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2013 round up
Dec 30th, 2013 by elisa

It’s nearing the end of 2013, so it’s time for our annual round up of travel news and features covered in this blog over the year.

January is normally the time when you start to examine your finances after the Christmas splurge, and this year was no different for the travel news. A Sunday Times report that found customers were seriously losing out on foreign currency exchange rates when purchasing their travel money at airports.  We also looked at the financial benefits of flying to an airport further from your destination and driving the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Spain was voted the best value destination for 2013, and Eve told us why she thought Spain was a great winter destination.

However, it was all about Greece in February! With its award-winning beaches and Thomas Cook trend survey that revealed a huge increase in bookings during the month. The month ended with a warning to check your travel insurance small print, as many travellers were reported to have fallen foul of clauses in their insurance, which meant they wouldn’t get a pay out on claims.

In March, a woman successfully smuggled a dog onto a plane; we looked at the biosphere reserve that is Menorca; and BA started selling tickets for flights on its ‘red carpet route’ to Los Angeles in its new super jumbo A380. Easyjet installed new, lighter, seats on its aircraft in an attempt to save on fuel and CO2 emissions. Bitter weather threatened to blight travellers’ Easter holidays, but this didn’t stop Peter Rabbit visiting children at Heathrow.

The bizarre law in Florida that all British Citizens must carry an International Driving Permit in the state was repealed in April. Samoa Air launched its controversial pay by weight flights and we looked at the facts about turbulence.

Easyjet began testing its volcanic ash cloud detection technology in May. We found that trillions of air miles are going to waste; and there was the slightly disturbing report of a flight being diverted because the pilot got locked out of the cockpit. There was good news for Harry Potter fans going on holiday in Florida, as the Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. Entertainment announced the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley “environment”.

A US ban on using a laptop during take off on flights was lifted in June.

Tenerife enjoyed at 14% rise in arrivals from the UK in July. It was also discovered that many English families were flying from Scottish airports to save up to £500 on their holiday travel costs. It may have been one of the hottest summers we’ve had in years, but this didn’t stop large numbers of Brits leaving for even sunnier holiday destinations in the last weekend of July. We gave advice on how to avoid common pick pocketing scams as the Foreign Office issued a warning about pick pockets in Switzerland.

As August enjoyed more of the heatwave, Ryanair had a drop in flight bookings; it also took legal action against an unfavourable Dispatches programme “Ryanair: Secrets from the Cockpit”.

Etihad Airways launched its “flying nanny” service to look after passengers’ children in September. Helly Kitty planes took to the skies with Taiwan’s EVA Air, and a computer glitch in US Airways system sold $0 flights on its website. Spain enjoyed record visitor numbers over the summer, proving the predictions earlier in the year.

In October, Manchester was announced to be the UK’s first Airport City; and Ryanair announced that it would work on a better customer service.

It was all about the measure of happiness for travel in November, and BA introduced interactive billboards to remind people of the magic of flying.

The Northern Lights in Norway topped Brits’ “must see” list in December. Britain also endured wide-spread bad weather with winds of up to 140mph battering parts of the country, and flooding hitting others.

That’s the round up for 2013, make sure to follow this blog for more travel news and articles in 2014, and book your holiday villas at a wide range of destinations on Villaseek.

Beautiful holiday villa on the Croatian island of Hvar
Nov 7th, 2013 by elisa

Hvar Island

Hvar Island

With vast fields of lavender, olive trees and vineyards, surrounded by stunning beaches and crystal blue waters, the Croatian island of Hvar has to be one of the most beautiful places to visit in the world.

Now is a particularly good time to book as the school holidays are over and many low cost airlines are offering great winter deals on flights.

With special offers when booking as a family or group, or for those staying longer than a week, this recently renovated island house might be just the accommodation for you!

It has stunning views of the Adriatic sea, town and hills. There are five double plus one single bedroom and the property has recently been renovated to an excellent standard. With all the amenities one would expect with such a substantial holiday villa, guests also benefit from two large patios, a garden, sunbeds, outdoor tables and chairs. Laundry will be done each week and you can expect to be greeted by an English/Croatian couple who will give advice on what to do and where to go on Hvar island and other nearby islands and mainland in Croatia.

One of the immaculate double bedrooms

One of the immaculate double bedrooms

Balcony view

Balcony view

The property sits five minutes away from the beach, and cafes, restaurants, piazza, market and boat hire is only a 10 minute walk away. It’s great for a relaxing holiday, but also ideal for those in search of more activity as within half a mile of the house there is sailing, water skiing, sea kayaking, paragliding, windsurfing, diving and tennis.

You can find this Hvar island house in the Croatia section of VillaSeek. For more information on the property and what to do there, go directly to the listing for the villa, where you can contact the owners directly.

Beautiful beaches

Beautiful beaches

 

Puerto Banus, Costa Del Sol
Jul 24th, 2013 by elisa

Puerto Banus picture by Flickr user Olli365

An extremely popular holiday destination, Puerto Banus is to the southwest of Marbella, on the Costa del Sol.

An excellent location for a varied holiday full of activity or relaxation depending on your want. It has a stunning port full of luxury boats and yachts, a popular haunt for the rich and famous. There is a play area for children, a huge choice of restaurants and bars, shopping and variety of beaches to visit.

A split persona of a place; relaxed with a great cafe culture during the day, and buzzing with life and music in the evenings when the clubs open.

Catch cheap flights to Malaga Airport from the UK and either get a regular bus, hire a car or get a taxi to Puerto Banus.

Beautiful pool

How about this pretty poolside villa between Puerto Banus and Estepona, sleeps 4 with master bedroom with balcony looking over the pool and twin bedroom with single beds, an ample family bathroom and large living area with open plan living room, dining room and kitchen. Double doors lead out onto a private sun terrace which overlooks one of the pools and gardens.

Smart and comfortable living room

This villa currently has some availability in August, but if you can’t find the date you want, then we have plenty of properties in the Puerto Banus area and across the Costa Del Sol.

 

Year-round sunshine – the Algarve
Feb 22nd, 2013 by elisa

Tavira in the Algarve picture by Flickr user Toni Castillo

Tavira in the Algarve picture by Flickr user Toni Castillo

One of Europe’s premier holiday destinations, the Algarve is the most southern region of Portugal and can easily be reached by flights from various airports in the UK to Faro.

The Algarve is perfectly positioned for some of the best sun in Europe and has an enormous array of sandy beaches to enjoy it on. There are different areas to suit different people: Lagos is often a draw for a young crowd after a good nightlife, Faro has a fascinating medieval quarter, and Sagres and Carrapateira are a hit with the surfers and water sports enthusiasts for an activity holiday.

It is also a year-round destination for visitors, with much more chance of sunny weather even when northern parts of the country are covered in snow. Winter is short and mild, and spring and summer are long and sunny. It’s coming to the end of winter and into spring at the moment, so it’s a great time to visit for cheap accommodation in the off-peak season with it still possible to enjoy a trip to the beach.

Villa Casasol

Villa Casasol

This pretty, detached villa with its own pool and colourful garden is only 10 minutes from the former fishing village of Tavira. Comfortably furnished, Villa Casasol, accommodates up to six guests. It has an en suite master bedroom, 2 twin bedrooms and a separate second bathroom. A fitted kitchen with all the amenities, a large dining room/lounge with satellite TV and a wood-burning fire.

Villa Casasol

Villa Casasol

 

You would be forgiven for not spending much time indoors however, when outside has so much to offer: a tiled patio, garden with sun beds for those lazy days soaking up the sun, a pool-side barbecue and secluded outside terrace. You don’t even have to go in at night as there is outside lighting, and even the private L-shaped swimming pool can be illuminated for an evening dip! Prices start from a very reasonable £300 for long winter holidays of three weeks or more, and from £500 for all other times.

Stunning outdoor patio and pool

Stunning outdoor patio and pool

A beautiful garden

A beautiful garden

Villa Casasol is only a 5 minute walk to the beautiful Ria Formosa Lagoon (an area of great international conservation importance), Cabanas Village, and the golden sandy beach of Cabanas Island – reached by a short trip on a fisherman’s ferry boat.

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