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If it's your first time visiting the Amalfi Coast, chances are you'll do a double-take the first time you see a roadside lemon stand. Yes, those are lemons, and yes, they are the size of your head. But despite their freakish appearance, you will grow to love these lemons because the locals use them to produce limoncello. And take it from us, there's nothing like a glass of limoncello as you gaze out at the sea from the balcony of your hotel in Amalfi. It's pretty much perfection.
Three miles of twisty mountain roads up from Amalfi, the gorgeous resort of Ravello has been attracting celebrities for centuries, including Richard Wagner, Greta Garbo, Gore Vidal and D.H. Lawrence, who wrote Lady Chatterley’s Lover here. Ravello’s Duomo (Cathedral) and Villa Cimbrone (both 11th century) and Villa Rufolo (13th century) are all magnificent sights. The annual summer Ravello Festival began as a salute to Wagner’s music, but now showcases a wide range of music and arts.
Serving as the main port town for the island of the same name, the town of Ischia has been inhabited for centuries, famous for its beaches and the healing waters of its spas. The town is divided in two: Ischia Porto is the harbor district and commercial center of the island, filled with brightly lit taverns and bars, and Ischia Ponte, the historic quarter, with its ancient castle and its stone streets seemingly frozen in time.
The largest and many say most beautiful island in the Bay of Naples, Ischia is renowned for its curative spas. Ferries and hydrofoils connect Naples to Ischia Porto, the main town. Nearby at Ischia Ponte (connected to the main island by a foot bridge) are the magnificent Castello Aragonese and Guevara Tower. Forio on the island’s west coast, Lacco Ameno in the northwest and Sant’Angelo in the south are the liveliest resort towns. Casamicciola Terme in the north is one of Europe’s oldest spas.
The region of Campania curves around the bays of Naples and Sorrento, with towering Vesuvius and mountain ranges and massifs looming above. Ancient classical ruins are scattered throughout the region, from the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum to the Greek temples in Paestum. Popular resort towns include charming Sorrento and Amalfi, upscale Positano and haven for the elite, Ravello. For even more memorable sights, catch a ferry from Sorrento or Naples to the isle of Capri, home of the magical Blue Grotto.
The largest city in Switzerland is a major contemporary art and shopping destination. Important artworks are displayed in the Kunsthaus and the Rietberg Museum. Those who consider shopping an art can hone their skills along Bahnhofstrasse and Niederdorf. Chagall's stained-glass windows in the Fraumünster amaze. Zurich's 500 clubs and bars, including several in swimming pools, pulse with life till the early hours. This city on Lake Zurich has excellent public transport and a free bike-hire system.
Ibiza: Old Spanish for "party 'til you drop." Perhaps not literally, but this is definitely one of Europe's favourite nightlife playgrounds. Ibiza boasts more than 100 miles of coastline with some 50 beaches, plus plenty of restaurants, bars, and water sports—and clubs, of course. Fit in a little culture and visit Ibiza's UNESCO-designated old town.
From Shoreditch’s swaggering style to Camden’s punky vibe and chic Portobello Road, London is many worlds in one. The city’s energy means that no two days are the same. Explore royal or historic sites, tick off landmarks from your bucket list, eat and drink in exclusive Michelin-starred restaurants, enjoy a pint in a traditional pub, or get lost down winding cobbled streets and see what you stumble across – when it comes to London, the possibilities are endless.
The shining jewel of Qatar, Doha is a multicultural city, home to most of the country's population as well as expatriate communities from a range of origins. Shopping abounds in the city's plentiful malls, while the Corniche impresses visitors with picturesque architecture and dazzling views of the harbour. Doha boasts myriad cultural facilities, including the futuristic Education City and the National Museum.
Dubai is a destination that mixes modern culture with history, adventure with world-class shopping and entertainment. Catch a show at the Dubai Opera, see downtown from atop the Burj Khalifa and spend an afternoon along Dubai Creek exploring the gold, textile and spice souks. If you’re looking for thrills, you can float above the desert dunes in a hot air balloon, climb aboard a high-speed ride at IMG Worlds of Adventure or skydive over the Palm Jumeirah.
The city of Mahabaleshwar is a pinnacle of greenery, boasting one of the only evergreen forests in the world. The landscape abounds with lush hills, valleys and lookout points such as Lodwick Point, Arthur's Seat and Babington Point, all of which offer spectacular views. Trot along on horseback for a delightful four-legged tour of the gorgeous Venna Lake area, and savour juicy native strawberries, mulberries and corn.
Want to make your co-workers insanely jealous? Just casually drop "I’m holiday making in the Maldives this year" into conversation, preferably in the dead of winter. Or better yet, go there without mentioning it to anyone—then send them a "Wish you were here!" postcard.