Easter in Seville


Go Advice:From taking in Easter events in Seville to walking in Garmisch and Rome on a budget, JOAN SCALESanswers your travel questions

Tour of Seville at Easter

My wife and I are thinking about going to Seville for the Easter ceremonies. I have been to Seville some years ago and locals I met kept saying “come here at Easter”. I am wondering if any tour groups go from Ireland for the event. We would like to be there from April 21st to 25th. I know that it is possible to fly to Seville, find your own hotel, etc, but we would prefer to be part of a group and so have organised participation in the ceremonies.

ML, Tipperary

Semana Santaor Holy Week is a very special time in Seville. In the week leading up to Easter Sunday there are processions in which huge floats are carried around the city followed by penitents. They are called pasosand it is an honour to be a bearer. There are set routes around the city and people line the streets to see them. Many of these are hundreds of years old and have been carefully maintained by the parishes of the city.

There are no organised tours to Seville for Semana Santa, but it is an easy enough festival to join in as a visitor. There are flights available with Ryanair to Seville in and around the dates of Easter.

While you are there you can also organise tours locally with the tourist office. Seville is a big city and a city tour would be a good idea to get your bearings. Also tours to Jerez and Cadiz would be interesting. There are hotels with availability on booking.com. Tourist information about Andalucia and Seville is available on andalucia.org. For tours and information see spanish-fiestas.com.

Self-catering in Garmisch

I am involved with a walking club and we would like to walk in the Garmisch area of Germany. I have problems trying to find four-star self-catering accommodation in Garmisch. We usually have 20-plus interested, and some like hotels and some like apartments. I was trying for hotels with apartments but have not had much luck. Can you please help me? Have you heard much about this area? Is it worth going to?

BR, Dublin

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the perfect place for walking with over 300km of hiking trails around the town. The trails range from easy walks to tours of several days with overnight stays in mountain shelters.

Garmisch tourist office recommends a number of walks, like hiking through the breathtaking and geologically interesting Partnach Gorge where you’ll be next to roaring waterfalls and cataracts. This expedition is one of the most impressive wonders of the Alps.

A number of trails through the surrounding area start at the Partnach Gorge. These are along pathways steeped in history and lead to the King’s House on the Schachen, which used to be King Ludwig II’s mountain refuge. For the more experienced, try crossing the Höllental Canyon or the more demanding trails to the summit of the Alpspitze.

Regarding accommodation: there are four-star self-catering holiday flats as well as hotels, but no hotels with self-catering. See gapa.de. For group reservations e-mail reservations@gapa.de or phone 00-49-8821-180411.

Insurance for holiday scams

We were subject to a holiday scam last year and lost the total apartment rental cost of €1,800, which we had been obliged to transfer to a Barcelona bank account prior to departure. Our travel insurance policy (with VHI) did not cover such issues. It is my understanding that other policies on sale in Ireland, similarly, do not. Are there international companies offering such cover? Also, would these be trustworthy themselves?

BH, Dublin

I am sorry to hear that you were a victim of such a scam. Unfortunately, these types of scams are far too frequent. It is very hard to find cover against being scammed. The safest way to avoid being scammed is to use reputable sites for booking, though that is not a perfect guarantee.

Use a site where other holidaymakers have put reviews or use an estate agent. One site I do know and have used myself is holiday-rentals.com, which has insurance against fraud, though only to a maximum of £700 (€814) or half your rental cost.

Rome on a budget

We are a family of four, two adults and two children, boy 11 and girl 16, who have booked flights to Rome on June 23rd, for seven nights. As we are on a budget we would be grateful for any advice on reasonably priced accommodation with easy access to the city and within easy access of a beach. We would love to visit the city but have the choice of combining city with beach/countryside.

YMG, Dublin

The one thing about Italy is that public transport is good and reasonably priced, so you have the choice of either staying in Rome and taking some day trips, or staying by the coast and travelling in. Just make sure to pick a place to stay that is close to rail or bus services.

I have come across these two companies doing accommodation in and around Rome. The first is the Bed and Breakfast Association of Rome and it has B&Bs and apartments in the city. Prices for apartments are €115 to €160 per night. Most are well located and you will be able to walk around. The association’s website is b-b.rm.it or phone 00-39-0655302248.

The other is Rental in Rome and it has a good selection of apartments and prices are a little less. The further out of the city you go the cheaper the prices. You can contact them on 00-39-06-9905199 or rentalinrome.com.