04th

ITB Berlin


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Welcome to the world all under one roof at the ITB Berlin in 2016, a leading travel trade show of global proportion… where representatives from more than 180 countries will be presenting to an international audience.  This event brings together innovators and entrepreneurs; from countries, cities, regions, tour operators, travel agencies, online booking portals, hotels and much more.  All, with a wealth of expertise and experience to trade in the latest products and services available in the travel and tourism industry.  It´s the perfect time to visit Berlin and experience all it has to offer, if that list wasn´t enough! In a city as culturally and historically rich as Berlin you might need some extra time to explore. Secure your stay and book a hotel with Hotelopia, and be sure to enjoy all on offer at this unique event.

Friday 4 March 2016 13:39 | Published by Hotelopiauk | Category: General Tourism,Hotelopia News,Interesting Stuff,Travel News,events
10th

Look What I Brought Back: The World’s Strangest Souvenirs


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Forget snow globes and key rings, if you really want to make an impression with your family and friends, try one of these.

We have scoured the globe looking for the world’s most weird, disturbing and downright creepy souvenirs for your viewing pleasure.  Exit through the gift shop, and your worst nightmare may well be on the shelf!

Scorpion Chocolate – China

Woman eating a chocolate scorpion

Image source: Jurvetson

Someone once told me that you should never eat anything with more than four legs. I think they might have been onto something…

On the other hand, maybe I’m missing out? There are many people who say that these fried scorpions served covered in chocolate are delicious! Why not take one home in a bag for mum?

Animal Coffee – Indonesia

Animal digested coffee from Indonesia

Image source: Oliver Hallmann

Don’t freak out, okay?

This is the most expensive and best tasting coffee in the world, so the critics say.

But the catch is, it’s been pooed out by an animal!

Apparently, this just adds to the flavour…

This is all thanks to the Asian palm civets that munch on the beans, which are then altered by the acid in their stomach to create a coffee that is simply divine.

Cane Toad Purse – Australia

Souvenir purses made of toads

Image source: Ewan Roberts

These toads were first introduced to Australia to combat a beetle problem but instead ended up becoming a pest themselves. An unpopular animal, they have come under attack from various angles and are now made into these stunningly attractive handbags.

Take note readers, being a nuisance in Australia can literally make you an accessory to murder…

Get it…?

Gator Head – Florida, USA

Alligator head ornament

Image source: Jennifer Maderazo

Some people have a pretty strange idea of what looks attractive on the mantelpiece. Porcelain dogs and doilies are one thing, but an alligators head – a step too far, surely?

Well, the good people of Florida have these attractive adornments for the bargain price of $6. Why not put some potpourri inside, or use it as an oven mitt, perhaps?

Snake Wine – The Huaxi Night Market – Taipei, Taiwan

Snake Wine Souvenir

Image source: Jorge Lascar

How much would someone have to pay you to take a swig from this bottle? Across South East Asia, it is actually believed that this wine has rejuvenating, healing properties. Anyone who might like to try this will be pleased to know that the venom is neutralised by the ethanol, so there is no actual danger.

Well, why didn’t you say so, I hear you cry, hand me a glass!

Llama Fetuses – The Witches Market – La Paz, Bolivia

Llam fetuses weirdest souvenir ever

Image source: Revolution Ferg.

Many Bolivians believe that burying one of these under the foundations of a new house will protect your home as well as its contents.

Cheaper than a burglar alarm but not as cute as a guard dog, these dried llama fetuses can be found at the Witches Market in La Paz, Bolivia.

Elephant Dung – Natural History Museum – London, UK

Elephant Poo in a Box strange Souvenir from London

Image source: Jo Finley

Whoever thought this up is basically a genius – just goes to show that you can put anything, and I mean, ANYTHING in a box with a shiny label on it and people will buy it.

Why would you want to buy elephant poo? Erm… you can grow roses in it apparently.

Never heard of soil?

A University Degree – Khao San Road – Bangkok, Thailand

Fake degree from Thailand holiday

Image source: Honey Bee

Commonly known as the University of Khao San, this road in Thailand’s capital is the place where you can buy a degree like pick and mix in a sweet shop. Choose your university, choose your subject and there you have it!

Why spend 3 years getting a degree when you can spend three minutes? You’ll just have to hope that no one ever asks you questions about astrophysics or palaeontology.

Bezoar (Gut Stone) – India

Bezoar - a strange souvenir from India

Image source: I Love Butter

Before you pick up a bezour and start giving it a good fondle, read the label!

Coveted by many throughout the Middle East and India, these ‘stones’ are thought to possess healing properties…

And their origin? Oh, they’re just extracted from the stomachs and gall bladders of goats.

Calling all Intrepid Travellers! What’s the Strangest Souvenir You’ve Ever Seen?

We are searching for the tenth most bizarre souvenir. Do you have the answer? If you can top this lot, we’ll be very impressed!

Let us know by leaving a comment, before it’s too late.

Author Gavin Harvey has a passion for travel and this year he’s busy planning his next trip around the world. You can catch up with all of his latest adventures by following him on Twitter.

Monday 10 September 2012 16:11 | Published by Hotelopiauk | Category: Interesting Stuff
08th

Egypt, enjoy history…With the sun!


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Egypt was a major player in the Arab spring. A constitutional referendum is scheduled for March, and new elections will follow. Despite this instability, the country is very safe for tourists and it is an act of support for their economies to come to visit in the upcoming months. Because tourism is a mainstay of this country. it’s no coincidence that millions of foreigners come to visit every year. the history of civilization can be discovered in this country. are you ready for a lot of culture, beautiful scenery, the finest cuisine and all under a perfect blue sky?
 
Who says Egypt says Pyramids. These monuments dating from the era of the pharaohs are evidence of the richness of the culture that invented the hieroglyph. A must-do for any trip to Egypt, they are often accompanied by a museum housing some of the objects found in tombs hidden inside these monuments. The finest and largest pyramids in size are found in Giza. A real life experience is to behold these monuments built only on arm strength and are still magnificent after thousands of years.

Continue Reading…

Tuesday 8 November 2011 15:00 | Published by | Category: General Tourism,Interesting Stuff
28th

Christmas in the sun!


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It’s cold! The summer holidays are already a distant memory and winter is coming so fast that we begin to dream of sun, beach, tanning…In short, pleasures we will not see for a long time! No, do not despair, there may be a solution … spend Christmas in the sun!

That’s easy to say, but some destinations offer very reasonable prices of airline tickets and Hotelopia guarantees the best price for hotels. The last remaining question: where to go?

Many options are available. Why not in Martinique and 26 degrees in December? With these fine sandy beaches, lush nature, the smile of its people, its sweet rum … You will forget very quickly the cold at home!

Continue Reading…

Friday 28 October 2011 15:00 | Published by | Category: General Tourism,Interesting Stuff
26th

Paris, like in the movies.


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People who have been to Paris, know how magical the city is. Those who have never been also know thanks to the magic of cinema! Indeed, the French capital has for decades been one giant movie set that hosted many films which became international success.

Have you seen Amelie? This film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet is set at the Montmartre of the 90’s. An idyllic Paris, without paintings on the walls, clean streets, and all the actors and extras are French, as the world imagines French people to be! A short walk around the Sacré-Coeur will make you rediscover this special atmosphere.

Let’s step back in time and go to Versailles, location of Marie Antoinette, amongst others movies. Like in the film, imagine yourself as a member of the royal court, living life in a castle. Strolling through the gardens with countless fountains or visiting the many rooms of the castle, you will find the atmosphere mirrors the era of the movie by Sofia Coppola.

The streets of Paris are full of mythical places of cinema. Pigalle and the famous Moulin Rouge (Baz Luhrmann, 2001), The Eiffel Tower has seen so many shootings (A view to Kill - James Bond, Rush Hour 3), the Palais du Louvre (Da Vinci Code, Belphegor), The Seine (Midnight in Paris, Jules and Jim)…

So become the actor or actress in your own movie and Book your Paris hotel with Hotelopia.

Wednesday 26 October 2011 15:00 | Published by | Category: General Tourism,Interesting Stuff
24th

The home of the new Rugby World Cup champions awaits you!


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The New-Zealand yesterday had a new team to be proud of. This country consisting of two main islands are finally world champion again of their national sport- Rugby! But do not just focus on the ferocity of their players during the famous Haka, the people of New Zealand are known for their hospitality. And their country famed for its beauty! Those who saw The Lord of the Rings Trilogy will remember the magnificent scenery, breathtaking mountains and plains. Discover while in New-Zealand, let’s try to help you organize your trip!

The region of Rotorua will impress you with its volcanoes and incredible scenery. Hikers of all levels will delight in this region.

From Christchurch, you can rent a small van and take a ride in these unique landscapes. Karamea, Abel Tasman, Arthur Pass… Another great opportunity for a short stay of several days.

Continue Reading…

Monday 24 October 2011 15:00 | Published by | Category: General Tourism,Interesting Stuff
17th

A weekend to Saffron’s celebration in Toledo


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No idea what to do on the last weekend of October? You want to aerate your mind and enjoy a gastronomic and cultural moment in a magical place filled with history? I can assure you, you’re on the right blog!

  For this early fall weekend, we offer a celebration established in 1963, the Feast of the Rose Safran in Consuegra in Toledo province. This village, popularized by the famous hunter windmills, Don Quixote sees thousands of spectators gathering to celebrate the regional product.

 

The two main activities this weekend are “Molienda del Paz y del Amor” and the celebration of Safran. For the first, which starts in the early afternoon, requires participants to ride in the mountains where there are many mills baptized with names from the novel by Cervantes. Bags of wheat from all parts of Spain are then poured into the hopper by the Dulcinea of the year (prettiest girl in the region) to be traditionally milled. After this act is accomplished, every participant heads down to the village with their little bag of flour to attend the festivities.

 

The rest of the weekend is full of activities, folk festival, food festival of traditional cuisine of the region, contest of picking the rose of saffron, cultural activities and other sports.

So it’s a complete weekend in this beautiful region of Spain that awaits you. Do you have a better plan?

Book now your hotel in Toledo.

Monday 17 October 2011 15:00 | Published by | Category: General Tourism,Hotelopia Travel Guides,Interesting Stuff,New Destinations,Travel News,events
12th

A night in Prague’s underground


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The beauty of Prague has not to be proved and that is why more than 2 million visitors come to visit every year. This influx is felt everywhere you go. Museums, restaurants, bars, clubs, it is rare to feel really in contact with the Prague. Hence the interest to give you some not so known addresses of the general public that will make you spend a non-standard time in this city of a thousand towers and discoveries. Prague underground!

The name “Prague underground” comes originally from a movement fighting against conformity, conventions and consumerism in the 60-70’s during the communist era. Music and literature were the two major ways of expressions of this movement. This historical detail in order you to understand that this city has a real culture of alternative movements and an intense and unbridled cultural life.

To start this special night, let’s eat. For this, the Alchymist restaurant is THE place to go. In the late 16th century, eccentric Emperor Rudolph II brought from all over Europe more than 200 alchemists and charlatans with the objective that they find the formula to turn any metal into gold. This formula as everyone knows was found and The Alchymist was inspired to make each aliment a delicious food to eat. The service is as exceptional as the dishes!

Following this guarantee unforgettable experience, go to the Chapeau Rouge. In this 3-stairs bar picturesque and timeless you can drink excellent beers and enjoy lives of groups as well as DJs. Very good evening in perspective.

Continue Reading…

Wednesday 12 October 2011 11:00 | Published by | Category: Interesting Stuff
06th

Canals, Glamor and a lot of films in Venice


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In february Venice is full of people dressed up for the carnival, in september the canals are full of vaporetos filled with directors and movie stars. Until the 10th of september it takes place the Mostra of Venice, one of the top film festivals. Every year in the Palazzo del Cinema, the jury gives the Golden Lion to the best movie, the Silver Lion to the best director and Copa Volpi to the best actor and actress.

Last year, the Golden Lion went to Somewhere directed by Sofia Coppola and the Silver Lion to Alex de la Iglesia as the director of A sad trumpet ballad.

This year among the 22 films in competition one of the most awaited films is The Ides of March directed by George Cloony based on the broadway play Farragut North written by Beau Willimon and loosely based on the 2004 Democratic primary campaign of Howard Dean. Another awaited film is Carnage directed by Roman Polanski based on the play written by Yasmina Reza.

Who will get the Golden Lion this year?

Book now your hotel in Venice at Hotelopia.

Tuesday 6 September 2011 19:20 | Published by | Category: General Tourism,Interesting Stuff
29th

Luxury shopping at an affordable price


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A few years ago, very chic villages started to appear in the surroundings of the europeans greatest cities. In fact, they are malls, but they are very different from the classic ones, because you will only find luxury brands such as Aquascutum, Burberry or Dior and some other more “affordable” brands like Tommy Hilfiguer, Dockers or Levi’s. But these are outlet stores where you will only find the past collections with an up to 60% discount all the year. It’s more or less like if they were in sale all the time but having also further discounts on sale-time so you get discounts on the discounted price, making luxury affordable!

The only con of these villages is that they are not exactly very near from the city centers. In London the village is called Bicester Village and as it is of course near Bicester at 65 miles from the heart of London.

In Paris it is called “La Vallée Village” and it is in Marne-la-Vallée just by Disneyland at 23 miles from Paris and it is the same for the other villages through Europe (Milan, Madrid, Barcelona etc.). So if you want to profit discounted prices in your favorite luxury brands you should prepare your shopping trip to the village, most of them have buses than can drive you from the city center to the doors of the village.

You will find the list and all the details of Outlet Villages here.

Monday 29 August 2011 15:26 | Published by | Category: General Tourism,Interesting Stuff

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