Christmas in FRANCE & Provence 2017/2018

 Escape to the south of France this Christmas to follow in the footsteps of artists, writers and royalty through the dramatic hill towns, chic cities, glamorous resorts and fantastic scenery of southern Provence. Based in the delightful provincial capital, Aix, enjoy the region’s rich artistic heritage with an easy going touring itinerary that includes Marseille,

Arles, Les Baux, Bandol, Cassis and the spectacular Calanques. 

Highlights and Inclusions

  • Departs 21 December 2017
  • Return Eurostar and TGV trains from London St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Aix-en-Provence via Lille
  • Seven nights’ accommodation on bed and breakfast basis at the four-star Aquabella Hotel in Aix, based on shared occupancy of twin room
  • First night dinner at the hotel
  • Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day ...
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20 places to get utterly lost

Bukchon Han ok Village, Seoul, South Korea

 It’s strange to think that at the heart of one of the most densely populated places on the planet, just a stone’s throw away from the gleaming high-rises of bustling Insadong, there’s a quiet neighbourhood of traditional wooden houses, where locals chatter in tearooms and children play in the sloping streets.

These charming hanokjip (literally, “Korean House”) hark back to a time when every home in Seoul had paper walls and was crowned with an elegantly tiled wing-tipped rooftop.

  Islamic Cairo, Egypt

The medieval city at the heart of Cairo is a tangled web of narrow lanes, towering mosques and aromatic bazaars...

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Mosaics and marble: touring the Moscow Metro

Opened in 1935, the Moscow Metro was one of the USSR’s most extravagant projects. Its stations, with their lavish and ornate interiors, were conceived as showcases of Soviet success, and aimed at making the city the world’s capital of Communism.
Follow Kiki Deere’s tour of the most spectacular metro stops to learn more about Russia’s past.Today,
Moscow’s Metro is a walking museum of Communist design, with underground halls and palatial vestibules decorated with mosaics, marble, bronze statues, stained-glass windows and bas-reliefs – to name a few.
Whether you’re travelling one stop, or fancy taking a leisurely tour, there’s something to learn at every station.


Undoubtedly one of the world’s most beautiful metro stations, Mayakovskaya...

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Ride cable cars to see the midnight sun

Experience northern Norway’s grand vistas from Storsteinen (Big Rock) on Mount Fløya. Rising 1,381 feet, the ride up Storsteinen via the Fjellheisen cable car takes roughly four to five minutes. At the top, you’ll find an observation deck with magnificent views over Tromsø and its surrounding islands. During the summer, the cable car operates until 1 a.m.The iconic Fløibanen funicular in the southwestern coastal port town of Bergen takes you 1,050 feet above sea level to Fløyen, one of seven mountains surrounding the town. It takes five to eight minutes to reach the top, and the journey itself offers spectacular views of Bergen’s port and historic architecture as you ascend. The funicular runs year-round and stays open until 11 p.m.


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Russia-Soviet style, oligarch excess, ballet, banya and vodka

European Russia stretches from the borders of Belarus and Ukraine to the Ural mountains, over 1000km east of Moscow; even without the rest of the vast Russian Federation, it constitutes by far the largest country in Europe.

Formerly a powerful tsarist empire and a Communist superpower, Russia continues to be a source of fascination for travellers.

While access is still made relatively difficult by lingering Soviet-style bureaucracy – visas are obligatory and accommodation usually has to be booked in advance – independent travel is increasing every year, and visitors are doubly rewarded by the cultural riches of the country and the warmth of the Russian people.

Baikal: exploring Siberia’s epic frozen lake

Anita Isalska explores the frozen surface of the epic Lake Baikal in Russia. 

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THE GERMAN CAPITAL wears its heart and history on its sleeve. Generations now have grown up in a permissive culture, where tolerance and ease of communication are seen as not only important but vital. The grandeur of Museum Island and the ornate Reichstag, the hushed elegance of wide streets lined with linden trees, the cafés with their gently groovy atmosphere, the independent shops’ radical creativity and the 24-hour raves each have their place here. Artist Robert Montgomery’s flickering-neon sign by a nameless nightclub sings true: ‘The city is wilder than you think and kinder than you think.’

The Store in Soho House Berlin,

Funky all-rounder

Occupying half the ground floor of SOHO HOUSE BERLIN, this is British designer Alex Eagle’s brainchild: a shop that feels like home...

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14 Romantic Things To Do In London: Valentine’s Day 2017

We have put together our own Top 10 Romantic Hotels in London list to perhaps give you a little inspiration.

Or perhaps you want to try some new experiences – here’s the latest Valentine’s Day deals.

We also have plenty of other places to stay in London if you decide you want to make a weekend of it.And if you are still not sure what to do, then be inspired by our 100 Things in London page. You can find somewhere intriguing to visit just round-the-corner from where you are standing.

Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year. So if you’ve got someone to impress or just fancy a love-in with your mates, you’ll be wanting some options on either the weekends either side, or on the day itself. Alternatively, you could just stay in and watch TV in your pyjamas, no judgement here...

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Russia Travel Guide

The Kremlin, Rostov

Russia Travel Guide

 Russia is at once breathtaking and baffling. Winston Churchill’s much-quoted line that the world’s largest nation represented “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” is as true today as it was back then.

Monumental in every respect, it’s a land where burnished imperial splendour coexists with icy Siberian tundra, where timeworn Soviet-era monuments backdrop uber-hip urban cultures and where everything from the ruling party downwards functions in its own, impenetrably Russian, way.

The west of the country draws the most visitor attention, thanks to the presence of two extraordinary cities. St Petersburg and Moscow serve up sweeping postcard sights by the dozen...

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Compared to many countries, responsible tourism in Norway seems close to the nation’s heart, bolstered by national wealth, a love of Nature’s bounty, plus widely professed Nordic egalitarianism with respect to indigenous Sami. 98-99% of Norway’s electricity comes from hydroelectricity, billions are invested in biomass and other renewable energy projects, and Norway has committed to being domestically carbon neutral by 2030.
Norwegian fish stocks are managed sustainably and in good condition – albeit after past overfishing.
Yet a long consumer boom has actually seen domestic CO2 emissions rise since Norway adopted a carbon tax in 1991, while critics argue global warming is fuelled by its vast oil/gas exports – a charge, of course, all producers face.
Land issues with the Sami also r...
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Top 10 Romantic Destinations in Europe for Valentine’s Day

Europe is full of romantic spots. With castles, winding paths through medieval cities, views of sparkling water from cliffs and intimate cafes in which to sip coffee with your significant other, it’s easy to plan a Valentine’s Day holiday anywhere on the continent.

Need some destination ideas?

1. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Located on the south coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast is one of those sigh-inducing spots complete with picturesque and colorful villages set against a 43-mile stretch of coastline.

Valentine’s Day is the off-season, and with a mild winter, it makes it a perfect spot for romance.

Stay in Positano and take trips down to Naples, Pompeii or even a boat to Capri. Be sure to take time to sip limoncello, a strong liqueur the area is known for making.


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