Winter travel and beyond: that was the theme of The Independent’s latest virtual event, during which the travel desk attempted to answer as many readers’ questions as possible.
Travel editor Helen Coffey, travel correspondent Simon Calder and deputy travel editor Ben Parker spent an hour tackling queries ranging from the most affordable ski resorts (think those in Bulgaria and Andorra) to whether it’s safe to go ahead with a holiday in Egypt or Jordan amid the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza (in short: a resounding “yes”).
Broadcasting live from Independent TV’s studio for the free online session, the team gave their advice on whether travellers needed to worry about the proposed Etias system any time soon when visiting Europe – not until 2025 at the earliest – and which destinations they’d recommend for a winter city break reached by rail. Simon made some domestic suggestions, including Brighton, Liverpool and Newcastle; Ben plumped for Vienna; and Helen’s top spots were Belgian cities Bruges, Antwerp and Ghent using an “any Belgian station” Eurostar ticket, plus the Netherlands’ second city, Rotterdam.
Winter sun was also on the agenda, with several readers wanting to know where to find it without having to travel long-haul. “The Canary Islands are always a great option; I’m a big fan of Fuerteventura, it’s got some nice waves off the coast to go windsurfing or kite-surfing and it’s a small, easy-to-drive-around island,” said Ben, while Simon recommended La Palma as “absolutely gorgeous and probably the most complete small Canary Island”, and gave a shout-out to Madeira. Helen, who no longer flies because of the climate emergency, advised catching the train that travels on a ferry from southern Italy to Sicily.
Watch the entire Q&A event for free below.
Winter and beyond: Your travel questions answered
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