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Spain tops the charts of holiday destinations

Five out of the ten most popular locations for holidays in 2007 are in Spain, according to a survey conducted by online travel agency Holidays-Direct.

Firmly established as a top destination for family holidays, the Spanish island of Majorca tops the charts, ahead of the perennially popular Spanish Costas, the poll shows.

Based on a review of sales of summer holidays, the travel agency shows that the Spanish beaches of Costa Brava, Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca and Costa Dorada are still in style with British tourists.

The top four destinations are all in Spain, followed by the Greek island of Corfu at number five.

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Airlines losing more bags - but some may be worse than others

Spain is the most popular holiday destination for British tourists, but more people than ever before will arrive at their luxury hotel or villa without their bags, according to UK insurance providers Norwich Union.

Norwich Union said that insurance claims on lost holiday baggage had increased by 40 per cent over the first half of 2007. Figures from Insure-and-Go have put the number of disgruntled holidaymakers even higher, saying that its claims had risen by 85 per cent over the same six months.

And with more Britons flying to foreign destinations for their holiday than ever before, airports are becoming busier, resulting in a lot more lost baggage, Norwich Union said.

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Holiday-makers prefer to eat in their villas

Holiday-makers renting out luxury Spanish villas prefer to eat at home rather than out at a restaurant, according to property website homesworldwide.

Spain remains the UK's favourite holiday destination, and part of the country's attraction is the availability of great restaurants serving delicious tapas, tortilla and paella for a fraction of the cost of a meal out in Britain.

However, restauranteurs on the Costa del Sol claim that those staying in villas eat out far less than hotel guests, preferring to stay at home and cook in their apartments, homesworldwide reported.

The news follows findings that British holiday-makers find it hard to leave home without typically English food-staples such as Marmite, according to a survey by holidaylettings.

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Ryanair to expand operations in Spain

Ryanair, the low-cost airline expects to open two more bases in Spain within the next three years, doubling the number of passengers it carries there, the company said yesterday.

The announcement comes only a week after the airline announced that it would be doubling its activities in Spain by flying to four airports, including Alicante.

"We now have four bases and there is space for one or two more . .

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Ryanair the best low-cost airline operating flights to Alicante

Ryanair is the best of seven low-cost airlines currently operating flights to Alicante, according to website flightontime.info.

Using Civil Aviation Authority data, the website shows that the Irish airline, which flies to Alicante from Liverpool John Lennon and London Stansted airports, had average delays of just 11.2 minutes on all flights over the first quarter of 2007.

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ABTA: Holidaymakers should write their mobile numbers on luggage

Passengers should write their mobile number on or inside their suitcase in case their baggage is mislaid and keep receipts for its contents, says the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).

A mere two per cent of the bags reported lost are actually lost, while the rest are delayed, said Sean Tipton, spokesperson for the ABTA.

Most bags "are simply delayed and while this is an inconvenience, they are not lost, they will turn up. Most airlines try to get them back to you within 48 hours," he said.

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Spain remains a "winning" destination for family holidays

Families are increasingly travelling abroad on their holidays, with the "child friendly culture" of Spain remaining "a winning formula", family holiday advisers Take the Family said.

Holidays abroad are becoming an increasingly popular option for families. According to the Office for National Statistics, British households spent an average of £12.50 a week on package holidays abroad last year, compared to just £1 a week on package holidays in the UK.

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'A Late Dinner': Rediscovering the culinary delights of Murcia

Visitors returning home from a stay in the beautiful huerta, or garden of Murcia can now relive the gastronomic pleasures of their holiday with a new book, A Late Dinner: Discovering the Food of Spain by Paul Richardson.

Published this August, a late dinner takes its readers on a highly flavoured journey through Spain and its cusine, from coastal fish, to the dishes made by mountain shepherds, to the inspired creations of world-class chefs in cities such as Barcelona and Madrid.

Delicacies such as jamon iberico, Cadiz fish, Navarre asparagus, morcilla, and Catalan calcotada are all vividly brought to life, presenting the reader to a banquet of delights that will make them wish that they were still on holiday.

But the lush and fertile plains of Murcia retain a special place of the author, who has lived in the country since 1990.

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Luxury Spanish holidays to reach new heights

Holidaymakers looking for luxury breaks in Spain will soon find that the sky's the limit, as a firm of Spanish architects have announced they are to build a 'Galactic Suite' – an opulent hotel in outer space.

Space tourists with the £2 million necessary for a three-day stay in the orbiting hotel, should be able to enter earth orbit sometime in 2012. Once there, they will pass above Spain roughly every 80 minutes, witnessing 15 sunrises each day.

At present, visitors to Spain already enjoy the height of holiday comfort in lavish hotels and golf resorts such as La Manga, which boasts five-star accommodation set in the hills of Murcia.

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Longer holidays for British workers, but still lowest in Europe

A change in EU regulations means that the minimum amount of holiday entitlement for workers in the UK is set to rise to 28 days from April 2009.

New European laws will force companies in the UK to stop counting the current total of eight bank holidays as part of the EU 20-day minimum. The TUC says that up to six million workers may benefit from the changes in the law.

The UK entitlement will go up in two stages, and will be raised to 24 days from October 2007.

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