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New villa search system
Jan 14th, 2009 by admin

Hi everyone

We’ve made a few little updates to the way that the villa search works on villaseek.com. One thing we found is that a lot people wanted to be able to type the name of a country or region into the box on the front page and get a list of all the villas there straight away. This is now working – so, type Greece into the search box for example, and hit return and it take you straight to the Greece section:

http://www.villaseek.com/find-villa/Greece

We’ve also made it a lot easier to search for specific things. Try the following searches:

It should now be a lot easier to get to the villa you want. Let us know / drop us a comment below if you have any more feedback about options we could add to the villa search!

Tom

New Issue of Holiday Villas Magazine – 71
Sep 5th, 2008 by admin

The new issue of Holiday Villas is out now, and will be in the shops shortly. You can also view the issue online right now, for free:

New Issue of Holiday Villas Magazine out now – in shops and online
Jul 25th, 2008 by admin

Issue 70 of Holiday Villas magazine is available to buy in shops in the UK now. We’ve also put a complete version of it for you to read online. Just click to read issue 70 of Holiday Villas Magazine.

We’ve got articles on the Costa de la Luz, a guide to holidaying in Fuerteventura (Canary Islands), a piece on Sarasota (Gulf Coast), plus loads more features — 268 pages of travel articles and holiday villa listings. I hope you enjoy reading it – and please let us know what you think, either by adding a comment below, or by getting in contact via Villaseek.com.

<script “text/javascript”>var mag = new TinyCatalog(90894, “Holiday Villas Magazine – Issue 70”);mag.setBackgroundColor(“#FFFFFF”);mag.setSize(260, 177); mag.draw();

Guide to stress-free travelling
Jun 17th, 2008 by admin


Here’s our guide to a stress-free trip, from Issue 68 of Holiday Villas Magazine

Love the holiday but hate the hassle of getting there?

Travel writer Gillian Thornton has 30 stress-busting tips

  • Travelling by car to the Med? No need, then, for
    minimalist packing, but have you packed everything
    that’s legally required for your vehicle, such as spare
    bulbs, a warning triangle, and a fluorescent yellow
    vest? Check with the AA, RAC or your car insurers
    before you travel. www.drivingabroad.co.uk
    provides detailed info on the rules of the road in the
    USA, Western Europe, South Africa and Australia.
    And remember you’ll need a Green Card if you want
    fully comprehensive cover while driving abroad.
  • You can save money by pre-booking your airport
    parking. Off-site car parks are usually the best value,
    but allow extra time to reach the terminal. Purple
    Parking offer competitive off-site parking at almost
    20 UK airports (www.purpleparking.com) or try the
    British Airports Authority website, www.baa.com.
  • If you’re travelling by low-cost, no-frills airline, you
    can save money by packing snacks for the journey
    rather than buying at airport or airline prices. But don’t
    forget that current security regulations about carrying
    liquids mean that you will need to buy bottles of drink
    once you have passed through security.
  • Check to see whether your villa owner or holiday
    company includes the option of pre-booking a
    welcome pack on arrival. If you’re arriving late or
    have a long transfer time, the last thing you want to
    do is head off in search of a supermarket. But it’s
    always worth taking a few non-perishable essentials
    such as tea, coffee, sugar, biscuits, dry pasta and a
    sachet of pasta sauce.
  • If you’re planning on trying any adventure sports
    such as paragliding, rafting or jetski, make sure that
    your holiday insurance covers you. Better to pay a
    small supplement than a big hospital bill.
  • Travelling within the European Union? Make sure
    you all have a European Health Insurance Card,
    which entitles you to free medical treatment. Full
    details from your local Post Office.
  • Make two photocopies of your passport, driving
    licence and travel insurance documents. Leave one
    with friends or family at home and take the other
    with you, keeping it separate from the originals.
  • Put one member of the party in charge of tickets
    and passports, but give everyone a copy of essential
    details such as villa address, directions for finding it
    and contact phone numbers.
  • Cancel the milk and newspaper deliveries, and
    ask a neighbour to keep watch for post or free
    papers sticking out of the letterbox. If the house is
    alarmed, make sure someone has a key to get in and
    turn it off if necessary.
  • Check the five-day weather forecasts on the
    internet before you travel, so you know whether to
    take waterproofs or extra layers.
  • Know where you’re going. It sounds obvious, but
    make sure you know exactly how to get to the
    airport at this end (some people do actually go to the
    wrong one!) and to your villa at the other. A bit of
    pre-planning can save a lot of frayed nerves and
    family arguments on the road.
  • Leave more time than you think you’ll need.
    Better to sit at the airport over a snack or a good
    book, than stuck in a traffic jam. Don’t underestimate
    the time it can take to get through security checks in
    peak season.
  • If your departure airport has more than one
    terminal, check which one you need with your tour
    operator or via the airport website.

Packing up

  • If you’re travelling by air, eliminate the tedious wait
    at baggage carousels by carrying hand luggage only,
    especially when you’re travelling in the summer with
    light clothes. But check hand baggage allowances
    with your airline before you travel – weights and bag
    sizes vary – remembering that you may want to bring
    extra purchases home with you. Some airports and
    airlines now allow two pieces of hand luggage while
    others still enforce the one bag rule.
  • With tough security measures still in place, you can
    only take liquids, gels and pastes in containers of up
    to 100 ml in your hand luggage – with the exception
    of baby food and baby milk – and these must be
    packed in a re-sealable plastic bag no larger than 8” x
    8”. Visit www.baa.com for the latest regulations.
  • Most people pack far too many clothes, so I advise
    women to lay their holiday wardrobe out on the bed
    and be ruthless about leaving things behind. Go for
    coordinating items in neutral colours then jazz up
    with a bright top or accessories. Don’t forget the
    golden rule: work out how much clothing you think
    you’ll need, then halve it; calculate how much
    money you’ll spend, then double it.
  • Wherever possible, choose fabrics that don’t
    crease, but remember that if you roll clothes rather
    than fold them, they’ll come out looking far less
    crumpled. Remember, too, that if you haven’t got it,
    you can almost certainly buy it at your resort, and if
    your villa has a washing machine, you’ll need to take
    even fewer clothes.
  • Travel in your bulkiest pair of shoes, then pack a
    pair of flip-flops and some lightweight shoes for
    evening. Blister plasters are far less bulky than taking
    extra footwear!
  • Carry a basic sponge bag, clean underwear and
    swimwear in your hand luggage; if your luggage
    goes to Costa Rica and you’ve gone to the Costa
    Blanca, you can still enjoy a dip in your villa pool
    and freshen up afterwards until your bags arrive.
    Swop an outfit with a travelling companion so you’ve
    both got something to wear if your luggage is
    delayed. A sarong can be used in a multitude of ways
    until your full wardrobe arrives – just ask David
    Beckham!
Cyprus – further travel info
Jun 15th, 2008 by admin

Following our article on Cyprus in Holiday Villas Magazine, we’ve done a few searches on the web to identify a couple of other articles.

First, up, direct travel have provided a list of top ten things to do in Cyprus, including the historic mosque of Hala sultan tekksi, the city of Famgusta, and a walk through the forests of Limassol and Machairas.

Hari Nair writes in his blog about a trip to Cyprus, and posts some pictures of the trip, and Cyprus Informer has a checklist for people renting a villa in Cyprus.

To search through a range of villas in cyprus and beyond, head to our main site, Villaseek Holiday Villas – that has a wide range of villas and apartments available direct from the owners, and many of these properties have availability calendars, so you can see if the villa is available to book for the weeks you’re intending to travel to cyprus.

Tom K

New Article from Holiday Villas Magazine – Cyprus
Jun 15th, 2008 by admin

Petra tou Romiou, Cyprus

In this article from Issue 68 of Holiday Villas Magazine, Ron Toft turns his back on the beaches and bars of Cyprus to follow the tourist trail celebrating the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite.

In Search of Mighty Aphrodite

It was an uncomfortably hot day –
somewhere around 35°C – as the
sun’s rays blazed down on us from a
cloudless, cobalt sky. But after a 30-
minute climb up the dusty, pebble-
strewn track, we eventually reached
the top of the hill above stunning
Lemesos Bay on the south coast of
Cyprus, and there, all around us,
were what we had come to see: the
remains within ancient Amathous of
the sanctuary of Aphrodite – the
Greek goddess of love and beauty,
and the divine protector of the
delightful Mediterranean island on
which, the myth has it, she was born.

Amathousis is one of the highlights of
the cultural trail comprising 36 sites,
including 11 museums, associated
with and celebrating Aphrodite.
The first traces of a sanctuary on the
acropolis date from around 800 BC,
when Phoenicians settled in
Amathous. Another important date
on the Amathous timeline is 22 AD,
which was when Rome allowed the
Temple of Aphrodite – then one of
the island’s three most important
temples – to retain the right to offer
asylum.

Aphrodite worshippers were driven
from the temple when Christianity
was established at the end of the
fourth century AD, after which it was
repaired in the fifth century and used
as a church for 250 years until the
site was destroyed by Arab raiders.

By far the most striking
archaeological structure is a colossal
stone vase – dating from the seventh
century BC and weighing 12 tons –
at what was the entrance to
Aphrodite’s sanctuary. Originally
there were two of them – the other
is now on display in the Louvre in
Paris. It’s thought that both vessels,
quarried from the north cliff of the
acropolis, held water used in
purification and other rituals
associated with Aphrodite.

One of the sites worth visiting as
much for its natural beauty as for its
connection with the goddess of love
is Petra tou Romiou– the
legendary birthplace of Aphrodite
15 miles east of Paphos. A series of
rocks jutting out from the sea, Petra
is where Aphrodite is said to have
emerged from the briny foam…

You can read the full, illustrated article in our online version of the magazine.

A Taste of the Real Spain
Jun 9th, 2008 by admin

For an article in issue 68 of Holiday Villas Magazine, Solange Hando headed to Murcia and the Costa Calida, a little-visited region of pristine coastline, lush countryside and ancient villages. Here’s an excerpt, or you can read the whole magazine article:

A Taste of the Real Spain

Spain has a glitzy Costa for every day of the week
but the Costa Calida, which has only recently
been discovered by foreign tourists, is a
leisurely destination for discerning visitors and
Spanish families. South of Alicante, in the province of
Murcia, the ‘Warm Coast’ is keen to assert its
individuality, and with good reason. It claims more
sunny days than any other, more than 140 miles of
shore fringed by crystal-clear waters and a lush
hinterland dotted with historic towns and hill villages
tucked among vineyards and citrus groves.

A long forgotten corner of Spain, Murcia is
developing fast but, with a few exceptions, high rise
sites remain refreshingly sparse, with areas of natural
beauty carefully managed and protected. It offers the
best of both worlds: a taste of real Spain with delightful
holiday villas and amenities on your doorstep.

Golf and spa

Ours was a short break so we headed straight for the
Mar Menor Golf Resort at Polaris World, where the
nine-hole course, open to non-residents, will soon be
extended to 18 by the Nicklaus Design team. It plans
a total of six prestigious courses, each one unique,
‘challenging and enjoyable’, suitable for all levels and
landscaped to enhance the environment, enough to
inspire any golfer keen to follow in legendary
footsteps.

Duly impressed, the men set off to tackle the
course while we vanished in search of the spa.
Imagine stepping into a subdued sensuous world of
sound and fragrance, closing the door on all your
cares as you edge into the vitality pool, feel the
warmth of the sauna or the freshness of the ice
fountain, then relax in an inner patio straight out of
the Arabian Nights – and all this before your
treatment even begins.

Then it’s decision time, hot stone, ayurvedic, body
wrap, massage or the ultimate age-defying facial? I
must admit, my greatest need was for the last option
and one hour and 50 minutes of blissful dreams. Cool
aloe and spearmint, scented cypress, lavender, sweet
almond, frankincense, avocado and more, a
gorgeous garden of Eden was at work to enhance my
looks, without the slightest effort on my part.
My face was sprayed with extracts of ivy, jojoba oil
and mallow; my eyes revitalised with an antioxidant
mask and my hair massaged with pink mud. Scrubbed,
moisturised and smoothed to a polish, I emerged on
top of the world, hoping there would be enough time
before dinner to wash the mud out of my hair.

Click to read the whole article, or search for a villa in Spain.

New Issue of Holiday Villas magazine online
Jun 4th, 2008 by admin

Hi everyone,

We’ve got a new system for viewing Holiday Villas Magazine online, directly in your browser. It’s great for our overseas readers, as it means they can get hold of the magazine and read it straight from their computer.

We’ve just produced an online version of 68, which has been on sale here in the UK since the beginning of May.  Issue 69 is about to hit the shelves, and we’ll have an online version of that out very soon too.

Here’s a useful tip – interested in golf holidays, beach holidays, or holidays in a specific area? Use the binoculars icon at the bottom of the page to begin searching the document – and you’ll get a list of all the editorial and adverts which are relevant to your search.

Or if you’re an advertiser with Holiday Villas Magazine, simply enter your reference number into the search page, and you’ll be taken directly to the page where your villa advertisement appears.

Tom K
Villaseek.com

Welcome to Villaseek
Feb 22nd, 2008 by admin

Welcome to the new Villaseek.com blog – here we’ll be writing about all things to do with traveling and staying in a holiday villa, plus useful tips for villa owners.

The real Costa del Sol
Feb 19th, 2008 by admin

The Costa del Sol stretches includes the bustling Torremolinos, Marbella and Fuengirola, but it’s not too tricky to get away from all that and escape the crowds to have another, very different holiday. Not far away from the large developments are small towns with villas, apartments and old converted houses. Our reporter Harry Glass dipped himself into the Andalucian lifestyle – you can read what he got up to in his article on the Costa del Sol.

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