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The £104 Weekend – ideas for getaways

People always use round numbers but at Skyscanner we like to do things differently.

People always use round numbers but at Skyscanner we like to do things differently. £104 is close enough to the ton, but with the extra four quid gets you to a really quite exotic place.

Part of Skyscanner’s functionality you may not have used is the “Weekend breaks” option which appears under “Suggestions” on the homepage. This allows you to pick a weekend in the future and quickly find flights (in ascending price order) for destinations all over the world. Booking flights for a romantic weekend, a stag or hen-do, a birthday surprise, a sporting couple of days or just a short get-away takes hardly any time with Skyscanner since all the dates are already listed. Having chosen your departure airport, a selection of cities appears with just a click of a button.

The list of destinations below shows just a selection of possible trips using Skyscanner’s search engine capabilities. All return prices are correct at the time of writing and all relate to the same weekend 14th-16th March 2008.

Skiing in Finland
Flights: London StanstedTampere, Finland with Ryanair
Price: £44.18 per person

When you think of weekend ski trips in early spring, Finland is not a country which immediately leaps to mind – not to my mind anyway. Himos is one of Finland’s most popular ski resorts and is just 95km from the airport in Tampere. The resort can be reached by bus or by hire car and the trip takes about 90 mins – a reasonably short transfer time to a ski resort.

Himos has 21 runs – the longest being just under one kilometre and 13 lifts. There are slopes to suit all abilities and children under the age of 7 with a helmet can ski for free. Unlike many resorts in the rest of Europe, you can ski from late October and also unlike many resorts, day prices for adult lift passes are around 30 Euros.

For more information see:

A taste of North Africa
Flights: London GatwickMarrakech, Menara with Royal Air Maroc from
Price: £104.00 per person

A quick three and a half hour flight can transport the weekend traveller to a city that is genuinely very different to cities in western Europe. The airport is just 4km from the city and a quick bus or taxi ride can take you to the heart of the city. The first stop for the visitor is often the Medina (or Old City).

In the centre of the Medina is Djemaa el-Fna – a busy square with a carnival-style atmosphere which draws tourists to witness the entertainers and performers and to sample delicious Moroccan food from local stalls. The city also affords the visitor the opportunity to explore a maze of alleyways full of bazaars and shopkeepers selling local products – get your haggling skills sharpened up before embarking on a spending spree. With average temperatures in March reaching up to 21 degrees, you might even get a bit of a tan.

For more information see:

Historic Granada
Flights: LiverpoolGranada, Spain with Ryanair
Price: £77.92 per person

The Spanish city of Granada is famous for, amongst other things, the magnificent Alhambra – the Moors’ hilltop citadel and their last stronghold before being ousted in 1492. Over two million visitors a year flock to see it every year and as such tickets are at a premium. The number of tickets is strictly controlled so rather than risk a long queue and potential disappointment, it is best to get tickets in advance (more information here).

On a hill opposite the Alhambra is the Albaicín – the old Arabic quarter – which still retains the feel of its origins. The winding cobbled streets and white-washed houses are a photographer or painter’s dream and almost everywhere one goes, there is a beautiful view to be had. Exploring the area, one finds countless squares, restaurants and shops – a beautiful and picturesque place to while away an afternoon or two.

For more information see:

Eastern European adventures in Slovenia
Flights: London StanstedLjubljana, Slovenia with Easyjet
Price: £64.98 per person

Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and only a couple of hours away by air. It is one of the most attractive of the former Soviet Bloc countries, and its capital is well worth a visit.

The buildings of the city centre were shaped in the main by architect, Jože Pleènik though they have also been influenced by other nations who have passed through the city in the preceding centuries. The city offers the visitor a wealth of sites with one of the most popular being Ljubljana Castle where you can either don a stout pair of walking legs and climb to it or catch a funicular railway. The castle affords the visitor fine views of the city and is certainly recommended. Elsewhere, you can enjoy museums, galleries or simply sit in one of the many squares enjoying a coffee and watching the world go by.

Ljubljana is not just a city of sights though: there is a vibrant nightlife supported by one of the youngest populations of any European capital. The bars and clubs offer an eclectic mix and there is surely something to suit any visitor from the cool, clubber to those wanting just a quiet drink somewhere.

For more information see:

**Belgium – not your first choice for a weekend away perhaps…;
Flights: London HeathrowBrussels International, Belgium with bmi
Price: £64 per person
Flights: Glasgow PrestwickBrussels International, Belgium with Ryanair
Price**: £56.49 person

Most people will agree that Brussels is not a particularly attractive city and as such, I would suggest you leave it as quickly as possible and get on a train (conveniently located at the airport) and make your way on the 90 minute journey to Ghent.

Belgium gets a bad press from many European countries despite its lovely countryside and unspoilt towns and cities; Ghent is one of these. Much of the city’s medieval architecture remains remarkably well-preserved and wandering around the picturesque streets is a real pleasure as you walk down winding streets with stylish shops on either side – only to find yet another historic building. Ghent has the largest car-free area of any Belgian city so it is ideal for visitors exploring on foot.

If walking is not your thing, then perhaps take a boat ride down Ghent’s canals. These offer an excellent way to get to know the city and also offer an attractive backdrop for a bite to eat or a drink in the many cafés and restaurants.

Belgium is famous for its beer and there is no shortage of bars where a bewildering array of choice is available. A large student population ensures that there are always places open and you can be guaranteed a good night out courtesy of the friendly and helpful locals.

For more information see:

Prices correct as at January 2008