Discovering Iceland’s Golden Circle: A Majestic Journey

Embark on a captivating exploration of Iceland’s Golden Circle, a route that weaves together natural wonders, geothermal marvels, and historical landmarks, creating an immersive tapestry of the island’s enchanting beauty.

Geysir Geothermal Area: A Dance of Earth’s Forces

The journey begins at the Geysir Geothermal Area, where the Earth’s forces come alive in a mesmerizing display. Witness the powerful Strokkur geyser shooting hot water into the air with rhythmic precision. The bubbling mud pots and steaming vents add an otherworldly ambiance, offering a glimpse into Iceland’s geothermal prowess.

Thingvellir National Park: Where Continents Collide

Venture into the historical heart of Iceland at Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet, creating a dramatic landscape of rocky cliffs and deep fissures. Walk between the continents, tracing the footsteps of ancient Vikings who gathered at this historic assembly site.

Gullfoss Waterfall: Nature’s Grandeur Unleashed

The journey continues to Gullfoss, a breathtaking waterfall that exemplifies the grandeur of Icelandic nature. Feel the mist on your face as the Hvítá River plunges into a canyon, carving a majestic spectacle that stirs the soul. Gullfoss is not merely a cascade of water; it’s a symphony of nature’s forces echoing through the ages.

A Cultural Interlude in the Golden Circle

Amidst nature’s wonders, the Golden Circle offers cultural interludes. Visit the charming Friðheimar greenhouse, where tomatoes flourish under geothermal heat. Engage with Icelandic horses, known for their gentle nature and unique gaits, and delve into the local way of life.

As the Golden Circle journey unfolds, every stop reveals a new facet of Iceland’s rich narrative. Whether marveling at geysers, walking between continents, or standing before a mighty waterfall, each moment is a testament to the island’s geological and cultural significance.

Embark on this majestic journey through the Golden Circle, where Iceland’s natural wonders and historical landmarks converge. Let every step be a discovery, and every sight a reminder of the island’s enduring beauty.

Exploring the Marvels of Colca Canyon: Peru’s Hidden Gem

Nestled in the heart of Peru, Colca Canyon stands as a testament to nature’s grandeur, offering an enchanting escape for intrepid travelers. Renowned as one of the world’s deepest canyons, Colca beckons with its breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural tapestry, and unique experiences.

Getting There:
Embarking on a journey to Colca Canyon is an adventure in itself. The canyon is accessible from the charming city of Arequipa, where your exploration begins. A scenic road journey takes you through the Andean highlands, revealing picturesque landscapes and traditional villages.

Natural Wonders:
Colca Canyon isn’t just a geographical marvel; it’s a haven for nature enthusiasts. The canyon is home to the mighty Andean condor, and witnessing these majestic birds soaring on thermal updrafts is an awe-inspiring spectacle. The Cruz del Condor viewpoint provides an ideal vantage point for this unforgettable experience.

Cultural Encounters:
Beyond its natural allure, Colca Canyon is steeped in cultural richness. Explore traditional villages like Chivay and Yanque, where you can engage with the local communities and witness their customs. The iconic pre-Incan terraced fields, known as “andenerías,” showcase ancient agricultural techniques still practiced today.

Adventure Awaits:
For the adventurous at heart, Colca Canyon offers thrilling trekking opportunities. Hike along the canyon’s rim, where each step unveils breathtaking panoramas.

Relaxation and Renewal:
After days of exploration, find tranquility in the thermal baths of La Calera in Chivay. The soothing waters surrounded by the Andean scenery create a perfect setting for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Local Cuisine:
No visit to Colca Canyon is complete without savoring the local culinary delights. Try traditional dishes like rocoto relleno and alpaca meat, indulging in the flavors of Peruvian highland cuisine.

Colca Canyon, with its blend of natural wonders, cultural richness, and adventurous spirit, invites you to uncover the secrets hidden within its depths. As you stand on the canyon’s edge, gazing into its vastness, you’ll understand why this destination is truly a hidden gem waiting to be explored.

Unleash Your Inner Adventurer: Puzzle’s Exclusive Porsche Driving Trips with a Twist!

Rev up your engines and get ready for a journey like no other with Puzzle’s latest addition – Porsche Driving Trips! Our bespoke driving experiences are designed for thrill-seekers who crave the open road and a touch of luxury.

Embark on an exhilarating adventure as you navigate scenic routes in sleek Porsche cars, savoring the perfect blend of speed and sophistication. But here’s where Puzzle takes it up a notch – our driving trips aren’t just about the roads; they’re about the extraordinary experiences along the way.

Picture yourself soaring through the skies on a breathtaking helicopter ride, capturing panoramic views of the landscapes below. Feel the adrenaline rush as you engage in a heart-pounding karting race, and for those who dream of soaring like a bird, our paragliding escapades will elevate your journey to new heights.

At Puzzle, we believe in crafting experiences that go beyond the ordinary. These Porsche Driving Trips promise not just a drive but an immersive journey filled with adrenaline-pumping activities, luxurious stays, and memories that will last a lifetime.

Buckle up and let Puzzle Travel redefine your travel experience – because every adventure should be as unique as you are!

Discovering Aveiro: Recommendation for Portugal’s Hidden Gem

Nestled along the picturesque shores of Portugal, Aveiro beckons with its unique charm and distinct character, offering a captivating escape for those seeking an authentic Portuguese experience.

1. The Venice of Portugal:
Often referred to as the “Venice of Portugal,” Aveiro boasts a network of charming canals adorned with colorful moliceiro boats. Glide along the waterways and marvel at the picturesque scenes that unfold, showcasing Aveiro’s architectural elegance and vibrant spirit.

2. Art Nouveau Architecture:
Aveiro stands as a living canvas of Art Nouveau architecture. Stroll through its streets to witness the intricate details of buildings adorned with whimsical designs, adding an artistic flair to the cityscape.

3. Ovos Moles Delight:ֿ

Indulge your taste buds in Aveiro’s sweet specialty – Ovos Moles. These delectable egg yolk and sugar confections are often shaped like shells, fish, or barrels, reflecting the city’s maritime influence. Savor the unique flavors that have delighted locals and visitors for generations.

4. Costa Nova’s Striped Charm:
Just a short distance from Aveiro lies the enchanting Costa Nova, known for its vibrant, striped fishermen’s houses. Explore this seaside neighborhood, soak in the coastal atmosphere, and capture Instagram-worthy moments against the backdrop of these iconic structures.

5. Aveiro’s Cultural Scene:
Beyond its visual allure, Aveiro boasts a lively cultural scene. Immerse yourself in local traditions, perhaps catching a performance of the traditional Fado music or participating in one of the city’s vibrant festivals.

6. Pristine Beaches:
For sun-seekers, Aveiro offers access to pristine beaches along the Atlantic coast. Take a short trip to bask in the sun, feel the ocean breeze, and enjoy the tranquility of the shoreline.

In Aveiro, every cobblestone tells a story, and every canal reflects the city’s vibrant history. Whether you’re drawn to its unique waterways, sweet delicacies, or artistic allure, Aveiro promises an unforgettable journey through the heart of Portugal’s distinctive cultural tapestry.

Embrace the charm, relish the flavors, and let Aveiro’s allure leave an indelible mark on your travel memories.

Inca Trail Adventure: A Journey to Machu Picchu’s Timeless Wonder

Embarking on the classic Inca Trail is a transformative adventure that culminates in the awe-inspiring wonder of Machu Picchu. As one delves into this historical and picturesque journey, the trail unfolds like a narrative of ancient civilizations and breathtaking landscapes. Here, we share personal experiences and offer valuable tips for those considering this iconic trek.

1. The Trail’s Timeless Charm:
The Inca Trail, winding through the Andes, is not just a physical journey; it’s a walk through time. The well-preserved ruins, including Wiñay Wayna and Intipata, offer glimpses into the ancient Incan way of life. Each step is a connection to a rich tapestry of history.

2. Preparing for the Trek:
Physical preparation is key. Strengthening your stamina and endurance beforehand will enhance your overall experience. Packing essentials such as sturdy hiking boots, weather-appropriate clothing, and a reliable backpack is crucial. Don’t forget a good camera – the views are worth capturing.

3. Acclimatization Matters:
Cusco, the starting point of the Inca Trail, is situated at high altitude. Spending a few days acclimatizing in Cusco helps mitigate altitude-related challenges during the trek. Stay hydrated and listen to your body, allowing it to adjust gradually.

4. Embracing the Camaraderie:
The Inca Trail is not just about the destination; it’s also about the camaraderie forged along the way. Sharing the trail with fellow adventurers, local guides, and porters creates a sense of community. Take time to appreciate the collective spirit that accompanies this journey.

5. Machu Picchu Unveiled:
Reaching Machu Picchu at sunrise is a moment etched in memory. As the sun bathes the ancient citadel in golden hues, the sheer magnificence of the site becomes apparent. Explore the terraces, temples, and enigmatic structures that make Machu Picchu a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

6. Leave No Trace:
Respect for the environment is paramount. Following the principle of “Leave No Trace” ensures the preservation of this sacred trail. Stay on designated paths, carry out all waste, and be mindful of the fragile ecosystem.

Embarking on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is not just an adventure; it’s a transformative passage through time and nature. This iconic trek stands as a testament to human resilience and the enduring allure of ancient civilizations. Are you ready to lace up your boots and step into the footsteps of the Incas? Contact us and we will help you make a dream come true.

Cusco Unveiled: Beyond the Gateway to Machu Picchu

Nestled high in the Andes Mountains, Cusco stands as a living testament to the grandeur of the Inca Empire. While often recognized as the gateway to Machu Picchu, this enchanting city offers a tapestry of history, culture, and vibrant energy waiting to be explored.

The Historical Heartbeat:
Cusco served as the capital of the Inca Empire, and remnants of its glorious past can be witnessed in every cobblestone street and ancient stone wall. Plaza de Armas, the city’s main square, is surrounded by colonial architecture built atop Incan foundations. Marvel at the exquisite blend of Inca and Spanish influence, as seen in the majestic Cathedral and the Qoricancha, the Temple of the Sun.

Exploring Inca Ruins:
Venture beyond the city to discover the nearby Inca ruins that dot the landscape. Sacsayhuaman, an immense fortress overlooking Cusco, showcases the engineering prowess of the Incas. The intricate stonework, assembled without mortar, remains a marvel to behold. Other archaeological wonders like Q’enqo and Tambomachay provide insight into Inca rituals and astronomy.

Cultural Corners:
Cusco pulsates with cultural richness. Delve into the San Pedro Market, where locals trade vibrant textiles, herbal remedies, and traditional crafts. Engage with the Quechua-speaking communities and witness their customs come alive during colorful festivals that celebrate their indigenous heritage.

Culinary Delights:
Peruvian cuisine shines brightly in Cusco. Explore local markets for a taste of exotic fruits, or indulge in traditional dishes like alpaca steak and quinoa soup. Don’t miss the chance to try “cuy” (guinea pig), a delicacy considered sacred by the Incas.

Arts and Crafts:
Cusco’s streets are adorned with art galleries and workshops where local artisans showcase their talents. Dive into the world of intricate textiles, vibrant paintings, and unique jewelry crafted by skilled hands, each piece echoing the city’s rich cultural narrative.

Cusco by Night:
As the sun sets, Cusco transforms into a magical realm. Explore the narrow alleyways illuminated by soft golden lights. Plaza Regocijo comes alive with street performers, creating an ambiance that echoes the city’s lively spirit.

Conclusion:
While Machu Picchu may be the crown jewel, Cusco stands as a gem in its own right. Beyond its role as the gateway to an ancient wonder, the city beckons travelers to unravel its history, immerse themselves in vibrant traditions, and savor the essence of Peruvian culture. Cusco is more than a stopover—it’s an immersive journey into the heart of the Andes.

Lisbon: Portugal’s Enchanting Fusion of Past and Present

Lisbon, also known as “Lisboa,” stands as the beating heart of Portugal, encompassing both its capital and cultural-economic hub. Nestled along the shores of the golden Atlantic, the city captivates with a blend of old-world charm and modern vibrancy. The juxtaposition of the ancient and the contemporary renders Lisbon one of Europe’s enchanting cities. When embarking on a journey to Portugal, including a visit to Lisbon is a must. The city promises a sensory-rich experience, boasting breathtaking vistas, picturesque beaches, unique neighborhoods, rich architecture, historical landmarks, diverse museums, lively entertainment venues, and exquisite culinary delights.

Here are some of the most recommended places to visit:

In the Belem quarter, situated to the west of Lisbon near the Tagus River, several historical and architectural landmarks define the city’s identity:

1. Jeronimos Monastery: A remarkable 16th-century structure, characterized by its unique architecture. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Jeronimos Monastery served as a place of prayer for sailors before their voyages due to its proximity to the Tagus River.

2. Belem Tower: Adjacent to Jeronimos Monastery and on the bank of the Tagus River stands the impressive Belem Tower, adorned with maritime motifs. Built in the 16th century, the tower served as a maritime entrance gate to Lisbon, a mooring point for the Portuguese fleet, and part of the city’s river defense system.

3. Monument to the Discoveries: The white monument on the riverbank is one of Lisbon’s most impressive structures. Atop the monument are statues revealing figures such as Vasco da Gama. An elevator takes visitors to the top for panoramic views of Lisbon and the river.

Exploring Belem is incomplete without indulging in the mythological pastry, Pastéis de Belem, from the iconic bakery established in 1837. Don’t miss the traditional Nata pastry, vanilla cream tart with sugar and cinnamon, made from a secret recipe.

Alfama: A walking tour through Alfama reveals the picturesque streets of Lisbon’s oldest quarter, which miraculously survived the earthquake and tsunami of 1755. In this historic area, you’ll also find traces of the Jewish community’s former residence. Modern cafes and clubs now dot the ancient streets, offering a chance to witness traditional Fado music performances.

Sao Jorge Castle: Close to Alfama, on the highest point in Lisbon, sits the city’s oldest castle. The fortress, surrounded by walls and towers, served as a royal palace and later as a prison. The breathtaking view from the castle’s summit awaits those who ascend.

Baixa and Rossio Square: Lisbon’s central square, Rossio, is surrounded by government buildings and the stock exchange, with a statue of King Jose I at its center. For a beautiful panorama of the city, visitors can ascend to the terrace of the stunning Victoria Gate.

Augusta Street: The main and vibrant thoroughfare of Lisbon, Augusta Street, unfolds for visitors leaving through the Victoria Gate. Lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants, some buildings feature colorful ceramic tiles.

Gulbenkian Museum: Lisbon boasts numerous museums, both large and small. The Gulbenkian Museum is worth a visit not only for its splendid art collection but also for its impressive architecture and well-maintained gardens. Other recommended museums include the Tile Museum (Museu do Azulejo), located in a monastery, showcasing the history and production of ceramic tiles, and the Maritime Museum, illustrating Portugal’s maritime history and major discoveries.

Bairro Alto: Nestled on the hilly slopes, Bairro Alto is an artistic and trendy district offering countless entertainment options day and night. During the day, enjoy the picturesque streets and unique architecture, along with galleries and boutiques. In the evening, Bairro Alto transforms with a variety of clubs, restaurants, cafes, and bars.

Lisbon, with its rich history, diverse neighborhoods, and cultural treasures, promises a sensory and enriching experience for every traveler.

Puzzle’s Portugal Unveiled: A Journey Beyond Boundaries | May 21-28 | September 17-24

Embark on a one-of-a-kind journey with Puzzle’s special tour to Portugal, where every moment is crafted for a truly unique experience. Our meticulously designed itinerary takes you beyond the ordinary, revealing the heart and soul of this captivating country.

What can you expect:

Exclusive Activities: From private vineyard tours in the picturesque Douro Valley to personalized cooking classes with local chefs, our special tour offers exclusive activities that bring you closer to the rich tapestry of Portuguese culture. Engage in unique experiences that go beyond the surface, creating memories that last a lifetime.

Meet the Locals: Connect with the heartbeat of Portugal through intimate encounters with locals who share their stories, traditions, and passions. Whether it’s a cozy chat with a family-run olive oil producer or a musical evening with Fado performers, our tour brings you face-to-face with the warmth and hospitality of the Portuguese people.

Culinary Delights: Indulge your taste buds in the diverse and delectable world of Portuguese cuisine. From savoring authentic pastéis de nata to relishing fresh fish, our tour is a gastronomic delight that celebrates the flavors and traditions of this culinary haven.

Puzzle’s special tour to Portugal is more than a journey; it’s an invitation to unravel the extraordinary. Join us as we redefine travel, creating moments of magic and discovery in the heart of Portugal.

Cheers to new discoveries and unforgettable memories!

For more details click here

Reykjavik – The Northernmost Capital in the World

Besides the unique natural phenomena that attract tourists from all corners of the globe, Iceland boasts the capital city of Reykjavik. If you ever thought Reykjavik was merely a stopover between attractions, prepare to be surprised by this wonderfully modern and tourist-friendly city, steeped in interesting history and dotted with leisurely sites. Get a taste of charming Reykjavik.

Meet Reykjavik:
Reykjavik, the northernmost capital in the world, stands as the most significant urban asset of Iceland. As the capital, it serves as the epicenter of Iceland’s governance, economy, culture, and academia, housing approximately two-thirds of the country’s population.

On one hand, Reykjavik is a primary, modern, and progressive European capital. On the other, it exudes the qualities of a small and picturesque town, characterized by a simple and charming atmosphere. Bustling yet not overwhelming, with shopping districts and multi-story buildings alongside small, pleasant cafes, Reykjavik has much to offer in terms of museums, galleries, and shops to enjoy throughout the day. Even in its vibrant nightlife, the city does not shy away from revealing its lively nocturnal charms. The presence of the University of Iceland, located in Reykjavik, injects a youthful and studious breeze, and the colorful houses and friendly locals extend a warm welcome to every visitor. Personal security on the city streets is an added value for travelers. Therefore, it’s no wonder that anyone who visits Reykjavik falls in love with it instantly.

 

Tourist Attractions in Reykjavik:
One immense advantage of Reykjavik is that its attractions and various sites are within walking distance from each other. When you come to explore the beautiful capital, you are invited to move easily from place to place:

– Laugavegur Street: The main shopping street of the city, where you can find everything: souvenir shops, Scandinavian kitchenware stores, second-hand shops next to designer boutiques, jewelry shops, and art galleries, to name a few.

– Hallgrímskirkja Church: The stunning church, towering at 75 meters, can be seen from almost anywhere in Reykjavik and is a symbol of the city. During a visit to this beautiful church, it is recommended to climb to the top and enjoy a perfect panorama of Reykjavik.

– Harpa Concert Hall:A beautiful and unique glass building considered one of the city’s symbols. The building looks like a harp from a distance, hence its name (Harpa). It is unique in its play of light and color created both by sunlight during the day and digital lighting that adorns its facade in the evening and at night.

– Flea Market: Located in the southern part of the city, the market sells a variety of products: works of local artists, second-hand items, hand-knitted sweaters, Icelandic chocolates, smoked fish, and more, all at affordable prices – a refreshing change from the expensive shops of Reykjavik.

– Hot Springs: In Reykjavik, you can ward off the cold by soaking in warm and pampering hot springs equipped with jacuzzis and saunas. The brave among you can also experience an extreme transition from hot to cold waters straight from the barrel.

– Botanical Garden: A magical garden adjacent to the zoo, featuring sea lion pools, ponds with winged inhabitants, children’s play areas, and picturesque paths inviting a serene and enjoyable stroll.

– Whale Watching: Departing daily and lasting about two and a half hours, these boat trips may bring the lucky ones face-to-face with a majestic whale, while others will settle for dolphins.

 

Explore Reykjavik, where the blend of modernity and charm, combined with its unique attractions, makes for an unforgettable experience.

Interesting anecdotes about the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is a fascinating country located in the Persian Gulf, at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is a federation consisting of seven emirates, each unique and enchanting. The UAE never ceases to amaze with its ethnically kaleidoscopic diversity, and the ever-growing list of world records broken by the emirates makes it even more exciting.

For a relatively young country, the UAE has achieved impressive milestones, and its growth has been unprecedented. Did you know that it is home to the world’s tallest leaning tower, even surpassing the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Or that the Arabian Oryx, the national animal, was successfully brought back from the brink of extinction?

Here are some interesting anecdotes about the United Arab Emirates:

1. Union Structure:
The UAE is composed of seven distinct emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain, and Fujairah. Each emirate has its own culture and traditions.

2. Governance:
The country follows a monarchy system, where each emirate (principality) within the UAE is governed by a separate ruling family. However, Abu Dhabi’s ruler is the President of the country, serving as the Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and the ruler of Dubai serves as the Prime Minister.

3. Size Disparities:
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, is the largest emirate, covering about 87% of the total land area. In contrast, Ajman is the smallest emirate, spanning only about 260 square kilometers but is known for its cultural attractions, including the Ajman Museum.

4. Fujairah:
Fujairah, the fifth-largest emirate, is the only one of the seven with a coastline exclusively along the Gulf of Oman and none along the Persian Gulf. It is also the only emirate with significant mountainous terrain, featuring the famous Hajar Mountains, specifically Jebel Hafeet.

5. National Pride:
The UAE’s national emblem is the falcon, and the Arabian Oryx is the national animal. The Arabian Oryx is also the national animal of Oman, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. The white oryx faced extinction in the wild in the early 1970s but was successfully reintroduced into its natural habitat, earning it a reclassification from “Endangered” to “Vulnerable” in 2011.

6. Liberation from British Rule:
Unlike many other nations that fought fiercely for independence from British colonial rule, the UAE gained its independence peacefully through agreements, mainly due to the discovery of oil by the Emirates.

7. The Green City:
Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, established in 2006, is an ambitious urban project striving to be the world’s first carbon-neutral, waste-free, and car-free city. It relies primarily on solar and wind energy for power. The city emphasizes sustainability and eco-friendly practices.

8. Definition of Luxury:
Burj Al Arab in Dubai is the world’s first seven-star hotel, considered one of the most luxurious. The interior spaces are adorned with 24-carat gold, covering around 1,790 square meters. Guests can even choose from a ‘Pillow Menu’ offering various types of pillows.

9. Urban Transportation:
Dubai operates the longest driverless metro system in the world, with over 46 kilometers of track.

10. Everything is Grand:
The UAE is home to numerous world records, including the tallest building globally, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, standing at 828 meters. Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport is the largest airport terminal globally, housing a 5-star hotel, luxury shops, and two Zen gardens. The Dubai Aquarium, with a capacity of 10 million liters, is the world’s largest suspended aquarium, hosting over 33,000 marine animals from 200 species.

The Emirates continually strive to break more records, surprising the world with their innovative achievements.