Written by: Jiří Vašek
Summer is vacation time, and you should spend yours with family and friends. This year try to ignore travel agencies’ offers and be your own master. You can rent a small cottage or a grand residence, relax among the rocks of Český ráj, in the Romanian mountains, or on a Florida beach.
Just click a few times on this site and you can be the lord of a house or seaside apartment in Turkey, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Portugal, or Florida. The real estate offer is as vast as the list of countries, so you should be clear about what you really want. Do you prefer privacy in a cottage on Daytona Beach, where the famous auto races are held (about CZK 25,000 a day for four), or more comfortable housing on one of the little islands between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico? The price is about one-third higher, but it also includes free use of tennis courts or a harbor for a boat.
True, this site isn’t very colorfully presented, but compared to the competition it offers many houses and cottages for rent throughout the Czech Republic. You’ll find individual properties according to localities, so you should first decide where you want to travel. You can look at photos of houses to see if they meet your requirements, and clear pictograms tell you how many beds are available or whether you can expect a shower or a tub, a television set, a fireplace, or whether you can bring a pet. The average price for a week for four or more people is about CZK 8,000.
A nice, well organized site in terms of graphics and user-friendliness, but unfortunately the content lags a bit behind the presentation. The agency of the same name that operates it has a database with 104 recreational buildings for rent, but when you consider that a competing agency, http://www.chata.cz offers 56 opportunities in southern Bohemia alone, you realize that they don’t have too many. On the other hand, each offer includes specific details on where you can go shopping nearby and suggests outings.
If you want romance with the scent of hay, go to one of the six villages in Banát, Romania, where you can enjoy the environment of the past century, home cooking, and fluffy, striped comforters. You can communicate in Czech and the locals will offer you home-made bread or cow-fresh milk. And if you’re a fan of hiking or riding mountain bikes, the Carpathian range offers you captivating outings through limestone formations and to magic caves. On 27 and 28 August sleepy Banát comes to life with a Czech folklore festival. This is the most original vacation you can imagine, and it costs CZK 6,000 per week for four.
Slovakia boasts mountains, hot springs, spas with modern equipment, many water parks filled with slides, toboggans, and whirlpool baths – and prices are about one-third lower than in the Czech Republic. This website has a large catalog with various types of properties, including rental prices and photos, which you can download in PDF format. Houses are broken down by regions, and the average weekly price for four is SLK 7.000! Bookmark this address, as it’s useful in the winter as well, since many locations are near well-known, high-quality ski centers.
This portal has prepared a special summer guide filled with useful vacation tips and advice. Besides basic information on travelling by car or bicycle, it also offers other things – e.g., health and hygiene while traveling, traveling with pets, healthy sun bathing, a minicourse on packing, and so on.
One of the major e-shop operators, Intershops – which runs shops like Vltava.cz, Cybex.cz, Electrohall.cz, MusicKatalog.cz, Zverinec.cz, and Dunaj.sk – has opened a new, excellent pickup venue in Ostrava: Mariánské hory. It’s intended mainly for customers from the Moravia-Silesia region who prefer to personally select the goods they buy for COD delivery.
This is a European databank, one of the largest information services in the Czech Republic. You can search firms according to the field of operations, by the region where the firm is located, or by the firm’s legal form, such as limited-liability company, cooperative, state enterprise, limited partnership, or entrepreneur with a business license.
|word of the month:
– This younger cousin of the oft-discussed MP3 format can be appreciated mainly by film fans. Its full name is MPEG-4, and it’s a compression standard for recording videos that will fit, when compressed, into memory cards and mainly the hard drive memories of portable jukeboxes. This format is used by many film studios for presenting trailers for new films, as well as by “internet pirates” who steal them for sharing. The most modern mobile phones are also able to play MP4 films, but the low transmission speed allows the downloading of only short clips.