THERE’S A definite nip in the air these days and many of our customers have called in to ask about what we can offer them in terms of short haul winter destinations. Here are some of our favourite holiday spots. The rules: no more than three hours away, plenty of sunshine and, of course, great value!
In essence, Tunisia is about sun, sand, archaeological treasures, lazy days and starry nights. There are a thousand miles of coastline to the north, where luxurious resorts like Hammamet and Nabeul nestle amid citrus orchards, sandy beaches and crystalline waters, and world-class golf courses.
The capital, Tunis, is a bustling, modern city and a shopping paradise. In the heart of this surprisingly pristine city, the centuries slip away in the medieval Medina, a haven for souvenir hunters with hundreds of narrow streets crammed with vendors of antiques, jewellery, pottery, carpets, perfumes, dried fruit, books, spices and many other delights.
History buffs will love wandering around the legendary ancient city of Carthage, founded in the eighth century BC, and those intrepid enough to venture into the south, on the threshold of the Sahara desert, will be rewarded with features like the ‘forest in the desert’ at Ramada, the dry salt lake at Chott el Jerid, or the remote ‘end of the road’ oasis at Ksar Ghilane.
From desert landscapes and dry, rugged mountains that reach to the sea, dusty cities full of exotic sounds and smells, and green strips of agricultural land snaking along the banks of the Nile, Egypt has something to offer all visitors. Spectacular diving in the Red Sea; unique desert experiences, the colour and chaos of Cairo and its markets; and felucca cruises on the Nile river are just some of the exotic attractions awaiting you.
Egypt is also one of the oldest travel destinations on earth! Greek and Roman travellers came as far back as 430 BC to wonder at some of the very sights that make it a modern travel destination today. The magnificence of the painted Valley of the Kings, exquisite temples and the pyramids were all sought-after subjects of admiration, and many were already 2,500 years old! Who can argue with that?
With 300 days of sun per year, wonderful beaches, a rich cultural offer and unusually friendly inhabitants, it’s not hard to see why the Balearic Islands are so popular. Each of the islands has a strong personality all of its own, and each of them offers much more than just great beaches. Majorca is ideal for a sophisticated break, with great resorts, fantastic beaches and fabulous nightlife.
If you fancy a break from the 21st century, take a trip to Marrakech. As you wander the city’s alleyways and souks, particularly in the Medina (Old City), it is easy to believe you have been transported back in time. It is this enchanting fairy tale quality that brings thousands of sightseers to the most visited of Morocco’s three Imperial Cities. The heart of the Medina is Djemaa el-Fna, an irregular square where everything seems to happen and the place to which tourists are drawn again and again to soak up the carnival-like environment. The modern side of Marrakech, with its luxury hotels, banks and streets bursting with motor scooters, blends well with the past in a metropolis made up of the peoples of the Berber Atlas tribes, Mahgrebis from the plains, and Saharan nomads, to make this Moroccan city an intriguing winter sun destination.