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World Cup Mountain Bike

World Cup Mountain Bike

Les Houches - The Hidden Gem Of The Chamonix Valley. by Matt Dale

In the heart of the French Alps, in the north east of the Rhone Alps region lies the village of Les Houches. Nestled at one end of the Chamonix valley in the Mont Blanc region of the Haute Savoie Les Houches had long been the considered a mere satellite village of its much more illustrious neighbour Chamonix - the world capital of skiing and mountaineering. Of course the locals knew better and many high mountain guides, ski instructors and pisteurs had long since migrated to this quite and peaceful corner of the Chamonix valley - drawn as much, perhaps, by it's magnificent setting at the foot of Mont Blanc, it's peace, tranquility and traditional ambiance as its more affordable property. However, it wasn't long before the resort became recognised as a little gem in the centre of the Mont Blanc Massif and tourism bloomed due in a large part to Les Houches' incredibly easy access to and from Geneva airport.

It wasn't always so. It was only with the construction of the new road between Le Fayet and Chamonix during 1860-70, and then with the arrival of the train in 1901, that Les Houches began to open up to summer tourism. It was then that Les Houches became a small holiday retreat and the first hotels and holiday homes began to appear. Les Houches first started as a winter destination with the construction of the Bellevue cable car in 1936-7. From the 1960s the growing tourism development led to the construction of new lift systems. But, it was with the digging of the Mont Blanc tunnel (1959-65) and the completion of the Route Blanche motorway in 1990 which opened up the village of Les Houches to the rest of Europe.

Situated at a height of 1000 metres Les Houches is a pleasant family resort with an exceptional panorama of the Chamonix Aiguilles which encircle the Chamonix valley. The village is made up of a number of small hamlets, with numerous old farms and chapels and enjoys fantastic 360 views, some great tree lined skiing along trails winding through the woods (perfect for bad weather days) and two of the best on mountain restaurants in the valley.

Les Houches also has the widest variety and greatest number of runs in the Chamonix valley, offering everything from gentle greens and blues for practising your newly acquired turns on, to the world famous Kandahar - a regular feature on the FIS Men's World Cup downhill circuit. Indeed, the Kandahar is considered by many racers to be second only in difficulty to the Streif on the Hahnenkamn in Kitzbuhel. The run is 3343 metres in length with an impressive 870m of declivity and the winning time is sub two minutes. With its series of technical passages and jumps, including La Cassure and Le Goulet, the Kandahar is also considered to be one of the most beautiful downhill slopes in the world.

Les Houches offers a myriad of activities throughout the year to suit all tastes and inclinations. During the winter season, in addition to the skiing and snowboarding, Les Houches offers dog sleighing, outdoor ice skating, snowshoeing, indoor climbing, paragliding and local markets offering fresh regional produce. During the glorious summer months you can climb, trek, mountain bike, paraglide, play tennis or simply relax and enjoy the fresh mountain air and stunning scenery. Combined with a variety of bars and restaurants, shops and museums to visit and explore there should be enough to keep you occupied throughout your stay.

Matt lives and works in Chamonix in the French alps. He renovates properties in the summer and runs skiing holidays the winter through his company

Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/Les-Houches---The-Hidden-Gem-Of-The-Chamonix-Valley-/134338

World Cup Mountain Bike

Cape Town - 3rd Best City in the World by Claire

Vibrant, diverse, colourful and captivating are just some of the adjectives that describe this beautiful city. Set at the edge of the cold Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Cape Floral Kingdom (a World Heritage Site) and adorned with a world-renowned landmark, Table Mountain, Cape Town offers visitors and locals a multifaceted experience. Its not surprising then that Cape Town has been awarded so many accolades:

3rd Best City In The World - US Travel And Leisure July 2008
Best City In Africa & Middle East - US Travel And Leisure July 2008
4th Top City In The World †Conde Nast Readers’ Choice October 2008
Best City In Africa & Middle East †Conde Nast Readers’ Choice October 2008
3rd Best City In The Top 10 World Food Cities - Lonely Planet Blue List 2008
Best Destination, Africa - World Travel Awards May 2008
Best City To Live In, Africa & Middle East - Mercer Quality Of Living Survey 2008
One Of The â€Places Of A Lifetime††National Geographic Traveler, July 2008
One Of The World’s Most Sustainable Cities - Ethisphere Institute, Sept 2008
Boulder’s Beach: World’s Best Family Beach - UK Telegraph March 2007
Cleanest City In SA - DEAT Annual Cleanest Metro Awards March 2007
#1 Uk Long Haul Destination - UK Trends And Spends Survey 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007
One Of The World’s 5 Bluest Sky Destinations - Expedia.co.uk July 2006
Favourite Foreign City - UK Telegraph 2004, 2005
Ideal Travel Destination - Markinor-Sunday Times Top Brands Survey 2005
Africa’s Leading Destination - World Travel Awards 2008
Best Tourism Investor City of the Year - AI Tourism Investor Awards 2009

Cape Town offers a diverse menu for everyone: from extreme outdoor adventure activities to the quiet indoors, from budget backpacker accommodation to ultimate 6 star luxury, from cultural to theatrical entertainment and vast gastronomic experiences accompanied by some of the best wines in the world. Cape Town is a destination that for a traveller requires an absolute minimum of 3 nights stay to be able to grasp its diversity.

Cape Town is a popular venue for many international sports events such as the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Race (109km road race), Two Oceans Marathon (56km), the start of the ABSA Cape Epic Mountain Bike Challenge (800km over 8 days with approx 16 000m of climbing!) and the start of the biannual Cape to Rio Yacht Race. Cape Town hosted the 2005 Rugby World Cup and 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup. Cape Town is also host to the 2010 FIFA World Cup taking place from 11 June to 11 July 2010. South Africans in general are great sport enthusiasts and Capetonians certainly play their part in this role.

Generally Capetonians are known by the locals of other South African cities to be very laid back and easy going. Compared to the bustling metropolis of Johannesburg for instance where life is upbeat, fast and social, things happen in order and on time. Well, mostly, we need to keep in mind that this is Africa after all! All in all, South Africans are known to be very friendly and welcome travellers from all over the world.

Cape Town is an excellent gateway to the rest of southern Africa and a visit here can be combined with world-renowned wildlife safari destinations such as Sabi Sands Game Reserve west of the Kruger National Park, the Okavango Delta in Botswana or the malaria free Eastern Cape game reserves. Amongst other travel options to combine with your visit to Cape Town is a desert wilderness experience in Namibia or a luxury tropical beach experience in Mozambique.

Having travelled extensively all over southern, east and north Africa and abroad (mostly Europe) I made my home in Cape Town. A home in a city I am very proud of and don’t intend leaving at any cost at this stage of my life.

Motto: Living and Loving Cape Town

Come and visit and see for yourselfâ€

Specialists in travel to Southern Africa with many years of first hand travel experience, Africa Tamed designs and coordinates value added all-inclusive holiday packages throughout South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique.
Africa Tamed Tours and Travel.

Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/Cape-Town---3rd-Best-City-in-the-World/534373

World Cup Mountain Bike

Rotorua Attractions by Carine Taleen

Rotorua is approximately 2.5 - 3 hours drive south of Auckland. Head south through Hamilton and Cambridge, or for a quicker route via Mata Mata. Shortly after Cambridge turn left and take the number 5 which will lead you right to Rotorua. Coming up from Wellington head to Lake Taupo and take the number 5 to Rotorua. Train and Bus routes also service Rotorua.

Another popular attraction in Rotorua is Lake Rotorua. Formed by an eruption, it is the largest lake in Rotorua. Many visitors come to Lake Rotorua for activities such as fishing, windsurfing and kayaking. There are cruises available at the lake's front jetty. At the centre of the lake is the Mokoia Island, which is known to be rich in native bird life and also has the Hinemoa's thermal pool. Lake Rotorua usually has a great number of visitors during summer.

There is so much to consider when choosing the best means to satisfy your luxury cravings. Finding the right accommodation often comes down to an elimination scenario. When it comes to Rotorua, some people like to use their temporary residence as a base from which to explore the activities and sightseeing attractions on offer, while others find greater satisfaction in isolation and privacy.

People from all walks of life from all over the world are constantly attracted by the appeal of Rotorua's amazing Maori culture as well as the bubbling hot mud pools and geysers. However, during the months of September and October in 2011, Rotorua will be inundated with visitors for another reason altogether. The Rugby World Cup is being held in New Zealand - a sport considered small on the world stage, but hugely appealing down under.

Enjoy a visit to the sacred island of the Te Arawa people. A boat cruise will take you out to this island which is located in middle of Lake Rotorua. There is native birdlife to discover and your guide will explain the legends of the tribal people whom used to live on the island.

Rotorua is a city located on the southern shores of Rotorua Lake in the Bay of Plenty region of the North Island. The city which is in the heart of the North Island has a decent population. This is one city in the country where you can experience the true essence of New Zealand. It is one of the major cities that attract international and domestic tourism. The city has a multi-cultural and cosmopolitan environment. The city is always vibrant, enthusiastic and buzzing with activities while being hospitable and respective towards new residents, visitor and business investors.

Rotorua offers a delightful mix of city, lakeside and rural attractions. With a car hire you can make your way around the city and region easily. There a dozens of accommodation options catering to the flocks of domestic and international tourists that visit Rotorua each year. With the rejuvenating mineral hot springs and pleasant climate, Rotorua is a great destination no matter what time of year.

There are a number of events held each year that bring people from all over the country to Rotorua. The Rotorua Marathon is regarded the toughest in New Zealand and this attracts thousands of competitors. Mountain biking is hugely popular in Rotorua and it plays host to the NDuro Winter MTB Series, the most popular MTB race series in New Zealand. It's events like these that place demand on amenities, whether it's luxury accommodation in Rotorua or simple B & Bs and motels.

During August Rotorua plays host to the NDuro Mountain Bike Series, which is New Zealand's most popular series on one of the world's finest single tracks. Then there's the Kiwibikes Singlespeed World Mountain Biking Champs in October. Both of these events attract large numbers, all of whom end up staying at a bed and breakfast, motel or a luxury hotel in Rotorua. Whenever you visit this thriving city, you're sure to arrive when there is a great event taking place.

Read about bodybuilding tips.Also read about yoga health benefits and upper body workout.

Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/Rotorua-Attractions/902642

XCO Houffalize@2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

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