Essaouira, Rhodes, and Cuba: Great getaways

Plus, Christmas in Tunisia

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The Independent Travel

Atlantic escape

Essaouira, on the coast of Morocco, gets its first connection with Britain from 1 May next year. Two flights a week will depart from Luton for the colourful Atlantic resort beloved by 1960s pop stars and 21st-century serenity-seekers. Fares in early May are currently £108 return (easyjet.com).

Rhodes race

Competition on journeys between London and the most distant Greek island is stepping up next summer, with both British Airways and Monarch announcing flights from Gatwick. With existing competition on the route from Thomas Cook and Thomson – plus Ryanair from Stansted – there are plenty of bargains to be had. For example, at the height of summer in late July/early August, the fare from Monarch is only £249 return (monarch.co.uk).

Tropical train

Cuba now has the only scheduled train network in the Caribbean, and is also home to some of the most fascinating railways on earth. A 12-day trip, starting in Havana and including the Unesco world heritage city of Trinidad, takes you through much of the system using both scheduled and chartered trains, including some steam. The cost for a 26 February departure with Distinguished Traveller is £2,299 excluding flights (distinguishedtraveller.com).

Festive Tunisia

Try Christmas in Tunisia with this deal from Thomas Cook. Fly from Bristol to Enfidha for £530pp on 21 December and spend an all-inclusive week in the four-star Sentido Phenicia outside Hammamet (thomascook.com).

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