The gardens of Aranjuez, south of Madrid, Spain

The gardens of Aranjuez, located in the fertile plain of the Tagus in the south of Madrid (within an hour), is a space where nature blends with art; resort of kings and source of inspiration for many artists, there are fountains, sculptures and ancient trees. It was here that walked the monarchy and the Spanish court in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The gardens surround the Royal Palace. The best known are the gardens of the Prince, the island and the Parterre. The master Joaquín Rodrigo was able to interpret this place in his famous Concert of Aranjuez. The Island Garden is considered the most important and characteristic of the time of the House of Austria (sixteenth century) and is surrounded by the waters of the Tagus. There are white marble nymphs which adorn the staircase that provides access to the orchard where Queen Isabella II used to stroll. The trails are drawn in a grid and you can smell the aroma of boxwood while you walk through them. There are also small waterfalls. The garden of Paterre before the palace façade, presents paths bordered by hedges, cut following a geometrical balance (like French gardens of the time). Two large fountains are found there, that of Hercules and that of Ceres and also marble vases with colorful flowers. The garden of the Prince, designed in the English style, has almost 150 hectares. Formerly, these huge spaces were dedicated to hunting parties. We find a wide variety of trees, monuments, ponds and fountains there.

Tips

If you visit the garden between May and October you can enjoy to do it on board of the Train of strawberry; this is an ancient railway.

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Cumberland Bay State Park, Plattsburgh, New York, USA

Cumberland Bay State Park, on the west shore of Lake Champlain, is very popular with campers and day-users because of its large natural sand beach and picnic grounds with tables and grills. The park has 152 campsites, a playground and playing fields, showers, food, and a dumping station. Visitors enjoy romping on the playing fields, camping, picnicking, and lounging on the beach. The park is a runner’s paradise, especially in the fall. You can also camp with your pet if your site allows pets but you must have proof of current rabies vaccination – certificate inoculation or dated collar tag; you must household them only, caged or on a leash, not more than 6 feet. They aren’t permitted in picnic or bathing areas; there is a two-pet maximum. To visit: Macomb Reservation State Park, John Brown Farm State Historic Site, Point Au Roche State Park, and Crown Point State Historic Site are all nearby.

Tips

The park opens from early May to Columbus Day.
If you love camping on parks, for $65, the Empire Passport provides you unlimited day use vehicle entry into most of New York parks.
You can do lots of activities like swimming, picknicking, biking, boating, canoeing, fishing, water skiing, voleyball, basketball, etc.

152 Cumberland Head Road Plattsburgh, NY 12901

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The Lavender House, St-Eustache, Quebec, Canada

The Lavender House, culture and perfumery is located in St-Eustache, Quebec. It is a place where the owners cultivate lavender, where guests can visit the lavender fields in the summer when the plants are in bloom and there’s, of course, a shop where you can buy products made with lavender. There are also other activities offered in summer; for example music on Sundays, massage therapy on Saturdays, in addition you can have a picnic on site and of course walk among the plants or take a break sitting next to them to fill you with nature and beauty. The use of lavender has been known for millennia, the extraction of a quality oil from the flowers is done with the distillation by steam. This oil has multiple uses. Lavender is known for its antiseptic, antibacterial, disinfectant, calming, healing and antispasmodic; its use is also recommended to combat the anxiety, nervousness and insomnia. You can take it as a tea, in capsules or used as alcoholate to friction.

Tips

The house is open daily from 10:00 to 17:00. The agrotourism site is open from May to October. You can buy the ticket online and take it the day of your visit at the entrance. Children under 12 enter for free and teens 12 to 17 years pay half the price.

From August, 5th to September, 29th  2019, the visit is free.

You can also order floral arrangements for special occasions.
There are shops of lavender house in several commercial centers.

902 Chemin Fresnière, Saint-Eustache, Qc, J7R 0G4

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