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Enjoy the Other Attractions of Aurora Borealis Hunting

Every winter, more and more tourists from all over the world are embarking on an adventurous holiday to the polar latitudes to go Aurora Borealis hunting in Iceland, Sweden, or other Northern European countries from which this magnificent natural spectacle is visible. This growth in popularity, particularly among lovers of nature and the wilderness looking for something a little different and adventurous, has in led to the advent of specialised tour operators offering superb, well-rounded and experiential packages centred around the hunt for the Northern Lights.

More than Just the Northern Lights

But what makes these packages so attractive and popular when compared to, for example, skiing and snowboarding breaks, arguably the most sought-after type of winter holiday in the Western world? Plenty! Focusing on Iceland, in this case, aside from the rugged appeal of unspoilt nature and the once-in-a-lifetime experience of Aurora Borealis hunting, one of the main other aspects that appeals to adventurous travellers are the extensive side activities available on this type of package. There is a wealth of alternative activities to fill the ‘down-time’, and Aurora Borealis hunting experiences in Iceland have far more to offer than even the considerable thrill of the Northern Lights.

Examples of the type of extras you might find on a visit to Iceland on an Aurora Borealis hunting tour include a Super Jeep excursion out to the stunning wilderness regions of the country to chase the Northern Lights, followed by a delicious lobster feast in one of the country’s most celebrated and renowned restaurants (the perfect warm-up after a day out in the Arctic cold); a Super Jeep excursion part way to the famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano, followed by an invigorating hike to arrive as close as possible to the crater’s edge; glacier hiking and ice climbing in Seimajokull; horseback riding along black volcanic beaches or volcanoes on one the country’s beautiful Icelandic horses; snowmobiling on the Mýrdalsjökull glacier; and whale-watching off the capital, Reykjavik.

These additional activities and day-trips are designed to work in around the most optimal sighting opportunities of the Northern Lights and are a wonderful accompaniment to make it a truly memorable experience. Along with these extra attractions, there are, in fact, many ways to experience the lights themselves – whether it’s from the deck of a boat off the coast in Reykjavik (a stunning experience with the lights of the city providing a twinkling backdrop), or via a Super Jeep tour out in the chilly, unspoilt wilderness.

Must See Top 10 Vacation Spots

If a vacation is in your near future here are the top 10 vacation spots to consider. Although it is still winter, many people are taking last minute vacations or planning Summer trips in upcoming months. Right now is one of the best time to travel because it is still quite winter, so there are plenty of savings to be had.

Resorts in the Maldives.

For a romantic getaway, planning a retreat in the Maldives should not be overlooked. There are hundreds to choose from, each one offering a unique experience not to mention the white sandy beaches and onsite spas. One of the most popular resorts is The Taj Exotica Resort & Spa where visitors can choose from one of 64 villas that over look the ocean. Here you can whisk away into a tropical paradise, enjoy private dining and take advantage of private or group massages and other spa treatments. The villas have a wide range of amenities such as satellite cable, Internet connection and big screen televisions. The Maldives covers approximately 26 atolls and there are over 1,000 small islands all offering getaway packages. A closer look at what the resorts in the Maldives have to offer will show why they made the top 10 vacation spots list.

Tuscany Cooking Vacations

This idea is a little off the beaten path, but for something different and unique a Tuscany cooking vacation can offer visitors a unique chance to enjoy the Italian countryside, villages and wine tours. There are dozens of hotels and villas that offer comfort and a relaxed setting where you and guests can take guided tours of surrounding towns and villages and learn about local history and embark on wine tasting events. All trips include hands-on cooking classes and the meals are the ones that vacationers have prepared. Cooking classes are taught by some of Italy’s most infamous master chefs.

Chattanooga Rock City

For a vacation that incorporates the outdoors, shopping, cocktails and live entertainment, Chattanooga Rock City seemingly has it all. Those who have visited rave about being able to see in panoramic view 7 different states. Every month Rock City boasts a host of activities and attractions such as Earth Dayz, The Bloom Festival, and Rocktoberfest. Here vacationers can embark on numerous adventures from around the globe; one minute you can celebrate the Irish heritage and down scrumptious Irish meals and green beer. During other months, German fare, music and ale are celebrated. Christmas time is also festive at Rock City and many flee to this area to take in The Enchanted Garden of Lights festivities with Santa Clause and enjoy a LED lighting show.

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is also known as the Five Lands and millions of tourists each year flock to this area which actually incorporates five small towns. For hiking enthusiasts there is no other place where you can witness such beautiful mountainous views, plush vineyards and enjoy a mirage of local cuisine while visiting with the locals. The five separate trails which are usually hiked over a couple of days equal to a 11 kilometer journey that begins in the town of Riomaggiore and ends in the picturesque village of Monterosso. Along the way there are wine tastings, shopping and plenty of outdoor activities to take part in all while admiring the breathtaking views. Lodging includes cute and comfy villas and a range of hostels that this time of year can be found at a bargain. There are also many guided tours available to visitors.

Villa Caprice, Barbados

This is a vacation spot that is perfect whether you are planning a family retreat or a romantic vacation for two. What better way to spend a vacation than walking along awesome sandy beaches along the Caribbean ocean and star gazing at night? At the Villa Caprice each guest is treated like family and each room is alarmed with 24 hour onsite managerial staff to assist in any amenities you may need during your stay. The rooms are fully equipped for meal preparation or you can step out onto one of the many social verandas and enjoy outdoor grilling, dancing to the local disc jockeys or take a dip in the pools if the ocean is too cold. Local towns which are only a few miles away like Speightstown offer myriad day and nighttime activities like water parks and shopping as well as grocery stores and laundry mats.

Atlantic Resort and Casino

The Atlantic Resort and Casino is a vacation that can be taken as a family, solo or is a fun couple’s getaway. Located in the Bahamas, it offers miles of beach to relax and sunbath on, as well as having over 11 different waterslide parks and numerous lagoons to discover. With over 20,000 rooms to choose from, there are also babysitting centers so parents can enjoy some adult time in the casino or dipping their toes in the ocean with cocktails. Shopping and site seeing are plentiful here as well and the hotel which recently has updated amenities to its already 850 million dollar resort area promises that the sea shows will be a winning experience for animal and sea lovers.

CordeValle

Located nestled next to the Santa Cruz Mountains, the CordeValle is the perfect vacation for those who want a nice balance of relaxation and plenty of adventures. Many of the rooms offer such things as in room Jacuzzis and a host of unique and relaxing spa treatments and services. With 45 different rooms to choose from, they range from basic to totally divine and distinctive, and guests can partake in the area’s nightlife and excursions. Take a few mile hike one day and the next enjoy a game of tennis with on site courts. Shop to your heart’s content or play a few games of 18-hole golf. No matter what your tastes are, there is plenty to do at the CordeValle.

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, Canada

This Canadian getaway is perfect for those who are campers at heart but still want some pampering. Located in the city of Tofino in the British Columbia, the outdoors centered folks will love the heated campgrounds where they can pitch their tents, enjoy onsite spa services and take in the rustic and peaceful views and landscaping. To escape the brisk weather sit in the heated saunas and Jacuzzi tubs while sipping a glass of wine. Later you can sunbath on one of the many decks before you hit the town’s shopping venues where there are plenty of 5 star dining facilities to choose from. Canada has seen a drop in visitors this year so many of the sites are having awesome savings and deals for those who want to take an adventurous vacation.

New York City

If sticking closer to home is your plan, New York City is among one of the top locations for vacations. Though you won’t get an oceanic view or tropical paradise, this city has a ton of things to see and do that are less seaworthy but equal in comparison. The nightlife in New York never dies and there are many cultural sightseeing adventures to take part in, as well as museums, Broadway shows and shopping. Some of the city’s most trademark sites include the 9/11 memorial, the Chrysler Building, Radio City Music Hall and The Statue of Liberty. In the city that never sleeps, even a weeklong trip will not expose visitors to everything this town has to offer culturally and visually.

Government Travel Advisories and Travel Insurance

Most seasoned travellers are aware that it is wise to check the current situation in their destination country before booking any trips. Once plans are in place it is a good idea to purchase travel insurance – with immediate effect so that it includes protection for Cancellation and Curtailment.

Travel plans may be affected by weather events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, heavy snow, flooding, and tropical storms. Other travel problems include disease outbreaks or pandemics, volcanic eruptions, political unrest, civil war and terrorist attacks. Information of this type is normally easily picked up through the media via newspapers, television, radio, and the internet.

The internet is, without question, the most useful tool available to travellers in today’s world as it is so quick and easy to do a search for your destination country, resort, and hotel and find any relevant and updated information. Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have also made it much easier to communicate information – good and bad. Hotel review sites tend to be controversial but many travellers still rely on them before booking their hotel or accommodation.

To find the very latest travel updates and to check whether any advisories against travel are in effect, it is wise to check the government website of your country of residence. This is a good habit to get into and it should be at the top of your travel checklist along with checking your passport expiration, visa requirements, taking out travel insurance, and checking with your doctor regarding any needed vaccinations..

Before planning any travel or holidays visit the Department of Foreign Affairs, or similar government agency for your country, to check if there are any potential problems brewing in your destination country. For example:

  • Australia: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (smartraveller.gov.au)
  • Canada: Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (voyage.gc.ca)
  • Ireland (Eire): Department of Foreign Affairs (dfa.ie)
  • New Zealand: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (safetravel.govt.nz)
  • UK: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (fco.gov.uk)
  • USA: Department of State (travel.state.gov)

In the case of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, they provide extensive and updated travel advice and information on their website as part of their ”Know Before You Go’ campaign, which is aimed to assist travellers and help them avoid inadvertently getting into trouble overseas. The wealth of important information includes local laws and customs, visa and passport requirements, driving advice, the political situation, transportation advice, street crime and scams to watch for, emergency contact information, healthcare, travel insurance, and much more.