Montevideo Uruguay
City guide to Montevideo, Uruguay
Famous for its liberal attitudes and emerging from the shadow of close neighbour Buenos Aires, Uruguay’s capital is full of Latin flair.   Montevideo is known for Tango city, beaches, markets Montevideo Eat streets An essential stop is the Mercado del Puerto, a cavernous converted market space down at the Old Town’s port. Enter via towering wrought iron gates to find a meat lover’s dream; inside are numerous parrilladas (Uruguayan-style barbecues) plying their trade from open fires alongside wine merchants. The place is filled with the smoke and the intoxicating smell of barbecued sausages, beef and lamb. Pull up a stool at one of the bars with a glass of Chilean red and watch as your steak is flame grilled to perfection. Out and about in Montevideo Start the day in the shade of the Palacio Salvo on the stately Plaza Independencia. You won’t have seen anything like it before, an unusual Art Deco skyscraper with Gothic touches that was the tallest on the continent when it opened in 1928. At the end of the plaza wander into the Ciudad Vieja (Old Town) through the original fortress gate, and dip into some of its many galleries. Finish with a stroll along the 22-kilometre seaside esplanade, La Rambla. Insider’s secret Try the curious traditional tea-like drink that is mate, pronounced (mah-tay), made from the leaves of the yerba mate shrub. Its smoky flavour is enjoyed from a little bowl made from the hard skin of the gourd fruit and through a metal straw called a bombilla. Its strong caffeine kick has Uruguayans drinking it throughout the day. Retail reconnaissance Experience the hustle and bustle of one of Montevideo’s famous street markets, the Feria de Tristán Narvaja, taking place every Sunday in Cordón. You’ll find everything from antiques to books, vinyl and... pets! The ultimate experience To get a feel for uruguay's national pastime go to the top floor of the cavernous old Mercado de la Abundancia on a saturday night. From a pew at one of the adjacent restaurants enjoy performances of tango with live music, and have a go yourself. Caffeine hits In the heart of the Old Town is Café Brasilero (cafebrasilero.com.uy), which dates back to 1877, making it the oldest cafe in the city. Dark timber walls and a throwback charm make it a great place to sit and watch the world go by. For a more contemporary coffee menu and setting head to Coffee Lab Roasters in Nuevo Pocitos. Where to stay & play in  Montevideo, Uruguay Affordable Bit Design Hotel has views of the city from floor-to-ceiling glass, plus sleek bathrooms with rainfall showers. Moderate Right on La Rambla is Cottage Carrasco Hotel & Suites, which has rooms with ocean views, a lovely pool, restaurant and bar. Luxe Sofitel Montevideo Casino Carrasco and Spa occupies a national heritage building dating back to 1921. A place to stay after a night at the opera.
Losa Cabose Villa One One&Only Palmilla
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Five inspiring global self-guided walking holidays
In the age of Fitbit and smart watches attributing calories to every step we take, the pleasure of walking should not be forgotten. Here are five walks that will inspire while you respire. On Foot Holidays, which organises self-guided walking holidays in Europe and the UK, says there are myriad benefits to getting from A to B under your own steam and at your own pace, from keeping fit to allowing for a much more intimate experience of a destination and its inhabitants.   It’s also affordable, eco-conscious and pretty inspiring. With this in mind, here are a few journeys worth getting your legs pumping and your heart beating. 1. Porto to Santiago de Compostela The celebrated El Camino is a network of pilgrim trails in Europe, all coming together at the tomb of St James in north-west Spain. One of the most popular routes is the Camino Francés from St Jean-Pied-de-Port near Biarritz in France to Santiago 780 kilometres away. [caption id="attachment_43005" align="alignleft" width="1000"] Walking the pilgrimage Cammino de Santiago de Compostela - Spain.[/caption] 2. Costa Rica This sprawling Central American nation is a nature-lover’s dream come true, so walking in these parts presents plenty of scope for wildlife spotting and lots of variety in the landscape, from dense, close rainforests to jutting mountains, volcanoes and ethereal cloud forests. Read more about Costa Rica's wild beauty here...  [caption id="attachment_43008" align="alignleft" width="1000"] Costa Rican rainforest[/caption] 3. The Swiss Alps Switzerland is a paradise for walkers, with all that lovely fresh air and an outdoorsy focus. Check out itineraries in the Bernese Oberland to get the best of everything: stunning scenery, picture-postcard towns, and pristine natural surroundings. 22 more things to in Switzerland... [caption id="attachment_43007" align="alignleft" width="1000"] A hike through the Swiss Alps. Specifically Zinal, Val d'Anniviers, Canton of Valais.[/caption] 4. The Garden Route Stretching 300 kilometres from Mossel Bay in South Africa’s north to Plettenberg Bay in the east, this journey takes in an incredibly diverse landscape, from the rugged coastline dotted with lovely beaches, to inland mountains, to lakes and lagoons, and forests teaming with wildlife. [caption id="attachment_43009" align="alignleft" width="1000"] Tremendous Robbberg nature reserve coastline at Plettenberg bay South Africa[/caption] 5. The Amalfi Coast With soaring mountains, picturesque fishing villages, secret swimming spots and ample opportunity to sample pasta and vino, walking the coastline from Amalfi to Sorrento, taking in the towns of Ravello, Praiano and Positano, is an ultimate Italian experience. You can cheat and catch a bus or two if you are strapped for time. [caption id="attachment_43006" align="alignleft" width="1000"] Sea view from Capri mountains, Italy[/caption] In Europe and ready for a faster pace? see Cycling Amsterdam: a bespoke biker’s guide. More tips for Keeping fit on your travels