A beginner’s guide to Mont Blanc

You want to 'do' Mont Blanc this summer but not sure where to start? From relaxed guided family treks to longer itineraries, mountain biking and even a full-on climbing ascent, there are plenty of options to choose from. It all depends on your experience – and what you want to get out of your trip. (NB Prices don't include international flights) 1. The family option: Mont Blanc Family Walk from France to Italy Starting in the Chamonix Valley, this relaxed...

Why Montsec is Europe’s star-gazing capital

It was on a starry night, when the hills were bright, that astronomists realised they needed to move away from those darn light-polluted hills. And with a steady interest in star-gazing, the Spanish mecca of Montsec has seen a steady rise in tourists visiting for its glimpse of our galaxy. Set in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountain, the Montsec Astronomy Park has become recognised as a world-class spot for star-gazing since it opened its doors to the public in 2009. The conditions...

TLE insight: Turkey’s Black Sea coast

by Inka Piegsa I was lucky enough to live  in Turkey for four years, but I didn’t stay put in my nice little apartment near Bodrum on Turkey’s Aegean Sea. Of most interest - especially for those wanting to avoid typical tourist traps, is Turkey's Black Sea coast. Contrary to the harsh mountains of Anatolia and the summer heat on the Aegean and Mediterranean Coast, the Black Sea region is green, green and green, full of pastures, flowers, forests, grazing...

Speyside: A Whisky Tour of Strathspey

By Jack Peat, TLE Editor  21:15 on Thursday evening, my brother, my friend and I are sat on one of around 20 carriages parked on a shaded platform at London Euston away from the hustle and bustle of daytime West Coast mainline traffic. Our bags have been dropped off in two adjoining sleeping berths and wafts of haggis and tatties emanate from the buffet car kitchen. As the train starts its ten hour climb to the Scottish highlands I kick...

Travel review: South east Sicily

By Emma Silverthorn I wouldn't generally review an airport, these liminal spaces being dull, if not depressing, but Comiso actually deserves a few words. The entry point to the south east of Sicily, this airport tells you much about this region of Italy. This was by far the friendliest airport I've ever been in. The staff going above and beyond, they let our group go over our luggage allowance (don't tell Michael O'Leary) and actually sought out a wine-saving solution...

Boracay – Paradise Lost (and Found)

By Harry Bedford Thirty years ago Boracay was a desert island paradise, with no electricity supply or motorised vehicles in the heart of the Philippines archipelago. Today, Boracay’s beautiful White Beach is lined with McDonalds, Starbucks, Seven-Eleven and countless hotels, bars, restaurants and clubs, rapidly becoming the country’s number one tourist destination. For many in the western world the Philippines can feel like a remote, isolated and inaccessible destination; further away and more expensive than the likes of Thailand and...

Top Ten Things to do in Northern Thailand

By Harry Bedford Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world with almost 27 million travellers visiting in 2013 alone. With its stunning beaches, delicious food and compelling history and culture, it is easy to see why it has become such a popular holiday spot. While the south of Thailand, particularly the islands, are so beautiful and inviting, the north is often forgotten. But take a trip up to the quaint old cities and mountain towns...

The Concrete Dunes of Dubai

By Harry Bedford  Take an Airbus A380 from London Heathrow to Dubai International Airport and you will be flying in the largest passenger jet ever built from the second busiest to the busiest airport in the world. Largest, longest, tallest, highest, busiest - these are all adjectives that epitomise Dubai. The once desert filled emirate is now a city of modern wonders and the sand dunes are rapidly turning into concrete. It is easy to dismiss Dubai as a soulless collection...

St Pete: Florida’s newest art district

by Shilpa Ganatra, Travel Editor The holiday hotspot of Miami has long been Florida’s destination of choice for art lovers, thanks to its stretch of galleries, museums and open air exhibits. But nearby St Petersburg is threatening to take its crown. Known best for its 35 miles of beach and its incessant sunshine, the recent opening of the Dali Museum – holding the largest collection of his paintings outside of Spain - has indicated a change for the coastal area....

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