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The Independent Travel
pounds 99

hire a 17th-century Tuscan manor house for a week. This one-bedroom apartment, set in an olive-oil-producing country estate near San Gimignano, is available from 8 to 30 April and sleeps two. Flights and car hire are not included but can be arranged. Crystal Premier Italy (tel: 0181-390 5554).

pounds 180

amateur singers can learn opera with the professionals at the English Touring Opera's Summer School in Cambridge. The week's programme includes full days of stage and music rehearsals, acting and movement workshops and the chance to take part in a master class. Behind-the-scenes work with members of the technical, design and management team is also available. The week culminates in a public performance. The course fee, per person, does not include accommodation but this can be arranged. Booking until 5 July. The English National Opera (tel: 0171-820 1131).

pounds 247

Those booking a three-night holiday in Iceland with Arctic Experience are eligible for a free onward flight to the US or Canada. Bookings must be made by 30 April and the stay in North America must include a minimum of one Saturday night. The return flight is from Glasgow and goes via Iceland both ways. All travel must be completed by 31 May. Arctic Experience (tel: 01737 218800).

pounds 324

you can go "shuck oysters" and "slurp-off" at Baltimore's Waterfront Festival. The festival takes place between 29 April and 2 May and involves such water activities as a sailing ballet. This three-night deal, per person, includes return flights and three-star hotel accommodation. Icelandair Holidays (tel: 01295 750789).

pounds 549

take an eight-day summer break to three of Europe's finest cities: Prague, Vienna and Budapest. The price, per person, is based on two travelling and includes return, scheduled flights from Heathrow, transfers, half- board hotel accommodation and sightseeing tours in Prague and Vienna. Leger Holidays (tel: 01709 839839).

pounds 716

take an escorted tour of the Loire Valley's vineyards. This eight-day holiday combines gentle walking with visits to historic sites plus the opportunity to sample fine French food and wine. The group tour departs on 5 June and the price, per person, is based on two travelling and includes return flights from London, transfers, and half-board accommodation in country inns. Sherpa Expeditions (tel: 0181-577 2717).

pounds 1,290

per person, take a 22-day adventure to the Gates of Tartary. This excursion departs between June and September and takes in the hidden valleys of Pakistan, via the great silk route to Kashgar in China. The round trip from Islamabad includes land transport, accommodation and food. Flights can be arranged for pounds 450. Encounter (tel: 0171-370 6845).

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