10 cities every football fan has to visit

Bill Shankly, one of the game’s greatest managers, once said: “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.” If you think that’s a far-fetched statement, then you’ve never visited these football-mad cities. From the wild derbies of Istanbul and Buenos Aires to the […]

Meet your guide to St. Petersburg

Take a trip around St. Petersburg with this insider guide to Russia’s fairytale city. With the help of Lidia Nerobova of MariaRosaTours, we’ll reveal what to see, where to shop and when to visit. So, Lidia, what’s your favorite thing about being a tour guide? It gives me the opportunity to meet people from all […]

10 unmissable places in Portugal

Portugal has everything you need for a dream vacation. Spend your time unwinding on idyllic beaches, hiking breathtaking cliff passes and eating your way through a mountain of pastel de natas thanks to our guide to the country’s most unmissable spots. 1- Take to the waves Listen up surfers: forget Australia and Hawaii. The highest […]

Meet your guide to Bali

Bali’s beauty is no secret. Millions of tourists descend on the Indonesian island every year to unwind on the white sand beaches and explore the tropical interior. But that’s not to say you can’t find your own slice of postcard paradise. To help you escape the crowds, we chatted with island native Nyoman Gede Mahayuna of Bali Private […]

48 hours in Bangkok

For many, Bangkok is just the starting point for an unforgettable Asian adventure, but before you head off for some well-deserved island hopping, make sure to head out of Suvarnabhumi Airport to explore all Thailand’s enchanting capital has to offer.

To ensure you don’t waste a second, here’s how to spend 48 hours in one of the world’s most spellbinding cities.

Day 1

Marble Temple of Bangkok
Start your day at the Grand Palace, conveniently located in the heart of the city. As the king’s official residence for over 200 years, the Grand Palace is home to a collection of grandiose palaces, pavilions, lawns, and courtyards that’ll have you gaping in awe. The grounds of the palace showcase numerous architectural styles, and are a true reflection of this eclectic yet harmonious city – as the locals like to say “same same but different.”

Link your visit to the Grand Palace with a riverboat ride on the Chao Phraya River. Get around the city in no time with river taxis or opt for a full-blown, 2-hour cruise on a rice barge, which will take you along the city’s canals and allow you to indulge in some chilled out sightseeing.

tuk-tuk

If you haven’t had enough of unconventional transport for the day, hop on a tuk-tuk (you know you want to!) and head over to China Town. Here, you can really take your taste buds out of their comfort zone by trying local delicacies such as oyster omelets, raw mantis prawns, and red ant eggs.

What better way to enjoy Bangkok than from one of the many rooftop bars in Sukhumvit. Sit back and take snaps of the sweeping views of this pulsing metropolis at night. End your day at a cabaret show or dance until sunrise in the city’s party district

 

Day 2

massage

When in Bangkok, a Thai massage is a must. Start your day off with a pampering session – many massage parlors offer beauty treatments as well, so why not throw in a mani-pedi while you’re at it? Or head to one of the many beauty salons in downtown Bangkok to unwind from the city’s relentless hustle and bustle.

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For lunch, join a cooking lesson and prepare your own Thai dish. Learn how to make a classic red curry or any other local dish with cooking classes run by local chefs. A skill you can show off back at home!

No trip to Bangkok would be complete without a stroll (or full-blown shopping session) in one of its many malls. Hide away from the afternoon heat in any of the towering shopping centers in Siam, and delight in its mall culture by buying local or western luxury brands while sipping bubble tea.

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End your whistle-stop tour by hopping on the Skytrain or BTS and whizz over to Lumphini Park for epic sunset views over Bangkok.

8 secret Mediterranean islands

I hope you can keep a secret, because it’s time to leave the crowds behind and discover eight beautiful Mediterranean’s islands where hunting for space on a crowded beach simply doesn’t exist. 

So put down your guide to Mallorca and start planning a trip to one of these dreamy destinations: 

Porquerolles

1. Porquerolles, France
The French Riviera is a byword for luxury – but where can you peel back this layer of glitz and glamor to experience traditional French culture? Step forward Porquerolles, an idyllic island located just 20 minutes by ferry from Hyères. The locals are loco for pedal power, so rent a bike and get exploring. You can rent one from almost every corner, and they’re the perfect mode of transport for stopping at one or two (or three) of the numerous wineries that are scattered across the island. It’s the ideal location to have no set plans, as when you start exploring, you’ll find little pathways leading to breathtaking beaches where you’re unlikely to find any other tourists. One of the more popular beaches is Pointe Prime, where a small ribbon of sand connects a smaller island to the beach.

Nisyros

2. Nisyros, Greece
It’s pretty tough to find a Greek island that isn’t beautiful, but you’ll struggle to find one as special as Nisyros. Not only is the island literally a volcano, but it’s also home to the most gorgeous church in Greece (Church of Agios), and few tourists venture here compared to Kos, its famous island neighbor. In the quaint port town of Mandraki, you’ll find a mixture of white and colorful houses that are actually made of volcanic rocks. You can even take a walk on the wild side by hiking through the volcano crater. If you’re after water adventure, the island’s rugged coastline is ideal for windsurfing and snorkeling.

Bisevo

3. Biševo, Croatia
With a mere 15 permanent residents and measuring only 6 km2 in size, the little island of Biševo would probably go unnoticed if it weren’t for its famous caves. This tiny Croatian island is perfect for a day trip from Viš, another island that’s well worth a visit. Rent your own ship or hop on a tour boat and explore ten entirely different caves along the coast, with the most famous known locally as Modra Špilja or simply the Blue Cave. Here, sun rays shine through an underwater crack in the rocks and set the cave alight with a vivid blue color. You can’t visit the Blue Cave with your own boat, unfortunately, but there are several local companies who offer tours. Make sure you go around lunchtime when the blue is the brightest. Away from the caves, Biševo is home to beautiful beaches, with two of the best found at Porat and Salbunara.

Agistri

4. Agistri, Greece
It’s hard to compete with the likes of Santorini or Mykonos, but Agistri, a little island just one hour from Athens, comes pretty close. Here, you can enjoy an authentic Greek holiday away from the hoards of tourists and sky-high hotel prices. Its proximity to Athens allows you to combine an island getaway with a quick city trip. Simply take the ferry from Piraeus, the main port of Athens, and you’ll be unwinding in no time. Most of the hotels are found in Skala, just five minutes from Agistri’s ferry terminal. From here, Chalikiada Beach is just a short hike away. After marveling at the ocean views from atop the cliff, head down a small cliff path to feel the white sand between your toes.

Ischia

5. Ischia, Italy
Sitting next to Capri is the sun-soaked gem of Ischia. Known as ‘Isola Verde’ (Green Island) due to the azure ocean clashing with the island’s colorful fauna, Ischia is a welcome break from the crowds of Capri. Away from its dreamy beaches, you’ll find Castello Aragonese, a dramatic-looking Medieval castle sat atop a craggy islet. After a day of sightseeing, enjoy a breathtaking view of the castle while enjoying delicious Italian dishes at Da Maria, a restaurant that you can only reach by boat. Of course, no trip to Ischia is complete without relaxing on the island’s beautiful beaches, and if you visit during the summer shoulder months, you’ll enjoy the tranquility of island life away from the scorching summer heat.

Elba

6. Elba, Italy
If you think Ischia is the only hidden Italian paradise, you’re very much mistaken. Sandwiched between Corsica and the Tuscan coastline, lies the picture-perfect island of Elba. The ferry ride from the mainland to Portoferraio, which is the island’s largest town and well worth exploring, gives you a taste of what’s to come as it skips across the ocean. In addition to its crystal-clear waters, pebbled beaches, and spectacular cliffs, Elba boasts an extensive amount of history. So, if you’re ever sick of relaxing on a beach (is anyone ever?), there’s plenty for your inner culture buff to enjoy, including the mansion that Napoleon Bonaparte lived in while exiled on the island.

Formentera

7. Formentera, Spain
The Balearics. Everybody’s heard of Mallorca, Menorca, and Ibiza, yet for some reason, a little island just nine kilometers from Ibiza has managed to stay out of the spotlight. Formentera, with its white sand beaches and crystalline waters, is one of the most idyllic islands in the Mediterranean. There are no wild party nights like on neighboring islands; it’s where people come to chill out to the max. While Formentera is the epitome of relaxation, it’s also a hub for adventure with its clear water providing the perfect setting for snorkeling and diving. Hiking or hopping on a scooter to one of the old lighthouses (especially Cap de Barbaria) to watch the sunset is a must.  

Cunda

8. Cunda Adası, Turkey
Doesn’t an olive-grove-covered island between Greece and Turkey sound like a place you want to be? If the answer is yes, then Cunda, the largest of the Ayvalık Islands, is the place for you. From the moment you arrive, start exploring the narrow alleyways, which are home to stone houses, colorful shutters, and vibrant flowers. The island’s main landmark, Taksiyarhis Church, will make you feel like you just traveled back in time while the island’s plethora of beaches and selection of fine fish restaurants will ensure you enjoy all the perks of a  Mediterranean break, but away from the crowds.

Meet your guide to London

Sure, you know London’s iconic sights, but what about its hidden bars, pristine parks, and traditional dishes? To find some local favorites, we chatted with Will Johnson, an Undiscovered London tour guide, about his favorite spots across the UK’s capital. 

So, Will, when’s the best time to visit London?
London is beautiful all year round, but something strange happens in the summer. There’s an infectious energy in the air that makes everything you do feel really special and memorable.

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Take a wander along Regent’s Canal

What’s your favorite place in London that tourists rarely visit?
It’s hard to beat Regent’s Canal, which is a beautiful waterway running through the heart of the city. It’s populated with bars, restaurants, and boats, and I’m always baffled it’s not busier.

What’s your favorite pub that only locals visit?
There’s a great little cockney pub just off Brick Lane called The Pride of Spitalfields. You get the feeling that people were paying in shillings the last time the place saw a lick of paint.

Where’s the best place to see the sunset in London?
I would go for Primrose Hill, which is gorgeous in the summer. Located just north of Regent’s Park, this is a prime place for a picnic and offers a great view of the London skyline. Plus there are plenty of good pubs nearby.

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Explore the British Museum for free

What is the best activity to do on a rainy day?
I wouldn’t really know, as it hardly ever rains in London… but on the rare occasion that it does, it’s hard to beat a trip around the British Museum and a couple of pints in the beautiful Princess Louise pub afterwards.

What dishes do visitors have to eat in London?
Black pudding in a cooked English breakfast. No two ways about it. Black pudding is famous for having some fairly gory ingredients, but it’s a vital part of a fry-up. Also, be sure to try some proper British ale, and don’t bother complaining to the barman when it’s not ice-cold – that’s how it’s been served for centuries.

What’s your favorite thing about being a tour guide?
I love meeting new people, discussing traveling and giving them advice on what to do and see in London. It means that I’m always on the lookout for new bars, quirky museums, and pop-ups so I can pass the secrets on to tourists.

What can people expect from your tours?
The Royal Free Tour is a great opportunity to pack 2000 years of British history into one short, free, informative walkabout. Expect bloody history, salacious tales of infidelity and plenty of plots to overthrow the government. The British Museum Tour takes you on a journey through human history, using the most fascinating and historically important objects from the collection to discuss the great issues of our lives, like money, religion, and war. The Camden Pub Crawl is our way of blowing off steam after a long day of touring about in the ‘unique’ London weather. Join the group and learn how to say “cheers” in heaps of languages as we get merry in London’s rock & roll heartland.

5 beautifully remote destinations

“I need a holiday! I want to switch off and get away from the daily grind.” – All of us.

You book your days off, promise yourself a lovely relaxing holiday, finally arrive at your dreamy destination, and within hours find yourself lying on the beach, sipping a refreshment… browsing through your work emails or your arch-enemy’s Instagram feed. We’ve all been there. So what does it take to disconnect completely? Where do you have to go to leave the hustle and bustle of daily life behind, to resist the pressure of being constantly connected, to be so taken aback and engrossed by your environment that you forget to pick up your phone?

Here are 5 beautifully remote yet accessible places that are ready-made for a digital detox…

Uyuni

Explore Bolivia’s famed salt flats

1- Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Bolivia is to South America what Tanzania is to Africa: a country of superlatives filled with jaw-dropping natural wonders. One such place is Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat. Not only is it extremely remote (a bumpy, overnight bus ride away from La Paz), very high (perched at 3,600m), but it’s also as bare as a landscape can get, only interrupted by the occasional baby llama running by or giant cacti colony. It’s hands down one of the most unforgettable and overpowering landscapes you’ll ever visit. So put your phone away and get your shades out as you experience a sea of bright white or, if you visit during rainy season, a huge reflective canvas where the sky melts into the ground.

Kilimanjarao

Go really wild in Kilimanjaro National Park

2- Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
You’ll struggle to find a better place to unplug than Kilimanjaro National Park. Not only is there no phone network, but there are no roads, no stores, and little to no electricity or running water in the higher camps. When was the last time you didn’t handle money for an entire week? Or didn’t have to worry about food shopping or any kind of shopping for the matter? Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro, whether you make it to the Uhuru Peak or not, is a truly elevating, mind-clearing experience. After your second day trekking, you’ll be completely cut from any noise or light pollution, meaning you can practically touch the stars at night. You’ll adopt a true pole pole (slowly, slowly) lifestyle as you melt into the environment with all your electronic devices safely tucked away in your backpack.

maranhenses

Discover Brazil’s secret natural wonder

3- Lençóis Maranhenses, Brazil
Picture pristine sand dunes, turquoise water, and clear blue skies as far as the eye can see. The Lençóis Maranhenses National Park in northern Brazil, or mega-amazing-desert-beach as it should really be called, is without a doubt one of the most well-preserved natural wonders that you can easily access and enjoy. After a short jeep ride through a jungle-desert-like landscape, your guide will help you haul yourself up a sand dune – and from then on it’s all fun and games as you sprint down sand dunes before diving into sweet-water pools. This unique desert, 10 times the size of London, is so beautiful that you’ll forget to blink and remote enough for your cell reception to be patchy at best.

Erg Chebbi

Meet Morocco’s sandy heartland

4- Erg Chebbi, Morocco
Some landscapes seem to be the stuff of fairy tales or movies. Erg Chebbi is both. Close your eyes and be transported to Aladdin or Lawrence of Arabia, open them and be blown away by a perpetual sunset-like landscape consisting of massive wind-blown dunes. Hike up to the top of the dunes, which can tower 150m, venture on a camel ride, or spend the night glamping in the desert. After visiting Erg Chebbi, you’ll have nothing more to wish for.

grand-cayan

Tick the Grand Canyon off your bucket list

5- Grand Canyon, USA
Who doesn’t have the Grand Canyon on their bucket list? It’s one of those natural wonders that we’re familiar with from Westerns, postcards, and National Geography cover pages. While it may attract 5 million visitors per year, the sheer size of the Grand Canyon ensures you can let go of all your city troubles away from the crowds, no matter if you’re hiking, rappelling, rafting or even taking a helicopter tour.