Five ideal destinations for May’s long weekend
Spring and the arrival of good weather invite us to explore new places where we can disconnect, kick back and enjoy. If you’re planning a getaway, here’s our guide with the five best destinations less than two hours’ flight from Madrid.
1 Marrakech: gardens for disconnecting
Marrakech, from 7,500 Avios per route, has deservedly won the title of “city of contrasts”. You will notice one of them as you leave behind the Medina’s noise and hubbub and enter its gardens, where all you hear is the fountains, the swallows and the muezzins calling the faithful to prayer. There are gardens for every taste, such as the photogenic and iconic Majorelle Garden (where Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berger once lived) or the lesser-known Le Jardin Secret.
2 Budapest: the best views
Although Hungary’s capital (fly there from 10,000 Avios per route) is known as the city with the most thermal pools and hot springs in the world, there’s nothing like climbing the hills surrounding it to find where you can see the best views of Budapest and, along the way, breathe some fresh air. A classic favourite is to watch the sunset from Géllert Hill, next to the Citadel (235 metres high). From there, you can enjoy a 360º view of the city and the Danube. Another perfect plan for families is to explore Buda hills, to the west of the city, with a bike or hiking. The Zugliget chairlift – which takes you to János Hill (500 metres high) – is the best option for reaching the top.
3 Cagliari: starting point for exploring Sardinia
The island of Sardinia offers hundreds of ideas, if you’re wondering which Mediterranean beach you’d like to be on right now. Besides its spectacular sandbanks – such as the Piscinas Dune (Arbus) – Sardinia has a wide range of activities such as caving and mountain climbing (the highest point is Punta La Marmora, which reaches 1,834 metres). Iberia flies to Cagliari, its capital, where you must not miss the delicious local cuisine, including culurgiones (a kind of ravioli stuffed with ricotta and roast pork), sea urchins and antipasti with sausages such as salami and local cheese.
4 Rijeka: get to know Rijeka, the new European Capital of Culture
Because it’s Croatia’s biggest port, Rijeka – located two hours from Zagreb and Ljubljana Airports and accesible from 7,500 Avios per route – it is the perfect starting point for exploring the Adriatic by boat. However, sailboats and ferries aside, this year it will be in the limelight for being the European Capital of Culture 2020, with activities planned all year long. Combine a seaside getaway with some of the classical music concerts scheduled at its Croatian National Theatre.
5 Milan: time for design
Milan, from 7,500 Avios per route, is one of the world’s great design capitals and is filled with activities during its Salone del Mobile, traditionally celebrated in spring (this year's edition will take place from June 16 to 21). It’s the perfect excuse for discovering the best design in concept stores such those of Rossana Orlandi, Cassina or Nilufar; art galleries dedicated to design such as Clio Calvi Rudy Volpi and Galleria Luisa Delle Piane; or historical homes such as the Villa Necchi Campiglio. When the day ends, if you want to disconnect, local tradition suggests you enjoy tasting some of Milan’s best aperitivos.