Greece’s debt crisis rumbles on, making it harder for locals to go on holiday. But with 27 million visitors predicted in 2017, the tourism industry has proved resilient. As a result, enterprising Greeks are throwing open their villas and apartments to holiday-makers, offering personalised tours, and launching travel start-ups, to help visitors gain more authentic experiences of the country. Insiders’ destination tips Jacoline Vinke, founder of Small Hotels in Greece, has travelled the country in search of the best affordable stays. A favourite is To The Garden (from €80 a night for a cottage), which she describes as “a peaceful eco-retreat hidden in the hills of Paros island, with three charming, self-catering cottages set among Mediterranean gardens. Jim Thomas and Irini Sklavounou are inspiring hosts who involve their guests in all sorts of activities, from gardening and cooking to woodcarving and jewellery design. It’s all done in a pleasantly informal … [Read more...] about Greece on a budget: locals’ tips on where to stay and eat
The advantage of Spain, for anyone looking for an affordable break, is that with the country’s own economic crisis making it difficult for locals to holiday abroad, there has been a proliferation of exceptionally good hostels and budget hotels. Something deep-rooted and nostalgic in the Spanish psyche makes even the wealthiest urban sophisticates hanker to escape with friends and family to the great outdoors and disconnect. Anyone looking for simple, rustic, affordable experiences in priceless locations will find they’re in luck. Budget rooms and smart timing Hotel rates drop dramatically when Spain’s high season (April-October) ends. In Barcelona, a double at the four-star Vincci Gala, for example, drops from €285 to €165; and in Madrid, rooms at the four-star Las Letras Gran Via, go from €260 to €158. Not all destinations adhere to the high/low season rules: in Seville, where summer temperatures can hit 50C, many hotels drop their rates by … [Read more...] about Spain on a budget: expert tips on holidaying like the Spanish
On November 9, 2019, when the very severe cyclone Bulbul made landfall at Sagar island in the Indian Sunderbans, a group of tourists found themselves stranded near the Kalash island in the violently inclement weather. They got out of their boat and took shelter in mangrove creeks, and escaped unhurt. The cyclone was so powerful that it overturned a large fishing trawler near Sagar; people in that vessel are still missing.‘Could be disastrous’From environmental experts to the State’s Chief Minister, everyone has said that the mangroves had saved the Sunderbans from the gusty winds blowing at between 110 kmph to 135 kmph. “It would have been a disaster if the mangroves had not been there,” said Kalyan Rudra, chairperson of the West Bengal Pollution Control Board and a river expert. In fact, CM Mamata Banerjee, while touring the affected regions of the State, noted that the State will plant more mangroves.Despite this, scientists and wildlife experts and … [Read more...] about They save people from cyclones, but who is saving the Sunderbans mangroves?
Church Street in downtown Burlington is a four-block pedestrian shopping and dining center. Church Street in downtown Burlington is a four-block pedestrian shopping and dining center. Photo: Photo For The Washington Post By John Tully Photo: Photo For The Washington Post By John Tully Image 1 of / 13 Caption Close Image 1 of 13 Church Street in downtown Burlington is a four-block pedestrian shopping and dining center. Church Street in downtown Burlington is a four-block pedestrian shopping and dining center. Photo: Photo For The Washington Post By John Tully You're going where? Burlington 1 / 13 Back to Gallery Burlington, Vermont, had so much of what I had always wanted in a vacation that I … [Read more...] about You’re going where? Burlington
It was nearly midnight when my plane landed in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). The sky was full of stars but sleep would have to wait. I’d come all this way to see the megalithic religious statues that give this speck of an island an outsized reputation around the world. So, less than an hour after I landed I found myself rambling through a row of palms along the northern coast, lured by the sound of lapping waves to the island’s one true beach at Anakena. The statues were like seven shadow puppets standing watch over the sands of time. Inching across the beach, I found myself face to (giant) face with the enigmatic moai. Many travellers who set out to visit Easter Island quickly realise that the trip can be expensive. That’s why I had a plan, to explore it over five days in the most affordable way possible: camping, cooking for myself and walking or cycling around. Of course, flying to Mataveri international airport – the most … [Read more...] about Rare views on Rapa Nui: an Easter Island adventure