AY GETAW Youve worked hard, so now enjoy January 2016 Vol 1 Nr
St Lucia for a winter break
Get the best flight deals
Southern Africa destinations
Oman a best kept secret
Welcome Welcome to the first edition of Getaway the first travel
and leisure magazine created specifically for busy business owners
and executives like yourself. Having run business ourselves for
many years we understand the time pressure that people like you are
under, plus wanting to maximise budgets both business and
So, Getaway brings you a range of travel and leisure
opportunities, an escape to Paris for an overnighter or a European
short break which is Conveniently Close In this edition we also
explore Lisbon, just a couple of hours flight time away and ideal
place to recharge those batteries!!
We look at escaping to London and the West End for the evening;
we give you pointers to the best places to stay and where to secure
best ticket prices.
Maybe getting on a plane detaches you too much? Therefore a
Staycation is something to consider. Over the next months we will
profile various UK based excursions, where
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Contents of this Months Edition Page
4 Exotic Escapes: St Lucia Wake up to a symphony of birds
8 Exotic Escapes: Panama, small but perfectly formed
12 Staycation: There is lots to do and see in Kent
16 Staycation: A busy 2016 ahead for Bournemouth visitors
20 Conveniently Close: Marbella, more than just Glitz and
24 Special Feature: Slow Down You Move Too Fast
26 Conveniently Close: Recharge the batteries with a short break
28 Special Feature: Family holidays- for the more discerning
32 Special Feature: The Oregon Trail
34 Diversions: Escape from Las Vegas
36 Further afield: Make Southern Africa your next
40 Special Feature: Oman, one of the Middle Easts best kept
44 Getting There: 7 secrets of finding the best low cost
46 Getting There: Travel Gadgets with John Sansom
48 On The Move: San Sebastian or San Francisco
50 Incentive Travel: What are incentive trips and what are the
Welcome Welcome to the first edition of GETAWAY the travel and
leisure magazine created specifically for busy business owners and
executives like yourself. Having run business ourselves for many
years we understand the time pressure that people like you are
under, plus wanting to maximise budgets both business and personal
whilst being able to identify that next holiday break simply and
In this edition you will start with an exotic escape to the
Caribbean islands and later a surprising Central American
For those of you unable to venture quite so far afield we help
you to explore the Garden of England and Bournemouth with its
calendar of exciting attractions right through 2016.
We have a great article about where to take that all important
family holiday, with suggestions from around the world. Plus two
pieces from John Carter the former presenter of the travel
programme Wish You Were Here. He looks at travel at a more
leisurely pace and the delights of the Oregon Trail in America.
Whilst in the USA we look at alternative and out of this world
attractions in an Escape from Las Vegas.
We look at Lisbon in Portugal, often overlooked as a
conveniently close location for both a weekend break or a longer
stay. Looking further afield we travel to savour the sights and
sounds of Southern Africa and explore the various opportunities the
different countries offer the visitor. Then together we discover a
Middle Eastern gem in Oman.
Our Getting There features look at finding the best low cost
flights and our gadget king, John Sansom talks about his
experiences and modern day travel essentials.
Finally we take a brief look at moving abroad and also consider
the benefits of incentive trips for staff and stake holders.
So all in all, a pretty busy first edition which we hope you
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Brilliantly-plumed tropical birds abound, including endangered
species like the indigenous St. Lucia parrot. The rainforest is
broken only by verdant fields and plantations of banana, coconut,
mango, and papaya trees. You can explore everything from the Piton
Mountains and rainforest to the Sulphur Springs of Soufriere and
the Caribbean coral reef on this 238 square-mile island in
A rich and vibrant culture
St. Lucia has been inhabited since long before colonial times,
and stands apart from the rest of the Caribbean islands thanks to
its varied landscape and diverse culture, heritage and cuisine. Its
cultural treasures are a fascinating mlange of its rich past and
its many different traditions with the island dotted with aged
villages, and open-air markets, alongside the French Creole
patois spoken by the locals.
The active traveller can snorkel in the refreshing Caribbean
Sea, hike to the top of the Gros Piton or Petite Piton peaks, or
take advantage of a wide range of water sports. The island's steep
coastlines and lovely reefs offer excellent snorkelling and scuba
diving. The rainforest preserves of St. Lucia's mountainous
interior are one of the Caribbean's finest locales for hiking and
birdwatching. Of course, the island also possesses excellent
facilities for golf, tennis, sailing, and a host of other leisure
pursuits. Not to be missed is St. Lucia's Soufriere volcano, the
world's only drive-in volcanic crater.
The foodie can indulge in fresh local flavours by stopping at
roadside stands or dining at five-star restaurants offering the
islands distinctive local cuisine, which is a sumptuous mix of
African, West Indian, Creole and European influences, all prepared
by internationally recognised chefs.
Romantic couples can relax on the white sand of a pristine beach
or in a mud bath, before going on a one-of-a-kind date at one of
St. Lucias music or cultural festivals. Romance can be found at
upmarket resorts and intimate inns. Bask together under the
Caribbean sun, sail into a champagne sunset, and relax beneath the
vast starry sky.
St. Lucia, one of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles,
is located midway down the Eastern Caribbean chain, between
Martinique and St. Vincent, and north of Barbados. It is the sort
of island that visitors to the Caribbean dream abouta small, lush
tropical gem that is still relatively unknown. St. Lucia is only 27
miles long and 14 miles wide, with a shape that is said to resemble
either a mango or an avocado (depending on your taste). The
Atlantic Ocean kisses its eastern shore, while the beaches of the
west coast owe their beauty to the calm Caribbean Sea.
Its dramatic twin coastal peaks, the Pitons, soar 2,000 feet up
from the sea, sheltering magnificent rain forests where wild
orchids, giant ferns, and birds of paradise flourish..
Click on the stunning photograph of the beautiful Pigeon Island
and beach to view a promotion video from StLucianow.com
Wake to a symphony of bird song then explore the reef
Tropical weather, welcoming accommodation, and unexpected
adventures await all who travel to this paradise island.
For those planning a family getaway, you too can visit Saint
Lucia. Enjoy on-site water parks, kids' menus and evening
entertainment for everyone. Adventure seekers can surf and sail in
the pristine waters. ATV adventures and rainforest zip-lining are
family favourites. Relaxation isn't far off either with many
resorts offering kids' activities so parents can enjoy a cocktail,
or just a quiet hour together in the knowledge that the children
are looked after.
The waters surrounding St Lucia not only feature a carnival of
colourful coral reefs but also great marine life. Over 20 species
of whale and dolphin live and
property ideal for getting out and exploring. The next decision
to make is whether to stay in the cosmopolitan north, next to
golden-sand beaches, or base yourself down in the south, where
youll be surrounded by the islands most magical scenery.
Alternatively divide time between the two.
Saint Lucias beautiful plunging valleys, rising twin peaks and
98 miles of coastline beg to be explored, and you can do so at the
pace you prefer. Whether you take a scenic helicopter excursion,
sail along the west coast or canter on horseback riding along a
Indulge yourself alternative treatments
St Lucia has a history of offering rejuvenating and restorative
treatments. You can soak in the restored baths in the Diamond Falls
Botanical Gardens, and in bathing pools at the nearby Sulphur
Springs, or you can cake yourself in purifying mud the ultimate
natural spa treatment.
Whether you choose to fly direct, stop off on a cruise or just
pop over from one of the neighbouring islands you will find a warm
Saint Lucian welcome awaits.
You can fly to St Lucia from the U.K. with Virgin Atlantic,
British Airways or Iberia.
It is a mere 3.5 hours by plane from Miami, 4 hours from New
York, 5 from Toronto and 8 hours from London.
In some cases visas may be required check with your travel
All images courtesy of the St Lucia Tourist board
visit these waters. You can spot sperm, humpback and pilot
whales as well as spinners, spotted and bottleneck dolphins. This
is a great tour for the all the family to enjoy.
For more information, visit
Where to stay
The choices are endless. Saint Lucia offers a world-class array
of accommodation. Hide away in a candy-coloured cottage in the
grounds of a plantation estate, or be right next to the jammin
nightlife of Rodney Ba; book into a high-end hotel with A-list
levels of luxury, or stay with locals in a homely guest house.
Alternatively, spend your holiday at an all-inclusive resort or
base yourself in a more informal
Exotic Escapes The Marina can accommodate 40 yachts from 30ft to
The Marina Village, with its wide range of shops, boutiques,
French bakery, bank and supermarket is open year round.
For more information www.marigotmarina.com
Rodney Bay Marina
Considered one of the Caribbeans leading centres for yachting
and sport fishing, Rodney Bay Marina offers yachters 253 slips and
a 4.5 acre boatyard, as well as excellent accommodations for mega
yachts up to 280ft with drafts of up to 15ft. Rodney Bay Marina is
an official port of entry with immigration and customs offices. It
is a full service facility with 253 berths each with individual
meters for electricity and water. There are first-class restroom
facilities, a swimming pool and recreational area, as well as
restaurants, banks, a supermarket, car rental agencies, taxis and
boutiques. The dry dock facility accommodates up to 120 boats with
on-site workshops for wood, fiberglass, aluminium, stainless steel
For more details visit http://www.igy-rodneybay.com
When to Visit St. Lucia
St Lucia enjoys a moderate, warm climate throughout the
May and June is the best time to visit St. Lucia. These
late-spring months offer wonderful weather temperatures high 70s to
80s plus enviable room rates at the best hotels. Music lovers
visiting in early May specifically to attend the St. Lucia Jazz
& Arts Festival that's held on Pigeon Island National Park. The
island is flush with activity in the summer and late fall, but
there's a greater chance of hurricanes. The busiest and most
expensive time to vacation is from December to April.
December to April is the ideal time to visit temperature-wise
but is the busiest and most expensive time to vacation. Brace
yourself for some of the highest room rates in St. Lucia (as much
as $1,000 a night at some hotels) and the worst onslaught of
crowds. The island's generally breezy weather is also at its best,
with temperatures that range from the mid-70s to the mid-80s
April to early December if you're on a budget but remember, this
is a beach destination and June to early December in Lucia has high
humidity and heavy rainfall.
January to June is the best time for dry weather and
April to June is less crowded and relatively affordable.
July to November. You should have no trouble finding a great
deal to visit during one of these two months, as some popular spots
advertise rooms for less than $200 a night. Temperatures rest in
the mid-80s most days, with a greater chance of showers the closer
it gets to summer. You should book a few months early though, to
secure the best rates.
By Air Both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic fly direct to
Saint Lucia from London Gatwick. IBERIA? Thomas Cook airline flys
direct to Saint Lucia from Manchester.
Saint Lucia is just 8 hours flight time from London to Hewanorra
International Airport (UVF) in the South. The domestic airport,
George F.L. Charles (SLU), is situated in the north, near Castries
the capital and is used to island hop to neighbouring shores.
By Sea Saint Lucias main seaport is Castries, and many cruise
ships drop anchor at Pointe Seraphine and La Place Carenage, with
visitors enjoying two duty free shopping malls in the heart of the
There are inter-island ferries available from Castries. Express
Des Isles (www.express-des-iles.com) operates a modern high speed
catamaran service between Saint Lucia, Martinique, Dominica and
Guadeloupe. For more information, please contact Cox & Company
Ltd on 001 758 452 2211 or visit www.coxcoltd.com. Also visit
SLASPA (Saint Lucia Air & Sea Port Authority) for more
information on cruise and ferry schedules. www.slaspa.com.
Marigot Bay Marina
The Marina at Marigot Bay is the ideal mooring spot for visitors
sailing from the Grenadines, Tobago, Grenada and other southern
islands of the Caribbean. Marigot Bay provides an exclusive
berthing facility and full service marina for yachts of all
It is in the centre of Central America . Its the isthmus just 50
miles wide at the Canal that joins together North and South
America. Bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the
southeast, the Caribbean to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the
Panamas has a tropical climate, with fairly constant
temperatures throughout the year. The lowlands tend to be warmer
than the highlands, and the humidity is high year-round. The dry
season usually lasts from mid-December to mid-April, and the rainy
season lasting from mid-April to mid-December. Some areas of the
country such as notably Bocas del Toro have microclimates that vary
from traditional weather patterns.
Although not a large country, the various Panama regions offer
very different attractions.
This being the case, the tourism opportunities sights and sounds
is best understood on a regional basis.
Most international travellers arrive through Tocumen Airport in
Panama City. The capital and largest city, with nearly half of the
country's 3.9 million population.
One thing to mention for the traveller is that the local
currency Balboa is US dollar linked and because they dont print
their own paper currency the US dollar is legal tender in Panama.
So we recommend that you take US dollars with you as is tough to
exchange currencies, but ATMs are widely available to withdraw
Panama City is cosmopolitan and accessible, close to the Canal
Zone and other outdoor features along the central portion. It has a
Panama small, but perfectly formed!!
Panama? You may only know
it for its canal which is part of
a global trade route. Or
maybe you are aware of
Panama as a world banking
centre. But our guess is that
you dont think of it as a
energetic air compared to the more laid back and relaxed feel of
the rest of the country. Theres loads to see and do. . Click
through to Trip Advisor to find out more.
To the east lie the beautiful archipelago of Guna Yala and the
wild jungles of the Darin. Travel west from Panama City and youll
go through Central Panama, with scenery and animates which vary
from the breezy highlands to popular and stunning beaches.
The Cordillera Central mountain range runs through the western
half of the country and contains Panamas highest mountain, Volcn
Bar, a dormant volcano that stands close to 3,475 meters high.
Another mountain range extends through the eastern Caribbean
coast, from the Comarca de Guna Yala to the Colombian border. For
the naturalists among you the country has an impressive range of
flora and fauna that include 972 species of birds, 200 mammals, 200
reptile species, almost 200 amphibian species, and more than 10,000
species of plants.
A final place of interest in central Panama is Punta Chame, a
thin Pacific coast peninsula that famous within the windsurfing
Whether its beachside relaxation or a trek into the lush
highlands, central Panama provides visitors with a charming place
to spend their time abroad.
The Western Highlands start at the border with Costa Rica and
run east for along the Cordillera Central and Cordillera de
There are two national parks (Parque Nacional Volcn Bar and
Parque Internacional La Amistad), a dormant volcano (Volcn Bar),
and several picturesque mountain towns.
The western highlands have more virgin forest than any other
region in Panama, and are teeming with all kinds of plants and
One of the most popular destinations is Boquete. the town vies
with Bocas del Toro
Central Panamas mountain towns are equally lovely. El Valle, a
quaint little town set 600 meters above sea level, and 75 miles
(120 km) from Panama City, making it a convenient place to spend a
day or two whilst traveling west. Settled into the valley of an
extinct volcano, El Valle is surrounded by lush, towering hills
that offer wonderful hiking opportunities. Visitors to El Valle can
glide along zip lines, go on canopy tours, ride horses, and visit
waterfalls. El Valles Sunday market is busting with all sorts of
Ngbe-Bugl handicrafts, Kuna molas, and fresh fruits and vegetables
that visitors can purchase.
Santa F, the central regions other mountain town, is similar in
look and feel to El Valle, but much less touristy.
Like most of Panamas highlands, the climate here is much cooler
and the pace much slower. Its a great place to visit after the
as Panamas hottest destination. One look at this charming
mountain town and youll see why.
Boquete lies on the southeast side of Volcn Bar in a valley
shaped by green hills. This small town has long been known for its
coffee and oranges, as well as an annual flower fair that draws in
thousands of visitors every year. When visiting there is no
shortage of things to do. Adrenaline junkies can ride Panamas
longest zip line or go white-water rafting on the Ro Chiriqu. This
province is the countrys most productive agricultural region, and
there are several coffee plantations surrounding the town. These
plantations not only offer up deliciously fresh cups of coffee, but
also some fine bird watching opportunities in particular at Finca
The Azuero Peninsula is just north of central Panama along the
countrys Pacific coastline. Its eastern shores look onto the Golfo
de Panam, while its
western shores border the Golfo de Chiriqu. The eastern part of
the peninsula is the quiet developed side and it is in this portion
of the peninsula that most visitors will likely spend their
Towns in the Azuero Peninsula are unlike others in Panama.
Red-tile roofs and ornate ironwork decorate Spanish-colonial
houses, in stately streets that give way to central plazas lined
with shady trees.
Chitr and Las Tablas are the largest of the towns in the region.
Chitr is located close to the ruins of an 11,000-year-old
historical site. The town has an interesting history of its own,
which can be glimpsed in its churches, museum, and plazas. Nearby,
the tiny town of Parita provides visitors with a wonderful look
into Panamas Spanish-colonial past.
Most Azuero towns explode with activity during the annual
Carnaval celebrations, an all-out party that occurs during the four
days preceding Lent. Las Tablas Carnival complete with dancing
clubs, elaborate floats, and drinking at every hour of the day is
Last but far from least are Isla Contadora which means the
island counter or bookkeeper in Spanish, and is supposed to be the
island where the conquistadors took stock of their inventory before
they returned to Spain.
Because of its close proximity to Panama City, Isla Contadora is
a popular destination for
Panamas wealthiest families, and today has an abundance of
spectacular mansions built along its sandy shores. Transport is
largely limited to golf-carts, four wheelers, scooters and
bicycles, all of which can be rented for the day. The island is
only 0.5 of a square mile in size, so it's easy to get
There are eleven exquisite beaches on the island. The sea is
full of intact and healthy coral reefs which can be found directly
offshore from Playa
Galen and Playa Larga. One of the nicest beaches is Playa
Cacique, a secluded, lovely stretch of pure white sand that is
rarely visited. For a truly private beach experience it is also
possible to take a boat to one of the archipelagos uninhabited
Isla Contadora boasts a small airport, from where flights to
Panama City take about 20 minutes. For a more economical option,
the island can be reached via a scenic, albeit bumpy, two-hour boat
extraordinary architecture, boutique shops, malls, and key
attractions including the Chaucer-themed Canterbury Tales; Norman
Canterbury Castle; Canterbury Roman Museum; treasure-filled
Canterbury Heritage Museum; the home of Rupert the Bear creator
Mary Tourtel and the recently refurbished Beaney House of Art and
Knowledge. For a more leisurely experience explore Canterburys
hidden gems by boat with the award winning Canterbury Historic
Canterbury's boldly modern Marlowe Theatre, built on the river
bank is emerging as one of the south easts top theatres. It's just
one of the great things to do in Canterbury.
Hotels in Canterbury include the fabulous Abode, the
superbly-sited Cathedral Lodge and the Holiday Inn Express.
Feeling hungry? Try fine dining at Michael Caines Abode, or the
Goods Shed; a restaurant-meets-permanent Farmers' Market that flies
the flag for seasonal, local food.
If you were considering trip to Africa then think again. You can
encounter big cats, elephants, rhinos, and cheeky monkeys at the
Howletts Wild Animal Park . At nearby Goodnestone Park Gardens
discover the place where Jane Austen penned parts of Pride and
Prejudice in 1796.
Less than a 7-mile cycle away on Canterbury's coast, you can
find the justly famous Whitstable. This charming port dubbed the
Pearl of Kent because of its oysters, which still remain an
intrinsic part of this sea town's character and are celebrated
every July at
Kent is an easy place to get to with great road and rail links.
London is under an hour away with Southeastern's high speed links,
which makes Kent an ideal weekend break or day trip.
The beautiful Kent countryside is dotted with real gems like
Canterbury, Herne Bay & Whitstable. The stunning coastline is
filled with activities and fun, all connected and within easy reach
of one another. Kents excellent road network and efficient local
transport systems, as well as hundreds of miles of way-marked
cycling and walking routes, ensures everyone is catered for once
Visit Canterbury and discover why it's the jewel in Kent's
crown. Buzzing with a youthful vibe thanks to the universities,
Canterbury also excels at the historic, with parts of the
magnificent Canterbury Cathedral dating back to the 11th century.
Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered there in 1170, and is one of
medieval Europe's great places of pilgrimage and knowledge whilst
eighteenth-century Whitstable Castle has spectacular grounds.
Along with the Cathedral, nearby St Augustine's Abbey and St
Martin's Church form a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walking trails
and guided tours wind past
Theres lots to see and do in Kent, the Garden of England
revealed when the tide is low. With its sense of intimacy and
rich character Whitstable has secured a favoured spot in the hearts
and minds of all who visit the town.
You can roam one of England's largest ancient woodlands at The
Blean or cycle the nostalgia-rich Crab and Winkle Way, a tranquil 7
mile route linking Whitstable with Canterbury.
Just 2 miles east, a few surprises await you at characterful
Herne Bay. A hit with visitors since the Victorian era, with a
legacy that still lingers in the bandstand, fragrant seafront
gardens. Two miles of splendid seafront offer seaside favourites in
the shape of candy floss, ice cream parlours, cafs, friendly pubs
and fish and chip bars.
Still further eastwards, you will find the Reculver Towers
Tourist Information Centre, Beaney Art Museum and Library, 18
High Street, Canterbury CT1 2RA
Tel: 01227 862162 Email:
Discover more about Canterbury at www.canterbury.co.uk
For more information visit: www.visitkent.co.uk
the Oyster Festival. Oysters and other delicacies from the sea
can be enjoyed at the local restaurants and pubs or taken home from
the fresh fish market at the harbour.
Today it has a funky, bohemian charm, with its independent craft
and gift shops, bustling seafood eateries, picturesque lanes,
delis, artisanal bakeries, boutique shops and art galleries. When
you feel the need of refreshments you will be spoilt for choice
with a wonderful array of cafes, restaurants and pubs. Soak up the
atmosphere in a welcoming pub. Whitstable has one of only a very
few pubs in the country on the beach. The Old Neptune sits right on
the shingle beach. Whitstable is like no other town by the sea. Its
traditional charms, strong arts culture and rich maritime history
complement Whitstable's modern appeal.
Whether you take the main route through the town or enjoy
haphazard progress through quiet lanes and alleyways with eccentric
names such as Squeeze Gut Alley, you'll end up at the working
harbour. Constructed in 1831 the harbour has an interesting history
including diving, shipbuilding and fishing.
Along the coast at Tankerton, grassy slopes dip to meet the sea
throwing out an invitation to visitors and locals to walk along the
promenade and take in some bracing sea air. There's a chance too to
get unsurpassed views of Whitstable's skyline from The Street, a
wide ridge of shingle stretching out to sea, but only
Click on the photo to view the Whitstable video
Roman Fort clinging to the sandstone cliffs.
Great beaches lined with brightly coloured beach huts reflect
the great character of this seaside town. The seafront has some
interesting Victorian architecture and in the spring and summer
months the town's beauty is enhanced by the seafront gardens,
bringing floral colour to visitors. In recent years, the bandstand
has become a focal point for summer concerts
the peak Summer season or for newly launched productions,
bearing in mind that a quarter of all the visitors coming to
London, both domestic and international, will be going to see a
show during their stay.
Websites like www.theatrepeople.com offer discounted seat to all
London shows and also have a range of theatre and meal or theatre
and hotel deals which will save you a great deal for the add-ons.
In fact you can pretty well have a meal before the show and a
ticket for about the same price as you would have paid at the box
office on the day.
If you are just looking for a show for that night head down to
Leicester Square and the TKTS booth which is operated by the
Society of London Theatre and also has discounted tickets up to
Theres no business like show business as far tourism to London
When Irving Berlin first told us that there was indeed no
business like show business back in the early 1950s members of the
Buffalo Bill Wild West Show were singing their hearts in in an
effort to get Annie Oakley to join the show.
Well little has changed, except that these days it is
holidaymakers from all over the world who are joining the show and
to do so they are buying some 14 million-odd tickets worth nearly
530 million. Talk about Wild West End shows!
One of the reasons for the huge international popularity of
Londons theatre is the steady stream of all-dancing all-singing
musicals which naturally dont put a strain any holidaymakers
English and currently account for just over half all London theatre
land visits and over 60 per cent of revenue.
There are the all-time favourites such as Wicked, Mamma Mia,
Lion King, and Les Miserables, juke box musicals like Jersey Boys
which reprises the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons,
Beautiful, the Carole King musical and new shows that keep the
audiences coming back to the capital like Kinky Boots, Motown the
Musicaland Funny Girl starring Sheridan Smith which premiers in
And if you want to get the seats youd like, for the show you
really want to see it is highly advisable to book ahead,
So head for the wild open spaces of Charing Cross Road and
Shaftesbury Avenue in the heart of Theatreland and let them show
you the business!
The theatre beckons
The encore of Kinky boots
Katie Brayben as Carol King
made it into the 2015 Guinness Book of World Records as the
worlds shortest funicular!
Bournemouth is now known worldwide for its programme of free
festivals and events all year round.
The Wheels Festival In spring, Bournemouth Wheels Festival roars
into action with displays and demonstrations featuring monster
trucks, supercars and stunt bikes. Over a quarter of a million
people flocked to Bournemouth Wheels Festival this year as the high
energy motorsport and freewheel action event the biggest of its
kind in the UK returned to the resort for a second year, with a
thrilling cliff top display from one of the countrys most renowned
Attracting an estimated 310,000 people over three days of
weather extremes, the second Bournemouth Wheels Festival featured
non-stop, high speed action along the Demonstration Straight,
monster truck metal crushing, gravity defying quad bike jumps and
breath taking BMX and skateboard tricks. There was also a seemingly
impossible stunt along East Overcliff Drive on the biggest day,
dubbed Super Saturday.
August welcomes the internationally-renowned annual Bournemouth
Air Festival, when the skies come alive with four days of day and
night air displays as well as on-the-ground entertainment.
Voted the UKs best coastal resort in the 2014 British Travel
Awards, Bournemouth is now making a significant investment of over
100m in seafront and tourism related developments to strengthen its
appeal for future seasons.
With seven miles of golden sands and frequently warmer than
average temperatures, the vibrant, cosmopolitan town of Bournemouth
has it all. As well as a vast array of shops, restaurants,
cliff-top hotels, bed and breakfast accommodation, the UKs premier
destination boasts historic gardens, an award-winning seafront and
a buzzing nightlife.
Bournemouths excellent transport links, including an airport and
trains direct from London Waterloo, make it the perfect base for
exploring the history, heritage and picture-perfect scenery of
Surrounded by rolling countryside, Bournemouth also enjoys 2,000
acres of parks and gardens located in the centre of the resort. The
Lower, Central and Upper Gardens are Grade II listed and date back
to the Victorian era.
Meanwhile, Bournemouth seafront features four Blue Flag beaches,
two iconic piers and almost 2,000 beach huts, as well as the
resorts distinctive land trains and cliff lifts. The Fishermans
Walk Cliff Lift has
A busy 2016 ahead for Bournemouth visitors
world-renowned Red Arrows stole the show as usual performing on
all four days, 2015 also saw the welcome return of the Matadors
Display Team and Patrouille Reva. The keenly awaited Vulcan XH558
gave two star turns in her spectacular final farewell to mixed
emotions from South Coast fans on both Saturday and Sunday.
Bournemouths excellent transport links, including an airport and
trains direct from London Waterloo, make it the perfect base for
exploring the history, heritage and picture-perfect scenery of
Bournemouths excellent transport links, including an airport and
trains direct from London Waterloo, make it the perfect base for
exploring the history, heritage and picture-perfect scenery of
To top off the season, Bournemouth Arts by the Sea
Festival takes place in October, showcasing cultural delights
from the world of music, film, dance, arts and performance.
Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival is a fantastic fusion of
dance, music, poetry, cinema, theatre, art, literature, family and
outdoor events taking place at venues, both familiar and unusual
across the UKs leading resort.
Arts Bournemouth works all year round with local artists, arts
and educational organisations and national arts agencies to bring
together the annual festival. Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival
is jointly funded by the Arts Council and Bournemouth Borough
While in Bournemouth, holidaymakers and residents alike have a
wide range of attractions on their doorstep.
Now a well established world-class venue, the Bournemouth
International Centre (BIC) hosts pop concerts, conferences and
exhibitions throughout the year, while the Pavilion Theatre hosts
West End shows, dance performances and pantomimes.
There is also plenty to keep outdoorsy types amused from
paddle-boarding and sea kayaking at the UKs first Coastal Activity
Park to more leisurely pursuits on the areas scenic golf courses
and lush bowling greens.
A sublime mix of evocative Victorian history alongside modern
living, Bournemouth is a bustling yet picturesque destination with
a wealth of accommodation and activities to suit all tastes and
With a record-breaking 1300 boats in the bay on Saturday alone
and total numbers topping 3/4 million, the award-winning
Bournemouth Air Festival, supported by Kier, enjoyed its eighth
year (20-23 August) in spite of weather extremes welcoming new
displays from the MiG 15 and Hawk T2 Role Demo Team as well as an
emotional farewell from festival favourite, the Vulcan against a
backdrop of a flotilla of Royal Navy ships.
Two glorious days on Friday and Saturday and unexpectedly clear
skies on Sunday attracted wide eyed visitors to the UKs largest
free festival, to enjoy displays from the Battle of Britain
Memorial Flight, Chinook, Tutor, Black Cats, Twister Duo, Tigers
Parachute Display Team, Eurofighter Typhoon, B-17 Flying Fortress,
Blades Aerobatic Display Team and Sea Vixen. While the
Wheels Festival: rally car demo straight
Seven miles of award-winning beaches! Nestled beneath a
magnificent cliff line, the bay enjoys its own micro-climate, some
of the warmest sea temperatures in the UK and stunning views of the
Isle of Wight and the Purbecks. Whatever you want from a day at the
beach, youll find it all here.
Whether its ambling along taking in the beautiful scenery, a
sunset cycle along the promenade or an off-road inland adventure
Bournemouth is a brilliant place for fun on two wheels. Do you love
rough and exhilarating downhill rides? Or speed-racing on roads
with the pals? Or simply enjoying flat and safe cycling with the
family and maybe teach your youngest how to ride? Bournemouth has
all the options for every age and ability. From scenic flats to
strenuous hill rides, Bournemouth and the surrounding areas are a
magnet for cyclists. There are also several bike hire options if
you havent got your own, making life easy. Bike hire and cycling is
great for groups and can easily be catered for if organised in
If youre after an activity that is suitable for the whole
family, full of inspiration that benefits both mind and body, then
these walks in and around Bournemouth in Dorset are ideal. And
whats more, they dont cost a penny.
Bournemouth has an amazing collection of activities and
attractions for all ages. Dorset has plenty of history, heritage
and culture, including historic castles, fantastic art collections,
stately homes and museums displaying everything from classic
motors to terracotta warriors. Learn even more about Dorsets
history and visit one of the many churches, chapels or castles
around the local area.
In the event that you might need a break from lazing on the
beach or splashing in the sea, then why not release your inner
shopaholic and explore Bournemouths fabulous selection of shopping?
Independent boutiques, designer brands and your high street
favourites all come together in a celebrated assortment for the
consummate consumer. For shipshape shops, bold brands and quirky
curiosities come to Bournemouth and shop til you drop!
Exploring Beyond Bournemouth
Explore beyond Bournemouth and discover beautiful countryside
and picturesque villages steeped in history and just waiting to be
discovered. Whether you venture north, east or west of Bournemouth,
youll be sure to find something to delight you.
For more information visit: www.bournemouth.co.uk
Festival and Event Dates for 2016:
Bournemouth Bay Run - 3rd April
Thundercat Racing - 23rd-24th April
Wheels Festival - 3rd-5th June
Bournemouth Food & Drink Festival 17th-25th June
Bourne Free - 8th-10th July
Pier to Pier Swim - 10th July
Bournemouth Beach Soccer 28th-31st July
Air Festival 18th-21st August
Bournemouth Marathon - 1st-2nd October
How to get there
Bournemouths excellent transport links, including an airport and
trains direct from London Waterloo, make it the perfect base for
exploring the history, heritage and picture-perfect scenery of
Where to stay
Bournemouth has a vast array of accommodation from 4 star hotels
to cosy B / Bs, Holiday Parks and camping to self catering
accommodation, Bournemouth has it all. For more information visit:
What to do and Where to Go
Bournemouth offers 2,000 acres of glorious gardens and parks
just waiting to be explored all year round.
Costa del Sol, with breath taking views of the mountainous
countryside, here you can find many authentic restaurants to choose
from, serving the finest cuts of meat.
If you are keen to immerse yourself in some culture during your
stay, why not visit the Marbella old town, where you can wander the
cobbled streets on a balmy summer evening and enjoy a drink at the
famous Plaza de Naranjos a beautiful setting, filled with colourful
orange trees. The labyrinth of tiny streets and alleys that
surround Orange Square will reveal further tiny shops selling all
forms of trinkets, fashion and souvenirs alongside the old
traditional town houses, courtyards and churches.
The city of Malaga is 40 minutes away from Marbella and often
overlooked as merely the airport gateway to the Costa del Sol. But
Malaga has serious art credentials, the Picasso (the artist was
born here), Carmen Thyssen and Contemporary Art (CAC)
museums are world-class, and quirky stuff such as CAC director
Fernando Frances's SoHo. This once uninspiring neighbourhood turned
into a stage for street art a new cool, and now Malagas artistic
credentials has risen a notch or two with the opening of the
Pompidou Centre. It's an immense glass cube on the sleek dockside,
and billed as a cultural laboratory. It will share collections with
Paris (modern greats such as Kahlo, Bacon, Ernst, Magritte),
combined with one-offs including a Dadaist cinema exhibition. Then
take a stroll around the Muelle Uno the recently built dock in the
Malaga port which boasts a wide selection of excellent restaurants
A beautiful town nestled on the Costa del Sol, Marbella is a top
destination for holiday makers and homeowners from all over the
world. Since the 1970s, Marbella has become famous as a playground
for the rich and famous. Yet underneath the glamorous facade, there
is much more to discover. Set in the foothills of the Sierra
Blanca, Marbella has a diverse cosmopolitan atmosphere- with expat
communities of several different nationalities. The area exudes
charm, tradition and elegance with sandy beaches, excellent
climate, a multitude of leisure facilities, including some of the
best golf courses in Europe; Michelin star restaurants, world-class
nightlife and International luxury shopping brands, all attract
visitors year round.
Food is as integral to Spain as its rich history with each
region home to its own unique flavours and cuisine, Andalucia is no
exception. In Marbella and the surrounding areas the Andalusian
cuisine which is twofold, coastal and rural, is represented with
every turn you make.
There is something for everyone, as traditional tapas bars,
authentic fish restaurants, gourmet delis, Michelin star
restaurants and of course the chirinquitos all offer their
delights. The village of Benahavis, a few minutes drive from the
coast, is known as the dining room of the
Marbella more than just Glitz and Glamour
Plaza de Naranjos in Marbella old town
The Costa del Sol is also known as the Costa del Golf, for a
very good reason. There are over 90 golf courses on the Costa del
Sol, sixty of which are situated within close proximity of
Marbella, and a number of courses have been ranked in the top ten
golf courses in Europe. The highly rated Valderrama course can be
found near Sotogrande, which is a huge attraction for its close
proximity to the famed polo grounds which can be found in the small
port town of Sotogrande.
Famed for its cosmopolitan elegance, Marbella also offers
stunning scenery, surrounded by the impressive Sierra Blanca
mountain range, including La Concha. A day spent climbing La
Concha, a challenging hike, is rewarded by panoramic views from the
summit. Only minutes
from the coast the white villages such as Mijas, Caseres and
Benhavis are nestled in the hills, venture out for the day to get a
feeling of the Andalucian life.
Horseback riding is also a popular activity amongst visitors and
most reputable guides will take you on a lengthy horse lengthy
horse trek through both mountains and beach. For those who are
visiting with family, the Costa del Sol offers a great choice of
indoor and outdoor activities; the beaches offer all types water
sports from aqua parks on the sea to jet ski; theme parks such as
the Bioparc zoo, Sea World, Selwo Safari park, aqua parks and
Amazonia tree top climbing are all easily accessible.
Protected by the impressive Sierra Blanca mountain range, the
winters are mild and the summer months reach 32-35 degrees, it is
no surprise that Marbella is also a desirable location for a
holiday home investment. Living in this sun soaked Mediterranean
haven, is considered by most as living their dream and with a
thriving expat scene and a steadily recovering property market, all
of these factors contribute to Marbella being one of the top travel
destinations in Europe.
Along the coast in the opposite direction from Marbella is the
elegant Puerto Banus with its reputation as being one of the key
destinations for the jet set lifestyle, due to the rows of super
yachts that can be found lining the marina, surrounded by the first
line of international restaurants and upmarket bars, such as Pangea
and the Cavalli club. You will also find all of the luxury
international brands in Puerto Banus, as well as some top end local
boutiques. On a Saturday morning, the bullring, which sits just
above the port, is the ideal place to go to pick up a bargain. With
vendors selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables, to
Moroccan style furniture and leather goods, it is well worth a
visit during the quieter, low season months.
Many thanks to Julie Bett, MD of Fab Property Spain SL. for her
contribution. Fab Property are experts in the Costa Del Sol
property sector :
Tel: 0034 952042028 Email: [email protected] Web:
An evening in Puerto Banus
Top Floor Apartment New Golden Mile 460,000 This huge 3 bed 3
bath corner duplex apartment in Park Beach is just 100m from
Villacana which has restaurants, beach bars, mini market and one of
the best pony riding schools on this coast. It would make a perfect
holiday home or permanent residence. It is also within a minutes
walk to one of the best beaches, Heaven Beach.
Detached Villa Nueva Andaluca 2,750,000 Situated in the
prestigious area of Nueva Andaluca in a totally private gated
community of just 12 Villas, this property has been built to the
highest of standards throughout with superb attention to detail.
Just minutes from three of the finest Golf Courses, Los Naranjos,
Las Brisas and Aloha Golf and less than a 10 minute drive to
Marbella and Puerto Banus, this Villa would offer the discerning
owner luxury living at an exceptional level.
Detached Villa The Golden Mile 5,000,000 Stunning Villa, totally
redesigned and refurbished in 2013 to very High Standards. Located
at Santa Margarita inside the exclusive Marbella Club Hotel grounds
behind the MC Caf on the Golden Mile. Commanding a rental income of
2000+ per night, this property is an ideal rental investment, as
well as a luxury family residence enjoying a wealth of five star
amenities close to the beach in Marbella's most prestigious and
Detached Villa Benahavs 795,000 This beautiful Villa nestled in
a commanding position, offering breath taking panoramic views from
all of its rooms, would make an idyllic family home. Within a 5
minute walk to the pretty white village of Benahavis, the current
owners have cleverly mixed rustic with modern decor and the Villa
oozes charm and sophistication throughout.
THE MARBELLA PROPERTY EXPERTS
With over 20 years of experience at Fab Property we have gained
expert knowledge in Real Estate in many areas of the Costa del Sol.
Working with developers and other agencies enables us to find your
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Fab Property Spain SL
Elviria, Marbella Tel: 0034 952042028 Email : [email protected]
Adagio Plus to the 2016 programme - offering "more challenging
walking opportunities". From what I gather, it is a way of
combining the occasional morning on the hoof with some afternoon
sightseeing - which doesn't seem to be too taxing. Just as long as
they don't get carried away....
It is quite remarkable how well one can now eat in Croatia, and
for that matter in other parts of former Yugoslavia. Those of us
old enough to remember when it was not "former" will know all too
well how limited in scope
and style its cuisine used to be. Nowadays, in restaurants
throughout Istria, you can discuss with the waiter the merits of
the various olive oils on offer before going on to discuss the wine
I'm pleased to see that the ancient town of Rovinj features in
this holiday. I think it is a gem. It still shows evidence
(specifically carvings of the winged lion of St. Mark) of its link
with the Venetian empire, but before the Venetians, there was
Illyria, the Roman and the Byzantine eras.
What with a trip to Colorado, and a short break over Christmas,
still to come, I shouldn't yet be thinking about next year's
holidays. But I have been tempted to look ahead to next spring and
early summer, because of a few of the new holidays offered by one
of my favourite travel brands - Adagio.
You'll recall I have waxed lyrical about these holidays in the
past, mainly because I was there at Adagio's birth, and think the
concept of gentler holidays for folk who used to take very active
holidays is an excellent one.
It comes to all of us as the years take their toll - the
stiffening of the joints, the thickening of the waist and the
realisation that, though the spirit is more than willing to tackle
the roughest of rambling trails, the flesh is weaker.
The ideal solution is to take holidays with folk with whom we
can share our memories, knowing that those memories are likely to
be mutual. And also knowing that the holidays will enable us to
take a little gentle exercise - if only to prove that we can still
In this context, I was a little concerned to see they've
introduced something called
Slow Down You Move Too Fast Ardent globetrotter, John
former presenter of TVs Wish You Were Here programme is inspired
by Paul Simons sentiment of taking life a little easier by ambling
rather than rambling.
Special Features Switzerland is featured, too. One holiday to
Zermatt and the Matterhorn features the cable cars and alpine
railways of the region, which are used to carry you to fine walking
country. Another deal, based on Lake Lucerne, has you using the
paddle steamers, cable cars, ferries and cog wheel railways to
access the widest of walking choices.
But, as I said at the start, the walking has to be regarded as
the cherry on the cake with these holidays, aimed as they are at
people who have chosen to take holidays, and life, at a slower
AND HOT NEWS whilst writing this piece is that Adagio has teamed
up with Cruise & Maritime to offer a fabulous selection of
river cruises including the Blue Danube, Romance of The Rhine and
Highlights of The Rhine and Moselle.
Price from 1,375 per person for Romance of The Rhine a 7 night
aboard Bellejour embracing Hollands bulb fields; Cologne and a
visit to Siebergbirge; Koblenz; Heidelberg; Kehl and Strasbourg and
Breisach, the gateway to the Black Forest. Departs 30 April
To contact Adagio go to:
or why not call them on:
Put add here
I can think of no nicer prospect than a morning stroll in
Rovinj, taking in that history and admiring the town's old
buildings, with the prospect of a "slow food" lunch to come. A
mouth-watering holiday this - why, there's even a hint of truffle
hunting in Motovun.
France, Portugal and the Azores are also in this latest
programme, along with holidays to Estonia and Latvia as well as the
island of Jersey.
A winning mixture of comfortable hotels, leisurely (and, of
course, optional) walking, the pleasant company of like-minded
folk, and some first class food and wine should make the 2016
Adagio programme as popular as those that have gone before.
Europes most westerly and sunniest capital. It's a compact and
intimate city, ideal for a short city break or a longer romantic
stay, with a lively caf culture and a nightlife. It has world-class
restaurants, excelling in seafood, its reputation for style and
long pedigree in art and culture.
Another real bonus is that is officially Western Europe's least
Portugals first city remains high on every discerning
weekend-breakers hit-list. In this guide to their capital, your
Getaway team have discovered the major attractions in Lisbon and
also offer their insiders tips on the essential things to do in the
city that many visitors (and many non-resident guides) miss.
Explore our guide to Lisbons best museums and attractions,
restaurants and cafs, and clubs, bars and live music along with the
best shopping and some great hotels and immerse yourself in their
Bafflingly, Lisbon didnt take off as a tourist destination until
after its World Expo in 1998. Hard to understand, as its Europe's
second oldest capital after Athens predating Rome and London by
hundreds of years.
Its glorious past can be felt in every street, just turn a
corner and youre face to face with a relic of its role as a
big-hitting maritime power. This is a history reflected in its name
Lisbon comes from Allis Ubbo, Phoenician for safe harbour.
Recharge the batteries with a short break in Lisbon Home to some
half a million residents, Portugals capital is built over a number
of hills that provides stunning city vistas. The city is split into
neighbourhoods called bairros. While some are more lively than
others, each has its own charm, from the oldest Alfama, to Cais do
Sodr, fast emerging as the hippest. Despite the citys history and
its network of charming time-warp, vintage yellow trams Lisbon has
a distinctly modern edge.
Street art is huge in the capital. Look up from time to time and
youll see the work of famous scrawlers adorning abandoned
buildings, including famous Brazilian twins Os Gmeos. And
Museums and attractions
much more to modern Lisbon, from its updated take on traditional
dining establishments (like the newly revamped Mercado de Ribeira)
to its exciting cultural spaces and its white-hot nightlife and
clubbing scene. Its a city ripe for discovery.
Central Lisbon is relatively compact, and traffic can be awful,
so its best to explore on
Conveniently Close Its easy to while away a whole afternoon in
some of the citys most charming and colourful bairros. The Chiado
is one of the chicest, and the perfect place for a caf crawl. Try
some of the black stuff at the legendary Caf A Brasiliera or
To get a real taste for the city take a whistle stop tour of the
capital, hop on the No.28 tram, to see some of the citys most
For those that need a bit of retail therapy and are looking for
something special make a beeline to the following districts
Firstly there is Principe Real This has become the most
interesting shopping locations, this is a single long road called
Rua Dom Pedro V which then becomes Rua da Escola Politcnica. Here
you will find galleries, independent boutiques and design shops for
the city's hippest crowds, as well as the beautiful shopping
gallery located in a real 1800 palace calledEmbaixada.
Then there is Avenida Da Liberdade for those wanting to flexi
the plastic!! this is like the local Champs-Elyses, an elegant
tree-lined boulevard that's home to the major luxury brands
including Louis Vuitton, Prada and Gucci.
But if you are looking for a break from the sights and sounds of
the city why not take the opportunity to get down to the beach or
should we say beaches!!
It's the only European capital facing the sea, just minutes from
the sand, and with a
foot. Getan idea of its layout from the top of the Aqueduto das
guas Livres the citys majestic aqueduct, erected in the 18th
century under King John V. Go in the morning or late afternoon to
escape the crowds and get an unrivalled view of Monsanto forest and
the citys sprawl.
A trip to the capital should take in the Torre de Belm, a UNESCO
world heritage site and one of Portugals most famous monuments. The
Gothic tower was built to guard the entrance to the harbour and has
some fine examples of Portuguese stonework dating from the
Convento do Carmo had its roof destroyed in the infamous 1755
earthquake, and its open-air nave is a unique sight. Unlucky Igreja
da So Domingos was a victim of the quake and several other
catastrophes besides its flame-licked interior (following a fire in
1959) gives it a cave-like feel. For more history, the Museu
Calouste Gulbenkians world-class collection of Islamic and Oriental
art is not to be missed and its Centro de Arte Moderna opposite is
well worth a trip for its impressive haul of Portuguese works from
the last century.
More of contemporary Lisbon is to be found wandering around the
striking concrete shell of MUDE. The Museu de Design e da Moda, to
give it its full name, brings together over 2,000 pieces of haute
couture and innovative design in the minimalist interior of a
gutted bank building.
beautiful coastline nearby, so close the locals not only go at
the weekend but also for just an hour or two to catch those
If you head west out of the city you will find the resort towns
of Cascais and Estoril, reached by train from Cais do Sodr in the
centre of Lisbon. You also have the option of going south down to
the Caparica coast, but no matter where you decide on you'll always
find plenty of sand.
One thing to remember is that you will find the Atlantic cooler
than that of the Mediterranean, with water temperatures at around
15 to 20C degrees so longs swims are normally left for the hot
In closing Lisbon is exceptional short break or a longer stay
destination we would thoroughly recommend.
Europes most westerly capital has world-class restaurants,
excelling in seafood, its
Europe If you hate the idea of a long haul flight, spending
hours on an aircraft trying to entertain and placate unhappy
youngsters whilst trying to ignore the withering looks from fellow
passengers who are trying to enjoy a snooze, read, or watch a movie
in comfort, then look no further than a short and convenient hop
Europe delivers endless possibilities for luxury family
holidays, with lots of exclusive
five star hotels and resorts now offering top class kids
facilities and childcare.
There are huge choices of hotels that have onsite crche
facilities, so travelling with a baby is easier than ever.
Mark Warner and Neilson holidays have long been offering the
ultimate family holiday experience, with free , kids clubs and lots
of fun activities included, from windsurf school to tennis academy.
They also both have crche at an extra charge, where UK qualified
Family holidays for the more discerning traveller
Having children doesnt mean that you have to abandon the type of
luxury you may have become accustomed to before becoming parents.
You can combine the luxury you deserve with the knowledge and
reassurance that the children are also catered for. More and more
luxury hotels are now family friendly allowing you to luxuriate in
comfort whilst the children are safe having fun and adventure.
So where are these gems hiding?
look after your little ones. Not generally known as luxury
holiday providers, they do each have a five star option, the Mark
Warner Levante beach in Rhodes and the Neilson Andriake in Turkey,
are both set in stunning beachfront locations with exceptional
facilities and service.
Two more luxurious hotels that welcome families and have top
class childcare and facilities, along with exclusive service and
luxury, are the Sani beach in Greece and the Forte Village in
Sardinia. Both have excellent
Family Holidays Including private butlers who will tend to your
Sainte Foy is the French Alps best kept secret (until now) with
some of the best off piste skiing in Europe, combined with
exclusive luxury chalet accommodations and exceptional childcare
options for all ages. This is a small boutique style resort that
will appeal to skiers who love uncrowded slopes, no queues and lots
Caribbean For those who can cope with longer flights with
children, how about the Caribbean. A popular winter sun holiday
destination, with warm tropical weather all year round, the
Caribbean has some excellent family holiday options. There are
direct flights from UK airports into a number of Caribbean islands
with flight times around nine hours. reputations for offering
World class facilities and a five star service for the most
discerning of families and the Sani Beach was voted the second best
family hotel in Europe in this years Tripadvisor Travellers choice
If you love to hit the slopes each winter then you will love
Club Meds Valmorel resort which has arguably the most luxurious
family friendly ski resort in the World. There is a crche for
babies from 4 months of age and kids clubs for older children. The
exclusive Lodge is the five star area of the resort with 25
spacious family suites and enhanced levels of service
The best family hotels are undoubtedly Beaches Resorts. Part of
the luxury Sandals group, these resorts offer the ultimate in
family all inclusive luxury. With two resorts in Jamaica and one in
Turks and Caicos, all set on pristine white sand beaches caressed
by crystal clear waters. Everything is included in the price, so
enjoy gourmet dining and premium drinks, as well as a whole host of
kids activities and kids clubs and crche taking new born babies.
Each resort has Sesame Street themed kids activities and exciting
water parks. While your little ones are being looked after and
having fun, you can enjoy the full service spa, drinks at the pool
bar or any of the free activities such as scuba diving, tennis or
golf. Its worth noting that in the recent Tripadvisor Travellers
Kids love the Sesame Street theme at Beaches Turks &
Club Med Albion Villas is one of the islands premier resorts
with all the fantastic facilities and all inclusive experience you
would expect from Club Med along with a choice of two, three and
four bedroom luxurious villas, set within lush tropical gardens
right next to the beautiful beach and a short walk to the well run
kids clubs. Enjoy exceptional levels of service including your own
butler and personal chef.
Beachcomber hotels have a range of luxury resorts in island and
have kids clubs in all stunning locations around
awards, Beaches Negril was voted the number one Family resort in
the Caribbean. Turks & Caicos also scooped up the Worlds best
island award and also the Worlds best beach, at Grace Bay. Beaches
Resorts also won the award for the Worlds leading Family All
Inclusive company at the recent World Travel Awards.
There are a few other really luxurious hotels that have great
facilities for kids. One that deserves a mention is Carlisle Bay in
Antigua where you can enjoy luxury and style with a laid back feel.
In Mexico, the Cub Med Cancuns Five Trident luxury space has
luxurious suites, increased levels of service in a more intimate,
private area away from the main resort but within reach of the
facilities and kids clubs of the main Club Med resort.
Mauritius is one of the best destinations in the World to
combine unrivalled luxury hotels with family facilities. There is a
wide range of luxury resorts who have added kids clubs and family
facilities and accommodation recently. Mauritius is a true paradise
island with warm tropical weather, stunning scenery and beaches to
die for. Its also a great long haul destination with direct flights
from the UK and the option to make a stopover in Dubai.
the of them. The flagship resort is World famous Royal Palm
hotel which is a leading hotel of the World and has 69 intimate
suites set on an idyllic beach. The hotel is renowned for its
luxury and service, where staff outnumber the guests three to
Beachcomber also boast a private island resort in the
Seychelles. After a ten minute speedboat ride from the airport you
are transported to a tropical paradise where the hotel is the only
one on the island and where luxurious villas sit on white sand
The sumptuous private villas at Club Med's Albion Villas
Stay on Sainte Anne private island in the Seychelles
Family Holidays Far East Last but not least for long haul
destinations is the Far East.
Thailand is just one of the destinations that has become a firm
favourite in recent years with British tourists and with a warm
tropical climate, stunning beaches and the famous Thai hospitality
its not hard to see why. Families travelling to Thailand, looking
for the most family friendly hotels should head to Phuket. This
beautiful island has amazing beaches, lots to see and do and the
best family luxury hotel choice in Thailand.
Relax and unwind at Club Med Phuket's Zen pool
Centara Grand Resort is set in a stunning location on the white
sands of Karon beach
Imagine a resort set in a tropical paradise, set on the shores
of emerald lagoons in the midst of swaying palm trees with an
endless white sand beach. Where your kids will have the experience
of a lifetime, meet new friends in the kids club and even get up
close to the resorts own elephant. That is what you will find at
the five star Angsana resort. Why not book one of their stylish
three bedroom presidential pool villas and enjoy the services of
your own butler and chef.
The Dusit Thani is in a similar location to the Angsana and also
offers exceptional luxury and service with lots of facilities to
keep the whole family happy. Families will love the three storey,
two bedroom villas with rooftop infinity pools overlooking the
Another great option is the Centara Grand Beach Resort right on
the sands of Karon beach, where you will find a luxury hotel with
great kids facilities, clubs and even a waterpark with slides and
lazy rivers. Club Med also have a resort on the next beach along
where you can enjoy the Club Med all inclusive experience with
their usual high quality kids facilities and clubs.
Travelling with babies and young children?
Let us recommend www.travellingwithbabies.co.uk
This great and informative site will provide you with all you
need to know about travelling with children under three years
Travelling with babies has lots of tips and advice on travelling
with babies and toddlers for new parents. Join their community of
likeminded parents on their Facebook page
Many thanks to Family Trips for expert assistance with this
article. For your next family holiday have go to:
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 0844 811 8489
It is close on forty years since I first read "The Oregon
Trail", a vivid account by Francis Parkman of how that northern
route was opened up by the pioneers heading for the Pacific coast
of the USA - the folk whose fortitude and courage and sheer dogged
determination created a nation.
It's true that Parkman concentrated on the early stages of the
route and had personal experience of only a small part of it. But,
being published in 1847, it has the merit of authenticity, giving
first-hand accounts from the pioneers, the guides and trappers and
Long before the legends and myths of "The Wild West" were spun.
Long before Hollywood manufactured history, this account is the
And the reason I dwell on it here is that, to appreciate fully
states such as Oregon, you need to know about that past and be
aware of how the Oregon of today was created.
It is so easy to fly into Portland - as visitors from
John Carter, former presenter of televisions Wish You Were Here
programme and avid globetrotter dips into the many delights of
Oregon one of Americas most tantalising states.
inevitably do - and travel around the state on its wide,
well-engineered and well maintained roads without a thought to how
those roads were originally carved through an alien landscape.
Having said that, however, I must acknowledge that great swathes
of Oregon remain pretty much as they were when those first pioneers
from the east gazed upon them. There are mighty forests which serve
to show how puny humans are. Mountains and lakes and landscapes to
take your breath away. Given a dozen days - or less, which is often
the case nowadays - what would I want to see in Oregon?
The starting point would have to be Portland which is Oregon's
largest city, though - to the surprise of most visitors - not its
That is Salem, some miles to the south along Interstate 5,
beyond the Willamette Valley and, along with Newburg and Eugene, at
the heart of the state's wine growing region.
You should give Portland as much time as your schedule allows,
for it has fine parks and museums, in particular the Oregon
Historical Centre and the Portland Art Museum, as well as a fine
selection of shops and restaurants.
After that, my choice would be to travel south on the
Interstate, then head west to the coast.
Arguably, highway 101, which runs along America's Pacific Coast,
is one of the most spectacular "corniche" roads in the world. It is
certainly spectacular in Oregon, running in sight of the ocean for
close on 400 miles, skirting wilderness areas and tracts of
National Forest. Of its many excellent seaside resorts, I would
certainly recommend Florence. To the south of the resort, mile
after mile of wide, high sands form the Oregon Dunes National
Recreation Area. Other sights you shouldn't miss in the area
include Haceta Head Lighthouse and the natural grotto of Sea Lion
Caves. Head south along highway 101, past North Bend, Coos Bay,
Cape Blanco and Nesika Beach, and you'll reach Brookings, virtually
on the state's border with California. This is a good place to end
a day's journey along the coast, and pause before heading
And it's at this point that you begin to appreciate what those
early settlers had to contend with as they made their way west.
You may be in a comfortable car or touring coach speeding along
a well-maintained road, but you are passing through forest and
wilderness areas to a region of lakes and rivers. My choice for an
overnight stay would have to be Kiamath Falls, which is a hub for
all kinds of water sports, fishing
The Oregon Trail Special Feature
and hunting. The Favell Museum of Western Art and Indian
Artefacts is a "must see" if you want to know more about the early
history of this, the "Beaver State".
After that, the whole of Oregon beckons. However, the region to
the east of Kiamath Falls and Altamont, beyond the Fremont National
Forest, is something of an "Empty Quarter". It is vast and imposing
with lakes, rivers and mountains, but very few inhabitants. My
choice would be, instead, to head north east on route 97, with the
intention of overnighting at Bend.
The road has been christened the Volcanic Legacy All American
Highway, which is something of a mouthful, but reflects local pride
in its natural beauties.
Oregon's largest ski area, around Mount Bachelor, lies to the
west of Bend in Deschutes National Forest. If you've time to do so
when in Bend, go to the Lava Lands Visitor Centre which will give
you an insight into the creation of a lava forest - formed as lava
cooled around fallen trees. It is an unforgettable sight in the
area now designated the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.
America As You Like It offer a 9 night fly drive to Oregon from
1097 per person including flights, car hire and 9 nights
accommodation. Price based on 2 people sharing.
For more information contact 020 8742 8299,
[email protected] or visit
From Bend I would head north east through more extensive
forests, making for places like Baker City and La Grande, both of
which are on Interstate 84. Bearing in mind my comments at the
beginning of this article, you should make a note to visit the
Oregon Trail Interpretive Centre in Baker City as well as its
The route is taking us back to Portland. If time allows, you
could visit the "Cowboys Now and Then" museum in Union, a small
country town a few miles from La Grande, and also stop off at
Pendleton, where the Umatilla Reservation and Tamastslikt Cultural
Institute are located.
There is so much to see in Oregon that a single visit couldn't
do more than scratch the surface of this splendid state. It is not
well known to visitors from Britain, but certainly well worth
Watching the skies!. There are usually some specials on the menu
besides the famous Alien Burger. There is plenty of car parking and
space for extra-terrestrials if needed! Details of Little A Le Inn
can be found at their website at: http://www.littlealeinn.com
Consulting the guides in the Ale Inn, you can find the trails
that lead to the entrances to Area 51, although its not called
You are looking for Edwards Air Force Base. If you venture on,
you will notice guards with detection devices and cameras mounted
among the cactus. Watch the cameras follow you! You will also see
several signs that read, "Top Secret Military Facility, Keep Out,
Use of Deadly Force Authorized". Ignore them at your own risk!
Anyone who has been very close to one of the back gates, and
judging by all the camera activity, is probably well documented
with their images retained by the US government
Red Rock Canyon Moving on to something less well-known by
non-locals is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area. This is a
much shorter drive and is less than 20 miles from Vegas. Red Rock
offers a 13-mile scenic drive, miles of hiking trails, rock
climbing, horse riding, mountain biking, road biking, picnic areas,
nature observing and visitor centre with exhibits and a book store.
Watch this 1 minute tour.
The area has often been selected as the backdrop for movies and
Las Vegas is a relatively inexpensive destination in the U.S.
and immediately conjures up visions of gambling, casinos and large
hotels. But there is more to see in the surrounding area such as
the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam, both well-known with
advertised trips. But for something different, rent a car for a few
days and venture outside the city to discover the more hidden
You may have heard of Area 51. Does it really exist? Well, Yes
it does and you can get very close to it. Its quite a long drive,
but easily achievable in one day, with a number of stops. The
workers who travel there from Vegas dont have to drive as they can
get the Janet Airlines flights (which dont officially exist) they
leave up to a 1000 of their cars at their secret car park at the
This drive takes you through remote desert, the dry lake where
there have been UFO sightings, past where the famous Black Mailbox
used to be until it was stolen, and through the Joshua Tree Forest.
After a while, after driving along the Extra-terrestrial Highway,
you will arrive at the famous Little A 'Le' Inn in the tiny town of
Rachel. This has been host to many documentaries and movies,
including "Independence Day". The owners and staff are very
friendly and enjoy a chat. Its also a Diner so stop by for a meal
and the staff will also fill you in on the best spots for
Escape from Las Vegas
hit. Obviously not suitable for irrigation water, this geyser
was left alone and a 10 to 12 foot calcium carbonate cone formed
lays dry after a second bore hole was drilled back in the early
1960s by a geothermic energy company drilled a test well on the
same site. This second geyser, known as Fly Geyser, has grown
substantially in the last 50 years as minerals from the geothermal
water pocket deposit on the desert surface. Because there are
multiple geyser spouts, this geyser has not created a cone as large
as the first, but has an ever growing alien looking mound. The
geyser is covered with thermophilic algae, which flourishes in this
moist, hot environment, resulting in the multiple hues of green and
red that add to its out-of-this-world appearance.
The geyser on Fly Ranch, is private property and trespassing is
illegal. If you drive to the neighbouring town of Gerlach off state
route 34 and go to Bruno's restaurant they can put you in contact
with the owners who do day tours of this impressive sight.
Last but not least, one of the newest attractions just off the
ever-changing Las Vegas Strip isn't another resort or another
casino. It's not another restaurant or deluxe shopping mall. No,
the newest addition to the Strip is an adult playground of sorts.
Dig This is a construction-based theme park where tourists, after a
30 minute training session can try their hand at driving some of
the heaviest equipment around. Among the machinery on site include
a pair of Caterpillar D5 track-type bulldozers and three
Caterpillar 315CL hydraulic excavators. Guests can spend hours
digging trenches up to 10 feet deep or building large earthen
mounds. There are also skill tests, like moving 2,000-pound tyres
or carefully plucking basketballs from their resting place on top
of safety cones. To find out more got to :
Along its 13-mile scenic drive one can see the impressive Wilson
Cliffs, which are part of the 65-million-year-old Keystone Thrust.
You will also see the fossilised sand dunes of the Calico Hills,
beautiful desert wildflowers, ancient Native American pictographs,
and diverse vegetation.
The Conservation Area is also protected habitat for the Desert
Tortoise. There is a habitat at the Visitor Centre that houses
More details of Red Rock can be found at official site at
This alien looking geyser on the edge of Black Rock Desert is
actually man made. Man made by accident, that is. There are
actually two geysers on the property. The first was created nearly
100 years ago as part of an effort to make a part of the desert
usable for farming. A well was drilled and geothermal boiling water
(200 degrees) was
southern floodplains only fill up towards the end of July. Low
Season from December to March is when it rains, making mobile
camping safaris and self-drive sometimes difficult and
uncomfortable. The wildlife dissipates in the wet season as there
are many rain-filled pans with good grazing in areas that are not
easily accessible during the dry season. It is however the most
scenic time to visit as the vegetation and birdlife are at their
peak. Wildlife can still be seen, though not in such great numbers
as in the dry season.
Some of Botswanas most popular areas are the Okavango Delta,
Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve, Central Kalahari Game
Reserve, Makgadikgadi Pans, Kgalakgadi Transfrontier Park and Tuli
Wildlife activities include game drives in open safari vehicles,
bush walks, boat cruises and mokoro (dugout canoes) trips in the
Visit the Botswana Tourism website
Southern Africa is without doubt a treasure trove of diverse and
exciting destinations but spending your hard-earned cash on a
holiday requires making the right decisions about where, when and
how to travel. Here are some hints to assist once you are fired up
and ready to go but unsure about what to include when designing
your dream itinerary in Southern Africa.
BOTSWANA is one of Africas top wildlife and safari destinations
and this is almost exclusively why people choose to travel here. It
is generally an expensive destination with a tourism policy of low
impact that requires fewer travellers to spend more. The cost of
safari lodges and mobile safari camps is high but the rates are
seasonal and specials are often available. It is also possible to
opt for a self-drive camping safari but you need to be well
prepared and have a great sense of adventure. Accommodation in the
towns and cities is more varied and affordable, allowing you the
opportunity to do day tours in neighbouring parks and wildlife
concessions instead of staying in exclusive lodges or mobile safari
High Season in Botswana is between July and September when it is
dry and an abundance of game is found at waterholes, along rivers
and in the Okavango Delta where the
Make Southern Africa your next destination
NAMIBIA is another very popular destination, more affordable and
with a greater variety of wonderful and original accommodation in
exceptional wilderness areas. Namibias attraction is its vast and
diverse wilderness landscapes, like visiting the moon. The Namib is
a living desert where animals have adapted to survive harsh
conditions in many fascinating ways. There are also interesting
cultures like the Himba tribe that still practise ancient
traditions, the Bushmen hunter gatherers who are the oldest living
race on earth and the Herero who still wear Victorian attire from
the German colonial period.
SOUTH AFRICA is scenically and culturally the most diverse
destination in Southern Africa with a long coastline, the highest
mountains south of Kilimanjaro and a large variety of different
vegetation zones and landscapes. It is the most developed country
in the region with good facilities, roads and infrastructure, but
with fewer wilderness areas due to a larger population.
South Africa is also the most affordable country in this region
with accommodation to suit any requirements and budgets.
There is lots to see and do, from wildlife safaris to beach
holidays, nature reserves, cultural and historical excursions,
sightseeing, adventure and leisure activities, good restaurants,
markets and shopping.
South Africa is an all season destination though High Season in
Cape Town is between October and March when clear sunny skies are
best for beach and outdoor attractions. If you prefer a quieter
period with lower prices, March to May is a good time to visit Cape
Cape Towns High Season sets the trend as a tourist peak period
in South Africa so many Safari Lodges and Game Reserves abide by
this trend. However the best time for game viewing is between July
and September when fewer water sources attract greater
concentrations of game and prices are lower.
Self-drive is a pleasure as the road network is excellent.
Some of the more popular areas include Cape Town, Kruger
National Park and its satellite private reserves, Garden Route,
Wild Coast, Drakensberg Mountains, Blyde River Canyon, Kwazulu
Natal Parks, endless beach resorts and a multitude of national,
provincial and private parks and reserves.
South Africa is known as a World in One Country.
Travellers are often wary of South Africas high crime statistics
but in reality, crime is very seldom directed at tourists and most
visitors feel safe, rarely experiencing any criminal incidents.
Etosha National Park is Namibias prime wildlife reserve and
desert-adapted animals can also be seen in many parts of Northern
Desert and ocean cruise activities are very popular in
Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. Many lodges offer nature drives and
walks in the wilderness areas, and cultural excursions are on offer
in many parts of the country.
Namibia is a perfect self-drive destination where gravel roads
are well maintained and extend throughout the country.
High Season is between July and October when days are cooler to
travel (though very cold at night) and wildlife can be seen in
abundance at waterholes in Etosha National Park. Sunrise and sunset
are special experiences in Namibias vast open wilderness, as is the
night sky. Travelling in April and May is also good as the
landscapes have some colour and the temperature is moderate.
Some of the popular areas in Namibia include Sossusvlei, Namib
Naukluft Park, Etosha National Park, Swakopmund, Spitzkoppe,
Brandberg, Twyfelfontein, Damaraland, Grootberg, Marienfluss,
Hartmann Mountains, Epupa Falls, Kunene River, Fish River Canyon,
Aus, Luderitz, Kavango River and Caprivi.
If you wish to combine Botswana and Namibia on one itinerary, it
is advisable to have at least 3 weeks available as the distances
are great.Alternatively you can choose to fly between regions.
the magnificent Falls head on in the Rainforest and participate
in a host of adventure and leisure activities. A short walk across
the bridge takes you into Livingstone in Zambia where the Falls can
be seen from many different perspectives.
Matopos and Gonarezhou National Parks are two more
well-recommended and popular destinations to include on your
The High Season for wildlife safaris is between July and
October, outside of which attractive specials are regularly
offered. Water levels at Victoria Falls are highest between May and
August making this the best time to view the Falls though during
low water periods, there are more water-based activities on
ZAMBIA shares the awesome Victoria Falls with Zimbabwe but also
has some of Africas top wildlife destinations in South and North
Luangwa National Parks as well as Liuwa Plains, Kafue and Lower
Zambezi National Parks. These parks are all pristine wilderness
areas. Safari experiences dont come cheaply and road distances are
long, making charter flights the more
ZIMBABWE is best kno