Cheap Seats: Bargain airfares to Gerona, Spain and Nantes, France
Next month — Jan. 4-6Gerona, Spain: 39.58 pounds round tripFly Ryanair from London Stansted to Gerona.
Start at Gerona’s main attraction, the Gothic Gerona Cathedral. Within the cathedral, visitors should look for the impressive Throne of Charlemagne, a stone seat embellished with friezes of arabesques that is the bishop’s throne. The Romanesque cloister’s columns depict scenes both of biblical and popular life.
The cathedral museum’s highlights include an illuminated manuscript of the “Apocalypse,” a late Gothic cross inlayed with enamel and set with pearls, a fine collection of 15th-century sculpture and a tapestry depicting the creation.
Beyond the cathedral is the Museum of Art with exhibits from the pre-Romanesque period to early 20th century. Another museum worth visiting is the Automobile Collection of Salvador Claret. The museum contains more than 170 vehicles dating back to an 1883 Merry Weather and includes a 1923 Model T Ford. The museum also houses a small collection of aircraft.
Within Gerona’s old town, visit the Rambla de la Libertat, the main pedestrian area lined with cafes and shops. The area offers a chance for a respite from sightseeing or souvenir shopping.
During your stroll in the old town, look for signposts highlighting an archaeological trail with important sites including the Arab Baths, a cathedral, palace and town walls.
Three months — March 7-9Nantes, France: 57.83 pounds round tripFly Ryanair from London Stansted to Nantes.
Visiting Nantes is an adventure in top-quality living with fashionable shopping and divine wines.
Step back to the Middle Ages with a walk through the cobblestone streets of the historic medieval quarter of Bouffay. This neighborhood, full of half-timbered houses, some dating back to the 15th century, offers plenty of charm.
Art aficionados will enjoy a stroll through the Musee des Beaux Arts, which is said to hold one of the finest art collections in France. Not to be missed is the contemporary gallery housing works from Picasso, Chagall and Dubuffet.
While you may only be able to window shop on Rue Crebillon, the town’s most chic shopping street, it leads to Passage Pommeraye, a 19th-century shopping arcade with original boutiques where you can purchase just about anything. For bargains, head to Place Viarme, where artists and craftsmen have their workshops and the Saturday market is held.
If shopping has left you parched, enjoy a trip along the vineyard trail. Many tours are available, including several stops for tasting and exploration. According to the Nantes tourism bureau, Nantes vineyards make up the largest vineyard group in France, having 750 wine producers and 20 wine merchants.
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.