Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Chasing April sunshine on a budget


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The Independent Travel

Q. My girlfriend and I are looking to go away in the second week of April for a week. We're on a budget, looking for sun, preferably half board or all inclusive. Any suggestions?

Marc Doman

A. I suggest the Thomson Majesty's "Colourful Coasts" cruise, sailing on 5 April from Santa Cruz, Tenerife for a week. The first port of call is Las Palmas on Gran Canaria - a fascinating city that is worth exploring for as long as possible (see for our most recent 48 Hours). Then you visit the lovely island of La Palma, far greener and wilder than the better-known Canary Isles.

Next stop, the pretty and relaxed port of Funchal in Madeira. You get a brief taste of Africa in Agadir, a day on which you might want to go inland to the town of Taroudant.

Last island: perhaps the most alluring in the Canaries. Lanzarote offers extraordinary landscapes, as well as strange and wonderful art from local hero, Cesar Manrique. The schedule allows plenty of time to rent a car and explore the island.

Including civilised daytime flights from Luton, the price when I checked at was £682 per person - which, given that you intend to travel during the school holidays, is excellent value.

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