Vacations & Travel - - Contents - He­len Hayes Ed­i­tor-in-Chief

Who doesn’t love a palm tree? And the things that usu­ally ac­com­pany them. Think aqua­ma­rine wa­ter, soft sand that squeaks un­der your feet, drink­ing out of co­conuts and eye-pop­pingly gor­geous re­sorts.

Re­cently, I was in Koh Sa­mui in Thai­land, ex­plor­ing the is­lands on a boat tour, swim­ming and snorkelling at each one. There is no doubt that a trop­i­cal va­ca­tion such as this helps us re­boot, re­lax and re-en­er­gise.

An­other place that is at the top of most is­land bucket lists is the Mal­dives, and we have two great sto­ries that will have you check­ing how much leave you have and pack­ing your swimwear.

First up we check out the new Fair­mont Mal­dives Sirru Fen Fushi, which is al­ready prov­ing to be pop­u­lar, both for what the re­sort it­self of­fers, and for what lies just off its pris­tine beach. The Co­ralar­ium is a won­der­ful art gallery, its sculpted fig­ures best ex­plored with a snorkel or scuba gear. Also don your favourite sarong for our round-up of other won­der­ful re­sorts, all de­liv­er­ing the quin­tes­sen­tial Mal­dives ex­pe­ri­ence.

Not far from the Mal­dives is Sri Lanka, and we find that its cui­sine is just as ap­peal­ing as its key at­trac­tions – es­pe­cially if you love a good curry. We also dive into the foodie at­trac­tions of Spain’s Costa Brava, in the shad­ows of Barcelona.

In the UK, we head for The Shet­land Is­lands, show­cas­ing a won­der­ful col­lec­tion of im­ages of this wild place that is part of Scot­land yet has a strong Norse tra­di­tion. Did you know that this is where Shet­land ponies orig­i­nated?

In Aus­tralia, we head to the Top

End to ex­plore Kakadu in the wet sea­son, a time when the wa­ter­falls are at their most beau­ti­ful, and in

New Zealand, we are left al­most speech­less at a stun­ning prop­erty near Lake Wanaka in the South Is­land.

In Asia, we have an­other splash of trop­i­cal bril­liance in Palawan in the Philip­pines, and go tea pick­ing in the hills around Chi­ang Rai.

In this is­sue we are giv­ing away a won­der­ful trip to New Or­leans. The lucky win­ner will en­joy five nights in this in­cred­i­bly vi­brant and his­toric city on the Mis­sis­sippi River in­clud­ing econ­omy flights with United Air­lines. Do not miss this op­por­tu­nity – en­ter on page 38 or on our web­site.

To keep your travel ap­petite sated be­tween is­sues, sign up to our news­let­ter, Va­ca­tions & Travel Sun­day Trav­eller. And when you are out trav­el­ling, tag us in any of your In­sta­gram pho­tos – @va­ca­tion­s­mag and hash­tag #va­ca­tion­sand­travel and we will share the love.

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