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Galicia coast holiday guide: the best beaches, bars, restaurants and hotels

Lush green valleys and rugged mountains, sheer cliffs and wild, frothing, slate-grey seas. Bagpipes, baroque cathedrals and the smell of grilled seafood. The architectural grace of Santiago de Compostela and the industrial churn of Vigo. Galicia, the north-west corner of Spain, is a diverse region, …

European Travel

Cuisine, cars and culture: nine reasons to visit Emilia-Romagna

Emilia-Romagna may not roll as easily off the tongue or attract as many visitors as its neighbour Tuscany, but it's the perfect example of how making the effort to explore beyond popular destinations leads to wonderful rewards. This lesser-known region is home to some of the country's most famous …

Italy

Cantabria: discovering Spain’s little-visited north coast

Sitting pretty on the Iberian Peninsula’s north coast, tiny Cantabria offers a completely different vision of Spain. Still largely unknown to outsiders – Spanish tourists here outnumber foreigners 4 to 1 – this invitingly green region offers astounding variety in a relatively small space.<p>Tucked …

National Parks

Elemental adventures in Lake Garda and the Brenta Dolomites

The drive from Molveno in the Brenta Dolomites to Riva del Garda on the north shore of Lake Garda takes only an hour, but the change in scenery and vegetation on the way is dramatic. The 50km journey begins amidst conifer forests and stark limestone peaks, passing through alpine pastures and …

Palermo: Sicily’s multicultural capital

Palermo is a beguiling city, set like a jewel in the fan-shaped Conca d’Oro plain between two rocky promontories. For almost three millennia, empire after empire has colonised the place, depositing fragments of language, art, architecture, cuisine and customs that make it a fascinating mirror of …

The new type of hotel rescuing Italy's hill villages

The alberghi diffusi model is revitalising dwindling communities across Italy by repurposing their unused buildings into ‘scattered hotels’. Our writer lives like a local in a few of these hamlet gems. Scroll down for more<p>It was an unusual invasion: well-to-do people, most speaking strange tongues, …

Italy

24 Stunning Medieval Mountaintop Villages in Italy

A world above the chic cities and magnificent beaches, the magic of Italy is found more in its mountaintops than its monuments.<p>If you think you’ve …

Minding Machu Picchu: how to see Peru’s most famous ruins responsibly

It’s one of the world’s most spectacular archaeological sites, yet Machu Picchu has become a victim of its own popularity, with the 2017 introduction of a timed ticketing system just one of several recent initiatives the Peruvian government – under pressure from Unesco – has implemented to protect …

A perfect week in Tierra del Fuego

Travel to the terminus of the Andes and you’ve truly reached the end of the world once you set foot on Tierra del Fuego, a mythical land of fire and ice marooned off the southern tip of South America. Split in two by a border, it’s never been easier to visit both the Chilean and Argentinean sides …

5 must-visit destinations in Patagonia for modern explorers

Patagonia's 400,000 square miles are home to some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes on the planet.<p>It's an ideal destination for adventure …

Guide to Patagonia: what to do, how to do it, and where to stay

For my first forays into Patagonia, in the 1990s, I left behind my guidebooks and travelogues. Travelling light, I was blown away by big, jagged mountaintop glaciers and – more literally – the fierce westerlies that gusted summer long. Between the gawping and the roast lamb dinners, I struggled to …

A Weekend in Cáceres, Spain, the Newest 'Game of Thrones' Filming Location

A three-hour drive from Madrid, Cáceres has long been one of Spain's best-kept secrets—until now.<p>The Spanish region of Extremadura has long been a land of conquerors. Francisco Pizarro, Hernán Cortés, and Francisco de Orellana—explorers who crossed the Atlantic and plundered the New World—all hail …

10 of the best restaurants and bars in San Sebastián – chosen by the experts

Trotting hungrily through the streets of San Sebastián, local food writer Sasha Correa stops at Bar Goiz-Argi, “a great place”. Really? It’s shoulder-wide and looks like a betting shop, with its neon, and floor littered with serviettes. However, it is packed and no one’s doing selfies with <i>pintxos</i>, …

Argentina

Best places to eat and drink in Japan: readers’ travel tips

It might not be hard to find great sushi in Tokyo, or a gem of a sake bar, but where would you go for the best okonomiyaki pancakes, takoyaki octopus balls, gold ice-cream or udon noodles?<p><b>Winning tip: Takoyaki, Nishiki Market, Kyoto</b><p>I’ve eaten the most rarefied meals of my life in Japan, but it’s …

Japan

Málaga holiday guide: what to see plus the best bars, hotels and restaurants

This formerly down-at-heel port has been transformed into a vibrant city with plenty to please culture vultures, plus exciting new places to eat and drink<p>For most visitors, Málaga is simply a gateway to the beach resorts of the Costa del Sol, with few venturing far from the airport or into the …

European Travel

The 10 Most Beautiful Coastal Towns in Spain

Spain has more than 1,000 miles of Mediterranean coastline (just for starters), a mix of ancient port cities and resort towns that draw the European aristocracy. But true beauty isn't confined to seaside landscapes—the food of San Sebastián, the art of Málaga, the marbled walkways of Alicante make …

Counter-culture

Extremadura, Spain: Your Next European Weekend Getaway

Drink wine, eat jamón, and see no one.<p>Think of Spain’s Extremadura—a bucolic farming region backed up against Portugal—as Cortona pre-<i>Under the Tuscan Sun.</i> It’s the home of <i>jamón Íberico,</i> produces much of the world’s best sheep’s milk cheese, and is responsible for the kind of crisp whites that are …

How to Order a Drink in Spain

From choosing the size of your beer to ordering the right variety of wine, here's how to navigate Spain's drinking scene.<p>Before venturing abroad, any savvy traveler knows to brush up on a few essential phrases in the native language: “Where is the bathroom?” “What kind of meat is this?” And, of …

Spain, swords and sorcery: how Tudela enchanted the Game of Thrones producers

It must be difficult being a Game of Thrones writer. Difficult to find gruesome new ways to maim and kill people. The show’s millions of fans aren’t going to be kept happy with routine beheadings and disembowelments, with a penectomy thrown in for fun. So what’s a writer to do once season six rolls …

Game of Thrones

Top 10 national parks in Spain

Ordesa y Monte Perdido, Aragon<p>Nudging the French border is Spain’s joint oldest national park (created in 1918 with Picos de Europa, see below) but also one of the least well known. The 3,355m Monte Perdido (Lost Mountain) looms over dramatic glacial valleys up to 3km deep. In its 156 sq km you’ll …

National Parks

Beyond Barcelona: 16 Spanish Destinations You Must Visit

Barcelona may lure the masses with its Mediterranean beaches and mind-bending architecture, and tourists may flock to Madrid for its pulsating …

Four classic road trips in Spain and Portugal

Head to Spain to see the highlights of sunny Andalucía or the historic cities and towns north of Madrid, and to Portugal for Atlantic surf breaks or a tour of the Douro's vineyards<p>All the best bits of Andalucía, southern Spain<p><b>870 miles</b> <b><br>Two weeks</b><br>Fly into <b>Málaga (1)</b>, pick up a hire car and drive east …

The Spanish Wine Regions You Should Be Visiting Right Now

Just a two-hour drive from Madrid, you’ll find not one—but two—gorgeous wine regions.<p>At the feet of the Sierra de la Demanda and Sierra de Guadarrama mountain ranges just northeast of Madrid, you’ll find a dramatic stretch of countryside that’s home to not one, but two, wine regions—the rocky, …

Hiking the Alpujarras, southern Spain’s less-travelled path

The Camino de Santiago might be Spain’s most revered long-distance footpath, luring romantics, masochists and lost souls in search of spiritual enlightenment; but, with over a quarter of a million walkers now tackling the trek annually, it’s hardly off the beaten track.<p>For a more tranquil …

Soulful Triana: history, flamenco and festivals in Seville's quintessential neighbourhood

Seville’s identity is congenitally linked to Triana, a soulful neighbourhood on the west bank of the Guadalquivir River whose past is littered with stories of sailors, ceramicists, matadors, flamenco singers, Roma rebels and religious zealots.<p>Crammed onto a virtual island between two branches of …

How to Have the Sistine Chapel All to Yourself

The Sistine Chapel is one of Rome’s greatest treasures—but having an enjoyable visit there is rare. Some six million visitors pass through the chapel …

Alternative Angkor: Siem Reap beyond the temples

The Temples of<p>Angkor<p>are an iconic symbol of Southeast Asia and rightly Cambodia's top attraction. But Siem Reap, gateway to Angkor, offers much more than temples and is emerging as an activity centre for the Mekong region. With microlight flights, ziplining, cooking classes, horse-riding, the …

A guide to Vietnamese coffee

Strong and flavourful Vietnamese coffee makes converts as quickly as it raises pulses. French colonists might have introduced coffee to Vietnam, but the morning cup of <i>ca phe</i> soon became a local habit. With variations that make use of yoghurt, eggs and even fruit, Vietnamese coffee has developed a …

10 of the best ways to enjoy Barcelona … on a budget

Take in the view<p>Barcelona street life is irresistible, but sometimes you want to rise above the crowds. A ride in the cable car across the harbour is great but expensive (single ticket €11). You’ll get an even better view from the cocktail bar at the top of the waterfront W hotel. You do not even …

War

Holiday guide to Puglia, southern Italy: the best towns, restaurants and hotels

Poor Puglia. For centuries rampaging armies used this heel of Italy as a convenient motorway en route to richer pickings further afield. Nowadays, tourists treat a large part of the region in much the same way – barely touching the ground at Brindisi or Bari before speeding south to newly trendy …

Italy