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Sarah Loughlin hunts down the best travel deals for holidays in November.

Unless you have been locked in a darkened room for the last few weeks, you will have noticed its becoming decidedly wintery. Although this means that soon enough the ski resorts will start opening up, and the Christmas markets will be in full swing. For now, well…its just a bit soggy.

So to while away your time until it is socially acceptable to don christmas jumpers and drink mulled wine in the afternoon, here are a few insanely good deals to get some last minute sunshine before the festive season officially commences…

A Weekend Break:

Three nights exploring Marrakech, Morocco – Saturday the 29th Of November- Tuesday 2nd of December £296.

Book via Voyage Prive and stay in the 5* Kenzi Menara Palace. Flights, accommodation, breakfast and private transfers are all included as well as one free day in the spa. This hotel has great reviews on Trip Advisor and loads of facilities including both an indoor and outdoor pool, tennis courts and a volley ball court. This deal is based on flying from Stansted with Ryanair, although there are alternatives if the thought of driving to Stansted at 2am makes you want to stay at home in the rain!

The weather is due to be 20 degrees and sunny in Marrakech next week, perfect for chilling by the pool or exploring the town. This deal is only available for three more days, so don’t miss out!

If you have not been to Marrakech before check out Elle Croft’s handy guide.

A week in the sun:

Seven nights soaking up the sun in Hurghada, Egypt – Tuesday the 2nd of December – Tuesday the 9th of December £342.

I know this is strictly in December, but it was good a deal to ignore! Fly from London Gatwick with Thomas Cook staying at the Sunrise Royal Makadi Resort, which has great reviews and it’s an All Inclusive hotel, so everything is covered!

This Hotel has been given a Travelife Award which means they take great care of their environmental and social impacts within their local communities. To see how choosing a hotel like this can mean you go on holiday, while saving the world, keep reading…

The weather is due to be sunny and in the mid 20’s all week, perfect weather to catch a few rays and read a book! But if lounging by the pool is just far too relaxing, here are my top five things to do in Hurghada:

1. Ride a camel… Those of you who have read my previous post’s will know that my Dad and I tend to get carried away when embracing history and culture, camel riding was no exception! My sisters were mortified to see us running around with our camels pretending we were ancient Egyptian explorers.

camels

Dad and I pretending we were Egyptian Kings, exploring the desert…

3. Go Scuba-diving… I tried diving for the first time in Egypt and absolutely loved it. The Red Sea is renowned for their great dive spots, and it wasn’t too pricey compared to some other destinations. If you don’t fancy scuba-diving, try snorkelling, you can still see a lot of the amazing coral and wildlife just buy swimming around on the surface. TOP TIP: Always take care when snorkelling and diving, the coral is very delicate and touching it or treading on it can easily kill it.

2. Spend some time in the desert…. There are a lot of different activities and excursions to choose from so pick something that suites you and head out into the desert for the day, you won’t regret it! TOP TIP: Remember to take a jumper if you are staying into the evening because it can get cold quite quickly.

desert

Excursion to a Bedouin Camp, and more camel riding!

4. Visit the Marina…. take a taxi down to Hurghada Marina for a wonder around the shops and bars. It’s a great atmosphere in the town, remember that haggling is a part of the culture over there so give it a go! TOP TIP: Book a return taxi from the hotel and arrange to meet them at a set time and place, this way you don’t have to worry about getting home.

5. Have a cheeky afternoon beer at the pool bar… there is nothing like catching up on the days events over a beer to cool off in the afternoon sun. Whether you have been playing volleyball, taking a nap or reading a great book, it’s always good to pencil in an afternoon refreshment or two!

pool

My sisters, pretending they didn’t know me when I came back from an afternoon running around with camels…

 

Two weeks in the sun:

14 nights saving the world in The Gambia – Friday the 28th of November – Friday the 12th of December.

Book with The Gambia Experience and stay at Kombo Beach, for just £551 per person based on two people sharing. This includes your flights, transfers, accommodation and breakfast.

In my feature ‘Go on Holiday Whilst Saving the World’ I discussed how you can really make a difference in places such as The Gambia, which as a developing country relies heavily on the tourist trade to make money. You can make your money go a lot further by choosing a hotel such as Kombo Beach, which has great reviews as well as being recognised by Travelife as a hotel that is making an effort to look after the environment and local community. Kombo beach works with Gambia is Good (GiG), a business which supports thousands of remote local farmers by linking them with the tourist market. Kombo Beach buys fruit and vegetables from GiG, as well as serving locally produced beer at the hotel. They also monitor their environmental impact in terms of energy and water usage and try, where they can, to improve on it every year. This hotel really goes the extra mile to look after its staff, during the rainy season when the hotel is closed they try to employ staff as handy men in the hotel, if that is not possible they provide them with food packages each month.

As if saving the world was not reason enough to go, the weather for next week is due to be in the mid 30’s! So you will definitely pick up a healthy glow in time for the office Christmas party!

For more ideas about great holiday deals check out my previous post ‘How to Fly for £17 Return’.

All prices and availability were accurate on Sunday the 23rd of November; please check websites for up to date pricing.

Happy Holiday-ing!

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