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UK weekly edition, Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Next month — Aug. 17-19Ibiza, Spain: 116.55 pounds round trip

Fly Monarch from London Luton to Ibiza.

The third largest of the Balearic Islands, Ibiza offers fine beaches, secluded bays, rocky cliffs and a variety of sights to be explored.

Start in the island’s capital city, Ciudad de Ibiza, boasting a marina district full of art galleries, boutiques, bars and restaurants. Visit the Museum of Archaeology, housed in a former arsenal in the capital’s old town for a glimpse into history. The museum has a collection of Punic artifacts, including terra-cotta figurines and pottery. Other items include artifacts found in Ibiza’s burial grounds, Moorish artifacts and Roman epigraphs.

Ibiza’s nightlife can be tough on the budget. The most popular and trendy nightclubs, such as El Divino and Pacha, have a cover charge of $50 to $70. For a quieter evening, visit the Placa Desamporadors, home of many open-air restaurants.

During the day, try the resort village of San Antonio de Portmany, where boats can take you on a tour of the coastline or shuttle you to the surrounding beaches. The Ibiza Travel Guide suggests visiting the village’s natural cave aquarium, which houses a number of sea animals and plants native to the island. Be aware that San Antonio de Portmany is also a popular destination for women to go bottomless on the beach.

Other beaches to explore include Ses Figueretes and Playa d’en Bossa, white-sand stretches in the south with sports clubs catering to water adventures from diving to sailing. To get an all-around tan, visit Playa Cavallet and Aigues Blanques, both popular for nude sunbathing.

For souvenirs, visit village markets in Las Dalias or San Jordi for woven baskets, straw hats, ceramics, leather goods and embroidery.

Three months — Oct. 12-14Dinard, France: 57.01 pounds round trip

Fly Ryanair from London Stansted to Dinard.

Start exploring this Brittany coastal town with a stroll on its Promenade en Bord sur Mer. The long walkway is surrounded by gardens and offers a view over the bay.

The crystal-clear waters are splendid for sailing and boats can be chartered from a number of marinas around the city. The marinas also have facilities catering to tourists looking for a range of water-sport equipment from goggles to surfboards.

For a look at Dinard’s history, visit the Musee Villa Eugenie, housed in a French chateau-style building, or the Laissez Centre, which uses film in addition to exhibits to tell its story.

Dominating the city’s skyline is the Gothic-style Eglise Notre-Dame. The church’s interior is adorned with fine carvings and stained-glass windows.

Serious shoppers should head to Place de la Republique and Place du Marche Halles for specialty shops carrying fine fashions, leather goods and jewelry as well as perfumes, handbags and scarves straight from Paris. Local side-street shops and markets accommodate antique seekers and amateur wine connoisseurs.

Port Breton Park is a family vacation destination within Dinard. This large parkland has an equestrian center, children’s play area, fountains and a zoo with more than 40 species of animal and 20 species of birds. The Dinard tourist board also suggests visiting the park’s rose garden, home to more than 2,000 plants.

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.


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