Cave cities, castles and spa towns: 5 reasons to visit western Georgia

The spectacular scenery of the high peaks of the Caucasus stretches across Georgia, which perches on the far eastern edge of Europe, bordering Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia. It’s finally starting to attract visitors in greater numbers, thanks to cheap flights from Europe and Russia, but it’s still relatively unknown (many people thought I was visiting…

Don’t let the crowds put you off Amalfi

The Amalfi coast is gorgeous and a drive/bus ride along its full length an excellent way to spend a day. But man, is it crowded. We visited back in April, just after Easter and the tourist season was already in full swing. Amalfi is blessed with a balmy climate from March right through to the…

La Palma, the Canary Island with a unique link to Venezuela

It’s a small place, La Palma. Not only on a map; I was sure I’d heard this tale of growing up in Venezuela and moving back home to La Palma to avoid military service before. Maybe this guy was a relative of the driver from the previous night. La Palma, one of the smallest and…

Cologne Christmas markets – the essential guide

When it comes to Christmas markets, Germany is one of the best (if not the best) places in the world to sample the delights of gluhwein, warming winter food and wooden chalets packed full of gift ideas, from wooden toys to glass baubles. Last weekend I was lucky enough to visit the Christmas markets in Cologne…

What to do in Lisbon? 5 different places to see

Lisbon has mixed reviews, it’s fair to say. The city seems to divide opinion but I found much to like during a visit back in January. It didn’t hurt that the sun shone all the time; sometimes the weather can be quite overcast but we were lucky. It’s easy to get around on Lisbon’s buses,…

Kulminator, Antwerp’s quirkiest beer cafe

Photo credit – Flickr Creative Commons Looking for somewhere different to drink during your Antwerp city trip? Look no further than Kulminator, a small bar tucked away down a side street in Antwerp that resembles nothing more than someone’s front room. Piled with papers and knicknacks, you get the feeling not much has changed in…

An unexpected love for Budapest (and 5 tips to make your visit shine)

I’m a contrary type. Tell me I’ll love something and I’ll think, really? Love for a place is so personal, one person’s favourite leaves another cold. I was curious about Budapest, but I didn’t expect to love it. It’s in a land-locked country, the buildings I searched Google images for looked solid but uninspiring, a…

Hidden Holland: tips and highlights off the tourist track

Despite (maybe because of) being married to a Dutchie, I’ve never written much about the country here. A couple of recent trips have inspired me to put that right, so I’m starting an occasional series on hidden highlights that aren’t on the usual tourist route in Holland. There’s more to life/travel than just Amsterdam and…

Sea lochs and sunsets: a Scottish photoblog

I’ve visited the west coast of Scotland many times in the past ten years, and I never tire of the dramatic scenery. Loch Lomond is a great area to stay, but there are also many lovely villages along the sea lochs. Thanks to the Gulf stream there are hundreds of rhodedendrons blooming in May. The…

Last days of summer in Lucca

When summer had already disappeared from the southern shores of the UK, in Tuscany it held on well into September. It’s no secret that I love the parts of Europe that touch the Mediterranean sea: terracotta roofs, the constant chirp of cicadas and most of all the warmth that allows you to sit out well…