Spain

Where the experts holiday: Eleanor Keymer, Bespoke honeymoon and travel planner

Bespoke honeymoon and travel planner, Eleanor Keymer, has visited over 100 countries and lived in both the Costa Rican jungle and the urban London jungle. As a result, friends and friends-of-friends have long been seeking Eleanor’s advice about favourite destinations, leading her to set up her own travel planning service.
Here Eleanor shares her travel highlights to date, with Just About Travel readers

 

What do you like to do on holiday?
I like to go wildlife watching – nothing beats seeing nature at it’s finest. I also like to get off the beaten track and discover lessen-known parts of the globe. It could be discovering a hidden spot, having an authentic experience or heading to a new region – basically it means finding places that won’t turn up in any guidebook.

Where did you last go?
I recently returned from Swaziland which is where my fiance grew up. The kingdom of Swaziland is a tiny, serene little green jewel in the middle of a problematic region. Instead of a making a brief stop off on your way to Kruger National Park, KwaZulu-Natal or Mozambique, I’d recommend staying at least a week to do the country justice.

Do you know where you’re going this year?
I do. First up, I am off a road trip around Spain with my Father and baby daughter, Tara. Then in June, my fiance and I are headed to Sorrento (Italy) to tie the knot. We’re also off to Aldenery – the northernmost of the inhabited Channel Islands – for a friend’s wedding before travelling to Nambia, Botswana and Zambia followed by Barbados and the Dominican Republic at the end of the year. It’s going to be a busy remainder of the year – and I can’t wait!

Of all the places you’ve been to, which was your favourite and why?
This a tough question but I’d have to say Brazil. The South American giant’s ecosystems are legendary: Brazil boasts the greatest collection of plant and animal species found anywhere on earth. Stir into the mix wild nightlife, beautiful beaches, thundering waterfalls and charming colonial towns and you couldn’t hope for anymore.

Which destination do you wish to travel to, but haven’t yet been?
Like many people, I dream of setting foot in remote, majestic Antarctica  – it’s one of those bucket list destinations. Antarctica is home to some of the world’s most extraordinary species and is a place of surreal beauty – I have to go.

In your own country, what would you recommend tourists see that isn’t in the travel guides?
I’d tell them to check out Chiddingstone Village – it’s one of the most beautiful and oldest villages in Kent. Visiting Chiddingstone is akin to stepping back in time – the tudor village is complete with half-timbered frames, gables and stone hung red-tiled roofs. If you think the village looks familiar, it may be because Chiddingstone has been used as a site for several films including ‘A Room with a View’. There’s a fantastic pub – The Castle Inn – that’s full of historic charm and serves a wide range of delicious locally-sourced, home cooked dishes.

How do you plan your holiday?
I turn to the internet as a source of travel information and also take into account recommendations by friends when it comes to planning my trips. However I still rely on travel guidebooks – Lonely Planet, Rough Guides et al – during my travels.

How often do you go away?
Whenever I can!

Who do you travel with?
My family, friends, my baby daughter… but I also travel a lot by myself.

Where do you see tourism in your country, in 10 years?
It will be an interesting time for tourism in the post Brexit market. I think we will see more international tourists owing to the favourable exchange rates and I also think we’ll see more people coming from countries you wouldn’t expect.

Thanks Eleanor!
 

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For more information on Eleanor’s destination and itinerary planning and advice, please visit www.eleanorkeymer.com/

Read the article here: http://www.justabouttravel.net/2018/03/27/where-the-experts-holiday-eleanor-keymer-bespoke-honeymoon-and-travel-planner/

Neymar touches down in Dubai

Barcelona star, Neymar, has landed in Dubai amid speculation that he will complete a world-record €222 million (£199m) move to Paris Saint-Germain by the end of this week.

The unsettled football ace posted pictures of himself enjoying lunch in the dazzling desert kingdom, on Instagram.

This comes following reports that the forward is due to fly to Qatar later today so as to discuss the impending move with Paris Saint-Germain’s Qatari owners - and to undergo a medical at the Aspire Academy.


Neymar is said to want to leave the Catalan giants - despite winning eight major trophies during his time with the seaside club AND the intervention of senior Barcelona players such as Gerard Piqué and Andres Iniesta, both of whom have attempted to persuade the world’s best footballer to stay in Spain.


Yet while the furore over whether Neymar will remain at or leave the Camp Nou continues to swell, the man at the centre of the storm seemed unconcerned. The 25- year-old Brazilian looked relaxed and happy with close companions including Jo Amancio and Alvaro Costa in his Dubai social media footage, while singing the lyrics to Thiaguinho's Energia Surreal.


Neymar is not the only one to have taken a shine to Dubai. World Travel Award – dubbed the Oscars of the travel industry by the Wall Street Journal – has selected the former fishing village to its Middle East Gala Ceremony (www.worldtravelawards.com/event/middle-east-2017) on the 31 October 2017, at Armani Hotel Dubai.
 

This will be the second time that World Travel Awards –  the travel industry’s leading awards programme -  has visited Armani Hotel Dubai, following a glittery ceremony back in 2011.

KH

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La Manga Club flying high with new BA Heathrow service

La Manga Club has long been a favourite hangout of sports and showbiz stars – David Beckham, Bjorn Borg and Gary Player have all stayed and played here – and the popularity of Europe’s number one sports club only looks set to soar this summer thanks to the launch of a new flight route from London Heathrow to Murcia.

That’s right. British Airways has joined Ryanair, EasyJet and Jet2 on the arrivals and departures board by offering a twice weekly (Tuesday and Saturday) summer service from England’s capital into Murcia-San Javier airport making Spain’s flagship resort even more accessible.

The news comes as World Golf Awards has revealed that the five star La Manga Club resort will host its Gala Ceremony 2017.

The most prestigious awards programme in the golf tourism industry (www.worldgolfawards.com) will take place at the famous venue in Murcia from 23-26 November 2017.

Chris Frost, World Golf Awards Managing Director, said: “The team and I are beyond excited to be bringing the World Golf Awards to Spain for the first time.
 

"We look forward to welcoming industry leaders and luminaries to La Manga Club, Spain's most exclusive sports and leisure resort, in November and I know it will be a weekend to remember."

Set in an area three times the size of Monaco and just a 20-minute drive from the airport, the resort’s unique facilities include three 18-hole golf courses, a 28-court tennis centre, eight FIFA-approved football pitches and a new European Cricket Performance Centre.  La Manga Club (www.lamangaclub.com) also boasts an array of four and five star accommodation, a 2000swm wellness centre complex, more than 20 bars and restaurants… and an average pf 300 days of sunshine throughout the year.

"It's a great honour and privilege to be chosen to host the World Golf Awards for the first time, in what is a landmark year for the resort as we celebrate our 45th birthday,” commented José Asenjo, General Manager of La Manga Club.


"Every year the event attracts some of the most respected figures in the golf industry, and we're very excited to have this opportunity to showcase our numerous world-class golf and leisure facilities to a key global audience and look forward to welcoming everyone here in November."

 

Kaye Holland

Spain reigns for Easter getaways

TravelSupermarket has revealed the nation’s favourite Easter holiday destinations

When it comes to Easter breaks, the sunny shores of Spain and its islands have emerged as the favourite destination for Brits, according to new research.

The Canary Islands of Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura all made it into the top five of Travelsupermarket’s most searched for destinations this Easter.

In fact, seven of the top 10 searches for Easter holidays this year were Spanish destinations -   a marked improvement from 2016 when Spanish destinations made up just four out of 10 of the top Easter holiday searches.

The news comes in the same week that World Golf Awards announced La Manga – a piece of land that separates the Mediterranean Sea from the Mar Menor in south east Spain - has been chosen to host World Golf Awards Gala Ceremony 2017.

Now in its fourth year, World Golf Awards recognises and celebrates the crème de la crème in golf tourism, world class course and golf destinations from across the globe. The awards, voted for by golfers worldwide, aim to raise the bar for golf experiences and sit as part of the World Travel Awards which have been rewarding quality across the leisure and tourism sector for 24 years.

World Golf Awards Gala Ceremony 2017 will be held at the five-star La Manga Club – one of the world’s most popular golf and leisure resorts from the 23-26 November 2017.

Emma Morris, spokesperson at TravelSupermarket, said: “For many, Easter marks the first proper getaway of the year. It is no surprise that [Brits] are seeking out some sun in well-known Spanish favourites. The pound may have taken a hit against the euro in recent times, however, destinations such as the Canary Islands, the Balearics and mainland Spain still offer great value for money for a sunshine getaway.

For those that are still considering a last-minute getaway, Morris has some reassuring news: “If you’re yet to book, if you search online and compare prices, there are some good deals still available for Easter. For example, a family of four can still book to go to Lanzarote or Tenerife for less than £300 per person.”

See you in Spain…

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The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards arrive in Melbourne



All eyes will be on Melbourne tonight, when the Australian city hosts the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards.

Make no mistake: Canberra may be the seat of Australia’s government but Melbourne is without a doubt the country’s foodie capital. Or as local restaurateur Andrew McConnell told the Evening Standard: “Twenty years ago it was a rite of passage for young Australian chefs to earn their stripes working in Europe. Now what we’re seeing is European, American and Asian chefs coming here. It’s a very exciting time for Melbourne.”

Scores of leading chefs and food commentators will be making their way to Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building this evening, for what has been dubbed the Oscars of the food industry.

It’s the first time that the awards have been held in Australia and only the second time they have been held outside London. The coup can largely be attributed to Tourism Australia - a World Travel Awards’ 2016 winner - which was heavily involved in bringing the World’s Best 50 awards night, Down Under.

This year’s awards event coincides with the 25th Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and will be streamed live to Federation Square, the world's first public screening.

And for good reason: the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards has built up a reputation for being the greatest food show on earth, with past winners such as Spain’s El Bulli (the first number one) rocketing from relative obscurity to global recognition almost overnight. Elsewhere Denmark’s Noma famously had 100,000 people trying to book a table the day after it won top spot.

The awards are determined by the votes of a body of almost 1100 chefs, restaurateurs, food media and global gourmets. Each member can cast 10 votes - of which four must be for restaurants outside of their home region. Members can only vote for restaurants they have visited in the past 18 months.

For the full low-down, visit www.theworlds50best.com

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