<p>Playa del Cantal Roig, Calpe, Costa Blanca</p>

Playa del Cantal Roig, Calpe, Costa Blanca

Mediterranean holidays for under £1 per hour as travel firms wait for tests to go

Exclusive: The cheapest weekend trips from the UK this weekend, to Bordeaux and Copenhagen, are available for under £10

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Tuesday 18 January 2022 16:56

While the travel industry waits to learn if the testing regime for fully vaccinated arrivals in the UK will be eased, holiday companies are selling spare capacity at extremely low prices.

In a bid to limit losses on winter sun trips, Tui is selling one-week package holidays from Manchester to Calpe on the Costa Blanca for £162 including flights, baggage, transfers and accommodation, departing on Saturday 22 January.

The price with Britain's biggest holiday company works out at 92p per hour for the duration of the trip, and is £23 lower than an “anytime” one-way rail ticket from Manchester to London.

Rival Jet2 Holidays is offering a package holiday on the same day from Birmingham to Benidorm for £184, with an even bigger baggage allowance: 22kg rather than 15kg.

Trips to the Canaries – which are much further from the UK, and typically much warmer – are almost as cheap.

From London Gatwick on 25 January, Tui has a trip to Tenerife, staying in Tamaimo Tropical in Puerto de Santiago, for £172. The price per hour works out at 97p.

All of these holidays come with Atol protection.

DIY trips can be even cheaper, but lacks strong consumer protection. Flying from Bristol to Tenerife on 25 January for a week with easyJet is on sale for £54 return.

The lowest return fare that The Independent has found for this coming weekend from England is £9.98, from London Stansted to Bordeaux in southwest France, travelling out with Ryanair on Friday 21 January and back on Monday 24 January.

You’ll find the same fare on a Ryanair return from Edinburgh to Copenhagen, flying out and back on the same dates.

Weekenders to both France and the Danish capital will spend significantly more on a lateral flow test required to enter either country.

All fully vaccinated travellers returning to the UK must also pay for a post-arrival test – though there are hopes this requirement may be dropped in the next review of Covid measures on 26 January.

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