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