UK weekly edition, Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Next month — June 22-24La Coruna, Spain: 70.45 pounds round trip

Fly Clickair from London Heathrow to La Coruna.

Start at the city’s most prominent attraction — the second-century Tower of Hercules lighthouse standing more than 180 feet tall. Visitors can climb the tower’s stairs, explore the open turret and enjoy the spectacular views below. The Galicia area guide lists this oldest fully functioning lighthouse in the world as a “must see.”

Visit the playa de Orzan and playa de Riazor, two popular beaches along La Coruna’s long and inlet-dotted coastline, to enjoy large waves: just the thing for surfing. Above the beaches is the new promenade, connecting several of the area’s tourist attractions.

A notable attraction along the promenade is the Archaeology and History Museum, which holds artifacts collected from the local area. Museum highlights include an exhibit on ancient jewelry, including the Bronze Age Leiro helmet and the keystone from the monastery of Montefaro.

In town, visit the Fine Arts Museum containing more than 5,000 exhibits, including works by local Galician artists. For another example of fine local art, visit the Casa Museo Picasso, once home to the Ruiz Picasso family, showcasing 27 reproductions of his paintings.

In three months — Aug. 24-26County Waterford, Ireland: 86.04 pounds round trip

Fly Aer Arann from London Luton to Waterford.

Enjoy a trip to the sunny southeast of Ireland for fun in the sand, historic sites and crystal shopping.

Start at Clonea Beach in the harbor village of Dungarven with its soft golden sand, which makes it a perfect location for relaxing, swimming or building castles. Dungarven is a particularly good area for in-shore or deep-sea fishing with a plethora of cod, coalfish, conger, mackerel, shark and pollock to be caught. However, if you prefer not catching your own dinner, try one of the many restaurants in the city serving daily fresh catches.

From there, travel to the heart of County Waterford, Waterford City, Ireland’s oldest city founded by Vikings in the ninth century. Start on the eastern end of this seaport city’s quay at the conical-roofed Reginald’s Tower, now a museum. According to the Waterford City Council, Ireland’s oldest standing building in continuous use has been a fortress, prison, military depot, a mint and an air raid shelter over the centuries. It was opened to the public in the 1950s.

In the city, visit the Waterford Treasures at the Granary, a museum that traces the history of Waterford from its early Viking origins. Items of particular mention to look for include the Viking kite brooch and the Penrose Waterford decanter partly made with fine diamonds.

No trip to Waterford would be complete without a visit to the Waterford Crystal Factory and Gallery founded in 1783. The factory offers a 35-minute tour to see the workers who create this crystal of connoisseurs. The large shop offers no seconds but provides a wide selection of crystal from the traditional glass to the more unique globes and chandeliers.

Airfare prices include estimated taxes and are courtesy of the 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.

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