Phil Cornelius

Vilamoura: the Algarve's playground

With its stylish marina, beach bars and restaurants, Vilamoura is a purpose-built shrine to pleasure – ideal for a short break. Just up the road is Quarteira, where you can savour the real Portugal Read the guide

Mountain adventures in Slovakia

If you love getting active in the great oudoors, you'll be spoilt for choice in Slovakia's Tatra Mountains. Hike, bike, climb, ski and raft to your heart's content - then chill out in a grand hotel Read the guide

Stylish, civilised Sitges

It's described as Spain's St Tropez, but Sitges – half an hour from Barcelona – is richer culturally. With its museums, churches, modern art and Catalan cuisine, it's ideal for a quality short break Read the guide

Thrills and chills in Slovakia

At Aquacity, in Slovakia, you can hit the flumes, tubes and jets of the giant water park, take to the ski slopes and woodland trails, or experience sub-zero temperatures in the cryotherapy chamber Read the guide

Whale-watching in Iceland

The financial crisis has made Iceland cheaper for tourists. An earlier one, the collapse of whaling, spawned a new industry – whale-watching tourism, ideal for combining with a break in Reykjavik Read the guide