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Top Ten Holidays with Teenagers

They say you have only 16 summers with your children before they depart on their own adventures. True to an extent but we find them quite keen to stick with the ‘rents’ when they sniff that there’s something exciting in the offing. So get ahead…plan something fun which will appeal to their much hipper nature, but more importantly, something that everyone will regard as huge fun. Our destination specialists are adept at suggesting places to fulfil even the most jaded families, from wilderness adventures in the Canadian West and fly-boarding in the Maldives to cool beach club hang-outs in Ibiza.

Beyond the Temples at Angkor Wat

You have to fly over the Angkor heritage site to appreciate its vast size. The site covers some 400 km2 and six hundred years of Khmer empire building leaving as evidence an enormous complex of Buddhist and Hindu temples, monuments and deserted cities. Several days are required to even begin to do justice to the ‘top sights’ of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei and Preah Khan. Angkor Wat alone has walls extending almost half a mile; the largest religious monument in the world covers 500 acres. Though utterly absorbing, you would be forgiven for feeling a little ‘templed out’ after a day or two. There is much to see and do, however, to break the temple visits. Our Cambodia specialist, Melissa Matthews, explores Siem Reap and its environs to offer alternatives to the temples:

In the Shadow of Sumbawa – Indonesia

Tucked away in a beautiful cove on Moyo Island, Indonesia, is the utterly heavenly Amanwana. Moyo is an almost deserted island of great beauty that sits directly across the Flores Sea to the east of Lombok, sandwiched neatly between the mighty jaws of Sumbawa.

The Silhouette of Borobudur and Beyond

Thought to have been built at some point in the late 8th Century, Borobudur’s rediscovery in 1814 by Sir Stamford Raffles caused a sensation among the world’s scholars. Bear in mind that this pre-dated Henri Mouhot’s discovery of Angkor Wat in Cambodia by 47 years. The big question: How did the Buddhist faith spread to Java from India, a distance of some 5,000 kilometres?

Top Ten Villas by the Sea

For adults and children alike, a sea view or proximity to a beach is one of the most important factors when selecting a holiday villa. Whilst for some, little is required other than a bucket and spade, for others, access to the beach clubs of the Côte d’Azur or night-life in Ibiza are of more importance.  But for everyone, nothing beats cocktails on the terrace as the sun melts into the Mediterranean or Caribbean Sea.  Our Villas team presents their top villas by the sea in Europe and the Caribbean.

Taking a Zambia Safari in ‘Secret Season’

Rains fall in Zambia between November and April, deterring some visitors, though for die-hard safari enthusiasts, the ‘emerald’, ‘green’ or ‘secret’ season as it is varyingly known, is actually one of the most spectacular times to visit. Our Zambia safari expert, Albee Yeend, looks at why the ‘secret season’ attracts those in the know.

Rich with intoxicating smells and sounds, vivid colours and rich culture, India assaults the senses, captivating visitors and leaving a lasting impression. All of life can be found in India:  holidays here are defined by cultural discovery, fascinating history and an overwhelming sensory overload. Arguably India’s most diverse region, the north east is a profusion of cultures, landscapes, people and history. Kolkata (often known by its colonial name of Calcutta) in West Bengal is its cultural and intellectual heart and the logical starting point for exploring the region. Once the country’s capital under the British Empire, Kolkata is a vibrant metropolis which shocks some visitors with its decaying buildings and indisputable human poverty and yet it has more cultural life than India’s modern capital, Delhi, or its commercial heart, Mumbai.

Our India holidays specialist, Bea Searle, shares her insider knowledge on what to see and do in this exciting city in the first of two articles:

Weak rand good news for South African Safari Holidays

The struggling rand is welcome news for travellers contemplating a safari holiday to South Africa this year. The currency has plummeted following the fall in the value of significant exports such as platinum, gold and diamonds and whereas a year ago a pound would have bought 12.45 rand, today you’d receive 18, adding spending power to your holiday purse. In a country known for its fine wine and excellent cuisine, this means visitors can not only travel relatively inexpensively but dine out very comfortably indeed.

Perfect House Party Villas in Europe and the Caribbean

Some of our favourite ingredients for the perfect house party: A rooftop terrace for a drinks party, al fresco dining next to a private pool, a team of staff including an opera-singing chef and a chauffeur who also happens to mix the perfect cocktail, a private beach and a music room with a grand piano for an impromptu jamming session… Our Villas team selects just a few of their recommended villas in Europe and the Caribbean for a very special house party in 2014: