cultural

Explore the Rock and Ruins of Inca Town, Ollantaytambo

"Can you see the man's face?" asks the waiter in the plaza cafe, as he sets down my cafe con leche. I instinctively turn my head towards Ollantaytambo's central fountain, where taxi drivers sit awaiting their next customer and women in full-flowing indigenous dress are carrying babies on their backs.

"No, no," he says. "Look up!" In truth, until he came bearing coffee, I hadn't stopped looking up. Above us, sitting high in the Andean mountains that surround the town, are some of Peru's most impressive Inca ruins, dating back to the 15th century. Read more about Explore the Rock and Ruins of Inca Town, Ollantaytambo

Okinawa - Beyond the Beaches

If you read anything about the coral-fringed islands Okinawa archipelago, you'll quickly find out that diving, whale-watching and island hopping are among the best things to do here.  The archipelago of Okinawa, made up of over 160 islands slung across the East China Sea, is a place of chalk-white beaches and mangrove forests, located closer to Taiwan than Tokyo. And while this is certainly true, to focus only on the beach activities is to overlook Okinawa's real charm: the traditional Japanese culture that makes it unlike any other island chain in the world. Read more about Okinawa - Beyond the Beaches

A Weekend in St Albans, England

With just a 20-minute train journey north of London you can be in St Albans.  This buzzy Hertfordshire city has long been a favourite for those wanting to move out of London.  But apart from being on most commuter’s wish list, there’s a host of things to explore for those wanting wanting a weekend break from the city, like its huge cathedral and crumbling Roman walls. There is a great selection of indie restaurants, brunch spots and a foodie lovers market. Read more about A Weekend in St Albans, England

Make it Naples

Overlooked by an active volcano, perched on a port, and full of shabbily beautiful streets housing ancient pizzerias and buzzing bars. Naples' scruffily beautiful streets are refreshingly ungentrified: no chance of finding a chain coffee shop here. Every nook and cranny holds a baroque courtyard or a lush, leafy garden, and walls are adorned with cool street art, posters advertising all-night parties in tumble-down abandoned renaissance prisons or a flyer letting the community know a loved one has passed away. Read more about Make it Naples

Find Your Happy in Fiji

Most of us have heard of slow travel. When you're in Fiji, however, it's more about relaxed travel.  Whether you're chilling on one of the many beaches, watching locals perform a traditional meke dance or snorkelling among kaleidoscope reefs, you can't help but absorb the archipelago's easygoing vibe - as locals have.  Read more about Find Your Happy in Fiji

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Lap up Finland's Finest

There are many things that Finland does well - saunas, vodka, the hippo-like Moomins - but arguably it's the country's wild landscape that shine brightest. Nicknamed the 'land of a thousand lakes' (although it would be more accurate to say 188,000 lakes), Finland is blessed with natural good looks. Saimaa, the largest of the country's lakes, lies to the east while to the north is Lapland (more on that later), a winter wonderland high above the Arctic Circle. Read more about Lap up Finland's Finest

A Weekend in Stockbridge, England

Nestled in the lush Hampshire countryside is the peaceful town of Stockbridge, an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.  Stockbridge has fresh air, scenic walks and some of the UK’s best sparkling wine.  You can shelve any idea of being on a diet, as local, seasonal produce is big on the menu here, so the food is incredible.

Pack your walking boots for a country ramble.  Stroll around Stockbridge Marsh next to the River Test to spot water voles scampering along the riverbanks, or wander vast and hilly Stockbridge Down for sweeping rural views. Read more about A Weekend in Stockbridge, England

Visit Normandy's Chic Coastal Resorts for Some Sand-and-Sea Therapy

For me, being beside the seaside is synonymous with feeling happy in that slightly hypnotised way that sparkling blue oceans bring on. Happy and hypnotised is not how I'm usually feeling when I find myself in East London, so the fact that I can step on a plane in London's grey downtown and find myself in a chic seaside resort an hours later, is perhaps Deauville's biggest selling point.  Read more about Visit Normandy's Chic Coastal Resorts for Some Sand-and-Sea Therapy

Trek to the Cathedral of Santiago, the Grave of the Apostle Saint James

The Camino de Santiago de Compostela, known in English as The Way of St James, on the north-west tip of Spain, might just be the ultimate active break.  For more than a thousand years, tourists and pilgrims have been walking this route to the Cathedral of Santiago to visit the grave of the apostle Saint James ('Sant Iago' in Spanish). Read more about Trek to the Cathedral of Santiago, the Grave of the Apostle Saint James

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