Europe

Is this really Benidorm?

By Jeannine Williamson, April 23, 2009

I’m sitting on the terrace of the Luxor restaurant, in the shadow of the Acropolis and Europe’s longest wooden roller coaster, when the waitress uncorks an excellent bottle of Spanish wine and sets a gourmet selection of starters on the immaculately laid table. Where am I? One of the last places you’d guess would be a theme park in Benidorm.

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Paris in a day? Check out Le Marais

By Jan Shure, March 19, 2009

The person who originally said that to travel was better than to arrive, could very well have been talking about the Eurostar service from London to Paris following its move north from Waterloo.

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Hotels in Israel and London, cycling in France, rail travel in Venice

By Lucy Miller, March 19, 2009

The Sheraton Hotel in Tiberias on the shores of Galilee has been given a special award by the Israel Tour Guides Association. The guides have given the hotel a Certificate of Appreciation for improving the image of Israel for tourists, and for the quality of service and the warmth of their welcome. Bookable through Israel specialist operators or with Sheraton (www.sheraton.co.il/english; 800 325 35353)

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Enjoy a festive city break in Alfama, Lisbon

By Simon Rocker, March 12, 2009

From atop their pillar, the Marqués de Pombal and his pet lion survey the preparations taking place for the night’s festivities. It is the eve of the Feast of St Anthony, patron saint of Lisbon, on June 12, and along Liberty Avenue, beer stalls, barriers and spectator stands have been put up for the parade.

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Life is suite in a penthouse

By Richard Burton, March 5, 2009

It wasn’t the first time I’d sipped champagne mid-ocean, shaken hands with a captain or made small-talk with a diplomat in a ship’s ballroom. But it was the first time I’d stood there and applauded a complete stranger — just for being rich. Honestly. That’s what I did, mid-Adriatic, one balmy night somewhere off the Italian coast.

The stranger was a Japanese businessman who had just completed — wait for it — more than 250 cruises on the same liner.

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Turkey: Enjoy a bazaar experience

By Jenni Frazer, February 18, 2009

How far would you go for a bath? A Turkish bath, that is. If you’re John Travolta, the answer is pretty far. The Hollywood A-lister flew all the way to Istanbul for the opportunity of a shvitz in the Galatasaray Hamam, the city’s oldest Turkish bath, dating from 1481.

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Dublin: Enjoy the Wilde life in the Irish capital

By Andy Mossack, February 12, 2009

I have the simplest of tastes; always satisfied with the best.” So said Oscar Wilde, one of Dublin’s most famous residents and an inspired way of encapsulating just what Dublin can offer.

This is, after all, a city where history, culture and partying collide and manage to co-exist in a glorious partnership.

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England: Postcards from the North

By Anthea Gerrie, January 29, 2009

Given that Morecambe has the ring of a seaside postcard about it, the image of a forlorn British resort that has seen better days, it is the last place you would expect millions to have been invested in a spectacular hotel aimed squarely at sophisticates.

Yet against all odds, the Midland, which once played host to the cream of British entertainers and socialites, has been restored from derelict shell to its former art deco splendour, and is pulling houses as full as those George Formby, Joe Loss and Alma Cogan once played to in the town’s Winter Gardens.

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Portugal: Sunshine with all the home comforts

By Mitchell Symons, January 14, 2009

This was my first visit to the Algarve and my initial impression lingered for the whole of my stay: that the Algarve is abroad for people who’d rather not be abroad.

They go because they want the sun — not because they’re interested in exploring another country’s culture.

And that’s absolutely fine in the Algarve: there’s sun, sea, sand and golf (of which more later) but you can eat familiar food and have your Daily Mail delivered to your room in the morning. It’s even in the same time zone as the UK.

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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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