Top places to visit

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MATTA FAIR -

EUROPE is a good desti­na­tion to visit in June, es­pe­cially in the north where Scan­di­na­vian coun­tries en­joy lake- land par­ties, nev­erend­ing days and some of the best fish­ing spots in the world.

Ac­com­mo­da­tion tends to be a bit cheaper than dur­ing the real high sea­son, too. Else­where, the con­ti­nent’s “boot”, Italy, pos­sesses cul­tural pearls ready to be plucked be­fore the tourist sea­son gets into full swing. Here, In­sight Va­ca­tions selects some of the favourite lo­ca­tions for trav­ellers won­der­ing where to visit in June.

Ice­land Nat­u­ral won­ders of Ice­land:

A coun­try with “ice” in its name rarely leaps to the top of sum­mer desti­na­tion lists, but don’t let that fool you. Dot­ted with gey­sers, in­clud­ing the highly ac­tive “golden cir­cle” – which con­tains the 30m- high Strokkur – you can cook eggs on many, and bake bread in the ground, too. Other won­ders in­clude Gull­foss, a Nordic Ni­a­gara Falls, and Skaftafell, a preser­va­tion area renowned for its warm cli­mate. No trip is com­plete with­out a visit to Blue La­goon, an all- nat­u­ral spa where health- seek­ers can daub them­selves with silica mud and emerge feel­ing years younger. Prices start from US$ 3,525 ( RM14,627) per per­son twin share.

Madrid Spain and Por­tu­gal in style:

The cap­i­tal of Spain is full of sites for the avari­cious cul­ture vul­ture. From the Plaza de Es­paña, fea­tur­ing a statue of Cer­vantes, to the Plaza de Ci­beles, with its own riot of mar­ble, Madrid is hardly short on sym­bolic mon­u­ments or neo­clas­si­cal frip­pery. Nearby, the Prado is un­doubt­edly still one of the world’s great­est art gal­leries.

With works by Goya, Ve­lasquez, El Greco, Ti­tian and Bosch, it’s per­haps as gor­geous on the in­side as the Royal Palace of Madrid is on the out­side. And if all that sight­see­ing leaves you hun­gry, Alb­ora – a restau­rant seam­lessly blend­ing tra­di­tional and con­tem­po­rary cui­sine – is an epicurean de­light, de­serv­ing all the rave re­views it re­ceives.

Prices start from US$ 2,825 ( RM11,723) per per­son twin share.

Switzer­land Ma­jes­tic Switzer­land:

Most peo­ple con­jure vi­sions of snow­capped moun­tains and ski slopes when they think of the land­locked can­tons of Switzer­land. But win­ter vis­i­tors are miss­ing out on the parts of the coun­try that emerge when the sun’s out. Whether you de­cide to visit his­toric cas­tles, like Chillon – one of the House of Savoy’s main for­ti­fi­ca­tions, and a favourite of Lord By­ron’s – or take a long and lan­guid boat trip across the bril­liantly blue lakes, Switzer­land does not lose its lus­tre when it loses its snow.

Among the sum­mer favourites, the lake town of Lucerne is a par­tic­u­lar draw, mix­ing Teu­tonic grandeur with Re­nais­sance flair in a hal­lowed time cap­sule. Prices start from US$ 2,750 ( RM11,412) per per­son twin share.

Italy Ul­ti­mate Italy:

As tem­per­a­tures rise most of us would trade places with the per­son sit­ting in the shade of an Ital­ian pi­azza, with a bot­tle of red or dinky espresso, hav­ing just seen some of the world’s great­est art. It’s a na­tion of na­tions too, with ev­ery sort of ter­rain at the trav­eller’s beck and call: for metropoli­tan grandeur there’s Rome; for his­tory, Pom­peii; for green hills, Um­bria and for glam­orous coast­line, the Cinque Terre.

Per­haps, the great­est tes­ti­mony to the boot of Europe’s suc­cess is the sheer scale of re­turn traf­fic the coun­try at­tracts. Not that it’s any real sur­prise given the stan­dard of vil­las, mu­se­ums, ho­tels and is­land re­treats la bella nazione con­tains. Prices start from US$ 2,350 ( RM9,752) per per­son twin share.

In con­junc­tion with MATTA Fair, you can en­joy sav­ings up to 40% off the se­cond trav­eller ex­clu­sively for Visa Card­hold­ers plus a com­pli­men­tary Barry Smith cabin- sized travel lug­gage.

This spe­cial deal is valid for book­ing with full pay­ment re­ceived by March 15, 2016. For more sav­ings, pair your In­sight Va­ca­tions itin­er­ary with the spe­cial dis­counted air fares.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call 03- 2091 9966 / e- mail in­sight@ cit. travel / log on to www. cit. travel or visit its of­fice at Unit B- 1- 3, North­point Of­fices, Mid Val­ley City / drop by at Booth No. 1333- 1352 ( 20 booths), Hall 1, PWTC. Cor­po­rate In­for­ma­tion Travel Sdn Bhd ( CIT) is the ap­pointed gen­eral sales agent in Malaysia for In­sight Va­ca­tions.

The Great Geysir in Ice­land.

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