We had a fantastic holiday staying on a campsite in a mobile home, next to the town of Jard Sur Mer in the Vendee. The campsite was fifteen minutes walk from the picturesque harbour and beautiful beaches.
Our accommodation was spotlessly clean, well equipped, our hosts welcoming and the mobile home was in a great spot on the campsite.
Wonderful easy 10-12 mile walk across the cliff tops, loads of little deserted coves to wander and sunbathe in. You can stop at fantastic little beach cafes serving amazing seafood, syrupy strong coffee and the most delicious pastel de nata (custard tarts)
Stay at the vila gale de praia, adults only with a great spa.
Praia da Galé, Lote 33, Apartado 22048201-917 Albufeira
(+351) 289 590 180
A majority of the time, this place is so peaceful you can hear the beach from a mile away. Sure, it's a campsite - but its only a short walk to the local village which hosts some of the most wonderful fresh seafood I've ever eaten. Sitting on the top of the cliff looking down at the beach below, I'm constantly remembered about why I love this place.
Le Rhul is a three-star hotel located on a bend off corniche Kennedy (the beautiful road that goes along Marseille's Mediterranean coast line). It's not the most modern or best hotel you will go to, but it probably has one of the best views of any three star hotel in the world. The rooms also have a lot of character (not that you will be looking anywhere but out of your window). This was a real treat for a budget traveler like me, and I would never have expected getting a view like this on the coast of France without selling one of my limbs. Some of the best photos I took while traveling through the south of France were from my tiny balcony at this hotel.
Naples is a fantastic city which is not too touristy (yet). There are fabulous jazz bars, cafes, museums, markets and short ferry rides to the beautiful islands of Capri and Ischia. If you want some real history, Pompeii is a short train ride away. I can thoroughly recommend staying at the quirky travelers' hostel, 'Six Small Rooms' - if guests get tired of all the fabulous cafes and restaurants they can cook in the kitchen and sit with other guests and chat about their travels. Nearby, there's a wonderful, outdoor market selling all sorts of fresh food. Naples is still unaltered - there you will find the real Italy.
Lovely, welcoming bargainous B&B (45-90 euro per night) clinging to the hillside above Taormina. Huge balconies overlooking the bay and Giardini-Naxos. Reward yourself after climbing back up the hill after dinner with a bottle of wine and fireworks; more often than not there is of course Etna or be there on 8 September when man-made fireworks are let off all evening to celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
The best riad in Marrakech. Friendly, relaxing, informative, central location and a great holiday vibe. Everything you want from Marrakech.
Douar Graoua Kennaria, nº 18 Derb Lalla Chacha,, Marrakesh medina, 40000, Morrocco
Forget Italy's ancient history and immerse yourself in a little mid twentieth century nostalgia instead. Back in the 50s and 60s numero uno stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman left their yachts at anchor in Portofino's dreamy harbour, then took over the Hotel Splendido to indulge in a little of La Dolce Vita. The views from this old fishing village are still groovy, but the Splendido's little sister, the Splendido Mare, probably has the edge over its elder sibling these days. Prices for both are reassuringly stratospheric. Far out, baby.
Camogli is a sun-bathed and laid back fishing village on the Riviera di Levante, just a short boat-trip (or a longer, spectacular hike) from the more famous and touristy Portofino. Stay at the nearby Villa Rosmarino which offers a warm welcome, designer interiors and stunning views of Camogli and the coast to Genoa. In the evening you can stroll down past the pastel painted houses to the numerous harbour side bars and watch the sun set behind the lighthouse before sampling the delicious local pasta.
Situated on the pristine beach of Nai Yang, the Dewa Phuket Resort is a classy place. We went fot the cheaper - and simpler - suite, instead of one of the villas. The room was adequate for us, quite spacious, even luxurious, and we had our own little green terrace. The food was great (and not too spicy) served in the restaurant or brought to the room. The service was excellent, the staff friendly. A very relaxing, quiet place but also full of activities, from diving to excursions.
West of Palermo on Sicily’s northern coast, picturesque Scopello is the ideal place to soak up the atmosphere of Sicilian village life. Enjoy the evening sun in the fairy lit walled square, surrounded by olive trees. Visit the beautiful ‘tonnara scopello’ set on the edge of the turquoise sea in an isolated bay covered with fragrant oleanders. The more energetic can walk in the stunning Lo Zingaro nature reserve or explore the rugged coastline by boat.
Just inland from the expensive and ram-packed Amalfi is the town of Agerola, which translates to something along the lines of picnic basket. With stunning sea views, lots of local market shops it was an incredibly peaceful place to stay. There is lots of walking in the area, particularly popular is the 'Path of the Gods.' However, if you need to a bit more relaxation, there are regular buses directly to Amalfi - which is perfect as parking is a nightmare. Although if you prefer a stroll you can always go down the 3,000 steps to the beach at Duoglio. Staying at the 'Beata Soltitudo' offers a lot of different accommodation options for campers, hostellers, or people who just want a private room. Moreover, the host is very friendly and willing to help you out with any activities you might want to plan when staying there.
I've travelled to Italy every year since childhood as my father lives in the mountains of Asti. I couldn't believe we happened on yet another beautiful idyll last year. Varigotti is just west of Savona on the Ligurian Coast. It's one of many coastal towns but has no railway station of its own so has managed to hide it's magical beauty from much of the tourist world. There are holidayers but mostly local. We stayed at San Martino campsite in an incredibly reasonably priced chalet where we cooked pasta and ate outside on moonlit wooden tables. The site was in among the trees behind Varigotti. You could walk from the site down a steep path, well worth it for the breathtaking views and to work off all that sumptious Italian food! There are walks to be had to fairy bridges and the caves of Toirano are something to behold. I found this one of my most inspiring trips of all my travels around the globe, it's inspired writings and illustrated worlds I never would've otherwise created.
Località Le Manie, 17029 Varigotti (SV)
Google map: bit.ly/I3EQZr
Premium service relying on the idea of Turkish Hospitality;
The Muyan Suites will give you the feel of unforgettable luxury and one-of-a-kind character go hand-in-hand.
Lively style and warm hospitality greet you with its elegance and inviting atmosphere; the look of Muyan Suites is distinguished and quietly reassuring.
First class amenities, personalized service, a friendly atmosphere and exceptional comfort combine with our ideal location just steps away from Sultanahmet, the heart of the city and history such as Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Archeological Museum, Basilica Cystern and many more historical monuments and 500 metres from the Grand Bazaar. The hotel is 17 kilometers away from the Istanbul Atatürk Airport.
The Konagi is the restored mansion of an Ottoman provincial Governor, filled with antiques of the period, and is now a boutique/hotel complex in the tiny village of Resadiye, 2kms from the town of Datca, which is itself about 80kms from the resort/city of Marmaris. The hotel also includes a restored Ottoman 'hamam'. We have been there several times, eating and staying in the accommodation. The restaurant is a great experience with locally-grown and sourced produce and innovative menus, but it is also the complex's beautiful setting in Resadiye village, the sensitive resoration of the old Ottoman-style mansion, its gardens and positioning along the Datca pensinsula that continues to draw us to the place. The hotel is not that far from Maramaris and is a scenic car or taxi ride from the city, with the possibility of visiting the wonderful ancient site of Knidos (you can also get there by Dolmus, but this can take some time). We sail in the area and visit many small restaurants, some only accessible by boat, and recommend the Datca peninsula for all its various attractions, and the Konagi in particular, for a day-trip from Marmaris or a more extended stay on the peninsula, where there are also several attractive walking possibilities.
An hour’s drive out of Antalya lies a small village next to the sea called Cirali. After sunbathing in the early afternoon sun and a refreshing swim we sat in the shade with a cold beer wondering where in this small village we would eat dinner. We asked at the pensyion where he could recommend eating. “What do you like?” he replied, I said fish, Jimi said Kofte. “OK come back at 7pm and it will be ready”.
He then set off in his little boat along the coast with us wondering why he left in such a hurry. 7pm arrives and we apprehensively approached the cushioned area at the front of the Pension. (It was out of season so not set up for a restaurant.) To our great surprise Cemil laid out a wonder of treats before us. Meze to start with Babaganoush style dip, fresh Turkish warm breads, a tatzijki sort dip and fresh rough looking pitted olives. The main was just as I asked, freshly caught fish to order just hours old and home-made sizzling koftas with a delicious fresh mouthwatering local salad. We ate our feast to the sun setting, looking out to the sea and delightful Turkish music playing in the background. We were offered cold beers or Raki and water (a traditional Turkish combo). I would never have imagined that a small pension in the middle of nowhere could have produced us such a wonderful meal in such a picturesque and idyllic setting. I would recommend Cemils Pension in Cirali as a relaxed and beautiful place to eat a delicious and memorable meal.
+90 242 825 7063
A hugely welcoming and pleasant B&B, an old farmhouse in the countryside 1 km from the castle and walled village of Gradara, where the tragic story of Paolo and Francesca (and in Dante's Inferno) took place.
The house, on a hill, is beautifully and simply renovated and decorated, has four very reasonably priced rooms and after an excellent breakfast hosts Giulia and Davide will, if you wish, help you choose between a visit to unmissable Urbino, one of the many restaurants and cafes within the walls of Gradara, easily walkable from the house, a day in one of the civillised beaches on the Adriatic, or a visit to one of the best ceramics museum in Italy in historic Pesaro. As my granddaughter and I had initially chosen Casa della Stella for its proximity to the Commonwealth War Grave, (walking distance), where my father is buried, you can imagine our happiness to find so many delights nearby.
A gorgeous historic hotel, actually situated on the beach.
A local place to meet friends for a cerveza or tapas on the terrace. Also has a fine restaurant. The hotel balconies have hammocks to laze on, facing the blue Med. Bliss.
Istanbul's skyline is magical at night and one of the best places to enjoy it is from the restaurant on the rooftop of the Adamar Hotel in Sultanahmet. Just a stone's throw from the Blue Mosque and Aya Sofia, the rooftop terrace has a 360 degree panoramic view, great food and a romantic atmosphere. The Bosphorus Bridge twinkles with ever-changing colours, the commercial district sparkles with modern skyscrapers, and the mosques and minarets glow with golden light. High above the rooftops, the sounds of the muezzins' evening calls to prayer echo and collide in the night sky around you.
And If the weather is less than kind, there is an indoor restaurant on the floor below with equally good views.
Just five minutes from San Gimignano is a cookery class, run by Katia and her uncle Fulvio. With vineyards and the towers of San Gimignano as a backdrop, you can learn to make authentic Tuscan food in the kitchen attached to their hotel, Il Vicario.
We started with the preparation of bruschetta and panzanella (bread salad). Tearing up fresh basil and chopping up sun-ripened tomatoes instantly reignited an appreciation of Italian flavours. Next, we got stuck into hand-rolling ‘pici’ pasta, along with two sauces – tomato and cannellini bean. Finally, we prepared a chicken dish in an orange sauce to complete our lunch menu.
This is a really enjoyable format, as Katia takes you through the steps and explains Tuscan traditions, including the jaw-dropping quantities of garlic and olive oil used for each dish! The highlight is sitting down at a long table to eat, drink Chianti wine and chat with Fulvio, Katia and the other participants.
The half day class is very reasonably priced. We also recommend accommodation within walking distance, so you can ‘roll’ back in the afternoon sun.
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