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The Independent Travel
pounds 54

you and five companions can wine, dine and unwind in your own gite in Champagne, France, for one week. This is just one of a selection of gite bargain holiday offers to French wine regions such as Bordeaux, the Loire, Alsace and the Rhone Alps that include return ferry crossings. For a copy of the brochure contact Gites de France on 0171 771 7008.

pounds 189

per person, you can visit Turin Cathedral in Italy and contemplate the enigmatic Holy Shroud. The price includes return flights from London to Turin and one night in three-star accommodation with breakfast. The tour departs on a Saturday and returns the following day, although additional nights can be booked from pounds 39 per person. Call Italiatour on 0171 605 7500.

pounds 248

a family of four can have two nights in a luxury hotel in Ashbourne and a day at Alton Towers. The hotel has a leisure centre with a swimming pool, sauna and mini-gym. Alton Towers is one of the top theme parks in the country, with a host of great rides and attractions set amongst acres of beautiful gardens. Call Goldenrail on 0161 238 5206.

pounds 362

two people can enjoy an exclusive five-night self-drive tour of Spain. Not only do you get to roam the stunning Spanish countryside at your leisure but you also get to stay in old and atmospheric castles, palaces, monasteries and country houses along the way. The price includes car hire and accommodation but does not include flights, taxes and transfers. Call Connect Car Rental Network on 01582 707007.

pounds 464

you can soak up the sunshine on a 14-night all-inclusive holiday in the Dominican Republic. With its mountains and sandy beaches, the island is the first choice of half of all British visitors to the Caribbean. The price includes return flights from London Gatwick on 25 May, accommodation and all meals. Call Last Stop Holiday Shop on 0191 510 1100.

pounds 532

per person you can spend four nights in a grand 16th-century villa in the medieval town of Portobuffole, in northern Italy. Activities within the region include history tours, golf, cycling, and a day trip to Venice (just one hour away). The price includes return flights, car hire and B&B accommodation. For further details call Italian Expressions on 0171 435 2525.

pounds 700

you can enjoy a character-building four-week East African camping tour. Along the way you will meet the big game of the Serengeti, cruise the Kazinga Channel to Lake Nakuru and have a chance to see the endangered mountain gorillas. The price includes a guide, cook, land transport, all meals and camping equipment (flights extra). Call Kumuka on 0171 937 8855.

pounds 809

you can take Thai cookery classes on a 10-day luxury beach break on Phuket island in Thailand. During the course of your stay you will also be treated to a range of Thai massage and herbal steam treatments at no extra cost. The price includes return flights to Bangkok, private transfers, cookery classes and B&B accommodation on Phuket. Call Silk Cut Travel on 01730 230370.

pounds 5,400

you could spend seven nights in the Tuscan villa where "Stealing Beauty", the Bertolucci film, was shot. In the stunning grounds of Villa Il Poggiarone, you can find a shady spot to enjoy a book or two, laze around the private swimming pool, or re-enact your favourite film scenes. The villa, which sleeps up to 18 people, will be available to rent from June. Call Tuscany Now on 0171 272 5469.

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