Cheap Seats: Discount airfares to Spain and Norway
Next month — Feb. 1-3Palma, Spain: 37.98 pounds round trip
Fly Easyjet from London Luton to Palma.
During the winter months, this port city — capital of Balearic Islands — has much more than beaches to offer visitors looking for an enjoyable weekend.
Exploration of Palma can start at the 13th-century Palma Cathedral, which stands guarding the bay below. Renovated in the early 20th century, the cathedral boasts more than 1,200 pieces of stained glass, including one of the largest stained-glass rose windows in the world and a small museum with a collection of gold and silver religious artworks.
Across from the cathedral is the Almudaina Palace that now houses the National Museum and the harbor office.
To the palace’s west is the Llotja Museum, located in a 15th-century Gothic building that once housed the city’s stock exchange. Walk around the magnificent exterior of this building, which includes archangel-decorated doorways and gargoyle-adorned sides.
The neighborhood surrounding the museum makes up Palma’s historic district. Shop the boutiques or enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants lining the narrow streets. In the evenings, this is a lively area where visitors can get high-quality, high-priced drinks in an old mansion, enjoy retro rock in a memorabilia-filled bar or try to gain entry into an all-night party clubs.
Don’t miss the well-preserved Castle of Bellver, which holds the Municipal Museum and the Despuig Collection of Classical Sculpture, both helping to explain the history of Palma. From the castle’s flat roof, visitors have a view of the city, its bay and the countryside.
Three months — April 4-6Stavanger, Norway: 55.24 pounds round trip
Fly Norwegian Air from London Gatwick to Stavanger.
Start with a visit to Jernaldergarden, an attractive farmstead with period-dressed men and women who demonstrate day-to-day life during Stavanger’s Migration Period, which ran from around A.D. 350 to 550. Children can try their hand at making fire from steel and flint or at spinning wool on a spindle. The park also offers outdoor activities such as hiking and horseback riding.
For a little exercise, make the approximate two-hour-long (one way) hike to Pulpit Rock, a natural rock formation that is a 82-square-foot plateau standing 1,892 feet above the sea. If the hike appears daunting, take a boat ride out to sea for terrific views from below.
Next, travel to the Mollebukta bay area to see the Swords in Rock monument — three 32-foot-tall bronze swords stand as a tribute to the Battle of Hafrsfjord in 872, after which King Harald I Hårfagre united the three districts of Norway into one kingdom. The swords are planted in solid rock to represent peace.
To warm up, head to the Norwegian Petroleum Museum, where you can learn how oil and gas were formed millions of years ago and how it is now collected. Interactive exhibits give visitors a glimpse of life on an oil platform in the North Sea.
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.