There’s a whole load of celebrations planned across the UK for the Jubilee weekend, not to mention a glut of bunting, parades and street parties. What better excuse to eat sandwiches and cakes for four days? But the recent Royal visits to the Commonwealth got us thinking -- for those hankering after sunnier climes, a rundown of the best-value destinations in the Queen’s realm might be rather handy. After all, you can still wave a flag and think of Britain from a beach in Barbados...
First up is Australia. Holidays down under aren’t cheap, but we frequently find good offers for hotels in Sydney, like this central stay with upgrade for £72 per room, per night. The outrageous Aussie city is all about having a good time, but you can do Sydney on a shoestring. See the harbour lights at night on a ferry from Manly to Circular Quay, or head to the cobbled laneways of The Rocks, an area packed with free things to do.
On Prince Harry’s leg of the Commonwealth tour he headed to Jamaica, where he raced against Usain Bolt and danced to reggae music. While there he spoke of his grandmother’s love for the island, and who can blame her? It’s got pristine waterfalls, gritty cities, beautiful beaches and jerk chicken -- plus, you can pick up all-inclusive holidays with huge savings (we found one for £1279 for seven nights in a hideaway suite at a Sandals resort).
Another contender for the bargain all-inclusive crown (see what we did there?) is Sri Lanka, home to ancient cities, forest reserves and cricket fanatics. Lonely Planet online says this tropical island "has a stellar combination of scenery, culture and history", and we often see offers there for under £800, thanks to its low food and accommodation costs. We’ve found a deal from Golden Ticket Travel for £709, for eight nights on a golden-sand beach with all meals and drinks covered.
Closer to home, Cyprus has two big pluses: the weather is warm for much of the year, and a luxury week costs around £300 (we’re talking 5-star hotels and fine dining -- this Mediterranean hotspot has pulled its socks up of late). Head to the remote Troödos Mountains for some time away from the hustle and bustle, or explore the golden beaches of the Karpas (Kırpaşa) Peninsula. Our Turkey, Greece and Cyprus section has a selection of the latest deals.
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