Danube Delta is a bird watcher's paradise
17/09/2012 10:04:35 AM
The Danube Delta, which flows into the Black Sea, is described by Unesco as "the largest and best preserved of Europe's deltas".
And for birdwatchers, it is also one of the best locations on the continent for a spot of twitching - with over 300 species recorded among the 2,200 square miles of rivers, canals, lakes and marshes.
Among the birds of which you can catch a glimpse in this beautiful landscape are cormorant, pygmy cormorant, white pelican and dalmatian pelican.
Heron colonies reside in the delta and magnificent raptor species including white-tailed eagle can also be spotted soaring in the skies, while the marsh tern colonies "are especially notable", according to Unesco.
Summing up the importance of the area, the heritage organisation says: "The Danube Delta is a remarkable alluvial feature constituting critical habitat for migratory birds."
You'll certainly want to pack your binoculars on a visit to this wonderful part of eastern Europe.
Sicily voted holidaymakers' 'Favourite Island'
12/09/2012 1:00:00 PM
Sicily has been voted as holidaymakers' 'Favourite Island', beating off competition from Bali and the Maldives.
The Conde Nast Traveller Readers' Awards was not only a success for the Mediterranean island, but for Italy as a whole, as the EU state was named both 'Favourite Country' and 'Best of the Best' for providing the most superior overall holiday experience.
But what is it about Italy, and Sicily in particular, that makes it so popular with holidaymakers?
Could it be the stunning scenery as found on the slopes of Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe?
Or is it the fascinating history lessons on offer at Unesco World Heritage Sites such as the Valley of the Temples?
Perhaps it's the delicious and world-renowned Italian cuisine that gets people hooked?
Whatever your preference - scenery, history, culture or cookery - Italian has some magnificent and memorable examples - so why not go to see what all the fuss is about?
Think Venice, think gondolas
12/09/2012 10:26:18 AM
"Just one Cornetto, give it to me" sang the gondola rider in the iconic 1980s TV advert before snatching an ice cream from the hand of women in a passing boat.
While undoubtedly the mock Italian accent and typical Venetian setting were rather stereotypical portrayals of Mediterranean life, it is these kinds of snapshots that inform our opinions long before we travel to the country.
For instance, visitors to Britain want to experience the pageantry of royal occasions because, even if they make up a very small part of UK life, they are iconic.
The same applies to Italy and the desire to try pizza, pasta and gelato.
A few years ago in Venice, gondoliers actually got in trouble for "offering a distorted image of Venice" by singing songs such as O Sole Mio (the Cornetto tune) for tourists.
While Italians can quite rightly argue that their country has more to offer than boat rides and ice cream, it is exactly these kinds of 'traditional' experiences that tourists love the most - the chance to say you've "been there, done that, got the t-shirt".
04/09/2012 5:31:39 PM
India is home to some 1.2 billion people, of whom between 30 and 40 per cent live in its bustling cities and urban areas.
Among the largest of these are the southern Indian cities of Mumbai and Chennai, comprising 19.7 and 7.4 million people respectively.
Given that London contains 8.1 million inhabitants, it is clear that these are urban areas of considerable size!
Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is the home of India's colourful Bollywood film industry and is home to a number of spectacular landmarks, including the so-called Gateway of India.
Further south lies Chennai, formerly Madras, a British colony from the mid-1600s until India gained its independence.
This history is preserved by landmarks such as Fort St George, the first of its kind in India, but also the city is now a hub of modern life - the nickname the 'Detroit of India' attesting to its manufacturing importance.
With their colonial history and rapidly developing economical worth, the major cities of India are fascinating places to visit.
Experience the power of the Iguazu Falls
04/09/2012 9:53:32 AM
The Iguaza Falls, which straddles the border between Argentina and Brazil, is one of the natural wonders of South America.
Featured on Unesco's World Heritage list, Iguaza makes for a spectacular sight - not least for its unusual V-shape which sees the river dropping in from two opposing 80m-high cliff faces.
The competing cascades of water meet at the bottom and send huge plumes of spray into the air - something which clearly left an impression on the Tupi-Guaranies people, who named the river and its falls 'Iguazu' meaning 'big water'.
Not only are the falls stunning, they also cut through a beautiful wet forest containing thousands of species of plant and animal, including the black howler monkey and the giant anteater.
The first European to reach the falls was the Spaniard Don Alvar Nunes Cabeza de Vaca in 1541, and he probably had a much more arduous time getting there than today's tourists, since settlements have now been established in the surrounding area.
Soak in the atmosphere at Lake Maggiore
31/08/2012 6:13:01 PM
No exploration of Italy would be complete without taking a trip to the imperious Lake Maggiore, which stands proudly at the southern foot of the Alps.
Straddling both sides of the border, the body of water is not only second largest lake in all of Italy, but also the largest in Ticino, Switzerland.
Holidaymakers will be able to visit the region on our itineraries, before going on to enjoy the extravagance of Venice, which needs no introduction, and the romanticism of Verona, home of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
The shores of the lake offer great opportunity for respite and the Mediterranean-like climate means you'll be able to work on your tan as well, especially if you're visiting in the summer months.
There are plenty of small towns and quaint villages dotted around the edge of the lake, which stretches for almost 70km, while its islands are also stunning.
You'll be able to visit Isola Bella, one of four Borromean Islands and home to the 17th-century Palazzo Borromeo and its magnificent gardens.
Discover the African wilderness at Chobe Safari
31/08/2012 6:10:21 PM
The African wilderness offers a journey of discovery for people willing to discover its secrets and there's nowhere finer to do this than at the Chobe Safari Park.
Situated in Kasane on the banks of the Chobe River where Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia meet, the famous safari can be enjoyed on a tour of the region.
Just a short distance from Victoria Falls airport, it boasts an impressive array of star attractions that safari goers really want to see - especially the lions, cheetahs and elephants.
A game drive through the sprawling park gives the opportunity for a close-up view of the big game animals and predators, with the three-hour trips departing three times a day.
It's estimated that there are over 80,000 elephants in the park alone, so it is not an uncommon sight to see herds heading into the Chobe river to drink and bathe.
The water can become a hive of activity, with hippo, birds buffalo, crocodile and puku all on show.
A nice drop of red
31/08/2012 10:04:57 AM
There's nothing quite like a glass of red wine, bursting with flavour and aromas, to really get the taste buds tingling.
Pair that with a delicious, hearty meal, throw in some sunshine and rolling countryside, and you've got yourself a recipe for an afternoon of heaven. That sort of Nirvana is exactly what the valleys of the Tuscany region of Italy can offer.
It is here that the much loved Chianti style of wine originated and at the Castello del Trebbio, built by the Pazzi family in 1184, you can really get a handle on what the art of wine making is all about.
A winner of numerous awards, this historic winery promises a gorgeous drop of Rufina "that will let you dream" - one sip and you'll be saying "La vita e bella" ("Life is beautiful") for sure. They can also rustle up a mean meal, so you really will be able to gorge yourself.
The Castello stop off is included on our Timeless Tuscany & Elba tour - booking now for 2013.
30/08/2012 7:54:11 AM
"The falling leaves drift by my window, the falling leaves of red and gold" sang American vocalist Eva Cassidy in her song Autumn Leaves.
This could have easily been inspired by the scenery in the north-east corner of the US known as New England, which is comprised of the states of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont.
The area is renowned for its spectacular wooded scenery which provides for some simply magical vistas in the fall.
With so much lush vegetation around, the region seems much more like a rural part of England than a piece of America, which is often associated with rugged desert landscapes.
And with crisp, fresh air blowing through the trees at this time of year, there is much to leave visitors to New England feeling revitalised and refreshed.
Of course, the name 'New England' originates from the area's history as a settlement for Pilgrims from across the Atlantic so there is also plenty of culture and heritage discovered during your stay.
Oslo is a scream
30/08/2012 7:51:55 AM
Along with van Gogh's Sunflowers and Monet's Water Lilies, few series of paintings are as well known as the Scream by Edvard Munch.
There are actually several versions of the iconic scene of a horrified figure etched against a blood red backdrop as depicted in the Scream - the painted versions of which reside in the Norwegian capital Oslo. One is held by the National Gallery and the other by the Munch Museum.
The latter holds a magnificent collection of 1,100 paintings, 4,500 drawings and 18,000 prints which are frequently rotated in its gallery spaces.
These images were bequeathed to the city when Munch died in 1944 and constitute a body of work that had huge influence on the world of art.
"Edvard Munch's art is the most significant Norwegian contribution to the history of art, and he is the only Norwegian artist who has exercised a decisive influence on European art trends," the Munch Museum explains.
This makes a visit to see the Scream an essential for anyone with a taste for culture during a stay in Oslo.
Take a step back in time in Agrigento
22/08/2012 9:59:34 AM
The islands of the Mediterranean are brimming with history and culture - none more so than Sicily.
Although now an autonomous region of Italy, Sicily has been home to many different peoples, stretching back over thousands of years.
The southern city of Agrigento, was founded by the Greeks in around 580BC where they built many magnificent buildings - several of which have survived to this day.
Those that remain have brought Unesco world heritage status to the area - none more so than the structures which constitute the Valley of the Temples.
Here you will find relics of these ancient times, including the Temple of Concord, which Unesco describes as the "most impressive surviving Doric temple in the Greek world after the Parthenon in Athens".
They are not wrong. Perched atop a ridge, the largely intact exterior of the temple is an impressive formation of mighty columns and a powerful reminder of the sophistication of this ancient society.
Explore the magnificent Keukenhof Gardens on a trip to Antwerp
21/08/2012 9:00:00 AM
No trip to Antwerp would be complete without a visit to the nearby Keukenhof Gardens - where you'll be able to enjoy Holland's famous red tulips in all their summer glory, as well as so much more.
More than seven million bulbs are planted each year to ensure the spring blooms of all manner of varieties, including daffodils and hyacinths.
The park is known as the 'Garden of Europe' and it is easy to see why, with its intricate flower beds surrounding various trails and water features across 32 hectares. In total, there are more than 1,600 different varieties of flower at Keukenhof, as well as 280 benches, 15 fountains and 32 bridges.
After walking around the park, you'll likely work up an appetite - luckily, there are five restaurants on hand across the site, along with souvenir shops and flower bulb outlets.
Make sure if you're peckish to try out a slice of its delicious apple pie!
Visit the home of Ben & Jerry's
16/08/2012 10:02:39 AM
While Ben & Jerry's is known worldwide for its playful product names and great tasting flavours, few are aware of the humble origins of the Vermont ice cream company. Long Island natives Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield began their business journey with a $5 correspondence course on ice cream-making from Penn State University back in the 1970s.
Feeling prepared, they then used their life savings to open up shop in an old petrol station in Burlington, Vermont, and welcomed their first customers on May 5th 1978. It proved to be a wise decision.
Today, on a visit to their modern facility nestled in the Green Mountains, Phish Food fans will learn about these humble beginnings, see the production process in full swing and then, the best bit of all, enjoy a trip to the Flavoroom to sample the flavour of the day.
So why not take a trip to Vermont and indulge in some Chocolate Therapy?
Get your own snap of the Rockies' most famous image
15/08/2012 9:59:00 AM
Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park is branded as "the Rocky Mountains' most famous photograph".
If you take a look at some of the thousands of snaps, it's easy to see why. Turquoise waters surrounded by jagged, snow-capped peaks dotted with elegant pine forests on their lower slopes makes for a picture-perfect scene of nature at its tranquil best.
Of course, if you actually get the chance to see it in the flesh, it's an experience that will take your breath away.
As the largest natural lake in the Rockies, stretching for nearly 14 miles, Maligne Lake will overwhelm you with its sheer scale and no doubt have you reaching for your own camera to add to the collection of photographs.
However, make sure that take the time to experience this piece of nature with your own eyes and take a deep breath of that fresh, mountain air. You won't need a photo to remind you of this wonderful spot.
The Victoria Falls is a sight to behold
10/08/2012 10:00:24 AM
The maths is simple. When Mother Nature combines 546 million cubic meters of water per minute with a drop of 354ft, you are guaranteed one of the most spectacular sights on the planet.
Lying on the Zimbabwe-Zambia border, the Victoria Falls is known as 'the smoke that thunders' in Africa, which is frankly a much more appropriate name than explorer Doctor David Livingstone's tribute to his Queen.
Jumbo Williams developed on the indigenous metaphor in the book Zambezi: River of Africa - describing the mighty falls in visceral detail.
"The scale is massive, the spectacle spellbinding and perpetually changing. The falls hiss and roar as if possessed, they rumble and crash like thunder."
This is an accurate summing up of what is on offer for the intrepid tourist, who can experience the full force of nature from one of several spectacular vantage points.
The cliff opposite the falls in particular is the perfect place to see the smoking water thrown up into huge clouds in rainy season.
Music and the Mississippi
09/08/2012 9:52:09 AM
Remember that old mnemonic for how to spell the name of the 'great river' which flows from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico in the US?
"M I double S I double S I double P I" is what Chickasaw County native Bobby Gentry sung on her 1967 song Mississippi Delta about the iconic river.
As Gentry continues, the imagery is compelling: "Right in the middle of the cotton belt / Down in the Mississippi Delta / Wearin' last year's possum belt / Smack dab in the Mississippi Delta."
The fact that the singer chose to immortalise the river in a song says much about the fact that this mighty river is inextricably linked to the music which originated along its banks - in particular the blues sounds that were born in the cities of Memphis and New Orleans.
This is place where cultures collided and new sounds were born.
The deepest lake in the US
07/08/2012 10:04:55 AM
Crater Lake National Park in Oregon is a place of outstanding natural beauty.
Home to the deepest lake in the US (1,943 feet), there are few places that can match Crater Lake in terms of its sheer scale. In fact, the lake could happily swallow western Europe's tallest building, the Shard in London (1,083 feet).
The aptly-named lake is a flooded caldera created following the huge eruption of Mount Mazama some 7,700 years ago, which caused the peak to collapse.
With no rivers or streams entering the lake, it relies entirely on snow and rainfall to keep it topped up - of which there is plenty at an altitude of almost 2,000 meters.
Since 1902, the National Park Service has been working to preserve this ancient landscape so that visitors can enjoy the majestic beauty of the crystal clear waters, soaring cliffs and remote wilderness of the area surrounding the lake.
Shakespeare bringing together people from across the globe
30/07/2012 12:06:11 PM
In Olympic year, the work of the playwright William Shakespeare is bringing together theatre lovers from across the globe.
The World Shakespeare Festival is helping to rekindle interest in the famous plays of the Stratford-upon-Avon man who left an indelible mark not just on theatre, but on the English language.
Everyday phrases like 'green-eyed monster', 'love is blind' and 'wear my heart on my sleeve' are just some of the playful uses of language created and popularised by the bard.
With the best of British being celebrated in 2012, why not end the year with a visit to the great man's home town for a festive break full of history and atmosphere?
You can stay in Stratford-upon-Avon for a short break over Christmas - a time of year that Shakespeare himself made reference to in the famous play, Hamlet.
"Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes, wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated."
Join the high rollers in Vegas
24/07/2012 5:41:45 PM
While the Chinese region of Macau might be flexing its muscles in the casino world, nothing can take away from the fact that Las Vegas is the original and best destination for anyone seeking bright lights, entertainment and gambling thrills.
Where else on the planet could you visit the Eiffel Tower, see the Sphinx and take a gondola ride along Venetian canals all in one day?
Or for that matter watch fountains that dance to music, take in a lion show and ride a rollercoaster that drives straight through a hotel?
The great Nevada city has it all - amazing shopping, delicious food and luxurious hotels. Oh, and plenty of opportunities to lose your shirt on the blackjack and poker tables of course.
Not to mention in the surrounding desert you will find the natural wonder of the Grand Canyon and the man-made marvel of the Hoover Dam.
Move over Macau, Vegas is still Sin City.
Take life at a cruise
24/07/2012 9:50:00 AM
The majority of time when we travel it is for one purpose - to get from A to B as quickly as possible.
However, what if you could make the journey part of the vacation itself?
Well you can on a cruise. Cruise liners are fully equipped with all the amenities you could desire, from restaurants to cabaret entertainment, while you are free to roam and stretch your legs or relax in your spacious cabin.
Cruises also provide a great opportunity to see many places in a single trip, as opposed to being holed up in a beach resort.
So why not try a no-fly cruise experience and make your entire vacation one incredible journey?
Titan Travel takes delivery of its 500th Volkswagen Caravelle
The Volkswagen Caravelle people carrier has proved so popular and reliable for Titan Travel, the award-winning escorted tour and cruise holiday company, that it has used them for the last 12 years and recently took delivery of its 500th Caravelle.
Its current fleet of 140 Caravelles, all individually numbered, are used for the Titan VIP Home Departure Service which takes customers directly from their home to their departure point, and home again upon their return.
The vehicles typically cover 50,000 miles a year each, making the total annual mileage of Titan’s fleet around seven million miles. They are all silver and are replaced every three years at around 150,000 miles, while this year Titan expects to increase its fleet to 200 Caravelles.
With twin sliding doors to ease entry and exit, the Caravelle is a no-compromise people carrier with space for up to six passengers. The two middle seats can swivel to face the rear to create a sociable lounge environment in the rear compartment, while all rear seats slide on a runner system to offer the flexibility to increase space for passengers or luggage as required.
Alastair Hemmings, National Fleet Manager, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: ‘The Titan fleet is a great testament to the image, durability and affordable quality of the Caravelle, and we have been delighted to work in partnership with such a loyal and happy customer for so long.’
Overwhelm your senses at the Grand Canyon
23/07/2012 9:00:00 AM
The term "awe inspiring" could have been written especially for the world famous Grand Canyon.
Located in Arizona, US, the natural wonder is 277 river miles long, up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep, producing a majestic vista that will completely fill your vision and quite simply take your breath away.
What may also leave you short of oxygen is the towering height of the South Rim lookout point, which averages some 7,000 ft or 2,134 m above sea level.
The South Rim provides a fantastic view of the snaking Colorado River far below and is the most popular sightseeing area because it is open 365-days per year, unlike the opposing North Rim, which is frequently closed because of snow fall.
Around five million come to marvel at the jaw-dropping canyon each year, so why not find out what all fuss is about for yourself on an inspiring Titan Travel adventure?
National Historic Route 66 Federation helping to preserve a piece of US history
20/07/2012 10:00:00 AM
The National Historic Route 66 Federation began life in 1994, after David and Mary Lou Knudson returned from an epic road trip along the famous 2,400-mile stretch of historic US tarmac.
They were left disillusioned with the fact that, since 1985, the Mother Road was no longer part of the US Highways network, as it had been superseded by more modern interstate routes.
Concerned that Route 66, which had been removed from maps and was no longer signposted, would simply fade into nothing, they sold their Californian business and established the federation with the aim of preserving the road and the economies along its route.
They do this with projects such as Adopt-A-Hundred, which sees volunteers taking responsibility for monitoring the condition of their own 100-mile stretch of the route and reporting problems to the federation, and the National Route 66 Corridor Preservation Programme, which issues grants to groups for restoration.
Wine on the Rhine
17/07/2012 10:07:00 AM
The River Rhine is one of the most important waterways in Europe, stretching some 775 miles across six countries, from its source in Switzerland to the North Sea.
Along its twisting course, the great river passes what Les Miserables author Victor Hugo described as being one of the "world's prettiest towns" - Bacharach in Germany.
Bacharach has a long history stretching right back to the 11th century when Stahleck Castle was built on the hilly site in 1019. Later, thanks to its prime location on the Rhine, the town became an important trading hub for wood and, more enjoyably, wine - an industry that continues to thrive to this day.
This means that tourists experiencing a leisurely cruise up the river by boat can stop off in Bacharach and wet their whistles on a wine tasting, sampling some of the cultured alcohols that makes this beautiful region of Germany famous.
Cliffs of Norway showcased by Base race
12/07/2012 10:00:04 AM
The spectacular cliffs of Norway have been in the news in the past few days, after the World Base Race was won by British daredevil Tony Uragallo.
Mr Uragallo had joined other adrenaline junkies last week in the picturesque country in an attempt to become "the world's fastest flying human being".
Each competitor took part by jumping from thousands of feet up a vertical cliff face and using a wingsuit to race over a 1.3km course, before deploying a parachute and touching down safely at the finish.
The event made for some spectacular photographs of the daredevils pictured in front of a backdrop of snow-capped peaks, tree-lined valley floors and blue lakes.
Of course, for those who don't fancy copying Mr Uragallo, there are plenty of less hair-raising ways to enjoy the majestic scenery on offer in Norway, such as a fjord cruise.
That way you can simply sit back and relax while you breathe in the clean, fresh air and marvel at the sights around you.
Experience the majesty of Uluru
04/07/2012 10:06:00 AM
The Australian Outback is dotted with spectacular geological formations, none of which is more famous than Uluru, or Ayers Rock as it is commonly known.
This incredible mass of orange rock rises straight up out of the flat land which stretches for miles around it and provides a spectacular sight at both sunrise and sunset, as it changes colour before your very eyes.
To the native Anangu people, Uluru is a sacred monument and it is highly recommended that, as a sign of respect, visitors refrain from climbing on the sandstone formation - despite there being a route marked up to the top.
A far better, and less hot and hard work, idea is to take a stroll around the base of Uluru to marvel at the sheer scale of the 348m-high natural wonder and stop to take in some the native artwork daubed on the rock.
This is one experience you'll never forget.
Cyprus: A beautiful and diverse island
03/07/2012 10:16:30 AM
While most people's impression of Cyprus might be limited to the beach resorts of Paphos in the south west and the clubbers paradise of Ayia Napa in the east, for such a small island, there is in fact incredible diversity to be found.
As well as these modern tourist centres, there are a range of fascinating ancient sites dotted throughout the Republic, including the spectacular Kourion ruins perched upon a hilltop with sweeping views out to sea.
Away from the coast, the mountains and forests in the centre of the country provide a cool place to escape the sun in the height of summer and incredibly, for such a hot Mediterranean country, even allow for skiing in the winter!
Also hidden among the trees are various historic churches and monasteries, many of which are beautifully decorated.
Even among the dozens of beaches themselves there is a vast amount of choice, from white sand to rocky coves and everything in between. Don't forget your snorkelling gear either as the crystal clear waters provide some top aquatic opportunities.
Time to think about Christmas?
29/06/2012 9:59:52 AM
It might only be June, but with world-famous toy store Hamleys having just released its predictions for the big Christmas gifts this year, maybe its not too early to consider what you'll be doing come December.
One place that will certainly warm your heart over the festive season is the beautiful Danish capital, Copenhagen.
Scandinavia is renowned for its traditional approach to Christmas and nowhere is this more apparent than at the second oldest theme park in the world, Tivoli.
This quaint attraction located in the heart of Copenhagen really comes to life over the festive period, with twinkling lights, stalls, bands, a mix of old and modern theme park rides and a wonderfully warm atmosphere.
With a huge strip of fantastic high street shops just outside the gates and the restaurant-lovers' haven of idyllic Nyhavn a short bus ride away, Copenhagen makes a for a truly magical Christmas time experience.
Galapagos in spotlight after icon dies
27/06/2012 10:12:41 AM
The Galapagos Islands have been thrown into the spotlight in recent days after the death of an icon: Lonesome George, the last of the Pinta subspecies of giant tortoise. It is believed that George, who did not father an heir despite several attempts, was around 100 years old.
"He was an iconic animal for the Galapagos," Robert Silbermann, chief executive of the Galapagos Conservation Trust, told New Scientist.
Although Pinta purebred George has gone, it is believed that some Pinta genes have survived as a result of inbreeding on another Galapagos island, Isabela - fuelling hopes that the species could return.
The Galapagos, located off the coast of Ecuador in South America, became famous following the pioneering work of one Charles Darwin, who formulated his theories after observing the exotic wildlife living in this remote place.
As well as tortoise, you will find penguins, red-throated frigate birds, blue-footed boobies and iguanas roaming the volcanic region.
Majestic mountains and mighty mammals in Tanzania
26/06/2012 9:31:22 AM
Tanzania in Africa is a country dominated by spectacular vistas which are inhabited by snow-capped volcanoes and some of the world's largest animals.
The most famous and photographed piece of Tanzania is Mount Kilimanjaro, an enormous peak located in north Tanzania near the town of Moshi and inside the boundary of the 641 square-mile Kilimanjaro National Park.
A dormant volcano, snow capped Mount Kilimanjaro is just as iconic as Japan's Mount Fuji but so much bigger as it rises out of the plains at around 900 metres above sea level and keeps on rising until it reaches an incredible 5,895 metres - nearly 20,00ft.
On the foothills of the enormous mountain, montane forest is inhabited by all manner of fascinating creatures including elephant, leopard, buffalo, the endangered Abbot’s duiker and a variety of primates.
You certainly don't need to undertake the demanding six-day trek to the summit to enjoy the spectacular beauty of this region.
22/06/2012 9:51:51 AM
VisitCornwall, the official tourist board of England's most westerly county, has launched a new website that helps visitor to the area make the most of their stay.
The unique 'Customise your visit' feature allows Cornish holidaymakers to filter all the travel and event information on the VisitCornwall website by who's travelling (adults or children), where and when, as well as other considerations such as disabled access.
"An important part of making our tourism offering as attractive as possible is the provision of easy access to a wide range of information; something which has been at the core of our thinking since the decision was taken to refresh the website," explained Chris Ridgers, cabinet member for economy and regeneration.
Not wanting to rest on its laurels, VisitCornwall also has plans to implement geo-locating technology so that mobile users can find things to do while on the go in the West Country region.
Giant Marilyn Monroe sculpture unveiled in Palm Springs
21/06/2012 9:58:21 AM
A 26-foot tall sculpture of iconic actress Marilyn Monroe was unveiled last month in the US desert resort of Palm Springs.
The statue, which dwarfs Monroe's real life 5ft 5in frame, was created by American artist Seward Johnson and took its lead from the most famous image of star from the 1955 film the Seven Year Itch, when her skirt was blown up by an air vent.
It celebrates the fact the screen icon was first discovered at Charlie Farrell's Racquet Club in Palm Springs by Johnny Hyde from the William Morris Agency, who offered her a contract.
From the 1920s onwards, the desert resort became a mecca for Hollywood stars as it is only two hours' drive from the film capital.
'Forever Marilyn' will be on display until June 2013 and during the course of 2012 special events will be taking place in Palm Springs to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the star's death in August.
100 years of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth
19/06/2012 10:08:43 AM
First held way back in 1912, the Calgary Stampede in Alberta, Canada is now billed as "the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth".
The ten-day rodeo festival held every July is a high-octane mix of old west gun-slinging, horse riding, singing and dancing thrills.
There are derbies and bull riding, food and festivities, music and hat stomping - it's a real mix of sights, sounds and old west flavours.
To celebrate the event's 100th year, a series of special Light up the City shows will be taking place - a spectacular fireworks extravaganza for the first and last three evenings of the Stampede.
The 12-minute fireworks displays will begin between 11 pm and 11:30 pm and will be synchronized to music
"Light up the City is our way to celebrate with the entire city," explained Mike Casey, president and chairman of the Calgary Stampede.
"It will be a once-in-a-lifetime event for Calgarians and visitors."
The 2012 Calgary Stampede takes place between July 6th and 15th.
Daredevils return to famous falls
15/06/2012 10:56:34 AM
The spectacle of man against nature will be returning to a very famous set of waterfalls today (June 15th), when tightrope walker Nik Wallenda attempts to cross the gap between the US and Canadian sides of the Niagara River.
Wallenda, part of the famous Flying Wallendas, a family of daredevils that has been performing on high wires for generations, is the first person to have been granted a waiver to attempt a stunt at the falls since they were outlawed following 'Red' Hill's fatal plunge in 1951.
With Wallenda's walk expected to draw thousands of spectators, as well as being broadcast on live TV, local tourism board president John Percy told Voice of America that he is expecting a surge of visitors following the stunt.
"That value of that publicity is worth its weight in platinum, not even gold," he said.
"It is worth millions and millions to this destination. Any destination would give their right arm for that kind of publicity."
And if Wallenda survives unscathed, his stunt could pave the way for a new generation of daredevils to tackle the mighty falls.
Green and pleasant Britain showcased in Olympics opening
14/06/2012 10:02:04 AM
"Green and pleasant" Britain is to be celebrated during this summer's Olympics opening ceremony designed by Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle.
The £27 million spectacular will feature a cricket game, real chickens and sheep and even a fake rain storm, to recreate that authentic lush-green British experience.
"England's beautiful countryside is one of this country's greatest assets and we are delighted that Danny Boyle is using this fantastic opportunity to showcase our green and pleasant land," said VisitEngland's chief executive James Berresford.
Its figures show that over 19 million domestic overnight breaks were taken in the countryside in England during 2011.
"The sheer breadth and diversity of England's rural landscapes means that there is always somewhere new to discover," the tourist board added.
No other place typifies the green and pleasant experience more than Wainwright's Lake District, where holidaymakers can immerse themselves in a landscape of rolling fells and serene lakes.
Get a taste of the exotic in the Ochre City
12/06/2010 10:20:14 AM
Marrakech, a settlement located near the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in the west of the Morocco and known as the 'Ochre City', is a place full of exotic colours, sights and sounds - a real feast for the senses.
With a history dating back 1,000 years, Marrakech is a traditional city with a fortified medina - a walled-in maze of streets and buildings - and many ancient structures including the Koutoubia Mosque, with its 70m high tower.
Here you will find yourself among snake charmers and fortune tellers, with the buzz from market stalls heavy in the air.
Just a short drive from the Atlas Mountains, the city is also the ideal base from which to get a taste of indigenous Berber life in spectacular surroundings.
What's more, Marrakech benefits from year-round good weather, with hardly any days of rain in the summer months and winter temperatures that remain well above freezing.
Euros ready to kick off in Warsaw
08/06/2012 10:43:00 AM
There are just hours to go before the European football championships kick off in the Polish capital, Warsaw.
The opening match pitches the co-hosts against 2004 champions Greece at the National Stadium, which holds over 58,000 people.
Victory is essential for Poland in this first game as they will likely face tougher opposition later in the form of Russia and the Czech Republic.
However, if the Polish football team shows anything like the same kind of resilience that Warsaw - the 'phoenix city' - has shown over the years then they have a good chance of progressing in the tournament.
A remarkable ability to recover from the damage sustained in battles has seen it endure - most notably after World War II, when it had to be painstakingly rebuilt following near destruction.
Such was the success of this most recent recovery that Warsaw's regenerated Old Town is now listed as a Unesco World Heritage site.
Hosting the European championships is a sign that this recovery is well and truly complete.
Older travellers increasingly looking to enjoy 'iconic experiences'
31/05/2012 4:46:16 PM
Older travellers are increasingly looking to enjoy iconic experiences when they go abroad, Lonely Planet has claimed.
Tom Hall, UK travel editor of lonelyplanet.com, claimed that over-50s are now enjoying a lot of so-called linear journeys, where they start in one location and finish in another.
These are particularly popular in Asia, with many starting or completing their journeys in Vietnam.
"When people are going, they might be aiming for some of the more iconic experiences, maybe it is a one man train or boat ride, maybe it is visiting some off the beaten track but very famous ancient ruins, those kinds of things," Mr Hall said.
"They tend to be the kind of experiences that really appeal to the older demographic, it is all kinds of experiences really."
Mr Hall added that older people are also looking at how they can explore their own interests while overseas, with many looking to attend major sporting championships or music festivals.
Enjoy a 'relaxing' break in Tuscany
30/05/2012 4:17:26 PM
Britons looking to get away from it all for a few days should go to Tuscany to enjoy its relaxed atmosphere, according to a leading travel expert.
Sarah Woods, travel author, writer and broadcaster, claimed that the Italian region offers everything one could want from a break, including delicious food and wine and stunning scenery.
She said: "It's one of those places in the world that attracts large amounts of repeat business and almost everyone you meet has been before and fallen in love with the 'Tuscan way of living'."
Ms Woods added that UK holidaymakers are increasingly travelling to Europe for their vacation as they are taking shorter breaks from work and do not want to spend a large proportion of their holiday time on a plane.
Tuscany is widely regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and is home to several museums celebrating the era including the Uffizi, the Pitti Palace and the Chianciano Museum of Art.
Tokyo is the 'city that never sleeps'
29/05/2012 4:47:52 PM
Britons visiting Tokyo will always have something to see and do as the Japanese capital 'never sleeps', it has been claimed.
Nadine Hallak, travel expert at cheapflights.co.uk, revealed that Tokyo is even bigger than Shanghai and therefore caters for those of all ages and tastes.
She said: "It's enormous. Like New York, the city never sleeps and there is always something to see and do - it's a vibrant, bustling metropolis, open all hours of the day and night."
Earlier this month, the Tokyo Skytree - the world's tallest free-standing tower - opened to the public.
Ms Hallak added that it is best to see the Skytree, which is around twice as tall as the Eiffel Tower, outside of summer as it can get very hot in Japan during the warmer months.
Those planning on visiting the tower this summer are advised to go out at night, or alternatively go to the Tokyo Tower for stunning views of the city.
Greece set to welcome 4m Brits this summer
28/05/12 04:09:16 PM
Up to four million Britons could be set to head to Greece this summer as the pound continues to strengthen against the euro, according to new figures.
Foreign exchange company Travelex has published a new report which shows that Greece is set to welcome twice as many UK holidaymakers as usual this summer.
British visitors are taking advantage of the best exchange rate on the continent since 2008 and the fact many tour operators are slashing prices.
Travelex's survey revealed that 20 per cent UK holidaymakers were unconcerned about the potential collapse of the euro in Greece, with 47 per cent sticking to their travel plans no matter what happened in the country.
Almost half of those polled said they expect the euro to collapse in Greece, with most of these reckoning it could happen before the end of the summer.
Elvin Eldic of Travelex claimed that Brits are more concerned about bagging a bargain than whether or not Greece gets another bailout.
He said: "We'd urge Brits to not only take a mixture of cash and a prepaid card but also to take the time to check the terms and conditions of their travel insurance when booking a holiday or travelling to Greece."
Spain is a 'safe haven' for holidaymakers
25/05/2012 03:20:46 PM
Spain is something of a safe haven for holidaymakers given the current economic climate, according to the country's tourist office.
Enrique Ruiz de Lera, director of the Spanish Tourist Office UK, claimed that the Mediterranean nation offers everything Britons could want from a vacation.
He said: "Spain is a safe haven for holidaymakers and can offer value for money, glorious weather, security and excellent service - not forgetting hospitality.
"[These are all] things that have become increasingly important in these competitive and volatile times."
Mr Ruiz de Lera revealed that the tourist office is looking to promote lesser known inland areas this year to boost visitor numbers across the country.
A total of 13.61 million British tourists visited Spain in 2011, a rise of 9.4 per cent compared to the previous year, according to data published by the Department of Industry.
Overall, 56.7 million people visited the country in 2011, up 7.6 per cent from 2010.
Travel expert moves to reassure visitors to Greece
22/05/2012 12:18:21 PM
With Greece on the brink of pulling out of the euro, a travel expert has moved to reassure those travelling to the historic country this summer.
Graham Pickett, the head of the Deloitte travel, tourism and leisure division, told Travel Weekly that "Joe Public will be alright" when, and not if, Greece exits the single currency.
He explained that not only will tavernas and restaurants carry on accepting euros, but credit cards will be backed by the global banking system.
However, as banks would need to close for around five days while they fix the exchange rate following a euro withdrawal, Mr Pickett says the most important thing is to have cash and cards with you when you travel.
"You wouldn't be able to go to a bank and draw money out," he advised.
"There is a huge amount of bureaucracy. So the advice to holidaymakers would be to go prepared."
Sunny Berlin proving popular
17/05/2012 09:58:28 AM
With 160 hours of sunshine recorded during the hottest March since 1990, Berlin posted record visitor numbers.
A total of 866,856 guests stayed in the German capital, an increase of 19 per cent, spending some 1,875,936 nights (up 16.7 per cent) in the city, visitBerlin reports.
Of these, 299,690 were international visitors, up 15.4 per cent, who spent 746,904 nights at hotels in Berlin (an increase of 13 per cent).
On a sunny day in the capital, tourists can take in sights such as Tiergarten Park, the Brandenburg Gate - a magnificent six-columned arch - and the sprawling Charlottenburg Palace, the summer residence of the Prussian kings with its magnificent gardens.
Commenting on the figures, CEO of visitBerlin Burkhard Kieker said: "The numbers for international guests have … been on a record level and underline that Berlin is more popular than ever before."
Earlier this month, it was announced that Berlin is among the top four international convention destinations behind only Vienna, Paris and Barcelona.
Euros turning the spotlight on Poland
16/05/2012 10:04:46 AM
With the Premier League season finished and new England manager Roy Hodgson announcing his squad today, all eyes are turning to Poland, which is co-hosting this year's European football championships.
Among the cities hosting matches once the tournament kicks off in June will be Warsaw, the capital, and Wroclaw.
While football will be the main focus of attention at the National Stadium in Warsaw and the Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw, visitors to Poland this summer will discover that these two cities have so much more to offer them on their stay.
Highlights of the capital include the imposing 16th century red brick Royal Castle, located at the entrance to the Old Town, and Powazki Cemetery, one of Europe's oldest.
The cemetery is filled with sculptures by renowned artists and holds the graves of many renowned figures including Polish presidents and Nobel prize winners.
Over in Wroclaw, the largest city in western Poland, you will find the UNESCO world heritage Centennial Hall and a twin-towered cathedral.
See Copenhagen From the Water on a Canal Trip
11/05/2012 10:04:40 AM
The city of Copenhagen is a stunning one to visit and one of its most attractive aspects is how easy it is to experience it both on foot and by water. Taking a tour of the city by canal is a great way to experience some of its most stunning attractions from the comfort of a river cruise.
On a cruise of its waterways, it is possible to pass by the stunning Copenhagen Opera House, with river views giving visitors the chance to see the stunning ceiling to the main auditorium, which is covered in gold leaf. By heading a little further along the coast, visitors will also get a chance to see the statue of Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid perched on a rock close to the shore. Created by Edvard Eriksen, the statue is just 4 ft tall and is one of the most unassuming, yet most popular, landmarks in the whole of Copenhagen.
Experience the geysers and grizzlies of Yellowstone National Park
10/5/2012 9:55:12 AM
A trip to the US is not complete without seeing some of the stunning scenery that this vast country boasts and few sites are as famous as Yellowstone National Park.
Located in the state of Wyoming, the park was the first of its kind in the country and was set up to ensure the protection of the many geysers that are found there.
Among them the most famous has to be Old Faithful, which earned its name from putting on an impressive show every 91 minutes, with as much as 32,000 litres of water being shot up to 56 metres into the air.
The geysers are not the only thing to look out for in the park, as it is also home to grizzly bears, but it could be best to view them through your binoculars.
As well as seeing these impressive sights, the park also boasts a number of stunning views and distinctive wildlife, as well as having the oldest and largest bison herd in the whole of the US.
Find romantic beauty in historic Bath
5/9/2012 9:56:39 AM
The city of Bath is one of the most stunning in the UK and is filled with some of the most important historical sites.
Bath is certified as a UNESCO World Heritage City and makes it a perfect place for a romantic break away.
The home of Jane Austen for many years, the stunning buildings were likely to have inspired her wonderful novels.
To see the city's most romantic locations, pay a visit to the Royal Crescent, which is recognised as the finest example of Georgian architecture to be found in the UK.
Bath's history stretches much further back than the 1700s, with the Roman baths still proving to be as popular now as they were 2,000 years ago.
The building still houses working spas, so during your trip it is possible to enjoy a day of pampering like the Roman's would have experienced, as well as taking part in tours of the site to learn about the cultural significance of the baths in Roman society.
Sicily 'home to great food and climate'
8/5/2012 10:34:33 AM
Sicily is a stunning place to spend a holiday, with the island boasting the perfect combination of a wonderful climate and delicious food.
Chloe Goddard, founder of thegoto.co.uk, explained the island is one of her favourite places to visit thanks to its array of beautiful scenery and the amazing cuisine.
She recommended travellers spend time in the capital of Palermo, which is filled with amazing buildings and interesting markets where you can pick up a lovely reminder of your trip.
"Visit the Teatro Massimo and experience one of Sicily's finest traditions - opera. Follow up with a tasty morsel from one of the wonderful street food purveyors taking in the sights of the old town as you go," Ms Goddard added.
The island also boasts the stunning Mount Etna, which offers spectacular views of the island and a truly memorable landscape. This still active volcano is a dramatic point on the unspoilt landscape of Sicily.
Dresden 'home of stunning German architecture'
5/4/2012 10:25:35 AM
The city of Dresden is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Germany and the history of the area makes a stay there truly fascinating.
Dresden's architecture is among the most beautiful that will be seen in any town across Germany and is a reason to travel to the capital of Saxony in itself.
To really appreciate the sight of the spires and towers that typify the city's skyline across the Old Town, head out on a cruise on the river Elbe, as a leisurely boat trip allows you to experience it in all its majesty.
After seeing the sights around the city, heading inside its art galleries offers a wealth of stunning works created by the Old Masters.
And during the summer months, the city is filled with the sounds of wonderful music as the day winds into the evening, with orchestras playing in a number of venues across Dresden.
Summer months 'the time to enjoy what is on your doorstep'
3/5/2012 10:03:34 AM
The start of the summer provides the perfect excuse to get out and explore the wealth of incredible locations on offer around the UK.
With so much happening in the UK this year, it is likely many people will choose to holiday from home so they do not miss any of the action and Joe Lloyd, enterprise manager with the National Trust, said there is a lot to see and do.
He explained there is beautiful architecture and coastline to be found on our doorstep and increasing numbers of people are eager to explore it.
"What we mustn't forget is that we have some of the world's most amazing places ... so it's not just about going to a house and garden. It's all about getting outdoors and embracing [that]," Mr Lloyd added.
One of the UK's most popular sites is Castle Howard stately home in Yorkshire, which boasts beautiful woodland and an 18th century walled rose garden.
Ho Chi Minh City 'full of life and excitement'
1/5/2012 10:15:15 AM
A trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is a place to experience all of the wide-ranging aspects of Vietnamese culture, from the beautiful traditional religious ceremonies through to life in modern Asia.
Known as Saigon to most people living in the city, it is a place where you can experience everything from the very finest hotels and restaurants the world has to offer, through to small guesthouses and delicious street food that is prepared in front of you.
The city is home to the stunning spiritual sight of the Giac Lam Pagoda, which is thought to be the oldest structure of its kind within the capital, while those who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city streets can find peace in the stunning Botanic Gardens.
Being adventurous 'can also mean responsible travel'
25/4/2012 9:57:00 AM
Taking a holiday that is beneficial to the local people and its environment does not mean having to stay close to home.
Alex Lyons, Responsible Tourism Awards manager at responsibletravel.com, explained that the word responsible does not have to mean staying close to home.
Rather, it is important to carry out research before you choose a holiday and decide which places will benefit the most from the tourism industry to make sure you pick the options that will support local businesses.
"Be adventurous and curious - find out about the people and the culture of the destination by asking questions," Mr Lyons explained.
He added that it is important to help support the area's residents by doing things as simple as eating in local restaurants and using public transport systems where possible.
The appetite for taking holidays off the beaten track has been growing recently among the over 50s, with Liz Harper, head of marketing and digital editor at Footprint Travel Guides, stating Africa and Latin America are popular for people in this age bracket.
Yangtze River cruise 'has great appeal'
24/4/2012 9:56:45 AM
Getting a real taste of China and its most stunning sights and cities could be as easy as heading off on a cruise of the Yangtze River.
The country is filled with stunning sights that will delight travellers and cruise expert Jane Archer said one way to be sure of seeing as many of them as possible is to travel on a cruise down the famous river.
"As part of a tour you can spend time in Beijing, Shanghai and Xian with the Terracotta Warriors. Then you can stay four or five nights on the Yangtze itself," Ms Archer said.
She added that a high point for her was seeing the famous three gorges and recommended viewing the trio, as she called it an "once-in-a-lifetime destination".
The trip can also include a trip to the Chinese capital Beijing, which is home to some of the country's most famous sights, including the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.
Petra 'has to be seen to be believed'
19/04/2012 10:14:06 AM
The red city of Petra in Jordan is one of the most stunning and unmissable sights in the country.
Carved into the red rock over 2,000 years ago, the city was once an important stop on the silk and spice trade route travelling from China and India across the Middle East.
Over time, the city was abandoned and remained hidden from the western world until it was rediscovered in 1812 Swiss traveller, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.
While the city has great historical significance, it is its undeniable beauty and incredibly well-preserved buildings that have seen it become a popular attraction for travellers and earn its place as an Unesco World Heritage Site.
The journey towards the city is an experience in itself, as travellers wind along long passageways through the one km Siq gorge, before catching the first glimpse of the incredible Al-Khazneh, or treasury, which marks the arrival at Petra.
Turkey is a stunning country to visit if you love holidays where you can explore the great outdoors.
18/04/2012 10.08:27 AM
Turkey is filled with beautiful natural attractions and a spokeswoman from the Turkish Culture and Tourism Office explained there is so much to see and do there.
Its beaches are one of the nation's biggest attractions and last year it had more Blue Flags than even before, with 314 being awarded this kitemark.
As it is given in recognition of not only high water quality and safety features but environmental measures and conservation programmes, the Blue Flag standard promises stunning coastline.
There are also some great projects being set up in the country's forests that allow visitors to get back in touch with nature. "There are some great new projects worth mentioning including the Organic Eco Farm in Fethiye, south-west Turkey, set in the middle of a valley surrounded by pine forests and bounded by a river," the representative added.
Northern Ireland 'packed with events'
13/4/2012 10:08:25 AM
Taking a break in Northern Ireland is a great way to find a range of new and interesting things to do without having to travel too far away from home.
The country is filled with great activities to try as Ruth Burns, destination public relations and marketing manager at Northern Ireland Tourist Board, explained that the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic means there are lots of special events being held.
To mark the event, the Titanic Belfast exhibition has been opened to commemorate the role the city played in the ship's history.
Recently completed, the purpose-built location on Queen's Road allows people to explore the events through the eyes of those who built the ship to those who travelled on the vessel.
"There is a wonderful selection of attractions located in every county of Northern Ireland that all make a great day out and there is also a wide range of events taking place this year," Ms Burns said.
Some destinations 'best explored by cruise'
12/4/2012 10:07:49 AM
Taking a cruise to some of the most stunning areas of the planet is the only way to truly appreciate how unique they are.
Jane Archer, cruise correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, said she has been to a diverse number of places on a cruise and has found this offers a real insight into the area.
She explained how she has visited Antarctica on a ship, which gave her the chance to see the polar bears and walruses that are found there in their natural habitat.
A trip to South America was also memorable, as it helped her to take in some of the region's most famous cities and islands as part of one journey.
"It's wonderful how going on a cruise opens up all of these places," Ms Archer added.
Titan Travel offers cruises to a wealth of destinations around the world, with many departing from the UK so there is no need to take a flight.
West Highlands home to stunning moors and wildlife
11/4/2012 10:03:02 AM
The stunning landscape and wildlife found across the West Highlands of Scotland will make visitors to the region see the British Isles in a completely new way.
Home to a host of naturally beautiful sites, Gordon Forrester, long distance route advisor for the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, offered his insights into the region.
He highlighted how the areas of the national park and woodland around Loch Lomond both offer the chance to the see the amazing moors that cover much of the highlands.
The loch is the largest body of freshwater in the UK and is popular with both watersports enthusiasts and those who want to experience its picturesque setting.
It is also close to some of the most iconic locations around Scotland, including Ben Lomond and West Highland Way road.
"The terrain is varied, including dense woodland, lowland moors as well as steep mountainous regions, which provide habitats for a wide range of wildlife species," Mr Forrester said.
Kyoto's Golden Pavilion stunning all year round
5/4/2012 11:08:32 AM
Kyoto's stunning Golden Pavilion is one of the most stunning sights to be found in the city and is a huge draw to visitors regardless of the time of year they are in the city.
Known in Japanese as Kinkaku-Ji, the temple is set in lush green gardens which wind around to showcase the beautiful building.
Covered in gold leaf, the three-storied temple is reflected in the beautiful Kyokochi pond, which mirrors the building and the greenery that surrounds it.
Seeing the temple at different times of the year can showcase it in different ways, with the sight of the building surrounded by pink cherry blossoms in the spring months a very popular sight.
Visiting in the winter, when the roof is covered in snow, is another incredibly popular sight and see people travelling from across Japan to catch a glimpse of the view.
The building is open all year round and opens daily from 09:00 local time.
See the finest collection of Finnish art at the Ateneum
04/04/2012 2:09:06 PM
The Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki is the ideal place for art buffs to visit when in the city in order to learn more about the country's distinctive art movements.
Housing some of the most important works of art in the country, the gallery boasts a huge collection with more than 4,300 paintings and 750 sculptures making up its whole collection.
Visitors can see how Finnish art has developed over the centuries, from the 18th century rococo designs through to the experimental styles seen in the 20th century.
There is also a comprehensive collection of prints made in the country which has been steadily built up by the gallery since it acquired its first work in 1900.
A range of international works are also on display in the gallery, with masterpieces produced by Paul Gaugin and Vincent van Gogh making up the permanent collections.
To get the most from the experience it is possible to take a guided tour, with talks in English taking place several times each month.
Australian winter could be perfect time to visit
29/3/2012 9:58:44 AM
Winter is normally associated with cold, wind, rain and snow, but in Australia this could in fact be the perfect time of year to visit.
Australian winter occurs during British summer and is an excellent time to visit for two main reasons.
Firstly, many parts of the world's sixth largest country experience lower levels of rainfall in the winter, meaning that you get plenty of chance to soak up some rays on the many glorious and largely deserted beaches.
Secondly, although you will most certainly find shorts and t-shirt temperatures at this time of year, they will be much more manageable levels of heat than experienced in the searing temperatures of Australian summer time.
For example, in Alice Springs, the nearest large settlement to the majestic ancient rock formation of Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock), the temperature regularly breaks through the 100 degree barrier in the winter.
This can make exploring Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon an arduous task as you are completely exposed to the sun's rays. Winter temperatures in the 70s and 80s make these walks a lot more manageable. But whatever time of year you visit, you'll be swept away by the breathtaking beauty of this vast land.
Follow in the footsteps of Scott
28/2/2012 9:37:42 AM
This year marks the centenary since Captain Robert Falcon Scott led an ill-fated expedition to the South Pole.
Agonisingly for the members of the British Antarctic Expedition 1910, even before suffering their untimely demise, upon reaching the pole on January 17th 1912 they discovered that they had been beaten to it by a party led by Norwegian Roald Amundsen.
However, Scott's exploits in Antarctica have not been forgotten and in 2012 a series of centenary events are taking place to commemorate the courage displayed by the explorer and his men.
Last week, the Princess Royal attended the National Scott Memorial rededication in Scott's home town of Plymouth.
Once a place that only the hardiest of explorers would dare tackle, modern-day visitors can now enjoy the vast and beautiful expanses of the most southerly continent on earth in comfort with Titan Travel.
With mountains, icebergs, seals and penguins, Antarctica truly is a spectacular place to visit.
England working up a sweat in sunny Sri Lanka
28/3/2012 8:38:07 AM
The England cricket team is working up a sweat in former colony Sri Lanka during a two-part test series.
With temperatures into the thirties, the world's number one test side is facing a tough battle after incurring a heavy deficit in the first innings.
Match one is currently being played out in the city of Galle in the south-west of the teardrop island, whose Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site with both Portuguese and Dutch influences.
The second test is being played out between April 3rd and 7th in the island's largest city Colombo to the north of Galle, which features a unique blend of influences from the Moors, Portuguese, Dutch and British.
As well as offering a chance to see some top class cricket, Sri Lanka is also a place where travellers can experience Buddhist shrines, visit the home of Ceylon Tea and catch a glimpse of elephants in the wild.
On the big game trail in South Africa
28/3/2012 8:34:04 AM
South Africa is one of the best places to visit on the continent for a chance to catch a glimpse of the so-called 'Big Five' of the safari world: the buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros.
And over the past decade, very few locations can have proved more fruitful a spotting ground than Mala Mala, where the Big Five have been recorded consistently on over 300 days of the year, according to the park's owners.
Wildlife photojournalist Geoff Dalglish said of Mala Mala: "Not even Tanzania's famed Serengeti Game Reserve … fills your camera viewfinder faster with Africa’s legendary Big Five – at Mala Mala, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros and elephant appear magically, as if on cue.
As well as these five majestic creatures, if you are quick enough you can also see the fastest land animal on the planet, the cheetah, and packs of wild dogs.Just make sure you have packed your zoom lens as you won't want to get too close to the Big Five!
Discover the magic of the Cumbrian hills
22/3/2012 9:51:24 AM
By tracing the footsteps of Alfred Wainwright you too could discover the magic of the Lake District on a trip to the fells of Cumbria.
Wainwright is revered for his collection of pictorial works describing his ascent of 214 hills in Cumbria that have now become known as 'The Wainwrights'
OneThe landscapes of this lush county have been described better by no one than the late local legend.
Describing one particular view across Lake Windermere, Wainwright said: "It was a moment of magic, a revelation so unexpected that I stood transfixed, unable to believe my eyes."
Climbing the Wainwrights has become an obsession for some: the so-called 'peak-baggers' whose aim it is to top all 214 of these peaks.
You might only manage a few of these majestic hills on your trip to the Lake District, but whichever ones you choose you are sure to discover a little bit of the magic described by the original author of the fells.
Catch the aurora before April
7/3/2012 9:40:22 AM
Up to April, visitors to the Nordic countries will be able to catch a glimpse of the majestic aurora borealis (Northern Lights).
Named after the Roman goddess of dawn (Aurora) and the Greek name for the north wind (Boreas), this incredible green light display in the night is a beguiling experience and will be particularly good this year and next owing to increased solar activity.
Joseph M Kunches, space scientist at America's Space Weather Prediction Centre explained to the BBC that the auroras are created by electrons from the sun that are carried to the Earth's magnetic poles by solar winds.
When these particles interact with the Earth's atmosphere, they cause a reaction among the molecules which are already there, creating the light display.
Although the aurora can be seen in the UK, they are best viewed close to the North Pole in dark conditions, which makes the vast expanses of sparsely populated wilderness found in Nordic countries like Finland the perfect locations.
Join the millions visiting the National Museum of Scotland on a UK break
6/3/2012 8:34:36 AM
Britons planning their itinerary for a holiday in Scotland could join the millions of people who visit the National Museum of Scotland each year.
Latest figures from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) show that just under 1.5 million people visited the Edinburgh-based museum last year, a rise of around 141 per cent compared to 2010.
A number of other leading attractions enjoyed a boom in visitor numbers in 2011 and ALVA director Bernard Donoghue claims that this is due to many venues becoming a "must see" for holidaymakers.
"Domestic visitors have prioritised visits to free attractions but not exclusively; they are mindful of getting value for money and experiencing great quality and they are finding plenty of examples of both," he added.
The National Museum of Scotland, which has recently enjoyed an extensive renovation, offers free admission but it is the vast range of galleries and exhibitions on show which will keep visitors coming back again and again.
A range of ancient Egyptian artefacts are currently on show in the Fascinating Mummies exhibit, which runs until 27th May.
Nova Scotia to hold Titanic centenary events
2/3/2012 9:56:11 AM
This April the Canadian province of Nova Scotia will be holding a series of events to mark the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic.
Halifax in Nova Scotia is inextricably linked to the liner's story.
After the distress call was sent, several vessels were dispatched from the port and they were involved in rescuing hundreds of passengers from the stricken ship.
The boats also recovered many of the bodies of the victims, which were later buried in Halifax cemeteries.
To commemorate the centenary, on April 14th there will be an evening procession and presentation, and on the 15th there will be an inter-faith memorial service.
Ken Pinto, the executive director of Titanic 100, said: "It is our hope that these events will bring … Canada together to honour the sinking of Titanic.
"Everyone is welcomed to take part as we embrace our province's place in the Titanic's history."
As well as these special events, visitors to Nova Scotia can also view the finest collection of wooden artefacts from the Titanic at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
Travel to Croatia likely to increase as it joins EU
28/2/2012 9:27:54 AM
Croatia is likely to see a surge in European visitors when it becomes a full member of the European Union (EU) on July 1st 2013
The country, which has a long and beautiful coastline on the Adriatic Sea, first signed a treaty last December to allow it to become the 28th member of the EU.
Nico Bulic, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, believes that when the nation joins the EU it will become a more attractive prospect for visitors - especially as there will not be any border controls restricting entry.
"[This] will mean the last of the old prejudices will be moved away and the people from the EU will realise there is a nice, little, new member who has become part of the family," he said.
The country has a beautiful mix of beaches and medieval towns and for visitors to the capital Zagreb in April, a selection of fine tipples at the 'Wine Gourmet Weekend' between the 13th and 15th.
Brits "universally astounded" by staycations
22/2/2012 10:06:08 AM
Increasing numbers of Brits are realising just how good a holiday in the UK can be.
This is according to chief executive at British Destinations Peter Hampson, who said people continue to be "universally astounded by what they have found".
He explained that during the recession, lots of holidaymakers decided to stay closer to home instead of going abroad and this is something that seems to be continuing.
"If you want to go walking in mountains, or have a nice family holiday in the summer on the beach, you can do it in England," Mr Hampson said.
The expert noted that although plenty of individuals are still going overseas, they have realised there is a lot to entertain them in Britain as well.
While some may want to enjoy some culture and take in one of the many free art galleries up and down the country, others might want to visit one of the UK's 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Over 50s in search of 'authentic experiences'
21/2/2012 8:38:39 AM
More and more people over the age of 50 are heading off in search of "authentic experiences", according to a travel expert. Liz Harper, head of marketing and digital editor at Footprint Travel Guides, says that older holidaymakers are now less inclined to keep going back to the same location and instead want to see as much of the world as they can.
Africa and Latin America are particularly popular destinations for the over 50s, which Ms Harper attributes to the wildlife experiences on offer in those locations.
"The classic away holiday and retirement plan of the past where people brought Spanish villas and went there all the time has been replaced with touring motor homes and seeing as much of the world as they can," she said.
Some of the wildlife South America has to offer can be discovered on Titan Travel's 'Natural Wonders of Costa Rica with the Panama Canal' holiday, which includes a visit to the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge where you can take a floating safari through tropical rainforest and pastures.
Weak rand attracting tourists to South Africa
15/2/2012 9:25:10 AM
The weakness of the rand is encouraging tourists to flock to Cape Town, according to a new report.
South Africa's Independent Online says that five star hotels in the capital are reporting "healthy" numbers of bookings after an unusually busy start to the year.
Deidre Davids, the head of communications at Cape Town International Airport, told the news provider that the tourism season usually starts in March, but the airport has already seen large volumes of passengers.
Laura Vercueil, the communications manager of the Johannesburg Tourism Company, agrees and said that "the hospitality industry is getting off to a good start this year".
The rand is currently trading at 12.1 to the pound and 7.7 to the US dollar, well down on this time last year.
Sights to see in Cape Town include Table Mountain, which provides a majestic backdrop to the city and is accessible by cable car, and the renowned sailing landmark the Cape of Good Hope.
Florida 'gives an authentic taste of America'
9/2/2012 10:08:56 AM
Florida is the perfect destination for those who want to get a truly authentic taste of the US.
This is according to UK public relations officer for Central Florida Visitors and Convention Bureau Jo Eckersley, who said there is plenty to see and do aside from Disney World.
Visitors can check out some of the many art galleries, museums and small downtown communities, she explained, while the state is still home to lots of cowboys.
In Westgate, people can try horse riding or line dancing, while there are thousands of acres of protected land to explore.
"Then there's Silver Moon Drive-In - which was set up in the 1940s and is still very popular today - and the thrilling 2,000 plus seater rodeo," Ms Eckersley continued.
Sights She also recommended seeing an authentic old-fashioned courthouse.
Also known as the Sunshine State, Florida is home to many famous cities, each with their own feel, such as Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Miami and, of course, Orlando.
Melbourne 'the perfect place to start an Australian trip
6/2/2012 4:20:13 PM
Individuals planning to explore Australia on a trip of a lifetime Down Under have been advised to start their holiday in Melbourne.
Writing for the Daily Telegraph, James Litston described how the destination in the state of Victoria has "an urban appeal that has become the envy of other Australian cities".
He noted Melbourne as being known for its "upbeat ambience, signature style" and great shopping.
One of the best ways to explore the city is by bike, with Mr Litston recommending taking to two wheels in order to navigate the different neighbourhoods.
Another tip was to take a ride on the City Circle tram, which travels around the Central Business District and is free to use.
For those keen to venture outside of the bustling city, Mr Litson suggested driving to the Yarra Valley wine region and spotting koalas and penguins on nearby Phillip Island.
Another option is to take in the world-famous natural coastline along the Great Ocean Road, which features the 12 Apostles rock formation.
Paris 'an iconic European city'
20/1/2012 09:59:09 AM
Paris is one of the most iconic cities in Europe and it appeals to a wide range of people, an expert has claimed.
Independent Online says that five star hotels in the capital are reporting "healthy" numbers of bookings after an unusually busy start to the year.
Travel presenter on the Alan Titchmarsh show Sarah Woods, who is also an author and travel writer, said the destination used to have a romantic tag attached to it.
However, it has now captured the "hearts and imaginations" of more people keen to experience its famous sights.
"Now, more than ever, people are wanting to see these iconic cities," Ms Woods stated.
Even if holidaymakers have never seen the Eiffel Tower, they feel as though they have an affinity to it because it is such a well-known landmark, the expert added.
Paris is full of famous sights and impressive buildings to take in. As well as the Eiffel Tower, holiday makers can check out the Arc de Triomphe or Notre Dame, take a stroll down the leafy streets of the Champs-Elysees or explore areas such as Montmartre and Montparnasse.
Britain 'a fabulous place' to go walking
18/1/2012 10:03:59 AM
The UK offers plenty of "fabulous and varied" walks for those who love to get out and about and explore their surroundings when on holiday.
This is according to Ramblers spokeswoman Maria Castellina, who explained walking doesn't have to be a summer activity, as there are lots of places that "shine" during the colder months
She recommended exploring the beaches of Cornwall or the beautiful countryside around Yorkshire.
Wales also has lots to see, Ms Castellina continued, while Scotland offers challenging mountains to conquer.
"Walks around lakes, through flat country parks, along the coast or exploring cities are often good places to start," the expert recommended, adding shorter excursions across easy terrain are better for beginners.
Cornwall has a lot more to offer than just interesting walks, however, as freelance travel writer Linsey McNeill recently said that when the weather is good, its beaches are some of the best in the world.