May 22, 2017

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Holiday nostalgia hit: Benidorm, Tenerife and more in the 60s and 70s…...

Holiday nostalgia hit: Benidorm, Tenerife and more in the 60s and 70s…

Ah, nostalgia… isn’t it a wonderful feeling?! It makes you feel warm, fuzzy and happy, so it’s not surprising that TV ads these days are crammed with characters from the past and Craig David is playing V Festival this year… Unsurprisingly, holidays are a massive source of nostalgia too. Casting your mind back to a sunny beach, cold cocktail in hand, not a care in the world… who can blame you, really? If nostalgia were a place we could go on our holidays, we probably would – it even sounds like an island in the Med. Sadly, time travel isn’t possible just yet so you’ll just have to make do with a video trip down memory lane instead – we’ve hand-picked some videos of Europe’s classic resorts that reveal how they used to be in the 60s and 70s. A century of the Costa del Sol The long stretch of coastline on Spain’s southern coast has over 100 years of tourism under its belt, and in that time everyone from Brigitte Bardot to Vladimir Putin seems to have enjoyed a bit of sun on the Costa del Sol. Back in the 50s, chic resorts Marbella and Torremolinos were big hits with the in-crowd of the day, but you don’t need megabucks to enjoy Spain’s stunning south nowadays – the Costa del Sol is open to all budgets, which is probably why it’s maintained its popularity for so long. Booming Benidorm: from fishing village to flagship  Benidorm has been a mainstay for holidaying Brits since its rise to prominence in the 1960s. But before the high-rises and the ITV sitcom, it was nothing more than an unremarkable tiny fishing village. In the late 50s, with trade on the decline, Benidorm turned its hand to tourism, with local government keen to use the town’s stunning seaside location to draw in the punters – and the rest, as they say, is history. Madeira tourism circa 1850 Welcoming its first tourists way back in the 1850s when wealthy Europeans sought warmer climes, Madeira has some serious history on the tourism front. Indeed, the little island best known for fortified wine, walking holidays and Cristiano Ronaldo, has become a mainstream hit due to its rugged terrain and mild climate – the islands now welcome an average of one million holidaymakers every year. Tenerife: a long-lasting...

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May 22, 2017

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Two days in Alicante: What to do on a short break

Two days in Alicante: What to do on a short break

If you’ve ever thought Alicante was just an airport stop-off, then think again, writes Eddi Fiegel. Every year thousands of British tourists pass through Alicante on their way to holidays on the Costa Blanca, but only a few ever stop to discover the city itself. It’s a mystery why, but it’s definitely our loss, as Alicante can easily hold its own with the best of Spain when it comes to superb tapas and rice dishes, top-notch fine dining, an unspoiled old town, impressive Baroque churches, fortresses and some wonderful beaches. Whether you spend a few days there before or after your holiday up the coast, or head there for a weekend city break, it’s a great place to spend a couple of days. No wonder then that it’s long been a big favourite with holidaying weekenders from Madrid – and they certainly know a thing or two about tapas! Day One Morning: There’s nothing quite like seeing a town from above to really get the lie of the land. Looming high up above the city is the 9th century Castillo Santa Barbara – a sprawling fortress complex with ancient ramparts, tunnels and courtyards. On a cloudless day, there are stunning views out to the nearby island of Tabarca and along the coast. You’ll get a wonderful bird’s eye view of Alicante’s Old Town immediately down below, and the Castillo also features the interactive Museum of the City of Alicante (MUSA), complete with caves and suits of armour which are guaranteed to amuse the kids. Be prepared to spend the morning here, if not longer, and there’s a café and shop in case you need refuelling. The simplest way up to the top is by lift or, if you’re planning to drive further afield and have hired a car you can drive. Otherwise, if you’re feeling especially energetic, there’s a steep, winding path. Walking back down from the hilltop you’ll end up in the Santa Cruz district which borders the Casco Antiguo (Old Town). These two areas are full of narrow, meandering streets which are perfect for getting lost in, and while there are tourist restaurants aplenty, there’s also no shortage of authentic bars packed with locals. Afternoon: As you may know, Spanish lunchtime tends to start from about 1.30pm onwards, and this is the perfect time to tuck in. The...

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May 20, 2017

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12 clichéd holiday snaps we could all do without...

12 clichéd holiday snaps we could all do without

Social media has made would-be photographers out of all of us. It’s almost like if we don’t upload our holiday snaps on Facebook the second they’re taken, we’ve never even been away. We’re all a bit vindictive too; we want others to see the fun we’re having. We thrive off the thought of their green-eyed jealousy as they sit at their desks while we sun ourselves shamelessly, selfie stick in one hand, cocktail in the other. The only problem...

May 19, 2017

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Is it safe to go to Turkey?

Is it safe to go to Turkey?

Turkey has fallen victim to a number of high-profile terror attacks and political events in the last couple of years, including a failed coup on July 15-16, 2016. The situation is now calmer, but there is currently still a state of emergency in place. The FCO has advised that security operations are ongoing throughout the country, and that the threat from terrorism remains high – although bear in mind that the threat level for the UK itself is currently at...

May 15, 2017

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13 most crystal clear waters on earth...

13 most crystal clear waters on earth

Some are lakes, some are oceans, and all are natural. We wouldn’t go so far as to claim this is a list of places to visit before you die, but we would heartily recommend you make a trip to a few while you’re still alive! Come dive into some of the world’s most inviting crystal clear waters. Australian outback The waters in this Australian red rock cave are perfectly clear. The only distortion is caused by ripples from the...

May 15, 2017

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The dos and don’ts of holiday cash...

The dos and don’ts of holiday cash

If you’re counting down the days until your next adventure, the last thing you’ll want is for your holiday mood to be dampened because you’ve made a blunder with your holiday cash. And while spending in an unfamiliar foreign currency can be confusing, with a little preparation you can avoid many of the pitfalls that trip holidaymakers up every year. From where to buy your cash to how to spend and store it while you are away, here...

May 12, 2017

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How to beat travel sickness – expert tips revealed...

How to beat travel sickness – expert tips revealed

Motion sickness, travel sickness, sea sickness… this traveller’s scourge goes by many names, but it’s the same outcome no matter what you call it. One minute, you’re mid-journey, halfway through your 4th episode of Call the Midwife; the next, it’s a mad dash for the little paper bag. It can strike anyone, at any time, without warning and, if you’re a regular traveller, it can be a complete nightmare to deal with. So why does it happen and, more...

May 11, 2017

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Exclusive all-inclusive: 8 of the world’s most luxurious resorts...

Exclusive all-inclusive: 8 of the world’s most luxurious resorts

Ever wondered how the filthy rich like to holiday? Spoiler alert – it’s with extreme opulence. From exotic private islands to hotels serving up tacos that cost a small fortune, we reveal the lavish resorts where money really is no object… Grand Velas Los Cabos,  Mexico When a resort’s slogan is “beyond all-inclusive, beyond all compare”, you know you’re in for a bit more than free local beer and unlimited ice-cream for the kids. Located on Mexico’s glorious...

May 11, 2017

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Should I travel to Egypt?

Should I travel to Egypt?

Currently, certain parts of Egypt are deemed to be unsafe for British nationals. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently advises against all travel to the Governorate of North Sinai and all but essential travel to the areas west of the Nile Valley/Nile Delta regions and South Sinai – with the exception of the area within the Sharm el Sheikh perimeter barrier, which includes the airport and the areas of Sharm el Maya, Hadaba, Naama Bay, Sharks Bay and Nabq. Please see...

May 10, 2017

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Talking Turkey: Which resort is right for you?...

Talking Turkey: Which resort is right for you?

Whether you’re a culture vulture, a night owl, a thrill seeker or a beach bum, you’ll find something to suit you on Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean shores. Robin Gauldie explores some of Turkey’s most popular areas – which one is right for you? Antalya If you’re looking for huge sandy beaches, guaranteed sunshine, exciting activities and ancient ruins that would impress even Indiana Jones, head for Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. This part of Turkey is great for families, with superb sandy...