Top mid-priced diving fins – reviewed by Sport Diver

 

Crystal clear waters off Madagascar

Crystal clear waters off Madagascar

If you’re going on a diving holiday and want a new pair of fins for under £100, check out the reviews of mid-price fins on Sport Diver.

Their experts have reviewed 8 pairs of fins costing from £50-£99.

These are:

  • Aqualung Express
  • Beuchat Powerjet
  • IST Talaria
  • Mares Avanti Quattro
  • Northern Diver Coda
  • Oceanic V16
  • Scubapro Twin Jet Max
  • Soprassub Fusion

And if you think there’s a better pair of fins on the market in the same price range, let us know.

You can contact us via Twitter, Facebook or the comments section below.

Top 5 temples and ruins in Mauritius

There’s a fascinating multi-cultural heritage on the island of Mauritius, with a religious mix of Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Buddhists.

On the road in Mauritius

On the road in Mauritius

If you want a day away from the beach, there’s plenty of culture to discover on the island. Here’s a quick tour of the top temples and ruins to visit.

1. Balaclava Ruins

On the northwest coast of Mauritius, between Port Louis and Grand Baie are the Balaclava Ruins, just a few metres away from the Bay of Turtles.

The foundations of the fortress estate were laid down by the first French governor Mahé de Labourdonnais.

The ruins are set amidst tropical vegetation, and you can see the original sea walls of the fortress within the grounds of the Maritim Hotel.

2. The Triolet Shivala

The largest Hindu temple, the Maheswarnath, is found at Triolet Shivala in the North of Mauritius. Built in 1819, the temple honours the gods Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, Brahma, Ganesha and Muruga.

The Maha Shivarathri festival is celebrated here in February/March each year. There’s also a traditional early-morning Sunday market every week at the village.

3. Dutch Ruins

Set on high ground at Vieux Grand Port, you’ll find the oldest settlement in Mauritius, where the Dutch built their first fort. It’s regarded as a key part of Mauritian history and work is under way to further excavate the site.

Ganga Talao, Mauritius

Ganga Talao, Mauritius

4. Martello Towers

Five martello towers were built by the British in Mauritius, to defend their colony against the threat of attack by the French. In the early 1990s, the tower at La Preneuse in Black River was restored and protected as a national monument.

5. Ganga Talao at Grand Bassin

Ganga Talao is one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites on Mauritius. Each year locals make their pilgrimage here during the Maha Shivaratri festival.

How to take great photos

When you’re on the holiday of a lifetime, we know how important it is to have some fabulous photos to share with your family and friends when you return home.

Fisherman at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Fisherman at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

There’s a whole industry out there, telling you how to capture the best images whatever time of day, with any type of camera.

Getting out of auto

To save you time researching, check out  ‘Getting out of auto’ by Bethany Salvon. This newly published book gives tips in an approachable and easy-to-follow way and includes sections on exposure, depth of field, lighting and general advice for getting the best frame.

Read more about ‘Getting out of auto’ in a review by journalist and photographer, Abi King.

While you’re there – if you love great writing and insider travel tips – Abi’s website Inside the travel lab is a treasure trove for travellers and anyone who wants to discover the world.

Send us your photos

We’ve got a great Constance Facebook community who love sharing their holiday photos. Take a look to see what’s up there, or send us your photos from recent holidays with Constance Hotels Experience.

Top 5 beach beauty-bag essentials

Beauty products

Beauty products

Here’s our beach beauty hot list for head-to-toe fabulousness this summer.

1.  Bobbi Brown Beach Sunscreen SPF 15

Bobbi Brown’s Beach range is hugely popular for its light fragrance, reminiscent of the sand and sea. Recommended by The Sunday Times Style magazine, this lightweight, non-greasy water-resistant sunscreen contains Vitamin E and a blend of Grapeseed, Olive and Castor Oils. Grab it while you can. £18. Find out more about Bobbi Brown Beach Sunscreen SPF 15.

2. Clinique After Sun Rescue Balm

According to London’s Evening Standard magazine, Clinique’s after sun has the last word on minimising redness and preventing peeling. You just need a tiny amount to soothe your skin after a day on the beach. £17.50. Find out more about Clinique After Sun Rescue Balm.

Kiehl's Lip Balm #1

Kiehl's Lip Balm #1

3. Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1

One of the best lip balms on the market. A beach must-pack for Emma Smith, ELLE and ELLEuk.com Beauty Director, Kiehl’s lip balm soothes sunburnt lips. £9.50. Find out more about Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1.

4. This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle

Great name, great product. Red magazine hails this as a wonder product that lives up to its name. It should give your skin an instant glow, and help improve your skintone long after you’ve come home from the beach. £36. Find out more about This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle.

5. Indigo eyeshadows

When it comes to eyeshadow, blue is the hit colour of S/S 11. Blue eyeshadow has shed its 80s image, and the fashion pack are working it with their tan this summer. Stylist magazine dedicated its ‘Trends on trial’ to blue eyeshadow recently. Try Bourjois Smoky Eyes in Bleu Jeans (£7.99).

Top 5 travel apps

No matter whether you’re heading to the open road or 5 star luxury, these are the top 5 travel apps you can’t leave home without.

1. Packing Pro

iPad screen

iPad screen

What it does: Short of packing your suitcase for you, Packing Pro is indispensable for anyone who hates packing, doesn’t know where to start, or is a bit OCD about making lists.

You can enter the number of adults and children travelling, where you’re going and how long for. In return, Packing Pro tells you what you need to take, accounting for weather, destination, who’s travelling and personal preferences.

How much: £1.80

What it works with: iPhone, iPad, iPod

Find out more: Packing Pro

2. Weather Pro

What it does: There are lots of weather apps to choose from but WeatherPro is at the top of its game. It features 7 day forecasts and reports for over 2 million locations around the world.

How much: £1.19

What it works with: iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7

Find out more: Weather Pro

3. TripIt

What it does: TripIt lets you create a simple trip itinerary from the masses of email confirmations you get before you go.  It lets you forward the emails for flight numbers, hotels, car rentals and loyalty schemes and creates a master plan out of them that you can take anywhere, and access at anytime.

How much: Free

What it works with: iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android, BlackBerry

Find out more: TripIt

4. Where To?

iPhone screen

iPhone screen

What it does: Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Best Ever App Awards, Travel Category this one lets you locate just about anything you can think of – hotels, restaurants, museums, hospitals, banks…

With over 700 categories and 2,400 brands, you name it – it’s on here.

How much: £1.80

What it works with: iPhone, iPod, iPad

Find out more: Where to?

5. Trip Journal

What it does: No journey would be complete without recording what you’ve seen along the way. Trip Journal lets you do just that, including geo-tagging photos and videos, and route tracking. It hooks into the big social media platforms including Facebook so you can share your experiences as they happen.

How much: £1.80

What it works with: iPhone, iPod, iPad, Android

Find out more: Trip Journal

Best digital cameras – tips from the experts

Digital SLR camera

Digital SLR camera

Choosing the right digital camera, whether it’s a compact or SLR, can be a minefield. Check out these recent blog posts from industry experts to get the latest reviews and advice before you part with your cash.

1. PhotographyBLOG

Run by UK professional photographer Mark Goldstein, the people at PhotographyBLOG bring you the latest new product reviews and original in-depth news from the world of photography. If you’re asking ‘what’s the best digital camera?’ and ‘I have X amount of money, what’s the best digital camera in my price range?’, you need to read this blog. Round up of best and latest digital cameras

2. Electronic Lifestyle Blog

Photographer

Choose the right camera for you

Electronic Lifestyle’s contributor, Yongsheng Luo, guides you through the questions you need to ask yourself before you buy a digital camera.  Tips for the best buy digital camera.

3. Techradar

Part of the respected Future Publishing stable, Techradar claim they’re unashamedly geeky, prepared to tell you what they think without fear or favour. Find out what they say about 2011′s best compact cameras. Best compact camera 2011: 25 reviewed and rated