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Travel

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!

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Travel

Wizz Air launch mystery holiday deal where you find out destination when you land

Enter the competition to win a ticket

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Clément Alloing & Deensel / Flickr

If you’re dreaming of catching a jet plane to just about anywhere, well Wizz Air have launched a holiday deal where the mystery location isn’t revealed until you land.

The Hungarian airline will take a plane full of holiday hopefuls from London Gatwick for a four-day mystery getaway as part of its #LetsGetLostwithWIZZ campaign.

Those who win a ticket to the unknown location, will turn up to London Gatwick on March 7th to board a Wizz Air flight for ‘four days of fun, including cultural, culinary and adventure activities’ – it could turn out to be the trip of a lifetime!

Lars Steffens / Flickr

To be in with a chance of winning a seat on the flight, UK residents can visit the Wizz Air’s Instagram page and follow the prompts on the Let’s Get Lost London pinned post.

“Entries close on February 22nd at 00.01am”, the low-cost airline says. 

The lucky chosen ones will be able to bring a plus one on the trip and winners will be contacted via Instagram.

In a post shared to its official Instagram page, the airline put: “It’s time to get onboard our latest venture to the unknown with Let’s Get Lost London, departing from London Gatwick to…

Charlie Jackson / Flickr

“Do this by the 22nd February and you could be in with a chance of departing with us on an exciting flight to the unknown.

“The trip will take place between 7th – 10th March. Open to UK residents only, please make sure you’re following WIZZ on Instagram and that your profile is public.”

If you’re wondering whether you’ll need your bathing suit, suncream, hiking boots, rain coat or winter woollies, don’t worry, the 35 lucky winners will be told the climate to pack for a few days before the trip.

No other clues will be given away until touch down in the unknown destination.

UK Wizz Air Managing Director, Marion Geoffroy said: “We love connecting our passengers to new countries, allowing them to meet new people and try new experiences. 

“Going on a flight to an unknown destination is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we are pleased to be able to offer this to lucky winners here in the UK.

“Let’s Get Lost is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to our British passengers and we hope to continue serving them as they travel the world and make new memories.”

Pedro Szekely / Flickr

Wizz Air flies to more than 70 destinations from the UK. Last year, the most popular destinations among Brits included Morocco, Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and Spain.

It is unclear whether the airline will jet the 35 lucky ticket holders and plus ones off to one of its more popular destination choices, or whether it will choose to take them somewhere a little more alternative and secluded.

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Travel

P&O launches ‘80s and ‘90s themed mini cruises to Amsterdam from £89

Sounds great!

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P&O is offering two-day ‘80s and ‘90s mini cruises to the Netherlands from £89.

If you’re curious about going on a cruise but not sure you could manage a long trip, look no further because P&O is offering short cruises to the Netherlands, perfect for you to give it a try.

The cruise line company has a wave of deals on mini cruises so you don’t have to splash out. But these aren’t just any old cruises, they are ‘80s and ‘90s themed cruises playing music from both decades for all those who love a bit of nostalgia.

P&O

First-time cruisers can travel between Hull and Rotterdam, and go on a day trip to Amsterdam, with return ticket prices starting from £89 per person.

The mini cruises include a two-night stay in an en-suite cabin, sailing across the North Sea from Hull to Rotterdam and back.

These short themed cruises will be filled with music, fun and entertainment for all to enjoy on board during the journey. 

Tambako The Jaguar / Flickr

The Jam’d Mini Cruise welcomes guests to party like it’s 1985 and prepare for a mini cruise full of the ‘nuttiest, loudest and best loved tracks from the ’80s onwards’.

Live tribute bands The Jam’d and Ultimate Madnezz will play on board to keep the ‘80s party flowing as it sets sail for Rotterdam on Friday, March 8th 2024.

And that’s not all – when you arrive in Rotterdam, you’ll also enjoy return coach transfers to Amsterdam for your day trip.

P&O

A P&O spokesperson said: “The Jam’d’ are now the UK’s best-known and most popular tribute to the live performance and sound of The Jam, and are totally committed to giving an unforgettable, authentic performance with all the energy, passion and style of the Woking three.”

The ’90s Mini Cruise sets sail from Hull on Friday, February 23rd 2024, offering guests a nostalgic throwback filled with all your favourite music of the decade.

P&O promises a voyage packed full of incredible entertainment including live bands, DJ’s, and a dynamic live production on stage – all while you sail to the Netherlands.

P&O

Entertainment will be provided by Ultra 90s – a ‘premier Dance Anthem Production Show’, which promises to ‘take you back to the most exciting musical movement in decades – the unforgettable era of dance anthems!’

Take That tribute band Re-Take That will also be performing.

After a night of entertainment, cruisers will disembark the ship in Rotterdam, and take a coach for a day trip to Amsterdam.

John Morgan / Flickr

Holidaymakers can explore the city’s elaborate canals lined with beautiful architecture and visit art galleries and museums before tucking into local cuisine. Whatever you choose to do in this fascinating city, you’re sure to have a fantastic time on a short Amsterdam break.

So, if you’re thinking about trying a cruise and love the ‘80s and ‘90s, you can book a ticket today on a P&O Ferries Amsterdam Mini-Cruise and make the most of a short break in the ‘Dam. Click HERE to book and find out more.

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Travel

EasyJet launches ‘grans go free’ holiday deal on trips to Europe

The operator wants to encourage families to go on holiday with three generations or more

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Rob Mitchell & Bil Benzon / Flickr

EasyJet Holidays has announced it is offering ‘grans go free’ places on family holidays to Europe.

It comes after research found half of families had never gone on a holiday abroad with their grandparents.

The ‘first of its kind’ offer will allow one grandparent on the trip to travel free of charge to countries including Spain, Greece and Italy.

Bill Benzon / Flickr

The deal has been launched as part of easyJet’s Big Orange Sale where holidaymakers can save up to £400 on trips, though places are limited and the offer will end soon.

The tour operator says it hopes the deal will encourage Britons to go on ‘3G’ holidays – with families of three generations or more.

In easyJet’s survey of 2,000 British adults, just over half said they regret not spending more time with grandparents and hoped to take them on upcoming holidays. 

Dronpicr / Wikimedia

Matt Callaghan, chief operating officer at easyJet holidays, said the company was proud to offer ‘thousands of free kids places’ but also wanted to ‘recognise the grandparents’.

The poll found that 77% of Brits agreed the bond between grandparents and grandchildren was one of the most special relationships within a family. Yet, 27% of those who took the survey said they spoke to their grandparents less than once a week.

Mr Callaghan said: “This research shows how important grandparent and grandchild relationships are and how much can be learned from making time for them.

“We’ve launched our ‘grans go free’ offer to tighten these important family relationships.”

Rob Mitchell / Flickr

The offer begins today February 1st and will be available for a limited number of customers only, with the easyJet Holidays website saying the offer ‘ends soon’. The operator said some additional spaces would also open on Monday (February 5th).

To qualify for the deal, the grandparent must be travelling as part of a family booking with at least one child.

To find out more about the easyJet Holidays ‘grans go free’ offer, click HERE.

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