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As automobiles became popular in the early 20th century, quiet little towns along popular roads suddenly found themselves tourist destinations. Mittenwald is one of them. This small Bavarian town in the northern foothills of the Alps, on the route to Innsbruck, Austria, has been a popular stop since the 1930s. For challenging walks, many area ski runs become hiking trails in summer. And visit the local violin museum (Mittenwald is known for the manufacture of fine string instruments).
One of the Tirol area’s most popular ski resorts, St. Anton offers some of the best expert skiing and one of the liveliest après-ski scenes in the Arlberg region. The Valluga, Kapall, and Schindler peaks offer almost a mile of vertical skiing. For the seasoned, Schindlerkar and Mattun are less groomed routes.
The golden sands, yacht-filled marinas, and coastal promenades of Les Sables-d'Olonne are characteristic of France’s Côte de Lumière, or Coast of Light, and the lively beach resort provides a suitably picturesque backdrop for the annual Vendée Globe yacht race.
Rising up as an indomitable peak at the gateway between Spain and the African coast, Gibraltar is a unique destination with a life that goes beyond its surface. The monolithic Rock of Gibraltar entices tourists with its lush greenery and the friendly Barbary Macaques ubiquitous to the area. Beneath its looming exterior lay the Galleries, a veritable labyrinth of underground passageways running through the Rock. Above ground there is also plentiful tax-free shopping, as well as numerous beaches.