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Online booking takes boredom out of travel, says easyJet

Using the internet to choose and book flights means the "boring bits" of travelling are done before the holiday itself, a spokesperson for easyJet has said.

Features such as online check-in and visiting a travel agent can be done via a computer, she continued, leaving more time to enjoy a break and minimising the effort needed to get there in the first place.

While a number of low-cost airlines currently offer flights to Alicante or flights to Murcia, many Spanish regions are also reachable by carriers which sell tickets online.

And the increase in internet booking has led to greater advances in what can be provided using this type of electronic purchasing, the spokesperson added.

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Online travel guides 'overtaking books'

Eager travellers looking for Spanish holidays are now increasingly turning to the internet instead of the well-worn travel books of previous years, with many in the guidebook industry feeling that it has reached its climax, according to the Times.

With the sale of Lonely Planet to BBC Worldwide, and the departure of key figures such as Mark Ellingham from Rough Guides and Hilary Bradt from Bradt Travel Guides, there is a feeling within the industry that the winds of change are blowing.

The main benefit provided by the wealth of travel information posted online is that it can be constantly updated, whereas even the newest editions of published travel guides will be immediately out of date.

Travel literature on the internet also plays into the wildly popular emergence of Web 2.

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Wine tasting in Spain

The opportunity to take a wine-tasting trip in Spain has been noted by a hospitality website which says the country is a "world class producer" of the beverage.

According to Express Hospitality, the culture and languages in different regions of Spain represent the Mediterranean country's diversity.

This may encourage those considering a Spanish holiday to think about visiting the wine-making districts, as many vineyards are open to tourists who want to sample the local Rioja or Cava.

In fact, the website goes on to say that exploring the country this way can be a great idea for visitors interested in heritage and natural beauty.

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Alicante Moors festival in December

Anyone looking to take a Spanish holiday before Christmas may want to consider booking some flights to Alicante in time for the Moors and Christians Festival.

Celebrated in different parts of the city throughout the year, it culminates on December 6th with a parade through the centre of Alicante, according to travel guide Whatsonwhen.

A march along the streets in period costume is followed by a re-enactment of the Moors' and Christians' battle and dialogue, while informal and comic retreats where the various acting companies celebrate by eating and drinking.

The festival takes place to commemorate the many conquests and battles which took place in the Reconquista period between the eighth and 15th centuries.

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Spain 'no 2 favourite destination'

The popularity of Spain appears to have increased with more than 58 million tourists visiting the country in 2006 - making it the second favourite destination for holidays, it has been claimed.

According to e-Travel Blackboard, the number of tourists taking a Spanish holiday during last year exceeded the actual population of the country by 16 million and figures from January to June 2007 suggest this trend is not slowing down.

Some 33.8 million people have already taken a trip to Spanish cities and towns this year - representing a two per cent rise from the same period last year.

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Autumn Festival in Madrid

An annual festival taking place in Madrid celebrates music, theatre and the arts and could be ideal for upcoming family holidays in Spain.

The Comunidad de Madrid hosts the Festival de Otono from October 15th to November 18th and this year features performances by the National Theatre of Great Britain and la Comedie Francaise.

It also includes a number of workshops and discussions throughout the city, while musical highlights are set to come from David Sylvian, Philip Glass and Caetano Veloso.

As the largest city in Spain, Madrid is situated in the centre of the country with a range of historical and picturesque sightseeing opportunities.

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Ryanair announces new route from Barcelona

With many Brits fighting off the winter blues by treating themselves to luxury holidays in Spain, news of Ryanair's new routes to Barcelona and Valencia may be of interest.

The Irish airline is to launch 70 new European routes during October, with fares available from Barcelona and Madrid in addition to the opening of a new base in Valencia.

Buying a cheaper air ticket can often be a great way to make a saving and leave more cash to spend in a luxury Spanish resort and soak up the sun.

"These 70 new routes will deliver Europe's lowest fares to over five million additional passengers next year and will provide a massive boost to tourism across Europe," remarked Peter Sherrard, head of communications at Ryanair.

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Spain travel show to feature Gwyneth Paltrow

Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow is set to add another string to her bow - this time as a travel presenter.

The star, who "fell in love" with Spain as a youngster, will tour the Mediterranean country on an extended Spanish holiday accompanied by a chef, food columnist and singer-actress who plan to show the rest of the world "a showcase of Spain as it has never been seen before".

Although each of the group will not be informed which region they are travelling to next, Ms Paltrow is fluent in Spanish, suggesting she will have no problem integrating herself into the country's beautiful sights and exciting culture.

The show is entitled Spain…on the road Again and will attempt to fulfil a simple premise of the male travellers looking for food and wine and the women looking for shops other leisurely pursuits.

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Prado to offer free entry

Spain has yet another reason that justifies a visit with the news that the world famous Prado museum in Madrid is to offer free entry for two hours every day.

The free opening arrangements are part of a scheme of changes to coincide with the opening of a new annex for the gallery.

King Juan Carlos and prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will open the annex on October 30th.

Entry to the museum will be free of charge between October 31st and November 4th.

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New technology to boost security on holiday flights

Flights to Spain and destinations worldwide are set to get even more secure with new X-ray technology to be introduced into Britain's major airports.

In a move announced this week, BAA is to replace its existing security technology with a new £20 million system capable of detecting liquids and explosives in hand luggage.

BAA hopes that the new equipment will improve airport security to such an extent that ministers may remove current regulations limiting hand baggage to just one item per passenger.

Mark Bullock, managing director of BAA Heathrow said that "the signs are encouraging".

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