Cheap Seats: Fly to Spain
Next Month – July 18-20
Santander, Spain: 63.40 pounds round trip
Fly Ryanair from London Stansted to Santander
Santander offers beaches, water sports, a cathedral and more.
Start at the Municipal Museum of Fine Arts, where an array of works by Flemish, Spanish and Italian artists is displayed. In the same building is the Biblioteca y Casa-Museo de Menendez Pelayo, a 50,000-volume library amassed by writer Marcelino Menendez Pelayo.
From there, walk to the cathedral, restored after a fire in 1941. Under the cathedral is the Church of Santìsimo Cristo, the oldest preserved building in Santander. There are three naves and archaeological excavations that show evidence of Roman occupation. Glass flooring enables visitors to see through to the older structures underneath the existing building.
The Maritime Museum of Cantabria houses an aquarium, exhibits on voyages, a whale skeleton and displays on shipbuilding and cartography.
After exploring the museum, step onto one of the 11 beaches in Santander to enjoy a stroll or participate in — even in winter — various water sports, including snorkeling and sailing.
The municipal park, Parque de Matalenas, has woodland and meadow areas for exploration, a public golf course and zoo complete with kangaroos, deer and a sparkling lake.
Pottery lovers will want to take a short excursion to Santillana del Mar for handcrafted ceramics.
Three Months – Sept. 12-14
Guernsey, United Kingdom: 56.34 pounds round trip
Fly Aurigny from London Gatwick to Guernsey
The 13th-century Castle Cornet in St. Peter Port is the perfect place to start your exploration of this island in the English Channel. This ancient royal fortress, with its intriguing gardens, houses three museums — The Story of Castle Cornet Museum, The Maritime Museum and the 201 Squadron RAF Museum — which all tell parts of the island’s history. Visit the castle at noon to watch soldiers in 19th-century uniforms fire the gun.
History buffs should visit the German Naval Signals Headquarters, also in St. Peter. In use until 1945, the headquarters was home to the famous Enigma code machines. For more on the German military’s history with the island, visit the La Vallette Underground Military Museum and Hospital located in a German tunnel complex carved out of rock between 1940 and 1945.
Also worth a visit is the Fort Grey and Shipwreck Museum, which has recovered objects from ships that have met their doom along the island’s treacherous coast, including the HMS Sprightly, which sank in 1777, and the Vermontborg, which became stranded on a reef in 2003.
Shoppers will want to be on the lookout for locally made silver jewelry and candles.
Airfare prices include taxes and are courtesy of each airline’s Web site. Prices were verified as of Monday afternoon when Stripes UK went to press. Deals are not guaranteed to be available; restrictions may apply.