15 of the Best Outdoor Hotel Pools in the World

Outdoor hotel pools don’t need to be square concrete blocks, littered with screaming children and leaves that haven’t been scrapped off the bottom, which are normally freezing cold. In fact, outdoor hotel pools can be downright beautiful. From the ever popular infinity pools that look over the sides of cliffs, to rooftop pools so high up you forget what lies below; these outdoor pools are wonderfully unique in their own ways. Discover 15 of our favorite outdoor pools, and before long you will be booking a night, just to try out the pool.

15. Hotel Caruso -Salerno, Italy

This open-air infinity pool is brilliantly blue in color and creates the perfect atmosphere for hotel guests to relax. The pool is set atop the highest point of Ravello, seemingly suspended in the clouds, halfway between heaven and earth. It overlooks the breathtaking views of the Amalfi Coast, one of the most beautiful places on earth. Getting to the pool is just as beautiful as the pool itself as guests will have to wander through a rose garden. Complete with medieval ruins towering beside the pool, you will simply feel as you have fallen back in time. Make sure to indulge in the fresh-fruit appetizers that will be delivered to you poolside, or request a pre-loaded iPod with your choice of music. A visitor here can even get an Evian vaporizer delivered to them while they are in the pool. This is luxury at its finest.

Photo by: Belmond Hotel Caruso
Photo by: Belmond Hotel Caruso

14. The Oberoi Udaivilas -Udaipur, India

Spread over a 50 acre wildlife preserve is this wonderful hotel in India that features not one but two impressive pools. Guests here will be privy to amazing scenery, wildlife and exceptional service. The first pool runs lengthwise along the interconnecting domes and corridors that make up the hotel. This 70-foot pool is for guests that are staying in one of the semi-private pool rooms that allow access to this wonderful pool right from the room door. Private pool rooms are also available for those guests wanting their own private 36 foot plunge pool complete with dining area. The main pool at this hotel is stunning in deep blue tiles, set within a Mewar style courtyard with lush green lawns. The sandstone and marble tile patterns set off the sapphire blue color and truly make it a majestically centerpiece for this hotel.

Photo by: scupperssf via Flickr
Photo by: scupperssf via Flickr

13. Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti -Serengeti, Tanzania

As if staying at a safari lodge isn’t enough of an amazing experience, the Four Seasons have upped the ante with this awesome outdoor pool. This large sparkling blue free-form infinity pool is among favorites of visitors to this awesome safari lodge. The pool is the perfect break from your safari adventure, although it may not feel like much of a break from wildlife sightings as you watch over the watering hole that brings elephants, lions and other wildlife up close and personal. Relax in the cool waters, grab a cocktail from sunrise to sunset or relax in one of the sun beds on the deck. Watching a sunset from here is a favorite activity as the sky turns a brilliant pink and orange while the sun disappears. At night enjoy a romantic dinner poolside, complete with candles, lanterns and excellent dining options.

Photo by: Roman Boed via Flickr
Photo by: Roman Boed via Flickr

12. The Library -Koh Samui Island, Thailand

Located just a few steps away from the white sandy beaches is a pool that shines so brilliantly red, one would think that the water is dyed to be that color. This signature red pool is absolutely stunning to the naked eye and swimming here is an unforgettable experience. We promise, you aren’t swimming in dark crimson blood, although we admit it looks like that from a distance. It is in fact the stunning mosaic tiles that make it look so red, as the combination of the red, orange and yellow present a dazzling spectacle of brilliant color. This shallow pool is perfect for relaxing and gazing out at the beautiful blue water. The Library is also the only five-star hotel in Chaweng Beach and in addition to the amazing pool, the hotel itself is wonderful.

Photo by: The Library
Photo by: The Library

11. The Sarojin -Phang Nga, Thailand

This enchanting hotel is only reached by a hidden pathway and borders on five national parks, as well as a long sandy beach. The pool itself is surrounded by lush green gardens and tropical foliage and shimmers a gorgeous turquoise color under the bright sun. Private cabanas are placed in the shallow waters and come complete with sun beds, umbrellas, curtains that can be closed for privacy, towels and bar service. The blue mosaic tiles, the large vases growing beautiful flowers and the steps leading into the deeper water all make this pool incredibly beautiful. With warm water, a serene setting and a private cabana; you may never want to leave this hotel.

Photo by: Roderick Eime via Flickr
Photo by: Roderick Eime via Flickr

10. The Grace Santorini -Santorini, Greece

This exquisite infinity pool is the largest of its kind in Santorini and offers breathtaking views of the sea below. In typical Santorini fashion, the pool is outfitted in white and blue, a perfect combination of simplicity yet style. Chairs and table are places around the pool, at staggering heights to allow for the unparalleled views of the surrounding hills and water. The pool features both a shallow and deep end, for any type of swimmer. Make sure to check out the infamous Santorini sunsets that occur nightly, either from inside the pool or from the chairs. Food and beverage service is available around the pool all day and evening, and visitors are encouraged to spend their days enjoying it.

Photo by: Grace Hotels
Photo by: Grace Hotels

9. San Alfonso del Mar -Valparaiso, Chile

It holds the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest crystalline pool, measuring over one kilometer in length, eight hectares and holds more than 250 million liters of water. Apart from the sheer size of it, the waters here are an amazing turquoise color and have the same transparency of those in the Caribbean. The water also happens to be an amazing 26 degrees Celsius in the summertime, the absolute perfect temperature for splashing around. The white sand beaches here are private to each of the buildings and recreate a tropical paradise. During the day you will find kids snorkeling, sailing in small boats and many recreational activities taking place in the biggest pool on earth. Make sure you book your room into one of the buildings that has access to the private beaches and pool, as some do not.

Pierre-Yves Babelon / Shutterstock.com
Pierre-Yves Babelon / Shutterstock.com

8. Amangani -Jackson Hole, United States

This legendary resort is Jackson Hole’s most exclusive resorts and it set seven thousand feet above sea level, carved into the hillside at Gros Ventre Butte. The 100-foot heated swimming pool operates year round and offers stunning views of Wyoming’s snow-capped peaks. During the summer visitors enjoy lounging in the crystal clear waters, taking in the surrounding scenery and watching out for wildlife, all with a cocktail in hand. During the winter guests take advantage of both the warm pool and the attached hot tub, which comes in handy after a long day of skiing in the area. At night the candles are lit and there is no where better to enjoy a bottle of wine than this awesome luxury pool.

Amangani, Wyoming

7. B2 Boutique Hotel and Spa -Zurich, Switzerland

This trendy 60-room boutique hotel features open spaces and a fabulous rooftop pool. It was once a 150 year old brewery. The hotel has managed to keep the aged stone walls and has refurbished the valves and bolts as clever décor elements. The natural thermal pool on the roof is really what visitors here love though. This uniquely shaped pool offers visitors unparalleled views over the city of Zurich, especially during the night. The pool is divided into different zones, all featuring different jets that relax and unwind you. There are enough nooks and crannies here that everyone can have their privacy. Although there are no surrounding loungers or service staff; the experience is unlike any other rooftop pool experience.

Photo by: B2 Boutique Hotel and Spa
Photo by: B2 Boutique Hotel and Spa

6. Marina Bay Sands Tower Pool -Singapore, Indonesia

It is hailed as the world’s largest rooftop pool at its height and sits high above the city of Singapore on top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. If you don’t like heights, you may want to avoid this pool as it is 55 storey’s up in the air and more than three times the length of an Olympic pool. Did we mention that this pool is an infinity pool? This pool is part of the Sands SkyPark, a park that spans over all three hotel buildings and offers shops, restaurants and observation decks to the public. Building the SkyPark was one of the most expensive construction projects in history and once you see it, you can believe it. Unfortunately for the general public, the infinity pool is just open to hotel guests. With plenty of sun loungers, umbrellas, palm trees and dining choices, it is easy to spend an entire day on top of the world here.

Victor Maschek / Shutterstock.com
Victor Maschek / Shutterstock.com

5. Ubud Hanging Gardens -Bali, Indonesia

It is one of the most photographed pools in the world and it is no wonder why, as the architecture here is absolutely stunning. This pool won’t be for the faint of heart though as it jets out from the hotel, high above the treetops. It is a split-level infinity pool, the top half featuring a huge deck that flows out from the hotel. The bottom half is almost hidden from sight and creates the feeling of having a private atmosphere, complete with a waterfall. The curved pools were designed to replicate the steep terraced rice paddies that are such an iconic feature of this area of the world. There are a variety of benches and sun chairs around the pool and service staff is more than happy to bring guests food and drink. For the true romantic, you can even eat dinner on a floating dock in the lower level of this awesome infinity pool.

Photo by: Hanging Gardens UBUD
Photo by: Hanging Gardens UBUD

4. Habita Monterrey -San Pendro Garza Garcia, Mexico

These pools are located on the rooftop terrace of this modern boutique hotel and offer guests stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The infinity style pools run the length of the rooftop with a bar and eating area running down the middle to separate them. One of the pools is warm and perfect for relaxing while the other is slightly cooler and draws more swimmers serious about swimming laps. The concrete canopy above ensures that you aren’t sweltering up here and there is no better place to grab a cocktail after your swim than from the friendly bartender up on the roof, willing to make you just about anything you desire.

Photo by:  Hotel MTY
Photo by: Hotel MTY

3. Kempinski Hotel Ishtar -Amman, Jordan

This five star luxury hotel is situated on the edge of the famous salt lake, the Dead Sea and provides unlimited views across the sea. This resort doesn’t just offer one amazing pool though, it offers nine. The most popular pool here is the lazy river, which takes visitors around the resort. The sunken pool is the perfect place to relax, offering guests a fireplace in the middle and fringed with palm trees along the sides. The round infinity pool though is perhaps the most visually impressive and offers load of space to visitors looking to take a dip. All the pools here are surrounded by plush sun beds, extraordinary scenery and excellent service. It’s too hard to narrow down which of these pools is the best one, so we suggest trying them all.

Photo by: Dan Lundberg via Flickr
Photo by: Dan Lundberg via Flickr

2. Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor -Siem Reap, Cambodia

This colonial style hotel offers an escape from the city and features an authentic looking tropical pool. The saltwater pool here is surrounded by lush tropical gardens and soaring palm trees on one side, enough to make you forget that you are indeed in the middle of the city. There are enough sun beds on the other side for all guests and this tropical oasis manages to never feel crowded. The inviting lounge spills out onto the swimming pool terrace and most of the bedrooms horseshoe around the pool, giving lovely views to all who stay here. Most visitors love to pad around these tranquil grounds, sip a cocktail on the deck or go for a refreshing afternoon swim.

Photo by: Belmond La Residence D'Angkor
Photo by: Belmond La Residence D’Angkor

1. Hacienda Uayamon -Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

This wonderfully unique property is set ideally close to the Mayan site of Edzna, on Mexico’s stunning Yucatan Peninsula. It is hidden away in thick jungle foliage and ancient ruins and was created to retain some of the original charm of the former cattle ranch it was once. The pool is actually situated in a ruined part of the building and was once the main room. It has since been flooded with water and has become one of the most beautiful swimming pools in the world, with its crumbling stone walls and topless pillars. The absence of a roof means that light pours in all day to this pool and more often than not guests can been seen lounging in the provided hammocks. This setting is sure to relax and inspire you as your worries drift away in the clear turquoise waters.

Photo by: Julie Edgley via Flickr
Photo by: Julie Edgley via Flickr

12 Amazing World Heritage Sites You Have to Visit

Of the 1,007 designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites (779 cultural, 197 natural) one may be pleased to hear that only 46 are in danger. However, that is 46 too many. Each of the sites is equally as unique and important, as they are special and breathtaking. The sites scatter the globe from hemisphere to hemisphere, time zone to time zone and north to South Pole. What makes each site great -besides its uniqueness, is the fact the sites do not have cultural bias, nor do they have opinions. They do not make arguments based on race, religion or political denomination, either. Every site stands and exists to simply be admired by the characteristics that make it amazing enough to be designated a world heritage site.  A visual bucket list, here are 12 outstanding UNESCO World Heritage Sites that should be seen by anyone lucky enough to be in close enough proximity to have the opportunity to visit them.

12. Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls

Jerusalem has an amazing skyline that is unlike anything in the west. Marked as a holy city for Judaism, Christianity as well as Islam, Jerusalem serves significance for countless backgrounds and creeds. The Dome of the Rock is of particular significance and serves as a landmark that most would recognize in photos. The site of Abraham’s sacrifice is noticeable by its gold dome and colorful architecture.

A younger generation may notice that the Jerusalem setting is a popular landscape for many modern video games most notably Assassin’s Creed; where the user is able to scale to the top of buildings with ease and take in a virtual rendition of the historic city. The dome, which was built in the seventh century, serves as a focal point of the site deemed worthy of the list in 1981, not that being left off the list would have prevented millions from visiting the location every single year.

Old City of Jerusalem

11. Palace and Park of Fontainebleau, France

This site, which received inscription in 1981, is a magical building straight out of a fairy tale. Set on the water surrounded by lush greenery, it’s a palace made for the set of a Disney movie. The greenery belongs to the vast forest in the Ile-de-France that was embellished and increased in size in the 16th century with the hopes of transforming it into the “New Rome” according to Francois I.

Its original use however, was intended for the royal hunting lodge of Fontainebleau especially for the French Kings during the 12th century that resided here. A combination of Renaissance and French traditions are the basis for the design, with the earliest buildings taking shape between 1528 and 1540. Construction was supervised by the master builder Gille le Breton, the same man responsible for the Cour Ovale that is part of the eastern section of the site standing atop ancient foundations.

Palace and Park of Fontainebleau France

10. Historic Centre of Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

This site’s castle strays from the traditional brown roofs of the surrounding area to stand out as the definitive focal point of the skyline, reaching most closely to the heavens. The site joined the list in 1992 and is parked picturesquely on the banks of the Vltava River. The surrounding town was erected around a 13th century Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque-styled castle.

The culture’s peaceful nature has allowed this small town to maintain its architectural integrity for hundreds of years, and hopefully hundreds more to come. The town looks typical of the Middle Ages, a circular-street layout emerging from a center square. Any visitors are sure to appreciate the mix of influences on the castle which was eventually turned into a chateau, a summer palace, a winter riding school and a theater all while having a flourishing garden to boot. An often overlooked tourist destination, this site showcases just some of the excellent architecture the Czech Republic has to offer.

Historic Centre of Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

9. Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn, Austria

The Palace and Gardens of Schonbrunn in Austria holds true to its phenomenally well-preserved Baroque ensembles of its kind. It stands as a symbol of the power the House of Habsburg held over a long stretch of history in Europe, from the 17th to 20th century.

No expense appears to be spared on the land as it is ripe with eye-pleasing gardens, walkways and monuments. Astonishingly enough, the site was completely rebuilt after its destruction in 1683 at the hands of a Turkish attack. The gardens and palace share an organic connection, which is an example of an art concept called Gesamtkunstwerk, which is essentially a combination of several different forms of art. The site was only marked significant in 1996 despite the Orangery on the east side being the longest in the world at a wondrous 186 meters long. The main structure itself was built in 1880 using technology developed in England.

canadastock / Shutterstock.com
canadastock / Shutterstock.com

8. Angkor, Cambodia

One of only two sites in Cambodia, Angkor holds very important significance for its region. Extending over 400 kilometers squared, it consists of temples, communications routes as well as hydraulic structures such as basins, dykes and canals. This was the center of the Khmer Kingdom for several centuries.

Angkor is able to showcase different types of requirements for a UNESCO site with its major cultural, religious and symbolic significance. This setting that is rich in rice cultivation and other agricultural practices may be recognized by some movie buffs as an important backdrop for cult 90’s movie Mortal Kombat. Frankly, one cannot think of a better background for a battle between gods and mortals. More than 100,000 inhabitants span 112 historic settlements on the site, who are consistently trying to expand their dwelling area. It is also very close to the town of Siem Reap, a neighboring tourism hub that sees plenty of visitors.

Angkor, Cambodia

7. Venice and its Lagoon, Italy

A place that needs no introduction and is home to romance at its heart, Venice is a destination known worldwide for its winding rivers and old-world European charm. Situated in Northeast Italy, Venice was founded in the fifth century and is spread across 118 tiny islands. It became  a masterpiece over time with famous artists such as Giorgione, Titian, and Tintoretto showcasing works on even the smallest of structures.

The lagoon covers 50,000 square kilometers and has been a significant area since the time when Venetians escaped barbarian raids by fleeing to the nearby sand-covered islands. These refugee spots would slowly become formal residences and eventually became a powerhouse of the fishing industry. Despite numerous attacks on their trade routes/markets by Arabs, Genoese and Ottoman Turks, Venice never stood down and would never lose its spot. Now, Venice is famous for its romance and beauty, making it a favorite of tourists to Italy.

Venice Italy Lagoons

6. Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape, Turkey

A rather new site receiving its designation in 2014, Pergamon rises high above its surroundings in the historic Aegean region of Turkey. It served as the capital of the Hellenistic Attalid dynasty and held its own as the major center of learning for centuries in the ancient world. Temples, theaters, a gymnasium and library are just some of the structures built upon the sloped terrain inside the ostensibly never-ending city wall.

Seemingly at the top of the globe when looking down, the acropolis is visible from another hill where the Kybele Sanctuary lies carved out of stone. The city would become the Roman capital of Asia and contains the burial mounds of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires from different points in time. For any war-historian, this a dream location to stand atop and soak in all the stories the land has to offer. The area itself measures 333 hectares and meets five different heritage listing criteria.

Pergamon City Turkey

5. Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey, Germany

One of many sites in Germany (of nearly 40) the Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey were also added to the UNESCO list in 2014. These sites were erected in 822 and 855 respectively along the Weser River on the outskirts of Hoxter. As the only standing structure of the Carolingian era the structures are preserved in their rural setting despite some of the complex being only partially excavated and preserved.

The high archways and thick pillars express important architectural significance of their period in history, and showcase the territorial control of the Frankish empire. The remnants of Christian propagation and Carolingian culture/political order make the site of particular interest.  However little excavated or kept, the site is still no strain on the eyes, with a structure style recognizable by many but identifiable by very few. The rare architecture is a testament to how much the area has endured throughout history.

Civitas Corvey, Germany

4. Stevns Klint, Denmark

Stevns Klint in Denmark is significant in an entirely different way than the previous sites mentioned on this list. The history of the area is directly impacted by meteorite impacts made with Earth. The Chixulub meteorite crashed into the planet approximately 67 million years ago (the earth is about 4.45 billion years old) and is widely credited with ending the age of the dinosaurs.

With its high contribution to scientific study, Stevns Klint allows a larger audience/community to be exposed to what it has to offer by being placed on the UNESCO list in 2014. Adding to its scientific importance is the fact that the site is associated with a “radical” theory of asteroid-driven extinction thought up by Walter and Luis W Alvarez. The site can also be appreciated for its visuals, a rocky beach overlooked view-able from atop the overhanging cliffs that take residence above.

Stevns Klint, Denmark

3. Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites, United Kingdom

What can be said about Stonehenge that already hasn’t? Although known about for quite some time, the special kind of significance Stonehenge holds lies in the mystery of its true origins. The holy places and nearby Neolithic sites cannot be compared to other sites of prehistoric times.

What exactly is responsible for Stonehenge? Well, no one really knows. The circles of menhirs are arranged in a pattern that holds some sort of astronomical significance. Embodying a plethora of heritage, Stonehenge has been the center of mortuary practices for 2,000 years. Some believe the large rocks were put there by a physically larger race of humans of prehistoric times. Others think the arrangement holds extraterrestrial origins. The problem with all of this is, no one knows how or why they would be there and for what purpose. There is too much intelligence in the site for it to be accidental or to be done by primitive species, but one thing is for sure, this site in the South of England should not be missed.

Stonehenge England

2. Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat, India

This dug-out structure holds much cultural significance to the people of its region as a distinctive form of subterranean water architecture. Located on the banks of the Saraswati River in Patan it was built in the 11th century as a religious and functioning structure built inward. This was meant to show the sanctity of water.

It is a single-component water management system with seven levels of stairs. The panels are of such highly-artistic quality that many wonder how it has remained so well preserved. This is a testament to Indian culture that can often be revered for its fine respect of art work and historical/architectural/spiritual landmarks. The drop into the ancient reservoir is immediate from the flat land above, which only increases the aesthetic appeal of the site. Another site fresh on the minds of those that appreciate such history as it was named significant in 2014.

Nisarg Lakhmani / Shutterstock.com
Nisarg Lakhmani / Shutterstock.com

1.  Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor, Various Nations

The Silk Roads are a term with many different connotations but they stem from the 5,000 km long property that crosses over the central capital of China (Chang’an/Luoyang) in the Han and Tang dynasties, the Zhetysu region of Asia. The roads also cross over into Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

After becoming established between the second century (BCE) and the first century, it maintained use through the 16th century because it linked far-reaching civilizations together for trade. Beliefs, scientific knowledge and technology were also exchanged along the Silk Roads. Various kingdoms, settlements, temples, beacon towers, tombs, fortresses and even the Great Wall are a part of the network that now has become a synonym used to define the illegal trading that takes place on the internet. While the name may take on different meanings these days, the Silks Roads are plenty significant enough to warrant #1 on this list due to the spread of the aforementioned resources.

Silk Roads Zhetysu China

10 Great Budget Vacation Destinations

The dream of traveling the world is an image that most people have at some point in life, but one that is not recognized by many due to financial restrictions. With accommodations to arrange, travel to book and sights to see, the cost of a trip abroad can be intimidating to potential travelers. However, many wondrous locations are available to visit even for those on a tight budget. All it takes to plan an affordable vacation is some careful research, a bit of planning and a reasonable expectation of your trip. A little flexibility goes a long way in the world of travel so while expensive destinations may be out of reach there are still plenty of amazing places than can be seen on a budget. Read on to hear about these 10 great budget-friendly destinations:

10. South Africa

In the summer of 2010, the eyes of the world focused on South Africa, as Johannesburg prepared to host the World Cup final. Since then, South Africa has seen a decline in tourism, with rates down 8% from 2013. Now is a great time to take advantage of all there is to see and do. The region is home to a number of great beaches, as it intersects the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Kruger National Park, a popular destination for safari, costs only $20 to visit. Travelers can also visit the Nelson Mandela National Museum where Mandela lived from 1946 through 1962, where bullet holes and scorch marks remain showing the scars of the countries troubled political past.

Cape Town South Africa

9. Latvia

This small hockey-mad Baltic nation is a hidden gem in Europe that is renowned for its great culture. The capital city, Riga, is located right on the Baltic Sea, and in 2014 was named the official European Capital of Culture by the European Union. Not only has the city received that honor, but the city of Riga was also awarded the title of UNESCO World Heritage site. St. Peter’s Church and the famous Riga Cathedral are just two of the many medieval era buildings that can be found throughout the city. Visitors should also consider taking a trip to the Latvian National Opera building to take in an opera, ballet or choral performance.

Riga Latvia

8. Cambodia

A country that has long been preferred by backpackers, Cambodia can be a remarkably cheap destination for tourists. Though the flight to the country may cost a considerable amount, a visitor can find accommodations for as little as $4 a night at a hostel. Food in Cambodia is also relatively cheap, and there are plenty of free things to do for entertainment. The Chroy Changvar Bridge for example, is a suspension bridge built in 1966, and then rebuilt in 1995 after being destroyed by the Khmer Rouge. The centuries-old hilltop temple of Wat Phnom is nearly free since it costs visitors only $1 for admission, however the elephant rides within will cost you, but a stroll through the site itself alone is worth the visit.

Siem Reap Cambodia

7. Spain

News about the current financial status of Spain has significantly lowered the cost for potential visitors. Hotels, attractions and shops are all cheaper than they once were so it’s a great time to visit this treasured European country. Spain boasts a number of world-class cities, such as the capital Madrid, Barcelona and of course, the party capital of the world, Ibiza. The country is home to a number of the finest futbol (soccer) clubs in the world, with a fan-base that is just as passionate as the players on the pitch.

Park Guell Barcelona Spain

6. Northern Ireland

A destination popular for its music, literature and dramatic arts, Northern Ireland is a region often overlooked when considering a location to visit. Budget Travel magazine reported that the country has invested $25-million in its tourism industry, and that since 2012 more flights than ever before have traveled between the capital, Belfast, and London which is good news for passengers as more flights means lower airfare rates.

Derry Ireland

5. Greece

Similar to Spain, Greece is another European destination that has seen financial troubles in recent times. With businesses dependent on tourism dollars fearing empty rooms and airline seats, the price of a trip to Greece has plummeted. For the price it once cost to simply fly to Greece, a pair of visitors could have a week long vacation. Greece is home to many great historic sites all across the country, and can provide sight-seers with a look at buildings and culture dating from the ancient Greek and Roman eras, through the Byzantine and medieval era, all the way up to modern society.

Island greece

4. Turkey

Bordering Greece is another destination for tourists on a budget. Just north of Greece is Turkey and the famous city of Istanbul, once the cultural capital of the world back when it was known as Constantinople, which is home to a number of great attractions such as the Haiga Sophia and Basillica Cistern. Across the Aegean Sea, Antalya has a plethora of beaches and 5-star resorts as well as a number of ancient ruins. Hotel rates have dropped 25% in Turkey, with some premium hotels costing only $100 per night, which makes it a great spot for those looking to save.

Amasra town Turkey

3. Nepal

According to Lonely Planet, a trip to Nepal could cost as little as $5 to $7 dollars a day. It should be noted, however, that this would not be for those with picky taste buds as that price is based on eating local cuisine. Visitors looking to spend in a mid-range would be looking at around $20 a day, and in the top-end around $50 a day. A current lull in tourism has created a situation where businesses are looking to attract visitors, and are forced to lower their prices to do so. This is a destination that at the current rate, is a definite steal.

Kathmandu, Nepal

2. Dominican Republic

Perhaps the most common image conjured up when picturing a vacation is a blue sky, a white sandy beach, and a warm ocean breeze rolling in. The Dominican Republic offers just that, and at a very reasonable $212 per night for a pair of travelers. Most resorts in the country offer packages of activities that include swimming with dolphins, driving dune buggies, snorkeling and much more. A visit to Los Haitises National Park provides a chance to get in touch with nature at a protected forest, and for an additional $3 (plus a licensed guide) guests can rent a kayak and traverse through lagoons and canals to get a glimpse of local wildlife.

Altos de Chavon Dominican Republic

1. Czech Republic

The capital, Prague, once the center of the former communist Czechoslovakia, is a lively city that is one of the top tourist destinations of Eastern Europe. For as much as $30 a day, visitors can sight-see, have three meals, sample Prague’s famous beer and even get accommodations, according to Triplogist. Prague is a city that managed to avoid the bland designs of Soviet era development, and has retained its fantastic culture for hundreds of years.

Charles bridge, Czech Republic

The World’s Most Historic Vacation Spots

Good news for all of you history buffs out there. Your quest for ancient ruins, sacred wonders, and world-famous landmarks need not be squandered at an all-inclusive resort. It’s not as challenging as one might think to choose a vacation destination with historic highlights.

Here are ten prime vacation spots for history lovers…

1. Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

If you like to lounge on a stunning beach between your explorations of ancient Mayan ruins, Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula offers a perfect blend of both. In Cancun you’ll find the world renowned ruins of Chichen Itza and Cobá. And in nearby Merida you can follow the Puuc trek and explore the many Mayan delights—such as the Uxmal ceremonial grounds and pyramids.

Chichen Itza Mexico

2. Athens, Greece

Athens is the premiere site of Greek myth. Here, you can trace the origins and stories of Greek immortals—like Zeus and Poseidon. As one of the world’s oldest cities, you’ll discover history galore. Start with the Acropolis of Athens, explore the famous Parthenon, check out the seats at the Old Olympic Stadium, and if you have time for a dip in the gorgeous azure waves, it’s a pure bonus.

Parthenon, Athens, Greece

3. Petra, Jordan

If Indiana Jones inspired your adventurous side—the city of Petra, scene of the fictional hero’s Holy Grail quest will certainly get your whip spinning. Petra sits carved into a canyon in Arabah, Jordan, where, as the real story goes, was uncovered in 1812 by a Swiss explorer. Today, Petra is among the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Petra, Jordan

4. Rome, Italy

It should be no surprise to find Rome on this list of top historical cities. Not only is it the birthplace of one of the world’s most influential civilizations; it’s also the site of ruins of ancient Rome—such as the Colosseum, The Roman Forum, the early Christian Catacombs of San Callisto, Palatine Hill, the Baths of Caracalla, Villa dei Quintili, and the remains of Port of Ostia Antica.

Villa Borghese Gardens, Rome

5. Machu Picchu, Peru

Well worth the 4-day trek, Machu Picchu is all that remains of the lost Incan civilization in Peru before it was ravaged by the Spanish. You can explore the “Lost City of the Incas” along with hordes of other tourists. So it’s best to plan a day trip and arrive early to get the biggest bang for your efforts.

machu picchu 10

6. Bejing, China

A reminder of the emperors who once ruled this vast empire, Bejing is home to a plethora of Asian culture and influence—such as the Forbidden City, the Ming Tombs, and the Great Wall of China, which almost fully-preserved, dates back to the glorious Ming Dynasty.

Beijing Great wall

7. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

A stunning example of Khmer architecture, the Angkor Wat Temple dates back to the early 12th century. Constructed by Cambodia’s King Suryavarman II as the state capital, the temple holds many unique bas-reliefs (colonettes carved in sandstone) and devatas (elaborate Hindu carvings of deities).

Angkor Wat

8. Budapest, Hungary

The picturesque city of Budapest still harbors many of the forgotten Roman and Medieval sites—although many are now found in ruins. However, you can still take a step back through history amid the Roman-inspired Aquincum to Matthias Church, and the medieval Buda Castle and museums.

Buda Castle, budapest

9. Agra, India

Obviously, the Taj Mahal is India’s most famous and celebrated ancient structure. However, Agra, a short train excursion from Delhi, offers an abundance of historical architecture for the history buff. Remnants of the Mughal Dynasty and one-time Indian capital of Fatehpur Sikri still linger like ghosts in this thriving city.

Taj-Mahal

10. Cairo, Egypt

Cairo is steeped in the remains of ancient Egypt and the inspiring civilizations that were responsible for modern day marvels such as the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx, which will have you scratching your noodle over the possibility of the construction. The 481-foot building, which took almost 20 years to build, was once considered the tallest man-made structure in the entire world—and that was without the use of cranes or modern machinery.

pyramids-egypt