travel

  • The ultimate guide to exploring Italy by train

    Days in Rome are balmy and blue-skied. Tuscany’s hills have a shading of fresh green. Poppies dot Puglia’s ancient olive groves, camellias bloom in villa gardens and lemon blossom scents Amalfi’s medieval streets.

  • Why Norway is more than snow and light shows

    I thought Norway was a bold holiday destination, particularly in autumn. Wouldn't it just be freezing, and pitch-dark, day and night? Would there be anything but reindeer biltong and cloudberries to eat? It might be beautiful, but would it be fun? I learnt how wrong I was when I stepped off a boat on the shores of the Norangsfjord on the west coast. As cliffs tower above and waterfalls crash down, it's all impossibly dramatic.

  • I promised my children I’d show them the Statue of Liberty after two years of lockdowns

    Casting my mind back to what feels like an age ago, before we were parents, I recall that when travelling in the US my husband and I were never the greatest planners. We would pitch up somewhere at random with nothing booked, then struggle to find a room. A particularly grim night was spent in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in a motel so bleak that the cigarette burns were the least worrying adornment of the sheets.

  • 20 of the best spa hotels in the UK for a weekend of wellness

    You used to have to travel far and wide to find the real-deal spas, the temples dedicated to mind and body sprawling over several floors, the Ayurvedic 'journeys', the outdoor thermal spa villages and hydrotherapy suites you can spend hours in emerging the other side, reborn.

  • The best après-ski in Passo Tonale

    There are plenty of lively and good-value bars at and around the bottom of Passo Tonale’s slopes. But don’t expect anything too sophisticated or indeed as wild as in some other resorts.

  • An expert guide to ski holidays in Passo Tonale

    Passo Tonale is set on a high pass, which separates the region of Trentino from neighbouring Lombardy. It developed as a ski resort because of its high, snow-sure setting. It is also in the Val di Sole (Sun Valley), which lives up to its name with lots of sunny days.

  • The best restaurants in Passo Tonale

    There aren’t many mountain restaurants on the slopes of Passo Tonale and its linked resort of Ponte di Legno. This means people who spend most of their time on the local Passo Tonale slopes in particular go back to the village for lunch, where there are plenty of bars that serve food and a few unpretentious restaurants.

  • The best accommodation in Passo Tonale

    Three-star hotels that vary greatly in degree of comfort make up the bulk of the accommodation in Passo Tonale, and there are a few four-stars. Most hotels are located on the main road through the resort, and quite convenient for the lifts, however some are quite a way from most of the shops and bars. Apartments are available too, on a road that runs parallel to the main road.

  • How naked selfie-takers and egotistical influencers are ruining travel

    Social media has changed travel forever. This truth first revealed itself to me on a trip to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat a few years ago. Admittedly, it may have been the pre-dawn start – like many others I was there to see the sun rise above the famous temple – but as the morning went on I became increasingly agitated at having to navigate the marauding selfie-sticks and busloads of bewildered tourists to find a viewing space.

  • The best hotels near Oxford Street in London

    Oxford Street – two words that bring instant joy or instant dismay depending, most likely, on your tolerance levels for shopping. However, this Mecca to retail that takes you from Marble Arch (and with it access to Hyde Park) right down to Tottenham Court Road (via Bond Street and Oxford Circus), is like a central vein that feeds many different hubs and therefore makes a really good place to base yourself if you’re visiting London. Also – Selfridges, Liberty, Nike Town – it’s a no-brainer for sh

  • The popular city breaks where prices have soared – and those that remain affordable

    There’s something afoot in the travel industry. British holidaymakers are doggedly pursuing winter sun, despite the miserable economic and geopolitical situation. Naturally, inflation isn’t the sole concern of Britain, but the combination of a strong US dollar, post-pandemic staffing issues and a European land war have affected some of our favourite destinations more than others.

  • The best restaurants in Alpe d'Huez

    Alpe d’Huez may not be about Michelin-starred fine dining, but foodies will find some stand-out restaurants here, notably Au Chamois d’Or in town and L’Altiport on the mountain. Although largely a self-catering resort, with many visitors dining in, it is also strong on good-value and family restaurants.

  • An expert guide to ski holidays in Alpe d'Huez

    Few resorts in the Alps match Alpe d’Huez for its suitability for skiers and snowboarders at both ends of the skills graph, as well as in the middle. The terrain here is as well suited to experts as it is to beginners, while confident intermediates will have a ball.

  • The best après-ski in Alpe d'Huez

    More of a party town than most French resorts, Alpe d’Huez has loads of busy bars, with the epicentre in the resort being the Vieil quartier aka the old town – although bar crawlers should note that the venues are quite spread out around this big area. There’s also a branch of the Folie Douce on-mountain party experience, and a few vibrant late-night spots for night owls.

  • The best accommodation in Alpe d'Huez

    Most people visiting Alpe d’Huez stay in self-catering apartments, though there are some chalets and luxurious hotels available, as well as a Club Med resort. The resort village is split into eight small districts, or quartiers, with the Cognet quartier close to both the main DMC access gondola at Rond Point des Pistes and the nightlife, combining the best of both worlds.

  • In praise of the UK’s greenest city

    It was a halcyon moment. I was happily supping a pint of ale on the sloping lawn of St David’s Hill one evening in summer. Granted, the Imperial is a Wetherspoon pub, but what a building and what a beer garden.

  • Britain's 15 best high streets – where Christmas shopping is a pleasure

    The great British high street is on life support. Two years of pandemic restrictions, the rise of working from home and this winter’s soaring energy prices have created the perfect storm, sending scores of retailers into administration. Plans to increase business rates and corporation tax – from 19 per cent to 25 per cent – in April will only make matters worse.

  • The 5 best places to ski right now – with plenty of snow and no crowds

    While the world’s attention might be preoccupied by a certain tournament being held in the desert, avid skiers and snowboarders are focusing their attention on much colder climes – the only question on their minds: is there any snow yet?

  • The best London hotels with gardens

    Green space is a precious commodity on the London housing market and the same is true in hotel land. So, if you can find somewhere to stay that also has a garden then prepare to feel very smug indeed. What could be more civilised than sitting with a G&T in your own little urban oasis at one of the city's best hotels? Here's our pick of the best – from surprisingly large, pristine striped lawns in the heart of Victoria, to leafy rooftops in East London (plus a handful of gardens closed to the gen

  • An end to aviation's pointless liquids rule is long overdue – here's what else needs to go

    Aviation’s much-maligned 100ml liquid rule could be heading for the history books by 2024 thanks to the introduction of high-tech scanners. The restriction on carrying larger quantities of liquids, creams or gels in hand luggage – introduced as a “temporary measure” in the aftermath of a foiled transatlantic terror plot in 2006 – still irritates travellers across the globe, despite being widely dismissed by experts as pointless security theatre.

  • The scams to avoid when booking a Black Friday holiday deal

    It’s a dream scenario – a friend forwards you a WhatsApp message with a link to a British Airways Black Friday flight giveaway. On offer is a free trip to a European destination of your choice. Unfortunately, your prize will not be a winter city break in Rome but more likely a nasty financial hit. Yes, it’s a scam from fraudsters aiming to trick people into sharing personal information.

  • Thanksgiving would never work in cynical Britain

    This is my 18th British Thanksgiving.

  • Why more people are choosing to take a holiday with their ex

    Erica Crompton is effusive when she reminisces about her trip to Lanzarote. “We had a few glasses of wine on the plane, and then spent the week sunbathing and reading books,” she recalls. “We felt like we needed a nice break to just relax and enjoy the sunshine. It was really beautiful.”

  • Has Wizz Air made five-star holidays in the Maldives affordable? Sort of

    When it comes to beach getaways, the Maldives is as pricey as it gets. Which is why it’s particularly curious that it should become the latest destination for Wizz Air – the budget carrier known more for obscure Polish city breaks.

  • The best accommodation in Ischgl

    Ischgl has a wide choice of smart hotels – more than is usual in an Austrian resort. However, prices tend to be higher than in the Tirolean heartland of the Kitzbüheler Alps with which Britons are more familiar. The most convenient places to stay are near, but not on, the main street, away from late-night noise and with mountain access lifts just a short walk away.

  • The best restaurants in Ischgl

    Unlike many Austrian resorts, Ischgl boasts a big variety of restaurants that are independent of hotels, although inevitably there is also plenty of hotel dining with prices to match the high standards of cooking. However, less pricey authentic Tirolean options are also on offer, often served by cheerful staff in traditional outfits.