For some years now several of the airlines labelled “low-cost airlines in Europe have been taking part in a fares war attempting to offer the lowest air fares to a huge number of European cities. It’s quite normal to see that one of the major low cost carriers for example Ryanair or Easyjet is offering return flights from the UK to France, Germany or Spain for £1 (approx $1.45). There might be airport landing fees and taxes to be added to that, but it remains an absolute bargain if you’re keen to see a number of cities throughout Europe. One of the biggest disadvantages of these flights is that they often fly to the smaller rural airports rather than the better known biginternational ones. This sometimes means that a flight that is advertised to a big European city actually lands up to 50 miles away. In fact there are a number of advantages with this situation, the municipal airports will always provide a much faster turnround on check-in and luggage because they’re catering for far fewer flights. The disadvantage is that transportation to and from these airfields can be scrappy at best and an extremely popular option is hiring a car from the airport. Here are some of the wonderful cities that we have visited with flights from the budget airlines. We’re confident that you will enjoy a visit to any of these great, you can rest assured that they have plenty to offer the visitor to their shores.
Glasgow was once a particularly ugly industrial monster but it has undergone a Renaissance and is now a wonderful, architecturally diverse city attracting a huge number of visitors throughout the year. The chic West part of Glasgow is the home of the fourth oldest university in the U.K.. Perched on a hill amidst the Medieval district of the city, the students add greatly to the vibrant, fun loving and cosmopolitan atmosphere of the area. The budget carriers utilise Prestwick Airport which is approximately 35 miles (51 km) to the north east of the city centre and there is a good road between the airport and Glasgow city centre. It’s a popular sightseeing area, so the best idea is to rent a car at Glasgow Airport before setting out on your journey. An uncrowded half hour journey from Prestwick on the M77 motorway brings you to the city centre. Glasgow is a perfect starting point for a trip out to the Trossachs National Park. Just 20 km (13 mile) journey out of Glasgow and you could find yourself enjoying sensational countryside on the back of a pony, whilst a 50 km (30 mile) drive east along another excellent motorway will find you in Edinburgh together with its ever popular festivals, shopping in Princes Street, the historic Castle and Holyrood Palace.
Without doubt one of Europe’s most stunningly beautiful locations, Florence is served by Pisa Airport, some 50 miles (84 km) west of Florence. Rent a car at Florence airport and you’ll be in position to take in Pisa with its leaning tower, the wonders of historic Florence and some of some of the most picturesque countryside in the whole of Europe, that of the majestically beautiful Tuscany. It therefore will not come as a huge surprise that Florence is one of the most popular historic cities throughout Europe. Once you arrive at the city of Florence you will discover that much of the centre is traffic free thus preserving its many ancient statues and architectural treasures from the vibrations and pollution associated with hectic traffic. The complete lack of traffic overwhelms you with a feeling of tranquility as you stroll from one fragment of history to the next. You don’t have to stray too far before experiencing the evil, ear splitting roar from Florence’s legion of scooter riders. Other than the Ponte Vecchio all of the bridges leading to centre of the city are noisy, polluted places, thus giving us a further reason to keep to the ancient alleyways and peaceful inner sanctums of Florence’s wonderful piazzas.
Tours, the centre of the famed Loire Valley chateaux with not a solitary chateau to its name! The perfect centre for discovering the Loire Valley renowned for its serious selection of palatial residences, the city has a number of charms of its own. Although the small airport is but a few miles from town, it’s pretty much essential that you rent a car in the Loire Valley in order to explore a selection of the most picturesque towns and villages to be found throughout France. Along the banks of the River Loire between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes, a number of cultural treasures are to be found for the tourist to enjoy. A UNESCO site, the Loire Valley offers beautiful countryside, lots of flamboyant castles plus a good smattering of historic villages. During the renaissance the Loire Valley was known as the “Retreat of Kings and was a firm favourite of French royalty. Former working fortified castles were converted into elegant palatial trophy residences and these are now the main tourist attractions of the region. The historic towns that line the river banks are a magnet to tourists from all over the world. Towns such as Chinon, Tours and Orleans have lots to see and do whilst the most popular chateau is maybe that on the Chambord Estate. Throughout the region you will find little, family owned vineyards selling a variety of wonderful wines at very low prices. Keep your eyes skinned for the word “degustation”, which means sampling I guess, and provided that ‘Le Patron’ is not enjoying a long leisurely lunch you will be offered a warm welcome and he will be more than willing to offer you a tasting of all his wines. Of course, it is strongly advised that you take a non-drinker as your chauffer, some of these tasting sessions can get very serious!.