Apr 21, 2017

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10 things to do in Paphos

10 things to do in Paphos

If Goldilocks had to pick one place in the world to go on holiday, she’d probably choose Paphos, writes Katie McGonagle. This Cypriot town is hot but not too hot, lively after dark without attracting a rowdy 18-to-30s crowd, and is the sort of place where you can do as much or as little as you like. Fancy a week at an all-inclusive resort, lying on a sun-lounger with a cocktail in hand? Go ahead. Prefer getting back to nature? The hiking trails of the Akamas Peninsula are on your doorstep. Or if you’d rather a taste of local life, Paphos is the beating heart of a network of tiny villages which show a side of Cyprus that tourists rarely see. Having benefited from the investment that goes with being European Capital of Culture for 2017, now’s the time to see what’s new in this old favourite. Take a sunset stroll towards a medieval castle Set on the southwest coast of Cyprus, Paphos is blessed with spectacular sunsets, and where better to admire them than from its gorgeous beachfront boardwalk? This 5km coastal walk is a great spot for an early morning run, but it’s even more fun to stroll along as the sun dips behind Paphos Castle, finishing with drinks and dinner at the harbour just as the buzz gets going. The castle itself has an interesting story to tell about the history of this tiny island: it was first a Byzantine fort, rebuilt by the Lusignans, taken down by the Venetians and built once again by the Ottomans, and it’s open until 7.30pm in summer (5pm in winter) for a bargain €2.50 if you want a history lesson to go with the view. Splash around at a family water park Kids aren’t just tolerated in Cyprus, they’re positively welcomed – after all, local culture is centred around family, and that attitude extends to holidaymakers as well – so there’s no chance of getting bored with the number of family attractions within easy reach of Paphos. If it’s hot, head to Aphrodite Water Park, home to a long lazy river – perfect for mooching along on sunny summer days – plus a wave pool, water slides and tots’ water play area. Family day passes start at €95 for two adults and three children,...

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Apr 21, 2017

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10 reasons to visit Amsterdam in summer 2017

10 reasons to visit Amsterdam in summer 2017

This summer is a fantastic time to visit Amsterdam, with a whole host of new openings and attractions for first-timers and returners alike. Here Tamara Hinson outlines 10 reasons why the city should be part of your travel plans in summer 2017. The Butcher Social Club The Butcher Social Club’s burgers are legendary, although they’re not the only reason to head to Amsterdam’s newest, coolest hangout. Along with an encyclopaedic cocktail menu, there are vintage arcade games, ping pong tables and deliciously thick milkshakes – best enjoyed on the gorgeous roof terrace. The bar is part of the Sir Adam Hotel, in hip Amsterdam Noord. A shiny new metro station will soon put this neighbourhood on the map, but it’s already easily accessible – it’s a five-minute ferry ride from the marina, which is very close to Centraal Station. De Pindakaaswinkel Whether you like peanut butter or not, it’s hard not to be impressed by the lovingly-curated De Pindakaaswinkel (The Peanut Butter Shop). Recently opened by peanut butter aficionado Michiel Vos, inside you’ll find a plethora of varieties, including raisin, white chocolate, coconut and sea salt caramel. Vos plans to host regular tasting events, and you can purchase plenty of peanut butter-themed merchandise. Over the Edge Over the Edge is Europe’s highest swing – strap into this two-person seat and you’ll fly over Amsterdam, 100 metres above the ground. To experience this breathtaking adrenaline rush, head to A’DAM Lookout, a new rooftop observation platform in Amsterdam Noord. Getting there is half the fun, because access is via a high-speed elevator which shoots up 20 floors in 22 seconds. Afterwards, check out the sky deck for spectacular city views – and a stiff drink, if required! De Pijp De Pijp is Amsterdam’s most up-and-coming neighbourhood. Otherwise known as the Latin Quarter, this quirky corner of the city is home to the enormous Albert Cuypmarkt street market, where you can buy everything from vintage clothing to fresh flowers. One of my favourite hangouts is the recently-opened Café Blond on Ferdinand Bolstraat. Colourful, hand-painted plates fill every nook and cranny (you can pick up your own piece of tableware at the café’s shop) and there’s a delicious selection of homemade cakes. Blue Pepper Amsterdam has some of Europe’s best Indonesian restaurants. The menu at Blue Pepper, which is close to Leidseplein, is inspired by traditional Indonesian...

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Apr 21, 2017

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10 things to do in Fuerteventura

10 things to do in Fuerteventura

It’s warm, it has virtually year-round sunshine and there are miles and miles of stunning beaches. What is this magical place? It’s Fuerteventura, just a few hours away from the UK. Whether you’re looking for a family holiday, a surfing adventure or simply to laze away your days on the sand, there’s no shortage of things to do. Eddi Fiegel outlines some of her favourite activities. Sink your toes into sand dunes at Corralejo The harbour town of...

Apr 12, 2017

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Plane scary: The world’s most dangerous airports...

Plane scary: The world’s most dangerous airports

Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier, once mused that any landing you can walk away from is a good one. We wonder what he’d make of these hair-raising descents! Princess Juliana International Airport, Saint Martin Ever tried sunbathing beneath a landing aircraft? Well, in Saint Martin you can – although it’s not advisable! Planes descending into Princess Juliana International Airport come incredibly close to Maho Beach at the bottom of runway, allowing thrillseeking beachgoers to stand...

Apr 10, 2017

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The African Caribbean: Sun, sand and “no stress” in Cape Verde...

The African Caribbean: Sun, sand and “no stress” in Cape Verde

A relentless gale whips in off the Atlantic, chopping up the surf and firing spray onto the beach. Out on the water, dozens of huge, brightly-coloured kites dart among each other, tearing the surfers who wield them through the waves at high speed. More kitesurfers ready themselves on the white sand, preparing to pit themselves against the elements. It’s a sight that Cape Verde is becoming famous for, with enthusiasts flocking there to enjoy the guaranteed surf. But if you’re not a...

Apr 10, 2017

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Can I take my kids on holiday during term-time?...

Can I take my kids on holiday during term-time?

Taking children on holiday during term-time is a very sensitive subject. The Department for Education (DfE) maintains that even one day of school missed can affect a child’s learning, while some parents argue that the dramatic hikes in the cost of going away during the holidays leave them with no other option. The topic was thrust back into the public eye in May 2016 when Jon Platt, a businessman from the Isle of Wight, refused to pay a...

Apr 10, 2017

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Should I travel to Egypt?

Should I travel to Egypt?

Currently, certain parts of Egypt are deemed to be unsafe for British nationals. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently advises against all travel to the Governorate of North Sinai and all but essential travel to the areas west of the Nile Valley/Nile Delta regions and South Sinai – with the exception of the area within the Sharm el Sheikh perimeter barrier, which includes the airport and the areas of Sharm el Maya, Hadaba, Naama Bay, Sharks Bay and Nabq. Please see...

Apr 7, 2017

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Two days in Venice: What to do on a short break...

Two days in Venice: What to do on a short break

Venice is the ultimate romantic trip away. It’s got fine Italian wine, gorgeous food, enough art and architecture to feel cultured without even trying, plus every water taxi ride is like a scene from a James Bond film – wind in your hair, partner by your side, surrounded by one of the most beautiful cities in the world (even if you don’t have the Bond body to go with it). Better still, it’s only a two to three-hour...

Apr 6, 2017

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10 things to do in Cancun

10 things to do in Cancun

It’s Mexico’s favourite party town, packed with all-inclusive resorts that many visitors never feel the need to leave, writes Anthea Gerrie. But those who confine themselves to their compounds are missing out; Cancun is on the doorstep of spectacular Mayan ruins, a world-class diving reef and freestanding pleasure palaces worth shelling out the price of a drink for to enjoy the fabulous setting. Mexico has made it easy for tourists to get from Cancun to its neighbouring islands...

Apr 3, 2017

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The ultimate guide to ethical wildlife encounters...

The ultimate guide to ethical wildlife encounters

Wild animal encounters can be incredible and fulfilling experiences for travellers, but the welfare of animals at tourist attractions has come under the spotlight in recent times. Over the last few years, major travel operators such as STA Travel, TripAdvisor and Tui have increasingly distanced themselves from unethical wildlife attractions, raising questions about what is ethical and what is not. To help you choose an ethical experience, we’ve put together some general advice to follow before you book, including some expert advice from World Animal...