It's a two hour hike to this little bit of Thai splendour a couple of hours from Melbourne. A forested swamp meets the sea in a golden crescent of sand hemmed in by mountains. Granite headlands keep the warm, clear waters nice and calm; continue on to Refuge Cove (2hrs) for a more exclusive swim before a long walk out.
wilson's prom national park
This is a hidden gem, set in the greenfields of Fairlop Waters in Ilford. Phenomenal chilli chicken, and excellent veggie options.
The food is supposed to be authentic Mumbai cuisine, which is the one place in India where you can find the whole country's various delicacies united. It overlooks a lake, and you can smoke some great apple mint tobacco in their sheeshas. Great value for money.
It's in the Fairlop Waters complex on Forest Road, Barkingside, Essex, London, IG6 3HN. Fairlop tube (central line) is just a few minutes walk away. I found it here: www.london-eating.co.uk/6766.htm
The crossing is a day-trip across the extinct volcano of Mt. Tongariro. It requires some effort, but the rewards are worth it once you reach the moon-landscape and startling colours of the upper crater. To the south lies the still active cone Ngauruhoe, and to the north lake Taupo, which is a caldera resulting from one of the largest ever supervolcanic eruptions. The descent through tussock and native bush rounds off the trip nicely.
More remote, much bigger and far less crowded than the more well-known Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound is one of those rare places that justifies the word ‘awesome’.
Book an overnight tour on a three-masted boat and discover a place that is equal part-myth and geology. You can launch a kayak off the boat and discover one of the Sound’s many creeks up close, as the cliffs tower above you and the water flows like molten glass beneath your oars.
Then it’s back on board for a hot shower, a glass of wine and the camaraderie of people who’ve shared something quite spellbinding.
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.
This is the highest train line in the world with the exception of the new Tibetan plateau line.
While the Lima to Huancayo section only operates a few days a year, this section is open almost every day. If the timetable does not suit you, you can even arrange for a private one-carriage train.
It's a very slow steam-train journey (8 to 10 hours) through breathtaking Andean landscapes.
When night falls, there are no lights in the train, you just go on travelling in pitch black. Candles available for sale, or make sure you have a head light.
Once in Huancavelica, stay a few days to enjoy this remote Andean town, far from the Gringo Trail. This, is the real Peru!
Hunacayo station, Departamento de Junin.
Theatre carved out of the cliff overlooking the beautiful Porthcurno beach. Amazing setting to see a play or in our case, an opera. Take wine and a picnic. Not to be missed on a visit to Cornwall.
Porthcurno, Penzance, Cornwall.
No visit to Edinburgh is complete without a visit to the top of Arthur's Seat - the large volcanic hill in the centre of town.
The views are amazing. Sturdy shoes are a must.
While there make sure you go on a pilgrimage to Hutton's section, the place where one of the great heroes of the enlightenment, geologist James Hutton, deduced in the 18th century that the world must in fact be millions of years old: "there is no vestige of a beginning nor prospect of an end".
I challenge anyone not to relax in Collioure, an historic coastal town just south of Perpignan and sandwiched between the foothills of the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean.
You can wander the narrow streets, ponder the meaning of life in a seafront café or march into the rugged hills and vineyards behind, where you’ll get a great panoramic view of the town below.
Seafood lovers should sample the famous Collioure anchovies. For foodies generally, Café le Vauban serves a never-ending platter of regional delicacies that redefines the term "bargain".
Collioure can be a great base to explore up and down the coast too. A train line runs through several towns, but be aware that all trains cease between around 1pm and 3pm, as is the Mediterranean way.
Where to stay: a good value hotel is Le Triton. Breakfast by the sea …
30mins on train from Perpignan.
I've fallen in love with the Pyrenees mountains since starting to walk the GR10 long-distance path from the Atlantic to the Med four years ago.
From the rolling Basque hills in the west up into the Haute Pyrenees, there are some absolutely stunning views along this trail.
You can do the lot in one go (500 miles) if you have the time, or do as I'm doing and do a little bit each year: I'm hoping to dip my toe in the Mediterranean in 2010...
Alternatively, pick one of the many towns near the route as a base and discover some of the circular walks.
You'll get to see some views that you'd never see from a car.
Le Marche's hills roll in from the Adriatic and reach the Sibillini mountains. A national park has been created to protect this awesome high section of the Appenines and its flora and fauna which includes wolves, golden eagles, wild boar and porcupines.
In Spring the area is carpeted in a rainbow of wild flowers. In summer you can swim or eat at tavernas round the shore of a lake; walk through cool gorges that dissect the mountains; and cycle or walk the paths that cross the ridges at 2,000m.
There are an abundance of fascinating medieval hill towns with museums and great ristorante serving up great value meals.
A great base for the area is Sarnano; which has 20 ristorante, a ski resort nearby, a variety of bars and stunning views.
Sarnano is in Macerata region of Le Marche and can be reached via Ancona and Pescara airports.
In Sicily there are three big natural areas and other little ones.
The first one in the Etna Park. Mount Etna is not only a volcano - it also has a lot of paths and trekking opportunities. The best ones are the excursions on the summit craters on the south side starting from Rifugio Sapienza in Nicolosi (Catania).
The second park is the Nebrodi Mounts. This is between Messina and Catania. This park is full of forests the most known is the "Bosco di Malabotta". The park is a little less accessible so it's advised to use a four-wheel drive vehicle and take a good map.
The latest park is the park of the Alcantara river. This is a river formed in a lava eruption thousand years ago. The river is walkable.
Etna Park - Nicolosi (Catania)
Nebrodi Park - Between Messina and Catania
Alcantara River - Near Francavilla di Sicilia (Very near to Taormina)
The nearest station for Etna Park is the Circumetnea. From here, a rail road goes around Etna and its villages. You can take it in the Catania central railways station (Piazza della Repubblica) or in the Station of Giarre if you come from Messina by train.
More info here:
Parking in the beauty spot of Etretat can be impossible. About four miles down the coast, however, is the small town of Yport, which was also painted by the Impressionists. There is easy free parking on the front there, and the atmosphere is more local and much less touristy than that of its famous neighbour. Take the steps up from the front and the steep road on the right up to the cliffs for fabulous views, especially if you stand on the old German lookout post, which is also a good place for a picnic.
Seine Maritime, near Fécamp.
Go to Harvard Yard, the Harvard museums. Have cake and coffee at The High Rise Cafe on Brattle St. Go to the MIT Museum. Watch an independent film at the Kenmore Square Cinema. Go to the Central Sq nightspots - River Gods, Zuzu's, The Middle East.
Boston, apart from the Back Bay, the Common, and the Aquarium, is a bit boring and touristy. If you're from England, the historic sites won't seem very historic.
Central Sq - Harvard Sq on the subway red line
No trip to North Wales can be complete without ascending a peak. As walking up Snowdon in summer feels more like driving on the M25, try one of the Carneddau. On clear days you'll be rewarded with stunning views across the Menai Straits.
YHA, toilets and limited parking at the head of Llyn Ogwen, or take the green option with a Sherpa bus from Bangor.
The stretch of canal around Llangollen is one of the most scenic anywhere. Just follow the towpath and you will eventually find yourself walking on air, crossing Thomas Telford's majestic Pontcysyllte aqueduct 126 feet above the valley below. Even scarier on a boat - there's no handrail that side!
Much, much more than a library, and open to everyone. There's something for everyone: exhibitions, an auditorium for film showings and lectures, educational activities, tours behind the scenes, shop, Pen Dinas restaurant, and fantastic views over Aberystwyth and Cardigan Bay.
Railway station in Aberystwyth
This is one of the most scenic campsites in the country, sandwiched between the steep slopes of Place Fell and the shores of Ullswater, with spectacular views across the lake to the Helvellyn fells. An excellent base for walking, watersports and mountain biking, or just hanging out on site and drinking in the magnificent scenery.
The Patterdale Hotel, 10 minutes’ walk away does good food in huge walkers’ portions and fine real ale.
01768 482337, www.lakedistrictcamping.co.uk, £4.50pp
Apart from a very steep and winding road, the two villages are connected by a funicular from where you can enjoy spectacular views over the bay and surrounding hills. My recommendation is to leave the car in Lynton's car park, which is bigger than Lynmouth's, then enjoy the descent down the cliff-side while having your breath taken away.
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