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King opens cultural centre

Royal couple King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain opened a new cultural centre in Madrid last week.

The king and his wife inaugurated the new modern wing of the Prado Museum in Madrid which is cube-shaped and designed by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, according to the AFP.

Now those enjoying luxury holidays in Spain can view works by artists including Velazquez, Goya, El Greco and Rubens in the restored 17th century cloister of the San Jeronimo church.

"The Prado helps to identify ourselves as a great nation," commented King Juan Carlos.

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Eurostar 'could transform travel habits'

The re-opening of St Pancras International station could "transform" travelling to the continent and open up a range of opportunities for those wanting to visit Europe, the Daily Mail has suggested.

The Eurostar train's top speed of 186 mph is just one of the ways families can make getting away a swifter and less frustrating experience, while it may also encourage people to travel to destinations a bit further away.

Places in Europe will be easier to reach than some in the UK, the newspaper continued.

"No more two-hour check-ins and infuriating luggage delays," it said.

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Fly but don't wrap over Christmas

Lucky families heading off for a blissful Spanish holiday this Christmas should remember not to wrap any presents they carry in their hand luggage.

According to a spokesperson from Stansted Airport, this is a "key point" to be aware of when flying off over the festive period.

Wrapping presents in carry-on luggage is not allowed because all items should be accessible in the event of any security inspection.

Moreover, Christmas also sees people taking crackers in their baggage - another forbidden item in hold and cargo bags.

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Ryanair launches new flights to Alicante

Budget airline Ryanair has announced a new range of flights to Alicante, a destination which often proves popular for Spanish family holidays.

The route will connect passengers from Doncaster Sheffield Airport to the Mediterranean city and will operate three times a week, the company announced, according to

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Specialist travel agents 'provide advice'

Those looking to plan a luxury Spanish resort holiday may be interested in consulting with a travel agency specialising in the country, according to a spokeswoman from the Association of British Travel Agents.

Frances Tuke of the association said in recent years, the travel industry has experienced large growth, with a greater web presence and an increasing number of agencies specialising in up-market travel to specific destinations.

UK travellers planning to take a holiday in Spain, for example, could speak with a specialised travel expert in the country, especially if they want to participate in a variety of activities while on vacation or stay in luxury accommodation.

"You might do your own research but to be honest if there's an expert, you'd like to trust them and find out what they have to say," she explained.

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Alicante carnival beats winter blues

For people looking for a Spanish holiday that not only beats the post-Christmas blues but also offers a carnival atmosphere, Alicante could be the right destination this winter.

Running from January 21st until February 10th the city plays host to a three-week carnival that promises to banish the memories of cold turkey and even colder British weather for many, including those with family holidays in Alicante.

According to

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Christmas breaks 'are popular'

Christmas is becoming an increasingly popular time for a break, an expert has said.

Family holidays in Spain could be popular for those looking for a winter break, with an increasing number of people looking to get away over the Christmas period.

A spokesperson for Thomsonfly said that the winter holiday is a "popular" time for a break.

"A lot of people do see it as an opportunity to travel.

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Spanish holidays "top for festive breaks"

Spanish holidays have been named as the most popular type of break for people wanting to escape a cold British Christmas.

According to Co-Operative Travel and reported in the Daily Mail, the number of people planning a Spanish holiday during the festive season has increased by 19 per cent in 2007, ahead of the US and Cyprus.

It was discovered that some 3.3 million Brits will be escaping the UK this Christmas, which is 11 per cent up from last year.

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Holiday travel 'part of carbon footprint'

Those travelling by air to their holiday destination are contributing to their carbon footprint and many do not realise the environmental effect of getaways, it has been claimed.

A carbon footprint is a term to describe the amount of carbon emissions generated by any activity. The bigger the footprint, the more potential damage to the planet and effect on climate change there will be.

However, Simon Stokes of advisory company Carbon Footprint said although some people do not realise the impact of aviation and holiday travel, more and more people are choosing to offset their emissions and select options that minimise the amount of carbon dioxide their activities produce.

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Tips on renting a car abroad

Taking a Spanish family holiday can be great fun, especially if you rent a car and travel to the many delights the Mediterranean country has to offer.

But it is worth being aware of how to avoid potentially high costs when hiring a vehicle, according to the Daily Mail, which has suggested a number of ways to minimise the price.

Firstly, look for a broker that offers reasonable cover for damage excess, as most hire car companies have higher excesses than regular policies.

Next, look for insurance that includes a comprehensive cover policy for renting a vehicle abroad, as some deals skimp on this kind of detail.

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