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Next month — Oct. 5-7Malaga, Spain: 97.98 pounds round trip

Fly Easyjet from London Luton to Malaga.

While Malaga province is often visited for its fun-in-the-sun resorts, the city of Malaga, birthplace of artist Pablo Picasso and Hollywood star Antonio Banderas, offers much more.

Holidaymakers can start with a trek to the Alcazaba, a Moorish military fortress with two remaining defensive walls, three impressive palaces and surrounding gardens decorated with elaborate fountains. The fortress also is home to an archaeological museum with a collection of Moorish artifacts.

Although located next to the Alcazaba, the Gibralfaro Castle on Lighthouse Mountain needs a short bus trip to visit. But it’s worth the trip — visitors to the castle are rewarded with incredible panoramic views of the city and port.

Just below the fortress is the Roman theater, which is free to visit.

No visit to the city would be complete without a trip to the Pablo Picasso Museum Malaga, which houses a collection of some of his finest works along with temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

Three months — Nov. 30-Dec. 2Toulouse, France: 48.67 pounds round trip

Fly Easyjet from London Gatwick to Toulouse.

Start exploration of this art- rich city at the 11th-century Basilica Saint-Sernin with an impressive triangular gable and a crypt holding a collection of reliquaries including that of Saint Saturnin, a martyred bishop to whom the building is dedicated.

Near the basilica is the Saint- Raymond Museum, boasting a collection of marble Roman sculptures, which, according to the museum’s Web site, is the largest set found in a single place in France. Highlights of the collection include reliefs of the “Tasks of Hercules” and the “Medallions of the Gods.”

And the list of museums and art galleries doesn’t stop there. The Pierre d’Assezat mansion houses a private museum featuring a collection of Renaissance bronzes and Venetian sculptures. The Augustins fine- arts museum, in an Augustinian monastery, boasts a collection of Renaissance and classical works alongside Italian and French paintings. The Georges Labit Museum features three millennia of art from India, China, Cambodia, Nepal and Japan, alongside Tibetan religious artifacts, mummies and Samurai armor.

For something out of this world, go to the Space Experience, where visitors can find a range of life-size spacecraft. Tourists can climb on board the first-generation of Soyuz spacecraft and a replica of the Mir space station. Inside two auditoriums with the latest in technology, visitors are “transported” into space. With more than 250 exhibits, many of them interactive, visitors will find plenty to fuel their imaginations.

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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