Colors: Yellow Color
Colors: Yellow Color

British Airways has announced that it will be resuming scheduled flights to Seychelles as from March 2018.

The United Kingdom’s flag carrier, also one of the world’s leading scheduled international passenger airlines, will launch direct flights to Seychelles as of March 24, 2018.

British Airways will be resuming flights to Seychelles, after over a decade of not flying to the Indian Ocean island destination. It will operate non-stop twice-weekly flights from the London Heathrow airport to Seychelles from March to October, offering more choice to sun-seeking holidaymakers.

The flights will depart Heathrow’s Terminal 5 on Wednesdays and Saturdays and will be operated by the airline’s newest fleet of aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The return flights to Heathrow will be on Thursdays and Sundays.

The British carrier says the route timetable is perfectly positioned for honeymooners and holidaymakers keen on extending their break in the Seychelles.

“The Seychelles is one of the most beautiful places on earth and we’re delighted to be adding this collection of islands to our extensive route network,” said British Airways’ Director of Network and Alliances, Sean Doyle.

“Customers can now get into ‘holiday mode’ even earlier with British Airways’ direct flights from London taking 10 hours, instead of over 13 hours with a connection in the Middle East. As one of the leading luxury holiday destinations, the Seychelles offers customers a wide range of accommodation and activities in stunning natural surroundings,” he added.

British Airways will become the only airline offering non-stop service between Seychelles and the UK, which is an important market for Seychelles. Visitor arrivals from the UK & Ireland, which is currently the Seychelles’ fifth largest market, stands at 15,427 to-date for 2017, representing a 22 percent increase over last year.

The Seychelles authorities including the Seychelles High Commissioner in the UK, Derick Ally, and the Seychelles Tourism Board through its Chief Executive Sherin Francis and the STB UK office as well as the Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine Ministry through Minister Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, have been instrumental in securing British Airways’ engagement to resume flights to Seychelles.

Welcoming Tuesday’s announcement, Minister Loustau-Lalanne said this is the best news for the Seychelles’ tourism industry both for its short term and long-term viability.

“We were all devastated when British Airways pulled out in 2004. The return of British Airways to the Seychelles with two non-stop flights from London Heathrow in 2018 will provide a boost, especially to our 5 Star establishments. It will also help to further develop our USA market and elsewhere,” Minister Loustau-Lalanne added.

For her part, Mrs. Francis said: “We were all delighted to learn a few months ago that Seychelles was finally on the planning chart of British Airways amongst a handful of other destinations that were being considered. Seychelles has in the past years at every given opportunity expressed its interest to see British Airways serving the destination again and the invitation were even extended from the highest office in Seychelles. We are happy that this long-awaited day has arrived. The UK is a very important market for Seychelles and the team at British Airways can count on our support for this route.”

Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, the Seychelles’ Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine and Dr. Li Jinzao, the Chairman of the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on tourism cooperation.

The MoU was signed on Monday 11th September 2017, in the margins of the 22nd General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which is being held in Chengdu, China. The 11th -16th September gathering is being held under the theme Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals – Journey to 2030.

Also present at the signing ceremony were Mrs. Anne Lafortune, the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Ms. Vivianne Fock-Tave, Seychelles’ resident Ambassador in China and Mr. Jean-Luc Lai-Lam, the Seychelles Tourism Board Director for China.

During the meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Minister Loustau-Lalanne said the conclusion of the agreement was a positive step forward and showcases the willingness of the Seychelles and Chinese governments to renew their partnership and deepen the people to people ties in the tourism sector.

The objective of the MoU is to provide a broad framework for cooperation in the tourism sector through tourism and data exchange, support for marketing and promotion programs, training programs, exchange on tourism product development and collaboration between tourism associations.

Minister Loustau-Lalanne said: “The Chinese market is becoming more important for Seychelles. Since we would like our Chinese visitors to feel at home away from home, we would like to welcome Chinese investors to develop tourism related services that will benefit both the Chinese and other visitors. Furthermore, since we have a Bilateral Air Service Agreement in place between our two countries, we would like to see Chinese airlines flying to Seychelles in order to improve air links between our two countries.”

For his part, the head of the China National Tourism Administration, Dr. Li Jinzao expressed the willingness of China to enhance the cooperation with Seychelles in the field of tourism and emphasized on the uniqueness of Seychelles as a dream destination for the Chinese tourists.

“Seychelles has been playing an important and dynamic role in advocating the importance of sustainable tourism for Small Island Developing States. The country’s sustainable tourism policies are inspirational to other countries,” said Dr. Li.

To note that in 2011 when STB decided to tap into the Chinese market, visitor arrivals from China stood at only around 500 annually. In just under five years this figure had grown to over 15,000 in 2016, ranking China as the 6th country contributing the most tourists to the Seychelles.

This achievement has been part and parcel of the continuous success of the country’s sustainable policies that have resulted in numerous accolades. With Seychelles topping the list of 180 countries for best quality of air on the planet, according to the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2016 report, the island destination has attracted many Chinese visitors through focused related marketing campaign.

You can now stay in an igloo in the French Alps while raising money and awareness towards sustainable tourism efforts, with a new eco-challenge from tour company Undiscovered Mountains.

The multi-activity holiday specialists have joined forces with ethical tourism charity Tourism Concern to raise awareness of sustainable tourism, through the launch of the Undiscovered Mountains Eco-Challenge.

The challenge will see participants building an igloo from scratch in a remote area of the French Alps before sleeping in the construction overnight. The challenge is not an easy feat with different locations, snow conditions and building techniques all affecting the quality of an igloo structure.

For every group who successfully completes the challenge, Undiscovered Mountains will donate €50 to Tourism Concern.

The Undiscovered Mountains Eco-Challenge is now available to book for the winter 2017/18 season.

The eco-challenge comes at a time when discussion around tourism overload is rife. The recent anti-tourism protests and issues with overcrowding in major European cities are shining a light on the importance of creating a sustainable and ethical tourism industry which benefits the local community in tourist destinations.

2017 has also seen the number of travellers looking to stay in eco-friendly accommodation almost double upon the previous year, with 65% of travellers expressing their intent to stay in eco-friendly accommodation in 2017 according to data from's Sustainable Travel Report, versus just 34% in 2016.

Specialist tour operators Undiscovered Mountains have a strong commitment to ethical tourism, working only with local suppliers and creating a sustainable tourism industry in the Alps.

Sally Guillaume, Director of Undiscovered Mountains says, “Sustainable tourism is an issue which is at the core of everything we do. We believe it is crucial to continually look for new ways to raise greater awareness of the benefits and importance of responsible travel.

We chose to use an igloo expedition for our eco-challenge as we strive to promote Alps-based activities outside of ski resorts, which develop a broader tourism economy in the local area. Additionally, the igloo expedition utilises natural resources and survival skills allowing participants to get in touch with nature and truly appreciate the Alpine environment.”

The tour operators are excited to be teaming up with Tourism Concern to raise money towards the charity's work promoting tourism that benefits local people in tourist destinations.

Guillaume states, “Tourism Concern's work to promote ethical tourism and campaign against unscrupulous travel companies is admirable. We are delighted to be working together to raise awareness of sustainable tourism and to support Tourism Concern's work by donating money from the challenge.”

Mark Watson, Executive Director at Tourism Concern is thrilled to be involved in the launch of the Undiscovered Mountains Eco-Challenge. He says, "We are very pleased to be working with Undiscovered Mountains, one of our Ethical Tour Operators, on this innovative and exciting initiative and thank them for their support. This is a fun way to help Tourism Concern and raise awareness of ethical and sustainable tourism. We hope as many people as possible take part in this exciting project and support us in ensuring that tourism benefits local communities."

The Undiscovered Mountains Eco-Challenge is now available to book via Undiscovered Mountains online or by phone. The challenge can be included as part of any Undiscovered Mountains winter activity package, or alternatively Undiscovered Mountains can offer a tailor-made trip with the eco-challenge included. Trips will be taking place through the winter 2017/18 season.

Siam Park and Loro Parque, two of Tenerife's most popular theme parks, have been honoured in TripAdvisor's highly-acclaimed 2017 Travellers' Choice Awards. The island's Thai-themed water kingdom, Siam Park, has claimed the pole position as the world's 'Best Water Park', for the fourth consecutive year, while animal paradise Loro Parque has also claimed the top spot as the world's 'Best Zoological Park'. The popular Travellers' Choice Awards celebrate the best attractions across the globe based on the reviews of millions of travellers.

Loro Parque is a 13.5-hectare zoo on the outskirts of Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife, which houses the most extensive and diverse reserve of animal and plant species. Earlier this year, Loro Parque received a 'Humane Certified' certificate from the renowned animal welfare organisation American Humane for its humane treatment of the animals, making it the first zoo in Europe to achieve this standard. Loro Parque's efforts in the matters of the conservation of biodiversity were again recognised when it received a certificate for confirming 100% compliance to the Global Welfare for Animals in Tourism guidelines, which were set out by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).

Siam Park, which is set against a backdrop of spectacular Thai architecture, is located in Costa Adeje, in the south of Tenerife. It recently unveiled its newest ride, Singha, which sees a three-man float propelled uphill and downhill through water before being catapulted along a winding 200 metre tunnel.

The Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands is extending its gratitude to its cruise and airline partners for transporting visitors and residents out of the district of St. Thomas and St. John following the passage of Hurricane Irma.
Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty thanked the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruises for providing urgent transportation and also for delivering needed supplies to aid with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.
The Norwegian Sky departed St. Thomas on Tuesday, September 12 and arrived in Miami, Florida early Friday morning, September 15. Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas departed St. Thomas on Wednesday, September 13 and arrived the following day in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
"I would like to extend an incredible thank you to the FCCA for being there to answer our call, as well as the member lines who played a major part in our evacuation efforts, and for bringing important relief assistance to our residents, " the Commissioner said. "The cruise industry has proven to be our partners in good times and true friends in times of need," she asserted.
The Commissioner also thanked Delta Air Lines for operating a humanitarian flight from Atlanta to St. Thomas, bringing in much-needed recovery supplies and carrying out U.S. citizens to Detroit, including those with urgent medical needs. Gratitude was also relayed to JetBlue Airways and United Airlines for performing similar relief flights.
"We believe the majority of visitors have now departed St. Thomas and St. John and we are working feverishly to establish the number of accommodation options available to house relief workers as we work on rebuilding the district," said Commissioner Nicholson-Doty, who promised St. Thomas and St. John will build back stronger and better.
She thanked members of her staff, some of whom suffered significant personal losses, for their tireless work over the past week, along with the many volunteers who have come forward throughout the community.
As St. Thomas and St. John continue to rebuild and recover from Hurricane Irma, visit for the latest updates.

Following its recent €65 million overhaul, Malaga's brand new grand dame, Gran Hotel Miramar, can now invite guests to enter into a world of senses at its exclusive new Botanical Spa by Sisley. A holistic haven dedicated to sensory wellbeing, the new spa harmoniously blends natural plant-based products with Moorish traditions to create a calming oasis in the heart of the ancient Andalucían city.

Spread across two floors, the Botanical Spa provides a tranquil environment inspired by the storied hotel's historic glamour and grace, offering an array of wellness services that include a thermal circuit; six body and aesthetic treatment cabins; Finnish sauna, Turkish hammam; ice fountain; Jacuzzi; a sensations shower pool; relaxation area with hot stone loungers; and a VIP treatment room complete with Champagne and fresh juice.

The Botanical Spa's comprehensive menu features a collection of results-driven facials and body treatments from international luxury beauty brand, Sisley. The prestigious Sisley brand is the benchmark in Phyto-Cosmetology, sourcing and utilising the most effective natural plant extracts to achieve the best skincare results. Signature treatments include the Expert Phyto-Aromatic Facial and the Phyto-Aromatic Supreme Anti-Ageing Facial to moisturise, brighten or rejuvenate the skin, as well as multi-sensorial massage rituals from all over the world, created with the respect of local traditions and the power of aromatherapy, to reunify body and mind.

If anything stirs the heart and soul, it's a walk through a woodland in Scotland: as the leaves turn rich red, gold and warm orange, as the crisp air moves in, before settling in front of a crackling fire for a comforting hot chocolate or wee dram.

Visitors to Scotland this autumn can follow in the footsteps of poets William Wordsworth and Robert Burns who felt inspired by the rich tapestry of autumn: from enchanted Perthshire forests, to the fairy glens of the Highlands, to the coastal trail of Aberdeenshire, among many other places to visit. Autumn in Scotland is a truly magical time.

A UK-wide tourism campaign is launching to inspire young people from Great Britain and Northern Ireland to take a holiday at home.

Statistics show that 16-to-34 year olds took almost 1.4 million fewer holidays at home last year compared to a decade ago.

VisitEngland’s £2.5 million ‘Join the World - Discover the UK’ digital and social media campaign, launching on Monday 11 September, is targeting this ‘lost generation’ using overseas social media influencers and travellers to showcase to their peers the amazing moments and experiences that can only be had on a holiday at home in the UK.

The campaign is run in partnership with the national tourism organisations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and tourism businesses and destination management organisations across the UK.

Part of the UK Government’s GREAT Britain campaign Join the World - Discover the UK is expected to generate more than one million additional overnight stays with an £80 million boost to the economy.

UK Government Minister for Tourism John Glen said:

“There is an incredible amount to see and do across the whole of the UK and we want to inspire more young people to take in our world-class attractions, sites and cities.

"Tourism boosts our economy, creates jobs and supports local businesses. By showcasing the exciting and diverse range of trips on offer I hope it will encourage many more young people to explore the UK.”

VisitBritain/VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:

“From moonlight kayaking in Northern Ireland and mountain-biking down Elan Valley in Wales to a night-out in the vibrant Ashton Lane in Glasgow and craft-beer experiences in Yorkshire, the UK is packed full of amazing moments.

“We want young people to take a new look at the sheer diversity and quality of activities and experiences right here on our doorstep and inspire them to book a short-break, boosting seasonal tourism and spreading its economic benefits across the UK.”

Join the World - Discover the UK kicks off with the launch of five short films and images showcasing experiences in London and Yorkshire in England, Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland, Glasgow in Scotland and Elan Valley in Wales, through the eyes of international travellers. These are being promoted across digital and social media channels Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat and dozens of digital billboards throughout the UK.

The campaign drives online ‘traffic’ to a hub on featuring blogs and user-generated content showcasing seasonal events, activities and experiences. Visitors can upload images of their own amazing moments on social media using #lovegreatbritain and #loveUK for the chance to feature on the hub. Short-films created by a French social media influencer on a foodie trip to Northern Ireland and a Canadian influencer on a city-trip to Bristol launch in October.

The campaign runs throughout the year with peaks in paid media activity targeting the shoulder seasons to encourage young people to take short-breaks in the UK, boosting travel during the quieter seasons.

Join the World - Discover the UK marks the sixth year that VisitEngland has run a campaign to boost domestic tourism and get people out exploring the UK with former promotions featuring Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and celebrities.

The thoughts and prayers of the people of The Bahamas are with all of those who are adversely impacted by Hurricane Irma, and we pray that Hurricane Jose does not add to the challenges of our neighbors.

This is a moment for the Caribbean region that is without equal. The impact of Hurricane Irma on a number of islands in our region, our neighbors, has been stunning. We are turning our attention to assessing impacts in our country, but are also mindful that the recovery necessary in our region will benefit all of us. The Bahamas will be seeking to assist in this recovery as we can.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization, which I chair, will work to support recovery of the Caribbean and to communicate effectively across our region and to our neighbors in this hemisphere.

We have weathered many storms, we are resilient and we will navigate the road to recovery together.

Hon. Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar

Bahamas Minister of Tourism

Chair, Caribbean Tourism Organization

An influx of Chinese tourists to the UK is not only bolstering retail spend and but it is also supporting a boom in the retail offerings at transport hubs such as airports and train stations, according to Colliers International.

Responding to the latest findings from Global Blue, which reveal that the Chinese year-on-year overseas retail spend has increased by more than eight per cent across Europe, Paul Souber, Head of Retail Agency London and Co Head EMEA Retail at Colliers International, commented : “Chinese tourists are already the biggest spending nationality when on their travels and collectively spent $261 billion whilst abroad in 2016.

Visa restrictions on Chinese nationals visiting the UK have historically kept tourism levels relatively low, however these policies have been relaxed and there is now an increasingly strong demand for outbound travel. In addition, there is an expanding network of international direct flights from China, which is helping to boost overseas retail spend.

“We’ve noticed that retailers have seized the overseas spending opportunity by seeking advice about taking space at transport hubs. It’s fascinating to see how the retail offer at airports and stations is broadening. Not that long ago, if you were heading off on holiday and were at an airport, port or train station with time to kill and money in your pocket, the options were fairly limited. There’d be a newsagent, tourist gift shop, some - often uninspiring - cafés and duty free if you were about to board a plane or ship. Tapping into that ‘shopping on the move’ trend is becoming increasingly vital for landlords and brands.

“With a population-in-motion of more than one billion people, some commentators are now referring to the travel sector as the world’s ‘sixth continent’. It certainly is a burgeoning specialist retail property sector that must be factored into the plans of any brand that is looking to establish an international profile. With UK-EU changes in March 2019, duty free is only going to make the retail offering in travel hubs an even bigger business when it returns.  Not only will there be an influx of jobs and retail transactions but we will also see more retailers looking to take extra sites or larger units.

“There is close to 500,000 sq ft of retail space across the Heathrow terminals which makes the airport a shopping centre in its own right. St Pancras station which is both a commuter hub and the Eurostar terminal has a tremendous retail and food & drink offer. Calvin Klein, Chanel, Fortnum & Mason, John Lewis, LK Bennett, Oliver Bonas and kikki.K are among the brands represented and there are great places to eat and drink which include one of the best Sourced Market outlets in London and also the famous St Pancras champagne bar.

“There are hardly any of the original shops that were in the Eurostar terminal when it opened a decade ago. That is because the offer has been enhanced to meet the needs of an increasingly demanding and affluent shopper base.

“Of course, as with all decisions to take a physical store, it is absolutely essential that the retail offer is compatible with the environment. However, the relevant shopper dwell time – at airports in particular – is now considerable due to the demands of security, so there are increasing opportunities for retailers to exploit the flow of passengers.”

“With the Chinese expected to spend more than £1bn in the UK by the end of this year (with around half that four years ago), its apparent that this is only the beginning and not the end of the summer holidays for retail.”

The destruction caused by Hurricane Irma in the British Virgin Islands has been devastating. With cell phone towers down and power outages, it has been difficult to receive communication from within the territory, and to fully assess the damage. The destination has lost entire structures and many homes are without roofs, or have been diminished to merely foundations. Sadly, there may have been fatalities in the territory, but there are none confirmed at this time as we are still in the assessment process, which has been a challenge due to lack of communication.

The Government has begun to coordinate humanitarian relief efforts and an initial clean-up operation. We received word that the UK government is sending Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean to offer relief and support, hopefully arriving tomorrow, September 8th.

Hurricane Jose, a Category 3 hurricane, is slated to reach the destination this weekend, so we are doing our best to make sure people in the BVI are making safety a priority.

Please keep your thoughts and prayers with the people of the BVI, and send donations to the BVI Recovery Fund, set up on behalf of the government, in partnership with Pledgeling.

We want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support for the BVI community. The people of the British Virgin Islands are resilient and we are confident we will be able to rebuild.

From 10 September, guests can follow in the footsteps of their favourite characters, while living like a true Laird and Lady in an authentic 18th century Scottish castle. Using the Castle as their residential base, 'outlanders' can visit the places which inspired the best-selling novels, as well as filming locations for the TV series.

Working with Private Concierge Scotland, the team at Dundas Castle will create a bespoke package to suit individual needs, helping guests to create their perfect Outlander themed adventure, with dinners, excursions and entertainment.

Over a two day itinerary, the package includes visits to see many of the Outlander locations across Scotland, with travel options of bus, car or even luxury helicopter tours. Taking in impressive sites such as Doune Castle – which acts as Castle Leoch in the TV series; Glencorse Old Kirk, where Jamie and Claire tie the knot; and Linlithgow Palace which is used as Wentworth Prison; fans will gain a fascinating insight into where the series is filmed, as well as an appreciation of the breathtaking Scottish landscape described in the books.

To add to the feel of the stay, the package can also incorporate grand dinners in the Castle's medieval stag chamber, whisky tastings, traditional ceilidhs, clan battles, Scottish pipers and a dramatic 'Beating of the Retreat' to act as a grand finale to the experience.

Just a 15 minute drive from Edinburgh Airport, Dundas Castle is a piece of Scottish baronial splendour with 17 bedrooms, a 600 year old keep and extensive luxury and comfort.

The Castle, still the home of owner, Sir Jack Stewart Clark and his wife, Lady Lydia, is available on an exclusive use basis and is the ideal location for a special weekend of romance, history and discovery. Guests are given complete private use of the Castle and immediate grounds, allowing for a real home from home feel.

Staff at The Manor House Museum, known in medieval times at Bromwic Hall, off Hall Green Road, West Bromwich are getting ready to welcome historical interpretation group Buckingham’s Retinue as part of national Heritage Open Days on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September.

Visitors will be able to enjoy a peep into the late medieval period, we now call ‘The Wars of the Roses’, with a medieval encampment.

There’ll be lots of activities for visitors to see and do well as get involved with, including joining in with music and dance of the period and learning at first-hand about medieval weapons, pastimes, and medicine.

Mark Hewitt, a member of the Buckingham’s Retinue, said: “Visitors can learn about arms and armour and have the opportunity to experience them ‘hands-on’.

“Younger visitors can join in the soldiers’ drilling and see a medieval knight as he is ‘armed up’ by his servants before going into battle, and a display with swords and pole axes as well as learn about early guns and canon.”

Those who prefer a more genteel life can enjoy music and dancing, try their hand at playing some medieval games, learn about food and find out what  people who lived at the Manor House 600 years ago may have worn.

There’s also the opportunity to visit a medieval surgeon who, aided by an array of herbs and surgical instruments will talk about medical practices of the time, the medieval view of the world that supported them and explain how these may (or may not) relate to modern scientific views.

Inside the Manor House, free guided tours will be on offer so visitors can learn more about the fabulous 13th century building and enjoy a talk by local historian Ian Bott.

Councillor Richard Marshall, cabinet member for leisure, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for people to travel way back into the past and learn what life was like long ago as well as having a great free day out with loads to see, do and get involved with.”

The events at the Manor House Museum in Hall Green Road are free and run both days from 11am-3pm.

Honeymooners looking for an exotic escape without a tiring long-haul flight need look no further than adults-only couples hideaway DDG Retreat in romantic Andalucia.

Perched on a hilltop high above the picture-perfect pueblo blanco of Casares and enjoying spectacular 360 degree views, this grown-up getaway offers the ultimate romantic backdrop for a holiday to remember.

Brand new for this season are two stunning canvas super-suites where just-weds can enjoy their privacy in stunning natural surroundings with panoramic views; choose to sleep under the stars in an alfresco bed, watch unforgettable sunsets from their own hot tub or plunge pool, indulge in a sumptuous spa treatment in a woodland cabanah and simply enjoy some relaxing 'we' time together.

The ultra-cool Royal and Maharaja tents take glamping to a new level of luxury and come complete with marble floors, air conditioning, individually-designed and well-appointed interiors, expansive terraces and an attention to detail that has earned DDG Retreat an enviable reputation since it first opened its doors six years ago. The latest luxe additions to this four-hectare woodland estate have been inspired by owners Alex and Olga's extensive travels around the world - whilst for those who prefer more traditional bricks and mortar, Casa Pino, an original artisan casita, is the perfect choice.

Each suite comes with its own generous outdoor space for exclusive use by its occupants. And there are also shared facilities which include a stunning infinity pool; a gym, hammam and sauna; and a tennis court – but with only three casitas dotted around the spacious grounds, the ambience is one of peace and tranquillity. Most choose not to venture far – but for those who prefer to explore the area, DDG Retreat is set in a beautiful protected national park and the sights of authentic Andalucia are on your doorstep.

Tailor-made packages are available according to budget and requirements and special excursions can also be arranged. With no minimum stay conditions, this stunning bolt-hole – named as one of the most romantic on the planet - provides an ideal option not only for longer-stay honeymoons, but for couples seeking a shorter mini-moon.

Opening of Malaga's first grand dame hotel heralds the Spanish city's €100M cultural revival. An ancient Andalucían city that gave birth to Pablo Picasso, but is often overlooked as the gateway to the Costa del Sol, Malaga is transforming itself into a flourishing cultural hub. The recent reopening of the Gran Hotel Miramar following a €65 million renovation is the latest chapter in the city's renaissance as a hotspot of cultural excellence, cementing its place on the wishlists of art lovers and the cognoscenti from across the world.

Once a place to see and be seen for Spanish royalty, European high society and Hollywood stars alike, the iconic five-star Gran Hotel Miramar reopened earlier this year following a painstaking two-year overhaul, putting Malaga firmly back on the global luxury travel map. The assiduous renovation has returned this majestic edifice to its former glory, preserving or revitalising many of its original features, including intricate Moorish carved wood arches, a beautiful first floor gallery, Andalusian tiling, hand-painted frescoes and ornate stucco ceilings.

With a central beachfront location in the cultural hub of La Caleta, the hotel is within easy reach of the many cultural institutions that are popping up around the city including an outpost of France's famous Centre Pompidou and a Malaga branch of the St Petersburg State Russian Museum.

While its magnificent Moorish fortress walls and Roman theatre have long been symbols of the ancient city's place in cultural history, Malaga has in recent years welcomed the opening of prominent museums showcasing the works of world-class painters and sculptors, backed by an ambitious EUR100 million plan by the city council to reinvigorate the city's cultural heritage. Museums such as the famous Picasso Museum, the Carmen Thyssen Museum and the Centre for Contemporary Art are amongst those not to be missed.

Outside the galleries and museums, another traditional expression of art is represented in the city's religious buildings. Through the centuries the churches and cathedrals have been richly endowed with paintings, icons, statues and religious objects that are fine examples of Spain's cultural soul, and incorporate some of the greatest treasures of centuries gone by. Highlights include works by Baroque Spanish painter Francisco Zurbaran, best known for his still life and paintings of clergy members such as nuns and monks to religious carvings by Pedro de Mena who is considered to be the most famous representative of the Granada strand of the Baroque school of sculpture in Spain.

Wigan-based Shearings Holidays, the UK's largest escorted tour operator, has announced a 15 months agreement with the Wigan Warriors to become an official main club sponsor and travel partner.

As part of the partnership, Shearings will work with the Wigan Warriors on a range of initiatives that help celebrate the history of the club and the community, whilst also recognising the loyalty and passion of the Wigan fans.

As part of the deal the Shearings logo will appear on the reverse of the Wigan jersey for the 2018 season, in-addition to club marketing collateral. Shearings will also have exclusive official rights to organise any supporters' tours.

Wigan Warriors Executive Director, Kris Radlinski, said: “Everybody knows of Shearings and to partner with a great Wigan company that has such a large and local workforce who all support the Warriors is a great coup for the Club.

“Having met with Richard Calvert, Chief Executive at Shearings, several times it is clear that this is going to be a really positive partnership for everyone involved. He understands the history of our great Club and the role that the Club plays within the local community. We have many ideas that will celebrate our glorious history and look forward to sharing them with the Shearings workforce and our loyal fans very soon.

Richard Calvert said: “I'm absolutely delighted for Shearings Holidays to be named as the Official Travel Partner of Wigan Warriors. Shearings Leisure Group is a national company with a team of over 2600 employees located across all of the UK, but is immensely proud of its Wigan roots and to be headquartered in Wigan.

“We work hard in the community and also pride ourselves on offering great value for money and service to our 1.1m loyal customers. Wigan Warriors is a worldwide brand, an amazing club which is synonymous with success. They are a partner with whom we share the common values of honesty, pride and ambition. Our exciting partnership will involve many facets, including player, fan and staff based initiatives all across the UK and I can't wait for it to get underway.”

As the official travel partner, Shearings will be selling exclusive packages to the Wigan Warriors ground breaking tour of New South Wales tour in February 2018. Wigan fans, who wish to travel to Australia to see the team play, can choose from 3 bespoke travel packages starting from £1,997. All packages include tickets to the first Super League Game against Hull and both games at the ANZ stadium (Wigan V South Sydney Rabbitohs and Hull FC V St George-Illawarra Dragons).