About an hour from Mombasa, this community- owned sanctuary has one of the largest concentrations of elephants in Africa.
Tourism is still developing here so you won't meet hordes of vehicles on your game drives. At the main gate you can also make and buy elephant dung paper. Traveller's Camp has just been refurbished and affords some spectacular views. A truly beautiful place.
Villeneuve lez Avignon really should be visited by anyone intending to spend more than a day in Avignon. Some 10 minutes' drive to the other side of the Rhone is this superbly preserved late medieval village with great views across to the Palais des Papes.
Apart from the Chartreuse, fort, abbey gardens and village square, there's a great restaurant in a hotel next to the church. Very good food in menus costing around 70€.The sommelier is happy to recommend wines at anything from 20€ up.
Le Prieuré, 7 pl du Chapitre, Villeneuve des Avignon. 04 90 15 90 15
It is a beautiful retreat set way up in the cedar forests above Lake Naivasha. Luxury camping. Scrummy Italian food cooked to perfection. Impeccable service. Gorgeous cottages with beds and furniture handcrafted from fallen cedar. Horseriding, trekking, hot spring plunge pool, forest walks. Highly recommend it.
A great little restaurant with fantastic views and great ambience, as well as good food! Less well-known (and less expensive!) than its big brother on Porthminster but up there with it.
Don't miss the Chocolate Train! Departs from Montreux in the morning and meanders its way up through the mountains, with great views of Lake Geneva and some truly Sound-of-Music scenery.
You travel first-class in some wonderfully restored Belle Epoque railway carriages before stopping at the Gruyere fromagerie, where there's time to explore the mountain village of the same name and have a spot of lunch.
After lunch, it's back on the train to the Cailler-Nestlé chocolate factory. It's just like you would imagine a Swiss chocolate factory to be: set in the mountains, with as much chocolate as you can eat!
The day finishes with a scenic ride back down to Montreux. Wonderful scenery, cheese and chocolate - what more could you want? Apart, perhaps, from some local wine pressed from the grapes of the numerous vines covering the mountainside. Advance booking recommended!
Use the Eurostar deal with Belgian Railways to travel on from Brussels at no extra cost.
Take the Luxembourg bound train to Libramont and then the bus number 8 to Bouillon on the River Semois. Stay at the Hotel Panorama overlooking river, town, castle and hills.
Listen to the town carillon play the Ode to Joy. The walking in the river valley and on wooded hills is wonderful and the food in the town is excellent. Return, if you can, on bus 45 to Bertrix for spectacular views of the Semois, tiny villages and the hills. Take the train from Bertrix to Libramont and then back to Brussels.
An older version of the Taj Mahal, on the other side of the Yamuna river. It's made of brown stone and marble, and is about 100 years older.
When we went, there were only three other visitors - all Indian. Not in such perfect condition, but lovely gardens and very peaceful with beautiful views over the river. Properly, it is the tomb of Itmad-Ud-Daulah, but every taxi driver will know it as Baby Taj.
They are only a short drive to the west of Auckland, and are staggeringly beautiful forest-clad hills leading down to black sand beaches that stretch for miles.
There are walks from the short nature trail at the Arataki Visitor Centre, to longer tramps. If that's not enough, the market at Titirangi is recommended for arts and crafts and good coffee - as a bonus if you miss the market!
According to their website, the DNT is Norway's largest outdoor activities organisation. Their work includes maintaining a fantastic network of marked hiking trails and running 144 mountain lodges, linked by these (and other trails).
We have just returned from a week hiking in Jontunheimen and cannot praise the DNT highly enough. I have never seen such an organisation so successful at making the wilderness accessible with minimal disturbance to the natural environment.
The trails are well-marked and maintained and where we used trails not maintained by the DNT, staff were nevertheless able to advise on them. The level of service at the fully staffed lodges we used was extraordinary and not too expensive (by Norwegian standards!). And how good is it to come off a mountain, knowing that a comfortable bed, three course meal, hot showers, and effective drying room are waiting for you? The DNT prides itself in never turning anyone away.
We were walking as a family with two under twelves, so didn't undertake any really major climbs, but the DNT also organises tours of the high peaks etc.
All the activities we undertook, we could have done as non-members, but joining the DNT meant serious discounts on accommodation costs as well as the ability to secure beds when the lodges were nearly full. If you are venturing deeper into the mountains and staying at unstaffed lodges, I think you need to be a member to get a key to the lodges.
It is really easy to get the public bus here from Cuzco. Walk through the market once you get off the bus and sample the local fare, before either climbing the hill to the ruins, or catching a taxi.
If you get a taxi, ask them to pick you up at a different point to where you get dropped off, you can then do a nice, but easy walk around. The terraces are stunning and you feel like you are on top of the world.
About 1 hour from Cuzco
Stay overnight in Aguas Calientes and get the first bus up the mountain in the morning (5.30am). It really is worth being there for sunrise and before the hoards arrive. Fantastic sight. Expect to be wowed and want to stay all day.
Take water with you as they don't stop you taking it in and you will need it up there. The cafe sells water but at vastly hiked costs. Just remember to take your rubbish home with you.
Up a mountain!
This is a lovely little area of Rio. Catch the bonde up the hillside and wander through the streets or sit a while in a cafe. It is an area which has been taken over by hippies and artists and is definitely on the up again. Lovely architecture.
Take the bonde up the hill.
Marlins are so far the only agency on Morro who are undertaking trips out to see the humpback whales that pass by the coast from July onwards.
They are working with marine biologists who are observing the whales and charting their course past the island. The trip is new so they do need to improve slightly, but they welcome feedback and they are trying to do it properly by using the rules about watching whales - how close you can get and for how long you can stay with one animal etc.
+75 3652 1242
These falls are simply magnificent. Bigger and better than either the Virginia or Niagara falls apparently. They can be easily visited from either the Brazilian or Argentinian side by public transport. The Brazilian side was my favourite as you get views of the whole of the falls.
The Argentinian side gives you a more up-close-and-personal view but not one of the grandeur of them. If you have time go to both sides.
Manesty Holiday Cottages are in Borrowdale, one of the most beautiful valleys in England, just a 10 minute walk from Lake Derwentwater. They have simply fantastic views.
You can walk from the door on to the fells (my favourite walk, Catbells is just behind the cottages) or to the lake through the wood.
They also have a natural wood-fired hot tub in a small woodland overlooking the valley that you can book by the day - perfect after a long walk.
The cottages are clean and warm and run by a family who live just a minute away. Good value for money. Highly recommended, especially if you are after the quiet life.
Manesty Holiday Cottages, Manesty, Borrowdale, Keswick
Ok, this is actually in Vina del Mar, Valpo's more modern sister city a ten-minute drive up the road. However, Cerro Castillo is a must visit for anyone interested in the history of this part of Chile.
The area is known as Cerro Castillo because:
-it's a hill
-there are numerous old houses built like castles
It's a quiet residential area - no cafes, no restaurants, no toilets - but is Vina's poshest address. Some of the houses are spectacular -tudor houses nestle next to gothic mansions and there are the eponymous castles dotted around the place, the most notable being the local police HQ. The Presidential Palace is also to be found on Cerro Castillo.
It was on Cerro Castillo that Chile's wealthiest families from Santiago and Valparaiso had their seaside residences in the country's most elite Balneario. It shows in the architecture.
At the foot of the hill is the Club Arabe-Siria and opposite is the Castillo Wulf, now the town council. Also just around the corner is the Cap Ducal, a restaurant and hotel right on the water and shaped like a cruise liner.
The new Sheraton is also at the foot of the hill.
From the new Sheraton or Castillo Wulf and Cap Ducal there are steps or a road leading up to the hill. From the other side, there's access from the beginning of Calle Valparaiso.
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