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Travel Doctor: on the trail of the blues

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Q My wife and I are celebrating our ruby wedding anniversary next year and we want to celebrate by going somewhere a little different. We are both music fans of the blues and while we don’t want to go on blues trails all day, we would love to holiday by day and hear the blues at night. What can you recommend?
Mike Davies, via email

A The easiest way to do this would be on a fly-drive package so that your hotels are all booked en route and you can do as much or as little sightseeing as you wish. AmeriCan and Worldwide Travel (01892 779900, awwt.co.uk) has a 14-night Roots of Blues trip that would take you from New Orleans to the Mississippi Delta (where blues grew up on plantations like Dockery), Memphis, St Louis and finally Chicago. It starts at £1,255pp based on two sharing and includes flights, accommodation (room only), compact car hire and a travel pack with a full itinerary and recommendations for blues clubs in each place. American Sky (0843 2495571, americansky.co.uk) has a similar tour lasting 12 days, starting at £1,119pp, also including flights, hotels and car hire. You’d pick up a car in Chicago and head for St Louis, Nashville, Memphis, Vicksburg and New Orleans.

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Q My husband and I are both Italophiles and would like to visit Italy in the Christmas holidays, leaving on or around December 22 for 12 to 14 days. We would prefer some warmth if possible and while we have already visited Sicily, we have never been to Sardinia. We live in Leeds and our budget could be anything from £500 to £900pp.
Joy Mitchell-Kardasz, via email

A If you’re set on Sardinia, the resorts will be quite forlorn out of season so you should base yourself in a town. I’d plump for Alghero, with its Christmas market, the annual performance of the medievalSong of the Sibyl in Catalan in the cathedral on Christmas Eve and bumper New Year’s Eve celebrations at Cap d’Any generic levitra online usa d’Alguer, complete with music and fireworks. The best flight for you is the non-stop service with easyJet from Stansted to Cagliari which operates three times a week: leaving on December 23 and returning on January 3 would cost about £220. Staying at the Hotel Catalunya, close to the old town, in a double with a sea view starts at £926 for 11 nights through booking.com. Expect mild rather than warm weather — highs of about 16C are the norm. Southern Italy specialist Long Travel (01694 722193, long-travel.co.uk) thinks Sardinia would be too quiet and recommends Lecce, the capital of Puglia. It offers the Palazzo Persone, a lovely boutique B&B with only six rooms in the heart of the city and over Christmas the price is £42 to £48pp per night, so it would fit quite nicely within your budget. EasyJet flies from Gatwick to Bari but not on your dates; if you have to stick to those there are indirect flights with Alitalia from Heathrow.

Q I am trying to bring my brother from Cyprus to the UK for a holiday this summer. The problem is that for medical reasons he cannot fly. Can you suggest the most cost-effective way of doing this?
Douglas McCowan, via email

A There are no ferry services from Cyprus to Greece so the most cost-effective way would be via ferry from Northern Cyprus to southern Turkey and then on by bus, taxi and train to Istanbul from where it’s a four-night train journey to London. You can find full details onseat.61.com, but this is certainly not a trip for the faint-hearted. The far more expensive alternative is to book him a single cabin on a freighter such as Grimaldi Lines’ weekly Euro-Med service from Limassol to Portbury (for Bristol). This takes 13 nights and costs £1,835 one-way (the return journey is from Southampton). Book through Strand Voyages (020 7953 7607, strandtravelltd.co.uk).

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By David Felix

David Felix, a 32 year old carpenter who is taking time out to travel and see more of the world before I get too old to enjoy it fully. I'm an easy going, flexible type of guy who likes to meet new people, wake up each morning not knowing what the day will bring and have fun. Follow my adventures and I shall try to describe each place I visit to the best of my abilities, giving you, the reader, a chance to form your own ideas. Happy travels and I hope to hear from you soon, Dave.