533 Slices
Medium 9781741794540

Aruba

Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub

     Includes »

     Oranjestad

     Resort Area

     Northwest Coast

     Northeast Coast

     Arikok National Wildlife Park

     San Nicolas

     Understand Aruba

     History

     Culture

     Landscape Wildlife

     Survival Guide

     Getting There Away

     Getting Around

Americans from the east coast fleeing winter make Aruba the most touristed island in the southern Caribbean.

And that’s not really surprising given that it has miles of the best beaches, plenty of package resorts and a compact and cute main town, Oranjestad, which is ideally suited for the two-hour strolls favored by day-tripping cruise-ship passengers. It’s all about sun, fun and spending money (lots of money – it’s an expensive island).

But venture away from the resorts and you’ll find that Aruba offers more. At the island’s extreme ends are rugged, windswept vistas and uncrowded beaches. Arikok National Wildlife Park is an alien landscape of cactuses, twisted divi-divi trees and abandoned gold mines.

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Jamaica

Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub

Cosmo’s SEAFOOD $

(Norman Manley Blvd; mains J$300-1000; 10am-11pm) Our favorite spot for seafood in seaside Negril, Cosmo’s eschews fine-dining flash for a few rough-hewn tables, a beachside location and plates of melt-in-your mouth, amazing seafood. The curry conch is deliciously spicy – enough kick to wake your mouth up, not so much to be unbearable.

Angela’s ITALIAN $$

(Bar-b-barn Hotel; mains US$6-20; breakfast, lunch dinner) We don’t know why pizza goes so well with the beach, but it does and the pizza at Angela’s is some of the best in Negril. As are the pasta plates and a host of other Italian dishes, all of a quality we frankly weren’t expecting on a Jamaican beach.

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Medium 9781743218570

Top Itineraries

Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub

MBegin with the biggies: tram to the Museum Quarter to ogle the masterpieces at the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum. They’ll be crowded, so make sure you’ve prebooked tickets. Modern-art buffs might want to swap the Stedelijk Museum for one of the others. They're all lined up in a walkable row.

5Lunch Slow-food favourite Gartine grows many ingredients in its garden.

RSpend the afternoon in the Medieval Centre. Explore the secret courtyard and gardens at the Begijnhof. Walk up the street to the Dam, where the Royal Palace, Nieuwe Kerk and Nationaal Monument huddle and provide a dose of Dutch history. Bend over and take your jenever (Dutch gin) like a local at Wynand Fockink.

5Dinner Do steak or fondue for dinner at Dwaze Zaken.

NVenture into the Red Light District. A walk down Warmoesstraat or Oudezijds Achterburgwal provides an eye-popping line-up of fetish-gear shops, live sex shows, smoky coffeeshops and, of course, women in day-glo lingerie beckoning from crimson windows. Then settle in to a brown café (pub), such as In ‘t Aepjen, In de Olofspoort or ‘t Mandje.

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Medieval Centre & Red Light District

Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub

1Wandering through the Red Light District, which will make your jaw drop, even if near-naked women beckoning from backlit windows is the oldest Amsterdam cliché.

2Ogling the chandeliered opulence and taking a Dutch history lesson in the Royal Palace.

3Pushing open the door to the Begijnhof and beholding the hidden gardens and churches.

4Biting into a crisp golden spud slathered in mayonnaise, curry or peanut sauce at Vleminckx.

5Bowling up to a 17th-century tasting house such as Wynand Fockink, to knock back a jenever (Dutch gin).

Amsterdam's heart beats in its medieval core, as well as in the centuries-old Red Light District. All visitors end up here at some point. Centraal Station is the main landmark – indeed, it is the first thing most visitors see as they arrive by train from the airport or elsewhere in Europe. Damrak slices south from the station to the Dam – Amsterdam's central square and home to the Royal Palace.

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Medium 9781743214664

Albania

Planet, Lonely Lonely Planet Publications ePub

Albania has natural beauty in such abundance that you might wonder why it's taken a full 20 years for the country to take off as a tourist destination after the end of a particularly brutal strain of communism in 1991. So backward was Albania when it emerged blinking into the bright light of freedom that it needed two decades just to catch up with the rest of Eastern Europe. Now that it arguably has done so, Albania offers a remarkable array of unique attractions, not least due to this very isolation: ancient mountain behaviour codes, forgotten archaeological sites and villages where time seems to have stood still are all on the menu. With its stunning mountain scenery, a thriving capital in Tirana and beaches to rival anywhere else in the Mediterranean, Albania has become the sleeper hit of the Balkans. But hurry here, as word is well and truly out.

AJun Enjoy the perfect Mediterranean climate and deserted beaches.

AAug Albania's beaches may be packed, but this is a great time to explore the mountains.

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