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When At Hajj And Umrah: Your Must See Destinations

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Hajj and Umrah are both holy pilgrimages to Mecca performed by Muslims. Hajj is expected by all Muslims that have the physical and financial ability to make the trek. It is only done during the Holiest of Months (once a year).

Umrah is a pilgrimage to Mecca that is shorter but still shows the devotion of the participant.

Regardless of whether you decide to make a Hajj, Umrah, or both; read on to learn the things you must see.

Places to Visit During Your Hajj or Umrah

Both Makkah and Madinah are places of historic and religious significance making them the perfect addition to your Hajj or Umrah trip.

As with most trips, take the time to learn about the area before you arrive.

Mina

Mina is a valley approximately 3 miles east of Makkah. On your Umrah or Hajj you will gather with other Pilgrims on the 8th or 10th -13th to show you devotion. Many pilgrims also through stones from the Jamarat Bridge.

The stones are thrown, together, symbolically at the devil.

Muzdalifah

The mosque at Muzdalifah, is between the Arafat and the Mina. Most pilgrims make a day trip from Mina, and stay in Muzdalifah, until sunset. This allows them to optimize their time spend in prayers or devotion.

There is also a mosque for pilgrims to offer their prayers at the top hill of Muzdalifah.

Al Quba Mosque

The Al Quba mosque is one stop you should definitely include. The Prophet Muhammad stayed at this mosque when he reached Madinah.

There are many hotels that offer high-quality accommodations during your Umrah. Be sure to choose the one that best suits your needs.

A trip to Saudi Arabia and Mecca are not only for devout Muslims, the history of the land is powerful and can be a great historic adventure for any couple.

Jabbal-e-Noor

Jabbal-e-Noor is significant because it is the location where Allah shared the first words of the Quran. This holy cave is (Hira) is the place where the holy spirit Jibrael and the Prophet Muhammad first met.

Praying and prostrating in this location connects the devout to the foundation of the Muslim faith as you are literally walking in the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad.

Cave Suhr

Cave Suhr is another sacred location on the path of Allah’s Apostle, providing a night of rest for Allah’s Apostle before continuing on to Medina.

These are just a few of the places you can visit on your Hajj or Umrah, there are many more to explore. Make sure you take your time planning your trip so you can hit as many of these historic and religious locations as possible based on your time and budget.

Are You Ready for Your Next Adventure?

We are one of the worlds leading adventure travel blogs. We provide couples with tips, tricks, and travel guides. We aim to inspire a love of travel in others.

Follow us outside your comfort zone and take an Umrah for the adventure of a lifetime.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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Travel Tips

How to Spend a Sunny or Snowy Weekend in Sochi

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Caption: Sochi’s sandy beaches and blue sea are something we might associate with a Caribbean getaway.

Snow and Sochi are not always two things we associate with one another. Sochi has a sub-tropical climate and is one of Russia’s best-known beach resorts. However, just a short trip inland is the famous ski park of Krasnaya Polyana. In one weekend you can sun yourself on the beach and pick up your skis in the mountains. The incredible range of activities on offer makes this a bucket list destination for many. Here’s how to spend 48 hours there.

Stay at Rodina Grand Hotel & Spa

The Rodina Grand Hotel & Spa is undoubtedly the most luxurious hotel in Sochi. All of the rooms look out either onto the beautiful black sea or to the immaculately kept subtropical gardens. While the views out are stunning, the rooms are even more special. Each room is only furnished with natural materials, marble bathrooms, precious wood furniture, and leather upholstery. Royal interior designers were appointed to ensure that the hotel was up to the most exacting standards, and it shows.

Stroll Along Sochi’s Promenade

Sochi’s climate is perfect for beach-goers. The city boasts a long, well-kept promenade, which provides the perfect place to enjoy a morning stroll. Start at the port where you’ll see enormous cruise ships, as well as some privately owned superyachts. If you get lucky then you might even witness a regatta. After you’ve enjoyed the port, make your way along the rest of the promenade, taking in the Olympic Park as you go. Once you’ve found the best bit of beach, stop off and soak up some rays. Perhaps have a swim to build up an appetite, then dry off and take a short walk up to the restaurant for lunch.

Eat at Vysota 5642

Caption: There are lots of traditional dumpling dishes at Vysota 5642 but Khychin might just be the most delicious.

Vysota is a spectacular restaurant near the beach. It’s owned by famous restaurateur Arkady Novikov, who was determined to make this place a foodie destination. If you fancy a taste of home then the burgers here were immediately voted the best in Sochi, bringing together freshly ground, properly seasoned beef and simple toppings. However, if you want to try true Circassian cuisine, then the menu will not disappoint. The Khychin are delicious, combining beet leaves with cheese in a paper-thin casing. So too is the chicken in sour cream. All of the ingredients are sourced locally, from foraged herbs to chickens that have lived an almost wildlife.

Visit Krasnaya Polyana

Krasnaya Polyana is a ski resort just an hour away from Sochi. You can buy a day’s ski pass and enjoy the slopes to your heart’s content. Or if you aren’t particularly sporty, there’s another big draw up here, Casino Sochi. The European Poker Tour is one of the most hotly anticipated events to come to Sochi in recent years and will be returning again in 2021. The Casino Sochi has played host to the tournament and has seen some interesting occurrences in its time. Besides holding regular events it also has a huge selection of table games and slot machines. The building itself is beautiful, with richly decorated interiors, so whether you’re playing the slots, skiing the slopes, or soaking in the scenery, Krasnaya Polyana is definitely worth a visit.

Sample Some Sochi Wine

Russia is most widely known for its vodka, but it has a surprising wine history. Sochi is the region that produces the most wine, some 60% of the country’s output, thanks to its southerly location and warmer climate. Russian wine is fascinating for those with a real interest in wine and delicious even for those who haven’t. Abrau Durso is a short trip away and offers tasting sessions and vineyard tours for real enthusiasts. However, if you’re pressed for time then most of the restaurants around town will be glad to tell you about the local wines on the menu. Of course, if you’d rather there is always a good selection of vodka too, so no need to choose one or the other!

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Travel Tips

A Trip To Qatar In 2022

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Qatar Financial Centre

While although international travel is not on the agenda in this current climate, one would hope that the world will return to a sense of normal by 2022 and if it does, it means football’s biggest party will be sending out its invites.

A party that will be hosted in the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar and although FIFA’s decision may have initially raised some eyebrows, there’s no doubt that plans for such large festivities are being anticipated all over the globe.

It is the first time that the crown jewel of world football has been staged in the Middle East and although that adds an element of pressure to the Qatari organisers, they are ready to put on one gargantuan show.

Of course, the show needs its headline names and with 32 teams earning qualification for the tournament over the next couple of years, the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi will be ready to display their talents on the biggest stage of all.

Even though we are still two years removed from the first game of the tournament, the bookmakers are still taking bets on the eventual winner and at present, France and Brazil are topping the odds to get another cup at Qatar 2022.

France will certainly be considered as favourites and after success in Russia back in 2018, Paris Saint-Germain’s Mbappe will be ready to lead his side to back to back trophies and a third overall title for the country after previous jubilation in 1998.

With that said, a lot can change between now and November 2022, as form and fitness will dictate who will be able to mount a serious challenge and who will end up being left behind as nothing more than an also-ran.

When it comes to who wins the competition, that is not something we will know for quite a while and although the start of proceedings seem still a long way away, that should not stop you from making your own travel plans.

Even though Qatar has a relatively small landmass when compared to previous host nations, it is still ready to open its arms to football fans in all corners of planet Earth and with 80 countries enjoying the ability to travel visa-free, that will be one less headache for you to worry about.

While when it comes to headaches, alcohol is still something of a sensitive issue within Qatar and although it is largely forbidden in day to day life, there will be the usual fan parks in place, in order for you to enjoy a beer or two.

In addition to that and if you are not in the vicinity of a fan park, you will be able to celebrate or commiserate with a beer in any of the licensed hotels or restaurants, but do check if such venues are in possession of the necessary license before booking.

Much has been made of the weather and with that in mind, you may want to swap the alcohol for water and keep the hydration levels at their maximum, especially when you consider the expected temperatures of 24 degrees Celsius.

The weather may be conducive to wearing less clothes than back home, but if making the trip to Qatar do please consider the local customs when it comes to clothing and for men, a pair of knee length shorts should be sufficient to keep the heat at bay and keep you comfortable.

By comparison and for the female of the species, a little more caution may be required and therefore the advice is, to dress modestly in public – a remit which advises against showing your shoulders or wearing a short skirt.

Before the tournament begins, nine stadiums will be newly created and three will be renovated, which means the seven host cities of Al-Daayen, Al-Khor, Al-Rayyan, Al-Shamal, Al-Wakrah, Doha and Umm Slal will be ready to host the 64 scheduled fixtures.

With this advice, all you need to do is book your flights and with the likes of British Airways, Qatar Airways, Iberia, Sri Lankan Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Japan Airlines, Air India, Jet Airways operating in the area, there is nothing from stopping you joining the party in 2022.

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Travel Tips

Consider alternative airlines when booking your next trip

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Whether you are a devoted Muslim wanting to finally make your Hajj, or just a tourist to Arabia and the Middle East who wants to get around cheaply, it’s important to not waste money needlessly on airlines.

Thankfully, competition has been heating up in the region for some years now. Lower cost airlines have been springing up all over the region over the past several years, and this benefits us, the consumers, immensely.

Choosing the Right Service

Finding the right airline to choose can be confusing. Now, more than ever, people need a way to source all of the airlines to find the best way to travel. Many with low budgets have found great ways to save. Spicejet tickets allow you to book the best flights with the best airlines.

The power of secondary airports

Flyadeal, the people behind the portal in the above section, aren’t just a portal, they are an airline. The great thing about this airline is that they have a hub in a secondary city (Jeddah).

This is one of the secrets to saving money, if you can avoid the major airports, you usually avoid a lot of taxes and extra charges that wind up getting built into your tickets.

Secondary airports are often very close to major airports, sometimes surprisingly so. Finishing the last couple of hours of your trip by land can lead to major savings at the end of the day because of this.

Airlines are desperate right now

It’s no secret to anybody that 2020 has been a real rough year for airlines. Many of them seem to be even raising their prices, but ultimately, it’s the consumer who determines the price of something, not the provider.  Don’t panic if you start seeing high prices everywhere. Keep looking for alternatives and waiting. Outside of the immediate short term, the trend is going to be for the cost of travel to fall sharply, and this applies all over the world.

Established airlines may take more time than the newer more competitive airlines to get on board with pricing that’s going to be acceptable to consumers. That’s exactly why you need to use a good portal as a starting point, one that works with an increasingly large network of low-cost airlines.

Being adventurous will pay off in more ways than one. Cheap air tickets should be a more normal occurence in the future due to a slight decrease in demand. However, over time this will all even out but for now you can enjoy your economical tickets.

And to top it off, you will have the run of places that are normally jam-packed with tourists and visitors. It will definitely pay off in spades to do some due diligence now and be on top of things. And that definitely starts with getting your alternative airline game on.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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