Nassau, the Bahamas

Walking around Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas, is like stepping into a palette of paint – Crayola-coloured colonial buildings in yellows, ice blues and baby pinks dot main Bay and Georges street, while the Caribbean sea wraps itself around the island city in gradients of blue, turquoise and aquamarine, matched by cloudless skies.

But most colourful of all is this port city’s history. Before it became a stop for massive cruise ships, Nassau was where the real Pirates of the Caribbean dropped anchors – including notorious Blackbeard. The Pirates Museum on King and George street in downtown Nassau preserves relics from this swashbuckling era, making for an educative afternoon. For architecture buffs, there’s colonial buildings like the Parliament House and Nassau Port. The majority of British colonial history resides in Fort Fincastle, with the limestone Queen Victoria’s staircase that offers breathtaking vistas of the Caribbean.

It’s not all bookish history here – experience tangible culture, music and food during the kaleidoscopic Junkanoo parade held all day on Boxing Day (December 26), a riot of music, costumes and folk art. And when all the exploring leaves you feeling a bit off-colour, stop by local eatery Bahamajammers for some jhonnycakes and pigeon peas, then stay in the Compass Point beach resort in Gambier – it’s modcon-fitted rainbow huts and beachfront views will uplift spirits in no time. Call 00242 327 4500.


Intercontinental Dubai Festival City

Ring in the National Day weekend with your family at the Intercontinental hotel and enjoy a dollar for every year of the UAE’s existence. The package gets you elegant deluxe rooms and breakfast for two along with an F&B credit of $45 (about Dh165) and kids dine free. Ask the hotel’s concierge’s about interesting National Day activities and events around the creek to stay busy. Deluxe rooms from Dh1,410. Call 800 4642.


Pera Palace Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey

Crime fiction authors will congregate in Istanbul from December 1 to 3 for the Black Week crime fiction festival at the hotel – where Agatha Christie penned Murder on the Orient Express. Book the historic museum hotel’s two-night Black Week package and find yourself in the thick of thrilling events, with an invitation to the opening ceremony celebrating Belgian author Georges Simenon, and entrance to all the panel sessions featuring international detective novelists such as Ahmet Umit, David Walton and Mari Jungstedt. From Dh1,279. Available from November 30 to December 4. Call 00902 1237 74000.

Exciting Escapes

Kitesurfing in Tarifa, Spain

The small Andalusian town of Tarifa, perched on the golden beaches of Costa de la Luz, is windy and blustery for over 300 days of the year, making it a wind-and-water-sports hub.

Tantrum Kitesurfing holidays will teach you to harness the power of the wind and skim the waves of the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean during seven-day camps. Perfect for beginners, packages includes kit hire, unlimited lessons, breakfast and lunch, accommodation, personal instructors, a sports massage and insurance. Use the recovery day off to do a spot of whale-watching, or explore local villages.
Prices vary, visit tantrumkitesurf.com for details.

Travel app of the week

Binaural Beats

This app generates relaxing sounds of rain and soothing binaural beats (a frequency that puts brainwaves in meditative state) to overcome jet lag and sleep or erase ambient noises during long flights. Based on colours, select your frequency and set a sleep timer. Free on iOS.

Style on the go

TIME TO BE SMART Whatever time zone your adventuring in, be punctual and safe with the water-resistant Samsung Gear S3 Frontier’s GPS function, inbuilt barometer, speedometer, SOS alert system and a battery that lasts up to four days. The speaker system allows you to send and receive voice messages. Dh1,399

HAIR CARE Keep frizzy hair tamed and luscious on your holidays with this travel-size moisturising shampoo from Sachajuan. It’s ocean silk technology adds shine and bounce so you have picture-perfect tresses for your whole trip. Dh65, Bloomingdale’s

TOP NOTCH We love how versatile this summery Paradise kaftan is – thrown over swimwear it’s a stylish cover-up, but paired with shorts, a straw hat and flip-flops, it’s a chic top for a casual resort dinner. Dh235, Accessorize