Lisbon, the dazzling city that stretches along the banks of the Tagus, is an enchanting capital. There is the fortress around which the city originally sprang up, and which is now circled by neighborhoods drenched with medieval charm. Everywhere are fine monuments that bring to mind the great Age of Discoveries, and picturesque houses whose facades are decked with ornate ceramic tiles. As the dusk turns to night, the yellow electric tramcars continue to wind their way up and down the hills of the old capital, while the sound of traditional Fado folk songs enlivens many a candle-lit dinner table in restaurant or home. But the capital also provides ample opportunity for seeing popular celebrations, for shopping, and for enjoying the nightlife along the riverbanks. With the port and marinas situated nearby, water sports are a natural attraction too.
One of Europe’s smallest capital cities, Lisbon is for many, one of it most beguiling – an easily accessible mix of new and old worlds. Elegant outdoor cafés line Lisbon’s mosaic cobblestone sidewalks along grand 18th-century boulevards. Turn-of-the-century funiculars dot its steep hills. Two-thirds of the city was leveled in a 1755 earthquake, but in its churches, peeling buildings, tiny alleyways, hidden squares, you can still feel the glorious past.
On the wild and rugged east coast of Barbados, the isolated beaches are the colour of sunrise, the red sands having blown all the way across the Atlantic from the Sahara. The eastern most island of the Windwards, and indeed, of the entire Caribbean, reaches out to Africa and the Old World, as if not quite part of the New. Bridgetown, Barbados is an interesting town full of contrasts. George Washington actually slept here! Trafalgar Square reminds you that the laid back, rum-and-fun-loving island’s British-influenced heritage includes revered traditions like cricket and high tea.
Pretty as a picture describes our beloved Bequia. You’ll be captivated by the island’s charm while strolling along the lovely harbor with its shops, restaurants, and pastel-painted gingerbread homes. There’s a long tradition of boat building and you’ll find a slew of handcrafted model ships, old nautical charts, and rare sailing books to bring back home.
Mayreau, Grenadine Islands
The island of Mayreau is a true break from reality, with only one road, virtually no development, and farm animals outnumbering the inhabitants. One of the Grenadines, in the larger chain of Windward Islands, it has beautiful beaches, and plenty of solitude. View it as your own private island.
St. George's, Grenada
An attractive colonial-era town spilling down a hillside above the Carenage, with its horseshoe-shaped harbor, Grenada's capital of ST GEORGE'S received the full brunt of Hurricane Ivan's high winds, and the bevy of new terracotta-coloured roofs stand in testament to the power of the wind.
St George's won't take more than a day to explore, and it's worth taking time away from the beach to do so. Though the market is at its liveliest on Saturday morning, most shops close on Saturday afternoons, Sundays and public holidays, making the town a quiet place during those times – except when a cruise ship moors at the spanking new docks, in which case the town explodes into a frenzy of activity, market stalls spring up on shore, restaurants and bars fill up, street vendors and local guides come out in force.
Picture Over the last two decades, Bonaire has consistently ranked as the finest snorkeling and scuba diving destination in the Caribbean. A major reason for this prominence is the island's diligent stewardship of its marine resources -- all of the waters off Bonaire's coast have been legally protected since 1979, and it shows.
But there is plenty more to do here. The unusually steady trade winds that wash over the island create ideal conditions for world-class windsurfing, and the shere beauty of its semi-desert landscape is home to an outlandish assortment of wildlife. Iguanas meditatively toast themselves atop the desert rock formations of Washington Slagbaai, while vast orange-pink clouds of flamingos drift across bone-white salt flats. Divi-divi trees bend into surreal sculptures of the wind itself, and towering cacti stand as reminders of the Caribbean's diverse ecology.
Oranjestad ("Orange City") is the capital and most important city of Aruba located on the southern coast near the western end of the island. The town was built around Fort Zoutman in 1796 and Oranjestad has been the capital of Aruba ever since. The fort is still one of the town's attractions, others being the tax-free harbor and the Willem III Tower, located near the fort. The city is named after the first King Willem van Oranje-Nassau (William of Orange-Nassau), the first heir to the Dutch House of Orange.
Small portions of the city are formed from a series of man-made expansions of land into the sea. Present-day Renaissance Marketplace as well as the adjacent Queen Wilhelmina Park, are within part of this expansion. Dutch colonial architecture is less visible than on neighboring island Curacao, but several modern recreations have emerged, including the outdoor shopping mall at Royal Plaza, and a few scattered buildings along Main Street and on the Main Square. Due to increased government interest in maintaining the island's cultural heritage, a number of old buildings and houses in the center of town have been transformed into colorfully restored landmarks, such as the lime-colored Civil Registry on Wilhelminastraat.