According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNTWO),"cultural and heritage attractions are key to tourism development in many countries around the world". Here at Tasteful Travel we agree.
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre defines heritage as “our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritages are irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.” The concept of heritage has has come to mean more than the tangible, such as museums, historic sites and awe-inspiring landscapes. Now daily life and living history are equally important and serve as tourist attractions in themselves. In fact, experiential tourism, where you immerse yourself in the culture and lifestyle as well as viewing the sights, is a growing trend.
This kind of cultural and heritage tourism can support local economic development as well as break down barriers between people. It can also safeguard heritage so that traditions as well as landmarks and natural habitats are preserved for posterity. Heritage tourism can be responsible and sustainable rather than suffocating cultural heritage. There are a huge number of UNESCO World Heritage sites and these now cover cultural landscapes, itineraries, industrial heritage, deserts, coastal-marine and small-island sites. These designations should help to preserve these habitats and living culture.
Cultural heritage is often brought to life in carnivals and other gala days. Local festivals and celebrations can be just as interesting as those known globally. I have fond memories of the Aloha Festival in Hana on Maui, watching the Greek Orthodox Easter procession in Kassiopi on Corfu, the Green Hop Festival in Canterbury and many more. These memories are just as vivid as seeing Sydney Opera House, the Acropolis and the Grand Canal in Venice. In fact our latest visit was to the Weald & Downland Living Museum, a place devoted to telling the stories of rural life in the South East of England. By rescuing and conserving historic buildings and teaching traditional crafts and trades they are kept alive and the history and culture of the area is preserved in a vibrant and fascinating way.
Another benefit of heritage tourism is that tourist numbers are spread more evenly through a region, rather than huge numbers of visitors honing in on individual iconic sites. Instead of queuing for space to watch the sun go down by the windmill in Oia, Santorini; trying to get a clear shot of the Taj Mahal; jostling to get a glimpse of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, Paris; squeezing down the alleys of Matchu Piccu; or elbowing the crowds in Venice, why not avoid the masses and visit nearby areas which are often equally interesting. Joining a cultural tour is a good way to find those hidden gems.
Don't just go on holiday, travel to experience your destination, bringing the past to life through the stories and lives of those around you.
When planning family holidays there are lots of factors to consider to make your trip the very best. Looking at temperatures, short flight times, family activities available and value for money, we find the most family friendly destinations in Europe are:
Although Turkey enjoys the highest average temperature, with Gumbet, Belek and Bodrum all enjoying averages of 25 degrees C during the summer.
The Costa Blanca on the Spanish mainland comes a close second, averaging temperatures of 24.5o between May and October.
Average sea temperatures
For comfortable swimming temperatures, especially for younger children, resorts across Turkey also fit the bill with Antalya, Alanya, Belek and Side all enjoying averages of 25o. Cyprus also has lovely warm sea, with an average temperature of 24.5o.
Water parks and amusement parks
Amusement parks and water parks are great for family fun. Crete, Greece's largest and most southerly island, has the most parks with a massive 10, including WaterCity in Anapolis near Heraklion.
Next is the beautiful island of Cyprus with 9 attractions, including award-winning Fasouri Watermania Water Park in Limassol.
Spain also offers a variety of park options for families. The Costa Blanca, Costa Brava and the Costa Dorada all boast 7 water or amusement parks, as do Sardinia, Italy’s largest island, the Algarve region of Portugal and Tenerife in the Canary Islands.
A short flight is a big consideration for those planning a family holiday. If you are looking for a beach break with a limited travel time you should consider the Costa Brava and the Costa Dorada regions of Spain. These destinations both have average flight times of just over 2 hours from the UK.
Majorca, the sun-kissed Balearic Island is also a great choice for a close to home destination, with an average flight time of just short of 2 and a half hours. Alternatively the Costa de la Luz region of Spain is also perfect for families looking to minimise their travel time, as are Ibiza and Sardinia.
Best value for money
A big factor for British families is to minimise cost. Based on a family of 4, the lowest cost holiday destinations are the Costa Calida and the Costa Brava on the Spanish mainland and the Canary Island of La Palma.
Travel to Kefalonia in Greece or the Algarve in Portugal to get more bang for your buck.
For great family deals just search our latest offers here.
Named 16th best hotel in the world by TripAdvisor in its 25 Top Hotels of 2019 awards is the Ikos Oceania in Nea Moudania, Greece. Voted for by millions of people this accolade is no mean feat. It goes to highlight the quality of hotels to be found in Greece, a country that has long been thought of as the home of the basic and dated accommodation.
Halkidiki has long been a holiday destination for Greek tourists and many people from the nearby city of Thessaloniki have their holiday homes there. Travellers from outside Greece are increasingly discovering the three green "fingers" of land that make up Halkidiki. With outstanding beaches, a range of accommodation to suit all budgets and plenty of activities and excursions, it is a great destination for all. But Halkidiki is particularly wonderful for the luxury traveller. Having predominantly Greek customers keeps hoteliers and restaurateurs on their toes. Quality is the watchword here. Halkidiki delivers luxurious comfort and a gastronomic experience that will keep you coming back for more.
The Ikos Oceania, like its sister hotel the Ikos Olivia in nearby Gerakini, has contemporary design in a soft pallet of colours. Choose from a range of elegant rooms and suites then enjoy sophisticated dining and opulent leisure facilities.
At the Oceania, the landscaped gardens cascade downhill to the private beach on the azure Aegean. The setting is lovely for a relaxing holiday and dining is especially recommended here. Choose from four à la carte restaurants, most with menus designed by Michelin-starred chefs. Added to this the hotel offers a "Dine Out" experience taking guests to some of the best local restaurants for the perfect modern Greek food experience.
As well as the excellent beach, there are plenty of pools at the Ikos Oceania to suit all ages and styles, toddlers, children and adults, together with a heated indoor pool and a private pool for the exclusive use of Deluxe Collection guests. Enjoy all-day waiter service at your chosen pool for that extra touch of comfort. Or relax and rejuvinate in the tranquil spa.
Prefer a more active holiday? The Ikos Oceania has a huge range of included activities to keep everyone happy, including tennis, mountain biking, canoeing, aerobics, yoga and much, much more. With evening entertainment, bars and children's shows, there is always something happening at the Oceania. No wonder it is the people's choice!
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