Increasingly popular with British tourists Cancun can boast excellent winter sun; in fact year round sunshine makes it ideal for a vacation at any time of year. The temperature ranges from 20° to 30° C from October through to March and from 22° to 33° C from April to September.

You will never run out of things to do in Cancun such as a wide range of water sports, or try out the challenge on the championship golf courses if you feel you can, or alternatively why not take the family to one of Cancun’s world renowned eco-parks. Weddings are increasingly popular amongst the romantics; all the information is available to you through your online travel site.

Undoubtedly with the warm Caribbean water sports will delight all and even the most enthusiastic competitor will be amazed at the sheer variety of things that can be done. Some of the best scuba diving, snorkelling and sport fishing in the world are to found in these waters, why not charter your own sailboat with crew and equipment for an adventurous day out on the open sea or a romantic sunset cruise!

Adventure is readily available with organised tours, for al l the family with some of the longest zip lines in Latin America, go mountain biking, drive through the jungle in open top jeeps and swim in cool pools fun is there for the asking. But of course, if you prefer the lazy life, what better way could there be than to simply soak up the sun on white sandy beaches. When you have finished your day relax in true Mexican style with a varied choice of cuisine, with everything from downtown traditional Mexican restaurants to ultra-chic restaurants dotted alongside the Nichupte lagoon. Something for every taste all served up with a smile, what are you waiting for?

Cancun

Picture: Raj Taneja


The Italian Riviera is a beautiful stretch of Mediterranean coastline, set behind a mountain chain and stretches between the French Cote d’ Azur and Tuscany. The Riviera or to give it the correct name of Liguria, is one of the country’s smallest but most intriguing regions.

The beaches border naturally sparkling clear waters and the towns and villages stretching along it take one back to a time of old style pre-war vacations. This narrow arc of the Riviera is backed by the Maritime Alps and because of these it is well a sheltered strip of land with a mild microclimate and unquestionably the prettiest, most flower-filled stretch of Italian coast, in fact the western stretch is often named the Riviera di Fiore’s.

To the east of the coast lies the City of Genoa which in itself is an historic centre but the west is where most holiday makers will head for. Here you will find wide beaches, lush surroundings and a trip to Ventimiglia with its pebble beach and lively Friday market, is the place to head for if you want excellent for leather goods.

A visit to San Remo in the west is well worth it as it has a plethora of ancient and splendid 19th-century villas, whilst the gamblers can visit the casino dating from 1904 as well as a maze of a medieval old town.  Travel east now and you will find yourselves in olive country near the town of Imperia, while beyond lies Diano Marina with a long sandy beach and a cheerful summer buzz. Alassio offers a 3km sweep of sands dotted with deck chairs and beach umbrellas.

To get away from the beach scene a trip into Genoa will take you to one of the largest medieval old towns in Europe confirmed by a trip down Via Garibaldi, a 16th-century style street lined with magnificent town palaces, and as many of these are now banks, you can take a look inside and see some of the courtyards and frescoed lobbies.

No visit to this area would be complete without a trip into the delightful fishing village of Portofino, lying to the east of Genoa, where you will find that little has changed from the Sixties, then the haunt of Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra.

Flying to Genoa is the main option and both Ryanair and British Airways have a reasonable timetable, but driving down to the Italian Riviera is a good option too as a car here would give the opportunity to take in the whole coast and perhaps fit in Monte Carlo as well.

Italian Riviera

Picture: Matteo Bittanti


Very traditional at Christmas time the markets in Germany are like no other, in fact no country does Christmas markets quite like Germany. You will find a vast offering of sausage and gluwein, to all the toys, all of course in the most picturesque of settings, just like fairyland. We suggest Munich, or a traditional medieval city Nuremberg, or more modern Berlin. Of course seeing a Christmas market does not mean that you have to cross the channel to Germany and Austria, to the surprise of many, the largest Christmas market outside of these two countries is here at home, in Birmingham, as many as five million people visit the stalls on Victoria Square each year, which takes place from November 14 until December 22.

On the other hand if you fancy some true “razzmatazz” then the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York on November 28 is one of the biggest events in the city. This can be fitted in with some fabulous New York shopping as the following day November 29 is America’s equivalent to our Boxing Day, they refer to it as “Black Friday”, when massive sales take place all across New York, bargains galore for Christmas! The parade is one of the City’s biggest events and as normal will start in Central Park, travelling along Central Park South to Sixth Avenue, down West 77th Street, West 59th Street to West 34th Street ending up at Macy’s store in Herald Square.

If you are not into shopping and parades then how about a few days of sunshine, just a short haul away. Morocco, where the temperatures are forecast to be at 28ºC, this weekend, you can still do some bargaining in Marrakesh, or go to Agadir for a week on the beach. Why not try the Canaries or Cyprus, where the temperature there is usually in the mid-twenties; Paphos is a favourite for Brits seeking the sun whilst Limassol and Larnaca tend to be a little more cultured, you will find some late bargains in Cyprus and Lanzarote has some good deals going too.

So November and December does not have to be all “doom and gloom”, there are always travel options.

Christmas Market

Picture: Carsten Pescht


If you’re planning a partying holiday with your friends, there are such a huge number of options of where to visit across Europe that it can be difficult to choose one. A lesser chosen place for these types of holidays is the Greek Islands.

Mykonos is known as one of the more cosmopolitan and fashionable islands. During the day it’s a peaceful resort where you can relax or take part in fun games such as banana boating and jet skiing. But at night, there are loads of trendy clubs and fashionable bars open for business.

Zante is a big name in party holidays. And the place that is talked about most is the town of Laganas. It is one of Greece’s top four party resorts, and for good reasons – it’s packed to the brim with flashy clubs, bars and pubs.

Kavos is a popular place for young people to head after their exams are over. It’s a small resort but it’s packed with people looking for a good time. Big names such as Tinchy Stryder and Professor Green are known to visit, as well as a number of R&B artists.

Laganas

Picture: Eelke de Blouw


Vienna, the capital of Austria, has always been a highly attractive holiday destination.  The magnificent city is known for the glorious buildings and monuments of its rich past.  Most significantly, Vienna can at once be considered old and new, as it preserves the past while marching ahead with the present.

Attractions

Vienna offers tourists an amazing landscape of architectural wonders from its history.  The magnificent baroque buildings and beautiful romanesque architectural styles come together to give the Austrian capital its distinct look and feel.

Vienna also has a strong cultural identity.  Tourists are exposed to a wonderful world of music, opera and theatre while enjoying a holiday in the city.  Vienna is known as the ‘City of Music’ as some of the most famous composers and musicians of the world have lived and composed in this wonderful place.  Vienna’s exclusive balls are another highlight of the city; while staying in the Austrian capital, tourists are able to sample the splendour of the fine balls that are organized in the grand palaces of the place.

Visitor information

Vienna is located in north-eastern Austria.  This famous tourist destination is easy to access thanks to advanced air and rail networks.  Vienna’s international airport is the main way to get to the city, and although there are other small airports, this one sees the most traffic.  The city’s railway network connects the capital to several other towns and cities.

Vienna’s weather is a mixture of an oceanic climate and a humid continental climate.  Summers are very warm, with temperature reaching up to 35 degrees Celsius, while winters are cold and temperatures drop as low as zero degrees Celsius.  Snowfall occurs from December to March, so the best time to plan a trip to Vienna would be during the summer season from June to August.

Vienna

Picture: Peter M.


Many families find a holiday a luxury that they struggle to afford, but for some it’s a necessary break away. Whether it’s a simple caravanning holiday here in the UK or a week away in the Spanish sunshine. Looking online, will open you up to a whole host of affordable deals, which means many can find a holiday this summer to fit their budget.

There are always a whole host of summer travel deals available, as companies look to push up traveller numbers. Check out ferry crossings for an affordable way to hop across the channel to mainland Europe. Take your car and opt for a camping holiday, there are many fantastic campsite across France, Italy and Spain to choose from and many may well have pitches left.

For a lot of families cheap last minute holidays are a life saver. The only option some have to be able to afford a family holiday away. The continent is a gold mine when it comes to last minute breaks, as many hotels and flights look to get booked up before departure dates. Empty rooms and empty seats on flights means less profit. So it is worthwhile reducing prices to attract more customers.

Check out different board options to find one to suit your needs. Many resorts and hotels offer self-catering, full and half board, bed and breakfast or all-inclusive, normally as part of package deals. You can save money and time, especially if you have fussy children, plus many hotels also offer kids clubs which give you peace of mind and a break.

It still counts as a holiday even if it is in the UK, affectionately known as Staycations these types of holiday have become exceedingly popular over the last few years. As the recession hit, people had to decide between a holiday abroad and paying important bills. So many looked to the UK to see what was on offer a little closer to home to save money.

Caravanning and camping is a popular activity in the UK, we have a number of family friendly campsites dotted across popular tourist towns and cities and plenty to choose from in our fabulous countryside. If that isn’t your cup of tea, how about log cabins or activity holiday parks, fun for the whole family.

Whether here in the UK or abroad make sure you enjoy your family holiday!

Family Holiday

Picture: John Meyer


For tourists seeking an adrenaline rush, there are many thrilling options found all over the world.  Bungee jumping, base jumping and sky diving are the more popular activities, while rappelling and edge walking also attract a fair amount of participants.

Bungee jumping at Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe

Bungee jumping from the Victoria Falls Bridge, 111m toward the Zambezi River, is a popular attraction for tourists seeking an adrenaline surge.  The bungee site is located in between the Zimbabwean and Zambian borders; the area is nicknamed No Man’s Land.

Cliff base jumping, Norway

For those who revel in the rush of free-falling, the Kjerag Mountains in Norway offer a plateau among its renowned cliffs for thrill-seeking tourists that is perfect for base jumping.  The Kjerag plateau is located on the south side of Lysefjord in Rogaland.

Rappeling at Iguazu Falls Boat Ride, Argentina & Brazil

Rappeling is offered on both Argentinian and Brazilian sides of the Igazu Falls.  Those participating in this activity can climb up to a rappelling platform, where they are secured by the operators with rope.  They are then lowered 55m in a controlled descent, which offers a unique view of the falls.

Edge Walking, CN Tower, Canada

The CN Tower in Toronto, Canada offers visitors the opportunity to walk 356m above ground on the ledge of its main pod.  This is a hands-free experience – visitors are attached to an overhead safety rail.  The walk offers breathtaking views of Toronto and Lake Ontario.

Skydiving over Lake Taupo, New Zealand

Tour operators in Taupo, New Zealand offer single and tandem skydiving options over Lake Taupo.  Skydivers will free-fall from 3,600m above ground and enjoy views of the lake, Tongariro National Park and the snow peaks of Mount Ruapehu.

Kingda Ka rollercoaster, United States

Six Flags Great Adventures boasts the tallest rollercoaster in the world, the Kingda Ka, which can be found in the state of New Jersey in the United States.  Reaching 206km/h, the ride is initiated by a hydraulic launch mechanism; the ride lasts 28 seconds.

CN Tower

Picture: Wanda Gould


Dominica Republic – Punta Cana
In the past Dominica Republic has played second fiddle to Mexico when it comes to Caribbean holidays, but this luscious island is starting to come into its own. There are now a number of fantastic hotels on the island and it’s a great choice for a winter sun holiday.

The resort of Punta Cana is a picture perfect Caribbean destination, palm tree lined golden sand beaches and warm azure waters. Many of the hotels in the Dominican Republic are all-inclusive as its tourism trade is just emerging with plenty of four and five stars accommodation on offer.

The Royalton Punta Cana in Bavaro is a 24hr all-inclusive hotel, which means food and drinks are served all day long. It has three pools and is right on the beach, the hotel also has a total of ten restaurants and snack bars. Like many hotels, entertainment is top notch and is provided all day and night, so you won’t be short of things to do.

Egypt – Sharm el Sheikh

Many people had to Egypt for a guaranteed sunshine holiday, with year round scorching temperatures, the resort of Sharm el Sheik on the red sea is one of the most popular tourist destinations and the resort is jam packed full of luxury all-inclusive hotels.

Located on the tip of the Sinai Peninsula, surrounded on one side by the Sinai desert and the other by the warm waters of the Red Sea, Sharm el Sheikh is a great all round destination. The bustling resort has plenty of bars and restaurants, catering well to the tourists, as well as plenty of shopping options from traditional souks to air conditioned malls.

In the heart of the resort is the Sultan Garden Resort, it has its own private beach, four outdoor pools and a number of activities available for adults and children alike. This all-inclusive hotel has a number of restaurants including buffet and formal a la cart dining options and snack bars. The hotel also has three bars providing locally produced alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinks.

Turkey – Antalya

Antalya is a region on the coast of Turkey, the ‘Turquoise’ Mediterranean Coast and is quickly becoming one of the countries popular holiday destinations. Antalya has a reputation of a glamorous and luxurious destination; the small resorts dotted along the coastline are packed with luxury five stars hotels and complexes.

The Calista Luxury Resort in Belek, has prime position looking out into the Mediterranean ocean, like many right on the beach, it offers a wide range of activities. It has three swimming pools including one with waterslides. It runs a daily activities programme perfect for adults and children alike. It also provides a great selection of evening entertainment and has a main buffet restaurant, six a la cart restaurants and snack bars dotted around the complex.

The hotel is located in the charming resort town of Belek, where there are a wide range of traditional Turkish Markets as well as their popular ‘designer’ shops. You won’t be short of places to eat or drink here either, with a number of great restaurants and local bars.

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Picture: whl.travel


Amsterdam at any time is a popular place with many on the main continent of Europe, but for many British citizens it does not seem at have the same appeal. This is a mistake, for Amsterdam is a great place to have a break in the summer months particularly. First time visitors are surprised to find that the city has lots to offer, mall enough to walk or cycle almost anywhere you want, but it is rarely dull.

It has a collection of delightful buildings, canals and charming bridges, along with some top rated museums, not forgetting for the serious music lover, one of the finest orchestras in the world. The canals have to be one of the main attractions and a good way to see these and the city is to hire a pedalo or go on a ride in a glass roofed boat. This way you can see in detail the view of Amsterdam’s historic gabled buildings. Alternatively go on foot, the best section is probably the Jordaan district, to the west of the city centre.

Parks are a fine feature of Amsterdam and the pick is probably Vondelpark opened in 1865, this one alone attracts about ten million visitors a year! In summer here you can see entertainment at the Openluchttheatre, a venue for dramatic performances and live music, in the centre of the park. Amsterdam has its own speaker’s corner too at the Oosterpak with its very own English garden.

The centre and historical part of Amsterdam is Dam Square with buskers and puppet shows and many notable building surrounding the square. The Royal Palace is here too and the 15th century national monument dominates the east part of the square. Just 400 yards away from the Dam you will find solitude at the Begijnhof. This little courtyard is enclosed by old houses and here you can spend a few moments of quiet solitude away from the bustle of the city centre.

Amsterdam is worth a visit at any time of year, but summer really brings out the best in this old city.

Amsterdam

Picture: Moyan_Brenn


When we think of Portugal, naturally the Algarve springs to mind and with very good reason, after all it is a superb place to spend two weeks swimming in clear blue seas and enjoying the delights that the fishermen bring to our restaurant tables. However there is another side to Portugal and spending thirty six hours in fascinating Lisbon will quickly show you this.

This delightful jewel is set against the superb Atlantic Ocean and never seems to shake off  delightful manners and traditions. Marvel at the century-old wooden trams and iron funiculars that clatter their way around the city and climb among the seven steep hills over which this city lies. Wander through the past in the Baixa district; here you will see haberdashers and tailors, gaze into the shops of time honoured old herbalists, amongst the ancient baroque streets of an ornate city centre.

Another feature of Lisbon is the climate which you should find neither over hot and it will never be really cold either. August is not a particularly good time to visit Lisbon though as the locals shut down most of the city and head away to the coast; it can be quite humid at this time of year.

Take in the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos which is a monastery that was built commemorate Vasco da Gama’s landing in India, the Gothic chapel is an absolute must here. For a mere €2.50  you can catch the wooden tram which runs every fifteen minutes and delight as it rumbles along through the streets and past churches and castles.

The maritime connection of Portugal is featured in the iconic Torre de Belem which is a gothic tower and stands over the River Tejo continuing to watch over the entrance to the harbour, accessing the tower gives wonderful views of the Atlantic Ocean. There is so much to see with restaurants and food to sample on a thirty six hour trip to Lisbon, you will certainly arrange to return.

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos

Picture: Linnie