New year, new destinations

, SPECIAL

‘Gulf Air plans to launch flights to Mykonos, Munich, Milan and Erbil this year. We tell you what makes these places worth visiting.’

Mykonos

Greece’s answer to Ibiza, Mykonos is a whitewashed paradise in the heart of the Cyclades. Taking its name from the grandson of Apollo, “Mykonos”, this place has everything a seasoned traveller will look for – be it entertainment, history, tradition, or adventure. While here you should pay a visit to the church of Panayia Paraportiani, the Town Hall and the castle situated above the harbour. History buffs will like the Archaeological, Folklore and Maritime Museums. Beach lovers and partygoers will be spoilt for choice as the island boasts 25 beaches, which are also the biggest attraction here.

Keep in mind: Cars are not permitted in Mykonos. You can park your car at a parking place on the outskirts. Buses, taxis and small passenger boats provide transport around the island.

Munich

The Munich Residence

A fun-loving city, known for its seasonal festivals and rich cultural calendar, Munich is one of the few cities in the world where traditional and modern sit side by side. Lying on the Isar river on the fringes of the Bavarian Alps, the city is known for its beautiful parks, many museums and beautiful palaces. Start at the Kunstareal, Munich’s art quarter, which has four major venues displaying everything from Dutch masters to 1960s design. The country’s third largest city (and capital of Bavaria) is also home to some world-class museums focusing on topics as diverse as Oktoberfest, porcelain and BMW cars. If you’re looking for unusual things to do here, visit Eisbachwelle, it is home to one of Munich’s favourite and most unlikely pastimes – surfing.

Keep in mind: Even though Munich offers a lot of shopping opportunities, a lot of the markets in the city remain closed on Sundays. This includes supermarkets and pharmacies too.

Milan

A vintage tram in Milan

One of the world’s most important fashion capitals, the Province of Milan is the second most populous in Italy. Milan is shaped by its waterways. Some of the city’s most beautiful attractions include the Duomo di Milano, an impressive Opera House, a striking castle, ancient churches and a great variety of museums and art galleries. For those that also want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, you can hire a car or take the train to one of the prettiest landscapes of northern Italy, the Italian lakes.

Keep in mind: On the first Sunday of each month, all of Milan’s civic museums – including Museo del Novecento, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Casa Museo Boschi di Stefano and MUDEC – offer free admission.

Erbil

An old coffeeshop in Ebril

The fourth largest city in Iraq after Baghdad, Basra and Mosul, Erbil is a thriving hub of Iraq and a place to get a real feel for Kurdish life. While there are quite a lot of memorable sights, Erbil Citadel tops the list. Dating back about 8,000 years, the citadel is said to be the oldest continuously inhabited place on earth. The inhabitants were moved out in an attempt to rebuild the last remains of the fortified citadel, which is now a UNESCO-designated world heritage site. Other things that should interest you are the Jalil Khayat mosque, Qaysari Bazaar and the Marine Park.

Keep in mind: International ATM’s are not common, so bringing some cash when travelling to Kurdistan is advisable.

Words: Alan Malnar

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