This month at Rough Guides our editors and authors have been trekking in Borneo, gorging on tapas in Granada and scaling volcanos in Mexico. Here’s a small selection of their highlights.
Just back from...
Andalucía, Spain Editor Helen has just returned from an Andalucian adventure. Highlights included a visit to Spain's most comical festival, Cadiz Carnival, where groups of musicians tour the city's alleys and plazas singing satirical songs in fancy dress (seemingly perpetually drunk), and a long weekend in the stunning mountain town of Granada. Read her feature about reaping the benefits of free tapas and more.
Borneo, Malaysia Senior Editor Ros explored the Malaysian state of Sabah, in Borneo’s northeastern corner, for a forthcoming online article. Two intrepid weeks were spent snorkelling at the spectacular reef around Mabul Island, on the trail of wild pygmy elephants and orang-utans on the Kinabatangan River, and following in David Attenborough’s footsteps to the cockroach-infested Gomantong bat cave.
Alhambra, Granada, Spain © Seelypix/Shutterstock
Heading off to...
The Faroe Islands In May we're off to explore this remote cluster of islands in the Norwegian Sea – located somewhere between the Shetland Islands, Norway and Iceland. Days will be spent blowing away the cobwebs with gentle strolls along windswept beaches, horse-riding through the dramatic landscape, and sea kayaking to view puffins nesting on the cliffs.
Lagos, Portugal One of our resident adventure-sports addicts is headed Lagos, on Portugal's southwestern tip to take to the waves on a three-day surf crash-course. While not splashing around in the water, there'll be seafood to gorge on, and organic wines and homemade local produce to sample at a nearby vineyard.
Rocks and rocky beach, Lagos © astudio/Shutterstock
What we're working on...
Walks in London and the Southeast We're putting together the ebook version of the new Rough Guide to Walks in London and the Southeast, out later this summer, and getting very excited about trying it out. The design has been overhauled, with more beautiful photos and clearer route maps, the old routes re-walked and plenty of new ones added. There's a great balance between green spots and historic routes in the capital, and the great British countryside – along with vital tips like what to bring with you, where to get a good pint, and how not to behave in a field full of cows.
Mexico In June 2016 we publish the tenth edition of the Rough Guide to Mexico. Our four hard-travelling authors survived 42-degree desert heat, tramped hurricane-battered Pacific beaches and scaled lofty volcanoes while updating this latest edition. They've also been keeping a keen eye on what's new: foodie tours in Oaxaca, a James Bond takeover in Mexico City for the filming of Spectre, and preparations for the forthcoming 2017 centenary of the Mexican Revolution. No huge surprise that Mexico has just entered the top 10 most visited countries in the world.
Image via Pixabay/CC0
Did you know...?
The US used to have a ghostly highway New Mexico used to have a highway named 666. Plagued with rumours of ghostly apparitions, and with a very real number of fatal accidents, the stretch of highway off the defunct Route 66 was dubbed "Highway to Hell" and "The Devil's Highway" in the national press. In 2003 New Mexico's House and Senate passed a Joint Resolution to change the road name because "the number 666 carries the stigma of being the mark of the beast, the mark of the devil, which was described in the book of Revelation in the Bible". It swiftly became US-491.
Britain's most remote pub can only be reached by boat Located in an isolated corner of the Scottish Highlands and inaccessible by car, The Old Forge is Britain's most remote pub. To get there punters have to hike for two days through the Knoydart Peninsula, one of Britain's most captivating wilderness areas, or hop on a 45-minute boat from Mallaig. Editor Greg Dickinson stopped by earlier this month while updating the Rough Guide to Scotland, and reported back that it was well worth the journey.
Image via Pixabay/CC0
In the news...
You can now book your holiday via WhatsApp Travel companies and tour operators are starting to offer booking services through this popular messaging app. Rough Guides readers aren't convinced: only 30 percent say they'd give it a try.
New safari lodges are opening in Zimbabwe Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe's largest game reserve, has seen the opening of several new lodges in the last year or so, as visitor numbers to this former safari favourite really start to pick up. The latest, Jozibanini Camp, is set in the park's remote southern section, in an area that has been off-limits to tourists for nearly twenty years. Just three tents dotted around a waterhole, Jozi gives visitors intimate access to the local elephant and wild-dog populations and, rather unusually, offers game-viewing by mountain bike.
© Villiers Steyn/Shutterstock
Pic of the month...
Header image via Pixabay/CC0