A1Travel.com has ceased trading.

 

A1travel whose head office was in Ilford, London closed its office and informed staff that they were no longer trading. A1travel had an ATOL license for over 100,000 customers.




Over 100 staff are being made redundant working in offices located in UK, Malta, India and Zambia.

On the 2nd of October Monarch airlines went into administration and was the main factor in a1travel.com not being able to meet their financial obligations.

For any customers who have outstanding booking with a1travel.com should contact the CAA immediately https://www.caa.co.uk/

Posted in Holidays

The Best Beaches in Gran Canaria

Looking to book a beach holiday in Gran Canaria? The exotic island’s 60km coastline has plenty to offer when it comes to brilliant beaches. Here’s a rundown of some of the best spots to visit whether you want to lounge in the sun or surf the waves.

Maspalomas Beach

Maspalomas is often regarded as the top beach in Gran Canaria. It’s located on the southern tip and consists of white sands and plenty of dramatic dunes. The beach is divided into three sections. The first is the most popular section, reserved for families and average holidaymakers. The second section is the island’s most popular nudist beach. The third section meanwhile has become a hotspot for the gay community. Along all sections of this beach you’ll find an array of bars and plenty of stalls selling aquatic activities from pedalo-hire to jet-ski to scuba diving.

 

Pozo Izquierdo

This north-facing beach gets pretty windy, making it generally unsuitable for sunbathing. However, its large waves make it the perfect hotspot for budding surfers. You’ll find a surf school here and a few surf shops. Pozo Izquierdo is often regarded as the European capital of windsurfing and there are places to hire windsurfing gear here.

 

Puerto Rico

This beach is popular amongst British tourists. Whilst it is a big beach, it can get pretty crowded in summer, making it worthwhile to reserve a sunbed. The sea is calm and there are few waves. Families with children should consider this beach for this reason and the fact that there are plenty of activities and child-friendly places to eat in the region. There’s also a promenade on this beach with a swimming pool at the end of it.  

 

Amadores

Amadores is a calm beach that’s ideal for families. There are lots of bars in the proximity for having a drink in or eating food whilst peering out over the sea. The area is also great for shopping for beachwear and souvenirs. Two giant hotels overlook this section of the coast.

 

Meloneras

This beautiful beach is home to many lavish hotels and is a great shopping hotspot. The beach is huge and joins onto Maspalomas beach. A big golf course also backs onto this beach for those that want to have a game. Many holidaymakers wanting a taste of luxury will visit this beach.

 

Playa Del Ingles

Another popular spot on the island, Playa Del Ingles literally means ‘Englishman’s beach’ and is similarly popular amongst Brits. You’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants here sporting all types of drinks and foods. In fact, it’s one of the top locations for those wanting to experience the island’s nightlife. In the evening it can get quite windy making it unsuitable for sunbathing at dusk. However, during the day it can be relatively calm. There are plenty of watersports to try here for adrenalin seekers.

 

Posted in Holidays

Benidorms Famous Theme Park – Terra Mítica

Terra Mítica is one of the most famous theme parks in Spain, and certainly one of the greatest attractions found in Benidorm. It’s a place for family fun, and it could be the ideal location for your family’s next trip abroad. However, you need to get some more information about Terra Mítica and what it can offer you before you make that decision.

 

The theme park has been up and running since 2000, and it’s improved and expanded a lot in the years since then. Whether you’re interested in the rides or the shows, there will be enough going on to keep you and your family entertained for the duration of your stay at the park resort.

 

Inside the park, you will find that it’s all separated into 5 different sections. The different sections are Greece, Iberia, Egypt, Rome and The Islands. Each of them is unique and has themed rides and attractions that are applicable to the section they’re found in.

 

Rides

 

There are 25 rides found in Terra Mítica in total. Some of them are very simple, making them ideal for young children and families. For example, the Jabato is a children’s carousel that’s in the Iberian section of the theme park. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t also more complex rides to keep thrill-seekers satisfied as well because there certainly are.

 

One of the biggest and best rides found in Terra Mítica is Magnus Colossus. It’s a ride that really does live up to its impressive name. The 36-meter high ride is a wooden roller coaster that’s very popular with visitors, and it’s found in the Roman section of the park if you want to check it out yourself.


Shows

 

It’s not just about the rides, though. One of the great things about Terra Mítica is the fact that it offers more than many other traditional theme parks do. If you’re not a massive fan of roller coasters, you and your family can still have a great time attending some of the shows that are put on for visitors.

 

The shows that are put on can be found on the Terra Mítica, and there are plenty of them to browse and select. Lots of them are specifically themed to match up with the theme of the particular section of the theme park too.

 

Restaurants and Shops

 

There is a range of branded food outlets that you can dine in while you’re inside the theme park. Having facilities such as those onsite is a massive benefit because it adds a whole lot more convenience to your visit. It means there is no need to leave the site to buy food and drinks during the day.

 

As well as great restaurants, you can also find plenty of shops. Candy shops, photos, souvenirs and other amusement shops are full of things you might want to purchase. Last year, the Luxor Hotel was opened too, giving families the chance to stay onsite when visiting.

 

Terra Mítica is a vast park with a lot to offer families, whether you’re visiting for the first time or returning.

Posted in Benidorm, Destinations

4 Great Adult Only hotels

Sometimes, it’s nice to go away without the kids. You can then enjoy a truly relaxing holiday with plenty of peace and quiet! You also won’t have to make sure you go to a destination that caters to children. You and your partner will be able to do exactly what you want during your time away, and you won’t have to worry about the kids moaning!

To help you plan your next child-free holiday. Here is our choice of some of Europe’s best adult-only hotels.

EIX Alcudia Hotel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit Spain’s beautiful Puerto de Alcudia to stay at the four-star EIX Alcudia Hotel. It has a prized location just steps from a gorgeous beach and coastline. It is also within easy reach of the Cala Barques and Coll Baix coves. There’s plenty of things to do in the hotel as well, thanks to its fabulous leisure facilities. Why not enjoy a match on the beach volleyball courts or rent out a couple of sun loungers so that you can soak up all the Spanish sun?! The hotel also serves up a daily breakfast featuring lots of local produce.

 

Be Live Adults Only Tenerife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tenerife’s Be Live Adults Only hotel is another four-star option. Recently refurbished, the bedrooms are bright and comfortable, featuring plenty of home comforts including full bathrooms, TVs and make-up mirrors. Perfectly placed close to all of Tenerife’s sights, you will be just a five-minute walk from Playa Jardin’s volcanic beaches and the town centre. After a busy day of sightseeing, you can enjoy a delicious meal in the hotel restaurant, lounge, or outside at the poolside bar.

 

Marconfort Essence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alicante’s popular Marconfort Essence hotel is walking distance from the coast and city centre, so you can easily see most of the main attractions. This is a great option if you really want to indulge on holiday, as the hotel offers a wellness pack that features relaxing massages and sessions in the Finnish sauna. You’ll also be able to take Tai Chi sessions and use the state of the art on-site gym. The hotel is also exceptionally popular with avid cyclists and features plenty of facilities and amenities for bike lovers, including bike workshops.

 Medplaya Hotel Riviera

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a two-minute walk from the nearest beach, the Medplaya Hotel Riviera is a real hit with those who want to stay on Spain’s Costa del Sol. Thanks to its location, it also benefits from gorgeous vistas of the Benalmádena marina. There is lots to explore in the surrounding area, but you could easily be persuaded to spend your time staying in the hotel. For example, you might want to spend a day relaxing by the hotel pool and sipping drinks from its poolside bar. You could also relax on the bar terrace under a parasol if the sun ever gets too hot.

So, if you were thinking of bringing the kids with you on holiday, you might want to think again! After all, you’ll then be able to stay at one of these amazing hotels!

Posted in Adults Only, Holidays

Top 5 things to do in Crete

If you are planning a trip to Crete in the near future, you are probably already wondering what there is to see and do once you get out there. We thought we’d give you a helping hand with your planning; here are our top five things to do in Crete!

 

Iráklio Archaeological Museum

 

Crete is known for its Ancient Greek history, and you will find plenty of tourist sights and attractions that give you a glimpse of this archaic world. But first on your list of historic attractions should be the Iráklio Archaeological Museum, which is sometimes referred to as the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. The museum features one of the best collections of Minoan art and culture in the whole world, which includes pottery, stone carvings, and engravings.

 

Spinalónga Castle

 

Situated in north-eastern Crete, Spinalónga is a small island right next to the town of Plaka. The castle takes up the entire island, and it was where the lepers of Crete were sent to live in isolation right up until 1957. Lots of boat tours take tourists to Spinalónga to see its ancient fortress and for some breathtaking vistas.

 

Váï Beach

 

Váï Beach has gained in popularity significantly since being featured in a TV advert for Bounty bars back in the 1970s. These days it has a big Caribbean vibe and is where everyone goes to for a relaxing day lounging on white sands. There is a large palm forest that lines the back of the beach. It is thought that palms have been growing there for around 3,000 years. Legend has it that the palms grow from date stones that were thrown onto the beach by Saracen pirates.

 

Samarian Gorge

 

The Samarian Gorge is one of the longest canyons in the whole of Europe. It is also a very popular destination for many visitors to Crete. It clocks in at around 16 kilometres long and is one of the best-loved hiking locations on the whole of the island. Most hikers begin at the village of Agia Roumeli. Once they get to the other end of the gorge, they need to catch a boat to either Hora Sfakion or Sougia. These towns are well connected by buses and taxis.

 

Watercity Waterpark

 

If you have the kids with you, then you will probably spend one day of your holiday at the Watercity Waterpark. There are slides, rides, and attractions in the waterpark to suit visitors of all ages, so you can be sure that the whole family will have fun here. Parents can relax in the wave pool while their kids whoosh down the kamikaze slide or have fun in the Lazy River. If hunger strikes, there are plenty of on-site eateries and restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat. You’ll also find a beauty salon, souvenir shop, and boutique shopping.

 

As you can see, holidays to Crete have a lot to offer. And this list is just for starters – you’ll discover a lot more once you arrive!

Posted in Crete

Europes Best Urban Beaches

Europe has some gorgeous coastline and beaches. Are you wondering where to jet off to this autumn for some final sun before winter sets in? We’ve picked four of our favourite European cities and explored their urban beaches. Here is our pick of the best.

Barcelona

  • Sant Miquel Beach
    This beautiful stretch of coast is perfect if you fancy hopping between a couple of beaches as it is right in the middle of the Barceloneta and Sant Sebastia beaches. This beach is steeped in history as it is one of the oldest spots in the whole of Barcelona. It is also highly accessible, even for people with mobility problems.
  • Nova Icaria Beach
    Don’t fancy sitting on the beach along with all the crowds? Then head to the peaceful Nova Icaria beach! This is a lot quieter than some of Barcelona’s other beaches and is especially popular with families thanks to its variety of restaurants and sports facilities.

Split

  • Bacvice
    Bacvice beach is only a small bay of sand, but it certainly is worth a visit! It’s another very popular family beach, and you will see that lots of traditional cafes line the sands. This beach has gained some fame as it is the home of the Dalmatian sport picigin – players need to be very acrobatic as they try and prevent a small ball from landing in the water.

Lisbon

  • The Estoril-Cascais Coastline
    This pretty coastline extends out from the west of the city of Lisbon. It is also one of the most family friendly beaches in the whole area. Not only that, though, but it is one of Lisbon’s largest beaches and is also conveniently placed, very close to the historic port of Cascais.
  • The Costa da Caparica coastline
    If you like the idea of stepping off the beach and straight into some very trendy bars, then head straight to the Costa da Caparica coastline. It is lined with very hip bars and eateries and is where you will find all of Lisbon’s trendsetters hanging out. It’s also known for its excellent surf.

Venice

  • Sottomarina
    For many tourists and locals, Sottomarina is the best beach in Venice. And it is extremely easy to see why that is! It is an exceptionally clean beach and its sugar-white

Posted in Holidays

Cinque Terre – why it is a must visit

Cinque Terre, translated into ‘five lands’, are five towns that can be found along the Italian Riviera coastline, and all five are a must visit.

 

What makes them stand out are the colourful houses that make up the high cliffs surrounding the blue waters below. The fantastic views are unmissable and the more you climb, the better the view.

So how do I get there?

 

Train

 

Well, getting there is actually easier than it seems. There are trains daily leaving from Florence, Milan, Genoa, Pisa and Rome, which arrive at La Spezia. From La Spezia, there is a specific train that stops in all five towns, where you can hop on and off with your pass which costs around 10 Euros for the whole day. This way you can go back and forth, with ease.

 

First stop is Riomaggiore, then Monterosso Al Mare, then Vernazza, then Corniglia and then finally Manarola.

 

By car

 

Getting to Cinque Terre by car is also very easy, where you can park at La Spezia train station, and then proceed to use the trains that stop at each town.

 

Can it be done in one day?

 

It most certainly can. Cinque Terre can easily be done in just one day if you have an early start. Arriving there by 11am, and finishing by 7pm is doable. And then you can stay for sunset around 8pm, which of course is mesmerizing. Keep in mind, it is a very tiring day, but if you are short of time, it’s definitely worth it.

 

Where to stay

 

The most popular of the five towns to stay is Monterosso Al Mare, given that it is bigger than most of the other towns, and has more accommodation.  At the same time, it is easy to move around as it is more flat and doesn’t have as many cliffs and hills as the rest of the towns.

 

Things to do while there

 

Well, it is without a doubt that walking around and taking in the views is one of the main things to do. After (or before that) a dip in the beautiful clear waters is a must. Monterosso al Mare is the one town which has proper sandy beaches, with sunbeds, where as the rest have cliffs and piers which you can jump off, which again are beautiful. But if you’d like to get some tanning done, Monterroso Al Mare is the place to go for that.

Take a walk through the tiny, colourful streets, stop at the souvenir shops, and stop for a perfectly refreshing gelato. After all, isn’t that what Italy is best known for?!

 

There are also several hike routes that can be done, which you can find information on when you are in the town.

 

It is a perfect destination to be seen in May and September, but is beautiful and reachable all year round.

Posted in Holidays

Why Turkey Is The Perfect Place For A Last Minute Holiday

If you’ve been scrambling around for a last minute holiday destination, Turkey could be the place to go. Thousands of British holiday goers have been scooping up last minute deals to this Mediterranean retreat. Here’s why…

 

Unbeatable costs

Not only are last minute hotel and flight prices a massive bargain – the prices of activities, food and drink in Turkey are unbelievably cheap meaning that you don’t have to save up a huge amount of spending money. Your average pint of beer costs the equivalent of two pounds. The Turks also love to haggle so when it comes to excursions and shopping, you can generally knock the price down to save money.

 

An excellent exchange rate

Whilst the pound is falling against the Euro, the Turkish lira has remained steady at an average of 4.5 lira to a pound. You can convert money before you go, although there are plenty of places to exchange money there and then. You can even pay in pounds in most tourist areas.

 

Beautiful beaches

Turkey offers an amazing selection of beaches. Alongside popular destinations such as Bodrum and Marmaris, there are notable coasts such as the clustered bay of Alanya and the broad strip of Patara – Turkey’s longest beach. Summers are long in Turkey and the temperature will often reach the thirties. This makes Turkey the ideal place for anyone eager to work on their tan. Beaches will generally have sunbeds available, which come with adjustable umbrellas for those that want to stay in the shade.

 

A range of activities

There’s much more to Turkey than lying on a beach. Most resorts will generally have a wide array of watersports such as parasailing, scuba diving and banana boats. And then there are daytrips such as boat tours and jeep safaris. Depending on where you go, you may also be able to see some of Turkey’s cultural and historical side including Ancient Greek ruins, Ottoman mosques and Byzantine basilicas. There are plenty of natural sights to take in too including mountains, springs and coves. You can take excursions out to see these sights, or rent a hire car and explore for yourself.

 

Fantastic food

You’ll find a cosmopolitan selection of restaurants in every resort including traditional Turkish food, Italian pizzerias and British-style breakfast bars. If you don’t fancy fine dining, Turkey is the best place to buy a tasty and wholesome kebab for a bargain price. You’ll also find many cafes that serve Turkish tea (served in a glass) and coffee, on top of many of the nation’s desserts. Such places to eat could be great if you want a break from the hotel food.

 

Friendly people

 

The Turkish people are very hospitable, and will often try to accommodate for their guests in any way possible. Many hotels and restaurants are family owned and so you can expect a friendly atmosphere and good relations between the staff. The shopkeepers also have a great sense of humour.

 

Posted in Tunisia

5 Free Things To Do In Tenerife

When travelling on a budget, Tenerife is the perfect destination – and not just because the holiday deals there are cheap! If you don’t want to bring too much spending money, Tenerife has plenty of things to see and do that won’t cost you a penny. Here are just a few free activities on the island that could be worth trying during your visit.

 

Climb a volcano

Mount Teide is Spain’s largest peak reaching a staggering 3718 metres above sea level. It’s also a massive volcano (but don’t worry, it’s dormant)! If you’re feeling fit, it’s possible to hike up this massive peak. The surrounding Teide National Park meanwhile is also astonishing, offering expansive obsidian plains and remains of ancient rivers that have encouraged mythology and modern scientific research. The park has appeared in films such as Clash of the Titans, One Million Years BC and sixth instalment of The Fast and the Furious series.

 

See the 1000 year old Drago Tree

Believed to have been sprouted by the blood of dragons, this legendary tree is a popular hotspot for tourists. No-one quite know the age of this mighty tree, some believing it to be (only) 650 years old, whilst many others believe it to be as old as 5000 years. You can find the tree in Icod de los Vinos.

 

Journey to Masca

This tiny settlement is perched in the impressive peaks of the Teno Mountains. You can reach it via a scenic drive of narrow roads that take you along the cliffs surrounded by Jurassic scenery. Masca is particularly beautiful if you can visit it around dusk whilst the sun is setting over the mountainous terrain.

 

Soak up the carnivals and fiestas

Tenerife is not short of festivals, sporting plenty of foody fairs all year round. It also has several prominent events such as ‘the romeria’ – a fiesta held in every town on the island once a year in which the locals all dress up in medieval clothing and parade through the street with ox carts and local produce. There is then the annual carnival, which takes place once a year between February and March in the island’s capital Santa Cruz. This is an all-night street party in which every dresses up in lavish costumes. Carnival can attract up to thirty thousand people.

 

Watch free live music

For those that looking for some live music, there are plenty of free music events across the island all year round. The likes of Robert Cray and Echo and the Bunnymen have played at these free events, although it’s mostly local acts you’ll find. Keep your eyes peeled for posters on events and ask tourist centres for details. Sometimes simply crawling the local bars can cause you to find some gems.

Posted in Tenerife

The Top 5 Holiday Destinations To Visit This September

It’s not too late to cram your summer holiday in this year. Whilst September may be considered autumn by most people, the weather’s often just as hot. There’s also likely to be less crowds and cheaper rates as the kids go back to school (no screaming children could also be a bonus for many!). Here are some of the top places to soak up the sun this September.

 

The Algarve

Portugal’s southernmost region is renowned for its white beaches and scenic fishing villages. You can work up a tan on your sun lounger or take a tour of the local coves by boat. It’s also a hotspot for golfers, offering a multitude of different golf resorts. Temperatures will usually be in their mid-twenties around this time of the year, although it’s not uncommon for the heat to rise into the thirties on some days.

 

Corfu

The Greek island of Corfu has everything from an active nightlife to historical sights. You can relax on Gouvia Beach and catch some rays or take a hike up Mount Pantokrator to the ancient monastery at the top, where you can see as far as Albania. Corfu generally remains hot all the way through to early October. Whilst in summer it can often get uncomfortably hot, the air is cooler during this month making many of the island’s more active pursuits worthwhile.

 

Crete

If you’re looking for a sunny escape with good food and wine on offer, Crete is the place to be. It’s one of the largest producers of olive oil and is also renowned for its coffee and cheeses. There’s also a lot of ancient history to explore, including the remains of Europe’s oldest city Knossos. Of course, if you’re not looking for a cultural trip, the exotic island still has fabulous beaches and bars to escape to. And whilst the air will be cooler (although still hot), the sea is much warmer during this month.

 

Majorca

There’s a reason that Majorca remains a hotspot for UK tourists. Whilst the likes of Magaluf provide the perfect night life for young people, other areas such as Cala Bona have become the perfect peaceful retreat for older tourists. On top of golden beaches, there are castles and cathedrals, hiking and cycling trails up mountains and a huge selection of restaurants. The temperature is unlikely to drop beneath 20 C.

 

Tenerife

Tenerife is part of the Canary Islands and is so southerly that it remains hot pretty much all year round. The volcanic island sports some amazing coastlines and resorts that are perfect for those wanting to work on their tan. For those that want an active holiday, you can take excursions into the island’s mountainous centre, in which you can visit Mount Teide, Spain’s highest peak (it’s also an active volcano). There are also plenty of lively bars and restaurants in Tenerife, as well as food-themed fetes in which you can try the island’s local delicacies.

 

Posted in Holidays