One for the beach bums… Tel Aviv, Israel

A less frequented corner of the Med, the “White City” of Tel Aviv is warming up in May when visitors begin flocking to any one of its eight beaches – each with a character and charm all of its own. Tel Aviv Promenade (in Hebrew: the Tayelet) runs the length of the city’s shoreline and is the place to start scouting for a spot to lay down your beach towel. Hilton Beach (Hof Hilton), with links to the nearby hotel, is a popular surfing site but also famed its own dog- and gay-friendly sections.

Beach life comes with its own customs in Israel, too. Matkot – better known as paddleball – is almost a national sport. Another tradition of the city, sadly under threat today, is the drumming ceremony that takes place on Banana Beach every Friday evening. Read our feature into the history of the renegade drummers and why their future is so uncertain here.


One for the thrillseekers… Slacklining in Yosemite National Park, USA

Slacklining is much like tightrope walking, except that the rope has less tension so has more of a bouncy, trampoline-like quality. The beauty of it is that you can do it anywhere, such as your local park, but some intrepid adventurers have taken the sport even further into adrenalin-spiking extremes.

Highlining entails walking across two points at a high elevation, and Yosemite National Park in California is said to be the birthplace of the phenomenon. The sport is still officially sanctioned in this awe-inspiring location – though possibly not for much longer – so if it’s on your bucket list, get there now. Of course, some people have taken slacklining even further – “free-solo” slacklining is without a safety harness; windlining is deliberately undertaken on a windy day, and the more sedate yoga version involves practicing asanas on the rope.

Yosemite National Park is about 273km (170 miles) east of San Francisco, California.


One for the city slickers… Montreal, Canada

Not only is it Canada’s 150th anniversary this year, but it’s also 375 years since Montreal was first settled as a colony by the French. A fascinating mix of Old European and North American culture, as well as French and English, this is a city already famous for its festivals, but 2017 is going to be even bigger.

One for the avid skiers… Riksgränsen, Sweden

No, we don’t have to say goodbye to the ski season – not until we’re ready for it to end. That’s especially true when you’re deep in the Arctic Circle, in the heart of Sweden’s Lappland region. Snow-sure holidays don’t come more certain than those to the world’s most northerly ski resort. Riksgränsen is a winter sports destination of measurable extremes. In February it’s too dark to ski but come late May you can enjoy near 24-hours of continual daylight. It might be one of the few places in the world where you can glide down the piste at midnight, straight into the apres-ski bar at the bottom for last orders.


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