Thursday, 14 July 2011

Qantas Holidays award our agent Andrew Bearden for his hard work this year!

Andrew Bearden - a great Australian Specialist and one of Colchester Travel's agents has just been given an achievement award from Qantas Holidays for the outstanding number of bookings he has done this year.

Qantas Holidays came to Colchester Travel today in one of their Britz Camper Van's decorated in Aboriginal colours ready to award Andrew. Many photo's were taken of Andrew and the Qantas team with his award and a few of the other Colchester Travel team dressed in true Aussie style!

The Colchester Travel team enjoyed having a look around the Britz Camper Van to see for themselves what their customers would experience with hiring this type of van to travel round Australia or New Zealand!

If your thinking of taking a break to Australia why not come to Colchester Travel to speak to our Australian Specialists who will be happy to sort out your travel arangements for that once in a life time trip!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Five Fabulous Horse Riding Destinations

If you are a horse lover and enjoy getting out in the open on horseback but want something a little different to normal, why not try one of our fabulous horse riding destinations...

1. Botswana - Ride with the buffalo
Botswana is a vast, empty country of Savannah, desert, wetlands and salt pans making it a perfect riding safari destination. With Botswana being the birthplace of the horse riding safari, the standard of horse riding safaris here is extremely high and you are not likely to go home dissatisfied. The Okavango Delta and the Limpopo region are the two main places that the safaris take place at and the best game viewing in Africa takes places here in Botswana's huge wildlife population destination. Imagine trekking along old elephant trails and spotting rhino, lions, giraffe, buffalo – without being confined to a vehicle, in Botswana this can really happen. Riding your well built thoroughbred throughout this region really is a once in a lifetime experience and one to not be forgotten.

2. Andalucia, Spain - Gallop along the beach
Not only in this enchanting part of Spain can you enjoy fabulous beach rides, you get a chance to ride through forests of cork and chestnuts, over carpets of wild lavender, through the scented pastures and into historic 'white villages' where you really get a chance to feel what the Andalucian lifestyle is like. Andalucia really maintains the traditional Spanish culture, not only from the old buildings and monuments but also from the Spanish Andalucian horse which is believed to be the most ancient riding horse in the world. If it is your fantasy to gallop your horse along deserted beaches of golden sand and enjoy canters through scenic landscapes then Andalucia is the place to go.

3. Nevada, US - Ride with the Ranchers
The United States of America is a very large country and has an unevenly distributed population over a big area, so there are still many wild parts. These Wild parts are brilliant areas to horse ride over, especially in the region of Nevada. The welcoming cowboys and their trusty home bred horses offer guests a variety of riding experiences including watching a thundering herd of horses as you ride through the open range, crossing rushing streams and passing mountains whilst having the opportunity to spot a variety of wildlife. Ranch stays are very popular and are the perfect way to experience ranch life in the true wild west and to get involved with the daily tasks. If you want to work and feel like a real cowboy then Nevada, US is the place to visit.

4. Tuscany, Italy - Trot through Tuscany
What better way to take in all of Tuscany's picturesque scenery and its unique land of charming paths and landscapes than to be on horseback. Riding alongside beautiful medieval villages, vineyards and olive orchards you really get a chance to take in the history of this city. The Maremma and Sicilian horses, most common in Tuscany have a lovely temperament so riding these on immense pine wood dunes alongside the seashore is a dream come true for many.

5. The Black Mountains, Wales - Canter through the countryside
Explore tiny villages, visit traditional pubs where you can stop for great lunches and go higher than some of the most energetic hikers have been, not just by walking, but by horse back on the native welsh cob. From trekking for the novice rider to Hacking for the advanced rider, you can experience the beautiful countryside whilst riding the gentle hills or through national parks such as Brecon Beacons national park through the Black Mountains in Wales. If you are after something traditional and homely with a lovely culture then visit Wales for your horse riding holiday.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Top 5 out of this world Spa Retreats

1. Miraval, Life In Balance Spa USA
This famous Arizonan spa offers so many natural, amazing and unusual treatments to wow its guests with including native plant life in its Prickly Pear Sugar Scrub and Sonoran Mud Wrap services. Not only does this spa just offer treatments, you can experience relaxing horseback rides through the beautiful Sonoran desert and hiking in the Catalina Mountains, to more daring feats like the resorts climbing wall or desert tight rope. Workshops even take place from specialist health doctors at the spa to leave the body feeling up to 10 years younger and leaving you feeling better than ever, before returning home. Oprah Winfrey and best friend Gayle King swear by this spa and Oprah has quoted that “The spa has really has brought her life into balance” on her show and on her 'Girls Getaway blog' on the website

2. Blue Lagoon – Reykjavik, Iceland
This breathtaking geothermal spa leaves guests in awe after bathing and relaxing in Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater, known for its positive effects on the skin. Blue Lagoon, which communicates world of healing power, wellness and beauty, is founded on a unique source of geothermal seawater that originates in Iceland's extreme environment and is located in the heart of the Svartsengi Resource Park. This spa is said to bring nature closer to the human being and relax the mind, body and soul through its wonders. Not only does it do all of this, Blue Lagoon is a sight that has to be seen and visiting the outstanding place will leave you feeling revitalized, refreshed and rejuvenated.

3. Six Senses Spa, Maldives
If your mind body and soul are in need of cleansing and you want to do nothing but be pampered, then the Six Senses Spa is for you. The spa is located on the island of Kunfunadhoo on the North Baa Atoll region of Maldives and is just a 30 minute seaplane ride away from the airport. This spa specialises in Eastern therapies as well as the modern Western techniques and offers a variety of Balinese, Thai, Ayurvedic and nutritional programmes too. Six senses is decorated to make its guests feel as relaxed as possible, with waterfalls flowing to set the ambiance and tone of soul therapy and being just a step away from the beach, hearing the soft sounds of the calm sea whilst having treatments is enough to calm down those frayed nerves. Once you have visited this laid back, untouched and truly enchanting spa you will never want to leave.

4. Ananda Spa, Himalayas, India
Located in the tranquil Himalayan foothills, close to the mythological cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh and overlooking the peaceful Ganga as it meanders into the distance, Ananda is the spiritual pathway to the ultimate, discovered through the inner you. This spa retreat will not only leave you breathless with its beautiful surroundings and mesmerising views of the mountainous landscape, but assists in redefining lifestyles to include the well-known traditional Indian wellness regimes of Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta combined with best of International Wellness Experiences. Your body will feel fully cleansed after a break at the extraordinary Ananda spa.

5. Banyan Tree Spa Resort
Bordered by the golden sands and gentle waves of the Andaman Sea, Thailand, Banyan Tree Spa Resort is an oasis of peace and tranquillity. It is a tropical paradise of extraordinary natural beauty and exceeds in pleasing its guests that visit. The spa itself is extremely secluded with luxurious and romantic settings and has exotic hideaways which boast only the finest facilities and ambience. The Tree Spa keeps to Asian traditions that date back centuries and their intimate retreats blend romance and serenity with exotic serenity and guests will really feel the peace with the beauty of the natural environment here.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Is there more to Malia than meets the eye?

Malia has often shocked the nation with it's image of drunken under-age teens and inappropriate behaviour of the ill-mannered tourists visiting there but little is known that this town on the North coast of Crete has a completely different side to it.

Cheap hotels is what springs to mind when thinking of visiting Malia, but the hotel 'Cretan Malia Park' is a world away from these. This is a five star luxury hotel offering 204 guestrooms and bungalows with a variety of garden, pool and sea views to acquire to different tastes.
On top of this it is surrounded by exotic trees and flowers with beautiful gardens for families to enjoy a relaxing holiday. This hardly sounds possible when the teen tourists go out to party at night but this hotel has placed itself in a quiet location where the hustle and bustle of the “Malia Strip” and the "wild night life", cannot be heard.

Typically, the last place a family would think to book their summer holiday would be a hotel in Malia, but strangely there are family friendly resorts where night-life entertainment is not just for adults or teenagers wanting to party. The hotel 'Kyknos Beach Hotel and Bungalows' offers 4 star accommodation in a child-friendly environment with entertainment such a magic shows going on at night time. There are also tennis courts here for families to enjoy and 'The animation team' who run lively shows make family fun really happen.

The town of Malia does have two sides but it is also a place where families can enjoy a fun filled holiday in one of the well-cared for hotels and perhaps not even get a glimpse of the party night life.

It seems that perhaps Malia has been wrongly judged as only one side of it has really been let out to the public, such as it being portrayed as a town where the tourists are ruining any culture that it once had and the party life there being the only big attraction to sway people to visit.

Now after looking at what else Malia has to offer, perhaps others will eventually start to see that this little town is not all about the partying and not just for young adults or teenagers, but that families can visit and have a relaxing or a fun holiday to their desire.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Cooking Holidays in Italy

Cooking Holidays in Italy
A cooking holiday in Italy is not something that we've had much call for, but over the past month we had a number of enquiries for this, and as such have found a delightful operator that can arrange intimate cooking holidays in Tuscany, Sicily and Umbria.  Naturally, the style of cooking  is of an Italian flavour but where better to do a cooking holiday in Italy.
Over the course of the week, 5 cookery lessons are included, private wine tasting, 2 meals at a local restaurant and all meals and local wine.  Accommodation in Tuscany is in one of two Tuscan villas, and a visit to Florence can be included.
A wonderful way to enjoy a relaxing gastronomy week in Italy.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Wines of the World Evening

Our Mayflower Travel office in Billericay are hosting a Wines of the World evening on Wednesday 6th October at the Village Bar and Grill in conjunction with the Wine Maestro from Billericay.

The evening will consist of a structured Wine Tasting event with eight selected wines from around the world.  The Wine Maestro will talk you though how to taste the wine (though I am sure most of you will have had much practice) and Lorna will do a small talk on possible wine tours, or just holidays in the regions from where the wine comes from.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Colchester Travel Coffee morning success.

Our low key coffee morning for our valued customers was a successful and despite the poor weather we raised just over £75 for Macmillan Cancer.  Thanks to everyone who attended and donated to a worthy cause.