12 BEST Places to Visit in Poland

Well, you can miss out nothing in Poland. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit to fill your eyes with glitter. Whenever the name Poland comes in our mind, we can only recall the World War II, but that's not all. This list is long as the glamour of this place never ends. For several years, travelers didn't want to go to Poland due to the way it had always been portrayed.

However, that insight is now rapidly changing, and things have gone more advanced in terms of travelling. Forget about the country's unwelcoming and gruesome past. Astute travelers have come to comprehend that Poland is full of natural beauty and loving locations that can fill the memory of your phone with instagrammable images.

The ninth-largest country in Europe, its name is derived from the name of the tribe Polanie, meaning people living in open fields. This is the home of Bolesławiec pottery, the world's largest castle, and of Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie. This is a land of lush forests, sparkling waters, and awe-inspiring mountains.

Poland is fast becoming one of Europe's preferred holiday destinations where people travel from around the world and love to spend at least a week. It is not a cheap place and costs your pocket a lot. Even some people also go for borrowings option so that they don't miss a chance to go to this mesmerizing destination. If you are a person who loves doing fun things like biking and camping, and other activities, nothing can take Poland's place.

This is a nation with an intense history, stunning architecture, and the friendliest of locals. This is a place that you cannot leave off of your travel bucket list. Let us begin the journey. Are you also looking to fly to Poland, but not able to manage the bookings? Check the various ecommerce sites in Poland and you can have a sufficient information to book tickets to Poland.

Tourist Spots in Poland

If you are looking to see some of the mesmerizing locations and travel to Poland at any cost, then you need to check the list below.

1. Krakow

Well, its name is enough to describe the place as it is famous. A southern Polish city located near the Czech border, Kraków is undoubtedly one of the loveliest cities on earth. Spending a weekend in the heart of Kraków, Poland is the perfect way to unwind and enjoy the rich culture that Eastern Europe has to offer.

As with many cities around the world, history and legends converge in Krakow among the Polish tourist attractions. This city of Central Europe located on the banks of the Vistula River, is for many the heart of Poland and offers tourists many attractions with its historic buildings, museums and beautiful scenery.

But while tourists are impossible to miss in Old Town Square and Wawel Castle, walk into a museum like the Bishop’s Palace, or into most of the spectacular churches around town, and you might be one of the five people ogling that beauty. The Bishop’s Palace is an incredible art museum, with some of the funkiest paintings.

The Historic Quarter of Krakow, a World Heritage Site, is divided into three areas of the mythical Wawel Hill, the Medieval City and the center of Kazimierz, also medieval. In the Medieval City of Krakow you can find the 13th-century Rynek Główny Square, considered the largest in Europe.

Krakow is additionally home to Europe's largest marketplace. A tour of the Historic Quarter will take you back to the Middle Ages, when the Main Square was the largest in Europe and overflowing with merchants and customers. You will see that the legendary castles, mysterious dragon caves, old churches and cobblestone streets coexist harmoniously with modern restaurants, bars and shops.

Krakow is also a destination for religious tourism, for the amount of churches and synagogues that we will find there, and the proximity of the Jasna Góra sanctuary of Czestochowa. And it is also a city that experienced the horrors of World War II, which you can feel in a visit to the nearby Auschwitz concentration camp.

Defining Krakow in words is way complicated because this place is magical and whatever we say will not be enough. As it is one of the costliest places in Europe, keep a hefty budget if you are planning to go for shopping here. Ensure to bring your camera and clear your schedule, because you'll be here for a long time.

Not just this, you can also see some school and college level activity or shows near to the roadside area. That can be fun and something new to watch in a different place. Even you can taste the best and mouth-watering traditional food there that can fill your mind with pleasure. Don't forget to travel empty stomach in the morning so that you can grab many on the go snacks.

Real pierogies are difficult to find outside of Poland. They are large dough filled ‘raviolis’, but the dough is made with butter or yogurt, and the fillings are typically sauerkraut, farmer’s cheese, or mushrooms. Two are enough for a good lunch, or one as an appetizer for dinner.

2. Bialowieza Forest

Love nature, then this destination can create a lifetime memory in your mind. Covering an area of around 3,000 kilometres, Białowieża Forest has raw and untouched scenic beauty that you can see in Poland.

This worth-to-be-visited place boasts of primeval forests that once covered most parts of Europe. If you're lucky, you'll be able to spot one of the many wild creatures present here including golden eagles, European bison and deer. You can enjoy being close to animals that are not going to harm at all. The most liked inhabitants of the forest are Capreolus, Red Deer, Wolves, Elk and many more.

3. Wrocław

Ostrów Tumski is a stunning island and is one of the oldest areas in Wroclaw. The natural beauty all around can leave you speechless. Bound by the River Oder, there are many prominent shrines on this island like the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist and the Holy Cross and Saint Bartholomew's Collegiate.

The place has some fantastic architecture where you can feel a different vibe. It is because each building speaks a diverse story. If you are a travel lover, then this is your location to visit. Be charmed by the beautiful and historic buildings here and enjoy the trip.

In Walbrzych, there is the stunning Książ castle not far away and that should be your destination when traveling to this area.

4. Oświęcim

Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial & Museum was built in honour of around 1.5 million people exterminated here during the World War II. The war was a pain, but the family members can still feel the soul here. We are not trying to scare you, but the location can give you goosebumps.

Today, this museum is a vital historical area because of the Nazi history along with the ruins. It is one of the touching places to go in Poland. If you are travelling to Poland, then do visit here!

5. Świnoujście

Do you want to spend time seeing a beautiful sunset with your family? Plan your weekend at the coast of Baltic Sea! For that there is a place located on the Baltic Sea called Swinoujscie. On the other hand, if you are keen to see slow beaches, then also you can spend a good time here. There are many farms here, and the location is full of greenery where you can feel like jumping onto the fields.

Plus, you can click lots of pictures here as they are going to come in best bright colours with natural beauty. Moving ahead, you can travel to the sea museum and enjoy the adventure in the underwater world. Poland is increasingly popular as a travel destination in Europe and places worth to see is Miedzyzdroje and the hiking trails are the best in Wolinski National Park.

Near here is the Karsibor Island which is popular among bird watchers. In the nearby Wolin Island you can see the fantastic lighthouse. The thrill and adventure is never going to stop here; you can get tired, but the fun part keeps going on.

6. Malbork

Poland is home to Malbork Castle, the largest castle in the world and also the largest brick structure in the world.

7. Wieliczka

Near Krakow is located one of the oldest salt mines in Europe, the Wieliczka salt mine.

8. Warsaw

A city ravaged by World War II, the Polish capital has stories to tell for anyone who wants to listen. Monuments of this dark period of history pop up throughout the city. Walking the streets with a knowledgeable guide can be a real eye opener. But this place isn’t all somber stories – the nightlife here is a highlight, and the prices are far cheaper than you’ll find in the cities in the West.

Go to Warsaw if you’re interested in World War II, or to enjoy a night out, of if you’re on a budget. If you have Warsaw among your next destinations, you might be interested in these tips for traveling to Warsaw. MDM is the Soviet neighborhood, of large and sober buildings with a clear style of socialist realism. Jewish Ghetto was one of the largest ghettos in Europe, but entirely destroyed.

Nowadays there is still a piece of the wall that delimited it. If you want to really explore and relish the city, you need more time there. The museums are amazing! The palaces, churches, cathedrals, the old town are all worth good amount of time. Europe's largest water park, Suntago Water Park is located 50 km southwest of Warsaw, with Europe's longest water slide at 320 meters, 18 swimming pools and 40000 square meters of tropical gardens and palm trees.

Poland is cheaper than the western European countries, but you also get much of the equally good quality stuff there for cheaper prices. Food or public transport, for example. Great food, couldnt be easier on the pocket! Book a hotel in the central location and you will be close to everything interesting.

9. Gdansk

Gdansk is an attractive city to include within a trip through Poland or in the summer holidays. The area of the Three Cities consisting of Gdansk, the Sopot spa and the modern port of Gdynia has a thousand years of maritime history, glorious Hanseatic architecture and a modern Baltic atmosphere. The thriving Dluga Street, with shops, bars, restaurants and street performers, stretches from the Golden Gate to the town hall.

10. Sandomierz

It is at least as old as Poland. It was already the capital of local voivodeship in the 11th century. The castle, the Old Town, all the green, the fields nearby, the river - this is a very Polish landscape. The town is built on seven hills. Sandomierz was many times besieged and plundered by Tatars. It remained as the capital of local voivodeship for seven hundred years.

The town was visited by Polish kings many times. One of the biggest tourist attractions are beautiful forested ravines surrounding the town. The local basilica was built in 1360. Sandomierz is also known by the Polish remake of the series “Don Matteo” (originally starring Terence Hill) which was filmed in this town.

11. Hel

A forest stretches along the full length of the beaches where one comes across some unexpected finds. Railway journey along the peninsula is picturesque. In some places the sea and the bay are visible from the train on either side. There have been years when the sea cut off sections of the peninsula. A cycle path allows the full length to be covered by bicycle in one day, there and back. 14 kilometres of it runs through the forest.

The sand is exceptionally white and fine. It really does look like snow. The white-sand dunes are protected by the Nadmorski Landscape Park. In the town of Hel at the top of the peninsula there is a marine station and a seal sanctuary dedicated to restoring the population of grey seals in the area of the Baltic Sea. They look after injured seals and breed young ones in order to release them into the wild.

Seal feeding sessions are open to the public. Occasionally it’s possible to spot wild seals coming to the beach, if one is prepared to watch and wait. If the seals don’t turn up it’s still a beautiful view anyway. The 40.8-meter light house tower of Hel is open to those visitors who are willing to trudge up to the top for a good view.

It’s also worth climbing the stairs to the wooden church tower of the Fisheries Museum. Restaurants specialise in fried and smoked fish. Fishermen bring fresh fish to Hel daily. Off season the few small hamlets on the peninsula are almost deserted. High season - July and August - is best avoided.

12. Bydgoszcz

If you like seeing some of the famous and most prominent universities, then you need to check this location. The place is safe to travel with kids. Should we say once you go there you can also make a plan to study at one of the universities. Located in Northern Poland, Bydgoszcz is extensively known for its several universities that are close to each other.

The city is full of energy. Bydgoszcz is a multi-ethnic city with a strong business presence, and that makes it more interesting.


You can go to a sunny beach and spread your body seeing the sunset the entire evening and also have a quality time with loved ones. Poland completes your journey so get that stamp on your passport as soon as possible.

8 Best Things to Do in Montréal, Canada

Montréal, named after Mt. Royal, which is a hill at its center, is the largest city in Canada's Québec province. It's located on an island in the Saint Lawrence River. What's so engaging about the city is that it still holds its 18th-century charm. In the old town Vieux-Montréal, meandering down cobblestone streets. Due to its French influence, visitors say it feels very European.

Montreal, is overall ranked the most beautiful travel destination and perfect place due to it's unique architecture and designs full of european vibe. Montreal is home to world famous nightlife, parties and festivals with a taste of french style.

If you are looking for a city to enjoy the good things in life in the best possible way, there would be no better place than Montreal. Montreal features an interesting art scene, an explosion of indie rock, as well as a combination of boutique hotels and elegant restaurants.

Apart from the second largest city in Canada, it is also the country's cultural capital. Part of the Quebec Province, Montreal can be called the French part of Canada. If you have ever been to France, you would surely recognize the cool, laid-back attitude reflected in the people and air of Montreal. There is a Parisian atmosphere on the terraces of its Quartier Latin.

Mount Royal, Old Montreal, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal Botanical Garden, La Fontaine Park, are some of the must-visit places in the city. However, while sightseeing in Montreal is truly a pleasure, what most people look forward to when visiting this city is its arts and cultural side.

With more than 250 theater and dance companies and around 100 festivals, there is no chance of getting bored in the city with so many things to do in Montreal with kids. There is the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, and an old port that has been converted into a park and recreational area.

One of the most popular festivals is the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. The Montreal Jazz Festival takes place during 11 days at the end of June. If Canada is on your bucket list, make sure you don't miss out on Montreal. With its breathtaking scenery, mouthwatering food, and inspiring arts, there's so much to see and do in Montreal.

Best Things to Do in Montreal

So what is there to do in Montreal? A whole lot! Here's a sample of what's on offer:

Nature in Montreal
Montreal spreads across 431.5 km². As such, there are some beautiful parks and gardens to visit:

1. Mount Royal Park

Situated on a triple-peak hill that towers 761 m over the city, Mount Royal Park is how Montreal got its name. An excursion up the mountain will have you encountering picnickers, joggers, bicyclists, and dog walkers. During the months when it isn't iced over, you can rent a rowboat for a trip across Lac des Castors (Beaver Lake). For those feeling energetic, it's worth climbing the steep staircase for an incredible view of the city

2. Montreal Botanical Garden

This 190-acre botanical garden contains more than 22,000 different species of flowers. It has 10 large, specific-themed, greenhouses. Visit a Japanese Bonsai garden, a tribute to the Ming Dynasty, an Alpine garden, and a Rose garden, to name a few. The Insectarium is home to over 250,000 types of insects. This is perfect for nature lovers.

Eating in Montreal
Apart from all these things, Montreal is a haven for food lovers. It offers the best food scenes not just in Canada but in the whole of North America. There are late night eateries, hipster bars, English pubs, tempting patisseries, delis, enormous food markets and countless cafes.

Québec, especially Montréal, has a unique culinary history with influences from France, England, Kosher, New York specifically, Portugal, Eastern Europe, Italy and so on. It’s the most Internationalized city in North America, and the food culture reflects it. The one especially unique food dish in Québec (besides maple syrup), is Montréal Smoked Meat, especially from the classic Schwartz’s Deli.

While there’s all sorts of cousins to this sandwich, namely a Hot Pastrami from any NYC or Jewish Deli, the spicing and preparation of the Smoked meat has made this a phenomenon that is often attempted to be duplicated but just can’t get it exactly right.

3. Sugar Shacks in Parc Jean-Drapeau

The province of Quebec is the largest producer of maple syrup in the world. From February to April, the sap from maple trees is boiled down to become the sweetest topping for pancakes and ice cream imaginable. During these months, restaurants that are known as 'Sugar Shacks' feature the best ways to consume this delicacy. Don't leave without trying one out.

4. Jean-Talon Market

Serving Montreal since 1933, this farmer's market is famous for charcuterie and cheeses of Quebec. During the summer months, pop-up restaurants appear offering that season's best local produce. These stalls are perfect places to try the delicacies produced in the state.

Museums in Montreal
Like most major cities, Montreal has some incredible museums. From classic buildings showcasing famous works of art to locations with a more modern concept, there's something for everyone.

5. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal is home to works by some of the most famous international artists like Picasso, Renoir, Rembrandt, Cézanne, and El Greco. There's even a permanent exhibition of furniture designed by Frank Gehry. The cost to enter is less than $20 per adult.

6. Barbie Expo

For Barbie doll enthusiasts, this free exhibit at the Les Cours Mont-Royal shopping center claims to have the world's most extensive collection of over 1000 Barbies. Many of the dolls have had dresses designed for them by world-renowned fashionistas, such as Vera Wang, Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Armani, and Bill Blass.

Walking Tours in Montreal

7. Old Port of Montreal

Wandering around a city is one of the best ways to really experience all that it has to offer. You could meander around on your own, but if you want some education and a little history, consider a walking tour. Tours are themed. If art and culture are what you seek, take a museum or art gallery tour. Food lovers can enjoy guided gastronomic adventures. For those of you who like to be scared, don’t miss out on the ghost tour.

One of the greatest ways to explore a city is to do it on your own. Tours are great, but for total independence, self-driving is the way to go. Renting a car is easy, provided you have a valid driver's license. A handy tip from the team at Globe car and truck rental is that hiring a vehicle during the week is cheaper than on weekends. Don't forget to rent yourself a car and explore the areas that the guidebooks don't tell you about.

Party in Montreal

8. Saint Laurent Boulevard

Montreal is a very cosmopolitan city and has some of the top nightlife experiences in all of Canada, so you won’t be short of things to do once the sun goes down. Created and hosted by Montreal diva Mado Lamotte, Cabaret Mado has been entertaining locals and visitors alike for over thirty years. Fans of Ru Paul’s Drag race will be thrilled to see some of their favorite contestants making surprise visits on occasion.

If drinking and dancing is your poison, you must visit L’Axe du Mal, the Axis of Evil. The intersection of Saint-Denis Street and Mont-Royal Avenue has four clubs that provide the ultimate bar-hopping experience. Each club has a different musical offering; live indie, techno, disco, and live rock can all be found here.

12 Best Things to Do in France

France is the world’s most chic tourist destination, and it is undoubtedly not difficult to identify with the fact. France is a county that can woo tourists of all age groups and genres. Whether you search for a historical and cultural escapade, a shopping extravaganza, a culinary journey, or a romantic rendezvous, France caters to the tastes of all its visitors.

One thing which is rarely commented on in regards to France is the number of European families who have their summer holidays there. It is simple, if you are in Germany or Netherlands or UK, pack up your car with your kids and all they need.

Hop on the motorway or ferry and drive to one of the many excellent and good value for money campgrounds in France. You can rent a chalet, mobile home or set up your own tent. Then wander around and enjoy the heat which is usually not too high, the food and the culture or simply laze by the pool.

In addition to being a beautiful holiday destination, France is also geographically well located. For tourists from Great Britain, Benelux, Scandinavia and a large part of Western Germany who want to drive to Southern Europe by car, must drive through France. Most tourist use the autoroute du Soleil.

France is the number one holiday destination for Dutch people. Around two million Dutch tourists spend their holidays on French campsites every year. Spain is number two and Italy is number three. Many Dutch tourists who drive to Spain and Italy also make a stopover at a campsite in France.

best things to do in France

Here are the best things to do in France.

1. Cultural Tourism in Tours

France has always been the hub of Europe’s historic heritage, exuding an aura of rich cultural heritage and unmatched charm. Some of the most beautiful French Renaissance sites in the country include that of the 19th century Orsay museum in Paris, The Louvre, Paris, the 11th century Notre Dame cathedral in Chartres, the Georges Pompidou center, and the monastery of St. Michaels.

Provinces in France offering the most beautiful castles are that of Value de la Loire popularly known as the Loire Valley, which houses 300 chateaux, Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, Dampierre-en-Yvelines and Bordeaux which is also world-famous for its wine estates. The Loire Valley castles are as diverse as they are numerous (over 300).

If you are planning to take a tour of the châteaux in the Loire Valley it’s important to make a selection. While most of them are culturally and historically significant, it’s impossible to see them all. There is an area blessed by the gods that represents the heart of France. It runs along the gentle hills that separate the towns of Angers and Limoges and that fully symbolizse the ideas of quiet well being and moderation in all things.

Loire Valley is a lesson in the history of living France in a mixture of Celtic awe and Gaelic charm. The ancient village of Amboise, at the foot of its fortified castle, extends over the south bank of the Loire river. Separated from the river by a mattress of colorful flowers, Amboise is home to the Chanteloup Pagoda, a typical Chinese structure.

Located 5 minutes from Amboise, and only 5 kilometers from the Chenonceau castle, it is the perfect place to enjoy a break and visit beautiful landscapes next to the Loire. In the vicinity of the pagoda is a museum that revives the splendor of the old Chanteloup Castle.

The city of Chartres is quite small but has plenty of interesting architecture including timber-framed buildings. The city of Chartres is well known for having one of the most beautiful and largest cathedrals in Europe, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Chartres Cathedral is the jewel of the city, built in Gothic style.

It is believed that in the place where the cathedral is located, there was already a place of worship, in the times of the druids when the area was a religious center for the Celtic tribe of Carnutes.

Inside the church, stands the crypt, the largest in France. The cathedral is very impressive inside and out, including a labyrinth and three rose windows. A particularly impressive feature is the choir screen with Biblical scenes carved from stone between the 16th and 18th centuries. The Museum of Fine Arts of Chartres is located in the former palace of the bishops, in the apse of the cathedral.

These are counted amidst the most popular cultural heritage sites in France and are a must-visit for those traveling to France. Transport yourself to the land of fairy tales as you visit the striking castles in France. Treat your eyes to some of Europe’s most beautiful castles as you visit Chenonceau in the Loire Valley, Château de Beynac, in the province of Dordogne and Fontainebleau.

Château de Fontainebleau is basically a 1 hour drive from the center of Paris. It is one of the largest French royal châteaux (palaces). This palace was a residence for the French monarchs from Louis VII to Napoleon III. History buffs can visit the museum inside the palace. Also, this place is great for a walk or a pique-nique!

In the leafy valley of the River Creuse, this Berry village that George Sand was so fond of has played host to many painters all of whom were charmed by the romantic sight of its steeply-roofed houses, clustered harmoniously around the Roman church and the castle. Gargilesse still enjoys a wealth of cultural events today that take place in a welcoming, easygoing atmosphere.

A Carthusian monastery has become a village in the heart of the undulating scenery of the "Parc Naturel Régional du Pilat". Although most of the site’s religious buildings are houses today, the 17th century monastic church and its remarkable furniture, the monastery kitchen, cloister and a restored cell are open to the public thanks to the work of the Association for the Preservation of the Carthusian Monastery and Grounds.

2. Castles of Colmar

Alsace is a piece of Germany inside France, like a delicious fruit that fell on the other side of the fence from the tree of the neighbor who saw it being born. Although Alsace has well-known brands (Kronenbourg and Kanterbräu), you have to dare to ask for a brand of homemade beer. Let yourself be advised and taste without hurry.

The best way to discover them is to follow the Alsace Wine Route, a 170-kilometer itinerary that has one of its most beautiful stretches between the cities of Obernai and Colmar. They say that the Alsatian storks are oriented in this plain taking as reference the mountains that, like sentinels, watch over the vineyards. The Mount Saint Odile is one of the most famous for its religious significance.

Two other important cities are Mulhouse, one of the first cities in France to industrialize, and Colmar, whose old town is a well-preserved example of German Gothic style and early Renaissance. In the center, the St Martin's Church seems to call to order its squares and monuments. This Gothic work of beautiful design and cathedral dimensions opens onto the homonymous square.

Taking a boat ride through the Little Venice of Colmar is like traveling back in time to the 15th and 16th centuries, when Alsace was one of the richest regions in Europe. From the walls of this 12th century Haut Koenigsbourg castle an incredible view of the Vosges mountains, the Rhine valley and the Black Forest is seen.

Together with Ribeauvillé and Kaisersberg, Riquewihr is one of the most beautiful hiking villages in Alsace in the French country side.

3. French Riviera

It is located in the Provence region. It is located near the French Riviera and hence is a top-rated tourist destination. The canyon has a depth of 700 meters and a length of 25 Kilometres. The river canyon can satiate the adrenaline rush of every adventure-seeker. One can go for rafting, jet-skiing, scuba diving, kayaking, rock climbing, surfing, etc.

This place attracts many birds, including eagles and vultures. One can also take a road trip along the gorge.

Long sandy beaches, bright sunshine, and ocean breeze are all synonymous with the French Riviera. The Mediterranean coastline of France is one of the most popular tourist spots in the country. The 560 miles of shoreline is flanked with some of the swankiest resorts. The regions offering the most beautiful French seaside experience are that of Languedoc, Poitou-Charentes, Aquitaine, South of Bordeaux, and Brittany.

4. Camping in Biarritz

The best way to explore the charm of France is to plan a camping trip to rural France and learn about the traditional methods of the French. Camping holidays offer travelers an opportunity to peek into the culture, tradition, and way of life of the people. Some of the best camping holiday destinations in France are that of Aveyron in the Midi Pyrenees province, the Corrine, the Haute Loire, and the Vosges.

Biarritz is located in the southwest of France with the Bay of Biscay to the west, and to the northwest with Anglet. It is also close to Bayonne and only 30 km from the Spanish border. So the city has an ideal location to enjoy both beach and mountain.

The mixture of French and Basque tradition make this small coastal town a small paradise where you can taste a good foie accompanied by a Bordeaux (the region is neighboring), try a delicious cannelé in any of its bakeries or have a hake to the Basque in its port restaurants. In the Rue de Mazagran and the Rue Gambetta the most modern venues are concentrated, where the young people who go out on a march through the area meet.

The Cantabrian Sea is wild in these parts and the tides make theirs with the most confused tourists. In the Grand Plage, the waves can be as tall as towers, and that is a family beach located in the center of town, just in front of the Casino. Do not be fooled. On the Miramar beach, surfing is not allowed, although the waves are also strong.

5. Hiking the GR10 trail in Languedoc-Roussillon

Hike from sea to glistening sea! The GR10 is a 955km trek across the French Pyrenees from Hendaye on the Atlantic Coast to the Mediterranean coast at Banyuls-sur-Mer. Walk through valleys of wildflowers, cross glaciers in a day, and hike at the foot of the French Pyrenees. Along the way, interact with varying cultures, accommodation types and terrain.

6. Luberon

Lourmarin sprang up at the foot of a gash that the River Aiguebrun cut in the Luberon and it stands amid vineyards and olive groves. Its fountain-lined streets thread their way around the Castellas and a charming Roman church and lead to the magnificent castle. It was built in the 15th century by the Agoult family and today houses a large collection of furniture and objets d’art. Lourmarin is an artists’ village and, among others, attracted Henri Bosco and Albert Camus who are both buried in the cemetery.

7. Lille

Parfondeval is in Picardy and its impressive redbrick, grey slate-roofed houses are clustered around a carpet of greenery. The village revolves around farming and its scenery includes apple orchards, pastureland and fields of maize – beautiful unchanged countryside.

8. Rouen

End at the seashore, almost in the English Channel, in one of the most touristic places of Normandy of Deauville. It is a historically visited town and an emblem of the beautiful Costa Fleurie, both for its casino and its racecourse or spas. Deauville is a good place to settle and travel Normandy, visiting historical sites of World War II, the Interesting city of Caen or the spectacular and nearby cliffs of Honfleur and Etretat.

Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei lies nestled in a loop of the River Sarthe that is spanned by a small stone bridge. Its old houses are clustered around the 11th cent. Roman church that with outstanding frescos. On the other side of the river, opposite a delightful 15th cent. chapel, a miracle spring, which arose following a prayer made by Saint Céneri, is said to have the power to cure certain eye diseases.

Sainte-Suzanne is perched at a height of 70 meters above the Erve valley. Known for having faced William the Conqueror, the medieval town has kept remnants from this time. The origins of Sainte-Suzanne are older though. The Erves dolmen (the oldest monument of Mayenne) and recent archaeological excavation prove that the site existed five or six centuries B.C.

9. Saint-Tropez

Once you have climbed your way up the flower-decked alleyways lined with pastel walls to Place Deï Barri, you will enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the Golfe de Saint-Tropez and the Maures mountain range. This is also a delightful spot to stop and savour a bite to eat and a glass of Côte de Provence wine at one of the village restaurant’s terraces.

10. Aix-en-Provence

If you like outdoor activities the south is where you should be. There are beaches and mountains in some places so you can windsurf in the morning and paraglide in the afternoon then do some rock climbing to fill in odd moments. It gets very breezy sometimes and occasionally red sand blows over from the Sahara, but otherwise clouds are rare and the sky has a strange electric blue that has inspired painters for generations.

Landscapes, too, are extraordinary with mountains coming down almost to the beach in some places. And along the coast near Marseille there are the fabulous calanques — like fjords but with crystalline blue water.

11. Camargue

Towards the west are the wetlands of the Camargue with its wild white horses and unfortunately, tribes of mosquitoes. But compared to many other warm places mosquitoes are not usually an issue out of the wetlands. And you are usually minutes from a toasty warm beach that you can use nearly all year round.

Even by French standards the food is excellent and it doesn’t hurt that so much good fruit grows literally all around you. In any case you are a short drive from Liguria where you can get a real pizza whenever you want.

12. French Chateaux in Bordeaux

A trip to France is incomplete without visiting its exquisite countryside manors. Chateaux are perfect places to unwind and enjoy the serene and quiet country life of France. Chateaux are becoming a rage among travelers, which is why chateaux are now available on rentals to travelers.

Bordeaux the capital of Aquitaine (altered by the English rulers into Guyenne), and its unique neo-classical architecture ensemble. The proud city was unfairly left out of touristic circuits, despite the attractiveness of its famous wine producing region. After a series of revampings started in the 80s, the town is a jewel, with remains from the Middle Ages, Romanesque style church, and the largest pedestrian street in Europe (rue Sainte Catherine).

As for the food, Bordeaux is the main town of what is probably the best food area in France. The matchless red sandstone is the hallmark of this former stronghold of the Counts of Turenne. It is everywhere beneath the "lauze" stone-slab or slate roofs of the impressive 15th and 16th century houses, and adorning the corn and wine market and the Church of Saint Pierre too.

Taj Mahal Full Guide For Travelers

India has a lot to share for all the travel enthusiasts from across the globe. The country offers opportunities for nature sightseeing, adventure holidays, pilgrimage tours, and above everything, the country houses one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. It is the most recognized monument of India.

Basically, what Eiffel Tower is to Paris is the same way Taj Mahal is to India. One can bet that you’ll not see many such sights like Taj Mahal which is more iconic, beautiful and jaw-dropping spectacular as compared to other sites of the world.

Therefore, if anyone is planning to travel India for the first time, then visiting this incredible architectural feat called Taj Mahal in Agra should definitely be on your itinerary as it is one of the seven new wonders of the world for a reason.

It's worth getting up early in the morning to see the Taj Mahal in the glow of the rising sun. An interesting fact is that at any time of the day white marble on the building has a slightly different color, milky, white and even slightly pink.

If anyone who is reading it won't be able to believe that, then this comprehensive Taj Mahal guide is dedicated for all such people. After reading this whole guide about the one of the Seven Wonders of the World, there’s a surety of thing that you all will fall in love with the incredible Taj Mahal of India.

Tips to Visit Taj Mahal

So, without wasting any further second, let’s start this comprehensive detailed guide about the Taj Mahal, the symbol of love:

About Taj Mahal

A trip to India will be in-complete without visiting the Taj Mahal, the country’s most famous landmark. Not only is the country famous but this incredible monument is famous all around the globe as it attracts a total of 7 to 8 million visitors every year.

This ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of Yamuna was built for around 22 years between 1631 and 1648 by almost 2000 jewelers along with the workers on the orders of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Taj Mahal is actually a tomb that has the body of his wife Mumtaz Mahal as he built it with the purpose to show an ode to his love for her. The monument architectural style is a mixture of Indian, Islamic and Persian designs.

How to Reach the Taj Mahal?

This masterpiece which is admired by the whole world is a part of the Indian city of Agra that holds a great value in terms of history because of it.

The city of Agra, which is a part of India’s popular Golden Triangle Tour Circuit, in the state of Uttar Pradesh is approximately 200 kilometres from the capital of India, Delhi. The city is therefore, well connected to Delhi-Chennai and Delhi-Mumbai route, in a way connected to most cities across the whole country through all means of transport.

When you choose the same day Agra tour by Gatimaan Express, then you can have the fastest journey to reach out to the destination (Agra or Delhi) on time.

What to Bring with you to the Taj Mahal

You can take with you the below-mentioned things in one small bag: Money, Passport (if applicable), Water Bottle, Camera, Phone, and Medicine.

And, these are the things which are not allowed to take with you: food, cigarettes, lighters, tripods and lighting equipment.

What to wear while visiting the Taj Mahal

To visit the Taj Mahal there’s no dress code but in order to show respect when you enter the mosque, you’ll be required to cover your knees, shoulders and head. Also due to the hot weather of the city of Agra, it is suggested to wear light clothing and sunscreen in order to avoid the scorching heat.

Entry to the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal’s Main Gateway is so beautiful that for once you’ll not be able to decide whether to go inside or just admire its beauty from standing there. It was built in red sandstone with the Arabic calligraphy (from the Holy Quran), vines sprawling down its niches and entwined flowers leaves.

The gateway to Taj Mahal is an octagonal entrance hall, with beautiful ornamented gates on its two sides which opens to the courtyard side and to the Mausoleum itself. One can take entry from these below-given gateways:

The Eastern Gate: The eastern gate faces the Fatehabad Town and the beautiful Taj Nature Walk.

The Southern Gate: This gate faces the Taj Ganj and is meant for the pedestrians.

The Western Gate: This gate faces the Agra cantonment, Agra city and Green Shahjahan Garden.

Best time to Visit the Taj Mahal

It is advisable that in order to visit the Taj Mahal go early in the morning so that you can avoid the midday heat and crowd in a way to explore it in peace.

Always arrive early at the ticket counter booth around 5 or 6 am in the morning.

• If you want you can buy the ticket to visit Taj Mahal online through website.

• Choose your entry gate wisely and smartly by planning your day in advance.

• There’s no entry fee for the children who are below the age of 15 years.

• Do not plan to visit Taj Mahal on Friday as it is closed on that day.

• It is advised to stay and behave as per the directions issued by the ASI authorities, inside the monument. You can even look for those guidelines on the tickets.

• No need to worry about security as it is strict at the Taj Mahal as there are many checkpoints at the entrances for the same.

• And, if you want yourself to be free from the distraction of a tourist guide and want to marvel over the Taj Mahal then you can also download apps, audio guides on your mobile phone which is free of cost. Also, if required you can bring with you the Taj Mahal map in order to avoid any confusion.

At last, one can say that Taj Mahal is definitely a masterpiece that is admired by the whole world and you should surely plan to visit it to get yourself mesmerized by its beauty.

How to Apply for ESTA for USA?

The US requires that all citizens of Visa Waiver countries obtain an ESTA approval to visit the US, which is fairly fast, kinda painless, and inexpensive. It is not a visa, but is a simple namecheck to assure that the person doesn’t show up on any list of terrorists or certain types of criminals.

As a citizen of the Netherlands, you already know that you can visit the US without applying for a visa. All you need is an ESTA that will allow you to fly to the US. An ESTA allows a citizen of a VWP country to go to the US for business or tourism purposes for 90 days. You can Request ESTA at https://www.estavisumamerika.nl/ for your trip to the USA. But the question that arises here is when you should apply for your ESTA.

How to Apply for ESTA for USA

1. ESTA application time

Applying for an ESTA is done online and it usually takes a few minutes to get the application approved. In certain cases, it may take up to 72 hours, but not more. However, it is suggested that you request ESTA Visa (ESTA AMERIKA) as soon as you make up your mind to travel to the US.

Whether you want to meet a friend, travel to your favorite place in the US, or want to meet your business partners, you should consider applying for an ESTA first. Ideally, you should start the ESTA request process before booking flights and hotels.

This is because there is a slim chance that your ESTA may not be approved. In such a situation, you will need to get a visa if you want to travel to the US. Since getting a visa involves a lengthy process, you should have enough time for that.

If your ESTA request is denied and you do not have enough time to get a visa, you may have to cancel your travel plans to the US. And canceling hotel and flight bookings at the last minute can be a costly affair. So, you would want your ESTA to be ready before you make any bookings.

2. Emergency ESTA application

Emergencies happen without notice. If you have to travel to the US immediately for any urgent need, you will need to Request ESTA Visa as soon as the emergency arises. Since there is no separate option for an emergency application, you will have to apply for an ESTA as everyone else does.

If the information provided is correct and you have answered the security questions truthfully, you can expect to get your ESTA approved quickly for immediate travel.

In many cases, people who want to avail connecting flights to and within the US fail to realize that they, too, require an ESTA. Naturally, they Request ESTA while at the airport. Such last-minute submissions are very risky and if your ESTA isn’t approved within time, you will not be able to board your flight. So, before making flight bookings, find out whether you are entering the US soil. If you are, you will need an ESTA for your travel.

Also, it is suggested that you request ESTA (AANVRAGEN ESTA) at the earliest to avoid any sort of technical downtime. Remember that ESTA is an online process and there have been instances of technical downtime in the past. So, if you do not want your trip canceled, apply for your ESTA at the earliest.

3. Traveling with an ESTA if you have past offences

To travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program, you need to apply for an ESTA America (ESTA AMERIKA). The ESTA allows you to visit the US for tourism, business, and certain medical purposes. This is valid for citizens of the Netherlands and other countries that come under the VWP. However, to do so, you need to have your ESTA approved. Generally, ESTA is granted if the person fulfills the eligibility criteria and has truthfully answered all the security questions in the ESTA form.

If you are about to apply for an ESTA, it is important to know that apart from filling in your biometric and other details, you will also be asked to answer some questions. A few of these questions in the ESTA form is related to your past offenses. You will have to answer these questions while filling up your application.

If the answer to any of these questions is a YES, then you may be denied an ESTA. However, the decision for the same often depends on the time and degree of the offense. If the officer reviewing your ESTA finds that you can be permitted to land on the US soil, your ESTA may be approved.

4. What happens if your answers aren’t truthful?

If you have committed any offense in the past that may prove to be a hindrance in getting your ESTA approved, never think of lying on your ESTA form (ESTA FORMULIER). Many people think that it is easy to cheat the ESTA system. However, that isn’t quite true.

Even if you get your ESTA approved, you will have to pass through the US Customs and Border Patrol where agents will verify whether you are eligible for entry. Any wrong information on your ESTA will be immediately detected and you will not be allowed to enter the US. So, lying on your ESTA application will not help you. You may be deported to your country or denied further entry into the US.

5. What to do if ESTA is denied because of a past offense?

Even if your ESTA application is denied, you can still enter the US. To do so, you can simply apply for Visa America. Though obtaining a visa is a comparatively lengthy and cumbersome process, you will be able to enter the US for any purpose. All you have to do is apply for the related Visa, appear at an interview, and submit certain documents. The local consulate will determine whether you are eligible for entry to the US with your records.

Unless you have been booked for a grave crime recently, chances of obtaining a Visa America is quite high.
However, before you do so it is best to apply for an ESTA at https://www.estavisumamerika.nl/ to know whether you can obtain approval or not. If you do not get approval, you can always apply for a Visa to visit the US. Make sure that you apply well in advance so that you have enough time for the Visa process if the need arises.

11 Top Travel Destinations in Kenya

Kenya is among the best African countries to visit. From the coastline on the Indian Ocean to the beautiful savannah, and the bustling capital, you have not really traveled if you have not yet visited Kenya. Kenya is an East African country, famous for its breathtaking scenery, white sandy beaches, home to world-famous safari parks with an abundance of wildlife, and rich culture. This vivid country is home to some of the most exciting destinations in Africa, and extensively, the world.

Kenya is a country well known for it’s wildlife and surrounding natural beauty. As Large number of tourist from all over the world visit this country for experiencing the wildlife and the safari. Kenya is popular all over the world for it’s wildlife sanctuaries and National Reserve.

One of the best places to visit in Kenya are the Maasai Mara National Reserve which is one of the popular tourist attraction to visit in this reserve you will get to see various wild animals such as Zebra, Elephants, Lions, Rhinos and many more. Another popular tourist destination to visit is the Amboseli National Reserve which is popularly known for Asiatic Elephants and many other wild animals.

Top Travel Destinations in Kenya

Tourists in Kenya are spoilt for choice because the whole country is a beautiful place with numerous tourist attractions.

1. Maasai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara, which is one of the best-known reserves in Africa, is known for its exceptional wildlife. The reserve is named after the Maasai who have resided and grazed their cattle as they have done for ages. The park is prominent for the Great Migration, which attracts thousands of tourists to the country every year.

Thousands of wildebeests originating from Serengeti, cross the Mara River, which is infested with crocodiles every year from around July to October. The reserve is also renowned for its large population of leopards, lions, and cheetahs. For wildlife enthusiasts, it is one of the best natural reserves on the continent. The fact that the BBC consistently return to the Mara for their nature documentaries is proof enough.

Also, some of the lodges there are truly amazing and you might choose to skip on game drives just to stay in the lodge. It would be a pity to miss out on some time in a lodge you are paying hundreds of dollars for per night. On top of it, the conservancies offer incredible activities like walking safaris and night drives.

People often lump the Mara Conservancies with the Masai Mara (The Mara Triangle and the Greater Mara), even though these are separate entities with different rules. Unless you are staying in a conservancy (Mara North, Naboisho, Lewa or The Mara Triangle) you will always have to wait at a gate to enter the Masai Mara National Reserve.

If you are not staying in a conservancy, like Mara North, and you have to enter the government owned Masai Mara National Reserve, you’ll probably need to leave earlier to make time at the gate. You can drive or fly, but driving gives you great views of the magnificent Great Rift Valley.

The landscape in Naboisho is significantly different, it is a lot woodier. Naboisho has the highest lion density in the world. Eagle View Camp is also spectacular, there is no view of the African savannah that can match the view from this camp. The sunset over Naboisho is out of this world.

When lions have cubs, they tend to stay in the same spot, so the local Masai trackers know where they are. Naboisho has very good relationship with the Masai communities in the area and their full support in protecting lions, so it’s likely the lions feel safer denning in this conservancy.

2. Tsavo National Park

Divided into Tsavo East and West, the Tsavo is Kenya’s largest national park. Tsavo East is famous for its vast and diverse population of wildlife including lions, elephants, buffaloes, and leopards. The Galana River flowing through the arid park provides a stunning juxtaposition. Other features include the Yatta Plateau which was created by the world’s largest lava flow, and Lugard falls.

Tsavo West National Park is wetter and with more mountains hence has some stunning scenery. Main places of interest include Mzima Springs, a series of four natural springs with crocodiles and hippos, and Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary. Don’t you want to book a trip to Kenya already?

3. Lake Nakuru National Park

The mention of lake Nakuru brings to mind a myriad of pink flamingos. The lake is one of the Great Rift Valley’s lakes. As you leave the capital going to Lake Nakuru National Park, Nairobi, pass by viewpoints and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Great Rift and the Menengai Crater. The park is a bird watcher’s sanctuary with over 450 species of different birds and wildlife.

4. Amboseli National Park

The Amboseli is one of Kenya’s most popular parks, with stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Most visitors to the park will have wonderful pictures of large herds of elephants with a great background of the mountain. Lovers of nature can explore the five main habitats here; ranging from swamps, acacia, open plains, woodlands, even the dried-up beds of a temporary Lake Amboseli that floods during heavy rainfall.

5. Mount Kenya National Park

Mt Kenya, being the highest mountain in Kenya standing at 5,199 m, was formed by a set of volcanic eruptions. The mountain is a sign to behold spotting the very rare equatorial snow. The mountain has 3 peaks; the highest being Batian, seconded by Nelion which legend says is more difficult to climb. The lowest peak is Lenana, which is the easiest to climb especially for amateurs like me.

Some of the highlights include the dense pockets of bamboo, glaciers, and lakes. Wildlife is also abundant as both white and black colobus monkeys have been spotted, hyenas, buffaloes, even elephants. For lovers of luxury, visit the Fairmont Mt Kenya Safari Club located on the equator, is a must-visit retreat where you golf, fish, play tennis, and nature walks. The place is ideal to unplug and relax.

6. Nairobi National Park

Nairobi is the ONLY city in the world to boast a natural game park! The game park is called Nairobi National Park, Kenya’s first National Park, home to the big five (lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and the leopard). And if you’re a big fan of Giraffe, the Giraffe Centre is the place for you and is located in Lang’ata, approximately 20 kilometres from the centre of Nairobi.

In case you are in Nairobi, and do not get an opportunity to leave the capital, do visit the Nairobi National Park. The park is a 20 minutes’ drive from the city, where you will spot pride of lions, and giraffes in the beautiful golden grass of the park. Leopards, cheetahs, buffaloes, even most endangered species of rhinos are found in this beautiful park.

Take a walk on Nairobi Safari Walk to see the over 400 species of wildlife that dwell in the park.

7. Lamu

Lamu is often seen as the limit of the Kenyan coast over the Indian Ocean with wonderful vestiges of the Swahili civilization, to a greater extent even than Mombasa or Zanzibar, picture-postcard beaches, dhow-style sailboats sailing from one side to another, coral reefs. For anyone who comes looking for exoticism, Lamu embodies that mystery made of Levante and the ocean.

The dhow, a traditional boat of the Swahili people, is still used by fishermen every day. Dive into the sea of coral, populated by tropical fish of dreamy colors, in front of the Lamu island.

Named as a UNESCO world heritage site, Kenya’s oldest town hosts settlements dating back to the 12th century. Lamu Old Town integrates Swahili, Arab, Europe architectural designs and will make you feel like you traveled back in time. Donkeys and dhows are a form of transit in the town, with very few vehicles in sight.

Some tourist spots in Lamu include Lamu Museum which is a home for Swahili culture, Donkey Sanctuary, Lamu fort, Donkey Sanctuary, and the beautiful white sandy beaches.

8. Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru is especially famous for being home to several black rhinos. In the past the lake was full of flamingos. This site is one of the best for taking close-up pictures of animals. A good trip would include both a visit to Lake Nakuru, and a visit to Lake Naivasha.

9. Malindi

Malindi is the second city on the coast of Kenya after Mombasa. Halfway between this and Lamu, it is a large seaside resort, well built and quite African. It has beautiful beaches and a fascinating marine natural park, full of tropical fish and ideal for scuba diving.

Take a trip to the Malindi Marine National Park. You will sail along the coast in a boat with a glass bottom and you will be able to observe a lot of tropical fish, before diving with them. Many Europeans go there to spend their vacations and it looks more like a seaside resort on the Costa Brava than a Swahili city.

When you move away from beach resorts all inclusive, the cosmopolitan and jovial side of the Swahili coast reappears. Ucuru is a fermented porridge drink from Kenya that’s drunk during celebrations much like how people in the West drink Champagne.

10. Samburu National Reserve

The Samburu area is different with more bushes that makes the animals tougher to see.

11. Mombasa

Mombasa, Kenya's second-largest city, is synonymous with Raha (Swahili word for happiness and enjoyment). The city is a multicultural magnet for tourists; there is something for everyone in Mombasa. History enthusiasts will enjoy visiting Fort Jesus, Mombasa Old town with ancient dwellings of the Swahili, markets, narrow streets and souvenir shops.

The city has a stretch of up to 480 km of coral reefs, providing ideal opportunities for divers especially around Wasini Islands, and Mombasa Marine National Park.

To top it all, the beautiful sandy beaches lining the city spot tourists all year round.

Karibu Kenya (Welcome to Kenya!)

Complete Guide to Everest Base Camp Trek

You love trekking, outdoor activities, and your heart skips a beat as soon as you see a mountain? You are thinking about taking your trekking adventures to the next level? Then you should visit the mighty Himalayas in Nepal. The trek to Everest Base Camp is one of the most popular treks in the world – for a good reason.

Everest Base Camp is located at a height of 5,350 m on the moving Khumbu glacier. With every step of your journey to the base of the world’s highest mountain, plenty of discoveries and photo opportunities await. Take in the breathtaking views of giant snow-capped peaks, discover the unique Sherpa culture in villages like Namche Bazaar, visit the world-famous Buddhist monastery of Tengboche, cross thrilling suspension bridges and enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Sagarmatha National Park.

Everest Base Camp trek will present you captivating beauty of the Himalayan scenery, beautiful rivers, streams, picturesque villages, dense forests of rhododendron, fir, and conifer along with panoramic views of Ama Dablam (6,812 m), Nuptse (7,861 m), Thamserku (6,623 m), Lobuche East (6,119 m), Lobuche West (4,940 m), Taboche Peak (6,501 m), Kangtega (6,782 m), Khumbutse (6,665 m), Pumori (7,161 m) and numerous other mountains.

The Everest Base Camp Trek is probably the most famous trek in Nepal. Everest Base Camp trek takes you to the trails crossed by Tenzing Sherpa, Edmund Hilary and numerous mountain climbers who set out to climb the tallest peak of the world when they climbed Everest. Hence trekking to the Everest Base Camp has a lot of legends, fantasies, stories, sheer energy and a feeling of fulfillment.

Along these lines it is nothing unexpected that Everest Base Camp trek is among the most sought trekking goal among trekkers around the world. This trek consists of reaching the Everest Base Camp, but crossing Kongma La Pass, Cho La Pass and Renjo La Pass.

Awesome sights of Everest, a nice trail, marvelous tea houses to reside in an almost uninterrupted sight of some of the huge peaks in the entire world will keep your mind thinking throughout the EBC trek. You will trek or hike, in an average of 14 days. You will be walking between 5 to 6 hours a day until you reach the Everest Base Camp which is located at 5,364 meters above sea level.

The EBC trek is considered to be a moderate trek. The trails are technically not too difficult, but they can be steep, rocky, sometimes snowy and long. In other words, a good level of fitness is required, although you don’t have to be an experienced mountaineer to complete your mission. Prepare yourself with regular exercise and some good long hikes before your departure, so you can tackle the challenge with confidence.

Sir Edmund Hillary once stated, it is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. You will get an opportunity to forget the daily hustle of your life and immerse yourself in the wonders of this Himalayan region and make life long memories. The divine beauty and irresistible aroma of this region will help you find inner peace and your inner self.

Everest base camp trek guide

Day 1: Arrival

Arrive at the Tribhuvan International Airport and reach the hotel. You can rest for the day. In the evening, you can explore the colorful streets of Thamel.

Day 2: Kathmandu

In the morning after having breakfast, you can visit the Pashupatinath Temple. From here, you can visit Boudhanath Stupa, the largest stupa in Nepal. Later, you can drive to Swayambhunath, the Monkey Temple and then head towards Kathmandu Durbar Square.

While it is not mandatory to take a guide on this trek, it is highly recommended for several reasons. First of all, with a guided trek, you can plan your adventure worry-free.

Just connect to your local organizer who can answer all your questions in advance. Let them take care of your domestic flights (including flight delays), your accommodation and your permits while all there is left for you to do is enjoy your holiday. Most importantly, an experienced guide will lead you the way, introduce you to the country’s culture and keep you safe during this unforgettable adventure.

Day 3: Fly to Lukla, trek to Phakding

One of the most important parts of the Everest Base Camp trek is undoubtedly the half-hour flight between Kathmandu and Lukla Airport. The flight takes about 40 minutes and costs between 150 and 165 USD. Normally the route starts from Lukla, a town that is 2,640 meters high. The mini Everest trek takes about seven days to complete that starts from Kathmandu to Lukla after a 35 minutes flight.

Spend the night there and start walking the next day, or start the trek that same day. Most people walk to Phakding (3 hours) or Monjo and shorten the day of the climb to Namche.

You also get exposure to Nepali culture via food, language and especially by interacting with your guide. Guides from the Sherpa community take a lot of pride in their capabilities and many of them have a family tradition of guiding summiteers. They relish lentils and rice coined as dal-bhat power! Simple life of mountain people with no complication of city life and their ever smiling face makes you ponder what true happiness is.

Day 4: Phakding to Namche Bazaar

Namche Bazaar is a city with lodges for all pockets, bars where you can have a coffee and a piece of cake, shops with anything you need for trekking, places to listen to music and drink until late at night. You would also face some typical ethical dilemmas. Consider this for instance. You are carrying 6 antibiotic tablets for yourself as a precautionary measure.

A fellow trekker gets ill in the initial phase of the trek itself and looks to you for help. You know you are susceptible to cold and there is no availability of medicines ahead, and without medicine your condition will only aggravate. Would you part away with your medicine? Would you share someone else’s backpack weight or your water, whose importance you will definitely realise during the trek?

Such situations help you appreciate critical leadership skills like empathy and pragmatism.

Day 5: Acclimatization day

As the final destination on the Everest view trek is located at a very high altitude you need to spend a few days in the beginning while trekking and acclimatizing in this destination. In the Everest view trek, you will get an opportunity to see the best view in the Everest region from Syangboche.

You can see the Everest from the Everest View hotel which is a luxurious hotel situated on the way. You can even go to some local villages for sightseeing from this destination and get an opportunity to view Everest from the distance. In the same place, the people and community will help the tourists to get information about the old days as well as help to understand the ethnic group of people.

Sherpa's are also known as the strongest mountain people. It is because the place is being dominated by these people from many years ago. You can learn and explore places of sherpa culture and also get a special opportunity to get acquainted and attached with sherpa people living in this region.

This is ultimately a trekking activity which combines with the natural beauty and the vegetation of the culture in this region. The wonderful beauty of the Khumjung and a memorable meeting with the various legendary people like Sherpa will moreover make the trip very meaningful.

These people are really experts to climb the mountain and without those Sherpa's climbing to Mount Everest is almost impossible. These people are also known as the experts for genetic reasons as Sherpa's can easily adjust to such type of altitude.

Day 6: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche

You will reach the maximum altitude places up to Tengboche Monastery where there is the best German bakery in the same destination.

After that, you have to spend several days passing through the various homelands and villages of Sherpa people. You can see the close-up view of different Himalayan ranges like Ama Dablam and Mount Everest which are considered as one of the most glorious mountains in Nepal along with different Buddhist monasteries.

This challenge definitely has its rewards in terms of breath-taking views. You get to see five of the top ten highest peaks, the largest glacier of the Himalayan region, lakes with crystal clear (blue/green) water which can be attributed to the sacredness with which Nepali people hold them.

From morning to evening lakes take on different colour which has a transfixing effect. Sunset views with peak tops carrying yellowish luminance, it all gets embedded in your consciousness permanently. On an average, in every 2 days the scenery changes completely, from lush green forests to walking along the river bed to zones of arid plains to glaciers and finally to the most magnificent peaks of the world.

This endlessly changing horizon is a stark contrast to our daily monotonous lives. It ignites multiple flames of joy within you. You will a variety of beautiful bird species, hopping alongside you and humming all the way.

Day 7: Dingboche

Go to Pangboche to do the acclimatization at the Ama Dablam Base Camp. The road to Dingboche does not have much scenery. You will find a lot of suspension bridges, as you start towards Dingboche (4,910 m). This trail will go through villages like Pangboche. On the way, you will see several monasteries, and mani stones. Upon reaching Dingboche, you can see beautiful views of snow-capped Ama Dablam and other mountains.

As you gradually reach higher altitudes, it is important to take it nice and easy. Find your pace, don’t rush (and don’t let others rush you). That way, you can truly enjoy every moment and acclimatize slowly to reduce the risk of altitude sickness. Don’t forget to drink a lot of water, and try the infamous garlic soup which is said to have great health benefits.

Day 8: Lobuche

Start the trek from Dingboche. You will notice a change in surroundings from lush forests to sparsely-dotted shrubs with snowy areas along the way. The trail passes through Thukla Pass after which you can reach Lobuche (4,900 m), a beautiful village located at the bottom of Mt. Lobuche. The only route in or out is via a narrow walking track, in places involving a scramble.

Ascend a hill between Dingboche and Pheriche, Nangkartshang, which exceeds 5000 meters before going to Chukhung. The Chukhung Ri is a rocky peak and is located between two glaciers, the Lhotse and the Nupse. You can see the Cho Oyu, the Pumori, the infinite wall of the Lhotse and the Makalu. The Lhotse Face has earned a reputation with Everest expeditions for being an endurance test.

It is the part where one begins the use of oxygen or the climb. It is not as dangerous as the Khumbu Icefall. After crossing the sandy areas arrive at the base camp of Imja Tse, better known as Island Peak. Cross the Kongma La Pass (5535 m) and the Khumbu Glacier to get to Lobuche. From Lobuche, you will get to see breathtaking views of Khumbutse, Mt. Lingtern, and Mt. Pumori.

Day 9: Gorakshep and Everest Base Camp

Set off for Gorakshep, the last village on the way to Everest Base Camp. Start the trek early in the morning. From Lobuche, head towards Gorakshep (5,180 m). This trail from here goes along Khumbu glacier moraines. After reaching base camp (5,380 m), you can see wonderful views of the Khumbu Icefall, Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Kongde, Mt. Thamserku, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Pumori, Island Peak, Mt. Cho Oyu, and numerous other mountains. After spending some time at the Everest Base Camp, trek back to Gorak Shep.

Once you have reached your goal at 5,400 meters, you can either do a short hike to Kala Patthar for a panoramic sunrise view of Mount Everest, or go directly to Everest Base Camp at the foot of the mountain. Now is the time to capture the moment with stunning photos.

So make sure you’ve got your phone or camera charged (bring a power bank or spare batteries and don’t forget, in cold, batteries discharge faster, so wrap them in your clothes to keep them warm).

Day 10: Kalapathar and Pheriche

See the sunrise from Kala Pathar. Early morning start hiking for Kala Patthar (5,545 m). Go on short excursion to the Kala Patthar viewpoint early in the morning to see a gorgeous sunrise. Also, from Kala Patthar, you can see a view 360-degree view of Mt. Everest and its surrounding mountains. Upon reaching Cholatse, a small lake, there are stunning views of the Ama Dablam. Many people go to Dzongla directly. The climb up to Cho La Pass is not very pronounced.

After soaking beautiful views, then come back to Gorakshep. After the hard descent, you have to save a small hill and follow the descent, this time with a less steep slope and bordering a river, until you reach Dragnac. Although the Ngozumpa glacier is almost twice as wide as the Khumbu glacier, it is easier to cross. See the Gokyo Ri. From the top you can see two lakes of a color that you would never have imagined, the Gokyo lake being the protagonist.

Descend along the river that descends from the Gokyo lake and, after 2 hours of walking, long descents and climb some hill, arrive at Machermo. Go down the hill and you can choose to continue through Khumjung or along the mountain. If you go through Khumjung the journey is shorter, but with a much steeper descent. After your journey descend to Pheriche (4,320 m).

Day 11: Namche Bazaar

After following the same route along Imja Khola River, you can reach Tengboche village. From here, head towards Phungki Thanka. After, passing through Kyangjuma, you can reach Namche Bazar (3,435 m).

Day 12: Phakding and Lukla

Retrace the same path same village as before and drop down to Phakding village. From here, after ascending through dense forests, bridges and rivers you can reach Lukla (2,850 m).

Day 13: Fly back to Kathmandu

From Lukla an early morning flight will take you back to Kathmandu. Upon reaching Kathmandu, drive to the hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the nearby Thamel market and do some shopping.

Day 14: Final Departure

This is your last day in Kathmandu. Reach the airport as per your flight time.

How is the weather in Everest Base Camp?

In areas below 4,000 meters, during the walk and with the sun you will find yourself sweating. During the night it will be cold regardless of the height at which you are. In addition to inner thermal clothing, it is recommended to bring 2 jackets, a fleece lining which you can use in mild temperatures and a jacket for intense cold or the last days at Everest base camp.

Which season is the best to climb Everest Base Camp?

The high season is October-December and March-May. If you go in March-May you will have the opportunity to live with many people who are going to try to reach the top of Everest. The best time to visit EBC is spring (March to April) and autumn (end of September to November), and the whole trip takes around 15 to 20 days, depending on your schedule.

What equipment do I need to climb Everest Base Camp?

You really need to wear good hiking shoes, especially that you have already worn them for a while so that they have molded to your foot and avoid blisters. The rest of the equipment can be bought or rented in Kathmandu. It is much cheaper and convenient than buying it from home and hanging around with it.

Is it difficult to climb up to Everest Base Camp? The only thing that will make it a bit strenuous is the lack of oxygen as you go up. The last quarter of the trip, which is approximately 2 days before reaching Base Camp, becomes a little more complicated. Nothing that cannot be done with great care but keep in mind that it is definitely not a walk in the park.

How much does Everest Base Camp trek cost? An all-inclusive package departing from Kathmandu with a duration of 14 days will cost between 1,200 and 1,500 USD per person.

7 Best things to do in San Francisco in a Weekend

Welcome to San Francisco! The land of dreamers, hippies, and the world’s most innovative tech pioneers. You’ll find never-ending enjoyment in the 7x7 mile Californian peninsula. Which, exciting as it sounds, means you can’t cover it all in a quick break. Instead, follow this ultimate guide to visiting San Francisco on a weekend.

San Francisco is probably the most scenic major city in the United States. It’s physical location next to the ocean and large bay make for some very picturesque views. It has some of the best architecture to be found in the entire country. There are a number of really good sites to see. The restaurant options are incredible. It’s the best of San Francisco.

On your road trips from San Francisco, you’ll see some major landmarks, hit up lesser-known gems, and enjoy some delightfully tasty restaurants too. And when you return, you can see the rest. Now, go pack. Prepare for anything and everything. San Francisco has a surprise or two around every corner.

For the next time when you plan your trip to USA you should also add spending the New Years Eve in San Francisco in your bucket list.

First, let’s have a quick discussion about the San Franciscan weather. Because it’s a weird one. San Francisco is subject to micro-climates, where the weather changes quite dramatically within a small area. In one day, you can go from boiling hot to freezing cold. Hell, it’s possible from one street to the next. For that reason, you must pack layers.

Oh, and fog is a real thing in San Francisco. It even has a name, Karl the Fog. And a funny Twitter profile too. The summer months tend to be the foggiest with highs in the morning and the evening. Be warned, it may obstruct your views. Climate is mild throughout the year.

This wonderful West Coast city is an ideal getaway destination for singles, couples, and families. The worth-seeing sites, enchanting views, beautiful streets, and outdoor dining make a great part of San Francisco to visit. Even if you’re not a fan of crowds, San Francisco has a few landmarks that you’ll definitely want to see even if you have to elbow a few ribs along the way.

While visiting the most instagrammable places in San Francisco, everyone finds their place. Here are few options you’ll want to consider. And remember, they can get crowded. If you don’t want to take your luggage or valuables with you, leave them at a safe and secure San Francisco luggage storage facility.

best things to do in San Francisco

Here are a few fun things to do in San Francisco during your weekend getaway.

1. Golden Gate Bridge

A walk, drive, or bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge is another only in San Francisco experience to consider, if you go there. Undoubtedly one of the most famous bridges in the world, the Golden Gate Bridge is an icon of the city. Among the historical landmarks in California, this suspension bridge connecting San Francisco to Marin County completed in 1937, is both beautiful and durable.

It was made to face winds of more than 100 miles per hour. The pedestrian walk provides unique views of the beautiful Bay Area, and is one of the best vacation spots in the US. The big red beast stretches nearly two miles across the waters to connect with Marin County.

If you want to cross the Golden Gate Bridge, you can walk across for free. Or you could do it quicker on a bike. Cyclists are allowed on the bridge’s pedestrian area until 3:30 pm on weekdays. Alternatively, if you want to marvel at the big ole bridge without actually having to cross it, head to Baker Beach where crashing waves and the bridge combine in one stunning vista.

2. Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island has been home to some of the world’s most notorious criminals. It’s seen eight brutal murders. And an untold number of other horrors… so naturally, the island and its infamous prison are among San Francisco’s most popular tourist attractions.

For that reason, booking ahead is a must. Last-minute Alcatraz tickets are available, but really you don’t want the hassle. Instead, the authorized concessioner, Alcatraz cruises, offers three different tours: a night tour, a day tour, and a behind the scenes tour.

All will give you a chance to experience a prisoner’s life on The Rock and to explore the world’s most famous cell house. A tour also includes the very necessary round-trip ferry.

3. Fisherman’s Wharf

If in the area, San Francisco is worth a strategic visit. The Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 area is a great tourist destination. Yes it’s very touristy, but you can get a sense of what is good and unique about San Francisco. The waterfront neighborhood does attract lots of tourists. Lots. But, if you’re prepared for that, you can still have a wonderful day exploring.

You should head straight to Pier 39, where you’ll find the Aquarium of the Bay and a delightful herd of resident sea lions. After, enjoy eating some of the best crabs in San Francisco at Pier 39. Among the fun things to do in San Francisco, taste Clam Chowder, a soup based on potatoes, clams, onions and celery. The best thing is that in a lot of restaurants in USA serve it inside a bread.

Once you’ve seen the icons of the city, it’s time to go a bit deeper into San Francisco and get to its soul.

4. Twin Peaks

In the Summer of Love, 1967, San Francisco became the birthplace of the hippie movement. And the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood was its epicenter. While free love and tie-dye t-shirts are not as prevalent as they once were, the area still attracts those with a love of the counterculture.

Take an afternoon to explore Haight’s extravagant wonderfulness, dipping into vintage clothes stores, anarchist bookshops, and record emporiums. Along the way, look out for the incredible murals. Some of which depict former Haight residents including Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Finally, if you’re looking for a fun night, have a drink at one of Haight’s fun dive bars.

5. Golden Gate Park

At more than 1,000 acres, Golden Gate Park is absolutely ginormous. You could just relax in its open green spaces. But why not enjoy a morning of culture and tour a museum? I recommend the California Academy of Sciences. The world-famous science museum covers (pretty much) everything on earth and beyond with some genuinely stunning displays.

After, continue the cultural exploration at the Japanese Tea Gardens. There you can wander its highly manicured gardens and enjoy a traditional cuppa in the Tea House. Finally, head to the bison paddock to see mighty American bison wandering the fields.

6. Marin Headlands

Marin and San Mateo counties have some spectacular stretches of unspoiled seashore. There are many beaches, but there are also vertical cliffs and offshore rocks. Much of it is quite wild and natural. Half Moon Bay has some very nice beaches. The only place near the Bay Area that has a Southern California beach culture is Santa Cruz, which has a boardwalk amusement park.

7. Angel Island

San Francisco can get a bit, um, hectic. Which is, of course, why we love it. But, if you want to relax, some of the best camping in California can be found a short ferry ride away on Angel Island.

The largest natural island in the bay, Angel Island was once a military base and immigration station. But it’s now better known for its beautiful views of the San Francisco skyline. A visit is all about taking it easy. No all-night raves here. Just take gentle hikes along its nature trails and enjoy its gorgeous city views.

Remember, if you’re going to spend a weekend in San Francisco, you’ve got to be prepared for anything and everything. The city is full of wild surprises (and even wilder people).

To make the most of it, just go with the flow. Embrace the spirit of the city. And be safe. Trust me, you’ll have an unforgettable experience.

5 Best Visa Free Holiday Destinations

Are you planning your vacation in 2020? This is the right time to book and get affordable prices. While searching I was thinking that some places might be in the world which are visa free and people should visit those destinations to make their holidays special. This blog is about a list of those places in the world you can discover without a visa.

Earth is beautiful! There are many beautiful places in the world that are heaven on earth. You can enjoy the most amazing views at some places. Here are some of the holiday destinations in the world you can visit just having your passport. It is amazing to visit such places. So if you need to make your holidays special this time, you should consider the list I’m suggesting to you.

Getting a little upset and irritated at your passport lying dormant in your drawer? We understand the urge! But hey, don’t we travel for the experience over the destination. The allure and stories of a place over a geotag?

best places to travel without passport

Here are the best visa free holiday destinations to visit:

1. Fiji

If you think of paradise when the island floats in your eyes, then the perfect land for your honeymoon is Fiji. Fiji is becoming safer day by day. As a result, the tourist population is increasing on this island. Besides, the tourist center is well known for its diverse villages, charming resorts and hospitality for the locals. April to September is the best time to travel to Fiji.

It is an amazing holiday destination for your vacation. Fiji is one of the wonders on earth having beautiful and scenic coastal lines. One of the famous beach holiday destinations, Fiji warmly welcomes you to explore the beauties of the land, click the moments and get laid back sun-soaking pleasures on the beach spots of the country.

While in Fiji, must-visit Qalito Island, Garden of Sleeping Giant, and a very scenic, soothing Mana Island to enhance your holiday break experience. Fiji's traditional food, especially seafood is famous among travelers. Most importantly, you can get extra cheap packages to explore the place in the budget.

Take the extra luxuries to pay the same as you pay on the other destinations on earth. Fiji is more recommended because this country has several spots and settings for you to make your solo or family holidays memorable and perfect.

Click: Visa exempted countries

2. Morocco

I was looking for the packages for Morocco holidays in October and hope to find them soon. For Brits, it is at least a visa-free destination. We only have to buy our tickets and grab the other documents if they are needed, for example, pets travel document etc. But Morocco is a visa-free holiday destination and a perfect setting to get a diverse experience of your vacations.

Visit Marrakech first – this will give you a very brief, beautiful and unique introduction of Morocco. It is often called mini Morocco that has almost every aspect of the whole land. In Marrakech, you should visit the Djemaa el Fna, a very famous market place in the town to buy something traditional. In front of the market, there is a Café de France to eat quality food.

Take a ride in the hot air balloon in Marrakech. It also has a service of early morning breakfast in the air so don’t miss it. Agadir, Morocco’s coastal city is worth a visit. Travelers get there to take the ultimate beach experiences. The Sunny soft Sandy beach in Agadir welcomes you with several activities there.

Play, soak the sun laid back on the beach beds, stroll on the edge of beautiful water and soothe in the fresh air, and of course, take the pleasures of very traditional foods the city offers.

Don’t miss being at the Chefchaouen, Blue pearl of Morocco, Casablanca and Tangier. You will have your life experience in Morocco I’m sure.

Click: Visa exempted countries

3. Palau

Another visa-free destination on earth is ready to serve you with the ultimate experiences. Being in Palau, a land of real natural wonders, The travelers, who need to de-stress their nerves and relax should visit Palau at least once in their life.

Visit Jellyfish Lake to overview the unique creatures. If you are with your family, your kids will enjoy this place very much. Ngardmau Waterfall is a dreamy place for you and your family. Feel the cool fresh environment of the place. I guarantee you the best experience of your life is there. Also, you should not miss visiting Koror Island for real coastal experiences.

You can take an opportunity to swim in deep waters in Palau. What are you looking for? You should go to take real experiences. Pack your bags, and set out to have fun in Palau.

Click: Visa exempted countries

4. Turkey

Turkey is the best option as far as my traveling experiences are concerned. You can also try visiting Turkey without any visa. Just buy a ticket or book with the inclusive package which is very normal nowadays. You should not miss a chance to be on the land of archaeological places, scenic refreshing beach spots, and a great cultural hub.

Turkey gives you a glimpse of everything. It offers you the old traditional and cultural experiences, and also modern traditions. This melt of things in Turkey inspires me and other travelers. Be on the beach spots, enjoy the nightlife and shop, eat better in the world’s most beautiful and visited holiday destination.

Click: Visa exempted countries

5. Bermuda

Bermuda is more stayed, more upmarket, MUCH nicer beaches, MUCH nicer scuba, fewer people, NICE restaurants, very pretty environment. It’s a little expensive - not if you live in NYC and are used to their prices. Bermuda is the most safe foreign destination you can go to. You’ll need pre-testing, and will have arrival and during visit covid tests.

If you like fishing? There’s a GREAT run on yellowfin tuna at the moment. You can take that back to your hotel (or to your favourite restaurant) and ask the chef to prepare it for you. Sashimi, pepper crusted or jerked. Yellow fin tuna to die for, that YOU caught 6 hours ago. Yes, we do that level of service here. Get an electric buggy, or a scooter and explore the island.

There are tropical beaches, ghost haunted fortresses, and off the beaten path gourmet restaurants, or Bermuda style fast food. You haven’t had fast food at all, until you’ve had a Bermuda fish sandwich. You haven’t seen tropical water until you’ve gone snorkeling off of the south shore of Bermuda in Bombay Sapphire Blue crystal clear water with talcum powder soft pink sand.

Click: Visa exempted countries Stray away from the norm and visit a country that doesn't get as much love as the typical travel destinations. Any of these ideas will be perfect for your next trip.

10 Most Popular Events And Festivals In India

India is truly a land of events and festivals! Such is the charm and grandeur of theirs that people from all across the world visit India to witness these events and festivals. Be it a Hindu or a Muslim, a Sikh or a Christian, in India there is something for everyone. After all, it is not for nothing that the country is known as the melting pot of all the cultures.

In India, over 100 festivals are celebrated but out of them all, a few are celebrated pan India with much zeal and great fervour.

Festivals In India

So, without any ado, we would discuss a few popular festivals in India that you ought to witness, at least once in your lifetime. Here we go!

1. Makar Sankranti

The first festival of the year, Makar Sankranti is another grand festival of India. Celebrated on 14 January, it is famous for kite flying, especially in Gujarat. A kite flying competition is held in Gujarat annually where colorful kites are flown in the sky. Some people take a dip in the holy waters of Ganga to celebrate the beginning of a new year.

Also arriving in the first month of the new year, Lohri is celebrated at the time of harvest. Mark your calendars for 13 January as it is the day of Lohri. It is celebrated in Punjab with grandeur. People gather around a bonfire in traditional attires. Offerings are made to the bonfire, and then people dance to folk music. It is an auspicious festival. Lohri is one of the best winter festivals in India.

A popular festival in South India, Pongal is celebrated between 14 January and 17 January. It is a four-day celebration where the first day is a dedication to the lord of Fire. The second is for the Sun God. The third and the fourth day are for cattle and birds respectively. It is also a harvest-related festival celebrated in cold winters.

2. Vasant Panchami

On the fifth day of Spring, vasant panchami is celebrated in many parts of India by worshiping Saraswati. She symbolises the constant flow of knowledge and wisdom and also represent the flourishing, multi coloured nature, which brings along the light of hope, joy,inspiration and prosperity. The bhog prepared is made up of 5 seeds like nodes of bamboo shoot, misri, nuts cardamom, lotus stems, lotus seeds.

The yellow colour holds a special impact on vasant panchami as it signifies the arrival of spring after a long winter. It is the colour of the bee, the blooming flowers which gives us joy, the colour of the sun which provides us with energy and the blooming fields of mustard during that period.

3. Holi

Known as a festival that is all about colours, Holi is a very popular festival wherein people forget all their grudges and cover each other in different vibrant colours, making way for love and strong bonds. Before the day of the festival, on Holi eve, Holika Dahan takes place which is a bonfire around which people dance and have a whale of a time.

On the day of Holi, people play with dry colours, wet colours, pichkari (water guns), water/colour filled balloons and whatnot. They end their day with some lip-smacking food.

4. Eid-ul-Fitr

This one is the biggest Muslim festival that is, again, celebrated pan India. Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of the religious month of Ramzan. People don the best of their outfits on this day. While the morning is dedicated to special community prayer, in the evening people visit their friends and relatives to exchange sweets. Elders give children or those younger to them Eidi which can either be money or gifts.

5. Rath Yatra

Millions of people gather from all over the world everyday, especially in the month of July to see Rath Yatra.

6. Independence Day

It is nothing but the celebration of freedom, as it is on this day, in 1947, that India got freedom from the shackles of the British rule. The highlights of this day are tableaus, parades, 21 gunshots, the speech of the Prime Minister from the Red Fort and Indian flag hoisting.

Apart from Independence Day, Republic day, one of the noted holidays in India, also evokes the feeling of patriotism in people. For the unversed, 3 years post-independence, in 1950, on this day, the Constitution of India came into being and India became a republic, after being under the British Raj for ages.

This annual event is observed with great pride and much excitement, annually. To celebrate this day, grand parades are held that start from Rashtrapati Bhavan and end at Red Fort, via India Gate.

7. Janmashtami

Another important religious festival of India, Janmashtami is a beautiful festival to witness, especially when you are on a pilgrimage tour in India in Vrindavan or Mathura. This day marks the birthday of the eighth avatar of Vishnu, Krishna. People, on this day, observe fast and, in the evening, celebrate the birthday pf bal gopal with much pomp and show.

While some do just the evening puja, others cut the cake, dress Krishna up in new clothes as well as seat him in a palanquin, decorate their homes and prepare scrumptious dishes to treat the family.

8. Dussehra

Also known as Vijayadashami, Dussehra is celebrated a day after Navratri, a religious festival of 9 days, concludes. On this day and a few days ahead of this festival, Ramlila takes place which is enacting the popular scenes and stories of Ramayana. This enactment concludes with Ravana Dahan, a ritual wherein the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran, and Meghnath are put on fire.

This festival celebrates the death of Ravana, who was killed by Rama.

9. Diwali

This is undeniably one of the best events and festivals in India which is celebrated by one and all, no matter what religion, community or caste they belong to. Diwali is observed with much pomp and show wherein earthen lamps and candles are lit, the houses are decorated with lights and Rangoli. Apart from that, friends and families also exchange sweets, dry fruits, and other expensive gifts.

People get in the festive mood by getting all decked up in new ethnic outfits ahead of the evening puja of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha.

Trikkarthika is one of the ancient Dravidian festivals and currently only Kerala and Tamil Nadu celebrates it primarily. Tamilians call it Karthika deepam. Like Diwali, the main tradition associated with Karthika is lighting as much as lamps on earthen diyas. Prior to lighting lamps, the elder lady of the house has to offer a platter with brown rice, Jaggery balls, rice batter, coconut, avil (flatten rice/Poha), Pori (puffed rice) along with Sandal paste, ashes, kumkum to the goddess.

This platter has to be placed in the Kanimoola side of the house or the main door facing eastern direction. After placing this platter, two torch fires are lighten and placed at the entrance. Then the lighting of lamps starts. Once all the lamps are lighten, the elder male and female of the house has to take the two torch fires and walk around the house, showing the lamp to each tree in the compound and touching it (as a token of love to Mother nature) as well as calling the name of the tree.

After this, the elder lady of the house offer Poovarasan Ada ( steamed rice-jaggery balls cooked in Poovarasan leaves) to the goddess in the pooja room. Its not consumed that day, rather on the next day as prasad. Ladies do recite Lalitha Sahasaranamam and other devi scriptures in the evenings. In night also, the same mélange of tuber vegetables is taken.

On the next day morning, a detailed bath is taken in oil and a temple visit happens in morning. That whole day will also be fasting, but it has to be broken by night by eating some rice along with curd. Those families who have agricultural lands, will light torch fires in their farms at 4 corners of the plot.

With that, the traditions associated with Karthika ends. Apart from Kumanellore temple, the Chakkulathukavu temple in Alleppey celebrates Karthika with Thirupongala ceremonies where devotees offer Pongala (rice and jaggery cooked together) to Mother goddess. In Thrissur’s iconic Vadakumnathan temple, Karthika is celebrated in a big way as the belief is that Shiva of this temple rushes out to the Southern Gopuram to catch a glimpse of Meenakshi’s arrival.

In honor of this myth, huge lamps and campfires are made to mark the divine occasion. In Trivandrum, Travancore Royal family offers special poojas to Padmavati (Goddess Lakshmi in form of consort of Lord Padmanabha) who has a shrine near the Crown Room. Its the only occasion special poojas done for Padmavati in that temple. So as traditionally, several special ceremonies are organized in Kanyakumari temple which was traditionally a Travancore temple.

Trikarthika is more heavily celebrated in Central and South Kerala, particularly the districts of Kottayam, Idukki and Alleppey which were traditionally associated with the myths of Madurai Meenakshi’s arrival. Infact the famous Meenachilar river that flows in Kottayam district is officially named after Madurai Meenakshi, that symbolizes the reverence to the goddess in these areas.

10. Christmas

While this festival is celebrated across India, Christmas is celebrated the best in one of the most popular travel destinations in India, that is, Goa. This day is quite significant in Christianity as it marks the birthday of Jesus Christ. Christmas is so much fun that children and adults are equally excited about this festival.

On this day, families get to do everything together – preparing food, decorating home, the Christmas tree, and whatnot!

Now, that you have all the details about these festivals, experience the same as well as the culture and heritage of India in all its essence during your stay in the country.