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10 SICILY A cinematic wonder The haunting refrain of The and the BAM BAR ingredients awaits you. 11 BAHAMAS Come on, pretty mama! The Bahamas instantly conjures up an image of island paradise: true, so long as you steer course away from Nassau. With 700 islands there is no shortage of places to drop anchor. Staniel Cay in the Exumas is home to the Thunderball Cave from the James Bond movie, and has its own yacht club, a wonderful place to catch up with the local scene over an island cocktail. You must also call in at Tippy’s at Pineapple Fields on ELEUTHERA, which is the place to rub shoulders with all the right people and tuck into stone crab claws and coconut shrimp. The bar is always heaving and Friday night is not to be missed. Patti LaBelle will belt out a few tunes when she’s in town, and the resident band is absolutely rocking. Pete’s Pub and Gallery in Little Harbour on Great Abaco is art with a bar next door, so you can toast your new bronze acquisition with some island rum and Bahamian ambience. What could be better? 7 ST LUCIA Paradise found St Lucia’s towering PITONS nail the landscape spectacularly on this stunning island in the Caribbean. Chocolate aficionados will love the Fond Doux Estate, a 130 acre organic cocoa plantation oozing with colonial heritage. La Haut Plantation is a must for lunch - try the moreish pumpkin fries. to be the three hour Sulphur Seduction organised by the Jalousie Resort at the island’s active volcano. Float about in lava heated springs and get slathered with detoxifying mud. The rainforests are so lush, it’s worth the effort to experience the Barre de l’Isle trail or the Des Cartiers Rainforest: both are truly memorable. Dasheene, the terrace restaurant at Ladera resort is the ultimate dining experience on the island, delivering Creole and Caribbean flavours with a dash of Californian sophistication in a dramatic mountain top location. Rodney Bay has the nightlife and with club names like Pulse, Delirius and Taboo, you know it’s going to be a long night. Godfather theme provides a glorious soundtrack to the visual grandeur of Sicily, and Luc Besson’s Le Grand Bleu will make you fall in love with Taormina all over again. The cognoscenti know that it is mandatory while taking a passeggiata (an evening stroll), to partake of granita in lush flavours like almond or basil, is the best in town. Take some chilled champagne to the Temple of Concordia and watch a 2,400 year-old building turn gold in the setting sun. Have your driver take you on up to the village of Caltabellotta, refreshing at 870 metres, with breathtakingly gorgeous views. This same village is home to M.A.T.E.S. where an authentic Sicilian gastronomic experience of the freshest local 8 GREAT BARRIER REEF Plus rainforest spectacular In Far North Queensland, the tropical ‘burbs of Port Douglas and Palm Cove provide access to the most celebrated reef in the world. When you are done finding Nemo, the hinterland calls. The Kuranda Railway winds its way up through the rainforest from Cairns past waterfalls to Kuranda station laden with lush ferns and plants. Wooroonooran Safaris can sort out the more adventurous prospect of convening with the rainforest and a visit to Josephine Falls. A stop at the OUTBACK OPAL MINE will give you a unique flavour of the opal capital of the world, where you can pick out your own rare opal or Torres Strait pearl. In Palm Cove, order a vanilla ginger mojito at NuNu to watch the sunset and then head to a table on the balcony at Casmar where they take fresh local produce and seafood and turn them into culinary wonders. The Aboriginal world of Dreamtime is brought alive at Tjapukai by Night where you can feel the spiritual vibe of an authentic corroboree and a didgeridoo blessing, and pick up some fine native artwork. Beauty, mate! The ultimate spa adventure has 9 ITALIAN RIVIERA Utterly Splendido The Italian Riviera is quintessentially about effortless Italian style. Even the fishermen look like they have washed up from an Armani advertisement. Elizabeth Taylor is just one of the Hollywood set who put Portofino on the glitterati map. Front row and centre is lunch at La Terrazza in the aptly named HOTEL SPLENDIDO. Down in the port nestled around Portofino’s piazzetta, Gucci and Pucci are both waiting to re-stock your yacht and beach wardrobe. Where to go for sunset cocktails? You must have a tintoretto: Prosecco and pomegranate at Chuflay in the Splendido Mare. Away from Portofino, Bordighera is divine. Here the streets are named after Queen Victoria and Shakespeare and the date palms provide Easter fronds for the Vatican. The Grand Hotel dei Castelli for lunch on the peninsula of Sestri Levante is a total fairytale, its clientele evidenced by a phalanx of Lamborghinis and Ferraris on the way in. Bellissimo! { Outback Opal Mine } { Bam Bar } { Hotel Splendido } { Eleuthera } { Pitons } lifestyle { 82 }


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