It's an online ski (and snowboard) hire calculator that shows how much you could save by renting in the UK and then picking up skis in France. It compares rental costs versus ever increasing airline baggage fees.
Before deciding where to ski, ask the ski companies or use the web to check if the six or more day ski pass you are probably going to be buying gives you a day’s access to the lifts at a neighbouring resort for free or a reduced price and whether the ski company lays on transport to get you there and back. Many do though you will have to pay for this. If staying in a smaller resort this can really add to the variety and mileage you can get under your. Check out St Foy’s pass for free or reduced access to one of the huge five star areas of Val D’Isere, Tignes or Les Arcs. Passo Tonale’s pass gives a free day in either Madonna di Campagilo or the Brenta Dolomites and if in French Serre Chevalier you can get a taste of Italian skiing in Sestriere or other Italian resorts of the big Milky Way system.
Fresh breakfast, picnic on the slopes, dinner in a restaurant and luxury accommodation .... and all at great value. Find a luxury apartment block being opened this year (like Le Centaure in Flaine (ski-in, ski-out, pool (next season) and what looks like fabulous accommodation) and its first season's prices are GREAT value. You won't find places like this is in any of the mainstream package brochures because they're printed too early so go to Ski Independence or Erna Low who are much more 'current' and provide great customer service. Cheapy flights, privately booked transfer and the basics for a luxury family of 4 for £1500 (at Easter!)
Flaine (but maybe somewhere else next year) only 1.5 hours from Geneva.
Park City is a former winter Olympics venue in Utah. It has three ski parks - Deer Valley, Canyons and Park City with all the other activities associated with a well developed winter resort. Snow is usually good and snow cannons help lay down an early base. Nightlife is not up to the hedonistic excesses of some European destinations given Utah's Mormon background, but this makes it an ideal family destination as facilities tend to be better than in Europe and there are bars and a microbrewery on the main street.
This wonderful house is located in the center of Havana with a wonderful view to the sea because is beside the Malecón (the esplande) in Havana. Clarita is the best and help me in all that I asked.
Marina # 61, Havana 10300, Cuba
This lovely spot is run by a Colombian-Kiwi couple and has amazing views. They make yummy healthy food and Diego takes guests for a walk through the forest on their property - lots of butterflies, bird and orchids! You can stay in their guesthouse or visit from the day from Manizales to have a meal and a walk. The sunsets are amazing - the perfect spot for a cocktail!
Villa Maria Km 3 via Llanitos, Manizales, Caldas, Colombia
+57 310 764 82 49
Like some other cities in Western Europe, Munich offers a reduced rate on public transport if you buy a one, two or three day travel ticket, issued at the main train station and other large train stations in the city. The public transport system is excellent in Munich and consists of overground and underground trains, buses and trams. Some of these lines, such as Tram 18, give a good tour of the many interesting parts of the city and are cheaper than the commercial tour buses.
However, unlike, say, Berlin, the Munich travel ticket offers few if any reductions on entry prices to museums and galleries. By contrast the Berlin "Welcome Card" is excellent in this regard. The Munich Travel Ticket is however well worth the cost because if you are planning to "do" as many of the sights in the city in a period of a few days, the 'hop on and off' nature of the freedom given by the ticket is both convenient and economical. By the way it only needs to be validated (by inserting it into the box at the entry to platforms) once, at the start of your first journey.
Hauptbahnhof, Munchen, and other large stations in the city.
We spent five days here in August. More towards a hostel rather than a hotel with a mix of rooms, from rooms with private bathrooms to beds in dorms with shared bathrooms.
For our room with the private bathroom we spent 33JD per night. Citadel and amphitheatre are on the doorstep.
There is a communal room where people can eat or meet other backpackers/travellers.
The hostel can arrange trips. They organised a car to take us and two other guests to Mount Nebo and the Dead Sea for 20JD (not including admission fees). Additionally they can arrange cars to and from the airport or to the Jordanian border.
Good breakfast served in the morning.
Staff always on hand (with perfect English) to assist with any queries such as how to handle taxi drivers etc.
Not luxurious but safe, comfortable and friendly.
48, Hashemiyeh Street, Hashemiyeh, Amman, Jordan
We only stayed here for one night but cannot speak too highly of this place. The staff were very friendly with the owner dropping us down to the Petra site after we arrived at the hotel. The hotel is situated above the main town but is only a short taxi ride down the hill to Petra/town centre. However there are a number of other hotels and restaurants around this hotel so it is not isolated.
When you see what Movenpick etc are charging in the town you will be amazed at this hotel's prices!
The owner's father was a previous governor of the area and he is very well regarded in the area.
We paid 28JD and were astounded at the quality of the accommodation. The whole place was recently renovated to a very high standard and would not look out of place in one of the good hotels in Europe. For example the bathroom was huge, enclosed in frosted glass.
The owner arranged for a bus to pick us up from the hotel for our trip back to Amman saving us a journey to the bus station.
My wife wished the accommodation on the rest of our trip in Middle East was like this!!
This hotel is situated up on the Mount of Olives in Arab East Jerusalem. While not centrally located near the old town, every morning we got the #75 bus that dropped us outside Damascus gate within 10 - 15 mins for five NIS. Taxis at night back to the hotel cost us between 35 - 45 NIS from the centre. Too far to walk especially at night.
The hotel was rather tired but we paid a very good price for Jerusalem at about £43 GBP per night for five nights. The room had an ensuite old bathroom but no TV.
Friendly hotel with a large buffet breakfast on offer every morning. Additionally free wi-fi.
We were surprised to find that the hotel was right next to one of Jerusalem's attractions - Mosque of Ascension which is on the site of Jesus's ascension and contains his alleged footprint!
Good hearty food to be found here. Not high end dining but authentic wholesome food. Food could be described as Kosher Turkish/Kurdish, with Iraqi and Syrian influences. This restaurant has been serving food for decades, where the food is slowly cooked in huge pots over traditional oil burners called ptelias. This authentic place is extremely popular with locals which might mean a little wait during busy times.
We had two hearty mains and soft drinks for 110 NIS.
HaEshkol 4, Jerusalem, 94322, Israel
+972 2 623 5204
Google map: bit.ly/VUHabx
This museum is probably one of the smallest you will see as it has only one room containing 17th century paintings of Madrid and two large wooden models showing how Madrid would have looked in the 17th century (you will have to use your imagination and geographical knowledge to recognise buildings such as the royal palace and the cathedral as they are not indicated on the models). A video screen taking you on imaginary walks through 17th century Madrid is interesting as it shows you which buildings of 17th century Madrid still exist today and which ones have disappeared over the centuries as Madrid has got ever bigger. Entry is free .
calle Fuencarral, 78
Nearest metro station: Tribunal
Google map: bit.ly/UCsTlX
The Spanish have their own version of the tooth fairy albeit in mouse form and he is known to Spanish children as Ratóncito Pérez. Hidden away in a tiny shopping centre in central Madrid is a cute tiny golden statue of this famous Ratóncito Pérez. Upstairs on the first floor of the shopping centre is a small museum dedicated to the history behind this mouse.
If money is tight and you cannot afford to eat out than Lidl on the Plaza Tirso de Molina is cheap and not much different to Lidl in the UK or anywhere else in Europe as the produce offered is cheap, similar to what you get at a Lidl in the UK and you know what you are getting for your euros. If you have a rucksack ensure that you have a one euro coin with you so you can put your rucksack in the lockers beside the store entrance. But the security guards did not stop me for having a small backpack on my back when I went in on three separate occasions but it is better not to take the chance.
Plaza Tirso de Molina 16, Madrid
Google map: bit.ly/UsEQFh
Everybody notices the statue of Felipe III on his horse in the centre of the Plaza Mayor. But take a closer look at the horse and you will notice that it's mouth has been soldered closed. There is a sad story behind the reason for this. In 1931 a bomb was thrown into the horse's mouth thus busting open its belly. To surprise of everybody tiny bird bones filled the air. Before this happened nobody realised that sparrows had flown into the horses mouth and down its neck in search of food or shelter. Because their wings are too big to enable them to fly back up out of the statue they panicked and were unable to fly out of the horse; and so it was that they became trapped inside it and they slowly died inside the statue. To avoid any more birds being trapped inside the statue and facing a slow and painful death the horse's mouth was soldered shut shortly after this discovery. Another story of the hidden Madrid which tourists do not see.
Nearest metro station: Sol
This is just one of many of the departments of the university of Alcalá. It has its own tower and baroque façade which is quite impressive and worthy of a photo. It is similar in style to the faculty on plaza San Diego.
On the south side of Plaza Cervantes opposite the Santa María tower.
Google map: bit.ly/UCkmyh
Like me you will almost go past this building as you head from the train station in Alcalá de Henares to the city centre and not give it a second thought. But just walk slowly from the train station (on the left hand side of paseo de la estación) and the Moorish towers and windows will catch your attention (as they did mine) and beg to be photographed. Inside the building there is a Cistercian museum.
Paseo de la Estación, nº 10, 28801 Alcalá de Henares (Madrid)
Google map: bit.ly/NOoisJ
Bar Avesta is one of the few Zoroastrian themed bars you'll find the world. It's got a great medieval, cozy type feel to it, with its low wooden beamed ceiling and rustic wooden benches. It is located in a converted wine cellar and as well as serving some of the most delicious tapas in Barcelona, it also serves some of the cheapest shots. The bar also serves the famous drink, leche de pantera, a kind of pink alcoholic milk that is pretty delicious.
There are many hostels all over the continent, each with its own character.
You'll get lots of information and support from hostelers and the staff, and usually access to a kitchen to cook your own meals. You can be any age and many hostels have private doubles, twins, triples etc - some even ensuite!
PS In Patagonia don't miss the Perito Moreno Glacier - the boat goes dramtically close to the edge which is crumbling into the lake.
On a searingly hot day in the Argentina summer we turned up in town and staggered into the Adventure Hostel. Rooms are simple but clean, with air-con (essential in this climate.) It has a well equipped kitchen, and a great breakfast by Argentine standards with home made potato cake. However the main draw are the family-friendly facilities, with lots of games, play area, plenty of outdoor space, barbeque pits, hammocks, and excellent cooling swimming pool. Great place for chilling, watching the jungle wildlife, or exploring the nearby Jesuit ruins and surrounding area. You could, and will, get stuck here ...
Calle Independencia 469, San Ignacio - www.hihostels.com/dba/hostels-San-Ignacio----Adventure-Hostel-002122.en.htm
Independencia 469, San Ignacio, Misiones
+54 376 4470955
Google map: bit.ly/QvMDBe
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