Author Archives | Sasha Heseltine

About Sasha Heseltine

Sasha Heseltine has circled the globe, feeding orphaned wallabies on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island, getting lost off-roading in the Sierra Nevada, diving with manta rays in the Maldives, and hot-air ballooning in eastern Poland. Back home in the UK, she runs a local website, reviews hotels and restaurants for local media, and writes about her travels for national print and online publications.

Day Trips from Sofia

Snowy street of Plovdiv's Old Town.

Historic towns and UNESCO-listed monasteries surround the capital city of Bulgaria, not to mentioned the wild landscapes of the Seven Rila Lakes. Here are some of the most popular day trips from Sofia:

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June 15, 2015 by | Comments Off

Exploring Northern Cyprus

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has plenty of charm and history to explore, from Crusader castles to pretty harbor towns to often-deserted beaches.

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June 8, 2015 by | Comments Off

Ljubljana in 48 Hours


Ljubljana is having a cool moment; it is awash with strutting university students bedecked in designer clothes; the countless bars and restaurants along the River Ljubljanica are overflowing all year around and the pocket-sized city has a Baroque Old Town, medieval castle, bucolic markets, and innovative museums to discover. The cultural soup caused by Slovenia’s proximity to Hungary, Austria and Italy can be seen in the heady mix of architecture – from Roman via Austro-Hungarian to Art Nouveau –and in the restaurant scene, where gastronomic influences range from Italian gelati through heart-warming Hungarian goulashes to Austrian pastries. Here’s how to see Slovenia’s pocket-sized capital Ljubljana in 48 hours.

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January 23, 2014 by | 0 Comments

14 Festivals and Events Worth Traveling For in 2014

Fed up with lazing on the beach or vacationing on the piste? Start planning your next trip right here as 2014 is panning out as a bumper year for travelers chasing a little more substance for their buck. There are major-league sporting events to attend all over the world and a cluster of poignant war anniversaries in Europe as well as landmark events in America.

Here’s a selection of some of the must-see festivals and events happening exclusively in 2013.

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January 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments

10 of the Most Beautiful Spots in Finland

The Kvarken Archipelago. Image courtesy of Ahlea on Flickr.

Finland is famous for its natural beauty, from its jagged coastline and strings of rocky archipelagos to bleak, scrub-covered fells and soundless expanses of northern snowlands. Over half of Finland lies within the Arctic Circle, forest covers 86 per cent of the land, there are 37 national parks, 187,888 lakes and almost as many islands and skerries sprinkling the coast. Here are 10 of the most amazing places in to visit in Finland ­– these beauty spots should be on everyone’s bucket list.

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November 20, 2013 by | 1 Comment

Helsinki in 48 Hours


Scandinavia’s northernmost capital city is elegantly sprawled around its Baltic Sea waterfront on a peninsula scalloped by inlets and scattered with rocky skerries. Today Helsinki is one of the coolest cities in Europe, with a pounding modern heart, buzzing seaside restaurants and bars, innovative contemporary architecture, fashion-forward shopping streets and an edgy nightlife. That it also manages to be one of the world’s friendliest cities, with many sights easily walkable, makes this pocket-sized capital all the more charming.

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October 23, 2013 by | 0 Comments

7 New Museums to Explore in Krakow, Poland

Krakow Pope John Paul II

A bunch of innovative museums have opened or reopened in Krakow over the last few years. Forward-looking and beautifully curated, they are a welcome addition to the manifold Renaissance charms of Wawel Hill and the fine decorative art displays in the National Museum. Several of these new venues are scattered around the historic Old Town within walking distance of each other, others are an easy tram journey out of the city center. When planning your itinerary in Krakow, bear in mind that most museums in the city close on Mondays and some have free admission on Tuesdays.

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September 25, 2013 by | 0 Comments

Exploring Manila

Traditional dancing in Manila

Among the constant ebb and flow of this frenetic city, gridlocked and chaotic in its urban sprawl, sleek new skyscrapers in the CBD and vast shopping malls contrast sharply with vibrant street markets that have existed for centuries. With its heart wrapped around the sweeping Manila Bay and bisected by the mighty Pasig River, this is a forward-thinking city, a cultural polyglot where a babble of Tagalog – a mixture of Chinese, Malay, Japanese, Spanish and local dialects – and English can be heard in the streets, reflecting the country’s long and checkered history.

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August 23, 2013 by | 0 Comments

On the Trail of Malta’s Ancient Ruins

An altar at the Tarxien Temples.

Although many people head to Malta for sun, sea and sand, there is a significant trail of Neolithic ruins across the little archipelago of islands. The provenance of Malta’s spectacular Neolithic and Bronze Age sites at Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, Tarxien, Hagar Qim, Mnajdra and Ta’ hagrat, plus the ruins at Ggantija on Gozo, have been obscured over the millennia. It’s possible that they were built between 5,000 AD and 2,500 BC to honor an unknown goddess of fertility and while of acute historical importance, some of the sites themselves are not well interpreted – and indeed were not well tended until the last 20 years.

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August 21, 2013 by | 0 Comments

Exploring the Natural Wonders of Norway

Lofoten Islands

Running from spruce forests in the south past countless lakes, mountain peaks, glaciers, fjords and island archipelagos all the way to the Arctic Circle, Norway is blessed with awesome natural beauty combined with plenty of indigenous wildlife in thousands of hectares of wilderness. As custodian of all this loveliness, this land of Northern Lights and midnight sun has created 43 national parks and safeguards its assets fiercely.

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August 14, 2013 by | 0 Comments

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