TakeTours.com Cyber Monday Sale – featuring tours from as low as $1!

Biggest Discount of the Year! – Join us for Cyber Monday Sale

TakeTours.com Cyber Monday Sale - featuring tours from as low as $1!
Cyber Monday at TakeTours

Cyber Monday is the biggest day for online shopping of the year. Mimicking retail stores, ecommerce has improved on the American tradition of Black Friday. No need for carrying bags or getting stuck in traffic, the best deals can be found right in the comfort of your own home. At TakeTours.com, we have the biggest discounts of the year for this special day sale (November 26th). In fact, tours are starting at just $1!

Opening at midnight on Monday November 26th, dozens of tours will be discounted to the lowest prices we’ve ever advertised! No matter where you are, or where you want to go, TakeTours has a Cyber Monday deal just for you. Shop from the comfort of your home and pick the deal that works for you and your family

 

Japan And South Korea: Two New Destinations To Explore

Explore Japan And South Korea. Two Beautiful Destinations Not To Be Overlooked.

Mount Fuji and Cherry Tree
Mount Fuji and Cherry Tree

Japan and South Korea are two countries you need to witness, breath, experience and feel for yourself. From high speed trains with bento boxes to feast along the way, intriguing fire rituals at Shinto shrines, to bathing in rejuvenating hot springs after a long day of activities. Japan and South Korea will have you coming back for more!

TakeTours is excited to provide customers with more destination options in Asia. The first tours have been released in partnership with leading local tour operators in Japan and South Korea. We expect to release more tours and vacation packages across Asia in the upcoming months as we establish partnerships with the major tour companies in the region. It’s exciting to expand tour services in these two countries, giving customers more options to travel!

Himeji, Japan – April 3, 2016: Himeji Castle with beautiful cherry blossom in spring season. It is regarded as the finest surviving example of prototypical Japanese castle architecture

Japan is known for being a sovereign island country in East Asia. It is often called the “Land of the Rising Sun”. Korea is the perfect balance between modern and traditional. It’s also known for some delicious food like their famous BBQ and exotic kimchi. Every year, these two beautiful countries host millions of tourists looking to explore and learn the countries’ fascinating history.

Korean style architecture at Bukchon Hanok Village
Traditional Korean style architecture at Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul, South Korea.

FIT (Free Independent Travelers) are becoming an increasingly popular and affordable option compared to customized/private tours or personal tours. We are excited to help travelers easily search, compare and book tour tickets online as they arrange their East Asia trips.

Crowds pass below colorful signs in Akihabara
Tokyo, Japan – August 1, 2015: Crowds pass below colorful signs in Akihabara. The well known electronics district specializes in the sales of video games, anime, manga, and computer goods.

Our partners offer sightseeing tours and vacation packages from one day to multi-days. Tours in Japan and Korea can be taken from bustling Tokyo and zen-like Kyoto to playful Osaka and connect to popular destinations like Nara, Todaiji, Nagoya, Gangwondo and more.

Tour packages  include transportation and hotel accommodations for the duration of the trip. Don’t let us tell you everything. Start planning your Asia getaway today and see it first hand.

Top Reasons Why You Can’t Miss Beautiful Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon Should Be On Your Travel List Of  Beautiful Places To Visit This Year 

Top Reasons Why You Can't Miss Beautiful Antelope Canyon

For those nature lovers and adventure seekers, Antelope Canyon is one of the most spectacular, awe-inspiring sculptures set in stone of the Lake Powell area. This national park is also known as “Corkscrew Canyon”, one of the few slot canyons in the area and the most photographed destination in the world. Located on Navajo land near Page, Arizona, Antelope Canyon is the most mystifying place you could ever visit. Here are the top reasons why you should keep this beautiful destination on your travel list this year.

Continue reading “Top Reasons Why You Can’t Miss Beautiful Antelope Canyon”

Québec – Experience France in Canada

Planning a trip to Québec?  Montreal and Quebec city will have you saying oui oui in no time 

We went on vacation to Quebec in the middle of September, the perfect early Fall weather, the average temperature was about 59°F to 68°F. If you are a person who prefers lightweight carry-on, a trench coat with a cozy cashmere cardigan will be more than enough. Even though we have been told that there are a lot of French Speakers in Quebec, still we were very impressed that right after we crossed the border, all the street signs became in French. If you are planning to drive to Quebec, it’s very important that you require for international phone service before you leave if you don’t want to lose the direction in the middle of nowhere.

Beautiful Architecture in Quebec City
Beautiful Architecture

Montreal as the largest city in Quebec has a lot of unique spots for you to explore. The public transportation in Montreal is very convenient, both subway and bus aretourist friendly. Berri-UQAM is the main station to make transfers to different subway lines. If you are looking for hotels which are not surrounded by crowds but easy to commute, we recommend hotels located in Longueuil, which is a small city right next to Montreal, only two stops to Berri-UQAM by taking subway.

 

Subway Map in Montreal
Subway Map in Montreal

Mont Royal

Mont Royal is a hill located in Montreal downtown area, walkable distance from where those commercial streets are located. Montreal’s landscape is the plain, you will get an amazing view of the Montreal city from the Mont Royal observatory deck, which is free.

Mont Royal
Mont Royal
Observatory Deck
Observatory Deck

You can choose to either hike up to the top or take a bus to the observatory deck directly. The hiking difficulty numerical rating of this hill should be less than 50.

Notre-Dame Basilica

Notre-Dame Basilica is located in the historic site Old Montreal area. You can buy the admission at the entrance. The interior design is breathtaking with a long history behind it. The height of Notre-Dame Basilica’s ceiling is up to 33 meters, being decorated by real gold. The original color of the ceiling was in blue, but as time goes by, the color you are looking at by eyes could be a little bit greenish now. Notre-Dame Basilica as the first Gothic Revival style church in Canada, has been always comparing with Notre-Dame de Paris because the design of Notre-Dame was inspired by Notre-Dame de Paris.

Notre-Dame Basilica
Notre-Dame Basilica

Montreal Biodome

Montreal Biodome is anecosystem themed environmental museum located in Parc Jean-Drapeau island. You can get there by taking yellow line. It hosts a 360-degree screen showroom for you to watch environmental issue related documentaries and a lot of interactive hands-on exhibits for you to spend a great time with your families.

If you get a tight schedule, you can just enjoy the outside view of the museum and take some fun pictures with this huge ball shaped landmark.

Montreal Biodome
Montreal Biodome

Old Montreal

You may schedule your visit to Old Montreal with more flexibilities since you get a lot of things to explore and enjoy. The architectures in Old Montreal will make you feel you are walking on the streets in France. This area finds the perfect balance between history and commerce, tons of boutiques, galleries, restaurants, dessert shops in that area for you to spend a great time. One of the landmarks in Old Montreal is the La Grande Roue de Montréal, you will get an amazing view of the Old Montreal.

La Grande Roue de Montreal
La Grande Roue de Montreal

 

Must Eat in Montreal:

Schwartz’s Smoked Meat

If you have done some research about Montreal, you probably already read about this world-famous restaurant which is specialized in Jewish style smoked meat sandwich. This is the most delicious smoked meat we ever had in our life, totally not just a tourism place, a lot of locals stop by there for lunch as well. We ordered the signature dish which is the smoked meat sandwich served on bread with yellow mustard, you can order the meat without bread too. The flavor is rich but mild, not too salty, super juicy, the moment you have a bite, you’ll know why there is always a huge line in front. Even Celine Dion invested 3 million dollars to this historical deli which was founded back in 1928.

Schwartz’s Smoked Meat
Schwartz’s Smoked Meat

St-Viateur Bagel

It seems every place in Quebec has a long history, this famous bagel brand has over 60 years history and it’s a family owned and operated business. You may think bagels are more or less the same, the bagels at St-Viateur will definitely renovate your understanding of bagels. Before I visited this place, I am definitely not a big fan of bagels because most of them are just too dry and hard. However, St-Viateur always boil the doughs before they bake them, this makes the bagels taste so soft but also chewy.

St-Viateur Bagel
St-Viateur Bagel

Quebec City is one of the must-goes in Quebec. We arrived Quebec City on a rainy day, surprisingly the rain didn’t create a mess but set off the city in a fascinated way.

Rainy Day in Quebec City
Rainy Day in Quebec City

 

Old Quebec is the attraction which is worth of spending most of your time there by exploring every street and appreciating the amazing architectures from different angles. Old Quebec actually looks very different when it’s in the day and at night. Personally, we prefer the feeling of Old Quebec at night, we felt the happiness of Christmas in the air at night even though it was just in September.

Must-goes in Old Quebec:

Chateau Frontenac

Chateau Frontenac is the historic luxury hotel located in the center of Old Quebec. You will need to book the room months in advance since it’s extremely popular, every visitor to Old Quebec is dreaming about the hotel stay at Chateau Frontenac. The good part is that the whole lobby level is open to the public, even though you don’t have a room with them, you can always stop by and get anidea of how it looks like inside.

Chateau Frontenac Hotel
Chateau Frontenac Hotel

In the lobby, you will notice that there is a brass post box, weluckily got to know that there was a love story behind this postal box.  Several years ago, when the hotel was under maintenance, hotel staff found a post card that had been stuck between floors since World War II. The post card was written by a soldier who was off to the war and he sent this post card asking his lover to wait for him. The staff actually tried to find the recipient but they were not lucky unfortunately.

Lobby of the Chateau Frontenac Hotel
Lobby of the Chateau Frontenac Hotel

Fresque Des Quebecois

Fresque Des Quebecois is the most famous mural in Quebec City featuring the landmarks and figures of Quebec City’s history. In front of the mural, you can find the information about all the figures on the mural and the stories behind on them.

Fresque Des Quebecois
Fresque Des Quebecois

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Greece: A Trip of a Lifetime – Athens, Mykonos and Santorini

Mesmerizing Landscapes, Romantic Sunsets,  Crystal Clear Waters and Amazing Food. A trip of a lifetime to the Greek Islands

The Acropolis
The Acropolis
The Acropolis
View of The Acropolis from afar

I have always been in love with the ocean and the beautiful sunsets, specially in the Pacific coast. Growing up near the ocean one learns how to be appreciative and respectful of the seas.  I’ve heard and read many things about the history of Greece and that the islands display one of the most romantic sunsets in the world. I was invited by some dear friends to embark on a journey of nine days. I was so excited and humble to start this trip. Many people can only dream of visiting such beautiful place but I was one of the lucky ones about to experience this enchanted place.

My friends and I had in mind to visit the three most popular places in Greece: Athens, Mykonos and Santorini.  We planned the itinerary carefully in advanced, paying attention to every single detail so we wouldn’t miss a thing. We wanted to be sure our vacation was a trip of a lifetime.

Entrance to the Acropolis
Entrance to the Acropolis

Our Journey started from Newark, NY to Athens Greece in a 9 hour flight. Emirates Airlines does it best!

First Stop – Athens: The beginning of Europe, Rich in History and Temples

Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus

Athens is the perfect blend of antiquity and modernity, a tour around Athens transports you back 6,000 years. Blessed with a rich ancient and medieval history, the city features the Acropolis, the ancient agora as well as a few temples dedicated to gods of the past. You can also see the Temple of Olympian Zeus, is one of the most striking monuments to human vanity in the world.

Delicious Food and Rooftop Restaurants

@idotwright
Lucky to take a pic of Mr @idotwright

It is widely known that Greece is home to one of the most delightful cuisines in the world.  It is Characterized by ample portions of fresh seafood, sun-grown vegetables, tender meat, amazing yogurt and delicious house wine to accompany any meal. Greek cuisine deserves to be enjoyed and appreciated not only in Europe but worldwide. Depending on the area you find yourself in Greece, you can find many dining options.

Food is tasty and also very affordable. Skip the tourist traps and explore the city like a local. Ask around where to enjoy authentic food to people on the streets and they will be happy to direct you to the right place.

Second Stop – Mykonos:  Crystal Clear Water, Beautiful Architecture & Never Ending Parties

Center of town in Mykonos
Walking thru the alleys in Mykonos

After two nights in Athens, we set to depart to the island of Mykonos by ferry. It is so worth it and economical to travel by ferry. Not only do you save money, but you also get to see other beautiful islands that many times are overlooked.

Mykonos is straight out of a fairy tale book, surrounded by cycladic white houses, crystal clear waters and golden sands, so no matter what beach you choose to spend the day on, you know it’s going to look like paradise.

Sea Urchin
Delicious Sea Urchin

While you are in the center of town don’t forget to make a pit stop at one of the souvenirs shops to get a white tee with the Mykonos logo on it and if you are a foodie, dine at one of the outdoor seating restaurants near the wind mills. A picturesque photo or a selfie from this area is mandatory, and a taste of the sea urchin is highly recommended.

Jackie O'
Jackie O’

Party time is never ending in Mykonos and you can’t go wrong with beaches like Paradise and Super Paradise, where beach parties start from 4pm every day. And if you are looking for something out of the ordinary visit the memorable Jackie O’ where you can enjoy a good drag show.

Third Stop – Santorini: Romantic Destination and Best Sunset in the World

Amazing Views in Santorini
Amazing Views in Santorini

After a shot of espresso and a delicious breakfast to kill the hangover. I was on to my next stop. I was sad to say goodbye to Mykonos , but I was happy to continue with my journey to one of the most iconic places in the world. Anyone who has been there seems to come back filled with stories of this wonderful place.

The ferry ride was smooth; looking for a ride to the town of Fira wasn’t so bad. You could get a ride by van for only $10.

Beach made up of red and black in Santorini
Beach made up of red and black in Santorini

The van dropped us off at the door step of the hotels where we were staying. “Oh my,” I thought as I caught my first glimpse of our cute boutique hotel. Travelers could get amazing views from many hotels from any side of the island. I recommend booking a reservation at one of the boutique hotels on the opposite side of La Caldera. Rates are usually half than if you stayed at one of the hotels near la Caldera and not only that but these hotels also include a breakfast meant for the gods.  Nóstimo!

View of La Caldera from the road
View of La Caldera from the road

As soon as I got to my hotel, I contacted the ATV company to deliver a four wheeler to my hotel. I couldn’t wait to get on with the adventure on  this fascinating island.

From wineries, red-white and black sand beaches, amazing sunsets in Oia to nude beaches (known by locals only), Santorini has something for all.

View from the hotel window in Thira, Santorini
View from the hotel window in Thira, Santorini

 

I wasn’t such a big fan of the typical cliché “Love is in the air”. What does that even mean? You wouldn’t even know the meaning of these words until you travel to Santorini. Sitting by the ocean at a restaurant in Oia, enjoying a glass of wine and seeing couples proposing, or celebrating anniversaries around you, you’ll definitely know that love is in the air.

Beautiful sunset in the city of Oia
Thousands of people attend the beautiful sunset in the city of Oia

Everything was just surreal, too beautiful and so perfect that I couldn’t help but let escape a couple of tears.

I definitely made a promise to myself that I would go back to this place with that special someone that I’ve been waiting for my whole life, and who knows, maybe get married there. Until then I will just keep traveling and living a life of adventure.

Safe Travels!

Israel Montesinos is an ocean lover, social media & marketing specialist, travel blogger aficionado and a zumba fan who enjoys traveling to a new destination every year and likes to taste authentic traditional food wherever he goes.