This is a great place to grab a drink before heading out to dinner - it’s quiet and low-key and has none of the pretension that most Yorkville bars have. The rooftop lounge has a balcony that has a great view of the city; on a clear day, you can see for miles. With old-style service, this venue is perfect for a first date.
Park Hyatt Hotel
4 Avenue Road, ON M5R 2E8
+1 416 925 1234
Google map: bit.ly/lfDiTc
A real hidden gem at a height of 1300m, the extraordinary sculpted rock formations of El Torcal Natural Park offer stunning views of the mountains of Malaga and well signposted walks in a prehistoric landscape. Once away from the free car park, the wild ibex, foxes, lizards and vultures give you a real sense of adventure. The Visitors’ centre does a mean tortilla in the cafe and you can make a day of it by visiting the nearby El Chorro gorge and the wolves at the Antequera Lobo Park.
Bacon and eggs with fresh Tanzanian coffee cannot get better than this. Kingfishers, herons, storks, sun birds, rollers, hippos, crocodiles. You will share your early morning with them all, enveloped by the astounding landscape of Ruaha National Park in Southern Tanzania. An AfrikaAfrika Safaris guide will spot each and every fascinating creature, revealing the scene in its full glory. This lesser known park offers an astounding array of wildlife as well as a range of bio zones that dazzle in their variety. Baobabs, those wise, ancient trees, punctuate the vista. Breathtaking
It is a beautiful gorge where two rivers join. If you follow the right hand river you will enter a pretty gorge full of pools to swim in and waterfalls. It is only really known by locals and is rarely busy.
From the coast go through the villages of Jete and then Otivar, the entrance gate to the river is on the left hand side, just beyond the turning for the Palacete de Cazulas (approximately 2kms from Otivar). Keep your eyes open as it is very easy to miss, there is a small gateway with a hut behind. There is a person who registers all cars/people and you pay an entrance fee. The access road is private and the fee helps to keep it ‘maintained.’ The gate is manned in July and August, outside this period you need to call the phone number on the gate to get access.
Google map: bit.ly/mQijbP
Welcome to Campobasso, the capital city of the Molise lowlands. It is located in the high basin of the Biferno river, surrounded by the Sannio and Matese mountains.
You can visit :
The main attraction of Campobasso is the Castello Monforte, built in 1450 by the local Count, Nicola II Monforte, over Lombard or Norman ruins.
The church of San Bartolomeo is one of the many interesting churches in Campobasso. It is an 11th century Romanesque building, in limestone.
The Festival of Mysteries is one of the most significant regional events, centering around the passion, death and resurrection of Christ.
Another manifestation of religious feeling is The Procession.
You may reach Campobasso by bus or train from Pescara Airport.
Simple cooking, which despite the changes and the progressive enrichment, has preserved an irreplaceable authenticity. Expect dishes such as
pork tripe with chili, garlic, fennel seeds and salt or scapece of anchovies - a typical recipe with anchovies in vinegar.
Other favourites include corn pizza, with garden vegetables and “Fiadone” , a rustic pie made of cheese and eggs.
Among the delicious traditional liqueurs are the “Nocino”.
Official website: www.italiantourism.com/molise.html
The Costiera Amalfitani has to be one of the most spectacular and dramatic coastlines in Europe. That said, it is a road trip where the driving is best left to others, whether on the service bus from Sorrento or a dedicated coach trip. The road is a wonder of engineering in itself, as it winds its way 500 metres above the sparkling azure sea, revealing jaw-dropping vistas around every bend. Sandy coves and tempting lemon groves remain tantalisingly out of reach as you head down the coast to Positano, with its pretty pastel villas tumbling down the mountainside.
Check out the spectacular Cathedral of Santa Monica in Amalfi and the famous views from the gardens of Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo in Ravello.
But however lovely the stops are, this is one road trip where it's all about the journey itself - where travelling hopefully is almost better than arriving.
Google map: bit.ly/kByfcU
The Sforza Cesarini Park is a 92000 m2 surface of love. The duke Lorenzo Sforza-Cesarini (1807-1866) built it for his lover, the duchess Carolina Shirley who left England for him. Water is a fascinating element in the park, especially in the caves where it falls down creating a music soundtrack to the visit.
Piazzale Sforza Cesarini, 00045 Genzano di Roma Roma, Italy
+39 06 957 9010
Google map: bit.ly/jO7PkY
Sheffield Park Garden is a National Trust owned garden in East Sussex. The garden was designed by Capability Brown and is laid out around a series of lakes.
I recommend the garden for its early summer colour and above all for its autumn tints. There is nothing better than the stunning Autumn colour reflected in the lakes.
Sheffield Park, East Sussex TN22 3QX
Google map: bit.ly/ldPZAy
This beautiful hillside garden on the island of Ischia was created by the composer William Walton and his wife Susanna. After entering into a lush tropical paradise, the winding paths through the garden take you on a gradual climb through a rich variety of planting, from semi-desert conditions to the mystical East. There is an open-air amphitheatre, built into the rock face with glorious views across the bay to Forio, which stages classical concerts on summer evenings. When you leave the garden and look back up at the hillside it is scarcely visible – the steepness of the surrounding volcanic hillside makes you realise what an achievement of imagination and structure over nature La Mortella is, whilst suiting its sun-baked and beautiful location perfectly.
Set in the Royal Burgh of Culross, an historic restored walled garden, sheltered behind a 16th century merchant's house, it incorporates many of the features that would have been there at that time. It's easy to while away an afternoon wandering the terraces of fruit, vegetables and herbs, pleasingly interspersed with aromatic plants and flowers. While the little orchard of apple, mulberry, quince and fig trees provide a home for the Scottish Dumpies (hens!) that root around there.
Find a sheltered seat under one of the arches or bowers, up by the espaliered vines and admire the tremendous views over the Firth of Forth to the Forth Bridge and beyond.
Don't forget to visit the little stall in a corner of the garden which sells its produce when in season, everything from marrows to apples.
While there take the time to explore the house itself and wander around the cobbled streets of Culross, one of the prettiest villages in Scotland. There's a tearoom and gallery -the Biscuit Cafe and an ancient and very good, pub with beamed ceiling and beer garden - the Red Lion should you be feeling like a "wee refreshment" during your visit.
It's quite an experience to have a view of the lovely city from the ferry immortalized in Gerry and the Pacemaker's hit from the 60s. It was a cold and extremely windy day in April. Probably not the best day for a boat ride but it was my last day in town and I decided I had to give it a try and I'm thankful I did that.
It was an amazing ride with a fantastic view of the city's landmarks: The Three Graces as well as other beautiful sights with possibility of stops at Seacombe and Woodside. You can really feel the timeless spirit of the city and its people who by the way make you feel welcome and at home there. One of the places with the nicest people in the world! Makes you feel like coming back soon!
You can buy tickets at the Liverpool Ferry Terminal, near Albert Dock, for about £ 7.00 (round trip). More details at www.merseyferries.co.uk/Content/Cruises/RiverExplorerCruises.aspx
Google map: bit.ly/lo6lp6
On the somewhat worrying occasion of my 50th birthday, following a family party, I retired with my wife for a few days to the county of my birth: the much-maligned Essex. Maldon was our first stop, the wind sweeping up the sword of Byrhtnoth as he tried too late to repel the Vikings of 991. Then a difficult choice of real ales at the beer festival in The Jolly Sailor. Further excursions to Constable country, where we snuck into Suffolk, and the modern but vernacular development at Wivenhoe showed the riverine and estuarine (is that a word?) nature of the county.
To cap it all, we avoided the Royal Wedding by driving down to Mersea Island and were rewarded with our first ever sight of an avocet, a bird far more worthy of our plumage fascination than she at the Abbey.
In the village of Milopotamos, head to the main square and ask where the path to the waterfalls is. From there, it is a 15 minutes walk down to the waterfalls! The scenery is great and the feeling when arriving at the falls lovely.
Milopotamos Main Square, Kithira
Google map: bit.ly/jZNDQW
Even in August you will have plenty of space on the beach at Spilla. Georges Taverna is at the end of the bay. If you come by boat on one of the sailing holidays you can use their lazy lines for simple mooring and George will help.
Free showers and washing machine. Super taverna - fresh bread from the village can be ordered or if you fancy a cool early morning walk visit the village yourself. Fantastic views from the top over to Lefcada. On the beach there are small pebbles and sand gently shelving into a crystal clear bay - lots of fish to spot if you fancy snorkelling. Swim out to the quay for a bit of exercise or just float about in the sunshine.
Google map: bit.ly/maFSx1
It is a psaro (fish) taverna on a small beach tucked away in Agni Bay on Corfu. They serve the most delicious food, particularly seafood, with views over the water to the Albanian mainland - at night the moon rises over the bay.
Cacela Velha is a very small village on top of a hill in the Eastern Part of Algarve, 20km from the city of Tavira. A beautiful place with a white church on top of the hill, with magnificient views towards an unspoilt beach to which you have to get a fisherman's boat in order to reach it.
Google map: bit.ly/eV5lX6
If in Lisbon take a boat trip across the Tagus from Cais do Sodre up to Lisbon's Christ the Redeemer Statue. You can take a lift up the tower to the base of the statue. From here you get fantastic views across the river to the city of Lisbon and to Belem
Across the Tagus from Lisbon
The CityPass is a booklet of vouchers you can buy in advance of your trip to NYC which gets you into a number of tourist hot-spots for a discounted price.
To make it worth its money, you do need to try and use most of the vouchers and I would say that you need at least four days in NYC to allow yourself enough time to do so.
The vouchers get you entry to:
The top of the Rock or the Guggenheim
Empire State Building
Statue of Liberty or Cruise around NYC.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Natural History Museum
The Museum of Modern Art
I really enjoyed all the things apart from the cruise - it was utterly tedious after the first 15 minutes. I'd strongly advise anyone to go for the Statue of Liberty option instead.
The absolute best thing about the pass was that it constantly allowed us to jump the often very long queues of people and get priority access. This was absolutely fantastic and saved us so much time.
The highest mountain range in mainland Portugal, it has its own ski resort, with some fabulous walking routes off the beaten track. Escape the summer heat of the plains and enjoy the wild landscape. We based ourselves in Manteigas where there is a useful information centre and walked in some of the higher valleys, mountain streams, and forests. Great views from up here!
Once voted "the most Portuguese village in Portugal", Monsanto is a small fortified village perched on a large rocky outcrop rising abruptly out of the Idanha Lands. Above the village at the top of the hill sits an imposing castle overlooking the village with stunning views of the plains below and the mountains of the Serra da Estrela in the distance. Walk up the "Rua do Castelo" climbing through the narrow streets of the village where many of the houses are built into the rocky cliffs and granite boulders, then climb the walls of the ancient fortress that sits atop this rocky outcrop. On your way back to the car make sure you stop off at the one of the cafes that features amazing views from its rooftop terraces.
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