From the Algarve to Puglia: Great getaways

Where to go and what to see
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The Independent Travel

Virgin territory

Virgin Atlantic has a seat sale that ends at midnight tomorrow. Good deals from Heathrow include Dubai for £360 return between now and 7 December; Tokyo for £579 up to 31 January, but not between 9 and 23 December; and a remarkable £485 to Los Angeles until 26 March (not 11-24 December) if you travel on Wednesdays or Sundays (virgin-atlantic.com).

Algarve in autumn

Many schools break up for half-term on 24 October, and if you can travel immediately before then, plenty of deals are available. Thomas Cook is selling a trip to the Algarve from Manchester for £174 for a week, staying at the self-catering Algarve Gardens apartments in Albufeira. The price includes flights and accommodation, but not transfers or baggage (thomascook.com).

Train flexibly

Rail passengers are constantly told to book ahead for the best price, but advance tickets are restricted to a specific train. The only alternative, usually, is a "walk-up" fare, which can prove very expensive. But East Coast Trains now sells "Super Off-Peak Single" tickets on its website that allow flexible travel between London, Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh. London-York is £50.35, almost half the "walk-up" price (eastcoast.co.uk).

Italian connections

Alitalia is offering some outstanding deals on flights from Heathrow via its hub at Rome Fiumicino. An example is London to Bari in Puglia for £133 return in the first week in October – cheaper than the non-stops on easyJet and Ryanair, and including 23kg of baggage and a snack on board (alitalia.com).

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