Please assign a menu to the primary menu location under menu

5 years ago

Travel News and Reviews

Group Travel Specialists Contiki release dedicated brochure from Ireland

Contiki

Contiki, the market leader in group travel, have been bringing 18-35 year olds on holidays together for over 50 years.

 

From short breaks to epic journeys of a life time – you name it, Contiki has is it covered. Every time I see one of their videos or flick through their brochures, I have a slight pang of regret that I never experienced a Contiki holiday in my twentys – this is somewhat ironic considering their mantra is #noregrets!

Contiki offer 270 different trips around the world and cover everything from island hopping in Greece to the famous Inca trail. They can bring you to the hottest festival or the coolest ski slopes. Contiki also offer a variety of tours to suit all tastes, from easy pace tours incorporating two or three night stays, to high energy explore all day, party all night trips. You can even go sailing in Greece, Croatia or Australia.

Contiki release dedicated brochure from Ireland

Its not all about hostels and campsites either, in France you can stay in their own 16th century Chateau and in Thailand, some top class beachfront hotels. You also get the VIP treatment for top attractions where you will skip to the top of the queue, while others wait in line for hours… All this and they throw in breakfast each day, plenty of  meals and local experiences. Not only are Contiki holidays filled with life long memories, they are good value too!

Contiki release dedicated brochure from Ireland

They have a cool app that allows guests message each other before the trip starts which is particularly great for solo travellers. Over 50% of their clients are go solo – so no need to keep pestering your mates to take that adventure holiday anymore. Take off on your own and meet new friends!

Contiki releases dedicated brochure from Ireland

So whether you fancy the Galapagos island hopper or four days in Iceland, Contiki will get you there. Visit Contiki.com or your local travel agent.

 

 There are only two times in your life, now and too late… #NOREGRETS

 

Sarah

468x60Travel Deals Banner

Uncategorized

Zanzibar, 14th June, 1 week, Flights & 4* Hotel, Half Board, €1229!

zanzibar

I was lucky enough to spend a week in Zanzibar some years ago and trust me, the word ‘paradise’ is an understatement!

 

The beaches are right out of a romantic novel. Zanzibar is the Indian Ocean, so you can expect amazing white sand and warm waters. Although Zanzibar is full of luxury hotels, most of them blend into the environment and it almost feels unspoilt. Watching the locals fishing in their dhows, while you chill out on a hammock, is typical of the lazy days you can expect there.

The Travel Expert finds a great deal to Zanzibar

Of course if you want action, you can have that too. The capital Stone Town is worth a visit. It feels almost medieval with bustling bazaars and a Marrakech style medina. Zanzibar is an underwater paradise, it is the perfect place to try snorkelling or scuba diving. In fact my husband got his PADI dive licence there in five days!

The Travel Expert finds a great deal to Zanzibar

I found a great deal in the luxury Ocean Paradise Resort & Spa Hotel. Situated right on the beach with rooms set in traditional round bungalows, it offers all mod cons yet retaining the island’s charming character. All rooms face the sea with large patio doors leading out to a  balcony or terrace.

The Travel Expert finds a great deal to Zanzibar

This deal includes breakfast and evening meal each day and with three restaurants and bars, you have a great choice of dining options. Facilities at the Ocean Paradise Resort include a large pool, health and fitness centre and an abundance of water sports to choose from, including a PADI dive centre.
The Travel Expert finds a great deal to Zanzibar

Fly from Dublin to Zanzibar on the 14th of June and enjoy a seven night stay at the Ocean Paradise Resort & Spa for only €1229 per person. This hotel receives excellent reviews on tripadvisor and is also a travellers choice winner. This is a great time to visit Zanzibar as average temperatures are a balmy 25 degrees and there is little rainfall. Price includes flights, accommodation on a half board basis and all taxes. Other dates are available at a supplement.

Click here for more details:

 

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change.

Sarah

468x60Travel Deals Banner

Travel News and Reviews

Classic Collection Holidays now Operating from Ireland

Classic Collection Holidays

Ireland has a new Tour Operator – Classic Collection Holidays!

After twenty eight successful years in the UK, Classic Collection Holidays are now operating from Ireland. Their two hundred and twenty eight page glossy brochure is very impressive. Packed with four and five star hotels, Classic Collection promise to offer affordable luxury holidays to the Mediterranean, from all Irish airports, with any airline, for any duration, on any day.

Classic Collection Holidays Irelands newest Tour Operator

As Irish travellers taste evolve, one thing is certain – flexibility is key. Classic Collection Holidays offer this at every juncture. You can choose to holiday for a long weekend or a month long stay, fly out with one airline and home with another. Want interconnecting rooms ? Classic Collection with call the hotel and receive confirmation for you, while you are on the phone. Their success is based on their expert staff who will tailor make holidays to suit your needs.  Their website showcases all of their destinations and luxury properties but they do no offer on line booking. As most holidays are catered to individual tastes, the best way to book one of their holidays is through your local travel agent. Destinations include Spain, Majorca, Ibiza, Menorca, Canary Islands, Portugal, Italy, Croatia, Malta, Madeira, Corfu, Rhodes, Crete and Turkey.

Classic Collection Holidays Irelands newest Tour Operator

When you book a Classic Collection Holiday you will receive many extra benefits. Private airport transfers are automatically included in the cost of your holiday – no more hanging around on the coach for the last person to collect their luggage!  They offer free bubblebum car seats for all children aged four to eleven, a great souvenir which you can take home after your holiday. And if you book your holiday during the month of February, you will receive free lounge access in Dublin airport – the perfect way to start your holiday!

So take a look at the new Classic Collection Holidays Summer 2016 brochure – you won’t be disappointed!  Fancy a €200 holiday voucher? Click here, answer one simple question and it could be yours!

 

For more details visit classic-collection.ie , call Dublin 01-541 3000 or visit your local travel agent.

Sarah

468x60Travel Deals Banner

Uncategorized

Gran Canaria All Inclusive Family Holiday, 29th December, 1 week, 2ad & 2ch, €2999!

lanzarote easter holidays

Enjoy this Gran Canaria all inclusive family holiday and beat the post Christmas blues! With all meals and drinks included in the price, this is the perfect way to ring in the New Year!

 

With average temperatures over 20 degrees and miles of soft sandy beaches, Gran Canaria is a great choice for some Winter sun. The area of Maspalomas is close to the lively resort of Playa del Ingles and the upmarket resort of Meloneras, so it really offers the best of both worlds.  In fact Meloneras is considered the most sophisticated resort on the island. Complete with five star hotels, stylish shops and trendy bars its perfect for an afternoon’s shopping or some al fresco dining. It is also home to the magnificent sand dunes, which have been declared a nature reserve and cover some 400 hectares.

Gran Canaria all inclusive family holiday for New Year by The Travel Expert
The Turbo club, situated in Maspalomas, is a quiet low rise family complex with three swimming pools ( one heated ) and extensive gardens. It is within walking distance to the amusement centre Holiday World and the popular shopping centre Faro II, and a short bus ride to the beach (courtesy shuttle provided). If you want to make the best use of the all inclusive package you can choose to stay on site and avail of the many facilities on offer. These include a jacuzzi, tennis court, mini golf and a children’s mini club, as well as regular evening entertainment.

Gran Canaria all inclusive family holiday for New Year by The Travel Expert
Fly from Dublin with Aer Lingus to Gran Canaria on the 29th of December and enjoy seven nights all-inclusive at the Turbo Club for €2999, based on 2 adults and 2 children. The apartments receive great reviews on tripadvisor and are a good choice for a value New Year break.

Click here for more details:

 

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change.

 

Sarah

468x60Travel Deals Banner

Uncategorized

Lake Garda Discovery, Flights, 4* Hotel Half Board With Three Excursions, €887!

sirmione-948132_1280_opt

Want to see the highlights but don’t want an escorted tour? Want an independent holiday but fancy some excursions included in the price? Check out Crystal Holiday’s Discovery packages, they offer the best of both worlds.

 

I just love this idea! Choose your destination, hotel, then add the discovery package and you are all set! Crystal Holidays are offering discovery packages to Austria, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland. In some cases you will be treated to full day excursions to top cities like Venice or Milan. In others you can also experience guided walks, scenic train journeys, lake cruises and even food and wine tours. Crystal will give you the highlights of each region and include excursions in your ‘discovery package’. For the rest of your holiday you can sit back, relax and take in the views!

The Travel Expert discusses Crystal Holidays Discovery Packages to Italy

 

I fell in love with the Classic Italian Discovery. Based in Lake Garda, you will be staying at the 4* Hotel Sole, which is situated in the best location in Riva del Garda. Renowned for it’s excellent service and high quality food, this hotel receives excellent reviews on tripadvisor and offers spectacular views of the lake and the town. Situated at the north of the lake, Riva is ideally situated to take advantage of the three excursions that are included in the price of your holiday.

 

Enjoy these three excursions, included in the price.

Dolomites tour: Enjoy the amazing views from the famous Italian Alps and sample some local Tyrolean dishes. If you are feeling adventurous, why not take a trip in the cable car to almost 3000 meters!

The Travel Expert discusses Crystal Holidays Discovery Packages to Italy

 

Verona:  See the famous balcony from Romeo and Juliette, shop till to drop on the fashionable high streets and marvel at the amphitheatre situated right in the heart of the city. Personally I think it is more impressive than the Colosseum – but you can make your own mind up about that!

The Travel Expert discusses Crystal Holidays Discovery Packages to Italy

 

Venice: A guided walk is the best way to discover this extraordinary city. Explore the side streets, canals and bridges before relaxing over a coffee in St Mark’s Square. If you are feeling romantic – you can always opt for the optional gondola ride.

 The Travel Expert discusses Crystal Holidays Discovery Packages to Italy

Fly from Dublin to Verona on the 15th of June and enjoy a seven night stay at the Hotel Sole for €917 per person. Use code SMILE at the checkout and save a further €30 per person.  Crystal Holidays discovery packages are available from May to September to various destinations in Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Slovenia.

Click here for more details:

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change.

 

Sarah

468x60Travel Deals Banner

 

In The Media

Romantic Holidays As Seen on TV3 Saturday AM – 6th February 2016

TV3 Sat AM

Love is in the air for this weeks Saturday AM travel slot. We discussed romantic holidays including Ireland’s top hotels, a weekend break in Florence and a magical trip to the Maldives.

Facebook follow TV3 long

Ashford Castle

Not only is Ashford Castle Ireland’s best hotel but it was also voted the world’s No 1 hotel in 2015 by one of the industry’s leading luxury networks – Virtuoso. €75 million has been invested into the hotel over the past two years and there is no doubt this 13th century castle offers something unique to its guests. As you drive in under the impressive gates, through the golf course and across the moat – you will be blown away before you even set foot inside the hotel. Once inside the attention to detail is extraordinary. Complete with excellent service and the finest furnishings, when it comes to romantic hotels in Ireland, it doesn’t get any better than this!

Ashford castle discussed by Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert on Saturday AM

You can choose one of the many sporting activities including golf, falconry, horse riding, fishing or spend the afternoon relaxing at the spa – you will be spoilt for choice here. There is also an excellent choice of dining available. Choose fine dining in the famous George V Dining Room or casual dining in their Summer Bistro or Dungeon restaurant.

Ashford castle discussed by Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert on Saturday AM

As it is a leap year, Ashford are offering a “Leap of Faith’ package for ladies who would like to propose. Price of €563 per person includes a two night stay with breakfast, a five course fine dining meal, couples spa treatments and a visit to the in house cinema to see the movie Leap Year. It doesn’t end there! During the movie you can arrange for a secret proposal to happen on the big screen. This will be arranged by the staff to suit your individual taste. And of course you will be given a bottle of champagne to celebrate!

Ashford castle discussed by Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert on Saturday AM

There are also special offers available during February & March which would be ideal as Valentines day gifts. Two nights BB and one evening meal from €285 per person or two nights BB and two evening meals plus afternoon tea from €380 per person. For more details click here.

Monart

The difference between Monart and other luxury hotels is that Monart is Ireland’s only destination Spa property. It offers a unique adults-only environment and was recently awarded ‘runner up best spa retreat in the world’, by Conde Nast Traveller. It was also named as Ireland’s best destination spa for four years in a row. If you are looking for a spa break, there is no doubt – Monart is the best!

Monart Spa Resort discussed by Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert on Saturday AM

All spa products at Monart are 100% natural. They use Pevonia Botanica, the award-winning natural skincare range and Voya, 100% organic seaweed body therapies. The deluxe accommodation and excellent cuisine are also top class and as Monart is situated on 100 acres – you will feel utterly relaxed here.

Monart Spa Resort discussed by Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert on Saturday AM

Monart have limited availability for Valentine’s weekend with packages from €185 per person including breakfast, evening meal and full access to the 2000 square foot Thermal suite throughout your stay.

Monart Spa Resort discussed by Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert on Saturday AM

Alternatively they have over night stays available throughout the year from €149 per person – a perfect Valentines day gift. For more details click here.

Florence

Florence is Italy’s most romantic city and must rival Paris for being Europe’s city of love. Smaller and more compact than Paris it offers a more intimate feel. It is so easy to navigate and you should manage to see most of the highlights in a weekend break.

Florence by The Travel Expert

The Ponte Vecchio bridge is lined with jewellery shops just asking for the ring to be chosen. The city oozes style so its not surprising that Gucci and Roberto Cavalli were born here! The Uffizi Gallery houses one of the largest collections of art in the world and the Cathedral (Duomo) is one of the most impressive you are likely to see anywhere.

Duomo, Florence by The Travel Expert

If you have the time, a trip into the Tuscan countryside will only add to the romance. Choose from Siena, San Gimignano, Chianti – all a short distance from Florence. I found a great deal departing on the 7th of May for only €215 including flights and three nights hotel accommodation. The perfect gift for your loved one on Valentines day! Click here for more details.  

Maldives

The beaches are white powder, the temperatures are approximately 30 degrees all year round and each resort is on its own island. The word paradise automatically springs to mind! Not surprisingly the Maldives are one of the most romantic places to holiday.

Kandolhu Island, Maldives by The Travel Expert

There are almost 1200 islands spread out over 1000 km of which 100 are tourist islands and 200 are locally inhabited. Even the airport is on a separate island as it is literally a runway in the ocean! Renowned as an underwater paradise each island is surrounded by its own reef which is perfect for snorkeling or scuba diving. Many rooms or villas are situated over the ocean with direct access to the sea. The atmosphere is so relaxed that even in the 5* resorts, a beach dress and flip flops are the norm at night. So ladies, no need to pack ten pairs of shoes!

Kandolhu, Maldives, The ultimate honeymoon by The Travel Expert

Normally once you land you will transfer to a sea plane to bring you to the island resort. As everything needs to be imported, items can be expensive so I would recommend going all inclusive. Be careful though as some all inclusive resorts will only allow you use the buffet restaurant and you will have to pay extra to use the a la carte restaurants on the island. I can recommend Kuramathi, an excellent 4*+ resort who offer a ‘select’ all inclusive package, that includes nine a la carte restaurants. Prices from €2745 per person include flights and seven nights accommodation in a jacuzzi beach villa, with sea plane transfers and the select all inclusive dining package. For more information click here.  Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert talks about the Maldives on Saturday AM

If you want to go 5*, Kandolhu has four a la carte restaurants and even your own wine cooler stocked with 30 bottles of wine in your villa! Will you manage to get through them all though…. 

I hope I gave you some ideas of how to surprise your loved on on Valentines day or at some stage in the future. For more ideas read my blog post – the top 10 romantic destinations.

 

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change.

 

Sarah

468x60Travel Deals Banner

AmericaAsiaDESTINATIONSEuropeLong HaulRest of the World

Top Ten Romantic Destinations

travel-1038095_1280_opt

It wasn’t easy trying to come up with a list of the top ten romantic destinations – let’s face it Italy probably has ten on it’s own! I had to narrow it down to my personal favourites so I hope you like them…

 

The world is full of romantic places but sometimes it’s what happens in a particular place that makes it romantic. Let’s face it The Eiffel Tower doesn’t look particularly romantic, but proposing in Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the distance, is one of the world’s most romantic places to propose. Hopefully you can take some inspiration from these romantic destinations and plan you own romantic getaway.

 

 

 

 

Paris

It is impossible not to fall in love with Paris. Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and sip champagne from the bar at the top. As I mentioned previously, it is one of the most romantic places to propose! If that’s not your thing, take a stroll around Montmartre and enjoy the views from the Sacré Coeur, or relax and absorb the city from a boat trip on the Seine. Finish off your day with some classic French cuisine in one of it’s many brasseries – formidable!

Paris one of my top ten romantic destinations by The Travel Expert

Check Out Hotels Book Your Flights
 

 

Whitsunday Islands

My trips around Australia led me to some pretty spectacular places, but the one place that stands out in my mind is Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday Islands. It is still probably the best beach I have ever seen, and one that I will find it hard to beat. The sand is amongst the purest in the world, it is so fine you can even use it to polish your jewellery!

Whitsunday Islands one of my top ten romantic destinations by The Travel Expert

Check Out Hotels

Book Your Flights
 

 

 

Tuscany

The Ponte Vecchio bridge n Florence is full of couples browsing it’s jewellery shops – just looking for the right one, and Florence’s Duomo is one of the most impressive I have ever seen.  The city is so easy to navigate, and even a casual stroll taking in the Italian style is enough to bring out the romance in you. If you have time, take a trip to the Tuscan countryside and visit Siena, San Gimignano or the Chianti wine region. In fact Im struggling to decide which is more romantic, Florence or the surrounding countryside…. For more info on Tuscany, read my blog.

Florence one of my top ten romantic destinations by The Travel Expert

Check Out Hotels

Book Your Flights
 

 

 

Venice

A trip on a gondola and a coffee on St Mark’s Square – it has to be done right? Ignore the expense (they both cost a small fortune) – the views from both are breathtaking. The small winding streets and bridges are a pleasure to explore. Where else will you find a city of such scale and beauty built on water?

Venice one of my top ten romantic destinations by The Travel Expert

Check Out Hotels

Book Your Flights
 

 

 

Maldives

White powder beaches, year round temperatures of 30 degrees, each resort is on its own island and you generally arrive at your hotel by seaplane – the Maldives is pure paradise! The laid back atmosphere means that even in deluxe hotels, the dress code is casual – so girls, no need to pack ten pairs of heels!

Read about my magical stay in the Maldives

Maldives one of my top ten romantic destinations by The Travel Expert

Check Out Hotels

Book Your Flights
 

 

 

Hawaii

This multicultural paradise is vastly different from the paradise islands of the Indian ocean or South Pacific. You will see college students on gap years, mingling with honeymoon couples in five star resorts. There are six main islands, each offering something different. The combination of rugged landscapes, waterfalls, volcanoes, superb beaches, and the relaxed vibe, ensures a holiday in Hawaii will leave you wanting to come back for more.

Hawaii one of my top ten romantic destinations by The Travel Expert

Check Out Hotels

Book Your Flights
 

 

 

Bora Bora

I debated between Bora Bora and Tahiti – both in French Polynesia and both absolutely world class romantic destinations. No matter which island you choose, you just have to have an overwater bungalow. I think it was the Four Seasons Hotel in Bora Bora that won it over for me –just take a look!  

Bora Bora one of my top ten romantic destinations by The Travel Expert

Check Out Hotels

Book Your Flights
 

 

 

Lapland

Lapland is not all about Santa you know! If you like the snow then there is nowhere better. It really is a winter wonderland and will definitely fill you with child like wonder. From late August to late April this is the best place to watch the Northern lights. Why not stay in a glass igloo and watch the Northern lights from the comfort of your cosy bed.

Read: How to see the Northern Lights through your own glass igloo.

Lapland one of my top ten romantic destinations by The Travel Expert

Check Out Hotels Book Your Flights

 

 

 

Santorini

Santorini has to be on everyone’s bucket list. That picture postcard that you see on almost every advertisement for Greece – how could you not want to go there? Every time I see it, I picture myself sipping a cocktail in a small Greek taverna, watching one of the most amazing sunsets. One of the world’s most romantic destinations – absolutely.  Top Tip: Try to avoid peak summer months, the crowds might ruin the romance…

Santorini, one of the top ten romantic destinations by The Travel Expert

Check Out Hotels Book Your Flights
 

 

Tanzania

Despite travelling to over 50 countries in 30 years, our holiday in Tanzania is still my favourite travel experience. The deluxe tented safari camps and the most spectacular game viewing – we experienced nature at it’s very best. And then we finished off our trip of a lifetime by relaxing on the beach in Zanzibar – pure bliss! 

Read about my safari in Tanzania here

South Africa safari,the travel expert,sarah slattery,wildlife,trip of a lifetime

Check Out Hotels Book Your Flights

 

I would love to hear your favourite romantic destinations – please comment in the box below.

 

 

 

Sarah

 

The Travel Expert

 

Pin It on Pinterest