Cuba: Return to Havana

10 days from only €2359pp

​A tour of the very best cultural and historic cities of Cuba.

There is a great deal to recommend a visit to the beautiful island of Cuba at this moment in time, recent political changes inciting the dawn of a new era in a country where the crumbling legacy of the heady pre-Revolution days still remains. Additionally, flying with Virgin Atlantic allows for a full 9 nights’ exploration of western Cuba’s most important cities and stunning landscapes. Flying direct from London Gatwick, Virgin provide high quality on-board service, including a 31-inch seat pitch, individual seatback TV and a selection of meals.

Much of Cuba’s infrastructure was built to cater for the American elite in the heavy pre-revolutionary days before Castro and the island is still redolent with imagery of the 1940s and 50s, whether it be Hemingway’s old haunts, museums to the exploits of the revolutionaries, the Tropicana Night Club, which still somehow echoes to the sound of Nat King Cole, the hotels run by “Long Legs Diamond” and the events of the Bay of Pigs.

However, Cuba is not just about tourist clichés since there is much to see not only in UNESCO World Heritage site Havana, with its baroque cathedral, many forts and Old Town, but also the provincial cities and towns. Port city Cienfuegos, known as the “Pearl of the South” was built around a stunning bay and its pastel coloured buildings are a striking example of Spanish colonial architecture; UNESCO World Heritage site Trinidad is sometimes referred to as a living museum, with its preserved squares, and San Juan de los Remedios, officially recognised as the oldest city in Cuba, is home to beautifully restored colonial mansions surrounding the main square.

An island of contrasts, outside of the main cities Cuba’s countryside is surprisingly varied. Pinar del Rio province’s Vinales Valley, home to a unique flora and fauna and over 17 endemic species, has been declared a National Natural Monument for its remarkable landscapes. Large limestone formations dating from the Jurassic period contrast with the lush greenery of the valley where the world’s finest tobacco is grown. Varadero is Cuba’s fashionable Caribbean resort, a 12-mile longer slender strip of white sand on the island’s north coast in Matanzas province, also home to the Zapata Peninsula National Park, the largest wetlands in the Caribbean.