If you have any queries, please contact the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) using the details listed below:
Main Switchboard: 020 7379 7311
Gatwick Airport South
Main Switchboard: 01293 567171
If you have any queries, please contact the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) using the details listed below:
Main Switchboard: 020 7379 7311
Gatwick Airport South
Main Switchboard: 01293 567171
Tired of the tinsel and turkey? What about a sunshine getaway this Christmas?
When you spend the festive season in Lanzarote, you’re changing more than just the weather, you’re opting for an entirely different way of celebrating Christmas.
This is what you can expect from a Spanish, Roman Catholic Christmas.
Before you travel, check which facilities will be open. Christmas is a busy time, so attractions may have closed for the colder months. To secure your transport on arrival, book a Lanzarote airport taxi in advance.
Notable dates for the island over the festive season include:
- 8th December: Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
- 24th December (Nochebuena): Christmas Eve is a time for family celebration, so you will find that most bars and restaurants close early. Families eat late together, then go to Midnight Mass.
- 25th December: Christmas Day is observed as a religious holiday, so expect a lot of shops and restaurants to be closed or to have reduced opening hours.
- 26th December: Businesses return to normal hours, as this date is not an observed holiday in Spain.
- 28th December: Santos Inocentes is a day similar to our April Fool’s Days, so watch out for pranks and jokes.
- 31st December (Nochevieja): New Year’s Eve is a late night affair. The celebrations start with midnight fireworks, which continue into the morning. On the stroke of midnight, join in with the local tradition of ’12 grapes’, one per chime, washed down with a glass of cava.
- 6th January: The Day of Kings, or Feast of the Epiphany is marked by big processions in Arrecife, Yaiza and Playa Blanca.
During the day you can expect temperatures to be around 18 to 20C, which is warm enough to be comfortably dressed in a t-shirt and shorts. You will need to pack a warm jumper or light coat for the cooler evenings.
Gifts are not delivered by Father Christmas on the 25th December. Instead they are brought by the Kings (or Wise Men) on the Feast of the Epiphany which takes place on the 6th of January.
Religious Observance Not Over Indulgence
Lanzarote is predominantly Roman Catholic. In the more popular tourist areas you will find tinsel decorations and English food.
Elsewhere the focus is on family celebrations. Public spaces are decorated with beautiful nativity scenes, and the Christmas season is more relaxed, and less busy than in the UK.
Where to Stay
Whether you want a peaceful family break or a lively festive party, Lanzarote has the perfect location for you.
For an English Christmas with a Spanish climate, head to Costa Teguise, where you’ll find lovely beaches, and plenty of English bars, restaurants and shops.
Playa Blanca is the resort for those looking for a peaceful family break or a romantic retreat. With its quiet laid-back atmosphere, picturesque marina and beautiful beach, Playa Blanca is an ideal location for those wanting to escape the hustle, bustle and stress of a British Christmas.
Party animals should head to lively Puerto Del Carmen. This is Lanzarote’s main tourist resort, and is busy all year round. Even if you don’t stay in the resort, visit on New Year’s Eve to enjoy the island’s biggest fireworks display.
Don’t book a festive break in the hopes of a British Christmas in a warmer climate. Spending Christmas in Lanzarote is about much more than simply the weather. Embrace the local traditions and Roman Catholic celebrations for a truly unforgettable Christmas holiday.
It’s beautiful, hot, sunny, and just a short flight from the UK, Antalya in Turkey offers newlyweds the perfect honeymoon escape.
1. Getting There
Antalya has its own airport, so after just over four hours flying time, you are a short taxi ride away from your hotel. The airport is serviced by regular international flights, so getting there is affordable and easy.
2. Luxury Accommodation
When you’re on honeymoon, you deserve the best. If you only splash out on luxury accommodation on one holiday in your lifetime, this is the time to do it. Antalya has more than 80 5 star rated hotels to choose from. Start your honeymoon in style with private transport from Antalya Airport, then spend a couple of days in each other’s company in the most luxurious hotel you can afford.
3. Natural Beauty
Once you’ve fully recovered from the wedding, head out of the hotel and explore the beauty of the surrounding natural landscape. Legend says that King Attalos II of Pergamon sent his soldiers on a quest to find ‘Heaven on Earth’. When they found this glorious stretch of coastline, they declared their mission complete. And it’s not hard to see why. Golden sands contrast with the vibrant turquoise sea, against the backdrop of the Taurus Mountains. Antalya itself is built around a bay, so if you get tired of walking, you can pull up a chair at one of the many bayside bars and restaurants and watch the yachts coming and going.
4. Rich History
Explore the area’s rich history, by taking a walk along the Lycian Way. This 320 mile long path, running from Antalya to Fethiye, gives access to ancient ruins, and stunning coastline you can’t reach by road.
Kaleci is the old centre of Antalya, populated with well preserved old red roofed Turkish and Greek houses, accessed through narrow winding streets. Check out the Roman clock tower and 13th century minaret, before hoping on the tram that runs down to the beach and to the Antalya Museum, one of the best collections of ancient artifacts in Turkey.
5. Plenty To Do
For a quick tour of the area, you can hire a car and take day trips to ancient sites, such as the classical ruins at Perge and Aspendos.
Or travel by sea and get around the coast on a laid back gulet tour (a wooden sailboat), accessing sheltered remote coves.
While you’re in the area, visit the small village of Cirali, home of the loggerhead turtle breeding ground. In the Spring the females drag themselves up the beach in the dead of night to lay their eggs. By the full moon in the first week of September the eggs hatch and the baby turtles make their way down the beach towards the relative safety of the sea. You’re unlikely to witness these magical events in person, but pay a visit to the beach anyway as it is a great example of a strict conservation programme run by locals and backed by WWF.
And for a bit of fun head to Lara beach, home to worlds biggest sand castle competition from May 20th to Oct 20th, where contestants create magnificent sculptures from just sand and water.
With its warm climate and warmer welcome, Antalya is the ideal honeymoon destination for newlyweds looking to mix relaxation with sightseeing and entertainment.
Whatever your budget, you can enjoy a holiday in Portugal with these top travel tips.
Avoid Tourist Traps
Wherever there are tourists, you will also find inflated prices. Head for quieter, lesser known towns and resorts for a cheaper, more relaxed break.
Porto, is a historic town, listed as a World Heritage Site, and ranked by Lonely Planet as a top ten place to visit in 2013. Enjoy the beautiful cathedral, picturesque bridge, romantic riverside walks and balmy beaches, all for free.
Or head to Comporta, a small beachside town with great beaches and a laid back atmosphere. There’s even a wooden boardwalk and bars on the beach. The hotels are comfortable and welcoming, but more affordable than the accommodation in busier resorts. This little known Portuguese treasure doesn’t even get crowded in the Summer.
The Alentejo region is another tourist-free area, with vineyards, historic buildings, quaint villages and beaches, offering a taste of Portugal to be explored in one area.
Finally, take a look at Coimbra, a university town that focusses on frugality to cater for its student population. There’s lots of great, cheap, local food, and a maze of medieval streets to explore. At the weekends the town is surprisingly quiet as many of the students head to their family homes.
Or Head To The Tourist Traps
Although areas that are popular with tourists tend to have inflated prices, there are some advantages to moving with the crowd. For example, instead of paying out for your own taxi from the airport, you can use the shuttle from Albufeira Airport. Local restaurants and bars will compete for trade, so spend some time looking for the best deals, or hop from bar to bar to enjoy a continuous ‘happy hour’. If you head to Lisbon, there is so much accommodation to chose from you are sure to negotiate a good deal, and the tram system makes it cheap, easy and fun, to get around.
If you’re budget is really tight, you can try youth hostels or camping. For a little more comfort, seek out locally owned, small guest houses. Beware the ‘party hostels’ in Lisbon and Algarve, as the lively atmosphere means these are not really suitable for sleeping in.
Alternatively you can find a really comfortable place to stay, at a bargain price if you take advantage of weekend deals at business hotels. These hotels cater for overnight conferences and business meetings, meaning they offer reduced rates at the weekend when they are under-occupied.
Travel In Low Season
Most tourists travel to Portugal in the Summer, which makes this time of year expensive. Travel out of season, in Spring or Autumn, when it is still warm enough to enjoy your holiday, but cheap enough for a small budget.
Eating out in restaurants is an expensive way of feeding yourself. Make the most of local shops to pull together breakfast and lunch picnics, then eat out for dinner later. When eating in a restaurant you can share a generously sized main meal, or ask for a half portion. Look out for cheap brunch deals. Often it is much cheaper to fill up on a hearty brunch, then have a lighter meal or snack in the evening.
Fill your days with all things free, trekking through the countryside, or lounging on the beach. Many museums are free, or have free days (usually Sundays).
Careful planning, creativity and flexibility are the key ingredients for a Portuguese getaway.
In recent years, Greece has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. This once popular holiday destination has been rocked by economic difficulties and civil unrest. But don’t let this put you off visiting Greece, as this ancient, temperate country still has much to offer.
Stunning Natural Landscape
It is the variety and contrast of Greece’s natural landscape that makes it so wonderful to explore. Miles of coastline sit beside mountains, forests and lakes, with gorges and rivers cutting across the land. The Greeks co-exist with the environment, rather than attempting to tame it, so away from the tourist towns, the islands remain relatively unchanged.
Rich Historic Culture
There is so much to explore in Greece. Remnants from Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations are scattered across the islands. Some monuments have been reduced to rubble, while others stand impressively well preserved, giving a real glimpse into life thousands of years ago.
With so many miles of coastline to choose from, you can take your pick from quiet coves, beautiful bays, or party beaches lined with bars.
Take a snorkel with you into the water and you will discover Greece’s colourful native sea life, just a few feet beneath the surface.
Suitable All Year Round
Although the Summer months are the busiest, Greece makes a great holiday destination the whole year round. Visit in the Autumn or early Spring and you can explore the countryside and historical monuments without suffering the ill-effects of high temperatures. You will also benefit from reduced prices, and fewer visitors.
Easy To Reach
The Greek islands are well serviced by international and domestic flights, and internal transfers are easily arranged. There is also a comprehensive public transport systems, that reaches right out to the smaller outlying villages.
Where To Visit
Each of the Greek islands has something different to offer. As the largest island, Crete is a popular holiday destination, offering a variety of resorts, from affordable hotels to luxury 5 star complexes. There’s lots to see on the island, and you may like to hire a car for a few days to explore at your own pace. You can book a transfer from Crete airport to your hotel, so there’s no need to have a car arranged for your arrival.
Strikes and demonstrations are an ongoing problem in Greece. However, locals accept that a healthy tourism industry is vital to their economic recovery, so strikes tend not to affect facilities that holidaymakers will be making use of.
You can check in advance of travelling for any planned strikes or processions, but they are often arranged at short notice, so you won’t be able to plan your trip around them.
There tend to be fewer strikes out of the holiday season, so you’re unlikely to be affected if travelling in early Spring or Autumn.
Demonstrations are frequent, and usually take place in central Athens. If you notice a demonstration is underway, simply stay away from it.
For more travel advice you should check with the British foreign office website.
Whenever you decide to travel, and which ever island you choose to visit, you can expect a warm welcome from locals who are keen to show you the best of Greece, and boost their country’s reputation for tourism.
A romantic holiday is about more than roses and mood lighting, it’s about creating memories together that will last a lifetime. Different couples enjoy different types of holidays, so here’s a selection of ideas for your next break.
Shared Experience Holidays
One way to make memories is to do something exciting together, a once in a lifetime experience. What about scuba diving along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia? Or horse-back riding along the Colorado River in the US? Ever wanted to watch the Monaco Grand Prix? The excitement and exhilaration the follows these activities is a great aphrodisiac, and the memory of your great adventure is something you can enjoy together forever.
Sophisticated Culture Vultures
Head for a city of historical interest, soak up the atmosphere and admire the architecture. Head to Amsterdam, the city with one thousand bridges, and tour the Van Gogh museum, Royal Palace, and Flower Market together. Then burn off some steam on an energetic cycle ride, or relax on a canal boat.
For those with a love of ancient history, Athens is the ideal short break. Go in low season, Spring or Autumn, when it will be cool and quiet enough to explore the Acropolis and Parthenon, the Theatre of Dionysus, Temple of Hephaestus, and Tower of the Winds at your leisure.
Let Your Hair Down
If you both like to party, then what could better than letting your hair down together. You could hit the Ibiza clubs to combine daytime relaxation with a wild nightlife.
Or head to Prague where you can combine sightseeing with the city’s vibrant night life. The public transport system makes it easy to get around, so there’s no need to hire a car. To get from the airport to your hotel book with HolidayTaxis.com for Prague Transfers. With no maps to read, or confusing road signs to interpret, even your travel time can be romantic.
Berlin also offers a surprising combination of lively evening and culturally rich daytimes. Spend the day exploring Berlin’s modern history, visiting the Brandenburg Gate and walking the line that marks the old Berlin Wall. Then enjoy some traditional German food, before hitting the bars and clubs and becoming part of Berlin’s thriving night-scene.
Lay Back And Relax
A more obvious type of romantic break would be an all-inclusive beach side holiday. With nothing to pay for, and no need to go anywhere, you can really concentrate on each other. Away from the pressures of daily-life, you will both unwind and relax, helping your true personality to shine through. For the ultimate couple’s holiday, head to the Seychelles or the Maldives, where you can sit by the pool, or lounge on the beach, and enjoy being pampered in five star luxury.
Most importantly, make sure your planned holiday includes elements that you both enjoy. There’s no romance in a beach holiday if one of you is itching to hire a car and explore the area; nor will you have fun partying the night away if one of you prefers quiet early nights. By carefully choosing a destination that offers something for both of you, you can create your own perfect romantic getaway.
You don’t need to travel halfway across the world to find a stunning beach. Although North America and Australia can offer amazing seaside locations, Europe is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Here’s a rundown of some of the best European beaches to escape to.
1. Scopello, Sicily – Best For Seclusion
Nestled on the west coast of Sicily, this beach offers peace and tranquility to those who are willing to work for it. Begin your journey in the stone village of Scopello, stocking up on essential supplies such as a picnic, wine, and an ice cream to keep you going. After a twenty minute walk along the coast you will reach a secluded, sheltered cove. Be warned, despite this beach’s remote location it can get very busy in the Summer. It is perfect for an early morning, late evening visit.
2. Cala d’en Serra, Ibiza – Best For A Rest
People visit the island to party, often leaping straight off the Ibiza shuttle service, and into the nearest bar. After a couple of days working those high spirits out of your system, take the time to explore some of Ibiza’s more relaxing, natural entertainment offerings. The secluded bay at Cala d’en Serra is popular with locals, and one of the islands best kept secrets. The beach is not fully accessible by car, which helps keep visitor numbers low. You can drive close to it via a steep rock road, but this eventually becomes impassible and the rest of the journey must be completed on foot. Like many of Ibiza’s natural beauty spots, the beach is on the North Eastern part of the island. There’s a beach cafe for drinks and snacks, so you can stay fed and watered all day. Bring a snorkel so you can explore the vibrant marine life just below the water’s surface.
3. Barleycove, County Cork, Ireland – Best For Adventure
This is not a sun lovers beach (since Ireland is not especially well known for its sunny weather), it’s an adventurers beach. Barleycove isn’t so much long as it is deep, offering huge sand dunes to scale and tumble down, lagoons to splash in and rivers to explore. The cove has been designated a ‘special area for conservation‘ and is populated by cormorants, mute swans and herring gulls.
4. Three Cliffs Bay, Gower, Wales – Best Of British
There is nothing here except a beautiful, bowl-shaped cove with golden sands. There are no shops, and no bars. Enjoy the tranquility without being constantly pestered to buy yet another ice cream / spade / giant inflatable dolphin. There is nothing to do here except explore and relax. No road access (the beach is reached via a sandy path) helps keep this beach quiet even during the Summer months, so you may even have it all to yourself.
5. The Curonian Spit, Lithuania – Best For Rustic Charm
At 98km long, this peninsula in the Baltic Sea never gets overcrowded. The town is accessed via a ten minute ferry crossing from the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda. On arrival head to Nida, a small fishing village, where you can stock up on supplies, eat a meal, and hire a bike. Then spend the day exploring the beach and pine forests, where you might spot moose and wolves.
Each of these magnificent European beaches has a different appeal, so whether you love lounging around or exploring the local landscape, you don’t need to fly far to find a seaside town to suit your tastes.
Adventure Time In Montejaque, Andalucia, Spain
This town offers rustic accommodation, and bucket-loads of adventure. The town’s proximity to the rugged limestone peaks of the Sierra de Libar, means you have direct access to kayaking, mountain climbing, rock climbing, and orienteering. You can even try your hand at archery if you fancy sharpening up your hunting skills. Perfect for an active family with older children or teenagers.
Relax In Bodrum, Turkey
Bodrum is an ideal holiday location for a family that needs to kick back and relax together. Great weather, a welcoming atmosphere, and an excellent selection of affordable, comfortable hotels. It’s not too far to go to, and you can reduce your travel-related stress further by arranging a pre-booked Bodrum shuttle service before you leave home.
Once settled into the resort you can either head for the beach, or explore the local landscape. A day at the beach offers something for the whole family. Land lovers can lounge around or spend the day being sand architects, while the more active family members can snorkel in the sea, and discover some of the local marine life.
There are plenty of local landmarks to explore, left behind by the Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. For a more immersive Roman experience, head 2 1/2 hours North to the city of Ephesus where the Acropolis is well preserved.
Family Fun In Florida, U.S.A
No family holiday list could be complete without mentioning the home of Disney and the land of movie rides. Head over to Universal Studios to experience the new Harry Potter theme park. If energy levels start to dip, spend a day at one of the many huge water parks, where children and adults can relax in the pool, or go wild on the slides.
Ultimate Camping In Normandy, France
Head to the Chateau de Lez-Eaux campsite in Normandy, France, for the ultimate camping experience. The family-friendly site is situated within the grounds of a 19th century chateau and offers fishing, tennis, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools. You can keep costs down by camping in a tent, splash out on the comfort of a chalet, or opt for a lofty adventure and sleep in a huge treehouse. There’s lots to keep your entertained on site, but the port town of St Malo, seaside town Granville, and the beach at Carolles, are all fairly local and worth a visit.
Get Closer To Nature In Cirali, Antalya, Turkey
The Cirali beach is a carefully preserved space, managed by locals, under the guidance of the WWF. What makes it so special? It is a nesting site for loggerhead turtles. In the spring females pull themselves up the beach at night, and lay their eggs in the sand. A few months later, under the first full moon of September, the hatchlings make their way back down to the sea. You would be very lucky to catch either events, but at any time of year this is a beautiful beach to visit and a great opportunity to witness how nature and tourism co-exist. The Ettena Hotel has 13 wooden cabins positioned right on the beach, so it feels like you are holidaying in a beach hut.
When planning a family holiday it is important to carefully balance everyone’s preferences for temperature and activity levels. Look for a holiday location that offers a mixture of relaxation and adventure, so there is something for everyone.
Mexican cuisine is among the most delicious and memorable in the world. With a spectrum of spices and myriad flavours, it is easy to see why even the mention of Mexican food is enough to get your taste buds tingling!
We’ve all experienced the home taco and fajita kits, but to go one step further and fully embrace Mexican cuisine, cooking a delicious dish from scratch is definitely the way to go. An authentic, home-cooked Mexican meal will knock the socks off the pre-packaged stuff, and seriously impress your dinner guests.
With that in mind, and in honour of HolidayTaxis.com‘s Mexico Month this September, we are all set to bestow some kick-ass Mexican recipes on our lovely readers. To kick things off, how about some delicious green chilli enchiladas? Oh yes!
Stay tuned for more great meal ideas throughout the month!
Green Chilli Enchiladas
Here’s what you’re going to need
Making a Traditional Mexican Green Chili Sauce
You can then cool it and store it in the refrigerator for up to one day, before heating thoroughly to serve.
1. This competition is open to all residents of the UK aged 18 years or over, excluding employees or relatives of HolidayTaxis.com or associated companies or anyone professionally associated with this competition.
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