f4aviation Holiday Information & what to do when you're there

A visit to Copenhagen

April 8, 2014 | City Guides, Travel Guides | Permalink

Combining exciting history, rich culture and intimate ambience with excellent shopping experiences and thrilling nightlife, Copenhagen impresses visitors with unexpected yet pleasant contrasts.

Climate

Set in a climatic region affected by the Atlantic Ocean, Copenhagen is subject to unstable weather conditions throughout the year. However, high temperatures and moderate rainfall in summer turn the city into one of the best holiday spots in Europe.

Things to do and see

City tours allow tourists to discover many modern constructions squeezed seamlessly between historic buildings, some of them boasting fairy tale inspired architecture that can make tourists feel like Alice in Wonderland. Several highlights included in these tours are the Danish National Gallery, the Experimentarium museum, the Botanical Gardens and Rosenborg Castle.

Copenhagen also has a vibrant beach life, with clean, magnificent beaches offering a series of facilities such as sun loungers, umbrellas and beach showers. Streets flooded with unexpected combinations of cold electronic music, wild rock rhythms and warm jazz mixes not only tell a story about this city, but also invite holidaymakers to visit its bars and pubs. Complementing the ambience, numerous pizza and shawarma joints invite tourists to grab a bite, while Michelin-starred restaurants are perfect choices for dining in style and enjoying refined cuisine.

Lodging

Although accommodation is quite expensive, tourists can find all kinds of lodging alternatives, from old forts to camping sites, and from hostels to apartments and top hotels. Two accommodation options usually preferred by tourists are Cab Inn and Hotel Nyhavn.

Transportation

The average flight time from London to Copenhagen is one hour and forty minutes. Once in the city, a tourist can find numerous transportation facilities, ranging from buses to intercity trains.

Picture: JamesZ_Flickr

Long haul to get cheaper

March 29, 2014 | Aviation News, Travel News | Permalink

Well we don’t know the fine details yet but the budget this year has promised to overhaul the crazy Air Passenger Duty (APD) and it surely is not before time when it cost more duty to fly to Hawaii than it would to say India or even China. Frankly the whole system is crazy and is a tax on holidays, the way that the tax is calculated is a bit vague as well and it calculates the distance between London and the capital of the final destination!

That is not all; the contributions are banded into four A is of flights less than 2,000 miles, B 2001 to 4,000, c4,001 to 6,000 and lastly D which is flights if over 6,000 miles. Now from next year this is to be changed to the tax applying to all flights calculated on band B, bands C and D being abolished.

Naturally the move has been welcomed by the holiday trade and the organisation ABTA has welcomed the new tax changes; they are saying that removing the higher mileage bands will mean a saving of £200. It is hoped that his will mean more people will consider long haul destinations such as Cape Town and Sydney. Unfortunately it will have no effect on the European destinations where most families take their annual holiday, a tax of £52 is added to the ticket price for a family of four, but it is considered to be a move in the right direction.

PlanePicture: vince42

New poll finds that 61% of Brits have smuggled UK food abroad

March 13, 2014 | Travel News | Permalink

A new study into the habits of Brits abroad has released that a staggering 61% of travellers have smuggled UK food abroad. It seems that the majority of respondents can’t go long without a taste of the UK, with baked beans, chocolate and bread topping the list.

The poll, which asked 1,244 holiday home owners of their eating habits abroad found that although travellers wanted to get away from the unpredictable weather of the UK, that they were unwilling to compromise on their UK stables when it came to food.

Participants were asked ‘Do you ever take British food abroad with you when visiting your holiday home?’ to which 61% said yes, and of these 35% said that they took the food to countries outside of the EU.

Here are the top 5 food items smuggled abroad by Britons:

  1. Baked Beans (37%)
  2. Chocolate (35%)
  3. Bread (32%)
  4. Sweets (24%)
  5. Condiments (20%)

When asked why they take UK food items abroad 76% said that it was because the foreign equivalents were not as good, while 16% said that they were taking the items for friends that lived abroad.

Participants were also asked where they put the food items when they took them abroad, 51% said in their suitcase, 30% said in their hand luggage and 18% said that they took food with them in their car when driving abroad.

heinz baked beansPicture: Matthew Cashmore

The world’s highest zip-line opens in the French Alps

March 5, 2014 | Ski Holidays, Travel News | Permalink

The world’s highest zip-line has opened in the Savoie region of the French Alps that will surely appease any adrenaline junkie. The 1.3km long zip-line connects the Bouchet chair lift in Orelle to a neighbouring peak in Val Thorens.

The wire transports thrill seekers 250 meter above the ground at an altitude of 10,597ft making it the highest zip-line in the world. After strapping into a harness, intrepid adventurers reach speeds of up to 62mph as it carries them between the two resorts.

Experts who installed the zip-line said that the majority of it was done by hand. Engineers would ski the route of the zip-line dragging the steel cables by hand. Talking about the project, engineer Mathieu Berger said, “Installing the zip-line was the kind of challenge I love taking on in the mountains,”

“We limited our use of helicopters and fitted the cable from the ground.

“We really had to prove our ingeniousness to make the connection and ski down the snow-covered route between Orelle and Val Thorens.”

The zip-line costs €50 per ride and booking details can be found at www.la-tyrolienne.com.

Check out the video below:

Going all inclusive in Turkey

February 20, 2014 | Travel Guides | Permalink

Antalya can be said to be the fastest growing city in Turkey having a great mix of beaches and traditional Turkish culture. Children are well catered for at the beach park complete with waterslides, dolphins, sea lions and white whales. However you should not miss the old town, take a peek at Hadrian’s Gate, and have a Turkish coffee at one of the many cafes that line the broad streets where palm trees grow, or stroll around the marina before a leisurely lunch at one of the many restaurants.

Of course the beaches here are just first rate and what better than to simply flop down on one the variety of sandy stretches, choose from Lara beach or Kaputus beach and relax with that long cooling drink, letting the cares of the 21st century drift away.

Hiring a car is a great option, this will allow you to explore the beautiful coast and see some of the resorts within reach of Antalya, names such as Belek, Beldibi and Kemer along this stretch referred to as “The Pearl of the Mediterranean. See the Roman landmarks, and some very historic sites at Aspendos and Perge. If you need another plus point for this coastline it is the weather which is virtually guaranteed from May until the end of October so late a holiday is very popular.

All inclusive holidays are very popular in Turkey and there is no shortage of all inclusive hotels in Antalya and the neighbouring resorts. This idea is growing in popularity, particularly for families as children can be kept adequately supplied with cooling drinks as they splash in the resorts pools. The flying time from the UK is in the region of four to five hours, depending upon from where your flight is leaving. Turkey is a great all inclusive holiday country for all the family.

Antalya Marina, TurkeyPicture: GoGap

What happens if your holiday cottage is affected by the floods?

February 12, 2014 | Travel News | Permalink

Half term is nearly upon us and many parents use this particular time to have a break in a holiday cottage which has all the facilities such as central heating to have fun in Britain, but what about that luxury cottage in Somerset that you booked after spending half term in it last year, only to find that it sadly now has a few feet of water in it?

Well it will all depend who you booked the cottage through. There are some large agencies and they will have specific terms and conditions, which may include details of compensation if your holiday cottage is damaged in some way and is not fit for occupation. What extremes of damage is there, if the cottage itself is still dry but the grounds around it are soggy and a bit of a mess, it could be that you have no claim.

Perhaps you rented the cottage from a private advertiser and paid for it upfront, which is perfectly normal. Here you may have more difficulty if he is claiming that it is not his responsibility and you may have to take the matter to a small claims court. Usually this would be a very last resort as the cottage owner would wish to keep your goodwill.

If on the other hand you are affected by the floods and cannot get to the holiday cottage, then that presents a different situation and is out of the control of the cottage owner, you may have to claim for the loss on your own insurance. What about a situation whereby you can get to the holiday cottage, it is perfectly alright but is surrounded by water and you need a boat to get to it? In this situation you may have to use some negotiating skills and see if you can come to some amicable agreement with the owner, you didn’t bargain for a boating holiday after all.

CottagePicture: brianac37

Best Places to Visit in the UK

January 31, 2014 | Travel Guides | Permalink

With flights and holidays abroad getting more expensive each year, the number of people holidaying in the UK has risen over the past few years and who can blame them. The UK has some of the best tourist destinations in the world and attracts millions of foreign tourists each year, who come to see its historic cities, beautiful countryside, fascinating museums and top-notch theatres.

From medieval castles to hikes in the Lake District, there is something for everyone in the UK. Here are some of our favourite places to visit in the UK:

Lake District

Lake District

The Lake District is England’s largest National Park and is the country’s premier destination for hiking the climbing. With awe inspiring scenery such as England’s largest mountain Scafell Pike, and its deepest lake, Wastwater, the Lakes offers much more than meets the eye and attracts nearly 14 million people each year. Thriving local communities cater for your every need as you travel through this vast landscape, and with an array of spectacular activities to do along the way there is never a dull moment.

Whether you’re into nature, heritage and history or adrenaline experiences, the Lake District has it all.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Scotland’s capital city is steeped in history, from the cobbled streets to the impressive Edinburgh Castle, this city is teaming with some of the best attractions in the UK. History buffs will be right at home here with an array of museums and art galleries to choose from, and shopaholics can’t go far wrong too as the city has some amazing shops.

Night is when Edinburgh comes alive, with a range of bars and clubs to suit any taste, and some of the best restaurants in the UK if not the world selling all manner of cuisines including traditional Scottish dishes, as well as superb French, Mexican and Chinese cuisines.

Cornwall

Cornwall

Located on the South West of England, Cornwall is a surfer’s paradise. Famed for its spectacular beaches, cliff top walks and iconic scenery, Cornwall has a range of activities for the whole family. Why not try your hand at surfing at one of the many surf schools in the area, or take a relaxing walk around the unmistakeable and picturesque village of Clovelly.

History buffs with enjoy a look around the ruins of Tintagel Castle, said to be the legendary birthplace of King Arthur, or why not try the National Maritime Museum which celebrates the sea and boats of Cornwall’s past.

York

York

The historic city of York situated in North Yorkshire, England has a rich heritage and has been one of England’s major cities through much of its two millennia of existence. This ancient city has some of the most iconic attractions in the whole of the UK including York Minster, the National Railway Museum and The Shambles, a street in the city centre dating back to medieval times.

Travel tip: take a camera with you when you visit York, because you don’t want to miss out on the fabulous architecture, street performers and serene backdrop this historic city has to offer.

Scottish Highlands

Eilean Donan Castle

When thinking of the Scottish Highlands, most people will think of rugged Scottish men wearing kilts and carrying swords, but unfortunately that is not the case nowadays. Instead you can expect to see some of the best scenery in the world including the tallest mountain in Britain Ben Nevis and the world famous Loch Ness, home to the mythical (or is it?) Loch Ness Monster.

One of the Highlands most popular attractions is Eilean Donan Castle; this picturesque castle situated on a small tidal island in Loch Duich features frequently in photos, films and television programs and provided a strong defensive position against the Norse expeditions.

Visiting Beautiful Sri Lanka

January 20, 2014 | Travel Guides, Worldwide Travel | Permalink

The Island of Sri Lanka is almost a year round holiday destination, although the early winter months of January to April are the best time to travel when the least rain is expected and the temperatures are fairly constant at around 28/29 degrees, also July and August are favourable too.

Sri Lanka is really quite a gem with a vast coastline, with the south west of the island being the most popular; here you will find the resorts of Negombo and Bentota offering hotels in colonial style to the very modern. For the water enthusiasts the Indian Ocean offers some excellent snorkelling as well as diving opportunities.  Away from the popular coast you will experience rolling tea plantations as well as some densely forested areas.

Sri Lanka is a picture of flora and fauna to be found in quantity and there are lots of national parks where you can see the wilder aspect of the Island. At Yala you will be able to see leopard see leopard, elephant, and water buffalo, with crocodile and also experience the sight of some of over 200 species of bird. There is an elephant orphanage at Pinnawela and you can witness elephants being bathed and fed.

The flying time to Sri Lanka is around ten and a half hours but you will find that the journey will be well worth it.

Sri LankaPicture: IRIS Liu

Places to visit in Paris

January 11, 2014 | City Guides, Travel Guides | Permalink

Paris may be ‘the city of love’ and one of the most romantic places to visit in the world, but there is more to the city than just exquisite restaurants and fashionable stores. Paris has some of the best attractions in the world and here are our top choices:

Eiffel Tower

No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the impressive Eiffel Tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, the Eiffel Tower has become an icon of France and is one of the most recognisable structures in the world.

Standing an impressive 324 metres high, the tower is the tallest structure in Paris and attracts an estimated 7 million tourists each year.

The tower has three levels for visitors, the first and second levels are accessible by stairs or lifts, whereas the highest level is only accessible by a lift. The third and highest platform in the tower is approximately 280 meters off the ground and is the highest public platform in the European Union.

Tickets can be purchased on the ground level where you can choose to ascend by the stairs or lift.

Notre Dame de Paris

The Notre Dame de Paris, also known as the Notre-Dame Cathedral is an architectural marvel. It is widely regarded as one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and is one of the most well-known religious buildings in the world.

The Notre Dame de Paris was one of the world’s first buildings to use a flying buttress design with arches used as exterior supports. The building wasn’t supposed to have a flying buttress at all but the thin walls ( a popular style at the time) coupled with the buildings height began to push the walls outward so exterior arches were fitted.

There are plenty of photo opportunities in and around the Notre Dame de Paris, from the famous gargoyles that adorn the outside of the structure, to the amazing organ with its stained glass background.

The cathedral is open every day of the year from 8:00am to 6:45pm (7:15pm on weekends) and is free to enter.

Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris and stands at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The arch was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to honour those who fought and died during the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. The arch features the names of French victories and generals inscribed on its surface.

The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is often confused with the smaller Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, which is situated at the front of the Louvre.

The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is 50 meters high, 45 meters wide and 22 meters deep. The arch is so big that three weeks after the Paris victory parade in 1919, Charles Godefroy flew a biplane through it, much to the disapproval of the local authorities.

Arc De TriomphePicture: Anirudh Koul

Snow train to the Alps

December 30, 2013 | Ski Holidays, Travel Guides | Permalink

Travelling by air is becoming less inviting and particularly so for the winter sports enthusiasts. There is little or no restriction about taking your skis or boards on the aircraft, but you do have to pay, often a high price too. It is certainly quicker to get to your ski destination by air, but just how much quicker is it when you have negotiated security, and waited with hundreds of others to catch the transfer bus to the resort? So let us look at the alternative journey by train direct into the resort of Aime le Plagne.

Departing from London St Pancras on Friday evening, you’ll travel down to the Alps through the night arriving in the mountains early on Saturday morning. This means you can be on the slopes well before many of the normal ski holiday flights have even taken off. The other big advantage is that you don’t have to worry about additional supplements and charges for things like baggage allowance and ski carriage. It’s all included in the price of your snow train ticket. For those who prefer it you can take a day train which departs at 10.00 and arrives in Aime le Plagne 1831 local time. Add to that the refreshments fine dining if you wish and a nice bottle of red to wash it down, now there is a thought.

The snow train is also convenient for other resorts such as Les Arcs 1600 for example. Here the accommodation is easily accessed by taking the funicular railway, which means you can effectively take the snow train from London, to the foot of the piste! Other ski resorts are accessible through the huge amount of public transport waiting at Moûtiers, Bourg or the other Alpine stations.

Aime le PlagnePicture: twiga269