On The Road: See a different side of Venice by boarding a kayak

"Some of the older guys don't like the kayaks," said Rene. "They think they turn Venice into a theme park, like Gardaland [on the eastern shore of Lake Garda]. The younger gondoliers are more accepting, though, and will always wave as we pass."

The Big Six: Villas in Ibiza

From a luxury villa that offers a decked terracs overlooking the sea to a whitewashed townhouse on a quiet corner of a quiet cobbled street inside Dalt Vila...

When it comes to fine wine, Santorini's no basket case

The vineyards of this volcanic island use innovative farming methods to overcome the harsh environment. Adrian Mourby follows a new trail to discover winemaking's emerging stars

Hideaways in Crete

The Big Six: From beautiful stone farmhouses to pastel-coloured cottages

Food art: the breakfast at Ibsens Hotel

Cosy cocktails in cool Copenhagen

The Hedonist

Traveller's guide: The Loire Valley

Follow the course of France's longest river to explore its châteaux and scenic cycle trails, says Mary Novakovich

The light watch: the atrium

Room Service: A master joins the museum district

Conservatorium, Amsterdam

Rock star: the city's scenic waterfront

48 Hours in: Valletta

Inside the ancient walls of Malta's charming capital, a transformation is taking place, with dramatic new buildings joining the city's alluring mix

Walk this way: umbrella pines en route to Vetralla

The long and winding road to Rome

The Via Francigena runs from Canterbury all the way to the Vatican. Mary Novakovich set off to walk the picturesque final stage of the ancient pilgrims' route

Serbian Orthodox Temple, Prishtina

Kosovo: Back to the Balkans on the long road to peace

A political tour is the perfect way to get to grips with the recent history of a nation, as former Independent on Sunday foreign correspondent Raymond Whitaker discovered on a return visit to the region

Secular style: La Badessa bedroom

B&B and Beyond: Corte della Maesta, Lazio, Italy

The resurrection of an Italian village is enhanced by this stylish B&B in a former bishop's palace, says Sarah Gilbert

Ship-shape: The Silver Spirit

A holiday on the high seas? Aye aye, captain!

A three-day sampler leaves cruise-sceptic Giovanna Dunmall wanting to stay for more

Cala Macaralleta - accessible only on foot - is one of Menorca's finest beaches

Traveller's Guide: Menorca

Spain's easternmost island entices with culture, nature and fine cuisine, especially in summer, says Simon Calder

Sleep easy: A cosy bedroom

Room Service: This little piggy went upmarket

The Angel & Blue Pig, Lymington

Walk this way: Cape St Vincent

Rota Vicentina: Welcome to Europe's empty corner

Wildflowers, deserted beaches and Atlantic waves set the scene along the rugged Rota Vicentina. Sarah Baxter sets off to enjoy this revelatory route

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