Travelling to your ski resort can be stressful at times, especially when waiting in airport queues or when there are delayed flights due to the weather. Another often overlooked way to travel to a ski resort is by train. Having your own room is...
Just where is the cheapest place to take a holiday? perhaps when self-catering, on a bed and breakfast, or touring with a hire car and you want the cheapest basket of holiday goods. The basket includes items like an evening meal for two, a cup...
It is a beautiful and charming city in an equally stunning country, Vienna the capital of Austria oozes old world charm and it is no matter how many times you have been there is always something different to do and see. Enjoy a lively mixture...
The USA has some of the most magnificent scenery anywhere in the world and can boast great buildings, as well as some engineering projects. The USA is a magnificent place to see and explore, you do not have to confine yourselves to the...
Travelling to your ski resort can be stressful at times, especially when waiting in airport queues or when there are delayed flights due to the weather. Another often overlooked way to travel to a ski resort is by train. Having your own room is great for relaxing when you’re travelling and the fully stocked restaurants and bars mean that you can travel in comfort. The best thing is that it is a relatively cheap way to travel and doesn’t take as long as you would think.
Here are the best European ski resorts you can travel to by train:
Picture: Luca Galli
This small ski resort on the border with France is great for beginners. With over 400km of ski runs connecting Claviere with the neighbouring areas of Montgenevre in France and Sestriere, Sansicario and Cesana in Italy this ski resort has it all.
The Claviere Ski Resort is great for those who want a relaxing ski holiday without the rowdiness and late night partying that happen is other resorts.
The snow train departs from St Pancras in London and travels to Paris via the Euro Tunnel. From Paris you will take the Paris-Lyon TGV to Oulx; it is then a short 15 minute bus or taxi ride to the resort. The journey takes approximately nine and a half hours and train prices start from around £130 per person.
Picture: Levent Ali
Several traffic-free villages make up the Les Arcs ski resort which includes a variety of ski runs for beginners up to experts. New skiers will want to start out on the ‘ski tranquille’ area above each of the villages, while more experienced skiers will want to try out the legendary Aiguille Rouge-Villaroger, one of the most well-renowned ski runs in Europe.
One of the newest villages, Arc 1950 has traditionally styled hotels and chalets and you can literally ski through the traffic-free village making it a great experience. Another option for those on a budget is Bourg St Maurice; this working town is only a seven minute ride up to the slopes each day.
St Pancras in London has a direct ski train to Bourg St Maurice which takes just under 10 hours, with train prices starting from around £200 per person.
Picture: Paul Bence
If you want to ski hard and party even harder then the St Anton ski resort is for you. There is a magnitude of off-piste areas to explore during your stay, not to mention the challenging slopes that are perfect for the more advanced skier.
The ski train to St Anton takes you through the Arlberg valleys providing an enchanting view of ever changing lakes and mountains making it a great way to travel.
The snow train departs St Pancras station in London, from there you will change in Paris and head on to Basel via the Paris-Lyon train. From Basel you will head to Zurich on the Intercity train before taking the brand new Railjet train to St Anton. Rail and ski packages are available from around £980.Read More
Just where is the cheapest place to take a holiday? perhaps when self-catering, on a bed and breakfast, or touring with a hire car and you want the cheapest basket of holiday goods. The basket includes items like an evening meal for two, a cup of coffee and sun cream as examples.
Well not in Europe but a whole lot further, Bali has emerged as the best value holiday destination for British travellers this year, as a strengthening pound helps budgets stretch further in most resorts and cities. It turns out that Bali is the cheapest holiday destination overall, here the basket would cost £31.48 this compares with New Zealand where the same basket will set you back £115.06.
Nearer to home and a firm favourite with the British for many years is the Algarve, which has come out as the cheapest destination in Europe, with a basket of items costing £35.37. There are other places in Europe which are good value Cyprus, Greece and Italy, for example but, Italy still remains the most expensive destination in Europe with a basket costing around £81, which is twice as much as Portugal.
Taking a holiday you have to take into account not only the cost when we are there, it has to include getting there and associated costs such as car hire or airport transfers. It may be cheap in some places like Bali, but long haul air flight, along with the associated higher passenger taxes to get there, can be around £700 per person or more, whereas other nearer destinations may be reached for around £40 with budget airlines, one way and depending on the day of the week and time of the year of course.
Most places have seen a drop in prices due to the pound and also the prevailing conditions in the country visited, but it seems that Spain was the only country to record a significant price increase, with meal costs rising 22% on the highly visited Costa del Sol.
Picture: Kenny Teo
It is a beautiful and charming city in an equally stunning country, Vienna the capital of Austria oozes old world charm and it is no matter how many times you have been there is always something different to do and see. Enjoy a lively mixture of some of the coolest cakes, bars, galleries, shops and street markets. Getting around is easy too as Vienna has one of the best public transports systems which is very easy to use and is cheap. The network is in five distinct parts, five U-Bahn (underground train) lines, several S-Bahn (suburban trains) and numerous tram and bus services.
There is much to see on a short trip to Vienna, but all within reasonable walking distance by taking a stroll along the Ringstrasse boulevard in a clockwise direction starting at the Vienna State Opera to the City Hall is one of the best ways go bck to a time before the fall of the Empire in 1918.
Here you can see and visit St Stephens Cathedral which stands very tall and proud and as Vienna’s most important Gothic landmark deserves at least a peek. Further along you will come to the famous Spanish Riding School where it is possible to catch a performance of the Lipizzaner stallions in the baroque Winter Riding School. Tickets to gala performances, usually Saturdays and Sundays at 11am, can be booked online in advance. For a livelier place then a visit to the Museum Quarter, here you will find yourself among a young crowd buzzing with youthful excitement. You can also see some great works of art at the museums there.
There is not a good or bad time to visit Vienna, just different ones, for example although it may be cold between December and March, you will find plenty of places to warm up street markets in particular and in full swing. April see parks and gardens blooming, whilst May through the summer months festivals and parties are well underway, you could even catch the three day festival or Donauinselfest which is Europe’s biggest open air party and it’s free!
Getting to Vienna by air is through British Airways and Austrian Airlines form Heathrow, EasyJet from Gatwick with other airlines operating from Manchester, Manchester, East Midlands, Leeds Bradford and Dublin.
Picture: Peter M.Read More
The USA has some of the most magnificent scenery anywhere in the world and can boast great buildings, as well as some engineering projects. The USA is a magnificent place to see and explore, you do not have to confine yourselves to the obligatory trip to New York or Disney World; go to places like Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, and many more.
But regarded as one of the seven wonders of the natural world, the Grand Canyon is in the high desert of northern Arizona, and always fills the visitor with awe and wonder at its magnificent splendour. Everyone who can should try and see it once in their lives; naturally it can have a touristy feel about it, but this can be left behind as you see the vast, magnificent and beautifully natural wonder.
Unless you have a lot of time you will not see it all as the gorge stretches 277 miles from end to end, steep, rocky walls descend more than a mile to the canyon’s floor, where the wild Colorado River traces a swift course southwest. You will have a number of starting points which are the main entrances on the South Rim; these include the South Rim’s eastern entrance and the North Rim. The Canyon’s western edge, home to beautiful Havasupai Falls and the town of Supai, is also accessible via roads on the Hualapai Indian Reservation.
To see the Canyon you have a choice of touring the rim by a guided tour on a bike, on foot or perched atop a friendly mule. A favourite is the air tour from which you see canyon from high above with a helicopter or airplane tour. For the fit it is possible to take a hiking tour which consists of easy rim hikes to rigorous multi-day backpacking trips, Grand Canyon hiking has something for everyone. But for real fun and adventure, how about rafting the Canyon? Choose from motorized or oar-powered expeditions ranging from four days to two weeks.
Accommodation at the Canyon varies widely depending on your particular personal preferences, you can choose historic lodges and hotels to rugged campgrounds, the Grand Canyon has a wide range of places to stay, however it is wise to plan your trip book early.
You will never forget your trip to the Grand Canyon, see once, but do all you can to see it.
Picture: MarkusnlRead More
Many businesses and establishments have made certain changes to their services in order to accommodate the disabled, and this includes the cruising industry. Many cruise ships now come fitted with bedrooms, bathrooms and general facilities modelled for the needs of the disabled and, as a result, they have boosted their reputation and their overall income, with many new customers able to join in the experience of cruising.
Many booking agents on the internet allow you to book cruises solely for the disabled, such as the Disabled Cruise Club, and can give good recommendations for holiday resorts that are disability friendly. Regular travel agents will always take into account any special needs that a particular customer might have, such as acquiring a room close to a lift for wheelchair access, or picking a double room with two single beds for a carer and the disabled. Do not be afraid to talk to a travel agent about your disability as they are there to assist you in whatever way they can, including getting to your cruise, and also by arranging flights for the disabled.
Picture: BarbaraRead More
Keep boredom at bay on your cruise ship by enjoying the organised activities and performances. For those who like to relax, sit back and enjoy everything from cabaret shows, poolside and lounge bands to themed events and parties. If you like to keep your brain active, most cruise lines also offer a broad programme of games and activities such as bingo, quizzes and talent contests.
Since cruising has grown in popularity, some of the larger liners now cater for an unbelievable range of onboard physical activities such as rock climbing, ice-skating and mini golf. Pool areas are more luxurious than ever with some ships offering the same features you might find in land-based parks. Film buffs will usually find a cinema screen onboard or even a large screen on deck for movie watching under the stars. Some ships also have guest lecturers to talk about a range of fascinating subjects. Alternatively, Princess Cruises, often have a casino or spa for guests who would like to cruise in luxury.
Whatever your taste, it’s guaranteed you will never be bored onboard!
Picture: JeffRead More
Hitachinaka is an amazing holiday destination, located in Ibaraki Prefecture, which stretches from Tochigi Prefecture to the Pacific Ocean. Formed from two small historic towns, Nakaminato and Katsuta, Hitachinaka is renowned for its unique blend of local culture and modern trends.
In Hitachinaka there are four colourful seasons but the best time to visit is during the spring and autumn months when you can enjoy warm temperatures with few rain showers. To witness the famous cherry blossoms, you need to visit in March or April.
Hitachinaka has five major tourist attractions: the Hiraiso Beach, Ajigaura Onsen Nozomi, Sakatsura Isozaki Shrine, the flower paradise at the Hitachi Seaside Park and Nakaminato Fish Market.
You will find the Hitachi Seaside Park near the Ajigaura Beach. The Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Covering a wide area of 3.5 hectares, it boasts more than 4 million nemophilas – small flowers with transparent blue petals – that bloom during spring, as well as hundreds of daffodils and tulips of different colours. Regardless of the season, you will always find a variety of flowers complementing the crystal serenity of the Pacific Ocean.
Lodging and travel information
Although Japan is expensive, you can find several affordable lodging options. Japanese inns offer the most attractive alternatives. In these you can sleep on a traditional futon in a tatami mat room – a unique experience for most visitors.
To reach Hitachinaka, you should book a flight from London to Tokyo and then, travel to Hitachinaka by car. The total travelling time between London and Hitachinaka does not usually exceed 14 hours.
Picture: KobakenRead More