Monthly Archives: October 2017

7 Venues to Spot Native Birds and Animals in New Zealand

New Zealand is home to a variety of bird and animal species, some of them being endemic to the country. Adorned with rocky headlands, cascading waterfalls, idyllic beaches, rivers, lakes, forests and offshore sanctuary islands, New Zealand is a great place to spot colourful birds and interesting wildlife. Read on to know more!

New Zealand

Tiritiri Matangi Island

Translated as ‘Tossed by the Wind’, Tiritiri Matangi Island is one of the most successful and well implemented conservation projects in New Zealand.  Lying on the famous Hauraki Gulf Area, this island is home to different forest birds including kokako, rare takahe, North Island robin, stitchbird and saddleback. Apart from the birds, a population of reptiles and mammals like skinks, tuatara and geckos can also be found here. A regular ferry service is available from Auckland and Gulf Harbour to the island.

Orokonui Eco-Sanctuary

Protecting native birds, lizards and fishes behind its 9km pest exclusion fence, Orokonui Eco-Sanctuary is one of the recent additions to the list of sanctuaries in New Zealand. Called ‘Te Korowai o Mihiwaka’ in Maori, this place, located in central Dunedin, is famous for being home to a range of beautiful birds and reptiles including kaka, South Island robin, saddleback, kiwi, geckos, native bats, paradise ducks, pukeko and tuatara. The kiwi crèche located within the complex is a must visit attraction among the visitors. Along with the tours, special programmes, research exhibitions and other activities, you can enjoy sunbathing, swimming and other outdoor adventures on the beaches in the nearby areas.

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari

Sanctuary Mountains is among the oldest recognised natural reserves in New Zealand. Situated only 15 minutes drive from downtown Hamilton; it hosts a wide population of birds, mammals, reptiles, fishes and plants. North Island Kaka, fantail, stitchbird, takahe, kakariki, whitehead, North Island robin, North Island Tomtit, Western North Island brown kiwi, parson’s bird and bellbird are few of the winged creatures that can be spotted in the sanctuary. Copper Skink, tuatara, forest gecko and hochstetter’s frog can also be found here.

Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park

Nestled amidst the stunning forests of Rotorua, the Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park is a beautiful and popular kiwi preservation park in New Zealand. Home to the native kiwi birds, 13 endemic animal and bird species and over 90 native plant species, this place is best to get up and close with these amazing creatures and get your dose of bird watching and wildlife encounters. Kiwi hatchery, kiwi enclosures, free-flight bird show and rides on the big splash are some of the popular attractions enjoyed by people of every age group visiting the park.

Ulva Island

Famed for its beaches, waterfalls, rivers, native forests and wetlands, Ulva Island is another well known attraction in New Zealand. Home to almost all forms of ecosystems, the island is home to a wide variety of birds including South Island saddleback, yellowhead, Stewart Island robin, southern brown kiwi, red-fronted parakeet, bellbird, fantail, grey warbler and rifleman. The endangered yellow-eyed penguin is a unique attraction on the island. Several guided nature walks, excursions and tours are available as per request. Apart from bird watching, you can have a great time at the beaches.

Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre

A breeding centre for some of the most threatened birds, Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre is a must visit attraction in New Zealand. Located in the north of Masterton, the centre is home to species of kaka, takahe, monster eels, saddlebacks, stitchbirds, kokako, North Island brown kiwis and blue ducks. Guided tours, exclusive behind the scene tours and overnight excursions are quite popular here. For those in love with nature and are willing to contribute towards its protection and preservation, volunteer programmes and donation events are organised.

Kapiti Island Natural Reserve

Located 50km north of Wellington, Kapiti Island remains a must visit in New Zealand for all birding enthusiasts. Featuring several ecosystems together and famed for its rich biodiversity, it is a natural habitat for few of the country’s endangered birds, animals and marine species including stitchbird, kokako, takahe, brown teal, saddleback, black shags, bellbird, brown kiwi, weka, red billed gulls, white fronted tern, reef heron and spotted shags. Overnight kiwi spotting tours, visits to the biosphere reserves, treks and hikes are enjoyed by the guests.

Halloween Celebrations All Over the World

Also known as All Saints’ or Hallowmas, Halloween is one of the most celebrated festivals and among the oldest holidays in the world. Beginning as a traditional ritual, the event has evolved into a celebration characterised by pumpkins and activities like trick-or-treating and carving jack-o-lanterns. Celebrated on the 31st of October, the day of remembrance is observed in diverse ways

Halloween Celebrationsacross different countries. While the age old traditions associated with the festival remain unchanged, a few of the activities and happenings have come a long way since its origin. Read on to know more about how the festival is celebrated across the world.


Offering a perfect melange of ancient rituals, traditional beliefs and age old customs, Halloween is one famous event in the USA. The festival is famed for its costume parties, parades, haunted hayrides, street fairs, carnivals, playing trick-or-treat and carving lanterns out of pumpkins. Offering prayers to the dead, decorating houses with pumpkins and dressing up to your scariest self are popular traditions associated with the festival. Spooks, ghosts, witches, wizards and skeletons are common symbols of Halloween. Village Halloween Parade (New York City), Sleepy Hallow Halloween (Washington), Emma Crawford Festival (Colorado), Little Five Points Halloween Festival (Atlanta) and Halloween on Halsted (Chicago) are top highlights of the festival in the country.

United Kingdom

Halloween is celebrated with much pomp and show across the country. Originating as a Pagan festival held in different regions, it is characterised by a set of interesting activities such as trick-or-treating, parades, dance performances, costume parties and visiting the graves of the dead. The colours of orange and black along with black cats, pumpkins, haunted houses, cauldrons, spiders, witches, wizards, bats and spirits are among the significant symbols of the festival. Apple bobbing, nut-cracking, costume dressing, bonfires and offering prayers to the deceased are a few of the well-known traditions associated with Halloween.


Locally known as Día de las Brujas, Halloween is one of the well-known festivals in Mexico. It is usually hailed as children’s festivity in the country and is characterised by several interesting activities like trick-or-treating, lighting bonfires, hanging lanterns on trees and setting off firecrackers. Dressing up in scary costumes, making toys and candies resembling skeletons, lighting the graves of the deceased and offering prayers to the dead are common traditions associated with the festival. Although Halloween is quite popular in Mexico, the Day of Dead celebrated on 1st of November is celebrated on a larger scale in the country.


Originating over 1000 years ago, Halloween in Ireland is a major festival celebrated with much excitement across the island. Associated with a lot of ancient traditions and practices, the event is best known for its set of religious rituals and interesting activities especially bonfires, jack-o-lanterns, trick-or-treating, fancy dressing and blind dates. A group of young men dressed in their scary costumes going from door to door singing rhymes and songs and asking for food and drinks is a common Halloween custom in Ireland. Homemade apple pies, Colcannon, Potato Farls, Barmbrack cake, Ivy Leaf and the pumpkin are among the must try dishes during the festival. Games like snap apple, knock-a- dolly, shaving the friar and blind folded cabbage picking are also quite popular. Fortunetelling using different objects is a major component of old Irish Halloween tradition.


Featuring events inspired by the Dracula theme, Halloween is a well-known public holiday in Romania. With its centre of attraction being the Bran Castle, the event begins with shopping for garlic as a form of protection from the evil spirits on the night before the actual festival (30th October) and continues till the end of 31st October. Transylvania is the perfect place to spend Halloween and enjoy its festivities amidst full magical settings. Dressing as ghosts, witches and vampires alongside savouring upon some authentic delicacies and exploring different myths and legends, Halloween in Romania is surely an experience of a lifetime. Guided tours to the castles and cathedrals are quite popular among the tourists.

Hong Kong

With a spooky environment and embracing the spirit of the festival, Halloween in Hong Kong is a recent addition to the list of popular events in the country. Be it raucous street parades, scary parties, authentic mouth-watering cuisines, carnivals, or busy theme parks, the festival is celebrated with much pomp and show all across the region. The famous Hong Kong Disneyland turns to a haunted land decorated with scary pumpkins, mysterious trees, ghosts, and cobwebs!! Masquerade balls, wildly howling street blowouts, street parties, trick-or-treating, and costume parades are a few things to look forward to during the festival in Hong Kong.


Marking the only one day when the spirits of the dead return back to the world, the festival is famed for its traditional practices, Halloween parades, parties, ghost trains, haunted trolley tours, Yard Hunts, carved pumpkins and other interesting activities. Family dinners followed by parlour games, pumpkin art tours, and symbolic walks are quite popular among children and the youngsters.

Holidays to New York – Top Things to Do In the City


Billed as the global financial capital, New York City is an iconic travel destination of the United States. The city has had a kind of reverence about it that few can match all over the planet. Known by different names like ‘The Big Apple’, ‘The City that Never Sleeps’ and ‘Gotham’, New York excites with its interesting attractions and abundant engagements. Read on to know more:


Be it tall skyscrapers, historical monuments or iconic landmarks, there is no dearth of sightseeing opportunities in New York City. Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Centre, Fifth Avenue, Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, The High Line and Chrysler Building are some of the most well-known attractions in the city. While most of these venues are accessible by public transport and are open from morning till late evening, a few of them require prior bookings and reservations. If you are a first time traveller, make sure you have a city guide with you as you get exploring.


New York is home to some of the most famous museums in the world. Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, National September 11 Memorial and Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Morgan Library and Museum are among the most popular museums here. Exhibitions, live shows, interactive sessions and lectures are held at most of these places.


New York City is a delight for the food lovers. Some of the world’s most awarded and acclaimed restaurants are located here. Tavern on the Green, The Rainbow Room, Totonno’s, Katz’s Delicatessen and Peter Luger are some of the city’s most famed restaurants. When it comes to Restaurantsome of the staples that are most served in the city, Eggs Benedict, lobster Newberg, cheesecake, corned beef, baked pretzels, hot dogs, burgers, New York style bagel, Gefilte fish, Pasta primavera, Penne alla Vodka, Steak Diane, calzones, cuchifritos and churros can be enjoyed for a local experience.

Broadway Shows

Broadway has become an important component of entertainment in New York both for the travellers and locals. Be it musicals, comedy or drama, shows and performances of different genres are held here in the city.  A Chorus Line, A Delicate Balance, A Raisin in the Sun, A Streetcar named Desire, Ain’t Misbehavin’, All My Sons, Angels in America, Annie and Anything Goes are few of the classics performed here. Featuring modern themes and highlighting the contemporary culture are new shows like Hamilton, The Lion King, Wicked, The Phantom of Opera, The Book of Mormon, Cats and The Bronx Tale.


Be it designer wear, leading fashion brands, vintage stuff, electronics, books or anything else under the sky, New York has it all when it comes to shopping. Scattered all over the city with major chunk of them found around the famous Times Square are popular posh boutiques, record stores, Shoppingthrift shops ideal. Dover Street Market, Barneys New York Downtown, Chelsea Market, Union Square Greenmarket, Columbus Circle Holiday Market, Queens Night Market, The Market NYC and the Grand Central Market are few of the must visit city markets. Weekly flea markets are a major draw to the city.

Events and Festivals

New York is a cosmopolitan city in its truest sense. Be it traditional celebrations, annual cultural programmes, street parades, music concerts or carnivals, the city holds a range of celebrations and festivities throughout the year – with some of them being truly iconic. ST. Patrick’s Day Parade, Lunar New Year Parade and Festival, New York Caribbean Carnival Parade, Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, NYC Pride, Rockefeller Centre Tree Lighting and National Puerto Rican Day Parade are a few of the most loved celebrations here.


New York’s nightlife is exceptional and could well be the best one in the world. From sophisticated cocktail dens to lounges to dance clubs to bars, there is something for everyone in the city. The NightlifeCampbell, The Crown, Diamond Lil, Wine Legend, Loverboy, The Office NYC, Oscar Wilde, Fishbone, The Heights, Black Flamingo, Drexler’s and C’mon Everybody are some of the spots to hit in the city.

Top 8 National Parks and Wildlife Reserves in Australia

Australia is a massive country with everything about this country being huge – starting from its beer glasses to its dangerous reptiles! Really, the country has an exceptional wildlife that’s easily one of the most fascinating on the planet. Most of the country’s wildlife is found nowhere else. Australia’s 87% mammal species, 93% reptiles, and 45% bird species are found only in this country. No wonder, this is such a popular travel destination among wildlife lovers and animal enthusiasts. For those hoping to spot unique species of birds, reptiles, and animals in the country, here is a list of the most popular protected areas, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Australia.

Kakadu National park

Established in 1979, Kakadu National park is a unique archaeological and ethnological park in the country. Located in the Northern Territory, this place is famed for its aboriginal rock paintings, carvings, stone tools, and interesting flora and fauna.


Around 1700 different types of plants and a wide variety of birds and animals including dingoes, antilopine kangaroos, black wallaroos, agile wallabys, northern quolls, brush-tailed phascogales, brown bandicoots, frilled neck lizard, freshwater crocodile and saltwater crocodile can be spotted here.

Royal National Park

Famed for its vast landscape, mangroves and cliffs, Royal National Park is one of the oldest national parks in Australia. Established in 1879 by Sir John Robertson, it is home to a wide range of plants, birds and animals including honeybees, wallaroos, Tachyglossus aculeatus, Phascolarctos cinereus, canis lupus dingo and the spotted quoll. Apart from spotting these species, you can enjoy numerous other interesting activities here, like bushwalking, surfing, whale watching, fishing, cycling, trekking, hiking and camping. Jibbon Point, Eaglehead Rock, Garie Beach, Figure 8 Pool, Werrong Beach and Lady Carrington Drive are the tourist top attractions here.

Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park

Located in the Northern Territory, Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park is one popular attraction in the country. Established in 1958 in order to preserve the country’s aboriginal culture, it is home to the famous landmarks – Uluru and Kata Tjuta – as well as interesting flora and fauna. Mallee fowl, brushtail possum, rufous hare wallaby, bilby, burrowing bettong, black-footed rock wallaby, red kangaroo, Australian bustard and black-faced woodswallow are among the birds and animals spotted in the park.

Nitmiluk National Park

Featuring over 13 sandstone gorges, numerous cliffs and giant rocks, Nitmiluk National Park is another famous national park of Australia. Situated in the southeast end of Darwin, this park, established in 1977, is home to freshwater and saltwater crocodiles, ospreys, red-tailed black cockatoos, great bowerbirds, white-gaped honeyeaters and red-winged parrots. Several aboriginal rock paintings can be found across the park. The 58 km Jatbula Trail, starting from the visitor centre and ending at Edith Falls, is a major highlight of the park.

Springbrook National Park


Established in 1990 to protect endangered animal species, Springboard National Park is a must-visit in Australia. Located close to the city of Queensland, it is home to several species of native birds and animals including yellow tailed black cockatoo, rufous fantail, satin bowerbird, whipbird Albert’s lyrebird, red-necked pademelons and koalas. The ancient Tweed Volcano and Mount Cougal are famous attractions here.

Lamington National Park


Lamington National Park is another top pick among wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers who fly to Australia from all parts of the world. Located on the famous Lamington plateau, this park is famed for its stunning landscape, varying forests and mountain ranges and is home to an interesting population of mammals, invertebrates, reptiles and birds. Red carabeen, soft corkwood, Coxen’s fig parrot, Albert’s lyrebird and Richmond birdwing butterfly are a few of the species that can be spotted at the park. Rare species such as rainforest cool-skink, elf skink, Fleay’s barred frog, giant barred frog and the cascade treefrog can also be spotted.

Daintree National Park

Covered with vast tropical rainforests and featuring an incredible biodiversity, Daintree National Park is one of the well-known protected areas in the country.


Situated in northwest Brisbane, this 1988 park features a diverse range of birds and animals including a few endangered ones. Wompoo fruit-dove, Boyd’s forest dragon, eastern water dragon, chameleon gecko, northern leaf-tailed gecko, amethystine python, keelback, northern tree snakes, Australian lacelid, white-lipped treefrog and mist frog are the among the animals and reptiles found here.

Purnululu National Park


Purnululu National Park is yet another famous national park in Australia. Located in East Kimberley region, it is home to some of the stunning canyons, steep slopes, rock caves and rich traces of the aboriginal people who lived in the region for over 40000 years. Ancient rock paintings, carvings, homes and burial sites that are excavated here can be explored. Usually not many animals and birds can be found here but seasonally a few of the native ones can be spotted at the park. Guided tours and special excursions are available for those willing to explore the rich cultural history of the park, its surrounding landscapes and other attractions.

Top Tourist Delights of the Seychelles


A stunning coastal paradise comprising of around 115 palm shaped islands and adorned with pristine white-sand beaches, majestic cliffs and secluded coves, the Seychelles is truly a fascinating holiday destination. Located in the Indian Ocean, this beautiful archipelago is packed with numerous interesting attractions and indulgences. Here are the top lures of the country.


Offering the best of sun, sand and surf, some of the beaches in the country are among the finest in the world. Great spots to enjoy sunbathing and different water sports, these magnificent beaches are major attractions among visitors to the Seychelles. Anse Source d’Argent, Anse Lazio, Anse Georgette, Grand Anse, Anse Intendance, Petite Anse Kerlan, Petite Anse, Anse Cocos, Anse Marron and Beau Vallon are some of the most popular beaches on the island. While most of these beaches are well connected to the mainland, a few of them are accessible by boats and ships.


Be it zip lining through the dense forests, rock climbing in the granite peaks, scuba diving in the marine parks, swimming with the whales, deep sea fishing, wind surfing or paragliding, the island has it all when it comes to thrill and adventure! Diving schools and training institutes can be located in different parts of the country.


Celebrating the Creole culture and other traditions, the many festivals in the country are great times to experience and enjoy the local customs and practices. Seychelles International Carnival of Victoria, Semaine de la Francophonie, Holy Week, Round Table Beau Vallon Regatta, La Digue Festival, SUBIOS Underwater Festival and Creole Festival are some of the most well known celebrations in the country. Music and cultural shows, dance performances, art exhibitions, float parades, yacht races and feasts are common during most of the festivals. Independence Day, celebrated on 29th June, is celebrated with much pomp and show across the island.


A perfect fusion of African, French, Chinese, Indian and Mediterranean flavours and cooking methods, the Seychellois cuisine is an attraction in itself! Dominated by chillies, coconut milk and breadfruit, food on the island is much loved by the tourists. A variety of fish and seafood, including tuna, bonito, sea bass, red snapper, barracuda, king mackerel, gilthead, lobster and squid, is commonly prepared and loved by the people here. Octopus curry, smoked fish salad, satini reken, saffron rice, bat curry, Bouillon brede, Kat-kat banane, Satini rekin and Soupe de tectec are the must try delicacies on the island. As far as the drinks are concerned, palm wine calou, bakka rum and beers like Seybrew and Eku are most popular. While numerous fine dining restaurants can be found in all parts of the country, especially the major cities, having your meals at the beach shacks or street side eateries is a unique experience that remains unmatched.


Whether its spices, crafts, souvenirs, handicrafts, jewellery or tea, the Seychelles has a lot to offer when it comes to shopping. The shops here offer a wide collection of goods and products both locally manufactured and imported.  Woven baskets, tablemats, ornaments, straw hats, batik work, ornaments, model boats, trinkets, seashells, tortoise shells, coco-de-mer nuts, coconut oil-scented bath soaps, scented products and ceramic pottery are some of the stuff that is loved by tourist who looking for souvenirs. Although there are not many big malls here, there are several street side shops from where you could purchase all these things. Victoria Market and Sir Selwyn Clarke Market are the top spots to buy these items at reasonable prices.


The Seychelles is rich in marine life and wildlife. Home to different fragile ecosystems and rich in biodiversity, the island nation is truly a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. Around 75 different types of endemic plant species and over 25 species of aldabra group can be found here. Arnold’s giant tortoise, Seychelles giant tortoise, Seychelles fody, Seychelles scops owl, frigate birds, freshwater crabs, geckos, Madagascar girdled lizard and coconut crab are a few of the many birds and animals found here. Morne Seychellois National Park, Praslin National Park, Baie Ternay Marine National Park and Ile Coco Marine National Park are the famous national parks on the island.

Brazil Holidays – The Best of South American Country

Famed for its pristine beaches, rich wildlife, verdant rainforests and staggering architecture, Brazil is one of the most sought after holiday destinations in South America. Check out some of the most famous aspects of a holiday in the country.

Brazil Holidays

Popular Cities

A former Portuguese colony, Brazil is a nation rich in culture. Different Brazilian cities portray a different shade of this colourful country, attracting tourists from all over the world.

  • Sao Paulo: Known for its robust culture, stunning skyscrapers and culinary delights, Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. Situated in south-eastern end of the country, it is home to some Sao Pauloof the most popular architectural wonders and interesting attractions including Sao Paulo Cathedral, Museu do Futebol (Football Museum), Mercado Municipal de Sao Paulo (Municipal Market of Sao Paulo), Liberdade District and Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo (Sao Paulo Museum of Art).
  • Brasilia: The capital of Brazil, Brasilia is located atop the highlands in the western region and is famed for its ancient buildings and royal complexes majorly build during the colonial era. Among others, Cathedral of Brasília, Jardín Zoológico de Brasilia (Brasilia Zoo), Palácio do Planalto (workplace of the President of Brazil), Praça dos Três Poderes (Three Powers Square) and Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge are the major tourist attractions in the city.
  • Rio de Janeiro: Well known for its mountains, beaches, carnivals and the famous landmark Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro is the most visited city in Brazil. Located in south-eastern Rio de Janeiroend of the country, the city has an exciting range of tourist delights. Apart from Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain, Copacabana, Ipanema and Santa Teresa are among the must visit attractions in the city.


Festivals are celebrated with much gusto in Brazil. The locals are known to live it up in style and with dance.

  • Rio Carnival: First held in 1723 as a part of the colonial tradition, Rio Carnival is one of the biggest carnivals in the world and the most popular festival of Brazil. Celebrated annually festivalbefore Lent, this festival is marked by colourful parades, dance performances, musical shows and other interesting and exciting activities. The Samba School Parade, featuring choreographed dancers and musicians, is a major attraction of the festival.
  • Festa do Peao: Also known as ‘Cowboy Festival of Barretos’, Festa do Peao is celebrated across the country with much pomp and show. This event is marked by series of events including bull racing, musical shows, dance performances and other exciting activities. The largest celebration of the festival is held in Sao Paulo every year with over thousands of guests being part of it.


Covered with around 60% of the Amazon rainforests, Brazil accounts for one-tenth of wildlife species in the world. The country is home to a wide selection of plants and animals including Wildlifeseveral endangered and endemic species. Protecting these species from extinction are national parks and protected areas in the country.

  • Itatiaia National Park: Established in 1937, Itatiaia National Park is the oldest national park in the country. Located in the south eastern end of Brazil, the park is home to over 350 species of beautiful birds including a few of the endangered and exotic ones. Hiking, rock climbing and bird watching are the top attractions here.
  • Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park: Located in the heart of Brazil, Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park was established in 1989 with an aim to protect the wildlife. You can spot jaguar, pampas deer, howler monkey, emu, tapir, giant anteater, giant armadillo, maned wolf, parrots, swifts, seriema and red macaws here.
  • Pantanal Matogrossense National Park: Established in 1981 for the protection and conservation of wildlife in the country, Pantanal Matogrossense National Park is surrounded by wetlands and rivers and is home to exotic species of birds and animals including anteaters, jaguars, black howler monkeys and tapirs.


Situated along the coast of Atlantic Ocean, this South American nation is adorned with some of the most stunning beaches, which are ideal to enjoy sun, sand and surf.


  • Santos Beach: Located in the city of Sao Paulo, Santos is one of the most popular beaches in Brazil. Famed for its beautiful white sand and stunning surrounding vistas, it is lined up with fabulous restaurants and shacks serving traditional delicacies and gift shops selling authentic souvenirs.
  • Ipanema: Known for its exquisite beauty, Ipanema is a famous Rio beach. This stunning beach is ideal to enjoy the best of sun and sand as well as a wide range of amazing water sports such as snorkelling and wind surfing. Bars, shops, restaurants and cafes can be found all around the area. The Hippie Fair, held every Sunday, is a major attraction.
  • Porto da Barra Beach: Situated in the city of Salvador, Porto da Barra Beach is a perfect place for those looking for a tan or an exciting sport. The famous colonial fort and cliffs on the side of the beach add to its charm.

Two Best Places for Wine Tours in South Africa

South Africa produces some of the finest wines in the world. Boplaas Cape Tawny, Rabelais Blend, LeeuwenKuil, Driehoek, Shiraz…the list of exquisite wines available throughout the different regions in the country is endless. Not surprisingly, South Africa has different wine routes to offer. Take a look!



Stellenbosch in South Africa is home to an astonishing number of wine estates. You can head to Delheim, Brampton Wine Studio, Brenaissance Wine & Stud Estate, Ernie Els Wines or any other wine-growing estate. Apart from fresh and aged wines, these wine destinations in South Africa also serve locally produced variants of cheese and pizza along with freshly prepared farm bread.

As far as the wine tasting goes, many of these places, along with offering wines at studios, take you to tasting sessions inside magnificently maintained age-old vine cellars. No wonder, Stellenbosch in South Africa is considered a heaven for wine enthusiasts.


Franschhoek is a small village in South Africa famous for its wine production abilities.  Famous wines produced here include Merlot, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage and Chenin Blanc. The elegantly-landscaped wine estates are treat to the eyes while the wine produced regales the taste buds. The level of popularity of Franschhoek can be gauged from the fact that the village has a tram service dedicated exclusively to the wine enthusiasts.

The hop-on hop-off wine tour tram service starts at the ticket office located in the village and takes you through the beautiful wine yards and estates spread all over the village. Tourists signing for the tour can hop off at different wineries converted to tram stations and buy wine tasting sessions as per their choice. The memoirs and wines purchased during the tour can be handed over to the conductor and collected from the ticket office at the end of the tour.

Wine tour organizers in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek usually take care of hotel pickups, lunches, estate sightseeing and drop offs. However, before you confirm your booking please check whether your hotel falls under the pickup range or not.  It is also common for sommeliers to request private wine tasting sessions for extra charges.

8 of the Most Popular Coastal Cities in India

India has a long coastline – one of the longest in the world and it is natural that this ancient country has some terrific coastal towns that remain popular with tourists coming in from all parts of the world. Most of these coastal towns and cities are located along the south-west coast of India and all these below mentioned towns, with perhaps the exception of mega Mumbai, promise a peaceful, calm journey through the country’s unrivalled natural riches.


Mumbai, the financial powerhouse of India, is the most cosmopolitan city in the country. Located on the coast of Arabian Sea, this fascinating city is famed for its architectural wonders, busy beaches, and being home to India’s Hindi film industry.


Gateway of India, Kanheri Caves, Siddhivinayak Temple, Global Vipassana Pagoda, Nehru Science Centre and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya are the top attractions in the city. Aksa, Juhu, Girgaum Chowpatty, Versova and Marve are some of the popular beaches in the city where you can enjoy great street food.



‘The Gateway to Kerala’, Kochi is one of the most stunning coastal cities in South India. A famous port city, this lovely seaside paradise is home to ancient forts and buildings, synagogues, basilicas and palaces and is an ideal place to indulge in numerous interesting water sports such as snorkelling and kitesurfing. Fort Kochi, Kerala Folklore Museum, Indo-Portuguese Museum, Paradesi Synagogue, St Francis Church and Santa Cruz Basilica, Hill Palace and Museum of Kerala History are among the must visit attractions here.


Famed for its old world charm as well as its modern-day elegance, Pondicherry is another beautiful coastal city in South India. It is locally known as ‘Pondy’ and as a former French colony, this wonderful city is famous for its rich culture and colonial architectural wonders and pristine beaches, forts, basilicas and palaces dating back to the pre-colonial era.


Auroville Beach, Promenade Beach, Paradise Beach, Serenity Beach, Mahe Beach and Karaikal Beach are some of the best spots to enjoy waterside frolics and to take part in water sports. Puducherry Museum, Old Light House, Notre Dame Des Anges, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Sri Aurobindo Centre and Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple are the top tourist spots here.


Located on the southern end of India, Kanyakumari is one of the most culturally rich coastal cities in the Indian subcontinent. Famous for its ancient temples, religious sites, memorials, forts, and museums, the city surely has a lot to offer to the guests visiting it. Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Padmanabhapuram Palace, Thiruvalluvar Statue, Thanumalayan Temple, Vattakottai Fort, Government Museum and the Wandering Monk Museum are some of the top attractions in the city, visited by millions of travellers each year. Muttom, Sanguthurai and Sothavilai are terrific seaside spots where people can have a great time.


Famous for its beautiful beaches and breathtaking landscapes, Gokarna remains a well-known holiday spot in the southern part of India. Located on the coast of Karwar in the state of Karnataka, this amazing city is an ideal place to enjoy the best of sun and sand as well as having tantalizing dishes and refreshing drinks. Om Beach, Mahabaleshwara Temple, Kudle Beach, Gokarna Beach, Paradise Beach and Koti Tirtha are the places where tourist inflow is the highest.


Kerala is teeming with dreamy coastal towns and Kovalam is one more of them. Famed for its calm beaches, stunning landscapes and architectural wonders, Kovalam impresses with its fine amalgamation of sun, sand and sea. The city’s most popular beaches, such as Hawa, Lighthouse, Samudra and Grove, attract a lot of tourists all throughout the year, considering the fact that the weather in this part of the country is pleasant for most parts of the year. Don’t miss to visit the Halcyon Castle and Aazhimala Siva Temple as well. The famous Malabari cuisine is a must try in Kovalam. The Great Elephant Festival, held in the month of January, is another major draw to the city.


Surrounded by the Western Ghats on one side and Arabian Sea on the other, Udupi, in the state of Karnataka, stuns everyone with its ethereal beauty. Well-known for its tradition, culture and cuisine, the city is home to numerous ancient temples, architectural marvels, pristine beaches, unexplored forests and several other interesting sites. Udupi Sri Krishna Matha, St Mary’s Island, Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village, Museum of Anatomy & Pathology, Kaup Beach, Malpe Beach, Ottinane Beach and Murdeshwar Beach are Udupi’s top tourist traps. Bisi bele bath (a spicy preparation of rice) and Pelakai Halwa (Jackfruit pudding) are the two must try dishes here.


Infused with Portuguese heritage and flaunting a vibrant culture, Diu is a former fishing town nestled on the eastern end of the Diu Island. This tiny district is famed for its fortresses and peaceful beaches. Nagao and Jallandhar are the most popular beaches here, ideal to enjoy water sports and other adventure activities. Diu fort, St. Thomas Church, Diu Museum and Naida Caves are among the must visit attractions in the town.