What’s hot: May 2012

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

CD-Traveller tells you what’s hot and what’s not in the travel world. This month Bhutan and the Black Sea resort of Batuni get the thumbs up, but readers are advised to avoid the Big Apple’s JFK airport

HOT

Hiking in Austria
A trekking route linking the Slovenian Adriatic, Austria and Italy has opened. The 429 mile trail, which starts at the base of the Grossglockner, passes through Karnten (Austria), Friuli- Venezia Giulia (Italy) and Slovenia before crossing back into Italy. Interested? For the full low-down, see www.alpe-adria-trail.com

Boozing in Batumi
The Georgian Black Sea resort of Batuni has a new public fountain that pumps out water – as well as Chacha (a traditional drink made from grape pomace)! “Once a week for 10-15 minutes, chacha will flow from the fountain instead of water,” said Robert Chkeidze, mayor of Batumi. “Tourists will have an opportunity to taste the traditional drink.”

Breaks in Bhutan


The Himalayan kingdom has unveiled plans to build more hotel rooms in a bid to be able to accommodate 100,000 extra visitors by 2013. The government believes that tourism will help reduce and wipe out poverty in Bhutan but many worry that mass tourism will destroy Bhutan’s hitherto unspoiled trails. Where do you stand on the issue? Let us know by posting a comment below!

Loving Latvia

Riga – the capital of Latvia – has been named the cheapest city break destination not only in Europe but also in North America for the second year running, Post Office researchers have revealed. Budapest came second while Tallinn took third spot. For information and inspiration on what to do in Tallinn, aka Europe’s rising star, check out Anthony’s article published on CD-Traveller in April.

Rwandan refugee tours
Rwandan tour operator, New Dawn Associates (NDA), is offering day trips to refugee camps in Rwanda’s north east. The tours, which take in the Humure and Ramiro camps – home to more than 200 families of Rwandan refugees who fled to Tanzania during the genocide – cost up-to £50.

NOT

JFK airport
New York’s JFK airport is caught up in a crime wave: JFK security lawyer, Kenneth Mollins, says that more than 200 bags disappear every day but the majority of travellers remain unaware that they have been ‘robbed‘ because the airline simply announces that the bags were “lost in transit.” Former NYPD detective, Frank Shea, is investigating airport crime but in the meantime the message is this: keep a close eye on your valuables if travelling through JFK.

Exploring Egypt


The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has warned against all but essential travel to the are of Sinai north of the Suez Taba road, following the April kidnapping of two American tourists on a tour of Sinai.

Driving in Spain
Planning on hiring a car to see Spain this summer? Be warned: rental companies in the country are, this year, operating a compulsory “full empty” policy. Translation? Customers pick up their car with a full tank of petrol and are asked to return it empty – so that the company can then charge what it wants for a full tank of petrol. Hertz, Europcar, Dickmanns and Record are just a few of the companies refusing to offer fair fuel policies

Accommodation prices in Poland and Ukraine



Scored tickets for this summer’s Euro 2012 football tournament in Poland and Ukraine)? Congrats but good luck finding somewhere to sleep, that doesn’t cost the earth… Word has reached CD-Traveller towers that hoteliers in Kiev and Donetsk (the two cities where the England team will be playing its group matches) have hiked room prices by up-to 1,330 per cent for the three week tournament – yikes!

Costa Cruises
2012 is proving to be an annus horribilis for Costa Cruises. Costa Concordia capsized in January while its sister ship, Costa Allegra, was towed into the Seychelles in March following a power cut. Little wonder then that Pier Luigi Foschi, president of Costa Cruises, wants to rename the company: “Our brand has been massacred by the media. It has been killed.”

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