Something To Declare: Rio; Salamanca; Scottish adventure

Warning of the week: Rio

The new edition of Lonely Planet's city guide to Brazil's most alluring city is out this month, and warns: "The crime rate is high, and tourists are sometimes targeted".

To avoid becoming yet another victim, you should dress down and leave expensive (or expensive-looking) jewellery, watches and sunglasses at home. When you are heading for the beach, "don't ever take anything of value with you".

Elsewhere, "cameras and backpacks attract a lot of attention" and the guide suggests you should consider using disposable cameras. If, despite precautions, you do get robbed, "slowly hand over the goods. Thieves in the city are only too willing to use their weapons". Just hope you do not lose your entry/exit card: "You could miss your flight dealing with immigration hassles."

The Foreign Office adds that cash machines are often shut down at night. This is to try to counter the fashion for victims of carjacking to be forced to withdraw money from their accounts at cash machines – often just before, and again just after, midnight.

Destination of the week: Salamanca

Next Sunday, 7 September, this beautiful city in north-central Spain comes alive. A floral procession of traditional charro peasant costumes, followed by a dazzling display of fireworks centred on the old Roman bridge, launches the festival of the Virgen de la Vega.

The Virgin is Salamanca's patron, and her saint's day is 8 September. The festivities continue for nine days, during which the old city is bursting with music, drinking and eating. The latter is mainly covered by tapas, and stalls are set up on every conceivable bit of free space on the mainly pedestrianised streets. Higher-brow cultural events are also on offer, such as exhibitions, dance and theatre.

Salamanca is also a centre of excellence for learning Spanish; the Don Quijote school (020-8786 8081; is especially recommended, not least because of its location in a beautifully restored 16th-century monastery close to the magnificent Plaza Mayor.

You can reach Salamanca via Valladolid (served by Ryanair from Stansted) or via Madrid, which has a wide range of flights from the UK.

Bargain of the week: Scottish adventure

From September until May, Scotland has a problem attracting visitors. This autumn, winter and spring, VisitScotland has launched an "Adventure Pass" that is intended to draw tourists with aggressive discounting on a wide range of activities – from "World of Wings", a bird of prey centre near Cumbernauld, to organised hikes and bike rides on the Isle of Lewis. You have to download a pass at, which is also where you find full details of the offers.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Manager

    £50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Mana...

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments