With its volcanic islands, rugged shorelines and brilliant blue-green waters, Sicily offers some of the most dramatic coastal landscapes on earth, along with a slew of gorgeous trails.
Whether you’re looking for a single day hike or a whole vacation’s worth of walking, you’ll find it here. To avoid heat, crowds and high prices, come in spring (April–June) or early autumn (September–October).
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
When the sparklingly new Flexenbahn cableway first whirled out across the white, pillow-soft snows of the Klostertal valley, the Arlberg region became the largest connecting ski area in Austria. But with 305km of thigh-aching splendour, where should you start?
Squeezed out towards the far west of Austria, where the country quietly narrows towards Liechtenstein and the roads twist and trail like untied shoelaces, the rugged Arlberg region offers the Alps at their most understated.
There are no flashbulb bulges here; no Matterhorn or Grossglockner for the cool breath of the Earth to chill. Instead peaked lumps slump like a herd of exhausted elephants, a snow-covered mass of wrinkled grey rock; beheld from up high it’s as if Hannibal’s hulking rear-guard never actually crossed the Alps, but created them entirely.
Flexing its mountainside muscle
Seven ski resorts make up the Arlberg region (St Anton, St Christoph, Stuben, Zürs, Lech, Schröcken and Warth), but it’s taken a €45 million cable car to finally connect the lot. Whereas most cableways offer little more than a seat and an interminable conversation with
Don’t know the difference between a plinth and a pilaster? You don’t need to be an expert to recognise a good building but understanding a little about architectural history and theory can make a walk around an unfamiliar city all the more rewarding.
Get to grips with the basics and see how many styles you can identify while on the road with our simple guide.
Era: 850 BC to 476 AD
The mother of all architectural styles, the elegant proportions and stately poise of classical architecture sired a legion of later revivals. The grand temples and civic structures of ancient Greece and Rome followed strict rules known as the ‘orders’ of architecture. The three most important are Doric, Ionic and Corinthian; all easily recognisable from their capitals (the decorative bit at the top of the columns).
How to spot it: Doric: plain capitals. Ionic: scroll-like capitals. Corinthian: elaborate capitals with carved acanthus leaves.
Where to find it: the Colosseum or Pantheon in Rome; the Acropolis, Athens.
Travel is the best form of procrastination and as a student, with those long holidays full of faraway deadlines, it’s almost inevitable you’re going to want to get away. Flights are cheaper than ever before, so there’s no excuse whatever your budget. Whatever our preference, here are some of the best places to spend your student breaks.
For beaches: Albania
The beaches of the rugged Albanian Riviera are picture perfect, nestled in secluded coves and lapped by crystal clear-waters. The coastline is dotted with traditional villages, and there are budget hotels and restaurants by the dozen.
Travellers inevitably find themselves staying longer than planned, whiling away their days on the beach with an ice-cold beer in hand – after all, this is one of the cheapest places in Europe to enjoy a lager (or two).
For nightlife: Madrid, Spain
With everything starting so late (don’t expect lunch till about 4pm and dinner certainly not before 9pm), you’ll find yourself partying here until sunrise – at least.
The Spanish capital is home to scores of wild bars, pubs and clubs catering to all musical tastes where you can dance your socks off as
Deep underground on the island of Palawan in the Philippines lies the Puerto Princesa River. Both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the ‘New 7 Wonders of Nature’, it’s the world’s longest navigable underground river and makes for an exciting experience in one of the Philippines’ most popular islands.
Here’s everything you need to know about exploring the Puerto Princesa Underground River.
Wait, an underground river? How is that possible?
Yep, that’s right. In fact, the river flows directly underneath the St Paul Mountain Range, found on the mid-western coast of Palawan. The river channeled its way through a series of vast chambers and caverns over millions of years ago.
The cave system stretches for a total of 24km underneath the mountains, and the river itself winds its way through 8.2km of it. Besides being one of the longest underground rivers in the world, the PPUR is also one of the very few that outflows directly to the sea.
The river and caves are home to complex eco-system that has adapted to living underground here over hundreds of years. Many of the animals in the caves are found only here, including
Atlanta is a city of distinct neighbourhoods, each with their own vibe. The best place to start is on the Eastside, where you’ll find rock ‘n’ roll Little Five Points, bohemian Virginia-Highland and laidback Inman Park, once Atlanta’s first suburb.
The Westside is more spread out, but home to some of the city’s coolest areas, studded by galleries, hip loft apartments and factory conversions. The Westside Provisions District is one of the easiest to wander on foot. Once a meat-packing plant, its red-brick industrial buildings have been tastefully renovated and are now packed with cool boutiques and upscale restaurants.
To understand the city’s history, dedicate a day to exploring historic Sweet Auburn, birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. The district was designated a National Historic Sitein 1976, recognizing the achievements of the African-American community which has thrived here.
You can learn more about Dr. King’s life on a free tour of his Birth Home, in the visitor centre, or at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he was once pastor. To get a feel for the area today, drop by the much-lauded Sweet Auburn Curb Market for lunch.
For a different taste of Atlanta
The world of travel apps is saturated. There are apps for almost everything these days, from the planning stages right through to post-travel reminiscing. Some of them are fun, some are seriously handy and others are just gimmicks.
With all the tech that’s out there, it can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack if you want find something genuinely useful for your travels. Here are 7 apps and websites we rate for 2017.
1. For European rail adventures: Loco2
If you’re planning a rail trip around Europe this summer, Loco2 is a must-have. Whether you’re going to Lyon for the incredible food or want sun, sea and sand in Barcelona, Loco2 is on hand to help you book your trips.
You can search for in-country and cross-border routes throughout Europe and reserve tickets in either euros or GBP. Plus, you can set up alerts for when booking opens on routes you’re planning to use in future. There’s a desktop site and both a free Android and iOS app for booking on the move.
2. For savvy travelling: Hopper
Flight prices are notoriously unpredictable – one day they’re up and the
Times remain tough for Mexico, but the truth is that there’s never been a better period to visit Latin America’s most diverse nation – most of the country remains safe for visitors (despite the headlines), the peso is at historic lows and Mexicans are the some of the friendliest people in the region.
Away from the major sights in Mexico City and the resorts of Cabo, Puerto Vallerta and Cancun lies a land crammed with tantalizing but lesser-visited destinations.
1. Bahía Concepción, Baja California Sur
Mexico is blessed with an abundance of gorgeous beaches but there’s something special about the otherworldly scenery of Bahía Concepción. A pristine bay off the Sea of Cortez, halfway down the Baja California peninsular, spell-binding white-sand beaches line its shores for almost 80km (50 miles), hemmed in by forests of cacti and desert-fringed mountains. As far as kayaking goes, few places in the world can match it.
2. Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosí
Mexico’s most extraordinary “ghost town”, Real de Catorce is tucked away in a remote corner of the Bajío, a region once littered with booming silver mines. Since the mid-1990s, an influx of artists, artesanía vendors,
Even 20 years ago China was not a conventional tourist destination. Despite the allure of its beautiful landscapes and history-filled cities, politics, poverty, and poor infrastructure kept foreigners at bay.
Today, more people visit China than ever, welcomed in by the profound changes that have swept the revitalized nation over the past decades. Here are 8 tips to for planning your trip to the fascinating, ever-changing country.
1. Eat well
Outside of China, impressions of Chinese food are still often defined by the sweet, balanced flavours of Cantonese food. Dim sum and other Cantonese dishes are delicious of course, but there’s a whole world of regional cuisines to discover: the fiery spice ofSichuan and Hunan cuisine; the freshness and sour funkiness of food from Guizhou andYunnan.
Plus Hangzhou and Shanghai‘s light, refined dumplings and seafood, and the hearty quasi-Turkish kebabs and hand-pulled noodles from Xinjiang. You may want to travel for some of these dishes, but major cities will host restaurants from around the country.
2. Get online
Facebook, Youtube, Google Maps, and most Western email providers are difficult to access in China, so you may want to download a Virtual Private Network (VPN),
Only a few of us can take a vacation that includes a private jet and a 15-course chef’s tasting menu at a top restaurant. For the rest of us, we have to make the most of our budget when we travel. But that’s no reason to skimp. Here are 8 ideas for cheap vacations in the US – and how to make your dollar go a long way in each 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
The new year is underway and it’s time to think about that trip, so we’ve put our expert travel heads together to collate a list of the top 30 places to go with kids. Whether you want a relaxing break for the whole family, or if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, there’s somewhere for everyone in this list.
1. KERALA, INDIA
Kerala offers the Indian experience at a more manageable pace for families with babies or small children. Start in quaint Fort Cochin, a small, chilled-out quarter of Kochi with good hotels and restaurants. The peaceful backwaters can easily be reached on a day trip from here, but if you want to overnight along serene waterways on a houseboat made of wood and palm leaves, start out from Alappuzha (Alleppey) or Kumbakonam. Kids will also love the state’s national parks, with elephant spotting in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, and for teenagers, there’s bamboo rafting.
2. MARIBOR, SLOVENIA
Slovenia is a small but brilliant country – especially for family travel. Rent a car and head north from the capital to Maribor, a compact city just a stone’s throw
Tropical islands, sandy beaches and swaying palms have become the perennial motifs for the ultimate romantic honeymoon getaway. But not every couple wants to simply kickback with a cocktail on the beach (at least not everyday).
From cruising across turquoise lagoons to hiking otherworldly coastlines, exploring ancient temples and well, just doing nothing at all, these island escapes offer something for everyone. Find your perfect slice of honeymoon paradise.
For… Hikes, hills, haute cuisine, hidden sands
This chunk of France, afloat in the Mediterranean, deserves its monicker: L’île de Beauté. The rumpled, maquis-cloaked interior – where you can easily forget the world – tumbles to perfect golden crescents, some touristy, some seemingly unfound. There’s wildness if you want it (the hiking is some of Europe’s best), but also fine food and indulgent retreats, not least Domaine de Murtoli (murtoli.com) – possibly the continent’s most romantic hideaway.
Qurimbas Archipelago, Mozambique
For… Dhow cruising, culture
Why pick one island when you can have 30? That’s about how many specks of wonderful white sand make up this Indian Ocean archipelago. Among them is Ibo, home to the 16th-century Portuguese
Norway’s landscapes are majestic. Tall mountains tipping the sky flank deep coastal fjords on a scale so vast the sheer force of nature is astounding.
But along some of the country’s roads, its natural wonders are enhanced by pioneering architecture and design. On the award-winning National Tourist Routes, the journey is as memorable as the destination.
A total of 18 National Tourist Routes covering 1650km lead to Norway’s biggest attraction: the fjords. Over the past decade, the Public Roads Administration (vegvesen.no/en) has invested €250 million to create avant-garde stops along these routes that will encourage visitors to get out of their cars. Peppered with innumerable tunnels which cut through rock-solid massifs, and bridges which coast over large bodies of water seemingly effortlessly, Norway’s tourist routes are a stunning exercise in staging nature. And with highlights created by local and international architects, the Ryfylke Tourist Route stands out among them.
Inaugurated in 2011, the Ryfylke route in southwestern Norway stretches from Oanes at the mouth of Lysefjord to Håra in Røldal, through 183km of richly contrasting scenery, from towering mountains and boulder fields to lush isles and rolling hills. Above all, it promises an adventure at the edge of
It used to be quite a challenge for vegetarians to survive in Belgrade. Serbian national cuisine is mostly based on heavy meat dishes, so one had to rely on bakeries or potato in all its forms when eating out. Luckily, the situation has improved drastically over the last few years, and these days you can find nutritious, protein-rich vegetarian and vegan options in restaurants, salad bars, and even at some fast-food outlets. Here’s our list of the best vegetarian-friendly places to check out.
Radost Fina Kuhinjica
Radost Fina Kuhinjica is usually the first choice for vegetarians, due to its attractive location beneath the Kalemegdan Fortress, cozy setting in a ground-floor apartment and the original menu that will make even your die-hard meat-eating friends think twice. At Radost they always try new recipes as a daily menu, but the evergreen dishes to definitely taste are the starter platter with baba ganoush, hummus and freshly baked pita bread, vegan burgers in either beetroot or shiitake variation, as well as Radost ramen soup. Don’t be in a hurry, because the cakes are more than worth waiting for.
Located in one of the most beautiful and historical
Whether it’s diving beneath azure waters or climbing mighty peaks, adventure abounds in February.
Don your skis or wrangle a pack of huskies to explore some premium powder and twinkling snowscapes; warm frosted fingertips around hot springs; put your mind and body to the test with a hike up Africa’s highest peak; or discover another world entirely with a dive beneath the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean.
Visit Lapland for dog-sleds and dancing lights
The Arctic Circle sparkles at this time of year. The landscape is buried in snow and lakes are frozen. Polar night (the period of 24-hour darkness) is over, and the sun puts in ever-longer appearances. And the magical Northern Lights are quite likely to dance: according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the best time to look for aurora is February to March and September to October. This is also a great time for everyone – young, old, families, couples – to get into the great outdoors. Though still chilly, temperatures start to rise this month, and wilderness lodges offer full programs of activities: husky-sledding, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing… All guaranteed to warm you up. If all else
In this round-up we take to the land, sea and sky to bring you the top spots to discover wildlife and nature in February.
For land-lovers, snow leopards and huge vistas of ice await in India; underwater explorers can swim with whale sharks in the balmy waters of the Philippines; and there’s a special treat for spotters who can bear witness, not only to spectacular birdlife in Japan, but to the spectacle of millions of monarch butterflies taking flight in Mexico.
Head to Ladakh, India, for snow leopards and ice trekking
Brrrrrrr! It’s not warm in the Himalayan heights of northwest Indiaright now (days around 21°F; -6°C). But it’s worth braving the cold for a couple of very special experiences. Wildlife fans should head for Hemis National Park, home to a 400-year-old monastery, and one of the few places on the planet where the elusive snow leopard isn’t quite so elusive. During winter mating season – which peaks in February – the high-dwelling big cats descend to the valleys here to find mates, making them easier to spot. Alternatively, trekkers can check out the Chadar. This challenging winter hike starts near Leh, and uses the
Bucharest is an increasingly popular travel destination in Eastern Europe, with a definite hipster vibe for its bohemian outdoor drinking gardens. The city may be better known for its hearty Balkan fare and vigorous gut-revivingţuica (Romanian plum brandy), but the traditional tastes have changed. Now, one can find everything from speciality coffee and craft beer to raw vegan food and Scandinavian delights, all while tapping into burger frenzy and interpreted Romanian cuisine.
You might not think of Bucharest as a coffee destination. After all, Romania is no Finland or Norway in terms of coffee consumption and has no long-standing culture like fika in Sweden. However, the city is seeing many specialty coffee stores open, with local pioneers redefining the coffee culture once adopted from the Italians.
The first in town to set the bar high – coffee by day, concept cocktails by night – is Origo. It excels not only at its single-origin coffee, influencing the wider movement as a coffee roaster, but it’s also a social hub where communities are formed amidst Hario V60 coffee drippers repurposed as lamps and doorknobs. Plan ahead as tables fill up quickly, rain or shine.
Congratulations! You’ve taken the plunge, tied the knot, sealed the deal and said ‘I do’. You’ve well and truly earned some downtime with your new Mr or Mrs. But despite what the movies would have you believe, honeymoons aren’t always without their stresses. Here are our top tips for avoiding honeymoon pitfalls and making your getaway the trip of a lifetime.
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
Head to Snowdonia in the footsteps of heroic mountaineers, for whom Welsh hills were the training ground for the ultimate adventure.
In the early hours of 2 June 1953, guests sleeping at the Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel (pyg.co.uk) heard an urgent knocking on their doors and were instructed by the proprietor to assemble downstairs. They were among the first to learn that mortals had stood on the highest point on Earth, finding out not long after Queen Elizabeth II, who was crowned later that day. Glühwein was served in celebration.
A version of this triumphant scene could have played out in a chalet in Switzerland or a log cabin in Alaska. However, the spiritual home of the British 1953 Everest expedition was a little pub in a blustery mountain pass in Snowdonia, which served as their training base. Staying at the Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel, these men tested themselves against the surrounding Welsh mountains – peaks that measured beside the Andes or the Alps as mere molehills. They can be ascended after a fry-up and descended in time for a pint before teatime. And yet these modest peaks have a long, unlikely association with humankind’s most heroic mountaineering feats.
Known for its thrilling nightlife and great culinary tradition, Belgrade is often overlooked by travellers with a passion for culture and arts. However, the Serbian capital has loads to offer to each and every museum lover – from Yugonostalgia and applied arts to legacies of world-renowned scientists and writers. Here’s our selection of the must-sees as well as some lesser-known places to add to your Belgrade museum-hopping itinerary.
While the main buildings of two big hitters, the Museum of Contemporary Art (msub.org.rs) and the National Museum (narodnimuzej.rs), have been under reconstruction for years now, the good news is that their reopening is expected in late 2017 and early 2018 respectively. In the meantime, temporary themed exhibitions are held at other locations around town, including the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Belgrade City Museum (mgb.org.rs).
Museum of Yugoslav History
As one of the most visited museums in Serbia, the Museum of Yugoslav History owes its status to widespread ‘Yugonostalgia’ and the grave of socialist Yugoslavia’s lifelong president Josip Broz Tito, situated inside the museum complex. But most of all, the museum offers an often critical insight into the various aspects of life in Yugoslavia over the 20th century – from everyday life