Island for every traveler

Long the domain of savvy sailors and fly-in millionaires, the spectacular Grenadines also offer plenty for the independent traveler – you don’t need your own boat to fully explore the magnificent archipelago. Spanning the nations of St Vincent & the Grenadines and Grenada, the island chain offers a wide variety of authentic Caribbean experiences where nature is never far from the spotlight.

The most visited of the Grenadines and rightly so, beautiful Bequia is the quintessential slow-paced Caribbean island that really does have it all. Visitors can swim, dive or hike through dazzling natural beauty by day and then soak up the tropical atmosphere in the evening, sipping cocktails or tucking into a gourmet meal on a panoramic terrace.

Among its many draw cards are Princess Margaret Beach and Lower Bay, two wonderful stretches of sand backed by lush greenery, just a short hike from the capital Port Elizabeth.

As the second largest island in the chain, Bequia offers plenty of attractions for nature lovers. There are good drift dives along the leeward side of the north of the island while the remote hilly north of the island affords ample opportunity for exploration; climb some of the imposing forested peaks for fine views of St Vincent and other Grenadine islands.

Getting there: Visiting Bequia is a breeze thanks to its efficient regular fast ferry service linking it with Kingstown on St Vincent Island. SVG Air has flights from the airport on the south of the island to Kingstown, Barbados and St Lucia.


The European continent beckons

Looking to kick back this September? You’re in luck. The European continent beckons with turtle watching trips in Cyprus, mellow days on the Mediterranean isle of Corsica and a gut-busting break in Puglia, Italy. Meanwhile, down in the southern hemisphere, Australia’s Whitsunday Islands hold their own with the promise of crystal clear waters, serene scuba diving and pristine sand as far as the eye can see.

Beautiful landscapes, balmy days and a bounty of foodie fare await those who need a relaxing break. Here are our top chill-out spots for September.


Head to north Cyprus for sun, sand, turtles and time travel

Visiting the northern half of divided Cyprus is a bit like holidaying in the 1970s. It might lack a certain slickness, but there’s also a pleasing lack of development. Some of the Med’s most unspoilt sands are here, especially along the wild Karpaz Peninsula, where you’re more likely to see donkeys and turtles than other people. Indeed, turtles visit North Cyprus regularly, and from June to late September, the Society for the Protection of Turtles runs guided, eco-sensitive night tours to view them from its base at Alagadi Beach, just east of Kyrenia’s harbour.

September is a fine time to visit: the crowds have gone but weather and waters are warm. It’s ideal for hiking between ruined Crusader castles in the Kyrenia range or strolling the well-preserved ancient city of Salamis. Don’t miss Lefkoşa, the world’s only divided capital. Amble the minaret-speared streets before passing a checkpoint for a weird wander into the bullet-scarred no man’s land that separates Turkish north and Greek south.

  • Trip plan: Spend a week mixing beaches, ruins, castles and traditional villages.
  • Need to know: Fly to Ercan Airport (North Cyprus) via mainland Turkey.
  • Other months: Apr-May & Sep-Oct – warm, quieter; Jun-Aug – hottest, busy; Nov-Mar – cool, wettest.

A Day Out in Istanbul Tips

Crowded and at times chaotic, the youthful energy of the middle-class Beşiktaş neighbourhood north of Dolmabahçe Palace is infectious. With a busy central çarşı (marketplace) full of cafes, bars and cheap eats, and lingering Ottoman splendour on its waterfront, Beşiktaş gives visitors a slice of modern Turkish life alongside a dive into history.

Beşiktaş is also the name of one of Istanbul’s biggest and most beloved football clubs, so expect the çarşı area to be packed and rowdy on match nights. If you happen to be visiting in October, don’t miss the annual Fotoİstanbul festival, which brings excellent international photography to pop-up exhibition spaces around the neighbourhood.

But there’s plenty to experience even if you visit on days when there’s no football buzz or international festivals. Here’s what one of those days might look like.



Fuel up for the first part of the day at one of the popular indoor/outdoor eateries along the winding intersection of Çelebioğlu Sokak and Şair Veysi Sokak – an area so full of places serving the morning meal it’s been dubbed ‘Kahvaltıcılar Sokağı’, or ‘Breakfast-Makers’ Street’. Tuck into a delicious traditional egg dish like menemen at the no-frills Çakmak Kahvaltı Salonu (Çelebioğlu Sokak 8) or linger over a full serpme kahvaltı – a table full of sweet and savoury bites – at Reçel Türevleri or Cafe Faruk. If the endless cups of black tea haven’t sated your caffeine craving, pop into the tiny Dem Good Coffee, run by a mixed team of deaf and non-deaf employees, for a quick post-breakfast espresso.



Head down to the waterfront for a peek into the former residence of the Ottoman heirs-in-waiting, now the National Palaces Painting Museum, where the evocative images of old Istanbul – including a canvas depicting the ships of the Ottoman navy arrayed along this very coastline – are a highlight of the collection. The nearby Palace Collections Museum offers a more intimate glimpse into the sultans’ daily lives, displaying their Baccarat-crystal ice-cream bowls and porcelain vases alongside their writing sets and shaving kits.



Join the local office workers for lunch at Hatay Antakya Mutfağı , a cosy corner restaurant specialising in kebabs and meze infused with the spicy flavours of south-eastern Turkey, or at Elde Börek (Ihlamurdere Caddesi 26), a cheery lokanta serving up a wide range of home-cooked dishes, all attractively displayed at the front counter.

After lunch, grab a small treat for later at 7-8 Hasanpaşa Fırını (Şehit Asım Caddesi 12), an old-fashioned bakery renowned for its almond biscuits and tahini-infused pastries. You’ll find it just down the street from the ‘kartal’, the black eagle statue that represents the Beşiktaş football club and is one of the neighbourhood’s best-known landmarks.

How to get the best shot on NYC

As one of the world’s most famous metropolises, New York City has long beguiled filmmakers, authors and photographers who strive to capture its beautiful architecture and indomitable spirit. While you might not be creating the next great cinematic ode to NYC, there’s a good chance you’ll be inspired to at least document your trip on social media.

Here’s our guide to 10 of the most iconic Instagram spots in the Big Apple, with a local’s tips on how to get images that will impress your followers and boost those likes.


1. Top of the Rock

Sure, you can go up to the top of the Empire State Building to get a sweeping shot of Manhattan in all directions, but there’ll be one key thing missing from your photo: the Empire State Building. For a far superior view, stroll 16 blocks north (about a 20-minute walk) to Rockefeller Plaza and get your ticket for Top of the Rock. Once you’ve reached the 67th floor, climb the stairs to the third-level observatory for a stunning vista overlooking Central Park in one direction and Lower Manhattan (including the Empire State Building) in the other.


2. The Oculus

Though the exterior of NYC’s newest PATH station and shopping hub is a bit contentious (not everyone loves its abstract shape resembling a winged dove), the Oculus by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava makes for an undeniably striking image. But it’s the interior that has become beloved by Instagrammers, who head to the upper level of the mall to capture the futuristic rib-like skylight that makes up the ceiling.


3. Brooklyn Bridge

For a classic capture of the Brooklyn Bridge, head to Pebble Beach in the riverside Brooklyn neighborhood of Dumbo, which gives you an uninterrupted view of the length of the bridge with the Manhattan skyline as its backdrop. Sunset is the best time to snap your photo, with the glow of twilight behind the city, but be warned that you’ll likely be competing with a wedding party or two. If your style is more artistic, walk up onto the bridge itself for a picture of its magnificent cabled arches (just stick to the left-hand side of the walkway, otherwise you might get plowed over by a cyclist).

After plenty of travelling abroad

Lonely Planet Local Nevena Paunovic was born and raised in Belgrade’s green, hilly neighbourhood of Banovo Brdo. After plenty of travelling abroad, today she chooses to live here because for her, Belgrade still holds that charming balance between a metropolis and a provincial town. You’ll find her cycling along the city’s rivers, attending fantastic music gigs or enjoying Belgrade’s coolest vegetarian restaurants.

When I have friends in town… first I make sure they are properly fed, as every well-bred Serbian should do. I take all my friends to Radost Fina Kuhinjica, my favourite vegetarian restaurant with a beautiful garden. You don’t always need to eat pljeskavica or ćevapčići (ie meat and more meat) in Belgrade! We order Radost’s signature mezze platter and then dive into some of the innovative tasting mains. As the restaurant is located beneath the Kalemegdan Citadel, we follow up the dinner with a walk around the fortress or along the Sava river beneath its ramparts.

When I’m up for a big night out… the evening usually starts with a gig. I’m really into music, and many of the concerts I attend take place at Dom Omladine, where I’ve enjoyed some fantastic acts such as Cat Power, Wovenhand, Mark Lanegan, The Residents, Lisa Hannigan, Supersilent etc. The after-party continues either at one of the cool bars in Cetinjska 15, like Dvorištance, or at Chilton in Vračar neighbourhood (go with a local as it will be hard to find on your own!), or at 20/44 club on a river barge where we dance and drink until the stars fade out.

My favourite place in Belgrade is… the park on Banovo Brdo hill where I live. I can never get enough of it. In the summer it buzzes from early morning when mums with babies go out while the air is still fresh, until 2am when the last teenagers show mercy to the neighbours and stop howling at the moon. In the winter I enjoy counting squirrels running over leafless trees, and all year long I get my veggies from the green market at the bottom of the park.

My week can’t pass without… yoga, many times a week, either practising or teaching dynamic yoga styles. In the Ashtanga yoga studio where I practise, we often have foreign guests because yoga is a universal language, so don’t be shy to drop by when you’re in town!

A typical weekend involves… coffee! Not only weekends, but every day gets normal only after I sit down for a coffee, often at Ski Staza near my house. Belgrade is jam-packed with cafes, from tiny local ones to the fancy bistros. The coffee ritual is a life necessity over here – you don’t do any business or expect to get a boyfriend or a girlfriend without engaging in long coffee-sipping sessions. My favourite coffee place for the past 15 years has been Greenet in Nušićeva Street with their signature mocha coffee.

For cheap eats… a bit untypical for a Serbian, I try to keep myself on the healthy side of Belgrade’s food offerings. I often go to FitBar for its salads, grilled veggies and quinoa burgers. When I want to combine work and lunch, Tri Restaurant is a great choice as you can sit with your laptop and munch an amazing salad on the side.

Day trips from San Juan

Puerto Rico may be small in size, but every corner of this island has a different vibe to experience. Glorious beach views abound on its coasts, but unexpected, brilliant vistas, the ones that make you instinctively reach for the camera, are as typical here as the sand and the waves. The best way of coming across these seemingly serendipitous moments? Road-tripping, of course.

Puerto Rico’s roads serve as a stage, and the performers are the rolling hills dotted with little country houses, the wild horses roaming freely through the forests, the fishing villages with tiny bars by the water – these are the enchanting sights travelers find when they dare to venture outside of the city and into the island’s core. Starting in San Juan, these day trips are less than two hours away from the city and reveal Puerto Rico’s raw beauty and cultural merit.


Luquillo – for stunning coastal views and local delicacies

Located on the east side of the island, Luquillo is only an hour away from the capital, and the drive there is pleasant and easy; just get on the PR-66 heading towards Rio Grande and then take the PR-3 South. Luquillo will soon materialize, tempting you to the shore with its blue-green waters and lines of the tallest palm trees around. Head to Balneario La Monserrate, also known as Luquillo Beach, if you want serene scenery, soft sand and easy access. Drive a little further and stop at La Pared Beach for a more rugged coast, a favorite among surfers who come here to catch the decidedly gnarly waves. After a day at the beach, just follow the locals, who are inevitably drawn to the Luquillo kiosks to find flavorsome dishes and cold beer. These beach-side kiosks offer many fried staples like alcapurriasbacalaitos and piononos, but other more filling dishes like roasted pork with rice and beans are also easy to find.