5 French Locations Away From Paris

I have lived in France, well Paris for just over 2 years and it was only in the last 6 months that I decided to venture away from the capital and see a little more of my adopted nation. Spending time in some vacation rentals in France and visiting all four corners of the country really opened my eyes and made me realize just how little is spoken about some of the regions in France which in all honesty, blew me away.

Ever since then it seems that every travel blog or piece of travel news that I read is so incredibly Paris-centric and I wanted to do my bit to put things right. Don’t get me wrong, Paris is an outstanding city, elegant, artistic, full of sights and attractions and it truly is the city of romance and I am not for one second saying that you shouldn’t travel there. What I want to say is that after Paris, you should go and see the rest of this incredible country and here are 5 places that I love which will hopefully convince you to broaden your horizons the next time you visit France.

Bordeaux

Widely considered as the wine-capital of France, Bordeaux is a beautiful region which is situated in the south west of France in the Gironde region. Bordeaux sits on the Gironne river and is around an hour form the coast. This region is not only famed for its wine-grwoing climate, rolling valleys and vineyards but also for its rich history and its outstanding cuisine. Much of Bordeaux should be explored on foot and the number one attraction that any tourists should go to is the beautiful cathedral which overlooks the river.

Auvergne

When I headed out of the city I really wanted to find that side of France which is drenched in nature, the tranquil and green areas which would give me the perfect chance to decompress after living in a bustling capital. I found exactly what I was looking for in Auvergne, a forested, volcanic region right in the heart of France which appears as though it has been untouched by the changing hands of time. I spent over a week in this region hiking up to volcanoes, bathing in hot springs and even managed to do some skiing whilst I was there. If you want to enjoy a relaxing break in isolation then look no further than Auvergne.

Les Gorges du Verdon

The miniature and younger sister of New York’s Statue of Liberty in Paris is not the only similarity between the two nations and in Les Gorges du Verdon you will find France’s answer to the Grand Canyon. Set in south east France between the Alpes-de-haute-Provence and the Var this 15 mile long, 700 meter deep canyon is finished off with the glistening, turquoise waters of the river Verdon which flows through the heart of the crevice. This wild region of France is rarely talked about and a visit here will allow you to see a very different side to the country. This who are looking for adventure can hike around the canyon or even raft and kayak along the choppy waters of the Verdon.

Bretagne

Bretagne or Brittany as it is widely known is a rigged coastal region on the west coast of France that feels as though it is a country within a country. Everything is different here, the food, the weather, the locals and even the history and it makes for a truly eye-opening place to visit. Here you will find thick forests to hike through, choppy seas to sail on and medieval towns to learn about. In my opinion you will find the very best seafood that France has to offer right here in Brittany and you can wile your days away exploring the dramatic coastline and take in the seemingly forgotten towns of Roscoff, Quimper and Vannes. There is much to see and do in Brittany from the natural to the man-made and it should most definitely be a place that you visit at least once during your time in France.

Nice

My favorite fRench city is Nice, set on the French Riviera this city offers all of the razzmatazz of Paris with the addition of beautiful weather and the glorious sea. A 30 minute ride from Cannes and not too far down the coast from the likes of Monaco and St Tropez, Nice is perfectly situated for a nice break in the warm Mediterranean sun. The city is very trendy and there are plenty of students who call Nice their home, this gives the city a very ‘hip’ feel to it and gives tourists a great location to unwind and enjoy themselves.

Do you have a favorite French destination? Let us know if so and why in the comments section below and share it with the World.

Learn All You Can About Your Next Travel Destination

This is the village of Oia, perched on a clifftop at the end of the island of Santorini. Our cave house was near the bottom of the developed part of the hillside.

If you have an upcoming vacation in mind, is it all planned out and ready to go?

For countless travelers, reaching that next travel destination may seem like a major task at first (finances, planning etc.), but it certainly does not have to be the case.

For example, the Internet gives you so much information these days when it comes to where you might want to visit next.

Whether those destinations will be spots you visit for the first time or over and over again, there is always something to learn about them.

Keep in mind that many vacation spots like to upgrade their offerings over time, so things will in fact change. From new offerings to changing prices (typically higher), you need to stay up to speed on what is occurring.

So, how knowledgeable will you be the next time you starting thinking of getting away from it all?

Turning to the Travel Pros

In order to better appreciate and enjoy your next vacation, having travel professionals working with you is certainly a good idea.

For instance, are you interested in learning about and exploring one or more regions of the United States, jet-setting across Europe, or perhaps discovering more about specially curated Brazil vacation packages? No matter where your travels will take you this year or down the road, being as educated as possible about your destination/s is crucial.

Secondly, ask the travel pros if there are any regions of the world where travel is not highly recommend at this time.

While there can be myriad of reasons for such travel advisories, some of the more common ones include factors such as political upheaval, devastation from weather happenings, poor economic conditions, threats of terrorism etc. By having as many details in-hand, you are better suited to decide where you want to go.

Do You Research

For starters, you can do lots of your own research before you ever sit down to talk with a travel company.

Among the areas to cover:

  • Do they have customized packages available? If so, what all do they include?
  • How do their rates compare to other travel companies, some of which you may be interested in dealing with?
  • Do they have any money-back guarantee offers regarding their trips?
  • How far in advance should you typically book a major trip?
  • Do they recommend travel insurance for your vacation?

Whether you have a travel addiction or you’re just the occasional traveler, do your best to be educated on where you’re going and how you are arriving there.

Best Times to Travel?

Certain worldwide destinations are better off going to during particular times of the year.

For example, someone wanting to see all of Alaska’s beauty is not typically inclined to go there in the wintertime. Not only can many of the roads be impassable, but transportation just getting there can prove quite difficult.

Meantime, are you currently in a cold weather region of the U.S., looking to escape that for a week or two? If so, heading south of course is your best option.

If you like crowds, heading to Brazil for the famed Rio Carnival may very well get your attention. Not only are you sure to fine lots of people and entertainment, but the weather should be rather ideal for snowbirds needing a break from cold and snow.

Also look at what the expenses will be in going to a site that is in particularly high demand from travelers.

Although some area may not be your first choice, going there may save you some dollars, money saved while other travelers have flocked elsewhere.

At the end of the day, knowing all you can about your next travel destination is what should be your top priority.

By knowing all you can about it, you can determine if it is truly where you want to go.

If it isn’t, then turn your focus elsewhere, allowing you to get to that place you will remember for years to come.

Important things to know before traveling to the USA

 

Planning on traveling to the USA on holiday for the first time this year? While there is much to see and do in this exciting country, there are a number of things that you should keep in mind as you plan your trip to America … check out our list below:

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1) Apply for a visa waiver before packing your bags

Unlike many other nations in the developed world, entry into the United States of America is tightly controlled, even for western nationalities.

Even Canadians, who have the easiest requirements to meet, are routinely grilled with questions by eagle-eyed border guards trained to sniff out individuals with less than noble intentions.

As long as you look into visa waiver programs before booking your ticket (which will allow you 90 days of travel in America for business and/or pleasure), and remain calm as you answer the queries that Homeland Security asks of you, everything will be fine.

2) The United States is a massive country

The USA is not like the United Kingdom or France – measuring 4,314 kilometres east to west, and 2,514 kilometres north to south at their widest points, this country is impossible to experience in its entirety during the standard two week holiday.

Even if you use the maximum 90 day allotment that your visa waiver provides you, you’ll be constantly rushing around, which will make it hard to soak in your destinations.

As a result, it is best that you confine yourself to one or two geographical regions during your stay in the USA.

3) Tipping culture is pervasive

Throughout much of the Western world, gratuities for workers in the service industry are either included in the bill, or wages are at a rate that makes leaving a sizable one unnecessary. In America, the choice of whether to leave a tip is left up to the consumer.

Most citizens opt to do so for even sub-par service though, as wages for many jobs in this sector in the USA are very low ($2.13 an hour, though servers that don’t make enough in gratuities in a given month are topped up to $7.25 an hour over the amount of time that they worked).

For acceptable service, 15-20% is standard, and locals are more than happy to tip more than that for an exceptional experience.

4) Units of measurement are in imperial units, not metric

Just drove away from the airport in your rental car, and are shocked at how slow freeway speed limits are in the USA? Unless you are from Germany or Italy, you might be mistaking miles per hour for kilometres.

Units in America are still in imperial units, despite most other nations switching to metric more than a generation ago. Other things to watch for: temperature is in Fahrenheit, petrol/gas is sold by the gallon, and product measurements are in ounces and pounds.

5) Travel to the US can be a costly affair

It’s good to start pre-planning a while in advance as flights can be anywhere up to $600 one way depending on where you are flying from. Expedia often run deals, sometimes you get upto 60% off last minute offers, these can be found on mamma.com. Make sure you look out for various deals and get saving well in advance.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Romania

Romania is not a country that makes the news too often. It’s hidden on the Eastern outskirts of Europe, trying to catch up with its Western neighbors when it comes to democracy, economy and technology. But it is ignored by many, which is a pity – it has some of the best mineral waters of the continent, it has lands mostly untouched by industrial farming, and one of the cheapest and fastest internet services in the world, allowing its people to play mobile casino games, read the news, stream videos and communicate wherever they are. But there are several more reasons why the country is worth a visit, both during the summer and in wintertime.

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Traditions

Romania is a melting pot of multiple civilizations. Its Western parts were mostly influenced by Austria, France and Italy, while its East bears signs of a Turkish, Slavonic and Balkanic influence. This mix results in an amalgam of traditions, spread across its multiple regions, which show in its time-honored attire, its foods, wines and wont.

Nature

Romania has everything from an untouched mountain wilderness inhabited by bears, boars and wolves, to the largest rivel delta in the European Union. While its Black Sea shoreline is mostly covered in resorts and beaches, it has mountains barely even seen by the eye of man. And hidden among these mountains you can find small villages, tarns and caves, and picturesque places to relax.

Dracula’s birthplace

Don’t expect to find the undead, not even skeletons chained to the wall, in the dungeons of the Sighisoara (Schabburg) Castle. But it’s a place of great significance, as it is most likely the birthplace of the most famous Romanian ruler of them all, Vlad Tepes – also known as Dracula. Schabburg was for years the place of residence for Vlad II Dracul, father of the famous Impaler.

The Sighisoara Citadel was built in the 12th century, and is inhabited even today. A UNESCO World Heritage sight since 1999.

Transfagarasan

While Romania is a country with hardly any freeways, lacking the basic infrastructure at times, it is also known for being the country with the most beautiful highways ever (according to the guys from Top Gear). The Transfagarasan is a highway crossing over the Southern parts of the Carpathians, and the second highest road in the country, with an altitude of over 2 kilometers. Surrounded by an incredible, arid landscape, driving there is an out of this world experience.

The Bran Castle

Back to the most famous Romanian brand, Dracula. The castle, built in the 13th century, represents the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. It was never actually the dwelling of the feared Impaler, but it has served as an inspiration to Bram Stoker to describe the vampire’s castle in his famous book. A landmark and a museum, the Bran Castle is open for tourists and visitors all year long.

We hope this post and tips will help make your visit to the top tourist attractions in Romania a memorable one!

Tropical travel destinations that offer gaming excitement

Atlantis on Paradise Island makes the Bahamas one of several tropical travel destinations that offer gaming excitement ... photo by CC user WPPilot on wikimedia commons

Seeking out some tropical travel destinations to take you away from the pit of despair that the darkness of early winter can be, but also looking for some gaming excitement in the process? Book your ticket for one of the following hotspots:

The Bahamas

Home to the world famous Atlantis Casino on Paradise Island, the Bahamas is an excellent place to have a Caribbean holiday that includes the possibility of placing a few wagers during the course of your stay.

From picture perfect beaches in and around Nassau, to tasting some of the world’s best rums, a trip to this archipelago that lies southeast of the Floridian coast will be one that will prove memorable for you and your travel companions.

When on the premises of Atlantis, enjoy one of the world’s most thrilling water slides, and if you plan your trip during early to mid-January, you’ll get a chance to watch or play in the Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure, which is one of the most prestigious live poker tournament series during the course of any given year.

Costa Rica

Have a thing for ziplines, trekking, and paddling out to catch the morning’s biggest waves? If all of things appeal to you, then Costa Rica is a wonderful place to escape from the cold for a couple of weeks.

If gaming is one of your hobbies as well, many resort towns offer casino gaming when the sun has sank beneath the horizon. Jaco Beach is one of them, as it has two casinos within town limits that offer various stake levels for those with different risk tolerances.

A little rusty at some of the standard games? No shame if it has been a little while for you – just practice with a small bankroll at netbet casino – 100% bonus on first deposit, and you’ll be placing bets like its second nature to you in no time.

Goa, India

While many of Asia’s conservative culture take a dim view on gaming, the attitude of those in the state of Goa in India is far more liberal than those in the rest of the region, making it an ideal place for those that love risking their money in pursuit of more to take a vacation from their vacation.

When you aren’t working on your tan, exploring the colonial structures in Old Goa, or shopping for hippie trinkets in this state’s many markets, there are a variety of resorts and riverboat casinos that will gladly take your bets.

Those looking for more options should go for the floating casinos, as the land based ones are only allowed to offer electronic gaming only.

Museums in Florida for the whole family

Orlando’s central location makes it the perfect hub for families who want to explore all that Florida has to offer. Since flights to Orlando are often rather affordable, your family can fly to Orlando, rent a car, and start your adventure. If you stick to a schedule, you could see many of the state’s best cities within less than two weeks.

As you travel, make sure you visit these museums in Florida. They offer unique views that you won’t find anywhere else. They can also act as cultural anchor points that will help you balance Florida’s amazing restaurants and beaches with something more educational than snoozing the day away on the sand.

Orlando Science Center

City: Orlando

Hours: Closed Wednesdays, open all other days from 10 AM to 5 PM

Admission: $19, discounts available for children, students, and seniors

You  might as well start your educational tour of Florida in Orlando. The Orlando Science Center will give you time to relax after your flight while you visit some of central Florida’s finest science exhibits.

Orlando Science Center has several permanent exhibits as well as some traveling exhibits and special events. It’s suitable for kids and adults. You’ll learn about the natural world, biology, weather, and space. It’s interesting but doesn’t get too technical, so don’t worry that it will all go over your head.

Take some time to visit the Crosby Observatory and its 10-inch lens refractor telescope. It’s the largest telescope in Florida, so you will get a view of the planets, nebulae, and stars like never before. The observatory has some night hours. Check the website so you can schedule your visit on a day with hours after dark.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

This place is one of the better museums in Florida

Photo by foun10head via Trover.com

City: Miami

Hours: Open from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM every day except Tuesday

Admission: $18, discounts for children, students, and seniors. Military personnel get in free.

Vizcaya is a sprawling estate built by Miami businessman James Deering. The villa sits on 50 acres of preserved gardens and native forest. About ten acres are devoted to immaculate gardens designed to mimic the style of those owned by royalty and wealthy merchants during the Italian Renaissance.

While the formal gardens are spectacular, anyone who loves nature will want to visit the native forest. Miami’s growth has removed most of the native forests along Biscayne Bay. The native forest was a barrier to commercial and residential developments, so most of it was replaced with buildings. Vizcaya is one of the few places where you can see what’s left of the forest. Standing along the water, it’s possible to imagine the dense trees stretching along the bay.

The villa has been turned into a respectable art museum. It was actually the Dade County Art Museum in the 1950s.

You’ll want to spend the night in Miami before making the drive to Key West. I recommend Hotel Urbano. It’s close to Vizcaya and has beautiful rooms affordable rates.

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

Photo by via Ashley via Trover.com

City: Key West

Hours: Open from 9 AM to 5 PM every day

Admission: Adults: $13; Children: $6; Children five and under get in free.

It takes about three and a half hours to drive from Miami to Key West. Take your time and enjoy it. Hopping from island to island is a great experience unlike any other drive in the USA. During the drive you can feel your mindset switch from the hustle of Miami to the relaxation on the Keys.

Make reservations at The Gardens Hotel to make the trip even more enjoyable. You can’t really choose a bad hotel in Key West, but this is one of the best options for privacy at modest rates. It’s not exactly the cheapest hotel in the world, but nothing is really cheap in Key West. Besides, it’s worth splurging a little. Unless you decide to move to Florida, you probably won’t make the trip to Key West again in the near future.

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is one of the area’s most historically significant buildings. Hemingway wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” while living there. It’s a spectacular house purchased for him and his wife by a wealthy relative. While visiting, check out Hemingway’s extensive library to get an idea of what he was reading while working on some of his most popular stories.

Salvador Dali Museum

Photo by Bill Dillard via Trover.com

City: St. Petersburg

Hours: Thursday and Friday: 10 AM to 8 PM, 10 AM – 5:30 PM all other days

Admission: $24, discounts available for children, students, and seniors

Every aspect of the Dali Museum honors the passion and humor that made Salvador Dali one of the 20th Centuries most celebrated artists. The museum displays several of Dali’s artworks. Anyone who loves art should visit the Dali while passing through St. Pete.

The building itself is a wonderful tribute to the Spanish artist. The large helical staircase symbolizes Dali’s fascination with DNA sequences. There’s even an outdoor sculpture of Dali’s trademark handlebar moustache.

Try your best to visit the Dali Museum on a Thursday or Friday, when it stays open late. The outdoor garden offers a wonderful view of the sea as it sets into the Gulf of Mexico.

If you want to spend the night in St. Petersburg, stay at Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront so you can reach the Dali easily. It’s less than a mile away.

Florida Aquarium

City: Tampa

Hours: Daily from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Admission: $23.95 with discounts for children and seniors

It only takes half an hour to drive from St. Pete to Tampa. You can easily make Tampa part of your stay in St. Petersburg or visit it on your way back to Orlando. Just give yourself plenty of time if you plan to board your plane on the same day.

Make a stop at the Florida Aquarium while you’re in Tampa. The Aquarium recently opened a new exhibit called Ocean Commotion that has a huge collection of strange sea life. It’s pretty amazing to see how these creatures adapted to their underwater environments.

You will also want to visit the Coral Reef exhibit. It does a good job simulating a 60-foot dive into the ocean. It’s as close as it gets without suiting up and jumping in the water.

Matthew Thompson is a writer and blogger based in Louisville, KY. You can follow him on Google+ or check out some of his latest travel writing on the Hipmunk website.

Explore Kauai

When you go to explore Kauai, be sure to check out the Na Pali Coast ... photo by CC user kdvandeventer on pixabay

Welcome to Kauai, it has the distinction of being the oldest island in the Hawaiis. Its natural beauty is spectacular and attracts people from far and wide. Every year it receives over 440 inches of rainfall. This stunning places as diverse geographical features like deserts and beaches, forests and swamps besides mountains on its little over 550 square miles area. It has four distinction regions, each with its own natural attractions – the shores on North and South along side views on the east and west.

This remote yet stunningly beautiful island is dotted with beautiful spots. The Hanalei Valley Lookout offers great opportunities for those beginning to explore Kauai, and for clicking photos. It is in Hanalei; alongside several waterfalls one might find a rainbow. Visiting this magical place is a must on very Kauai itinerary. Towards the west side is the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge. This came up in 1900s simply from crossing the river. Today it takes one across to the Hanapepe town that has many galleries, shops and galleries providing an insight into the local artists works.

People from all across the world love to holiday in the Hawaii islands. Kauai in specific is popular wedding destination too. Number of Americans flock to holiday at its beaches. The visit this picturesque place most of the foreigners seeking to visit this part of the USA would need to apply for a temporary visa like the tourist visa. It is important to note that citizens of some countries that have already been listed in the Visa Waiver Program may travel without one. These travelers would just need to check ESTA visa status and plan their visit.

Another crowd puller is the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife refuge. It closes on all federal holidays besides Sundays and Mondays. The National wildlife refuge here was started in 1985. Hawaiian seabirds thrive in the area, the cliffs and slopes are overshadowed by the lighthouse. For wildlife animals too it provides a natural habitat. It is home to the Hawaiian monk seal, Humpback whale and Green sea turtle all of which are on the endangered list.

For adventure seekers, Kauai has some amazing options. There are helicopter tours, ATV tours, train tours, tube tours, whale watching, Dolphin charters, sport fishing tours, surfing and zipping. For checking out its charming coastline and wonderful waterways one could choose the ever so popular kayaking tours. Then there are the Island Tours which take one to the magical land of the Garden Island. The professionals ensure that visitors get to see the best in limited time. This location is what romantic novels and movies are made of. Be it romantic sunset, meteor showers, full moon nights or just staring at the star lit skies can trigger couples to get intimate.

Trip to any place is considered complete only when we shop even if it is just bringing back gifts as souvenirs. There are a number of spots like art galleries and boutiques to pick up something you like. Also crafts fairs are nice places to find something you would like.

When is the best time to visit Salar De Uyuni to get the best possible travel experience?

Want to get this shot? If so, the rainy season is the best time to visit Salar De Uyuni

The best time to visit Salar de Uyuni strongly relies on the weather conditions, resources and events that tourists would want to take pleasure in. Salar de Uyuni is one of the most gorgeous regions in all of South America, if not the globe. It is a large salt falt located in Bolivia reowned for its reflective properties in rainfall, and due to this and its flatness and featureless nature, it is a playground for photographers.

The best time to visit Salar de Uyuni may be quite difficult to distinguish since there are several pros and cons to take note of in this place.. For instance, during rainy season which happens between January to March, the visual effect of the water on Salar is spectacular and appears to be reflective, like that of a mirror. However, the roads are muddy and there is the ever present possibility of floods because of the regular heavy rains that occur during this time of year. 

For some, the best time to visit Salar de Uyuni is in months of June to September, which is considered to be the winter months here, owing to the nation’s location in the Southern Hemisphere. These are the times when temperatures are low and the skies are bright and clear, which is ideal for those looking to take photos without the inconveniences of inclement weather.

This 4,000 square mile area was once a lake, but due to climate change long ago, it has become a salt and lithium mine, producing as much as 10 billion tons and 43% of the world’s reserves respectively.

Visitors who go here get to drive through the flat, reflective surface on 4×4 vehicles and marvel at the seemingly endless horizons. If you are with friends, you will definitely enjoy playing around with the optical illusions the environment produces.

During dry season, the landscape will appear white. But during the rainy season, the flats will often be submerged in a thin layer of water because of the regular rains, thereby reflecting the beauty of the sky.

This former lake also offers tourists spectacular views of Mars-like landscapes and opportunities to soak in hot springs, as it is located in the vicinity of the dormant volcano Licancabur.

You can also take a dive into its clear green-tinted waters and enjoy some sun-bathing after and then join a climbing expedition if you have the time. If you wish to enjoy these activites, rainy season is not the best time to visit Salar de Uyuni.

Salar de Uyuni is really a magnificent spot to visit since there are picturesque mountains and lagoons which changes colors – ranging from red to clear. These experiences and others will absolutely make your tour to Salar de Uyuni memorable and truly worth remembering.

Top Reasons To Visit During Holy Week In Brazil

During Holy Week in Brazil, events like the Stations of the Cross are commonplace

Among the top reasons to visit Holy Week in Brazil is that like the Carnival, it is celebrated throughout the country. Brazil is a predominantly Catholic nation, like Philippines in Asia and Ireland in Western Europe. The prestigious event lasts for several days and is celebrated in two ways: either traditionally or in an unorthodox manner. No matter how you celebrate it, I’m sure you’ll find some good reasons to see Brazil during Holy Week.

Reason #1: See carpets being laid on stone-paved streets

The laying of carpets is one of the most notable customs during Brazil’s Holy Week. The best place to witness this intriguing tradition is Ouro Preto. These carpets tend to have intricate designs and made of traditional fabric. Even more interesting are the materials used to weave these fabrics which could be anything from flowers to coffee.

Reason #2: Hang out in the beaches and cities for a party

Even in a very religious occasion there are plenty of Brazilians who celebrate Holy Week in a different way. It is usually in these events that beach resorts are often fully booked and night clubs are filled with many lively people. Ironic as it seems, having a wild time in this country can be one of the top reasons to visit Holy Week in Brazil.

Reason #3: Feel the essence of spirituality among devout locals

People who revere spirituality will enjoy scenes of crowds celebrating the Holy Week out of devotion. During the Holy Week, churches in Brazil are usually filled with people. If you’re visiting to see these inspiring sights, remember to be conservative with your clothing.

Reason #4: Eat Easter Eggs

One of the top reasons to visit Holy Week in Brazil is for their Easter Eggs. Brazilians take their Easter Eggs very seriously and they’re not always boiled eggs either. Some are made of chocolate and others, with pastries. These Easter Eggs make great treats for anyone and can even be brought home as souvenirs.

If you have means to do so, it’s highly recommended to fly around the country during this week to truly experience all Holy Week in Brazil has to offer. TAM airlines flies all over Brazil and if you book ahead of time you’ll most likely find some good deals.

3 lesser known cities in Brazil not to miss

Recife is one the lesser known cities in Brazil that will blow you away!

While you are looking forward to your first trip to Brazil, you are looking for a way to fit in a lesser known but worthwhile destination. This is because you have always long held the belief that cities that aren’t as touristy offer a much more authentic experience with respect to the local culture … besides, who wants to crawl over masses of foreigners while attempting to enjoy a place?

Your ambitions will have you catapulting all over the world’s fifth largest nation though, so you are also aware that you’ll have to use Brazil’s domestic flight network. As a result, this will be your first time flying with TAM airlines, but take heart: they have an excellent reputation for hospitality, and as a foreigner, they will be doubly certain to make sure your first exploration of Brazil is a strongly positive one.

Now that you are pumped to check out the hidden secrets of South America’s biggest nation, here are three lesser known cities in the nation that will blow your mind … let’s begin.

1) Recife

Settled initially by the Dutch, Recife has a historical core that will make this coastal a favorite among culture vultures. The highlights include the oldest synagogue in all of the Americas, Marco Zero Square, which contains a stunning array of buildings, as well as a slate of impressive catherdrals and fortifications. The beaches here are very well-regarded, so you can start working on your tan on one of its famed city beaches.

2) Fortaleza

If beaches are a thing you take seriously though, Fortaleza would be a better choice for you than Recife. The surf here kicks up pretty high much of the year, making it a great place to paddle out into the choppy waters of the Atlantic in search of the perfect swell.

Are the urban beaches of Fortaleza not exactly what you are envisioning when it comes to a paradisaical getaway? Then we strongly advise that you take a day trip out of the city to the beach town of Jericoacoara, and then ask around about Lagoa Paraiso or Lagoa Azul … we promise that you won’t be disappointed!

3) Brasilia

Fans of modern architecture will want to set their sails for Brasilia, the purpose built capital city of Brazil. Visitors will bear witness to the optimistic vision of the future that planners had in the 1950’s, with cathedrals, court buildings, and bridges containing sweeping curves and George Jetson-esque design throughout their modernist forms.

Those looking for adventure and sights on the outskirts will find it in the form of waterfalls, with Itiquira waterfall being the best of the lot standing 168 metres tall from top to bottom.