Jan 20, 2017

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10 things to do in Iceland

10 things to do in Iceland

Iceland is a place of extremes. Known as ‘the land of fire and ice’, it’s home to lava-filled volcanoes, mighty glaciers, sweeping scenery and more adventures than you can shake a stick at, writes Katie McGonagle. With plenty of cheap flights to Reykjavik it’s an easy weekend away, whether you’re thinking of a romantic escape or a quick trip with the kids. However, check out our top 10 list of things to do in Iceland and you might find yourself wanting to stick around a bit longer… Tick off the northern lights These dancing lights in the sky have been the object of fascination for centuries, and it’s no different today. Iceland is one of the prime places to spot them, especially if you visit between September and April when they’re at their most visible. For the best chance of a sighting, get away from the bright lights of Reykjavik on a guided excursion – a bit of local knowledge goes a long way to finding the best spots to see the lights. Alternatively you could hire a car, although you’ll need to be comfortable with driving in icy conditions. Another option is to head to the harbour and sail out to sea, giving you the best chance of a sighting on a clear night. Have a whale of a time If you fancy hopping on a boat by day, too, then you could spot some of the minke and humpback whales that frequent the waters around Iceland’s coasts. Some tours claim a 90% success rate on sightings, so be sure to have your camera charged and binoculars at the ready. There are dozens of boat trips departing from Reykjavik, some taking as little as two hours while others spend a half-day out at sea. As well as whales, look out for the white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises that are a common sight in the North Atlantic. Take a Golden Circle tour If you do nothing else in Iceland, do this. In one day, you’ll get a glimpse of Iceland’s other-worldly landscapes, tick off its most beautiful scenery, and understand a little more about the nation’s history. Visit Thingvellir National Park first, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which hosted the world’s oldest existing parliament. Next, prepare to be amazed by the power of Gullfoss waterfall, where...

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Jan 20, 2017

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Last-minute half-term holiday deals

Last-minute half-term holiday deals

Just because you’ve left it late, doesn’t mean you can’t still find a bargain break this February half-term. In fact, there are still some incredibly good deals out there! From familiar favourites like the Algarve and the Canary Islands to exciting adventures in Dubai and New York, we’ve found some amazing last-minute half-term holidays for this February. All prices were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.   Algarve – £82pp From Birmingham on February 13 for 6 nights The Algarve might just be the pick of the bargain bunch this half-term. Not only can you find holidays at ridiculously low prices, but in-resort costs remain low, despite Portugal being in the euro zone. The region itself is packed with great beaches for kids to explore, lively resorts in Lagos and Albufeira, rugged interior walking paths and the opportunity for water sports and boat excursions on the coast.   Tenerife – £264pp From Manchester on February 13 for 6 nights With action-packed resorts such as Playa Las Americas and Los Cristianos, miles and miles of beaches and an interior that looks like a set from the Martian, Tenerife really does have the lot when it comes to family holidays. And with high temperatures of 20C and eight hours of sun even in February, this late winter sun spot is the perfect tonic to wet and windy Blighty.   Disneyland Paris – £112pp From London Gatwick on February 15 for 3 nights Disneyland Paris ticks all the boxes for a last-minute half-term trip that won’t break the bank and is also great fun for all the family. By sticking to three nights (which should be more than enough time for the kids to meet Mickey and co) and flying mid-week, you can keep costs relatively low. Plus, you can break up the theme-park fun with a day trip to Paris, which is only an hour away by train.   Dubai – £353pp From London Heathrow on February 11 for 7 nights Dubai might sound like an odd choice for a family holiday, but really it’s just one huge playground, with beaches, amazing water parks and futuristic architecture – perfect for kids and adults alike! Yes, Dubai itself is not cheap. However, if you’re planning a bit of an extravagant trip this half-term and are...

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Jan 18, 2017

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The best resorts for cheap ski holidays...

The best resorts for cheap ski holidays

Skiing can be an expensive business – even when the pound isn’t taking a pounding. Eastern Europe’s ski resorts are still among the cheapest, although you may have to sacrifice size for price, writes Mary Novakovich. However, if you’re a novice skier, having hundreds of kilometres of pistes at your disposal won’t necessarily be your first concern. What’s more important is saving money on accommodation, eating out, lift passes and ski hire. You should also add lessons if you’re...

Jan 18, 2017

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Is it safe to go to The Gambia?

Is it safe to go to The Gambia?

Please note: This article was last updated on January 24, 2017 The declaration of a state of emergency in The Gambia in mid-January 2017 prompted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to update its advice regarding the West African country. At the time the FCO advised against all but essential travel to the country, with thousands of Brits currently being repatriated as a result. However, as of January 24, 2017, the FCO no longer advises against travel to The Gambia, as...

Jan 16, 2017

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10 of the best autumn city breaks

10 of the best autumn city breaks

As the post-summer blues kick in, autumn presents the perfect opportunity to get over it by getting your holiday fix with a quick city break. With that in mind we’ve rounded up ten cracking cities, both across the pond and closer to home, that really come into their own as temperatures cool and the leaves start to turn. 1. Paris Paris is a classic city break destination, and after a hot and sleepy August, the city comes alive again...

Jan 16, 2017

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Top 10 European cities to visit this summer...

Top 10 European cities to visit this summer

If you’re the type of holidaymaker who prefers the faster pace of city life to endless days spent on the beach, or perhaps you have only a few days to get away this summer, a city break could be the ideal option. Whether you’re after culture galore, beautiful scenery or buzzing bars and restaurants, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to European city breaks – even if you’ve already visited the big-hitters of Paris, Rome and...

Jan 16, 2017

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Am I entitled to compensation for a delayed flight?...

Am I entitled to compensation for a delayed flight?

Nobody wants their flight to be delayed and we receive regular questions from readers about how to tackle the claims process following travel disruption. So, to help you if your flight is delayed, our handy guide simplifies your legal rights and explains what compensation you might be entitled to, as well as how you would go about claiming it.   My flight is delayed – does my airline have to look after me? If you are travelling from a...

Jan 13, 2017

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World’s cheapest beer… and more essential ale info...

World’s cheapest beer… and more essential ale info

Come with us on the ultimate bar crawl as we selflessly drink our way around the world’s cheapest cities for beer… Bratislava, Slovakia Average cost of beer: £1.14 Popular beer: Zlaty Bazant A well-trodden destination on the stag and hen circuit (although they’re easily avoided!), you’d probably expect Bratislava to have some pretty cheap ale on sale, and the Slovakian capital doesn’t disappoint. However, just because the ale is cheap here, doesn’t mean the beer is poor quality...

Jan 12, 2017

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Revealed: The best holiday deposit offers in 2017...

Revealed: The best holiday deposit offers in 2017

Every year, the ‘January sales’ offer up a bit of a conundrum: there are some amazing travel bargains to be had, but after the inevitable Christmas splurge, many Brits are feeling the post-festive pinch. Luckily, many top travel brands offer excellent holiday deposit deals in January, allowing you to secure your place on the plane in advance, then pay the rest later. To make sure you don’t miss out, we’ve rounded up some of the best low holiday deposits...

Jan 11, 2017

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10 things to do on a city break in Copenhagen...

10 things to do on a city break in Copenhagen

Stylish and laid-back, Copenhagen is the sort of place you visit and then fantasize about living in. There’s a reason, after all, that the Danes are consistently said to be the happiest people in the world, and after a few days here you’ll see why. It may not have a huge number of big attractions like Paris or London, but that’s not the point of Copenhagen: it’s about having a beer on the side of the river as cyclists cruise...