a love of beer. There are still several in operation but kafta bookstore, located down a cobbled street near the river, is particulary quaint.

  1. VIEW;

Fantastic views can be enjoyed from the summit of mount Emei, a sacred Buddhist Mountain located 10,000ft above the city. Opt for a sunrise visit and watch as a deep purple sky gives way to rosy clouds and a bright purple arc as the sun starts to peep through.




This beautiful city centre park is one of the oldest and largest ancient imperial gardens in China, with a man-made island surrounded by an artificial lake at its centre. North of here is prince Gong palace, one of the best - preserved noblemen’s houses in the country and the epitome of classical Chinese architecture.


According to ancient Chinese philosophy, the earth is square, while the heaven is round - hence the prevalence of both shapes in the striking design of this vast complex of temples, which is even larger than the Forbidden City. Dating from the Ming Dynasty and completed in 1420, its Hall of prayer for Good Harvests features a spectacularly intricate caisson ailing. It was as its name suggests - a place where sacrifices and prayers were carried at the emperor’s behest, in the hope of growing abundant crops.


Built during the Jin Dynasty in the 12th and 13th centuries, this elegant complex of palaces, temples, and gardens is spread over 700 acres around the Kunming lake. Highlights include the 17 Arches Bridge, the Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha, and the marble boat - the latter being a popular spot for newlyweds.


This symbol of the Cultural Revolution is dominated by a giant portrait of Chairman Mao, who reshaped the square to enable up to half a million people to gather here. Lining the vast public space are the Great Hall of the people, the legislative centre of China, national museum of China, and Mao’s mausoleum, where the embalmed politician has been on display since 1976.


The gigantic complex, stretching across 177 across, was built in the 15th century to houses the emperors - the 'sons of the Heaven' -  and their massive households. This city within the city, which contains around 800 pavilions, is the largest collection of ancient wooden buildings in the world and features a truly impressive architectural mix of red walls and columns, along with yellow tiles, golden door panels, and marble balustrades.



  • 1. YU GARDENS;

This beautiful old city green space, also known as Yu yuan Gardens, dates back to the 16th century, and today features more than 30 pavilions, as well as carp - filled ornamental ponds, beautiful bridges and an impressive rockery made from 2,000 tons of yellow stone


The city’s biggest park offers plenty to keep children - and big kids occupied, with everything from rentable bikes and tandems to pedal boats on its waterways. Elsewhere, there is a mini golf course, wildlife park, concert stage, picnic area and plenty of space to lie back and relax.


It may be far from central shanghai, located eight miles out on the southwestern outskirts of the city, but that is what makes the Botanical Garden a perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle. It is divided into several areas, with ponds, bonsai and bamboo gardens, and exhibition green houses.

  • 4. THE BUND;

Stretching along the west bank of the Huangpu River. The Bund was once the heart of the city’s financial district. The street remains a Shanghai icon, with its wide promenade and mishmash of architectural styles - from art deco to neoclassical and gothic revival - being the principal attraction. It is also a great spot for dining and bar - hopping, and for looking across to the high - rise pudong district, which contains the futuristic, oriental pearl Tower.


As the name suggests, this district was once under French control, and its distinctly European tree - lined boulevards and villas remain.  You can easily spend a whole day admiring the architecture, but there is also the 24 - acre Fuxing park, a popular tai spot, and a buzzing nightlife.

  • 6. OLD CITY;

Settlement in this picturesque part of Shanghai dates back hundreds of years, although many of the buildings have been restored or rebuilt.  The beautiful YU GARDENS and the city’s surviving Confucius temple are two of the top sights here.


Once the tallest building in China, this 88 - storey tower is home to offices and a hotel, but there is also an observation deck on the top floor with breathtaking views across the city.


Right in the centre of Shanghai, Renmin (people's) square is home to a park and a concrete plaza which, during rush hour, is buzzing with commuters, thanks to its excellent transport connections. Around the square are some of the city’s best museums and the Shanghai Municipal Government Mansion.



Once located in an old bank building on the Bund, this museum is now housed in a modern building on RENMIN square; its impressive collection includes paintings, ancient bronzes, sculptures, calligraphy and ceramics.


This market, just outside YU GARDENS, has more than 100 shops and stalls, and while it is undoubted touristy, you can still get a bargain on items such as antiques, silk fans and paintings. It is also home to the city's oldest medicine shop, where you can find traditional Chinese remedies for just about any ailment.

  • 11. PLAZA 66;

A slick mall on bustling Nanjingxi Road in Jingan district and the place to go for designer goods. High - end brands including Louis Vuitton, Dior, Cartier, and chopard, have stores here (

  • 12. XINTIANDI;

This street was redeveloped in the late 1990s to turn its pretty residential buildings into sophisticated shops, cafes and restaurants. It is now pedestrianised, and its boutiques - housed in traditional Chinese and British - style buildings dating back to the 1920s and 1930s - stock local brands as well as international names such as French connection and Lacoste.

  • 13. SHOUNING LU;

For succulent sea food that won’t break the bank, head to Shouning Lu in Huangpu district. This street food haven is best visited at night, when the locals are out in force, and you can get your hands on freshly grilled crayfish, oysters and scallops.

  • 14. DIN TAI FUNG;

This chain started life as a street food stall in Taiwan, and has since expanded to have branches around the world, all serving very reasonably priced pork and shrimp Xuaolongbao (soup dumplings). 11a 2nd floor, building 6, xintiandi south block, 123 xingye Lu, Luwan district.

  • 15. PEOPLE 7;

You really have to know how you are going to get into this restaurant/bar - the secret, coded entrance provides a challenge to would - be guests, but once inside, the slick decor and ultra-low lighting combine to create an ambient space for enjoying the excellent - and pricey - Pan - Asian cuisine. 805 Julu Lu, Jiang'an district.

  • 16. STORMY CAFE;

If walking around the French concession leaves you in need of a caffeine fix, try this little cafe, serving good coffee, beer, cocktails and snacks. The cosy decor features armchairs, cushions and vintage - style posters, and there are board games to entertain you.  229 Danshui Lu, Luwan district.


Cheap drinks, a laid back atmosphere and live music mean this French concession bar is big with students, though visitors are also made to feel welcome. Fridays and Saturdays see rock cover bands take to the stage. 183 caojiayan Lu, changing district.

  • 18. GLAMOUR BAR;

The sister bar of M on the Bund, Glamour Bar sits a floor below. Popular with expats, this slick space features three distinct bars - dedicated to wine, champagne and cocktails respectively and serves sophisticated snacks (

  • 19. COTTON CLUB;

Harking back to Shanghai's 1920s heyday, this smoky jazz club attracts both locals and foreigners, with its house band often joined by visiting musicians. It is located in a concession -  era building with its own garden (www.the cotton club .cn)


This arena was revamped in 2005 in preparation for the launch of ERA, its daily acrobatic show that features dives, leaps and motorcycle stunts.  The venue is so well - known it even has a metro station named after it. 2266 Gonghe xin Lu, zhabei district.


Japanese - style karaoke, or KTV, has been big in China for a couple of decades, and Shanghai is awash with bars offering the chance to belt out your favourite hits. While they vary in quality, cashbox party world is one of the more respectable, and its private karaoke rooms are popular with young locals. 109 Yandang Lu, Luwan district.


Hong Kong’s name literary translates as 'fragrant harbor'. It is one of the deepest natural harbors in the world, with the fragrant aspect coming from incense factories lining the water. Initially, this city may overwhelm with its high - rise, glittering towers soaring over the surrounding island waters, but travel with the current and embrace the chaos in order to truly experience Hong Kong. It is a place to delight in.

  • 1. ATTRACTIONS: Away from the bustling city are green hide aways in the form of gardens and mountains offering tranquility and peace. Dragon's Back mountain walk, an easy – going hike, enables you to enjoy another side of Hong Kong, while another mid – city green gem is Nan Lian Garden, a large park decorated with traditional buildings, waterfalls and an array of flowers, making it the perfect serene escape.
  • 2. BUILDING: There is no doubt, Hong Kong Is the world’s most vertical metropolis, with more than 1,200 structures above 328ft. Building upwards for decades means Hong Kong now has more skyscrapers than New York. The highest building at 1,587ft is the International Commerce Centre, comprising offices and a hotel, and ranking the sixth tallest in the world. The third tallest building, the Central Plaza, is home to the highest church in the world.
  • 3. SHOP: Hong Kong’s shopping culture is booming. In Kowloon, you can experience Nathan Road, Shanghai tailors, Asian street labels and the latest technology. Alternatively, absorb the colorful sights and smells of Hong Kong’s best wet market with its narrow streets brimming full of fruit, vegetables, meat and sea food, which refuses to be stamped out by the convenience of supermarkets.
  • 4. EAT: From traditional must eats like dim sum to little street food snacks such as egg tarts and pineapple buns, food is big in Hong Kong. Take the worldwide street food advice and look out for queues of locals when opting to try slush drinks, put cahi ko or octopus’ balls. If you are looking to experience authentic food like hotpots and claypots, head to Fai sea food Hotpots.
  • 5. BAR: With limited space, buildings go up, as does everything with them. Bars and restaurants are famously on roof tops or high up in luxurious hotels. Ozone Bar, part of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, is the highest bar in the world and views of the city from this location are bound to dazzle. The Aqua Spirit bar is located at the top levels of the one Peking skyscraper, with a panoramic vista over Hong Kong’s harbor.
  • 6. VIEW: Come dusk at Victoria peak, the sky melts into pink and orange before rein carnating as a dazzling Galaxy of the light shimmering beneath you. The highest point on Hong Kong Island has been an exclusive neighborhood hangout since colonial time as visitors headed up higher for cooler air. In the post – air - conditioning era, spectacular city scape views keep them coming.



In the east of the Binhai Road, the southwest coastline area is six miles from the center of Dalian city. The area has islets, scenic hills and beaches, and is shaped like the bangchui (an ancient club-shaped washing tool). Continue along the road to find the beautiful Tiger Beach Ocean Park and swallow Nest Mountain, and finish by relaxing in the Fijianzhuang bathing place.


A 700 ft - diameter square with 10 roads radiating from it, the central land mark of the city was designed by the Russians in 1889. Most of the grand architecture dates from the early 20th century and ranges in style from art deco to French Renaissance. There are green zones and paved areas where people gather to dance in the summer. Several classical buildings created by the Japanese authorities in the first half of the century surround the square itself.


It is arguably China’s best natural history museum, with fossils, animals and plants originating from the western Liaoning area dominating the display.  The museum itself is built in the czarist Russian style and surrounded by historic buildings.


A giant football in the center of this public park serves as a reminder of the local soccer team being the best in China at the turn of the century. The Lushun Mountain observation tower is also worth a visit as it offers up beautiful panoramic views of the city. The park also features the thrill of amusement rides and the relaxation of tai chi, so is a place where you certainly won’t run out of things to do.


Held in Xinghai square for 10 days between late July and early August, the festival is a shrine for the true beer lover. The setting itself is unique, the center of the square resembling a star with two white marble cloud pillars and lamps every 20 meters positioned in the shape of a navigation light. The festival is certainly a novel way to enjoy the wide variety of beer that is available.


Frequented by local musicians and expats alike, this bar has a laid - back atmosphere where you can enjoy a relaxing drink and live music in the summer, when the front patio is open. The decor is ecletic, with dark wood, candles and booths. A visit here will offer you the perfect relaxing place to unwind after a very busy day in the city.


An outdoor market that is also open during the evenings, this is a great spot to enjoy beer and barbecued seafood   in the evening sun. Beginning at the train station and ending at the home inn off Tianjin Jie, the market gives visitors a real slice of local life. In the smaller version of the market, by samba square, there are also fruit stands and more traditional food produce on offer to try.




China's largest monographic museum includes a permanent exhibition on the Gorges, including a model of the dam, as well as information on southwest China’s minority cultures, Chongqing and the Anti - Japanese war.


A walk up 1,160 ft pipa shan mountain offers spectacular views of Chongqing, especially at night. Legend has it a girl, living at the foot of the mountain, fell in love with a Yangtze River boy, but was forbidden from marrying him as he was too poor. Every night, she climbed the mountain to play the lute in sorrow, until she died   of depression. Hence the mountain being dubbed 'Lute mountain'


Two - hour cruises leave the dock nightly from 7 pm, but arrange tickets on board to save yourself any extra cost.



Two routes cross the River Yangzi, China’s largest, and the River Jialing.  Both are within walking distance of the Liberation Monument and offer a bird’s - eye view of the city skyline and its murky waters. The Yangzi ride leaves you in the riverside bar and restaurant district, Nan'an Binjiang LU; the Jialing ride drops passengers off at the Chongqing Grand Theatre and the science museum.


Built by immigrants from the Hu and Guang provinces (hence the name), this museum complex served as their community headquarters. Recently renovated to reveal the classical Chinese architecture, Guild Hall offers a peak into Chongqing's rich culture and history. The temple, teahouse and garden are worth exploring. There are also several stages, with free performances of Yueju (Zhejiang opera) and Jingju (Beijing opera) every Thursday and Saturday, usually between 3pm and 6pm.


Just 11 miles outside Chongqing, southern Hot - spring park was built in 1927 and contains 110 bathrooms and three swimming pools. The mineral spring waters are believed to have healing properties. The springs are surrounded by forests, waterfalls and caves with stalactites and stalagmites.


Both magical and mesmerizing, TIBET is a land that delights in its image of Buddhist mystique. Make LHASA - at 11,450 ft one of the highest cities in the world -  your gateway to this remote Chinese region and immerse yourself in an ancient culture that goes back more than 1,000 years. You can take the train from Xining or Chendu for a once - in - a lifetime experience - the journey is certainly as important as the destination.


The ancient spiritual traditions of TIBET are world - renowned and no trip would be complete without visiting the eighth - century samye monastery, the first Buddhist monastery to be built in TIBET and still a popular pilgrimage site today, with TIBETAN BUDDHISTS traveling for weeks to reach. Its sacred Mandala design symbolizes the mythical Mount Meru.  It's open daily from 8.00am -  5.30pm.

  • 2. BUILDING;

Regarded as the most sacred temple in TIBET, Jokhang Temple was built around AD 642 and as part of the Potala Palace is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is also the ultimate destination for pilgrims. Covering about six acres, the four - storey timber complex has a lavish golden top echoing the architectural styles of the Tang Dy nasty, as well as those of TIBET and NEPAL.

  • 3. SHOP;

The Chinese government is cementing TIBET's appeal as a tourist destination with all mod cons, including the construction of a 150,000 square meter shopping mall with an underground parking lot in the heart of the ancient city. Until then, shop at Lhasa department store, Tibet sai kang tour go shopping centre and shihuaqiao friendship mall.

  • 4. EAT;

With Chinese, Indian, Nepalese and Tibetan influences, as well as western - style offerings, standards are pretty good.  The new Mandala restaurant, a modest affair in Barkhor square, offers roof top dining, tasty curries and helpful staff. Snowland restaurant is the place to go for its renowned yet inexpensive yak steak dinner. Chocolate lovers will find sweet treats at Bread talk.

  • 5. BAR;

The fledgling bar scene in Lhasa is music and art oriented. Gang La mie duo show cases Tibetan art, good food and wines. Also in Barkhor street is the 150 - year - old former family home of the 11th Dalai Lama, the cosy Low House Music Bar, where log - themed decor and Indian, Nepalese and Tibetan traditional music are the order of the day. Young hipsters gather in Gauer cafe drink, a gallery - bar, to drink, smoke, listen to music, chat and paint - the butter tea and Tibetan chang are free.

  • 6. VIEW;

You will have to climb 1,080 steps to get to the entrance of Potala palace, the highest ancient palace in the world at 12,359 ft. You will need to pace yourself given the altitude, but at the summit you will be rewarded with stunning views over the city, and a once - in - a - lifetime chance to see the interior of what was once the current Dalai Lama's residence.



  • Capital; Bogota.
  • Main cities; Medellin, Cali; Barranquilla, Cartagena.
  • Populations; 47,704,427 (As per the year 2012 estimates).
  • Currency; Colombian peso=100 centavos. All major credit cards accepted. Exchange rate (approximate COL$1,884=$1). Tipping (10% is acceptable).
  • Time; GMT - 5
  • Electricity; 110 volts. No adaptor required.
  • Driving; On the right. International driving licence required.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,12; March 23; April 2,3,5; May 1, 18; June 8, 15, 29; July 20; August 7, 17; October 12, 23; November 2, 16; December 8, 25.
  • Language; Spanish.
  • Religion; Roman Catholic (Majority); Evangelical Christian and protestant christian.
  • Country Dial Code; +57
  • Getting there; (Major gateway, including Bogota El Dorado ((BOG). Typical flying time from Miami is 3.5 hours, while from UK is 12 hours.
  • Transfers; Bogota (& miles/12km) taxi 35 minutes.
  • Departure Tax; US $35
  • Ports; Cartagena, Santa Marta, Barran quilla, Tumaco, Buenaventura.
  • Visa requirements; It is essential and required.
  • Health requirements; Precautions against hepatitis A, polio and typhoid are recommended and for tourists visiting jungle regions, vaccination against yellow fever and tetanus.
  • Climate; The climate varies vastly between different varies vastly between different regions of the country, with conditions on the coast tropical. Rainy seasons are April - June and October - November.




One hour from Cartagena, these 43 coral - ringed, palm - studded islands cover 50 acres, forming one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet.


The country's coffee - growing region lies in the shadow of snow -  topped Andean peaks. Valle Del cocora national park, near salento is popular for fishing, hiking and horse riding.


This Caribbean Seaport was once a major conduit for gold export to Spain. The walled old city -  a UNESCO world heritage site -  is best explored by horse - drawn carriage, while the Naval Museum makes for a fascinating visit.


The lost city in the Sierra Nevada was closed for years due to civil war - its 169 terraces cut into the jungle slopes are now safely open to the public again.


Zipaquira's picturesque Spanish colonial city center is well worth a visit, but its main claim to fame is its cathedral, built inside the local salt mines, some 650 ft underground.


The Gold museum in Bogota houses the world's largest collection of pre - Hispanic gold work, along with some 50,000 items of pottery, stone art facts, and wood and textile relics of the ancient civilizations of the region.



  • Capital; Avarua.
  • Population; 23,400 (As per the year 2014 estimates).
  • Currency; New Zealand dollar (NZ$), supplemented by notes and coins minted for local use. Major credit cards are accepted. Exchange rate approximate (NZ$1.15=$1). Tipping (not customary).
  • Time; GMT - 10.5 hours
  • Electricity; 240 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the left. Drivers must have a Cook Islands driver’s licence, obtained from Avarua police station for NZ $20 on presentation of your licence.
  • Public Holidays; Include Jan 1; April 3, 6, 25; June 1; August 4; October25; December 25, 26.
  • Language; Cook Islands Maori. English widely spoken.
  • Religion; Mainly Christian
  • Country dial code; +682
  • Getting there; (Major gateway, including Rarotonga (RAR). Air Rarotonga operates regular services to the southern group islands; services to northern group islands are less frequent. Typical flying time from UK is 22 hours
  • Departure Tax; Included in airfare.
  • Getting Around; Domestic air services to the southern group islands; less frequently to the northern group islands.
  • Visa requirements; Visa is essential and required.
  • Health requirements; Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio are recommended.
  • Climate; The cooler months are June to August; the warmer season is November to March, when you can expect occasional tropical showers. The drier months are April to November; between December and March, conditions are generally damper and more humid.


  • Capital; San Jose
  • Main cities; Cartago; Alajuela, Heredia, Puntarenas, Limon, Liberia.
  • Populations; 4,695,942 (As per the year 2013 estimates).
  • Currency; Costa Rican colon (CRC)=100 Centimos. Major credit cards accepted. Avoid street money changers. Exchange rate approximate (CRC 551=$1). Tipping (Tips are expected. Tip hotel porters and housekeeping $ 0.50 - $1. Tip tour guides $.1 -  $ 5. Tip 10% in restaurants.
  • Time; GMT - 6
  • Electricity; 110/220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the right. International driving permit is required.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; April 5, 11; May 1; July 25; August 2, 15; September 15; October 12; December 25.
  • Language; Spanish.
  • Religion; Catholic
  • Country Dial Code; +506.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways, including San Jose (SJO), Liberia (LIR). Typical flying from UK is 12 hours, while from Miami, 3 hours.
  • Transfers; San Jose (11 miles/17km). Coach 20 minutes; bus 20 minutes; taxi 15 minutes.
  • Departure Tax; $ 26
  • Ports; Puerto Limon, Puntarenas.
  • Visa requirements; You must present both a valid passport and either a round - trip ticket or proof of onward travel to another country.
  • Health requirements; Precautions against typhoid, hepatitis A and polio advised. Seek medical advice regarding precautions against cholera and dengue fever. There is a risk of malaria in rural areas.
  • Getting Around; There are domestic flights, but reservations cannot be made outside Costa Rica. Car hire is available in the capital San Jose and road standards across the country are good.
  • Climate; Costa Rica’s climate is warm - year round in the central valley, with temperatures averaging 22C. Conditions are hotter in coastal areas, with little temperature variation between seasons. The rainy season in Costa Rica is from May to November; the dry season is from December to May.
  • Accommodation; There is an excellent range of hotels, most at reasonable prices. Costa Rica is known for eco - tourism and wilder ness lodges are found throughout the country.


What to eat and drink;

Rice and beans play a large role in Costa Rican cuisine. Popular dishes are gallo pinto (rice with beans), sopa negra (black beans with a poached egg), piccadillo (meat and vegetable stew) and casado (beef, beans, rice, plantain, salad and cabbage).  Snacks are sold at street stalls and include filled tortillas called gallos. The wide variety of restaurants in Costa Rica ranges from French to Chinese. Rum is the drink of choice for locals; Cafe Rica is caffeine - based option.

What to buy;

Handicrafts, leather goods, wooden sculptures, jewelry, pottery, coffee.

Safety and security;

Special care should be taken when swimming from beaches, particularly those on Costa Rica's Atlantic coast, as riptides are common. Visitors to the country should avoid street money changers. Travelers visiting jungle areas are advised to be accompanied by an experienced local guide. Drug trafficking is dealt with severely.

Major Events;

  • 1. Puntarenas carnival (February)
  • 2. Day of the virgin of the seas (July)
  • 3. Independence Day (September)
  • 4. Limon carnival (October)
  • 5. Expo Perez Zelendoni (February)
  • 6. International Festival of the Arts, San Jose (March)
  • 7. Dia del Boyero, Escazu (March)
  • 8. Semena Santa (March/April)
  • 9. Fiesta civica,  canas (May)
  • 10. Chorotega Tourist Fair, Nicoyal (July)
  • 11. San Jose carnival (December);


  • 1. Corcovado national park
  • 2. Nicoya peninsula
  • 3. Jaco and the central pacific coast
  • 4. Arenal and volcanic peaks
  • 5. Guanacaste UNESCO world heritage site
  • 6. The coastal waterways of Tortuguero
  • 7. Rincon de la vieja national park
  • 8. The Rio sarapiqui Region
  • 9. Tabacon hot springs
  • 10. Monteverde Biological Cloud Forest Reserve
  • 11. Tortuguero village
  • 12. Osa peninsula
  • 13. Chirripo national park
  • 14. San Jose’s main museums and cultural attractions
  • 15. Adventure tours; rafting, canopy tours, fishing, mountain biking
  • 16. Provincial capitals of Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago
  • 17. Hot springs;


  • 1. Hiking and Horse riding
  • 2. White water rafting
  • 3. Kayaking
  • 4. Golf
  • 5. Diving
  • 6. Bird watching
  • 7. See the egg laying sea turtles
  • 8. Surfing
  • 9. Scuba diving
  • 10. Sport fishing
  • 11. Canopy tours, where you are hoisted up to a platform in a tree and then sent flying to another tree via a secure zip line.


  1. Where is Costa Rica?

Answer; Costa Rica straddles the Central American isthumus between the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. The country is bordered by Nicaragua and Panama.

  1. What is the capital of Costa Rica?

Answer; The capital is San Jose, at an altitude of 3,757 ft.  The city has a population of over 309,672.

  1. Is Costa Rica volcanic in origin?

Answer; Yes.  There are a number of volcanic peaks in the central, Tilaran and Guanacaste mountain ranges that form the spine of the nation between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. There are half a dozen active volcanoes including Arenal, which is one of Central America's most active. The less dramatic activity at the Rincon de la vieja and Tenorio national parks creates mudbaths.

  1. What is the highest point of Costa Rica?

Answer; Chirripo, at 12, 533 ft, is Costa Rica's highest mountain.

  1. What is the difference between the rainforest and the cloud forest?

Answer; The main difference is it rains less in the cloud forest than in the rain forest. The species of flora and fauna also differ from one to the other.

  • 6. Is the water drinkable in Costa Rica?

Answer:  The water is drinkable in most areas of the country. However, it is recommended to use bottled water, especially in areas around the coast.

  • 7. Is there a train service in Costa Rica?

Answer: There is a train tour that goes from San Jose to Caldera. For information and reservations, please call T: 005062333300 or T: 005062210777; the company needs a minimum number of Passengers to operate the service.

  • 8. What is the currency in Costa Rica?

Answer: The Costa Rican currency is the colon. US dollars are widely accepted, but for small restaurants, shops and transportation it is better to pay in Colones.

  • 9. Are credit cards accepted in Costa Rica?

Answer: All major credit cards are widely accepted. There are ATM machines throughout the country.

  • 10. What is the ethnic composition of Costa Rica?

Answer: Around 87% of the population is of European descent. In addition to the majority Mestizo demographic, there are several colonial and national immigrant ethnicities that have restored their unique cultural heritage, such as African descendants, Chinese, Hebrew – speaking people, Lebanese and Italians, as well as the native people of Bribri, Cabecar, Maleku, Teribe, Boruca, Ngobe, Huetar and Chorotega.

  • 11. What should I bring when going to the rainforest?

Answer:  All you need is insect repellent, a raincoat with a hood, hiking boots and a torch. Start a course of malaria immunisation before you head for the forest.

  • 12. Are there domestic airlines that travel within the country?

Answer:  You can contact Sansa Regional on T: 0050622904100 ( or Nature Air on T: 0050622996000 (

  • 13. Are there English language newspapers?

Answer: The Tico Times (T; 0050622581558, which was founded in 1956, is one such publication.

  • 14. Where can I go whitewater rafting in Costa Rica?

Answer:  Among the locations where whitewater rafting is available are Pacuare, Reventazon, Corobici, Sarapiqui, Naranjo and Savegre.

  • 15. When is carnival celebrated in Costa Rica?

Answer:  Limon carnivals are celebrated in October, while Puntarenas holds them in late February and early March.

  • 16. Where can I see turtles laying eggs?

Answer: Tortuguero national park in the Caribbean or Las Baulas National Park by the pacific.



  • Capital: Zagreb.
  • Main cities: Split, Rijeka, Pula, Dubrovnik and Osijek.
  • Populations: 4,483,804. (As per the year 2011 estimates).
  • Currency: Kuna (Kn) = 100 lipas. All major credit cards accepted. Sterling easily exchangeable; cash machines in most major resorts. Exchange rate (approximates Kn 5.57= $1. Tipping (10% is expected in hotels, restaurants and taxis).
  • Time: GMT +1
  • Electricity: 220 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving: Traffic drives on the right.
  • Public Holidays: Include January 1, 6; April 5; May 1; June 4, 22, 25; August 5; October 8; November 1; December 25.
  • Language: Croatian. English is widely spoken throughout the country.
  • Religion: Mainly Catholic.
  • Country Dial Code: +385
  • Getting there: (Major gateways, including Zagreb (ZAG), Pula (PUY), Zadar (ZAD), Rijeka (RJK), Split (SPU), Dubrovnik (DBV). Typical flying time from UK is 2 hours, while from New York, 10 hours via Frankfurt.
  • Transfers: Zagreb (10 miles/16 km) airport bus 25 minutes; taxi 20 minutes. Dubrovnik (13 miles/ 22 km) airport bus, 20 minutes.
  • Ports: Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Sibenik, Split, Korcula, Dubrovnik, Mali Losinj, Bakar, MetKovic, Rasa, Senj, Rijeka Bakar.
  • Getting Around: Public transport is subsidized and very reasonably priced, with a good train network in the north and buses throughout the country. Frequent ferries operate along the Adriatic coast and to the islands. Zagreb has a tram system, while taxis are metered. Most cities have local bus services.
  • Visa requirements: Visa is essential and needed. On entering, you may be asked to provide proof of sufficient funds and onward travel.
  • Health requirements: None; Foreign visitors to Croatia will be entitled to health, care using the EHIC card on the basis of equal treatment with the nationals of Croatia.
  • Climate: Croatia has three climate zones. The prevailing one in the country’s interior is moderately rainy; the highest peaks have a forest climate with snowfalls; and the areas along the Adriatic coast have a pleasantly mild Mediterranean feel with a large number of sunny days - summers are dry and hot, with winters mild and wet.
  • Accommodation: Hotels in Croatia have been refurbished and upgraded to qualify for internationally recognized star ratings, offering five – star luxury accommodation along with quality three - and four – star hotels. Self – catering along the Adriatic coast and islands is in a mix of family – run pensions and apartments.
  • What to eat and drink.

Zagreb and northern inland cuisine reflects Austrian and Hungarian influences, with hearty meat dishes – spit – roast lamb, pork and duck; goulash; meatballs; paprika – flavored sausages. There is a variety of local beers, good quality wines and spirits, including plum, grape and herbal brandies.

  • What to buy: Lace, silk – embroidered fabrics, hand – carved items in lustrous Brac island stone, ceramics, neckties and jewelry.
  • Major Events:
  • 1. Kvarner Riverine carnival, Rijeka (February)
  • 2. International children’s Festival, sibenik (July)
  • 3. Cest is d’Best, Zagreb (July)
  • 4. Dalmatian Harmony singing Festival, Omis (July)
  • 5. Dubrovnik summer Festival (July / August)
  • 6. The split summer, split (July / August)
  • 7. The Alka of sinj, sinj (July – September)
  • 8. Spancir fest street Festival, Varazdin (August / September).
  • 9. Varazdin Baroque Music Festival (September)
  • 10. World Theatre Festival, Zagreb (September)
  • 11. Days of Truffles in Istria, Livade (October – November).
  • 12. Snow Queen Trophy, Zagreb (January)
  • 13. Festival of St Blaise (February)
  • 14. The Festival of Flowers, Split (May)
  • 15. Echo Festival, Umag (June)
  • 16. Hideout Music Festival, Tisno (July)
  • 17. The Fjera of Rab, medieval festivities (July)
  • 18. Sea splash Music Festival, Pula (July)
  • 19. International Folklore Festival, Zagreb (July)
  • 20. Pula Film Festival (July) and Motovun Film Festival (July)
  • 21. Sonus Festival, Novalja (August).
  • 22. Night of the Full Moon, Zadar (August)
  • 23. Outlook Music Festival, Pula (September)
  • 24. Zagreb International Chamber Music Festival (October)
  • 25. Cravat Day (October)
  • 26. Unknown Festival (September)


  • 1. Plitvice Lakes National park
  • 2. Kornati Islands National Park
  • 3. Paklenica National Park
  • 4. Dubrovnik’s Old Town
  • 5. Dubrovnik city walls
  • 6. Walls of Ston, Maliston
  • 7. Diocletian’s Palace, Split
  • 8. St. James Cathedral, Sibenik
  • 9. Trogir
  • 10. Basilica Euphrasiana, Porec
  • 11. Zagreb
  • 12. The Dalmatian coast
  • 13. Rijeka
  • 14. Opatija
  • 15. Korcula
  • 16. Hvar Town
  • 17. Pula and Rovinj, Istria
  • 18. Party Islands Pag and Hvar
  • Safety and Security;

Visitors planning to travel outside the normal tourist resorts should be aware there are areas of the country affected by the war, which ended in 1995, with un exploded nimes, Areas suspected to contain landmines are marked with more than 15,000 warning signs.

  • Populations: 83,496 (As per the year 2011 estimates)
  • Time: GMT + 1
  • Language: Croatian
  • Getting there: (Osijek – Klisa International AirPort) (OSI)
  • 1. Baroque Tvrda (The oldest part of the Town)
  • 2. Holy Trinity Square
  • 3. Plague column (a baroque composition in the form of a votive post)
  • 4. Concathedral of St Peter and St Paul (neo – gothic building in the town centre)
  • 5. Museum of Slavonia
  • 6. Archaeological museum
  • 7. Parks and Public Gardens
  • 8. Suspension bridge over the River Drava
  • 9. Exhibition of sealife.
  • Major Events in Osijek:
  • 1. KAOS –Osijek Carnival (February)
  • 2. 6th international Gala Jazz Festival (February)
  • 3. UFO (Urban Fest Osijek music festival) (June)
  • 4. Osijek summer of culture (June / July)
  • 5. Osijek Summer Nights (last weekend of June, July and August).
  • 6. Pannonian challenge (International exteme sports event - August)
  • 7. Land without Borders (Children’s festival – September)
  • 8. 6th international Gala Blues Festival - (December)
  • What to buy in Osijek?

White wines, rakije (traditional spirits), and handmade traditional souvenirs

  • What to eat and drink in Osijek:

Osijek specialities include fisherman’s soup (stew) and a wide range of other fish dishes, shepherd’s stew, meals made from game, sarma (cabbage leaves stuffed with minced meat and rice) and other Slavonian meals prepared according to original recipes. Popular desserts include cheese pie, vanilla crescent and pancakes. Osijek also has a wide choice of famous Slavonian and Baranya wines and spirits.

  • Accommodation:

Osijek has three major hotels; the Osijek, Waldinger and Zoo. Others include the beautifully decorated mursa, central silver, Drava, Vila Ariston and Millenium hotels. There is also private accommodation and a hostel called Tufna.

  • Populations: 208,000 (As per the year 2011 estimates.
  • Main cities: Pula, Porec, Rovinj.
  • Time: GMT +1
  • Language: Croatian. English is widely spoken, also Italian and German.
  • Getting there: (Major gateway, including Pula (PUY)
  • Transfers: Pula (3 miles/ 5km) bus 15 minutes; taxi 10 minutes.
  • Accommodation in Istria: Istria has around 100 hotels up to five – star level and more than 20 tourist villages with self – catering apartments and villas. There are 25,000 tourist beds in private accommodation and farm houses, and around 40 campsites along the coast.
  • 1. Pula summer – concerts, Opera, ballet, film festival in the amphitheatre (June – September)
  • 2. Classical music concerts in the Euphrasian basilica, Porec (June – September)
  • 3. Croatia open Tennis Tournament, Umag (July)
  • 4. Labinske Konti, traditional folklore, Labin (end July)
  • 5. Rovinian night, traditional event, Rovinj (Mid – August)
  • 6. Tilting at the Ring, Barban (Mid – August)
  • 1. Pula (Roman amphitheatre from the first century BC, triumphal arch and Temple of Rome and Augustus.
  • 2. Porec (Euphrasian basilica with magnificent mosaics included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • 3. Porec (Cave Baredine, leading to underground lakes)
  • 4. Brijuni island (National Park outside Pula)
  • 5. Rovinj (Beautiful seaside town with numerous islets)
  • 6. Motovun (A medieval hill top village found in the interior of the country)
  • 7. Hum (The smallest town in the world)
  • 8. Vrsar (The largest naturist centre in Europe – Koversada);
  • What to eat and drink in Istria: Air – dried, home cured Istrian prosciutto ham with sheep’s cheese, olives and homemade bread; Pasta with truffles; manestras bobici, a thick vegetable soup with potatoes, beans, corns and prosciutto bone. From the sea come scorpion fish, gilthead, spider crabs and oysters. Local wines include Malvasia and Teran.
  • What to buy: Wood and stone souvenirs, as well as truffles and wine.

The city of Zagreb is the capital and the largest city in the Republic of Croatia.

  • Populations: 792,875 (As per the year 2011 estimates)
  • Time: GMT +1
  • Language: Croatian. English is widely spoken, along with Italian and German.
  • Getting there: (Major gateways, including Zagreb Airport (ZAG), Zagreb main railway station, and Zagreb main bus station.
  • 1. Zagreb Cathedral and Archbishop’s palace complex.
  • 2. St Mark’s Church
  • 3. Lotrscak Tower
  • 4. Dolac Market
  • 5. Zrinjevac Park
  • 6. Maksimir Park
  • 7. Arcades of Mirogoj Cemetery
  • 8. Croatian National Theatre
  • 9. Medvedgrad
  • 10. Museum Mimara
  • 11. Stross mayer Gallery of old masters
  • 12. Museum of Arts and Crafts
  • 13. Tig Josip Jelacica
  • 14. Stone Gate
  • 15. Jarun Lake
  • 16. Mestrovic Atelier
  • 17. Branski Dvori
  • 18. Archaeological Museum
  • 19. Jesuit Church of St Catherine
  • 20. Museum of Broken Relationships
  • 21. City Museum
  • 22. Croatian Artists' centre
  • 23. Museum of contemporary Art
  • 24. Mirogoj
  • 25. Galerija KLOVICEVI DVORI
  • 26. Ethnographic Museum
  • 27. Lauba
  • 28. Croatian Museum of Naive Art.
  • 1. Audi FIS World cup – VIP snow Queen Trophy (January)
  • 2. Zagreb Time Machine (April – September)
  • 3. Cest is d’Best international street festival (June)
  • 4. ZgKul – Zagreb cultural summer (June – August)
  • 5. IAAF world challenge Zagreb – Boris Hanzekovic Memorial (September)
  • 6. Advent in Zagreb (December);
  • What to buy in Zagreb: Souvenirs made of wood and stone are popular with tourists.
  • What to eat and drink in Zagreb: There are many restaurants, inns and cafes in Zagreb. The city’s restaurants are renowned for their high quality cuisine, largely consisting of mediterranean and continental dishes, but also international specialities (There are a large number of European national restaurants). Excellent wines from Zagreb and other Croatian regions will make a delicious meal complete.
  • Accommodation in Zagreb: There are more than 6,000 beds in hotels, some of them belonging to world – famous hotel chains. The number of small and family – owned hotels and hostels is increasing.
  • Populations: 3,800 (As per the year 2011 estimates)
  • Time: GMT +1
  • Language: Croatian.  English is widely spoken
  • Religion: Catholic.
  • Getting there: (Major gateways, including Zagreb (ZAG), Split (SPU),  Island of Brac Airport (www.airport, Split - harbour (Split - supetar ferry - Typical flying time from UK varies according to season.
  • 1. Mausoleum of petrinovic family in supetar. The Byzantine oriental mausoleum is made of Bracstone, a master piece of Toma Rosandic
  • 2. Ivan Rendic Gallery in Supetar contains leading works from the locally born father of modern Croatian sculpture.
  • 3. Olive production museum and olive routes in MIRCA, showing the tradition of olive production of the Island of Brac.
  • 4. Supetar cemetery, which contains several tombstones created by sculptor Ivan Rendic
  • 5. Roman stone quarries in splitska; an amazing site where the stone for Diocletian’s palace in split was produced, with statue of Heracles.
  • 6. Hermitage of Blaca; home of the Glagolic order built on a high, steep cliff and dating from the 16th century. Croatian candidate for the UNESCO world Heritage list.
  • 7. The Dragon's cave, near the village of Murvica; fascinating cave monastery dating from the 12th century, which features several extraordinary reliefs.
  • 8. Vidova Gora, the highest peak on the Croatian Adriatic, features an amazing view over the archipelago of the central Dalmatian Islands.
  • 9. The Island Museum in SKRIP; interesting ethnographical collection relating to the island's agriculture, cattle breeding, stone masonry, and history of revolution.
  • 10. Pucisca; stone quarries of the World famous Brac white marble and the only existing stone – crafting school in Croatia.
  • 1. Festival of local seasonal cuisine, Supetar (May)
  • 2. Summer festival of art, music, theatre, folk music and dancing, Supetar (June)
  • 3. Supetar super Film Festival; European documentary films and music (Mid – July)
  • 4. Svpetrvs Festival; World music, film and ballet (July)
  • 5. Vanka Regule, Sutivan, extreme sports (July)
  • 6. Summer carnival, Supetar (last weekend in July)
  • 7. Voi’sa music festival, Supetar (Mid – August)
  • 8. Island Lifestyle Festival, Supetar; Culture/Music (Mid – September)
  • 9. Festival of Varenik, Supetar; gastronomy (October)
  • 10. Dragging of Mrduja islet, Milna; Nautical/ culture (early August)
  • What to buy in Supetar:
  • 1. Hand – made marble souvenirs
  • 2. Home – made liqueurs (travarica, orahovica)
  • 3. Bracki melem; ecological cream made with local honey and propolis.
  • 4. Varenik; the oldest known food supplement in Mediterranean cuisine.
  • 5. Virgin olive oil.
  • What to eat and drink in Supetar;
  • 1. Daily fresh seafood – fish, crabs and shellfish.
  • 2. Island cheese, with its special salty flavour.
  1. 5. HVAR – CROATIA (
  • Populations; 4,239 (As per the year 2010 estimates)
  • Time: GMT +1
  • Language: Croatian. English is widely spoken, also Italian and German.
  • Getting there: (Major gateway, including Split Airport (SPU)
  • Transfers: Split Harbour (15 miles/ 20 km) bus 30 minutes; Split Harbour to Hvar (23.3 miles / 43.1 km) speed boat 55 minutes.
  • Accommodation: Hvar has 13 hotels of three and four - star standard. There are 5,500 tourist beds in private rooms and apartments and two campsites in the area.
  • 1. Hvar summer Festival (Concerts, theatre plays (May – October)
  • 2. Lavender Festival. Velo Grablje (end of June)
  • 3. Saint prosper’s Festival (mid – May)
  • 4. International Half Marathon (end – August)
  • 5. Saint Stephen’s Day (October)
  • 6. International New Year Regatta (December)
  • 1. Bishop’s Treasury
  • 2. Malo Grablje, a picturesque abandoned village.
  • 3. Fortica, a fortress above the town.
  • 4. 13th – century arsenal
  • 5. Red Rocks, a natural landmark near the town of Hvar
  • 6. Pakleni Islands, which lie just off Hvar’s coastline
  • 7. Hvar Historical Theatre, the oldest public threatre in Europe –it turned 400 in 2012
  • 8. St Stephen’s cathedral
  • 9. Franciscan monastery, with its 26 ft – long painting of the last supper and 500 – year – old cypress trees.
  • 10. The Benedictine monastery’s lace - making tradition is protected by UNESCO on its intangible cultural Heritage list.
  • What to eat and drink in Hvar: Traditional Hvar gregada (Fish bouilla baisse), Dalmatian pasticada, which is a rich, stewed beef dish cooked in special sauce with gnocchi; black risotto (made with cuttlefish); and mixed grilled fish are all established traditional favourites, while popular desserts include forski Koloc and paprenjok. Local wines on the menu include Plavac Mali, Bogdanusa and Posip.
  • What to buy: Typical Hvar souvenirs include lavender products; agave lace, traditionally created by Benedictine nuns; Olive products; wine; and also jewellery.


  • 1. ZAGREB:

The lower town, or Donji Grad, forms the center of Croatia’s capital, a grateful grid of wide boulevards and well - preserved Austro – Habsburg architecture, sprinkled with green spaces and cultural attractions. Highlights include the Mimara Museum, displaying works by Raphael, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Van Dyck and Turner; the unmistakable yellow art nouveau Art Pavilion; and the Botanical Gardens. In the upper Town, or Gornji Grad, you will find Gradec, the oldest part of the city, awash with cobbled, pretty streets and cultural attractions, with much of its medieval character still intact. Don’t miss St. Mark’s church, Zagreb’s distinctive fair lytale – like house of worship; Mestrovic Atelier, a museum dedicated to Croatia’s most famous sculptor; and the Archaelogical Museum of Zagreb, with more than 400,000 items. Separating the upper and lower towns of Zagreb is the hilly Kaptol district and the city’s lively public square, Trg Ban Josip Jelacica.


Lord Byron hailed it as the “pearl of the Adriatic” and George Bernard Shaw went even further, eulogising that the Mediterranean city was quite simply “paradise on earth”. The hype is more than justified, with croatia’s shining coastal star perfectly preserved within its sturdy old walls, a pedestrianised oasis spectacularly framed by rugged limestone cliffs and the sparkling Adriatic Sea. The old Town hides within hulking walls and fortresses, a seemingly impregnable prize that only adds to its mystique. Inside is an entire city – state alive with a cocktail of baroque churches and palaces. There is also a trio of monasteries to explore, a remarkable cathedral and other ecclesiastical buildings revealing the city’s eclectic roots, as well as a sprinkling of museums and galleries. It is no museum piece, though, as Dubrovnik’s old Town is alive with cafes and bustling restaurants.

  • 3. PULA;

The largest city in the northern county of Istria. Pula clings to the tip of the Istrian Peninsula surrounded by seven towering hills. Pula is known for its mild climate, calm seas and unspoilt nature, making it the ideal choice for families. The city has a long tradition of wine making, fishing and shipbuilding, displaying a powerful Italian influence from neighboring Venice. Given its links with the Roman Empire, the town is packed with all the Imperial trimmings; temples, arches and a Roman amphitheater.

  • 4. OSIJEK;

Osijek is an inland city on the banks of the Drava River, close to the Serbian border. Extremely popular with domestic holidaymakers, Croatia’s fourth largest city is packed with cultural and sporting events, including the Osijek summer Nights in June, July and August – a series of open – air events, accompanied by food and fairs. The must – see sights include the main square, Trg Ante starcevica, Tvrda, the 18th - century baroque citadel; the promenade by the Drava River; and the pedestrian suspension bridge.


  • 1. HVAR:

With its focus the Venetian – era Hvar Town, Croatia’s most fashionable island warrants exploring beyond the capital’s 16th – century fortifications. Leave the design hotels and cocktail bars behind to hike or mountain bike through a rugged landscape of lavender fields and hillside vineyards. Or take a sea – Kayaking trip round the Pakleni islets.

  • 2. BRAC:

On Brac’s south coast, Zlatni Rat is the country’s most photographed beach and top wind surfing spot. The nearby fishing village of Bol remains a haven for water sports enthusiasts. Besides wind surfing, Zlatni Rat offers scuba diving, sea Kayaking, parasailing, water – skiing, jet – skiing and wake boarding. For the uninitiated, pedal boats provide a taster.

  • 3. RAB:

The birth of nudism in Croatia goes back to summer 1936, when Rab’s local authorities granted Britain’s King Edward VIII and his American lover Wallis Simpson permission to swim naked at Kandarola beach. Rab Town is a huddle of medieval stone buildings, grouped on a fortified Peninsula, lined with four Romanesque Church bell – towers. On Rab’s northern tip, Lopar peninsula hosts some of Croatia’s best sand beaches.

  • 4. PAG:

Long renowned for its Paski sir (Pag cheese), made from sheep’s milk, Pag is a top spot for summer beach clubs, focused on Zrce beach, near Novalja. Long summer days’ end with after – beach parties at Kalypso, Papaya and Aquarius, which are transformed into fully fledged dance clubs after dark, hosting international DJs.

  • 5. VIS:

The Island, a former naval base, was invaded by yachties the moment the last submarine left in 1989. It is now a popular summer hideaway, with informal taverns serving Dalmatian seafood dishes. Don’t miss the organic wines, such as the white Vugava and red Mali Plavac, and rogacica, a potent tipple that is made from the carob that grows in abundance here.

  • 6. MLJET:

For centuries, Mljet was little - known, its dense pine forests encroaching on two linked saltwater lakes. On an Islet on the larger of the two lakes, Italian Benedictine monks built an Apulian – Romanesque monastery. Around 100 years ago, Indian mongooses were introduced to wipe out Mljet’s snake population. The western, forested part of Mljet is now a national park.

  • 7. MURTER:

Murter almost joins the mainland, to which it is linked by a 12 - meter drawbridge. Its proximity to the scattered Islets and reefs of Kornati National park makes it a favorite base with the yachting community. Each summer, the Adriatic Nautical Academy (ANA) runs – a sailing school here in Jezera – the courses at various levels include plenty of sailing practice and afternoon theory lessons.

  • 8. LOPUD:

This tiny, car free Island makes a quiet escape from Dubrovnik. Its sole settlement is built around a gently curving bay, while a 15 –minute trek across the Island through the dense, scented vegetation brings you to lovely sunj sandy beach. You can reach Lopud from Dubrovnik by ferry in 50 minutes.


  • 1. CITY WALLS:

Every visitor to Dubrovnik should complete at least a partial walk around the city walls. Dating from medieval times, the walls, with their fortresses and towers, frame the historic city. As you make the mile – and –a quarter circuit of the fortifications, which are 82 ft high and 20 ft thick in some places, you will see Dubrovnik’s distinctive red rooftops from every angle, as well as observing tourists and residents below going about their lives, swimming off the wall’s rocky base or dining in open – air restaurants. It takes about an hour to do the full walk.


Dubrovnik’s Dominican monastery was built in the 14th century with the help of the Ragusa government, positioned against the city walls to strengthen its north eastern flank. The museum contains religious art.

  • 3. STRADUN:

Also known as Placa, this is Dubrovnik’s main thorough fare, paved with limestone made smooth by the feet of countless tourists. It is lined with buildings housing shops, restaurants and entry points for Dubrovnik’s network of narrow side streets.

  • 4. CABLE CAR:

In under four minutes, Dubrovnik’s cable car will whisk you from just north of the city walls up to mount srd, offering visitors a breathtaking view of the city from a lofty 1,300ft, looking down on the tettacotta – tiled rooftops of the old town.


This 16th –century palace houses the state Archives, which contain a priceless collection of manuscripts dating back nearly a thousand years.



A Stunning fountain with a gold Madonna surrounded by four angels leads the way to the city’s cathedral on Kaptol Hill. An earlier Romanesque church once stood here, dating back to the reigns of the first Croatian Kings in the 10th century. Today’s incarnation impresses with its vaulting twin spires and Zagreb’s visitors can take a look around the back of the cathedral to see the remains of walls that were built to fend off Ottoman attacks.


It is worth spending an afternoon at the expansive Mimara Museum, whose 4,000 – strong collection includes works by Raphael, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Turner, Renoir and Degas. The Mimara is also home to an extensive archeological collection, including important pieces that were unearthed in crete, Greece, Italy, Egypt and the Americas.


The unmistakable Yellow art nouveau Art Pavilion is home to both regular exhibitions and a restaurant serving the local take on schnitzel.


Zagreb’s most distinctive church lies at the heart of Gradec. It looks like something from a fairytale, with its bright chequered red, white and blue roof tiles and the chunky Croatian coat of arms woven into the design. Delve inside and admire the stunning depiction of the crucifixion or the sculptures on display by Mestrovic.


The Gardens boast more than 10,000 plants. Opened in 1890, they show English and French influences.


The most important medieval monument in Zagreb, this fortress is found on the southern side of Mt. Medvednica just above the city. Once owned by a succession of aristocratic families, the fortress fell into ruin as a result of an earthquake and general neglect, but it was initially built between 1249 and 1254 to protect the city of Zagreb from Tartar invasions.

  • 7. STONE GATE:

The eastern gate to Medieval Gradec Town is now a shrine, as according to legend a great fire in 1731 destroyed every part of the wooden gate except for the painting of the virgin and child by an unknown 17th - century artist. Believing the painting possesses magical powers, people come regularly to pray before it and leave flowers.

  • 8. JARUN LAKE:

Part of the lake is marked off for boating competitors, but there is more than enough space to enjoy a leisurely swim in summer, when the clear waters are the ideal temperature in this popular get away spot.


Opened to the public in 1794, Maksimir was the first public promenade in south – eastern Europe and landscaped in an English garden – Style Park, complete with alleys and lawns.



The gorgeous Franciscan monastery, which dates back to the 15th century, and its adjoining church, our lady of charity, are the perfect places to soak up some of Hvar’s rich cultural and architectural heritage. Inside the monastery, which is just a five – minute walk from Hvar’s main city center, is a museum with an impressive collection of artifacts, including paintings and manuscripts that are centuries old. For those who prefer to be outside, the monastery gardens contain some beautiful trees which provide the perfect place for grabbing a bit of shade in the hot Croatian sun.


The Hvar Public Theatre was built in 1612, and has since been extensively restored to become an important home for cultural events in the city. Amateurs, professionals, local and international acts alike have performed on the stage and continue to do so today, although concerts are becoming increasingly rare due to general wear and tear and poor maintenance of the building. Restoration work is again underway, however, and you can still get a sense of the grand atmosphere of days gone by as soon as you step into the theater. An important monument in the history and heritage of the city, the theatre will no doubt once again be home to concerts and shows, but for now it is simply enough to marvel at the stunning interior until it can be fully brought back to life.


Those who want nothing more than to grab a towel and head to the beach should go straight to the Pakleni Islands just a little way off Hvar, and easily accessible by boat – taxi. A true paradise, the islands are full of secluded little beaches and coves where you can relax, swim and sunbathe at Leisure away from the crowds. Many places offer boat rentals on the mainland to sail around the Islands, an opportunity which should not be missed. With golden sandy beaches and crystal clear blue water you have only ever seen on postcards, it really is heaven on earth.


High above the city lies Hvar Fortress. Built at the beginning of the 16th century. It has been remodelled and expanded under almost every ruler, producing a truly spectacular sight which dominates the entirety of Hvar. Climbing to the very top of the fortress is worth the effort as visitors are afforded stunning panoramic views across the whole city. You can even see out to the Pakleni Islands and the beautiful Adriatic Sea, offering up the perfect photo opportunity.



  • Capital; Havana
  • Main cities; Santiago de Cuba, Camaguey, Santa Clara, Holguin, Guantanamo, Pinar del Rio, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Trinidad.
  • Populations; 11,230,229(As per the year 2011)
  • Currency; Cuban peso (CUC) =100 Centavos. All payments for tourist goods and services are made in pesos (CUC), Pegged to the US dollar. If you change US dollars into pesos, a 10% tax is applied plus an exchange commission. Traveller’s cheques (except those issued by US banks) and credit cards (except American Express and Diners club) are accepted. Since May 2010, all travellers visiting Cuba need to have a travel insurance policy with medical expenses coverage. For more information on the travel insurance to Cuba, visit ( Exchange rate approximate (CUC 26.50=$1). Tipping (moderate tips are expected in most places).
  • Time; GMT - 5
  • Electricity; 110 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; On the right
  • Public Holidays; include January 1, 2; May 1, 20; July 25; October 10; December 25;
  • Language; Spanish. English is widely spoken
  • Religion; Catholic and Afro - Cuban religions prevail, though others exist in the country.
  • Country Dial Code; +53
  • Getting there; (Major gateways, including Havana (HAV), Varadero (VAR), Holguin (HOG), Cayo coco (CCC). Typical flying time from UK is 9 hours 30 minutes.
  • Transfers; Havana (11 miles/18 km) coach, taxi.
  • Departure Tax; CUC 25 ($25) must be paid in local currency.
  • Ports; Havana, Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba.

Getting Around; Coach Company Viazul operates all over the country. Local buses are inexpensive. The main rail route is from Havana to Santiago de Cuba and there are connections from the Capital to other towns. Domestic flights link key areas of Cuba. Taxis and Shared Taxis are plentiful, with low flat fares.

Visa requirements; Visa is essential; Visa is essential and required.

Health requirements; Precautions against hepatitis A, polio and typhoid recommended.

Climate: Cuba’s climate is subtropical - hot all year round with most rain falling between May and October; the dry season is November to April. Hurricanes can occur in September and October on the island.

Accommodation; The range of Cuban hotels, from one - star right through to five - star, is expanding all the time, with properties being built across the country, particularly in Havana, Varadero, Pinar del Rio, Cayo coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Ensenachos, Playa Guardalavaca (Holguin), Playa Santa Lucia and Trinidad.

Major Events;   

  • 1. International Festival of Low Budget Films, Holguin (April)
  • 2. International underwater photography contest Fotosub colony (April)
  • 3. International Tourism Fair of Cuba, Havana (May)
  • 4. Ernest Hemingway' Marlin Fishing Tournament (May)
  • 5. Santiago de Cuba Carnival, Fiesta del Fuego (July)
  • 6. Havana carnival (July/August)
  • 7. Turnat Nature Tourism Event, Villa Clara, Cienfuegos and Sancti Spiritus Provinces(September).
  • 8. International Ballet Festival of Havana (October/November)
  • 9. International Jazz Festival, Havana (December)
  • 10. International Festival of the New Latin American Cinema. Havana and other cities (December).


  • 1. Havana, with its Spanish colonial architecture
  • 2. Pinar del Rio, featuring fine mountain landscapes
  • 3. Varadero seaside resort
  • 4. Cayo coco/ Guillermo, with coral reef and white beaches
  • 5. Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Ensenachos and Cayo las Brujas, Villa Claraprovince.
  • 6. Santa Clara, housing the mausoleum of the Che Guevara
  • 7. Guardalavaca's fine beaches in Holguin province
  • 8. Trinidad, colonial town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • 9. Santiago de Cuba, the nation’s second city
  • 10. Necropolis Cristobal colon, a national monument.
  • 11. Bellamar caves, 60 miles from Havana
  • 12. Santa Lucia Beach, with a variety of marine life, on the northern coast of Camaguey province


  • 1. Driving, snorkeling, sailing
  • 2. Trekking
  • 3. Bird watching
  • 4. Salsa dancing

What to eat and drink;

Cuba's cuisine is continental and local, with a strong emphasis on seafood. Favorite dishes include omelettes, think chicken or black bean soup, yucca with mojo sauce, malaca and maize with pumpkin and green bananas baked or fried. The national drink is RUM and MOJITOS are also very popular.




Capital; Willemstad

Populations; 142,180 (As per the year 2010 estimates)

Currency; Netherlands Antillean guilder (ANG) =100 cents.  US dollars are widely accepted on the island, as are most credit cards. Exchange rate approximate (ANG 1.76=$1). Tipping (10% expected for good service)

Time; GMT - 5

Electricity; 110 - 130 volts.  Adaptor required.

Driving; Traffic drives on the right. Full licence required.

Public Holidays; Include January 1; February 16; April 5, 30; May 1, 14; July 2; October 21; December 25, 26.

Language; Papiamento. Also Dutch, English and Spanish

Religion; Catholic, with Jewish, Muslim and Protestant minorities on the Island.

Country Dial Code; +599 9

  Getting there; (Major gateway, including Hato International Airport (CUR). Typical flying time from UK is 12 hours via Amsterdam, while from Miami is 2.5 hours.

Transfers; Willemstad (7miles/12km) taxi 20-30 minutes; bus 45 minutes;

Port; Willemstad

Visa; Onward or return ticket, proof of funds and proof of lodging may be required. Length of stay is granted at 30-90 days, and may be extended.

Health requirements; Precautions against hepatitis A, Polio and typhoid recommended.

Climate; Curacao is warm and sunny year –round. The average temperature on the Island is 27C, with refreshing trade winds blowing constantly from the east and picking up in the spring months. The rainy season is from October to February and has short, occasional showers.


Fast Facts;

Capital; Nicosia (Lefkosia)

Main city; Limassol (Lemesos)

Populations; 803, 147 (As per the year 2010)

Currency; Euro = 100 cents. Major credit cards widely accepted. Exchange rate approximate (Euro 0.73=$1). Tipping (As 10% is added in hotels/restaurants, tipping is not obligatory, but small change is always welcome.

Time; GMT +2

Electricity; 240 volts. Adaptor required

Driving; Traffic drives on the left. International driving permit is required.

Public Holidays; Include January 1, 6; February 23; March 25; April 1, 10, 13; May 1, 31; August 15; October 1, 28; December 25.

Language; Greek. English is widely spoken.

Religion; Greek orthodox

Country Dial Code; +357

Getting there; (Major gateways, including Lamaca (LCA), Paphos (Pafos-PFO). Typical flying time from New York is 11 hrs via London, while from UK is 4 hours 30 minutes.

Transfers; Lamaca/ Lamaka (5 miles/8 km), taxi 10 minutes. Paphos (8 miles/13 km), taxi 15 minutes.

Ports; Lamaca / Lamaka, Limassol (Lemesos);

Getting Around; A scheduled and inexpensive bus network covers the southern part of the Island; buses serve major towns between 6.00 am and 6.00 pm. Trans – urban shared taxis, for four to nine passengers, connect main towns every half - hour from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday, 6.00 am to 5.00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Seats can be booked by phone and passengers can be collected from and dropped off wherever they wish. A shuttle service operates from Larnaca airport to major towns.

Visa requirements; Visa is vital and required.

Health requirements; Precautions against hepatitis A and Typhoid are advised.

Climate; Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers, mild winters, and temperatures above 20C in the short spring autumn seasons. Rain most likely in winter, but even in December and January, there is an average of six hours' sun a day. The Troodos mountains provide a summer cool retreat and snow for skiers in winter.

Accommodation; Cyprus has a wide range of accommodation, which includes hotels - the island has a good selection of four - and five - star properties - tourist villages, campsites, self - catering apartments, guest houses, traditional village houses, villas and agro-tourism accommodation, plus camping/caravan sites and youth hostels.

Major Events;

  • 1. Carnival, Limassol (March)
  • 2. Flower Festival (May)
  • 3. Pentecost – Kataklysmos, Festival of the Flood (June)
  • 4. Commandaria Festival, Limassol (July/August)
  • 5. Aphrodite Festival, Paphos (August/September)
  • 6. Wine Festival (September)
  • 7. International Festival Kypria (September/October).
  • 8. Cyprus Rally (March)
  • 9. Shakespeare Festival (June)
  • 10. Cyprus Independence Day (October 1)


  • 1. The resort of Paphos on the southwest coast, considered to be the most upmarket resort on the Island.
  • 2. Tombs of the kings, Paphos
  • 3. Mosaics park, Paphos
  • 4. Aphrodite’s Birthplace, Paphos
  • 5. Kourion Greco –Roman Amphitheatre, Limassol.
  • 6. Sanctuary of Apollo, Limassol
  • 7. Kolossi Castle, Limassol
  • 8. Lefkaralace village
  • 9. Kykko Monastery Troodos
  • 10. Omodos village, Troodos
  • 11. Lara Beach, Akamas Peninsula
  • 12. Cyprus Archeological Museum, Nicosia.
  • 13. Venetian walls, Nicosia.
  • 14. Medieval Castle, Lemesos /Limassol
  • 15. Baths of Aphrodite, Latchi
  • 16. UNESCO-Listed painted churches in the Troodos region
  • 17. Archbishop's palace, Lefkosia
  • 18. Pitsilia wine root
  • 19. Monastery of Apostolos Andreas
  • 20. Basilica of Agia Triad
  • 21. Ancient Vouni
  • 22. Cyprus Museum
  • 23. Kantara castle
  • 24. Omeriye Hammam
  • 25. Salamis
  • 26. Byzantine Art Museum

What to eat and drink;     

Cypriot cuisine reflects the tastes of the diverse invaders who have occupied the Island down the centuries, from the Greeks and Lebanese to the French and British. Typical dishes include meze, more than 20 appetizers and savories; Tava (Lamb stew with onions and tomatoes); Stifado (beef cooked with wine, onions and spices); Moussaka (Layered aubergine, minced meat and potatoes); and fish recipes. Desserts are rich and creamy. The local commandaria is the world’s oldest named wine and said to be Richard the Lion heart's favorite. He pronounced it ‘Wine of the kings and the king of the wines.'

What to buy;

Leather jackets and Handbags, shoes, Lefkara lace, prescription glasses, pottery, gold, silver.

Safety and Security; Do not attempt to enter the UN buffer zone anywhere other than a designated crossing point – the area is mined and militarized. Never photograph military installations or anything perceived to be a security interest.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQUE);  

  • 1. Is the water safe to drink?

Answer; Yes.  Tap water in hotels, restaurants and public premises is safe to drink

  • 2. Can I get married in Cyprus?

Answer; Yes. As the birthplace of Aphrodite, Cyprus is the ideal setting. The ceremony can be in a church or chapel (conducted by a Catholic or Anglican priest) or a registry office. Some hotels have their own chapel, though these can get booked up well in advance).

  • 3. What are the duty free - regulations?

Answer; There are no limits on what you can buy and take with you when you travel between EU countries, as long as it is for personal use and not for resale.

  • 4. Are there golf courses?

Answer; Cyprus has four - 18-hole golf courses of good standard, all in the Pafos area. The minthis Hills (formerly Tsada) and secret valley clubs were joined a few years ago by the championship - rated Aphrodite Hills.  The newest is Nick Faldo’s Elea course, which opened in 2010.

  • 5. What are the main resorts?

Answer; Pafos (Paphos), Lemesos (Limassol), Ayia Napa and Protaras.  Pafos has a wealth of historical sites, Lemesos is Cyprus's second - largest city after Nicosia, and Larnaka has a busy Marina. Ayia Napa boasts the best beaches on the island, while Protaras is a fast - expanding resort.

  • 6. Are there hotels offering spa treatments?

Answer; Yes, there are plenty, including Le Meridien Limassol, the Elysium, Coral Beach, Columbia Beach, and Aeneas, Ayii Anargyri and Aphrodites Hills.

  • 7. Can I stay in the Troodos Mountains’?

Answer; Yes. Houses in villages such as Omodhos have been converted for visitors and generally have two double bedrooms, sleeping up to five.



Capital; Prague.

Main cities; Brno, Ostrava, Plzen, Liberec.

Populations; 10,516,125, (As per the year 2013 estimates)

Currency; Crown (Kc) =100 hellers. Euro and dollars can be easily exchanged. Credit cards are widely accepted. Traveler's checks can also be used.  Exchange rate approximate (Kc 20=$1). Tipping (Between 5% and 15% expected).


Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving; Is on the right. International driving permit required.

Public Holidays; include January 1; April 6; May 1; 8; July 5, 6; September 28; October 28; November 17; December 24, 25, 26;

Language; Czech is the official language. English and German are widely spoken.

Religion; Mainly catholic.  Also Protestant and Orthodox;

Country Dial Code; + 420

Getting there; (Major gateways, including Prague Ruzyne (PRG), Brno Turany (BRQ), Ostrava (OSR).  Typical flying time from New York is 8 hours, while from UK is 1 hour/45 minutes.

Transfers; Prague (11 miles/17KM) airport bus 40 - 45 minutes; local bus 40 - 60 minutes; taxi 30 - 40 minutes.

Getting Around; There is an extensive network of bus, tram and rail services as well three metro lines in Prague. Tickets have to be purchased before travel and validated at the start of the journey. Those without a valid ticket are subject to spot fines. A variety of tickets for unlimited travel include a four - day Prague card giving unlimited travel and entry to more than 50 city attractions. Taxis should display tariffs, but is wise to confirm the fare beforehand and call a reliable taxi company. Avoid hailing taxis on the street. The website (www. vlak - bus. cz) provides domestic and some international train and bus schedules. The Czech railways website is (

Visa requirements; The Czech Republic is party to the Schengen Agreement. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days. That periods begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement. Passport should be valid for at least 90 days after the last day of the intended stay.

Health requirements; None

Climate; The Czech Republic has a moderate climate with four seasons. Although Czech weather can never be predicted with certainty, summers are warm and sunny, but can be damp, while winters can be cold with a good chance of snow. Winds from the east can bring bitter cold in winter.

Accommodation; Hotels in the Czech Republic include the major international chains and are star - rated from one to five; there is also a choice of pensions, hostels, B & Bs, apartments, motels, botels and campsites. The Czech Association of Hotels & Restaurants website is (  Accommodation in the capital Prague can be found at (

Major Events;     

  • 1. Prague spring international music festival (May/June)
  • 2. International folklore festival, Straznice (June)
  • 3. Celebration of the five - Petalled Rose, Cesky krumlov (late June)
  • 4. Smetana’s Litomysl Festival, Litomysl (June/July)
  • 5. Colors of Ostrava (July)
  • 6. Carlsbad international film festival (July)
  • 7. Czech Republic Grand Prix (August)
  • 8. Palaver Wine Festival, Mikulov (September)
  • 9. Pilsner Fest, Pilsnen (October)
  • 10. Prague Christmas Markets (November - January)
  • 11. Prague Winter Festival (January)
  • 12. Days of European Film Festival (January)
  • 13. The Ball season (January/February)
  • 14. Masopust (February)
  • 15. The St. Matthew's Fair (Matejska pout in Czech - February - March)
  • 16. Fabio Fest (March)
  • 17. Witches' Night (April/May)
  • 18. Prague International Marathon (May)
  • 19. Fringe Festival Praha (May/June)
  • 20. World Festival of Puppet Art (May/June)
  • 21. Muzeum Night (June)
  • 22. Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (July)
  • 23. Summer Shakespear Festival (July)
  • 24. Grand Prix Brno (August)
  • 25. Prague Proms (August)
  • 26. Trutnov Open Air Music Festival (August)
  • 27. Wine Festivals (September)
  • 28. Saint Wenceslaus Celebrations and International Folklore Festival Cesky krumlov (September)
  • 29. Prague Autumn International Music Festival of Classical Music (September).
  • 30. Brno International Music Festival (September/ October)
  • 31. International Student Orchestras Festival (October)
  • 32. Prague International Jazz Festival (October)
  • 33. International Festival of Advent & Christmas Music (December)


  • 1. Historic center of Prague, with the castle, Charles Bridge and old town square.
  • 2. The Jewish quarter in Prague.
  • 3. National Gallery in Prague
  • 4. Jewish Museum in Prague
  • 5. 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • 6. Historic Cesky krumlov
  • 7. Historic center of Telc
  • 8. Pilgrimage church of St. John of Nepomuk at Zelena Hora
  • 9. Kutna Hora's Historical Center
  • 10. Holy Trinity Column, Olomouc
  • 11. Holasovice historic village
  • 12. Palava Hills Biosphere
  • 13. Lednice - valtice park/complex
  • 14. Litomysl castle
  • 15. Tugerodhat villa in Brno
  • 16. Terezin Fortress
  • 17. Spa Triangle; Carlsbad, Marienbad and Franzensbad
  • 18. National parks; Sumava and Prodyji
  • 19. Czech Switzerland; sandstone rock formations
  • 20. National caves: Punkevni, Konsprusy and Bozkovske
  • 21. Dolomite caves
  • 22. Moravian karst
  • 23. St. Vitus Cathedral
  • 24. Ostrava - Lower Vitkovice
  • 25. Marianske Lazne
  • 26. Karlovy vary
  • 27. Gardens in Kromeriz
  • 28. Troja chateau
  • 29. Strahov monastery
  • 30. Municiple house.
  • 32. Lesser town and St. Nicholas church
  • 33. National Theatre state opera
  • 34. Wenceslaus square
  • 35. Josefov - Jewish Museum
  • 36. The Astronomical clock
  • 37. Prague castle


  • 1. Sightseeing Prague and UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • 2. Visit the famous spa towns of Carlsbad and Marienbad
  • 3. Go shopping for Czech garnets, Bohemian glass and wooden toys
  • 4. Hiking and biking the Prague - Vienna Greenways
  • 5. Play golf at Karlovy vary Golf Resort, the nation’s oldest golf club, or the Royal Golf Club Marianske Lazne
  • 6. Enjoy the many live music gigs and festivals;

What to eat and drink;

Czech cuisine is most notable for its rich and hearty meals, including delicious sweets and excellent beer and wine. Gastronomy in the country has various inspirations, but has been most influenced by Australian, Germany and Hungarian cooking. A traditional Czech entree would usually consist of meat (such as beef, pork, duck, goose or game), along with potatoes, cabbage (sauerkraut) or dumplings. To accompany your meal, order a pint of Czech beer (such as pilsner urquell or Budvar) or wine from Moravia.


The Czech Republic is located in the heart of Europe. Delta offers the only non -stop service from New York JFK to Prague. Sending your clients into the country side, which is easily accessible by rail. The Czech Republic is part of the Eurail network (www.raileurope. com).  Accommodation in Prague hotels at less than $100 a night.



The Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc is one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in the Czech Republic. The three - tiered structure is covered in religious imagery, with sculptures of saints, apostles and the Virgin Mary, topped with a statue depicting the Holy Trinity. Built in the 18th century to celebrate the end of a Plague, in 1758 Olomouc’s residents successfully persuaded the invading Prussian army not to shoot at their monument.


Called the Garden of Eden by locals, Kromeriz Gardens never fails to impress. With lavish statues, flower beds and fountains, it is a throwback to Prague’s extravagant past, notably the perfectly symmetrical flower gardens, designed in the 17th - century. Once you are done exploring outside, head into the Archbishop's chateau and admire the collection of paintings by old masters, and climb its baroque tower for unbeatable views of the city.

  • 3. PRAGUE CASTLE; Prague castle is, according to Guinness, the world’s largest complete castle complex. There is plenty to look at, but be sure to explore the imposing St. Vitus Cathedral, and head to the main courtyard at midday, where you will see the ceremonial changing of the guard.

Trebic's UNESCO - listed Jewish Quarter is ideal for a lazy afternoon spent meandering through the streets.  Dotted along the narrow lanes and passage ways are over 100 historic buildings, including synagogues, a rabbi’s house and town hall. But for a real sense of how large the Jewish population once was in these parts, visit the cemetery, which contains more than 2,000 overlapping gravestones. Elsewhere, the romanesque St Procopius Basilica, built in the 13th - century, highlights the area's christian heritage.


Designed by renowned Czech architect Jan Blazej Santin Aichel, this church at Zelena Hora was constructed in the shape of a star. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was built in honor of Czech Saint John of Nepomuk, who was thrown over from the Charles Bridge when he refused to confess the queen's secrets to the king.



Capital; Phnom Penh

Main cities; Battambang,  Siem Reap, Sihanoukville.

Populations; 13,395,682 (As per the year 2008 estimates)

Currency; Riel (KHR). US dollars are widely accepted. Credit cards are accepted only in banks and main hotels, and large businesses. Foreign currencies readily exchanged. Exchange rate approximates (KHR 4,009=$1). Tipping (Expected in hotels and restaurants; amount optional).

Time: GMT + 7

Electricity: 220 volts.  An adaptor may be required for some appliances.

Driving: On the right.  International permit as well as local licence is required.

Public Holidays: Include January 1, 7; February 3; March 8; April 13; May 1, 9, 13; June 1, 18; September 24, 28; October 29, 31; November 9, 25; December 10. The dates of some Buddhist festivals are approximate.

Language: Khmer, English and French also spoken.

Religion: Buddhist.

Country Dial Code: + 855

Getting there: (Major gateways, including Phnom Penh (PNH), Seam Riep (REP). Typical flying time from Los Angeles is 18.5 hours via Taiwan, while from UK is 12 hours.

Transfers: Phnom Penh (5 miles/8 km); taxi $ 4-7. Siem Reap (3 miles/5km).

Departure Tax: International flights $ 25 at Phnom Penh.  Domestic flights $ 6.

Port: Sihanoukville International Seaport.

Getting Around: Ways to see the sights of Phnom Penh include taxi, car rental, bus, motorcycle and cyclo (tricycle rickshaw). The cyclo provides visitors with leisurely paced transportation around the city. There are eight provincial airports in Cambodia and water travel is also a popular mode of transport in the country.

Visa requirements: You can get a visa on arrival at most ports of entry. Payment is in US $ only and you need to bring two passport photos. A tourist visa costs US $ 20 for one month and can be extended for only one extra month. Minimum passport validity period of six months from the date of entry. Entry is normally refused if you have a damaged passport or pages missing. Tourists and business travellers may also obtain a Cambodian visa at the airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and at all major border crossings. Cambodia regularly imposes fines for overstay of an expired visa. Airports collect fingerprints upon entry using an electronic process.

Health requirements: Yellow fever immunisation is essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid, polio and dengue fever are recommended. Malaria is a risk, but tourist areas are malaria - free.

Climate: Cambodia’s climate is tropical and humid, with a rainy season from May to October (heaviest rainfall in September and October) and a dry season from November to April. The hot season is March to May, with temperatures between 29C and 38C, and the cooler season November to February (from 17C to 27C).  The rainy season is cloudier and humidity is high at this time.

Accommodation: Places to stay range from international and traditional – style luxury hotels to family - run guest houses.

Major events:

  • 1. Bonn Chaul Chhnam, Cambodian New Year (April).
  • 2. Bonn Visaka Bochea, commemorates the anniversary of the birth and illumination of the Buddha (April).
  • 3. Bonn Dak Ben and Bonn Pnchom Ben, the spirit commemoration festival (October).
  • 4. Three – day water festival, with boat races on the Jonle sap (November).
  • 5. Bonn Chroat Preah Nongkoal, Royal Ploughing Ceremony (May).
  • 6. Moon Festival (November).


  • 1. Phnom Penh attractions including (Wat Phnom, Royal Palace, National museum, Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum, Choeung EK Memorial, Independence Monument and the local markets).
  • 2. Siem Reap Province attractions including (Angkor temple complex, Angkor wat - World Heritage Site), Angor Thom – Bayon, Baphuon, Takeo, Phimeanakas, Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei, Pre Roup, East Mebon, West Mebon, Prasat Kravan, Preah Khan, Neak – poan, Ta Saom, Banteay srei and Roluos Group, Beng Mealea, Mc Dermott Gallery, Phnom Kulen)
  • 3. Sihanoukville: the best beaches include Otres, Ochheuteal, Sokha, Independence and Hawaii. Koh Ta Kiev for a day trip.
  • 4. Stung Phong Roul waterfall.
  • 5. Botum Sakor National Park.
  • 6. Koh Trong.
  • 7. Banteay Chhmar.
  • What to eat and drink:

The Khmer cuisine of Cambodia has much in common with the food of neighboring Thailand, although less spicy, and Vietnam, with which it shares many common dishes and a colonial history. Curry dishes, known as Kari, are influenced by Indian cooking, while the many variations of rice noodles show Chinese influences. Coconut milk is the main ingredient of many Khoner curries and desserts. Strong coffee is a favoured drink.

  • What to buy;

Statues and statuettes, jewels, objects of clay, stone, silver, brass and bronze, rattan and bamboo artefacts, silver plates and betel boxes.



  • Capital: Ottawa.
  • Main cities: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Quebec City.
  • Populations: 34, 439,000 (As per the year 2011 estimates).
  • Currency: Canadian dollar (C$) = Cents. Major credit cards such as American Express, Master card and Visa are widely accepted in Canada. Most hotels, stores and restaurants will accept US dollars, though sometimes at a lower rate than banks or airports. Large hotels will usually give guests rates similar to those at the bank.

It is always a good idea for travelers to convert some money to Canadian currency prior to leaving their countries. Exchange rate approximate (C$1.08 = $1). Tipping (waiters and taxi drivers 10-15 percent depending on quality of service received.

Time; Six time zones, from Newfoundland (GMT - 3.5) to British Columbia (GMT - 8);

Electricity; 110 volts.  No adaptor required

Driving; Traffic drives on the right.  The Canadian Automobile Association recommended that all foreign visitors take an international driving permit as well as their national licence. Speeds and distances appear in kilometers, not miles.

Public Holidays; Include January 1; April 3, 5; May 25; July 1; September 7; October 12; December 11, 25, October 12; December 11,25,26.

Language; English (official) 59%, French (official) 23%, other 18%;

Religion; Catholic, Protestant (including United Church, Baptist, Anglican, Lutheran); also Muslim.

Country Dial Code; +1

Getting there; (Major gateways, including -  Calgary, AB (YYC), Charlotte town, PE (YYG); Edmonton, AB (YEG), Fredericton, NB (YFC), Halifax, NS (YHZ), Montreal, QC -  all airports (YMQ), Montreal, QC - Mirabel (YMX), Montreal, QC - Trudeau (YUL), Ottawa, ON (YOW), Quebec City, QC (YQB), Regina, SK (YQR), St john's, NF (YYT), Saskatoon, SK (YXE), Toronto, ON (YYZ), Vancouver, BC (YVR), Whitehorse, YT (YXY), Winnipeg, MB (YWG), Yellow knife, NT (YZF). Typical flying time from UK is 7 hours to Toronto; 9 hours/30 minutes to Vancouver. From New York to Toronto, 1.5 hours; New York to Calgary, 5.5 hours; Los Angeles to Vancouver, 2.5 hours.

Departure Tax; An airport improvement fee (AIF) of up to CS$25 is added to the price of an air ticket. The air traveler’s security charge (ATSC) is levied on all passengers departing from Canadian airports, C$12.71 on Trans - border flights to the US.

Ports; Montreal, Vancouver, St John’s, Quebec City, Halifax.

Getting Around; There is an excellent public transport system throughout Canada and its cities. VIA Rail operates train operates train services in the country and Greyhound Canada provides long - distance bus services, which run frequently.

Transfers; Calgary (11 miles/18 km) 30/40 minutes.

  • Edmonton (19 miles/31 km) 45 minutes.
  • Halifax (26 miles/42 km) 30 minutes.
  • Montreal Mirabel (34 miles/ 58 km) 60 minutes.
  • Montreal Trudeau (14 miles/22 km) 25 minutes
  • Ottawa International (11miles/8 km) 25 minutes
  • St john’s (5 miles/8 km) 10 -15 minutes
  • Toronto Lester B. Pearson (18 miles/30 km) 30 - 40 minutes
  • Vancouver (4 miles/6 km) 20 -30 minutes
  • Winnipeg (4 miles/6.4 km) 20 minutes
  • Visa requirements; visa is vital and required.

Health requirements: None.  For latest information on health matters, travellers to Canada should visit Health Canada (

Climate: Because of Canada’s expanses, climatic conditions vary widely and only very general information can be given.  In summer, hotels, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and stores are air - conditioned. In winter, all private and public buildings, railway stations and bus terminals are heated and all main highways are cleared of snow. Although days in summer are warm, evenings may be cool and visitors planning fishing, camping or canoeing expeditions should bring medium and heavier weight apparel in addition to summer clothing.

Accommodation:  Travelers can choose from a wide variety of options, ranging from campsites and youth hostels to cabins, B&Bs, chalets and five - star hotels. It is also possible to stay in more unusual accommodation such as a tipi, igloo or even an ice hotel. There is no official star rating system in Canada, although the system operated by Canada select is becoming more widely.

Major events;

  • 1. Igloo Fest, Quebec (January)
  • 2. Quebec Winter Carnival, Quebec (January/February)
  • 3. Winterlude, Ontario(February)
  • 4. Caribou Carnival, northwest territories (March)
  • 5. Banff Summer Arts Festival, Alberta (May - August)
  • 6. Brigus Blueberry Festival, Newfoundland & Labrador (July)
  • 7. Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Alberta (August)
  • 8. Pop Montreal International, Quebec (October)
  • 9. Winter Festival of Lights, Ontario (November - January)


  • 1. Niagara Falls, Ontario
  • 2. CN Tower, Toronto, Ontario
  • 3. Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
  • 4. Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, Ontario
  • 5. Banff National Park, Alberta
  • 6. Jasper National Park, Alberta
  • 7. Rocky Mountains, Alberta
  • 8. Athabasca Glacier, Alberta
  • 9. Whistler Resort, British Columbia; along with Vancouver, Whistler hosted the 2010 winter Olympic Games.
  • 10. Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • 11. Whale - watching, British Columbia.
  • 12. Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • 13. Quebec City, Quebec
  • 14. Old Port, Montreal
  • 15. Montreal, Quebec, particularly vibrant during the Montreal International Jazz Festival
  • 16. National Art Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
  • 17. Algonquin Park, Ontario
  • 18. Calgary Zoo, Alberta
  • 19. Lunenburg, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Nova Scotia.

What to buy;

Clothing and shoes, jewelry, house wares, books, antiques, maple syrup, Canadian whisky, folk art, gemstones, ceramics. Also carvings, silver and leather goods.

What to eat and drink;

Canada has a multinational cuisine that has been shaped by continual waves of immigration, with many of the country's dishes having been influenced by arrivals from Britain and the rest of Europe. Fine wines are produced around the Niagara region in the east and the Okanagan valley in British Columbia in the west. Hundreds of micro - breweries have developed a huge variety of beers and lagers.



  • Capital; Praia
  • Main cities; Mindelo, Santa Maria
  • Populations; 491,575 (As per the year 2010 estimates)
  • Currency; Cape Verdean escudo (ESC$) =100 centavos. Exchange rate approximates (ESC$79=$1). The currency of Cape Verde is pegged to the euro, which is the best currency to take. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted. Tipping (at the customer’s discretion depending on the level of service provided)
  • Time; GMT - 1
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the rights. International driving licence/permit required
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,20; February 17,18; May 1,19; July 5; August 15; September 12; November 1; December 25;
  • Language; Portuguese is the official language. Also Creole. English is widely spoken
  • Religion; Catholic
  • Country Dial Code; +238
  • Getting there; (Major gateway, including Sal Cabral (SID)
  • Other airports; Boa Vista Rabil (BVC); Maio Vila Maio (MMO); Mosteiros (MTI); Praia F. Mendes (RAI); Santo Antao (NTO); Sao Filipe (SFL); Sao Nicolau Preguica (SNE); Sao Vicente San Pedro (VXE);
  • Visa requirements; Visa is essential and required
  • Health requirements; Yellow fever immunization is essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended. Also malaria if traveling to Sao Tiago Island.
  • Climate; Tropical, tempered by Atlantic trade winds, with temperatures fairly constant and averaging around 75F with eight hours’ sunshine a day. The rainy season is between August and October.


  • Capital; George Town.
  • Populations; 57,570 (As per the year 2012 estimates)
  • Currency; Cayman Islands dollar (CI$) =100 cents, fixed to the US dollar at CI$1=US$1.21. All major credit cards accepted. Tipping (15% is suggested)
  • Time; GMT -5
  • Electricity; 110 volts. No adaptor required
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the left. A visitor’s driving licence can be obtained from car hire companies and police stations for a small fee on production of a valid driving license.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,26; February 18; April 3,6; May 18; June 8; July 6; November 9; December 25,26;
  • Language; English
  • Religion; Christianity
  • Country Dial Code; +1345
  • Getting there; (Major gateway, including Owen Roberts International Airport, Grand Cayman (GCM). Typical flying time from Miami, 1.5 hours, while from UK is 11 hours.
  • Transfers; George Town/West Bay (1.5 miles/2.4 km) taxi 5 - 10 minutes; scheduled bus service.
  • Port; George Town
  • Visa requirements; Visa is vital and required
  • Health requirements; Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended.
  • Climate; Temperatures are consistently high year - round at 30 - 35C, tempered by the gentle fanning of the trade winds. The dry season is November to May and the wettest months June to October, when it is more humid and there is also the risk of tropical storms or the occasional hurricane.


  • Capital; Santiago
  • Main cities; Valparaiso, Concepcion, Laserena, Antofagasta.
  • Populations; 17, 402, 630 (As per the year 2012 estimates)
  • Currency; Chilean peso (CLP). All major credit cards are accepted. Exchange rate approximates (CLP 557 = $1). Tipping (In restaurants a tip of about 10% are expected; it is not included in the bill. Taxi drivers are generally not tipped.
  • Time; GMT - 4
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the right. An international driving permit is required.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; April 3, 4; May 1, 21; June 29; August 15; September 7, 18, 19; October 12; November 1; December 8, 25.
  • Language; Spanish. English is widely spoken is major cities, but not in rural areas.
  • Religion; Catholic majority with a christian non - catholic minority
  • Country Dial Code; +56
  • Getting there;( Major gateway, including Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport, Santiago de Chile (SCL). Typical flying time from UK is 16 hours, while from Miami is 18 hours.
  • Transfers; Santiago (12 miles/18 km) bus 60 minutes to city center, taxi 50 minutes.
  • Departure Tax; US$26
  • Ports; Valparaiso, San Antonio, Antofagasta, Iquique, Talcahuano, Puerto Montt.
  • Getting Around; Chile's capital Santiago has a modern metro and extensive bus network, which includes minibuses. Another way of traveling in the city is to use one of the colectivos (shared taxis), which operate fixed routes within the city and to neighboring towns. Long - distance buses run to all major and medium - sized cites with three fare bands.
  • Visa requirements; Visa is vital and required.
  • Health requirements; Yellow fever immunization is essential for entry from endemic areas. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus and polio recommended, as well as against altitude sickness in the northern altiplano.
  • Climate; There are considerable climatic variations in view of the extreme length of the country, which spans 2,500 miles/4,300km from north to south. The central lowlands enjoy a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers (November to March), with temperatures up to 30 - 35C. The winter (mid -  May to August) is the rainy season, where temperatures vary greatly (at night, temperatures can drop to freezing; during the day, they are 10 - 25C). The Andes are permanently covered in snow on the upper reaches and snowfalls become progressively heavier further south in Patagonia, the wettest and coolest part of Chile.
  • Accommodation; Accommodation in Chile ranges from International five - star hotels down to apart hotels, farm stays and rooms in private homes. There are also rural Cabin Complexes which are available for hire.


  • 1. Santiago Love Parade, Santiago de Chile (January)
  • 2. Feast Day of St Sebastian, Yumbel (February)
  • 3. Derby Day, Valparaiso sporting club, Vina del mar (February)
  • 4. Feast of the Virgin of 40 hours, Limache (February)
  • 5. Rodeo de Rancagua in Rancagua city (March)
  • 6. Independence Day, Rancagua (September 18)
  • 7. Semanas Musicales de Frutillar (January)
  • 8. International Festival Santiago a mil (January)
  • 9. Dakar Rally (January)
  • 10. Tapati Festival, Easter Island (February)
  • 11. Patagonian Expedition Race (February)
  • 12. Festival de vendimia (March/April)
  • 13. Fiesta Cuasimodo, central Chile(April)
  • 14. Fiesta de san Pedro (June)
  • 15. Fiesta de la virgen del Carmen (July)
  • 16. Virgen de la Tirana, Tirana (July)
  • 17. Fiestas Patrias; Chile’s independence Day & Military Day (September)
  • 18. Valdivia International Film Festival, Valdivia (October)
  • 19. El ESanyo horse - racing derby, club Hipico,  Santiago (November)
  • 20. Fiesta Grande de la virgen de Rosario (December)
  • 21. Ano Nuevo en EL mar (New Year at the sea) - December.


  • 1. Torres del Paine National park (south Patagonia)
  • 2. The moai statues of Rapa Nui, Easter Island
  • 3. Ski centers; Portillo, La Parva, EL Colorado, Valle Nevado
  • 4. Wine routes, central region
  • 5. Conguillo National park
  • 6. Pucon
  • 7. El Tatio Geysers
  • 8. Valparaiso, central region (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
  • 9. Atacama Desert, North
  • 10. Chilean stargazing, La Serena (north of Santiago)
  • 11. Lake district (south)
  • 12. Thermal spas, south and central regions
  • 13. Valle Del Elqui (North, close to La Serena)
  • 14. Pucon and Villarrica lake (in Chile's lake district)
  • 15. Glaciers and fjords, south.


Seafood in Chile is excellent, particularly lobsters and oysters. Local specialities include curanto (stew of fish, shellfish, potatoes and different types of meat), parrillada (a mixed grill), empanadas (Light pastry with meat shellfish or cheese), cazuela (chicken - or beef - based soup with potatoes) and pastel de choclo (baked corn meal with chicken or beef. Paila marina is a delectable shellfish stew available throughout the country. Even the most voracious sweet - tooth will be satisfied by locally made Italian - style ice cream (helado) and desserts made with dulce de leche, which is also known as manjar. Chilean wines are world - class and the local cocktail is pisco sour, made from grape brandy, lemon juice, sugar and egg white.


Handicrafts and artworks in wood, wool, clay, wicker and silver, alpaca garments, lapis lazuli jewellery, wine and pisco;


  • 1. VALPARAISO; The most unique city in Chile, Valparaiso was given UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2003.
  • 2. ATACAMA DESERT; Set in the north of the country, the Atacama Desert, known as the driest desert on the planet though surprisingly not that hot - is home to geysers, hotsprings, ravines and lagoons. It offers a blend of fantastic volcanic landscapes and quaint Andean villages.
  • 3. PATAGONIA; The stunning mountain region that Chile shares with Argentina at the tip of the South American continent is famous for its glaciers, icebergs, waterfalls and lakes. The region's dramatic landscape is one of the world's most impressive natural attractions, perfect for trekking, climbing or simply exploring. Highlights of the region include the spectacular mountain range in the Torres del Paine National park, and the ice - blue glaciers and coastal fjords make for a very different holiday experience.
  • 4. EASTER ISLAND: This mysterious island, more than 2,000 miles west of mainland Chile, is one of the most isolated places on Earth. Visitors will be intrigued by the famous statues, figures carved from rock on the Polynesian island between the 13th and 16th centuries, staring out to sea in stony silence.


Capital; Kinshasa

Main cities; Mbuji mayi, Lubumbashi, Kananga

Populations; 71, 712, 867 (As per the year 2011 estimates)

Currency; Congolese franc (CDF).  US dollars widely used. Exchange rate approximate (CDF1, 490= Sterling pound1).  Tipping (10% restaurants)

Time; GMT+1 or +2

Electricity; 220/240 volts.  Adaptor required

Driving; Traffic drives on the right

Public Holidays; Include January 1, 4, 17; May 1, 17; June 30; August 1; November 17; December 25.

Language; French, Lingala, Kikongo, Swahili and Tshiluba are also spoken.

Religion; Christianity, small muslim minority.

Country Dial Code; +243

Getting there: (Major gateway, including N'djili Airport, Kinshasa (FIH). Typical flying time UK via Paris is 11 hours.

Visa requirements; Visa is essential and required

Health requirements; Yellow fever vaccination certificate is mandatory. Malaria, rabies, polio, meningitis and cholera are common in DRC. Medical care is extremely limited.

Climate; North of the equator, the wet season is April - October and the dry season December - February. South of the equator, the wet season is November - March and the dry season April - October.



Capital; Copenhagen

Main cities; Aarhus, Odense, Aalborg.

Populations; 5, 602, 628 (As per the year 2013 estimates)

Currency; krone (DKK) =100 ore. Most major credit cards accepted. Exchange rate approximates (DKK 5.47=$1). Gratuities are generally not expected in Denmark, expect for special instances when dining in large groups or experiencing exceptional service. Hotel and restaurant bills include discretionary 10%, while gratuities are included in taxi fares. Tip cloakroom attendants small charge and porters DKK10.

Time; GMT+1

Electricity; 220 volts.  Adaptor required

Driving; Is on the right

Public Holidays; Include January 1; April 2, 3, 5, 6; May 1, 14, 25; June 5; December 25.

Language; Danish. Most people speak English

Religion; Mainly Evangelical Lutheran.

Country Dial Code; + 45

Getting there: (Major gateways, including Copenhagen (CPH), Billund (BLL), Aarhus (AAR), Esbjerg (ESB), Aalborg (AAL). Typical flying time from UK is 1 hour/30 minutes, while from New York is 7.5 hours direct, 1O hours via Reykjavik.

Transfers; Copenhagen (5 miles/8 km) train 13 minutes; taxi 15 - 20 minutes. Billund (1.2 miles/2km) bus to Vejle 30 minutes. Aarhus ((AAR) bus 45 minutes. Also Aalborg (AAL) bus 45 minutes alsoaalborg (AAL)

Ports; Esbjerg (Ferry Harwich): Copenhagen (cruise)

Getting Around; In the capital, tourists can obtain the Copenhagen card, which is available for various periods, allowing unlimited travel and free entry to 75 museums and attractions. There is a good public transport network and metered taxis are available. For travel further afield, Danish Railways (DSB) intercity services link most towns. Ferries link Denmark with its neighbors and to its islands.

Visa requirements; Denmark is party to the schengen agreement. No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the schengen agreement.

Health requirements; None.

Climate; Despite Denmark’s northerly position, the weather is not extreme: there are no extremes of temperature or rainfall. The climate is in the temperate zone, and the mild weather is due to the west winds and the sea that almost surrounds the country. While April and May are mild months, the weather is usually warm and sunny from June to August. Autumn months are pleasant, though cooler. Winter tends to be cool and light snow can sometimes occur. Denmark does not have a lot of fluctuation between day and night temperatures, but wind gusts can quickly change the weather.

Accommodation; There is a wide range of accommodation, including hotels, country cottages, castles, manor houses, holiday centers, inns, farmhouses, B&Bs, apartments, holiday cottages, camping sites and hostels.


  • 1. Aalborg Opera Festival (March)
  • 2. Aalborg Carnival (May)
  • 3. River Boat Jazz Festival, Silkeborg (June)
  • 4. Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Copenhagen (July)
  • 5. Aarhus Festival (August/September)
  • 6. Copenhagen Night of Culture (October)
  • 7. Hans Christian Andersen Christmas Market, Odense (December)
  • 8. Old Town Christmas Market, Aarhus (November/December)
  • 9. Funen Village Christmas Market, Odense (November/ December)
  • 10. Tivoli Christmas Market, Copenhagen (December)
  • 11. Wonder Cool Festival, Copenhagen (February)
  • 12. CPH: PIX Film Festival (April)
  • 13. Roskilde Festival (July)
  • 14. Copenhagen Cooking Festival (July/August)
  • 15. Cultural Harbour Festival, Copenhagen (August)
  • 16. Odense Flower Festival (August)
  • 17. Copenhagen Fashion Festival (August)
  • 18. European Medieval Festival, Horsens (August)


  • 1. Tivoli, Copenhagen
  • 2. Legoland, Billund
  • 3. The old Town, Aarhus
  • 4. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
  • 5. ARoS Museum of Modern Art, Aarhus
  • 6. Kronborg, Helsingoer
  • 7. Danish National Gallery (Statens Museum for Kunst), Copenhagen
  • 8. Bakken amusement park, Copenhagen.
  • 9. Rundetaarn, Copenhagen
  • 10. Little Mermaid, Copenhagen
  • 11. Arken Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen
  • 12. Copenhagen Zoo
  • 13. The Royal Danish Opera House, Copenhagen
  • 14. Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen


Traditional Danish cuisine includes the well - known smorgasbond (open sand wiches with varied items), roast pork, pickled herrings, smoked eel and meat balls. Danish beers include Carlsberg, Tuborg and Odense Pilsner.

Frequently asked questions (faque)

  • 1. Is Denmark cold?

Answer: Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Denmark has a temperate climate similar to that in the UK

  • 2. Is it expensive in Denmark?

Answer: No more expensive than London or Dublin.



Capital; Djibouti

Main cities; Ali Sabieh,  Tadjourah

Currency; Djiboutian franc (DJF). Credit cards are not widely accepted outside the larger hotels in Djibouti city. Exchange rate approximate (DJF 296=Sterling pound1). Tipping (10% in restaurants).

Time; GMT+ 3

Electricity; 220 volts.  Adaptor required

Driving; Traffic drives on the right. A temporary local permit may be obtained from local authorities on presentation of a licence.

Public Holidays; Include January 1, 13; May 1, 27; June 27; July 28; October 4, 25; December 25.

Language; French, Arabic, Somali, Afar.

Religion; Muslim

Country Dial Code; + 253

Getting there; (Major gateway, including Djibouti (JIB). Typical flying time from UK is 14 hours via Dubai.

Transfers; Djibouti (3 miles/ 5 km) taxi

Departure Tax; US $ 20

Ports; Djibouti, Tadjoura.

Visa requirements; A one-month tourist visa is obtainable on arrival.

Health requirements; Yellow fever certificate required if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, cholera, polio, typhoid and malaria recommended.

Climate; Djibouti is hot all year round, but slightly cooler between October and April.



Capital; Roseau

Main cities; Portsmouth, Marigot

Currency; Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$) =100 Cents.  US dollars, euros and sterling can be changed at the banks. Credit cards are widely accepted in Dominica. Also visa, master card, and American Express are widely accepted. Exchange rate approximates (EC$2.70=$1). Tipping (at client’s discretion).

Time; GMT -  4

Electricity; 220/240 volts.  Adaptor may be needed

Driving; Traffic drives on the left. A local driving licence can be obtained from the traffic department on presentation

Public Holidays; Include January 1; February 16, 17; April 3, 6; May 4, 25; August 3; November 3, 4; December 25, 26;

Language; English is the official language. Creole and French are also spoken.

Religion; Catholic majority and Protestant

Country Dial Code; + 767/+1767

Getting there; (Major gateways, including Melville Hall Airport (DOM), Canfield Airport (DCF). Typical flying time from New York, 7 hours via San Juan, while from UK is 9 hours (no direct flights from UK)

Transfers; Roseau (40 miles/64km) taxi

Departure Tax; US$22

Ports; Woodbridge Bay, Roseau, Portsmouth, Roseau.

Visa requirements; Visa is vital and required.

Health requirements; Yellow fever immunization essential if arriving from infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A and typhoid recommended.]

Climate; Day temperatures from 27C to 30C; cooler in the mountains. Rainy season July - October.


  • 1. Carnival (March)
  • 2. Hike Fest (May)
  • 3. Jazz'n Creole (June)
  • 4. Dive fest (July)
  • 5. World Creole Music Festival (October)



Capital; Santo Domingo

Main cities; Puerto Plata, Santiago, Higuey, La Romana,  Samana.

Currency; Dominican peso (RD$) =100 Centavos.  The many businesses accept US dollars and major credit cards, while tourist areas also have ATMs. Tipping (hotels and restaurants include 10% service. Tip an additional 10% in restaurants for good service.

Time; GMT -  4

Electricity; 110 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving; On the right.

Public Holidays; Include January 1, 6, 21, 26; February 27; April 3; May 1; June 4; August 16; September 24; November 6; December 25.

Language; Spanish is the official language. English, French, German and Italian are spoken in hotels and tourist destinations.

Religion; Catholic (95%). Also Protestant, Seventh Day Adventist, Baptist and Mormon.

Country Dial Code; 809, 829, 849

Getting there; (Major gateways, including - Santo Domingo Las Americas (SDQ), La Romana International Airport (LRM), Punta Cana International Airport (PUT), Puerto Plata Gregorio Luperon International Airport (POP), Santiago El Cibao International Airport (STI), Maria Montez International Airport(BRX), El catey International Airport (LTU), and Samana (AZS). Typical flying time from Miami is 2.5 hours, while from UK is 9 hours.

Transfers; Santo Domingo (8 miles/13 km) taxi 30 minutes

Departure Tax; US$20

Ports; Santo Domingo, Casa de campo port in La Romana, Samana and Puerto Plata;

Getting Around; Private taxis are available 24 hours a day in Santo Domingo, Santiago and Puerto Plata.  There are public buses in Santo Domingo, while public taxis, minibuses and motorbikes are relatively inexpensive forms of transport.

Visa requirements; Visitors need a valid passport. Those who do not obtain a Dominican Republic Visa prior to entry must purchase a tourist card on arrival to enter the country. Tourist cards cost US$10, and must be paid in US currency. tourist cards may also be purchased at the Dominican Embassy at the particular country where there is Dominican Embassy available.

Health requirements; Precautions against polio, tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A recommended.

Climate; The Dominican Republic has a tropical climate, though temperatures are cooled by sea breezes. The hottest month is August and the coolest January, although the temperature rarely drops below 20C.  Conditions are dry in the north between June and September and from November to April in the south.

Accommodation; Places to stay range from small beach inns to small hotels atop hills; from hotels catering for windsurfers to colonial city hostels and adventure traveller hotels; from all-inclusive beach resorts to deluxe city hotels.


  • 1. Laser Midwinter Regatta (January)
  • 2. Master of the ocean (January)
  • 3. Parade of the Three Kings (January)
  • 4. Independence Day (February)
  • 5. Carnival (February/March)
  • 6. Merengue Festival, Santo Domingo (July)
  • 7. Punta Cana Food & Wine Festival (July)
  • 8. Discover Puerto Plata Market Place (October)
  • 9. Dominican Republic Jazz Festival (November).


  • 1. Colonial zone in the capital Santo Domingo
  • 2. Altos de chavon; replica of a 17th - century Mediterranean village, La Romana.
  • 3. Ocean World Adventure Park, Cofresi, Puerto Plata.
  • 4. Saona and Catalina island tour.
  • 5. Los Haitises National Park
  • 6. Whale watching in Samana (January/Mach)
  • 7. Lago Enriquillo, one of few saltwater lakes with crocodiles.
  • 8. Eastern National Park
  • 9. Basilica de Nuestra senora de la Altagracia (Basilica of our Lady of Altagracia)
  • 10. Museo de las casa Realas (Museum of the Royal Houses)
  • 11. Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor, oldest in the Americas
  • 12. Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve, Punta Cana.
  • 13. El Limon Waterfall, Las Terrenas
  • 14. Centro Leon, Santiago
  • 15. Catedral Primada de America (First Cathedral of the Americas)
  • 16. Plaza de la cultura, Santo Domingo
  • 17. Jardin Botanical Nacional (National Botanic Gardens), Santo Dominigo
  • 18. Museo de Ambar Dominicano (Amber museum of Puerto Plata)
  • 19. Mount Isabel de Torres, Puerto Plata.


The Dominican Republic’s cuisine centres on red kidney beans (habichuelas) and rice, accompanied by chicken, beef, pork or goat, cooked with very mild spices. Popular local dishes include la bendera (rice, red beans, stewed meat and green plantains); sancocho (a thick - soup of seven meats and vegetables); longaniza (spiced pork sausage); and pastelitos (small pastries filled with chicken or other meats). Rums of the local Barcelo and Brugal companies and local beers (Presidente) are the main tipples.


Traditional craft goods made of horn, wood, leather, shell, amber and larimer (A semi-precious local stone). Also pottery, ceramics, cigars and local rum.


  • 1. Is the Dominican Republic the same as Dominica?

Answer; No, although both are Caribbean island destinations. The Dominican Republic is much larger and forms part of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares Haiti.

  • 2. What are the Dominican Republic's most popular resorts?

Answer; Puerto Plata and Samana are the favoured spots on the north coast, with Juan Dolio and Boca Chica most popular on the south coast. On the east coast, it is the beaches around Punta Cana that find most favour with visitors from abroad

  • 3. What money should I take?

Answer; Visitors will find it best to take traveler's cheques and cash in US dollars.



Capital: Addis Ababa

Main Cities:  Bahir Dar, Mekelle, Dire Dawa Harar, Jimma, Awassa, Nazereth.

Currency: Ethiopian birr (ETB) =100 santim. Credit cards are also accepted by major tourist outlets. Exchange rate approximate (ETB 19.62 = $ 1). Tipping (At the client's discretion,  with ETB 2 to ETB 5 the recommended amount).

Time:  GMT + 3

Electricity: 220 volts. Adapter required.

Driving: Traffic drives on the right in Ethiopia. International driving permit  required.

Public Holidays: include January 3, 7, 20; May2; April 10, 12; May 1, 28; July 18; September 12, 23, 28. The list includes Muslim festivals,  the dates of which are approximate.

Language: Amharic is the working language. English the second official language. French, Italian, Arabic and some 80 indigenous languages are also spoken.

Religion: Ethiopian Orthodox, Coptic, Muslim, as well as traditional beliefs.

Country Dial Code: +251

Getting there: (Major gateway, including Addis Ababa Bole (ADD). Typical flying time from New York is 17 hours via London, while from UK is 8 hours.

Transfers: Addis Ababa (5 miles/8 km).

Departure Tax: US $20 for international departures.

Getting Around: Ethiopian Airlines operates a domestic network and a bus network serves all major towns. A 500 – mile railway line links Addis Ababa and Djibouti. There are 2,500 miles of surfaced roads.

Visa requirements: If you are flying into Ethiopia as a tourist, you can get a visa on arrival at Addis Ababa (Bole) or Dire Dawa International Airports, at a cost of approximately £ 15. If you arriving by other means, or at another airport, you must get a visa prior to arrival.

Health requirements: Yellow fever certificate is required if arriving from an infected area. Hepatitis, polio, tetanus, typhoid and yellow fever immunisation recommended, as well as malaria precautions.

Climate: Ethiopia has two main seasons – the dry season from October through to May (with irregular rain occurring from late January to early March, and the rainy season, lasting from June to mid – September. Temperatures depend on altitude; the highland areas average 16C.

Accommodation: There is a wide choice of hotels – four star, three star, two star and guest houses in Addis Ababa, as well as the five - star Sheraton. Outside Addis Ababa, all large towns have good hotels; those in tourist areas have generally high standards. Campsites are available. For further information on hotels and accommodation, visit (

Major events;

  • 1. Timket Festival, Epiphany (January)
  • 2. Meskel Festival – the finding of the true cross (September)
  • 3. Great Ethiopian Run (November)


  • 1. Rock – hewn churches of Lalibela
  • 2. Gondar Castle Complex
  • 3. Lake Jana and Blue Nile Falls
  • 4. Axum Archaeological Sites
  • 5. Walled City of Harar
  • 6. Sof Amar Cave
  • 7. Semein Mountains National Park
  • 8. Hadar Archaeological Site
  • 9. Ethnic groups of the lower Omo Valley
  • 10. The capital Addis Ababa
  • 11. The Rift Valley Lakes
  • 12. Ethnological Museum, Addis Ababa

What to eat and drink;

The food and drink of Ethiopia reflect the country’s many cultures. A typical dish is wot, a hot spicy stew of meat or vegetables, seasoned with a blend of berbere (hot chilli powder). Often made with doro (chicken). It is normally served with injera( the traditional unleavened bread made from fermented teff flour). Alicha is milder and usually made from chicken or lamb, flavoured with green pepper. Ethiopia produces its own wine; Goudar and Dukam are red wines, while Axumite and Awash Crustal are white. Local honey wine, tej, is found all over the country and katikala is a distilled liquor.

What to buy: Gold, Silver and leather, woven products, Pottery, Coffee.



Capital: Tallinn

Main Cities: Tartu, Narva, Kohtlajarve, Parnu, Viljandi

Populations: 1,311,870 (As per the year 2014 estimates).

Currency: Euro (EUR) = 100 cents. Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops. Exchange rate approximate (Euro 0.73 = $ 1). Tipping (5 – 10% for good service in restaurants).

Time: GMT + 2

Electricity: 220 volts. Adapter required.

Driving: On the right. International permit required.

Public Holidays: Includes January 1; February 24; April 3, 5; May 1, 24; June 23, 24; August 20; December 25, 26.

Language: Estonian. English and Russian widely spoken. Also Finnish.

Religion: Mainly Lutheran Protestant.

Country Dial Code: + 372

Getting there: (Major gateway, including Tallinn (TLL). Typical flying time from New York is 9 hours via Helsinki, while from UK is 3 hours.

Transfers: Tallinn (2 miles/3 km) bus 15 minutes.

Port:  Tallinn, with ferry links to Helsinki in Finland and one daily overnight ferry connection to Stockholm in Sweden.

Visa requirements: Estonia is party to the Schengen Agreement. No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement.

Health Agreement: Precautions against hepatitis A recommended.

Climate: Temperate, characterized by warm summers and fairly severe winters.



Capital: San Salvador

Main Cities: Santa Ana, San Miguel

Populations: 6, 194,000 (As per the year 2010 estimates)

Currency: US dollar (US $). Credit cards accepted. Exchange rate approximate (US $ 1.63 = £ 1). 10% recommended in restaurants.

Time: GMT – 6

Electricity: 110 volts. Adapter required.

Driving: On the right

Public Holidays: Include January 1; April 2, 3, 4; May 1; August 3, 4; September 15; October 12; November 2; December 25, 31.

Languages: Spanish. English widely spoken.

Religion: Catholic,  Evangelical

Country Dial Code: + 503

Getting there: (Major gateway, including San Salvador (SAL), 28 miles/45 km from city. Typical flying time from Miami is 2.5 hours, while from UK is 10 hours 30 minutes, via Miami or Washington DC.

Transfers:  San Salvador (28 miles/45 km) minibus 45 minutes;  tax 45 minutes.

Departure Tax: US $ 32

Ports: Acajutla, La Union, La Libertad

Visa requirements: Visa is essential and required.

Health requirements: Yellow fever immunisation essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended; also malaria, depending on area visited. Dengue fever is prevalent.

Climate: El Salvador’s climate is sub-tropical and affected by altitude.  Conditions are hot on the coast, with May-October the rainy season. Upland areas have a cooler temperate climate, while the pacific lowlands are uniformly hot; the central plateau and mountain areas, however, are more moderate.


  • 1. Tazumal: Site of El Salvador’s most impressive Mayan ruins.
  • 2. Bosque El Impossible National Park, for its biological diversity.
  • 3. Lake Coatepeque.


Capital:  Cairo

Main cities: Alexandria, Port said, Ismailia, Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh, Luxor, Aswan, Qena, Suez.

Populations: 94,000,000 (As per the year 2014 estimates).

Currency: Egyptian pound (LE) = 100 piastres.  Major credit cards accepted. Most popular foreign currencies are the US dollar and sterling. Exchange rate approximate (LE 7.01 = $ 1). Tipping (Generally between 10% and 12%).

Time: GMT + 2

Electricity: 220 volts. Adapter required (two round pins).

Driving: On the left. International permit required.

Public Holidays: Include January 3, 7, 14; April 12, 13, 25; May 1; July 18, 23; September 23; October 6, 13; These dates are fixed. Other religious holidays may vary because of the lunar calendar.

Language: The official language is Arabic. English and French are widely spoken.

Religion: Sunni Muslim, plus Coptic Christian.

Country Dial Code: + 20

Getting there: (Major gateways, including Cairo (CAI), Luxor (LXR), Aswan (ASW), Sharm El Sheikh (SSH), Alexandria (ALY), Hurghada (HRG), Marsa Alam (RMF), El Alamein (DBB), Taba (TCP). Typical flying time from New York is 11 hours, while from UK is 4 hours 30 minutes.

Transfers: Cairo (9 miles/15 km); Luxor (2.5 miles/4km); Aswan (17 miles/28km); Sharm El Sheikh (2miles/3km); Alexandria (4miles/6km); Hurghada (2miles/3km).

Ports: Alexandria, Port Said, Suez, Safaga, Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh, Port Ghalib, Ain Sukhna, Damietta.

Getting Around:  Airport to Cairo City Center by taxi will generally take a maximum of 30 minutes. Intercity buses, train, taxis and minibuses are also available. Cairo has an underground Metrorail System.

Visa requirement:   Visa is vital and required.

Health requirements: Yellow fever immunisation essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended; also Malaria, depending on the area of the  country  visited and the time of year.

Climate: Hot and sunny throughout the year, Egypt has an average of 11 hours' sunshine a day in Cairo and Luxor during the summer and 8 hours in winter. The Mediterranean coastal region tends to be cooler in summer (November to March),  with the possibility of light rainfall.

Accommodation: Hotels range from one - to five – star. Youth hostels for students and camping facilities are also available. Accommodation on Nile cruisers, mostly based in Luxor, is also star – rated.

Major events;

  • 1. Cairo Biennale (December – February)
  • 2. International Egyptian Marathon, Luxor (February)
  • 3. Abu Simbel Sun Festival (February  and October)
  • 4. Fishing competitions, Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada
  • 5. International Yoga Festival (June)
  • 6. Wafa El Nil Festival, Cairo (September)
  • 7. Pharaons Rally, Cairo (October)
  • 8. Cairo International Film Festival (November)


  • 1. Pyramids of Giza and Sphinx
  • 2. The Step Pyramid at Saqqara
  • 3. Dashur Pyramids
  • 4. El Mouallaqa Church
  • 5. Citadel of Salah El – Din
  • 6. Mosque of Ibn Tulon
  • 7. Cairo Museum
  • 8. Coptic Museum
  • 9. Islamic Museum
  • 10. Temple of Luxor
  • 11. Temple of Karnak
  • 12. Luxor Museum
  • 13. Colossi of Memnon
  • 14. Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
  • 15. Valley of the Kings
  • 16. Valley of the Queens
  • 17. Tomb of Tutankhamun
  • 18. Aswan High Dam
  • 19. Temples of Philae and Edfu
  • 20. Pompey’s Pillar in Alexandria
  • 21. Roman Amphitheater in Alexandria
  • 22. Ras El Tin Palace
  • 23. Alexandria Library
  • 24. St Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai
  • 25. Resort Areas; Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba
  • 26. Red Sea Area; Hurghada, Safaga, Marsa Alam,  EL Gouna
  • 27. The Suez Canal
  • 28. The Oases; Fayoum, Kharga, Dakhla, Siwa, Farafra, Bahria.
  • 29. Kom Ombo, Dakka, Kalabsha
  • 30. Aswan, Nubia, Abu Simbel
  • 31. National Cultural Centre, Cairo
  • 32. Cairo Tower (Gezirah), Cairo
  • 33. Pharaonic Village, Cairo
  • 34. Military Museum, Cairo
  • 35. Khan El Khalili Bazaar, Cairo
  • 36. Esna Temple, Upper Egypt
  • 37. Monastery of St. Simeon
  • 38. Agha Khan Mausoleum, Aswan
  • 39. Tombs of the Nobles, Aswan
  • 40. Greco – Roman Museum, Alexandria
  • 41. St Catherine’s Monastery, South Sinai

Top Activities;

  • 1. Visiting pyramids
  • 2. Camel rides
  • 3. Felucca ride
  • 4. Driving and water sports

What to eat and drink;

Among popular Egyptian fare are falafel (deep fried chick pea pattices); fuul mada mmes (cooked beans, mashed with onions,  spices and tomatoes); Kebab (slices of pressed, spit – roasted lamb with seasoning); hamam (pigeon served with wheat stuffing); an umm’aly(bread pudding made with coconut milk, cinnamon and roasted nuts). Popular desserts include baklava and kuounafa (thin pies topped with nuts and liquid sugar).

What to buy;

Carpets, leather, copper, wooden goods in carved nacre, papyrus, decorated statues, traditional clothes (galabaya).



Capital: Quito

Main Cities: Guayaquil, Cuenca, Santo Domingo.

Population: 14,306,876 (As per the year 2010 estimates).

Currency: US dollar. Major credit cards are accepted. Exchange rate approximate US $ 1.63 = £ 1). Tipping (up to 10% for good service).

Time:  GMT – 5

Electricity:  120 volts. No adapter required

Driving:  On the right. Foreign driving licences accepted

Public Holidays: Include January 1; April 3; May 1, 24; August 10; October 9; November 2, 3; December 25, 31.

Language: Spanish is the official language, with Quechua, Shuar and other native languages used officially in some native communities. English spoken in tourist areas.

Religion:  Catholic 95%

Country Dial Code: + 593

Getting there: (Major gateways, including Quito (UIO), Guayaquil (GYE), Cuenca (CUE), Loja, Vicabamba (LOJ). Typical flying time from UK is 12 hours via Madrid or Amsterdam. No direct flights from the UK. From Miami is 4 hours.

Transfers: Quito (5 miles/8 km) bus 30 minutes; tax 20 minutes; Guayaquil (3miles/5km) bus 10 minutes; tax 10 minutes.

Departure Tax: Included in the airfare.

Port: Guayaquil

Getting Around: There is an efficient railway system. Transport by bus is available throughout the country, both in the cities and in the countryside.

The main routes are served by good quality vehicles, while secondary routes are fully served by lower - quality vehicles. Taxis are plentiful and relatively inexpensive. Road conditions are variable as a result of frequent earthquakes and flooding during the past decade. Flying is generally the best way to travel between cities; all major cities are served by air routes. The Galapagos Islands and certain areas of the Amazon region are accessible only by air, but transportation generally is somewhat restricted. Car hire is available within Ecuador’s major cities.

Visa requirements: Visa is essential and required.

Health requirements: None for Quito and the Galapagos. For the Amazon Jungle and certain coastal lowland areas, yellow fever immunisation is advisable and essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus, malaria and polio are recommended. Also precautions against Malaria, which carries a high year – round risk in lowland areas such as the Amazon and the coastal plains

Climate: There are no climatic seasons. Generally October/November and February to May are more prone to rain. December, January and June to September are drier. In the Andes (Quito), temperatures range throughout the year from 10C to 24C; on the coast and in the Amazon jungle from 20C to 33C; and in the Galapagos from 18C to 30C. The climate becomes slightly warmer in February and March, colder in August and September.


  • 1. Quito, the colonial city dating from the 15th century, declare a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.
  • 2. Galapagos Islands, a national park and marine reserve.
  • 3. Inca ruins near Cuenca in the highlands of the Andes.
  • 4. The Amazon rainforest – covering the eastern half of the country.
  • 5. Cotopaxi National Park, which contains the world's highest active volcano.
  • 6. Sangay National Park, with the impressive Tungurahua Volcano.
  • 7. Avenue of the volcanoes, near Riobamba.
  • 8. Colonial haciendas in the Andean countryside.
  • 9. Other national parks and natural sites. Ecuador has 10 national parks and 14 natural reserves, covering around 4.6 million hectares of land and more than 14 million hectares of water.
  • 10. Bird watching in the country’s forested areas.
  • 11. Indian Culture in the cities of Quito and Cuenca.
  • 12. Volcan Chimborazo, the highest summit in Ecuador and the earth’s closet point to the sun.
  • 13. Wildlife; around 3,800 species of vertebrates, 1,550 mammals.

What to eat and drink;

Ecuador is famous for the many exotic fruits it produces as well as Andean potatoes and seafood. The food in the country is very diverse and tasty depending on the location and agricultural growing abilities. Chicken, beef and pork are often enjoyed in the mountainous regions. A common Ecuadorian delicacy is cuy (roast guinea pig). Served with potatoes, this is a popular street food dish in the Sierra region.

What to buy;

Despite their name, Panama hats are actually produced in Ecuador. Good quality hats can be rolled up in your luggage and will later spring back into shape when unpacked. Also handicrafts, carvings and jewelry.



The National Park is well – known for the four volcanoes within its boundaries, including the 19,348ft summit of Cotopaxi. Visitors can engage in a number of activities, including hiking, mountain eering, mountain biking, camping and horse riding. There is also a small museum at the park.


Ecuador is one of the planet’s most biologically diverse nations. The country’s drastic geographic and climatic variations have led to the evolution of thousands of species of flora and fauna, most of which thrive in habitats protected by the State and private organisations. Despite its tiny size, Ecuador is home to rainforests, jungles, mountains, islands, deserts, valleys and snow - capped peaks. Ecuador features 10% of the world’s plant species, the majority of which grow in the North - Eastern Amazon, where an estimated 10,000 species thrive. The diversity of the climate here has given rise to more than 25,000 species of trees. Moreover, the Andes is where an estimated 8,200 plant and vegetable species can be found. With 1,600 bird species (15% of the world’s known bird species) in the continental area, and 38 more endemic in the Galapagos Islands, the country also has 106 species of endemic reptiles, 138 species of amphibians and 6,000 species of butterfly. Ecuador has 10 national parks, 14 natural reserves, a wildlife refuge and a recreation area that are all considered part of the country’s natural heritage and are protected by the State.


Known for its incredible mix of polar and tropical species, the Galapagos Islands – a UNESCO World’s Heritage Site – is a place where you can dive into the water and see penguins and tropical fish swimming side by side. Composed almost exclusively of volcanic rock, the archipelago lies around 600 miles west of mainland Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean and consists of around 13 primary Islands, five smaller Islands and numerous Islets and rock formations. Several oceanic currents meet in this region, resulting in a mixed temperature range and producing an abundance of marine life, from tropical to temperate fish species. Diving is therefore a popular pastime and the absence of commercial fishing means the waters are teeming with marine life. Reef fish, stingrays, morays, garden eels, turtles, marine iguanas, white tip reef sharks, hammerheads, penguins, and whale sharks are just some of the species divers can spot. The Islands have never been connected to the South American continent, meaning that many of the reptiles and plants living here are not found anywhere else.



Capital: Paris

Main Cities: Lille, Rouen, Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse, Strasbourg.

Population: 63,182,000 (As per the year 2011 estimation)

Currency: Euro = 100 cents. Exchange rate (approximate – Euro 0.73 = $1). Tipping (cafes and restaurants usually include a service charge, but it is customary to add a 10-15% tip for good service. Taxi drivers generally expect 10-15% of the metered fare).

Time: GMT + 1

Electricity: 220 volts. Adapter required.

Driving: Traffic drives on the right. National driving licenses are valid in France.

Public Holidays: Include January 1; April 6; May 1, 8, 14, 25; July 14; August 15; November 1, 11; December 25.

Language: French. Most people working in tourism and related fields speak English.

Religion: Catholic and Protestant, with Jewish and Muslim minorities.

Country Dial Code: + 33

Getting there: (Major gateways, including Paris – Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Paris – Orly (ORY), Bordeaux – Merignac (BOD), Lille (LIL), Lyon St Exupery (LYS), Marseille – Provence (MRS), Montpellier (MPL), Nice – cote d’Azur (NCE), Perpignan (PGF), Toulouse – Blagnac (TLS), Eurosta - Train (Paris Gare du Nord and Lille),  Nantes (NTE). Typical flying time from UK is 1 hour, while from New York is 7 hours.

Transfers: Paris – Charles de Gaulle (14.5 miles/23 km) Roissybus 45 minutes; coach 35 minutes; train 27 minutes; taxi 20 minutes; Bordeaux (8 miles/12 km) airport bus 20 minutes; bus 25 minutes; taxi 15 minutes. Lyon (17 miles/25 km) airport bus 40 minutes. Marseille (17 miles/25 km) airport bus 30 minutes; taxi 20 minutes. Nice (4 miles/6 km) airport bus 20 minutes; bus 25 minutes; taxi 15 minutes. Perpignan (4 miles/6 km) airport bus 20 minutes; bus 25 minutes; taxi 15 minutes. Toulouse (6 mile/10 km) airport bus 20 minutes; taxi 15 minutes.

Ports: Calais, Dunkirk, Boulogne, Dieppe, Le Havre, Caen, Cherbourg, St Malo, Ro scoff, Marseille, Nice;

Getting Around: An underground railway, or Metro, can be found in Paris, Lille, Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse. For travel around the country, the TGV is  France’s high – speed train and SNCF operates the whole rail network. Bus terminals are often found near SNCF railway stations or local tourist offices. There are no national coach links.

Visa requirements: France is party to the Schengen Agreement. No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement.

Health requirements: None

Climate: France’s climate is temperate in the north and on the Northwest coast, where summers can be warm and sunny. It is continental, with hot summers and cold winters in the Northeast, Auvergne, Burgundy and the Rhone Valley. The Riviera, Provence and Roussillon have a Mediterranean climate – hot and dry in summer with mild winters, when there is some rain. The mountain regions of the French Alps and Pyrenees have heavy snow in winter.

Accommodation: Hotels in France range from luxury in Paris and other major cities to inexpensive, usually family - run logis, noted for good, basic accommodation with a restaurant. Other options include the castles and mansions of Relais - chateaux; five categories of Hotels and Tourisme, with the new one, “Palace”. Gites de France self-catering holiday homes (often old farm houses), Cottages, Villas, Apartments, 10,500 caravan/campsites and hundreds of youth hostels. Bed-and-breakfasts are known as chambres d’hotes. Furnished accommodation, called meubles du tourisme, is one - to five – star, villages de vacances (holiday villages) include all – in stays with entertainment provided.

Major events;

  • 1. Nice carnival (February).
  • 2. Cannes International Film Festival (May).
  • 3. Le mans 24 – hour bike/car rally (June).
  • 4. Music Day all over the country (June 21).
  • 5. Arc de Triomphe horse race (October).
  • 6. Festival International d’ Art Lyrique in Aix-en-Provence (June – July).
  • 7. Avignon Festival (July).
  • 8. Fete de la Gastronomie (September).


  • 1. Eiffel Tower, Paris.
  • 2. Louvre Museum, Paris.
  • 3. Disneyland Paris, Lie-de-France.
  • 4. Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris.
  • 5. Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
  • 6. Arc de Triomphe.
  • 7. Champs Elysees, Paris.
  • 8. Orsay Museum, Paris.
  • 9. Chateau de Versailles, Lle-de-France.
  • 10. Mont-Saint-Michel, Normandy
  • 11. Loire Valley Chateaux.
  • 12. War Memorial, Normandy.
  • 13. Pope’s Palace, Avignon, Provence.
  • 14. Vieux Port, Marseille.


  • 1. Water sports on French Riviera.
  • 2. Climbing Mont Blanc.
  • 3. Boating in Burgundy.
  • 4. Skiing in the French Alps.

What to eat and drink;

With its highly varied cuisine, served in elegant restaurants and old – fashioned bistros and given unique regional flavors, France is considered the epicurean centre of the world. Normandy is known for its dairy products, cider and calvados; champagne Ardennes for it famous champagne; Lorraine for quiche Lorraine; Brittany for crepes and seafood; Burgundy for wine; the South west and Pyrenees for foie gras, Truffles and red wine; Armagnac and Poitou for cognac; Alsace for its famous white Riesling wine.

What to buy; wine, champagne, cheese.


Paris is much more than just the Eiffel Tower and Disneyland. Hopping on a Batobus along the Seine illuminates just why it has such a mythical reputation as a city of romance and culture. Arranged into twenty arrondissements, each area has its own unique flavor and atmosphere. Wander beyond the tropical tourist traps for a taste of the real Paris and a more affordable vacation.


Stealing a quick glimpse of the Mona Lisa may be the most you achieve with the huge number of tourists who flood the Louvre every day to take a photo with the world – renowned painting, but the museum has some 35,000 priceless objects to explore if you can manage, and the renaissance – style palace is also worth stopping to admire.

  • 2. BUILDING;

The centre Georges Pompidou with its “inside out” layout is one of the world’s most recognizable examples of modern architecture. It houses the National Modern Art Museum, a movie theatre, library, shops and performance space, and is the Ideal place to spend a few hours immersing yourself in French culture. If you are pushed for time, you can settle for a photo of the colorful Stravinsky Fountain in the adjoining square.

  • 3. SHOP;

For retail therapy, look no further than the glamorous tree - lined champs Elysees as it stretches towards the imposing Arc de Triomphe. The avenue is home to upscale stores and luxury brands as well as movie theatres, cafes and restaurants, and is popular with tourists and locals alike.

  • 4. EAT;

Thoumieux, the old – world bistro with French classics and a slick interior, won two Michelin stars when the restaurant was reopened in 2009 after an overhaul of the kitchen staff. Don’t necessarily expect the friendliest waiters in the world if you pay it a visit, but you will certainly enjoy efficient service, excellent food and potatoes to rival French chef Robuchon’s famous pommes puree.

  • 5. BAR;

During the day, Peniche Antipode is a canal boat which puts on theatre shows for kids, while in the evening it transforms into a music venue for everything from GYPSY jazz to electro DJs, or hosts improv and sketch – theatre nights. The bar on board serves only artisanal and fair – trade products, but has a drink for all TASTES.

  • 6. VIEW;

The sacre Coeur basilica on top of the Mont Martre hill is the highest point in Paris and offers panoramic views. The building was funded from contributions by Parisian Catholics as an act of contribution after the humiliating Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71. Some 234 spiraling steps lead to the basilica’s dome but for the most memorable sight, make the ascent at dusk to see all before you – including the Eiffel Tower – begin to sparkle.



A visit to Paris would not be complete without a trip up the iconic tower to experience the spectacular view from the top. The structure is particularly impressive at night when lit up every hour for five minutes, lending a sparkle to the inky Paris landscape.


Although the crowds have settled down since the hype of the Da vinci code, this gothic cathedral is rarely quiet. Go early in the morning when it is least crowded or, to fully appreciate its true splendor, join one of the free organised tours to discover more about the architecture, sculptures, paintings and stained glass.


The “sacred Heart” sits  atop the hill of Mont Martre, which is itself worth the walk up to the highest point in Paris. The basilica was built as a memorial to the French Soldiers killed during the Franco – Prussian war and took 46 years to complete. It was finally finished in 1923.

  • 4. MUSEE D’ ORSAY;

Situated in the 7th arrondissement on the left bank of the Seine, this is one of Paris’s premier art galleries. The museum, which was once a railway station, now features an impressive collection of art from 1848 – 1914 including Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Renoir, Gauguin and Degas.


Housed in a stunning 17th - century mansion in the Marais.


The 2,200 – seat Opera house is one of Paris’s most spectacular buildings. Built in 1875 in the neo – baroque style, the venue features a wide variety of opera, ballet and concerts. The opera national uses the high – tech Bastille for new productions.

  • 7. JAZZ VIBE;

Paris may no longer have the reputation for jazz it had in the 1950s and 1960s, but there is still a strong tradition with clubs such as Duc des Lombards, sunset – sun side, Autour de Midi and New Morning leading the way, while jazz club Etoile has been going for more than 30 years.


Visitors may not be permitted into the worship area, but the building has an incredible Hammam and cafe underneath its green and white – domed roof, where sweet mint tea and syrupy cakes can be bought for just $3 to enjoy while you relax with a shisha pipe. Inside, it is incredibly good value for access to the baths, where you can enjoy exfoliation and a massage.


There are strict rules in the 55 – acre gardens, such as no walking on the grass or ball games, but don’t let that put you off. The park features pony rides, a puppet theater, playground, vintage carousel, orchard and frequent free music performances, set among the many fountains and statues.

  • 10. YAM’ TCHA

The French – Cantonese fusion cuisine found here makes for a unique experience. In addition, instead of the traditional wine – pairing, the restaurant offers a set menu where each course is matched with the perfect tea.


This tiny restaurant in Montparnasse makes up for its size with huge flavors and service offering beautifully cooked classis French fare – such as escargot and fois gras – without any pretence.


Paris and patisserie go hand in hand and this is undoubtedly the best place in the city for macaroons. Try the signature passion fruit and chocolate flavor or sample the equally delicious tasting rose – infused croissant.

  • 13. LA SEINE;

A stroll along the river is quintessentially Parisian. The lifeblood of the French capital was formerly a major trade route, but today the river’s islands, bridges and quays evoke romantic visions of Paris.


At the summer solstice each year, concerts take place on street corners; in bars, parks and theaters; and even on the balconies of apartment buildings.



A historical estate surrounded by gardens, pommery champagne’s cellar and villa are architectural symbols of Reims. The resplendent 18 km cellars and chalk caves hold over 20 million bottles, which can be sampled in the classy tasting room. On the opposite side of Boulevard Henry Vasnier is Villa Demoiselle, a grand art nouveau building, which houses a collection of 20th - century vintages.


Made up of narrow streets, church and abbey, lofty homes and facades adorned with wrought – Iron signs, the medieval village of Hautvillers is charming through and through. Surrounded by vineyards and forests, the village is famous as a result of a Benedictine Monk named Dom Perignon, who perfected the art of  wine making and paved the way for champagne. Dom Perignon’s tomb can be visited in the village chapel.

  • 3. BOAT TRIPS;

One of the most picture sque ways to discover La champagne’s old bridges and flower gardens is by boat along the Mau and Nau rivers. This alternative way to explore Chalons – en – champagne involves a leisurely waterway tour past everything from the historical old town to the medieval tanners’ and cloth makers' district.


One of the Europe’s most important Gothic buildings, the 13th  century Notre – Dame de Reims Cathedral was one of the first monuments registered as a UNESCO world Heritage site. Once a coronation site for the kings of France, the cathedral’s towers rise to a height of 81m and its nave includes a vaulted ceiling some 38m high. The cathedral boasts rich statuary – of the 2, 303 statues, the most famous includes the “Smiling Angel”.


What was once a residence for the Archbishop of Reims and a lodging for the king and his retinue during coronations, the palace of Tau is now a prolific museum. Visitors can explore the coronation chalice, Charlemagne’s talisman and the cathedral treasure as well as 15th century tapestries, statuaries, precious stones and reliquaries.


Situated in an expanse of fragrant vineyards, the phare de verzenay offers fairytale views over the Montagne de Reims wine growing estate. From the beacon, panoramas stretch across the sloping vineyards and onto verzenay village to the Southwest. The beacon’s vine museum also offers information on the world of champagne growing, including the varieties of grapes, appellation areas and the grapevine’s growth cycle.



Capital: Helsinki

Main Cities: Espoo, Tampere

Population: 5,426,674 (As per the year 2012 estimates).

Currency: Euro = 100 cents. All major credit cards accepted. Exchange rate approximate (Euro – 0.73 = $1). Tipping (customary only for hotel and restaurant doormen and porters. A service charge is included automatically in hotel and restaurant bills. Barbers, hairdressers and taxi drivers do not expect tips.

Time: GMT +2

Electricity: 220 volts. Adapter required.

Driving: Traffic drives on the right. Head lights must be used at all times.

Public Holidays: Include January 1, 6; April 3, 5, 6; May 1, 10, 14, 24; June 19, 20; November 1, 8; December 6, 24, 25, 26.

Language: Finnish, with Swedish also spoken. English is widely spoken throughout the country.

Religion: Mainly Evangelical - Lutheran, also Eastern Orthodox.

Country Dial Code:  +358

Getting there: (Major gateways, including Helsinki Vantaa (HEL), Tampere (TMP), Turku (TKU), Rovaniemi (RVN), Kittila (KTL), Ivalo (IVL). Typical flying time from UK is 3 hours, while from New York is 8 hours.

Transfers: Helsinki (12 miles/19 km) local bus 45 minutes; Finnair bus 35 minutes; taxi 30 minutes; Tampere (12 miles/19 km) bus 40 minutes; taxi 20 minutes; Turku (8 miles/13km) bus 20 minutes; taxi 15 minutes.

Ports: Helsinki, Turku, Kemi, Kotka.

Getting Around: Capital city Helsinki’s public transport system comprises buses, trams and a single – line metro. Travel cards are available for use in the city, with one – day to five – day options. Trains connect the major Finnish cities. Travelers can purchase a Finn rail pass, which is available for three, five or 10 days within a month. Bus holiday tickets allow 1000 km of travel within a two-week period. There are also flights to other parts of the country.

Accommodation: There is no officials grading system for hotels in Finland, although throughout the country they are of a high standard, with breakfast usually included in overnight arrangements. The most original accommodations include Kemi snow castle, which has an ice bar, ice chapel and rooms made from snow and ice, and the Igbos made from snow,  ice and grass.

Climate: Finland’s climate is temperate, but with marked temperature variations and rainfall distributed throughout the year. Summer is warm and generally sunnier and drier than in the UK; Spring and autumn are mild; winter is mild in the Southern Finland and colder in the North, which has snow cover from December to May.

Major events;

  • 1. Oulu Children’s Theater Festival (February).
  • 2. Kokkola Winter Accordian Festival (February).
  • 3. Turku Jazz (March).
  • 4. Oulu Music Festival (March).
  • 5. Tampere Contemporary Dance Festival (April).
  • 6. Pori Jazz Festival (July).
  • 7. Savonlinna Opera Festival(July).
  • 8. Helsinki Festival (August/September).
  • 9. Helsinki Christmas Market (December).
  • 10. Naantali Music Festival (June).
  • 11. Sodankyla Film Festival (June).
  • 12. Mid-Summer Night Celebration, Seura saari, Helsinki (June).
  • 13. Folk Music Festival Somelo (July).
  • 14. Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival (July).
  • 15. Mikkeli Music Festival (July).
  • 16. Lahti Sibelius Festival (September).


  • 1. Santapark, Rovaniemi.
  • 2. Haltia, Espoo.
  • 3. Seurasaari Open – Air Museum.
  • 4. Suomenlina Island.
  • 5. Sarkanniemi Dolphinarium, Tampere.
  • 6. Helsinki Festival, Helsinki.
  • 7. Korkeasaari Zoo, Helsinki
  • 8. Santa’s Resort, Lapland.
  • 9. Moomin Theme Park, Naantali.
  • 10. Sarkanniemi Amusement Park – Angry Birds Park,  Tampere.
  • 11. Linnanmaki Amusement Park,  Helsinki.
  • 12. The Fortress of Suomenlinna, Helsinki.
  • 13. Temppeliaukio Rock Church, Helsinki.
  • 14. Uspensk Cathedral, Helsinki.


  • 1. Bear Watching.
  • 2. Lake Cruises.
  • 3. River Rafting.
  • 4. Bird – Watching.
  • 5. Fishing.
  • 6. Hiking and Cycling.
  • 7. Ice Swimming.
  • 8. Snow Shoeing.
  • 9. Snowboarding.
  • 10. Downhill and cross – country skiing.
  • 11. Snow mobile safaris.
  • 12. Husky and reindeer safaris.

What to eat and drink;

Fine restaurants reflect the seasons; summer is for white fish with new potatoes, with crayfish coming into season at the end of July. In the fall, the menu contains game and great variety of mushrooms. Fish is available throughout the winter, caught in nets drawn between holes in the ice on lakes and the sea. The new Nordic Cuisine, with fresh, local ingredients, is very popular. The taste of Finnish food is often described as simple, pure and fresh because of the high – quality ingredients used.

Visa requirements: Finland is party to the Schengen Agreement. No visa required for stays of up 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement.

Health requirements: None

What to buy;

Glass, Leather goods, China, Ceramics, Jewellery and wooden decorations, all of renowned Finnish design; liqueurs made from berries,  smoked reindeer meat, bear pate, dried porcini and chanterelle mushrooms.


  • 1. When and where can I enjoy the midnight sun?

Answer: Above the Artic circle from mid-May to the end of July, depending on the latitude. Even in the South of Finland, the nights are light around mid-summer.

  • 2. Is Finland expensive?

Answer: Prices are on a par with, and sometimes lower than, those in the UK. Helsinki prides itself on being the least expensive of Nordic capitals.

  • 3. What is the Santa Claus Connection?

Answer: As the home of Santa Claus, Lapland is possibly Finland’s best - known destination. Lapland also offers excellent opportunities for ski and snow holidays, with the snow season lasting from December until at least April.

FIJI (Former British Colony);


Capital: Suva

Main cities: Lautoka, Nadi.

Population: 854,000 (As per the year 2010 estimates).

Currency: Fijian dollar (FJ$) = 100 cents. Major credit cards are accepted. Exchange rate (Approximate FJ$ 1.84 = $ 1). Tipping (Discretionary, but not encouraged).

Time: GMT + 12

Electricity: 240 volts. Adapter required.

Driving: Driving is on the right.

Public Holidays;  Include January 1, 3; April 3, 4, 6; June 8; October 10; November 11; December 25, 26; The list includes Muslim and Hindu festivals, the dates of which are approximate.

Language: English is the official language but Fijian dialects and Hindustani are also spoken.

Religion: Hindu and Methodist, with Muslim and Catholic minorities, Sikh and others.

Country Dial Code: + 679

Getting there: (Major gateways, including Nadi International Airport (NAN), Nausori International Airport, Suva (SUV). Typical flying time from Los Angeles, 11.5 hours, while from UK is 21 hours.

Transfers: Nadi (5 miles/8 km) bus 20minutes; taxi 10 minutes; Limousines and minivans also available.

Ports: Suva, Lautdica, Levura, Sauu Sauu, Malau (near the town of Labasa).

Visa requirements: Visas not required for visits of up to 4 months. You must have an onward or return ticket. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Fiji.

Health requirements: Yellow fever immunization is essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio are recommended.



Capital: Torshavn.

Population: 48,509 (As per the year 2013 estimates).

Currency: Danish Kroner (DKK). Major credit cards are accepted. Exchange rate (Approximate DKK 8.87 = Sterling pound 1). Tipping (not customary. Service charge is normally included in the bill).

Time: GMT

Electricity: 220 volts. Adapter required.

Driving: Traffic drives on the right.

Public Holidays: Include January1; April 17, 18, 20, 21, 25; May 16, 29; June 5, 8, 9; July 28, 29; December 24, 25, 26, 31.

Language: Faroese. Danish and English are also spoken.

Religion: Lutheran.

Country Dial Code: +298.

Getting there: (Major gateway, including Vagar International Air Terminal (FAE). Typical flying time from New York, 10.5 hours via London, while from UK is 2 hours.

Transfers: Torshavn, bus 40 minutes.

Ports: Torshavn, Runavik, Klaksvik, Tvoroyri.

Getting Around: Buses link the airport to Torshavn. A system of ferries connects most Islands, with buses linking the various communities.

Climate: The Faroe Islands’ weather is maritime and quite changeable. Average temperatures range from 3C in winter to 11C in the summer.

Visa requirements: Visa is essential and needed.

Health requirements: No requirements.


  • 1. Torshavn – the capital, with Reyni and Tinganes as highlights.
  • 2. Concerto grotto.
  • 3. The Island of Mykines.
  • 4. Musical events such as the G - festival and Summartonar. The latter sees live concerts staged all over the Faroe Islands every day during summer.
  • 5. Faroese National Art Gallery.
  • 6. Faroese Museum of History and the Open Air Museum in the Old Village Hoyvik.
  • 7. Bird cliffs, Vest Manna.
  • 8. Magnus Cathedral Ruins.
  • 9. Old harbor – Torshavn.
  • 10. Foroya Forn Minnissavn
  • 11. Listasavn Foroya.


Capital: Stanley.

Population: 2,563 (As per the year 2012 estimates).

Currency: Falkland Islands Pound (FI £1). US dollars, visa, mastercard, and travelers checks accepted by some outlets. There are no ATMs in the Falklands. Exchange rate (Approximate FI£ 0.58 = $1). Tipping (Not expected but appreciated); usually up to 10%

Time: GMT -3 all year round.

Electricity: 220/240 volts. No adapter required.

Driving: Traffic drives on the left.

Public Holidays: Include January 1; April 3, 21; June14; October 5; December 8, 25.

Language: English.

Religion: Christianity.

Country Dial Code: +500

Getting there: (Major gateway, including Mount Pleasant (MPN). Typical flying time from UK is 18 hours via Ascension Island by RAF Air Bridge.

Transfers: Stanley (35 miles/56 km) bus 45 minutes. Book your transfer in advance of travel.

Departure Taxi:  $ 33

Port: Stanley

Visa requirements: Visa is essential and required, but travellers must have proof of travel insurance (which needs to include aeromedical evacuation cover), sufficient funds and return ticket. Minimum six – month passport validity required.

Health requirements: Check with doctor if travelling via South America.


  • 1. Stanley Museum
  • 2. Volunteer Point King Penguin Colony,  East Falkland.
  • 3. Darwin, Goose Green, San Carlos (East Falkland).
  • 4. Port Howard, West Falkland.
  • 5. Outer Island's including Sea Lion Island, Saunders Island, Weddel Island,  Carcass Island and Bleaker Island.


Capital: Cayenne.

Main Cities: Saint – Laurent – du – Maroni, Kourou.

Currency: Euro = 100 cents. Major credit cards are widely accepted. Exchange rate (approximate Euro 0.73 = $1). Tipping (in hotels and restaurants. 10% is normal).

Time: GMT -3

Electricity: 220 volts. Adapter required.

Driving: Traffic drives on the right. An international driving permit is recommended.

Public Holidays: Include January 1; February 17, 18; April 6; May 1, 8, 14, 25; June 10; July 14; August 15; October 15; November 1, 2, 11; December 25.

Language: French.

Religion: Catholic.

Country Dial Code: +594.

Getting there: (Major gateway, including Cayenne Rochambeau Airport (CAY)

Visa requirements: Visa is essential and required.

Health requirements: Yellow fever vaccination certificate required. Precautions against hepatitis A, and typhoid recommended; also malaria depending on area visited.

Climate: The climate is equatorial in French Guiana, with temperatures moderated by the trade winds. The average temperature is79F, with highs of 91F.



Capital: Berlin.

Main Cities: Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Dresden, Hannover, and Leipzig.

Population: 80,500,000 (As per the year 2013 estimates).

Currency: Euro = 100 cents. Major credit cards accepted. Exchange rate (approximate Euro 0. 73 = $ 1). Tipping (Service charge and VAT usually included in the bill. It customary to leave small change or tip an extra 5 – 10% if happy with the service).

Time: GMT + 1

Electricity: 220 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving: Traffic drives on the right. The licence, vehicle registration documents and insurance papers must be kept with you at all times. The car is required to be equipped with a warning triangle and a first aid kit.

Public Holidays: Include January 1, 6; April 3, 6; May 1, 14, 25; June 4; August 15; October 3, 31; November 1, 18; December 25, 26. Additional bank holidays in some federal states.

Language: German. English is widely spoken.

Religion: Catholic and Protestant.

Country Dial Code: +49

Getting there: Major gateways,  including Berlin Schonefeld(SXF), Berlin Tegel (TXL), Bremen (BRE), Cologne/Bonn (CGN), Dortmund (DTM), Dresden (DRS), Dusseldorf (DUS), Frankfurt/Main (FRA), Hamburg (HAM), Hannover (HAJ), Karlsruhe/Baden (FKB), Leipzig (LEJ), Munich (MUC), Nuremberg (NUE), Stuttgart (STR), Hamburg Luebeck (LBC), Friedrichshafen (FDH), Basel/Freiburg (BSL), Altenburg/Leipzig (AOC), Moenchengladbach (MGL), Munster/Osnabrueck (FMO), Niederrhein (Weeze) (NRN), Paderborn (PAD). Typical flying time from UK is 1 hour 30 minutes, while from New York is 8.5 hours.

Transfers:Berlin Schonefeld (11 miles/18km) S – Bahn 9, 50 minutes; Airport Express Train (RE 7, RB 14) 30 minutes; taxi 40 minutes; Bremen (2 miles/3km) S – Bahn 6, 17 minutes; taxi 20 minutes; Cologne/Bonn (10 miles/17km, 14 miles/22km).  Airport Express Bus 617 to Bonn, 35 minutes; taxi to Bonn 15 minutes; S – Bahn 13 to Cologne, 36 minutes; bus 161 to cologne, 24 minutes; taxi to cologne 15 minutes; Dusseldorf (5 miles/8km) S – Bahn 7, 12 minutes; bus 721, 27 minutes; taxi 15 minutes. Frankfurt/Main (8 miles/12km) S- Bahn 8/9, 19 minutes; taxi 20 – 30 minutes; Hamburg (5 miles/8km). Airport Express Bus 25 minutes; taxi 25 minutes; Hannover (7 miles/12km) S – Bahn 5, 17 minutes; bus 470; taxi 20 minutes; Munich (22 miles/35km) S –Bahn 1/8, 45 minutes; bus 45 minutes; taxi 30 minutes; Stuttgart (11 miles/16km) S – Bahn 2/3, 27 minutes; taxi 25 minutes.

Ports: Bremen/Bremerhaven,  Cuxhaven, Hamburg, Kiel, Rostock/Warnemunde.

Visa requirements: Germany is party to the Schengen Agreement. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement.

Health requirements: No requirements.

Climate: There are wide variations of climate between the northern and southern parts of Germany. The Baltic coast has harsher winters than the North Sea Coast, which has much milder conditions except when there is a bitter east wind. Inland, the eastern regions tend to endure colder winters, with low temperatures and heavy and prolonged snowfalls. Summers can be hot, especially in the south and east; rainfall tends to be evenly spread throughout the year.

Getting Around: The national rail network is operated by Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) and is one of the most extensive and advanced networks in Europe, with ICE trains running at speeds of 186 mph (300km/h). Public transport services are good throughout Germany; within a city, combined local transport tickets are valid on buses, trams and underground railways -  pay your fare prior to boarding using the automated ticketing machines found at the station entrance, at the stop and on platforms.

Accommodation: Germany offers a wide range of accommodation for travelers, from rooms in private houses to holiday flats and world – class luxury hotels. There is a voluntary star rating scheme for hotels and self – catering apartments as there is actually no independent body to award stars. Many travel agents and tour operators in the country use the official German Hotel Guide published by the German Hotel Association, DEHOGA, available from the German National Tourist Office (

Major Events;

  • 1. Berlinale International Film Festival, Berlin (February).
  • 2. Carnival in Cologne, Dusseldorf, Bonn and Mainz (February/March).
  • 3. Thuringian Bach Festival in Eisenach, Erfurt, Weimar and other cities (March/April).
  • 4. Wagner Festival (July/August)
  • 5. Wine Festivals, Moselle and Rhine (Fall)
  • 6. Oktoberfest, Munich
  • 7. Christmas Markets in cities and towns all over Germany (during Advent, in the four weeks leading up to Christmas).


  • 1. Rhine and Moselle river cruises.
  • 2. Neuschwanstein castle, Bavaria.
  • 3. Museum Island in Berlin, with the Alte Museum, National Gallery, Bode Museum, Neues Museum and Pergamon Museum – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • 4. Reichstag, Berlin.
  • 5. Brandenburg Gate, Berlin.
  • 6. Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Berlin.
  • 7. Palace and gardens at Sanssouci, Potsdam.
  • 8. Cologne Cathedral.
  • 9. Christmas Markets, Nuremberg, and Dresden.
  • 10. Allianz Arena, Munich.
  • 11. Rugen Cliffs, Rugen Island.
  • 12. Frauenkirche, Dresden.
  • 13. Oktoberfest, Munich.
  • 14. Heidelberg Old City.
  • 15. Romantic Road, with Rothenburg Obderjauber.
  • 16. Hamburg Docks and Fish Market.

What to eat and drink;

Germany has a huge variety of regional dishes and cuisines, although there is no national dish as such. Cold meats and sausages and a wide variety of breads, pastries and cakes, such as Black Forest gateau, are particularly prevalent. Beer is a popular drink and the best – known wines are from the Rhine and Moselle, as well as in Baden and Franconia.

What to buy;

Crystal, Porcelain, Glassware, Linen, Wines, Schnapps, Sweets, Biscuits, Chocolates, Christmas decorations, Beer.


  1. TUNNEL;

Check out the Kunstim Tunnel (KIT) gallery, located below the Rheinufer Promenade in an old underground road tunnel. Exhibitions are staged by young German and international artists in the submarine – shaped gallery.


This local liquor, produced only in Dusseldorf, is blood red in color and made from a combination of 90 fruits, berries,  spices and herbs. The best place to buy yourself a shot is the Et kabuffke bar, where you can bond with locals over their favorite poison.

  1. OLD TOWN;

This area is known as “the longest bar in the world”,  with more than 300 bars and clubs packed into the compact Old Town, and serving the Dusseldorf speciality Altbier. It also offers cobblestone squares, St Lambertus Basilica, the Hofgarten and a statue of Jan Wellem in the market square.


An 18th – century grand palace, set in a huge landscaped park and housing three museums. Exploring the gardens, house and science museum makes for a great family day out.


The newest city landmark, this former harbor has been transformed by innovative new architectural masterpieces that sit next to the preserved old quay walls and rail tracks.


Catch fantastic sweeping views across the city from the viewing platform of the Rhine Tower, then eat in the Gunnewig revolving restaurant one floor up. The tower also boasts the world’s largest decimal clock in the form of a light display along its shaft.

  1. KIRMES;

Every July, Dusseldorf holds the largest fair on the Rhine. More than four million visitors a year enjoy rides, traditional beer and food tents, plus a huge parade.


From November 22 each year, Dusseldorf’s various squares turn into spell binding markets for the holiday season.

  1. JAPAN;

Dusseldorf hosts the largest Japanese Community in Germany. Here you can find the EKO House of Japanese Culture, which has a large Japanese garden, traditional tea room, Buddhist temple,  and study center where events are held.



At 200m tall and boasting an Observation platform on the 56th floor, Main Tower offers the best views of Frankfurt city center. The lift takes just 45 seconds and is a less exhausting option than the 1,000 stairs. Expect airport – tight security and be warned, the Tower closes during thunderstorms. Although the building is mainly occupied by businesses, there is a restaurant and cocktail lounge on the 53rd floor that is the ideal place to go watch the sunset.


This contemporary art museum showcases an array of temporary exhibitions. The permanent collection is not always on display, but includes works by Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and Joseph Beuys. The triangular building – known locally as the “slice of cake” – spans European and US art from the 1960s to present day.


According to Jewish beliefs, tombstones should never be removed or dismantled. The cemetery upholds this belief and over – crowding proves a serious problem.  About a third of the gravestones date back to the 13th century, having survived Nazi rule, while the remainder sit on top of one another and lean in all sorts of directions. The key is available for collection from the museum Judengasse, in exchange for your ID as a deposit. And be sure to bring a pebble to leave on Wand der Namen, the cemetery’s exterior wall, inscribed with the names of 11,000 Frankfurt Jews who died in the Holocaust. The pebble serves to commemorate the deceased.


The “imperial cathedral” in main central, has been called a cathedral since the 18th century, despite never actually housing a bishop. The building was badly damaged during a fire in 1867 and was later raided during the second world war. Its present – day neo – gothic exterior was refurbished in 1948, while its most recent restoration in 1994 gave it its rose – pink – interior. Atop the tower sits a magnificent panoramic view, rewarding visitors who climb 324 steps.


Walking the grassy banks along the main River is ideal for a sunny day. Lovers linger at the Eisernersteg Bridge to admire the view and fasten a lock to fence. It is already adorned with thousands of locks, engraved with the names of couples, who throw away the key upon fastening as a way of expressing their long – term commitment to one another.


In the heart of Frankfurt Main lies the angel – shaped gay and Lesbian memorial, commemorating the many homosexuals killed by the Nazis. It is no coincidence that the angel’s heard is nearly detached from the body.


Meissen was founded in 929 and has preserved much of its rich history. The Old Town has many examples of renaissance architecture, while the cathedral, castle and Frauenkirche are beautiful gothic structures. Built around the meandering River Elbe, Meissen offers the twin draws of small – town charm and world – class pottery.


The Porzellan – Manufaktur (porcelain factory) demonstrates the centuries – old process of Meissen pottery production. The city became renowned as the first porcelain manufacturer in Europe in 1710 and everything is still made by hand, as is the intricate paint work that Meissen pottery became famous for. Take an audio – guided tour of the factory and the on – site museum to learn more. Occasionally the factory stages concerts using the world’s only porcelain pipe organ.


It was in Albrechtsburg, the gothic castle which towers above town, that the very first porcelain was produced. King Augustus II had urged his alchemists to find the secret to making gold, but instead one of them discovered a method for creating fine porcelain and production began immediately. Visit the castle on the hill today to see its many frescos and two beautifully restored ballrooms.

  1. SHOP;

You can’t go to Meissen without bringing home some of its world famous pottery.



Capital: Athens.

Main Cities: Thessaloniki, Patras, Heraklion.

Population: 11,200,000 (As per the year 2012 estimates).

Currency: Euro = 100 cents. Credit cards accepted. Exchange rate (approximate Euro 0.73 = $ 1). Tipping (Generally between 10% and 15% for most services).

Time: GMT + 2

Electricity: 220 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving: Traffic drives on the right.

Public Holidays: Include January 1, 6; February 23; March 25; April 10, 13; May 1; June 1; August 15; October 28; December 25, 26.

Language: Greek.

Religion: Christian Orthodox.

Country Dial Code: + 30

Getting there: Major gateways – including Athens International Airport, Spata (ATH), Thessaloniki Macedonia (SKG), Rhodes (RHO), Corfu (CFU), Heraklion – crete (HER), Kefalonia (EFL), Zante (ZTH). Typical flying time from New York, 9.5 hours, while from UK is 3 hours 30 minutes.

Transfers; Athens (9miles /14km) airport buses to Syntagma square and Omonia square 30 minutes, and to Piraeus 30 – 40 minutes; taxi to city 30 minutes. Airport train to the city 25 minutes. Thessaloniki (10miles/16km) bus 50 minutes, taxi 30 minutes.

Departure Taxi: Euro 12.15 (international), Euro 8.51 (domestic).

Ports: Athens (Piraeus), Thessaloniki, Patras.

Getting Around: Athens has a metro, suburban railway, bus and trolley bus services. Taxi rates are displayed at ranks, but travelers should always ensure the meter is turned on at the start of the journey.

Visa requirements: Greece is party to the Schengen Agreement. No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement.

Health requirements: None

Climate: Mainland Greece and its islands have hot and dry summers with up to 12 hours’ sunshine a day, while sea breezes help to reduce temperatures on the coast and islands, the larger cities, such as Athens and Thessaloniki, can become oppressively hot, with high humidity. Spring and autumn are far more comfortable, but winters, especially in the north of the country, can be chilly.


Greece offers a wide choice of accommodation for travelers, ranging down in price from luxury hotels to rooms in private houses, particularly on the islands. The Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) licenses hotels, rooms to let, apartments, villa complexes, campsites and youth hostels. Greek hotels now carry a rating between one and five stars.

Major events;

  • Athens Epidaurus Festival (Spring/Summer).
  • Rock Wave Festival, Athens (July).
  • Carnival in Greece (March).
  • International Book Fair, Thessaloniki (May).
  • Miaoulia Festival, Island of Tinos (June).
  • International Jazz & Blues Festival, Athens (June).
  • Nafplio Festival (June).
  • Hellenic Festival, Athens (June to September).
  • Santorini Jazz Festival (July).
  • Ancient Olympia International Festival (July/August).
  • Chania Summer Festival, Crete (July to September).
  • Heraklion Summer Festival, Crete (July to September).
  • International Music Festival of Santorini (September).
  • Dimitria, Thessaloniki (October).
  • International Thessaloniki Film Festival, Thessaloniki (November).


  • The Acropolis of Athens, Attica.
  • Athens’ museums – learn about more than 5,000 years of civilization.
  • Mount Lucabettus and hiking in the heart of Athens.
  • Sunday morning flea market, plaka, Athens.
  • Minoan Palace of Knossos, Crete.
  • Delphi, Fokis.
  • Royal Tombs of Vergina, Macedonia
  • Mystras, Peloponnesus.
  • Epidaurus Theatre, Peloponnesus.
  • Ancient Olympia, Peloponnesus.
  • Meteora, Thessaly.
  • Lindos, Rhodes.
  • Thira Volcano, Santorini.
  • Kos.
  • Corfu, the garden isle of Greece.
  • Plakias.
  • Hydra, one of the most beautiful island towns.
  • Patmos, where St John is reputed to have written the Book of Revelations.
  • Meteora, monasteries atop sheer rock make for a stunning spiritual site.
  • Samaria Gorge, Crete.
  • Temple of Poseidon.
  • Santorini.

What to eat and drink;

Olive oil, lemons and herbs typify Greek Cooking. Olives, Keftedakia (meatballs), dolmades (vine leaves with seasoned rice), stuffed peppers and aubergines, feta cheese, yoghurt and honey, and candied fruit are other mainstays of Greek cuisine. To drink, Greek wine and Ouzo.

What to buy: Leather goods, jewellery, fashion, Ouzo.

Frequently Asked Questions (Faque)

  1. How can I find timetables and ticket prices for public transport in Greece?

Answer: See the following websites trains (, ferries (, Athens Metro (

  1. Where can I find out about Greek Hotels?

Answer: Visit

  1. How many Greek islands are there?

Answer: Around 2,000, of which 154 are inhabited.

  1. Where can I play Golf?

Answer: There are golf courses in Athens, Halkidiki, Corfu, Rhodes, Crete and the Peloponnese.

  1. Are there facilities for scuba diving?

Answer: Following legislation passed in 2005, diving is now possible almost everywhere for certified divers, although night dives must be conducted with a dive centre. There are however, strict laws against the removal of any antiquities you come across in the water. Amateurs or those needing to brush up on their skills can take lessons at the numerous scuba diving centres and vessels operating throughout the country.



This hill top temple dedicated to the goddess Athena is one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks. Go early in the morning or late afternoon to escape the crowds and the worst heat. The admission ticket to the Acropolis will permit access to several other sites in Athens, including the ancient Agora and open – air Theatre of Dionysus. The Acropolis Museum provides an excellent introduction for visitors, with multimedia exhibits depicting life in Ancient Greece and a collection of treasures found on and around the Acropolis site.


Without doubt one of the world’s greatest museums, the national archaeological museum is home to statues, frescoes, jewelry and pottery from all over the ancient Greek world. Set aside a minimum of two hours for a glimpse of the 11,000 – plus items on display here. Also, keep an eye out for the often excellent temporary exhibitions.


Once the commercial, political and religious center of Athens, the Ancient Agora is considered to be the birthplace of democracy, where assemblies and legal proceedings were held. Thought  to date back to the sixth or seventh century BC, it is now one of the city’s most popular archeological sites, with visitors able to explore the courts, temples and monuments.


Visit the distinctive Byzantine Churches scattered around the central part of Athens. Pantanassa church is sited in the ever - busy Monastiraki square, while the 11th century Kapnikarea church can be found in the center of Ermou street.

  1. PLAKA;

Lose yourself in the narrow lanes of historic Plaka, near the Acropolis, and admire the impressive, if slowly fading, grandeur of the district’s neoclassical houses. Visit the centre of Folk, Art and Tradition (free admission) to see how a typical Plaka mansion may have looked in the 19th century.


The largest island in the Dodecanese group, Rhodes is known as the Island of the sun and its capital, the city of Rhodes, is like a coin with two faces. One face is the old town, surrounded by medieval walls and crossed by the street of the Knights’ auberges, the hospital of the knights and the Palace of the Grand Master. The other face is the modern city with its intense nightlife, broad streets, beautiful buildings, large hotels and hundreds of shops where anything and everything can be found. The island is packed with must see attractions, from the many fabulous beaches to a wealth of archaeological sites, including the valley of the Butterflies, the ruins of ancient Rhodes and the Acropolis of Lindos.  South east of Rhodes lies the island of Kastellorizo, whose eponymous capital is built like an amphitheatre and reaches right down to the water front. A small island, it contains important sights such as the Blue Grotto, one of the most gorgeously coloured caves in Greece, and the Cathedral of Saints Constantine and Helena. Between Leros and Ikaria lies Patmos, often dubbed the Jerusalem of the Aegean due to the island’s atmosphere during the major christian festivals. Here, in one of many caves, St John is said to have had his vision of the Apocalypse. An imposing monastery devoted to the saint dominates the Island’s skyline, towering above the picturesque houses and mansions below, which almost appear to be “hooked” to the roots of the monastery. The building was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Visitors’ memories of Patmos will be enhanced by an excursion to its rocky coves and pleasant shores, before passing over to the nearby islets of Fourni, Lipsi and Agathonissi. Lipsi is particularly attractive, with enchanting beaches and traditional fish tavernas offering local wine. Grey, gold and green, framed by the blue of the sea and the sky, are the colours that make up Kalimnos; naked rock, golden beaches and verdant valleys. The capital Pothia is known for its distinctive multicoloured houses and there are picturesque villages, thermal springs and idyllic spots for swimming, fishing and relaxing all over the island.



This city is divided into old and new districts, the former showing particular charm with its paved alleyways, arched doorways and stone staircases. Dominated by the huge venetian fortress that overlooks the city, Rethymnon also contains picturesque 16th – century buildings, Byzantine and Hellenic – Roman remains, and the superb municipal gardens. Venetian and Turkish influences abound, with minarets and domed mosques making the neighborhood eminently photogenic.

  1. CHANIA;

Despite growing number of visitors, this charming town has managed to keep its local and authentic colour. Most popular are the Venetian Castle and the harbor with its waterfront tavernas, fine restaurants and quality accommodation in beautifully restored buildings. Venetian and Turkish influences are again apparent in Chania, with narrow stone paved alleys and backstreets where you can find good shopping opportunities if you are tempted by Cretan handcrafts such as rugs, blankets, wall hangings and the intricate embroidery for which Crete is famous.


The administrative, commercial, industrial and agricultural centre of the Island. Heraklion is home to around 125,000 people. With its chic restaurants and lively cafes this bustling urban centre provides a major contrast to the peaceful towns of Chania. Rethymnon and Agios Nikolaos, it is perhaps best known for the nearby Minoan ruins of Knossos, the centre of the ancient civilization.


The capital of the prefecture of Lassithi is situated in part of Crete that abounds with small towns and picturesque mountains villages. Built on Mirabello Bay. Agios Nikolaos is a city where old buildings harmoniously blend with modern architecture. Local tourist attractions include the bijou lake voulismeni, a string of small beaches, the tiny island of Agioi pantes, a fascinating archaeological museum, and numerous fairs.


This small town is known for its luxury resorts, but is not short of traditional charm,  with waterfront restaurants and fine sea views. Offshore is the island of Spinalonga, where in 1579 the venetians built a mighty fortress.


This breathtaking island has a green and mountainous interior with a mild climate suitable for mountain biking, trekking and horse riding. Beaches are dotted around the entire coastline with the pristine clear waters of the lonian sea attracting a variety of water enthusiasts. A sunny climate and rise in direct, no-frills flights has contributed to making this a popular holiday destination among all ages with lively nightlife in resorts such as Kavos and Ipsos. Meanwhile, parts of Corfu town have been designated a UNESCO heritage site.


The Asian Art Museum is housed in the neoclassical building of the palace of St Michael & St George and features a remarkable collection of artefacts from China, Japan, Tibet, Cambodia, Thailand, Pakistan and India. Browse over 10,500 items including paintings, sculptures, Jewellery, musical instruments, armour and weaponry.


One of the most famous buildings is Achilian palace, built in 1890. This magnificent edifice has many classical features and a mythical atmosphere. Admire elegant paintings and classical Greek statues before taking a leisurely stroll in the gardens overlooking the sea and Corfu town.

  1. SHOP;

Visitors can buy everything from olives to typical tourist trinkets in Corfu city where many of the best shops are tucked away down the side streets and seeking them out is a fun way to explore the old town. Visit in the morning when the fish and vegetable market is open.

  1. EAT;

Corfu’s many culinary highlights include traditional dishes such as pastitsada (rooster meat cooked in a delicious spicy sauce), sofrito (Veal cooked in a stew) and stifado (rabbit in a red sauce). Try these dishes at Taverna Nikolas on Agni beach and wash the satisfying Greek food down with some excellent Corfu wine.

  1. BAR;

For those who want to party, the wave Bar at Marathias will provide plenty of action with local DJs and dancing. For something more chilled there are numerous lounge bars by the beach where you can sip a cocktail and enjoy the sunset.

  1. VIEW;

The most remarkable view is from Mount Pantokrater, where you can see the southern islands of Paxos and Antipaxo on one side and the northern islands Mathraki and Erracusa on the other. You can even glimpse the tip of Italy.



Capital: Nuuk.

Population: 56,452 (As per the year 2010 estimates).

Currency: Danish Kroner (DKK) = 100 ore. Most major credit cards accepted in towns. Exchange rate (approximate DKK 5.47 = $ 1). Tipping (Service is included in the price).

Time: GMT - 3

Electricity: 220 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving: On the right.

Public Holidays: Include January 1, 6; April 2, 3; May 1, 14, 25; June 21; December 24, 25, 26, 31.

Language: Greenlandic, Danish. Also English.

Religion: Lutheran.

Country Dial Code: +299

Health requirements: Precautions against hepatitis are recommended.

Visa requirements: Greenland is party to Schengen Agreement. No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement.

Climate: Severe conditions. Brief summer (maximum 10c – 18c in the south, 5c – 10c in the north); temperatures in winter fall to – 20c in the south and – 40c in the north. Annual rainfall is 800 - 900 mm in the south and 110 mmm in the north.

Getting there: (Major gateways, including Narsarsuaq (UAK), Kangerlussuaq(SFJ),  Keflavik, Iceland (KEF). Typical flying time from UK is 6 hours via Copenhagen.

Ports: Upernavik, Ilulissat, Sisimint, Nuuk, Narsaq Qaqortoq Nanor Talik, Tasiilaq.


  • Trekking and dog – sledding.
  • Helicopter trip to the Icecap.
  • Cruises among the Icebergs.
  • Greenlandic culture.
  • Northern lights.
  • The midnight sun.
  • Fjords.
  • Whale watching.
  • Pioneering people.
  • Ice and snow.


Capital: St George’s.

Population: 104, 000 (As per the year 2010).

Currency: Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$). US dollars and credit cards widely accepted. Exchange rate (approximate EC$ 2.70 = $ 1). Tipping (A 10% service charge is usually added).

Time: GMT - 4

Electricity: 220 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving: Traffic drives on the left. A full driving licence is required as well as a local permit, available from local traffic departments/police stations for $ 11. Most car rental forms issue permits.

Public Holidays: Include January 1; February 7; April 3, 6; May 1, 25; June 4; August 3, 10; October 25; December 25, 26.

Language: English.

Religion: Catholic, Anglican,  and Methodist.

County Dial Code: + 1473

Visa requirements: Visa is essential and required.

Health requirements: Yellow fever certificate required from travelers arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended.

Climate: Grenada’s temperature range is; January to December maximum 30 - 32c, minimum 23 – 30c.  The driest period is January – May. The rainy season June – September.

Getting there: (Major gateway, including Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND). Typical flying time from UK is 9 hours 30 minutes, while from Miami is 6 hours via Port of Spain.

Transfers: St George’s (6 miles/11km) taxi 10 minutes.

Ports: St George’s Melville street Cruise Terminal.



Capital: Basse – Terre

Population: 451, 000 (As per the year 2012 estimates).

Currency: Euro = 100 cents. Exchange rate approximate Euro 0. 73 = $ 1. Tipping (10% is the norm).

Time: GMT - 5

Electricity: 220 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving: On the right. National licence accepted.

Public Holidays: Include January 1, 6; February 18; April 6; May 1, 8, 14, 25, 27; July 14, 21; August 15; November 1, 11; December 25.

Language: French; Also Creole dialect.

Religion:  Mainly Catholic, with Protestant and also Hindu minorities.

Country Dial Code: + 590

Visa requirement: Visa is essential and required.

Health requirements: Yellow fever certificate required by travelers from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, polio and typhoid are recommended.

Climate: Tropical climate, tempered by year – round trade winds. Temperatures average between 21c and30c. Dry season is January to April and humid season July to November. In the humid season, precipitation and storms are more frequent.

Getting there: (Major gateway, including Guadeloupe Pole Caraibes International Airport (PTP). Typical flying time from UK is 10 hours, while form Miami is 3.1 hours.

Ports: Pointe – a – Pitre, Basse – Terre.

Getting Around: All islands within French Island group are mere 20 to 45-minute boat ride away.


  • Beaches (St Anne, Le Moule and St Francois on Grande – Terre, plus Grande Anse).
  • Musee du Rhum (rum museum), near Ste Rose.
  • Mountains of the Parc National de la Guadeloupe.
  • Commandant Cousteau Reserve.
  • Carbet waterfalls.
  • La Soufriere volcano.


Capital: Hagatna.

Population: 180,000 (As per the year 2010 estimates).

Currency: US dollar. All major credit cards accepted. Tipping (10% is expected).

Time: GMT +10

Electricity: 120 volts. No adaptor required

Driving: On the right.

Public Holidays: Include January 1, 19; February 16; March 2; April 3; May 25; July 4, 21; September 7; October 12; November 2, 11, 26; December 8, 25;

Language: English, Chamorro.

Religion: Catholic majority.

Country Dial Code: + 1671

Visa requirements: Visa is vital and required.

Health requirements: Precautions against hepatitis A and typhoid recommended.

Climate: Generally hot and very humid with little seasonal temperature variation. Temperatures range from 76 F to 86 F, with an average annual rainfall of 96 ins. The dry seasons runs from December through to June.

Getting there: (Major gateway, including Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport, Guam (GUM). Typical flying time from Hawaii is 7 hours.

Port: Apra Harbor.

Getting Around: Bus services operate to most villages on the island. Car hire is available.


  • Hagatna, the capital city.
  • Top dive sites.
  • White sandy beaches.
  • Turquoise and Tranquil seas.
  • Remains of buildings from the Spanish Colonial era
  • Plaza de Espana.
  • Two Lovers Point.


Capital: Guatemala City.

Main Cities: Quezaltenango, Villanueva.

Population: 14,361,666 (As per the year 2010 estimates).

Currency: Quetza (Q) = 100 centavos. Visa and American Express are widely accepted. Diners club and Master card less so. Currency and travelers checks should be in US dollars. Exchange rate (Approximate Q 7.78 = $ 1). Tipping (10% is normal in restaurants where service in not included in the bill).

Time: GMT - 6

Electricity: 110 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving: On the right. International permit required.

Public Holidays: Include January 1; April 3, 4, 6; May 1; June 30; August 15; September 15; October 20; November 1; December 24, 25, 31.

Language: Spanish, Plus 22 Indigenous languages.

Religion: Catholic, with Protestant minority.

Country Dial Code: + 502

Visa requirements: Visa is essential and required.

Health requirements: Yellow fever immunisation essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid, dengue fever and polio recommended; also malaria, depending on the area visited.

Climate: Due to the range of altitudes, Guatemala’s climate varies greatly. In the highlands, the dry season is from November to April and the wet season from May to October. On both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts there is rain year – round; this is heaviest on the pacific side in June and September.

Getting there: (Major gateways, including La Aurora Guatemala City (GUA), Mundo Maya, Flores (FRS)). Typical flying time form Miami, 2.5 hours, while from UK is 12 – 15 hours. No direct flights.

Transfer: Guatemala City (4miles/6km) taxi 20 minutes;

Departure Taxi: US $ 30, usually included in the ticket price.

Ports: Puerto Barrios, Puerto Quertzal, S. Tomas de Castilla.

Accommodation: Hotels cater for all budgets, from five – star to backpacker accommodation. There are campsites near Tikal, Peten. Casa Santo Domingo is a spectacular colonial monastery converted into a hotel, while Ram Tzul in Coban has ecologically designed jungle lodges.

Major Events;

  • Semana santa, Antigua Guatemala and Guatemala City (Easter).
  • Rabin Ajau Folkloric Festival in Coban, Alta Verapaz (July).
  • Festival of Abaj Takalik (Paabanc), coban (August).
  • Giant kites in Santiago Sacatepequez (November).
  • Downhill Horse Race, Todos Santos Cuchumatan (November).
  • Solstice and Equinox Festival at Uaxactun Mayan site, Peten (March 21, June 21, September 21, and December 21).
  • Flying Stick Festival, Chichicastenango (December).


  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Maya Site of Tikal.
  • Meet the indigenous Maya Community and learn their traditions in Chichi castenango, Santiago Atitlan.
  • Climb to the summit of Tajumulco volcano.
  • Go windsurfing on Rio Dulce and Lakes Izabal and Atitlan.
  • Take a boat journey from Livingstone along the Rio Dulce to Amatique Bay.
  • Fishing on the lakes Izabal and El Peten.
  • Drink coffee in Coban, capital of the Alta Verapaz Department, or Antiqua.
  • Travel on Horseback, by bicycle, on foot or by four – wheel – drive vehicle from Quetzaltepeque to Jalapa.
  • Take a beautiful drive into the mountains around Huehuetenango.
  • Enjoy ghoulish festivities for the day of the dead (All souls’ day) on November 1.
  • Visit Totonicapan during the week celebrating the feast days of San Miguel Arcangel (September 24 – 30).
  • Visit San Miguel & Tayazal.
  • Visit the remains of great stone heads and other carved reliefs in the sugar cane fields of Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa.
  • Tour Finca Santa Margarita, a working coffee farm.

What to eat and drink;

Maya cuisine and ancient local traditions are at the heart of Guatemalan cooking. Frijol (beans) and corn are the base for most meals, with meat, cheese, avocado, rice and spices. Traditional dishes are found alongside fine cuisine.



Capital: Georgetown.

Main Cities: Linden, New Amsterdam, Port Kaituma.

Populations: 784,894 (As per the year 2010 estimates).

Currency: Guyana dollar (G$) = 100 cents. US dollars accepted; also most credit cards. Exchange rate (Approximate G$ 207 = $ 1. Tipping (10% for good service).

Time: GMT - 4

Electricity: 110 volts. No adaptor required.

Driving: On the left. International permit required.

Public Holidays: include January 1, 3; February 23; March 5; April 3, 6; May 1, 5, 26; July 6, 18; August 1; September 23; November 11, December 25; Also Muslim and Hindu festivals – as well as Christian, the dates varying from year to year.

Language: English, Creole, Plus Amerindian dialects.

Religion: Christian and Hindu, with Muslim minority.

Country Dial Code: + 592

Visa requirements: Visa is essential and required.

Health Requirements: Yellow fever certificate if arriving from an infected area. Hepatitis A, tetanus, typhoid, polio and malaria immunisation are recommended. Risk of malaria is high in rural areas, but Georgetown and New Amsterdam are malaria – free.

Climate: The country is hot year - round, but this is tempered by Atlantic breezes. The climate is characterised by generally high rainfall and humidity. The rainy seasons in Guyana are from November to January and between April and August.

Getting there: (Major gateway, including Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO), 25 miles/40km from Georgetown. Typical flying time from Miami, 5.5 hours, while from UK is 8 hours.

Departure Taxi: G$ 4,000 (US$ 20).

Port: Georgetown.

Major Events;

  • Mashramani, a carnival type celebration for Republic Day (February).
  • Independence Day (May).
  • Amerindian Heritage Month (September).


  • Georgetown; St George’s Cathedral, the neo – classical parliament building, Botanical Gardens and Zoo.
  • Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls.
  • Ruined Dutch fortress of Kyk-over-Al.
  • Amerindian Villages.
  • Shea Rock.
  • Lethem Rodeo at Easter.

What to eat and drink;

Guyana’s cuisine shows many influences – ranging from Indian curries to Portuguese stews, as well as some Amerindian dishes, African plantain and coconut cooking, and Chinese noodles and fried rice. Rum is popular.

What to buy;

Gold and Silver, jewellery, wood carvings, straw craft, rum.


  1. Where is Guyana?

Answer: Guyana is a small state on North Coast of South America. It borders Venezuela to the west, Brazil to the south and Suriname to the east across the Courentyne River. The country gets its name from an Amerindian word that mean “Land of many waters

  1. What is the link with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

Answer: Mt Roraima,  Guyana’s highest peak in the Pakaraima Mountains that straddle the country’s western border, was the inspiration for sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous novel – the Lost World.

  1. Is Guyana’s wildlife varied?

Answer: It includes Manatees and Capybaras in and around the rivers, Sloths and Jaguars in the forests, and giant anteaters and armadillos on the savannah.

  1. How high is Kaieteur Falls?

Answer: In the Kaieteur National Park, the falls are 822ft. high, with a sheer drop of 741ft. and width of 361ft.



Capital: Banjul.

Main Cities: Serrekunda, Farafenni, Basse, Brikama, Bakau.

Population: 1,751,000 (As per the year 2010 estimates).

Currency: Dalasi (GMD) = 100 butut.  Travellers cheques are accepted, but there is limited use of credit cards. Exchange rate (Approximate GMD 39.10 = $ 1). Tipping (Optional. A service charge is occasionally included in the hotel or restaurant bill, otherwise 10% is considered an appropriate amount).

Time: GMT

Electricity: 220 volts. No adaptor required.

Driving: Traffic drives on the right. An international driving permit is required.

Public Holidays: Include January 1, 3; February18; April 3, 6; May 1; July 18., 22; August 15; September 23; December 25.

Language: The official language is English. Local languages are Mandinka, Fula, Wollof, Jola, Serere, Serahule, Manjango and Creole.

Religion: Mainly Muslim; also Christian and animist.

Country Dial Code:  +220.

Visa requirements: Visa is important and needed. You may be allowed to enter and given two days to obtain a visa form the Department of Immigration in downtown Banjul.

Health requirements: Yellow fever vaccination certificate required by those arriving from endemic or infected areas. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid, polio and malaria recommended; also meningitis depending on area of the country visited and time of year. Drinking water outside the main cities and towns is likely to be contaminated.

Climate: There is a subtropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. There is virtually uninterrupted dry weather with sunshine and clear skies from November to June, when the average midday temperature is 32C.

Getting there: (Major gateway, including Banjul (BLJ). Typical flying time from UK is 6 hours.

Transfers: Banjul (17miles/22km) taxi 30 minutes; car 30 minutes.

Port: Banjul.

Accommodation: A wide range of guest houses, hotels and lodges to suit all budgets and tastes are available. Many hotels have self – contained units set in spacious gardens.

Major Events;

  • Independence Day (February 18).
  • July 22 celebrations.
  • Kanilai Cultural Festival.
  • Janjanbureh Cultural Festival.
  • Roots International Festival.


  • River Gambia – for cruising, fishing, tours, bush and beach excursions.
  • Abuko and Kanilai Nature Reserves.
  • Makasutu Cultural Forest and Eco-lodge.
  • Katchikaly and other sacred crocodile pools.
  • Brikama wood – carving centre and crafts market.
  • James Island, Juffureh and other historic sites.

What to eat and drink;

Local dishes include benachin (rice with tomato puree and vegetables); basenyebe, a rich meat stew with beans or vegetables usually served with beans or vegetables usually served with chere (steamed millet flour balls); and domoda, meat stewed in groundnut puree and served with rice. Local fruits include Mangos,  watermelons, grapefruit, papaya and oranges. The local beer is julbrew.

What to buy;

Antique masks, wood carvings,  leather goods, Jewellery, sand painting and basketry. It is illegal to export any article made from wild animal skins, Ivory of feathers of any protected creature.



Capital: Accra.

Main Cities: Kumasi, Tamale, Sekondi, Cape Coast.

Population: 24,233,431 (As per the year 2010 estimates).

Currency: Cedi (GHS) = 100 pesewas. Credit cards may be used for payments at leading hotels, airlines and major supermarkets; use only authorized exchanges. ATMs are commonplace in large towns and cities. Exchange rate (Aproximate GHS 3 = $ 1). Tipping (At the client’s discretion).

Time: GMT.

Electricity: 220 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving: Traffic drives on the right. International driving permit is required.

Public Holidays: Include January 1; March 6; April 3, 6; May 1, 25; July 1, 18; September 23; December 4, 25. There are also a number of Muslim festivals, the dates of which may vary.

Language: English is the official language; Twi is the most common local language. Other languages include Ga, Ewe, Hausa and Nzema.

Religion: Christian and Muslim; also traditional beliefs.

Country Dial code: +233.

Visa requirements: A passport and a visa are required, as is evidence of yellow fever vaccination. Passports should have at least six months’ validity remaining.

Health requirements: Visitors to Ghana must have a yellow fever vaccination certificate. Hepatitis A, Polio, tetanus and typhoid immunisation is recommended as well as malaria precautions; also cholera immunisation for those who are entering from an infected area and meningitis, depending on area visited and time of year.

Climate: Ghana’s climate is tropical. The hottest months are March and April (23C – 31C) and the coolest is August (22C – 27C). There are two rainy seasons – March – July and September – October. The dry season is mid – October to early March; during this period, you may experience the north easterly Harmattan winds, which bring dust from the Sahara Desert, reducing visibility considerably.

Accommodation: There is a wide choice of accommodation in Ghana, from five star to budget hotels, guest houses, home lodges, chalets, hostels and campsites.

Getting there: (Major gateway, Kotoka International Airport, Accra (ACC)). Typical flying time from UK is 6 hours, while from New York is 11.5hours.

Transfers: Accra (5 miles/8km) taxi

Departure Taxi: $ 20

Ports: Takoradi, Tema.

Getting Around: There are domestic flights between Accra, Kumasi, Tamale and Takoradi; rail links between Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi; and inter – city buses. Mini – bus (trotro) services are cheaper than taxis and ply the same routes. There is a ferry service on Lake Volta from Akasombo to Buipe.

Major Events;

  • Aboakyer Festival, Winneba, Central Region (May).
  • Edina Bakatue Festival, Elmina, Central Region (July).
  • Kente Festivals, Bonwire, Ashanti Region (July/August).
  • Damba, Bawku, Nothern Region (July/August).
  • Homowo in Accra, Osu, Labadi, Tashie, Greater Accra Region (August).
  • Asafotufiami Festival, Big Ada, Greater Accra Region (August).
  • Oguaa Fetu Festival, Cape Coast (September).
  • Odwira Festival, Akropong, Eastern Region (October).
  • Kobine, Lawra, upper west region (October).
  • Hogbetsotso Festival, Angloga, Volta Region (November).
  • Feok, Sandema in the Builsa Traditional Area, Upper East Region. (December).


  • Kakum Canopy walkway, Kakum Central Region.
  • Mole National Park, Mole, Northern Region.
  • Boabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary, Brong Ahafo Region.
  • Cape Coast (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Elmina Castles, Central Region.
  • Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, Greater Accra.
  • Nzulezo, the village on stilts, Western Region.
  • Paga Crocodile Pond, Paga, Upper East Region.
  • Aburi Botanical Gardens, Aburi, Eastern Region.
  • St. George’s Castle.
  • Manhyia Palace, Kumasi, Ashanti Region.

What to eat and drink;

Traditional soups of palmnut and groundnut are local specialities. Ghanaian cuisine also includes Kontomere and Okro (stews), accompanied by fufu (pounded cassava). Traditional catering establishments in Ghana are called “chop bars”. Drinks include palm wine, gin and bitters, star beer, club beer, Gulder and Guinness.

What to buy;

Handicrafts include Ashanti wooden stools, traditional masks and drums. Also clothes, jewellery, leather goods and basket ware.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQUE)

  1. How far from Accra are the main attrations?

Answer: From the capital Accra, Kakum National Park is 112 miles/180 km; Mole National Park is 410 miles/658 km; Cape Coast and Elmina Castles are 91 miles/146 km; Boabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary is 285 miles/454 km; and Manhyia Palace, Kumasi is 171 miles 274 km.

  1. Where can I acquire a visa to enter Ghana?

Answer: Ghanaian embassies abroad facilitate the issuing of individual as well as group visas. A visa can also be issued on arrival at Kotoka International Airport, Accra.

  1. How big is Accra?

Answer: The capital has a population of just under a million people.  Other important Ghanaian cities include Kumasi (490,000), the part of Tema (195,000), Tamale (170,000) and Sekondi Takoradi (116,000).

  1. What natural features does Ghana have?

Answer: More than half the country is occupied by the Volta River Basin. Lake Volta is the largest Lake at 3,275 square miles (8,462 square kilometres) and Mount Afadjato the highest peak at 2,903 ft. (885m).

  1. What is the wildlife like?

Answer: Ghana is home to lions, Leopards, Hyenas, Elephants, Antelopes and more. In the rivers you will find Crocodiles, Manatees and Hippos.

  1. How safe is Ghana?

Answer: Ghana is the most peaceful and stable democratic state in West Africa. There are good medical facilities in the towns, but visitors should carry medication they need regularly.



Capital: Tbilisi.

Main cities: Kutaisi, Rustavi.

Population: 4,436,400 (As per the year 2012 estimates).

Currency: Lari (GEL) = 100 tetri/tetries. Visa, American Express and US dollars accepted by major visitor concerns. ATMs are increasingly found in major cities. Exchange rate (Approximate GEL 1.76 = $ 1). Tipping (At customer’s discretion for good service).

Time: GMT + 4

Electricity: 220 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving: Traffic drives on the right. International driving permit required.

Public Holidays: Include January 1, 2, 7, 19; March 3, 8; April 9, 10, 13; May 9, 12, 26; August 28; October 14; November 23.

Language: Georgian, Russian and English also spoken.

Religion: Georgian and Eastern Orthodox, Muslim and Jewish.

Country Dial Code: +995.

Visa requirements: Visa is essential and required.

Health requirements: Precautions against diphtheria, hepatitis A, polio,  typhoid and tetanus recommended.

Climate: The greater Caucasus Mountain Range moderates Georgia’s climate, protecting against cold air from the north, while the lesser Caucasus Mountains protect against the dry, hot air from the south. Average temperatures in summer range from 66F to 71F and in winter from 34F to 37F.

Getting there: (Major gateway, including Tbilisi (TBS). Typical flying time form New York, 14.5 hours via Paris, while from UK is 5 hours.

Transfers: Tbilisi (12miles/19km). taxi 15 minutes; bus 25 minutes.

Ports: Batumi,  Poti.



Population: 29,752 (As per the year 2011 estimates).

Currency: Gibraltar pound (GB£) = 100 pence. Currency has parity with sterling, which is accepted along with the euro. All major credit cards are accepted. Exchange rate (Approximate GB£ 0.58 = $ 1). Tipping (10% recommended).

Time: GMT + 1

Electricity: 240 volts.

Driving: On the right.

Public Holidays: include January 1; March 9; April 3, 6; May 1, 25; June 8; August31; September 10; December 25, 26.

Language: English. Spanish is widely spoken.

Religion: Catholic, Anglican, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and other denominations.

Country Dial Code: +350200

Getting there: (Major gateways, Including Gibraltar (GIB), Malaga (AGP). Typical flying time from New York, 11 hours via London, while from UK is 2 hours 30 minutes.

Transfers: Gibraltar town (1.5miles/2.5km) bus 15 minutes, taxi 5 minutes, Malaga 90 minutes’ taxi.

Port: Port of Gibraltar.

Visa requirements: Visa is essential and required.

Health requirements: None

Climate: Fairly mild, with an average mean temperature of 13C in winter and 23C in summer. Summer winds vary between dry westerlies and hot, humid easterlies. These easterly winds create the “Lavanter”, which covers the top of the rock in dense blanket of cloud.


  • Apes’ Den
  • Great Siege Tunnels.
  • St Michael’s Cave.
  • Dolphin Watching.
  • Gibraltar Museum.
  • Upper Rock Nature Reserve.
  • Trafalgar Cemetery.
  • Mediterranean steps.
  • Top of the Rock.



If you are relatively fit and enjoy a hike with amazing views and history, you will love this trek on the Eastern face of the rock of Gibraltar along what is essentially a flight of stairs carved from the limestone by the military to connect two strategic defense points in Gibraltar. The steps, which start at an altitude of 590 ft. and finish at 1,375 ft. pass by guns and buildings dating back to world war II. Hikers can see more than 500 species of plants and, in spring and fall, some of the hundreds of thousands of migranting birds.


Located within the Upper Rock Nature Reserve, this limestone cave network nearly 1,000 ft above sea level was converted into a military hospital during world war II. Today it contains magnificent jagged limestone stalactites and stalagmites created over thousands of years. Strategically placed lights highlights these formations and, due to its natural acoustic qualities, the cave is sometimes used as a concert hall to host special events. This is just one of 150 caves in the rock and others can be explored by prior arrangements.


During the American war of Independence, when France and Spain attempted to recapture Gibraltar from the British, the defenders of the rock devised a clever plan of defense against the Great Siege (1779 to 1783) that was to result in their victory. Using sledge hammers, crowbars and gunpowder, they used their hands to dig a labyrinth of tunnels with the aim of getting guns on to a projection from the precipitous northern face of the rock known as the Notch. As they progressed, cannons were taken into the tunnels and holes were cut into the rock all long its face.


The rock’s most famous attraction is home to tailless Barbary macaques, the only free – living primates in Europe. Considered native to northern Morocco and Algeria, these monkeys probably originally found their way to the rock of Gibraltar on board merchant and pirate’s ships. According to legend, when the apes leave Gibraltar, so will the British – which may explain why British Prime Minister Winston Churchill shipped in Simian reinforcements from Africa when numbers were low during world war II. There are now around 250 living in six distinct families or packs. Newborns can be seen in summer, but they can be quite ferocious when in a bad mood and it is forbidden to feed them.


These tranquil gardens display a collection of birds, butterflies and plants that include native species and others brought in from abroad, often from former British territories like Australia and South Africa. Tours can be taken around the park to learn more about the flora and fauna and children will love the small wildlife center housing short clawed otters. Barbary macaques, Egyptian fruit bats, Senegalese parrots and Vietnamese potbellied pigs among other creatures. The Alameda open Air Theatre is located within the gardens and offers a variety of open air cinema and live performances.



  • Capital; Budapest
  • Main cities; Debrecen, Miskolc, Szeged, Pecs, Gyor
  • Population; 10,014,324 (As per the year 2010 estimates)
  • Currency; Forint (HUF). Major credit cards accepted. Exchange rate (approximate HUF 227=$1). Tipping (Around 10%)
  • Time; GMT +1
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; On the right. An international drivers permit is required.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; March 15; April 6; May 1,25; August 20; October 23; November 1; December 24,25,26;
  • Language; English and German are also widely spoken in the country.
  • Religion; Catholic, Calvinist
  • Country Dial Code; +36
  • Visa requirements; Hungary is party to the Schengen Agreement. No visa is required for  stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement
  • Health requirements;
  • Climate; Temperate continental; the climate can be hot in summer (especially July and August), but cold in winter, with plenty of snow. Spring and fall tend to be unsettled, with heavy rain and severe temperature swings. There is an average of 10 hours a day sunshine from April to September.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways, including Budapest Ferihegy (BUD), Saarmelleek / Balaton (SOB). Typical flying time from New York, 9 hours, while from UK is 2 hours 30 minutes.
  • Transfers; Budapest (11 miles /16 km) airport minibus 30 minutes; public transport 50 minutes; taxi 30 minutes (Zona taxi currently only cab company licenced to pick up at the airport.
  • Getting Around; Transport in Hungary is efficient and in expensive. Budapest has an extensive network of buses, trolley buses and trams, as well as three underground lines. Tickets can be purchased in advance at terminals or from vendors and validated at start of journey, there is a variety of passes for unlimited travel. The Budapest card gives unlimited public transport, entry to museums and reduced admission to attractions. A domestic rail network, for which tourist passes are available, serves major towns and popular tourist centers. There are also scenic narrow – gauge railways and nostalgia trains. Scheduled coach services operate to towns and resorts. Hydrofoils and pleasure boats operate on the Danube; there is also a service on Lake Balaton.
  • Accommodation;
  • Hungary offers a good choice of hotels, hostels, guesthouses and campsites. Hotels are rated from one to five stars.


  • Major Events;
  • Budapest Spring Festival (March)
  • Summer Opera Festival (August)
  • Formula 1 Grand prix, Budapest (August)
  • International Wine Festival, Budapest (September)
  • Cultural, wine and food festivals (year - round).


  • BUDAPEST;  The city, formed from the merging of Buda, Pest and Obuda, is one of the truly great European capitals. It offers a host of attractions, among them the Matthias Coronation church, Parliament Building, National Museum and Museum of Fine Arts, the former Royal Palace, Gellert spa and Margaret Island.
  • This is central Europe’s largest fresh water lake, at 228 square miles. As Hungary is landlocked, it is often called the “Hungarian sea” and offers water sports, wine – tasting and historic castles and churches.
  • LAKE HEVIZ; The world’s second largest natural thermal lake, where in mineral – rich water at a constant 86 F, bathers float about in their rubber rings.
  • WINE REGIONS; They include Tokaj with its royal Tokaj wine, which France’s Louis xiv called “the wine of Kings and the king of wines”, and Eger, reverend Bull’s Blood country.
  • The area north of Budapest includes Szentendre, the artists’ colony town; Esztergom, with its basilica; and vise grad, with the ruined former royal palace.
  • The region of the horsemen, covering an area of more than 17,000 square miles.
  • PECS; The southern city served as one of the cultural capitals of Europe in 2010.
  • Musical events, including affordable concerts, ballet performances and operas
  • Wine and food festivals
  • Spas located in historical establishments
  • Equestrian activities
  • Walking and hiking
  • Ride the narrow – gauge train into the Szalajka valley, near Eger
  • Enjoy thermal spas
  • What to eat and drink
  • Hungarian cuisine has a strong local flavor, moderately spicy with paprika sauce being the most important ingredient. The best known national dish is goulash, also called gulyas. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables are available; Poultry (chicken paprika); game; beef; pork; lamb; fresh water fish and soup. Visitors can also indulge in excellent pastries and cakes and enjoy local beers, quality wines and spirits
  • What to buy
  • Herend porcelain, crystal ware
  • Stunning architecture, shopping, art galleries, a burgeoning foodie scene and bohemian atmosphere make Budapest a music – visit European destination. Split by the Danube into Buda and Pest, the city has many attractions on both sides of the river and a rich history, waiting to be discovered.
  • ATTRACTION You can’t visit Budapest without trying one of the famous thermal baths – there are 15 public ones in the city. Try the Gellert Baths, first opened in 1918 offering medicinal water treatments using the same underground springs the Knights of St John used in the 12 th century. The beautiful and ornate art nouveau building houses warm spring water pools, a wave pool and treatment rooms.
  • BUILDING Laid out in 1896 to commemorate the 1,000 th anniversary of Hungary, Heroes’ square is the largest and one of the most impressive squares in the city. The Millennium monument at its heart has Archangel Gabriel standing on top of the center pillar holding the holy crown and double cross of Christianity. After taking in the beauty of the square, visit the museum of Fine Arts and Hall of Art – both   galleries have impressive collections of permanent and temporary exhibitions and are located on either side of the square.
  • SHOP
  • Head to pedestrianized vaci utca. It is one of the most popular shopping streets in Budapest,  where you will find a variety of household named stores from H&M to Hugo Boss.
  • EAT
  • Hungary’s first Michelin star restaurant, costes mixes modern international cuisine with Hungarian classics. For a real treat, try the seven – course tasting menu with wine pairing. Options include the lamb saddle with confit shoulder and assortment of Zucchinis, or the pressed suckling pig with pearl onions, Agen prunes and pedro – ximenez(sweet sherry).
  • BAR   Try something a bit different by visiting one of Budapest’s “Ruin Pubs” in the seventh district. Once home to a flourishing Jewish community before world war 2, the area was very neglected and full of abandoned buildings. Recently, however, derelict buildings have been turned into coffee houses and wine bars catering for a trendy crowd. Don’t go expecting a slick, contemporary bar experience as the décor is usually more thrift store. Most offer live music or DJs at the weekend, as well as hosting film nights and art exhibitions. Arguably the best is Szimpla kert, the first Ruin pub to open, with several rooms and a large open – air garden.
  • VIEW   Head to the citadel on top of Gellert Hill for one of the best views in Budapest. From the 19th – century fortification, you can see  across the River Danube and over the whole city – the higher you climb, the better the view. From the very top you should be able to spot top attractions, including the chain Bridge, art nouveau Gresham palace. St Stephen’s Basilica, Liberty Bridge and the colorful roof of the central market Hall.


  • Capital;  Port – au – Prince
  • Main cities; Port – au – prince, Cap – Haitien, Les cayes, Gonaives, Jacmel, Jeremie, Carrefour, Delmas.
  • Population; 10, 312, 704 (As per the year 2013 estimates).
  • Currency; Haitian gourde (HTG) = 100 centimes. Many hotels and businesses accept US dollars and major credit cards. Exchange rate (approximate HTG 44=$ 1). Tipping (hotel bills generally include a tax of 10% added, as well as a service charge of 5%. Restaurant staff should be tipped around 10%. Taxi drivers can be given a discretionary tip).
  • Time; GMT – 5
  • Electricity; 110 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; On the right.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,2; February 16; April 3,14; May 1, 14,18; June 4; August 15; October 17,24; November 1,2,18; December 25;
  • Language; There are two official languages; Creole and French. English is not widely spoken.
  • Religion; Catholic, with increasing numbers of Protestants. Voodoo is widely practised.
  • Country Dial Code;  + 509
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is vital and required.
  • Health requirements
  • Malaria, dengue fever, diphtheria, parasitic infections, hepatitis and other intestinal Problems, including typhoid fever, are not uncommon in Haiti. There was an outbreak of cholera in October 2010.
  • Climate
  • Tropical climate. December, January and February are the least hot months, with daytime temperatures averaging around 24C while July and August are the hottest months; summer temperatures can reach as high as 30C but with very low humidity. Haiti gets most of its rain between April, May and October and November.
  • Getting there (Major gateways, including Toussaint Louverture International Airport ( Port – au – prince, PAP), Hugo Chavez International Airport (Cap – Haitien, CAP), Aerogare Guy Malary (Port - au – prince, domestic departures). Typical flying time from UK is 10 hours 30 minutes (via Miami).


  • Transfers
  • Port – au – prince (4 miles / 6 Km) taxi; minibus.
  • Port
  • Port – au - prince.
  • Do Haitians speak English?

Answer;   English and Spanish are very popular especially among the college age population

  • When is hurricane season?

Answer; The hurricane season in Haiti normally runs from June to November.

  • Is Haiti safe?

Answer;  Haiti is among the safest destinations not just in the Caribbean but throughout the Americas, as found by recent studies on crime in the region, which show Haiti has the one of the lowest rates of violent deaths in the Americas (Vanderbilt university).



  • Capital Tegucigalpa
  • Main cities; La ceiba, San pedrosula
  • Population; 8,500,000 (As per year 2012)
  • Currency; Lempira (HNL)= 100 Centavos. US dollars in wide use; all major credit cards are accepted. Exchange rate (approximate HNL 19.1=$1). Tipping (10% service charge added to most bills, other wise 10 – 15% is the rule).
  • Time; GMT – 6
  • Electricity; 110 volts. No adaptor required.


  • Driving
  • On the right. An International driving permit is required.


  • Public Holidays
  • Include January 1; April 2,3,4,14; May 1; September 15; October 3,12,21; December 25.
  • Language; Spanish
  • Religion; Catholic
  • Country Dial Code; + 504


  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and required


  • Health requirements
  • Yellow fever certificate if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, tetanus, typhoid, polio and malaria are recommended.
  • Climate
  • From tropical to temperate, depending on altitude. Seldom below 21C, but can reach 40C. The rainy season is June to October.
  • Getting there (Major gateways, including Tegucigalpa (TGU), San pedrosula (SAP), Goloson (La ceiba) (LCE), Roatan (RTB). Typical flying time from Miami, 2 hours, while from UK is 12 hours.


  • Transfers
  • Tegucigalpa (3 miles / 5Km) taxi 5 minutes. San pedrosula (7 miles / 11 Km) taxi 10 minutes.


  • Departure Tax
  • US $25


  • Ports
  • Puerto Cortes, Tela, Laceiba, Trujillo, San Lorenzo


  • Capital; New Delhi
  • Main cities; Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore
  • Population; 1, 210, 193, 422 (As per the year 2011).
  • Currency; Rupee (Rs) = 100 paise. Credit cards widely accepted in all major tourist centres. Hotel bills must be settled in foreign currency. Use authorized exchanges and keep receipts for reconversion on departure. Exchange rate (Approximate Rs 60.05=$ 1). Tipping (It is usual to tip waiters, porters, guides and taxi drivers depending on the quality of services. In restaurants,  a 10 % service charge is normally added to the bill.
  • Time; GMT + 5 h 30 minutes, October to March;   GMT + 4 h 30 minutes, April to September.
  • Electricity;  220 volts. It is advisable to carry a universal adaptor.
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the left. International licence required. However, a car with driver is easily available
  • Public Holidays; Include January 3,26; February 17; March 6; April 2, 3, 6; June 1; July 18; August 15; September 5,23; October 2, 13, 22; November 11, 25; December 25,26; Other holidays observed on a regional basis.
  • Language;  Hindi is the national language. English is widely spoken.
  • Religion; Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jainist, Muslim and other beliefs.
  • Country Dial Code;  + 91
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and required
  • Health requirements
  • Yellow fever immunization essential if arriving within six days of having visited an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid, polio and malaria recommended. Seek medical advice on immunization against meningitis.
  • Climate
  • India has a hot tropical climate, with wide climatic variations from region to region. The coolest weather is between November and mid – March, with the hottest weather in May and June. Rain Occurs between July and September.
  • Getting there (Major gateways, including – Delhi Indira Gandhi (DEL), Mumbai (Bombay) (Bom), Chennai(Madras) (MAA), Kolkata (Calcutta) (CCU), Bangalore (BLR), Thiruvananthapuram (TRV), Kochi (Cok), Amritsar (ATQ), Ahmedabad (AMD), Goa (GOI). Typical flying time from UK is 9 hours, while from New York to Delhi,14 hours; New York to Mumbai, 16 hours.


  • Transfers
  • Pre – paid taxis are available from all international airports; a city coach service is also in operation.

Delhi (10 miles / 16 km)

Mumbai (16 miles / 26 km)

Kolkata (10 miles / 16 km)

Chennai (11 miles / 18 km)

  • Departure Tax Rs 700, 0ften included in the ticket price.
  • Ports Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Kochi, Goa, Vishaka partnam
  • Accommodation
  • Hotels from one star to five star deluxe, Palace and Heritage hotels, bungalows.


  • Major Events
  • Kite Festival, Gujarat (January)
  • Pongal, Tamil – Nadu (January)
  • Desert Festival, Rajasthan (January)
  • Goa carnival (February)
  • Surajkund crafts Mela, New Delthi (February)
  • Holi, North india (March)
  • Elephant Festival, Jaipur (March)
  • Buddha Purnima, North India (May)
  • Mewar, Rajasthan (April)
  • Rath – Yatra, Puri – Orissa (July)
  • Guru Purnima (July)
  • Onam and boat races, Kerala (September)
  • Ganesh Chaturthi, Maharashtra (September)
  • Dussehra (September)
  • Diwali, throughout India (October)
  • Pushkar cattle fair, Rajasthan (November)
  • Christmas, Goa and throughout India (December)
  • Taj Mahal, Agra
  • Qutub Minar, Red Fort and Jama Masjid, Delhi
  • Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal and Pink City, Jaipur
  • Lakes and forts, udaipur
  • Backwaters, rice boats, Kerala
  • Camel safari, Jaiselmer
  • Lakshadweep and Andaman Islands
  • Tiger reserves; national parks and biospheres
  • 27 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Darjeeling, Northeast India.
  • Ghats at Varanasi.
  • Udaipur, Rajasthan
  • Hampi, Karnataka
  • Kerala’s backwaters
  • Ajanta caves
  • Buddhist monuments at sanchi
  • Sun Temple, Konarak
  • Mahabodhi Temple complex at Bodh Gaya
  • Great living chola Temples
  • Champaner – Pavagadh Archaeological park
  • Chhatrapati shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus), Mumbai
  • Churches and convents in the state of Goa.
  • What to eat and drink
  • Curry in its many forms is available throughout India as well as tandoori chicken, Indian bread (nan, roti and roomali) and rice. Drinks include tea, coffee, lassi (yoghurt) and a variety of local beers, while rum and whisky are local favourites.
  • What to buy
  • Silks, brocades, sandalwood, pottery, paintings, Carpets, silver and gold jewellery.
  1. Is there a dress code?

Answer;   Shorts and sleeveless shirts should not be worn;  heads should be covered when in Sikh shrines and shoes should be removed inside Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Jain places of worship.

  1. Which countries border India?

           Answer; India is bordered in the north west by Pakistan; in the north by China, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan; in the east by Myanmar; South and south west by the Indian Ocean.

  1. What size is India?

Answer;   India covers an area about one - third the size Europe. By 2050 it is expected to have a population of 1.53 billion and to have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country.

  1. How far is the Taj Mahal from Delhi?

Answer;  The Taj Mahal is 125 miles / 200 km south of the capital and the round trip can be completed within a day by using the Taj Express train or by road. There are hotels for overnight stays.

  1. What is the country’s official language?

           Answer; Hindi, although the states are free to decide their own regional languages, so there are 18 official languages in the country. English is widely spoken.

  1. Where are the Lakshadweep Islands?

Answer; Lakshadweep is a group of 14 Islands, of which 10 are inhabited, 200 miles off the south - west Malabar coast.

  1. Are there any restrictions on the consumption of alcohol?

           Answer; There is prohibition on the consumption of alcohol in the state of Gujarat only.

  1. Which are the largest cities in India?

Answer; Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is India’s largest city, with a population of more than 12.5 million, followed by the capital New Delhi with 8.5 million. Next come Chennai (Madras) with 5.4 million, Hyderabad with 4.3 million, Bangalore with 4.1 million and Ahmedabad with a population of 3.3 million.

  1. Where can I see tigers?

Answer; Ranthambore, Sariska (Rajasthan), Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Pench (Madhya Pradesh), Sunderbans (West Bengal), Similipal (Orissa) and Corbett (Uttaranchal)



  • FAST FACTS;  KARNATAKA (karnataka
  • Population;  61,130,000 (As per the  year 2011 estimates).
  • Time; GMT +5.5
  • Language; Kannada, Tulu, Konkani, Kodava and Hindi. English is also widely spoken.
  • Getting there; Bengaluru International Airport (BLR)
  • Accommodation;  Karnataka especially Bangalore has accommodation options ranging from budget to five – star deluxe accommodation.  Almost  all big hospitality brands also have a presence here.
  • Major events in Karnataka
  • Bangalore Habba (January)
  • Hampi Festival, also known as Vijaya utsav (January – February)
  • Banashankari Fair (February – March)
  • Karaga (February – March)
  • Vairamudi Festival (March)
  • Dasara (October)
  • Tula Sankramana (October)
  • Kadalekai Parishe (November)
  • Huttari Festival (November)
  • ABOUT KARNATAKA (Karnataka
  • Karnataka has many sights of historical and religious importance. A mesmerizing highlight is vij ayanagar, near Hampi, the former capital of one of the largest empires in Indian history. The ruins of the 16th – century Kingdom include the remnants of royal palaces, the elaborately carved vittala Temple and tall temple towers. In booming Bangalore, the 16th – century Bull Temple contains a huge awe – inspiring granite statue of the sacred bull Nandi. Outside the capital, Karnataka include the elaborate Hoysala temples of Belur and Halebid, Surrounded by thousands of Sculpted gods, elephants and dancers.


  • Hampi
  • Mysore
  • Pattadakal
  • Belur
  • Halebeedu
  • Somnathpur
  • Aihole
  • Badami
  • Bijapur
  • Bidar
  • Gulbarga
  • Bandipur National Park
  • Rajiv Gandhi National Park
  • BRT Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
  • Bannerghatta National Park
  • Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Anshi National Park
  • Kudremukh National Park
  • What to eat and drink


  • Karnataka is blessed with a rich culinary heritage. Regional food differs vastly depending on which ingredients are available locally; the result is a richly varied spread. The traditional fare of South Karnataka is spicy dishes in the coastal regions, and distinctive Kodava cuisine.


  • Spicy fish delicacies such as Kane fry (ladyfish), a rice-based preparations, and a wide variety of fruits are perennial favourites on the Mangalorean menu. Desserts includes sweets such as chiroti (a light flaky pastry sprinkled with granulated sugar and soaked in almond milk), mysore pak, obbattu or holige (a flat, thin, wafer like chappati filled with a mixture of jaggery, coconut or copra and sugar, and gently fried on a skillet), and shavige payasa (milk, vermicelli, sugar and cardamom pods)


  • CONTRASTS    The contrasts between traditional and modern India are more evident here than anywhere else in the South of the country. Historic coffee and spice plantations, silk producers, and fragrant incense and sandal wood industries sit shoulder to shoulder with hi-tech computer companies.


  • Derived from the word meaning “beautiful country”, the state is made up of three regions; the coastal area along the Arabian sea, the high hills of the western Ghats and the wide eastern plains. The capital Bangalore, also known as the ‘’garden city’”, has a pleasant temperature climate, while the hilly uplands are among the world’s wettest regions. The best time to visit Karnataka is between October and February.


  • What to buy
  • Bangalore and Mysore are reputed for their shimmering silks. Karnataka is known as the home of Sandalwood and shoppers can take home beads, pendants, carved tables and mythological figures. Bijapur is famous for hand-made sarees.


  • FAST FACTS; GOA (www. Goa -
  • Population; 1,458,000 (As per the year 2011 estimates)
  • Time;  GMT + 5.5
  • Language; Konkani, Marathi and English, as well as Portuguese and Hindi.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway - including GOA International Airport (GOI).
  • Transfers;  Private taxi and bus
  • Accommodation; GTDC Residencies; several five- star hotels and plenty of  budget hotels.
  • Major Events in Goa
  • Heritage festival (January)
  • Wine festival (February)
  • Carnaval (March)
  • Shigmo (end of March)
  • GOA International Travel Mart (April)
  • GOA Cashew and Coconut festival (May)
  • San Joao festival (end of June)
  • Bonderam festival (August)
  • Ganesh chaturti (September)
  • Diwali (October- November)
  • Tripurari Purnima Boat festival (November)
  • International Film Festival of India (November)
  • Tiatr festival (November)
  • GOA Food and Cultural Festival (November)
  • Feast of Saint Francis Xavier (December)
  • Christmas (December)
  • Sunburn festival (December)
  • Supersonic music festival (December)
  • New Year’s Eve (December)
  • More than 42 beaches
  • Aguada Fort
  • Spice Gardens at Ponda
  • Mayem and Netravalli Lakes
  • Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
  • Mollem National Park
  • Basilica of Bom Jesus, St Francis Xavier’s Church
  • Reis Magas Church and Fort
  • Temples and Mosques
  • Arvalem Caves
  • Doodhsagar waterfalls
  • Turtle nesting site at Morjim
  • GOA Chitra Museum
  • Chapora Fort
  • Water sports
  • Adventure sports and river rafting
  • Trekking
  • River cruises
  • Goan cuisine


  • What to eat and drink
  • Fish Curry; locally made bread (Pao); seafood; xacuti(curry) and desserts such as bebinca and dodol, cashew feni is a local alcoholic drink.



  • Population; 2,967,000 Lakhs (As per the year 2011)
  • Language; English is the official language. Hindi is the national language. Khasi, Jaintia and Garo are the local dialects.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway - including Shillong Airport(SHL)
  • Accommodation
  • Shillong has a number of hotels ranging from luxury to budget. For adventure and outdoor activities, campsites are available.
  • Major Events in Meghalaya
  • Shad Suk Mynsiem (April)
  • Umsan Nong Kharai (April/ May)
  • Behdeini Khlamc (July)
  • Shad Nong Krem (November)
  • Wangala dance (November)
  • Cherrapunjee (Sohra), highest rainfall in the world, East Khasi Hills.
  • Living Root Bridge, nature’s bio- engineering wonder, East Khasi Hills.
  • NohKalikai falls, tallest waterfall in India, Cherrapunjee East Khasi Hills.
  • Nongsawlia, first church in North east India, Cherrapunjee, East Khasi Hills.
  • Mawlynnong, “cleanest village in india” East Khasi Hills.
  • Mawphlang Sacred Grove, preserved in its natural form through time immemorial, East Khasi Hills.
  • Laitlum Canyons
  • Don Bosco Museum, insight into the culture of the North East.
  • Umiam Lake, RIBHoi District
  • Nartiang Monoliths, a cluster of Monoliths, Jaintia Hills.
  • Chandigre, to experience rural life, West Garo Hills.
  • Nokrek Biosphere Reserve, West Garo Hills.
  • BalpaKram National Park, South Garo Hills.
  • Nong Khnum River Island, second largest river Island in India, West Khasi Hills.
  • Caves - longest and deepest caves in the Indian Sub- Continent.


  • What to eat and drink
  • Local dishes, Indian, Chinese and continental cuisine.


  • Madhya Pradesh is home to 22% of the world’s tigers and has the largest tiger population in One of the best places to spot these impressive big cats in Kanha National Park, in the east of the state, which has 138 tigers. This 772 square mile area of forests, rivers and mountains is one of india’s largest national Parks and was the inspiration for the Jungle Book, a collection of stories by Rudyard Kipling that has become a literary classic. Visitors to the park can also see endangered Barasingha deer, Muntjak, Sambhar and bison.
  • A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this cluster of temples displays the legacies of Hindu and Jain architectural styles. This is considered one of the seven wonders of India and one of the country’s ultimate “must see” sites. The 22 temples, of which there were originally 85, were built between 950 and 1050. The ornate erotic sculptures will fascinate visitors, every evening sound and light shows tell the history of the temples in both English and Hindu.
  • The largest city in northern Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior is a treasure trove of archaeological sites of interest. The incredible Gwalior Fort has a dramatic 1,000 – year history and is home to numerous palaces and temples, including the Mandir palace. This ancient Hindu building is renowned for its exterior, which has retained its original blue mosaic tilling.
  • The ancient city of Ujjain is one of the holiest sites in India for Hindus. Located in western Madhya Pradesh, today it abounds with temples, but although most of them have been built upon sites of antiquity, none of them has survived in their original splendor. Ujjain is the site of one of the country’s largest religious gatherings, the Kumbh mela. This festival takes place in the city every 12 years, when millions of Hindus come to wash away negative Karma by bathing in the shipra River, is deemed sacred. Ujjain was also the place where Hindu astronomers fixed the tropic of cancer.
  1. BHOPAL The capital of Madhya pradesh, Bhopal is a large cosmopolitan city with more than a million inhabitants. Situated around a large artificial lake, the city has several 19th – century mosques and monuments which serve as reminders of its dynastic Muslim roots. The city houses India’s largest mosque, the Darol Uloom Tajul Masjid. Visitors can enjoy chowk, the busy and colourful bazaar in the walled old city. Bhopal is also home to the Museum of Man,  exhibition dedicated to the culture of the Adivasis, India’s Indigenous minorities.
  • India’s eighth largest state, and the biggest and most populated of all the country’s southern states, Andhra pradesh provides a major link between the north and the south of the country.


  • WHY GO
  • With history, mountains, beaches and India’s longest coastline of more than 600 miles, this varied region has plenty to offer visitors. The architecture includes ancient Buddhist shrines, Hindu and Jain temples, imposing churches, secular monuments such as the landmark four – columned Charminar of Hyderabad, and some of India’s most beautiful mosques and Islamic tombs. It has a unique arts scene, encompassing the classical dance kuchipudi and shadow puppet theater, where huge figures portray epic tales of good and evil. The stare is also home to India’s largest tiger reserve in the Nallamai forest.
  • NEED TO KNOW  Dubbed the “rice granary” of India, the state of Andhra Pradesh is a real fusion of two religions, Hinduism and Islam, and is renowned for its Vibrant festivals and beautiful mother tongue Telegu.


  • Andhra Pradesh is situated on the Southern Deccan plateau, one of the oldest geological for mations in ndia, divided by the mighty Godavari and Krishna rivers leading to the Bay of Bengal. The climate is generally hot and sultry, reaching highs of 40C, particularly during the June to December monsoon season. The best time to visit is October to February.


  • Tirumala’s Venkateshwana Temple is lavishly decorated and chariots carry Idols of Hindu gods through the streets in the nine – day Brahmotsavam festival. Each January, decorated cattle and kite – flying mark the end of winter during the Makar Sankranti festival. During the Batakamma festival women in the north celebrate womanhood by worshipping the goddess Batakamma and floating flowers along rivers during September and October.



  • X – FACTOR
  • The state’s rich spiritual heritage includes Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid, one of the world’s largest mosques that can accommodate up to 10,000 worshippers.


  • Once part of Andhra Pradesh, the new landlocked state of Telangana, formed on 2nd June 2014, is situated in Southern India and comprises the city of Hyderabad and 10 surrounding districts. With a population of 40 million, the “linguistic state “formed after a lengthy campaign for separate status, is home to speakers of the regional language of Telugu. Hyderabad, on the banks of Musi River, is the capital of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, with many five – star hotels and a purpose – built convention facility. The new state, a blend of old – world charm and modernity, is rich in history and culture. It is  also home to an array of heritage monuments and temples as well as a large number of multinational companies like Microsoft, Deloite and Google.
  • Around six miles from Hyderabad, Golconda was originally a mud fort founded by the kakatiya kings of Warangal during the 13th Its heyday was under the Qutubshahi dynasty (1518 to 1687) and in the 17th century it became famous for the priceless diamonds discovered in the area. One of the fort’s most interesting features is its acoustic design. The sounds of hands clapped at the entry gate can be heard clearly at “Bala Hissar”, the highest point, around half a mile away - a system used to warm occupants of impending attack
  • Once regarded as the center of Hyderabad, Chow mahalla consists of four Palaces and 12 acres of courtyards, halls, fountains, lake. ponds and gardens. Built over 200 years ago, It was once the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty,  when the Nizams entertained their official guests and royal visitors. Famous for many architectural styles, visitors can admire its marble columns, enormous Belgian – crystal chandeliers and tour exhibitions of photos, relics, arms and clothing
  • Located in Adilabad district, 155 miles from Hyderabad, this wildlife sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2012. One of the richest teak forests in the state, it is also home to other wild animals including panther, gaur, cheetal, sambar, nilgai, barking deer, chowsingha and a variety of birds.


  • This bustling “bangle” souk was famous long before Hyderabad became a business hub. The Laad Bazaar consists of around 450 shops flanking either side of the wold – famous Charminar with around 2,500 craftsmen molding bangles with semi – precious stones to adorn women’s arms. Wedding saris, fabrics and jewels can also be bought here, but for pearls be sure to visit the many specialist shops in pathergatti.
  • Located in the town of Hanamkonda, 86 miles from Hyderabad, this temple has three shrines dedicated to lord surya, respectively, and was constructed during the reign of Kakatiya Dynasty in 1163. A fine specimen of kakatiya architecture, it is notable for having over 1,000 intricately carved pillars, rock – cut elephants, perforated screens and the Nandibull, carved out of a black basalt monolith.
  • The holy city of Kurukshetra, where lord Krishna first recited the sacred Hindu scripture Bhagvad Gita, is a major place of pilgrimage. The vedic legacy means meditation, yoga and the chanting of Mantras are all part of everyday life here. Elsewhere, worshippers are also drawn to the renowned Golden Temple, which is a small part of a huge gurdwara complex, Known to Sikhs as Harmandir sahib. Focus is drawn to the – excavated by the fourth guru Ram Das in 1577 – which surrounds the central shrine and is said to have healing powers. Here you will find pilgrims from across the world bathing in the sacred waters.


  • This state shares its capital, Chandi garth, with neighboring Punjab, where many buildings were designed by Swiss – French architect Le Corbusier in his striking modernist style. For fans of architecture and design, Le Corbusier centre displays documents, sketches and photos of the man himself, along with letters revealing the politics behind the project, including one from Jawaharlal Nehru to the chief Minister of Punjab, which states; “I do hope that you will not overrule Corbusier. His opinion is of value”
  • Chandigarh is home to Nek Chand’s Rock Garden,  a 25 – acre sculpture garden created by transport official Nek chand, who worked at night to keep his surreal master piece hidden from the city authorities. Working with concrete and recycled junk, he sculpted dancers, musicians and animals and incredibly, the attraction is said to be India’s second most visited tourist site after the Taj Mahal.
  • Declared a National Park by the Haryana Government, this 358 – acre sanctuary has more than 250 bird species, including painted storks, Demoiselle cranes, Cormorants, spotted sandpipers, mallards and plovers amongst others. With a fluctuating population, there are an estimated 150 resident species and 100 visiting species who fly in from as far afield as Europe, Afghanistan, Sibera and elsewhere, in search of feeding grounds and to pass the winter. The best time to visit is from October to March.


  • Visitors can walk between the inner and outer walls of this fort, which is the ancestral home of the Maharajas of Putiala. Originally built as a mud fort in 1764 by Maharaja Ala Singh, the Qila Androon - the interior portion – forms the main palace where the royal family once resided. Combining the archtectural styles of Mughal and Rajasthani rule, the palace has 10 courtyards along the north – south axis to explore.
  • ABOUT KERALA Kerala’s fine climate and beaches have earned it a worldwide reputation as a year – round destination. Behind the beaches lies a backwater network of lagoons, lakes and waterways, best explored ty staying on a house bout for a few days; Its an indulgent but unforgettable experience. Modern house boats are typically huge, Slow – moving exotic barges used for leisure trips and many are reworked versions of Kettuvallams. The original Kettuvallams were used to carry tons of rice and spices, and a standard Kettuvallam can hold up to 30 tons. A day cruise is a cheaper option that will still provide a unique insight into this beautiful part of India.
  • Kerala’s equable climate, natural abundance of forests – with a wealth of herbs and medicinal plants – and the cool monsoon season (June - July and October - November) are well suited to Ayurveda curative and restorative practices.


  • Periyar National park & Tiger Reserve, with its elephants, antelopes, lake and forests, is southern India’s foremost natural attraction. Periyar wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the banks of the Periyar lake at Thekkady, where the western Ghats Mountain range is clothed in dense evergreen forests and Savannah grasslands. Below this thick green canopy roam herds of elephants, Sambardeer, wild tigers, gaurs, lion – tailed Macaques and Nilgiri langur monkeys.


  • The region is also famed for its culture, festivals and cuisine, including a wide range of vegetarian options. And you can see another side of Kerala in the towns of Kochi, with its Portuguese, Dutch and British history, and the cultural capital of Thrissur, home to Thiruvambadi SriKrishna Temple. Kochi is also the best place to experience Katakhali, a colourful and very unusual traditional theatre form.
  • There are occasions when grandeur prevails over the characteristic simplicity of the Kerala lifestyle. Whether it is the state festival of Onam or one being staged at a local place of worship, new attire and sumptuous feasts are a must for the celebrations. Besides being occasions for merrymaking, Kerala’s festivals have traditionally been preservers of the art and culture of the region. Whether religious or social, traditional or modern, a festival here is never complete without an art event which could range from the 2,000 year – old Kutiyattam to contemporary shows.



  • Hugging the shores of the turbulent Brahmaputra, Guwahati is the gateway to enchanting northeast India. Pragjyotishpura, as the city was formerly Known, is thought by archaeologists to have been a vast Kingdom between the 6th and 11 centuries. Today, Guwahati is the hub of the region and also its largest city.
  • This centre celebrates the life and culture of the people of Assam. Named after the greatest Vaishnava saint and principal integrator of Assamese society. Srimanta Sankardeva, The Kalakshetra is an arts complex that houses the central museum, where cultural objects and day to – day artefacts used by different ethnic groups are preserved and exhibited.
  • Assam produces three unique varieties of silks; The golden Muga, the white pat, and the warm Eri. Silks grown all over the state find their way to Sualkuchi, 20 miles from Guwahati. Sualkuchi is one of the world’s largest weaving villages and a large proportion of the population is engaged in weaving exquisite fabrics. The renowned centre of silk production is parthcularly known for Muga, a golden silk that is not produced anywhere else in the world.
  1. HAJO
  • On the north bank of the Brahmaputra, this is a place where three religions meet – Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism. There is a belief that the Hayagriva - Madhab Temple contains a relic of lord Buddha, while a section of the Buddhist community also hold that lord Buddha attained nirvana here. Lard numbers of Bhutanese visit the temple every year during the winter and there is also a place of Pilgrimage for Muslims here Known as Poa – Mecca.
  • Assam is famous for Majuli, the world’s largest river island. It is situated in the middle of the Brahmaputra River, a centre of Vaishnava culture.
  • Formerly Bombay, Mumbai is the largest city in India and the country’s financial hub. Built on a long, thin Island off the west coast of Maharashtra and linked to the mainland by causeways, the sprawling metropolis is home to 18 million people and seemingly as many honking lorries, cars, spluttering auto – rickshaws, motorbikes and bicycles, making for a non – stop scene of beautiful chaos.
  • Booming Bengaluru, Capital of Karnataka and one of Asia’s fastest growing cities, has been dubbed the “garden city” due to its temperate climate and, more recently, “pub city’ for its thriving bar scene.


  • The Jewel in the desert sands of Rajasthan, Jaipur was colour – washed pink to welcome prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria, who visited India in 1883. Highlights include the city palace, a former royal residence in the heart of the old city, built in a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal styles with Ornate columns and carved arches.
  1. DELHI
  • The nation’s capital embraces everything that is modern India. Noise, dust and chaos are juxtaposed with awe – inspiring sights, fabulous shops, street markets and world class hotels. One of the main attractions is the Red Fort, a towering monument to the Mughal dynasty, where the tranquil gardens are a world away from the teeming streets outside.


  • This ancient Hindu city has been the centre of Indian spirituality for millennia. Through its heart runs the holy River Ganges, reachable via the old town – a cob web of narrow alleyways crowded with market stalls, locals and wandering cows. The Ganges’ western bank is lined with more than 100 stone ghats, used by locals and pilgrims for bathing.


  • Formerly known as Pondicherry, this city owes its distinct character to French colonialism and has retained an unmistakably Gallic flavor, from its ornate Catholic churches. French restaurants and patisseries to the street sings and colonial houses.
  • The story of Agra’s Taj Mahal involves two lovers – Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal Empire’s greatest period of prosperity, and Mumtaz Mahal, a Muslim Persian princess, who together lived a blissful life of marriage for five years before tragedy struck in 1631 when Mumtaz died during childbirth. As a declaration of love, the grief - stricken Shah vowed to build the world’s most beautiful monument in memory of his wife. Comprising elements of Persian, Turkish, Indian and Islamic architectural styles, the white - domed marble mausoleum is one of the new seven wonders of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The desert state of Rajasthan is a hub for camel treks and hot air ballooning. There are also superb opportunities for tiger spotting in India’s national Parks like Bandhavgarh, Periyar and Kanha, with many wildlife safaris on elephants back. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Indian ocean resorts in Goa and Kerala are great for snorkeling
  • Delhi, Agra and Jaipur are the big draw, packing in stately architecture, ancient temples and colourful distractions. Step beyond the Golden Triangle to explore the backwaters of Kerala and tribal villages of Nagaland, plus trips that follow in Buddha’s footsteps, guru – led yoga courses and cookery tours taking in the country’s spice trails.
  • The Buddhist Himalayan Kingdom of Ladakh, or “Little Tibet” is an increasingly popular destination, especially in summer, when the rest of the country is sweltering. In the north east, Himalaya, Sikkim and Aruna chai Pradesh offer treasures for trekkers and cultural travelers alike. Foot hill destinations such as Manali and Darjeeling include rafting and climbing oppotunites with the Himalayas as a backdrop, and there are even hikes to be had in the beach region of Goa.
  • The luxury Maharajas’ Express has five pan – continental itineraries taking in everything from the Taj Mahal to tiger safaris, with fine dining cars, a library and a butler service. The Indian Maharaja Deccan odyssey is another high – end train connecting Mumbai and Delhi via Rajasthan, but with affordable fares and varied topography, the Duronto Express from Pune to Delhi can’t be beaten.
  • India has thousands waterways threading through various wildlife sanctuaries, sacred sites and cities, with rivers such as the Ganges, and its west Bengal offshoots proving to be popular arteries for those wanting to take to the water. Kerala is famous for its backwater cruises by houseboat.
  • Jaipur is the capital and largest city of the state of Rajasthan in northern India. As it was colour - washed to welcome Prince Albert, Consort of Queen Victoria, on a visit to India in 1883, it is now known as the Pink City”


  1. SEE
  • Built in the 18th century, city palace with its huge complex of courtyards, gardens and buildings in the heart of the old city is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal styles, with Ornate columns and carved arches. Today, the royal family lives in the graceful Chandra Mahal (Moon Palace) bordering the courtyard, while inside the complex itself is a museum and art gallery; there are interesting displays of royal costumes and old Indian weapons.
  1. STAY
  • Once the home of a Jaipur prime minister, the centrally located Samode Haveli contains many of the building’s original trappings. Located at the end of a narrow lane, this oasis away from Jaipur’s bustle was built 175 years ago as a resort for the Samode royal family. A fusion of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture, a regal ceremonial ramp welcomes guests in the same way as it did royal bridegrooms – although they would arrive on elephants. The central courtyard is overlooked by balconies where women once watched wedding processions and threw rose petals in celebration.


  1. EAT
  • Laxmi Misthan Bhandar, Known as LMB, is a popular vegetarian restaurant featuring dishes using home – ground spices. A specialty is the Rajasthani  thaal – a selection of royal selected Rajasthani dishes. There is also a sweet shop next door.
  1. DRINK
  • Indulge in a refreshing glass of creamy lassi, a traditional Yoghurt based drink which comes in different flavors, from the Lassiwala at M.I. Road.
  • The perfect place to take in a Hindi film, the Opulent chandelier – lit Raj Mandir Cinema is worth a visit for the building alone. Situated on the Bhagwan Das Road, near M,I.Road, the movie theater is a symbol of Jaipur and has played host to numerous permieres over the years.
  1. X – FACTOR
  • Take a look from behind the lattice façade of the palace of the winds (Hawa Mahal), with its 953 intricate windows that once shielded the ladies of the royal counrt from public view, but allowed them to watch city life pass by.


  • Capital; Reykjavik
  • Main city; Akureyri
  • Population; 318, 452 (As per the year 2011).
  • Currency; Krona (Kr). Major credit cards accepted. Exchange rate (Appriximately Kr 113 = $ 1). Tipping (Service generally included. Tips not expected).
  • Time; GMT
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; On the right.
  • Public Holidays;
  • Include January 1; April 2,3,6,23; May 1,14,25; June 17; August 3; December 24,25,26,31.
  • Language; Also English and Danish.
  • Religion; Evangelic Lutheran
  • Country Dial code; + 354
  • Visa requirements;
  • Iceland is party to the Schengen Agreement.  No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement.
  • Health requirements;
  • No requirements.
  • Climate;
  • Summers are generally pleasantly warm, while winters are not as severe as the country’s name suggests. Rain throughout the year.
  • Getting there;
  • (Major gateway, including Leifur Eiriksson Keflavik (KEF), 32 miles from Reykjavik. Typical flying time from UK is 3 hours, while from New York is 6 hours.
  • Transfers
  • Reykjavik (32 miles / 51 km) bus 45 minutes; taxi 40 minutes
  • Ports
  • Seydisfjordur, Reykjavik
  • Accommpdation;
  • A good choice of hotels, especially in Reykjavik
  • Major Events
  • Food and Fun (February)
  • Beer Day (March)
  • Festival of light (February)
  • Reykjavik Art Festival (May)
  • Festival of the Sea (June)
  •  National Day (June)
  • Viking Festival (June)
  • Various Outdoor Festivals (throughout the whole summer).
  • Reykjavik Cultural Night (August)
  • Gay Pride (August)
  • Rettir, sheep round - ups – (September)
  • Air waves Music Festival (October)
  • Gullfoss, the Golden waterfall
  • The Blue Lagoon
  • The Pearl, Reykjavik
  • Geysir
  • Akureyri
  • Lake Myvatn
  • Gtymur
  • Raufar holshellir
  • Latrabjarg


  • What to do eat and drink
  • Fish and Lamb features prominently on Icelandic menus, as might be expected, and national dishes include hangikjot (Smoked lamb). Alcohol tends to be expensive, although beer is often reasonably priced.
  • What to buy
  • Woollen garments, including Icelandic sweaters, sheepskin rugs, ceramics and cheap CDs in the airport duty - free. Major brands tend to be good value in Iceland.
  1. How do you get to the Blue Lagoon?

Answer; The Blue Lagoon is a 40 - minute journey by bus from Reykjavik. Opened in 1999, this 12 – acre pool of geothermal sea water is now Iceland’s top tourist attraction.  The water temperature is maintained at a steamy 37C.

  1. Can I drive in the Highlands?

Answer; You need a big Jeep or 4WD to get around the Icelandic Highlands and then only in the summer months between July and September.

  1. What activities are on offer in Iceland?

Answer;  Iceland is a great natural play ground where you can go horse riding, white water rafting, snow mobiling, dog sledgings, hiking, Kayaking and fishing. Super Jeeps and quad bikes are good for exploration.

  1. What is there to see in northern Iceland?

Answer;  Highlights include lake Myvatn, set among a volcanic landscape of mini craters, the spectacular Gullfoss waterfall, and Husavik, a fishing town known for its whale watching.

  1. When is Iceland’s whale watching season?

Answer;  It is late April to early October. Species include hump – backed, minke, blue and sperm whales.

  1. How far is Geysir from Reykjavik?

Answer;  Geysir, which gave its name to the spouting hotsprings, is a two-hour drive east of the capital.



  • Capital; Rome
  • Main cities; Milan, Naples, Turin, Palermo, Genoa, Venice, Florence, Bologna, Bari
  • Population;  60,851,000 (As per the year 2012 estimates).
  • Currency; Euro = 100 cents. All major credit cards accepted.  Exchange rate (Approximate Euro 0.73 = $ 1). Tipping (service charges and taxes are included in all hotel bills; Otherwise 10 % expected.
  • Time; GMT + 1
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; On the right. International driving permit is required. Many gas stations in Italy accept credit cards.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,6; April 3,6,25; May 1; June 2; August 15; December 25,26.
  • Language;   English is widely spoken
  • Religion; Catholic majority. Some Jewish and Muslim minorities.
  • Country Dial Code; + 39
  • Visa requirements; Italy is party to the Schengen agreement.  No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement. Passport should be valid for atleast three months beyond the date of departure from Italy.
  • Health requirements;  


  • Climate;  Italy’s climate is varied, with no appreciable rainfall. Spring and autumn are both fine and sunny, while summer is hot. Winter is mild on the Italian Riviera, cold and damp in the Po valley and snowy in the north and in the Alps. Southern Italy is mild year – round.
  • Getting there (Major gateways,  including Rome Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci(Fco), Florence A. Vespucci(FLR), Milan Malpensa (MXP), Genoa christoforo colombo (GOA), Turin caselle (TRN), Palermo Punta Raisi (PMO),  Venice Marco Polo (VCE), Verona catullo (VRN), Milan Linate (LIN), Perugia (PEG), Naples Copodichino (NAP), Bergamo Orio al serio (BGY), Bologna Guglielmo Marconi (BLQ), Bari Palese (BRI), Pisa G. Galilei (PSA), Catania Fontanarossa (CTA), Brindisi (BDS), Milan Linate(LIN), Rome Ciampino (CIA). Typical flying time from New York is 8.5 hours, while from UK is 2 hours.
  • Transfers
  • Rome Fiumicino (16 miles / 26 km) non – stop train to Termini station 30 minutes, stopping train to Tiburtina station 40 minutes; bus service at night; Rome ciampino buses connect the airport to ciampino railway station and Anagnina underground station every 10/15 minutes; taxi 20 minutes. Milan Linate (6 miles / 10 km bus 25 minutes. Milan Malpensa (29 miles /45 km) train 40 minutes; Shuttle bus 60 minutes; Naples (4 miles /6 km) bus 25 minutes; taxi 15 minutes; Venice (8 miles / 13 km) bus 30 minutes; Alilaguna motorboat 70 minutes; Airport bus services operate in Verona, Ancona, Catania, Palermo, Cagliari, Florence, Bergamo, Bologna, Olbia, Pisa, Trieste, Genoa and Turin.
  • Departure Tax; Included in the ticket price.
  • Ports;  Ancona, Bari, Brindisi, Cagliari(Sardinia), Catania(Sicily), Civita Vecchia, Genoa, La spezia, Livorno, Messina(Sicily), Naples, Olbia (Sardinia), Palermo (Sicily), Pescara, Taranto, Trieste, Venice.
  • Accommodation
  • Hotels are officially graded with one of five stars, while campsites are classified one to four stars. The choice of other accommodation includes good quality self – catering apartments and villas, farmhouses (agriturismo), rooms to let (affittacamere), hostels, alpine huts, religious institutions and tourist villages located in beach and ski resorts.
  • Climate
  • Italy’s climate is varied, with no appreciable rainfall. Spring and autumn are both fine and sunny, while summer is hot. Winter is mild on the Italian Riviera, cold and damp in the Po valley and snowy in the north and in the Alps. Southern Italy is mild year – round.
  • Major Events
  • Epiphany Fair, Piazza Navona, Rome (January)
  • Carnival, Venice(February)
  • Almond Blossom Festival, Agrigento (March)
  • Celebration of Holyweek, Assisi (May)
  • Fiesta dei ceri, Gubbio, Perugia (May)
  • Luminara, Pisa (June)
  • II Palio, Siena (July/ August)
  • Giostra della Quintana (Joust of Quintana), Foligno (September).
  • Rome (The colosseum, st Peter’s Basilica, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish steps, Galleria Borghase.The Vatican).
  • St Mark’s Square, Cathedral and Accademia, the Rialto; Grand canal; La Fenice; Madonna dell’orto; Ca’ Rezzonico; and a gondola ride, Venice.
  • Florence (Duomo, Uffizzi Gallery)
  • Duomo, Teatro alla scala, Brera Gallery and designer shopping, Leonardo Da Vinci’s – The last supper, Milan.
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Pompeii archaeological site
  • Basilica, Assisi
  • Mount Etna, Sicily
  • Brescia, city of art
  • Franciacorta wine area
  • Herculaneum archeological site
  • Taormina resort, Sicily
  • San Lorenzo Cathedral, Genoa
  • Historic city of Trieste
  • Medieval hilltop towns of Umbria.
  • Countryside of Tuscany
  • The spectacular Dolomites
  • The Amalfi coast
  • Ligurian Riviera with the Cinque Terre villages.
  • Baroque city of Lecce
  • UNESCO – listed valcamonica Rock Drawings complex.
  • Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake with exclusive hotels and resorts.
  • Lake Maggiore, with its trio of Islands.
  • What to eat and drink
  • Pasta is the staple ingredient in Italian cooking, but each region of the country has its own distinctive dishes. These include abbacchio (Suckling lamb in white wine) in Rome; Osso buco (Shin of veal with rice) in Lombardy; fegato alla Veneziana (thinly sliced calves’ liver with onions, cooked in butter) in Venice; and Pesce spada (charcoal - grilled swordfish with brandy, mozza rella cheese and herbs) in Sicily. Pizzas and rich meat or fish stews, fresh mediterranean vegetables, delicious sweets and Ice – cream are also given a regional flavor and there are wines from 20 regions, plus popular aperitifs such as punt e Mes and Liquors such as Strega. Amaretto and Sambuca. Having a tiny cup of espresso standing at the bar is quintessentially Italian or you can choose from an array of exquisite coffees, including caffe espresso, Americano, doppio (a double espresso), freddo (Iced coffee), hag (docaffeinated coffee) or a granita di caffe con panna, which is an Iced  beverage with whipped cream.
  • What to buy
  • Clothes and shoes from all the top Italian designers, Knitwear, Leather goods, jewelry, local crafts, terracotta, ceramics, furniture, art objects, food, wine, venetian glass, soft furnishings.
  1. ROME
  • Few cities can hold a candle to the Italian capital. Everyone wants to visit the Eternal city to immerse themselves in centuries of civilisation, where the streets and squares, ancient ruins and monuments tell of an amazing past. Sightseeing is the stuff of legend, whether tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain or gazing upon the mighty colosseum of the Ancient Romans.
  • One of the world’s most beautiful cities sits among the Tuscan countryside, long admired as the Renaissance capital of Italy. Here, larger than life figures such as Galileo, Da Vinci and Michelangelo lit the fuse that fired western civilization into a new era. Florence straddles the River Arno and its famous shop – lined Ponte Vecchio, lit dazzlingly at night, is one of the world’s most photographed bridges.
  • It ranks in popularity with Rome among visitors, and in this breathtakingly beautiful city of bridges and Piazzas, canals and waterways. It is easy to see why. Lose yourself in the maze of narrow, traffic – free streets, or alternatively explore the city at night, ferried by gondola. Venice’s 188 Islands are crowded with iconic sights, from the impressive Ducal palace – where the legendary Casanova was once held prisoner to the romantic Bridge of sighs and the Rialto Bridge.
  1. MILAN
  • The self – styled capital of northern Italy, dominated by its extravagant gothic cathedral, serves both as Italy’s financial hub and the country’s fashion centre. The frenetic and Industrious metropolis is centred on the marvelous plazza del Duomo, surrounded by elegant shops and restaurants. The 18th – century La Scala Opera House embodies Milan’s cultural activity, while other artistic highlights include Leonardo’s Last supper.
  1. TURIN
  • Elegant Turin, with its many fine buildings, pleasing squares and tree - lined boulevards, is a treasure trove of good design from the 18th century onwards. The principal city of Piedmont is especially well – endowed with museums.


  1. GENOA
  • Birthplace of the navigator Christopher Columbus five and a half centuries ago. Genoa remains a leading sea port with fine buildings pointing to the affluence of leading aristo cratic families down the years – today those treasures can be found in its museums and galleries.
  • One of Italy’s most charming cities, Verona is uniquely characterised by the distinct pink marble of many of its buildings. The city that lent itself to two shakespearean plays is also known for the summer opera in its amphitheatre.
  • Venice is famous for the labyrinth of waterways which splinter out from the Grand Canal, the central vein that slices the city in half and around which venetian life rotates. Vaporetti (water buses) chug and gondolas glide underneath the array of bridges that connect the 118 Islands which form the city. The locals, meanwhile, have mastered the art of squeezing past the flocks of camera – wielding tourists and long after the sun has gone down, tables and chairs full of diners tumble out into the warren of squares and walkways. With an extensive maze of narrow back streets, the best way to explore is to arm yourself with a map and simply wander, slip into tucked away cafes, and find some breathing space before you plunge into exploring all the magnificent architecture and history venice has to offer.


  • The Gallerie dell’ Accademia contains one of Europe’s finest art collections and is a treasure trove of Pre – 19th - century Venetian art from painters such as Canaletto, Tintoretto and Titian. Head here also to see Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian man or to catch one of the regular exhibitions that visit the gallery.
  • Three of the main attractions stand around crowded Piazza San Marco; St Mark’s Basilica, with its stunning arched façade and gilded Byzantine mosaic interior; the lagoon – side Doge’s palace, which housed the venetian government for centuries; and St Mark’s clock tower, with its ornate clock face and spectacular views from the roof across the whole piazza.
  1. SHOP
  • A plethora of souvenir shops offer venice’s famous glass, lace and carnevale masks, but these can often be cheap, mass – produced products. To see the traditional glassware and lacework being made, take a short ride to the nearby lagoon Islands of Murano and Burano. For window – shopping and the odd bargain, head to the shopping area of Mercerio, which extends from the Rialto Bridge to St Mark’s Square.
  • With only nine tables, Osteria Alle Testiere is considered one of the best and most intimate restaurants in Venice, serving only the freshest venetian seafood. The menu, staff and location just steps from the Rialto Bridge have given it a well-deserved glowing reputation.


  1. BAR
  • The dark walls of Al volto are plastered with wine labels from just a small selection of the 1,300 Italian wines on offer at the oldest enoteca (wine bar) in venice. An emphasis on regional Veneto wine and knowledgeable staff make it a must visit.
  1. VIEW
  • St Mark’s Bell Tower, also known as the Campanile, whisks visitors up in a lift to near the top of its 323 ft height, where the most impressive views across Venice, over the Grand Canal, the Lido (and on clear days even to the Dolomites) can be found.
  1. LAKES
  • Several blue / green lakes reflecting the surrounding mountains create picture postcard views year – round. One of the largest, Lake Dobbiaco, offers boating in the summer and ice bowling in the winter, plummeting temperatures ensuring a frozen top. Located at the foot of croda da Lago peak, Lake Federa is the region’s prettiest.
  1. FOOD
  • The Dolomites are rich in meats, cheeses, mushrooms and honey, with ran hams fresh sausages and Italian bacon attracting foodies from all over the world. Well - known chefs create menus rich in mushrooms – porcini being the better known – while cheese lovers will adore the ricotta, tosella and contrin, often served with local honey. The area also produces a large proportion of the world’s best – known Italian wines.
  1. SPAS
  • Whether it is drinking mountain – fresh water straight from the tap, relaxing in a bubbling lake or inhaling water vapours, the Dolomites and wellbeing go hand – in – hand. Hotels with spas are the norm, with wine baths and treatments using hay both local specialities.
  • Known as the Gateway to the Dolomites, the small town of Bolzano was founded 800 years ago and is filled with gothic architecture in the form of castles, fortresses and cathedrals. Voted Alpine town of the year in 2009, modern additions include museums; theatres dedicated to performance art, folk music and dance; and an extensive, year – round event’s calender.
  1. PARKS
  • Head to one of the region’s many Parks for hiking, mountaineering, Nordic walking or climbing in protected, natural surrounds. Alpine huts provide regular respite from the elements with delicious mountain food and wine served near open fires. Settle in and watch one of the region’s magnificent sunsets, worth hanging around for.
  • With water all around, it is hardly surprising the region is a veritable playground for water sports. Whether it is kite surfing, wind surfing, canoeing, hydrospeeding or rafting down a torrent, adrenalin seekers won’t be disappointed. Visitors looking for a less adventurous watery experience can swim in one of the many outdoor lakes with panoramic mountain views.
  • A total of 1, 220 km/ 758 miles of runs, 450 lifts and 12 mountain valleys ensure skiers and snow boarders are well catered for in the Dolomites. The Dolimiti Superki, a Carousel connecting 12 ski areas, is the largest in the world, with one pass giving full access, making it a popular choice for seasoned skiers wishing to hit several slopes in one day.
  • Competition for the most exrtraordinary monument in the Eternal city is fierce, but the Colosseum is one of the strongest contenders. Visitors are swept away by the sheer size and the sense of gruesome and significant events that took place here. This was where gladiators fought to the death and prisoners were eaten by lions. Two thousand years on, it still draws the crowds.
  • The Roman temple, dedicated to all the gods of pagan Rome, has been standing for almost 2,000 years, with its current form dating from around AD 120, when the emperor Hadrian built the Pantheon over Marcus Agrippa’s original (27BC). The earliest use of the Pantheon is a mystery; all we know is it was classified as a building of prayer. The number of people who worshipped there is unclear because the building’s structure is so different from other Roman temples.
  • The city’s largest and most beautiful fountain dominates Trevi square and was immortalised on the big screen by Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. The baroque design depicts Neptune’s Chariot being led by Tritons with sea horses - one wild, one docile- representing the moods of the sea. Tradition dictates that if you throw a coin into the fountain, you ensure your return to the Eternal City; if you throw a second coin, you will fall in love with an Italian, while a third will have you marrying.
  • A tourist magnet for foreigners since the 18th century, this square is one of Rome’s most popular meeting places. At the foot of the Spanish steps is the Fontana della Barcaccia. It was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the shape of a small boat – inspired by the flooding of the Tiber river in 1598, when a boat became stranded here after the water subsided. The monumental staircase – the famous Spanish steps – an Obelisk and a beautiful French church provide the perfect photo opportunity. Rome’s smartest shopping strip can also be found opposite the steps on via dei condotti
  • In a city packed with churches, St Peter’s Basilica nestled in the heart of Vatican City, is the pinnacle. The huge building which is the centre of Christianity, stands on the traditional site where Peter – the apostle who is considered the first pope – was crucified and buried. St Peter’s tomb is under the main altar and many other popes are buried in the basilica. It is a monument to centuries of artistic genius, while the opulence of the building’s interior bears testimony to the wealth of the Catholic church in the 16th It is the largest church in the world, with around 20,000 people visiting on a busy day. The building’s interior, which includes 45 altars, is decorated by famous artists, including Michelangelo, Bernini and Cavona. Entry is free, but a strict dress code is enforced.


  • Capital; Jerusalem
  • Main cities; Tel Aviv, Haifa
  • Population; 8, 081, 000 (As per the year 2012 estimates).
  • Currency; New Israeli Shakel (NIS) =100 agorots. Major credit cards are widely accepted. Exchange rate (Approximate NIS 3.43= $ 1). Tipping (10% service – charge is added to restaurant and hotel bills).
  • Time; GMT + 2
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the right. International licence required.
  • Public Holidays; Include March 5; April 4, 11,17; May 24; September 14,15,23,28; October 6
  • Language; Hebrew, English, Arabic and Russian.
  • Religion; Jewish with Christian and Muslim minority as well as Bahai
  • Country Dial Code; + 972
  • Visa requirements
  • Passport must be valid for six months beyond duration of stay, an onward or return ticket are required for entry. A no – charge, three – month visa may be issued on arnival.
  • Health requirements;
  • Precautions against hepatitis A recommended.
  • Climate
  • Mediterranean, with a pleasant spring and autumn and hot summers. Snow is rare, but rain is widespread in winter, which can be cold in the north, Eilat on the red sea is a good winter sun destination.
  • Accommodation
  • A choice of high – standard accommodation, from guest houses to boutique hotels and more besides. Other options include self – catering apartments, B & Bs , Kibbutz country inns, Kibbutz guest houses (, caravan / campsites, youth hostels and resort villages on the Mediterranean and Red sea.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways, including Tel Aviv Ben Gurion (TLV), Eilat Ovda (VDA). Typical flying time from New York, 10 hours, while from UK is 4 hours 30 minutes.
  • Transfers
  • Tel Aviv (9 miles / 14 km) bus 25 minutes; taxi 20 minutes; train 15 minutes. The best way to travel the 32 miles / 50 km to Jerusalem is by sherut (shared taxi).
  • Ports
  • Haifa, Ashdod.
  • Getting Around
  • Dan and Egged provide good local bus services in the main towns throughout Israel, as well as taxis and sherut, or shuttle vans. Israel also features an extensive national bus network, making stops from the Golan Heights in the north to Eilat in the south. Tel Aviv is the hub of a rail system covering Jerusalem, Herzliya, Netanya, Hadera, Haifa, Acre and Nahariya. Most bus and train services do not operate on the Sabbath (Friday evening to Saturday evening) or on Jewish holidays. Car rental is available from International and local companies in the main cities and at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport. Renters must be over 21, in possession of a valid driving licence as well an international credit card.
  • Major Events in Israel
  • International Marathon, Tiberias (January)
  • Red Sea International Music Festival, Eilat (January)
  • Spring Migration Birdwatcher’s Festival, Eilat (March)
  • Tel Aviv Samsung Marathon,Tel Aviv February)
  • Jerusalem International Marathon (March)
  • Ein Gev Festival, Sea of Galilee (April)
  • International Festival of Sacred Music, Nazareth (April)
  • Eilat Chamber Music Festival,Eilat(April / May)
  • Israel Festival (May / June)
  • International Israel Festival,Jerusalem (May /June)
  • Food Trail, Galilee (May /June)
  • White Night Festival, Tel Aviv (June)
  • Independence Day Gala Concert and Celebrations, Jerusalem (April)
  • International student Film Festival, Tel Aviv (June)
  • Gay Pride Festival, Haifa (June)
  • International Student Film Festival, Tel Aviv (June)
  • Arad Festival – Israeli  Pop Stars, Negev (July / August)
  • Tel Aviv Pride Festival, Tel Aviv (June)
  • Masada Opera Festival, Masada (June)
  • Red Sea Jazz Festival, Eilat (July /August)
  • Wine and Vintage Festival, Binyamina (July / August)
  • International Film Festival, Haifa (October)
  • Tel Aviv Fashion Week (October / Novenber)
  • Hula Valley Birding Festival, Galilee (October / November).
  • International Guitar Festival, Tea Aviv(November)
  • Christmas Parade with International Choirs,Nazareth (December).
  • The old city Jerusalem, with the temple Mount, western (wailing) wall, church of the Holy sepulchre, Dome of the Rock and al – Aqsa mosque
  • Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to Jewish Victims of the Holocaust.
  • Israel Museum, Jerusalem
  • Church of the Nativity
  • Biblical Sites.
  • Dolphin Reef, Eilat
  • Beaches on the Mediterranean and Red sea.
  • Dead Sea and Masada.
  • Red sea diving
  • Sea of Galilee
  • Nazareth
  • Negev desert region
  • Tel Aviv, the city that never sleeps.
  • Rachel’s Tomb
  • St George’s Monastery
  • Ramon crater.
  • Sorek caves
  • Montefiore windmill
  • Old city of Acre and crusader ruins.
  • St Mark’s chapel
  • Bahai Gardens, Haifa
  • Burnt House
  • Tel Aviv part.
  • King David’s Tomb
  • Mahane Yehuda Market
  • Stargazing and rappelling at the Ramon crater
  • Wine tasting in the Galilee
  • Mountain biking in the Judean Hills and Negev Desert.
  • Safaris among the rocky terrain of the Negev Desert
  • Experiencing spa treatments at the Dead sea, the lowest point on earth
  • Exploring Israel’s plethora of religions and cultural places of interest
  • Diving and watersports in the Red sea resort of Eilat.
  • What to eat and drink
  • Israel cuisine combines Middle Eastern and western influences, flavoured by the ethnic cooking of the many nationalities which have settled in the country. Local dishes include mazze (a selection of starters), bourekas (flaky pastry filled with cheese, potatoes or spinach), falafel (ground chick peas blended with herbs and spices), shishlik (chunks of meat cooked on a fire) and baklava (toasted shredded wheat stuffed with pistachios or hazelnuts and soaked in honey). There is a good choice of Israeli white, red and rose wine, a number of brandies and Liqueurs, and beers such as Maccabee and Gold star.
  • What to buy
  1. Leather goods, Jewellery, diamonds and other precious stones, ceramics, embroidery, glass ware, wine, religious items, holy books, designer fashions and accessories.


  • Capital;  Dublin
  • Main cities;  Belfast, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Londonderry, Wexford
  • Population; 6,300,000(As per the  year 2012 estimates)
  • Currency;  Euro = 100 cents. Major credit cards are accepted, but not personal cheques from British Banks. Exchange rate (Approximate Euro 0.73 = $ 1). Tipping (If service is not included, it is customary to tip in restaurants, normally 10 %.  Taxi drivers are also tipped 10 %
  • Time: GMT
  • Electricity:  230 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the left.
  • Public Holidays;  Include January 1; March 17; April 6; May 4; June 1; August 3; October 26; December 25,26.
  • Language; English and Irish (Gaelic).
  • Religion; Catholic
  • Country Dial Code; + 353
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and required.
  • Health requirements;
  • None
  • Climate
  • Ireland has a mild, temperate climate with few extremes and summer temperatures generally ranging between 15C and 20C. The temperature in spring and autum is generally around the 10C mark and in winter it is between 5C and 8C. Snow is a rare occurrence, though showers and extended periods of rain can occur at any time of year.
  • Accommodation
  • Places to stay in Ireland range from elegant country houses to Luxury castles, village pubs, Georgian manors, budget hotels and Victorian houses.
  • Getting there;  (Major gateways, including Dublin (DUB), Shannon (SNN), Belfast(BFS), Derry (LDY), Ireland west Knock (NOC), and Cork (ORK). Typical flying time from New York, 6.5 hours, while from UK is 1 hour.
  • Transfers;  Dublin (12 miles /20 km). All coach to city center; taxi. Shannon (Limerick 20 miles / 32 km). Irish Bus service to Limerick city; Taxi. Belfast (5 miles / 8 km). Bus or taxi to city centre.
  • Ports;  Dublin, Rosslare, Dun Laoghaire, Cork, Larne, Belfast.
  • Getting Around; Irish Rail / Larnrod Eireann operates a regular train service to most cities and major towns. Irish Bus / Bus Eireann has a nationwide network of buses serving all cities and the majority of towns and villages throughout Ireland. The Dublin area is served by the DART rapid transit rail system. The Dublin Luas Light Rail Transit (LRT) system connects outlying suburbs to Dublin city center with a high – capacity, high – frequency service.
  • Major Events in IRELAND
  • Temple Bar Tradfest, Dublin (January)
  • Jameson International Film Festival, Dublin (February)
  • St Patrick’s Day Festival, Dublin (March)
  • Bantry Mussel Fair, Bantry Bay (May)
  • Nissan Irish Open, Carton House, Maynooth, Co kildare (May)
  • Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, Kilkenny (May / June)
  • Flora Women’s Mini Marathon (June)
  • Galway Races Summer Festival (July)
  • Galway International Arts Festival (July)
  • Failte Ireland Dublin Horse Show, RDS Centre, Dublin (August)
  • Rose of Tralee International Festival, Cokerry (August)
  • Galway Oyster Festival (September)
  • Dublin Theatre Festival September / October)
  • Cork Jazz Festival (October)
  • Belfast Festival at Queens (October)
  • Dublin Marathon (October)
  • Wexford Festival Opera (October / November)
  • Belfast Music Week (November)
  • New Year’s Eve Festival, Dublin (December)
  • Kilkenny Arts Festival (August)
  • Puck Fair, Killorglin, Co Kerry (August)
  • Cork Midsummer Festival, Cork city (June)
  • Irish Open Golf Championship (June)


  • Guinness Storehouse, Dublin
  • Wild Atlantic Way
  • Titanic Belfast
  • National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
  • Trinity College and Book of Kells, Dublin
  • Cliffs of Moher, Co Clare
  • Giant’s Causeway & Coastal Route, Co Antrim
  • The Irish National Stud, Co Kildare.
  • Blarney Stone, Blarney, Co Cork
  • Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, Co Down.
  • Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Co Clare
  • Lakes of Killarney and Ring of Kerry, Co Kerry
  • Bru Na Boinne (Palace of the Boyne), Donore, co meath.
  • House of Waterford Crystal.
  • Jameson Whiskey Tours, Dublin
  • St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin
  • National Museums, Dublin
  • Dublin Castle
  • Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin
  • Rock of Cashel, Munster
  • Carrow more Megalithic Cemetery, co sligo
  • The Hill of Tara, co Meath
  • Irish Music Hall of Fame, Dublin


  • What to eat and drink
  • Ireland is famed for its meat, poultry and dairy products, while the harvest from lake and sea includes smoked Irish wild salmon, trout, lobster, Dublin Bay Prawns, oysters and mussels. Among the traditional dishes are Irish stew, black and white pudding and colcannon (potatoes and cabbge). Drinks exported worldwide include Guinness, Irish whiskey and Bailey’s, although draught Guinness consumed in Dublin has no equal in the world.
  • What to buy
  • Crystal, glassware, pottery, tweed, Aran Knitwear, linen table wear, china, cheese and smoked salmon
  • In the heart of the St James’s Gate Brewery, the Guinness store house is Ireland’s top visitor attraction. Its tale unfolds over seven floors shaped around a giant pint of the “black stuff” culminating in the Gravity Bar, where visitors can enjoy an unparalleled panorama of Dublin with a free pint.
  • Dublin’s hallowed educational institution. Tours can be taken of the grounds of Ireland’s oldest university buildings, dating from 1592. The tranquil city – center campus is perfect territory for a stroll or people watching, but the Main attraction is a stop at the old library to see the Book of Kells Dating from AD 800, it is one of the most beautifully illuminated manuscripts in the world.


  • The elegant heyday of Dublin’s Georgian past can be found in green havens around the city, with the duck pond in St Stephen’s a favored spot and the Oscar wilde statue in Merrion Square a Landmark.




  • Once the Industrial lifeblood of the city, the river is now a major tourism attraction. Passengers on the Liffey Voyage boat tour will get an insight into the city and river, from the time of the Vikings 1,000 years ago to the recent Docklands.
  • Dublin’s literary traditions are as strong as any city’s, and this leading antiquarian bookshop is a perfect place to while away several hours brushing up on the works of Irish big guns such as Beckett, Joyce and Wilde. Hipster travelers, meanwhile, will want to check out cow’s Lane outdoor market, a prime summer shopping destination with everything from designer wear to Yetro fashion.
  • Predating Egypt’s pyramids by some six centuries, this stone Age passage tomb is one of Europe’s most remarkable prehistoric sites. Suitably atmospheric all year round, its mystical allure peaks at the winter Solstice, when it aligns with the sun and light penetrates the inner chamber, flooding it with a blinding glow.
  • It is often described as one of the top attractions in Ireland, and the visitor center offers guided tours. Built 800 years ago, this is one of the oldest operational lighthouses in the world. A 13th – century Norman structure, it was built by Earl of Pembroke as part of the development of his Lordship of Leinster. In clear weather, views from the top can stretch for miles, while during a storm, the spray can reach the very peak of the tower. Keep an eye out for the whales, dolphins and seals you may spot as you climb the 115 steps.


  • The world created in this 35- acre park is an authentic recreation of Ireland’s heritage. Homesteads, places of ritual, burial modes and long – forgotten remains will enlighten visitors, who can wander around recreated crannogs, Viking houses and Norman forts. The park delves into more than 9,000 years of Irish history, including the stone Age, Bronze,Age Celtic Early Christian Age, the Vikings and Early Normans.


  • Located alongside the New Ross docks in country wexford, this is a full – size reconstruction of a 19th – century ship that took emigrants from Ireland to North America during and after the great Famine. Actors, Sound effects and smells are used to transport visitors back in time. The replica of the 176 ft ship was constructed and completed in 2001; There is also a state – of the art visitor center at the quay
  • This beautiful landmark building is Ireland’s first custom – built, multi – purpose opera house. In the heart of the stunning harbor town, it offers two diverse performance spaces, with a wide range of entertainment available from amateur drama to top comedy acts, light opera, popular culture and International tours. Behind the scenes tours are available, taking in the orchestra pit, artists’ dressing rooms and backstage areas.
  • This reserve is a migratory stop – off point for thousands of ducks, geese, swans and waders. There is a visitor center that is open to the public and many “hides” for viewing the wildfowl as they roam freely.
  1. WEST
  • The wild west of Ireland is the epitome of escapism, bashed by the Atlantic and full of legend – next stop, North America. The west is where Co Galway resides, the revitalizing scenery of Connemara National Park with its mountainous and boggy landscape. Nearby is Kylemore Abbey and further north, Croagh Patrick, the holiest mountain in Christian Ireland, said to be the place from which St Patrick hurled away all of Ireland’s snakes. Pilgrisms in their thousands still make the none – too – easy climb of the mount, many barefoot and fasting. Galway is also where the vibrant namesake city and the remote and relaxing Aran Islands are found, located at the edge of Europe and still proudly Gaelic. Also encompassing the counties of Clare, Donegal, Leitrim, Limerick, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo and Offaly, Ireland’s west weaves a spell like no other. You have all the drama of the Donegal Landscape, including magical Glenveagh National Park and Castle, through to the haunting beauty of “Yeats County”, Alternatively, drive out to Achill Island along windswept cliff top roads of Co Mayo to be rewarded with greener – than green scenery and wide sweeps of sand.


  1. SOUTH
  • Taking in the counties of Carlow, Cork, Kerry, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford, the south packs in some of Ireland’s biggest tourist draws, as well as golf courses and renowned spa resorts. Many are in Kerry, making the most of the wild scenery. At the heart of very visit to the south will be Cork, a cosmopolitan city where modern millennium projects and café society meet sturdy Irish churches and good – humored locals. A few miles away is one of Ireland’s most famous spots, Blarney castle, where people flock to “Kiss the Blarney stone.” Weave south down to the coast and you hit Kinsale, a gourmet hotspot with pots of restaurants in its quirky streets. Killarney is another wonderful town that has been the haunt of many a monarch, poet, writer, artist and composer. Another reason to head to the south is beantiful Killarney National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve where you can sail on placid lakes or hike in the Gap of Dunloe. On from there is the Ring of Kerry, a famed driving route around the beautiful Iveragh Peninsula. For beach lovers, Wexford is an undiscovered gem with 125 miles of stunning coastline and golden sands.
  1. NORTH
  • For those who long to get away from it all, Co Donegal in Ireland’s northwest corner is the perfect spot. Soaring sea cliffs rise 1,000 ft and there are deserted white sandy beaches, Jaw – dropping landscapes, excellent seafood and quiet, cosy pubs.
  • This fortress, dating back to 1172, served as the seat of the powerful Butler family. The Castle’s Butler Gallery show cases 19th and 20th – century Irish art by renowned Irish artists such as Jack B Yeats and Sir John Lavery.
  • Kilkenny is Known as the craft capital of Ireland and this is the place to attend workshops, watch craftsmen or buy souvenirs that have been hand crafted by local artists.


  • The second – largest medieval cathedral in Ireland has a 102 ft – high Round Tower - climb it for a 360 – degree views of the city and the surrounding countryside
  • Famous for its antique stained glass windows, this stunning medieval building, dating back to 1225, was founded and is still used today – by the Dominican order.


  • This 17th – century Irish merchant’s town house is home to a museum where you can see an array of historical artifacts and archaeological items.


  • Discover the history of smithwicks, Ireland’s oldest beer, at this new interactive museum, opened in July 2014.
  • This is the ancestral home of the Earls of Bantry. The title lapsed in 1891, but the house, in co cork, is still occupied by a descendant of the first Earl, Egerton shels well – white, and his family. Open to the Public since 1946, it has a collection of art and an Italian style terraced garden.


  • Bunratty richly deserves to feature on the iterary of every visitor to the Shannon region of Ireland. Bunratty castle, built in 1425, is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland and contains a wealth of furnishings, tapestries and works of art from the period. The castle, in the center of Bunratty village, is famous for the medieval banquets held there throughout the year. Bunratty Folk Park, set with 26 acres, is a recreation of 19th – century Ireland and features various farm houses, a church, walled garden and a village street complete with pub, post office and various shops.





  • The world’s oldest distillery, in Co. Westmeath, dates back to 1757 and is the home of kilbeggan Irish whiskey. The Kilbeggan Experience offers a chance to see a fully operational traditional Irish pot still whiskey distillery, while taking in the water wheel and machinery.


  • Capital; Baghdad
  • Main cities;  Mosul, Basra, Erbil, Kirkuk
  • Population;  31,858, 481, (As per the year 2013 estimates).
  • Visa requirements; Visa is essential and required.
  • Health requirement
  • Yellow fever certificate if arriving from an infected area; hepatitis A, Polio, tetanus and typhoid immunization recommended. Medical facilities are limited; ensure you have adequate travel health insurance.
  • Currency
  • Iraqi Dinar (IQD) = 20 dirhams. Exchange rate (Approximate IQD 1,911 = £1). Tipping (Tips to drivers, guides and hotel personnel are at your discretion).
  • Time; GMT + 3h
  • Electricity; 230 volts.
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the right. International driving licence recommended.
  • Public holidays;  Include January 1,6,13; April 9; May 1; July 14,28; August 8; October 3,4,25; November 3. The list includes Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate.
  • Language; Arabic and Kurdish
  • Religion; Muslim
  • International Dialing Code;  + 964
  • Getting there; (Major gateway, including Baghdad International Airport (BGW). Typical flying time from UK is 5 hours.
  • Transfers; Baghdad (9 miles / 16 km) taxi 20 minutes


  • Capital; Tehran
  • Main cities;  Mashhad, Esfahan, Tabriz, Shiraz, Yazd.
  • Population;  80,841,000 (As per the year 2014 estimates).
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and required.
  • Health requirements
  • Yellow fever certificate if arriving from an infected area; hepatitis A, polio, tetanus and typhoid immunization recommended.



  • Currency
  • Iranian rial (IRR) = 100 dinars. All foreign currency taken into the country must be declared. Exchange rate (Approximate IRR 25, 650= $ 1). Tipping (10 % for good service).
  • Time;  GMT + 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Electricity;  220 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving;  Traffic drives on the right. International driving licence recommended.
  • Public Holidays;  Include January 9; February 11; March 20 – 24; April 1- 2; May 2,16; June 3; July 18; August 11; September 24; October 2, 23,24; December 3,12. Includes some Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate.
  • Language;
  • Religion; Shia Muslim majority, with a Sunni Muslim minority.
  • Country Dial Code;  + 98
  • Getting there;  (Major gateway, including Tehran Mehrabad International (THR). Typical flying time from UK is 6 hours, while from New York, 17 hours via Instanbul or 20 hours via Dubai.
  • Transfers;  Tehran (3 miles / 5 km) bus 45 minutes; taxi 30 minutes
  • Departure Tax;  IRR 300,000 (£15- 40), usually included in the ticket price.
  • Climate;  Varies from continental to subtropical, with extremes of hot and cold.
  • Golestan Palace
  • Sa’d Abad museum complex
  • Masjed – e shah.


  • Capital;  Jakarta
  • Main cities; Surabaya, Medan, Bandung, Makassar, Semarang, Palembang
  • Population; 253, 609,643 (As per the year 2014 estimates).
  • Currency;  Rupiah (IDR) = 100 sen. US dollars, credit cards and travelers cheques accepted. Exchange rate (Approximate IDR 11,885= $1). Tipping (Tip 5 % to 10 %). Sometimes tipping in Indonesia is not normal practice, but often expected for special service.
  • Time;  GMT + 7 west (Jakarta), GMT + 8 central, GMT + 9 East.
  • Electricity;  110 / 220 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving;  On the left.  An International permit is accepted.
  • Public Holidays
  • Include January 1,3; February 18; March 21; April 3; May 1,3, 14,15; July 17,18; August 17; September 23; October 13; December 25,26. The list includes Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate.
  • Language;   Tribal languages are also spoken.
  • Religion; Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Catholic, Buddhist.
  • Country Dial Code; +62
  • Getting there;  (Major gateways, including Soekarno – Hatta (CGK), Denpasar Bali Ngurah Rai (DPS). Typical flying time from UK; 16 hours 30 minutes to Jakarta via Singapore / Kuala lumpur; 18 hours to Denpasar (Bali) via Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur. From Los Angeles, 20.5 hours via Singapore.
  • Visa requirements; Visa is vital and required.
  • Health requirements; Yellow fever certificate if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, polio, tetanus and typhoid recommended. Malaria precautions should be considered, although Main cities and tourist areas are not generally at risk.
  • Transfers;  Jakarta (11 miles / 18 km) bus; taxi 45 minutes; Denpasar, Bali (9 miles / 15 km) bus; taxi 45 minutes.
  • Departure Taxi;  IDR 150,000 (£8.10)
  • Ports; Tanjung  Benoa (Bali), Belawan (Medan), Dumai, Padang.
  • Climate
  • Indonesia has wide climatic variations. The large Islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok and Borneo are hot, humid and wet in the lowlands, with rainfall throughout the year, but the amount and intensity depends to a large extent on whether it is the north monsoon (November to March) or south monsoon (May to September). Ball enjoys sunshine year round.
  • Accommodation
  • Indonesia offers a selection of luxury hotels and resorts along beaches, on secluded mountains or in city centres across the country. Medium sized three – star hotels can be found in many cities as well as in holiday resorts. For those on a budget, clean and friendly homestays or los men are available in Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bali, Bandung, Lombok and some other destinations.
  • Major Events in Indonesia
  • Bali Spirit Festival (March)
  • Java Jazz Festival (March)
  • Bali Arts Festival (June – July)
  • Sanur Village Festival (August)
  • Kuta Karnival, Bali (September)
  • Asmat Cultural Festival (October)
  • Bandung International Folklore Festival (October)
  • Krakatau Festival  ( October )
  • Wayang Kulit (shadow puppets), Yogya karta
  • Ubud Cultural Centre, Bali
  • Prambanan Temple Complex
  • Borobudur Temple Complex, Java
  • Kintaman village
  • Eka Raya Botanical Garden
  • Pengeli Puran, a traditional Bali Village
  • Monkey Forest, Kedaton
  • Tanah Lot Temple, Bali
  • Gili Islands, Lombok
  • Munduk and Git – Git waterfalls, Bali
  • Bromo – Tengger – Semeru National Park
  • Tirta Gangga village and rice paddies, Bali.
  • What to eat and drink
  • Indonesian cuisine is diverse. Sumatra’s cuisine shows Indian characteristics, with curried meat and vegetables, while Javanese cuisine and Sundanese cuisine are more indigenous. Popular meals such as nasi goring, gado gado, sate and soto are considered Indonesian national dishes. Jasmine tea, green tea and coffee are the favourite Indonesian beverages.
  • What to buy
  • Puppets, bags, silver, batik, hand – woven cloths, textiles, wood carvings.


  1. How easy is it to get around Indonesia?

Answer;   There are train, bus and ship connections. Roads on Java, Bali and Lombok, and in parts of Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi, are good for inter – province travel by car or coach. Rail travel is possible all across Java and for short Journeys in north and south Sumatra. Metered taxis or cars can be hired in all large cities.

  1. How rich is the wildlife of Indonesia?

Answer;   Indonesia has some of the world’s most varied wildlife, including 1,480 species of birds (16 % of the world’s total) and 500 species of Mammal. More than half of Indonesia is covered in rainforest and only 6,000 of its 17,000 plus Islands are inhabited, so eco-tourism is a fast – growing sector.

  • Described as the “Island of the Gods”. Bali is just one of more than 18,000 Islands wedged into the Indonesian archipelago. This deeply spiritual Isle enjoys a bountiful backdrop of rich forests, soaring mountains, ancient shrines and long, golden beaches that stretch inland to lush hillsides terraced with green and gold rice paddies. Tag along with partygoers in Seminyak, rice impressive swells in Padang Padang or alternatively, get spiritual with yogis in ubud’s tropical rainforest.
  • A patch of peaceful jungle in Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest is home to a band of cheeky long – tailed Balinese macaques. Within the Sanctuary, there are three holy temples, including a Holy Bathing Temple, a second, which is used for cremation ceremonies and Pura Dalem Agung or the Great Temple of Death. Despite the Ominous – sounding name, this shrine is a gorgeously ornate example of ancient Hindu architecture.
  • Majestically set along the slopes of the Mount Agung volcano, Pura Besakih, or the mother Temple, is the Island’s largest Hindu temple, with stone bases dating back at least 2,000 years. Along parallel ridges, a series of separate temples comprise stepped terraces with courtyards and brick gateways that lead upwards towards the main spire. Once you reach the temple’s pinnacle, marvel at dramatic ocean panoramas and soaring mountains.


  • SHOP
  • If you fancy a new ensemble or even a couple of trendy Knick – Knacks, you will be hard put to find a better place for retail therapy than the Island’s largest traditional market – Denpasar’s Pasar Badung. The morning is the best time to visit this buzzing Indonesian bazaar to take in smells of fresh coffee, rich spices and sweet fruit. After a sensory overload, head upstairs to bargain for local handicrafts.


  •  EAT
  • Stuffed and infused with a spicy potion of cilantro, lemongrass, turmeric, garlic and black pepper, Bali’s famed roast suckling pig is spit- roasted and carved up with a side of savory rice and veg. Elbow your way into Ibu oka, a roadside warung in ubud, for a plate of the best babi guling (suckling pig) around .The famous dish at this Island institution has even impressed the likes of chef Anthony Bourdain.
  • BAR
  • Perched high on a cliff with stunning views of Jimbaran Bay, the Rock Bar is the perfect place to grab a fresh bite of seafood or sip tropical cocktails and pineapple beer.
  • VIEW
  • One of the most striking views in Bali is also one of the holiest. Apparently the work of a 15th – century priest, Tanah Lot is perched on a large rock in Tabanan and looks out toward the Ocean. Grab a chilled coconut drink before heading toward the Ocean. Grab a chilled coconut drink before heading toward raised cliff near the temple where you can catch the sun setting behind the picturesque sanctuary.


  • Bali has a tropical climate with an average temperature of around 33C all year. The dry season from April to September is generally sunnier and less humid, and August is the perfect time to visit the Island.
  • Lush green rice terraces, magnificent volcanoes and beaches lapped by the Indian ocean have long attracted tourists to Bali’s shores.
  • UBUD
  • The cultural centre of Bali, this town is famous for its arts and craft shops, plus performances of traditional dance and music. Dine in any of the many wonderful restaurants and enjoy scenic walks past rice paddies nearby.
  • Kuta beach may be the most famous, but Jimbaran, only 10 minutes away, is far superior with a sweeping white sandy bay, a fabulous fish market and an array of mouth – watering, affordable fish restaurants.
  • The hike to the top may not be easy, but the views are spectacular, especially at sunset.
  • SPAS
  • Good day spas are abundant and many hotels have fabulous facilities, too. The Balinese are renowned for their massage techniques that involve stretching, skin rolling and palm and thumb pressure to release tension and induce calmness.
  • FOOD
  • Balinese cooking revolves around spices (such as turmeric, nutmeg, garlic, ginger, saffron, basil, cardamon and lemon grass), often accompanied by coconut milk, which adds a rich flavour and creamy texture to vegetables, poultry, meat and fish. The result is very tasty but not unbearably hot, as long as you avoid the small green chillies.
  • Major hotel groups have invested in new property recently and Bali offers everything from budget to luxurious accommodation.


  • Capital; Kingston
  • Main cities; Montego Bay, Spanish Town, Ocho Rios, Negril
  • Currency;  Jamaican dollar (J$) = 100 cents. US dollars and Sterling widely accepted, as are major credit cards. Exchange rate (Approximate J$ 111 = $1).  Tipping (Most hotels and restaurants include a service charge, otherwise add 10 – 15 %. Porters and waiters expect a tip and taxi drivers 10 % of the fare).
  • Time;   GMT – 5
  • Electricity; 110 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving;  Traffic drives on the left.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; February 18; April 3,6; May 23; August 1,3; October 19; December 25,26.
  • Language;   Local dialect is called Patois.
  • Religion; Christian and various beliefs, including Rastafarian.
  • Country Dial Code;  +1876
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and required. Visitors are usually granted entry for a maximum of 90 days.
  • Health requirements
  • A yellow fever certificate is required for travelers arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and Polio are recommended.
  • Climate
  • Jamaica has a tropical climate, with almost no seasonal variation in humidity and temperature. There is an average of eight hours’ sunshine a day year – round. Rainfall on the Island is mainly between May and October, with the risk of the odd hurricane during September.
  • Getting there;  (Major gateways, including Kingston Norman Manley International Airport (KIN), Montego Bay Donald Sangster International Airport (MBJ). Typical flying time from Miami is 4 hours, while from UK is 9 hours 30 minutes.
  • Departure Taxi;  J $ 1,000 (US $ 11.75)
  • Transfers; Kingston (11 miles / 17 km) taxi 30 minutes, bus 60 minutes; Montego Bay (2 miles / 3 km)
  • Ports;  Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Port Antonio, Kingston, Falmouth.
  • Getting Around
  • There are no trains on the Island and local bus services, although cheap, tend to be unreliable licenced JUTA taxis have set rates for longer journeys. Car rental is widely available on the Island, although the minimum age for renting is 25. Domestic air service operates Island – wide.
  • Accommodation
  • There is a range of good – quality hotels, guest houses, villas and self – catering apartments. There is no recognized hotel grading system in Jamaica, cost generally being the best guide to quality.
  • Major Events in Jamaica
  • Jamaica Jazz & Blue Festival (January)
  • Jamaica Carnival (February – April)
  • Ocho Rios Jazz Festival (June)
  • Reggae  Sumfest (July)
  • Rose Hall Triathalon (November)
  • Reggae Marathon (December)
  • Bob Marley Museum, Kingston
  • Devon House, Kingston
  • Rose Hall Great House, Montego Bay
  • Martha Brae Rafting, Falmouth
  • Dunn’s River Falls, Ocho Rios
  • Firefly, Ocho Rios
  • Navy Island, Port Antonio
  • Rio Grande Rafting
  • YS Falls, South Coast.
  • The Blue Mountains
  • Pirates Paradise Waterpark, Montego Bay
  • South Coast River Safari
  • Lovers’ Leap – South Coast
  • Boston Beach Jerk Stop, for authentic – style jerk
  • Dolphin Cove, Ocho Rios
  • Mystic Mountain Bobsled and Skylift Attraction, Ocho Rios.
  • Beach and Watersports.
  • What buy;
  • Jamaican crafts / clothes, curios, carvings, spices, fabrics, rum, coffee and music.
  • What to eat and drink
  • Ackee and Saltfish (Salted cod). Jerk is a traditional method of cooking meat pork, chicken and fish are local favourites. To drink, there is Red stripe beer, along with coffee and local rum.
  • How old is the name Jamaica?

Answer;   The first Map on which Jamaica appears was made by Bartolome Colombo, Christopher’s younger brother, to illustrate the Admiral’s fourth voyage. He spelled it Jamaicha.

  • Is there an age limit for drinking in public bars?

Answer;   You must be aged 16 or over to drink in public



  • Capital; Tokyo
  • Main cities; Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Kyoto, Sapporo, Kobe, Fukuoka
  • Population; 128,057,352 (As per the year 2012 estimates).
  • Currency;  Yen (¥). Most major credit cards accepted. Cash or travellers’ cheques in Yen or US dollars recommended. Exchange rate (Approximate ¥ 101 = $ 1). Tipping (Not necessary. A service charge of 10 % is added to checks at some restaurants).
  • Time;  GMT + 9
  • Electricity;  100 volt s. An adaptor is required.
  • Driving; Is on the left in Japan. An International driving permit is required.
  • Public Holidays
  • Include January 1,12; February 11; March 21; April 29; May 4,5,6; July 20; September 21,22,23; October 12; November 3,23; December 23;
  • Language;   English is widely spoken, especially in major cities.
  • Religion;  Shinto and Buddhism are the main religions.
  • Country Dial Code;  + 81
  • Visa requirements; Visa is essential and required.
  • Health requirements;
  • Climate
  • Temperate, with four distinct seasons - cool to cold winters, warm to hot summers, and mid springs and autumns. But while the south of Japan is in the subtropical belt, the north of the country is in the sub – arctic climate zone. The wettest period of the year is from mid – June to mid – July and there is a risk of typhoons in September and early October.
  • Getting there;  (Major gateways – including Tokyo Narita International (NRT), Haneda, Tokyo (HND), Kansai International, Osaka (KIX), Central Japan International, Nagoya (NGO). Typical flying time from UK is 12 hours, while from Los Angeles is 11.5 hours, and from New York is 13.5 hours.
  • Transfers
  • Narita to Tokyo (41 miles /66 km) Narita Express 53 minutes, Narita Sky Access (to Nippori) 36 minutes, Airport limousine bus to Tokyo station 60 – 90 minutes; taxi 60 – 90 minutes. Haneda to Tokyo (12 miles / 20 km), Osaka (31 miles / 50 km), Nagoya (6 miles / 10 km).
  • Ports;  Osaka, Kobe, Hakata, Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Kagoshima, Naha, Aomori, Otaru, Hakodate.
  • Accommodation
  • There is a wide range of world class hotels, with most of the major groups represented; Japanese business – style hotels – cheaper but with fewer amenities; family – run pensions and resort hotels; ryokan (Japanese style inns); minshuku (Japanese inns, without maid service); shukubo (shrines and temples that offer overnight accommodation at a modest price); Kokumin shukusha (people’s lodges in National parks); and youth hostels, which are found throughout Japan.
  • Major Events in Japan
  • Snow Festival, Sapporo (February)
  • Grand Festival of the Toshogu shrine, Nikko (May)
  • Fireworks display, Sumida River, Asa Kusa, Tokyo (July)
  • Peace Ceremony, Hiroshima (August)
  • Festival of Eras, Heinan shrine, Kyoto (October).
  • Joh – shiya (Archery contest), Kyoto (January)
  • Omizutori or Water – Drawing Festival of Todaiji, Nara (March)
  • Takayama Festival ( April, October)
  • Aoi Matsuri or Hollyhock Festival of Shimogamo and Kamigamo shrines, Kyoto (May)
  • Sanja Matsuri of Asakusa shrine, Tokyo (May)
  • Sanno Matsuri, Hie jinja shrine, Tokyo (June)
  • Gion Matsuri, Kyoto (July)
  • Tenjin Matsuri, Osaka (July)
  • Peace Ceremony, Hiroshima (August)
  • Tanabata or Star Festival, Sendai (August)
  • Aomori Nebuta Matsuri and Hirusaki Neputa Matsuri (August)
  • Yabusame (Horseback archery) at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine, Kamakura (April, September and October).
  • Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages),  Heian shrine, Kyoto (October)
  • Shrines and temples of ancient capital Kyoto, including Kinkakuji (the Golden Pavilion) and Kiyomizu temple
  • Mount Fuji and the lakes and hotsprings of Hakone
  • Miyajima Island, near Hiroshima
  • Hiroshima Peace Park and Peace Memorial Museum
  • Tokyo’s shopping and nightlife
  • Nikko, Tochigi prefecture
  • Jigo kudani Yaen – Koen (Japanese snow monkeys in onsen), Nagano
  • Miyajima and Itsukushima Shinto shrine
  • Kenroku – en Garden, Kanazawa
  • Shirakawa – go (Shirakawa village)
  • Himeji castle
  • Nikko
  • What to eat and drink
  • Sushi (raw fish served with rice and dried (sea weed); tempura (fish and vegetables fried in a light batter); Yakitori (barbecued chicken); Yakiniku(barbecued beef); unagi (eel served with rice); shabu shabu (beef and vegetable slices cooked in light broth and dipped in various sauces);noodles, okonomiyaki (savoury pancakes). Beverages include sake (rice wine)
  • What to buy
  • Pearls, electronic goods in Tokyo’s Akihabara (Electric Town), cameras and optical goods, watches and clocks, lacquerware, silk goods.


  • Capital; Amman
  • Main cities;  Zarqa, Irbid;
  • Population;  7,930,491 (As per the year 2014 estimates).
  • Currency
  • Jordanian dinar (JD) = 100 piastres. Major credit cards accepted. Exchange rate (Approximate JD 0.70 = $ 1). Tipping (Hotels and restaurants generally include service; a tip of up to 15 % rewards good service.
  • Time;  GMT + 2
  • Electricity
  • 220 / 240 volts. Adaptor may be required
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the right.
  • Public Holidays;  Include January 1,30; May 1; June 18; July 17; November 14; December15;
  • Language;   English is widely spoken.
  • Religion;  Muslim, Christian
  • Country Dial Code; + 962
  • Visa requirements; Visa is vital and required
  • Health requirements;  Hepatitis, Polio, tetanus and typhoid immunization recommended.
  • Climate
  • Some 90 % of the country is desert, with hot and sunny summers. Winters can be cold, with snow on high ground, but in the Jordan valley the winters are mild. The north west is the wettest part of the country, with most rain falling between November and April. Spring and autumn are best time to visit Jordan.
  • Major Events in Jordan
  • Amman International Theatre Festival (April)
  • Amman Dead Sea ultra-Marathon (April)
  • Jordanian International Rally (May)
  • Distant Heat Concert and Dance Festival (July)
  • Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts (July / August)
  • Ramadan and Eid al – Fitr (September/ October).
  • Petra, the Rose Red City.
  • Biblical Sites
  • Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth
  • Jerash, with Greco – Roman ruins.
  • Amman, Jordan’s capital
  • Wadi Rum, the desert site
  • Madaba and Mt Nebo
  • Kerak castle
  • Aqaba
  • Dana Nature Reserve
  • Roman Theatre, Amman
  • Citadel, Amman
  • Qusayr Amra
  • National Archaelogical Museum, Amman
  • Getting there;  (Major gateways – including Amman Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), King Hussein International Airport (AQJ). Typical flying time from New York is 12 hours, while from UK is 5 hours.
  • Transfers;  Amman (20 miles / 32 km) taxi 30 minutes
  • Departure Taxi;  JD 20 (£17. 30), included in ticket price.
  • Port;  Aqaba
  • Accommodation
  • Hotels in Jordan are officially classified from one to five stars; there are also simple guesthouses, lodges in nature reserves and some official campsites. Local operators offer Bedouin tent accommodation on tours.
  • What to eat and drink
  • The selection of small starters is called mezze. Typical Arab dishes include Mansaf (whole stewed lamb cooked in a yoghurt sauce on rice), maglouba (Meat or fish and vegetable stew), Musakhan (chicken with onions and pine nuts baked on Arabic bread), and shish kebab (minced and spiced meat cooked over charcoal with onions and tomatoes). Unlevened bread called khubz comes with every meal. Desserts are usually baklava style. The local aperitif is arak (aniseed liqueur) served with water and Ice). Tea is drunk black and sweet and usually infused with mint, thyme or sage. Turkish coffee is the normal drink, although Bedouin coffee with cardamom is also drunk.
  • What to buy
  • Bedouin handicrafts, heads carves, pottery, hand – made gold and silver items, carved olive wood, weaving (tents, cushions, bags), ceramics, glassware, dried herbs, Jams, Dead sea health products.
  1. How far is Petra from Amman?

Answer;   Petra is 62 miles from the capital Amman. The Journey by car takes around three – and – a  half hours.

  1. Do people speak English?

Answer;   Yes, English is widely spoken in Jordan

  1. What currency should I take to Jordan?

Answer;   Dinar or sterling, US dollars or euro, which can be easily changed in Jordan

  1. Where are the Ma’ In hotsprings?

Answer; The hotsprings are located in a valley between Madaba and the Dead sea.

  1. Where are the best diving locations?

Answer;   There are around 13 scuba diving sites off Jordan’s Aqaba coast, where there are virtually untouched expanses of coral. Prince Abdullah Reef is a highlight, several hundred metres long.

  1. What sort of animals are likely to be seen in the natures reserves?

Answer;   You will find the rare Nubian Ibex, Arabian oryx, ostriches, gazelles and onagers in reserves such as the Dana Biosphere Reserve.



  • Capital;  Astana
  • Main cities;  Almaty, Shymkent, Karaganda, Semey and Aktobe
  • Population;  17,207, 584 (As per the year 2013 estimates)
  • Currency;  Tenge (KZT) = 100 tiyin. Credit cards and travelers’ cheques accepted in the main tourist places. Exchange rate (Approximate KZT 183 = $1 Tipping ( Not customary).
  • Time:  GMT +5 (west); GMT + 6 (Central and East)
  • Electricity;  220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the left.  International driving licence required.
  • Public Holidays;  Include January 1,2; March 8, 21 – 23; May 1, 7, 9; August 30; December 1, 16 – 17
  • Language;  Kazakh, Russian
  • Religion;  Islam, Russian Orthodox are the main religions
  • Country Dial Code;  + 7
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and required
  • Health requirements
  • Yellow fever certificate if arriving from infected area. An AIDS – free certificate is required for visits in excess of one month. Hepatitis, Polio, tetanus and typhoid immunization recommended.
  • Climate
  • With a large area of desert and plains, the country endures hot, dry summers from June to the end of September and bitterly cold winters, the exception being the stretch of Caspian Sea coastline. Humidity in Kazakhstan is generally low and the wettest months are April and May. Average temperatures in Kazakhastan range from – 15C to – 20C in winter up to 35C to 40C in summer.
  • Getting there; ( Major gateways – Including Astana (TSE), Almaty (ALA) International Airports). Typical flying time from UK is 7 hours, while from New York, 16 hours via Frankfurt.
  • Transfers;  Almaty (6 miles / 10 km) bus 20 minutes; taxi 20 minutes
  • Departure tax; Included in the ticket price.
  • Port; Aktau
  • Celestial Mountains
  • Charyn Canyon
  • Medell High Mountain – Skating Stadium
  • Arasan Bath House
  • Aya Attraction Park
  • National Opera House
  • Zenkov Cathedral, Almaty
  • What to eat and drink
  • Fresh lamb and beef features on Kazakh menus. Dishes include shashlyk (Mutton Kebabs), lepeshka (Unleavened bread), laghman (noodles with spicy meat based sauce and plov (mutton, rice and turnip).Drinks include good red wine, excellent beer, vodka and horse milk; Kazakh chai (tea) is a popular beverage.
  • What to buy
  • Carpets, handicrafts, jewellery.


  1. Where is Kazakhstan?

Answer; Kazakhstan is the second – largest of the former soviet republics after Russia, extending across central Asia from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east. The country’s long northern border is shared with Russia, and it borders Turkmenistan, Uz bekistan and Kyrgyzstan to the south.

  1. What are the major cities of Kazakhstan?

Answer; Kazakhstan’s chief cities are Almaty (Population 1.2 million as per the year 2014 estimates), the capital Astana (600,000 – as per the year 2014 estimates), Shymkent (539,600 –  as per the year 2014 estimates), Karaganda (446,000 – as per the year 2014 estimates), Semey (340,000 – as per the year 2014 estimates) and Aktobe (320,000 – as per the year 2014 estimates).

  1. Is Kazakhstan a mountainous country?

Answer; The highest point in Kazkhastan is the Khan – Tengri, at 20, 991ft / 6,398 metres. The lowest point in the country is the Mangyshiak Depression, which is 433ft / 132 metres below sea level.



  • Capital;  Bishkek
  • Main cities;  Osh, Jalal – Abad
  • Population;  5, 192, 100, (As per the year 2011 estimates)


  • Currency;  Som (KGS) = 100 tyin. Credit cards and travellers cheques accepted in top hotels. Travellers are recommended to take US dollars. Hard currencies generally accepted. Exchange rate (Approximate KGS 51 = $ 1). Tipping (Now the norm in hotels and restaurants; 8 – 10 % for most services).



  • Time; GMT + 5
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the right.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,7; March 8, 21; May 1, 5, 9; July 18; August 31; September 23.
  • Language; Russian in urban areas; Kyrgyz in rural parts.
  • Religion; Sunni Muslim with Russian Orthodox minority
  • Country Dial Code;  + 996
  • Visa requirements;  Visa is essential and required.
  • Health requirements;
  • Precautions against hepatitis A, polio and typhoid are recommended before travel.
  • Climate
  • The summer months are hot, dry and sunny; it is cooler in the mountains, the peaks of which have snow all year. Winter can be bitterly cold, but is short. There is on average 247 sunny days a year.
  • Getting there;  (Major gateway – including Bishkek Manas International (FRU). Typical flying time from UK  is  8 hours.
  • Transfers
  • Bishkek (14 miles /23 km) bus 45 minutes; mini bus 30 minutes; taxi 20 minutes; car 20 minutes.
  • Departure Taxi; US $ 10.

                 FAST FACTS

  • Capital; Kuwait City
  • Population;  3, 051, 000 (As per the year 2010 estimates)


  • Currency;  Kuwait dinar (KWD) = 1,000 fls. Credit cards widely accepted. ATMs are widely available in Kuwait. Exchange rate (Approximate KWD 0.28 = $ 1). Tipping (Expected in top restaurants. 10 % is acceptable).
  • Time;  GMT + 3
  • Electricity; 240 volts. Adaptor may be required.
  • Driving; On the right. International driving licence is required for Kuwait.
  • Public Holidays;  Include January 1, 3; February 25, 26; May 16; July 18; September 23; October13; The list also includes Muslim - Festivals, the dates of which are approximate.
  • Language;  Arabic and English
  • Religion;  Sunni Muslim
  • Country Dial Code; + 965
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and required
  • Health requirements
  • Precautions against hepatitis A, polio and typhoid are recommended before travel.
  • Climate
  • From April to October, conditions are hot and humid with very little rain. It is cooler in Kuwait from November to March, when there is some rainfall in the country.
  • Getting there;  (Major gateway – including Kuwait (KWI). Typical flying time from New York is 12 hours, while from UK is 6 hours.
  • Transfers; Kuwait City (10 miles / 16 km) bus 30 minutes; taxi 20 minutes
  • Departure Taxi;  KD 2 (£ 4.75)
  • Port; Kuwait City.


  • Capital; Pristina
  • Main cities;  Prizren, Ferizaj Peje, Gjakava, Mitrovica.
  • Population; 2,000,000 (As per the year 2012 estimates)
  • Currency;  Euro = 100 cents. Generally expected to pay in cash. Credit cards are not widely accepted, but there are a small number of ATMs in Pristina, which accept International bank cards. Exchange rate (Approximate Euro 1. 18 = £ 1). Tipping (10 % in restaurants is customary, but not compulsory.
  • Time;  GMT + 1
  • Electricity; 220 volts.
  • Driving;  On the right.
  • Public Holidays;  Include January 1, 7; February 17; April 9, 21; May 1, 9; July 28; October 4; December 25. Other Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate, and Christian holidays are celebrated.
  • Language;  Albanian, Serbian, Bosniak and Turkish
  • Religion;  Muslim with Serbian Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.
  • International Dial Code;  + 381
  • Visa requirements;  Visa is essential and required.
  • Health requirements; Precautions against hepatitis A, B, rabies and tetanus are recommended before travel
  • Climate;  Predominantly continental, resulting in warm summers and cold winters with Mediterranean and also alpine influences.
  • Getting there;  (Major gateway – Including Pristina International Airport Adem Jashari (PRN). Typical flying time from UK is 2 hours, 30 minutes.
  • Transfers;  Pristina (11 miles / 18 km) car 30 minutes.


  • Capital;  Seoul
  • Main cities;  Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Daejeon, Gwangju, Ulsan.
  • Population;   49, 039, 986 (As per the year 2014 estimates)
  • Currency; Won (W). Use sterling and dollar travelers cheques; visa credit cards widely accepted. Exchange rate (Approximate W 1, 011 = $ 1). Tipping (Tipping is not a tradition in Korea as a 10 % service charge is generally added to the bill).
  • Time;  GMT + 9
  • Electricity;  110 / 220 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving;  Traffic drives on the left. Drivers must be atleast 21 years of age and have a minimum of one year’s driving experience, along with an international driving licence.
  • Public Holidays;  Include January 1; February 18-20; March 1,5; June 6; August 15; September 26 – 29; October 3, 9; December 25.
  • Language;  Korean
  • Religion;   Mahayana Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant.
  • Country Dial Code;  + 82
  • Visa requirements;  Visa is essential and important.
  • Health requirements;  Precautions against hepatitis A, polio and typhoid are recommended before travel.
  • Climate
  • Spring (from April – June) and fall (September – early November) are usually the best times of the year to visit the country. Summers tends to be hot and bring torrential rains and wet weather, while winters can be especially harsh in Korea, as it is bitterly cold with regular snowfall.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways – Including Incheon (ICN), Gimpo (GMP), Busan Gimhae (PUS), Jeju (CJU), Daegu (JAE). Typical flying time from Los Angeles,11 hours; from New York, 14 hours, while from Uk is 11 hours.
  • Departure tax;  W 15,000 ($ 13)
  • Transfers
  • Seoul (30 miles / 48 km), limo buses serve city air terminal and major hotels 60 – 90 minutes; airport express bus and taxi 50 minutes. Air Rail Express direct from Incheon Airport to Seoul central station. Busan (18 miles / 29 km) airport express bus; Limousine bus jeju; airport express bus Limousine bus;
  • Ports;  Busan, Incheon, Mokpo, Sokcho, Pohang, Geoje, Tongyeong, Yeosu, Jeju.
  • Getting Around;  In expensive and extensive air, rail, bus, express coach and underground services operate in Seoul and Busan. Car rental is available, but a car with driver is highly recommended.
  • Accommodation
  • Broad range of registered local and International brand hotels in five grades; super deluxe, deluxe, first, second and third class. Cheaper alternatives are Yeogwans (traditional Korean Inns ) and Youth hostels. Refer to the hotel reservation section at (visit Also Home stay (Stay with a Korean family) and Hanok stay (stay in a traditionally built Korean House), the “labo” (www.labo, and Lex Youth Korea (, with  the price for two people per room per night around £ 30. In the temple stay programme (accommodation section of www.visit, You can experience Buddhist traditions and Life style by  staying at a participating  temple. ‘Benikea – best night in Korea” – is a selection of mid-range budget hostels (
  • Major Events in Korea (South Korea )
  • Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, Gangwon – do (January)
  • Apricot Blossorn Festival, Machwa village (March)
  • Gurye Sansuyu Festival, Lake Park, Seoul (April)
  • Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival, Jeju – do (April)
  • Chuncheon International Mime Festival, Chuncheon, Gangwon – do (May)
  • Icheon Ceramics Festival (May / June), Incheon
  • Gangjin Celadon Cultural Festival, Gangjin (August)
  • Chungju World Martial Arts Festival, Chungju – Si (September)
  • Jarasum International Jazz Festival, Gapyeong – gun (September)
  • Namdo Food Festival, Naganeupseong Folk Village, Suncheon – Si (October)
  • Pusan International Film Festival, Busan (October)


  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites; Seo Kguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple
  • Haeinsa Temple Changgyong P’ango, the Depositories for the Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks.
  • Jeju Volcanic Island & Lava Tubes, voted one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature
  • Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty
  • Jongmyo Shrine
  • Changdeo Kgung Palace Complex
  • Hwaseong Fortress, Suwon
  • Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa dolmen sites
  • Gyeongju historic areas
  • Jeju Island; resorts and beaches, golf, rock, climbing and more ‘soft’ adventure.
  • What to eat and drink
  • Each region of Korea has its specialities, but Kimchi is the national dish – a fermented vegetable dish, seasoned with red pepper and garlic, that is served at virtually every meal. Bulgogi (thin,  tender slices of beef marinated in a sessoned sauce, cooked over a hot charcoal grill at the table), galbi (short ribs of beef or Pork) and soliongt’ang (rich beef noudle soup) are among the most popular dishes. Drinks include tea, various types of Soju (rice liquer), tongdongju(rice aperitif) and rice, crab apple and chrysanthemum wines.
  • What to buy
  • Electronics, designer label clothes; folk crafts, quartz jewellery, watches, sports gear, trainers, ginseng, hard – tailored clothes, silks, cameras.
  • SEOUL; The Korean capital is a fascinating, lively city of more than 10 million people, where skyscrapers sit alongside ancient palaces, shrines and gardens. The GyeongboKgung palace, built in 1395, is home to the National Folk Museum of Korea. The Namsangol Hanok village is another good stop, featuring traditional Korean homes from the Joseon Dynasty. The Bongeunsa, a Buddhist temple founded in AD 794, offers a Temple stay programme for visitors. Just outside the city, the Namsan Park cable car takes visitors to the Maritime aquarium and botanical gardens. Lotte world is the world’s largest Indoor theme park, while the 1988 Olympic Park and stadium is another attraction. There are good antique shops and art galleries in the Insa – dong alleyways.
  • JEJU ISLAND; The “Island of the Gods” is a popular holiday spot and a top honeymoon destination for Koreans. The island’s mixture of volcanic rock, frequent rain and temperate climate make it very similar to the Hawaiian islands. Jeju offers visitors a wide range of activities; hiking on Halla – san (South Korea’s highest peak), catching sunrises and sunsets over the ocean, viewing majestic waterfalls, riding horses and sunbathing on the sandy beaches. The island contains the natural World Heritage Site jeju volcanic island and Lava Tubes.



  • SONGNISAN NATIONAL PARK; This park offers great views of eight peaks, one of which, Munjangdae, is home to Popschusa, one of Korea’s most impressive temples. The cherry blossom in spring, the green pine forest in summer, and the lovely autumn leaves in autumn make this a beautiful place to visit all year round while the various deep valleys and the many natural monuments attract countless mountaineers and tourists.
  • PANMUNJOM; Otherwise known as the “Truce village”, it sits in the middle of the Demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. Each year, thousands of tourists come here from Seoul to see the Poker – faced North Korean soldiers.
  • SEONGNAMSA; This majestic temple is situated at the end of a five - mile walk along stone paths through bamboo trees.
  • KOREAN FOLK VILLAGE; Located 30 miles / 48 km from Seoul, the Folk village has show cased all aspects of traditional Korean life for the past 35 years.
  • GYEONGJU; The southern city, once the ancient capital of the Silla Kingdom, is now an open – air museum containing ruins, temples and royal tombs.


  • Capital; Nairobi
  • Main cities; Mombasa, Kisumu.
  • Population; 43,180,000(As per the year 2012 estimates).
  • Currency; Kenya shilling (Kshs). All major credit cards accepted and US dollars also widely accepted. Exchange rate (Approximate Kshs 87 = $1). Tipping (most major hotels and restaurants include a service charge. Tipping is not obligatory. Porters at airports, hotels or lodges may be tipped $ 1 per piece of baggage. A gratuity of 10 % is customary at restaurants and bars where a service charge is not included. Note that on safaris, tips are considered part of the pay. A tip for your guide $ 2 to $ 5 per person per day is appropriate.
  • Time; GMT + 3
  • Electricity; 230/ 240 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the left. International driving licence is recommended.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; April 6; May1; June 1; October 10, 21; December 12,25,26;
  • Language; Kiswahili, with English widely spoken. Also local languages
  • Religion; Christian majority, traditional beliefs, Islam.
  • Country Dial Code; +254
  • Getting there; (Major gateways, including Jomo Kenyatta(NBO), Mombasa Moi International (MBA). Typical flying time from UK is 8 hours, while from New York, 17 hours via Heathrow; from Atlanta 19.5 hours via Dakar, Senegal
  • Departure Tax; Included in the cost of the airline ticket.
  • Transfers; Nairobi (10 miles/ 16 km) taxi 20 minutes, bus 40 minutes; Mombasa (8 miles/ 13 km) taxi, bus 20 minutes.
  • Port;
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and required
  • Health requirements
  • Yellow fever immunisation is essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid, polio, cholera and malaria recommended, also meningitis, depending on area of the country being visited.
  • Climate
  • Nairobi’s altitude ensures a pleasant climate throughout the year. The coastal area of Mombasa is tropical, with hot and humid conditions but tempered by sea breezes; there can be heavy rainfall during April and May and to a lesser extent, October and November. The lowlands inland are generally cooler, with the risk of frost and even snow during winter months.
  • Black cabs or Kematco taxis are the recommended way of getting around the larger urban areas of Kenya. Car rental is available, but it is generally on the expensive side. Major roads are paved, but they are variable in quality. Roads in the north of the country are generally poor. There is an extensive network of domestic flights in operation. Safari operators will arrange the majority of transfers upon request.
  • Accommodation
  • As well as hotels of all grades, Kenya offers lodge and tented accommodation for visitors to its safari Parks. Many lodges have their own swimming pool; tented lodges are permanently pitched tents, fully furnished, that provide a cross between the more expensive luxury lodges and traditional tented camps, which may not be very spacious but still tend to offer en – suite bathrooms.


  • Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city
  • Nairobi National Park, home to zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, giraffe, rhino, cheetah, and lions.
  • Maasai Mara National Game Reserve
  • Samburu and Buffalo Springs
  • Fourteen Falls, 88ft high waterfalls in Thika
  • Amboseli, Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks.
  • Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Mount Kenya and the Aberdares National Parks
  • Bamburi Nature Park
  • Daphne Sheldrick Sanctuary
  • Lake Elementeita, a small sode Lake in the Great Rift Valley.
  • Mombasa Old Town
  • Hell’s Gate National Park
  • Kenya’s 300 miles/ 480 km of coastline
  • Watamu Turtle Watch
  • Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha, Lake Baringo
  • Treetops.


  • View the wildebeest migration from a hot – air balloon
  • See two million pink flamingos at Lake Nakuru
  • Walk half a mile into the Indian ocean at Mombasa
  • Dine with, and feed, the giraffes at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi.
  • See wild animals within minutes of a city at Nairobi National Park
  • Stay on the former coffee plantation of author Karen Blixen, who inspired the film Out of Africa.
  •  Play golf in both the northern and southern hemisphere in one round at Mt Kenya Safari Club.
  • Take in the breathtaking views of the Great Rift Valley.
  • Take a “running safari” alongside world – famous marathoners and Olympians in Eldoret.
  • View Africa’s largest lake, Lake Victoria, at the start of the Nile.
  •  Chill out on the beach. Malindi, by the Indian Ocean 80 miles northeast of the city of Mombasa, is one of the finest resorts in all of Kenya.


  • Kenya’s capital and largest city was once a brief stopover for travellers on a larger safari itinerary. Nairobi is now East Africa’s booming economic hub and is emerging as a trendy city break destination. Fusing metropolitan energy with surrounding wilderness, Nairobi has everything, from thrilling nightlife and Museums to nearbly waterfalls and national parks.
  • To spot four of the “Big 5”, you barely have to leave Nairobi. Only 7 km / 4.5 miles away from Kenya’s capital city is Nairobi National Park, an expanse of dry and riverine forests, savannah and grass plains. Against the bizarrely contrasting backdrop of city skyscrapers, Park wildlife includes the endangered black rhino and plenty of lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena and buffalo, as well as giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and eland.
  • From 1917 to 1931, the famed Out of Africa author, Karen Blixen, lived in what is now the Karen Blixen Museum. At the foot of the Ngong Hills, the museum remains a serene environment with tranquil gardens and indigenous forests. An intimate tour of the house reveals the Lantern that Blixen hung on her veranda to let her English lover, Denys Finch – Hatton, know she was at home.
  1. SHOP
  • For a bit of craft retail therapy, head to the open – air Maasai Market for piles of local curios, keep sakes and souvenirs. Running nearly daily from rotating venues throughout the city, visitors can purchase everything from brightly beaded Maasai jewellery and wooden – carved masks to woven baskets and batik paintings.
  1. VIEW
  • Internationally recognized as a symbol of the city, Kenya’s most famous skyscraper and architectural masterpiece is the Kenyatta International Conference Center (KICC). Head up to the building’s round, saucer – shaped viewing tower where panoramas stretch across the sprawling metropolis and as far as the Nairobi National Park on a very clear day.


  • “Big Five” safaris are available all over Sub – Saharan Africa, but Kenya was where the safari concept was born more than 50 years ago. There are plenty of Parks and price points for travellers to choose from, ranging from the famous Maasai Mara on the border with Tanzania to the enormous Tsavo East and West. Other national parks include Aberdare, Amboseli, Lake Nakuru and Mount Kenya. “Big Five” was a term coined by hunters to describe the toughest animals to hunt; lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and water buffalo.
  • On land, on the water, or in the air, Kenya has enough activities to keep the most experienced adrenalin junkies happy and some activities will demand more energy than others. The safari com Marathon is probably the most intensive workout, 26 miles / 41 km through some of the most stunning scenery on earth, with a strong international showing each June for the annual event. Trekking is popular, too. Mt Kenya tops out above 16,404ft, making it a challenge comparable to Mt Kilimanjaro. More gentle pursuits can be found in the form of golf and hot air ballooning.
  • Kenya’s Indian ocean coastline, with its fine sandy stretches, makes a beach/ safari twin - centre a splendid option. Kenya is thus a gentle introduction to Africa for first- timers who are not sure what to expect from the continent. Mombasa’s hotels, from budget three - stars to more exclusive four – stars, are largely all - inclusive and broadly serve a mix of families and couples. There is to do besides lying on the beach. Safaris form a popular excursion, from day trips to nearby Shimba Hills to two and three - night stays at the enormous Tsavo East and West Parks.
  • Kenya’s greatest asset, aside from its animals, is its people, consisting of nearly 50 tribes. The Maasai, who live in Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania along the Great Rift Valley, are the most wel l- Known and they still practise their traditional way of life, wearing the red robes and beaded jewellery for which they are famous. Not as militant as they once were, they raise cattle and live by the land. Tribal life is not the only influence on Kenyan society, as colonial history is still evident. On the coast in particular, Islamic culture is predominant.


  • The best known and most visited of Kenya’s National Parks is the Maasai Mara National Reserve. As well as offering breathtaking views, it provides a chance to see Kenya’s “Big Five”. The Maasai Mara (also called The Mara) is the best Park to visit to enjoy the spectacular and world - famous annual wildbeest migration that takes place across the Serengeti every year.
  • Kenya’s second most popular National Park after the Mara is Amboseli, located 160 milles from Nairobi, with stunning views of both Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru. In addition to the sunsets and sunrises over Kilimanjaro, visitors can take in an eclectic array of animals, including large herds of elephants, and wildlife habitats, such as swamps, from atop the Observation Hill.
  • Now a separate park from the original Tsavo, the Tsavo East National Park is popular with tourists from Kenya’s coast - it is less than 100 miles from Mombasa and is served by several airstrips. Tsavo East is home to the infamous “Man - Eaters of Tsavo” lions, as well as elephants, rhinos, birds and other wildlife.
  • Occupying 30% of Kenya’s total Park area, Tsavo West National Park is one of the country’s largest. Easily accessible from the Mombasa - Nairobi highway. It borders Tanzania to the South. Tsavo West offers tremendous views of diverse wildlife habitats, rocky ridges, acacia woudlands, semi- desert scrub and mountain forest.
  • About 95 miles northwest of Nairobi is Lake Nakuru National Park, popular for its large flocks of pink flamingos. For those who love birds and bird watching, Lake Nakuru offers a picturesque landscape and the park is home to more than 400 bird species, including greater and lesser flamingos, plus game animals such as the white rhino.
  • Samburu National Reserve is a rugged, semi - desert park that has remained almost undisturbed by mankind. In its remoteness, the park is an ideal retreat for those who enjoy calm and natural serenity. This former home to Elsa the lioness is full of bird life and Kenyan game animals, and is a great park to spot the elusive Kenya Leopard.
  • Mighty peaks, moorland, deep ravines, streams and cascading waterfalls define the spectacular landscape of Aberdare National Park, ideal for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers who also want a chance to view elephants, black rhinos and other game wildlife.
  • Each year, between June and September, more than a million wildebeest together with several hundred thousand zebra and Thompson’s gazelle, leave their breeding grounds in Tanzania’s Serengeti to move to the fertile pastures of Kenya’s Mara Plains, crossing the Mara River in the process. For scores of lions and crocodiles, it is a feeding opportunity not be missed. Seeing the vast numbers crossing, sometimes unsuccessfully is unforgettable.


  • Capital; Vientiane
  • Main cities; Luang Prabang, Savanna Khet, Kaysone Phomvihane city.
  • Currency; Lao kip (LAK) = 100 cents. In all major towns, Thaibaht and dollars are readily accepted in markets, hotels and restaurants. However, credit cards can be used in major  hotels in Vientiane. Exchange rate (Approximate LAK 8.064= $ 1). Tipping (Is not expected. Leave 10 % for good service)
  • Time; GMT + 7
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; On the right. International permit required.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1, 6, 20; February 19; March 8,22; April 13; May 1; June 1; July 1; December 2. The dates of Buddhist festivals are approximate
  • Language; Lao
  • Religion; Buddhist
  • Country Dial Code; + 856
  • Getting there; (Major gateway, including Vientiane (VTE) 2 miles / 3 km. Typical flying time from UK is 14 hours 30 minutes, while from New York is 21. 5 hours via Bangkok.
  • Departure Taxi; $ 10
  • Transfer; Vientiane (2 miles / 3 km). taxi 15 minutes
  • Visa requirements; Visa is essential and required.
  • Health requirements
  • Yellow fever certificate if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, Polio, tetanus, typhoid and Malaria.


  • Capital; Riga
  • Main cities; Liepaja, Jelgava, Valmiera,
  • Population; 2,229,500 (As per the year 2011 estimates).
  • Currency; Latvian lats (LVL) = 100 santims. Credit cards are widely accepted. Exchange rate (approximate EURO 0.73 = $ 1. Tipping (10 % expected in restaurants and taxis).
  • Time; GMT + 2
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the right. Driving with lights on is compulsory. International driving licence is accepted.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; April 5,8; May 1,4; June 23,24; November 18; December 25,26,31.
  • Language; Latvian, with Russian, English and German widely spoken.
  • Religion, Lutheran, Catholic and Russian Orthodox
  • Country Dial Code; + 371


  • Visa requirements; Latvia is party to the Schengen Agreement. No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement.
  • Health requirements; If visiting forested and rural areas between May and September, immunization against tick – borne encephalitis is recommended.
  • Latvia has a maritime climate.  In summer, temperatures average a warm 21C, while in winter they average a chilly – 4.8C, when snowfalls are common. Rainfalls year – round, but is heaviest in autumn.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways, including Riga (RIX), Liepaja (LPX). Typical flying time from UK is 2 hours 30 minutes, while from New York is 9 hours (direct flight).
  • Transfers; Riga (5 miles / 8 km), taxi 15 minutes, bus 30 minutes.
  • Ports; Riga, ventspils
  • Getting Around
  • Bus routes cover most of the country. The level of comfort and price varies according to individual routes and operators. Some routes are served by minibuses and express buses. There are good railway links connecting Riga with the rest of the country.
  • Accommodation
  • Hotels in all categories, tourist apartments and hostels are found in cities. In smaller towns and the countryside, visitors seeking accommodation will find guest houses, self – catering cottages, farmhouses and campsites.
  • Major Events in LATVIA
  • Baltic Ballet Festival, Riga (April)
  • International Riga Opera Festival, Riga (June)
  • Grass Market / Midsummer Festival, all around Latvia (June)
  • International Early Music Festival, Bauska (July)
  •  Riga City Festival, Riga (Augusti)
  • Latvian Song and Dance Festival, Riga (July)
  • Riga Old Town, the art nouveau district and Christmas Market.
  • Latvian National Opera
  • White Sand Beaches and Spa, in Jurmala
  • Rundale Palace
  • Sigulda and Turaida, Medieval Castles
  • Traditional Fishermen’s Houses and Lifestyle, Kurzeme
  • Northern Forts and Military Prison, Liepaja
  • Wooden Architecture, Kuldiga
  • Bird Watching and Nature Tourism in the National Parks; Pape Lake, Kemeri, Ligatne and Gauja
  • Gutmanis Cave, sSgulda.
  • Green Tourism and Countryside Spa, Marcienas Muiza
  • Hiking in Tervete Nature Park
  • Boating on the River Gauja
  • Taking a traditional sauna
  • Biking from Riga to Jurmala
  • What to eat and drink
  • Latvia’s cuisine has been strongly influenced by its neighbouring Baltic Countries. Common ingredients are found locally, such as potatoes, wheat, barley, cabbage, onions, eggs and pork. Rupjmaize is a dark bread made from rye.
  • Riga, the Latvian capital, is situated on the Daugava River. The city is rich in history and culture, with interesting museums and galleries, as well as many sophisticated bars and clubs.
  • For views of the city, head to St Peter’s church, where a platform around the spire offers 360 – degree views and helps first time visitors get their bearings before they begin to pound the cobblestone streets.
  • Another famous Riga landmark is the Dome Cathedral, renowned for its acoustics as well as its huge organ. The frequent organ concerts are worth attending, as are a number of festivals hosted in the city – particularly in summer - ranging from classical music and opera to Jazz and rock.
  • Those interested in Latvia’s history should visit Riga Castle, founded in 1330, rebuilt between 1497 and 1515, and now the residence of the country’s president. It is also the location of three museums.
  • Housed in enormous world war 1 Zeppelin hangars, it is one of Europe’s largest market places, where you will find everything from cheese to candles on sale
  • At the Museum of the occupation of Latvia, exhibits depict the atrocities committed against the Latvian people by Soviet and German forces. A more upbeat “must – see” close to the city centre is the Riga Motor Museum, featuring more than 100 stunning cars that once belonged to Soviet luminaries such as Gorky, Stalin and Brezhnev.


  • Capital; Beirut
  • Main cities; Tripoli, Baalbek, Sidon, Jounieh, Tyre
  • Population; 4,255,000 (As per the year 2010 estimates).


  • Currency; Lebanese Pound / Lira (LL). US dollars and major credit cards are widely accepted in Lebanon. Exchange rate (approximate L £ 1, 508 = $ 1). Tipping (Hotels / restaurants include service). Taxi drivers do not expect a tip.
  • Time; GMT + 2
  • Electricity; 110 / 220 volts. Adaptor may be required
  • Driving; On the right. Those wishing to drive their own car into Lebanon should note that vehicles with diesel engines are now banned.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,3,6; February 9; April 3,5,12; May 1,6,25; July 18; August 15; September 23; October 13,23; November 1,22; December 25. The list includes a number of Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate.
  • Language; Some English and French spoken; also Armenian.
  • Religion; Muslim Majority, also Christian.
  • Country Dial Code; + 961
  • Visa requirements
  • Visitors to Lebanon must have a valid passport for at least six months and a Lebanese visa. Holders of Passports containing an Israeli visa will be refused entry to Lebanon.
  • Health requirements
  • Precautions against hepatitis A and typhoid are recommended.
  • Climate
  • Lebanon’s climate is broadly Mediterranean, with four distinct seasons and more than 300 days of sunshine. The country experiences long warm, dry summers and mild winters, when most of year’s rainfall comes and snow covers the mountains.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway, including Beirut (BEY). Typical flying time from New York, 13 hours via Heathrow, while from UK is 5 hours.
  • Transfers
  • Beirut (6.2 miles / 10 km) bus 40 minutes; taxi 25 minutes
  • Departure Taxi
  • $ 33 for economy passengers, $50 for business class passengers.
  • Ports
  • Beirut, Sidon, Tripoli, Jounieh, Tyre.
  • Beirut, the Lebanese capital
  • The National Museum, Beirut
  • Sursock Museum of Modern Art, Beirut
  • Sahet el Borj (Martyr’s Square), Beirut
  • Ancient Byblos, one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities.
  • Baalbeck Ruins
  • Jeita Grotto
  • Tyre, featuring the Roman Hippodrome, one of the biggest in the world.
  • Sidon
  • Beiteddine Palace Complex from the Ottoman period
  • Tripoli
  • Cedars
  • Anjaar, the Umayyad city
  • Sheikh Abdullah Hill Quarry
  • Souqs
  • Palm Islands Reserve
  • Temple of Jupiter
  • Temple of Bacchus
  • Maghen Abraham Synagogue
  • Corniche
  • Citadel of Raymond de saint – Gilles
  • Great Omari Mosque
  • Al – Mina Excavations.
  • What to buy
  • Cedar engravings, handicrafts, wine, clothes, and also table decorations.
  • What to eat and drink
  • Lebanese cuisine, using fresh local vegetables and herbs, is considered the best in the Middle East. Specialities include hummus, mezze (up to 40 dishes eaten as hors d’ oeuvres,), Kibbe (Lamb or fish pounded to a paste and served raw, baked or fried, accompanied by cracked wheat), and lahm mishwi (mutton with onions, peppers and tomatoes). Desserts feature baked dough flavoured with nuts, cream and syrup, followed by local fresh fruit. Alcohol is freely available, including Lebanese wines, beers and arak, the national drink, brewed from grapes and flavoured with aniseed.
  • How many archaeological sites are there in Lebanon?

Answer; There are more than 50 sites, dating from the Phoenicians to the Roman, By zantine, Christian and Islamiceras.

  • Are women free to dress as they like in Lebanon?

Answer; Beirut is known as the “Paris of the Middle East”, so dress codes are the same as in Europe.

  • Can I drink alcohol in Lebanon?

Answer; Alcohol is bought and sold freely in the country.

  • Is there skiing in Lebanon?

Answer; There are ski resorts in Faraya, Faqra, Ayoun Al – Seman and Cedars.



  • Capital; Maseru
  • Main cities; Mafeteng, Mohale’s Hoek
  • Population; 1, 924,886 (As per the year 2011 estimates)
  • Currency; Loti (plural – Maloti) = 100 lisente - its equivalent to the South African rand, which is also legal tender in Lesotho. ATM machines in major centres; credit cards accepted in Larger lodges and hotels. Exchange rate (approximate M 17.81= £ 1). Tipping (It’s normal to tip 10 % in restaurants.
  • Time; GMT + 2
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the left. International driving licence is valid for up to three months.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; March 11; April 18, 21; May 1,25,29; July 17; October 4; December; 25, December 26
  • Language; Sesotho. English is widely spoken.
  • Religion; Christian
  • Country Dial Code; + 266
  • Visa requirements; Visa is essential and required
  • Health requirements; Vaccinations against typhoid, hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, tuber culosis, rabies and cholera recommended.
  • Climate
  • Sunshine for more than 300 days a year, with well – marked seasons. Summer, from November to January, is usually hot with the majority of the country’s annual rainfall. Winter (May to July) brings snow to the mountains.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway – including Moshoeshoe International Airport (MSU). Typical flying time from UK is 14 hours (Via Johannesburg).
  • Transfer: Airport shuttle service on demand


  • Capital; Tripoli
  • Main cities; Benghazi, Misratah
  • Population; 6, 546, 000 (As per the year 2010 estimates).
  • Currency; Libyan dinar (LD) = 1,000 dirhims. US dollar is the recommended currency to take. Credit cards are not Exchange rate (approximate LD 1.26 = $ 1). Tipping (Not common in Libya)
  • Time; GMT + 2
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Driving in Libya is on the right. Visitors need an international driving permit.
  • Public Holidays; - Include January 3; February 17; March 2, 28; May 16; June 11; July 18; September 23; October 7,13,23; December 24. The list includes Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate.
  • Language; English is widely spoken
  • Religion; Islam, principally Sunni Muslim.
  • Country Dial Code; +218
  • Visa requirements; Visa is vital and required
  • Health requirements
  • Yellow fever immunisation required if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, polio, typhoid and Malaria are recommended.
  • Climate
  • Libya’s summers are extremely hot and dry, with temperatures averaging 34 – 39C and negligible experienced from May to August. Winters are mild, averaging 16 – 21C with cooler evenings, but even in the desert the temperature remains a few degrees above freezing point. The wettest months are December and January, with 60 – 80 mm of rain per month. The climate is influenced by seasonal winds, such as the Ghibly in spring
  • Getting there; (Major gateways – including Benina International, Tripoli (TIP), and Benghazi (BEN). Typical flying time from UK is 4 hours.
  • Transfer
  • Tripoli (15 miles / 24 km) bus 40 minutes; taxi 40 minutes.
  • Ports
  • Tripoli, Benghazi. Qasr Ahmed (Misratah), Al Brega
  • Accommodation
  • Most major cities of Libya have hotels from five stars down to three stars or lower. Some areas, such as historical desert locations, have campsites.
  • Akakus, prehistoric cavewall paintings and engravings
  • Ghadames, a fine example of a traditional settlement
  • Cyrene, a site of Greek ruins
  • Sabratha, Roman ruins within the triangle formed by Tripolitania, Oea and Leptis magna
  • Leptis Magna, one of the most extensive archaeological sites in the Mediterranean region.
  • What to eat and drink
  • Libyan cuisine is nearly identical to that of most North African Countries. Beer and other liquor is not permitted in Libya and visitors should avoid bringing alcohol with them into the country.
  1. Which are Libya’s largest cities?

Answer; The capital, Tripoli, is the largest, with a population of around 1.8 million. The second largest city is Benghazi with 810,000 people

  1. Is there any wildlife?

Answer; Most are desert dwellers. They include the jackal, Jerboa, Saharan hare and zorilla

  1. Are there any rivers in Libya?

Answer; There are no rivers in Libya. The only natural vegetation is date palms that grow near oases, some juniper scrubland and steppe grassland

  1. How much of Libya is desert?

Answer; More than 90% of Libya’s land area is desert on semi – desert. More than 75% of the population live in the narrow coastal strip bordering the Mediterranean



  • Capital; Luxembourg
  • Main cities; Esch – sur Alzette, Differdange
  • Population; 502,000(As per the year 2010 estimates)
  • Currency; Euro = 100 cents. All major credit cards are accepted. Exchanger rate (approximate Euro 0.73 = $ 1). (Tipping 10% for good service).
  • Time; GMT + 1
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Driving is on the right. An international permit is required
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; April 6; May 1,14,25; June 23; August 15; September 7; November 1; Decenber 25,26.
  • Language; Most commonly spoken is Letzebuergesch. French and German are the official languages. English is also widely spoken.
  • Religion; Catholic
  • Country Dial Code; + 352
  • Visa requirements
  • Luxembourg is party to the Schengen Agreement. No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement.
  • Health requirements; None
  • Climate
  • Temperate without extremes - May to October is the best time to visit. May and June are the sunniest months, July and August the warmest. The northern Ardennes region tends to be wetter than the South; Snow is possible in winter
  • Getting there; (Major gateway – including Findel Airport (Lux). Typical flying time from UK is 1 hour, while from New York, 9 hours via Paris, Frankfurt or Zurich
  • Transfer
  • Luxembourg (4 miles / 6 km) taxi 15 – 25 minutes; bus 16 every 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Departure Tax; Included in air ticket
  • Accommodation

Ranges from campsites via auberges and pensions to luxury international hotels and includes B & Bs and hostels.



  • Capital; Vilnius
  • Main cities; Kaunas, Klaipeda
  • Population; 3, 285,686 (As per the year 2013 estimates).
  • Currency; Litas (Lt). Major credit / debit cards accepted. ATMs available countrywide. Exchange rate (approximate Lt 2.52 = $ 1). Tipping (Now customary for all services; 5 – 10 % is expected
  • Time; GMT +2
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; On the right.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; February 16; March 11; April 5,6; May 1,3; June 7,24; July 6; August 15; November 1; December 25, 26.
  • Language; Lithuanian, with English widely spoken in cities.
  • Religion; Minorities include Russian Orthodox, Baptist, Muslim and Jewish.
  • Country Dial Code; + 370
  • Visa requirements
  • Lithuania is party to the Schengen Agreement. No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement.
  • Health requirements
  • Precautions against hepatitis A and typhoid recommended
  • Climate
  • Lithuania has warm summers, with temperatures sometimes hitting 30C. Winters are now milder, but with cold winds.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways – including Vilnius (VNO), Kaunas (KUN), Palanga (PLQ). Typical flying time from UK is 2 hours 30 minutes, while from New York, 10 hours via Hedsinki.
  • Transfers
  • Vilnius (3.5 miles / 5 km) bus and mini bus 15 minutes; taxi 10 minutes, Kaunus (7.5 miles / 12 km) bus and mini bus 15 minutes.
  • Port; Klaipeda
  • Major Events in Lithuania
  • Kaziukas Fair,Vilnius (March)
  • Skamba skamba kanklia – folklore festival,Vilnius (May)
  • Vilnius Chamber Music Festival (May – july)
  • Klaipeda Castle Jazz Festival (June)
  • Medieval Festival, Trakai Castle (July)


  • Capital; Vaduz
  • Main city; Schaan
  • Population; 36, 848 (As per the year 2011 estimates)
  • Currency; Swiss franc (CHF). Credit cards widely accepted. Exchange rate (approximate CHF 1.48 = £ 1). Tipping (service charge in included in bill but moderate tips are expected.)
  • Time; GMT + 1
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; On the right.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,6; February 2; March 19,29,31; April 1; May 1,9,19,30; August 15; September 8; November 1; December 8,24,25,26,31.
  • Language; German
  • Religion; Catholic, Protestant and minorities
  • Country Dial Code; + 423
  • Visa requirements; Visa is vital and required.
  • Health requirements; None
  • Climate
  • Liechtenstein has an Alpine climate, with warm summers and cold winters. The valleys are often shrouded in cloud.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways – including Zurich (ZRH). Typical flying time from UK is 2 hours.
  • Transfers; Vaduuz (73 miles / 120 km) bus; train.
  • State Art Collection
  • Malbun Ski Resort
  • Winery of the Princely Court
  • City Train, Vaduz
  • Neuguthof Adventure World
  • Galina Falcon Center
  • Liechtenstein Center,Vaduz


  • Capital; Skopje
  • Main cities; Bitola, Prilep, Kumanovo, Tetovo, Ohrid, Veles, Stip, Kocani, Gostivar, Strumica
  • Population; 2,052,722 (As per the year 2010 estimates)
  • Currency; Macedonia denar (MKD). All major credit cards are accepted. Exchange rate (approximate MKD 45 = $ 1). Tipping 10 % is the accepted figure in restaurants).
  • Time; GMT +1
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; On the right. International driving permit required
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,7; March 8; April 13; May 1; August 2; September 8.
  • Language; Macedonian and Albanian.
  • Religion; Macedonian Orthodox, Muslim
  • Country Dial Code; + 389
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is vital and required.
  • Health requirements
  • Precautions against hepatitis A and B and typhoid recommended.
  • Climate
  • Summers are hot and dry (23C) while winters, although moderate, can be cold and wet. Snowfalls are common.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway – including Skopje (SKP). Typical flying time from UK is 3 hours, while from New York, 16 hours via Vienna.
  • Transfers; Skopje (11 miles / 17 km) bus, taxi.
  • Departure Tax;
  • Lake Ohrid
  • Popova Sapkaski Center
  • Mavrovo National Park
  • Krusevo, the highest town.


  • Capital; Antananarivo
  • Main cities; Fianarantsoa, Toamasina, Mahajanga, Antsiranana, Toliary, Antsirabe
  • Population; 20,146,000 (As per the year 2010 estimates)
  • Currency; Ariary (MGA). Euro and US dollars accepted in banks and many hotels. Credit cards in some major hotels. Exchange rate (approximate MGA 2,198 = $ 1). Tipping (Expect to leave 10 % for good service).
  • Time; GMT + 3
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Rental vehicles (4WD) usually come with drivers; self – driving in Madagascar can prove difficult for visitors. Driving is on the right.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; March 29; April 6; May 1, 14; June 26; August 15; November 1; December 25
  • Language; Malagasy and French. English is spoken in hotels and tourist areas.
  • Religion; Christian, Muslim, traditional Beliefs.
  • Country Dial Code; + 261
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and required.
  • Health requirements
  • Yellow fever certificate if arriving from an infected area; Precautions against hepatitis A, tetanus, malaria and typhoid recommended
  • Climate
  • The Madagascar climate is hot and subtropical, colder in the mountains, while the south and west regions are particularly dry. The daily temperature averages around 46 F year round. The west season in Madagascar is also the hottest time of the year. During this time, temperatures hit a daily average maximum of 82 F in December. July is the coolest month, with average temperatures between 70 F and 48 F. Indian ocean trade winds bring variations in precipitation throughout the region. The western side of the Island is sheltered by the highland area, which is home to Antananarivo.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway – including Antananarivo Ivato (TNR). Typical flying time from UK is 12 hours via Paris, while from New York, 20 hours via Paris.
  • Transfers; Antananarivo (11 miles / 17 km) bus, taxi
  • Port; Toamasina
  • Parc National de L’ Isalo
  • Parc National de Ranomafana
  • Ifaty
  • Musee Regional de I’ universite de Toamasina
  • Zoma
  • Fort Flacourt
  • Centre Ecclogique de Libanona
  • Stadium
  • Nosy Kely Beach
  • Mozea Akiba
  • Musee Regional de I’ universite de Toliara.
  • Asabotsy Market
  • Fort Rova
  • Musee de la Mer
  • Betania Beach.
  • All hiking trails in this park start and finish in Ranohira, and range from one to seven days in length making official guides compulsory for visits and fees dependent of the length of each trek. Two of the most popular short trips are a walk to canyon des singes & piscine Naturelle - as part of a day walk - where you can take a plunge in the cool water, and natural window, which is a short distance off the highway. Here you can watch the sunset through a square hole in the rock. The best time to visit is during the cooler months (April to October), when walking for long distances is more much comfortable.
  • This beach in Taolagnaro is the place to be for watersports enthusiasts, with surfing and windsurfing providing popular amongst visitors. The best time to visit is from late August to May.


  • In the city of Antsirabe, Saturday is market day and it is well worth a wander around the town’s two biggest markets, Asabotsy Market and Petit Marche, while there is also a variety of handicraft shops in town, perfect place for stocking up on gifts for loved ones and yourself
  • Offering great views over the city and bay below, Fort Rova, at the end of Rue du Marechal Joffre in the city of Mahajanga, was built in 1824 by king Radama1 but suffered extensive damaged during the French - Malagasy wars the late 19th
  • The oldest and most attractive part of town in Fianarantsoa, is the Haute - Ville, where a climb around the cobbled streets offers great views of the surrounding countryside, while in the very centre sits the imposing Ambozontany Cathedral, which dates back to 1890 and dominates the skyline.
  • Guided walks here - through the 41,500ha of lush rainforest - range between two and four hours. The area is swarming with a variety of species, including the Malagasy civet and several variations of lemurs including the red - bellied lemurs and broad - nosed gentle lemurs. Permits to enter the park are compulsory and are made available for visitors at the Angap office at Ambodiamontana village
  1. IFATY
  • White sandy beaches, coral reefs just offshore, sea breezes, a relaxed tropica l- ambience draw visitors to this quiet coastal area of Ifaty, which features the nearby villages of Mangily, and Mandio Rano. Whale - watching normally takes place in late summer, and there is a forest just north of Mangily which is also certainly worth making the trip.


  • Capital; Lilongwe
  • Main cities; Blantyre, Zomba, Mzuzu
  • Population; 15,692,000 (As per the year 2010 estimates)


  • Currency; Malawi Kwacha (MK). Sterling, euro and US dollars accepted. Credit cards are accepted in established hotels and restaurants. Exchange rate (approximate MK 395=$1). Tipping (10% is acceptable for good service)



  • Time; GMT + 2
  • Electricity; 220 - 240 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; On the left. International permit required.


  • Public holidays; including January 1, 15; March 3; April 3, 6; May 1; June 14; July 6, 18; October 12; December 25, 26. The list includes Muslim festivals, the date of which are approximate.
  • Language; English is the official language. Chichewa is the National language.
  • Religion; Protestant majority, Catholic, Muslim and traditional beliefs.
  • Country Dial Code; +265


  • Visa requirements
  • A visitor’s permit is obtainable upon arrival for stays of up to 30 days. The permit may be extended twice up to an additional 30 days. An onward or return ticket and proof of adequate funds are required.
  • Health requirements
  • Yellow fever certificate is required if arriving from an infected area. Immunization against hepatitis A, typhoid, polio and malaria is also recommended.
  • Climate
  • Malawi has a tropical climate. Apri l- October is the dry season and the most pleasant time to travel, with temperatures averaging 20C0; November to March is the wet season, with temperatures averaging 30C, which is good for viewing orchids. There is a wide temperature range between low and high ground.


  • Getting there; (Major gateways - including Lilongwe (LLW), Blantyre chileka BL2). Typical flying time from UK is 12- 14 hours via Nairobi, Johannesburg, or Addis Ababa, while from New York 23 hours via Johannesburg.
  • Transfers; Lilongwe (20 miles / 30 km) taxi 25 minutes; bus Blantyre (13 miles / 20 km) coach.
  • Accommodation
  • A range of accommodation is available in Malawi to suit all budgets, with the very best lodges along the Lakeshore and in the game parks. There is never a large choice of single location, but there will always be at least one lodge of each market level. Grading of properties started in 2010 and this is an ongoing process.
  • Major Events in Malawi
  • Pro – am golf tournament, Lake Malawi (June)
  • Lake Malawi Yatching Marathon (July)
  • Lake of Stars Festival (September / October)
  • Lake Malawi beach, diving, Kayaking, Snorkelling, Yachting, Swimming, and village tours.
  • Nyika National Park; game drives, horseback safaris, flowers, open spaces
  • Zomba plateau; for scenery, trout fishing and horse trails
  • Mt Mulanjes; with climbing, hiking,  trekking and angling.
  • Liwonde National Park; with game drives, boat and walking safaris and bird – watching
  • Majete Wildlife Reserve; with game drives and also walking safaris.
  • What to eat and drink
  • A mix of international and local cuisine  roast meat and fish, cornmeal and pumpkin leaves. Nsima is a maize porridge; chambo a popular fresh water. To drink, local beer and Malawi gin are popular.
  • What to buy
  • Curios, basketry, pottery, local paintings, Malawi gin, nuts (Macademia, Peanut, Cashew), tea, Nali sauce
  • What special interest activities are there?

Answer; Malawi offers a wide range of activities for visitors. The long list includes Scuba diving, Snorkeling, Sailing, Mountain climbing, Trekking, Game viewing, Horseback Safaris, Boat safaris, viewing orchids, bird and butterfly watching, trout fishing and golf.

  • What was the original name of Malawi?

Answer; The Republic of Malawi was formerly known as Nyasaland. Malawi became independent, with Dr. Hastings Banda as its first President, July 6, 1966.

  • What is the capital?

Answer; Lilongwe (estimated population 910,000) is the capital of Malawi and Blantyre is the country’s largest city.

  • Which countries share borders with Malawi?

Answer; Malawi is bordered by Zambia to the north – west, Tanzania to the north and Mozambique to the east, South and west.

  • Majestic Mount Mulanje, at 9,843 ft (3,000 metres) above sea level, is the highest point in central Africa and a popular destination for adventure tourism. The isolated granite massif covers 386 square miles (1,000 square Kilometres) and from a distance, it’s hard to believe Mulanje is not a range of mountains as it seems long rather than high. It is so tall that it creates its own climate and is known to be unkind, even deadly to those who dare take the mountain for granted. The summit is called Sapitwa, which is said to mean “Don’t go there”. The warning challenges the determined climber. Sapitwa requires experience, though often testing endurance rather than technique.
  • David Livingstone first saw Lake Nyassa, now Lake Malawi, in 1859, and was so bewitched by its beauty that he called it “The Lake of stars”, as a myriad winking galaxies glittered from the crystal facets of the water. The jewel in the crown of the country’s tourism attractions and also known as ‘ Calendar Lake’,  Lake Malawi is 365 miles / 582 km by 52 miles / 83 km at its longest and widest points. It is Africa’s third largest freshwater lake and lies within the Great African Rift valley. Two of its islands are inhabited, while the others are eco – islands. Because of its rich fish harvest, the lake plays an important part in the economy, with fishing villages dotted along the shore.


  • This UNESCO Heritage Site is home to more than 1,000 endemic recorded species of cichlids (tropical fish). There are more than 20 dive sites.


  • Capital; Maputo
  • Main cities; Beira, Nampula
  • Population; 22,416,881 (As per the year 2010 estimate).
  • Currency; Metical (MZN) = 100 centavos. US dollars and South African rand widely accepted, as are visa, Master card, Diners club and American Express cards. Exchange rate (approximate MZN 31.4 = $ 1). Tipping (10 % is suggested)
  • Time; GMT + 2
  • Electricity; 240 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Driving is on the left
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; February 3; April 7; May 1; June 25; September 7,25; October 4; December 25
  • Language; The official language is Portuguese. Many people speak English.
  • Religion; Christian, Hindu and Muslim. Many people follow traditional beliefs.
  • Country Dial Code; +258
  • Visa requirements
  • Travelers should acquire the appropriate visa prior to derpating for Mozambique. In somecases a one - entry visa can be purchased for $82 at country points of entry, including airports, but this is not guaranteed. Close attention should be paid to the period the holder is authorized to stay in Mozambique.
  • Health requirements
  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate required if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid, polio and malaria recommended; also meningitis depending on area visited and time of year.
  • Climate
  • Tropical and subtropical, conditioned by the monsoon from the Indian ocean and hot air currents of the equatorial regions. The north and centre of the country are tropical humid; the southern parts are tropical dry. The rainy season in Mozambique is October to April.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways - including Maputo Mavalane (MPM), Beira (BEW), and Pemba (POL). Typical flying time from UK is 12 hours, while from New York is 21 hours via Johannesburg.


  • Transfers; Maputo (1.8 Miles/ 3km) taxi; bus 15 minutes.
  • Departure Tax; included in the flight ticket.
  • Ports; Maputo, Beira,


  • Accommodation
  • Maputo and provincial capitals have hotels for all budgets. Many older properties, ranging from luxury hotels to pensoes, have been renovated. The National Parks also offer accommodation for visitors.
  • Major Events in Mozambique
  • Pilgrimage to Namaacha (May)
  • Cultural Festival (July)
  • Niassa Lago Festival (August)
  • Theatre Festival (August)
  • Gastronomic Festival (September)
  • Tofo Festival (October)
  • Wimbe Festival (December)
  • Silvestre Race (December)
  • Tour Destinations in Mozambique
  • The capital Maputo
  • Bazaruto archipelago
  • Gorongosa National Park
  • Cahora Bassa dam
  • IIha de Mozambique.



  • Capital; Rabat
  • Main cities; Casablanca, Marrakech, Fes, Agadir, Meknes, Tangier, Essaouira, Quarzazate, Tangier, Oujda, Laayoune.
  • Population; 32, 135, 000 (As per the year 2011 estimates).
  • Currency; Dirham (MAD) = 100 centimes. Sterling is the best currency to take. Visa and other credit cards are widely accepted; There are ATMs in most cities. Exchange rate (approximate MAD 8.22 = $ 1). Tipping (Service charge is not included. Tipping varies according to service provided, generally between 10 % and 15 %).
  • Time; GMT (Summer GMT + 1)
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; On the right. International driving permit accepted
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,3,11; May 1; July 18,30; August 14,20,21; September 23; October 13; November 6,18; The list includes Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate
  • Language; Arabic, with French, Spanish, English and Berber widely spoken in the mountains
  • Religion; Islam
  • Country Dial Code; + 212
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and required
  • Health requirements
  • Hepatitis A, typhoid and polio precautions advised.
  • Climate
  • The northern coast has a Mediterranean climate with hot, humid summers and mild, damp winters. Further south, towards the Sahara, the temperatures rise, although winter nights can be cool. Snow can be heavy in the Atlas Mountains in winter.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways – including Casablanca Mohamed 5 (CMN), Agadir Al Massira (AGA), Marrakech Menara (RAK), Tangier Ibn Batouta (TNG), Rabat – Sale (RBA), Oujda Angad Airport. Typical flying time from New York is 7.5 hours, while from UK, 3 hours.
  • Transfers
  • Trains are available from Casablanca airport to the city (20 miles / 30 km) and other Moroccan cities. City transfers in Agadir (14 miles / 22km), Marrakech (4 miles / 6 km), Tangier (10 miles / 15 km) and Rabat (7 miles / 10 km), Oujda (7 miles / 10 km).
  • Ports; Casablanca, Laayoune, Agadir, Safi, Mohammedia, Tangier, Nador, El jadida and Larache
  • Getting Around
  • Buses are the most popular means of transport and a concentrated bus network operates throughout Morocco at low fares. The railway system is more concentrated in the north and lines go as far south as Marrakech. Petit taxis have a distinctive color for each town; they only drive within the confines of the town. If they have no meter, settle the price before leaving. Grand taxis will go to other towns and cities. It’s best to fix the price in advance. Car rental is available from international or local firms. Internal air services connect with many locations in Morocco.
  • Accommodation
  • Hotels are graded from one to five stars by the Ministry of Tourism. Also holiday villages, self – catering units, pensions, villas, apartments, campsites, youth hostels, and mountain refuges. An intimate boutique type of accommodation is the riad or maison d’ hote.
  • Major Events in Morocco
  • Rose Festival, Kelaa M’ Gouna ( May)
  • Jazz Gourmet Festival, Marrakech (May)
  • Caftan Festival, Marrakech (May )
  • Mawazine World Music Festival, Rabat (May)
  • Cherry Festival, Sefrok (June)
  • Fez Sacred Music Festival (June)
  • International Festival of Rabat, Rabat (June/ July)
  • Gnawa Music Festival, Essaouira (June)
  • Casablanca Festival (June)
  • National Festival of Popular Arts, Marrakech (July)
  • Asilah International Festival of Culture, Asilah (August)
  • Imilchil Marriage Festival, Imilchil village (September)
  • Tissa Moussem Horse Festival, Fes (September)
  • Tan Jazz Festival, Tangier (September)
  • Festival of Sufi Music in Marrakech (October)
  • Arts in Marrakech Festival (November)
  • Marrakech International Film Festival (December).
  • The Souks and Jemaa el Fna square of Marrakech
  • Mountain trekking
  • The imperial cities; Marrakech, Fez, Meknes and Rabat
  • Seaside resorts of Agadir, Saidia, and Mazagan
  • Seaside resort of Essaouira
  • Golf on excellent courses
  • Quarzazate
  • Casablanca
  • Tangier
  • Mountain trekking
  • Skiing
  • Bird watching
  • Golf
  • Fishing in the Atlantic
  • Horse riding
  • Watersports in Agadir
  • White water rafting and Kayaking
  • Visiting the tanneries
  • Surfing in Essaouira
  • A trip to a hammam
  • Morrocan cooking lesson.
  • What to eat and drink
  • Cous cous (steamed, spiced granules of semolina cooked with meat and vegetables) is the national dish; other common foods include harira (a soup of vegetables, meat and chick peas); mechoui (roast lamb); Pastilla (Flaky pastry stuffed with pigeon and almonds); and tajine (a meat, chicken or fish stew with vegetables). Favorite drinks in Morocco include mint tea and Moroccan wine. During the winter, Moroccans often add chiba (more commonly known by its French name, absinthe) to their tea to keep out the cold. Freshly squeezed juices are popular at cafes and street stalls. There are also French and Italian restaurants in the main cities.
  • What to buy
  • Leather, wood items, pottery, baskets, traditional cosmetic products, jewelry, brass, rugs, spices, Kaftans and a range of silk garments.
  1. Will the local religion affect my holiday?

Answer; Islam is the official religion in Morocco, but it exists in harmony with other religions



  • Capital; Kuala Lumpur
  • Main cities; Subang Jaya, Klang, Johor Bahru, Penang, Kota Kinabalu, Ipoh
  • Population; 29, 628,392 (As per the year 2012 estimates)
  • Currency; Malaysian ringgit (RM)= 100 Sen. The best currencies to take are sterling, euro and US dollars. Malaysia accepts all the major credit cards. Exchange rate (approximate RM 3.20 = $ 1). Tipping (not necessary, as hotels and restaurants generally include 10 % service charge. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip.
  • Time; GMT + 8
  • Electricity; 240 volts.
  • Driving; On the left. International permit required.
  • Pablic Holidays; Include January 1,3; February 1,19; May 1; June 1,6; July 18; August 31; September 23; October 13; November 11; December 25.
  • Language; Malay is the national language. English is widely spoken in Malaysia.
  • Religion; Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Chinese faiths, traditional beliefs, Hinduism, Sikhism.
  • Country Dial Code; + 60
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and required
  • Health requirements
  • Yellow fever immunisation essential if arriving within six days of having visited an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended; also malaria for visits to remote jungle regions.
  • Climate; The proximity of Malaysia to the equator means its climate is decidedly tropical, with warm and humid weather all year round and occasional rainfall throughout the year. Temperatures are high at all times of the year, averaging 26C in the lowlands of the coast. The hill resorts have a somewhat cooler climate and the Cameron Highlands in Pahang, for example, has an average temperature of 18C. The northeast monsoon blows from October to March, bringing heavy rain to the east coast of Malaysia. On the west coast, the wettest months are May to September. The rainy season in Sabah and Sarawak (Borneo) is November to February. However, it seldom rains all day long, even in the wettest season.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways – including Kuala Lumpur (KUL), Penang International (PEN), Kuching International (KCH), Kota Kinabalu (BKI). Typical flying time from UK is 12 hours, while from Los Angeles, 19.5 hours.
  • Transfers; Kuala Lumpur (39 miles / 58 km) ERL 28 minutes; taxi 50 minutes.
  • Departure Tax
  • Included in the airfare.
  • Port Klang, Penang, Port Tanjung Pelepas, Kuantan, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu.
  • Getting Around
  • There is an extensive bus and coach network, as well as an underground and monorail system in Kuala Lumpur and its Suburbs. Shared taxis operate between towns, departing when full. Trains connect peninsula Malaysia with Singapore and Thailand. Ferries link Butterworth and Penang and there is a crossing from port Klang to Sarawak and Sabah. Domestic air services link the major cities.
  • Accommodation
  • Wide range available in cities and resorts at competitive prices. Hotels are star – rated from two to five; there are also apartments and hostels.
  • Major Events in Malaysia
  • Sabah Fest (May)
  • Kaamatan Open House; Harvest Festival Open House (May)
  • Dragon Boat Race (June)
  • Mt Kinabalu Mountain Bike Challenge (November)
  • Mt Kinabalu International Climbathon (October)
  • Merdeka Day (August)
  • Rainforest World Music Festival (July)
  • Malaysia Mega sale Carnival (June – September)
  • Colors of Malaysia (May)
  • Malaysian F1 Grand Prix (March)
  • Thaipusam  (January)
  • Mt Kinabalu / Kinabalu Park, World Heritage Site, Kundasang
  • Sepilok Orang – Utan Rehabilitation Centre, Sandakan.
  • Sukau (for proboscis monkey sighting and bird – watching), Sandakan.
  • Gomantong Caves (bird’s nests), Sandakan
  • Turtle Islands, Sandakan
  • Sipadan Island, Semporna
  • Danum Valley, Lihad Datu
  • Tunku Abdul Rahman Parks Island, Kota Kinabalu
  • Pulau Tiga (Survivor Island)
  • Poring Hotspring, Ranau
  • Legoland Malaysia, Puteri Harbour
  • Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, Puteri Harbour
  • Eagle Square Lang Kawi
  • Gurney drive (for foodies), Penang
  • Petaling Street, Melaka
  • Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur
  • Jungle trekking
  • Bird watching
  • Diving
  • Golf
  • What to eat and drink
  • Satay (Marinated meat Kebab served with groundnut sauce); roti canai (Pancake with curry or sugar); nasi lemak (rice cooked in coconut cream and flavoured with Pandan leaves); ikan panggang (barbecued fish); char koay teow (flat rice noodles wok fried with prawns, eggs, bean sprout and flavourings); ice Kacang (shaved ice, flavoured with syrup, Peanuts and Jelly). Tehtarik (the national drink of tea flavoured with condensed milk) is cool and frothy.
  • What to buy
  • Local handicrafts include Rungus baskets, beads, and Rungus and banjau hand woven materials. Among local products are Tenom coffee, chocolate, honey and cigars.
  1. How tall are the Petronas Twin Towers?

Answer; At an elevation of 1,607 ft (490 metres), they are the world’s tallest twin buildings.

  1. What is the highest point in Malaysia?

Answer; Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, at 13, 452 ft (4,100 metres) is the highest mountain in Malaysia (You may also get more details about Kinabalu at the section of this website – Tour destinations in Asia under worldwide destinations of the website.)

  1. Which are Malaysia’s largest cities?

Answer; The capital Kuala Lumpur is home to a million people. Also Subang Jaya, Klang and Johor Bahru.

  1. How far away is East Malaysia?

Answer; The East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak are to be found some 400 miles away from Peninsular Malaysia, across the South China sea in Borneo.

  1. What is the weather like in Malaysia?

Answer; The climate is tropical, with warm and humid conditions year – round. For visitors to this part of the world, it is akin to 365 days of summer.

  • One of the most iconic high – rises in the region, the 1,482 ft (452 – metre) towers are the centerpiece of the Kuala Lumpur city centre development (KLCC), comprising landmarks such as the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Suria KLCC Shopping Centre, Luxury hotels and a mosque. It is also home to the KLCC Park. For spectacular panoramas over the bustling Malaysian capital, visit the sky bridge on the 41st floor and the viewing deck on the 86 th floor
  • A Kuala Lumpur Landmark, this elegant building dating from 1897 stands out in the city’s rapidly changing skyline. Named after the reigning monarch at the time, the stately edifice served as the government administrative centre during the British era. Constructed entirely of brick, it has a Mahometan or Neo – saracenic style, with an imposing porch, graceful arches, shiny copper domes and a 135 ft (41 – metre) high clock tower.
  • The central Market is a great place to look for crafts and ornaments to bring back home. It’s a fine example of the 1930s art deco style, featuring a sophisticated entrance, doors and windows as well as fine wrought iron panels. Originally a whole sale market, it was renovated in the 1980s and was the first case of a heritage building being adapted for a different use. Today, the covered walkway offers a wide range of handicrafts and souvenirs.
  • Featuring Moghul inspired neo Saracen architecture with gently curving domes and arches, the station used to serve as the hub for the national rail system before the modern central station was built.
  • Hailed as Kuala Lumpur’s oldest remaining mosque, it was built in 1909 and its design was inspired by Moghul architecture, with cupolas, minarets and arched colonnades. In the vicinity stands Masjid India, a mosque showcasing southern Indian architectural elements.
  • Sprawling over 200 acres, this refreshing enclave in the heart of the city is built around two lakes and features exotic blooms and luxuriant foliage. High lights include the Orchid and Hibiscus Gardens. Deer Park and Butterfly Park.
  • To find out more about the country’s rich heritage, head to this charming building featuring a Minang kabau -  styled roof and two impressive front murals. Highlights include traditional Music instruments, ceramics from the Ming dynasty, vintage cars and a steam locomotive.
  • Location; Sarawak is the largest of Malaysia’s 13 states, located on the Island of Borneo (sarawak
  • Population; 2,600,000 (As per the year 2012 estimates).
  • Main cities; Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri. Kuching city – the capital of Sarawak, with shopping and the white Rajah’s legacy.
  • Time; GMT + 8
  • Language; English is widely spoken. The official language is Bahasa Malaysia.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways – including Kuching (KCH), Sibu (SBW), Bintulu (BTU) and Miri (MYY).
  • Airlines; Carriers are Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, MASWIngs, Silkair, Air Asia, Malindi Air.
  • Accommodation
  • Sarawak has more than 197 hotels ranging from three – to five – star. There are beach resorts, jungle resorts, hill resorts, boutique hotels, trendy backpacker lodges, Budget hotels and 32 homestays.
  • Major Events in Sarawak
  • Pesta Kaul, Mukah – Gods of the sea appeasing ceremony (April).
  • Borneo Frog Race, Kuching (April)
  • Borneo Jazz, Miri (May)
  • Miri City Day (May)
  • World Harvest Festival, Kuching – highlighting harvesting festivals in the region (May)
  • Gawai Dayak – harvesting festival (June)
  • Borneo World Music Expo, Kuching (June)
  • Rainforest World Music Festival Challenge, Miri (June)
  • Borneo Inetrnational Yachting Challenge, Miri (June)
  • Borneo Cultural Festival, Sibu (July)
  • Kuching City Day (August)
  • Sarawak Regatta, Kuching – longboat race and watersports (September)
  • Borneo International Kite Festival, Bintulu (September)
  • Sarawak Bird Race, Kuching (September)
  • Asia Music Festival, Miri (October)
  • Pesta Benak, Sri Aman – Tidal Bore Festival with international surfers (December)
  • Tua Pek Kong Temple
  • Lawas & Limbang – Merarap Hotspring, Head Hunter’s Trail, Gunung Buda National Park
  • Bario & Bakelalan – Kelabit and Lun Bawang  Culture,highlands trekking
  • Gunung Mulu National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Miri – Sibuti Reef, Lambir Hills National Park, Niah National Park
  • Bintulu – Tumbina City Park, Similajau National Park
  • Batang Ai – jungle resort, Iban long house and river safari.
  • Sibu & Mukah – interesting local markets, Foochow Chinese and Melanau culture.
  • Bako National Park – proboscis monkeys, interesting nature trails and geological site
  • Padawan Experience – Kuching caving and River Kayaking.
  • Semenggoh Wildlife Centre – Orang utan rehabilitation centre
  • Sarawak Museum – natural history, culture, arts and craft.
  • Sarawak cultural village – Sarawak’s living Museum
  • Kuching city – the capital, with shopping and the white Rajah’s Legacy.
  • What to eat and drink
  • Western, fusion and traditional cuisines are available throughout the state. Local delights include Kolok mee noodles, laksa, Umai (Marinated raw seafood), Manok pansoh (chicken cooked in bamboo), midin belacan (local fern fried with shrimp paste), roti canai (Indian pancakes), rojak (vegetable / fruit salad), nasi goreng dabai (fried rice with local olives), Kek lapis (layered cakes) and ikan terubuk masin (salted fish). Seasonal fruits include banana, durian, rambutan, Langsat, Mango, Pineapple, Lychee and watermelon.
  • What to buy
  • With more than 27 ethnic communities living together, Sarawak has a rich culture reflected in its art and crafts; Sarawak pepper berries, Keklapis (layered cakes), ikan terubuk (salted fish), beads, Pua kumbu (woven cloth).
  • Off the east coast lie some of the most spectacular islands in the Far East, all with sweeping whitesand beaches backed by lush vegetation. Radang, the largest east coast island, is particularly stunning, with fantastic beaches and unbeatable diving. Exotic Tioman Island, in a protected marine park, has volcanic peaks, dense jungle and palm – lined beaches.
  • If you want a lively beach destination, Penang island off the west coast is the place to head. Linked by a bridge to the mainland, it’s one of Malaysia’s major resorts, with tourism development around Batu Ferringhi beach. There are dozens of hotels and restaurants, plenty of watersports and a lively nightlife, as well as the capital George Town to explore. It’s the ideal choice for families and groups of friends or couples looking for somewhere offering more than just a beach.
  • Malaysia is also staking its claim to become one of the world’s top diving destinations. Located in the Indo – Pacific basin. It has a rich marine environment, with a huge variety of dive sites and underwater scenery ranging from sloping reefs and coral walls to fascinating wrecks. Sipadan, on Borneo’s east coast, is perhaps the best dive site in the country, while Layang, off Sabah, offers wonderful coral diving.
  1. TOWNS
  • Malacca is perhaps the most atmospheric town to explore. Set on the south east coast, it was a major port on the spice route 500 years ago. Traditional wooden Malay houses hang over the Malacca River and the Portuguese colonists’ influence can be seen in the architecture. The huge Chinese population gives the place its particular character. On Penang Island, Georgetown is another gem, with fort Cornwallis, built in the 18th century, affording great views, and the dilapidated colonial streets giving something of a Caribbean feel.
  • The traditional back lanes found in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown and the vibrant night markets show another side of the Malaysian capital. Food fanatics will love the blend of Chinese, indian and Malay – style cuisine on offer here.
  • You can trek up Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Southeast Asia, which soars to a height of 13,435 ft (4,095 metres) above the dense jungle below (For further details about Mt. Kinabalu – read the section of worldwide destinations of this spectacular website - Tour destinations in Asia).
  • Peninsular Malaysia’s highlight is Taman Negara National Park, a vast area of protected tropical forest in Pahang, with trees hundreds of years old, a huge array of birds and animals ranging from elephant to deer and wild boar. On the island of Borneo, the states of Sabah and Sarawak offer unspoilt nature at its best. In Sabah, the world’s largest Orang utan sanctuary at Sepilok is unmissable; here Orang utans that have been orphaned, abandoned or were once in captivity are cared for and rehabilitated into the wild. The Kinaba tangan River is wonderful for a boat trip and you are likely to see proboscis monkeys sleeping in trees along the banks. Gibbon, Sumatran rhinoceros, otter and crocodile are among the area’s varied wildlife.
  • Once an important trading centre on the international spice route, Malaysia features a mosaic of cultures. Malays, Chinese and Indians have lived together for generations, while in Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo, indigenous ethnic groups add their own dimension to the vibrant cultural mix. You will see the colourful heritage reflected in the nation’s architecture, lively markets and cuisine. Alongside traditional elements, the skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur show off Malaysia’s modern side – the lively capital boasts luxury malls, duty - free shops and a nightlife that buzzes until dawn.


  • Capital; Mexico City
  • Main cities; Cancun, Guadalajara, Los cabos, Leon, Merida, Monterrey, Puebla, Puerto Vallarta, Queretaro, Puebla.
  • Population; 113,423,047 (As per the year 2010 estimates)
  • Currency; Mexican Peso (Mex $) = 100 centavos. US dollars are widely accepted in tourist areas. Major credit cards are accepted. Exchange rate (Approximate Mex $ 12.93 = $ 1). Tipping (restaurants do not usually include a service charge; 10 % is the norm, 15 % if service has been exceptional. Similar for taxi drivers.
  • Time; GMT – 6 to GMT – 8 (three time zones).
  • Electricity; 110 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; On the right.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; February 2; March 16; April 2, 3,5; May 1,10; September 16; October 12; November 2,16; December 12,24,25;
  • Language; English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas.
  • Religion; Catholic majority
  • Country Dial Code; + 52
  • Getting there; (Major gateways – including Mexico City (MEX), Puerto Vallarta – Jalisco (PVR), Acapulco, Guerero (ACA), Mazatlán, Sinaloa (MZT), Cancun, Quintana Roo (CUN), Guadalajara, Jalisco (GDL), Morelia, Michoacan (MLM), Zacatecas, Zacatecas (ZCL), Toluca, Estado de Mexico (TLC), Tijuana, Baja California (TIJ), Monterrey, Nuevo Leon (MTY), Merida, Yucatan (MID), Leon, Guanajuato (BJX), Ixtapa – zihuatanejo, Guerrero (ZIH), Huatulco, Oaxaca (HUX), Hermosillo, Sonora (HMO), San jose del Cabo, BCS (SJD). Typical flying time from Miami to Mexico City, 3.5 hours; from Miami to Cancun 1.5 hours, while from UK is 11 hours to Mexico City and 9 hours to Cancun.
  • Transfers
  • Mexico City (8 miles / 13 km) underground rail link 20 minutes; bus 35 minutes; taxi 30 minutes; Jitney shared taxi. Acapulco (16 miles / 26 km) airport shuttle 45 minutes; taxi to hotels 35 minutes. Cancun / Puerto Vallarta taxi to hotels 35 minutes.
  • Departure tax; Varies between airports
  • Ports; Cozumel (Caribbean), Mazatlan (Pacific), Cancun (Caribbean), Playa del Carmen (Caribbean), Isla Mujeres (Caribbean).
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and required
  • Health requirements
  • Precautions against Polio, hepatitis A and typhoid recommended; also Malaria, depending on the area visited.
  • Climate
  • Because of the size of Mexico, there are considerable climatic variations. The north has very hot, dry summers and cold winters. The east coast enjoys tropical conditions, similar to those in the Caribbean, with wet summers. Acapulco in the South and Cancun on the Yucatan coast are affected by heat and high humidity during the rainy season in the summer. Tropical storms in the late summer tend to bring with them several days of torrential rain; hurricanes are most likely in September and October. In Mexico City, the weather is quite pleasant, neither too hot nor too cold.
  • Getting Around
  • Mexico City has an extensive bus and trolley bus service, a tramway network and an efficient and inexpensive metro system for getting around. There is an excellent bus network around the country (the easiest way to find tickets of most companies is reserbus. mix); travel for long distances can also be done by air and there are several low – cost airline for domestic travel.
  • Accommodation
  • Hotels of one to five stars and resorts cater for every lifestyle and budget, with more than 380 hotels on the Riviera Maya. Many international hotel groups are represented in Mexico and there are also Pensions, Campsites, B & Bs and lodgings in colonial – style haciendas and convents.
  • Major Events in Mexico
  • Flower Fair, Cuernavaca (April)
  • San Marcos Fair Aguascalientes (April)
  • Guelaguetza, Oaxaca (July)
  • Independence Day (September)
  • Festival Cervantino, Guanajuato (October)
  • Day of the Dead (November)
  • Carnaval de Mazatlan, Mazatlan (February)
  • Cumbre Tajin, Veracruz (March)
  • La Guelaguetza, Oaxaca (Last two Mondays of July).


  • Caribbean beach resorts; Cancun and Riviera Maya, Cozumel and Tulum
  • Pacific coast; Acapulco, Huatulco, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit and Baja California
  • Yucatan Peninsula; Mayan sites, nature reserves.
  • Tehoti huacan, the Aztec pyramids of the sun and moon on the outskirts of Mexico City
  • Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in the state of Michoacan
  • Mexico City, the capital
  • Copper Canyon; In the state of Chihuahua, you have the copper canyon train that crosses the whole canyon. It also allows you to visit the World Heritage Site of Paquime
  • Wine country; The Guadalupe Valley and its surroundings host the main wineries in the country.
  • Magical Towns; Series of 83 towns around the country that offer visitors a “Magical” experience – by reason of their natural beauty, cultural riches or historical relevance.
  • Colonial cities in the center of Mexico; San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Puebla and Queretaro
  • Mayan World (Yucatan, Campeche, Tabasco, Quintana Roo, Chiapas); Mayan ruins, biosphere reserve, amusement parks, colonial cities.
  • What to eat and drink
  • Tortas (tasty sandwiches), Chilaquiles (tortillas) cooked in a green tomato sauce and served with chicken, cheese and cream); Pozole (hominy and Pork soup); mole (sauce of peanuts, chili, chocolate); tamales (Cornmeal mixed with meat, cheese or vegetables and steamed in corn or banana husks). Tequila is the country’s local spirit and local beers include Corona, sol and modelo.
  • What to buy; Silver, Leather, textiles and weaving, ceramics, carved wooden animals, pottery.
  • Where can I see whale sharks?

Answer; Whale sharks can be spotted on the east coast, on the northern tip of the Yucatan peninsula, at Holbox to be exact. There are no whale sharks in the pacific.

  • When is the best time to visit Mexico?

Answer; It depends on which place you are going to and how crowded you like them. High season in Mexico’s main beach destinations is the week covering Christmas and New Year’s Eve; also Easter week in April and July / August. The weather is pleasant year – round, so any time is fine for a visit.

  • Is there any advice for visiting the sites?

Answer; Learn a little in advance about the site being visited. Also be prepared for difficult terrain, sun, insects, as well as humidity.

  • When are Mexico’s archaeological sites open?

Answer; They are open daily from 08.00 – 17.00. Mexico City was home to the Aztec culture. The Mayan culture flourished in the Southern states of Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo

  • The Riviera Maya stretches 81 miles along the Caribbean coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Starting 35 km (21 miles) south of Cancun airport, this tourist destination extends from South of Puerto Morelos through Playa del carmen, Akumal, Tulum and into the Sian Ka’an Biosphere ending with the small fishermen’s town of Punta Allen. The region is best Known for the millenary Maya culture that inhabited the region, the beautiful beaches, superb scuba diving and luxury resorts.
  • The Great Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is the longest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere and second largest in the World. The reef runs parallel to the coast of Riviera Maya and stretches down to Honduras providing a tropical underwater Haven for divers and snorkellers. Many divers base themselves at Akumal to explore the reef and to spot sea turtles, and also to dive the fresh water caverns of the Yucatan called Cenotes- sacred to the Maya people and a link between the earth and netherworlds. Other attractions are the theme parks Xcaret, Xplor, Xel-Ha, Aktun chen and Rio secreto, where visitors can admire the region’s Flora and Fauna.
  • There are about 60 – well - preserved buildings in the ancient Mayan fortress city of Tulum. At its height during the 13-15th century, Tulum was an important trading centre and the castle. El Castillo, the highest and most iconic structure, had many uses, including that of a watchtower and light house. When two torches on top of the building aligned, the Mayans were able to navigate safely through the reef.
  1. SHOP
  • Playa Del Carmen’s Fifth Avenue, known locally as la Quinta Avenida, is a pedestrian walkway where visitors can find shops selling everything from clothes and jewellery to souvenirs and cigars. Fifth Avenue is also famous for its vibrant nightlife.
  • Al cielo restaurant at Xpu-Ha beach, probably one of the best kept secrets in the Riviera Maya, serves delicious gourmet dishes with a stunning view of the Caribbean Sea, while in Akumal, La Buena Vida is great for a bite by the beach.
  1. BAR
  • In Playa Del Carmen, the Blue Parrot is a famous beach bar/ club with fire shows, live DJs and dancing. There is a chilled out vibe during the day, but things can get lively late evening,
  1. VIEW
  • The Nohoch Mul pyramid at the Archeological site of Coba rises 42 meters high over the tree tops. Climbing provides you with the spectacular view over the dense jungle of the Yucatan Peninsula.
  • For those looking to give the tequila slammers and frenzied clubs a miss, the state of Yucatan is a good bet, laced with Mangrove forests, colonial villages and beaches where view foot prints mark the sand.
  • Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula may be carpeted in sinkholes - natural chasms - primarily as it is made up of porous limestone, yet IK Kil or the “Sacred Blue Cenote” is one of its beautiful, dangling with vines and smoothed by waterfalls. The word “cenote” is taken from the Mayan “well”, historically, they were the site of human sacrifices to the god of rain.
  • The crowning glory for most travellers to the region is chichen Itza - sprawling archeological site built by the Maya Civilization. And while you can’t expect it all to yourself, you can expect to tick off one of the new seven wonders of the world. Time your visit with the spring or autumn equinox to witness the great feathered serpent “slithering” down the pyramid of Kukulkan; its actually an illusion of light and shadow, and a great example of the Maya’s astronomical knowledge.
  1. SHOP
  • Take a bit of the Yucatan’s laid - back vibe with you and invest in a traditioned handmade hammock to hang at home. Crafted using timeless techniques, they are sold across the state, from roadside vendors to beach hawkers.
  1. EAT
  • A prime cut for culinary travelers; Mexico’s cuisine made it on to UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2010, and Merida, the capital of the Yucatan, is a fine place to start. Think superb streets food, morsels of tacos, Panuchos (refried tortilla stuffed with beans and topped with pulled meat) and chicharrones (fried pork rinds) at the Parque De Santa Lucia, or for slicker, more refined local dishes, try rosas and xocolate. And if you have a sweet tooth, it has a resident chocolatier knocking up all manner of delicious chocolate creations.
  1. BAR
  • Slip into Merida’s El cielo Lounge with its open – air bar and cool – as - they come cocktails, before unleashing your best dance moves amongst the city’s beautiful set.
  1. VIEW
  • You don’t have to ascend great heights in the Yucan for views that will make you grin. Head to the town of celestun with its custard yellow sands – you might just be the only gringo wallowing in its waters. Alternatively hitch a boat ride and set sail for glimpses of flamingo. Book with an ethical operator.


  • A Mexican – based, Spanish – speaking resort facing the Caribbean Sea, Cancun teems with contrasts. It’s famed for its white, sandy beaches and aquamarine waters, every hotel chain worth its salt having a seafront property here, each fervently vying for the attention of the American holidaymaker using their spas, pools, bars and restaurants as bait. Meanwhile, outside the so called Hotel zone is a lively downtown area with restaurants and bars aplenty.
  • Cancun’s major draw is definitely its beaches; long, wide and power – whitesands against a sparkling blue sea, they attract both watersports enthusiasts and families alike, with some of the best diving, snorkeling and sportfishing in the world on offer. Or alternatively, simply find a comfy lounger and settle in for a day soaking up some rays.
  • Chichen Itza, a Mayan World Heritage Site an hour’s drive from Cancun, is often referred to as the Mexican version of Cambodia’s Angkor wat. Whether you dispute this or not, you can’t argue against the beauty of this nod to ancient Mayan civilization, recently named as one of the new seven wonders of the world. If you don’t have much time, head straight for the Temple of Kukulkan, a perfect pyramid with steps either side providing a wonderful vantage point for watching the sun come up or down.
  1. SHOP
  • From uber – chic boutiques selling designer labels to flea markets, and large, air – conditioned Malls to souvenir shops, Cancun will excite anyone with a desire to shop. Best of all, it’s duty – free, with bargains to be had in jewelry, beauty products and electricals. Check out the Mexican Handcrafts Market for the best in handmade sombreros, shawls, toys, T – shirts and candles.
  1. EAT
  • It comes as no surprise that most of Cancun’s best restaurants are located in the Hotel zone, with two of the resort’s three AAA Five Diamond restaurant - The highest accolade in Mexico – found in the Four Seasons Hotel and the third, Le Basilic, in the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Hotel. If you are looking for a more local experience instead, head downtown and dine in one of the many steakhouses, seafood restaurants and authentic Mexican joints, where you can enjoy both the company and the Mariachi bands who play while you eat.
  1. BAR
  • Party lovers should head straight for Congo Congo, a terrace bar with three dance floors, DJs, dance competitions and a 4; 00 am license, ensuring that the Party continues on until dawn.
  1. VIEW
  • You can’t beat the view of the ocean from Aloft’s slick roof top pool or adjacent bar and roof garden 10 floors up. It’s bedecked in the brightest of pink and yellow furnishings, and a great place to spend a few hours relaxing with a cool drink and watching the sky magically change color over the ocean.



  • With its more than 20 million inhabitants, Mexico’s capital is full of life and definitely worth a visit. It was originally the site of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, but when Hernan Cortes arrived in 1519 and the Spaniards conquered Mexico, they promptly built a new city on the top of the old Aztec one. Mexico City dates from 1524, but it’s still possible to see remains of Tenochtitlan in the very center. Most areas of interest to visitors are within easy reach of each other. The historic center is home to an enormous, imposing Cathedral, the zocalo (Main square), the National palace and the Aztec Great Temple. Nearby lies the 16th – century park of Chapultepec and within its grounds, the world famous Museum of Anthropology. Venture further from the center to the leafy suburb of Coyoacan, home to painters Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s house, while further south lies the floating market at xochimilco. After a lot of bad press about air pollution and overcrowding in the 1980s, Mexico City has cleaned up its act.
  • By the time the Spaniards arrived in Mexico, many indigenous cultures had already been flourishing for hundreds of years and some of the most advanced left magnificent ruins of their ancient cities that can still be enjoyed today. An archeologist’s paradise, particularly in the center and south, Mexico’s ancient ruins form an integral part of the country’s heritage and modern culture. The Aztecs, Maya, Toltecs and Zapotecs all left a legacy of ruined cities. One of the most famous archeological sites can be found right outside Mexico’s city – the ruins of Teotihuacan with its pyramid of the sun and pyramid of the Moon, two of the largest structures in the pre - Columbian Americas. Further south, in Oaxaca, lie the impressive ruins of Monte Alban and Mitla, the former with gorgeous, sweeping vistas over the Oaxaca valley. The Yucatan Peninsula is scattered with intriguing Maya ruins and ceremonial centers.
  • The Barranca del cobre in Spanish is seven times larger than its northern neighbor, the Grand Canyon, and one of the best and most popular ways of exploring it is by rail. The chihuahua al Pacifico railway, completed in 1961, runs through the main canyon, Canyon Urique, and it takes about 15 hours to complete the journey from Chihuahua inland to Los Mochis on the pacific coast. It’s a lengthy journey of some 405 miles, crossing 39 bridges and going through 86 tunnels along the way. The area is populated by the indigenous Jarahumara, who sell food and crafts along the railway line.


  • Capital; Nay Pyi Taw
  • Main cities; Yangon (Rangoon), Mandalay
  • Population; 60, 280,000 (As per the year 2010 estimates)
  • Currency; Kyat (K) = 100 pyas. Exchange rate (Approximate K 978 = $ 1). Tipping (10 % is acceptable)
  • Time; GMT + 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the right. An international driving permit is required.
  • Public holidays; include January 4; February 12; March 2, 5, 27; April 13, 17; May1; June 1; July 1, 19; October 27; November 26; December 8, 25.
  • Language; Burmese and regional languages.
  • Religion; Buddhism, Christian, Hindu and also Muslim minorities.
  • Country Dial Code; +95
  • Visa requirements; Visa is vital and required.
  • Health requirements; Precautions recommended include hepatitis A and B, typhoid and rabies.
  • Climate
  • A monsoon type, with the wet period stretching from May to late October. During this time, strong winds blow into the country from the south - west, bringing thunderstorms with heavy rain almost every day. Western Rakhine state, Southern Bago, Ayeyarwady and the Tanintharyi coast receive 120 -200 inches of rainfall a year, while the central plain receives only between 20 and 40 inches annually.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway - including Yangon International Airport(RGN). Typical flying time from UK is 11 hours 20 minutes, while from Los Angeles, 17 hours.


  • Transfers; Yangon taxi 30 minutes; bus 30 minutes.
  • Ports; Sittwe, Bassein, Thilawa, Moulmein.


  • Capital;
  • Main cities; Niksic, Pljevlja, Bijelo, Polje, Budva.
  • Population; 680,000 (As per the year 2008 estimates).
  • Currency; Euro= 100 cents. Exchange rate (Approximate Euro 0.73=$1). Tipping (At the customer’s discretion. It is usual to round up the bill) or leave 10%.
  • Time; GMT +1
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; On the right. International driving licence accepted, but green card needed.
  • Public holidays; include January 1, 6, 7, 8; April 10, 11, 13; May 1, 2, 21, 22; July 13, 14.
  • Language; English, Italian, Russian, German and French are also Spoken.
  • Religion; The majority are Orthodox, followed by Catholic and Muslim.
  • Country Dial Code; +382
  • Visa requirements; Visa is essential and required.
  • Health requirements; No requirements. Travel insurance recommended.


  • Climate
  • Montenegro has three distinct climatic zones. The coastal region temperature ranges from 19C – 29C in summer and 6C -1 3C in December. In central Montenegro, temperatures average 26C in July and 5cCin January. In the mountains, the climate is typically sub - alpine, with cold snowy winters and moderate summers. The best time to visit is between April and September.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways - including Podgorica (TGD), Tivat (TIV), Also Dubrovnik in Croatia, 20 miles from the border. Typically flying time from UK is 3 hours, while from New York, 10 hours via Frankfurt.


  • Transfers
  • Podgorica (8 miles/12 km) taxi. Tivat (2 miles/ 3km) taxi.
  • Ports; Bar (ferries from Bari and Ancona in Italy), Kotor, Zelenika, Budva, Porto Montenegro Tivat.
  • Accommodation; Montenegro offers a choice of hotels up to five - star, motels, villas, pensions, tourist villages, private rooms and apartments and campsites.


  • Major Events in Montenegro
  • ‘Hot winter In the Hills’ (January – March)
  • International Winter Carnival, Kotor (February)
  • Mimoses Festivities, Hercegnovi (February/ March)
  • Song of the Mediterranean, Budva (June)
  • Summer Scales; International Music Festival, Herceg Novi (July)
  • Theatre City, Budva (July / August)
  • International Summer Carnival, Kotor (August)
  • International Marathon, Podgorica (October)
  • Ostrog Monastery, between Podgorica and Niksic town
  • Mount Lovcen National Park with Njegos Monument
  • Skadar Lake National Park, for Pelicans and rare birds
  • Forested Biogradska Mountains National Park
  • Durmitor National Park with Tara canyon
  • Mystic Mountains of Prokletje
  • Budvanska Riviera, with towns, villages and beaches.
  • The UNESCO – listed city of Kotor and surrounds.
  • Boka Kotor Bay, the only fjord in the Mediterranean.
  • What to eat and drink
  • In the north, look out for berries, Herbal teas, Kajmak (cream cheese) and the local lamb roast; in the continental region of Montenegro, Lake skadar is a source of trout, bleak, carp and eel. On the coast, look for a range of fish specialities. There’s smoked ham and cheese from Njegusi and to drink, Vranac and Krstac wines, Niksicko beer and Loza grapebrandy.
  • What to buy
  • The gusle, a local musical instrument; the Montenegrin national hat; wine and olive oil.
  • Located on a Peninsula, the oldest part of Budva is a picturesque warren of narrow streets, miniature piazzas and pretty red – roofed stone buildings, all encircled by imposing 15 th – century fortifications. As well as many small shops, cafes and bars lining its streets, the Old Town is rich in sites of historical interest dating from throughout its 2,500 – year history. Pay a visit to the seventh – century church of St Ivan, with its Venetian paintings and Icons dating back to the 15th century, as well as the medieval citadel.
  • As one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic, the town has been conquered and ruled by many different nations and civilisations. The city Museum, located in the Old Town, traces the history of the area over 2,500 years as well as offering an insight into its many rulers.
  • Located about 4.5 miles (7 km) from Budva, this monastery was the spiritual and political centre of the local pastrovici tribe. Visitors today can see preserved 15th – century frescos at the church of St Nicholas, old icons and manuscripts, and the stone table where the tribe held court.
  • The Budva Riviera has more than 20 miles of sandy beaches, ranging from mile – long stretches to dinky coves and islets, some with Blue Flags. Set against craggy, tree – covered hills, the twin beaches of Mogren are among the prettiest in the area and only 300 metres from Budva, while the town itself has three pebbly beaches - two located next to the fortifications of the Old Town and one stretching 1.6 km (1 mile) along the town’s water front. For celebrity x – factor, the isthmus linking Sveti Stefan with the mainland is home to two pink – sand beaches that have been visited by stars such as Sylvester Stallone and Claudia Schiffer.
  • The town is one of Montenegro’s biggest party spots, with lively bars and open – air night clubs on the promenade serving the party – until – dawn revellers, and traditional Old Town bars catering for those in search of a more relaxed and low – key evening
  • During the last week of April, more than 2,500 participants from 12 countries around the world take part in Budva’s annual carnival, with concerts and performances from Montenegrin and international artists and two parades, one for children and one that’s open to international groups.


  • Capital; Ulaanbaatar
  • Main cities; Erdenet, Darkhan
  • Population; 2,946,331 (As per the year 2014 estimates)
  • Currency; Tugrik (MNT) = 100 mongo. US dollar travellers ‘cheques can be easily cashed. Exchange rate (Approximate MNT 1,826 = $ 1). Tipping (Tips are appreciated, but are not a must); 10% is acceptable.
  • Time; GMT + 8
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the right. An international driving permit is required.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; March 8; June 1; July 11,12,13; December 29
  • Language; English, Russian and Korean are spoken
  • Religion; Mainly Buddhist. Also Muslim and Christian
  • Country Dial Code; + 976
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is vital and required
  • Health requirements
  • Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and rabies are recommended before travel
  • Climate
  • Mongolia has one of the highest numbers of sunny days per year anywhere in the world. However, it does occasionally rain in summer and snow in the winter. Winter days are usually dry and cold
  • Getting there; (Major gateway – including Ulaanbaatar Chinngis Khaaan International Airport (ULN) Typical flying time from Los Angeles is 17.5 hours via Seoul, while from UK, 21 hours via Beijing.
  • Transfers; Ulaanbaatar (9 miles / 15 km) bus 30 minutes; taxi 15 minutes
  • Departure Tax; US $ 12.


  • Capital; Monte – Carlo
  • Population; 36,300 (As per the year 2011 estimates).
  • Currency; Euro = 100 cents. Major currencies and credit cards widely accepted. Exchange rate (approximate Euro 0.73 = $ 1). Tipping (10- 12 % suggested)
  • Time; GMT + 1
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; On the right. National licence and international driving permit required.
  • Public holidays; Include January 1; March 8; June 1; July 11,12,13; December 29.
  • Language; French (Official). Italian and English are both widely spoken.
  • Religion; Catholic is the state religion, followed by Anglican, Jewish, Greek Orthodox, Protestant and Baha’i religions.
  • Country Dial Code; + 377
  • Visa requirements
  • Monaco is party to the Schengen Agreement. No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement.
  • Health requirements;
  • Climate; Monaco has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild winters, when there is a little rain
  • Getting there; (Major gateway – including Nice (NCE). Typical flying time from UK is 2 hours, while from New York, 8 hours.
  • Transfers; Nice (13.5 miles / 22 km) coach 30 – 45 minutes; taxi 35 minutes; train 30 minutes; helicopter 7 minutes.
  • Departure Tax; Included in the ticket price.
  • Ports; Port Hercule, Port de Fontvieille
  • Casino on Casino Square
  • Monaco Cathedral
  • Prince’s Palace & State Apartments, Palace Square
  • Oceanographic Museum of Monaco
  • Monaco Grand Prix
  • Prince of Monaco’s Vintage Car Collection, Fontvieille.
  • Exotic Garden / Observatory Cave.


  • Capital; Chisinau
  • Main cities; Tiraspol, Balti, Tighina, Ungheni, Soroca, Beltsy.
  • Population; 3,563,800 (As per the year 2010 estimate)
  • Currency; Moldovan leu (MDL). The best currency to take is the US dollar, which can be exchanged anywhere. Credit cards are widely accepted, especially visa and Master card. Exchange rate (approximate MDL 14 = $ 1). Tipping (10 – 15 % for good service)
  • Time; GMT + 2
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the right. International driving licence is required.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,7; March 8; April 13; May 1,9; August 27,31;
  • Language; Russian, Moldovan, Romanian.
  • Religion; Eastern Orthodox Christian, Other Christian denominations, Jewish minority.
  • Country Dial Code; + 373
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is vital and required
  • Health requirements
  • Precautions against Hepatitis A and typhoid recommended.
  • Climate
  • Moldova has a temperate climate with warm summers, crisp, sunny falls and cold, snowy winters, when the temperature dips well below freezing.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway – including Chisinau (KIV). Typical flying time from New York is 13.5 hours via Budapest, while from UK, 8 – 9 hours, including transfer in any European city.
  • Transfers
  • Chisinau (8.5 miles / 14 km) bus 15 minutes.
  • Wine cellars in Cricova and Milestii Mici
  • Monasteries in Tipova and Saharna; fortress in Soroca.


  • Capital; Port Louis
  • Main cities; Curepipe, Beau – Bassin / Rose – Hill
  • Population; 1,378,925 (As per the year 2012 estimates)
  • Currency; Mauritian rupee (MUR) = 100 cents. Credit cards widely accepted; Sterling is the best currency to take. Exchange rate (approximate MUR 30.24 = $ 1. Tipping (is not compulsory. Leave 5 – 10 % of bill for good service).
  • Time; GMT + 3
  • Electricity; 220 / 240 volts. Adaptor needed.
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the left.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1, 17; February 1, 17,19; March 12, 21; May 1; July 18; September 17; November 1,2,11; December 25; The list includes Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate.
  • Language; French and Creole (French patois), English.
  • Religion; Hindu, Catholic and Muslim.
  • Country Dial Code; + 230
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa issued on arrival, valid for three months. Proof of onward travel required. Passports should have a validity of six months.
  • Health requirements
  • Yellow fever immunisation if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and Polio are recommended before travel.
  • Climate; Mauritius has a Subtropical climate. Conditions are hot and humid, the wettest period being between January and April, when there is also a risk of cyclones. The best weather in Mauritius, and the best time to visit the Island, is between May and November.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway – including Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (MRU). Typical flying time from UK is 12 hours, while from New York, 22.5 hours via Paris.
  • Transfers; Port Louis (27 miles/43 km)
  • Port; Port  Louis
  • Accommodation
  • The Association des Hoteliers et Restaurateurs de I’ lle Maurice (AHRIM), founded in 1973, represents the tourism and accommodation facilities of Mauritius. Membership includes hotels, restaurants, inbound handling services, tourism – related sports activities, and leisure and entertainment companies. There are no campsites.
  • Major Events in Mauritius
  • Thaipoosam cavadee (January)
  • Chinese New Year (January)
  • National Day (March)
  • Duchess of York cup horse racing (April)
  • Mauritius Marathon (June)
  • Mauritius Ocean Classic Kayaking Race (July)
  • Kiteival (August)
  • Ballroom Dancing Spectacular (September)


  • Port Louis, the capital
  • Seven Coloured Earths, Chamarel
  • Black River Gorges
  • IIe aux cerfs Island on the east coast
  • Tamarin Falls
  • Casela Bird Park
  • Yemen Game Reserve
  • Domaine du Chasseur
  • Gris Gris   Cliffs, Souillac
  • La Val Nature Park, Cluny
  • La Vanile Crocodile Park
  • Duty – free shopping
  • Trou aux cerfs
  • Pamplemousses Botanical Garden
  • What to eat and drink
  • Cosmopolitan cuisine, from steaks and Chinese cuisine to authentic Indian dishes and rougaille (a typical creole dish) in the variety of restaurants.
  • What to buy; Items of clothing, handicrafts.
  • What are the seven coloured Earths of Chamarel?

Answer; The blue, green, red, yellow, purple, ochre and brown earths are believed to have been caused by the erosion of volcanic rocks

  • How long has Mauritius been independent?

Answer; It gaired independence from Britain in 1968.

  • 600 km (372 miles) east of the mainland in the middle of the Indian Ocean, this tiny mountainous volcanic island (8 km / 4 miles by 18 km / 11 miles) is accessible via a short 90 – minute flight from Mauritius. Surrounded by coral reefs it’s popular amongst divers as well as couples and families looking to relax on its uncrowded beaches and explore its natural beauty. With a strong African heritage, over 90 % of the 40,000 inhabitants are creole with the majority catholic. English may be the official language (and driving is on the left) but French is widely spoken.
  • The Francois Leguat Giant Tortoise and Cave Reserve in the south of the island offers the chance to take a guided tour of the caves, see hundreds of Malagasy tortoises and giant fruit bats, and explore the on – site museum detailing history of the island. Other popular excusions include a boat trip to the nature reserve coco Island, 4 km (2 miles) offshore, to spot rare birds and swim in the turquoise lagoon.
  • The Cathedral of St Gabriel, the largest church in the Indian Ocean, constructed between 1936 and 1939 by local volunteers. Hundreds of people attend services here on Sundays.
  1. SHOP
  • Port Mathurin, the island’s diminutive capital, has a popular market on Saturdays and Sundays where visitors can buy arts and crafts, as well as produce such as homemade chilli chutneys or honey. Locals can sometimes be seen dancing the traditional sega tambour in the street.
  • Dine outdoors in the countryside at Nyeusi Restaurant Lounge and Garden on seafood with popular dishes including Octopus salad. Or head to Aux Deux Freres in Port Mathurin for one of the island’s legendary pizzas.
  1. BAR
  • Head to Anse aux Anglais (English Bay), a village just a few kilometres from Port Mathurin, to watch sunset from the beach at Bambou Restou. Listen to music, and enjoy cocktails and snacks such as salt and pepper Octopus as the sun goes down.
  1. VIEW
  • Pont Pompey offers a spectacular 360 – degree view of the island and its lagoon.


  • Capital; Valleta
  • Population; 416,333 (As per the year 2010 estimates)
  • Currency; Euro = 100 cents. Major credit cards are accepted. Exchange rate (approximate Euro 0.73 = $ 1). Tipping (10 % recommended in restaurants and cafes)
  • Time; GMT + 1
  • Electricity; 240 volts. An adaptor is required.
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the left. International and national driving licences are also accepted
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; February 10; March 19,31; April 3; May 1; June 7,29; August 15; September 8,21; December 8,13,25.
  • Language; Maltese and English are the official languages. Italian is spoken by the vast majority of people and is also widely under stood.
  • Religion; Other denominations include Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and Jehovah’s witnesses.
  • Country Dial Code; + 356
  • Visa requirements
  • Malta is party to the Schengen Agreement. No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Angreement.
  • Health requirements; None
  • Climate
  • Malta has a sunny Mediterranean climate, which means it is hot in the summer with cloudless skies and temperatures often in the 90s. There is light rain in winter, when the days are mild and sometimes windy; The warm Scirocco wind which comes from the Sahara brings unexpectedly warm days.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway – including Malta International AirPort (MLA). Typical flying time from UK is 3 hours, while from New York, 11 hours via Rome, London or Frankfurt.
  • Transfers; Valleta (4 miles / 6.5 km) taxi 20 minutes. Sliema (6 miles / 10 km) taxi 20 minutes.
  • Port; Grand Harbour, Valletta.
  • Accommodation
  • Hotels in the Maltese islands are graded two – to five – star: there are also holiday complexes, apart hotels, time share properties, guest houses, apartments, villas and hostels. On Gozo, farm houses for rent are often up to 300 years old. There is now an official campsite.
  • Major Events in Malta
  •  Carnival (February)
  • Malta Marathon (February)
  • Good Friday / Easter Sunday processions (March 29 – 1 April)
  • Malta Fireworks Festival (April)
  • Malta Music Week (end of June)
  • Malta International Jazz Festival (July)
  • Malta Arts Festival (July)
  • Farsons Great Beer Festival (Late - July / August)
  • Maltese Traditional Feasts (June to September)
  • Delicata Wine Festival (August)
  • Feast of Santa Maria (August 15)
  • Malta International Air Show (September)
  • Rolex Middle Sea Race (October)
  • Malta Historic Cities Festival (October)
  • Mediterranea Festival (October / November). For further information – visit (www.visit
  • Malta’s capital, Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The Medieval Walled City of Mdina
  • Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, a complex of prehistoric underground tombs.
  • Megalithic temples of Hagar Qim, Mnajdra and Ggantija, among the oldest free – standing structures in the world.
  • Popeye village film set
  • Marsaxlokk fishing village
  • Malta’s sister island, Gozo
  • What to eat and drink
  • Maltese cuisine is typically Mediterranean. It tends to be rustic in nature and hearty in size. The most popular dish is rabit, served as a stew in tomato sauce with spaghetti or fried in garlic. Fresh fish is widely available; the local speciality is lampuki (dorado). A popular snack is pastizzi (Puff pastry filled with ricotta cheese or mushy peas). Maltese bread is famous and best eaten with tomatoes and olive oil or with cheeselets made from goats’ milk. Local wine is of a very good quality; Beers include cisk lager and there is a selection of liqueurs, Kinnie is an aromatic soft drink.
  • What to buy
  • Hand – made goods such as lace, gold and silver filigree jewellery, Gozo and Mdina glass, pottery, and locally Knitted Woollen jumpers.
  1. Are there diving spots in Malta?

Answer; Yes, Malta and Gozo have some of the clearest waters in the Mediterranean, making them perfect for diving. There are PADI diving centres in main resorts around the islands.

  1. What is the age limit for driving in Malta?

Answer; Foreign drivers must be aged between 25 and 70

  1. Are there any beaches?

Answer; Yes. Although few, they are clean and safe for families. The main sandy beach is at Mellieha Bay in north Malta.

  • Valletta’s manageable dimensions mean it lends itself well to relaxed sightseeing. There are nearly 450 years of history on show, dating back to the city’s founding by the Knights of the order of St John in 1566. Perhaps their greatest legacy is St John’s co – cathedral, now considered a masterpiece of baroque design. Other remarkable buildings include the Grand Masters’ Palace, today the seat of Malta’s Parliament, and the 16th – century Casa Rocca Piccola, one of the first family homes to be built in the city. Valletta will be European capital of culture in 2018. Take a walk through the upper Barracca Gardens before sunset to enjoy an extraordinary panorama of the Grand Harbour, where the Knights succeeded in holding off a vast ottoman siege in 1565. Head back inside the city walls to the Manoel Theatre, the third oldest in Europe. Dating back to 1731, it regularly stages cultural performances by local and international artists, spanning opera, drama, dance and music. The season runs from September to May, with guided tour offered.
  • Visitors wanting to offset night time over indulgence with some energetic daytime activities will find ample opportunity. Watersports are easily arranged, with water – skiing, Jet – skiing and deep sea fishing all popular amongst visitors, and there’s also the potential for world – class diving opportunities. If you are looking for a memorable underwater adventure, this is the place. Most – sundown action is centred on the paceville (pronounced patch – ay – vil) quarter, where a broad assortment of bars, clubs, pubs and restaurants crackle with life into the early hours of the morning, while the accommodation gives a tourist – friendly vibe to the area. As clubbing districts go, it has a refreshingly electric offering, whether you’re after a refined Jazz club, searing house beats, an upbeat salsa bar or a packed rock venue. Pacaville is a designated pedestrian zone in the evenings and, much like Malta itself, has enough diversity for holidaymakers to adapt the experience to their tastes.
  • With its sleepy ambience and bobbing fishing boats, the southern village of Marsaxlokk is synonymous with relaxation. Visitors looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of city life will appreciate the laid – back pace of Malta’s second largest harbour, which is a great place to stroll or just sit with a drink and watch the world go by. Elsewhere, Malta’s beaches have long been a main draw and the island has a variety of options on offer. Some become busy during summer, but others much less so, and if you’re looking to escape the crowds, Paradise Bay in the north is an attractive choice, with views across to Gozo. Malta has several good casinos, but certainly the most picturesque you will find is the waterfront Casino di Venezia in Vittoriosa, which is set in a beautifully restored palace.
  • The Dwejra route in Gozo is great for beginners, taking in the famous Azure window. An interesting Gozo alternative is the zebbug route through the wied I – In fern valley, with the chance of a swim in Marsalforn Bay.
  • Picturesque Mellieha Bay is perfect for beginners or for more experienced Kayakers. There’s a notable sea cave at ix – xillep and opportunities to break for snorkeling at Slugs Bay. From this point, more adventurous kayakers can head out to St Paul’s Island or Armier Bay.
  • Stepping out in Malta and Gozo brings maximum reward for modest effort, whether you’re patrolling the bastions of Valletta, with spectacular harbour views on either side of the city, or legging it across Gozo’s patchwork rural landscape on popular walking routes.
  • The prospect of scaling the limestone rock walls of the Maltese islands is appealing to both beginners and experts, who can enjoy the sport year round on a variety of different terrain. Malta has 30 rock climbing sites of all grades and difficulty, with no fewer than 1,300 established climbing routes.
  • With some of the cleanest waters in the Med offering superb year – round diving for all experience levels, the Maltese islands are a diver’s delight. The mix of boat and shore dives reveals chimneys, drop offs, swim – throughs and caves such as Gozo’s dramatic Cathedral Cave and comino’s remarkable cave complex. Wrecks range from a Blenheim bomber and S – class submarine from world war ∏ to three local ferries sunk to create artificial reefs for fish. With no tides or currents to spoil the view, Malta offers perfect snorkeling conditions, especially in comino.


  • Capital; Bamako
  • Main cities; Segou, Sikasso
  • Population; 14,517,176 (As per the year 2009 estimates)
  • Currency; CFA franc(XOF). Major credit cards may be accepted only in some Bamako hotels. Exchange rate (approximate XOF 479 = $ 1). Tipping (10 % in restaurants).
  • Time; GMT
  • Electricity; 215 / 240 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; On the right. International licence required
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,3,20; March 26; April 6; May 1,25; July 18; September 22,23; December 25. The list includes Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate)
  • Language; French.
  • Religion; Mainly Sunni Muslim. Also traditional beliefs.
  • Country Dial Code; + 223
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is vital and required.
  • Health requirements;
  • Yellow fever certificate required. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid, Polio, and Malaria recommended. Also meningitis, depending on area visited and time of year.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway – including Bamako (BKO). Domestic airports in Mopti (MZI) and Timbuktu (TOM). Typical flying time from UK is 6 hours, while from New York, 12.5 hours via Dakar.
  • Departure Tax; CFA 10.000 (£ 13.20), sometimes included in the ticket price.
  • Dogon culture
  • Mysterious Timbuktu
  • Djenne, gateway to the Sahara.


  • Capital; Male’
  • Population; 317,280 (As per the year 2010 estimates)
  • Currency; Maldivian rufiyaa (MVR) = 100 laaree. Credit cards and travellers’ cheques accepted on most islands. Exchange rate (approximate MVR 15.33 = $ 1). Tipping (Officially discouraged). However, 10 % is the accepted level in hotels and restaurants.
  • Time; GMT + 5
  • Electricity; 230 – 240 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; On the left. International licence endorsed by Ministry of Transport & Communications or a locally issued licence
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,3; February 1, 19; May 1; June 1,6; July 18; August 31; September 23; October 13; November 11; December 25. The list includes a number of Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate.
  • Language; Dhihevi is the Maldivian language. English is widely spoken in the country.
  • Religion; Sunni Muslim
  • Country Dial Code; + 960
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa issued on arrival are valid for up to 30 days.
  • Health requirements

Yellow fever certificate if arriving from an infected area; hepatitis A, Polio, tetanus and typhoid immunisations recommended.

  • Climate
  • Tropical; hot with showers year – round and heavy rainfall during the monsoon season from May to November. The driest period of the year is between December and April
  • Getting there; (Major gateways – including Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (MLE), Gan (GAN). Typical flying time from UK is 9 hours via Dubai.
  • Transfers; From Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, It’s a 15 – minute boat ride to the capital Male’
  • Port; Male’
  • Getting Around
  • Inter – island ferries are the most common form of transport for getting around the islands of the Maldives, although small aircraft link Male’ airport with resort islands. Seaplanes serve some less accessible resorts.
  • Accommodation
  • Resort complexes comprise hostels, bungalows and villas, many built with international – style facilities but thatched local – style and often on stilts overlooking the water. Resorts all have chalet type rooms with central services. They range from low – cost for diving enthusiasts to good – value accommodation and top – class luxury properties with some - well – known luxury hotel groups represented. No building is allowed to be higher than the tallest Palm tree and all are built to stringent specifications. There is a star – rating system.
  • White sandy beaches
  • Clear lagoons and colourful coral reefs
  • Scuba diving
  • Night fishing
  • Whale shark, Manta ray and dolphin watching
  • Spas
  • National Museum
  • The articles on display range from thrones and palanquins used by former sultans to the rifle used by Mohamed Thakurufaanu in his fight against Portuguese.
  • Mulee – aage;
  • Right in front of the Hukuru Miskiiy is Mulee – aage, a palace built in 1906 by Sultan Mohamed Shamsuddeen 3, replacing a house dating back to the mid – 17th At present, it houses the president’s office.
  • Hukuru Miskiiy;
  • Built in the 17th century, the Hukuru Miskiiy (Friday Mosque) served the population of Male’ as their main mosque for almost four centuries.
  • The Islamic Centre; Male’s most vivid architectural landmark
  • Fish Market; The main Male’ commercial area is on the northern waterfront.
  • Top Activities in Maldives
  • Windsurfing and parasailing
  • Sailing
  • Snorkeling and diving.
  • What to eat and drink
  • Staples are seafood, mainly tuna and rice, generally spicy and flavoured with coconut but not hot; fish curry, fish paste and soup. The high points of the islands are covered with Palm and bread fruit plantations. Also International cuisines such as Chinese, Thai, Indian and more.
  • What to buy; Mat weaving, embroidery, lacquerware, shells, mother of pearl and coral.


  • Frequently Asked Questions (Faque)
  1. What is the origin of the islands?

Answer; Maldives islands are atolls, coral reefs that surround the peaks of a submerged volcanic mountain range.

  1. What are the business hours on the islands?

Answer; From 08.00 until 16.00 in government sector and generally from 09.00 to 17.00 for businesses, Sunday to Thursday. The weekend is Friday and Saturday.

  1. Will I be understood?

Answer; Although Dhivehi is the official language, English is widely spoken, especially on the capital Male’ and the scattered resorts.

  1. What is the capital of Maldives?

Answer; Male’, which has a total population of over 103, 693

  1. How many Islands does Maldives have?

Answer; More than 1, 190, of which 203 are inhabited and 94 are exclusive resort Islands.

  1. Where are the Maldives?

Answer; Maldives is a chain of 19 island groups in the Indian Ocean, located 300 miles / 500 km southwest of the southern tip of India.

  • The best way to experience the life of an ordinary Maldivian is to travel to an inhabited island. Some of these islands are modern, with brightly painted house walls and harbor areas, while others are quiet fishing villages with lots of tree shade, swings and traditional wooden holhuashi (island – like gazebos). And there’s much to discover; with more than 1, 190 islands and only a few hundred being utilized, it’s easy to find an uninhabited island anywhere in Maldives.
  1. RELAX
  • A holhuashi is built with hollow wooden trunks tied together forming a large, bench – like seat, often with a thatched roof. They are conveniently set up on beaches, often where the boats come in, and provide a place where islanders can sit, wind down and relax after a hard day’s work.
  1. DIVE
  • Diving among the islands of Maldives usually takes place along a faru (reef), a thila (a submerged aquarium – like reef, on a channel where the atoll meets the ocean) or on a wreck. Night diving is particularly beautiful, as is a macro dive that lets you see tiny, interesting and usually disregarded creatures up close and personal. Even the most reductant diver can enjoy underwater life on a drift dive with the guidance of experienced dive instructors. A dive in a house reef can be equally rewarding, only a few minutes from the shore.
  • Fishing is in the Maldivian blood. It’s so entwined in the lives of Maldivians that there are celebrations when a good catch is caught and complaints when fish is scarce. Maldivian fishermen wake up to the dawn call of island roosters, collect bait in nearby reefs and start a full day’s work using the pole and line method of fishing. To experience the satisfaction of catching and cooking your own fish, a night reef fishing trip (offered by most resorts) is the way to go. Boat crew will show you how to use lines, hooks and sinkers, with the idea being to catch enough fish to fill the barbecue grill.
  • Maldives is a firm favourite with honeymooners. Without a single light on the ground, the stars above come alive in abundance, while tiny lights of phosphorescence get washed up by the beach. It’s like floating among the stars.
  • A daytime excursion to a desert island is an experience of its own. The raw, unspoilt vegetation surrounded by blinding beaches and the dazzling, sunbeam – lined waters can make for a truly special set of photos.
  1. SHOP
  • While Maldives is far from your traditional shopping destination, interesting arts and crafts goods can be bought from market traders selling hand – made items to treasure.
  • Maldives island are located in the Indian ocean, formed by a double chain of 26 atolls. The people of the islands are widely dispersed across the atolls and there are some 200 inhabited islands. Ninety of the islands have been developed as tourist resorts and the remainder are either inhabited or are used for agriculture and other livelihood purposes.
  • The islands of Maldives are located on the trading route of the Indian Ocean. Settlers and visitors from neighbouring regions and around the world have come in contact with the islands for as long as history has been recorded. Such is the to – and – fro flow of people and their cultures that a marked effect has been left on the Maldivian people and their language, beliefs and arts.
  • Maldivian beliefs have been very much based around religion and superstition, often used together in matters of significance but given separate positions in society. In matters of faith, Islam dominates, but influence of the supernatural still continues to play a significant role in the majority of island communities, possibly giving credit to the folklore and Buddhist traditions of the islands’ first settlers prior to their conversion to islam in 1153.
  • The fine artistry of the Maldivian people, which is seen in the intricate details on wooden beams of antique mosques, represents what has been gained from Southeast Asian architecture. The dhoni, a typical hand – crafted Maldivian sailboat, is an art form in itself, built with significant similarities to the Arabian dhon.
  1. THE SEA
  • More than 1,000 species of fish and other underwater creatures inhabit the Maldivian waters. The monsoon tides of the Indian Ocean create a collection of small marine creatures, as well as microscopic plant cells. This in turn creates a hub for all kinds of underwater species that gather in these waters, lured by the abundance of food. The islands are protected by thousands of reefs which themselves are carefully protected.


  1. LOCATION; Complete with its own artificial beach, swimming track, historic sites and spectacular skyline of candy - coloured syscrapers, Male’ - at the southern edge of north Male’ Atoll - manages to be both an island and a city. At one time a sparsely populated island, Male’ was founded as a trading post by the Portuguese in the 16th century and has evolved into a world- class city with modern facilities. Mulee - aage, the presidential residence, was built just before WWI and overlooks the Friday Mosque, which dates from 1656.
  2. SURF; The Male’ surf point Raal hugandu and the artificial beach lie on the south - eastern side of Male’. The area comes to life in the late afternoon and evening, with hundreds of dwellers coming out to relax and enjoy the fresh sea air.

The fish market is two blocks from the local market. The best time to visit is in the late afternoon, when the local fishermen bring in their catch. It’s well worth watching the fish cutters at work with their practised blades, slicing the fish.



  • Capital; Oslo
  • Main cities; Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim, Tromso
  • Population; 5,000,000 (As per the year 2012 estimates)
  • Currency; Norwegian Krone (NOK). All major credit cards are accepted, but please note the euro is not a valid currency in Norway. Exchange rate (approximate NOK 6.20=$1). Tipping (Rounding up is customary in taxis: in restaurants tip 10% if happy with the service).
  • Time; GMT + 1
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor needed
  • Driving; Driving is on the right.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; April 2,3,6; May 1, 14,17,25; December 25,26.
  • Language; Sami is a minority language spoken in the far north. English is widely spoken.
  • Religion; Lutheran Protestant
  • Country Dial Code; + 47
  • Visa requirements
  • Norway is party to the Schengen Agreement. No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement.
  • Health requirements
  • No requirements.
  • Climate
  • Conditions are moderate on the coast and more extreme inland, with cold, snowy winters and warm summers. Rain is distributed throughout the year. The area of the country north of the Arctic circle has continuous daylight in midsummer and constant twilight in the depths of winter.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways – including Oslo Airport Gardermoen (OSL), Bergen Flesland (BGO), Trondheim Vaernes (TRD), Tromso (TOS), Stavanger Sola (SVG), Alesund Vigra (AES), Kristiansand (KRS). Typical flying time from New York is 8 hours, while from UK, 2 hours.
  • Transfers; Oslo (32 miles / 51 km) airport express train 20 minutes; bus 40 minutes; taxi 35 minutes; Bergen (12 miles / 20 km) airport bus 30 minutes; taxi 30 minutes; Trondheim (20 miles / 32 km) train 40 minutes; bus 50 minutes; taxi 40 minutes; Tromso (2 miles / 3 km) bus 15 minutes; taxi 5 minutes.
  • Ports; Bergen, Kristiansand, Oslo, Stavanger, Haugesund, Alesund, Trondheim.
  • Getting Around
  • Oslo’s public transport network comprises trains, trams, buses, underground and ferries, with the Oslo Pass allowing unlimited travel on the system. Similar passes apply in Bergen. Norway has an efficient national rail network and in regions where trains don’t run, such as in the fjord region and the extreme north, buses do. Hurtigruten coastal steamers serve the coast daily from Bergen to Kirkenes.
  • Accommodation
  • Ranges from top – class hostels to simple motels; hotels in Norway are generally good value and the quality is high. For an unusual option, try an ice hotel. There is no star rating system, apart from camping cabins.
  • Major Events in Norway
  • Bergen Music Fest, Bergen (late April / early May)
  • Holmenkollstafetten, Oslo (May)
  • International Music & Cultural Festival (Festspillene I Bergen), Bergen (late May / early June)
  • Hove Festival (Music), Arendal (July)
  • Mobil Bislet Games (athletcs), Oslo (June / July)
  • Molde Jazz Festival, Molde (July / August)
  • Norwegian Food Festival, Alesund (August)
  • Norwegian Film Festival, Haugesund (August)
  • International Chamber Music Festival, Trondheim (September)
  • Oslo International Jazz Festival, Oslo (August)
  • International Chamber Music Festival, Stavanger (August)
  • St Olav Festival, Trondheim (July / August)
  • Gladmat Food Festival, Stavanger (July)
  • Holmenkollen Ski Festival, Oslo (March)
  • Northen Lights Festival, Tromso (January)
  • Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo
  • Holmenkollen Ski Museum, Oslo
  • Bryggen, Bergen
  • Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park
  • Tusenfryd Amusement Park, Oslo
  • Flam Scenic Railway, Flam
  • Hadeland Glassworks, Jevnaker
  • Floibanen, Bergen
  • Fortress Town of Fredrikstad
  • Viking Ships Museum, Oslo
  • Hunderfossen Family Park, Lillehammer
  • Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim
  • Svalbard
  • Lofoten islands.
  • Northen Cape, Honnings vag.
  • Troldhaugen, Edvard Grieg’s home,  Bergen
  • Fjords including – sognefjord, Geirangerfjord – a Unesco World Heritage Site, Hardangerfjord, Pulpit Rock / Lysefjord
  • Nobel Peace Center, Oslo
  • Northen Lights.
  • What to eat and drink
  • Hot and cold buffets and open sandwiches are features of Norwegian cuisine, which prides itself on presentation. Fish dishes, including cod, coal fish, salmon and lutefisk, are also staples, with fermented rakfisk an inland speciality, together with elk. Reindeer is popular in the north, as is steamed or roasted mutton in the west, while meat cakes and lamb dishes are available countrywide. There are three varieties of local beer and caraway – flavoured aquavit, traditionally enjoyed with heavy meals such as cured mutton ribs, is the best – known Norwegian spirit.
  • What to buy
  • Woollen jumpers, Crystal, Leather, Silver and Copper Jewellery, Rose – Painted and Carved Handicrafts.
  • Frequently Asked Questions (Faque)
  1. What’s the best way to see the famous fjords?

Answer; Definitely by sea. A number of cruise companies offer itineraries from the UK taking in major ports and fjords along Norway’s west coast. To see even more of the country, Hurtigruten sails from Bergen to Kirkenes offering a ferry –  come - cruise experience with many stops along the way.

  1. When can I see the Northern Lights?

Answer; The best time for seeing the Aurora Borealis is north of the Arctic Circle between November and March.

  1. When can I see the “Midnight Sun”?

Answer; Between mid – May and mid – August, depending on where you stay in northern Norway. The further north you go, the longer this period lasts.

  • The Munch Museum contain the Scream and other Paintings, graphical prints and drawings by Edvard Munch, the Norwegian symbolist painter whose works were donated to the city after his death in 1944. There are currently plans for a new Munch Museum, which most likely will be built in Bjorvica, a neighborhood in the southeast of the city
  • Oslo is home to more than 20 theatres, including the Norwegian Theatre – the country’s largest – and the National Theatre. The Oslo opera was opened in 2008.
  • Opened in 2005, the building houses a permanent exhibition, which expands each year as a new Nobel Peace Prize winner is announced. It used primarily as a communications centre and provides information on everyone who has been awarded the accolade.
  • They include Oslo Live, which focuses on rock, pop and hip hop, and the Oslo Jazz Festival, six – day event that has been held annually in August for the past 25 years. Oslo’s biggest rock festival is the four – day Oyafestivalen, which draws a crowd of 80,000 to the medieval Park.
  • This museum on the Bygdoy peninsula is dedicated to all things folk; folk art, folk dress. Sami culture and the Vikings’ culture. The outdoor complex contains 155 authentic old buildings from all parts of Norway, including a stave church.


  • Capital; Pyong yang
  • Main cities; Hamhung, Chongjin, Nampo
  • Population; 24,000,000 (As per the year 2014 estimates.)
  • Currency; North Korean Won (NKW). Foreigners are not allowed to use the local currency and it is recommended to pay in euros. US dollars and Chinese Yuan are also accepted but credit cards and travelers cheques are not accepted; all payments should be made in cash. Exchange rate (approximate NKW 130 = $ 1). Tipping (Optional but becoming more common. Expected by both tour guides and drivers).
  • Time; GMT + 9
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the right. No possibility of driving in DPRK for foreigners.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; February 16; April 15,25; May 1; July 27; August 15; September 8,9; October 10; December 27.
  • Language; Korean
  • Religion; Buddhism and Confucianism
  • Country Dial Code; + 850
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is vital and required
  • Health requirements
  • Precautions against hepatitis A and B, typhoid and tetanus recommended.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway – including Sunan International Airport (FNJ). Typical flying time from UK is 12 hours via Beijing, while from United States of America, 14 hours
  • Transfers; Pyong yang (13 miles / 24 km)
  • Departure Tax; None.


  • Capital; Nicosia
  • Main cities; Famagusta, Kyrenia.
  • Population; 285,356 (As per the year 2010 estimates).
  • Currency; Turkish lira (TL). Sterling, euro and US dollars are an acceptable form of currency. Major credit cards are widely used. Exchange rate (approximate TL 2.12 = $ 1). Tipping (around 10 % is expected in restaurants and the same amount applies for taxi drivers.)
  • Time; GMT + 2
  • Electricity; 240 volts.
  • Driving; On the left
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,15; April 23; May 1, 19; July 20; August 1, 30; October 29; November 10,15;
  • Language; English is widely spoken.
  • Religion; Islam
  • Country Dial Code; + 90 392
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and needed. On arrival at Ercan Airport, you may request a separate entry visa to be stamped instead of your passport.
  • Health requirements; None
  • Climate
  • The average monthly temperature in North Cyprus ranges from 12C in January to 28C in July. Rainfall is highest in winter, while July and August are virtually rain – free.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways – including Ercan (ECN), Gecitkale (GEC). Typical flying time from UK, 5 hours, including a 45minutes stopover in Turkey, while from New York, 15.5 hours via Istanbul.
  • Transfers; From Ercan; Kyrenia (23 miles / 36 km), Famagusta (32 miles / 51 km). From Gecitkale; Kyrenia (28 miles / 45 km); Famagusta (16 miles/25 km)
  • Ports; Kyrenia, Famagusta
  • Accommodation
  • Places to stay in the northern part of Cyprus range from five – star deluxe hotels to budget accommodation, including B & B establishments and campsites. Most of the tourist accommodation is low – rise.
  • Major Events in North Cyprus
  • Guzelyurt Orange Festival (May)
  • International Bellapais Music Festival (May / June)
  • Famagusta International Spring Concert
  • Iskele Festival (June)
  • Famagusta International Art – Culture Festival (June / July)
  • Mehmetcik Grape Festival (August)
  • North Cyprus International Music Festival (September / October)
  • Olive Fest Kyrenia (October)
  • Kyrenia Castle and harbour
  • St Hilarion Castle, overlooking Kyrenia
  • Ancient City of Salamis, Famagusta.
  • Bellapais Monastery, four miles from Kyrenia
  • St Barnabas Monastery and Icon Museum
  • Lala Mustafa Pasa Mosque, Famagusta
  • Othello Tower, Famagusta
  • Buffavento Castle in the Kyrenia Mountains
  • Selmiye Mosque, Nicosia
  • Soli ruins and vouni palace
  • Golden Beach, Karpaz Peninsula
  • What to eat and drink;
  • The cuisine of North Cyprus has Turkish, Greek and Middle Eastern influences. Specialities are a variety of Mezes – a range of small hot and cold dishes served as a starter that include hellim (the local cheese), vegetables soaked in olive oil, and sea food. Main courses include Lamb, Kebabs and locally caught fish. Local beer and wine is mostly produced in Turkey, as is the spirit of choice, raki. Brandy sour remains the fovourite local cocktail.
  • What to buy
  • Local handicrafs such as pottery, ceramics and the intricate Lefkara embroidery work; gold and silver.
  • Frequently Asked Questions (Faque)
  1. Will I be able to cross the border between the southern and northern sides of Cyprus and vice versa?

Answer; Yes. There are no longer restrictions on border crossings in Cyprus for EU citizens, who are free to cross and spend as much time as they wish on either side of the border by producing their ID card or passport at any time of day. At present there are seven crossing points – pedestrians only at the Ledra Palace and Lokmaci border gates, both in Lefkosa (Nikosia); Pedestrians and those with a vehicle at the Metehan border gate in Lefkosa; Beyarmudu (Pile) near the British Sovereign Base at Dhekelia; Akyar border gate near Gazimagusa (Famagusta) on the Larnaca – Famagusta road; Bostanci in Lefixe and the Yesilirmak border gate to the west of Yesilirmak village.

  1. How will my future travel be affected if my passport is stamped in North Cyprus?

Answer; If you would prefer not to have your passport stamped in North Cyprus,

You my request a separate entry form from immigration officials at Ercan Airport. This is stamped instead and can be discarded on your exit from the country.

  1. Will I be able to enter North Cyprus of I have already visited the south of the island?

Answer; Yes. Having an endorsement in your passport from the southern Greek side of Cyprus, Mainland Greece or any of the Greek islands will in no way affect your right of entry to North Cyprus.



  • Capital; Abuja
  • Main cities; Lagos, Port Harcourt
  • Population; 158,259,000 (As per the year 2010 estimates).
  • Currency; Nigerian naira (NGN). Use official exchange and hotels, avoids touts. Sterling, US dollars and credit cards such as visa and American Express are accepted at major tourist places. Exchange rate (approximate NGN 162 = $ 1. Tipping (10 % for most services. Tip for Taxi drivers should be agreed in advance, together with the fare.)
  • Time; GMT + 1
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; On the left. A Nigerian driver’s license is required and it can take months to obtain. International driving permits are not recognized.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1, 3; April 3, 6; May 1; July 18; September 23; October 1; December 25,26; Also Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate.
  • Language; English
  • Religion; Muslim, Christian, traditional beliefs.
  • Country Dial Code; + 234
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and required
  • Health requirements
  • Immunisation required against yellow fever, meningitis and cholera. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid, Polio and Malaria recommended; also meningitis depending on area visited and time of year.
  • Climate; The temperature is hot all year round, but there is an extensive rainy season across the country, beginning in the southern, coastal areas in late February and traveling north, reaching most areas by early summer, with rain lasting through September. Northern areas typically see the highest rainfall during August; the coastal area experience the highest precipitation in May, June and October.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways – including Lagos Murtala Mohammed (LOS), Abuja Nnamdi Azikiwe (ABV), Port Harcourt (PHC). Typical flying time from UK is 6 hours, while from New York to Abuja / Lagos takes 14 hours via London, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt or Dakar.
  • Transfers; Lagos (13 miles / 22 km) taxi 40 minutes; airport bus service
  • Departure taxi; Include in cost of air ticket
  • Ports; Lagos, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Warri
  • Accommodation
  • International chains in Lagos and Abuja and reasonable hotels in all 36 state capitals. Medium quality and tourist establishments also available.
  • Major Events in Nigeria
  • Kaduna International Trade Fair (February)
  • Argungu Fishing Festival (March)
  • Osun Osogbo Culture Festival (August)
  • Lagos International Trade Fair (November)
  • Yankari National Park, Bauchi
  • Kainji Lake National Park
  • Eleko / Mayegun / Alfa Beachers, Lagos
  • Obudu Cattle Ranch, Cross River State
  • Jos Wildlife Park
  • Port Harcourt Tourist Beach
  • National War Museum, Umuahia
  • What to eat and drink
  • Nigerian fare includes pounded yam with egusi soup or vegetables with fish or bush meat; tuwo shinkafa / tuwo masara (rice dishes with spicy soups); banga (Palm fruit), soup with garri (a root vegetable); jollof rice (risotto); beans with fried plantain, palm wine, local beers (Gulder, star) and spirits.
  • What to buy
  • Batik (fabric), Leatherwork, wood carvings, crafts, duty – free.
  • Frequently Asked Questions (Faque)
  1. Is the transport good?

Answer; Nigeria has a high quality transportation system, especially by air and rail

  1. Is English understood?

Answer; No problem here; English is the official language.

  1. Are visitors welcome?

Answer; You will find the local people very friendly and hospitable towards visitors

  1. What is the best time to visit Nigeria?

Answer; Between September and January is the best time.


  • Situated between Borno and Yobe states, the wettands of Bade and Nguru are internationally renowned as a congregating site for migrant birds coming from Europe. The park is a refurbished tourist attraction and has played host to Holland’s Prince Bernard in 1987 and the UK’s Prince Philip in 1989. The Park contains rare desert wildlife – including giraffes, Ostriches and red – fronted gazelles.
  • Located in Kwara state, Owu Falls is the steepest natural waterfall in West Africa and is surrounded by tropical rainforest. Among the foliage are a wide range of rare animals and plants. Other important attractions in Kwara state include the Esie Museum, Imoleboja Rock Shelter, Ogunjokoro, Kainji Lake National Park and Agbonna Hill.
  • Covering just 3 square miles (8 square kilometres) of savannah bush, Jos Wildlife Park is a popular attraction and is home to animals such as lions, pythons and pygmy hippopotamuses.
  • There are several beaches along the Lekki Peninsula, the foremost being Lekki Beach a few miles from the centre of Lagos, which continues to attract foreign tourists. Beach shelters made of Palm fronds and umbrellas keep the sun at bay, as well as providing a place to enjoy snacks.
  • This is a popular spot for swimming as there’s no undertow. There are loungers and umbrellas on the sand, as well as a few good stalls selling suyas (shish kebabs) and chops (finger foods)
  • Coconut Beach is a beautiful spot in the coastal town of Badagry, west of Lagos. The sands are accessible from the Lagos - Badagry expressway and are located in a picturesque setting surrounded by coconut trees, about 20 miles from the border with Benin (Formery known as Dahomey)
  • Now often known as the Obudu Mountain Resort. Obudu Cattle Ranch lies on the Obudu plateau, close to the Cameroon border. The addition of tourist facilities has turned the ranch into one of the best – known holiday resorts in Nigeria.
  • This large wildlife park in north eastern Nigeria covers an area of about 870 square miles (2,253 square kilometres) and is home to several natural warm – water springs, as well as a wide variety of flora and fauna


  • Capital; Managua
  • Main cities; Leon, Granada, Matagalpa, Esteli, Chinandega, Bluefields
  • Population; 5,822,000 (As per the year 2010 estimates).
  • Currency; Cordoba (C$) = 100 Centavos. Best currency to take is US dollars. Visa and Mastercard are accepted, although it is recommended to use cash and travelers cheques. Exchange rate (approximate C$ 25 = $ 1. Tipping (10 % service charge sometimes included; if not tip 10 %
  • Time; GMT – 6
  • Electricity; 110 volts. An adaptor may be required.
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the left. International or Inter – American driving permit required.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1, April 2,3; May 1; July 19; September 15; November 2; December 8,25.
  • Language; Spanish in all the country. English is spoken on the Caribbean side.
  • Religion; Catholic majority and other Christian denominations.
  • Country Dial Code; + 505
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is vital and needed.
  • Health requirements
  • Yellow fever immunization essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid, Polio and Malaria recommended.
  • Climate
  • Nicaragua’s climate is hot and dry along the pacific coast, mild in the central Mountains and humid in the Caribbean region. Broadly tropical climate for most of the country. The dry season is December to May and the rainy season May to October. The northern Mountain regions have a much cooler climate.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway – including Managua (MGA). Typical flying time from UK is 7 hours, while from Miami, 2 hours 35 minutes.
  • Transfers; Managua (8 miles / 12 km) bus; taxi 15 minutes – from city.
  • Departure Tax; $ 32 (usually included in the cost of the air ticket).
  • Accommodation; Leading hotels in Managua include the Holiday Inn, Intercontinental, Hilton Princess, Best Western, camino Real, Seminole Plaza and Crowne Plaza Managua. You can also contact HOPEN (the Nicaraguan Association of small Hotels);
  • Major Events in Nicaragua
  • Sandinista Revolution Anniversary (July 19)
  • Fair in the capital Managua (August)
  • Independence Day (September 15)
  • Virgin of the Inmaculate Conception, Purisima (December 7 – 8)
  • Volcano Masaya National Park
  • Masaya Market
  • Montelimar Beach
  • Corn Island
  • Historical City of Grenada
  • Colonial City of Leon
  • Leon Cathedral (new addition to UNESCO World Heritage List)
  • Biosphere Reserve Island of Ometepe
  • Coffee Route (Northern Region)
  • Water Route (Rio San Juan de Nicaragua, Elcastillo and Solentiname)
  • Sandino Route
  • Dario City and Museum
  • San Pablo Island Fortress
  • National Palace, Managua
  • National Museum, Managua
  • Isla Zapatera National Park
  • El Castillo del Cacao (Pure Cacao Chocolate Factory).
  • Domitila Private Wildlife Reserve
  • Tepesomoto – La Patasta Natural Reserve
  • San Juan del sun bay & town
  • White Towns (Catarina, San Juan de Oriente, Diriomo, Diria, Masatepe and Niquinohomo).
  • Mombacho Natural Reserve
  • Turtle Nesting in Wildlife Reserve Chacocente and La Flor (July – January)
  • What to eat and drink
  • National dishes include gallopinto, rice and beans fried together with spices such as coriander, onion and peppers. Mondongo soup consists of diced tripe with vegetables, while vigoron comprises chopped vegetables, chilli, Yucca and fried pork skin. Also typical of Nicaragua is vaho, prepared with yucca, green and ripe bananas, beef, tomatoes, onion, sour orange juice and banana leaves for cover. In the Caribbean, seafood with coconut is the best option. Drinks include Victoria or Tona beer and Flor De cana rum, one of the best in the world.
  • What to buy; Cigars, woodwork and Pottery.


  • Capital; Wellington
  • Main cities; Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin
  • Population; 4,410,100 (As per the year 2011 estimates).
  • Currency
  • New Zealand dollar (NZ $). All major credit cards accepted; debit cards / switch cards work in ATMs. Exchange rate (approximate NZ $ 1.14 = $ 1. Tipping (Not customary in New Zealand).
  • Time; GMT + 12 (adjusted during daylight savings).
  • Electricity; 230 / 240 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Traffic drives on the left
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; February 6; April 3,6,27; June 1; October 26; December 25,28.
  • Language; English
  • Religion; Christian denominations.
  • Country Dial Code; + 64
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and required
  • Health requirements; No requirements.
  • Climate

At the top of North Island, around Auckland, conditions are subtropical, with warm, humid summers and mild winters, and rain expected at any time of the year. Further south, winters can be chilly, with frost.  South Island is generally cooler, with occasional snow in the winter.

  • Getting there; (Major gateways – including Auckland (AKL), Christchurch (CHC), Wellington (WLG). Typical flying time from UK is 26 hours, while from Los Angeles,12 hours 40 minutes.
  • Transfers
  • Auckland (15 miles / 25 km) airbus shuttle 40 minutes; bus 60 minutes; taxi shuttle (shared) 45 minutes; taxi 30 minutes; Christchurch (6.5 miles / 11 km) airbus shuttle 20 – 30 minutes; bus 25 minutes; taxi 15 minutes; Wellington (5 miles / 8 km) airbus shuttle 30 minutes; taxi 20 minutes;
  • Ports
  • Auckland, Tauranga & Rotorua, Lyttleton (Christchurch), Akaroa, Wellington, Napier, Chalmers (Dunedin), Bay of Islands, Picton & Marlborough Sounds, Fiordland.
  • Accommodation
  • New Zealand Islands offer a wide range of accommodation, ranging from International Luxury hotels to good value mid – range hotels and motels. For more adventurous and budget – Conscious types, there are B & Bs, Backpacker hostels, Lodges, Holiday Parks, Cabins and Tent / Caravan / Campervan sites. Stays on a working farm are a further option.
  • Getting Around
  • Travellers can use domestic air services between the main cities and there are also ferry services between the North and South Islands. Bus services in the main cities and towns are reliable. Auckland and Wellington have zonal fares with tickets purchased in advance and various passes for unlimited travel. Another option is to use metered taxi. For traveling further afield, there are six long – distance rail routes, for which there are also discounted passes as well as Inter City Coachlines’ daily scheduled services.
  • Major Events in New Zealand
  • Heineken Tennis Open (January)
  • Holden New Zealand Golf Open (January)
  • New Zealand Herald Auckland Anniversary Regatta (January)
  • BMW Wine Marborough Festival (February)
  • New Zealand International Arts Festival (February / March)
  • Lindauer Queenstown Winter Festival (June / July)
  • Bay of Islands; Settler history, Maori culture, cruising and beaches.
  • Auckland; Sailing, black sand beaches, waiheke island and other offshore islands.
  • Rotorua; geysers, mudpools and Maori culture.
  • Waikato: Waitomo glow worm caves, Hobbiton Tours.
  • Hawke’s Bay; art deco city, wineries, restaurants.
  • Wellington: National Museum, cafe culture, wellywood, art and culture.
  • Marlborough; Waterways, Walking and Wine Country.
  • Nelson: Sea kayaking, World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars Museum
  • Kaikoura: whale watching, dolphins, seals and seafood
  • West coast: Franz josef and Fox glaciers, Pancake Rocks, Rainforest.


  • Queenstown; hiking, skiing, wine tours, health & wellness, bungee jumping and the adrenalin capital
  • Dunedin: fur seals, yellow eyed penguin & home of the only Mainland colony of albatross in the world
  • Stewart Island; see the kiwi in the wild, nature.
  • Adventure and Adrenalin Pursuits
  • Trekking and Hiking
  • Wine Tours
  • Sailing, Diving, Kayaking
  • What to eat and drink;
  • New Zealand has a largely British – based cuisine with Mediterranean and pacific Rim influences as the country becomes more cosmopolitan. Seafood, lamb and venison are among favoured New Zealand fare. Steinlarger is a popular local beer; there are 10 major wine – producing areas with montana the largest brand
  • Frequently Asked Questions (Faque)
  1. When is the best time to go trekking and hiking?

Answer; Tracks such as the Abel Tasman, Heaphy and Queen Chartotte Sounds walkway at the top of South Island can be walked year – round. Tracks at higher altitudes, such as the Milford Track, Kepler and Routeburn, are closed in winter.

  1. When is the best time to visit New Zealand?

Answer; Temperatures in summer and winter vary by only about 10C.  In summer, there is plenty of sunshine and watersports; In winter there is snow and skiing. Spring and autumn are ideal times to travel in New Zealand as it is less crowded, the weather is good and there are some great festivals.



  • Capital; Amsterdam
  • Main cities; Rotterdam, Utrecht, The Hague, Eindhoven, Groningen, Maastricht
  • Population; 16,847,585 (As per the year 2014 estimates)
  • Currency; Euro = 100 cents. Visa, Mastercard, Maestro and American Express in wide use. Exchange rate (approximate Euro 0.73 = $ 1). Tipping (Hotels and restaurants include a service charge; any small charge is usually left for waiters. Tip around 10 % for good service)
  • Time; GMT + 1
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Driving is on the right. International driving permit is recommended.
  • Public holidays; Include January 1; April 5,6,27; May 5,14,24,25; December 25,26
  • Language; Dutch and Frisian, with English, German and French widely spoken
  • Religion; The majority of the Dutch population are Catholic or Protestant. Judaism has been present for much of the country’s history. Islam is a relatively new and fast – growing religion
  • Country Dial Code; + 31
  • Visa requirements
  • The Netherlands is party to the Schengen Agreement. No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement.
  • Health requirements; None
  • Climate
  • Holland has a sea climate, meaning that the relatively constant temperature of the water moderates any seasonal changes the climate tries to induce on the temperature. February through to May are the driest months, and May through to August the sunniest. The winds mainly come across from western Europe. On average, Holland experiences a mild winter and a warm summer (18 – 22C)
  • Getting there; (Major gateways – including Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS), Rotterdam / the Hague (RTM), Maastricht / Aachen (MST), Eindhoven (EIN), Groningen (GRQ). Typical flying time from UK is 1 hour, while from New York, 7 hours. From Los Angeles, 9 hours by direct flight.
  • Transfers; Amsterdam (12 miles / 19 km) train 20 minutes, bus or taxi. Rotterdam (6 miles / 10 km) bus 20/25 minutes; taxi 15 minutes. Maastricht (4 miles / 6.5 km) bus 20 minutes; taxi 20 minutes. Eindhoven (5 miles / 8 km) bus 20 minutes; taxi 15 minutes. Groningen (9 miles / 15 km) bus 35 minutes; taxi 20 minutes.
  • Ports
  • Hook of Holland, Ijmuiden, Rotterdam / Europoort, Groningen, Harlingen, Den Helder
  • Getting Around
  • The Netherlands has a very extensive public transport network and services to most places run until about midnight. Larger towns have extensive regional bus, train and tram services. Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has one of the country’s largest train stations. Trains to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague depart at least half - hourly, and hourly between 1.00 am and 5. 00 am
  • Accommodation
  • Major Dutch cities have hotels from one to five stars, including those of the larger chain hotels. Especially in Amsterdam, you can find charming canal house hotels on the water. The Netherlands has a reputation of being generally accessible to disabled people
  • Major Events in Netherlands / Holland
  • Carnival (February)
  • King’s Birthday Celebrations (April)
  • Jazz Master Festival, Maastricht (March)
  • Queen’s Birthday Celebrations (April)
  • North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam (July)
  • Dance Valley, Spaarn Woude (July)
  • Amsterdam Gay Pride (August)
  • Start of Tour de France in Utrecht (July 4)
  • Keukenhof Flower Exhibition (Spring)
  • Rembrandt; The Final Years, Exhibition at the Rijks Museum.
  • Vincent Van Gogh Year.
  • Efteling Theme park, Kaatsheuvel
  • Keukenhof, Europe’s biggest spring garden, Lisse.
  • Rijks Museum, Amsterdam (Dutch Masters)
  • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Dutch Masters)
  • Hermitage Museum, Amsterdam
  • Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
  • Euromast Tower, Rotterdam
  • Madurodam: Holland in miniature, The Hague
  • Bonnefanten Museum (ancient / modern art), Maastricht
  • Palace Het Loo, Apeldoorn
  • Corpus journey through the human body’, Leiden
  • Walibi World Attraction Park, Bidding Huizen
  • Gay Pride, Amsterdam
  • Amsterdam Historical Museum
  • Peace Palace, The Hague
  • Vermeer Centrum, Delft
  • Madame Tussauds, Amsterdam.
  •  Gassan Diamonds Factory
  • Heineken Experience
  • What to eat and drink
  • Dutch cooking tends to be wholesome but basic. Local specialities include kale with sausage, hotchpotch with sausage, red cabbag with potatoes, vegetables and meat, bitterballen (meatballs), kroketten (croquet), frikandellen (spicy sausage), cheese plateau, erwtensoep (pea soup with sausage, bacon or pigs’ kuckle), stamppot ( mashed potatoes and greens with sausage ), broodjes (sandwiches), filled pancakes, and seafood dishes using sole, herring, whiting, oysters, shrimps, mussels, lobster and eel. Dutch drinks include jenever gin; Grolsch, Oranjeboom, Amsteel and Heineken beer; and Liqueurs such as Blue curacao.
  • What to buy;
  • Bulbs, tulips, clogs, cheese, Jenever coffee, tea, beer and diamonds.
  • Reopened in 2013 and displaying the world’s largest Van Gogh collection, the museum includes more than 200 of his paintings and many drawings and letters. There’s also a varied collection of other 19th – century art by painters who inspired him and those who drew inspiration from him
  • Amsterdam’s most popular park and a national heritage monument, was opened in 1865. It includes a rose garden, Film Museum and open – air theatre. The energetic can hire skates, while the more laid – back can take leisurely walks on the winding footpaths – there are plenty of benches on which to relax and watch the world go by.
  • The famous Dutch artist’s former house, which he bought in 1639 at the height of his fame, takes visitors back to the 17th The interior has been furnished with items and works of art from this period, including 250 Rembrandt etchings.
  • Once the site of a butter market, the square named after the Dutch painter has 22 bronze statues depicting his famous work The Night Watch. It is lined with cafes with outdoor terraces and is a great spot for people watching.
  • Though no longer the world’s diamond capital, Amsterdam remains a major diamond – cutting centre. The museum traces the trade over four centuries, showing how rough stones are made into sparkling jewels.
  • This central square is a nightlife hub, with many theatres, cinemas, clubs, bars and restaurants in the surrounding area. During the summer, musicians, jugglers, fire – eaters and street entertainers perform until the early hours and in winter there’s a skating rink.
  • This museum tells the story of the growth and heyday of the Dutch capital, from the time it was a small settlement on the banks of the Amstel through seven centuries of history to the present day, with a diverse collection of art and exhibits, including an aerial map from the Middle Ages, Breitner’s the Dam and a lesson on anatomy from Rembrandt
  • This beautiful cinema has been restored to its original art deco glory. While it screens a good selection of the latest releases, classic movies and world films, it’s worth visiting for its beautiful interior alone. For architecture buffs, there are regularly organized guided tours through the building.
  • The singel flower market, open daily, is one of the most colorful and fragrant places in Amsterdam. The stalls themselves are on barges, a tradition that dates back to when flowers and plants were shipped in from the horticultural areas around the city. A selection of the finest bulbs are on sale here for much of the year.
  • A series of canals rings Amsterdam’s historic centre, earning the city the nickname “Venice of the north”. In practice, the two cities don’t actually feel similar. Venice is a watery maze, whereas Amsterdam’s big four canals – Prinsengracht, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Singel – give their host city a pleasing symmetry, making it easy to negotiate. Along their banks stand row upon row of the trademark 17th – century houses, built narrow and tall due to lack of space. The Singel, Amsterdam’s original canal, built more than 400 years ago, encircles the centre of the city and is lined with some of its most beautiful and significant buildings.
  • Built during the Reformation, at a time of Catholic persecution, Amsterlkring is a canal – side house that contains a concealed church. It’s now home to exhibitions
  • The oldest building in Amsterdam, this 800 – year – old church which dominates over the city’s red light district, has a long association with organ recitals – it has a famous 17th – century grand organ and concerts are still staged here.
  • Opened in 1889, this landmark department store on Kalverstraat – one of the city’s main shopping streets – sells top – end clothes and homeware in an atmosphere oozing old – fashioned luxury and tradition.
  • Another contributing factor to Amsterdam’s charm is the notable lack of cars. Here, the bike and the tram rule.
  • Amsterdam’s thriving gay scene and vibrant nightlife prove this historic city has a distinctly modern side
  • While windmills might be more readily associated with the Dutch countryside, there are eight in Amsterdam. The sloten windmill can be visited.
  • In this area characterized by the many designer boutiques, vintage clothing shops, and jewellers something is sure to take your fancy. The area between Leidsestraat and Raadhui sstraat is named after the nine side streets connecting the main canals, which were built in the city in the 17th


  • About Amsterdam
  • Amsterdam has retained its appeal as a popular tourist destination for many years, drawing crowds with its canals, cafe culture and laid – back charm. It continues to assert itself as a cultural capital, with huge reinvestment in its museums and a popular street art scene. Despite being the capital and with a wealth of attractions, it’s a very manageable city to get a round. Hire a bike, jump on a tram or buy a pass for the hop – on, hop – off boats that meander down the canals, and get lost in the markets and various quarters.
  • Prinsengracht 263 is the canal side house where diarist Anne Frank and her family hid for two years in world war ∏. Anne Frank House is a museum on the site preserving the annex in which they lived; it has been restored to the conditions she lived in, with even the movable bookcase that concealed the original annex entrance. It also contains a moving exhibitions in the new wing about the jews and their persecution during the war.
  • Rijks museum, the Dutch national museum, reopened in 2013, having undergone a massive 10 – year renovation to unite its two halves at a cost of $496 m. The commanding building only ever has 8,000 items on display from its million – strong collection, but this number includes many master pieces by the likes of Rembrandt and Frans Hals.
  1. SHOP
  • The spiegelkwartier is the heart of the antique and art trade in the Netherlands and is said to have more antique shops per square foot than anywhere else in the world. Come here to pick up collectibles, but those who want more designer boutiques, try the upmarket Nine streets area between Leidsestraat and Raadhuisstraat.
  • Dutch cuisine may not have the best reputation, but the staff at Restaurant Greetje have worked hard to reinvent old – fashioned fare without losing the traditional flavors of Dutch cuisine. Think plenty of fresh, pickled beefs, stamppot and lots of potatoes; when in Amsterdam, eat like the Dutch.
  1. BAR
  • You won’t find anything more traditionally Dutch than a windmill; head to Brouwerij’t L J - a micro – brewery and tasting house where you can sample the award – winning local ales at the base of the Gooyer windmill. Remember, do everything in moderation – locals have even coined the term “Spinmiled” for tourists who underestimate the strength of the Columbus brew.
  1. VIEW
  • There are no hills for panorama seekers in Amsterdam, but there are guided tours available up westerkerk Toren, the bell tower of westerkerk church, which offers breathtaking views along the Prinsengracht canal and towards the picturesque Jordan area.


  • Capital; Kathmandu
  • Main cities; Pokhara, Lalitpur, Mahendranagar
  • Population; 28,584,975 (As per the year 2011 estimates)
  • Currency; Nepalese rupee (NPR). All major credit cards accepted. Best currencies to carry are US dollars and sterling. Passengers carrying more than US $ 2,000 must declare it on arrival at the customs desk. Exchange rate (approximate NPR 96 = $1). Tipping (Generally 5 – 10 % of the total bill).
  • Time; GMT + 5 hours 45 minutes.
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Driving is on the left. International driving permit is required.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 24,30; February 17,18, March 6,8,22,28; April 14; June 1; September 5; October 13; 27;28; 29;30; November 9.
  • Language; Nepali / Nepalese. English is widely spoken and understood in the tourist areas.
  • Religion; Hindu and Buddhism.
  • Country Dial Code; +977
  • Visa requirements; Visa is essential and required. A visa may be obtained on arrival at entry points in Nepal.
  • Health requirements
  • Yellow fever certificate if arriving from an an infected area. Immunization against hepatitis A, typhoid, rabies, tetanus and polio is recommended; precaution should also be taken against malaria in rural areas.
  • Climate
  • Nepal’s climate varies with its topography, ranging from tropical to arctic depending on altitude. The Terai region, in the tropical southern part of the country, has a hot, humid climate. The midland regions are pleasant almost all year round, although winter nights are cool. The northern mountain region above 11, 500 ft has an alpine climate with a considerably lower winter temperature.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway – including Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu (KTM). Typical flying time from New York is 18.5 hours via Delhi, while from UK is 12 hours
  • Transfers; Kathmandu (5 miles / 8 km) taxi 20 minutes; bus 20 minutes.
  • Getting Around; Buses are the best means of transport. The journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara takes six hours; from Kathmandu to Chitwan four hours. The air transport network is good, but there are no trains in Nepal, except for a few miles of narrow gauge track in the south.
  • Accommodation
  • Hotels range from ‘’tourist standard” up to five – star deluxe and are monitored by the government in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan. There are seven five – star hotels and plenty at other levels, plus guest houses and lodges in cities and major tourist destinations. Home stays are also available in some newly developed rural tourist areas. In trekking areas there are comfortable, locally managed tea houses and lodges with basic amenities.
  • Major Events in Nepal
  • International Mountain Film Festival, Kathmandu (January)
  • Kathmandu Marathon, Kathmandu (January)
  • International Pokhara Marathon, Pokhara (January)
  • Jazz Mandu, Kathmandu and Pokhara (March)
  • International Golf Competition, Gokarna, Kathmandu (May)
  • International White Water Challenge, Bhotekoshi (November)
  • Kathmandu Mountain Bike Race, Kathmandu Valley (November)
  • Tour Destinations in Nepal
  • Trekking and Mountaineering – Everest National Parks including Sagarmatha, Annapurna Conservation Area, Dolpo Region, Langtang and Helambu. Everest and Annapurna trekking trails.
  • World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley -  Nagarkot, Dhulikhel and surrounding areas.
  • Lumbini (birthplace of Lord Buddha in southern Nepal)
  • Pokhara Valley, Pokhara
  • Langtang National Park
  • Kanchanjunga Conservation Area (eastern Nepal)
  • Upper Mustang (Western) and Upper Dolpa (Mid – Western) regions.
  • Illam (far eastern region)
  • Three Durbar Squares of Kathmandu Valley; Basantapur, Patan and Bhaktpur.
  • Boudhanath – Boudha, Kathmandu
  • Pashupatinath – Gaushala, Kathmandu
  • Swayambhu Hill, Kathmandu, Swayambhunath
  • Royal Chitwan National Park, Chitwan
  • White Water Rafting and Kayaking
  • Kopan Monastery
  • Devi’s Falls, Pokhara
  • Garden of Dreams, Kathmandu
  • Phewa Tal, Phokhara
  • What to eat and drink
  • Staples of the Nepalese diet are bhaat (rice), dal (Lentiil soup), Vegetables with pickles and tarakri (curry). A traditional favourite is aloo – tamaa – bodi (curry of potato, bamboo shoots and beans) and dhinedo (thick and plain paste of wheat or milled flour served with soup). Other popular choices include chicken, mutton, lamb and fish. Snacks include momos (Meat or vegetable dumplings), and boiled potato and popcorn with whey. Samay baji (appetisers) are served with raksi (a potent alcoholic drink). Different ethnic communities within Nepal have their own traditional variations of dishes)
  • What to buy;
  • Antiques and craft ware, including jewellery, statues, wood carving, pottery, thankas (wall hangings), pashminas, wild honey, hemp products, woolen carpets and khukuris (Local knives).
  • Frequently Asked Questions (Faque)
  1. What is Nepal famous for?

Answer; Nepal is known for its mountains, brilliant sunshine, festivals and friendly people.

  1. What is the common mode of transport for tourists?

Answer; Bus, taxi and Micro – Van.

  1. What elevation is the capital, Kathmandu?

Answer; With close to a million Inhabitants, Kathmandu is situated around 4, 600 ft (1,400 mitres) above sea level in a bowl - shaped valley of central Nepal. The city is surrounded by four major hills; Shivapuri, Phulchowki, Nagarjun and Chandragiri. As the gateway for tourists to Nepal, It’s the nerve centre of the country’s economy.

  1. Can I get a visa upon arrival in Nepal?

Answer; Yes.

  1. What clothing is required?

Answer; Lightweight clothing is adequate from April to October, but warmer garments are needed from November to March. An umbrella or raincoat is a must for visitors during the rainy season.

  1. Which is the best time to visit Nepal?

Answer; Nepal is a destination for all seasons. Trekking is ideal in the spring months (April and May) and in autumn (October – November), while Mountaineering is best undertaken in spring. Watersport enthusiasts should come after the monsoon and those with an interest in culture between August and March.

  1. Is trekking the only way to see the country?

Answer; Trekking is definitely the best way to see Nepal, but is by no means the only way. There are numerous one – hour mountain flights departing Kathmandu Airport each morning; Visitors can also enjoy Nepal by four wheel – drive jeep, motorbike, mountain bike, pony and – depending on how daring you are in an ultra – light aircraft, paragliding or rafting.

  1. What are the popular areas for trekking and is a permit required?

Answer; A trekking permit is not essential for popular areas such as Everest, Annapurna and Langtag. However, visitors have to pay a National Park entry fee at the office of the National Park which is now in Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu or alternatively, at the entry to the Parks.



  • Capital; Windhoek
  • Main cities; Walvis Bay, Rundu, Keet Manshoop
  • Population; 2,212,000 (As per the year 2010 estimates)
  • Currency; Namibian dollar (N$) = 100 cents. The N$ and the South African Rand, to which it is linked, are the only legal tender in Namibia. Major credit cards are accepted throughout the country. However, shops in more remote areas and all service stations accept only cash. Exchange rate (approximate N$ 10.74 = $ 1). Tipping (customary in Namibia, usually 10 %)
  • Time; April – August GMT + 1, September – March GMT + 2
  • Electricity; 220 / 240 volts. Adaptor required (round – pin plugs)
  • Driving; Driving is on the left. International license required
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; March 21; April 3,6; May 1,4,14,25; August 26; December 10,25,26.
  • Language; English is the official language. Afrikaans, German and indigenous languages are also spoken
  • Religion; Christianity majority
  • Country Dial Code; + 264
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is vital and needed
  • Health requirements;
  • Yellow fever immunisation essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and Polio recommended and Malaria precautions advised during the rainy season (December – March) and for travel to the north of the country.
  • Climate;
  • Semi arid and subtropical. Hot and sunny inland, where much of it is the Namib desert; On the coast, it’s much cooler. Midsummer temperatures can top 35C from the south through to the central regions; Winter day temperatures vary between 18C and 25C while dropping below freezing at night. The main rainy season is January to March. On the coast, temperatures can vary between 15C and 25C.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway – including Windhoek Hosea kutako International Airport (WDH). Typical flying time from UK is 11 hours 30 minutes via Frankfurt, while from New York, 27 hours via Frankfurt.
  • Transfers; Windhoek (24 miles / 38 km) taxi 40 minutes
  • Departure Tax; Included in the ticket price
  • Ports; Walvis Bay, Luderitz
  • Accommodation
  • Namibia’s accommodation ranges from standard campsites to the five – star luxury hotels and lodges. There are also smaller establishments such as B & Bs, farms, guesthouses, self -catering bungalows and quirky lodges that offer a personal touch.
  • Major Events in Namibia;
  • Henties Bay Fish Festival, Henties Bay (August)
  • Gams Arts & Cultural Festival, Windhoek (September)
  • Bank Windhoek’s Arts Festival, Windhoek (September)
  • Industrial & Agricultural Show, Windhoek (September/ October)
  • Oktober Festival, Windhoek (October).
  • Sossusvlei in the south west
  • Namib Desert, Known as the world’s oldest desert
  • Fish River Canyon on the southern border
  • Etosha National Park in northern Namibia
  • Damaraland, famous for its rock art and desert adapted rhino and elephant
  • Skeleton Coast Park, north west.
  • Quiver Tree Forest in southern Namibia
  • Brandberg (Burning Mountain), Twyfelfontein
  • Himba people, northwest, and Bushmen (San), Kalahari.
  • What to eat and drink
  • Sea food, game meat (lamb, steak, biltong, beef and pork), rice, vegetables, thick porridge and casseroles. Top score is a thick maize meal. Drinks include Namibian beer (Windhoek and Tafel) and South African Wines.
  • What to buy
  • Namibian jewellery, woven carpets, leather goods and clothes, wood carvings, baskets, beads and also hand embroidery.
  • Frequently Asked Questions (Faque);
  1. What and where is the Skeleton Coast?

Answer; The skeleton coast of northern Namibia is  so named because of the bleached whale and seal bones that covered the shore when the whaling industry was still active, as well as the skeletal shipwrecks caused by rocks off shore in the fog. More than 1,000 vessels of various sizes and areas litter this part of the coast.

  1. Are there regular bus services?

Answer; Intercape Mainliner bus services ( run between major towns and connect with Johannesburg, Cape Town and other towns and cities in South Africa. There is a bus service between Windhoek and Victoria Falls.

  1. Do I require an international driving licence?

Answer; If visiting for more than six months, an international driving licence is required.

  1. Is Namibia a self – drive destination?

Answer; Yes. Namibia is a perfect self – drive destination as the roads and signage are good.   Speed limits are 120 km / h on tarred roads and 80 km / h on gravel surface roads.

  • In the dry season, Etosha is too hot for a day on the road, so find a shady spot overlooking a waterhole and let the wildlife come to you. Herds of springbok, oryx and zebra trudge out of the bush to quench their thirst and elephants, frosted with white dust, pile trumpeting into the shallows. Back at camp, the predators are plentiful – there are lions, hyenas, and maybe even a leopard
  • With traditional German architecture complemented by modern, pastel – colored buildings, Windhoek, could be Africa’s most attractive capital. It’s a party town, too, with the high – density suburb of Katutura the epicenter of nightlife. A street festival in March and Oktober fest are the highlights of the calendar.
  • Namibia is endowed with rapidly evolving landscapes. The lush northern tropics roll into the feverish Estosha Salt Pan and Kalahari Desert, before hitting the tempestuous coast with wave upon wave of inland dunes. The interior’s landscape is punctuated by imposing granite pinnacles stained with ancient Bushmen’s etchings, while the cavernous Fish River Canyon dominates the south. The desolate skeleton coast leads to vast seal colonies.


  • Capital; Muscat
  • Main cities; Salalah, Khasab, Sohar, Sur
  • Population; 3,418,085 (As per the year 2009 estimates).
  • Currency; Omani rial (OR) = 1,000 baiza. Major credit cards are accepted. Exchange rate (approximate OR 0.38 = $ 1). Tipping (Optional but becoming more common, with 10 % usual for most service)
  • Time; GMT; + 4
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; on the right
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,3; May 16; July 18, 23; September 23; October 13; November 18. The list includes Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate.
  • Language; Arabic and English; also Hindi and Swahili are spoken.
  • Region; Ibadhi Muslim
  • Country Dial Code; + 968
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and needed
  • Health requirements
  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate required if coming from an infected area. There is a risk of Malaria, while hepatitis A and B occur; Precautions are also recommended against polio and typhoid.
  • Climate
  • Oman’s climate is hot and humid in Summer and pleasantly cool in winter. Rainfall varies according to the region, with light monsoon rain falling in the Salalah area of the South from June to August.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways – including Muscat Seeb International Airport (MCT), Salalah (SLL). Typical flying time from UK is 7 hours, while from New York, 15 hours via Abu Dhabi.
  • Transfers; Muscat (25 miles / 40 km) taxi 30 minutes.
  • Departure Tax; OR 5 (€ 8) usually included in the price of the ticket.
  • Ports; Port Sultan Qaboos, Muscat; Port Raysut, Salalah; Port Sohar, Sohar.
  • Accommodation
  • Muscat has a rapidly expanding range of hotels, suitable for all budgets, with world class luxury hotels, many with spas. Salalah and Khasab both offer a good level of accommodation, as do other areas of the country, such as Nizwa, Sur and Sohar. Luxury desert camping is becoming increasingly popular.
  • Major Events in Oman
  • Muscat Festival (January / February)
  • Khareef Festival, Dhofar Region (July / August)
  • Grand Mosque, Muscat
  • Sultan’s Palace, Muscat
  • Mutrah Souk, Muscat
  • Mirani and Jalali Forts, Muscat
  • Bait Al Zubair Museum and other Muscat Museums
  • Royal Opera House, Muscat
  • Musandam Peninsula for dhow cruises, pristine waters for great diving and snorkeling
  • Nizwa Fort, Souk and Mosque
  • Wadi Al Abyadh
  • Butinah Coast
  • Salalah, and the Dhofar region for lushgreen valleys.
  • Camel and Horse Racing
  • Desert Safari in the Wahiba Sands.
  • Luxury overnight camping
  • Ras Al Jinz Turtle Scenic Reserve
  • Exploring the Hajar Mountains.
  • Big Bus Tour
  • 18 – hole golf courses, including Muscat Hills Golf and country club, Ghala valley – in a natural wadi – and a Greg Norman links at Almoug Golf Club at the wave.
  • What to eat and drink
  • World Class International Cuisine is available in hotels and restaurants in Muscat, including Arabian, Indian, Oriental and European food. Alcohol is available at International hotels and nightclubs.


  • Capital; San Juan
  • Population; 3,725,789 (As per the year 2010 estimates)
  • Currency; US dollar (US $) = 100 cents. Credit cards and US dollars widely accepted. Exchange rate (approximate US $ 1.63 = £ 1). Tipping (15 % of the bill is recommended).
  • Time; GMT – 4
  • Electricity; 110 volts single phase or 220 volts three phase. Adaptor required for some appliances.
  • Driving; On the right
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,6,12,19; February 16; March 22; April 3, 20; May 25; July 4,20,25,27; September 7; October 12; November 11,19,26; December 25.
  • Language; Spanish and English are Puerto Rico’s official languages.
  • Religion; Predominantly Catholic; also protestant
  • Country Dial Code; +1 787
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is vital and required.
  • Health requirements
  • Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended.
  • Climate
  • Puerto Rico has an average temperature of 22C in winter, 29C in summer, with year – round sea breezes. In the mountains, it’s about 10C cooler in both summer and winter. Average humidity is 55 % by day and 80 % at night. The territory’s average annual rainfall is 52 in. The rainy season is at its peak in August.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway – including Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (LMM), San Juan. Other airports receiving flights from US – are Aguadilla (West) and Ponce (South). Typical flying time from Miami is 2 hours, while from UK is 12 hours via Madrid or the US.
  • Transfers; Old San Juan (5 miles / 8 km)
  • Ports; San Juan (Major cruise port), Ponce, Fajardo (ferry)
  • Accommodation
  • Accommodation includes international five – star properties and intimate boutique hotels; five-star golf resorts; three – four – star hotels; paradores (small, privately owned guesthouses and inns); and campsites and cabins in the national parks.
  • Major Events in Puerto Rico
  • San Sebastian Street Festival (January)
  • Casais Music Festival (February)
  • Heineken Jazz Fest (June)
  • Salsa World Congress (July)
  • San Juan Billfish Tournament (August)
  • Bacardi Artisans Fair (December)
  • Old San Juan Historical City and Fortress (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
  • Ponce, Puerto Rico’s Second Largest City, 90 minutes by car south of San Juan.
  • El Yunque Rainforest, in the northeast
  • Rio Camuy Cave Park, the world’s third largest underground river system.
  • Mosquito Bay’s Biolumines Cent Waters, vieques island.
  • Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve.
  • Museo de Arte in San Juan Suburb of Santurce
  •  Ponce City on the south coast
  • Guanica Dry Forest Reserve on the southwest coast
  • Culebra; an island noted for its secluded white sandy beaches, clear waters and coral reefs.
  • Arecibo Observatory, with the world’s largest radar – radio telescope
  • What to eat and drink
  • Criolla cuisine is a blend of Taino, Spanish and African influences incorporating all kinds of fruits and vegetables, Savoury rice dishes, meat and poultry, as well as seafood. Local criolla specialities include Piononos (ground beef wrapped in plantains served with rice and tostones fried green plantain); asopaos (stew with lobster or shrimp, herbs, rice and tomato sauce); Mofongo (Green plantains, Shrimp and Caribbean spices); bacalaitos (flour fritters made with salt codfish); surillitos de maiz (cornmeal shaped like a cigar and served with a Mayonnaise and Ketchup sauce); rellenos de papas (mashed potato balls stuffed and deep – fried). Pina colada is the locally invented drink. The local beer is Medalla.
  • What to buy
  • Souvenirs include santos (small religious figures hand – carved from wood), cuatros (handmade 10 – string guitars) and mundillo (bobbin lace). Also local art, rum, hand – rolled cigars, clothes, gold, jewellery, ceramics, hammocks, coconut and papier – mache carnival masks.
  • Frequently Asked Questions (faque)
  1. Is Puerto Rico very Americanised?

Answer; Yes  and no. Puerto Ricans have blended their Spanish – Caribbean heritage with a US work ethic in conducting business. The quality of infrastmcture, higways and health facilities is up to US standards.

  1. What is Puerto Rico’s link with the US?

Answer; Puerto Rico, officially the common wealth of Puerto Rico, is an unincorporated territory of the US in the northeastern Caribbean. It was ceded by Spain under the Treaty of Paris in 1898.



  • Capital; Lisbon
  • Main cities; Porto, Coimbra, Braga, Funchal (Madeira), Faro, Ponta Delgada (Azores)
  • Population; 10,643,000 (As per the year 2010 estimates)
  • Currency; Euro = 100 cents. Major credit cards accepted throughout the country. Exchange rate (approximate 0.73 = $ 1). Tipping (where a service charge is not included, a 10 % tip is usually expected)
  • Time; GMT
  • Electricity; 230 / 240 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; Driving is on the right.
  • Public Holidays; Include January1; April 3,5,25; May 1; June 10; August 15; October 5; November 1; December 1,8,25.
  • Language; English is widely spoken in Mainland Portugal, as well as on the islands of Madeira and Azores
  • Religion; The majority of the population is Catholic.
  • Country Dial Code; + 351
  • Visa requirements
  • Portugal is party to the Schengen Agreement. No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement.
  • Health requirements; None
  • Climate
  • Mainland Portugal has a mild climate year – round. Summers are dry and clear, with warm sun shine extending long into the fall, while winters are moderately cool. Midsummer temperatures extend above 80F, while winters ranges from the low to mid – 50s F. Madeira has a subtropical climate.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways – including Lisbon (LIS), Porto (OPO), Faro (FAO), Funchal – Madeira (PXO), Ponta Delgada – Azores (PDL), Terceira – Azores (TER). Typical flying time from UK (Porto – 2 hours; Lisbon – 2 hours 20 minutes; Faro – 2 hours 30 minutes; Funchal – 3 hours 30 minutes; Ponta Delgada – 3 hours 30 minutes). From New York, 6 hours to Lisbon.
  • Transfers
  • Lisbon (5 miles / 8 km) Aerobus 15 minutes; taxi 10 minutes; Porto (9.5 miles / 16 km) Aerobus 35 minutes; taxi 20 minutes; Faro (5 miles / 8 km) bus (14 and 16) 15 minutes; Taxi 10 minutes; Funchal Aerobus 30 minutes; taxi 15 minutes; Ponta Delgada (Azores) taxi St Miguel 10 minutes
  • Ports; Lisbon, Porto (Leixoes), Aveiro, Potimao, Funchal (Madeira), Faial (Azores), Ponta Delgada (Azores).
  • Getting Around
  • Modes of transportation include air travel, an efficient rail system, buses linking all cities and villages, rental cars and a comprehensive public transit system in Lisbon and Porto that comprises buses, street cars, public elevators, taxis and subway. Domestic air services operate between Lisbon, Faro, Porto, Madeira, Porto Santo and the Azores, while a good network of express trains links the major cities of Mainland Portugal.
  • Accommodation
  • It ranges from upmarket resorts to boutique hotels and properties of two – three – and – four - star ratings, inns and pensions. There are also Pousadas and manor houses, two traditional lodging concepts popular with travelers. Although privately managed, the pousadas are government – owned and most are former castles, monasteries and fortresses.
  • Major Events in Portugal
  • Chocolate Festival, Obidos (March / April )
  • Holy Week Festivities in Braga, Porto and the north (Easter)
  • Madeira Flower Festival (April)
  • Estoril Jazz Festival (May / June)
  • Sintra Music Festival (June / July)
  • National Gastronomy Festival, Santarem (October / November)
  • New Year’s Eve Festivities, Madeira Island (December)
  • Lisbon: Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery, National Museum of Coaches, Monument of the Maritime Discoveries, Gulbenkian Museum, Cathedral, Oceanarium.
  • Porto; Serralves Museum & Casada Musica, Wine lodges, St Francis church.
  • River Douro Cruises, Porto
  • Guimaraes City (The Birthplace of Portugal) and the palace of the Dukes of Braganca.
  • Queluz Palace, Queluz
  • Pena Castle, Sintra
  • Golf
  • Horseback riding
  • Hiking and biking
  • Watersports; surfing, windsurfing, scuba diving, water – skiing, snorkeling and sailing
  • Deep sea fishing
  • What to eat and drink
  • Portuguese cooking is varied, spicy and flavored with herbs, with each region having its own specialties. Fish and shell fish are extremely popular, with the dried salted codfish bacalhau, that can be prepared in 365 ways, a particular favorite, as well as the popular grilled sardines and fish stew. To drink, there is sparkling Vinho Verde, Port and Madeira
  • Lisbon is built on seven hills, so incredible vistas can be found all over the Portuguese capital. Take in the stark white limestone buildings and red roofs rippling up the hillsides, the River Tagus and the Atlantic Ocean. Lisbon is one of Western Europe’s cheapest capitals, and perfect for a city break with its variety of nightlife, attractions and restaurants. It’s also well located for easy day trips to the nearby beach town of Cascais, and Sintra with its palaces perched on lush hilltops.
  • Lisbon has fantastic transport links, but put on your walking shoes and delve into its neighborhoods. The city is very hilly and maps can be confusing, so prepare to get lost, particularly in the old Moorish Section of Alfama, with its narrow winding streets. The Baixa is quite busy and touristy – so head instead to Bairro Alto, a residential area that’s helpfully laid out in a grid and is crammed with tiny bars and restaurants.
  1. SHOP
  • Lisbon’s flea Market, Fiera da Ladra, is open on Tuesday and Sunday from 6.00 am – 5.00 pm under the watchful eye of the Santa Engracia Church, where bargain hunters can scour the stalls.
  • Located in Belem, the Jeroni Mos Monastery is a flamboyant and opulent example of Manueline architecture, built to commemorate the successful discovery of a sea route to India. The cloisters are equally as beautiful as the church and the gardens are well worth a visit.
  • At 100 maneiras, innovative dishes made using fresh ingredients from Ribeira market are paired exquisitely with the perfect wine by experienced sommeliers. It’s surprisingly low – key and intimate considering its reputation. Try the well – known dish of cod hanging from clothes pins.
  1. BAR
  • Good fado bars are a dime a dozen in the city, while the best Jazz bars must be sought out. Onda Jazz in Alfama hosts a variety of talented Portuguese artists, and has a good wine list and bar food to keep you going until the early hours.
  1. VIEW
  • Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte (our Lady of the Hill view point) is one of many view points and probably the least visited. But being the highest point in the city – with extensive and unobstructed views over to the Castelo de Sao Jorge, the old town and the modern districts – it’s undoubtedly the best.
  • One of Lisbon’s most distinctive monuments, Castelo de Sao Jorge is situated on the city’s highest hill; the oldest known fortification at this spot dates from the second century BC. The castle itself was founded in the 10th and 11th centuries, when Lisbon was an important Moorish Port. It was here in the 16th century that King Manuel I received Vasco da Gama after his sea voyage to India.
  • This oceanarium opened during the Expo’ 98 and is one of the largest public aquariums in Europe. Each year, around one million visitors familiarise themselves with the denizens of the deep and learn of the necessity of protecting natural marine resources.
  • Classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993, the formidable and imposing Belem Tower, defending the entrance to the River Tagus, was constructed by King Manuel I. The bastion was completed in 1521 and was the starting point for many voyages of discovery, becoming the last sight of their home land for many sailors.
  1. BAIXA
  • The Baixa quarter, also known as ‘’downtown’’, was rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake and is now the cty’s shopping hub, as well as a great place for leisurely walks. In the chiado district, visitors will discover a welcoming atmosphere and some of Lisbon’s finest museums and theatres, including the chiado museum, which specialises in contemporary exhibitions.


  • Madeira is situated in the Atlantic, 310 miles from the African Sahara and 620 miles from Portugal. It’s the largest island in the Madeira archipelago, which includes Porto Santo and two groups of un inhabited islands – the Desertas and the Selvagens. Madeira is 35 miles by 13 miles, and while there are few beaches, the interior is mountainous and volcanic in origin, rising 6,106 ft above sea level.
  • This island is heaven for horticulturalists. The subtropical climate makes Madeira a floral paradise, with orchids, magnolias and azaleas in flower year – round, although spring and autumn are the best times to visit the island to witness a myriad colourful flowers and trees in bloom. Don’t miss the Botanical Gardens, home to more than 2,000 plant species, or the magnificent 40 – million – year – old Laurissilva Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Museums celebrate everything from natural history to the island’s intricate embroidery and famous Madeira wine.
  • Many treks follow levadas – irrigation channels built by the early settlers to bring water to the coastal settltments and farms. Now the network has extended to more than 1,243 miles and can be followed on foot, making remote parts accessible to the average walker. More challenging trails climb up to the volcanic peaks of the interior.
  • In the capital city, adventurous travellers can jump on board wicker toboggans and slide 1.2 miles downhill from the village of Monte, around 1,804 ft above Funchal. The Journey takes just 10 minutes, with passengers reaching speeds of up to 30 mph.
  1. GOLF
  • Santo da Serra Golf, designed by Robert Trent Jones, offers staggering views from the mountains to the sea bellow, while Palheiro, designed in 1993 by Cabel Robinson, has views over the bay and Funchal below. Seve Ballesteros has created an 18 – hole course on nearby Porto Santo island and Nick Faldo is due to open a fourth course, Ponta Do Pargo

At seven miles long and four miles wide, this isle is known as the Golden Island for its extensive, stunning beach and is surrounded by turquoise waters.  It was here that Christopher Columbus spent some time preparing for his great voyage of discovery to America, and today, it is still possible to visit the 15th - century house in Vila Baleira where he is said to have lived to see portraits of the man himself and maps showing the sea routes that he followed.



  • Capital; Warsaw
  • Main cities; Katowice, Lodz, Wroclaw, Poznan, Gdansk, Lublin, Szczecin, Bydgoszcz, Rzeszow, Krakow
  • Population; 38,441,588 (As per the year 2011 estimates)
  • Currency; Zloty (ZL) = 100 groszy. Major credit cards accepted. Exchange rate (approximate ZL 3.05 = $ 1. Tipping (10 – 15 % is usual in restaurants and cafes)
  • Time; GMT + 1
  • Electricity; 230 volts. Adaptor required.
  • Driving; On the right. International permit required.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; April 6; May 1, 3, 14; June 4; August 15; November 1,11; December 25,26.
  • Language; English, German and Russian are also spoken in Poland
  • Religion; Catholic majority. Also Eastern Orthodox and also Jewish
  • Country Dial Code; +48
  • Visa requirements;
  • Poland is party to the Schengen Agreement. No visa required for stays of up to 90 days. That period begins when entering any country party to the Schengen Agreement.
  • Health requirements
  • Precautions against hepatitis A and typhoid recommended. EU nationals are eligible for free medical treatment.
  • Climate
  • Temperate with warm summers, crisp sunny falls and cold winters. The July average is 66 F; the January average below 32 F.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways - including Warsaw Okecie (WAW),Warsaw Modlin (WMI),Krakow Balice (KRK),Poznan (Poz), Gdansk Rebiechowo (GDN), Bydgoszcs (BZG), Katowice (KTW), Wroclaw Strachowice (WRO), Rzeszow (RZE), Lublin (LUZ). Typical  flying time from UK, 2 hours 30 minutes.
  • Transfers
  • Warsaw (6 miles /10 km) bus 30 minutes; taxi 20 minutes; Krakow (9 miles / 14 km) bus 30 minutes; taxi 20 minutes; Gdansk (12 miles / 20 km) taxi 45 minutes.
  • Ports; Gdansk, Gdynia, Szczecin, Swinoujscie


  • Capital; Manila
  • Main cities; Davao, Cebu,
  • Population; 94,013,200(As per the year 2010 estimates)
  • Currency; Philippine peso (PHP) = 100 centavos. All major credit cards accepted. Exchange rate (approximate PHP 43 = $ 1). Tipping (It’s usual to tip 5 – 10% for most services, although some hotels and restaurants include a service charge).
  • Time; GMT + 8
  • Electricity; 220 volts. An adaptor may be required.
  • Driving; On the right. International permit accepted.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; February 25; April 2, 3, 9; May 1; June 12; July 18; August 31; November 1, 30; December 25,30,31. The list includes Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate.
  • Language; Filipino, English
  • Religion; Catholic, with Protestant, Muslim and Buddhist minorities.
  • Country Dial Code; + 63
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and required
  • Health requirements
  • Yellow fever certificate required if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid and polio recommended; also malaria depending on the area visited.
  • Climate
  • The climate is hot and humid with substantial rainfall year – round, the heaviest of which falls between July and October, when there is also a risk of typhoons. Winter (November to February) is when conditions are most pleasant to visit the country.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways – including Ninoy Aquino International, Manila (MNL), Mactan International, Cebu (CEB), Davao (DVO), Laoag (LAO). Typical flying time from Los Angeles is 16.5 hours, while from UK, 15 – 20 hours.
  • Transfers
  • Manila (7miles/ 12 km) airport bus 45 minutes; taxi 30 minutes; Cebu (1.2 miles / 2 km) bus 30 minutes; taxi 10 minutes; Davao (8 miles / 13 km) taxi 25 minutes; Jeepney (30 minutes),Laoag (2.5 miles / 4 km) Jeepney 15 minutes.
  • Departure Tax; PHP 750 ($ 17.85)
  • Ports; Manila, Subic Bay, Cebu, Davao
  • Getting Around
  • In Manila, the elevated Light Rail Transit (LRT) provides a fast, efficient south / north link; buses (some air conditioned) and Jeepneys are an inexpensive,If crowded, means of getting around; taxis are metered. Domestic airlines have scheduled services within the Philippines. Inter – island ships link Manila to major ports; ferries connect smaller islands.
  • Accommodation
  • Selection of deluxe, standard and pension – type accommodation, including resort hotels. There’s also a Homestay program.
  • Major Events in Philippines
  • Holy Week, Nationwide (April)
  • Santa Cruzan and Flores de Mayo, Nationwide(May)
  • Simbang Gabi (dawn mass), Nationwide (December)
  • Rice Terraces, Banaue
  • Pine city mountain summer city,Baguio
  • Heritage Village (early Spanish settlement), Vigan
  • Intramuros, Manila
  • Pagsanjan Waterfalls
  • Volcanic City, Tagaytay
  • Boracay beach
  • Scuba diving
  • Trekking
  • Mountain climbing
  • Sailing
  • Kayaking
  • Wind surfing
  • Snorkeling
  • Golf
  • Fishing


  • Capital; Lima
  • Main cities; Lima, Arequipa, Trujilo, Chiclayo, Iquitos, Cusco, Cajamarca, Puno, Madre de Dios.
  • Pupulation; 30, 147,935 (As per the year 2014 estimates)
  • Currency
  • Nuevosol (NS) = 100 centimos. US dollar is widely accepted. Major credit cards are accepted at most commercial establishments and ATMs are also available. Exchange rate (approximate NS 2.78= $ 1). Tipping (Hotels and restaurants include a 10% service charge, but an extra 5 % is given for good service. Tip porters $ 1.
  • Time; GMT – 5
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; On the right. International driving licence required.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,6; March 20; April 2,3,5; May 1,10; June 7,21,24,29; July 28; August 30; September 23,24; October 8; November 1,2; December 8,22,24,25,31.
  • Language; Spanish is the official language spoken in Peru, though Quechua and Aymara (native languages) are still spoken in the highlands. English is spoken in all tourist areas.
  • Religion; Mainly Catholic
  • Country Dial Code; + 51
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is vital and required
  • Health requirements
  • When visiting the rainforest, it’s recommended you are vaccinated against typhoid, hepatitis A, yellow fever, Malaria and rabies. Precautions should also be taken for altitude sickness in the Altiplano.
  • Climate
  • Peru is very diverse, with a large variety of climates and microclimates, including 28 of the 32 world climates. Such diversity is chiefly conditioned by the presence of the Andes Mountains and the cold Humboldt Current. In general, the climate on the coast is subtropical with very little rainfall. The Andes Mountains have a cool – to – cold climate, with rainy summers and very dry winters. The eastern lowlands have an equatorial climate, with high temperatures and rain distributed year – round.
  • Getting there
  • Major gateway - including Lima Jorge Chavez (LIM). Typical flying time from Miami is 5.5 hours, New York is 7 hours, while from UK, 14 hours.
  • Transfers; Lima (10 miles/16 km) taxi 30 – 45 minutes.
  • Departure Tax; Included in the cost of the air ticket. Domestic departure tax varies.
  • Port;
  • Getting Around
  • There is an extensive network of domestic flights. Trains are a good way to see the country. Coach services link all major cities and boats link Peru and Bolivia on Lake Titicaca.
  • Accommodation
  • Hotels are graded one to five stars, with 27 five- star, 24 four – star and around 460 three – star hotels. There are also hotels and youth hotels available.
  • Major Events in Peru
  • Festival of the Virgin of la Candelaria, Puno (February)
  • Corpus Christ and Inti Raymi, Cusco, (June)
  • Procession of the Lord of the Miracles, Lima (October)
  • Machu Picchu, Cusco
  • Inca Trail, Cusco
  • Inti Raymi festival, Cusco
  • Colca Canyon, Arequipa
  • Manu National Reserve, Madre de Dios
  • Tambopata, Madre de Dios
  • Lake Titicaca, Puno
  • Kuelap, Amazonas
  • Chan Chan, Trujillo
  • Nazca Lines, Nazca
  • Lima; Cathedral, Architecture
  • Amazon Cruise, Iquitos
  • Plaza de Armas
  • Paracas National Reserve
  • Cordillera Blanca, Huaraz
  • What to eat and drink
  • The food in the three main regions of Peru varies depending on the availability of regional ingredients but cuisine combines indigenous cooking with 400 years of European - mostly Spanish influences. Lima is famed for its gourmet restaurants and seafood. Savour cerviche (Marinated fish) and anticuchos (beef heart tenderloin beef or fish, pickled in vinegar and spices). The most popular alcoholic drink is piscosour (brandy, lemon juice and sugar). Guinea pig (cuy) is a traditional dish you can find in various parts of the country, particularly in Mountain regions, where it is likely to be oven roasted and served with chips.
  • Frequently Asked Questions (Faque)
  1. Are there any sites in the North of Peru?

Answer; There are several from Chan Chan to Kuelap through the valley of the Pyramids. The Moche route is up and coming and can be combined with the Gocta waterfall, the second highest in the world

  1. Is there an alternative to the classic Inca Trail?

Answer; Yes, there are many alternatives for different levels; the lodge Trek, the Vilca Bamba Traverse Route, the Salcantay Route, the Lares Route etc. There are also trails to Choquequirao, the off-the beaten – track Machu Picchu.

  1. Is trekking the only way to get to Machu Picchu?

Answer; No, there is also train service from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, the closest living city to Machu Picchu, that takes about 1 hour 30 minutes. Then there are buses running from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, a journey which takes about 20 minutes.

  1. Why go to Cusco?

Answer; Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire and it is a beautiful city that perfectly combines the country’s Inca and Spanish heritage. Besides, it’s a gateway for Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

  1. What are the Nasca Lines?

Answer; They are huge geoglyphs, up to 328 ft across, that have been etched in the dust of the southern coastal desert.

  1. Where is Lake Titicaca?

Answer; At an elevation of 12,650 ft to the South of Cusco, it’s the world’s highest navigable lake and the Uros, the indigenous people, live on artificial floating islands.


  • The baroque – style Cathedral, on the Plaza de Armas, holds an impressive collection of colonial art. Look out for Marcos Zapata’s famous interpretation of the last supper, in which Jesus and his disciples feast on roast guinea pig.
  • Just outside the city, this fortress consists of a series of large and mysterious Inca ruins arranged in zig zag formations. Over 65 ft high and 985 ft long, the 100 – ton stones fit together like the pieces of a perfect jigsaw.
  • Compare the workmanship of the Spanish to that of the Incas at the Santo Domingo Church. Constructed over a looted Inca temple, this baroque building was partially destroyed after an earthquake in 1953, exposing the exquisite Inca masonry and foundations underneath.
  • Cusco’s biggest festival, which translates as “the Resurrection of the Sun”, features processions winding through the streets to Sacsayhuaman city on June 24 to mark the winter solstice. It is advisable to book ahead, as hotels and restaurants are always extremely busy at this time.
  • Held across South America in the build – up to Lent, Carnival is a huge event in Cusco. Expect a week of street parades and fun fairs, and also to be covered in water and flour by the mischie vous locals.

A long Pedestrian Street connects Lima’s two main Plazas to each other. The Old Town is centered on the colorial Plaza Mayor, with its bronze fountain and old street lamps. Notable buildings on the square include the Grand Spanish Baroque Cathedral, occupying the site of an ancient inca temple and housing the museum of Religious Art & Treasures; the impressive Government Palace with its changing of the guard; the Town Hall; and the Archbishop’s Palace with its fine wooden balcony. At the other end, the Plaza San Martin is an impressive square with a hive of activity surrounding its fountains and the site of political rallies


  • This museum contains many exhibits tracing the history of Peru’s ancient civilizations and shows the archeological richness of the country. It’s Lima’s largest and the country’s most important museum and the chronological layout guides visitors easily through the rich ancient history.


  • With its twin towers and stone facade, it’s the most spectacular of Lima’s colonial churches. It was one of the few buildings to survive the devastation of the 1746 earthquake and is famous for its underground catacombs containing the bones and skulls of an estimated 70,000 people.
  • The Incas started building the “estate” around 1, 400, but abandoned it as an official site for the Inca rulers a century later at the time of the Spanish Coroquest. Although Machu Picchu was known locally, it was unkn\own to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. Since that time, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction. Declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, Machu Picchu is Peru’s most – visited historic and cultural site.
  • Located 7, 970 ft above sea level, Machu Picchu is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba valley, 50 miles northwest of Cusco, through which the Urubamba River flows. Most archeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an “estate” for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438 -1472). It has often been erroneously thought to be the “ Lost City of the Incas” and is perhaps the most familiar icon of the Inca world. Those living nearby continue a way of life like that of their Inca ancestors, based on growing potatoes and maize and rearing Ilamas.
  • The Inca Trail is South America’s most famous trek and is rated among the top five treks in the world. Over its 26 miles, it combines fine mountain scenery with lush cloud – forest, subtropical jungle and an amazing mix of Inca paving stones, ruins and tunnels, leading to Machu Picchu. Visitors will need to apply months in advance to obtain a permit.
  • In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. There are over 140 structures, including sanctuaries, temples, plazas, holy springs and houses (some with thatched roofs), together with more than 100 flights of stone steps.


  • Capital; Asunction;
  • Main cities; Ciudad del Este, Encarnacion
  • Population; 6,460,000 (As per the year 2010 estimates)
  • Currency; Guarani (PYG). US dollar is the preferred currency throughout the country; credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. Exchange rate (approximate PYG 4, 379 = $ 1). Tipping (10 % to 15 % is expected).
  • Time; GMT – 4
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; On the right. National or International licence is accepted in Paraguay
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; March 1; April 3, 5, 6; May 1, 15; June 12; August 15; December 8, 25.
  • Language; Spanish and Guarani, while English is also spoken in the country’s more upmarket hotels
  • Religion; Catholic
  • Country Dial Code; + 595
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and required
  • Health requirements
  • Yellow fever immunization essential if arriving from an infected area. Hepatitis A, polio, tetanus and typhoid immunization, as well as Malaria precautions, are all recommended.
  • Climate
  • Conditions are tropical, with hot, wet and humid summers (from October – April) and warm winters with less rain. In winter, the temperatures at night can fall below 32 F. There is rainfall from October to May.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway – including Asuncion Silvio Pettirossi (ASU). Typical flying time from UK is 17 hours (one stop), while from Miami, 11 hours via Sao Paulo.
  • Transfers; Asuncion (9 miles /15 km) from the city.
  • Departure Tax
  • US $ 25.


  • Capital; Port Moresby
  • Main cities; Lae, Mount Hagen.
  • Population; 6,888,000 (As per the year 2010 estimates)
  • Currency; Kina (K) = 100 toea. Travellers cheques can be changed in major towns. Credit cards are not widely accepted but are taken in some hotels and restaurants. Exchange rate (approximate K Z. 71 = $ 1). Tipping (Not customary).
  • Time; GMT + 10
  • Electricity; 240 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; On the left. International permit required
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1; April 3,6; June 8,23; September 16; December 25,26.
  • Language; English is the official language and spoken in tourist areas. Tok pisin is also spoken.
  • Religion; Christian (Protestant) and indigenous beliefs
  • Country Dial Code; + 675
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and needed.
  • Health requirements
  • Immunisation against hepatitis A, typhoid, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, polio and Malaria is recommended.
  • Climate
  • The coastal climate is tropical with variations. On the coast it’s generally hot, humid and wet year – round. The west season is December to March; the dry season May to October.
  • Getting there; (Major gateway – including Port Moresby (POM). Typical flying time from UK is 21hours, while from Los Angeles, via Tokyo, 16 hours.
  • DepartureTax; K 30(£50), Paid in kinos
  • Ports; Port Moresby, Madang, Milne Bay.


  • Capital; Panama City
  • Main cities; Colon, David
  • Population; 3,405,813 (As per the year 2010 estimates)
  • Currency;
  • US dollar is legal tender. The Panamanian balboa exists only in coins and the currency is on a par with the US dollar. Major credit cards are widely accepted. Exchange rate (approximate US $ 1. 63= £ 1). Tipping (is expected, between 10 % and 15 %)
  • Time; GMT - 6
  • Electricity; 110 volts. Adaptor required. Visitors should be aware that electricity is not always available in remote areas of the countryside.
  • Driving; On the right. International permit accepted.
  • Public Holidays;
  • Include January 1, 9; April 3; May 1; August 15; November 3,5,10,28; December 8,25.
  • Language; Spanish. English is widely spoken.
  • Religion
  • Roman Catholicism is the dominant faith, although other religions such as Islam, Hinduism and Judaism are widely practised
  • Country Dial Code; + 507
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and required. Tourists are permitted to stay in Panama for 180 days without a visa. Those entering by commercial flight will be charged a $ 5 tourist fee when purchasing their ticket. Three month passport validity required.
  • Health requirements
  • Yellow fever immunization recommended for travelers to the provinces of Darien, Kunayala and Panama City and the San Blas Islands). Precautions against hepatitis A and typhoid recommended.
  • Climate
  • The highest rainfall is from August to December. The temperature ranges from 20 – 28C in the city and can drop to 10 – 15C in the highlands. There is no hurricane or tornado season in Panama.
  • Getting there; (Major gateways – including Tocumen (PTY), Enrique Malek (DAV). Typical flying time from Miami is 3 hours; from Washington, 4 hours; from New York, 2 hours, while from UK is 15 hours, including a change of aircraft
  • Transfers
  • Panama City (9 miles / 15 km), bus 60 minutes; taxi 40 minutes
  • Departure Tax
  • US $20 (£50), usually included in ticket price. Verify with airline before travel.
  • Ports; Balboa, Panama, Cristobal, Colon.
  • Accommodation
  • Panama has hotels of all grades, including Pensions and Campsites.
  • Major Events in Panama
  • Carnival (February)
  • Orchids Fair (April)
  • Folklore Festival, Guarare, (mid – September)
  • The Fair of the Sea, Bocas del Toro (September)
  • Panama Canal, Panama City
  • Miraflores Locks Visitor Centre; views of transiting vessels through the canal.
  • Barro Colorado; bird – watching and also jungle tours available
  • Boquete Valley; whitewater rafting, volcanic hikes.
  • El Valle valley; sightseeing, arts and crafts.
  • Causeway; restaurants, bars and nightlife by the sea.
  • Isla Grande, Colon Province; beaches and scuba diving.
  • Coiba Island; Largest island in Central America, declared a World Heritage Site in 2005. Great for snorkeling, scuba diving, bird – watching, hiking and general flora and fauna
  • Casco Viejo; historical centre of Panama, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Shops and restaurants around Bolivar Park
  • Reprosa, for reproductions of pre – Columbian jewellery.
  • What to eat and drink
  • Cuisine is based on corn and rice. Main dishes are chicken, vegetable rice and corn filled with poultry or pork. Spirits include Seco Herrerano and Cartavieja, the national rums.
  • What to buy;
  • Intricate embroidery of the Kuna Indians, baskets woven by the Embera Indians, reproductions of Pre – Colombian jewellery.
  • There was a time when the city limits extended only as fa as today’s Casco Viejo (Old Quarter). However, population growth and urban expansion led to be the city’s elite abandoning the area and the neighborhood rapidly deteriorated. Now it’s gradually being gentrified and in recognition of these efforts by international community, the area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. However, part of the allure of strolling along the cobbled streets is the dilapidated charm of the crumbling buildings, abandoned houses and boarded up ruins.
  • With vast expanses of tropical forest within the city limits, this park serves as a wilderness escape from the trappings of the Capital. It has two main walking trails, the Nature Trail and theTiti Monkey Trail, which join together to form one long loop where there is a 500 ft – high mirador offering panoramic views of Panama City, the bay and canal all the way to the Mira flores Locks. Mammals in the park include titi monkeys, anteaters and white – tailed deer, while reptiles include iguanas, turtles and tortoises.
  • The impressive museum is housed in what was once the headquarters of the original French Canal Company. Commonly Known as the Panama Canal Museum, it showcases excellent exhibits.
  • The effort made to build the Panama Canal is depicted in murals mounted in the rotunda of the Panama Canal Administration Building. The Paintings have the distinction of being the largest group of murals by an American artist – William B. Van Ingen - on display outside the US.


  • Capital; East Jerusalem
  • Population; 4,000,000 (West Bank 2,500,000, Gaza strip 1,500,000) As per the year 2009 estimates.
  • Currency; US dollars, Jordanian dinars and Israeli Shekels are accepted in the Palestinian Territories. The Egyptian Pound is accepted in Gaza. There are currency exchange offices throughout the Palestinian Territories. Cash can also be withdrawn from local banks using major credit cards. Tourists paying in foreign currency are exempt from the VAT at their hotel. Most hotels accept major international credit cards. Personal cheques are generally not accepted. Tipping (Tipping in hotels, restaurants and tourist facilitres is welcomed. Between 10 % and 15 % is recommended).
  • Time; GMT +2
  • Electricity; 220 volts. Adaptor required
  • Driving; International licence is required.
  • Public Holidays; Include January 1,3; May 1,16; July 18; September 23; October 13; November 15; December 25. The list includes Muslim festivals, the dates of which are approximate.
  • Language; Arabic is the official language of the Palestianian Territories. There are different dialects.
  • Religion; Sunni Muslim, Christian
  • Country Dial Code; + 972 0r + 970
  • Visa requirements
  • Visa is essential and required – particularly through which Palestine is accessed – Israel, Jordan or Egypt – and the visitor is subject to these countries’ visa requirements. Passport must be valid for at least six months. Normally a visitor is authorized to remain in the region for three months.
  • Health requirements;
  • Precautions against hepatitis A recommended
  • Climate
  • Situated in the Mediterranian, the Palestinian Territories have a temperate maritime climate. April and May bring some beautiful wild flowers – wild poppies, Jonquils, Irises and other vibrant species paint the hillsides with colour during the short spring season. The rainy season is between November and April. There is also occasional snowfall, but the snow does not stay long. In the summer months, the night desert air can get cool, so it’s advisable to carry a light weight jacket or sweater in the evenings.
  • Getting there; (There are many ways to get to the Palestinian Territories. At the present time you can arrive by land via Jordan or Israel. If you begin your Journey in Jordan, you will cross the Allenby Bridge. You can also arrive through Israel via Ben Gurion Airport. Typical flying time from New York is 11 hours.
  • Accommodation
  • Accommodation in the Palestinian Territories ranges from B & Bs, guest houses, resorts and historical houses to five – star hotels
  • Major Events in Palestinian Territories
  • Christmas & New Year
  • Easter
  • Ramadan
  • Jerusalem Festival
  • Palestine Tourism Day
  • Sabastya Festival
  • Taybeh Oktoberfest
  • Olive Harvest Festival
  • Peace on Earth Concert
  • East Jerusalem; Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Al – Aqsa Mosque, Dome of the Rock, Mount of Olives, Gethsemane, Tomb of the Virgin Mary and Bethany.
  • Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity
  • The Shepherd’s Field in Bet Sahur
  • Ancient Jericho; Tell es – Sultan, Hisham’s Palace, Mount of Temptation.
  • Ramallah
  • Old City of Nablus
  • Sebastia
  • Hebron and Abraham’s Mosque
  • What to eat and drink
  • Palestinian cuisine features roasted meats, flatbreads and thick yoghurt – like pastes made with goats’ milk. The most famous snack in the region is falafel. Visitors should try staple dishes such as musakhan (roasted chicken) and mansaf (Lamb in youghurt sauce), desserts including Knafeh, and drinks such as arak, Taybeh beer and cremisan wine.
  • What to buy
  • Visitors can buy a wide range of traditional handicrafts, such as olive wood, mother of pearl, pottery, ceramics, glass, embroidery and more. Palestinian handicraft designs are heavily influenced by its religious history. Mary handicrafts are designed as souvenirs for pilgrims and tourists visiting holy places.
  • Known as the City of the Nativity, Bethlehem is the little town where Jesus Christ was born. It’s a spiritual center for all Christians and for humanity at large. Many sacred Christian sites, monasteries and churches, including the church of St Nicholas, are located in the region.
  • Closely identified with the Patriarch Abraham, Hebron is considered holy by Christians, Muslims and Jews. The Abraham Mosque dominates the City’s Skyline.
  • Gaza is one of the most historic areas in the world, strategically located on a Mediterranean coastal route. Famous for its fresh seafood, the region is also known for its hand – woven carpets, wicker furniture and pottery
  • Regarded as one of the oldest cities in the world, Jericho contains some of the world’s most important historical sites and is frequently mentioned in the Bible. The moderate climate of the city makes it a popular winter resort
  1. JENIN
  • A picturesque region which lies on the hills overlooking the biblical Jerzeel Valley, Jenin is a distinguished agricultural region, producing an abundance of fruits and vegetables. It is home to St George Church of Burgin.
  • The former’s name comes from its Aramaic name meaning ‘Vineyard Hill”. It has a long history of agricultural wealth and is best – known for its rural forts. Meanwhile, QalQilia inherited its name from the Romans, meaning “high fortress”
  • Located to the east of Jerusalem, across the kidron valley, it offers a magnificent view of the Old City and a striking panorama as far as the Dead sea and the Mountains of Moab in the east. The Mount of Olives is associated with some of the most important events in Jesu’s life. According to Christian tradition, this is where Jesus ascended to Heaven, at a Point marked by the chapel of the Ascension, and taught his disciples the Pater Noster Prayer. He wept over Jerusalem on his way to the Holy City on Palm Sunday, Commemorated by the Dominus Flevit Church.
  • Known as the Judean Desert, it stretches over the arid escarpments to the east of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. It has been considered a center of Monasticism since the early days of Christianity.


Institutions of the Palestinian Territories’ government and non – governmental organisations and diplomatic missions are based in Ramallah. A varied cultural scene contributes to its vibrant atmosphere. With a lively town center, museums, art galleries, theaters, parks, a booming restaurant scene and a bustling nightlife, Ramallah is a fast – growing cosmopolitan town.


  • A beautiful nature reserve four miles northwest of Ramallah, named after its natural springs. A variety of wild plants, birds and animals make it a great place for walks and picnics.


  • North of the Old City’s Damascus Gate, the simplicity, beauty and peaceful atmosphere of the Garden Tomb makes it a favorite spot for prayer and meditation. Some Christians consider the rock – hewn tomb to be the site of Christ’s burial and Resurrection.


  • At the foot of the Mount of Olives, this church was originally built in AD 379 by the Byzantines at what is believed to be the location where Jesus prayed prior to his arrest. The present church was built from 1919 – 1924, with 16 nations paying for its construction.


  • It has kept its original features for 2,000 years and is home to some of the world’s oldest olive trees. The garden is thought to have been chosen by Jesus for his retreats and prayer. Tradition says it’s here he came to spend the last hour of his life.


  • According to tradition, the Virgin Mary, who died in Jerusalem, was buried in the Kidron valley. The present church was built by the Crusaders on what they believed to be the site of the Virgin Mary’s tomb and her assumption. Centered around a quarried out tomb that may well date from the first century, the cave church is festooned with hanging lamps.