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Sunday Times Ultimate 100 Holidays1

A bumper weekend in the press

Villa features dominated the weekend press with great exposure for several clients and encouraging reports of busy phone lines.

Croatian Villa Holidays was featured in the Guardian’s 100 Beach Houses while the fabulous Villa Solaris from its sister programme, Montenegro Villa Holidays, appeared in the Times’ ‘50 Best Mediterranean Beach Villas’ feature and took centre stage on the front page of the paper’s Weekend section.   Croatian Villa Holidays’ Villa Mimosa also appeared in the Sunday Times’ Ultimate 100 Holidays for 2014.

Sicily villa specialist soloSicily also grabbed a slot in the Sunday Times: Ultimate 100 holidays round-up with the latest addition to its programme, Giada, a beachfront villa in the south east of the island.  soloSicily’s Apolline, another villa in the south east of the island, also appeared in the Guardian’s 100 Beach Houses.

Villa Blue Sapphire, Croatia

2014 holiday plans

A memorable swim in the bay of Bobovisce on Croatia’s Brac island last year was enough to convince me  – Croatia’s coastline needs exploring, bay by bay and island by island.  Several of the little fishing villages, hilltop towns and larger towns on the Istrian peninsula  feature high on the must-see list but that inviting almost translucent sea remains the no. 1 attraction.

Croatia specialists are popping up all over the place but one to watch is Croatian Villa Holidays with their huge range of villas and apartments and infinite knowledge of each property, beach, village and town. Read more here

Croatian Villa Holidays

Welcome to Croatian Villa Holidays

Great to be working with Croatian Villa Holidays who clearly know  just about everything there is to know about Croatia and its many islands.

Find out about the best food festival or the least discovered beach and choose from a collection of villas that ranges from a traditional stone rural house for two to an Istrian lighthouse and a jaw-dropping villa with its own tennis court, football pitch and wellness centre.  Expect to see a lot more of this company in the coming months …

Amaltea - garden leads down to sea

Montalbano’s Sicily

Hurray for the return this Saturday of the charismatic Inspector Montalbano – even if it’s in the form of a prequel to the main series as a young Montalbano is posted to a remote village in the Sicilian mountains before being promoted and transferred to Vigata.

Hard to say whether it’s the early morning swims, the almost tangible smell of coffee on that beachfront terrace or the steaming platters of  ’pasta alla norma’ that make you long to be there … but there are few better adverts for south east Sicily and the baroque towns of Ragusa, Modica and Scicli than this series. Read more here

soloSicily - Elisa, shady poolside pergolas

Hot off the press

JG Communications’ client soloSicily is offering an amazing 20% off selected villas right through July and August.  Elisa, a three-bedroom property with a pool, direct beach access and it’s own tiny church, caught the attention of the Sunday Times in this weekend’s last-minute Summer Holidays feature.

If you can’t get away until September, the good news is that Ryanair has launched a new flight, starting in mid-September, from Stansted to Comiso, the perfect starting point for anyone who wants to stay in or explore the fantastic baroque towns and white sandy beaches of south east Sicily.

Click here to read the Sunday Times information.

Lilla - view of Isola Bella from bedroom window

Spotlight on Sicily

Check out some of the most recent coverage for JG Communications’ client soloSicily.  A summer of discounts at the very gorgeous Perla Nera villa, just outside Catania, was featured on FamilyTraveller.com, the latest addition to the online family travel world and definitely one to watch.

Coverage also in The Independent for soloSicily’s lovely sea-facing Lilla and Viola apartments, a few steps from the beach in Taormina.

Stay at Amaltea with soloSicily

Top 10 Easter breaks

From bed to beach in less than three minutes … soloSicily’s Amaltea is a little cottage with a great big garden that leads straight on to a secluded beach – perfect for a Montalbano-style early morning swim followed by cappuccino and pastry in the shade of the garden’s towering palm trees.

Close to the baroque town of Modica which is famous for its extraordinary spicy chocolate and colourful Easter processions, and in one of Sicily’s southernmost areas, this is a great base for an Easter break.

See information on Amaltea and other ideas for Easter sunshine in the Sunday Mirror’s Top 10 Easter Breaks feature.

Marulivo Hotel, terrace

Picture postcard breakfasts

Some of Europe’s best budget hotels were included in the first part of a round-up in The Times’ travel section last weekend.  Part two to follow next week.

Amongst our favourites were the Palazzo Failla Hotel in Modica and client ExpertoItaly’s Hotel Marulivo, an eleven-room converted 13th century convent, clinging to the cliff edge in the medieval historic centre of Pisciotta in southern Italy’s Cilento Park.  Top marks for the hotel’s breakfast of fresh pastries and a cappuccino on the roof-top terrace (pictured).

Istanbul spice market

Top city breaks for street food

Sampling local food can be one of the best bits of any city break and grabbing a quick bite from a stall can be even more tempting (and certainly cheaper) than de-camping to a restaurant.  These are some of our top tips for authentic street food.

Istanbul … given the city’s geographical position, straddling two continents, it isn’t surprising that Istanbul ranks high when it comes to street food.  Start your day with ‘simit’, a ring-shaped bread topped with toasted sesame seeds, before progressing to a roasted corn on a cob and then munching your way through a fresh fish sandwich near the Galata Bridge in the Eminonu area.  Colourful arrangements of spices and Turkish delight invariably attract tourists to the Spice Market but wander slightly off the beaten track and you’ll stumble upon market stalls displaying freshly-caught fish and supersized local vegetables.

Read more here

Olympics by numbers.

Olympics by numbers …

The countdown’s well and truly here.  Forget those frustrating minutes and hours spent attempting to secure tickets, the number of times the wrong tickets were dispatched to you (yes, really) and the rather depressing stories about potentially sodden stadiums.

If you live in London, try to ignore the prospect of 20 million spectator journeys and focus instead on the dazzling figures of 10,500 Olympic athletes, 503 Paralympic medal events, 70,000 volunteers and a rather overwhelming 10 million litres of water in the Aquatics Centre.

Want to forget they’re even happening?  Get inspiration from AOL here.