Thinking of a winter holiday this year? Check out my top picks for winter breaks as seen on TV3’s Saturday AM.
If you are looking for some winter sun this year, the best advice I can give you is – book early. There is a massive shortage of accommodation in the Canary Islands as a result of people not wanting to travel to Egypt, Tunisia etc. We tend to forget that it’s not just Irish people who want to go to the Canary Islands for winter sun. There are 60 million Britons, 100 million Germans as well as other Europeans, all looking at the same destinations. You will probably find cheap flights with Aer Lingus and Ryanair but finding apartments and hotels to go with them at the last minute will be extremely difficult. So don’t say you haven’t been warned… With that in mind, I have some good winter sun options that are available now if you can book your holidays in advance.
Lanzarote is the most popular of the Canary Islands with Irish holiday makers. The combination of low rise buildings, just the right amount of nightlife and some excellent beaches means Lanzarote ticks all boxes. I found a great deal flying out on Valentines Day to a popular ‘adult only’ property in the centre of Puerto del Carmen. The Panorama apartments receive great reviews on tripadvisor and are perfect for couples who don’t want any kids jumping in and out of the pool. Fly from Dublin to Lanzarote on the 12th of February and enjoy a seven night stay in the Panorama for only €299 per person. Click here for more details:
There is some excellent value in winter cruises this year. Thomson Cruises are offering a free upgrade to all-inclusive on their Canary Islands cruises. You can fly to Tenerife or Gran Canaria and cruise the Canary Islands, Madeira and Morocco from only €859 in January and February. Prices include flights, transfers, baggage a seven day cruise including all meals, drinks and entertainment. Click here for more details:
Another cruise destination that is great value is Dubai and the Emirates. With guaranteed sunshine and now direct flights from Dublin, this is a very appealing alternative to the Canary Islands. Royal Caribbean are offering flights and a seven night cruise around Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman from €899 in January on Vision of the Seas. Click here for more details.
There are plenty of great options for city breaks.. Flights and hotels are inexpensive during the winter time so if you don’t necessarily want sun, you can pick up a city break in Europe from €149 or even Las Vegas from €465! I like this deal to Prague on the 21st of November. Price for flights and three nights in the 4* Union hotel is only €164. Click here for more details on this offer and other city break deals, all less than €169 per person.
Travel trends have changed over the last number of years and people are looking for more authentic holiday experiences. Winter breaks to see the Northern Lights, Lapland and of course ski trips are becoming more and more popular. Within the ski market there has been a huge increase in demand for chalet holidays. Topflight now have over 50 chalets in the French Alps alone. Chalets can accommodate from 6 – 19 people depending on the chalet you choose so if you have a few families travelling together they are ideal. Couples like them too from the social aspect. They can chat about their skiing exploits that day and pick up tips from fellow skiers. The host is very important too as they will be able to offer local information on the resort and provide tips on the best places to go etc. Chalets usually have cosy fires, comfy couches and offer a home away from home type of experience. Skiing holidays in general are more expensive than sun but once you try it once, you will be hooked, and a chalet is a great place to start.
Fly from Dublin to Les Arcs in France and spend seven nights in the Chalet Bouquetin from €849 per person on the 14th of January. Price includes flights, transfers, checked baggage and meals throughout your stay. Click here for more details:
If you fancy a short break but still want the winter wonderland feel – try Iceland. WOW air are flying five times per week to Reyjavik from Dublin and prices are quite good if you are flexible on your dates. You can take a swim in the Blue Lagoon, try snow mobiling, hiking on a glacier, go whale watching and hopefully get to see the Northern Lights while you are there 🙂 Fly from Dublin to Reyjavik on the 19th of January and enjoy a three night stay in the centrally located Apartment K for only €377 per person. Click here for more details.
All prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change.