Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Last Minute Cottage And Caravan Holidays In Cornwall


One of the best places to find last minute self catering accommodation is the auction site Ebay.  New rental listings appear on Ebay every day, some at knock down prices due to cancellations.  To give you an idea of what's available, check out a selection of cottages, houses and caravans to rent in Cornwall below. 

 Many of these are listed as "buy it now" which means that the advertiser is renting at a fixed price, not in an auction. To get full details on any of the listings, just click on the pictures or the links. For our full Cornwall holiday cottage listing click here

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Tenerife Apartments And Villas - Late Deals - Special Offers

Tenerife is one of the most popular of the Canary Islands attracting thousands of holidaymakers every year. The year round mild temperatures ensure that Tenerife is busy winter and summer, Christmas is a particularly busy time with most hotels fully booked.

Tenerife has two distinct climates, the south is dry and arid while the north is almost tropical with lush vegetation and a higher humidity.  The main resorts on the island are Los Christianos and Playa de las Americas in the south and Puerto de la Cruz in the north.  

Tenerife is located off the west coast of Africa in the Atlantic ocean and  the huge Atlantic breakers attract surfers from across Europe. Angling, sailing, deep sea diving and surfing make Tenerife one of the most popular destinations for activity holidays.

Self catering accommodation is plentiful throughout the island, there are some beautiful villas with pools  and a variety of excellent apartments to rent  in all  the main resorts.  If you want an apartment or villa at short notice, one of the best resources to find a late bargain or special offer, is the auction site ebay.  

Very often, property owners with a cancellation will list their apartment or villa on ebay in an attempt to fill a last minute vacancy and some great bargains can be found.  We've listed the current selection of Tenerife apartments and villas on ebay below.
This is an rss datafeed which is constantly updated so if you don't see something which fits the bill, try again in a few days time.  In the Tenerife section of our Apartments Spain website we feature apartments and villas to rent across the island, courtesy of one of the UK's main holiday property advertisers

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Holiday Cottages To Rent In Anglesey North Wales

The beautiful island of Anglesey is situated just off the coast of North Wales near Bangor.  The island is connected to the mainland by the iconic Menai Suspension Bridge constructed by Thomas Telford in 1826 and the Britannia road and rail bridge which was rebuilt in 1970 following a fire.  Anglesey has a chequered history dating back to  prehistoric times and many historic remains are still dotted around the island. 

Anglesey is a Mecca for sea fishing with lots of different venues, each offering a variety of species. Anglers travel miles to reach the island for a day's fishing with Beaumaris and Hollyhead breakwater being among the favourite spots.

Anglesey's rugged coastline has many places of outstanding natural beauty with crystal clear water and beautiful natural bays. The island is very popular with holidaymakers and there are excellent hotels, caravan sites and some lovely holiday cottages available to rent .  Below, you can find some last minute holiday cottages,caravans and apartments to rent including special offers, cancellations etc  in various parts of the island live from  ebay.

For cottages in other parts of North Wales, please visit our Holiday Cottage Website.

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Holiday Villas To Rent In Moraira

Moraira's lovely marina
Moraira Marina

The upmarket resort of Moraira on Spain's Costa Blanca is the ideal place for a villa holiday. The hills overlooking Moraira are where the majority of villas are located,  just a ten minute drive to the resort.  A large proportion of villas  have their own swimming pools, al fresco dining areas and barbecues. 

If you prefer a sea view, the coast between Moraira and Calpe has some stunning villas hidden from the main road with magnificent views over the turquoise Mediterranean.  Eating out under the stars on balmy evenings is one of the pleasures of renting a villa but If you don't want to eat at your villa every evening, there's an excellent selection of  restaurants serving a variety of worldwide cuisine, all along the coastal road connecting Moraira to nearby Calpe  and in Moraira itself which has an abundance of top notch seafood and other first class restaurants.

There are lots of great bars around Moraira's marina area
Moraira Seafront Bars

The resort of Moraira is one of the most pristine of all the resorts in the north of the Costa Blanca.  It has a small, well maintained blue flag beach, designer clothes shops, a marina and a wide choice of places for a midday tapas.

Bronze statue in Moraira
Statue On Moraira Seafront

We have listed hundreds of gorgeous holiday villas to rent in the Moraira section of our Apartments Spain website courtesy of the UK's leading property rental company HomeAway. To give you an idea of the type of villas available you can find a large selection below. Click on the pictures for full details including current price and availability.

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Friday, 11 March 2016

Last Minute Holiday Cottages To Rent In The UK

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Holiday Cottages - Late Availability - Special Offers - Cancellations - Bargains - Discounts

Looking for a last minute self catering holiday.  Perhaps surprisingly, one of the best places to find last minute cottage bargains is the auction site ebay.  Property owners often have late availability due to cancellations and to try and ensure they get a booking, they list the property on ebay, often with a big price reduction.

Last year was one of the busiest on record for holidays in the UK with cottages and caravans top of the list.  This year, with all the uncertainty in the world, it looks like even more people will be staying put and holidaying closer to home  

The list below is a live rss feed from ebay showing the current availability of last minute cottages to rent in the UK .  Some have fixed prices and others are listed for bidding.  The feed is constantly updated so if you can't find anything today, check back again soon. Good luck and hope you find a bargain.

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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Short Breaks In Santiago de Compostela

 Short Breaks In Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela cathedral is said to be the final resting place of the apostle James

The Imposing Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of Spain's Galicia region on the rugged Northwest coast in an of outstanding natural beauty. Galicia is about as far removed from the baking Costas featured in the holiday brochures as you can get. 

Regarded by long distance walker's as the Holy Grail, Santiago de Compostela's medieval Cathedral is believed by many to be the final resting place of the apostle James and has been a place of pilgrimage since the middle ages. 

Ancient  trails dating back to medieval times meander across the countryside of northern Spain and beyond. These well trodden paths were created over the years by  thousands of devout Christians  making the gruelling pilgrimage to Santiago Cathedral. Some of  these pilgrim trails or "caminos" originated as far away as France and Portugal and many are still used by modern day pilgrims who arrive in Galicia from all over the world to follow in the footsteps of the original walkers.

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Once their final destination had been reached, medieval pilgrims flocked into the cathedral to pay their respects at the shrine of St James.  Mostly unwashed and after  weeks or months of walking, the pilgrims were less than fragrant. To counteract the unsavoury odour inside the cathedral, a large incense holder known as a botafumeiro, suspended from the ornate ceiling, was swung over the heads of the congregation gathered below by a group of eight men known as tirabeleiros. This ritual is still carried out today albeit as a  tourist attraction

Modern day pilgrims travel in relative comfort compared to the harsh times endured in the past. In medieval Spain, it wasn't uncommon for pilgrims to fall ill or even die during the arduous trek. Charitable places of rest were set up on the popular routes offering food and somewhere to sleep. 

Santaigo de Compostela pilgrim's museum has lots of interesting information and artefacts

Statue Of  A Medieval Pilgrim In Santiago de Compostela Pilgrim Museum

Modern Day Pilgrim's Paraphernalia In Santiago de Compostela 

Walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela has grown in popularity over the past twenty years.  From a handful of enthusiasts who walked the ancient Camino Frances footpath from France back in the 70's and 80's, pilgrims walks today have become big business with specialised holiday companies offering walking holidays on a variety of routes.   

The most popular walk is still the Camino Frances which originates in the French Pyrenees and is 780kms long.   Obviously, it would be impossible to walk the whole route during a fortnight's holiday so specialist walking companies provide a number of other starting points  which allow walkers to  reach Santiago in the time available . 

A growing number of accomplished walkers wanting to travel the full length of the Camino Frances (which takes approximately six weeks) but who only have limited time available, travel to Galicia every year starting off where they finished the year before until the entire length of the walk has been completed.  Walkers with plenty time on their hands, can undertake the whole journey in one go, an experience they are unlikely to forget.. 

It is quite common for proficient walkers to plan their own journey by calculating a moderate distance to  walk each day and booking hotels or hostels along the route but the majority of today's would be pilgrims choose an organised walking holiday.  If you want to plan your own route, the Confraternity of Saint James website has lots of information on everything you need.

Santiago de Compostela City Breaks

In 2014 my wife and I were fortunate enough to spend a few days in Santiago de Compostela. We  weren't walking the pilgrim's route and just decided to have a short break after spotting a cheap Ryannair flight from Valencia airport.  If you're planning to visit Santiago de Compostela from the UK, Ryanair fly from Stanstead airport and easyjet from Gatwick. Based on our experience, I've listed a few tips below to help anybody planning to visit.

We didn't know it at the time but Santiago is on two levels, the busy new town which incorporates the university campus is on the lower level and the old historic part is on the upper level. The modern town isn't particularly interesting and you're likely to spend most of your time exploring the historic centre. The walk from the new town to the old town is very steep and not recommended for anybody with walking difficulties or heart problems.  

We made the mistake of booking a hotel in the new part without doing our research and although not young we aren't past it yet but found the walk to the old city very strenuous, the hotel also had extremely thin walls but I'll leave it at that.  If we were going again, I'd definitely book somewhere in the old part. have well over a hundred hotels and guest houses listed in Santiago de Compostela  you can view them here

Don't  plan to stay longer than about three days in Santiago itself, the historic centre and the cathedral are fantastic but  three days is more than enough time to see just about everything.  If you wanted to spend more than a few days or have a holiday exploring Galicia or other areas of northern Spain, I would seriously consider renting a house or an apartment rather than booking a hotel, this  works out much cheaper and offers a greater sense of independence.  

Galician Seafood

Santiago de Compostela market has a fantastic fish section

Fresh Seafood In Santiago de Compostela Market 

Galicia is famous throughout Spain for the quality of its seafood. There are some excellent seafood restaurants in Santiago's old town.  Prices aren't for the faint hearted but your paying for the privilege of eating what is some of the best seafood  in the world.  

The small market in the historic centre has a seafood section where you can spend a good hour inspecting the variety and freshness of the daily catch.

When in Santiago de Compostela do as the Galician's do and try a plate of pulpo washed down with a glass of wine.

Pulpo And A Glass Of Wine

In a UK or U.S  city, we might pick up a hot-dog from a street vendor  to snack on as we window shop but in Galician cities, you're more likely to find vendor's dispensing a plate of octopus!! Octopus ("pulpo") is a Galician speciality which can be found in most tapas bars and seafood restaurants. The street vendors boil the octopus in large drums, then pulverise them until tender, cut the strips into small pieces with a large pair of scissors and sprinkle with smoked paprika, don't let the appearance put you off, it's delicious.   

Percebes or goose neck barnacles are a Galician speciality

Goose Neck Barnacles Or "Percebes" In The Fish Market

Another famous Galician  seafood speciality are goose neck barnacles or "percebes" . These strange looking delicacies are harvested from the rocks around the rugged coastline, a dangerous and time consuming occupation which results in a high price in the restaurants and markets.  

Holidays In Northern Spain

If you enjoy the great outdoors and want to try somewhere a bit different, the north of Spain is a   paradise for walkers and cyclists. There are secluded bays with beautiful beaches, quiet country roads, historic monuments and of course, wonderful seafood restaurants.  Galicia is one of the four regions which make up the green north and would provide an ideal base for exploring this unspoilt part of Spain.

If your picture of Spain is crowded beaches, wall to wall sunshine, jugs of sangria and tea like mother makes,  the north of Spain will come as something of a shock.  The scenery is the polar opposite of what most people conjure up when they visualise a holiday in Spain. 

The Picos de Europa mountain range separates the lush north and the baking south and if you were parachuted into this mountainous area without knowing where you had landed, you'd probably guess  Switzerland.  There are stone chalets with ornate wooden balconies bedecked with geraniums and surrounded by acres of green pastures dotted with grazing sheep and cows.  

I mentioned earlier that it would be worth considering a self catering apartment or house if you plan to spend some time exploring Galicia.  This site  lists literally hundreds of properties across northern Spain including Galicia, The Basque Country, Asturias  and Cantabria 

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Friday, 4 March 2016

Holidays In Javea Costa Blanca


Javea Port

Javea is just a few miles south of the Costa Blanca's most northerly resort Denia, from which it is separated by a rocky headland  jutting out from the port area.

 Sculpture On The Side Of Javea's Port Building

Javea is split into two resort areas, the historic old part which is made up of narrow streets flanked by shops and bars and overlooked by mountains.

The newer resort is approximately two miles south of the old town and is a popular tourist destination.

Javea is one of the most popular destinations on the Costa Blanca for villa holidays.  Most of the villas are perched on the hills overlooking the old town and the bay.

Javea Villas
 Villas On The Hills Above The Old Town

What's a bit odd is that the two halves of the resort don't have a promenade connecting them, just a road, which makes it feel like you are travelling between two completely different towns.

The promenade in Javea old town is a favourite place to eat out, there are lots of excellent restaurants overlooking the large bay. 

The new town has a completely different atmosphere, and caters for a younger age group.

Promenade Area Of Javea's New Resort Area

Unusually, Javea is quite a distance from the motorway and the main N332 which are both approximately 5 miles inland from the resort.  The majority of Costa Blanca resorts are usually only a mile or two away from the main roads.

To sum up, Javea is a pleasant resort which is ideal for a villa, apartment or package holiday,  quieter than Benidorm but with lots of amenities to suit  young and old.  

If you're looking for somewhere quiet to relax and enjoy meals out, try the old town area. For younger people the newer resort has a sandy beach and some good night life but isn't too rowdy.

Javea Holiday Apartments And  Villas To Rent

On our Apartments Spain website, we've listed some superb holiday apartments and villas to rent with plenty bargains available.  

Apartments Spain has thousands of holiday properties available in mainland Spain, the Balearic and Canary islands.