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Book car hire in Spain 'early'

Brits planning to holiday in Spain this summer have been advised to book their car hire as far in advance as possible.

Stuart Nassos, managing director of Holiday Autos, said people looking to rent a vehicle during the peak season are likely to pay over the odds or be left disappointed if they make their reservation at the last minute.

"In January 2009, customers who booked car hire with Holiday Autos. [Travellers] picking up from Malaga for a week in July 2009 paid £105 for an economy car," he commented.

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Brits 'keen to jet abroad for summer holidays'

British holidaymakers are keener than ever to jet abroad and soak up some sunshine, according to new research.

A study carried out by Thomson found that 40 per cent of people want to enjoy new experiences on holiday this year and soak up some culture.

"Consumers who hung back last year are more confident about spending this year and are benefiting from better deals outside of the eurozone. Our research shows that people are saying cobblers to the staycation," said Dermot Blastland, managing director of Thomson and First Choice.

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Top tips for weddings abroad

Couples planning to tie the knot abroad have been offered some advice to ensure that their big day goes to plan.

According to foreign exchange provider Caxton FX, brides and grooms-to-be should ensure first and foremost that they take care of all of the necessary legal paperwork.

It is also advisable to visit the destination and venue beforehand and consult with a local wedding planner.

Shopping around for good currency deals is also a must, according to James Hickman, managing director of Caxton FX.

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Luxury holidays in Murcia 'to get healthier'

Those heading off for luxury holidays in Murcia, home to La Manga Club, over the next few years could notice an improvement in the quality of the region's air.

The local government has launched a new initiative aimed to get people out of their cars and on to bicycles, as part of efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, Round Town News reports.

Approximately 35 km of cycle paths have already been installed in the area and a total of 117 km will be created as a result of the project, which has a budget of €10 million (£8.7 million) and is expected to be completed by the end of 2011.

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La Torre Golf Resort boasts "excellent" facilities

Fans of golf holidays may be interested in a trip to La Torre Golf Resort in Murcia, which has drawn significant praise this week in a review by the Leader newspaper.

In the critique, it was claimed that the destination has "excellent" clubhouse facilities in the form of its La Encina buffet eatery, spacious changing rooms, stud bar and underground parking.

And plaudits were also given for the coaching and practice services on offer, with La Torre boasting an extensive chipping green, a putting green and a driving range in its golf academy.

But the reviewer did not neglect to discuss the golf course itself - designed by 18-time Major winner Jack Nicklaus - which was said to be suitable for all manner of players.

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La Manga Club 'has top European golf course'

La Manga Club has been named as one of the best places to play golf in Europe by a UK newspaper.

The Daily Telegraph stated that the Murcia destination is among the "top courses" in Spain, Portugal and France as it promoted Telegraph Open Fairways, a specialist golf membership service.

La Manga's north, south and west courses all feature on the Open Fairways website, which is offering three months' free membership as part of its celebrations for the US Masters, taking place this week.

The portal is full of praise for the facilities at the luxury holiday resort in Spain, particularly with regard to the west course, which is a favourite for many.

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See the Pinatar Folk music festival at Mar Menor

Guests staying at the Mar Menor Golf Resort in Murcia this week may enjoy taking in the Pinatar Folk music roots music festival, which is being held at San Pedro del Pinatar between April 8th and 11th.

Cartagena band Malaguero are to kick off proceedings today (April 8th) in El Mojon's The Corner Bar and will be performing hits from their new album.

They will be followed on Friday (April 9th) by a recital from Celtas Cortas at Nuevo Teatro Circo, while Aljibe and Taray will both take to the stage on Saturday evening to showcase their Folkresort work.

A musical parade, along with a crafts area, will also be among the penultimate day's highlights, with the festival being concluded on Sunday with a children's concert by Valladolid's La Carraca.

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Take in Cartagena while at La Manga Club

Those staying at La Manga Club in Murcia over the next fortnight may wish to take a 25-minute trip to nearby Cartagena, where the annual Mudanzas festival of dance is taking place.

Between April 8th and 17th, cutting edge dance will be showcased across the city, with artists from all over the world putting on performances and additional shows being staged for free in local streets.

Among the main attractions are recitals by the Maiantonia Oliver company, the Pani Pannullo Dancetheatre Co's break dancers and Aracaladanza - whose dances are aimed specifically at children.

The Akram Khan Company will also perform Bahok, featuring artists from Spain, China, India, Slovakia and South Africa, among other countries.

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Bowling team enjoys playing at La Manga Club

The team from Lemon Tree Bowls Club apparently had a great time playing at La Manga Club earlier this month.

An article in the Leader Newspaper, with contributions from Ian Boothroyd, revealed the side to have played their last match of the winter season at the luxury holiday resort in Murcia on April 2nd and, apart from failing to score well, they had a lot of fun.

"We had heard all sorts of things about the green but we had a most enjoyable game," the piece read. "Played in a fantastic atmosphere and with very friendly opponents, we had an enjoyable day.

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Top cricket academies heading to La Manga Club

Two of Europe's top cricket academies are at La Manga Club this month for annual events.

The ICC European Centre of Excellence arrived at the luxury holiday resort in Spain yesterday (April 6th) and will be there for seven days, with talented youth players between the ages of 13 and 17 taking to the nets at the Murcia destination.

A couple of days later, on April 14th, the ICC European Women's Academy will take their place with a week-long stint of their own.

Their event is for female cricketers targeting selection by the national sides of three of ICC Europe's main associate countries - Scotland, Ireland and the Netherlands.

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