Showing posts with label theguardian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label theguardian. Show all posts

East Sicily: what to see plus the best bars, beaches, restaurants and hotels

With baroque palaces, fine beaches and Mount Etna, the Ionian coast is home to most of the island’s crown jewels underpinned by glorious local food and drink. Light reflecting off churches and palaces, views of craggy mountains and blue sea, smells of orange blossom, oregano and mint … Sicily is an inspiring place, particularly for northern Europeans. "To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all", said German writer Goethe in 1787. It’s a big island, though, and difficult to “do” in one trip. Better to get to know Sicily in chunks – and its Ionian coast, with the honeypot towns of Siracusa and Taormina, plus second city Catania, and hulking Mount Etna, is an ideal start.

Toulouse city guide: what to see plus the best bars, restaurants and hotels

In France’s sunny "pink city", ancient palaces show world-class art and crowds sip pastis and eat cassoulet and top-notch tapas at lively food markets. Ask French people where they would prefer to live and one answer that keeps coming up is Toulouse. Some 10,000 people settle here each year, drawn to the romantic ville rose, by the sunny southern climate and the lively bistros and bodegas serving delicious regional cuisine alongside tasty Spanish tapas. A Latin spirit pervades the city just 100km from the Spanish border, and the laid-back toulousains could not be more welcoming. Many of the distinctive red-brick palaces and mansions in the historic centre house world-class museums, and with a 100,000-strong student population, weekends turn into one long fiesta. Join them sipping a pastis apéro on the grassy banks of the fast-flowing Garonne river, or dancing salsa into the early hours.

Toulouse city guide: what to see plus the best bars, restaurants and hotels

Lisbon city guide: what to see plus the best bars, restaurants and hotels

Portugal’s capital is bursting with culture and great places to eat, stay and party and it’s the cheapest city break destination in western Europe. Assemble a city-break destination from a wishlist of components and you get Lisbon: a wide glittering river, limpid skies, steep cobbled streets, palaces, churches (and a castle, of course), tiles in pink, mint and indigo, and cheap, fresh, grilled sardines to eat outside a tasca (bar) in the sun. It’s a place so beautiful you can’t believe people are using it to live in. And Lisbon is decidedly lively. Every year it seems there is more to do, more to eat and more distance to cover.

Lisbon city guide: what to see plus the best bars, restaurants and hotels

20 Greek islands … you may not have heard of

The dazzling colours and great food of Greece's famous islands extend to these lesser-known sand-fringed destinations, which boast wonderful places to stay – especially for late- or out-of-season breaks by Andrew Bostock. Despite its many crises in the past few years, tourism is booming in Greece. Most travellers, however, still rarely venture beyond the more famous islands - and a little exploration is all that is needed to take you to some lesser-known gems. Here are 20 of our favourites. All accommodation prices are for a double room in low season and include breakfast, unless stated otherwise. In most Greek tavernas you can eat and drink well for €15-20pp, but if a place is more expensive, I have indicated this.

20 Greek islands … you may not have heard of

Galicia coast holiday guide: the best beaches, bars, restaurants and hotels

Lush green valleys and rugged mountains, sheer cliffs and wild, frothing, slate-grey seas. Bagpipes, baroque cathedrals and the smell of grilled seafood. The architectural grace of Santiago de Compostela and the industrial churn of Vigo. Galicia, the north-west corner of Spain, is a diverse region, but amid the variety there are two constants: first, it’s one of the best places to eat seafood in the world; and, second, its wild landscape, seemingly more Scottish than Spanish, is the most beautiful on the Iberian peninsula.

Galicia coast holiday guide: the best beaches, bars, restaurants and hotels

10 of the best lakeside towns and villages in Europe

Grace Holliday. Ohrid, Macedonia. Straddling the border between Albania and Macedonia, Ohrid sits on the lake of the same name, one of the deepest in Europe. The Church of Saint Jovan Kaneo teeters on a cliff above a harbour full of brightly coloured fishing boat, and there’s a scattering of small beaches. A few miles south, the Bay of Bones museum reconstructed prehistoric village built on stilts over the lake. The name refers not to human bones but to the many animal remains found in the water, some of which are on display inside. Visitors can opt to scuba dive to see the excavations under the water, which is blue in some lights, mythical green in others. Stay at Hotel Villa Sveta Sofija, doubles from €60 room-only)

10 of the best lakeside towns and villages in Europe

Send us a tip on walks in northern France and win a £200 hotel voucher Travel

From afternoon promenades to serious randonnées, France is a great country for walkers. This week we’re concentrating on the north, from Normandy to the Belgian border, so whether you’ve enjoyed a scenic towpath, a breezy shoreline hike or pretty woods inland, we’d like to hear about it. Please give as much detail as you can about the start, finish and length of the walk. Send us a tip via GuardianWitness of around 100 words.

Send us a tip on walks in northern France and win a £200 hotel voucher Travel

A walking tour of Bath: the ultimate spa break

Alan Franks. What a difference a queen makes. It was the royal visits by Anne in the opening years of the 18th century that turned this sublimely placed town from relative backwater to fashionable Georgian gem and set in train its graduation to Unesco world heritage site. Look at the plentiful shopfronts on a bright, reflective day and you are staring the local industry in the face. It is you, curious visitor. Take heart; there are elegant, honey-stoned reasons for the place being such a centre of tourism and they declare themselves the moment you start this 2½-mile walk from the Bath Spa railway station. 

A walking tour of Bath the ultimate spa break

Secret beaches around the world: readers' tips

Beach holidays Readers' travel tips. Secret beaches around the world: readers' tips. Whether miles from civilisation or just round the corner from more famous seaside haunts, these less-visited beaches chosen by readers offer beauty and seclusion and – sometimes – warm seas. Bay watch … View from the mountains to the beach of Es Coll Baix, near Alcudia. Photograph: Alamy.

Secret beaches around the world readers tips

South Asia floods kill 1,200 and shut 1.8 million children out of school

Haroon Siddique. Heavy monsoon rains have brought Mumbai to a halt for a second day as the worst floods to strike south Asia in years continued to exact a deadly toll. Flooding across India, Nepal and Bangladesh has left parts of cities underwater with storm moving on to Pakistan, lashing the port of Karachi. More than 1,200 people have died across India, Bangladesh and Nepal as a result of flooding, with 40 million affected by the devastation. At least six people, including two toddlers, were among the victims in and around India’s financial capital. The devastating floods have also destroyed or damaged 18,000 schools, meaning that about 1.8 million children cannot go to classes, Save the Children warned on Thursday.

South Asia floods kill 1,200 and shut 1.8 million children out of school