Grand Canyon Attractions – Ultimate Sightseeing Trips During Winter

Touring the Grand Canyon is a great way to celebrate the Christmas holiday season, but you need to start planning now. Whether you tour by helicopter, bus, or airplane, visiting the Grand Canyon is an adventure you’ll always remember.

The North Rim closes for the winter, reopening in March. But you still have to rims to choose from. The West Rim or the South Rim. For these tours, you’ll need to decide if you’d like to begin your tour at the South Rim or in Las Vegas.

Tours out of Vegas go to the West or the South Rim. However, when you are at the South Rim, you can only visit the South Rim.

Beginning your tour in Vegas has its benefits, because that way, you have the most tour options. You’ll find a variety of tours by bus, chopper, or airplane. However, the only tours that operate on Christmas day itself are the airplane tours.

Helicopters

Helicopter tours originating in Las Vegas head only to the West Rim, because the South Rim is too far from the city. The choppers that go to the West Rim can land on top of the rim and on the canyon floor. One of the more popular tours is the one that flies to the canyon floor where you enjoy a champagne picnic before taking a raft ride on the Colorado River.

Helicopter sightseeing packages from Vegas come in basic and deluxe packages. The basic tours take off from Boulder City, which is about thirty minutes outside of Vegas. Deluxe packages include a limousine service and begin in The Strip. These tours will also give you a view of The Strip on your way back from the Canyon.

When you tour the South Rim, you’ll have the chance to decide between a half hour flight and a 50 minute one. The short trip covers many interesting landmarks such as the Dragoon Corridor. The longer tour does cost a little more, but you get a lot more air time, and you are treated to many fantastic views including the Dragoon Corridor.

Airplane Tours

The airplane tours follow the same flight paths as the helicopter tours, they just fly at a higher altitude. This is best for people on a tight budget. There is a tour where you take a plane, fly to the West Rim, take a helicopter ride to the bottom, and have a ticket for the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

The airplanes that fly out of Vegas can tour the South Rim too, and these are great opportunities for sightseeing. You can upgrade your plane tour to include a 2 1/2 hour bus tour of the Grand Canyon National Park at the South Rim. You can also add on a helicopter tour if you want some added adventure and sightseeing.

You can also find a South Rim flight that mimics the 50 minute tour by helicopter. It leaves from the local airport in Tusayan. Airplane tours are also a great option if you’ll be traveling with a larger group, since it will be hard to find seats for everyone on the same chopper.

Touring By Bus

Finally, your bus tours from Vegas to the South and West Rims. Grand Canyon bus tours are the most affordable way to see this wonder of nature. They depart early in the morning from the Vegas Strip and last all day, because they include many fun things to do. It will probably be after 9 pm before you return, so you won’t want to schedule dinner and show plans for the same evening.

Charming Travel in Italy: Discover the Langhe area

Langhe is the name of a hilly area in Piedmont region, northern Italy, which is particularly known for its historical, cultural and food heritage.

Thanks to its beautiful castles and the breathtaking views from its hill, it has become a very popular destination for charming travel in Italy.

In this brief guide, you will find a list of the must-see attraction in Langhe area.

Barolo – As above mentioned, castles are one of the main characteristics of this area. One of the most popular one is Barolo Castle located in an ancient middle-age hamlet in the Barolo village, which also gives the name to the worldwide known wine, that visitors can taste in one of the numerous “cantine” (wine cellars open to the public) or in one of the luxury restaurants while enjoying a typical Piedmont meal.

The Wine Museum (WIMU) – If you really want to appreciate this area you must not miss the wine museum, located inside the Barolo Castle, where visitors are brought through an enchanting path to discover the castle’s artworks while tasting this precious wine.

Alba – This village is another must-see attraction of Langhe area. Take a tour of corso Vittorio Emanuele and discover the charming historical centre with its small shops where you can find typical product such as the exquisite white truffle or the Langhe hazelnuts. Every Saturday morning in the centre is held a picturesque market, be sure not to miss it!

Grinzane Cavour’s Castle – 5 km away from Alba, you can find the Ginzane Cavour’s Castle. This famous castle was built for the important statesman Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, who lived in Grinzane for 19 years. The castle is listed among the UNESCO World Heritage sites and contains an ethnographic museum and a charming restaurant.

Breathtaking views – If you like breathtaking views and panoramas, you must not miss La Morra belvedere, a panoramic view point where you can admire the beautiful hills and vineyards of this area. Also, do not miss the sunset from Altavilla, another enchanting village, only a few km away from Alba.

Truffle Hunting tour – Accompanied by an expert of the territory with truffle dogs, visitors can go hunting this precious mushroom and discover many curiosities about it such as: how to recognise a high quality truffle, how to store it properly and of course how to cook it.

Taste the regional food – Last, but not least, while in the Langhe region you must taste some dishes of the Piedmont tradition such as “vitello tonnato”, a veal meat roast garnished with a creamy sauce made of tuna, mayonnaise and capers; or try the “maccheroni del ferretto” a special pasta made by using knitting needles.

The best period to visit this marvellous area is spring-summer, but also autumn can be very attractive thanks to the evocative red, yellow and brownish colours that covers the sinuous hills.

A tour of the Langhe area is perfect for a romantic getaway since it offers luxury hotels and restaurants and also for those who love bike tours and trekking activities.

Fort Bard Aosta: from military stronghold to museum

Bard, the smallest town in the region of Valle d’Aosta, is dominated by a splendid fortified building which stands on a rocky outcrop: il Forte.

To define it as a strong set of buildings that are located on the top and at different levels, and from which you can enjoy the panorama of the valley, is a bit simple, because you are dealing with a work of a really imposing military architecture. This group of buildings that we can admire and visit today has a very ancient origin, which has its roots in history and dating back to none other than the sixth century AD, when King Theodoric put here a garrison of 60 men to guard the borders of his reign. Today, with the clash of arms as a memory, the Fort Bard Aosta houses the Museum of the Alps and various exhibitions.

At Forte di Bard exhibitions and cultural events are held throughout the year, even though it seemed doomed to abandonment until a few years ago, like many other buildings belonging to the State, and its last role as a powder keg could not predict that today it would return to its former glory. Disposed of by the State in 1975, Forte di Bard has become a regional asset, and the small Valle d’Aosta, with a big financial commitment, was able to restore it and enhance it to the point that it has become one of the main museum attractions of the territory.

As mentioned earlier, the history of the fortress of Bard is long and, although we know almost nothing about its early centuries, it is mentioned in many medieval chronicles of travelers who, as early as the eleventh century, remained astonished by its grandeur and defined it as impregnable. Its strategic position on a spur overlooking the entire valley that narrows at that point, allowed to have full control of the road connecting Piedmont to France, and it was for this reason that the Viscount of Aosta, Boso, enlarged it and left it at the disposal of his heirs until the thirteenth century. After a period in which the fortress was used by the local feudal lords, the Bards, Amedeo IV of Savoy took possession of it (approximately half of the thirteenth century) and the fortress remained with the Savoy until their exile in 1946. Widened over the centuries by the dukes and princes of Piedmont, it met the last readjustment in the nineteenth century, when the Savoy began to build buildings along the slope in anticipation of a French attack that, in fact, never happened, and the fort came to be transformed into a military prison and then in a powder keg .

Currently two of the three main buildings which compose it are used as exhibition space, educational and interactive workshops. Only the lower part of the building, which is located at the lowest point, is closed to the public, while in the second, called Vittorio Opera, host an interactive program ( The Children’s Alps ),that encourages the younger to mountain-climb. Going up there’s the Piazza D’Armi con l’Opera Carlo Alberto, which hosts the Alpine Museum and temporary exhibitions on ground floor, while in the prisons below you can learn the history of the fortress.