Alan Flynn

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First time Ireland: unmissable Emerald Isle experiences

Ireland’s reputation precedes itself, so first-time visitors might think they know what to expect: fields of clover, gabby locals, etc. But there’s so much more to Ireland than its stereotypical charms. Skip the bus tours stopping at leprechaun-filled souvenir shops and find better things to do …

Ireland

How to travel in Europe

Fifty sovereign states. 10,180,000 sq km. 738,200,000 people. The word ‘Europe’ does little to convey the diversity found within, which can make it a bewildering place to travel. So here’s a handy guide to your transport options:<p>Car<p><b>Budget:</b> medium-high (London-Prague petrol from EUR360 return, plus …

Trains

Mexican kitchen: a gourmet guide to food in Mexico

Mexicans love food, especially their own. Visit Mexico and you will soon get a sense of how important food is in their lives: ask where to find, say, the best <i>carnitas</i> (braised pork) in Mexico City, or the best <i>mole</i> (a type of chilli sauce) in Oaxaca, and you’re up for a passionate, lengthy and …

Mexico

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> …

Hiking

19 free things to do in Singapore

Singapore may be one of the most expensive countries to visit in Southeast Asia, but there are plenty of free things to see and do to ease the pressure on your wallet. Here are some of our favourite Singapore freebies.<p>Get a taste of Peranakan history at Baba House<p>Baba House, the exquisitely …

Asia Travel

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 …

Trails

Top adventures in Laos

With its dense forests, limestone caves and endless waterways, Laos is a dream destination for intrepid travellers seeking an off-the-beaten-track corner of Asia.<p>Whether it's kayaking, cycling, rock climbing, ziplining between tree houses or exploring temple ruins – you can choose your own …

Asia Travel

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Loneliness

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 …

Asia Travel

Tiny countries that pack a big punch

Size isn't everything. Here are ten of the smallest countries in the world. Some of them are rarely visited, except by travellers collecting visa stamps. Most are islands, often far flung. Their wealth varies, from nearly the highest per capita GDP to nearly the lowest, but all still manage to …

European Travel

Spoilt for choice: Vietnam's best beaches

Vietnam might have been late to Southeast Asia’s beach party, but it was well worth the wait. The country boasts more than 3400km of coastline, with infinite stretches of powdery sand, coves, lagoons, impossible boulder formations and tropical islands ringed with yet more beaches. We can help you …

Vietnam

A thrillseeker’s guide to Vietnam

Dense jungles, brooding mountains, endless waterways, towering cliffs, hairpin bends: the potential for adrenalin-fuelled adventure is limitless in Vietnam. Whether you prefer to scale the heights of jagged peaks or plumb the depths of coral reefs, Vietnam will deliver something special. Heck, just …

Vietnam

The world's best secret islands

Looking for a romantic spot that's (almost) all yours? Here’s a list from our brand new <i>Best in Travel 2011</i> guide to reignite your love affair with desert islands, with picks from across the globe.<p>1. Torres Strait Islands, Australia<p><i>Image by Killer White Fluff</i><p>As far as you can go in Oz without …

Vietnam War

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

Bora Bora beyond the beach

Bora Bora is world-famous for its glinting turquoise lagoon, dazzlingly white sandy stretches of beach and luxurious resorts. With such a dreamlike setting, this magical island is, unsurprisingly, a great spot to decompress. But there’s much more to do than simply sipping a cocktail on your chaise. …

Scuba Diving

20 free things to do in Amsterdam

It's easy to spend a fortune in the Netherlands' stylish capital, but the city has plenty of gratis goodies up for grabs.<p>Check out our pick of the freebies on offer.<p><b>1. Canal Ring</b><p>More canals flow in Amsterdam than in Venice, and get this: the 400-year-old waterways are a UNESCO World Heritage site. …

European Travel

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 …

Ireland