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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

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Top 3 Things To Do In Paphos

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Despite its small area Paphos is loaded with historical remnants of its long and colourful history.  Perched on Cyprus’ south-western Mediterranean coast it is the largest port on the island.  The Paphos region embraces a lovely boat-populated harbour, a medieval fort, numerous ancient archaeological sites, a gorgeous countryside, beautiful beaches bounded by mountains on one side and the dazzling blue sea on the other.

Paphos has a lovely, laid-back holiday resort and romantic atmosphere.  The whole package seems to have been designed specifically for those almost ‘too-good-to-be-true’ picture postcards.  While Paphos has a whole range of activities to keep every holiday-maker happy it should come as no surprise that it is the historic and scenic aspects that attract the most attention.

Here are a pick of things you can do on the island where Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty, was born and once roamed.

A Comprehensive Tour Of Cyprus From Paphos

This tour is like a delightful box of chocolates of all sorts. A number of great activities are in store for all visitors.  For instance you visit the breath-taking and superbly preserved 2,000 year old Kourion Amphitheatre.  It stands on a cliff-top with amazing views of the coast.

Before you know it you are enjoying a tipple at the Wine Museum.  Next you are wandering through the streets of Byzantine era Monagri village while enjoying an olive pie.  Your trip will take you to Omodhos, the most beautiful village in Greek Cyprus. Here you can take in the Monastery of the Holy Cross and a delicious traditional lunch at Vouni village.

Comprehensive Cyprus Tour Photo

Day Trip to Famagusta and its “Ghost Town”

This is a day excursion that involves crossing the border into Famagusta on the Turkish side of Cyprus. Famagusta was an important stop on the ancient and famous Silk Road leading into Western Europe.  It was once a popular holiday resort.  Today its miles of sandy beaches and turquoise waters lie empty and its hotels abandoned.  Today it is an empty and silent shell.

Among the other sights is the really ancient city of Salamis.  It was believed to have been founded by the Trojan Teucer.  The Romans made Cyprus’ capital in 1100 BC.  Much of the Roman period has survived to this day.  Salamis was buried in sand before being discovered, which helped to preserve it.  The outstanding structures are the large and impressive Baths and the theatre.

The other impressive historical feature on this tour is that of Othello’s Tower.  It was once the lookout for the city of Famagusta and the main entrance to the city.  Shakespeare mentions it in one of his most famous plays, Othello.

Famagusta Day Trip Tour

Day Trip To Kyrenia from Paphos

The Norther (Turkish) sector of Cyprus is relatively unspoiled by the modern lifestyle and is a treasure trove of ancient historical sites.  You cross over from the Greek side through the marvellous Venetian Walls and into Nicosia.  Straight away you will notice the older more traditional side to the island of Cyprus.

The scenery is simply fabulous.  One of the highlights is a visit to the wonderful Gothic Abbey of Bellapis.  Sitting in the heart of a lovely mountain village it has beautiful carvings and murals – reminders of its 13th century origins and 800 year history.

Kyrenia Day Trip Tour

The other wonder is the beautiful port of Kyrenia and the medieval castle.  Built in the 7th century it contains the remains of the ancient ship of Kyrenia and its original cargo. This spectacular castle with its huge rounded towers also houses Roman structures.

As you sip a glass of local wine and enjoy a typical lunch at a local restaurant you can also gaze out at the spectacular scenery and soak in the atmosphere that makes Cyprus a truly wonderful destination.

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Whats New On isango! – November 2014

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The way the world turns means that the northern hemisphere is slowing down as holiday and vacation destinations.  These are the months when warmer climates beckon.  So we bring you some really interesting things to do in exotic places around the world.  To keep the variety we have also picked a snow-packed location for your visiting pleasure.  We hope our choices tempt you to take them up.

Universal Studios Singapore Christmas Celebration Ticket

With its many pleasures Singapore never ceases to delight.  One of its biggest draws over the years is Universal Studios Singapore, especially its Christmas Celebration events.  You can get on thrilling futuristic rides based on blockbuster movies like the Transformers, Shrek 4 and Revenge Of The Mummy.  You will also be treated to fabulous LED light shows and even snowfall every hour.

Universal brings out all its famous and favourite characters for its Christmas bash.  The Sesame Street characters and Toy Soldiers will be out and about. They will be joined by Santa Claus and his elves – of course.

To make your Christmas celebrations at Universal even more enjoyable the Universal Studios Singapore™ Christmas Pass and the Studios Singapore™ Christmas Event Ticket entitles you to several special features. You get to use all the rides and attractions plus enjoy a Free Special Meal. That is not all.  In the evening you will be part of an exclusive and special Christmas event.

Charles Darwin Sunset Dinner Cruise

Darwin enjoys balmy weather and time spent on the water or waterfront can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences.  Get on board our luxury air-conditioned catamaran and cruise Darwin harbor at sunset.  You will cruise past some of Darwin’s historic landmarks such as Government House, State Square, Esplanade and the USS Peary Remembrance Look Out.  Every moment is a photographic opportunity.

The Sunset Dinner Cruise is a spectacular experience.  You can sit back and relax while you cruise the harbor and enjoy a glass of wine and a superb dinner.  Your dinner is just as magnificent as the views.  It is a territory style buffet and will consist of fresh baked bread, prawns, oysters, baked fresh fish (and other seafood), beef fillet, chicken, salads, fresh vegetables and a variety of deserts.

Hong Kong Art Gallery Tour

Hong Kong is recognized for being a commercial hub and a global financial centre.  Its gleaming high-rise towers speak of profit-making and a business first culture.  Happily this is not the whole picture.  Hong Kong has a large and ever growing art scene.  There are more than 200 art galleries to attest to its healthy art scene.

This tour will take you into several art galleries and their exhibitions where you can admire some really fine examples modern art from Chinese and international artists.  You will get insights into artistic trends as well as the Asian art market.  The guide will give you tips on how to value art works, auction tips and how to bargain in the art market.

The tour is a revelation for the art lover, connoisseur and investor and well worth the time.

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Buggy Adventure In Dubai

Dubai now has a well-established reputation as an adventure, sport and outdoor activity destination.  Some of the activities that burnish this standing involve the desert and its challenges.  There are several options to taking on the desert and her magic.

The buggy option is a great one because it is just that bit of an individual and personal adventure.  You can go solo or with a single partner on a roaring 800cc dune buggy across the undulating desert sands.

With a brief introduction and safety instructions you can roar off on your buggy through the trackless desert.  The buggies are fully equipped with a roll cage, bucket seats and a safety harness.

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Snowmobile Adventure – Winter Kingdom, Iceland

This is one for the adventure minded.  Every trip is unique as the guide will take you where the best snow is and that condition and location changes from day to day.  To use the often-repeated phrase ‘once in a lifetime’ a Snowmobile trip across an Icelandic glacier is well and truly that and some more!

Skimming across the snow and the stunning Icelandic scenery on a powerful snowmobile is one you will not forget. This high-speed adventure takes you to glaciers and other places you will not be able to access on foot.

Your adventure will take you up to and on Langjökull Glacier, Iceland’s second largest.  From here you can see the highest mountain in west Iceland, the domed Hofsjökull glacier, and the Kerlingafjöll Mountains.Reykjavik_8068_1

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Top 5 Adventure Activities in Australia

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If there is one country that can turn your vacation into an everyday adventure then Australia is the place that does it.  From the outback to the great cities; from tropical forests to the Great Barrier Reef; from picturesque green rolling hills to snow capped mountains – Australia has it all.   You will have unforgettable experiences in one of the world’s greatest holiday destinations.

So come let us share with you some of Oz’s greatest experiences.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Dawn Climb

Most of the time you drive across it, sail under it, view it from the window of an airliner.  There is however, one experience related to the Sydney Harbour Bridge you simply cannot miss out on.  And that is doing a Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb.  It is a 3 hour thrill like no other.  You climb the world-famed icon to the summit of its arch at 134 metres with the city, the harbour spread out below and gorgeous sky above.

Our tour is led by experts and you will be provided with a bridge suit, communication equipment, safety harness, lanyards and headlamp.  All you need to bring are your sunglasses, and sense of adventure – we’ll provide the rest!  We will also present you with a certificate and photo after the climb.

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You could also try out the following climbs.

·       The Day Climb

·       The Night Climb

·       The Twilight Climb

·       The Express Climb

Outer Barrier Reef Cruise with Diving – From Cairns

The Great Barrier Reef is one of nature’s most incredible and colourful creations. Words cannot describe it and has to be seen to be truly appreciated.  The Reef covers over 2,600 kilometres of coral cays, wall drop-offs, deep caverns and shoals of tropical fish that will make this adventure to the depths of the ocean an exciting one.

Our cruise takes you in comfort and style on a luxury reef craft. The dive part of the cruise is led by expert instructors.  We provide all the equipment and after a brief introduction you dive down to a dazzling underwater world filled with colour and infused by the sea’s magic.

You will also be treated to a buffet lunch and afternoon tea.

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Tully River Rafting Excursion – From Cairns

The Tully River is a mighty raging beast.  Just looking at its racing waters is enough to get your pulse pounding and the adrenaline gushing.  It is a rush you have to experience to truly come alive.  Running between wild towering rock walls and a rainforest the Tully offers Grade 4 rapids that will have your heart racing as fast as the waters.

Expert rafting guides will lead you along 12 kilometres of the Tully River for a memorable experience.  Remember to bring a swimming costume (you will get wet!) and a towel.  Wear lace up shoes.

After your tussle with the river you can enjoy a sizzling and delicious BBQ lunch on the banks of the Tully.

Helicopter Ride Over Uluru and Kata Tjuta

Spectacularly red, Uluru, better known as Ayers Rock, is located in Australia’s Northern Territories.  The world’s largest massive single rock stands majestically in the National Park along with the Kata Tjuta rock domes.  This is a UNESCO World Heritage area.  Both these rocky formations are sacred to the Anangu Aborigines.

Even if you walked around and up to its summit you will not get a true perspective of this amazing rock structure.  To get that perspective you need to see it from the air.  From the bubble window of a helicopter you can marvel at the wonderful arid land and wonder at the fiery red desert.  Bring your camera to capture this magnificent land.

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Scenic Hot Air Balloon Flight – From Cairns

Don a pair of dark glasses and a peaked hat and pack your camera.  Carried by the wind with silence for your companion a hot air balloon ride is like none other you have embarked upon.

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Take off at dawn from Cairns, the hot air ballooning capital of the world, and watch the sunrise.  Your balloon will carry you on a romantic ride over the Cairns Highlands and the picturesque Atherton Tablelands.  Your photographs and the commemorative certificate at the end of the ride will ensure that you never forget this breathtaking aerial experience.

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Xel-Ha – No Ordinary Water Theme Park

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Xel-Ha is one of those brilliant accidents – where nature’s handiwork meets man’s creativity.  It is located on Mexico’s Caribbean coast and 75 miles (122km) south of gorgeous Cancun.  The drive to Xel-Ha is just an hour and a half down the coast from Cancun.  It is a wonderful, breath-taking scenic trip.

Named after the nearby Mayan archaeological site, the Xel-Ha theme park opened in 1984.  Since then, the popularity of its facilities and attractions has never flagged drawing people from all over the world.

The Xel-Ha park area is created by the ox-bow curve of the coast and peppered with numerous tiny islands.  The area is pockmarked with numerous caves and grottoes.  The incredibly blue waters are populated by innumerable varieties of fantastically coloured tropical fish and underwater plants.  The waters are a mix of fresh underwater springs and the ocean’s salty variety adding to its amazing allure.  It is without doubt the world’s largest and most beautiful natural aquarium.

The sea-side of the park is protected by a shark fence making it safe for snorkelling, scuba diving and swimming.  The top attraction in Xelh-Ha is the opportunity to swim and interact with the super-friendly dolphins. You can hug these endearing creatures, which are not averse to giving you kisses or a speed thrill by pushing you over the water on their snouts.

There are other thrills to be enjoyed at Xel-Ha.  For the daring there is the Trepachanga, a river crossing activity where you hang on tightly to one rope while trying to keep your balance on another.  Then there is the zip-bike ride that has you soaring over the jungle giving you a bird’s eye view while making your heart race.  Test your grit at the Stone of Courage as you jump off a rock into the crystal clear waters below.

The fun and adventure is topped off with a trip to the buffet tables for a mouth-watering breakfast and lunch.  The choices are huge – international cuisine, sea foods and Mexican foods.

Spending the day at Xel-Ha is an experience that will beat most others hands down.

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Architecture of Vietnam

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Vietnam has endured decades of war, civil unrest and deprivation.  Despite its tumultuous modern history many architectural and scenic gems have survived all across this beautiful country.  In fact so well preserved are some of these locations that they are UN World Heritage Sites.  They include Phong Nha-Kè Bàng National Park, Hôi An, Halong Bay and M? S?n.

The beauty of Nha Trang and the Marble Mountains has also been attracting visitors for quite some time.  The Binh Durong tourist complex is being developed and will become the largest artificial sea in Southeast Asia.

The Vietnamese diet relies largely on fresh herbs and vegetables making it one of the healthiest cuisines in the world.  Vietnam’s reputation as a rewarding cultural, historical and picturesque destination has been growing since the late 1990s.

Hanoi

Hanoi is over a thousand years old and for 800 of those it has been Vietnam’s premier city.  Hanoi’s ancient past and French occupancy have coalesced into a unique cultural and architectural purée.

Sitting on the banks of the Red River, Hanoi also has many lakes, prompting it to be referred to as the “city of lakes”.  The historical and cultural heart of Hanoi lies in the Old Quarter, along with Hoàn Ki?m Lake, also known as Sword Lake.  Other prominent lakes are West Lake, Halais Lake (H? Thi?n Quang in Vietnamese), and Bay Mau Lake.

The Old Quarter of Hanoi still retains the original street layout and architecture.  Most of the streets were named for the specialised trades carried out on them.  For the most part that still goes on today.

Hanoi contains some wonderful architectural examples of its history such as the Temple of Literature, which is a 1,000 year old university and the One Pillar Pagoda and Flag Tower.  French colonial influence can be seen in the National Museum of Vietnamese History, the Fine Arts Museum and the Medical College.

Halong Bay is not too far from Hanoi.  Legend has it that this wonderful collection of about 1,600 forest clad rocky islands, was created by dragons. The pillars of limestone rocks rising straight out of the emerald seas has fashioned a spectacular marine wonderland. These elements have contributed to UNESCO designating it a World Heritage Centre.

H?i An

H?i An is a wonderfully preserved city, for many centuries it had the largest harbour in the region and was an important trading centre.  It also controlled the spice trade bringing its citizens much wealth and power.  In the course of time the Chinese, Japanese, Dutch and Indians settled here. Their cultural influences are everywhere – in the centuries old wooden buildings, street layouts, quays, canals and gardens.  An outstanding example of this eclectic heritage is the 16th century Japanese Bridge.  It is a red-pillared and roofed bridge, uniquely, the only one, with a Buddhist temple at one end.

The wonderful fusion this has wrought prompted UNESCO to recognise it as a World Heritage Site, ensuring that it stays intact.  The acknowledgment has further added to the reputation and attractiveness of this charming and delightful city.

Ho Chi Minh City

This is Vietnam’s hot spot, affectionately referred to as the ‘Diamond of the Far-East’ it was previously called Saigon (and still commonly known as such).  Once a small fishing village, it was the capital of French Indochina. Today it is one of Asia’s fastest growing cities and the heart of a booming economy.

Its historic past and future aspirations to live happily side by side.  HCMC has managed to blend speeding modernity and French Colonial rule with its Vietnamese qualities.  A large number of classic Western buildings and villas reflect its recent past.  Some of its most notable buildings are the War Remnants Museum, Ho Chi Minh City Museum, the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Hotel de Ville, Quan Am Pagoda and the Jade Emperor Pagoda.

Ho Chi Minh City is the best place in Vietnam for entertainment.  Its vibrant nightlife is propped up by a large number of colourful bars, clubs and restaurants.  Vietnamese style tea houses host live music performances.  HCMC is an exciting city.

Best Time To Visit

Vietnam is a tropical country with a hot and wet climate for most of the year.  Winter however can be chilly and windy.  Mid May to September can be oppressively humid.

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Visiting Cape Town in November

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Cape Town is located around the shores of Table Bay and the iconic Table Mountain in South Africa. Table Mountain has an amazing biodiversity with an estimated 2,200 species of plants, found nowhere else in the world. The region is proud to be apart of the World Heritage Site status. Nature has blessed the Cape Town area with land-based natural beauty of every kind, including abundant exotic fauna and flora. Even the sea shows off the city best here. Marine life reveals its dramatic side in the waters around the Cape.

All this natural wealth provides many opportunities for adventure/ sports enthusiasts and regular sightseers. The weather too, plays a large hand in the attractiveness of the Cape. November through March is summertime and the weather is known to be beautiful- ideal for holidaying and outdoor activities.

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In November, the gentle and cool southeasterly winds prevail, which make for perfect whale watching conditions. Probably the best shore-based place in the world for whale watching is the waters around Hermanus, a pretty little seaside town tucked in between the protective mountains and the sea. Whole pods of massive yet graceful Southern Right Whales often come within 20 metres of the shore.  A counter point to the awe-inspiring whales, is the antics of the loveable and delightful penguins crowding the shoreline and rocks.

The piece of land stretching south from Cape Town to Cape Point, jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean is known as Cape Peninsula. The Cape Town is a wonderfully scenic region with a rich and unique biodiversity. Much of this area and its rare plants are protected by the Table Mountain National Park and Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.  A drive down the meandering and picturesque roads offers stunning views of the coastline. The charming fishing village of Hout Bay offers plenty of photogenic spots. You will see plenty of seals, ostriches, penguins and other wild life during the drive.

Table Mountain is also a majestic piece of real estate. Taking a hike up its slopes will bring you up close and personal to the wonderful wild plants and flowers along the way.  You only have to be reasonably fit to negotiate the climb.  From its summit the eye-popping vistas of the city, the Cape and the surrounding ‘fynbos’ will be a well-earned and fulfilling reward for your efforts.

The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens is a jewel in the glittering tiara of Cape Town’s attractions. This wonderful place, neatly tucked away at the foot of Table Mountain, transforms into a musical paradise.  Every Sunday afternoon, from November till April, it becomes an outdoor concert venue with a wonderful line-up of South African musicians gracing the stage. This year will be the return of some old favourites as well as new acts like The Soil, Barbara Hendricks, the SA National Youth Orchestra, Jeremy Loops, Johnny Clegg and Goldfish.

You can take your picnic basket and a couple of wine bottles, spread your blanket on the magnificent lawns sloping towards the stage and get your groove on as the brilliant sun sets behind the mountains.

Some other great activity options you could indulge in are a speedy and hair-raising trip down South Africa’s first summer toboggan track at the Cool Running’s Park.  You could also roar across the trails of the beautiful Cape countryside on a powerful quad bike. Or else there are more sedate yet just as fulfilling activities like taking a wine tour through some scenic Cape Town wine-growing areas like Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.

There is much that to recommend about Cape Town, but the place sells itself!

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Nightlife in Tenerife

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Tenerife is one of the most southern islands in Europe. It still retains verdant forests containing interesting and colourful vegetation. It also has deserts, mountains, volcanoes and incredibly beautiful beaches. The backdrop to this scenic paradise is Mount Teide, the third largest volcano in the world.

The island has plenty of activities and attractions for the visitor. It also has a varied and exciting nightlife with options ranging from famous cafés, bars, raucous nightclubs, exhilarating discos, cabarets, live entertainment and children friendly venues. Most of the after-dark action happens around the Playa de Las Americas on the southern side of Tenerife.

In a place dedicated to giving the tourist a good time, two shows are standout – the Medieval Games at the Castle San Miguel and the Carmen Mota Show.

Castle San Miguel is a survivor from medieval times. The towers themselves stand to the rear at 16+ meters tall, above carefully maintained gardens and landscaped grounds. The entrance itself is enough to get your jousting juices flowing, for it is artfully adorned with authentic armour, swords, strongboxes and scrolls. Being greeted by knights at the door and escorted to your table by only heightens the expectations.

The entertainment is a throwback to a romantic period when men jousted, battled and fought for glory and honoured at the hand of a fair maiden. The costumes are superb and the scenery and choreographed drama will have you all worked up as you cheer for your hero.

The evening also includes colourful equestrian performances and a number of games. The after dinner entertainment includes an orchestra performance, comedy numbers and acrobatics.

The dinner is a treat too. You will be served a medieval style banquet meal in the vast tournament hall. Your chicken is cooked whole and you eat it with your hands – no cutlery – to maintain that medieval aura.

The other wonderful entertainment option, the Carmen Mota Show, takes place at theMare Nostrum Resort in the south of Tenerife. This show is a spectacular and exuberant performance by a group of phenomenal flamenco dancers. This is something you will not see anywhere else.

The latest choreographed show from the company is called “Evolución”. It is the evocative story of flamenco and the many influences that are embedded in the most vigorous of dance forms. The high-tempo music, choreography, costumes will simply sweep you away in its passion and colour.

The two-hour show has been running for 16 years and the quality, exoticness and presentation is pure flamenco that has not changed over time.

November is especially a great time to visit Tenerife. The temperature is wonderful, hovering around the mid-twenties Celsius. Go and book your trip now!

 

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Top 5 Cities For Shopping In The World

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Shopping is one of the great must-do activities for tourists no matter where in the world they go.  Something has to be bought as a keepsake to remind them of where they had been and also as a showpiece.

However, the shopping that we will be talking about is about other bands of the shopping spectrum – from the glamorous to the bargain varieties.  We will also try to give you a flavour of the experience that you will encounter in the top 5 shopping cities we have chosen here.

Milan

Milan is often associated with haute couture fashion and deservedly so.  However, she has much more eclectic offerings.  Scattered across different areas and amidst her brilliant Medieval and Renaissance architecture you will find a variety of shopping choices.  Some are speciality areas, while other areas stock a mix of fashions and products.

Some of the upmarket streets are Via Montenapoleone, Via della SpigaVia Sant’Andrea, Via Manzoni, Via Borgospesso and Via Santo Spirito.

The less wallet emptying shopping experiences in Milan include Corso Vittorio Emmanuelle, Corso Buenos Aires, Via Torino and Corso di Porta Ticinese where you will find more casual styles.  Around the Navigli area are the second-hand stores, eccentric designers’ boutiques and a vintage market.

No matter where you are you will never be far from a café, to have an aperitif and rest from your shopping exertions.

MilanShopping

Dubai

Dubai’s original attraction for visitors was it’s shopping enhanced by the duty free tag.  The Emirate has evolved and moved into other business streams including the world of finance.  However, it is still the lure of huge glittering malls with over-the-top decor, entertainment features, discounts and a host of offerings will lighten any ones purse, that is draws visitors from all over the world.

What sets Dubai’s experience apart from other shopping destinations are its malls.  Some like the Ibn Battuta Mall, The Dubai Mall, Mercato Shopping Mall and Mall of the Emirates have acquired legendary status.  These vast complexes house the brand names of just about every fashion, retail, electronic, home appliance and other goods from around the world.  The magnificent decor, endless rows of attractively arranged stores will spoil you for choice.  Some malls, like the Gold Souk, specialise in one item – jewellery.

Besides the modern malls, Dubai is famous for its traditional souks.  There is the nasal bewildering Perfume Souk offering thousands of scents; the aromatic Spice Souk and the Antique Market with shops filled with Arabian pots, chests, daggers and Bedouin carvings.

So indulge yourself in this made-for-shoppers’ paradise where you will be sure to find some incredible bargains.

DubaiMall

Paris

Paris to some is considered the spiritual forerunner of shopping destinations. ‘Boutique’, ‘haute couture’ and ‘chic’ are French words that are intricately linked with fashion and spending your francs.  No one leaves “La Ville-Lumière” without plunging into its many and varied markets, galleries and shopping districts.  The wonderful aspects to shopping in Paris are the amazing range of choices that it offers. From the discreet Avenue Montaigne to the atmospheric Marais or the bustling, shoulder-rubbing flea market of Clignancourt.

Many of Paris’ shopping places are now iconic and representative of the goods sold.  For instance the Avenue Montaigne and Rue Saint Honoré is where you will find all the famous designers like Yves St Laurent and Gucci.  The wide and famous Avenue des Champs Elysées has a mix of shops and price ranges.

The Rue de Rennes offers a wide assortment of boutique clothing, accessories and shoe stores right next to the church of Saint Sulpice.  Boulevard Haussman is where Printems and Galeries Lafayettes are located.  These famous department stores are worlds unto themselves and sell cosmetics, fashion and home accessories.  Each floor has a theme. A complete contrast is the Les Puces de Saint-Ouen at Clignancourt. With over 3,000 stalls and shops you can get great bargains in antiques and find just about anything.

Antiques

Paris shopping is a wonderful world of elegance, galleries, boutiques, old-fashioned toy shops and roadside stalls selling everything from luxury goods to books to antiques and more.

London

Cornhill, Bread Street, Poultry and Ironmonger Lane are names so redolent of the goods that were once sold on them.  That hoary London tradition continues with many markets still organized according to specialities and themes.  London has a very large number of shopping districts and we hope our selection will help you on your shopping spree.

Oxford Street is a good place to start.  It is London’s shopping heart. There are Hundreds of shops from designer to general retail outlets and they line both sides of the road.  It is here you will find famous department stores such as John Lewis, Debenhams and Selfridges. Not too far away is the elegant Regent and Jermyn Streets where you can browse through a wide choice of mid-range priced goods at London’s oldest and most famous stores.

shopping in london

Exclusive Bond Street and Mayfair are home to the best in luxury and designer brands where you just might bump into a celebrity or two. Not too far away is the street that is synonymous with fashion, the legendary Carnaby Street.  Hard by, yet a fashion world away is Covent Garden Market offering brash urban street wear, cosmetics, shoes and funky arts and crafts.

On King’s Road you get unique and trendy designer wear along with the regular brands and lovely cafés to rest your aching feet and tired credit card. Harrod’s is Knightsbridge’s most famous resident with nearby Brompton Road providing excellent shopping back up.  Saville Row, Notting Hill and Portobello Road Market are just a few of the other legendary shopping places.

In London you can easily spend the whole day shopping while sightseeing (or vice versa).

New York City

In New York you can get anything, from the proverbial pin to an elephant.  The choice of shopping venues, stores, and streets is mind-boggling.  Every brand and chain store has a significant presence in the city.  For the beginner, occasional or diehard shopper New York is the city.

BJ’s, Costco, and Kmart stores are in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island. While Target stores can be found in Manhattan and Brooklyn.  The flagship stores of Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales and Henri Bendel are popular New York shopping stops.

Shopping in New York

Saks and Fifth Avenue are synonymous with each other.  The humungous Macy’s department store is large enough to get lost in and has a tempting choice of goods so vast you may never come out. Another 5th Avenue stalwart is Tiffany and Company the queen of jewellery with every gem bought presented to you in their trademark blue box.

Whether it is Macy’s famous window displays matched by those of Citarella’s “fish only” or the brightly lit pleasures of shopping malls; whether you are looking for the bargain of a lifetime or just browsing you will find decision making a wonderful yet difficult pleasure when shopping in New York.

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Sydney – Tops Down Under

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The city of Sydney and its suburbs are spread around of the world’s largest natural harbours.  Its near perfect characteristic curve is located on the south-east coast of Australia on the Tasman Sea.  It is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse cities in the world.  It is also one of the most beautiful.

It is a city that has it all – a boisterously interesting history; great natural features and a vibrant art, fashion and cultural scene.  It is the site of two of the world’s most famous and outstanding man-made structures in the world – the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.  To crown it all, it sits alongside miles and miles of fantastic golden sandy beaches, which are visited by some of the best surfing waves in the world.

SydneyBridge

For a visitor, Sydney has a bewildering choice of things to see and do.  Just touring the harbour area will take days.  There are other things to do as well though such as climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge  or taking a guided tour of the Opera House. This is a fascinating way to spend the day as you explore the unique design and engineering of the building, the Concert Hall and its acoustics.

Harbour cruises are a terrific way to experience the city because you get to visit Fort Denison, Taronga Zoo, Luna Park, Shark Island (so called for its shape), Darling Harbour and the Maritime Museum.  Night cruises across the harbour with a gourmet dinner are an exquisite experience too.

Once you have done the harbour you could make your way to the glorious shimmering sands of Bondi Beach.  A dip in Bondi’s clear blue waters alongside the beautiful people should be top of your list of things to do.  The other major attraction is the Royal National Park, known by Sydneysiders as the ‘Nasho’

 Sydney’s nightlife is enviable and must be sampled.  It is effervescent yet laid back in true Oz style.  Its bars, clubs, performing arts and other entertainment options are as diverse as its people and very often on the cutting edge.  But it’s the traditional beer and ‘tucker’ along with the warming friendliness and great charm of its people that sets this magnificent city apart from all others.  Whatever your style, sparkling Sydney is always entertaining.

SydneyNightlife

 Best Time To Visit

From a weather perspective the best time to visit Sydney is September to early December.  Other times to visit are February to April.  During both these periods, the weather is pleasant and the temperatures moderate.  December to February is the peak tourist months.

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Popular Australian Wine Tours

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Australian wines are now well-established around the world.  They compete for space with the best of European wines on the racks of bars, restaurants, and household tables.  It has taken a little while but the vintners and vineyards from Sydney to Perth and places in between have a large world-wide base of loyal tipplers.  Some of these wine producers have a history going back 150 years and more.

 Now that it’s spring down under hop on to one our comfortable air-conditioned coaches and come along with isango!  Get a tour of some of Australia’s most popular wine-making regions.  While on them you can pleasure your palette with a variety of heavenly wines.

Hunter Valley

The wonderfully lush green and picturesque countryside of Hunter Valley is just a two hour drive north from Sydney.  This is the oldest wine making region in Australia and home to more than 80 wineries including such renowned names as Lindemans, McWilliams, Rothbury, Hardy’s, Wyndham Estate and McGuigan. There are also several independent family-owned boutique wine makers like Tyrells and Draytons.

This tour not only takes you through picturesque Hunter Valley but also gets you a-behind-the-scenes view of wine making.  Since it is spring you will get the added visual pleasure of seeing the ‘budburst’ on the vines.

 Your expedition will involve 3 to 5 wine tastings when you sample up to 30 delicious premium wines.  You will also sit down to a gourmet lunch at one of Hunter Valley’s best restaurants.  The meal will feature fresh local grown produce.  Post lunch you will have a chance to indulge in postprandial snooze under a shady tree.

HunterValleyWine

 Swan Valley

Swan Valley is the oldest wine producing area of Western Australia.  It is just a 25 minute drive from the centre of Perth city but the best way to get there is to take a cruise up the Swan River on a wine tasting tour.  The tour incorporates the best of all worlds – a gentle cruise on a beautiful river, stunning scenery, plenty of fine wine and delicious food.

 Many of the wineries are award winners, producing a wide range of speciality whites, full-bodied reds and some of the world’s finest fortified wines.  This tour focuses on one of the best known and finest wine makers in Australia, Sandalford Wine Estate.  The house is one of the oldest and largest family owned winemakers.

 You get to see how they conjure up their liquid magic in a behind-the-scenes tour.  This is followed by a tasting of 6 varieties of their finest premium wines.  While sipping, choose your favourite wine to accompany your sumptuous two course lunch.  Fresh bread rolls, roasted free range chicken and Mediterranean salsa are just some of the treats on your lunch menu.

 The Swan Valley Cruise and Wine Tasting is such a memorable experience you may want to repeat it.

Barossa Valley

The Barossa Valley lies 60km Northeast of Adelaide.  It is a premier wine producing region of Australia.  This picturesque valley is distinguished by the vast acreage of vineyards.  It is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions and started by German settlers.

 It is famous for excellent red Shiraz and other varieties such as Reisling, Semillon, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon and several fortified wines.  It is also renowned for its over 80 Cellar doors and 160 wineries.  Some are still owned and run by the original families.  It is also famed for its food, cultural experience and the biennial Barossa Valley Vintage Festival.

 A Barossa Valley wine tasting tour is a must and the isango! tour covers five of the best world renowned names including the Wolf Blass, TeAro Estate, Kellermeister,  Pindarie and Saltram Wine Estate.  The tour also includes a delicious gourmet lunch at the Wolf Blass Visitor Centre with wonderful views of the spectacular Barossa Ranges.

This is a perfect tour for wine enthusiasts.

BarossaValleyWines

Yarra Valley

Just an hour from Melbourne is the wine-producing region of the Yarra Valley.  The entire area is pristine, dominated by gorgeous views and stunning mountains.  It has a richly deserved reputation as one of the world’s great wine and food regions.  The Yarra Valley has a relatively cool climate allowing for the production of excellent Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and sparkling wines.

 Our tour is a special, guided one with an expert accompanying you to three top wineries – Yering Station, Yering Farm and Balgownie Estate.  You will learn how to swirl, sniff, slurp and then taste a wine.  You will also find out how they put the ‘bubbly’ into sparkling wines along with being able to sample them.

 In the Yarra Valley many of the wineries have world-class restaurants attached and Balgownie Estate is no different.  At the tasting you can make your wine selection and have it with an à la carte lunch at the restaurant.

 Your tour ends on a brilliant note with a visit to Domaine Chandon, who are the Australian producers for Moet & Chandon, the French Champagne company.  They also produce fine quality sparkling and cool-climate wines.

YarraValleyLandScape

Margaret Valley

It has been only 45 years since viticulture began in the Margaret Valley.  Yet its superb weather and other growing conditions have seen it become one of the great wine regions of the world.  The wines from here sit right next to the finest in the world.

Margaret Valley is conducive to producing Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Cabernet blends from here are valued because of their fruity and multi-layered flavours.  Many other varieties including Shiraz, Semillon blancs, Sangioves, Merlot, Verdelho and Viogniers are produced too.

Our Margaret Valley Wine Tours leave from Perth and visit four of the world’s best wineries.  Also part of this pleasurable experience is a two-course gourmet lunch at the Voyager Estate plus a barrel room wine-tasting session at Moss wood.

The superb wine tasting tour ends with a thoroughly sinful flourish. You stop off at the Margaret River Chocolate Factory where you can indulge yourself in rich chocolate.  This tour is a wonderful experience for the connoisseur and the novice.

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