The Travel & Leisure Magazine May/June 09

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Getting to know Egypt Escape to Reykjavik Caribbean cruising Newfoundland Golf in Scotland The Isle of Wight Plus win a 4000 holiday for two in Newfoundland and 1500 of Pride of Britain hotel vouchers

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The Travel & Leisure Magazine May/June 09

  1. 1. The Travel & Leisure Magazine MAY/JUNE 2009 £2 where sold EGYPT Timeless wonder REYKJAVIK Cool – and affordable CALYPSO CRUISING ROCK STAR Caribbean island hopping The Isle of Wight TRAVELLING TEE TIME IN IN STYLE SCOTLAND Magical railway Perfect days in journeys the home of golf NEWFOUNDLAND Nature’s playground May/June 2009 ★A week’s holiday for two worth £4,000 to WIN Canada’s Newfoundland ★£1,500 of Pride of Britain hotel vouchers PLUS: Steam Heritage Guide 2009 copies, Royal Albert Hall tours and more
  2. 2. £2 where sold MAY/JUNE 2009 r Timeless wonde CALYPSO REYKJAVIK CRUISING rdable Cool – and affo ibbean Car island hopping ROCKofSTAR TEE TIME IN Wight The Isle TRAVELLING SCOTLAND Perfect days in IN STYLE the home of golf Magical railway journeys OUND ND NEWFplaygroundLA Nature’s T R A V E L 0 to for two worth £4,00 WIN #A week’s holiday land da’s Newfound Cana ers Britain hotel vouch #£1,500 of Pride of copies, age Guide 2009 PLUS: Steam Herit tours and more Royal Albert Hall FROM THE EDITOR LOOK ON THE BRIGHTER SIDE W elcome to the new issue of The Travel & Leisure Magazine. Once again, this edition focuses very much on giving you ideas not only for taking holidays overseas but also things to do and places to see in London and beyond. The doom merchants have been having a field day of late, compounding warnings about the country’s economy with grim predictions about swine flu. Thankfully, concerns over the latter have eased and nerves in the travel indus- GETTING TO KNOW Pharaoh tales in Egypt 6 try are less frayed. Yet despite all the dire news, the British always take a very determined view. Holidays TRAVEL UPDATE Travel news 15 and breaks are the one thing that many look for- ward to as a way of escaping the daily grind of IN YOUR FLIGHT BAG 19 work and household worries. They have worked PLUS – Under-Eye Revival Patches giveaway hard to save up for a holiday – and they are determined to take it, come what may. If you are looking for ideas, read on for some IN YOUR SUITCASE 20 inspiration. We visit Egypt, flavour of the WIN – AfterBURN Sunburn Rescue Gel moment thanks to its good value. There’s the natural wonderland of Newfoundland in ESCAPE TO Reykjavik – Iceland’s capital of cool 23 Canada, where you can win a fabulous week’s holiday for two. We also head off to another current hot favourite destination – Reykjavik – ALL ABOARD Caribbean cruising + Cruise News 28 where lower prices have made it affordable. Then we look at holidays by train, which are OFF THE BEATEN TRACK Newfoundland 34 growing in popularity and scope, and we go cruising in the Caribbean. LET’S TRY Great rail holiday experiences 42 On the home front, we focus on the Isle of Wight and look at London festivals. I hope you enjoy the read, and wherever your PACK YOUR CLUBS Teeing up in Scotland 48 travels take you this summer, have a peaceful and relaxing time. ON YOUR DOORSTEP The Isle of Wight 54 Peter Ellegard 4 The Travel & Leisure Magazine May/June 2009
  3. 3. L E I S U R E COMPETITION 40 WIN – A £4,000 holiday for two to Newfoundland COMING NEXT What’s in store in the next issue 47 OUT & ABOUT What’s on outside London 62 WIN – a Steam Heritage Guide 2009 EDITORIAL TEAM Editor Peter Ellegard Writers Peter Ellegard, Keeley Gordon, Sara Macefield, Dave Richardson, Paul Erlam and Laura Dixon Design Nick Blaxill COMPETITION 65 Advertising Team Jeannette Cumbers, Beverley Sennett & Elaine Smith WIN – £1,500 of Pride of Britain hotel vouchers Admin/Accounts Wendy Barfoot Production Keeley Gordon, Loretta Prince LONDON REVIEW: Focus on festivals + News 68 Publisher Terry Stafford Digital Publisher Peter Lewsey WIN – a pair of Lovebox festival tickets Published bi-monthly by Travel & Leisure Magazines Ltd WIN – Royal Albert Hall tour tickets First Floor, 103 Cranbrook Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 4PU Tel: 020 8477 1529 Fax: 020 8514 4536 Email: info@tlmags.com Printed by Wyndeham Heron FREE BOOKS for new READERS’ © Travel & Leisure Magazines Limited 2009 subscribers – see page 77 The publs scannotacceptr pons biiy f i her es i lt orer orr sor Don’t forget the next issue of The LETTERS om i s ons W his si . l tever car i aken,al at i ubm it t Tr y e st lm erals ted o avel Travel & Leisure Magazine will be We want to hear from you. & Lei ur M agazi s e rs and neiherTr ik t nesLi ied i m t sdone s atisow ner s avel& Lei ur M agazi s e o t ’ nesLi ied nor m t available from July 2009. Let us have your thoughts on isagent t scan acceptany labiiy f os i lt orl sordam age. Tr avel& Lei ur M agazi s e nesLi ied i com pl el i m t sa et y nde- Subscription price £6 for 6 issues plus The Travel & Leisure Magazine’s pendentcom pany and can hol no r pons biiy f he d es i lt ort receive a FREE Travel Book. new look, or on any topic.The actonsofout i agent .N o par i s de s r oduced w ihoutprorw rten cons . epr t i it toft sm agazi m ay be hi ent ne best letter will win a A l i e adveri er e t aly r pons bl f hei lprvat ts sar ot l es i e ort row n Take out a subscription STAR PRIZE. w or ng w ihi t radveri em ent di M agazi t n hei m t ts her or ake ,and Travel& Lei ur nesLi ied can t ef e t no r pons biiy as es s e i lt Call 020 8477 1529 Email us at t t rcont .Pl e s l o hei ent eas eek egaladvi and t eafer ce her t verf al he det l iy lt aisofyourpur chas i w rtng bef e e n ii or 6 issues just £6, inc postage. SAVE 50% letters@tlmags.com proceedi ng. Front cover photo: Pet erElegar l d M ay/ une 2009 J The Travel& Lei ur M agazi s e ne 5
  4. 4. Pharoah venerable Mena House Oberoi hotel, right next to the pyramids at Giza. I spent lunch gazing in awe through the windows at the mighty edifices. With another meeting due later that after- noon, I grabbed 15 minutes at the Great tales Pyramid of Cheops, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world – most of it spent haggling with a camel driver whose lumbering steed I clambered aboard just long enough to have my picture taken in front of the pyramids and Sphinx – before jumping back in the taxi. Next stop was Sakkara, the necropolis for Egypt’s ancient capital, Memphis, where his- toric structures include the Step Pyramid. The oldest of all pyramids, it lies some 30km Egypt is flavour of the moment this year, and with good south of Cairo past timeless rural scenes, and its lack of tourist hordes and nearby built-up reason. Offering far more than just dusty old tombs and areas made it feel even more special than its desert, it combines magical history tours with glorious Giza counterparts. But there was no time to dwell. I was on a mission. beaches, high-class resorts and much more besides. A guide took me on the briefest of tours, Peter Ellegard fell under its spell long ago… enlightening me by pointing out that the fish- shaped hieroglyph carvings were, in fact, fish M y first visit to Egypt mind as I was heading on to Luxor the next while the wavy lines above them represented 23 years ago was an day for some R and R, followed by diving in the Nile. I’d never have guessed. adventure I will never the Red Sea at Hurghada prior to my flight After a fast journey back to Cairo for my forget. I was in Cairo home. final meeting, I was dropped at the Egyptian on a short business At least, that was the plan. Museum just 15 minutes before closing time. trip, but managed to Renting a taxi for the day in Cairo (as Glancing at the statues on the museum’s squeeze some whistle-stop sightseeing in cheap as a single journey I had taken in a ground floor, I sprinted up the stairs to reach between meetings on my final day that would London cab), I set off for my pre- my ultimate goal – the exquisite, golden have even exhausted a Japanese tour leader. arranged appointments. My mask and other funerary exhibits from Time was ridiculously tight, but I didn’t lunchtime meeting was at the the tomb of Tutankhamun. Main photo and below left: Egyptian State Tourist Office Peter Ellegard Peter Ellegard ■ The souk at Aswan ■ Al-Azhar Mosque minarets, Old Cairo ■ The Karnak Temple sound and light show 6 The Travel & Leisure Magazine May/June 2009
  5. 5. getting to KNOW EGYPT Not only was it the climax of that trip, it fered several harrowing terrorist attacks, as ting people off, the visible security measures was also the final highlight. That night, in have many countries including the UK, of are a reassuring factor. On my most recent February 1986, security police conscripts course. Yet each time it has bounced back visit, in December, I took a Nile cruise with stormed out of their barracks in Giza, burn- stronger than before. my wife. At night as our luxury ship cruised ing nearby hotels and businesses and clash- Huge investment in its tourist infrastruc- downriver, two security guards manned a ing with the army. Instead of flying to Luxor ture, with the development of classy, new machine gun on the stern. As I photographed the next morning I took refuge at an airport resorts and extensive leisure facilities, has dawn over the Nile from the back of the ship, hotel when the airport was locked down and been matched by slick advertising campaigns they nodded in acknowledgement of my a city-wide curfew was imposed, and I and, just as important, a strong security pres- smiled greeting and happily let me photograph caught a special repatriation flight back to ence in tourist areas. them and the gun the UK the following day. All have helped make Egypt more popu- against the ris- I felt immensely sad, not just for my lar than ever. With prices in eurozone coun- ing sun. You unfortunate timing but also for what I feared tries rocketing because of the weak pound, it can’t even was the end of Egypt’s tourism industry. I offers British tourists even better value for photograph needn’t have worried. The insurrection was money compared to quickly quelled, the capital soon recov- other holiday destina- ered and the tourists returned. In the tions this year. intervening years, Egypt has suf- Far from put- ■ Pyramids at Giza, Cairo Peter Ellegard ■ Karnak Temple, Luxor May/June 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 7
  6. 6. ■ The Temple of Philae at Aswan Did you know? Starwood Resorts and Hotels Photos: Egyptian State Tourist Authority ● The first pyramids were built in 2650 BC. ● Cleopatra was born in Egypt in 69 BC. ● Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. ■ Hot tub at the Sheraton Soma Bay ● The Nile flows for 915 miles through Egypt. ● About 96% of Egypt is desert Pars and spas Egypt Tourist Authority ● Flights from London take 4.5 hours to Cairo and 5.5 hours to Red Sea resorts. Egypt may seem an unlikely golf ■ Left: Tutankhamun’s mask, the Egyptian museum destination, but its three original, century-old clubs have been augmented by another 14 new facilities, taking the policemen without risk of arrest now in London. beaches carpeting both the Red Sea and total to 17 across Egypt. One security measure which had been an Mediterranean coasts; and the crystal clear You can tee off on courses in beach irritation to visitors had just been relaxed waters of the Red Sea, rich in marine life. All resorts from the Mediterranean coast prior to our visit. For the past 11 years, make a visit to Egypt not just a magical his- to the Red Sea and from Cairo to coaches travelling between Red Sea resorts tory tour, but a holiday like you will experi- Luxor, site of ancient pharaonic capital and Luxor had had to travel in armed con- ence nowhere else. Thebes. You can even play in the voys, following the 1997 attack at the Temple It has certainly made its mark on me. shadow of the pyramids at Giza, on the of Hatshepsut in which 63 tourists were These are some of the country’s key historic nine-hole course at the Mena killed. That often led to long journey times sights: House Oberoi. as vehicles had to wait at convoy points and A number of resorts have courses travel in line, and it also resulted in massive Cairo with luxury spa hotels alongside or queues at key attractions as busloads dis- Bisected by the Nile, Egypt’s frenetic capital nearby, so golfers can play while non- gorged at the same time. is a city where the modern world collides playing partners can pamper themselves We made the minibus journey from Red Sea with that of the country’s ancient past. Roads and enjoy the other leisure facilities. tourist resort Madinat Makadi to Luxor to join and buildings have crept almost to the foun- Among them are Soma Bay, El Gouna, our cruise in a comfortable four hours, and we dations of the Sphinx and the iconic pyra- Stella di Mare Golf Resort, at Ain could stop when we wanted and go at the speed mids at Giza. Yet behind them the desert Soukhna, and Egypt’s newest course at our driver wanted – radar traps permitting. stretches out as far as the eye can see. A day Madinat Makadi Golf Resort, which Since my first, eventful visit to Egypt, I visit should be augmented with a return at opened in late 2008. have returned a number of times and seen night to watch the atmospheric Sound and Other Red Sea resorts with courses much of the country, both on land and below Light Show. are Taba Heights, Sharm el Sheikh and the sea. Ever since I was a child, it had Due to be replaced by a modern building Hurghada, while Porto Marina is a new always held great fascination for me. Few at Giza in the near future, the Egyptian addition on the Mediterranean coast. All countries make my spine tingle and get the Museum holds some of ancient Egypt’s have a choice of nearby hotels. pulse racing in anticipation and excitement greatest artefacts, the highlight being as Egypt does, when I visit. Tutankhamun’s treasures. However, give The great monuments the ancient yourself more than the 15 minutes I had on Egyptians and later civilisations left behind; my first visit there as it has much else from the tombs of the pharaohs with their wonder- the pharaonic era to wonder at, including the fully-decorated walls; vast expanses of desert Mummy Room. with their lush, hidden oases; stark moun- The imposing 12th century Citadel Jaz Hotels, Resorts & Cruises tains which glow pink at sunset; the hustle fortress was built by Saladin and looks out and bustle of Cairo, modern and old; time- across Cairo’s UNESCO World Heritage-list- warp towns and villages which line the ver- ed Islamic Quarter. At night the narrow ■ Madinat Makadi Golf Resort dant Nile Valley, their markets a jumble of streets of the quarter’s Khan el Khalili bazaar sights, sounds and smells; glorious sandy come alive to raucous bartering and the cries 8 The Tr & Lei ur M agazi avel s e ne M ay/ une 2009 J
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  8. 8. Nile cruises A great way to experience Egypt is on a Nile cruise. You relax and enjoy the facilities onboard while the timeless scenery of farmers tending irrigated fields and fishermen casting nets constantly moves. Most cruises operate the 240km between Luxor and Aswan with itineraries from three nights to seven nights. Passengers can explore historic sites at stops along the route, including Dendera’s temple, the valleys of the Kings and Queens, Karnak Temple, temples at Kom Ombo, Esna and Edfu, and Aswan’s Temple of Philae and the High Dam. Three and four-night cruises also operate between Aswan and Abu Simbel on Lake Nasser. Peter Ellegard ■ Onboard the Jaz Regency Nile cruise ships are like luxury ocean-going cruise ships but much more intimate. The largest have about 70 cabins; most have far fewer. of traders selling their wares. Nearby is the only Roman amphitheatre. The famed Traditional two-masted, wood-panelled 1,000-year-old Al-Azhar Mosque, with its Library of Alexandria, the ancient world’s dahabiya Nile cruisers, with just six or graceful minarets and crenulated walls. largest, disappeared long ago. Its latter-day eight cabins, are featured by operators Coptic Cairo is the oldest part of the city successor, the six-year-old Bibliotheca including Bales Worldwide and includes the Coptic Museum, situated in Alexandrina, features modern architecture (www.balesworldwide.com) and a garden of the Roman-era Babylon Fort. El- including a raked glass roof. Mosaic Holidays Muallaqa Church is Cairo’s oldest Christian Former royal palace Montazah, built by (www.mosaicholidays.co.uk). church. Dating back over 1,700 years, it is the last Khedive of Egypt in 1892, is set in Facilities onboard ships generally known as the “Hanging Church” as it is built gardens used for summer concerts and the- include a small swimming pool, spa pool, over a Roman gate. atre performances. Another former palace, sun deck, canopied deck, massages, A day trip can take in Sakkara’s Step Fatma el-Zahara, is now the Royal Jewellery lounge, dining room and shops. Cabins Pyramid. Museum. Other notable institutions include often have a TV, sound system and mini the Graeco-Roman Museum and Museum of fridge. Alexandria and the Fine Arts. Ships are either full board or all Mediterranean coast The ancient city of Rosetta, 65km east of inclusive. Besides breakfast, lunch and Founded by Alexander the Great and ruled Alexandria, succeeded it as Egypt’s principle dinner, afternoon tea is also usually over by Cleopatra, Egypt’s last pharaoh, Mediterranean port after the Ottoman con- served, with cakes and biscuits. Alexandria nestles on the Mediterranean coast quest in the 16th century. It is known for the Locals, especially children, smile and by the Nile Delta. It is steeped in history. distinctive Delta-style Ottoman architecture wave as you pass by their traditional The Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria, of its restored merchants’ houses. The Rosetta villages and age-old towns – and laugh in another Ancient Wonder of the World, was Stone, discovered there in 1799 and now in delight when the captains blare their the tallest structure on earth at 40 metres the British Museum, helped Egyptologists horns with cascading notes resembling high until an earthquake destroyed it in the decipher ancient Egypt’s hieroglyphics. the spaceships scene from sci-fi movie Middle Ages. Its harbourside foundations El Alamein, 60km west of Alexandria, Close Encounters of the Third Kind which now support a 15th century fort. was the scene of a decisive Allied victory in echo off the palm-fringed river banks. Greek and Roman ruins include the World War II. Now a burgeoning tourist Catacombs of Kom al-Shuqafa and Egypt’s resort with luxury hotels, it has a war muse- 10 The Travel& Lei ur M agazi s e ne M ay/ une 2009 J
  9. 9. Jaz Hotels, Resorts and Cruises Dive, dive, dive The Red Sea is the closest coral sea to the UK and has been a favourite with British divers for decades. You can go diving all around the Red Sea Riviera. Many hotels have their own dive centres and dive boats. You can go diving for the day or, if you are experienced, spend a week on a liveaboard dive vessel, cruising more distant waters to dive less-explored reefs and wrecks. The serious can go deep with Nitrox and other mixed gases. The Red Sea is also a great classroom for those wanting to learn diving or just try it. Centres regulated by PADI and other dive organisations offer learn to dive courses. The waters of the Red Sea provide some of the finest in the world for diving, with breathtaking coral reefs and abundant marine life. Top sites include Ras Mohamed National Park, at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula, near Sharm el Sheikh, and the Thistlegorm wreck which is accessible from both Sharm and Western Red Sea resorts. If you prefer to stay above the waves, the Red Sea’s constant winds, which can reach 30 Peter Ellegard knots, make it one of the world’s foremost destinations for windsurfing and kitesurfing. The world’s biggest kitesurfing school recently opened in El Gouna, north of Hurghada. um and cemetery. Farther west, Mersa painted walls still amaze. Other beautiful Unfinished Obelisk and the Nubian Temple Matruh has white beaches, azure seas and tombs can be explored in the Valley of the of Kalabsha. The Temple of Philae, set on an rock formations – and the Rommel Museum. Queens, below towering cliffs, and another island, is bathed in lights with narration Siwa Oasis, 300km south of Mersa Matruh highlight is the terraced Temple of about the legends of Isis and Osiris in a in the Sahara, can be visited on a tour. Hatsheput. sound and light show. You can sail in a feluc- You can view Luxor’s ancient sites from ca to visit Elephantine Island and Kitchener’s Luxor on high on a dawn balloon trip from the Island, for the Botanical Gardens. In ancient times, Luxor was called Thebes – West Bank. Flights last up to 50 minutes. Agatha Christie wrote much of her Death and more than 3,000 years of history are For a true experience of the Nile, sail in a on the Nile novel at Aswan’s Old Cataract spread across both banks of the Nile. On the traditional felucca or spend a few days on Hotel. East Bank, Karnak Temple is the world’s a Nile cruise. largest temple complex and has a spectacu- Sharm el Sheikh and the lar nightly sound and light show. The Temple Aswan Sinai Peninsula of Luxor is close to the city centre and walk- Aswan is the gateway to Lake Nasser and Located at the southern tip of the Sinai able from some hotels. Visit both tem- Abu Simbel, where the temples Peninsula, Sharm el Sheikh is the mummy of ples early to beat the tour buses and four colossal statues of Egypt’s Red Sea resorts. It originally catered which arrive from mid-morning Ramses II were moved to purely for divers, drawn by sites such as Ras onwards. Dusk turns the sky higher ground when the Mohamed National Park on its doorstep. But orange and pink over Luxor Aswan High Dam’s Sharm is now a top-class resort with appeal Temple’s illuminated construction flooded for those wanting a beach stay with all mod columns and statues. their original loca- cons as well as for those who want to explore Across the Nile on the tion. below the Red Sea. Lively Na’ama Bay is West Bank is the Valley of The High Dam is where to head for night-time fun and to the Kings, where Ramses the one of the highlights browse its shopping mall. Great, Tutankhamun and many of a visit to Aswan. Excursions include camel riding, wadi- other pharaohs were buried in Among other sights are bashing and 4x4 trips into the Sinai desert as tombs where detailed carvings and ■ Luxor Temple the Old Aswan Dam, the well as visiting Bedouin camps to take tea or Egypt Tourist Authority M ay/ une 2009 J The Travel& Lei ur M agazi s e ne 11
  10. 10. Beyond that lies upmarket resort Soma Bay. It has several hotels including La Residence des Cascades, built in the centre of Gary Player-designed The Cascades golf course and housing the huge Les Thermes Marins des Cascades thalassotherapy centre. The “Little Venice of Egypt”, 20 minutes north of Hurghada, El Gouna is a stylish new resort laced by canals, with over a dozen hotels, elegant private villas, a Mediterranean- El Gouna Resort style marina lined with restaurants and bars, a ■ The beach at Red Sea resort El Gouna shopping centre, casino and art galleries. There’s sailing and other water sports from its extensive beaches, as well as diving. coffee or to dine out under the stars. Hasheesh features an Oberoi hotel with plans At the top end of the Red Sea, near the From Sharm you can also visit 1,500- to build several golf courses, more hotels and southern entrance to the Suez Canal, is the year-old St Catherine’s Monastery, built an Atlantis-style sunken city viewable from a developing resort of Ain Soukhna. It possess- around a chapel housing the biblical Burning boardwalk. es a golf course and several hotels, as well as Bush. It lies at the foot of Mount Sinai, Madinat Makadi is a resort village with a one of the region’s largest spa and thalas- where Moses was given the 10 wide beach in nearby Makadi Bay. Its eight sotherapy centres. Commandments. A popular option is to hotels include the new, five-star Jaz Makadi The Southern Red Sea is fast developing, climb Mount Sinai at night to witness the Golf hotel where Scary Spice Mel B and her too. Popular with divers who want to reach spectacular dawn from the top. husband Stephen Belafonte renewed their less visited reefs and wrecks, it includes the Other Sinai wonders include the Coloured wedding vows in November. The hotel is resort of Marsa Alam and nearby Port Ghalib, Canyon, named for its brightly-hued sand- alongside Egypt’s newest golf course. a new marina resort development. TL stone formations, the White Canyon and sev- eral oases. Among natural atractions is the mountainous Abu Galum natural reserve, Egypt facts where wildlife includes Nubian ibex, hyrax and striped hyena. When to go: At the top end of the Sinai Peninsula is Summers are hot and dry and winters are warm, with Egyptian State Tourist Authority Taba, across the border from Israel’s Eilat, little rainfall – making it the ideal time to go. Breezes and the neighbouring, purpose-built resort of help keep Red Sea resorts cooler, while the Taba Heights. A sister development to El Mediterranean coast has a more temperate climate. Gouna, across the Red Sea, it is a collection Getting there: of hotels with stylish designer architecture Direct flights to Cairo from London Heathrow are operated nestling against the Sinai’s mountains and by British Airways (www.ba.com), bmi (www.flybmi.com) and Egyptair fronting the Red Sea. There is also a golf (www.egyptair.com). Egyptair also flies from Heathrow to Sharm el Sheikh, course. Excursions from Taba Heights go to while easyJet (www.easyjet.com) flies there from London Gatwick. Charter the ancient city of Petra in Jordan with its flights operate from airports around the UK to Sharm, Hurghada,Taba, Marsa buildings carved into the rocks. Alam and Luxor. Other Sinai resorts include laid-back Entry requirements: Dahab and Nuweiba, much less developed UK and EU nationals travelling only to Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba and than Sharm or Taba. Taba resorts in the Sinai for up to 14 days do not require a visa. Otherwise, visas can be obtained at the airport on arrival into Egypt or from the Egyptian Hurghada and the Western consulate in London (020 7235 9777; www.egyptianconsulate.co.uk). Red Sea Getting around: The Western Red Sea’s largest and longest- Egyptair operates internal flights from Cairo to points established resort offers an extensive range throughout Egypt. Destinations include Luxor, Sharm of hotels appealing to a wide cross-section el Sheikh and Hurghada. Other internal routes Peter Ellegard of holidaymakers. It has a lively centre with include Luxor-Aswan. Local taxis are inexpensive and plenty of nightlife and an abundance of in plentiful supply in major cites and resorts. sports and activities along its sandy beaches. Tour operators: One of the region’s top diving destinations, UK operators offering Egypt include Discover Egypt sites include offshore islands and the famous (www.discoveregypt.co.uk),Thomas Cook (www.thomascook.com), wartime wreck, SS Thistlegorm. Monarch Holidays (www.monarchholidays.co.uk), Longwood Holidays Hurghada’s origins as a fishing village can (www.longwoodholidays.co.uk) and Peltours (www.peltours.com). still be seen in the Old Town, now engulfed Tourist information: by the modern, purpose-built resort. Egyptian State Tourist Office: call 020 7493 5283 or visit www.egypt.travel South of Hurghada, fledgling resort Sahl 12 The Travel& Lei ur M agazi s e ne M ay/ une 2009 J
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  13. 13. TRAVEL update Dads’ delight Not to be sniffed at Allergy sufferers can sleep a little easier thanks to a new H otels are serving up room treatment service for special offers to treat ■ Woolley Grange hotels by the Healthy Sleep dad for the Father’s Company. It Day weekend. Luxury Family reduces Hotels (www.luxuryfamily dust mites hotels.co.uk), part of the von and Essen Hotels group, has several associated deals. A Papa Pamper Package allergens by at Fowey Hall in Cornwall – the up to 97.4%, inspiration behind Toad Hall in leaving rooms virtually allergy- Wind in the Willows – with free. Luxury Family Hotels three nights for the price of two The Millennium & Copthorne and a spa session in the new Hotel in Slough has become Aquae Sulis Retreat for half the fifth UK hotel to add the price on Father’s Day (Sunday, service, with four Healthy June 21), costs from £465 per Sleep rooms. room including breakfast. ●More information on Children sharing their parents’ parkland in Suffolk, shoot rab- stay overnight from £240 for www.thehealthysleepcomp room stay for free. bits or pigeons on Father’s Day, dinner, bed and breakfast for two any.co.uk Jacobean manor house then help prepare them for serv- people on the Sunday night. Woolley Grange, near Bradford- ing as your “catch” for dinner in If you prefer shooting inani- on-Avon, has a two-night Friday the hotels’ restaurant. The shoot- mate objects, von Essen’s Beware malaria and Saturday package from ing day, equipment hire and din- Congham Hall in Norfolk The Malaria Awareness £360 per night for two adults, ner costs £175 per person, or (www.vonessenhotels.com) is Campaign, launched with including dinner, bed and break- offering a clay pigeon shooting Malaria Awareness Week from fast and a beer tasting session taster and Sunday lunch on May 11-17, aims to raise with local brewery Bath Ales. Father’s Day. The half-hour shoots awareness of this easily- Guests staying for lunch on cost £60 for dads and £35 for all preventable disease which Von Essen Hotels Father’s Day can check out at other family members, including affects hundreds of British 3pm. a three-course Sunday lunch. travellers every year, while still And at Ickworth Hotel, set in Overnight stays cost from £125 encouraging people to take ■ Congham Hall 1,800 acres of National Trust per room, including breakfast. long-haul holidays. It is organised by GlaxoSmithKline Travel Health, with the Foreign Tops down under and Commonwealth Office and ABTA.Visit www.malariahotspots.co.uk R eaders of Diver magazine ■ Malta's for more information and have voted the Maltese waters are the advice. Islands the top dive desti- best in Europe nation in Europe and third best globally in the publication’s Ferry fast annual Diver Awards. This is the Ferry operator LD Lines’ new first time such an award has gone high-speed ferry, Norman Malta Tourism Authority to a Mediterranean country. Arrow, becomes the largest- Malta has diving to suit all ever fast ferry across the levels and interests and boasts English Channel with its entry some of the best underwater con- onto the Dover-Boulogne ditions anywhere in the world, route on May 29 after a three- with year-round warm tempera- week delivery voyage from tures, up to 30 metres visibility reef dive sites for beginners to experienced. Tasmania. and abundant marine life. reefs and wartime wrecks, as For more information, visit Visit: www.ldlines.com Dive sites range from shallow well as night dives for the more www.visitmalta.com M ay/ une 2009 J The Travel& Lei ur M agazi s e ne 15
  14. 14. TRAVEL update Check your cover T he recent swine flu outbreak has led to an increase of up to 300% in the purchase of travel insurance. Travel insurance is a must for any trip, but it is also essential to check the insurance you buy, and what it covers. World First Travel Insurance has pro- duced a check list with tips to bear in mind before you buy, including: El Gouna Resort, Egypt ● Check the policy meets your demands and needs, and check for limitations and exclusions as cover varies from insurer to insurer. ■ Ensure activities are covered by your policy ● Check what is automatically covered or if an additional premium is required, for activities such as scuba diving or pre-existing medical conditions. The checklist can be found in full online at kitesurfing. They may be covered by one ● Policies generally limit cover for any one www.world-first.co.uk/media/checklist.pdf. policy but not another. item, normally £250, so see if you can You should also check your insurance provider ● Declare all medical conditions. Most extend your household insurance to cover is authorised by the FSA; go to policies exclude claims that arise from jewellery, iPods, laptops or cameras. www.fsa.gov.uk/register/ to check credentials. Green stays Cheap and cheerful remains one of the most expensive with costs 16.7% higher than in Spain. H otels are continuing to 90-minute treatment. Upgrades Despite price increases in improve their eco cre- to a four-poster room or suite Where is the Thailand and Egypt, they still dentials. start at £40 per person. best value remain great value for money The four-star country house For more information, visit holiday this overall. Wallett’s Court Hotel and Spa www.wallettscourthotel.com year? The Post near Dover in Kent has been Fingals, a luxury country Office’s annual Go retro Peter Ellegard awarded a silver star rating in the house hotel in Devon, has just Holiday Costs Green Tourism Business built an “Eco House” with a Barometer Take advantage of the Scheme (GTBS), the only certi- wood frame from sustainable has put ■ Belek tourism predicted hot UK summer by fication scheme validated by sources and solar panels on the Bulgaria,Turkey village, Turkey touring the country in a classic Visit Britain. roof. It features the contempo- and Croatia top of its list, after Volkswagen camper van. It is offering a three nights for rary Stream Room, with a bal- comparing the cost of 10 Surrey-based the price of two break until cony overlooking a stream. It holiday items, including drinks CampinaVDub.co.uk September 30. Valid Sunday to also has a new spa and a gym in and meals. (www.campinavdub.co.uk) Thursday and costing £199 per addition to a swimming pool, However, price cutting in some has three retro-style VW person, it includes breakfast grass tennis court and croquet of the UK’s favourite eurozone campers for rent. All come daily and dinner on two nights. lawn. It costs £135 for two shar- destinations means that fully fitted with bedding, A three-night spa break costs ing in May and June, including holidays could cost less than outdoor furniture, GPS £269 per person and includes a breakfast. www.fingals.co.uk expected, despite the weak navigation,TV/DVD with pound. Falling prices in the Freeview and a stereo system Algarve in Portugal now put it with fully-loaded Ipod.They second only to Spain, the also have full AA cover and cheapest eurozone destination Camping and Caravanning surveyed. Club membership. Local prices have fallen in Prices range from £150 for Greece and Italy too, while day hire to £750 for a week in ■ Fingals’ France – along with Cyprus – high season. Stream Room 16 The Travel& Lei ur M agazi s e ne M ay/ une 2009 J
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  16. 16. In Your FLIGHT BAG Feel first class Eye will survive! Revive tired eyes and restore sparkle with hydrogel soothing Under-Eye Revival Patches G ive yourself the first from Girls With Attitude. class treatment! Long After a long journey and a few distance travellers late nights, girls can be forgiven will love the Travel Tool Kit for looking a little less fresh – from Aroma Therapeutics. but who wants to? Simply Each kit includes essential oil apply, relax and recover. products to help lift your spir- Under-Eye Revival Patches help to reduce the its after long journeys, relax appearance of fine lines and dark shadows, your mind, soothe aches smoothes and moisturises.This perfect pick-me- and pains and enhance rest- up quickie will get the skin back to its fresh and ful sleep. vibrant best in next to no time, ready for the If a delay at the airport next party! leaves you feeling run Each pack includes enough pads for a full down and lethargic, the weekend away. RRP £4. Available from Aroma Therapeutics www.amazon.co.uk Recharger Spray ● We have 12 packs of Under-Eye Revival Concentrate’s powerful Patches to give away. Go to blend of rosemary, gin- www.choicetravelinfo.com and click on ger, rosewood, nutmeg competitions & giveaways.Terms & conditions and orange sprayed apply. Closing date July 3, 2009. directly onto pulse points will lift your mood. Alternatively, soothe away aches and pains with Muscle Comforter Bath & Colourful memory Body. Cooling peppermint, lavender, The Travel Tool Kit Brilliant orange, super black pepper and birch (a natural retails at £35.85 and includes: Sleep sunny yellow, painkiller) blend together for instant Enhancer Spray Concentrate (20ml); raindrop blue, relief. Recharger Spray Concentrate (20ml); arctic white, Aroma Therapeutics’ best-selling Relaxer Bath & Body (10ml); Muscle deep viola, Sleep Enhancer Spray Concentrate has Comforter Bath & Body (10ml); Mood cherry red, been given to British Airways First Enhancer Aroma Travel Candle (10g); ultra mint, real Class passengers for years to help them and Sleep Enhancer Aroma Travel red, intense drift off in flight. Candle 10g. www.aroma.co.uk blue and vibrant pink – Pressure points to sickness relief what’s your colour? Small and D on’t let travel ness and is safe for Stylish, the My sickness ruin patients taking prescrip- Passport Essential USB hard your trip. tion medications, preg- drive delivers up to 320GB of portable storage Sea-Band is an nant women and chil- in the palm of your hand, comes in 10 fresh new acupuncture pressure dren from three years colours and weighs in at less than five ounces. wristband known to old. Simple to use, light and easy to carry, and with relieve feelings of nau- Sea-Band is available no power adapter needed – your My Passport sea associated with trav- from Lloydspharmacy, Essential will become your favourite accessory. el sickness within min- acupressure point, long Superdrug, Tesco, Store thousands of songs, videos or photos on it utes. known to relieve feel- Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, and always have them to hand. Sea-Band works by ings of nausea. Morrisons, other phar- Western Digital’s My Passport Essential USB exerting a constant, gen- Sea-Band is latex- macies, and the Penny drives are available now at select retailers in tle pressure on a point free and drug-free so Brohn Cancer Care capacities of 160GB (£66.99), 250GB (£96.99) on the inner wrist called does not cause side Centre. RRP is £7.82. and 320GB (£119.99). the Pericardium 6 (P6) effects such as drowsi- www.sea-band.com www.westerndigital.com M ay/ une 2009 J The Travel& Lei ur M agazi s e ne 19
  17. 17. In Your SUITCASE Save your skin with AfterBURN A fterBURN Sunburn Rescue Gel is a revo- lutionary product to help soothe and repair sun SwimHut.com damaged skin, unlike tradition- al after sun products that simply moisturise. AfterBURN Sunburn Rescue 15% off at www.swimhut.com Gel is a unique dermatological gel with an osmotic action that for every reader draws water from within the skin You can be in the swim with the new range of (the dermis) to the surface (the SwimDresses, exclusive to SwimHut.com in the UK. epidermis), helping to rehydrate The stylish SwimDresses are designed to be and treat sun-damaged skin. practical yet beautiful with an integrated tummy The gel is odourless, non-sticky mesh panel and pants.They are ideal for those and non-staining, is rapidly who want more coverage from their swimwear, absorbed and acts quickly on the active mums or those who like to be able to party skin. It contains no alcohol, added and swim without changing in between! preservatives or colourings and SwimHut.com offers a fantastic range of swimwear, helps to reduce the chances of pre- bikinis and tankinis from a selection of leading mature skin ageing and redness of brand names, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all the skin as well as cooling irritation and year round. easing discomfort. ● WIN one of 10 AfterBURN ● To claim your 15% discount, go to Available from Boots and other phar- Sunburn Rescue Gels. Go to SwimHut.com’s website and enter the code: macies and leading retailers nationwide, www.choicetravelinfo.com and click on TLMAG2009.This code should be printed in AfterBURN Sunburn Rescue Gel is competitions & giveaways. Terms & capitals (the code is case sensitive).The code will priced at £9.78 for 75g. conditions apply. Closing date July 3, 2009. be valid from June 1 to June 30, inclusive. Cool Crocs! www.swimhut.com Feel the noise with this funky new sound system! T One of the best portable speakers on the he new Captiva the Captiva looks equally and added flexibility. market, the crystal-clear Soundtraveller flip flops from stylish when worn on the Being made of Crocs’ K3000 ST weighs in at just 420g – but Crocs are great beach or around town traditional Croslite mate- packs a heavyweight punch. It docks for the summer months. and keeps your feet rial means the Captiva directly with all iPods, including the They are ultra comfort- happy in the hot weather will give your feet anti- new iPod Nano and iPod Touch, and able, lightweight and with its pillowed footbed bacterial protection while comes with an audio adaptor cable available in a choice of also being very easy to so can be used with virtually any other bright colours such as clean. RRP £25.95. audio device, even your Sony PSP and Nintendo DS. jade, citrus and berry – To see Crocs’ full Featuring touch button volume control, it can be your feet will be smiling range of summer powered by the two included AA batteries or along with the summer styles, go to mains charger, and also comes with a USB cable so sun! www.crocs.eu you can power it from your laptop. It also charges With a soft toe iPods when powered from the mains or by USB. stump and Price £65. www.powertraveller.com ove r- t h e - foot straps, 20 The Travel& Lei ur M agazi s e ne M ay/ une 2009 J
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  20. 20. ESCAPE to… REYKJAVIK On top of the world Iceland’s weird and wonderful capital of cool, Reykjavik, is a upstairs bar at Kaffebarinn, where I was teaching two Aussie visitors to love feast for the senses – and the economic crash has now made it Brennivin, the Icelandic spirit brewed from affordable for short breaks. For Laura Dixon, it was love at fermented potatoes and flavoured with car- first sight, if not at first bite… away seeds, while sharing my spot at the bar with the lead singer of Sigur Rós, a gaggle of dancers from Björk’s show in neon tribal E thereal music drifted above this city is famed for its cutting-edge fash- make-up, and a transatlantic stag party. us into the pale blue cloud- ion. When I collapsed into bed mid-morning, the less sky, blonde-haired red- Under the glare of the midnight sun, I sun was still blazing through the window as cheeked children were on saw the cream of Icelandic music perform in it had all night. their parents’ shoulders and a festival celebrating the environment in My love affair with Reykjavik started there was a worrying display Reykjavik last year, and it’s one of the expe- long before the economic crash, when a pint of woolly lopipeysa jumpers on Icelanders riences of my life. of beer still cost around £5 (it’s now about of every age from 0 to 60, considering that It ended somewhat less poetically in the £2). In January, The Economist’s annual ■ The Blue Lagoon All photos: Iceland Tourist Board ■ The Northern Lights ■ Vatnajökull Glacier ■ Hot springs near Hverageri town – South Iceland M ay/ une 2009 J The Travel& Lei ur M agazi s e ne 23
  21. 21. Take a dip Don’t forget your swimming kit – Iceland is heaven for water babies. Carved out of a black lava field, the milky blue water of the Blue Lagoon is a constant 37-39°C, and is particularly good for the skin. If you want to act like a local, head to one of the city’s swimming pools. They are geothermally-heated, open air and are open come rain, shine or snow. Most have hot pots and saunas and are much cheaper than pools at home, costing about £1.20 per visit. Or if you’re feeling brave, take a dip in the North Atlantic.The city beach at Nautholsvik, near the city airport, has imported white sand, hot pools, a snack bar and an area of heated water in the sea so you won’t catch hypothermia. How very Icelandic! ■ Getting steamy in the Blue Lagoon study rating the most expensive cities in and looking at the city from above to get warning – don’t take too much. It’s made Europe put the city at 62, from a previous your bearings. from Greenland shark, buried in Tupperware position at number five, making it the lowest You’ll see Faxaflói Bay, where you can underground for three months to rot, and featured city in Western Europe bar take whale-watching trips, Mount Esja, usu- then excavated and served when it is at the Manchester. ally some kind of purple colour and topped right texture. The edges are slightly gooey It’s a real shock to the system – for years with snow, and then in the background, the and centre is chewy; unsurprisingly, it hasn’t the reason why people haven’t been visiting cone-shaped glacier on Snaefellsnes, where, taken off anywhere but here. the world’s northernmost capital city has in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Har_fiskur is a dried and salted white been the price, but now there’s no excuse. Earth, the explorers started their descent. fish eaten a bit like crisps by the local chil- dren. It still tastes of fish, though it’s Party town Icelandic cuisine crunchy and salty, and takes some getting Sure, Reykjavik has an outsized reputation Wandering around the city itself is fun – it’s used to. as a party town, but it’s barely as big as lined with coffee shops and designer bou- That’s not all there is to say about Bath. In fact, the population of Iceland as a tiques as well as more traditional shops sell- Icelandic cuisine – it’s a whole story in itself whole is roughly the same as that of ing wool and wool products, stuffed – but suffice to say that you will find Norwich, which gives you some idea. puffins, bags made from fish restaurants where you can eat Reykjavik is about half the size of that; skin and the like. grilled puffin, seabird’s eggs, when viewed from the air it looks like Bargain hunters might dolphin and whale and someone has scattered a handful of multi- like the Kolaporti mar- boiled sheep’s head coloured dolls houses around a small lake. ket, particularly the among other strange It is really that tiny. fish market at the delights. That makes the city a great destination back. There are two There was once a for a short break. Book a hotel in the 101 delicacies that you’ll McDonalds in the district and you can’t go wrong: all the city’s find here but nowhere centre of the city, but main sights are on your doorstep. else – Hákarl and it closed down The strange-looking concrete har_fiskur. through lack of cus- Hallgrimskirkja (Hallgrims Church) is visi- The first is a real spe- tom. It wasn’t just that a ble from nearly everywhere, and it’s worth ciality that you can try for meal cost £10; taste buds ■ Food and fun starting out here, taking the lift to the top free in the market. Word of are made differently up here. 24 The Travel& Lei ur M agazi s e ne M ay/ une 2009 J

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