After finishing my A-levels, my best friend Lucy and I booked a girls holiday. No, it wasn't to Magaluf or Ibiza. We wanted somewhere that was both cultural, cheap and a good party. After finding flights for a reasonable price, we settled on Barcelona. For around 300 Euros, we stayed in a great hostel just around the corner from La Ramblas, just next to the Metro and within walking distance from all the best night clubs and a short ride to all of the excellent attractions that Barcelona has to offer. We spent a week in the city, beach and parks, managing to find cheap enough places to eat, drink and party. On a budget, we managed to have the best holiday and it's so easy to adapt a trip to Barcelona to your traveling style. There's plenty for families, older couples, friends, everything. I'm definitely planning on taking my parents there in the near future and my own family when I have one. Art galleries, Gaudi, food, anything you're interested in will be in Barcelona and so long as you know where to look, it can be as affordable as you like.
This is a great campsite for families, couples and friends on a budget. On the confluence of the Dordogne and the Vézère, it's wonderful for swimming, relaxing and you might even catch a fish if you're really lucky! As far as I remember, you're allowed to BBQ, but there is also a great restrant on site. If you're willing to walk a VERY short ou can always distance across the bridges then you'll find a wide variety of excellent traditional French restaurants and a few bars. My parents made sure it was always one stop on our road trips through France and I hope I can do the same with my children.
F-24480 Alles/Dordogne, France
+33 (0)553 632 976
Google map: bit.ly/15k1BWL
As I've written before, Pennard is a beautiful, calm and year-round treasure for this little part of Wales. Situated not far from Gower Golf Course, the stroll from the castle to Three Cliffs Bay is perfect for couples, families, dog-walkers and ramblers. During the day it's a hot surf spot and in the evenings in BBQ heaven. Known to the Sandy Lane locals as 'Tub', Three Cliffs Bay is a popular landmark on Gower for geologists and geographers alike, with it's twisting headland and arches set to inspire the children that visit. I know it inspired me to pursue my career in geography. I cant wait to go back this spring when my exams are over so I can pick wild raspberries and explore this gorgeous little part of the world.
'Beaches aren't just for surfing' was a phrase I didn't believe before my first visit to Praia da Bordeira. The extensive sand dunes go on for miles around the beach, making them perfect for everything from romantic picnics, to all-day hikes. There are so many beautiful beaches in Portugal that it was so hard for me to choose one. But with it's fishing, relaxation, sports and beauty, I had to pick Praia da Bordeira. It has something for everyone but always seems to be spotlessly clean and never too busy. The accomodation in the town has everything from surf camps, to family apartments. I've also eaten the best seafood in a small cafe not far from the beach, which sources all the fish and shellfish from the beach. I can't wait to take my family there this year.
Carrapateira, Algarve Portugal.
Google map; bit.ly/XxKOKw
I first visited the Krakow Christmas Market when I was sixteen with my aunt. It was a lot bigger than I expected, taking up most of the Rynek. For presents, it's perfect! Everything is so unique and majority is handmade. Being outside in the freezing cold with the smells of delicious warm food, sweets and drinks made my Christmas shopping ten times more fun - and a lot cheaper! All the stress of finding the right things fell away thanks to the beauty of the city and the lack of highstreet shops was a breath of fresh air. It's really cheap to get a flight out at this time of year and there are some excellent hostels just off the square. I loved this trip and I am definitely looking to go back again one Christmas soon. I probably spent less on this holiday and all the gifts than I would buying presents in the UK. I can honestly say that the Krakow Christmas market was definitely the highlight of my winter.
I rediscovered this spot throughout my summer. I moved into Sandy Lane on Gower and inherited a dog named Sput, which needed walking every day. His favourite spot was the ten minute stretch from the Lane to the castle overlooking Three Cliffs Bay or 'Tub' as it's known to the locals. Every sunny evening we'd walk the stretch so Sput could chase rabbits and bounce around in the sand below the castle. It has the most beautiful views and rekindled my love with my country. There are very few places in the world that can make me feel so peaceful and perfectly happy. Even in the pouring rain, there is something mystical about this point that will stay with me forever.
2 Southgate Road Swansea, Southgate, Swansea, West Glamorgan SA3 2BT
Google map: bit.ly/W17ihO
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