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Air Canada Vacations - Travel Blog

25 Apr

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The Best Greek Islands for Every Type of Traveller

April 25, 2018 | By |

So many islands, so little time!

We found pieces of paradise scattered across the Aegean Sea and we’re here to help you pick the perfect one (or ones! Island hopping, anyone?).  If you’re dreaming of a Greek island vacation, but aren’t sure where to start, keep calm and read on. Here’s our breakdown of our favourite Greek islands for every type of traveller!

Santorini

For Lovers & Sun Seekers: Santorini

If you’re looking up Greek islands, chances are you’ve stumbled on Instagram-worthy images of the island of Santorini, home to one of the most photographed, most spectacular sunsets in the world. If not, picture this: iconic, whitewashed houses overlooking volcanic cliffs, with the sun dipping into the horizon above cerulean waters, painting the sky in sumptuous shades. Shall we go on?

With its sweeping stairways and idyllic hillside villages, there’s no wonder stunning Santorini is a go-to spot for honeymooners and romantic revellers and one of the most popular islands to visit. If you’re not falling in love with the caldera views, then the colourful beaches and historic sites like the Museum of Prehistoric Thera might just seal the deal. Stop in Santorini with this Best of Greece tour!

For Party Animals: Mykonos

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Oh, mythical Mykonos –the place to party in the Aegean since the 1960s! It’s where your sunset cocktails last till sunrise and stylish hotels spruce up a rugged and rocky landscape. Pose for dramatic pictures next to the island’s traditional windmills in Mykonos Town before jetting off to decadent dance clubs or all-night parties on Paradise Beach.

For less glitz and glam, stroll through Little Venice to take in the charming architecture of buildings built right on the waterfront. Occupying its narrow streets are chic shops where you can stock up on breezy island fashion before your next escapade. Alternately, you can opt to redeem yourself within the bright, white walls of the uniquely shaped Church of Panagia Paraportiani. Hop on the Mykonos and the Aegean tour to move it in Mykonos.

For Peace Pursuers: Patmos

Patmos

Here comes your moment of zen! Named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the gorgeous Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, perched atop the island’s central hill, brings a calming spirituality to Patmos, appropriately nicknamed the ‘Holy Island.’ This is where Saint John imagined the end of the world and hey, it might not be the worst spot to find yourself if it does come.

Start at the Cave of the Apocalypse, a strange sacred site hewn into the rock and guarded by a monk to ensure total tranquility. Of course, once you’ve soaked in the spiritual atmosphere, countless beaches welcome you for some much-needed serene swimming. Find peace in Patmos with the Classical Greece & Cruise option.

For History Buffs: Crete

Crete

Time travel? It exists! Or so it seems when you land on the shores of Crete, the cradle of Minoan civilization about 4,000 years ago.  Admire the remnants of one of the first major European societies at the archeological site of Knossos, the former capital of Minoan Crete. Highlights include the countless courtyards and chambers of the palace and the impressive frescoes colouring the ruins.

If you’re mad for mythology, venture to the alleged birthplace of Zeus, king of all Greek gods. Two caves make that claim, including the mysterious and gorgeous Dikteon Cave near the village of Psyhro and the Ideon Cave, located on Mount Psiloritis, the highest mountain on Crete.

We’d be lying if we said Crete is all about the past. Travellers seeking more modern indulgences can always happily convene on sun-soaked sands for happy hour. Our Island Delights tour allows you to take in the best parts, past and present, of Crete, largest of the Greek islands.

For Hikers & Beach Explorers: Naxos

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More beaches, please! With multitudes flocking to famous Santorini or Mykonos, many overlook the smaller, just-as-picturesque, Greek islands, like heavenly Naxos. The island’s mountainous lands and green valleys create all kinds of natural nooks and crannies for you to discover. Various hiking trails take you through this changing scenery, from the village of Filoti to the peak of Mount Zas. Naxos’ agriculture will please the most ardent foodie’s palate with local produce served up every which way in typical tavernas.

What about the beaches, you ask? We’re getting there! The southwest coast of Naxos is basically one long beach leading you to wilder sandy shores that range from secluded havens like Plaka to windy spots ideal for windsurfing like Mikri Vigla. Discover them all during our Cycladic Discovery tour!

What’s next

Map of Greek Islands

Set your watch to island time! Hot travel tip: Air Canada Vacations offers a variety of island hopping tours to take you from Athens to every island we’ve mentioned here and more. These usually last between 10 and 14 days to give you plenty of time to discover Greece’s capital, as well as several of the best Greek islands.  All of these tours stop in the two must-see islands, Mykonos and Santorini, and take place between May and October.

Plan your tour of Greek islands now!

28 Mar

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Charming Curaçao

March 28, 2018 | By |

Explore the beauty of Curaçao, a blend of Dutch charm, Caribbean flair and Spanish heritage. Indulge in a culture, cuisine and lifestyle like no other. Home to golden beaches and crystal blue seas, it captivates visitors with hidden coves and intriguing underwater sites. Beautiful year-round weather and a sunny climate make for a perfect escape any time of year!

Our pick

Sunscape Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino
This upscale resort has everything you need for family entertainment. It offers one of the largest and most visited casinos on the island, an in-house Dive Center, the Explorer’s Club for Kids and the Core Zone Teens Club. You can enhance your fun with a day trip to the National Underwater Park facing the resort or a trip to Willemstad, thanks to the resort’s complimentary shuttle service for guests.

28 Mar

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Jammin’ Jamaica

March 28, 2018 | By |

Welcome to Jamaica, “the Home of All Right.” With so much to see in Montego Bay, you won’t know where to start! Take a stroll along the resort-lined beaches overlooking the beautiful bay. Set out to discover all that nature has to offer including plantations, verdant mountains and trickling waterfalls. And don’t forget to visit downtown Mo’ Bay for fine dining and the world-renowned reggae-splashed culture!

Resorts

Our pick

Sunscape Splash Montego Bay
Welcome to a child’s dream getaway! Youngsters can play all day at the Pirate’s Paradise Waterpark featuring a pirate ship and fort, 40-foot plank bridge, lazy river and two waterslides. That’s not all! The resort is surrounded by Montego Bay Marine Park, a fully underwater national park with snorkelling and protected swimming areas. Who are we kidding? This is fun for everyone!

28 Mar

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Dazzling Dominican Republic

March 28, 2018 | By |

There’s no better place for rest and relaxation in the Dominican Republic than Punta Cana, offering turquoise waters along a panoramic stretch of white-sand beaches that are perfect for a peaceful getaway, destination wedding or honeymoon. Action-packed Puerto Plata will thrill you with windsurfing and kite surfing, and its historic town is a delight to explore.

Resorts

Our pick

Sunscape Puerto Plata Dominican Republic
Set on the stunning Playa Dorada beach and in a tropical jungle, this resort is surrounded by a signature Robert Trent Jones 18-hole golf course. Kids get celebrity treatment at check-in with red carpet stairs, welcome treats and a resort passport. Take an excursion to the enchanting 27 Damajagua Waterfalls, the island of Cayo Arena or atop a mountain by cable car for stunning views of Puerto Plata.

28 Mar

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Magnificent Mexico

March 28, 2018 | By |

Discover Mexico’s gems. Ixtapa, a jewel along the Pacific coast, blends timeless charm with natural beauty, while Puerto Vallarta beckons with breathtaking views of the mountains and beaches around Banderas Bay. The inviting island of Cozumel boasts calm beaches, clear waters, natural beauty and historic sites. Or explore Cancun, the gateway to Mayan ruins and picturesque beaches, as well as an enticing and vibrant nightlife!

Resorts

Our pick

Sunscape Star Cancun
The newest addition to the Sunscape collection, this resort opens on December 1, 2018, with double the live entertainment, free WiFi, a surf pool and rooms and suites that all have an ocean view! With a Sun Club upgrade, guests 18 and over can enjoy the adults-only rooftop pool, while children spend their days at the Kids Explorer’s Club, and teens hang out at the Core Zone Teens Club.

28 Mar

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Unlimited Fun® for the kid in everyone

March 28, 2018 | By |

Get ready to experience Unlimited-Fun® with Sunscape Resorts & Spas, where everything is included! Enjoy 24-hour access to food and drinks with kid-friendly options, a plethora of daily land and water activities, live music, local entertainment, and everything you need for the perfect family getaway! Join the Sun Club for upgraded rooms in premium locations, special treats, private lounge access, and so much more!

16 Mar

By

Sun, Sand & Solo Travel

March 16, 2018 | By |

It may take two to tango, but solo is the way to go! You might usually picture honeymooning couples and smiling families jetting off on dreamy all-inclusive vacations, but the tides are turning in favour of solo vacationers looking for sunny escapes of their own making. Aside from being the only star in your envy-inducing beach pictures, here’s what we love about going solo in the sun.

Beach? Pool? Wherever!

Forget lengthy arguments about where you should spend the day– you’re the boss of this vacay. Whether you prefer lounging by the pool or catching waves on the beach, your main dilemma will be choosing which book or magazine to bring with you. The best part? No one will be checking their watch and taking you away from your towel to eat or sleep. This trip’s ticking away on your time!

We love the ocean-front option at Dreams Delight Playa Bonita Panama, a great pick for a singles vacation. Surrounded by lush greenery, its idyllic beach even welcomes baby sea turtles from July to December, so you might not always be totally solo! Of course, they also have a gorgeous infinity pool if that’s more your vibe.

Choose your own adventure

Although we’re just fine with lying about in the sun all day, one of the joys of solo travel is being able to get up and go when you choose to. Many all-inclusive resorts offer tons of activities to keep you busy from sun-up to sun-down.

At Secrets Aura Cozumel in Mexico, you can discover the wonders waiting for you under the sea. The resort houses a fully-equipped dive centre where professionals teach you the essentials before you dive off their private pier. With the second largest barrier reef in the world located near Cozumel’s shores, you’re bound to spot colourful coral and unique marine life. If you’re more comfortable on land, the resort can help you plan trips to nearby attractions – from Chichen Itza to Tulum!

Pamper yourself!

Sometimes, a solo trip is the best way to completely unwind. It pulls you away from your day-to-day and lets you focus on you. Why not take this time to really treat yourself?  We’re thinking total spa treatment in a tropical location. Yes, please!

From seaweed wraps to Swedish massages, the Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa in Dominican Republic knows how to pamper you. You can pick from spa packages that include facials, full-body treatments and so much more.  The serene setting and complimentary fresh juices will keep bringing you back until you need to fly home, completely rejuvenated.

What’s next

If you’ve set your sights on a solo vacation, make sure to keep an eye out for all-inclusive resorts that don’t charge a single supplement. What’s a single supplement, you ask? It’s a fee charged by many hotels to solo travellers booking a room alone. The resorts mentioned here usually waive this fee for travel between August and December, but make sure to double-check before you book!

Go your own way! 

27 Feb

By

Antigua’s Best Activities

February 27, 2018 | By |

Lover’s Rock Sunset Cruise

Set sail towards a one-of-a-kind experience aboard a catamaran and witness the most picturesque sunsets while at sea. Sip on cocktails and enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres while watching the sun go from shades of yellow to deep red. When you return to shore and head back home, you’ll be filled with unforgettable memories of one of the most relaxing and romantic tours you’ve ever been on.

Xtreme Circumnavigation

Hop on board a 45-ft. offshore racing boat for a day of exhilarating adventure that begins with a high-speed run through the islands and a swim with the southern rays. Stop for a buffet lunch on Green Island, cruise around Nelson’s Dockyard, and then enjoy some romantic time for two snorkelling at the Pillars of Hercules on a secluded beach at Rendezvous Bay.

Canopy and Kayaking Combo

Power through the heart of the rainforest in a cross-island adventure aboard a 4×4. You’ll zipline through tropical canopies and drive along the picturesque Southwest Coast to the South Coast Horizon Eco-Park. Share a kayak with your beloved to cross the mangroves to Cades Beach, home of Antigua’s largest coral reef, where you can dive into the waters to snorkel or relax on the beach and enjoy a local lunch.

Plan your visit to Sandals Grande Antigua!

27 Feb

By

What to do at Sandals Grande Antigua

February 27, 2018 | By |

Indulge in the romance

Indulge in unlimited fine dining, from island dishes to heart-warming Italian cuisine prepared by a global team of master chefs, or experience a romantic candlelit dinner on the beach, in the gardens or on your private terrace. Pamper yourselves at the prestigious Red Lane® Spa with a couple’s massage, relax in a private cabana by the pool or beach, and swing beneath a palm tree in a hanging love basket for two.

Say “I do” in Antigua

Let the wedding entourage team help you plan your big day with Sandals inspirations, offering you lookbooks filled with customizable ceremony and reception concepts to create your dream wedding. With a variety of ideas that you can pick and choose from, the possibilities are endless. Wedding planning is a breeze when your ceremony, reception, personal wedding planner, manicure for the bride, foot massage for the groom, and so much more are all included with a stay of three nights or more!

Your honeymoon escape

What better way to start a perfect marriage than with the world’s only 5-star Luxury Included® honeymoon at one of the most romantic resorts out there! Voted among the “Top All-Inclusive Resorts for Honeymoons” by Brides Magazine in 2017, this resort offers a welcome glass of sparkling wine, a one-night romantic turndown service, a one-morning breakfast-in-bed service, and so much more for the happy newlyweds!

Plan your visit to Sandals Grande Antigua!

27 Feb

By

Staying at Sandals Grande Antigua

February 27, 2018 | By |

Cool Caribbean

You’ll find two romantic resorts in one with the most luxurious suites and amenities. The Caribbean Beachfront Village is a tropical oasis with palm trees that tower over garden pathways lined with pink plumeria and red ixora flowers. The low-rise island architecture of the exotic Rondoval suites and gingerbread-trimmed cottages are nestled within a seductive and serene ambience of manicured gardens.

Classy Mediterranean 

Discover a touch of Europe’s Mediterranean coast in the sophisticated and chic cosmopolitan world of the Mediterranean Oceanview Village. With beachfront villas and a poolside piazza, you’ll experience island-style hospitality with European-inspired amenities. Spend some time enjoying all that the St. Mark’s Square has to offer, including fashionable shops, an art gallery, and boutique-style eateries.

Your romantic sanctuary

Romance and luxury await you in the extravagance of the Love Nest Suites®, providing the ultimate in privacy and elegance with 24-hour room and butler service. If you fancy something out of the ordinary, this resort offers the unique Rondovals of Eden. Nestled in a garden oasis close to the ocean, these private cottage-style homes offer their own pools or easy access to the beach, along with the pampering of a personal butler.

Plan your visit to Sandals Grande Antigua!