Monthly Archives: September 2016

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Roman mosaics and 2nd-3rd century Villa Urbana in Risan

The rapid Romanisation of Risinium began after the subjugation of the Illyrians under King Gentius in 167 BC. Risinium became a typical Roman town, surrounded by walls, with a town centre – a forum in the Carina fields. Ancient tombs – necropolises – were located outside the walls, and in the southern side of town there was a residential area containing the villas of rich Risan landowners and traders. The remains of the eastern portion of a Roman urban villa were found in the early 20th century. Between 1956 and 1962 the mosaic flooring in four rooms of the villa was fully restored and conserved, and the first protective awning built. Another mosaic floor was discovered in 1972, on which conservation work was also done and a roof added.

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Partial restoration and conservation of all the walls of the villa around the central yard – the atrium – was also carried out.
Roman mosaics decorate the floors of four of the five rooms in the eastern part of the villa, as well as two rooms in the western part. There are only traces of mosaic flooring in the remaining rooms. The technique used was one of large cubes of local grey and black stone, with motifs of the labrys – a double-bitted battleaxe originating from Crete. In the eastern wing of the villa a mosaic was laid displaying plant motifs, using stone cubes of varying size and colour (red, yellow, green, blue, black and white). In the middle there is a circular medallion depicting the Greek god of sleep, Hypnos, in the form of a winged boy leaning on the head of the bed. It is likely that this room was the bedroom of the villa’s owner – the dormitorium. Geometric chessboard-like patterns decorate the mosaic floor of the southern room, and beyond that there are a further two rooms with mosaics featuring geometric motifs and stylised sea life (cuttlefish and squid). It is thought that one of the corner rooms that do not have mosaics was the dining room (triclinium), with typical Roman couches.

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Montenegro Wine Tour

If you love wine and want a unique holiday  then you should not miss going on one of  the wine tours on offer in Montenegro.
It is not widely known that Montenegro, apart from its beautiful seaside and mountain villages, also boasts regions that are famed for producing exceptional and world-renowned wine varieties. France, Italy and Portugal have for many years been building credibility as top tourist destinations thanks to wine tourism. The many scenic regions of our country are perfect for enjoying this type of tourism. The mild Mediterranean climate, the composition of the soil and the favorable location provide ideal conditions for cultivating vineyards and growing grapes. The best-known grape-growing areas are Crmnica, Nahije, Komani, Bjelopavlici and other wine-producing villages around Lake Skadar. Montenegrin wines are produced from various types of grape, including Krstač, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Vranac.

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In 2010 and 2011, signage was put up and the “Wine Roads” of Montenegro were fully marked out. A tourist map of the wine tours can be picked up in local tourist offices in any town in Montenegro, at hotel receptions and in travel agencies. If you like an active holiday, the Wine Roads offer you a chance to visit wine cellars, taste wines, walk through the vineyards and even take part in grape-picking. Wine can be tested, tried and purchased in wine cellars, while some wineries also offer accommodation, so visitors can get the complete experience, learn about the history of the winery, see wine being made and of course enjoy the finished product.

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Life is Better on an Island

The post below was originally written by Mila Bozic and published on Sep 10, 2016.

Don’t we all dream of heading off to a new, scenic location where we can make the best use of the remaining summer sun and immerse ourselves in myriad shades of blue? The end of August is the perfect time to explore. The summer is still warm, but with an ever-present breeze, and sometimes the waves are just asking to be followed. We boarded the boat at the city port in Budva and set off on an adventure. The destination: the largest island in this part of the archipelago, the island of Sveti Nikola (St. Nicholas). The locals also call it Školj, or “shell”, because its shape resembles that of a seashell. And, as we all know, every shell has a story…

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The fascinating cliffs running around the Old City led us to the famous cave, in which the deep blue waters lured us to dive in and explore the underwater world.

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One kilometer (0.6 miles) separated us from a dreamy, tropical destination and complete tranquility. The journey around the island, getting to know its past, and the deposits of sedimentary rock, reminded us of how short and fleeting the human lifespan is. The high cliffs with their colorful green vegetation descended precipitously, deep into the sea, and in between them narrow layers of white pebbles could be glimpsed in the shadows of the rocks here and there.

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We discovered these small, natural beaches from the sea, and they enticed us with their perfection. The entire island of Sveti Nikola is two kilometers (one mile) long, and the highest cliff on the island stands at 121 meters (397 feet).

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The island was named for the Church of St. Nicholas, which dates back to at least the sixteenth century. Three large beaches with beach bars are popular, with many small beaches around the island only accessible from the sea. We decided to swim to one and found the combination of the dramatic rocks and the peculiar settlement surrounded with lush vegetation, as well as the crystalline, turquoise waters, unusually appealing, and we decided we wanted to return as soon as possible.

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Hipmunk Hotels: Affordable luxury hotels in West Hollywood, Pismo Beach and Dana Point

The post below was originally published by Laura Lynch on Savoredjourneys.

This article is part of a series of posts I am writing for Hipmunk, called Destination Unknown — an exploration of lesser-known cities and towns around the world. Check out my other articles in this series.

If you’re seen popular towns like West Hollywood and Pismo Beach on television shows, you already know how swanky and luxurious these areas are. As a traveler, you have many options for affordable luxury hotels in the midst of some of the best shopping, dining, nightlife and beaches the west has to offer. You can’t go wrong with a stay at any of these affordable luxury hotels right in the heart of the action.

West Hollywood, California

Hollywood, California

Hollywood, California (Photo: CC0 Public Domain/Pixabay)

Consider staying in West Hollywood for affordable luxury. It’s right in the heart of Los Angeles, with swanky bars, restaurants, and nightlife, right outside your door. This area is home to high-end shopping outlets and celebrity restaurants. You might even spot a celebrity, if you’re lucky. The Andaz West Hollywood Hotel is in the center of the action on Sunset Strip. It has a rooftop pool and is within walking distance of some of the hottest nightclubs on the strip.

Pismo Beach, California

Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach (Photo: Laura Lynch/SavoredJourneys)

As far as beach locations go, you can’t do any better than the small, quaint town of Pismo Beach, located just a few minutes from the college town of San Luis Obispo. The pristine beach stretches for miles, which is perfect for a long stroll in the sand or a day of relaxing in the sun. You’ll also find incredible views of the Pacific Ocean, dramatic sunsets, and dozens of wine tasting rooms nearby. There are many beachfront hotels to choose from, and most come with incredible views.

Dana Point, California

Dana Point, California

Dana Point, California (Photo: CC0 Public Domain/Pixabay)

Another great beachfront town is Dana Point, in southern California. Dana Point is a surfer and paddleboarder’s paradise, with over seven miles of coastline to enjoy and great weather year round. If you’re not out participating in water sports, hiking, or admiring the views, you can relax at one of Dana Point’s extraordinary hotels, like the St. Regis Monarch Beach or the Laguna Cliffs Marriott, both of which have a high standard of luxury.

Fullerton, California

Disneyland, California

Disneyland, California (Photo: CC0 Public Domain/Pixabay)

When visiting Disneyland or one of Northern Orange County’s other amusement parks, Fullerton offers affordable luxury accommodations in a quiet and charming historic town. Three of the Disney hotels are in Fullerton – Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier, and Disney’s Grand California Hotel and Spa. All of these luxury options have a pool and give early access to the park.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico (Photo: CC0 Public Domain/Pixabay)

While California is a great location for affordable luxury stays, don’t underestimate other trendy places in the West, like Santa Fe. With a rich Native American history and evidence of early Spanish settlers still visible in the architecture, Santa Fe has a distinct appeal. There is a vibrant art and music scene, as well. Stay at the Hacienda & Spa at Hotel Santa Fe or La Fonda on the Plaza for an affordable luxury stay with many great amenities and a truly local feel.

 

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Hipmunk Hotels: Cheap Hotels in Ithaca, Gaithersburg, Dover and more

The post below was originally published by Lori on Travel.prwave on June 13, 2016.

The U.S. has many wonderful cities in the Northeast that should be visited at least once in a lifetime. They offer several entertainment options, as well as educational attractions. Here are five great places to discover, whether you travel for business purposes or you take a leisure trip: Ithaca, New Haven, Dover, Braintree, and Gaithersburg.

Ithaca, New York

Ithaca is one of those lesser-known destinations that are definitely worth (at least) one visit. You’ll find here a vibrant tourist trade, but make sure you don’t miss the Ithaca Waterfalls: 150 waterfalls within 10 square miles, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (a leader in the study and conservation of birds), and the wineries and breweries. For cheap accommodation in Ithaca, take into consideration The Ramada Ithaca Hotel and the Best Western University Inn. Meadow Court Inn and Rodeway Inn & Suites are also worth a look as the most affordable hotels in the area.

Ithaca, New York

Ithaca, New York

Photo by Sam Pelts via Trover.com

New Haven, Connecticut

Famous for being the hometown of the Yale University, New Haven is a lovely city in Connecticut that offers relaxation and educational attractions. You won’t want to miss the Knights of Columbus Museum, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Peabody Museum of Natural History, walks in the Green, the East Rock Park, and the Lighthouse Point Park. As you can see, there are plenty of things to see and do here. Choose La Quinta Inn & Suites New Haven, Days Inn-New Haven, or Super 8 West Haven if you’re looking for cheap hotels in New Haven.

New Haven, Connecticut

New Haven, Connecticut

Photo by Courtney via Trover.com

Dover, Delaware

If you want to experience the best of Kent County, Delaware, add Dover to your travel list. The city features a multitude of attractions – museums, parks, beautiful mansions, festivals, etc. – and lures many tourists each year. The Red Roof Inn & Suites Dover, the Days Inn Dover Downtown, and Dover Downs Hotel & Casino are three cheap hotels in Dover.

Braintree, Massachusetts

As the birthplace of John Quincy Adams (the sixth President of the United States), William Rosenberg (founder of Dunkin’ Donuts), and of many other people – sport players, artists, and more – Braintree, Massachusetts has several attractions that will make your stay here pleasant. You can visit the Blue Hills Reservation, go to the South Shore Plaza, see General Sylvanus Thayer’s birthplace, admire the Monatiquot River, and more. For a stay that won’t break your bank, choose some affordable hotels in Braintree such as the Comfort Inn Boston-Rockland or theBest Western Rockland.

Gaithersburg, Maryland

Easily accessible by train, car, or plane, Gaithersburg, Maryland, is a place that offers various activities that are ideal for all types of travelers. The museum lovers will like the RIO Washingtonian Center and the Gaithersburg Community Museum, while those who want entertainment and fun activities can try the Gaithersburg Miniature Golf or the Bowl America Gaithersburg. Hilton Washington, DC North/Gaithersburg and the Hampton Inn & Suites Washington, DC North/Gaithersburg are all great options for affordable lodging in the area.

This article is part of the Hipmunk campaign

 

Krašići and a La Dolce Vita vacation

Mountains are invigorating, lakes are romantic, and towns are rich with fascinating artistic and historical heritage, but the place where we all really want to go for our summer vacations is the seaside. The choice of destination for a summer vacation will primarily be based on the quality of the beaches and the sea. Krašići in the Bay of Kotor is one place that fits right in with this idea of a perfect break.

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Situated just 12 km from the Tivat airport, in a small bay of the same name, nestled among the foothills, Krašići is a popular summer destination and holiday resort for both local inhabitants and international visitors alike. They are all in search of their own La dolce vita vacation. We might also call it a sweet escape from reality – one of those rare few charming, dream-like places that offer a peaceful haven and a relaxing, natural ambiance during the hot summer months.

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Since the Krašići coastline is only three kilometers long, and relatively easy to get around on foot, a bicycle or vehicle, you will have a chance to note the differences between Old and New

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Krašići. Along the shore in Old Krašići, you can see the authentic old stone houses, formerly primarily fisherman’s houses, while in the new part, luxurious, modern buildings predominate.

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The view from Krašići is unique due to the Bay of Tivat being the largest of the inlets within the Bay of Kotor, but this is not the only thing that makes it special. It offers the most beautiful view of the Krtoli (or Priestly) Archipelago with its three islands (Miholjska Prevlaka, also known as the Island of Flowers, Sveti Marko – St. Mark’s island, and Gospa od Milosti – Our Lady of Mercy island), which no other town can boast. These islands are jewels of the Mediterranean, abounding in history and lore, especially Miholjska Prevlaka, which was the seat of the first Zeta episcopacy (founded in 1219 by St. Sava).

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The sea water in this bay is always warmer than in other swimming spots because it is very shallow, especially in the direction of Solila.  The atmosphere of Krašići is distilled in its beaches, beach bars and on the terraces of its restaurants. The summer heat is best conquered with a cocktail, a fresh aroma rising from a dinner plate, or a healthy dose of ice cream. If you plan to visit the Krašići hinterland, a more rural vibe is available through walking tours and an excursion called the Tastes and Aromas of Luštica, during which you can delight in a panoramic view of the entire bay from the top of a hill. If you prefer to remain on the coast, an excursion to two large beaches on the open sea—Plavi Horizonti and Žanjice—is a must, just a ten minute drive from Krašići.

The Beach at Krašići

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