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Turkey – A “Crossroads of Civilization”

Posted by: Prestige Discoveries

Turkey is a paradise of sun, sea, mountains, and lakes that offers the vacationer a complete change from the stress and routine of everyday life.

Images of Turkey recall bazaar stalls filled with vibrant silks and flashy jewels or perhaps sumptuous palaces filled with veiled belly dancers, accompanied by insistent, hypnotic music. A treasure house of history, culture and food (Turkish cuisine is considered one of the world’s greatest), Turkey offers much – much more.

Turkey is characterised by a central plateau surrounded by chains of mountains on the north, west and south and a rugged mountainous region in the east with an average elevation of 1050 metres. In the west, the mountains descend gently towards the sea.

Mount Ararat is the country’s highest mountain peak at 5165 metres or 16,946 feet is, and is situated in the north east. It is believed to have been the resting place for Noah’s Ark.

Pamukkale Calcium Terraces

Due to Turkey’s diverse geography, one can experience four different climates in any one day. The rectangular shaped country is surrounded on three sides by three different seas. Its shores are laced with beaches, bays, coves, ports, islands and peninsulas. The summers are long, lasting as long as eight months in some areas.

Turkey is also blessed with majestic mountains and valleys, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and grottoes perfect for winter and summer tourism and sports of all kinds.

The country is rich with hot springs, healing waters and healing muds, which come highly recommended by the medical authorities as a remedy for many diseases.

Turkey, a country that embraces two continents, is a land of historic treasures from 13 successive civilizations spanning thousands of years. The Western part of the country’s largest city, Istanbul, is in Europe, with the Eastern part in Asia, both divided by the magnificent watercourse known as the Bosphorus.

With a glorious past as the intellectual, cultural and political center of the world, Turkey remains today an extraordinary and cosmopolitan country. We begin and end in Istanbul, the former capital of three successive empires: Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman, where last year the city enjoyed the role of 2010 European Capital of Culture.

When you can combine reasonable prices with great things to eat and experiences beyond compare you have a fantastic recipe for a truly unique holiday and journey of a lifetime.


Some things you will find in Turkey:

–          Over 300 natural and 130 artificial lakes

–          Mountain ranges

–          Extinct volcanoes

–          Plateaux with cracks & crevices leading to valleys and plains

–          Three sides of the country surrounded by warm seas

–          More than 10,000 species of plants – 20% of which are found only in Turkey

–          Over 114 species of mammals

–          400 species of indigenous or migratory birds – some of which are extinct in Europe such as the black vulture (Turkey is an important stopover for birds migrating between Africa, Asia and Europe)

Tunisia – The “Pearl of North Africa”

Posted by: Prestige Discoveries

Tunisia has a lot to offer for clients looking to venture into a more unusual destination and yet still feel safe and that some comforts of home are available. Visitors will be surprised at how western the dress is and that English is widely spoken. The food is excellent and there is a great variety of both local and western cuisine to sample at most restaurants and hotels.

Tourists will enjoy the mix of historical ruins (there is a wonderful Roman coliseum at El Djem about 3 hours south of Tunis), the quaintness of the oasis towns and the uniqueness of the Berber homes. For a unique activity from a cultural standpoint a visit to Eden Palm in Tozeur, is a wonderful experience. Eden Palm is a complex containing, a museum devoted to the production of dates, palm use, along with a working palm grove.  Having the ability to learn more about date production at Eden Pam will be an eye opener.

Most westerners will find it difficult to believe there are over 150 varieties of dates. There are adventure activities available such as “camel-riding” and the opportunity to learn about the Berber people and how they have adapted to live in a harsher climate. Many of the finer hotels offer spa programs with some unique treatments which are also perfect for a relaxing getaway or couples retreat. The fact that there is a mix of experiences available is very appealing – spend a couple of days relaxing on a Mediterranean beach, visit some traditional and Roman historical sites, cool off in an oasis and get out into the Sahara.

For shoppers there is quite a variety of goods in the local markets, including local specialties such as pottery, leather goods and carpets. Tunisia is a wonderful cultural experience waiting to be discovered.


The Palmiet Valley Estate

Posted by: Prestige Discoveries

The Palmiet Valley Estate is a luxury 5 star boutique hotel situated on a 300-year old working wine farm in the Cape Winelands at the tip of Africa. With a backdrop of the beautiful Drakensburg Mountains, and a multitude of vines in the front, guests will be enchanted by this lovely hotel located in Paarl, the centre of the wine region.

Palmiet Valley Estate

Visitors enjoy peace and tranquility, the benefits of pampering touches, thoughtful service and access to many relaxation benefits including massage, lazy walks, swimming, a chance to catch up on some reading and the enjoyment of a fine glass of wine.  With many repeat customers, this Estate has been pleasing visitors for a long time.

Part of the experience lies in gastronomy where guests have the option of dining al fresco under the African sky or in the candlelit 18th century dining room. Dining at Palmiet is a sensory experience with many ingredients produced locally or directly on the estate.  Delicious home-made jams with fresh baked bread start the day and the Cape Malay influenced menu uses local fresh ingredients from the estate’s own herb garden or local game and fish. Meals are accompanied by a selection of regional wines, many of which are produced by the Estate. In addition to the vines, the Estate was also the first producer of guava fruit and has recently implemented an olive grove project.

At the intersection of comfort and history, rooms in this breathtaking restored homestead are all uniquely appointed with rare pieces from the owner’s collection, such as an antique safe or a 1920’s celebrity’s suitcase. Each air-conditioned bedroom has an en-suite bathroom in various styles from Victorian to Turkish, and is loaded with special touches such as oversized bathrobes and heated mattresses for those cold nights that will leave you feeling pampered every minute of your stay.