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From Slovenia to Sri Lanka: Gorgeous Getaways, Chris’s edition

From Slovenia to Sri Lanka: Gorgeous Getaways, Chris’s edition

Thinking about exploring Christmas markets this year? Or contemplating an island break? This month’s Gorgeous Getaways comes from Chris, in Surrey, UK. Whilst we worked together to create a bespoke piece of a much-loved local scene for his home, his selection of favourite travel destinations takes us from Europe to Asia.

1. Ljubliana, Slovenia

Vibrant Christmas markets with amazing foods and mulled cocktails make this city an excellent choice for a festive break. Stunning architecture, lush green spaces and its classic European outdoor café culture all combine to provide a weekend break to remember.

Top Tip: take a short bus ride from the city centre up to the town of Bled to see its tranquil lake. The idyllic landscape is like something out of a fairytale and you can even take a gentle boat ride to a small island in the middle and visit a 15th-century church.

2. St. Helier, Jersey

Not just famous for potatoes, this gorgeous island is a short journey from the UK and boasts stunning beaches, historic castles and excellent seafood.

Top Tip: The Jersey War Tunnels complex is a popular tourist attraction built in over 1km of tunnels and offers an insight into life on the island during World War Two. Visitors can explore the various rooms and exhibits, engage in activities in the craft centre and relax in the Garden of Reflection.

3. Galle, Sri Lanka

Quite simply, a tropical paradise. Stunning white sandy beaches, palm trees, crystal blue waters and some of the happiest and friendliest people you will ever meet.

Top Tip: visit the famous Galle Fort, originally founded by Portuguese colonists, the fort today is a World Heritage Site where visitors can marvel at the impressive architecture and original features as well as enjoy a selection of interesting shops and restaurants.

4. Kyoto, Japan

Once the capital of Japan, this fantastic city is a typical example of everything Japan has to offer. From impeccably maintained gardens and sky-high bamboo trails to samurai experiences and food tours.

Top Tip: one of the most spectacular shrines in Japan is located in Kyoto and should most definitely be on your to-do list. The Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, built in honour of the god of rice, is iconic with its vast array of bright orange Tori gates and beautiful shrines. If you’re feeling brave, you can walk up the many steps to the summit where you will be rewarded with the most magnificent views.

5. Havana, Cuba

With salsa music ringing from every street corner, the faint scent of rum in the air and brightly coloured vintage cars cruising the streets, this city is a feast for many senses.

Top Tip: you can explore Old Havana quite easily on foot with its winding cobblestone streets, eating in quaint cafes and admiring the classic 16th-century architecture.

Gorgeous Getaways is a collection of destination highlights from different members of the South Island Art community. Each person shares their unique viewpoints on their top 5 places. See the full series of posts.

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