Something To Declare: France; Iberian sleep; Antananarivo
Where to go, how to save, what to avoid
Saturday 01 November 2008
Warning of the week: France
Theft is evidently a serious problem now, according to the latest Foreign Office advice; on average, five British visitors reported lost or stolen passports every day in France last year. Specific locations that the Government warns about are: Charles de Gaulle airport; Gare du Nord station; the Paris Métro and RER (suburban) lines, especially RER line B, which serves Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports and the Gare du Nord; Commonwealth War Grave cemeteries in northern France; Nice airport, particularly at the car rental car parks, where bags have been snatched as drivers have been loading luggage into hire cars; isolated rest areas on some French motorways; and Corsica, where you are advised to avoid leaving your vehicles unattended by the roadside, especially on coastal roads, as thefts are frequent. "Armed robbery can occur but such incidents are rare," says the Foreign Office.
In addition, many illegal street vendors employ persistent and often intimidating techniques to sell their wares, and are now to be found at many tourist sites in Paris.
Bargain of the week: Iberian sleep
If you are planning a weekend in one of the big cities of Spain or Portugal in the next two months, the deal from the leading Spanish chain, NH Hoteles, is remarkable value. The company has a bargain two-night offer for all its Iberian properties.
If you book online at nh-hotels.com, you pay between €165 (£137) and €219 (£182) for two people for two nights – in other words, a maximum of £45 per person per night, including breakfast and what the company promises to be "a free mini-bar for every day of your stay". You can also check out late, until 5pm.
Locations include Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Bilbao and Lisbon (pictured), which are all served by low-cost flights from the UK. See pages 12 & 13 for "48 Hours in Valencia"; next week the same slot features Madrid.
Destination of the week: Antananarivo
Madagascar's capital may take almost as long to say as it does to fly there, but the city, also called Tana, is getting easier to reach. Kenya Airways (kenya-airways.com) launches flights today from its Nairobi hub, with easy connections from Heathrow. And why should you go there? Hilary Bradt, the guidebook publisher, says the journey from the airport to the city is reason enough: "Madagascar's infinite variety passes by the window like the opening sequence of a film: a row of Crown of Thorn euphorbia plants, topped with scarlet flowers, against a red clay wall, then the wobbly looking houses with their steeply pitched tile roofs and wooden balconies."
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax
- 1 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell’s reputation in tatters as judge rules he used the word ‘pleb’
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achieving...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: A rapidly growing Hotel ...
£15000 - £16800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Tyre Technician / Mechanic is...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion the Largest Independent Motor...