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Next month — Feb. 29-March 2La Rochelle, France: 64.99 pounds round tripFly Ryanair from London Stansted to La Rochelle.

Start with a stroll along the Port de Plaisance where the wealthy often dock their extravagant yachts, leaving many vacationers envious and dreaming of their own chance of sailing the seas.

Other harbor areas to discover include the historic Vieux-Port, the Port de Peche or fishing port, and the busy Port de Commerce. Call into the tourist office and arrange for a boat tour of the harbors. Although the tours are only in French, they do offer vantage points for capturing memorable photographs.

After a day of strolling and sailing the harbors, head indoors to explore La Rochelle’s three main museums. Musee d’Obigny-Bernon houses collections of painted porcelain, Far Eastern art and photos of World War II-era La Rochelle. The Musee des Beaux-Arts is home to art spanning the 15th through 20th centuries.

Visiting the Musee du Nouveau-Monde offers a mix of American and French history with its exhibits on the founding of the Mississippi Delta and the settling of the Louisiana territory.

If time allows, take a local bus to the Île de Ré, a narrow island approximately 18 miles long. The quaint island’s ports are almost exclusively used by flat-bottomed boats that cultivate oysters and mussels.

Three months — May 2-4Costa Daurada, Spain: 65.95 pounds round tripFly Ryanair from London Stansted to Reus.

Great for family vacations, Costa Daurada offers something for everyone. Visits should start with the PortAventura theme park with host Woody Woodpecker. The park offers 100 daily shows and 30 rides through five exotic lands — with plenty of restaurants to refuel in. If wet rides are more your style, visit the Aquopolis in La Pineda with its kamikaze slide, black hole, wave pools, river rapids and Aquamania triple slide.

More adventure can be found with a visit to the Meravelles Caves of Benifallet, where tourists can explore the many figures among the stalactites and stalagmites and other formations. Or visit the medieval town of Montblanc to explore the 1,500 meters of town walls with 32 towers.

Spend a day among the monuments and Roman ruins in the city of Tarragona. Walk along “Devil’s Bridge” Aqueduct or explore the Roman Circus once used for chariot races or the Roman Amphitheatre, which hosted gladiator fights.

The Tarragona National Archaeological Museum holds such artifacts as ceramics, sculptures, tools, mosaics, funerary objects and coins — many of which were excavated from the city’s amphitheater and circus.

For a change of pace, grab a towel or chair and relax on the fine golden sand of El Miracle. The area’s calm, still water makes this a nice area for families to swim, and the beach affords tourists interesting views of the amphitheater.

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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