Are internet holidays really such a bargain? The answer is
yes — but only if you can get your timing right

ACCORDING to a recent report, the package holiday is in decline as, increasingly, we book discount rooms and flights independently. But internet deals are seasonal and can vanish as fast as they appear. A holiday took for a rock—bottom price at the height of the Middle East conflict can prove surprisingly great value for a single person at £4 a night plus flights. Internet holiday site has just released another batch of cheap offers to Majorca, but flexibility and speed are everything. The deal would cost almost £600 now. Judge for yourselves whether you would stump up that amount for such a break.

Away from the tourist- trodden routes, destinations can promise sun, sea, solitude and great food. And they are served by airlines offering low-cost deals

LOW-COST flights are no longer the sole preserve of budget airlines— you can now fly to Italy with British Airways and Alitalia at rates that often compare favourably with those of no-frills carriers such as Ryanair (when you take into account free in flight meals and drinks). The airports may sound like second division destinations (Ancona, Genoa), but they are gateways to space, solitude and some very good food. You simply need to know where to go.
Fly to: Pisa; Airline: Alitalia (via Milan); Head to: The Maremma. This land was once reigned over by the butteri, Tuscan cowboys, who herded semi-wild horses and oxen. The heart of the Maremma is the Parco dell’Uccellina nature reserve. A short, coastal ridge of densely wooded hills rising from the plain, it is home to wild boar and abandoned Medieval monasteries. It has the best beach in Tuscany a long stretch of white sand backed by umbrella pines. Back towards Alberese’s sleepy railway station, La Dispensa (via Aurelia Antica 16, 0564 407 321, closed Thursday) serves Maremmano cooking: wild boar crostini or pappardeile in hare sauce for around 25 euros a head.