Although Italy has long been the destination for many tourists who nourish the dream of visiting well-known cities such as Rome or Venice, directly across the Adriatic Sea to the east lie a variety of places with their own unique delights.
While the nations that make up the former Yugoslavia may not be among the first places that come to mind when people speak of international vacation stops, a decade of conflict followed by a decade of rest and rejuvenation have made this region an intriguing option for international travelers.
Rich in ancient cities, distinctive cultures, and coastal beauty, the countries and cities of the eastern Adriatic are attracting more and more visitors each year. Here are some sample destinations.
In Montenegro, the oceanside city of Kotor is a destination that has a plenitude of historic monuments and gorgeous views. On the coast of the Adriatic, this city offers travelers a wealth of opportunities for your camera that encompass both the antique works of humans and the ancient labors of nature.
Kotor is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, most notably for its Venetian walls and architecture, which date back to the 14th century. However, it was first settled during the Roman Empire and possess a long and storied past.
Northwest of Montenegro, the unusually shaped Croatia boasts the coastal city of Rovinj, which boasts 134 sunny days a year. Its beautiful Golden Cape Forest Park was cultivated during the 19th century by a knight from Trieste. More than a century has passed and allowed it to mature to a place of stunning scenery beloved to nature enthusiasts and cyclists. No motor vehicles are allowed in the park.
Anyone with an interest in archaeology should visit the Monkodonjo, an ancient hill settlement dating back to the Bronze Age. The nearby town of Dvigrad was abandoned entirely in the 17th century, and offers visitors the experience of a medieval “ghost town” with crumbling buildings and churches untouched by recent habitation.
In addition to attractions for the history-minded traveler, sport fishing and sunbathing on the beaches are popular activities here.
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The name “Bosnia” is probably enough to give anyone over thirty a feeling of anxiety, yet the nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has attracted large numbers of travelers in the twenty-first century. Reasons to visit Sarajevo include the glimpse of a city where three extremely disparate cultures met: the Ottoman Muslims from the Turkish Empire to the south, the Roman Catholics from the West, and Eastern Orthodox Christians from the Byzantine empire in the East.
Sarajevo is also a living monument of centuries of conflict. Ironically, the city now ranks as one of the safest in Eastern Europe. Its ancient streets, still scarred by the wars that only concluded with the 20th century, still bear the numerous scars of conflict.
Yet it is considered an extremely friendly place, and has become ever more popular with tourists for its Europe-meets-the-East style. Sarajevo shows how peace can at last be attained, despite centuries of fighting.
Whether you’re an expert diver, a casual snorkeler, or you don’t swim at all, you simply can’t go to Cairns without seeing the magnificent natural wonders of the massive Great Barrier Reef. But with hundreds of tour packages from dozens of agencies spanning the 2,000 plus kilometres of the incredible coral formations, choosing the best way to see the Great Barrier can be something of a conundrum. Not to worry; here are a few top-notch tours with enough flexibility and sheer value to satisfy any aspiring explorer.
FNQ Travel Seven-Night Trip Turns Your Barrier Visit Into the Ultimate Vacation
If you’re a serious diving enthusiast and really want to make the most of your visit to the Great Barrier Reef, there’s simply no comparing when it comes to this seven-night “Ultimate” live aboard dive trip, which includes over 25 unique opportunities for quality dives into a huge range of stunning landmarks along the reef. Lizard Island, Osprey, the famous Cod Hole, and the Ribbon Reefs are just a few of the many destinations in this incomparable package, which includes transportation by bus and boat, dive equipment, your choice of personal cabin (including an optional Stateroom with queen bed, private bathroom, and television), chef-made meals prepared on board, local wines, and much more. Not a diver? If you can pony up the cash, this trip may well be worth your time even if you’re not planning to go below the ocean’s surface. Seeing all of the magnificent sites surrounding the Great Barrier Reef in just one or two days is impossible, and this really is the “full meal deal.”
[Image courtesy of Toby Hudson /en.wikipedia.org]
Don’t Have Time to Explore by Boat? Take a Helicopter to Soar Above the Reef
You can get to parts of the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns in just half an hour by helicopter, leaving the maximum amount of valuable vacation time for snorkelling, scuba diving, or exploring nearby islands. Besides the time advantage, seeing the reef from the skies may just be the best way to appreciate the sheer size and wonder of the world’s most spectacular coral reef system, which spans over 340,000 kilometres (way too much to see by boat). In fact, the Great Barrier Reef can be seen from space! You won’t get quite that high with a dedicated helicopter tour, but the views will still be plenty impressive. GBR Helicopters and many other local Cairns providers specialize in customizable visits to the area.
Other Plans for Your Cairns Vacation? Take a Relaxing Day Trip With Reef Experience
Maybe you don’t have the dough for a personal helicopter tour or the time for an extravagant week-long dive trip? That’s too bad, but don’t let it get in the way of your Cairns vacation where you’re sure to enjoy a bundle of other activities and excitement. Still, you should try and dedicate at least one day to the Great Barrier Reef, and the catamaran trips offered by Reef Experience are a pretty dandy way to do just that. The day trips include barbeque breakfast, lunch buffet, complimentary wine, snorkelling equipment and optional tutorial, an introductory diving course and gear, and much more. The catamaran is super quick, allowing up to six hours of quality snorkelling time at a range of magnificent locations on the reef. This trip is great for casual adventurers and experienced swimmers alike, and is a fantastic way to get a first taste of the mind-boggling ecosystems that await, hidden just below the ocean’s sparkling surface.
Never mind the fact that’s it’s largely considered one of the “seven natural wonders of the world,” the Great Barrier Reef is a staple destination in Australia’s rich heritage of quality eco tourism. These tours are a perfect example of that, but if they don’t suit your needs, remember there’s no shortage of other Great Barrier Reef tours available from dozens of other quality tour companies in Cairns. The most important thing is to make some time to see firsthand the pristine marine landscape that defines Cairn’s most fragile, precious wildlife gem.
Before going to a different country or a new place, it is important that you perform some research first. The following are some of the things that you as a traveler need to bear in mind before making up your mind to travel to Korea.
To start with, obtaining flight tickets to Seoul does not wholly guarantee you entrance. Nationals form various countries are supposed to obtain visas from the Korean embassies back in their home nations to enter legally. Depending on the purpose of entry, an appropriate visa is going to be issued. Legal procedures should be followed after the submission of the outlined requirements.
Travelers also need to bear in mind that it is not all the Koreans can converse fluently in English. In some of the cases it has been realized that some of them usually get terrified being addressed in that foreign language. But signs have translations and taxis have free interpreters. Thus, travelers need to take time and study even the basic phrases. It would be enough to use simple greetings such as “kamsahamnida” meaning thank you.
As a tourist, you need to stay informed of the Korean weather conditions before you decide to travel. Spring comes between March/April to May/June. Summer falls between June/July to August. Autumn falls between August/September to November/December. Winters comes in between November or December to February or March.
The benefit of knowing the seasons is because it will help in selecting the type of clothing you should bring about. For those who live in subtropical and tropical nations, the cold seasons can be literally very cold for them. It is advisable to bring scarves, earmuffs, jackets and coats when visiting in such a season. Staying comfortable during the nights is assured of as most of hotels in this country have heaters installed in the rooms.
The above sums up some of the things a tourist should know before heading to Korea. A travel adventure is truly worth the experience in case you are prepared to travel to this wonderful nation.