Destinations to go for Relaxation

Soak up the Caribbean sun away from the hurricane belt

It’s the Caribbean, but not as you know it. The ABC islands, as Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao are playfully known, sit just off the north coast of Venezuela. Although they’re geographically part of South America, they’ve been governed by, and been part of, the Netherlands since the early 17th century. June is the sweet spot between the high season (which also happens to be the rainy season) in the northern winter, and the slightly hotter summer months. Since the islands are outside the hurricane belt (unlike most of the other Caribbean islands), they’re a safe bet at this time of year, yet hotel rates are low and beaches less crowded.

And what beaches: from gorgeous Eagle Beach on Aruba, beloved of honeymooners, to the resorts of Curaçao’s southwest. Come to Aruba for nightlife, Bonaire for wonderful diving and snorkelling, and Curaçao for Dutch-influenced culture and cuisine, and to explore its colourful capital, Willemstad.

Travel In Mexico City

Destinations Places to go for wildlife and nature

Between silverback gorillas, whale sharks and manta rays, these adventures will see you rub shoulders with some of Mother Nature’s giants. Alternatively, downsize the creatures but scale-up the number, watching legions of baby turtles hatch in Borneo; or discover the whole cast of the Lion King with a walking safari on Zambia’s vast plains.

Dive with giants on Australia’s other barrier reef

Now’s the time to think Big. Visit Australia’s largest state (area: around one million sq miles; 2.5 million sq km) in June to swim with the world’s heftiest fish, the whale shark (length: up to 60ft; 18m) and manta rays (wing width: up to 18ft; 5.5m) as well as watching humpback whales (weight: up to 30 tonnes) on – OK – only Australia’s second-largest reef, Ningaloo.

Coral spawning from March prompts a zooplankton explosion, attracting the sharks until mid-August, while manta rays – present year-round at Coral Bay – tend to visit Exmouth May to November, and humpbacks migrate past June to November. The turquoise waters are beautifully clear for snorkelling

Celebrating street art with eight festivals for the urban art form

From Europe’s largest urban art festival in Banksy’s hometown of Bristol to the comic book-inspired POW!WOW! in Hawaii, these are just some of the fabulous celebrations you can find in our new Street Art book.

Upfest – Bristol, UK

Hailed as the largest street and urban art festival in Europe, Upfest (upfest.co.uk) draws artists from all over the world to Bristol – renowned for its street art and the rumoured birthplace of Banksy – in July to paint at the festival’s home in Bedminster. Using the streets, walls, boards, double-decker buses, vans, cars and even a New York subway train as their canvas, more than 300 artists bring their brushes here each year.

Upfest remains true to its roots as a platform for some of the world’s most creative artists to get together and paint live in front of thousands of people, with the artwork remaining in situ until the following year. Held over one weekend, the festival also includes workshops, musical performances and other types of live entertainment. A portion of the money raised goes towards the charity NACOA, which assists children whose parents suffer from alcoholism.

Nuart – Stavanger,

Exploring Beaches In The Gambia

In some cases, you need not even leave The Gambia’s sandy shores to soak up some sensational cultural experiences, while other traveller treats involve trips into dense forests, mangrove swamps and petite villages.

The village of Tanji

Set on a wide, sweeping beach, this tiny village is ripe with cultural and wildlife opportunities. Stand with your feet in the surf and watch the colourfully-painted fishing boats bobbing rhythmically in the waves as local women ferry the day’s catch to shore in buckets atop their heads. Behind you is the fish market, which heaves with Gambians shopping for everything from fish and flip flops to vibrant vegetables and loudly-coloured clothing. As the sun starts to set and the crowds begin to wane, the beauty of the scene seems to grow tenfold – the water sparkles, elegant silhouettes parade across the backdrop of a golden sky and the long light cuts deep into the incredibly atmospheric smoke houses.

The village also has a charming museum where you can explore a recreated Mandinka village, complete with huts and displays about this ethnic group’s traditional customs, beliefs, music and crafts. For a wilder, more nature-based experience, check

Some culinary adventures in northern Kyūshū

Fukuoka and Saga prefectures, in northern Kyūshū, are accessible places to start a food-inspired tour of the region. From ever-popular ramen to the more nuanced flavours of fermented vinegar, here is a small selection of the many local specialities worth savouring on your trip.

Ramen in Fukuoka

Any conversation about food in this corner of Kyūshū has to begin with ramen (and for some it ends right there, too). The ubiquitous noodles may have their origins in China, but they are hugely popular in Japan, with every region having its particular variations. Fukuoka is the country’s top ramen destination, famous for its signature tonkotsu ramen, also called Hakata or Nagahama ramen: straight, thin noodles in a thick, rich pork-bone-based broth. You can slurp back a bowl at one of the many food stalls around Fukuoka city. There are about 150 of these hawker-style stalls (yatai in Japanese), which typically have a simple counter with a few stools and start service in the evenings. Most stalls set up along the river in the Nakasu area, in the Tenjin area, and in Nagahama near the docks.

Or, for ramen indoors, head to 40-year-old Ichiran, where

Travel at Castles, cairns and gin-making in the Boyne Valley

Ireland’s west coast may have the wild coastline, but the east is the country’s historic heartland. Set within striking distance of Dublin, the Boyne Valley’s rich soils and rolling hills have been occupied and battled over for millennia. As a result, ancient tombs rub shoulders with Norman castles and peaceful canals bisect battlefields.

And as well as past glories, there’s food and drink to set your lips smacking.

Older than the Pyramids: Brú na Bóinne

At first glance, the famous cairns that cluster around the River Boyne, in counties Meath and Louth might elicit a shrug – most are simple passages leading into small chambers. But the more you look, the more fascinating they get.

Almost 100 Neolithic monuments make up the World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne (‘the Palace of the Boyne’), many dating from around 3200 BC, making them around seven centuries older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids. They’re decorated with strange swirls and shapes and aligned with the sun and the landscape, yet so distant are their pre-Celtic creators that archaeologists are still guessing how the great stones were transported (possibly by river, or even rolled on seaweed) and

The Family travel myths worth forgetting

Travelling with children – particularly babies and young kids – certainly has its challenges, but it’s also one of the most eye-opening adventures of family life, as long as you’re prepared.

Long-haul’s a bad call

Sleep deprivation is a form of torture, that’s for sure. And just the thought of having to hush the baby or keep a writhing toddler still in the aeroplane seat for 10 or – gulp – up to 24 hours when, chances are, they simply will not sleep, is enough to make most parents retreat into a dark chasm of despair.

But the reality isn’t nearly that bad. Babies are often coaxed into a sleepy state by the drone of the plane’s air regulator. True, flying with young kids of a certain age – let’s say roughly between one and two years old – can be a constant trial, but once they are old enough to appreciate in-flight entertainment, two thirds of the battle is won. The trick is to understand what you’re getting yourself into and plan ahead.

Top tips: Take a night flight if you can, when your kids are at their sleepiest and the

Here a guide to the locations of the cult classic

The Roadhouse

The heart of Twin Peaks country is the Snoqualmie Valley, in the hills east of Seattle. It’s at an easy distance for a day trip from the big city. Drop in first to Fall City, a town that is home to the building which starred as Bang Bang Bar, generally referred to as The Roadhouse. This was Twin Peaks’ adult entertainment venue, filled with couples and bikers listening to live music and downing a beer or two.

One of the most memorable scenes here featured the mystical Giant appearing in a vision to FBI Agent Dale Cooper, warning him of a murder with the line ‘It is happening again.’ Nowadays the century-old building houses the Fall City Roadhouse (fcroadhouse.com), offering food and accommodation.

Out back is another location: the cabin used to depict The Bookhouse, headquarters of the secret society known as The Bookhouse Boys.

Location: 4200 Preston-Fall City Rd SE, Fall City

White Tail Falls

Heading farther south-east to the town of Snoqualmie, the next major location is this impressive waterfall, falling majestically across our screens as the opening credits played to the haunting theme of composer Angelo

Info Shipwrecks, tin mines and smugglers’ coves In Cornwall

There are many things for which Cornwall is famous: wind-blown cliff-tops, white sandy bays, crumbling tin mines, the Cornish pasty. But a new spotlight is shining on this ancient Celtic kingdom thanks to the smash-hit BBC series Poldark, which is set and filmed here, and has transmitted the county’s charms to a global audience.

Based on Cornish author Winston Graham’s historical novels, written between 1945 and 2002, the story traces the fortunes of the Poldark dynasty during Cornwall’s 18th and 19th century mining boom (tin and copper, as well as tungsten, arsenic and silver, were all extracted) with a particular focus on the brooding, troubled Ross Poldark.

First adapted for television in the 1970s, Poldark’s recent big-budget makeover has proved a massive hit thanks to its rollicking plots, cracking cinematography and the smouldering good looks of its cast, particularly Aiden Turner, who plays Ross and is now notorious thanks to his shirtless scythe-wielding in season one.

But the cast are mere understudies to the series’ real star – the spectacular Cornish scenery that’s on display in almost every frame. With the series now in its third season, here’s a run-down of some of

Best 10 idyllic day trips from Dubrovnik

Two other countries, Bosnia & Hercegovina and Montenegro, sit within easy reach, as do lushly green islands, captivating wine lands and charming river deltas.

Seafood, beaches and sunsets in Cavtat

An easy outing east of the city, Cavtat offers an air of tranquillity lost years ago in Dubrovnik. Idyllic seaside promenades line its wooded peninsulas, leading up to a number of pristine beaches. Hike up to the top of Rat peninsula for splendid vistas and a visit to the beautiful and moving Račić family Mausoleum. Next stroll down to Ključice beach for a swim and some tasty seafood under the shade of pines at Rokotin restaurant (facebook.com/Restaurant-RokotinCavtat). Witness a spectacular sunset before making your way back along Rat promenade to the bus station.

Getting there: The 15km to Cavtat can be covered by Libertas bus 10 or a more refreshing boat transfer from the old town harbour.

Peace and heritage on the isle of Lokrum

Sprawled just a few hundred metres offshore from Dubrovnik’s bustling old town, the leafy island of Lokrum is the perfect place to immerse yourself in pine forests, olive orchards and botanical gardens. Swim in the clear, sparkling waters of the sea or take a dip in a huge rock pool-lagoon known as Dead Sea.

Here amazing cities for street art

Adorning urban spaces across the globe, this form of art is often deeply interwoven with the culture and history of a place and offers an eye-opening way to explore a destination. Here are eight amazing cities, straight from the pages of our new Street Art book, where you can see some of the best of these metropolitan masterpieces.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin is a rich hub of street art. Post-reunification, an abundance of large, empty buildings, a relatively cheap cost of living and a thriving counterculture have combined to bring an influx of artists and musicians to the city. Berlin was prominent during the early street art boom, and has become an essential pilgrimage site for visiting artists – it’s now known ironically as ‘the most bombed city in the world’. This time, though, the bombing is with spray paint, paste-ups and stickers, as well as alternative mediums like Lego (as seen in Jan Vormann’s colourful creations) and even yarn.

During the Cold War, the Berlin Wall was a symbolic target for politically motivated art, though only the west side was covered in graffiti – it was impossible for residents on the

Destination Places to go for culture

Travel back in time with this round-up of living monuments to bygone eras.

Explore ancient cities in Iran before the heat builds

The land once called Persia is where misconceptions come to die. Political posturing wins column inches, but there are so many treasures that really deserve the headlines: the extraordinary Islamic architecture of Esfahan, with its intricate blue patterned tiles; the huge, bustling bazaars of Tehran, Esfahan, Shiraz or Tabriz; the magnificent remains at Persepolis, dating back two-and-a-half millennia; the deserts; the poems; the food; and – most of all – the warm, welcoming people.

By June the mercury is rising fast at lower altitudes, but prices and crowds are dropping. Summer is also the season for hiking in the Alborz Mountains, particularly the ascent of Mt Damavand, a true icon of Iran.

  • Trip plan: Fly to Tehran, head south to the desert city of Yazd, the ancient ruins at Persepolis, sophisticated Shiraz and majestic Esfahan, before scooting up to the Alborz Mountains to tackle Mt Damavand and roam among the Castles of the Assassins.
  • Need to know: Most visitors require a visa – apply well before you intend to travel.

Here Many Amazing Spots in Goa You Never Want to Miss

Goa is not the place you visit once and tick down from your checklist. The western state of India is one of the most scenic places to visit. Right from the spice gardens, to sand and from adrenaline pumping water sports to hotels in Goa; everything presents you with something or the other.

After your first visit it turns into an inclination and after the second, a custom! This Portuguese Shangri-la on Indian soil has such a large number of beguiling universes that even the most prepared explorers can’t make the best of their Goan occasion. However, as the saying goes, when in Goa, do as the Goans do.

Here are some amazing spots in Goa that you can explore as a traveler.

Excellence and the Beach – An immaculate day at the shoreline…

It needs to begin with beaches! While coastlines in North Goa take the spotlight, South Goa shorelines are less swarmed. We choose Arossim Beach and Utorda Beach close to the town of Majorda for the best South Goa shoreline grant. For North, Baga, Calangute and Anjunapack the people’s choice award for favorite beach! Water sports on these seashores incorporate jet skiing, parasailing (the view from the top is

The trekking through Borneo’s rainforests

Dressing for the climate

Borneo – made up of the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah, the sultanate of Brunei and Indonesian Kalimantan – has wetter seasons and dryer seasons. Exactly when depends on where you are, but downpours of biblical intensity are possible any time of the year. And even when you’re not slogging through a deluge, the heat and nearly 100% humidity will ensure that you’ll stay soaked with your own sweat. The best way to minimize discomfort is to bring kit made from materials that do not retain water. That means cotton is out, while synthetics – such as nylon, polyester, Lycra and (for higher elevations) Polar fleece – are in. All your gear, from socks to photographic equipment, should be packed in waterproof bags.

Bring two sets of clothing – one for hiking and the other to wear at the end of the day and at night. Your trekking duds will be soaked within minutes and will stay that way until you get back to civilisation. Keep your day and night kit strictly separate or you’ll find that you have two sets of wet clothing. Talcum powder can help alleviate

Trips for All travellers who want to learn something new

Whether it’s perfecting your front crawl in an English lake or getting to grips with your camera on a photography safari, these trips will thrill knowledge lovers as much as pleasure seekers.

Cook up a storm in Chiang Mai

Blessed with some of the world’s best street food, you could be forgiven for coming to Chiang Mai and spending your entire trip indulging in everything from the spiciest tom yum soup to searching for the perfect pad thai. But chances are you’re going to want to learn how to make these delicious dishes yourself. Thankfully, Chiang Mai has several options for curious cooks looking to pick up new culinary skills, with schools dotted through town.

Based on the edge of the city, teachers from Thai Farm Cooking School (thaifarmcooking.net) will collect you from your guest house, take you shopping in local markets and teach you about spices, rice and flavours. You’ll then decamp to its organic farm base, where you’ll learn to cook six dishes. After cooking up a storm, pupils and teachers sit down together to taste everyone’s creations.

Become a gaucho in Argentinian Patagonia

Forget childhood riding classes

This essential guide to backpacking China’s Silk Road

The section of the ancient Silk Road that runs through China is an epic journey through desert dunes to the end of the Great Wall, a length of pink mud that ends abruptly in the magnificent beige towers of the Jiayuguan Fort.

This is not a voyage that many travellers experience; it’s often and understandably overlooked in favour of more accessible and famous destinations in China.

But for adventurous travellers looking for something truly different, backpacking the Chinese Silk Road reaps glorious rewards: sand-sledding down a magical unmoving sand dune, a camel ride around an oasis, a trek up the end of the Great Wall and sipping wine under grape trellises are just a few of the possibilities. So don a sand-proof rucksack and check out our guide to backpacking the Silk Road through China.

The route

Historically, the Silk Road was not one but many routes that connected east and south Asia to Mediterranean Europe, so named because the largest commodity traded down the route was sought-after Chinese silk. The route traditionally started in Xi’an (then known as Chang’an), China and continued northwest through modern-day Gansu and Xinjiang provinces before reaching

This Luxurious lounges and hipster haunts In Venice

Venice may not be renowned for its nightlife, with most of its citizens tucking themselves in bed well before midnight, but Venetians do like a tipple, particularly at aperitivo time.

The city boasts more bars than you can shake a cocktail stick at, from spectacular rooftop views to hole-in-the-wall music joints, and whether you prefer to be shaken or stirred, our list will help you find your perfect watering hole.

Take in the view from Giudecca’s Skyline Bar

There are plenty of reasons to love rooftop Skyline Bar, despite its slightly awkward location on Giudecca island. First off, you get a free shuttle service from the city across the Giudecca Canal. Secondly, it offers great views of southern Venice and thus multiple photo ops. Then there is the lengthy – and idiosyncratically translated – cocktail menu. A nice touch has been to provide a Venetian take on the classics, with the drinks covering the six sestieri (districts) of the city. The free boat ride makes a cocktail (€16-20) at this glamorous hotel bar an affordable treat.

Join the young, hip crowd at Osteria da Filo

Known to locals as ‘La Poppa’, this buzzing watering

This A walk through Kyiv’s Soviet past

Ukraine has been a proudly independent nation since 1991, but for decades before that it formed part of the Soviet Union. Many elements of that era – and of the Russian empire before it – remain in the heart of Kyiv, intertwined with remembrances of the city’s medieval glory. It’s a fascinating array of clues from the past, within strolling distance.

As I step out of Kyiv’s Khreshchatyk metro station, the Ukrainian capital’s tumultuous postwar history is laid out before me – in concrete and steel. The busiest, grandest boulevard of downtown Kyiv, Khreshchatyk street is lined by buildings of communist-era vintage. Some are highly decorated, others bear plain facades; but all are lofty, intimidating structures.

There are hints, however, of post-Soviet adjustments. Down the street I spot a large star surmounting an imposing apartment building. When Ukraine was part of the USSR, it must have been painted revolutionary red; now it’s a striking blue over yellow, the colours of the Ukrainian flag. And the metro station houses a branch of an American fast-food chain, sandwiched between Stalinist facades.

It’s outside this eatery I meet Anna, the guide who’ll be taking me

Tips to build a perfect road-ready camera kit

With mobile phones that feature sophisticated cameras in the hands of most travelers, taking photos has never been easier. But if you want to level up your Instagram game with quality images beyond the typical smartphone fare, follow our tips for picking and packing a travel photography kit.

Selecting your system

There’s a perfect setup for every kind of adventure – pack according to the likeliest scenarios you’ll encounter and stay mindful of factors like climate, seasonality, the local culture and the length of your trip. Pick the proper camera system for yourself – think about features and controls you’ll need and get familiar with them long before you hit the road.

Bodies

DSLRs by big brands like Canon and Nikon have long been the go-to brands for serious shooters, but lighter and smaller mirrorless options are gaining traction with hobbyist and professional photographers alike. Mirrorless systems like the Fujifilm X Series (fujifilm-x.com) or Sony Alpha (alphauniverse.com) have the advantage of being extremely compact– half the size of traditional DSLRs – and many models host interchangeable lenses for an image quality that’s superior to point-and-shoot cameras.

Lenses

Lens