|Photo by Thomas Depenbusch via flickr|
Nick Trend, The Daily Telegraph, July 9, 2015
Don't know where to go for a last-minute summer holiday? Look no further than an old favourite, says Nick Trend
I have never known such a disturbing summer in the Med: terrorist attacks in Tunisia ; the migrant crisis reaching Lesbos and Kos, and now flaring up again in Calais ; and the agonisingly protracted financial machinations in Greece. Clearly these are tragic developments for everyone involved, and of serious long-term significance for us all. But they also present an immediate problem for anyone who hasn’t booked their holiday this summer and is looking for a couple of weeks’ respite from the troubles of the world.
As I’ve pointed out, if you have already booked to Greece you should feel confident that your tour operator will look after you, and the locals will be pleased to see you. But if you haven’t booked, now that we are in the endgame of the grexit drama, it certainly seems sensible to wait a few days more before snapping up a late deal here.
In the meantime, there are of course plenty of other options to consider. Italy, Croatia, the South of France, Turkey all have their appeal. But for this summer, I’d like to suggest another solution: that old favourite, Spain. Here are five reasons why it is looking like a particularly good option at the moment.
1. There's plenty of availability
Although some operators - Classic Collection, for example - report rapidly diminishing availability in Spain, such is the range of flights (from some 20 UK airports to nearly 30 in Spain), destinations and accommodation on the market, that you can still find plenty of options. Search on Skyscanner.com and there are return flights from London to Palma, Mallorca for under £150 even in August. Meanwhile Thomson says it has increased its flight and hotel capacity to Lanzarote, Tenerife, Balearics and Algarve for peak weeks.
2. It's got everything
Spain isn’t just about the Balearics, the Canaries and the costas. The north coast has some of the best and most unspoilt beaches in Europe - a wonderful and underrated holiday destination which you can get to by ferry ( brittany-ferries.co.uk ) as well as by air. Even within the Balearics you can find somewhere like the peaceful beaches of Formentera which are a world away from Ibiza’s pulsating nightlife and Mallorca’s manic south coast. And the contrast between the quiet, sophisticated coves of the Costa Brava and the highly developed beaches of Benidorm and Fuengirola is legion.
3. It suits everyone
No holiday destination can compete with the sheer choice of accommodation on offer in Spain. Self-catering and villas range from the purpose-built holiday estates, such as those around Javea and Denia on the Costa Blanca and Marbella on the Costa del Sol, to rural cottages in Cantabria ( casas.co.uk ) and smart villas in the coastal hills ( vintagetravel.co.uk ).
4. It's incredible value
Accommodation prices in Spain have long been some the best value in Europe, but the cost of living is low too. The basket of goods selected in the latest Post Office holiday money survey (May 2015) costs £36.80 on the Costa del Sol - significantly cheaper than Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and Croatia. It gives the price of a three-course meal out for two, with wine, at £24.27.
5. It's just two hours away
Some people don’t worry about travelling time. But for me, the two-hour hop which takes you to most parts of Spain is much preferable to the three or four hour flight to Greece or Turkey - and it is generally much easier to find departures at more civilised times of the day.
Nick Trend is Telegraph Travel’s consumer expert
This article was written by Nick Trend from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.