Something To Declare: Greek island hopping; Slower trains in France

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The Independent Travel

Destination of the week: Greek island hopping by seaplane

Destination of the week: Greek island hopping by seaplane

After a gap of 60 years, seaplanes have returned to Greece. A company called AirSea Lines (00 30 210 940 2880; www.airsealines.com) is promising a scheduled seaplane operation offering domestic flights and services to southern Italy. The airline, part-owned by Harbour Air of Canada, has begun services from Gouvia marina in Corfu to the nearby island of Paxos, with a fare of €50 (£36) return and a flight time of 10 minutes each way. Flights to Athens, Patras, Thessaloniki and Italy are promised, but have yet to materialise.

The flights are to be used by Tapestry Holidays for its new programme of holidays to Paxos next summer. A fortnight at the Levadi apartments near Logos costs £999 per person during the summer, including flights from Heathrow to Corfu on BMI and bus-seaplane-bus transfers. The firm (020-8235 7788; www.tapestryholidays.co.uk) will also offer holidays in Corfu.

Tapestry warns prospective customers that accommodation standards may not match those elsewhere in the Mediterranean: "Don't be surprised if from time to time in all accommodations electricity and water supplies fluctuate or are unavailable," says the company. In addition: "Wardrobe, drawer and cupboard space is often limited, particularly in more rustic properties - a wardrobe may comprise wall hooks so packing hangers would be advisable."

Warning of the week: slower trains in France

Britain is not the only nation having problems with its rail network. The French rail operator, SNCF, is to slow down some trains on 1,000 miles of its track. The speed restrictions, which are due to maintenance problems, will mainly affect "classic" Corail trains on cross-country routes, such as Lyon-Nantes, Strasbourg-Lyon and Nantes-Bordeaux. The high-speed TGV lines are not affected.

SNCF claims the rescheduling will add 10 minutes to journey times, but many such trips already take longer than in the past. For example, Lyon-Bordeaux takes eight hours 40 mins, almost an hour more than 20 years ago - though if you travel via Paris on the TGV, the trip takes around six hours.

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