Travel agenda

From a converted railway station in Snowdonia and a new resort to San Diego to Sawdays' sale and Gooey travel accessories

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The Independent Travel

1. Nice time

Forgo the high airfares of Rio for a carnival closer to home. Nice's alternative, from 14 February to 4 March, attacts a million partygoers with giant puppet displays and performers. This year, the theme is King of Gastronomy so expect delicious Niçoise food, too.


2. Indian art

Creative think tank, Be Open, will launch a special exhibition in Delhi next month that will focus on handmade fashion, lighting, furniture and textiles by 20 Indian designers. The "Made in India" collection will appear at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts from 1-28 February.

3. Golden state

Pier South Resort opened in southern California's surf city of San Diego this week. The beach resort has dreamy views of the Golden State's coastline, with a pool that transforms into a club at night, furnished with fire pits and cocktails to keep the party going. A spa offering salt rubs and seaweed wraps completes the seaside scene.

4. Trailblazer

A new website has been unveiled this week for National Trails, a collection of 15 walking, riding and cycling routes in England and Wales. Options include the North Downs Way, which takes in the White Cliffs of Dover, and the Pennine Bridleway, northern England's rugged backbone.

5. Greek retreat

GIC The Villa Collection has eight new properties in Greece, from Skopelos, Lefkas, Paxos and Crete, to Stoupa in the Peloponnese. They range from a renovated windmill with a private pool (Villa Ambelina; £794pp) to the company's first boutique hotel (Torri E Merli Hotel; £1,224pp).

6. On track

New to the One Off Places's catalogue of unusual hideaways is a trio of artist-designed apartments in Snowdonia. Located in an old railway station in Betws-y-Coed, they have opulent interiors, strung with artwork and stocked with free goodies. From £450 per week.

7. Stick it

Gooey is a travel accessory that lets you grip your phone or tablet to the back of an plane seat or bus window for hands-free movies, games, Skype calls or Sat-Nav. It works by using an adhesive shell and comes in a range of jaunty colours, including a new limited-edition yellow one for Selfridges. From £14.99.

8. Sale away

Sawdays' first sale covers boutique hotels, rural idylls and ski chalets from England to the Alps. Valid for stays before 31 March, you can bag three nights for the price of two, or 30-per-cent discounts, at enticing properties such as the Hotel Duquesa de Cardona in Barcelona: two nights for €196pp.