Cork, on the southern Irish coast, is home to plenty of great bars and an atmospheric old gaol. The city is a great base for exploring the nearby harbour (the second biggest in the world, after Sydney) and picturesque towns, along with Blarney Castle and its famous stone. Cork Harbour is well worth a visit. Boat tours, run by Safari, depart from central Cork and cruise slowly up the River Lee before reaching the harbour, where the skipper revs up the motor and makes you appreciate the waterproof clothing provided. Read more about Spend the Weekend in Cork, Ireland
The afternoon call to prayer rings out across Hierapolis, Pamukkale, as a Russian wallows in the area’s famous hot pools. His nubile companion frolics nearby - slithering through the water like a porpoise, spitting it up and letting it hit her on the head. Her laughter is in pleasant contrast to the echoing message of the muezzin. From where I sit, with a glass of Turkish brew Efes in hand, it's a great view. Read more about Visit the Ancient Roman City of Hierapolis and Float Above Cappadocia
It wouldn’t feel that strange to bump into a sprite on the Isle of Skye. With its lush glens and ghostly peaks, this Inner (Hebridian) island is otherworldly. Arriving is like stepping into the pages of a fantasy novel, except it’s populated by real friendly locals, as well as crowds of hikers - in the summer months. If you are not afraid of a little unpredictable weather? Visit off-season to get this amazing place to yourself. Read more about A Weekend in Isle of Skye
In chilly February, when everyone else is waiting out winter and longing for some sun, Madeira is dancing in the streets. This Portuguese island, just off the coast of Africa, is one of the best places in the world to celebrate Carnival. At the end of February each year, Madeira hosts one of Europe’s biggest street parties, with warm sunny days and whirl of live music and parades, sparkle and colour.
The beauty of vibrant Carnival is that it is celebrated across the archipelago, and almost every village you visit will have its own parades and party spirit. Read more about Party in Madeira’s Winter Sun
A 30-minute drive from the city of Lucerne is the freeriding heaven of Engelberg-Titlis, based around the mighty 3,238m-high Titlis mountain. Sticking strictly to the pistes, Engelberg is a resort more accommodating to intermediate and advanced skiers than it is beginners, even though there are plenty of routes for all, and the little circle of blue runs at the top of the Jochpass chairlift is a veritable playground for skiers of all levels. What really brings powder fiends – and international freeride teams – to Engelberg, though, are the vast opportunities beyond the boundaries. Read more about Visit the Ski Freeriding Heaven of Engelberg-Titlis
The colossal peaks of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau dominated the Interlaken-Jungfrau region, which has been at the centre of skiing and mountaineering for more than 200 years. The 4,158m-high Jungfrau was first climbed in 1811, which kick-started tourism in the Swiss Alps. Almost 150 years on, Heinrich Harrer released The White Spider, his legendary book describing the first successful ascent, in 1938, of the North Face of the Eiger – nicknamed ‘Mordwand’ or ‘death wall’. Sir Arnold Lunn organised the first ski slalom race in the village of Mürren in 1922, while the first men’s World Cup do Read more about Ski the Famous Bern Region, Switzerland
Daylight hours might be scarce and temperatures below freezing, but when Stockholm puts on her white winter coat, the whole city glitters more than Tinseltown itself, transforming into a magical winter wonderland. The capital of Sweden spans 14 islands, and although you may not have time to visit them all, you can easily do a bit of island hopping on foot or via public transport while soaking up the spectacular views of bridges, waterways, and the medieval Old Town. Besides marvelling at its snow-covered beauty, here are the top five reasons to visit Stockholm in winter. Read more about How to Enjoy Stockholm in Winter
The stunning Valais region has more than 40 ski areas and 2,500km of slopes; of 45 mighty summits above 4,000m, including the famous, pyramid-shaped Matterhorn; of glorious panaromic views; of 50 grape varieties (best enjoyed chilled in a glass on one of the region’s many sun terraces) and one UNESCO World Heritage Site. When the first thing you say about a Swiss ski region isn’t the fact that it’s probably the most snow-sure in a country pretty reliable for its snow, you know it’s got a whole lot more going for it. Valais is one of the most spectacular ski regions in all of Europe. Read more about Extreme Skiing in Valais, Switzerland
Okay, so you’ve eaten the freshest fish in the beachside Taverners, you swam in sparkling blue sea, and you soaked up thousands of years of ancient history. But there’s heaps more to explore in Greece – especially when it comes to action and adventure.
Sure, you could sunbathe; but did you know you could ski? And do you know you can snorkel, but what about rock climbing to an ancient monist tree? No matter what type of adventure you’re after, you’ll find it in Greece. Here are some ideas… Read more about Where to get Action and Adventure in Greece