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A Blind Trip to Pulga, Kasol and Kheerganga

Would you be ready to go on a blind trip? They are also called surprise trips and mystery trips. I have always been excited about the possib...

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Discover hidden myths, taste diverse food and sleep below a sky full of shooting stars and galaxies every night. Our guides will help budget travelers to travel more, and explore more destinations.

10 Best Boutique Hotels in Goa

Lined alongside the palm-fringed shorelines and lively bars are the boutique hotels in Goa. Endowed with a remarkable blend of Portuguese colonial architectural and chic modern facilities, they offer an exotic Goa beach holiday.

Go, Goa, Gone - it truly stands for all the backpackers who want to head towards an exciting vacation in Goa. Goa is one of the best places to visit in India. The sand and the beaches, the coconut trees and the bike rides, all these make Goa a memorable place.

From the secluded beaches of Mandrem to busy beaches of Baga, hippie-market of Anjuna or scenic Palolem, Goa is a favourite destination for all kinds of travellers. Famous for its soft sandy beaches, palm-fringed shoreline, cosmopolitan culture, enthralling nightlife and scrumptious seafood, Goa is one place where you don't need company to party.

Goa sounds exciting! Goa has emerged as the hot tourist destination with the perfect combination of blues and greens stretching along the Arabian Sea. Right from the sun kissed beaches to wooded hills, lush paddy fields to charming churches, tortuous rivers to mind blowing Portuguese architecture, Goa has it all to lure tourists to this heavenly destination.

It is a true paradise for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, beach lovers and photographers. For adventure lovers, there are a variety of water sports activities like scuba diving, parasailing, white water rafting, windsurfing, kayaking, water skiing and a lot more. You name it and Goa has it all!

Goa is rightly known as the party hub of India, so on your Goa holiday, you get to experience a vibrant nightlife with a lively atmosphere. On your visit to Goa, do not miss to try some lip-smacking local dishes and mouth-watering seafood.

North and South Goa both have their unique advantages and it totally depends on what your requirements are. North Goa is more for shopping, crowded beaches, late-night parties at the beachside with loud music, and dance. Titos lane at Baga Beach is the hub for dance, party, and shopping. It remains open till 4 am and is a great place for fun. A wide variety of delicious Seafood can be enjoyed. North Goa gives the true feel of Goa never sleeps.

On the other hand, South Goa is a peaceful ambiance and ideal for a family vacation. Most of the famous luxury resorts are situated here only. As many properties here have the facility of private beach it offers a perfect place to unwind. Famous beached in South Goa. Both North and South Goa are absolutely beautiful places and if time permits one must cover both otherwise one can select as per preference.

In addition to beaches, one can cover stunning huge Churches, fort Agoda, and temples. Goa is also famous for a wide variety of adventurous Water sports.

Best Boutique Hotels in Goa

For a luxury stay in Goa, here is the list of best boutique hotels in Goa, suited to all wallet sizes.

1. Sur La Mer

Su La Mer is one of the top luxury boutique hotels in Goa. It has 14 royal and deluxe rooms brimmed with elegance that offers homely feels where you can plan an extended stay. For magical nights, there is a swish treehouse cabin at this property with dark-wooden interiors and canopy views through the windows. If you have a big appetite, go for the F&B experience that serves fresh and locally found foods.

2. Casa Da Praia

A Bed & Breakfast hotel, Casa Da Praia is a lavishly designed Portuguese House and an Annex Building in a similar style. They have nine individual units, some of which have interconnected doors. You can stay at this property in Goa and enjoy freshly prepared breakfast by the swimming pool within the landscaped gardens.

3. Shanti Morada

On your Goa trip, choose Shanti Morada as it offers luxurious rooms with antique wood fittings, clawfoot tubs, and Goan pizazz. Make the most of the outdoor pool with an elevated kiddie pool attached and located beside a cascading artificial waterfall that can be viewed from your private terrace. For extra fun, there is a pool table at the salon where hours of togetherness can be spent with family and friends.

4. Resort Coqueiral

Resort Coqueiral is a luxury boutique beach hotel in Goa that has impressive Portuguese architecture. The rooms are aesthetically furnished offering views of the swimming pool and the pristine beach. Nestled amidst palm trees and well-manicured gardens, you can enjoy a relaxed stay at one of the best boutique beach resorts in north Goa.

5. Grand Hyatt

One of the best luxury hotels in Goa, Grand Hyatt is spread across acres of tropical gardens and lush lawns. It welcomes guests to stay in their elegant rooms, enjoy at a 23 m outdoor pool, and have a delightful dinner at the private beach area. The Shamana Spa and sauna facilities and The Capiz Bar and The Pool Bar & Grill make this one of the top places to stay in Goa.

6. Coconut Creek Resort

Stay at Coconut Creek Resort, one of the best beach resorts in Goa. Also titled the Pride of South Goa beach resorts, this property is the essence of Goan hospitality and exquisite dining. This resort features a lagoon-shaped outdoor pool and a restaurant. All the rooms at this property are equipped with tea/coffee making facilities, minibar, satellite TV, private bathroom with stone bathtub, and walk-in shower room. You can participate in a yoga class and relax with a relaxing massage at the resort’s spa.

7. Beleza By The Beach

Set on the pristine and white sandy beaches of Colva in South Goa, Beleza By The Beach offers plush rooms and villas for the best stay in Goa. If you want to spend time in a meditative environment, Beleza By The Beach is the perfect boutique hotel you can choose. Relax in the sauna and indulge in pampering spa treatments available at this property. A separate kid’s pool, a well-equipped fitness center, and an all-day dining restaurant, Tentacao is also offered at Beleza By The Beach.

8. The Tamarind Hotel Anjuna

Located in the heart of Anjuna, The Tamarind Hotel provides one of the best stays in Goa. With 26 beautifully designed airy rooms, this hotel has a swimming pool nestled by tall palm trees that make for a refreshing dip. In addition, The Tamarind Hotel has a lounge bar in Alice in Wonderland theme on-site, which is perfect for kids. There is also an on-site Cotinga Cafe ideal for afternoon hangouts.

9. Casa Colvale

Casa Colvale, flanked by a meandering river, is unarguably one of the best heritage hotels in Goa. Its rustic charm is a major attraction that dates back to the 2nd century. Covered by the expanses of lush paddy fields and the waves of the Chapora River, Casa Colvale is perfect to stay at on your Goa heritage tour. This peaceful property has a lovely outdoor swimming pool, well-furnished guestrooms, and an in-house restaurant, which makes your stay enjoyable.

10. Ahilya by the Sea

Rustic villas, dolphins scampering in the bay, and a beautiful treehouse in an ancient banyan tree welcomes you at Ahilya by the Sea. The swimming pools – one for sun, one for shade – along with sculptures, well-decorated grounds, and arty knick-knacks, makes this one of the famous boutique hotels in north Goa. For the best stay experience, rejuvenate your mind and body at the wellness centre present at this property.

For a delightful luxury stay, choose these best boutique hotels in Goa. Make your Goa holiday magical by staying at one of the Goa boutique hotels and have the best time of your life with your close ones.

4 Ways to Travel from Delhi to Shimla

Shimla, a beautiful hill station in the northern region of India is a place beloved not only by the locals but also by all those who travel there. It is also one of the most visited weekend getaways by Indians when they want to escape from the scorching heat and travel to somewhere more pleasant. This beautiful hill station is the capital of Himachal Pradesh.

It is laced with thick beautiful and dense forests gladdened with pine, oak and deodar. It has many recreational activities waiting for tourists to enjoy and experience. It is very picturesque making it the perfect getaway for photographers looking to capture nature in all its glory. Accommodations and food is very reasonable. It caters to any kind of budget; be it expensive or reasonable and affordable.

People from Delhi often seek the pleasantry of the cool and mild climate of Shimla as an escape from the summer heat. It is a refuge for those who want an ideal, fun, lazy getaway with great food and great accommodation and pristine beauty of nature.

Apart from flight there are other ways to travel to Shimla from Delhi. You can take the train, a bus or also your own car. And although the journey via bus and car can prove to be a bit longer as compared to the other two, the journey is worth it.

how to reach shimla from delhi

You can compare the price of flight ticket to that of a bus and a train and make your choice accordingly.

1. By Flight

The Shimla Airport is located around 23km away from the main city in a place called Jubbarhatti. Search for flight ticket which starts from ₹1000 and it varies depending on the date of travel, the airline and also the class that you wish to travel in. The approximate time taken to reach Shimla from Delhi is around 1hr 10 mins; given that there are no layovers.

After you have landed, there are taxis everywhere around the airport so you can easily book one and travel to the main city. It will also be more convenient if you can book the taxi in advance via travel or tourism agencies in Shimla or Jubbarhatti so that you don't have to waste precious time looking for taxis especially during peak tourist season.

2. By Bus

If you don't want to travel by flight, you can also choose buses as a means of transportation. The distance between Delhi and Shimla is around 355 km. The time taken to arrive will be a lot more if you choose to travel by bus because it takes around 10 hours to reach the destination. However if you still want to travel via bus, you can easily head over to Kashmiri Gate where the ISBT is located.

There you can find many buses that travel back and forth from Delhi to Shimla. The tickets start from ₹500- ₹1000 depending on whether you want to travel in a non AC, AC, a Volvo etc because prices differ accordingly.

3. By Train

Currently there are no direct train services from Delhi to Shimla. However you can take trains that connect these two cities. You may take the Delhi-Kalka line from Delhi and upon reaching Kalka you may board the line that connects Kalka-Shimla. The journey from Kalka to Shimla is breathtaking and also you will be taking the famous toy train that connects these places. It has been considered a world heritage and also you will be able to enjoy the serene and tranquil beauty of the hill station.

4. By Car

If you want to save money on train, bus or flight ticket and want your journey from Delhi to Shimla to be a road trip, the best route you can take is via NH 44, 152 and 5. This route will save you more time and will help you get there within 7-8 hours. There are also many nice rest stops like roadside restaurants, beautiful monuments, parks, sanctuaries and temples between these two places if you take the above mentioned route.

It will help you get out and relax instead of being stuck inside your car for hours. However, be mindful of the weather conditions of the different places you’ll be passing through before reaching Shimla if you decide to travel by car. Do a complete update on the road conditions and also the weather before you decide to embark on your journey.

6 Best Balloon Rides in Cappadocia, Turkey

Turkey is a gorgeous country filled with everything that you would want in a Mediterranean travel destination. With over 50 million people traveling to Turkey every year, there's a reason this country is a top holiday destination. There are many gorgeous places and activities to try when in Turkey. Istanbul and Antalya are both reasonably popular among tourists. However, we also recommend that you explore the ancient district of Cappadocia.

Best Balloon Rides in Cappadocia

There are many things to do in Cappadocia. However, many travel magazines and websites would recommend that you take balloon rides.

If you're looking to try it for yourself, here are some of the best balloon rides to try in Cappadocia.

1. Butterfly Balloons

One of the famous hot air balloon operating services would be the people over at Butterfly Balloons. They're so popular that they're even featured on Lonely Planet. Butterfly Balloons have more than ten years of experience operating this hot air balloon service.

What's excellent about Butterfly Balloons is their top-notch service. They don't only prioritize your experience flying the hot air balloons. They also make sure that they pick you up from your hotel with their minivan. In addition, they serve you some light breakfast first and then help you board the balloons. It's an excellent service all around that's consistent with the company.

Another point why Butterfly Balloons are well-liked is because the cost for their service isn't so out of line. This is considering the extra services that you're getting, which is excellent.

2. Voyager Balloon

Voyager Balloon is another hot air ballooning company that operates in Cappadocia. They have a good reputation amongst tourists, thanks to their decade of experience. Also, the founders themselves are Cappadocians, so they know the area well.

A noteworthy thing about flying with Voyager Balloon is that they train their pilots and crew very well. They can help highlight the features of the surrounding area. The pilots will tell you stories of the history of the site and the terrain around you. It's an excellent experience for those looking to learn more about the beauty of Cappadocia while riding a hot air balloon.

3. Turquaz Balloons

Turquaz Balloons has been operating as a ballooning company since 2012, although they used to operate using a different name. They also are excellent when it comes to pilot training, not only in terms of navigation but also with entertaining the guests. That's why people feel welcome and safe when flying with Turquaz Balloons.

One thing that makes Turquaz Balloons stand out is their emphasis on offering smaller baskets. This is ideal for people looking for a more exclusive hot air balloon experience. If you have the budget for it and want more privacy, and you're traveling with a group, you can avail yourself of their smaller six-person basket.

Their smaller and more exclusive flights are great for those who don't want to fly with other people and are willing to pay for it. There's also the perk of being able to fly for more than an hour when you take an exclusive flight with Turquaz Balloons.

4. Royal Balloon

Royal Balloon is a ballooning company that offers a Champagne and Breakfast Buffet during your flight. You can have a taste of local champagne for an after-flight celebration. They also offer an exclusive Royal King Flight. It is a hot air balloon flight that is good for eight people. Thus, this ride is ideal for traveling with friends or family and would like to ride exclusively.

The Royal Balloon has even been featured on several shows, including the Martha Stewart Show.

5. Güvercin Balloons

Güvercin Balloons is another excellent ballooning company in Cappadocia. They have expert pilots who are well-trained in customer service and entertainment. Many people who have flown with Güvercin Balloons mentioned the artful choice of some of their pilots. This includes the music they use to heighten the customers' experience.

Güvercin Balloons' pilots are great in maneuvering as they will fly their balloons in the best positions to ensure that you get the best views you can.

6. Kapadokya Zeppelin

Kapadokya Zeppelin is a ballooning company that also offers a fantastic ballooning experience. They are exceptionally experienced towards hopping on the hot air balloon for a celebration like an anniversary or birthday. Kapadokya Zeppelin offers unique experiences for those booking for celebrations.

Outside of that, they also offer tours of crucial places around Cappadocia outside of the balloons for those interested.

Conclusion

When you're in Cappadocia, you can't go wrong with checking out the ballooning companies listed in this article. So, don't hesitate to try them when you're in Cappadocia.

The ballooning companies on the list give you a chance to experience the natural beauty of the Cappadocian valleys. And you can do this while flying in a hot air balloon, which is also a one-of-a-kind experience.