Probably the most popular cruise area for British holidaymakers, the Western Mediterranean provides something for everyone in the same way that the cruise operators provide a variety of cruise styles to suit all tastes. During the summer months, and occasionally in the winter, ships depart from British ports for itineraries of 12 days or longer to the shores of France, Tunisia, Italy and Spain, hoping to return home with a broadened mind and a sun tan. Barcelona, Rome and Nice never fail to impress and islands like Ibiza, Corsica and Sardinia each allow their charm to entice the passengers to want to stay longer. Tunis is a frequent port of call on Western Mediterranean itineraries and for many this is an eye opening first time visit to Africa and a glimpse of true Arabian culture. Tangier is another port which, although easily within sight of Europe, is a world apart and a place worthy of much conversation around the dinner table back on board. The region offers itself to all year cruising although the spring and autumn are favourite periods when the temperature is neither too hot nor too chilly for sightseeing. The many Spanish ports each have their own festivals, although the most impressive is undoubtedly Valencia's Las Fallas, during the third week of March each year. Barcelona is home to the traditional Catalan Sardanas, and during the summer months many an afternoon or evening can be spent watching the intricate footwork of the Catalan folk, spontaneously dancing to the music of a local band. The art of Matisse, Picasso, Dali, Van Gogh, Chagall and Renoir is on show in galleries along the French and Spanish coasts. In Italy, of course, the emphasis is on Michelangelo, Canaletto and Leonardo da Vinci. Relaxation is possible on many town or city beaches, most of which are within a few minutes walk or a short taxi ride of the port. With all the sightseeing possibilities, passengers prefer to relax by the pool or on a private balcony back on board the ship.