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
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
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 jewel of the Mediterranean, Malta combines a fascinating history, stunning landscapes, magnificent architecture and mouthwatering food. 300 days of sunshine, an alluring rugged landscape and fascinating cultural heritage, Malta is waiting to be explored.
And with winter temperatures of up to 17 degrees, you can stroll comfortably through the golden – huge capital, Valletta, centuries of history in the nearby towns and villages, savour the islands unique cuisine, and enjoy cocktails with unparalleled views of the Mediterranean. Read more about 48 Hours in Malta
Beyond Greece’s whitewashed villages lies a whole world of history, Natural beauty and culture that just right for exploring. Most of us will be Familiar with the stereotypical Greek island setting, with traditional stone buildings going against an azure sky. And wow this beautiful backdrop is very loved for a reason, there is a whole different side to this patient, mythical land that you might not have seen it. Here are just a few of the under the radar activities you could get up to… Read more about Get a Taste of History in Greece
Less debauched than Amsterdam and steeped in more history than Rotterdam, The Hague, or Den Haag as it's known to locals, is home to the royal family. It's also the seat of Dutch government and is packed with pretty buildings, museums, a lively bar scene and a fun-filled waterfront that overlooks the North Sea. Read more about The Hague, The Netherlands
Although most of Warsaw was tragically raved to the ground during the Second World War, the Polish capital was given a nip 'n' tuck by architects who used artwork by 18th century court painter Bellotto to try to recapture its former glory. Even so, Warsaw will never win a pretty city award, but its historic centre has clusters of handsome buildings, as well as a rich offering in terms of art, culture and nightlife. Read more about Weekender Warsaw, Poland
While still not exactly mainstream, Montenegro certainly isn’t under the radar – the tiny Balkan country is popular with yacht owners and moneyed Russians seeking sunshine. Between the mountains and pretty coastline are eminently walkable walled towns and fortresses, along with upmarket hotels, and places to moor all those yachts. The high-end marina Porto Montenegro, in Tivat, for example, opened in 2016, touted as the ‘new Monaco’, offering plenty of boutiques, restaurants and bars to satisfy the wealthy clientele. But Montenegro is far more than just another Med hotspot for the super- Read more about Spend the Weekend in Montenegro