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Mythology and religion on a Spanish holiday

Those booking their flights to Spain for the new year will have the opportunity to weave a little culture into their luxury Spanish holiday, if they visit Madrid's Prado National Museum.

Between now and February 2008, the museum is hosting the Velazquez' Fables - mythology and religious history in the Golden Age exhibition.

The display looks into the "most historical facet" of the 17th-century artist and is being put on to celebrate the gallery's recent extension.

"For the first time in Spain, this exhibition brings together 52 works that the Seville artist created on themes of mythology, bible stories and historical events," Visit Spain reports.

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Brits plan on shopping overseas this festive season

Many Britons are set to travel overseas to engage in some foreign Christmas shopping this December, it has been revealed.

According to research from Cater Allen private bank, 2.2 million Britons intend to head abroad to take advantage of favourable exchange rates and the strong pound, Halifax reports.

While some Brits intend to travel to long-haul destinations to bag their yuletide bargains, 230,000 will be heading to the continent to do their shopping.

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Spain is "overall hotspot" for winter travel

Luxury holidays in Spain are the number one option for Britons taking their holidays over Christmas time, it has been reported.

According to easyJet, over a million travellers are set to fly with the airline this Christmas, with many passengers likely to be headed on family holidays to Spain.

The airline reveals that Spain is the "overall hotspot" for travel over the Christmas period, with Malaga, Barcelona and flights to Alicante anticipated to be popular over this season.

It was recently reported by the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) that Spain is the most popular tourist destination for British holidaymakers over Christmas.

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Spanish Las Vegas project 'under way'

Spanish holidays are to take on a touch of Las Vegas glamour after plans got under way to construct the world's second largest casino complex in Aragon.

Consisting of 32 casinos, five theme parks and many golf courses, the resort is sure to be a hit with Brits looking for luxury holidays in Spain.

An estimated €17 billion euros (£12 billion) will be devoted to the project by a group of investors from countries including Australia and Lebanon.

"We have great hopes of regenerating a zone that has been abandoned for several years," regional vice-premier Jose Angel Biel said of the project.

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Brits get itchy feet for winter sunshine

One-in-five Britons are planning on travelling abroad over the festive period, it has been reported.

According to Halifax, 19 per cent of UK consumers will be taking flights to La Manga and other destinations over Christmas to see relatives and enjoy the celebrations.

Meanwhile, a total of one-in-ten Brits plan on spending a fortnight or even longer away from home over the holidays.

"People can take practical measures to deter burglars and protect their homes while they are away by keeping expensive Christmas presents out of view, installing an alarm or even fitting timers to lights and radios which will create doubt in the burglar's mind," Marty Foulds, senior claims manager at Halifax Home Insurance advised festive holidaymakers.

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El Dia de Santa Lucia

Brits taking Spanish holidays this month may notice that December is a time of year for many festivals and celebrations in Spain.

December 13th is known as El Dia de Santa Lucia, or in English St Lucy's Day.

Traditionally, St Lucy's Day marks the beginning of the Christmas period and coincides with Advent.

St Lucy is the patron saint of blindness in the Catholic faith and those enjoying family holidays in Spain may wish to join in celebrations by lighting candles, as the name Lucy comes from the Latin root word lux which means light.

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Rise in air traffic as Brits head abroad

Following the recent report from Post Office that 2.4 million Brits would be heading abroad for Christmas this year - a fifth of which intend on taking Spanish holidays - it has now been announced that air traffic in the month of November 2007 rose.

According to BAA figures, airports in the UK saw a total of 10.8 million passengers travel through their terminals last month - an increase of 1.

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Brits plan to travel this Christmas

This year a significant proportion of Britons are planning on spending their Christmas and New Year overseas, it has been reported.

According to Post Office, at least 2.4 million people intend on celebration the turn of the year abroad, with 17 per cent planning on marking the celebrations with luxury holidays in Spain.

Reasons behind this trend include a rise in the availability of cheap flights as well as "depressing" British weather.

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Holiday heatwave hits Spain

Flights to Alicante may be on the cards for a number of Britons after it was reported that a heatwave struck the southern coast of Spain at the weekend.

Midday temperatures reached over 20 degrees Celsius in Alicante, Murcia and Malaga, think Spain reports, drawing in large numbers of weekend holidaymakers.

"Large numbers of holiday weekenders visiting Spain's southern Mediterranean seaboard made the most of the unseasonal conditions with a trip to the beach with some brave, or foolhardy, enough to risk a quick dip in the sea," think Spain noted.

Meanwhile, more tourists will soon be able to take flights to Murcia following the news that a new international airport could be built in the region.

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The beaches of Murcia

Spain's La Manga Club is a popular choice among holidaymakers with an active and adventurous constitution.

Sports such as scuba diving, tennis, cricket, football and golf are but a few of the activities that Britons on Spanish holidays can engage in while staying at the La Manga Club.

However, for individuals who prefer a more relaxed holiday, the Murcia region boasts hundreds of beaches perfect for travellers who wish to sunbathe and explore the sandy coves of the Costa Calida.

Murcia's coastline stretches out over 100 miles and more than 200 beaches lie between the seas of Mar Menor and the Mediterranean.

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