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Kalkan, Antalya – The Turkish Riviera

Antalya 10

BEAUTIFUL COASTAL TOWNS OF THE TURKISH RIVIERA

 

Antalya:

 

Located along the Turkish Mediterranean Sea, Antalya is a coastal town filled with innumerable delightful beaches, ancient ruins and jagged mountains. Antalya offers a lot of interesting places and to do’s for every age and taste. There are many ruins to explore like Hierapolis, an ancient city and popular attraction. Aspendos is the only ancient theater that is still in use today for major musical arrangements.

 

The Old Town of Antalya is one of the main attractions, you can shop for antiques, carpets, Turkish spices, and local crafts. A wonderful place to relax and unwind is the old harbour  where you can get some fresh air or dine alfresco. An enormous number of bars, cafés, restaurants, shops with amazing views extends to to the Bey Mountains and north to the Taurus Mountains. Food is superb, extremely cheap and tastes very good.

 

Kalkan:

 

About 3 hours from Antalya is the small peaceful fishing village of Kalkan. The town is more classy, laidback in style. Kalkan is located at the at the base of the Taurus Mountains and overlooks a perfect sparkling bay. The bay is home to excellent restaurants and a central beach, a paradise for swimmers. The town has been voted many times as one of the best destinations in Europe for a holiday. Definitely recommended for travellers looking for that rejuvenating sun and sea holiday.

 

Kalkan Bay is also home to our gorgeous luxury villa that clings to a cliff, listed by one of the most renowned US magazine as one of Europe’s 100 Sexiest Summer Villas. A high end villa offering contemporary interiors that take full advantage of the amazing sea views – and include entire walls of glass. Find out more

 

 

 

 

Tuscany in September

wine festival

THE BEST FESTIVALS IN TUSCANY FOR SEPTEMBER

 

Tuscany in September is filled with events and festivals. Apart from being a top spot for Renaissance arts, architecture and a beautiful place to spend the holidays, many festivals are also held in the region that you can take part of. Famous for its wines, Chianti and Panzano celebrates their wine festival with food, open air concerts, street music. The region boasts over 30 wines, some of which are internationally acclaimed. Locals take these festivals to heart. A variety of Tuscany’s bright colors, grand parades,  medieval costumes, fireworks and the aroma of Italian recipes awaits you for a fun packed trip in September.

 

Giostra del Saracino, Arezzo

The event is rooted from military training. This ancient game of chivalry (game on horseback) is held in Arezzo in the first Sunday of September (in the afternoon). The tournament happens in the Piazza Grande. Participants are dressed in costumes of the period while the town is filled with costume characters and the town’s ancient banners entering the square accompanied by the sound of trumpets and drums.

 

Vino al Vino in Panzano

Happening on the third weekend of September. The vintners of Panzano showcase the best of the region’s wines, exchanging their passion for winegrowing, wine making. The Wine Tasting event gives you the opportunity to taste the different styles of wines while listening to great music and sampling Italian food in a more intimate atmosphere. Panzano is located mid-way between Florence and Sienna and has a beautiful hill-top location with some of the most attractive views of rural Tuscany.

 

Festa dell ‘Uva, Scansano

The whole month of September is a party for the people of Scansano. Located in Maremma, in Grosseto, the entire town of Scansano is transformed to a host of wine tasting event weekend after weekend. You can watch farmers harvest grapes, truly a beautiful sight. The most distinguished cellars are opened to visitors. Sample a glass of fine wine served with a number of snacks made from local produce. Locals also showcase their crafts in the market where you can buy Italian handbags, clothes, shoes, cheese, handicrafts. There is also music, dancing, float parades, clown shows, theaters and concerts.

 

Palio della Balestra

A crossbow event rooted from Renaissance Tuscany. It is held on the second Sunday of September in the town square of Sansepolcro. It is an exceptional event where archers from Sansepolcro compete against their all time rivals, the archers from Gubbio (Umbria). The participants enter the town square in costumes, accompanied by the roll of drums and the sound of horns while the flag bearers launch their flags, bearing the colours of the ancient city quarters, into the air.

 

Cacio al Fuso

A cheese rolling competition happening in Pienza near Siena, Tuscany. Cacio al Fuso is an ancient tradition of the local countryside, participants get 3 rolls to get the cheese as close to its target. While the fun is brewing in the town center, the town features gastronomic delights and its famed Pecorino cheese. Locals showcase and sell their crafts and products. The fair ends with a ball in the main Piazza.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Must See Beautiful Hill Towns in Umbria

Perugia 4

SET FOOT IN UMBRIA’S TOP BEST

 

Umbria is one of the smaller regions in Italy and considered to be the green heart of the country with its fertile landscape and rolling hills. Fairly preserved from mass tourism, each town has something unique to offer with the beauty of its charming medieval villages, lakes, olive groves, vineyards and rich Etruscan culture. Here is our top destinations in Umbria. We’ve picked the best attractions and towns for you to visit.

 

Spoleto

Spoleto

Spoleto is a hill town and relatively larger than some other towns in Umbria. Its famous landmarks are Rocca Albornoziana (pictured), a glowering 14th-century former papal fortress. The Cathedral of Santa Maria dell’Assunta and ancient Roman Theaters are also something interesting to see. Spoleto is also famous for the Festival of the Two Worlds an annual summer music and opera festival held each June to early July. Where to stay...

 

Spello

Spello Flowers

Only half an hour from Perugia, lies this ancient town of Spello. It is an old-walled town filled with historical architecture from three  millenia. Very photogenic, the lovely town is home to medieval churches, art museums, medieval castles, palaces. You can walk in the streets, stairways and relive the nostalgia of the past. One of the highlights of the year is the annual festival Infiorata Flower Festival held late May or early June. For some months, the entire streets of Spello are covered with flowers, intricately designed to a piece of artwork. The annual event has attracted tens of thousands of tourists while many artists showcase their craft. Spello also held free concerts in the summer, apart from being famous for its olive harvest and wine making. With the onset of tourism, many restaurants and shops opened in Spello that offers nouvelle Italian cuisine. Where to stay...

 

Castiglione del Lago

Castiglione del Lago

The town of Castiglione del Lago is located along southwest part of Lake Trasimeno, the fourth largest lake in Italy. It was ruled by Etruscans and Romans but have few noteworthy Umbrian architectural structures blamed on the long cycle of death and destruction among competing Etruscans against Romans, and later Tuscans against Perugians. The location of this town is the prime reason why tourists loved this delightful village. It has an outstanding view of Lake Trasimeno from the fortress walls of the town. During summer, enjoy plunging to Lake Trasimeno’s cool waters or just lay down your picnic blanket and get some sunshine. Along the lake are well kept beaches and excellent restaurants with picturesque views. In Spring, an annual festival Coloriamo I Cieli or Let’s paint the sky is held and colorful kites and hot air balloons are organized, an extraordinary event for families and friends to bond togetherWhere to stay...

 

Gubbio

Gubbio

Located in the Northeast of Perugia on the slopes of Monte Ignino. The city’s history dates as far as Pre Roman times, an important city to native Umbrians. The town centre is very medieval recognizable by its Gothic architecture, dark grey stones and narrow streets. There are a number of significant historical architectures worth to visit in Gubbio, the Duomo (Cathedral), Basilicas, Roman Theaters, Museums and Palaces. Another way to view the beauty of Gubbio is by a unique cable car to top of Mount Ignino, there you can rest and enjoy the view in a classic Italian restaurants and bars with wonderful views of the town and the surrounding countryside. On the  15th day of May, an annual run called Corsa dei Ceri is held as celebration of Saint Ubaldo Day accompanied by processions, roving musicians and great Italian food. Where to stay...

 

Perugia

Perugia 2

The capital of Umbria, Perugia is a large hilltown famous for its architecture, arts, university, even chocolate. In the 15th century, the town was at the heights of its pursuit for arts, culture and commerce. It is home to artists and art lovers alike. Expect a myriad of beautiful attractions, cathedrals, historical structures. From the town centre you can head to the outskirts of Perugia where you can find the Parks and miles of green countryside, rolling hills, olive groves and vineyards. The much awaited annual festival Umbria Jazz festival is one of the most important jazz festivals in the world, that’s 10 days of the best singers and jazz artists from all over the world during  the month of July. Where to stay...

 

 

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Top 10 Attractions You Can’t Miss in Bali

Bali Rice

BALI IS NOW NUMBER ONE

 

Bali has topped TripAdvisor’s best destination list for 2017. This Indonesian island has been a much loved place for tourists for quite some time now. The combination of cultural attractions, lush rice paddies, pristine beaches, rugged coastlines, exotic cuisine and its very hospitable people made it number one.

 

Accommodation has also risen to its very best. The open air accommodations with lush gardens looks amazing and enhance Balinese culture. There are quiet places near the beach or the countryside that will truly spark your senses. Casalio Travel has a list of luxury villas that you can chose from for couples or families. The villas are beautiful, in serene locations and surrounded by Bali’s visually enjoyable lush terraced rice paddies. Not to mention your own private staff, chefs, cooks to make your stay a truly rewarding experience.

 

In general, Bali is a safe destination. Locals are tolerant, modest and friendly to visitors. Modest dress is expected in Bali. Daytime temperatures is pleasant all through out the year. Moonson rains come from December to March but the island is mostly sunny tropical throughout the year. Spend your next holiday in Bali and immerse in its culture. From visiting temples, enjoying exotic dishes, a hike to Mount Batur or exploring waterfalls. Find out why this island is now the world’s number one destination.

 

1 EXPLORE BALI’S TEMPLES

Bali Temples

There are over 20,000 temples in Bali but the most scenic ones are found in the highlands and the coasts with its amazing backdrop. When visiting a temple, proper attire is required, there are available sarong and sash rentals near the temples. The most beautiful temples in Bali are Tanah Lot, Uluwatu Temple, Goah Gajah, Ulun Danu Beratan and the Besakih Temple.

 

2 TEGALALANG/JATILUWIH RICE TERRACES

Bali Rice 3

This is the predominant scenery in Bali. The picture perfect locations are Tegalalang and Jatiluwih terraced rice paddies, just two of the most blissful sites. The rice paddies dates as far as the Neolithic times. Because of the volcanic mountains of the island, growing rice makes it difficult that creative locals developed a system of terraced rice paddies, where water can be shared by the community to grow their crops.

 

3 UBUD’S MONKEY FOREST

Bali Monkey

Home to the grey long tailed macaque monkeys, the Monkey Forest in Ubud is a natural preserve and a Hindu Temple complex.  Inside the forest grounds are 115 species of tropical trees, temples, a stream and approximately 600 macaque monkeys.  It is not advisable to touch the monkeys, they are wild animals. The monkeys are also known for stealing jewelries or anything that might be of interest to them so it would be wise not to bring along loose apparels.

 

4 CYCLE AT LEISURE

Bali Cycle

For adventurers or anyone who just wants to breathe in the magical rural of Bali. You can book a tour without getting lost and find the best roads for that awesome sight. Bike through villages, ancient temples and green fields. Guides can help you know the land, culture and the locals better.

 

5 DISCOVER THE LOCAL MARKET

Bali Flowers

Prep that camera for these awesome colors. If you want to experience authentic local market, you have to get up earlier, the freshest produce are sold even before 8 am and market shops close by 9 in the morning. For tourist markets, there are a variety of items highlighting craft, sarongs, balinese paintings, wood crafts. You can find silk scarves, bags, baskets to bring home as souvenir.

 

6 HIKING MOUNT BATUR

Bali Mountain Hike

Hiking this volcano is a rewarding experience. The views from the top is a promise of beauty and an adventure you can’t miss. If you are physically fit, hiking for two hours won’t be an issue, of course you can ask your guides for a break, if needed. Book through a reputable agency, check their reviews and ratings in Tripadvisor and other social media platforms. Check the weather, it can get cold up there.

 

7 SNORKELING/SURFING

Surf Bali

Beginner or a pro, Bali offers great surfing beaches for every level. For beginners, head to Kuta beach where the tides are soft and the height of the wave is perfect for trying the sport. Kuta beach is also booked for nightlife, hotels and cafes. The good thing is there are plenty of lifeguards in case you run into trouble. For some challenge, Canggu beach or Padang-padang beach (known as the Balinese Pipeline) is where you can find barrels up to 12 feet.

 

8 FOOD LOVE

Bali Food 3

Balinese food is heavy in the spice, its basic ingredients of spice paste is made from local herbs and aromatic spice. These classic dishes are served through out the island from street food to high end restaurants. A must try are sate, the marinated, skewered, grilled meats served with the spicy sauce, nasi ayam or chicken rice, lawar is a mix of  vegetables, grated coconut and minced meat, bebek betutu or slow cooked duck.  All that delicious aroma will make the mouth water.

 

9 THE BEACH

bali beach

An assortment of Bali’s beaches awaits you for any type of holiday activity. If you feel like avoiding the crowd, wanting to find the best spots for snorkeling or just enjoy the sun set with a pina colada. You just have to look. Pemuteran, Nusa Dua and Tulamen beach are  best for snorkeling and diving. Lovina beach for dolphin tours. Pantai Kelating is less populated and you can enjoy strolls and long walks along the coast line. Where the tourists are packed is in the shores of Kuta beach. A number of hotels and cafes are lined along Kuta. But if you want to feel quiet and peace, there are still a number of beaches and coves like Blue Lagoon, Balangan, Suluban beach to feel that inspiration.

 

10 RELAX

Bali Relax

 

 

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BALI ISLAND’S BEST VILLAS