Fancy somewhere out of the ordinary for your next holiday? If you have plenty of time and money you'll find no shortage of exotic far-flung destinations. But if you know where to look, you don't need to cross continents to find exciting, colourful and culturally-rich cities. Here are five exotic short breaks all within five hours flying time of the UK.
this is the first time I'm in Israel so I'm not sure what to expect. Before I leave, my wife asks me if it's safe and of course I nod my head, otherwise I wouldn't be going, would I? The problem is that, in most countries of the world, Israel is still seen as a country of conflict, with a negative image of war and religion.
Israel would much rather deal with neighbours it knows, however unfriendly they are, than have to get used to living next door to new neighbours, who may well turn out to be even more unfriendly. Whatever the people of Syria might want, Israelis would be much happier with a brutal, secular dictator than a brutal, Islamist one.