Travelling through Europe this summer? There are a number of beach bars and clubs spread across the Mediterranean which will make you want to change your flight path, or even take a quick detour. Want to know where the party’s at? Try our top 5 beach clubs below – you won’t be disappointed with any of the options!
Ushuaia Beach Hotel
Playa d’En Bossa, 10
07817 Sant Jordi de Ses Salines. Illes Balears, Spain
Hailed as the party central of Europe, there’s no wonder that Ibiza is number one on our list. Ushuaia has hosted the likes of international DJ’s such as David Guetta, Axwell, Ingrosso and so much more. Guests can expect to find a pool in the middle of the club and non-stop music until 7am.
Hula Hula Beach Bar
Splitsko Dalmantina, Hvar
Hvar Island, Croatia
What’s better than an uninhibited view of the coast with a cocktail in hand? Hula Hula Beach Bar is one of the best of its kind in Croatia and its guests travel from all points of the world just to get a taste.
Psarou Beach, Mykonos
A hot-spot for celebrities, this world-famous beach bar puts everything else to shame. You can expect partying until the sunrise, endless amounts of cocktails and maybe a few celebrity sightings (with the paparazzi in tow). The club also offers fine dining if you’re feeling peckish throughout the night.
Coccaro Beach Club
72015 Savelletri di Fasano, Puglia, Italy
If you’re making your way through Italy during the summer, make sure Puglia is part of your itinerary. Coccaro Beach Club is one of the most popular beach clubs of the Mediterranean thanks to its stunning views of the sea and sand.
Guaba Beach Bar
Amathountos, 4531, Limassol, Cyprus
Located just south of central Cyrpus, Guaba is home to countless festivals between the summer months of May-September. Hosting acts such as Fedde Le Grand, Gareth Emery and Martin Garrix just to name a few.
Images via Universal Places, Croatia Traveller, Map Precious, Alviani Viaggi
If you’re planning a trip to the stunning Amalfi Coast this summer, then you’ve probably heard about Positano. This picturesque seaside village is a located in Campania and is one of the most popular vacation spots in Italy. Easily accessible by bus or private car, below are five of the many reasons to visit this summer.
Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta – Piazza Flavio Gioia
One of the only sites in Positano has to be the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta which is popular for summer weddings and baptisms. Boasting 13th century Byzantine architecture, it’s one of the most well-known sites in Positano – the line to get through is completely worth it.
Italy is known for its delightful food and drink which is inspired by the Mediterranean and Positano is no exception. Local delicacy ‘baba’ is a must-have dessert (a small cake drenched in butter and rum, usually filled with a soft cream).
The perfect shores of Positano are just one of the many ways to relax and enjoy your holiday on the Amalfi Coast. The fashionable Marina Grande is known for its brightly coloured umbrellas and clear waters all around the world.
One of the best places to relax and enjoy a drink in Positano has to be Buca di Bacco. It’s located right on the beach and makes for a romantic evening, whether you’re travelling as a couple or even with the kids. For more of a party night-out, La Brezza comes highly recommended – especially if you love a classic Aperol Spritz!
Who knew that Positano is known for its summer fashion? Head down to Les Chic and have your very own bespoke sandals made right in front of your eyes! Simply have your foot measured, pick your design, and your leather shoes are crafted in less than 10 minutes.
Images via La Brezza Positano, Sandras Closet, Wanderable, Pinterest, Delicious Italy, Alameteo
Why escape Sydney’s winter weather when you can embrace it? Rather than dreaming of tropical locations over the next few months, we have five winter getaways which are cheaper than a one-way ticket to Europe – plus they’re so much fun!
Blue Mountains Chocolate Festival
You might want to pack a few extra layers and thermals for a trip to the Blue Mountains, but the three hour drive is worth the wait. A brand new chocolate festival is taking place between between July 3-5 and will feature lots of delicious options for the entire weekend.
The special movie screening of Chocolat, featuring Johnny Depp, will be available to watch all weekend, while markets at Blackheath Public School will be open. You can also take part in the fine art of chocolate making at Whisk and Pin, or simply relax with a bag of chocolates at Hotel Blue in Katoomba.
Since it might be too chilly for a weekend at the coast, why not head inland to the Hunter Valley for a relaxing getaway. Wine country isn’t all about spending half your day vineyard hopping (not that there’s anything wrong with that). The Hunter Valley is also home to delicious chocolate, gourmet food and local scenery – sure to keep you occupied and off social media!
Kiama Coastal Walk
If you’re brave enough to head down to the coast for a weekend getaway, you must experience Kiama by foot. The stunning 22km coastal walk includes a breathtaking view of Blowhole Point and ends at Werri Beach where you can relax and enjoy some gourmet food and wine.
Images via Flickr, Around You, Visitors Bureau
Have you accumulated weeks of annual leave but have no idea where to go this summer? We have compiled seven of the hottest summer destinations you have to visit at least once in you life; so grab a friend, pack your bags and have the time of your life this season in one (or all) of these exotic destinations.
It goes without saying that Mykonos is one of the biggest party destinations every summer. Clubs are open until 7am, the beach is just a stones throw away and the drinks never seem to stop flowing. Plus, you can get some pretty amazing travel shots for friends, family, and Instagram.
Sail the Adriatic Sea of Split, which has the best party atmosphere in all of Europe during the summer months. Croatia is known for its intense music festivals that bring in the big names like Ultra Music Festival, which this year, includes David Guetta, Hardwell and Afrojack.
Cinque Terre, Italy
The colourful coast of Cinque Terre is known for it’s pastel homes and beautiful views of the Italian Riviera. It includes the towns of Monterosso, Vernazza, Comiglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. That was a mouthful! Come for the breathtaking views and stay for the crystal-clear waters and delicious food and drinks.
Not only is Nice a rich destination for French culture, but it’s also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world. From sitting in a local café with an aperitif or heading out for dinner and drinks, Nice combines the best of both worlds for an ultimate summer holiday.
Spend a lazy weekend passing through Seville if you’re looking to unwind and relax from the mayhem which is Madrid and Barcelona. As the capital city of Andalusia, Seville is overflowing with tasty food, wine and architectural sights.
The small village of Oludeniz on the Turkish coast is home to hundreds of tourists every single year. With the Aegean Sea on one side and the Dead Sea on the other, there’s no reason why this is such a popular resort every summer.
The romantic city of Porto is another stunning summer holiday destination due to it’s close proximity to the beach, traditional food and even the local port – where it was named!
Images via Priority Travel, Gimmethon, Just One Way Ticket, Flickr, 99 Travel Tips, Bloglovin, Blogspot, Tumblr, Foursquare
Although it might be known as the party capital of Europe during summer, Croatia is actually brimming with rich culture and tradition. If you’re looking to skip the party scene this summer, be sure to experience the following sights and scenes if you’re in the country – or just add it to your future bucket list!
Where: Dubrovnik Sea Kayaking and Snorkelling
Since Croatia is located on the coast, it is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world. If you love being outdoors, water sports are extremely popular in Dubrovnik, especially if you’re into kayaking and snorkelling. Most sessions last for 3 hours and the small group tour is essential if you want to socialise and meet new people on your trip.
Where: Minceta Tower
The ancient city of Dubrovnik is known for its defensive stone walls which protected inhabitants during the early 7th century. Today, the city has joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and still continues to be a hit with travellers all over the globe. Minceta Tower is a must-see since it overlooks the entire city and is the highest point of Dubrovnik.
You don’t have to be with the party scene to sail Croatia, but it is highly recommended if you’re visiting between the months of June until September. The Adriatic Coast is a must-see for tourists since it is truly stunning during the warmer months of the year.
Where: Konoba Opat
There’s no denying that Croatia is known of its Mediterranean flair, and Konoba Opat is one restaurant you must try. Their speciality is fresh fish which is caught by locals just hours prior. Pair with a crisp white wine and you’ve got the perfect combination.
Where: Plitvice Lakes
Get outdoors and explore many of the national parks spread throughout the peninsula. One of the most popular areas has to be Plitvice Lakes which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, easily accessible through Zagreb.
Image via Dubrovnik Luxury Service, Swiss Blog, Chasing The Donkey, Sail Croatia, Villa Adriatica
Who wouldn’t love to get married in an exotic location abroad? June is actually the most popular time to hop on a plane, bring along your closest friends and family, then get married during the hot summer. Get inspired by some of our top locations to marry abroad in summer 2015.
It goes without saying that this tiny Greek island has more to offer than just 5am clubbing. Majestic sunsets, breathtaking views of the crystal-clear water and stunning architecture are some of the main reasons many couples choose this idyllic location.
The glorious Amalfi Coast is one of the most popular places to marry in the entire world. Not only does it offer stunning views of the sea side, mountains and the entire French Riviera, but it makes for one stunning wedding album.
If you’re heading to the United States for your nuptials, don’t pass on San Francisco. The Golden Gate bridge is one of the most popular sights for newlyweds to take some of their first photos as man and wife.
How many couples have you seen walking hand-in-hand throughout the picturesque area of The Rocks in Sydney? This location is one of the best to capture the newlyweds with a backdrop of Sydney Harbour, as well as the Sydney Opera House.
The Akamas Peninsula of Western Cyprus has fast become a favourite for its breathtaking views of the sea and sun. The Baths of Aphrodite are also a great landmark to enjoy the view – and take some wedding photos.
The ancient city of Dubrovnik in Croatia is known for its scenic venues for weddings, holidays, and general get-togethers. As the city is located right on the water, it makes for a picturesque summer wedding.
What are some of your dream locations?
Images via Divine Weddings Santorini, Dubrovnik Luxury Weddings, Holiday in Cyprus, Creek Street, JJ Chen Blog, Wedding Amalfi Coast
While we all know that between the months of June to late September, Greece is just one of the party capitals of the Mediterranean. Lots of endless summer nights, blue skies, cocktails and too much sun is the reason everyone wants to escape to the other side of the globe.
If that’s not reason enough to book your ticket, here are five more reasons Greece should be on your bucket list.
A healthy Mediterranean diet is just what the doctor ordered – seriously, no wonder it’s one of the most healthiest eating plans in the entire world.
Indulge in fresh seafood, dishes containing in-excess of olive oil, and most importantly make sure to sleep away the food coma with an afternoon nap.
This one might seem a little obvious, but the weather in Europe is unlike anywhere else. Hot summers, humid nights, followed by a cool thunderstorm to set everything back to normal.
Don’t forget to pack some heavy duty SPF 50+ since the sun can be brutal. But it does give us a good excuse to cool off with a cold frappé.
Nobody does summer better than the Greek Islands (no shade to the mainland or Athens either). Whether you’re looking to relax with a good book, or party hard at Tropicana until the sun comes along, you’ll find something which is perfect for your trip.
Take a few days off the party calendar and make sure to visit some of the culture institutions your holiday has to offer. The island of Crete is home to endless memorials during WWII, which are sure to bring you back down to earth after a whirlwind holiday.
If you’re in Greece for a few weeks, why not plan a cruise trip around the major islands? This way, you can visit some of the major sites without over-staying your welcome, and meet new friends along the way. Escape the party atmosphere of Mykonos and visit other islands such as Kos, Naxos, and Ios for a relaxing end to your trip.
Images via Trip Advisor, Panoramio, Greece Travel Secrets, Visit Greece, Pinterest
This small coastal city located on Bay of Biscay in Spain, is one of the most popular summer travel destinations in Europe.
Whether you’re going for the beaches, arts, festivals or simply to un-wind or sightsee, there’s always something exciting to do in San Sebastian during the summertime.
Playa de la Concha
Kick-back and relax at one of the many beaches located in San Sebastian during the spring-summer months where the water is just right.
There’s so much to do in the surrounding areas such as water sports in Playa de Gros, activities with the kids, and even a sightseeing tour which operates round-the-clock.
Bodegon Alejandro: Calle de Fermin Calbeton 4
There’s one thing San Sebastian is known for, and that’s the seafood. Bodegon Alejandro is one the best restaurants to enjoy baked lobster, take in the view of the ocean, and indulge in some of the local wines.
Check out one of the main observation decks in Monte Igueldo which is best at dusk. Here, you will have complete views of the stunning coastline, surrounding mountains, and of course the beauty of Bahia de la Concha.
Bar Borda Berri: Calle Fermin Calbeton 12
Who can resist a good drink after a long day of sightseeing in the sun? San Sebastian is packed with bars, brasseries, and everything in between so you’re bound to find a place you like.
Our favourite is Bar Borda Berri which is known for its decor, and similarly the large selection of beverages. Open from noon-midnight 7 days a week.
Playa de Gros: Paseo de Zurriola 24
If you’ve ever want to learn how to surf, Playa de Gros is the perfect place for beginners to learn on the mellow waves. Weekend courses are available if you’re travelling with a group, or you could take some surfing lessons at nearby Pukas.
Images via Best Tourism, Trip Advisor, Egor 2015, Eater, Pukas Surf
If you’re looking to escape the Parisian city life, Provence is a fantastic little getaway just a mini car ride away from the city centre. The sun-soaked town is home to delicious food, drinks, sightseeing, and has served as an inspiration for artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. So, why should you visit this beautiful city southeast of France?
49 Rue Sainte, 13001 Marseille
There is no denying that the French are renowned for their food, especially bouillabaisse which originated in nearby port city, Marseille. This traditional fish stew contains a variety of vegetables, herbs, spices, and most importantly, shellfish. Enjoy it with a side of local red wine, which is sure to keep you full for the evening.
Where: Cité du Livre
8-10 Rue Des Allumettes, 13100 Aix-en-Provence
Who would’ve thought that Provence is home to one of the coolest bookstores in the entire world? This quaint bookstore is known for its amazing architecture which consists of three large books originating in France: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Stranger by Albert Camus, and The Imaginary Invalid by Moliere.
Where: Carrieres de Lumieres
Route de Maillane, 13520 Les Baux-de-Provence
A trip to Provence wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of the many multimedia galleries. Depending on the time of year you’re visiting, there are exhibitions by Gustav Klimt, Friedensreich Hundertwasser and even contemporary artists showing off their work.
Where: Etablissement Thermal
Les Thermes, 12110 Cransac
The picturesque lavender fields of Provence are just one of the best places to relax and recharge at the end of your trip. Digne les Bains is also home to the famous thermal pools which offer mud, seaweed and even lavender soaks.
Where: Provence Wine Tours
42 Boulevard Chave, 13005 Marseille
Well, why shouldn’t wine have its own category? Wine is made from local grapes, and wine tours are one of the best ways to test out some of the best Provence has to offer. The best time to go on a wine tour is between April-September, so make sure to book your tickets accordingly!
Images via Tumblr, Indulgy, Flickr, Wine Tasting Provence, Carrieres de Lumieres
Since we have already shared travel tips on Sweden, why not share some of the best places to eat, drink, and sight-see if you’re heading down to Denmark?
Located on the banks of the Denmark River, this charming country is known all over the world for its rich Viking background, but also a modern charm which is unlike any other country. Below are just a few places you must-see if you’re ever in Denmark (Copenhagen to be precise) for a short time only.
Tivoli Gardens: Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 Kobenhavn
Travelling with the kids? Why not take them to one of Denmark’s oldest amusement parks, Tivoli Gardens. Serving as an inspiration to Disneyland and still popular since its inception in 1843, the amusement park is just a few minutes away from City Hall and is open every single day from 11am-11pm.
Canal Tours Copenhagen: Nyhavn 3 Kobenhavn
Since Denmark is mostly surrounded by water, taking a boat tour is one of the best way to see the city (and stay away from the rain during the winter months!). It’s one of the best way to see some of the biggest tourist sites such as the Little Mermaid Statue, Royal Library, and the Opera House.
Noma: Strandgade 93, 1401 Kobenhavn
Known for its modern take on traditional Nordic cuisine, there are many amazing places to eat in the city. Not only is it home to Noma, one of the best restaurants in the world with a two-star Michelin rating – but there’s a waiting list, so make sure to book your table in advance!
ARoS: Aros Allé 2 8000 Aarhus
Escape the rain and head to one of biggest modern flagship museums in Aarhus, ARoS. Featuring stunning exhibitions such as Boy, vintage Impressionist art by Monet, and even some thrilling works by Danish artists themselves. Tickets are $20 for adults and children under the age of 18 are free.
Andersen Boutique Hotel: Helgolandsgade 12, 1653 Kobenhavn V
If you want to stay mainly in the city centre of Copenhagen, Andersen Hotel is one of the best choices. Boasting modern living spaces – which will make Ikea jealous – and a cosy atmosphere, it’s close to the hustle and bustle of the city and main tourist destinations.
Alternatively. you could rent unique accommodation with the help of Airbnb, which starts at just $50 per night. You choose whether you want to stay in a house, apartment, or even a boat!
Images via Discover Study Abroad, Fathom Away, Food Tourist, Essie Button, Krisatomic
Raise your hand if you’ve ever made up an excuse to cancel a booking… Ah, yep, guilty as charged! Maybe your parents were coming to town, or you ‘accidentally’ booked your accommodation for the wrong weekend. Anything to waive those pesky fees, right? Well, whatever your excuse was, Wotif have heard them all!
To celebrate ditching their cancellation fees, (phew!) the discount accommodation and flight company have dished the dirt on some of the funniest – and strangest – stories they’ve come across.
“One of the most memorable reasons for cancelling included a customer’s partner cancelling a booking because the customer broke his hip by accidentally doing the splits while playing cricket,” Wotif spokesperson Kirsty La Bruniy told the Daily Mail.
The bizarre excuses don’t stop there. Wotif revealed a customer once cancelled because he didn’t want to get his car dirty driving up the dirt driveway of the property, while another wanted to pull out because apparently having a cold affects a booking that’s four months in the future.
One traveller said he didn’t realise he needed a passport to travel to New Zealand until he arrived at the airport, and another went as far as to say that they didn’t know they had to go to the international airport to fly overseas! First time travellers, perhaps?
The most common reasons they found people cancelled or changed a trip came down to sickness, injury, or an event change, but “my cat has had a hip replacement” or “I ate some bad calamari” still managed to pop up.
While it’s inevitable that plans change from time-to-time, it seems that Wotif have heard their fair share of tales and have instead opted to make it easier to cancel. “We’ve removed our fees for cancellation and itinerary changes for hotel and package bookings, which now makes it easier and more cost effective to change your travel plans, no matter what the excuse,” said Bruniy.
So… What are some of your cancellation excuses, hmm?
Image via Shutterstock
From the fashion bloggers to the food, nothing beats Sweden – especially during the springtime.
Now is the best time to book your ticket to this Scandinavian country and indulge in all it has to offer, including style, design, and a relaxed way of life.
Where: Bageriet Bulleboden
Parmmatargatan 7, 11224 Stockholm
If you’re coming to Stockholm for the traditional Scandinavian food, then you will find many cafes scattered all over the city. Don’t miss Bageriet Bulleboden, which offers delicious pastries known as kanelbullar (cinnamon rolls), and freshly brewed coffee.
Where: Stockholm Market
Riddargatan 3, 11435 Stockholm
There’s a reason Swedish style is big all over the world, so much so that a street style blog created by Caroline Blomst has put it on the map. Popular fashion labels include Acne Studios, Filippa K, and Nelly just to name a few, but the best place to grab a deal on a bespoke item is at the market. Pick up a beautiful souvenir for a family member or friends as you’re leaving and catch the exclusive pieces from some of Sweden’s up-and-coming designers.
Where: E. Torndahl
Vasterlanggatan 63, S-11129 Stockholm
Scandinavian design is renowned all over the world for its approach to clean, sophisticated lines and timeless techniques. Rather than going to one of their many Ikea stores (there are more than 20 in Sweden alone), the smaller more independent sellers are where you’ll find some of the most original pieces. While they might come with a heftier price tag, you will keep them for years to come as a memory of your travels.
Sodra Blasieholmshammen 35, Stockholm
If you’re visiting between October – February, why not take a boat tour which takes you across the entire archipelago. The tour comes with a bowl of traditional Swedish tomato soup or pea soup (it’s your choice), and a glass of arrack to keep you warm. Tours can run anywhere between 1.5-3 hours.
Where: Nada Bar
Asogatan 140, Stockholm
Sweden might have a strict view on alcohol (drinks are heavily taxed), but the nightlife is nothing but booming. There is a plethora of small bars and venues which offer a modern take on traditional cocktails and a few bites on the side to keep you full for your next travels. If you’re not into the nightlife or alcoholic beverages, look out for a fika cafe, which is usually located in a beautiful garden.
Images via Lost in Stockholm, Fotografi, Stromma, Madame Figaro Japan, W Magazine, Visit Sweden
Rather than staying in the heart of Paris, head north to Montmartre for genuine taste of Amelie Poulain’s life.
Located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris and part of the Right Bank, travellers come from all over the world for various reasons; religious pilgrimage, art, food, and even a break from the hustle and bustle of central Paris.
If you’re undecided about where to spend your time in Montmartre, this list will even put Anthony Bourdain’s suggestions to shame.
Where: 112 Rue Championnet, 75018
Pop into one of Montmartre’s most famous watering holes for a drink, aperitif, or even a light snack before you’re off exploring the rest of the city.
La Renaissance which was made popular during the sexual revolution of the 1970s, and featured heavily in Michel Deville’s film, Le Mouton Enragé, as well as Inglorious Basterds.
Where: 1 Rue Norvins, 75018
A brasserie meal is a must-have while you’re in France, since the menus are quite concentrated and small in comparison to other cuisines. But if you’re just peckish for a traditional French croissant, then La Galette des Moulins is the perfect fit.
Where: 20 Avenue Rachel, 75018
A trip to Montmartre isn’t complete without visiting the Cimetiere (cemetery) located next to the Place de Clichy. While it might seem a bit morbid at first, it’s actually a major tourist attraction since many French and international identities call this their final resting place.
Some personalities include Jim Morrison, Alexandre Dumas, and filmmaker Francois Truffaut.
Where: 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018
One of the biggest landmarks in Paris, not to be confused with the Galeries Lafayette, has to be the Sacré Coeur located in Montmartre.
The Roman Catholic church sits at the top of Montmartre and at one of the highest points of the city. Sacré Coeur is open 7 days a week, and entry is free.
Where: Rue de Steinkerque, 75018
Any type of shopping is essential on an international trip, and visiting the Rue de Steinkerque located in the 18th arrondissement speaks for itself.
It’s the perfect place to pick up handmade knick-knacks, souvenirs and even tasty food and drinks made only by the locals.
Images via Just A Cote, Flickr, Viator, Ethno Traveller, Panoramio
Zambia, blessed with breathtaking natural wonders, a wealth of wildlife and the perfect sanctuary for honeymooners.
According to the Royal Livingston, “On the 16 November 1855, David Livingstone (Scottish missionary) first laid eyes on the waterfall that would define his life story, and that of an entire country. Visible from over 30km away, the Kololo people with whom he had travelled downriver called it Mosi-oa-Tunya – the smoke that thunders. As the first European to witness this magnificent site, he decided to name it Victoria Falls in honour of his Queen. At the Royal Livingstone Hotel on the banks of a river that flows through the soul of the continent.”
Your own African honeymoon waits to be told.
Stay: The Royal Livingston Hotel
Eat: Try their traditional dish nshima, made of maize (corn) with goat curry, delish.
Drink: Locally brewed beer or their sunset cocktails on the deck
Spa: Couples massage overlooking the Zambezi River (OMG!)
Discover: Cross the border to Botswana and cruise/4WD the Chobe River seeing all the Big 5 in their natural habitat.
Zambia offers an unforgettable honeymoon experience, where you explore the real Africa.
The return to work after the weekend leads to feelings of dread for many Australians, according to leading travel and lifestyle site lastminute.com.au 2015 travel trends data, which shows over one in three people (34 per cent) don’t like Mondays.
The research also identified almost one in two (46 per cent) Australians don’t switch off when they leave the office, answering work calls or emails on weekends or their days off. Plus, nearly half of Aussies surveyed (47 per cent) didn’t take all of their annual leave last year.
According to lastminute.com.au spokesperson, Louise Ryan, it’s no wonder so many Australians get the Monday blues, with many focusing on all work and no play.
“Between answering work calls and not using allocated annual leave for holidays, many Australians don’t make the most of their time off, making Mondays even tougher than they should be.
“Planning a few cheeky extended weekend breaks throughout the year not only means you are making the most of your annual leave, being away and ‘out of reach’ will also make it easier to escape and be unavailable to phone calls and emails.
“When you get the back-to-work dread at work on a Monday morning, having a long weekend away planned in the pipeline may just make Monday a little less painful”.
lastminute.com.au top tips for beating the Monday blues in 2015:
- Plan ahead: Before the year starts to get hectic, lock a few long weekend escapes in your calendar, from an inner city Melbourne weekend, to a tropical North Queensland retreat or weekend of wine time in the Barossa – or all three!
- Take a staycation: If the budget doesn’t allow you to take an interstate trip, then book yourself into a luxe five-star hotel in your own city. Be adventurous and book a Secret Hotel which allows you to book five-star hotels at bargain rates of up to 40% off when staying 72 hours out.
- Return to work mid-week: Where possible beat the Monday blues by heading back to work after a holiday on a Wednesday so you only have a few days to get through before the weekend. Much less daunting than a full five-day working week!
- Switch off on the weekends: Set rules with your boss and switch off the work phone and emails on the weekends, or if you can’t completely turn-off at least give yourself an afternoon away from technology.
5. Live every lastminute: Mix up your weekends and do something completely out of your comfort zone. Maybe test your bravery with sky-diving, or get the adrenalin racing by swimming with sharks, or sharpen your skills with a cooking class. lastminute.com.au has a range of fun activities and experiences on offer throughout Australia.
Inspired to beat the Monday blues in 2015? Check out lastminute.com.au for fantastic hotel, flights, packages and experiences on offer.
*According to lastminute.com.au’s 2015 Travel + Lifestyle Report which surveyed 4100+ Australians.
Who can resist a little getaway which is only 8 hours away from Australian soil? French Polynesia is no secret to avid travellers, but this doesn’t mean it loses any of its appeal.
If you’re searching for that next family holiday, we offer you five more reasons why you should book this trip now!
Since it is located just south of the equator, French Polynesia experiences a mostly tropical climate with a heavy summer/rainy season during the beginning and end of the year. If you want to take advantage of hot, sunny weather, it is best to visit during the dry months between May to October.
Given the long history of French colonial rule, much of the cuisine is a fusion of cultures. You will find a variety of restaurants offering an eclectic mix of Asian, French and western cuisine which the entire family is bound to enjoy (even those picky eaters). One gourmet treat you must try are the crevettes, otherwise know as popular river prawns.
There are a variety of different water activities which run all year round. Some of the most popular ones include sailing, surfing, and diving which is the best way to create some long-lasting memories. If you want to stay dry, take part in other fun activities which the entire family can enjoy. Popular attractions such as hiking, dolphin watching, and shark-feeding are some fun ways to enjoy all that the islands have to offer.
Many of the resorts cater to the needs of young children and large families, so you don’t need to hesitate about bringing them along on the trip. Restaurants and resorts come equipped with child-minding services, and don’t cause a big fuss if your kids are a bit loud around the dinner table or by the pool – it happens!
Locals are quite laid-back and try to get travellers to enjoy their holiday as much as possible. Given that the islands are relatively free from a booming central business district, you will find that many people enjoy a relaxed way of life.
Have you every been to French Polynesia? Share your experiences in the comments below.
Images Via Passion For Luxury, Travel By Stove, HD Wallpapers
From ice festivals and romantic concerts to luxurious hotel packages, New York City’s five boroughs are the ideal place to discover and cherish romance this Valentine’s Day.
Share a special Valentine’s Day experience in New York City next month. Whether visitors have already found or are hoping to meet their one true love, New York City’s five boroughs offer a range of fun and romantic experiences this Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day events and activities taking place throughout the five boroughs include:
Carnegie Hall: In a special program of classics from musical theater and the Great American Songbook, Jessye Norman and Mark Markham will mesmerise audiences on February 14 at 8pm with a recital of songs by master music makers including Harold Arlen, Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers and Cole Porter. For more information and to buy tickets, go to carnegiehall.org
Central Park Conservancy Ice Festival: This Valentine’s Day, visitors can celebrate at Central Park Conservancy’s Fourth Annual Ice Festival in Naumburg Bandshell. The event includes ice carving, a photo booth, a Central Park trivia contest, sweet treats and, as night falls, a 1980s-themed silent disco with live DJs. Purchase tickets at centralparknyc.org.
NYC Chocolatiers: Between French-style truffles in Manhattan, Austrian treats in Queens and a feast of raw chocolates in Brooklyn, the City is experiencing a chocolate boom. For a comprehensive list of local chocolatiers, visit nycgo.com.
Cupid’s Chase 5K New York: Community Options, Inc. will hold its Annual Cupid’s Chase 5K Run on Saturday, February 14, kicking off at 10am. The race will take place at Hudson River Park‘s Charles Street Pier (enter at Christopher Street). To register, go to comop.org.
New York Transit Museum: This February, the New York Transit Museum will welcome all the could-be lovers on our transit system to the Fifth Annual Missed Connections Party, inspired by Craigslist’s Missed Connections classifieds. This sexy, fun and subterranean event will kick off at 6:30pm on Wednesday, February 11, at the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn Heights. To purchase tickets go to blackbaudhosting.com.
On Location Tours’ Romantic Movie Moments Tour: On the Romantic Movie Moments Tour, a local New York City actor will bring to life some of the most alluring movie locations featured on the big screen, including the bookstore where Harry meets Sally in When Harry Met Sally. For more information, go to onlocationtours.com.
Romeo + Juliet at Lincoln Center: Next month, the New York City Ballet performs Romeo + Juliet at Lincoln Center. Shakespeare’s immortal tale of tragic love translates into a powerfully moving full-length ballet, with a famed climax that never fails to affect audiences. Performances will take place February 13–22, with tickets available at nycballet.com.
St. George Theatre: In Staten Island’s St. George, visitors can celebrate with A Valentine’s Day Cabaret: Love Songs, Showtunes and Standards, presented by Staten Island’s Shakespeare Theatre. Tickets are available at stgeorgetheatre.com.
The Rejection Show Valentine’s Day Heartbreak Haven: Located in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood, the Littlefield venue hosts the cult-favorite comedy series, The Rejection Show, which will regale the audience with an evening of its best breakup, heartbreak and love-related performances. Purchase tickets at littlefieldnyc.com.
Valentine’s Day at the New York Botanical Garden: In this Valentine’s Day workshop at the Bronx’s New York Botanical Garden, kids can sample Mayan-inspired hot chocolate and other chocolates from around the world, while learning about living cacao and vanilla plants. Each ticket also includes an All-Garden Pass for a participant and one adult to enjoy access to all of the Botanical Garden’s offerings. Tickets can be purchased here: nybg.org.
Valentine’s Day Lunch Cruise Aboard Spirit’s New York Cruise: This Valentine’s Day, couples and families can enjoy an all-new lunch buffet by Food Network’s Chopped champion and celebrity chef Eric Levine, along with a backdrop of some of New York City’s most famous sights. For more information, go to entertainmentcruises.com.
Wave Hill: This Valentine’s Day, Wave Hill in the Bronx is offering a special cookie-decorating event. Use sanding sugars, cookie icing and a variety of sprinkles to design your own cookies. Fill a box with your creations to show that certain someone how much you love them. More information: wavehill.org.
Eager to travel more in 2015 but don’t want to do it alone? Well your not. According to lastminute.com.au almost a third (32 per cent) of women are planning to travel solo this year. And lastminute.com.au spokesperson, Louise Ryan, said women travel solo for many reasons, and not just because they are single or lacking travel companions.
“From wanting to celebrate ‘me time’, to the desire to unapologetically pursue a personal interest such as yoga, surfing, shopping or cooking classes; the research revealed both sexes are equally likely to enjoy a solo holiday adventure,” she says.
“Our research shows that the number one thing people love about travelling solo is the freedom; being able to do what you want, when you want. Other benefits noted include being spontaneous, meeting new people and getting to know yourself better”.
Keen to give solo travel a go in 2015? Check out lastminute.com.au’s fave solo travel destinations:
Spend days getting lost in the laneways, sipping coffee, browsing galleries and shopping without any disruptions or places to be. Retreat in the evening to any of Melbourne’s cute CBD boutique hotels.
Regardless of whether you are after a yoga style retreat, surfing escapade, or a flop ’n’ drop style resort holiday, Bali is an accessible, affordable and relaxing escape for solo travellers.
Do what you want when you want in the city that doesn’t sleep! Spend a day in an art gallery, wander Central Park, grab last minute tickets to the theatre, pull up a chair and get to know the locals at a neighbourhood bar, cross the Brooklyn Bridge, you will never get bored in New York on your own.
This chilled out northern NSW town is the perfect place to start if you haven’t travelled solo before. The local mantra is all about relaxation and rejuvenation, so spend your days enjoying long coastal walks, sipping fresh juices at beachside cafes and refreshing dips in the ocean.
Visit the national home to some of the friendliest people on earth and you are bound to be taken in by the locals just by sitting at a pub and striking up a conversation. Keep costs down by staying in cozy countryside hotels.
Visit lastminute.com.au to start planning your 2015 solo adventure.
*According to lastminute.com.au’s 2014 Travel + Lifestyle Report which surveyed 5,700+ Australians
There’s no competition when it comes to a golfing holiday, Portugal is still the top contender for a getaway featuring just you, some clubs and plenty of time to while away the hours practicing your drive in the warm sun, on a course stretching across the stunning coastline of this charming country.
If you are a die-hard golfer then investing in a property in the country is the perfect way to spend your money along with a membership to one of Portugal’s most popular courses, such as Penina Hotel, Vila Sol or Penha Longa. It will also save you money on hotel costs in the long run if you go away a few times of the year, speak to a property expert such as Portugal Property for more information.
Portugal’s golf courses are some of the best in the world, even though there are actually only around 70 in the country. Other countries have attempted to compete, with the USA being the top competitor and a quantity over quality approach, which consists of 15,500 golf courses across the States.
However, due to financial instability in the country, more courses are closing than opening as people cut out their memberships and keep that money in their bank accounts, this is occurring on top of a declining middle class and lack of interest from the younger generation.
Portugal, however, offers some of the most affordable courses in the world, with package deals starting from £89. Portugal allows the average earning man to play a few rounds of golf in the sunshine and doesn’t require him to shell out his life savings. On top of this, the country can also boast great weather all year round, with temperatures in winter months averaging at 18 to 20°C.
The Algarve features some of Portugal’s top golfing destinations and is also one of the country’s most popular holiday locations, which means you can escape to the course while your family has plenty of entertainment along the strip and coastline.
Many resorts in the area feature pools and luxurious but affordable accommodation, meaning there’s no reason for your wife to complain when you slip away for 18 holes in the day. For example, the Don Filipa Hotel & San Lorenzo course is a five star location situated near the beach and offers five restaurants and bars.
You can also find tennis courts, a beauty salon, a crèche and opportunities to go horse riding on site and the course itself is a combination of stunning greens and superb views, extended from the surrounding natural environment, which also plays host to over 70 species of bird and other wildlife (so you can get those bird watching binoculars out too).
You should be utterly convinced by now that Portugal is the ultimate destination when it comes to jetting off for a golfing holiday, even more so now that you know it’s family friendly and can keep them occupied whilst you enjoy a little peace and quiet on the green.
Whether you’re visiting during the summer or winter months, there’s always something to do in Norway.
This northern European country boasts idyllic fjords, delicious national food, and hiking trips which will make your stay feel like a once in a lifetime destination free from hoards of tourists.
People come from all over the world to fish, hike, and sightsee through the stunning Norwegian countryside. Rest in the nearby hotels which have been designed and decorated by local artists, and offer a true insight into the classic Norwegian lifestyle.
The Seven Sisters
A remarkable waterfall which features one of the tallest free-falls measuring approximately 250m until it hits the ocean floor. Take a guided tour along the nearby canals on a high-speed rib boat, especially during the winter months!
Rest and relax at the Hanseatic Wharf in Bryggen which is one of Norway’s most popular tourist attractions, and has been functioning since 1070. Dine at one of the best restaurants in town (Enhjorningen) which offers authentic Norwegian foods and local hospitality.
Kjerag Mountain, Forsand 4127
You may have seen this iconic picture floating on the internet before; a single boulder which has wedged itself between 2 mountains in the Kjerag region of Rogaland. Thrill-seekers can take a tour of the entire area, and have their photograph taken near the original site.
Haakon Kyllingmarks gate 6, 8300 Svolvaer
A rural archipelago which is renowned for its fishing villages located in Northern Norway. With crystal-clear skies and fresh sea-air, it will leave you refreshed and renewed – just like a real vacation should! Whale watching, mountain climbing, and swimming in the blue sea are all different ways to relax and make the most of your time in Lofoten Island. It’s also the best place to view the Northern Lights in Norway.
The capital city of Budapest is known for it’s unique architectural structures which date back to the art nouveau style of the early 1900s, delicious national food, and even it’s bustling night life. If you’re ever planning a trip to Budapest, make sure to add the following destinations to your list.
Allatkerti korut 9-11, 1146
Hungary is known for it’s extensive natural bodies of water used for healing and recreation. Széchenyi is home to Europe’s largest public baths which are perfect if you want a little extra relax and recreation time during the trip.
Central Market Hall
Vamhaz korut 1-3
If you’re in town for the Christmas and holiday season, it’s best to make the most of your time at the Central Market Hall. Filled with fresh fruit and vegetables, homemade trinkets, and local sellers, it’s the perfect place to enjoy what the real Budapest has to offer.
Disrict V, 1051
Try one of the fun and innovative taxi’s of Budapest, and enjoy a visual tour of the entire city. It’s often referred to the bohemian way of going with the flow, and seeing where exactly the city takes you! It’s also pretty cheap and affordable when compared to a standard taxi fare.
Balatoni ut, Szabadkai utca sarok, 1223
A must-see if you love nothing more than to sit back and enjoy the local art scene of the city. Most statues of the time depict the fall of communism in Hungary, most of which were demolished during the change of power in 1989.
Blue Rose Restaurant
Wesselenyi utca 9, 1077
For the best goulash in the entire city, look no further than Blue Rose which is located in the heart of central Budapest. Here you will find traditional Hungarian delicacies such as dumplings, vadas (stew), and chocolate kurtosh which is bound to be a crown pleaser. Ask for extra nuts and powdered sugar for an intense flavour!
Images via Szechenyifurdo, Viator, We Love Budapest, Sophiaca, Kat Cakes
Vienna is Austria’s most populous and intriguing city, located in central Europe. Rated number 19 in the Human Development Index, the bustling city is best known for it’s amazing natural scenery and rich culture dating back to the pre-Roman empire.
Don’t miss a few of these magical destinations the next time you find yourself in Vienna, or are planning a trip to Austria.
Stay: Hollmann Beletage Design and Boutique Hotel
Kollnerhofgasse 6, 1010 Vienna
A short train ride from the city centre is one of Vienna’s up-and-coming hotels. The Hollman Beletage features modern sophistication for a fraction of the cost, and is perfect for anyone who loves a quirky place to stay while they’re enjoying their holiday. Rooms are extremely spacious, which are perfect if you’re planning to entertain before heading out to one of the many bars around town.
Feeling Peckish: Café Central
Strauchgasse/Herrengasse, 1010 Vienna
A traditional Viennese coffee house which boasts a charming interior and 19th century architecture to match. The entertainment starts at 5pm sharp where a grand piano is played for all to enjoy and dance the night away.
Shop: Wilhelm Jungmann and Neffe
Albertinaplatz 3, 1010 Vienna
This quaint store is home to classic mens and women’s fashion which has been supplying clothes to the public for over 125 years. Their specialty is menswear, especially crisp button-down shirts which are tailor-made on site.
Visit: Hofburg Palace
Michaelerkuppel, 1010 Vienna
Home to some of the most powerful Austrian ancestry including teen-queen Marie Antoinette, Hofburg has been completely restored in the vision of it’s former glory. There are more than 10 wings of the palace, all of which can be visited under strict supervision.
Drink: Do & Co (Onyx Bar)
Stephansplatz 12, 1010 Vienna
Enjoy exquisite cocktails and world-class views of the city from Onyx Bar in Vienna’s city centre. The exclusive bar is a hotspot for politicians and locals of interest, so remember to dress smart and stay on your best behaviour.
Image via Mapplr, Flickr, Permanent Style, Awesome Stories, The Dining Experience
When it comes to Christmas markets, Europe has the rest of the world beat. If you’re in the region this Christmas, drop by these places for the ultimate holiday experience.
The first even Christmas market is said to have originated in Strasbourg. The market sits among picturesque wooden houses, canals and the local Notre Dame church. Ice skate, listen to carol-singers or just stroll through the markets with a mulled wine (in a boot cup, of course).
The Christmas experience in Vienna is unmatched. Over 20 markets operate in town squares all over the city. The favorite is the markets at the base of the beautifully-decorated Rathuas (pictured) where around 3 million people flock each year to by their little glass ornaments or wooden toys. Because you are in the classical music capital of the world, see one of the many special concerts held in the Rathaus over each weekend of the holiday season.
It is estimated that Germany has around 5,000 Christmas markets – so anywhere you go, you will find something to please you. But the markets in Dresden date back to 1434 and are the oldest in the country – perhaps on the continent. Dresden sits on the picturesque river Elbe, and despite being destroyed during World War II, has been restored to its glorious historic aesthetic.
Prague, Czech Republic
Shop Bohemian crystal, hand-made marionettes and decorations in one of Prague’s adorable Christmas markets. The best is probably in the old town square, surrounded by gothic architecture, and of course, the famous clock tower. Prague is magical any time of year, but the Christmas spirit brings new life to this usually dark and mysterious marvel.
Brussel’s relatively young market spans a two kilometre course through the city’s historic centre. There will be rides for the kids, 18,000 lights, an ice-skating rink, and over 240 stalls for you to browse. Don’t miss out on the local cuisine – mussels, fries, chocolate and waffles!
Image of Brussels via europeanbestdestinations.com