La Sultana Oualidia
Moroccan MagicRead more
As a travel writer I should always be searching for the new, but Sardinia keeps drawing me back. Its mix of rustic lifestyle, delicious food and wine and Europe’s most exquisite beaches is hard to beat.
Each time I go back I discover a new favourite – currently the silky sands and turquoise water of Spaggia di Cea on the Golfo di Orosei which has a tiny beach shack serving up homemade fish ravioli and white wine served in a jug.
Morocco has so much to give and was a formative experience for me in my twenties. Returning with my children and watching their eyes open at the gemstones in the souk, steaming tagines, secret gardens, snakes corkscrewing out of baskets, mint tea poured from great heights, goats in trees, turquoise lakes hidden in rock crevices, sugar juice pressed straight from the cane.
It’s also got some great waves – Immosuanae is the secret spot I’m longing to return to and one day I will make it to the rust-red dunes of the Sahara desert.
Holding a special place in my heart, Sri Lanka is where I’ve probably spent the most time collectively over several visits, the last of which I worked for a charity helping set up a scuba dive school. The resilience and friendliness of Sri Lankans meant that we made some true friends and were welcomed into their world.
I also love the tropical architecture of Geoffrey Bawa which you can view around the island like at his estate Lunaganga and impossibly romantic hotel The Last House.
The scene of many a summer holiday, I love the way in which the landscapes change to lush green as you drive to Pembrokeshire from England. For me, Pembrokeshire is all about the coast. Walking along fern-lined cliff pathways, you can find secret beaches for BBQs and days spent pretty much alone.
There is also a decent surf scene, great crab and lobster to be bought in Tenby fresh from the boats, time-warp pubs, arty villages like Narbeth and some incredible sea views from the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path.
My most memorable travel experience has to be when I sailed from Central to South America (Panama to Cartagena in Colombia) on a small yacht helmed by Canadian skippers. Passing through the retina-searingly beautiful San Blas islands inhabited by the Kuna tribe made me want to dive overboard and start a new life and later at sea, surrounded by 360° of green-grey ocean I felt as small as a speck of dust. Shortly after that we trekked to the Cuidad Perdida (lost city) in Colombia, a mud-streaked few days that was utterly worth it for the solo sunrise exploration of a 1,000-year-old citadel clasped in the jungle. I’d love to go back to Namibia and watch the Sossusvlei sand dunes change from grey to tangerine orange as my eighteen-year-old self did with awe. A recent discovery is Slovenia which I recommend for a wholesome holiday amid its crystal-clear lakes, mountains, and green cities.