THE TALE OF TALES - WORLD CRUISE 2019

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Hotel Kalevala is a small, private lakeside hotel with 47 rooms, 3 km from Kuhmo centre, located in the eastern Wild Taiga. The eternally staggering sights of Cairo and Ancient Egypt in top comfort. During this drive you will pass highlights including Parliament House, the Treasury Building, Customs House, Cultural Centre, the magnificent Brisbane Botanic Gardens and many other historical and landmark properties. By day explore mountain towns, seaside villages, Swabian castles and cave homes that pre-date the Renaissance. On this thrilling 9-night gay group tour, you will experience historic cities, archaeology, architecture, agriculture and wildlife, plus the delightful revelries of an unforgettable Mexican Carnival.

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Costa Rica is where the word paradise was meant for. It's one of the most biologically diverse places in the world with dense jungles full of monkeys, sloths, reptiles and other tropical life, reaching out onto stunning white sand beaches. Nature is perfectly paired with adventure in this tiny Central American country. Valentine's day in the town of Romeo and Juliet is a special day: Verona in Love is preparing to conquer the hearts of lovers with a mix of poetry, magic and entertainment Venice, City of Love and Lovers, awaits for you on Valentine's Day for a perfect romantic and memorable moment to spend with your Partner!

Experience the City of love during the most romantic time of the year and make this day a special one. Make this years' Valentine's day even more special!

Hop on our gay tour of Thailand and discover the exquisite Land of Smiles in style! Thailand conjures up images of spicy delicacies, majestic elephants, golden Buddhas, vibrant nightlife and exotic hideaways - and we experience it all on this trip for gay men, their friends and family.

Learn about, and spend time with, the majestic Asian Elephant. Enjoy this 9-day Cuban Adventure exploring the white sand beaches and spectacular scenery of Cuba. This gay group tour is designed to introduce our travelers to the best experiences in Thailand. Costa Rica is also known as the most gay-friendly country in Central America, with a lively gay social scene in San Jose and Manuel Antonio, and some of the friendliest local Latin people you could ever meet!

This is a true Latin experience from the people, to the Salsa dancing, to the Gallo Pinto for breakfast. We genuinely love Costa Rica and can't wait to share this paradise with you!

Dine at the best restaurants and learn the troubled history of these countries. Picture yourself immersed in the african plains with the sounds of wild animals and scents of the african bush. For those wanting to experience more, why not join us straight after the tour for the Cape Town Pride Long Weekend.

From sophisticated afternoon tea and 4-wheeling in the Outback, to sunset dinner aboard a private yacht and a fabulous Gay Mardi Gras, this is the trip of a lifetime! Our gay trip begins with two days exploring the busy streets of Kathmandu, before we fly over the haunting Himalayas en route to the Everest region.

Our own hike reaches its own impressive heights with an overnight stay at Everest Base Camp 5,m , where we can bask in the majesty of the Mother of the Universe, that epic mountain herself. Landing in Lima, once dubbed "City of Kings", we begin our adventure touring majestic churches, exquisite palaces, fascinating underground catacombs and museums.

We making our way through the scenic 'Sacred Valley of the Incas' to one of the most famous attractions in the Americas and most memorable sights in the world: If you are traveling to India, you will want to know that you are selecting the best program available. If you have wanted to see this amazing and life-changing country, here is your opportunity.

Philippines verdant mountainsides, the deep jungles, the white sands beaches, limestone sentinels along the coast and crystal blue seas are all precious jewels to the visitor, and the archipelago numbering 7, islands is itself like a necklace wrapping around this portion of the South China Sea.

The Philippines is a fascinating destination! Follow in the footsteps of the nineteenth-century travellers who wrote of soaring Andean peaks plunging into luxuriant Amazonian canyons of orchids, pythons, and jaguars. Immerse yourself in Peru, home of the richest treasures, the bloodiest conquests, and the most advanced ancient civilizations.

From the moment you step foot in Sri Lanka, you will be captivated Those with an interest in Buddhism will not only learn but will be inspired. Architecture buffs will be mesmerized by its ancient ruins as well as its modern, stylish buildings, especially our hotels. Foodies will go crazy over pol sambol and other traditional favorites.

Sri Lanka is an island gem just begging to be explored, with tourism growing quickly. On this decadent escape, we'll take the inland loop that leads through many of this nation's finest historic, cultural, and natural attractions. We'll see lush landscapes and lakeside cities. We'll be treated like royalty in sensuous hotels and served some of the most memorable meals of our lives.

Join us on this gay group tour as we reveal surreal Sri Lanka. Enjoy timeless ruins, welcoming people, oodles of elephants and the famous Ceylon Tea trails on our magical travel experience to the amazing country that is Sri Lanka. We will do our best to uncover all of her ancient secrets and there are many in an epic trip across misty mountains and tranquil lakes, while exploring wildlife preserves and Buddhist Temples.

Rio's Carnival is perhaps the world's most famous celebration. Carnival is a spectacular time to come to Rio de Janeiro, especially for gay travelers!

There are several gay festivals including one in front of our hotel, and people joke that everyone seems a little gay during carnival! During Carnival , in addition to gay pool parties and large dance events, you can also join street festivals and parades all over the city; and there is an attitude of good will and harmony that pervades everything. Our day trip through South Africa encompases the very parts of South Africa that makes it so well known!

Think a safari in Kruger National Park full of lions, hippos, zebras, giraffes. Think wine tasting in the the midst of the worlds best vineyards in the Winelands. Think cosmopolitan Cape Town where you can dive with great white sharks, summit iconic Table Mountain, and walk in the footsteps of incredible history.

On this thrilling 9-night gay group tour, you will experience historic cities, archaeology, architecture, agriculture and wildlife, plus the delightful revelries of an unforgettable Mexican Carnival.

Carnival celebrations typically involve a parade combining some elements of a circus, masks, and a huge street party. However, every country brings its own character to their own Carnival, and Mexico has some of the most exuberant in the world.

From hiking the rim of an active volcano, Sierra Negra, to swimming with penguins, our Galapagos gay land adventure will take us to three distinctly unique volcanic Islands. Take a journey through the culturally rich New Zealand. Hotel Kalevala is a small, private lakeside hotel with 47 rooms, 3 km from Kuhmo centre, located in the eastern Wild Taiga. Plenty of exciting activities in the gorgeous Finnish winter landscape, like snowshoeing, snowmobile and husky safari tours.

A relaxing and varied gay group tour around this hospitable and friendly country. See the varied cultural diversity of the capital, Kathmandu and its surrounding towns, beautiful lakeside Pokhara and its grand mountain scenery, the birth place of Buddha at Lumbini and the famous Chitwan National park.

Welcome to the world where religious harmony and peace prevail since the beginning. Enthralled and exhausted by it all, please stand by for the Royal Maharajah treatment, outstanding meals, memorable accommodations Join us for a gay Ecuador adventure tour that brings you to the equator in the Andes Mountains. Horseback riding through the hills, hiking down into an extinct volcano crater and visiting the Middle of the World Monument await your arrival.

Join us as we explore Quito, one of the best preserved historic cities in the Americas. India's beauty and diversity will enrich you with her culture, stun you with her modernity, embrace you with her warmth, and overwhelm you with her hospitality Our gay group tour combines the ultimate luxury with seamless exploration of one of the world's most fascinating countries. You will stay in the absolute best hotels and palaces in Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur, Hyderabad, a leopard safari, and Jodhpur Plus enjoy our pre-trip to Nepal!

This gay India tour has an abundance of famous temples, palaces, and forts. Take a leisurely pace, and relax in five-star luxury. Extension to the Hindi pilgrimage destination of Varanasi and the ancient temples of Khajuraho.

If you are able to stay a few more days, we invite you to experience the multi-cultural capital city of Nepal: Still largely untouched by the modern world, Laos is one of the world's best kept secrets. It is an inherently peaceful place, free from much of the word's stresses, and containing effortless beauty, graceful people, and centuries-old traditions and culture.

The pristine, lush landscape's beauty is matched only by beautiful smiles at every turn. We suggest combining this with our tour to Vietnam and Cambodia , March 21 - 31, Join Source Events as we gather for a once-in-a-lifetime luxury gay group journey to the Festival of Colors in India!

Colorful, outrageous, romantic and wild, India is a beautiful enigma, delivering spectacular natural beauty in every shape and form. Its vibrancy will astound you, as will the warmth of its people. Myanmar - A truly exotic and amazing destination! From golden-gilded Buddhas in Yangon and the magical temples of Bagan to the tranquillity of Inle Lake, Burma will excite, impress and intrigue you.

See the craft filled city of Mandalay for shopping and tranquil, untouched Ngapali Beach for relaxing and chilling out.

The variety and depth of natural beauty of this isolated South Pacific island group will impress and inspire you while hiking trails and glaciers, kayaking, biking, canyoning, rafting, and bungy jumping!

Few countries in the world offer as much intrigue and surprise as Vietnam and Cambodia. While touring these destinations, one learns to expect the unexpected, and to simply be impressed at every turn. These are countries that abound with superlatives. You will see some of the world's most beautiful scenery, eat some of the world's most inventive cuisine, and visit some of the world's most mystifying archeological sites.

Experience simple yet awe-inspiring traditions, crafts, forts, palaces, religion, camels, people, cuisine et al.

Stay in Heritage Hotels make for a real heritage travel escapade. Afar Magazine featured this evocative region, dubbing it a last great undiscovered travel destination. The mountain kingdom of Bhutan remains one of the old world's last few strongholds, as yet unspoilt by civilization.

In the charmed isolation of the Himalayan heights, Bhutan's ancient and alluring ways of Mahayana Buddhism continue richly intact to this day, and permeate every aspect of Bhutanese life and culture.

Mexico City is the largest metropolis in the Western Hemisphere and is brimming with rich culture and awe-inspiring architecture. Springtime in Japan is synonymous with the arrival of blooms blanketing the nation with various shades of white and pink.

These famous cherry blossoms draw epic-sized crowds from around the globe, all eager to be a part of this quintessential hanami flower appreciation experience. From exciting Cape Town to the amazing Madikwe Game Reserve, our heritage tour offers all the best South Africa has to offer, all with a group of friendly gay travelers. Experience brilliant views from atop Table Mountain, thrilling safaris at a luxurious Game Reserve lodge.

Pre-Tour extension to Victoria Falls. See both of these small Himalayan countries and their grand scenery. Huge Tibetan style monasteries, palaces and wonderful people in the rather inaccessible Kingdom of Bhutan followed by the diversity of Nepal with its lakes, national parks and historical cities. An optional extra in Kathmandu is a flight to see Mount Everest. Dinner has been planned at the hotels every evening to take advantage of the excellent kitchens of these establishments.

The sightseeing theme of our trip is Historic Houses and Gardens. Join this gay Israel adventure tour for a high-adrenaline exploration of the antiquity, geography, and culture of Israel!

Soak up thousands of years of history by exploring the famous cultural sights of the region, and also hiking, canyoning, caving, kayaking, and more. Consider an optional extension afterward to visit Petra and other landmarks of Jordan.

We will spend a full week in a typical Masseria farmstead set within acres of olive groves and nearby to stunning beaches. Arizona Gay Bicycling Adventure. Cycle miles of pristine bike trails on this gay Arizona bicycling adventure. Enjoy city life in Tucson then ride south to see historic landmarks, rugged canyons, and blazing sunsets.

Cross the border for a Mexican feast, and soak up the colorful character of the American Southwest. Experience The Land of Smiles on a luxurious gay journey. Enjoy two days in Bangkok, wandering the Grand Palace and devouring the street food.

You have a chance to get up close and personal with Asian elephants, then getting soaked at the famous Songkran water-fight to ring in the Thai New Year. It's the perfect combination of inspiring places and rich history in the comfort of an all-gay environment.

China seems to be on the minds of everyone lately. It's economy is booming, its major cities like Shanghai are devoloping at a rapid pace, and the Olympics in China are aguably more spectacular than any before.

There is no better time to come to China, and Zoom Vacations has created a once-in-a-lifetime trip combining culture, history, glamour, authentic cuisine, and 5 star accommodations throughout, all with the gay sensibilty you've come to expect from Zoom.

Welcome to Salento, the Southeastern-most tip of Puglia, the heel of the boot of Italy. Our Luxury Gay Salento Food and Wine Tour is your opportunity to explore the world-famous food in this amazing location, connecting Ionian and Adriatic seas. Our tour combines the must-see sights of the area with a sophisticated exploration of the best food and wines of Southern Italy. Sicily is the largest island in all the Mediterranean Sea, a sun-kissed land with warm breezes and rich volcanic soil that once made it truly a paradise on earth.

The land and sea offered up in abundance fresh seafood, olive trees, orange groves, lemon trees, date palms, almond fields, grape vineyards, rolling wheat fields, and dense forests. Gay tour of Spain. This gay holiday takes an intimate group of travelers to the most picturesque parts of Spain.

Join us and explore the culture, history, and beauty of Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Cordoba, and the scenic Spanish countryside between. Spain is a rich collection of regions, each fiercely proud of its own identity.

Rugged mountain terrain meets vast open desert. Arab meets European meets Sub-Saharan African. Five star luxury meets romantic desert campsite. This is Zoom Vacations Morocco! For twelwe days Zoom Vacation travelers will experience the distinct Moroccan culture, a little mix of everywhere that makes it unlike anywhere. Our hand-crafted tour explores the must see jewels of the Western Kingdom and reveals its hidden gems. Less than two miles away across a wisp of sea from mainland Italy, Sicily remains somewhat of a world apart.

This sun-drenched island of dramatic volcanoes and fabulous coastlines boasts an awesome historical legacy and a vibrant traditional culture. This is a salubrious addition to our European walking series in region that lends itself beautifully to our leisurely style of day hiking from a hotel base. Spend a week cycling along ancient Roman lanes, coastal drives and mountain paths.

Each night, relax at an authentic gay owned and operated agriturismo, enjoying a glass of wine from the villa's vineyards, gourmet meals, and a dip in the pool, with cute locals always stopping by to enjoy the festivities. During our gay Italy bike tour in Puglia, we'll have five biking days, designed in a 'roller coaster' fashion, with light days in the beginning and end. Exhilirating, active, and more fun than you ever imagined.

Atlantis all-gay resort week at Club Med Cancun continues to be nothing short of sensational! Join gay and lesbian guests from around the world as we take over this spectacular acre resort for an incomparable week of excitement and relaxation.

This magnificent gay adventure describes a leisurely route across the beautiful landscapes of Greece's Cycladic island group. Our mainland jump-off point is none other than Athens, one of the world's greatest capital cities and a bustling metropolis that fuses antiquity and modernity to spectacular effect.

Join us on our China Gay Adventure Tour of epic proportions! Our 8-day Peru trip showcases the jaw-dropping Andean mountain range in all it's glory! This trip starts in the bustling capital city of Lima and finishes 8 days later in the ancient Inca city of Cusco.

From historic mountaintop fortresses, to lush river valleys surrounded by impressive natural wonders, these 8 days in Peru show off the side of Peru that everyone dreams of experiencing for themselves. Peru is ready to blow your mind! With breathtaking vistas in every direction, incredibly unique local culture, and an unlimited number of exciting activities along the way, Peru is a perfectly enriching destination.

Our day gay trip through Peru mixes our laid-back travel concept with Peru's most unique and memorable sites to form an adventure that you'll be talking about forever. A Greek Isles gay tour that's not a cruise??? On this very special trip, we travel by scheduled ferry through the beautiful Cycladic Island group and spend our nights on each unique island, with a perfect balance of organized activities and free time to soak it all up.

Greece is a country of beautiful contradictions, a constant journey in time from the present to the past and back again. Though distances travelled are not huge, this is a very diverse trip, from glitzy Barcelona and its outstanding nearby beaches, to stately Madrid with its marvelous galleries and shopping, to the fascinating Moorish sites of Cordoba, Granada and Sevilla.

As you read through this exceptional program, you will recognize place names that have been on your radar for most of your life. Even if you have already been to a few of these beautiful towns and places, you will delight in return to them and seeing even more of this historic country.

Northern Italy is by far our most popular gay group tour offering in Western Europe. This day cultural program highlights all the special sights, sounds, scents, and tastes that have made this magical place a must for even the most seasoned traveller.

This is a highlight-packed though well-paced journey from Rome to Siena, Pisa, the Cinque Terre, and incomparable Florence.

Croatia is decidedly "bi" with its superb coastal attributes adjacent to an equally picturesque interior festooned with soaring mountains and pristine lakes. In Zagreb, Croatia's capital, we are treated to the sights and sounds of a city that displays a unique blend of Eastern and Western European influences.

After Netta's amazing victory, the music festival is coming to Israel for the third time! We have put together a fabulous program highlighting the best of Tel Aviv and Israel in honor of the 64th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Join thousands of tourists in celebration of Europe's hottest and gayest event of the year. Pack your sunglasses and bathing suit to soak up the mediterranean spice - Tel Aviv style. Experience two nights at a traditional Japanese ryokan, three nights in Kyoto, the historic former capital, famous for its abundance of temples, gardens, and UNESCO World Heritage status.

Eurovision is coming to Tel Aviv and you should too! Marvel at the breathtaking grandeur and vistas of the Grand Canyon, ride thrilling whitewater roller coasters, hike remote canyons to cascading waterfalls, and take time for self-reflection in profound quiet, while the Colorado River whispers you to sleep each night. Our 8-day gay trip through Peru mixes our laid-back travel concept with Peru's most unique and memorable sites to form an adventure that you'll be talking about forever.

If you've ever dreamed of soaking up the incredible mountaintop Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, taking a scenic train journey through the Peruvian Andes, or walking in the footsteps of an ancient civilization, join us for an incredible 8 days you'll never forget.

Whether you've always dreamed of soaking up the incredible mountaintop Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, taking a scenic train journey through the Peruvian Andes, or you're ready to discover off-the-beaten-track sites like the desert oasis of Huacachina and the penguin-filled Ballestas Islands, Peru is ready to blow your mind! Visit castles, chapels, cafes, museums, meadows, vineyards, and a wildlife preserve on this gay bike tour of Provence, France. Stroll among the remains of a feudal fortress and a crumbled theater.

Picnic at a Roman aqueduct. Bicycle through the magical forests and golden stone villages of Luberon. Our day Greece trip promise to deliver the best of Athens and the Greek Islands with stops in dramatic Santorini, cosmopolitan Mykonos, and peaceful Milos. Our laid-back trip leaves plenty of room for spontaneity and adventure. There is no amount of photos, video, or stories that can prepare a person for the incredibly captivating country that is Greece.

It's a place that few people visit just once. The Balkans is a geographical region in southeastern Europe. The boundaries of the Balkans have varied over the centuries, Bulgaria and Romania have certainly been part of the region at various times.

Highlights of our trip include Potosi, where the Silver Boom of the 16th century supplied the Spanish Crown with vast wealth. Lake Titicaca boasts being the highest navigable lake in the world.

Adventurous travelers will want to see these wonders in one of the most elusive South American countries. Fast becoming the gay destination of South Italy, this area is rich in culture, food, awe inspiring landscapes, white sandy beaches and some gay nightlife for good measure!

Our tour is set at an easy level that will suit most cyclists. Starting near Lisbon, our gay Portugal cycling trip takes us along quiet roads from the seaside hills of the Blue Coast through the agricultural region of Alentejo to the brilliant beaches of the Algarve. Experience the beauty and warm hospitality of Portugal!

Walk the Great Wall. Cruise the Yangtze River and see the Three Gorges. See Beijing, Xian and Shanghai. China is an exotic delight for the senses. Learn local Mormon folklore. End the days among SLC's vibrant gay night life. Salt Lake City has been rated the gayest city in America. HE Travel is sending a group of gay folks to Utah to see why. One of the first thing that travelers notice about Japan is its appreciation of beauty, quality, and attention to detail.

This is particularly evident at hotels and restaurants, and it is interesting to note that Tokyo has more Michelin star restaurants than any other city in the world.

Zoom Vacations' gay tour of Japan starts out in vibrant, ultra-modern Tokyo, Famous for its cutting edge, neon-lit landscape and towering skyscrapers. Our day Greece trips promise to deliver the best of Athens and the Greek Islands with stops in dramatic Santorini, cosmopolitan Mykonos, and peaceful Milos. Our trips are, and always have been, laid-back, leaving plenty of room for spontaneity and adventure. No rushing around, no stress, no limiting daily itineraries, just a great group of guys who are all excited and ready to explore and have fun.

We'll stay within the walled town center of Zadar, surrounded by all the ancient beauty. We'll island hop over to the cosmopolitan island town of Hvar for a few days of gorgeous island life.

We'll find out why Dubrovnik was chosen as the set of so many Game of Thrones episodes. And we'll start and finish the trip in the capital and largest city of Zagreb with plenty of unique museums and nightlife. Explore the complexities, beauty and challenges of ancient and modern life on this gay Israel cultural tour. We will uncover the archaeological beginnings of three great religions, introduce you to a thriving LGBT community, and expose you to the social labyrinths of modern Israel.

Israel is one of those places many have been wanting to visit for years, but just never found the right time. This June, Zoom Vacations has developed a tour to Israel that will make you glad you waited until now! In addition to its gay-friendly attitude, few countries can boast such diversity in its offerings, appealing to virtually any traveler. Zoom Vacations trip to Israel explores the history, culture, cuisine, and gay nightlife with sensational guides, while enjoying the finest hotels in Jerusalem, Galilee, and Tel Aviv.

Get ready for an historical and spiritual visit of Jerusalem. Discover magnificent 'rose-red' city of Petra, named one of the new 7 wonders of the world. Tel Aviv has everything a gay traveler desires. Sea and sun, beautiful people, and parties that last till dawn. All this and more is waiting for you here in Tel Aviv.

Celebrate your Gay Pride in Tel Aviv with an extra touch of luxury. Your Pride escape to Gay Tel Aviv has been upgraded! OUTstanding Travel makes celebrating your Pride as seamless as possible, from accommodations at the most luxurious hotels in the city, to insuring your entry to the most exclusive gay parties and fabulous events taking place during Pride Cosmopolitan cafes lining beautiful white sand beaches, the giant golden dome of a local shrine rising over homes clad in Jerusalem stone, an oasis in the middle of a vast desert of sand Our 8-days Israel gay group trips include many of the "big ticket" items of your experience.

Gay tourists from all over the World flock their chiseled, toned bodies to celebrate Gay Pride week in Tel Aviv. OUTstanding Travel makes celebrating your Pride as seamless as possible, from accommodations at the best hotels in the city, to insuring your entry to the most exclusive parties and fabulous events taking place during Tel Aviv Gay Pride Few countries in the world have had more influence on western culture and civilization than Israel.

For millennium, Jerusalem and sites around what is today called Israel have played a role in the formation of our religious beliefs and cultural mores. At any given time you may find yourself on camelback riding through the desert, reading a newspaper while you float weightlessly in the Dead Sea, sprawled out under the sun at the gay beach full of locals, exploring one of countless world-class museums, or taking in the unique culture and traditions on display through the streets of this Middle Eastern region.

This exquisite journey will take you from the antiquity of Jerusalem, and the serenity and haunting beauty of Wadi Rum, to the modern, enrapturing Tel Aviv and its world famous gay scene. Join us and soak in the gay vibe of Tel Aviv! It is a great way to view the country and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities over eleven amazing days. Tel-Aviv is quickly making a name for itself as one of the top Gay destinations in the world. The extravagant and lavish Pride Week takes place annually at the beginning of the summer, when the sun shines brightly on the Tel Aviv shores.

This is one unforgettable week, as Gay tourists from all over the world flock their toned, chiseled bodies to get a glistening glimpse of the vibrant nightlife, outrageous parties, a must see-to-believe Pride Parade and of course, a plethora of gorgeously bronzed Israeli men and women.

Indonesia is a country with over 13, individual islands. This is a lush land of mountains, jungles, rivers, streams, waterfalls, rice fields, plantations and beaches. It harbors an abundance of birds, butterflies, buffaloes, deer, orangutans and many other wild and exotic species.

Coffee and other exports make North Sumatra one of the richest provinces in Indonesia. Rome, Florence and Turin. Yes, take in all the key sights in one tour! Rome, Florence and Turin have one thing in common: The Gay Capitals of Italy tour allows you to discover the lifestyles of the most fascinating gay hotspots in Italy. You too can now join the unification on the Gay Capitals exclusive tour! Join Italy Gay Travels on a cycle trip like no other!

The Gay Cycling Tour takes you from the north to the south of this region, allowing you to discover many of the magical places in Puglia. Puglia is fast becoming the gay destination of South Italy and that is why we are sure that the Gay Cycling Tour is perfect for you!

The area is rich in culture, food, awe inspiring landscapes, white sandy beaches and some gay nightlife for good measure!

Explore highlights and hidden treasures of Caucasus, fabulous European cities that are steeped in history, culture and exciting cuisine of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Your journey will take you through the cultural heart of Lima, charming Cusco, and the Valley of the Incas all world heritage sites.

But perhaps what will impress and inspire you most is your visit to one of the world's most important archeological sites: With 12 days and a laid-back pace we've got the time to fully immerse ourselves in each of these four destinations. We'll sip sangria above Barcelona on Montjuic, take in some live flamenco in Seville, learn to cook our own tapas under the shadow of the Alhambra in Granada, and take a couple days on the beach in Sitges to soak it all in.

Scotland packs a punch with its steep and fascinating history, strong cultural traditions, gorgeous scenery, a very tasty culinary scene, and lovely first-rate accommodations along the way. Join Italy Gay Travels on an amazing gay group tour of the coast around Naples. This unforgettable holiday will commence with a Gay Naples Tour, to discover this charming seaside city.

From there we will make your way to the Amalfi Coast and to the island of Capri, world famous for its beaches and the stunning faraglioni. Three impressive Alpine peaks - the Eiger, Jungfrau, and Monch - rise abruptly from the river valley in the central Alps on this gay Swiss hiking tour.

These "Oberland Giants" form a constant backdrop to the shining green meadows and breathtaking cliff side paths during our week of hiking. A picturesque alpine village offers the perfect base for our hiking week. Milan, Verona and Venice. Our Gay Opera Tour will start from the Fashion Capital of Italy, Milan of course, where we will discover the amazing history of the city, enjoy its exuberant gay nightlife, and spend a night at La Scala for an unforgettable Opera night.

A day trip exploring Como and its lake is without a doubt a highlight on this tour. Stay 2 nights at the Machu Picchu ruins in the renowned Sanctuary Lodge. Conclude at the Hotel Monasterio, an amazing former monastery. From hiking the jagged trails to whitewater rafting, your hunger for adventure will be satisfied daily.

Join us for an intimate encounter with the land, sky, ice and wide-open spaces on this beautiful multi-sport gay Montana adventure! No destination can compete with the safari opportunities in this stunning East African lands and our 8-day adventure through some of the most famous and spectacular national parks and conservation areas on the planet is testament to that fact.

Budapest is often called the Paris of the East. Its grand boulevards, sumptuous architecture, and focus on food are not to be rushed.

Then on to the Alpine sweetheart, Slovenia. Spend two nights in private wooden huts where we explore local lakes, the marvellous Alps and kilometres of caves. And finally, Ljubljana offers a little taste of the big city. Hike one of the most remarkable trails in the entire world on our gay Incan Trails tour on the Salkantay Glacier route. Experience breathtaking views while hiking and camping for four days in a land of enchanting mystery. Our reward after hiking past glaciers, tropical forests, ancient temples and small villages is our destination: Machu Picchu, Lost City of the Incas.

Our day adventure starts in the metropolis of Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand and home to Asia's best food, nightlife, and shopping. Ethiopia is one of the best kept secrets in the world for seeing an astonishing range of wildlife, architecture and ancient artifacts and ruins and a multitude of different cultures.

Winter is the coldest season of the year in polar and temperate zones winter does not occur in the tropical zone. It occurs after autumn and before spring in each year. Winter is caused by the axis of the Earth in that hemisphere being oriented away from the Sun.

Different cultures define different dates as the start of winter, and some use a definition based on weather. When it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere , it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere , and vice versa. In many regions, winter is associated with snow and freezing temperatures. The moment of winter solstice is when the sun's elevation with respect to the North or South Pole is at its most negative value that is, the sun is at its farthest below the horizon as measured from the pole.

The day on which this occurs has the shortest day and the longest night, with a daylength increasing and nightlength decreasing as the season progresses after the solstice.

The earliest sunset and latest sunrise dates outside the polar regions differ from the date of the winter solstice, however, and these depend on latitude, due to the variation in the solar day throughout the year caused by the Earth's elliptical orbit see earliest and latest sunrise and sunset. The English word "winter" comes from the Proto-Indo-European root "wend," relating to water.

The tilt of the Earth's axis relative to its orbital plane plays a large role in the formation of weather. The Earth is tilted at an angle of This variation brings about seasons. When it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere faces the Sun more directly and thus experiences warmer temperatures than the Northern Hemisphere. Conversely, winter in the Southern Hemisphere occurs when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted more toward the Sun.

From the perspective of an observer on the Earth, the winter Sun has a lower maximum altitude in the sky than the summer Sun. During winter in either hemisphere, the lower altitude of the Sun causes the sunlight to hit that hemisphere at an oblique angle.

In regions experiencing winter, the same amount of solar radiation is spread out over a larger area. This effect is compounded by the larger distance that the light must travel through the atmosphere, allowing the atmosphere to dissipate more heat. Compared with these effects, the changes in the distance of the earth from the sun are negligible. The manifestation of the meteorological winter freezing temperatures in the northerly snow—prone parallels is highly variable depending on elevation, position versus marine winds and the amount of precipitation.

A case in point is Canada , a country normally associated with tough winters. A similar effect, although with less extreme differentials, is found in Europe where in spite of the northerly latitude of the islands, the British Isles has not a single non-mountain weather station with a below-freezing mean temperature.

Meteorological reckoning is the method of measuring the winter season used by meteorologists based on "sensible weather patterns" for record keeping purposes, [5] so the start of meteorological winter varies with latitude. The coldest average temperatures of the season are typically experienced in January or February in the Northern Hemisphere and in June, July or August in the Southern Hemisphere. Nighttime predominates in the winter season, and in some regions winter has the highest rate of precipitation as well as prolonged dampness because of permanent snow cover or high precipitation rates coupled with low temperatures, precluding evaporation.

Blizzards often develop and cause many transportation delays. As a result, the coldest January on record in was also the sunniest in Stockholm. Accumulations of snow and ice are commonly associated with winter in the Northern Hemisphere, due to the large land masses there. In this region, snow occurs every year in elevated regions such as the Andes, the Great Dividing Range in Australia, and the mountains of New Zealand, and also occurs in the southerly Patagonia region of South Argentina.

Snow occurs year-round in Antarctica. In the Northern Hemisphere , some authorities define the period of winter based on astronomical fixed points i. In one version of this definition, winter begins at the winter solstice and ends at the vernal equinox. Astronomically, the winter solstice, being the day of the year which has fewest hours of daylight, ought to be in the middle of the season, [14] [15] but seasonal lag means that the coldest period normally follows the solstice by a few weeks.

In some cultures, the season is regarded as beginning at the solstice and ending on the following equinox [16] [17] — in the Northern Hemisphere, depending on the year, this corresponds to the period between 21 or 22 December and 19, 20 or 21 March.

In the UK, meteorologists consider winter to be the three coldest months of December, January and February. In Celtic nations such as Ireland using the Irish calendar and in Scandinavia, the winter solstice is traditionally considered as midwinter, with the winter season beginning 1 November, on All Hallows , or Samhain. Winter ends and spring begins on Imbolc , or Candlemas , which is 1 or 2 February.

This system of seasons is based on the length of days exclusively. The three-month period of the shortest days and weakest solar radiation occurs during November, December and January in the Northern Hemisphere and May, June and July in the Southern Hemisphere. Also, many mainland European countries tended to recognize Martinmas or St. Martin's Day 11 November , as the first calendar day of winter. Also, Valentine's Day 14 February is recognized by some countries as heralding the first rites of spring, such as flowers blooming.

The three-month period associated with the coldest average temperatures typically begins somewhere in late November or early December in the Northern Hemisphere and lasts through late February or early March.

This "thermological winter" is earlier than the solstice delimited definition, but later than the daylight Celtic definition. Depending on seasonal lag , this period will vary between climatic regions. Cultural influences such as Christmas creep may have led to the winter season being perceived as beginning earlier in recent years, although high latitude countries like Canada are usually well into their real winters before the December solstice.

Since by almost all definitions valid for the Northern Hemisphere, winter spans 31 December and 1 January, the season is split across years, just like summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Each calendar year includes parts of two winters. This causes ambiguity in associating a winter with a particular year, e. Solutions for this problem include naming both years, e. Ecological reckoning of winter differs from calendar-based by avoiding the use of fixed dates.

It is one of six seasons recognized by most ecologists who customarily use the term hibernal for this period of the year the other ecological seasons being prevernal, vernal, estival, serotinal, and autumnal. The appearance of flowering plants like the crocus can mark the change from ecological winter to the prevernal season as early as late January in mild temperate climates.

To survive the harshness of winter, many animals have developed different behavioral and morphological adaptations for overwintering:. Some annual plants never survive the winter.

Other annual plants require winter cold to complete their life cycle; this is known as vernalization. As for perennials , many small ones profit from the insulating effects of snow by being buried in it.

Larger plants, particularly deciduous trees , usually let their upper part go dormant, but their roots are still protected by the snow layer. Few plants bloom in the winter, one exception being the flowering plum , which flowers in time for Chinese New Year. The process by which plants become acclimated to cold weather is called hardening.

Humans evolved in tropical climates, and met cold weather as they migrated into Eurasia , although earlier populations certainly encountered Southern Hemisphere winters in Southern Africa.

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