Looking for a last minute summer holiday? Celina Bledowska previews three great cities accessible by cruise ship, on behalf of Travelzoo…

If you want to postpone the advent of autumn and still satisfy your inner lust for travel then this is the time to carry out some research and then chase the sun.

From Sea to Shore

One of the easiest ways to flee before the onset of autumnal mists and other climatic miseries is to check out any last minute cruise deals and take advantage of the last of the northern hemisphere’s sun.  A short trip always revives the spirits and by the autumn most of the rest of world has returned to the office so you can really absorb continental Europe without bumping into other travellers.

Lisbon

Hilly Lisbon has a cool and offbeat reputation and an excellent place to start your exploration is to go to the Elvador de Santa Justa, essentially this creation is a lift that’s situated right in the middle of the street in order to connect two neighbourhoods together.  The edifice has been described as ‘neo-Gothic,’ it was completed in 1902 and it offers Lisbon visitors a unique opportunity to gain a panoramic view of the whole city and enjoy a coffee at the same time.  You may remark on similarities with the Eiffel Tower and this is because Raul Mesnier du Ponsard the designer of the ‘Elvador’ was a pupil of Gustave Eiffel.  If you’re in the mood to party then make your way to the Barrio Alto but make sure you look out for all of the innovative street art on your way – they’ve been doing their very own Banksy here for years and some of this work will certainly encourage you to pause before going off to order your first evening’s cocktail.

One of Lisbon’s famous trams, by: Terence S. Jones

Casablanca

Although millions of film buffs simply associate this Moroccan port with the moody and romantic elegance that defined the Bergman and Bogart black and white film, the modern city is a lively bustling metropolis. Most of the architecture dates from the 1930s though the world’s highest majestic minaret on the 1993 Mosque of Hassan II, is truly awe inspiring.  If you’re feeling a tad jaded then at least try out a traditional Hammam.  The city’s Old Medina is the best place to visit for deals and last minute shopping, it’s also is one of the few parts of the city that dates back to pre-French colonial days.  Experienced Casablancans recommend that travellers should not wander about this part of town on their own at night.

Santa Cruz

An off-season cruise to The Canary Islands is a very different matter to staying in Tenerife during high summer.  This is the time to enjoy a leisurely drink at the Macusamba Bar before experimenting with local Canarian food at the Bistro de Victor Cruz.  Brits will be familiar with seeing early potatoes from the Canaries in their supermarket aisles, but until you’ve tried the local black potatoes with a rabbit hamburger, you have no idea of the diversity of this cuisine. If you have the time, navigate the city of Santa Cruz by following its sculpture trail.  The trail sets off from Avenida de San Sebastian and ends at the Avenida Francisco La Roche, expect to meet Henry Moore and Joan Miro among others on the way.

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