YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR PANEL OF EXPERTS
Sunday 28 March 1999
A couple of years ago I took a yoga holiday in Ibiza, however, the centre has since closed down. I would like to return to Ibiza to swim, eat, read and de-stress and maybe do some yoga. I'd like to stay in a cheap, basic, self-catering accommodation, far away from the club scene of San Antonio. But the usual brochures only offer accommodation in large resorts. Do you have any suggestions?
The Travel Editor replies: Ibiza is notorious for its bacchanalian night life, yet a significant part of the island, especially the centre and northwest, is tranquil, undeveloped and beautiful. However, rural accommodation located in quiet areas is not that easily available through UK tour operators. There is an organisation, based in Mallorca, that has listings of rural accommodation in Ibiza. For information and reservations call 00 34 971 721508.
Traveller's Way in Spain (tel: 01527 836791) has Spanish country houses to rent from pounds 245 per week (sleeps four). Interhome (tel: 0181-891 1294), has self-catering accommodation in quiet locations across the island from pounds 169 per week (sleeps up to six).
The Windfire Yoga Centre (tel: 0181-780 3050) is a classical Hatha yoga retreat in the national park at Can am des Puig, a farmhouse on the road to San Miguel, 3km from San Mateo. The centre is open for yoga students and lodgers throughout the year and caters for all levels of experience. You can take part on whatever level you choose.
Should we be worried about a Turkish break?
We have booked a holiday in Turkey for the first two weeks in May, and have paid in full for the holiday. We are now, however, very worried about the threat of possible terrorist attacks, in the light of warnings from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Would you advise us to go ahead with this holiday? If not, could we demand refunds from the tour firm, given that the threats did not exist when we made the original booking?
The Travel Editor replies: Of course it is a question of assessing risk, but I would certainly not advise you to cancel your holiday.
Millions of people from Western Europe will be enjoying package holidays as usual in Turkey this summer and although I would not be particularly surprised if there were an attack of some kind - somewhere - the risk of your holiday being spoilt is going to be extremely tiny. The Foreign and Commonwealth office is merely suggesting that "sensible precautions" be taken (the same advice is given for many mainstream tourist destinations). They certainly are not advising against visits to Turkey.
I am assuming that you do not plan to travel in the southeast of the country, or anywhere near the border with Iraq, where there is a much greater security risk. Rambling round on your own in the west of the country, however, should pose no dangers.
The insurance position is as follows: if, subsequent to your booking a holiday, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office issues an advisory warning against all travel to your chosen destination, then most holiday insurance companies will be liable to pay your cancellation costs. If the FCO merely advises caution, then it will be a discretionary matter whether or not your insurance company pays. In the case of Turkey, I am sure that no insurer would meet a claim in the present circumstances.
Tour firms, similarly, will make sure they are excluded from liability in situations like this.
Have you got a question or problem? Whether you want to know the best place to go for a holiday or have a legal or medical concern, our panel of travel experts will be able to help.
Write to: the Travel Editor, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Fax: 0171-293 2043. E-mail: sunday firstname.lastname@example.org
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