Now that winter is almost behind us I would like to start planning some scuba diving trips for this year. I have already been to Egypt and wondered if you could suggest somewhere that isn’t too far away and has some good dive spots? Sean, via email
Europe’s diving scene is often overlooked in favour of the colourful wildlife of tropical waters, but there are a number of interesting and unusual dives in Europe.
Cyprus is a great place to go if you enjoy wreck dives. Heralded as one of the best wreck dives in Europe, the Zenobia is a sunken roll-on/ roll-off ferry, half a mile off the coast of Larnaca. A number of day trips operate for this dive and start from about £100. Dive Zenobia is a useful resource for information on the boat’s story (divezenobia.com).
If ancient history is more your cup of tea, there are a huge variety of dive sites around Greece (Santorini, Naxos and Chios to name a few), and there is chance for you to spot ancient artifacts on them all – just make sure you don’t touch any of them, as it’s prohibited.
Finally, for all-round great diving, Sardinia’s crystal clear waters are some of the best in Europe. The Secca del Papa dive is one of the most famous. On the north west coast of Sardinia, just off Tavolara Island, Secca del Papa is a bank of varying levels below the surface, which is home to octopus, moray eels and groupers that are happy to pose for photographs.
I’m looking at travelling to the Lake District with a small group of friends for the first May bank holiday. We’ve decided it’s easier to get the train and then hire a car once we’re there, instead of driving from London. However, it’s really hard to find information on where to get the train to and where to stay – any advice? We’re also thinking of climbing Scafell Pike. Emily Moran, via email
This is a sensible decision – bank holiday motorway traffic can be a nightmare. I’d recommend taking the train from Euston to Windermere (with one change in Lancaster, Preston or Oxenholme), which should take a little more than three hours and put you
in the heart of the Lake District.
If you choose to stay in Windermere you’ll be spoilt for choice, as there’s lots of accommodation in town. You might want to rent a cottage as there’s a group of you – the self-catering properties at Windermere Marina village start at £395 for four people, and include use of the Old England Leisure Club & Spa (wmv.co.uk). Or combine your travel and accommodation costs and rent one of the VW campervans from Rainbow Camper Hire (vwcamperhire.net). If you want to hire a car, you can pick up one in Windermere from Lakes Car Hire (lakeshire.co.uk).
Scafell Pike will be a great day out in May. Also consider heading to the Old Man of Coniston. It’s a steep uphill climb, but the
views are amazing once you reach the top.
Send your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. If your tip is published, you’ll win vouchers (worth up to £60) for entry into one of No.1 Traveller’s airport lounges at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted. (no1traveller.com)
Avoid scam cabs
If you are flying into Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City from overseas, always, always walk down to the domestic terminal (two minutes)
and get a Vinasun or Mai Linh cab instead of the scam cabs at the international terminal. You’ll save yourself £10 at least.
Duncan Forgan, via Facebook
How to spend coins
When travelling to a different country get rid of unwanted coins by stocking up on light items at the airport or train station. Choose things that won’t go off but you will always use, for example tissues, first-aid products and chewing gum. This prevents you from ending up with a heavy bag full of coins that can’t be exchanged, and means you always have supplies. Andrew Middlin, via email