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Rachna’s Sri Lanka Family Tour Will Make The Wanderer In You Envious

They say traveling leaves you speechless and then turns you into a storyteller. But what would you expect when a writer embarks on a vacation?! Well, the narration will be your own gateway to the places she set foot, food she savored and the experiences she’ll cherish till the end of time. Rachna Prabhakar went to explore Sri Lanka with her husband and kid for five memorable days. Her story is surely something that will spark envy, but the little details she provides will be your first-hand guide to Sri Lanka. Right from the places she visited, to shopping, hotels and more, you’ll find key takeaways if your Sri Lankan vacation is around the corner too! Let’s dive to her voyage now.

When you travel, you escape from routine and responsibilities. And that’s exactly what our Sri Lankan vacation gave us – a drift away from emails, calls, messages, chores etc. We booked this 5 days 4 nights Sri Lanka family tour package and Travel Triangle helped a great deal in getting us in touch with travel operators from planned our destination. And we are glad we chose Amara Lanka. Right from the contact person and our driver-cum-guide, to the choice of itinerary and service- it was all perfect!

We chose to travel on 25th December during the peak tourist day and season in Lanka. We reached Colombo really early on 25th and met the representative at the airport. Our itinerary began from Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. And because we spent our earlier night at Bangalore Airport and we reached Colombo at an unearthly hour; we snored through our travel to Pinnawala. Sri Lankan roads and perfect driving skills helped us sleep like babies.

Trip Type: Family
Duration: 4 nights 5 days
Dates: 25th December – 29th December 2017
Total Trip Cost: INR 37,000
Agent Name: Amara Lanka Tours
Inclusions: Breakfast, airport transfer, sightseeing, entry fees
Exclusions: Flights, visa

1. Pinnawala

Enjoying in Pinnawala

Our journey began from Elephant Orphanage, one of the places to visit in Sri Lanka. Contradictory to common belief, the elephants aren’t kept in bondage, making it a happy place to spend time and play with elephants and their babies.

The elephants were so friendly, we couldn’t really get enough of them. So, after the orphanage we went ahead for an indulging elephant ride, arranged by a privately-run organization. We were greeted by a lovely elephant, a 75 year old Raja, on a little high mound above the lake. The idea was to go down to the lake, get in the waters and climb back up. It may sound easy, but doing so riding an elephant was indeed thrilling.

Shopping experience
Being a place that’s majorly about elephants, you can find many shops in Pinnawala selling merchandise made out of elephant dung, like elephant dung paper for those who are interested in such novelty. But that’s not all, you can bag other handicraft items as well, but I would say they are certainly on the expensive end.

2. Sigiriya

Rachna's family in Sigiriya

After Pinnawala was a 2-hour long journey to yet another gem, Sigiriya or Sinhagiri as it’s also called. We travelled through narrow pathways in tall grasslands, and when you begin to doubt the possibility of civilization this far, you suddenly chance upon a few cottages. This is the place you come to when you crave an escape from city’s humdrum for a little while, so you can connect with nature without having to compromise with basic necessities.

In the evening, we climbed the iconic Lion Rock. The climb was long, extremely crowded but we still had fun since it was a different experience. The flight of stairs, as it takes you upwards, allow you a magnificent view of the surrounding, and you may stumble upon monkeys and friendly dogs as you make your way towards the top.

Distance between Pinnawala and Sigiriya: 98 km (2.5 hours approximately)

3. Dambulla

Rachna Dambulla

On the way to Dambulla, we visited Premadasa Gems, watched a quick film on gem mining and shopped for couple of knick and knacks. However, if you want you can buy masks, paintings and other handicrafts, but you may find them expensive. Getting back on the road, we finally reached Dambulla Cave Temple in another 15-17 minutes. The climb to this marvel is short, the interiors are enchanting, and oh, the views! The scenic panorama will have your jaws dropped. There are a number of Buddha statues and the rooms capture sunlight and illuminate the entire place very beautifully.

Distance between Sigiriya and Dambulla: 19 km (half an hour approximately)

4. Kandy

Rachna's click in Kandy

Since shopping is one of the best things to do in Kandy, we went ahead for it. After a good shopping session, we visited the Temple of Tooth Relic. The Buddhist temple is a part of the royal palace complex of the erstwhile Kingdom of Kandy.

We got free by 8:30 pm and decided to go somewhere for dinner. But it was rather disappointing to see that many restaurants were either closed or almost closing, but KFC came to our rescue and that’s where we had our dinner.

Shopping experience
You’d be bewitched looking at colorful crafty items arrayed in the market, and if you are looking for practicing your bargaining skills Kandy’s markets would be a great place to go for it. Our driver took us to a small art and craft place called Skilled Hands. They had a pretty decent and good collection of masks, the very famous paintings on velvet, artifacts, fridge magnets and other knick-knacks. We picked up a few masks and paintings as souvenirs.

We also visited Kandy City Centre as the shopaholic in us just wasn’t going lazy. The mall has some interesting places to shop in such as Glitz. Many items were quite reasonable and good in quality.

Distance between Dambulla and Kandy: 73 km (2 hours and 15 minutes approximately)

5. Nuwara Eliya

Rachna's kid in Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya is a beautiful hill station with picturesque locations. Our first stop was at Hanuman Temple; where, as per the legend, Lord Hanuman stayed before he went for rescuing Sita. Later, we had lunch at a humble vegetarian place just outside the temple called Hotel Annapurna offering good food and great hospitality. Next, we visited Ramboda Waterfalls and the Tea Factory. As the day was coming to an end, we dined at Indian Summer restaurant for dinner and were pleasantly surprised by the wonderful Indian flavors.

Distance between Kandy and Nuwara Eliya: 77 km (2.5 hours approximately)

6. Sitavan and Bentota

Temple in Sri Lanka

The next morning we left for Bentota but before that, we drove though Nuwara Eliya and visited Seetha Amman, a temple of historical and cultural significance. The stark contrast of the color of the temple against the dark green trees of Ashok Vatika was a sight to behold. If you are driving to Bentota from Nuwara Eliya and are an adventure enthusiast; you must try river rafting and other watersports on the way. It was the longest drive and so we slept through the exhaustion of packed days.

Rachna in Sri Lanka

We passed through the town of Avissawella and had a fabulous Sri Lankan lunch at Avissawella Rest House. This was like one of the hidden gems and if you happen to pass through this town; do step in here for Rice and Curry. We reached Bentota in the evening and checked in to Hotel Laluna Resort.

Distance between Nuwara Eliya and Bentota: 520 km (5.5 hours approximately)

Rachna and her husband in Sri Lanka

7. Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery and Ambalangoda (Bentota)

Kasgoda Turtle Hatchery

On the way to Ambalangoda; we went to the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery that is worth a visit. If you are interested in arts; you must pay a visit to Ambalangoda Mask Museum and also the Batik Factory where you can get a glimpse of how the very popular masks and batik work are done.

Ambalangoda Mask Museum

8. Colombo

Shopping in Colombo

We then drove down to Colombo and reached the city around 3.45 PM on the last day of our tour. We had lunch at Manhattan Fish Market and really enjoyed the food. We drove around the city, checked out the malls and shopping centers but they were all too expensive to pick up anything from.
Distance between Bentota and Colombo: 83 km (2 hours approximately)

RHO Sigiriya by D – Sigiriya

RHO SIGIRIYA

Image credit: RHO Sigiriya Facebook

RHO has a lovely swimming pool overlooking a serene lake and the owners had also set up a wonderful barbecue for the evening. We were so overwhelmed with RHO Sigiriya. Come night, we were exhausted and slept like logs until 9 am in to the next morning. We were served some amazing Sri Lankan breakfast and thereafter, we bid goodbye to the place. We enjoyed the stay here most of all. RHO Sigiriya is a property in the middle of a tranquil locality, blessed with lush greenery.

Hotel Liyya Residence – Kandy

liyya Residence.

Image credit: Hotel Liyya Residence

We checked in to Hotel Liyya Residence where rooms were small but neat and comfy. The hotel’s interiors are made to look classy with warm tones. If you are looking for more privacy, the Deluxe Room would be a perfect choice as the rooms also feature a private balcony.

Hotel Serene Bungalow – Nuwara Eliya

Serene Bungalow

Image credit: Booking.com

The only downside in our vacation was the stay at this hotel. For starters, it didn’t seem like a hotel; forget the 2.5 stars the travel operator marked them with. But since we were there already; we stayed put for the night and got out first thing in the morning.

Hotel Laluna Resort – Bentota

Laluna Resort

The resort overlooks the backwaters. We were staying in one of the rooms in the first floor and hence the views from the patio were scenic, tranquil, and beautiful. We visited the beach in the evening and had loads of fun.

  • Sri Lankan restaurants and most shopping places close early for the day. Hence, be prepared for such eventualities.
  • If you are shopping in Sri Lanka, make sure you bargain because most often you will be surprised to know that the final price you pay is much less than half the originally mentioned price.
  • Check for authenticity of handicrafts if you are interested in picking up only originals.
  • Don’t underestimate the traffic conditions, especially when in Kandy. We were to watch the Kandy Cultural Dance Show but unfortunately traffic was so bad that we couldn’t get to the place on time.
  • You may get charged at least four times more than a local would for visiting any place in this country. Make sure you interact with locals to confirm the prices of different items, even estimate transportation tariff charged by drivers.
  • Spending time with the elephants in Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and riding an elephant to take the tour around the lake
  • A challenging yet beautiful climb to the Lion Rock
  • The artistry in and views from Dambulla Cave Temple
  • Souvenir shopping in Kandy’s Skilled Hands
  • Watersports enroute Bentota
  • Our time at the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery
  • We missed a few activities due to lack of time
  • Madu river safari
  • Floating market of Pettah
  • A few places in Colombo like Gangaramaya Temple and Barefoot Gallery
  • Kandy Cultural Dance Show

Rachna had the best time of her life while she was on her Sri Lanka family tour. It’s time you too gift yourself and your loved ones the priceless gift of travel with a customised Sri Lanka tour package by TravelTriangle.

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Delhi-Mumbai Super Expressway To Beat Rajdhani’s Travel Time By 4 Hours & We’re Tripping Already!

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways plans to construct a Delhi-Mumbai Super Expressway that will sort all your weekend plans soon. And once this Super Expressway is completed, it will enable the commuters to travel between the cities in a matter of just 12 hours. You read that right!

Considered to be a part of the Bharatmala Pariyojana programme that focuses on constructing a total of 34,800 kilometers across India, you will soon be able to zip zap zoom via the Delhi-Mumbai Super Expressway and cover a distance of 1,400 odd kilometers at a speed of 120km/h in 12 hours approx.

Delhi-Mumbai Super Expressway

The best part is, the work has already begun. The route at present takes about 25 hours to travel from Delhi NCR to Mumbai. And to have cut this time by half, is indeed an achievement in its own.

Gurugram —> Jaipur —> Kota —> Vadodara —> Mumbai

At present, the traveling time of Rajdhani Express from Delhi to Mumbai stands at a total of 16 long hours. Sounds tiring right? Well in future you don’t have to go through all such hassles and thanks (in advance) to the Delhi-Mumbai Super Expressway.

This not only means that finally a long weekend in Mumbai and Delhi would soon be possible for the locals of both the cities in near future but this Delhi-Mumbai Super Expressway will also beat the travel time of the super fast Rajdhani Express by 4 hours.

Delhi highways

Apart from all that, launch of this Delhi-Mumbai Super Expressway will not only cut down on your extra expends on booking last-minute flights but will also save all your time and effort that went into standing in those never-ending queues for booking railway tickets.

While the project of this Super Expressway is expected to be concluded in a period of about 15 months, do let us know what you feel about this great initiative in the comments below.

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This Misty Road Along The Rapids In Odda Valley, Norway Is Perfect For A Drive To Remember

Water gushing out of every creek & crevasse in the valley, a woodsy smell in the air, and pleasing vistas are what Oddadalen Valley greets its tourists with. Odda Valley, Norway wasn’t always a tourist attraction, but its utterly charming beauty and Latefossen—a waterfall that has a free fall of 165 metres—have made it an important stopover along Route 13. Rapids created by this waterfall run along the road, making perfect treat to the eyes as you take misty drive past them.

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The ranging twin falls spray and sprinkle the road between Odda and Haugesund – a surreal strip that is beautified by views of the falls, rapids, immense natural beauty, and unspoiled countryside. The sight of white water cascading down from the rocky outcrops and then flowing on its way, nonchalant, along the road make it one of the most scenic drives not just in Norway, but across the world.

The fall splits into two from the lake atop, created by river Austdølo, and cascade down like mirror images of each other. Though not a very popular attraction in Norway, those passing from this road always stop by to get a glance of this beauty.

What is the best time for scenic drives and sightseeing in Odda Valley, Norway?

The best time to experience the ephemeral beauty of Odda Valley’s waterfalls and greenery is early summer, when the snow has almost melt. This results in ferocious and breathtaking waterfalls dotting the valley. Odda is mainly popular for Latefossen twin falls that meet each other under the gorgeous stone arched bridge and then fall into the river Grønsdalslona.

The valley is located on highway route 13, about 10 km south of Odda in Hordaland county. The easiest way to reach this place is by a car.

Up there, Latefossen is fed by river Austdølo and some lakes on the Hardangervidda mountain. The roaring sound & winding shape of many waterfalls—Strandfoss, Tjørnadalsfoss, Espelandsfoss, Vidfoss, and Latefoss—and the green of the valleys make it one of the most beautiful places in the world.

a giant stone on a green field with a waterfall

Other than its incredibly wonderful waterfalls and the breathtakingly scenic ride, Odda Valley of Norway is also known for scenic hikes and spectacular viewpoints in Hardangerfjord. One can hike through the enchanting Hardangervidda National Park, which also has overnight wood cabins to make your treks and hikes easy. Do we wish to drive along the rapids of Latefossen? If yes, it’s a great time to book a Europe tour package to experience the miracle of nature.

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10 Best Ski Resorts In France

Choosing the best ski resort in France can be tricky. There are too many of them, with similar facilities and offerings, nestled in the beautiful landscapes of the country. In an attempt to prepare you for an amazing skiing holiday, we try and simplify what skiing resorts mean, what do they comprise, what are the charges and so on.

To start with, ski resorts in France are primarily villages or towns in a mountainous area, developed for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. They are an experience in themselves and offers a multitude of entertaining activities for their guests.

A skier all set to ski in the Alps

Before you look for the best ski resorts, there are certain things that should be crystal clear to you. Most important ones of these are the usual temperature at French ski resorts and what is cost range.

Skiing costs will vary slightly for different resorts, but the range restricts from €20 to €30 in most cases. You can either choose a single day skiing option or take a 6-day ski pass, which ultimately costs lesser than per day charges. What option you take may depend on the group size, duration of travel, and overall budget of the trip. See here for cost estimates.

1. Avoriaz, Portes du Soleil

Skiers skiing in the middle of Portes Du Soleil Ski Area in Avoriaz

Avoriaz is one of the best ski resorts in France and among the largest in the world. It is located in the hilly areas of Portes du Soleil, a pass between France and Switzerland. Skiing here takes place in the Format area with huge boulders and fissures. And as you ski through the gorgeous countryside, stunning views of Dents du Midi and Dents Blanches are sure to distract you.

Cost: Skiing at Avoriaz starts at €33 – the price for 5 hours of skiing for kids. For further cost details, see here.

Skiing Options: You can either join the Snow School for full-fledged lessons in skiing or go for independent instructors. Equipment renting option is also available.

Best places to stay: Avoriaz ski resort offers multiple stay options for different budgets. Friends and singles looking for cheaper options should explore self-catering apartments and private lets. If you can raise the budget, go for chalets, apartments or hotels. Best stays at Avoriaz, however, are Hotel Des Dromonts, Club Med, and Pierre and Vacances Residence and Spa.

Attractions besides skiing: At Avoriaz ski resort you can also go for snowboarding and golfing. If you are with kids, fun is guaranteed at the Aquariaz – the highest water park in Europe. Click here to choose from a plethora of snow activities, family activities, and adventure sports. These numerous attractions make Avoriaz one of the best family ski resorts in France.

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2. Chamonix

A couple enjoys their visit to the Chamonix ski resort

Located at the convergence of France, Italy, and Switzerland, Chamonix is among popular skiing resorts in France. This famous French ski resort is located at the base hill of Mt Blanc, the highest summit of Alps. It is one of the oldest ski resorts in France and is popularly known as the Gateway to European Cascades.
It is the best freeride resort in the world and houses 5 ski resorts – Grands Montets, Les Houches, Le Tour/Balme, La Flegere and Le Brevent.

Cost:  In Chamonix resort, 4 types of ski passes are available for tourists:

  • Mont-Blanc Unlimited (MBU) – Full Area Pass, including the neighboring resorts
  • Chamonix Le Pass – Local Area Pass, suited to learners and short breaks
  • Les Houches – Smaller Local Ski Resort, suited to families and small groups
  • Rapid Card – a prepaid, pay-as-you-go, non-consecutive multi-day loyalty pass
  • The most popular passes are for 6 days ski program and cost about € 293 for adults (16-64) years. For further details regarding cost and permissible age limit see here.

Skiing Options: You can achieve one of the premium skiing experience at Chamonix ski resorts while skiing with professional skiers along the slopes of Mont Blanc range. Skiing equipment for the novice as well as the experts are available on rent and ski guides are exceptionally competent and professional in nature. The wide variery makes Chamonix one of the good ski resorts in France for beginners and professionals alike.

Best places to stay: Chamonix ski resort offers a variety of stay options for different wallet sizes, ranging from service apartments, dormitories with bed and breakfast, campsites, holiday centers, chalets, and hotels. There are also options for mountains huts, hostels, and campervan hire. Best accommodation options are at Hotel Terra Nova, Chalet Hotel Les Rhododendrons and Araucaria.

Attractions besides skiing: Cable car rides to nearest peaks as here are one of the highest cable cars in the world, foot treks on the glacier, ice-skating on the ice rink, skiing, cross-country skiing, and tobogganing.

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3. Tignes

Skiers pose at the top of a slope at Tignes ski resort

Tignes is among the best French ski resorts, situated in the Tarentaise Valley. It acted as a freestyle skiing venue for Winter Olympics and Winter Para Olympics of 1992. Together with nearby Val d’Isère, it forms the “Espace Killy” ski area.

Cost: The cost of skiing equipment hired at Tignes starts at £108.33 for adults. There are various categories of packages like Bronze, Silver and Gold. For further information, see here. However the equipment will be delivered to your accommodation and the technicians will help you to fit into it.

Skiing Options: Tignes has a 300 km extensive skiing terrain with one end meeting with Pissaillas glacier. You don’t need to be a pro, but basic physical fitness is desired always to extract the maximum fun during this snow activity. However, there are Ski Schools for guidance and support.

Best places to stay: Tignes offers large accommodation options for tourists. The best one being Club Med Tignes Val Claret, Les Suites Du Neveda, and Hotel Diva. However you can easily find homestays with bed and breakfast options, studio apartments, and self-catering rented spaces.

Attractions besides skiing: At Tignes, you can enjoy snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snow biking at Tignes Bike Park. There is mountain biking school located at the foothill region. This downhill mountain biking school is based in Tignes where bikers have entree to the vast Espace Killy mountain biking area (Tignes & Val d’Isere). Moreover after an exhaustive day, one can also relax at spa or steam room located near the main lift station.

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4. Les Karellis

Village centre of Les Karellis is among family friendly ski resorts in France

One of the best ski resorts in France, Les Karellis is a popular destination for winter sports. Located at the centre of Maurienne Valley, this mammoth ski area can be reached by taking a train till Saint Jean de Maurienne and availing regular shuttle thereafter.

Cost: Skiing costs are of two types here. One can get a day ski pass which ranges between € 26 for adults to € 18.20 for children between 6-11 years. One can also get weekly passes starting from € 52,10. For details, see here.

Skiing Options: Les Karellis offers the best ski facility for amateur skiers and vacationers. The vast ski area and the snow park is restricted by very limited stay options; hence, fewer people ski happily on vast tracts. No queue, no hurry, no rush!

Best places to stay: There are many apartments for rent, holiday clubs, and hotels available as stay options. Few premium hotel options are Arc-en-Ciel, Village Club Les Karellis, and Les Balcons de Maurienne.

Attractions besides skiing: One can enjoy snowboarding, biking, and skiing under proper training and guidance of Ski School located there. However, there are plenty of other activities too! Walking atop the mountain is one such fascinating option. Head to the summits and stop off at “La Vinouva” altitude restaurant, cross the forest, go around the lakes and discover typical mountain hamlets. One can also go for Heritage tours to Barrière de l’Esseillon, Aussois, Saint Jean de Maurienne and Montricher, and MONTRICHER the Eco Museum. Dog sledge option is also there. For further details, click here.

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5. Serre Chevalier

Young skiers wait for their ski trip to begin at the Serre Chevalier ski resort

Serre Chevalier is among the largest skiing resorts in France, located at an altitude between 1,200 meters and 2,800 meters. Serre Chevalier is a south facing valley dotted with hamlets and small settlements offering best ski facilities.

Cost: In Serre Chevalier, from December onwards, season rate for skiing depend on the age group and days and hours of skiing. It starts at 10 € à 23 € for a day and goes to 45 € à 100 € for 6 days. For complete info, see here.

Skiing Options: One can go for 6 days skiing package or enjoy individual skiing along the slopes.

Best places to stay: Serre Chevalier offers a wide range of stay options like bed and breakfast, holiday villages, private apartments and hotels, depending on your budget. Few best hotel options are; Chalet hotel de Serre Ratier, Sari Pi Mai, and Hotel La Maison du Buz.

Attractions besides skiing: Along with snowboarding in Serre Chevalier vallee and rafting in Tutte le Salse one can also explore heritage trips in Art Sacre Museum, Atelier D Artiste, Galerie Alezareoline etc, indulge in spa and hammam or steam bath.

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6. Valberg

Kids learn how to ski at the Valberg ski resort

Amidst of French Alps, Valberg is a hilly village offering 90 km ski area with fun zones and snow park. Characterised by beautiful flora fauna and cool and comfortable weather, Valberg is definitely among the best ski resorts in France.

Cost: In Valberg skiing can be done for half a day, or by taking a 6 days package; charges vary accordingly. Skiing charges for an adult for half a day is €23.30 and for 6 days is €161.70. For more info click here.

Skiing Options: This skiing resort offers options of Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, and mountaineering, among many others.

Best places to stay: Some of the best hotel options in the ski resort are Hotel Le Chalet Suisse, Hotel Le Chastellan, and Hotel Blanche Neige. However if your budget is low, there are self-catering apartments and dormitories available.

Attractions besides skiing: Nordic skiing trails for snowshoeing, skating and snowmobile rides, and the relaxing spa and swimming pool.

Website | Reviews

7. Morzine

Two skiers take stance at the top of a slope at Morzine ski resort

Morzine is a panoramic ski resort with a mesmerizing backdrop, classy ski facilities, and hotels and restaurants in the Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France. Morzine is a market town and is bordered by a river valley and thickly vegetated slopes. Among the best ski resorts in France, Morzine never fails to enthrall the skiers with a mesmerizing panoramic view and the amazing ski facilities.

Cost: For 6 days, charges for an adult are € 247.50 and for children the amount is € 186.00. For details regarding ski passes, see here.

Skiing Options: Skiing is extensive in Morzine. Novice as well as experts can ski and even rent skiing equipment.

Best places to stay: Basic options to choose from are apartments, hotels, luxury hotels and chalets. Best resorts, however, are Hotel L’Aubergade, Hotel Le Dahu, and Hotel Le Chaumeiere.

Attractions besides skiing: One can indulge in Mountain biking, valet football, skiing, and snowboarding. However shopping, visiting nearby villages and heritage sights can also be included in tour schedules. For party people, there are some awesome nightclubs too.

Website | Reviews

8. Megeve

People travel in cable cars at the Megeve Ski Resort

Megeve, a popular among the skiing resorts in France, is a picturesque and almost virgin town amidst the French Alps region. The quaint ski resort is one of the most happening and upmarket ski resorts in France.

Cost: An adult can ski for half a day at €41.00 and for 6 days €225.00. Get details here.

Skiing Options: Skiing in Megève is a luxury and exclusive experience that starts in the heart of our village to cap on the summits where the glaciers of the Mont-c enlighten the senses. Here there’s a skiing kindergarten for kids and regular skiing schools for adults. Cross country skiing is also available, and so is the equipment on hire if you are a pro.

Best places to stay: Accommodation options available at Megeve include hotels like Mont Blanc Hotel, Hotel Le Fer a Cheval, and Hotel Chalet Saint Gorges, chalets, individual rentals, outdoor and collective accommodation and bed and breakfast.

Attractions besides skiing: Skiing in Mt D’Arbois area and La Jalliet ski area, chapels and churches at Le Chemin du Calvaire, outdoor activities like snowboarding, Aerocime, and snow skating, and the luxuriant wellness spa at Les Fermes de Marie.

Website | Reviews

9. La Plagne

A view of the Club Med Hotel at La Plagne ski resort

Located in the Alpine valley of France, La Plagne is a one of the vast ski resorts in France owned by Compagnie des Alpes. La Plagne is located at an elevation of 3250 meters and the ski space is spread over 100 sq km area. Its vast spans and the variety of skiing and stay options make it one of the best ski resorts in France.

Cost:  The cost of skiing varies with the number of days and hours of skiing as well as with age groups. For estimates, see here.

Skiing Options: One can enjoy Nordic skiing, Alpine skiing, and cross-country skiing at an individual level or under the guidance of Ski School.

Best places to stay: You can choose to stay in apartments and chalets, holiday villages, campsites, mobile homes or hotels. Best picks for hotels are Hotel Terra Nova, Chalet Hotel Les Rhododendrons, and Araucaria.

Attractions besides skiing: The enthralling skiing experience at Snake Gliss Station de Altitude, L’équipe d’AN Rafting service, bowling de La Plagne, the Mouth Bar, Paradifly, and the snow biking known as Snowpanthers

Website | Reviews

10. Isola 2000

Aerial view of the Isola ski resort

Isola is one of the summits of Southern Alps; a winter sport hotspot in France.  The place is located at an elevation of 2000 meters, along the border of Italy. Indeed one of the best ski resorts in France, Isola is a place to rejoice outdoor activities, food, and superb weather.

Cost: In Isola, season rate for ski pass is € 5. Find out more details here.

Skiing Options: You can either get enrolled the Snow School for guidance in skiing or go for independent instructors and rental.

Best places to stay: One can stay at hotels, campsites, vacation villages, and private lets. However,  the best hotels are Hotel Club du Soleil Le Pas du Loup, New Chastillon, and Hotel Druos.

Attractions besides skiing: Great skiing experience, trekking along the sunny slopes, dining at Isoliane, enjoying water slides in Aqavallee, and enjoying drinks at the Crocodile pub.

Website | Reviews

These best ski resorts in France will induce the traveller’s instinct within you. Trust us, and your next holiday will be superbly fascinating and unbelievably adventurous.

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Navi Mumbai And Thane Ferry Service To South Mumbai Coming Soon

The days of traveling on long crowded train journey from South Mumbai to Navi Mumbai and Thane may soon be a thing of the past for an easier and more effective way of rapid water transport is soon on its way.

About Navi Mumbai To South Mumbai Ferry

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) will soon launch two air conditioned boats that will ply from Vashi and CBD Belapur. This 10 crore master plan has been under development since the last two years and the NMMC has even received a no-objection certificate from Mumbai Maritime Board (MMB). It is set to launch very soon, much to the relief of the residents here who have been looking for an alternative to the local train travel for a long time.

About Thane To Gateway of India Ferry

mumbai ferry to gateway of india

The (Thane – Mumbai ferry) is part of the second phase of the state water transport project and was recently given a go ahead for a Detailed Project Report after a feasibility study was provided regarding the same. The ferry service from Mumbai is not only expected to cut vehicle traffic by 20% but also lead to a 42% reduction in pollution levels in comparison to road travel on the same stretch.

Looking at all the development regarding cheaper, faster, and more efficient water travel in Mumbai, the city is surely taking a step in the right direction. Apart from helping in bringing down the pollution levels, the Navi Mumbai and Thane ferry service would offer a big relief to the common man stuck in a local train for long hours

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This Six-Day Harry Potter River Cruise Will Take You To Iconic Movie Locations

A potterhead couldn’t wish for more! This luxurious Harry Potter River Cruise is something you could book entirely for yourself to live the reel life. Cruising on England’s Thames River, this venture is introduced by an American company called Barge Ladies.

Starting this August the tour lasts for six days. The cruise can accommodate up to eight passengers in its four rooms. As you sail, you’ll be stopping over to visit many Harry Potter locations, like Virginia Water where Harry Potter first met Buckbeak (Prisoner of Azkaban), The Great Hall at Oxford’s Christ Church College, and even Warner Brothers Studios to see the costumes, sets and props featured in Harry Potter movies.

Magna Carta interior

The cruise will have six crew members at your service, one of whom will be a gourmet chef dedicated to cook Hogwart-inspired meals for you. The open bar is the place you’ll love, as you get to chug unlimited butterbeer.

The cruise tour is for $36,000, and the costs would come to $4,500 if you divide it among seven of your potterhead friends.

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10 Highest Mountain Peaks To Conquer In The Alps Mountains

The serrated apexes of mountains drenched in the brilliant light of the sun, spikes of light piercing through the snow, teardrop-silver color lakes amid the flower-covered meadows, the icy cold arctic air, and heavy echoes of birds chirping should paint a vivid picture of the Alps mountains in your mind.

The Alps is among the most popular destinations in the world for adventurous activities including hiking, trekking, climbing, and skiing. The incredibly massive Alps stretches across 8 countries: France, Monaco, Switzerland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, and Slovenia. The highest ten peaks of the Alps are situated in Switzerland, Italy, and France.

1. Mont Blanc at 15,774 ft above sea level

Mount Balnc covered in snow

Mont Blanc is the tallest apex in the Alps and in entire Europe. The massif of the mountain range is situated in the Graian Alps and lies within Italy, France, and Switzerland. Tour du Mont Blanc is the most popular and challenging trek that gives you a chance to experience the beauty of Mont Blanc. The most interesting part is that you have to cross borders of three countries: France, Italy, and Switzerland to reach the highest peak in the Alps.

2. Monte Rosa at 15,203 ft above sea level

Monte Rosa covered in snow

Carrying the title of Switzerland’s highest peak, Monte Rosa is located in the eastern part of the Pennine Alps. With this elevation, Tour de Mont Rosa is among the toughest treks circling Monte Rosa, crossing through both the Swiss and Italian Alps. During summer, many climbers flock to the base of Monte Rosa in the hope to reach the peak.

3. Dom at a height of 14,911 ft

snow covered Dom peak

Doma mountain range is situated near Monte Rosa. It can be seen from Gornergrat. The peak is considered one of the easier highest peaks in the Alps due to its straight terrain. It’s also excellent for Swiss Alps skiing.

4. Lyskamm at a height of 14,852 ft above sea level

The snow covered misty peaks of Lyskamm

Situated in the Pennine Alps right on the border of Switzerland and Italy, Lyskamm is the fourth highest mountain peak in the Alps mountain range. The peak is known for its massive avalanches and many mountain climbers have lost their lives while attempting this trek. Lyskammis nick-named Menschenfresser, which means “people eater.”

5. Weisshorn at a height of 14,783 ft

a small lake in the mountains

Located near the Matterhorn peak in the Pennine Alps, Weisshorn offers the most spectacular views. Since it is a difficult climb reserved for professional climbers, it doesn’t see many visitors. The large rocks and snow make the terrain incredibly challenging.

6. Matterhorn at a height of 14,692 ft

people walking towards Matterhorm

Arguably the most iconic mountain peak in the entire world, Matterhorn is absolutely scenic. Every year, millions of tourists and travelers from all around the world come to Zermatt in Switzerland to witness the mesmerizing view of the Matterhorn.

7. Dent Blanche at an elevation of 14,295 ft

A man skiing in Dent Blanche slopes wearing red jacket

Situated in Zermatt region of Switzerland, Dent Blanche can be seen from Gornergrat. One of the toughest in the Alps, it is a very interesting and diversified climb.

8. Grand Combin at an elevation of 14,154 ft

snow covered mountains

Located in the western Pennine Alps, Grand Combin is a difficult climb, which presents dangers such as icefall and avalanches. The massif creates one of the most splendid landscapes of the Pennine Alps. It is a demanding 6-day-long trek, so one has to be prepared for the tough terrain and weather.

9. Finsteraarhorn at an elevation of 14,022 ft

a lake and green fields around Finsteraarhorn

Situated in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland, Finsteraarhorn is the third most prominent peak in the Alps. The gorgeous peak is encircled by breathtaking glaciers and rocky outcrops. Although it isn’t so popular among tourists, climbers are quite fascinated by it.

10. Zinalrothorn at an elevation of 13,848 ft above sea level

green fields in the mountains

Located right in the middle of Weisshorn and Matterhorn, the bewitching Zinalrothorn can be seen from the Gornergrat. Climbers from Europe enjoy the solid rock quality and straight terrain to the peak.

Will you dare to climb one of these highest peaks in the Alps mountains though at times you’ll feel terrified!

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Boracay Island Shuts Down Temporarily Right After The Earth Day & You’ll Be Ashamed To Know Why!

Right after everybody across the world celebrated the Earth Day with much zeal and enthusiasm, a major turn of events led to the shutdown of one of the Asia’s leading beach destination. Renowned for its refreshing palm trees lined along the shimmering coastline of soft white sand beaches, the pristine Boracay Island has been shut down temporarily by Philippines Government for an estimated duration of next six months, w.e.f. 26th April, as per the leading dailies.

Boracay Island, Philippines

Owing to the infinite volume of garbage that has been dumped in the ocean on a consistent basis, the Boracay Island has turned into a legit “cesspool” as per the words used by the President of Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, himself. Despite the warnings issued by the President to stop the dumping the of the garbage into the ocean, the whole island stands still as the island’s tourism is threatened by the present scenario of fast-paced development and increasing pollution.

Boracay Island

While there are no signs of a proper sewerage and drainage system on Boracay Island, the rapid growth of hotels and travel-related industries is leading the firms to dispose the waste into the sea. Hence, the Government of Philippines has decided to shut down the entire island for six months so that the whole drainage system could be repaired and restored.

Boracay Island in Philippines

In addition to that, the President stated, “As long as there is s*** coming out of those pipes, I will never give you the time of the day to return to Boracay Island.” During the period of these six months, it is estimated that not only the lives of about 36,000 locals would be affected but the set target of attracting close to 7.4 million travelers annually would also go down the drain as tourism is the only source of generating business for the island.

Boracay Island

So if you had been planning to go to Boracay Island, procrastinating your plans would be the right thing to do, and for those who had already booked the tickets, this would be the right time to proceed with the refund.

Nonetheless, looking at the brighter side, the island is temporarily being shut down which means if all of us start traveling responsibly and keep our s*** together, we’ll be able to embark on a clean, comfortable, and a hassle-free holiday to Boracay Island soon!

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School Admission Drive 2018: Putting The Future Of The World In Classrooms Now

Memories of summer vacations, cultural functions, morning assemblies, and, of course, games periods flash through my mind as I see, on my Facebook feed, pictures of young kids heading for their first day at school. The never-ending cycle of work & fun has undoubtedly given me the best days of my life. Sadly though, despite the enactment of the Right To Education Act (2009), there are children who are missing out on the most vital part of their lives. And this is exactly what we wish to change.

Children pose during the RTE act campaign

The Right of Children to Free Compulsory Education Act, or Right to Education (RTE) Act, aims to make education a fundamental right for every child between the ages of 6 & 14, irrespective of gender & social category. The act, passed by the Indian parliament on 4th August 2009, came into effect nationwide (except the state of Jammu & Kashmir) from 1st April 2010.

Organisers and students rallying during the school admission drive

With the central idea to enroll every child in the age bracket of 6-14 years into the school and to spread awareness about RTE, the NGO Bucket List collaborated with TravelTriangle for the School Admission Drive 2018. Listed below are the detailed objectives:

  • To enrol a minimum of 30 children (living on streets and in slum colonies) into the Sarvodaya Vidyalayas.
  • To spread awareness about free and compulsory education under the RTE — on-ground and online awareness.
  • Initiate documentation procedure of the children and impart relevant knowledge (Aadhaar, Bank A/C, etc).
  • Launch several rallies to give out information regarding RTE and prompt the audience to register for the same during the short window before admission process commences.
  • To document the progression of the drive, reflecting all the obstacles and reliefs, to present a contrast.

Organisers and students gather for a rally during the school admission drive

TravelTriangle has, thus far, been able to raise over Rs. 25,000 on behalf of Bucket List through the school admission drive, thus ensuring school admission for at least 23 children. Going forward, the team hopes to be able to sponsor the education for even more children.

About the NGO

bucket list at traveltriangle

Bucket List is an NGO working for the underprivileged children through creative media — storytelling, sports, and arts — to enhance their physical & social well being. Its programmes, such as Tell a Tale, Genie in a Bucket, and Streets to Field, aim to bring a change in their lives and help them make the most of their talents & skills.

Our association with the NGO

group picture of bucketeers on children's day

TravelTriangle has been associated with the NGO — Bucket List — for the past 6 months. Together, the two have successfully conducted multiple events; including donation drive, Children’s Day celebration, and Secret Santa for the underprivileged kids.

When asked about their wishes during the Secret Santa event, these kids expressed their desire to get admission into school. While some of our employees stepped in right away to make these dreams come true, these wishes of the little kids all led to the genesis of the next event — the School Admission Drive.

Here’s what the project lead of Bucket List has to say about the initiative

A picture of Saif Ullah Khan who is the project lead of Bucket List

Under the School Admission Drive, we had the pledge to get all the children, eligible under RTE, admitted to a school. How many kids do we know who love going to school? Not so many. But once you witness all these children getting ready for school so enthusiastically every single day, it becomes a source of inspiration for us. It is here that we see education truly being valued. And it is with these children that you can be sure that education will be positively utilized. A big thank you to TravelTriangle for believing in our endeavors & becoming lifetime ‘Genies’ for so many deserving children.

Banner of the school admission drive hosted by TT

It’s truly a great initiative that Bucket List has taken to ensure a great future & ‘achhe din’ for the destitute children. Small steps, such as this one, can make tremendous impact on the lives of others. We, at TravelTriangle, have already started contributing to the cause, and so can you.

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15 Scintillating Islands In Australia That You Must Check Out On Your Tour Down Under

Did you know that there are 8222 islands in Australia? We bet you didn’t. From Whitsundays to Fraser Islands, and from Fitzroy to the great Keppel, each island has its own paradisiacal charm. If you are wondering which of these islands to visit and what to do there, just refer to our list of the most beautiful Australian islands for a perfect holiday.

Here is a list of the top 15 Australia islands:

1. Whitsunday Islands

Whitsunday Islands copy

Whitsunday Islands are the largest group of islands in Australia consisting 74 individual islands. It has numerous iconic white beaches, cool waters, and luxury hotels all essentials for a perfect island holiday.

How to get there: Flight or bus from Australia’s East Coast
Things to do: Sailing tours, snorkeling, surfing, swimming

2. Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island copy

Rottnest Island has a rich history and background. The island is located west of Australia and south of Perth and is particularly famous for golfing and surfing.

How to get there: Ferry from Perth
Things to do: Cycling, golfing, Segway Tours, snorkeling, surfing, swimming

3. Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island copy

Although there are numerous islands in Australia, the Magnetic island is slowly becoming a favourite among backpackers. When here, you must check out its unique tourist attractions like Florence and Radical Bays, Arthur Bay Lookout, The Forts Walk, Rocky Bay, Hawking’s Point Lookout, and Wallabies at Arcadia.

How to get there: Ferry from Townsville

4. Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island copy

Fitzroy Island is among the most offbeat Australian Islands. Ideal for backpackers and spectacular views of the Great Barrier Reef, this island is popular amongst hikers and surfers from around the world.

How to get there: Ferry from Merlin Marina
Things to do: Fish feeding, walking tours, snorkeling, surfing, swimming

5. Fraser Island

Fraser Island copy

Fraser Island in Australia is the largest island in the world. You can go sailing around the island, which is one of the most popular ways to explore this place! The beaches aren’t great for swimming due to rough waters, but one can surely take a dip in any of the beautiful lakes here.

How to get there: Flight or bus from Australia’s East Coast
Things to do: A drive along the beach, sailing, and more

6. Phillip Island

Phillip Island copy

Phillip Island is located south of Australia just 1.5 hours away from Melbourne. It’s a great place to go for a day trip with the whole family.

Phillip Island penguins copy

How to get there: Sailing tours from Melbourne CBD and Base St. Kida
Things to do: Snorkeling, surfing, swimming

7. Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island copy

Lord Howe Island is without a doubt one of the most beautiful islands near Australia. The islands boast of an abundance of wildlife, walking trails, coral pools, mountain peaks, and breathtaking landscapes.

How to get there: Flights from Sydney
Things to do: Birdwatching, hiking, snorkeling, surfing, swimming

8. Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island, Australia

If you are wondering which islands in Australia to visit in order to enjoy the diverse Aussie wildlife, plan a getaway to the famous Kangaroo island. Here, you will find Wombats, Koalas, Kangaroos, and seal colonies almost everywhere. You will need at least 2-3 days to fully explore the island.
How to get there: Ferry from South Australia
Things to do: Visit a National Park, try the local cuisine

9. Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island copy

There are many islands in Australia. But perhaps the Cockatoo Island is ideal for the perfect island holiday in Australia. Once a convict settlement, the island is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can enjoy a great day at the island with sightseeing and BBQ evenings.

How to get there: Ferry from Harbour city
Things to do: Guided tours of the island

10. Great Keppel Island

Great Keppel Island Fishing Sunset Daughter Father

If you are wondering which islands around Australia to visit in order to explore the Great Barrier Reef, then we recommend the Great Keppel Island. And when you’re here, don’t forget to indulge in an exciting Glass Bottom Boat tour to witness the enchanting marine life Keppel is home to.

How to get there: Ferry from Keppel Bay Marina
Things to do: Snorkeling, jet skiing, paddle boarding, Glass Bottom Boat tours, wakeboarding

11. Lady Musgrave Island

Lady Musgrave Island copy

One of the most popular islands off the coast of Australia has to be Lady Musgrave. It’s frequented by locals more so than foreigners and is a great place to go on a Glass Bottom Boat tour, try snorkeling, or just sunbathe on the fantastic beaches.

How to get there: Road trip or flight from Brisbane
Things to do: Snorkeling, wildlife spotting

12. Moreton Island

Moreton Island copy

There are numerous islands near Australia, but if you want to enjoy sandboarding, swimming, and dolphin spotting, Moreton Island should be at the top of your list. It is among the few Australia islands you can visit year-round.

How to get there: Ferry from Holt Street Wharf, Brisbane
Things to do: Sand tobogganing, whale watching, feeding dolphins, hiking, snorkeling, swimming

13. Green Island

Green Island copy

There are numerous islands Down Under, but if there is one place you can enjoy snorkeling as well as delicious cocktails by the pool before breathtaking views, then Green Island must be on your itinerary.
How to get there: Ferry from Cairns
Things to do: Walking tours, snorkeling, Glass Bottom Boat tours

14. Bruny Island

Bruny Island copy

It’s the indisputable home to fairy penguins, rainforests, seal colonies, and fantastic beaches. Often called the ‘Gateway to Antarctica’, Bruny Island should be on everyone’s list of Australia tourist attractions.

How to get there: Ferry from Kettering
Things to do: Sightseeing, walking tours

15. Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island copy

Hamilton Island is among the most luxurious islands around Australia. If pure luxury is what you seek on your holiday in Australia, then there is no better place than this. You can spend your day by the infinity pools, go golfing, sip cocktails, and relax at the spa.

Hamilton Island beach copy

How to get there: Flight or bus from Australia’s East Coast
Things to do: Golfing, sailing, surfing, swimming

Take your pick from our selection of the top islands in Australia and let us know which ones you like. Book your Australia trip at once and embark on what will be the most memorable holiday of your life!