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9. Relax in Provence 4.

Learn to dance in Cuba From far left: La Bastide


de Marie, Provence;
downtime in Havana

1 Sail round Ha Long Bay, Vietnam of music. A three-day package costs £480
This is one of the most affordable ways to see (including flights from Havana).
a natural wonder of the world – an all-in day esenciaexperiences.com
trip from Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, is about
£40. This includes the bus journey (about 5 Shop for antiques in Paris
three and a half hours each way), a boat trip Paris has the biggest flea markets in the world
out to the limestone islands and lunch on – from the seven-hectare Marché aux Puces
board. Just book at any travel agent in the de St-Ouen at Clignancourt to the smaller
centre of Hanoi. And don’t forget your cossie. Porte de Vanves. Antiques specialist Stuart
Paterson will not only whisk you round the
2 Lunch on the Isle of Skye best bits, but arrange for your purchases to be
The Three Chimneys is a tiny restaurant in a shipped back home – all while you’re lazing at
former fisherman’s cottage whose ingredients the perfect little Marais hotel, Pavillon de la
all come from the island or nearby Lochalsh. Reine. Rooms start at £365 a night.
previous page: graham shearer/trunk archive. this page: Thierry le Goues/Marie Claire/Camera Press

Regularly cited as one of the world’s top 50, it pavillon-de-la-reine.com; stupat@gmail.com


offers a seven-course tasting menu (£90 per
person) including oysters, langoustines with 6 Explore Spitsbergen from a ship
tattie scones, crab with green apple and Basecamp Explorer’s ship, Noorderlicht, is
nasturtium, and a hot marmalade soufflé. based all year in the frozen fjords of Norway,
threechimneys.co.uk hemmed in by ice. Overnight packages start
from around £835 per person and while its
3 Camp in the Empty Quarter ten cabins are not superluxurious, they
Rub’ al Khali, the Empty Quarter on the provide a base from which to explore the 8 Explore the Dolomites in privacy Spoil yourself at the spa, hang out in olive 11 Watch glaciers calve and spectacular clifftop walks at St Abb’s Head.
Arabian Peninsula, is the largest sand desert Arctic wilderness from February until May, San Lorenzo Mountain Lodge in the Italian groves, then go on a tour with a local painter Glacier Bay in Alaska has some of the world’s crabtreeandcrabtree.com/The_Boathouse-
on Earth. Hud Hud Travels sets up the most climbing glaciers and traversing mountain Dolomites was once a 16th-century hunting to discover the spots that inspired Picasso, most impressive glaciers. The only yachts propertyid:11647
comfortable camps surrounded by mountains, passes by dog sled or skidoo. hideaway. It’s now a stylishly decorated Matisse and Chagall. From £315 a night. allowed to stay there overnight are those
canyons and plains. Tents have proper beds basecampexplorer.com gourmet retreat for private groups, run by a labastidedemarie.com owned by American Safaris. Week-long trips 13 Track gorillas in Rwanda
and starlit showers (as you might expect at charming couple. You can keep it just the two start from £1,154 per person per night. From Tracking gorillas in the Parc National des
a cost of £730 per person per night), and 7 Click with the bushmen in Botswana of you from £1,995 a day or invite friends for an 10 Lie on a beach in Mozambique the intimate yachts, see huge ice walls falling Volcans is the highlight of staying at Virunga
excursions are conducted on camels for those Jack’s Cap and San Camp, owned by the extra £82 per person a day. With mountains Situated on 200 metres of private beach on off glaciers, explore icebergs from kayaks and, Lodge (from £384 per person per night), but
who want to explore the dunes slowly (or charismatic guide Ralph Bousfield, are in the and forests all around, there’s plenty to do, a protected wildlife peninsula, Pambele is if you’re brave, take a dip in the icy water. its hilltop position, with views over the
there are Jeeps for fans of air conditioning). middle of the biggest salt pans in Africa, the from hiking, biking and mushroom-hunting in on a stunning part of the African coast, un-cruise.com/alaska-cruises Virunga volcanoes, shimmering lakes and
hudhudtravels.com Makgadikgadi. From here, go with San the forests to skiing – just ten minutes away surrounded by reefs, deserted beaches and misty tropical forests, is pretty special, too.
bushmen into the desert, learning about bush by helicopter. Or you can just float in the seas teeming with fish. The fully staffed 12 Fly-fish on the Tweed There are 10 gorilla families in the area (of
4 Learn to dance in Cuba life and traditional lifestyles, or head out on heated pool, admiring the views and tucking private house sleeps ten adults and four The Boathouse, a five-bedroomed, self- the 800 or so mountain gorillas still left in
Dance company Ballet Folklórico Cutumba safari to spot unusual creatures such as desert into porcini soufflés and wild-boar tagliatelle. children (from £3,920 a night all-inclusive) in catering cottage in Northumberland, is not existence); once one has been found, you have
offers lessons in Cuban son and salsa in lions, brown hyena, porcupines and meerkats. sanlorenzomountainlodge.com five wooden, thatched villas, and comes with a just surrounded by spectacular countryside, just one precious hour to spend with them.
Santiago de Cuba and organises club nights Prices from £710 per person per night, staying catamaran and speedboat for excursions to but fronted by 1,000 yards of the River Tweed, volcanoessafaris.com
in Havana. Plus, trips around the country in stylish colonial tents filled with antiques 9 Relax in Provence marlin fish, dolphin and whale-spot, or picnic renowned for its salmon fishing. It starts
can be arranged, trying or watching various and four-poster beds. Stay at La Bastide de Marie: a farmhouse on one of 100 little islands nearby. at £1,000 per week and, for non-fishers, 14 Swim with penguins in Cape Town
dance forms and experiencing local styles unchartedafrica.com converted into a superchic boutique hotel. pambele.co.mz there are fine beaches at nearby Bamburgh At the very tip of the African continent the

46 The Times Magazine The Times Magazine 47

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