Something to declare: Bali; Fez; Costa del Sol
Where to go, how to save, what to avoid
Saturday 20 December 2008
Warning of the week Bali
An outbreak of rabies has been reported in the village of Ungasan in the Ulu Watu district of Bali, with what the Foreign Office calls "a small number of deaths". Ulu Watu is popular among travellers for both its surfing and ancient temple. The Foreign Office warns "Travellers to Indonesia should avoid contact with animals and seek immediate medical attention if bitten or scratched by an animal". It also warns: "The standard of local medical care in Indonesia can be poor and some medical tests cannot be done reliably."
Your health is also at risk when you are travelling around the country. The US State Department says "Road safety awareness is very low in Indonesia," and says "Buses and trucks are often dangerously overloaded and tend to travel at high speeds. Most Indonesian drivers do not maintain a safe following distance." The Foreign Office, meanwhile, says flying around the country is risky: "All airlines from Indonesian have been refused permission to operate services to the EU because Indonesia is unable to ensure it meets international safety standards."
Destination of the week: Fez
Morocco's most alluring city is now back on the airline map, thanks to a new link from Atlas Blue (020-7307 5803; atlas-blue.com) from "Gatwik", as the airline calls it, to Fez. The birthplace of Imperial Morocco is the most complete medieval city in North Africa, and the most exotic place you can reach within three hours of Gatwick. When your flight touches down, put your watch back about a thousand years.
For travel in January, fares of around £200 are widely available. A prescription for spending a weekend in the city is available at independent.co.uk/fez.
Bargain of the week Costa del sol
The days between Christmas and the New Year offer the opportunity for cheap seats to the sun, even with late booking. Monarch is offering flights to Malaga from a range of UK airports at low fares. According to test bookings made on flymonarch. com on Thursday evening, for departures on Boxing Day with the inbound flight on 30 December, the lowest return fares were £177 from Luton, £158 from Manchester, £153 from Gatwick and just £107 from Birmingham. For the same dates from Gatwick, easyJet has a fare of £160. On the same route and the same dates, British Airways offers a fare of £196.
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