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This is the new edition of Choice Villas & Apartments 2010. This edition contains villas to rent around the world including all the popular areas of Spain, France, Portugal the USA etc. In this edition we are also offering the chance to win two fantastic holidays!
This is the new edition of Choice Villas & Apartments 2010. This edition contains villas to rent around the world including all the popular areas of Spain, France, Portugal the USA etc. In this edition we are also offering the chance to win two fantastic holidays!
Images ©Loretta Prince Choice Villas & Apartments is your indispensable guide to planning your next holiday – use this guide to choose your ideal destination, book your dream getaway, grab some holiday tips and get up-to-date with the latest holiday must-haves. Balearic Islands 4 Airport parking 87 Canary Islands 12 Car hire 87 Cyprus 22 Flights 87 PLUS: France 28 Insurance WIN a TENERIFE holiday: 21 Greece 34 for car hire 88 Travel Insurance 88 FIT FOR TRAVEL & Italy 40 LOOKING GOOD!: 39 Portugal 46 International including: 90 WIN an ALGARVE holiday: 55 Spain 56 Sweden Caribbean EASY PACKING: 71 Turkey Hungary LITTLE LUXURIES: 85 & North Cyprus USA 66 72 South Africa Property for Sale TRAVEL CHECKLIST: 86 Published by: Travel & Leisure Magazines Ltd, Editor Publishers hold no responsibility for the actions of outside agents. No part of Suite 421, 1–3 Coventry Road, Keeley Gordon: keeleyg@TLmags.com Peter Lewsey: peterl@TLmags.com this magazine may be reproduced without prior written consent. Ilford, Essex IG1 4QR Terry Stafford: terrys@TLmags.com Please note: property buyers should expect extra financial costs Editorial Assistant & Production such as legal costs, local taxes etc. All private advertisers are Tel: 020 8865 2844 The publishers cannot accept responsibility for errors or totally responsible for their own wording within their Loretta Prince: lorettap@TLmags.com omissions. Whilst every care is taken, all material submitted to advertisement, and Travel & Leisure Magazines Limited can Fax: 020 8518 0455 email@example.com therefore take no responsibility as to their content. Please seek Travel & Leisure Magazines Limited is done so at its owner's risk Printed by Wyndeham Heron Advertising Sales and neither Travel & Leisure Magazines Limited nor its agents legal advice and thereafter verify all the details of your purchase Beverley Sennett: bevs@TLmags.com can accept any liability for loss or damage. Travel & Leisure in writing before proceeding. ©Travel & Leisure Magazines Limited 2010 Magazines Limited is a completely independent company and can Balearic Islands About a hundred miles off the north-eastern coast of Spain lies a group of islands blessed with a combination of nature, climate and culture that has transformed them into tourism giants. Ibiza Noche ©Turespaña DRENCHED IN SUNSHINE, THE BALEARIC ISLANDS CONSIST OF MALLORCA (MAJORCA), MENORCA (MINORCA) AND IBIZA, FORMENTERA AND VARIOUS SMALLER ISLANDS Brimming with stunning scenery and sandy beaches, pulsating nightlife and rural serenity, each of the main islands has its own look, feel and individuality and is associated with a particular type of holiday. children and the bathing platforms will satisfy the adults! A quieter holiday can be enjoyed at Cala Galdana, one of the most The sheer beauty and simple harmony of MALLORCA is beautiful coves in the western Mediterranean. second to none with a variety of landscapes from lagoons and marshes to small springs and smooth hills. Beach resorts are in IBIZA has come to be known as the home of the Balearic Beat, abundance and with 208 beaches, there is one to suit all tastes a focus of European club dance music, where top international from the lively and outgoing to the secluded and tranquil. The DJs come to perform at the island’s huge, highly-developed lively resorts of Magaluf and Palma Nova in the south-west offer nightclubs. Clubbers from all over flock to San Antonio, Ibiza’s plenty of watersports, shops, restaurants and a host of clubs, second largest town during the summer months from June to pubs and discos. Whilst the north coast is much quieter with September. popular family resorts like Alcudia. The warm shallow waters are There is another side to the island, however, popular with perfect for young children, and the beach has fine, clean sand. families and couples who enjoy the safe, shallow waters of Colonia San Jordi is located on the south-east coast and resorts like San Antonio Bay, Santa Eulalia, Es Cana and better known for the Cabrera National Park and the Portinatx offering some of the best restaurants, sandy famous Es Trenc Caribbean style beach. One of the Overlooked beaches and watersports. Away from the resorts, last big sandy areas which is still unspoilt and by the magnificent Ibiza has a wild, beautiful coastline and enough well preserved in Mallorca (partially nudist). space for a completely different kind of holiday. Palma Cathedral, the Known as the ‘island of wind’, MENORCA labyrinth of alleyways in FORMENTERA is a southbit of You will Mediterranean paradise little of Ibiza. is idyllic for those who love sailing and windsurfing. A number of nautical companies Palma, Mallorca once laid have to take a ferry across to the island from rent out different kinds of vessels or offer down by the Romans will Ibiza town to La Savina, a pretty working port excursions to any of the beautiful beaches where and to million-pound lead you here, there yachtsexclusive marina, home Ibiza. Dreamy white and fantastic views of you can enjoy a wonderful dip in the Mediterranean or a dive into its depths. and everywhere! sandy beaches, clear waters and unspoiled nature Menorca is the second-largest island and combines makes Formentera the perfect destination for a relaxing traditional Mediterranean houses with colonial buildings holiday. Es Pujols is the main tourist resort on the island, dating back to the 18th century. It is generally quieter and less although much is different to your average tourist resort! A overtly ‘touristy’ than its two main neighbours. paved walkway alongside the beach houses cafes and Menorca’s resorts range from quaint fishing villages with quiet, restaurants and a maze of narrow streets come alive at night undisturbed beaches to the family orientated resorts like Cala’n allowing holidaymakers to enjoy the summer evenings with Forcat. The aqua-park and trampolines will entertain the some alfresco dining. Cala Saona, Formentera ©Turespaña Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 5 Fact file Liquid salt from FORMENTERA is a natural source of health. Prepared at the island’s salt flats, liquid salt from Formentera has the lowest sodium content of all salt produced in Spain and is ideal for cardio-healthy diets. Costa Nord was set up by actor Michael Douglas, to inspire visitors to appreciate the natural beauty of MALLORCA. Located in an old village estate in Valldemossa, the cultural centre promotes artistic creation through concert cycles, exhibitions and all kinds of cultural activities. Concerts are held during the summer and take place outdoors in the grounds. PROTECTED AREAS & NATURAL PARKS S’Albuferade Alcúdia Natural Park. Mallorca Sa Dragonera Natural Park. Mallorca Mondragó Natural Park. Mallorca Cala Bosch, Menorca ©Turespaña Península de Levante Natural Park. Mallorca Ses Salines Natural Park. Ibiza/Formentera. Tourist Information Guided Cultural Itineries: Palma’s Cala d’Hort Natural Park. Ibiza S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park. Menorca www.illesbalears.es Monuments, Jewish Quarter, Noble Cabrera Land and Sea National Park Mallorca: firstname.lastname@example.org Houses in Ciutadella, etc. Menorca: email@example.com www.itineraris.org ADLIB is an artisan style of fashion that features natural fabrics, traditional embroidery and laces. It Ibiza: firstname.lastname@example.org Did you know? was created in 1971 by Yugoslavian princess Formentera: email@example.com Smilja Mihailovitch, inspired by typical Pitiusan The Balearic Islands are home to 25 clothing and influenced by hippies! Every year in Official language Spanish & Catalan golf courses, 65 marinas, 1428 early summer, the fashion world joins for the Average seaside temperatures kilometres of coast and 375 beaches. IBIZA AND FORMENTERA Fashion Week and the presentation of the season’s Adlib fashion. Winter: 15ºC, Spring: 22ºC, Summer 29ºC, Autumn 18–27ºC The collective name of the Sant Joan in Ciutadella! is probably the most Gymnesian Islands distinguishes the famous of MENORCA’S popular summer fiestas. Currency Euro A traditional fiesta that has been faithfully two largest (and eastern-most) celebrated for centuries and today is an Average flying time from UK 2–21/2 hours Balearic islands (Mallorca and irreplaceable part of the identity of Ciutadella’s Menorca), from the Pine Islands residents in particular and Menorcans as a whole. Capital Palma, Mallorca (Ibiza and Formentera). Palma Cathedral, Mallorca ©Turespaña Alcudia, Mallorca ©Turespaña 6 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Balearic Islands, Formentera, Mallorca 8 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Mallorca Please quote CVA when replying to ads Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 9 Mallorca, Menorca 10 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Balearic Islands, Menorca Please quote CVA when replying to ads Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 11 Canary Islands Visitors to the Canary Islands are blessed with heaps of spectacular attractions, year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches, a rich and varied landscape and some of the most colourful fiestas and carnivals in Spain. Lanzarote TENERIFE, GRAN CANARIA, LA PALMA, LA GOMERA, FUERTEVENTURA, LANZAROTE and EL HIERRO lie just off the coast of Africa, resting peacefully in the cool blue Atlantic Ocean. With seven beautiful islands to discover, your dream holiday begins here. Escape, relax and enjoy the islands’ wide-range of high quality activities like trekking, para-gliding, sailing and golf. There are wonderful sandy beaches, colourful LA PALMA is also known as ‘the pretty island’ because of its fiestas, hidden black-sand bays, forests to explore and white sand breathtaking landscapes and exotic spots; ‘the green island’ dunes to get lost in, all only four hours from the UK! because of its exuberant forests and natural beauties; and ‘the island of the stars’ due to the unbelievable clarity of the sky there. LANZAROTE experienced volcanic eruptions in the 18th and It’s lush vegetation and running streams make La Palma very 19th centuries that transformed a great part of its landscape. A different from the other islands, a perfect getaway with enchanting cloud of ashes and volcanic rests stood still over an extension of accommodation and traditional craftworks full of curiosities. 200km2 forming the badlands of the Fire Mountains, today, the spectacular National Park of Timanfaya. Whether it’s fishing in TENERIFE is an island of many contrasts, from its unique the small bays and turquoise sea of Las Coloradas, sunbathing on contours and terrain, and its variety of landscapes to its peaceful the golden sand of Punta del Papagayo or visiting the vineyards coastline. In the north of the island, you will find a traditional nestled between volcanic craters in region of Geria, Lanzarote will atmosphere whilst the popular south has a more cosmopolitan feel not dissapoint. to it. Search for Bottlenose dolphins, go deep sea fishing, play golf, go rock climbing or mountain biking, or for the less active GRAN CANARIA is the most cosmopolitan of the islands, a minded, take in some culture at the UNESCO site of La Laguna place to enjoy art, culture, museums, classical music, or a musical delight at the Auditorium. opera and film festivals combined with popular family Four theme parks, beauty and well being centres and EL HIERRO is the smallest and most western of delicious cuisine. The beautiful old quarter of of Spain’s the islands and is a land made for peace and quiet. Vegueta and Triana in Las Palmas de Gran In an area covering just a little over 278 square Canaria is great for shopping, whilst in the thirteen national kilometres, you can find green forests, rocky south of the island, the wonderful beaches of coasts, gentle meadows and places like El San Agustín, El Inglés and Maspalomas are parks are located Sabinar, whose trees are strange and twisted where most holiday-makers flock to. having the winds. Enjoy in the Canary the bestbeen sculpted byworld with crystal some of sea-beds in the clear FUERTEVENTURA is a peaceful island and waters and hundreds of subtropical species. the second largest of the Canaries. It also has the Islands. oldest history and the longest beaches. Between Pajara LA GOMERA is a land of contrasts and also one of and Jandia, you will find an almost untouched 6km stretch the most beautiful of the Canary Islands. Relax and watch the of beach with golden sand, crystalline sea, and a colourful world go by on this charming and pure island with it’s abundance underwater-world which attracts divers from all over. Loose of nature and beautiful small beaches. La Gomera is a haven for yourself in a small coastal village full of flavour and traditional very old and original popular customs like the way that different architecture or relish in the modern amenities available like golf, valleys communicate with each other in a whistling language, watersports and theme parks. similar to the "yodling" in the European Alps. Fuerteventura Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 13 Fact file GRAN CANARIA has the biggest population of all the islands and also boasts the most important city in terms of population size and economic activity, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The capital of FUERTEVENTURA, Puerto Rosario is a small picturesque town with just 15,550 inhabitants and it is here that you will get a true feeling for the typical style of the Canary Islands architecture. LA GOMERA has mostly small bays with fine sand, which include the small picturesque fishing- village of Playa de Santiago and at the exit of Valle Gran Rey, a valley with important plantations, is one of the island's best beaches. EL HIERRO’S capital city, Valverde, is a small Gran Canaria picturesque settlement with gardens and parks, an interesting church and a nice square from which Spanish Tourist Office Did you know? you have a great view over the sea. 24hr brochure request line 08459 Wherever you are in LANZAROTE, you will The Teide volcano on Tenerife is the 400 180. (national rates apply) never be far from a fine sandy beach and pretty highest mountain in Spain and the www.tourspain.co.uk white houses. The thermal spa of Puerto del third largest volcano on Earth. Carmen and the tropical ambience of Playa Blanca www.spain.info make them two of the most popular resorts on Lanzarote. Canary Islands www.canarias.org The Canary Islands are outside the European Union customs territory, La Caldera de Taburiente is a unique part of LA Official language Spanish though politically within the EU. PALMA’S countryside and was designated a National Park in 1954 because of its immense Average seaside temperatures scientific importance and its exceptional wild Summer 24°C During the Second World War, landscapes, huge pines and waterfalls. Winter 21°C Winston Churchill prepared plans for TENERIFE is the largest of the islands and has the British seizure of the Canary Currency Euro a strange triangular shape, with the gigantic Pico Islands as a naval base. del Teide rising up in the centre to 3,718 meters, Average flying time from UK 4 hours. making it the highest point in all of Spain. Tenerife Gran Canaria 14 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Fuerteventura, Lanzarote 16 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Lanzarote Please quote CVA when replying to ads Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 17 Lanzarote, Tenerife 18 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Lanzarote, Tenerife, Canary Islands Please quote CVA when replying to ads Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 19 Tenerife, Property for Sale 20 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads WIN a holiday for two to Tenerife Staying at the fantastic PARADISE PARK RESORT & SPA with flights courtesy of JET2.COM and tickets to SIAM PARK and LORO PARQUE, the Island’s two best-known attractions Flights will be provided by Jet2.com and tickets to E scape to Tenerife this summer, an island blessed with year-long sunshine and attractions visit two of Tenerife’s best known attractions, LORO to suit all ages. Visit Mount Teide, Spain’s Parque and SIAM Park are also included. highest peak, play a round of golf, search for dolphins Jet2.com is one of the UK's leading low fare airlines or visit one of Tenerife’s numerous first-class with seven bases across the north of England - Leeds attractions. Bradford, Manchester, Newcastle, Blackpool, Belfast, We are giving one lucky reader the chance to win a Edinburgh and East Midlands operating to 49 routes fantastic holiday to the wonderful island of Tenerife. across Europe and beyond. The prize includes a seven-night stay for two at the Loro Parque is home to the largest collection of Paradise Park Resort & Spa on the Paradise Park parrots in the world as well as killer whales, sharks, Premium Package which includes: penguins, dolphins and many many more. www.loroparque.com • Accommodation in fully refurbished room with pool view Siam Park is a Thai-themed water park, home to the Tower of Power, with its breath-taking 28 metre drop • 1st contents of mini bar at no cost and the largest white sandy beach in Tenerife. • In-room tea and coffee making www.siampark.net facilities • Spa Circuit [excludes To enter, visit treatments] www.choicetravelinfo.com and go • Welcome gift to ‘competitions and giveaways’. The closing date for entries is • Drinks with meals Friday 30 April 2010. Prize cannot [lunch/dinner depending on be taken before 15th July 2010 board basis] and is subject to availability. • Exclusive entertainment Terms & conditions apply and can www.hotelparadisepark.com be found on the website. Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Cyprus A typically Mediterranean landscape blessed with timeless beauty, where five-star resorts are intertwined with well preserved Greek and Roman ruins. Konnos Bay – a mile east of Ayia Napa ©Cyprus Tourism Organisation SINCE APHRODITE ROSE FROM THE SEA IN 3200BC, CYPRUS HAS BEEN AN ISLAND OF ROMANCE and despite being at the crossroads of three continents, it is a distinctive place that can feel blissfully apart from it all. Your experience of Cyprus can be as varied and rewarding as the geography of the island itself. There are beaches to suit just about everybody, from families with small children to seekers of solitude and the Troodos Mountains offer an alluring contrast to Larnaca is the enchanting village of Lefkara, once admired by the coast. The distinctive culture of Cyprus is always close at Leonardo da Vinci for its exquisite handmade lace. hand, whether it be in the hillside towns, at the beach or in the countryside. With its superb beaches and multi-star hotels, the FAMAGUSTA region draws discerning sun seekers from all The whole town of PAPHOS is included in the official UNESCO over the globe. Ayia Napa, once a small fishing village, is a lively list of cultural and natural treasures of world heritage, and resort best known for its colourful nightlife. Historic sites such archeological discoveries in the region are continual. The stunning as a 16th-Century Venetian monastery and the crescent harbour, harbour is the perfect backdrop for an evening meal of freshly add character to the busy shops and tavernas. Life in this caught seafood, or an afternoon coffee whilst admiring the southeastern corner of Cyprus revolves around the sea, with magnificent boats returning from a day at sea. A trip to the hilltop watersports of all kinds readily available – from scuba diving to market is also a must for the magnificent views over Paphos, if not water-skiing to paragliding. East to Protaras, more glorious for the souvenirs! beaches spread out under the sun. A tradition of celebration and hospitality is always present During the Venetian expansion eastward in the 1500’s, the in the vibrant seaside town of LIMASSOL. From capital NICOSIA was fortified with imposing stone the Wine Festival in September, to the Carnival in Spring walls and massive gates. The famous Famagusta February, music, parades, and dancing is a way is an excellent Gate still stands today. Wind your way through of life! Limassol has ten miles of beaches – narrow stone streets where flowers cascade from stroll along the promenade, visit the lush season for nature window pots and the aroma of traditional baking Municipal Gardens or travel along the coastal lovers to visit Cyprus wafts through open doorways. Explore jewellery road to the east to find Amathus, one of the and handicraft shops, dine in charming tavernas ancient city kingdoms of Cyprus. as the countryside is and marvel at churches centuries old. Most visitors to Cyprus begin their discovery in green and flowers The thick cedar and pine forests and sun-soaked LARNACA – the second port and site of an are in blossom. slopes of the TROODOS region offer an international airport. Shopping boutiques, inviting unexpected contrast to the Mediterranean coast, less cafés and a palm-lined promenade lead the way to the than an hour away. Connecting the mountain resorts of Larnaca Medieval Museum, housed in a 17th-century fort. One Troodos, Kakopetria, Platres, and Agros are trails that hold of the oldest, continually-inhabited cities in the world, Larnaca is delights for mountain bikers, hikers, bird watchers and rich in places to visit. Nearby is an 18th-Century aqueduct, and botanists alike. Nine of Troodos’s remarkable Byzantine two wonderful museums – the Larnaka District archeological churches have been listed on UNESCO’s prestigious World Museum and the Pierides Foundation Museum. Not far from Cultural Heritage List. Petra tou Romiou – Aphrodite’s Rock ©Cyprus Tourism Organisation Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 23 Fact file The brand new LARNACA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT has officially opened. The new state- of-the art airport, which is three times bigger than its predecessor, will be able to handle up to 7.5 million passengers each year. Cyprus now boasts two modern airports following the opening of the new airport in Paphos in November 2008. Cyprus has been awarded its highest ever number of ‘Blue Flag’ beaches in recognition of the quality and safety of its beaches. In total 53 beaches located throughout the island successfully achieved the exclusive eco-label. New beaches to join the list are ‘Miami Beach’ in Agios Athanasios near LIMASSOL and ‘Spyros Beach’ near LARNACA airport. CYPRUS has been rated the top spot in Europe for bathing water quality with 98.2% of its Ayia Napa ©Cyprus Tourism Organisation beaches complying with all obligatory standards on beach water quality by the European Tourist Office Average seaside temperatures (Paphos) Commission and European Environmental Agency www.visitcyprus.com Winter 16ºC, Spring 20ºC, Summer Commission which monitors the quality and 30ºC, Autumn 23ºC cleanliness of beaches in the 27 member Official language Greek & Turkish. countries. English is widely spoken, as is Did you know? Cyprus is the third Bikers can test their pedal power on the new French & German is tourist areas. largest island in the Mediterranean TROODOS Cycling Network, which offers three Sea signposted routes in some of the Troodos Currency Euro Mountains’ most scenic parts. Average flying time 41/2 hours Along the route that leads from the After launching a Cyprus Sustainable Tourism port city of Limassol to Paphos, is a Initiative (CSTI) self-drive route covering the Average local prices magnificent stretch of coastline Pitsilia area in the North of LIMASSOL earlier Single bus ticket €1 where you can swim in the sea at this year, Cyprus will unveil a new CSTI self-drive Glass of beer €3.50–5 Petra tou Romiou, a boulder that route in October where drivers will be able to discover the North of PAPHOS and the Akamas Lunch (fixed menu) €10–13.50 marks the spot where Aphrodite peninsula renowned for its outstanding natural Theatre ticket €17–25 emerged from the sea-foam in beauty and rare endemic plants. ancient times. Local Time GMT+2 hours Adonis Bath – just outside Paphos, close to Coral Bay ©Cyprus Tourism Organisation Grapes ©Cyprus Tourism Organisation 24 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Cyprus 26 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Cyprus, Property for Sale Please quote CVA when replying to ads Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 27 France With coasts on three seas, magnificent cities and idyllic rural areas each with its own distinctive character you could have a hundred different holidays in France. Canoes on the Dordogne near the village of La Rogue Gajeac, Aquitaine, South West France. © ATOUT FRANCE/Jean Malburet FRANCE IS A COUNTRY RICH IN RURAL CHARM AND UNFORGETTABLE PLACES, ROLLING VINEYARDS, PRETTY CHÂTEAUX AND THE WILD ATLANTIC COAST. The east has medieval charm and splendour, half-timbered towns and magnificent cathedrals, while further south lie the mountains of the Jura and Savoy and the glitz of the Côte d’Azur. The interior offers unspoilt landscapes such as the ever-popular Dordogne and then there are cities like Paris, Lyon, Marseilles and many others, all beautiful and distinctive. The SOUTH-WEST of France enjoys the lakes and rivers Easily accessible from the UK, the NORTH-EAST of of Limousin, the golden sandy beaches, rolling Bordeaux France is home to Calais and the major town of Lille with TGV vineyards and beautiful castles of Aquitaine, and the rich Paris, Brussels and London rail connections. From France’s cultural heritage and diverse landscape of the Midi-Pyrénées. historical beginnings in Picardy to the romance of Paris and The Poitou-Charentes region has a magnificent coastline and is the splendour of the Champagne region, this area of France is linked to the superb, refined and locally produced spirit of full of charm and beauty. Lorraine is at the border of Belgium, Cognag and is one of the finest destinations for Luxembourg and Germany and Alsace is renowned for countryside holidays. geranium-filled villages and its medieval capital of Corsica is a Strasbourg. And of course there is Burgundy, See SOUTH-EAST France at it’s natural famous for its fine wines, and the natural beauty best in Auvergne with it’s abundance of green well-preserved of Franche-Comté. mountains and wild gorges, shaped by the island with two volcanic activity that took place over 30 The NORTH-WEST is home to Brittany, at million years ago. The Rhône-Alps are thirds of its surface the westernmost tip of France, a region with famous for snowy peaks, hiking and winter- ancient countryside, quiet beaches and small sports and the Rhône River runs straight from being a Regional fishing villages. Normandy is fantastic for the glacier, south through France towards the Natural Park families from the seaside coasts to child-friendly sunny Mediterranean. Languedoc-Roussillon, activities and the Loire Valley has charming towns, Provence Alps and Côte d’Azur have miles of sandy lush gardens and numerous museums and cathedrals. beaches resting against the Mediterranean Sea and The north west is perfect for all kinds of pastimes like charming villages, sparkling marinas and the romantic hill-top cycling, canoeing, and hot-air ballooning and the Western towns and magical sunshine of the Riviera. Corsica is a green Loire stretches along the Atlantic Ocean, just below island with pine forests and emerald mountain lakes, not to Brittany and is a scenic region with 30 miles of coast and mention miles of luxurious beaches. 250 miles of waterways. The beach at Carnac, a town famous for its megalithic alignments. Brittany, North West France ©ATOUT FRANCE/Michel Angot Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 29 Fact file CORSICA is a prized destination for gourmets. Don’t miss the Figalellu (lightly smoked liver sausage), Coppa Ham, Canistrelli (lemon biscuits) with chestnuts and Casgiu Merzu: a “dancing” goats cheese swarming with small live white worms (asticots)! The JEWELS OF THE BASQUE COAST is an uninterrupted 27km hike along the Atlantic coastline from Biarritz to Hendaye. Walk through wild heathland and narrow Basque streets with the Rhune mountains on the French side and the Trois Couvonnes (three crowns) peak across the border in Spain. France has almost 2000km of BEACHES spread across 200 resorts. Whether along the English Channel, the Atlantic or the Mediterranean, they all have their own individual Albigny beach, Lake Annecy, Rhône-Alpes, South East France ©ATOUT FRANCE/Jean-François Tripelon-Jarry style ranging from sandy, pebble, secret coves or Tourist Office Did you know? invigorating waves and tides. www.franceguide.com The maximum distances in France are: France’s CLIMATE is divided into four climatic firstname.lastname@example.org North–South: Dunkirk to Paris-de- zones: Tel: 09068 244 123 (60p min) Malo, 973km; East–West: The South of France enjoys a Mediterranean Lauterbourg to Pointe de Corsen, climate with mild winters and very hot summers. Official language French 945.5km; North-west–South-east: The North, Paris and Central regions have an Average temperatures (July) Pointe de Corsen to Menton, 1082km. intermediate climate with cold winters and hot summers. Nice 23ºC The French Motorail allows you to Paris 19ºC take your car to the south of France, Alsace, Lorraine and along the Rhone corridor and in the Alps, Pyrenees and Massif Central, the Montpellier 23ºC saving you the drive. Your car is climate is semi-continental with harsh winters and Lyon 20ºC loaded onto special transporter hot summers. Currency Euro carriages whilst you relax in the In the west from Bayonne to Lille, the oceanic and passenger carriages. Services operate humid climate give cooler summers. Local time GMT+1 (end Mar–end Oct to Brives, Toulouse, Narbonne, GMT+2) Avignon and Nice. Average flying time Approx 11/2 hours www.frenchmotorail.com Septmonts, Picardy, North East France ©ATOUT FRANCE/CRT Picardie/Claude Jacquot Along the Orne, viaduct and countryside on the outskirts of Clécy, Normandy, North West France. 30 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 © ATOUT FRANCE/CDT Calvados France 32 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads South-East, South-West, Skiing Please quote CVA when replying to ads Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 33 Greece From the fascination of ancient Athens to the beaches of Corfu, Crete and Rhodes, Greece and her Islands offer a unique mix of sun, sand and history. Athens antiquity ©GNTO, D Koilalous THE SUN-DRENCHED BEACHES LEAD TOURISM IN GREECE AND IT’S THE ARCHITECTURE, CUISINE AND CUSTOMS THAT ENTICE VISITORS TO RETURN Greece will delight your senses in so many ways as you wander through picture-postcard villages and historical sites, sampling the fresh and unique flavours of Greek cuisine and roam from mountains to beach taking in the breathtaking scenery. In 2009, 425 beaches and eight marinas in Greece were awarded the “Blue Flag” for their cleanliness, good organisation and safety, putting the country in a top-ranking position among other European countries. Half of Greece’s 16,000km coast is found around the thousands of islands and the rest around the Mediterranean and daily sea crossings can be made to nearby mainland. Diversity stretches from small bays and coves to sandy Turkey. Peaceful resorts can be found on the west coast. beaches with dunes, pebbly shores and coastal caves. RHODES is said to have 300 days of blue skies a year and Greece’s mainland is perfect for holidays with the perfect beyond the madness of resorts like Faliraki, famed for its combination of diving, snorkelling, Greek ruins and charming clubbing scene, there is much to discover on yet another beautiful churches. Visit ATHENS in the south for a city break and to island. Rhodes has a well-preserved medieval city steeped in explore the surrounding towns and villages or history with castle’s and fortresses waiting to be explored. The most popular beaches lie to the west and south of PARGA on the west coast with its picturesque Cephalonia, Rhodes City and those in search of a more authentic harbour, busy nightlife and ferry links to Corfu. Greece, should head south of the island. Or relax on the white sand beaches of enjoyed a surge HALKIDIKI in the north and let your in popularity after The IONIAN SEA is home to oneZanteisland group, The Ionian Islands including sole imagination run free! featuring in the novel (Zakynthos) and Corfu amongst others. Most of Greece’s islands lie in the AEGEAN and film Captain CORFU is the closest Greek Island to the UK SEA and include the popular holiday islands of and is still the most popular for Brits. All- Kos and Rhodes (The Dodecanese) and Crete. Corelli’s inclusive and cheap package deals have made CRETE is a very popular island with a mix of Mandolin. Corfu a very attractive holiday destination, although large tourist resorts, peaceful seaside villages and amongst the touristy resorts north and south of Corfu centuries-old cities. Most of the eastern side is a mecca town and along the north coast, romantic beaches and for package tourism, whilst the west has a more rugged coastline traditional villages can still be found all over. and less crowded beaches. ZANTE (ZAKYNTHOS) is the most southerly of the Ionian KOS was one of the first Greek Islands to open up to mass Islands full of pretty villages, quiet beaches and breathtaking tourism, owed mostly to its long sandy coastlines. It has some of scenery. The major beach resorts are along the coastal strip the most interesting archeological sites in the whole north west of Zakynthos Town and Laganas to the south. Lindos, Rhodes ©GNTO, Nikos Kasseris Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 35 Fact file GREEK HONEY is famous all over the world for its good quality, aroma and outstanding taste. It owes its wide diversity in taste and aroma to the rich Greek flora which comprises a large number of wild flowers. Honey in Greece is mainly flower- honey from the nectar of fruit and citrus trees (lemon, orange, bigarade trees), thyme honey, with incomparable aroma, and pine honey from conifer trees. The DODECANESE ISLANDS, including Rhodes, Kos and Patmos, are close to Turkey, while the IONIAN ISLANDS have an Italian flavour; one of these is Cephalonia. The GREEK MOUNTAINS are renowned for their diversity, landscapes of singular beauty and unique forests, many of which rank among the Rhodes Town ©GNTO oldest natural wooded lands in Europe. Due to the astoundingly rich flora and fauna they support, Tourist Office Capital Athens many of these environments have been designated www.visitgreece.gr Local time GMT+2 hours as National Parks. email@example.com 020 7495 9300 Did you know? OLIVE OIL plays a unique role in Greek dietary habits, being the basis of all recipes of traditional The highest point in Greece is Mount cuisine. Greek olive oil enjoys worldwide Official language Greek Olympus, legendary home of Zeus distinction for its purity and exceptional taste. You Average summer temperatures and the other Olympian gods and will find it everywhere in glass bottles and cans. (June–August) goddesses. SUMMER CINEMAS (open-air) are one of the Athens: 27ºC Crete is the biggest of Greece’s Greek people’s most popular forms of Corfu: 25ºC islands, followed by the lesser-known entertainment during the spring and summer. They operate in open-air areas (roofs, empty lots, parks Rhodes: 26ºC island of Evvia or Euboia. etc), are usually surrounded by small natural or Santorini: 24ºC The Greek territory comprises 6000 artificial gardens and their floor is covered with pebbles. There are summer cinemas in all the Currency Euro islands and islets scattered in the Greek cities and many holiday resorts and shows Aegean and Ionian Sea, of these usually start at around 9pm. Average flying time from UK 31/2 hours islands only 227 are inhabited. Konitsa, Epirus ©GNTO Athens Herodion Theatre ©GNTO 36 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Greece, Greek Islands 38 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Fit for travel & looking good! 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Performance £10.99 towel £12 To get your 10% discount, type "choice" into the discount code box on www.smile4you.co.uk DVT PREVENTION For your chance of winning one, visit www.choicetravelinfo.com and click on Win a pair of Scholl Flight Socks Competitions & Giveaways before 30 April 10. See website for Terms & conditions. Reduce the threat of deep-vein thrombosis by wearing a pair of comfortable, easy-to-store Scholl Flight Brighter, whiter, Socks and follow these helpful tips: • Keep well hydrated cleaner • Wear loose, comfortable clothing The Beverly Hills Formula • Exercise your legs and rotate your ankles regularly travelpack is the ideal • Wear flight socks on long-haul journeys • Avoid drinks containing alcohol and caffeine travel accessory for • Move around as much as your mode of transport permits keeping your teeth clean • Avoid crossing your legs and ankles while seated whilst on the go. The kit Scholl Flight Socks cost £12.99 a pair. www.scholl.com includes the Beverly Hills For your chance of winning a pair, visit www.choicetravelinfo.com and Formula premium quality click on Competitions & Giveaways before 30 April 10. See website for T&Cs. toothbrush, Interdental Brushsticks and Sensitive (50ml) whitening toothpaste Lacking energy? Tired and grumpy? Put a spring and comes in it’s own handy back in your step with Pharmaton® Capsules pouch. RRP £3.49. Available in packs of 30, 60 or 100, priced from £8.99, stocked in chemists, www.beverlyhillsformula.com superstores and health shops. www.pharmaton.co.uk Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 39 Italy From the mountains, lakes and great cities of the north, to the dreamy landscapes and rugged islands of the south, Italy has more variety, more culture and more to enjoy than you could possibly imagine. Amalfi Coast, Campania, ©De Agostini Picture Library ITALY IS A WORLD-FAMOUS CUISINE, THE MOST GLAMOROUS CARS, FOOTBALLING LEGENDS, AND SOME OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ART, MUSIC AND ARCHITECTURE THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN, AS WELL AS ONE OF ITS GREATEST EMPIRES AND MOST INFLUENTIAL LANGUAGES. The stunning beauty of nature of SARDINIA, the ancient Italy is a popular destination for holidays in all seasons. Italians traditions, and the various expressions of Sardinian culture are and international visitors mingle together in the famous resorts more authentic and more genuine than elsewhere, whether you during the summer months. Spring comes early and autumn choose to enjoy the magnificent sea or visit museums, to study lingers, perfect for leisurely enjoying the art and culture on offer the mystery of the "nuraghi" or to try a delicious typical dish. in the large cities. And in winter, the Italian Alps are unequaled for scenery and skiing. SICILY is a sunny island whose landscape is rich in contrasts, Depending on the region, you could have a very with a splendid coastline and a refined, delicious and The varied cuisine of traditional flavours and exquisite different experience in Italy. The NORTH is the ‘Caves of aromas. Every style and every movement in art is industrial and commercial powerhouse of the richly represented in Sicily. nation, and boasts many fascinating cities, Matera’, Basilicata, including the region’s largest, Milan and Turin, Between north and south lies the Italy that has as well as such delights as Venice, Verona and are one of the most become the beloved haunt of distinguished Mantua. Ringed by the Alps, it also features peculiar, ancient and celebrities and their families. This is the cradle some spectacular scenery – most famously the of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance, Italian Lakes that stretch from Switzerland extraordinary human achievements whose legacy suffuses the region; south-east into Venetia – and the resorts of the settlements in the but it is also where you will find the archetypal Ligurian coast, known as the Italian Riviera. Italian landscape of rugged, shrub-strewn hills world dozing in the golden light. From the pull of the The SOUTH is dominated by Naples; as well as Eternal City of Rome, to regions rich in varied being an unforgettable city in itself, it has the added attraction countryside, the Adriatic sea, gentle hills, deep and mysterious of nearby Mount Vesuvius and the excavations at Pompeii and caves and protected areas of natural beauty, CENTRAL Italy Herculaneum. Campania has beautiful seas and architectural is a delightful destination enriched with towns, villages, palaces, treasures of all eras and styles, and Abruzzo is known as "the and religious buildings, all of them of important architectural region of parks" with 30 per cent of its territory protected by and artistic value. environmental legislation, more than any other region in Europe. Gallipoli, Apulia ©De Agostini Picture Library Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 41 Fact file NORTHERN ITALY has some of the world's most renowned winter sports resorts, easily reached from Torino, chief city of the westernmost Piemonte region; from Milano, hub of the central mountain and lake district; and from Venezia, leading city of the eastern region. Skiing is also a summer sport in the Torino Alps and the lofty mountains surrounding the Valle d’Aosta. The Italians love the BICYCLE so if cycling is your thing, then there is no better place. From flats to rolling hills to steep climbs, the scenery, villages, history, art and landscape will inspire you every day with new surprises. Spring and autumn are the best times of the year for cycling in Italy. Most of the year the BEACHES are sunny and with 5,310 miles of shoreline bordering Italy and Temple of Concord, Valley of the Temples, Sicily ©De Agostini Picture Library its islands, you can usually find waters where the temperature is right for swimming. Tourist Office Did you know? Mirroring the snow-covered Alps that surround www.italiantouristboard.co.uk them, the LAKES of Lombardy welcome tourists Summer temperatures in the south firstname.lastname@example.org to Italy. The three largest lakes are Maggiore (82 are far hotter than in the north - sq.miles), Como (56 sq.miles), and Garda (143 Official language Italian especially in the mountain regions sq.miles). They provide a busy season of which have heavy winter snowfalls. swimming, sailing, golf and tennis from early Average summer temperatures (July) spring to the late mild autumn. The wettest months are October to Rome: 25 December. Italian style has always been associated with Milan: 24 creativity and elegance. One of the most successful Naples: 26 Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was areas of Italian design has been AUTOMOBILES, where designers like Sardinia: 24 set in Verona, Italy. Pininfarina have created works of art like the Sicily: 26 Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) the Ferrari and more down-to-earth cars like the Peugeot 205 and the Fiat Uno. There are 10 top Currency Euro famous Renaissance painter was also design firms for cars, all concentrated around a sculptor, architect, engineer and Turin, the centre of Italian auto manufacturing. Average flying time from UK scientist. London–Rome 21/2 hours Paradise Beach, Sardinia Elba Island, Tuscany ©De Agostini Picture Library 42 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Italy, Centrall, Southern 44 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Southern, Central Please quote CVA when replying to ads Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 45 Portugal From the medieval quarters of Lisbon to the miles of amazing beaches and world-class golf courses on the Algarve, the sun always shines on Europe’s west coast. Albufeira Beach, Algarve ©Jose Manuel / Turismo de Portugal WITH THE ATLANTIC OCEAN TO THE WEST AND SOUTH AND SPAIN TO THE NORTH AND EAST, PORTUGAL IS MAINLAND EUROPE’S MOST WESTERN COUNTRY AND INCLUDES THE AZORES AND MADEIRA. Once a great imperial power, Portugal is now better known for sunshine, golf and fortified wine. The Costa de Prata, the Estoril coast and Costa Azul all compete for the attention of tourists, but best known are the beaches and year-round sunshine of the is the largest evergreen forest in the world - a fact that has Algarve in the far south. earned it classification as a world heritage site. Madeira offers a Nature has blessed Portugal’s 850km of coastline with a bit of sophisticated holiday with top quality accommodation, amazing everything, from enchanting beaches to varied, breath-taking spas and a pleasant temperature with the hottest months being countryside and the Atlantic coast is prized by surfers and August and September. Madeira is a delight for the eye, the sea windsurfers across Europe. is visible from wherever you are and exotic flowers and fruits add The coastal towns are also rich in Portuguese heritage, discover colour to this visual masterpiece. the colourful seafaring and fishing traditions and end your day by Porto Santo is a two and a half hour boat trip from Madeira and sampling some of the finest fresh fish in the world. is one of Europe’s most attractive island paradises with You will find everything you need for the perfect Lisbon golden sands stretching for 9km and famous for their healing properties. holiday on the ALGARVE from the casinos in is blessed with Lagos, Vilamoura and Monte Gordo to theme AZORES, parks like Atlantic Park, Loulé or Zoomarine, natural beauty and Nine islands make up theown surprises.all are different and offer their Pico near Albufeira where you can see dolphins, steeped in fascinating Island is classified as a world heritage site with seals, sharks and crocodiles. As for beaches, one of the most beautiful, wild a mountain, and vineyards history and the only formed from dramatic cliffsOr you can enjoy the black basalt. and untamed with lots of waves is Arrifana on European capital hot waters and steam escaping from Volcano the Costa Vicentina, whilst the lively ones with Atlantic vents on the island of São Miguel. The Azores are amongst you will like Praia da Rocha in Portimão, ideal for climbing, walking and whale and dolphin Galé in Albufeira or Praia da Oura and Vilamoura beaches. watching. where you will find plenty of facilities and nightlife. Two of the finest resorts are Vale de Lobo and Quinta do Lago. LISBON is a city full of life and extremely welcoming to visitors and quite unique that it has both a river and a coastline. MADEIRA has a varied oceanic sub-tropical climate, Visit the medieval quarters of Alfama and Mouraria above which influenced by its geographical position and mountainous stands a castle, play golf, go surfing or dance the night away in landscape. The Laurisilva Forest, in the Madeira Natural Park, one of the many riverbank discos. Zambujeira do Mar, Alentejo ©Turismo de Portugal Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 47 Fact file THE AZORES are situated in the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and North America and consist of nine islands. It takes about two hours to get from the Azores to mainland Portugal by plane. Portuguese people are sweet toothed! Their specialities include at least two hundred different types of PASTRIES. In the 17th and 18th century, the convents became famous for their pastries, as can be told by the names of their specialities: "toucinho do céu" - heaven's lard, or "barriga de freiras" - nun's belly! Every year after Easter, FUNCHAL is the setting for a truly sumptuous spectacle, the city’s Flower Festival. Madeira celebrates springtime and the exuberance of the flowers that typically bloom in that season, and here with even greater intensity Veu da Noiva Waterfall, Sao Vicente, Madeira ©Turismo de Portugal due to Madeira’s subtropical climate. From the North to the South, the country is Tourist Office Did you know? wealthy in GOOD WINES and, apart from the www.visitportugal.com unique Port from Madeira, there are more than one 0845 355 1212 Mainland Portugal is split by its main hundred different varieties of wines, ranging from email@example.com river, the Tagus. The northern table wines to special ones, all of them reflecting landscape is mountainous and the the individual character of their respective soil. Official language Portuguese south features mostly rolling plains and a warmer and drier climate than Portugal has more than 70 GOLF COURSES, Average summer temperatures (Jun–Aug) in the north. and the mild climate makes it possible to play all Lisbon 27ºC year round. Major tournaments on the international Algarve 27ºC Portuguese is the third most spoken circuit, such as the Portugal Masters are hosted Azores 24ºC European language in the world and here. Madeira 24ºC the native tongue of about 200 Explore the whole country in just one day as you million people. take the children to the Portuguese miniature Currency Euro exhibition in the region of BEIRAS, central Portugal's highest point is Mount Pico Average flying time 21/2 hours on Pico Island in the Azores. This is Portugal. This precursor of the theme park is dedicated to the main architectural monuments of Local time GMT +1 an ancient volcano measuring Portugal from the north to the south, and all built 2,350m (7,710 ft). on a reduced scale! Capital Lisbon Cascais, Lisbon ©Jos Manuel, Turismo de Portugal Pinhal Golf Course, Vilamoura, Algarve ©Lusotur Golf, Turismo de Portugal 48 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Algarve 50 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Algarve Please quote CVA when replying to ads Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 51 Algarve, Madeira 52 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Algarve, Madeira Please quote CVA when replying to ads Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 53 WIN a seven night holiday to the Algarve James Villas are offering one lucky winner a seven-night holiday with two flights to one of their new Leisure Resorts, the fantastic Monte da Quinta Suites in the Algarve. Monte da Quinta Suites, Algarve With 26 years experience, James Villa Holidays To be in with a chance of winning are the UK’s leading villa specialist, offering over 2500 handpicked villas and 44 Leisure resorts this wonderful holiday, visit across more than 50 destinations. Whether www.choicetravelinfo.com and you’re looking for a rustic farmhouse off the enter your details under beaten track, a modern beachside villa or a property located on one of their Leisure Resorts, ‘Competitions & Giveaways’. they really do have something to suit all tastes. Closing date for entries is Wednesday 31 March What’s more, James can book everything for you 2010. Terms and conditions apply and are on the and you can rest assured that you’re fully website. protected through their ABTA and ATOL membership. www.jamesvillas.co.uk Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Spain Certainly not short on charm or popularity, Spain has a wealth of amenities for those who know how to enjoy life. Whether you are seeking a beachfront resort, a city escape or a rural retreat, Spain has it all. Costa Brava FABULOUS SUNSHINE AND BEACHES HAVE BEEN ATTRACTING VISITORS TO SPAIN FOR MANY YEARS BUT SPAIN IS PERFECT FOR MANY TYPES OF HOLIDAYS. From luxurious marinas and breathtaking mountains to beautiful resorts and exhilarating nightlife, Spain can be whatever you want it to be. GREEN SPAIN is the countryside by shore between the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Biscay. The Regions of Galicia, The COSTA CALIDA, or 'warm coast' is home to both the Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country, in northern Spain, Mar Menor and La Manga Club. The 250km of coastline which are home to some of most valuable and best-conserved ecological lies between the Costa Blanca and Costa Almeria is shared by areas in Europe. These are landscapes full of contrasts, with salt- two seas: the Mar Menor, the biggest salt water lake in Europe water rivers, endless greenery that can be discovered on and one of the best places in the world for watersports; and on horseback, by boat, or following an old Roman road. A coastline the other side is the Mediterranean with the fine-sand beaches of that stretches for more than 2,000 km, with cliffs, mountains, Punta del Estacio, Ensenada del Esparto and Galúa. forests, rivers, beaches, deep gorges and valleys. The COSTA DEL LA LUZ faces south-west into the sun The COSTA BLANCA or 'white coast' is a land of many and the Atlantic and is aptly named the ‘Coast of Light’. Fine contrasts with golden beaches, green valleys, mountains, golden sands, windsurfers’ winds, the historic cities of quaint villages and over 150km of coastline Seville and Cadiz, and Jerez de la Frontera – the home overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean sea with an Spain is a of sherry – are some of the reasons this region is so irresistible promise of sun and sand. As you begin popular with the Spanish themselves. to explore the Costa Blanca, its varied history golfing paradise and culture will become evident – owing to with 313 courses The COSTA BRAVA is a rugged corner of early settlements of Romans, Iberians and the Catalonia which has captivated artists such as Carthaginians, you will come across spread across major Dalí, Chagall and Picasso; its attractions range archeological sites, castles and stone-carved cities, mountain from resorts like Lloret de Mar and Platja d’Aro churches. to the architecture of Girona and the scenic areas and right on beauty of places such as Banyoles and Cadaqués. The COSTA DEL SOL has built its success Catalonia’s distinctness is evident in the Catalan on its warm air and sea and almost guaranteed the coast language and traditional festivals. sunshine. Resorts range from Marbella – with its exclusive marina at Puerto Banús – to Torremolinos, add COSTA DE ALMERÍA is a popular, modern tourist dramatic mountain scenery and the spectacular cave at Nerja and resort with natural areas where mankind has barely left its mark. you have the perfect destination. There are 11 marinas on the Enjoy varied folklore and plenty of fiestas, as well as popular Costa del Sol, offering sailing and watersports facilities and most handicrafts such as pottery, rugs and marble. Gastronomic have magnificent nightlife and top restaurants, with many stylish specialities such as paprika, gurullos (stews), and seafood soup boutiques and shops of all kinds. are also a legacy from the region's rich past. Estepona, Costa del Sol Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 57 Fact file Experience first-hand “SPANISH EQUESTRIAN ART” at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art in Jerez de la Frontera (Cadiz), Andalusia. Visit this internationally- renowned institution and tour its facilities, where you will see that horses form part of the culture of Andalusia. You will also be able to admire the way they dance to the beat of traditional Spanish music. THE ALHAMBRA is a beautiful complex of buildings and gardens in Granada. Its leafy tree- lined walkways provide pleasant shade and coolness, enhanced by the abundance of water that flows in its streams. It was the largest political and aristocratic centre of the Muslim West. The Palace premises are made up of beautiful rectangular courtyards and numerous Barcelona P. Güell ©Turespaña fountains. The oldest building is the Alcazaba (citadel). Tourist Office Did you know? THE PYRENEES is the large mountain range www.spain.info/uk Spain has 14 National Parks, all are which separates northern Spain from the rest of characterised by their variety, Europe, and is fascinating for its stunning natural Official language Spanish mountains and wetlands, beaches landscapes. The range is 450 km long, reaching from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean. Average temperatures and forests, volcanos, lava and lakes. Sports are an excellent medium by which to enjoy Alicante, Costa Blanca but above all, by their stunning this extreme, abrupt countryside to the full. ecological wealth. Dec–Feb 17°C Mar–May 20°C Just north of ALICANTE, the 17th-century Jun–Aug 28°C Sep–Nov 24°C There are over 100 different cheeses parish church and the Calvario, Santa Ana and San Roque chapels make up the monumental Malaga, Costa del Sol in Spanish gastronomy ranging from heritage of San Juan de Alicante. curd like Burgos, cream like Torta del Dec–Feb 17°C Mar–May 21°C Casar, blue like Cabrales, aged like THE ROMAN THEATRE in Cartagena, Jun–Aug 29°C Sep–Nov 23°C Murcia is now open to visitors. Hidden for Manchego, and smoked like Palmero. centuries under other buildings, the remains of the Currency Euro Roman Theatre were only discovered in 1988 and Spain is the second most since then a major project has been underway to Average flying time from UK 2–21/2 hours mountainous country in Europe. carefully preserve and excavate the theatre. Playa de Mijas, Costa del Sol ©Turespaña Cala de Moraira, Costa Blanca ©Turespaña 58 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Spain, Costa Blanca 60 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Costa Blanca Please quote CVA when replying to ads Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 61 Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca 62 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Costa del Sol Please quote CVA when replying to ads Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 63 Costa del Sol, Green Spain, Property for Sale 64 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Costa de Almeria, Spain Property for Sale Please quote CVA when replying to ads Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 65 Turkey & North Cyprus From the most famous turquoise waters and lagoon beach in Turkey to the pretty villages and old-world charm of North Cyprus, it’s not hard to see why these two gems are so popular. Olu Deniz, Turkey ©Loretta Prince NORTH CYPRUS IS ONE OF THE MED’S BEST KEPT SECRETS AND JUST 40 MILES FROM ONE OF THE WORLD’S TOP TRAVEL DESTINATIONS, TURKEY. Turkey and North Cyprus are hugely popular with British tourists, North Cyprus for its slow pace of life, value for money and delightful village-feel and Turkey offers a fascinating experience for those seeking something a bit different. TURKEY is a vast country between the Black Sea, the Mediterranean and the Middle East and now well-established as a tourist destination, with some highly popular resorts around its lengthy coasts. It bears testimony to millennia of successive NORTH CYPRUS combines beautiful bays and enchanting civilisations, but still offers ‘virgin’ territory for the adventurous sights with a sunny climate all year round, making it an ideal get- traveller, while remaining a friendly and welcoming place. away for every season. Located at the crossroads of three Turkey’s cultural capital Istanbul, is set to be an even hotter continents, North Cyprus is a hotbed of historical wonders, a destination in 2010 when it becomes European Capital of beautiful secret touched by heaven. The island is scattered with a Culture. The city will host a huge variety of arts and cultural peculiar array of architectural styles. Every corner is of historic events throughout the year. In addition to the hubbub of modern importance, from the ruins of classical Salamis, Lambousa and life, there are beautiful and historic buildings like the Soli Kingdoms to the romantic Crusader castles of St Hilarion, colossally-domed St Sophia – first a cathedral, then a Bufavento and Kantara, perched along the Kyrenia mosque, now a museum – and the fabulous Mountains. Topkapi, palace of the Ottoman sultans. North Cyprus However, those who would rather lie out on the Outside of Istanbul, Mugla, home to tourism beach will not be disappointed. On the East centres Bodrum, Marmaris and Fethiye, boasts enjoys a very Coast, between Famagusta and Bogaz, a sandy 1100 km of coastline, scenic natural beauty, 15 miles. On pleasant climate with beach stretches out for a full isolated creeksthe North Coast, smaller coves, and temperate climate, plentiful activities, historical sites and excellent resorts and infrastructure; an average of 300 cosy beaches are the norm for well over 20 the British make up half of all visitors to the miles. A labyrinth of craft shops, ancient sites region. days of sunshine and family-owned restaurants await exploration The Mediterranean coast in the south is also every year in North Cyprus’ vibrant towns, whilst the depths popular with sun-seekers. Its western portion, of the crystal-clear azure seas offers many of the known as the Turquoise Coast, boasts popular resorts region’s best dive sites. such as Antalya and Side as well as an important wildlife area On the two sides of Karpas peninsula, a large expanse of in Belek. The Black Sea coast in the north is more rugged, but immaculate dunes is bordered with tamarisk and wild olives does have its share of sandy-beached resorts. The interior, on groves. Visit the most beautiful Guzelyurt Bay nearby, which is the other hand, is a memorable destination for the more intrepid the heart of the citrus groves extending as far as Yesihrmak traveller, with dramatic, empty landscapes, as well as several ski village further enhancing Northern Cyprus’ claims to be an resorts. unforgettable destination. North Cyprus Golden Beach Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 67 Fact file As European Capital of Culture for 2010, ISTANBUL will host a full calendar of arts and cultural events throughout the year. Highlights include: European Universities Theatre Festival (2–16 May); the 3rd International Poetry Festival (May) and the opening of the Museum of Innocence, based on Orhan Pamuk’s latest novel, in the summer. www.istanbul2010.org Festivals are an exciting feature of life in NORTH CYPRUS, including international music festivals such as the annual Bellapais Music Festival in May-June, which brings together classical musicians from around the world. TURKEY is the centre of origin for more that 30 species of fruits. In the Black Sea Region:Tea, kiwi and hazelnut. In the Mediterranean Region: North Cyprus Bananas, avocados, olives and citrus fruits. In Central and Eastern Anatolia: Grapes, apricots, Tourist Office Did you know? walnuts and pomegranates grow. www.gototurkey.co.uk St Nicholas – the original Santa Claus The Korineum Golf and Country Club, the first 020 7839 7778 – was born in Patara in Turkey and has eco-friendly professional 18-hole golf course and firstname.lastname@example.org golf academy built to international standards in a church dedicated to him in Demre. NORTH CYPRUS opened last year. Based in www.northcyprus.cc Esentepe in the region of Girne (Kyrenia) it is set 020 7631 1930 Due to international requirements, all against the stunning backdrop of the Beşparmak email@example.com flights into North Cyprus have to (Five Finger) Mountains on one side and the touch down, in transit, at any airport Mediterranean Sea on the other. Official language Turkish in Turkey. The stop-over is about 30- Turkey's volcanic heritage has meant that the Average seaside temperatures (August) 45 minutes and there is usually no country is dotted with THERMAL SPRINGS North Cyprus, 21ºC–36ºC change of aircraft. where steaming water heated deep underground Turkey, 26ºC–30ºC has found an outlet at the surface. The Aegean Two of the world's seven wonders are region's gem is the UNESCO world heritage site Currency Turkish Lira located in Turkey; The Temple of of Pamukkale east of Izmir, or 'Cotton Castle' in Turkish, a hot spring whose water cascades gently Average flying time from UK 4 hours Artemis and The Halicarnassus over giant calcified tiers. Local time GMT+2 Mausoleum. Olu Deniz, Turkey ©Loretta Prince Turkish Glass Mosaic Lanterns ©Loretta Prince 68 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 North Cyprus, Turkey 70 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Easy packing Fold, roll or hang – however you pack, these gorgeous accessories will make it a pleasure for stylish men ‘Erick Morillo for knomo’ laptop bags from the must- have Brixton range. knomo team up with Superstar International DJ Erick Morillo for a stunning spring 2010 collection. www.knomo.com for duty free Keep a Fizbag in your hand luggage at all times for your duty free, spare sweater, magazines etc. Fizbags are Turn your suitcase into a mini-wardrobe with these clever travel and washable and eco-friendly packing solutions from Total Wardrobe Care. They come in a selection of bags housed inside a neat, sizes and are light-weight, the range also includes a wet-bag for discrete pouch. They cost swimwear. www.totalwardrobecare.co.uk £4.10 each and delivery is free Set of three packing cubes £25, Large single cube £18, Wet bag £5. when you buy four or more. www.fizbag.com for busy mums Busy mums on the move will love the latest new product from Koo-di. The bbox carries all of baby's Win a changing essentials in one delicious Weekender compact case and can Washbag from hip conveniently be popped into a handbag. www.koo- accessories di.co.uk label ZPM worth £36 – it hangs on the door and rolls up Sophisticated, elegant and very for travel – so no Aspinal chic, the need to unpack, simply arrive, hang and go. Waterproof Classic UK Travel with large, transparent pockets, it will Collection will look a hold all the essentials from shampoo and million dollars when you next flourish your tickets. The set sun cream bottles to shower gel and make includes two stunning Luggage Tags, a Classic Passport Cover up. Available online from www.zpm.com and the Classic Travel Wallet made from beautiful Candy Pink Jewel Calf Leather, luxuriously lined in moiré silk with For your chance of winning one, visit contrasting plush Cream soft-suede. Can be personalised with www.choicetravelinfo.com and click on initials. The Aspinal Classic UK Travel Collection is available in a range of colours and costs £99. Competitions & Giveaways before 30 April 10. See website for Terms & conditions. www.aspinaloflondon.com Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 71 USA The combination of endless beaches, beautiful wilderness and fun theme parks makes the USA the top long-haul destination for millions of British travellers. Key West ©VisitFlorida FROM THE WONDERS OF ORLANDO AND THE SERENITY OF THE EVERGLADES, TO THE SOARING SKYLINE OF NEW YORK AND THE MAJESTIC GRAND CANYON, THE USA HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE. theme parks in San Diego like SeaWorld and LEGOLAND or The USA has an amazing geographical and cultural diversity and explore South California’s expanse of perfect sandy beaches like year-round tropical weather ideally suited to family holidays, Pacific Beach, La Jolla and Malibu and the watersports on offer – sightseeing excursions, honeymoons or relaxing beach retreats. you could spend a lifetime doing this! From the Grand Canyon in the north to the saguaro forests of the FLORIDA is the perfect holiday destination for the entire family, south, with the red rocks of Sedona in between, ARIZONA’S from its sandy beaches to its breathtaking parks, Florida has spectacular landscapes defy the imagination. Arizona divides, everything from history to the hottest attractions. roughly, into three geological zones: the deserts of the south and Siesta Public Beach in Sarasota is a family-friendly beach with west, the mountainous central highlands, and the northern shallow waters, year-round lifeguards and the whitest sands in Colorado Plateau, named for the river that carved a Florida and the Everglades National Park is the only magnificent canyon through it. With its many outdoor playscapes, from desert zoos and mining camps to The subtropical preserve in North America, with its luscious wetlands and more than 150 miles of canoeing and state and national parks, its good, clean – well, as Everglades walking trails, this reserve will excite a family of clean as horses can be – Western romps, nature lovers of all ages. cooking programmes, astronomy camps, National Park is For the perfect match of history, culture and historic parks, and more, Arizona is a great place for kids to bring their parents! beauty, travel the only subtropical experience St.to Florida’s–east coast andoldest Augustine the nation’s preserve in North city. St. Augustine amazes visitors with its ancient From the vibrant sights of San Fransisco’s cobblestone streets, quaint cafés and a host of Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, America historical landmarks and attractions, such as the and of course the Golden Gate Bridge and Napa 310-year-old Castillo de San Marcos National Valley’s vineyards to the bright lights and sounds of Monument, allowing you to travel back to the early Los Angeles, home to the heart of showbusiness – Spanish empire in the New World. Hollywood, you will find it hard to know where to begin in For a taste of everything, visit Walt Disney World, where you are CALIFORNIA! The 1000-plus miles of coastline is as good a bound to find something to please everyone, from one of start as any – you are likely to spot a number of marine animals Orlando’s best shopping districts to Blizzard Beach or Epcot and ranging from whales, otters, seals and sea lions. Visit the major Animal Kingdom – not to mention the amazing nightlife! Island Golf ©VisitFlorida Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 73 Fact file PASO ROBLES, is North America’s newest award-winning wine destination. Located in California’s Central Coast region mid-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, it is swiftly emerging as the new “must do” destination for the wine adventurer and destination pioneer. Paso Robles has a fascinating history covering Indian lore, early California Spanish land holdings, Hollywood royalty and a dedicated gourmet food community. KEY WEST, Florida knows how to party like a fish knows how to swim. By day, tan, play volleyball, parasail or kayak at Smathers Beach. Celebrate the sunset at Mallory Square before dancing down to Duval Street for nightlife galore. Located in the heart of Hollywood adjacent to La Jolla, San Diego ©California Tourism Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, MADAME TUSSAUDS HOLLYWOOD is now open. Set Tourist Office Did you know? in 11 themed areas (The Red Carpet, Party, Spirit of Hollywood, Westerns, Crime, Modern Classics, www.arizonaguide.com The rainy season in Florida lasts from Making Movies, Sport, Action Heroes, Behind the www.visitcalifornia.co.uk May–October. Late autumn, winter Scenes and Awards Ceremony), more than 80 www.visitflorida.com/uk and Spring are usually sunny, dry figures are on display. and temperate. Official language English Florida is known for its enticing stores, malls and outlets filled with merchandise that is sure to Average temperatures 420 public beaches lie along delight – for some of the best SHOPPING, Orlando: Jan 20ºC, Jul 28ºC, Oct 25ºC California’s coastline. travel up the west coast to Northwest Florida. S’Francisco: Jan 10ºC, Jul 19ºC, Oct 16ºC With both Destin Commons and the Silver Sands The Grand Canyon is the largest Phoenix: Jan 13ºC, Jul 34ºC, Oct 24ºC gorge in the world! Nearly 5 million Factory Stores, this is a true shopper’s paradise. Currency Dollar people visit Arizona’s Grand Canyon DISCOVERY COVE is a tropical retreat in the heart of Orlando where you can swim with National Park each year. Local time Florida GMT-5 except north- dolphins, snorkel among tropical fish and rays, west Florida from Panama City Beach hand-feed exotic birds in a free-flight aviary and No city in Florida is more than 75 relax on pristine beaches. to Pensacola which is GMT-6. miles from either the Atlantic Ocean Average flying time UK–Florida, 9 hours or the Gulf of Mexico. Shopping Mall, Sarasota ©VisitFlorida credit Grand Canyon National Park ©Arizona Tourism 74 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Florida 76 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Florida Please quote CVA when replying to ads Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 77 Florida 78 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Florida 80 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Florida 82 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Florida Please quote CVA when replying to ads Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 83 Florida 84 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Little luxuries We love them even if we don’t need them! CocoRose London's Perfect for his foldable flats are an essential holiday item. These shoes in a purse can be and her travel swapped for high heels whenever pain kicks in. This means they are great at the needs, Essential Travel airport, on the plane, sightseeing, Oils is a set of four award winning shopping and dancing the night away. blends of natural oils from Simply unzip the purse, unfold the shoes, Aromatherapy Associates. The and pop your heels into the satin carry travel box includes: Revive bag. Visit www.cocoroselondon.com for Morning Bath & Shower Oil the full collection. Price £35. (detoxifying), Revive Evening Bath & Shower Oil (energising), New & Support Lavender & Instant bath time for exclusive to Peppermint Bath & Shower Oil little ones – anywhere thepromakeupshop.com (cooling) and Deep Relax Bath & with the unique – the most amazing Shower Oil (peace and five minute single tranquillity). Available from Fortnum Flexibath treatment for tired & Mason or mail order priced Travel The first ever bath that folds and weary eyes. Oils £26.50, 020 8569 7030. away and when folded it is small and flat enough to fit under a bed, store in a Reduce dark circles www.aromatherapyassociates.com cupboard and its really easy to pack yet and puffiness with expands to a volume of 39 litres when EyeSlices. filled with water. The Flexibath comes in 6 funky colours, has a non slip base and a non slip surface inside. Available mineral make-up kits by from www.travellingwithchildren.co.uk jane iredale are packed with the RRP £34.95 plus P&P. highest quality and purest ingredients possible. The Sample Starter Kit is available in Light, Medium and Medium Dark WIN some collections and includes an Amazing Base, the best selling PurePressed Base, Lip Drink, Lip gorgeous gifts Colour, a PurePressed Blush, Eyeshadow, Under Eye Concealer, from Mya Blue Beach Lip Plumper along with three application brushes and is priced The latest editions to the Mya Blue Beach £19.95. For stockists collection capture the true essence of high summer visitwww.janeiredaleuk.eu or call and a love of travel. With stunning free flowing 020 8450 shapes Mya Blue Beach’s ultra feminine designs 7111 are versatile and can be worn straight from the case, day and night. To view the full collection visit www.MyaBlueBeach.com We’ve got a ‘Safa’ beach dress worth £95 and a ‘Missi’ necklace worth £25 to give away to one lucky reader. For your chance of winning visit www.choicetravelinfo.com and click on Competitions & Giveaways before 30 April 10. See website for Terms & conditions. Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 85 Travel Checklist Airport parking ✔ Car hire ✔ Deciding where and when to go on Currency ✔ holiday may sometimes feel a little EHIC ✔ stressful, but if you forget the essential travel extras, the headache Flights ✔ could be much worse! Insurance for car hire ✔ ATOL ATOL is amanaged byscheme forAviationand air protection flights holidays, the Civil Passport ✔ ABTA or Authority for people toCAA gives refunds and (CAA). The arranges finish their holidays and fly home if their tour operator goes bust. You IATA? will not be ATOL protected if you: Travel insurance ✔ only buy a scheduled flight and receive a ticket within 24 hours of payment or book direct with an airline. www.caa.co.uk The European Health ABTA represents over 5,500 travel agencies and 900 tour operators, throughout the British Insurance Card (EHIC) replaced the E111 form Isles. It maintains a Code of Conduct which in 2006. Most UK citizens are entitled to a free EHIC aims to ensure that the public receive the best which can be used to cover any necessary medical treatment due to possible service from Members. Many of the illness or accident within the European Economic Area and Switzerland. travel arrangements provided by ABTA To apply, you will need to provide your name, date of birth, and your Members are protected in case of the financial NHS or National Insurance Number. You can also apply for your spouse failure of the travel company. www.abta.com or partner and chilren up to the age of 16 (or 19 if in full time AITO is an association of around 140 education). Apply online at www.ehic-org.uk or call 0845 606 2030. independent specialist tour operators. Holidays with AITO tour operators have 100% consumer If you’re planning financial protection. AITO ensures that all Not having adequate travel insurance to drive abroad, holidays its members operate, including could end up costing you thousands. Follow these tips accommodation only, are protected either to ensure you get the right cover. ensure your licence through its own government approved bonding is up-to-date and scheme (AITO Trust) or through other schemes 1. Check that your destination is covered. Some such as ATOL or ABTA. www.aito.co.uk worldwide policies do not necessarily cover the USA. you have adequate 2. Sporting activities usually require additional cover – insurance and check with your insurer that you are covered for For advice about travelling activities such as golf, wintersports and watersports. breakdown cover abroad visit www.fco.gov.uk 3. Make sure you provide your insurer with accurate and true information. Any inaccuracies will result in your policy becoming void. It usually takes around four weeks to issue a passport and first 4. Get the right policy for you – for example you can time applicants should allow six weeks (includes an interview). add extras to your policy to give additional cover for If you are travelling within two weeks and need to renew your pre-existing medical conditions. passport urgently, the identity and passport service (IPS) offer a 5. Make sure your whole family is covered. Generally fast-track one-week service and a premium one-day service. You one policy covers one person unless specified. must make an appointment by calling the 6. Make sure your insurer is regulated by the Financial Passport Adviceline on 0300 222 0000, Services Authority (FSA). between 7am–11pm seven days a week. You 7. If you are trying to keep costs down ask about can also use the check and send service at your doubling your excess to make the policy cheaper. local post office – this is often quicker than the 8. Never travel without insurance – even in the UK. normal service and reduces the risk of mistakes with your application but does cost an extra £8. Provided by Insurefor.com, one of the UK’s leading travel The current price for a new passport or renewal insurance suppliers. is adult £77.50 and child £49. 86 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Airport Parking, Car Hire, Flights Please quote CVA when replying to ads Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 87 Insurance for Car Hire, Travel Insurance 88 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads Travel Insurance Please quote CVA when replying to ads Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 89 INTERNATIONAL Sweden, Caribbean, Hungary, South Africa, Property for Sale 90 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 Please quote CVA when replying to ads
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