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Florida - Regional Information, Weather

Cyprus - Regional Information, Weather

Spain - Regional Information, Weather

Turkey - Regional Information, Weather

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Florida

Orlando & Naples

A selection of short notes follow on what to expect when arriving in Florida, and in particular Orlando.

Orlando International Airport itself is new and developing fast. Be prepared for a fairly long walk, interrupted by a short ride on a monorail to the main baggage claim and exit. The airport is well marked with signs so you shouldn't have any trouble finding your way.

The majority of rental car desks are situated on the ground floor of the terminal building. You may have to wait in line to receive your vehicle, but when you do, the car will be situated in the multi-story car parking lot just across the street. This is very handy for when you return your vehicle at the end of your stay. For those visitors whose car rental desk is not at the airport, exit on the ground floor, and wait at the relevant bus stop for the ground transportation provided by your rental car company. When leaving, you will return your car to the same location and catch the bus back to the airport.

Once you have collected your car, be prepared for tolls. Each of the major freeways operate on a toll basis, particularly around Orlando. The tolls are generally less than one dollar, but you may encounter 3 separate toll booths on your journey - depending upon which route you take.

On the driving front, it is as well to bear in mind that once on the freeway, you may be "overtaken" on either side. All the lanes on freeways tend to move at the maximum speed, so be prepared for vehicles on either or both sides going past you. This may take some time to get used to. Many gas stations have credit card facilities at the pumps. Depending upon the time of day and location, some gas stations may require prepayment before you are able to pump gas.

Milk and other essential supplies are available 24 hours per day at local stores. If you should arrive late, and the supermarkets are closed - which is unlikely - then many gas stations have substantial grocery stores attached to them.

Naples is best known for its beaches on the clear Gulf Waters. Naples boasts 10 miles of sugar sand beaches. The array of beaches welcomes visitors from all around the world to secluded coves, wide stretches or to simply bask in the warm sun.

Just as important as the beaches is the mysterious mangrove-lined Gordon River. Tours of this fascinating body of water are available throughout the year. For more exciting and adventurous water tours; take a trip on an Air Boat. This is a once in a life time experience to view the variety of wildlife the Everglades have to offer from alligators, turtles, bald eagles, etc.

The Greater Naples boasts dozens of Golf Courses. Earth and sand bunkers roll out of the landscape, fairways undulate and greens slope to crate challenging games for all levels.

Shopping: There's a treat for every taste and price in one of Naples' more than 30 shopping centers. The Historic Downtown Naples is charming with an array of antique shops, galleries, gift stores and sidewalk cafes.

Fifth Ave. South graciously melds the quaint storefronts with modern buildings along the tree lined Avenue. "Naples' Main Street", Fifth Ave. South hosts numerous Special Events and Art Festivals throughout the year.

Dinning, whether you choose on the run, elegant candlelit or casual meals by the waterfront, Naples offers it. Wherever your tastes lead you, every season in paradise is a celebration and every meal is an experience.

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Cyprus

Ktima

Ktima (Paphos old town) - A captivating blend of old and new Paphos was once the Roman capital of Cyprus and is listed by ONESCO as a World Heritage Site. The area abounds in monuments - the House of Dionysis hosts some of the finest examples of floor mosaics in the Mediterranean region and the Tombs of the Kings, the Christian Catacombs, ancient Byzantine churches and many other sites are all fascinating reminders of the area's poignant past.

The old town of Paphos, called Ktima is located just above the Harbour. This is a maze of winding streets boasting a vibrant selection of traditional and modern shops, supermarkets and a colourful indoor market selling locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables as well as other products for which the area is famous. Ktima is also the commercial and administrative centre for the Paphos District. Here you can find banks, legal offices, local government department offices, clinics and medical services, including a splendid new hospital. Just a short drive from Ktima is Paphos International Airport.

Kato Paphos

Kato Paphos, just below Ktima, is built around a picturesque fishing harbour, which is shadowed by an ancient fort. An all-year-round holiday atmosphere prevails here. There are plenty of open air cafés, tourist shops and local tavernas where you can sample a fish maze - a delicious selection of the mornings catch. Here are some of the best hotels on the island, many of which have regular events and activities for both guests and local residents. There are also many excellent restaurants serving a variety of international cuisine.

Amongst the gentle hills that roll down from the forested slopes of the troodos mountain range to the Paphos coastline is some of the islands most stunning countryside. Vineyards and almond groves give way to orchards of citrus, olives and avocados and at sea level, banana plantations. Here you will discover tiny Mediterranean villages where the donkey is still the preferred mode of transport and the inhabitants are amongst the friendliest and most hospitable people you are ever likely to meet.

Akamas Peninsula

North of Paphos is the Akamas Peninsula, an almost uninhabited area, rich in fauna and flora. Along the wild and rugged coastline are sea caves and remote sandy beaches where turtles come each summer to lay their eggs in the warm, undisturbed sand. The views from the Akamas hills as well as from the villages above the town are absolutely stunning.

Paphos is the perfect location for those seeking a gentle climate and tranquil lifestyle, but who also wish to remain within easy reach of modern facilities.

Limassol

Limassol - Fun filled sunshine city of the south coast Limassol is just a 35 minute drive from either Larnaca or Paphos airports. This cosmopolitan town is one of the island's leading holiday resorts and its 10 mile seafront is lined with luxury hotels, places of entertainment, a splendid yacht marina and many exclusive residences. There is always plenty to do in Limassol. In the centre of town are cinemas, theatres, art galleries, first class restaurants and modern shopping centres.

Limassol is also the island's main port and it is here that the luxury cruise liners stop over on their way to the Greek islands and the exotic destinations of the Near East. In the attractive Old part of town are traditional buildings, small shops, cafés, artissan's workshops and a bustling fruit and vegetable market. The old town is overlooked by an ancient castle which houses remnants of Limassol's intriguing past.

It was here, some say, that King Richard the Lionheart of England, on his way to Jerusalem in the third Crusade, married Queen Berengaria. He must have liked what he saw when he arrived, because he conquered the island and changed the course of its history forever.

Today, Limassol is a fun-filled city, famous for its annual Spring Carnival and Autumn Wine Festival. The town's broad palm tree-lined promenade is lined by the sparkling Mediterranean on one side and many chic cafés, restaurants and hotels on the other. At the far end are the lush tropical gardens of the main park where there is also a small zoo. Limassolians are friendly and hospitable people and famous throughout Cyprus for their good sense of fun.

Limassol is approximately equidistant from all other major towns and resorts in Cyprus. Within an hours drive you can reach Paphos, Larnaca, Nicosia and the cool forested slopes of the troodos Mountains. It is also the heart of the island's main wine producing area and just a short drive inland brings you to the vine-clad slopes and rustic wine villages of the troodos foothills.

The coastal areas are of great historic interest as modern Limassol was built between two ancient city-kingdoms - Amathus to the east and Kourion to the west. Kourion, dramatically perched on a cliff top overlooking the sea and the west coast, is the larger of the two and the remains of this vast city include a large Roman theatre where theatrical productions are still staged throughout the summer months.

Nearby, amid the lush citrus groves of the Phassouri Plantation, is Kolossi Castle, once home to the Knights Hospitaliers. It was here that the islands world famous dessert wine, Commandaria, was first produced. The Akrotiri Peninsula, just south of Limassol, is fringed with a long sandy beach, known as Ladies Mile. Just inland is a huge salt lake. The lake is a popular stopover place for migrating birds, including flocks of pink flamingos. The surrounding area, rich in flora and fauna, is a great place for walkers - just one of the many activities available in the diverse and interesting part of Cyprus.

Limassol is the perfect location for those who enjoy an active, cosmopolitan lifestyle. n protaras - The golden coastline Often described as the jewel of the eastern Mediterranean, Protaras is an elite beach resort on the south east coast of Cyprus, just a 45 minute drive from Larnaca International Airport. Like a necklace, a string of secluded golden sandy bays stretch along this ruggedly beautiful coast, each interspersed with rocky inlets where many colourful fishing boats go for their daily catch.

Here too is the well known magnificent Fig tree Bay, considered to be one of the islands best beaches. The safe, shallow, crystal clear waters of these excellent beaches are ideal for all types of watersports, including sailing, windsurfing, waterskiing, parascending, snorkling and scuba diving. Protaras also has many excellent, well established hotels, some of which have regular all-year-round social and sports activities for both guests and residents of the area.

This is a fun loving resort with much to offer people of all ages. Apart from beach activities, during summer there is a lively holiday scene with many exceptional restaurants, local fish tavernas, bars and a buzzing nightlife. But winter brings its own special charm to the area. Between the months of October and May, residents have the long golden beaches to themselves - it is a time to explore and enjoy this stunningly beautiful and romantic place - to enjoy a beach barbecue with friends, to top up your suntan on your own isolated beach, and to get to know neighbours and the friendly local people.

The whole region exudes an air of holiday relaxation. Just a short distance inland from Protaras is the small town of Paralimni. The town maintains much of its traditional charm and there are many fine small tavernas here as well as local craft and souvenir shops. A wander around the picturesque narrow streets will reveal fishermen quietly mending their nets in the shade of vine covered courtyards. Paralimni also has a fine selection of modern shops and supermarkets as well as good banking and medical services.

Just south of Protaras is the wild undeveloped peninsula of Cape Greko. A wealth of rare flora and fauna, dramatic rock-scapes with sea caves and stunning views make this area an ideal place for walkers. Nearby is the famous holiday resort of Ayia Napa with its white sandy beaches, fun-filled theme parks and lively clubs and bars. Further along the coast towards Larnaca is the attractive fishing shelter of Potamoe Liopetriou. Here, in this quiet river estuary, elaborately decorated fishing boats laden with multi-coloured baskets of nets set off on their daily search for your supper. The nearby traditional village of Liopetri is famous for its basket makers - in fact a visit to any of the small towns and villages of the area will reveal many interesting facets of this rural community and its intriguing past. Protaras is the ideal location for those seeking a holiday lifestyle.

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Spain

Costa del Sol

Our main focal points are the areas in and around Marbella.

Marbella is 100km square with 24 kilometers of beach, it is known all over the world as one of the classiest and most beautiful holiday destinations in southern Europe. It has everything a holiday maker can desire, from fabulous beaches, mountains, old world charm, cosmopolitan atmosphere, countryside, city life, and a wonderful microclimate that keeps the temperature cooler in summer and warmer in winter than the rest of the Malaga province.

From La Cala de Mijas to Guadalmina, passing through the spectacular ports of Marbella and Puerto Banus, the coastline is fine sand all of the way, and for the land that goes back away from the beach is a paradise of luxury housing developments, golf courses and beautiful mountain scenery. It is little wonder that Marbella has attracted the rich and famous for so many decades, and that for many people that visit the area for holidays decide to stay permanently.

The history of the town goes back to Paleolithic times, as we can still see from the archaeological remains found in the area. Then the Romans came and settled, leaving clear evidence of their presence, especially in the Las Bovedas area and the Villa of Rio Verde, with its exceptional mosaics.

When the Spanish Civil war ended, the economy in the now known Marbella region was hit hard and did not begin to recover until the early 1940's, when Ricardo Soriano set up in the hotel and restaurant business using the American bungalow hotel idea for the appearance.

The result of this was a group of comfortable, rustic-style housing units around a central social and administrative building, the idea then caught on. He was very well connected socially, and began to attract the rich and famous to the area. Hotels were built, restaurants were built, and then along came Jose Banus, a rich businessman, who then built a large tourist complex now known as Puerto Banus. With the addition of golf courses, flash hotels, a bullring, discotheques, and a pleasure port, Puerto Banus became the prime resort in Southern Spain.

Marbella grew and grew, attracting big money in property investment and tourism infrastructure. New ports opened, new golf courses were laid, hotels and restaurants continued to spring up around the municipality, and through it all Marbella maintained its reputation for supreme excellence.

Marbella and its surrounding neighbors today offer some of Europe's most prestigious hotels and is one of the world's most popular hotspots from excellent golf courses including the Valderama and Santa Maria and with 325 days of sunshine a year, Marbella is sure to continue to be one of the classiest tourist destinations in southern Europe.

Sample all the flavours that Southern Spain has to offer and discover its unique world of choice. Spanish Choice.

Costa Blanca

The Costa Blanca or White Coast, which extends along that section of the Mediterranean coast that corresponds to the province of Alicante, is made up of two Costa Blanca Information clearly differentiated scenic sectors. To the North, a curtain of mountains runs parallel to the sea, descending at times to form cliffs; to the South, a vast plain of sand patches, palm trees and salt deposits make up the backdrop for the beaches. The traveller can choose any of the corners of this coast, from the most bustling and cosmopolitan to those which still maintain their rural air beside the sea. In any case, the trip to the nearby regions is well worth the venture for they make up a fine representation of the typical Mediterranean countryside. From the valleys, which are covered with stepped orchards and keep alive its Moorish past, to the palm trees of unmistakable African origin, the horizons of the Costa Blanca offer the most varied attractions.

The climate offers variations as well. The temperatures are usually mild -the annual average is a little higher than 17°C- and rain is scare, though the pluvosity is logically higher in the mountainous northern sector, in comparison with the lowlands which surround Elche and Orihuela. The fields of almond trees, the vineyards, the fruit orchards and the magnificent palm trees form a vegetation which emphasises the Costa Blanca Propertyoriental nature of the landscape.

The Costa Blanca's past is that of any other corner of the Mediterranean. Iberians, Phoenicians and Greeks settled in the ports, founding merchant cities and leaving important naval bases here before they were turned over to Rome. The area then belonged to Byzantium, and the Visigoths, and after the 8C it was a part of the prosperous region of al-Andalus. The Denia Taifa (Arab petty kingdom), on which the Balearic Islands and Sardinia depended for a while, sheltered several members of the Umayyad dynasty, upon the fall of the Cordova Caliphate, and the city knew a period of considerable cultural splendour.

The 13C marked the beginning of the Christian period, which was characterised from the very beginning by battles between the Crowns of Aragon and Castile, who disputed their borders, but at the same time left traces of the coexistence of their respective languages, Castilian and Catalan. The Moslem defeat would be reflected forever in a celebration of enormous interest - the Festivity of the Moors and Christians- which the traveller will be able to see in several of the towns in the province.

Costa Blanca InvestmentsThe Modern Age began under the sign of conflicts. Social revolutions and the threat from pirates marked the changing of the times along these insecure coasts. After an entire century - the 16C - filled with all kinds of events, Felipe III decreed the expulsion of the Moriscos (the converted Muslims) who, according to widespread, contentious opinion were suspected of collaborating with the Berbers who periodically attacked the littoral. The result of such a drastic measure had necessarily to be very hard: On one hand, the Moriscos who considered that they had just as much right to be there as the descendants of the old Christians, organised several revolts. In addition, once the expulsion took place, the lands were left without their expert farmers, who were capable of obtaining considerable production from their property.

The whole 17C would have to go by -with the ever present threat of the pirates- before the orchards and fields would once again furnish such a magnificent yield. During the 18C and 19C, the Costa Blanca continued to enjoy a relatively peaceful existence. With the exception of Alicante and Denia which became prosperous port cities, the littoral was a succession of small fishing villages backed by agricultural surroundings which were far removed from the convulsions of the wars. It would not be until our times that a considerable change, fortunately of a non violent manner, would be noted. The spreading of the railway system, cars and airplanes brought with this progress a new wave of invasions, but this time the invaders came in peace. Tourism brought changes to the landscape, the sports harbours, the hotel infrastructure and even to that enormous agglomeration of leisure time installations which is Benidorm, and which has always wanted to present itself as a symbol of the Costa Blanca. The traveller will be able to find, very close to the more frequented areas, intimate farming towns, old monumental centres and also the horizon of mountains which continue to offer their rugged, blue and untouched profile to the visitor.

Costa de Almeria

Almeria city is worth a visit with the Alcazaba castle, an Arab fortress built by the Calph of Cordoba, Abd-erRahman 111 with three huge walled enclosures. To the west we find the developing complex of Almerimar with Marinas, golf, hotels and many other facilities.

The Alcazaba could hold an army of more than 20,000 men in times of war. From here, there is a good view of the city's famed cave quarter, "Barrio de la Chanca" and of the strange fortified Cathedral with its gothic style construction and renaissance facade. The Almeria Museum will be appreciated by true historians as it contains numerous objects discovered by the well-known Belgian mining engineer, Louis Siret.

Dating from the 16th century, it was built during an era when the southern Mediterranean was terrorised by the raids of Barbarossa and other Turkish and North African pirate forces, its corner towers once held canons. Situated in the centre is the great altar with its wealth of priceless art work including a tabernacle dating from the 18th century, designed by Ventura Rodriguez. There are also paintings by Alonso Canoñ a typical Andalusian altar piece made by Araoz and the statue of St. Indaletius, the patron saint of Almeria, sculpted by Saizillo.

Gastronomic specialities include Gurullos which is stew with pasta, trigo; stew with grains of wheat, pork, beans and herbs, Gachas ;hot and spicy clam stew and Escabeche e Sardines ;fresh sardines in hot sauce. As well as cultivating tourism over the past decade, Almeria has also cultivated innumerable plastic covered greenhouses and now produces the bulk of the province's fruit and vegetables, much of it for export.

troglodytic Villages

Almeria Province is famous for its "troglodytic"villages, which are towns in which many or most of the homes are caves dug into the soft, sand-coloured cliffs. The local peoples prize these homes because they provide excellent protection from the desert heat in summertime. They are usually composed of an initial living room with other dependencies furrowed further into the rock - a convenient way of building, since every time a new child is born, all the owner has to do is dig out a new room! These "cave homes" or casas-cueva, as they are known, often have facades with windows and tiled roofs like conventional houses, and chimneys that jut up from the earth behind. Chimney-like skylights are dug to provide interior lighting. Alhabia, Gádor and Benahadux.

Some of the most interesting cave-dweller villages are in the region around Sante Fé de Mondújar and near the recently-excavated Bronze Age settlement of Los Millares, with a prehistoric fortress built 2,000 years before Christ. There are also caves in the Alpujarra de Almería at Fondón and at Láujar de Andarax al, which has gone down in history as the place where the mother of the last sultan of Granada died; the banished Boabdil.

Spanish desert

In the 1960's, Italian movie-makers filmed their own version of the Wild West among the mesetas and cactus trees of the Tabernas Desert. The ramshackle movie sets have been preserved as a curiosity, complete with trading posts and double-door saloons.

The arid hills contain another, more seriously interesting site, although it is not normally accessible to visitors: the Solar Platform of Almeria (PSA), a European Union solar energy research centre. Even if you're not allowed in, you can, from over the wire fence, admire the rows of futuristic heliostats reflecting the sun's rays into the towering solar oven, and many other devices for turning sunlight into electricity. The village of Tabernas is a quiet place with a charming church in the mudejar or Moorish style.

El Campo de Nijar

El Campo de Níjar is one of the most prosperous regions of the Almeria hinterland and has produced earthenware pottery since the Phoenician period, using the same primitive techniques. The barren hills are sprinkled with picturesque villages such as Sorbas, Uleila del Campo, Lubrín, Bédar and Vera.

Coastal villages

Mojacar is especially famous, partly because it was one of the first to be discovered by the tour operators, but there is also the charming fishing village of San José sheltered cove and marina. A must see is San José and the unspoiled Playa de los Genoveses and Playa de Monsul, on a rugged dead-end road. To the north we find Villaricos. Roquetas del Mar is a fully developed resort 15km west of Almeria.

The Province of Northern Almeria

Since the villages of northern Almeria Province were reconquered by the Christians, they have a flavour all of their own. The austere Castilian influence can be seen in the stone castles and palaces of Vélez Rubio and Vélez Blanco, whose elegant Renaissance courtyard now stands in the Metropolitan Museum of New York. The region is crossed by the Almanzora River, and famous for the villages of Sèron and Tíjola with its famous fountains, Purchena, Olula del Río and Albox, and Macael with its marble quarries.

Costa Almeria

The Costa Almeria is as varied as any of the Spanish Coasts and is completely unspoilt. To the east of Almeria we find the rough and isolated coast of the Cabo del Gato-Nijar natural park. This is an dry desert landscape and the annual rainfall here is less than 200mm. It is lightly populated, few villages and a very low population density.

Visitors feel a sense of exploration here as many of the coves can only be reached on foot therefore this area is particularly popular with nature lovers and back-packers. The most popular coastal village is San José.

West of Almeria is the well developed tourist resorts of Roquetas de Mar and Aqua Dulce. These have all the services of any modern resort to support the package holiday market.

At the north of the Costa de Almeria are the naturist beaches of Vera, a number of new complexes are being constructed here. A little further south is Mojacar that successfully combines the popular beach holiday with the hillside white village that tourist love to explore.

Almeria city is worth a visit with the Alcazaba castle overlooking the metropolis.

To the west we find the developing complex of Almerimar with Marinas, golf, hotels and many other facilities.

The old fishing port town of Adra lies further west. In spite of the interesting castle and assorted archeological remains, it is often missed by tourists travelling along the coastal motorway to or from the Costa tropical.

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Turkey

Turkey is a paradise of sun, sea, mountains, and lakes that offers the vacationer a complete change from the stress and routine of everyday life. From April to October, most places in Turkey have an ideal climate that is perfect for relaxing on sandy beaches or enjoying the tranquility of mountains and lakes.

Turkey also has a magnificent past, and is a land full of historic treasures from 13 successive civilizations spanning 10,000 years. Even if you spend only a short time in Turkey, you can see a lot of this great heritage.

Turkey is surrounded by sea on three sides, by the Black Sea in the north, the Mediterranean in the south and the Aegean Sea in the west. In the northwest there is also an important internal sea, the Sea of Marmara, between the straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus.

You can find a real estate from £20,000 up to a couple of hundred thousand GBPs. The price depends on the location of the property, the quality of the material used in construction, architectural features of the property, ease of transportation, economic activities in the region, and availability of nearby services etc.

There is a wide range of options such as detached, semi-detached and terraced houses, purpose-built flats, cottages and luxury villas. Quality residential buildings are available everywhere in Turkey.

Turkey, where the two continents - Europe and Asia- meet, is a wonderful country which is surrounded by Agean, Black, Mediterranean and Marmara seas, has very nice coastal locations, whose land had been the cradle of the oldest civilisations and religions. Furthermore, life in Turkey is easy and Turkey is one of the few OECD countries with the cheapest prices. People in Turkey are warm and hospitable to all foreigners. You can find very wide range of delicious food and the Turkish cuisine is one of oldest and richest cuisines in the world. The sun, lovely nature, nice beaches, exciting outdoor and entertainment activities, winter sports (in inner parts in winter time), skiing, water, mountain sports, big modern shopping malls, and lots of sightseeing and historical places are all appealing features of Turkey.

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