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Category: Destinations

A journey to New Zealand’s most enchanting places

A journey to New Zealand’s most enchanting places

Loved throughout the world for its stunning natural landscapes and rich Maori heritage, New Zealand caters to outdoor-minded and culture-loving travellers alike. If you’ve seen The Lord of the Rings films, you’ve already seen the kind of stunning natural beauty that’s on offer. When to visit New Zealand Because New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, February is the last month of the summer. March and April are still pleasant, but after that you’re best to skip their winter and wait…

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San Marino: a day trip to the world’s oldest surviving republic

San Marino: a day trip to the world’s oldest surviving republic

Travel writer Julia Hammond spotted an unexpected face while touring the San Marino parliament.. I knew very little about San Marino before my visit, other than that it is one of the smallest countries in the world. Pub quiz trivia: it’s also one of only three countries in the world, together with Lesotho and Vatican City, which is totally surrounded by a single country, in this case Italy. Small places are perfect for a day trip, especially as I was on…

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Why is Mauritius so popular? Beaches, catamarans, and more.

Why is Mauritius so popular? Beaches, catamarans, and more.

This year we’ll start taking a personal look at holiday memories you might like to recreate for yourself. This month, Lara Whybrow tells us about her travels to Mauritius. An old favourite among tourists, Mauritius is absolutely gorgeous, and most travellers have been back many times to luxuriate in its lush flora and spotlessly clean beaches. It’s a volcanic island, famed for its beaches, reefs, and lagoons.  We booked our holiday through a specialist travel agency that has lots of interesting…

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Dubai: A lovely warm holiday in the winter

Dubai: A lovely warm holiday in the winter

Still unsure about where to go on holiday this winter? If you and your family are looking for an escape from the harsh cold weather, Dubai is your answer! The most pleasant weather begins in December and lasts until February. Temperatures get up around 27C (81F) in December and January, so the weather is perfect for sightseeing and entertainment. The best thing about winter nights in Dubai is the long walks in the city. The friendly fellow tourists can be seen…

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Kraków: A beautiful Christmas market, Chopin, and… axe throwing?

Kraków: A beautiful Christmas market, Chopin, and… axe throwing?

If you fancy a short European city break for three or four nights, and you don’t want to break the bank, try Kraków in southern Poland this December. There’s a lot to explore, with a flight time of only two and a half hours, and you might just get some snow to put you in the Christmas mood! Kraków Christmas Market As it’s December, let’s start our exploring with a trip to the Christmas market. The Irish Times named it one of the top ten…

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Europe’s best Christmas markets

Europe’s best Christmas markets

Travel writer Julia Hammond is obsessed with European Christmas markets. Here she gives us a personal tour of her favourites that she has visited. Magical Salzburg delivers festive cheer In winter, under a carpet of snow, crowds of shoppers wrapped up in scarves and hats throng the Christmas markets. Nowhere in Austria, not even Vienna, does it better than Salzburg.  Several excellent markets are scattered across the city, and the largest clusters around the steps of its imposing cathedral. The first…

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Seven free things to do in Las Vegas

Seven free things to do in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is well known for some of its more expensive attractions: its gambling culture, but also its pricey hotels, restaurants, and live shows. However, if you’re travelling to Vegas on a budget, don’t despair. There are free and fun activities that you can add to your itinerary, and as an added bonus, they’ll take you off the beaten path where you can explore some of Vegas’s hidden gems. Here are seven exciting free things to do in Las Vegas….

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Malta: still warm in November

Malta: still warm in November

If you need some November sun, but can’t face more than a three-hour flight, then Malta is a great choice. Climate Malta is located far enough south (at the base of Sicily) that it is parallel with north Africa. This gives Malta pleasant weather well into the autumn, with temperature highs in November of around 21C (70F), and sea temperatures of 22C (72F). This is actually an excellent time of year to explore the country’s numerous sights without the oppressive heat of…

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Why community-based tourism helps bring Kyrgyzstan’s culture to life

Why community-based tourism helps bring Kyrgyzstan’s culture to life

Travel writer Julia Hammond had no idea what to expect when she travelled to Kyrgyzstan earlier this year. What she experienced was far better than she’d dared imagine. In this internet-led, social media-fuelled age, there are few surprises when it comes to travel. A quick trawl of Instagram or a lightning-fast Google search throws up thousands of images. The days of going to the library or bookshop for a guide book are increasingly too slow for an impatient audience who…

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Granada, Spain: city, beach, and ski—three destinations in one!

Granada, Spain: city, beach, and ski—three destinations in one!

Granada is one of those places in southern Spain where you really can have it all. You can eat free tapas in one of the many bars around the city, walk through the Sierra Nevada mountains before the first snowfall, or relax on a beach along the Costa Tropical. You’ll never be short of things to see and do in this authentic area of Spain. Granada CityGranada may not be one of the more obvious cities to visit in Spain,…

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