• Travel Supplement

    Nothing in Sicily is fast except for the volcano! Admiring the fiery Mount Etna and its sleepy island surroundings

    'I don t have time to peel oranges in London, an English solicitor told me over breakfast beside the Mediterranean. And I knew what she meant life can feel so hectic at times. That s why I d given myself a week to discover Sicily with my wife Katrin and son Finn without the need to rush. On our first morning we didn t want to venture any further than the sunny balcony at our hotel in the resort of Giardini Naxos. Mount Etna, located on the island of Sicily, is Europe s highest active volcano and one of the ...

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    Taiwan's Grand Hotel makes Trump Tower look drab: Inside the gold-trimmed palace which hosts stars and national leaders

    Donald Trump threatened to cause a diplomatic rift with China when he received a phone call from Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen shortly after his election victory.And if the new US President went a step further and decided to visit the island which China claims as its own territory he would find a sultry, welcoming place. For a start it has the perfect place for him to stay the Grand Hotel in the capital Taipei is even more ostentatious than the President s own Trump Tower. According to Lesley, the Grand Hotel in the capital Taipei (pictured) is even more ostentatious ...

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    The Crafty Traveller: How booking your next holiday through a foreign agent can score you a better deal

    If you re thinking of booking a holiday to an exotic, far-flung country, there are countless companies to choose from.But when it comes to sorting out the ground arrangements, the tour operator will employ a travel agent based in the country you re visiting. So it begs the question: why don t we book hotels, transport and experiences direct with that agent?By doing so, we can tap into that agent s expertise and cut out the middleman (the UK operator) to avoid paying its mark-up. Frank tested two travel companies with agents based abroad - TravelLocal and Evaneos - to ...

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    I've been to heaven: Actress Arabella Weir spends a glorious week in Bali with no kids, no husband and no chores

    Bali. The very word conjures up images of exotic palm trees swaying in a gentle breeze, and an azure sea lapping a white-as-sugar sandy beach, doesn t it? And having just spent a week there, I can confirm that those impressions are spot-on. If anything, the Indonesian island is even better than I imagined.I stayed at the Bliss Sanctuary For Women, a very small (the maximum number of guests is nine) spa on the south coast of the island. It did not disappoint. Actress and writer Arabella Weir spent seven relaxing nights in the south of Bali at the Bliss ...

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    Denmark is divine - if you avoid the seaweed wine! Exploring ancient battlefields, collecting oysters and sampling questionable Danish treats

    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark and it s called seaweed wine. We re exploring the small island of Aro on hired bicycles, complete with baskets on the front, and the local vineyard is an early stop on our quest to soak up the culture, nature and food of South Jutland. Seaweed wine is good with fish and oysters, says owner Jakob Lei. We both prefer wine that we can drink rather than swim in this one tastes like the sea. It would be good mixed into a seafood risotto, I reply diplomatically. Ancient route: Max toured the ...

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    Cruising s cutting edge: A virtual tour of the futuristic new cruise ship with its own 'Magic Carpet' floating deck

    Wearing dark glasses, I strolled past the pool and headed up to the bar from where I looked out across the bright sea. There s nothing unusual about that on a Caribbean cruise except this all took place on a ship that hasn t been built yet.Celebrity Edge won t set sail until December 2018, but thanks to a pair of 3D glasses and some high-tech wizardry, I took a virtual tour of the 16-deck ship at the Celebrity Cruises HQ in Miami last week. Olivia took a virtual tour of the Celebrity Edge (pictured), a futuristic 3,000-passenger vessel which ...

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    A Sicilian sizzler: This family villa holiday is a feast for all the senses

    Don t tell anyone my teenagers would die of shame. But my favourite thing about our family villa holiday in Sicily were my 8am Embarrassing Dad nudie swims.Each morning, ignoring my wife s protests Oh really. Must you? I d stride starkers across the lawn to the cliff at the bottom of our garden, down the flight of steps and splosh! launch myself into the Mediterranean.Then I d swim out a hundred yards or so and gaze in awe at the empty bay, with its spectacular white rock pillars thrusting up from the sea bed. Wow! I d think. We ...

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    Paddle and pedal paradise: Boats and bikes are ideal for exploring this ravishingly tiny Seychelles island

    Things don t get much more Ernest Hemingway than this. I m standing in the back of a fishing boat, chugging around the island of Alphonse in the Seychelles.I have just heard the reel on my fishing rod click round one notch. I clip the rod into my holster and start psyching up for the man-versus-fish struggle ahead.It is a mighty beast. Our fishing guide, Josh, reckons it is a wahoo weighing up to 30lb, and my first thought is: I wish I hadn t seen Jaws. Easy does it: At only three-and-a-half miles round, Alphonse Island (pictured) is simple ...

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    Singing the praises of a rare Canary: La Palma's quiet black sand beaches make for the perfect island retreat

    The bright white speck on the deserted beach below doesn t look like a human. But it is, albeit a naked one. The blackness of the volcanic sand on which he s frolicking makes him stand out.No one seems bothered. But, then, La Palma has long been one of the Canaries quirkier islands.This is evident at the observation point near the town of Tijarafe, where an enormous statue celebrates the dexterity of shepherds who once navigated La Palma s volcanic valleys and forested ravines on foot. Tamara explored the pretty island of La Palma (pictured) which was quieter than some ...

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    An Inspector Calls: The Padstow Townhouse in Cornwall boasts huge suites and plenty of culinary treats

    Rating: Rick Stein is not the only show in town. In Padstow, Cornwall, Paul Ainsworth is another celebrity chef cooking up a storm.He has his Michelin-starred No 6 restaurant, a more casual Italian called Rojano s and now Padstow Townhouse, a six-room hotel with oodles of charm.Normally, a room costs upwards of 280, but we are paying 120 B&B. This seems to be because the restaurants are closed for a overhaul, which means we have breakfast in our room, rather than walking down the hill to Rojano s. Both are now open again. The Daily Mail's Inspector called in at ...

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    The rain in Spain falls mainly... on Seville! Despite the wet weather, this historic city is brimming with activity

    Ancient charm: The Plaza de Espana in SevilleWe knew Seville was one of the hottest places in Spain. What we didn t predict was the wettest weather for a decade. It was so bad they closed the Andalusian capital s spectacular Plaza de Espana.A pity, but cruising the streets in a car while trying to find our hotel, we saw some of the old town s most spectacular sights without getting wet. The Gothic cathedral, and its Giralda bell tower (a converted 12th Century Moorish minaret made partly of stones from an old Roman wall) are magnificent.Seville is 2,200 ...

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    Villa chiller! Coronation Street star Debbie Rush heads for some serious relaxation in Majorca

    It was a while since I d been to Majorca. Not since my teens, so my memories were blurred but warm. On that lovely family holiday more than 20 years ago, we went to the busy resort of Cala d Or in the south, and I suppose I was expecting the north of the island to be much the same.In fact, what we discovered at the top end of this, the largest of the Balearic islands, were some of the most beautiful landscapes I ve ever seen, a place that feels as if it has retained its Spanish identity while ...

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    Thai your hand as an elephant rescuer... The rise of 'responsible' travel experiences - with no riding allowed

    In the wake of the death last October of the Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the year of mourning has clipped the wings of Thailand s beach party lovers, and the backpacker crowd are heading elsewhere.Maybe Thailand should use this as a chance to promote some of its lesser-known attractions. A glance at Trip Advisor finds the Lanta Animal Welfare Centre at number three in the top ten list of things to do - ahead of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Sukhothai Historical Park. Getting in touch with nature: Thailand s more famous animal conservation projects involve working with ...

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    My ode to Mandalay: Sandra Howard always dreamed of seeing Burma - but the reality was more beautiful and thrilling than she could ever imagine

    As a child, I longed to go to Burma. I was in love with the romance of the names Mandalay, Rangoon, the Irrawaddy river. Myanmar has been top of my bucket list for years. We flew into Yangon (Rangoon) and I was deep into a book the whole way, The Glass Palace, by Amativ Ghosh. It is an epic novel, a compelling evocation of the old Burma, the wars, the scars, love and loss, an emotional sweep of history, almost to the present day. Got there in the end! Sandra Howard's childhood dreams of going to Burma finally came true ...

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    What's it all about? Corrie's Catherine Tyldesley checks in to a Cretan hotel that knows the key to a great holiday is making her toddler son happy

    Crete is the fifth-biggest island in the Mediterranean, so it s got lots to see and do and plenty of great places to stay. Set beside the blue Aegean Sea, the Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel on the north- east coast is one of Crete s finest properties. As well as wonderful coastal views, it boasts a comforting interior design (lots of natural woods and careful use of soft, serene neutral colours).The style is slightly dated but I found it all rather lovely (like going home to my parents house safe and familiar!). The suites are comfortably furnished: each has ...

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Everyone went outside to smoke cloves and bitch about having to stay after for the State.

Jon Stewart on events following Charles — January 19, 1999