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  • The Best Beaches In California | Rough Guides
    coast and there s an abundance of tide pools making the area a prime spot for exploring the secrets of the ocean either on foot or in diving gear March brings out droves of people to watch migrating whales Surfers also love it for the waves and there are delightful sandy beaches to be found between Gualala and Albion such as the largely deserted strand of Manchester Beach State Park Mavericks Beach The Peninsula San Francisco sits at the tip of a five mile wide neck of land commonly referred to as The Peninsula home to old money new technology and some excellent beaches Mavericks Beach is among the most splendid and boasts the largest waves in North America It attracts some of the world s best and craziest surfers when conditions are right just watching them can be an exhilarating way to spend an hour or so and hundreds of people do just that every day photo credit Mavericks beach via photopin license Natural Bridges State Beach Santa Cruz Seventy five miles south of San Francisco the edgy and maddening city of Santa Cruz is a difficult place to pin down A classic California seaside promenade where carnival food amusement arcades and a rickety old wooden rollercoaster all make for irresistible fun but if you venture further west you ll be rewarded by Natural Bridges State Beach It s famous not just for the four delicate wave cut arches that once stood here but the annual gathering of monarch butterflies which arrive each winter photo credit Running past the sun via photopin license Carmel Beach Monterey Peninsula Set on gently rising headlands above a sculpted and largely untouched rocky shore the village of Carmel fans out from a few neat rows of just so shops along Ocean Avenue to reveal assorted posh mansions think of it as the West Coast s middle aged answer to New York s Hamptons Inarguably its best feature is its largely untouched coastline among the most beautiful in California City managed Carmel Beach in particular is a tranquil cove of emerald blue water bordered by soft blindingly white sand and cypress covered cliffs photo credit Spent a lovely day at Carmel Beach via photopin license cropped Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur Boasting a strikingly rugged coastline and some of the state s most stunning waterfalls the sparsely populated region of Big Sur continues to retain its wild character Its finest strand is Pfeiffer Beach a white sand sometimes windy stretch that s part of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and is dominated by a charismatic hump of rock whose colour varies from brown to red to orange in the changing light photo credit Portal of the Sun Big Sur California via photopin license Refugio State Beach Santa Barbara County If you drive west of Santa Barbara along US 101 before it veers north several prime beaches beckon Along this part of the Central Coast the beaches face due south making the surf lively and causing

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/the-best-beaches-in-california/ (2016-02-16)
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  • 9 tips for surviving that dreaded overnight bus | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    on a ticket with a designated seat number it s worth arriving at the bus station early Okay you might miss out on another hour or two in town but you ll get first dibs on where to sit and let s face it nobody wants to spend an eight hour bus ride next to the stinky on board toilet Bus Seat by Meredith P on Flickr license 2 Keep your valuables close Nobody is going to steal your dirty socks but cameras cash phones and laptops can all be attractive to thieves who ve been known to rifle through backpacks that are stashed out of sight in the luggage areas of long distances buses Often travellers only notice that something is missing when they finally reach their hotel and by that time the bus is long gone Sling your big bag in the luggage area by all means but keep the valuable stuff with you at all times And don t automatically trust other backpackers you ve been put next to some might be looking for a quick way to boost their travel funds 3 Wrap up You might be sweating by the time you reach the bus station but it s amazing what a few hours of ice cold air conditioning can do for your body temperature Keep a warm jumper handy throughout the journey and consider taking a big scarf or shawl as well even when you re feeling nice and warm they double as great covers and can be bundled up to create comfy pillows Likewise if you re boarding the bus wearing shorts make sure pack a pair of jeans in case the temperature drops 4 Bring snacks There are usually breaks along the way but there s no guarantee that the roadside stop favoured by your driver will have much in the way of variety Stock up with drinks and snacks before you leave and even if there s no stop at all at least you ll be prepared 5 Beware the late night stop Sometimes after finally dozing off the bright lights of some middle of nowhere bus station will wake you from a slumber Before you step out to stretch your legs remember to grab your valuables and take a quick look back at your bus honing in on something that makes it look unique You really don t want to get aboard the wrong bus in the middle of the night just because you re a little bleary eyed 6 Pack earplugs You might be tired but the bus driver quite rightly wants to stay awake Expect to hear local pop music or badly dubbed action films played at deafening volume sometimes right the way through the night Add in the noise from squeaking brakes ringing phones and other passengers conversations and you ll know that your cheap set of throwaway earplugs was well worth the investment 7 Bring something to do One big plus with the night bus is that

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/9-tips-for-surviving-the-overnight-bus/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The River Nile | Cruise The River Nile | Rough Guides
    Republic El Salvador Grenada Guatemala Jamaica Nicaragua Panama Trinidad Tobago Europe Albania Armenia Austria Belarus Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia Herzegovina Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark England Estonia Finland France Georgia Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland Italy Kazakhstan Kosovo Latvia Lithuania Malta Montenegro Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia Scotland Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey Ukraine United Kingdom Wales Middle East Abu Dhabi Dubai Iran Israel Jordan Oman Qatar Saudi Arabia North America Canada Greenland Mexico USA South America Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Guyana Peru Uruguay Venezuela UK View by Theme Activity Architecture Beaches Belief Boats sailing Budget travel Coasts islands Crafts and markets Cycling Deserts Discovery Diving snorkeling Everyday Life Extreme Adventure sports Family friendly Festivals events Food drink Heritage ruins Indigenous culture Leisure Luxury Mountains Museums art Music National parks reserves Nature Nightlife Novelty Off the beaten track People Photography Railway journeys Relaxation Road trips Romance Shopping Structures Surfing Tourist Trail Tradition Transport Walking trekking Wildlife Winter sports Great Rivers Of The World The Nile By Tim Chester May 20th 2013 View Comments The Nile is often associated with bad puns and Egypt but the world s longest river actually stretches over ten countries and assumes a variety of identities along its 4 130 mile course Taking in deep breath Sudan South Sudan Burundi Rwanda Democratic Republic of Congo Tanzania Kenya Ethiopia Uganda and of course Egypt it s a magnificent stretch of waterway full of breathtaking sights and steeped in history Hover over this custom Rough Guides map to bring up photos information and video from across its course Go rafting in Jinja see the treasures of Alexandria and take a hot air balloon over the Valley of the Kings And head to our Thinglink page for more Tags Africa Egypt Ethiopia

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/great-rivers-of-the-world-the-nile/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Follow in the footsteps of kings at Bath Spa, England | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    years at the end of the last century Britain s most famous spa town had no thermal baths The opening of the new Thermae Bath Spa in 2006 at the centre of this World Heritage City was therefore a watershed in Bath s history Once the haunt of the Roman elite who founded the city 2000 years ago and later frequented by British Royalty like Elizabeth I and Charles II Britain s only natural thermal spa boasts a uniquely soothing atmosphere with gentle lighting and curative vapours the surrounding grandeur testament to the importance given to these therapeutic waters The spa s centrepiece is its rooftop pool where on cold winter evenings the Twilight bathing package allows you to enjoy majestic views of Bath s Abbey and its genteel Georgian architecture through wisps of rising steam from the pool s 33 5 C water The Celts thought that the goddess Sul was the force behind the spring but we now know that the waters probably fell as rain in the nearby Mendip Hills some 10 000 years ago before being pushed 2km upwards through bedrock and limestone to arrive at the pools enriched with minerals and hot enough to treat respiratory muscular and skin problems The new spa s remarkable design contrasts existing listed Georgian buildings and colonnades with contemporary glass curves and fountains employing local Bath stone to impressive effect The covered Minerva Bath provides thermal water jets for shoulder massage while you can indulge in an astonishing variety of massages and treatments like reiki shiatsu body wraps and flotation in the classical Hot Bath built in 1778 and restored with twelve treatment rooms and a striking glass ceiling Elsewhere four steam rooms offer eucalyptus mint and lavender scents and there is a giant thermal shower to reinvigorate the

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/follow-in-the-footsteps-of-kings-and-queens-at-bath-spa-england/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The Tarfaya Strip and Western Sahara Guide | Morocco Travel | Rough Guides
    entry into Morocco date d entrée en Maroc place of entry ville d entrée and police number numéro de police this is the number stamped in your passport alongside your first entry stamp into Morocco typically six digits and two letters For marital status you could be single célibataire married marié if male mariée if female divorced divorcé divorcée or widowed veuf veuve Armed with this you can then give your details to police at every checkpoint which will save them having to ask you for the information point by point Petrol and diesel are subsidized in the Saharan provinces basically the Western Sahara and cost about a third less than in Morocco proper Western Saharan history Western Saharan history The Saharawi people who live in the Western Sahara are largely descended from Arab tribes who moved into the area in the fifteenth century and established themselves definitively with victory over the indigenous Sanhaja Berbers in the 1644 74 Char Bouba war They speak an Arabic dialect called Hassania which is much the same as that spoken in Mauritania and somewhat different from the dialect spoken in most of Morocco Their food and music are also more like those of Mauritania than of Morocco However Hassania speaking Saharawis are not confined to the Western Sahara and many live in southern Morocco too Spanish colonial rule Spain held part of the Saharan coast in the early sixteenth century but the Saadians drove them out in 1524 establishing Moroccan control over the coastline In 1884 while European powers such as Britain France and Portugal were carving up the rest of Africa Spain got in on the act and declared the coast between Boujdour and the Nouadibhou peninsula to be a Spanish protectorate gradually extending its boundaries inland and northward by agreement with other European powers The Spanish didn t actually have much control over the area in practice but built ports at La Gouera and Villa Cisneros Dakhla with occasional forays into the interior to pacify the Saharawi tribes Full colonial rule was only introduced after the Spanish Civil War when the territory was split into two colonies Rio de Oro with its capital at Villa Cisneros and Seguiat el Hamra with a new purpose built capital at Laayoune Following Moroccan independence and the 1958 return of the Tarfaya strip Spain merged its two colonies to form the Spanish Sahara which was considered a province of Spain itself much like Ifni Ceuta and Melilla But it was only in the 1960s after the discovery of phosphates at Boukra that Spain actually started to develop the territory By that time colonialism was out of fashion Britain and France had pulled out of most of Africa and only the Fascist ruled Iberian states of Spain and Portugal still held onto their African colonies with international pressure mounting on them to quit In 1966 for example the UN passed a resolution calling on Spain to organize a referendum on independence in the Sahara Meanwhile as

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/africa/morocco/tarfaya-strip-western-sahara/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The East and North Aegean Guide | Greece Travel | Rough Guides
    strong individual character of each island is far more striking and thus they do not form an immediately recognizable group and neither are they all connected with each other by ferries What they do have in common with the possible exception of Sámos and Thássos is that they receive fewer visitors than other island groups and so generally provide a more authentic Greek atmosphere Yet the existence of magnificent beaches dramatic mountain scenery interesting sights and ample facilities makes them a highly attractive region of Greece to explore Verdant Sámos ranks as the most visited island of the group but once you leave its crowded resorts behind is still arguably the most beautiful even after a devastating fire in 2000 Ikaría to the west remains relatively unspoilt if a minority choice and nearby Foúrni is except in summer a haven for determined solitaries as are the Híos satellites Psará and Inoússes Híos proper offers far more cultural interest than its neighbours to the south but far fewer tourist facilities Lésvos may not impress initially though once you get a feel for its old fashioned Anatolian ambience you may find it hard to leave By contrast few foreigners visit Áyios Efstrátios and for good reason though Límnos to the north is much busier particularly in its western half In the far north Aegean Samothráki and Thássos are relatively isolated and easier to visit from northern Greece which administers them Samothráki has one of the most dramatic seaward approaches of any Greek island and one of the more important ancient sites Thássos is more varied with sandy beaches mountain villages and minor archeological sites Brief history Despite their proximity to modern Turkey only Lésvos Límnos and Híos bear significant signs of an Ottoman heritage in the form of old mosques hammams and

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/europe/greece/the-east-and-north-aegean/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The magic of Vietnam in 22 pictures | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    track People Photography Railway journeys Relaxation Road trips Romance Shopping Structures Surfing Tourist Trail Tradition Transport Walking trekking Wildlife Winter sports The magic of Vietnam in 22 pictures By Lottie Gross November 2nd 2015 View Comments Vietnam an intoxicating country full of stunning sights sizzling beaches and sumptuous food It s a country bound to make an impact on you no matter where you go whether it s trekking with hill tribes near Sa Pa or whizzing around Ho Chi Minh City on a motorbike From our favourite Picfair photographers here are 22 gorgeous pictures of Vietnam An elderly woman in Hoi An Hoi An Portrait by Iselin Shaw Of Tordarroch Picfair Woman and baby Amazing baby by sarahannehardy Picfair A woman making traditional Vietnamese conical hats conical hat maker old women by JetHuynh Picfair An old man doing calligraphy calligraphy old man by JetHuynh Picfair Workers transporting salt from the fields in Hon Khoi Workers transporting salt from the fields in Hon Khoi Viet Nam by JetHuynh Picfair Drying fish on Nam Du Island People doing fresh seafood cuttle fish from the fishery harbor Nam Du Island Kien Giang Vietnam by JetHuynh Picfair A woman collects lotus flowers Vietnam Living Lotus gather women by JetHuynh Picfair Cow racing in Vietnam Vietnam Cow racing by JetHuynh Picfair Travelling home from work Back home by wolf Picfair Sunrise on Hon Thieng Bay Sunrise like a gold on water by Nguyen Quang Ngoc Picfair A cow herder and his cows The cowboy and cows by John Nguyen Picfair Celebrations in Ho Chi Minh City Fireworks in Ho Chi Minh City by JetHuynh Picfair Kids in Lap An Lagoon Hué Kids in the summer by Phạm Tỵ Picfair Drying fish in Nha Trang Drying fish by Au Eightx Picfair Tea plantations Bao Loc

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/the-magic-of-vietnam-in-22-pictures/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The Best Places For Late Summer Sun in Europe | Rough Guides
    oldest in the world Switzerland Warm days and cool nights make the end of summer the perfect time to go hiking in the Swiss mountains You won t be disappointed by the country s enchanting scenery with its fairytale green hills placid lakes and craggy mountains Outside of high season you can be more flexible with your itinerary so buy a Swiss Pass and head out to explore the towns Budapest Hungary Late summer is one of the best times to visit Budapest when the usually crowded streets become calmer giving you the opportunity to make the most of the city s cafés and bars Before it gets too cold to brave take a dip in the luxurious thermal Széchenyi Baths you can even play chess on a floating board Cornwall England For the picture perfect streets of its small seaside towns stunning views out to sea and warmer climate than much of England Cornwall is one of the best places to enjoy the last of England s summer For a unique theatre experience try to catch a show at the open air Minack Theatre which juts out over the ocean You ll find beachside restaurants armed with blankets and heaters for when the sun goes down and the temperature drops Barcelona Spain There s so much to see and do in Barcelona and the searing heat of Spain s mid summer can make it difficult to appreciate Less intense temperatures later in the year make sightseeing more pleasant experience Gaudi s dreamy yet slightly barmy Park Güell walk around the Gothic quarter and hike to the top of Montjuïc La Rambla is one of the most famous streets in Europe and rightly so stop at one of its restaurants and feed on the bustling energy of a city that parties late into the night Gran Canaria the Canary Islands If you re hoping for a beach holiday look no further than Gran Canaria Away from the built up holiday resorts you ll find long stretches of sandy beaches From the desert south to inland subtropical forests the landscape is spectacular and if you just want to lie on a beach with a book this is the perfect place Tuscany Italy Tuscany s tall towers striking towns and vast vineyards make it endlessly compelling It s one of the world s most popular destinations year round but head for a late summer getaway and you ll still be able to enjoy the pool in the balmy midday sun From San Gimignano s stunning skyline to Siena s unique Piazza there are fascinating historical towns aplenty Zadar Croatia The beautiful largely unspoilt old city of Zadar is less busy than much of Croatia s Dalmatian coast and just as worth a visit for its marble streets and Roman and Venetian ruins Head to the quay as the sun goes down and you ll find that locals and visitors alike flock to watch one of the best sunset views in Europe accompanied

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/the-best-places-for-late-summer-sun-in-europe/ (2016-02-16)
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