Exhausted and thirsty after negotiating the crowded Rambles? Tired after traipsing around the shops on Portal del Àngel? Pop into this four-star hotel on the Plaça de Catalunya itself and relax in the shade of the apsis of Romanic Santa Ana Church. (That’s two secrets in one.) Incredible as it may seem, 30 seconds from Plaça de Catalunya is a Romanic church complete with beautiful cloisters; this hotel backs onto it and you can see parts of it from the terrace. Open all day so you can have breakfast, a set lunch and a la carte dinner, as well as drinks. Don’t miss it.
Plaça Catalunya 19, 08002 Barcelona
+34 93 316 87 00
A member of the same group as the Granados 83, the Claris offers cocktails and drinks on their rooftop terrace between 18.00 and 01.00. Lunch and dinner are also available. The Hotel Claris is located on the very busy Carrer Pau Claris and is a very handy refuge if you’re nearby and feeling the heat. Along with classic cocktails, El Terrat del Claris makes fine non-alcoholic cocktails for those who prefer them.
The Hotel Condes de Barcelona occupies two buildings, on both side of Carrer Mallorca on the corner of Passeig de Gràcia. The building on the lower side is home to Alaire, a rooftop terrace serving cocktails, drinks and snacks and open to the public. You get great views over Passeig de Gràcia, Casa Milà (La Pedrera) included, and a glimpse of the Sagrada Familia in the background.
It’s a very pleasant place for a snack during the day, though not cheap, and there is live music on Wednesdays and Sundays in summer.
This roof-top retreat is a personal favourite. Relax by the small pool and enjoy a quiet restorative or snack. The bar opens from 18.00 till 01.00 during the week and till 02.00 at the weekends.
This is a modern hotel on Carrer Roselló between Aribau and Enric Granados. To the side of the hotel are gates leading to one of L’Eixample’s interior patios. This little area is known as the Jardins Joan Brossa after the contemporary poet.
Part of the gardens is given over to the hotel restaurant and bar terrace. You can enjoy a meal or drink here in peace and quiet surrounded by greenery and the curious interior architecture of L’Eixample.
If the gates to the jardins happen to be closed –after about eight in the evening– just walk through the hotel and out the back doors onto the terrace.
However, avoid this place at all costs around five in the afternoon in term time. It quickly becomes a hell-hole of screaming brats who, freed from the tyranny of their teachers, burn off their accumulated frustrations and blast your tranquility to jagged bits.
The French village we all love but is hide to find. Ideally situated for trips to the Normandy hot spots of Mont St. Michel, the Deauville area and Suisse Normandy. Several bars and restaurants plus a hotel serving regional food with the three course menus starting at 12€. An excellent place to relax where the pace of life is very easy going.
Stay at "Le Bosquet" an excellent value B&B, many walks and bike rides inthe area.
Highly suggest this place to stay if looking for a hostel in Amsterdam. Staff are really nice, always smiling and ready to help you. I made some great friends in my hostel while I was there
We had an excellent cycling holiday in Finistere, the western part of Brittany, last year. It’s easy to take your bikes on the overnight ferry from Plymouth and within minutes of arriving in Roscoff you can be eating breakfast in a seafront café before setting off along quiet country lanes through rolling farmland and tiny hamlets. The terrain is just right with enough change in gradient to make it interesting without being too strenuous, the roads are generally not too busy and there is plenty to explore along the way including ruined churches, standing stones and lighthouses as well as miles and miles of spectacular coastline. We stayed mainly in chambres d’hotes (the equivalent of B&Bs) which offer good value accommodation and we ate some wonderful meals, the most memorable of which was at La Corniche, a seafood restaurant right on the water’s edge in Brignogan-Plage. Our favourite stretches of coastline were the windswept Pointe de Penhir on the Crozon peninsula and the Côte Sauvage (the Wild Coast) further north where waves crashed on to the rocks below us and we visited the tiny chapel of St Samson.
Le Garo, 29890 Bignogan Plages
+33(0)2 98 85 81 99
Google map: bit.ly/pQULIq
A gorgeous cluster of eight or so gites just 10 minutes from the coast in Brittany. Looking for the perfect easy-going family holiday location? This is it. Paradise for young ones with a huge secure site that showers them with facilities, two heated (and gated) pools, a lawned garden in the centre of all the gites featuring the classic and ever popular park paraphernalia. Then there's a huge trampoline, a covered barn with soft play area and ball pit and an endless supply of ride-on's inc scooters, bikes and tractors ... If that's not enough, the free roaming rabbit and the chicken shed is the cherry on top. For the parents the pools are fabulous, but to be honest we reverted back to our childhood and joined our three-year-old on everything designed for him. The on-site bar however provides a well earned break in the evening and comes with peace of mind as the baby monitors are lined up alongside the tasty French Vino and cheese. English hosts Simon and Lesley were top dollar, and were more than happy to accommodate all our various requests. A great place to stay if you are a family traveling alone, as you will meet lots of similar families (and the kids end up entertaining themselves) but would also be a great place to book with friends. Highly recommended.
Stayed for 11 nights in a room on the beautiful roof terrace. The riad turned out to be a delightful place, full of charm and character with very friendly and helpful staff. Felt more like home than a hotel. Took breakfast in the sun on the terrace amongst the gulls which was lovely.
Cirali is a picture perfect place to holiday - with stunning scenery, scrumptious food to suit all tastes, the best water I've swum in the Med. Almost want to keep it to myself, but that would be selfish.
The sort of holiday to suit all sorts of people. Lots of activities, whether you want to snorkel off a yacht, visit the fire breathing mountain at night or wander the beachside ruin complex at Olimpos by day.
A great range of accomodation too - we stayed in three places - the family friendly Hotel Canada with welcome pool, the more romantic cabins of Arcadia with private hammocks for all in orange groves on the beach serving breakfast any time you want. All pensions seem to offer bikes free to guests so you can cycle around the very very quiet roads stopping off for a fresh pomegranate juice from a roadside stall or some baklava or cakes from the bakery.
Food is delicious wherever you eat - fish, kebabs, Turkish pizza, amazing flatbreads and mezze. Places range from a string of bars and restaurants on the beach, to some more sheltered ones with cushioned seating in the village. And everyone should eat cheaply and very well at Lemon Restaurant or in a slightly more upmarket fashion at Oldeander Restaurant which also has some lovely pension rooms.
All in all I couldn't imagine a better spot to kick back and relax this summer.
Çıralı is hidden away far from the road, and is blessed with five kilometres of unspoiled beach between the ruins of Olympos and the fire-breathing mountain side called Yanartas. Go in August (if you can stand the heat) and see loggerhead turtles hatch first thing in the morning on the beach. The small pansiyons will look after you; the Bellerophon Hotel, with its cabins tucked away among the orange and pomegranate trees, certainly did for us.
Akif Kosk, Çıralı, Antalya, Turkey
+90 242 8257336
Having spent a few holidays in Turkey over the last few years, my recent stay in Dalyan is the best. I don't think many British people have heard of it, but it's such a lovely resort - small rather than large, and certainly not as brash as places like Marmaris.
For families it's ideal with a variety of activities in and around Dalyan from mud baths (lots of fun) to turtle spotting. We stayed at the Aydos Club Hotel in Dalyan booked through Simpson Travel. It was a lovely family-run hotel - small and friendly, just as we like it. Rahmi, the owner, organised activities to keep everyone entertained and we felt like royalty sailing in their traditional boat.
Aydos Club Hotel, Dalyan Turkey
+44(0)20 8392 5858
It's not posh, not pretentious, but it has enthusiastic, knowledgeable owners who really care about this wonderful area. It's both clean and comfortable and very affordable. The nearby beach is world renowned, yet not overcrowded. There are amazing archaeological sites to be explored and great excursions available too. Where else would you holiday in a place mentioned in the Bible? (Acts21:1)
Hotel Patara Viewpoint, Patara, Kas, Antalya
+90 242 8435184
The Golden Key at remote Bordubet on Turkey’s Lycean coast is situated on a shady creek. Watch kingfishers and black swans from your balcony, feed the rabbits or take a tranquil boat trip round to the private beach club where you can swim out to laze on a raft, jump on a floating trampoline, or explore the empty coastline by kayak. We took a day trip to the hot springs and mud baths at the Sultaniye Spa, had lunch directly opposite the Carian cliff tombs at Kaunos and were back in time for a sunset dinner at The Golden Key’s beach restaurant, situated on a little hill overlooking the tranquil cove. Heaven.
Beautiful setting, a basic but exceptionally clean small block of apartments. Hosts Josh and Kadir are really welcoming and their home cooked food is glorious. Only 10 minutes walk from the sea and it's a flat 10 minutes. A relaxing week in paradise looked after like a five star guest - what else could you want.
Golenye Mah Manolya Cad 9, Icmeler 48720, Turkey
The coastal hamlet of Cirali, approximately 80kms south west of Antalya on the Lycian Way, is a pure delight. This low key resort in the Beydagalari National Park, is a popular holiday spot with Turkish families and the odd western European who like us arrived by happy fluke. The excellent 3km beach is where the loggerhead and green sea turtles come to lay their eggs and the crystal clear water makes for superb swimming. At the northern end of the beach you can explore the ruins of the ancient Lycian city of Olympus, where visitors to the beach ramble over the ruins of an amphitheatre, aqueducts and byzantine tombs. You can opt for quirky tree house accommodation in the Olympus valley, or a more peaceful option is to stay in Cirali itself at one of the small pensions.
Adrasan sits in a cove 10km off the main road and just 90Km south of Antalya. At the north end of the beach Hotel Paradise perches on a riverside flowing down to the beach. The water is not deep and tables and seating areas are scattered in the riverbed, connected by walkways. After a day enjoying the numerous family or adventure activities on offer along the promenade it makes for a very cool, calming ambience. Good food too, albeit infused with the strong local garlic.
For hardier hikers the clearly waymarked Lycian Way leads north over a rocky outcrop to the ancient site of Olympos. This ancient sprawling city must have been an archaeologist’s delight. Wonderfully decrepit, the ruins are open to clamber over, around and through. Keep to the south side of the riverbed in Olympos to avoid 99% of other tourists and find yourself alone amongst a 20-tier amphitheatre and Roman baths complex.
Walk through the village stopping at a tree house café for glasses of freshly squeezed orange and lemon then it is a gentle 4km along the beach and walk up to Chimera. This sacred and historic site has a number of eternal flames bursting through the rock with no vegetation to feed the flames.
Keep your eyes peeled too and you might see one of the protected caretta caretta loggerhead turtles.
My wife and I stayed two weeks in Rome staying at Grand Bed & Breakfast. Was a great choice, lovely accommodation in very central location and the staff were really helpful and pleasant. The room was clean and well appointed, and the bed comfortable and we had daily breakfast served in-room at an agreed time. The room was cleaned every two days, we had fresh towels every two days and bedding every three days. We were able to walk from the hotel to many sights. The area around is packed with restaurants, which some are quite cheap, and Rome's buzzing night life is next door. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay, all in all not a luxury hotel but is perfect if you are looking for somewhere nice to sleep at an affordable price.
It is a small hotel but with ensuite rooms, air con, swimming pool etc. Situated in beautiful natural surroundings on the coast near Lycian - site of Olympus. Owners Jon and Sue Graham offer fantastic value holidays and organise activities for all the family or just relax by the pool. Jon and Sue are exceptional hosts making everyone feel like visiting friends rather than paying guests.
Deniz Mah, Cavuskoy Beld, Kumluca, Antalya
+90 242 883 1462
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