Five Activity Ideas for Your Barge Holiday in France

Cruising along a French canal and taking in the charm of the surrounding scenery is certainly a highlight of exploring this beautiful country by boat, but the joys of taking a barge holiday in France extend beyond the waterways to cover a whole range of exciting excursions and activities, with something to suit every taste and all ages. Read on for some of the most memorable.



Get Active

While a barge holiday in France is the perfect opportunity to relax, it is also worth taking advantage of the opportunities the French countryside offers for more active pursuits, such as cycling, walking or horse riding, all of which can be combined with barge travel. Canal routes also pass by some of France’s finest golf courses, offering golfers the chance to play a round or two.

 Paint a Picture

The idyllic scenery on display during a barge holiday in France is an artist’s dream, and what better way to preserve the experience than by painting a picture to take home – especially in a country that has produced so many renowned artists? The number of scenes to choose from – including picturesque old towns and villages and peaceful canal banks – offer plenty of opportunities for doing so, and the experience of painting a beautiful scene can be just as special as the results.

Enjoy the Cuisine

As well as the scenery and the culture, one of the most appealing aspects of a barge holiday in France is the fantastic food on offer. France is justifiably famous for its cuisine, which contains regional dishes from all around the country, and exploring the provinces by barge allows visitors to try some of the regional specialties at their most authentic. With the fertile farmland and bustling market towns, the country’s finest produce is at your fingertips.

Discover Local History

The history of France is a fascinating and layered one, filled with varied cultural influences and dramatic events, and some of the country’s most interesting historic sites are to be found along its waterways, from Roman ruins to striking chateaux – and even the canals themselves, some of which date back to the seventeenth century.

Watch the Wildlife

For lovers of nature, a barge holiday in France is a wonderful opportunity to see some incredible wildlife up close. The busy ecosystem of the water’s edge is thriving with plants and animals, with something different to see in every season, so that this is always a journey of discovery. From an exciting array of avian life to the fish that swim underneath the barge, there is plenty to be seen. Especially fun for those travelling as a family is to see who can spot the most different species of creatures along the way.

Indochina Tours

Indochina is a peninsula in Southeast Asia not far from the Southwest of China and East of India which is becoming increasingly popular amongst adventurist tourists for tours and traveling. Indochina tours offer everything from cultural experiences to serene paradise and with tours ranging from differing duration periods there is much to sample. With package Indochina tours you can get a taste of everything; from the nostalgia and social mystique of Hanoi, to the ancient temples of a once powerful civilization in Angkor. You truly can discover the very best of Vietnam and Cambodia.

As one of the destinations you will visit Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam and the country’s second largest city has much to offer the traveler. In terms of entertainment there are a variety of options throughout the city with a mix of modern and traditional theaters, dance clubs and a shear abundance of shopping and leisure pursuits. Hanoi much like many parts of Vietnam has an extremely high population density and as a result many major shopping centers have been built up across the cities various districts.

For the food connoisseur Hanoi has a rich food tradition which does not disappoint. Rice, noodle and soup dishes are incredibly popular as well as the local street food. For those wishing to try something a bit more adventurous Indochina Tours can provide the opportunity to sample unusual cuisine such as snake and various species of insects.

Contrastingly Angkor, the ancient region in Cambodia which flourished in the 9th to 15th centuries offers much of a historical and cultural experience. Amongst which you can find ancient ruins located amid forests and farmlands. Some important information to remember is that the high season runs from November to March, when the weather usually stays fair. Late October and November, the country us still lush after the rains and there will be fewer tourists around. Be sure to take with you comfortable and sensible shoes with good soles. The temple and ruin paving’s can become uneven and slippery when wet and it’s always best to avoid injuries!

The beauty of Indochina tours is that there is so much on offer throughout the various locations you can visit. You won’t get ‘templed out’ by seeing one ancient ruin after another. More to the contrary you will be sampling and delighting in a wealth of culture and exotic locations that you have never before experienced.

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Morzine Summer – A Beautiful Time of the Year

Those that are looking for a great summer holiday will want to consider a summer holiday in the alps.  A Morzine summer could be the perfect way to spend a few weeks relaxing.  If you are not sure where to start then you should try looking at Skizeen, where you will be able to plan for a fantastic summer holiday in the Alps, in the lovely village of Morzine.


There will be more activities to engage in than you could ever fit in to your stay – in this amazing little village in the Alps.  Once you have experienced your first Morzine summer you will never want to do anything else with your summers.

Before you make your decision, however, you should take a look at what activities you will be able to par take in, including: Kayaking, White water rafting, Tennis, Explore charming Alpine villages, Cycle the famous climbs of the Tour de France, Go walking on some of the 400 miles of marked trails the Portes du Soleil has to offer, the Morzine swimming pool complex offers an Olympic size pool, kids pool and water slide and more

Wondering where you will be able to stay when you summer in the alps?  Well, you will be pleased to know that you can take advantage of Skizeen’s self-catered and catered chalets.  No matter which one you go with you will find that there are some amazing packages that you can take part in.

Those individuals that love the water will see that a Morzine summer is an amazing option as there are so many wonderful activities that can be enjoyed.  These include white water rafting, cannoning, kayaking and even hydro speeding.  These are some really amazing ways to spend the day on the water.

If you fancy an active holiday then a vacation in the Alps is also a great choice. If you think that you want to do something more exciting and something that is going to help you expend some extra energy then you will want to think about mountain biking in the Alps.  You will be able to sign up for a number of different bike tours or even walking tours when you get to your chalet or your hotel.  If you take your own bike you will find that there are places to store them and even places to wash your bikes.

So what are you waiting for? Book a Summer in the Alps today!

Seeing Miami from the Water on a Miami Boat Rental

Traveling to Miami is a great way to enjoy a vacation, but South Beach can easily become overcrowded. This is when you should consider a Miami boat rental to get away from the crowds and allow yourself to unwind and relax. Some of the reasons why you would want to see Miami from the water on a charter yacht in Miami is the extra privacy you can have, the chance to see more of the sights which are in the area, and even getting to enjoy swimming without the crowds of people. Swimming can be a really enjoyable time, but if you are at the beach and a lot of people are swimming it can be hard to enjoy yourself. However, when you are onboard a charter yacht you will see Miami from the water. Swimming at the sandbar, enjoying the sights and sounds of Miami from your own private charter yacht for the day is a special way to spend your Miami vacation.

Miami Boat Rental

Miami Boat Rental

Extra privacy is something you can enjoy immensely while taking these types of trips. Your crew will attend to your safety and will assure that you have a fun day on the water.

Sightseeing on your charter yacht is a wonderful thing to do. Cruising the bay and enjoying sights such as Biscayne Bay, Bayside Marketplace Marina, Star Island, Fisher Island, mansions such as Scarface Mansion from the movie. Also, check out the digs from Dexter. You may even catch a glimpse of a water chase scene being filmed from Burn Notice, CSI-Miami, or the many movies that are filmed in Miami.

Chartering a yacht or boat rental in Miami is perfect for families, small groups of 12 or less, or for a romantic day or evening for couples. Renting a boat for a marriage proposal is special. Just ask about our Proposal dinner package for two. Whether your group wants to jet ski, swim, soak up the sun or just relax, we can take care of the details.

Boat rentals and yacht charters in Miami affords one the day to enjoy the water, see the local sights, have privacy and be a king for the day! Experience Miami from the water in a private boat rental. For your special day on the water, give Terri a call and get out on the water today!

Explore Namche Bazaar On An Everest Base Camp Trek

If you are heading out on an Everest Base Camp trek, there are many exciting experiences and new sights awaiting you, from the stunning views to the cultural gems to be found along the route. A place that combines both the cultural and natural wonders of the Himalayas is Namche Bazaar which, located at 3,500 metres, is one of the first main stops on the trek, where travellers are encouraged to take some time to rest and acclimatise themselves. With its lively atmosphere, beautiful surrounding landscapes, and interesting cultural attractions, there is plenty to see and do – here are some of them.


Travellers who stop in Namche Bazaar on their Everest Base Camp trek usually do so via the route from Lukla, which can be trekked in a day but is often spread over two for better acclimatisation. Once in Namche Bazaar itself, trekkers will find a welcoming and easygoing village with a range of cafes and restaurants, accommodation and shopping, as well as other useful facilities such as money exchanges. In terms of climate, the weather tends to be cold throughout the year, and warm clothes are a must – thankfully, extra layers of clothing can be easily purchased here, along with any extra trekking gear that travellers may wish to buy before continuing on their way.

What to Do

As well as ambling through the village and watching local life bustle by, or relaxing in one of the many good eateries, there is much to do for those interested in learning about local history and culture during their Everest Base Camp trek. Museums include the Museum of Tibetan Herbal Medicine, and the insightful Museum of Sherpa Life, while for gaining a good feel of what traditional life is like in a Sherpa village the weekly Namche Market, which occurs every Saturday morning, is always interesting. To aid with acclimatisation, there are a variety of short treks that can be made from the village, with plenty of attractive scenery and worthwhile sites to visit along the way.

Namche Bazaar: History

The village that today’s visitors see when they stop there on the Everest Base Camp trek route is a very different place to the Namche Bazaar of a century ago, which in turn was very different to its earlier incarnations. Originally a simple trading post, conveniently located at a point where mountain trade routes crossed, it grew slowly into a small village – until the advent of Everest exploration, when it saw a new kind of traffic: hopeful mountaineers on their way to tackle the great mountain. Given its altitude, it is an ideal spot for acclimatisation, and so has grown along with the popularity of Himalayan trekking, while still retaining its local ambiance.

Discount Las Vegas Hotels

Are you a veteran gambler that looks forward to a relaxing weekend gambling in Las Vegas? Or are you looking forward to a pleasant honeymoon location where you and your fiance can stay once you get married? In the event you answered yes to either of those questions, but you only have a modest budget for your stay, then maybe you should begin trying to find discount Las Vegas hotels.

Discount Las Vegas hotels are hotels in Las Vegas that provide a low rate and discount to travelers and other guests. Some of those resorts offer up to a 40% to 70% reduction on the published rates and also supply free breakfast included in the bundle. Discount Las Vegas hotels also offer excellent savings and free services on family holiday bookings in addition to group bookings.

Some of the discount hotels you could find in Las Vegas contain the Riviera Hotel and Casino, which is located right on Las Vegas Strip and only one block from the Convention Center; Tuscany Suites Hotel and Casino, located only two blocks away of the Strip; Best Western Mardi Gras Suites and Casino, also located one block south of the Convention Center; and Siena Suites, which is just a few brief minutes from the Las Vegas Strip and McCarran International Airport.


All these reduction Las Vegas hotels are quite affordable and may provide you with excellent general amenities such as a big casino, quiet pool, and breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets. Private amenities include dry cleaning and laundry services, daily maid service, wedding coordinators for individuals who intend to get married in Vegas, multilingual staff, and express check out.

In Addition, there are also room amenities and business amenities that include fridges, hair dryers, optional irons and ironing boards, and full service business centres.

A grand vacation in Las Vegas need not be pricey. With these discount Las Vegas hotels, you might get a perfect holiday and feel completely at home while traveling.

Explore the Gastronomic Heart of Italy

Italy is a reputable haven for the discerning traveller who also has a passion for food. With its delicious culinary specialities and huge variety of ingredients there is little wonder that Italy is so well-known in the gastronomic world. The island of Sicily lies at the foot of Italy, just to the north of Africa and is an abundant producer of some of the country’s most famous products. Home to over one third of Italy’s organic farms the volcanic soils and the Mediterranean climate provide the perfect foundations for producing top quality ingredients.

If you choose to stay in one of the wonderful villas in Sicily that are available to rent, you have the freedom to hire a car and embark on your Sicilian culinary journey at your own pace. Villas in Sicily are the most convenient accommodation option for those people wanting to travel independently and discover the real heart of the island, where the hospitality and culinary traditions are at their most authentic. The villas in Sicily are offered on a self-catering basis giving you the flexibility to choose where you would like to eat each day or even cook for yourself using some of the ingredients available from the many markets.


Villas in Sicily

A Taste of Traditional Sicilian Food

Food and Italy go hand in hand and community traditions often revolve around the table. Different products are celebrated at different times throughout the year and food is as strongly linked to the family circle today as it ever has been.

Sicilian pasta and bread are made form durum wheat, a hard course grain that produces a high quality pasta. When durum wheat is finely ground, it is used in a long fermentation process to produce some of the island’s most popular breads.

Some of the more common dishes you will find on the menu include the aubergine caponata, a stewed dish of aubergines, tomatoes and capers, and Pasta alla Norma, which is made with aubergines and smoked mozzarella. Couscous is a popular staple on the island having been introduced by the North Africans. Usually flavoured with seafood and saffron the couscous dishes are a main feature of the menu. Spaghetti with wild fennel and anchovies has a distinct, but exquisite flavour and the sardines stuffed with the beautiful capers grown on the island should not be missed.

Olive oil produced on Sicily is often served in its own right with simple bread and cheese as an accompaniment. The cheeses, such as caciocavallo and pecorino are aged to different strengths in order to make them available throughout the year. Originally sheep and goats were the main producers of milk on the island but today the government subsidies have meant that more cattle can be farmed, in turn producing more cheese made from cow’s milk. These often have a detectable hint of wild herb flavour depending on where the cows have been grazing. Cheese and wine go hand in hand, so make sure you indulge in some of the Sicilian favourites, which include the delightful Nero D’Avola.

The Arabs brought many of the nuts, citrus fruits and the idea of dried fruits to Sicily, many of which are used today in the selection of sweet treats and ice-creams available.

Stay in one of the beautiful villas in Sicily and enjoy your gastronomic adventure from a comfortable, stylish and relaxing base.

Traveling to Bhutan

Choose Pantha as your Bhutan tour guide. 

Bhutan is a fascinating country, renowned for its Gross National Happiness policy and mystical Himalayan landscape. It has a thriving and vibrant culture with colorful handicrafts and unique architecture.  If you are planning to travel to Bhutan in 2013 you might consider hiring a guide.

Journeys with Pantha  offers expert tours of Bhutan.  Pantha has been leading journeys to the Himalayas since 1996.  She regularly visits Bhutan, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and West Bengal.   Pantha’s contacts in Bhutan are fantastic; great tour guides, lovely accommodations and wonderful food, and best of all – wonderful hosts!

There are two standard tours and two artistic painting tours scheduled for 2013.  The standard tours are October 20-30th and the other December 1-11th.

Bhutan Itinerary’s Include:

  • Thimphu – The capital of Bhutan
  • Punakha – A couple of hrs drive from Thimphu via the stunning Dochu la pass.
  • Bumthang Valley – A days travel through the beautiful Bhutanese countryside into Central Bhutan.
  • Paro – Visiting the magnificent Tigers Nest (Taktsang Monastery)  is one of the highlights of our visit to Bhutan.

For Artistic Travelers Pantha has two Painting Retreats Scheduled in Bhatan

October 13th-19th and Decemver 12th – 18th 2013.

Bhutan has an immense beauty and a vibrant culture.  The painting retreats will allow time for inspiration and sketching as you explore a variety of spectacular Himalayan landscapes including Taktsang (Tigers Nest) and Cheli la Pass.

If you’re considering hiring a guide for your Bhutan trip be sure to contact Pantha at Journeys with Pantha.  Her personal relationships in both business and religious circles give access to amazing people, and places throughout the trip.

The Top 5 Benefits of Staying in a Self Catering Holiday Cottage

Most of us are too used to having everything done for us when on holiday. We let the travel agent show us hotels and then conveniently wrap it up into a package holiday. This means one thing more often than not, poor service. Many holidaymakers in England are deciding to stay in the country and book a self catering holiday cottage, here’s why…

  1. Superior Quality Accommodation

Holiday cottages are usually owner by a single family. Often they use the cottage for themselves for little breaks. This means you get all the little personal touches which make the place feel like a home rather than a stale hotel room. You are more likely to find luxury items like a jacuzzi or elegant patio too.

  1. Great Value

When staying in a self catering cottage you won’t be paying for all those behind the scenes services and facilities. What you see is what you get. That means you pay to stay in a place with no hidden charges. You pay a reasonable rate for your rental and of course save on airfares too.

  1. Beautiful Locations

England has some amazing scenery but us Brits are too used to ignoring it for abroad. Counties like Cornwall in the south and Northumberland in the North have picturesque coast lines. Holiday cottages are often set within their own grounds in the countryside, with only a local farmer as a neighbour.

  1. Endless Choices

There are hundreds of properties to choose from right across the country. You can opt for a quaint, traditional cottage or something more modern. There are some truly unique options too like The Ducket in Northumberland, which is a converted lighthouse and winner of the Best Unique Retreat at the recent Unique Holiday Cottages Awards

  1. Take Your Holiday Anytime

British weather isn’t the best but you will often be able to make a booking at the last minute for a quick weekend break when you see a favourable weather forecast. There is no need to plan too far in advance, just pick up the phone and then drive to your little holiday home for a well earned rest.

If you are ready to make the switch Unique Holiday Cottages is a great place to start searching. They have beautiful luxury self catering holiday cottages across England and Wales. Their site features multiple photos for all cottages and makes choosing the perfect break easy.