Non-technical mountain climbs: 12 mountains for mortals

mountaineering calendar whitney usaDreamstime

There are no ‘death zones’ on these non-technical mountain climbs but they offer plenty of challenges for mere mortals like me

As a climber, I have completed several indoor climbing and winter mountaineering courses but my technical climbing skills sill leave a lot to be desired. I have mastered basic rope, ice axe and crampon skills but don’t practise them as often as I’d like.

Climbing Aconcagua: my third seven summit

Climbing Aconcagua featimg

Climbing Aconcagua was the culmination of a 10-year journey and the next step towards realising my ultimate dream: climbing the seven summits

At around 2pm local time on 19th January 2020, I touched the simple aluminium crucifix that marks the summit of Aconcagua in Argentina at 6,961m (22,837ft).

Looking at the winter climbs taking place at that time in the Himalaya and Karakoram ranges of Asia, and given that it was around 11pm in Nepal and Pakistan, it is safe to assume that for a few brief moments on that Sunday afternoon, I was the highest man stood on Earth.

5 best day trips from Split, Croatia 

Hvar is known as a celebrity hideoutDreamer4787/Shutterstock

Croatia’s second city is a great base for exploring Dalmatia and beyond. Here’s what not to miss when planning day trips from Split

If Dubrovnik is a picture-perfect slice of old world charm, then Split is its slightly wearier cousin in the north. Built around the ancient Diocletian’s Palace, Split is a bustling maze of houses, churches and chapels but with all the conveniences of a modern tourist town. 

Game of throngs: how to beat the crowds in Croatia

Despite its recent explosion in tourism, it is possible to beat the crowds in Croatia. Here, we show you how

I have unfinished business in Croatia. A few years ago, I came across some cheap flights to Dubrovnik and booked them without adequate research. It was summer. It was Europe. Surely, it would be easy, I thought.

Soon after, I realised that five nights in Dubrovnik in mid August was not a good idea. Since its use as a location in Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik has seen an explosion in tourism. 

17 interesting facts about The Bahamas 

Interesting facts about the bahamasAtlas & Boots

From record-breaking free diving to mysterious swimming pigs, we share the most interesting facts about The Bahamas gathered on our short but sweet visit

We didn’t spend nearly enough time in The Bahamas, but with 700 islands to explore, it’s probably fair to say that no one does. 

We spent our short time on Eleuthera island swimming, snorkelling and sunbathing – with a Bahama Mama or two thrown in for good measure. 

Things to do in Bonaire: our top 12 picks

things to do in bonaie

We explore the best things to do in Bonaire, from pink lakes to secluded beaches and first-rate diving and snorkelling

Bonaire, a Dutch municipality in the Leeward Antilles of the Caribbean Sea, is known for its rich marine life, exceptional dive sites and desert landscape interior.

Bonaire is surrounded by a fine coral reef that lies meters from the shoreline, making it a snorkeller’s dream. The reef is a designated national marine park and is easily accessed via numerous entry points clearly marked on shore.

Europe’s best hikes for first timers

Mont Blanc is one of Europe's best hikesCreative Travel Projects/Shutterstock

From easy city walks to harder challenges in the great outdoors, we share 10 of Europe’s best hikes for first timers

When Peter headed to Argentina in January to climb Aconcagua (his third of the seven summits), a friend of mine asked why I wasn’t joining him.

Climbing mountains is his thing, I explained. I’m perfectly comfortable below 4,000m. She frowned and said, ‘I thought you’d want to go because you’re always out hiking.’

5 best dive sites in Aruba according to divemasters 

Grunt fish duel for mates at one of the best dive sites in ArubaJames Dvorak/Shutterstock

From a ship scuttled in World War II to a fiercely guarded secret spot, we share the best dive sites in Aruba as chosen by local divemasters

When it comes to choosing dive sites, we are yet to find a perfect solution. Official rating apps are often skewed towards popular spots, meaning that a mediocre dive site with lots of visitors will trump a less-visited but better site based on the weighting system.

Scuba diving movies: 21 of the best underwater flicks

scuba diving movings best flicks

We list the best scuba diving movies of all time, from thrilling underwater epics to Hollywood blockbusters featuring incredible subaquatic scenes

With the dark depths of the ocean as a backdrop, the threat of a turbulent sea and an ever-dwindling air supply, scuba diving should be ripe for spectacularly tense movie plots.

Sadly, the underwater realm has struggled to get a foothold in the glitz, glamour and special effects of the modern Hollywood blockbuster. Whether it’s the latest superhero reboot, science fiction thriller or historical epic drama, the effects-driven juggernaut that powers the modern film industry seems to continually overlook subaquatic cinema.

Diving the Sonesta plane wrecks in Aruba

Diving the Sonesta plane wrecks in Aruba

Diving the Sonesta plane wrecks in Aruba was eerie and surreal, but ultimately thrilling

I’m hopeless at fish identification. My memory is awful and I don’t like diving with a fish ID slate – it just becomes a piece of clutter to add to the essentials (pressure gauge, regulators, dive computer and my camera). As such, unless it’s a lion fish, grouper, clown fish, whale, dolphin or shark, it’s unlikely I’ll be able to identify it.

Stewards of the wild: 10 famous environmentalists that give us hope 

Jane Goodall is one of the most famous environmentalists of our time.The Nature Conservancy/Fair Use

We profile 10 famous environmentalists, from the girl who lived in a tree for two years to the sea captain faced with Interpol arrest

I recently read a fact that stopped in me my tracks: in optimum conditions, some trees can live forever. They are vulnerable to predators, disease and natural disasters, but unlike humans, these ‘biologically immortal’ trees rarely die simply because they get old.

Most peaceful countries in the world 2020

most peaceful countries in the world 2020

The most peaceful countries in the world have been updated for 2020. Read our insights from the study and browse the rankings below

The world has become slightly less dangerous for the first time in five years, according to the latest Global Peace Index (GPI) report. However, over the last 10 years the world has become less peaceful overall with the average level of global peacefulness deteriorating by 3.78%.

The GPI report is the only statistical measure of its kind and makes it possible to rank 163 independent states based on how peaceful they are. The 163 states cover over 99.7% of the world’s population and are assessed using 23 indicators, each banded or normalised on a scale of 1-5.

Wall diving in the Turks and Caicos: a glimpse at the abyss

Peeking into the blue while diving in the Turks and Caicos

Diving in the Turks and Caicos will no doubt lead you to its famous wall. There you will stare into a literal abyss that dives 2,000m to the bottom of the sea

There’s a moment in the Jude Law film Black Sea where a deep-sea diver falls off a murky underwater ridge and careens into the pitch-black depths of the ocean. For someone who struggled to learn to dive, the idea was pretty bloody terrifying. 

Of course, in recreational diving, this sort of thing doesn’t happen – especially when you dive no deeper than 18m. Nonetheless, I was reminded of this scene when wall diving in the Turks and Caicos on the ninth day of our Caribbean cruise.

Is it time to stop using Airbnb? 

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After spending years on the platform, we ask if it’s finally time to stop using Airbnb

When we moved to the countryside in 2018, our new neighbours welcomed us with palpable relief. 

‘We’re so pleased you’re not turning it into a holiday home!’ they told us. 

They, like the vendor, had feared that the London couple buying this quirky, crumbly 300-year-old cottage would promptly list it on Airbnb and head on back down south.

World’s most powerful passports 2020

We take a look at the world’s most powerful passports based on the ease with which you can enter foreign countries

Japan has been named the world’s most powerful passport in 2020, beating Singapore in second place and Germany and South Korea in third. 

The Henley Passport Index uses data from the International Air Transport Authority to measure how many destinations a passport-holder can enter without a prior visa. It analyses 199 different passports and 227 travel destinations to produce what is considered the most authoritative ranking of its kind.