Wednesday 16 December 2009

British Airways strike action could cost insurers millions

The Insurance Daily has just released news that the BA strike action could cost insurers millions- Dated 15th December 09.

Leading online travel insurer Insureandgo has warned that thousands of holidays and millions of pounds could be lost due to the recent decision of British Airways’ (BA) cabin crew to go on strike.

The strike action is due to begin on 22 December and run over Christmas itself.

Insureandgo estimates that cancelled flights cost £9.7m in 2008, with 20,000 claims per month.

Were the strikes to go ahead this would lead to a surge in cancellation claims in December.

Frustrated would-be passengers may be able to get their money back, depending upon when they booked their flight.

Most insurers will provide funds for those who booked prior to strike action being known about, and Insureandgo is covering flights booked before 4th November 2009.

The insurer’s founder, Perry Wilson, has stated that the action of BA staff will wreck the planned holidays of thousands of people and cost the travel insurance sector millions of pounds.

The BBC has reported that BA and the Unite union are to attempt talks at 3pm today, although BA is continuing its move to try and halt the strike through legal action.

Meanwhile Which the Consumer magazine and website has offered advice for consumers

Which? advice to passengers on BA strikes 14th December 2009

BA workers have voted to hold strike action between 22 December and 2 January. This will affect many people travelling this Christmas.

Rochelle Turner, Head of Research for Which? Holiday, says:

“These strikes are very bad news for anyone planning a Christmas getaway or a trip home to see relatives.

“If you were planning to fly with BA this Christmas, you should phone the airline for the latest information on the strike before you leave home to avoid a wasted trip. Passengers whose flights are cancelled should get a full refund, but that won’t compensate them for missing out on their Christmas break.”

Not all flights will be affected, and other airlines may offer to take passengers that were due to travel on BA.

Passengers who booked their flights before the strike ballot was announced on 2 November should be covered by their travel insurance; any flights booked since then are not likely to be covered by standard policies, but passengers should check with their insurance providers. Finally, anyone who booked their flight using a credit card should be able to claim back the cost under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Beware of villa rental scam enquiries

One of the clients emailed us a few days ago to say

"I imagine people have already alerted you about having received emails about renting properties that are in fact scams. The wording is slightly odd, always on behalf of \"clients\", and always wanting to send money immediately, so often asking for bank details. The one I had recently was from Switzwerland - supposedly a Mrs A.... D.... for \"Euroag.../Consultants\", and it came to me through your agency. I realise that you can\'t check your customers, but if not already done you could warn you"

We replied back "Unfortunately this is a problem on the Internet. is an advertising service, like a newspaper and magazine. This means anyone can contact an advertiser with "his / her request for holiday accommodation"

We have no control whatsoever on emails that a client receives, however it is done via a response box and you can only add a restricted number of words and what is more you the advertiser's email address in not exposed.

When you would have originally advertised, we would have sent you an email with a receipt attached and in this email we warn advertisers about this problem.

We also have this page and one of the questions and answers is "How do I avoid RENTAL SCAMS IN HOLIDAY RENTAL HOMES? For more information, see our comprehensive guide to avoiding rental scams. " (you will have to click on the link in blue)

When going to that page on the left hand side below the blue jml insurance logo are several more pages on this subject.

It appears that there have not been quite as many around in 2009 as in previous years, but do keep a look out for similar email and thank you so much for bringing this to our attention."

We then received this email on the 12th December 2009 and added it our lengthly section on the website HERE .

"December 2009 We received an email on an enquiry forms on one of the jml Group websites on the 12th December 09.


NAME - K.... S...


COMMENTS - Greetings,

I inquiry for reservations for 3 couples coming for their honey moon at your property,I would like you to get back to me with the following..

The availability of the dates
The Daily cost for the required dates
The total cost for the length of their stay.
Do you accept credit card payment.
The arrival date for the couples will be 5th February and they will depart on 20th February 2009 ,Their stay will last for 15 days. Do get back to me with the requirements as stated above. Kindest Regards,Dr K....

We replied " Good morning You don't actually say which property you refer to, which country and so we believe this to be a Rental Scam. Please do not send any more of these emails. Thank you "

It is now the 15th December, we never had a reply to our email, it it been a genuine enquiry, there should have been a reply.

If you own a self catering holiday rental, PLEASE TAKE GREAT CARE WITH ANY BOOKINGS THAT DON'T MAKE SENSE.

Friday 11 December 2009

Les Granges, Oloron Ste Marie France

Just added to the the low cost villa advertising service

A few minutes ago.

Les Granges are situated in the Vallee de Baretous in the Aquitaine region of South West France, Department 64.

The owners offer high quality, self-catering, holiday gîte accommodation. Les Granges are situated in the foothills of the Pyrenees, and have fantastic views of the mountains in a very beautiful, rural part of France.

Their charming gîtes are located in the pretty farming village of Ance with many local walks leading you up hills to breathtaking panoramas of the mountains and through woods and along rivers.

Tastefully decorated throughout, the three gîtes offer spacious accommodation, and can be rented individually or as a whole, and are able to accommodate up to 16 guests.

Les Granges is 10 mins from the local market town of Oloron Ste Marie,which has a beautiful cathedral and the main Gave d'Oloron running through it. There are many restaurants and shops and the local market runs on Friday mornings.

Les Granges makes a great base. The gîtes are situated less than an hour from Pau (regular flights from Stansted Airport), the capital of the Bearn region, which also boasts the oldest golf course in mainland Europe.

They have a wealth of local acitivities, ideal for all ages, you can enjoy cycling, walking, fishing, swimming, climbing, parapenting, horse riding, quad biking, kayaking, skiing and lots more! The scenery is stunning with the mountains and trees and waterfalls and the birds of prey soaring the skies. The beaches of Biarritz and St Jean de Luz are about an hour and half away and Spain is less than an hour. The city of Pau, the capital of the Béarn region, is about an hour and has cobbled streets and boutiques. Find out about the activities here.

This really is a stunning area to explore. It is easily accessible and is central for a wide range of activities. The gîtes are 'homes from home', being spacious, well furnished and equipped, and in beautiful surroundings with breathtaking views of the mountains.

Bring your whole family, and your friends and come and explore 64.

You may want to take advantage of a good meal upon your arrival, great for guests arriving late. Prices start from 20€ per head for a four course meal with wine and coffee, ready and prepared for your arrival in your gite. Inform the owners of your requirements.

There is a main reception area for all guests to enjoy. Providing you with a play area for the children with various toys, games and books available, along with plenty of information regarding the local area, including maps.

The south facing and sun drenched gardens overlooking the Pyrénées are there for everyone to enjoy. There is a trampoline, with safety net and children’s swings and slides.

The sundeck and pool area is shared with the owner and other guests and it offers a perfect suntrap with uninterrupted views of the mountains, Heaven! The gardens measure 2500 sq m with a 60 sq m pool deck and 9.5m x 4.5m pool. The pool has a depth of 1.32 m which will re-assure parents.

There is a laundry room, which you are welcome to use. The room has a washing machine and tumble drier, although we do like to encourage our guests to make use of the sunshine and use the outside drying facility!

All guests have access to the large enclosed gardens, sundeck and pool.

To find out more visit Here

Thursday 10 December 2009

Christmas Radio in Ireland 2009

I was in Dublin, Ireland last week and searched for a station to listen to in the car. I came across Christmas FM that is broadcasting to audiences in the Cork and Dublin areas.

Apparently they are

an "All Volunteer" station, everybody is doing their part for free, for the enjoyment and to raise awareness (and funds) for the Simon Communities in Dublin and Cork.

It is certainly very professional and according to their website "Christmas FM was set up for the specific purpose of broadcasting an all Christmas radio station for Dublin in 2008. We hope to make it an annual service and this is Year two.We are broadcasting 24 hours a day, under a temporary license until December 28th."

I never heard it last year when I was in Dublin for Christmas and I think personally you only need Christmas music in small doses. It reminds me of visting New England, USA in October several years ago in October wher practically every town had a Chrismas shop.

The station has sponsors like The AA, EBS Building Society, D4hotels, Web World Irelend and The Irish Daily Mail.You can tune in at 100.3FM for Dublin and 106.7FM for listeners in Cork

You can also listen outside Ireland to Christmas FM - All Christmas Radio and send in requests via their website.

The Dublin Simon Community works to prevent and address homelessness in Dublin.The organisation is now forty years old and was founded by a group of Trinity and UCD students in 1969, who began by providing much-needed soup and sandwiches to people who were sleeping rough in Dublin city centre. More information on this charity can be found Here

Holiday Homes Hit in UK pre-budget report from April

The British Government's Pre-Budget presented on Wednesday 9th December 09 by the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) will affect the owners of holiday homes.

Individuals and companies who rent out holiday homes like the ones advertised on the low cost villa advertising service are set to lose their tax breaks and pay the same rate of tax as if they were renting out property in the UK.

Currently, if certain conditions are met, holiday homes can obtain more flexible loss relief, certain capital gains reliefs, additional capital allowances and relevant UK earnings treatment for pension purposes.

The changes to this letting tax will be introduced in April 2010, although those affected will be able to claim 10 per cent wear and tear allowances and the landlord's energy savings allowance.

Palm Shoreline Apartment in Dubai UAE

Dubai is very much in the news at the moment and with the cold weather approaching (or in some places already here) in northern Europe what about a self catering holiday in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)?

This luxurious 3 bedroom apartment comprises of spacious hallway with entrance toilet, study (with own toilet), fully equipped kitchen with washing machine, fridge freezer, oven, washing machine and breakfast bar. There are 2 further toilet units in the hall and study area. There is free local telephone usage, air conditioning, and 64kb internet access, beach towels and one weekly stay housekeeping services.

Located on one of the most prestigious landmarks of Dubai, Dubai Vacation Homes offers you an exclusive stay at The Shoreline Apartments on the Palm Island Jumeirah.

This prime beachfront location offers an array of entertainment venues and activities, making the Shoreline Apartments an ideal property for leisure and business travelers alike. Set on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, the Shoreline Apartments have their own private beach and enjoy spectacular views of the tranquil ocean. Each luxury apartment comes fully furnished with a spacious living and dining area, a fully equipped kitchen and separate bedrooms.

With the vast views onto the ocean, you will have the perfect setting to unwind with a good book or entertain family and friends over a delicious dinner. Finding a way to relax after a busy day is never a problem at the Shoreline Apartments. Be it swimming, sun-tanning, sports or a vigorous workout at the private health club, or a quiet walk in the lush gardens or simply gazing at the brilliant colours of the sunset, you will have the luxury of indulging your senses and enjoying our personalized service in complete privacy and exclusive facilities.

If you prefer a night on the town, then you can choose from the various entertainment and leisure outlets in the city of Dubai or in the Palm Island Jumeirah, from casual dining and family restaurants, to stylish bars, lounges and exclusive dining rooms in unique surroundings of style and sophistication. Dubai Vacation Homes offers you three apartment types of the Shoreline Apartments to meet your individual needs and requirements.

For More information visit their page at the low cost villa advertising service

Monday 7 December 2009

Villa Meli in Lefkada island Greece

It is cold damp and wet in England on the 7th December 2009. It is a great time to think about your 2010 holidays and the picture on the left looks most tempting.

We have just listed

Meli Traditional House, Lefkas on
Villa Meli in Lefkada island is a traditional mansion made exclusively from local stone and wood. Officially recognized as a preserved building, it carries with it a history which dates back to the 19th century. More than that, Meli is steeped in sentiment, having been a home for the same family for over five generations. They recently restored and decorated the house, ensuring that the highest standards and quality were maintained, while respecting and honouring the traditional architecture and natural surroundings.

The attention to detail is evident in all the superbly-decorated interiors which combine rustic authenticity with all-modern amenities. Exposed beams, high ceilings, wooden floors, antiques, and unique wrought-iron beds give the mansion the character and feel of a genuinely refined and elegant country house. A large courtyard with an old walnut tree, a traditional wood burning oven and built-in barbeque to the side, create exquisite sitting and dining areas with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

“Meli”, which is referred to by the locals as the jewel of the village, owes its name to the Greek word for the produce which the hamlet is renowned for, that being “honey”. With just a few homes, one taverna providing home-made local delicacies and beautiful surroundings of fields and mountains, the village of Dragano offers a private escape to an uncommercialized and unspoilt region of the island. The village benefits not only from its privileged location, next to some of the most famous beaches in the Mediterranean such as Porto Katsiki, but also its endless selection of hiking and mountain biking paths for those who wish to explore for nature a little further. In fact, four mountain bikes are offered from the owners in order to facilitate preferences for mountain biking.

This is an ideal getaway for guests yearning for a unique holiday experience replete with tranquillity, comfort and relaxation but, most importantly, for a truly out of the ordinary retreat.

Η βίλα Meli στη Λευκάδα είναι ένα πέτρινο αρχοντικό φτιαγμένο αποκλειστικά από ξύλο και πέτρα της περιοχής. Είναι, επισήμως, χαρακτηρισμένο ως διατηρητέο, ενώ έχει ιστορία η οποία φτάνει στον 19ο αιώνα καθώς έχει αποτελέσει την κατοικία της ίδιας οικογένειας για πάνω από πέντε γενεές. Ως σημερινοί απόγονοι της οικογένειας, με οδηγό μας το συναίσθημα, αποφασίσαμε να το αναπαλαιώσουμε με τέτοιο τρόπο ώστε να απεικονίζει επάξια αυτό που αντιπροσώπευε πριν το πέρασμα των αιώνων. Διατηρήσαμε την υψηλή ποιότητα στην αναπαλαίωση, πάντα όμως, σεβόμενοι την παραδοσιακή αρχιτεκτονική του τόπου και την πλήρη εναρμόνιση του οικήματος με το φυσικό του περιβάλλον.

Η προσοχή στη λεπτομέρεια είναι εμφανής σε όλο το εσωτερικό, το οποίο είναι διακοσμημένο με τέτοιο τρόπο ώστε να αναδεικνύεται η αυθεντικότητα του αρχοντικού και συγχρόνως να προσφέρει όλες τις σύγχρονες ανέσεις οι οποίες κάνουν τη διαβίωση ευχάριστη. Ξύλινα δοκάρια και κολώνες από κυππαρίσι, ψηλά ταβάνια με εμφανές το εσωτερικό της στέγης, ξύλινα πατώματα, αντίκες και μοναδικά σφυρήλατα κρεβάτια, προσδίδουν στο αρχοντικό τον χαρακτήρα και την αίσθηση ενός γνήσια εκλεπτυσμένου και καλαίσθητου σπιτιού της υπαίθρου.

Μια μεγάλη αυλή, ένα δέντρο καρυδιάς, ένας παραδοσιακός φούρνος με καυσόξυλα και ένα barbeque στο πλάι σχηματίζουν εξαίσιες γωνιές για να απολαύσει κανείς το φαγητό του, αλλά και να χαλαρώσει ατενίζοντας την πανέμορφη θέα της εξοχής και του βουνού.

Με μόνο μερικά σπίτια στον οικισμό, μια ταβέρνα με σπιτικό φαγητό και πανέμορφο φυσικό περιβάλλον, το Δράγανο αποτελεί ιδανικό προορισμό χαλάρωσης σε μια περιοχή του νησιού η οποία έχει παραμείνει παρθένα μέχρι σήμερα. Το χωριό έχει το πλεονέκτημα να βρίσκεται δίπλα σε μερικές από τις πιο γνωστές παραλίες στη Μεσόγειο όπως το Πόρτο Κατσίκι, ενώ προσφέρεται για πεζοπορία και ορεινή ποδηλασία για εκείνους που επιθυμούν να εξερευνήσουν τη φύση.

Το Meli αποτελεί μια ιδανική ευκαιρία απόδρασης για τον επισκέπτη που επιζητά μια μοναδική εμπειρία διακοπών πέραν του συνηθισμένου

The mansion is rented primarily as a whole, but it may also be rented by room at certain periods of the year. It has three independent and spacious bedrooms tastefully decorated with light colours and antique pieces, each with en-suite bathroom, one of which includes a jacuzzi bathtub. All bedrooms have satellite TV, designer matresses, hairdryer, face & body treatment items, small fridge. There is air conditioning, central heating and Wi Fi internet connection throughout the mansion. A laptop is provided for your convenience. When rented as a whole, the mansion can accommodate up to ten guests.

The main entrance leads directly to the top floor where all three bedrooms are located. A large wooden staircase leads down to an open plan living room with an inviting fireplace. This is the ideal place to relax, listen to the music, watch a DVD or just read a book. The ground floor also features a desk area, WC, dining area and a fully equipped rustic kitchen.

Το αρχοντικό ενοικιάζεται κατά κύριο λόγο ολόκληρο, αλλά και ανά δωμάτιο. Υπάρχουν τρία ανεξάρτητα άνετα υπνοδωμάτια τα οποία έχουν διακοσμηθεί με μεράκι χρησιμοποιώντας αντίκες και απαλούς τόνους. Το καθένα διαθέτει το δικό του μπάνιο, το ένα με υδρομασάζ. Όλα τα υπνοδωμάτια διαθέτουν δορυφορική τηλεόραση, στρώματα MediaStrom, στεγνωτήρα μαλλιών, καλλυντικά περιποίησης, ψυγειάκι. Σε όλους τους χώρους του αρχοντικού υπάρχει κλιματισμός, κεντρική θέρμανση και ασύρματη πρόσβαση στο internet, ενώ προσφέρεται laptop για την ευκολία πρόσβασης. Σε περίπτωση ενοικίασης σαν ένα σπίτι, υπάρχει η δυνατότητα να φιλοξενηθούν έως δέκα άτομα.

Η κύρια είσοδος οδηγεί απευθείας στον όροφο όπου βρίσκονται τα υπνοδωμάτια. Μια ξύλινη σκάλα οδηγεί στον κάτω όροφο και στο καθιστικό με το επιβλητικό τζάκι όπου σχηματίζεται μια όμορφη γωνιά που μπορεί κανείς να χαλαρώσει, να ακούσει μουσική, να δει ένα DVD ή απλά να διαβάσει ένα βιβλίο. Το ισόγειο περιλαμβάνει επίσης γραφείο, WC, τραπεζαρία και πλήρως εξοπλισμένη κουζίνα σε ρουστίκ γραμμή.

About Lefkada - Lefkada Island
Lefkada is one of the Ionian Islands. With an area of 302.5 square meters and 23,000 inhabitants, it is the 4th largest island in the Ionian Sea and is located between Corfu and Kefallonia. Lefkada benefits from easy access as it is connected with the mainland by a floating bridge.

The island's climate is mild, with long spells of sunshine throughout the year, mild winters and warm but pleasant summers due to the cooling breeze.

Lefkada's coastline is comprised of impressive beaches, peninsulas, capes, coves that make magnificent natural ports towards the east as well as the south side of the island. The west part of the island has steep cliffs that extend down to unique long and sandy beaches. It is said that the island owes its name to its white cliffs in the south part of the island and especially the cape of Lefkatas where, according to the legend, the poet Sapfo jumped off its steep cliffs in despair for her love.

Lefkada is by 70% covered by mountains with the tallest top of all being Stavrota (1.182m) at the centre of the island. As a result of this, Lefkada possesses narrow plateaus, fertile valleys and canyons with rich plantation, while it also has notable flora. It also has many springs, like the known Kerasia springs in Sivros, torrents that form small cataracts like the the Dimosaris in Nydri and impressive canyons like the ones in Mellisa of Sfakiotes. In this island one can also visit its traditional settlements up on the mountains as well as at the south-west part of it which stand out for the nature surrounding them, the activities they promise and their local culture. All these make Lefkada an ideal destination for agrotourism and alternative tourist activity.

Travel to Lefkada Island:
By car: The island is linked to the mainland by a floating bridge, hence no need to worry about ferry tickets.
Athens-Lefkada about 4 hours drive / Thessaloniki-Lefkada about 4 hours drive
By airplane: International (charter) flights and domestic flights (Athens, Crete) to Preveza/Aktion airport, then bus or taxi to Lefkada Island (18kms)
By sea plane: Connection with other Ionian Islands
By ferry: From Ithaca and Kefallonia
By private boat: Services available at Vasiliki.

Η Λευκάδα είναι νησί του Ιονίου πελάγους, ανήκει στο νησιωτικό σύμπλεγμα των Επτανήσων. Με έκταση 302,5 τετραγωνικά χιλιόμετρα και πληθυσμό 23.000 κατοίκους είναι το τέταρτο σε μέγεθος νησί των Επτανήσων και βρίσκεται ανάμεσα στην Κέρκυρα και την Κεφαλονιά. Η Λευκάδα είναι ένα νησί άμεσα προσβάσιμο οδικώς καθώς έχει την ιδιαιτερότητα να ενώνεται με την ηπειρωτική Ελλάδα με μια κινητή γέφυρα που συνδέει το νησί με τις ακτές του νομού Αιτωλοακαρνανίας.

Το κλίμα του νησιού είναι μεσογειακό, με κύρια χαρακτηριστικά τη μεγάλη ηλιοφάνεια, τον ήπιο χειμώνα και το ζεστό καλοκαίρι που είναι ευχάριστο λόγω των δροσερών ανέμων.

Το νησί αποτελείται από εντυπωσιακές ακτές, χερσονήσους, ακρωτήρια, όρμους που αποτελούν εξαιρετικά φυσικά λιμάνια στα ανατολικά της Λευκάδας και της Βασιλικής στη νότια πλευρά. Στη δυτική πλευρά της που είναι απόκρημνη, βρίσκονται πολλές εκτεταμένες γαλαζοπράσινες παραλίες με άμμο. Λέγεται ότι η Λευκάδα πήρε το όνομά της από τα πετρώματα του νησιού που είναι λευκά, ασβεστολιθικά και δημιουργούν γκρεμούς στα νότια του νησιού και, ιδιαίτερα, στο ακρωτήρι Λευκάτα όπου έδωσε τέρμα στη ζωή της η ποιήτρια Σαπφώ για χάρη του έρωτά της.

Το έδαφος της Λευκάδας είναι κατά το 70% ορεινό με ψηλά βουνά εκ των οποίων η υψηλότερη κορυφή είναι τα Σταυρωτά (1.182μ.) στο κέντρο του νησιού. Έτσι, το νησί διαθέτει, επίσης στενά οροπέδια, εύφορες κοιλάδες και φαράγγια με πλούσια βλάστηση, ενώ έχει αξιόλογη χλωρίδα. Επίσης, έχει αρκετές πηγές, όπως οι ονομαστές πηγές της Κερασιάς στο Σύβρο, χείμαρρους που κάποτε είναι ορμητικοί και σχηματίζουν μικρούς καταρράκτες, όπως ο Δημοσάρης στην περιοχή του Νυδριού και εντυπωσιακά φαράγγια σαν αυτά της Μέλισσας στους Σφακιώτες. Στη Λευκάδα μπορεί κανείς να επισκεφθεί και τους παραδοσιακούς οικισμούς που εκτείνονται στα ορεινά του νησιού αλλά και στο νοτιοδυτικό τμήμα του οι οποίοι ξεχωρίζουν για τη φύση που τους περιβάλλει και τις δραστηριότητες που υπόσχονται, καθώς και για τα παραδοσιακά τους έθιμα. Όλα αυτά κάνουν τη Λευκάδα προορισμό ιδανικό και για αγροτουρισμό ή άλλες εναλλακτικές μορφές τουριστικής δραστηριότητας,

Προσέγγιση στο νησί της Λευκάδας:
Οδικώς:Το νησί συνδέεται με την υπόλοιπη Ελλάδα με μια πλωτή γέφυρα
Aθήνα-Λευκάδα περίπου 4 ώρες οδήγηση / Θεσσαλονίκη-Λευκάδα περίπου 4 ώρες οδήγηση
Αεροπορικώς:Πτήσεις εξωτερικού αλλά και εσωτερικού (Αθήνα, Κρήτη) για Πρέβεζα/Άκτιο, με λεωφορείο ή ταξί για τη Λευκάδα (18χλμ)
Με υδροπλάνο: Σύνδεση με άλλα νησιά του Ιονίου
Με φέρυ:Από Ιθάκη και Κεφαλλονιά
Με ιδιωτικό σκάφος:Παροχές στην Βασιλική

Explore nature
Mountain Biking (4 mountain bikes provided)
Sea Kayaking
Scuba Diving (all levels including proffesional diploma)
Windsurfing / Kitesurfing
Private boat hire with skipper
Daily cruises to Onassis' Scorpios and nearby islands

They can arrange for you most of the abovementoned activities with a guide (where appropriate) under prior request and subject to availability

Explore local culture
Taste free range local eggs, honey, royal jelly, wine
Attend the honey harvest (specific periods)
Participate in local festivals (several occasions)
Visit the local winery
Attend local cuisine cooking lessons (can be arranged especially for you under prior request)
Visit our vegetables garden (subject to availability depending on the time period of the year) where you will have the opportunity to water the vegetables directly from our own old well and taste the purely grown vegetables (with our compliments)

Explore local history
Restored old olive press in Dragano
Church of Ipapandi in Dragano with remarkable pictures from Lefkadian painters
Old wells in Dragano made during Enetian and Turkish occupations
Cape Doukato or Salto di Saffo as referred to in old Italian maps. According to the legend, the poet Sapfo jumped off the steep cliffs in despair for her love.
Lighthouse of Lefkatas is where the island took its name from. It was built where the Temple of Apollo, the most important temple of the island, used to be according to ancient historical sources.

Εξερεύνηση της φύσης
Ορεινή Ποδηλασία (Προσφέρουμε 4 ποδήλατα)
Sea Kayaking
Καταδύσεις (όλα τα επίπεδα)
Windsurfing / Kitesurfing
Ενοικίαση σκάφους με σκίπερ
Καθημερινές κρουαζιέρες στον Σκορπιό του Ωνάση και άλλα κοντινά νησάκια

Μπορούμε να οργανώσουμε ειδικά για εσάς τις περισσότερες από τις ανωτέρω δραστηριότητες

Εξοικείωση με την τοπική κουλτούρα
Γευθείτε φρέσκα ντόπια προϊόντα (αυγά, μέλι, βασιλικό πολτό, κρασί)
Παρακολουθείστε τον τρύγο του μελιού (συγκεκριμένες περίοδοι)
Λάβετε μέρος σε τοπικά φεστιβάλ (υπάρχουν πολλές επιλογές, ιδιαίτερα κατά τους καλοκαιρινούς μήνες)
Επισκεφθείτε το οινοποιείο της περιοχής
Παρακολουθήστε μαθήματα μαγειρικής τοπικής κουζίνας (ειδικά οργανωμένα για εσάς έπειτα από προηγούμενη συμφωνία)
Επισκεφθείτε τον λαχανόκηπό μας (διαθεσιμότητα ανάλογα με τη χρονική περίοδο) όπου θα έχετε την ευκαιρία να ποτίσετε απευθείας από το πηγάδι μας και να γευθείτε τα αγνά λαχανικά μας

Γνωριμία με την ιστορία του τόπου
Αναπαλαιωμένο ελαιοτριβείο στο Δράγανο
Eκκλησία της Υπαπαντής στο Δράγανο με αξιόλογες εικόνες Λευκαδίων αγιογράφων
Συμπλέγματα πηγαδιών από την Τουρκοκρατία και Ενετοκρατία
Ακρωτήρι Δουκάτο ή Salto di Saffo όπως αναφέρεται σε παλιούς ιταλικούς χάρτες.
Φάρος του Λευκάτα ο οποίος βρίσκεται στο νοτιότερο σημείο του νησιού. Χτίστηκε εκεί όπου βρίσκονταν αρχαίος ναός αφιερωμένος στον Απόλλωνα ο οποίος, σύμφωνα με τις αρχαίες πηγές, αποτελούσε το κυριότερο ιερό της Λευκάδας.

Well this looks like a superb rental for 2010, take a look at this property in more detail here

Villa Luz, Albufeira, Portugal at

This delightful villa called Villa Luz at Albufeira in the Algarve in Portugal has just been added to the web site under the "Countryside Villas Algarve" classification.

This beautiful large modern villa is located in the up market village of Vale da Parra, a suburb of Albufeira. This quiet residential street is close to several excellent restaurants, a supermarket, two bars and several pastelerias…all within 15 minutes walking distance.

There are 5 beaches within 7 minutes driving distance…Sao Rafael, Praia da Coelho, Castello, Evaristo and the main beach of Gale and all have excellent restaurants for a fine lunch. Apart from Gale beach which is a long golden sandy bay, the others are beautiful coves with stunning rock formations. We can organize a boat trip to explore the ghettos and have a BBQ on a beach not accessible by land.

The village joins onto the other villages of Sao Rafael and Gale which offer further restaurants and a fun sports bar. The house is situated on the corner of a cul de sac and is surrounded by hedges and trees offering total privacy and seclusion. The groundfloor consists of a sprawling living and dining area with French doors leading onto a pateo, gardens and the pool area. There is a BBQ area and plenty of garden furniture.

Off the lounge is a double bedroom with en suite bathroom. Upstairs is a children’s bedroom with 2 single beds, a twin bedroom and in between is a large bathroom. The master double bedroom is en suite with a balcony over the pool and its own stairs down to the pool. The décor is modern and of excellent quality and the equipment includes satellite TV, CD, DVD, utility room with washer and dryer, microwave, hob, oven, fridge freezer and all other mod cons you would expect. Salgados Golf Club is 5 minutes drive away and within a radius of 30 minutes driving are twenty other courses.

All kinds of water sports are available on Gale beach, the Horse Riding centre is nearby and so is a Tennis club. Resort Earth can offer a variety of tickets for Big Game Fishing, Yacht cruises including the popular champagne sunset cruise, catamaran trips including lunch, tickets to the Zoomarine (including transport but not swimming the dolphins, that’s extra I’m afraid!), waterslide tickets, various excursions and new to our company is a wine tasting trip with transport to Sit Cliff Richard’s vineyards (only 15 euros per person).

Anything in particular you would like to do they can organize as well as private catering if you fancy a party!! Their representative will come and visit you with tickets available for the above as well as a current list of things to do and details of any concerts, markets and exhibitions open during the time of your visit.

They look forward to welcoming you to the Algarve and can guarantee a fantastic holiday, to be as lazy or as action packed as you wish!!

More information here

La Cordonnerie, St. Antonin-Noble-Val, France

This property is being advertised for another year on the site.

Two restored 18C detached houses, linked by a charming terrace, offering flexible accomodation suitable for parties between 2 and 12 persons. Large sunny gardens feature a 6x12m floodlit pool with diving board. These facilities are not shared and have a tranquil atmosphere and superb country views. An hour’s drive from Toulouse Airport and 2 miles from the Gorges of the River Aveyron, the hamlet is close to Cordes and St Antonin-Noble-Val boasting elegant cuisine and notable vineyards nearby.

The farmhouse on its own - sleeps 8-9
1 double en-suite
1 twin (can be double)
1 triple
1 single + sofa bed
2 bathrooms
1 shower room

The annexe as an independent unit - sleeps 4
1 double en-suite
1 twin en-suite
a double sofa bed
1 shower room
1 bathroom

Both properties linked by the outdoor dining terrace - sleeps 12-14
4 double (of which 3 en-suite)
1 triple
1 single
2 sofa beds
3 bathrooms
2 shower rooms

Garden and Pool area:

Acacia, walnut and fruit trees border the tranquil, sunny garden overlooking the countryside and offering plenty of space for family games and a superior 6x12 metre swimming pool, 2.5m deep, with diving board, plenty of loungers, poolhouse and a childproof locked fence standard to French safety regulations.

Plenty of loungers, a table and chairs are supplied around the poolside. The pool is located in a very sunny open position, but remains private and shielded to outside viewers. On balmy summer evenings a swim in the flood lit pool is exciting and invigorating.

As the pool is not heated, the season for swimmers lasts from mid-May to early October.

The hamlet consists of 9-10 houses, most of which are permanently inhabited and is overlooked by the church of St Pantaléon. There are no shops or other amenities and only local traffic, guaranteeing tranquillity and a peaceful enjoyment of your holiday. Passing the hamlet is the GR 46, part of the great walking routes in France. The area is attractive to lovers of nature and birdsong and in spring becomes a haven of wildflowers and orchids.

The hamlet is generally very quiet, but comes to life in summer during the feast of St Pantaléon on the last Sunday of July, with a grand fête inclusive of a meal, dancing and Musette. Everyone can join in and for €13, take part of a 5 course meal à la champêtre, including plenty of wine! A very good humoured and enjoyable evening!

There are many churches of St Pantaléon in France, from northern Troyes to Provence in the south. Our St Pantaleon, physician to the Roman Emperor and martyred in 305 AD, patron of the suffering and of doctors, midwives and bachelors, is given sanctuary in an austere and decaying 17th C church, with dust on St Francis’ huge stone shoulders and birds nesting in the beams. This little church rarely opens for service, except on the Saints’ day 27th July. It attracts people from hills and valleys far around, just as rural churches would have done over the ages.

Our hamlet lies a km beyond and is reminded three times a day by its bells calling out its ancient song. Only the odd car reminds you that we are in the 21st C.

The roads are quiet, there are few traffic noises, the air is pure and birds, crickets, and the odd frog compete for an audience. Wildflowers thrive and the cows still get driven home every night for milking.

One of the many comments about this holiday home:

"I do feel compelled to write a few words on La Cordonnerie as I think it is the most magical place I've ever stayed in. The tranquillity was exquisite, the views straight from childhood images brought about by Enid Blyton's 'Secret Seven' and 'Famous Five' books.We absolutely adored St Antonin Noble Val, which looked especially gorgeous when the sun was out. We went nearly everyday to have coffee in the square imagining the film crew and actors from Charlotte Gray, milling about - it was lovely to re-watch it back at the gite also.

The swimming pool was in wonderful surroundings and so unusual to have flowers at the edge. I could sit in one of those loungers gazing at the hills beyond, through the many trees, whilst listening to the breeze in the bamboo and watching the insects on the flowers - awh, I'm back there!

You have thought of just about everything that a holiday-maker could require - absolutely brilliant!"

Want to find out more? Visit the property page at HERE

Friday 4 December 2009

Tourism Ireland the Irish tourist body, defied international forecasts on the 3rd December with its plans to increase visitor numbers to Ireland in 20

Tourism Ireland the Irish tourist body, defied international forecasts on the 3rd December with its plans to increase visitor numbers to Ireland in 2010 by 3 per cent.

It is aiming to attract 7.85 million visitors next year compared with an estimated 6.6 million for 2009. The additional visitors would be coming from the British and German markets. There will a television advertising campaign in Germany and Tourism Ireland wants to capitalise on the 60 million trips that Germans make each year. At present they only have 1 per cent of that going to Ireland.

St Patrick’s Day celebrations will be promoted in the USA, Europe including Britain and Australia.

If you are thinking of visiting Ireland take a look at the jmlvillas Irish introduction website

Monday 16 November 2009

Beach Homes for Holidays, Ferragudo - Portugal

Just listed on the site in Portugal

This privately built and managed resort provides a collection of luxury beach-fronted houses - the ultimate in quality holiday accommodation. All properties enjoy sea views, air-conditioning, fully equipped kitchens and a heated shared swimming pool.Vila Castelo ResortTraditional styled properties built on the hillside overlooking the castle and beach. Ranging from apartments, townhouses, penthouses and three to five bedroom villas. Swimming pool (heated in winter months) with a summer terrace bar providing light lunches.

THE ALGARVE is a mixture of breathtaking scenery, ancient history and modern resorts, one of the most popular tourism destinations in all of Europe. Stunningly beautiful sandy beaches give way to areas of rugged cliffs with grottoes and lagoons. Golf and tennis are virtually a way of life here. The Algarve golf courses are consistently rated among the top in Europe. This is the southwestern corner of Europe and gazing out at the Atlantic from Cabo St. Vincent, you can understand why early Europeans believed it was the end of the world. Its name comes from the Moors who named it al-gharb or "the West." Their distinctive architecture dominates the historic center of the capital of Faro. White washed housing with massive chimneys and castles are evident throughout the region, which is also home to some of the most luxurious resorts and spas in all of Europe.

An alluring backdrop for anyone who enjoys water sports, Algarve's waters provide a massive playground for those who enjoy fishing, sailing, surfing, diving and so much more. To set sail from Lagos is to sail from a marina from which many of the great explorers departed during the Age of Discovery. Discovery is still an important element of vacations here. There is no end to the possibilities for enjoyment for those who come to either relax amid incredible natural beauty or join in the fun of the vibrant and invigorating culture which has evolved along this beautiful coast.

So why not visit this charming region, with its idyllic temperatures (average temperature in winter of 14°C and 24°C - 57°F and 75°F - in summer, rarely going below 12°C - 53°F- during winter and reaching as high as 28°C or 30°C - 82°F or 86° F - in July and August), which are ideal for playing golf and other sports.

Wine & Cuisine

It's easy to see why Portuguese cuisine is up and coming. Always fresh and overflowing with unique combinations of flavors to entice the taste buds, the Iberian Peninsula is a culinary delight. Vast coastlines on Portugal yield popular dishes which take advantage of the wide array of seafood available. Many of the favorite recipes have been exported abroad, but caldo verde never taste better than from the lands in which they were created.

The hability to cure hams and create mouth watering sausages has been perfected over the centuries with each region having their own secret methods. Lamb and even rabbit are transformed in dishes that call on the amazing selection of vegetables. The homemade breads and cheeses are like none you will find anywhere else in the world and those with a sweet tooth can enjoy a wide range of desserts, cakes and pastries.


Some of the finest wines in the world have the origins on the Iberian Peninsula where wine production has been a way of life dating back to the days of the Romans.

Apart from Port and Madeira wines, Portugal produces more than one hundred different varieties of wines. Internationally recognized as some of the finest in the world, Douro, Alentejo, Dão wines as well and Vinho Verde are noted for their unique and crisp flavors.

Because an holiday is not just about Accommodation, we have have special activities to provide you unique moments during your stay at Vila Castelo Resort and the Algarve.

Vila Castelo Resort Yacht Exclusively for our guests

Invite your friends for a fantastic half day trip to enjoy the Algarve Coast and its treasures.

Swim the clear and warm sea waters, be in contact with nature, the unique scenery, the privacity, a delightuful snack and much more to discover onboard of our private Yacht.

For further information please contact our reception 00351 282 460 370 for a day/half day or sunset cruise.

Vila Castelo Resort Kayak A Different FUN day!!

Wake up in morning and start exercicing, why not with a Picnick combined with observing nature, rowing throught the beatiful Sea and Arade River chanells. Beaches and caves watching the natural life from all the bird watching to the sea life.

For 2 adults and 1 child (including the life jackets), an adverture day in family!!!


Discover the deep Algarve……

Why not to discover the deep Algarve, and get to know the beauty of its underwater flora & fauna??

One day diving for experienced divers, Diving packages for beginners, Undewater games for children in the Swimming pool, Diving courses and much more... The perfect relaxation and sea therapy!!

What to know more? Here is the place to find out for your 2010 vacation

Wednesday 11 November 2009

November is here, so it is the time to list your holiday rental on the Internet with

We are nearly in mid November and it getting rather wintry after a very mild October in Britain thanks to the warm air blowing up from the Med.
Many people are thinking of their 2010 holidays and to save money in this credit crunch era, why not take a self catering holiday rental.
This is the time when property owners should be lising their villas, gites and apartments on a low cost villa advertising service like www,
It doesn't actually cost a lot, in fact only £11.75 per year!! Not a lot. You could buy a couple of bottles of wine for that in the UK, a meal in a pub (for one) plus numerous other examples.

November and December are the ideal times to list self catering holiday rentals and now advertises properties in over thirty one countries worldwide and the numbers are continuing to increase.

We would like to hear from you and remember you can pay for this by credit or debit card and in many countries advertising costs can be set again TAX!!

Monday 9 November 2009

Villa Arenaria Leucadia, Lefkada Ionian Islands Greece

Just been added to the site.

Villa Arenaria is only one kilometer away from the historical centre of Lefkada town and the marina that is considered one of the best that Greece has to offer.
Lefkada town offers a wide selection of restaurants, coffee shops, bars, shops, super-markets, foreign press as well as amenities such as banks, hospital, postal office, police.

The beach of Agios Giannis, which is famous for its fascinating sunset, is less than one kilometer away. This is where water sport lovers will be able to test their aptitude in kitesurfing, windsurfing, fishing, snorkelling.
The fact that the mainland is easily accessible through a floating bridge, makes the location of villa Arenaria ideal for those who wish to explore the west part of the mainland a bit further.

Arenaria is a ground floor villa of 120 m² total floor area with another 20 m² of terrace space that extends out of the living room.
It has two bedrooms with refined and high quality furniture, each with its own bathroom and digital television.
The dining room which has views to the swimming-pool is linked to a tasteful and fully equipped kitchen which, in turn, is separated from the living room by a stunning wooden partition, a distinctive element of Lefkadian architecture.
Further along, one can find the living room of the villa which features two couches, one of which has three seats and extends to form a king size bed, an armchair and a large stool.
There is also a 32 inch digital TV with satellite and DVD player.
Large glass doors lead the way out to what feels like a continuation of the house, a terrace with swimming pool views where one can find a big wrought-iron table with seating for 6-8 persons...

The villa also has a WC where one can find a washing-machine with tumble dryer and a closet with a vacuum cleaner, an electric iron, ironing board and clothes hanger.
At the villa’s back yard one can find a 55m² swimming-pool with hydro-massage for the relaxation of our guests.
A children's swimming-pool for the entertainment of our small friends makes this ground floor villa ideal for families.
The swimming-pool area is surrounded by olive, orange and lemon trees, as well as by several other trees, plants and flowers that create a beautiful and calm environment.
A barbeque can also be found close to the swimming-pool.
In the front of the house there is plenty of parking space for 2-3 cars.

Villa Arenaria is only one kilometer away from the historical centre of Lefkada town and the marina that is considered one of the best that Greece has to offer.
Lefkada town offers a wide selection of restaurants, coffee shops, bars, shops, super-markets, foreign press as well as amenities such as banks, hospital, postal office, police.
The beach of Agios Giannis, which is famous for its fascinating sunset, is less than one kilometer away. This is where water sport lovers will be able to test their aptitude in kitesurfing, windsurfing, fishing, snorkelling.
The fact that the mainland is easily accessible through a floating bridge, makes the location of villa Arenaria ideal for those who wish to explore the west part of the mainland a bit further.

Lefkada is one of the Ionian Islands. With an area of 302.5 square meters and 23,000 inhabitants, it is the 4th largest island in the Ionian Sea and is located between Corfu and Kefallonia.
Lefkada benefits from easy access as it is connected with the mainland by a floating bridge.

The island's climate is smooth, with long spells of sunshine throughout the year, mild winters and warm but pleasant summers due to the cooling breeze.
Lefkada's coastline is comprised of impressive beaches, peninsulas, capes, coves that make magnificent natural ports towards the east as well as the south side of the island.

For more information about this great holiday rental visit Here

20 Years since the Berlin wall fell where is UK TV coverage

(Left: Checkpoint Charlie - photo from jmlproperty services)

Today is the 9th November 2009, twenty years anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

There is plenty of newspaper coverage over the weekend in the UK and no doubt will be on Tuesday. The news channels will be covering this and like the BBC1 10 oclock news last night have the same reporter there who covered the event twenty years ago in 1989.
There was an interesting article in the Traveller supplement of Saturday's Independent by Simon Calder who was a driver for the BBC radio car at that time. He had followed the tail from west to east in a hire car going through the three main checkpoints Checkpoint Alpha (100 miles west of Berlin where Dr Annemarie Reffert and her daughter Julianne were the first East Germans to cross over into West Germany in their Trabant an hour before the Berlin fronier gates opened and then came back again) and Checkpoint Bravo.
However with the anniversary of this important piece of history when communism was finally falling, what coverage can I find on our UK TV channels this week?

Not a lot, sure there will be the news coverage, but the only advertised documentary I could find is on the History Channel at 9.00 tonight. Maybe there have been a few on recently that I have missed, but surely this week would have been appropriate?
BBC 2 had a 90 minute documentary entitled "The Secret Life of the Berlin Wall" a documentary telling the story of the Berlin Wall and its impact on Berliners' lives on Satuday 7th, but is there anything this week?

Berlin is a fantastic place to visit and details of a few days earlier this year Berlin in February is fantastic, but can be very cold has a lot of detail of where to go and quickly get a feel of the city by taking a bus tour followed by a guided walking tour, but if you are thinking of going in the next few weeks, take plenty of warm clothing.

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Bankruptcies over the festive season are being predicted by ProtectMyHoliday

Just received a press release from Michael Ward Sales and Marketing Manager at ProtectMyHoliday who sent a press release entitles
"ProtectMyHoliday predict bankruptcies over the festive season". Over the last two Christmas's a number of airlines collapsed and IPP are expecting a similar impact this year, with the knock on effect to other parts of the travel industry being severe, as those linked to all areas of travel are affected.

Their release is advising:

To ensure you are protected this period please follow the following steps:

1. Air Travel Organisers Licence - If a trip is ATOL protected the holiday company being booked with must either hold an ATOL or be an agent of a company that does, in which case it must tell the customer when they book which ATOL they are protected by, and as soon as money is exchanged, issue an ATOL Receipt to the customer.

2. Check your travel insurance policy. Quality policies are now including cover for Financial Protection under sections like Scheduled Airline Failure (airline only) and End Supplier Failure (airline plus all other suppliers, e.g. hotels, car hire, etc).

3. Take a dedicated policy from an on-line protection website such as With no excess, this tailor made policy will capture the details of the airline and other suppliers of the trip and produce a unique policy on-line in minutes.

To view the Press Release in full visit the page on the jml-insurance web site Here

Sunday 1 November 2009

Welsh Cottage Rental site not working

Our site Welsh cottage site is currently not working.
The company that hosts the site is looking into this fact and we trust that it will be up and running within a few hours.
In the meantime if you are searching for a self catering holiday rental in Wales or have a property to advertise.....( and it only costs £11.75 per year) all you need do is visit the site here.
We will put up a posting when Welsh cottage is live again.

Cereal company removes Anglesey

Left: Holyhead coastline, Anglesey, North Wales (photo
I was on the car ferry crossing between Holyhead in North Wales and Dublin on Wednesday 28th October. I was reading a selection of newspapers on the Stena Line ferry and came across an amusing report in The Daily Telegraph.
It appears that the breakfast cereal manufacturer Weetabix has upset locals by leaving the island of Anglesey ( Ynys Môn)in North Wales off a map of Britain in it's latest competition.
Buyers of Weetabix cereal take a special code printed on the box next to a map of the UK and enter it on the company's website, to take part in a round Britain online competition. Unfortunately Angelesy has gone.
I knew of course it had not, as an hour earlier I driven across the Island on the A55 to board the ferry. The 70,000 population are none too happy either as this is the second time a food manufacturer has done this. The company pointed out that it was an artist impression.

Friday 30 October 2009

Villa Fernando, Quinta da Balaia, Albufeira, Portugal

Just added today, great for your 2010 holidat in Portugal.

•Sleeps up to 6
•3 bedrooms
•2 bathrooms
•Washing machine
•Room fans
•Private pool
•Shared pool
•Beach nearby
•Bars nearby
•Restaurants nearby
•Close to airport

This private and modern villa is located in a private secluded cul de sac in the superb holiday park of Quinta da Balaia which comprises some 200 villas, an Hotel and low level apartments. Set in 35,000 square metres of tropical gardens. The beach of Santa Eulalia and the town at Oura is within walking distance, other beaches and the village Quinta da Balaia village itself has all you would need. Your villa has a private pool and there is also a communal pool if you are feeling sociable. There is an excellent International restaurant on site and a mini market. There are 8 tennis courts for lessons or for hire and two are floodlit for evening games. There are children’s games and competitions and you can play squash. There is also a grass football pitch. of Olhos D’Agua are also accessible.

Local info aboutAlbufeira: It is is classified as a city and including all of its suburbs sprawls some 30 kilometres along the coast and some 10 kilometres inland. There is a good bus service, a train station and colourful land trains which do a full circuit of the city. There are very few high rise buildings and its very spread out with tree lined streets and nice gardens. The beaches vary between large golden bays and small rocky coves which are fun to explore and of course every beach has a lovely restaurant serving fresh fish and seafood. There are all kinds of restaurants, fun bars, sports bars, discos and nightclubs. The shopping is very good and there’s a Gypsy market every Tuesday. Activities include all kinds of watersports, tennis, spas and golf.

More Info: Here Make sure you remember for your 2010 holiday

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Pre-existing conditions Travel insurance for over 50s launched

This story came to us on Friday 23rd October on a news alert and has come from the Insurance Daily site.

Over 50s insurer has enhanced its offering with the creation of a new service aimed at improving the options of those with pre-existing medical conditions.

The firm has launched a comprehensive new product which covers a large number of minor pre-existing conditions free of charge.’s medical screening programme will also offer those with illnesses including diabetes, heart problems and cancer.

The firm also aims to offer competitive pricing, with coverage from just £14 for a couple spending a week in Europe to £35 for global travel.

For single trips those up to 85 are eligible, annual multi-trippers can be up to 81 and up to 76 is the age limit for for long-stay.

Chief Executive Ryan Howsam has described the firm’s mission as providing the over 50s with the best possible insurance at the lowest cost.

Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions can have great difficulty acquiring the insurance coverage they require, but it seems to be a concern that is being addressed by more insurers recently.

Last month broker Heath Lambert and First Senior Group formed a partnership specifically to provide those with such conditions with coverage, and a similar deal occurred between Heath Lambert and the British Polio Fellowship.

Staysure advertise their “Over 50’s Travel Insurance" and “Holiday Home Insurance” at the two jml insurance websites and jml Property Services acts as introducers.

Saturday 24 October 2009

End of the line for Motorail

24th October 2009: There was a report in one of the Saturday newspapers today saying that the Rail Europe’s French Motorail service was to cease.

This was a great way for the motorist who wanted to take their car to France without driving long distances and clocking up a lot of mileage. You simply took the car ferry or Channel Tunnel to Calais and the car went on the train and you stayed in the passenger compartment of the train and it travelled through the night.

A message on the website says "The French Motorail service from Calais to the South of France will sadly not be running in Summer 2010. The impact of the current economic climate and significant increases in train running costs, partly due to unfavourable exchange rates, means the service would not be financially viable"

All is not lost, as you can still drive to Paris where the AutoTrain – put your car on the train service operates from.According to the website "Cars are taken overnight on train carriers, while you follow on, either during the day or night, on a separate train and collect your car when you get to your destination"

They still go to the south of France to thes following destinations.Avignon, Bordeaux, Brive, Fréjus/St Raphaël, Lyon, Marseille, Narbonne, Nice, Toulon and Toulouse.

What is most intersting is the fact that they don't appear to have an online booking system and prefer you to telephone and there is a £8 booking fee.

Train companies have had to move with times and I recall way back in the early 1970s taking a "Motorail" train from Fishguard in west Wales to Paddington, London. It was a hot summer's Sunday afternoon and after taking the car ferry from to Rosslare, Ireland this was meant to be an easy journey. The service was run by British Rail and because it was a Sunday there was no buffet car and a lot of maintenance work on the track. It seemed to take hours and would probably have been a lot faster to drive along the M4 motorway instead.

People will generally find it is cheaper to fly and hire a car these days, however as the newspaper article said, you can't bring a car load of cheap wine back from France by plane!

Maybe the solution is to fly and rent a car and take a day trip to France to stock up up on the cheaper drink, especially if you live in the south of England.

Wednesday 14 October 2009

Visiting Ikea Dublin a few months after it opened

Left: The new Ikea Store in Dublin( Photo - jml Property Services)
I have had the opportunity of going to the Ikea, Dublin today. It was opened in late July this year and is the first store in the Republic of Ireland and the second in the country. The Belfast store was opened in December 2007 and immediately attracted customers from throughout Ireland.

In March 2008 they started to accept euros for purchases due to the numbers of shoppers coming from the Republic.

I have not been there, but have been to Wembley Park store in North London on numerous occasions over the years and have also visited the Croydon, Bristol and Toulon (in France) stores.

The Ikea store in Dublin is no different, no signage in Irish /Gaelic like other foreign retailers coming into the country like Tesco or Homebase, but well laid out. A Wednesday late morning in October was a good time to go there. I wouldn’t have wanted to go at a weekend or later in the day. There were plenty of available car parking spaces and my only concern was the volume of the background music was so loud that it was not actually in the background and if I had been wanting to concentrate on some serious purchases would have put me off.

One thing that I had never seen in the London, Bristol or Toulon stores was people going round with large shopping trolleys in the showroom area. I can see the benefit of it for shoppers, they can pick up items en-route and naturally that is good for Ikea. I would imagine it could slow up traffic a great deal in really busy times.

When I came to pay, I was able to us my credit card without additional admin fee as you get in the Wembley, London store. Maybe when they are more settled in and so is the Irish economy again, they might bright bring in this extra fee earner. I hope they don’t as it would be a great shame.

The restaurant appears very good value and the positioning of the hot dogs, ice creams near the checkout is most tempting, again with great value prices.

There has been a lot of talk in the Irish press about the comparison of prices between the Belfast and Dublin operations. It must be difficult to try and match prices as they can do for example in Edinburgh and London as one store is governed by much lower VAT and the other. The euro € is still very strong against sterling £ so with two stores in the country at lease customers don’t have to spend so much on petrol.

Apparently the Dublin store has taken a lot more time to get off the ground than in other countries with the M50 motorway having to be widened first and it has opened when there is recession on. Knowing their market, they should not be to affected by that and maybe in the not too distant future they will be a store being developed in the Cork area.

Thursday 8 October 2009

Accommodation for up to 21 people in one Vilamoura luxury property

Julie has just emailed us from the Algarve in Portugal to say she has discovered this stunning property that is available for holiday lets in 2010.

It is also available for the remainder of 2009 as well. It is located at Vilamoura and can accommodate up to 21 people in 2 one bedroom apartments, 2 two bedroom apartments and 5 studio apartments. So you don't have to be a big family to go there, but is ideal for either individuals or a group of friends all wanting to take their holidays together.

There is an enormous pool with sundecks and a very sociable large BBQ area. You are also close to the beach and if you play golf there are 5 championship golf courses within 5 minutes drive, also Tennis Centre with 14 hard clay floodlit courts and indoor health centre, Browns Health Centre with body treatments, Gym, Sauna, Turkish Baths, indoor and outdoor heated Swimming Pools, Tennis, Squash and much more. Lawn Bowling Club, Airstrip and much more.

This superb property is in a great location for Faro airport. Want to find out more? Well click here and go to the Quinta do Monte page. Julie tells us that July and August are the peak months and early bookinmg requests are recommended

Wednesday 7 October 2009

Nice port makeover begins - The Riviera Times Online

WiFi before you fly - The Riviera Times Online

WiFi before you fly - The Riviera Times Online

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Attacked on the Marseille-Ventimiglia train - The Riviera Times Online

Attacked on the Marseille-Ventimiglia train - The Riviera Times Online

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Italy Magazine closing in print form

Goodbye Italy magazine in print

We have been advertising and in Italy Magazine since November 2004 and have just received Issue No 80 November 2009. It was not good news to read Editor Peter Shaw’s welcome on page 5 that announced that the November edition would be the last “print edition”.

During the past year the magazine certainly looked a lot thinner and the final edition only goes to some 60 pages. It must be very difficult trying to find topics to fill the pages, although there has always been a great mix on culture, food, places to visit and of course high quality photos.

The magazine was launched by Poundbury Publishing in 2002 and Italy Magazine soon became established as the number one magazine for Italy lovers. There logo has the words “the No 1 magazine for lovers all things Italian.

However it is not all bad news, we are now in the Internet age and according to information they have provided to the advertisers is “Italy Magazine has moved firmly into the 21st century with the decision to stop its print edition and concentrate only on its very successful website. Today, reaches more than 1.5 million users across the world, bringing Italian news, travel, food, property and culture to a lively community of Italophiles. It also has a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.” Peter Shaw the editor is to remain as an adviser and we wish them well with the product.

Although so many publications can now be read on line (and certain UK daily papers are considering charging for this) there is nothing like picking up a magazine, getting the aroma of the print and flicking through the magazine (or newspaper) that you can actually touch.

There of course might be other publications that come into the local newsagent featuring Italy. France appears to be the country that is covered the most with at least four publications available and there are two for Spain I am aware of.

Portugal is not covered and you wonder how long the French magazines can continue for in the present climate, particularly when three of them are owned by the same company.

The Internet is the future, but you also need publications in print.

Saturday 3 October 2009

Sending a cheque from one Euro zone country to another is frustrating and very expensive…don’t bother.

The Euro has been in existence for over ten years now in many member countries and if you try and send a cheque drawn on a bank from member country and bank it in another be prepared for a long delay and very high costs.

I needed to transfer some funds from Ireland to France and posted a cheque drawn on an Irish Building Society to my bank in Juan-Les-Pins, France. I posted this by signed for delivery as I wanted to ensure it arrived there ok A few days after sending the cheque I went online and there was no credit. My first reaction was that they had not received it.

The bank my wife and I use are not the best at communicating and a couple of months earlier they had written to say that one of our new bank cards was waiting for collection at the local branch. We wrote to them twice requesting it be posted as we are not resident in France and so rather difficult to collect and the third copy went with the cheque we wanted banking. Whenever we are in the area, you can find that they are not always open, it could be a Monday and because they work Saturday mornings they close on a Monday, or arriving just when they close for a long lunch hour on the remaining days of the week that they actually open on.

When I had posted this cheque, I had also enclosed yet a third copy of the letter requesting the card be posted. As I was concerned that the cheque had gone missing, I contacted the Irish Building Society who immediately posted out a replacement cheque to a relative who could bank it at the local branch. I t was lodged on the 3rd September. We were also in France at that time and decided to call into the branch to see if they had the bank card, yes they had it was in a desk drawer in an addressed envelope waiting to be posted, I have no idea how long it had been there, but had we not gone in, would probably still be there now. When we got back home from France, in our post was a second bank card that someone had decided to post!

On the 25th September the funds were finally credited to our account, three weeks after they had been put in and being charged over €94.59 for processing the cheque. I contacted a major French bank that has a department specialising for English speaking clients. They told me that “The currency has no bearing on a foreign cheque. This is an International or Foreign cheque and therefore follows International procedures. It can take 4-6 weeks on occasions. Cheques get sent back to their bank of origin and it then depends on that banks procedures, security checks etc. before they send the funds back, then the funds are cleared.”

Well so much for having one currency for several countries when it comes to trying paying in a cheque from another member county within the Euro zone. Unfortunately the Irish Building Society can only make payments by cheque, which is a somewhat old fashioned method as we approach 2010. They use a clearing bank for their payments, however with the way technology is these days should really have a more advanced system.

If you have had similar problems please leave a comment.

Thursday 1 October 2009

Villefranche-sur-Mer on Cover of October Riviera Reporter

The October - November 09 edition of the English languaguage magazine for the French Riviera "The Riviera Reporter" arrived today.

On the cover is a fantastic view of Villefranche-su-Mer the picturesque village a very short distance east of Nice. The view is taken from the Alps above and at a time when the sun is going down and the lights coming on along the narrow strip of road between the sea and those restaurants overlooking the sea.

Our picture on the left taken in 2005 illustrates the sea, road and some of the restaurants. It is a village that really has not changed at all since I first visited it way back in the very early 197o's. Every Sunday there is a "Flea market" that attracts many visitors. It has a very shetered beach and in January you can see people lying on the beach in swimming costumes sunbathing and others walking along the road behind in fur coats. What a contrast.

It is a popular location for cruise liners to spend a few hours or a day or so in the bay over overlooking Villefranche and Cap Ferat.

The Riviera Reporter has been running for over 20 years now and although other English language publications have moved in on the scene, most of them have folded away and the Reporter is still there six times a year.

There is more information about the Riviera Reporter here at

Thursday 24 September 2009

Ireland to France ferry changes & delays at Holyhead

Just come across a couple of stories involving car ferry crossings between France and England and France and Ireland.

The first is entitled:"LD Lines and Celtic Link Ferries New agreement for Ireland - France Route" As part of a re-organisation of its Ireland – France ferry services, LD Lines has announced a new ship charter agreement with ferry operator Celtic Link Ferries. LD Lines’ vessel Norman Voyager, will now be operating under charter to Celtic Link Ferries from 29 September 2009.

The second is "Celtic Link Ferries (Ireland) New Route Announcement" - Celtic Link Ferries (Ireland)Ltd are pleased to announce the the acquisition of a new vessel and the opening of a new service between Cherboug in northern France and Portsmouth in southern England. The new service will commence in October 2009. The Vessel will have a capacity of 130 trucks or 500 cars, and will be capable of carrying 1000 passengers. More details at

The picture on this page was not taken on one of those long routes, but on the Calais - Dover route earlier in September on a Sea France car ferry. One of those late afternoon crossings where you could see the French coast practically the entire way to you entered Dover.

Talking of car ferries on longer routes. The Stena Line car ferry "Stena Adventurer" that left Dublin Port at around 8.20 in the morning of Friday 11th September arrived at Holyhead just before 11.30 a.m. Unfortunately they could not unload for an hour and a half due to the fact the ramp would not go down to meet the ferry's ramp. They had to wait till the Irish Ferries "Ulysses" that was moored in the adjoining berth set sail for Dublin. Must have been rather frustrating for those on board.

Wednesday 23 September 2009

jml "off air" for a couple of hours 24th September 2009

24th September 2009

Due to some upgrading on the server operated by the web company the jml will not be operating for 2/ 3 hours today.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience, however if you are looking for information on travel please go to either or

If you are looking for Travel insurance please go to our introducer site .

If you are searching for car hire excess insurance then please visit the introducer site

Many thanks

Tuesday 22 September 2009

easyJet has new ski site

Just received this email flyer from easyJet announcing their new ski site. Apparently you can choose from over 220 top resorts in Andorra, Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Slovenia and Switzerland.

Although we are only in mid September and the summer holidays have only just finished, it is good to book ahead for a winter skiing holiday.

Whatever you do, don't forget your ski insurance. At the jml-insurance site there is special section for skiing and winter sports.
Lots of great insurance providers are advertising there like Essential Travel Ski Insurance, Direct Travel Ski Insurance, Staysure Travel insurance for the over 50's, Endsleigh Winter Sports Insurance, Protect my holiday, Devon Direct and Simple Travel Insurance.
With Christmas only 3 months away now it is worth while doing some planning. You can find details about jml Insurance - SKI and Winter Sports Here.

Monday 21 September 2009

Sir Stirling Moss – 80th Birthday tribute at the 2009 Goodwood Revival

Sunday 20th September at the Goodwood Revival saw an 80th birthday Tribute to Sir Stirling Moss who turned 80 on the 17th September.

The tribute was led by Lord March owner of the Goodwood Estate whilst Sir Stirling sat in an Aston Martin DBR1. A parade of cars that he had raced in during his career was held together with a gun salute.

More on this here together with information on Goodwood

Thursday 17 September 2009

End of the hot dry summer in the south of France

There were isolated storms on the French Riviera on the 13th September 09 and although the Monday was generally good, suddenly more rain over the next 48 hours over Cannes than would normally fall in the entire month of September. Since the downpour, shops, restaurants and private householders have been counting the cost of the flooding. Claims under the departments natural disasters umbrella must be registered with insurance companies within five days of the event.

Cannes has had similar weather in 1999 and 2005 and it looks like The damage is now expected to run into millions of Euros.

Other areas have also been affected including Marseille. The old port area was hit by flooding and vehicles carried away in torrents of muddy water. Listening to Riviera Radio on Tuesday, parts of the A8 Autoroute was disrupted by the heavy rain and commuters between Nice and Monaco faced a nightmare with no trains able to leave the Principality owing to a rock slide on the line at Eze Bord de Mer.

Authorities are examining the cliff face at Eze near the Cap Estel tunnel to see how unstable the rock is.It may be necessary to close the Basse Corniche to traffic at some point to carry out repairs but the road remains open for the time being. What a contrast to driving through Cannes twice on Saturday 12th September when the town was packed, the boat show in full swing and it was very hot and sunny. It was still 24 degrees around 9.00 that evening with every sign that the excellent weather would continue. The present ten day weather forecast for the Nice area has rain forecast till Monday 21st September and better conditions after that.

It can certainly rain in a very heavy fashion in that area as the picture on this page shows taken in a restaurant at Villefranche-sur-mer in September 2005. More information about the south of France can be found at

jml villas are now advertising in Destination France Magazine

jmlvillas and jml insurance have just started advertising the sites in a quarterly specialist magazine – Destination France.

Since the site was developed in 2002 it has been promoted in a number of magazines covering France. Regular advertisements have appeared in French Property News, France Magazine, Living France and The Riviera Reporter.

As the self catering holiday homes marketing website has been advertising in Living Spain Magazine for a few years, they decided to promote the site in Destination France Magazine.

The magazine appears four times a year and is packed with interesting news, articles and information about the country and covers wine and food as well. There are high quality photographs illustrating the articles and you can learn a great deal about life in France from such a publication. It is available at newsagents at £2.95, or alternatively a one year subscription to be posted within the UK costs £12.95 or £19 overseas.

More about this Here

Friday 4 September 2009

Haus Cuxborn, Zell, Mosel, Germany NEW HOLIDAY RENTAL

Holiday townhouse in centre of Zell has just been added to the holiday homes site.
The Town house is on 4 floors and accommodates 6 adults / persons. There are 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom,Washing machine, Shops nearby and TV. It is located close to the river and there Restaurants nearby and for ease of access it is close to an airport .
The house Cuxborn is situated within the centre of the beautiful town of Zell. Vineyards extend for miles along both sides of the valley, clinging to steep, stony hillsides. Vines gently scramble from one house-front to another in the town’s ancient streets. Everywhere the visitor is warmly welcomed – & invited to taste the Black Cat wines. The house has easy access to all amenities, including many excellent restaurants and bars for eating out. With three double bedrooms, the house is ideal for families, with plenty in the surrounding area to see and do during your stay.
It is ideal as a base for trips to the sights of the Mosel valley and for cycle and walking tours to the surrounding hills and valleys. The vicinity of Frankfurt-Hahn airport (20 km) and the motorway A1 (30 km) guarantee easy access from and to all parts of Europe.
Local Information
Zell area Historic Town, Museums, Vineyard Trips/Winetasting, Swimming pools, Sauna centre, Fishing, Rowing, Cycle Track and excellent walks right from the front door. Many Bars and Restaurants. Regular daily River Boat trips. Golf course at Hahn Airport (22 km).
Leisure Facilities
Sports: Golf within 30 mins drive Fishing Indoor/outdoor swimming pool nearby Great for: Walking holidays Rural / countryside retreats Good nightlife Cycling holidays

Thursday 3 September 2009

SKY Europe’s failure warns passengers to check their travel insurance policy

In light of budget airline Sky Europe going into administration it is time for travellers to double check their travel insurance policies to make sure that it includes some type of financial protection.

Right up to last week Sky Europe were sending e-flyers detailing an ‘Autumn Sale’ for flights between €9-€99 guaranteed. Now it looks as though those who booked directly with the airline will have lost their money whilst others are stranded overseas and having to pay several times their flight ticket cost to get back home.

However, some Sky Europe passengers will be able to claim on their travel insurance as their policy will include either Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance or End Supplier Cover (extends airline cover to include other parts of the booked itinerary).

Financial Protection is big news not only in the travel community but also with consumer protection lobbyists. Just last week, while on a visit to Dublin, the EU foreign affairs commissioner, Meglena Kuneva, spoke of the need to address consumer protection stating that they receive a ‘large number of complaints’ about the holiday sector, and ‘it seems incomprehensible, when two people sitting next to each other on the same plane, even going to the same hotel, find that they have totally different levels of consumer protection simply because the bookings were made in different ways.’

However any measures will be tricky to legislate and take a long time to implement.

In the UK there has been talk of extending the ATOL to include flight only bookings but with the fund already £46.5 million in debt, questions are being asked as to whether it is prudent for the CAA to be extending cover into such a high risk environment. In addition, further duties will be vehemently fought by the airlines who already have to contend with the increased APD while cost cutting to combat record losses.

Credit Cards have financial protection under section 75 of the Consumer protection Act however there is usually a minimum spend of £100 which most budget flights will fall below plus they are unlikely to cover the additional costs to return home which can cost many times the ticket value.

It looks as though Insurance is the only answer to consumers booking directly with airlines, either as a section on a retail travel insurance policy, or through a dedicated on-line solution such as where passengers can pick and choose their required cover for all of the component parts of their trip.

It is anticipated that up to 60% of retail travel insurance policies will cover financial risk in some respect by the end of 2009 which is up form around 10%-15% at the start of the year.

Source 2nd September 2009

Monday 31 August 2009

Flying Swimming Pool at Biot, Alpes Maritime, South of France

The peace and tranquillity of this picturesque hilltop village located between Antibes and Nice was disturbed for a few minutes in the late morning of Friday 28th August 09 around 11.00 a.m.
Notices had gone up in the village's additional parking zone in Chemin due Jeu de la Beaume, a large area of grass opposite the Biot football ground that a helicopter would be landing to collect a swimming pool.
Out of the sky came the red monster that landed and collected a swimming pool that had recently been off loaded from a transporter. A few minutes it took off again with the pool attached to a rope and headed north.
What happended next? Find out here

Tuesday 25 August 2009

Do you need to let your holiday home this autumn?

We are fast approaching the end of August, but there are still people seeking last minute holidays.

If you have a self catering holiday rental you need to maximise it's earning capacity, particularly if you have a mortgage to service plus the normal running costs of holiday home property.

The self catering rentals market is an all year round business in most locations and although the peak summer season is closing, you should still be looking for more bookings and showing your property's availability for the 2010 season.

At we don't charge a lot of money to advertise a property. A one year advertisement costs £11.75 including VAT that is approximately €13.41 or $19.23 (depending on current exchange rates).

The rates for people paying in euros have improved so much over the years. Further down we have some details fom the site in Spanish and French and when that was prepared the cost was around €17.05 now it is €13.41 on the exchange rate at 25th August 09

That is really good value considering an advertiser can change the prices, details six photos as often as they want, have a link to their own website and monitor performance.

The advertisement lasts a year and that means if it is added today, it will take in next year's summer season too.

Don't leave the property empty, advertise it. Find out more here

Anuncie su propriedad con es una manera effectiva y barata de anuciar su propriedad. Cuesta 11.75 libras (sterling – incluido el IVA) cada año (El coste semana es 1,90 libros/approx. 2,85 euros). El anuncio dura un año.

Es facil de usar (pero tiene que escribir los detalles en ingles). Hay que proveer 6 photos incluyendo el precio de alquiler y las fechas disponibles. Podrá conocer detalles cuando quiera. Tendrá su unico “Login Code” y puede pagar “on line” con tarjeta de credito (via “Secure Trading y HSBC bank). Tan pronto, tengamos noticia de que el pago haga sido hecho su propriedad estará “disponible” (Si tiene su propra web, podemos conectarlas). Cuesta 11.75 libros (sterling) cada año para cada propriedad para anunciar en

Placer une annonce sur pour votre maison. est une façon effiace et moins cher pour faire de la publicité de votre maison secondaire. Le côut est de £11.75 livres sterling (compris la TVA) par ans.(ou approx. 17,50€ euro). L’annonce est valable une annee.

Il sera facile pour vous d’utiliser le systeme (mais vous devez ecrire votre annonce et les details en Anglais). Il faut soumettre 6 photos, le prix de location et les dates de disponlibité. Vous pourrez mettre à jour les details quand vous le voulez. Vous aurez votre propre “Login Code” et vous pouvez payer en ligne par une carte bleue (par “Secure Trading et HSBC bank). Quand vous avez payé et nous avons verifé tous les details, votre maison secondaire sera en “live” (si vous avez votre propre site web, nous pouvons faire creer un lien).

Le côut est selement de £11.75 / 17,05€ par an pour faire la publicite de votre maison secondaire sur