Orlando top destination for Brits
May 21st, 2014 by elisa

Brits just can’t get enough of the sunshine state of Florida, with Orlando the particular holiday favourite for this summer according to recent analysis.

The metasearch website analyses its UK flight search data from the last three months, for travel during the UK holiday period and a departure date between June and August 2014 and came up with Brits’ top summer destinations.

Orlando was the clear winner, proving the theme-park capital and family-friendly atmosphere is something that keeps it at the top of our summer holiday list.

The website also studied the most popular places in the world according to data from 20 of the UK’s biggest airports to create each airport’s “Top 5” summer destinations. Orlando appeared in seven out of 20 of these airport lists.

Other firm favourites were Spanish destinations of Alicante and Malaga, coming in third and fourth respectively on overall most-searched destinations for summer 2014. Both also appeared in the top five for 13 out of 20 UK airport lists. 

“It’s encouraging to see Orlando in favour with Brits this year as a popular place to visit over the summer holidays, with its excellent activities and parks for the whole family. And long-haul destination New York was also popular this summer too – at a time when the climate is warm.

“It seems the traditional Spanish summer break though will always appeal to Brits, with short-haul flights and a practical sun guarantee. It is interesting to see Turkey hot on the heels of Spain however, with Dalaman coming in fifth most-popular destination overall. Sizzling hot weather and great deals on this up and coming destination no doubt will be drawing the crowds in this year,” says Julie Pedersen, Spokesperson for momondo.


1) Orlando

2) New York

3) Alicante

4) Malaga

5) Dalaman

6) Bangkok

7) Faro

8) Palma de Mallorca

9) Los Angeles

10) Tenerife

Ryanair looks to fly to new markets
Apr 1st, 2014 by elisa

Ryanair is looking to grow passenger numbers by extending its budget flights to new markets including Turkey, Israel and Russia.

It has ordered 175 new aircraft, the first of which will be delivered in September and be used to service the new routes.

New head of corporate travel and groups, Lesley Kane, said “We are talking to new airports, a lot of which are key business airports, some of which are in totally new markets which are actively looking to encourage Ryanair to fly there.”

The airline wants to attract more business travellers, groups and families to increase its passenger numbers from 81.5 million to 110 million by 2019.

Not always known for being easy for families, Kane said that it aims to launch more children-friendly products. Currently children are allowed to take a teddy and an extra bag on board, and the airline is looking into giveaways such as free allocated seating for children to sit next to their parents.

Next winter Ryanair will have aircraft based in Athens, Brussels, Barcelona, Madrid and Lisbon. Most of these will offer multiple flights to Stansted.

European air traffic control strikes affect flights today and tomorrow
Jan 29th, 2014 by elisa

Air traffic control strikes in Europe will affect flights today and tomorrow.

Passengers flying to Milan, Rome, Venice and Lisbon will be particularly badly affected, with many services cancelled.

Airlines worst affected are British Airways, Alitalia and Ryanair. Easyjet said is has re-scheduled some flights to avoid the strike times, but there might still be an impact due to the knock-on effect of the industrial action across networks.

Ryanair has cancelled some flights from Gatwick to Cagliari, and Stansted to Bari, and warned of possible delays to other services.

Italian air traffic controllers are on strike from 13:00 until 17:00 local time; Portuguese controllers are on strike from 07:00 to 09:00 and from 14:00 to 16:00 local time.


French air traffic controllers will walk out later today until the early hours of Friday morning. Easyjet has had to cancel a small number of flights to Paris because it said all airlines operating to and from Paris airports had been requested to reduce flights by 20%.


Ryanair base in Lisbon
Jan 27th, 2014 by elisa

Ryanair will open a third base in Portugal in April. 

One aircraft will be based at Lisbon and operate four new routes to Manchester, Dole and Marseille in France, and Pisa.

Manchester flights will operate eight times a week and flights are now on sale.

Many of our Portugal properties are in the Algarve, so flights to Faro are the most appropriate/closest; however it’s only a couple of hours drive from Lisbon to the Algarve. You might want to consider this if flights work out cheaper to Lisbon and you are considering booking a hire car to see further afield anyway. We covered the benefits of booking flights further away from your destination in John’s insightful blog post late last year.


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.

Ferry linking Ireland and western France and northern Spain
Dec 23rd, 2013 by elisa

A ferry service linking Ireland with western France and northern Spain will be launched by LD Lines on 7th January. 

The service will operate between Rosslare Europort in Ireland, St.Nazaire on the French west coast and the Spanish port of Gijón.

St.Nazaire is a gateway to popular holiday destinations such as Brittany and Bordeaux. Gijón is a good access port for self-drive holidays to Portugal and northern Spain.

Consider staying at Quinta Casal Maior (sleeps 13 + 4) in the little village of Lanheses between Ponte de Lima and Viana do Castelo where you can choose from activities such as surfing and windsurfing, visiting local festivals and outdoor markets, and also see many equestrian events in the exhibition centre in Ponte de Lima. 

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.

Self catering cheaper in Spain and Portugal
Jul 9th, 2012 by elisa

Shop smart in foreign supermarkets - picture by Flickr user Polycart

Shop smart in foreign supermarkets - picture by Flickr user Polycart


Self catering holidays in Spain and Portugal can cost around 80% less than those in Italy, Greece and Cyprus, according to a Post Office survey.

Food shopping in the countries appears to be the significant difference in expenditure, with supermarkets in Italy, Crete, Corfu and Cyprus more expensive than those in Portugal and Majorca.

Over 15% of those surveyed said they decided on self catering holidays to save more money, yet many still went over their budget on food purchases, highlighting a need to consider local prices when booking a holiday.

The Post Office Travel Money Worldwide Costs Barometer found that on average a bottle of local beer in Portugal cost £1.36 whereas in Italy it cost £2.27. Even going out for dinner was cheaper, with the average evening meal for 2 adults with a bottle of house wine costing £22.73 in Spain, £45.45 in Greece.

Andrew Brown, Post Office head of Travel Money, said: “Although self-catering can be a great way for families to save money, they should choose their destination carefully. Majorca and Portugal are great value options but Greece is looking more expensive.”

He went on to advise that travellers should avoid changing cash at an airport or overseas ATMs as poor exchange rates and charges will cost their budget dearly.



For good quality self catering accommodation, wherever you decide to go, look at Villaseek and for holidays closer to home in the UK, Holiday Cottages.



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