herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Where can I use the euro – and where's the best Costa beach?

Q Which countries in Europe do not take euro?

A Turkey is the most significant holiday destination that does not use the euro. Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, LIthuania, Poland, Romania and Sweden are not in the euro zone despite being in the European Union.

Latvia has recently adopted the euro. Kosovo and Montenegro use the euro as a matter of choice despite not being in the EU as do micro-states like Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City. You will find the euro in use in French possessions abroad such as Martinique.

Q We hope to go to Mexico but do not want the hassle of US immigration. What routing would you recommend?

A Cancun is the resort of choice for most Irish people, although it is a bit too Americans-abroad for my liking, rather than Mexican.

There is talk of a direct flight form Dublin to Cancun with Thomas Cook under their air division's expansion plans but I will not be holding my breath.

My recommended route is through Paris with Air France to Mexico City and on to your Mexican destination of choice or through Gatwick to Cancun with British Airways. Aero Mexico also fly Heathrow to Cancun.

Of the mass tourism resorts, Puerto Vallarta is preferable to Cancun in my mind (there is a local Irish connection in San Patricio) and there are planned charters with Thomson Fly next summer from Manchester and London Gatwick.

Avoid both if you want to see the real Mexico: my personal favourite province of the 32 is mountain-high, canyon-deep treasure of Chiapas with its amazing colonial heritage.

Go in to the little church of San Juan Chimuna and you will never think the same about religion again.

Q Could you recommend a quiet resort on the Costa del Sol for a package holiday?

A Almunecar and itssunwashed hinterland of 18 beaches is near Malaga airport, a little big further to the west than the Irish favourite of Nerja.

The municipality has 6,500 beds offering lower prices than those to the east in and the 60km of coastline towards Malaga.

Q What is the best way to pay your bill in a non euro country?

A The rates on credit and debit cards can save a considerable amount on cash transactions.

Oddly enough non-euro countries like the Scandinavian countries have some of the best facilities for plastic and you can survive without any local currency at all on a short break.

I recently used my visa card in a chipper in Reykjavik in Iceland.

Send your questions to ecorry@herald.ie

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