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Paris still capital of romance

With many Britons set to head off on romantic getaways this Valentine's Day, a new survey has revealed that Paris still reigns supreme as the city of love.

Long regarded as a place where love is most definitely in the air, the French capital topped a poll of the most romantic destinations compiled on behalf of the Homebuyer Show.

The historic city of Edinburgh was perhaps a surprise entry in second position, while respondents voted another French destination, the Cote d'Azur in the south of the country, into third place.

Managing director of the Homebuyer Show Nick Clark said: "Destinations which hold romantic memories for couples are often returned to time and time again and what better way of visiting these locations than to own a property in that location enabling them to make more trips and take advantage of rental opportunities."

The results of the research were echoed in a similar recent survey from American Express, which placed Paris second in the list of top romantic break destinations, with Venice taking the top spot and Rome coming third.

France to extend cycling holiday routes

Those heading for a cycling holiday in France will soon have even more routes to choose from, after the country's tourism authority announced significant expansion to its existing tracks.

Maison de la France said that a further 800km of minor roads, cycling tracks and paths were planned for regions including the Loire Valley and Burgundy, with around half of these expected to be completed before the summer.

Around 40 kilometres of track will be added to areas surrounding the city of Nantes in May, press agency DPA reports, while the section between Orleans and Blois is scheduled for completion this year.

In addition, Burgundy's 600km network is being expanded to 800km, which will form a circular route taking in paths through vineyards and along canals.

Almost 60 kilometres in the departments of Cher and Loiret were also recently earmarked for cyclists, it has been reported, passing a 662-metre steel bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel.

The Loire a Velo project makes up part of France's cycle routes, aiming eventually to follow "Europe's last untamed river" from Cuffy in the Cher region (near Sancerre) to St-Brevin-les-Pins and offer an alternative way to experience France.

Brits spend 65bn on foreign holidays

Many Britons spend so much on holidays abroad that they may save money by buying a property overseas, new research claims.

A study from MRI Overseas Property revealed that Britons collectively spend 65 billion on trips abroad each year, with Spanish holidays and holidays in France two of the most popular options.

In addition, 73 per cent of Britons admit that they exercise their holiday habits by returning to the same place at least twice, Easier reports.

The poll also found that 21 per cent of people take at least four trips per year and nine per cent spend more than 4,000 on their break away, higher than the average of 1,477, which is itself over six per cent of the average worker's salary.

Meanwhile, over an adult's working lifetime they will spend around 69,419 on holidays - three times their average annual salary.

Group chairman of MRI Overseas Property Darragh MacAnthony said: "Over 35 million British adults set off abroad last year and the majority return to a destination on more than one occasion which raises the question that some of these people would benefit from buying in the area."

According to new research from currency specialist HiFX, increasing numbers of Britons are now looking to buy property in emigration hotspots such as Australia and Canada as well as traditional hotspots such as Spain.
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