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Not many people need a reason to travel to Vietnam, but for those who are still deliberating two big changes have occurred that make it even more accessible:
- Citizens of U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Italy no longer need a visa to visit Vietnam if staying for less than 15 days.
- Vietnam Airlines has introduced direct flights on certain days of the week from London to both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). This is the only airline that flies direct from the UK and the prices are extremely competitive.
Messing about on the water – in it, under it, on top of it, riding rapids, catching waves, cutting through it or gently bobbing along under peaceful azure blue skies… No matter what your age, there is something about the call of the sea when it comes to summer holidays. Here are just a few of the best places in the world for family water sports holidays, for water babes and those just wishing to dip a toe…
The great outdoors is central to Australia’s attraction, with splendid vistas ranging from volcanic plateaux, rainforests and glorious coastline to the vast swathes of the Outback. The best way to explore the stunning scenery and its heritage is on foot and a range of options are possible for multi-day walking experiences ranging from leisurely coastal walks such as the Great Coastal Walk in Victoria and the Bay of Fires Lodge Walk in Tasmania to challenging treks such as the Larapinta Trail in Northern Territory or the Overland Trek across Cradle Mountain and the Lake St Clair National Park.
Years of curating villas in Tuscany and countless trips to the region has led to many encounters with knowledgeable, warm locals eager to promote la dolce vita of their little corner of Italy. The singing butcher of Panzano immediately springs to mind, but so does my introduction last year to Anna Lisa Tempestini. I recall Filippo, our Regional Manager in Italy, extolling the many talents of this lady – a wine-maker-come-yoga teacher-come-cookery teacher. And so our collaboration began…
Our Australia holidays specialist, Rachel Cooper, first visited Australia aged 17 and she’s been hooked ever since. It’s easy to see why she finds the destination so captivating and here she shares her highlights for 2015.
France welcomes more visitors each year than anywhere else in the world. Mediterranean beaches and alpine ski resorts ensure year-round popularity, whilst beautiful scenery and exquisite cuisine repeatedly draw people back. Red Savannah’s French villas expert, Nick Westwood, explores the popularity of the South of France and, in particular, the area of Vence in the Alpes-Maritimes.
Are the icy mornings and grey skies making you want to scratch that travel itch? Maybe a dose of sunshine and culture is just the tonic you need? If so, consider the Indian state of Kerala.
Winter and early summertime here is a warm affair, with very little rainfall and maximum highs hitting around 33°C. Compared with the bustling northern states, often described as an ‘assault on the senses’, Kerala is a far more laid back affair, with its sleepy backwaters, tropical beaches and emerald green hill stations.
I am never quite sure why the Germans take all the credit for efficiency. The unsung heroes in possession of that quality are surely the Swedes who, by the way, win the award for generosity as well. This is a country that works like clockwork, where trains, planes and automobiles pride themselves on early arrival. Add to that the omnipresent smorgasbord of generosity (not just in private houses but even at the airport where free wifi and complimentary newspapers seem to be de rigeur) and it soon becomes clear that travelling in Sweden is a joy.
If perfecting your game is number one on your list of New Year Resolutions, or you simply want to keep up with your practice while you enjoy a holiday with friends and family, a luxury villa with its own private tennis court could be just the ticket. Here is our round up of ten of the best.
Renowned for its sparkling sapphire waters, pure white sand and gentle, warm climate, the Maldives enjoys an enviable pace of life in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, attracting couples and families to its blissful shores. As stunning below the waves as it is from above, the warm Indian Ocean sparkles with thousands of vividly coloured fish that live among the vibrant coral beneath the surface.
Our Maldives expert, Melissa Matthews, takes a look at life beneath the waves and, in particular, at three of the Maldives’ ‘world’s firsts’: