The popular summer destination of Marbella can be found on the Costa del Sol in the south of Spain and is famous for its beautiful beaches, rich culture and vibrant nightlife scene. Unfortunately, this destination has the reputation for being rather pricey, which may make people who are on a tight budget look for other places to spend their two weeks in the sun.
However, people who are on a tight budget will still be able to enjoy Marbella to the full provided that they are willing to do a little research in advance. People who book their accommodation at the last minute will be able to save a considerable amount of money in the hotel of their choice by taking unoccupied rooms.
Flights are another element of travel that can bump up the price of your holiday and make your budget stretch to the limit. However, great deals on cheap flights to Marbella are available at momondo.co.uk, a flight comparison site where visitors can search for the latest bargains from the comfort of their own home.
Travelling by taxi or public transportation can soon eat a sizable whole in your budget, especially if you plan to explore some of the enchanting attractions located just outside of Marbella. The best way to save money while exploring independently is to opt for car hire and there are some great deals available to those who take the time to search online. Visitors will be able to pick up their choice of car hire at the airport as soon as they arrive, which also means that they save themselves the hassle of arranging transportation after their flight.
A number of stunning beaches can be found just to the east of Marbella and the beauty of spending the day at the beach is that it is completely free as well as the perfect opportunity to unwind a little and work on a gorgeous golden tan. Visitors can save money by shopping for food and drinks at a local supermarket before they head to the beach so that they can avoid paying through the nose for refreshments at the cafes and restaurants that line the beach.
Exploring the city of Marbella on foot is an enchanting experience that should not be missed. The old quarter is packed of historic buildings and monuments to explore such as the Alcazaba wall and Orange Square, while the town hall dates back to the 16th century and is famed as being one of the finest buildings in the whole city. Strolling along Avenue del Mar is an uplifting experience, while the Paseo Maritimo waterfront is another great place to spend a little time.
When it comes to dining, avoid the restaurants and cafes in tourist areas and head to local markets. Most markets offer a good selection of hot and cold snacks as well as cheap and tasty meals that can be enjoyed at any time of the day or night.
David Bell is a freelance writer and blogs about interior design, food, travel, art and culture. Follow him on Twitter @DavidBellWriter
Image (cc) Natt Muangsiri/Flickr
A uniquely modern European city, Rotterdam is constantly moving forward; whether it’s in the city’s urban art scene, its futuristic skyline of high-rises or its energetic nightlife. A victim of devastating wartime bomb damage, this is a city which has rebuilt itself to great success and whose long and lucrative shipping industry lives on still.
It’s fitting then, that with hundreds of ships in port at any time, Rotterdam has also become a popular cruise destination, for visitors seeking astounding contemporary design, first class museums and a distinctive buzz you won’t find anywhere else on the continent. If travelling from the UK, you can cruise from Southampton to Rotterdam.
Orientation in Rotterdam
A cruise in Rotterdam will most likely see you dock at the main terminal of Wilheminakade, from where you can make your way to the centre in about half an hour, via the Erasmus Bridge. There is also a smaller dock downtown, at Boompjies, around 20 minutes walk to the main city.
Rotterdam’s major attractions are close enough together that they can be easily navigated on foot, but a taxi and water taxi service operates between the port and the city, as well as around the centre. The Metro system is a quick way to get around the city and there is a station at Wilheminaplein. Public transport is in abundance here, with shuttle buses, trams and trains running throughout. For this reason, hiring a car probably won’t be necessary but try two wheels instead; Rotterdam provides plenty of lanes for cyclists.
Sight-seeing in Rotterdam
Rotterdam owns plenty of sights and things to do, whether you’re stopping for an excursion or for a few days. Although most of its visual heritage was wiped away during the Second World War, there is an astonishing amount of cultural artefacts to be viewed and experienced here. The city’s museums cover everything from the Dutch Masters at the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum to the magnificent sperm whale skeleton at the Natural History Museum and the country’s ever-changing architectural landscape at the Netherlands Architecture Institute.
Visitors looking for surviving history will not be disappointed, however. One of the few buildings to survive the bombs is the Medieval Sint Laurenskerk, which houses one of the biggest church organs in Europe. Elsewhere, the district of Delfshaven in the south-west of the city can be reached by a short tram ride but will transport you back in time by way of the old Pilgrim’s Church, the reconstructed 18th century windmill and the series of canalside cafes and stores which effectively recreate Rotterdam’s pre-war atmosphere.
Of course, there are many options for the cruising holiday-maker here; depending on how much time you have, you could do a whirlwind tour of the city sights by bus, sample anything from classic seafood to locally-brewed beer or take a trip out of the city to the nearby old towns of Gouda or Delft. One thing is for certain, a stop-off in the surprising and innovative Rotterdam will be worlds away from traditional cruise excursions and well worth a closer look.
The UK has a number of brilliant cities that have emerged as particularly fashionable destinations in recent years, proving popular with Brits and foreign tourists alike. Here is a brief guide to just a few of the most fashionable cities that the country has to offer.
London is brimming with history and culture – head to Shaftesbury Avenue and Drury Lane for numerous theaters and cinemas, as well as charming cafes and restaurants. Alternatively, for those looking for the latest trends, Knightsbridge, Covent Garden and Oxford Street are all top retail hot-spots, offering high-end designer labels and high street favourites respectively.
Chelsea’s King’s Road is another unmissable destination for chic designer boutiques and bars, whilst the East End, home to Brick Lane and Spitalfields Market, is a haven for hipsters, where you’ll find the capital’s most fashionable residents.
When it comes to finding a first-rate family holiday, you won’t have far to look. And one of the destinations that’s right up there with the best of them is the Algarve in Portugal.
Algarve holidays can be whatever you want them to be. Loud and lively, quiet and tranquil, historic and cultural. Whatever you fancy, the Algarve is happy to oblige. And one of the things it does best is beach breaks – particularly when you’ve got the kids in tow.
For bubbly holidays in non-stop surroundings, Albufeira makes a great choice. Here you’ll find plenty of entertainment for all ages, including a great variety of water sports, gorgeous beaches with mile upon mile of sandcastle territory and plenty of nightlife – which ranges from quiet family restaurants to full-on pubs and clubs for the older teens. Many family hotels have excellent facilities too, such as swimming pools and child-safe balconies, and the majority of which offer kids’ clubs or creche facilities – which is a great way of giving Mum and Dad a break while the kids are entertained in a fun and safe environment.
And if budget is high on the priority list, you’ll find plenty of deals and discounts on offer. Cheap Portugal holidays come in various forms, from the ever-popular late deals and last-minute getaways, to free kids’ places on family holidays. One of the best ways to save money on a trip to the Algarve is to book well in advance, as this will often present plenty of special offers – plus you’ll usually get the chance to pay off the cost of the holiday in installments. On top of that, you’ll get extra time to save some money and plan what you intend to do when you get there.
However you get there, the Algarve is bound to tick plenty of boxes – ensuring you and the family have endless fun in the sun.
Following the hottest clubbing season to date, holidays to Malia 2013 promise some seriously sensational shenanigans. Club 18-30 holidays are infamous for their insane evening itineraries, but that’s not all they have to offer.
Just checking out the night scene and skipping on all the daytime action is not what a true meister of messy would do. No, you need to sign yourself up to an action packed agenda, complete with all the mischief you can handle right from midday.
As well as the essential Club 18-30 welcome meetings, and plenty of lounging round the pool, there’s tons of organised fun to be had. Like It’s A Knockout, without the apparatus… unless you brought your own blow ups. Not that kind.
The Blue Inc. pool party is totes chaotic. The reps are ready to traumatise you and your clubbing chums with plenty of aqua antics. Spend the afternoon challenging your pool plunging abilities and competing in group games and battling it out for a ton load of giveaways.
Malia has its very own Party in the Park too, but not as you know it. Forget T4, and head over to Malia Slides with your mates for some sizzling summer vibes. Get a load of the thrills and spills, before chilling out in the Olympic size pool. You’ll definitely need it in those Crete summer heats.
Do things Inbetweeners style and make sure you book your tickets for the Malia Boat Party as soon as you land on the Greek Island. You don’t want to be the one selling your clothes for the hope of a last minute pass onto the plank.
The best deals on holidays to Malia 2013 are on the Club 18-30 holidays website now. Go take a look, book it now, and make the most of the low early bird bargain rates.
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