On the highway out of Dakar, heading down the coast, we handed by means of a baobab forest. The information was pretty blase about it however I insisted on stopping and exploring. It was the primary intimation that Senegal is a tremendous place and, secondly, that it doesn’t fairly realise it. The nation continued to shock and delight me all through the journey, which was to the coastal province of Casamance, a bird-watchers’ paradise. What actually impressed me was the folks: energetic, clever and – above all – artistic: the usual of artistry and craftsmanship was extraordinarily excessive. Added to all that, you have got good seashores, winter solar and no jetlag.• travellocal.comKevin Rushby
Mount Palomar Observatory, California

{Photograph}: Ian Dagnall/Alamy
It was the most popular day of the 12 months however because the highway spiralled up the almost-1,900-metre mountain, by means of more and more lush vegetation, I noticed a thundercloud within the rear-view mirror, far-off, over Mexico. After a pit cease at Mom’s Kitchen cafe (good veggie chilli), it was on to the Palomar Observatory. The constructing’s huge white dome shone brilliantly towards the gathering storm. Quickly, hailstones the dimensions of conkers crashed down and lightning flickered. The tour, set to booming thunder, was inspiring and the tech on present “super-cool” in keeping with my fellow guests. Clearing skies had been the cue for a hike across the park’s forest with a stop-off on the Boucher Hill fireplace lookout publish and its vista to the desert borderlands.• Excursions $5 adults, $three youngsters (5-12), astro.caltech.eduAdam McCulloch
Lake swimming, Portugal

About two hours south-east of Porto, the Castelo de Bode dam on the Zêzere River types an enormous reservoir surrounded by pine and eucalyptus forests. Close by Quinta do Troviscal ( is a B&B with 4 rooms, wonderful views and a path on the finish of the backyard main all the way down to the water: cue lazy days spent sunbathing on the non-public deck and swimming within the lake. Who wants a seaside? The city of Tomar, a 15-minute drive away, constructed by the Knights Templar on the banks of the Nabão River, is a maze of cobbled streets and historical church buildings, with a grand citadel and convent on a hilltop.Jane Dunford
Outdated Capital Bike Inn, Bangkok

Seeing Asia on two wheels is a sexy concept however scary in its crazily teeming cities. Step ahead the Outdated Capital Bike Inn, with its fleet of well-maintained classic bikes. New proprietor Jason Lim has restyled this boutique lodge within the historic quarter on a biking theme, and runs complimentary night time rides. Pedalling the stately machines, we took within the Grand Palace, a avenue of outlets promoting Buddha statues, and a park the place locals had been enjoying sepak takraw (kick volleyball). I then felt courageous sufficient subsequent day to borrow a motorcycle and discover the klongs (canals) and Chao Phraya riverside.• Doubles from £76 B&B, oldcapitalbkk.comLiz Boulter
Akranes lighthouse, Iceland

{Photograph}: Shaun Davey/Alamy
As my pal stuffed his Instagram feed with views of dawn over the Atlantic, and the mountains of Akrafjall and Esja, I wandered to the door of the Akranes lighthouse. Keeper Hilmar Sigvaldason opened it and welcomed us in. Usually it’s what you may see from a lighthouse that’s the spotlight however Hilmar has reinvented Akranesviti – inbuilt 1944, and gazing down on a smaller, older lighthouse a brief distance away – as an arts venue. The acoustics inside are wondrous and the maintain so memorable that it hosts intimate concert events and recording periods, in addition to getting used for artwork tasks. The peninsula surroundings is putting and Akranes is simply an hour’s drive from Reykjavik – by way of the spectacular 5.7km Hvalfjörður Tunnel.• Admission £2, on FacebookRobert Hull
Resort Les Charmettes, St Malo

Hôtel Les Charmettes, east of St Malo’s previous city, is in a good-looking 19th-century beachfront villa, but the decor and companies are rooted within the 21st century: retro items on sale within the mini boutique, yoga on Saturday mornings. At breakfast we took our espresso on to the promenade and watched the huge, sandy seaside refill with joggers, paddleboarders, sailors and windsurfers. There have been extra folks strolling within the sea than swimming: longe-côte, a resistance coaching train in waist-deep water is vastly well-liked right here. At lunchtime on the lodge terrace, there have been extra locals than visitors ordering bowls of moules and seafood platters. Within the granite-walled previous city, a 15-minute stroll away, is the port the place most arrivals drive straight off the ferry and on to locations in Brittany or past, unaware of a captivating little lodge past the harbour partitions.• Doubles from €72 B&B, Choat

{Photograph}: Getty Photos
Many British and European soccer followers, me included, initially, dismissed the thought of travelling to Russia for the World Cup for worry it could be harmful, costly and even probably life threatening following the Salisbury assault. A lot for cold-war paranoia. After I obtained over myself and went, I used to be shocked by the grandeur of Moscow. It’s as spectacular as Paris, perhaps extra so, however with historical past and structure in contrast to some other European metropolis. It’s additionally pleasant, welcoming and protected. Standing in Purple Sq. and looking out all the way down to St Basil’s Cathedral is simply exhilarating – even when crowded with footie followers and TV crews from world wide. And I didn’t have time to go to the Kremlin, the primary attraction. Subsequent time.Gavin McOwan
Coronary heart of Wales railway line

{Photograph}: Kevin Rushby for the Guardian
Just a few miles south of Shrewsbury there’s somewhat city referred to as Craven Arms and from there a single-track 121-mile railway runs south-west by means of a few of Wales’s most opulent landscapes. It has been working since 1868 however not too long ago somebody had the intense concept of an accompanying long-distance footpath that might loosely comply with the road, coinciding on the stations, lots of them request halts. Many of the path is now open (last completion due March 2019), permitting walkers to hop on and off the practice, constructing day walks or longer, with nights in pubs or B&Bs in cities corresponding to Llandrindod Wells and Llandovery.• KR
Castello di Santa Severa, close to Rome

Historic buildings in attractive settings are likely to get became five-star inns however the Lazio regional authorities focused price range travellers when changing 14th-century Castello di Santa Severa. Overlooking a sandy seaside 50km north of Rome, the citadel has been dwelling to nobles, popes and German troopers over time however now its oldest half is a hostel with dorms (€25) and personal doubles (from €65). One of the best bit is that Santa Severa’s railway station is 15 minutes’ stroll away, with trains to St Peter’s and Trastevere taking about 40 minutes, so it’s simple to mix seeing the Everlasting Metropolis with days on the seaside. Close by Santa Severa village has retailers for provides to cook dinner within the communal kitchen.• LB
Elos, Crete

{Photograph}: David C Tomlinson/Getty Photos
The mountain villages of Crete have a heroic historical past of rise up towards invaders however the flip facet is a real heat in direction of politer guests. Elos, best-known for its full of life chestnut pageant and nice mountain climbing, is excessive among the many verdant peaks of the south-west, simply off the highway between Kissamos and the sands and lagoons of Elafonisi. Hungry after a stroll and a few seaside inaction, we headed to Kamares, certainly one of its 4 tavernas. My household tucked into goat stew whereas I ate a do-it-yourself gemista of peppers and tomatoes full of rice, herbs, courgettes, onion and garlic. Native wines, bread and olives, plus the compulsory glass of raki (for non-drivers) adopted, all proffered with an offhand Cretan friendliness. On the natural pharmacy reverse we purchased a remarkably bitter natural tea “assured” to forestall colds. Greatest stop-off ever.AM
West Nation department strains

{Photograph}: Peter Barritt/Alamy
I spent per week exploring Devon and Cornwall by practice – a rover ticket permits three days of limitless journey out of seven for £50 ( The department strains are good: Liskeard to Looe, Truro to Falmouth and, better of all, St Erth to St Ives. Some say St Ives is twee and touristy however I find it irresistible. The legendary mild, the higgledy-piggledy streets, the seashores, the previous Sloop pub, the Barbara Hepworth museum, the Tate … We ate on the Outdated Customized Home , a seven-table restaurant that had solely been open per week. The Italian-inspired small plates – octopus and ’nduja stew, ox tongue fritters (from £4) – and sunny service made my favorite seaside city nearly good.Rachel Dixon
Maquenque Eco Lodge, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is alive with wildlife. On a rafting journey alongside the Rio Blanco, my 12-year-old niece and I spied sloths and monkeys in treetops and crocodiles sunbathing on the water’s edge. However an evening safari within the rainforest from Maquenque ecolodge sticks in my thoughts. As our group crept by means of the timber, it was the tiny creatures that prompted probably the most pleasure: a cartoon-like tree frog, vibrant inexperienced with bulging tangerine eyes and outsized ft; a finger-nail sized toad; a long-legged spider weaving its intricate net. Close to the border with Nicaragua, in its personal non-public reserve, Maquenque gives an immersive nature expertise. The chicken life is prolific, from toucans to massive parrots. Raccoon-like coati wander in packs; turtles and caiman laze on logs within the lagoon. The wood bungalows have terraces with hammocks overlooking the water, and there are tree homes excessive within the cover for an extra-adventurous keep.• Bungalows from £98 B&B and together with guided stroll, maquenqueecolodge.comJD
Camariñas, Spain

{Photograph}: Andy Pietrasik for the Guardian
As first impressions go, Camariñas – on the outer reaches of Spain’s west coast – takes some beating. The highway runs out at this little fishing city on Galicia’s wild Costa da Morte. Seafood comes straight from the trawlers moored past the marina, the native albariño wine flows lengthy into the night time at €2 a glass, youngsters keep out late and there’s a heat to the those who confounds the area’s popularity for being out on a limb and below a everlasting rain cloud. When the solar is out, which it was day-after-day for our keep this summer season, households decamp to sandy Lingunde seaside simply north of city for raucous enjoyable. Its white sand may idiot you into considering you’re within the Caribbean – till you dive into the water. You then get a way of why it’s referred to as the Costa da Morte.Andy Pietrasik
Il Vescovino, Panzano, Italy

On a highway journey in Italy this summer season, we stopped for dinner on the village of Panzano-in-Chianti, about 40km from Florence. We’d come from Venice, by way of Bologna, and can be heading all the way down to Rome, Naples and the Amalfi coast. I’d fortunately been consuming pasta for nearly each meal to date however the do-it-yourself ravioli that night – full of leeks and taleggio cheese, with a easy tomato sauce – beat all the remainder. It was nightfall and we sat on the terrace of Il Vescovino on the sting of the village, savouring every little parcel and sipping chianti classico and gazing over a panorama of rolling vineyards below a peach sky.• Wilson
Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Bellaghy, Co Derry

The Essex-born guitarist Wilko Johnson had been invited to to present a speak about how he had cheated dying at Seamus Heaney HomePlace, the humanities and literary centre within the village the place the late bard grew up. I used to be in Northern Eire on the time and, being a fan of each, thought this was too good a possibility to overlook. The speak was morbidly fascinating. As was the truth that HomePlace, a Scandi barn-style constructing, is on the location of a as soon as closely fortified police station. However once I walked across the everlasting exhibition in regards to the Nobel prize-winner, along with his household images, college desk, and favorite duffel coat, any darkish ideas lifted, and I fell as soon as once more below the nice and cozy and avuncular spell of Heaney’s poetry celebrating a rural upbringing in Mid Ulster. • seamusheaneyhome.comAP
Teshima Artwork Museum, Japan

{Photograph}: Isabel Choat for the Guardian
A concrete dome could seem an odd spotlight from a go to to Japan however the Teshima Artwork Museum is extraordinary – architecturally beautiful and surprisingly soothing. It’s not a museum is any of the same old senses. Designed to appear to be a water droplet on the exact second it hits the bottom, it’s an incongruous sight on the small island of Teshima: a low, white mound on grassy hillside overlooking the Seto Inland Sea. The wow second comes as you step into the empty inside. Two massive openings within the roof let mild flood in. The bottom is dotted with tiny holes by means of which spring water droplets bubble up and skitter throughout the graceful, coated floor. There’s a meditative high quality to sitting on the ground and staring because the water types infinite patterns on the floor.• Admission £11, below 15s free, benesse-artsite.jpIC
Prasonisi, Greece

{Photograph}: Getty Photos
You don’t want a automobile on Rhodes – I travelled everywhere in the island by bus, from Rhodes City within the north all the way down to the southern tip. Right here I discovered Prasonisi, or “Inexperienced Island”. Regardless of the identify, this uninhabited cape solely turns into an island in winter, when sea ranges rise. In September, a stretch of sand nonetheless linked it to the mainland. On one facet is the calm, flat Mediterranean; on the opposite, a number of paces away, is the wild, windy Aegean. I walked round Prasonisi to a lighthouse on the far facet, with only some different walkers and wild goats for firm. Again on the seaside, I ended for a dip – in spite of everything, there aren’t many locations on this planet the place you may swim in two seas, two minutes aside.RD
Fathom Bistro, San Diego, California

After a day of mountain climbing, kayaking and sightseeing, I wanted to loosen up and let what I’d seen of San Diego and its Pacific shoreline sink in. I couldn’t have picked a greater place than this cosy bar, with diving-gear decor, on a fishing pier at Shelter Island. Fathom serves native brews (together with Pliny the Elder, a double IPA of nice reputation) and luxury meals, corresponding to do-it-yourself sausages and scorching sandwiches. I shared the idyllic spot with proprietor Dennis Borlek. As we talked, he pointed over the bay on the skyscrapers of Downtown, a number of miles away. “The sundown’s higher if you happen to don’t look in direction of it however see it mirrored in these buildings. It’s magical,” he stated. He was proper.• fathombistro.comRH
Bourbon Avenue, Amsterdam

{Photograph}: Keith Erskine/Alamy
There’s a lot to do at night time within the ’Dam. Golf equipment come and go, some reclaiming industrial buildings or dockside warehouses. On the lookout for dwell music and good cocktails after dinner this time, we headed to Bourbon Avenue for blues and booze. Between taller buildings on the Leidsekruisstraat, it has been a dwell blues venue since 1990 however has added different genres in recent times – there’s now dwell music seven days per week, for round €three admission. It was small, darkish and the correct of busy, and a combined crowd went wild for a groove cowl of Blackstreet’s No Diggity. It’s standing solely, so nice for an intimate gig and dancing to funk and soul into the early hours.• bourbonstreet.nlAW
Southern Catalonia

{Photograph}: Alessia Panfili/Getty Photos
I’d examine overtourism in Barcelona however seeing it at first hand nonetheless got here as a shock: your entire centre is as crowded and soulless as Oxford Avenue. Fortunately, I used to be solely passing by means of, on my strategy to an space of Catalonia that’s the reverse of busy. The Ebro delta within the far south, on the border with Valencia province is a serene flatland sandwiched between the ocean and the mountains, filled with aquatic birds within the huge blue skies,and pink flamingos lazing within the marshes, and historical rice paddies (pictured) for which the realm is legendary. I cycled across the Ebro Delta pure park on an electrical bike – a enjoyable expertise first for me after a lifetime of correct biking and, oh, what a enjoyable!. We completed our tour at Kensho, solely the second sake producer in Europe, which makes it – made with native rice. I attempted it paired with a plate of fats delta oysters – a heavenly mixture that our group demanded extra of as soon as the tasting had completed.• deltaebro.comGM