Venice, open houses and on­line Is­rael

The Jewish Chronicle - - TRAVEL - BY LUCY MILLER

IS­RAEL’S MIN­ISTRY OF Tourism has launched a new in­ter­net site which al­lows vis­i­tors to Is­rael, and those plan­ning a visit, to ask ques­tions and re­ceive rec­om­men­da­tions and in­for­ma­tion be­fore and dur­ing their stay, with a team of li­censed tour guides from the Is­raeli Tour Guides As­so­ci­a­tion pro­vid­ing an­swers within 48 hours of a post­ing. The site will also fea­ture 300 tourist at­trac­tions and 500 ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions and will serve as a fo­rum for ex­chang­ing in­for­ma­tion, per­sonal rec­om­men­da­tions and trav­el­ogues ( http://com­mu­nity.go­is­rael.com).

If you haven’t caught up with the idea that Ma­jorca long ago shed its kiss-me-quick im­age and is now a very chic, up-scale is­land, the mu­sic fes­ti­vals tak­ing place later this year should con­vince you. They in­clude the In­ter­na­tional Sa Pobla Jazz Fes­ti­val in Au­gust with free con­certs in Palma’s main square; the two week-long Al­cu­dia Jazz Fes­ti­val in early Septem­ber; the Opera Sea­son, which runs un­til Novem­ber at the Teatre Prin­ci­pal in Palma — pro­duc­tions in­clud­ing Madam But­ter­fly —and the Jazz Voyeur Fes­ti­val, which will be head­lined by Diana Krall on Au­gust 5. As a base, Mal­lorca Farm­houses of­fers prop­er­ties of all kinds across the is­land, in­clud­ing a one-bed­room apart­ment in stylish Palma, from £299 for three nights, in­clud­ing maid ser­vice, wel­come ham­per and car hire (0845 800 8080; www.mfh.co.uk).

Gor­geous Grayshott Spa and top UK nu­tri­tion­ist Amanda Hamil­ton have com­bined to of­fer a body cleans­ing and weight-loss pro­gramme at the health re­sort on the Sur­rey-Hamp­shire border. The pro­gramme blends nat­u­ral ther­a­pies and sup­ple­ments with an eat­ing regime de­signed to pro­vide fast weight-loss. The four- and sev­en­day pro­grammes, which start later this month, cost from £1,375 per per­son, and in­clude all meals, health con­sul­ta­tions, mas­sages, a food-in­tol­er­ance test and lots more (01428 602020; www.grayshottspa.com).

A se­ries of new com­bi­na­tion “pass­ports” from Keith Prowse At­trac­tions of­fer Florida’s top theme parks and en­ter­tain­ments from £135 for a week for an “Or­lando Thrills & Spills” pass­port. This cov­ers ma­jor venues such as Walt Dis­ney World Re­sort, Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios, the new wa­ter park, Aquat­ica and the Kennedy Space Cen­tre, while a new, two-week “Do It All”’ pass­port at £299 per adult (and £259 per child, aged 3-9), pro­vides an Or­lando FlexTicket with 14 days of un­lim­ited en­trance to five theme parks in­clud­ing Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios and Sea World, ac­cess to Florida’s four main Dis­ney parks over a seven-day pe­riod, plus seven ad­mis­sions to five other Dis­ney at­trac­tions and a din­ner-show ticket (02890 23 24 25; www.kei­th­prowset­ick­ets.com).

More serene plea­sures are on of­fer in Suf­folk, where more than 140 of the county’s lead­ing artists will open their stu­dios to vis­i­tors over four June week­ends. Open­ing hours are 11 to 5, when vis­i­tors can meet artists and see work rang­ing from paint­ings in wa­ter­colour, oil and acrylics, tex­tiles, ce­ram­ics, sculp­ture, glass work, jew­ellery and pho­tog­ra­phy. (Di­rec­tory with dates and venues from 01449 675513; www. suf­folkopen­stu­dios.co.uk.)

If you are think­ing of visit­ing the stu­dios, and wish to do it in style, the gor­geous Mai­son Tal­booth, in Ded­ham, on the Es­sex border with Suf­folk, re-opens this week­end fol­low­ing a £1.5 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion. This in­cludes new suites, new treat­ment rooms at the Dermalogica spa, out­door pool and ten­nis com­plex. Dou­ble rooms from £190 per night with break­fast (01206 322367; www.mil­somho­tels.com).

Even more en­tic­ing cul­tural de­lights are on of­fer in Venice, where spe­cial­ist Ex­sus and the Gritti Palace are of­fer­ing opera pack­ages com­bin­ing a stay at the leg­endary ho­tel with tick­ets to opera at the stun­ning Fenice Opera House. A two-night pack­age, from £1,099 per per­son based on two shar­ing, in­cludes deluxe room, break­fast, flights, trans­fers, opera seats, din­ner at the Gritti’s Club del Doge and lots more. The op­eras are Bar­ber of Seville later this month and Brit­ten’s Death in Venice on June 27 (020 7292 5050, www. ex­sus.com).

The Grand Canal, Venice: com­bine canals and cul­ture with an opera pack­age at the city’s Gritti Palace

South­wold, Suf­folk: take an art break in the east­ern county

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