The sunny, tropical and laid-back Jamaica is an all-time favourite destination! Most tour guides revolve around the amazing beaches and sights on the island, however some things are to be taken into account before travelling. In this article we present you with our top 5 tips for enjoying yourholidays in Jamaica fully and avoiding some of the usual nuances that might occur during your stay if you are otherwise unprepared.
Having a great, sunny and warm tropical climate, Jamaica is perfect for spending your day at the beach or exploring the stunning natural scenery around the island. That same set of traits however makes the numbers of bugs flying around even larger so if you don’t want to suffer from mosquito or gnat bites, it would be advisable that you buy some bug repellant spray and stick to using it during your holidays in Jamaica
If you’re holidaying in Spain, particularly Andalusia or anywhere nearby, you’ll be wanting to check out the incredible Alhambra Palace. It is easily one of the most popular tourist attractions in Europe, certainly the most famous in Spain and the town of Granada offers a little shelter from the punishing summer heat of Seville or Cordoba, and is only a couple of hours from Malaga. The two parts of the complex, the Alhambra and Albaycin are seated on two opposite hills and showcase medieval Granada at its most magnificent.
There is an incredible flower restaurant in France which is made completely of organic blossoms and greenery. It’s called Mas Provencal and we think it’s safe to say these pictures don’t even do it justice. Found near the beautiful city of Nice on the outskirts of Eze Village on the South of France, it’s more fairyland than regular restaurant and has more flowers than tables! Every inch is covered with hanging baskets, floating ivy, blooms of every type imaginable from roses to orchids and more, an unmissable destination if you find yourself on holidays in France near Nice.
Like something from Alice in Wonderland, customers are invited to pick some grapes or cherry tomatoes that hang from the ceiling as they enjoy a luxury meal. Wilting flowers are replaced every day to keep it sweet smelling. The menu includes roast pig on a spit, and veal cooked on coals. It’s hard to tell if this is a greenhouse you can eat in, or a restaurant that happens to be florally inclined! Either way, we love it.
Chichen Itza Cancun is one of Mexico’s biggest and most famous tourist sites. 125 kilometres from Cancun and Cozumel it is a major landmark on the Yucatan Peninsula. Filled with huge temples, ancient carvings and a fairly fatal football pitch, Chichen Itza was a place of trade, culture and history for the Mayan people.
The Temple of Kukulkan, or El Castillo, pictured above was built under specific astronomic specifications. The structure is one of a whole series of temples, pyramids and other structures sacred to the Maya people. There are 365 steps, one for each day of the year. Each side has 91, which with the top makes 365 again, a reference to the year. During the spring and autumn equinoxes, a snake shadow falls on the temple. As the sun sets the snake gradually slithers down the steps.
You’d be forgiven for thinking we’ve gone a bit piggy, what with our bacon beach post, but it seems we’re not alone. Read on for this amazing day out: The Pig Museum Stuttgart. Fun for a couples city break adventure, or just something a bit different (really different, if you ask us!)
The Pig Museum is a surreal collection of over 50,000 exhibits from all over the world to introduce you to the piggiest experience of your life. The SchweineMuseum on Schlachtofstraße 2A, 70188 Stuttgart offers visitors 25 themed rooms to explore featuring all things porcine. There are (stuffed) pigs to cuddle, representation of pigs in the arts as well as the science of pigs, from their anatomy, how little piglets are made as well as the history of the creatures. The kitsch art and culture is sure to win over grown ups, while kids can enjoy the stuffed animals and myths and legends surrounding pigs.
Meanwhile, if all this porky talk is making your mouth water (vegetarians look away now!) then you won’t bat an eyelid at the museum’s setting; in a former slaughterhouse. After exploring the piggery, a huge beer garden awaits, with tasty treats like knuckle of pork, grilled suckling pig and many more pork delicacies.
There’s more information on pricing and how to get to the Pig Museum Germany on their website here.
To make your visit extra special, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s a theme song to bring you through the museum, altogether now:
Jamaica was once the perfect base for pirates. 300 years before it became known for all inclusive, perfect white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, it was the top choice for a pirate hideaway. The scurvy dogs travelled throughout the Caribbean plundering the new world’s treasure ships and stowing their bounty away. Enjoy our guide to the Pirate Route Jamaica.
If you aarrrre (sorry!) a fan of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, you might be familiar with Jamaica’s history of plundering and scavenging. For everyone else that’s loved Pirates of the Caribbean, wants to hoist the holly roger or simply have a holiday with a little extra spice, we’ve got the ultimate road trip for wannabe marauders.
Port Royal As you enter Port Royal you’re greeted with an old sign that says: ‘Where the Buccaneers Drank their Beer.’ That’s the kind of place we want to visit. Port Royal has a trusty Pirate legacy; it was invaded by the undead forces of the infamous Jolly Roger and used as a base by Henry Morgan a Welshman who became known as one of the most successful and ruthless pirates around. It’s also said to have been frequented by the famous swashbuckler Jack Sparrow and Jamaica has made claims as the birthplace of Blackbeard, (but so has Bristol in the UK and Carolina in the US.)
Kingston Head back towards Kingston on your road trip and take a trip to Bob Marley’s former home. Not pirate related, but a must see when you’re in the Jamaica. Further along, about 18 miles on the highway, you’ll find the old capital Spanish Town. The English pirate, Calico Jack who operated throughout the Caribbean in the ‘golden age of piracy’ was hanged here after his capture in Negril Bay, alongside his two female crew, Mary Read and Anne Bonny. These ladies made the crew by disguising themselves as men. This worked until Read started to develop feelings for Jack himself.
Negril Bay Follow the road around and you’ll find the scene of a great pirate raid. This is where Calico Jack was enjoying a rum fuelled party when Captain Barnet was dispatched to capture him. No doubt his senses were a little dulled and he was caught. Calico Jack was executed and his body was displayed in an iron frame as a warning to other pirates.
Montego Bay The second city of Jamaica is a good place to get the kids involved in a little pirate fun. From there you can hop on a replica galleon, where you’ll be treated to hearty dinner to set you up for an enemy raid. Pirates armed with swords and pistols will jump on deck and a fiery battle will take place!
Ocho Rios A perfect place to finish your pirate road trip. Apart from a simply stunning drive, Ocho Rios is where you’ll find the legendary pirate Henry Morgan’s hideaway. It is said Morgan directed his attacks from behind thick walls. It’s also where the location of British playwright Noel Coward’s estate Firefly. It’s said the room where Coward wrote his compositions – “the room with a view” overlooks a gun slit, “pirate cabin” that hid Morgan from view. Today, Coward’s grave side stands near a secret tunnel that Morgan used to escape to sea.
Finally! Ron Burgundy’s amazing commitment to quality journalism is about to be recognised with a dedicated exhibition in Washington DC. Anchorman: The Exhibit will open on November 14.
The Newseum in partnership with Paramount Pictures is opening the special exhibit ahead of the long awaited sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. The original film starring Will Ferrell, Cristina Applegate and Steve Carell became a huge hit and one of the most quotable films of recent years. Fans of the film will get to see props, like Burgundy’s jazz flute and the whip used in that rival anchormen fight scene. The costumes worn by the Channel 4 Evening News Team will feature and visitors can check out a re-creation of the KVWN-TV anchor desk and set. If you’re a budding Burgundy, you can even step in front of the camera yourself, just be careful no one adds a question mark to your auto cue. We’re also hoping it’ll be filled with leather bound books and smell of rich mahogany. Ron Burgundy himself is delighted with the dedication: ‘I’m literally trapped in a glass case of emotion.’ The trailer for Anchorman 2 is a hint at what to expect: Find more information on the Anchorman Exhibition at the Newseum website.
Looking to really impress someone or maybe you’re in the middle of organising your honeymoon? Why not check out these amazing places to eat for a truly memorable holiday experience. Don’t forget to let us know which is your favourite!
Crater Floor Lunch, Ngorogoro, Tanzania Image via @ andBeyond.com
With three times the number of EU Blue Flags (highly sought after ratings that show the beaches are clean and safe) than any of the other Costas, the Costa Blanca, or white coast as it translates to in English, boasts 170 miles of unforgettable sandy beach. Sit back, and enjoy our guide to the best Costa Blanca beaches.
There are an enormous variety of coastal resorts to choose from – Javea, Calpe, Benidorm, Valencia and the capital, Alicante, to name but a few – and it’s important to notice that every year many of their beaches receive the prestigious European blue flag, setting the standard for the entire area. However, if you’re a real sunbathing expert, then now is the time to listen up. We’ve narrowed down the endless list of beautiful beaches to the best of the best.
El Carabassí (near santa Pola) First is El Carabassí, a vast virgin beach of pale, golden sand, bordered by wetlands, salt pans and enormous dunes. Mostly attended by multi-generational Spanish families (equipped with a mind-boggling array of chairs, tables, loungers and windshields) the beach is thankfully quieter towards its southern end – an officially designated nudist zone. The beach slopes very gently, so the water is shallow for quite a way from the shore, deeming it extremely safe for children. However for those choosing to venture a little further out, rewards are waiting in abundance. Here you will find excellent conditions for windsurfing, snorkelling and swimming and some glorious reefs. A quick tip – the beach is lined with shacks serving locally-caught fish, paellas, snacks, ice-cream and ice-cold beers, but it’s preferable to make like the Spanish and take a picnic of wine and fresh fruits.
Poniente Beach (Benidorm) Poniente Beach, just west of Levante, is a mammoth golden curl of excellent fine sand. Slightly less crowded than Levante, but with plenty of facilities close at hand, Poniente boasts a more relaxed and laid back feel – and a bit more space. Cafes, bars and shops make up the promenade and there’s a wide choice of hotel and apartment accommodation in the surrounding area if you’re looking to extend your stay.
Playa de El Saler(Valencia)
El Saler is a 30-minute bus trip from the centre of Valencia, but well worth the journey. It is a blue flag beach with amazing quality sand and the cleanest of water. Unfortunately this also makes it one of the busiest beaches during the summer months, but it is picturesque nonetheless.
Cala Pope Tango (Javea)
A wonderfully unique cove, this rustic beach is comprised of both sand and small pebbles, which are great for exploring. Although fairly unspoilt, you can still enjoy a spot of diving and the cove has safety flags and buoys to advise on swimming conditions. There are also ample facilities nearby, including some great restaurants and a bar for when all that swimming works up an appetite.
No list of beaches in the Costa Blanca would be complete without some mention of the horseshoe-shaped, Blue Flag awarded cove of Grandella. Small at just 160m, but full of character, the beautiful cove consists of shingle, pebbles and rocks, complemented by clear waters that are perfect for swimming. The beach has ample facilities to enrich your day: a lifeguard is present at all times with safety flags to indicating swimming conditions; canoeing is available; sunbeds and parasols are up for hire; diving and snorkelling are also popular; shower and toilet facilities are present and a great bar and restaurant overlook the bay. Expect calm, sapphire water, flanked by a dense forest of emerald Aleppo pine trees. Perfection.
Les Rotes (Denia)
Just south of the centre of Denia, Les Rotes is five little bays, each set against the backdrop of the Montgó nature reserve. Marineta Cassiana at the beginning is a sandy beach, whilst the following beaches of El Trampoli, Punta Negra, Arenetes and La Cala are a string of rocky coves with clear turquoise waters. The main sandy beach near the harbour attracts mostly families with small children, but if you’re looking to avoid the tourist heave and hive, or don’t like getting sand in your sandwiches, then the rocky coves are a stunning alternative, La Cala, a nudist beach, offers fabulous conditions for snorkelling and scuba diving with plenty of fish and plant life to discover.