Summer 2018's hottest travel news
From a campaign to save the wild rivers of the Balkans to a new private residence in the Maldives, here's what's happening in the world of travel
Patagonia's Blue Heart campaign
There are rivers, and then there are the astoundingly wild rivers of the Balkans, home to both a diverse culture and unique ecology. But they're under threat from more than 3,000 proposed hydropower projects in the area that will destroy this precious pocket of natural beauty. These developments have long been protested by local activists and NGOs – and now gear brand Patagonia is entering the fray with Blue Heart, a campaign, petition and documentary that highlight just why we need to save these incredible rivers.
To sign the petition and to find out more, go to blueheart.patagonia.com/take-action
New flight routes for summer
TAP Air began 2018 with the announcement of its new route from London City airport to Porto, Portugal, home to glorious wine bars, superlative seafood and sun-drenched rooftops. Launching at the end of March, the flights arrive just in time for you to get that first tantalising glimpse of summer sunshine. And if that whets your appetite for warmer climes, BA also launches a new route to Nashville in May, giving you greater access to legendary music sites like Music City and the Country Music Hall of Fame, as well as plenty of fried chicken and utterly delicious barbecue. Cowboy boots optional.
Milaidhoo Island Maldives' new Ocean Residence
If you thought sunning yourself on a beach in the Maldives couldn't get much better, here's where you're wrong: you could be sunning yourself on the loft deck of your own private villa in the Maldives, thanks to Milaidhoo Island Maldives and its recently opened Ocean Residence. The thatch-roofed villa sits out over the water with unparalleled views of the Indian Ocean and steps down into the sea that give you direct access to the house reef. Not a water baby? Look to one of the new Beach Residences instead, which boast – you guessed it – their own private beaches. And if all that sun makes you miss the drizzle of the UK, try the rain shower – you'll feel right at home in no time.
From £2,670 per night. milaidhoo.com
Daios Cove's revamped restaurant
Just a quick squiz at Daios Cove's pics will have you hankering for a luxurious getaway, the kind where you relax on a private beach or swim in a perfect, brilliant-blue pool. But for the new opening season, Daios Cove in Crete has upped its ante even more, with upgrades to its spa and much-loved restaurant. There's a new open-air kitchen where chefs will cook over wood fires, two new outdoor seating areas for dining al fresco, new beach cabanas so you can enjoy your spa treatment by the water, and much, much more. Forget the pictures – we can't wait to try this one for ourselves.
From £155pn on a half-board basis. daioscove.com
Intrepid Travel's trips for single-parent families
When you're a single parent, the idea of a family holiday may seem a bit like very expensive torture – and an end to your own adventures. But Intrepid Travel is turning this idea on its head with the launch of six new tours specifically for one-parent families that will still give you the chance to see the world, and avoid single supplements while you're at it. That means your next vacay with your sprog(s) could see you wandering around Delhi, Jaipur and the Taj Mahal; cycling around Hanoi, cruising in Halong Bay and discovering Hoi An, Vietnam; or adventuring around Costa Rica. You'll get all the R and R and exploring you crave, without having to do all of the organisation, while the kids get a kickass holiday and the chance to make heaps of new friends. Sorted.
Penzance, Cornwall goes plastic free
In the UK, we use 38.5 million plastic bottles every day, and 16 million of those end up in the ocean or landfills. Maths isn't our strong point, but that works out just shy of 500 million plastic bottles a month – and it's been estimated that the weight of plastic in the sea will be greater than the weight of fish by 2050. That's why it's time to act and follow the example of Penzance in Cornwall, which has just been given plastic-free status, with retailers stocking plastic alternatives. The campaign is run by Surfers Against Sewage, and received support from local residents and businesses, who are now swapping their plastic bottles for recyclable containers. We'll drink to that.
WOW air expands its access to the US
With WOW air launching new flight routes to some of the most dynamic, up-and-coming US cities, there's never been a better time to get your ass Stateside to start exploring. Head to Detroit for edgy art and a music scene that saw the birth of Motown and techno; jump on a plane to Cincinnati to scoff pork in all its glorious forms thanks to the city's pork-packing industry; look to Cleveland, Ohio, for access to the great outdoors and plenty of sport; or book a break in St Louis, Missouri, to hear its world-renowned symphony orchestra, and get your hands on all the beer you can possibly drink at the home of Budweiser.
Flights start from £139.99. wowair.co.uk