After a devastating earthquake destroyed most of Agadir on 1960, the city was rebuilt with tourism in mind. Considered to be one of Morocco's hidden gems, Agadir has a different pace of life compared to the busy and bustling streets of Marakesh. Here it's about relaxing, surfing and, of course, watching the sunset with a cup of delicious mint tea.
1. See the old parts of town
Although Agadir is modern town, there are still old sights to see, like the port, the souk and the kasbah. The kasbah is an old fortress overlooking the town and visible from miles around. A guided tour of the city, taking approximately three hours, includes a visit to the local museum, a stop at the main mosque of Agadir, a visit to the port to see boat building in progress, a visit up to the kasbah and a visit to Souk al Had, said to be the largest souk in North Africa covering four square kilometres.
2. Feast on excusite local cuisine
There are no shortages of restaurants in the tourist sector but the better class are found on Boulevard du 20 Aout, close to the beach front hotels. Top restaurants are Le Jardin d'Eau, Catanzaro and La Scala which is frequented by the King of Morocco (which would result in the venues closure). In the Talborjt district, where the local people live and eat, there are many restaurants offering three course meals starting at 45Dh, an excellent one being Ibtissam.
3. Hit the waves
Blessed with some of the world’s best waves and most diverse surf spots around, the Agadir region of Morocco is one of the top places to learn, improve or practice surfing, whatever your ability. There are a number of surf schools dotted around the city and beyond, such as Taddanga and Spot Morocco.
Set against the dramatic backdrop of a volcanic landscape, La Palma is perfect for an adventurers, sun worshippers and those who want to soak up the Mediterranean island life. One of best way to experience La Palmas rugged beauty is a hike through the Caldera de Taburiente National Park or the narrow gorges of Los Tilos. The dark sands of Playa Nueva are great for sunbathing and cat naps. And for those looking for food, wine and culture, the town of Santa Cruz offers great restaurants, bars and museums to keep you entertained.
1. Have a stroll though the flowery Balcones de la avenida Maritima
Have a walk around La Palma's Santa Cruz, where you will find a street named as 'typical balconies Maritime Avenue'. It's a place where rows upon rows of Portuguese-style houses bloom with colourful flowers sprawling out of their balconies. The area is dotted with rustic eateries, which makes Balcones de la avenida Maritima a perfect spot to dine and enoy the scenery.
2. Take a hike
The most attractive feature of this National Park is its rugged landscape, the result of the dramatic difference in height. It is criss-crossed by numerous streams and waterfalls, and also has a significant presence of endemic plant species, including large expanses of Canary Island pines all over the park. Caldera de Taburiente is an immense crater surrounded by the highest peaks on the island: El Roque de los Muchachos (2,426 m), Pico de la Cruz (2,351 m), Piedra Llana (2,321 m), Pico de la Nieve (2,236 m), and Punta de los Roques (2,085 m), among others.
3. See some island art
Be sure to check out the Museo Insular de la Palma, an old Franciscan convent turned into a museum. It contains rooms about ethnography, natural sciences and fine arts.
Right in the middle of the Atlantic, the island of Madeira is a haven of natural beauty. The exotic colours of the flowers stand out from among the blue sea and the emerald green vegetation where the largest Laurisilva forest in the world is located.
1. Explore the island
The springtime temperature, felt all year round, cries out for open air activities. You can go for a walk along the network of levadas (irrigation channels), visit the city of Funchal and discover the heritage associated with the Discoveries or roam freely around the island. Boat rides are an excellent way of admiring the coastline from a different perspective.
2. Check out Funchal
The best way to visit the the island's biggest city is by foot. The Gothic Cathedral stands as one fo the main attractions, built in the 16th century and adorned with a precious alfarge ceiling (an Iberian decorative multiform style) in cedar wood carved in the Mudejar style. Visit also the Collegiate Church, whose sober facade hides an interior rich in 17th century gilt woodwork, altar pieces and tile panels.
3. Get some altitude
Take the Monte Cable Car in Funchal and see the island's breathtaking landscape high up in the sky. The departure station is at the park Almirante Reis, located in the old part of the town. The inclined course, which takes approximately 15 minutes, is 3,718 m (around 12,000 ft) long and has a vertical rise of 560 m (1,837 ft). The 39 cabins, with eight seats each, can transport 800 passengers per hour.
Snuggled between sea and mountains in the Badia de Palma, Mallorca’s capital is a looker. This quintessential Mediterranean resort spreads from its golden-tinged old town, which is a honeycomb of cobbled streets dominated by the striking Gothic cathedral, towards the glitzy seafront in an enticing blend of markets and boutiques, and restaurants, cafes and nightlife to please the most discerning of folk.
1. Enjoy cafe culture in Portixol
On the outskirts of Palma, this former fishing village is a haven for Palma’s in-crowd. It has a little beach with clear waters, but most people go for the cafe culture, which is second-to-none. Cafes line the traffic-free promenade, covering every taste, from the chic to the bohemian.
2. Shop ‘til you drop in the old town
Palma’s old town is not just a pretty face. Here, you’ll also find the most intriguing boutiques. Must-visits include Arlequin, Palma’s best known toy shop, mouth-watering chocolate shops Can Frasquet and Cas Net, and the chic boutiques along Carrer Nerl.
3. Jump aboard the train to Soller
Feel the wind in your hair aboard the award-winning historic wooden train to Soller, an attractive town in western Mallorca famed for its oranges. Dating from 1912, the train navigates the countryside at a slow pace, allowing passengers to enjoy lingering views of the Tramuntana mountains.
4. Head to a beach club
Mallorca has a plethora of beach clubs, but those in the know retreat to Ponderosa at the stunning Muro Beach near Alcudia. All crisp white and sea grass, the club was named ‘Best Beach Club 2015’ by the Vicious Music Awards, and it’s not hard to see why: as well as a stunning sea-view, it offers an irresistible ‘slow food’ menu and a calendar featuring some of the best DJs on the island.
5. Dance the night away
As Mallorca’s capital, Palma boasts the nightlife you’d expect. Among the not-to-be-missed venues are Pacha Mallorca, where everyone hangs out amongst the palm trees in the garden, and Garito Cafe, a trendy club-cum-bar where you can expect to hear anything, from jazz to deep house and beyond.
Welcome to Rovaniemi. A tourism boomtown, the 'official' terrestrial residence of Santa Claus is the capital of Finnish Lapland and a more-or-less obligator more-or-less obligatory northern stop.
1. See the Northern Lights
Also known as Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights are visible up to 200 nights a year in Finnish Lapland. In Rovaniemi, the spellbinding astral show can be witnessed in and around the city from mid-August until early April.
2. Meet Santa
As the official hometown of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi's most famous resident can be visited every day of the year in Santa Claus Village right on the Arctic Circle, an attraction that draws more than 300 000 annual visitors from all around the world.
3. Lapland dining
Lappish cuisine is simple and rugged, just like the landscapes it stems from. Fresh seasonal ingredients play a key role in preparation, and bringing out their original flavours is held in high regard. In Rovaniemi, Lappish food tastes equally delicious in a fine dining setting as well as by a campfire in the wilderness. Rovaniemi has a budding restaurant scene that offers everything from fine to casual
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