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Glamourous Santorini is deliciously different. Geographical newness is in part to thank. The island’s popular black volcanic Perissa and Kamari beaches are big draws, as is its arguably most famous Red Beach near Akrotiri (which is the place to go for archaeology buffs). Santorini curves round a giant lagoon in the Cyclades islands, offering stunning views from sky-high towns, eclectic cuisine, lovely galleries, thriving nightlife and excellent wines.
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.
Brigitte Bardot frolicked on the beaches of St. Tropez in the '50s; now it's the playground of rap stars and international socialites. Most of the sandy hot spots lie southwest of town on the Baie de Pampelonne. But if you're not P. Diddy, take heart: you'll find a few family-friendly, public beaches where the sun, sand and waves are just as fabulous.
Look for spicy dishes flavoured with tamarind and coconut in Kochi, and don’t be surprised if your dinner is served up on a banana leaf. The region is a major banana-growing area, and traditional Kochi cuisine employs the fruit in many dishes, both sweet and savoury. Coconut water provides a refreshing and sweet contrast to the piquant food.
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.