We've just spent four nights at Five Acre View and it was simply wonderful. A big kitchen/communal area, a sun trap garden with views to die for and recently refurbished rooms (also with the view).
Very family orientated, dogs welcome (they get a sausage each for breakfast) it is the perfect place to explore the North York Moors.
Podere La Serra is a really special villa in Northern Tuscany, I stayed there last year and had the most fantastic break. The house sleeps 10-12 people and we had a family get together there - it is absolutely wonderful and I will certainly be going back. The house is beautifully decorated with handmade furniture, it's really well set up for big groups with two kitchens and two living rooms. The interior is stunning - traditional stone walls, huge chestnut beams, vaulted archways and a wonderful log fire in the living room. We loved the infinity pool, which is filled with natural spring water from the villa's well. The whole place is fantastically high spec and we couldn't fault it at all, the owners are English and live just 10 minutes drive away, they were on hand to sort out a jazz band for us on the terrace and pizza chefs - all sorts! We visited Pisa (1 hr), Lucca (45 mins) and the Cinque Terre (45 mins) and we're thinking of returning for the ski season as Cereto is only 45 minutes away. The real knock out thing about this gorgeous place is the view of the Apuane mountains, which is just spectacular. The villa has unbelievable panoramic views and we were happy just sitting out on the terrace with a glass of wine gazing at the tuscan hills. We also found a really excellent local restaurant called 'Malliano's', just 30 minutes stroll round the corner through the sweet little villages. Altogether a wonderful place.
Jebl Qasioun (Mount Qasioun) is the hill pushing up the northern half of Damascus.
Going up there just before sunset gives an incredible view of the whole city. Look straight ahead, and you see the new city, with the imposing Four Seasons hotel. And to the left, the tightly packed streets of the Old City - with the Umayed Mosque at its heart.
Stroll along the mountain road, or have a coffee in one of the many restaurants or roadside vans selling drinks (all of these places charge a lot more than in the city down below).
Take a taxi up - it's a very very long walk, along an anonymous highway, with no houses.
Taxis cost about 300L from Hamidiyeh, or to save money, take the Bab Touma-Muhajireen serveece bus (10 lira) and get off at Muhajireen. From there a taxi costs 75-100L.
Syria News Wire - newsfromsyria.com
The most delicious bouillabaisse is served in this smart and charming restaurant overlooking a quaint harbour in the Vallon des Auffes. Take the Rue de Vallon west to the coast to enjoy. Finish with a stroll along the seaside looking out to the Chateau d'If.
140, Vallon des Auffes - 13007 MARSEILLE
Tél. 04 91 52 14 38 - Fax 04 91 52 14 16
Villa consisting of four apartments, family run, with fantastic grounds and own swimming pool.
Very friendly English family who embraced Italy, the culture and language and renovated an old farm house in this small village.
The apartment we stayed in was very spacious and extremely well equipped, everything we needed and more was there. The surrounding grounds were perfect for our children to explore safely. There were hammocks for relaxing quietly while admiring the amazing views across the mountains, and a badminton net (for when you're feeling more energetic) and bikes.
The girls (aged eight, 11 and 12) spent most of holiday in the pool. Our son (aged five) helped Damien the owner pick, plant and water their many vegetables and fruit (hours of entertainment) and they didn't mind the guests helping themselves.
The apartments were full, but not overcrowded and there was a great mix of people. You could take a 10-minute stroll into town from the villa. Walk up into the centro historico for beautiful buildings and views. Stop for a coffee half way up and enjoy the mountain views while soaking up the sun. Take the children to the park, play crazy golf or tennis.
The nearest beach is only 45 minutes away. We had an amazing time and would definitely suggest you check it out.
Chicago, my home town!
The highlights from my point of view, in no particular order:
Lake Michigan (including the Outer Drive and the many parks along it), ethnic foods and neighbourhoods, Hyde Park (yeah, yeah, we stole the name) and University of Chicago area, music of all kinds, architecture.
For many area and architecture tours, including the very popular Chicago River Cruise (seasonal, of course – brrrr!), and for architecture information, see the Chicago Architecture Foundation which has an office at 224 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s downtown (not technically in Chicago’s famous Loop which is defined by the elevated train tracks downtown). They are in the Santa Fe building; while in the downtown area see the Rookery (in both it and the Santa Fe building be sure to see the lobby areas inside), Monadnock Building, Carson Pirie, Scott Building.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation 'tour' pages will give you plenty of ideas for visits and their tours are high quality and reasonably priced.
We stayed in Granada for long weekend and you can see the Sierra Nevada mountain range in front of you. We got in touch with Ibex Trex who could guide us to the best walking areas. They took us to Las Alpujarras, which is beautiful and full of history - our guide was great, very friendly and knowledgeable.
Santa Rita, 8, Narila, Granada
Amada Carlota is a gorgeous, quiet, small hotel in rural Asturias. It is modern and beautifully designed and sits on top of a hill overlooking hills and mountains on all sides. Amada Carlota has a small number of elegant and comfortable rooms, and a welcoming living space downstairs with a fireplace and, once again, wonderful views of the valley where early morning fog is replaced by bright sunshine or dramatic, thundery clouds.
You could just stay in this room all day and have a wonderful time, eating delicious food prepared by the owners, Carlos and Yolande, and conversing with them. Of course Asturias has so much to offer, with its lush green hilltops and mountains, that you do want to go out but Amada Carlota is a lovely place to come back to at the end of each day.
We felt it provided excellent value for money, and are looking forward to visiting Carlos and Yolande again before too long.
If you want to take in the fresh air while discovering wild, beautiful and captivating nature then the Wicklow Way in Ireland is what you're looking for. Traditionally the way starts at Marlay Park in the county of Dublin. However, it could easily start at other waypoints such as Lough Tay or Oldbridge. It doesn't matter! What matters is you appreciating the amazing scenery around you and knowing your way from any waypoint to another.
Thus you'd need at least a map with waypoints clearly marked and a compass. And if, like me, you're also a technology enthusiast, then you could also use a GPS to which you've previously downloaded GPS data. But most important of all: you need good shoes!
We visited La Lucertola during the 2008 Witsun break, in search of a chill-out break in the tranquillity of the Tuscan countryside, but having three grumpy teenagers in tow, it was also important to be close enough to places of interest to keep them amused. What greeted us was an unexpected delight.
Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, high up on a mountainside amidst an ancient olive grove and with stunning views of the surrounding countryside as far as Pisa and the coast beyond, the two self-contained farmhouses at La Lucertola are perfect – large, comfortable and extremely well-equipped. The setting is exquisite and as a bonus, there is the lovingly nurtured organic garden - the produce is available to pick and use, free of charge, by the guests! This proved a particular favourite with our children, who loved going out to pick the salad and herbs for our meals and we returned home with all good intentions of recreating our own Tuscan vegetable patch!
Being less than a 30 minute drive from Pisa airport and with highly competitive rates available on Ryanair flights from London Stansted, La Lucertola is ideally located as a base from which to explore the delights of Tuscany (if you actually choose to leave the peace and tranquillity of your Tuscan home that is).
Living in their own separate farmhouse on site, Luisa and Coz are the perfect hosts and I would like to thank them for allowing us to spend a little time sharing their little piece of Tuscan heaven, where even the rain storms hold a certain charm; it’s very easy to understand why they chose to swap their hectic London life for this! Check out their excellent website for more details.
Via di Cavina, 14
56017 San Giuliano Terme
Tel: 00 39 050 851405
Visit the bar on the penultimate floor of the Hancock Tower - there's no entry fee. You can have a beer and sandwich whilst enjoying the views, which in my opinion are better than those from Sears - and it's not too expensive either.
On the way out ladies must go and powder their noses for the most spectacular views ever from a skyscraper bathroom.
I cannot recommend the Caribbean city of Cartagena, on the north coast of Colombia, enough. I went for two weeks with my girlfriend and we never wanted to leave. Within the fortified old city are charming cobbled streets lined with immaculate Spanish colonial architecture, statues of fallen heroes and smiling people talking in the squares. Overhead will be baroque church steeples and domes, punctuated with colour spilling out from window flower boxes. There are superb restaurants offering fine seafood and other local specialities, a thriving, but not intimidating, nightlife and the full spectrum of accomodation, all enclosed within the walls. And the sun will be shining, but not so that you have to stay indoors, and advantage of the gentle Caribbean breeze.
Outside the old city are the white sands, green waters and palm trees the area is worshipped for. Take a boat trip to the offshore islands and see the island you'll both buy when you win the lotto! It is remarkably safe, and don't assume you will be queuing the entire time either - this is no Disneyland - you can have sweet little restaurant all to yourselves, or a park with a fountain, or a stroll atop the city wall, so romance is hard to avoid. However, if you feel like a film and a pizza, just grab a cab over to the new city and send an email home while you're at it. Definitely a winner - the most romantic place in the world.
If you only have a few days and are starting in New York City, I might suggest following US 1, a highway which goes from Maine to Florida Where available, you can choose to take US 1A (also known as Alternate US 1 - it's not a contiguous highway) for a more scenic coastal route. From New York, you can head north into New England (cool days, chilly nights in April). Or, for warm weather, head south from New York along the Mid-Atlantic coast into the South and all the way to Key West, if time permits.
Some of the best American regional cuisine is located along the East Coast. Most of the seasonal diners, crab shacks and lobster pounds will be open by April, but not yet crowded. My personal favorites include: the Maine Diner in Wells, Maine; Essex Seafood in Essex, Massachusetts; Durgin Park in Boston, Massachusetts; Mrs. Wilke's Dining Room in Savannah, Georgia; the Dixie Crossroads in Titusville, Florida; and Wolfie Cohen's Rascal House in Miami Beach, Florida. There are simply too many to list; you need to get the Roadfood book or see their website. Happy travels and happy eating.
The west of America has some of the most awe-inspiring scenery I've ever seen. If time is very limited, fly into Vegas and drive down to the Grand Canyon, north rim, via Bryce Canyon or Zion National Park. Not only will you get a taste of life on the road here, I guarantee you'll be blown away by the landscape. You can find motels or lodges on National Park land for little money ($50 (£25) a night will get you a decent place) and all the crappy diner food you could ever want.
Another recommendation to add to the 'used by Bondi locals' list. Full breakfast here comes on two plates for the really serious to keep your toast free of egg or tomato leakage. This is the king of breaky that keeps you going all day - the veggie one comes highly recommended as well... Mmmmm.
The menu for the rest of the day is pretty good too, but in Bondi breaky is king - after a swim and before a trip to the Sunday markets.
Gould Street Plaza (leads onto Campbell Parade), Bondi Beach
Google map: tinyurl.com/pfh6yn
The Terrace cafe/bar is on the terrace of the Chão do Loureiro market. It's a great place to sit and relax with sofas, armchairs, etc and the most amazing view over Lisbon. Not the cheapest bar, but definitely one of the coolest!
You can get there from Rua da Costa do Castelo.
Take a 30 minute ferry from Circular Quay to the surfers’ community of Manly! Away from chaotic downtown Sydney, there’s a bit more privacy and great views over the ocean. It’s still vibrant though – from the Quicksilver shops to the busy Manly Beach.
For the views, go right along the beach from the Corso around Fairy Bower to Shelly Beach.
Google map: tinyurl.com/lgoplc
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com