Kate Simon

Kate Simon is the Travel Correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. She was Travel Editor of The Independent on Sunday from 2005 to 2011. Kate is also the co-founder of Little Black Book Creative (www.lbbcreative.co.uk), which offers editorial services, media relations consultancy and travel-writing training.

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Cycling holidays in New Zealand are boosted this month by the completion of the Nga Haerenga Cycle Trail

2014 holiday diary: Light up your year of travel

It starts with fireworks, takes in Brazil, Wales and Ethiopia – and winds up with a spot of knitting. Let Kate Simon be your guide

Traveller's Guide: Family Caribbean - from rainforests and reefs to beaches and boat trips

These islands provide the perfect winter-sun escape for all ages

Is it time to improve your holiday snaps?

Flights, camera, action! Photo holidays

Holiday snaps blurred? Lens cap left on again? Perhaps it’s time for a photographic break, where expert tuition combines with stunning scenery. Kate Simon adjusts her viewfinder

Baroque and stroll: The Basilica di Santa Croce

Lecce: Go on! Dip a toe into the heel of Italy

In the deep south of Puglia is a sun-soaked city with a rich heritage and Baroque splendour, says Kate Simon

Gritti Palace by day

Venice: Palaces fit for kings, artists... and hotel guests too

The palazzos were built for nobility, but it is artists, fashion designers and hoteliers that uphold their grandeur today, says Kate Simon

Something fishy: out and about in Cape Cod

Massachusetts' summer playground

Escape to the sandy beaches and clapboard villages of Cape Cod, says Kate Simon

The Rhine in Germany

Summer Guide 2013: Rivers

Float down the Rhine in Germany on a 10-day cruise on the MS Algeria with Shearings (0844 824 6351; shearings.com). You can admire the Unesco-listed Rhine Gorge from the comfort of the boat. The journey includes excursions such as wine-tasting in Boppard, a walking tour of Koblenz and a trip to the castle at Lahnstein. The price of £879pp, based on two sharing, includes return coach travel from regional stops around England, a week's full-board cruise and two nights' half-board hotel accommodation en route.

The island of Korcula

Summer Guide 2013: Islands

Take your pick of seven new properties on the Greek Islands available through Ionian Villas (01935 477196; ionian-villas.co.uk). "Artist's Villa" on Paxos, built in 2011, has three bedrooms and sits on a hilltop surrounded by olive groves overlooking Gaios port. It costs from £1,330 for a week's rental. Meanwhile, two-bedroom "Morpheus", a newly completed property on Antipaxos, is one of only four villas with swimming pools that are available to rent on the island. It costs from £1,120 for a week, including rental of a Suzuki 4x4. International travel costs are not included.

The Via Francigena in Italy, an old pilgrimage route to Rome

Summer Guide 2013: Bikes

Freewheel along the Via Francigena in Italy, an old pilgrimage route to Rome, on a 172-mile tour that links Parma and Lucca. Let an E-bike take the strain, firing up its electric engine when you need a little help on those hills. The week's tour costs £641pp, based on two sharing, through Freedom Treks (01273 224066; freedomtreks.co.uk), including B&B, two dinners, luggage transfers and route maps. International travel costs extra.

The Al Andalus luxury train in Spain

Summer Guide 2013: Railways

Take a whistle-stop tour of Norway on a new 10-day rail journey from Diamond Rail Holidays (0844 544 3801; diamondrailholidays.co.uk). The trip travels to Copenhagen and includes a cruise along Naeroyfjord and Geirangerfjord. Departs 15 July and 2 September from London St Pancras; £2,095pp, based on two sharing.

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