Martin Symington

As a freelance travel journalist and author I cover all climes in search of inspiration for my stories. Travelling and writing are twin passions, so I find it hard to refute the perennial ‘you’ve got the jammiest job in the world’ jibe. Nor have I ever learnt how to answer the follow-up  “…so, where is your favourite place?” question. Contenders include the Bolivian Altiplano, The Selous in Tanzania, Tibet, The Philippines, Burma and Scotland’s Western Isles. Then there is the seductive lure of India, whether to trek in the Himalaya or watch sunrise over the Ganges. I also feel drawn to the Arctic and believe that everybody should see icebergs before they die.

Having been born and brought up in northern Portugal, I am also captivated by the Portuguese-influenced world.  Searching for redolences of my homeland has taken me from Macau to Mozambique, and East Timor to São Tomé off the coast of equatorial Africa.

My work has won numerous awards including British Guild of Travel Writers Travel Writer of the Year and the African Travel & Tourism Association’s Journalist of the Year.

Articles by this author

We found 25 items

Songs of freedom: exploring the Cape Verde islands

African food, Latin American music and European influences fuse in these sun-soaked, volcanic isles in the mid-Atlantic

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Georgia: where worlds collide

Georgia shares a patron saint with England, a favourite son with Russia and a language with absolutely no one. Walk the line on your own Georgian adventure

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Hokkaido: Japan's wild frontier

It's got world class skiing and neon-lit cities, but Japan's northerly island also has untamed back-country haunted by its indigenous Ainu people

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Jungle boogie: Suriname

Suriname is the tiniest state in South America, but its indiginous peoples and mysterious jungles help it punch above its weight

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Unearthing the rock art of Portugal's Coa Valley

A trip to this scenic backwater reveals how a multi-million dollar dam project was halted to preserve this now-UNESCO World Heritage site

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The secret Annapurna Circuit

Nepal's Annapurna Circuit is a trekking classic, but a dirt road now threatens its tranquillity. However, a thrilling new back-route offers a quieter alternative

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Rhythm & blues: returning to Senegal

The haunting departure point for thousands of West African slaves, today Senegal is blessed with a thumping music scene, beautiful beaches and bird-rich national parks - and British travellers are finally getting in on the secret

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Lebanon's moment in the sun

Most people 'do' Lebanon in day-trips from Beirut, but a tour of buzzing Mediterranean towns and rugged valleys reveals other sides to this ancient country. Enjoy it while peace lasts...

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The great American rail trip

Forget the automobile: the train is the truly great – and great value – way to cross the USA

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Trekking in Darjeeling

Darjeeling was once the hill-top retreat of the British Raj, says Martin Symington; now it’s a cool, tea-cloaked basecamp for fine hikes amid the highest Himalaya

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Discover the real Burma

Newly opened Burma is 2013’s must-see spot. But beyond the main sites of its flourishing tourist circuit lie even brighter – and unknown – gems

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Puerto Rico: Beyond imagination

The off-beat Caribbean: Yankee yet proudly Latino, part-tamed but still wild, and sprinkled with a bit of Mother Nature’s magic

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First 24 hours: Calcutta, India

Frenetic, filthy, unspeakably poor – Calcutta has a bad image. But, finds Martin Symington, there’s much to like about this thriving Bengali metropolis, if you just know where to look

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Cruising the Brahmaputra River, India

The vast, perilous Brahmaputra was thought virtually unnavigable – but, a brave new boat journey has just opened up Assam’s remote, wildlife-rich, culturally unique riverbanks

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Legends of Iguazú Falls

Iguazú Falls is where three countries collide, so if you’ve got a week you can explore Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay in a single trip for a real South American adventure...

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Trekking through 2,500 years of history in Bulgaria

Fully tooled and rakiya-fuelled, we discover that a short trek through Bulgaria’s south-east mountains is a journey through Eastern European culture

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Kangaroo Island - Australia's Galapagos

Kangaroo Island is well named – but the thousands of roos that bound around are joined by a host of other Australian wildlife, best seen from new hiking trails

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Discover Goa's incredible offerings - beyond the beaches

Think Goa is just about the beaches? Think again. Shake the sand from your flip-flops and head inland to discover why Goa, a former Portuguese colony, is a world apart from the rest of India, with crumbly colonial towns, verdant forests and a distinctly hippy vibe

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Living on the edge: a trek to the Himalayan monasteries of Bhutan

In the unspoilt valleys and villages of Bhutan, a way of life continues just as it's been for decades, with mighty peaks, traditional monasteries and homestays to discover along the way

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Southern Spain as you've never seen it: Road tripping through Andalucía

Head beyond the beaches of the Costa del Sol to discover incredible architecture, epic scenery and Islamic history on an inland Spanish road trip

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Ecotourism in Thailand

For the villages of eastern Thailand, sustainable tourism is helping to preserve a way of life under threat, proving that ethical travel is good for travellers and locals

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Yes, Christmas Island does exist! Here's how you can visit it...

The wild wonders (and famous red crabs) of Christmas Island have never been easier to reach. Whether you've been naughty or nice, it's time you took a trip to this Indian Ocean isle

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Exploring the Baltics on foot

As the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia mark their centenaries, we wander medieval streets, bogs and borders to unravel a trio of nations looking to move beyond a difficult past…

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5 reasons to hike the Peaks of the Balkans - and how to do it

Escape the crowds, experience beautiful scenery, and explore wide open spaces as you hike secret Europe following the Peaks of the Balkans trail through Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro

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A journey through El Salvador: Volcano hikes, colonial towns and Maya ruins

From vast caldera to Maya ruins, El Salvador sums up all that’s good about Central America but without the crowds. Is it finally time for a sleeping giant to wake?

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