Here’s a little taster of destinations on offer:
Malta is like a sparkling gem in the heart of the Mediterranean, lying between the north coast of Africa and Italy and is characterised by a rocky yet dramatic coast, picturesque harbours and some beaches. It has a lot to offer with ancient treasures, leisure activities and a buzzing nightlife. Here you can span the millennia with an astonishing array of things to discover. And wherever you go, the scenery and architecture provide a spectacular backdrop. The colours are striking, honey-coloured stone against the deepest of Mediterranean blues. Malta is holidaying as the mood takes you. And with near year-round sun, you can indulge in outdoor living at its best. In just a kilometre or two, you can try a new sport, laze on an island cruise and tour the most important historic sites, and still have time to join in the nightlife. That’s the real advantage of a stay here.
Malta has been described as one big open-air museum. What makes it unique is that so much of the past is visible today. Delve into the island’s mysterious prehistory, retrace the footsteps of St. Paul or see where the Knights of St. John fought their most famous battles.
Another island in the Mediterranean with close associations to the UK is Cyprus. Placed under British administration in 1878 and formally annexed by Britain in 1914 the partition of Cyprus and creation of a Turkish state in the north became a policy of Turkish Cypriot leaders in the 1950s. Throughout the island you will find evidence of its rich, cultural heritage and although parts of Cyprus have been developed for visitors much of the island remains very rural with the cool pines and cedars of the Troodos Mountains and the wild, untamed scenery of the Akamas Peninsula. Great beaches, beautiful venues, fantastic hotels and Aphrodite, the goddess of love as its mascot but she was not the only one to fall under its spell as back in Roman times, Marc Anthony gave the island to his lover, Cleopatra.
Experience the delights of Cyprus’ most charming resorts, Paphos, her picturesque Venetian fort standing guard over the harbour, taverna lined promenade and her wealth of archaeological treasures orLimassol, a cosmopolitan mix of busy port town and vibrant tourist beach strip and also has its own 12th century castle, market place and a buzzing nightlife. Also with the mild winter temperature and year-round sun the island is an ideal destination for a winter break in the sun.
Known as the Pearl of the Atlantic the lush, sub-tropical island of Madeira with its traditional Portuguese culture, overwhelming beauty and genuine island hospitality has much to offer. Explore by car or on foot it is a richer and more diverse holiday destination than it first appears as the hidden wonders of this beautiful island has a myriad of mysterious mountain ranges covered in sub-tropical vegetation, picturesque coastlines dotted with charming fishing villages and enterprising terraced fields and levadas (irrigation channels) clinging to steep volcanic hillsides. The waterfront promenades, lively cafes and restaurants, excellent sweet wines and sticky desserts are well known but, today the island is reinventing itself as Europe’s adventure capital – walking, jeep tours, dolphin watching, climbing, canyoning and diving are all available.
The water temperature is also pleasant year round due to the warming influences of the Gulf Stream. Although there are no golden sand beaches the island boasts a few man-made beaches and there are numerous lidos and wonderful hotel pools overlooking the ocean or situated in magnificent tropical gardens which makes Madeira an ideal destination for sun worshippers.
Funchal, lying on Madeira’s south coast is the island’s capital and location of the majority of hotels, museums and historic buildings. Streets are lined with beautiful houses perched on low cliffs and backed by green terraced mountains. Also the charming fishing village of Camara de Lobos, a favourite spot of Winston Churchill is one of the few places on the island which has remained untouched by the passing of time.
Or, if you would like to travel further afield then what about the beautiful Indian Ocean and the islands of Mauritius and the Maldives or exotic Sri Lanka?
Mauritius is a sparkling gem some 1,200 miles off the east coast of Africa in the southern Indian Ocean and was discovered by a Portuguese navigator in 1505 , the island was occupied successively by the Dutch, then the French and then ceded to Great Britain in 1814 before gaining independence in 1969. Reassuring remnants of the British colonial era remain in the Gymkhana Club, tea plantations and driving on the left, but an active volcano, an abundance of palm trees, dhal puri stalls at markets and the ubiquitous dodo icon, add a touch of the exotic.
Today the population consists of Hindus, Muslims, Chinese, Creoles and Europeans and it is this integrated, exotic pot-pourri of languages, customs, cultures and cuisine, together with the renowned, friendly hospitality of the Mauritian people that makes this island so vibrant and appealing and one of the Indian Ocean’s most cosmopolitan islands.
Mauritius offers both unparalleled luxury and tropical island sophistication and is known for its exceptional service and accommodation. Expect superb water sports, excellent golf with stunning championship courses and exquisite dining too. The island’s eclectic cuisine is influenced by France, the Orient and spiced with a Creole touch and is winning praise for the excellence of its food from the fine dining restaurants at 5* resorts to the beach side shacks serving fish just off the boats.
If you love the outdoors and nature you will be enchanted by the magnificence of the mountains, nature reserves and wildlife parks. It is an island for relaxation and exploration, with Indian temples, colonial houses, botanical gardens and diverse wildlife.
Whenever you think of the Indian Ocean the islands of the Maldives are usually the first images that come into your mind as this small collection of paradise atolls are the most unspoilt destinations you will find on earth. Their remoteness creates the sense of a world apart with clear blue seas lapping against pristine white beaches and tropical palm trees swaying gently in the breeze with the majority of these tiny islands hosting just one resort each. Transport is provided by speedboat, with the journey to your resort being an experience in itself as you enjoy the breath-taking views of the surrounding atolls.
Below the ocean you will find another world, a truly amazing kaleidoscope of over nine hundred species of exotic fish inhabiting the crystal clear waters. Unspoilt coral reefs and abundant marine life including mantra rays, sharks and turtles make the Maldives a diver’s dream destination.
No wonder then that the food is fresh and delicious with handpicked fruit and the freshest seafood including the famous Maldivian tuna or the national dish a tasty fish curry.
Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon and romantically christened the “tear drop of India”, has a heritage that dates back thousands of years and few places have so many UNESCO World Heritage sites and temples. Lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean it has miles of unspoilt palm-fringed beaches.
Travel inland and the temperate hill stations offer lush panoramic views over the surrounding tea plantations . Visit one of its many national parks thriving with fascinating wildlife including hundreds of elephants, leopards and the world’s most dense population of leopards in Yala, while boat trips from the beach resorts of the south reveal turtles, dolphins and whales basking in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. But Sri Lanka is not all tea, wildlife and beaches. Its dominant religion is Buddhism and the meditative culture is apparent everywhere you go with holy sites including Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth Relic and the giant reclining Buddha statue at Polonnaruwa.
Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo is less than thirty-four miles away from Kalutara where you will stay on our offer and well worth a visit. Kalutara itself is home to a rich mix of colonial styles and cultural heritage, including Kalutara Chaitya the world’s only hollow Buddha shrine.
Sri Lanka is also a shopper’s paradise and is famous for gems, silverware and handicrafts with the tea being the best in the world so make sure to bring some home!
You will find that Sri Lanka is pretty close to paradise, a treasure trove of history with a wealth of attractions to explore, not forgetting the food, from the ever present curry and rice to Tamil specialities and most of all the warm and friendly people.
Tailor Made Travel can fulfil your dreams and aspirations so contact us to book one of these great destinations from our Travel Partner, Mercury Holidays
Call 0333 3441786 or visit your local Tailor Made Travel agency – for telephone numbers and addresses of our branches please see our website
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