June 25, 2022

Hidden Spain: where to stay and what to do off the beaten track

It is the UK’s favourite holiday destination, but few British tourists explore these stunning tucked-away beaches, sleepy villages and rugged national parksHidden Croatia | Hidden Greece | Hidden FranceA lot of us have been rather surprised to discover how much we like being in nature and all that outdoorsy stuff over the past couple of years. Of course, we all still love our city breaks – nothing like an exhilarating weekend in Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia to pep us up – but Spain is also really good for getting away from it all, whether in the mountains, an unspoiled stretch of coast or in a village you just happen to come across on a road trip. The Spanish love rural tourism and there are gorgeous small hotels and self-catering places all over the country. Continue reading...
June 16, 2022

MEPs denounce fresh reports of migrant pushbacks in Greece

MEPs on the Civil Liberties Committee are calling on the Commission to ensure that the rule of law is respected at the bloc's external border.
June 15, 2022

Mélenchon’s lesson to the left: less socialism, more social democracy | Paolo Gerbaudo

From the leader of France’s Nupes coalition to Bernie Sanders, radical left firebands are shifting their focus and styleIn 2017, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s La France Insoumise (Unsubmissive France) sat alongside Spain’s Podemos, Greece’s Syriza, the Bernie Sanders campaign in the US and Labour under Jeremy Corbyn as part of a worldwide “left populist wave” that combined charismatic leadership with radical policies. He channelled French citizens’ anger at austerity policies – blamed on Brussels bureaucrats – and proposed an exit from the EU (in case treaty change was not achieved) and Nato. Mélenchon held rallies looking like an enraged tribune of the people in a Mao suit, and took swipes at the French elite: “the caste and its puppets” and the “ignoble” politicians of the socialist party. While his presidential bid scored an impressive 19%, only 11% voted for the party in the parliamentary elections.The situation is very different now. A more amiable Mélenchon leads the Nupes (Nouvelle Union populaire écologique et sociale) coalition that polled a hair ahead of Macron’s Ensemble coalition in the first round of the French parliamentary elections this week – 26.1% to 25.8%. This is a stunning result for the left after decades on the margins. While it remains unlikely that Mélenchon will win enough MPs in the second round to claim the role of prime minister in an uneasy co-habitation with president Macron, a powerful case has been made for the attractiveness of a left alternative to Macron’s neoliberal centrism.Paolo Gerbaudo is a sociologist at Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy, and King’s College London and the author of The Great Recoil Continue reading...
June 11, 2022

Hidden Portugal: where to stay and what to do off the beaten track

Hauntingly beautiful villages, thermal springs, unspoilt beaches, fairytale castles ... Portugal has so much more to offer than the bustle of the AlgarveHidden … Greece | Croatia | ItalyBritain’s love affair with its oldest ally is set to be reignited this summer. The UK is Portugal’s biggest overseas tourist market, and it became the first EU country to allow Britons fast-tracked entry, post-Brexit, via electronic passport gates. Thanks to the easing of Covid travel restrictions, hundreds of thousands of British travellers are expected to head back there this summer, drawn mainly by its sunny south coast. But Portugal has so much more to offer than the beaches and bars of the Algarve. Continue reading...
June 9, 2022

‘So gorgeous you’ll shed tears of joy’: readers’ favourite beaches in Greece

From Ithaca to Milos via the Peloponnese, our tipsters wax lyrical about glorious beach sojournsParalia Mazida Ammos in Xerokampos in Crete’s far south-east is a spectacular beach, surely up there with the top beaches in the world. From the first glimpse on the heartstopping drive over the mountains you can tell it is a special place. With a bay of dreamy soft white sand and azure water sparkling and clear, the gorgeous scenery is enough to make you shed a tear of joy! And amazingly this loveliness is completely unspoilt and quiet. The nearby village of Xerokampos has a taverna and a smattering of apartments and makes for an idyllic stay. Heaven.Rachel B Continue reading...
June 1, 2022

Greece and Cyprus lift covid measures for tourist season

Wearing face masks is no longer compulsory in Greece and Cyprus on the eve of the high tourist season.
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