velvet | cultural holidays
Taj Mahal (image courtesy of Rachel)

Ten alternative things to do in India

India. The name conjures images of ancient temples and palaces, aromatic markets, colourful saris, curries and oh yes, the Taj Mahal. Dig deeper and one will quickly discover that India has much more to offer to visitors. With its amazing breadth and depth of attractions and experiences, it’s very easy to visit India and only […]

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Impressions of Abruzzo

I knew very little about Abruzzo other than that it’s a region to the east of Rome, on the other side of the Apennine mountains, and that it’s home to Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a sublime red wine that instantly makes you daydream of rolling hills bathed in sunshine and fragrant herbs – well, that’s the effect […]

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Temple of the Tooth (image courtesy of Terry Feuerborn)

Temple-hopping in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a tropical island nation in the Indian Ocean, just off the coast of the Indian sub-continent. Shaped like a tear-drop, Sri Lanka is most famous amongst visitors for its sandy, palm-fringed beaches; colonial architecture; its mountainous core with lush forests and picturesque tea plantations; and its many fascinating Buddhist temples. In this […]

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Medieval towns in Costa Brava

The name Costa Brava literally means ‘rugged coast’, a reference to the spectacular cliffs and hundreds of coves that line the coast. While the coast is a perennial favourite amongst many Europeans looking for sun, sand and sangria, there’s a lot more to discover starting just a few miles inland in the Baix Empordá region […]

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Eclectic styles, Skanderberg Square (image courtsey of net_effekt)

Inside Albania

Albania is for many a relatively unknown destination. Located in southeast Europe, bordering Greece and the Republic of Macedonia, Albania has a long and often tempestuous history. Today, the remnants of this history as well as the country’s natural beauty make Albania a fascinating destination that is still very much off-the-beaten path. Here are a […]

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Shifting capitals

As a kid, I would spend hours studying my geographic encyclopedias. I memorised all the data I could find, like the size of each country, its population and its capital city and used this to challenge my friends at school to a game of “Name The Capital”. There was one guy at school, Raymond, whom […]

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Image courtesy of El Tito

History and art on the Sunshine Coast

Málaga is in Andalusia, on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain, a ferry’s journey north of Morocco. Owing to its location, it has a warm climate and some of the warmest winters in Europe. For those intending to visit Málaga, consider booking between April and November when the average daily temperature is above 20 […]

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Culinary Journey: Cal Sastre in Santa Pau

What: Fine-dining at a small medieval village in the Garrotxa region of Catalonia. Where: Cal Sastre restaurant, Santa Pau. Notes: Santa Pau is a sleepy medieval village in the Garrotxa Volcanic region of Catalonia, north of Barcelona. The village is tiny but there are a variety of reasons that make a visit absolutely worthwhile: its […]

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Westminter Abbey (image courtesy of slurm)

A guided tour of Westminster Abbey

A guest post by Andrea Kirkby. Westminster Abbey is one of the London landmarks that I always think takes an entire day to itself. I know some people ‘do’ it in an hour and a bit, but it is the sort of place that richly repays a more leisurely, lingering visit. And there’s far more […]

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Featured destination: Jordan

Jordan – the name itself conjures images of breathtaking desert landscapes, ancient cities and Biblical scenes. Located in the heart of the Middle East, this desert kingdom has a history that dates back to the times when the prophets walked the earth, and ancient empires ruled vast swathes of Asia, Europe and northern Africa. Present-day […]

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