Category: Travel

Exploring Munich On a Budget

Exploring Munich On a Budget

A Bit of History

Munich is the capital and largest city of the German state of Bavaria. It was founded by Benedictine monks in 1158. The name Munich as a matter of fact means “By the monk’s place.” In those days it was the seat of German royal power. During World War I the city was ravished by French Air Raids, and was thrown into political chaos. This lead to a rather infamous time in Munich’s history when in 1923 when Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party attempted to overthrow the Weimar Republic known as the Beer Hall Putsch. Their plot was foiled and Hitler was arrested. But not for long, because soon he would be released and take over full control of Germany. During WWII Munich was a Nazi stronghold.

Present Day Munich

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Today Munich is a thriving city with where a population of about 1,400,000 people enjoy a high quality of life thanks to a thriving economy. Its main sources of income are from information technology, biotechnology, and publishing. Environmental pollution is low, so feel free to leave your face mask at home. Munich is said to be the safest city in Germany thanks to a large police presence, but you still might want to avoid going to Hasenbergel district alone at night.

Exploring Munich On a Budget

If you’re exploring Munich on a budget avoid Oktoberfest, which runs from late September to October. During Oktoberfest the prices go way up and safety also goes way down. The best month to visit is in November. The weather in November is cold, so bring a Jacket. The weather for the rest of the year looks like this: Winter is from December to March. The coldest month being January with an average temperature of −2.2 °C (28 °F). Do expect snow. Summer is from May until September. The hottest month is in July with an average temperature of 24.0 °C (75 °F). Expect sudden rainstorms during this time.

Cheap Accomodations and Travel

November is also the best time to find cheap accommodations. The Wombats City Hostel is highly recommended and starts at 24 Euros a night. A family sized hotel starts at around 84 Euros a night. The cheapest form of travel is by train. Prices range from 2.50 to 5.20 Euros a ticket. More information can be found at the Munich Central Station Website: http://www.hauptbahnhof-muenchen.de/rw_e6v/main.asp?WebID=hbf_m_e If public transportation doesn’t excite you then the next best thing is bike travel. Call-A-Bike offers daily bike rentals for 5 Euros. Learn more by visiting this site: http://www.muenchen.de/int/en/traffic/biking/call-a-bike.html

If you ever want to stay in Munich check out the list of quality and affordable Munich vacation rentals on Live Like a German.

Tourist Destinations

Like I said, there is a lot to see in Munich. The top tourist destinations are the Bavarian Castles. If you’re planning on seeing some Bavarian Castles and Palaces like the Nymphenburg Palace, then get a season pass. An annual pass for 1 person is 45 Euros. For 2 people the pass is 65 Euros. The passes are good for all locations. Normally each attraction is 15 Euros each per a day. The Bavarian Museum is only 1 Euro on Sundays Tuesdays are the best time to see a movie when tickets drop from 8 Euros to 5.9 Euros

See Munich for Free

If you’re looking for something free to do then there’s lots. The Munich walking tour is always free. Some places you can visit for free are Munich’s Church of Our Lady, Field Marshal’s Hall, Munich’s Residence Palace, Theatine Church, Viktualienmarkt, The English Garden, St. Peter’s Church, St. Michael’s Church, Dachau Concentration Camp, Deutsches Museum, and the Olympic Stadium.

When you’re done seeing the sites save money on food by avoiding the main tourist spots. Food prices for quick eats ( kabobs and gyros) start at 2 Euros. However the most affordable food can be found at the local markets. I Hope you enjoy your time exploring Munich on a budget.

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Australia by rail. Take a scenic feast of this great land!

Australia by rail. Take a scenic feast of this great land!

If there’s one thing Australia isn’t short on, it’s land! Far away from the laneways of the culturally-rich metropolitan jungles and contrasting urban sprawls, you can find seemingly endless highways that provide hour after hour of filmic landscape. From the red sands of the far north to the lush green of the south, there’s much to see about this great land of Australia.

There’s more than one way to tour Oz, but if you’re looking for an unrivalled scenic journey, travelling by rail is a great way to take in the landscape while relaxing in the best possible manner.

Here are our top-tips for some of the best rail journeys in Australia.

Indian Pacific Rail Tour

Travelling along ribbons of steel, you’ll glide cross-country with views of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the impressive Blue Mountains and stops for off-train sightseeing tours. This three-day-journey begins from Perth, climbing through the picturesque Avon Valley and into Western Australia’s stretching wheat belt.

Pushing on to the Nullarbor Plain, the landscape takes on a richer hue through the natural mallee scrubs, bluebush plants and saltbush plants. Shuffling through Adelaide where you’ll be able to either punctuate your trip with a rest for a few days, or simply stay aboard, the train then sets course through farm country with a grand finale of the spectacular Blue Mountains.

Spirit of the Outback

Offered a quick, but memorable, 24-hour journey from Brisbane to Longreach, the Spirit of the Outback is second on our hot-list. Whether lounging in the berths or seated in air conditioned comfort, the landscape of Queensland’s outback opens up in full view through the cabin windows. The desert sand dunes with its red hills make for some great holiday snaps.

You’ll be treated with some Aussie treats along your journey, and can chill out in the board lounge with the other travellers while sipping drinks and taking in the sights.

The trip is punctuated by several stops in historic towns; including Barcaldine, Emerald and Blackwater. Emerald is one stop you’d do well to stretch your legs at, and while you’re there you can check-out the largest outdoor Van Gogh sunflower painting at Morton Park, standing at an impressive 25 meters high!

The Kuranda Scenic Railway

This railway tour is a quick, but nonetheless unforgettable 90-minute journey from Cairns to the tropical rainforest of Kuranda. There are unparalleled views of steep ravines, cascading waterfalls and tropical canopies within the Barron Gorge National Park. Constructed in the late 1800s, you’ll be treated to an awesome privilege as you travel through the 37 bridges and 15 handmade tunnels by the pioneers of North Queensland.

If you’re looking to add some more fun to your rail journey, you can take a trip on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway an exhilarating experience offering a fantastic perspective of Barron Gorge.

The Southern Spirit

For an alternate scenic adventure, you can book a trip between Brisbane and Adelaide via Melbourne on the Southern Spirit for days of adventure and beautiful scenery.

The rail tour snakes through four states, as you take in the views of the Eastern Seaboard and Great Dividing Range right from the privacy of your platinum-service cabin! Standing at over 7,000 feet high, Mt. Kosciusko of the Australian Alps will drop your jaw, and suffice it to say; the Great Dividing Range is one of the most beautiful locations in Australia.

For any insatiable adventurers out there, you can take full advantage of the Whistle Stop Tours of Byron Bay, Hunter Valley, Albury-Wodonga on the Murray River and the grandiose Grampians National Park – all of which are tours included in your fare.

The Ghan

The Ghan is a remarkable journey to the two jewels of the Red Centre and the tropical Top End in southern Australia, where you can experience three days of unsurpassed scenery.

Each day begins with a fresh panorama of changing landscape, as the majestic Flinders Ranges and the sweeping Adelaide Plans unfold a portrait of natural splendour. Cobalt blue skies and red earth typifies the character of this journey. Entering the Top End, the terrain mellows with picturesque flora dominating the landscape.

Why not try something different for your next holiday? Climb aboard one of Australia’s many rail adventures for a unique ride through the heartlands, taking a look at what’s in your own backyard!

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If you’re travelling within Australia and in need of affordable airfares, you’ll be sure to find cheap flights to get you on that train fast!

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Classic Italian Drives – the Strada Chiantigiana

A rural drive that is an Italian classic is the Strada Chiantigiana, or the SR 222. The back road goes through Tuscany’s wine country through to the small cities and towns of Chianti including Greve, Radda, and Giaole, situated between Florence and Siena. The road runs south adjacent to a network of two lane secondary roads, and has beautiful vistas of Tuscan vineyards and rolling hills before reaching the connection to Sienna.

This 100 km drive has some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Europe. Allow plenty of time to visit local wineries and restaurants, and walk in the winding streets of the diverse towns and meet the locals.

About 35 km outside of Florence is Greve, which is home to the region’s biggest tourism information center, so you will definitely want to stop there. Grab some brochures, and sit at one of the coffee shops or wine bars of the Piazza Matteotti, before buying some supplies for your picnic or other favorite recreational activities. If you are there in September, attend the annual wine fair from Greve, which is a major event for Chianti.

You are sure to find the symbol of a black rooster when you find yourself in the center of Gallo Nero country and also sample some Chianti Classico wine. You might want to see some beautiful medieval castles located in the district.

If you travel south for another 10 km, you will find the medieval town of Panzano, which was erected around the remnants of a castle, beside the Strada Chiantigiana. At Enoteca il Vinaio you can partake of light meals and local wines while you admire the vast vineyards from the terrace. Panzano’s San Leolino church, built in the Romanesque style and only 1 km south of town, is located on a picturesque hill and houses several Renaissance frescoes.

Only twelve kilometers southward from Panzano lies the hill top town of Castellina, a major crossroads during the Etruscan era, and a region which was battled over by neighboring Florence and Siena. Panzano has several Etruscan remains, including four tombs and a well, as well as many palaces from the medieval period, which are still standing.

From here, you could detour twenty kilometers toward the east, traveling via Volpaia to the vicinity of Radda and Gaiole. There are more Etruscan ruins and wine estates located 6 km north of Volpaia. Retrace your steps and take the turn to Gaiole, to visit the Badia a Coltibuono, which is an abbey nestled near a forest of cedar trees. Wee rustic churches and aged castles surround Gaiole’s market town. The restored Castello del Brolio is open for visits, and located south of the city. You can see Siena and the hills beyond from here.

Returning to the Strada Chiantigiana, drive the remaining thirty kilometers south to Siena. The centre of the city is very pedestrian-friendly, and contains a medieval palazzi and many shops, cafes, and places to eat along its narrow pathways. The world famous Piazza del Campo is covered with straw and dirt two times per year for the exciting Palio di Siena, the heart stopping bareback horse race.

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Important Things To Know When Traveling To Italy

When traveling to another country, there are some vital information that are considered to be a “must know” before you go travel. If you’ll be traveling to Italy, here are a couple of things that you should know so that you can avoid getting into trouble and paying for violation fees.

Piracy Is A Crime

Even in Italy, piracy is considered to be a crime. In fact they impose hefty fines on Tourists that purchase counterfeit goods when visiting Italy. Being a part of the Italian Government Tourist Board’s ongoing commitment to make sure that travelers like you would be safe and secure, it is extremely recommended that you do not, in whatever circumstance, attempt to buy any kind of counterfeit item. Doing so can make you end up paying a fine that costs more than the authentic product.

Fines in Italy can cost you up to 10,000 Euros if you are caught buying a counterfeit product. On the other hand, those selling counterfeit items are charged criminal charges. The Italian government’s campaign on such kinds of illegal transactions is quite strong.

Customs Regulations

Upon entering and leaving Italy, your luggage will be examined. There is free entry for personal things such as: clothing, whether used or new; books, fishing tackle, household and camping equipments, a pair of skis, two tennis rackets, CD player accompanied by up to ten CD’s, tape recorder, Dictaphone, computer, baby carriage, two still cameras and up to ten film rolls for each camera, one movie camera, personal jewelry, binoculars; a portable radio set, with a small amount of license fee; 400 cigarette sticks, and a number of pipe tobacco or cigars that doesn’t exceed 500 grams or 1.1 lb.

All of these items mentioned can be duty-free imported, provided that they’re for personal use only. Thus, these shouldn’t be sold, traded or given away. You can also bring a maximum of one hard liquor bottle and two wine bottles. However, these bottles shouldn’t be open. Additionally, you are allowed to bring a maximum of 6.6 lbs. of sugar, 2.2 lbs. of cocoa and 4.4 lbs. of coffee, which you can bring duty-free.

If you’ve visited another country prior going to Italy, you’re allowed to bring with you souvenir items purchased from that other country up to a maximum value of $500 only.

Exporting From Italy

If you’ll be buying souvenirs from Italy, you do not really have to worry about restrictions, since there is none. However, one exception to the rule would be works of art and antiques. Items like these would require authorization from the Ministero dei Beni Culturali e Ambientali, in order for you to export them.

Are You Canadian?

If you’re residing in Canada and you’re returning from an out of the country trip, then you could pass for personal exemption. Every article which you acquired from other countries, whether received as gifts, purchased, or bought from the duty free shop, either in Canada or abroad, should be declared on your return back to Canada.

Are You From The States?

If you’re a U.S. tourist, you are allowed to bring back home duty-free goods purchased abroad that values up to $400. Your goods should be with you as you travel. An assessment of 10% is imposed on your next $1,000 worth of purchased goods.

However, you can also send parcels, which contain gifts, back home duty-free, provided that each parcel that a person receives wouldn’t exceed $50. All packages that you would send should also have the mark “Unsolicited Gift”, and you should declare all the contents of the package and the amount that you paid for it.

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Three Destinations for a Cheap Greek Holiday

Three Destinations for a Cheap Greek Holiday

Three most popular destinations to visit in Greece is Pireus, otherwise known as the famous Athens, Kefalonia and Rhodes. There are many other destinations to see while in Greece, however, these are the areas that are most recommended for those that are first coming to the area, as well as those that want to see what is considered the most beautiful landscapes in all of Greece. You can get great cheap holidays to Greece so get out there and spoil yourself!

Athens

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Athens is the must see place for those that are taking a cruise to the area since it has the Greek culture that people expect. The area offers traditional architecture, as well as two of the must see places in the entire world. The Acropolis and the Parthenon are two places in which those who have been in any history class in the United States have learned about, being able to see these places in person is a once in a lifetime event. And one that can only happen if the person travels to Athens. When in the area, people should be certain to travel the city and sample the cuisine that is considered some of the best in all of Greece since it still relies on the history of the area, and this can be tasted in every food that is tasted.

Kefalonia

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Kefalonia is the place that any person who is just getting to Greece should visit. The people in the area are warm and receptive of visitors, making everyone feel welcome. In addition, this is where the photographs of Greece that people see throughout the world are usually taken because the beaches are beautiful and there are overabundances of olive groves that are picture perfect. The Makris Gialos Beach is probably the most photographed beach in the entire world and is worthy of the time to seek out and spend some time on.

Rhodes

Rhodes is a place that you must visit. Thus, those that are taking a Greece holiday must be sure to stop into the area. The most dominating feature that people come to see on the island is the medieval castle that dominates the shore. This is a beautiful piece of architecture that any person is going to find appealing. For those that do get to venture to the island, they should be certain to check out not only the castle, but the Palace of Grand Master of Knights, which is one of the most interesting things to do while on the island.

Taking a holiday to Greece is going to be wonderful, however, be sure to check out these three destinations in order to make sure that you get to experience everything that Greece has to offer.

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Italy’s Must See Museums

Italy is well known for being a country of culture. There are a great many artists and interesting historical figures who were born, lived or who were inspired by Italy that it is hard to visit any town in the country without having some reminder of its fantastic past. There are museums dotted all over the country including many well-known and some lesser known ones, but they all contain exhibits of global interest that are also extremely educational too.

Here are 3 of the best public museums in Italy that we believe are well worth a visit;

Uffizi Gallery in Florence is one such well-known tourist hotspot, and it is also one of the best things to see in Florence. It is home to some fabulous Italian Renaissance artists’ masterpieces. The down side to this very popular must see attraction is the fact it is so popular it is necessary to book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.

If staying for a while in Rome, a trip to the Vatican Museum is worthwhile. It is the largest museum complex in the world with over 1400 rooms filled with amazing art and historical relics. It is also possible to see the Sistine Chapel and certain parts of the Papal Palace. Again, advance booking is advised.

The National Archaeological Museum in Naples is home to fabulous Roman and Greek antiquities. For any fan of archaeology or even those with a slight curiosity, the National Archaeological Museum is a great place to visit. Many of the fascinating artefacts found there have been recovered from sites at Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Finding a cheap holiday deal to Italy is not always easy, especially in the peak season, however, once you are here you can visit many of Italy’s cherished historical sites and museums for very little money. If you have the budget then consider hiring a car on your trip as this is the easiest and cheapest way to visit museums and sites in different parts of the country.

 

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Turkey – The Land of Two Continents

Yes, you read it right! Turkey is a republican nation located on two continents-Europe and Asia, larger part of which lies in the latter. If you plan to visit this country, you would be actually planning to visit two continents which in itself is an amazing experience. Here is a list of the best places to travel this year in Turkey:

1. Istanbul

This largest city of Istanbul is famous for many places, one of them being the Topkapi palace. The palace with its lush green courtyards takes you all the way to ancient times as it is home to sultans and the royal families. This city does not let your historical experiences fade away easily as it is also home to the Blue Mosque, a marvel of 17th century and which is also a few mosques of the world to have six minarets. Facing it is the magnificent Aya Sofya, which dates back to 6th century and is a church turned mosque turned museum.

2. Antalya

Last year, this city bagged the honour of being the third most visited city of the world. This self describes the magnificence of this coastal city. Antalya is endowed with natural attraction of Duden waterfalls, which one cannot afford to miss. In terms of offering you rich historical experiences, this city is no less than Istanbul. Here lies the Antalya archaeological museum which takes you on a roller coaster ride from the pre historic times to the present. Antalya is also known for the ancient ruins at Perge and Termessos.

3. Bursa

The first site one can think of to visit in this city is the Great mosque. It is splendid specimen of architecture of the Ottoman empire of Turkey. Busra will also leave the fun and adventure lovers happy as here lies the Uludag Teleferik which is an adventure tram and is worth trying. The city also has complete arrangement to keep the ladies happy as well as here is the market Koza Hani, famous for sale of silk and scarves.

4. Trabzon

The city lies on the ancient silk route and this itself speaks of its historical significance. While in this city, you get to appreciate the religious diversity. This city is home to famous Sumela monastery and the Hagia Sophia church. Trabzon city also offers you a chance to view the rich biodiversity of Turkey at Altindere Vadisi National Park.

5. Uzungol

This city is far from the urban rush and noises. It offers you a peaceful stay near the villages where you can stroll trough in the evening. It is the place where you feel being in the nature’s lap. You can sit besides the lake, feed the ducks and simply count on the blessings of nature!

The list does not end. It is just that the beauty that Turkey is home to cannot be summed up in a few words. You ought to visit here to treasure the splendid architecture and natural sites of this country. And there are a number of travel agencies that can accommodate you in Trabzon, Uzungol like Alsahhab Travel Agency which can help in planning the complete tour for you. Come, visit the land of two continents!

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The Top Reasons To Move To Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay is a huge, natural harbor along the Gulf of Mexico. It is comprised of the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, and Clearwater. There are some great reasons to visit Tampa Bay for a short adventure, but there are also reasons to move there. Let’s explore some of them right now.

Economy

Tampa Bay is one of the top ten big metro areas for college-educated workers. The economy is booming here. There are a lot of 25-29-year-olds who have moved here to take advantage of the job market.

Education

Florida is the nation’s leader when it comes to high school seniors who are taking AP exams. More than 50% do. Florida youth get a great education, and you have children, then this is a good place to send them to school.

Great Parks And Recreation

Forget all the adventure parks, zoos, and aquariums in Tampa Bay, there are natural sights in abundance. Your children will have plenty to do in nature – which is healthier for them while they are growing up. Tampa Bay has world-renowned public spaces that serve as gathering places for friends, families, colleagues, and couples.

Sports

Tampa Bay is home to a lot of sports teams, such as the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rowdies, and Tampa Bay Rays.

Say Goodbye To Boredom

Tampa Bay is a truly charming city, with everything nice that a metropolitan place has to offer. It has theatres, museums, them parks, and more. Forget your troubles whenever you want. Just go out on the town and experience the exciting and rich nightlife of Tampa. Stay entertained during the day by visiting museums, zoos, adventure parks, and special events.

Tampa International Airport

Feel like getting away? You’re only a short distance away from Tampa International Airport, called “America’s Favorite Airport”. It’s one of the top ten cheapest airports in the nation for roundtrip fares.

Some Of The Best Universities

The University of South Florida is one of the top 50 institutions in the country for research expenditures, ranking up there with Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins. Your children will get an excellent education in the Florida public school system, and they can then go to the University of South Florida with in-state tuition.

Entrepreneurship

The start-up environment in Tampa Bay is really taking off. There are a number of programs and events that are happening all the time now. FastCompany magazine recently did a piece on the area.

Read More The Top Reasons To Move To Tampa Bay

Tips For A Successful Italy Vacation

Traveling to Italy is a dream by many. If this is your dream too and you’re now ready to make it reality, then here are some handy tips that you might want to try out to help make your dream a successful reality.

Learn!

As the famous saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” It’s quite a cliche if you think about it, but just like in traveling to any other country, you should learn about the country’s culture before you go there. You should research first about Italy’s customs, traditions and other vital data.

Advance Planning

Planning in advance is always the right thing to do with any kind of excursion. Take into consideration some vital factors. For instance, are you in need of some kind of medication? If yes, then you should always have your medication around with you. Thus, appropriate documentation would be needed to prove so, in order for you to bring it. Even though there’s a chance that you can get the same medication in Italy, there is also a chance that you may not. Thus, playing safe would be better than risking it at all.

Additionally, you should think about whether you want to drive around the city or not. You should find out if you’ll be allowed to drive around Italy with just your regular license, or if you’d have to go get an “international driving license’ in order for you to drive. Also, if you’re not that familiar with what international road signs look like, then you should do your research and familiarize yourself!

If you’ll be driving, it would be best to do an advance check on your route. In that way you have less chances of getting loss and you can have at least some knowledge on where you’ll be going before you even get there. You should also research and know the road rules in Italy, so that you won’t get into any trouble or commit violations when driving.

Know The Spots

Before going out your hotel room, it would also be best to create a list of all the scenic spots and things that you would want to see. Try researching them first before heading out. This is so that you won’t waste your time, since some museums, events or exhibits are quite time sensitive, which is why you’d definitely want to be sure that you’re visiting on the right timing to see all that you want to see.

Nowadays, almost all museums and art galleries have a Web page. It’s pretty easy to surf the Internet and check their sites so that you would know their opening and closing times.

Get Connected

If you’re someone who needs to have his or her cell phone all the time, there’s a way in which you can make it work in Italy. You can get a specialized card that can make your phone capable in receiving signal while in Italy. You can ask your service provider regarding that matter.

Additionally, if you’ll be bringing your laptop computer, you should be sure that you have your transformers with you and some converters, just in case the voltages in the plugs are different from the ones that are conventionally used in your country. Also, do not forget to bring any documentation that may be needed.

Consider A vacation Rental
Italy is not a cheap country to stay in. If you are planning on touring one particular region for a period of time, and you are in a group, consider taking a vacation rental rather than staying in a hotel as this could make you a significant saving. It’s possible to stay in one place and still be able to tour whole areas such as Tuscany, Sicily, Umbria etc. There are plenty of vacation villas in Italy available from online agents that can be booked online before you go.

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Choosing a Vacation in Greece

Choosing a Vacation in Greece

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If you are looking for Greece holidays this year then you may be considering somewhere on the mainland, or you could be thinking of one of the islands instead. If you want to enjoy a sun-filled holiday with beautiful beaches and plenty of other things to see and do, then you may want to consider a holiday on the island of Kos.

There are many different places to stay in Kos and if you are planning on spending the entire holiday relaxing on the beach then Mastichari is an ideal choice. Here you will find a stunning beach with clear waters where you can spend the day soaking up the sun.

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For those who want to pack in a bit more on their Greece holiday, a two hour ferry trip to the island of Nissyros is something to consider. This is a volcanic island that you will remember forever. You could also choose to go to Stephanos to see where some of the James Bond Moonraker film was made. The landscape here resembles the moon.

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Honestly speaking, there are just so many choices of holidays as far as Greek islands are concerned. From the ever popular Athens, where one can visit the amazing Parthenon or the Acropolis, to Samos, Lesbos, Santorini, Rhodes and Crete, each island is just so unique and beautiful in its own way. There is also plenty of history, culture as well as heritage to experience in Greece.

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The great thing about Greece holidays this year is that you can get them for a really reduced price because of the current economic climate. While the choices may be overwhelming to some, it is easy to find the perfect holiday to Greece if you look online or visit your local travel agent.

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