Crazy Family Fun in Chamonix

Crazy Family Fun in Chamonix

Chamonix is known as one of the best skiing areas in the world – and rightly so! It has a wide-ranging array of pistes that the whole family can enjoy together. From nursery slopes for your little ones to advanced, adrenaline-fuelled pistes for adults and teenagers, Chamonix has something special for everyone.
In addition to skiing, there are many other fun-filled and family-friendly activities that’ll make your ski holiday an exciting adventure that the kids will never forget.

 

Dog Sledding

Are your kids big fans of puppers and woofers? Then you’ll definitely see their eyes light up when you take them dog sledding.

Bred from wolf and domestic dog (usually husky) crosses, these friendly animals love to pull sleds, and they’re so elegant that it makes for a really smooth ride. What’s more, these animals are super affectionate, and you’ll probably find you want one as a pet if you treat the family to a dog sledding experience! This activity is increasingly popular, so make sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Paragliding

How does soaring through the snowy peaks of the Alps sound?

Thanks to its glaciers, rugged peaks and eagles, Chamonix is known as the Mecca of mountain flying. Even beginners can enjoy a huge adrenaline rush and amazing flights with very high levels of safety, as the gear is really advanced. If you don’t want to take lessons, tandem flying is also is an option – you’ll take to the skies with an experienced pilot, who will introduce you to the sights that this stunning region has to offer.

Snowshoeing

This is a wonderful way for the whole family to experience the region’s alpine beauty. Snowshoeing takes you away from the over-crowded slopes to the snowy mountains, where you can see deer, foxes and hares in their natural habitat. Why not venture onto glacial terrain for something a little more exciting? Or how about leaving the kids with a child minder and enjoying a moonlit snowshoeing adventure?

Ice Skating

The Richard Bozon Sports Centre boasts an Olympic-sized indoor ice rink, as well as a smaller outdoor rink that’s only a short walk away from the town centre. Give this fun winter sport a whirl, or pop by for the local teams’ ice hockey matches, cheering them on as they play a home game.

How to Get There

Many budget airlines offer several flights every day from the UK to Geneva, with a flight time of only 90 minutes from London. Getting to Chamonix from Geneva couldn’t be easier – simply book a transfer with Shuttle Direct for a quick and easy journey to your accommodation in Chamonix. From Geneva, the transfer only takes about an hour, so you’ll be out on the slopes with the family in no time!

Introduce Students to the Most Beautiful Places on Earth

Introduce Students to the Most Beautiful Places on Earth

For children of all ages, the opportunity to enter the fantasy world filled with the fun of the “happiest places on earth” is fascinating. The Disneyland® Paris school trip offers a hard-to-match experience of fun, but for teachers charged with the organization, it can be influenced by the logistical challenges of a passionate 30 youngsters at one of the busiest amusement parks in the world. Introduce Students to the Most Beautiful Places on Earth
Make Most of the magic moments

As one of the most visited tourist parks on the planet, this is not just a matter of counting the heads of students, transporting them across the Straits and directing them toward attractions. Disneyland® Paris school trips require planning and thought when things go well and every member of the group has time in their lives.

Understand the Group as Individual

Along with the standard information collected on the consent form, understanding the child as an individual is very important. This includes not only medical data on epilepsy, asthma or motion sickness, but also causes problems such as fear of darkness or altitude, and vertigo. With this knowledge, it is easier to identify rides or attractions that do not fit. Introduce Students to the Most Beautiful Places on Earth

Planning is Paramount

One of the most valuable tools for those responsible for planning schedules is the interactive map, which can be downloaded from Park’s website. Its functionality allows the bird’s eye view from the layout to determine the location of the facility, and filters to narrow the attractions of age and interests accordingly to save time.

Know the layout

Understanding the basic thematic layout of the Park is very important. Each of the five areas has unique nuances, and how long is allocated to each will depend entirely on the needs and desires of the group.

• Main Street: The first meeting through a revolving door takes visitors and drops them straight to the United States of the nineteenth century. This is where the Disney Magic parade takes place and that is also the point of departure of the steam train.

• Frontierland: Wild West lives in Frontierland; from a trip of Thunder Mountain that stops by heart, to the gentle sensation of paddling around a large man-made lake.

• Adventureland: Is there a living child who is not fascinated by stories of pirates and adventurers in and off the high shore? Adventureland wait!

• Fantasyland: For the younger group, the miracle of the Princess Bedroom is the beginning of all these fantasy fantasies.

• Discoveryland: As for older pupils, discovering the world of lasers and futuristic space travels is exciting and even thrilling!

Visiting Walt Disney Studios® Park is another highlight for the group. It houses not only for the many cinematographic and animation technologies that are fascinating, but also for the fastest and most thrilling ride in the National Park: Rock-n-Roller Coaster.

The perfect accommodation is Vital

When children are involved, choosing the right accommodation is essential. Important points to look for are accessibility to this site (with a free shuttle bus to take the kids to and from the Park), and interesting themes to ensure the magic survives even after the end of the day.

There are several more popular visits than the Disneyland® Paris school trip. Committing to an early-focused action plan within the organization will ensure that the experience is the same as teacher fulfillment as well. Introduce Students to the Most Beautiful Places on Earth

John Gardiner is Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specializing in Disneyland Paris school trips and educational tours for school and youth groups to England, Europe and beyond. As a father and avid traveler, John is keen to provide students with a valuable and exciting learning experience outside the classroom. By sharing expert advice with teachers, he allows them to inspire their students and continue their studies into life. Introduce Students to the Most Beautiful Places on Earth

How Comprehensive Should Travel Insurance

How Comprehensive Should Travel Insurance

It’s never fun to contemplate something might be wrong while traveling. Most of us are swept up in excitement, or distracted by all the details of the planning involved, so we barely think about ‘what if’ second thought. However, with so many factors and variables involved in the ‘going on holiday’ experience it is imperative that the majority of them run smoothly. Unfortunately, the law of probability may be against you, so it is best to fight comprehensive travel insurance.
Worst case scenario

How Comprehensive Should Travel Insurance

So, let’s intermittently enjoy all the annoying little sounds in your head and ponder all the things that might go wrong. The basics come to mind first; What if my flight is canceled or delayed? Starting the journey on this false footing could start a worse domino effect. Flights, though most airline aviation efforts, are still a rather unreliable form of transportation. They are subject to Mother Nature’s will and human ability to accurately adhere to tight schedules, both of which lack a track record that is usually strong or steady. It is best to think of comprehensive travel insurance as a convincing grandmother’s voice, offering wise advice and telling you not to worry, go and have fun. At the most basic, travel insurance will cover the cost of flight delays, cancellations and public transportation associated with shenanigans that you may encounter.

Other common problems most people have about travel include issues with accommodation, baggage loss, and / or injury or illness. Depending on your purpose, some of these issues are more justified than others. Before traveling abroad, you should read carefully the FCO’s website for any travel and health-related travel advice, including recommended travel inoculations. Again, comprehensive travel insurance is your safety net if you are sick or injured while abroad. Costs that are potentially spent overseas from travel to A & E vary greatly from country to country. Regardless, the last thing you want to worry about right now is the astronomy hospital bill to take home as a souvenir.

More Means Less How Comprehensive Should Travel Insurance

The more ‘comprehensive’ your travel insurance is, the less you have to worry about. Even the most talented carrels are unlikely to fret about any possible problems or disasters that can happen while traveling. Most of us can not anticipate randomly harbors of coconut bumps, or snow shorts while on a ski trip, which is a true insurance claim that has been covered in the past. A comprehensive travel insurance job is taking both the headaches and the concerns of the traveling process.

Positive thinking!

Ultimately, the best form of comprehensive travel insurance you can buy is the kind you do not use, and then wondering ‘is it really worth the money’? The answer is ‘yes’, it’s really worth the money, and it’s always better not to tease the fate. Destiny likes a good challenge and seldom fails to deliver it. So ask for your grandma’s wise advice and get the most travel insurance you can. Then you can really go and have fun and not worry about anything!

Author Plate

Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning specialist team in annual, family, single travel and all other types of comprehensive travel insurance. In addition to offering attractive offers for travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holiday.

Go Sky High & Ski Free in Courmayeur

Go Sky High & Ski Free in Courmayeur

Courmayeur, nestled in the Italian Alps at the foot of Mont Blanc, may be famous as an elegant ski resort but for those who want the snow and mountains without the high octane thrills, it also offers a range of other activities.
With exclusive boutiques and excellent restaurants scattered around the resort’s pretty pedestrianised centre, combined with the short transfer from Geneva to Courmayeur, it makes a wonderful spot for a winter break, even without the skiing.

 

Mountain Views Without Skis

Restaurants and boutiques are all very well, but if you’ve come to the Alps for stunning mountain views but don’t want to do too much walking then you’ll be thrilled to discover that the Skyway Monte Bianco cable car makes the mountains accessible to all.

First built as a way of connecting the Italians of Courmayeur with the town of Chamonix in France as early as the 1930s, the original cables were destroyed by French fighter planes during World War Two.

After the war, a station was opened at 3300m, but engineers were unable to reach the summit due to the shifting glacier ice. It wasn’t until 2015 that the top station at Punta Helbronner was finally opened at 3466m.

Today the Skyway Monte Bianco takes visitors from Courmayeur, up through a series of stations, to the summit of Mont Blanc with views of many of the Alps’ highest peaks.

Spend Time at the Skyway Stations

Starting at Pontal, visitors are swept up the face of Mont Blanc to the first station of Pavillon du Mont Fréty.

Those who just want to feel they are at the heart of the mountain landscape will enjoy spending the day at the station here, enjoying the botanical garden (which specialises in Alpine plants) or relaxing in its restaurant, shopping area or cinema.

For a truly breathtaking view of the Alps, carry on up the cable car to the top station at Punta Helbronner. The modern structure (designed to look like a shard of ice) has a 360º viewing terrace and a crystal museum, as well as a café, bar and restaurant.

Relax with a Skyway Spa

Put all thoughts of aching skiing muscles out of your mind and instead imagine staying at the Pré-Saint-Didier Spa and indulging in its ‘Spa and Cable Car’ package. The deal includes days spent on Mont Blanc at the Skyway’s beautiful stations, followed by relaxing, rejuvenating treatments in the spa’s elegant therapy rooms.

How to Get There

Since relaxation and beautiful scenery is at the heart of your winter break to Courmayeur, it’s good to know that getting there couldn’t be easier. There are regular flights from the UK to Geneva, and a short, easy transfer of an hour and a half from Geneva to Courmayeur.

For the ultimate stress-free transfer from Geneva to Courmayeur, book an executive car with Shuttle Direct before you leave home and we’ll be there to meet you at the arrivals lounge when you land and take you directly to your resort accommodation.

Say “Mmm!” in Morzine

Say “Mmm!” in Morzine

Nestling at the bottom of an ancient river gorge, the old market town of Morzine is a favourite destination for skiing families and couples alike. Many return year after year not just for picturesque landscapes or the friendly people, but for the food! I am often asked by couples returning to Morzine, or visiting for the first time – where are the very best places to eat? There are host of great restaurants to choose from, but if you only have a handful of days up in the mountains, here are a few that visitors just cannot afford to miss.
L’Atelier d’Alexandre Restaurant

 

If you are looking for pure luxury dining, L’Atelier is perfect. Established by head chef Alexandre Baud-Pachon in 2004, the restaurant is located in the Hotel Le Samoyède and boasts a Michelin star. Alexandre prides himself on using the freshest local ingredients and showcases some of the best French mountain cuisine. The menu is pricy – the cheapest set menu is €45 – but it contains 5 of the most luxurious courses you could imagine. L’Atelier’s 10,000 bottle strong wine cellar isn’t bad either for lovers of the French grape.

La Paika

A restaurant right in the action, La Paika can be found in a gorgeous wooden cabin right in the centre of the Les Gets ski area. On clear and bright days diners can eat out on the terrace which offers a great view of the surrounding slopes. If you or your loved one is a meat lover then La Paika is the place for you, offering a huge array of cold cuts, as well as locally reared meats cooked over a huge wood burning stove. Make sure you arrive with a roaring appetite and leave in time to catch the last chairlift home.

Restaurant Le Clin d’Oeil

Cheese is not hard to come by on skiing holidays. However, with all that cheese to choose from, finding the best cheese menu can be a struggle. Luckily, Le Clin d’Oeil in the centre of Morzine offers the tastiest cheesy dishes available. Run by Jean-Noël and Kristel for the last 10 years, this cosy restaurant specialises in South West French cuisine and serves up the best tartiflette for miles around. Guests can enjoy their meals with a great selection of wine.

La Grange Restaurant

Getting to La Grange requires a bit of exploring. Tucked away on one of Morzine’s pretty backstreets, this popular eatery is only a minutes’ walk from the tourist office. Inside diners will find an authentically decorated restaurant which doesn’t pack its guests in but leaves plenty of room to breathe. Open during the summer and winter months, La Grange offers the some of the best vegetable dishes in gorge, useful if you need a break from all that meat and cheese. Even more useful is the private catering service they offer, making a delicious meal in the comfort of your chalet a reality.

Getting to Morzine

Morzine sits right on the French border with Switzerland and is not too far from Geneva. If you’re flying into Geneva, airport transfers to the town are easy to organise. Popular airliners easyJet, British Airways, and jet2 all fly direct to Geneva Airport with a flight time of around 1 ½ hours. Once you are in Switzerland, Shuttle Direct’s Geneva airport transfers whisk travellers away to Morzine in the same time for a fixed low price, so no haggling when you get here. You can also bring your ski gear on the transfer for free, as long as you let us know in advance. Easy.

Successful Home Remodeling Advice

Successful Home Remodeling Advice At some point, we made the decision to make a housing renovation on our property. The reasons for making decisions vary, ranging from making major improvements to do some renovation of NJ interior because we are tired enough and want a change in our home. On another occasion, what to look for is increasing its value in the real estate market and then selling it.

For whatever reason, starting a NJ residential renovation can be a daunting and expensive task. Here are some tips.
– It is important to take sufficient time, both for certain phases and for the total renovation of interior NJ projects. Renovation of NJ housing can take a long time, especially if you do not have enough financial resources.

– In all cases, you should hire a home inspector to help you look for serious problems before you start renovating. Make sure you have the proper permits and meet the requirements of building regulations and regulations before starting the renovation work. Successful Home Remodeling Advice

– Beware of what you face. Take a good look at home and read the inspection report. Find out whether the problem at home is structural or aesthetic.

– Cleaning and painting is the fastest and cheapest way to repair a house. Even if it is a temporary solution before you can achieve it again through the renovation of NJ interior, try to clean what is already there.

– Make a list. Walk around your house with a whiteboard or notebook and make a list of all the changes you want to make.

– Decide how much you are willing to do yourself, and what things require contractor assistance. You may choose to do the remodeling yourself. Generally, there is no need to hire a contractor to install a towel hook, but you may choose not to install your own decoration on a steep roof on the first floor.

– Plan a strategy What will you do first? Where are you going to start? This is a question where you should seek answers through planning. Be aware of things that depend on other projects.

– Make your budget according to your planning, but do not forget the incidental costs, this always comes up. Successful Home Remodeling Advice

– Identify and face any urgency. Look for immediate security risks, such as broken windows. It also looks for problems that cause additional damage if left untreated, such as a leak in the ceiling. The most serious repair address first.

– You can also decide to start a small project. If you are planning, smaller projects can give you experience and confidence if you decide to do some phase of the project. Small projects can also help you reach a larger project or create a usable space until you can do more.

– Try to do a related project together. For example, if you remove the carpet or on the floor, take advantage of fixing the creaks, damage caused by water, and damage or other damage to the floor itself.

Bringing Life on a School Trip to Normandy

Bringing Life on a School Trip to Normandy

Every dedicated teacher continues to look for ways to encourage the imagination of young learners. Organizing a school trip to bring a dusty page of history to life is (or should be) at the top of the list. No subject benefited more than the opportunity to visit sites where past monumental events had occurred, and no subject offered so many choices when planning school trips.
Exploring the Normandy Heritage Bringing Life on a School Trip to Normandy

The Normandy region of France is a logical choice for school trips, with several sites related to medieval studies to the bloody battles of World War II. From the foundation level to the GCSE level, students can benefit from various programs in museums and monuments, many of which can be tailored specifically to curriculum requirements.

History of the Middle Ages

For students studying the Norman Conquest, the trip to Normandy led them to where it all began. Visiting the Bayeux rugs introduced them to early medieval art; these preserved magnificent artifacts are one of the most valuable historical sources available to teach the period to the students. As a complete and compelling visual narrative of the events surrounding the Norman Conquest, this serves as a real learning aid to inspire deeper appreciation of the era, both for the primary and secondary groups. Bringing Life on a School Trip to Normandy

Falaise Castle is another very important site for those who focus on the Middle Ages. The birthplace of William the Conqueror is a great example of medieval architecture, and visiting the site allows students to give knowledge of this important sovereignty, the first Norman King of England, into the historical context.

Modern history

For young people who study the events of World War II, Normandy is an active learning center, with many sites and monuments related to combat performed on French soil. No amount of textbook reading can come close to a deep experience of visiting beaches and battlefields where these events took place and so many youths lost their lives.

The WWII site in the region serves as a serious war heritage and provides an excellent source of education, not just for historical subjects, but also related to politics and social studies. The tour of the cemetery and the battlefield brings home the real reality of war and can not but leave an indelible imprint on young hearts and minds, while a museum with cutting-edge technology serves to bring the drama of the Normandy invasion into real life.

But more than simply providing an opportunity to elaborate facts and meet the curriculum requirements, visiting the WWII site in Normandy is an opportunity for an educator to give young people an insight into the gravity of war, its consequences and impact. Bringing Life on a School Trip to Normandy

Accessible Destinations

This beautiful part of France is capable of sparking a passion for history and learning in groups of various ages in curricular studies, making it the perfect destination for school trips. It’s also very practical in terms of budget and logistics, with the Channel Crossing from Folkestone ensuring a quick trip from the UK.

John Gardiner is Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specializing in school trips for schools and youth groups to the UK, Europe and beyond. As a father and avid traveler, John is keen to provide students with a valuable and exciting learning experience outside the classroom. By sharing expert advice with teachers, he allows them to inspire their students and continue their studies into life. Bringing Life on a School Trip to Normandy

Starry-Eyed Ski: Relive Romance in Resorts

Starry-Eyed Ski: Relive Romance in Resorts

Whether you are a new couple on your first vacation together or relive the seasonal flame romance, there is no better choice for a romantic getaway than a winter ski holiday. Beautiful mountain views, fine dining opportunities and the flexibility of self-catering or catered ski huts provide the perfect environment to relax and unwind together. Let’s look deeply at some of the most romantic resorts in the world. Starry-Eyed Ski: Relive Romance in Resorts
Kitzbühel, Austria

While it may be famous for Hahnenkamm, – one of the most grueling and dangerous races on the World Cup circuit – Kitzbühel also has a softer side. As a well established community, and not just a commercial resort, this medieval town is full of Tirolean charm. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the pedestrian downtown, where the brightly painted buildings are lined with towering church towers. Go into one of the cozy restaurants for Glühwein, and your romantic trip will be over.

Cormayeur, Italy

On the Italian side of Mont Blanc, this traditional Italian village is bustling with activity. Via Roma in the center of the village is lined with shops, restaurants and bars. Eating and partying are some of the main attractions in Cormayeur – in fact, many Italians come here for that purpose alone. For others, this means a calm and quiet slope to enjoy.

And, if you’re looking for something a little different, what could be more romantic than seeing Mont Blanc with a cable car? Skyway Monte Bianco takes you to the highest peak peak in Europe, from which you will get the most beautiful views of the Alps.

Champéry, Switzerland

This rustic village wooden chalets can be directly out of The Sound of Music. While the village itself may be small, it is linked to twelve resorts in the intertwined Portes du Soleil area, so you will not lose access to the slopes.

One of the most dramatic features of Champéry is the horizon. Wherever you are in the village, you will look up to see the rocky peak of Dents du Midi. With a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, you will be greeted by the locals like an old friend. This is a beautiful sight for a romantic getaway for two people.

Chamonix, France

Last but not least is the resort of Chamonix. Probably the most romantic ski destination in Europe, Chamonix offers an activity to captivate every couple. The panoramic view of Mont Blanc set the scene for a truly romantic atmosphere.

For anyone who enjoys good food, a remote 250 years old farmhouse, Les Vieilles Luges is the perfect destination for a starry dining experience. Soak up the atmosphere of real wooden beams and wood fireplaces, taste some delicious alpine dishes and really reconnect with your partner. If you are looking for a short break from the slopes, dog sledding is an ideal pairing activity. Either sit on the sled and enjoy the ride, or impress your lover by trying your hand to lead the pack!

After a day of adventurous action, why not relax in one of Chamonix’s ski huts? Alternatively, you can relax in the ice cave, sweat in the sauna or enjoy one of the many luxurious couple treatments on offer.

And voila: this resort will surely lure you and your special someone. From embracing in your catered ski chalet to exploring snowy snowy environments, you are in a holiday that will revolutionize your definition of romance.

Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has helped avid skiers in their perfect winter break for more than a quarter of a century. If you are looking for the best catering accommodation in Three Valleys, Paradiski, Espace Killy or Chamonix Valley, Ski Amis is a go-to company for winter sports enthusiasts looking for a lifelong holiday. Starry-Eyed Ski: Relive Romance in Resorts

Meet Weedtubers Who Paid to Toke Up

Meet Weedtubers Who Paid to Toke Up

This attracts a lot of people making money by posting videos on YouTube.

Tutorials, family vacations, product reviews and other silly antics make the rich overnight.

But have you ever heard of weedtubers?

These are the people who get paid to smoke marijuana and put it up on the internet.

That’s right – get paid for baking.

Read on to find out some of the most famous weedtubers around.

Joel Hradecky: King Weedtubers
Considered the king of the weedtubers, Joel Hradecky has over 1.2 million followers, whom he found only in a short time.

His CustomGrow420 YouTube channel featured videos including him who tried to suck THC oil grams. This video garnered over 1.3 million views.

That number is almost the same as 1.5 million who saw Hradecky cough for seven minutes after his effort. It seems that Hradecky’s success thrives, in part, on the psychological notion that humans enjoy watching other humans suffer. Meet Weedtubers Who Paid to Toke Up

But this marijuana king not only toke up and make the audience laugh (or mock) over the love of entertainment. Thousands of fans actually turned to Hradecky for recommendations about bongs, strands of marijuana and other accessories.

Josh Young
If you are primarily looking for advice and information about smoking weeds, different ways can be smoked, or weed prices, Young is your man.

On her YouTube channel StrainCentral, smoking young marijuana from 3-10 times a day, right next to the viewers.

Young thinks that sometimes his fans are just, “looking for friends smoking.”

In the same way as other weedtubers like Hradecky, Young also posted a video showing the effort to smoke a large quantity of THC in a short time and its horrible effects.

With over 373,000 subscribers, Young obviously makes a really good smoking buddy!

Reef Reef Meet Weedtubers Who Paid to Toke Up
Being a harvester is not just for boys. Do not worry women, you can also be famous for smoking on YouTube too!

Just look at Coral Reefer. If you are looking for an interactive weedtube experience, Coral Reefer is your girl.

Coral Reefer hosts a live show every Sunday called “Stoney Sunday Live” where she answers pitch-related questions from viewers and fans. Coral is very passionate about marijuana and its many benefits.

Visit her channel and you’ll see her attend the cannabis show and share info about what’s going on in marijuana news.

Jane Dro
Another grass enthusiast who represents female cannabis lovers out there is Jane Dro. Meet Weedtubers Who Paid to Toke Up

If you want a more educational experience when it comes to marijuana, Dro is a great information center. Dro tells viewers about the growing ins and outs of marijuana and offers tips, as well as the look inside his own farming chamber.

Check out Dro channels for video and in-depth product reviews for serious and serious cannabis users. You might even see the following marijuana smoking star on our list while watching the Dro channel – both of which often appear in their respective videos.

Soundrone
You can not have a good smoking session without some nice snacks. Soundrone is about unboxing and reviewing products – and not just marijuana related items.

Visiting this unique channel channel will allow you to see candy, drink and snack reviews. A perfect compliment to your height.

His studies are often distracted by him who gets beaten from a bong or dull. Soundrone must have done something right because not only was he a successful successor, he was also a businessman.

Soundrone has its own hex axis line known as Bee Lasso.

Are you Next Next Big YouTube?
It’s hard not to be motivated by these itedtuber stars. They get paid to do what they love – that’s a great American dream, is not it?

Unique Facts About the Wildlife of Galapagos

Unique Facts About the Wildlife of Galapagos

Most nature lovers who embark on wildlife holidays in Galapagos are familiar with the archipelago’s most iconic wildlife species, which include the Giant Tortoise, the Lava Lizard, the Marine Iguana, the Galapagos Sea Lion and the Blue-Footed Booby.
But while the wildlife has been studied and documented extensively, from Darwin’s first forays to the scientists who actively work to ensure its conservation into modern times, there are also some lesser-known facts about these wonderfully unique species. For anyone planning wildlife holidays in Galapagos, knowing a few of these before the trip may add another dimension to an already fascinating encounter.

 

Did You Know?

• The Marine Iguanas found in abundance throughout the archipelago are the world’s only species of marine lizard. The white appearance often seen around their faces is caused by the expulsion of salt from specially adapted glands in their nostrils, which dries and creates a “wig” effect.

• The Galapagos Penguin is the smallest in the world and the only one found north of the Equator. The combination of the cold waters of the Humboldt and Cromwell ocean currents mean it is able to survive in the warmer climate.

• With an average life span of well over a century, the Giant Tortoise lives longer than almost any other vertebrate on the planet. They continue to grow for up to 40 years and can reach a length of over 1.5m and a weight of up to 250kg.

• The most common of all the mammals throughout the islands is the sea lion. The chance to swim and snorkel amongst the curious sea lions is also one of the most sought-after encounters on wildlife holidays in Galapagos. Particularly large colonies are found on Santa Cruz, Isabela and Espanola.

• The Green Sea Turtle found in the waters around the archipelago is a species so old it has been around since before the time of the dinosaurs.

• There are five species of snakes and all of them are endemic to the dry zones of certain islands – although some islands have none. All the species are relatively small (under a metre) and are known as “racers”, due to their ability to move extremely fast. Their only natural predator is the Galapagos Hawk.

• There are four species of boobies that make the islands home. The Blue-footed Booby is renowned for its unique mating dance, where it lifts its feet and wave them in the air, appearing to “dance”, and the Red-footed Booby is the only one to make its nest in the trees and not the ground. The Nazcar Booby is the largest species, while the Masked Booby lives mainly out in the open ocean, returning to land only to breed.

• The Waved Albatross mates for life. There are over 12,000 breeding pairs on the archipelago, which represents the majority of its global population. While the birds depart the islands from December to April, they return to the same place and the same partner every year to breed.

• The term “Darwin’s Finches” actually refers to 15 different species of finches. While their bodies and colouring make them similar in appearance, each has a distinctly different, specially adapted beak.

Wildlife holidays in Galapagos offer a privileged opportunity for nature lovers to experience a truly once-in-a-lifetime encounter with some of the most incredible and unique animals on Earth. And, in this remote and beautiful part of the planet, researchers and naturalists are still learning just how astounding many of them really are. Author Plate