Most Instagrammable Spots Along The Mediterranean Coastline
Set along 28,000 miles of beautiful coastline, there’s a magnitude of opportunity for avid photographers to capture scenes of turquoise waters, secluded landscapes and historical sites in the Mediterranean. To help those deciding where on this famous coastline they want to snap next, read on for the most Instagram-worthy locations.
Situated on the affluent north coast of Corfu, the popular horseshoe bay of Kassiopi is relaxed by day – perfect for a snorkel in the shallow shingle bay – yet close to the heart of the village, which comes alive at night. The village itself is steeped in history, with Emperor Nero and Cicero some of its ancient visitors. Nowadays, the village has transformed into something of a luxury hotspot, with stunning blue coastal views by day and the twinkling lights of tavernas creating a buzz at night.
This little town on the Peljesac peninsula, far away from the light pollution of large cities and tourist hotspots, is the perfect spot to unwind and capture some great snaps. Enjoy the calm, warmer waters of the bay by paddleboard before spending a night stargazing from the beach.
Fethiye, Turquise Coast, Turkey
Turkey’s Turquoise Coast has quite the history; legend has it that Marc Anthony declared the whole coast as a gift for his lover, Cleopatra. Discover the area both underwater and from the sky; with ancient ruins to snorkel and the famous Oludeniz beach to paraglide above, these glistening turquoise waters are an Instagrammer’s dream.
Diamond Bay, Croatia
Hidden away on Vis Island, Diamond Bay is home to the crystal clear waters of Stiniva Cove and the ancient Blue Grotto. Paddle into the caves to experience deep blue caverns teeming with sea life. Film buffs may also recognise the island’s quaint villages and golden orchards from Mamma Mia 2.
Named after the natural springs found across the island, Hydra is a rustic gem. Vehicles are banned on the island, so donkeys remain the most popular method of transport and the pristine forests that line the beaches are not to be missed. With many beaches only accessible by boat, Hydra is the perfect destination to watch the sunset in solitude.
Cala Junco, Italy
Located on the most beautiful of the Aeolian Islands, Panarea is the home of Cala Junco, a stony shored beach with crystal clear waters, rocky outlets and hidden coves to discover. A short ride away from neighbouring towns that are popular with the yachting elite, Cala Junco gives a taste of Italian luxury, without the matching price tag. Head into town for fashionable Italian boutiques and to rub shoulders with Uma Thurman, Naomi Campbell, The Dolce and Gabanna designers, all famous fans of this beautiful island.
Offering balanced sailing holidays in the Mediterranean, MedSailors create seven-day trips for 20-35 year olds in Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Italy and Antigua. Trips are created to offer authentic, memorable experiences while providing holidaymakers the opportunity to relax and, if they want to, learn new skills.
Nashville’s Top 10 Events Not To Be Missed In 2019
Merging country roots with popular culture, there’s something for everyone on the vibrant streets of Nashville. Whether looking to be inspired by arts, energised by music or indulged with cuisine, visitors to Music City will find themselves spoilt for choice thanks to an extensive calendar of events throughout the year. Here are just 10 events on Nashville’s calendar not to be missed in 2019.
Tin Pan South Songwriter’s Festival (26th March – 30th March)
Kicking off the line-up of must-see events across the city, the Tin Pan South Songwriter’s Festival is an experience made for every music lover’s bucket list. Entering its 27th year, the festival brings together over 400 songwriters to perform across five nights in various locations around the city, making it the largest event of its kind in the world. While music legends such as Rodney Crowell and Sacha Skarbek are known to frequent the festival, it is the extent and diversity of songs performed which makes the festival truly unique. Festival passes are available to purchase online and officially go on sale on 26th February 2019.
2019 National Football League (NFL) Draft (25th April – 27th April)
For the first time in history, Music City will be the proud host for the 84th annual NFL Draft. Running from the 25th – 27th April, the Draft is undoubtedly one of America’s most anticipated sporting events of the year, with the 2018 Draft being the highest-rated and most watched in history. The annual draft sees both leading and up-and-coming players await their selection on one of the NFL’s 32 national teams for the season ahead. As part of the event, a three-day football festival, NFL Draft Experience Presented By Oikos Triple Zero®, will provide football fans the opportunity to compete in games, experience interactive exhibits, meet and greet with their favourite players and celebrate the Draft results in Music City. True to the spirit of the city, music will feature heavily in the agenda, with top Nashville artists performing throughout the weekend. Tickets are required for seating within the NFL Draft theatre, with registration times yet to be announced.
CMA Music Fest (6th – 9th June)
Nashville comes to life in June, when the city is home to country music’s premier event of the year, CMA Music Fest. Hosted by the Country Music Association, CMA Music Fest will see country music fans rock out to four days and nights of live music held at various venues across the city including Music City Centre, Riverfront Park Stage and Nissan Stadium. Now in its 48th year, the annual event attracts an all-star line-up of established and up-and-coming country music stars, with meet and greets and Q&A sessions organised at the festival’s Xfinity Fan Fair X. All participating artists play for free, with proceeds from the festival benefitting music education programs through the CMA Foundation. Tickets for the 2019 event are available online.
Nashville Pride (22nd June – 23rd June)
Entering its 31st year of celebrations, the Nashville Pride festival is the largest LGBTQ event in the state of Tennessee. The Pride Equality Walk is the jewel in the crown of the annual festivities, with the turnout for last year’s parade numbering in the thousands. The festival grounds are located at Public Square Park, and feature multiple live music performances and DJ sets, drag shows and over 200 vendors including local not-for-profit organisations, artists, businesses and food and beverage offerings. The 2019 event is set to be even bigger than before, making it a must for visitors to Music City in June. Tickets will be available for purchase online closer to the event.
2019 Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th celebration and the 12th Annual Music City Hot Chicken Festival (4th July)
Experience a different side to America’s favourite holiday by celebrating 4th July in Music City! Featuring free live music, family entertainment and food stalls, the day’s festivities are topped off with one of the of the largest fireworks displays in the country, set to music from the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. For those feeling more famished than festive, the 12th annual Music City Hot Chicken Festival takes place in East Park at 700 Woodland Street on the same day. A Nashville specialty, Hot Chicken is traditionally served with bread and pickles but can also be used to spice up a salad, pasta, or even with a malted waffle for brunch. Sample some of the city’s best Hot Chicken, or watch home cooks battle it out in the amateur cooking competition for the prestigious title of ‘2019 King or Queen of Hot Chicken’! Admission is free to both events.
Live on the Green Music festival (August – September)
Running throughout August until the Labour Day weekend, Live on the Green is a free outdoor music festival held at Public Square Park in Nashville. The festival showcases the city’s emerging musical talent and highlights well-known national acts. Since it began in 2009, over 590,000 fans have flocked to Nashville to attend the event. The festival has hosted more than 190 performing artists, including Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Sheryl Crow, Alabama Shakes, Ben Folds, The Head And The Heart, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Band of Horses, Cold War Kids, Young The Giant, City and Colour and more!
Music City Food + Wine festival (September)
Whether you’re a BBQ buff or just worship wine, the Music City Food + Wine festival is the stuff foodie dreams are made of. The brainchild of Grammy award-winning artists (and Nashville residents) Kings of Leon, world-renowned chef Jonathan Waxman, Music City Food + Wine Festival brings together the stars of Nashville’s culinary scene with acclaimed regional and national chefs, wine and spirits experts. The festival features interactive cooking demonstrations, engaging panel discussions, intimate tasting sessions and countless opportunities to sample the wares of a myriad of international restaurants, wineries, distilleries and breweries.
Nashville 50th Anniversary Film Festival (3rd – 12th October)
Each year, the Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) presents the best in world cinema, American independent films and documentaries by veteran masters, up-and-coming directors, and first-time filmmakers. Originally founded in 1969, it is the longest running festival of its kind in the United States, and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019. The festival has attracted a wide range of famous faces to its screenings over the years such as Oprah Winfrey, Al Gore and Nicole Kidman. It was also where Craig Brewer – the director of Footloose, Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan, won his first award as a novice filmmaker!
Country Music Association (CMA) Awards (November)
Hailed as the biggest night in country music, the CMA Awards pay homage to the outstanding achievements of artists and broadcasters in the country music industry. Albums and songs released between 1st July 2018 and 30th June 2019 will be eligible for awards, with nominees and winners chosen by more than 7,400 industry professional members of the Country Music Association. The annual event is held at Nashville’s Bridgestone Area and starts in style with a glamourous red-carpet entrance, while the ceremony features live performances and award presentations by the who’s who of country music. Best of all, the event is open to fans as well as stars!
Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight: NYE in Nashville (31st December)
Ring in the new year and rock out the old in Music City at Nashville’s spectacular New Year’s Eve party. The show is a free outdoor concert which takes place at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park on New Year’s Eve, with festivities kicking off at 4:00pm. The event is famous for featuring an all-star line-up of live music, and has previously played host to artists such as Keith Urban, The Kings of Leon, Peter Frampton, Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton to name a few. Partygoers can count down to the New Year as a 4.5 metre music note drops from a 44 metre height to mark the stroke of midnight. The music note drop then triggers a fantastic firework display and confetti cannons as revellers celebrate the arrival of the New Year.
Visit Music City
Official Nashville, TN Visitor and Tourism website that features discount hotels, attractions, things to do, tickets, event listings and more.
Location lovers follow in the footsteps of their TV heroes: Rise in number of people coming to Wales
A North Wales hotel says the increasing number of high-profile feature films and TV programmes being made in the principality is proving a real boost for the local tourism industry.
Steve Lee, manager of the Royal Victoria Hotel in Llanberis, says productions such as Journey’s End, Requiem, Britannia, and Keeping Faith, are providing a stimulus to the local economy.
“We’re getting a lot of ‘first-timers’ who may have seen the region on their favourite TV show and want to come along and experience the landscape,” said Steve. “Places like Snowdonia have always been popular for their dramatic beauty, but there is now a whole new audience coming here and discovering it for themselves.
Steve says location lovers now make up a growing percentage of Royal Victoria guests, alongside the regular hill walkers, triathletes and railway enthusiasts.
South West coach firm, Bakers Dolphin, says it has also seen an increase in the number of people keen to experience wonder of Wales as captured on film and TV.
“You can’t beat North Wales for glorious scenery,” said Amanda Harrington, sales and marketing director of Bakers Dolphin, “and the Royal Victoria’s a big favourite with our guests”.
“Films like Guy Ritchie’s ‘King Arthur’, and the S4C series ‘Hidden’, which was shot at locations in Snowdonia, are attracting a whole new audience of coach trippers.”
In 2017, the Lonely Planet placed North Wales fourth in in the publisher’s annual Best in Travel list as one of the top five places in the world to visit, the only UK destination to be featured in its rankings.
Tourism is estimated to be worth more than £5 billion to Wales as a whole.
Planning a holiday in 2019 in the US? Perhaps its time to look towards the bright lights of Charm City and discover an array of world-class art, culinary and cultural experiences across the city’s historic and distinct neighbourhoods. From delicious street food pop-ups, endless crab feasts, to scenic nature trails for an active reawakening, Baltimore shares its top five activities.
Celebrate Baltimore’s festivals
It wouldn’t be a trip to Baltimore without taking part in the city’s local festival scene. In July, thousands of visitors will flock to Artscape, America’s largest free outdoor arts festival featuring 150+ fine artists, craftspeople and fashion designers. With live concerts, sculptures and performance pieces including dance, street theatre, jazz, opera and standup comedy, Artscape embodies the city’s homegrown arts boom. From 1st – 10th November 2019, Light City and Baltimore Book Festival will combine forces for the first time, highlighting the city’s burgeoning arts scene, and award-winning artists, authors and performers from around the world. Famed as America’s first large-scale festival of light art, music and innovation, Light City transforms 1.5 miles of the Inner Harbor waterfront into an interactive playground of large scale light installations, street performers, concerts, an Opening Night Parade and a Closing Night fireworks finale.
The Baltimore Public Market System is the oldest continuously operating public market system in the country – and continues to play a vital role in the city. Four of Baltimore’s six public markets are slated for overhauls, with two reopening in 2019. The city’s oldest existing market building, at more than 230 years old, will unveil a $3 million redevelopment of its north shed in early 2019, with its south shed opening in the summer. The south shed of the market will be converted into, a Maryland crab house and seafood restaurant led by Atlas Restaurant Group. The space, which will offer indoor and outdoor seating for 275 guests, an outdoor bar, live entertainment and a recreational area, is a nod to Broadway Market’s long history of serving local seafood. In addition, the new north shed will house ten local vendors, including: Connie’s Chicken & Waffles, Thai Street, a permanent location for the Thai street food pop-up; The Verandah, serving Indian specialties; Taharka Brothers Ice Cream, and Old Boy, a new Korean restaurant by Phil Han, owner of popular Mount Vernon cafe Dooby’s.
Mount Vernon neighbourhood renaissance
Just north of downtown rests the city’s cultural heart, Mount Vernon, once home to Baltimore’s Gilded Age elite. Let the impressive architecture and manicured public gardens transport you to a bygone era. The nation’s first monument to George Washington sits proudly at the centre of Mount Vernon Square. What once were grand mansions belonging to Baltimore’s 19th-century industrialists are now museums, galleries, shops and restaurants. Home to stunning boutique hotels including the new Hotel Revival, Hotel Indigo, and The Ivy, journey to a home away from home and soak up the city’s history.
Sport past-times and fitness classes
Home to sporting legends like Michael Phelps, Babe Ruth and Johnny Unitas, Baltimore reveals a longstanding love affair with sport. Become inspired by Oriole Park at Camden Yards, frequently ranked as a top baseball stadium in America, to cheer on the Baltimore Orioles or catch the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, two-time Super Bowl champions, whilst you’re in town. For those looking to shed their winter coat and step into a healthier regime, journey to the Movement Lab, an epic space designed to reinvent people’s workout practices with alternative anti-gravity fitness routines. Make sure you also try out Jones Falls Bike Trail, where walkers, runners and bikers journey across a scenic eleven mile trail from the city’s inner harbor to 200 acres of wetlands and picturesque Cylburn Arboretum.
Tastes from the ocean
A foodies’ Baltimore to-do list should always include crab. Recognised for its awe-inspiring seafood scene, there are a variety of ways seafood lovers can savor the crustaceans besides the traditional crab feast or standalone crab cake. Baltimore restaurants serve crab in quiches, sandwiches, on top of tater tots and waffle fries, and on pizza. The Land of Kush even offers a vegan “crab cake” as a weekend special. Located in the Baltimore Museum of Art and founded by John Shields and John Gilligan in 1998, Gertrude’s has been a brunch neighbourhood staple for 20 years. The restaurant was on the vanguard of the farm-to-table movement and now has decades-long relationships with Maryland farms and fisheries. The crab omelet is an all-time favourite, as is the blue cat eggs, a delicious catfish cake served with maple bacon. During warmer months, visit the museum’s sculpture garden right outside the restaurant and experience its delightful ambience. For new openings in 2019, find The Urban Oyster. Head Chef Jasmine Norton was the first female owner of an oyster bar in Maryland. The fast-casual restaurant and bar will open in February 2019 featuring a full-service raw bar and serving Norton’s signature char-grilled oysters; seasonal seafood dishes such as Maryland crab cakes on homemade potato bread; and brunch items such as a shrimp BLT on a waffle bun, an oyster benedict and a lobster roll croissant.
On July 20th, 2019, it will be 50 years since man first set foot on the moon!
Find out what it was like for astronauts who went there: we interview Alan Bean, the 4th man to walk on the moon who rocketed there with Apollo 12, the second manned moon mission. A former US Navy test pilot, he was selected by Nasa as a trainee in 1963. He went into space twice, the first time in November 1969 as the lunar module pilot on the Apollo 12 Moon-landing mission. In 1973 he was commander of the second crewed flight to Skylab – America’s first space station. He retired from Nasa in 1981 and in later life he became an accomplished artist, producing paintings that were inspired by space. Alan Bean died in 2018.
2019 is the centenary of the Bauhaus, the revolutionary art school and movement founded by Walter Gropius in 1919 and closed in 1933 after pressure from the Nazis. The architecture, art and design that was created there is still revered around the world to this day, and an illustrious cast of designers and artists such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky bloomed here.
To mark the centenary three new museums will open this year in Germany – in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin. And the Grand Tour of Modernism connects landmark Bauhaus and modernist architecture in 100 locations across Germany.
After the Nazis came to power, many modernists fled abroad. Find out about the buildings they designed in Tel Aviv, in our Globe Trekker Israel episode, and the art they created in the Netherlands, in our Globe Trekker Netherlands episode. Both are available on DVD or to download on our online store.
main image: Teaching scene at the Bauhaus Dessau, photo: unknown, 1925-1932.
Brits vote for the top 20 British bucket list experiences
Seeing Giant’s Causeway, whale watching in Scotland and visiting the Roman Baths have emerged among a list of British bucket list aspirations, a study has found. Spending the day at the Wimbledon tennis tournament, walking along Hadrian’s Wall and celebrating the summer solstice at Stonehenge also featured. A number of other quintessentially British experiences made it on to the list of must-dos, including enjoying a clotted cream tea in Cornwall and staying in a thatched cottage in the Cotswolds.
Despite these dreams, the survey of 2,000 adults commissioned by Sykes Holiday Cottages, revealed just how unexplored the UK really is, as Brits are more likely to have visited France, Spain and Italy than England’s home counties. According to the stats more than 6 in 10 (63%) have spent time in Spain, compared to just a third who’ve been to Surrey. And more Brits have visited France (67%) than Cornwall, Manchester and even London. In fact, the same number of us have travelled across the globe to Australia as those who have been across the border to Aberdeenshire (16%)!
And although Giant’s Causeway tops Brits’ home-based bucket list, only a quarter of the nation have visited Northern Ireland, where it’s located.
Graham Donoghue, CEO at Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: “Despite a desire to tick off our British bucket list experiences, these results show how undiscovered the country actually is. Lots of us are more likely to get on a plane or a ferry and go abroad than take in everything the UK has to offer. Although it’s brilliant to travel to other countries and cultures, many people would be surprised at how much there is to see just a hundred miles away from their hometown – Britain isn’t called great for nothing!”
The study also found that the average Brit has visited just 15 out of nearly 50 counties in the UK – although more than 1 in 10 (11%) admit they’ve been to a maximum of three. In comparison, the average person has travelled to 10 different countries around the world.
The north-south divide is also ever-apparent in Brits’ travel choices, as almost 1 in 5 southerners said they’ve never ventured up north. And nearly half (48%) of the population of Wales and Scotland haven’t ever been to each other’s country.
The decision to holiday abroad must be affecting our knowledge of the UK, as a 10th of Brits think Land’s End is in Scotland – when that couldn’t be further from its location at the very foot of Cornwall. A further 12% think the Brecon Beacons is in Scotland, and 6% are even convinced that London is in the north west of the country.
Brits’ top 20 British bucket list experiences:
Visit Giant’s Causeway
Go whale watching in the Scottish Highlands
Visit Bath’s Roman Baths
Walk along Hadrian’s Wall
See in the summer solstice at Stonehenge
Spend a day at Wimbledon
Enjoy a clotted cream tea in Cornwall
Stay in a thatched cottage in the Cotswolds
Visit the Edinburgh Festival
Visit Buckingham Palace
Watch a show on London’s West End
See the White Cliffs of Dover
Eat fresh fish and chips in Whitby
Walk through Cheddar Gorge
Climb Mount Snowdon
Take a boat trip on Lake Windermere
Stargazing in Northumberland
See the crown jewels at the Tower of London
Look for Nessie at Loch Ness
Search for fossils on the Jurassic Coast
Read our array of travel articles about the above destinations to start planning your next English adventure now:
Route 66 Named As The Most Instagram-Worthy Road Trip In The World
Route 66 has been named as the most Instagram-worthy road trip in the world, according to Brits.
The study, which polled 2,000 adults, found the top three routes are all located in the United States – specifically through the Grand Canyon National Park and along the Pacific Highway Coast.
The drive through the Grand Canyon parks, typically following the South Rim to the North Rim and famed for its exquisite views of the stunning natural wonder was second.
‘PCH’, also known as Route 101, came third. The route takes you on a coastal, cliff-hugging drive from San Francisco to San Diego, passing by San Jose, Big Sur and Monterey.
56% of those who took part named the US as the road trip capital of the world.
Commissioned by Hertz, the research also identified key ingredients for a successful road trip – including wide-open roads, driving past famous attractions and spotting wildlife along the way. Discovering views and taking in the scenery were highlighted as the main reasons for adults going on a road trip.
The influence of social media has had a huge impact on destinations of choice, bringing increased awareness of less well-known areas, as well as ensuring that gems such as the Route 66 are still as popular as ever.
While views and scenery were important for older travellers, millennials are more focused on having a ‘new experience’. More than two thirds of millennials admitted the places they see on Instagram affect their choice of location, compared to just 13% of adults over 38. In fact, 30% said they are unlikely to visit somewhere if they’ve never seen photos of it on Instagram. Hashtags and location tags have become a new way to research the next travel destination and 4 in 10 millennials use the platform to discover new points of interest and places to visit.
The survey, conducted via OnePoll in December 2018, also found an average of 12 photos a day are taken on a holiday or a trip. 57% of respondents said they were most likely to take a photo of a landscape or cityscape while on a trip. Double the number of millennials compared to the over 38s are likely to take a photo of their food.
It seems that photographs make memories, with 36% of millennials saying that they would struggle to remember their trip if they didn’t post a photo of it, compared to 19% of over 38s. Furthermore, one in 10 admitted to visiting somewhere purely because they want to share it on Instagram.
Twenty per cent of respondents would like to combine creating their own route with a structured drive.
Seychelles is a unique destination in itself, but we have rounded up 7 cool things to get up to while you’re out there. Whether you’re after a one-of-a-kind experience, some of the most extraordinary nature or you dare to try unusual food, Seychelles has got it covered. Keep reading to find out what do add to your 2019 bucket list.
Post a letter underwater in Beau Vallon beach. ‘Unlock the Sea’ is a programme by Le Méridien Fisherman’s Cove and The Marine Conservation Society Seychelles that offers a unique way to experience Seychelles and its marine landscape. You can post greetings back home in an underwater letterbox, which is emptied every two days. This guided snorkelling tour, where marine experts offer an insight into the ecosystem, is a new kind of sustainable holiday experience. The post box is removed during monsoon but it will be back in February at the latest.
Get behind the scenes of ‘High & Dry’ on Mahé island, where the cast spent a month filming the Channel 4 comedy. The largest of the Seychelles islands is blessed with rugged mountains, verdant greenery and paradise beaches. Most of the filming was done in Anse Major. The crew wanted a 360-degree view of unspoiled natural beauty, which is exactly what they found at this beach. You can only get there by boat or on foot but the trip to this slice of secluded turquoise water and white sand heaven is well worth it!
Sample bat curry, one of Seychelles’ local delicacies. The dish is hard to find even for the most seasoned travellers, so it is something to write home about. If you’re staying on Mahé, head to Marie Antoinette Creole Restaurant, one of the oldest and most famous restaurants in Seychelles. Here, you will need to request the fruit bat curry in advance. You can also order it from many Creole takeaways, such as Coco Rouge on Praslin who serve it regularly. And if you want to try fruit bat ravioli, check out Mahé’s La Plaine St. Andre.
Plant a tree in one of the most exclusive resorts in the Seychelles. North Island is a car-free island with four perfect beaches encircled by granite rocks and tropical forest. The tree planting experience sees guests planting endemic flora from a nursery, part of North Island’s Noah’s Ark program. With only 11 villas on an island the size of Monaco, all activities are enjoyed in absolute privacy. Unsurprisingly, many guests don’t leave during their visit except for fishing or diving, even though it’s very close to Mahé and Silhouette island.
Spot the world’s heaviest (and sexiest!) seed, the unusual and endemic Coco de Mer. Because of its unusual, erotic shape, and the fact that the pollination process of its trees is still unclear, this rare seed has always been the object of fascinating mythological stories. Some even saying the trees make passionate love on stormy nights! Catch them at UNESCO World Heritage Site Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve on Praslin Island or in the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens on Mahé.
Marvel at the world’s smallest frog and giant tortoises in Seychelles. The Gardiner’s Tree Frog is only 11mm in length! It is endemic to the Seychelles and its green to brown skin shows a distinctive dark band extending from its mouth, to below its eye and to the hind legs. You can spot the little one at Morne Seychellois, a striking hiking trail in Mahé. The archipelago is also home to the biggest population of the rare Aldabra tortoises. You can find them on North Island, Cousin Island and Curieuse Island.
Meet a real-life hero: the Seychelles Warbler. This native bird saved Cousin Island! When it was discovered that the species was almost becoming extinct, the island that was once a coconut plantation was given protected status and native flora was re-planted. Thanks to the Seychelles Warbler, Cousin Island is now a special nature reserve. Tours to Cousin Island can be organised through operators, guest houses and hotels on Praslin Island.
Travel to Finland on the rise: Helsinki Airport breaks another record
Air travel via Helsinki Airport has been growing rapidly over the past few years. A historical milestone was surpassed today as the 20 millionth passenger of 2018 visited the airport.
“This is a momentous occasion for Helsinki Airport and the entire Finnish aviation industry,” says Joni Sundelin, Director of Helsinki Airport.
“The number of passengers has been growing faster than we predicted a few years ago. Back then, we talked about 20 million passengers in 2020. However, we hit that mark already this year.”
Up to 21 million passengers are expected to visit Helsinki Airport by the end of the year. The corresponding figure last year was 18.9 million passengers.
Sundelin says that responsibility is a key factor in the growth of Helsinki Airport. “We do our best to ensure that the volume air traffic can grow responsibly. Helsinki Airport is already a carbon neutral airport. We use renewable energy and fuels and compensate for other emissions.”
The volume of international transit traffic is increasing rapidly
The increasing number of passengers is due to the growth of international transit traffic, the attractiveness of Finland as a travel destination and Finns’ increased tendency to travel by plane.
“All areas of our operations have grown. The majority of traffic is still within Europe, but Asian transit traffic, in particular, has been growing more rapidly than expected.”
The growth of international traffic at Helsinki Airport has continued to be stronger than at the other main Nordic airports.
“We are currently among the most rapidly growing air traffic hubs in Europe. We have established our status as a hub of transit traffic between Europe and Asia.”
Finavia works arduously on getting new routes and airlines to use its airports. The main airlines, Finnair and Norwegian, have increased their range of services considerably this year. In addition, the airport has secured new airlines as its clients. FlyDubai, for example, began operating daily flights to Helsinki.
“Hopefully, we will continue to acquire more clients next year,” says Sundelin.
“We expect Helsinki Airport to continue its strong growth, but we also assume that the rate of growth will become more moderate in the coming years.”
A frantic year of development coming up at Helsinki Airport in 2019
The rapid rate of growth at Helsinki Airport is, of course, a positive sign, but the rapidly increasing number of passengers also sets certain challenges for the capacity of the airport. That is why, already in 2014, Finavia initiated a €1 billion development programme that is helping Helsinki Airport to prepare for serving up to 30 million passengers a year.
“The next year of the development programme will be very remarkable. In February, we will open the new heart of long-distance traffic, Aukio, and later on, the expansions of the west pier, border control and Terminal 1 will be opened,” says Sundelin.
The construction of the new entrance to Terminal 2 and the new departure and arrivals halls will also begin in early 2019. Passengers will have to take the construction work into account when arriving at and leaving the airport.
“The new premises of Helsinki Airport and the entire customer experience of passengers will be world-class. Nevertheless, we need to focus on maintaining the level of customer satisfaction during the construction work,” says Sundelin.
Finavia provides and develops airport services with a focus on safety, customer-orientation and cost efficiency in Finland.
Ever heard of Finland’s Wife Carrying Festival? Watch Neil Gibson buckle under the pressure of this once gimmick, now national institution in the episode below, July Globe Guide.