Travel Agenda: where to go and what to know in travel this week

How to visit a little-known Greek island, check in to new hotels and more

Tuesday 10 May 2016 15:41

Sleep in the slammer

On 1 June the former Old Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station reopens as the Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch, after a £40m refurbishment. The Grade II-listed building, where East End criminals including the Kray twins appeared, has been converted into 128 guestrooms and suites, along with restaurants, bars, a bowling alley, spa and cinema. The facilities are spread across the original building, where period features have been retained, and a modern extension.

Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch

Bedfordshire to Biscay

San Sebastian, one of the few big Spanish cities without direct flights from the UK, is set to get an air link from 26 July. Air Nostrum, part of the IAG group (along with BA and Iberia), will fly from Luton.

La Concha, the bay at the heart of San Sebastian, at sunset

Going Loco

Loco2 is now available as a free iPhone app. The app has the same search functionality as the rail booking website, with a simple interface for making reservations, and the ability to download and store mobile tickets. An Android version is also in the works.

France vacances

Sawday’s has added a new section to its website specifically for French gîtes and holiday homes. Properties are divided into categories including Family Friendly Cottages, Coastal Cottages and Gîtes With Pools.

Canopy beds

The first hotel in Hilton’s new Canopy lifestyle brand opens to guests on 1 July. Set within six connected houses, Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre will have bikes for guests to borrow, a coffee shop-cum-deli and a colour scheme inspired by the Icelandic landscape. There’s also a restaurant and bar and a 24-hour fitness centre.

Greek escapes

Olympic Holidays has added two little-known Greek islands to its programme. Milos, accessed by Ferry from Santorini, has a central caldera and colourful rock formations. Ithaca, an hour west of Kefalonia by ferry, is the legendary home of Odysseus. Packages start at £470pp and £587pp respectively, including flights, ferries and a week’s B&B.

Take a ride

A new motorcycle trip with Nomadic Knights will take bikers along one of the world’s hairiest roads. The two-week Roof of India – the Recce tour departs 30 July, taking in little visited parts of Jammu and Kashmir, including the Cliffhanger – a rough track hewn into the side of vertical cliffs in Kashmir. From $3,980pp (£2,843pp) including half-board accommodation, motorbike hire, fuel and support throughout the trip. Flights extra.

Motorbiking in Kashmir

Maya by train

Guatemala’s tourism authority has announced plans to build a railway line to the ancient Mayan city of El Mirador. One of the country’s key archaeological sites, located in the jungle in the northern region of Petén, El Mirador currently is only accessible by foot, and therefore only during the dry season in March and April. The new rail link, which doesn’t yet have a completion date, will be able to transport up to 100 tourists a day.

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