Monarch Blog http://blog.monarch.co.uk Monarch Airlines official blog Fri, 29 Aug 2014 16:48:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Accessorize & Monarch create the dream holiday! http://blog.monarch.co.uk/accessorize-monarch-create-the-dream-holiday/ http://blog.monarch.co.uk/accessorize-monarch-create-the-dream-holiday/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 16:33:17 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=5483

Monarch and Accessorize recently partnered to create a “My Dream Holiday” competition. We called it a PINtoWin competition; where people chose their favourite Monarch destination by finding out exactly where we fly to here www.Monarch.co.uk/destinations and then choosing the Accessorize essentials they’d love to wear whilst on their holiday.

Judges from Monarch and Accessorize then got together to crown a winner, which was really difficult as every board entered had a unique flavour and take on their choice of accessories! Here’s our top 5 favourites from the competition:

Our number 1 winner was:

Follow Lauren Bowmer’s board My dream holiday on Pinterest.

We really liked her use of colour, the fact she had really thought of what she would wear in Greece and her overall style. We think the outfits and accessories she chose would look very stylish and bang on trend whilst on holiday.

We especially liked this board:

Follow Suggestive Digestive’s board My Dream Holiday on Pinterest.


Judges felt that the use of the map background really made her choices of products and destinations stand out. The attention to detail on this board was excellent, she selected many stunning pieces including rings which really reflected the holiday-feel.


Another strong contestant was a stunning board about the surrounding area of Nice

Follow Carys Jones’s board My Dream Holiday on Pinterest.


We liked that the entrant has sourced so many different types of images including artistic Nice posters, famous actresses and even a fluffy poodle! It’s a great way of inspiring others to visit a location as well as dreaming of your next holiday!

This board captured the spirit of the location really well with use of foods, clothing and of course accessories. We liked that they had thought about the local foods eaten in the area such as ice cream and exactly where she’d like to taste some of the local delicacies. The photos of the little back streets really made us want to be there on holiday; which is a great strength of the entry.

Follow Fash Up North’s board My Dream Holiday on Pinterest.

Our final choice was included because as soon as you looked at the board; you knew it was Venice the entrant wanted to visit. The colours used, the mixture of shapes on her board, the beautiful water in Venice and the views she used all made a really stylish entry.

Follow Viv Gilbey’s board My Dream Holiday on Pinterest.

Well done to all entrants, it was a really tough decision to make! We hope you feel inspired to get involved with creating Pinterest boards. Keep an eye on our Social Media pages for more competitions, offers and helpful information.

Have a look at our Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/monarchairlines/ and let us know which “My Dream Holiday” boards you liked best, we’d love to hear from you.

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From ice buckets to ice hotels – 5 ways to enjoy ice around the world http://blog.monarch.co.uk/from-ice-buckets-to-ice-hotels-5-ways-to-enjoy-ice-around-the-world/ http://blog.monarch.co.uk/from-ice-buckets-to-ice-hotels-5-ways-to-enjoy-ice-around-the-world/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:40:03 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=5446

Let’s face it, the ice bucket challenge has taken the world by storm with people drenching themselves with ice and water to encourage donations to charities. But, believe it or not, ice doesn’t just have to belong in a bucket – there are  many more interesting uses for the frozen blocks of water! Check these out!

Sleep on a bed of ice in Sweden

Ice Hotel, Jukkasjarvi, Sweden

karenfoleyphotography / Shutterstock.com

How about sleeping on a bed made of ice? Inside the rooms at the Ice Hotel in Sweden pretty much everything is made of ice, well, except the mattress!

Dip in a Russian ice pool

Ice hole

If pouring a bucket of ice and water over your head doesn’t take your fancy, would taking a dip into an ice hole?

Chill out in a Finnish ice bar

Ice bar in Lainio snow village

Beata Aldridge / Shutterstock.com

Ice bars are a popular way to enjoy an icy experience. This ice bar in Lainio Snow Village in Finland changes size and shape every winter. There are others dotted around Europe you can visit, including the Ice Bar in Barcelona and London.

Rock climbing on ice in Norway

Extreme ice climbing

Fancy something a little more extreme? How about ice climbing!

A city of ice in China

Harbin ice festival

walkdragon / Shutterstock.com

For the ultimate ice experience head to the Harbin Ice Festival in China. A small ice city, huge sculptures and amazing works of art, all entirely created with ice!

Want to see more fascinating things to do with ice? Take a look at the Ice Music Festival and check out sub-aqua ice hockey!

Pretty cool, eh?

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Need to defend your knees? Try our non-reclining seats http://blog.monarch.co.uk/need-to-defend-your-knees-try-our-non-reclining-seats/ http://blog.monarch.co.uk/need-to-defend-your-knees-try-our-non-reclining-seats/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 08:57:19 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=5435

According to stories on the BBC and Daily Mail websites this week, Knee Defenders™ are apparently a new must-have travel accessory to keep ‘recliners’ at bay. Whilst other airlines are now banning the controversial gadgets, we have a simpler solution – knee-free, non-reclining aircraft seats.

seats-infographic-surprisingly-comfortable

The ergonomic seats launched in May this year in response to customer feedback; reclining seats were deemed unnecessary and a bone of contention on short-haul flights. Using modern design principles and light-weight materials, we have been able to increase legroom within a seat pitch and reduce fuel emissions.

seats-infographic-personal-and-cabin-space

Our customers’ in-flight experience is of the utmost importance to us. Tim Williamson, Director of Customer Experience and Marketing says:  “Knee Defenders™ may seem quite drastic, but reclining seats was a real bugbear for our customers. We listened and the feedback was that reclining on short-haul flights is just not necessary.”

“The new ergonomic non-reclining design gives our customers far more “living space” than traditional seats, without the fear of the person in front impinging on their personal space,” he said.

The new seat design also includes an innovative tablet holder for the technology savvy holidaymaker, an aviation first.

Monarch Airlines' new seats offer additional living space

“The innovative tablet holder also enables our customers to create their own personal in-flight entertainment system. At the beginning of this month we launched MPlayer; a personal inflight entertainment service. MPlayer allows our customers to connect to the on-board wireless network via their own iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. There they can access a wide range of free and pay-to-access in-flight entertainment content,” Tim said.

What do you think about the idea of non-reclining seats? We’d love to see your comments below

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Fries with that? 5 burgers to try before you die! http://blog.monarch.co.uk/fries-with-that-5-burgers-to-try-before-you-die/ http://blog.monarch.co.uk/fries-with-that-5-burgers-to-try-before-you-die/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:47:48 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=5259

Finally we have an excuse to pig out – today is National Burger Day! It may be an American classic, but the humble burger has become an international staple, with many countries adding their own unique delicacies and local flavours to the humble bun, patty and cheese. In fact, the UK burger bar market alone is worth billions, with more than a quarter of adults claiming to visit a burger joint at least once a fortnight or more.*

Here are five of the best burgers to look out for when you’re abroad – just don’t forget the ketchup!

iPad Burger?

Ham Holy Burger, Rome, ipad

Image courtesy of Ham Holy Burger

Sure, Rome has its fair share of pastas and pizzas but when you’re craving a big, juicy hamburger, then you have to go to Ham Holy Burger. Here you’re given a shiny new iPad where you can build and customise your order, then browse the web or check in on Facebook to pass the time while you wait for your dream bun to be created.

Location:

Via Brescia 28, 00198 Rome, Italy

Add Brie for the Caco Burger

Hamburgueria do Barrio, Lisbon, Portugal

Image courtesy of Lisboa Cool

If you’re travelling around Faro and the Algarve in Portugal, it’s well worth the day trip up to Lisbon just to taste the famed food at Hamburgueria do Barrio. The Caco is the real winner here with its unusual topping combo of thick sliced Brie, lettuce, fried tomato, garlic butter and a fluffy roll all the way from the island of Madeira.

Locations:

Traverse Abarracamento Peniche, # 22, Lisbon
Industrial Street, # 9, Lisbon
Rua Duarte Pacheco Pereira, # 7-A, Lisbon
Rua Ramalho Ortigão, 47-A, Lisbon
Rua Ilha dos Amores (North Zone) Edf. Mirrors Tagus, Lot 4:07:01, Lisbon
Road of Light, # 148-L, Lisbon

The Mexicana

Mexicana burger, Alicante

Image courtesy of Tribeca Music Bar

Alicante has its very own American diner at Tribeca Music Bar. There’s a full menu of international and local Spanish fare, but it’s the international-style burgers everyone raves about. The Mexicana with homemade guacamole and spicy sauce, and the Italiana with melted Parmesan, rocket and sun-dried tomatoes are two of the favourites.

Location:

Calle San Fernando, 18, 03002 Alicante, Spain

The Camel Burger

Camel burger, camel bar, sharm el sheikh

Image courtesy of  The Camel Bar

For some of the best views of Sharm El Sheikh, head up to the popular rooftop Camel Bar. It’s a great place to relax with its luxurious white sofas, exotic cocktails and collection of colourful shisha pipes. If you’re feeling hungry, there are plenty of options from nibbles to full size dinners. Don’t worry, the Camel Burger isn’t made from camels as you may think, but a huge hearty beef patty with all the usual trimmings, served with English-style chips.

Location:

Camel Dive Club & Hotel, Centre of Na’ama Bay, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

The Krusty Burger 

Krusty Burger

Image courtesy of Michael Liu

Fans of The Simpsons definitely won’t want to miss a trip to the iconic Krusty Burger. The real-life burger joint is open and ready for business at Universal Studios in Orlando – you’ll find all the cartoon classics such as The Clogger, the Ribwich and the must-try Kurly fries. Duff beers on the house!

Location:

Simpson Fast Food Blvd, World Expo/Springfield USA, Universal Studios Florida

Obviously these are just a taster, please leave us a comment if you’ve come across any more amazing burgers on your travels!

* According to a survey by market research company Mintel.

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Tuesday Tips: 5 of the World’s Most Unusual Festivals http://blog.monarch.co.uk/tuesday-tips-5-of-the-worlds-most-unusual-festivals/ http://blog.monarch.co.uk/tuesday-tips-5-of-the-worlds-most-unusual-festivals/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 09:15:03 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=5254

From swimming in a sea of smashed tomatoes, to chasing cheese down a hill, there really are loads of weird and wonderful cultural events out there. Will any of these be on your list?

La Tomatina: The world’s biggest food fight

La Tomatina. Spain Image courtesy of Graham McLennan

This week, La Tomatina (the annual Battle of Tomatoes) is celebrated in the town of Buñol, near Valencia. Thousands flock to the Spanish village to throw 150,000 tomatoes at each other, while trucks drive through the streets hosing people off with ice-cold water! Goggles (as goofy as they might look) are definitely recommended!

Ganesh Chaturthi: A spiritual affair

Ganesh Chaturthi, Mumbai, India

 Image courtesy of LegallyIndia.com

Also known as ‘Chovoth’, Ganesh Chaturthi is the largest Hindu event in Goa, India. This colourful festival honours the birth of the elephant-headed god, Lord Ganesha and will be celebrated on August 29 this year. For 11 days, locals worship clay idols until the final day – Ananta Chaturdasi – when the statues are paraded through the streets and immersed in water to bring good fortune.

Oktoberfest: Beer bottoms up!

Beer hall, munich Image courtesy of Pavel L Photo and Video/Shutterstock.com

If you’re going to sample to very best of German beer, then make sure you’re in Munich for Oktoberfest this year. Held from late September until the first weekend in October, Oktoberfest is the world’s largest funfair, famous for its German culture, food and of course, beer. Around seven million litres of the award-winning Oktoberfest beer will be drunk over the 16 days, plus visitors can also join in the local festivities, dress up in Bavarian costume and try traditional delicacies in the iconic beer tents.

Las Fallas: Burn baby burn!

Las Fallas , Valencia Not just content with throwing tomatoes at each other, Valencians also parade approx. 350 giant papier mache figures (some 20ft tall) through the city and then set them alight – burning hundreds of thousands of pounds of work in the process! Expect  midday fireworks, pyrotechnics, and all-night partying in this colourful celebration of spring.

Cheese Rolling Festival: Food on a roll

Cheese rolling Image courtesy of Paul Townsend 

Did your mother ever tell you not to play with your food before eating it? Well, apparently those in Gloucester didn’t listen. Every May, people gather at Cooper’s Hill to watch plucky competitors chase a rolling wheel of cheese down the hill. Tourists will mainly fly into Birmingham to catch all the action down in Gloucester. So if you’re looking for a travel adventure with a twist, then make sure you time your holidays around one of these once-in-a-lifetime festivals!

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August Bank Holiday flying tips http://blog.monarch.co.uk/august-bank-holiday-flying-tips/ http://blog.monarch.co.uk/august-bank-holiday-flying-tips/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:35:01 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=5409

August Bank Holiday is a popular time to get away for a long weekend at the beach or visit a fabulous city, catch up wth friends and family and enjoy some real sunshine abroad.

There’ll be more than 125,000 passenger journeys booked to fly on 679 flights this weekend. Due to the popularity of our bank holiday flights, all our UK airports are going to be very busy.

If you’re flying with us this weekend, here are some tips to help you on your way!

What’s the weather like?

Very handy to know this when you’re scrambling to pack your bags! The Monarch app has loads of useful information about our destinations which you might find useful, including weather forecasts for the next 10 days.

Download the apps here

Check in online

  • If you can check in online in advance of travel, we recommend that you do so as it saves so much time when you arrive at the airport. Once you’ve checked in online, you only need to check your hold luggage in, if you have any, and then proceed through security.
  • We don’t require you to check in online before you get to the airport, however we do recommend it if you believe you’ll be pressed for time at the airport, or if you’re travelling with a party which would like to be seated together. Given how busy flights will be, it is possible check-in agents won’t necessarily be possible to seat an entire party together. However, they will always do their best to accommodate you.
  • Online check-in has a small fee associated with it, whereas it is possible to check in at the airport free of charge.
  • Learn how to check in online here: http://www.monarch.co.uk/faq/flights/how-to-guides/online-check-in
  • Check in online here: https://bookflights.monarch.co.uk/MemberBookingManager.aspx

Allow yourself plenty of time getting to the airport

  • Whether you’re driving or using public transport, it’s important to allow plenty of time to get to the airport.
  • Remember, it’s not just the airports that will be busier, the road and rail networks will also see an increase in passengers travelling to the airport.
  • Plan your route in advance and, if you’re travelling on public transport, check timetables – often there are limited services operating at weekends and bank holidays.
  • You can get directions and check for traffic updates on the Monarch app, as well as find useful airport information.
  • Don’t lose your car – park up and put a pin on a map within the Monarch app. You won’t regret taking that simple step before you head into the airport!
  • Don’t forget to check our website  travel alerts for local updates, such as:

http://www.monarch.co.uk/news/flights/travel-alerts/m1junction-24-a50-approach-improvements-scheme
http://www.monarch.co.uk/news/flights/travel-alerts/roadworks-luton-improvement-scheme 

Allow plenty of time to get through security at the airport

  • It’s likely there will be more people at the airport than usual, so please give yourself extra time to pass through security queues.
  • Don’t forget there are additional security measures in place which you need to consider, so make sure you charge up all the devices you’re carrying in your hand luggage, including smartphones and tablets.
  • There are more power saving tips in this Monarch blog article.

Can you travel light?

  • If you can travel with hand luggage only and check in online, you’ll avoid having to queue to drop off hold luggage, save time when you arrive at the airport and also at the baggage carousel on arrival.
  • If you’ve not checked in online, you’ll need to join the queue at the airport. Please take note of check in opening and closing times.
  • Please do take note of Monarch’s baggage size and weight restrictions, and familiarise yourself with the security rules around liquids carried in hand luggage.

Keep track of your flight

Be smart on social media

Although it’s tempting to share your holiday excitement, be very careful about who you share details of your holidays with. Double check and edit your privacy and security settings on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media you use to ensure you’re not broadcasting your current (and weekend) whereabouts to strangers. It pays not to let potential burglars know that you’re not going to be home – they’re becoming much more tech-savvy and ‘social’ these days.

Having said that, we’d love to see the results of your holiday when you get home – do share a holiday snap on our Facebook wall, or hashtag #monarch onTwitter!

Need more help during August Bank Holiday weekend?

  • Monarch’s Luton-based customer services centre will be open on Saturday and Sunday 0900-1730 BST and on Monday 0900-1600 BST, so please do give us a call if you need us.
  • We’re also online to help you on Facebook www.facebook.com/monarch and Twitter (@monarch) from 0900-1730 BST each day.

Read our FAQs 
Call us

Have a wonderful flight!

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Video: Huge surprise at Gatwick Airport for 8 year-old Ethan http://blog.monarch.co.uk/video-huge-surprise-at-gatwick-airport-for-8-year-old-ethan/ http://blog.monarch.co.uk/video-huge-surprise-at-gatwick-airport-for-8-year-old-ethan/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:00:39 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=5383

Monarch customers and staff have been brought to tears by a very touching video posted on the airline’s official Facebook page.

Filmed by Monarch holidaymaker Claire Day, the video tells the story of how her partner Gary May gave his eight year-old son Ethan the surprise of his life at Gatwick Airport.

Gary, 41 is a public speaker and travels frequently around the world on business, so it can be difficult for the family to find time to go on holiday together. Gary and Claire didn’t think that they would be able to go on a family trip this year, so when one of Gary’s business trips to the Middle East was cancelled at short notice, they jumped at the chance to book last minute  flights to Sharm el Sheikh.

With only 3 days to go before their flight, the couple decided to surprise Ethan with the holiday.

As Claire’s short film shows, Gary hugs Ethan goodbye in the Gatwick Airport carpark.

Gary says to Ethan: “Why don’t you come with?”

To which his son flicks a hand and replies that he doesn’t have his passport or any clothes.

Gary opens the boot of their car and removes two suitcases, saying: “This is Claire’s … and this is yours.”

Ethan’s reaction is absolutely priceless, as he tells Gary in tearful delight that this is the best surprise ever.

Gary told Monarch the holiday was a definite surprise to Ethan. “Ethan has a big personality, and he doesn’t like his dad working away on business trips. It was our first holiday this year, and a definite surprise, as you can tell by the video.”

At the time of writing, the 2:30 minute film had reached more than 60,000 people on Facebook, with more than 1,500 likes and 200 comments on the Monarch post. In addition, more than 800 people have shared Claire’s video.

“It’s brilliant to see that our video had such a positive reaction,” Gary said.

Ethan said he had a great time on holiday in Sharm. He went snorkelling and saw lots of fish. “I was very surprised. And very happy!”

Ethan story - family photo onboard Monarch aircraft

Family selfie with (L-R) Ethan, 8 with dad Gary and Claire onboard their Monarch flight to Sharm el Sheikh

Dozens of viewers told Monarch on Facebook that Ethan’s story had reduced them to tears, with some even sobbing at their desks in front of colleagues.  The story has become such a hit that it has even appeared on the website for the Daily Mail.

We are thrilled to have been part of such as special family moment – Ethan is a lovely boy who charmed all the cabin crew on board with his excitement at his very unexpected holiday. We are so pleased that this last minute booking has brought so much joy and we’re looking forward to welcoming Ethan and his family on board again soon.

Warning: This video could have you in floods – keep a tissue at the ready! Please feel free to watch the video and join the conversation on Facebook or add your comments below.

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Here’s some insider knowledge about our new inflight entertainment MPlayer http://blog.monarch.co.uk/mplayer-questions-and-answers/ http://blog.monarch.co.uk/mplayer-questions-and-answers/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:11:51 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=5352

Did you join our Mobile Manager John & Social Media Executive Hannah for a live chat yesterday? In case you missed it, here’s all the expert answers.

So what exactly is MPlayer?  MPlayer is the new onboard entertainment service, provided by Monarch on selected aircraft. To access the entertainment, you need to download our app called ‘MPlayer’ in advance of your flight. 

What can I do on MPlayer?  The MPlayer app is free to download and you will be able to access great TV programmes, songs and movies all for a small charge of £3.99. There is also some great free content like bar & restaurant reviews. 

I love my kindle! Can I use MPlayer on that? Can I charge it onboard?   Yes, MPlayer is available for iPad, iPhone, Kindle and Android devices you’ll be pleased to know. Currently you cannot charge onboard but I’d suggest taking a look at Boombuds by http://t.co/asHRuIKok7” clicking here.

Which company created MPlayer? @monarch who else offers this? Do jet 2, easy jet and Ryanair offer this? #Cantwait2fly  Hi Rob, great Q! We’re the UK’s first airline to offer wireless inflight entertainment. Our lovely tech friends over at AeroFi (Avionics Software Development Company) created MPlayer ^Hannah  What is the roll out time for MPlayer?  MPlayer is scheduled to roll out over our winter maintenance schedule

Is there a FAQ or a destination guide on there? #MPlayer   There’s a wide mixture of content available to access onboard via MPlayer, you’ll be happy to hear. Some of the media is available free of charge including bar & restaurant reviews so you can plan for your holiday!

 

Mplayer launch 2014

Which company created MPlayer? @monarch who else offers this? Do jet 2, easy jet and Ryanair offer this? #Cantwait2fly  Hi Rob, great Q! We’re the UK’s first airline to offer wireless inflight entertainment. Our lovely tech friends over at AeroFi (Avionics Software Development Company) created MPlayer ^Hannah 

We had a few questions about entertainment for children too  MPlayer is the new onboard entertainment service and yes we’ve thought of the little ones. There’s a great mixture including Kids animation and short programmes for them to watch provided by Monarch on selected aircraft.

For those who asked about new seats and MPlayer on the same flight..  The aircraft which feature both new seats & MPlayer entertainment are those registered G-ZBAL, G-ZBAF, G-ZBAG, and G-ZBAK.

What does the premium Media Bundle include?   There’s a wide selection to choose from: a selection of blockbuster Hollywood movies, kids and animated movies, a large selection of the best BBC TV programmes spanning many genres to appeal to all ages, loads of music – fromthe summer’s biggest hits right through to must-have album collections and a sprinkling of classic TV and music titles Thanks to everyone who got involved in the live chat. If you have any other questions please do comment below.

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Photography Day: Showcasing your holiday snaps http://blog.monarch.co.uk/photography-day-showcasing-your-holiday-snaps/ http://blog.monarch.co.uk/photography-day-showcasing-your-holiday-snaps/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:00:21 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=5292

Today, 19th August, marks Photography Day. So, we thought what better way to celebrate than to showcase some of your photos you’ve taken whilst on holiday. Here’s a selection of our favourites from the “Snap Happy” competition which features in Passport, our on board magazine.

Venice

The warm colours, beautiful canals and the famous Gondolas have been caught on camera by Elle-Rose Williams on The Rialto Bridge in Venice.

Old town Split Croatia

This shot by Lydia Geary, was taken at the perfect moment arriving at Diocletian’s Palace in Split.

Neuschwantein, Germany

Do you believe in fairy tales? A beautiful shot taken by Simon Ng in Neuschwanstein, Germany.

Red Sea Egypt

Diving into the Red Sea whilst in Egypt, Rose T took this under water shot to capture life under the sea.

Sunset Bodrum Turkey

Enjoying the beautiful sunset in Turkey, Neil Hedge made the most of this picture perfect opportunity.

Venice

Tim Brown took this shot whilst enjoying a Christmas day stroll in Venice.

 

Sunrise over the Highlands Scotland

Jamie H photographed this colourful sunrise over the Highlands, Scotland.

Amalfi coast

A beautiful night shot taken in Miaori on the Amalfi Coast, by Sergio Mallardo.

Heinzman Venice

Known for its colourful houses, the Island of Burano has so many amazing photographic opportunities. Thanks to Matt Heinzman, we have this fabulous one to share.

Venice colourful houses

Diana Capitao photographed this amazing pink sunset in Goa, India. Picture perfect.

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Tuesday Tips: Discover the secrets of the deep http://blog.monarch.co.uk/tuesday-tips-discover-the-secrets-of-the-deep/ http://blog.monarch.co.uk/tuesday-tips-discover-the-secrets-of-the-deep/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 09:15:56 +0000 http://blog.monarch.co.uk/?p=4569

Want to explore the deep blue sea and spot the world’s most amazing creatures? Luckily, you don’t have to travel to the Great barrier reef in order to see them! There’s some amazing marine life just a  short flight away, and seeing these creatures in their natural habitat really is something that shouldn’t be missed.

Turtles in Tenerife

Turtle swimming in waters of Tenerife You might not think it, but Tenerife is one of the top places in the world to indulge in a little whale or turtle spotting. There are loads of species that call this Canary Island home or that simply pass through the turquoise waters on their way elsewhere. You can take a boat trip and try to spot blue marlin, bottlenose dolphins, pilot whales and sperm whales. Or plunge beneath the waves to encounter sharks and rays, as well as a host of smaller colourful fish and creatures.

Exotic marine life in Egypt

colourful fish and coralSharm El Sheikh is famed for its amazing dive sites. It’s said to rival even the Great Barrier Reef for beauty and the abundance of species – from graceful scorpion fish to fearsome eels and hawksbill turtles. The thing that sets this Egyptian resort apart, though, is the chance to get up close and personal with a number of species of shark. You can take a day boat to the Straits of Tiran, which are home to four reefs. Jackson Reef is the one to spot sharks at. The most impressive sight is the schooling hammerheads between July and September!

Snorkelling in Madeira

A pod of whales Head to Madeira and set out on the open seas to spend some quality time with dolphins, whales and seabirds in their natural habitat. Just take on of the boat rides that go to the top locations for viewing these magnificent creatures on their home surf (sorry). The catamarans often stop to let passengers snorkel, sometimes in near dolphins, and always with the chance to see turtles and other underwater fauna.

Turtle Beach in Cyprus

Turtles on sand, Turtle Beach, Cyprus Cyprus is known for one kind of creature in particular: the turtle. Kyrenia, in the north, is well worth a trip as it’s where you’ll find Alagadi, or ‘Turtle Beach’. It’s here that the endangered green and loggerhead turtles come to lay their eggs. If you head to the Goat Shed study centre at nightfall, you might be lucky enough to be taken to see the hatchlings make their way to the sea. Meanwhile, Paphos, in the south, has innumerable dive sites with a world of reefs and sea life. So you’ve got more than enough when it comes to marine wonders.

Explore beneath ‘The Rock’ in Gibraltar

fish with coral The Strait of Gibraltar is packed with large marine mammals, with the pilot whale by far the most popular. But if you’re lucky, you’ll have some sightings of minke, sperm and fin whales – and even amazing killer whales. If you take a dive down ‘The Rock’ you’re sure to see shoals of mullet, mackerel and sardines. While hidden in the reefs are moray and conger eels, octopus and massive spider crabs. So what are you waiting for?!

What are your top tips for diving? Share your comments below!

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