Holidays

Colombia’s addictive charm

By Daralyn Danns, December 30, 2008

Colombia has to be South America’s best-kept secret. To me it instantly conjured up coffee and emeralds; for my friends, kidnappings and cocaine spring to mind. The country used to have a reputation for violence and drugs, but when Álvaro Uribe became president in 2002, he cracked down on the drug traffickers and armed gangs. 

Now Colombia is mainly safe for tourists, although it is best to avoid areas around the borders with Ecuador, Venezuela and Peru.

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Art and nature: the new way to go Dutch

By Kate Wickers, December 30, 2008

My children were dubious. “Are you sure we can climb on it?” they asked for the second time. Even at the ages of two, six and seven they had learned that art is generally there to be looked at but never touched, let alone trampled over.

We clambered up and they shrieked with delight. Being able to interact with the outdoor exhibits in the Kroller-Mullers’ sculpture garden is just one of the highlights of a trip to the Hoge Veluwe National Park, the Netherland’s largest nature reserve.

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Vienna's reinvention

By Andy Mossack, December 23, 2008

There’s a square in Vienna’s old city. It’s not a particularly impressive square, nor for that matter especially large, but it is nevertheless a square of great Jewish significance. Judenplatz, as it is called, has come to represent a turning point in the political thinking of Austria, a country which is finally holding up its hands and accepting responsibility for the past crimes of National Socialism.

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Join Spain’s green party

By Anthea Gerrie, December 18, 2008

Five hundred years after the golden age for Spanish Jewry
was brought to a brutal end by the Inquisition, it is touching
to find at least one long-gone community immortalised, albeit in pastry.  

In fact, many kinds of pastries and desserts are still being faithfully turned out according to centuries-old Sephardic recipes at La Tafona de Herminia, a bakery in the tiny town of Ribadavia which proudly identifies itself with a Magen David.

Ribadavia is a jewel in the crown of Galicia, a relatively undiscovered province of Spain in the extreme north-west corner of the country.   

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Florida? Just give me the keys

By Nick Ferrari, December 11, 2008

Get the timing right, and within just 90 minutes of touching down at Miami airport, you can be playing tennis virtually outside your very own luxury cottage, just a decent serve across pristine white sand from the Atlantic Ocean.

Well, in truth, you might need to have the sort of serve you only see dished up by Roger Federer… but you get the point, it’s pretty damned close.

And that nearby water, and all it offers, is very much the key to enjoying all that the Florida Keys has to offer, and in particular Islamorada where our luxury holiday resort village, The Moorings, was located.

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Slough’s country retreat – not so far from the Office

By Ivor Baddiel, December 11, 2008

Getting away from it all. It’s the ultimate goal in the travel game. But there’s something particularly appealing about getting away from it all, whilst only being only 45 minutes away from the “all” you’re getting away from.

This was very much the case when I spent a weekend at Stoke Place Hotel, one of six properties in new boutique hotel group, Dhillon Hotels.

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Late-night museums, food festival and entertainment across Jerusalem

December 5, 2008

Jerusalem is again hosting its main cultural, city-wide event during the first three weekends in December, 4-6, 11-13 and 18-20. The event is known as Hamshushalayim – a combination of Hamshush, which is Hebrew slang for the long Israeli weekend which stretches from Thursday to Saturday, and Jerusalem.

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Jerusalem: holy and cool

By Lydia Weitzman, December 4, 2008

regular visitors to Israel are familiar with the road into Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, with its sweeping views of the hills. Now, as the road makes its final turn into the city, there’s a new vista — the eye-popping Bridge of Strings, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava to carry the city’s latest work-in-progress, the light railway.

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Strictly Caribbean and other winter escapes

By Lucy Miller, December 4, 2008
For those craving Caribbean sunshine along with kosher cuisine, USA-based Club Kosher is offering vacations in Punta Cana in the sun-soaked Dominican Republic next month. The holidays — for seven or 10 days from January 15-25 — are based at the Melia Caribe Tropical, a five-star beachside resort which offers, in addition to seven swimming pools, tennis, horse-riding, mountain-biking, windsurfing, sailing, snorkelling and kayaking. There is also a spa, gym, live shows and organized activities for children.

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Scotland: Go west for whisky galore

By Anthea Gerrie, November 27, 2008

As if the west coast of Scotland, with its dramatic Highlands and romantic islands, needed any added incentive for visitors beyond its grandeur and beauty, it has recently been officially named the Whisky Coast, presumably to entice aficionados of the wee dram for which the country is even more famous than its lochs.

Many of the finest single malts are made in esoteric spots such as Islay and Kintyre, and distilleries - taking their lead from European wineries - are now laying on informative and entertaining tours.

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