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Where to go in March for relaxation

 Enjoy a spring coastal break in San Diego, USA

‘America’s Finest City’ – or so the local claim boasts – is deceptively laid-back despite its size. And though summer is hotter and drier, March is still plenty warm, and also offers better value and shorter queues at its big attractions, of which there are many.

There are the beaches, of course: Mission has its wooden roller coaster, surfers head to Pacific Beach; Moonlight’s a family favourite; La Jolla’s the place for kayaking and snorkelling; hit Del Mar for peace and sweeping ocean views; and Coronado… well, it’s just beautiful. Balboa Park, with its museums and zoo, is uncrowded in March, while the bars and restaurants of the Gaslamp Quarter are as lively as ever. Go north towards Carlsbad to be dazzled by the ranunculus flowers at the Flower Fields, or to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve to hike clifftop trails – watch for dolphins and migrating grey whales between December and March.

  • Trip plan: San Diego’s airport is absurdly (but conveniently) close

Nocturnal Adventures With Kids

 Have a midnight feast at Djemaa el-Fna, Marrakesh

The bustle, the noise, the choices: Djemaa el Fna in Marrakesh is an incredible experience for children, whatever the time of day – but it really comes alive at dinner time. Socialising at night is often an adult-only preserve so children love the chance to be part of the action.

Look up at the big North African sky, then down to the snakes being charmed… Encourage your fussiest eater with delicious chips and fresh bread, all washed down with the freshest of juices. Then get ready to deal with the sensory explosion happening in your child’s head.

Marvel at the Northern Lights in Finland

It’s true, seeing the Northern Lights inevitably involves waiting around in chilly temperatures, which can be testing for children. However, this is a once-in-a-lifetime activity which will stay with your kids forever and with a little planning it’s entirely doable.

Firstly, make sure you’re travelling to Finland when you have the best chance of seeing the lights:

7 Adventure Destinations for Family

 1. Iceland

Travel to Iceland and within one trip your family can go dog-sledding, whale watching and glacier trekking, as well as see the Northern Lights and spend plenty of time jumping in and out of thermal pools. If that isn’t adventurous enough for you, how about descending into the bowels of an active volcano?

2. New Zealand

New Zealand’s natural beauty and excellent reputation for outdoor pursuits make it a popular destination for families. Hiring a camper van is not only an economical way to explore the country but also gives you the freedom of the open road and the fun of outdoor life without having to put a tent up each night.

3. Marrakesh, Morocco

The call to prayer and snake charmers plying their trade; tiny alleys to explore; shops with wares piled high; spices, tagines and fresh juices to sample – a visit to the medina in Marrakesh is an adventure for the senses. It’s also a great opportunity to learn an important skill of travelling: the

The best free things to do in Delhi

When visiting India’s historic capital, it’s worth paying out for big-hitting sights such as the Red Fort and Qutb Minar, but don’t overlook the abundant free sights and experiences in this fascinating city.  Take your pick from verdant parkland, centuries-old monuments, mysticism and faith, colonial pomp and circumstance and exploring contemporary Indian culture and the arts.

Keeping the faith at the Bahai House of Worship

This lotus-shaped temple was conceived and created by architect Furiburz Sabha in the suburbs of South Delhi, close to the burgeoning commercial district of Nehru Place.  In step with the tenets of the Bahai religion, the house of worship is open to all and everyone is invited to worship according to their own customs. Reflected in nine encircling pools, the gleaming marble structure is set in expansive gardens that teem with visitors, yet it retains a peaceful air of prayer and contemplation. Dusk finds the monument painted in surreal colours by floodlights as the sun sinks over the cityscape.

Soulful stirrings at the Nizamuddin Auliya shrine

You can step back seven centuries at the shrine of Delhi’s most beloved Sufi mystic. Every Thursday evening, singers fill

South West Wilderness Kayaking 3-Day Exploration

Rare experiences, new horizons, life-long memories – all in just three brilliant and unforgettable days.  This 3-day exploration is an ideal way to experience the majesty of Bathurst Harbour in the Tasmanian World Heritage wilderness with a splash of luxury at the Forest Lagoon standing camp.

This is the ultimate multi-day sea kayaking destination and has been named as the “most magnificent
paddling destination in Australia”
and “one of the world’s 10 epic sea kayak paddles”.

Bathurst Harbour and Port Davey, in Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area, offer a combination of sheltered wilderness harbours, rugged ocean coastlines, remote islands and wild rivers. There are no roads and no settlements. Discover spectacular destinations in the best way possible – by water, at paddling pace.

Our guides know this pristine wilderness intimately – all the sheltered bays and open beaches, the peaks and islands, every hidden corner and comfortable campsite. After a spectacular flight to the remote airstrip at
Melaleuca your days will be spent exploring one of Tasmania’s most remote and beautiful coastlines, paddling through perfect reflections in the tannin-stained waters, beneath mountains that rise from the shore and stopping in at sandy beaches.

Previous kayaking experience is not necessary, but it is important to have a sound level of fitness,

A Launceston Getaway

A few weeks back myself and Yasmin were granted the rare luxury of two days off… TOGETHER. This miracle required action, so without haste, we chose a new location to explore and booked ourselves into a hostel.

We packed weekend bags and plenty of car snacks for Yas (she gets cranky without a constant supply of food to occupy her). I updated my ever-growing Spotify road trip playlist and by 8am we were smugly waving sayonara to Strahan.

Our destination? Launceston. Tasmania’s second largest city, a leisurely 3.45 hour drive away. As well as constant toilet breaks (we like to stay hydrated whilst driving), there were plenty of unplanned stops along the way, to marvel at the mountains and lakes which dominate the West Coast.

We opted to take the more scenic route, cutting through Cradle Mountain national park in a series of twists, bends and stomach flips. As we climbed ever higher, we found ourselves blanketed by misty, white clouds, reducing visibility to just a few feet ahead at times and were confronted by the familiar smell of the recent bushfires.

Back out the other side and the scenery changed once more, to

The 5 Best Hikes in Hong Kong

5. Tai Long Wan – Stage 2 Maclehose Trail

Hong Kong’s best beaches are also the territory’s most remote, and one of the only ways to get to them is on foot.

From Sai Kung Town, make your way to the end of the Sai Kung Man Yee Road along the High Island Reservoir, the starting point for stage 2 of the Maclehose Trail.

Just over the first hill is Long Ke beach, a taste of what lies ahead and a good spot for a quick swim before tackling the tough climb up Sai Wan Shan.

The hiking trail heading toward Long Ke.

The descent rewards you with some stunning views of Tai Long Wan (Big Wave Bay) and its main beaches – Sai Wan, Ham Tin, Tai Wan, and Tung Wan – which wouldn’t look out of place in Thailand.

Restaurants at the small village of Sai Wan and at the far end of Ham Tin beach sell hot food, cold drinks, and some can even arrange a boat back to Sai Kung – a considerably more scenic option to the uninspiring stretch of concrete path leading out

7 Best Road Trips in Europe

1. From the glamour and glitz of Paris to the glorious grit of Berlin

Leaving Paris, cruise through the gentle hills of Champagne and Reims to the quaint capital of Luxembourg City, and explore the country’s plethora of fairy-tale castles.

Trier, Germany’s oldest city, is less than an hour’s drive further north-east, where ancient Roman baths and basilicas stand marvellously intact.

Spend a night in the medieval village of Bacharach in Riesling wine country, before wandering the riverside streets of Heidelberg. Onward to Nuremberg, and then to Leipzigfor a strong dose of hot caffeine with your Cold War history, classical music and cake.

2. Surf and sun in the Basque and beyond

The Basque roads beg a convertible – or better yet, a colourful camper van with surfboards strapped to the roof.

Begin in Bilbao, where the nearby villages boast some of the world’s best surf, and drive along the Atlantic to San Sebastian: watersports wonderland and foodie heaven. Then venture south through the rugged wilderness of the Pyrenees to Pamplona. Ascend onwards to the Roncesvalles Pass before looping back to the coast. Or continue along the Bay of Biscay to the attractive seaside resort of St-Jean-de-Luz.

Travellers with

7 Must Visit Places in Scotland

1. The Isle of Harris, the Western Isles

Located 40km off Scotland’s far northwest coast, the Isle of Harris boasts a string of bleached-white sands so glorious they’ve been compared to the Caribbean’s finest beaches. There are ample stretches of perfect sand to choose from: our favourites are Luskentyre, Seilebost and the wide sweep of Scarista. You will often have these beaches all to yourself, and even if someone dares to break your solitude, you can just wander along to the next one.

2. The Quiraing, Isle of Skye

It may look like the gnarled New Zealand countryside which doubled so superbly as the setting for the Lord of the Rings films, but this Tolkienesque landscape is actually on Scotland’s Isle of Skye. Sheer rock faces, twisted stacks, piercing pinnacles and unlikely erratic boulders combine to conjure up an otherworldly scene that looks truly spectacular on a sunny day. It’s even more dramatic when Skye’s notorious mists creep in.

3. St Kilda, the Western Isles

St Kilda is an archipelago so impressive that it became the first place in the world to be recognised by the UNESCO World Heritage list for both its natural heritage (it’s home to the unique Soay sheep

The Most Beautiful Mosques in The World

1. Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca, Morocco

Morocco’s largest city, Casablanca sees relatively few foreign visitors despite its absorbing array of sights ranging from medieval souks to Art Nouveau mansions, strung out along an attractively windswept expanse of Atlantic coastline.

Few who visit, however, pass up the chance to explore the city’s landmark Hassan II Mosque. Completed in 1993, the mosque stands on an oceanfront promontory, its enormous minaret (the world’s tallest, at 210m) soaring above the coast like an enormous Islamic lighthouse, while the cavernous interior glows with the magical colours of blue marble mosaics, lustrous tilework and enormous pendant chandeliers.

2. Aqsunqur Mosque, Cairo, Egypt

Old Cairo is a virtual museum of mosques, with dozens of historic shrines dotted around the twisting, time-warped alleyways of the medieval centre. Amongst the finest is the stately Aqsunqur Mosque, completed in 1347. Rising above Bab al-Wazir Street, the building’s fortress-like walls are capped with minarets and intricately carved domes, while inside stands the mosque’s magnificent Mecca-facing eastern wall, entirely covered in a luminous array of azure tiles.

3. Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

Soaring high above the heart of Istanbul at the meeting point

The Most Romantic Places in The UK

Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales

If paradise is strolling out of your back door and straight into the mountains, then theBrecon Beacons is your nirvana. Holiday cottages situated within this seemingly boundless national park offer couples with outdoorsy spirit a chance to commune with nature. Walking, mountain biking and pony trekking are fun ways to explore the uplands and valleys of the Black Mountains and if you’re not tired-out from the day’s adventures, the area is scattered with proper pubs boasting serious cheffy credentials.

London, England

Seeking the ultimate city break? Look no further than London. Smart, edgy and bursting with multicultural swagger, the diversity of this buzzing heartland is perhaps its star quality. The Shard’s viewing platform is a magnificent way to soak up some atmosphere with your amore, but you can cop a thriftier view by boarding the Thames Clipper from Tate Britain to Tate Modern or taking a stroll up the infamous Parliament Hill to watch the sun go down over this sprawling city.

Tintagel Castle, Cornwall, England

In the most far-reaching corner of the British Isles dwells Cornwall, known fondly for its sandy beaches and cream teas, but also

7 Things You Need to Know Before You Go to China

1. Eat well

Outside of China, impressions of Chinese food are still often defined by the sweet, balanced flavours of Cantonese food. Dim sum and other Cantonese dishes are delicious of course, but there’s a whole world of regional cuisines to discover: the fiery spice ofSichuan and Hunan cuisine; the freshness and sour funkiness of food from Guizhou andYunnan.

Plus Hangzhou and Shanghai‘s light, refined dumplings and seafood, and the hearty quasi-Turkish kebabs and hand-pulled noodles from Xinjiang. You may want to travel for some of these dishes, but major cities will host restaurants from around the country.

2. Get online

Facebook, Youtube, Google Maps, and most Western email providers are difficult to access in China, so you may want to download a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which will help you get past the so-called “Great Firewall”.

Inside China there are a few extremely helpful apps: WeChat could simply be explained as a Chinese WhatsApp but in reality, it’s a combination of that, Facebook, PayPal, a food delivery service, and much more. Some of these features are difficult to navigate with limited Chinese, but you’ll need WeChat to talk to new

The Best Place in The USA to Travel Alone

1. Boulder, Colorado

Calling all solo adventurists: Boulder is the perfect spot to park your hiking boots. Sitting in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, this is an outdoor town with plenty of year-round activities that you can take on solo, from skiing to cycling.

After dark, the fun continues, with a buzzing nightlife – check out the brew pubs of Pearl Street – and a diverse array of cheap international restaurants, where you can comfortably (and inexpensively) wine and dine alone.

2. Key West, Florida

Key West isn’t just different from Florida – it’s different from the entire country. The southernmost point in the US, Key West is as famous for its sunny shores as for its offbeat, anything-goes, wild and playful side.

Solo travelers are enthusiastically welcome here, with all sorts of inclusive events, from open-air concerts to impromptu parades to dive beach bars where, after a few drinks, everyone knows your name.

 

3. San Francisco, California

The San Francisco spirit can be summed up in two words: be yourself. This is a city that embraces solo travelers, with free summer concerts and festivals – dance on

The 11 Best Places to Travel Alone

1. Lombok and the Gili Islands, Indonesia

Not as overrun as Bali, its more famous neighbour, Lombok is gaining a sterling reputation with independent travellers who want to learn to surf, snorkel or dive in beautiful, clear waters. Inland, the lush green paddy fields stretch to the massive Gunung Rinjani volcano with its waterfalls and hot springs. The three tiny but increasingly popular Gili Islands off Lombok’s northwest coast are easy to access – Trawangan is where the party’s at.

2. Cuba

The Cuban capital of Havana conjures images of crumbling colonial architecture, 1950s Chevys, salsa and cigars. However, with the political scene inside Cuba shifting, private enterprise is being encouraged and small businesses across the country are opening and expanding. Now is a great time to visit those tiny back street restaurants and artisan shops. Homestays have always been characteristic of travel in Cuba, and this, along with low crime, means travelling alone is safe and rewarding.

3. Guatemala

If you’re looking for the best places to travel alone in Central and South America, don’t overlook Guatemala and its ancient Maya ruins. It’s an inexpensive place to travel, which means

Exploring The Best Sights Below London

From glimpses of another world, like the woolly mammoth that once wandered around Canary Wharf, to sobering reminders – imagine the sheer fear of following the masses down to the tube shelters as bomb sirens went off above you during WWII – London’s underground spaces represent a layered tapestry of its history. War, death, plagues, hide-outs and adventure: you’ll find them all beneath modern-day London.

Ride the postal railway

Back in Victorian London, the Post Office had a problem. Millions of letters to deliver, but increasingly crowded streets slowing things down. The solution? An underground rail system that air-blasted mail across the capital on tiny cars.

It was a hit, and not only for post: operators often had to turn down requests for a ride from men on their way home from the pubs near Euston, where the ride began.

In 1927, the system was upgraded to become the world’s first driverless electric railway, trundling 6.5 miles underneath London and linking sorting offices and postal depots from Paddington to Whitechapel.

The line stopped running in 2003, but in 2017, for the first time ever, Mail Rail is opening up to the public. From mid-2017, visitors

Slovenian Alps’s Winter Sports

Unspoilt wilderness in Vogel

The only ski area situated within the Triglav National Park, Vogelbenefits from an almost unbelievably picturesque location, surrounded by towering mountains and with views over Lake Bohinj towards Mt Triglav, Slovenia’s highest peak. The terrain is unusually beautiful too – an array of snowy hillocks, which feels like skiing on the contours of a fluffy cloud or through a Renaissance vision of heaven.

Despite its relatively diminutive size (22km of pistes), the area’s varied topography makes it feel much bigger, and there’s a magical laid-back atmosphere, perfect for carefree coasting down the well-groomed blue and red runs. When conditions are right and there’s plenty of snow, it’s also a great destination for off-piste skiing and ski touring.

Family-friendly facilities at Kranjska Gora

Uniquely for Slovenia’s major ski resorts, Kranjska Gora’s ski area is located directly adjacent to the village, allowing many of its hotels to offer ski-in, ski-out access. The piste layout is compact and straightforward, with several parallel lifts providing access to a range of side-by-side nursery, blue and red slopes. It’s a perfect proposition for families and beginners, as it’s virtually impossible to lose anyone and

Best Spring Break Destinations in World

Hawai’i, the Big Island

With year-round temperatures that hover between 70°F and 80°F (21°C and 27°C), there’s never a bad time to head to the Big Island. But March marks the end of the high season, and budget travelers can usually find discounts on the largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. Through April, the island sees upticks in visitors hula-ing at major festivals like the Merrie Monarch Festival (a worthy trip in itself), but if you time it right you can score a spot on one of Hawaii’s most dynamic islands. Trek into the snow-capped peaks (try Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s tallest at nearly 13,800ft), wander through a verdant Kona coffee farm, and watch the Big Island get bigger at one of the longest-running volcanic eruptions anywhere in the world.

Whistler, British Columbia

For those who’d rather trade in the surfboard for skis on their spring break, head to the Coast Mountain resort town of Whistler, BC. By March the peak season has begun to die down, and the resorts offer up great deals to keep the winter momentum going. Longer days, clear skies and a good snowpack make a spring in Whistler the perfect choice

Top 10 Free Things to do in Paris

1. Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris

Festooned with gargoyles and Gothic touches, this imposing icon ofParis is essential for every visitor. Entering this grand medieval edifice is free (although it costs to climb its twin towers) as is a stroll along the neighbouring Seine for an alternate view of the cathedral’s spiky apse and naturalist sculptures.

2. Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen

Window-shopping (or lécher les vitrines to the locals) is a great way to take an indulgent peek at objets d’art and wild curiosities you’d never actually buy. The St-Ouen flea market and antiques fair is the perfect place to let your imagination run riot. Marvel at bearskin rugs, antique tapestries and brass diving bells in this decadently eccentric marketplace. (But try to keep your eyebrow-raising in check when you look at the price tags.) Hop off the metro at Porte de Clignancourt (line 4) and continue under the bridge until the souvenir stalls give way to side streets crammed with beautiful buys.

3. Parc du Champ de Mars

A lift to the peak of the Eiffel Tower can squeeze the budget but views below can be equally stunning, albeit from a different

First Time France, Where to go and What to do

Paris

France’s chic, sexy capital has to be experienced at least once. Mix picture-postcard icons with simple Parisian moments and you’ll truly fall in love with the city. Scale the Eiffel Tower then walk or cycle along the Seine, or cruise down it on a bateau-mouche (bateaux-mouches.fr). Venerate Notre Dame then grab a post-cathedral café atCafé Saint-Régis, ice-cream at Berthillon or super juice at literary café of mythical bookshop Shakespeare & Company. Hit the Louvre then collapse on a bench with a Pierre Hermé macaron in the Tuileries orPalais Royal gardens. Delve into hilltop Montmartre with a local Paris Greeter (greeters.paris). Escape to posh leafy Versailles and come back blown away by France’s most famous chateau.

Loire Valley

Stunning châteaux are scattered around the lush Loire Valley. Stand in awe of the Renaissance supertanker of a castle Château de Chambord, and graceful Château de Chenonceau astride the Cher River. Château de Blois with its whistle-stop tour of French architecture, and classicalChâteau de Cheverny where the spectacle of the dogs having dinner steals the show, is the perfect one-day combo. In summer put the gardens at Château de Villandry and Château d’Azay-le-Rideau after dark on your hit list. Base yourself in

Tips to Prepare a Perfect Voyage to Antartica

Lean on an outfitter for the logistics

Antarctic cruises have the benefit of organized pre- and post-voyage transportation and sometimes include additional excursions aroundUshuaia, Argentina (where most Antarctica-bound vessels call in to port) plus accommodations, on-board meals and expedition gear included in the price. Pick a reputable, International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators-affiliated (iaato.org) outfitter to ensure a safe and environmentally responsible experience.

The more you know, before you go

Reading about Antarctica’s history, geography and wildlife will not only provide pre-trip inspiration, but will help you appreciate the journey as you reflect on the tales of those first explorers who charted the very same waters you’ll be sailing. Antarctica showcases wildlife on a magnificent scale, so learning about the life-cycle and food chain of the continent’s species will provide insight on the mesmerizing and sometimes curious behavior you’ll bear witness to.

If you don’t get a chance to read up before you go, most ships have reference libraries and offer lectures by on-board scientists. You may find yourself sitting next to one of them in the dining hall – pick their brains and you’re guaranteed top-notch dinner conversation.

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