With a distinctive flat top that gives it its name and the imposing spire of Devil’s Peak and the dome of Lion’s Head flanking it on either side, Table Mountain is one of the most spectacular and iconic natural rock formations in the world.

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Renting a car in Cape Town makes Table Mountain and the surrounding National Park easily accessible. Whether you want to drink in the view of the mountain from the white sands of  Bloubergstrand (literally ‘blue mountain beach’, named after another nearby mountain Blaauwberg) or ascend the heights of Table Mountain via its famed cable car system, South Africa car hire with a reputable and reliable company like Avis can put it all within reach.


Visiting Cape Town

Table Mountain itself is part of a range that forms the spine of the Cape Peninsula. The highest point stands more than 1,000 metres above sea level and the plateau is frequently covered with condensation known as the “table-cloth” of cold.

Legend has it that this cloud cover stems from a smoking contest between the Devil and a local eighteenth century pirate called Van Hunks – although Van Hunks eventually won he was not allowed to get away with the prize (a ship full of gold).

The mountain is host to a large variety of wildlife, including the cute, guinea-pig-like ‘dassie’ or rock hyrax, which often congregate in large numbers around the cable car stations. There are also mongooses, porcupines, snakes and tortoises, not to mention a wide and diverse range of plant life.

There are a number of hiking and rock climbing routes of various difficulties along and across the many faces of the mountain. For the less energetic, the Table Mountain Cableway offers a more direct ascent right to the plateau. The wider National Park in which Table Mountain is set also offers picturesque walks and the Boulders Penguin Colony, which is home to a unique and endangered land-based colony of African Penguins and is a great attraction for those who want to witness these beautiful creatures in their own habitat. If you are a diving enthusiast then why not consider great white shark diving in the region.

Whilst all of these locations are situated around Cape Town, journeying between them can take some time. South Africa relies heavily on its road network so it is vital that you take a look at our great car hire options to ensure you get the most from your trip.

If you would like to find out more about South Africa visit the official South Africa tourism website.

The details of this blog post were correct at the time of publication. Offers are subject to change. Please check the website for confirmation.

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New Zealand is fast becoming one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. In the wake of last year’s rugby world cup, the country’s popularity has grown with many tourists still wanting to experience the fantastic landscapes made famous by Peter Jackson’s iconic Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

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Where to go?

New Zealand offers a great escape for Brits wanting to get away this winter. The country has two main land masses, the North and South island – providing plenty of scope for travel.

Getting around New Zealand is made easy by the country’s excellent travel services. As a traveller, you have many transportation options. Driving affords you more freedom and passenger and vehicle ferries operate a regular service between the North and South Islands, making it even easier for you to move between the two.

New Zealand is a very compact country and this makes it popular for people who wish to use their own vehicle. There are many themed highways and touring routes and along the way you can stop off at some of the country’s scenic hotspots such as Lake Taupo.


Driving in New Zealand

Driving in New Zealand is made all the more easy because traffic is light and most roads are kept in a good condition. Many travellers choose to follow themed highway routes when driving in New Zealand and these cover various areas and distances depending on what you want to see and how far you are prepared to travel.

A lot of websites offer pre-planned driving routes across New Zealand which are great for anyone who has not visited the country before – but you shouldn’t be frightened to set your own itinerary either. Here at Avis we provide plenty of flexible car hire options so whether it’s the rural shire or coastal retreats you want to visit, we’ll provide you with the means to do so.

New Zealand offers unique scenery and breathtaking landscapes that can all be appreciated from the comfort of your vehicle. Deciding to hire a car in New Zealand may not be something you’ll find in The Hobbit but it will provide you with the ability to enjoy your own epic adventure.

If you would like to find out more about New Zealand visit the official New Zealand Tourism website.

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The Sistine Chapel is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the planet, attracting more than 20,000 visitors a day (or 5 million every year). For some it’s a literal pilgrimage. It’s the most famous chapel in the Apostolic Palace – the official residence of the Pope in Vatican City – and still serves as the site for the Papal Enclave when a new Pope is selected. In fact the 266th Roman Catholic pontiff Pope Francis I was elected there on March 14th 2013.

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It’s clearly a place of great importance for Catholics but you don’t have to be religious to appreciate the historical significance, striking architecture and magnificent art on display. The Sistine Chapel ceiling, famously painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, is one of the most famous and iconic pieces of art in the world.


Visiting the Vatican

Italy is a diverse country full of numerous attractions and driving in Italy can be a great way to get around. There are many sights to be seen away from the centre of Rome but if you do decide to take a car into the Italian capital you should be prepared for some, shall we say, ‘challenging’ driving conditions.

You should also be aware that large parts of the city centre (Centro Storico) are out of bounds to private cars unless you are a resident or purchase a special (and quite expensive) pass. On-street parking is usually metered and can be hard to find but parking garages are usually fairly easy to find.


Exploring Italy

With a total area of just 0.17 square miles (0.44 square kilometres), Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world. You don’t exactly need a car to get around but car hire will open up a host of nearby attractions, with the added freedom and lack of constraints that driving can bring.

The small town of Tivoli is 18 miles north-east of Rome, with its main attractions being the Villa Adriana (Hadrian’s Villa) and the Villa d’Este. The Castel Gandolfo serves as the Pope’s summer residence and is set amongst the hills of the Colli Albani some 15 miles outside of Rome. Also be sure to visit Lago Bracciano, a picturesque lake filling a volcanic crater in the nearby Sabatini hills.

If you would like to find out more about Italy visit the official Italy Tourism website.

The details of this blog post were correct at the time of publication. Offers are subject to change. Please check the website for confirmation.

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Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada is a world famous tourist destination spot. Famed for its stunning scenery, the lake offers hiking trails, mountain biking, horse riding, kayaking and rock climbing in summer. Nearby the Lake Louise Ski Area offers amenities for alpine and cross-country skiing in the winter, but what about Moraine Lake?

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Less visited but even more scenic and spectacular, Moraine Lake is located in an area known as the Valley of the Ten Peaks. On arriving at Moraine Lake most people find themselves breathless before they’ve even set foot out the car. The lake itself is glacially fed and the refraction of light from the ‘rock flour’ lends the water a magnificent crystal blue sheen – a sight which never fails to take your breath away.

The valley which the lake rests within is surrounded by ten lofty mountains (hence the name) and boasts a large strand of larch trees beneath the third highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. It’s no wonder the Canadians once had the view of this spectacular area on the back of their $20 bills!


Exploring the lakes

Renting a car in Alberta is easy with Avis and our rental options are sure to make the 14 kilometre journey from the hamlet of Lake Louise to Moraine Lake an accessible and worthwhile addition to any trip to the region.

Additional winter products available with our Canada car rental include snow tyres, snow chains and ski racks. These can all make your journey safer and more convenient when driving in tricky conditions and are essential if you plan to see this lake at its most beautiful – during the winter.

The most direct way of reaching Moraine Lake from the UK is to fly direct to Calgary. From there, car hire in Canada makes the region easily accessible. Once at Lake Moraine you can hike the mountain trails, rent a canoe or sit and eat lunch in Moraine Lake Lodge. Alternatively, simply stand back and drink in one of the most spectacular lakeside views the world has to offer; you’ll only regret it later if you don’t.

If you would like to find out more about Alberta visit the official Alberta Tourism website.

The details of this blog post were correct at the time of publication. Offers are subject to change. Please check the website for confirmation.

 

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Amsterdam is a city of contrasts. As the largest city and capital of The Netherlands, it’s famed for its museums, architecture and stunning network of canals.

 

Historical importance

The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam © Copyright Wikipedia.org

For many people, the museums are the primary draw and the city certainly has more than its fair share of quality exhibits. The Rijksmuseum is deservedly famous while the Van Gogh Museum boasts the largest collection of the artist’s paintings and drawings in the world.

The Anne Frank House has been converted into an important and fascinating museum dedicated to the memory of the Jewish wartime diarist who hid from Nazi persecution within the building. The museum also serves as an exhibition space to highlight all forms of persecution and discrimination.

 

Getting about

Despite common opinion that Amsterdam is dominated by bicycles and trams, driving in and around Amsterdam can be an enjoyable experience – you just need to be prepared. For those interested in travelling further afield, Amsterdam car hire can be a great option and provide you with many benefits not afforded by public transport. The freedom to go where you wish, on your own schedule, is a huge benefit for those wanting to explore Europe and our car hire services cater to your every need.

 

Where to travel

As Amsterdam is situated almost right in the middle of what is a reasonably small country, many of the Netherlands’ other major cities and attractions are easily accessible using the capital as a base. The road and motorway network is well designed and maintained, meaning thriving cities like Rotterdam or the smaller, more charming Utrecht – both around 30 miles away – can be reached easily.

Rotterdam is renowned for its culture and architecture. The first skyscraper in Europe was built in the city. The construction of the White House (nothing to do with the one in Washington) finished in 1898 and is 43 metre high. One of the most remarkable features for the time was the addition of an elevator to reach one of the ten different floors. Another must-see is the Rotterdamse Schouwburg Theatre. As well as hosting over 500 performances a year of dance, theatre and music, it also accommodates sculpture and other art installations. To find out more about the city of Rotterdam, visit its official web page.

Utrecht benefits from a great location, right in the centre of the Netherlands.  The city hides many treasures including St. Willibrord Church, which visitors appreciate for its beautiful neo-gothic style. The Botanical Gardens also provide the setting for an amazing visit exploring the different varieties of plants from all over the world. The city also hosts a Railway Museum showcasing locomotives and modern day trains. Find out more about Utrecht by visiting the Utrecht Convention Bureau website.

Keukenhof hosts the world’s largest flower garden while Marken and Volendam are peaceful and picturesque fishing villages. There’s a lot to see and do in the city itself but there are even more spectacular destinations to unlock if you hire a car in Amsterdam and set your sights on the horizon.

If you would like to find out more about Amsterdam visit the official Amsterdam Portal website.

The details of this blog post were correct at the time of publication. Offers are subject to change. Please check the website for confirmation.

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