Claire Van Vranken

24 Flips | 1 Magazine | 11 Likes | @cmv674 | Keep up with Claire Van Vranken on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “Claire Van Vranken”

From skulls to sewers: the darker side of Paris

Paris basks in its reputation as a glittering capital of fashion, art and culture – but it also has the power to bewitch visitors with more macabre sights.<p>Peer behind the glamour of the French capital to discover the best of its underground wonders and grisly history.<p>Les Catacombes<p>Beneath Paris’ …

Russia beyond Sochi: 10 ways to explore the world's largest country

The hosting of the 2014 Winter Olympics in the seaside city of Sochi and nearby Caucasus Mountains has been controversial, but there’s no doubt it has focused attention on the travel potential of the world’s largest country.<p>I’ve been a regular visitor to Russia for 20 years, during which time I’ve …

Exploring the best of Croatia's islands

Croatia’s coast is speckled with dozens of magnificent islands that range from tiny, verdant and unpopulated to massive, arid and sporting ancient towns and villages. One of the chief delights on any visit to Croatia is hopping between the islands on the numerous ferries, catamarans and taxi boats, …

Ireland's best drives

Whether or not you're used to getting into the driver's seat from the right, and driving on the left, Ireland's (often pot-holed) two-lane roads make up some of Europe's most scenic drives. Particularly going village to village, pub to pub, on and off the rugged coastal drives of western and …

Top experiences in Bali: making the most of paradise

Immerse yourself in the colour and sound of a traditional festival, dine on local specialities, snorkel beautiful reefs, watch craftspeople at work, wander through lush rice fields, or just relax and be pampered at a Balinese spa. There's an awful lot to do in paradise and it's not all about the …

The Seychelles for independent travellers

With stunning beaches and brilliant blue seas, it’s hardly surprising the Seychelles rank among the world’s most idyllic island getaways.<p>Marooned in the middle of the Indian Ocean, this archipelago of 115 islands is notoriously exclusive (and expensive), and if you simply couldn’t imagine …

Top 10 Eastern European getaways

For years Eastern Europe was the undiscovered half of the continent - but things have changed. The diverse highlights of Eastern Europe are now drawing travellers by the trainload. Here are our top 10 Eastern European getaways.<p>1. Julian Alps, Slovenia<p>The Julian Alps form Slovenia's dramatic …

Off the beaten track in Rome

From the Colosseum to the Sistine Chapel, Rome's headline acts need no introduction. But away from these historic crowd-pleasers, there are a host of lesser-known sights and neighbourhoods waiting to be discovered. Here's a selection of our favourites.<p>Chiesa di Santa Prassede<p>The interior of the …

Secret O’ahu: sights only the locals know about

Most people think of O’ahu strictly as a beach vacation interspersed with hiking and awash with cocktails. But what they don't realise is that there is a lot going on that has nothing to do with the island’s sandy beaches, flip-flopped feet, or the big, sugary, impossibly coloured drinks of …

Traveler Tips and Articles - Traveler Tips and ArticlesTraveler Tips and Articles

<b>Steve Waters</b> Lonely Planet author<p>Leave the bright lights and tourist delights of Esfahan and Shiraz far behind to track down these astonishing millennia-old relics among the dusty wilds of ancient Persia. From snow-tipped northern crags to scorching southern deserts, you’ll traverse eroded volcanic …

West Africa's best wildlife parks

Everyone knows about the great national parks of eastern and southern Africa – Masai Mara, Kruger and Serengeti all conjure up images of majestic landscapes, packs of lions lazing in the shade and herds of elephants roaming the savannah. But have you heard of Mole, Pendjari and Waza? These wildlife …

Off the beaten track in Borneo

From steaming jungle to the cloud-capped summit of Mt Kinabalu, Borneo’s natural wonders are undeniable. But the island is no longer the deserted paradise it once was.<p>Package tours and cheap flights from Southeast Asia have placed Borneo firmly on the tourist trail, and solitude is becoming hard to …

A guide to the eateries of Greece

Where to eat and drink in Greece? Perhaps the question should be: ‘Where not?’ Greeks live to eat and drink – they dream about it and talk about it at all times of the day. Wherever you go in Greece you might not find accurate clocks, punctual flights or a good cup of tea, but by Zeus you’ll find …

Top 10 stops for Central America first-timers

The green cufflinks between North and South America, these seven compact countries would be easy to skip on a map. Yet they represent a complex web of cultures, ancient ruins, tropical wildlife and adventure.<p>For starters, try climbing lava-gurgling volcanoes with perfect cones that poke above the …

Top 20 free things to do in Berlin

Berlin may be one of the best-value cities in Europe but, for visitors, those euros can start to add up after days of museum-hopping and nights of clubbing. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stretch your budget further by cashing in on some tip-top freebies.<p>Catch a ride to the Reichstag’s …

Gourmet nirvana: a foodie tour of South Africa's Western Cape

After a few wines, it's hard to get your tongue around 'Franschhoek' and 'Stellenbosch'. These beautiful places in South Africa's Western Cape are nestled among table-top mountains, valleys and rolling, vine-covered hills. For keen foodies and wine buffs, a visit here is a must; along with nearby …

Ten great cycling routes: from day-trips to long-distance adventures

Wind in your hair, landscapes whipping by, cruising through peaceful forests: embracing the outdoors on two wheels is one of the healthiest and most enjoyable ways to get around. Here’s our round-up of great cycling routes which offer something for everyone, from multi-day adventures to relaxing …

Ten of France’s natural wonders

France's smorgasbord of cultural delights could keep even the most avid museum-hopper busy for a lifetime, but don't forget about the great outdoors. France smoulders with natural beauty, so why not go <i>au naturel</i> at mountain ranges, canyons and startling stretches of coast? This round-up of …

Five family-friendly destinations you may not have considered

Everyone knows travel changes once kids come into the picture. Suddenly you have to plan around naps, easily accessible rescue centers for soiled-underpants and whining backseat drivers. What they don’t tell you is how much fun it can be, and that it doesn’t have to be limited to timeshares on …