Where to go and what to know

Festive India

Jaisalmer Desert Festival celebrates Rajasthani culture from 23-25 February with music, dancing, camel racing and fire breathing. But British visitors who haven't already secured a tourist visa for India should note that the fee has just risen from £42 to £92.20 (jaisalmerdesertfestival.com; in.vfsglobal.co.uk).

Gimme shelter

Mama Shelter, the budget-chic hotel designed by Philippe Starck in Paris and Marseille, has a new outpost in the Beyoglu area of Istanbul (mamashelter.com).

Dutch dining

Bookings are open for Restaurant Week, which happens across the Netherlands from 1-10 March, with a three-course dinner for €27.50 and lunch for €22.50 (restaurantweek.nl).

Snap happy

The Zoological Society of London has launched its Animal Photography competition. Pay £5 to enter before 15 April and enter your pictures in one of seven categories including Last Chance to See? and Weird and Wonderful (zsl.org).

Dry Ecuador

The sale and consumption of alcohol is to be banned in Ecuador around the presidential elections (15-18 February). Latest Foreign Office advice reports that anybody caught violating the law will be fined US$159/£99 (gov.uk/fco).


The number of vintage split-screen VW campervans offered by 69 Campers. Explore Provence from behind the wheel of Margot, Gigi or Amélie, which date from 1964 to 1978 and have been enhanced with solar-powered showers and iPod fittings (69campers.com).

Ferry good

Brittany Ferries is launching a new route between Portsmouth and Le Havre. Services will operate from Thursday to Sunday, starting 17 May until 16 September, with a journey time of three hours 45 minutes (brittanyferries.com).

In the bag

Coleman is launching a new super-size sleeping bag. The Big Basin can fit tall campers up to 6'6" and is suitable for all seasons, with a fleece foot section to keep toes warm too. £59.99 (coleman.eu).