The Cotswolds – Typically English

Located in the south west of England, the Cotswolds are what most people imagine when they think olde England. The area consists of low, rolling hills, or ‘wolds’ and picturesque towns and villages made from the local honey colored limestone. The Cotswolds are home to larger towns such as Bath, with its Roman remains and mineral water spa; and Cheltenham, home to one of the UK’s most important security services. However, there are also plenty of smaller places that beckon tourisrs, such as Stow-on-the-Wold, known for its shops, restaurants and tea rooms.

Coltswold Cottage Photo: Maia C via flickr.com

The Cotswolds are so typically English and it is this that is part of their appeal to overseas visitors. The best way to explore the countryside and small towns andd villages is by driving, although you should be careful of the narrow, winding roads and the occasional sheep on the road.

Touring Ideas

There are also several castles in the area. One option is to stay at Berkeley Castle, which was built originally to keep the Welsh out of England. It is just one of a line of castles stretching along the Wales and England border. Blenheim Palace is well known as the place where Sir Winston Churchill was born; and Broughton Castle near Banbury is considered one of the the most beautiful in England

If you are arriving by air in the UK, the Cotswolds are easy to reach from Heathrow and are just a short drive along the M4. Not far from the area is the large city of Bristol, with its many hotels and restaurants and offers a more lively pace.

Although there are many places in the Cotswolds worth visiting, some places should not be missed, including Bath, Malmesbury, Stow and Cheltenham, for their feeling of Englishness. Cardiff airport is actually closer to the area than Heathrow and one strategy is to fly into Cardiff and hire a car to explore. A visit to Cardiff will also give you a chance to visit the country of Wales for a different perspective.

Giving Romantic Vacations as Gifts

When it comes to presents and special occasions, a variety of gift ideas come to mind time and again… flowers, chocolates, money, gift cards, electronics, and of course, jewelry. For a very special occasion, though, sometimes an even more exciting gift idea could be the perfect fit for the special couple. Giving romantic vacations as gifts instead of just giving money or standard presents can make all the difference in the couple’s experience. Even if you can’t afford a full trip, weekend getaways for couples also make very nice gift ideas for special occasions.

Romantic Getaway Photo:Comfort Inn Monterey CA via flickr.com

If you are interested in giving a gift of a romantic vacation rather than a typical wedding or anniversary gift, you should consider these important tips:

Occasions to Give a Romantic Vacation Gift
Certain milestones in life call for more significant recognition and celebration than others. Weddings, anniversaries, milestone birthdays, and pregnancies comprise many of these important life events and occasions. If you are interested in giving your loved one a special gift of a romantic vacation, here are some suggestions on the most appropriate occasions:

1.    Wedding gift – Surprise your son or daughter and their spouse with a special trip for two sometime after the honeymoon. Or, surprise your husband or wife with a romantic vacation for the two of you to enjoy sometime after your wedding.

2.    25th or 50th Anniversary gift – Show your parents or in-laws how much you care with a special customized vacation just for them on their silver or golden anniversary.

3.    30th, 40th, 50th, or 60th Birthday gift – Let’s face it – some birthdays deserve better presents than others. Chip in with your friends for a best friend’s birthday or surprise your child or parent with an amazing birthday present they’ll never forget.

4.    Baby Moon – Treat your wife to one last hurrah before your little baby arrives. Go somewhere tropical and wonderful like Hawaii or the Caribbean! If you can’t afford a long and exotic trip, a few romantic weekend escapes should do the trick.

5.    Retirement – Retirement is an excellent excuse to get out and travel the world! Get your gift special recipient started on the path to relaxation, world travel, and excitement.

These are just a few examples of milestone occasions that might be appropriate to receive a romantic vacation as a gift. Depending on a person’s schooling, career, and lifestyle, other occasions may be fitting as well. Remember, a gift of experience – like a romantic vacation – lasts a lifetime in the person’s memory. Celebrate those special occasions in style!

Myrtos Attractions – What to in Crete?

Myrtos is a small seaside village, located not far from Ierapatra, on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean. It offers a leisurely pace of life and the chance to relax and get away from it all for a few days or weeks, all in pleasant and picturesque surroundings.

What to do in Myrtos?

One of the best things about Myrtos is its beautiful and unspoiled beaches. The town’s beaches suit all tastes and range from quiet and peaceful to lively and frenetic, with all the usual diversions and water sports.

The beaches consist mostly of the distinctive ash grey sand found on the island, which contrasts with the inviting turquoise water. Regardless of which beach you choose, banana and orange trees form a natural backdrop.

 

The Blue Cretean Sea: photo: Jeroen_HD via flickr.com

 

Although Myrtos offers several options for accommodation, there is also camping in nearby Tertsa village. The road from Myrtos to Tertsa is worth taking for the scenery alone, with groves of tamarisk trees growing alongside the road.

A popular day trip from Myrtos is to Lerapatra and the South Dikti Mountains, which takes you through some of the most spectacular natural scenery on the island. One of the highlights of this area is the Agios Antonios church, considered to be an architectural masterpiece. Despite the visiting tourists, it still manages to retain a sense of peace and quiet. Another man-made site that is worth a visit is the remains of the Minoan settlement in nearby Pirgos.

But one of the best things about a visit to Myrtos is simply the chance to relax over a drink in one of the village cafes, some of which seem little changed in centuries. Whether you visit for the scenery, the beaches, the relaxed pace of life or for the surrounding historical sites, the village of Myrtos and the nearby area has something for everybody.