Cheap (and pretty) ways to Africa

Cut-price flights to southern Europe can take you further, says Sam Dunham

Not a single no-frills airline yet flies between the UK and Northern Africa. However, to access souks and the Sahara, combine a flight to Italy, Spain or Greece with a ferry or even a helicopter ride. You can have a two-centre holiday linked by a Mediterranean cruise, and also save cash.

Target: Tangier

Fly from Stansted to Jerez in Spain on Ryanair (0871 246 0000, www.ryanair.com), typically for £110 return. Tour one of the many sherry houses, or sample a free flamenco display at the Andalucian Flamenco Centre on Plaza de San Juan. Stay overnight in Jerez and take the bus in the morning to Tarifa, windsurfing capital of Europe.

The early evening ferry run by Ferry Rapido del Sur (00 34 956 68 18 30, www.frs.es) will whisk you across the Straits of Gibraltar in 35 minutes to the cosmopolitan city of Tangier for €48 (£32) return.

Target: Ceuta

Fly to Malaga from one of many UK airports. Take a 30-minute helicopter ride to Ceuta, a Spanish enclave in Morocco, for €202 (£144) return on Helicope de sureste (00 34 95 204 8700; www.helisureste.com).

Target: Tunis

Both options involve flights from Stansted to Italy on Ryanair (0871 246 0000, www.ryanair.com). The quickest is to fly from Stansted to Palermo in Sicily, for around £116 return. Go to Trapani at the westernmost tip of the island. Each Tuesday at 9pm, Tierra Navigazione (00 39 09 1602 1111, www.gruppotirrenia.it) sails for the eight-hour voyage to to Tunis. The fare of €97 (£67) includes a second-class cabin on the way back.

For a shorter land transfer but a much longer voyage, fly from Stansted to Genoa for as little as £40 return. The bus from the airport can drop you close to the shipping terminal. At 5pm, Wednesday & Saturday, the ferry departs from Genoa for a 24-hour voyage across the Med on the Traghetti line (00 39 010 58 93 31, www.traghettionline.net).

Target: Port Said

In a perfect world, you could simply fly on easyJet (0870 600 0000, www.easyjet.com) from Luton or Gatwick to Athens; catch the E96 bus from the airport (departures every 20 minutes) to Greece's principal port, Piraeus. Until recently a ferry departed each Wednesday operated by Salamis ( 00 30 2810 346185, www.ferries.gr/salamis), calling at a series of beautiful Greek islands, and Cyprus, before arriving at Egypt's Port Said, the Mediterranean end of the Suez Canal on Saturday. When services resume, expect to pay around £200 return.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Manager

    £50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Mana...

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments