#01 Villa Clara northern cays
The cays' stunning white-sand beaches sit in isolated splendour at the end of a narrow causeway.
#02 Jardines del Rey
One of Cuba's most popular resorts has miles of beaches, including one of the country's best in Playa Pilar, its largest coral reef and its top kitesurfing spot.
© Kako Escalona/Shutterstock
#03 Museo Presidio Modelo
Tour the isolated prison where Fidel Castro and his cohorts were incarcerated.
© Danita Delmont/Shutterstock
#04 Caverna de Santo Tomás
A guided walking tour through narrow underground chambers, replete with colonies of bats and glinting underground pools is a thrilling Tolkein-esque outing.
© Alexandre G. ROSA/Shutterstock
#05 Habana Vieja
This well-preserved colonial centre boasts perfectly restored centuries-old buildings throughout its narrow streets and historic plazas.
© Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock
#06 Alejandro Robaina Tobacco Plantation
This small but highly successful tobacco plantation offers refreshingly down-to-earth tours.
© best time photos/Shutterstock
Particularly enchanting on the morning when mist rises from the valley floor, Viñales' prehistoric landscape is unforgettable.
#08 The Hershey train
Take a trip on this antiquated electric train that slowly winds through the best of the gentle countryside from Havana Province to Matanzas.
© jo Crebbin/Shutterstock
#09 Diving off the southern coast
Benefiting from the calm waters of the Caribbean sea and copious marine life, the diving at María La Gorda, Punta Francés and the Jardines de la Reina is world-class.
#10 La Plata mountain trail
Bring Cuba’s recent history to life with a day of mountain trekking to explore Fidel Castro’s revolutionary base camps.
© David Evison/Shutterstock
#11 Punta Gorda, Cienfuegos
The magnificently decorative Palacio del Valle is the icing on the cake during a wander around the broad avenues of this bayside district in laidback Cienfuegos.
#12 Santiago in July
This is the best time to visit Cuba’s second city, when its vibrant music scene boils over and the annual carnival brings fabulous costumes, excitement and song to the town.
View to the city center with old houses and Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba © Vadim Nefedoff/Shutterstock
#13 Trinidad old town
This much-visited sixteenth-century town is packed with colonial mansions and churches, threaded together by cobbled streets and compact plazas.
#14 National league baseball
Take a seat alongside the exuberant crowds at one of the country’s timepiece baseball stadiums.
Cuba baseball © ygor/Shutterstock
#15 Classic American cars
© Julian Peters Photography/Shutterstock
#16 Havana Jazz Festival
This lively festival is the perfect showcase for Cuba's jazz musicians.
#17 Baracoa’s countryside
Jewel of coastal eastern Cuba, tiny Baracoa makes an ideal base for exploring the verdant rainforest, mountain peaks and tranquil rivers dotted about this part of Guantánamo province.
© Haico Stegink/Shutterstock
#18 Plaza de Armas book market
The colourful stalls set around this lovely Old Havana square offer a feast of fabulous vintage and pre-and-post revolution magazines, postcards, photos, posters and vinyl, from Cuba and the US.
#19 Havana's Malecón
All the idiosyncrasies of Havana are on display here: the majestic and crumbling buildings, beatbox salsa, kissing couples and jineteros.
© Diego Cervo/Shutterstock
#20 Hotel Nacional
Wander around the cliff-edge gardens of this majestic hotel in the capital, or sip cooling cocktails on one of its elegant terraces.
#21 Fábrica de Arte Cubano
A club, arts centre and gallery space rolled into one, this slick converted peanut-oil factory is the place to experience Cuba's counterculture arts scene.
© Ivan Novelo/Shutterstock
#22 Las Terrazas, Pinar del Río
Thickly wooded hillsides, grassy slopes and natural swimming pools make this idyllic eco-resort a great base for a few days' exploration.
#23 Colonial Camagüey
The most overlooked of the country's UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the 500-year-old heart of Camagüey, with its tangle of streets, abundant churches and lovely squares, is a great place to wander around and to stay, with an outstanding set of boutique hotels and casas.
© Julian Peters Photography/Shutterstock