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No wonder more and more airport travellers are checking the routes to the cute, quaint medieval town of Begur. A spectacular 12th-century castle dominates this hill settlement in Costa Brava. Serpentine roads leading to the old town that seems to have been lost in time are dotted with ancient towers, secret alleyways and fishermen's huts. Spanish holidaymakers can best get there by travelling from a host of southern English airports to Barcelona International Airport.

There are four daily direct return connections from this airport to Begur. Tranquil relaxation spots await you on your arrival to the town and all the surrounding Costa Brava areas. These include the whitewashed houses of surrealist master Salvador Dali’s beloved town of Cadaqués, to the 575 BC ruins of the Greco-Roman town of Empúries, to historic coastal villages such as Pals and Peralada.

Costa Brava, with its Mediterranean gastronomy, prides itself on its fine cuisine, with fresh seafood and olive oil. Local restaurants pay the same attention to detail as fine-dining establishments. Tales of great-grandmother’s expert recipes or the contested origins of traditional dishes abound here. Superb scuba-diving and kayaking opportunities are provided in the crystal-clear water around the uninhabited Medes Islands. Cyclists journeying from village to village can enjoy particularly gorgeous pink and blue skies at dusk along paved over the Vias Verdes (“Green Ways”) Project's former train tracks.

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Pope Francis is enjoying a tour of the small Italian island of Lampedusa, a hidden gem between Sicily and Libya. The Argentine, who took over from Pope Benedict XVI as head of the Catholic Church in March, is visiting the biggest island of the Italian Pelagie Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Lampedusa boasts beautiful white beaches and crystal clear waters, with TripAdvisor ranking Rabbit Beach as the best in Europe earlier in 2013. The beach can be found on the south coast and is perfect for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving.

As the sun sets in September, rare loggerhead turtles emerge from the sea to lay their eggs on land, watched by a small group of volunteer conservationists. The beach and the nearby island form part of a nature reserve where endangered species are protected. A number of attractive coves feature on the south coast, as well as impressive cliffs and rock formations which require a closer inspection by boat. The old harbour is also popular with tourists.

Holidaymakers keen to sample Lampedusa would first need to book a flight to Palermo, Sicily, with daily flights available from UK airports such as Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. They would then have the option of catching another flight to the island or boarding a ferry from Porto Empedocle, near Agrigento.

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Travellers with a love of cruise and safari holidays should be checking airport transfers to Burma in time for the end of next year. That's when Sanctuary Ananda, cruise and safari specialist Sanctuary Retreats’ newest ship, is due to set sail. Burma's largest airport is Mandalay, which has buses to shuttle you directly or near to your hotel or intended destination. The all-suite ship will offer guests a chance to share Burma's fresh tourism experience now that the country is opening itself up to the rest of the world.

Named after Bagan's stunning Ananda Temple, Ananda also translates in Sanskrit as “extreme happiness” - one of the highest states of being. The ship offers eight exciting itineraries, including three, four and seven-night discovery cruises between Bagan and Mandalay. It also boasts seven, 10 and 11-night exploration cruises which give guests more time to explore the Upper Ayeyarwady river towards the gorges and Bhamo. The ship offers lots of time to mix must-see sights with smaller villages to meet the indigenous peoples and see local crafts being fashioned first hand. Tourists can savour the fun of local transport, such as horse-drawn carts, trishaws and small boats. Sanctuary Ananda can accommodate up to 48 guests in 20 spacious suites.

Guests can enjoy choosing between international cuisine and a variety of delicious local dishes chosen to mirror the eclectic nature of Burma's cuisine from one of its 135 ethnicities.

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Brits pack more than £2,500 of possessions into their suitcases when they go away, usually much more than the cost of their holidays, a new survey suggests. LV= travel insurance polled 2,004 adults and found that travellers typically take £700-worth of electronic gadgets such as digital cameras, tablets, smartphones and laptop computers away with them, £400 of clothing and shoes and £350 and £100 in accessories and toiletries respectively.

The research discovered that the value of items packed in luggage has risen by more than two-thirds in just five years and even children, some as young as three, take hundreds of pounds worth of goods with them. On average they take around £550 worth of stuff, including £151 in gadgets and £149 worth of clothes. It seems many are not being careful with their money, as 15% of respondents said they had at least £500 in cash in their suitcases. Others are being wasteful, with 18% saying they don't use everything they pack and 17% having so much luggage that they are forced to pay excess baggage charges while checking in at the airport. On average the charges amount to £84 each and a total in the region of £412 million in the last five years.

With all these possessions, some are inevitably going to end up lost or stolen. Electronic gadgets, sunglasses and items of jewellery are among items commonly stolen from holidaymakers. The value of items people take with them often adds up to more than the actual cost of their holiday, according to LV= travel insurance managing director Selwyn Fernandes.

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The richest city in South Africa is becoming a hotspot for tourists who like a cultural edge to their holidays as well as breathtaking wildlife. Johannesburg (‘Jozi’ or ‘Jo’burg’) offers both glamour and sites of historical interest, including the Apartheid Museum, telling a tale you will never forget.

Soweto, where many of the workers of the goldmines set up home, as well as Lesedi Cultural Village, provide a peak into Africa’s mystical traditions, including dazzling dance displays and other hi-octane cultural activities. Johannesburg’s jewel in the crown is perhaps its wildlife, with the breathtaking Kruger National Park sprawling two million hectares, hosting hundreds of spectacular species including the ever-popular big cats. Johannesburg Zoo is also huge, housing around three thousand animals and 320 species in its beautiful grounds.

The city also boasts South Africa’s tallest building, the Carlton Centre, where, from the fiftieth floor, tourists can soak in the Johannesburg landscape. With the ease of hopping on an airport bus or coach, travellers can now access the riches of an area benefiting from a large-scale trade in gold and diamonds. Johannesburg is the capital of Gauteng, South Africa’s wealthiest province. With regular and frequent airport transfers from its two airports - O.R Tambo International and Lanseria International - Johannesburg is an easily accessible destination that will not disappoint.

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