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    Hidden gems

Sylt

Sylt has long been a playground for Germany’s rich and famous, and is called the "German Hamptons" for good reason. Pronounced "Zoolt," Sylt is a surreally beautiful, 25-mile long island on Germany’s North Sea coast, that has one of the longest unbroken stretches of immaculate sandy beach in all of Europe. Sylt is famous for its invigorating sea air and sense of space. This summer enjoy magnificent vistas of the sparkling sea, huge sand dunes and endless fields of bright-yellow flowering rape!

Santander

Santander is famous for its fabulous beaches and its elegant holidaymakers: King Alfonso XIII used to spend his summers here nearly a hundred years ago, and the town is still popular among fashionable madrileños who like to be seen sauntering along the El Sardinero seafront with its belle époque architecture. When the sun goes down and the bikinis are cast off, the town also has some great restaurants and a lively bar scene. It is also a good place from which to explore the pristine countryside of Cantabria.

Top 10 London Attractions

Many of London's top 10 attractions are free, making them affordable places to soak up some culture – you can book to visit others via the buttons below. Whether you prefer history or modern art, you'll find it at one of these must-visit spots.

London Showreel

Find out why London is the best big city on Earth to live in, visit, study in, and for business.

Matsuyama

Matsuyama is the biggest city on the island of Shikoku, Japan. It's also the capital of Ehime Prefecture. Matsuyama is a vibrant city of living traditions, set against a backdrop of historical buildings, where haiku poetry is still enjoyed as a part of daily life. A full calendar of seasonal festivals means that there's always something eye-catching going on. The city is served by a network of vintage trams and steam trains, so getting about is easy. Matsuyama also has miles of sandy beaches in this city framing the beautiful, island-studded, Seto Inland Sea.

Winter Lights Fostudagur

Amazing Days of Darkness in Reykjavik! The long winter days of darkness in Reykjavik are to be illuminated magnificently at the city's next annual Winter Lights Festival. From 6 - 15 February 2014, the festival promises another superb collection of sparkling events, all delivered with our customary commitment to quality and diversity. Prepared to be amazed by the dramatic interplay of darkness and light at the Winter Lights Festival 2014! vetrarhatid.is

Linz

Linz – a cultural metropolis, and an oasis of green. Linz an der Donau is an innovative, contemporary city. It is a place where nature, culture and business come together to form a harmonious whole. The 2009 European Capital of Culture sports the slogan “Linz, verändert” (“Linz, changes”), and lives up to the slogan in full. Linz, a successful location for business, has emerged as an outstanding destination for culture, offering dynamism and a high quality of life. The capital city of Upper Austria is a showcase for theatre and music, but equally for contemporary art, history and science.

Reykjavik Children’s Culture Festival

The three main aspects of Reykjavik Children’s Culture Festival are chilrden’s culture, culture for children and culture with children.

La Rochelle

La Rochelle is more than just a seaport on the Atlantic Ocean. The city is an inevitable place to visit on the coast as one of the largest French harbor cities in terms of business and tourism. With its 1,000 years of history, it is also one of the best-kept secrets in the region. You will be surprised by its architectural heritage, its unique atmosphere, the diversity of its museums and its eclectic nightlife. The area is quite warm thanks to the Gulf Stream, on a par with the French Riviera!

Rodez

Located at the foot of the Massif Central and less than a two-hour drive from the Mediterranean, Rodez is the capital of the Aveyron Region. This picturesque region is one of the best kept secrets in France for foreigners, offering more attractions than you would expect. Rodez is surrounded by several village-communities that contribute in making the town a tourist destination and that have great cultural and historical assets. While in Rodez you can enjoy city pleasures without leaving the countryside and vice versa. Just take your time since there is a lot to see in and around Rodez.

Samoa

Talofa Lava! Welcome to Samoa. Think of picture-perfect, long sandy white beaches framed by a lapping marine-blue ocean, lush rainforests with cascading waterfalls, vibrant flora and fauna and, under the ocean, the most amazing colourful gardens you could imagine – this is Samoa – the last unspoilt paradise in the world! Eight islands make up this nation, in the heart of the South Pacific, halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii. This is home to some of the friendliest South Pacific people you could have the pleasure of meeting, proud of their strong Fa’a Samoa cultural heritage and their long and unwavering faith to the blessings Mother Nature has bestowed upon them.

Pau

Nestled in the corner of rural south-west France stands Pau, the capital of the Béarn region and bastion of history and culture. The town occupies a unique geographical position in the foothills of the Pyrenees. With its awe-inspiring views of the mountain range, Pau is only a few hundred kilometres from the major towns of Bourdeaux and Toulouse and even closer to Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. A springboard to sunny beaches, snow-capped mountains, Pau’s pretty streets and excellent gastronomy are enough to ensure leaving will be difficult.

Qingdao

If it was a picture, Qingdao would be painted with blue sea and azure sky, red-roofed residences and green trees. Qingdao means “Green Island” in Chinese, and the name is a perfect match. This is possibly the most beautiful coastal city of China, famous for the comfortable weather, the large number of beaches and the delicious seafood. Being a former German concession has also provided it with attractive European style buildings and one of the best brews in Asia, the famous Qingdao Beer. It has long been a favourite escape for Chinese holidaymakers and after having its profile raised when hosting of the 29th Sailing Regatta during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it will undoubtedly come under the radar of foreign visitors as well.