With rain at home
and the weak Euro, millions of British tourists are expected to escape the UK during the Olympics for a holiday abroad, the Telegraph
Research by tour operators and travel agents has revealed that the Government's best efforts to persuade Britons to holiday at home have not had a huge impact on their travel habits.
Concerns over high hotel prices in London during the Olympics, the recent bad weather
and the continuing strength of the pound against the euro has encouraged Brits to get away from Britain and head overseas between 27 July and 12 August.
Online travel agent lastminute.com said bookings between these dates were up by 207 per cent on last year, a survey by travel technology provider Amadeus suggested one in five British adults will take a holiday abroad during the Games and holiday offers website Travelzoo found that 30 per cent of Britons would head overseas during the Olympics, with Spain and Greece the most popular destinations.
Diane Bouzebiba, managing director of Amadeus, said: 'While the Olympics undoubtedly presents a very exciting prospect for a lot of people, our survey shows that there are also plenty who are looking to get away.'
Travelzoo's UK managing director Joel Brandon-Bravo said that flight prices were higher than they normally are in late July and early August and this had encouraged hoteliers to cut their rates. He added that some of the best deals could be found in Turkey and the Balearics, with package discounts of up to 65 per cent.
The UK's biggest tour operators, Thomas Cook and TUI UK & Ireland, confirmed that the Olympics had not had a negative impact on their bookings. Both said that bookings for Egypt and Tunisia were once again strong after the past unrest.
Still looking for the perfect escape during the Olympics? Check out Europe's best beach destinations below...
Or maybe you're taking a staycation? We've rounded up our favourite UK 'Olympic' holidays...
- 9. Corralejo, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
Corralejo,the largest of Fuerteventura's resorts, is a beach lover's dream. Town Beach is singled out by Tripadvisor reviewers as a perfect spot for families because of its calm waters, while breezier Flag Beach and Glass Beach are a 'paradise' for windsurfers and kitesurfers.</p>
- 8. Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria
The largest resort on Gran Canaria was developed in the Sixties specifically as a tourist area and it's remained popular ever since. There's something for everyone, from families to honeymooners, nude sunbathers, to hippies... and it gets the thumbs up from all.</p>
- 7. Antalya, Turkey
This is the fastest growing city in Turkey, not least because of its booming tourism industry. Tourists from around the world are drawn here for the fab beaches as well as the traditional Turkish culture. Konyaalti Beach is described as 'heaven on earth' by one reviewer. The only complaint seems to be that the sea is a "little bit salty". Hmm...</p>
- 6. Albuferia, Algarve, Portugal
With 20 different beaches to choose from, Albufeira is praised as a "charming" holiday destination. The cliffs are magnificent, the outlook wonderful and Falesia Beach is singled out in particular: "straight out of a film" says one reviewer.</p>
- 5. Benidorm, Spain
Yes, it's still up there as one of the favourites for Brits. The beaches surrounding this holiday mecca are bustling with activities including waterskiing and scuba diving. Levante Beach is praised for its cleanliness, while reviewers recommend Poniente Beach for a calmer alternative to the buzzing Benidorm atmosphere.</p>
- 4. Bournemouth, England
Seven miles of beach and its own warm microclimate make Bournemouth the UK's favourite beach destination, according to Tripadvisor reviewers, who praise it for its stunning cleanliness and "amazing views", although one complained that it was "too far away from the shops". </p>
- 3. Puerto Alcudia, Majorca
With velvety white stretches of sand along five miles of gentle waters, Puerto Alcudia is the longest beach on the island. Reviewers say the gem of the beach at Aucanada is great for families, and one of the most beautiful parts of the resort, although it can get crowded: "Bring your own sunbed" says one. </p>
- 2. Icmeler, Turkey
The lack of a booming nightclub scene is a huge plus for the travellers who've discovered this beach resort. Boat trips, great seafood cafes and "quiet and relaxing" atmosphere are among the reasons they return here, but one reviewer advises getting to the beach early in peak season in order to get a bed by the sea - and they recommend bartering for the price.</p>
- 1. Olu Deniz, Turkey
The waters surrounding the small village of Olu Deniz, including the famous Blue Lagoon, are a beautiful gradient of sapphire blue, and the beach is described by Tripadvisor reviewers as "simply stunning", with a spectacular setting. Reviewers say it gets overcrowded in peak season and can also be pricey: many recommend the local beaches nearer the town for more space.</p>
- 10. Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Lanzarote's largest resort area offers some of the island's best beaches, with calm waters all year round. The coast is a succession of lovely sandy stretches interspersed with small rocky outcroppings, including the little cove of Pena Grande, with fine white sand.</p>
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- The Archers
Where better to try your hand at archery than in the heart of 1066 country? Self catering holiday village, Crowhurst Park in East Sussex has teamed up with an archery company to offer both Field Archery (in which archers move from target to target through wooded terrain, shooting 3D foam prey, including bears, deer and er, giant mosquitoes) and Target Archery (one of the Olympic sports).<br />
Weekend breaks in a small lodge from £99, <a href="http://www.crowhurstpark.co.uk">www.crowhurstpark.co.uk</a></p>
- Wild water
You could try your hand at kayaking the man made rapids at the brand new Lee Valley White Water Centre (where the Olympic kayaking events are being held), but for a chance to paddle alongside porpoises, seals and even whales, head up to the Outer Hebrides for five days kayaking and camping among uninhabited islands and skerries.<br />
Five day sea kayaking trip costs £725. NB, not for beginners. <a href="//www.responsibletravel.com/holiday/2243/sea-kayaking-holiday-in-scotland">//www.responsibletravel.com/holiday/2243/sea-kayaking-holiday-in-scotland</a>.</p>
- Tour de Wales
While the Olympic cyclists whizz round and round the London velodrome, enjoy a rather more scenic view from your saddle on a Welsh biking holiday. The seven day 'Snowdonia Beano', cycling around Snowdonia National Park and the Lleyn Peninsula in July costs from £640 per person, which includes accommodation and yummy vegetarian meals. For more details on this and other cycling holidays, visit <a href="http://www.bicycle-beano.co.uk">www.bicycle-beano.co.uk</a>.</p>
- Row your boat
Stage your own mini Olympics at Siblyback Lake Campsite, on the edge of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, which offers three Olympic watersports - kayaking, sailing and canoeing. Instructors are on hand to help train your junior athletes - perhaps for the 2020 Games?<br />
Pitches from £11 per night. <a href="http://www.pitchup.com">www.pitchup.com</a></p>
- Ticket to ride
Make like a minor royal and buff up your riding skills at Lucknam Park's outstanding equestrian centre, which includes 500 acres of parkland, an all weather arena, cross country course and riding clinics with equestrian experts Stephen Hadley and Richard Waygood. Non-riders can make the most of the hotel's Michelin-starred food and lush spa.<br />
Rooms from £330 per night. <a href="http://www.Lucknampark.com">www.lucknampark.com</a></p>
- On your marks...
Spend a day clay pigeon shooting in scenic fields, gullies and among the trees with local farmer Jonty and his sons on a farm on the outskirts of the Lake District. Then retire to the cozy Plough Inn opposite for a soak in the freestanding bath, followed by local ale and lamb for dinner. Clay pigeon shooting available on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from £135 per room per night (beginners package from £150), <a href="http://www.theploughatlupton.co.uk ">www.theploughatlupton.co.uk </a></p>
- Anyone for tennis?
What with Wimbledon and the Olympics, its easy to get carried away by Pimms-fuelled fantasies about tennis whites and volleying. Indulge the dream at the Four Seasons' grand Georgian pile in Hampshire, which has two outdoor, all-weather, floodlit tennis courts and tennis pros on hand to polish up your backhand. Doubles from £258, <a href="http://www.four seasons.com/Hampshire">www.four seasons.com/Hampshire</a></p>
- Beach volleyball for beginners
Find out for yourself why beach volleyball is the most popular Olympic spectator sport (nothing to do with the barely there bikinis the ladies play in, obv) on Brighton's answer to Copacabana, Yellowave Beach Sports Venue. (<a href="http://www.yellowave.co.uk">www.yellowave.co.uk</a>). After a hard day on the beach, retire to the supremely classy surroundings of the Kemp Townhouse boutique b&b. Doubles from £95, <a href="http://www.kemptownhousebrighton.com">www.kemptownhousebrighton.com</a></p>
- Dive in
Crawling up and down an Olympic size swimming pool's all very well, but there's nothing like swimming in the wild to make you feel truly alive. Based at the snazzy Scarlet hotel, guests can enjoy a wild swimming tour of Cornwall's water, with professional instructors equipped with towels, rescue boards - and hot toddies! A 2-night package costs from £515 per person, including a private Wild Sea Swimming Lesson, with instructor and all equipment (including heated wetsuits!) and a ‘Short Journey’ in the Ayurvedic Spa. <a href="http://www.scarlethotel.co.uk">www.scarlethotel.co.uk</a></p>
- Scilly sailing
Learn to tell a flying jib from a gaff topsail on board the beautiful traditional wooden pilot cutter, Eve of St Mawes. A 6 day hands-on, island hopping voyage in the Isles of Scilly, departing from St Mawes, Cornwall, costs £720 per person. For details of this and other voyages, visit <a href="http://www.classic-sailing.co.uk">www.classic-sailing.co.uk</a>.</p>
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