Go-Slow European Islands: Egadi Islands, Sicily
While Sicily’s Aeolian Islands have become a go-to spot for sunseekers, in-the-know travellers have been quietly slipping off to the Egadi Islands. Cast off Sicily’s west coast, these airport-free islands can be tricky to reach – your best bet is a hydrofoil ride from Trapani – but that’s the point. Free from mass tourism, life here has retained an authentic, go-slow charm. Think sleepy fishing villages, rural hikes and plenty of wildlife – the waters here belong to Europe’s largest Marine Protected Area. Head to Favignana with its quietly buzzing port town; try Levanzo for its jumble of whitewashed buildings and Palaeolithic cave art; or explore Marettimo’s hiking trails with their Norman castles and Byzantine churches.
Insider Tip: Scuba enthusiasts will love Levanzo with its Roman shipwreck dive site.
Africa’s First Capital Of Culture: Marrakech, Morocco
A city of sinuous alleys, spice-scented souks and red-tinged rooftops set against the majestic backdrop of the Atlas Mountains, Marrakech has long mesmerised travellers. It’s home to two Unesco World Heritage Sites – the maze-like medina and atmospheric Djemaa El Fna – and a rich history that have helped make it Africa’s first Capital of Culture in 2020. While the past is cherished, this is also a city that’s ever evolving, with sustainable boutique accommodation and seasonally focused restaurants subtly imprinting themselves on the ancient cityscape.
Stay: Les Deux Tours
Insider Tip: Escape the city’s heat with a day trip to the waterfalls and cool air of the Ourika Valley.