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The Best yoga holiday and retreat

You can’t move for downward dog opportunities these days. The explosion of yoga in western countries means there’s a studio on every other street and such a variety of styles and options, that choosing a holiday or retreat can be overwhelming. So where to start? It makes sense to try a weekend away before committing to a whole week. One possibility is to choose a teacher you know or like the sound of and see if they’re running anything that suits. Or you could pick a venue you fancy and see what teachers are hosting holidays there. Think about what you want too – some combine yoga with other activities (maybe good for those with non-yogi partners), some are vegan, some don’t ban booze – it’s always worth asking before you book.

Most retreats will cater for all levels, with teachers listening to individual needs, but I’ve marked those particularly for beginners suitable with a B. We think all the places we’re covering here offer good value, but those that stand out price-wise are marked with a £.

There is a glossary of yoga terms at the end of this article.

BEST UK RETREATS

Romantic Destinations in Europe

Romance is a deeply personal expression of love. It means different things to different couples.

While some define a stroll on the local beach as romantic, others may turn to having a glamorous city break in a foreign land. With this in mind, we have selected romantic destinations in Europe – every place in our list is perfect for loved-up couples. If you are a hopeless romantic who is keen to surprise your significant other with a magical holiday, this is the list for you.

1) Santorini, Greece

Your heart will likely skip a beat when you stand before these classy white-washed buildings with blue domed roofs in Santorini, with Aegean Sea below you and the glare of the sun flickering above you. This is the place of romance for countless couples. While most people unwind at Fira, head to Oia for a lovely beach retreat. You’ll need to take over 200 steps to reach the Ammoudi bay – but expect soft sands, warm blue waters and plenty of sunshine. With one of the world’s most romantic destinations as your backdrop, you’ll feel loved, contented, and incredibly happy. Such

Cheap Travel Destinations in Asia

Asia’s always been a prime destination for gap year students and adventurers thanks to the thriving backpacker culture and cheap lifestyle. Cities like Bangkok and Hanoi have long been recognized as places where the dollar becomes positively acrobatic in its ability to stretch its value, but it seems that nowadays, travelers can travel more and spend less with some basic informal planning. All across Asia, quality doesn’t necessarily come at a price, making it easy to really enjoy the adventure.

1. Pokhara, Nepal

As a backpacker haven, Pokhara has a huge array of budget, mid-range and premium hotel choices. The sheer amount of outdoor activities also make it possible to customize a cost-effective stay. The town’s a jumpoff for tons of treks, but there are plenty of other options before the big adventure. Paddle to the middle of Phewa Lake and drift the day away, see the sunrise from Sarangkot hilltop and check out Davi’s Fall, a stunning waterfall. Street food costs just pennies, and a nicer dinner will run you about US$4.

2. Vientiane, Laos

The Laotian capital resembles a sleepy riverside town more than the political center of a country, but that

African music festivals

From Morocco’s north east coastline to Cape Town on the south westerly tip, Darren Loucaides spreads his gaze across Africa to find the five objectively best music festivals on the continent.

Gnaoua World Music Festival
Essaouira, Morocco
Next year, the annual Gnaoua World Music Festival marks its 20th birthday, and artists from across the African continent and Middle East will converge on Essaouira on the west coast to celebrate. Held in honour of Morocco’s Gnaoua community, which traces its roots back to sub-Saharan Africa, and boasts a unique musical traditional borne out of animist ceremonies, the festival also strives to cast light on Morocco’s mixed cultural identity, as well as promote Morocco’s African heritage. The setting alongside battlements of the ancient port town, as well as stages on the windswept beach, is the icing on the cake.

29 June – 2 July 2017, www.festival-gnaoua.net

Harare International Festival of the Arts
Harare, Zimbabwe
Founded in 1999, this music and arts festival is a sprawling six-day event that aims to showcase the very best that Zimbabwe’s creatives have to offer. Apart from music concerts and dance performances, there’s street theatre, circus,

Destination in New York City

New York City can only truly be understood through its five historic boroughs, as each distinct area has a character and charm all its own. Central to them all is Manhattan, the island city with a population of more than 1.5 million. On weekdays, Manhattan sees an influx of workers and tourists that more than doubles that number to nearly 4 million people – that’s over 170,000 per square mile.

When you can get a millimetre of pavement to yourself, treading New York’s sidewalks is an endlessly fascinating exercise. One minute you’re in a scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the next you’re Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver, or walking down Jones Street feeling like The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan darting for Greenwich Village.

Built by migrants, New York has always been a meeting place for world cultures, a port city welcoming arrivals to the shining beacon of the Statue of Liberty. It’s a place where you can still experience the frenetic buzz of Chinatown, a wealth of black culture in Harlem and the aromatic flavours of Little Italy along Mulberry Street, all in the one afternoon.

Bewildered and wondering where to start? Our New York Travel

Place Most Visited Caribbean Islands

The choice destination for daydreamers everywhere, the Caribbean easily surpasses even the most fantastic images that spring to mind. Grab a pina colada and get ready to leave the slush behind because it’s time to check out the top 10 most visited Caribbean islands. A few more sips, and yes, there’s the warm breeze and the azure waves lazily lapping at your feet while you feast on mango and fried yucca.

1. Dominican Republic with 4,306,000 visitors

The beauty and the sense of being a part of a buzzing, pulsing atmosphere makes the Dominican Republic a fine choice for a holiday. The scenery just doesn’t stop, from beaches and waterfalls to deserts and mountains packed into its half of the island of Hispaniola. Santo Domingo, the Caribbean’s largest city, bounces along to a blasting merengue soundtrack, stealing the title of the city that never sleeps. And the near guarantee of new friends and a push to eat more all signify the makings of a perfect getaway that requires a sequel.

2. Puerto Rico with 3,048,000 visitors

Although small, Puerto Rico requires at least a week’s stay to truly experience the wide range of activities

Tips to Dealing with Money when Travelling in a Group

Money can be a huge issue when you travel in a group, especially in the likely event that you don’t all have the same amount to spend. When you’re travelling together, and everything ends up costing a little more than you’d expect, this can be the cause of tension.

That’s why it is important to be prepared, for everything. That means using the following budgeting advice so you can enjoy the scenery and the continent, rather than worrying about the euros in your wallet, or in your friends’.

1. Decide on a rough budget beforehand

Chances are you all have a different amount of access to money. It’s not really fair on the skint one if you go off all the time flashing the cash, yet at the same time you can’t let that person hold you back if you want to spend on doing things.

You need to accept and acknowledge that you have different budgets and goals when it comes to travelling in a group. If you decide on a rough daily budget, it will help everyone to plan and work out what they can and can’t do.

2. Understand

Things to Do during Your Holiday in Marbella

Marbella is one of the most popular resorts in the Spanish Costa del Sol region, and offers a range of things to see and do for those looking for an enjoyable, relaxing holiday. Over the years it has developed a reputation for being somewhere for the more discerning tourist to travel to, due to the fact it has a number of fine-dining restaurants, designer shopping boutiques, beautiful villas (see some examples here), an incredible yachting scene and excellent beaches.

If you are planning on taking a holiday to Marbella, here are four of the best things you can do while you’re there.

Enjoy the high life at Puerto Banús

If you are looking to mix with the real jet-setters in life then spending some time hanging out in Puerto Banús has to be top of your priorities list. This marina is where the rich and famous dock their superyachts to spend some time shopping in the exclusive stores like Gucci and Dolce & Gabana, before dining in the restaurants dotted around the harbour. The area also has a great nightlife scene – you are on holiday after all!

Visit the beaches

Often the

6 top Valentine hot spots

1. Africa: Safari at Pinnon Lodges

I’ve always been in love with Asia, but recently Africa has started to catch my eye: the landscapes, the wildlife, and the sense of space and peace is supremely romantic. This Valentine’s Day, my pick is the Pinnon Safari Lodge in Kafue National Park in Zambia, run by British couple Ruth and Lyndon Pinches.

It’s intimate — maximum occupancy is just eight guests — and you’re completely secluded in the wilderness. You can sit on the deck with a glass of wine in hand, watching the puku and impala graze, take a game drive through the park to see cheetah, elephant, and lion, and then enjoy a sundowner by the river. It’s a place to get away from work and the bustle of everyday life, and spend endless sunsets with the one you love. And at $150 per person per night, it’s incredibly affordable for safari.

2. Philippines: Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa

If your idea of romance is walking hand in hand along white sand beaches, occasionally dipping your toes in an azure sea, come to Eskaya on Panglao Island in the Philippines. One of

The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries

f you’re a book lover, you probably tend to gravitate to public libraries and bookshops when you travel. Whether it’s the scent of old books, the allure of knowledge or the history of grand buildings, there is something tantalizing about seeing how each city chooses to showcase literature. From centuries-old establishments that ooze history to modern, architecturally-impressive facades, there is a variety of interesting library designs around the world. If you can’t get enough of seeing breathtaking book palaces each time you vacation, then read on for five of the most amazing libraries in the world.

The State Library of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne landmark and superb example of heritage architecture, the library is made up of 23 buildings and takes up an entire city block. Building construction started in 1854 and the facility features some of the most breathtaking heritage interiors in Melbourne. Considered by many to be one of the greatest libraries in the world, the State Library houses over two million books, hundreds of thousands of maps, manuscripts and newspapers and a variety of digital material. The works contained in the library reflect Victorian culture over the past 150 years and visitors