Colors: Yellow Color
Colors: Yellow Color

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).

WOW air is encouraging travellers on a budget to catch a glimpse of the enchanting Northern Lights, with 20% off flights to Iceland from any of its destinations this winter.

Iceland's location just below the Arctic Circle makes it the perfect destination to experience the natural light displays of the Aurora Borealis. Just a 3 hour flight away, travellers can choose to view the elsuvie spectacle from a number of vantage points, be it from jeeps, from the seas, from the warmth of hot springs, or even from the air. Tours with leading operator Reykjvik Excursions can be booked directly via WOW air's website.

The WOWBOREALIS promo code is valid for return trips from any WOW air destination to Keflavik taking place between 10 September 2017 and 10 March 2018. This is valid for bookings made between 31 August and 4 September 2017.

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has announced that the world's longest and highest zip line will officially open on the UAE's highest peak, Jebel Jais, in December.

With the exact length of the zip line remaining a closely-guarded secret until the multi-million dollar adventure tourism product's opening, the zip line will propel the UAE's most northern emirate into the major leagues of global adventure tourism and cement Jebel Jais as the region's leading active adventure tourism destination.

RAKTDA has partnered with Toro Verde, the world's leading zip line operator, to develop its latest active adventure tourism product, which is due to break the current Guinness world record zip line of 2,200 metres held by 'The Monster' in Puerto Rico, a site also developed and operated by Toro Verde. The Ras Al Khaimah zip line will also be a case study for eco-tourism, using solar energy and locally-sourced natural materials, ensuring visitors enjoy the natural experience in the emirate's mountain landscape.

Speaking at a press conference to launch Ras Al Khaimah's flagship tourism product, Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA, which develops the emirate's tourism infrastructure, regulates its hospitality sector and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions, revealed the currently unnamed zip line will be longer than 28 soccer fields in length.

“Building on the success of last year's launch of the Jebel Jais Via Ferrata adventure product, the new zip line represents Ras Al Khaimah's most significant tourism product opening since Al Marjan Island, our coral-shaped leisure tourism archipelago. This key product launch will further enhance Ras Al Khaimah's unique mountain-beach-desert offering as the emirate moves towards its goal of attracting one million visitors next year, under the guidance and vision of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah,” Mattar said.

With RAKTDA aiming to secure Guinness World Records status for the world's longest and highest zip line, Toro Verde UAE, a subsidiary of the Puerto Rico based Magno Genesis Holding Group, has been appointed to construct and operate the attraction.

“Jebel Jais' dramatic and beautiful landscape offers an iconic backdrop for what will be a bucket list experience for people all around the world. The mountains also provide a strong and very challenging base for construction and through our experience and the expertise of our team, we are already making good progress,” said Jorge Jorge, CEO of Toro Verde Ras Al Khaimah.

“Opening within the heart of the UAE's highest and most iconic natural mountain range, the Jebel Jais zip line experience will consist of two lines, allowing friends and family to take part in the flight together. On arrival at the Welcome Centre, which features a lounge, restaurant, lockers, equipment storage and offices, participants will be given a pre-briefing and then escorted to the launch platform and fitted with a special suit and equipment for this adventure,” commented Ricardo Lizano, COO of Toro Verde Ras Al Khaimah.

The zip line will be open to all ages, providing participants meet required minimum weight of 35kg and maximum weight of 150kg, and a minimum height of 120cm.

Who among us hasn't looked up to the skies on a clear night in wonder? Contemplating the universe while observing the heavens is only a natural reaction. But what if you could see the stars shine brighter than you ever thought possible?

In the Canary Islands, you can enjoy the cleanest, clearest skies in Europe for stargazing. In fact, two of the widest range observatories on the planet are located in Tenerife. Thanks to the region's low level of light pollution, this desirable characteristic extends to La Gomera, widely regarded as the most authentic and visual of the Canary Islands.

An Evening with the Stars

As soon as you arrive, La Gomera welcomes you with the best viewpoints around. Then, as the sun sets over the horizon, the night begins its hypnotising dance, dazzling onlookers with stellar displays.

Planets, constellations, galaxies and shooting stars sparkle for any traveller who keeps their eyes to the sky. With a little attention, you can learn to see them easily.

Where to start?

To experience this star-studded spectacle in all its glory, you should start by downloading virtual observatory apps. Popular options include Star Walk 2, Sky Map or SkyView, all of which provide detailed information by facing your smartphone at whatever you want to learn about.

César Manrique Viewpoint

Once you've downloaded your app, kick off your stargazing journey in La Gomera at the César Manrique viewpoint on the road to Valle Gran Rey.

This viewpoint is perfect for observing one of the most recognisable groups of stars in the galaxy, the Orion constellation. In February and March, the mythological giant beams across the winter sky. You can even notice the contrast in colours at the edges of the stars: the reddish Betelgeuse in the shoulder of the giant and the blue Rigel in his foot.

From here, it's easy to see Orion's Belt, the iconic asterism formed by three massive stars. Hanging below Orion's belt, three more small stars form part of the Great Orion Nebula, the most brilliant nebulae visible to the naked eye.

In the framework of the International Year on Sustainable Tourism for Development, 2017, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is launching a consumer-oriented campaign aimed at raising awareness of the value and contribution that sustainable tourism can make towards development. The 'Travel.Enjoy.Respect' campaign wants to engage tourists in making the sector a catalyst for positive change.

The main message of the campaign is summarized by the UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai: “Whenever you travel, wherever you travel, remember to: respect nature, respect culture, and respect your host. You can be the change you want to see in the world. You can be an ambassador for a better future. TRAVEL, ENJOY AND RESPECT.”

The campaign, which will run in various languages and outlets around the world, includes a manual of 'Tips for a Responsible Traveller', developed by the World Committee on Tourism Ethics in line with the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. The manual provides travellers with a set of recommendations to help them make responsible choices when travelling and have a positive impact on the destinations they visit.

“Today more than ever, ensuring that tourism is an enriching experience for visitors and hosts alike demands strong, sustainable tourism policies and practices and the engagement of national, as well as local, governments and administrations, private sector companies, local communities and tourists themselves,” added Mr. Rifai.

The message will reach consumers through campaign supporters including among others CNN International, the Government of Andorra, the Madrid City Council, Iberia, the Spanish National Railways System (Renfe), Minube, PR MEDIACO, Cleverdis and Air Mauritius.

Destinations and companies from around the world are invited to join the campaign and celebrate the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development with a commitment from the sector to 'Travel.Enjoy.Respect'.

Heated indoor pools, sunny outdoor pools, kid-friendly restaurant menus, free in-room WIFI and a water sports center are among the facilities that will keep children occupied and happy at the collection of luxury Corinthia Hotels around the world.

“Family travel is a growing part of our business and we strive to keep all members of the family happy during their stay,” says Matthew Dixon, Commercial Director of the Corinthia Hotels.

Corinthia Hotels located in prime locations around the world including; London, Budapest, Malta, Lisbon, Prague and St. Petersburg offer family facilities, services and special family-specific packages.

Corinthia Hotel London

The hotel’s two main restaurants – The Northall and Massimo (and the in-room menu) – have introduced kids’ menus that include goodies such as eggs and toast, macaroni cheese, burgers, chocolate brownies, milkshakes, and strawberry and marshmallow sundae.

Children can use up their energy in the hotel pool inside ESPA Life at Corinthia at certain hours (as long as they are accompanied by an adult). A Family Friendly Package is valid until December 2017 for two adults and two children up to age 16 that includes a second bedroom connected or nearby, a buffet breakfast, chilled Laurent-Perrier champagne on arrival (for the parents!), a games console in the children’s room, children’s amenities on arrival, access to the Technogym facilities for parents, babysitting services, and complimentary WIFI throughout the hotel.

For lovers of adventure, the Region of Valencia is primed for outdoor pursuits. Hike scenic routes on approved footpaths or tour the countryside on two wheels. Get close to the coast or fly high in the sky in hot air balloons. Whether by land, air or sea, the destination offers thrilling activities for all fitness levels. Get started with these suggestions…

Lace up your hiking boots.

Hiking is one of the best ways to explore the Region of Valencia. Over 5,000km of certified trails wind their way from popular spots to the most scenic locations.

History buffs can experience the Region of Valencia's rich culture by following the markers of historical paths, such as the Way of the Cid (Camino del Cid), the Saint James' Way of the Levant (Camino de Santiago de Levante) or the Route of Monasteries (Ruta dels Monestirs).

You can also take your pick from short range (SR) and local trails (LT) to long range (LR) trails that allow you to carry out hikes of over a day. No matter the choice, each trail allows you to discover the natural beauty of the region by the beat of your own two feet.

Take a tour on two wheels.

Thanks to its diverse terrain, the Region of Valencia offers near endless possibilities for cyclists with thousands of miles of mountain trails, country paths, historical greenways and bicycle roads.

If your passion is mountain biking, the rugged terrain surrounding Alicante has all the dirt, mud, slopes and sinuous paths you could want. As you tour the most beautiful locations, be sure to stop at BTT Centres throughout the region. Each centre offers a minimum of 100km of circuits, perfectly mapped out and signposted. Bicycle and equipment hire, information points and support services are also available.

Beyond the mountain trails, you can enjoy cycling in all its forms. Ride through traditional Spanish villages or bustling cities at your heart's desire. A great place to start is the Via Augusta, a road dating back to the Roman Empire.

Get close to the coast.

To all watersports enthusiasts, the Region of Valencia presents 450km of pristine coastline. You can easily find calm, warm water with excellent access to sandy beaches, rocky coves and wide bays, which provide great conditions for surfing, diving and sailing. In fact, the region's marinas are among the best in Europe, as demonstrated by their capacity to host prestigious sporting events such as the America's Cup in Valencia and the departure of the Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante.

The region's coastal towns and resorts have many accommodation options, while specialist schools and tour companies are ready to help you have a great time surfing, sailing, canoeing, and a whole host of other activities you've always wanted to try.

For a one-of-a-kind learning experience, check out the Las Antípodas sailing school in the calm inlet of Peñon de Ifac. It offers classes and hires out catamarans, windsurfing boards, sea kayaks and wakeboards. In summer, you can kayak either in the morning or at night if there is a full moon. On weekends, in spring and autumn, they organise catamaran crossings between Xàbia and Altea.

In another momentous development for its global route network, and coming just weeks after announcing the resumption of direct US ties from Hungary’s capital city, Budapest Airport has confirmed the return of American Airlines. Strengthening the gateway’s transatlantic connections from next summer, the oneworld member will operate a daily seasonal service to Philadelphia utilising its fleet of 209-seat 767-300s.

“It’s a remarkable time in the history of Budapest Airport – alongside New York (JFK) and Chicago O’Hare – Philadelphia is the third new route to the US we are launching next summer,” states Jost Lammers, CEO, Budapest Airport. “After a six year absence, it’s my absolute pleasure to bid a very warm welcome return to American Airlines. It’s a great triumph that the carrier will once again be operating with us and a huge acknowledgement of Budapest’s dynamic progression as one of Central Europe’s fastest expanding airports. In addition this announcement can be attributed to the close cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Budapest Airport jointly promoting Hungary in recent years around the world, emphasising the attractiveness of Hungary for business and leisure travellers alike.” added Lammers enthusiastically.

American’s new link will see the airport-pairing served for the first time and, with more than 30 straightforward connections on the carrier’s extensive route network now made possible. Passengers will benefit from links to major cities such as Boston, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco, as well as popular destinations including Cleveland and Jacksonville.

As a result of the carrier’s 7,185-kilometre sector to the largest city in the Pennsylvanian state, Budapest will offer close to 6,000 weekly two-way seats direct to the US throughout S18. “With 300,000 US tourists expected to visit our country this year, American Airlines’ new route will help serve this high demand and enhance inbound traffic to Hungary. I have no doubt our new link will be a huge success in all segments of travellers,” explained Lammers.