Aegiali of Amorgos is situated at the northern tip of the island and is its second port. The beautiful villages of Potamos, Tholaria and Langada are built on the slopes of the bay and give the area a special beauty. Aegiali, with its many wonderful beaches, is one of the best places to spend your holidays on the island.
Anyone who visits the eastern coast of Australia, should definetly check out the remote village called Nimbin. It is breathtakingly beautiful, undeveloped, and quite the experience to behold. Do it.
It's about an hour or so from Byron Bay.
Pistoia is a very cute small medieval city. The old part is very cute - nice medieval walls, towers, palazzi, churches and the medieval market is really lovely.
Montevettolini is a really cute walled small villa with castle and old church. Top of the hill, perfect for a day walk around small alleys of the village. Nice view and refreshing breeze if you are there in summer.
A Palestinian Christian village perched high in the hills above Ramallah. Jesus stayed here with his disciples to escape the intense atmosphere in Jerusalem. Nothing changes!
Taybeh has three churches, a brewery and a ruined Crusader church.
The Crusader church is built high and gives long views over the rolling hills around.
The brewery welcomes visitors, has a small shop and will show you a video of how come there's a brewery making modern beer in Palestine.
You will need to drive either from Jericho or Ramallah.
Taybeh is 15km north east of Ramallah. I travelled with friends but Lonely Planet says you can catch a servis for 10 NIS (around £2).
Straw Dogs, released in 1971, caused a stir in my local West Penwith community when a film crew descended on this remote Cornish location, along with stars Dustin Hoffman and Susan George. They portrayed newcomers in the hamlet of St Buryan, near Land’s End. The stone cross in the churchyard features in the opening scenes. Many locals were hired as extras. A school friend married an assistant director and I got to meet actress Sally Thomsett, whose character was strangled to death - the catalyst for much controversial violence.
Being a film location is definitely the only bit of excitement St Buryan saw last millennium, but it’s a beautiful spot for moors and stone circles. Watch out for man traps.
Basically, nearly every village in Greece has a church named after a saint, and when it is that saint's day, the village usually has a party.
Ikaria is justly famous for its panagiria, which tend to start at midday and end when the last musician drops off his/he chair from exhaustion, some time around dawn the next day. Food is usually basic: roast goat, rice, chips and salad, with wine or beer to wash it down. Music (always live) tends to be predominantly nisiotika (traditional island music) with a fair amount of rebetika thrown in. All ages attend (at one, the youngest person at our table was my daughter, then aged 6 months, and the oldest, my wife's aunt aged 102!).
You will drink and you will dance, even if you normally do neither. Fantastic fun, and a great chance to participate in a folk culture that is very much still alive.
Ask around when you get there or check this site:
Perched high on the hillside overlooking the sandy bay of Giardini Naxos, Taorimina is a cosmopolitan town with a Greek past. Walk along the main pedestrianised street filled with designer shops and restaurants, to stop at the piazza with a stunning view of the bay dominated by the magnificent Mount Etna.
Take the windy road up even higher to the small village of Castel Mola which looks down on Taormina and the bay, or take the cable car down to Isola Bella and enjoy a swim in the clear sea.
Taormina is in the province of Messina, nearest airport is Catania. Reachable by motorway, shuttle bus or train.
I stopped in Stockbridge for a walk over the picturesque water meadows in the heart of the Hampshire countryside and came across a most quintessentially English scene. After following the stream towards the centre of the village I reached a terrace perched on the riverbank nestled amongst the water lilies.
The friendly staff served me a pot of fine tea and a plate of delicious scones oozing with homemade jam and cream. Before I left I fed the crumbs to some passing ducks- feeling I should share such an experience with at least something…
High Sreet, Stockbridge, Hampshire, SO20 6HF
The island of Rhodes has it all. I have recently returned from a wonderful holiday in Rhodes and stayed in the charming town of Lindos.
Firstly you have to visit Lindos, the people here are wonderfully friendly and welcoming, the beaches are stunning and although slightly overcrowded still very clean. The restaurants and Tavernas are top notch and my family and I spent most of our time eating in Nama and Acropolis.
If you want to do a bit of sightseeing, you have a few places to visit. Me and my wife went up to the Acropolis of Lindos; she got to ride a donkey up to the top, where as I was not allowed and had to walk or drag myself up there.
Once up to the Acropolis you can explore the ancient fortress and look through the excavations, but the views from the top of the hill are stunning.
We also went to Rodini Park, which is a strange nature reserve, typically Greek I suppose, and we also visited the valley of the butterflies which is a sight you can't miss.
The best time to visit Rhodes in my opinion would have to be in early Summer when the weather isn't too hot, or in early September. Also stick to the east side of the island, its much windier on the west side.
A small town/large village with hardly any tourists - foreign ones that is. Walk one of the several paths up Mount Olympus or take the 15 minutes bus ride to the beach for €2.5 return where you can spend the day with the Greeks on a sunbed with umbrella for the price of a drink.
In the Hotel Mirto, just down from the main square, which is clean and comfortable if a little unexciting, you can get B&B with views of the mountains from your balcony for €30.
Take a cheap flight to Thessaloniki - Easyjet go there on Fridays - and then a bus goes every hour from the Makedonia bus station to Litohoro for €8.
Jelsa is a small fishing town around 20km east of Hvar town. With several restaurants, bars and ice-cream cafes it has a charming, family feel. It is a great base to go on and explore from, with day trips to Brac Island and lots of places to hire bikes and scooters.
The catamaran goes once a day from Split to Jelsa via Brac Island and costs no more than a few pounds. Word of warning though: the bus services to and from Jelsa are somewhat limited.
A few months ago my boyfriend and I headed for a country break to Devon for a long weekend. We caught the train bright and early on a gorgeous Friday morning and before too long we were driving along the tiny country lanes in East Devon in search of our bed & breakfast. Listening to BBC Devon and watching field after field and horses and cows go by, we felt ourselves slowly being de-Londonised...
There it was our turning along a tiny dirt track, past the nearest 'village' Southleigh which consisted of a post box and village noticeboard. We passed a few farms and lovely converted barns and finally drove up the driveway to our bed & breakfast Glebe House, sitting beautifully on top of a hill. My kind of place.
Breathtaking views of the valley and surrounding farmhouses, wooden table and chairs for that night cap (or in my case peppermint tea) in the evening, and a welcoming host. I'd only just gotten there and I was already dreading leaving.
Our host, Emma, served us tea and cookies in the conservatory and then showed us to our room upstairs with views of the garden.
It was a perfect location for exploring the nearby villages, beaches and Moors. We spent a day at the beautiful beach town Lyme Regis, a day in the wild and rugged Dartmoor national park and a day in idyllic and hip town of Totnes.
I'm all about staying local, and luckily there are seemingly never ending options in this very country...
Devon EX24 6SD
Tel/Fax: 01404 871276
Labelled as one of France’s prettiest villages, it’s hard to disagree if you visit its tiny medieval streets and Benedictine Abbey. The village lies on the edge of a gorge that runs down to the Hérault river, its main street climbing up a steadily steepening hillside. There are numerous picturesque houses and it seems that a good number of the 250 or so residents are artists, judging by the amount of paintings and ceramics on sale. Towards the end of the main street you’ll encounter the Abbey, founded in 804 by Guilhem of Orange who later achieved sainthood.
Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert lies in the Gellon valley just North of Gignac, east of the new A75 motorway, about 30 kilometres Northwest of Montpellier
Tazones and Lastres are two very pretty fishing villages a half hour's drive apart.
Tazones has a lovely walk from behind the lighthouse up though woods to the cliffs and views out over the sea.
Lastres is less commercialized and you can eat wonderful fresh fish at a restaurant at the harbour called "El Puerto".
Map and info on this area: www.rusticaltravel.com/index.php/Asturias-Guide.html
An old mountain world impervious to (or unaware of) the heady modern culture that characterizes the rest of Spain. Well-kept whitewashed villages stuck to the mountainside. Wholesome food, peace and quiet, fabulous for walking holidays, free tapas, good rental cottages, friendly and easy-going.
By hire car or bus from Granada or Malaga Airport. Most popular villages: Capileira, Bubión. Introductory guide to La Alpujarra in www.rusticaltravel.com
A Moorish festival held over the first two weekends of September in Guaro in Malaga province. The streetlights are turned off and the beautiful village is lit by 20,000 candles. It's incredible. The streets are lined with North African inspired stalls selling everything from incense to spices to trinkets. Lots of street-side bars and food stalls stay open until the early hours and there's music as well as other performances.
It's really popular with the Spanish who come from far and wide, but not many tourists seem to know about it. I'd recommend staying in the village to avoid the transport chaos! There are a few English speakers with houses/apartments to rent in the village of Guaro.
If you want to stay in the UK this summer I recommend a trip to Llangadog in Carmarthenshire, South Wales.
Llangadog is situated in the heart of the Towy Valley, half way between Llandeilo and Llandovery. Llangadog is on the western edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park and is surrounded by beautiful rolling hills with stunning views towards the Black Mountain.
The Last Gallery has been open in the village for the last two years and hosts exhibition of contemporary art from March through to December (www.thelast.co.uk).
Also in the village there are several pub/restaurants/hotels including The Red Lion (www.redlioncoachinginn.co.uk) and The Goose and Cuckoo which serve great food, drink and are very welcoming.
There’s lots to see and do in the area including The Towy River, a favourite with fishermen from all over the UK; Llangadog Common where you can spot Reds Kites and just up the road The Red Kite Feeding Station www.redkiteswales.co.uk/. There is also a spectacular drive along the A4069 from Llangadog to Brynamen passing over The Black Mountain.
It is here that you see the traditional Breton costumes in the parades associated with the church services where the faithful seek forgiveness. Held across the year but peaking in the summer, they are a "must see" for visitors to that region of France.
The Michelin Green Guide to Brittany lists the dates and locations of the main Pardons but do keep a look out for local notices giving specific times.
Off the beaten track, but easy to get to - an unbeatable combination!
The Moorish "white villages" that nestle in spectacular scenery up in the mountains of the western Axarquia, are actually only a short drive from the almost deserted Mediterranean coves east of Nerja. The best of both worlds! The village of Cutar is a tangle of white-washed alleys and doorways. We've been there 3 years running now, sitting on the balcony watching swifts and kestrels hawking below us. It's genuinely untouched, with the dry river bed in the valley still being used by locals as their preferred route to the nearest (small) town.
We stay at a little one bedroom finca on the edge of the village which is charming and has hosts who are knowledgable & welcoming, but don't get in the way. The walking around there is just great - and many local customs survive & flourish, from village celebrations like the Verdialis to the spectacular Santa Semana processions in the city of Velez Malaga half an hour away. Strongly recommended!
Yalikavak lies ten miles north of Bodrum, and of all the many resorts on the peninsula, it retains best its original Turkish charm and character. Many excellent restaurants (Secret Garden, Three Brothers, Honeypot, Kosede and Karia, on the harbourside, are our favourites, but all are good) and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere that draws its many fans back year on year.
Few of the large tour firms come to Yali but it is definitely worthwhile making the small additional effort to come here as an independent traveller via a flight to Bodrum airport.
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