The great Diamond Jubilee getaway: Holiday bookings soar

The great Diamond Jubilee getaway: Holiday bookings soarStock photo, Hurghada, Egypt: PA


The miserable May weather is pushing holiday bookings abroad over the Queen's Diamond Jubilee weekend.

Brits fed up of the washout weather are looking to cheer themselves up on the first weekend of June with a trip to sunnier climes, according to Thomas Cook, who has seen a 27% increase in foreign holiday searches with popular alternative destinations including Tunisia and Egypt.

According to the Daily Mail, Gillian Edwards, from travel association ABTA, said: "We do seem to have seen this rise in demand.

"People have just been reminded over the last two weeks that you really can't rely on the British weather."

The rise in strength of the pound against the euro is also attracting British holidaymakers.

The pound is currently at its strongest against the euro for 22 months, meaning a trip to the Continent would be less expensive than last year.

In fact, the currency exchange rate is now 10 per cent higher than a year ago, which means a family changing £500 will have an extra £50 to spend.

A spokesman for foreign exchange company Travelex told Aol Travel: "It's good news for Britons buying currency ahead of a trip to the euro zone.

"Weeks of speculation over the future of the euro, Spain's economic crisis, and the political uncertainty in France and the Netherlands, have seen the value of the euro fall to a level not seen for years."

The pound is actually stronger than a number of foreign currencies, and the Post Office Travel Money recently revealed the cheapest holiday destinations for Brits in its annual report.

Bulgaria is the cheapest holiday destination for Brits, while holidaymakers can now get 14% more Turkish lira than last summer.

Discover some of the top beach hotspots for 2012 here:

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Europe's best beach destinations 2012
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The great Diamond Jubilee getaway: Holiday bookings soar

Corralejo,the largest of Fuerteventura's resorts, is a beach lover's dream. Town Beach is singled out by Tripadvisor reviewers as a perfect spot for families because of its calm waters, while breezier Flag Beach and Glass Beach are a 'paradise' for windsurfers and kitesurfers.

The largest resort on Gran Canaria was developed in the Sixties specifically as a tourist area and it's remained popular ever since. There's something for everyone, from families to honeymooners, nude sunbathers, to hippies... and it gets the thumbs up from all.

This is the fastest growing city in Turkey, not least because of its booming tourism industry. Tourists from around the world are drawn here for the fab beaches as well as the traditional Turkish culture. Konyaalti Beach is described as 'heaven on earth' by one reviewer. The only complaint seems to be that the sea is a "little bit salty". Hmm...

With 20 different beaches to choose from, Albufeira is praised as a "charming" holiday destination. The cliffs are magnificent, the outlook wonderful and Falesia Beach is singled out in particular: "straight out of a film" says one reviewer.

Yes, it's still up there as one of the favourites for Brits. The beaches surrounding this holiday mecca are bustling with activities including waterskiing and scuba diving. Levante Beach is praised for its cleanliness, while reviewers recommend Poniente Beach for a calmer alternative to the buzzing Benidorm atmosphere.

Seven miles of beach and its own warm microclimate make Bournemouth the UK's favourite beach destination, according to Tripadvisor reviewers, who praise it for its stunning cleanliness and "amazing views", although one complained that it was "too far away from the shops". 

With velvety white stretches of sand along five miles of gentle waters, Puerto Alcudia is the longest beach on the island. Reviewers say the gem of the beach at Aucanada is great for families, and one of the most beautiful parts of the resort, although it can get crowded: "Bring your own sunbed" says one. 

The lack of a booming nightclub scene is a huge plus for the travellers who've discovered this beach resort. Boat trips, great seafood cafes and "quiet and relaxing" atmosphere are among the reasons they return here, but one reviewer advises getting to the beach early in peak season in order to get a bed by the sea - and they recommend bartering for the price.

The waters surrounding the small village of Olu Deniz, including the famous Blue Lagoon, are a beautiful gradient of sapphire blue, and the beach is described by Tripadvisor reviewers as "simply stunning", with a spectacular setting. Reviewers say it gets overcrowded in peak season and can also be pricey: many recommend the local beaches nearer the town for more space.

Lanzarote's largest resort area offers some of the island's best beaches, with calm waters all year round. The coast is a succession of lovely sandy stretches interspersed with small rocky outcroppings, including the little cove of Pena Grande, with fine white sand.

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