Something to Declare: fly to Cyprus; pick pockets in Prague; celebrations in Paris

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The Independent Travel

Bargain of the week: Cyprus

Bargain of the week: Cyprus

Scheduled air fares to the island are falling to all-time lows this winter, because of intensifying competition on flights between the UK and Cyprus. Helios Airways (0870 750 2750; www.helios-airways.com) is stepping up its battle with Cyprus Airways (020-8359 1333; www.cyprusairways.com) on routes to Larnaca, the main airport in Cyprus. Helios already flies from Heathrow and Luton, and will add Birmingham to the list from 20 December (though with a gap from 4 January to 10 February). The lowest fare from these points is currently around £160, a price matched by British Airways (0870 850 9850; www.ba.com) on its flights from Heathrow.

The best bargain is on GB Airways to Paphos at the western end of the island, from where some of the most attractive parts of the Republic are easily accessible. GB Airways flies on behalf of BA from Gatwick to Paphos two or three times a week throughout the winter. If you pick the right dates, you can fly from Gatwick to Paphos for as little as £149 return - a remarkable fare for a four hour-plus journey with high levels of in-flight comfort.

Warning of the week: Prague

"Pickpocketing is common at [Prague's] main tourist attractions, at the main railway station and on public transport," says the latest Foreign Office travel advice bulletin. "There are increasing numbers of thefts on the tram and metro involving gangs of up to nine or 10 people surrounding their victims and even threatening violence. Take extra care when travelling on public transport and be aware of the people around you."

An increasingly common scam in Prague is for villains to pretend to be policemen, and demand proof of identity from tourists (particularly young, drunk travellers). They then say they are investigating counterfeit currency, and demand to check the visitor's cash. The finale involves them replacing genuine notes with worthless fakes, or simply declaring the money to be counterfeit and taking it. "If you suspect that you are dealing with a bogus police officer, you can call 158 or 112 to check their identity," says the Foreign Office.

Destination of the week: Paris

France is gearing up for the 200th anniversary of Napoleon's coronation in Notre Dame on 2 December. Special events include an exhibition about the coronation at the Musée de l'Armée at 129 rue de Grenelle in Les Invalides, in the 7th arrondissement (00 33 1 44 42 38 77). It opens every day except the first Monday of each month, 10am-5pm (Sundays until 5.30pm), and admission is €7 (£5). The exhibition runs until 12 January.

For more information on events in Paris, call the city's tourist office on 00 33 8 92 68 31 12 or visit www.paris-touristoffice.com.

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