Five best-value des­ti­na­tions

Where to go to get the big­gest bang for your buck in the year ahead

Lonely Planet (UK) - - In This Issue... -

1. LAN­ZAROTE, SPAIN

In­de­pen­dent trav­ellers are in­creas­ingly head­ing to Lan­zarote. Af­ford­able lodg­ings, food and car rental are all here. But Lan­zarote also rev­els in its unique­ness. The moon-like scenery of Par­que Na­cional de Ti­man­faya, un­spoilt beaches of Ór­zola and the winer­ies of La Ge­ria re­ward those who come here for more than a tra­di­tional sea­side break.

2. POLAND

Kraków may grab the crowds, but you can ex­plore here for less than in Prague or Ber­lin. Be­yond it are many of Europe’s lesser-known high­lights. In the north, ex­plore Gdansk’s old town and haunt­ing coastal scenery. Else­where, Lublin, Torun and Tarnów’s his­tor­i­cal beauty can form the ba­sis of a won­der­ful week.

3. ES­SAOUIRA, MOROCCO

Es­saouira can now be reached di­rect by low­cost flights from the UK and France. The walled city’s nar­row al­ley­ways, ham­mams and med­ina pile on the sen­sory de­light; the breeze al­lows for su­perb wind and kitesurf­ing; and the ri­ads are good-value. Above all, the food is de­li­cious even on a low bud­get, es­pe­cially the just-caught seafood.

4. JACK­SONVILLE, FLORIDA, USA

Jax, as lo­cals call it, has beaches, surf­ing, art and live mu­sic. There are the St Johns River, the In­tra­coastal Water­way and Amer­ica’s largest ur­ban park sys­tem to ex­plore. Bar­be­cue joints and beach cafés of­fer good-value din­ing, while a pint of craft beer costs as lit­tle as £2. Jax also has the low­est ho­tel rates in all of Florida.

5. HU­NAN, CHINA

High­lights of Hu­nan in­clude Zhangji­a­jie, a sand­stone canyon with 250 bizarre peaks and the world’s long­est glass bridge; Fenghuang, a his­toric town that hangs over the Tuo River; and Mao Ze­dong’s home town of Chang­sha. Costs are low: bud­get meals and ac­com­mo­da­tion are in the sub-£10 range, and slap-up meals and flashy digs just dou­ble that.

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