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Monthly Archives: February 2016

February 28, 2016

Balkan Tour

Written By Albania Express Travel

Discover 4 countries for yourself during this exciting adventure tour.

Day 1: “Mother Teresa Airport – Tirana (20 km)

Meet at airport and transfer to Tirana. What to Visit: Clock Tower, Scanderbeg Square. Positioned in the city center, this tower has become a symbol of Tirana. It is one of the oldest constructions in Tirana, built in the 1820. Et’hem Bey Mosque, construction of this mosque took about 28 years and finished in 1821. It is considered one of the most beautiful mosques in Albania with very interesting decorations and art-work within it . National Historic Museum, the main museum in Tirana, it is in the center of the city, easily recognizable because of a huge mosaic standing on top of its front facade. It contains many artifacts ranging from ancient times through Hoxha’s regime. Also we will visit ,National Art Gallery, National Archaeological Museum of Albania, Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Cathedral, Saint Paul Catholic Cathedral. Overnight in Tirana.

Day 2: Tirana – Kruje – Vlora (185 km)

After breakfast we will proceed to Kruja – the centre of Albanian resistance against the Turks under our national hero Gjergj Kastrioti (Scanderbeg). He kept them from crossing into Western Europe for 25 years, thus earning the title “Protector of Christianity” given by the Pope. In Kruja also we will visit the old pazar and then we drive to Vlora and in Vlora we will visit the Independence Museum, situated in the original house where the first Independent Albanian Government had its offices. Overnight in Vlora.

Day 3: Vlora – Butrint (UNESCO) – Saranda ( 160 km)

After breakfast we depart to Saranda through the spectacular Albanian Riviera with its traditional villages. At the Llogara National Park we stop at around 1100 metres where spectacular views of the Ionian Sea can be admired. Afterwards continue along the wonderful coast to the ancient city of Butrint another UNESCO World Heritage considered the best archaeological site in Albania and probably one of the most important in the Balkans. The city was first settled by Greek colonists and was continuously inhabited for centuries forming archaeological layers of passing civilizations, giving archaeologists the possibility to study continuity through time. It is situated on a beautiful peninsula among dense vegetation. The site has been occupied since at least the 8th century BC, although myths associated with its origins speak of the city’s foundation by Trojan exiles. Overnight in Saranda.

Day 4: Saranda -Blue Eye (Water Spring) – Gjirokastra (UNESCO) (55 km)

In the morning we depart for Gjirokastra a museum town under the protection of UNESCO as a World Heritage Site with beautiful and very distinct architecture. On the way we stop at Blue Eye (Syri i kaltër) is a water spring and natural phenomenon. A popular tourist attraction, the clear blue water of the river bubbles forth from a stunning, more than 50 m deep pool. Divers have descended to fifty metres, but it is still unclear what the actual depth of the karts hole is. Afterwards in Gjirokastra we visit the fortress part of which was turned into a political prison for dissidents of the communist regime and an Arms Museum. Visit to the Ethnographic Museum, which is also the house the Albanian dictator was born in, as well as a 300 year old house next to it, where the grandeur of Gjirokastra’s master builders can be observed. Overnight in Gjirokastra.

Day 5: Gjirokastra (UNESCO) – Berat (UNESCO) (175 km)

After breakfast depart for Berat, one of the most visited and characteristic towns in Albania under the protection of UNESCO as a patronage of humanity for its architectural uniqueness. We visit the Castle and the Onufri Museum. Berat castle is of particular interest as people still live within its walls in their traditional houses, as have their ancestors for centuries. The castle used to have over 40 churches of which 7 still remain including St.Mary’s church turned into Onufri Museum. Onufri was a famous Albanian Icon master painter of the 16th century who painted many orthodox churches in Albania and Greece, using a special red colour. Berat is also known for its close ties with religious practice as two of the oldest bibles in the world have been found here. One dates back from the 6th century AD and the other from the 9th century AD and are internationally renowned for their theological importance. We have a homemade lunch in one of the houses in the castle. Just below the castle we visit the Leaden Mosque, the King’s Mosque, the Bachelor’s Mosque and the Alveti Tekke completing a tour of this town’s religious tolerance. Overnight in Berat.

PART 2. MACEDONIA’S RELIGIOUS RELICS  

Day 6: Berat (UNSECO) – Elbasan – Struga – Ohrid (UNESCO) (160 km)

After breakfast depart for to the city of Ohrid. On the way we drive through rural villages with wonderful countryside landscapes. We stop at Elbasan for a visit at the castle. Afterwards proceed to Struga famous for its wall of water where the Black Drin River flows out of Lake Ohrid on its way to the Adriatic. In August, the famous international poetry festival is staged on the bridge over the Black Drin. After a short visit continue on to Ohrid where we take a familiarization tour of the town, proclaimed UNESCO World Heritage region for its cultural and natural legacy. Overnight in Ohrid.

Day 7: Ohrid (UNESCO) 

After breakfast visit: Church “St. Sofia”, built between the 11th and 14th century, was the seat of the Archbishop. “St. Clement”, a classic Orthodox Byzantine church, dominating the Old Town, demonstrates the link between Byzantine and Italian Renaissance art. At “Plaoshnik”, in the 9 the century, St. Clement of Ohrid founded the first University of Europe and educated 3.500 students, St. John at Kaneo, stands alone on a small promontory which juts out into the Lake at the western end of the Old Town, and provides spectacular panoramic views of the Lake and surrounding mountains, Samuil fortress, etc. Other visits include: Saint Painteleimon Church, The Holy Virgin of Peribleptos Church, Icon Gallery, and old Bazaar. Overnight in Ohrid.

Day 8: Ohrid (UNESCO) – Skopje (170 km)

After the breakfast we depart for Skopje where we take a guided tour of the main sites. Visit the old Turkish bazaar, Mahmut Pasha Hammam, the memorial house of Mother Teresa, stone bridge and the Macedonia Plaza. Overnight in Skopje.

PART 3. TASTES OF KOSOVO, THE ‘NEW BORN”

Day 9: Skopje – Prishtina – Gracanica Monastery – Ulpiana – Prishtina (110 km)

Morning we drive to Prishtina and then we visit Gracanica Monastery which was constructed on the ruins of an older 13th century church of the Holy Virgin, which was built on the ruins of a 6th century early Christian basilica. Of the former monastic compound, only the church has survived. Visit Ulpiana an ancient Roman site also named Justiniana Secunda. Under the Roman Empire, Ulpiana flourished and it is mentioned as a glorious city “urb splendidissma”. Ulpiana suffered numerous attacks from barbarian tribes (Huns, Goths), it was destroyed in 479 by the Goths. A final blow came when an earthquake struck in 518 AD and destroyed what remained of Ulpiana. Next visit the 1389 Kosovo Battlefield and Sultan Murat’s grave (both about 15 min away from Prishtina). Overnight in Prishtina.

Day 10: Prishtina – Prizren – Decan Monastery – Peja (185 km)

After breakfast we drive to visit Prizren, a true open air museum, one of the most beautiful towns of Kosovo. It is situated on the slopes of the Sharr Mountains and on the banks of the river Bistrica. The craftsmen of Prizren are well known for their beautiful gold and silver articles and other folk handcrafts. From all the cities of Kosovo, Prizren has best preserved the architectural style of the past. Afterwards head towards Peja through the magnificent the Rugova Gorge to the Decani Monastery near it. This monastery complex is a wonderful example of the Orthodox religious architecture and art part of UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must for anyone visiting Kosovo. Overnight in Peja.

PART 4. MONTENEGRO, A WILD NATURAL BEAUTY  

Day 11: Peja – Kolashin – Budva (285 km)

After breakfast a long drive through magnificent natural beauty of the North West Kosovo and Montenegro takes us to Kolašin which is Montenegro’s most famous ski resort. Then we continue on another panoramic drive, the coastal area around Budva, called the Budva Riviera, is the center of Montenegrin tourism, known for its well preserved medieval walled city, sandy beaches and diverse nightlife. Overnight in Budva.

Day 12: Budva – Kotor (UNESCO) – Cetinje – Budva (110 km)

After breakfast drive to visit The Old City of Kotor a well preserved urbanization typical of the Middle Ages, built between the 12th and 14th century. Medieval architecture and numerous monuments of cultural heritage have made Kotor an UNESCO listed “World Natural and Historical Heritage Site”. Then we drive to Cetinje and Cetinje is a town of immense historical heritage, founded in the 15th century. It became the centre of Montenegrin life and both a cradle of Montenegrin and an Eastern Orthodox religious center. It is because of its heritage as a long term Montenegrin capital that it is today the honorary capital of Montenegro. Overnight in Budva.

Day 13: Budva – Shkodra – Tirana (190 km)

After breakfast drive to Shkodra. On the way stop for a photo at Sveti Stefan renowned for its celebrity residents from the music and movie industry. Afterwards proceed to Shkodra centre of Roman Catholicism in Albania and a town with long historic roots, and the only mentioned capital of the Illyrian Kingdom. Visit the pedestrian area with Italian influences and the Castle thought to exist from Illyrian times. After lunch return to Tirana. Overnight in Tirana.

Day 14 Tirana – “Mother Teresa Airport” (20 km)

After breakfast transfer to Airport.

Includes:

Accommodation in good 3*  4* standard hotels with breakfast.

Transportation with comfortable a/c vehicle.

English (French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese etc), speaking tour guide/driver.

All taxes.

Excludes:

Flight Tickets.

All entrance fees.

All other meals apart from breakfast.

Additional Info
Country: Albania
Region: Albania
City: Tirana
Address: Tirane, Albania
Website URL: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Currency: EUR
Top Travel Voucher: 10
Contact Email: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Phone Number: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Fax Number: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Contact Name: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
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Top Travel Activities : Europe , Heritage & Cultural


February 28, 2016

African Safari & Gorilla Watching

Written By Leonardo Gubinelli

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This 4 day Gorilla Experience is the best way to see all of the top wildlife spots in Uganda if you are squeezed for time.

 

For all you wildlife-loving adventurers, this four day gorilla experience and safari is the best way to see all of the top wildlife spots in Uganda in a neatly packed schedule.

In the remote South-Western corner of Uganda, on the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, lies Mountain Gorilla Country, otherwise known as Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – Uganda’s most famous tourist destination. Deep in Bwindi you will find the fascinating creatures who attracts thousands of visitors to Uganda every year: the mountain gorilla. Looking deep into the eyes of our simian relatives, watching a family of mountain gorillas interact in the midst of the Ugandan rainforest is an experience you will never forget. This endangered primate has a total population of less than 800 left and lives only in the forests of the Virunga volcanoes and Bwindi.

Gorilla tracking is an experience like no other. To minimise disturbance to these severely endangered great apes, only eight people are allowed to track the gorillas each day, while time with the gorillas is strictly limited to one hour. As wildlife viewing goes, it’s difficult to conceive how or where on earth 60 minutes could be more rewardingly spent. Gorilla tracking offers the privilege of encountering one of the world’s rarest animals in its natural habitat, and by doing so helping to fund its continued survival.

To further satisfy your adventuring needs, our travellers will also be driving to Queen Elizabeth National Park – home to an array of wildlife including lions, giraffes and elephants. We recommend that you bring a good camera along, because you will also be taken on a boat cruise into hippo territory as we sail down the Kazinga channel.

This trip is ideal for anybody who has ever dreamed of seeing the majesty of African wildlife in their natural home. Try combining this trip with further adventures into Kenya or Tanzania to maximise your time in this beautiful continent.

Additional Info
Country: Uganda
Region: Kampala
Website URL: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Currency: GBP
Top Travel Voucher: 1249
Contact Email: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Phone Number: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Contact Name: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
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Top Travel Activities : Adventure Travel , Africa


February 28, 2016

The Great Indian Escape

Written By Leonardo Gubinelli

 

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Trick off some activities from your bucket list as you tour around the best spots in India’s Golden Triangle!

This is truly an awe-inspiring experience of the many places and attractions India is famous for. The trip combines the best of the Golden Triangle of India (Delhi, Agra and Jaipur) and a visit to the wonderful Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, India’s  premier national park. Here you can enjoy the variety of animals India has to offer, including the magnificent and endangered Bengal tiger in their natural habitats.

This trip takes you to the highlights of three cities including the majestic Taj Mahal, Amber Fort and other UNESCO World Heritage sites on a chauffeur-driven car as well as riding the infamous pedal rickshaw around Old Delhi.  You will stay at luxury hotels and explore in style with private guides and drivers. You will also board the Golden Temple Mail train to Ranthambore on first class carriage and have the opportunity to dine at the best restaurants in each city. A perfect overview of such a great country

Additional Info
Country: India
Region: Delhi
Website URL: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Currency: GBP
Top Travel Voucher: 1399
Contact Email: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Phone Number: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Contact Name: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
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Top Travel Activities : Adventure Travel , India


February 28, 2016

Mt Kilimanjaro Charity Climb Lemosho Route

Written By Leonardo Gubinelli

 

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There are things we do when we travel because a guidebook tells us we must or a local tells us is a rite of passage. But climbing Kilimanjaro you do for yourself and that feeling you get when you reach the summit. By climbing Kilimanjaro with Inspired Escapes you will also be climbing for the people at the foothills of the mountain, by donating to our local literacy project.

Every year, thousands of people climb Kilimanjaro for charity, raising funds for overseas charities. Thousands of malnourished children and marginalised families in Tanzania witness this on a daily basis yet they rarely reap the benefits of these charity climbs. Not only will you summit one of the world’s most iconic mountains by the less-known (and less busy) Lemosho route, but you will get the chance to support a local literacy project at the foothills of the mountain where few young people can read or write. By channeling the funds you raise towards these immediate communities, we intend to reinvent these rural schools, turning them into desirable and successful places. When you climb Mount Kilimanjaro with Inspired Escapes you will be raising funds for the people of the mountain.

If you choose this Kili climb, you will summit the mountain via the Lemosho Route. It’s a relatively new route known for its beauty and remoteness. Being a lesser known route it tends to be less populated. This route gives you more time to acclimatise than some so the success rate is high.

 

Additional Info
Country: Tanzania
Region: Moshi
Website URL: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Currency: GBP
Top Travel Voucher: 1899
Contact Email: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Phone Number: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Contact Name: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
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Top Travel Activities : Adventure Travel , Africa


February 28, 2016

How To Care For A Thai Elephant

Written By Leonardo Gubinelli

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The Elephant Village is located in one of the most authentic and genuine parts of Thailand, located about an hour from Surin. The area is a beautiful sight! The villagers are some of the most welcoming and friendly people you’ll ever meet, they’ll instantly make you feel like at home. This village has lived amongst and worked with elephants for generations, so much so that the elephants are considered to be part of the family. The training of domestic elephants by mahouts is a centuries old tradition. A mahout is someone who works with and rides an elephant. Typically, a mahout is a life-long job – a boy will be assigned an elephant early in its life and they will form a strong bond and spend their lives together. Traditionally elephants were largely trained for logging to support the local community.  With the ban of the logging industry and increased mechanisation, the last 30 years or so saw life become more and more challenging for the mahouts and the local community. Mahouts were forced to take their elephants into urban areas to beg, sell photo opportunities and even rent their elephants to shows for local and overseas tourists alike – obviously an awful situation for the elephants and the communities who had been reliant on them for so long.

This opportunity to live with and learn about the elephants and their community, allows the elephants to remain in the village with the community and to lead a much more peaceful life thanks to the sustainable income that is generated through the programme fees. A great balance between supporting the community, the lives of the elephants and the way that traditional elephant villages have been operating for generations.

This is a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live as and work with real Thai Mahouts. Spend your time each week learning how to work with, feed and wash the elephants and gain a great insight into the unique setting of a rural Thai Elephant village. Please note that we do not condone the riding of elephants by any visitors and it is strictly prohibited, the only person who can ride the elephants is their individual mahout. The bond between the mahout and elephant is very special and culturally complex thus should be respected.

Experience first hand an authentic Thai community lifestyle, help with cooking meals, farming the land, and even help to teach the local kids a few words of English. This opportunity really is something very special – the village may not be luxurious but the experience and insight you’ll gain is worth way more than a week or two in a 5* resort.

 

Additional Info
Country: Thailand
Region: Surin
Website URL: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Currency: GBP
Top Travel Voucher: 569
Contact Email: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Phone Number: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Contact Name: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
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Top Travel Activities : Asia , Sightseeing


February 28, 2016

Raft & Fly Italy.June 2016

Written By patrickrafting

 

08.09.10 June 2016.

River Rafting & Wind Tunnel.Italy(I)

 

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Top Travel Activities : Adventure Travel , Europe


February 27, 2016

Borneo To Bali Escape

Written By Leonardo Gubinelli

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A unique and once in a lifetime opportunity to see the very best of Bornean wildlife. From Orangutans in the wild, endangered Hawksbill Turtles, relax in Bali and an optional trip to Komodo island, home to the Komodo Dragon. A true nature lovers paradise.

Take a boat cruise deep into the Bornean rainforests of the Central Kalimantan province in South Borneo, to a very special place indeed. Camp Leakey is a world famous research and conservation centre and world leaders in saving orangutan populations from extinction in the wild, protect orangutan habitats and rehabilitate and release wild-born ex-captive orangutans back to the wild. 

Meet Orangutans up close and personal in their natural habitat. This extraordinary trip is a nature lovers paradise, not only that but your trip directly funds conservation efforts at the camp.  Here we venture further into the rainforest where you can catch a glimpse of wild Orangutans in their natural habitat, as well as proboscis monkeys, anteaters, crocodiles, lemurs, porcupines and gibbons.

Following our time in the rainforest, we travel on down the river to the coast where we see the nesting grounds for hawksbill and green turtles. We spend time with the villagers, and conservationists working to safeguard the future of these species in the region. Depending on timing may even release baby turtles back into the wild.

Optional Extension

For those who like to explore further you can opt to travel to Komodo Island, the land of the Komodo Dragon. We travel back to Bali and then on to these stunning islands for 3 days. En-route we stop at Flying Fox island to view literally thousands of fruit bats on their daily exodus from the caves and mangroves for an ariel display that is up there with the best arial displays you could hope to see. 

 

 

Additional Info
Country: Indonesia
Region: Borneo & Bali
Website URL: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Currency: GBP
Top Travel Voucher: 1299
Contact Email: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Phone Number: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Contact Name: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
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Top Travel Activities : Asia , Sightseeing


February 27, 2016

Inspired Gorilla Safari and Volunteering

Written By Leonardo Gubinelli

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A short African volunteer experience wrapped in a stunning 6 day cultural and wildlife adventure in Uganda. Take up the challenge and fundraise for the Kids Club Kampala and help support the community project in rural Uganda. Option to join an amazing volunteering experience after your safari to get under the skin of this destination. Enjoy the wildlife safari both on road and on the river, trek the aptly named “impenetrable” African rainforest at Bwindi National Park and come up close to a family of gorillas, a truely unforgettable experience!

·         Game Drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park

·         Boat Cruise to see famous hippo recreation ground

·         Gorilla Trek in Bwindi National Park, Impenetrable Forest

·         Experience and option to volunteer at a local community project Kids Club Kampala

Additional Info
Country: Uganda
Region: Entebee
Website URL: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Currency: GBP
Top Travel Voucher: 1329
Contact Email: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Phone Number: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Contact Name: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
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Top Travel Activities : Adventure Travel , Africa


February 27, 2016

Shadow Rainforest Tribe

Written By Leonardo Gubinelli

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Become an honorary member of a tribe on this immersive trip into the Malaysian jungle. Join the Batek tribe, who reside on the edge of the Taman Negara rainforest, for a few days of life in its simplest form. With the Batek you will be exploring the jungle, foraging for food and tracking the local wildlife on poacher surveillance patrol. 

This trip will truly encapsulate you as you are taught how the Batek successfully live as a hunter-gatherer community. The Batek are a wonderful people, one of the few tribes that still practice this traditional and humble lifestyle in Malaysia. This trip will immerse you within their culture, as they teach you how to eat, sleep and live in the world’s oldest rainforest.

·         Learning hands-on about Batek lifestyle

·         Foraging for food with the Batek ladies

·         Camping with the Batek tribe, after building your own shelter.

·         Poacher surveillance patrol

·         Traditional Malay meals

 

Additional Info
Country: Malaysia
Region: Merapoh
Website URL: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Currency: GBP
Top Travel Voucher: 225
Contact Email: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Phone Number: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Contact Name: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
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Top Travel Activities : Adventure Travel , Asia


February 27, 2016

How To Save Sea Turtles

Written By Leonardo Gubinelli

 

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Spend a few days living in synchronicity with endangered Malaysian sea turtles on the isolated, yet naturally astounding Perhentian Islands.

On this adventurous conservation trip you will be learning about these fascinating marine creatures, whilst helping the local conservationists preserve their beautiful island home. 

In the day you will snorkel with the sea turtles in the clear waters, taking photos of them and other extraordinary marine life. You will also be invited to conservation lectures by the research team to learn more about the turtles and their habitat amongst the coral reefs. At night, sit on the beaches and observe the clear, star-lit skies as you help protect the wildlife on Turtle Watch.

 • Snorkelling with Sea Turtles

• Evening Turtle Watch

 • Village Stay

 • Learning about Conservation Projects

 

Additional Info
Country: Malaysia
Region: Perhentian Islands
Website URL: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Currency: GBP
Top Travel Voucher: 359
Contact Email: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Phone Number: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
Contact Name: You need to be a club member - if you want to see it!
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Top Travel Activities : Asia , Sightseeing


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