Something to declare: Australia via the Indian Ocean; crime on the Kiev Metro; boat rates in London

Where to go, how to save, what to avoid

Destination of the week: Australia via the Indian Ocean

Air Austral is not, despite the name, an Australian airline; it is, in fact, the carrier of the French Indian Ocean possession of Réunion. But from next weekend it will be offering travellers a fascinating new route to Sydney. The airline (air-austral.com) is launching services on 12 April from its base at Roland Garros airport in St-Denis to Australia's largest city, with onward service to Noumea – the capital of New Caledonia.

British passengers can join the flights in Paris, which use the main Charles de Gaulle airport. Fares from Paris are currently around €1,100 return. Stopovers en route are possible in Réunion – which will be featured in The Independent Traveller next Saturday, 11 April.

Another Indian Ocean stopover option is Mauritius. Fares as low as £825 return are currently available from Heathrow to Perth via the home turf of Air Mauritius (020-7434 4375; airmauritius.com).

Warning of the week: Crime on the Kiev Metro

Bill Williamson, who spends a lot of time in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, says gangs are targeting vulnerable passengers – particularly tourists – on the metro system in the city. Mr Williamson was himself attacked, and concludes that the operation follows this pattern: "Two men enter before the target; two enter after; and as the doors close they push violently into the carriage. They combine to immobilise the victim, while a fifth man goes through his or her pockets. There is nothing you can do because you are surroundedwhile the thief gets away."

Mr Williamson says he told the police "but they are not interested". He believes "the economic crisis has made things much worse and there are many gangs working near Vokzalna – the metro station for the train station".

The Foreign Office adds extra dimensions: "There has been an increase in the number of murders, muggings and other violent attacks on foreign nationals both in central Kiev and other major regional centres." Some of these crimes involve spiking drinks:

"Beware of accepting drinks in bars from casual acquaintances," says the official travel advice. It also warns that, in some cases, attacks have been racially motivated. "Travellers of Asian or Afro-Caribbean descent and individuals belonging to religious minorities should take extra care."

Bargain of the week: boat rates in London

The boats are back in town for the summer: the Westminster Passenger Service Association (020-7930 2062; wpsa.co.uk) today launches its services from Westminster Pier to Kew (£16.50) to Richmond (£18) and to Hampton Court (£19.50). But it is not difficult to get a discount. Holders of the Freedom Pass travel at half price; anyone with a Travelcard (or Oyster card loaded with a Travelcard) gets a third off.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
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

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    Day In a Page

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test