Travel News

Weekly travel news

World Journeys travel expert Kate Gohar suggests some enticing winter escapes - and shares her three top travel tips.

There’s a lot to be said for wrapping up warm and snuggling by the fire, but when it’s wet and windy outside, I often find myself dreaming of wonderful places to spend late summer and autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.

1. A Villa in Tuscany

The luminescent glow of the autumn sun, vines heavy with grapes ready for harvest, medieval villages where the smell of baking bread wafts from open windows… take me to Tuscany, now! Choose a farmhouse, villa or apartment and live like a local while the rain rages at home.

2. Vive la France!

Fairytale chateaux surrounded by immaculate gardens, forests, vineyards and gentle meandering waterways, Palaeolithic caves bursting with 15,000-year-old paintings, divine food and wine… surely even dreaming of an autumn visit to the Dordogne, Loire or Burgundy is enough to banish winter blues.

3. Monastic Living in Luxury

What a contradiction! But the beautiful 15th-century San Francisco convent in the grounds of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, offers exactly that. Satiate your hunger for glorious, centuries-old living with the soft stone arches, tiled courtyard and antique furnishings of this delightful little hotel.

Wanaka beckons

If Europe isn’t on the cards for you right now, Wanaka works all year round as far as I am concerned.

That stunning lake with the incredible backdrop of mountains ticks every single box of gorgeous.

Maybe take a short winter break and head to one of the lovely boutique accommodation options, like Minaret Lodge, for a wonderfully tranquil spa and massage weekend. Bliss.

Kate’s top travel tips

Passport protection Take a copy of the photo page of your passport and any visas you have obtained for this particular journey. Pack separately to your valuables or email it to yourself so you have all the details at your fingertips should you need them.

Iron – or not If you’re anything like me, you don’t go on holiday to iron. Try hanging clothing in the bathroom while you’re in a hot shower to steam out those wrinkles.

Less stress They say leaving on holiday is almost as stressful as moving house. Reduce the anxiety a little by checking in online to avoid too much queuing at the airport. Most airlines allow online check-in 24-48 hours before departure.

Related stories