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Australia – The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa

“Bryon Bay is Australia’s easternmost town, home to excellent beaches and lush rain forests. It really needs no introduction, having been a popular holiday destination seemingly forever. It was very much on the radar when my contemporaries were taking their gap year (we called it a year off!) and now my nephews and nieces back-packing around...”

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Karen Simmonds

Barbados and St Lucia – island-hopping experience

“Not many people have the Caribbean on their summer radar and that really is a shame. The rates are unbelievably attractive and the weather is good. Humidity is higher, it is true, but on the whole it is sunny and hot with short spells of occasional rain, sometimes only several minutes long – and then...”

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Karen Simmonds

Botswana – Camp Okavango

“What a lodge in the heart of the Okavango Delta. Camp Okavango can be reached by light aircraft or boat, both of which offer a true sense of African adventure. We couldn’t choose so decided to arrive by plane and leave by boat! The rooms are amazing here – very private and over looking the...”

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Mark Pollard

Botswana – Safari Airways

“Safari Airways operate an air taxi service and we were happy to use them to hop between lodges in Botswana. They were very efficient and the views from the air are amazing. Seeing herds of elephants and other animals as we flew over them was one of the many highlights of the trip.”

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Mark Pollard

Brunei – Ulu Temburong National Park

“While staying in Brunei’s capital Bandar Seri Begawan, we took a day trip to the Ulu Temburong National Park. This involved an adventurous journey by high speed water taxi along the river, seeing crocodiles and wildlife on the way. At the entrance to the park you transfer to traditional long boats for the trip into...”

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Mark Pollard
A gold domed mosque in Brunei

Brunei – Fascination on many levels

“We have made a couple of trips to Brunei, a fascinating country on so many fronts with amazing history, culture, landscape and wildlife. The country is famous for its oil production and there are some good places to visit in relation to this. As oil is the main export the country has very little deforestation...”

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Mark Pollard
A grizzly bear in Canada

Canada – Grizzlies, Eagles and Orcas!

“I would like to share the most amazing experience I have ever had, this was in British Columbia, Canada this June. We landed at Vancouver, and were whisked to Stanley Park to see the Capilano Suspension Bridge and walked across up and over, all in the tree canopy, lovely and refreshing as it was a...”

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Nicky Banin

China – memorable experiences and cultural contradictions

“Another triumph from Karen and her excellent colleagues at Travel Matters and the incredible logistical magic of Wendy Wu and their wonderful local guides. For over three weeks in April/May 2019 the Luboffs travelled across the vast and populated country that is China, with its 1.4bn people, and ended with a few days exploring the...”

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Karen Simmonds
A stunning vista of Dubrovnik

Croatia – Simply stunning

“We arrived in Split for a 3-night stay – a lovely city. We took a day trip to the Krka National Park which was stunning. You can walk across the boardwalks over streams and watch the cascading waterfalls. A truly beautiful day out finished with a relaxing boat ride.  On the way to Dubrovnik we...”

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Nicky Banin
Pool deck on a Crystal Cruise

Cruises – Crystal Cruises are clearly excellent!

“ In early November I was invited to experience a trip on Crystal Cruises. I have always thought that these cruises would not be suitable for our clients and have shied away from ever thinking about booking these. How wrong I was!  Crystal Cruises are a Japanese Luxury Cruise Line notable for its two medium sized...”

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Sue Manuel

Cruises – The Cunard Queen Victoria

“If you enjoy cruising, we are happy to recommend the Cunard ship, Queen Victoria. As you would expect from Cunard, the entire package is of great quality and we thought that the service, food, facilities and ship were all excellent. Though the atmosphere was great, the ship never felt busy, with no issues over crowding...”

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Mark Pollard

Cruises – The MSC Bellissima

“It’s not often you get invited to a ship launch, but for two of our staff an invitation to the launch event of the latest MSC Cruise ship, Bellissima, was too good to miss. So following (literally) in the footsteps of Holly Willoughby, Rachel and Telina, packed their bags for a nights stay ahead of...”

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Telina Lawrence

Cruises – Celebrity Reflection

“This was our second cruise with Celebrity Cruises and our first onboard ‘Reflection’. We sailed from Rome through the Greek Islands to Turkey, Athens, Naples and back to Rome. As always I would recommend a balcony cabin as it really gives you some private, quiet, outdoor space.   As with all Celebrity ships ithe ship...”

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Mark Pollard
Vintage cars line the streets of Havana, Cuba

Cuba – A country that steals your soul

“Last September our family took a fascinating trip to a country steeped in history and somewhat stuck in a time warp, the Caribbean island of Cuba.  Cuba is in fact an archipelago with the principle island being about two-thirds the size of Florida. Then there is the Isla de Juventud (Isle of Youth) and about...”

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Nicky Banin
Columbia Beach Resort, Limassol, Cyprus

Cyprus – An island for all seasons

“I travelled to this “island of contrasts” last autumn, and over the years have made at least three visits at different times of the year. With its mild winters I can thoroughly recommend this holiday destination.  Situated at the Eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea if offers sumptuous coastlines to mountainous interior. The majority of...”

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Sue Manuel
Palm Trees around the pool at Asamina Suites, Cyprus

Cyprus – Asamina Suites Hotel

“We grabbed some early summer sun here for a long weekend, and found it to be a really pleasant hotel with some amazing rooms. Located about a 35 minute walk along the seafront from the centre of Paphos, the hotel has nice grounds and a small sandy beach with lots of sun beds and umbrellas....”

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Mark Pollard
Cyprus The beach at Paphos

Cyprus – Constantinou Bros Asimina Suites Hotel, Paphos

“Constantinou Bros Asimina Suites Hotel is a luxurious, 5 star, adult focused, all suites hotel.  The hotel shares the sandy beach with it’s sister hotels; The 4 star Pioneer Beach Hotel and close to the Athena Beach and the Athena Royal Beach hotels in one of the quietest parts of Kato Paphos.  The hotel is...”

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Karen Brown

Cyprus in Spring – is there a better time to go?

“Cyprus isn’t the place that people readily think of as a destination for Easter holidays, yet having just returned from this beautiful country I highly recommend April as the brilliant time to go. The temperatures are very pleasant and the weather is generally sunny. In fact, Cyprus boasts an impressive 326 days of sun per...”

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Karen Simmonds
Czecg Republic Old Town, Prague

Czech Republic – A city break in Prague

“K&K Hotel Central is one of the oldest Art Deco buildings in the city. Situated in the heart of Prague’s Old Town, near to the famous Powder Tower.  It makes the perfect base to explore everything the golden city has to offer by foot, including the Jewish Quarter, Astronomical Clock, and Republic Square.  It’s Art...”

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Karen Brown

Dubai – Dizzy heights in the UAE

“Courtesy of If Only, I, along with other travel professionals, spent a few nights checking out the sights of Dubai, Ajman and Ras al Khaimah. The Burj Khalifa was the first visitor attraction we headed to. Bringing a new meaning to the term “sky scraper”, the world’s tallest building, standing at a proud 828 metres...”

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Karen Simmonds
At sea

Ferries – Brittany Ferries

“We recently took a return sailing from Portsmouth to Caen and the 6 hour crossing was very good. This route takes you to the heart of Normandy and provides access to the French motorway network. The ship was busy as it was the school holidays and we took the option to book a day cabin,...”

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Mark Pollard

France – Cherbourg is great for a short break

“Cherbourg and the surrounding area is well worth a visit for a few days or a week. It is readily accessible by the direct Brittany Ferries services from Poole or Portsmouth, and easy to get around. We stayed in a gite that provided an ideal base from which to explore the area. There is plenty...”

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Mark Pollard

France – Monet’s Garden

“What a lovely place! The famous bridge, the water garden, flowers… amazing. There are a few day trip bus trips from Paris so it can get busy, we got there early. The sun makes a big different to the water garden and it is worth walking round the pond first thing before it gets busy...”

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Mark Pollard

France – Normandy and the Seine Valley

“We have recently had a really enjoyable week staying near Louviers in the Seine Valley south of Rouen. We stayed in a very comfortable gite close to a small market village Acquigny The river is very picturesque and really good for walking or cycling along the bank/riverside. There are many local markets to visit and...”

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Mark Pollard

France – Paris offers so much!

“What can you say about Paris that hasn’t already been said? One of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, Paris is a wonderful city to explore and there is a great deal you can do in a short visit. We recently took a trip and set about seeing how much we could do to take...”

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Mark Pollard
The three valleys - beautiful all year round

France – Skiing the 3 Valleys

“ A three-hour journey from Grenoble will take you winding through pretty mountain villages, towards your first glance of snow covered mountains, wooden chalets and crisp blue skies.  You can explore and have fun at Meribel and Meribel Mottaret, two resorts that are ideal bases for skiers of all levels. For beginners, there are plenty of...”

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Nicky Banin
A Sea Turtle swims through the clear waters of the Galapagos

Galapagos – The Galapagos Conservation Trust Cruise

“Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT) is the only UK charity focussed solely on the conservation of one of the most unique and ecologically important, but vulnerable, areas in the world. With over 20 years of experience, they partner with Ecuadorian authorities, NGOs, local communities and leading researchers to support impactful science, conservation and education programmes across...”

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Karen Simmonds

Germany – Berlin and Dresden 2 centre tour

“ In June 2019, my husband and I visited Germany. On arrival at Berlin Tegel Airport, we were transferred the short distance to the four-star Maritim Hotel in Berlin, ideally located near the famous Potsdamer Platz in the heart of the city.  The following morning, we engaged on a city tour taking in many of the...”

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Nicky Banin

Germany – Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg

“If you like model making, airports or want to see the ultimate model railway this is the place for you! We visited on a day trip flying from Heathrow, and we recommend that you allow at least half a day as it is vast.  The Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg is home to the biggest model...”

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Mark Pollard

Germany – See the sights in Hamburg

“Hamburg is an interesting city for a long weekend / short weekend. The city around the old docks area in very interesting with fascinating warehouse buildings and some old ships that you can visit. It is very easy to get around the city on the suburban train system. Miniatur Wunderland is a massive model railway...”

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Mark Pollard
An Enter Air jet preparing to depart

Greece – Enter Air

“Having never flown with Enter Air before I wasn’t sure what to expect, but in the event, I was pleasantly surprised. Our flight was on time and there was a good inflight service. The paid-for meal service offered a good choice of options and decent quality. I have flown with Enter Air to Skiathos and...”

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Mark Pollard

Greece – Ithaca is a jewel of an island

“What a place! We feel in love with Ithaca and will definitely be returning. This jewel of a Greek island in the Ionian Sea is spectacular, with amazing views of the coast and across the sea to Kefalonia. We stayed in a small villa over looking the harbour in Vathy the capital of the island....”

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Mark Pollard

Greece – Lefkada and the wild West coast

“Lefkada translates as white and, while the sheer cliffs of the western coast and the sand and pebble beaches are indeed white, what will strike you about this island is the exotic, electric blue of that sea. And, while the southern cape is the supposed location for the poet Sappho who leaped to her death...”

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Telina Lawrence
Crete

Greece – Mamma Mia, here we go to Crete again!

“ Greece is having a moment again – thanks to a very popular film franchise involving many Abba songs! The real star of the film of course is the location. What is not to love about sunshine, crystal clear seas, fabulous food and very friendly people?  Following in the footsteps of Cher, I headed to the...”

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Nicky Banin

Greece – Pounda Paou and the Pelion Peninsula

“This hotel is a little gem… just 12 rooms and in an amazing location with stunning views and sunsets. Dinner at the hotel is enjoyed watching to sun go down over the sea and surrounding hills. The hotel rooms are reasonable with good views and comfortable beds! During our stay we had car hire for...”

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Mark Pollard

Grenada – A Caribbean jewel

“Silversands is Grenada’s newest and most luxurious resort and, while still relatively unknown, we were lucky enough to spend a couple of nights there ahead of the hotel’s first-year anniversary to experience first hand what this hotel has to offer. Silversands is the concept of Naguib Sawiris, an Egyptian billionaire businessman, whose fortune was made...”

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Telina Lawrence

Holland – Rotterdam was an unexpected surprise!

“Rotterdam is a fascinating city to visit. I must admit that when planning our itinerary, it would not have been anywhere near the top of our list, but we ended up there as a destination on a cruise when the route was changed due to the weather. We were very pleasantly surprised – we found...”

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Mark Pollard

Ibiza – a weekend in Santa Eularia des Riu

“Santa Eularia des Riu is one of Ibiza’s five municipalities and is the second largest region in Ibiza. Located on the Eastern shore, it also includes an impressive stretch of coastline with more than 20 beaches as well as rural farmland. It’s a corner of the island far removed from the clubs of San Antonio...”

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Karen Simmonds

Iceland – land of glaciers, waterfalls & geysers

“If you are a lover of nature and adventure then there are few places in this world that could compete with Iceland. Maryna was very fortunate to visit this beautiful country courtesy of Exsus. The beauty of Iceland is such that it was a location for many films and TV shows, the most recognisable of...”

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Karen Simmonds
The Northern Lights seen from Iceland

Iceland – Much more than a volcano!

“I have just spent two nights with Regent Holidays in the most amazing place I have ever visited. Iceland has so much to offer. Of course if you want sunshine, beaches and exotic open air restaurants then I wouldn’t recommend it but if you want the thrill of off road jeep safaris, amazing waterfalls, geo-thermal...”

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Nicky Banin

Icelandair – A great flight option

“We flew with Icelandair for a long weekend northern light trip from Heathrow (I took the photo at Manchester a few weeks ago). They operate a couple of flights a day from Heathrow and most regional airports in the UK. They are very efficient and the inflight service is good. Icelandair offers flights to and...”

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Mark Pollard
Shopping in Cochin (Kochi)

India – Kerala with Karen

“Cochin airport, our airport of arrival in Kerala, is the first airport in the world to be run on solar energy. It has more than 46,000 solar panels which take the bright sunlight and converts it into energy. The airport is extremely clean, spacious and with this accolade to shout about – we were already...”

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Karen Simmonds

India – Maharajah style

“India has always been considered a land of riches and abundance. No wonder it has been an apple of discord for so many nations for centuries. I had a privilege to experience India in what I can only describe as Maharajah style. In India they take luxury to a whole new level. The hotels, both...”

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Karen Simmonds

India – Reeling from a trip to Rajasthan

“I was excited as well as eager to return to India after several years. I had travelled to Goa for the beaches and Karnataka in my 20’s, enjoying the World Heritage listed buildings of Hampi, which are set among extraordinary volcanic boulders. Back then, I remember we had to hitch a lift on the back...”

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Karen Simmonds

Indonesia – The Shangri La Risa Ria, Borneo

“What a hotel! The Shangri La Risa Ria is one of my favourite hotels, we had a family holiday here and an amazing time. The hotel has many facilities and a fantastic long wide beach. There is a nature reserve attached to the hotel with tree top walk and nature experts on hand.  While here...”

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Mark Pollard
Our accommodation in the Wadi Rum desert, Jordan

Israel and Jordan – Eat, pray, sunbathe

“This year I decided to celebrate the new Wizz Air route Luton to Eilat by booking my holiday to Israel and Jordan. Afterall visiting Jerusalem – the heart of the ancient world and a sacred city of three religions – has always been on my bucket list. Israel offers so much more than religious sites...”

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Karen Simmonds
The Colosseum, Rome

Italy – “Brilliant, we finally get to see the Colosseum”

““Rome!” The children chorused when we told them where we were going on our summer holiday. “Brilliant, we finally get to see the Colosseum”. At the tender ages of eleven and nine, our two were finally going to fulfill a lifelong ambition to visit the eternal city and one of the greatest archeological and historical...”

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Sue Manuel
Sina Centurion Palace Hotel, Venice

Italy – A tale of three cities

“ I have just returned back from a truly amazing 3 centre city break in Italy, and I would like to share my experience with you.  We arrived in Venice and were met by private transfer, which sped us from the airport to our private water taxi to take us to the hotel. This was an...”

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Sue Manuel
A stunning bas relief of the apostles

Italy – Exploring the Arts in Venice

“St Regis Venice San Clemente Palace is a unique hotel situated on its own private island in the heart of the Venice lagoon. The hotel, originally a 17th century monastery, sits surrounded by lush gardens with wonderful views of the city, Giudecca and the lido. The adjacent San Clemente Church is still consecrated making it...”

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Telina Lawrence

Italy – Florence & the charms of Tuscany

“Great place for a long weekend in the spring for late summer, Florence is very interesting and a lovely place to wander taking in the sights. The fairly new tram system makes exploring other parts of the city easy and is very cheap. Book ahead for the dome as it gets very busy. We flew...”

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Mark Pollard
A gondola cruises through Venice

Italy – Getting lost in Venice

“Venice, an enchanting city lying between sea and land, made up of a series of islands and canals, nestling in a lagoon. This unique position, on the edge of continental Europe and the Orient, has made Venice an influential trading port through the ages, shaping the city which can be evidenced in the architecture and...”

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Telina Lawrence

Italy – Ischia, the best place you’ve never heard of!

“The beautiful island of Ischia  – not heard of it? It is the larger neighbouring island to Capri (which normally gets all the fame). It is very easy to get to Ischia – you take the ferry or hydrofoil from Naples – great regular service. We were met by our representative in Naples and they...”

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Telina Lawrence
Ricotta production at the Masseria

Italy – Polysensorial Puglia

“Puglia is an Italian region in southern Italy with stunning coastlines of the Adriatic Sea. This region has quaint architecture throughout and a variety of olive and fig trees. We stayed in a beautiful villa located near Spongano a region in the province of Lecce for a week in May. The villa grounds included many gorgeous...”

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Sue Manuel
Stromboli at sunset

Italy – Sicily & the magical Aeolian Islands

“Seven volcanic islands, just 45 minutes by hydrofoil from mainland Sicily, rise out of the cobalt seas off Sicily’s northeast coast. These Unesco-protected pearl drops of islands are a little piece of relatively undiscovered paradise, offering stunning waters for water sports enthusiasts, swimmers and divers as well as trek worthy volcanoes, bubbling thermal springs and...”

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Nicky Banin
Cliffs along the coastline of Capri

Italy – The magical island of Capri

“From the moment we arrived in Capri, it was clear that the weekend would be one of luxury and style. Firstly there was a private yacht waiting to transport us across the Bay of Naples, with a taxi waiting on arrival at Capri to take us up to the Piazzetta. Secondly we did not have...”

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Sue Manuel
Verona, Italy, The city of love!

Italy – Verona, the city of love

“ September 2018 saw my wish to visit Verona fulfilled. Arriving on a beautiful sunny day, my husband and I fell completely under its spell. Our first glimpse of the city was from the panoramic grounds of our boutique hotel positioned high above the city centre, but which was in fact only a twenty-minute walk downhill...”

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Nicky Banin
Sitting on the cliff tops of the Amalfi Coast

Italy – Walking the Amalfi Coast

“ The Amalfi Coast is one of the most dramatic and beautiful coastlines in Europe. Mountains rise steeply out of the Mediterranean far below and picturesque towns nestle neatly in isolated coves. On this expertly arranged walking tour you can explore this stunning coastline at a gentle pace, guided by experts and really soak up the...”

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Sue Manuel
Dunns River Falls, Jamaica

Jamaica – Far more than a beach holiday

“If you are after a restful holiday in the Caribbean but also don’t want to feel like you are stranded on an island with nothing to do then Jamaica should be on the cards. It is the third largest island in the Caribbean and offers rich history as well as varied landscape. Being a larger...”

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Karen Simmonds
Temple in Kyoto

Japan – A stunning and unique destination

“My journey began in Tokyo, the most exciting metropolis in Asia where traditions from centuries past exist side by side with the ever –moving elements of the latest in urban culture that radiate their own special heat and energy. Most of the clichés are true. Tokyo in my impression is neon-wrapped, a hectic playground where...”

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Nicky Banin
The snow-capped Mount Fuji

Japan – The Enchanting East

“Open a world map and you will see the extensive Asia-Pacific region. Almost at the very centre you will see the Japanese archipelago stretching north to south along the edge of the Asian continent. Japan has lured untold number of adventurers since Marco Polo first introduced it to the world back in the 13th century...”

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Sue Manuel
Two traditionally dressed Japanese walk past Cherry trees

Japan – Time to visit the Land of The Rising Sun

“ I had wanted to travel to Japan for a long time, and in March I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to spend two weeks in this fascinating country.  There are several ways to see Japan, a fully escorted group tour, a cruise, independent travel and a self- guided tour. We decided on the...”

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Nicky Banin

Jordan – The iconic rose-red city of Petra

“Jordan is an ideal destination for a one-week adventure. Bursting with things to see and do my trip included the best of what this magnificent country has to offer, visiting some of the major sites of interest. Activities included a mix of cycling and walking, swimming and floating and sitting under star-lit skies. We enjoyed...”

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Telina Lawrence
Hippos in the Mara River opposite Karen Blixen Camp, Kenya

Kenya – A 7-day Safari

“The taxi delivered us to the Nairobi Air Safari terminal in early morning darkness. A smiling, sweaty, beanie clad face greeted us, the Manager unlocking the terminal door. Welcome to Kenya where the locals run to and from work. We boarded our flight out to the Mara, with a full view of the cockpit and...”

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Karen Simmonds

Madagascar – A unique wildlife holiday experience

“Madagascar is a strong contender for offering the most distinctive wildlife holidays on the planet. The island separated from the African mainland some 165 million years ago and much of its fauna and flora have evolved in a unique way – an astonishing 80% is endemic. Madagascar’s almost bizarre array of wildlife echoes the 88...”

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Karen Simmonds

Madeira – a huge botanical garden

“Madeira resembles a huge botanical garden, for a nature lover like myself it is a constant feast to the eyes, ears and the nose. Even in winter many flowers stay in bloom and the island retains its lush vegetation. With its mountainous landscape and abundant greenery Madeira somewhat reminded me of St. Lucia in the...”

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Karen Simmonds

Malaysia – Borneo, beyond your wildest dreams!

“Visiting a country with the highest biodiversity was a dream of mine for a long time. There are only a few places in the world which offer to encounter wildlife in its natural habitat and Malaysia is one of them! Walking through some of the oldest rainforests while indulging yourself in subtropical diving paradise sounds...”

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Karen Simmonds

Maldives – Island hopping is pure bliss

“I have been dying to go to the Maldives for years. Not only is this the place with the most luxurious hotels you can imagine it is a quintessential place to kick back and relax. And relaxed we did, in fact I do not think I have experienced such a feeling of pure bliss and...”

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Karen Simmonds
The beach at the Maldives Hurawalhi Island Resort

Maldives – Hurawalhi Island Resort

“Set on an enchanting private island in the pristine Lhaviyani Atoll in the Maldives, Hurawalhi Island Resort is paradise.  The 90-villa, adults-only luxury resort is as brilliant as the ocean that laps against its beaches and more magnificent than any island I have visited, but nothing will prepare you for the beautiful blend of barefoot...”

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Karen Brown

Martinique – Six highlights of the island

“Martinique, locally named Madinina – The Isle of Flowers, is enormously popular with the French, not surprising considering it’s history and the number of direct flights from Paris. However, with croissants and palm trees, all perched near a live volcano, Martinique is the definition of a refined French-Caribbean island and is an excellent base from which...”

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Karen Simmonds
Canonnier Beachcomber Golf Resort and Spa

Mauritius – Canonnier Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa

“Commanding spectacular views over the northern islands and sparkling Indian Ocean, Canonnier Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa is a friendly and welcoming resort set on a historic peninsula (home to an ancient lighthouse, the ruins of an old fortress and several old cannons), but it’s the hospitable and relaxed Mauritian atmosphere that makes this a...”

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Sue Manuel
Dinarobin Beachcomber Golf Resort and Spa

Mauritius – Dinarobin Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa

“The elegant Dinarobin Hotel Golf & Spa sits on the majestic Le Morne Peninsula – it’s this tranquil location and the luxurious all-suite accommodation that makes the hotel perfect for couples or indeed families looking for an intimate, relaxed hideaway. Dinarobin Hotel offers the perfect mix of facilities for the active, with a peaceful atmosphere...”

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Sue Manuel
The beach at the One & Only Saint Geran

Mauritius – Mmmm, Mauritius!

“We all desire a little bit of paradise for our summer (or winter) holiday escape. We imagine long stretches of super fine, white sandy beaches, crystal clear, calm waters and little pockets of peace and quiet, this paradise, all just for you. So, where do you find such a place, in peak summer holiday time,...”

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Telina Lawrence

Mauritius – Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort and Spa

“Paradis hotel is widely regarded as one of the premier resorts on the island and has an enviable position at the tip of the stunning Le Morne peninsula surrounded by 5kms of beautiful beach. Luxurious and spacious accommodation is spread out along these inviting sands, there’s a choice of eight restaurants (four of which are...”

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Nicky Banin

Mauritius – Paradise for families too!

“The Indian Ocean could be described as the definition of paradise, with its lush sandy beaches and jaw dropping scenery and at the centre of it all is Mauritius, an island with some of the warmest waters in the southern hemisphere, lush tropical rainforests and not to forget, its world class service – but would...”

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Telina Lawrence
Mauritius Royal Palm Beachcomber

Mauritius – Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury

“The world famous Royal Palm Mauritius Hotel was the first hotel in the Indian Ocean to become a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and continues, to this day, to set the standard in terms of luxury. The hotel offers just 69 intimate suites, is set on an idyllic stretch of beach and...”

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Nicky Banin
The Mauritius Shandrani Beachcomber Resort and Spa

Mauritius – Shandrani Beachcomber Resort and Spa

“Set in the unspoiled south surrounded by 70 acres of gardens and the Blue Bay Marine Park, Shandrani Beachcomber Resort & Spa  is located on a magnificent stretch of Mauritius’s south coast, we believe it offers the best all inclusive package in Mauritius. There’s so much included from fine dining to champagne by the glass...”

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Nicky Banin
Le Tousserok Resort and Spa

Mauritius – Shangri La Le Touessrock

“Mauritius, set in the Indian Ocean is an island nation known for its beaches, lagoons and reefs. The mountainous interior includes Black River Gorges National Park, with rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails and wildlife. Shangri La Le Touessrok is a stunning hotel, excellent food and beautiful beaches. A 5 minute boat ride to the small island of...”

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Karen Brown
Chichen Itza, Mexico

Mexico – Mayan Ruins, Margaritas and Mariachi!

“I have been lucky enough to visit the Riviera Maya twice, and would definitely return again. Situated on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, it really does have something for everyone.  If you are a fan of the beach you are totally spoilt with the powder white sand and the brilliant turquoise blue of the Caribbean...”

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Nicky Banin

Mexico – Tulum has so much to offer

“Beaches, history, fabulous sights, a rainforest… Mexico has so much to offer and we had a great holiday just outside Tulum. The beach at Tulum is amazing and backed by Mayan ruins on the cliff tops which are well worth a visit. The town of Tulum is a bustling market town where you can purchase...”

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Mark Pollard

Morocco – an ideal winter sun destination.

“They say that travelling is a great educator and educated me it did during my recent trip to Morocco. For some reason, I always thought that Morocco was nothing but a desert, speckled with lonely palm and olive trees. And orange trees of course, because who hasn’t seen Moroccan oranges at a supermarket?  All I...”

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Karen Simmonds
Souk markets, Marrakech, Morocco

Morocco – the sun always shines in Marrakech

“I travelled with my family to Marrakech for a four night sunshine break. The greeting from the friendly airport staff, including the cleaners, made us feels very welcome, our bags arrived quickly and the driver was waiting. After 10 minutes in the car we arrived at the hotel, which was so beautiful, clean and spacious....”

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Sue Manuel

Myanmar – South East Asia’s Golden Wonder

“I’ve been to over 120 countries, trying to visit at least 4 new countries every year and have ticked off nearly every region of the globe.  However, there’s been one country that’s been on my wish list for over 30 years, from when I lived in Hong Kong back in the 80s. Back then it was...”

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Karen Simmonds
Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain, in Nepal

Nepal – Travel to the Top of the World

“My journey began at Heathrow’ Terminal 3, flying out to Kathmandu in Nepal with Qatar Airways via Doha – a comfortable flight on a fantastic Airline.  Whilst Tribhuvan airport at Kathmandu was rather chaotic, the ground handlers were pleasant and efficient and I was duly whisked away to my first hotel, The Himalaya, for a...”

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Nicky Banin
Cruising the Norwegian Fjords

Norway – Cruising the fabulous fjords

“The only way to really experience Norway’s stunning Fjords is by ship. We took a Princess Cruise from Southampton and were very impressed. The ship, Sapphire Princess, has lots of facilities and entertained us and our two teenagers well. The food onboard was consistently excellent and the crew very attentive throughout. Bergen was a very...”

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Mark Pollard

Norway – Larvik & Oslo City Break

“The trip begins here. As I sit on a train which is travelling on the only track it can, I realise that my thoughts are freed from the tracks they are usually on a Thursday. Surely travelling away from your own direction of thought is one of the best escapes you can have?  Another realisation...”

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Karen Simmonds
Dusk and the river Duoro flowing through Porto

Portugal – A city break to Porto

“In March 2018 I returned from a city break to the amazing city of Porto and would like to share my experiences with you. We were due to leave on the day that Storm Emma and the Beast from the East would bring the whole of the UK to a standstill but guess what, our...”

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Sue Manuel
The coastline of Madeira

Portugal – Marvellous Madeira

“On arrival at Funchal Airport we were met by a lovely holiday representative and taken to the Cliff Bay Hotel for a two-night stay. We had a junior suite located in the most gorgeous position with stunning views and the gentle sound of the ocean lapping over the rocks below. Oh, the tranquillity! The hotel...”

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Nicky Banin

Portugal – The Amazing Azores

“I have to share the most amazing experience ever, the fabulous nine major archipelago gems of the Azores, little heard of here in the UK, but only a 3hr 30min flight from Gatwick. You gain an hour because of the positioning of these historic volcanic Islands, half way from Canada and half way from Lisbon Portugal, in...”

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Nicky Banin

Portugal – The Vidago Palace in the enchanting Douro valley

“For the the last 16 years I have been privileged to experience many hotels and destinations worldwide, but my true passion is still exploring hotels and destinations less known to travellers in Europe. Porto and the surrounding region is not on everyone’s bucket list, but it should be. This area offers beautiful scenery with rolling...”

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Karen Simmonds
The South African Bush

South Africa – A safari wasn’t on my bucket list – it should have been!

“A Safari was not on my bucket list, but having had the opportunity recently, I would definitely recommend this as a top travel experience. A short flight from Johannesburg to Durban and then a 3 hour drive, we arrived at the Phinda Private Game Reserve situated in northern KwaZulu-Natal. A quick stop at security we...”

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Telina Lawrence

South Africa – one of the most spectacular countries in the world

“There is no denying that South Africa is one of the most spectacular countries in the world. Distances are vast covering areas that not only differ in terrain but also in climate and flora and fauna. And there is no better way to discover a country than on a road trip. My husband and I...”

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Karen Simmonds
A bridge over the river in San Sebastian

Spain – San Sebastian is a Northern delight

“If you are thinking of an alternative to a weekend visit to Cote d’Azur then San Sebastian fits in the bill! San Sebastian is a petite and friendly resort town on the Bay of Biscay in the Spanish mountainous Basque country. It has two sandy beautiful beaches where the locals and visitors can swim safely....”

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Sue Manuel
Boats at harbour in Lanzarote

Spain – Winter sun in Lanzarote

“Lanzarote is one of the Canary Islands, a volcanic destination with quaint white buildings dotted around the place, all painted with either green or blue shutters. The Canary Islands are an ideal destination if you are looking for some winter sun during the cold miserable months of the UK as the climate is temperate all...”

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Nicky Banin
The view from Sigiriya Rock, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka – Climbing Sigiriya Rock

“If you want a breath-taking view and don’t mind climbing steps this is a must do activity on a trip to Sri Lanka! It is hard work climbing the rock and the last part is by steps clinging to the side of the rock, but when you reach the top the view is amazing and...”

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Mark Pollard
A Cube room suspended in the trees in Swedish Lapland

Sweden – Swedish Lapland offers something different

“Looking for something different? The Tree Hotel in Swedish Lapland… they have really unusual rooms, a UFO, cube, dragonfly to name a few all suspended in the trees over looking a valley in a large pine forest just south of the Arctic Circle. The area is fun to explore we did lots of different activities...”

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Mark Pollard
Thailand Jungle Club, Koh Samui

Thailand – Bo Phut Resort & Spa, Koh Samui

“Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s loveliest tropical islands. Bo Phut Resort & Spa Hotel is a boutique resort with traditional and contemporary Thai design, combining an exotic and tranquil setting surrounded by 7 acres of plantations. The resort is situated in the northern tip of the island, approximately 5 km. from Samui International Airport. The Jungle...”

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Karen Brown

Turkey – A foodie’s dream!

“Tea is the first drink of the day in Turkey, in fact the word for breakfast in Turkish literally translates as ‘before coffee’. You may want to consider lining your stomach before drinking Turkish coffee with Menemen a traditional breakfast egg dish served with tomatoes, peppers, onions and olive oil, it doesn’t look particularly appetising,...”

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Telina Lawrence
The turtles are protected within an Environmental Protection Area

Turkey – The Iztuzu Turtle Beach, Dalyan

“A wide, soft sandy beach, warm inviting water it’s no surprise that holidaymakers and turtles alike love Iztuzu Turtle Beach, Dalyan and that it has been voted as one of the top 20 beaches in the world by Tripadvisor! Iztuzo Turtle Beach is formed from a narrow sand bank which acts as a natural barrier...”

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Telina Lawrence
Amanyara Resort

Turks and Caicos – Caribbean luxury!

“We decided to make this a multi-centre holiday, with 3 hotels along the way, starting in Miami, before moving on to the Turks and Caicos. Our journey started well in the calm and spacious environment of British Airways Club Heathrow to Miami. A glass of Champagne and a tasty light lunch with wine, served whilst...”

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Telina Lawrence

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26th June 2020

European holidays are coming back!

The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps has said that quarantine free ‘air bridges’ are going to be opened to countries that…

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21st May 2020

Don’t just look forward – look up!

Sadly, Covid-19 has put a stop to virtually all of our travel plans for a while, so all we can…

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19th March 2020

The 5 best beaches in Kefalonia

Although a small island, the beaches of Kefalonia are many and contrast vastly. The coastline to the north is more…

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3rd February 2020

Travel to Europe Post-Brexit

The following information is from the UK Government website as published on the 3rd Feb 2020. Travel to the EU, Switzerland,…

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31st January 2020

Why raise blinds, latch tables, tighten belts and put seats upright?

We are all familiar with the instructions when we are coming in to land, but have you ever questioned why…

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31st January 2020

Love me, love my dog!

More than half of pet owners around the world (55% in a recent survey) say that their four legged friend…

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Tourism declares climate emergency logo
28th January 2020

Travel Matters declares Climate Emergency

As a business, we encourage people to travel in a sustainable way, using tourism as a force for good. Our…

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A gentle stream in a forest
20th January 2020

An introduction to forest bathing or Shinrin-Yoku

The concept of forest bathing originated in Japan around the 1980s. It is a practice believed to bring numerous physical…

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Nurturing the Earth's resources
20th January 2020

5 Ways to Be a More Sustainable Traveller

Planning a holiday has never been easier. But what does that mean for local communities, wildlife and the environment? Being…

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A map showing the location of the 20 most popular city destinations in 2019
6th January 2020

The 20 most popular cities in the world by visitor numbers

The Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index 2019, released this week, ranks 200 cities based on how many international overnight visitors they’re…

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6th January 2020

Predicted travel trends for 2020

If you want to be on trend with your holidays in 2020, it looks like you’ll be going on a…

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6th January 2020

Overwhelmed by travel options? Ask a pro!

At Professional Travel Advisors, we understand that everyone is different and so it’s obvious that one size will never fit…

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A traveller relaxing in the airport
30th December 2019

Top tips for getting through the airport like a pro!

If you want to take the stress out of travelling, here are six top tips to help you get through the airport like a pro

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A massively overpacked suitcase
20th December 2019

Top travel tips for packing like a pro!

Cut out travel stress by packing like a pro! Here’s how.

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18th December 2019

What are the top 5 city destinations by Instagram Hashtag?

We all love a hashtag, so which are the world’s 5 most hash-tagged city destinations?

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5th December 2019

Symphony World Travel Celebrates 32 Years

Symphony World Travel’s Fetcham office will soon be celebrating 32 years of successful trading in the Surrey village. Symphony World…

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3rd December 2019

What is the difference between a Travel Agent and a Tour Operator?

You are unique, you want unique experiences – why settle for a standard package?

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The picture asks, what in the world is Professional Travel Advisors?
29th November 2019

7 Reasons you should always book with a Travel Agent

Many people do not understand the role of the Travel Agent. They think they will save money and get a better experience by arranging all of their travel themselves – here are 6 reasons why they are wrong!

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Australia – The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa

“Bryon Bay is Australia’s easternmost town, home to excellent beaches and lush rain forests. It really needs no introduction, having been a popular holiday destination seemingly forever. It was very much on the radar when my contemporaries were taking their gap year (we called it a year off!) and now my nephews and nieces back-packing around...”

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Karen Simmonds

Barbados and St Lucia – island-hopping experience

“Not many people have the Caribbean on their summer radar and that really is a shame. The rates are unbelievably attractive and the weather is good. Humidity is higher, it is true, but on the whole it is sunny and hot with short spells of occasional rain, sometimes only several minutes long – and then...”

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Karen Simmonds

Botswana – Camp Okavango

“What a lodge in the heart of the Okavango Delta. Camp Okavango can be reached by light aircraft or boat, both of which offer a true sense of African adventure. We couldn’t choose so decided to arrive by plane and leave by boat! The rooms are amazing here – very private and over looking the...”

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Mark Pollard

Botswana – Safari Airways

“Safari Airways operate an air taxi service and we were happy to use them to hop between lodges in Botswana. They were very efficient and the views from the air are amazing. Seeing herds of elephants and other animals as we flew over them was one of the many highlights of the trip.”

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Mark Pollard

Brunei – Ulu Temburong National Park

“While staying in Brunei’s capital Bandar Seri Begawan, we took a day trip to the Ulu Temburong National Park. This involved an adventurous journey by high speed water taxi along the river, seeing crocodiles and wildlife on the way. At the entrance to the park you transfer to traditional long boats for the trip into...”

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Mark Pollard
A gold domed mosque in Brunei

Brunei – Fascination on many levels

“We have made a couple of trips to Brunei, a fascinating country on so many fronts with amazing history, culture, landscape and wildlife. The country is famous for its oil production and there are some good places to visit in relation to this. As oil is the main export the country has very little deforestation...”

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Mark Pollard
A grizzly bear in Canada

Canada – Grizzlies, Eagles and Orcas!

“I would like to share the most amazing experience I have ever had, this was in British Columbia, Canada this June. We landed at Vancouver, and were whisked to Stanley Park to see the Capilano Suspension Bridge and walked across up and over, all in the tree canopy, lovely and refreshing as it was a...”

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Nicky Banin

China – memorable experiences and cultural contradictions

“Another triumph from Karen and her excellent colleagues at Travel Matters and the incredible logistical magic of Wendy Wu and their wonderful local guides. For over three weeks in April/May 2019 the Luboffs travelled across the vast and populated country that is China, with its 1.4bn people, and ended with a few days exploring the...”

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Karen Simmonds
A stunning vista of Dubrovnik

Croatia – Simply stunning

“We arrived in Split for a 3-night stay – a lovely city. We took a day trip to the Krka National Park which was stunning. You can walk across the boardwalks over streams and watch the cascading waterfalls. A truly beautiful day out finished with a relaxing boat ride.  On the way to Dubrovnik we...”

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Nicky Banin
Pool deck on a Crystal Cruise

Cruises – Crystal Cruises are clearly excellent!

“ In early November I was invited to experience a trip on Crystal Cruises. I have always thought that these cruises would not be suitable for our clients and have shied away from ever thinking about booking these. How wrong I was!  Crystal Cruises are a Japanese Luxury Cruise Line notable for its two medium sized...”

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Sue Manuel

Cruises – The Cunard Queen Victoria

“If you enjoy cruising, we are happy to recommend the Cunard ship, Queen Victoria. As you would expect from Cunard, the entire package is of great quality and we thought that the service, food, facilities and ship were all excellent. Though the atmosphere was great, the ship never felt busy, with no issues over crowding...”

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Mark Pollard

Cruises – The MSC Bellissima

“It’s not often you get invited to a ship launch, but for two of our staff an invitation to the launch event of the latest MSC Cruise ship, Bellissima, was too good to miss. So following (literally) in the footsteps of Holly Willoughby, Rachel and Telina, packed their bags for a nights stay ahead of...”

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Telina Lawrence

Cruises – Celebrity Reflection

“This was our second cruise with Celebrity Cruises and our first onboard ‘Reflection’. We sailed from Rome through the Greek Islands to Turkey, Athens, Naples and back to Rome. As always I would recommend a balcony cabin as it really gives you some private, quiet, outdoor space.   As with all Celebrity ships ithe ship...”

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Mark Pollard
Vintage cars line the streets of Havana, Cuba

Cuba – A country that steals your soul

“Last September our family took a fascinating trip to a country steeped in history and somewhat stuck in a time warp, the Caribbean island of Cuba.  Cuba is in fact an archipelago with the principle island being about two-thirds the size of Florida. Then there is the Isla de Juventud (Isle of Youth) and about...”

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Nicky Banin
Columbia Beach Resort, Limassol, Cyprus

Cyprus – An island for all seasons

“I travelled to this “island of contrasts” last autumn, and over the years have made at least three visits at different times of the year. With its mild winters I can thoroughly recommend this holiday destination.  Situated at the Eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea if offers sumptuous coastlines to mountainous interior. The majority of...”

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Sue Manuel
Palm Trees around the pool at Asamina Suites, Cyprus

Cyprus – Asamina Suites Hotel

“We grabbed some early summer sun here for a long weekend, and found it to be a really pleasant hotel with some amazing rooms. Located about a 35 minute walk along the seafront from the centre of Paphos, the hotel has nice grounds and a small sandy beach with lots of sun beds and umbrellas....”

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Mark Pollard
Cyprus The beach at Paphos

Cyprus – Constantinou Bros Asimina Suites Hotel, Paphos

“Constantinou Bros Asimina Suites Hotel is a luxurious, 5 star, adult focused, all suites hotel.  The hotel shares the sandy beach with it’s sister hotels; The 4 star Pioneer Beach Hotel and close to the Athena Beach and the Athena Royal Beach hotels in one of the quietest parts of Kato Paphos.  The hotel is...”

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Karen Brown

Cyprus in Spring – is there a better time to go?

“Cyprus isn’t the place that people readily think of as a destination for Easter holidays, yet having just returned from this beautiful country I highly recommend April as the brilliant time to go. The temperatures are very pleasant and the weather is generally sunny. In fact, Cyprus boasts an impressive 326 days of sun per...”

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Karen Simmonds
Czecg Republic Old Town, Prague

Czech Republic – A city break in Prague

“K&K Hotel Central is one of the oldest Art Deco buildings in the city. Situated in the heart of Prague’s Old Town, near to the famous Powder Tower.  It makes the perfect base to explore everything the golden city has to offer by foot, including the Jewish Quarter, Astronomical Clock, and Republic Square.  It’s Art...”

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Karen Brown

Dubai – Dizzy heights in the UAE

“Courtesy of If Only, I, along with other travel professionals, spent a few nights checking out the sights of Dubai, Ajman and Ras al Khaimah. The Burj Khalifa was the first visitor attraction we headed to. Bringing a new meaning to the term “sky scraper”, the world’s tallest building, standing at a proud 828 metres...”

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Karen Simmonds
At sea

Ferries – Brittany Ferries

“We recently took a return sailing from Portsmouth to Caen and the 6 hour crossing was very good. This route takes you to the heart of Normandy and provides access to the French motorway network. The ship was busy as it was the school holidays and we took the option to book a day cabin,...”

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Mark Pollard

France – Cherbourg is great for a short break

“Cherbourg and the surrounding area is well worth a visit for a few days or a week. It is readily accessible by the direct Brittany Ferries services from Poole or Portsmouth, and easy to get around. We stayed in a gite that provided an ideal base from which to explore the area. There is plenty...”

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Mark Pollard

France – Monet’s Garden

“What a lovely place! The famous bridge, the water garden, flowers… amazing. There are a few day trip bus trips from Paris so it can get busy, we got there early. The sun makes a big different to the water garden and it is worth walking round the pond first thing before it gets busy...”

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Mark Pollard

France – Normandy and the Seine Valley

“We have recently had a really enjoyable week staying near Louviers in the Seine Valley south of Rouen. We stayed in a very comfortable gite close to a small market village Acquigny The river is very picturesque and really good for walking or cycling along the bank/riverside. There are many local markets to visit and...”

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Mark Pollard

France – Paris offers so much!

“What can you say about Paris that hasn’t already been said? One of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, Paris is a wonderful city to explore and there is a great deal you can do in a short visit. We recently took a trip and set about seeing how much we could do to take...”

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Mark Pollard
The three valleys - beautiful all year round

France – Skiing the 3 Valleys

“ A three-hour journey from Grenoble will take you winding through pretty mountain villages, towards your first glance of snow covered mountains, wooden chalets and crisp blue skies.  You can explore and have fun at Meribel and Meribel Mottaret, two resorts that are ideal bases for skiers of all levels. For beginners, there are plenty of...”

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Nicky Banin
A Sea Turtle swims through the clear waters of the Galapagos

Galapagos – The Galapagos Conservation Trust Cruise

“Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT) is the only UK charity focussed solely on the conservation of one of the most unique and ecologically important, but vulnerable, areas in the world. With over 20 years of experience, they partner with Ecuadorian authorities, NGOs, local communities and leading researchers to support impactful science, conservation and education programmes across...”

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Karen Simmonds

Germany – Berlin and Dresden 2 centre tour

“ In June 2019, my husband and I visited Germany. On arrival at Berlin Tegel Airport, we were transferred the short distance to the four-star Maritim Hotel in Berlin, ideally located near the famous Potsdamer Platz in the heart of the city.  The following morning, we engaged on a city tour taking in many of the...”

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Nicky Banin

Germany – Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg

“If you like model making, airports or want to see the ultimate model railway this is the place for you! We visited on a day trip flying from Heathrow, and we recommend that you allow at least half a day as it is vast.  The Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg is home to the biggest model...”

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Mark Pollard

Germany – See the sights in Hamburg

“Hamburg is an interesting city for a long weekend / short weekend. The city around the old docks area in very interesting with fascinating warehouse buildings and some old ships that you can visit. It is very easy to get around the city on the suburban train system. Miniatur Wunderland is a massive model railway...”

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Mark Pollard
An Enter Air jet preparing to depart

Greece – Enter Air

“Having never flown with Enter Air before I wasn’t sure what to expect, but in the event, I was pleasantly surprised. Our flight was on time and there was a good inflight service. The paid-for meal service offered a good choice of options and decent quality. I have flown with Enter Air to Skiathos and...”

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Mark Pollard

Greece – Ithaca is a jewel of an island

“What a place! We feel in love with Ithaca and will definitely be returning. This jewel of a Greek island in the Ionian Sea is spectacular, with amazing views of the coast and across the sea to Kefalonia. We stayed in a small villa over looking the harbour in Vathy the capital of the island....”

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Mark Pollard

Greece – Lefkada and the wild West coast

“Lefkada translates as white and, while the sheer cliffs of the western coast and the sand and pebble beaches are indeed white, what will strike you about this island is the exotic, electric blue of that sea. And, while the southern cape is the supposed location for the poet Sappho who leaped to her death...”

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Telina Lawrence
Crete

Greece – Mamma Mia, here we go to Crete again!

“ Greece is having a moment again – thanks to a very popular film franchise involving many Abba songs! The real star of the film of course is the location. What is not to love about sunshine, crystal clear seas, fabulous food and very friendly people?  Following in the footsteps of Cher, I headed to the...”

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Nicky Banin

Greece – Pounda Paou and the Pelion Peninsula

“This hotel is a little gem… just 12 rooms and in an amazing location with stunning views and sunsets. Dinner at the hotel is enjoyed watching to sun go down over the sea and surrounding hills. The hotel rooms are reasonable with good views and comfortable beds! During our stay we had car hire for...”

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Mark Pollard

Grenada – A Caribbean jewel

“Silversands is Grenada’s newest and most luxurious resort and, while still relatively unknown, we were lucky enough to spend a couple of nights there ahead of the hotel’s first-year anniversary to experience first hand what this hotel has to offer. Silversands is the concept of Naguib Sawiris, an Egyptian billionaire businessman, whose fortune was made...”

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Telina Lawrence

Holland – Rotterdam was an unexpected surprise!

“Rotterdam is a fascinating city to visit. I must admit that when planning our itinerary, it would not have been anywhere near the top of our list, but we ended up there as a destination on a cruise when the route was changed due to the weather. We were very pleasantly surprised – we found...”

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Mark Pollard

Ibiza – a weekend in Santa Eularia des Riu

“Santa Eularia des Riu is one of Ibiza’s five municipalities and is the second largest region in Ibiza. Located on the Eastern shore, it also includes an impressive stretch of coastline with more than 20 beaches as well as rural farmland. It’s a corner of the island far removed from the clubs of San Antonio...”

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Karen Simmonds

Iceland – land of glaciers, waterfalls & geysers

“If you are a lover of nature and adventure then there are few places in this world that could compete with Iceland. Maryna was very fortunate to visit this beautiful country courtesy of Exsus. The beauty of Iceland is such that it was a location for many films and TV shows, the most recognisable of...”

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Karen Simmonds
The Northern Lights seen from Iceland

Iceland – Much more than a volcano!

“I have just spent two nights with Regent Holidays in the most amazing place I have ever visited. Iceland has so much to offer. Of course if you want sunshine, beaches and exotic open air restaurants then I wouldn’t recommend it but if you want the thrill of off road jeep safaris, amazing waterfalls, geo-thermal...”

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Nicky Banin

Icelandair – A great flight option

“We flew with Icelandair for a long weekend northern light trip from Heathrow (I took the photo at Manchester a few weeks ago). They operate a couple of flights a day from Heathrow and most regional airports in the UK. They are very efficient and the inflight service is good. Icelandair offers flights to and...”

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Mark Pollard
Shopping in Cochin (Kochi)

India – Kerala with Karen

“Cochin airport, our airport of arrival in Kerala, is the first airport in the world to be run on solar energy. It has more than 46,000 solar panels which take the bright sunlight and converts it into energy. The airport is extremely clean, spacious and with this accolade to shout about – we were already...”

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Karen Simmonds

India – Maharajah style

“India has always been considered a land of riches and abundance. No wonder it has been an apple of discord for so many nations for centuries. I had a privilege to experience India in what I can only describe as Maharajah style. In India they take luxury to a whole new level. The hotels, both...”

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Karen Simmonds

India – Reeling from a trip to Rajasthan

“I was excited as well as eager to return to India after several years. I had travelled to Goa for the beaches and Karnataka in my 20’s, enjoying the World Heritage listed buildings of Hampi, which are set among extraordinary volcanic boulders. Back then, I remember we had to hitch a lift on the back...”

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Karen Simmonds

Indonesia – The Shangri La Risa Ria, Borneo

“What a hotel! The Shangri La Risa Ria is one of my favourite hotels, we had a family holiday here and an amazing time. The hotel has many facilities and a fantastic long wide beach. There is a nature reserve attached to the hotel with tree top walk and nature experts on hand.  While here...”

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Mark Pollard
Our accommodation in the Wadi Rum desert, Jordan

Israel and Jordan – Eat, pray, sunbathe

“This year I decided to celebrate the new Wizz Air route Luton to Eilat by booking my holiday to Israel and Jordan. Afterall visiting Jerusalem – the heart of the ancient world and a sacred city of three religions – has always been on my bucket list. Israel offers so much more than religious sites...”

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Karen Simmonds
The Colosseum, Rome

Italy – “Brilliant, we finally get to see the Colosseum”

““Rome!” The children chorused when we told them where we were going on our summer holiday. “Brilliant, we finally get to see the Colosseum”. At the tender ages of eleven and nine, our two were finally going to fulfill a lifelong ambition to visit the eternal city and one of the greatest archeological and historical...”

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Sue Manuel
Sina Centurion Palace Hotel, Venice

Italy – A tale of three cities

“ I have just returned back from a truly amazing 3 centre city break in Italy, and I would like to share my experience with you.  We arrived in Venice and were met by private transfer, which sped us from the airport to our private water taxi to take us to the hotel. This was an...”

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Sue Manuel
A stunning bas relief of the apostles

Italy – Exploring the Arts in Venice

“St Regis Venice San Clemente Palace is a unique hotel situated on its own private island in the heart of the Venice lagoon. The hotel, originally a 17th century monastery, sits surrounded by lush gardens with wonderful views of the city, Giudecca and the lido. The adjacent San Clemente Church is still consecrated making it...”

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Telina Lawrence

Italy – Florence & the charms of Tuscany

“Great place for a long weekend in the spring for late summer, Florence is very interesting and a lovely place to wander taking in the sights. The fairly new tram system makes exploring other parts of the city easy and is very cheap. Book ahead for the dome as it gets very busy. We flew...”

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Mark Pollard
A gondola cruises through Venice

Italy – Getting lost in Venice

“Venice, an enchanting city lying between sea and land, made up of a series of islands and canals, nestling in a lagoon. This unique position, on the edge of continental Europe and the Orient, has made Venice an influential trading port through the ages, shaping the city which can be evidenced in the architecture and...”

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Telina Lawrence

Italy – Ischia, the best place you’ve never heard of!

“The beautiful island of Ischia  – not heard of it? It is the larger neighbouring island to Capri (which normally gets all the fame). It is very easy to get to Ischia – you take the ferry or hydrofoil from Naples – great regular service. We were met by our representative in Naples and they...”

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Telina Lawrence
Ricotta production at the Masseria

Italy – Polysensorial Puglia

“Puglia is an Italian region in southern Italy with stunning coastlines of the Adriatic Sea. This region has quaint architecture throughout and a variety of olive and fig trees. We stayed in a beautiful villa located near Spongano a region in the province of Lecce for a week in May. The villa grounds included many gorgeous...”

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Sue Manuel
Stromboli at sunset

Italy – Sicily & the magical Aeolian Islands

“Seven volcanic islands, just 45 minutes by hydrofoil from mainland Sicily, rise out of the cobalt seas off Sicily’s northeast coast. These Unesco-protected pearl drops of islands are a little piece of relatively undiscovered paradise, offering stunning waters for water sports enthusiasts, swimmers and divers as well as trek worthy volcanoes, bubbling thermal springs and...”

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Nicky Banin
Cliffs along the coastline of Capri

Italy – The magical island of Capri

“From the moment we arrived in Capri, it was clear that the weekend would be one of luxury and style. Firstly there was a private yacht waiting to transport us across the Bay of Naples, with a taxi waiting on arrival at Capri to take us up to the Piazzetta. Secondly we did not have...”

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Sue Manuel
Verona, Italy, The city of love!

Italy – Verona, the city of love

“ September 2018 saw my wish to visit Verona fulfilled. Arriving on a beautiful sunny day, my husband and I fell completely under its spell. Our first glimpse of the city was from the panoramic grounds of our boutique hotel positioned high above the city centre, but which was in fact only a twenty-minute walk downhill...”

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Nicky Banin
Sitting on the cliff tops of the Amalfi Coast