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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!

Posts in ‘Relaxation & Romance’

Don’t be Scared of an Alternative Halloween Across the Channel

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Does the thought of having to find a costume for Halloween fill you with more dread than the haunting face of a man wielding a chainsaw? If so, Europe could be the answer. With some semblance of a cultural festival still being celebrated across the Channel you can take advantage of an excuse for a holiday without the dodgy eye make-up, fraying bandages and the handing out of ‘treats’ to hungry teenagers.

For a last minute trip Paris is the perfect option, and easily accessible. The city of love is slowly becoming one of horror for one night of the year only, but like the rest of Europe celebrates All Saints Day on November 1st, where the dead are honoured and the graves of loved ones are visited to pay respects. This also constitutes a national holiday so many attractions will be closed. The Paris Hop-on Hop-Off Bus takes in all the sights and runs all year, so while Parisians are paying their respects, the city can be explored. The route takes in all the most popular sites such as the Louvre, Champs de Mars, Notre Dame and the Champs-Élysée. continue reading

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Eat…Pray, Love

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You might wonder what taking a hop on hop off Rome tour, buying Last Supper tickets, and embarking upon a Venice gondola ride have in common with Julia Roberts. If you’ve seen her latest film, then you will know that one third of it takes place in Italy, where all three of the above experiences can be enjoyed. continue reading

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Alternative Travel in Spain

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Spain’s busiest beaches and exciting cities have been hot tourist spots forever. Independent travellers and those looking for an adventure will revel once in these buzzing centres but will soon crave more unique experiences on the Spanish peninsula. How about a road trip through one or more of Spain’s distinct regions, sampling culture and cuisine and staying in historic Paradores hotels?

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The ultimate romantic Venice experience

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Check out our favourite Venice gondola rides and plan a romantic vacation with your special someone!

The isango! team

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Spectacular scenery, succulent wines….

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If you’re a wine aficionado, take a look at our recently launched page outlining the various Hunter Valley wine tours available and get ready to taste some of Australia’s finest wines!

The isango! team

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Algarve Tours – Much more than just glorious beaches…

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Feel like a beach vacation, but don’t want to spend all your time lounging in the sun? Check out our Algarve tours and you’ll realize that the southernmost region of Portugal has a lot to offer besides gorgeous beaches, including sea cave cruises, wine tours and jeep safaris!

The isango! team

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Boredom at the Beach

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Summer is finally here!  This means one thing…its time to hit the beach!  I know a vacation in the sun and sand sounds relaxing, yet this relaxation can soon turn to boredom.  This is why whenever I head to the beach for a break I try to find things to keep me busy.  The typical beach activities are always nice;  reading, swimming, sun bathing, and just simply strolling the beach.  Even with all the classic activities, I sill get jaded by the second day.  This is why I like to spend one day doing something a bit more stimulating.

The white sands of Longboat Key (Flickr by RTC1)

The white sands of Longboat Key (Flickr by RTC1)

Florida Beaches

Having grown up in Florida, heading to the beach for a family vacation was always a yearly tradition.  Every Labor Day my family and I head to Longboat Key on the Gulf of Mexico.  Every year we look forward to lounging about in the sun, however it gets too hot to sunbath for hours on end.  So, one of our favorite things to do is collect seashells.  In Longboat Key there is a sand bar close to shore and every year we snorkel for sand dollars.  One year we found hundreds of dead sand dollars on the sand bar!  I enjoy shelling so much, that one time on a trip to Clearwater we actually took a tour that took us to an island to hunt for seashells.  It was a fun way to mix up the usual humdrum at the beach. continue reading

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There Might Even Be Funnel Cakes: Checking Out the UK’s Seaside Scene

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It’s raining outside, and we’re missing the California beaches! Spurred by a long discussion about deep-fried snickers and hot dogs at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, I’ve decided to investigate the UK’s beach scene (hey, we’re surrounded by miles and miles of coastline here too!). And, luckily, the UK turns out to have quite the selection of coastal spots for us sun-hungry Californians to choose from as the weather heats up this summer.

Blackpool's Pleasure Beach - Jon's Pics

Blackpool's Pleasure Beach - Jon's Pics

It may not be Coney Island or the Boardwalk, but it looks pretty close! The Pleasure Beach Amusement Park in Blackpool, England features over 125 rides and attractions with some beautiful coastline views. And for you thrill seekers, twelve roller coasters, (woohoo!) including the one of the last “Wild Mouse” rides in operation, a neck-bending series of bunny hops and flat turns. Accessible via the Blackpool Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour, I can’t wait for an afternoon of sun and fun here (I just hope they have funnel cakes!) continue reading

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Sample some of the world’s best new hotels

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Travellers looking for some relaxation and romance this year may be interested in visiting one of the hotels featured in Conde Nast Traveller’s 2009 Hot List – a run-down of the world’s most exciting new accommodation establishments.

Italy is known for being one of the world’s most romantic destinations and is home to the Borgo Santo Pietro, an eight-bedroom luxury retreat south-east of Siena.

The property boasts facilities including tennis courts, a pool, a gourmet restaurant and a spa within its 12-acre grounds.

Also located in the Tuscany region of Italy is Castiglion del Bosco in the Val d’Orcia, an exclusive resort that for the next few years will be opening up its luxury suites to visitors.

Travellers planning to head further afield may be tempted to sample the splendour on offer at establishments such as Atlantis The Palm in Dubai and the Southern Ocean Lodge in Australia, both of which featured in the 2009 Hot List.

Conde Nast Traveller also published a list recently of what it considers to be the world’s best beaches, which included Bondi Beach in Sydney and Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro.

Relaxation and Romance – Wining and Dining – Dine in some unforgettable settings including the Eiffel Tower and in the shadow of the New York skyline.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19124012-ADNFCR

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Relaxing Vacations in Oceania

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As the continent most known for Australia’s walkabouts in the outback and the largest population of dangerous and deadly creatures anywhere, Oceania is a paradise only for the out-doorsy adventurer right? Well, maybe not. Companies have begun launching new cruises and services to make your trip down-under more of a luxury and less of an effort. Those who want to explore the world but not necessarily hike mountains or bunjee jump into the Pacific can now experience even the most rugged of terrains and discover their peaceful neighbors.

continue reading

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