My Life In Travel: Joaquín Cortés

'I'd like Cleopatra to have shown me the wonders of the Nile'

First holiday memory?

The first holiday that was a bit out of the ordinary was when I was 14. A friend and I went to Cannes, where we combined morning dance lessons with afternoon beach life. It was great! We met lovely girls, learnt a few dance moves and had a ball.

Best holiday?

As I travel all the time and have had the opportunity to enjoy many places, my best holidays are when I am back in Spain with family and friends. We usually go to Málaga, where we have lots of extended family.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Sadly as I'm usually on tour, I haven't had the opportunity to spend more than a few nights in stunning places like Edinburgh. So without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite has to be London. It's a fantastic city and I love walking in the parks, visiting the museums and wandering through the different neighbourhoods and discovering new places each time. The delights of London are endless.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Just about everything I know I have learnt from my travels. I started touring at an early age and have been exposed to so many fabulous cultures, which taught me to try new things, to look for what is special in a place and to give everyone a chance.

Ideal travelling companion?

I would quite like Cleopatra to have shown me the wonders of the Nile.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

Being Spanish, I love the beach, but I also need my dose of culture and activity.

Holiday reading?

Holidays are probably when I read least, because I want to enjoy every moment of where I am. I simply like catching up on the press and magazines.

Where has seduced you?

I am constantly seduced by Italy, which I never get bored of. However, the first time I went to Sydney I was blown away by its beauty, beaches and people. I also can't forget the shores of Brazil and Uruguay.

Better to travel or arrive?

If it's by car, I love travelling – stopping off in different towns, having a coffee, going for a walk and then getting back in the car and on to the next place. If it's by plane, I just want to get there.

Worst travel experience?

I have been pretty lucky and haven't had many bad experiences. The worst have been when we are touring and arrive in a country where all the paperwork is not in order, so we have to wait at the airport for ages to get things sorted out. Those delays are a nightmare.

Worst holiday?

Anywhere that is full of too many tourists. You just don't get to appreciate a place when it is overcrowded.

Worst hotel?

I hate to name and shame, but there was one hotel in Slovenia that is definitely off my list.

Best hotel?

I have stayed in some of the most spectacular hotels in the world, but I do enjoy a small boutique hotel. The Italian Baglioni chain is a real favourite.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

Walking along the beaches of Formentera, swimming in the Caribbean and driving along the Côte d'Azur.

Best meal abroad?

I am an Italian food junkie and always look for the best Italian restaurant wherever I am.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Drop my bags and go straight to the old town. I have a coffee in the main square and walk around the streets – it's then I feel I have arrived.

Favourite city?

Madrid: the quality of life is high and you can also travel round the city easily. My closest family and friends live there too. After that it is New York – I love the cultural mix and atmosphere.

Where are you going next?

I'm performing in London, then after that I am off to Barcelona.

Joaquín Cortés is performing at the Roundhouse in London on 4 and 5 February (tickets: 0844 482 8008;

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