Once upon a time a long, beautiful Spanish coastline was washed by the Mediterranean. Great mountains pierced the bluest of skies. Moorish palaces, whitewashed chapels, tiny villages and ancient towns sat peacefully in the sun. The people were known for their warmth. Fiestas filled the summer evenings. It was a charming and welcoming place and loved by all.
If you don’t recognise the description it’s probably because you – like most people – think of the Costa del Sol post 1960’s package-holiday-plague. And its famous names like Torremolinos, Fuengirola and Marbella are bywords for tacky – whether tack’s cheap beer and chip shops or monster yachts. Continue reading
The heat is on and according to some reports it’s not going to get turned down for a while as we reach the mid point of what is predicted to be one of the hottest European summers on record. This is great news, but don’t underestimate how important cooling off will be once the mercury starts to rise, especially in Europe’s cities.
Family Holidays are a bit like Christmas: there’s the perfect one we’re sold and the reality. How can there be a ‘perfect family’ holiday? You’d need a perfect family to start with – good luck with that. But a great family holiday is doable.
Here are ten tried and tested ways to get as close as you can to those tanned, terrific types lounging on sunbeds while their organically-fed offspring reproduce ancient Zen gardens by the gently lapping waters of an azure-blue sea – you know the kind of thing? Continue reading
Ernest Hemingway once said “…it is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.” The same is true for cities, you get to cover more ground quickly, feel the shape of the land you peddle over. With recent years seeing more and more urban areas around the world introducing public bike-sharing schemes and miles of brand new bike paths to encourage exploring on two wheels, there are so many amazing urban bike routes out there. Here are just a few of my favourites you should coast along one day. Continue reading
So far this summer everything seems to be about watching men I don’t know kick balls about, seeing men I wouldn’t admit to knowing whizzing about in questionable Lycra and wondering how David Beckam ended up at Wimbledon dressed for a Grouse Shoot c. 1922.
Thanks be then for the blissful breath of Alpine air that is The Salzburg Music Festival. Five weeks of opera, drama and classical concerts in one of Austria’s most beautiful cities where sporting is sharing your bag of Mozartkugel and any biting is strictly verboten. Apart from a few ancient Zen gardens in Kyoto, I can’t think of anywhere more civilised than Salzburg this July and August. Continue reading