Stansted to Dubai – New Route Launches June 2018

Emirates launch their new route commencing 8th June 2018.

The daily route will be operated by the airline’s new three-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft offering customers 6 seats in First Class, 42 in Business Class and 306 in Economy Class.  The aircraft is fitted with its game changing, fully enclosed private suites in First Class, as well as refreshed Business and Economy Class cabins.

Flights EK33 will depart Dubai at 0930 hrs and will arrive in London Stansted at 1410 hrs.  On its return, flight EK34 will depart London Stansted at 2110 hrs. and arrive in Dubai at 0705 the following day.

 

 

Tenerife

With the clocks gone back and long winter nights drawing in and with temperatures starting to drop, November is the perfect time to get away and enjoy a little bit of winter sunshine.  While everybody at home was wrapped up in their winter coats and scraping ice of their cars, I was laying by the pool, soaking up the Tenerife sunshine and enjoying temperatures will into the 20s!

You can’t have missed in recent months, Jet2 Holidays announcing new departures from Stansted Airport and I got to experience first hand a Jet2 holiday.  Turning up a check-in at Stansted early on Sunday morning, you can’t miss the dedicated Jet2 check in area.  Having already checked-in online prior to leaving home (you can do this about 4 weeks in advance) we were already armed with our boarding passes; we just need to check in our suitcases.  Even though we were only away for 5 nights, we still received the generous allowance of 22kgs.  There were no queues; in fact I think there was more Jet2 staff waiting to help us at this point than there were passengers in the queue.

With suitcases checked-in, it was through security, a quick breakfast and then onto boarding.  I have to say I was very impressed with the aircraft, plenty of leg-room and loads of space in the overhead lockers.

 

23735996_10214474230632570_5267964879155706406_o Four hours later, we touched down in Tenerife, ready for our transfer to our hotel.  We did land earlier than expected and with no queues to get through passport control, we did have to wait around for our transfer which was a little annoying.  Having been up since 5am, we just wanted to get to our hotel and start enjoying our few days in the sunshine.

 We were staying at Allegro Isora, part of the Barcelo hotel group in Playa del Arena.  Although currently in the process of       refurbishment, it was adequate for our short stay.  In a great location, close to a number of shops, bars, restaurants and the near-by black sand beach.

With only a short time in Tenerife, we wanted to make the most of our time away and neither myself nor my friend are the sort of people to spend everyday lazing by the pool but we found plenty of things to do on the island to keep ourselves busy.

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First up, was a boat trip out into the Atlantic Ocean in search of whales and dolphins.  With a number of different trips on offer, we decided to pick the speedboat excursion as my friend had never experienced this.  Within minutes of leaving Los Gigantes marina, we were soon heading out to sea, in the hope that we would soon find what we were looking for.   And we didn’t have to wait long for soon we were surrounded by a pod of dolphins.  It’s so amazing to see these creatures in their own environment.  While we were unlucky not to have seen whales (they had been spotted the day earlier), I was still overjoyed at seeing the dolphins.

23736221_10214474234992679_5323795989459767164_o Before heading back into Los Gigantes marina, we sped along the shore line to admire the Los Gigantes Cliffs, otherwise known at ‘The Cliff of the Giants’.  The cliffs are one of the most attractive natural wonders on the island.  Some of the cliffs are a staggering 800 meters high and drop almost vertically into the sea.

Arriving back into the marina, we had a stroll around a few shops and enjoyed a couple of drinks in a café with views out towards the marina and the cliffs.  We were staying in Playa del Arena which is a neighbouring resort to Los Gigantes.  We had gotten a taxi from our hotel down to the marina but decided to walk back instead.  It did takes us nearly an hour to walk back though as we kept stopping to take in the stunning sea views.

No trip to Tenerife is complete without visiting Mount Teide, the highest peak in Tenerife and in the whole of Spain.   Mount Teide is actually the third highest volcano in the world.  Our coach was taking us as far as the Mount Teide Cable Car Base Station, 2356 meters above sea level.

23669035_10214474219272286_3747720204413465874_oFrom here, continued our journey by a 10 minute cable car ride to reach the Upper Station, 3555 meters above sea level, just two hundred meters from the summit.  We were greeted by stunning views and a very different temperature to that at the Base Station.  If you do plan to visit Mount Teide, I would definitely recommend you wrap up warm! We didn’t stay here for too long; it was far too cold and windy for us.  We had a quick wander around and took a few pictures before heading back down to the Base Station to enjoy a nice hot chocolate in the café to warm up.

The following day took us to Loro Parque, located in the north of the island and has been rated as the best zoo in the world by TripAdvisor.   They have such a huge array of animals, from chimps and gorillas to penguins and parrots.  When you arrive, make sure you check out the daily timetable to avoid missing out on some of the incredible shows they have on offer, my personal favourite was the sea lions!

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Our final day and Siam Park was calling our names! Siam Park is one of Europe’s largest water-parks and has a Thai inspired theme.  Siam Park does have its fair share of exhilarating slides but is also home to one of the world’s longest lazy river and has a number of slides to keep the kiddies entertained as well.  This time of year, the park was relatively quiet and the queues were kept to a minimum but in the height of summer, the queues can be pretty long.  They do offer a fast track option at extra cost and this is definitely worth considering to beat the queues.

 

I may have only been in Tenerife for a few days but it was easy to see that this island caters for all generations and if you like relaxing by the pool, you can do that too and is a perfect place to enjoy some much needed sunshine, especially in the winter.

 

 

Incredible Iceland 2017 visited by Laura

With new flights to Akureyri in Iceland from Norwich announced for February 2018, I was pleased when Superbreak gave me the chance to explore this amazing destination for myself.

Passengers booked on the Norwich departures have the luxury of a direct flight but I had to go down to Gatwick and fly via Reykjavik with IcelandAir.  After a 3 hour flight to Reykjavik and then a 40 minute flight over to Akureyri, followed by a short transfer to The Kea by Kea Hotel, I finally arrived at our destination,

Centrally located in Akureyri, The Kea by Kea Hotel was a perfect base for my short stay in Akureyri. Collage_2017-11-10_11_36_37[1] It was just a short walk from the harbour, where from here you could go on numerous whale-watching trips.  Although a small and quiet town, Akureyri has lots to offer in the way of shops and restaurants, giving you plenty of opportunity to experience its local cuisine, fish…and lamb!

My first night was supposed to have been spent out in the wilderness in search of The Northern Lights, however due a cloudy sky, our expert guides decided that the chance of seeing the lights tonight was very small so my trip was postponed until later in the week until the weather was better and a greater chance of seeing them.

After an early start the next morning and a plentiful breakfast, I was off to explore the wonders of Lake Myvatn on the excursion that Superbreak includes on their Incredible Iceland breaks.  This is a full day excursion and I was lucky enough to go by Super Jeep.  Iceland’s landscape is famous for numerous volcanic lava formations and it was easy to see why they call this ‘The Land of Fire and Ice’.  Anton, my driver and knowledgeable guide, explained how Iceland was formed by volcanoes and then was sculptured by ice to become the country that we know today.Collage_2017-11-10_11_39_37[1]

I was also taken to see two of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland, Godafoss and Dettifoss, nicknamed by locals as ‘Beauty and Beast’ because at only twelve meters high, Godafoss is genteel and calm compared Dettifoss which is a staggering forty four meters in height and is considered the most powerful waterfall in Europe.

Finishing off our day, we ventured to the Geothermal Nature Baths in Myvatn itself.  Here I had the opportunity to relax in the 36°c lagoon, just what was needed after a cold day exploring Iceland!

The following morning, I was due to go whale watching, but due to adverse weather this was cancelled.  The weather in Iceland is known to be very unpredictable and it’s not unheard of to experience all four seasons in one day.

With the whale watching, postponed, the only thing left to do was to head off in search of the newly opened Beer Spa, about an hour’s drive from Akureyri.  The concept sounded a little strange to begin but having experienced this for myself, I thoroughly recommend.  Each room is compete with a wooden tub filled with beer, water, hops and yeast which is brewed onsite at their micro-brewery and here you can relax in peace and quiet for up to 25 minutes, and take full advantage of your very own beer tap.  You’re advised to not shower after getting out of the beer bath as it is thought that there are a number of benefits to both your health and skin the longer you leave it without showering.

Superbreak also offers an additional excursion, ‘Culture and Cuisine’ and I got to experience the cuisine part, by visiting Baccala Bar and Restaurant, and fishmongers, to see for myself the process for their famous salted cod fish dish, to see how  the fisherman’s catch of the day that morning made it to my plate.   Also at this venue, I met the owner of the restaurant, Elvar, who is the self-proclaimed ‘King of the Salted Cod Fish’! You are also given the opportunity to become a member of a very special club, ‘The Rotten Shark Club’.  To become a member of the club, you have to try the local delicacy, Rotten Shark; at this point I politely declined!

While away in Iceland, I was very privileged to stay for one night, at the stunning Siglo Hotel in Siglufjordur, the northern most town in Iceland.  After a busy few days in Iceland, an evening spent in the outdoor hot tub was in order and it was at this point I caught my first glimpse of the stunning Northern Lights.

My last morning in Iceland was spent out on a rib boat, whale watching, and it was defiantly worth waiting for.  The boat ride lasted a couple of hours and I couldn’t believe the number of whales that surrounded our boat and how close they came us.  There were even reports that a dolphin had been spotted, but to my disappointment I was looking in the opposite direction.

As my flight home was again via Reykjavik, it allowed for a couple of hours wondering around the city itself.  Although Reykjavik offers similar excursions to Akureyri, itwas a lot bigger and busier and felt very touristy compared to Akureyri.

Looking back on my 4 days in Iceland, there were so many highlights, I couldn’t pick my favourite.  If only I had a little longer to experience all that this amazing country has to offer. I will defiantly be back!22141002_10213907219095358_6267746554708342202_n 22196042_10213914022465438_3513523580459272040_n 22228183_10213906086507044_2486450296803491580_n 22141215_10213903693687225_6160156419752133583_n

Canada 2017

 

Canada 2 Sept. 2017

At last it arrived, our long awaited trip to Canada. Having booked nearly 11 months ago, to secure the very best airfares, it was finally here.

Day 1   We chose to stay overnight at the Crown Plaza at Heathrow, we had an early flight the following morning. Great package, including our Parking and Hoppa tickets for our transfers to the Airport.

Checked-in from the comfort of our hotel room and settled down for a good night’s sleep.

Day 2   Early bus across to Heathrow, really easy baggage drop with Air Canada, time to relax in the Heathrow Lounge over breakfast. A really relaxing start to our trip, highly recommend booking a lounge to escape the hubbub of the airport, great way to chill out before your journey.

Our flight with Air Canada was excellent, very attentive cabin crew, we’d booked extra
Legroom seats, which made for a really comfortable trip.

Arriving Vancouver went quite smoothly, with fairly swift immigration and not too long a wait for baggage.

Met on arrival by our transfer company and taken directly to ‘The Rosen on Rosedale,’
Great room, in a great location. With the sun beating down and a balmy 28°, we decided to hit the pavements and explore Vancouver on foot. What a lovely city, felt totally at ease and enjoyed exploring the market on ‘Granville Island’, can also highly recommend ‘Joe Fortes’ restaurant for a fantastic meal.

Day 3   Still in Vancouver we took the bus tour up to the ‘Capilano Suspension Bridge’ a major tourist attraction and extremely busy.

Day 4   Today we picked up our car and made the short drive down to the ferry terminal to transfer to Vancouver Island. A beautiful day again. Amazing views from the outdoor deck.
Our crossing from Vancouver brought us to Nanaimo, we were staying just a short drive away at Qualicum Beach. Qualicum is a really lovely small seaside town, with good facilities, including golf courses for those inclined and a great spot for exploring the island. The town feels less touristy than some on the island and had a real laid back atmosphere.

Day 5   Day at leisure around Qualicum and soaking up the sunshine.

Day 6   Probably the main reason for wanting to visit Canada, today was our trip to try and spot some ‘Grizzly Bears’. We made the drive up to Campbell River, where in a group of 8 we boarded our small boat, accompanied by guide and Capt. Leigh. We’d only been out 10 minutes when we were lucky enough to see a pod of Orca, amazing! We journeyed around 2 hours up to ‘Bute Inlet’ This is ‘First Nations’ land belonging to the ‘Homalco’, a stunning unspoilt area. On arrival we were transferred in our group to a number of lookout posts and to my sheer delight, there they were. First a large Male, ambling up the beach, then a female with the most adorable triplets, frolicking and fishing in the river and to cap in off a juvenile appeared from out of the woods to fish right in front of us.

Sadly our time was up and we made the trip back to Campbell River, seeing both Humpback Orcas on the return journey, what can I say, a truly amazing day.

Day 7   Out in the car today exploring the Island, enjoying some great walking and taking in the wonderful scenery.

Day 8   More of the same, excellent, only very hazy due to the Forrest fires on the mainland.

Day 9   Sadly time to leave Vancouver Island and venture back to the mainland. We were staying in Whistler for the next couple of nights so we drove the ‘Sea to Sky’ highway. Such a scenic drive, just a shame we got ourselves entangled in a major cycle race taking the same route.

Stayed at ‘Whistler Cascade Lodge’ again a great location right in the centre of town, most of which is pedestrianised, this must be really buzzing during the Ski season. So many places to eat while taking in the views, or watching the crazy mountain bikers speeding down the mountain, not for the faint hearted.

Day 10   We took the ‘Peak to Peak’ gondola for an amazing view of Whistler and the surrounding area, certainly recommend the ride, it’s fabulous.

Day 11   Time to hit the road again, a long drive, but you really don’t notice, when you are doing it in such inspiring countryside. We travelled to Clearwater, on the edge of the ‘Wells Grey’ national park. Overnight in one of the best B&B’s I’ve ever stayed in, Wyndhaven Cottage.

Day 12   After a drive and a walk in the Park, we settle into our drive to Jasper, the pictures can do the talking. Staying 2 nights at Tonquin Inn. 15-20 min walk into town.

Day 13   Opted to take a guided trip out to Maligne Lake, no wildlife showed their faces, but the trip is still so scenic, it really didn’t matter.

Day 14   On the road again to our final destination. 2 nights in Banff, at the Brewsters Mountain Lodge, right in the heart of town. I really liked Banff, it didn’t feel quite as touristy as Whistler, but still had plenty to offer. We did some great walks whilst we were here and enjoyed the bars and restaurants on offer.

Day 15   Today we made the short drive to Calgary for our flight home, so sorry it’s time to leave so soon.
Oh wow what a truly beautiful part of the world this is, it really didn’t fail to live up to my expectations and has made me determined to return to explore a different area. Cheap it is not, worth doing, most certainly!

A big Thank You to Mike at ‘All Canada’ for his hotel recommendations, the location of them all could not have been better.

Oh wow what a truly beautiful part of the world this is, it really didn’t fail to live up to my expectations and has made me determined to return to explore a different area.  Cheap it is not, worth doing, most certainly!

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A big Thank You to Mike at ‘All Canada’ for his hotel recommendations, the location of them all could not have been better.

 

Myths and Legends – Crete

I have always loved Greece and so last year decided to take a family holiday to Crete….

The flight was 3 and a half hours long and we arrived into Heraklion Airport. Our transfer on to our resort of Sissi took around an hour and was one of the first stops. On arrival at our hotel Maritimo Beach Resort, we were welcomed and shown 2 different rooms to choose from. They were in the process of updating all rooms though no work is taking place that you can see. We had paid for a sea view room and were upgraded to a sea view superior 1 bedroomed apartment which was perfect. Half way through our holiday we came back to the room to find a bottle of wine and a selection of fruit which was a lovely touch.

sunrise

Sunrise from our room (I never wake up this early, but I’m glad I did to catch it)

Being based on Half board meant I could try a few more local dishes such as Chochioli Boubouristi; do not be fooled by it’s name, this is not a chocolate delicacy; Cretan dialect chochlios means snail, in this dish the snails are fried with flour and hot olive oil in a pan, then doused with wine (or vinegar), with voila and Rosemary. An interesting dish. I do like however, to sample local restaurants whilst on my holiday and Sissi has a fair few to choose from for a small resort.

The resort of Sissi was just our kind of place. A small village but with plenty of restaurants overlooking the sea and a nice selection of local shops. The sandy beach was around a 20 minute walk through the town from our hotel although there are hotels much closer. There is another beach about another 5-10 minutes on which incurred a little scramble over some rocks but was worth it for the much calmer sea  we needed for snorkeling. We saw some beautiful blue and green fish and lots of other schools of fish. Rock shoes are advisable in this area of Crete which you can buy locally.

I would really recommend hiring a car. I didn’t realise we would want one until we got there and decided between booking excursions and doing our own thing independently. We prefer to be independent and have the freedom of where and when and how long we stay for. I would recommend pre-booking your car to get a quality vehicle and ensure all insurances are covered with an excess waiver. If you prefer to take excursions there are plenty we can pre-book for you.

If I can do it, anyone can! 1st time driving abroad on the right. Call us for car hire quotes.

Driving on the other side of the road! If I can do it, anyone can! 1st time driving abroad on the right – proud of me. Call us for car hire quotes!

On day one of having our vehicle we ventured out to the east coast and resorts of Aghios Nikolaos and Elounda and the sleepy village of Plaka. Aghios Nikolaos has plenty of shops, bars and restaurants and we saw the marina with beautiful big yachts and the town beach, the drive around the coast is absolutely beautiful.

aghios nicholaos I can dream….(Aghios Nikolaos)

We headed up to Elounda which is a lovely resort with some nice bars/restaurants on the front, a decent amount of shops and sandy beach. You can get *boat trips out to the small island of Spinalonga here (*approx 12 euros) . Steeped in history, the island was used for the leper colony years ago. It is worth a visit to see how the community lived. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinalonga .  We carried on to the very Greek and tiny village of Plaka where you can also get across to Spinalonga island, it is a little closer so a little cheaper from here.

The sea is beautiful in Crete!Spinalonga from Plaka – The sea is so beautiful in Crete!

I wish there was a cat sitting in the front of this gorgeous building.

Plaka

Day two, we ventured south across country to Chrissy  Island, a (nearly) uninhabited island off the south coast of Crete. We got the ferry across from Lerapetra, ferry tickets were available on the promenade leading up the ferry so this was very easy to do. I imagine in high season, this island would be full of young party day trippers. There was a bit of a party feel to the beach where most people congregated, you can however find a quiet spot and go and explore the island too. Just ensure you take plenty of sunscreen, hat, water etc as you are here for the day until the ferry arrives to take you back (don’t miss the ferry back either or you will be stuck there for the night).  I am still wearing the bracelet made locally and sold by one of the very talented hippies who live there.

Chrissy IslandChrissy Island 

The next days hired car adventure was up into the mountains to the old traditional villages and Psychro Cave https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychro_Cave . This cave is a Greek mythological site as the place “where Amalthea, nurtured the infant Zeus with her goat’s milk”. Being a lover of Greek mythology and history of the places I holiday to, this was worth a visit and the trek uphill for me. The villages were lovely to see and a taste of real Greece.

Psychro CavePsychro Cave – where Zeus was hidden as a baby according to myth.

donkeys psychro

We then drove on to Heraklion to the famous archaeological site of Knossos. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knossos. You can hire a guide on the gate or stroll around without. I would suggest a guide would be good as you get so much more out of the visit and they bring the place alive. The entry fee was 15 Euros and an extra 1 Euro for entry into the museum in Heraklion housing the artifacts dug up from this important historical site. Unfortunately, we did not have time to visit the museum and it is a regret we did not have a whole day to do both. I would suggest to do both the archaeological site and the museum to bring it all together.

Knossos Knossos – Throne room 

9 years old and loving Knossos! 9 years old and loving Knossos!

Our holiday was just one week and I would’ve loved to have stayed longer. The Cretan people were so welcoming and friendly and I would love to see more people heading to Greece as every island has something different to offer. Crete being the largest and southernmost of the islands meant there was lots to see and do and the weather was just perfect at the end of May. I highly recommend a visit!

Package or tailormade Holidays, car hire, pre bookable excursions, airport parking, airport hotels and currency all available through independence Travel. Please do not hesitate to contact us!

 

 

 

 

 

SOUTH AFRICA FEB. 2006

SOUTH AFRICA FEB. 200?

Having previously worked for Geoff, who had lived in South Africa for several years, it was always a destination at the top of my to do list and  really didn’t disappoint.

To get the most out of this stunning country you need to be prepared to move around, either by doing an escorted tour, or by self-driving, as we did. Driving is on the left, and the roads are great. Once out of the cities, they are fairly quiet in comparison with the UK.

We started our trip in Cape Town, flying direct from London Heathrow in about 11.5 hrs. and with only a couple of hours’ time difference, this was an easy option.

Cape Town, a wonderful city sitting under the watchful eye of ‘Table Mountain’. The city has a vibrant cosmopolitan feel to it and offers some first class hotels and eateries. During February we fund it warm and windy, but with so much to see in the area, we were not contemplating spending too much time sitting on the beach.

If you go, you need to factor in a few days, as you must make the trip to the summit of Table Mountain, either by foot for the more energetic or by scenic cable car. Due to the low cloud we had two attempts before making the worthwhile trip. The views over Cape Town and the surrounding area are breath taking.

Other things to see in the area are of course, the famous Robben Island, the former prison of ‘Nelson Mandela’ and the Botanical Gardens, just to mention a few. We made the trip down to ‘Boulders Beach’ to see the Cape Penguins, quite surreal, seeing these cheeky little birds on the beach, rather than in the snow.sa-2006-027

From Cape Town we chose to drive part of the Garden Route, driving to Montagu on route 62, we stayed overnight at the charming Mimosa Inn, before continuing on through breath taking scenery to Wilderness. Stopping enroute for some superb photo opportunities. We stayed a couple of nights to explore this beautiful area, before continuing on to Tsitsikamma. They say you can experience all the seasons in one day in South Africa, and I can see why, from blazing sunshine to thick damp fog, it made for an interesting trip.

We hiked around the Storms River area before making the short drive back to George to fly via Jo’burg to Nelspruit a short drive from the Great Kruger National Park.

I have safaried before, but SA is quite different, you can drive yourself around part of the park, staying on the tarmac roads. Quite an experience, especially when you have to stop for a passing herd of Elephant.sa-2006-190

But for a much better experience you are best going out with a guide. They will take you off tarmac, onto unmade tracks, and place you just in the right spot for some truly amazing wildlife viewing.102_0203sa-2006-214sa-2006-221sa-2006-175

South Africa, it really does have something for everyone, from golden sandy beaches, fine dining restaurants, stunning scenery and the most wonderful wildlife. I can’t wait to go back, and will sometime soon.

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Marrakech Short Break

Arriving in Marrakech we were greeted by blue sky and some November sunshine, just what was needed after a 6am flight from Stansted with Ryanair.  After a hair-raising drive through the city, we arrived at our accommodation, Palais el Mira, a small riad on the outskirts of the city.  An oasis of calm and tranquillity; just what would be needed after a day sightseeing in the hustle and bustle of Marrakech.

palais-el-mira

Riads are traditional Moroccan houses, designed around an interior courtyard.  Although riads tend to be small, ours only had 10 rooms; the facilities offered were all you could ask for.  A good sized swimming pool, plenty of sun-loungers, and a spa offering a selection of treatments; and although we had booked on a bed & breakfast basis, we had our evening meals here too. Our room was spacious and even had its own private terrace.

After a wonderful breakfast of pancakes, pastries, cakes, fruit and some freshly squeezed orange juice, we took the hotel’s shuttle bus into the city to begin exploring.   First up were the souks, an experience not for the faint hearted.  Wherever you walked, there would be stall holders trying to get you to come and have a look at their wares.  Very few items had price tags, bartering is the way of life here.  Walking deeper into the souks, it soon became clear we had lost our way, no signposts showing the way to an exit.  After about half an hour we were very grateful to finally see some day light, leading us to our way out.

We decided to take a caleche (horse drawn carriage), to take us around the city, again a little bit of haggling was required to get a reasonable price.  We left the main square, Jemma el Fna and passed by the Koutoubia Mosque and from here we headed into the New Town and along the outskirts of the city walls.  Going back through the city gates, you could definitely tell we had entered the old town again.  Narrow roads, stalls selling a selection of spices, fruit & veg and street food lined the way as we headed back to the Jemma el Fna.

old-townArriving back at Jemma el Fna, the famous night market was beginning to come to life.  Again more stalls were starting to pop up, as were the famous snake charmers, monkey handlers & henna tattoo artists.  You needed to have eyes and ears everywhere, not just because there was so much to take in but for safety, as this area, especially after the sun sets, is a haven for pick-pocketers.

majorelle-gdnsWe also visited the Majorelle Jardins, one of the most visited sights in Marrakech, home to an array of cacti and other exotic plants & trees.  Also, a memorial to Yves Saint Laurent can be found here, after he bought the gardens in the 1980s.  Although crowded with tourists, it somehow still manages to have an air of peacefulness about it.

We had been invited to visit the Royal Palm Marrakech, a Beachcomber property, while we were in Marrakech for a tour of the hotel and for lunch.  Having previously visited their hotels in Mauritius, this hotel certainly lived up to expectations.  If you’re looking for a luxury getaway, this is definitely the place for you; the spacious rooms are tastefully decorated and furnished to the highest standard.  They also have stunning views over the golf course and the Atlas Mountains and the food is amazing too.

I enjoyed my time in Marrakech; a great city break destination but also great for relaxing and unwinding too.

Marrakech really has to be seen to be believed.