Cheap Seats: Bargain airfares to Italy and the Canary Islands
Next weekend — Feb. 23-25Bari, Italy: 78.48 pounds round trip
Fly Ryanair from London Stansted to Bari.
Easy exploration of Bari starts at the main thoroughfare in the city, the Emperor Augustus Promenade. On this street, visitors will find the Basilica of San Nicola with a 12th-century floor mosaic and an elaborate ciborium — a canopy over the altar that has four columns with foliage — animals and mythological figures. It also houses the tomb of St. Nicholas.
Farther down the promenade is Il Castello Svevo, a Norman Swabian castle that has been reconstructed twice. From there, follow a medieval alleyway to the Cathedral di San Sabino, originally built in the Byzantine style then rebuilt in Romanesque style.
Vacationers with shopping in mind should visit via Sparano, which has elegant shops brimming with Italian fashion clothing, accessories and shoes. Among the many designer shops are Coccinelle and Furla. Shoppers also can fine many major chain stores. Along many of the streets in the old city center, shops sell pottery and straw baskets.
At the end of via Sparano is the Archaeological Museum, which, according to www.copuglia.it, has sections displaying Greek and Apulian vases, jewelry and prehistoric artifacts. One collection on display includes pieces from the Messapian and Peucetic people.
After a hard day shopping and sightseeing, enjoy a stroll on Nazario Sauro Promenade along the sea front.
Before leaving Bari, enjoy some traditional Pugliese cuisine including burrata, a mozzarella cheese with a cream center, and taralli, similar to breadsticks, served with most dishes.
Next month — March 23-25Tenerife (Canary Islands), Spain: 128.36 pounds round trip
Fly Thomsonfly from London Luton to Tenerife Reina Sofia.
A weekend trip to Tenerife should start with a coastal boat trip from Playa de Los Cristianos. There you can take a ferry or hydrofoil to the nearby island of La Gomera or you can take a whale and dolphin watching cruise. After exploring the area from a boat, take advantage of the yearround warm waters and explore from under the ocean.
The clear waters around Tenerife offer snorkeling enthusiasts clear views of the colorful fish and marine life. The ocean’s colorful coral reefs and old wrecks provide plentiful sights for scuba diving. Never scuba dived before? Not to worry. There are many tour operators that provide lessons and equipment. For those who prefer seeing the marine life while staying dry, take advantage of one of the submarine trips available from Los Galletas harbor.
For family fun, visit Loro Parque, a zoo with extras. Attractions include sharks, sea lions, monkeys, penguins and more. According to loroparque.com, the zoo is home to the world’s largest collection of parrots. Other attractions include an orchid collection and an Orca Ocean area with captive-bred killer whales.
If time allows, visit the El Drago Butterfly House, where around 100 species of butterflies can be observed flying around.
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.