Next weekend — April 20-22Malmo, Sweden: 80.53 pounds round trip
Fly Ryanair from London Stansted to Malmo Sturup.
Start at Stortorget, Malmo’s 13,000-yard-long main square and the beginning of the shopping district only a few minutes’ walk from the main train station. The square is host to many interesting buildings such as city hall and the old pharmacy.
From there, follow the streets lined with cafes, restaurants and shops to Lilla Torg, or Little Square. Here among the cobblestone streets and old houses, visitors can search for unique market finds.
Head to Malmohus Castle, the oldest remaining Renaissance castle in Scandinavia, to visit a collection of museums in the historical buildings. The Art Museum boasts a large collection of contemporary Nordic art while the City Museum provides a glimpse at Malmo’s history from the Stone Age onward.
The Natural History Museum includes an aquarium and tropical animal room complete with small mammals and reptiles. Children and adults alike will enjoy watching the interaction of lizards, bats and monkeys all living side by side.
Across the street, visit the Technology and Maritime House with exhibits of old trams, engines, cars and airplanes. According to www.malmo.se, the city’s Web site, visitors can also explore the interior of a real submarine or conduct experiments in physics and chemistry.
For some picturesque sightseeing, climb aboard a Rundan, a flat canal boat, and enjoy a cruise along the canals complete with English-speaking guide.
Next month — May 11-13Reykjavik, Iceland: 212.00 pounds round trip
Fly Iceland Express from London Stansted to Reykjavik Keflavik.
Stroll along Skolavordustigur, Reykjavik’s main shopping street, to Hallgrimskirkja Church. Meant to resemble volcanic basalt rock formations, this interesting building is the largest church in Iceland. An elevator ride to the top of the 240-foot-high tower offers a panoramic view.
The next stop for visiting families should be Laugardalur Valley, or Hot Spring Valley, home to a campsite and beautiful botanical gardens complete with lush woods and ponds. Also located in the valley is the Reykjavik Zoo and Family Park, where wild and domesticated animals can be seen, including foxes, reindeer and Icelandic horses.
On the edge of the valley is the Reykjavik Art Museum/Asmundur Sveinsson Sculpture Museum with indoor exhibitions and an outdoor sculpture garden.
For a little rest and relaxation, take a swim or just a lounge at the Nautholsvik Thermal Beach. Enjoy the manufactured golden sand beach and “pool” created from the natural thermal water that flows to the sea. The Blue Lagoon also offers plenty of rest and relaxation. This manmade lagoon contains mineral-rich hot seawater that is known to have positive effects on the skin, according to www.visitreykjavik.is, the Visit Reykjavik Web site.
If time allows, wander out of town to Mount Esja to hike one of the many paths that wind along the mountain.
Airfare prices include estimated taxes and are courtesy of the Web site www.skyscanner.net. Prices were verified as of Monday afternoon when Stripes UK went to press. Deals are not guaranteed to be available; restrictions may apply.