Serbia is one of 2012's hottest destinations, and not just because of the hugely-popular Exit festival at Novi Sad. Youthful Belgrade is definitely a party city – you’ll find a spot to dance on the table most nights of the week. During the day, make the effort to see Belgrade Fortress and the Ethnographic Museum. Once you’ve had enough of sightseeing, head to Na Cosku for local grub at its best, as well as fusion takes on Serbian dishes. After dinner, head to Skardalija where you can listen to live music and party ‘til the sun comes up in one of the many Bohemian pubs and cafes.
Try Tours for a lovely weekend getaway. Known for speaking the purest form of French with no confusing regional accent (thanks to being right in the middle of France), it’s the perfect place to practice your phrasebook Français. Been inspired by Wiggo and co? Do your own Tour de France in the Loire Valley with its beautiful countryside and chateaux. But don’t take it too seriously – make sure you stop for a wine-tasting or two.
While most visitors to Lithuania go to capital Vilnius, Kaunas, Lithuania’s second-largest city, is well worth a weekend. Packed full of history, culture and scenery, Kaunas is also a fascinating place to eat out. You can explore a real variety of cuisines, but if you want to try traditional, give Medziotoj Uzeiga a go. In the heart of the Old Town, this restaurant attracts locals as well as tourists – always a good sign when it comes to recommendations.
Klagenfurt is possibly best known most for holding Ironman Austria, while it also hosts the Beach Volleyball Grand Slam! But the southern Austrian city has more offer that than muscles and bikinis: explore its history and culture on a guided city walk, available daily, starting at Neuer Platz. Or why not hire a bike and visit the beach? The beach? Yes, on the Wörthersee, an amazingly aquamarine Alpine lake with a backdrop of snow-flecked peaks. Put together a picnic of traditional Austrian food from Klagenfurt’s daily market.
There is so much to see and do in Gibraltar. It’s touristy, yes, but you just have to do the Rock of Gibraltar, with its famous Barbary apes, plus there’s St Michaels Cave and the lush Botanic Gardens. You will not be bored here! If you don’t want to do anything at all, there are a string of amazing beaches within easy reach of Gibraltar or you could just watch the world go by from one of the many cafés and restaurants dotted along the shore.
This little island sits south of Sicily and north of Tunisia in the middle of the Mediterranean, so it’s no surprise that it draws its culture from North African and Arabic influences. Malta is renowned for its hospitality where locals will welcome you into their arms and treat you like their own. Visit the Megalithic temples which are some of the oldest structures in the world before heading to Spinola Bay to sample some Sicilian cuisine and quite possibly a bottle of local vino.
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