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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.

Flybe adds cheap flights from Birmingham
Feb 3rd, 2014 by elisa

Flybe is adding seven new routes from Birmingham from April and May 2014.

Flybe will offer flights from Birmingham to:

Florence six times a week

– daily flights to Cologne

Toulouse six times a week

Alicante five times a week

– Bordeaux, Palma Mallorca and Porto four times a week

Birmingham will become the airline’s biggest regional base when it adds three of its 2×2 seat Embraer 175 jets to the airport.

Seats are on sale now, with one-way fares from £34.99 including taxes and charges. Flights start on 10th April to Alicante, Cologne, Florence and Porto, and from 13th May for the rest.

High-speed trains open up travel in Europe
Jan 10th, 2014 by elisa

New super fast trains will open up travel through Europe. One million passengers are predicted to cross the French/Spanish border in the trains in 2014, according to Rail Europe.

The new high-speed service between Barcelona and Paris is almost full to capacity across all its three classes since its launch in December. The twice-daily (6h25m) service is hailed as a major improvement on the overnight service it replaced, the Elipsos Trenhotel.

Other France to Spain high-speed services include Barcelona-Montpellier (2h50), Barcelona-Toulouse (3h02), Barcelona-Lyon (4h40) and Madrid/Barcelona-Marseille (7h03).

The trains run at speeds of up to 320kmph. Facilities on board include free wi-fi, restaurants and bar areas.

Manager Australasia of Rail Europe, Richard Leonard, explained that without the previously required train changes at Figueres, travellers are enjoying faster services which will encourage travel beyond the main cities.

“With less travel time involved, leisure travellers are also more encouraged to go beyond Paris, Barcelona and Madrid to explore other cities,” he said.

 

Explore France and Spain from your perfect holiday villa from Villaseek.com

 

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.

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. 

Cheapest destinations for autumn sun
Oct 27th, 2013 by elisa

Flight comparison website, Skyscanner, has listed some of the cheapest places to fly for under £50 for some much needed autumn sunshine. Luckily for you, Villaseek has plenty of great holiday villas in 4 of the 7 listed destinations!

El Capistrano Village

El Capistrano Village

Malaga, from £40. With an average high temperature of 24C and 8 hours of daily sunshine, Malaga on the Costa del Sol is one of the best bets for autumn sunshine in Europe.

Accommodating between 2 and 9 people and from £165 per week this beautifully maintained village, El Capistrano, Nerja, is just 45 minutes from the airport and has wonderful views of the Mediterranean and mountains.

Entre Naranjos

Entre Naranjos

Murica, from £49. Average high temperature of 25C and 4 hours of daily sunshine, Murcia is a handy jumping off point for southern Spain. 

40 minutes from either Murcia or Alicante airport is this 3-bedroom villa and 2-bedroom apartment on the new development of Entre Naranjos, set amidst the orange groves and a short drive from Torrevieja. Prices start from £190 for the villa and £140 per week for the apartment.

Tavira, East Algarve

Tavira, East Algarve

The Algarve, Portugal, from £30. Average high temperature of 23C and 7 sunshine hours each day. One of Europe’s most popular destinations but still pretty warm even into November.

Sleeps 4 (plus cot) this townhouse is situated in a secluded, luxury, mainly owner-occupied, hilltop development with spectacular views across the Roman fishing town of Tavira (2km) to the sea. Prices start from £200 per week.

Villas in Pollensa

Villas in Pollensa

Majorca, from £38. Average high temperature of 24C and 3 hours sunshine each day.

Choose from a great selection of properties with pools in Pollensa/Puerto Pollensa.

 

 

 

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.

Record summer for Spain
Sep 23rd, 2013 by elisa

Costa Brava picture by Flickr user felipe_gabaldon

Costa Brava picture by Flickr user felipe_gabaldon

Spain was visited by 8.3 million foreign tourists in August, the highest monthly number of foreign visitors since current records began in 1995. 

Most favoured by the British, French and Germans, Spain was the third most-visited country in the world, tied with China and just behind the United States and France.

The number of visitors was 7.1% higher than August last year, according to the country’s tourism ministry. The surge in numbers is likely due to holidaymakers avoiding previously popular budget holiday destinations – Egypt and Turkey – which were hit by civil unrest this year.

Within Spain, the most popular areas for visitors were the northeastern region of Catalonia with Barcelona as the main attraction, the Balearic Islands benefitted from 2.1 million foreign visitors and the southern region of Andalusia didn’t do too badly with 1.1 million visitors also.

The ministry’s data also showed that the increase did not only occur in August either, but overall from January to August 2013, 42.3 million foreign tourists visited the country, 4.5% more than the same period last year and another record high.

It’s not difficult to see why Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world, it has wonderful coastlines, countryside, culture and not to mention the gorgeous weather. Read our guides on villa rentals in Spain for inspiration on where to visit and go to our main site to find holiday villas in Spain.

Summer holidays, busy airports
Jul 25th, 2013 by elisa

Spain is still the top holiday destination. Picture by Flickr user Olli365

It may be one of the hottest summer’s we’ve had for years, but that isn’t stopping the two million holidaymakers set to head overseas this weekend.

As the first weekend of the summer holidays for the majority in England, airports are bracing themselves for one of their busiest weekends of the year. The southeast in particular is going to be very busy with 480,000 passengers departing from Heathrow, 276,000 from Gatwick, 125,000 from Stansted and 70,000 jetting off from Luton.

Further up north 160,000 are due to depart from Manchester, 66,000 from Birmingham, 70,000 from Newcastle, 50,000 from Bristol and 30,000 from Leeds Bradford International. Sottish airports don’t fair too badly either with 50,000 leaving from Glasgow alone.

ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “This weekend sees the start of the main summer holiday getaway and it’s one of the busiest of the year.

“Millions of holidaymakers will be heading off overseas with the Mediterranean countries attracting the lion’s share of visitors.

According to ABTA, Spain remains the top holiday destination with the Balearic and Canary Islands selling especially well. Mexico and Cuba are among the top-selling long-haul holidays, although Florida remains the number one choice for families.

Domestic tourism isn’t doing too badly either, thanks to last week’s heatwave boosting bookings with many ABTA members reporting a surge in business to destinations including the Channel Islands, the Lake District, Blackpool, Bournemouth and Brighton.

“The recent amazing weather at home has also given a great boost to domestic tourism and many ABTA members are reporting a surge in last minute bookings for holidays throughout the UK” said Tanzer.

Eurostar is also reporting an increase in passenger numbers on last year, with 70,000 heading off to Paris and the South of France this weekend.

 

How age affects 2013 holiday trends
Jan 30th, 2013 by elisa

Spain is still a firm favourite - this villa is in Moraira and only 10 minutes' walk from the sea!

Spain is still a firm favourite – this villa is in Moraira and only 10 minutes’ walk from the sea!

According to new research, budgets for holidays differ by up to £280 per person depending on their age.

The TravelSupermarket survey of 5,000 British holidaymakers revealed their holiday habits for 2013 as well as the average amount they are willing to pay for their main holiday in each age bracket.

Over 50s spend the most on comfortable travel and accommodation, with the 50-59 age range willing to be the most experimental with their holiday plans, picking less typical destinations.

The longest and most expensive holidays tend to be taken by those in the 60-69 age group at £794 per person, plus £454 on spending money (£1,248 total). These are also most likely to take more than one main holiday each year. Those over 70 are most likely to stay close to the UK with Spain and France as firm favourites.

The most adventurous age group are the youngest, 18-29. These are most likely to go on activity holidays such as skiing or mountain biking, but like to do so on a shoestring, paying the least out of all those surveyed (£540 on accommodation and £428 spending money). They are also most likely to be influenced by a place’s culture when making decisions; Asia is very popular for this age group.

30-39 are the family focused bunch, least influenced by the weather and always considering family facilities. The beach (37%) and villa holidays (18%) are most preferable – Villaseek and UK specialist HolidayCottages.cc can help with both! The Algarve is one of the most popular destinations, and on average they spend £585 on travel and accommodation, plus £452 in spending money per person.

40-49 year-olds are still family focused and tend to head away during the school summer holidays in August. Most popular are beach holidays (39%) in Spain (12%) staying in self-catered accommodation (23%). They are also most likely to take more shorter breaks away in addition to a main holiday with £580 on travel and accommodation and £449 on spending money per person.

“At this age, a lot of holidaymakers will still be heading abroad with their families. Typical family breaks, such as beach holidays in Spain will be fun for everyone, but for those looking to go on shorter breaks too France and Italy are also worth a visit.” said Bob Atkinson, TravelSupermarket’s travel expert.

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