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January is by far the most popular time of year to book a holiday, with around a quarter (23%) of UK holidaymakers booking in the first month of the year. In fact, Google Trends data shows that searches for holidays quadruple at the end of December and the beginning of January.

Looking into search engine data, Gala Spins has revealed the up and coming destinations that have seen the highest growth in volume of Google searches over the last 12 months. Party spot Malaga tops the list with a huge 875% spike in searches, while the Amalfi Coast takes second place (600% increase) and Kefalonia and the Canary Islands share third (both seeing a 436% increase in Google searches). The holiday locations with the highest increase of searches in the last 12 months are: 1 Malaga - 875% 2 Amalfi coast - 600% 3 Kefalonia - 436% 4 The Canary Islands - 436% 5 The Seychelles - 420% 6 Antigua - 321% 7 Bulgaria - 271% 8 Mallorca - 267% 9 Jersey - 267% 10 Salou - 255%

Laura Dean, founder of The Travel Design Company, gives insight into just why the top five locations are becoming so popular: 1 Malaga, Spain: “Once considered a party haven, Malaga has recently become rather chic and trendy. It still has the bars and beaches, but now it is also more in tune with its cultural and historical past. The result is energy, youthful vigour, art and some great dining too. It was the birthplace of Picasso after-all.”

2 Amalfi Coast, Italy: “The Coast’s Italian style encapsulates ‘La Dolce Vita’. It’s a great fly-drive destination from Naples and the stylish and beautiful cliffside villages such as Positano offer a sensational backdrop and the perfect destination for short trips, minimoons, and gastronomic or wine tours.”

3 Kefalonia, Greece: “The Captain Corelli book and film may have put Kefalonia on the tourist map but this quintessentially, unhurried Greek island with a strong Italian influence has recently seen a resurgence. Less plundered by tourism than nearby Corfu, the stunning natural beauty appeals to nature lovers and activity tourists as well as sun seekers.”

4 Canary Islands, Spain: “The Canaries are a great, close to home winter sun destination, often with highly competitive last-minute deals. It’s one of only a few destinations in Europe that offers all-inclusive packages and, as the likes of Sharm el Sheikh have suffered in recent years, the Canaries has come into its own, especially in the winter months.”

5 Seychelles, Africa: “Firmly in the luxury end of the honeymoon market, while the Maldives and Mauritius have become more accessible, the Seychelles with its beautiful beaches and luxurious resorts has retained its exclusivity factor. Activity and eco-tourism feature strongly, with a large proportion of the land given over to conservation areas and nature reserves.” Additionally, Gala Spins’ research can reveal the current top five most searched-for winter break destinations, alongside estimated prices for a week’s trip for two (flights included). 1 Dubai - £1,789 average 2 Caribbean - £2,230 average 3 Maldives - £4906 average 4 Thailand - £1,859 average 5 Mexico - Around £2,261 Commenting on the research, Karina Adrian, Head of Brand Marketing at Gala Spins, says, “It can get gloomy in the depths of winter when it feels like you haven’t seen the sun in months, so we’re not surprised that so many people look ahead to a nice break. Now that we’ve crunched the numbers, hopefully, these hot spots have given you some inspiration for your next trip.”

Series of events prepare for RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch

Leading up to the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch over weekend of 25, 26 and 27 January, RSPB Cymru is holding exciting events on its nature reserves across Wales. From discovering how to make some brilliant bird feeders to identifying the creatures you share your home with, there’s something for everyone. Come along to RSPB Ynys-hir on Sunday 19 January, from 10.30am – 3pm, and practise your bird ID skills with the birds on our feeders. You’ll also get to make a bird cake to take home. No need to book. Cost £2 per bird cake. For further information call: 01654 700222 or visit: ynys-hir@ Join the staff


volunteers from RSPB Ynys-hir at Machynlleth Library on Saturday 25 January, from 10am-1pm and help count the birds in the

For further information call Machynlleth Library: 01654 702322 or RSPB

Ynys-hir : 01654 700222. Get Ready for Big Garden Birdwatch at RSPB Lake Vyrnwy with their free event on 18 and 19 January, from 11am-2pm. Brush up or get started on garden bird ID with expert help in the hide. Children can get creative with creature craſts and bring along a plastic bottle to learn how to make a bird feeder. Te RSPB will also have an optics demonstration throughout both days for visitors

try out binoculars

to compare and and

library grounds.

telescopes, with a trained member of staff available for impartial advice on our range available in the shop. Booking not essential. For further information call 01691 870278 or visit: RSPB Newport Wetlands will be hosting a Birdwatching for Beginners Guided Walk on Sunday 26 January, from 9.30am – 12.30am. Tis is the perfect opportunity to improve birdwatching skills before

the biggest wildlife survey of the year, the Big Garden Birdwatch. Visitors start the morning going over the basics and then put what they have learnt into practise while walking around the reserve. Guided Walk: RSPB member £8 and £10 non-member. Booking essential. For further information call 01633 636363 or visit: uk/newportwetlands A range of events is also taking place throughout Cardiff through RSPB Cymru’s Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff project, in partnership with the City of Cardiff Council. Dates and venues to look out for are: Big Garden Birdwatch in Roath Park, Cardiff. Sunday 19 January – Roath Park, Cardiff, 10am – 3pm, drop-in, free event Cardiff Wildlife Detectives, Big Garden Birdwatch, Sunday 19 January, 10am – 12pm, £1.50 per child, email: to book Visit RSPB Conwy for the Big Garden Birdwatch Weekend on Saturday and Sunday 25 and 26 January and, 11am-3pm. Make tasty treats for birds and identify garden birds and what they like to eat on a Big Garden Birdwatch trail! Tere will be special offers in the shop too, with helpful advice and information from our staff and volunteers. It’s a free event - no booking required. For further information call 01492 581025 or visit:

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING TO PLACE AN ADVERT IN CLASSIFIED CALL MARGARET ON 01685 382300 Cardiff & South Wales Advertiser - Friday 17th January 2020 - 15

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