• Travel Supplement

    Let's raise a glass to Madeira! Why the Portuguese region is sweet like the wine it's known for, says Frank Barrett

    Tenerife is like fizzy pop: sweet, delicious but generally unremarkable. Madeira, on the other hand, is like a fine wine which you can savour and enjoy long after the first taste. It’s an interesting comparison. Tenerife is the best known of the Spanish Canary Islands, famous as a package-holiday haunt. Portuguese Madeira occupies a similar stretch of the Atlantic – 300 miles off the North African coast – but has a different vibe.   Beauty spot: Portuguese Madeira occupies a 300-mile stretch off the North African coastIt doesn’t really do ‘sun and sand’, for a start – it has a couple of beaches ...

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    Sicily at its swishest! Following on the heels of Emma Watson and Prince Harry to one of Italy's hottest luxury resorts

    Did Hermione really stay in our room?’ yelped my ten-year-old daughter Alice, eyes like saucers. For a Harry Potter nut like her it was almost too much to contemplate.I’d just discovered that a week before we arrived at the Verdura Resort on the west coast of Sicily, the entire place had been hired by the top brass at Google and Emma Watson (who played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films) was one of the guests along with Elton John and Prince Harry.It was a coup for the hotel, and I got the feeling those stellar guests would have left ...

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    A family stay in Rudyard Kipling's Vermont home is Just So... instantly enchanting

    When I was ten, my father challenged me to learn Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’ in exchange for a pound. I memorised all four verses. Fast-forward 30-odd years and I’m in Mr Kipling’s southern Vermont home with my three children. I’m at the desk where he wrote the Jungle Book next to a shelf with dozens of first editions: Captains Courageous, Kim, Just So Stories — it’s goose-bump inducing.Better still, this isn’t a whistle-stop visit. The Landmark Trust USA now allows the public to stay, and we’ve booked three nights. Jo Kessel stayed at Rudyard Kipling’s house with her family. The Landmark Trust USA ...

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    Choices, choices! 3,300 islands, one million square miles and a ship - but Sicily, Corfu, Malta and Gibraltar get the vote

    A modern-day cruise is about the closest we get to the old Blue Riband days of stately ocean liners. If you choose carefully, you can still sample some of that lost gentility. My wife and I are intermittent rather than inveterate cruisers. Our last foray was to the Mediterranean, that sea of almost one million square miles and more than 3,300 islands, of which we visited four. Land ahoy: During a 17-night Mediterranean cruise, the Mail on Sunday's Stephen Robert's hit four different spots (above, Malta’s Valletta harbour seen bustling with boats)Messina, in Sicily, is notable for its clock tower, but the ...

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    Sian Lloyd follows in Joanna Lumley's footsteps by ticking off her ultimate bucket list adventure on the Trans-Siberian Railway

    It's thanks to Joanna Lumley that I ticked off the very top item on my bucket list and took the ultimate long-distance train ride. Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the longest line in the world, and the charming Ms Lumley had been dispatched by ITV to travel seven time zones and several landscapes, from east to west across Russia.I was seduced by her joyous enthusiasm as she crossed some of the harshest, yet most beautiful terrain on Earth. By the middle of the series, I had booked myself a cabin on the ...

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  • Travel Supplement

    France's family favourite: How Ile de Re always works its magic on lively children and stressed-out parents

    There were moments during what was supposed to be a gentle family bike ride around Ile de Re where we felt that, just maybe, we d bitten off more than we could chew.One was when I managed to wedge the bright blue trailer carrying our toddler girls between a wooden fence and a thick hedge.The next was when my husband forgot about our four-year-old on the back of his bike as he jumped off to help. Divine: The Daily Mail's Caroline Gammell went on a bike ride while in sunny Ile de Re with her family, they later cooled off ...

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    A front seat to the best wildlife show on earth: Inside the lavish fenceless Botswana safari camp where hunting is banned and guests include Prince Harry

    There are plenty of places in Africa to go on safari, but seldom few can get you as close up and personal with the Big Five as those in Botswana.As of 2104 it's been one of the only African countries to have banned game hunting - so is thus fully focused on the art of viewing rather than gunning down animals - and the jewel in its crown is Wilderness, which operates 19 scenic camps scattered around the Okavango Delta.With former guests including Prince Harry, this operation of small camps is unfenced, with off-road allowances that allow you to trail ...

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    Maggots in fermented lamb broth and blobs of whale blubber: On the wild frontier of cooking at the Faroe Islands' first Michelin-starred restaurant

    Maggots aren't usually something you would expect to be served at a Michelin star restaurant, but this is exactly what had been put under my nose at such an establishment.The little dried worms lay motionless in a dish of fermented lamb broth, which produced a whiffy odour that reminded me of my childhood, playing in farm barns with manure underfoot.This was only the fifth course out of 19 at the newly-crowned Koks in the remote and windswept Faroe Islands, but already my tummy was starting to grumble in a state of mild confusion. Foraged finds: Koks restaurant is the only ...

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    A furious finale to fab Madrid: Exploring the Spanish capital's ancient corners and fiery flamenco

    With his curly waxed moustache, he looked like an Edwardian villain, but Steven could not have been a more courteous chauffeur. In his tiny, vintage Seat 600 we bowled along avenues, tootled round monuments and nipped through narrow alleys on a whistlestop tour.For this first-timer in Madrid, it was the perfect introduction to the city as he pointed out the Prado museum, Retiro Park, the Alcala Gate, Cibeles fountains, Cervantes s house in Barrio de Las Letras, the old literary quarter, the hefty Royal Palace and Cathedral. Caroline toured Milan with the help of a guide on her first day, ...

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    Ask Frank Barrett: For the height of romance try a honeymoon in Peru s treetops, and head to Sussex for yoga

    The Mail on Sunday Travel Editor Frank Barrett answers readers' questions about a honeymoon and a country yoga retreat.Question: I m getting married this year and we re looking for a honeymoon destination with a difference somewhere offering adventure, escapism and romance. Penny, by emailAnswer: How about Peru? With its cloud forests , rich history and snow-capped mountains, it s ultra-romantic. Inkaterra hosts lavish honeymoon adventures in their luxury Peruvian properties, one picturedEco and sustainable tourism pioneers Inkaterra can host honeymoon adventures in their luxury Peruvian properties, from the heart of the Amazon to Machu Picchu. You can even spend ...

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    Triffids, slugs, and the joy of night hikes: The trials and triumphs of trekking 16 miles through Wales by moonlight

    There s a slug next to your head, my walking partner observed, rather too gleefully, I thought. Grouchily, I clambered upright. At just after 4am, the prospect of a slug crawling through my hair was the only thing that could have got me perpendicular from my recumbent position in a layby on the Nolton Haven to Druidston coast road.The tarmac was gritty on my back, but 12 miles into a night walk along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, those few moments lying with my burning feet up on my rucksack had felt blissful or at least the nearest I was going ...

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    Lapping up the lakeside luxury: DIY SOS star Nick Knowles realises he's in need of some renovation himself and heads to Italy to 'hit the reset button'

    If you live a 100mph lifestyle in a busy city where things can sometimes overwhelm you, getting away from it all could be just what you need. But instead of going on holiday and sitting around doing nothing, a wellbeing retreat where you can press the reset button might be worth looking into.Early last year I was overweight for the first time in my life and was really stressed; it was all playing havoc with my insides. Nick Knowles and his wife, pictured together (right), ventured to the Lefay Resort & Spa (left) on Lake Garda in northern Italy for ...

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    Beauty and the boat: A look at Disney's new movie-inspired sea venture, and the rest of the themed cruises on offer

    It s set to be one of this year s biggest family blockbuster films, and now Disney is offering special Beauty And The Beast cruises for a chance to visit the sights that inspired the famous story.The River Rhine cruise will take in France, Holland, Germany and Switzerland, with excursions to medieval villages full of cobbled lanes and half-timbered houses that look just like the backdrops to the film. You ll expect to bump into Belle or Gaston around every corner.Disney s all-inclusive eight-day river cruises use the upmarket boats normally operated by AmaWaterways. Disney is offering special Beauty And ...

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    Now Bermuda rules the waves: Exploring the idyllic island as it s thrust into the spotlight by the world s top yacht race

    At the headquarters of the Land Rover BAR sailing team in Bermuda s Royal Naval Dockyard is a simple mission statement, visible to all visitors: #Bringthecuphome.On an island where the land speed limit is 20mph, Britain s most decorated Olympic sailor, Sir Ben Ainslie, will be leading the UK s attempt to claim the hugely prestigious America s Cup this summer in a catamaran capable of 50mph.Ainslie, who won gold medals at the Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London Games, will be at the helm as the team attempt to overturn 166 years of history. Historic challenge: Bermuda's Royal Naval Dockyard ...

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  • Travel Supplement

    A dinner cruise is a delicious way to discover the Thames: Tasty new voyage offers views of Windsor aboard a bubble-top boat

    A group of schoolchildren is picnicking on the riverbank as we slip upstream from Windsor Bridge in our bubble-top cruise boat, Melody.We are sitting at tables with damask cloths, silver cutlery and buckets of champagne, examining our menus for a six-course dinner.The students raise their glasses in mock deference and we acknowledge them grandly in return. They get to their feet, waving and roaring with approval. Bobbing along: Take in views of Windsor Castle from the River Thames on Bateaux Windsor's new dinner cruiseBateaux Windsor has just introduced three-hour cruises carrying 40 diners from Windsor to Bray and back.They also ...

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