Monarch Blog http://blog.monarch.co.uk Monarch Airlines Official Blog Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:28:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.2 Never thought of a villa holiday? Here’s why you should http://blog.monarch.co.uk/villa-holiday-experience/ http://blog.monarch.co.uk/villa-holiday-experience/#respond Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:10:26 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=16694 This year is flying by and as we move into sunnier days it becomes more of an incentive to look into summer holidays. It is common  that when you think of “villa” you imagine of a large price to match the large amount of space you get within the property but this is not always true… We have an excellent selection of villas at great prices in Mainland Spain, Portugal, Canary Islands and Turkey that are as low as £108pp!* Enjoy freedom & flexibility on your holiday. There’s no set timetables, you decide what to do and when. Whether you’re looking for a private and secluded retreat, stunning sea views, or simply to be close to the beaches or resort centre, we have the perfect villa for you! A villa holiday allows you to escape the tourist trail and get closer to local life and culture and to top it most of our villas have the ultimate luxury of their own private pool. Avoid the stress of specific check-ins, noisy rooms and spend quality time together in a home from home. These are our top picks for your perfect villa stay this summer! Algarve Villa Orchid &  Casa Do Campo Scenically beautiful, the Algarve is a beach-lovers paradise. But, the region’s charms don’t end there, delve deeper to discover rural hideaways, peaceful countryside, charming villages and lush green golf courses Menorca Villa Sol Blanc &  Villa Sa Taula Sun, sea and sand….spend lazy days on the beach or rocky inlets followed by laid-back dinners beside the twinkling waterfront, Menorca puts the spotlight on relaxation Costa del Sol Villa Angel & Villa Robus Holidays on the Costa aren’t just about fiestas, siestas and feasting on tapas! Whether you want lazy days on the sun-drenched sands or are seeking rustic Andalucianlife, you’ll fall in love with this beautiful coastline! Majorca Villa Tramuntana &  Villa Els Fiters Holidays in Majorca offer more than lazing on the beach and nights partying. Delve a little deeper and you’ll discover mountain villages, such as Deia and Valldemossa, enchanting olive groves and natural beauty Whichever villa you choose, you can be certain it will be well equipped, no matter whether you are on a villa package holiday or a villa only basis. Each of our villas offer all the comforts of home and will be freshly prepared for your arrival – all you need to do is relax and unwind. All of our villas include the following unless otherwise stated in the villa description. What they have to offer? Free WiFi/WiFi Access Many of our villas now include free WiFi or offer WiFi access at a charge, payable locally. Look for the symbol in the facilities box under the villa description. Private & Secluded These properties have a hideaway feel, perfect for unwinding. They may be tucked away in countryside, in a town or semi-rural, but they’re not overlooked in any shape or form. Sea Views These villas come with panoramic or partial views of the sea from their pool terrace, gardens or upper floors and balconies. It means you’ll have a stunning backdrop to your holiday.  Near the Resort Centre If you want to be near shops, restaurants and entertainment, these properties are for you. They’re within easy walking distance, just 500m or so, of a resort centre, so there’s plenty to do right on your doorstep. Near the Beach These villas are within 500m – approximately a five minute walk – of the nearest beach, whether it’s big and sandy or a tiny pebble cove. Neighbouring Villas Booking neighbouring villas is ideal if you fancy going away with relatives or friends but don’t want to live in each other’s pockets. Whether they’re next door, facing one another or sitting in the same terrace; we offer a great selection of neighbouring villas that let two families or groups of relatives and friends stay close by. Heated Pool Some of our villas feature the ultimate luxury, a heated swimming pool. It’s a bonus if you’re with young children who might not like cold water and means you can swim in comfort, even in spring or autumn. Additional charges may apply.  Ideal for Golf If you’re a keen golf player and fancy hitting the fairways during your time away, check out our ‘Ideal for Golf’ properties. They’re all close to a golf course or golfing facilities to make your holiday go with a swing. Our villas also include:^ • Private pool and sun loungers • Patio table, chairs and barbecue • Fully equipped kitchen including oven and hobs, fridge freezer, microwave, washing machine, kettle, toaster, crockery, glasses, utensils and tea towels • TV (usually with satellite) and DVD player • Bed linen, pillows and towels (but remember to take your own beach towels • Iron and ironing board Cleaning service – at least once per week • All water, gas and electricity charges Many of our villas also include: • Air-conditioning • Coffee machine • CD player • Free Wifi • Dishwasher   FInd out more about Monarch Villas and check out some of our latest offers! *Price was correct & avalible as of 24/03/17 ^ Subject to avalibilty

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This year is flying by and as we move into sunnier days it becomes more of an incentive to look into summer holidays. It is common  that when you think of “villa” you imagine of a large price to match the large amount of space you get within the property but this is not always true… We have an excellent selection of villas at great prices in Mainland Spain, Portugal, Canary Islands and Turkey that are as low as £108pp!*

Enjoy freedom & flexibility on your holiday. There’s no set timetables, you decide what to do and when. Whether you’re looking for a private and secluded retreat, stunning sea views, or simply to be close to the beaches or resort centre, we have the perfect villa for you! A villa holiday allows you to escape the tourist trail and get closer to local life and culture and to top it most of our villas have the ultimate luxury of their own private pool. Avoid the stress of specific check-ins, noisy rooms and spend quality time together in a home from home.


These are our top picks for your perfect villa stay this summer!

Algarve
Villa Orchid &  Casa Do Campo
Scenically beautiful, the Algarve is a beach-lovers paradise. But, the region’s charms don’t end there, delve deeper to discover rural hideaways, peaceful countryside, charming villages and lush green golf courses

Menorca
Villa Sol Blanc &  Villa Sa Taula
Sun, sea and sand….spend lazy days on the beach or rocky inlets followed by laid-back dinners beside the twinkling waterfront, Menorca puts the spotlight on relaxation

Costa del Sol
Villa Angel & Villa Robus
Holidays on the Costa aren’t just about fiestas, siestas and feasting on tapas! Whether you want lazy days on the sun-drenched sands or are seeking rustic Andalucianlife, you’ll fall in love with this beautiful coastline!

Majorca
Villa Tramuntana &
  Villa Els Fiters
Holidays in Majorca offer more than lazing on the beach and nights partying. Delve a little deeper and you’ll discover mountain villages, such as Deia and Valldemossa, enchanting olive groves and natural beauty

Whichever villa you choose, you can be certain it will be well equipped, no matter whether you are on a villa package holiday or a villa only basis. Each of our villas offer all the comforts of home and will be freshly prepared for your arrival – all you need to do is relax and unwind. All of our villas include the following unless otherwise stated in the villa description.

What they have to offer?

Free WiFi/WiFi Access Many of our villas now include free WiFi or offer WiFi access at a charge, payable locally. Look for the symbol in the facilities box under the villa description.

Private & Secluded
These properties have a hideaway feel, perfect for unwinding. They may be tucked away in countryside, in a town or semi-rural, but they’re not overlooked in any shape or form.

Sea Views
These villas come with panoramic or partial views of the sea from their pool terrace, gardens or upper floors and balconies. It means you’ll have a stunning backdrop to your holiday.

 Near the Resort Centre
If you want to be near shops, restaurants and entertainment, these properties are for you. They’re within easy walking distance, just 500m or so, of a resort centre, so there’s plenty to do right on your doorstep.

Near the Beach
These villas are within 500m – approximately a five minute walk – of the nearest beach, whether it’s big and sandy or a tiny pebble cove.

Neighbouring Villas
Booking neighbouring villas is ideal if you fancy going away with relatives or friends but don’t want to live in each other’s pockets. Whether they’re next door, facing one another or sitting in the same terrace; we offer a great selection of neighbouring villas that let two families or groups of relatives and friends stay close by.

Heated Pool
Some of our villas feature the ultimate luxury, a heated swimming pool. It’s a bonus if you’re with young children who might not like cold water and means you can swim in comfort, even in spring or autumn. Additional charges may apply.

 Ideal for Golf
If you’re a keen golf player and fancy hitting the fairways during your time away, check out our ‘Ideal for Golf’ properties. They’re all close to a golf course or golfing facilities to make your holiday go with a swing.


Our villas also include:^

• Private pool and sun loungers
• Patio table, chairs and barbecue
• Fully equipped kitchen including oven and hobs, fridge freezer, microwave, washing machine, kettle, toaster, crockery, glasses, utensils and tea towels
• TV (usually with satellite) and DVD player
• Bed linen, pillows and towels (but remember to take your own beach towels
• Iron and ironing board
Cleaning service – at least once per week
• All water, gas and electricity charges
Many of our villas also include:
• Air-conditioning
• Coffee machine
• CD player
• Free Wifi
• Dishwasher

 

FInd out more about Monarch Villas and check out some of our latest offers!

*Price was correct & avalible as of 24/03/17
^ Subject to avalibilty

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A different side to the Canary Islands http://blog.monarch.co.uk/a-different-side-to-the-canary-islands/ http://blog.monarch.co.uk/a-different-side-to-the-canary-islands/#respond Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:50:41 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=16631 The Canary Islands have been a favoured holiday destination for Brits for many years now and it’s easy to see why. Year-round sunshine, outstanding hospitality and gorgeous beaches are just some of the reasons why UK travellers return to the stunning islands year-after-year. However, there’s much more to Tenerife, Lanzarote & Gran Canaria  than these well-known attractions. Here are just some of the fantastic alternatives available for holidaymakers: Swap sunbathing for stargazing in Tenerife However, there is no harm in mixing things up a little and trying out stargazing instead for a night or two.  Explore one of the best places in the world to experience star gazing. For the best views visit Las Cañadas del Teide where you can be amazed by the lunar and astronomical observations. It’s always great to go on holiday to relax but to experience a once in a life time opportunity just makes your time away that much more special and memorable! As a stunning landscape full of craters and volcanoes, the area is a favourite of many holidaymakers. Ramblers can enjoy wonderful trails, whereas those who want a more relaxing day can marvel at their breathtaking environment, take in the quaint atmosphere and snap some photos for friends and family back home. For those looking to explore more unheard of attractions in Tenerife why not explore Masca? The picturesque mountains look as if you have travelled to the Southern Asia region oposed to sunny Spain! Dive into the underwater museum of Lanzarote rather than the hotel pool A day by the pool is the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of British life, but there is much more to do in Lanzarote than simply chilling out at the hotel. Dive into Europes first underwater museum world called Museo Atlantico which showcases a thought-provoking ocean installation of over 300 life size human figures. You can experience this just off the south coast of Lanzarote, in the Bahía de Las Coloradas and is around 12-14 feet underwater and costs around £8pp. The  British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor uses mirrors within the statues to encourage octopus, fish and sea urchins to float around -making your time underwater even more exiciting!  The installation is much more than just great craftmanship as each piece represents changes in our oceans, social attitudes and climate change. See for yourself sculpted refugees, couples taking selfies and rows of statues representing residents of Lanzarote and beyond. For those who want to stay above sea level, you should definatly look into visiting Timanfaya National Park. The colouful warm tones of the ombre sands decorate the volcano and mountains, making every step more enjoyable and photo worthy!   Walk amongst the clouds rather than across the sands in Gran Canaria Gran Canaria boasts a marvellous selection of pubs that are perfect for a few hours of relaxation, serving up delightful drinks and a great atmosphere. Instead of seeing the world through a screen experience it for yourself and take in Gran Canarias nature. Have a break from technology and clear your mind with amazing hikes around the Pico de las Nieves, the islands highest mountain. Walking towards it you witness dramatic backdrops and the mountain peaks above the clouds making you feel like you are on top of the world! If you are not a fan of heights we recommend taking a wander around Tamadaba National Park and trek through volcanic craters near Las Palmas.    

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The Canary Islands have been a favoured holiday destination for Brits for many years now and it’s easy to see why.

Year-round sunshine, outstanding hospitality and gorgeous beaches are just some of the reasons why UK travellers return to the stunning islands year-after-year. However, there’s much more to Tenerife, Lanzarote & Gran Canaria  than these well-known attractions.

Here are just some of the fantastic alternatives available for holidaymakers:

Swap sunbathing for stargazing in Tenerife

However, there is no harm in mixing things up a little and trying out stargazing instead for a night or two.  Explore one of the best places in the world to experience star gazing. For the best views visit Las Cañadas del Teide where you can be amazed by the lunar and astronomical observations. It’s always great to go on holiday to relax but to experience a once in a life time opportunity just makes your time away that much more special and memorable!

As a stunning landscape full of craters and volcanoes, the area is a favourite of many holidaymakers. Ramblers can enjoy wonderful trails, whereas those who want a more relaxing day can marvel at their breathtaking environment, take in the quaint atmosphere and snap some photos for friends and family back home.

For those looking to explore more unheard of attractions in Tenerife why not explore Masca? The picturesque mountains look as if you have travelled to the Southern Asia region oposed to sunny Spain!

Scenic view of Masca, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Dive into the underwater museum of Lanzarote rather than the hotel pool

A day by the pool is the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of British life, but there is much more to do in Lanzarote than simply chilling out at the hotel.

Dive into Europes first underwater museum world called Museo Atlantico which showcases a thought-provoking ocean installation of over 300 life size human figures. You can experience this just off the south coast of Lanzarote, in the Bahía de Las Coloradas and is around 12-14 feet underwater and costs around £8pp.

The  British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor uses mirrors within the statues to encourage octopus, fish and sea urchins to float around -making your time underwater even more exiciting!  The installation is much more than just great craftmanship as each piece represents changes in our oceans, social attitudes and climate change. See for yourself sculpted refugees, couples taking selfies and rows of statues representing residents of Lanzarote and beyond.

For those who want to stay above sea level, you should definatly look into visiting Timanfaya National Park. The colouful warm tones of the ombre sands decorate the volcano and mountains, making every step more enjoyable and photo worthy!

 

Walk amongst the clouds rather than across the sands in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria boasts a marvellous selection of pubs that are perfect for a few hours of relaxation, serving up delightful drinks and a great atmosphere.

Instead of seeing the world through a screen experience it for yourself and take in Gran Canarias nature. Have a break from technology and clear your mind with amazing hikes around the Pico de las Nieves, the islands highest mountain. Walking towards it you witness dramatic backdrops and the mountain peaks above the clouds making you feel like you are on top of the world! If you are not a fan of heights we recommend taking a wander around Tamadaba National Park and trek through volcanic craters near Las Palmas.

 

 

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Monarch launches new holidays to Valencia and Split for summer 2017 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/monarch-launches-new-holidays-valencia-split-summer-2017/ Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:31:09 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=16707 (Luton, UK – 24 March, 2017) Monarch has launched new city break holidays to Valencia with two night breaks starting at just £135 per person and new beach holidays to Split, Croatia with seven night holidays starting from £285 per person for summer 2017. Bookings require a deposit of just £59 per person. Flights and holidays to Valencia from Birmingham Airport start on 22nd June and three days later to Split on 25th June. Croatia has been growing in popularity as a summer destination and for summer 2017 Split becomes the third Croatian destination to join the Monarch network. As the only airline flying direct to Split, summer flights operate from Birmingham Airport on a Tuesday and Sunday. A seven night stay at the three star Dalmacija Hotel on a bed & breakfast basis departing on 16 July 2017 starts at £515 per person A seven night stay at the three star Bluesun Borak Park Hotel on a bed & breakfast basis departing on 19 September 2017 starts at £285 per person A five night stay at the three star Bluesun Marina Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis departing on 26 September 2017 starts at £249 per person Valencia is the tenth Spanish destination Monarch offers from Birmingham this summer. Spain’s third largest city is an exciting destination and Monarch will be the only airline flying from Birmingham with flights operating on Thursdays and Saturdays. A two night stay at the four star Sorolla Palace Hotel on a bed & breakfast basis departing on 22 June 2017 starts at £135 per person A five night stay at the three star Illunion Valencia 3 on a bed & breakfast basis departing on 8 July 2017 starts at £225 per person A two night stay at the three star Illunion Aqua 3 on a bed and breakfast basis departing on 14 September 2017 starts at £175 per person Gary Anslow, Sales Director at Monarch said: “In addition to the new flights launching in June, we are delighted to be able to offer our customers a choice of city breaks to Valencia and beach holidays to Split. “Monarch is the only airline to fly directly to Split and Valencia this summer from Birmingham. Customers now have an even greater choice of holidays with Monarch for summer 2017”. Return flights to Valencia with Monarch start at £91 and £95 return for Split flights for summer 2017 (including taxes and charges). For more information or to book please visit http://www.monarch.co.uk

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(Luton, UK – 24 March, 2017) Monarch has launched new city break holidays to Valencia with two night breaks starting at just £135 per person and new beach holidays to Split, Croatia with seven night holidays starting from £285 per person for summer 2017. Bookings require a deposit of just £59 per person. Flights and holidays to Valencia from Birmingham Airport start on 22nd June and three days later to Split on 25th June.

Croatia has been growing in popularity as a summer destination and for summer 2017 Split becomes the third Croatian destination to join the Monarch network. As the only airline flying direct to Split, summer flights operate from Birmingham Airport on a Tuesday and Sunday.

  • A seven night stay at the three star Dalmacija Hotel on a bed & breakfast basis departing on 16 July 2017 starts at £515 per person
  • A seven night stay at the three star Bluesun Borak Park Hotel on a bed & breakfast basis departing on 19 September 2017 starts at £285 per person
  • A five night stay at the three star Bluesun Marina Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis departing on 26 September 2017 starts at £249 per person

Valencia is the tenth Spanish destination Monarch offers from Birmingham this summer. Spain’s third largest city is an exciting destination and Monarch will be the only airline flying from Birmingham with flights operating on Thursdays and Saturdays.

  • A two night stay at the four star Sorolla Palace Hotel on a bed & breakfast basis departing on 22 June 2017 starts at £135 per person
  • A five night stay at the three star Illunion Valencia 3 on a bed & breakfast basis departing on 8 July 2017 starts at £225 per person
  • A two night stay at the three star Illunion Aqua 3 on a bed and breakfast basis departing on 14 September 2017 starts at £175 per person

Gary Anslow, Sales Director at Monarch said: “In addition to the new flights launching in June, we are delighted to be able to offer our customers a choice of city breaks to Valencia and beach holidays to Split.

“Monarch is the only airline to fly directly to Split and Valencia this summer from Birmingham. Customers now have an even greater choice of holidays with Monarch for summer 2017”.

Return flights to Valencia with Monarch start at £91 and £95 return for Split flights for summer 2017 (including taxes and charges).

For more information or to book please visit http://www.monarch.co.uk

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Monarch pilots scale new heights http://blog.monarch.co.uk/monarch-pilots-scale-new-heights/ Wed, 22 Mar 2017 14:56:14 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=16696 (Luton, UK – 22 March 2017) – Two Monarch pilots are swapping their views from the cockpit to climb two of the world’s highest mountains and raise money for Monarch Foundation charity partners Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Just a Drop. Manchester based Senior First Officer David Hamlet recently returned from a 77km trek to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. The trip to Tanzania lasted ten days and helped David raise nearly £3,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. David juggled a gruelling training schedule around his pilot duties while preparing for the challenge of a lifetime. The trek followed the Ronagi route where David and the rest of the group experienced spectacular views of the peak and the magnificent ice fields. Thanks to great teamwork and determination, all 20 members of the team attempting the climb reached the summit at the same time, in itself a difficult feat. David said: “I found the 19,500ft climb to the Uhuru Peak both mentally and physically challenging. People who know me understand how far out of my comfort zone this is but I was spurred on by knowing that every single step I took helped to change the lives of the children being treated at GOSH. “The trip was amazing and by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I met some amazing people and raised a decent sum of money for a great cause. Thanks to everyone for all their support. If it wasn’t for all the support I have received I probably wouldn’t have made it to the top.” The mountain climbing theme continues with Monarch Captain Paul Fox setting out in April to climb Everest, the most famous of the world’s mountain summits. Paul was on Everest in 2015 when the earthquakes hit Nepal and the mountain was closed, cutting short his trip. Nearly two years on Paul and the same team will be attempting their challenge for a second time. The team meet in Kathmandu, Nepal on 8th April to begin their climb. Paul will be raising money for Monarch Foundation charity partner, Just a Drop, an international water aid charity which provides clean, safe water to some of the poorest communities in over 30 countries worldwide. Pauline Prow, Chair of The Monarch Foundation, said: “We are immensely proud of both David and Paul for taking on such difficult challenges and for raising an incredible amount of money for our charity partners. “Monarch employees are continually finding new ways of fundraising and climbing the world’s tallest mountains definitely reaches new heights!  I would like to thank them for their support, which really makes a difference to the charities we work with.”  

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(Luton, UK – 22 March 2017) – Two Monarch pilots are swapping their views from the cockpit to climb two of the world’s highest mountains and raise money for Monarch Foundation charity partners Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Just a Drop.

Manchester based Senior First Officer David Hamlet recently returned from a 77km trek to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. The trip to Tanzania lasted ten days and helped David raise nearly £3,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

David juggled a gruelling training schedule around his pilot duties while preparing for the challenge of a lifetime. The trek followed the Ronagi route where David and the rest of the group experienced spectacular views of the peak and the magnificent ice fields. Thanks to great teamwork and determination, all 20 members of the team attempting the climb reached the summit at the same time, in itself a difficult feat. David said: “I found the 19,500ft climb to the Uhuru Peak both mentally and physically challenging. People who know me understand how far out of my comfort zone this is but I was spurred on by knowing that every single step I took helped to change the lives of the children being treated at GOSH.

“The trip was amazing and by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I met some amazing people and raised a decent sum of money for a great cause. Thanks to everyone for all their support. If it wasn’t for all the support I have received I probably wouldn’t have made it to the top.”

The mountain climbing theme continues with Monarch Captain Paul Fox setting out in April to climb Everest, the most famous of the world’s mountain summits. Paul was on Everest in 2015 when the earthquakes hit Nepal and the mountain was closed, cutting short his trip. Nearly two years on Paul and the same team will be attempting their challenge for a second time. The team meet in Kathmandu, Nepal on 8th April to begin their climb. Paul will be raising money for Monarch Foundation charity partner, Just a Drop, an international water aid charity which provides clean, safe water to some of the poorest communities in over 30 countries worldwide.

Pauline Prow, Chair of The Monarch Foundation, said: We are immensely proud of both David and Paul for taking on such difficult challenges and for raising an incredible amount of money for our charity partners.

“Monarch employees are continually finding new ways of fundraising and climbing the world’s tallest mountains definitely reaches new heights!  I would like to thank them for their support, which really makes a difference to the charities we work with.”

 

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New security measures for flights from Turkey to the UK http://blog.monarch.co.uk/uk-security-measures/ Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:30:16 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=16690 (Luton, UK – 21 March 2017) The UK government has introduced new security measures affecting all flights from Turkey to the UK.  Electronic items including laptops, iPads, tablets and e-readers will need to be packed into hold luggage and checked in.  To help our customers who are affected, Monarch will increase the paid for hold luggage allowance by 3kgs free of charge to allow for the additional weight of electrical items. The maximum size allowed in the aircraft cabin is Length: 16.0cm, Width: 9.3cm, Depth: 1.5cm.  Therefore, most mobile and smart phones will be allowed into the cabin. Monarch has summer services from Antalya and Dalaman; with the first affected flight from Antalya on 29 April.   We will do all we can to remind our customers about this new travel rule in our pre-departure emails and on our website and blog and will work with our partners and all parties between now and 29 April to ensure the introduction of the new measures is as smooth and secure as possible. Because of this, we’re sorry that online check in will not be available on flights from Turkey to the UK.  Check in will be at the airport only. Flights from the UK to Turkey are not subject to the same restrictions. The overall advice from the FCO regarding travel to Turkey is unchanged and the country remains a popular holiday destination. For further information: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/additional-airline-security-measures-on-some-routes-travelling-to-the-uk https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/turkey  

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(Luton, UK – 21 March 2017) The UK government has introduced new security measures affecting all flights from Turkey to the UK.  Electronic items including laptops, iPads, tablets and e-readers will need to be packed into hold luggage and checked in.  To help our customers who are affected, Monarch will increase the paid for hold luggage allowance by 3kgs free of charge to allow for the additional weight of electrical items.

The maximum size allowed in the aircraft cabin is Length: 16.0cm, Width: 9.3cm, Depth: 1.5cm.  Therefore, most mobile and smart phones will be allowed into the cabin.

Monarch has summer services from Antalya and Dalaman; with the first affected flight from Antalya on 29 April.   We will do all we can to remind our customers about this new travel rule in our pre-departure emails and on our website and blog and will work with our partners and all parties between now and 29 April to ensure the introduction of the new measures is as smooth and secure as possible. Because of this, we’re sorry that online check in will not be available on flights from Turkey to the UK.  Check in will be at the airport only.

Flights from the UK to Turkey are not subject to the same restrictions.

The overall advice from the FCO regarding travel to Turkey is unchanged and the country remains a popular holiday destination.

For further information:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/additional-airline-security-measures-on-some-routes-travelling-to-the-uk

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/turkey

 

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Visit versatile Valencia this summer http://blog.monarch.co.uk/discover-the-many-sides-of-valencia/ http://blog.monarch.co.uk/discover-the-many-sides-of-valencia/#comments Fri, 17 Mar 2017 09:51:16 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=16644 Often overlooked in favour of Barcelona or Madrid, Valencia is the Spanish city break destination that is just waiting to be discovered. This port city on the Mediterranean has a fantastic mix of history, forward-thinking architecture, food heritage, child-friendly activities and a real sense of fun. Read on to find out how you could be spending your time if you book flights to Valencia. Historic Valencia Valencia dates back over 2,000 years and has seen the Romans, Visigoths, Muslims and Arabs all exert their influence over the city. The Old Town is awash with historic architecture and everything from gothic to baroque styles are represented. It’s easily navigable on foot and worth spending some time exploring, as you’ll get a deep sense of the evolution of Valencia over time. The Quart and Serrano towers are two parts of the city’s defences that still stand to this day. Well-preserved, their crenulations bely their importance and you can climb to the top, where the flags of the nation and the city fly, for uninterrupted views across the rooftops. Trade has always been important to Valencia and there are a number of buildings that attest to this. Most notably is the Silk Exchange, which has been recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site. Its gothic façade is complete with statues and intricately carved gargoyles. Valencian life has long centred around the Central Market and that continues to this day. Not only is it worth checking out the pre-modernista style of the building, but the produce on sale shows the abundance that the area surrounding Valencia is known for. A weather vane in the shape of a fish atop the central dome hints at the activity that goes on inside. The Colon Market, on the other hand, has changed its uses over the years, but still provides sustenance to the people of Valencia. It is home to a wide selection of restaurants and cafes, making it a great lunch spot. You can expect to enjoy a decent meal in Valencia for between €8 and €10 (£7 – £8.75). All around the Cathedral Quarter there are interesting things to see, not least the Water Court, which convenes at noon every Thursday. This UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage practice is held at the Door of the Apostles in Plaza de la Virgin, just as it has been for more than a thousand years. Conducted in the Valencian language, it can be difficult to follow, but the rulings are all to do with the irrigation channels that provide the all-important water to the Huerta – the fields around Valencia used for growing crops. Eight farmers are elected to the Water Court every two years and they wear the traditional black robes of the Huerta. The wooden and leather seats they sit on date back to the 17th century. Despite the decisions and rulings being made affecting the working lives of modern farmers, the process is deeply rooted in history and tradition. Futuristic Valencia When it comes to state-of-the-art architecture, it doesn’t get much better than the City of Arts and Sciences. This stunning culture and entertainment complex is located close to Valencia’s marina and can be reached from the Old Town by walking through the Turia Riverbed Gardens, which were created in 1957, when the waterway was rerouted. It makes for a pleasant 40-minute walk, complete with interesting planting and shady trees, as well as various bridges and children’s parks to discover along the way. Alternatively, you can catch bus number 95, which leaves from Valencia’s bus station and goes all the way to the City of Arts and Sciences. Construction of the City of Arts and Sciences started in 1996 and it was designed by Valencian native Santiago Calatrava. While there are various different spaces located within the buildings, the complex is made up of six main structures: Valencia Opera House; Hemisferic; Prince Felipe Museum of Science; Oceanografic; and Agora. As well as wandering among the buildings and admiring their forms, as well as the peaceful setting, complete with turquoise pools, there are many attractions to enjoy inside, as well as a constantly changing calendar of events. Whether you are keen to experience the laserium, planetarium and IMAX cinema; marvel at 500 species of marine life across nine underwater towers; or see a musical or theatrical performance, there is something to suit all tastes. Foodie Valencia If you were in any doubt about the foodie credentials of Valencia, then just remember that this is the place that gave us paella. It is therefore an absolute necessity to try the famous rice dish while visiting the city and you’ll find there are plenty of options when it comes to paella restaurants. The most important thing to remember is that the dish cannot be rushed. Either order your meal in advance – even a couple of days – or sit and enjoy a few smaller dishes and some good conversation while you wait. A traditional paella will be served in its huge flat pan and shared among several people. It should have that distinctive vibrant yellow colour and a consistency that varies between the rice, the sauce and the various ingredients that somehow all still work together. It is up to you what seafood or meat you opt for in your paella, as most restaurants have an exhaustive menu. One thing is for sure though, you’ll be fighting over the part that the locals call socarrat. This is the few grains of rice that have become stuck to the pan and become crispy. It is widely considered the best part of the paella. For a dish with proven heritage, head to La Pepica near Malvarosa Beach, as it celebrated its centenary in 2008. Having more than 100 years of practice certainly makes for great food and it is said that Ernest Hemingway frequently dined at La Pepica. Having started out as a beachside shack, it has expanded to a fully-fledged restaurant, with both indoor and outdoor seating. It’s still difficult to get a table at the weekend, however, so be sure to book in advance. Alternatively, dine at Raco del Turia on Carrer de Ciscar, which is located on a street a short detour from the Turia Riverbed Gardens. It’s a great place to stop off for lunch if you’ve decided to take a walk from the Old Town to the City of Arts and Sciences via this wonderful park. Raco del Turia has been serving up traditional Valencian food since 1991, including several delicious varieties of paella. It’s not just paella that Valencia is famous for, but a drink called horchata that also has a strong history in the city. This sweet, milky beverage, made from tiger nuts, is the perfect pick-me-up in the hot Valencia sunshine and is served all over the place from little carts to restaurants, but Horchateria Santa Catalina in the Old Town has been in business for over a century. As well as the delicious, thirst-quenching drink, be sure to add a curiously named farton to accompany it. These delicious baked pastries are incredibly light and come in the perfect shape for dipping into your horchata. Despite having your taste buds overwhelmed by such delights, take some time to study your surroundings, as the interior of Horchateria Santa Catalina is stunning, complete with intricate tiles and polished woodwork. Fun-loving Valencia Among the things that Valencia is famous for is its festivals, with a packed calendar throughout the year. There’s one such event, however, that has really caught everyone’s imagination and draws thousands of people from across the world to experience it and that’s La Tomatina. Described as the world’s biggest food fight, it’s something everyone should tick off their bucket list at least once in their lives. Dating back to 1945 and having begun with a few people throwing tomatoes at each other in the town square in Buñol, it has grown to include 40,000 people and some 150,000 tomatoes. Buñol is just a 40-minute drive from the city of Valencia and is well worth visiting if you plan your trip to coincide with August 30th. In recent years, La Tomatina has become a ticketed event to help control numbers, so be sure to get yours in advance. As well as the tomato-throwing action, which lasts for an hour and begins and ends with water cannons being fired, there are several other elements to the festivities. These include attempts at getting a Spanish ham from the top of a greased-up that stretches as high as a two-storey building in the middle of the town square. Arrive early to see if teamwork can prevail and the ham be won. If you are attending La Tomatina, wear clothes you don’t mind getting irreversibly red, enclosed shoes and take a little amount of money and very few valuables with you. The kindly locals will hose you down after the food fight, but your t-shirt will probably never be the same again. Child-friendly Valencia While there are innumerable attractions in Valencia that appeal to adults, it’s safe to say that younger travellers have not been neglected either. For example, as you wander through the Turia Riverbed Gardens, you’ll come across the huge figure of Gulliver sprawled on the ground. This huge representation of the fictional character is kitted out with hidden steps, ropes, ladders and slides, making it an invitation to be climbed all over. From the nearby Guardian Angel Bridge, which crosses the park, you get a fantastic view of Gulliver from above. Valencia is also home to many other places that will really appeal to the kids, such as Bioparc, with its gorillas, tigers and crocodiles; and Oceanografic, the biggest aquarium in the world. The tourist board for the city has also put together The Valencia Children’s Route, that take in 26 stops that will be of interest to the younger ones in your party. Follow the map on foot, bicycle or by public transport and discover everything from the Snow White Park to the El Marionetari puppet theatre. Sunny Valencia Monarch flies to Valencia from July to October, making the most of the best weather in Spain at this time of year. The hottest month is August, when temperatures reach an average of 25 degrees C and rainfall is minimal. It’s a great for sun worshippers and the perfect time to take a dip in the sea. The months on either side of August are a little cooler and by October there tends to be more rainfall.

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Often overlooked in favour of Barcelona or Madrid, Valencia is the Spanish city break destination that is just waiting to be discovered. This port city on the Mediterranean has a fantastic mix of history, forward-thinking architecture, food heritage, child-friendly activities and a real sense of fun. Read on to find out how you could be spending your time if you book flights to Valencia.

Historic Valencia

Valencia dates back over 2,000 years and has seen the Romans, Visigoths, Muslims and Arabs all exert their influence over the city. The Old Town is awash with historic architecture and everything from gothic to baroque styles are represented. It’s easily navigable on foot and worth spending some time exploring, as you’ll get a deep sense of the evolution of Valencia over time.

The Quart and Serrano towers are two parts of the city’s defences that still stand to this day. Well-preserved, their crenulations bely their importance and you can climb to the top, where the flags of the nation and the city fly, for uninterrupted views across the rooftops.

Trade has always been important to Valencia and there are a number of buildings that attest to this. Most notably is the Silk Exchange, which has been recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site. Its gothic façade is complete with statues and intricately carved gargoyles.

Valencian life has long centred around the Central Market and that continues to this day. Not only is it worth checking out the pre-modernista style of the building, but the produce on sale shows the abundance that the area surrounding Valencia is known for. A weather vane in the shape of a fish atop the central dome hints at the activity that goes on inside.

The Colon Market, on the other hand, has changed its uses over the years, but still provides sustenance to the people of Valencia. It is home to a wide selection of restaurants and cafes, making it a great lunch spot. You can expect to enjoy a decent meal in Valencia for between €8 and €10 (£7 – £8.75).

All around the Cathedral Quarter there are interesting things to see, not least the Water Court, which convenes at noon every Thursday. This UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage practice is held at the Door of the Apostles in Plaza de la Virgin, just as it has been for more than a thousand years. Conducted in the Valencian language, it can be difficult to follow, but the rulings are all to do with the irrigation channels that provide the all-important water to the Huerta – the fields around Valencia used for growing crops.

Eight farmers are elected to the Water Court every two years and they wear the traditional black robes of the Huerta. The wooden and leather seats they sit on date back to the 17th century. Despite the decisions and rulings being made affecting the working lives of modern farmers, the process is deeply rooted in history and tradition.

Futuristic Valencia

When it comes to state-of-the-art architecture, it doesn’t get much better than the City of Arts and Sciences. This stunning culture and entertainment complex is located close to Valencia’s marina and can be reached from the Old Town by walking through the Turia Riverbed Gardens, which were created in 1957, when the waterway was rerouted. It makes for a pleasant 40-minute walk, complete with interesting planting and shady trees, as well as various bridges and children’s parks to discover along the way. Alternatively, you can catch bus number 95, which leaves from Valencia’s bus station and goes all the way to the City of Arts and Sciences.

Construction of the City of Arts and Sciences started in 1996 and it was designed by Valencian native Santiago Calatrava. While there are various different spaces located within the buildings, the complex is made up of six main structures: Valencia Opera House; Hemisferic; Prince Felipe Museum of Science; Oceanografic; and Agora.

As well as wandering among the buildings and admiring their forms, as well as the peaceful setting, complete with turquoise pools, there are many attractions to enjoy inside, as well as a constantly changing calendar of events. Whether you are keen to experience the laserium, planetarium and IMAX cinema; marvel at 500 species of marine life across nine underwater towers; or see a musical or theatrical performance, there is something to suit all tastes.

Foodie Valencia

If you were in any doubt about the foodie credentials of Valencia, then just remember that this is the place that gave us paella. It is therefore an absolute necessity to try the famous rice dish while visiting the city and you’ll find there are plenty of options when it comes to paella restaurants. The most important thing to remember is that the dish cannot be rushed. Either order your meal in advance – even a couple of days – or sit and enjoy a few smaller dishes and some good conversation while you wait.

A traditional paella will be served in its huge flat pan and shared among several people. It should have that distinctive vibrant yellow colour and a consistency that varies between the rice, the sauce and the various ingredients that somehow all still work together. It is up to you what seafood or meat you opt for in your paella, as most restaurants have an exhaustive menu. One thing is for sure though, you’ll be fighting over the part that the locals call socarrat. This is the few grains of rice that have become stuck to the pan and become crispy. It is widely considered the best part of the paella.

For a dish with proven heritage, head to La Pepica near Malvarosa Beach, as it celebrated its centenary in 2008. Having more than 100 years of practice certainly makes for great food and it is said that Ernest Hemingway frequently dined at La Pepica. Having started out as a beachside shack, it has expanded to a fully-fledged restaurant, with both indoor and outdoor seating. It’s still difficult to get a table at the weekend, however, so be sure to book in advance.

Alternatively, dine at Raco del Turia on Carrer de Ciscar, which is located on a street a short detour from the Turia Riverbed Gardens. It’s a great place to stop off for lunch if you’ve decided to take a walk from the Old Town to the City of Arts and Sciences via this wonderful park. Raco del Turia has been serving up traditional Valencian food since 1991, including several delicious varieties of paella.

It’s not just paella that Valencia is famous for, but a drink called horchata that also has a strong history in the city. This sweet, milky beverage, made from tiger nuts, is the perfect pick-me-up in the hot Valencia sunshine and is served all over the place from little carts to restaurants, but Horchateria Santa Catalina in the Old Town has been in business for over a century.

As well as the delicious, thirst-quenching drink, be sure to add a curiously named farton to accompany it. These delicious baked pastries are incredibly light and come in the perfect shape for dipping into your horchata. Despite having your taste buds overwhelmed by such delights, take some time to study your surroundings, as the interior of Horchateria Santa Catalina is stunning, complete with intricate tiles and polished woodwork.

Fun-loving Valencia

Among the things that Valencia is famous for is its festivals, with a packed calendar throughout the year. There’s one such event, however, that has really caught everyone’s imagination and draws thousands of people from across the world to experience it and that’s La Tomatina. Described as the world’s biggest food fight, it’s something everyone should tick off their bucket list at least once in their lives.

Dating back to 1945 and having begun with a few people throwing tomatoes at each other in the town square in Buñol, it has grown to include 40,000 people and some 150,000 tomatoes. Buñol is just a 40-minute drive from the city of Valencia and is well worth visiting if you plan your trip to coincide with August 30th. In recent years, La Tomatina has become a ticketed event to help control numbers, so be sure to get yours in advance.

As well as the tomato-throwing action, which lasts for an hour and begins and ends with water cannons being fired, there are several other elements to the festivities. These include attempts at getting a Spanish ham from the top of a greased-up that stretches as high as a two-storey building in the middle of the town square. Arrive early to see if teamwork can prevail and the ham be won.

If you are attending La Tomatina, wear clothes you don’t mind getting irreversibly red, enclosed shoes and take a little amount of money and very few valuables with you. The kindly locals will hose you down after the food fight, but your t-shirt will probably never be the same again.

Child-friendly Valencia

While there are innumerable attractions in Valencia that appeal to adults, it’s safe to say that younger travellers have not been neglected either. For example, as you wander through the Turia Riverbed Gardens, you’ll come across the huge figure of Gulliver sprawled on the ground. This huge representation of the fictional character is kitted out with hidden steps, ropes, ladders and slides, making it an invitation to be climbed all over. From the nearby Guardian Angel Bridge, which crosses the park, you get a fantastic view of Gulliver from above.

Valencia is also home to many other places that will really appeal to the kids, such as Bioparc, with its gorillas, tigers and crocodiles; and Oceanografic, the biggest aquarium in the world. The tourist board for the city has also put together The Valencia Children’s Route, that take in 26 stops that will be of interest to the younger ones in your party. Follow the map on foot, bicycle or by public transport and discover everything from the Snow White Park to the El Marionetari puppet theatre.

Sunny Valencia

Monarch flies to Valencia from July to October, making the most of the best weather in Spain at this time of year. The hottest month is August, when temperatures reach an average of 25 degrees C and rainfall is minimal. It’s a great for sun worshippers and the perfect time to take a dip in the sea. The months on either side of August are a little cooler and by October there tends to be more rainfall.

The post Visit versatile Valencia this summer appeared first on Monarch Blog.

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It’s Official: Monarch staff proven to be nicer than the rest http://blog.monarch.co.uk/it%e2%80%99s-official-monarch-staff-proven-to-be-nicer-than-the-rest/ http://blog.monarch.co.uk/it%e2%80%99s-official-monarch-staff-proven-to-be-nicer-than-the-rest/#respond Thu, 09 Mar 2017 10:54:56 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=16595 A recent psychological study, conducted by Professor Jonathan Freeman at Goldsmiths University’s i2 Media Research Lab, has discovered that Monarch employees are officially nicer than the rest of us. The low cost airline and holiday company put staff members to the test in a bid to scientifically prove its reputation for being an all-round nicer way to fly as highlighted in its recent TV advertising campaign. The results found that Monarch employees scored higher than the general sample of members of the public on psychological constructs associated with being nice, such as emotional intelligence, often described as the ability to read other people’s emotions and react in an appropriate way. It revealed Monarch employees, who were randomly selected by an independent third party, scored significantly higher on levels of agreeableness and empathy, as well as on measures of altruism, compassion, and consideration. As part of the study, the employees also participated in a timed endurance test where they were exposed to different stressors, such as a very loud, aversive noise through headphones, and asked to press a ‘stop’ button when they could no longer tolerate it. 60% of the Monarch employees who took part in the lab test were able to endure the aversive sound for the full time limit set for the demo, suggesting they have above average levels of patience and are less likely to lose their nice in tricky situations. They are also more likely to have good strategies for managing the frustration and annoyance that often comes with a job in the service industry. Cabin crew ‘star’ Geri Dargan, who featured in Monarch’s advertising campaign and also participated in the study, said: “We’ve always been known for our traditional values and the warmth of our customer service but it was really interesting to see it actually put to the test. I think everyone would benefit from the test and become a bit more self aware – niceness really should be higher up everyone’s list of priorities.” Following the results, Monarch has decided make 2017 the ‘Year of Nice’, promoting traditional values of chivalry, courtesy and respect. As part of this, the airline and holiday is offering customers free upgrades simply for being nice. Selected nice customers will be rewarded for polite behaviour with extra leg room seats – offering up to 15% more space and with a value of over £100 (for two people) – as well as priority check in. Nils Christy, Chief Operating Officer at Monarch, added: “We are often described as the nicer airline and holiday company and we pride ourselves on this.  Our customer services staff are already nice – now they can reward those who are positively nice to them too.” Subject to availability, Monarch customer services staff are allowed to give away a certain amount of the free upgrades to extra leg room seats and priority check in every week. Nils continued: “Everyone benefits from niceness. Planes depart more punctually, staff and customers are happier and it improves the travelling experience for everyone.” Take a look at the video of our experiment:  Read the full report and results here For nicer flights and holidays visit www.monarch.co.uk How the Monarch Nice Initiative works Our customer services staff have up to a total of ten upgrades or priority check ins per week to give to customers who are especially nice over the phone The upgrades or check ins refer to a whole booking (eg to two people who are travelling together) Seat upgrades are strictly subject to availability and are at the absolute discretion of the customer services team The customer must be aged 18 years or over The upgrade or priority check in is non-transferrable and is to be used by the chosen customer only No cash alternative is available The upgrade may not be re-presented as a prize for any other prize draw or similar General flight terms and conditions apply and can be found at http://www.monarch.co.uk/terms/flights.                  

The post It’s Official: Monarch staff proven to be nicer than the rest appeared first on Monarch Blog.

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A recent psychological study, conducted by Professor Jonathan Freeman at Goldsmiths University’s i2 Media Research Lab, has discovered that Monarch employees are officially nicer than the rest of us.

The low cost airline and holiday company put staff members to the test in a bid to scientifically prove its reputation for being an all-round nicer way to fly as highlighted in its recent TV advertising campaign.

The results found that Monarch employees scored higher than the general sample of members of the public on psychological constructs associated with being nice, such as emotional intelligence, often described as the ability to read other people’s emotions and react in an appropriate way.

It revealed Monarch employees, who were randomly selected by an independent third party, scored significantly higher on levels of agreeableness and empathy, as well as on measures of altruism, compassion, and consideration.

As part of the study, the employees also participated in a timed endurance test where they were exposed to different stressors, such as a very loud, aversive noise through headphones, and asked to press a ‘stop’ button when they could no longer tolerate it.

60% of the Monarch employees who took part in the lab test were able to endure the aversive sound for the full time limit set for the demo, suggesting they have above average levels of patience and are less likely to lose their nice in tricky situations. They are also more likely to have good strategies for managing the frustration and annoyance that often comes with a job in the service industry.

Cabin crew ‘star’ Geri Dargan, who featured in Monarch’s advertising campaign and also participated in the study, said: “We’ve always been known for our traditional values and the warmth of our customer service but it was really interesting to see it actually put to the test. I think everyone would benefit from the test and become a bit more self aware – niceness really should be higher up everyone’s list of priorities.”


Following the results, Monarch has decided make 2017 the ‘Year of Nice’, promoting traditional values of chivalry, courtesy and respect. As part of this, the airline and holiday is offering customers free upgrades simply for being nice.

Selected nice customers will be rewarded for polite behaviour with extra leg room seats – offering up to 15% more space and with a value of over £100 (for two people) – as well as priority check in.

Nils Christy, Chief Operating Officer at Monarch, added: “We are often described as the nicer airline and holiday company and we pride ourselves on this.  Our customer services staff are already nice – now they can reward those who are positively nice to them too.”

Subject to availability, Monarch customer services staff are allowed to give away a certain amount of the free upgrades to extra leg room seats and priority check in every week.

Nils continued: “Everyone benefits from niceness. Planes depart more punctually, staff and customers are happier and it improves the travelling experience for everyone.”

Take a look at the video of our experiment: 

Read the full report and results here

For nicer flights and holidays visit www.monarch.co.uk


 How the Monarch Nice Initiative works
  • Our customer services staff have up to a total of ten upgrades or priority check ins per week to give to customers who are especially nice over the phone
  • The upgrades or check ins refer to a whole booking (eg to two people who are travelling together)
  • Seat upgrades are strictly subject to availability and are at the absolute discretion of the customer services team
  • The customer must be aged 18 years or over
  • The upgrade or priority check in is non-transferrable and is to be used by the chosen customer only
  • No cash alternative is available
  • The upgrade may not be re-presented as a prize for any other prize draw or similar
  • General flight terms and conditions apply and can be found at http://www.monarch.co.uk/terms/flights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monarch’s Power of Nice – The Results http://blog.monarch.co.uk/power-of-nice-results/ Thu, 09 Mar 2017 09:48:45 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=16568 Nice people are more likely to be happier, healthier and earn more than others, according to the first ever study into the ‘Power of Nice’. Commissioned by Monarch and led by Jonathan Freeman, Professor of Psychology at Goldsmith’s University’s i2 Media Research Lab, the study saw 100 participants complete a series of psychological research measures before taking part in two lab-based behavioural demonstrations. The full results can be found here.                        

The post Monarch’s Power of Nice – The Results appeared first on Monarch Blog.

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Nice people are more likely to be happier, healthier and earn more than others, according to the first ever study into the ‘Power of Nice’.

Commissioned by Monarch and led by Jonathan Freeman, Professor of Psychology at Goldsmith’s University’s i2 Media Research Lab, the study saw 100 participants complete a series of psychological research measures before taking part in two lab-based behavioural demonstrations.

The full results can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post Monarch’s Power of Nice – The Results appeared first on Monarch Blog.

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Meet Katie, Senior First Officer http://blog.monarch.co.uk/meet-katie-senior-first-officer/ http://blog.monarch.co.uk/meet-katie-senior-first-officer/#comments Wed, 08 Mar 2017 08:00:57 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=12613 My name is Katie Withers. I’m a Senior First Officer flying the A320 and A321 out of Birmingham airport, where I’ve been based for the last five years. I joined Monarch six years ago, initially based in Manchester, but moved to Birmingham to be closer to family. Before Monarch, I spent eight months flying for EasyJet out of Bristol and Belfast Aldergrove. What attracted you to the job? As far as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to fly. I think the fact my Dad is also interested in aviation played a part; he had flying lessons when I was young, and used to take me to see air shows and visit air museums. I was hooked – I’d read or watch anything to do with aircraft. My interest continued to grow, and I joined the Air Training Corps at thirteen, and then the East Midlands’ Universities Air Squadron whilst studying at Nottingham. I considered a career in the RAF, but decided I’d probably prefer the lifestyle of commercial flying, especially being female. However, I lost my focus a little at this point as I wasn’t sure of the best route to becoming an airline pilot. I suppose I told myself that flying was just a pipe dream, and that I’d probably end up doing something else. How did you get into it?  I’d studied Law (on a bit of a whim – I wish I’d done an engineering degree but changed my mind at the last minute), and then fell into accountancy, joining a graduate training programme with Ernst & Young and working in audit. I hated this from day one, but my sensible side told me to stick with it as a good, solid career. I started flying lessons at a local airfield, Wellesbourne, at weekends. However, this only made matters worse when I realised how miserable I was in accountancy, and that flying as a hobby just wasn’t enough. I remember one particular instructor, Captain John Richards, who was a retired airline pilot. His inspiration, and the support and encouragement of my parents gave me the courage I needed to finally bite the bullet, and pursue the dream. I applied to CTC Aviation, a well-established training school that offered to take people from zero hours all the way through to sitting in the right-hand seat of a commercial jet. Luckily, I passed selection and was offered a course to head out to New Zealand (where they conducted the basic training) in December 2007. I duly handed in my notice at Ernst & Young, took out an eye-watering professional training loan, flew out to New Zealand, and I’ve never looked back since. What are the best bits of the job – and the worst?  I love my job, and I think it’s a real privilege to be able to say that – I’m very lucky. Even now a few years on, I sometimes have to pinch myself when I’m driving into work. I see some fantastic sights, from flying over the snow-capped Alps, to shooting stars at night, or watching lightening flash within a storm cell nearby. It really is a unique perspective of the world. Katie’s typical office view – credit: Michael Weeks With hindsight, I’m glad I spent two years in accountancy because I can say from experience that I don’t enjoy working in an office environment. There’s a greater sense of freedom when flying. We meet up as a crew of typically two pilots and four or five cabin crew, and then it’s down to us to safely get the aircraft and passengers to destination and back. Days out are often good fun, and there’s a lot of banter amongst the crew. This is probably down to the fact that Monarch is a relatively small and friendly airline, so people get to know each other better as we fly together more regularly. The technical skills of flying the aircraft are just one aspect of the job. There are countless decisions to be made throughout the day, and as pilots we must oversee the whole operation, keeping safety, legality and commercial issues in mind. We coordinate with various groups of people from ground handlers to air traffic control, and there are often problems and challenges to overcome in order to keep things running smoothly. Anyone who thinks flying is just button-pressing in an office with a nice view is much mistaken! Managing rest to stave off fatigue isn’t easy, and this is one of the big down sides to the job. We work unsociable hours, rarely have weekends off, and occasionally may have to work over Christmas or bank holidays. It’s not the sort of job that fits in with a typical family life, and I know colleagues with children can struggle to get childcare arranged at late notice when they’ve been called into work off standby. Saying that, many jobs are moving away from a traditional 9 to 5, Monday to Friday pattern so it’s a problem people will increasingly face. On the flip side, it’s nice to have days off mid-week, and standby days often pass without you being called in. In total, we have more days off in a year than an average worker. We spend a lot of time being tested and scrutinised – for obvious reasons given the responsibility of the job. Every six months pilots spend two days in a simulator where we must handle various technical failures and critical situations under test conditions. Most would agree that it’s not a pleasant experience, but it’s a good way to get the confidence to know we could handle such emergencies in real life. How often do you fly and to where? From Birmingham, we have quite a varied network of routes across Europe. Every day is different, some days are a lot more challenging than others depending on where we’re going and what the weather’s doing. I enjoy flying into places like Nice. It has an interesting approach which is fun to fly, and we get some beautiful views of the French Riviera. Generally, the flying programme is much busier in the summer, especially during the peak periods when children are on school holidays. We’re limited on the number of hours we can legally fly in a given time period, but nevertheless, rosters can be exhausting at times. It varies, but in the summer, runs of five or six days of flights are common, with maybe two or occasionally three days off between runs. This doesn’t sound too bad, but bear in mind that it’s shift work, so you may be getting up at 3am one week, and then switching to afternoon flights meaning you might not go to bed until 3am the next week. Also the length of a day’s work can vary depending on where you’re going, but probably averages at nine or ten hours from when you report. What’s it like working in a male-dominated industry? Females are definitely a minority in the industry, though there are increasingly more of us. I do feel a bit of a novelty at times, especially when I meet people and they find out what I do. The response from a stand-up comedian a few years ago who asked me what I did for a living sums it up and its not printable! People are usually well-meaning, and genuinely interested, though sometimes I find it a little awkward so now will often try to divert the question. First and foremost, at work I see myself as a pilot, gender doesn’t come into it. I can honestly say that my experience to date has been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve been told by some male pilots that a day out with a female pilot is different to flying with another male pilot. It’s not a negative, but just an observation, probably because the topics of conversation are perhaps a bit different (although no, I don’t talk about make-up and the latest issue of Cosmopolitan). They also say they notice more people glance at us walking through the airport than when they’re walking with another male pilot. I do feel that I put pressure on myself to perform well, perhaps because subconsciously I think I need to prove myself more than my male counterparts. In a modern airline environment, the skill set required is no longer “typically male”. After all, physical strength to handle the controls is less of a factor. Otherwise, there is an awful lot of multi-tasking, and softer skills of people management, communication and organisation that are arguably more traditionally female strengths. Obviously, there is a place for authoritative, decisive leadership (perceived as male strengths) but generally, a more inclusive and encouraging leadership style is used. Airlines want pilots to make considered, balanced decisions, and not take unnecessary risks. There is no reason why women cannot match this required skills profile, and perform well in the role of a pilot. Do you ever get any negative reaction from passengers?  I am aware that the odd passenger will make a sarcastic comment when they know there’s a female pilot on board. Most comments are teasing rather than derogatory, and if I’m there to hear it I’ll try and respond with humour. There’s no point being offended. Anyway, the vast majority of passengers seem totally accepting or not bothered, and I do get some nice comments when people are getting off the aircraft and realise they’ve been flown by a female. A few ladies in particular have said, “good on you”, or words to that effect. What’s your advice to other women considering being a pilot as a career?  I would encourage anyone who has a passion for aviation to pursue it as a career. Male or female. It’s not an easy career to get into. There are financial barriers to entry as well as the need to have an aptitude for flying. There’s a huge amount to learn and exams and skills tests to pass. Once qualified we continuously have to learn new rules and procedures. So you must be motivated to put in the necessary work to succeed. However it is a rewarding and challenging job, for a woman as much as a man. I can understand shift patterns may put some women off (and men of course), but this can be said for many other jobs. Throughout history, women have successfully taken up careers in other industries long perceived to be the preserve of men; medicine, law, finance etc. There is no reason why they can’t do the same in aviation.   Edit: since the article was first written, Katie was promoted to Captain and you will find her sitting on the left hand side of the cockpit. Congratulations, Katie!

The post Meet Katie, Senior First Officer appeared first on Monarch Blog.

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My name is Katie Withers. I’m a Senior First Officer flying the A320 and A321 out of Birmingham airport, where I’ve been based for the last five years. I joined Monarch six years ago, initially based in Manchester, but moved to Birmingham to be closer to family. Before Monarch, I spent eight months flying for EasyJet out of Bristol and Belfast Aldergrove.

What attracted you to the job?

As far as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to fly. I think the fact my Dad is also interested in aviation played a part; he had flying lessons when I was young, and used to take me to see air shows and visit air museums. I was hooked – I’d read or watch anything to do with aircraft.

My interest continued to grow, and I joined the Air Training Corps at thirteen, and then the East Midlands’ Universities Air Squadron whilst studying at Nottingham. I considered a career in the RAF, but decided I’d probably prefer the lifestyle of commercial flying, especially being female. However, I lost my focus a little at this point as I wasn’t sure of the best route to becoming an airline pilot. I suppose I told myself that flying was just a pipe dream, and that I’d probably end up doing something else.

How did you get into it? 

I’d studied Law (on a bit of a whim – I wish I’d done an engineering degree but changed my mind at the last minute), and then fell into accountancy, joining a graduate training programme with Ernst & Young and working in audit. I hated this from day one, but my sensible side told me to stick with it as a good, solid career. I started flying lessons at a local airfield, Wellesbourne, at weekends. However, this only made matters worse when I realised how miserable I was in accountancy, and that flying as a hobby just wasn’t enough. I remember one particular instructor, Captain John Richards, who was a retired airline pilot. His inspiration, and the support and encouragement of my parents gave me the courage I needed to finally bite the bullet, and pursue the dream.

Monarch Birmingham-4113

I applied to CTC Aviation, a well-established training school that offered to take people from zero hours all the way through to sitting in the right-hand seat of a commercial jet. Luckily, I passed selection and was offered a course to head out to New Zealand (where they conducted the basic training) in December 2007. I duly handed in my notice at Ernst & Young, took out an eye-watering professional training loan, flew out to New Zealand, and I’ve never looked back since.

What are the best bits of the job – and the worst? 

I love my job, and I think it’s a real privilege to be able to say that – I’m very lucky. Even now a few years on, I sometimes have to pinch myself when I’m driving into work. I see some fantastic sights, from flying over the snow-capped Alps, to shooting stars at night, or watching lightening flash within a storm cell nearby. It really is a unique perspective of the world.

12.02.16 FFD clouds over zurich michalis_weeks

Katie’s typical office view – credit: Michael Weeks

With hindsight, I’m glad I spent two years in accountancy because I can say from experience that I don’t enjoy working in an office environment. There’s a greater sense of freedom when flying. We meet up as a crew of typically two pilots and four or five cabin crew, and then it’s down to us to safely get the aircraft and passengers to destination and back. Days out are often good fun, and there’s a lot of banter amongst the crew. This is probably down to the fact that Monarch is a relatively small and friendly airline, so people get to know each other better as we fly together more regularly.

The technical skills of flying the aircraft are just one aspect of the job. There are countless decisions to be made throughout the day, and as pilots we must oversee the whole operation, keeping safety, legality and commercial issues in mind. We coordinate with various groups of people from ground handlers to air traffic control, and there are often problems and challenges to overcome in order to keep things running smoothly. Anyone who thinks flying is just button-pressing in an office with a nice view is much mistaken!

Managing rest to stave off fatigue isn’t easy, and this is one of the big down sides to the job. We work unsociable hours, rarely have weekends off, and occasionally may have to work over Christmas or bank holidays. It’s not the sort of job that fits in with a typical family life, and I know colleagues with children can struggle to get childcare arranged at late notice when they’ve been called into work off standby. Saying that, many jobs are moving away from a traditional 9 to 5, Monday to Friday pattern so it’s a problem people will increasingly face. On the flip side, it’s nice to have days off mid-week, and standby days often pass without you being called in. In total, we have more days off in a year than an average worker.

We spend a lot of time being tested and scrutinised – for obvious reasons given the responsibility of the job. Every six months pilots spend two days in a simulator where we must handle various technical failures and critical situations under test conditions. Most would agree that it’s not a pleasant experience, but it’s a good way to get the confidence to know we could handle such emergencies in real life.

How often do you fly and to where?

From Birmingham, we have quite a varied network of routes across Europe. Every day is different, some days are a lot more challenging than others depending on where we’re going and what the weather’s doing. I enjoy flying into places like Nice. It has an interesting approach which is fun to fly, and we get some beautiful views of the French Riviera.

Generally, the flying programme is much busier in the summer, especially during the peak periods when children are on school holidays. We’re limited on the number of hours we can legally fly in a given time period, but nevertheless, rosters can be exhausting at times. It varies, but in the summer, runs of five or six days of flights are common, with maybe two or occasionally three days off between runs. This doesn’t sound too bad, but bear in mind that it’s shift work, so you may be getting up at 3am one week, and then switching to afternoon flights meaning you might not go to bed until 3am the next week. Also the length of a day’s work can vary depending on where you’re going, but probably averages at nine or ten hours from when you report.

Monarch Birmingham-4134

What’s it like working in a male-dominated industry?

Females are definitely a minority in the industry, though there are increasingly more of us. I do feel a bit of a novelty at times, especially when I meet people and they find out what I do. The response from a stand-up comedian a few years ago who asked me what I did for a living sums it up and its not printable!

People are usually well-meaning, and genuinely interested, though sometimes I find it a little awkward so now will often try to divert the question.

First and foremost, at work I see myself as a pilot, gender doesn’t come into it. I can honestly say that my experience to date has been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve been told by some male pilots that a day out with a female pilot is different to flying with another male pilot. It’s not a negative, but just an observation, probably because the topics of conversation are perhaps a bit different (although no, I don’t talk about make-up and the latest issue of Cosmopolitan). They also say they notice more people glance at us walking through the airport than when they’re walking with another male pilot.

I do feel that I put pressure on myself to perform well, perhaps because subconsciously I think I need to prove myself more than my male counterparts.

In a modern airline environment, the skill set required is no longer “typically male”. After all, physical strength to handle the controls is less of a factor. Otherwise, there is an awful lot of multi-tasking, and softer skills of people management, communication and organisation that are arguably more traditionally female strengths. Obviously, there is a place for authoritative, decisive leadership (perceived as male strengths) but generally, a more inclusive and encouraging leadership style is used. Airlines want pilots to make considered, balanced decisions, and not take unnecessary risks. There is no reason why women cannot match this required skills profile, and perform well in the role of a pilot.

Do you ever get any negative reaction from passengers? 

I am aware that the odd passenger will make a sarcastic comment when they know there’s a female pilot on board. Most comments are teasing rather than derogatory, and if I’m there to hear it I’ll try and respond with humour. There’s no point being offended. Anyway, the vast majority of passengers seem totally accepting or not bothered, and I do get some nice comments when people are getting off the aircraft and realise they’ve been flown by a female. A few ladies in particular have said, “good on you”, or words to that effect.

What’s your advice to other women considering being a pilot as a career? 

I would encourage anyone who has a passion for aviation to pursue it as a career. Male or female. It’s not an easy career to get into. There are financial barriers to entry as well as the need to have an aptitude for flying. There’s a huge amount to learn and exams and skills tests to pass. Once qualified we continuously have to learn new rules and procedures. So you must be motivated to put in the necessary work to succeed. However it is a rewarding and challenging job, for a woman as much as a man. I can understand shift patterns may put some women off (and men of course), but this can be said for many other jobs. Throughout history, women have successfully taken up careers in other industries long perceived to be the preserve of men; medicine, law, finance etc. There is no reason why they can’t do the same in aviation.

 

Edit: since the article was first written, Katie was promoted to Captain and you will find her sitting on the left hand side of the cockpit. Congratulations, Katie!

The post Meet Katie, Senior First Officer appeared first on Monarch Blog.

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A to Z of Zagreb http://blog.monarch.co.uk/a-to-z-of-reasons-to-visit-zagreb/ http://blog.monarch.co.uk/a-to-z-of-reasons-to-visit-zagreb/#respond Fri, 03 Mar 2017 14:22:01 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=16536 Zagreb is a fantastic destination, whether you’re planning a short city break or something a little longer. There are loads of reasons to visit the Croatian capital, from its eclectic collection of museums to the vast selection of day trips within easy reach. If you’re still looking to be convinced, we’ve got a whole alphabet of motivations for you to make Zagreb the next place you go to. Art Art lovers will find no shortage of places to see exceptional works while in Zagreb. Institutions such as the Gallery of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art display local talent and pieces from all over the world. Meanwhile, the Mestrovic Atelier should not be missed, as it is the former home and studio of Ivan Mestrovic, Croatia’s most well-known sculptor, now open to the public. Art in Zagreb is not restricted to such places, however, and the street murals painted by the likes of Lunar, OKO and Lonac show incredible skill and can be spotted all over the city. Best bars When it comes to bars in Zagreb you are spoilt for choice. There are bars that do exactly what it says on the tin – Beer Bar and Booze and Blues – as well as others such as Blok Bar and Dezman Bar that are starting to make names for themselves. There are relaxed establishments that welcome the locals and hip places that are embracing the growing trend in Zagreb for great design and craft beer. Visiting a good mix of both during your holiday will help to give you a well-rounded picture of the city. Craft beer scene As the craft beer revolution has taken off around the world, it’s not surprising that Zagreb is in on the act. But while the likes of Zmajska pivovara, with its instantly recognisable dragon emblem, are relative newcomers, one brewery in Zagreb has been creating craft beer for more than two decades. Medvedgrad creates wheat beers, porters and lagers to sell at its pub-restaurants all over the city. A visit to the one on Tkalciceva Street is a must for any beer lovers. Meanwhile, look out for the music-inspired brews created by Visibaba. Anyone for a John Lemon or a Janis Hoplin? Design destination Croatian design could be the next big global trend and there’s plenty of evidence of it all over Zagreb. If you’re really into art and design, be sure to visit during one of the headline events, such as Design District Zagreb, which is held in June. Otherwise stop by the Croatian Design Superstore on Marticeva Ulica at any time of the year. Here, you’ll be able to pick up products from fantastic designers, which make unique souvenirs. Events There are no shortage of events to enjoy in Zagreb throughout the year, so it’s worth checking the calendar to make sure your trip coincides with an element of the culture you’re particularly interested in. There is Florart, Zagreb’s flower show in May, as well as the Dance Week Festival, which covers everything from classical to avant-garde styles. June sees the arrival of the movie buffs and music lovers, as the Fantastic Zagreb Film Festival and INmusic take centre stage. And don’t miss Zagreb Summer Evenings when classical musicians put on special performances around the city. Funicular The Zagreb Funicular is ostensibly a way to get you from the Lower Town to the Upper Town, but having been in operation since 1893, it is also a piece of history. Having been converted from its steam engines to electricity in 1934, it continues to function perfectly and it doesn’t take long to travel the distance of 66 metres. Fantastic views of Zagreb await at the top. Get there from your local airport Do not underestimate the benefits of being able to fly from your local airport. Monarch departs from London Gatwick and Manchester to Zagreb throughout the summer months, meaning the Croatian city is just over two hours away for many. Hike up Medvednica Mountain Mount Medvednica is tantalisingly close to Zagreb, just to the north of the city, and the perfect place to go hiking. There are no fewer than 70 trails to choose from, although number 12 is widely recognised as the one that offers the best views. Well-positioned signposts will ensure that you don’t get lost. Ice cream No holiday would be complete without a good ice cream and Zagreb has quite a selection of places vying for the top spot when it comes to the best ice cream in the city. Vincek, which has been going since 1977, is one such contender and has shops throughout Zagreb, including in Kvaternik Square. Vincek boasts over 40 flavours and fruit is a common theme, although chocolate, hazelnut and walnut also feature. If it’s Instagrammable ice cream you are after, however, then Millennium on Bogoviceva Ulica cannot be beaten. This stylish parlour serves its ice cream in rippled drifts of frozen deliciousness. Junior Zagreb If there are multiple generations of your family travelling together, you’ll find something to suit everyone. Zagreb has a number of attractions that kids will love, including the Technical Museum, complete with helicopters, planes and fire engines, and the zoo. There are plenty of small grassy squares where the kids can work off some energy and child-friendly restaurants. Up until the age of seven, kids can also travel for free on public transport in Zagreb. Krapina History lovers will not want to miss out on a visit to Krapina during their stay in Zagreb, as it is the site where Neanderthal remains were found in 1899. You can find out more about the way people lived 30,000 years ago with a multimedia display at the site. Alternatively, for something a little more modern, you can visit the pilgrimage site of the Church of St Mary, which has beautiful ceiling paintings. Lotrscak Tower For great views across Zagreb, you can’t beat Lotrscak Tower, which was originally built in the 13th century, with the aim of protecting the southern gate from invasion. You can climb to the top for a small entrance fee and see many of the city’s most famous buildings and monuments. It is open daily through the summer, from 9am during the week and 10am at weekends, up until 9pm. One time you may want to avoid is 12 noon, when the tower’s cannon is fired to commemorate an instance of shooting at the Turks camped across the river in the mid-15th century. Museum of Broken Relationships M could be for museums in general, as Zagreb has more of these cultural institutions per square metre than anywhere else on the planet, but we’ve decided to focus on one museum in particular. That is because the Museum of Broken Relationships is not like anywhere you have ever visited before. Packed full of mementos from love affairs that have gone sour and the stories behind them, it is a quirky, poignant and sometimes funny. Nightlife Zagreb might not be most famous for its nightlife, but you’ll find it easily punches above its weight with an interesting mixture of offerings. For live music in intimate venues, head to Tvornica kulture, Sax or KSET, which are all in the vicinity of Ban Jelacic Square. You’ll find various clubs to go onto afterwards in the same area. If clubbing is your priority, then Aquarius and Gallery, close to Lake Jarun are the best options. Orijent cake shop When it comes to cakes and pastries in Zagreb, look no further than Orijent on Maksimirska Cesta, which has been serving the people of the city since 1936. It is still run by the same family and the marzipan creations in the window will draw you in. Once inside, you’ll be transported back in time due to the stunning original décor. Then you just need to decide which cake to order. Plitvice Lakes The Plitvice National Park lies just under two hours’ drive from Zagreb, making it one of the most popular day trips out of the city. There are organised tours and buses that can take you to this incredible place, which is the biggest protected area in Croatia. Wander the paths and wooden walkways to discover vivid turquoise lakes and magnificent waterfalls. Quiet time For a capital city, Zagreb has a surprising number of green spaces, making it easy to escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy a bit of quiet reflection on all that you’ve seen. Maksimir Park is the oldest in the city and can be easily reached by taking trams number 11 or 12 from Jelacic Square. Jarun Park is centred around its huge lake, making it a popular place to enjoy watersports, but it also makes for a great location for a stroll. Rastoke You don’t have to go far from the city, an hour and-a-half’s drive to be precise, to get to the tranquil sanctuary of Rastoke. This small community is the perfect place from which to take advantage of the stunning Kordun region. Think pristine rivers and gushing waterfalls against a lush background of beautiful Croatian scenery. As well as exploring on foot, you can also take part in all manner of activities, from rafting and kayaking to horse riding and trout fishing. Street food Like many other trends that are sweeping the world at present, the appetite for street food has not bypassed Zagreb. There are pop-ups and food carts to be discovered all over the city and regular events at locations, such as Dolac Market, where vendors gather together to offer an unprecedented amount of choice. When it comes to the restaurants serving up street food, it’s Mundoaka on Petrinjska Ulica that everyone is talking about. Take your taste buds on a world tour with its expertly prepared dishes, including pulled pork sandwiches, bruschetta, Spanish tortilla and shakshuka eggs. Tkalciceva Street One of the thoroughfares that you will probably find yourself on multiple times during your stay is Tkalciceva Street, as there’s so much going on. It is full of bars, restaurants, cafes and shops, making it a great place to refuel and fantastic if you’re in one of those moods when you don’t quite know what you want to eat and need somewhere to grab your attention. In the evenings, the shops tend to be lit up and the whole street has a relaxed and friendly vibe. Unwind If the whole point of your holiday was to relax and forget the stresses of home, take advantage of Zagreb’s proximity to some soothing thermal springs. They have been enjoyed since the Roman times and are the perfect way to unwind. Terme Tuhelj is located just 40 kilometres from Zagreb and includes a pool with a waterfall and even hydromassage. The wooden setting of Varazdinske Toplice makes it extra special, while Krapinske Toplice, 45 kilometres from the city, is regularly named among the top ten thermal springs in Europe.   Varazdin Off to the east of Zagreb and within easy reach for a day trip is Varazdin, which once served as the capital of Croatia. Even though its status as premier city only lasted for a short period in the 18th century, Varazdin retains many of its historic buildings and the compact pedestrianised centre makes it great to wander around. Take note of the fine Baroque architecture of the palaces and churches, as well as enjoying the imposing castle, situated in pristine parkland. Watch the world go by While it’s very tempting to pack your holiday in Zagreb full of visiting attractions and taking day trips, be sure to include some time to just people watch and take in the atmosphere. The downtown area has some fantastic terrace cafes that are perfect for this purpose and you’ll see many locals doing the same. In fact, they even have a name for the customary after-shopping coffee drunk on a Saturday – Spica. Xmas markets Christmas is a particularly stunning time in Zagreb, as the whole of the city centre comes alive with festive cheer. The focal point is the Christmas markets, which have been voted the best in Europe for two years in a row by the Best European Destinations tourism site. As well as purchasing some great Christmas presents and enjoying some delicious seasonal food, you can enjoy entertainment, such as singing and dancing in the streets. Your memories After such a fantastic time in Zagreb, the memories of your trip are likely to last a long time, but there are great ways to assist them. For example, licitar hearts have become the symbol of Zagreb and you can easily take one home with you. Originally fashioned out of gingerbread, these little mementos now come as fridge magnets and pendants to remind you of your trip. For an altogether chicer souvenir, pop into Take Me Home on Tomiceva Ulica to pick up a cutting edge designer-created item that has been made with the express purpose of fitting perfectly into your hand luggage. Zinfandel’s When it comes to places to eat in Zagreb, they don’t get much more special than Zinfandel’s. Rewarded for its innovative approach to food with two Michelin stars and complete with al fresco dining options and stunning views from its terrace, it’s definitely a winner. If you have a special occasion to celebrate during your holiday in Zagreb, you’ll find Zinfandel’s inside the Esplanade Hotel on Mihanoviceva Ulica.   We also offer fantastic holidays to Zagreb and fly to Dubrovnik and Split!

The post A to Z of Zagreb appeared first on Monarch Blog.

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Zagreb is a fantastic destination, whether you’re planning a short city break or something a little longer. There are loads of reasons to visit the Croatian capital, from its eclectic collection of museums to the vast selection of day trips within easy reach. If you’re still looking to be convinced, we’ve got a whole alphabet of motivations for you to make Zagreb the next place you go to.

Art

Art lovers will find no shortage of places to see exceptional works while in Zagreb. Institutions such as the Gallery of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art display local talent and pieces from all over the world. Meanwhile, the Mestrovic Atelier should not be missed, as it is the former home and studio of Ivan Mestrovic, Croatia’s most well-known sculptor, now open to the public. Art in Zagreb is not restricted to such places, however, and the street murals painted by the likes of Lunar, OKO and Lonac show incredible skill and can be spotted all over the city.

Best bars

When it comes to bars in Zagreb you are spoilt for choice. There are bars that do exactly what it says on the tin – Beer Bar and Booze and Blues – as well as others such as Blok Bar and Dezman Bar that are starting to make names for themselves. There are relaxed establishments that welcome the locals and hip places that are embracing the growing trend in Zagreb for great design and craft beer. Visiting a good mix of both during your holiday will help to give you a well-rounded picture of the city.

Craft beer scene

As the craft beer revolution has taken off around the world, it’s not surprising that Zagreb is in on the act. But while the likes of Zmajska pivovara, with its instantly recognisable dragon emblem, are relative newcomers, one brewery in Zagreb has been creating craft beer for more than two decades. Medvedgrad creates wheat beers, porters and lagers to sell at its pub-restaurants all over the city. A visit to the one on Tkalciceva Street is a must for any beer lovers. Meanwhile, look out for the music-inspired brews created by Visibaba. Anyone for a John Lemon or a Janis Hoplin?

Design destination

Croatian design could be the next big global trend and there’s plenty of evidence of it all over Zagreb. If you’re really into art and design, be sure to visit during one of the headline events, such as Design District Zagreb, which is held in June. Otherwise stop by the Croatian Design Superstore on Marticeva Ulica at any time of the year. Here, you’ll be able to pick up products from fantastic designers, which make unique souvenirs.

Events

There are no shortage of events to enjoy in Zagreb throughout the year, so it’s worth checking the calendar to make sure your trip coincides with an element of the culture you’re particularly interested in. There is Florart, Zagreb’s flower show in May, as well as the Dance Week Festival, which covers everything from classical to avant-garde styles. June sees the arrival of the movie buffs and music lovers, as the Fantastic Zagreb Film Festival and INmusic take centre stage. And don’t miss Zagreb Summer Evenings when classical musicians put on special performances around the city.

Funicular

The Zagreb Funicular is ostensibly a way to get you from the Lower Town to the Upper Town, but having been in operation since 1893, it is also a piece of history. Having been converted from its steam engines to electricity in 1934, it continues to function perfectly and it doesn’t take long to travel the distance of 66 metres. Fantastic views of Zagreb await at the top.

Get there from your local airport

Do not underestimate the benefits of being able to fly from your local airport. Monarch departs from London Gatwick and Manchester to Zagreb throughout the summer months, meaning the Croatian city is just over two hours away for many.

Hike up Medvednica Mountain

Mount Medvednica is tantalisingly close to Zagreb, just to the north of the city, and the perfect place to go hiking. There are no fewer than 70 trails to choose from, although number 12 is widely recognised as the one that offers the best views. Well-positioned signposts will ensure that you don’t get lost.

Ice cream

No holiday would be complete without a good ice cream and Zagreb has quite a selection of places vying for the top spot when it comes to the best ice cream in the city. Vincek, which has been going since 1977, is one such contender and has shops throughout Zagreb, including in Kvaternik Square. Vincek boasts over 40 flavours and fruit is a common theme, although chocolate, hazelnut and walnut also feature. If it’s Instagrammable ice cream you are after, however, then Millennium on Bogoviceva Ulica cannot be beaten. This stylish parlour serves its ice cream in rippled drifts of frozen deliciousness.

Junior Zagreb

If there are multiple generations of your family travelling together, you’ll find something to suit everyone. Zagreb has a number of attractions that kids will love, including the Technical Museum, complete with helicopters, planes and fire engines, and the zoo. There are plenty of small grassy squares where the kids can work off some energy and child-friendly restaurants. Up until the age of seven, kids can also travel for free on public transport in Zagreb.

Krapina

History lovers will not want to miss out on a visit to Krapina during their stay in Zagreb, as it is the site where Neanderthal remains were found in 1899. You can find out more about the way people lived 30,000 years ago with a multimedia display at the site. Alternatively, for something a little more modern, you can visit the pilgrimage site of the Church of St Mary, which has beautiful ceiling paintings.

Lotrscak Tower

For great views across Zagreb, you can’t beat Lotrscak Tower, which was originally built in the 13th century, with the aim of protecting the southern gate from invasion. You can climb to the top for a small entrance fee and see many of the city’s most famous buildings and monuments. It is open daily through the summer, from 9am during the week and 10am at weekends, up until 9pm. One time you may want to avoid is 12 noon, when the tower’s cannon is fired to commemorate an instance of shooting at the Turks camped across the river in the mid-15th century.

Museum of Broken Relationships

M could be for museums in general, as Zagreb has more of these cultural institutions per square metre than anywhere else on the planet, but we’ve decided to focus on one museum in particular. That is because the Museum of Broken Relationships is not like anywhere you have ever visited before. Packed full of mementos from love affairs that have gone sour and the stories behind them, it is a quirky, poignant and sometimes funny.

Nightlife

Zagreb might not be most famous for its nightlife, but you’ll find it easily punches above its weight with an interesting mixture of offerings. For live music in intimate venues, head to Tvornica kulture, Sax or KSET, which are all in the vicinity of Ban Jelacic Square. You’ll find various clubs to go onto afterwards in the same area. If clubbing is your priority, then Aquarius and Gallery, close to Lake Jarun are the best options.

Orijent cake shop

When it comes to cakes and pastries in Zagreb, look no further than Orijent on Maksimirska Cesta, which has been serving the people of the city since 1936. It is still run by the same family and the marzipan creations in the window will draw you in. Once inside, you’ll be transported back in time due to the stunning original décor. Then you just need to decide which cake to order.

Plitvice Lakes

The Plitvice National Park lies just under two hours’ drive from Zagreb, making it one of the most popular day trips out of the city. There are organised tours and buses that can take you to this incredible place, which is the biggest protected area in Croatia. Wander the paths and wooden walkways to discover vivid turquoise lakes and magnificent waterfalls.

Quiet time

For a capital city, Zagreb has a surprising number of green spaces, making it easy to escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy a bit of quiet reflection on all that you’ve seen. Maksimir Park is the oldest in the city and can be easily reached by taking trams number 11 or 12 from Jelacic Square. Jarun Park is centred around its huge lake, making it a popular place to enjoy watersports, but it also makes for a great location for a stroll.

Rastoke

You don’t have to go far from the city, an hour and-a-half’s drive to be precise, to get to the tranquil sanctuary of Rastoke. This small community is the perfect place from which to take advantage of the stunning Kordun region. Think pristine rivers and gushing waterfalls against a lush background of beautiful Croatian scenery. As well as exploring on foot, you can also take part in all manner of activities, from rafting and kayaking to horse riding and trout fishing.

Street food

Like many other trends that are sweeping the world at present, the appetite for street food has not bypassed Zagreb. There are pop-ups and food carts to be discovered all over the city and regular events at locations, such as Dolac Market, where vendors gather together to offer an unprecedented amount of choice. When it comes to the restaurants serving up street food, it’s Mundoaka on Petrinjska Ulica that everyone is talking about. Take your taste buds on a world tour with its expertly prepared dishes, including pulled pork sandwiches, bruschetta, Spanish tortilla and shakshuka eggs.

Tkalciceva Street

One of the thoroughfares that you will probably find yourself on multiple times during your stay is Tkalciceva Street, as there’s so much going on. It is full of bars, restaurants, cafes and shops, making it a great place to refuel and fantastic if you’re in one of those moods when you don’t quite know what you want to eat and need somewhere to grab your attention. In the evenings, the shops tend to be lit up and the whole street has a relaxed and friendly vibe.

Unwind

If the whole point of your holiday was to relax and forget the stresses of home, take advantage of Zagreb’s proximity to some soothing thermal springs. They have been enjoyed since the Roman times and are the perfect way to unwind. Terme Tuhelj is located just 40 kilometres from Zagreb and includes a pool with a waterfall and even hydromassage. The wooden setting of Varazdinske Toplice makes it extra special, while Krapinske Toplice, 45 kilometres from the city, is regularly named among the top ten thermal springs in Europe.

 

Varazdin

Off to the east of Zagreb and within easy reach for a day trip is Varazdin, which once served as the capital of Croatia. Even though its status as premier city only lasted for a short period in the 18th century, Varazdin retains many of its historic buildings and the compact pedestrianised centre makes it great to wander around. Take note of the fine Baroque architecture of the palaces and churches, as well as enjoying the imposing castle, situated in pristine parkland.

Watch the world go by

While it’s very tempting to pack your holiday in Zagreb full of visiting attractions and taking day trips, be sure to include some time to just people watch and take in the atmosphere. The downtown area has some fantastic terrace cafes that are perfect for this purpose and you’ll see many locals doing the same. In fact, they even have a name for the customary after-shopping coffee drunk on a Saturday – Spica.

Xmas markets

Christmas is a particularly stunning time in Zagreb, as the whole of the city centre comes alive with festive cheer. The focal point is the Christmas markets, which have been voted the best in Europe for two years in a row by the Best European Destinations tourism site. As well as purchasing some great Christmas presents and enjoying some delicious seasonal food, you can enjoy entertainment, such as singing and dancing in the streets.

Your memories

After such a fantastic time in Zagreb, the memories of your trip are likely to last a long time, but there are great ways to assist them. For example, licitar hearts have become the symbol of Zagreb and you can easily take one home with you. Originally fashioned out of gingerbread, these little mementos now come as fridge magnets and pendants to remind you of your trip. For an altogether chicer souvenir, pop into Take Me Home on Tomiceva Ulica to pick up a cutting edge designer-created item that has been made with the express purpose of fitting perfectly into your hand luggage.

Zinfandel’s

When it comes to places to eat in Zagreb, they don’t get much more special than Zinfandel’s. Rewarded for its innovative approach to food with two Michelin stars and complete with al fresco dining options and stunning views from its terrace, it’s definitely a winner. If you have a special occasion to celebrate during your holiday in Zagreb, you’ll find Zinfandel’s inside the Esplanade Hotel on Mihanoviceva Ulica.

 

We also offer fantastic holidays to Zagreb and fly to Dubrovnik and Split!

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