Travel tips: Algeria opens up; Norway going cheap

Here at Lonely Planet, we have travel experts on tap. In this excerpt from the August 2010 issue of Lonely Planet Magazine, UK editor Tom Hall has this month's top travel news and tips: travel changes from the coalition government, Algeria receives a boost, and one of Europe’s most expensive countries offers a bargain.

Geirangerfjord, Norway

Air Passenger Duty flying off

Air Passenger Duty, the unloved tax that adds £11 to £110 to the cost of a plane seat, looks set to be a casualty of the new government. It has plans to replace this with a per-plane tax, to encourage fuller and therefore greener flights. This may lead to higher flight taxes – a report is expected in the autumn.

No refunds on ID Cards

The national ID card scheme is also on the scrapheap. The 13,000 people who received one during last year’s trial have been able to use the card as a travel document for European flights. Now they’ll not only lose their £30 fee – no refunds are on offer – but they’ll have to get a passport to continue travelling.

Monument aux Martyrs, Algiers

Return to Algeria

Tourist numbers to Algeria don’t yet compare with those of neighbouring Tunisia and Morocco, but tours led by clued-up local guides are opening up this enigmatic country. Trips focus on the capital, Algiers, Roman attractions, and the Sahara to the south. Try Syder Travel and Wild Frontiers for cutting-edge Algeria tours.

Olympic training

The news that east London's Stratford International will serve only domestic train services for the foreseeable future, including during the Olympics, leaves the station in need of a new name less than a year after opening. The station will be heaving during the games when it will receive a train from St Pancras International every seven minutes, but none direct from overseas.

Air hopping Norway

Norwegian airline Wideroe is offering something of a bargain at the moment - two weeks’ unlimited air travel around the country for £412 (until 27 August). Tie this in with a sailing on the Huritgruten and a ride on the Bergensbanen Oslo–Bergen railway and you’ll have the ultimate Norwegian odyssey. See Wideroe for information.

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