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Russell is originally from leafy Hertfordshire, England but now lives in the bright lights of London. He has travelled to many parts of Europe and South-East Asia. His favourite trip was to Athens and Santorini, Greece in 2012. When he is not writing about travel he can be found working on his blog where he posts all sorts of recipes and adventures from his kitchen.
Madeira boasts a subtropical climate, thanks to its location just off the African coast. Throw in a history of trading with both Europe and Africa and you get a truly unique mix of flowers from across the world. Madeira’s climate produces a staggering array of flora throughout the year. When spring is in the air and flowers are at their fullest bloom, the Portuguese island celebrates this abundance of colour and natural perfume with the vibrant Madeira Flower Festival, centered around the Portuguese city of Funchal. The festival is one of the island's major celebrations and attractions, as tourists and locals alike join in with this enchanting event to honour the birth of spring.
Sitting in the southern Cyclades, Santorini is magical, romantic and perhaps the most quintessentially ‘Greek’ of all the Hellenic islands. It is also quite special in that is is home to a vast volcano; indeed the islands which make up Santorini form the ring of the caldera. Why is this important to food lovers? Well, all of that volcanic activity and ash has created a unique ecosystem with porous volcanic soil, which – combined with an almost perpetual state of drought – produces utterly distinctive flavours in all of the produce grown on the island.
Sometimes it can feel like even our holidays are stuck in a rut. Time and again, we end up visiting the same locations for a city break; and when we do venture somewhere new, we can often end up doing the same things. Here at HomeAway, then, we've selected five cities where we think you can really get away from it all, and find something different and new to do. So get off the beaten track and away from the hustle and bustle; see the undiscovered side to these great cities.
You can still get away from it all in the heart of the city.