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THE MIDDLE EAST’S BIGGEST TRAVEL MAGAZINE

AUGUST 2009

bright 14 ideas for Eid INCLUDING...

OMAN

KATHMANDU

MASAI MARA

BHUTAN

EGYPT

Korea Advice DISCOVERING THE JOYS OF BUSAN

Wizard in Oz

12 MONTHS OF FUN DOWN UNDER

Insider guides Locals’ tips on Madrid

+ +

Cultural fun in Vilnius New Orleans bounces back

TOTAL GUIDE

Greek Islands Will you pick Paxos, choose Chios, select Schinousa or opt for the Ionians? We’ve uncovered Greece’s finest holiday spots, from Agistri to Zakynthos…

WIN A luxury all-inclusive stay in Turkey at the Rixos Premium Belek KWT

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Mykonos Blu, Greece

AUGUST 2009 KANOO WORLD TRAVELLER

CONTENTS 7 12 13 17 26

AGENDA Everything you need to know about travel this month EASY WIN Don’t miss your shot at a Turkish break with Rixos KNOW IT ALL Our board of travel maestros answer your questions WEAR IN THE WORLD The perfect gear for your getaway PICTURE THIS Awesome images from across the globe 66 VILNIUS

14 DRIVETIME

Take a keen-eyed cruise in Cuba, from Havana to Pinar del Rio. Watch out for vultures.

Get the best out of a trip to Lithuania: make sure not to miss out on the Shakespeare hotel...

33 GREEK ISLANDS Plot a delightful time hopping about between islands, eating far too much halloumi.

58 BUSAN

Never considered a break in South Korea? Check out the highlights of its second city.

68 NEW ORLEANS The liveliest city in the States hasn’t let the flood waters dampen its spirit...

18 ESSENTIAL SELECTION

63 CONCIERGE

Find out what to do in Jamaica from the people who know the country best.

64 MADRID

Eid is approaching swiftly - stock up on some smart ideas to spark your imagination before your big trip.

Madrileños give us the local-eye view on where to stay and what to do.

72 SUITE DREAMS

16 ENJOY AUSTRALIA

A full year of events, festivals and more to look forward to - start booking those tickets now.

Prepare to fall in love with the Hotel Principe di Savoia. Jamaica

Produced by: Hot Media Publishing FZ LLC June 2008 22,485 BPA Consumer Audit Managing Director: Victoria Hazell-Thatcher Editorial Director: Rob Orchard Publishing Director: John Thatcher Advertisement Director: Chris Capstick Sales Manager: Ian Fairey Designer: Jenni Dennis

Advertising enquiries ian@hotmediapublishing.com +971 4 364 2875 Editorial enquiries editorial@hotmediapublishing.com +971 4 364 2876 Cover: iStockphoto Additional images from Getty, iStockphoto, Design Hotels

Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from Hot Media Publishing is strictly prohibited. All prices mentioned are correct at time of press but may change. Hot Media Publishing does not accept liability for omissions or errors in Kanoo World Traveller magazine. ‘Greek Islands’, ‘Madrid’, ‘Vilnius’, and ‘New Orleans’ features reprinted with kind permission of Sunday Times Travel.


AGENDA NEWS

12 EASY WIN 13 KNOW IT ALL 14 DRIVE TIME 16 ENJOY AUSTRALIA 17 WEAR IN THE WORLD 18 ESSENTIAL SELECTION 26 PICTURE THIS

AGENDA

WHAT’S IN

WHAT’S NEW

WHAT’S ON

FIT FOR A KING

TOP DEAL

Until the end of September you can enjoy a fantastic promotion from the Monarch Dubai, the ‘Name Your Price for Luxury’ deal. Just log on to themonarchdubai.com and you can bid on a series of rooms and services – make an offer for an overnight stay at the Monarch Suite, the smartest in the hotel, which has hosted the likes of Kofi Anan and Sir Richard Branson, as well as for regular rooms, spa treatments, and delightful dinners...

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NEW OPENING

BUY THE BOOK

Our favourite read this month has been a well-thumbed copy of Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica by Sara Wheeler, a beautiful description of a sojourn at the US South Pole Station. It gives a smart, funny insight into the life and landscapes of this mysterious continent, and will whet the appetite of adventurous travellers to make for the bottom of the globe.

THE CENTARA GRAND This month sees a beautiful new property from Centara open in the Maldives, the Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa. Just 25 minutes by seaplane from Male Airport, it has its own reef and sunken shipwreck on the Ari Atoll – sheer joy for divers. It’s also got its own five star spa in Spa Cenvaree, as well as two special kids clubs. You can stay in both beachfront and over-water accommodation – check out the beachfront numbers, equipped with their own private pools.

DESIGNER GOODIES

SUITE DEAL

Calling all fans of Dior: book yourself a stay at the Linley or Claridge’s suites at Claridge’s in London (claridges.co.uk) and you’ll be able to experience their new ‘Dior Dressing Tables’ – vintage deco tables kitted out with cream silk gowns personalised with your initials, rose pink cashmere eye masks, dior fragrances including Miss Dior, Diorella, Diorissimo and Dioressence and a beauty kit including compacts, powders and Dior ruby red lipstick. You’ll also get an Evelyn Waugh novel and a CD – a nice touch. The package costs £300 on top of the suite price.

ZEN ZONE Over at the Six Senses Hideaway Zighy Bay in Oman (sixsenses. com), they’re running a special Yoga Retreat from September 4-7. You’ll get group meditation classes along side the yoga, practised in a lovely outdoor pavilion with the sun setting in the baqckground. When you’re not stretching into the Lotus you’ll be chilling out in your private infinity pool, taking a spa treatmenty or going for a nature walk. The package includes transfers from Dubai Airport, three nights’ accommodation, one spa treatment and two evening meals. Guaranteed relaxation.

TRAVEL BY NUMBERS

2,240 8

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The size in square metres of the Infinity Suite at the newly made-over and relaunched The Langham, London (langhamhotels.co.uk), which comes equipped with its very own indoor infinity pool...


AGENDA NEWS

TOUR OF BEAUTY

Our selection of the most intriguing tours to take this summer…

THE BEATLES TOUR Hook up with beatlestours.co.uk and take a twohour trip round Ringo Starr’s birthplace, John Lennon’s childhood home, Penny Lane, Strawberry Field and the Cavern Club. Marvellous.

THE HIP HOP TOUR Make for Harlem Hip Hop Tours (harlemhiphoptours. com), who run fantastic package tours including meeting up with hip-hop artists in their studios, DJ scratch lessons and shopping in the heart of Harlem. All tours are conducted in stretch Hummer limousines, naturally.

THE TRIKE TOUR A tour of Edinburgh is a fun, if straightforward affair. Unless, that is, you conduct it on a motorised trike with Trike Tours Scotland (triketoursscotland. com), wearing a helmet with a built-in headset allowing you to communicate with the guide and your fellow pasenger.

THE SNORKEL TOUR Like snorkelling? How about doing it in Iceland, at Lake Silfra, at the fissure between the American and Eurasian plates, in warm water with visibility of 150 metres? Offered by several tour groups, it’s a once in a lifetime experience.

THE CHOPPER TOUR If you get in touch with tokyotopia.com you can organise a helicopter tour of the hyper-modern city of Tokyo at night, lit up and offering a million fantastic photo opportunities.

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

SET YOUR SIGHTS ON DUBAI Looking for a great-value room in Dubai? Check out the Ibis Al Barsha, which has an excellent location along Sheikh Zayed Road, just minutes away from Media City, Internet City, Jebel Ali and the Mall of the Emirates. It offers travellers on a budget the perfect base for exploring the city, as well as top value rates across the year. The modern rooms are highly comfortable and equipped with WiFi and flat screen TVs. When it comes to relaxation, you’ll love the live Latin music at the ‘Casa Latina’ bar and the international restaurant, ‘Baharat’. With prices starting from just AED 279*, they’re your first stop for an economy stay in the City of Gold… For reservations, please call + 971 4 399 6699 www.ibishotel.com *Conditions apply

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AGENDA NEWS

FIVE GOOD REASONS…

TO PLAN A TRIP TO BEIRUT

1

You’ll be able to pay a trip to The Beirut Art Centre a seriously exciting gallery which opened earlier this year to great acclaim – and check out their latest exhibition.

2

As of the end of this month you’ll be able to check in at the new Le Gray hotel in the Central District (campbellgrayhotels.com), which has a wonderful rooftop pool and restaurant plus a fantastic cigar café.

3 4 5

If you head over towards the end of the year you’ll be able to stay at the new Four Seasons Beirut on the Corniche. If you fly in between October 7 and 14 you can catch the Beirut Film Festival, a gloriously haphazard mix of outstanding and plain bemusing celluloid creations from across the world.

Calling all bald-headed gentlemen: a group dedicated to engendering camaraderie and pride in the sparsely-haired community, the ‘Bald Headed Men Of America’ is holding its convention at the end of September in Morehead City in North Carolina in the US. Expect awards for the best-looking domes plus group activities and tip-sharing sessions, designed to answer questions like how to avoid that unbecoming shine. Entrance is just the ten dollars it costs to join the society – plus the obligatory bald spot.

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Heading for St. Petersburg this summer? Don’t miss out on a city tour on the newly-launched Katarina, a five star speedboat run by the Grand Hotel Europe, which zips you about the Neva river in luxurious fashion for around $400 an hour. Gourmet canapés and drinks included. grandhoteleurope.com

If you’re in Dubai this summer you can take a trip over to Beirut from the city with Fly Dubai, starting from only $100 one way…

DOME TIME

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NEVA A DULL MOMENT

ANIMAL MAGIC

In perhaps the strangest new airline launch of all time, Pet Airways (petairways.com) has taken to the skies in the US, offering dedicated, animals-only flights. You can send your pets across the States, flying in the main cabin rather than the hold, and checked on regularly by special flight attendants. Pets are referred to as ‘pawsengers’ and their progress across the skies can be tracked online. Highly bizarre.

JUST DESERT

Booking a hotel in Du bai this summer? Ch eck out the deal at Deser t Palm (desertpalm.ae ), the lovely boutique hotel on a private polo est ate . Until September 30 you’ll get one night free for every night you book, in the ir beautiful Pool Villas and Pool Residencies.


AGENDA EASY WIN

TOP PRIZE

TURKISH DELIGHT

EASY WIN

Trying to work out the perfect place for your Eid break? Take your shot at winning a five star holiday with Rixos...

The Rixos hotel chain (rixos.com) has some first class hotels and resorts, from beachfront getaways in Turkey to city properties in Kazakhstan. They offer a luxury service in which guests are treated like celebrities: check out their ‘Grand Tour’ supplement in this month’s issue to find out more. We’ve teamed up with Rixos to offer one lucky reader a three night, all-inclusive break at the Rixos Premium Belek in Antalya, Turkey. For your chance to win, find the answer to the question below in the Rixos supplement in this month’s issue and email it to us at easywin@hotmediapublishing.com QUESTION: What is the name of the French restaurant at Rixos Premium Belek?

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AGENDA KNOW IT ALL

THE PANEL INTERNATIONAL RESTAURANTS CORRADO BOGNI Corrado is the head concierge of the flagship InterContinental London Park Lane. He and his network of fellow concierges round the globe can answer dining questions on any city under the sun.

KNOW IT ALL

ASK THE EXPERTS

Our team of travel geniuses help plan your perfect break... Got a question? contact them at knowitall@hotmediapublishing.com

Q.

I’ve got a week’s business trip coming up in Paris and I want to have one really fantastic dinner out – where do you recommend? Try the Brasserie Bofinger on 5, Rue 5, Rue de la Bastille in the 4th arrondissement (bofingerparis. com). It’s one of the oldest restaurants in the city and is a masterpiece of French style. The black

“The food on offer is resolutely old fashioned too – expect to see enormous silver bowls piled high with ice and fruits de mer being ferried about the room by aged, spiffily dressed waiters.” banquettes, the Alsatian-style mirrors and copper and heavy wood, the elegant domed glass ceiling all take you back to the past, to a time when French cuisine was the undisputed champion of the world. The food on offer is resolutely old fashioned too – expect to see enormous silver bowls piled high with ice and fruits de mer being ferried about the room by aged, spiffily dressed waiters. When it comes to ordering, go straight for their specialities. To start, it has to be the ravioli made with farm-produced Munster cheese and cumin seeds, followed up with either a seafood sauerkraut with monkfish, salmon, haddock, fish dumpling and Dublin bay prawns or a poached haddock ‘David’ style, with fresh spinach and butter sauce. Then, to finish off, you’d be well advised to plum for a

classic millefeuille or a farcically tasty vanilla and blackcurrant vacherin with blackcurrant coulis. And if you’re entertaining, why not hire the Hansi room, the perfect spot to treat up to eight guests to an evening of gourmet indulgence. Its walls are decorated with paintings of animals and ladies in traditional clothing from Alsace – it’s a tranquil spot to ply your invitees with the best dinner in Paris.

Q.

I’m looking to take a family holiday in Beirut this summer – what should we get up to and where should we stay while we’re in town? The redeveloped centre of Beirut feels like a distillation of the best of France and Arabia, and is a great place to spend a few days happily shopping, eating out and people watching in glorious weather. If you’re there for longer than a couple of days you should think about using the city as a base for discovering the country. Take a day trip to Byblos to see the incredible ancient Roman ruins and eat a lunch of freshly-caught fish by the beach. Or grab a bus to Baalbek for more amazing ruins or to the Chouf mountains for great hiking. When it comes to accomodation, check out the Monroe Hotel (monroebeirut.com), in the city’s Central District, which has great views over the Marina Yacht Club. It’s a cheery, boutique-style spot and home to a popular local hangout, the Sanderson restaurant.

GLOBAL SHOPPING LOUISA COX Louisa is the founder of Shopping Mistress (www. shoppingmistress.com), a unique shopping service aimed at those with the money but not the time to hit the stores. She has expert knowledge of what to buy and where to buy it. BOUTIQUE HOTELS JAMES LOHAN James is one half of Mr and Mrs Smith, the duo who launched the hugely popular guidebook series of the same name (www.mrandmrssmith. com). He devotes his time to discovering the world’s most exciting boutique hotels. VOLUNTOURISM DANIELA PAPI Is the founder of PEPY (Protect Earth, Protect Yourself) in Cambodia, a non-profit organisation which organises tours and voluntourist activities in Cambodia - see pepytours.com for more info. . ADVENTURE AND ECO TRAVEL TIM WOODS Tim is the founder of Car Free Walks (www.carfreewalks. org), leads conservation holidays for the BTCV (www. btcv.org/international) and is an editor for id21, communicating the latest research on ecotourism and responsible travel in Africa and Asia.


AGENDA DRIVE TIME

DRIVE TIME

2-3 HOURS

CUBA’S AUTOPISTA

For an exotic Cuban drive, jump on the Autopista Nacional in Havana and set your sights on Pinar del Rio, a two to three hour cruise away down mainly good roads. Along the way you’ll pass beautiful mountain scenery and thick forests, as you loop through Artemisa, San Cristobal and Consolación del Sur before ending up in Pinar El Rino. As well as the stunning countryside, the joy of the route is the extraordinary scenes you’ll see along the way – the rural panoramas, the ancient vehicles and loping horse-drawn carts who share the motorway with you, the vultures picking at roadkill, the epic potholes and the hitch-hikers and onion-sellers who hopefully line the route. Life-affirming driving at its best.

Cuba, Havana, National Theatre - Garcia Lorca

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AGENDA ENJOY

HEAD DOWN UNDER

Enjoy Australia

The next year is crammed with outstanding events in Australia pick out your favourites and start booking up your tickets...

13-30

August

The Darwin Festival

The Darwin Festival brings big name concerts, comedy shows, dance and theatre performances, film screenings and workshops to the city, and involves more than a thousand groups and artists from across Australia and the region. Lots of fun.

22-25 October Rev-heads descend on the Gold Coast to witness the Lexmark Indy 300, in which a cavalcade of V8 Supercars spend a full four days fighting it out for the top prizes.

January 2010 The Big Day Out

The Big Day Out comes to Sydney’s Homebush Bay: this year expect to see The Prodigy, Neil Young and the Arctic Monkeys among a plethora of other stars.

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22 August

12 September – 11 October

Race fans should make for Alice

Make for Canberra, where

Springs and the Henley-On-Todd

the city is light up by the

Regatta, which is unusual insofar

Floriade spring festival: expect

as no water is involved – the

over a million beautifully-

participants peg it along in the dust, carrying fake boats along with them. Utterly hilarious.

3 November

The Melbourne Cup, one of the world’s most prestigious horse racing events, draws in tens of thousands of spectators from the region. Don your finest race day attire and join them to cheer on the contenders.

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January

Australia Day Australia Day is always the excuse for a big celebration – and the best place to catch the action is at Darling Harbour, on which tribes of artists and musicians will descend. At night the sky will be lit up with fireworks, lasers and light shows.

arranged flowers, plus top entertainment, food and a celebratory atmosphere.

30 December – 1 January 2010 Falls festival

Over in Tasmania you’ll find the Falls Festival, a big name music fest in a lovely setting with views over Maria Island. Camping is the name of the game here – pitch your tent and get ready to see dozens of international comedians, bands and DJs in action. Calling all foodies: make a note in your diary to attend the Taste of Sydney festival in Centennial Park in March 2010. The best restaurants in town serve up taster dishes of their best creations – once you’ve filled up on food, take a masterclass from some top chefs.


AGENDA WEAR IN THE WORLD

ER FOR H

WAISTCOAT: MANGO

BRACELET:DIOR

BAG: ALDO

DRESS: MANGO BAG: TODS

SHAWL: MANGO

SANDAL: MANGO

EARRINGS: DIOR

STYLISH TRAVELLER

WEAR IN THE WORLD KWT’s inhouse fashion expert points you in the direction of the smartest threads and accessories to travel with this month

FOR H IM

SHIRT: GUESS HAT: PAUL SMITH

SUNGLASSES: DIESEL SHORTS: MANGO

WATCH: DIESEL

DRESS: TED BAKER

BAG: HOGAN

SHOES: LACOSTE KWT

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EID GET AWA YS

THE GREAT ESCAPE

Looking for some inspiration for your Eid Holiday? We’ve lined up 15 top suggestions…

NORTH MALÉ ATOLL Maldives What to see The corals and tropical inhabitants of the warm waters of the atoll. This is a heavenly spot – the most picture perfect of all Indian Ocean hideaways. What to do Completely unwind: just soak in the sun, bathe in the ocean, eat superb food and peel off the layers of stress that have been surrounding you. Where to stay Huvafen Fushi (huvafenfushi.com), the most appealing resort in the Atoll, where you’ll canoe and catamaran your way around the reef before retiring to your three-tier Ocean Bungalow, with its own infinity pool, sunbathing terrace and massage room with glass floor. 18

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AGENDA ESSENTIAL SELECTION

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Nuran

Hotel Sacher Wien

VIENNA Austria

THE AKAMAS PENINSULAR Cyprus

THE MALLS AND SOUKS Dubai

What to see The medieval jewellery and royal objets d’art in The Treasury, the high-kicking Lipizzaner horses at the Spanish Riding School and the Kunsthistorisches (Art History) museum, with its wonderful collection of paintings from across Europe. What to do Wander round the streets soaking in the beauty of the place, stopping off for indulgent cakes along with your powerful Viennese coffee and getting your fill of art and culture. Where to stay The world-renowned Hotel Sacher Wien (sacher.com), which is right at the heart of things, between Kärntner Straße, a brilliant shopping street, and the magnificent State Opera building. Their suitably lavish suites are a slice of olde worlde grandeur.

What to see This stunning area on the North-Western coast of Cyprus is the island’s jewel in the crown. Unlike the tourist-heavy, overdeveloped areas on the south coast, it’s wild and free and home to beautiful mountains, gorgeous forests and lovely beaches. Fly in to Larnaca airport, hire a car, skirt the coast past Lemesos and you’ll be there in a couple of hours. What to do Swim, wander in the mountains, go horse-riding, go scuba-diving and eat some of the finest food you’ll ever try – fresh tarama salata, stuffed vine leaves and the squeakiest grilled halloumi. Where to stay Put up at the ridiculously good-value Paradisos Hills Hotel, (paradisoshills.com) in the tiny villos of Lysos, just inland from the Akamas peninsular, which has a vantage point at the top of a hill, overlooking rolling countryside with the ocean in the far distance. They’ve got a small but excellent pool and the in-house restaurant is sublime.

What to see The inside of the city’s retail emporia: indulge in some serious shopping in Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta Mall, and the gloriously enormous Dubai Mall. What to do Apart from shopping, you should make sure to indulge in some outstanding dinners courtesy of the city’s parade of five star restaurants. One not to miss is the Rivington Grill in the Souk Al Bahar, just next to Dubai Mall: if it’s cool enough you can sit out on their terrace and watch Dubai Fountain at play while you enjoy your bistrot-style dinner (hint: the gourmet fish and chips are unmissable). Where to stay For a low-fuss, high class option, book a hotel apartment with Nuran (nuran. com), at their properties at The Greens or Dubai Marina. These serviced residences are beautifully furnished and in outstanding locations, with a huge spread of facilities, including lovely pools and gyms. The nice thing about this option is it means you don’t have to eat out for every meal – you can prepare food in your fully-equipped kitchen – doubly ideal if you’re travelling with kids.

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THE MUSANDAM PENINSULAR Oman What to see The ocean and its inhabitants: organise a boat trip as soon as you arrive, and you can get out and see and swim with dolphins, while zipping in and out of the miniatuire ‘fjords’ which ring the coast. What to do Swim, dive, sail, get some fresh air in your lungs, and remember why the Gulf is such a special spot. Where to stay Pitch up at the Golden Tulip Khasab (goldentulipkhasab.com), which has decent accommodation and a great location for starting your trip.

Golden Tulip

SOMA BAY PENINSULAR Egypt What to see The Soma Bay Peninsular is only a 45 kilometre drive from Hurghada and is home to a gorgeous stretch of beach and clear waters. If you’re looking for a chilled-out Eid break with plenty of time on the sand, this is definitely the trip for you. What to do Play a round or two at the nearby Cascades Golf and Country, go kite-surfing in the bay and take out one of the fleet of special dive boats to a thrilling site in the Safaga area. Where to stay The Kempinski Soma Bay (kempinskisomabay.com), which is built in the style of a Moorish fortress and is filled with water features including lagoons and waterfalls. Drink in the view from your balcony before heading down to join the action.

Kempinski

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Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan

BHUTAN The Himalayas What to see Taking a trip to Bhutan is all about stepping out of the hustle of modern life. This mountain kingdom is a place locked in the past, where much modern technology is unknown and visitors (whose numbers are resticted) are still looked upon with real interest. What to do Take an organised tour which will involve visiting ancient cities, staying with local families and hiking through mountainous countryside, off the beaten tourist trail. Where to stay No-one stays in hotels in Bhutan – it’s all about pitching up with the locals. You’ll find you end up staying with some lovely people, who will be keen to ply you with spicy food and tell you about their extraordinary country. 22

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AGENDA ESSENTIAL SELECTION

Rixos Premium Belek

MINNERIYA-GIRITALE NATIONAL PARK, Sri Lanka

AL RAHA CORNICHE UAE

ANTALYA Turkey

What to see Crocodiles, leopards, elephants, bears, tropical birds and flowers, and the ancient ruins at Polonnaruwa. Then there are the amazing caves at Dambulla with their elaborate wall paintings. What to do Spend the day taking tours and safaris and then retreat to your hotel for delicious dinners and spa treatments. Where to stay Book one of the cottages at the Angsana Deer Park Hotel (angsana.com), which are surrounded by liy ponds, with a view of the jungle and their own gazebos – perfect for tucking in to a cup of Ceylon tea and watching the world go by.

What to see The beach and the warm, glinting turqoise water of the Gulf, from your vantage point on a lounger at the Al Raha Beach Hotel. If you want some additional stimulation you can head into the city centre for some serious shopping, or take a special desert safari out in the dunes. What to do Laze on the beach, turn lazy laps in the indoor and outdoor pools, go diving and snorkelling or just indulge in wonderful treatments at the Beauty & Soul Spa. Where to stay Book in at the Al Raha Beach Hotel (danathotelgroup.com). Get an Executive Suite with a Gulf view or treat yourselves to the delights of the Diplomatic Suite…

What to see This blissful region by the Mediterranean is all about pine forests and beautiful beaches – it’s one of the best areas in Turkey for visitors. What to do Find yourself a top drawer resort and hole up for the holiday, indulging in lots of watersports and sunbathing. Where to stay Get yourself a private villa at the Rixos Premium Belek (rixos.com), where you can relax in total seclusion, leaving your private garden and pool only to take a trip to the resort’s dolphinarium and aqua park. For your chance to win a free break in this hotspot, turn to Easy Win on page 12.

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COCHIN Kerala, India What to see The backwaters, on a classic backwater cruise, the neighbouring islands of Vypeen, Vallarpadam and Bolgatty and the imposing Mattancherry Palace and Bolghatty Palace, where you can stop for tea. What to do Chill out on the Cherai Beach by Vypeen island, take a wander round the nearby coconut groves, and eat some of the most exquisite Indian food you’ve ever tasted. Where to stay The Old Harbour Hotel (oldharbourhotel. com), a three century-old Dutch-style building which has been reinvented as the coolest boutique hotel in the city. For a real experience, book one of their garden cottages, with private ponds, verandas and open showers.

THE MASAI MARA Kenya What to see The Big Five – and the slightly smaller million and one – who populate this lush, exotic land. This trip is an eye-opener which shows you the glories of nature: cameras essential. What to do Head out in jeep, on foot with a local guide or in a hot air balloon to get to grips with the savannah. And don’t miss out on a tour of local Masai Mara villages. Where to stay The Mpata safari club (mpata.com) which is located on the Oloololo escarpment by the Masai Mara reserve, where you’ll love the views, the cosy restaurant and the super comfy rooms.

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AGENDA ESSENTIAL SELECTION

KATHMANDU Nepal What to see The King’s Palace, the restaurants and stores of Thamel Chowk, the Swayambhu stupa, the beautiful Garden of Dreams and the Rana Museum. What to do Take a couple of days to chill out in the city before hitting one of the numerous hiking trails – there’s a wonderful variety of expeditions to take, during which you can experience the local Himalayan food and culture. If you’re feeling particuarly adventurous, you could consider a trip to Everest Base Camp. Where to stay The Hyatt Regency Kathmandu (kathmandu.regency.hyatt.com) is just ten kilometres from the city centre and only four kilometres from the airport. If you feel in need of some relaxation to get you into the chilledout vibe before you hit the sights, get yourself a treatment at the excellent Club Oasis Spa.

THE DEAD SEA Jordan What to see The tips of your toes as you bob on the super-salty water, which won’t let you do anything but float around in the sunshine – which is no bad way to spend your holiday. What to do Apart from trying and failing to dive underwater, you can head 60km down the road to Amman, where you’ll find Jordan’s only golf course. And much closer you’ll find the Wadi Mujib where there is first class hiking on offer. Where to stay The Movenpick Dead Sea (moevenpickhotels.com), which is on the north shore of the sea, at the Earth’s lowest point, and is designed to look like a traditional Jordanian village.

The Mövenpick Dead Sea

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PICTURE THIS

Waikiki means ‘spouting fresh water’, giving a nod to the waterways which make the lush wetlands of the area and the wider district of Honolulu so verdant. On the coast, the famous Waikiki beach is now edged by hotels, where committed surfers rest up before racing out to take advantage of the long rolling breaks which chop up the surf. 6

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IMAGE: PHOTOLIBRARY

WAIKIKI BEACH, HAWAII


PICTURE THIS

CHAMONIX, FRANCE From this viewing platform in the Aiguille du Midi, you get a bird’s eye view over Chamonix. The clear mountain air cuts through your lungs as you wind your way up, first in a cable car, then by foot. Far below, you can see climbers picking their way up Mont Blanc, as the shadows from the clouds dance their way across the valley floor. KWT

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IMAGE: ISTOCK

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KERALA, INDIA The sun sinks into the sea off the coast of Kerala. Holidays in this most laidback and welcoming of southern states should always include time for lazing on the beach â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as well as the obligatory houseboat trip round the backwaters and the trip to see the tea country at Munnar and the tigers at Thekkady.

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IMAGE: ISTOCK

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Nuran Serviced Residences Make yourself at home Nuran Serviced Residences are designed to meet the needs of business executives in the process of relocating, on a work assignment or for leisure travelers seeking residential accommodations. Our Residences offer both the ambience and privacy of apartment living and the convenience of hotel-like services and amenities. Featuring complimentary broadband internet access, the latest apartment furnishings, fitness centers, housekeeping and around the clock service. Nuran Serviced Residences are found in the most sought-after locations in Dubai, with two key locations: Nuran Marina in the Dubai Marina and Nuran Greens, as the name indicates, in The Greens. Further developments of Nuran Serviced Residences include Egypt, Syria, Morocco, KSA and UAE (Downtown Dubai)

www.nuran.com Please call 800 NURAN (68726) or +971 4 423 8877 Fax: +9714 4238866 Email: reservations@nuran.com GDS code XL


GREEK ISLANDS

TOTAL GUIDE

Greek Islands

Seeking an idyllic Greek getaway? We’ve found a perfect island escape for everyone 34 EXPLORING PAXOS Stanley Stewart watches three fellow travellers take a life-changing trip to an idyllic Greek island getaway. 38 THE RHODES LESS TRAVELLED The package-crowd classic has a rarefied side here’s how to uncover it.

42 DESTINATIONS UNKNOWN To dodge the hordes, you need to go off the beaten track 48 REST ASHORE Rural, regal, chic, cheap: beds for all budgets 52 NOSTALGIA TRIPS Three timeless island-hopping itineraries

Greek Islands feature reproduced with permission from the Sunday Times Travel

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Exploring Paxos He chose the island of Paxos for a little privacy and peace. It didn’t go entirely to plan. Still, Stanley Stewart made the best of it…

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he three women sat on the rear deck, their luggage piled about them like defensive fortifications. They were fortysomething. ‘Friends from uni,’ they explained. ‘We always promised we would take a holiday together. Twenty years on, we’ve finally managed it.’ Twenty years on, freed from the enthusiasms of youth and a shared dislike of early Anglo-Saxon history, it was clear life had taken them on dramatically different paths. They now looked like people who would have trouble sharing a taxi, let alone a villa for a week. The first woman was the human version of an advertising hoarding. Everything about her seemed to shout – the wild orange hair, the rainbow spectacles, the T-shirt with a slogan about GM foods, the flamenco skirt. Her earrings could have been melted down to provide gun casings for a rebel army on the Upper Nile. The second woman was obviously a career professional, a banker, perhaps – slim, sophisticated, understated in linen trousers and a pale-grey blouse. ‘Marlene has been to Paxos before,’ she said. ‘Paxos was Marlene’s idea.’ Marlene, the third lady, peered up at me over the top of her spectacles. She looked so absurdly like the stereotypical librarian – the sensible shoes, calf-length beige skirt, earnest expression, the spectacles on a strap – she might have been sent from central casting. ‘Paxos has a special aura,’ she explained. ‘It’s partly due to the Venetian period, but the Ionian islands were also a British protectorate for 50 years, and that has left its imprint.’

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The engine of the boat dropped a notch; we were approaching the harbour. Paxos was ready to draw us in. The tiny horseshoe of Loggos was lined with pastel-coloured houses, shops and cafes with outdoor tables. When the local bus trundles through, diners at one of the cafes are obliged to draw in their legs to let it pass. A hire car was waiting on the quayside, and I drove to my villa, 10 minutes away on the east coast. The housekeeper was just leaving. She turned out to be an English girl from Devon, who came to Paxos some years ago on holiday and fell in love with the island. ‘It gets under your skin,’ she said. From the terrace by the pool, I gazed across to the mainland, where mountains brooded among baroque clouds. In the straits, white sails caught the westerly wind. In the other direction, olive groves clothed the hillside above the house, their leaves turning silvery green. Through the trees, I caught glimpses of the three women disgorging from their car at a nearby villa. The hectoring voice of the Billboard drifted down to me on the breeze: ‘I have not come all the way to Greece to sit by the pool all day.’ At first glance, Paxos has little to offer by way of alternative. The smallest of the Ionian islands, it has no classical ruins and no great historical sites. It has few sandy beaches, little nightlife and few hotels. It has no airport and connections from Corfu take around two hours by boat. Experienced Greek hands will recognise this as the recipe for the perfect Greek island. For the first few days, I didn’t see much of my three female neighbours, or anyone else, for that matter. I walked between tiny hamlets, through olive groves steeped in sun-flecked shadow, threaded by dry-stone walls and silent but for the rising Paxos harbour


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“I made my escape, and lunched on Antipaxos, which is reputed to have the bluest coves in the archipelago and some of the best snorkelling in Greece. I found the perfect tranquil spot, at the Bella Vista restaurant, above Voutoumi beach” drone of cicadas. Olives are the key to the Paxiot character. Olives have meant that, for centuries, nobody had to do very much. It was all down to the Venetians, who ruled the island for 400 years until the Napoleonic Wars. They had created an inflated market for olive oil by persuading the women of North Africa that nothing would make them so beautiful as bathing in the stuff. To take advantage of this demand, they tried to persuade the Paxiots to plant olive trees. When persuasion didn’t work, they offered them one drachma (the equivalent of about $150 in today’s money) for each tree. The islanders promptly planted a quarter of a million. They have been living off this burst of industry ever since. ‘In the old days, if you had 300 trees,’ a man told me over coffee one morning in Gaios, ‘you didn’t need to work. Now the price of olive oil has fallen, people need jobs. They call it progress.’ If olive trees were buildings, the Paxos trees would be Notre Dame – elaborate, vast, gnarled, ancient and heavily buttressed. They sprawl fantastically. Apparently, their owners bother with pruning only every other decade at most. Paxos’s approach to the whole olive business is not so much laid-back as completely horizontal. In most parts of the world, olive harvests usually take six to eight weeks. Here, they can take seven months. The islanders don’t pick olives; they spread nets and wait for them to drop, venturing out now and again to collect the windfall and send them off to press. It is an admirable approach. On the third day, I abandoned the olive groves for the sea, renting a motorboat in Loggos and touring the coast. The west and east coasts of Paxos are different worlds. The east is low and forgiving, offering harbours to the three island towns – Lakka, Loggos and 36

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the miniature capital, Gaios, with its Venetian square. The west coast rises to dramatic cliffs that tower above small pebble beaches cradled in aquamarine bays and caves which Poseidon is said to have visited. Mooring in one of the isolated west-coast bays, I came across the women stretched out on the beach. The Billboard’s greeting echoed off the cliffs: ‘Where the heck have you been?’ I made my escape, and lunched on Antipaxos, a neighbouring island, which is reputed to have the bluest coves in the archipelago and some of the best snorkelling in Greece. I found the perfect tranquil (or so I thought) spot, at the Bella Vista restaurant, which sits above Voutoumi beach, displaying superb views across the water to Paxos and beyond to the mountains of the mainland. Half an hour later, the Billboard arrived with a boatman firmly in tow. With a wave to me, she sat him down at a corner table on the terrace. There was no sign of the other two women. (I wondered momentarily if she had thrown them overboard). Over lunch, she was in an expansive mood, hardly pausing for breath, while her companion hunkered down over grilled kebabs. The following evening, I ran into the Banker in Loggos. She was alone on an outside terrace, gazing across a dark sea. The university friends seemed to be splitting apart. I found her in reflective mood. The island’s slow rhythms, the sea, the night sky, the meandering sun-struck days, with no particular purpose, had all chipped away at her enamelled assurance. ‘I have been looking at houses,’ she said. ‘It is time to stop running and do what I really want to do. I could spend four months a year with my feet in the Mediterranean.’ The next morning, I met the bookish


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Marlene atop the campanile of Ipapanti, deep in the olive groves. Far below us lay the harbour of Lakka, and beyond, across a white-capped sea, was a distant Corfu. Something had happened to Marlene. She was like those librarians in films who remove their spectacles and shake out long glossy locks of hair. She looked vibrant and alive. Her face glowed with sun and her whole body seemed to have become graceful and animated. ‘Isn’t it wonderful?’ she sighed, gazing down over the olive trees to the harbour. ‘It’s Byzantine, you know – this building. Paxos feels so remote, so set apart in its own little world. Yet here is a building that connects it to the wide currents of the Mediterranean.’ Someone was calling from the olive groves below us. ‘I must go,’ she said. ‘It’s lunch. Are you coming to Lakka this evening? The Paxos Cultural Society are putting on a musical performance. There will be dancing.’ And, with that, she skipped away down the curving stairs of the campanile as lightly as a girl. Two days later, on the boat back to Corfu, I found a surprisingly subdued Billboard alone on the upper deck.‘They’ve both stayed another week,’ she said, before I had a chance to ask. ‘They’re looking for properties in the hills above Loggos.’

Paxos Essentials

GETTING AROUND Ita’s Cars (00 30 6973 401658), in Gaios, has vehicles from $320 per week. If you’d prefer two wheels, try Scooter & Bike Rental (00 30 6620 32598) in Gaios. There are several boat-rental offices along the harbour in Loggos, Lakka and Gaios (00 30 26620 32475); from $80 per day. WHERE TO EAT Loggos, the smallest of the three harbours, has several tavernas on the quayside; Nassos is probably the best. Meals start at $24. Taxidhi’s has tables overlooking the harbour; Sunset Café, near Erimitis, is good for pre-dinner coffees. Lunch at Bella Vista on Antipaxos beach costs around $24. KWT

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The Rhodes less travelled Beyond Faliraki, the package-holiday island has a surprisingly serene side. Amanda Hyde reclines in Lindos…

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s a marigold sun beat down upon our pale English shoulders and we finished the last bottle of water (the one designated for emergencies), we finally reached the peak, hundreds of metres above Tsambika Beach. We’d lost one of our three-strong girlie group of weekenders (Sophie had peeled off halfway up the hill for restorative Coca-Colas in the panoramic restaurant), but that didn’t explain the almost complete lack of tourists. Rhodes, I’d been led to believe, was full of them – and the Day-Glo-wearing ones at that. But this was day three of our long weekend, and so far we’d only seen four (sock-andsandal-sporting) Germans. One of them was here now, poking around in the cluttered interior of the tiny building and taking long-lens photos of the pebbly cove hundreds of metres below. But apart from that, it was just us and the crickets, tuning up for their evening performance in the dried-out grass. My friend Melissa and I had a theory: Rhodes residents must have deliberately spread the rumour that the island was spoilt, in order to keep tourists like us away. We felt we were in on a wellkept secret – that this is the place for the perfect late-spring break. Perhaps the island is going full circle. Back in the BCs, it was considered the most beautiful place in all Hellas. Poets and artists were drawn here, inspired by its position between Cyprus, Egypt and the Middle East. Up went the Colossus, that famous Ancient Wonder and 12-year project by Chares; and along came Apollonius, who wrote the Argonautica’s mythical tale of Jason and the Golden Fleece here. You can

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still get a dose of history, wandering the neat courtyards of the mammoth Medieval Palace of the Grand Masters in Rhodes Town. Or close your eyes and recreate the 3,000-year-old city of Kamiros from the empty ruins high above the Med. Admittedly, if you look a little closer you’ll find the tacky tourist towns, too. Driving north on clifftop roads from our base in the unspoiled south, we’d sometimes pass dusty strips illuminated in half-hearted neon and smattered with mini-marts (they actually looked quite fun). But Rhodes has a far more exciting place for evenings out – one that’s been swinging since ancient times. Lindos, which we hit on our second evening, is a real beauty. Spiralling down towards the sea from a huge acropolis, its narrow streets are car-free but donkeyheavy. There’s been a town here since 1,000BC. Thanks to National Heritage status, the town has preserved its Medieval charm: white walls embedded with seablue doors reveal courtyard bars festooned with fairy lights, leaking Greek pop music. There are mini-marts here too, but – as they’re packed into tiny Medieval buildings and populated by wrinkled Greek widows – even they manage to pull off a certain charm. During high season, the locals swear Lindos can get busy (another ruse?); but in June, Sophie, Melissa and I wandered between the best restaurants in town, and all of them were empty save for tables of flat-capped OAPs. We settled on The Lindos, with its terrace that seemingly floats over the village like an airship bound for the acropolis. As blue sky turned to grey and finally ink, we chatted under twinkling lights intertwined with vines.


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St. Paul’s KWT bay in39 Lindos


“Lindos, which we hit on our second evening, is a real beauty. Spiralling down towards the sea from a huge acropolis, its narrow streets are car-free but donkey-heavy” Next morning, with curtains left open to a scorching sun, I was glad we’d booked into one of the island’s newish boutique hotels that have started to replace the old holidaycamp-style tower blocks. Ours, Lindian Village, was a little hamlet of villas beside a stream that trickled down to a private cove. Even better, my room had its own pool. I wasn’t allowed to lounge for long, though: a couple of hours later we were all heading cross-country towards Embonas, in the foothills of Mount Attavyros. The taxi climbed higher and higher into barren, beige hills, leaving a layer of dust in its wake. Pines grew tall and thin, pricking the hot air like thermometers, until eventually we reached a deserted village of pastel-hued houses. Our driver deposited us at the ramshackle complex and left in yet more dust and thunder, but there was nobody around. We peered in and shouted ‘hello’ – still no answer. In the end, we all squeezed on to a bench in a diminishing patch of shade, increasingly worse-forwear in the inland heat, and tried to conjure a plan to get back to the hotel. Then, suddenly, our rescuer arrived, running on Greek time – but instantly forgiven thanks to his greying halo of cherubic curls and cuddly-dad smile. ‘Shall we go for lunch?’ he asked, when our stomachs started rumbling. ‘I know a place.’ At the edge of the village, a little taverna is busy with big Greek families. 40

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Lindian Village

The Acropolis in Lindos

Vines cling to the canopy of its terrace and a steady stream of plates arrive from inside. For us, there are juicy steaks, blush-coloured sausages, breadcrumbed cheeses and piles of lamb chops. Jokes ripple between the tables and the whole place erupts in laughter every few minutes, with Stergos regularly bellowing across to friends in all corners of the restaurant. ‘In Rhodes, everyone knows everyone,’ he says. ‘Even in Rhodes Town, there are fewer than 60,000 people.’ The next day, mooching around the little grid of pedestrian lanes in Rhodes Town, we find out what it is that Rhodes teenagers get up to: jewellery and clothes shops are everywhere, selling designer dresses and expensive baubles made on the island. Hip-hop booms from doorways, and girls chatter behind counters. On the outskirts of town, we come across our first tourist traps of the whole trip – a little strip of shops full of protective-eye amulets and flimsy dresses. Egged on by an eager shopkeeper, I try on beaded tops and gipsy dresses, and leave with a complete outfit for $20. Melissa has bags full of jewellery, and Sophie’s stocked up on organic olive oil. If this is ‘spoilt’, bring it on. We’ve yet to see any sunburned specimens, even after retiring to the temple ruins by the harbour to read our holiday novels, propped up by ancient pillars. The sea glitters with pearly yachts

and fishing boats, and in the town square, extended families are settling down to Sunday lunches at tables crammed onto every last inch of pavement. Food keeps coming, the chatter’s endless, the mood is happy – and I can feel a season’s worth of stress seeping away. The final, niggly knot leaves me later that day, as the Magic Hour turns the sky candy pink and the sea into great swirls of caramel. I set out to walk the length of Lindian Village’s pebbly stretch of private beach. But the water is too inviting: bath warm and completely empty. Swimming out 100 metres or so, you’re already beyond the hotel’s private cove, with a view of the rocky coastline blanketed in sage-coloured gorse and wild flowers. As I gaze back at the shore, the lights of the beach café snap on like a lighthouse – the only sign of life along this stretch. I close my eyes, float up to the surface and feel the last of the day’s sun. WHERE TO STAY Lindian Village (lindianvillage.gr) has rooms from $370, room only. Avalon (avalonrhodes.gr), in a converted Medieval house in Rhodes Town, has doubles from $260, B&B (but no pool). In Lindos, boutique hotel Melenos Lindos (melenoslindos.com) has a breathtaking setting overlooking the bay. Doubles start at $500, B&B. KWT

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Destinations Unknown

Can’t find your perfect Greek island? Dana Facaros says skirt the crowds, and try one of these overlooked idylls instead

The foodie one: Crete With its muscular mountain ranges and fertile valleys, Crete is the garden island of Greece, supplying not only the exquisite olive oils you’d expect from the Med, but also cheeses, apples, mushrooms, avocados and dates. The markets in Heraklion and Chania are astonishing larders of glistening freshness – and succulent free-range meats are served alongside seafood plucked fresh from the Aegean. Crete has its own unique cuisine too, and a new league of local chefs are creatively reinterpreting it all over the island. Seek out the sleek Brillant 42

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Gourmet Restaurant in Heraklion, where chef Petros Kosmadakis serves dishes such as grouper with wild leeks. Then there’s Kritamon, in a renovated village house in Ano Archanes, where a young chef trained by Alain Ducasse prepares delicacies such as meat with fig and raisin sauce. For beachside eats, try Barko in Agios Nikolaos for beef fillets with rocket and onion salad, quince and Gruyère. In Rethymnon, there’s Maïstros with its gorgeous views and irresistible fish and meze (Greek tapas); or Avli, in a 16th-century Venetian villa, reckoned

to be the island’s best restaurant. In Chania, chic new Safran, by the port, serves creative seafood and salads. And Nykterida, outside town and famous since 1933, has melt-in-the-mouth kalitsounia (filo filled with wild fennel and greens) and saffron ice cream. Best of all, you can stuff your face guilt-free: not only does Cretan food taste sublime, it’s good for you, too. The astonishing health of the islanders after the privations of World War II led to the 40-year study resulting in the now widely recommended Mediterranean Diet.


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Greece: The movie

The Film: Mamma Mia! (2008) The Island: Skopelos Relive the movie magic: Take Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth; add Abba, a feel-good plot and pretty Skopelos and you have a mix that’s made this Sporades island the place to get hitched in 2009. Does Your Mother Know was sung in pebbly Kastani Bay, with the finale at Agios Ioannis, near Glossa. The Film: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001) The Island: Kefallonia Relive the movie magic: Based on real events during WWII, this Nicholas Cage/ Penélope Cruz romance brought back harrowing memories for locals, but also made the Ionian island – until then in Corfu’s shadow – a destination in its own right. Sami, Agia Evfymia, and Dihalia (Pelagia’s village) saw most of the filming, but Myrtos beach played a role, too. The film: The Big Blue (1988) The island: Amorgos Relive the movie magic: Luc Besson may have shot only the first 15 minutes of his free-diving cult classic on Amorgos, but it looked so extraordinary that the Cyclades island was mobbed by fans. The Monastery of Hozoviotissis features in the part when Jacques’ father drowns. The film: Zorba the Greek (1964) The island: Crete Relive the movie magic: Alan Bates and Anthony Quinn (as Zorba) made hearts ache for Crete. Many scenes were shot in Kokkino Horio on Cape Drepano; while in Stavros, northeast of Chania, you can see the beach where Quinn and Bates did the crazy ‘Zorba dance’. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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Chios

The beachy one: Schinousa The Cyclades are justly renowned for their sugary sands, but Schinousa’s appeal is that, unless you go in the manic month of August, you can have its lovely beaches practically to yourself. One of the ‘Little Cyclades’, scattered between Naxos and Amorgos, the island (home to just 150-odd residents) is a sleepy little oasis of oldfashioned Greek island charm. From the port, Mersini, it’s a 15-minute walk to the pretty blue-and-white town of Hora, on the breezy crest of the island. Take in the spectacular sea views before heading down to the shore – from Hora, dusty mule tracks lead to a choice of 17 beautiful beaches. Tsgouri is closest to the village in case you’re feeling lazy, and Livadi has plenty of shade. For underwater adventures, there’s quiet Fykio, which has good reefs and rocks for snorkelling. Beautiful Gerolimenas, on the island’s northwest tip, is the furthest away but it’s wonderfully secluded; or there’s pretty Psili 44

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Ammos, the island’s jewel, with a handful of tamarisk trees and startlingly turquoise waters. Schinousa also has an excellent restaurant called Kyra Pothiti, and enough summer tavernas to keep food boredom at bay. The air is pure, the sky clear and the street lighting minimal: one of the best things to do at night is lie on the beach and count the falling stars.

The history-soaked one: Chios Ruggedly handsome Chios is crammed with one-off wonders, so it’s a surprise that the reputed birthplace of Homer remains a secret to most foreigners. As the only place in the world where the mastic tree ‘weeps’ (the plant’s resin was once used in everything from paint varnish to breath freshener) it is, and always was, a wealthy island. Today, Chios owes its prosperity to the many ship-owning dynasties who are behind its buzzing port and capital, Chios Town, with its fascinating museums (the

archaeology museum even has a letter from Alexander the Great). But the real surprises appear as you begin to explore. Start by heading south to Kambos, an enchanting district of Medieval mansions and walled gardens built by Genoese nobility. Carry on south to the walled ‘mastic villages’, almost unchanged for the past 700 years; the most striking is Pyrgi, its buildings adorned with blackand-white sgraffitto (etched plaster). Drive back inland to the 11th-century Unesco-listed monastery Nea Moni, and see its dazzling golden mosaics. Then take in the haunting ghost town of Anavatos, abandoned since the terrible massacre of 1822 (famously painted by Delacroix). Up in wild, mountainous Northern Chios, Volissos seems like an oasis, with its Byzantine castle and trails through the lush Malagioti Valley. On the way back to Chios Town, at Vrontados, you can sit on the stone ‘seat’ where Homer recited his immortal poem the Iliad.


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The fun one: Syros While Mykonos is the obvious choice for well-heeled revellers, you’re just as likely to find in-the-know Greeks living it up on Syros, where prices are half what you’d pay on the famous party isle. Syros’s capital, Ermoupolis, sweeps up a pair of hills that look like twin peaks of squirty cream – and with 13,000 night-owl inhabitants, it never shuts down. Markos Vamvakaris, the ‘Father of Rembetika’ (the Greek blues) was born here, and you can still hear the stuff, live, at Lilis Taverna on Ano Syros hill. Evenings in Syros usually start with a juice in elegant Miaouli Square, though, near Greece’s oldest opera house – modelled on La Scala and now scene of a summer festival. Most cafes are within walking distance, strung along Ermoupolis’s vibrant waterfront.

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The rustic one: Meganisi Its name means ‘the big island’, but Meganisi’s no giant – it’s just that the other specks spilled across the blue velvet sea between Lefkada and the mainland are even dinkier. With its forest-coated slopes and centuries-old olive groves, Meganisi casts a faraway, Midsummer Night’s Dream spell, scented by the sun on the pines, while the transparent sea takes on a deep blue-green tint from the trees that grow down to the shore. Slow is the watchword here – the 1,000 inhabitants are divided between the two tiny ports of Vathy and Spartohori, and the little ‘capital’ Katomeri. A jigsaw coastline shelters small beaches at Spilia, Fanari, Agios Ioannis, Atherinos and Limonari – you could try a new one every day of the week. Hire a boat to explore coves inaccessible by land, as well as the island’s sea caves – including the massive grotto on Meganisi’s ‘tail’, the second-largest cave in Greece. An impressive 30m deep and containing its own beach, it was used during the war by the resistance fighter Papanikoli to hide his submarine, which darted out to attack passing Italian ships. Things are calmer now: nightlife means lingering in a seaside taverna and watching the moonlight ripple on the water – you won’t find a lovelier place to lose track of time.

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Kythira Right: port of Vathys, Kalymnos

The family-friendly one: Thasos

The really remote one: Kythira

The action-packed one: Kalymnos

Greece’s ‘Emerald Isle’, Thasos, looks like a child’s drawing – round, mountainous, covered in pines and ringed by sandy beaches and blue seas. Tucked up in the north near Kavala and sheltered from the Aegean’s strong summer meltemi winds, it has no airport, so you have to take a boat or hydrofoil to get here. (All part of the fun for kids.) Thasos manages the fine balance of being authentically Greek and friendly, while having everything you need (including a wide choice of ice-cream flavours). The bus service is so good you don’t have to hire a car – and if you can drag the rugrats away from their sandcastles there are pretty mountain villages to explore, as well as walks and horse-riding in the woods. Kids are strangely fascinated by Greek history, and the ancient theatre and acropolis walls above Thasos Town won’t disappoint; if they’re really keen you can make a day trip to the mainland to visit the ruins of Philippi, an ancient city and battleground, north of Kavala.

If it were closer to its sister Ionians, pretty Kythira would be rammed with hotels and villas. But isolated as it is, way at the bottom of the Peloponnese, the island remains a delicious afterthought. It wasn’t always so out-of-the-way: Kythira was a busy refuelling station before the Corinth Canal was dug in 1893; afterwards, all but 3,000 inhabitants left for Australia. It has the Greek-island essentials, though: blue-and-white villages with old-fashioned tavernas, friendly residents (often with Australian accents) and plenty of beaches – such as sandy Agia Pelagia, cliff-rimmed Kaladi, colourful Fyri Ammos, white Diakofto and wild Paliopoli. Public transport is non-existent, so you’ll need a car or motorbike to explore. Potter your way around the island, meandering through the unspoilt landscape along winding lanes flanked by dry-stone walls. Highlights include the Venetian castle high above Kythira Town, the stalactite cave of Agia Sophia and the island’s wild ravines. Then stop for lunch at picnic spots such as Mylopotamos, a hamlet of waterfalls and woodlarks. It’s so enchanting that the amorous idyll depicted in Antoine Watteau’s painting, The Embarkation for Cythera, won’t seem far-fetched.

Danger and adventure are embedded in Kalymnos’s DNA. The island’s capital, Pothia, draped over the hills, hosts Greece’s biggest sponge-diving fleet, a death-defying occupation that still employs many of the island’s men. The bathroom basic has long been big business on the island, and sponges are in evidence wherever you go – from a museum devoted to the trade to an old sponge boat you can hire for your own diving outings (shores here are rich in reefs, wrecks, flora and fauna). You can take lessons in free-diving in the deep volcanic crater of Liani Punda bay – in August there’s even a unique free-diving competition recreating the ancient spongefisher’s stone-weighted technique. On dry land more thrills await: above the island’s main beach strip – from Kantouni to Masouri, facing the rugged islet of Telendos – rise sheer limestone cliffs that deliver some of the world’s greatest rock-climbing, and are home to one of the sport’s major meet-ups every May. If you’d rather keep your feet firmly on the ground, Kalymnos’s wild north offers strenuous treks, or you can walk from Pothia to the intensely blue fjord at Vathys.

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Rest Ashore Chic retreat, rustic B&B or designer villa? Find your perfect island hideaway, says Susan d’Arcy – whatever your budget

MYKONOS BLU, MYKONOS GOOD FOR: SHOW-OFFS Mykonos Blu is as handsome as island hotels come. Instead of rooms, there are ‘island bungalows’ smattered across gardens of cactus, yucca and palms, overlooking gorgeous Psarou Bay below. Popstar-beautiful guests – predominantly Athenian weekenders – either lounge by the cubist whitewashed pool, bask on the beach or take refuge for lunch at L’Archipel, the shaded poolside café. grecotel.com ANEMI HOTEL, FOLEGANDROS Good for: Design divas Minimalism works brilliantly in Greece, where nature’s colours are so dazzling that you’d be crazy to try to compete with them. The Anemi keeps it low-key, with white walls, grey paintwork and black or cobalt ’60s-inspired furniture, as well as striking oversized photographic studies that double as bedheads. The 44 rooms occupy 12 houses built around a stunning infinity pool overlooking the bay of Karavostasis and the island’s sleepy little harbour. It has a gym and a tennis court, if you can drag yourself away from the pretty beach on your doorstep. anemihotels.com SPLANZIA HOTEL, CRETE Good for: Style on a budget Tucked into the photogenic, Venetian-built harbour of Chania, the Splanzia overlooks a spiralling minaret, an easy amble along the cobbles from one of the island’s best restaurants, The Well of the Turk. Great location aside, the hotel has contemporary style in spades, from the decadent chaises longues in the lobby to the giant hammock on the rooftop terrace. The eight rooms 48

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are ‘Eastern chic’, according to its owner, a designer-turned-hotelier. That translates to neutral and mushroom tones teamed with dark woods, Balinese four-posters, leather accessories and lots of shimmering drapes. splanzia.com AEGEAN SUITES, SKIATHOS Good for: A grown-up break If you’re seeking respite from bawling babies, head for the Aegean Suites – an elegant just-adults enclave (it only accepts guests over the age of 13). The 20 suites are designer-cool, with spacious sitting rooms adorned with paintings by up-andcoming Greek artists and verandas big enough for candlelit dinners. There’s an on-site spa, gym, pool and whirlpool tub as well as three restaurants and, just across the road, the fine sandy beach of Megali Ammos. aegeansuites.com THE GECKO, LEFKADA Good for: Sophisticated self-catering This villa could easily grace the pages of Elle Deco. Expect remote controls to open the curtains, broadband throughout, and a shady ‘reading’ pool as well as a showstopping infinity number that runs the length of the main terrace. You might quarrel over who gets which room – the deck suite is lovely, the galleried bedroom exquisite. The kitchen’s also big enough to share: double oven, panini maker (see, it’s far too posh for a plain old toastie machine) and various Neff and Miele appliances are guaranteed to bring out your inner Ramsay. The villa is on the rugged west coast, too, which means there are fewer tourists and fantastic sunsets.


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MANAVRA, CORFU Good for: The classic Greek experience Local boy Periklis Laskaris, one of Greece’s most distinguished architects, created this wonderful hideaway just outside the sleepy town of Aghios Marcos. Tucked into the middle of an extensive olive grove, with drop-dead-gorgeous views down to the Ionian sea, its design is memorable, too. Thoughtful touches allow guests to take full advantage of the balmy Mediterranean weather: there’s a shaded outdoor sitting area with a sweet little fireplace, an alfresco dining and barbecue area, and a turret-style lookout that forms part of the master bedroom. Two other twins – both very subtle and contemporary – have been decorated in sun-faded greens and rich creams. To complete the picture, it’s within easy reach of Corfu Town and the beaches of the northeast coast. ZORZIS HOTEL, SANTORINI Good for: Confetti-sprinkled newlyweds You could open a hovel on Santorini and people would pay good money to stay there – such is the beauty of this island, with its poster-famous caldera and surreally blue waters. The problem is that most hoteliers cash in on the clamour of honeymooners with extortionate room rates. The Zorzis is an honourable exception. It’s in Perissa, which has one of the best black-sand beaches around – but the hotel’s pool has a fabulous mountain backdrop that is every bit as appealing. The 10 rooms are decorated in dramatic Mediterranean white, with just the odd dazzle of turquoise. santorinizorzis.com KWT

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“Rosy’s Little Village has been built in traditional style, with whitewashed walls and red-tiled roofs, all festooned with vermillion geraniums bursting from terracotta pots.” ROSY’S LITTLE VILLAGE, ANGISTRI Good for: Elegant eco-warriors Angistri is the smallest of the Saronic Islands, with a population that barely nudges 1,000. A teeny unspoilt star, it’s got secluded coves, cute pebble beaches, and shaded walks through pine forests. Rosy’s Little Village has been built in traditional style, with whitewashed walls and red-tiled roofs, all festooned with vermillion geraniums bursting from terracotta pots. It’s unpretentious, peaceful and earnestly green, striving to keep its restaurant locally sourced and organic – try dishes such as zucchini pie with mint leaves, and Greek takos with spices, fresh tomatoes and feta cheese. The 16 rooms are sparsely furnished, with little more than a stoneframed bed and a gaily painted chest – stunning sea views supply the wow factor. rosyslittlevillage.com VILLA ADRIANNA, PAXOS Good for: Island explorers (and their kids) Paxos is Corfu’s sleepy little sister. You’ve got fine hiking along an intricate network of ancient paths that lead through the olive groves to lost villages, or you can rent a boat from Loggos and explore the island’s coves and grottos. Do the latter and you can anchor at Antipaxos, a little vineyardclad island just off its coast, where you’ll find some of the best sandy beaches in the Mediterranean. Just outside Loggos, Villa Adrianna is the perfect base for a family 50

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of four: it’s well-dimensioned and airy, with exposed stone, wooden ceilings and wrought-iron features, as well as sprawling private gardens. FISHERMAN’S COTTAGE, ALONNISOS Good for: Holiday hermits This stone cottage on laid-back Alonnisos is an excellent escape for stressed-out couples who need to hit the pause button. It is set on a hillside, with a short, if steep, path down to the quiet beach of Vamvakies, so you have a permanent soundtrack of lapping Aegean waves. The open-plan interior is honey-coloured and woodbeamed, which keeps things simple, and there’s just a smattering of traditional-style furniture, as well as a CD player rather than a TV. A five-minute boat trip from the pier takes you to Kalamakia where you can haggle with the stallholders for the freshest fish or, if you’re feeling particularly lazy, book a table at one of its great tavernas. MARCO POLO MANSION, RHODES Good for: Eastern promise This 15th-century mansion is a fascinating study in history, with 400-year-old timber ceilings, original tiled floors, an eclectic mix of antiques from across the Aegean and a lush garden, shaded by almond and apricot trees. Rooms are exotic extravagances, decorated in vibrant shades of ochre and rich velvet fabrics. marcopolomansion.gr PORTO ZANTE DELUXE VILLAS, ZAKYNTHOS Good for: Wannabe billionaires This classy collection of five boutique villas, each sleeping between two and 12 people, has been lavished with designer details, including pieces from the Armani Casa range and paintings by prominent Greek artists. Marble bathrooms come with Bulgari goodies, fluffy bathrobes and whirlpool tubs fitted out with TVs. You can even choose between silk, satin or cotton sheets for your bed. Each room


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has a kitchen but the resort’s also got two restaurants and a 24-hour, in-villa dining service. And, just in case you weren’t feeling spoiled enough, the villas are set on a private beach in a secluded bay. If you want some action, the Venetian-era capital is surprisingly cosmopolitan and easily walkable.

Clockwise: Emelisse, Eleonus, Rosy’s Little Village

ELEONAS HOTEL, EVIA Good for: The simple life The ancient Greeks regarded the olive as a symbol of peace. Eleonas actually means olive grove, and this 10-room, salmonpink hotel is certainly a shot of tranquillity. It’s set on a working olive estate backed by pine-clad hills, and overlooks a shimmering sea. The elegant rooms are light and modern, and serenity is guaranteed by the absence of TVs. Instead they offer a purer form of R&R: shelves bending under books, coupled with either a private garden or large balcony. The island is a favourite weekend haunt among Athenians for its pretty walks, uncrowded beaches and excellent fish restaurants.Evia is linked to the mainland by a suspension bridge; it’s a three-hour drive from Athens. eleonashotel.com HOTEL MIRANDA, HYDRA Good for: Artistic, hippie, walking types This 19th-century sea captain’s mansion is crammed full of antique furniture and quirky curios collected during the owner’s travels. All 14 rooms are different and feel sweetly sophisticated, with parquet floors and nautical brass lamps; some even have ceiling frescoes hand-painted by Venetian artists. It admirably reflects the ambience of Hydra, which was a boho hideaway in the ’60s (Leonard Cohen, the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd all holidayed here) and still retains that arty vibe around its buzzy harbour cafes. Bear in mind that cars and even bicycles are banned, so walking and water taxis are the only way to get about. mirandahotel.gr KWT

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Nostalgia Trips Once upon a time the best way to holiday was to island-hop by ferry. And guess what, says Dana Facaros – it still is. Try one of these classic combos…

S

wooping down on the Greek islands in a plane is an abrupt way of arriving. Hopping between them on a ferry is much more fun – immersed in the azures, indigos and sapphires of the Greek sea and sky. Order a juice, find a deckchair and watch as islands slowly, strip-teasingly reveal their charms: a perfect beach hidden in a craggy cove, a blazing white building on a soaring peak, an immodestly pretty village tumbling around a crescent bay. It’s never dull – islands are great individualists; even close neighbours can be like chalk and cheese (or whitewash and feta, as they say in Greece). You don’t have to go mad and catch the 20-hour ferry to Kastellorizo from Piraeus. Take one of the following mini-cruises, and you will find your inner Odysseus…

The Cyclades Everyone knows the superstars, Mykonos and Santorini, but there’s far more to the Cyclades, Greece’s iconic archipelago, laden with sugar-cube villages, blue domes and sink-your-toes-in sandy beaches, all brilliantly illuminated in the clear Aegean light. The lesser-known, but no less beautiful, islands in the Western Cyclades are perfect for a mini-cruise: they’re so close together that ferrying between them is like playing hopscotch, and they come with fewer tourists, too. THE ROUTE: MILOS – SIFNOS – SERIFOS – KYTHNOS Start at Milos, made famous by the sublime statue of Venus, now in Paris’s Louvre. In some ways it qualifies as a junior, low-key Santorini – it’s popular among honeymooners, while its coast 52

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features cliffs in striking colours, volcanic rock formations shaped like pipe organs, turquoise creeks and mermaid grottoes. Make the de-rigueur sea tour around the island – or better, paddle your own way (see seakayakgreece.com; day trips $110). Beaches are Milos’s other strong suit; there are miles of them, from popular lidos to isolated sandy inlets. Up in Plaka, explore the ruins of ancient Milos, the archaeology museum and rare early- Christian catacombs. Stay in the bougainvillea-draped Chronis (chronishotel.gr; rooms from $160, B&B) in the port town of Adamas. Kynigos (00 30 22870 22349), a waterfront taverna, has first-rate cooking. Next stop is Sifnos, an island so laidback and sophisticated it almost seems Californian. Split your time between the cosmopolitan port, Kamares, and the green and pretty interior. There are beautiful walks, the old village of Kastro to explore, and some of the archipelago’s best beaches at Vathy and Platys Gialos. Stay at the little Cycladic-style Hotel Nimfes (nymfes.gr; doubles from $174, room only), near Kamares; it has lovely lightfilled rooms and is 100m from the beach. Sifnos is famous for its cooks, but one night, forgo Greek fare for the exceptional Italian cuisine at the L’Osteria da Claudio (osteriaclaudio.gr), in Kamares. Sailing from here to Serifos is high theatre, culminating in one of the most spectacular arrivals of any Greek island: the incandescent white skyline of the little capital, Hora, is draped over a mountain high above the port. Unlike green Sifnos, Serifos is a dry, dark rock, corrugated with stone terraces – and populated by

Clockwise: Oia in Santorinia, Chora on Serifos, Sifnos, Milos


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“Wild cliffs shelter stunning swathes of sand, peaks tickle the clouds, and the olives and cypresses that cover the hills and valleys lend a Tuscan air...” remarkably friendly residents. That, and the beautiful beaches along the eastern coast, will leave you reluctant to move on. The Maistrali (hotelmaistrali.com; rooms from $130, room only) is right on the beach at the port, Livadi. Make a detour to Takis (00 30 22810 51159), on the waterfront at Livadi, for fresh fish. Your last stop is Kythnos, a throwback to the island-hopping ’70s. Few foreigners ever call in, but nostalgic Greeks come here for long weekends at the resolutely old-fashioned village of Dryopida, or the attractive little resort of Loutra. In a quiet setting overlooking the port of Merihas, Litsas Studios (kithnosisland.gr/litsasstudios; rooms from $100, room only) are simply furnished, with generous balconies. The island’s tastiest sardines await at taverna Ostria (00 30 22810 32263), near the dock in Merihas.

The Ionians Odysseus, the world’s first recorded islandhopper, hailed from the Ionians, and their beauty is of fittingly mythic proportions. You’ll need a hire car for this tour, combining short ferry-hops with gorgeous drives. Wild cliffs shelter stunning swathes of sand, peaks tickle the clouds, and the olives, cypresses and vineyards that cover the hills and valleys lend a Tuscan air. Architectural monuments are rare (an earthquake in 1953 saw to that) but the villages are pure, laid-back Greece. 54

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THE ROUTE: KEFALLONIA – ITHACA – LEFKADA Fly to Kefallonia, hire a car and drive to Sami – a splendid introduction to the scene-stealing setting in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. The port town had a plywood makeover for the film, and Antisami beach was used as the set for the Italians’ camp. There are a couple of spectacular caves to visit, and the nearby port of Agia Efimia is a favourite. Stay at the seaside Sami Beach Hotel (00 30 26740 22824, www. samibeachhotel.gr; doubles from £90, B&B), and go to The Mermaid Taverna (www. mermaidkefalonia.gr) for classic Greek food. From Sami, it’s a quick chug over to Homer’s ‘craggy’ Ithaca, a wooded island where the Cave of the Nymphs, Fountain of Arethusa, and Odysseus’s Palace have been identified from The Odyssey. It’s pure conjecture, but highly evocative – like Ithaca itself, an island deaf to the siren song of mass tourism. The coves around its tiny ports are pebbly, but the dark sea is crystal clear; drive up to the hamlets of Exogi and Anogi for their vertiginous views. Overlooking the capital, Vathy, Odyssey Apartments (ithaki-odyssey.com) make a good base. At least once, splurge on lobster at Paliocaravo (00 30 26740 32573; meals from around $70). From Fríkes, in the north, the ferry heads to Lefkada. Lefkada’s wild west coast overlooks Porto Katsiki, and other beautiful beaches, although the steep drives down aren’t for wimps. Lefkada Town is made up of brightly painted, corrugated-iron houses; mountain villages stopped the clock 50 years ago, and the biggest resort, Nidri, has great views over a mini-archipelago of wooded islets. Stay at the Bella Vista Apartments (bella-vista.gr; studios for two from $130) near Perigiali beach, north of Nidri. In the evening dine at the reliable Olive Tree (00 30 26450 92655) on the south edge of Nidri. Sail back to Kefallonia by way of northerly Fiskardo, a town spared in the earthquakes, only to morph into an Ionian St Tropez. Drive to the beautiful village


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of Assos, beneath a Venetian castle, and south to the startling white crescent of Myrtos beach, set against the bluest water imaginable. Your last base on the south coast should be the couples-only Trapezaki Bay Hotel (trapezakibayhotel.gr; rooms from $200, B&B). From here, explore lofty Mount Ainos National Park, the Mycenaean tomb at Tzanata and the museums in the capital, Argostoli.

Saronic Gulf These little beauties are so close to Athens that some islanders commute to and fro, yet they are often skipped by travellers. It’s their loss: the four main islands are salty, pint-sized and replete with character, full of mementos recalling the bold captains and fleets of the Greek War of Independence (1821-29). A few days here deliver an undiluted hit of the best of Greece: postcardperfect towns, dreamlike seascapes and intense nightlife – all this and the chance to visit major ancient sites on the mainland Peloponnese. THE ROUTE: AEGINA – POROS – HYDRA – SPETSES The island of Aegina is just a short hop from Piraeus – so close, in fact, that it’s visible from the Parthenon. Although a grand quay was built in 1828, when Aegina served as the first capital of modern Greece, the town today retains a cosy, village feel. On the outskirts lie ruins of the ancient city, while the amazingly preserved 5th-century BC Temple of Aphaia is a quick bus ride away. Rent a car or scooter to visit the Byzantine ghost town of Paleochora and the port of Perdika, where you can hire a boat to sail to the islet of Moni, a nature reserve, for an idyllic picnic. In Aegina Town, stay in the Aeginitiko Archontiko (aeginitikoarchontiko.gr; rooms from $130, room only), an 18th-century mansion. Try the snacky mezedes and

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grilled fish at Flisvos (00 30 22970 26459). The hour’s voyage from Aegina to Poros is one of Greece’s most magical. Poros Town cascades down a volcanic islet, while the bulk of the island is a pine-scented mountain, with sandy beaches at Askeli and Neorion. Boat taxis $2) cross all day to mainland Galatas, where you can hire a car to see some of the marvels of ancient Greece: the citadels of Mycenae and Tiryns, and the ancient theatre of Epidavros. In Poros Town, the Hotel Seven Brothers (7brothers.gr) has tidy doubles from $110, room only; for hearty food, try Taverna Apagio (00 30 22980 26219). Hydra, the next port of call, is a long and arid island, except for one town so outlandishly picture-perfect that, for the past 50 years, artists and glitterati – including Joan Collins and Leonard Cohen – have adopted it. The ‘streets’ between the Neo-Classical mansions of Hydra Town’s old sea dogs are all steps, so the only transport is donkey. Paths – and water taxis – will deliver you to nearby swimming holes; local clubs and cafes stay open until the wee hours. Stay at the elegant Bratsera Hotel (bratserahotel.com; rooms from $286, B&B), in a converted sponge factory, with a pretty pool. For great views and sea-urchin dip, eat at Kondylenia on Kamini Beach (00 30 22980 53520). Last island is Spetses, which also has a picturesque town of captains’ mansions; one, now a museum, belonged to Laskarina Bouboulina, the heroic lady-admiral of the Greek War of Independence. You’ll find lovely gardens, and sights that bring to mind The Magus, the novel by ex-resident John Fowles. Buses and water taxis go to pebbly and sandy coves that frame this car-free outcrop. Stay at the cosy Armata Boutique Hotel (armatahotel.gr; doubles from $164, B&B), two minutes from the port. On the waterfront, order the snapper spetsiota at Taverna Exedra (00 30 22980 73497; $56).


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Getting around

AIR Island-hoppers are best off travelling by boat. Although charter and scheduled flights are available with AirSea Lines (airsealines.com) and Sky Express (skyexpress.gr), flying is an expensive way to get around and network coverage is patchy.

Clockwise: Póros, Spetses island town, Hydra island, Aphea on the island of Aegina

BOAT Boat services around the Greek islands are at their most frequent between May and October, with daily connections to most routes. Athens is the hub of Greece’s ferry network – the city’s main port at Piraeus connects the mainland to the Cyclades, the Dodecanese, Northeastern Aegean, Saronic Gulf and Crete. Ferries and catamarans also run from Rafina (Athens’ second port) to the northern Cyclades and Evia. There are Ionian island connections from Patra, and services to the Sporades from Volos or Thessaloniki. Hellenic Seaways (hellenicseaways.gr) runs catamaran services to and around the Cyclades, Northeastern Aegean, Saronic Gulf, Sporades and Crete. Minoan Lines (minoan.gr) runs ferries between Patra and Corfu, and Piraeus and Crete. Blue Star Ferries (bluestarferries.com) has services from Piraeus and Rafina to and around the Dodecanese and Cyclades. Anek Lines (anek.gr) runs ferries from Patra to Corfu, and from Piraeus to Crete, the Cyclades and Northeastern Aegean. Lane Sea Lines (lane.gr) has ferries running between Piraeus, Rhodes and Crete. GA Ferries (gaferries.gr) connects Thessaloniki with the Sporades and Cyclades, and Piraeus with the Cyclades and Crete. Aegean Flying Dolphins (aegean flyingdolphins.gr) runs hydrofoil services between Piraeus and the Saronic Gulf.

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BUSAN

Korea Advice Rachel Barrett takes a trip to explore one of South Korea’s most intriguing cities…

Better known for its successful electrical brands than as a tourist destination, Busan offers some of the most stunning old buildings in the world and a glorious shoreline. It’s South Korea’s second largest city after Seoul, and is more relaxed than the capital yet still bursting with vitality and energy on every street corner. Situated on the south east peninsula in the Nakdonggang Valley, the city is surrounded by spectacular mountain ranges and the Korean Straits – you’ll see these as you fly in to Busan International.

1. Jagalchi Fish Market One of the most striking things about the city is not only the vast amount of fish available down every main street and side street, but the sheer variety of edible sea creatures. For anybody squeamish the Fish Market is probably not going to be a favourite sight in the city, but it will certainly be memorable. As the largest market of its kind in the country, Jagalchi offers every conceivable species of sea life. Buckets of fresh sea water line the streets bursting with slimy fish just waiting to be sold and swallowed. Unlike in Japan, where fish is served raw but killed hours before eating, in Busan the norm is for the fish to be killed at your dinner table as they believe the fresher the fish, the better the taste...

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2. Beomeosa It’s one of the city’s most spectacular sights, and a stay in Busan would not be complete without a visit to the magnificent Beomeosa. Taking the public bus up to the ancient site is breathtaking in itself as you pass through the outskirts of the city and head into leafy green forest. The origins of the building date back to AD 678 and depending on the time of day you arrive, you may get a chance to see the monks who live there. Public transport in the city is not too difficult to figure out and once you focus on the English wording of the bus and metro stops, you will some become a master of the system and be able to navigate your way throughout the city without the need for taxis.

3. Taejongdea Resort A little outside of the city, but worth the effort to get to, Taejongdea Resort’s main attraction is the quaint tram journey uphill to the observatory and the stunning rocky coastal view en route. The resort is also home to over 200 types of trees and is deeply routed in the local culture and heritage. It’s named after King Taejong Muyul (654661), of the Silla Dynasty, and it is believed that the King himself used to come to this park to practice archery after unifying the Three Kingdoms.

“Haeundea Beach brings in Korean and international tourists alike during the summer months to take advantage of the sea breeze” get a deeper insight into the history of the city and the country. There is also a gallery exhibiting a historic display of black and white photos and many short documentaries. Best to keep this outing for a summer’s day - winter in Busan can get really cold with temperatures as low as zero centigrade.

6. Dongnae Spa For a truly rejuvenating experience, a day at the country’s biggest spa, Dongnae, is another must-do, and with an entry fee of a mere $6 for a day pass you can’t really go wrong. The natural hot spring waters are known to have healing and purifying elements and at a little extra cost you can have a massage or body exfoliation. You will never feel more clean and polished than when you step out of the spa. This is a really rewarding way to spend a day towards the end of your trip. WHERE TO STAY

4. Busan Aquarium

The Hotel Lotte Busan

If after visiting Jagalchi Fish Market, you find you have still not piqued your curiosity and you would like to see more exotic fish, take a trip to Haeundae Beach and visit the Busan Aquarium. The enormous tanks boost an amazing display of some 50,000 live sea creatures of every shape and colour.

Located in the heart of main shopping area, Seomyeon, The Hotel Lotte (lottehotelbusan. com) is a super spot to stay for a short city visit. From within the tranquil surroundings of any of its 900 deluxe bedrooms, you soon forget the masses of stylish shoppers and busy commuters just outside. As well as having 14 world class international restaurants and its own running track, the hotel also has excellent entertainment. While there are also many fabulous 5 star hotels along Haendae beach to chose from, staying in the heart of the city really gives you a good insight into Korean life, both day and night.

5. UN Cemetery Memorial and Park Built in 1968, the cemetery commemorates all those who lost their lives fighting in the Korean War. Just a half hour outside of the city, a trip to the cemetery is a good way to 60

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BUSAN

7. Haeundea Beach Loved for its long and striking sea vistas, Haeundea Beach brings in Korean and international tourists alike during the summer months to take advantage of the sea breeze and sandy beaches. Other popular beaches include Gwangalli and Songjeoung.

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CONCIERGE JAMAICA

CONCIERGE JAMAICA

MADRID

VILNIUS

NEW ORLEANS

THE 30-SECOND CONCIERGE

ROCKHOUSE HOTEL, NEGRIL, JAMAICA

So what should I do while I’m in Jamaica? The main thing is to relax. If you’re staying with us you’ll have plenty of opportunity to do that – take a morning yoga class, get an in-room massage, swim in the 60-foot pool or the sea…

means the food is fabulous. At our restaurant you can enjoy tender jerk chicken prepared in our special house style, ackee, blackened Mahi Mahi and the delicious Lobster Blaze, all made with the freshest of ingredients.

Sounds good. What if I want to get out and about? There’s so much to do that can we can arrange – snorkelling expeditions, boating, parasailing, golf, horse-riding, tennis… You name it.

And what if I’d like to give something back to the local community during my trip? You can support our Rockhouse foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of kids in Jamaica. At the moment we’re expanding and renovating the Negril Public Library – and you’ve got the opportunity to get involved if you’d like. rockhousehotel.com

Image courtesy of Design Hotels™

And what should I make sure to eat? Jamaican food is such a mix of different cultures – and it

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SPAIN

Retiro Park Right: Hotel de las Letras

Visit Madrid

Laid-back by day, boisterous by night – the temperature is rising in Spain’s fun-loving capital, says Marcus Waring Barcelona and Valencia are a pushy pair of siblings, tripping over each other to tell us their rags-to-riches stories. By comparison, big sister Madrid seems to look on quietly, short on limelight. Why? Probably because the Spanish capital has been there, done that and long since got the T-shirt: a colonial nerve-centre rich in imported gold; the Habsburgs’ HQ, dizzy with global power. Today the place feels laid-back, almost selfeffacing. Memories of your trip will return to you like classic Spanish snapshots: cigar smoke in sunlight, blown by 64

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old-timers on plaza benches; late-night tapas cafés, with floors knee-deep in olive stones and strewn napkins; and leisurely chit-chat, as Madrid heads off to work via tortilla and coffee so strong it can bend the spoon. WHERE TO STAY NO EXPENSE SPARED Hotel Urban, Carrera de San Jerónimo 34 (derbyhotels.com). All dark wood and slate topped with a plunge pool, Hotel Urban is a sleek stopover. Rooms from $270, room only. Meanwhile, ME Madrid Hotel, Plaza de Santa Ana 14 (mebymelia.

com) is where cluedup Madrileños play. Contemporary rooms come with iPod adaptors, and the roof terrace, complete with decking and white cushions, has craneyour-neck views. Rooms from $290, room only. MIDDLE OF THE ROAD Hotel de las Letras, Gran Vía 11 (hoteldelasletras.com). A central location, rooftop terrace and a dark, restful spa are major draws. Carmen does a wonderful hotstone massage. Rooms from $200, room only. Room Mate Alicia, Prado 2 (room-

ASK THE LOCAL Lola González, born and bred in Madrid, is an event co-ordinator. She loves travelling and hasn’t found anywhere that quite rivals the Spanish capital. My friends love the White Nights in September, when many museums and galleries stay open throughout the night. They do all kinds of weird and wonderful projections across the city. And don’t forget to look up when you’re here. Much of the interesting architecture, from old windows and balconies to murals, is hidden away just above street level. FURTHER INFORMATION Visit www.tourspain.co.uk.


Hotel Urban is a member of Design Hotels(tm)

CONCIERGE MADRID

Clockwise: Hotel Urban, Royal Palace, Cibeles Fountain

HANDY PHRASE: ‘De Madrid al cielo’ (‘from Madrid to the sky’). During the heady days post-Franco, this phrase meant that Madrid had it all. $2 BUYS: a café con leche (coffee with milk). If you like it extra strong, ask for a café cortado (just a drop of milk), café solo (black) or un café muy cargado (palpitations in a cup). COOL AS CATS: Madrid is a city of people-from-anywhere-but. However, if you and your parents and grandparents on both sides were born here, you are a gato, literally a cat. matehotels.com) has black slate tiles and immaculate fittings this minimalist central hotel is incredible value. Opt for one of three junior suites for a freestanding bath and views of the plaza. Suites from $200, B&B. WHERE TO EAT NO EXPENSE SPARED La Terraza del Casino, Alcalá 15 (casinodemadrid. es). Overhauled last year and blending Michelin-starred food with theatrics, this grandiose restaurant is well worth the jacket-

and-tie policy. Tasting menu from $160. At Bauzá, Goya 79 (hotelbauza.com) you should begin with the convoluted water menu (‘Norway or New Zealand tonight, dearest?’) and the sumptuous starter of veal carpaccio ($20). MIDDLE OF THE ROAD Mercado de la Reina, Gran Vía 12 (mercadodelareina.es). Have a glass of juice by the olive tree at the bar before sitting down to crispy croquettes or the grilled sirloin with fried potatoes. Mains from $24.

Restaurante Paulino, Alonso Cono 34 (00 34 915 913929) is run by the bustling, bespectacled Paulino, the airy dining room at the back has original beams, and the rape (rah-pay, meaning monkfish) is loved by the middle-aged cognoscenti of Madrid’s Chamberí quarter, just north of the old centre. Mains from $24. SHOPPING For classic high-end brands and designers, scour the streets around Calle Serrano. For more creative, cheaper gifts and

garb, try Fuencarral and many small shops around Malasaña area. El Rastro market on a Sunday morning has stalls with it all. Juan Antonio López Conde de Aranda 7 (juanantoniolopez. com). Hailed as the new Manolo Blahnik, sharp-pointed toes and pronounced décolletages are all part of Juan’s ambitious search for ‘women’s shoe essence’. Urban Gallery Castelló 41 (urbangalleryweb. com). Two floors loaded with goodies: from sofas to Rosa Chá swimsuits.

The basement restaurant does outstanding caramelised foie gras on cous-cous. Isolee Infantas 19 (isolee. com) in Chueca is a clothes shop/deli/ eaterie hybrid and a design lover’s dream. Meanwhile Mercado Fuencarral Fuencarral 45 (mdf.es) offers fistsized Dior sunglasses and unique T-shirts among the numerous units. And Gandolfi San Andrés 28 (gandolfi.es) has black-and-white cartoon storyboards by the window and is the place for jewellery with character. KWT

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LITHUANIA

Visit Vilnius

Crammed with culture, art and cafés – Lithuania’s capital is blooming says Claire Gervat… Lithuania’s pocketsized capital – once the main city of a territory that stretched all the way to the Black Sea –has more than enough top-notch sights and unpretentious charm for the most jaded visitor. Cobbled streets are lined with Romanesque old buildings and Baroque mansions. Museums and galleries showcase everything from ancient folk customs to of-the-moment video installations. The Old Town, its historic buildings spruced up after decades of Soviet neglect, is entrancing when the sun shines 66

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on gilded domes and gleaming white stucco. And if the sun ducks behind a cloud, the great indoors beckons: a brace of eclectic museums; a pair of art galleries; and ornately decorated old buildings. Shopping is a treat, not so much in the main streets, where every other emporium sells amber and linen souvenirs, but in the side lanes where you’ll uncover covetable gear by home-grown designers. WHERE TO STAY NO EXPENSE SPARED Stikliai Hotel, Gaono 7 (stikliaihotel.

lt) This is a part-Gothic, part-Baroque building, with antiques, chintz, and a warm welcome: this is the modern face of old-school grandeur, which explains a guest list of presidents, Eurocrats and other bigwigs, not to mention the Relais & Chateaux stamp of approval. Rooms from $300, B&B. At Narutis, Pilies 24 (narutis.com), sumptuousness reigns in a restored 16thcentury house, where 50 rooms come with original frescoes and wood-beamed ceilings, as well as classic French furniture. Book a suite and you’ll get your own private

ASK THE LOCAL Julija Zileniene is one of Lithuania’s leading young fashion designers There are two very good reasons to try saltibarsciai, the local cold beetroot soup; not only is it delicious and nutritious, but it’s also the best cure for a headache. Aukso Avis (Saviciaus 10), which means Golden Sheep, is a great little gift gallery with lots of funky, colourful, quirky things by talented local textile designers. Ask for a wool felting lesson – fun! Where are the best steaks in town? Definitely the ones they serve at Marcus ir Ko (Antokolskio 11). Turkish bath. Doubles from $310, B&B. MIDDLE OF THE ROAD Shakespeare Boutique Hotel, Bernardinu 8/8 (shakespeare.lt). Inspire your inner scribe with rooms themed around

famous writers. Be tempestuous in Byron or philosophical in Rousseau. Rooms from $228, B&B. At Mabre Residence, Maironio 13 (mabre.lt) the stripey-wallpaperand-blue-carpet combo won’t thrill


CONCIERGE VILNIUS

Clockwise: Trakai Castle, Narutis

$320,000 BUYS YOU: A restored, one-bedroom flat in the Old Town (browse for fun at domusoptima.lt). UNLIKELIEST HOMAGE: Vilnius is home to the world’s only bronze statue of Frank Zappa. Which is strange, as he had no roots in Lithuania and never even visited. SNEEZY PEASY: Lithuanian is a complex language, but you’ll definitely remember how to say thank you – it sounds just like ‘a-choo’. FAIR’S FAIR: Not only are they some of the tallest people in the world, but about 50 per cent of Lithuanians are blond and most have blue eyes. ESSENTIAL ETIQUETTE: Don’t say ‘thank you’ when the waiter takes your money, unless you actually want them to keep the change. design purists, but this 41-room hotel on the eastern edge of the Old Town is a tranquil spot for restful nights. Rooms from $200, B&B. WHERE TO EAT NO EXPENSE SPARED Stikliai (see Where to stay). Everything is rich at Vilnius’s grandest restaurant: from the guests and the decor to the food. To start try blinis and caviar (a snip at $48), then follow with delightful chicken stuffed with duck liver and truffles. Mains from $40.

La Provence, Vokieciu 22 (laprovence. lt) has warm, natural colours and wooden furniture which complement a Mediterraneaninfluenced menu with plenty of fresh seafood. Go for octopus à la Greque with some fresh grilled sardines. Mains from $20. MIDDLE OF THE ROAD Pegasus Didzioji 11 (restaurantpegasus.lt), Here you’ll join a chic crowd in a monument of paleness, all buttermilk leather and creamy walls. As for the food,

the fusion menu has most of the world covered, from dishes such as Persian fish curry, to Italian osso bucco. Mains from $10. Lokys Stikliu 8 (lokys.lt) Here the meal deal is your traditional hunters’ fare – a roast beaver stew and venison – in a rustic cellar which is adorned with animal heads, antlers, even a stuffed bear. Younger carousers, however, might prefer the look of the chrome, glass and snow-white seating of the new extension. Mains from $8.

SHOPPING Creamy walls and some simple glass boxes at Etdore, Maironio 9 (dore.lt). create an appropriately chic backdrop for jewellery designer Tauras Blazevicius’s delicate gold bullseye earrings, seed pearl necklaces and unusual chunky chokers with lava and coral beads. Meanwhile at Senasis Kuparas, Domininkonu 14 (kuparas.lt) they have two floors of antique everything, from Russian icons to silverware. Best of all, they can help with the tedious paperwork that

you need to deal with if you want to take the stuff out of the country. Give the touristy towncentre linen shops the cold shoulder and head instead to Giedrius Crkauskas’s boutique, Lino Kopos, Krokuvos 6 (linokopos.com), which has a small but exquisite collection of amber jewellery. For truffles, Florentines and other chocolates, head to wonderfully retro chocolatier A J Sokoladas, Pilies 42 (ajsokolades.lt). for some good oldfashioned sensory indulgence. KWT

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U.S.A.

Visit New Orleans

International House

Hurricane Katrina pressed the pause button in 2005, but even she couldn’t stop the music. Four years on, you’ll find New Orleans back on track says Julia Buckley New Orleans loves to party. Founded on swampland, hemmed in by the Mississippi and Lake Pontchartrain, its precarious position has made living for the moment a fine art. Residents need little excuse to push the party button – they throw more than 20 festivals a year. Nola’s (as in New Orleans, Louisiana) wayward spirit has bred great art, too. Jazz was born here – along with Louis Armstrong and Wynton Marsalis – while the French Quarter has played muse to Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote. And as a city with one 68

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of the most eclectic histories in America – founded by the French, ruled by the Spanish, and then the French again before Napoleon sold Louisiana to the Americans in 1803 – life in New Orleans is a cultural gumbo stew of African, American and European heritage. WHERE TO STAY NO EXPENSE SPARED The Ritz-Carlton 921 Canal Street (ritzcarlton.com). All the plushness you’d expect, dressed up as a vast Southern mansion. It takes up an entire block of the French Quarter, complete with

a 2,300 sq metre spa. Transformed after a $100m post-Katrina refurb, it’s decked out with opulent fabrics and antiques, centring round a leafy courtyard. They’ve also turned the adjacent hotel into a separate annexe (Maison Orleans) for VIP customers. Rooms from $200, room only. Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal Street (hotelmonteleone. com) is New Orleans’ most famous hotel and has unrivalled literary connections – Truman Capote used to boast he was born here, Tennessee Williams wrote it into his play The Rose Tattoo, and

William Faulkner was a regular at the café. Rooms verge on the chintzy, but the history and the Mississippi views make up for that. Rooms from $170.

MIDDLE OF THE ROAD International House 221 Camp Street (ihhotel. com). Rooms in one of the city’s coolest spots blend creams

THE LOCAL’S VIEW Manhattan resident Craig Nelson is managing editor of city-insider website Not For Tourists (notfortourists.com) and contributes to new LondonNew York monitor MetroTwin (metrotwin.com). ‘Lombardi’s gets all the ink for being the original NY pizzeria, but Arturo’s (106 W Houston St; 00 1 212 677 3820) is a classic Greenwich Village scene with jazz nightly. The pizzas ain’t too shabby either. You can see great Caribbean and Latin American art minus hordes at El Museo del Barrio (elmuseo.org). And you’ll avoid out-of-town crowds at the Santos’ Party House, in Chinatown: hip art, music and the best indie entertainment nightly.


CONCIERGE NEW ORLEANS

Clockwise: International House, Montelone Hotel, French Quarter

CELEB SPOT: Brad and Angelina bought a house here after Katrina. To find it, go to Governor Nicholls Street and look for the ‘Please do not bother the animals’ sign. BONEY’S HOUSE: After Napoleon was exiled to St Helena, a bunch of New Orleanais hatched a plot to rescue him and set him up at 500 Chartres Street. Go and you’ll find a classily decaying café, Napoleon House (00 1 504 524 9752), with pictures of Monsieur Bonaparte adorning the walls. $10 BUYS YOU: A chocolate doll from Laura’s Candies (331 Chartres Street; 00 1 504 525 3880).

and taupes with chandeliers, while beds in the superior rooms have headboards that stop just short of the ceilings. Eminem and Gwen Stefani both enjoyed the grand piano in the penthouse suite. Rooms from $120, room only. Soniat House 1133 Chartres Street (soniathouse.com). Meticulously wellkept, antiques-filled, high-ceilinged rooms cluster round a palmlined courtyard in a traditional French Quarter house.

The front gate is a wormhole to the past. Rooms from $100. WHERE TO EAT NO EXPENSE SPARED August 301 Tchoupitoulas Street (restaurantaugust. com), Here, local celeb chef John Besh takes Louisiana ingredients and gives them a French dressing-up. Order crab gnocchi tossed, or speckled trout. Mains from $26. Meanwhile at Galatoire’s on 209 Bourbon Street (galatoires.com),

penguin-suited waiters and a strict dress code rule at a 103-year-old society institution. Try the oysters Rockefeller – so called for their richness – with spinach and butter, and the finest shrimp rémoulade in town. No advance booking, so get there near opening time at 11.30am (lunch) or 5.30pm (dinner). Mains from $18. MIDDLE OF THE ROAD Muriel’s 801 Chartres Street (muriels.com) offers crab, crawfish and oysters crafted into

classy dishes: pecancrusted puppy drum fish and redfish with a crab stuffing. Service is impeccable and the location is the best in town. But there’s only so much gumbo a tourist can take. For a change, try Lüke (333 St Charles Avenue, lukeneworleans.com), John Besh’s throwback to the great FrancoGermanic brasseries that once populated New Orleans. It’s Alsace meets the Big Easy, serving croquemonsieurs, burgers and jumbo shrimp and crab ravioli. Mains from $10.

SHOPPING Expand your jazz collection at the Louisiana Music Factory, 210 Decatur Street, which stocks more than 1,200 local artists. There are free concerts most Saturday afternoons. At Vintage 429, 429 Royal Street (vintage429. com) you can stock up and head home with some autographed memorabilia. There are about 2,500 items in stock – you’ll find anything from a signed Beatles album to Mohammed Ali’s glove. KWT

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Feeling excited about your holiday? Check through our list of the most popular Kanoo Travel offices, find one near you and head down or call up to turn your getaway dreams into reality... BAHRAIN Abu Obeidah Avenue Wroad No. 302 Manama Tel. 17 576950 Mahooz Tel. 17 828754 Awali Branch Sitrah Avenue Road No. 4522 Awali Tel. 17 756487 Al Moayd Tower Manama Tel. 17 220220 Kanoo Holidays Mahooz Tel.17 828802 Kanoo Travel Refinery Tel. 17 755012 Airport Office Bahrain Tel. 17 321325 Egypt Air Manama Tel. 17 220747 Lufthansa Mahooz Tel. 17 828763 Air India Manama Tel. 17 220788 Cyprus Airways Manama Tel. 17 220 849 British Airways Manama Tel. 17 220701 Qantas / Jetabout Manama Tel. 17220743 Thai International Mahooz Tel. 17 828771 Air Canada / Austrian Airlines / Polish Olympic Airways / Sudan Airways / Sas / Swiss Int’l / Tunis Mahooz Tel. 17 828770

EGYPT Alexandria Booz Allen 1 Youssef El-Shazly Street Roushdy, Alexandria Tel. 002 03 5459265

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Alexandria 14 May Str, Sayadlia Building Symoha Tel. 020 03 424 1050 Aswan Abtal El-Tahrir Street Corniche El-Nil Tel. 002 097 2306983 Heliopolis Business Travel Centre 33 Nabil Elwakkad St Heliopolis Cairo Tel. 002 02 4130375/6 Cairo Halliburton C/O Halliburton Overseas Ltd Kilometer No 10 Land No 30 Ein Sokhna Road North Kattamia Cairo Tel. 002 02 27591690 Cairo 07 Dr. Kamal Hussin Heliopolis Cairo Tel. 002 02 26251307 Cairo Schlumberger C/O Schlumberger Zeiny Tower 25 Misr Helwan Road Maadi Tel. 002 02 7684700 Ext.. 1014 Cairo U.N.D.P C/O U.N.D.P., 4th Fl, World Trade Center 1191 Cornich El Nil Tel. 002 02 25804491 Cairo Kasr El Nil 15 Kasr El Nil Street Down Town Tel. 002 02 25747991 Cairo Nile Hilton Nile Hilton Hotel Down Town Tel. 002 02 25785001 Cairo 1 Wahib Doss Str. Office No 9 Maadi Tel. 002 02 27513930 El Areesh Mfo C/O Mfo Northern Sinai Tel. 002 068 3502868 Luxor Winter Palace Hotel Tel. 002 095 2378333

FRANCE Foreign Exchange 11 Rue Scribe Paris 75009 Tel. +33 1 5300 9897 Foreign Exchange 11 Cours de I’Intendance Bordeaux 33000 Tel. +33 5 5600 6336 Bureau de Change Kanoo Printemps Dept. Store 64 Boulevard Haussmann 75009 PARIS Tel. +33 1 4282 4181

Umalquara Street Hayfer Makkah Tel. 02 544 7741 Kanoo Travel Sharafiya Tel. 02 643 9426 Kanoo Travel Taif Tel. 02 736 4211 Kanoo Travel Rabigh Tel. 02 423 2785

OMAN

Kanoo Travel Medinah Tel. 02 263 3040

Kanoo Travel LLC PO Box 75 114 Jibroo, Muscat Tel. +968 24700249

Air India Jeddah Tel. 02 668 0303 / 669 6571

QATAR

Gulf Air Jeddah Tel. 02 668 0303 / 669 6571 / 646

Old Al Hitmi Street Museum Street, Doha Tel. 04 441 3441 Conoco Phillips Salam Tower Al Corniche Street, Doha Tel. 04 443 7595

SAUDI ARABIA WESTERN PROVINCE Kanoo Centre Medina Road, Jeddah Tel. 02 661 4950 Bab Makkah Jeddah Tel. 02 644 9030 Bamaroof Centre Hail Street, Jeddah Tel. 02 653 0541

Singapore Airlines Jeddah Tel. 02 657 9898 Srilankan Airlines Jeddah Tel. 02 263 2959 Air Canada Jeddah Tel. 02 263 2996, Ext. 190 Kenyan Airways Jeddah Tel.02 263 2959 Ext. 108 Philippine Airways Jeddah Tel. 02 263 2959 Ext. 100 / 122

Khamis Abha Main Road Khamis Mushayat Tel. 07 222 3624

United Airlines Jeddah Tel. 02 263 3021 / 2959 Ext. 196 / 197

Prince Sultan Street Gizan Tel. 07 317 4285

EASTERN PROVINCE

Aboobacker Al Siddiq Street, Medina Tel. 04 823 9120

Airline Centre King Abdul Aziz Street Al Khobar Tel. 03 882 2206

Al Nawa Commercial Centre Al Sinnaiyat, Yanbu Tel. 04 321 3607

Kanoo Holidays, Retail Airline Centre, Khobar Tel. 03 882 2206 / 2601 / 2249

Albishar Commercial Centre King Abdulaziz Street Al Bahar, Yanbu Tel. 04 322 1087

Kanoo Holidays, Wholesale Airline Centre, Khobar Tel. 03 8821626 / 1851 / 8820161

Hertz Khobar Tel. 03 882 2005 / 5597

Dhahran Street Damman Tel. 03 833 7694

Airport Office Dammam Tel. 03 883 2660 / 2660

King Khalid Street Khobar Tel. 03 864 7471

British Airways Khobar Tel. 03 882 2000 British Airways Dammam Tel. 03 835 5714 British Airways Jubail Tel. 03 362 1069 Air India Khobar Tel. 03 882 2478 Air India Jubail Tel. 03 362 3454 Qantas Khobar Tel. 03 882 3711 / 2467 United Airlines / Air Canada / Singapore Airlines / Swissair / Austrian Airlines Tel. 03 882 1518/ 2962 / 2602 / 03 882 4477 / 4442 / 4890 / 4533 Srilankan Airlines Khobar Tel. 03 882 2789 / 2675 / 2792 Gulf Air Khobar Tel. 03 896 8496 / 9393 / 8493

47th Street Rahima Tel. 03 667 0388 Al Quds Street Qatif Tel. 03 851 5009 City Centre Al Mahoob Buidling Hufuf Tel. 03 586 3823 Kanoo Building Corniche Road Jubail Tel. 03 362 2340 Municipal Street Al Khafji Tel. 03 766 0045 CENTRAL PROVINCE Kanoo Tower King Abdul Aziz Road Riyadh Tel. 01 477 2228 King Faisal Foundation Al Khairia Complex Riyadh Tel. 01 463 4454 Wazir Street Al Azizea Building Riyadh Tel. 01 411 4780

Gulf Air Dammam Tel.03 835 4194 / 4917 / 4952

Batha Riyadh Tel. 01 403 0368

Gulf Air Qatif Tel. 03 852 9384 / 854 5240

Al Kubaih Street Buraidah Tel. 06 325 0888

Gulf Air Rastanura Tel. 03 667 8041/ 7972 Gulf Air Hofuf Tel. 03 585 3358 / 4080 / 2252 Gulf Air Jubail Tel. 03 363 0982/ 84 / 85 /86 Kanoo Tower King Saud Street, Damman Tel. 03 833 9793

Airport Road Hail Tel. 06 543 0430 Sharjah Street Hotat Bani Tamim Al Hotah Tel. 01 555 0304 Silsilah Road Onaiza Al Qassim Tel. 06 362 0080 Main Street Al Khamseen Wadi Ad Dawasir Tel. 01 784 6500


CONCIERGE WHERE TO BOOK

Kanoo Travel Naseem Tel. 01 232 8519

Najda Street Abu Dhabi Tel. 02 678 0400

Air India Kanoo Tower, Riyadh Tel. 01 477 2228 Ext. 295 / 296

Kanoo Holidays Dubai Tel. 04 334 1444 / 315 6624

Gulf Air Olaya, Riyadh Tel. 01 461 0589 / 462 4902 United Airlines / Air Canada Kanoo Tower, Riyadh Tel. 01 477 2228 Ext. 289, 290 Qantas Kanoo Tower, Riyadh Tel. 01 477 2228 Ext. 288, 305 Srilankan Airlines Kanoo Tower, Riyadh Tel. 01 477 2228 Ext. 292 X 293 Philippine Airlines Kanoo Tower, Riyadh Tel. 01 477 2228 Ext. 237 X 238 Air India Buraidah Tel. 06 324 6514 / 325 0888 Gulf Air Hail. Tel. 06 532 0280 Gulf Air Buraidah Tel. 06 324 6514 / 325 0888 Singapore Airlines Kanoo Tower Tel. 4734102 / 4734103

UAE Jebel Ali LOB 16, Ground Floor Jebel Ali Free Zone Tel. 04 881 5050 Karama Al Fathooi Centre Dubai Tel. 04 334 1222 Kanoo Building Khalid Bin Al Waleed Street, Bur Dubai Tel. 04 507 2242 Dubai Internet City Building 12 Tel. 04 390 1992 Deira City Centre Dubai Tel. 04 294 1481

Marine Travel Services Dubai Tel. 04 335 1314 Airport Office Dubai Tel. 04 393 1963 Kanoo Travel Corniche, Abu Dhabi Tel. 02 631 3900 / 631 8187

UK Birmingham American Express Bank House. 8 Cherry Street Tel. 0121 644 5514 / 0121 644 5560 Bournemouth American Express 95A Old Christchurch Road Tel. 0787 260 0528 / 01202 780 752 Brighton Amex House Implant American Express Ground Floor Amex House Edward Street Tel. 01273 525 041 / 040 Bristol American Express 74 Queens Road Tel. 01179 065 107 / 105 Cardiff American Express 3 Queen Street Tel. 02920 649 305 / 02920 649 301 Coventry American Express 5 Cathedral Lanes Shopping Centre Tel. 02 47 622 5511 / 0787 260 0528 Croydon American Express 2-4 High Street Tel. 0208 256 0808 / 0805 Edinburgh American Express 69 George Street 0131 718 2508 / 0131 718 2505

Kanoo Building Al Orouba Street, Sharjah Tel. 06 561 6058

Essex Lakeside Bureau American Express Lakeside Shopping Centre West Thurrock Way West Thurrock Grays Tel. 01708 890 654

Green Community Mall Jebel Ali Road Dubai Tel. 04 885 3321

Glasgow American Express 66 Gordon Street Tel. 0141 225 2905 / 0141 225 2908”

Kanoo Travel – American Express Hermitage Building Al Karama Tel. 04 334 9219

Guildford American Express 38-40 High Street Tel. 01483 551 607 / 01483 551 605

Leicester American Express 1 Horsefair Street Tel. 0116 242 1808 / 0116 242 1805

visit Disneyland, Paris this summer

London Haymarket American Express 30 – 31 Haymarket Tel. 0207 484 9674 / 0207 484 9600 London Credit Swiss First Boston American Express Travel Office C/O Credit Suisse One Cabot Square Canary Wharf Tel. 0207 888 4196 London Holborn Bureau American Express 156a Southampton Row Tel. 0787 260 0528 / 0207 837 4416 London Kensington High St American Express 84 Kensington High Street Tel. 0207 795 6703 London Knightsbridge American Express 78 Brompton Road Tel. 0207 761 7908 / 7900, London American Express 1 Savoy Court The Strand Tel. 0207 240 1521 Milton Keynes American Express 670 Silbury Boulevard Tel. 01908 608 877 Manchester American Express 10-12 St Mary’s Gate Tel. 0161 833 7301 / 0161 833 7301 Nottingham American Express 2 Victoria Street Tel. 0115 924 7705 / 0115 924 7701 Plymouth American Express 139 Armada Tel. 01752 502 707 / 01752 502 702

?

why not

Disneyland® Paris is the ideal place for everyone and for every age! With two Disney® Parks, 14 hotels, three 9 - hole golf courses and Disney® Village - a unique entertainment area filled with bars, restaurants, boutiques and a nightclub, all with the inimitable Disney touch. Come closer, take a deep breath, and see what kind of magic we're cooking up for you!

Contact your nearest Kanoo Travel or Kanoo Holidays office for reservations, information and details on exclusive package offers including airfare. Visit www.kanootravel.com to access a complete description of Disneyland Resort, Paris and all the attractions and special offers planned for this summer.

Sheffield American Express 20 Charles Street, Sheffield Tel. 0114 263 9308 / 0114 263 9305 Southampton American Express 99 Above Bar Tel. 02380 716 808 / 805 York American Express 6 Stonegate Tel. 01904 676 505

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CONCIERGE SUITE DREAMS

SUITEDREAMS HOTEL PRINCIPE DI SAVOIA, MILAN

If you choose to book into the Presidential Suite at the Hotel Principe di Savoia you’ll be in good company. Previous inhabitants have included Lenny Kravitz, George Clooney and, er, Queen Elizabeth II. Up on the exquisitely turned-out hotel’s tenth floor, this suite has been decorated in lavish fashion, with special elements including Aubusson-style carpets, framed mirrors which turn into flat screen TVs, handmade sofas, a Turkish bath and an abundance of boiserie. The views out over the city skyline and your private pool studded with dolphin mosaics are the masterful finishing touches. hotelprincipedisavoia.com


For more information or to make a booking, please contact our Reservations Department on 02 509 8630 or email reservations.slad@shangri-la.com


Kanoo World Traveller Aug 2009