Megha Shah

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Tour de dessert: Europe’s most delicious pastries, cakes and tarts

American cafe culture has come a long way in the last two decades: corporate coffee has spawned near two generations of independent cafes that offer more than the old standby of roadside diner joe and pie. But in Europe, grand salons with wrap-around pastry cases have more in common with jewellery …

Take to the skies: the world's greatest airborne adventures

To mark Lonely Planet’s sponsorship of the iconic 1917 Curtiss JN-4 ‘Flying Jenny’ Biplane’s commemorative air tour this summer we’re exploring aviation's history and continued impact on travel. Here are 10 ways to soar into the ether in some of the world's most inspiring locations, adapted from …

10 of the world's best learn-to-dive destinations

Dreaming of getting your dive ticket? With a combination of idyllic conditions and reputable dive outfits, we’ve narrowed down the top spots to get certified – from the Caribbean to the Maldives, and everywhere in between.<p>Clown fish, Halik Reef, Gili Trawangan, Indonesia. Image by Randi Ang / …

Top five nerve-shredding road trips in Costa Rica

Renting a car in Costa Rica is costly and can even be dangerous if you're not prepared for what's to come. It’s also ridiculously good fun. Some of the most interesting, little-explored destinations are only accessible by car, and for the adventurous traveler, there’s simply no substitute for the …

Central America

Escape to Japan's Oki Islands

Japan seduces and dazzles travellers with its buzzed-up, sprawling, ultra-convenient big cities. But if you’re weary of crowds and vending-machine-packed streets, get yourself to Matsue in Western Honshū and hop a ferry to the slow life on the remote and fascinating Oki Islands.<p>Newly added to the …

Beyond Halong Bay: lesser-known highlights of northeast Vietnam

Stunning<p>Halong Bay continues to dominate the itineraries of most travellers in Vietnam, but it’s not the be-all and end-all of the country's northeast.<p>If you’ve got some time up your sleeve and want to delve a little deeper, you’ll find there is more to this region than cruising around Halong’s …

Vietnam

Exploring Mexico's Pacific and Caribbean coasts

When people think Mexico, many see golden sand, blue water and green palms. Hundreds of beaches fit this bill: some near-empty with a few palm-thatched eateries and cabañas; others busy urban beaches. Most of the best are on the Pacific or the Caribbean coasts.<p>Right, got your bathers and a …

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 …

Great places to stay on the world's loveliest islands

Don’t waste precious travel time dragging your flip-flopped feet to the beach. We’ve rounded up ten places to stay on some of the world’s most beautiful islands – and they’re all a stone’s throw from the beach. Best of all, you don’t need to sell your granny to enjoy an island getaway, we’ve picked …

National Geographic Travel

National Geographic Travel

National Geographic Travel

National Geographic Travel

Checking In: Going Small in the Caribbean

Whether you’re hoping to get in some grade-A scuba time or explore a tropical forest, the Caribbean has you covered.<p><b>Here are three petite lodges that pack a real luxury punch in paradise:</b><p><b>■</b> <b>Casa Bonita</b>, Barahona, Dominican Republic <i>(from $211)</i><p>The Dominican Republic’s antidote to airbrushed Punta Cana: …

Dominican Republic

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 …

Top 15 travel experiences in Sikkim, India

One of the Himalaya’s best-kept travel secrets, Sikkim is a welcome diversion from all conventional notions of an Indian holiday. Far from Rajasthan’s royal trail, Goa’s beaches and Kerala’s backwaters, this tiny Indian hill state prides itself on pristine alpine forests, lofty snow-capped …

The 10 best treks in the world

These 10 classic treks are for serious walkers. All of them require a sturdy pair of lungs, fit legs and a good amount of preparation. However, if you choose to go on any of these trails then you will be rewarded with experiences that last a lifetime. In no particular order:<p>1. GR20, France<p><i>Image by</i> …

Nail-biting wildlife encounters

Ever peered through the razor-sharp jaws of a great white shark? Or gone fishing with a grizzly bear? Here are nine animal experiences to get your adrenalin pumping.<p>Track gorillas in the Ugandan jungle<p>Gorilla trek by Hjalmar Gislason. Creative Commons Attribution Licence.<p>Endemic to the forests of …

Wild at heart: best animal adventures

Set your pulse racing with the wildest animal adventures around the world. This article is adapted from Lonely Planet's <i>1000 Ultimate Adventures.</i><p>Get close to giant pandas near Xi'an, China<p>Pandas by Chi King. CC BY 2.0.<p>These black-and-white beauties are battling extinction but you can help them out – …

Finding the right Greek island

With more than 2000 islands, from tiny atolls to Crete, maritime Greece is unmatched for sheer variety. Beaches, history, walking, cycling, water sports, festivals, food, ecology: chances are if you want it, they’ve got it. Here are just a few of the incomparable offerings Greek islands hold.<p>The …

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 …

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Where to follow the global ale trail

You don’t have to travel far to realise that pale lagers are the beer of choice for the majority of the world. In fact, beers like Foster’s, Carling, Coors and Budweiser account for over 90% of all beer consumed worldwide, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t alternatives out there.<p>The UK and Belgium …

Island-hopping down Central America’s Caribbean coast

You don't always need suitcases full of cash to enjoy the Caribbean Sea – cradled in its western corner lie a number of idyllic island groups that are surprisingly easy on the pocket. Here's our guide to navigating this captivating region sure to bring out the adventurer in you.<p><b>San Blas Islands,</b> …

New Zealand's most wondrous night-time experiences

From night hikes to cave-rafts to midnight munchies, there’s lots to do in New Zealand when the lights go out...<p>1. Night-hike the Tongariro Crossing<p>The 19km Tongariro Alpine Crossing is frequently touted as the world’s best day walk, thanks to its compact combination of sulphurous lakes, huffing …

Sydney’s top speciality drinking spots

It’s hard to know where to start in a city that sparkles with entertainment options after dark. There’s no shortage of clubs, pubs, big bars and, these days, small bars in Sydney. But if you’re looking for something a little niche, here is our pick of the best. All are conveniently located in the …

America's best craft breweries

It wasn't long ago when the American beer market was dominated by a handful of acrid, factory-produced brews that bore only a passing resemblance to what those in other climes called 'beer'. Thankfully, those days of choking down foul-tasting swill are long gone, with an explosion of microbreweries …