Join the Peru foodie revolution
Why: Peru, and in particular capital Lima, is experiencing something of a tourism boom at the moment. Historic sites such as Machu Picchu have attracted visitors in their thousands, but now there is an altogether different attraction: Gastronomy. Peruvian food is the hottest food trend in world cuisine right now and the massive increased interest is spilling over into art, fashion, design and culture as wanderlusting travellers and hipster holidaymakers search out new experiences.
Where: While restaurants start to spread to all corners of the world it is Central (www.centralrestaurante.com.pe/en), by chef Virgilio Martinez, which is the centre of it all. The avant-garde take on Peruvian food was enough to see it selected as the best restaurant outside of Europe in the prestigious World's Best Restaurant List. The impressive and striking JW Marriott Lima (www.marriott.com) hotel is a ceviche's throw away and regarded as one of the finest hotels in South America and an excellent base for wider exploration.
When: July 28 is Peruvian National Day so timing celebrations around that holiday will allow you to see Lima at its best.
While you’re at it: It would seem churlish to fly all the way to Peru and not take the option to push on a little further outside Lima and visit Machu Picchu. Unless you’ve been before. In which case save the time and stuff your face at more incredible restaurants.
How: Qatar Airways flies to Lima from Bahrain for BD1,114.
Celebrate Shakespeare s life
Who: Literature lovers
Why: This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of the greatest writer to have ever lived. William Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon is a market town with nearly a thousand years of history. It also knows how to charmingly cash in on its most famous son. Theatre productions, spooky ghost walks, poetry readings and medieval architecture aplenty make it an exciting and pretty alternative to London.
Where: A visit to the Royal Shakespeare Company's theatre is a must and there are dozens of quaint, cosy and charming boutique hotels to choose from. The Arden Hotel (www.theardenhotelstratford.com) is a hotel that artfully straddles the line between history and modernity, offering plush modern comfort in a building with many nods to Stratford's historic past.
When: Midsummer’s Night (in other words, the last week in June) would seem an ideal time to make the journey. The Royal Shakespeare Company is performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream at this time and it is an opportunity to see one of the most famous plays in its natural home.
While you’re at it: Glastonbury Festival (June 22-26, www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk) offers up culture of an altogether different sort just a couple of hours’ drive away. Coldplay, Adele, Muse, ELO, Beck, ZZ Top, Earth Wind and Fire, Ellie Goulding, Fatboy Slim and The Syrian National Orchestra (really) are among this year’s performers.
How: Gulf Air flies to London from BD367.
Watch the Euros live
Who: Football fans
Why: Every four years the best European footballing nations compete for bragging rights and silverware. This year sees the tournament contested across France as current champions Spain defend their title. This time around 24 teams will compete in ten cities around France and more than 50 games will be contested by many of the world’s finest players.
Where: The final will take place in capital, Paris, inside the Stade De France stadium. For first time visitors to France it makes sense to make this the base of your visit. There are hundreds of accommodation options to stay in, in one of the world's most visited destinations. But for Parisian decadence and palatial opulence you can't get any more lavish than Le Meurice (www.dorchestercollection.com) near the Louvre. The style, simply put, is grand enough to spark a revolution.
When: June 10-July 10.
While you’re at it: This is Paris, so take your pick of art, culture, food and museums between watching footie matches.
How: Gulf Air flies to Paris from Bahrain from BD312.
Dive the Great Barrier Reef
Who: Nature lovers
Why: This natural wonder of the world is a sprawling, living thing and covers an area of nearly 220,000 square miles. For scuba enthusiasts it is the ultimate destination with around 1,500 species of fish (around ten percent of the world total) found among the coral reefs. Legendary documentary presenter David Attenborough last month narrated a stunning new film (called Great Barrier Reef) about the location and tourism is likely to swell on the back of the beautifully shot film.
Where: The exclusive Hamilton Island Beach Club (www.hamiltonisland.com.au) is an elite hotel with prime access to the stunning reefs. High on style, and with a variety of accommodations, the private island resort is close to perfection for divers wanting a bit of luxury in and out of the water.
When: Visibility and conditions make the summer months of June through to September an ideal time to visit the Great Barrier Reef.
While you’re at it: Make yourself aware of the environmental peril facing natural wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef. As well as carbon offsetting your flights, you should make time for the protection and conservation agencies, too.
How: Etihad flies from Bahrain to Brisbane from BD381.
Who: Challenge seekers
Why: Make no mistake, with a peak an ice-capped 5,895 metres above sea level Africa’s highest mountain is one heck of a climb. But it is more accessible than Everest and with training and planning it is one of the few legendary peaks you could top this year.
Where: UAE charity fundraisers Gulf 4 Good (www.gulf4good.org) arrange flights and accommodation, but you are expected to raise a minimum level of funds for good causes first. Kilimanjaro is a national park in Tanzania and has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO with animals such as elephants, buffalo, leopards and monkeys looking up at the peak. You can't just turn up and stroll up the mountain but will be able to climb as part of the charity's team.
When: The Gulf 4 Good trek is July 1-9.
While you’re at it: Enjoy the scenery and reflect on the good causes you’re helping.
How: Gulf 4 Good arranges flights but if travelling independently, Qatar Airways flies to Kilimanjaro from BD400.
Discover peace through Yoga
Why: Your weekly yoga sessions have been going so well that you’re now comfortable with the positions and are getting real benefits from the regular practise. Take it to the next level with a full-on yoga retreat on an idyllic paradise island.
Where: GCC tension-busters Yogalates Bliss in Dubai is leading a retreat in Bali this summer. A tailor-made package has been made for Middle East yogis at the exclusive Menjangan resort in West Bali. Part yoga hideaway, part coastal animal reserve, it is a venue seemingly designed for total relaxation and a few testing stretches. See www.themenjangan.com for information.
When: The Yogalates Bliss Bali retreat is June 11-18. More information is available at www.yogalatesblissindubai.com.
While you’re at it: There is a comprehensive schedule of yoga to enjoy but take a break from that and see the wild monkeys in the Ubud forest.
How: Emirates flies from to Bali from BD376.
Where possible flight prices were found for regional airlines and prices quoted are from the airlines' own websites. In other instances flight comparison websites were used and Time Out Bahrain selected the cheapest option.