My specialist countries
I work in the groups department arranging tours worldwide and I have recently added Spain to my portfolio of specialist countries.
A bit about me
My enthusiasm for travel started during a month-long expedition to Peru aged 16, since this experience I’ve taken every opportunity to explore the world. Creating worldwide escorted tours and itineraries has allowed me to combine my studies in Art History and my passion for travel. I have now been working in specialised group travel at The Ultimate Travel Company for several years, and more recently accompanied and led various tours in Europe and Specialtours including tours to northern Italy, Sicily, St Petersburg and Andalucía.
However, my favourite continent to travel to is Africa. On a sabbatical, I worked in Zambia managing safari bushcamps in the South Luangwa and have travelled through southern Africa extensively. Nothing beats teh vast African sky, exploring true wilderness, and the excitement of what you may see on a walking safari.
My favourite place
Barcelona has so much to offer as a long weekend destination – with a great combination world-class art collections, extraordinary Gaudi architecture, delicious tapas and even a beach destination for those who want to relax.
My favourite hotel
In the heart of Seville’s gothic quarter you will find the intimate and relaxed boutique hotel of Corral del Rey. Split over two beautiful restored and renovated 17th century houses, the hotel has 13 rooms. It is the perfect combination of traditional architecture, Moorish influence and contemporary understated style. In the main house a stone staircase leads up past rooms to a terrace with plunge pool with panoramic views, a perfect intimate haven from heat of the city in the summer.
Don’t be fooled by the historic features of Roman columns and Mudéjar details, subtly hidden in each room are modern comforts; surround sound bathrooms, double walk-in rain showers, in-room iPods, wifi… with treatments and massages on request it would be very easy to spend all your time in Seville just at the hotel! It is in a fantastic location – take a leisurely stroll though the Santa Cruz area with its overhanging balconies and patios of orange trees, to the dominating Gothic Cathedral with it’s Giralda bell tower.
Also nearby are the gardens and palace of the Real Alcázar, which will entice garden enthusiasts; where a whole morning can be spent roaming the expanse of formal gardens. Corral del Rey also has a sister hotel The Hacienda San Rafael, in nearby Jerez, and the two hotels pair perfectly for a longer stay in Andalucía.
My most memorable experience
Waking up just before dawn in an open air treehouse chalet in Zambia with a leopard calling from directly underneath the chalet.
My top tips are
- Following a day walking around the Alhambra Palace and the spectacular Generalife, revive tired feet with a traditional hamman in Granada, it is recommended to book in advance.
- Restaurant in Barcelona – Cal Pep – arrive 30 minutes before opening to ensure a seat at the bar. Don’t book a table at the restaurant at the back, try and get a seat at the bar, otherwise you’ll miss the atmosphere and watching the chefs creating your tapas.
- In Zambia stay at the remote Kapamba Bushcamp – from your huge bath in your open-fronted room you have views onto the Kapamba river which entices the park’s richest wildlife right to your doorstep.
- Sicily is wonderful in late April. It’s a lovely time of year to visit the island with mild weather and sunny days. Sites and museums are not crowded and you can see the Greek Temple and Amphitheatre of Segesta whilst surrounded by a carpet of wild flowers.