More than 2,000 holidays ruined as British holiday firm goes bust


More than 2,000 holidaymakers have had their summer holidays ruined because a British holiday firm specialising in breaks to Greece and Cyprus has collapsed.

The closure of the company, which traded under the names of Dream Holidays, Dreams and Travel and My Dream Holidays, means that around 1,800 customers have had their holidays cancelled. A further 525 customers currently overseas are having to make alternative arrangements.

The company offered holidays to many popular resorts in Greece and Cyprus, including Ayia Napa, Corfu and other Greek islands.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) confirmed that any travellers who have lost their booking are covered by the ATOL financial protection scheme, and will be able to claim a refund. Those holidaymakers still abroad will be able to complete their holiday and return to Britain as planned, although they may be forced to pay for their accommodation again and then claim a refund from the CAA when they return home.

Strikes and civil unrest in Greece have led to a sharp fall in holiday sales. Analysis of more than 130,000 holidays conducted by Co-operative Travel shows a 15 per cent decline in bookings to Greece during the last week of June, compared with the same period in 2010.

Dream Holidays was established in 2009 by Libra holidays boss Akis Kypriano. In a statement he said: 'I wish to express my sincere apologies for all the inconvenience this will cause to all the travelling public that have booked a holiday with us, to those holidaymakers who are currently in resort, as well as all our retail and overseas agents and hoteliers who have supported us over the last two years.'

Nine other ATOL protected tour operators have collapsed so far this year, including Gill's Cruise Centre, Silverbird Travel and African Safari Club.

Think holidaying at home the safest bet? Check out some of our ideas for summer staycations below.

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More than 2,000 holidays ruined as British holiday firm goes bust

Fill me in: Luxury eco destination with amazing accommodation ranging from sumptuous yurts, retro silver airstreams, designer eco lodges and terraces, plus fantastic facilities, indoor and outdoor pools and a stone’s throw from the beautiful sandy beach.  
Price: Airstreams and yurts start from £650 per week.
Visit: mawganporth.co.uk

Fill me in: The Canvas Village at Away Resorts' Whitecliff Bay beachside resort on the Isle of Wight is the perfect location for a family getaway. While there's fields for campers, caravans and luxury lodges, the Canvas Village is dedicated to families who love camping without the chaos.  It's home to 12 bell tents that can sleep a family of four, or a canvas cottage that sleeps eight. The Magic Lounge About - with a bar made out of apple carts, hay bales, large old-style deckchairs, bunting and fairy lights, free wifi and a BBQ - is the perfect place for people who used to go to festivals and don't so much now as they have kids. There's an outdoor cinema, showing films under the stars with hay bales for seats, blankets and campfires for marshmallow toasting. The parks also have kids' clubs, starting from aged three, where they can hit cheerleading school, go geo-caching (high-tech treasure hunting), on junior geo adventures (hunting for fossils, etc), and more.
Price: A week’s glamping from £364 for a four-berth bell tent. Two free activity passes are included with any Canvas Cottage bookings.
Visit: wight-holidays.com

Fill me in: Meadow Keeper's Cottage at Swallowtail Hill Farm is a roomy four-person space carefully renovated but looking like a ramshackle cottage on wheels. Nestled between two wildflower meadows, it's an ideal destination for families looking for a getaway with a twist. On the farm, you can pitch in with the animal feeding, drive a tractor or go exploring. There are also craft courses, and the nearby beach to keep everyone happy.
Price: From £105 a night, sleeps four.
Visit: canopyandstars.co.uk


Fill me in: Head to North Cornwall this summer for a fun-fuelled family holiday on any one of its outstanding beaches. Daisy's Cottage is set by a woodland valley down a farm lane. Enjoy relaxing in the gorgeous garden, or a day out at Trebarwith Strand Beach (10 miles away). If you're feeling energetic, go on a family bike ride on The Camel Trail, 11 miles of former railway line beside the River Camel.
Price: Self- catering accommodation sleeping 4-5 starts from £425.00 in July 2011.
Visit: cornishhorizons.co.uk or call 01841 533 331.

Fill me in: Ever heard of 'Farm glamping'? Well, it's oodles of fun for all the family! Stay on the working farm in a 'canvas cottage' (read: posh tent) complete with roll top baths, and wood-burning stoves. Kids can learn about farming today, groom the Shetland ponies, be Head Hen Keeper for a clutch of rare hens, and more.  The farm's own Cow Shed store has local produce for the barbecue, plus marshmallows for toasting on the camp fire. Walk across the fields to the site of the Battle of Bosworth or take the Steam Train there; spend a day on the canal or cycling through the National Forest; or visit one of the local castles, lovely Twycross Zoo or the National Space Centre.
Price: Canvas Cottages in July start from £386 for a four-night break starting on Monday, or £406 for a three-night weekend break, or £669 for seven nights. They sleep up to six (there's a double bedroom, a twin bedroom and a cute 'hayloft' for little ones). 
Visit: thedandelionhideaway.co.uk or call 01455 292 888.

Fill me in: A picture-perfect maritime-themed cottage that makes the perfect base from which to explore this beautiful harbourside village. Don't miss the Polperro Heritage Museum, open daily (including Sundays) between 11am and 5pm. Take a trip on the Looe Valley Rail Line (just three miles away), and visit the town's Monkey Sanctuary or Active 8 Cornwall (which do coasteering, wet 'n' wild days, canoeing, horse-riding and more); take the kids to the Eden Project's Festival of Play (23 July to 4 September), where they can build a den from recycled materials, learn circus routines like uni-cycling and hula-hooping, and lots more!
Price: The Rigging can be booked for a week from £1,239 in early July, increasing to £1,559 in the peak weeks of July and August.  
Visit: bluechipholidays.net or call 0844 7044987. 

Fill me in:  The Cliff House is ideally suited to families looking for a luxurious seaside getaway that will keep both parents and kids entertained.  It's a chic boutique hotel with 39 rooms and suites, and Martijn Kajuiter’s Michelin-starred restaurant The House. The Well spa is perfect for mum and dads looking for a relaxing boost, while the kids are at fun activity classes. Swimming lessons are also available at the hotel, which features both an infinity pool overlooking the Irish Sea a natural outdoor sea-water rock pool, as well as bikes. There's also water-skiing, surfing lessons, adventure boating, windsurfing, kayaking, sailing and golf.
Prices: From €225 per room per night.
Visit: thecliffhousehotel.com

Fill me in: The fabulous Island Hotel on beautiful Tresco in the Isles of Scilly has launched five new Cottage Suites for families for summer 2011. Designed over two floors in the hotel’s beachy-chic New England style, they've got gorgeous sea views, and, because they're new, with all bookings of five nights or more, families will enjoy free bike hire, horse-riding, a sailing lesson, a jet boat inter-island ride and Champagne picnic. And, just to seal the deal, mums and dads get a spa treatment thrown in, too!
Price: From £300 per adult, per night, b&b –and the kids stay free. Bookings based on a family of four sharing, subject to availability.
Visit: tresco.co.uk or call 01720 422883.

Fill me in: Fancy a bit of luxury for all the family? This upmarket cottage caters for everybody, with a games room, a home cinema, an indoor pool and a spa! Head into the garden, and you'll find a tennis court and a croquet lawn, too. There's lots of beautiful towns to visit nearby (Stow-on-the-Wold, Burford), and the kids will love the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Birdland.
Price: From £3,352 for a four-night summer break. Sleeps up to 10 people.
Visit: eventfulstays.com

Fill me in: Be a real king of the castle at this eight-bedroomed grand dame of a staycation house! You'll love the sauna and outdoor hot-tub, while a short stroll away from the house is a lovely woodland walk and dell, a safe place for children and adults to explore. Local activities include canoeing, cycling, pony trekking, abseiling, birds of prey display and animal encounter. Families can also enjoy a day out at the historic city of Bath, a visit to Longleat wildlife park or a trip to Stonehenge.
Price: £6,400 per week (it does sleep up to 18, so you could split this between four families…)
Visit: ownersdirect.co.uk

Fill me in: This is get-back-to-nature territory, a bit of 'proper' camping! The tipi is located in the centre of the Llyn peninsula, and at 400ft above sea level has stunning views of Cardigan Bay and the Irish Sea. It’s ideal for a family (or group of friends) who want to get away from it all. The tipi is in a quiet, sheltered spot, away from other visitors, so you can do whatever you like without being disturbed. But there's also all sorts of activities nearby: surfing lessons in Abersoch; cycling; sailing; and steam railways (try Snowdon Mountain). Kids can also help collect eggs from the free-range chickens for breakfast.
Price: From £15 per person per night, kids stay free with paying adults (well behaved dogs are welcome).
Visit: biggreentipi.co.uk

Fill me in: Head to the Brecon Beacons National Park for something a little bit different. It’s easily accessible by car (only 3 hours from London, less than 2 from Birmingham), and boasts some of the highest peaks in Britain. It’s also one of the lowest populated areas so you can really get away from the crowds. There are over 40 activity providers offering a great range of affordable things to do; a day's kayaking along the river is just £20, or half a day's pony trek is £15. Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages offer a great range of accommodation that cater for families and couples alike.
Visit: breconcottages.com and breconbeacons.org

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