Take a train or drive from Salzburg to Werfen, a pretty little town at the foot of the mountains. From here, a bus will take you up to the start of the walking track, and then it's a hike and a cable car up to the caves (don’t worry, there’s a café en route!).
The Eisriesenwelt is a labyrinth of ice caves, high in the mountains, which stretch over 40 km. The caves are only open during the summer months, and the guided tour takes you deep into the heart of mountain, where you can see some spectacular ice formations.
You really need to dress sensibly for this though. Even though it gets hot walking up to the caves, it’s often below freezing even in the summer, and there are many stairs to climb up and down. So make sure you don’t wear sandals and someone’s borrowed socks, like me!
Dar Said is the former townhouse of a wealthy Tunis family, in the pretty seaside and artist’s village of Sidi Bou Said, perched on the cliffs in the northern suburbs of Tunis. It's a picture-perfect place of warm sun, cobbled streets, whitewashed houses with bright blue shutters and ornately decorated doors, with tall cypress trees and bougainvillea flowers spilling over garden walls.
Dar Said has been listed many times among the world's best boutique/individual hotels, and it feels small, quiet and intimate (how staying away from home should be!). All the rooms are spacious, cool, well-furnished, with opulent bathrooms, and open onto small courtyards of jasmine and gurgling fountains.
A gorgeous pool is set among terraces overlooking the sea, and breakfast is served poolside every morning.
Really lovely hotel five minutes' walk through pretty streets to the historic centre of Salzburg. The owner, Peter Kuhn, is really helpful and will give you plenty of advice about things to do and where to go. He also provides free bikes which you can borrow and ride all around Salzburg, which is very cycle-friendly. The rooms are large, with ensuite bathrooms and nice views, it's on a quiet residential street and has a great buffet breakfast. Very reasonably priced too.
Rupertgasse 15 - A-5020 Salzburg
Tel. +43 662 872318 - Fax +43 662 872318-8
Seafood dominates the menu. Lobster is the pricey local delicacy, but there are plenty of other affordable seafood delights that are caught locally and arrive fresh at the restaurants every day, the best being red mullet, shell-fish and squid.
Try bottarga (mullet roe), the Sardinian equivalent of caviar that is grated on top of spaghetti and drizzled with olive oil. Spaghetti con vongole (with clams) and alla marinara (with seafood) are also delicious. Culurgiones are pockets of pasta stuffed with pecorino (cheese made from ewe's milk) and ricotta and served in a tomato and mint sauce. Ravioli al sugo di noce (walnut sauce) comes a close second.
No matter how full you are, there is always room for seadas. This Sardinian dessert is the most delectable envelope of deep-fried pastry, stuffed with ricotta or sour cheese and drizzled with a bittersweet honey and burnt citrus peel. If that sounds too rich, try dolci sardi (Sardinian sweets and biscuits) or visit one of the many crowded gelati bars.
Hire a car and drive the 45km coast road south from Alghero to Bosa.
Around every curve in the road there is a sandy cove or rocky inlet, blue-green water, cliffs and mountains.
It's hard to make any sort of progress along the road, as the water is just too inviting and the clifftop photo opportunities too many.
Bosa itself is an unspoilt town, overlooked by most tourists in favour of the nearby marina and beach. A ruined castle perches on top of a hill, from which cobbled streets and quiet squares tumble down to the river, lined with huge palms and elegant mansions.
Take the SP105 from Alghero.
Alghero's locally produced wines are impressive, and won't set you back any more than £10.
Tanca Farra is a velvety red wine from Sella & Mosca, the island's biggest wine producers who also offer a cellar tour and wine-tasting session.
A cheaper red option is La Bombarde, and two crisp, refreshing white wines that go well with seafood are Aragosta and Vermentino, from the island's north.
The best day trip out from Alghero is a boat-ride to the Grotti di Nettuno (Neptune's Caves), hidden at the base of towering cliffs at the Capo Caccia peninsula.
It's a three-hour round trip taking in great views of Alghero, the local vineyards, the bay of Porto Conte and the distant hills.
The tourist office in Alghero has lists of all the boat trips, or just wander along the waterfront
Listed as one of Sardinia's nest beaches, Spiaggia della Pelosa is about an hour's drive from Alghero up to the north-west coast. It's a dreamy crescent of white sand and sparkling emerald water guarded by an ancient stone watchtower. It's very popular in summer though, so be prepared for traffic jams. The nearest town of Stintino is a little port that makes a nice stop for lunch.
on the SP 34 road, past Stintino
De Bortoli, Tarrawarra and Chateau Yering are three of my favourite. De Bortoli, one of the oldest estates in the Yarra Valley, has a great restaurant for dinner and a cheese room. Tarrawarra has a good lunch restaurant with lovely views of the valley and a modern art gallery. Try their Tin Cows line - it's very good. All do tasting.
A stunning group of coral islands 60 miles off Key West, only accessible by boat or seaplane.
The name comes from “tortugas”, referring to the then abundance of nesting sea turtles on the islands, with the word “Dry” added later to indicate to sailors that there was no water here.
The main island is home to the amazing brick construction of Fort Jefferson, built to protect young America’s shipping routes from the Spanish and then the English. It was later used as a prison for civil war deserters.
The islands have been called “the Galapagos of north America” because of the diversity of wildlife. While snorkeling – in perfectly clear water - you can see sharks, rays, hundreds of types of tropical fish and spectacular coral formations. Many rare birds, including masked boobies, sooty terns and frigate birds, only nest on or visit these islands.
Turtles lay their eggs here too, and you can occasionally see them popping their heads up above the surface.
There are two boat services and a seaplane to choose from.
We went on the Yankee Freedom ferry, which costs $139 per person, and includes breakfast, lunch, cold drinks and all snorkelling gear.
You can also camp on the island.
This hotel is made up of three different buildings - the Arch House, the Cigar House and the Island City House. Each has a distinct style and the buildings are set among lush tropical foliage in the quiet residential area of Key West.
We stayed in the Arch House, which has a private bathroom, fully equipped kitchen, a balcony with a hammock, sitting room/living area, and a queen-sized bed set into an alcove. It’s all spotlessly clean and tastefully furnished.
The pool is lovely, there are bikes for hire and the buffet breakfast in the courtyard is well worth getting up for.
It’s the oldest guest house in Key West, and while it’s in the quiet area, it’s only five minutes’ walk from Duval St and even closer to the marina waterfront area.
Staff are friendly and helpful and will organise boating and snorkelling tours for you at the front desk.
Rooms come at a range of prices for different parts of the hotel and different times of year, so it’s best to check on the website.
The original and oldest Everglades airboat tour is one of the first stops along the Tamiami trail – the road from Miami across to Naples and the Gulf of Mexico coast.
The exhilarating ride lasts for about 40 minutes and goes out through the waterways, which are actually made up of one big grass river.
The driver slows down to point out birds, many alligators and will give you some local natural history.
US 41, 11 miles west of the Florida Turnpike
A great three-hour trip into the 10,000 Island section of the Everglades, which is made up of islands and inlets of mangroves.
You’re transported on a larger boat right out to the edge of the park where the Everglades meet the Gulf of Mexico, then dismount into kayaks in groups of about eight.
The guide, friendly and knowledgeable Captain Charles, leads you up small creeks, through mangrove areas and stops for a while on a sandy beach on one of the island.
Spring and autumn are said to be the best times to go because of the migrating birds and water levels - which encourage more wildlife - but even in summer we saw brown pelicans, egrets and herons, rosette spoonbills, ospreys, terns and dolphins.
The tours leave from Everglades City and cost $115 per person. The boat drops you off right outside the Seafood Café, where you can get a great lunch of fresh fish and crab.
Van Dyck café, the News café and the Jerry's Famous Deli are all good places for breakfast/brunch.
The Jerry's Famous Deli menu will take about an hour to read though!
Van Dyck café is on Lincoln Avenue; News Cafe is on Ocean Drive; and Jerry's Famous Deli is on Collins.
Sushi Samba has restaurants in Miami, Chicago and New York, and combines Peruvian, Japanese and Brazilian cuisine to delicious effect.
It does great drinks, and there’s a lively, buzzing atmosphere.
It’s on Lincoln Avenue too, which makes it a great place to start on a night out.
It’s not horribly expensive, and about three dishes will fill you up. There are sushi hand rolls, maki rolls, Peruvian chicken and corn skewers, ceviche, and local seafood.
Sushi Samba, 600 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach FL, 33139
Boutique four-star art deco hotel on Collins with iconic swimming pool and beachfront access. The rooms are furnished with a combination of modern touches - ipod sound docks, flat screen TV with cable, comfy bed – and deco-kitschy items. There are ocean/pool view rooms, but city/sunset are slightly cheaper with a great view. The pool is wonderful, staff very helpful and friendly and the food and cocktails are fantastic. It’s a really well situated hotel – close to Lincoln Av shops and restaurants and about a 5-10 minute walk down to the main Ocean Drive drag. And it’s not nearly as pretentious as some of its neighbours ...
The Raleigh, 1775 Collins Avenue; Miami Beach, FL 33139
Great old-fashioned beer cafe with brown walls, beer posters and two dimly lit, smoky rooms. Friendly staff and not really a tourist trap place. There are over 200 bottled beers on the menu, plus five draught beers. Brugse Zot is a good one to try.
't Brugs Beertje
Two-storey pub/bar down a tiny cobbled side alley between the Markt and Burg squares (you'd be lucky to stumble across this if someone hadn't recommended it.) A medieval building with creaky, sloping floors, it actually feels like a place for locals rather than a tourist attraction. There are hundreds of beers on the menu, and tasty cubes of cheese to nibble on. Their housebeer is recommended, but watch the stairs after trying a few glasses of the 11% Brugse Tripel!
De Garre 1, Bruges
Lovely hotel overlooking the canals in the quieter part of Bruges. The inclusive breakfast is a huge and varied spread served in front of an open fire in the dining room. Rooms have modern and comfortable furnishings, yet it retains a historic feel and individual personality. There are free bikes to borrow and the staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful. It's a 5-10 minute stroll into the main square.
Sint-Annarei 26, Bruges
A relaxed and informal French restaurant that serves traditional fare. Oysters from Cancale, creme brulee, pate, steak, duck and great gratin dauphinois were some of the very reasonably priced dishes enjoyed. It has a huge wine list and staff bring you menus chalked up on blackboards. Booking is recommended as it gets very busy. Good for dinner or lunch.
La Robe et le Palais
13 rue des Lavandières St-Opportune, 1er
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