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BA launch new summer sun flights from London Gatwick
May 19th, 2014 by elisa

Get closer to summer sun locations in 2015 as British Airways launches five new routes from London Gatwick.

From next April the airline will fly to Cagliari in Sardinia, Crete and Rhodes in Greece, and Bodrum and Dalaman in Turkey.

“This is the biggest launch of new routes at Gatwick we’ve had for several years and is brilliant news for families and holiday-makers wanting to get away from it all for that all-important break to relax in the sun,’ said BA head of commercial Gatwick Colm Lacy.

Cagliari will operate three times a week, Crete four times a week, Rhodes twice a week, Bodrum twice a week, and Dalaman four times a week.

Start browsing your holiday villa now at Villaseek.com!

 

Ryanair creates more links to Greece
Jan 16th, 2014 by elisa

Ryanair is opening two new bases in Greece, one in the capital, Athens, and the other in the city of Thessaloniki. 

The airline will start flights from London Stansted to Athens on 1st April and increase the frequency of its existing service from Stansted to Thessaloniki to daily. The move is part of a $280 million investment in Greece. Ryanair said it expects to carry over 1.2 million passengers from its base in Athens, and 1.6 million passengers a year from Thessaloniki.

Ryanair’s David O’Brien said the new routes would provide passengers with an alternative to Aegean/Olympic: “Only Ryanair, with its 175 new aircraft order, can deliver the capacity, new markets and low costs demanded by Greek consumers and visitors, and looks forward to working with Athens Airport to unlock the vast potential currently suppressed by high access air costs”.

From Athens Ryanair will fly to Milan and the Greek destinations of Chania, Paphos, Rhodes and Thessaloniki as well as to London.

From Thessaloniki it will fly to Athens, Pisa and Warsaw.

Tickets are now on sale.

Holiday trends 2014
Jan 6th, 2014 by elisa

Value for money is still top of most people’s priorities when booking a holiday in 2014, according to the Travel Trends Report 2014.

The report by ABTA and the Foreign Office predicts “cautious optimism” for the year ahead.

“We know that Brits hate to cut back on their holidays and after several years of tough market conditions, we are seeing early signs of more optimism amongst British consumers,” said ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer.

“However, with the squeeze on household budgets continuing, we are expecting that tried and tested destinations and package holidays will continue to perform well in the coming year. We are also expecting a range of other overseas destinations to prove popular in 2014, as well as another good year for domestic tourism after the heatwave in the UK in summer 2013.”

The report includes a list of “destinations to watch” for 2014:

Great news for domestic tourism also; the feel-good-factor created by the Olympics and Jubilee in 2013’s sunny summer is likely to continue over into new year bookings.

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.

Summer sun flight sale
Oct 10th, 2013 by elisa

Summer Sun picture by Flickr user Ian A Kirk

Summer Sun picture by Flickr user Ian A Kirk

The summer schedule for 2014 has been announced by Easyjet as flights to 100 destinations now go on sale.

It has more than 11.5 million seats, almost 300,000 more than last summer.

With so many seats going on sale, now might be a good time to book your summer holiday and villa while you can get some good bargains and not have to think about it until it’s time to jet off!

With flights to Spain, Italy, France, Greece and many more, we have a holiday villa to suit your needs.

In search of winter sun
Oct 1st, 2013 by elisa

Tenerife picture by Flickr user moroccan_spirit

Tenerife picture by Flickr user moroccan_spirit

As the night’s get darker and the cooler weather creeps in, it seems that winter sun is on many people’s minds this year!

Still the most popular type of break, winter sun seekers have increased in popularity according to ABTA’s Winter Holiday Trends 2013/14 survey. 40% are planning a break in the sun this winter, compared with 39% last year. City breaks are up 8% as 39% plan a city visit, and up by 5% to 15% is skiing holidays.

The Canary Islands are Brits’ favourite winter destination, with Greece, Malta and Tunisia also hugely popular. For those in search of lands further afield, the Caribbean, Mexico and Dubai are also ranking high.

Whatever your winter sun needs, be sure to check out our main site to search our extensive database of holiday villas.

Best place in Europe for shopping
Aug 7th, 2013 by elisa

Shopping - picture by Flickr user andrewarchy

Shopping – picture by Flickr user andrewarchy

YouGov’s latest EuroTrack survey has found that 32% of respondents said that the UK is the best place in Europe for shopping, followed by Italy (20%) and France (20%).

Top of the list for holidaymakers is France, Italy and Spain. Best weather: Spain (56%), Greece (44%) and Italy (32%).

Number one for food is Italy, followed by France and then Spain; but Spain comes out on top again for ‘good fun, socialising and parties’ with 48% of the votes.

Italy (36%) is the best place in Europe for sightseeing, with France (33%) a close runner-up and the UK (25%) in third place.

 

New winter routes for Easyjet and Ryanair
Jul 10th, 2013 by elisa

Easyjet and Ryanair have announced their additional new winter routes for this year.

Easyjet will fly four times a week from Gatwick to Bucharest from 17th October, twice a week from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to Larnaca from 2nd November, and add a twice weekly winter sun route to Tenerife from Newcastle from 6th November.

In addition, Easyjet will also operate a new route from Manchester Airport to Lyon from 14th December. It will also operate London Luton Airport to Venice just in time for Valentine’s day from 13th February 2014.

Ryanair’s Manchester winter schedule includes four new routes to Krakow, Lanzarote, Paphos and Palma.

Krakow flights will operate three times a week and the other destinations will be served twice weekly.

There are 22 Ryanair routes in total, on sale now and starting in October.

Villaseek has many villas to choose from in these destinations, so take advantage of the new routes while they are on and find a bargain winter holiday.

Greece is back on top
Feb 26th, 2013 by elisa

Beautiful Greece - picture by Flickr user JFXie

Beautiful Greece – picture by Flickr user JFXie

It isn’t just us that think Greece is the place to go right now; the latest trend update from Thomas Cook shows a marked increase in the country’s desirability amongst holidaymakers.

Sales, marketing and e-commerce director Mike Hoban said: “Searches for Santorini have doubled as have those for our specialist Greek tour operator, Manos, and other Greek islands including Crete and Zakynthos.

“As people put a holiday abroad at the top of their shopping list, it appears to be stalwart favourites, like Greece, that are in high demand this year.”

ABTA, too, confirmed the trend:”UK Bookings to Greece, in common with other Eurozone countries, were hit hard in 2010 as sterling fell in value against the Euro. Good value resorts in North Africa were the main beneficiary of this fall in business. However last year, sterling rallied and we started to see a shift back to the Eurozone.” said a spokesman.

He continued: “January is traditionally the busiest single month for summer holiday bookings, particularly the family market and early booking indications to Greece are very positive with some of our members reporting booking levels not seen since 2009. However, if bookings are to hold strong it is essential that Greek suppliers do not respond to these positive signs, as they have in past years, by increasing prices.”

Find a wide range of Greek Villas on our main site, also lots of features on Greece for inspiration when planning your holiday!

Greece – fantastic villa rentals and award-winning beaches
Feb 12th, 2013 by elisa

Lindos Acropolis on Greek island of Rhodes. Picture by Flickr user Bladeflyer

Lindos Acropolis on Greek island of Rhodes. Picture by Flickr user Bladeflyer

Greece is most definitely one of the first places you would list if you have the primary holiday requirements of sun, sea and sand. It has this in spades (excuse the pun), but so much more to boot – cuisine, culture and history, not to mention the plethora of awards it has won as a travel destination.

The Sunday Times Travel Magazine voted Greece as the Best European Beach Destination 2012, followed by the Travel Agents’ Choice Awards 2012 for the Best Short Haul Destination for Weddings, Honeymoons and Couples. It also fares extremely well with TripAdvisor with many of its beaches in the Travellers’ Choice 2012 Beach Destinations.

The birthplace of the Olympic Games, Greece is a perfect place for an activity holiday, which could include cycling, rock climbing, basketball and water sports. For the less energetic of you, it’s also a wonderful place to relax, with stunning aquamarine waters and beautiful sandy beaches with a variety of coloured sands, from black, to white, to red – all of which make for unusual and picturesque landscapes.

Take the village of Lindos on the Greek island of Rhodes. Open year-round and with an exceptionally mild climate, this is a popular destination amongst tourists. It is a maze of narrow streets and small shops filled with unique jewellery, pottery, leather goods and regional crafts. The Acropolis dominates the landscape, and if you want the best view, then dine out at one of the village’s many rooftop restaurants at sunset.

With a great nightlife when you want to be sociable, and also with quieter spots for relaxation, it’s a box-ticker of a place for holidays. It’s also easy to get to, with affordable flights available throughout the year.

For a quiet getaway, try this luxury villa with infinity pool situated on the hillside above Kalathos village and a short trip to Lindos (6km). With 3 bedrooms (1 double, 2 twin), pool, air-conditioning, BBQ facilities and stylish interior design, you’d be forgiven for not wanting to leave! Prices start from £600.

The stunning Francesca Villa

The luxurious Francesca Villa

Stunning evening views

Stunning evening views

Lounge by the pool in the sun

Lounge by the pool in the sun

 

 

 

 

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