Something to declare: Belgium; the Med for less; Algeria


Destination of the week: Belgium

When High Speed 1 opens from London St Pancras on 14 November, the appeal of short breaks to Brussels is likely to rise sharply – partly because the Belgian capital will be less than two hours away on Eurostar (08705 186 186; www.eurostar.com), and partly because access for travellers from locations north of London will improve. Yet a Eurostar ticket to Brussels offers far more than just the capital: it is valid to any station in Belgium at no extra cost.

Antwerp, fashion and diamond hub for north-west Europe, is about 40 minutes from Brussels, while Liège, the gastronomic and retail centre, is about an hour. (The offer doesn't cover high-speed Thalys links from Brussels.) Other tempting locations include Namur and Arlon in the Ardennes.

The deal is simple: you just show your Eurostar ticket to the inspector on the Belgian train. It is valid outbound on the day of travel or the following day, and inbound on the day of travel or the preceding day. So you can build in a stopover in Brussels at the start and/or end of your trip. And you needn't wait for 14 November: the offer applies already from London Waterloo.

Bargain of the week: the Med for less

November looks bleak, at least from the point of view of our leading low-cost airlines. In the 11th month of the year (and first week or two of December) airlines always struggle to entice people on board, but this year looks worse than usual. One reason is that fares have been inflated by the doubling of Air Passenger Duty; another is public unhappiness about the airport experience.

As a result, fares to popular destinations are extremely low. Monarch (08700 40 50 40; www.flymonarch.com) will take you from Gatwick to Faro on a wide range of dates for £52 return; Liverpool to Barcelona on easyJet (0871 244 2366; www.easyjet.com) is available for £41 return. Thomsonfly (0870 1900 737; www.thomsonfly.com) looks positively expensive at £69 return from Gatwick to Palma.

Warning of the week: Algeria

British Airways has revealed that it is moving its Gatwick-Algiers services to Heathrow (while at the same time relegating its flights to Warsaw to Gatwick). But Africa's second-largest nation, Algeria, is not yet prime territory for tourists. The Foreign Office warns of a "continuing threat from terrorism", demonstrated by a series of bomb attacks in different areas of the country.

I am a frequent visitor to Algeria due to family connections. It is evident that the fear of terrorism by Islamic fundamentalists is increasing, especially in Algiers. This threat continues towards the rural regions of the Sahara in the south, where unaccompanied foreign tourists were abducted in 2003.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
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

    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...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    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
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week