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Once one of ancient Greece’s most important cities, today Syracuse (Siracusa in Italian) is a lively town of about 125,000 on Sicily’s southeast coast. The city overflows with amazing remnants from its long history. Romans, Vandals and Normans are but a few of those who ruled here after the Greeks. In Syracuse’s harbor, Ortygia Island (also called Città Vecchia or Old City) is the site of many of the main attractions, including the seventh-century cathedral and the Fountain of Arethusa.
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.
Attracting visitors from all parts of the world, Majorca is a dreamy island destination in the Mediterranean Sea, just off the southeast coast of Spain. There's something for every taste—beaches and coves, a spectacular mountain range, romantic fishing villages and a rustic countryside dotted with almond and olive groves.
The sun-drenched Canary Islands lie close to North Africa and have an exotic flavour of their own. Hundreds of volcanoes, rolling sand dunes, rich forests and rugged cliffs dapple these seven Atlantic gems. Catch a ferry to Lanzarote. Ride a camel through volcanic Timanfaya National Park. Take on Tenerife, home of Mount Teide, Spain's tallest peak. Romp Grand Canary's beaches or hike La Gomera's Garajonay National Park. More adventures await on tiny El Hierro, verdant La Palma and peaceful Fuerteventura.
Strongly influenced by the tribal culture of the Guanches (the original inhabitants), Tenerife was conquered by the Spanish 500 years ago. It's home to Mount Teide, Spain's tallest peak, and to the popular beach resort of Los Gigantes. Today visitors flock to Loro Park to see tropical birds, to Tenerife Zoo Monkey Park and to Parque Nacional Las Canadas del Teide's volcanic rock formations. Explore by car or with a "bono bus" ticket, which offers reductions on regular prices.
The Algarve's sunny shores offer perfect escapes for all types, from those seeking the hot nightlife of flashy, energetic Lagos to those desiring secluded stays in rambling Sagres. Portugal's most southerly region offers historical attractions in former Moorish capital Silves and fascinating Tavira, great golf, fabulous beaches from Praia da Luz to Armacao de Pera, thermal springs at Caldas de Monchique, and miles of limestone caves and grottoes, cliffs and bays along its rugged coastline.
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.
Drawn by its fiestas, late night discos and clubs, water parks and golf courses, visitors can't resist sunny Fuerteventura. Discover local culture in Betancuria, home to a cathedral and several museums, at Tefia's eco-museum or at one of February's quirky Carnaval celebrations. Cool down after a hot day on the beach or a hard night at the clubs at Baku Water Park.
The beaches that stretch along Kudasi's Aegean coastline are as diverse in terrain as they are in ambiance. Ladies’ Beach, thusly named because it was once a for women only, is packed with nightclubs, souvenir vendors, restaurants and, of course, sunbathers and swimmers. Grass-lined Gold Beach is well-manicured and peaceful. Ride a horse from there to Long Beach, a playground of beach bars, pool tables and water sports.