Winter town and city breaks: readers’ travel tips

A party vibe, sunshine, snow, shopping … our tipsters look beyond the major capitals to recommend idyllic seasonal breaks from Madeira to Romania. And yes, of course there’ll be glühwein• Write a readers’ travel tip for the chance of winning a £200 hotel voucherEven in the pelting snow, you can enjoy an evening passeggiata in Modena under the porticos that line all the major streets. Dusk in this Emilia-Romagna town is glorious, with lanterns hanging under arches that are home to lots of cosy bars and cafes. It’s a compact historical centre, thronging at weekends when it’s closed to traffic – a delight just to wander at will, enjoying the lively hubbub. Our favourite place for an aperitivo is Mercato Albinelli, the covered market, which stays open late on Saturday evening. We browsed the stalls, picking up some gourmet treats, then made our way to one of the market’s bars, where you can grab a glass of wine with a platter of local prosciutto and Parmesan for a few euro.M Thurstan Continue...

10 of the best attractions in Emilia-Romagna: readers’ travel tips

Fast cars, slow food, hilltop castles and open-air art galleries … Our readers pick their highlights of Emilia-Romagna – classic Italy without the crowdsOn a hilltop between Bologna and Imola is Dozza, a handsome village of classic medieval appearance, with an unexpected twist. The entire village is an open-air gallery with around 100 artworks displayed wherever space allows. Murals adorn walls, doors and archways, showcasing a variety of styles by many different artists. Guided tours must be pre-booked but it is always open and accessible to all. Every two years, notable artists are invited to contribute to the collection, keeping it at the cutting edge of modern art.And in the enoteca regionale, more than 800 wines from Emilia-Romagna are available in the beautiful vaulted cellar of the fort. A fine day out.marthah Continue...

10 of the best autumn foodie trips in Europe: readers’ travel tips

Menus are bulging with seasonal produce at this time of year, often amid traditional food festivals. From Andalucía to Tuscany, via the Scottish Highlands, our tipsters forage for treatsEvery October the town of Aracena, Huelva province, (a 90-minute drive north-west from Seville) hosts the Feria del Jamón Ibéric (Ibérico ham festival) to celebrate its local delicacy. As well as market stalls, exhibits, a ham-cutting competition and the chance to win your weight in ham, the local bars and tavernas offer two tapas for €2 and then stamp your loyalty card allowing you to vote for the best tapas of the festival. If you can’t make the festival, the Ibérico Ham tour runs throughout the year – a guide takes you from farm to fork and shows why the black-footed pig has been considered a delicacy for centuries. The town also has a ham museum.• In 2017, the festival runs on two consecutive weekends in October (20-22 and 27-29). Ham tours cost €37.50 (under-12s free), last 2½ hours and run at 11am and 4.30pm dailyRuth Kelly Continue...

The best of northern Spain: readers’ travel tips

Forget crowded Med beaches: the four coastal regions of España Verde offer cool cities, wild shores and great walking in verdant coast and mountainsIf you’d rather stray far from the tourist trail, the Basque Coast Geopark is a delight. It’s a protected area of the coastline around Mutriku, Deba, and Zumaia. There are 13km of cliffs made up of flysch (shale bed) deposits which have created layered and bizarre rock formations. We felt as though we were on the set of Jurassic Park. These staggering cliffs show how the Earth changed over millions of years and fossils are plentiful for the kids to admire. A boat tour is a great way to see it and costs €20 adult, €10 under-12s.• geoparkea.comLisa Anderson Continue...