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10 reasons you need to get to Niue

 Communing with marine giants

From July to September, migrating humpback whales stop off in Niue’s warm tropical waters to nurse their newly born calves, and the island is one of the only places on the planet where it is possible to swim with these gentle leviathans. The whales are often in surprisingly shallow waters, around 30 metres from Niue’s rocky coastline, which means some lucky participants on snorkelling trips have the opportunity to float gently in crystalline waters above the giant cetaceans. And dolphins are also regular visitors in these waters. Niue supports marine mammal conservation and is a signatory to the South Pacific Whale Sanctuary with a 200-mile exclusive zone. Whale interactions here are from a safe distance which respects their privacy and ensures the safety of the humans in the water too.

A network of exploration-ready caves

One of the world’s largest raised coral atolls, Niue is very different geographically from other South Pacific islands. There’s only one sandy beach at Avatele, and instead the craggy shoreline is

Where to find 10 of Lisbon’s best views

City of Contrasts: View of the Many Facets of Lisbon from the Top of Amoreiras Shopping Mall

 The whole city from the top of a shopping mall

The classic miradouros (viewpoints) in the old part of the city are the most sought-out for capturing the postcard-perfect image of Lisbon. But from the Amoreiras 360 Panoramic View, on the rooftop of the Amoreiras Shopping Mall, you have the whole Portuguese capital at your feet. Get whisked up for 15 minutes and enjoy a completely unobstructed view that takes in old and new Lisbon.

A garden overlooking Baixa

The Jardim do Torel (Rua Júlio de Andrade) is a former 19th-century private garden with a playful, quirky personality. Its unusual chaise-longue-style park benches make the most of the soft slope, becoming an open-armed invitation to sit and relax in one of Lisbon’s quietest green spaces. It offers a lovely view of the Praça dos Restauradores in the Baixa quarter, just a couple of minutes from the Ascensor da Lavra.

A peaceful spot for

How to get to Middle-earth

 The Hobbiton set is the country’s best-known attraction today with close to half a million visitors a year, but there is of course a wealth of film locations far beyond ‘the Shire’. You can always discover New Zealand’s dramatic film locations (over 150 were used during filming) for yourself, starting with this handy guide, or you can head to this remote country on a tour.

We’ve rounded up a few of the many operators running Tolkien tours of New Zealand in 2017, each for a different type of travellers. One thing they all seem to have in common is the desire to meld real life with fantasy worlds while exploring one of the world’s most beautiful countries.

Be a Middle-earth explorer

You can follow in the footsteps of Frodo and Bilbo with Round the World Experts ( on a 17-day tour of all things Lord of the Rings. As well as the obligatory visit to Hobbiton, the tour takes you to Wellington to go behind the scenes at the interactive Weta Cave

How to Keep Your Travel Memories Safe

How to Keep Your Travel Memories Safe

Use a Private Line

And no, we’re not talking about phone lines. The Bitdefender BOX’s VPN – virtual private network – is essentially your own internet connection without the threat of malicious hackers or viruses.

It’s a well-known fact that you should never connect to open public WiFi you are unfamiliar with, especially in popular tourist areas. However, with the Bitdefender BOX in place and connected to all electronic devices in your home, you can take any device with you on your travels — phones, tablets, cameras — and connect to public WiFi without leaving yourself susceptible to virtual predators.

Turn Off Find My iPhone

This popular feature which has become convenient to many can also leave your photos vulnerable, as it’s been widely reported that phones have been hacked remotely using Find My iPhone.

While it should be noted that disabling this feature would prevent you from utilizing it in the event of losing it or having it stolen, it’s important to consider your virtual safety just as important as your devices’ physical safety. It’s unsettling to think of your personal items being stolen, but open accessibility

How to Travel Expensive Countries Affordably

When you’re on a budget, travel to typically costly countries can seem out of reach — but don’t let the generalization that travel has to be expensive stop you from marking these destinations off your bucket list!

We’ve collected our best money-saving tips for some of the most expensive countries in the world, so even the most frugal traveler can enjoy time in these gorgeous countries.

How to Travel England on a Budget

England has some of the most beautiful cities and landscapes Europe has to offer, but typically at a hefty price. However, classic tourist attractions like Big Ben, Changing the Guard ceremony, Abbey Road, and all of Britain’s national museums are free! London’s beautiful SkyGarden is free to tour (although you should definitely reserve tickets ahead of time), and you can enjoy sweeping views of Central London from the royal Greenwich Park.

When to Fly: Traveling in winter months between November and March to save an average of about $300-400, or book flights well in advance for as little as $500 round trip (!) with discount European airlines. For example, a summer flight from the US, booked 6 months in advance, comes in at around $1,150, vs. an

More Guide to El Nido, Philippines

Located within the stunning and lush mountains of Palawan’s main island, El Nido has been rated one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines. Forget crowded resorts in tourist cities, and escape to tranquil and awe-inspiring El Nido instead.

El Nido, Philippines Travel Guide

How to Get to El Nido

From your departing destination, you’ll likely fly to the Philippines’ capital of Manila before making your way to the main island of Palawan. If you are traveling from anywhere other than Asia, your best bet is to stay one night near the airport in Manila before embarking on your island hopper flight to the island of Palawan.

Manila is known as one of the busiest airports in the world, and, in turn, I was recommended to allot at least three hours to switch terminals or get to nearby airport hotels. I was relieved to find it only took about 30 minutes to get from the international terminal to the Salem Airport Guesthouse (the closest airport hotel I could find) which was less than a mile away. However, that was after waiting nearly an hour for our shuttle driver to arrive.

The easiest and quickest

New ways to travel

Many of today’s travellers prefer a more individual approach, looking for travel experiences that are unique, tailored and fit with their personal tastes and interests. The same destination can offer different holidays for different people: foodies might choose Bali for a three-day cooking course in Ubud; fitness fanatics would probably prefer a bootcamp week in Seminyak, while those in need of some quiet time might prefer a yoga retreat in Canggu.

Of course, some destinations naturally lend themselves to a particular type of travel. For example, the Galapagos Islands are unlikely to appeal to those not interested in wildlife. But if you were, say, an iguana enthusiast, and you gallivanted off to the Galapagos for ten days, you’d probably find yourself surrounded by like-minded souls.

Eco-tourism and voluntourism are two other relatively new travel niches that are becoming increasingly compelling reasons to travel. Instead being perched poolside at a luxury tropical resort for the duration of their stay, holiday makers might instead choose to spend a day helping to rebuild a cyclone-damaged school or digging a new cesspit for a local village.

These holiday choices often stem from a strong desire to connect with the

Any Tips When Travelling With Kids

  1. Talk to the experts.

Your personal travel manager is the obvious person to start with, with the knowledge and expertise to advise you on everything from family-friendly accommodation to the most child-friendly flight schedules. But there are plenty of other experts whose wisdom you can tap: whether it’s your pharmacist for the best mozzie repellent or your favourite librarian for fun new books for when you need a quiet distraction, people are happy to help.

Talk to other parents who’ve travelled with their young children – they’re usually a wealth of “dos and don’ts”.

When you arrive at your destination, ask the reception staff, concierge or porters for the best playgrounds and child-friendly restaurants in the vicinity.

  1. Share in the journey.

It’s easy to get swept up in the planning and logistics, without taking the children along for the ride. You can tailor your approach to the age of the child, so whereas an older child might be shown maps and photos, a toddler might be given a toy or a picture book that reflects their destination.

  1. Choose wisely.

Look for options that specifically target families – many hotels

Highlights of Singapore

Gardens Galore

As you approach Singapore’s central business district, your eye will automatically be drawn to two structures that simply defy belief. Even in a city that seems to run on the notion that “if you can imagine it, we can build it”, these go above and beyond the imagination of mere mortals. Gardens by the Bay could be described prosaically as a nature park of three gardens that cover a total of 101 acres of reclaimed waterfront, but the reality is so much more. The largest of the three gardens, the Bay South Garden, comprises two vast temperature-controlled conservatories: the Flower Dome is a mild, dry zone featuring plants from semi-arid regions while the Cloud Forest replicates the cool, moist conditions and flora of a tropical mountain region. This garden is also home to the Supertree Grove, a collection of twelve futuristic treelike structures, the tallest of which stands sixteen storeys high.

Measuring roughly 50 kilometres across and 27 kilometres across, Singapore is slightly smaller than ACT and its relatively small size means you’re never far from a green space. The Singapore Botanic Gardens are roughly six kilometres from downtown, with attractions that include the

The 7 Most Scenic Self-Guided in England

7) The Ridgeway – 140km (87 miles)

Often described as Britain’s oldest road, the Ridgeway stretches from Overton Hill in Wiltshire to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire. The starting point for the Ridgeway National Trail is near Avebury, a World Heritage Site largely encircled by the prehistoric Avebury henge, a set of stone circles built during the Neolithic period more than 4,000 years ago. After crossing the River Thames, the walk leads you through Henley-on-Thames, a beautiful riverside town famous for its Royal Regatta every summer. After that you’re practically walking along the spine of the Chiltern Hills to Ivinghoe Beacon.

6) Cotswold Way – 164km (102 miles)

The Cotswold Way scenic route runs along the Cotswold Edge escarpment, where rolling hills and picturesque villages are often shrouded in morning mist. The route is also close to many historic sites, including the Broadway Tower, Hailes Abbey, Sudeley Castle, Tyndale Monument, Somerset Monument and of course, the ancient Roman town of Bath where you can relieve your sore muscles and aching joints in natural hot spa water.

5) Ambleside-Troutbeck Circular Walk – 10.5km (6.5 miles)

With literally hundreds of walks offering awe-inspiring views over the

10 Most Romantic Spots To Kiss in England

10. The Mill Bridge in Bourton-on-the-Water, Cotswold

A tranquil river spanned by picturesque low arched stone bridges drifts through Bourton-on-the-Water, a charming Cotswold village. Set in the village centre, the original Mill Bridge is still as beautiful and functional as it was when it was built over 360 years ago. Take a stroll over it and share a kiss against a backdrop of picture-book cottages to prove that your love will last forever too.

9. Champagne on the London Eye

If Cupid had a home, it would probably be the aptly named ‘Cupid’s Capsule’ on the London Eye. It’s designed for couples, so you and your loved one can drink in the spectacular views of London, as well as a bottle of Champagne, in your own private capsule. The ride lasts 30 minutes; how many kisses you think you can steal above London in that time?

8. Durdle Door in Dorset

Located along Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, the natural limestone arch at Durdle Door helps make this beach one of the most beautiful in England. It is best to visit at dusk when the sun slowly disappears over the horizon and the sky is

The Best Clubs For People Who Don’t Like Clubbing

Regression Sessions (UK)

Strictly speaking, it’s a night rather than a club, but let’s not concern ourselves with trivialities. Regression Sessions have been putting on events all over the UK for the last five years and are famous for their ball pits, bouncy castles and expansive production. The vibe is very much adults indulging their childish sides, so if you’re not feeling the drum and bass, house and techno spun by Fabric residents, there’s always something else to do. That might just mean face painting.

Fluxus Ministerija (Kaunas, Lithuania)

Housed in an abandoned shoe factory, the Ministry of Fluxus is an accessible art project that happens to throw twanging raves. You’ll find a different vibe in every cavernous room, and the swirling visuals and chin-strokey art installations will make more sense when you’re two pingers down. The lengths of their parties are legendary – come on Saturday, leave Sunday afternoon. Spend the next two days in your hotel room squinting through the curtains and watching Lithuanian dubbed reruns of Diagnosis Murder.

Elrow (Barcelona/Ibiza/Madrid)

Elrow states that its primary function is to “entertain and amuse” and it does so through a magical alchemy of the

Living Like a Local in the Maldives

As the Maldives opens its inhabited islands to tourism, Heidi Fuller-love island hops and meets locals in three remote destinations.

My coccyx squeals as the tatty speedboat bucks and thumps us over the waves to Maafushi in the Kaafu Atol. Used to this brutal form of transport, Mohammed lounges on the bench next to me humming a song dedicated to Al-Sultan Ghazi Muhammad Bodu Thakurufaanu, the sea captain who liberated The Maldives from Portuguese conquerors in 1573.

I’ve been to many exotic destinations, but often felt that they’d been over-hyped. The Maldives, however, are as good as in the brochures: beneath our boat the water shimmers clear as turquoise glass as we bump across the waves, past tiny islands set in the sparkling sea like green egg yolks surrounded by the blue-white waters of their coral lagoons. “Most people come here for the diving – it’s the best in the world,” says Mohammed, who I met whilst waiting in line to take this ferry to his island.

Although tourists began to visit the Maldives in 1973, travellers were only allowed to stay on the resort islands and the only Maldivians

Cycle around the world | How to Do it

Want to quit your job and go travelling but too skint or scared to take the leap? Take inspiration from Annie Londonderry, the first woman to cycle around the world. Coralie Modschiedler recounts her stirring tale.

On the morning of 13 January 1895, an enthusiastic crowd, giddy with anticipation, lined the streets of Marseille to see the arrival of a brave, young American woman in her early twenties.

Dressed in a man’s riding suit and astride a man’s bicycle, she had braved bitter cold and snow to reach the south of France from Paris. But despite the hardship, there she was, in the flesh: the famous, audacious Annie Londonderry – the first woman to attempt to cycle around the world.

A loud cheer went up and people waved and shouted as the petite, dark-haired cyclist wheeled by with one foot – her other foot, wrapped in bandages, was propped on the handlebars. Marseille was the last leg of her French sojourn and had been the most perilous so far.

“One night I had an encounter with highwaymen near Lacone [about 50km north of Marseille],” Annie later wrote in

A Novice’s Guide for Architecture Traveller


Era: 850 BC to 476 AD

The mother of all architectural styles, the elegant proportions and stately poise of classical architecture sired a legion of later revivals. The grand temples and civic structures of ancient Greece and Rome followed strict rules known as the ‘orders’ of architecture. The three most important are Doric, Ionic and Corinthian; all easily recognisable from their capitals (the decorative bit at the top of the columns).

How to spot it: Doric: plain capitals. Ionic: scroll-like capitals. Corinthian: elaborate capitals with carved acanthus leaves.
Where to find it: the Colosseum or Pantheon in Rome; the Acropolis, Athens.


Era: 330-1453

With glittering mosaics and more domes than a field full of mole hills, Byzantine architecture was built to impress. Walking into a lavishly decorated basilica with high domed ceilings and a blanket of gold ornamentation, worshipers would have been under no illusions about the power and wealth of the emperors.

How to spot it: multiple domes and sumptuous decoration.
Where to find it: Aya Sofya, Istanbul; St Mark’s Basilica, Venice; Sacré Coeur, Paris (Byzantine revival).


Sicily’s best coastal hikes

Stromboli, Aeolian Islands

Start/End: Stromboli town | Length: 8km | Duration: five to six hours | Difficulty: moderate-demanding

For sheer excitement, nothing compares to Stromboli. Sicily’s showiest volcanic island has been lighting up the Mediterranean for millennia, spewing out showers of red-hot rock with remarkable regularity since the age of Odysseus.

Set off a couple of hours before sunset for the spectacularly scenic trek (guide required) to Stromboli’s 924m summit. Climbing through a landscape of yellow broom and wild capers, the trail eventually opens onto bare slopes of black volcanic rock, revealing fabulous vistas of Stromboli town, the sparkling sea and the volcanic islet of Strombolicchio below, and a zigzag line of fellow hikers slogging steadily towards the summit above.

Round the last bend and emerge into a surreal panorama of smouldering craters framed by the setting sun. For the next hour you’re treated to full-on views of Stromboli’s pyrotechnics from a perfect vantage point above the craters. The periodic eruptions grow ever brighter against the darkening sky, changing with the waning light from awe-inspiring puffs of grey smoke to fountains of brilliant orange-red, evoking oohs and aahs that mix

the ultimate guide for newly-weds abroad

Schedule in some downtime

You’ve just thrown the biggest party of your life. You’ve people-managed warring family members, negotiated hard with scores of suppliers, and spent entire evenings hunched over a table plan. You’re pretty much a multi-tasking superhero. But even superheroes need to recharge their batteries now and again.

So even if you’re both full-on adventure junkies, don’t plan to rush headlong into a jam-packed schedule of activities, especially if you’re in a new city where you haven’t found your feet. Trust us: leave the first couple of days fairly free. Acclimatise, get to know one another again in a pressure-free zone and bask in all those wedding memories. Your brain will thank you for letting it catch up. Then chuck yourself into the fun feet first.

Resist the ‘should’ brigade

A two-week beach break doesn’t quite float your boat? Don’t feel you have to cave to others’ expectations of what a honeymoon ‘should’ be. Make no mistake: the wedding business is a booming industry, and there are plenty of people chomping at the bit to profit from your love for one another. If what you both truly desire is an

Best Place to Adventure in February

Visit Lapland for dog-sleds and dancing lights

The Arctic Circle sparkles at this time of year. The landscape is buried in snow and lakes are frozen. Polar night (the period of 24-hour darkness) is over, and the sun puts in ever-longer appearances. And the magical Northern Lights are quite likely to dance: according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the best time to look for aurora is February to March and September to October. This is also a great time for everyone – young, old, families, couples – to get into the great outdoors. Though still chilly, temperatures start to rise this month, and wilderness lodges offer full programs of activities: husky-sledding, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing… All guaranteed to warm you up. If all else fails, a visit to a traditional Finnish sauna should do the trick.

Head for the hot slopes and hot springs of Wyoming, USA

When snow cloaks the cowboy state, special things happen. Skiers and boarders will love the Teton Mountains resort of Jackson Hole, nicknamed ‘The Big One’ on account of its steep, squeaky-bum terrain and great powder (driest and deepest January to February). There are some

Great places for vegetarians in Belgrade

Radost Fina Kuhinjica

Radost Fina Kuhinjica is usually the first choice for vegetarians, due to its attractive location beneath the Kalemegdan Fortress, cozy setting in a ground-floor apartment and the original menu that will make even your die-hard meat-eating friends think twice. At Radost they always try new recipes as a daily menu, but the evergreen dishes to definitely taste are the starter platter with baba ganoush, hummus and freshly baked pita bread, vegan burgers in either beetroot or shiitake variation, as well as Radost ramen soup. Don’t be in a hurry, because the cakes are more than worth waiting for.


Located in one of the most beautiful and historical streets in Belgrade, Kosančićev venac, the restaurant’s name is a play on the Serbian word for ‘mother’. Mayka’s ( menu consists of vegetarian dishes from various national cuisines that are made at ordinary homes, evoking the smell and the warmth of mum’s kitchen. In a stylish interior you can order samosas, curry, meals made of seitan and dhal, pizzas, spicy lemonade or Indian sweets. However, the signature dish that sublimes the restaurant’s philosophy is Mayka goulash, an authentic version of stew made with seitan,

Where to go in February for wildlife and nature

For land-lovers, snow leopards and huge vistas of ice await in India; underwater explorers can swim with whale sharks in the balmy waters of the Philippines; and there’s a special treat for spotters who can bear witness, not only to spectacular birdlife in Japan, but to the spectacle of millions of monarch butterflies taking flight in Mexico.

Head to Ladakh, India, for snow leopards and ice trekking

Brrrrrrr! It’s not warm in the Himalayan heights of northwest Indiaright now (days around 21°F; -6°C). But it’s worth braving the cold for a couple of very special experiences. Wildlife fans should head for Hemis National Park, home to a 400-year-old monastery, and one of the few places on the planet where the elusive snow leopard isn’t quite so elusive. During winter mating season – which peaks in February – the high-dwelling big cats descend to the valleys here to find mates, making them easier to spot. Alternatively, trekkers can check out the Chadar. This challenging winter hike starts near Leh, and uses the frozen Zanskar River as its path – walking on this icy meander is the only way to access the highland villages at this time. February