An Island Paradise – Bali’s Top 5 Beaches

Bali is a haven for beach lovers with sunny weather alongside dazzling turquoise waters, lush palm trees, golden, black and white sands, unspoiled coral reefs and breath-taking sunset backdrops. Beach life doesn’t get much better than Bali; the island’s coastlines attract thousands of visitors each and every year. Brightsun Travel has cheap flight offers to Denpasar Bali, taking you to the heart of this stunning island and its mesmerising beaches. Below are some the best beach destinations to add to your Bali itinerary.

1. Padang Padang Beach

1. Padang Padang Beach

This renowned beach was featured in the famous Eat, Pray Love Movie, so it’s very popular with holidaymakers. The beautiful bay offers idyllic surfing conditions and there are board rentals available, so even beginners can try this iconic sport. The beauty of Padang Padang Beach is best witnessed at sunrise before the crowds arrive, and entrance to the beach is via a flight of stairs through a hollow rock cave.

2. Balangan Beach

2. Balangan Beach

Located on the Bukit Peninsula in South Bali, Balangan Beach boasts a stunning stretch of golden sands, lush palm trees and dramatic limestone cliffs, and the waves here can get really high, providing some immense surfing opportunities. Balangan Beach is relatively secluded and very laidback, so it’s also great for non-surfers who want to beat the crowds and simply just lie back on the soft sands and enjoy picturesque views.

3. Nusa Dua Beach

3. Nusa Dua Beach

This flawless beach has a dreamy setting with its powder-white sands, calm blue waters and manicured gardens. Not only does Nusa Dusa Beach offer picture-perfect scenery, but also plenty of activities – the shoreline comprises of many restaurants and luxury hotels, and a shopping complex is within walking distance from the beach, so it’s a perfect destination for a day out with the family.

4. Amed Beach

4. Amed Beach

Situated on the north-eastern coast of Bali, this breath-taking beach offers dramatic landscapes, soaring mountains and black sands. Amed Beach is home to one of Bali’s most colourful coral reefs with an array of exotic marine life, so it’s an excellent diving and snorkelling spot. There are many local shops and traditional warung food stalls along the streets that line Amed Beach.

5. Jimbaran Bay

5. Jimbaran Bay

Jimbaran Bay boasts a long stretch of glittering white sands, dazzling turquoise waters and lush greenery. This scenic beach destination is the seafood hub of Bali – many local fishermen sell their fish at the bustling food markets, and there are beachfront barbecues along the coastline cooking up fresh catch, as well as al fresco restaurants.
Flights

Brightsun Travel offers cheap tickets to Denpasar Bali, taking you on the ultimate beach escape. You can choose to fly from a range of UK airports with a choice of many different airlines, so all budgets and travel needs are catered for.

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The 5 Must-See Temples of Bali

Bali is a fascinating island with over 20,000 ancient temples dotted across its coastlines and highlands. They are all important elements to Bali’s culture and religion, and many of them feature beautiful backdrops which make for some amazing photo opportunities. Brightsun Travel offers a range of cheap flight deals to the Far East and fantastic holidays to Bali, so you can visit this amazing island for cheap. No trip to Bali is complete without a visit to one of its majestic temples, and below are 5 of them that you do not want to miss!

Ulun Danu Bratan Temple

1. Ulun-Danu-Bratan-Temple

This mystical temple is situated in the highlands of Bedugul and it’s perched above Lake Beratan. Ulun Danu Bratan worships the lake goddess, as well as the main Hindu Trimurti of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, so there is a lot of religious significance associated with this temple. The complex comprises of 4 sacred buildings, impressive Balinese architecture, fine rock sculptures, landscaped gardens and a misty mountain backdrop.

Pura Besakih

2. Pura-Besakih

Pura Besakih is located on the slopes of Mount Agung in East Bali. This is the most sacred and significant temple complex on Bali Island, as well as the largest. The grand monument is often named as Bali’s Mother Temple, and the complex comprises of 23 different temples and shrines, with some dating back as far as the 10th century. Pura Besakih is surrounded by many rice paddies, hills, water streams and more, so the scenic beauty here is immense.

Tanah Lot Temple

3.-Tanah-Lot-Temple

Tanah Lot is Bali’s signature directional temple and one of Bali’s most visited attractions. The sea temple sits atop a unique rock formation that overlooks the Indian Ocean, so there are some incredible views to be witnessed here. The temple has a deep spiritual quality and there are many myths and legends associated with it, one being that it’s protected by sea snakes. Tanah Lot is only accessible during low tides and its outer sanctum is open to all visitors.

Uluwatu Temple

4.Uluwatu Temple

This is Bali’s most famous temple which is situated on a clifftop, soaring 70m above the sea in western Bali. It’s one of Bali’s most important temples which features many spectacular sculptures and flora species. The ocean views offered here are absolutely immense, and they are especially magical during sunset. There are traditional Kecak dance performances to enjoy every evening at Uluwatu Temple which makes for a great cultural experience.

Tirta Empul

5.Tirta-Empul

Tirta Empul is a national cultural heritage site that dates back to 926 AD. It’s dedicated to Vishnu, the Hindu God of Water and it’s one of the most famous temples in Bali due to its holy spring that flows into a long bed of water. These springs are believed to have spiritual and physical healing powers, so worshippers from all over the world visit Tirta Empul to purify themselves by bathing and meditating in the water.

Flights
Look forward to exploring Bali’s glistening temples by contacting Brightsun Travel about cheap tickets to Far East from the UK to reach Bali as well as a range of other world-class travel destinations.

Temples Galore – Bangkok’s Most Mesmerising Monuments

Bangkok is a city that is dressed to impress with hundreds of glistening temples – some are famous, some are part of large complexes and some are secret gems hidden down side streets. Most of Bangkok’s temples highlight the city’s rich past and many of them really stand out with their architectural beauty, leaving visitors in awe. Brightsun Travel offers cheap flights to Bangkok, taking you to the heart of this iconic capital and its majestic monuments. Below are five of the city’s must-see temples…

Wat Phra Kaew – Temple of Buddha

1. Wat Phra Kaew

A trip to Bangkok is not complete without visiting this sacred temple. It’s located inside the Grand Palace complex, and its most significant feature is the iconic 14th century Emerald Buddha that’s carved into a block of jadeite. The temple also boasts a 2km gallery of mural paintings as well as a range of intricately carved sculptures and statues.

Wat Pho – Temple of the Reclining Buddha

2. Wat Pho

Wat Pho is one of the largest Buddhist temples in the city. Highlights of this temple include a traditional Thai massage school and a large reclining statue of Buddha which is covered with gold leaf. There is also an immense collection of sculptures, murals, Buddha images, chedis and inscriptions to be discovered here.

Wat Arun – Temple of Dawn

3. Wat Arun

Directly opposite Wat Pho is the Temple of Dawn, which is one of Bangkok’s most famous landmarks. This magnificent Buddhist temple was built in the 17th century with a Khmer style of architecture, so it features a really unique design. The temple also features a stunning silhouette with its colourful towering spires. Wat Arun is a true must visit!

Wat Mahathat – Temple of the Great Relic

4. Wat Mahathat

This remarkable Buddhist monastery is located in the heart of the city. It’s one of Bangkok’s oldest temples; dating back to the Ayutthaya period. Located within the temple is a world-renowned meditation centre as well as a large central prang, viharns, chedis and the famous head of a Buddha image which illustrates a Buddha’s head entwined in the roots of a Banyan tree.

Wat Ratchanatdaram Woravihara – Temple of the Royal Niece

5. Wat Ratchanatdaram

This fascinating Buddhist Temple is an overlooked gem of the city that doesn’t come with the tourist crowds, so you get more of an exclusive experience here. The temple was built by King Nangklao in 1846 and it features 37 metal spires which represent the 37 virtues of enlightenment. The temple’s top floor features a relic of Lord Buddha and offers panoramic views of Bangkok.

Flights
Contact Brightsun Travel to find out about our range of cheap tickets to Bangkok from the UK. Book now so you can experience an immense Asian city break and look forward to exploring one or more of Bangkok’s iconic temples.

3 Easy Day Trips From Kathmandu

Just a short day trip from Nepal’s capital and you could find yourself in medieval cities, traditional villages and vibrant craft cities where you can buy some of the country’s best handicrafts. Here we take you though 3 of our favourites. When you are ready to explore, Brightsun Travel can arrange cheap flights to Kathmandu from a range of UK airports.

Bhaktapur

1. Bhaktapur

Even though the medieval city-state of Bhaktapur was hit hard by the 2015 earthquake, the remains of this, one of Nepal’s most well preserved of cities, still offers a mesmerising day trip, and the town entry fee goes towards protecting and maintaining the temples. Explore the city’s 3 major squares and you will stumble past some of the most beautiful temples in the country. Alternatively, head to the back streets and wind your way through almost traffic-free laneways, past traditional houses. Here you could meet artisans selling traditional tapestries and wooden carvings, and watch locals gather in hidden courtyards, and witness a very different way of life to that in the capital.

Nagarkot

2.Nagarkot

Just 32 kilometres east of Kathmandu is the traditional village of Nagarkot, well known for offering spectacular views of the Himalayas. The village is set on an elevation of over 2000 metres and is one of the most scenic spots in the Kathmandu Valley, offering some of the best views of the Himalayas in Nepal. The best time to go is October through to March, just after the monsoon rains stop and the air is clear. Go at sunrise and watch the sun rising over the mountains, before taking a scenic trek along popular hiking routes that make the most of the village’s incredible position. This is a great day trip if you can’t make it on a trek.

Patan

3.Patan

After stopping off at the Kopan Monastery and Nunnery, drive into Bungamati, a traditional village in the Kathmandu Valley. Then onto Patan, just across the river, known as the city of arts and architecture in Nepal, and stroll thousands of monuments around Durbar Square and witness extensive rebuilding work after the earthquake of 2015. Patan’s Golden Temple and Krishna Mandir are still very much intact, and well worth a visit. In Patan you will also find some of the best fair-trade shops in the city, and extraordinarily beautiful handicrafts made by local communities. Finish your tour at the incredible Patan Museum, which explores Nepal’s cultural history.

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Getting there

Brightsun Travel can organise cheap tickets to Kathmandu from UK, with some of the world’s best airlines, including Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, ranked 1 and 2 in the world by Skytrax in 2016.

Visit Ras Al Khaimah and Experience Pristine Beaches and Year Round Sunshine

Visitors flock to Ras Al Khaimah for its year long sunshine and warm Arabian hospitality. All around the emirate are truly amazing resorts, from where you can enjoy Ras Al Khaimah’s incredible Arabian Gulf coastline. Take a trip to the central manmade island, Marjan Island, or stay a while in one of its many central resorts, and unwind in style. Here we go through our favourite resorts in Ras Al Khaimah so you can enjoy a winter break in the sun anytime of year. When you are ready to go, Brightsun Travel has Ras Al Khaimah flights deals all year round.

1 Waldorf Astoria

Waldorf Astoria

Stay at the incredible Waldorf Astoria and be transported into another world. The elegant resort is set against white sandy beaches, and suites offer spectacular views of the Arabian Sea. The resort offers access to an 18-hole championship golf course, and has 9 restaurants, a spa and 2 swimming pools.

2 Cove Rotana Resort

Cove Rotana Resort

The Cove Rotana is a 5 star resort offering luxurious guest rooms with balconies and terraces overlooking the Arabian Gulf, plus villas with private plunge pools. The resort is set on 600m of pristine beach and has a gorgeous infinity pool, plus on site restaurants, bars and a fitness club.

3 Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa

27-01-2017-08-55HiltonAlHamra BeachanGolfResort3

The Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort and Spa offers its guests 1.5 kilometres of private white sandy beach, plus 14 dining options, an on site spa with traditional Turkish baths, 7 outdoor pools, and a 24-hour fitness centre. The resort has guest rooms, suites, villas and beach chalets, all with balconies or terraces.

4 Double Tree by Hilton Resort & Spa, Marjan Island

DoubleTree by Hilton Resort

On Marjan Island, you will find the Double Tree by Hilton Resort and Spa, set on private white sandy beaches, with 7 swimming pools, 7 restaurants and bars, a fitness centre and a luxurious spa. All accommodation comes with balconies or terraces overlooking the Arabian Sea.

5 Rixos Bab Al Bahr, Marjan Island

Rixos Bab Al Bahr

The Rixos Bab Al Bahr is 5 star, all-inclusive resort on Marjan Island, offering beautiful beaches at its doorstep, plus 5 a la carte restaurants, cocktail lounges, and pool and beachside bars that put on regular beach parties and acrobatic shows.

Flights

Brightsun Travel has several Ras Al Khaimah flights from UK with some of the world’s best airlines. Fly into Dubai, direct with Emirates or British Airways, and you could take a short 45 minute drive to the centre of Ras Al Kamiah.

 

Auckland’s City Highlights

Auckland is the largest of New Zealand’s cities, and a city so bursting with life that it could keep you entertained for weeks. Brightsun Travel runs regular Auckland flights offers, taking you into the heart of New Zealand, with some of the world’s best airlines.

Here we take you through the highlights in Auckland so you can plan a city break with a difference on your next holiday to New Zealand.

Galleries & Museums

1auk Galleries & Museums-8

In the impressive Auckland Art Gallery, you can explore work by a range of local artists, including a stunning collection of portraits of Māori leaders. Onto the Auckland Museum, an impressive building in the city, and you could explore exhibits on Māori culture and Auckland’s volcanic field.

Architecture

2auk Architecture-9

St Patrick’s cathedral is a good place to start your tour of Auckland’s architecture – a beautiful Gothic Revival church in the heart of the city. Also head to the city’s Sky Tower, the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere, and watch it light up at night like something off the set of Star Trek.

Food & Drink

3auk Food & Drink-9

Then onto the city’s food and drink scene, which is spectacular. In Auckland, new food and drink venues open up every week, transforming former port areas and historic buildings into thriving clubs, inventive restaurants and sophisticated cocktail bars.

Markets

4auk Markets-7

By day, the city comes alive with farmers markets, like the Parnell Farmer’s Market in the Auckland Domain, a beautiful park in the south of the city. At the Auckland Fish Market, you can attend cooking classes and enjoy the on-site seafood-cooking school.

5auk Trendy Neighbourhoods-3

In Auckland’s trendy neighbourhoods, like Ponsonby, you will find streets lined with produce stores and coffee shops bursting at the seams with locals donning their weekend active gear. Stay in a boutique hotel here and place yourself at the heart of the action in Auckland.

Parks

6auk Parks-2

Auckland Domain covers about 80 hectares and is full of sculptures and gardens as well as sports fields and inactive volcanoes. Albert Park is where you’ll find Victorian gardens and stately buildings. Finally, head to the Parnell Rose Gardens between November and March and see the city come alive with colour.

Flights

Brightsun Travel has a range of cheap flights to Auckland, including comfortable Economy and Premier Economy flights with New Zealand’s national carrier, Air New Zealand, who offer spectacular in-flight entertainment at every seat, as well as a range of seating options. Fly Premier Economy and you could relax in luxury leather seats with enhanced personal space. Or, fly Business Premier and experience premium check-in and priority boarding, plus lounge access to Air New Zealand global lounges and partner lounges across the world.

New Zealand’s Urban Top 4

Fly into any of New Zeeland’s dramatic urban hubs and you are in for a city break of a lifetime. Here we take you through our favourite cities in New Zealand, so that you can start planning your next holiday to this incredible island. When you are ready to go, Brightsun Travel has several New Zealand flights from UK to suit a range of itineraries.

Auckland

1 Auckland-5

In Auckland, new food and drink venues open up every week, transforming former port areas and historic buildings into thriving clubs, inventive restaurants and sophisticated cocktail bars. From Auckland you can travel to spectacular islands, including the beautiful Waiheke Island, where you can laze on white sandy beaches and gaze at surrounding oceans that provide sanctuary to dolphins and whales.

Christchurch

2 Christchurch-5

Christchurch is an exciting city that’s experiencing an epic rebuild after an earthquake in 2011, where you can take the incredibly scenic TranzAlpine Railway across the South Island and through the Southern Alps and Arthur’s Passage. From Christchurch you can also take a memorable tour around the Marlborough wine region, a trip that would expose you to some world class bottles of Sauvignon Blanc.

Wellington

3 Wellington-6

Wellington, on New Zealand’s North Island, has been labelled as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’ by the Lonely Planet. Wellington, as with most of New Zealand’s urban centres, takes its food, and its coffee, very seriously. In Wellington you are almost guaranteed a good espresso or cappuccino. Here, an array of restaurants provide numerous dining out options, and a vibrant music and arts scene that will make it hard to leave.

Queenstown

4 Queenstown-7

If it’s winter sports and mountainous adventures that interest you, Queenstown, in the heart of the South Island, provides access to snowcapped mountains, and the incredible sights of Milford Sounds, with magical treks and kayaking tours through rainforests, streams, waterfalls and unforgettable scenery. In this gorgeous city, you can bungee jump to a mountain backdrop, or hike through the serene Mount Aspiring National Park.

Flights & Airlines

Fly with New Zealand’s national carrier, Air New Zealand and enjoy comfortable seating options and on-demand entertainment in Economy class, including Economy Skycouch™ for small groups. Or upgrade to Business Premier and enjoy lie-flat beds and premium New Zealand wines. Contact Brightsun Travel for a range of cheap flights to New Zealand, flying you into the country’s main urban centres comfortably and on budget.

 

Discover Doha – The Mall Capital of the World

Doha, coined the mall capital of the world, is a shopper’s paradise. Here we go through our 5 favourite city malls so that you can plan your next shopping spree in the Middle East. Talk to Brightsun about our incredible range of cheap flights to Doha so that you can also get there on budget.

1 Doha -4

1. Mall of Qatar

The massive Mall of Qatar, Qatar’s largest mall, opened its doors in December 2016. The mall measures 5.4 million square foot, and offers over 500 retail stores, hundreds of food outlets, an on site 5 star hotel, a 10 lane bowling alley, plus the largest IMAX laser 3D projection system in the world.

2. Alhazm Mall

The recently opened Alhazm Mall, which opened its doors in May 2017, is a luxury mall, designed to reflect Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. Alhazm Mall is fast becoming a top attraction in Doha, with more than shopping on offer, it has its own gardens and a library.

3. City Centre Doha

The City Centre Doha is one of the largest malls in Doha, attracting tens of thousands of visitors a day. The mall offers over 300 shops, an ice-skating rink, bowing alleys, a 14 screen cinema complex, plus restaurants spread over 5 floors. The mall is in West Bay, which also boasts slick new arts centres.

4. Villaggio Mall

The Villaggio Mall, covering over 350,000 square feet, has a Venetian inspired interior, where you can take a classic Gondola ride and shop the Via Domo Luxury Area. Here you can also enjoy the Gondoliana theme park, as well as ice-skating rinks, IMAX movie theatres and a range of food outlets.

5. Katara Plaza

The Katara Plaza, Qatar’s first open-air and air-conditioned plaza, set to open in September 2017, and will offer a Galeries Lafayette, an Evian Spa, plus a mall dedicated to children, with candy stores and clothes and games outlets galore. The mall is also set to host a range of cultural events, concerts and festivals.

Getting there

Qatar boasts one of the world’s best airlines, Qatar Airways, ranked number 1 in the world by Skytrax in 2015. From 2015 Qatar Airways introduced direct flights to Doha from Birmingham, making travelling to the Middle East effortless from most of the UK. Contact Brightsun Travel about our exclusive range of Doha flights from UK and get there in style this holiday.

Explore Arabian History in the Middle East

The Middle East is a fascinating continent, with a long and rich history to explore. Brightsun Travel has Middle East flights offers all year round into the region’s main urban centres. Here we take you through some of our favourite historical cities in the Middle East.

Doha

1 Doha -4

For a historic slice of Doha, you could visit the Souq Waqif, with authentic Arab shops. At the weekends, join the locals for brunch in the historic quarter, when cafes burst at the seams with elaborate buffets and hungry families. Or, in the impressive Museum of Islamic Art building, explore Islamic art spanning 1400 years and 3 continents, and relax in the MIA Park, offering amazing views of the Doha skyline.

Dubai

2 Dubai-12

 

Away from its modern architecture, the Al Fahidi Historic District is a heritage area in Dubai that has sand coloured houses and beautiful mosques that will transport you back in time. The best way to navigate your way through the area is to visit to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, a non-profit cultural centre, which offers tours that focus on the traditions and customs of the United Arab Emirates.

Istanbul

3 Istanbul -3

 

In the Asian side of Istanbul, Beylerbeyi Palace, built in the 19th century, is an Ottoman palace with crystal chandeliers and marble fountains, and one of the most beautiful old interiors in the city. The city’s Grand Bazaar, in the heart of the Old City, is a century-old market with an array of stalls that could keep you entertained for days. Finally, built in 532, the Basilica Cistern is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, and a breathtaking underground palace.

Ras Al Khaimah

4 Ras Al Khaimah -3

From Ras Al Khaimah, you can take side trips into the Hajar Mountains, and stop off at the Dhayah Fort, dating back to the third millennium BC, and experience the only surviving hilltop fort in the United Arab Emirates. In the capital of Ras Al Khaimah you could explore its long and rich history, which dates back to the third century BC, in the old Jazirat Al Hamra village, or in its National Museum, set in the palace of the al Qawasim family, who ruled in the 18th century.

Flights

Brightsun Travel has a range of Middle East flights from UK, including direct flights from London to Dubai with Emirates airlines, ranked number 1 in the world by Skytrax in 2016, and short 4 hour flights into Istanbul with Turkish Airways. Qatar Airways will take you direct into Doha with award-winning service, or for the ultimate in luxury, fly ‘The Residence’ first class suites with Etihad Airways.

Travel Around Mauritius

Mauritius is a dreamy location, and its award-winning resorts certainly make the most of it. Here we take you through our 6 favourite resorts in Mauritius, from north to east. When you are ready to go, Brightsun Travel has a range of holiday and hotel packages to Mauritius, plus Mauritius cheap flights offers throughout the year.

Le Meridien Ile Maurice

Le Meridien Ile Maurice -6

Starting in the north, Le Meridien Ile Maurice offers a family friendly resort from where you can enjoy a range of complimentary water sports activities, such as snorkelling, water skiing and boat tours, to make the most of the island’s exotic marine habitats and colourful warm waters. The hotel also offers fishing tours, diving expeditions and catamaran cruises.

LUX* Grand Gaube

LUX Grand Gaube -7

Also in the north, a short stroll from the quiet fishing village of Grand Gaube, and 10 minutes from Grand Bay, the 5 star LUX* Grand Gaube is a romantic resort set against white sandy beaches. The resort offers luxury villas with a 24 hour butler service, plus 5 swimming pools, a decadent spa with hot tubs, and a traditional hamman.

Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa

Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa-3

Hilton Mauritius Resort is a luxurious beachfront accommodation situated on the island’s west coast in Flic-en-flac. The award-winning hotel offers some exquisite culinary experiences in three restaurants featuring local flavours as well as a luxurious spa. Here guests can enjoy complimentary water activities and dolphin watching or drive to the Casela Nature and Leisure Park in about 20 minutes and embark on unforgettable safari adventures.

Constance Belle Mare Plage

Constance Belle Mare Plage -3

Go east in Mauritius and experience a part of the island that’s relatively untouched by mass tourism, and a world away from the lively beaches of the north. The Constance Belle Mare Plage is a 5 star resort, surrounded by soft white sandy beaches, offering luxury villas with private pools, deluxe suites and Prestige rooms, all with balconies or terraces overlooking the ocean.

LUX* Belle Mare

Belle Mare

The LUX* Belle Mare is a luxury hotel near the small village of Belle Mare on Mauritius’ east coast. The hotel offers thatched-roof suites and villas set on white sandy beaches. The hotel has a large outdoor swimming pool, a world-class golf course, plus a range of restaurants and bars, including a California-inspired food truck. Here you can also relax on Belle Mare beach or in the LUX* ME spa.

Flights & Hotel Packages

Contact Brightsun Travel for exclusive holiday and hotel packages to Mauritius, plus cheap air tickets to Mauritius from UK all year round.