Best Golf Clubs on Vancouver Island (III)

Tag: Leisure Activities

Best Golf Clubs on Vancouver Island (III)

Easily accessible by air and sea, Vancouver Island is serviced by the Victoria International Airport as well as several smaller airports throughout. There is extensive ferry service to many coastal communities and the Gulf Islands from mainland Canada and United States through BC Ferries and the Washington state ferry system. At Victoria's downtown harbor you'll see floatplanes all year round.


11. Best Golf Clubs on Vancouver Island: Parksville / Qualicum Beach

Here in "Canada's Riviera," as named by The Globe & Mail, you'll find an Oceanside getaway, including fabulous resorts, golf courses, spas and fine dining. What an ideal place to unwind and find 'island time.'


12. Best Golf Clubs on Vancouver Island: Fairwinds Golf & Country Club — Designed by renowned course architect Les Furber, it is crafted for all levels, with lush manicured fairways lined by towering fir and arbutus trees, and referred to as a "thinking golfer's course." Immaculate greens are guarded by more than 70 bunkers. After golf, relax in Ben's Lounge and ponder joining the premier oceanfront community with its Fairwinds Fitness Centre. For guests who boat in and moor at its 360-berth Schooner Cove Marina, free golf club rental, and shuffle service to the come is offered.


13. Best Golf Clubs on Vancouver Island: Morningstar Golf Course — Close to picturesque Parksville, is another Island jewel by Les Farber, with a unique configuration of six link-style holes, integrated with others carved through the trees— preserving much of the natural surroundings. Called the "Golfers' Choice," it is host of the Canadian Tour Qualifying School.


14. Best Golf Clubs on Vancouver Island: Pheasant Glen Golf Resort — At the base of Mount Arrowsmith, this recently renovated course displays spectacular mountain views from almost every hole, and is the most walk-able 18-hole course in Oceanside. The Pheasants Nest restaurant is open March to the end of October. Golfers can tune up their game at the Brent Morrison Golf Academy and a 20-acre double-ended practice facility.


15. Best Golf Clubs on Vancouver Island: Eaglecrest Golf Club — Located at Qualicum Beach, this course was designed by Warren Radomske, who learned golf course design by the great architect Les Furber. Meticulously maintained and highly affordable, it's a great semi-private club.


Book your next island golf getaway to Vancouver Island where you don't have to imagine where to place the clubhouse; it’s already there!


Best Bath Houses & Pools in Budapest, Hungary (V)

Best Bath Houses & Pools in Budapest, Hungary: Szechenyi Bath House – In hot water in City Park


The Széchenyi, located in City Park, is Budapest’s most popular bath house, and rightly so. Completed in 1878, it was the first bath house to be built in Pest, and the Neo-Baroque building is one of Europe’s largest spa complexes. The outdoor half-moon-shaped pool is the iconic image of Budapest, which has graced the cover of many a guidebook. With the old men playing chess on boards propped up in the water, the heavy steam rising from the green-tinted water (which is especially lovely when snow is falling and wind is blowing), and the kissing couples scattered throughout the pool, this is the bath house to visit if you only have time to do one. 


In addition to the thermal outdoor pool, there’s also an outdoor lap pool and an “adventure pool” (which has currents pushing swimmers around in a circle). No matter how hard it is drag yourself away, head inside for seven more pools of varying sizes and temperatures, and six steam baths and saunas, some of which are scented and some which also combine light therapy. The atmosphere is grand, the rooms are cavernous, and the water is calming. 


Best Bath Houses & Pools in Budapest, Hungary: Szechenyi Bath House – In hot water in City Park


The thermal water that fills the Széchenyi’s pools (which is high in calcium, magnesium, and hydro-carbonate) comes from a depth of more than one kilometer below the ground, and it is an astounding 170°F/77°C before it reaches the surface. Adjacent to the bath house is the drinking hall which serves mugs of the warm medicinal water for drinking. 


Navigation: Buy your tickets either inside of the main entrance (which is across from the Circus) or the side entrance. You’ll get a plastic watch, which you swipe on the turnstiles to enter. There are changing rooms for women and men, which have lockers to store your belongings. Alternatively, there are private cabins. 


Best Bath Houses & Pools in Budapest, Hungary: Szechenyi Bath House – How to get there


Metro: M1 (to Széchenyi fürdő)


Sports and Activities in Dubai (VII)

Sports and Activities in Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Dubai Rugby Sevens – The magnificent sevens


Part of the IRB Sevens World Series tournament, this is one of the highlights of the international rugby sevens calendar, featuring top international teams, with recent winners including England, South Africa and New Zealand. Also provides an excuse for some of the city’s most raucous expat partying. 


Matches are played at the purpose-built The Sevens stadium, one the edge of the city next to the road to Al Ain. Tickets go for around 200dh.



Sports and Activities in Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Diving – Take the plunge in the Gulf

Dubai itself has only limited diving opportunities: the offshore marine environment has been significantly damaged by development and there are no natural reefs, although a number of wrecks can be dived reasonably close to the shore. The city does, however, lie within easy striking distance of numerous outstanding dive sites off the UAE’s east coast in Fujairah, and off the Musandam Peninsula in Oman, both of which are only a couple of hours’ drive away. 

There are a couple of good diving operators in Dubai. The Pavilion Dive Centre at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel offers a range of on-site PADI courses and introductory dives, plus dives to nearby wrecks and one- to three-day excursions to Musandam. Al Boom Diving operates dive centres at the Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa in the far south of the city, and at the Al Aqah Méridien hotel in Fujairah, offering a range of PADI courses and dives, plus Musandam excursions.



Sports and Activities in Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Wild Wadi – Wild and watery thrills and spills


One of the city's most enduringly popular attractions, Wild Wadi waterpark boasts a wide range of attractions to suit all ages. Younger kids can inner-tube around Lazy River or splash about in Juha's Dhow and Lagoon play area, while older children and grown-ups can try the various master-blaster tube rides or have a crack at surfing the Wipe-Out and Rip Tide Flowriders. Confirmed adrenalin-junkies should head up to the Jumeirah Sceirah speed slide, during which you'll hit around 80kph and experience temporary weightlessness.


Most Romantic Places in the World to Propose (I)

"Yes!" It's such a powerful word that it can bring men to their knees. A word that they hope to hear when that big moment arrives. To set the stage to pop the "M" question, here are some of the most romantic places in the world to propose, which help you both relax. These destinations will get her in the mood for romance and create memories that will last forever—till death do you part…


1. Most Romantic Places in the World to Propose: AYANA Resort & Spa —Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia

The spiritual intrigue of Bali, for many, is the appeal of this verdant Island of The Gods. Bali's diverse geographical offerings, from green rice terraces to long tropical beaches, ancient temples and volcanoes, provides the dream setting for any couple seeking to make that life-long commitment. Nowhere else on the island is the "I do" spot more perfect than on AYANA Resort & Spa Bali's private jetty. Perched 35 meters above Jimbaran Bay, AYANA Resort and Spa Bali enjoys majestic views and a secluded location. With a 290-room hotel and 78 luxury private villas in Bali, this is the most spacious and one of the most acclaimed Bali luxury resorts. For a completely indulgent romantic vacation, escape to the best villa in Bali, dine at lavish restaurants, take part in boundless resort recreation, or just relax in the five star hotel with no schedule except your next treatment at the Thermes Marins Spa and award-winning Spa on the Rocks.


2. Most Romantic Places in the World to Propose: Central Park— New York City

Amid New York City's 8 1/2 million people, where do you go to feel like you're the only couple on earth? You go on a carriage ride through Central Park, where plush velvet seats and the clip clopping of horses hooves provide the perfect setting for a romantic proposal. Add a bottle of champagne, some roses and, of course, the velvet jewelry box, and the Central Park carriage ride remains the classic, most romantic way to get engaged. A warm summer's night, when the sounds and sights of the busy city fade behind leafy foliage in favor of the sounds of crickets is another wonderful option. But don't resist taking a carriage ride during the winter; carriages come equipped with cozy lap robes and there's nothing quite like "getting snuggy in a buggy" with your loved one. Romance combines elements of tradition, elegance and natural beauty. The carriage ride through Central Park has been providing these for over 150 years and remains one of the world's most romantic places to propose.

Best Golf Clubs on Vancouver Island (II)

Vancouver Island is an ideal destination for golfers whether you want to test your skills to the limit or enjoy leisurely rounds mixed with sightseeing, exquisite cuisine and superb accommodations. It was voted the #1 Island in Canada and #6 in the world in Condo Nast Traveler magazine's 2012 readers' pot, and #1 Island in Canada and the Continental USA by Travel + Leisure magazine in 2012. Depending on the time of year, you might even see a whale to add to your golf tale.


6. Best Golf Clubs on Vancouver Island: Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa —the luxurious accommodations, with signature Heavenly Bed, vistas of rolling fairways, Mount Finlayson and Mount Baker, state-of-the-art Athletic Club, tennis courts, outdoor pool, hot tub, Santé Spa and world-class restaurants, may entice you to linger. Although, you won't want to miss Canada's first and only 36-hole Nicklaus-designed golf extravaganza. Whether you start with the more forgiving Valley Course, which rolls through terrain between 300 and 500 feet elevation above sea level, or the masterpiece Mountain Course, with dramatic elevation changes and other challenges — you'll revel in the magnificent vistas.


7. Best Golf Club ob Vancouver Island: Cowichan Valley

In the Cowichan Valley, some of BC's finest foods are produced, and it is home to nine wineries and a cidery. It is a wine and food enthusiasts' Mecca, as well as offering amazing golf. Stay awhile on the waterfront, buy crab on the dock, and fresh produce directly from organic farmers.


8. Best Golf Club on Vancouver Island: Arbutus Ridge Golf Course — weaves along the seaside community of Cobble Hill, and climbs a ridge to overlook the Satellite Channel. With a Four Star Golf Digest rating, and three of the most demanding finishing holes you'll find, it's not to be missed. Lick your wounds and the freshest of West Coast cuisine in the Satellite Bar &Grille.


9. Best Golf Club on Vancouver Island: Cowichan Golf & Country Club — Established in 1947 as one of the Island's finest nine-hole courses by legendary architect A.V. Macan, it expanded 10 18 in 1985. Meandering through a valley and mix of meadow and tree-lined holes, it presents plenty of challenge, beautiful scenery, top service and a lovely clubhouse.


10. Best Golf Club on Vancouver Island: Duncan Meadows Golf Club —A tantalizing blend of parkland and links-style holes, it has been labeled as "one of the top ten most underrated courses in all of Canada" by Score Golf Magazine. Flowing almost seamlessly into the landscape in the shadow of Mount Prevost, it is true to the area's heritage of respect for nature. The full-service Clubhouse includes Bunkers Bar and Grill and a recently renovated Golf Shop.


Book your next island golf getaway to Vancouver Island where you don't have to imagine where to place the clubhouse; it’s already there!


Best Bath Houses & Pools in Budapest, Hungary (IV)

Best Bath Houses & Pools in Budapest, Hungary: Lukács Fürdö – Where the intellectuals once held court


Despite the soulless modern tile work, the Lukács bath house shows a faded elegance. Pools are surrounded by thick columns and the lovely green courtyard holds a statue of St. Luke and fat old plane trees. One wall is lined with plaques engraved with messages of gratitude from past bathers who have benefited from the medicinal water, which comes from springs directly below the ground and from a nearby karst cave which holds one of the world’s largest thermal water chambers. 


Located in Buda near the Margit Bridge, the Lukács has a long history beginning as early as the 12th century when the Knights Hospitaller founded a convent, monastery, and churches here. They built baths, using the thermal water to heal the sick. When the Turks arrived in the 16th century, however, the sulfate water was used mainly for making gunpowder and for milling. The yellow neo-Classical building was added in 1894 and also held two spa hotels. During the Communist era the Lukács was a favorite intellectual hangout, and its regulars still include journalists, artists, and musicians. 


Best Bath Houses & Pools in Budapest, Hungary: Lukács Fürdö – Where the intellectuals once held court


The bath house was partially renovated in 2007, and part of a brick tower from the Ottoman era is visible next to the round bath (the hottest one). There are two warm baths, a cold plunge pool, a sauna, and a steam room. Outside, there are three unusually-shaped open-air swimming pools (which are not hot) and a roof-top sunbathing area. A “drinking hall” is staffed by a white-coated attendant who fills thick glass mugs with the warm, sulfurous water for a few forints. 


Navigation: Enter from Frankel Leo út to purchase tickets. Pass through the courtyard, and enter the building on the left. There’s a row of box-like cabins, and upstairs there’s a coed-changing room with closet-sized cabins and aisles of lockers, which the attendant will lock for you (it is your responsibility to remember your locker number!).


The nicest time to visit is during the off-hours, since weekends can be downright packed, and the steam bath feels like an overcrowded meat locker. 


Best Bath Houses & Pools in Budapest, Hungary: Lukács Fürdö – How to get there


Bus: 6, 60, 86 (to Császar-Komjadi uszoda)

Tram: 4, 6 (to Margit híd), 17 (to Szent Lukács Gyógyfürdő)

HÉV to Margit híd

Sports and Activities in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (VI)

Sports and Activities in Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Arabian Ranches Golf Club – Desert links, Dubai style


Out on the edge of the city in the Dubailand development, this striking modern course was designed by former Open champion Ian Baker-Finch in emulation of the desert-style courses found at places like Scottsdale, Arizona and Palm Springs, California. The par 72 course consists of 18 links-style holes set in the middle of natural desert – miss the fairway and you end up in the “sandy waste”, covered in indigenous shrubs and plant life. 


The Spanish colonial-style clubhouse is a nice place to hang out, with food and drink from Ranches restaurant and fine views over the course from the restaurant’s panoramic terrace.



Sports and Activities in Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Dhow Dinner Cruises – Dubai from the water


Touristy but fun, an evening dinner cruise up and down the Creek aboard a traditional Arabian dhow remains one of the most popular visitor attractions in the city, offering superlative night-time views over the old city. 


Dinner cruises usually last a couple of hours, departing at around 8pm from various points in either Deira or Bur Dubai, after which you’ll sail up and down the Creek, whilst some kind of Arabian or International-style buffet dinner, perhaps with a live musician or belly-dancer thrown in for good measure. 


Dinner cruises can cost anything from 100dh to 350dh depending on whom you go with. It’s usually easiest to book a cruise directly through your hotel, although they can also be booked through any of the city’s myriad tour operators including the reputable Arabian Adventures, or, usually slightly more cheaply, through operators such as Alpha Tours and Orient Tours. 


Other independent cruise operators include Rikks Cruises, which offers some of the cheapest cruises in town, and the more upmarket Al Mansour Dhow, operated by the Radisson Blu hotel. For a more modern alternative to the traditional dhow, Bateaux Dubai runs cruises in its state-of-the-art glass-sided modern boat, offering a touch more luxury than other operators, plus above-average food. .

Leisure Activities in Calabria, Italy

Recreation and fun are top priorities in Calabria. It boasts spectacular – and in some cases – still unspoilt beaches and bays. The very sight of these natural wonders will help you relax effortlessly. You can engage in many leisure activities in Calabria, Italy. The region boasts several mountains, where tourists can hike, climb and go mountain biking. For the dear little ones (and for others also) a visit to the series of theme parks will turn every dull, sluggish day into quite an eventful day. And last but not least, the relaxed behavior of the local people emanates a feeling of well-being.


1. Capo Rizzuto Aquarium (Leisure activities in Calabria, Italy: Other – Isola Capo Rizzuto)

In this aquarium, consisting of a total of 22 tanks, children and adults alike can learn about some of the mysteries of the sea. In the multimedia room with movie screenings and a touch pool, visitors can gain a wealth of very clear and easy-to-follow information.


2. Capo Rizzuto (Leisure activities in Calabria, Italy: Beach – Isola Capo Rizzuto)

The peninsula of Capo Rizzuto in the province of Crotone has about 15,000 inhabitants. The headland has some of the most beautiful beaches in Calabria. In the Old Town of Capo Rizzuto, you can visit the remains of a 16th century castle.


3. Terme Luiciane (Leisure activities in Calabria, Italy: Therme & spa – Acquappesa)

The thermal park in Acquappesa has everything needed to do something good for your body. The variety of bathing pools and the peaceful ambience makes it the perfect place to relax and unwind. The beautiful complex takes care of everything else necessary to revitalize yourself.


4. Nuova Aquafans Praia a Mare (Leisure activities in Calabria, Italy: Waterpark – Praia a Mare)

Waterparks are the perfect place for a holiday excursion with the family. The Nuova Aquafans Water Park is a fun experience for all ages. Choose from a variety of different fun pools, numerous entertainment facilities as well as a kids’ club.


5. Pescaturismo (Leisure activities in Calabria, Italy: Other – Diamante)

Pescaturismo is a special kind of holiday fun. Here you have the opportunity to experience the everyday life of a fisherman. Starting very early, before sunrise or in the middle of the night, the fisherman gets up with his guests and together they begin their day. Offered by La Guardiola pub.


Best Haunted Places to Visit

Caution for the fearful: perhaps you should stop reading this article right now, because what follows is a review of the five most frightening haunted places in the world.


1. Terror Behind the Walls

Set inside Philadelphia's now obsolete Eastern State Penitentiary, the Terror Behind The Walls has been entitled one of the most important haunted places in USA by the renowned Haunted Attraction Magazine. Terror Behind the Walls provides a different set of rules: tourists can be touched, grasped, or even held back from their groups by disguised performers throughout the spooky expedition. It is found at 2027 Fairmount Avenue and was operational from 1829 until 1971. Notorious criminals such as bank robber Willie Sutton and Al Capone were held inside its innovative wagon wheel design. The prison is currently open to the public as a museum for tours.  Terror Behind the Walls takes the first place in our list of the Best Haunted Places to Visit.


2. The Darkness

The Darkness, situated in St. Louis, MI, has been terrifying even its most daring guests for over 20 years by now. This attraction has new and horrifying pop-ups, excitements, and 3D undertakings. The Darkness Haunted House is one of the longest running haunted houses in America and one of the most well known haunted attractions in the World. The Darkness first opened its doors in 1994. The Darkness takes the second place in our list of the Best Haunted Places to Visit.


3. Disturbia: Torment of Fears

Located right nearby Chicago in Addison, IL, Disturbia: Torment of Fears is not just a terrifying house of horror. This attraction dominates more than 15.000 square meters of landscape. Disturbia has 25 frightening zones, a specially prepared room for those who don’t like clowns, and a cave where monsters locked inside cages prey upon the visitors. The managers begin preparing the eerie building around July 1. Disturbia: Torment of Fears takes the third place in our list of the Best Haunted Places to Visit.


4. Thrillvania

Thrillvania is everybody’s Halloween nightmarish dream: a Texas Chainsaw Massacre came true. Thrillvania is one of the biggest houses of horror in the country, taking 50 acres of haunted land. It has an annual audience of more than 20.000 horror pursuers. The park includes four attractions like "labyrinth of terror" and "trail of torment"; Thrillvania takes the fourth place in our list of the Best Haunted Places to Visit.


5. Nightmare New England

Situated in Litchfield, NH, Nightmare New England is one of the topmost horror sights in the area. The magnitude and the variety of this place "offers something to delight even the bravest Halloween fanatic."  Nightmare New England takes the fifth place in our list of Best Haunted Places to Visit.

Best Golf Clubs on Vancouver Island (I)

"Where do you picture the clubhouse?" is a game some of us golfers play while we're driving along admiring landscape that seems naturally predisposed to being the perfect golf tract. Pristine and breathtakingly beautiful, Vancouver Island with its sweeping ocean views, beaches, rainforests, marshes, mountains, meadows, rivers and lakes is a mother lode of such locations.


Fortunately, this attribute has been duly noticed by the professionals, so you will find outstanding championship courses designed by masters such as Jack Nicklaus, A.V. Macan and Les Furber as well as great nine-hole options and community facilities suitable for all skill levels. While this article will focus on some of the finer 18-hole championship courses, there's much more golfing at your disposal.


1. Best Golf Clubs on Vancouver Island: Victoria Region

Given its quaint setting on a harbor, and decidedly British roots, downtown Victoria is a place you'll want to explore —from its funky BC craft beer breweries to high tea at The Fairmont Empress Hotel.


2. Best Golf Clubs on Vancouver Island: Cedar Hill Municipal Golf Course — While short in length, Vancouver Island's first municipal golf course, established in 1920 as nine holes and expanded to 18 in the 1950s, is good place to get your game going, because water hazards, rock outcrops and other features demand every club in your bag.


3. Best Golf Clubs on Vancouver Island: Olympic View Golf Club — Owned and operated by GolfBC and located just 20 minutes from downtown Victoria, it is a par 72, 18-hole championship golf course highlighted by two waterfalls, 12 lakes, the Olympic Mountains in the horizon, and roaming deer and soaring eagles Its award-winning GBC Golf Academy offers expansive grass tee decks, five target greens, and three short game area. Enjoy locally inspired cuisine at Forester's Bistro & Bar in the stunning 23,000 square-foot club house with floor to ceiling windows and wrap around patio overlooking the course caps off the round.


4. Best Golf Clubs on Vancouver Island: Highland Pacific — Victoria's newest public course, just minutes away, threads through West Coast forest, rock, fescue and natural water features, while affording spectacular views of Victoria, Olympic Mountains, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Thetis Lake Park and Bear Mountain. Even the practice facility has plenty of targets and hazards in its two-tiered driving range, bunker and short game areas. Unwind from your game at The Range Café.


5. Best Golf Clubs on Vancouver Island: Mount Brenton Golf Club — As you might expect in this abundant growing belt, in artsy mural-bedecked Chemanius, you'll find the course dubbed the Island's friendliest.


Book your next island golf getaway to Vancouver Island where you don't have to imagine where to place the clubhouse; it’s already there!