The main Volcanic eruption in Santorini which is disputed to be some time around 1630 BC, is said to have been the downfall of the Minoan civilisation flourishing at that point upon the island. The ruins of this fascinating society can be seen at Akrotiri, which is on the south side of the island.
The capital, Fira, sits above the caldera, which was produced by this eruption, a sheer drop of between 500 and 900 ft. At the very edge of the caldera are a number of cafes and restaurants, some of which serve cake as lovely as the view.
From this location one attempts to visualise the way in which Santorini appeared prior to the main eruption, when it was one large island, as opposed to it’s present form of two main islands, a volcanic island, and a number of smaller ones in between.
The view from the top of the caldera is unquestionably breathtaking, yet serene in its beauty. Not recommended for those who have other things to do that day, as you will probably want to stay for seconds, and possibly thirds.
This beautiful little church lies on the south-east side of the city and sits on top of a fairly high hill. As such, it makes a very good place to walk to, as you’ll see a good deal en route either by cross-country footpaths or by following the roads. Once there you can admire both the exterior and interior of the 11th century church and the view of the city from the Piazzale Michelangelo before making your way back.
Via Monte alle Croci, 34 (above Piazzale Michelangelo);
tel: +39 0552342768;
The loveliest - and probably steepest - of Lisbon's funiculars, the Bica hauls itself up and down from the Bairro Alto to the Rua de São Paulo (look out for the arch with the inscription 'Ascensor da Bica'), through a neighbourhood all its own, situated in a steep-sided chasm. At the bottom, the Mercado de Ribeira has a lively fish and flower market in the mornings.
Between Rua do Loreto and Rua de São Paolo;
After living here for the past 6 months I have discovered that Valencia offers some of the best mullet viewing in Europe, if not the whole world.
Anywhere in Valencia. If you see a tuned car with chrome wing-mirrors, you are on the right track.
The Castelo de Sao Jorge is one of the most peaceful spots in Lisbon and has fine views over the city. It's a great place from where to watch the sunset.
When we were there, the Emperor Hirohito's son and heir were filming the amazing sunset.
Follow up with an evening meal in the Alfama district below the castle at the Esquina de Alfama for good value Portuguese food (tasty sardines!)
The stuttgart television tower was the first tower of its kind in the world and has recently been completely refitted. It is the unofficial symbol of the city, as you can see it from almost anywhere. For details and a webcam see the website, which is in German and English. The view from the top is great.
Jahnstraße 120 (U-Bahn station: Waldau);
tel: 0711 23 2597
Worth the trip alone. The Pacific beaches are stunning and Tofino is a great little town - posh-hippy, laid back, with great restaurants. The Rainforest Cafe offers sublime high quality food. Walk through the temperate rainforests and the cathedrals of tall cedars and pines. You will probably see bears on your way too. In Tofino try the Wolf House bed and breakfast, a really great bed and breakfast with lots of character.
Tofino is on Vancouver Island;
Rainforest Cafe: 250 725 2215;
Wolf House: 250 725-2330
The Kölner Dom, or Cologne Cathedral, dates back to the 13th century and is Cologne's best-known landmark. It's a fascinating historical building - about as Gothic as Gothic can be, and close examination of the intricate internal carvings reveals even the odd pagan symbol.
For those in good health, I recommend climbing the stairs of the spire. Sure, it's a particularly touristy thing to do, but climbing the spire is to Cologne as climbing the Arc de Triomphe is to Paris - it gives you a view of the city from a central vantage point, atop an amazing structure.
Get away from the bars and the tables to Red Rock Canyon, 15 miles west of town. It's a scenic loop off the main road and through extraordinary rock formations and wild cactus gardens.
Popular with masochistic cyclists, the one way road runs for 13 miles, climbing steeply for the first five and then undulating across the top of the canyon and back to the main road.
There are a number of places to park and walk. The rock formations are well known in climbing circles and attract technical climbers from all over the world.
Rent a car and drive west on Charleston Blvd. The turning for the visitors centre and the Canyon itself are well sign posted, off to the right of the road.
Formentera is a very small island with a few wonderful shops and eating places but it is the beaches that are most memorable. Beautiful white sand and crystal clear waters. It's a little bit naughty but camping out over night on one of the otherwise deserted beaches to await the sunrise is a truly wonderful experience.
There are regular ferries from Ibiza Town to Formentera. The journey takes 20 minutes.
This is a very cheap (approx $0.25) and exciting tram service that starts just beyond the white viaduct arches of Lapa and winds its way up into the hills around the glorious Cristo, into the area known as Santa Teresa, and is the last remaining tram service in South America.
Jump on and buzz through the scenic backstreets as schoolchildren jump on and off for free in an excited frenzy. Its a great journey which takes about thirty minutes from bottom to top and shows you the very best of the old Rio. At the top you can take the walk back down via craft and antique shops, wonderful little eateries, museums and the occasional art exhibition.
Truly a magnificent mini trip to fill an afternoon away from the beaches, amongst the true and vibrant spirit of Rio, with the added bonus of some of the best views of the city.
Estação Carioca is found near the city centre opposite the Petrobras Building. It is a bit tough to find but persist and it will pay off.
At the Petronas Towers you can do a free tour, which includes the brilliant bridge-walk across the walkway connecting the two buildings. Get there earlyish to make sure you get tickets as places are limited. The park around the towers and shopping centre at the base are well worth taking in too.
No visit to Vienna is complete without a trip out to the funfair at the Prater, to take a ride on the big wheel immortalised in The Third Man. Great views over the city, and a surprisingly untacky tourist experience.
If you are visiting Zambia, Victoria Falls is not a place to miss. These incredible falls are on the border with Zambia and Zimbabwe, formerly Northern and Southern Rhodesia before independence in the 1960s, they can be seen from either side of the border.
Although you may think that going to a waterfall may not take long, I recommend that you set aside the good part of a day to visit them. There are lots of places to walk around and you will love the refreshing 'Mosi au-Tunya' (The Smoke that Thunders), the spray that is constantly thrown into the air by the falls.
Be cautious with children however, Zambian health and safety regulations are not as strict as in the UK! In some places, there are very low railings and the constant spray from the falls makes some paths slippery.
The sunset at the falls is incredible, there are beautiful scenes if you sit at the top of the falls as the sun sets. Make sure you are well protected against mosquitoes, the damp air makes it very popular with them.
Temple of Poseidon, just outside Athens. The journey there is along the coast, which is great. Sounio has breathtaking views and a nice cultural trip also. I never miss a drive there when I visit Athens.
Take a KTEL (coach) from Syntagma which will take you straight there.
If you want to stay at an eco-friendly resort that offers cheap, well-designed bungalows and some of the most beautiful views in the province then you should visit Phanom Bencha Mountain Resort. The enchanting gardens, natural spring water swimming pool and all the peace and quiet you’ve ever wanted, combine to make the mountain resort one of my favourite places in Thailand.
If you fancy a break from Vegas's 24-hour noise and neon, then get yourself on a tour of the Grand Canyon. The canyon is only an hour away by helicopter and you'll fly over some of Vegas's most famous sights on the way. The view as you come over the top of the canyon is unforgettable - a once in a lifetime experience.Try and book a tour for early morning and you'll see the sun rise over the desert. If you're jet-lagged the early start won't hurt you too much, so think about going at the start of your trip.There's loads of operators, so shop around for the best deal.
One company worth looking at can be found here:www.lasvegasgrandcanyontour.com
One of the best things to do in Cuzco is to grab (it may involve inflicting minor flesh wounds) a table in one of the balcony cafes overlooking the Plaza de Armas, order a Pisco Sour and just take in the view. The Cathedral, La Compania, San Blas, laughing local children harassing tourists in quick-dry clothing … what more could you ask for?
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