Ryanair to face probe

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Europe, Flights

It looks as though Ryanair the no frills carrier is set to face more probes about the way it runs its planes after it has been accused of  putting pressure on pilots to fly with minimal fuel to cut costs. The accusation comes from the Irish pilots union IALPA which has suggested that pressure is being put on pilots to carry the minimum amount of fuel required under European regulations. This decision has come about after a meeting which took place in Dublin after a series of incidents over Spanish airspace involving Ryanair.

Although the probe is to look at the latest of the incidents which involved a Ryanair plane being diverted to Madrid because of a technical issue, it is understood that the authorities will be looking at around four other emergency diversions to the Spanish airports of Barcelona, and Valencia. Rules about the amount of fuel that has to be carried are strict and aircraft have to carry sufficient fuel, not just to complete the journey but enough to cope with other factors such as delays or re-routing to other airports for whatever reason.

Ryanair has rejected both unions’ claims, and has also accused Spanish aviation authorities of falsifying information on incidents.

Antigua Holidays – fun for all the family!

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Flights, Travel Destinations, Travel Guides, Travel Tips

The island of Antigua in the West Indies is one of the premier destinations for luxury holidays in the Caribbean. Christopher Columbus named the island when it was taken over by Europeans in 1493. Antigua translates as ‘ancient’ in Spanish and Columbus named the island after the icon of St Mary the Ancient in Seville Cathedral. The island is around 14 miles long and 11 miles wide with a population of around 85,000.

Many visitors flock to Antigua every year to enjoy the amazing weather, luxurious accommodation and brilliantly white, sandy beaches. With over 350 beaches on the island there is no shortage of space for visitors to relax and enjoy the picturesque views of the Caribbean. Antigua holidays are very popular with water sports enthusiasts, with a great variety of activities on offer including windsurfing, snorkelling, diving and kite surfing. In addition to water sports there are many other outdoor pursuits to enjoy including hiking, cycling, horse-riding and golf. Cricket is an important sport in Antigua and there are frequent games for those who like to watch the game being played. 

With an average annual temperature which rarely drops below 20°c, Antigua is a perfect destination to visit at any time of the year. There are a number of celebrations and events held on the island throughout the year including Labour Day in May, the Antigua Carnival in July and Independence Day in November. Visitors can also take a short boat trip to Barbuda to explore the neighbouring island.

Boutique Hotels in Barcelona

Author: jayzep  |  Category: City Guides, Flights, Travel Destinations, Travel Tips

Hotels come in all shapes and sizes.  They can be family friendly, pet friendly, individual resorts and chains which are the same across the world.  They can also range from budget priced to the sky’s the limit.  One type that has seen particular growth is boutique hotels and a city that specialises in them is Barcelona.

If you’re a couple looking to get away for a city break or romantic weekend at reasonable prices, boutique hotels are becoming the favourite choice.  They offer a more individualistic and intimate experience, and are typically smaller in size than your average chain hotel and usually in prime city centre or trendy locations.  The emphasis is often on style rather luxury which can allow for specialist themes and quirks of taste in building design and room furnishings.  Minimal chic is one example of a style that has become popular in recent years.

Originally popularised in the USA, boutique hotels have quickly established themselves in major European cities like Barcelona.  With limited space in the city centre and a wealth of surrounding architecture that suits the boutique experience, it’s a perfect fit.  Fine examples include the Praktik with branches on Rambla de Cataluña and C/ Diputació, the Wilson on Avenida Diagonal, Hotel Omm on C/ Rosselló and Hotel Pulitzer on C/ Bergara.

It’s worth remembering that many boutique hotels in Barcelona provide limited restaurant and room service facilities. You’re more likely to find a reading room or rooftop terrace in their place.

Enjoy a stay in Montreal and a taste of French Canada

Author: jayzep  |  Category: City Guides, Flights, Travel Destinations, Travel Guides, Travel Tips

Montreal is a beautiful place to spend your holiday, and you can even practice your French whilst you’re there.  British airlines and tour operators are offering exceptional deals including flights and accommodation in the city renowned as being at the heart of French Canada.

Montreal is a sightseers dream.  It contains one of the largest gardens in the world, the Jardin Boutique.  Another huge draw for visitors to Montreal is the Basilique Notre Dame, a huge neo-gothic church with an elaborate altar and beautiful stained glass windows.  Additionally, something that will enthral all of the family is the Biodome, which allows visitors to experience all the world’s ecosystems under one roof.

The city is also a wonderful place for those who enjoy letting their hair down while on holiday.  There are some great clubs such as the Plateau, European style cocktail bars, as well budget bars where you can enjoy a great evening without breaking the bank.

Montreal also is the place for great eating with renowned restaurants such as the Restaurant Le Grain De Sel, Barroco, Olive & Gourmando and Stash Café.

An important element of any holiday is the accommodation, and Montreal has some great hotels.  Holidaymakers can stay in the Sofitel Montreal, Hotel Les Suites Labelle and the Chateau Versailles to name just a few.

A walk around the area is always pleasant, and for those preferring to use public transport the bus service is cheap.

Heading to Fiji’s Islands

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Flights, Travel Destinations, Travel Guides, Travel Tips

Heading for a holiday to Fiji may not be as easy as you think. Getting there is not the problem, it is choosing between one of their 333 islands. These islands can be found scattered across some 200,000 square miles of the South Pacific Ocean. Of all the islands, 330 of them are large enough for humans to live on, but only 100 islands actually have year-round inhabitants. 

More than 85 per cent of the landmass is made up between two of Fiji’s largest islands. They are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Many of Fiji’s bigger islands are of rugged terrain and volcanic rock, while the smaller islands are of coral and limestone.

The main airport into Fiji is located in an area referred to as the Ra Islands. Once you land, you will instantly notice that local island life is about relaxation, lush vegetation, turquoise lagoons, and sandy beaches as far as the eye can see.

There is a lot to do and see on the islands between the enjoyable beach siestas. The more populated islands offer various visitor tours, guided fishing expeditions, sightseeing, shopping and great first class restaurants.

The eastern side of the islands experiences the most rainfall. It is also the lushest area with green valleys and tropical plants. Due to the rich soil, it is here where you can enjoy home-grown produce and taste many of the exotic fruits. These parts are also home to several fresh water rivers such as Ba, Rewa, Sigatoke, and Navua. Other parts of the Fijian Islands are where tourists can view Mt. Victoria, as well as the spectacular 4,341-foot Viti Levu Mountain.

Thailand’s Chiang Rai

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Flights, Travel Destinations, Travel Tips

Thailand itself has long since been a tourist attraction in Asia. The location offers spectacular beaches, warm waters and incredible culture. Choosing one place to holiday in Thailand will be as difficult as leaving after you have arrived.

For a first time visit, Chiang Rai is a good choice for its location, beaches, history and food. It is one of the most destined cities in the country for these very reasons. Almost every hotel in town will have travellers within close proximity to the local attractions.

Dating back to 1262, the city was discovered by King Meng Rai making it the first capital of the Lanna Thai Kingdom. The historic town remains quaint with its rustic charm and peaceful views. Something unique to do when visiting Chiang Rai is to head out for an afternoon of relaxation in one of the many rice fields, which offer endless panoramic views.

After exploring rice fields and local shops, a trip to Doi Mae Salong and Doi Tung Mountains will be in order. This is the perfect city getaway and is ideal for those wishing to throw on their hiking gear and explore other areas. From the tops of both peaks visitors can enjoy distant views of country hills spotted with local tribe villages.

If you find yourself in Chiang Rai during the month of November, bring your camera and enjoy a once-a-year marvel as the local fields turn bright yellow with wild sunflowers. A great viewing location for this spectacle is the peak of Doi Hua Mae Kham.

Visiting Washington, the Capital of the USA

Author: jayzep  |  Category: City Guides, Flights, Travel Destinations

Duly noted as the capital of the USA, Washington is home to the President of the United States. This is where visitors can view the official residence of almost every US president: the 18th century White House.

Sited as one of America’s most beautiful cities, Washington’s close proximity to Virginia and Maryland allows travellers to enjoy relaxing scenic drives to other great US destinations. This powerhouse city is fuelled by tourism and politics, which keeps it full of life with an eclectic mix.

Each of the separate districts inside the city provides a different mix of culture. The Adams-Morgan District is known for its ethnic groups while Dupont Circle is popular for its vast array of clubs. Downtown is where visitors can explore the city’s many galleries and enjoy the local nightlife, while Connecticut Avenue will bring a warm smile to the shopper in your group.

The National Mall and Capitol Hill area offers up the city’s most distinguished museums and prominent buildings. They include the Smithsonian Institution and presidential monuments, while Georgetown is the place to indulge in the finest boutiques and restaurants. It is also noted for having the most upscale chains, stately antique stores and independent boutiques.

Aside from the White House, there are other distinctive sites worth visiting.  The Smithsonian Institute is home to 15 different museums that house a large array of artefacts and art. This is where you will find the Museum of American History and the Air and Space Museum. The Kennedy Space Museum for the Performing Arts is the best place to take in a night of live theatre.

Luxury Seychelles Holidays

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Flights, Travel Destinations, Travel Guides, Travel Tips

Situated in the western Indian Ocean, 1,000 miles from anywhere else on Earth and comprising 115 islands, the Seychelles is the ultimate luxury holiday destination for couples, families or the single traveller. The Seychelles archipelago consists of inner and outer islands encircling the main island of Mahé. The islands boast clear, turquoise-blue waters and fine, white sandy beaches shaded by palm trees.  

Seychelles holidays
offer escapism from the bustle of modern life, with tranquil, idyllic locations. Refined luxury at world-class hotels and resorts is supplemented by isolated retreats in luxury villas and exclusive private island retreats. 

Lying 4° south of the Equator and benefiting from a tropical climate, luxury holidays to the Seychelles can be tailored to suit all requirements, such as indulgent relaxation, adventure or romance.  Wedding packages are available for couples and their guests, where personalised itineraries can be planned. Seychelles holidays are perfect for romantic getaways or honeymoons.   

The Seychelles is home to the oldest granite mid-ocean islands on Earth. Combined with coral atolls and reefs, the island landscapes have strikingly dramatic variations, just waiting to be discovered. The optimum method of transport around Mahé is by jeep; other islands employ ox carts, cycles or golf buggies. Excursions to outlying islands are available by plane, boat or helicopter.

Seychelles Holiday Choices

The wide variety of luxury holidays available will appeal to discerning travellers; adventure such as water sports, diving, deep-sea fishing, surfing or sailing. On land there is golf, tennis, trekking on horseback, hiking and children’s clubs. The Seychelles is the place to relax, whether on one of the islands’ pristine beaches or by the hotel pool soaking up the sun with a traditional cocktail.

Scuba Diving in the Grenada

Author: jayzep  |  Category: Flights, Travel Destinations, Travel Guides, Travel Tips

The Grenada Islands are fast becoming one of the most popular dive spots in the entire world.  Azure lagoons, clear turquoise water and a vast array of beautiful and diverse sea life create the perfect recipe for scuba diving holidays.

Luxury holidays in Grenada are not complete without a diving experience for the adventurous.  While these islands are most well known as idyllic tropical retreats, there has been a great deal of buzz lately surrounding this destination as a hot spot for expert and amateur divers alike.  Dive schools throughout the country offer education and group dives with instructors for those who are unsure of their abilities and who would feel more comfortable and secure with a professional nearby.

In the last few years Grenada holidays have become more popular with divers from around the world as the word spreads about this beautiful location.  The warm waters, beautiful sunshine, and the diversity of underwater life found here only serves to enhance this reputation.  The undersea life and coral reefs in the Grenada are some of the most stunning in the world.

There are many channels in the atolls that include underwater caves and caverns that divers can explore.  The currents sweep divers through some of the most incredible varieties of fish and underwater plant life to be found anywhere in the world.  Some of the highlights of a dive in the Grenada are the magnificent stingrays and eagle rays, barracuda, and a riot of colourful sponges and invertebrates.

How to Choose a Hotel in Madrid

Author: jayzep  |  Category: City Guides, Flights, Travel Destinations, Travel Guides

You’re thinking of going on holiday to the capital of Spain this year?  Whenever you go on holiday one of the most important things to think about is where you’re going to stay and what you’re expecting from your accommodation.  This article will provide you with some information to think about when choosing a hotel in Madrid.

Location

One of the main things to think about is the location of the hotel.  If you choose one which is close to the centre it might be more expensive, but you are likely to save money on taxis or other transportation because you can walk everywhere. Hotels which are further from the centre are generally cheaper and more spacious.

Amenities

You will need to consider what amenities you require.  For example, do you want a hotel which includes a free breakfast?  If you are visiting Madrid to sightsee it is probably a good idea to book a hotel that provides breakfast, because then you can eat well before you go out.  Do you need a swimming pool? This will probably be dependent on the purpose of your trip.  Are you here for a relaxing holiday? Or are you here to experience the city?

Accessibility from the Airport

If you are travelling with a lot of luggage you may need to take a taxi from the airport.  This can often be very expensive if the hotel is quite far into the city centre.  The metro or airport shuttle bus is usually the cheaper option, but what you need to think about is if there are any metro or bus stops close to your hotel.  If there aren’t, this could make for a difficult journey from the airport.