Year: 2019

Top Reasons to Visit Georgia

Posted By : Edward/ 1137 0

Top Reasons to Visit Georgia

1. Food and Restaurant Scene

The food of Georgia is diverse, often based on the country’s rural nature and austere history. Examples of great Georgian food is khinkali, a local version of dumplings which can be filled with potato, beef, cheese or mushroooms; or khachapuri, a pizza-like dough filled with cheese, which comes in many versions and toppings.

Because Georgia has such a rich cuisine, there is a great restaurant scene in Georgian cities, where you can find both local and international cuisine being served. Chardin street in Tbilisi has many good restaurants and cafes lined up. Many places also have very original décor, ranging from ultra-modern to traditional, from artsy to nostalgic.

2. Spas

Because of an abundance of sulfurous thermal waters in Tbilisi around the area of Abanotubani, there are a number of public and private bathhouses where you can have an exfoliating massage and plunge into a pool filled with sulfurous water – known to be good for the skin and also known to be good in the treatment of asthma and rheumatism, among other benefits.

3. Budget-Friendly

Despite the growing popularity of Georgia as a tourist destination, it is still a budget-friendly destination while maintaining a good experience for travelers.

4. Traditional Wine

As one of the oldest producers of wine in the world, it is believed that Georgians have been making wine for at least 8,000 years, with their own traditional method in egg-shaped clay jars called qvevri. Those jars are buried underground where the fermentation happens naturally. It must be noted that Georgian wine develops an amber color when it is made in qvevri.

5. Beautiful Architecture

The cities of Georgia have no shortage of beautiful sights and buildings for tourists to see and admire. From the ancient ruins to Soviet buildings, from Art Nouveau to modern, Tbilisi and the rest of the country has it all.

6. Nature

Georgia is home to all kinds of climate zones despite its small size. You can find deserts, ski resorts, Black Sea coasts, and alpine zones. Lakes, canyons, waterfalls, spa resorts are all available travelers to Georgia.

7. Old Tbilisi

Old Tbilisi is the historical part of the Georgian capital and is worth a trip on its own. You can walk around historical buildings from the 17th to 19th centuries, as well as art deco.

8. Safety

Some sources reveal that Georgia is the third safest country in the world, only behind Singapore and Korea. Petty crime is nearly unheard of, murders, tourist kidnappings, police corruption, these are things that you will not have to worry about when traveling to Georgia.

9. Luxury

Although Georgia is known as a budget destination, you will find many options to stay in comfort and luxury all over the country. Tbilisi, Batumi and Borjomi have a good selection of luxuty hotels and refined restaurants.

10. Georgia is home to the two highest villages in Europe

Ushguli in Svaneti, standing at 2,200 meters above the sea level and Bochorna in Kakheti, situated at 2,345 meters above the sea level is considered to be the highest settlements in Europe. Ushguli, nested at the foot of Mount Shkhara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Why Azerbaijan Should Be Your Next Destination

Posted By : Edward/ 2196 0

Why Azerbaijan Should Be Your Next Destination

Azerbaijan is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia with a rich culture that has developed as a result of many influences. This is reflected in all aspects of Azerbaijan, such as their architecture, food, and arts. In this blog post are just some of the reasons why Azerbaijan should be your next destination.

1. Affordable

Visiting a wonderful country like Azerbaijan does not mean that you will have to empty your wallet, as Azerbaijan is one of the more affordable travel destinations with daily costs of travel rarely exceeding $60 including accommodation, food and drink, admission fees and entertainment.

2. The Azerbaijan eVisa

In order to make traveling to Azerbaijan easier, the eVisa was implemented. No longer is it needed to visit embassies and pay hefty fees. Tourists can apply for the Azerbaijan tourist visa for $20 plus a $3 service fee, all of which takes approximately three business days to process. The ease of getting a visa combined with affordability make good reasons to visit Azerbaijan.

3. Mud Volcanoes

A major number of the world’s mud volcanoes are along the Absheron Peninsula. Mud volcanoes erupt plumes of mud after pockets of subterranean gas build pressure forcing it to the surface. Azerbaijan’s Turaghai and Boyuk Khanizadagh are among the world’s largest at 700 meters (2297 feet). The volcanoes tend to bubble away slowly causing the sides to build up over time.

4. The Locals

The culture in Azerbaijan makes the people open and welcoming, and they give the best hospitality. You will surely have a warm and inviting travel experience in Azerbaijan as you interact with the locals and their culture.

5. Mountain Villages

A variety of historical and cultural villages such as Quba in Azerbaijan’s northeast, as well as Laza, Xinaliq and Buduq communities, are favorite tourist destinations. When visiting Azerbaijan, make sure to visit some of these interesting villages and experience a culture almost entirely lost to time.

6. The Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Fans from all over the world come to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Baku hosted the Grand Prix for the second time in 2017 as the global superstars of Formula One descended on Azerbaijan’s capital. The Baku City Circuit covers 51 laps around the 6 km (3.7 miles) track in the capital’s long straight streets.

7. Azerbaijan Architecture

Any travel plan must involve some sightseeing, and the varied and rich architecture of Azerbaijan will make sure that any traveler will have no shortage of sights to feast their eyes on. From the modern Flame Towers in Baku to medieval palaces and temples dotted here and there, and more.

8. Azerbaijan Tea Culture

Tea is a major element of Azerbaijan culture. The locals perform ancient ceremonies for guests showing warmth, friendliness and excellent hospitality. If you’re invited to someone’s house, hosts serve spiced black tea with a cube of sugar. Traditionally, people dip the sugar in to the drink and take a bit before sipping. According to local lore, the origins date back to medieval times. Rulers were afraid of poison. If the sugar reacted when dipped in tea, they believed someone was trying to kill them.

9. Traditional Carpets

Azerbaijan is known for their traditional carpets, and carpet weaving as a practice in Azerbaijan dates back to antiquity, passing from one generation to the next by word of mouth. Today, Azerbaijan has seven carpet producing regions.

10. Hiking in the Caucasus

The Caucasus marks the boundary of Eastern Europe and Western Asia crossing a handful of countries, even more autonomous republics and five time zones. Within a short distance of Baku, you could be hiking in the Caucasus among steep gorges, ravines and plains stretching far into the distance. The diversity in landscape makes every hike different and gives you the change to explore the vast natural beauty of Azerbaijan.

Why Turkey Should Be Your Next Destination

Posted By : Edward/ 1316 0

Why Turkey Should Be Your Next Destination

Turkey is a country overflowing with history, culture and beauty. Although this is by no means an exhaustive list and description of all of the great things about Turkey, we hope that you will feel an even greater desire to visit this wonderful destination after reading through them.

1. Food

A heritage of Ottoman cuisine, Turkish food is a fusion of Middle Eastern, Balkan, Central Asian, and Eastern European cuisines, taking influences from its neighbors and in turn influencing them.

Turkish cuisine is famous for its kebabs, mezes (a selection of small dishes served as appetizers), dough-based desserts, sweet and savory pastries, cheeses, and more.

2. Turkish Coffee

This popular preparation of coffee first appeared in the Ottoman Empire. It involves brewing very finely ground coffee beans unfiltered, and is used in many Middle Eastern and Southeastern European countries. It can be served with or without sugar, and is often flavored with cardamom, mastic, salep, or ambergris.

If you haven’t tried Turkish coffee yet then it is definitely worth it on your next visit to Turkey

3. Hamam (Turkish Bath)

The Hamam or Turkish bath is traditionally a place of public bathing and can be one of the most memorable experiences you will have in Turkey. A Turkish bath is a relaxing and invigorating experience that typically includes a steam bath and massage followed by a cool rinse and tea break. Some bathhouses even offer massage and therapy sessions.

4. Cappadocia

Cappadocia is one of the most magical places on Earth, and is one of the best reasons to visit Turkey. In this historical destination, you can stay in cave hotels, watch hundreds of hot air balloons each day, and admire historical sites.

5. Pamukkale

Included in the UNESCO World Heritage list and one of the most popular spots for day trips is the pools of Pamukkale in Turkey.

6. Beaches

Turkey is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world due to its endless coastline, and they come in plenty of variety with everything from sand to pebbles and cliff beaches.

Some great beaches in Turkey may be found in Iztuzu Beach, Dalyan; Mermerli Beach, Antalya; Butterfly Valley, Ölüdeniz; and more.

7. The Grand Bazaar

In Istanbul you can find one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world: The Grand Bazaar. With a total area of 30,700m2, 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul was listed No. 1 among the world’s most-visited tourist attractions in 2014. It is also regarded as one of the first shopping malls of the world. Make sure to stop by this great market when you go to Turkey.

8. Hagia Sophia

Though it is now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey, the Hagia Sophia was formerly an Ottoman imperial mosque, and even before that was an Orthodox Christian cathedral. It is one of the most recognizable architectural accomplishments in the world and considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture, being said to have “changed the history of architecture”. The Hagia Sophia is indeed a sight to behold.

Gateway to the world: 10 Reasons for you to visit Qatar

Posted By : falcontrip/ 2908 0

There’s more to Qatar than the expansive desert or the expanding city of Doha with futuristic skyscrapers, which it is quite famous for.

Abounding in beaches, sand dunes, museums, a mix of modern and ancient architecture, Islamic art, vibrant markets, green spaces and restaurants with indigenous cuisines, camels and falcons, Qatar offers a complete cultural and scenic experience.

There’s more to Qatar than the expansive desert or the expanding city of Doha with futuristic skyscrapers, which it is quite famous for.  Abounding in beaches, sand dunes, museums, a mix of modern and ancient architecture, Islamic art, vibrant markets, green spaces and restaurants with indigenous cuisines, camels and falcons, Qatar offers a complete cultural and scenic experience. Here are some of the top things we recommend you must do when in Qatar:

Desert

Qatar is best known for its glittering golden deserts. These deserts attract millions of people every year and are popular among the astrophotographers all over the globe. Some of the best photographs of the Milky Way were shot at Khor Al Adaid popularly known as the Inland Sea. Extraordinarily beautiful combination of water and desert will transcend your mind through a golden-blue loophole to a place which seems unreal. Experience thrilling sports such as sand boarding, snorkeling and make your trip perfect by taking a nap in a traditional Bedouin camp.

Architecture

The rapid financial gains of Qatar have led to the construction of some majestic structures. Gigantic concrete buildings and astounding metal skyscrapers give one the idea of its modern architecture. The Ceremonial Court, Doha Tower, Imam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab Mosque, Qatar’s Museum of Islamic Art and The Emiri Diwan are Qatar’s best-designed structures. Away from the modern world are the traces of Qatar’s ancient architecture. Though a majority of these structures have been removed, some traditional buildings can still be found in some of the districts, especially in Doha. These limestone and gypsum houses will help you understand the history of Qatar. With such unique, beautiful and eye soothing designs it is hard to decide which form of Qatar is better, the ancient or the modern one.

 

Galleries and Museums:

Qatar abounds in art studios, museums, and galleries. While The Museum of Islamic Art is built on an island whose entrance is lined by palm trees, there is also The National Museum of Qatar in Doha and which exhibit a permanent collection including exquisite textiles, enamel work, ceramics, and glass, intricately weaved carpets, art etched on gold jewelry.  The Al Riwaq Modern Gallery and The Souq Waqif Art Studio showcase Islamic and international art, and The Katara Art Centre focuses on contemporary local art and culture. You’ll find great exhibitions, retail outlets, souvenir shops, as well as restaurants and cafes. The Arab Postal Stamp Museum, however, is a unique and different experience especially for philatelist lovers where there is a postage stamp collection from more than twenty Arab countries.  

Theatre

Qatar National Theatre and the Katara Amphitheater are magnificent Grecian and arabesque theatres home to enthralling shows and events and seat people in thousands. Take a break from reality and multitudes of site seeing and be carried away in the world of fantasy and action in these theatres. For an international and Italian musical experience visit the Qatar opera house. Here are conducted stagings by Doha players who focus mostly on Shakespeare.

Beaches

The Katara Beach, The Banana Island Resort and The Taliamare Beach Club are serene beaches to visit and relax at. Evenings offer a more serene and soothing experience away from luxury resorts and hotels. Sit under palm trees, Watch the fading sun on the horizon, the changing colors of the sea and sky while smoking shish or munching on hot barbeques.

Parks

Sunsets in lush green parks of Qatar like Aspire Park, Al-Bidda Park, and Jungle Zone will definitely leave your soul enchanted. Wide walkways, separate cycle lanes, majestic views of Doha’s parliament, exotic water fountains and beautifully shaped flower beds, these unique parks of Qatar offer much more than our expectations. Some of these parks also have specially designed sets with comfortable benches to enjoy a musical performance while relaxing your mind. Furthermore, Qatar has one of the best animal-themed parks for children with arcade games, special playgrounds, bumper cars, thrilling rides, and whatnot.

Sports

Qatar open: Tennis fans and lovers can treat themselves with this international tennis tournament which attracts players like Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and Rafael Nadal; or attend the Qatar winter dragon boat festival and watch long narrow boats made of teak wade through the waterways of Qatar during this festival as they battle against each other, racing with the help of only oars and cries of jubilation.

Malls

If you want to eat, shop and stock up personal stuff under one roof, malls of Qatar will cover all of this for you. You can have a cup of coffee and hang out to catch the vibes of Qatari life. All your favorite brands, special and supervised areas for children, wide parking spaces and colorful food courts will make every shopping enthusiast’s day perfect. And after you are done shopping, they won’t let you get bored. A variety of leisure activities such as arcades, movies, and indoor games are also available. Doha City Festival Mall, Mall of Qatar, City Centre, The Mall, Villagio, Landmark and Royal Plaza are the places you can start with.

Markets

‘Souqs’ or market places cannot be missed while out on any novel visit. After your air-conditioned shopping and lounging in malls, go traditional and explore the earthy culture and authenticity in these markets and their wares. The Souq Waqif is one of the main traditional markets in Doha and was a trading hub for ancient Bedouin. It has been getting developed since and has expanded beautifully. Buy the traditional Qatari dresses, the embroidered ‘Buhnoq’ (a female’s head cover), dates, spices, perfumes, Iranian pots, handicrafts, jewellery and artifacts, souvenirs for yourself and your people, as well as everyday items. Furthermore, you can visit the Falcon Souq to experience the Qatari heritage further with falconry or the Omani Souq, a small cheap market if your budget is a little tight.