A cafe half way up the hills if you are walking from the town. It is in a beautiful Victorian building with a spring still flowing into a fountain inside. A great place to stop for generously portioned food - on the hippy side, but very tasty.
You can eat inside, or on the terraces outside.
or telephone: 01684 560285
Variable opening hours, but sometimes open on Christmas day.
This is a restaurant in the Ribeira district of Porto. There are many similar looking restaurants on this waterfront however we believe that this one stands head & shoulders over the others. The menu range, quality of the food, friendliness of staff & the superb value all contribute to make this our top restaurant recommendation for Porto.
We had some bread/cheese, two very large mains, a bottle of wine & coffee & it set us back only €34.
We loved it so much we went back twice more. The view from the top window was amazing - looking over the Douro at the port lodges. For that alone the €34 would have been paid!
Cais da Ribeira, 37, halfway down the Ribeira waterfront in Porto.
The Cathedral is mainly visited for the incredible views from the top of its tower, the Giralda (the old mosque's minaret), but it is worth looking inside the main building as well. The church is filled with the jewels and gold brought by the New World wealth, and its scale is truly imposing: the beautifully carved organs are raised so high up into the dark ceiling that it is impossible to see them. All in all it helps you to understand some of the feelings behind the Reformation.
Avenida de la Constitución, in the centre, next to the Alcazar;
tel: 954 214 971
This huge beach (some say 18km, some say 23) is beautiful. I have never been to such a peaceful secluded beach in the Med - lovely.
If you are feeling energetic take a walk from the 'town' centre past the bread and water restaurant and follow the road. Eventually you come to the sand dunes. Time it right and take a bottle of wine to enjoy a beautiful sunset.
The view from the top of the Giralda at the cathedral is worth the view, and the climb is sloping which is much easier than steps.
The Alcazar is beautiful and very cool and peaceful inside. Lovely gardens too.
La Giralda: Plaza Virgin de los Reyes;
tel: 954 214 971;
Alcazar: Plaza del Triunfo;
tel: 954 502 323
For the best view of Seville you just can't beat the one from the La Giralda - the highest tower in the city. It's a steep climb up the ramp but it's worth it.
Plaza Virgen de los Reyes; tel: 954 214 971;
Open: Mon-Sat 11am-5pm, Sun 2pm-6pm
Once a trucker's stop-off under the Cumberland Basin flyover. After a makeover it's become somewhere to have a coffee by the water's edge with a panoramic view of the Suspension Bridge and the ostentatious Clifton terraces. For engineering fans it's possible to walk to Brunel's original 19th century lock which made the floating harbour possible. It now sits unused beneath the flyover.
Brunel Lock Road, Cumberland Basin BS1 6XL;
tel: 0117 925 5800;
An often criminally overlooked asset to the city. The line links Bristol Temple Meads, in the centre of the city, to Severn Beach from where the Severn Bridges and South Wales are clearly visible. The scheduling is sadly erratic but it provides a superb link between east and west Bristol. It's worth travelling to the end of the line as it snakes up the Avon valley providing some beautiful views. Once at the Severn estuary there are some excellent walks.
Stops at Bristol Temple Meads, Lawrence Hill, Stapleton Road, Montpelier, Redland, Clifton Down, Sea Mills, Shirehampton, Severn Beach;
Bookings and timetable: www.thetrainline.com;
If you only visit one of these beaches in the Golfo di Oresei, make is Cala Marioulu. This is hands down, the most spectacular beach I have ever seen. Pristine white rocks that you could eat your lunch off and turquoise seas that you have to see to believe. An unbelievable experience.
If you only do two things in Florence, make sure it's the Accademia to see David, and Piazzale Michelangelo which has one of the best views of the city.
Galleria dell'Accademia: Via Ricasoli 58-60, a short walk from the Ponte Vecchio; tel: 055 294 883;
Dead cheap and one of the best views of Florence. Drink in the Blu Bar (expensive, but fantastic views), eat in the pizzeria on the square opposite and take a walk up the hill for an even more spectacular view
Buy a bus ticket at any tabac and get the no 7 - it goes from Piazza del Duomo and stops in the square in Fiesole, just beside the Blu Bar (which is at Piazza Mino Da Fiesole, 39; tel: 055 597235).
Fiesole is a stunning little town, up a hill and 20 minutes from the centre of Florence. Here, albeit at a distance, is the best, free, all-round view of Florence, including the Duomo. As it's difficult to park in Florence, avoid stress by catching the No.7 bus from outside the rail station.
Fiesole is 5 miles (8km) from Florence. Buy a bus ticket at any tabac - it also goes from Piazza del Duomo.
Don't just admire the stunning Rangitoto in the middle of the harbour - paddle there! A guided round trip takes 6 hours including a climb to the summit for great views of the city and harbour. For extra credibility try the evening option. It was amazing paddling back across the harbour in the dark, just a row of little lights bobbing across the silent water with the city around us. Fantastic.
Guided tours with Fergs Kayaks depart Okahu Bay on Tamaki Drive;
tel: 09 529 2230; www.fergskayaks.co.nz
A beautiful little church set on a hillside overlooking Florence. A fantastic view of the city shimmering in a heat haze. Easily reached by no.13 bus from the Duomo or on foot if you like climbing. Gregorian chants sung by monks at 5.30 every day.
Just outside Florence to the south of the city.
The famous medieval, house-bearing bridge that would probably win the prize as the most photographed Florence icon. It spans the Arno in the centre of the city and probably affords the best views of this often disappointing river from its central open arches. The houses are now mostly shops selling jewellery, leather goods and other expensive designer items, but it’s not obligatory to buy anything of course. After all, it is just a bridge, and still works perfectly well as such.
If you are visiting Florence by car take advantage of the free parking at the Piazzale Michelangelo. It is easy to find by road and has plenty of spaces.
The Square itself commands fantastic views over the river Arno and the rooftops of Florence. There is a steep set of steps and paths that lead down to the river and town centre, takes approx 10 minutes.
The hotel has the established look and feel of an Edwardian mansion with its rich mahogany furnishings, soft luxurious carpets and the most attentive staff. In fact it was built only eight years ago and so benefits from all the modern technology necessary for guests’ comfort.
The rooms are spacious, each furnished with a safe and supplied with complimentary bathrobes and slippers. The bathrooms are a delight with huge soft towels and Gilchrist and Soames bath products – it is the epitome of luxury.
Our room looked out to Croagh Patrick and beyond to the ocean’s silver of Clew Bay.
In the morning, laze breakfast away over the second pot of tea or coffee after the fluffy poached eggs on slivers of toast or the grilled Dover sole or the creamed porridge with cinnamon…
Afterwards, sit in the foyer and read the morning papers while the world passes gently by. The foyer is one that immediately welcomes - there is a comfortable atmosphere with relaxing seating and lighting – a pleasant setting to do the crossword in the Irish Times - the easy one.
There are two Portakabins as ticket offices at the harbour, each owned by a different family, each vying for your custom and each boat leaving at the same time. Only fifteen minutes sailing to the island. Worth going to though, for walking and the most magnificent of views as there isn’t too much to see apart from a shop, a tiny hotel and a public toilet.
Massive area of protected parkland. A perfect place to fly a kite or go for a walk. On the Sea Walls side of the park there's a stunning view of the Avon Gorge that stretches out to the docks at Avonmouth and over the Severn to Wales. It plays host to the huge Downs League on Saturday afternoons should you fancy watching some amateur football.
Clifton Down & Durdham Down, BS8;
Take bus numbers 1, 8, 9 or 54 from Bristol Temple Meads station or the city centre.
Just outside Pinar del Rio, set admist pine trees and the curious Mogotes (rock formations), Vinales makes for the perfect weekend trip away from Havana. Cycles are cheap to hire and you can be guaranteed an exceedingly pleasant day exploring the tobacco plantations, the dos hermanos and the cuevo de los Indios around Vinales. There are loads of cheap casa particulares and the one we stayed in offered good home-cooked food. The bar on the main street stays open till late and quite often has live music.
The best way to get to Vinales is by bus from Havana, which takes about three hours. Accomodation is easy to find on arrival.
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