Bird’s-eye views from Mt Srđ
Towering 418 metres directly above Dubrovnik’s Old Town, Mt Srđ is perhaps an obvious choice, but the views certainly deliver, stretching all the way across the Adriatic Sea to Italy on clear days. A four-minutecable-car ride, a short twisting drive or a brisk 45-minute hike up a serpentine path brings you to the top of the hill. As the sun begins to set, walk past the Napoleonic fortress to the barren karst plateau, where views of the Elafiti Islands bathing in a pink haze redefine infinity. Then toast the Old Town’s glowing terracotta roofs with a glass of local wine at Panorama restaurant by the cable-car station.
Picture-perfect views of the Old Town from St Jacob’s beach
This west-facing beach boasts full-frontal views of Dubrovnik’s Old Town from its vantage point a couple of kilometres to the east. The pebbles of St Jacob’s (Sveti Jakov) beach sit precisely 163 stairs beneath road level, so for a more serene and stylish arrival, inquire about boat transfers with any of the vendors at the Old Town harbour. The low-key beach restaurant makes St Jacob’s beach a great option for a
Although Yekaterinburg is spread out, most of the highlights are located in the historic centre. English-language guided walking tours aren’t mainstream yet, but in 2010 local blogger Dmitry Kalaev asked his followers to vote for Yekaterinburg’s most interesting sites, which resulted in the development of a 6.5km Red Line trail (ekbredline.ru) in 2011.
Starting at Ploshchad 1905 Goda, the main square in town, the walking route passes by 35 attractions as voted by thousands of residents, including beautiful old merchant houses, Russian Orthodox churches (Church upon the Blood is the city’s biggest cathedral, built on theRomanov death site), the first school, the first theatre, the oldest house, the peculiar QWERTY monument, street art, museums and more.
Yekaterinburg’s latest museum isn’t on the route but if voting were to happen again, residents may advocate it be included. Opened in 2015, the Boris Yeltsin Museum (yeltsin.ru) is part of the swish Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center, with quite the impressive (and somewhat unusual) collection of exhibits. There are replica rooms, video clips, sound and lighting effects
While Barcelona is the most-visited part of Catalonia, there is so much more to explore just a little further north. A week would be ideal to explore the broad variety of landscapes, some of which are well away from the tourist trail. Having your own vehicle would be handy – but however you get around and wherever you end up, you’re bound to come across mouthwatering cuisine.
Tucked away in the foothills of the Pyrenees is the Parc Natural de la Zona Volcànica de la Garrotxa, which boasts over 35 extinct volcanoes, mostly covered with vegetation. The most impressive is Volcá del Croscat (786m), which is the youngest volcano in the Iberian peninsula and has an exposed area down one side that was quarried until the 1990s. After a steep ascent of nearby Volcá de Santa Margarida (682m), you can stand in its grassy crater and admire the chapel at the base, Ermita de Santa Margarida.
Where to eat
This region of Catalonia, known as La Garrotxa, is
There’s not anything that is more annoying than to arrange a great vacation to a fascinating place, and go understanding that, because of all your persistent effort, you actually saved hundreds of dollars over what you are able have spent. Not just was the break completely fabulous, but you know that you could not have obtained less costly airline tickets, as you looked as well as patiently waited as well as observed the sites for the greatest option and also overlooked a whole night of sleep by using a 2:00 a.m. flight! You invested an equal amount of time trying to find an affordable but nonetheless well-rated and comfortable motel, also. You went almost floating along in a golden bubble till you returned back home and were met with an airport parking statement that could as well have gotten an exotic sucking noise as an example how all of your cost savings just went all the way down the drain.
Your next trip needn’t be this way. You will find web sites on the Internet offering a complete education in relation to the right way to locate cheap airport parking, and that also provide airport parking coupons. Do you reckon
1. Denali National Park and Preserve
Encompassing six million acres of pure Alaskan interior wilderness topped by North America’s highest peak (Denali, 6910m), this national park is Alaska’s ultimate showstopper. Bisected by one solitary ribbon of road, this pristine ecosystem plays home to a menagerie of wildlife – from wolves to bears, caribou to Dall sheep – which is often easily spotted on a bus ride through the park, or on a ranger-led programme.
2. Glacier Bay National Park
Alaska is famed for its Inside Passage cruises, and for many visitors passing through this UNESCO-listed national park en route is the highlight of their trip. Here, you can watch in awe from a boat (or kayak) as the majestic Margerie Glacier calves hundred-tonne icebergs into the tidewater while orcas, sea lions, seals and other marine animals frolic in the crystal clear waters surrounding it. Bring your binoculars to spot bears on the shore, and mountain goats on the cliffs above.
3. The Alaska Highway
Stretching 1387 miles from Delta Junction, southeast of Fairbanks, all the way to Dawson Creek in British Colombia, Canada, the Alaska Highway (also known as the ALCAN) is considered one
Museum madness: Washington, DC
Price-wise you can’t do any better than free, and in Washington, DC, some of the best museums don’t cost a dime. Along the National Mall you’ll find ten Smithsonian Institution museums and galleries, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and the U.S. Capitol Building. Free admission to these museums means you can save your money for the Newseum or International Spy Museum. Stretch your dollar by staying at The Embassy Row Hotel, where off-season rates can be a steal.
An art escape: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Creative types make note: Santa Fe is it. Artists draw inspiration from the nearby mountains and 1.6-million acre National Forest, filling the town’s 250 galleries with works. Don’t neglect the culinary creativity of Santa Fe either; hit the Santa Fe Margarita Trail (with 31 stops) and sample some of the earthy, chile-laden cuisine of Northern New Mexico at Tia Sophia’s and El Parasol, where you can feast for under $10. And if you want to save on your room, try a Route 66 classic like the El Rey Inn.
Island isolation: Put-in-Bay, Ohio
An island getaway in Ohio? Indeed. Put-in-Bay sits in Lake Erie
1. Praia de Tavira, Ilha de Tavira (The Algarve)
Linked to the mainland by ferry, the superb Praia de Tavira, is located on the Ilha de Tavira, a sandbar island that stretches southwest from Tavira almost as far as Fuseta.
Strung along this are miles of soft, dune-baked sand, without a hotel in sight. The main part of the beach is dotted with umbrellas and pedalos for rent, and scattered with a handful of bar-restaurants.
In high summer this part of the beach can get very busy, but you only have to wander fifteen minutes or so to escape the crowds. Come here out of season and you’ll probably have the place to yourself.
2. Praia da Marinha and Benagil (The Algarve)
The stretch of coast between Armação de Pêra and Centianes is strung with a series of delightful cove beaches that have mostly escaped large-scale development. Of them two stand out: Praia da Marinha and Benagil. A classic cliff-backed warren of coves, the only trace of development on Praia da Marinha is the seasonal beach restaurant.
Follow the clifftop path on from here as it winds round to the next bay at Benagil,
This Renaissance beauty has it all. For starters, there’s the glorious architecture – who could resist the cheerful pink-and-green facade and iconic cupola of the Duomo, the photogenic Piazza della Signoria with its statement statuary, and the Ponte Vecchio’s jumble of shops spanning the river Arno? For most, though, Florence’s biggest draw is its staggering hoard of world-class paintings, frescoes and sculptures: according to UNESCO, thirty percent of the world’s most important works of art are to be found here.
2. San Gimignano
Tuscany has no shortage of winsome hill-towns but San Gimignano stands tall above the rest for its distinctive skyline, bristling with medieval towers, and its remarkably intact historic centre, a gorgeous assemblage of honey-coloured stone buildings. Its winding backstreets hold frescoed churches and Gothic palazzi, and beyond the city walls on all sides, the hills are blanketed with vineyards and olive groves.
3. Lake Garda
With a more down-to-earth feel than glitzy Como but with plenty of class, Lake Garda is the largest of Italy’s spectacular lakes. Rugged mountains encircle its deep blue waters, with boats zipping between the pretty towns that hug the shore. You could base yourself
7. Illinois with 1,442,000 visitors
Illinois makes it onto this almost solely because of the appeal of its largest city, Chicago. Each year 1.378 million international visitors travel to Chicago to discover America’s second city, which is known for its deep-dish pizza, blues bars, sports teams, unique architecture and laid-back attitude. That said, Illinois is losing ground in the tourism race, as its lack of other key-note attractions has caused it to experience a lackluster growth in tourism arrivals – only 3% since 2012.
6. Texas with 1,570,000 visitors
Texas is the only state on this list to move up positions in this year’s rankings, as Texas has surpassed both Illinois and Massachusetts to become the sixth most visited state in the United States. With 1.57 million visitors, Texas received 17% more international visitors in 2013 than it did in 2012, which is one of the largest increases of any state. Houston and Dallas are the state’s most visited cities, the two of which account for 73% of the state’s visitors.
5. Nevada with 2,915,000 visitors
Virtually every visitor to Nevada in 2013 also visited Las Vegas, which is such a huge tourist
Fruit trees teeter over the trail, laden with figs, dates and oranges. Barley and alfalfa sprout from the orange earth, watered by channels beside the path. Pomegranates dangle from overhanging branches. But the women aren’t here to pick fruit; they’re here to harvest something more fragrant.
‘Can you smell them?’ asks Ait Khouya Aicha, as she pads into a meadow fringed by walnut trees, and heads for a tangle of shrubs. She pulls down a branch: it’s covered by flowers from trunk to tip, shocking pink against the deep-green leaves.
‘These are the roses of the Asif M’Goun River,’ she says, cradling a blossom in her hand. ‘They are famous around the world. But to understand why, you must smell them.’ Pulling on thick gloves, she snips off the flower and breathes in the scent. The perfume is heady and sweet, with notes of honey and treacle.
‘The fragrance is best in the morning, but we must work quickly,’ she says, dropping the flower into a robe gathered around her waist known as a tachtate. ‘The sun will burn the petals, and then the perfume will be ruined.’
Within half an hour, Aicha and
Dream landmarks with wi-fi
Awesome – you finally made it to your bucket list destination! But the internet has demands: ‘Pics or it didn’t happen’. On top of that, sharing video of your trip as it happens is more popular than ever, thanks to real-time services like Snapchat Live Story and spread to Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status. If you’ve got no service when you’re ready to broadcast, you’re out of luck.
Don’t worry though. These top picks of picturesque architectural wonders have outdoor wi-fi for immediate sharing – the Eiffel Towerand Cathédrale Notre Dame in Paris; the Taj Mahal in India; theSydney Opera House in Australia; and Petra, the city carved out of stone in Jordan.
Wi-fi from . . . phone booths
Now that most people use their own phone and wi-fi device, what to with the hundreds of public telephone booths? In New York, public phones have been upgraded with ‘LinkNYC’ tablets for maps, browsing the net, and travel information. Fast free wi-fi will be offered at 7500 converted payphones (‘Links’) across the city, creating the largest network of high-speed hotspots in the world.
Save the date and start planning
Deciding to go really is the hardest part. Setting the date (and having a rough idea of duration) helps concrete your trip, giving you a deadline to work towards. First-timers should head off during the warmer months and – unless you’re keen to channel Sir Ranulph Fiennes – pick an easy route for the first week or two. Training before your tour helps, but it’s not imperative – you’ll get fit on the road.
Buy the right kit
Invest in the essentials: a good free-standing tent, a decent touring bike, waterproof panniers (bike bags) and a cooking stove. Opt for a sturdy, steel-framed touring bike with steel front and rear racks to hold your panniers. Your bags should be hard-wearing as they’ll carry everything you need such as the tent, stove, sleeping bag and mat, electronics and clothing.
Every gram and inch counts. Opt for lightweight gear and use dry bags to compress your clothes. Resist the urge to overdo it and blow your budget on gear that might not last; real kit gems such as baby wipes, mosquito spray and chlorine tablets often cost virtually nothing.
A journey on the Nordlandsbanen will allow you to experience fascinating tales of the past, to be stirred by the power of nature, and to taste the fresh flavours of the region.
Though perhaps less well-known than the Oslo-Bergen train ride, the Nordlandsbanen, which stretches northwards for 729km between regal Trondheim and spirited Bodø, could certainly lay claim to being the more unique route. As well as being Norway’s longest train line, it also crosses the Arctic Circle, one of the few railways in the world to do so.
An efficient service and spacious, comfortable trains make it a delightfully sedate way to make the ten-hour journey, but it’s the huge diversity of scenery that’s most appealing. Gently rolling, emerald-green fields rest under huge skies, and Norwegian flags whip proudly over the pillar-box red hytter (cabins) dotted haphazardly over the hillsides. Moments later, the train will track its way through dense woodland, a wall of pine trees on either side of the train breaking just long enough to snatch a two-second-long postcard of mist haunting the treetops in a shadowy forest beyond.
Then, coasting out of a tunnel, the ground falls away to one side, and suddenly a 100m-high waterfall appears. Plummeting into
In recent years Belarus’ lively capital, Minsk, has caught on as an alternative weekend break. While Minsk’s worthwhile museums and impressive dining and nightlife scene make for a thoroughly enjoyable experience, the five-day visa-free scheme allows you to cut your teeth on provincial Belarus, a famously flat land of fairytale castles, rolling sunflower fields, forgotten schtetls (Jewish villages) and enchanted forests. You can’t do it all in five days, but with careful route-planning you can cherry-pick a few of the best spots before your visa expires.
First, the logistics. Assuming you’ll want a day or two in Minsk, you’ll be left with three or four days to explore the provinces. There are some great day-trip options to fill a couple of days using the capital as a base. To avoid backtracking to Minsk afterwards, we recommend flying into the country on a one-way ticket and departing overland into Poland via the pleasant western Belarusian city of Brest, where you can overnight. Departing through Ukraine or Lithuania is possible but less practical, as the main attractions are toward the Polish border.
The major rental car agencies are well represented in the Belarusian capital, road rules are straightforward and provincial roads
Day one is walking day, so fuel up at Coffee Molka, a quirky cafe that doubles as a coffee museum. This is where you can ogle antique presses and grinders while sipping coffee brewed over hot sand – an old Turkish method; make sure to ask for a demo. From here it’s a short stroll over to the Army Museum, home to a moving exhibition on repression under the Soviets. The deportations and other crimes committed by Stalin in Moldova are documented in vivid detail through dioramas, collages and sometimes graphic videos.
Once you’re sufficiently introduced to the horrors of Chişinău’s past, it’s time to enjoy the pleasures of its present. Walk northwest on the city’s main drag, B-dul Ştefan cel Mare, which contains some fine examples of fin-de-siècle architecture such as the City Hall (at No 83) and the Organ Hall (at No 81), as well as some imposing Soviet specimens. Veer southwest a couple of blocks to the grand National Archaeology & History Museum, marked by an old Soviet helicopter in the courtyard. It capably documents the 2000-year-long history of Moldova with some 300,000 artefacts. Art aficionados may prefer the well-roundedNational Art
Attarine: superbly crafted cocktails at a neighbourhood gem
With a chilled Californian vibe, Attarine stands out among the trendy hangouts of Jakarta’s Senopati area. This neighborhood spot is big on natural elements – wooden tables and benches fill the space, and potted plants dangle from ceiling. There’s even a fresh produce car standing in the middle of the room. The restaurant serves modern, unpretentious grub inspired by the legendary spice route, with a drinks list that fittingly reflects this. A Bloody Mary gets an Indonesian twist with local rawit chilli and a coffee martini is blended with espresso from local roasters.
E&O: fruity drinks and Southeast Asian bites
Conveniently situated in the happening district of Mega Kuningan, E&O is a great place to kick off a big night. Start with an aperitif: the Cucumber Collins is a refreshing little number and works wonders to cool off a plate of spicy Southeast Asian fare. Catch a seat barside to watch award-winning liquor masters in action as they mix Asian-inspired tipples using the best local ingredients and fresh tropical fruits.
FUJIN: handcrafted Japanese cocktails
At FUJIN bespoke whiskey-based cocktails are the drawcards, with visiting international mixologists on regular rotation. The drinks
Stromboli, Aeolian Islands
Start/End: Stromboli town | Length: 8km | Duration: five to six hours | Difficulty: moderate-demanding
For sheer excitement, nothing compares to Stromboli. Sicily’s showiest volcanic island has been lighting up the Mediterranean for millennia, spewing out showers of red-hot rock with remarkable regularity since the age of Odysseus.
Set off a couple of hours before sunset for the spectacularly scenic trek (guide required) to Stromboli’s 924m summit. Climbing through a landscape of yellow broom and wild capers, the trail eventually opens onto bare slopes of black volcanic rock, revealing fabulous vistas of Stromboli town, the sparkling sea and the volcanic islet of Strombolicchio below, and a zigzag line of fellow hikers slogging steadily towards the summit above.
Round the last bend and emerge into a surreal panorama of smouldering craters framed by the setting sun. For the next hour you’re treated to full-on views of Stromboli’s pyrotechnics from a perfect vantage point above the craters. The periodic eruptions grow ever brighter against the darkening sky, changing with the waning light from awe-inspiring puffs of grey smoke to fountains of brilliant orange-red, evoking oohs and aahs that mix
Schedule in some downtime
You’ve just thrown the biggest party of your life. You’ve people-managed warring family members, negotiated hard with scores of suppliers, and spent entire evenings hunched over a table plan. You’re pretty much a multi-tasking superhero. But even superheroes need to recharge their batteries now and again.
So even if you’re both full-on adventure junkies, don’t plan to rush headlong into a jam-packed schedule of activities, especially if you’re in a new city where you haven’t found your feet. Trust us: leave the first couple of days fairly free. Acclimatise, get to know one another again in a pressure-free zone and bask in all those wedding memories. Your brain will thank you for letting it catch up. Then chuck yourself into the fun feet first.
Resist the ‘should’ brigade
A two-week beach break doesn’t quite float your boat? Don’t feel you have to cave to others’ expectations of what a honeymoon ‘should’ be. Make no mistake: the wedding business is a booming industry, and there are plenty of people chomping at the bit to profit from your love for one another. If what you both truly desire is an
The original – Helados Rayas
A long-standing heladeria institution in Seville, founded in 1980, Helados Rayas closes down for the colder months – brave the queue from spring to early autumn, and you’ll be rewarded with cream and pine-nuts, dulche de leche and tocino del cielo (crème caramel). Two locations – in Reyes Catolicos near the main shopping area, and close to the contemporary architecture attraction Metropol Parasol and its mushroom-like shades known as the Setas.
Freskura for the boho scene
Catering to the hip Alameda crowd, Freskura offers favourites including pistachio, chocolate (also available lactose-free) and cremino (mascarpone, hazelnut and cacao); in summer fruit concoctions stretch to passion fruit and pear, while home-made ice lollies in lemon, strawberry and orange will quench your thirst. Take a seat on a bench outside to absorb the vibrant atmosphere.
Coming up (ice-cream) roses at Amorino
With the highest prices of the city’s heladerias, Amorino, the renowned Italian-owned chain (three branches, one built into the old city wall), needs to prove its quality – no problem there. Feast on delicate lime and basil, nocciola (hazelnut), or tangy Sicilian citrus. The pretty gelato rose, with ‘petals’ in different flavours,