Presented by Keri Jones
Produced by Keri Jones
Airs Saturday at 18:00 UTC, repeats Thursday at 10:00 UTC
The Great Destinations Radio Show presents a mix of features, on-location reports, reviews and expert interviews to inspire curious and interested travellers. Each week we share stories and travel tips from two professional travellers - a travel blogger and a travel writer. There's a weekly segment on staycations, hobby holidays and travel technology, too.
In this week's show:
Korcula - Keri Jones reports from the Croatian island of Korcula, birthplace of Marco Polo. This is a pretty, relaxed destination set around a beautiful walled town. The island has become more popular with Brits and is known for its own unique wine. Keri goes on a wine tasting tour to find out more about it. He also checks out the sea life on a submarine trip.
Slovenia - Slovenia is often overlooked by people heading for the lakes and mountains of Austria to the north, or the idyllic coast of Croatia to the south. But this hidden gem is starting to attract more attention. I spoke to Drew Seaman, author of the travel blog
about why he rates Slovenia as one of his top destinations in the world.
Banuae, Philippines - The Philippines has never been as popular with tourists as its Southeast Asian neighbours like Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. But that’s changing as more travellers are discovering its unique and varied landscapes. I spoke to Alex Shepherd from Philippines travel specialist, Audley Travel, about why the region of Banuae is starting to appear on the tourism map.
Morocco - It’s become much easier and cheaper to visit the North African country of Morocco over the past few years, now low cost carriers fly to the main towns and cities. But where should you go if you want to avoid the tourist crowds? I asked Paul Clammer, author of the Lonely Planet Guide to Morocco, who told me to head to the historic city of Fez to get a true taste of this fascinating country.
Beer - Megan Eaves talks about Lonely Planet’s new guide to the best beer places.
Lighthouses of Maine - A road trip around Maine’s rocky coast-spotting lighthouses. There are over 60 along the coast of this North Eastern U.S state.
In this week's show:
Cedar Key, Florida - Keri Jones reports from the beautiful seaside town of Cedar Key in Florida. The island has been declared Florida’s best small town. It’s known for wildlife, seabirds and the world’s best seafood chowder!
Westman Isles Of Iceland - Many people think Iceland is just one island. But there’s the smaller Westman islands lying off the mainland coast . Volcanoes fascinate Cardiff tour company owner James Cowan. He went to taste the food and view the wildlife on the largest isle of Heimaey. It’s where geologists took control of a volcanic eruption for the first time.
Southern France - Author Debby Woods was born in New York, of Italian decent, but she says her true heart lies in France. She writes about her love affair with the country in her book, Girl Lost -Found in France! I spoke to Debbie about visiting her favourite area, the South of France. She shares her favourite sites in the south of France.
Hiroshima - Roger Bruton visited the city of Hiroshima, which was destroyed by an atomic bomb.
Dublin - Dublin is one of those places that many British travellers are very familiar with – it’s been a popular short break destination for decades. Shane O’Reilly’s guide, The 500 Hidden Secrets of Dublin reveals some of the secrets of the city, including wild wallabies.
Volunteers - See different cultures and make a difference - Lonely Planet launches a volunteering holiday handbook and Keri chats with the author.
In this week's show:
Bologna - Keri Jones visits Bologna in Italy. The city is known for its 40km of covered arcades that front its red sandstone buildings. Tall, medieval towers also punctuate the city skyline. Bologna is also Italy’s foodie capital and Keri meets a woman who keeps locals fed with her home made pasta business, which has been, featured on UK cookery shows. She shares one of her pasta sauce secrets, too. Bologna is a major and one-fifth of the population are students, but Keri chooses an unusual topic to study when he enrols in the Gelato University. You can’t visit this part of Italy without calling in on the Ferrari Museum to find out which models were favoured by famous stars of music and sport.
Munich - Munich is one of the world’s great cities and it is Germany’s third-largest with 6 million people within easy reach of its centre. Munich is famous for the world’s largest beer festival and funfair that runs for just under three weeks from mid September, despite its name, Oktoberfest. Travel blogger Christina Guan lives in this part of Bavaria and shares her insider tips.
India - India is high on many people’s bucket list of places to visit, but with such a diverse country, it can be difficult to know where to start. I spoke to Sue Livsey from specialist travel company Cox and Kings to get her tips on visiting the sub continent. Sue told me that the northwestern state of Rajasthan is what most people imagine of when they think of India.
Alaska - Alaska is unlike anywhere else in the United States. For a start, it’s twice the size of Texas, which means you need to do some planning before you visit. I spoke to Lisa Maloney, author of the Moon Guide to Alaska, who told me it’s best to break this vast state down into manageable chunks.
Madagascar - Madagascar, lying off the coast of southeast Africa, has been a mecca for nature lovers since the days of Charles Darwin. It’s home to some of the world’s most unique and iconic wildlife. Keri spoke to Linah Andrianambinina, from specialist travel company Authentic Madagascar Tours, about why it’s such an amazing country to visit.
Haggle - Brits love a bargain but we get really uncomfortable when we have to barter. So, how do you do it when you’re on holiday? Experienced travel blogger Sherree Hooker has fine-tuned her haggling skills in Vietnam, Cambodia and China. She shares her tips and secrets!
In this week' show:
Nelson - Keri Jones visits Nelson in New Zealand. It's an attractive town set alongside beaches and beautiful mountains and it seems full of Brits, who have relocated! Keri tours the incredible weekly market and discovers why this small South Island city is known for its arts, local food and cuisine. The city is also New Zealand's craft beer capital! Keri also sees the world’s fastest Mini as he tours an extensive classic car exhibition and finds clothes that he wouldn’t be seen dead in at the unique wearable art museum.
Tanzania and The Serengeti - Taking a safari trip to Africa is high on many people’s travel wish list. And this huge continent has an equally huge range of safari options available. But I spoke to expert Alan Murphy from the specialist website
who told me that one country, Tanzania, stands out from the crowd. and, apparently, smiling locals.
Tasmania - Tasmania is often overlooked by people visiting Australia, who tend to opt for the bright lights and icon views of the cities or natural wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef. But this leafy, green island lying off Australia’s southern coast has a very different vibe to the rest of the country. I spoke to travel write Megan Jerrard, author of the
blog and who recently moved to Tasmania, about its unique charms.
Epic Drives - These days, holidays usually mean jumping on a plane then taking a taxi to your hotel. We often don't even leave the town or city we arrived in. But there is an alternative. I spoke to author Oliver Berry, who has written Lonely Planet’s Epic Drives guide, about his fascination with road trips and where to find the best roads in the world.
San Juan Islands - Travel blogger Rebecca Hall talks about these islands opposite Seattle in the USA.
Paternoster - Paternoster is an arty seaside village in South Africa. South Africans seem to keep this seafood haven all to themselves!
In this week's show:
Marfa, Texas - Keri Jones visits Marfa. This isolated Texan desert town is 6 hours drive from Austin. Marfa is close to the beautiful Big Bend National Park but has become famous for its minimalist art. It’s galleries and shows regularly attract stars like Beyonce. This small community of 2,000 people has been featured in many films and TV shows too. It’s also home to a mystery, the Marfa lights. Keri goes out after dark to see this unexplained, nighttime phenomena.
Queue Jumping In Italy - You might have heard reports about overcrowding in some tourism destinations recently. A tourism leader has described Venice as ‘like war’ in the summertime and throughout Italy much of your holiday time could be wasted queuing if you visit in the peak season. Walks of Italy is one of the companies which now offer a range of exclusive access options and queue skipping tours. Keri talks with their boss, Stephen Oddy.
Bilbao - Mention Spain and most people think of sun, sea and sand. But the rugged northern coast of the country has been attracting more visitors recently, many using the city of Bilbao as a starting point. Keri spoke to Murray Stewart, author of the Bradt Guide to the Basque Country and Navarre, about whether you should plan to spend time in the city. Murray told him that first impressions of Bilbao can be very misleading.
Quebec - Canada is renowned for it’s beautiful national parks, full of amazing views, wildlife opportunities and outdoor activities. But with so many to choose, where do you start planning your Canadian adventure? There are 24 National Parks in the province of Quebec alone. I spoke to Simon Boivin from the Quebec Society of Outdoor Institutes, who recommends starting in the Gaspésie Peninsula in eastern Quebec.
Mauritania - Mauritania isn’t a country that’s on many people’s must-visit list. In fact, most would be hard pressed to point to it on a map. But I spoke to Jonny Ward, author of the OneStep4Ward blog, who holds the impressive achievement of visiting every single country on the planet. He told Keri that Mauritania was a surprisingly interesting and beautiful place.
Sao Paulo - Keri talks with travel blogger Gary Bembridge about Sao Paulo in Brazil.
In this week's show:
San Marino - Keri visits the world’s oldest republic San Marino and he enjoys this tiny nation’s annual Medieval Festival Weekend.
Scam Book - Travelling for most people is an exciting experience. But arriving in an unfamiliar country, often with cash and valuables, means tourists are often easy prey for unscrupulous scammers. So what can you do to reduce your chances of becoming a victim and having your dream holiday ruined? Keri spoke to Peter John, author of The Savvy Traveller Survival Guide, for tips on how to stay safe when travelling.
Santorini - Author Jim LaBuda on the Greek Island of Santorini.
Rio - Travel Blogger Adam Wright raves about Rio!
SRPS - Have you ever thought about jetting off to a completely random destination? Well now there’s a company that can make your dream come true.
can create a mystery trip based on a few, specific themes. And you won't know where it is until you arrive at the airport. Head of Marketing, Jasper Blonk, explained how it works.
Samoa - The island nation of Samoa, located in the Pacific Ocean, has traditionally been seen as a far-away and exotic destination. But with more of us visiting Australia and New Zealand, it’s become a surprisingly easy place to get to as part of a wider trip to the region. I spoke to Samoan artist Sani Mulia umaseali'I, who now lives in London, about why you should visit his home country.
In this week's show:
Stockholm - Keri Jones visits Stockholm- home of two highly popular but very different museums. First he tours the Abba Museum, which is filled with memorabilia from the Seventies and early Eighties when the Swedish super group dominated the charts. It’s highly interactive and there’s even a chance to perform with band members. They are projected onto a screen as avatars. Eurovision fans will enjoy the “Good Evening Europe” exhibit. Keri also tours the Vasa Museum to view the incredible 17th century warship that was raised from the seabed. His tour includes some of the sights and tastes of Stockholm as he meets the city’s food walk director. There’s a great tip for foodie visitors as Keri experiences a special food court where Michelin rated restaurants offer fast food versions of their meals.
The Gambia - If you’re seeking winter sunshine you might want to head to West Africa. Travel writer Kathryn Burrington of travelwithkat.com shares her stories of this small country known for its sandy beaches and, apparently, smiling locals.
Cheap Flights - Travel and photo blogger Dan Clarke travels the world writing articles for his website
He’s agreed to share some of his cash saving hacks and recommendations with us. Dan explains how he uses the airline search engines creatively to get the best deal on flight tickets! He’ll also share his best European destination tip.
Pyrenees Road Trips - The Alps have long been established as a summer holiday destination and are popular with visitors from Britain. But the Pyrenees are less well known. Now the region is hoping to change that with the publication of a new set of road trip itineraries. Keri spoke to Vanessa Fisher about driving holidays in the region and the must-see sites.
Beer - Mark Dredge has travelled the world, sampling beers so he could write The Beer Bucket List: Over 150 essential beer experiences from around the world. Mark tells Keri about the beers he has enjoyed the most and his favourite unusual bars.
Roadtrips with kids - California’s State Highway One, which hugs the coast from San Francisco to San Diego, has become one of the world’s most iconic road trips. But what’s it like making the 700-mile trip with children? Keri spoke to Cathy Winston who writes the popular MummyTravels.com blog. Cathy is an expert on travelling with her four-year-old daughter and recently drove along part of the route, between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
In this week's show:
Ravenna - Keri Jones visits the Ravenna, on Italy’s north east coast. This ancient city was once one of the most important settlements within the Roman empire. Ravenna is known for its incredible mosaics, many date back to the 4th and 5th centuries. It is also a popular destination for music lovers with its musical festivals. After you’ve explored the city’s 8 UNESCO registered sites you can relax in the thermal pools of a spa resort, next to the sandy Adriatic beaches.
Secret Brooklyn - Many New York City visitors miss out on the cool, hip borough of Brooklyn- just across the river from Manhattan. Michelle Young has written ‘Secret Brooklyn’ to help visitors uncover some of the unusual attractions which include a rooftop urban vineyard, Superhero supply store and 1950s amusement parks. Michelle tells Keri about Brooklyn’s highlights.
Bhutan - The tiny kingdom of Bhutan, situated high in the Himalayas between India and China, is often described as a magical place to visit. But restrictions on the number of travellers allowed in each year can make it difficult to plan a trip. Keri spoke to Kate Zhukova from Rickshaw Travel about this fascinating country.
Cool Canada Canada is a huge country, known for its clean, vibrant cities and vast, outdoor landscapes. But what’s it like if you’re travelling with kids in tow? I spoke to author Jody Robbins. Her book, 25 Places in Canada Every Family Should Visit, offers tried and tested destinations that can be enjoyed by the whole family. There’s the town visited by 1,000 polar bears every year and find out what the world’s largest tidal reach reveals each day.
Prague - Prague is a hugely popular city for weekend breaks and there’s certainly plenty to keep you busy, from seeing the beautifully preserved Baroque architecture to eating and drinking in the city’s numerous bars and restaurants. Keri spoke to travel blogger Alexei ‘Lexx’ Gaynanov about getting a different view of Prague. In his blog,
Alexei tries to find some of the more unusual sites available in the places he visits and he shares his stories about the world’s best bar and a museum for Apple product lovers!
Bridge Holidays - As part of our Hobby Holidays segment, Declan Treanor of Arena Travel talks about holidays for players of the card game, Bridge.
In this week's show:
Bern - Keri Jones visits the capital of Switzerland, Bern. The city is named after bears and, as Keri discovers, you’ll see plenty of them. You can also view live bears for free! Bern’s most popular free attraction is the incredible clock tower that offers spectators a mechanical show involving a lion, rooster and jester. Keri climbs the tower, as visitors can on a tour. If you’re a keen swimmer, you might enjoy Bern’s favourite and free summer activity.
Cheap Tips The falling pound and tighter household budgets means getting a good deal on your holiday is more important than ever. And while expensive destinations like France and Dubai are still popular, there are still places with comfortable accommodation, good food and stunning scenery for a fraction of the price. Keri spoke with Tim Lefell, who created The World's Cheapest Destinations website, to ask him for his advice on where to go to bag that bargain break. Tim shares his tips for European and world holidays.
Sinai - Many visitors to the Middle East enjoy taking part in one of those ‘desert experience’ trips, where you get to meet Bedouin, eat a traditional meal, spend a night out under the stars and maybe even ride on a camel. But if you’re looking for something a bit more authentic, how about a 230km trek across Egypt’s Sinai desert without any of the trappings of modern day life? That’s the expedition being offered by specialist travel company, Secret Compass. Keri spoke to the organiser, Dave Lucas, about why this adventure is so unique.
Zanzibar - Zanzibar is one of the most evocative place names on the planet – even though most people probably can't point to it on a map! It’s actually located just off the coast of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean. And it has a rich history, with influences from Africa, Asia and Europe. Keri spoke to Julian Carter-Manning, Director of travel company Yellow Zebra Safaris, about the allure of this mysterious destination.
Buenos Aeries - Travel writer Amy Baker was surprised by Buenos Aeries, she found it very European. Amy shares her experiences and tips on this Argentinean city.
Tony Slater - Travel blogger Tony Slater spent 6 months discovering 6 Asian countries to research his curiously titled book, ‘Shave My Spider’! Tony’s trip took him to Borneo, Vietnam, China, Laos, Cambodia and Mongolia. He talks about the unusual food he tried there and the strange delicacy which influenced his book title.
On this weeks show:
Molokai, Hawaii - Keri Jones visits this remote Hawaiian island. Islanders welcome visitors but they’re proud that their home is off the mass tourism trail. Keri goes to look at the world’s highest seacliffs and he tours an out-of-bounds area of this island paradise with a guide, who explains its sad history.
Connemara - If you love wild walks in dramatic scenery or visiting unique island communities then the Atlantic-facing Connemara area of Ireland’s west coast might appeal to you. Cathy Wolfe of Connemara Wild Escapes says there’s a number of reasons why this is considered one of Irelands’ most enchanting areas. Many visitors go island hopping.
Cycle Book - If you enjoy riding your bicycle, a new book might inspire you to see the world from your cycle. Chris Poutney has published his account of the first part of his personal challenge, to visit all 7 continents and 100 countries using only bikes and boats for transport. He’s written about the first leg, from Paris to Sydney in “No Wrong Turns’.
Hollywood - When you see photos of Simon Cowell jumping out of a limo or Tom Cruise turning up for an Oscars party, it’s likely that they’re on Sunset Strip. This is the main street in an area called West Hollywood, a separate city to its more famous neighbours, Hollywood and Los Angeles. Keri spoke to Lee Maen, the Chairman of the Sunset Strip Business District, who told me this is the place to go if you want to mingle with the stars.
Bali - Karen Edwards is the writer of
Her website shares experiences of exploring the world with both her husband and her 3 year old daughter Esmé, who has been clocking up airmiles since she was 10 weeks old. Karen is a nurse and says it’s important that the family holiday in malaria-free places. One of her family friendly recommendations is Bali.
Halal Booking - There are dozens of websites that you can use to book a holiday. But if you’re a Muslim traveller, few of the well-known booking sites will cater for all of your needs. That’s why
was launched. By 2018, the site hopes to feature 2,000 properties offering halal conscious stays. Keri finds out more.
On this week's show:
Keri Jones visits Baden Baden in Germany’s Black Forest area. The Romans settled here after discovering the town’s thermal waters. In the 19th century, aristocrats from all over Europe travelled to this well-heeled town’s baths and Baden Baden became Europe’s summertime capital. Baden Baden had the same status as Paris. Keri experiences the baths and explore this pleasant town parks, art galleries and opera hall.
Palm Springs - The city of Palm Springs has been a popular holiday destination for residents of nearby Los Angeles for almost a century. And although it started as a health resort in the early 1900’s, it was the A-list stars from Hollywood who really put it on the map. Keri spoke to Mary-Jo Ginther from the Palm Springs Tourist Board who started by telling him why the city was so popular with the stars.
Turkmenistan - The former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan in Central Asia isn't on most people’s travel list. In fact, the country issued just 990 tourist visas in 2015! Does that mean there’s nothing to see there? Not according to travel author Simon Proudman, who offers tips on visiting the country in his new Far Flung Travel Places Guide. There’s a natural site better than the Grand Canyon and a burning gas field.
Antarctica - Antarctica is the last, great wilderness left on Earth, but it’s becoming increasingly popular as a destination. The number of visitors increased by almost 20% last year, with most arriving by ship. And the number of activities you can take part in while you’re there is also expanding. Keri spoke to Simon Evans from Chimu Adventures, who specialise in travel to the region. He told me that not all ships serving the Antarctic are the same, and you need to choose carefully.
Eigg - If you want to get away from the monotony of mainland life, You’ll find the Scottish isle of Eigg (said Egg) an alternative worth pursing, Laraine (correct spelling) Wyn-Jones moved from Shropshire with her partner to start an outdoor activity centre. Keri chats to her about what visitors can enjoy on this Inner Hebrides island.
South African National Parks - Thoughts of seeing zebra, cheetah or giraffe roam freely across vast plains dotted with thorn trees might be on your bucket list. South Africa’s most famous national park is Kruger but Author Roxanne Reid has other ideas. She’s written a book about the 22 Parks and she explains that there’s a varied offering.
In this week's show:
Houston, Texas - Keri Jones visits Houston, Texas. This is America’s 4th largest city, a sprawling high rise metropolis filled with art, cultural attractions and fine restaurants. It’s home to Nasa’s Visitor centre, which Keri tours. He also takes attends a true Texan event, Houston’s annual rodeo.
Airwander.com - How to get cheaper flights and see more of the world! Airwander.com is a flight search engine which helps you break your journey with stopovers. Keri spoke with founder Ela Bader .
Cycling In Ireland - Ireland isn't somewhere you’d immediately associate with a cycling holiday but that could be about to change. Keri spoke to Karl Bradshaw of
about how the country is making touring on two wheels much more attractive to visitors. Karl suggests some itineraries.
Budapest - Budapest has become one of the most popular cities for weekend breaks in Europe. That’s been helped by low prices and plenty of cheap flights. But what is there to see and do once you’re there? Keri spoke to Naomi Nathalie from the popular Probe Around the Globe travel blog to discover why she’s visited three times already.
Columbia - Julian Hatfeld is a fan of Colombia! The Australia based travel blogger has been there 3 times and you can read his reports and see his pictures on
Jules is particularly fond of the 16th century Caribbean port city of Cartenga. He tells us why.
China - Are you intrigued by China but nervous about travelling there independently? You’re not alone! The language and cultural differences make Chinese travel a challenge. Alex Seigel has tried to simplify the process with his tour company, The Dragon Trip. He tells Keri about his favourite places to visit, including the world heritage site-the Terracotta Army statues.
In this week's show:
Rotorua, New Zealand - Keri Jones visits Rotorua in the middle of New Zealand’s north island. It was the country’s first tourist destination. In the Victorian era, Europeans sailed for months to reach a spectacular land formation. The area contained colourful lakeside terraces that were formed by minerals in hot springs. Keri discovers why they were so special and learns about the tragic event that destroyed them. He visits a modern-day Pompeii, too. Steam rises through the ground with Rotorua’s geothermal activity, so we’ll tour a thermal park to see (and smell!) geysers and hot springs. Rotorua has a strong Maori culture so Keri visits an attraction devoted to Maori traditions before he’s terrified by a performance of the haka. Rotorua is also a centre for activity sports and Keri visits a zip lining adventure course where exhilaration and conservation go hand in hand. Later, he walks amongst the treetops in a redwood forest and as he learns about a new activity of rolling down a hillside in a giant ball filled with water!
Thuringia - British travellers probably wouldn't recognise the German state of Thuringia, located just above Bavaria and close to the Czech border. But it’s played a big role in shaping both German and British history over the years. It was the birthplace of Queen Victoria’s grandmother and a favourite holiday spot for her husband, Prince Albert. Keri spoke to Barbara Geier of the Thuringia Tourist Board to find out why you should follow in Albert’s footsteps and add the area to your must-visit list.
Brit’s Abroad, Andalucía Hills - In Brits Abroad, we talk to expats who have set up travel businesses in popular tourist destinations. This week, I speak to Diana Beach, who owns Hotel Los Castaños, an award-winning boutique hotel set in the beautiful rural Andalucia countryside, 17km from the bustling tourist centre of Ronda.
Christmas Market In Lapland. - Many Brits have visited the Christmas markets in Europe. How about travelling to Swedish Lapland to the town of Jokkmokk (yok-mok) for special festive shopping. You’ll be able to buy handicrafts from the indigenous Sami people and there’s a chance to learn about their culture.
An Island Paradise In Cambodia! - Our guest Travel Blogger Sheree Hooker tells us about the remote Cambodian island that she believes is the closest she’s been to paradise!
Real Ghost Towns! - Do you fancy spending Halloween in a real ghost town in Colorado? Or any night, for that matter?! Keri speaks with Jennifer Bartlett-Alpert of Colorado.com about the state’s many ghost towns.
Return to the Program Gallery
Return to home page