Bargain Hunt: Fly the friendly skies, cheaply
Stars and Stripes August 9, 2006
Looking for a quick getaway or planning ahead to stave off the winter winds in some sunny clime?
There are scores of destinations across Europe served by the low-cost and major carriers out of London-area airports.
Here is a sampling of offerings gleaned from the Web site Skyscanner.net:
Next weekend — Aug. 18-20Paris:£92.21 round trip
Fly bmi from London Heathrow to Paris.
Ahhh, Paris. Considered by lovers the world over to be the world’s most romantic city, Paris in summer offers too much for a single weekend. Nevertheless, there’s no harm in trying to squeeze it all in. Outside of the obligatory visits to the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and the Cathedral of Notre Dame, visitors can stroll along a stretch of the bank of the Seine River that has been converted into a beach. The government shipped in tons of sand from the Mediterranean and created an urban oasis of sorts for Parisians and tourists alike.
Next month — Sept. 15-7Milan, Italy:£61.12 round trip
Fly Ryanair from London Stansted.
Called the financial and commercial center of Italy, Milan boasts what is considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful shopping malls in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Don’t come in search of a siesta or laid-back beach experience, as the city moves as a frenetic pace reserved for movers, shakers and all-around money makers. A must-visit is the Fiera district around the Porta Genova train station, which serves as the hub for trade and fashion fairs.
Six months from now — Feb. 16-18Madrid, Spain:From £57 round trip
Fly from London Gatwick to Madrid on Easyjet.
By now it will be cold, snowy and downright miserable across the British Isles, which means it’s time to head to a warmer climate.
While Spain in February does not offer the opportunity to bury your toes in the sand of the Costa del Sol, there still is plenty to do in terms of cultural events that can warm your spirit. Madrid’s Del Prado is the one of the world’s largest art galleries and boasts exhibits from masters such as Goya, Velazquez and Rembrandt, according to its official, English-language Web site, http://museoprado.mcu.es.
After you’ve marveled at some of the world’s most impressive paintings, take a stroll through the capital and stop in to any one of the city’s scores of tapas bars to munch on the appetizers that are famous around the world.
Airfare prices are courtesy of the Web sitewww.skyscanner.net and are subject to change depending on availability. Prices include estimated taxes.