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The Independent Travel
pounds 26

you can go to Belgium for last-minute Christmas shopping. This one-day excursion goes to Bruges, taking in the Christmas market and sights. The price includes coach and ferry travel. Call Brents Coach Tours on 01923 212160.

pounds 64

you can escape to the Norfolk Broads for the weekend, with a two-night break at the Beechwood Hotel, North Walsham. The price per person is based on two people sharing, and includes breakfast and dinner. Call Norwich Area Tourism Agency brochure line on 01603 763062.

pounds 185

per person, you can take a pre-Christmas break in Paris spending three nights in a three-star hotel situated near the Opera House. This price is based on two people sharing a room, and includes breakfast, a two-course meal at a local restaurant, tickets to the Louvre, a Seine river cruise and free metro tickets. This deal must be taken before 21 December. Call Time Off for more details on 0990 846363.

pounds 229

you can avoid Christmas, by taking off for a week's skiing in Bulgaria on 21 December. This price is per person and includes seven nights B&B accommodation in a two-star hotel. Lift pass, ski school, ski and boot hire are available from pounds 92 for adults and pounds 66 for children. Call Balkan Holidays on 0500 245165.

pounds 360

you and three of your friends can take a spring break in the riverside market town of Ponte de Lima, northern Portugal. From May onwards, cottages sleeping up to four people are available in the grounds of the Quinta de Vermil manor house, which comes fully equipped with pool, tennis courts, maid service and breakfast. Contact Vintage Travel on 01954 261431.

pounds 428

per person, you can work off the Christmas excess with a surf, sail and cycle holiday in Lanzarote. Unlimited use of windsurfing and top-of-the- range mountain bike equipment is included, plus one week's self-catering accommodation and return flights from Gatwick. Available from the beginning of January. Call Sunworld Sailing on 01273 626284.

pounds 595

you can spend New Year with Johann Strauss, with an opera holiday in Munich. This price is per person, and includes three nights' B&B in a four-star hotel, return flights and stall tickets for Die Fledermaus, and departs 30 December, returning 1 January. Call JMB Travel on 01905 425628.

pounds 725

per person, you can fly to the Taj Mahal for New Year. This seven-night break is in the Indian city of Agra at the first-class Mughal Sheraton hotel, and includes flights, transfers, and half-board accommodation, departing on 30 December. Call Kuoni on 01306 742000.

pounds 995

you can take to the waters for New Year, on a Rhine river cruise. This seven-day trip takes in the cathedral spires of Cologne, the city of Strasbourg, a Christmas Eve service in the Imperial Cathedral in Speyer, and a market in Mannheim. The price is per person and includes return flights from the UK, full board cabin accommodation, and all excursions. Call Paul Mundy Cruising on 0171 7344404.

pounds 1,300

per person, you can go to the Caribbean to watch the cricket. This "Test Tour" is a two-week trip to Barbados, leaving at the beginning of March. The price includes two weeks' self-catering, accommodation, international flights, cricket tickets and cocktails. Call Caribbean Connections on 01244 355300.