Friday, February 14, 2014
Over the last few years a wave of stylish, design-conscious hostels have opened their doors. The days of bunking down in a damp dorm are numbered. At PLUS, named Florence's best hostel, for example, there are two swimming pools, a sauna, steam room, gym and roof terrace with view of the Duomo. The chain also has hostels in Berlin and Pragu
stay and enjoy..
Red Mountain, Canada
The cult resort of Red in British Columbia has thrust itself to the forefront of North American skiing this winter by adding a whole new mountain to its terrain, increasing its ski area by almost 60 per cent. The uncommercialised ski area above the retro-Victorian mining town of Rossland has long been famed for some of the steepest tree skiing on the planet and much more ..
Rumours have been circulating for months that this advice will change, but at the moment the FCO is simply keeping it under review. Until the warning is lifted, it will be difficult to get insurance for travel to Iran, although Wild Frontiers offers clients a policy covering travel there. Those making the journey to Iran will find epic scenery, an extraordinary history and culture and a warm welcome
Fifty years ago, Matera was one of the poorest towns in western Europe, with some 20,000 people crammed into the sassi, a honeycomb of ancient and wretched cave dwellings that riddled the ravine below the town. Until recently the caves had remained derelict since being cleared in the Sixties, but now some 2,000 people have returned, along with cafés, galleries, restaurants and, above all, hotels, sparking a renaissance in Matera’s fortunes.
One of the world’s holiest and most alluring passages of water will open up to visitors in an entirely new way this year. Varanasi – where the Hindu faithful come to cremate loved ones and wash away their sins in scores of bathing ghats along the Ganges’ western embankment – is considered by many to be the spiritual heart of India. Walking along the river bank or soaking up the atmosphere from one of the many rowing boats that ply the river has long been possible.
This spring, the Rajmahal – a new boat operated by the Assam Bengal Navigation Company – departs on its inaugural sailing from Patna to Varanasi. Designed with a shallow draught to accommodate the low-water levels at Varanasi, the ship signals the arrival of river cruising to India’s great holy city. Cruising up the middle of the Ganges channel, the Rajmahal will end her journey 10 miles beyond Varanasi. The itinerary also includes two days’ sightseeing in the city . This intimate small-ship cruise (the Rajmahal has just 22 cabins, all with French balcony, and features a spa, saloon, dining room and large sundeck) can be taken either upstream or downstream. The itinerary includes visits to a Moghul fort and a Maharajah’s palace, Sarnath, where the Buddha preached his first sermon, as well as the once-in-a-lifetime experience of witnessing Varanasi’s bathing ghats at dawn (by rowing boat). Besides the vignettes of rural life there are opportunities to spot native birds and Gangetic dolphins breaking the surface of the sacred river. The season is short, with sailings in August and September when India at its most verdan
The serene Moselle (below) meanders through a picture-book landscape of vineyard-clad hills and a succession of half-timbered medieval towns and villages. New kid on the dock, Emerald Waterways ) offers a 12-day Rhine and Moselle cruise on Emerald Sky departing on April 15, 2014 (from £1,945 per person).
Island hopping in Essex? The thought may never have crossed your mind but there are great little spots out in the Blackwater estuary. Osea, the private island a few miles from Maldon where the rich and famous party, is hosting several special events this year: kids' camps, boutique festivals, pop-up restaurants. Although a restaurant for daytrippers has been rumoured, only overnight guests are currently allowed to cross Osea's exclusive causeway (cottages for two from £295 for two nights).
Canouan (pronounced "can - ah - wan") is an island in the Grenadines Islands belonging to St Vincent. It is a small island, measuring only 3.5 miles (5.6 km) by 1.25 miles (2 km). The population is about 1,200 people.
New Orleans is all about festivals, French roots, and a "laissez-faire" attitude, making it a distinctly different – and popular – destination among tourists from the U.S. and abroad. From Mardi Gras, New Orleans' biggest party, to Jazz Fest, one of the world's most respected gatherings of jazz musicians, there are plenty of ways to "let the good times roll" in The Big Easy.
Beautiful beaches, family-friendly attractions like Disneyworld, and the Latino culture and style of Miami make Florida, also known as the "Sunshine State," one of the most popular states in the U.S. for visitors. Learn more about the cities, theme parks, and everything else that Florida has to offer.
Symbolized by the red rafters of the Golden Gate Bridge, this legendary city on the San Francisco Bay is known for its neighborhoods, such as Chinatown and the hippie-turned-haute enclave of Haight-Ashbury. While San Francisco is an ideal city for nature lovers as well as the jet set, it is also a great jumping-off point for trips to the vineyard estates in Napa Valley or to the colossal tech campuses of Silicon Valley.
The lure of Hollywood, international celebrities, and the mild breezes from the Pacific Ocean make Los Angeles one an obvious addition to the list of top U.S. tourist destinations. Visit our guide to Los Angeles to learn more about L.A.'s famous beaches, such as Malibu or Santa Monica, shopping on Rodeo Drive, touring Beverly Hills, and more.