Spain with its glorious sun has once again topped the holiday destination table for Britons taking a vacation in 2015. New research shows that the typical British holiday for the year ahead will be a 10-day trip to Spain at a cost of £1,220 (€1,558) per couple. And while Spain remains the most popular destination outside the UK, some 30 per cent of people will take a ‘staycation’ in Britain. The study by Travel Supermarket reveals that the average overseas holiday will see a couple flying to Spain in June and spending £1,218.52 (€1,556.23) while here. Twelve per cent of adults polled said that Spain would be there go-to destination for 2015. “We’re seeing people starting to spend more on their main break, go away more often on holidays and even book more luxurious and costly trips,” said Bob Atkinson, travel expert with Travel Supermarket. “While Spain continues to be a firm favourite, holidaymakers are now seeking more than just a ‘fly and flop’ in a sunny clime, whether it’s trekking in the Himalayas, bungee jumping in New Zealand, or soaking up the culture in a city like Berlin. As the festive period comes to an end, now is the time for Brits to get in early to get the best deals for their 2015 holidays.” The survey also showed that 32 per cent of Britons plan to take their main holiday break in England in 2015.
MALAGA’S residents are all smiles as new statistics reveal the southern city is the best place to live in Spain. Europe-wide research found the people of Malaga were happier than those living in Oviedo or the world-renowned cities of Madrid and Barcelona. An impressive 96% of those surveyed by Urban Audit – a research group from the European Commission – said they were ‘satisfied to live’ in the Andalucian city, placing it in the top 15 of all 79 European cities surveyed. Aalborg, in Denmark, came top of the list with 99% of residents happy to live there whereas Athens is seemingly to be avoided with only 52% of people satisfied to be in the Greek capital. Of the Spanish cities surveyed, Oviedo (94%) came in just behind Malaga, with Barcelona (90%) and Madrid (86%) following their lead. Malaga also topped the Spanish charts when asked if ‘the presence of foreigners is good’ for the region, with 83% of people from the southern city agreeing that it is. The opinion seems to be nationwide as the latest statistics on foreigners integrating are up in each of the four cities since the 2009 survey. But it is not all good news. If you’re looking for job satisfaction then Malaga is not the place to go as it comes out bottom of the four.
HOLLYWOOD big-shot Michael Douglas and ex-wife Diandra Luker have put their 11-bedroom Mallorca mansion up for sale for €50 million. The former couple have been sharing the property since their divorce in 2000, with the Basic Instinct and Wall Street star and current wife Catherine Zeta-Jones bagging the January-to-June slot. Although perhaps it’s not that amicable an arrangement. In shades of Douglas’s War of the Roses movie, the furnishings and decorations have had to be changed every time the complex exchanges hands between the Hollywood couple and Luker. Douglas purchased the luxurious 247-acre S’Estaca property in Valldemossa, on the west coast of Mallorca, in 1989 but it is now on sale through Sotheby’s. Luker denied rumours that Zeta-Jones had tried to buy her half-share of the estate saying: “Why would someone who doesn’t speak Spanish or the local Mallorcan language or knows nothing about this culture want a house here? “She doesn’t even come here much.”Douglas spent more than €6 million buying and refurbishing the Spanish villa and has been paid for promoting the Balearics as a premier tourist destination.
ANDREA BOCELLI is conformed and will be taking part in the Starlite Festival in 2015 on August 22. Bocelli joins Lenny Kravitz, Alejandro Sanz and Roger Hodgson on the list of great artists taking part in the ever-popular summer event in Marbella.