Subscribe to isango! RSS feed
World’s leading site for travel experiences - Tours, Activities, Shows, Excursions and more
Find amazing experiences Book before you go. Local rates. Handpicked suppliers Find out more >>
Home Blog Support Why isango!
call us +44 (0) 870 049 2331
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!

Posts in ‘Nature & Wildlife’

Former warship to become man-made reef

0

A decommissioned American warship is to be sunk into the ocean to create an articifical reef, it has been revealed.

The USS Kittiwake, a submarine rescue craft used by the US Navy during World War Two, will be sunk into a large sand patch off the island of Grand Cayman, near the popular Seven Mile Beach.

Over time it will form an artificial reef and should attract a variety of species of ocean life as it becomes an attraction for divers and snorkelers.

"It will be the biggest thing that’s happened in the dive industry in the last 10 years," said President of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association Steve Broadbelt.

Cayman is already a popular dive destination, with tourism accounting for around half its annual income.

Cayman tourism minister Charles Clifford stressing the environmental benefits of the plan, saying: "This site will also benefit our marine ecology by providing artificial habitats for fish and much desired relief for some of our frequently visited dive sites."

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18801473-ADNFCR

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Congratulations to Sarah Stocks!

1

Congratulations to Sarah Stocks, winner of the isango! Perfect Holiday Contest.

Sarah entertained, surprised and inspired us all with her creative description of paradise, entitled ‘Tropical Rainforest? Or is it?’.

Having received the most public votes throughout the month-long competition, she is now entitled to £500 worth if isango! products.

Way to go, Sarah!

Here is her (scandalous!) entry:

Tropical Rainforest? Or is it?’

He looks right into my eyes with his soulful browns, rippling muscles, dressed only in a small loin cloth. “I want to take you to a secret place high in the rainforest” he says “we can make a hammock from the vines.” His voice is so sultry, so sexy. But no, I can’t. Yes, it sounds like paradise, but I am here with my new husband on honeymoon, and he is waiting for me. “I’m so sorry I need to go.” He looks sad for a moment then says “okay, but please let me walk with you to keep you company.” We stroll in the scorching heat, passing all sorts of wild and crazy animals. We walk for miles and eventually reach my partner standing beside a huge castle. My tall, dark stranger turns to me and whispers in my ear, “maybe tomorrow you will return? Balou was looking forward to meeting you and we really need a hand to stitch that hammock.” I replied, “we’ll see, Tarzan – I still haven’t seen Tigger yet, so that’s tomorrow’s goal.” I turn to my husband with freshly dripping ice cream in his hands and think to myself, “I love Disneyland…”

Ooh la la, Sarah! Great work. We hope that your holiday fantasy comes true!

Tours:
Enchanted Rainforest Dinner

Daintree Rainforest Tour

Disneyland Adventure

Disneyworld Adventure

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Photos of La Jolla Seals

0

I would like to thank Karen Lorah for submitting her fantastic photographs of La Jolla for yesterday’s blog about top wedding locations – I had to post more of them!

For those of you that don’t know, La Jolla is a wealthy seaside resort or “village” in San Diego, California, which annually attracts not only lots of tourists but also…lots of adorable SEALS.

Check out Karen’s photos:

La Jolla Seals

 

La Jolla Seal 2

 

La Jolla Seal 3

 

So cute!  Thanks again, Karen!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Cyprus is for the birds

0

If you”re thinking about Cyprus for a holiday this year, potential visitors are reminded that it is a destination also favoured by several hundred species of birds.

The island provides an unrivalled bird-watching prospect as millions of exotic birds fill the Cypriot sky and landscape during the Northern migration journey between the continents of Europe, Africa and Asia which occurs between August and October.

Cyprus”s geographical position provides an ideal stopover for a huge number of birds.

Some species are rarely seen anywhere else, some only visit fleetingly and leave after a day or two and some can be spotted regularly as they nest for weeks or even months.

Birdwatchers from all over the world enjoy this annual natural spectacle which can be enhanced if visitors join one of the organised tours.

Knowledgeable local experts invariably know when and where to look for the best experience and can offer informal commentary.

From the salt lakes filled with Greater Flamingos to the Troodos Mountains – home to Griffon Vultures – there is always something to see.

Go to Cyprus, millions of birds can”t be wrong.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18767281-ADNFCR

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Underwater wonders from the Canary Islands

1

Many uphold that spontaneity is the key to a good time but sometimes a ringside seat for a natural spectacle needs to be booked in advance to avoid any disappointment.

A two-hour marine life watching voyage aboard the Spirit of the Seas off the shores of Gran Canaria, Canary Islands is one such experience.

The ship”s itinerary is barely the same twice as she leaves three times a day from the south-western port of Puerto Rico at 10:00, 12:30 and 15:00.

Spirit of the Sea has been specifically equipped as a purpose-built aquatic life search vessel and can get much closer to underwater wildlife than most vessels because of her modified ”silent” engines.

Up to 30 people can be accommodated in the two glass-bottomed keels to give guests a rare glimpse of a little-explored domain.

Because of the limited fishing allowance, the area is known for its wide variety of sea life and constant contact with other vessels practically guarantees sightings of several species such as bottle-nose dolphins and pilot and finback whales.

Spirit of the Sea dolphin cruises must not be missed but 48 hour booking notice is advised to ensure a seat.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18762533-ADNFCR

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Tranquil Butterfly Valley

0

It is not an accident that the Turkish coastal resort of Fethiye has a reputation as a summer tourist magnet, a reputation which has remained intact for many years.

Along with its several cultural, historical and tourist attractions that keep the visitor numbers flocking to the area year after year, is the fact that it also provides a great staging point from which to take in the sights of the surrounding area.

One such attraction is the natural phenomenon of Butterfly Valley on the Turquoise Coast which can be witnessed all through the summer months when millions of butterflies representing around 70 different species amass here to breed.

Boats leave regularly from Belcekiz Beach in Olu Deniz every day to enable visitors to see this incredible sight or for the more energetic, hikers can access it by walking the Lycian Way.

The area is protected but hikers will be relieved to learn that camping is allowed a short distance away and a small turquoise bay with its two waterfalls provides a great way to cool off from the dusty trail.

Entry is free to Butterfly Valley where tranquillity is paramount and flash photography and loud noises are not allowed to disturb the peace.

Family – Theme Parks – Treat the family to a day at one of the Disney resorts or to a splashing day out at a Spanish waterpark.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18758348-ADNFCR

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Tenerife Zoo and Monkey Park

1

Visitors to the Canary Islands are generally attracted by the guaranteed sunshine and the fact that the well known resorts there have been waving goodbye to millions of satisfied customers for decades.

But there is more to Tenerife than just European gold standard beaches and the facilities and attractions to be found there.

One little-known gem which the whole family can enjoy together is the Tenerife Zoo and Monkey Park which gives visitors the opportunity to interact with sociable primates and other animals.

Although feed can be bought for the animals at the entry kiosks, guests stand a much better chance of forming a friendship with a chimpanzee if they go armed with a bag full of fruit, and the animals appear to prefer it that way too.

However, visitors are also encouraged to bring a packed lunch and take advantage of the picnic areas as there are no restaurant facilities, as long as it is understood that there may be others interested in their lunch.

There are also cappuccino monkeys, lemurs and iguanas and the park has many areas where supervised interaction takes place and where the animals will happily sit on your shoulder or hold your hand while you feed them.

Tenerife Zoo and Monkey Park is open all year-round and admission costs around €10 (£8).

Family – Theme Parks – Treat the family to a day at one of the Disney resorts or to a splashing day out at a Spanish waterpark.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18758107-ADNFCR

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

PERFECT HOLIDAY CONTEST FINALISTS

0

Thanks to those who participated in the 2008 isango! ‘Perfect Holiday’ Contest! We were overwhelmed with enthusiastic responses and sincerely apologize for the delay in posting the finalists. But we’ve finally done it! Hooray! The top 5 entries have been selected, and it’s time to VOTE!

FYI: though we could only select 5 finalists, we truly enjoyed reviewing your (100!) entries. We admire your imaginative efforts; thus, the majority of this blog is dedicated to the bulk of entries that did not make it through to the shortlist. We have explained why certain types of entries were not selected and have included some relevant travel tips to assist you in actualizing your dream getaways!

If this sounds boring to you ( – it’s not, actually!), you can skip straight to the action, and:

CLICK HERE to VOTE for one of the TOP FIVE ENTRIES

…as selected by our team of travel writers and product specialists. Go ahead, do it! But remember, you can vote once, and once only!

SOME TRENDS AND TIPS:

(By the way, we’ve listed the finalists at the bottom of this blog in hopes that you will actually read the rest of what we have to say!)

…right, so we learned a great deal about your travel desires and needs from reading your entries—namely that most of you are in need of a good, long holiday! There were also some recurring themes:

1. “It’s not where you are, it’s who you are with…”
A large number you would prefer to spend your precious time away from the office on a romantic getaway with your significant other. Your descriptions of destinations were often very imaginative, but also quite vague, as you focused on the experience that you would have with the love of your life—just the two of you—isolated in paradise. These entries were fantastic (and heartwarming) but were also, unfortunately, more difficult to judge as sometimes we were not sure where, exactly, you aimed to go on your holiday! We suggest visiting the Romantic Retreats section of the isango! website to transform your, ahem, ‘daydreams’ (wink!) into reality.

2. Family First.
A large percentage of you have young children and thus face difficulties with planning to please multiple parties. For you, the ‘perfect holiday’ is one that is free of logistical nightmares: your entries thus tended to be long lists of things that you wanted to avoid (long queues, large crowds, flight delays), rather than of things you actually wanted to do. Though we can do nothing about rubbish airlines (except to complain right alongside you) we can help you to avoid ‘on the ground’ family feuds by encouraging you to plan a detailed itinerary prior to departing. Start with our list of Family Tours under the Activities section of our website, which can be narrowed down, for example, to theme parks and self drive tours.

Others of you focused on the needs of your parents and grandparents, wishing to fulfill their dreams by taking them to parts of the world that they have always wanted to see. We suggest starting with our Seniors category and narrowing your options down by country, or city, from there. (You can also always contact one of our friendly customer service reps if you have any questions!)

3. Some of you are, well, CRAZY…
Really, wow. You submitted some fantastically wild travel ‘plots’ (- you know who you are!). Check out some of our quirkier blogs for more unconventional ideas and inspiration.

Now, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for!

THE FINALISTS:

1. Hanlie Burger, ‘Shipwrecks, Sand Dunes and Desert Elephants’.

2. Louise Brown, ‘Northern Solitude’

3. Sarah Berl, ‘Spelunk!!’

4. Marian Redmond, ‘Campania Felix’, and

5. Sarah Stocks, ‘Tropical Rainforest? Or is it?’

A huge CONGRATS to Hanlie, Louise, Sarah, Marian and Sarah—and all of our participants—for dreaming up such fabulous ‘perfect holidays’! We cannot thank you enough.

Please vote here, and to pass this email along to all of your family and friends!

You can also check out more blog coverage of the contest here.

Thanks again for participating!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Globe trotters unite: a journey with a purpose.

0

Our ‘Perfect Holiday’ Contest entries have been rolling in! A few of you got very creative with your responses, crafting globe trotting itineraries with inventive themes. Here are some of our favourites thus far:

1. ‘Southern Music Odyssey’, by Greg Davies

A road trip with a difference—i.e. not your usual ‘Route 66’ or ‘Coast to Coast’ American Dream. Due to my late grandfather’s musical obsession that he passed onto me, my dream holiday would be to drive the southern United States, visiting and enjoying some of the famous sights and sounds of Country music—the Grand Ol’ Opry, Memphis, Tupelo, Austin, Nashville—all in an old convertible…staying at old-style motels along the way and enjoying southern hospitality and good ol’ time music, the way it’s meant to be enjoyed!

2. ‘A Taste for Travel’, by Lydia Houghton

I’d have lobster in Cancun, cocktails in New York, A balti in Bombay, A Guinness in County Cork, coq au vin in Paris, a pizza in fair Rome, a chop suey in Beijing, and Swedish meatballs in Stockholm.

It would be such a treat to take a break from all the cooking, but the only problem is… my tummy might need tucking!

3. ‘Natural World Wonders’, by Chris Woodroofe

My Perfect Holiday would be a tour around all of the natural world wonders: Serengeti Migration, Galápagos Islands, Grand Canyon, Iguazu Falls, Amazon Rainforest, Ngorongoro Crater, Great Barrier Reef, Bora Bora Cappadocia and Victoria Falls. All I would need would be a backpack, a diary, and a camera…this would be my perfect holiday—very simple, but very rewarding, as the natural world wonders are being destroyed…

That’s all for now!

The official shortlist will be posted on the isango! website very soon. Be sure to vote!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Mama Mia! Mania: Behind the Scenes in Greece

9

“(I would) fly to the beautiful Greek Isles, to a quiet marina, where I could introduce my wife to the boat that would take us island hopping – sailing from fishing village to fishing village…local ports fringed with tavernas…seafood washed down with the native wine whilst the blood-red sun kisses the Mediterranean sea `good night’…”

– Fred Harper, ‘Perfect Holiday’ Contest Entrant

Sparkling blue water, rugged coastal terrain, sailboats, sunshine, serenity, and fresh seafood (mmm…..)

…not to mention a strutting, overall-clad Meryl Streep, a feisty Julie Walters, a singing Pierce Brosnan, a glowing Amanda Seyfried……and, of course, a non-stop ABBA marathon.

Who’s seen Mama Mia! And doesn’t want to go to Greece?

I’m always skeptical of movie renditions of musicals, but, in this case, the big screen certainly exploits what the West End can’t: the absolutely breathtaking scenery of the Greek Islands.

Behind the Scenes in Skiathos and Skopelos

Just over a year ago, Streep, Brosnan, and the rest of the multi-talented Mama Mia! cast were staging 1970’s ABBA mayhem on remote islands of the Aegean sea…

It’s time to follow in the footsteps of the stars (and as well as the imagination of our contest entrant Fred) on the following tours:

1. Romantic Sunset Cruise in Skiathos.

If you’ve seen the film, it’s impossible not to imagine yourself as a blissful, young bride or groom to be, sheltered from the realities of the world on a little Greek slice of paradise. The amorous atmosphere of the Sophie’s dream island wedding lingers on the island of Skiathos, where a Calypso fishing boat awaits the next pair of lovebirds that desire a taste of Aegean seaside culture, music, cuisine and scenery.

The Skiathos ‘Music and Moonlight’ Sunset Cruise departs Tuesdays from 15 May – 15 October and is the perfect romantic outing for the adventurous duo. Indulge in freshly prepared island cuisine, feel the rhythms of the traditional Greek folk music, and dance your way into the sunset…..

2. Tour of Skopelos

Explore the magnificent setting of Donna’s infamously ‘rustic’ hotel—‘the greenest island in Greece’—by embarking on the Sporades Island Hopping Tour, which includes a stop at ‘Kalokairi Island’, or rather, Skopelos!

Your adventure will begin as you board a boat in the harbour of Skiathos, where some of Mama Mia’s most lively scenes were created. Coast across the sparkling Aegean until you arrive at what was, just under a year ago, the central hub of ABBA action—where Pierce Brosnan’s flip flops are now on display…and where the film’s fairytale church, Agios Ioannis, juts out over the sea on a magnificent, towering rock formation.

Your day will end with a stop at neighbouring Alonissos; you will return to Skiathos in time for a relaxing sunset meal.

Mama Mia! Here we go again…

May your romantic, island hopping adventure leave you ‘stranded’ at an isolated taverna…complete with a staff that breaks out into spontaneous song and dance…

Other great behind-the-scenes film tour ideas:

The ‘Film Tours: Hollywood and Beyond’ Blog

The ‘Hollywood, Bollywood and Beyond’ Blog (a favourite!)

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS