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Little-known Italian destination called ‘Maldives of Europe’ that costs fraction of price

The chances of you getting away this year may just be looking up!

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@renatapatara & @antomilani3324 / Instagram

If you’re looking to get away but you’re strapped for cash, there is an underrated destination in Southern Italy known as the ‘Maldives of Europe’ — where you can catch a flight for less than £30.

We’ve had a global pandemic and now we’re in a cost-of-living crisis, so many of you will be looking for a not so costly escape to just get away from it all and hit that refresh button. If you’re looking for some sun but don’t have much cash to flaunt, this heavenly destination could be the perfect place for you.

With plane tickets costing less than £30 — the price of a takeaway for two — you could definitely get away this year without hurting the bank. Especially as you’ll be pleased to hear that accommodation can be found for as little as £55 per night, you’ll just need to add some spending money on top of that and you’re good to go.

Maldive del Salento Pescoluse near Palombara, Southern Italy has earned its nickname for its crystal clear ocean water, perfect for a postcard. The actual Maldives is an undeniably stunning destination — making it popular amongst the honeymooners — but it comes with a hefty price tag, meaning many of us will never bother to venture there.

Andrea / Wikimedia

But at the Maldive del Salento Pescoluse near Palombara, you can get a similar experience for just a fraction of the price. Right now Ryanair flights from London Stansted airport to Brindisi — the closest airport — are as low as £12.99.

Though prices may fluctuate throughout the year, you can bag yourself a proper bargain if you keep a lookout and plan ahead. Once you get there you can head straight for the beach and grab some much needed chill out time while you bask in the sunshine. There are also boat rides available to take you snorkelling or scuba diving, and plenty of bars to sip on cocktails and watch the sunset of an evening.

And you don’t have to stick to one place if you’re the type who gets a little restless. You can also venture off on day trips and explore nearby picturesque coastal towns including Otranto and Santa Maria Leuca.

One commenter on the Trip Advisor page for the Maldive del Salento Pescoluse, wrote: “This beach is just beautiful! Although it was in the middle of July, it didn’t feel as crowded as other beaches we went to. The water is clear and beautiful and the sand is nice and white.”

Claudio / Flickr

Another reviewer said: “The beach goes on for miles. Sheer perfection. Loads of Lidos with well behaved people. Although busy, it’s orderly. Clean sand, crystal clear waters. Amazing day on a perfect beach.”

The were a number of reviews calling it a ‘PR stunt’ and saying it ‘wasn’t like the Maldives’, although another piped up to set them straight, saying: “I think people misunderstand the reason for the title ‘The Maldives of Italy’. This isn’t to do with the beach, but the clarity of the sea water. And for that reason, it is true.

“The sea is so clear, blue, warm and very shallow. You can walk out far and feel nothing under your feet but soft sand. It is to die for! The beach itself is relatively narrow but there was plenty of space when we visited in mid September.

“If you are planning to spend the day, either fork out for sunbeds/umbrellas on the beach or bring your own umbrella, as the sun in Southern Italy is HOT! Highly recommend.’

Well that’s put the record straight. Stunning beaches, crystal clear sea water and hot sunshine, all for a reasonable price. Better book a ticket!


Disney is hiring staff in the North West to travel on their luxury cruise liners

Save for a deposit while travelling the world — a magical opportunity!

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@disneycruisline / Instagram

Disney is hiring youth staff members to work on their luxury cruise ships and set sail around the world.

If you love anything Disney and want to travel the world, are looking for a new career path or just simply want to get away from the humdrum of life, this unique role could be right for you. Disney Cruise Line is hiring for youth staff and it’s paying a minimum of £1,872 per month — you could save for a deposit on a house while having the time of your life!

If you’ve had experience and enjoy working with children, love Disney, and love travel, this job could be the perfect fit. Basic qualifications needed to apply for the role include: 

  •  3+ seasons (3 months each) of overnight or day camp experience
  • A minimum of 18 months experience working in a high-volume, fast-paced environment in recreation, resort, day care, classroom, or a before/after school care setting.
  • The candidate must be able to command the attention of a large group of children — up to 200 children at one time.
  • Must have strong English oral and written communications.
  • Bilingual or multilingual abilities are a plus.
@disneycruisline / Instagram

As well as travel, accommodation and a decent wage, perks of the job also include: company events, employee discount, free or subsidised travel, private dental insurance, private medical,  insurance, referral programme, store discounts, and wellness programmes.

Part of the job description says: “Interacts with and supervises children by providing a safe and entertaining environment. Provides set-up, clean-up and program support to Youth Entertainment Hosts during facilitated programs and activities. 

“Extensively cleans youth spaces throughout the day to uphold United States Public Health and company standards. Meets and greets all guests and could assist with onboard registration and check in/out process. 

@disneycruisline / Instagram

“Preps food trays for children during meal or snack periods. Spontaneously entertains large volumes of children in absence of planned activities.

“Occasionally facilitates and presents smaller-scale activities to groups varying in size, requiring the use of a microphone. Functions as Nursery Counsellor during high volume periods.”

You can set sail on a magical experience and reap the benefits of a ‘supportive team’ and make it your ‘home from home’, as the website says about career life working on the cruise ship: “Join us at sea and receive unique benefits and the opportunities for growth you need to live out your dreams.”

If life at sea sounds exciting to you, you can read more about it and apply for the role here.

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The record-breaking Northern waterfall that’s only accessible twice a year

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David Oxtaby & Paul Green / Flickr

There’s a record breaking waterfall you can visit in the North of England but it’s only accessible twice a year.

Situated in the Yorkshire Dales, near Clapham — about an hour and a half’s drive away from Manchester — Gaping Gill is definitely worth a day trip out to see. It’s a really unique waterfall as it spills deep into the belly of a natural cave from the surface.

Although this Fell Beck waterfall is 110 metres tall — twice the height of Niagara Falls — it’s quite difficult to see and it is only accessible to the public twice a year. Those who are lucky enough to embark on this combined waterfall and cave adventure are lowered into the huge chamber on a winch by one of the two the local pothole clubs.

It’s certainly an adventure not for the faint-hearted and definitely made for daredevils as you’ll be lowered down from the surface until your feet touch the floor at the bottom of the cave — where, as your eyes adjust, you’ll suddenly find yourself surrounded by a breathtaking setting.

Phil Catterall / Wikimedia

The Gaping Gill chamber is 129m long, 31m high and 25 m wide, making it large enough to fit York Minster cathedral inside — we hope you’re not afraid of heights! When you look up, all you’ll be able to see is light pouring in from the cave’s opening resting on the slopes of Ingleborough.

For just £20 daredevils can be lowered into this underground world and marvel at its natural wonder. It’s only possible to descend into the cave two times a year: once in May – operated by the Bradford Pothole Club and again in August – operated by the Craven Pothole Club.

Gaping Gill was formed by thousands of years of erosion by the Fell Beck stream, which flows from the flank of the 2,373 ft Ingleborough mountain — the second highest peak in the Yorkshire Dales. In 1985 famous French caver Edouard Martel was the first person to make a successful attempt on the Main Shaft of the cave using wood and rope ladders. Martel stayed in the Main Chamber for about two hours and completed a remarkably accurate sketch plan.

Paul Green / Flickr

You can hike to Gaping Gill on a well marked but rough trail and you can only book a winch ride down once you get to the tent. Bookings can not be made in advance and there can be a bit of a wait but you’ll be given a decent time. The Craven Pothole Club says about this awe-inspiring Northern gem: “At first the darkness hides the bulk of this vast cavern from the visitor gliding down the Main Shaft in the winch chair.

“But as eyes slowly become accustomed it is possible to pick out a gentle arc of rock curving upwards to form a vaulted roof some 150 feet above. Nearby, two columns of water crash to the floor; fragmented to a myriad of droplets they whip the air into violent winds.

“Finally, aided by subdued artificial light the chamber appears, longer than it is wide and with a level floor of water washed pebbles, sand and silt. A walk in the pool of light provided by a guide’s light takes us first to the western end of the chamber with its silt floor and burbling stream, and then on to the foot of the East Slope. A glance back here reveals that the Main Chamber is indeed one of nature’s wild places.”

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World’s first three year cruise is setting sail this year on the ultimate voyage

Just make sure you don’t suffer with sea sickness before you book this one!

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Life at Sea Cruises & Yan & Jim Carter / Wikimedia

If you fancy getting away on a long sabbatical and want out of the 9-5 rat race, there’s now a three year cruise that might float your boat.

If you’re the type of person that hates the part when your holiday comes to an end and you have to go back home and face reality, this lengthy cruise might be the ideal getaway for you — hurry, don’t miss the boat!

The world’s first three-year cruise has just been announced, giving passengers the chance to live away at sea while they get to travel and see the world as they tick off their bucket list one country at a time.

Making its launch on November 1st, the MV Gemini by Life at Sea cruises will voyage to 135 different countries, covering 130,000 miles and visiting 375 ports across the globe. The magnificent vessel will depart from Istanbul with pickups in Barcelona, Spain and Miami, Florida.

Life at Sea Cruises

On this epic voyage of discovery, travellers will get to see 13 out of 14 of the world’s wonders including the Colosseum in Rome, the Taj Mahal in India, the Great Wall of China, and Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio De Janeiro in Brasil.

Sun worshippers can relax and unwind on the unspoilt beaches of the Caribbean while more intrepid travellers can explore Antarctica and see the penguins in their wild habitat while they marvel at the region’s majestic glaciers.

With stops in every continent, it really is the trip of a lifetime. The ship docks in every port for up to a week giving cruisers plenty of time to really get a feel for a place without rushing their visit. On board, there are 40 offices to work from for those who choose to work remotely during the long expedition away.

Life at Sea Cruises

There’s also 400 rooms housing 1,074 guests, who you’ll probably come to know really well in your three year journey, as your neighbours become family.

And, in case you’ve been wondering… this isn’t a budget trip, it’s going to be costly. A standard cabin will cost $29,999 a year per person (£25,022), though there are finance options available. These rooms will provide 130 sq ft and upwards of space to relax in and enjoy some privacy after a day of exploring.

The most expensive cabin suites have wide balconies and cost around $109,999 (£91,804) per person, measuring 322 sq ft — including the balcony space. Although these seem like huge price tags, when you compare the cruise’s starting prices with London’s average monthly rent at $2,499 (£2,099), it doesn’t seem all that bad — especially when you take into account it’s all-inclusive.

Life at sea Cruises

All tickets include meals, beverages, accommodation, WIFI, medical visits, and all activities onboard, as well as port taxes and service charges. You will also get free alcohol with dinner — a rarity on cruises. However, alcohol outside dinner time is not included so you will have to pay extra for that.

Spa services, medical procedures and medicines, shore excursions, certain premium services and if you want a permanent office space to call your own will all cost extra, and are not included in the package.

And finally, it’s an all or nothing kind of deal, meaning you must commit to the full three years of your life and no partial stays are available — so make sure you’re really sure before you book this one!

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