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December 20, 2016

More villas with private pools in Croatia’s Konavle Valley in 2017

Joining the collection of villas with private pools featured by Vintage Travel in Croatia’s picturesque Konavle Valley is Starina Mala, a stone-built cottage in the hamlet of Vitaljina, on the border with Montenegro and a 40-mintue drive from Dubrovnik.

This stone built cottage sleeps four in two bedrooms and has a contemporary interior behind its traditional stone walls.  On the ground floor it has an open-plan kitchen, dining and living space, while upstairs there are two bedrooms and a shower room.

It its grounds there are lawns, a private swimming pool, covered and open terraces – one of which was once the stone threshing circle used by villagers – along with a built-in barbeque.

Nearby (10 kms) is the fishing village of Molunat with its shingle beach, restaurants and small shop, but more amenities can be found at Gruda (15 kms), a picturesque town surrounded by vineyards and orchards.  Further on lies Cavtat (30 kms),  a coastal town from where the ferry leaves for Dubrovnik.

Seven nights in Starina Mala in 2017 start at £495, increasing to £1250 in peak season.

Flights and car hire can be arranged by Vintage Travel on request.

01954 261431,

December 20, 2016

New Zealand specialist arranges post-quake Itineraries

Destination specialist Silver Fern Holidays has re-arranged itineraries for clients affected by the earthquake damage to South Island’s Highway 1 in the Kaikoura area.

“It’s been a busy month,” says managing director John Lightwood, “and it will be a while before the coast road and rail routes are repaired, but it’s important to stress that South Island is very much ‘open for business’.

“We are routing both our independent travellers and escorted tours from Picton and Nelson south via Murchison to Hanmer Springs, and then on to Christchurch.”

Tucked into the east side of the Southern Alps, Hanmer Springs is a rewarding diversion! Surrounded by forest and snow-capped mountains, there are thermal pools to relax in and spa treatments to enjoy, while activities range from horse-riding and mountain biking to bungy jumping and skiing.

Hanmer Springs is two to three hours’ drive from Christchurch, where there is always something new to try – new cafes, restaurants and shops, as well as longstanding attractions to enjoy, like the River Avon and the Botanic Gardens.

And 90 minutes’ drive south of Christchurch is the wildlife-rich Banks peninsula with some superb boat trips out of the pretty town of Akaroa.

Expert-led small-scale nature cruises offer opportunities to spot whales and dolphins. When conditions are right, it may even be possible to swim alongside friendly Hectors dolphins. This is also a great place to see pelagic seabirds such as albatross, petrels and shearwaters, as well as Little Blue Penguins, and numerous waymarked trails are rewarded by superb sea views.

Akaroa is unusual in New Zealand for being settled by French whalers in the mid 19th century. While this was a short-lived colonisation, some street names in the little town still bear French names. Akaroa also offers quirky sightseeing from the sculpture garden at the historic Giant House to Okain Bay’s Maori and Colonial Museum.

Silver Fern Holidays’ South Island trips incorporating stays in Hanmer Springs and Christchurch start at £1995 per person (twin share) for a 14-day itinerary. Excludes international flights.

Silver Fern Holidays 01636 813 544,


December 12, 2016

New for 2017: The Ultimate Motorbike Adventure, US-style…

The opportunity to blaze a trail on board a Harley Davidson – travelling coast to coast through nine US states and taking in deserts, never-ending plains and quirky tucked-away American towns – is the latest new offering for 2017 from US specialist, Bon Voyage.

This 14-night self-guided adventure, which begins in Los Angeles and ends in Orlando, explores 3,459 miles of diverse scenery as it travels through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Nevada, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida

Departures for this holiday – where riders can set off each day with their fellow holiday companions or travel alone – are available on a choice of dates between 15 March and 1 October 2017, with prices starting from £4255 per person, based on two people sharing a bike and hotel room.

This includes return flights from Heathrow, Manchester or Glasgow, Harley Davidson hire, three-star ‘motorbike friendly’ room-only hotels, 24-7 on-road support team (on hand for mechanical issues, refreshments and transport of luggage) plus daily routes and itineraries.

Bon Voyage (0800 316 0194,

December 12, 2016

Expansion in Greece from Vintage Travel, specialists in villas with private pools

Vintage Travel has expanded its portfolio of stunning villas with private pools in Greece, with new properties on offer including Apanemia Mare, a gorgeous villa just a few steps from a small shingle beach in the village of Boukari on Corfu.

The villa sleeps up to eight people in three en suite bedrooms, plus two mezzanine beds, and highlights include a private swimming pool, a private ‘all-weather’ tennis court, sun and shaded terraces and a lawned garden with olive trees.  Beachside tavernas are nearby and a short drive leads to the vibrant town of Messonghi, with its bars, shops and restaurants.  Seven nights’ rental in 2017 start at £1095, increasing to £3195.

Also making its debut in Corfu is Helena, a recently re-furbished family home just 150 metres from the long sandy dune-backed beach of Halkounas in the quiet, unspoilt south west corner of the island. This tasteful, relaxing property sleeps six in three bedrooms (one en suite) and in its mature gardens there is a private swimming pool, open and shaded terraces, a covered dining terrace and a built-in barbeque.  A short walk leads to two tavernas and a drive of around seven kms leads to the market town of Agios Georgios, with its shops and restaurants.  A week’s rental in 2017 starts at £795, rising to £2595.

On Kefalonia and perched above Emblisi beach, is Ruggero, a stylish and contemporary cottage with fabulous sea views and within walking distance of the beach itself (350 metres) and the village of Fiscardo with its harbour and waterfront restaurants.  The villa sleeps four in two bedrooms (one en suite) and in its grounds there is a private swimming pool, plus sun and dining terraces.  Seven nights’ rental in 2017 starts at £825, increasing to £2750.

Flights and car hire can be arranged by Vintage Travel on request.

01954 261431,

December 12, 2016

New Year frolics – or beachside relaxation – with Coastal Cottages of Pembrokeshire

Coastal Cottage of Pembrokeshire is offering a selection of properties, perfectly located for a New Year getaway and where visitors can join locals in welcoming in 2017.

For those who fancy starting 2017 with a splash and taking to the sea, Saundersfoot will be hosting its annual New Year’s Day swim, when hundreds of hardy souls take to the chilly waters in aid of charity.  For those keen to enter – or simply watch from the beach – properties on offer include Rhodewood House (sleeping four in two bedrooms), located a short stroll from the beach, along with shops, bars and restaurants.  A week’s stay from 28 December is now priced at £637, saving £157.

The walled seaside town of Tenby will be buzzing on New Year’s Eve with celebrations climaxing in a magnificent firework display in Tudor Square.  Properties on offer include Wall Cottage, a large property sleeping nine in four bedrooms, and full of character with beams and wooden floors.  It’s just 50 yards from the sea and a short stroll from the centre of town with its bars, shops and restaurants.  Seven nights from 28 December now cost £1737, a reduction of £306.

Or, for those who simply wishing to relax and welcome in 2017 on the beach – with a flask full of hot chocolate or a bottle of champagne – Bangeston Barn (sleeping six in three bedrooms) is the place to head. This cosy, eco-friendly property – with a wood pellet boiler and woodburning stove – is situated 750 metres from East Angle Bay in the Pembrokeshire National Park.   A week from 28 December is now priced at £855, saving £208.

Reservations: 01437 772760,




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