Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: In search of a sunny holiday in March
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Tuesday 05 March 2013
Q. We are seeking the sun in March. Would you recommend Marawila in Sri Lanka, or Sinai in Egypt - or should we look elsewhere? We want a hot climate but we don't want high humidity or high winds.
A. After a miserable winter in the UK, it's natural to seek some sun. And with your added stipulation about no high humidity or high winds, then Egypt wins hands-down (the Canaries, which I would normally highly recommend in March, can be windy). But don't automatically head for the seaside resorts of Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada or Taba; Luxor is, in my experience, the most reliably sunny location within a short-haul flight from Gatwick. It is also the archaeological heartland of Egypt, steeped in antiquity.
Despite the increasing rumblings of discontent elsewhere in Egypt, Luxor has remained peaceful - hitting the headlines only through last month's tragic balloon crash, in which 19 tourists died; all balloon flights in the province of Luxor are currently suspended.
There are some great hotels with excellent facilities, as well as some cheap-and-cheerful hotels if you are keen to stretch your holiday cash. Booking a package is the best plan, and Thomson (thomson.co.uk) has some amazing deals - as low as £327 for flights from Gatwick plus week in a reasonable hotel.
One other thought: you might get lucky with the weather in Israel, and certainly down by the Dead Sea neither humidity nor high winds is a problem.
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