140 Telephone 01473 742424 or contact your travel agentISAFJORDUR - KOTA KINABALUof the city. The well-preserved ruins include palaces, villas and temples: the Archaeological Museum has a fabulous collection of Minoan artefacts. The Ethnographic Museum of Crete is also interesting for its excellent collection of Cretan artefacts. Isafjordur, IcelandPerched on a sand-spit jutting out into an inlet on one of northwest Iceland's deepest fjords, Isafjordur has a fine natural harbour which has made this one of the country's main fishing and trading centres for over 250 years. Set against a backdrop of steep mountains, the town has some of the best preserved timber buildings in Iceland, and the streets that straddle the sand-spit have warm cafés and charming family-owned restaurants, many serving delicious locally-caught fish. Over recent years, Isafjordur has held a couple of annual music festivals, and many musicians of all kinds have made the town their home: impromptu street performances are a highlight of summer days. Also of interest is the Ósvör museum, which recreates a 19th century fishing station, and the Westfjords Heritage Museum, offering a fascinating insight into the lives of local fishermen over the years. Istanbul, TurkeyFor over a thousand years Constantinople was the centre of the Byzantine Empire. After the name was changed to Istanbul it was the capital of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 500 years. The city is a unique mix of Europe and Asia, with mosques and churches, museums and palaces, the Great Bazaar, noisy cafés and chic restaurants. The Old City - also known as the Historic Peninsula - is an open-air museum combining Roman, Greek Orthodox and Islamic buildings, and some of the most magnificent displays of wealth in Europe. The 16th century Blue Mosque gets its name from the 20,000 blue tiles used in its construction, although the colour actually changes during the day - it's sometimes yellow or red. Nearby the Topkapi Palace, once the home of the Sultan and his 5,000 family members and servants, is now home to several museums of Ottoman history. Among other wonderful buildings is the Hagia Sophia, a unique mix of Christianity and Islam: a church with minarets and a mosque with pictures of the Virgin Mary. Of the dozens of museums in the city, one of the best is the Archaeology Museum. The biggest in Turkey, it traces the history of the city back to 6000BC. Kalundborg, DenmarkHoejby, Kalundborg's historic quarter, is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Denmark, with many buildings dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Esbern Snare, step-brother of the Danish king, laid out the streets back in the 10th century, alongside the castle that protected the natural harbour. To begin with, houses were crammed within the protecting walls, but in later centuries the town spread to outlying areas. In addition to exploring the charming streets of Hoejby, don't miss the delightful Birkegårdens, which are flower-filled for most of the year. Katakolon, GreeceKatakolon is just a short distance from ancient Olympia, where the first Olympic Games were held in 776BC. The Olympic torch is still lit here, at the Temple of Hera, and it's still possible to walk through the arched gateway of the original stadium. The Archaeological Museum of Olympia tells the story of the Games, as well as displaying carvings and statues from the Temple of Zeus. Close by Katakolon is the Mercouri Vineyard, with modern production facilities masked by Italianate buildings - including a private chapel - beautiful gardens complete with peacocks, and a visitor centre housing a collection of antique tools and equipment.XXXKiel, GermanyKiel is a long-established maritime city, a position it has maintained in part at least because of its location at the eastern end of the Kiel Canal. Opened in 1895 to link the Baltic and North Seas, this is the busiest man-made waterway in the world. But Kiel is much more than a seaport: as a university town, it has a very youthful feel. The town was almost completely rebuilt following the Second World War, with broad boulevards and wide squares around which are dotted open-air cafés, bars and restaurants. The viewing platform on top of the 107m tower of the Rathaus or city hall provides spectacular views, while another popular sightseeing spot is the Hindenburg Embankment alongside the waterfront. This is very popular as a vantage point during Kiel Week, when the town hosts the internationally famous Regatta. Key West, Florida, USAThe southernmost city in continental USA, Key West is the biggest of the Florida Keys, a chain of islands that stretches out into the western Caribbean. Compact - the size of New York's Central Park - and relaxed, it is a lovely city that is worth exploring away from the port area. For such a small town, there is a surprising number of museums, including Robert Frost Cottage, the Lighthouse Museum, the Shipwreck Historeum, the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum and the Oldest House, which houses the Wrecker's Museum. One of Key West's most famous residents was Ernest Hemingway and his home - where he wrote novels in the 1930s - is now a museum. Another is the Little White House, where President Harry S. Truman spent winters during his term in office.The Aquarium has been open since the 1930s and provides an excellent opportunity to experience the indigenous marine life of the Florida Keys. The Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is worth seeing, as is the quirky Key West Cemetery. Here the tombs are stacked on top of one another, since the rocky ground made it impossible for early settlers to dig graves. It's something of a tradition to have irreverent and funny epitaphs: one of the most famous is "I told you I was sick!"Kingstown, St VincentFrench settlers moved here in the 1720s to take advantage of the deep natural harbour and over the years Kingstown has grown into the centre of St Vincent's agricultural industry. Overlooking the western part of the town is Berkshire Hill and Fort Charlotte, which is reached by a viaduct. One curiosity is that its guns point inland: it was felt that the seaward side could take care of itself. The old barracks now house a museum. The Botanical Gardens is one of the oldest in the world, dating back to 1765. Captain Bligh (of the Mutiny on the Bounty) brought breadfruit seeds here in the late 18th century. Along the waterfront and in the town's pretty squares there are always plenty of places to relax, from family cafés to restaurants serving fresh fish and vegetables: watch out for lambi - conch - which is a local speciality.Kirkwall, Orkney Isles, ScotlandKirkwall feels more Scandinavian than Scottish: in fact the name comes from the Norse for "Church Bay". The church in question is the 11th century Church of Saint Olaf of Norway. St Magnus Cathedral in the town was founded in memory of Saint Magnus Erlendsson by the Norseman Earl (later Saint) Rögnvald Kali. The Cathedral has been restored over recent years and the work is still continuing. It's well worth visiting, as are the nearby ruins of the former Bishop's Palace, dating from the middle of the 12th century, and Earl's Palace, said to have been the finest Renaissance building in Scotland. Kirkwall has two excellent museums as well: Tankerness House, a beautifully preserved 16th century town-house, has historical collections of major importance; while the Orkney Wireless Museum has comprehensive displays about the history of radio.Klaipeda, LithuaniaAlthough its origins can be traced back to medieval times, Klaipeda was virtually destroyed in the Second World War - it had a population of just six in 1945. The part of the Old Town that survived includes a single tower of its once-famous castle, housing the Klaipeda Castle Museum which tells the story of the town and the castle. It's just one of several slightly quirky museums in the town. Others include the Lithuanian Maritime Museum and Aquarium, a Museum of Clocks - from water clocks to quartz watches - a Regional History Museum, and a Blacksmith's Museum. All are well worth seeing, although the local cafés, selling hot chocolate and freshly made cakes, should not be missed either. Komodo, IndonesiaThe beautiful hilly islands of Komodo and its neighbour, Rinca, form the basis of the Komodo National Park. This was established in 1980 to protect the habitat of the unique Komodo Dragon, the world's largest lizard, which grows to more than 3m in length. After the National Park was established, its remit was extended to protect the entire ecosystem, which supports other rare animals, including the Timor deer. The surrounding seas have extensive coral reefs, mangrove swamps and sea-grass beds which are home to thousands of fish species, as well as sharks, dolphins, manta rays, sea turtles and several types of whale. The park has been a World Heritage Site for the past 25 years. In order to protect the fragile ecosystem, visits to the island are strictly controlled. Guests will only be able to go ashore on organised tours, which have limited capacity.Koper, SloveniaKoper traces its origins to the Roman town of Caprea. It was renamed Capo d'Istria when it joined Venice in 1278. The old city dates from this era and part of the ancient walls remain, including the Muda Gate, which was once the only way into the town by land. There are many fine buildings in the old quarter, including the Cathedral of the Assumption which was built in the 12th century. The main façade was rebuilt in the Renaissance style, while the interior was redecorated in the 19th century. The largest church building in Slovenia, the Cathedral dominates the central square in the old town. On the south side of the Koper Square is the Praetorian Palace, from the 15th century. It has recently been fully restored and houses the local tourist office - with its exterior stairway and elevated wings it is a fine example of Venetian Gothic. There are several attractive buildings in Carpaccio Square, named after the Venetian painter of the same name. In the middle is Saint Justina's column, which recalls the local people who rose up against the Turks in 1571 .Kota Kinabalu, MalaysiaThe capital of Sabah province on the island of Borneo, Kota Kinabalu has become increasingly popular in recent years as a base for exploring the lush rain forest and in particular the magnificent Mount Kinabalu. At more than 4,000m, this is the highest peak on the island dominating the city skyline. It has over 800 species of orchid and more than 600 ferns. The city has some interesting buildings, including the century-old Atkinson Clock Tower, which is built on a hill beside Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman. It gives great views of all the main sights, including the nearby Sabah State Mosque, with its delicate grey walls and glittering domes. The State Museum combines a museum, botanical garden, zoo and a recreated Sabah village - all in the one place. Nearby is the Centre for Science and Technology and Sabah Art, with a building inspired by traditional longhouses. The six galleries have rich collections of local tribal artefacts.
www.fredolsencruises.com 141KRALENDIJK - LE VERDONXXXKralendijk, BonaireBonaire is one of the smaller islands in the Dutch Antilles and its capital, Kralendijk, lines one of the island's many beaches, with lovely stucco houses, in pastel shades of pink, green and blue. Bonaire is surrounded by a protected Marine Park, which attracts scuba divers from all over the world. Tuna, blue marlin and sailfish abound here, as does every kind of seabird, including thousands of pink flamingos. Inland, Washington Slagbaai National Park also has flamingos, as well as dozens of other birds, iguanas, divi-divi trees and giant cactus.In Kralendijk there are lots of interesting shops selling jewellery, wood and leather products, along with great places in which to eat. The food is an enticing mixture. There are Creole dishes such as grilled spicy fish, goat stew and cactus soup and local versions of Dutch products, such as smoked meat and excellent cheese. The locally brewed beer is worth trying, as is the rich creamy hot chocolate. Kristiansand, NorwayPart of the charm of Kristiansand lies in its Renaissance style, particularly of the Kvadraturen Quadrant with its formal street plans and elegant buildings. In contrast, Posebyen is packed with tiny but very attractive traditional houses, dating from the 17th century when the city was founded by King Christian IV. The town also has some of the best beaches in southern Norway, while just offshore are small islands dotted with white houses, many of which have beautifully tended gardens.The Christiansholm fortress on the waterfront dates from 1674: it has only been used once in anger, and is perfectly preserved, with great views out over the sea from the top of its two-metre thick walls. The tower of the Kristiansand Domkirke is also a great spot for seeing the town from above. As a building it is rather less attractive than the Oddernes Kirke, one of the oldest parish churches in Norway, parts of which date back nearly a thousand years.Kristiansund, NorwayKristiansund's Gamle Byen - the old town - has several wooden buildings dating back to the 17th century, including the 300-year-old Dødeladen Café, recently refurbished and offering meals of locally caught fish. Also in the Gamle Byen are the Norwegian Klippfish (dried cod) Museum, which still makes small quantities of the fish and tells the story of its production, and Norway's only living shipbuilding museum, which has several ancient vessels moored alongside. Kristiansund Church, created in copper and concrete, has 320 panes that become paler as they reach the top, shedding light over the interior. Close to Kristiansund is the 8km Atlantic Road, a series of bridges linking small islands with the mainland. It's regularly used by car manufacturers to film their advertisements and has been called the most beautiful road in the world. Kusadasi, TurkeyWith beautiful sandy beaches and the warm Aegean Sea, Kusadasi has developed into a major holiday resort. It retains a laid-back charm, however, and many visitors use the town as a base from which to explore nearby historical sites that include Ephesus, the Temple of Artemis, the House of Virgin Mary, the Seven Sleepers and much more. Within the town itself, the Öküz Mehmet Pasha caravanserai - an 18th century fort alongside the harbour - was built as a resting place for merchants carrying goods along the coast. It's now a hotel. The city's walls are also worth a walk - there used to be three gates, although only one remains - while on the end of the peninsula is a castle and a café with great views back over the town. La Coruna, SpainLa Coruna is a delight for sightseeing, not least because of the broad array of different architectural styles. These range from a splendid medieval quarter to excellent modernist buildings, including multi-story houses overlooking the waterfront which have unusual glass-covered balconies. The Torre De Hercules, said to be the world's oldest lighthouse, towers almost 60m over the shoreline. The climb to the top gives spectacular views over the town and its surroundings. The compact Ciudad Vieja - old quarter - is often referred to simply as "the city" and still has remains of the Roman wall that once protected it. There are tiny ancient churches here, such as the medieval Church of Santiago, as well as an impressive collection of galleries and museums, including the Museum of Sacred Art and the Military Museum.La Goulette (for tours to Tunis), TunisiaIn architecture, culture and way of living, Tunis mixes old and new, traditional and modern, without much problem. In the well-preserved Medina, the traditional souk is a maze of shops in a vast covered building. Here it is possible to buy everything from dates and olives to carpets - directly from the weavers - leather goods, spices and ceramics: haggling is almost obligatory. There are dozens of coffee shops, but many are a male-only preserve: there are however wandering tea sellers offering mint-tea served from silver pots.The Bardo Museum, housed in a splendid French colonial palace, has substantial collections of mosaics and sculptures from Tunisia's Roman past. It's also possible to travel from the port to the ancient city of Carthage, built originally by the Phoenicians, then destroyed and rebuilt by the Romans. The ruins are spread through a residential area, but well worth seeing. The Antonin Baths are on the coast just below the presidential palace, and the Acropolium - next to the Roman Catholic Cathedral - is now a cultural centre. There's a fine museum as well, displaying a range of finds from the area. La Pallice (for tours to La rochelle), FranceThree towers dominate the old port area of La Rochelle: the oldest, Tour de la Chaine, has a museum about the people who left from the port to settle in Quebec. The medieval Tour de la Lanterne was a lighthouse, and was also used as a prison from time to time: there's graffiti on the walls left by imprisoned English seamen. The inner harbour is dominated by the Porte de la Grosse Horloge, a massive gothic archway at the entrance to the pedestrianised town centre, with its beautiful mansions - the Hotel de Ville is particularly special. The Aquarium has a huge collection of Atlantic fish: the rooftop café is a great place to look out over the port and city.Laem Chabang (for tours to Bangkok), ThailandOne of the most cosmopolitan cities in Asia, Bangkok is a sprawling metropolis that's busy, exciting and packed with interest. The Grand Palace, built in the late 1700s when the King moved the court, is a magnificent example of Thai architecture, which is also home to the Emerald Buddha - actually made from jadeite. Also worth seeing are the Temple of Dawn, the Tiger Temple, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha and the Temple of the Golden Buddha. For a complete contrast, Jim Thompson's House has a wonderful collection of art from throughout the region, collected by Thompson during his time in Thailand after the Second World War. There are lots of places to eat and drink in the city and it is worth taking time out to visit a rooftop bar in one of the many skyscrapers: relax and enjoy the stunning views. Lumphini Park is a fascinating mix of gardens and trees, not to mention street vendors, entertainers, joggers, kite flyers and families. And, for many visitors, it's essential to go shopping: jewellery, electronics, photographic equipment and clothes are all available at amazing prices. Las Palmas, Gran CanariaLas Palmas de Gran Canaria was founded over 500 years ago and historical heritage is much in evidence in Vegueta, the oldest part of the city. At its centre are the twin towers of Santa Ana Cathedral. This was started in 1500 but not finished for almost four centuries, which explains the mix of Renaissance, Gothic and Neoclassical styles in its construction. In the Plaza Santa Ana are bronze statues of dogs - the Romans named the islands after legendary canines - as well as many original buildings. These include the 17th-century Palacio Regental, the Town Hall and the Bishop's Palace. The Casa de Colón (Columbus House), so called because Christopher Columbus is said to have stayed here, is delightfully ornate, with latticed balconies and carved wooden ceilings. The Museo Canario has the largest collection of pre-Hispanic objects from the Canary Islands, dating from Roman times.Le Havre, FranceLe Havre was virtually destroyed during the Battle of Normandy in 1944, and the town centre was rebuilt in the modernist style in the post-war period. In 2005 it became a UNESCO World Heritage site, the first 20th century town centre to be so honoured. The few surviving older buildings have been incorporated into the grid-pattern plan of the rebuilt city and, as befits a port, large expanses of water and fountains abound. One of the buildings created during this period houses the Malraux museum. This claims to have the largest collection of impressionist paintings in France after Paris, with works by Boudin, Monet, Renoir and Pissarro, among others. Leixoes (for tours to Oporto), PortugalOporto sits deep in the gorge of the River Douro and on the riverside - dominated by the two-level Luis I bridge - it's possible to look up at the narrow streets of the old town. They climb out of the valley, lined with pastel-fronted houses with red-tiled roofs, mixed in with neo-classical buildings and wonderful baroque churches. Dominating the centre of the city is the fortress-like hulk of the Cathedral, which is worth visiting for the views alone. Oporto is, of course, famous for the fortified wine much loved by the British and at night the neon signs of Cockburn, Taylor's, Sandeman and the rest light up the waterfront. On the ground floor of the Museu Romantico is the Port Wine Institute, where port is served with great ceremony. The cellars of the different makers can also be visited.Leknes, Lofoten Islands, NorwayOne of the first ports of call inside the Arctic Circle, Leknes looks out over the stunning Lofoten Islands. The wild landscape of jagged peaks, cliffs and bright-white sandy beaches makes the area one of the most picturesque in Norway, and a climb up out of town is rewarded with stunning views in all directions. The nearby village of Borg is home to a Viking museum, based on one of the largest buildings of that era ever discovered (by a farmer ploughing his fields in the early 1980s). The museum is very much alive: partly lit by oil lamps, it has exhibits of gold fertility figures, pottery, and glassware and regular displays of handicrafts. In the outside area are domestic animals, many of which are ancient breeds that might have been raised by the Vikings.Le Verdon (for tours to Bordeaux), FranceThe historic centre of Bordeaux has been restored in recent years, with the façades of its 18th and 19th century buildings newly cleaned. Bordeaux has over 350 classified buildings, including three World Heritage buildings that form part of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela: Saint André Cathedral, Saint Seurin Basilica and Saint Michel Basilica. The city is easy to explore, thanks to the most modern tram system in Europe, but the pedestrianised "golden triangle" of Old Bordeaux is a magnet for many visitors: it has fabulous buildings, delightful museums and shopping galore - not to mention cafés and restaurants to suit every taste.