Aug 15, 2016

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How to do the Costa Brava on a budget

How to do the Costa Brava on a budget

Most holiday destinations have a standout attraction, whether it’s beautiful beaches, lush countryside or top-notch food. Not many can claim to offer all three, but on Spain’s Costa Brava that’s exactly what you’ll find, with miles of spectacular coastline, crystalline waters, fascinating Medieval villages and superb cuisine all on offer. What’s more, enjoying all this needn’t break the bank – prices here are significantly less than you’d pay elsewhere in Europe and there’s plenty to do on a budget, writes Eddi Fiegel. Compare cheap holidays in the Costa Brava Where to stay on a budget Hotel Terrama Passeig Cypsela, 1 17211 Llafranc | 00 34 972 300 200 The pine-laced crescent bay at Llafranc is one of the prettiest and most elegant on the Costa Brava and this hotel has prime position on the seafront promenade. The great value rooms are clean and bright and surprisingly spacious for the price. There’s also a restaurant downstairs with a 3 course menu with wine and aperitif for €18. Hotel Tamariu Passeig Mar, 2, 17212 Tamariu | 00 34 972 62 00 31 Tamariu is another even more dainty horseshoe beach and the sea views from the hotel are gorgeous. The hotel sits right behind the bay, and its small, light and airy bedrooms are clean and contemporary with a crisp, nautical colour scheme of beiges, navy and whites. The hotel restaurant also has great views and a good, reasonably-priced selection for lunch and dinner (€25 for three courses, drinks and coffee). Compare cheap hotels in the Costa Brava Where to eat on a budget Restaurant Vall Llobrega Calle Raval de Mar, 8, 17253 Vall-Llobrega | 00 34 972 60 20 44 | 3 course menu with wine – €10 This is the kind of amazing-value, untouristy restaurant that you’d never normally find without a tip-off. On the main drag of a small village, from the outside it looks like nothing more than an uninteresting neighbourhood bar. Step inside, however, and the cavernous interior is filled with locals tucking into some of the heartiest fare around. Specialties include snails and escudella i carn d’olla – a traditional stew served in two parts with noodle soup and a plate of cooked meats. Pa I Raim Carrer de Torres i Jonama, 56, 17200 Palafrugell | 00 34 972 30 45 72 | Daily lunch menu Wednesday to Fridays from...

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Aug 12, 2016

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Should I travel to Egypt?

Should I travel to Egypt?

Travel to parts of Egypt from the UK has been difficult for many months now due to the suspension of direct flights from the UK to the popular Sharm el Sheikh area. The suspension was ordered by the UK government following the crash of a Russian Metro aircraft on October 31, 2015. The plane came down in Egypt’s Sinai region and the crash claimed the lives of all 224 passengers. Since then, UK carriers have suspended flights to and from Sharm el Sheikh airport until further notice in accordance with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) advice. However, many airlines and tour operators have allowed bookings to continue for forward departure dates and there has been a rolling review of when flights may resume for many months now. The latest information is that flights are unlikely to start again until 2017. Monarch announced this week that they would not resume flights until February 10, 2017, after previously believing they may be up and running by the end of October 2016. Read more here: http://blog.monarch.co.uk/sharm-el-sheikh-travel-update/ Thomas Cook are currently planning to start flights on February 6, 2017, subject to the UK government lifting the ban on direct flights. Read more here: https://www.thomascook.com/travel-updates/#intcmp=TopNav_TravelUpdates Thomson do have dates for some departures showing from the end of October 2016; however this may be reviewed now that others have delayed their start-up plans into 2017. Read more here: http://www.thomson.co.uk/destinations/travel-information British Airways and easyJet are yet to announce when they will resume flying. I have a holiday booked to Egypt – can I change or cancel my booking? If you have a holiday booked to the area and are concerned, we suggest you contact your tour operator or airline to see what your options are should you wish to cancel or choose another destination. You can still travel independently to Sharm el Sheikh via Cairo and then overland, or into Hurghada and onwards by ferry. The FCO have not banned Brits from going to Sharm el Sheikh, only from being able to fly in and out of Sharm el Sheikh airport. There are other popular tourist resorts which remain open with business as normal, including the Red Sea resort area of Hurghada, with direct flights from the UK. Other destinations, including Luxor, Qina, Aswan, Abu Simbel and the Valley of the Kings, are open to tourism. Airlines and travel...

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Aug 12, 2016

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What happens to your luggage after check-in?...

What happens to your luggage after check-in?

What happens to luggage after check-in? Packing is often the last thing we do before running out the door for a flight. We take it for granted that our bags will accompany us the whole way and arrive in good shape—but there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes at airports to make sure this happens. At Heathrow alone, 1.5 million metric tonnes of cargo was shipped last year![1] To better understand the ins and...

Aug 11, 2016

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9 things you probably didn’t know about Ibiza...

9 things you probably didn’t know about Ibiza

Mention Ibiza and certain things instantly come to mind: all-night super-club parties and drunken Brits on stag dos, perhaps with a few nice beaches thrown in. But while the clubbing scene is famous for good reason, there’s a lot more to the White Isle than Space, Pacha, Amnesia and hungover breakfasts the morning after before doing it all over again. In fact, considering the size of Ibiza, the island has an extraordinary amount to offer visitors, from breath-taking scenery...

Aug 11, 2016

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How to do Dubai on a budget

How to do Dubai on a budget

Dubai means seven-star hotels, private butlers and caviar facials, right? Well, yes… and no. The Middle Eastern city may have been named the second-priciest destination in last year’s Post Office survey of sunny getaways, but expats based there reveal you can still enjoy the famously over-the-top emirate on a modest budget. Look hard enough and you’ll find a city bursting with amazing ethnic eats, generous happy hours and even a dash of culture, without a sprinkling of gold leaf in sight,...

Aug 10, 2016

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10 of Britain’s best regional foods – and where to try them...

10 of Britain’s best regional foods – and where to try them

Britain has no shortage of weird and wonderful local dishes. But where can you try them in style? From Cornish Yarg to Scottish haggis, Tina Lofthouse rounds up the best places to enjoy 10 of the tastiest regional foods in Britain. Laverbread, Wales Nicknamed Welshman’s caviar, laverbread is seaweed that’s been boiled for hours and minced into a paste. It’s often served for breakfast where the laverbread is mixed with oatmeal, turned into a patty and fried. The Pembrokeshire Beach Company, however,...

Aug 8, 2016

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Last-minute European beach breaks for under £500pp...

Last-minute European beach breaks for under £500pp

As the summer rolls on, Brits up and down the country will be jetting off on a well-deserved holiday. If you had every intention of booking a bargain break back January but never got around to it, you might be worried about checking the prices now in case they shatter your dreams of a last-minute getaway. Well relax! The deals are still there, you just have to know where to look. To put your holiday anxiety at ease, we’ve rounded up eight...

Aug 8, 2016

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A foodie’s guide to the Costa Blanca...

A foodie’s guide to the Costa Blanca

The Costa Blanca may be one of the most popular Spanish destinations with holidaymakers and expats, but don’t be fooled into thinking its food scene is all packed tourist traps serving forgettable tapas and familiar British fare, writes Lucy Douglas. The bountiful larders of the Med and fertile farmlands rich with fruit, rice and vegetables provide the fresh ingredients for quality rustic dishes and innovative fine dining alike. At the northern tip of the Costa Blanca, Denía leads...

Aug 5, 2016

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8 incredible challenges around the world...

8 incredible challenges around the world

When a friend told me he was taking on the mighty Camino de Santiago pilgrimage walk, I must admit I was skeptical. Hundreds of walkers attempt a section of this ancient web of routes across France and Spain every year, but he planned to tackle the entire 550-mile hike in one go. It was a long and gruelling journey with demanding terrain, searing heat, blistered feet and exhaustion, but he was rewarded for his hard work with ethereal sunrise walks past the snow-capped Pyrenees and the...

Aug 4, 2016

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7 hotel rip-offs and how to avoid them...

7 hotel rip-offs and how to avoid them

A big holiday can quickly become very expensive, so the last thing you want is to shell out on avoidable costs when you get there. Even though you’re set for a some serious relaxation time, don’t let your holiday good mood cloud your judgement. To help you stay ahead of the game, familiarise yourself with some common hotel rip-offs you should try to avoid. Rip-off #1: Mini-bar madness We all love a bit of a splurge on holiday, but there are some areas where the...