These spectacular and unexpected Italian gems offer an escape away from the crowds as Italy continues to offer quarantine-free travel
Skiers and snowboarders will be forced to find entertainment elsewhere this winter as bars in ski resorts have been highlighted as a breeding ground for the virus
Secret Britain: an ancient timeline through the landscapeFrom shamans to sacked churches, an anthropologist reveals nine atmospheric sites that help tell the British story
Our destination expert Lee Cobaj argues that the BA staff member's claims are 'wildly exaggerated and deeply disrespectful'
A 20-mile cycle tour on a sweltering day outside South Africa's Cape Town was the ultimate test
“You just can’t do this at home!” whoops Rachel, her ecstatic voice once again attempting but failing to compete with the intense buzzing of our Tuk Tuk’s engine, as we weave in and out of the wandering cows and water buffalo sharing the road. Like most volunteers Rachel works full-time back home, she’s a Metropolitan Police Officer and self-confessed animal-lover, sharing her busy life with a rescue dog and cat.
Who needs Route 66 when you're behind the wheel of a Bentley Flying Spur on a thousand-mile road trip around Britain’s most iconic hotels?
Miles and isles: our big Scottish bike rideA father-and-son cycling tour of Highlands and islands found the scenery, ferocious weather – and midges – all on top form
Through sliding glass doors, as beams of sunrise lit up a choppy English Channel, it was the greyscale sweep of Church Ope Cove 200ft below where I’d been sleeping that held my attention. A secluded strand to pass an idle Saturday morning.
The rise of the 'half-tourist' who combines work with a change of scene. Covid-19 has accelerated the decline of the office, but not everyone wants to work from home. We look at travel firms catering to the growing number of nomadic workers
No other author saw as much of the world as Graham Greene. To mark the publication of a major new biography, Chris Moss traces the fleet footsteps of the author of The Power and the Glory and Our Man in Havana
Undeterred by the official end of summer we arrived on the North Devon coast to make the most of the sunshine. As we (and what seemed like every car and VW campervan in the country) converged on the car park at Saunton Sands, our joy about being on an actual, real holiday was only slightly marred by the fact that the dune-backed beach and famed surfing waves were now just a yellow-blue smudge on the horizon.
With the third longest coastline of any Mediterranean country, one of the world’s best cuisines, a plethora of beautifully located archaeological sites, a historic metropolis bestriding two continents and a marvellous tourist infrastructure, Turkey needs little selling as a holiday destination. Especially when you throw in its famously hospitable people, late summer sun and the superb value for money it offers. Of course tourism has taken a big hit in the worldwide pandemic, but Turkey has been far more successful than many countries in dealing with it, and has been included on the “travel corridor” list of countries that Britons can visit without restrictions, or the need to quarantine on their return, since the start of July.
I chose Italy for my first post-lockdown holiday. Not just because I fancied a week of fresh pasta, cold negronis and sumptuous views of lakes and mountains, but because I knew I would be welcome.
Before you read this, it’s important to clarify that I have a vested interest in a return to normality. I co-own El Rio Hostel in Colombia, a backpackers’ hostel and bar that occasionally doubles up as a club, so allowing people to socialise is pretty much the core element of my business.
The past year hasn’t been the worst in Venice’s history – the plague killed 50,000 inhabitants between 1576 and 1577 and the city has seen off various invasions over the centuries – but it has still provided unparalleled challenges.
With their hygge culture of hunkering down in dark times into a land of cosiness and contentment, lit by candles and fuelled with porridge and steaming mugs, it could have been suggested that the Danes were well prepared to manage lock down.
A local's guide to Plymouth: 10 top tipsThe ‘ocean city’ is awash with new art spaces and community festivities as it commemorates the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower
The Land of Smiles is grinning and bearing ahead with its plan to welcome tourists back to its shores in October – but there's a catch, or 25. A recently released infographic plots out all the hoops potential visitors will have to jump through before being allowed anywhere near the country, from submitting a visa application to four different branches of the Thai Government, to agreeing to a mandatory 14-day quarantine in an ASQ (Alternative State Quarantine) hotel, to health checks, Covid tests, insurance requirements, and a minimum stay of 30 days. "The new, and rather complicated, visa scheme announced by the Thai authorities will do little to increase the number of tourists to Thailand,' said Tim Milner, director of Bamboo Travel. "It may work for back-packers, or retirees hoping to see out the winter in Thailand, but it will not instill the confidence needed to entice normal tourists back to Thailand. In short it is simply not practical to impose a 14-day quarantine on holidaymakers who can ill afford to take a month’s holiday at a time." To Britons and other Europeans who have been able to fly around the continent relatively freely for the last few months, this might seem like a lamentable process but Thailand's borders have been sealed to all but a handful of foreign visitors since late March. The move helped to protect the country while the virus wreaked havoc elsewhere around the globe. To date, Thailand has recorded 3,516 cases of Covid-19 and 59 deaths among a population of nearly 70 million, a response that the World Health Organisation has recognised as one of the best. The destinations welcoming digital nomads, from Anguilla to Estonia It's an achievement Thailand is reluctant to tarnish by reopening its borders too soon. Public fears of foreigners re-importing the virus also remain high but with the Thai tourist industry all but obliterated – 2.5 million people working in tourism are in line to lose their jobs by end of the year with thousands of people in Phuket alone currently relying on food donations – the pressure is on to find a way for international visitors to return. To make the prospect of quarantining more tempting, the Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) have suggested the process will be '14 days of fun', with a plan to deliver the delights of Thailand to people's rooms through virtual yoga, meditation, cooking lessons and Thai language classes. The TAT is also encouraging approved hotels to arrange real life activities, such as live music shows which guests could enjoy from their rooms. The first STV visitors are expected to arrive from Europe in October on specially chartered flights and could potentially stay for up to 270 days, but it's hard to imagine there will be a high uptake. A poll conducted by the TAT's London office suggested only six per cent of British tourists would be willing to spend two weeks in quarantine on arrival. "We can't see this creating any increased demand," said Simon Lynch, director of sales at Scott Dunn, which offers holidays to Thailand. "The proposal is incredibly complex and will be off putting to guests looking for an easy getaway in a time where travel has become more of a task than a joy."
Holidays cannot not be deemed “essential” travel. The prospect of six months of 'shutdown' restrictions may, to many, make overseas breaks seem frivolous. Yet, in my experience, even briefly swapping gloom-laden Britain for somewhere with a sunnier disposition can improve your wellbeing.
It’s been an extraordinarily tough few months in the hospitality world. During lockdown the country was in a spin, and uncertainty over the future forever loomed in a cloud.