Vip_vacations_040 Jasmine Harman, 32, presenter of A Place In The Sun – Home Or Away? swapped the heat for a snowstorm one memorable New Year

Not long ago I counted up how many countries I've visited with work and it came to 40. Last year my boyfriend Jon, who's a cameraman, and I spent a total of nine months away – but we only indulged in two romantic meals the whole time.

After spending so much time in the sun, at the end of 2006 we ditched the heat to go skiing, and saw in 2007 in the Alpine village of Kaprun in Austria.

We spent a week in a mountainside four-star hotel, Zur Burg. I'm a vegetarian, so I was a bit worried I'd go hungry, but the hotel prepared something special for me every night – except New Year's Eve. While everyone else enjoyed a seven-course banquet I had pasta and tomato sauce! It wasn't quite what I'd had in mind, but after a few glasses of sparkling wine I was smiling again. Then at midnight, fireworks lit up the valley in an explosion of colour. It was magical.

The skiing was out of this world, too. Kaprun is so high up it gets snow all year round, and we hired an instructor and enjoyed some incredible runs on the slopes. But no lessons could have prepared us for the snowstorm we encountered 3,000m up the Kitzsteinhorn glacier.

The snow was coming down so hard when we got off the ski lift that they closed it and we were forced to make our own way down to safety like a row of ducklings. It's funny looking back, but it was scary at the time.

My attempt at ice-skating at the resort ended in drama too, when a kid cut me up and I went flying, landing in a star shape on the ice.

My body suffered but I've such fond memories from that trip, especially spending some quality time with Jon. Sometimes destinations become a bit of a blur for me, but Kaprun really stands out.

Packages to Kaprun staying at the Zur Burg Hotel start at £529. For more information go to



Vip_vacations_039 DESTINATION: ITALY

TV presenter Konnie Huq, 33, relived her carefree student days at a friend's wedding in Italy

"I've been lucky enough to travel the world and see some fairly out-of-the-way places – like Bangladesh and the Bahamas – during my time on Blue Peter.

But my most memorable holiday was closer to home, when I spent five days in the beautiful coastal town of Positano, Italy, two years ago.

The trip was for a friend's wedding to her Spanish boyfriend, but although the ceremony, conducted on a dramatic cliff edge with the sea below, was always going to be magical, it was the other guests who made it such a special break.

Throughout the journey to my sea-view hotel and every time I went out into the winding, cobbled streets, I kept bumping into friends I hadn't seen in years.

I'd stayed in touch with a lot of people from school and university, but apart from the occasional night out, we only kept in contact through email.

So it was great when, for the first time in years, we all found ourselves in this little seaside town. And having grown up a bit since our student days, we swapped cut-price pints for chilled glasses of wine in the sunshine.

After the wedding, as we sat down to a fantastic rustic Italian dinner while the sun set and laughed over old memories, I knew that nothing else had changed and I vowed not to let it be that long until we did it all again."

Flights to Naples, around 20 miles from Positano, cost from £27.99 with easyJet.




He may not be a man mountain, but Top Gear's Richard Hammond, 38, loves scaling the heights on holiday

"I've been going to the Lake District for 20 years – it's my spiritual home. I've travelled all over the world, visiting exotic locations like the North Pole, Japan, Africa and America, but my favourite holiday was in Buttermere.

This summer, my wife Mindy and I took our daughters Isabella, eight, and Willow, five, for a four-day break at the Bridge Hotel, surrounded by the Buttermere Fells.

The girls are still very small but they were desperate to walk up a mountain, so we set off from Buttermere to climb nearby Helm Crag .

It was steep going and it took us hours. But I was amazed the girls kept on. We went past a spectacular waterfall called Sour Milk Gill up to Bleaberry Tarn – a natural mountain lake which serves the stream – where we stopped to have a picnic. It was the perfect place for lunch with the most spectacular views.

By the evening, we were starving and tucked into Lancashire hot pot. Forget five-star cuisine, this was one of the most delicious meals I've eaten.

The following day, the girls decided that having been up a mountain, they now wanted to go inside one too!

At the head of the Honister Pass – one of Cumbria's highest – there's an old working slate mine and we went on a guided tour. Afterwards, they served tea beside a warm fire and looking over at Mindy and our girls' happy smiling faces, I knew then that it was one of the best holidays I'd ever had."

Prices for the Bridge Hotel start from £59 per person.

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