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Located on the northeastern coast of the Samana Peninsula, Las Terrenas offers miles of protected inshore waters and beautiful, undeveloped white-sand-beaches, lined with tall palm trees and pastel-colored fishing boats. Trade winds and the warm temperature of the sub-tropical Atlantic Ocean bring this part of the island year-round balmy weather. With a year-round average of 77 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperatures vary only 18 degrees between summer and winter.
Welcoming, tolerant Gran Canaria offers a little something for everyone. Families flock to the water parks and beaches of Puerto Rico. Those seeking peaceful escape scamper to Mogan's quiet fishing villages. Gay visitors crowd the bars, restaurants and beaches of Playa del Ingles. Urban attractions are on offer in Las Palmas. Three highways open up the island for those with a rental car or a bus schedule. Prime sites to visit include Iglesia de San Juan Bautista de Arucas and Palmalitos zoo park.
If your kids are sick of the same old beach holiday you take every year, consider taking them to Lanzarote. There are great beaches, to be sure, but this UNESCO World Biosphere reserve has unique attractions and activities. We're talking camel rides on volcanoes (at Timanfaya National Park), or eating at a restaurant in a volcanic cave (at Jameos del Agua). Even the most jaded teens will be impressed.
Faro is the best-known city in Portugal’s deservedly famous Algarve region. There’s an archaeological museum and a “Bishops’ Palace,” a Renaissance cathedral that was heavily bombed during World War II, but later rebuilt. Nearby in Estoi are Roman ruins, and Albufeira, also nearby, is a formerly quaint fishing village influenced by the Moors in the 8th century. It’s situated in a cliffside location, and has become famous for its beaches (there are 20) and nightlife.