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What is the cheapest way to get to Stansted from London?

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You're all set to go on holiday: you've booked the flights, reserved the accommodation, sorted the travel insurance and collected your spending money. You've already forked out so much money for your trip, yet there's one final cost to pay that you may have forgotten - the travel to and from Stansted airport. However, this additional cost needn't strike fear into your heart, as it doesn't have to be expensive. It all depends what form of transport to choose to take.

Let's take a look at your different options if you're travelling from London.

Festival lovers get a bonus at Sonus

It's easier to enjoy than pronounce, but Zrce Beach will be the focus for travellers to transfer their attentions to during the height of festival season next week. British revellers will be flying out in their multitudes from south-east English airports to the Croatian island of Pag to savour the Sonus festival from August 21-26.

Stars will include Ricardo Villalobos, Luciano, Seth Troxler, Magda, Chris Liebing, Cassy, DJ Sneak and Zip. As well as the festival's impressive line-up; the country's fantastic value for money, turquoise blue water and warm, heavenly beaches and buoyant boat parties should also give music lovers something to dance about.

The beach is also one of Croatia's most widely celebrated festival spots and has become an established setting for electronic music events down the years. Nearby Papaya and Kalypso, both in Europe’s top 20 listed clubs, add to the region’s glowing fun reputation. Next Wednesday's (August 21) Sonus launch party will be hosted by event agencies Cosmopop, which has just recently established itself in Belgium with the Fade In Festival in Brussels, and Sonus d.o.o. Five days and four nights, several boat parties and several pre and post-parties make for an impressive start to this new festival brand.

Copyright © Press Association 2013

Europe's 'best beach' in Lampedusa

Pope Francis is enjoying a tour of the small Italian island of Lampedusa, a hidden gem between Sicily and Libya. The Argentine, who took over from Pope Benedict XVI as head of the Catholic Church in March, is visiting the biggest island of the Italian Pelagie Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Lampedusa boasts beautiful white beaches and crystal clear waters, with TripAdvisor ranking Rabbit Beach as the best in Europe earlier in 2013. The beach can be found on the south coast and is perfect for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving.

As the sun sets in September, rare loggerhead turtles emerge from the sea to lay their eggs on land, watched by a small group of volunteer conservationists. The beach and the nearby island form part of a nature reserve where endangered species are protected. A number of attractive coves feature on the south coast, as well as impressive cliffs and rock formations which require a closer inspection by boat. The old harbour is also popular with tourists.

Holidaymakers keen to sample Lampedusa would first need to book a flight to Palermo, Sicily, with daily flights available from UK airports such as Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. They would then have the option of catching another flight to the island or boarding a ferry from Porto Empedocle, near Agrigento.

Copyright © Press Association 2013

Holidaymakers flocking to Croatia

Croatia has become an increasingly popular tourist hotspot over the last few years - a trend which looks set to continue emphatically this summer. The eastern European country was recently named the holiday destination to watch out for in the coming months, with currency sales up 55% in the first five months of 2013. Kuna sales jumped 61% year-on-year in May, meaning it is currently 6th on the Post Office’s best-seller list - its highest ever position. “Croatia really seems to be Europe’s in-vogue destination,” commented Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money. “It has been growing steadily in popularity over the past five years but the latest surge suggests the country is about to become even more popular.”

Value for money is one of the reasons why so many holidaymakers are choosing Croatia, particularly those flying from UK airports such as Heathrow and Stansted. Recent research into resort costs suggests that a holiday in the country offers travellers more bang for their buck compared to many other European destinations. The coastal city of Dubrovnik, which is known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, is one of the top places to visit in Croatia. Boasting beautiful buildings in the old part of town, it is recognised by Unesco as ‘a remarkably well-preserved example of a late-medieval walled city’.

Copyright Press Association 2013

Cyprus offers cleanest water in EU

Beautiful beaches in Cyprus are not only easy on the eye but offer the cleanest water in Europe, according to research by the European Environment Agency (EEA). European Commission figures indicate the water quality of every bathing site in Cyprus is 'excellent', significantly higher than the EU average of 78%. The EEA performs annual tests of bacteria levels from sewage and livestock at coastal beaches, rivers and lakes. "From northern fjords to subtropical beaches, Europe is rich in places to cool down in the summer," said EEA executive director Jacqueline McGlade.

Most European destinations are easily accessible from airports in the south of England such as Stanstead, Gatwick and Luton. In Cyprus, there is a noticeable difference in the type of beaches holidaymakers will find around the island.

To the east, Ayia Napa boasts stunning white sandy beaches, in contrast to the darker sand in Larnaca. Rocky coves feature around the Polis area in the north west, while the well-known Aphrodite's Rock to the south is complemented by a shallow shingle beach. There is also a marked difference between the hectic, well-populated town beaches of Limassol and Paphos and the tranquil Lara Beach near Polis. Rocky beaches near Polis offer the best visibility for snorkelling courtesy of crystal clear water.

Copyright © Press Association 2013