Crystal Holidays

In The Media

Last Minute Holidays As Seen On TV3’s SundayAM, 24th July 2016


Looking for a break in July or August? Check out my top picks for last minute holidays as seen on TV3’s Sunday AM.

Follow me on facebook

Availability to the popular destinations (Spain & Portugal mainly) in July and August is always scarce, and this year is no exception. However, there is increased capacity with Aer Lingus and Ryanair so airfares are quite low. In fact Aer Lingus have a seat sale with up to 25% off European flights during August & September, if booked by midnight on Monday, 25th July. If you are prepared to go off the beaten track and stay somewhere further from the resort centre, you can pick up good deals on last minute holidays. I found that Italy is better value than Spain and Portugal at the moment, here are my top picks.

Last minute holidays as seen on TV3's Sunday AM

Italy Deals:

Crystal Holidays are offering a  2* Hotel in Lake Garda, the Miravalli, from €340 per person on the 6th of August. This is a basic hotel but located in the heart of Garda, so it’s perfect for anyone who just wants to use the hotel as a base. If you want to upgrade your hotel, Topflight have a Summer sale until the 29th of July with savings of €420 per person. They have Sicily, Lido di Jesolo and Sorrento on sale in August as well as Lanzarote, the Algarve and Madeira.

I like the 3* Astoria Hotel, Sorrento, it’s €789 on the 7th and 14th of August. It is situated right in the heart of Sorrento, it is great value for such a fantastic location. All of Topflight’s prices include flights, transfers and checked baggage. Click here for more details.

Last minute holidays as seen on TV3's Sunday AM

Family Holiday:

Menorca is surprisingly good value for the next few weeks. With short day time flights and very family friendly, it is an ideal choice for a family holiday. Sunway are offering package deals where transfers and checked baggage are included, staying in the popular Binimar apartments. They are a nice low rise complex, close to the town centre and the beach and have a small splash park on site. The price for 2 adults & 2 children on the 31st of July and 7th of August is €1876. Click here for more details. Last minute holidays as seen on TV3's Sunday AM

Mid to late August:

With some kids back in school as early as the 24th of August, the last week of August is best time to pick up a bargain holiday. The Aer Lingus sale has some great airfares so you should be able to pick up a package deal to Spain or Portugal for less than €400. If you fancy Greece, Falcon Holidays are offering a week package deal to Zakynthos from €399 on the 30th of August, staying in the popular Katerina Palace Hotel. Click here for more details.

Last minute holidays as seen on TV3's Sunday AM have matched the low airfares with some good city breaks too. I like this one in Madrid, it combines sightseeing, sun and shopping all in one! Fly with Aer Lingus and enjoy a three night stay in a four star hotel for only €247 on the 15th of August. Click here for more details.

Tapas Madid, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert

5 Tips to find a last minute deal:

1. have a ‘dealfinder’ on their website where you can select sun holidays or city breaks within 30 days, 60 days etc and it will list all holidays that they have available.

2. Use Ryanair’s fare finder’ and Skyscanner’s ‘everywhere’ searches for any destination under a specific price range. Use hotel aggregators such as Trivago & Tripadvisor to search many accommodation websites for the same hotel.

3. The Irish Travel Agents association’s website combines top travel agents offers so you don’t need to search lots of different websites. And I offer my best last minute deals in my best travel deals post which is published every Tuesday on 🙂

4. Compare like with like. Remember a package holiday with a Tour Operator such as Falcon Holidays or Sunway includes airport transfers and checked baggage. A 20kg checked bag to the Canary Islands with Ryanair is €100 during July and August, so that ‘cheap deal’ you thought you found, might not be so cheap after all.

5. And finally always check with your local travel agent – they are searching late offers day in, day out and will probably know immediately what is the best value at any given time.


All prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change.



travel deals



Al Fresco Holidays Feature Five New Parks for 2016


Looking to travel some where new this year?  Al Fresco Holidays feature five new parks for 2016 in France, Italy and Croatia.


Forget about drafty mobile homes with no shower pressure! Al Fresco holidays offer spacious modern mobile homes complete with air conditioning, private decking and my personal favourite – power showers! They also offer a wide range of parks to suit all tastes, sixty-eight to be precise, across five countries, France, Spain, Italy, Croatia and Holland. You can choose large and lively, small and friendly, or even authentic parks if you want to live like the locals! Kids are extremely well looked after with kids clubs and entertainment generally available. You will also find that many offer water slides, kids discos and numerous sports facilities.  Their new parks for 2016 include a 5* Yelloh! village in France, an Italian park close to Venice and a stunning beach park in the island of Pag, Croatia. Check them out below and let me know your favourite 🙂

Crystal Al Fresco Holidays feature 5 new parks for 2016


Yelloh! Village au Lac de Biscarrosse, Aquitaine, France

Enjoy five star comforts at this Yelloh! camping village. Ideally situated on Lake Biscarrosse, you can choose the lake, the nearby sandy beach or the on-site aquatic park to cool down.  On land kids will enjoy the kids clubs and entertainment programme, while adults can treat themselves to a spa treatment in the wellness centre or a wine tour near in nearby Bordeaux.

Crystal Al Fresco Holidays feature 5 new parks for 2016


Des Menhirs, Brittany, France.

This lively park offers fun for all the family. With kids clubs available from infants to age 12 and a wide choice of sports for teens, this is suitable for kids of all ages. There are sports tournaments, waterslides in the pool and even pony rides available, if non stop action is what you seek, then look no further. Des Menhirs is also situated close to Carnac plage which has a wide choice of  bars, restaurants and shops as well as numerous water sports on the beach. Take a trip to nearby Auray and visit the evening market, or explore the Brittany countryside.

Crystal Al Fresco Holidays feature 5 new parks for 2016


Domaine des Naiades, Cotes d’Azur, France

Enjoy the glamour of St Tropez without the expensive price tag. Situated in the South of France, this park is close to the stunning marina of Port-Grimaud and the larger towns of  Antibes and Cannes. It boasts a picture postcard setting with views of St. Tropez and comes complete with a Olympic sized swimming pool. It also has water slides, sports facilities, a cinema and an open air stage offering dance shows and karaoke.

Crystal Al Fresco Holidays feature 5 new parks for 2016


Portofelice, Venetian Riviera, Italy.

Portofelice is situated right on the beach of Eraclea Mare and is a modern park complete with water slides, entertainment and kids clubs. It also has the added bonus of being only 25 miles from Venice. If the kids are looking for some more adventure, Lido di Jesolo is close by which has the popular Aqualandia waterpark.

Crystal Al Fresco Holidays feature 5 new parks for 2016


Camping Simuni, Dalamatian Coast, Island of Pag, Croatia.

Situated on the island of Pag, you have no less than seven beaches on your doorstep. You can try scuba diving, surfing or simply chill out in one of the beach bars and take in the view. There are also excellent facilities on site, including kids clubs, entertainment and even a bouncy castle for the younger ones.

Crystal Al Fresco Holidays feature 5 new parks for 2016


Still not sure which one to choose, talk to the experts on 01-4331056 or visit




 468x60Travel Deals Banner


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


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.



468x60Travel Deals Banner


DestinationsEuropeFeaturedSki Holidays

Top Ten Ski Resorts For Families


Thinking of going on a family ski holiday? Check out my top ten ski resorts for families from Crystal Ski and make sure you get it right!


It is so refreshing to see families getting together over dinner without iPads or ear phones in sight. To hear children chatting about what they accomplished that day and to see the pride in which they relay their stories. The fresh air, the exercise, the overall feeling that you are doing something good, makes skiing a great family holiday experience.

There are some things to watch out for though. You might not have happy kids at dinner time if your chalet is miles from the ski slopes, with no ski bus in sight! Likewise you don’t want to end up carrying two sets of skis and boots all the way home!

The Travel Expert's guide to the top 10 ski resorts for families

For this post, I got some advice from the ski specialists Crystal holidays who are the experts in family ski holidays. They also offer excellent childcare facilities in many of their hotels. Check out their family guide to the mountain which offers advice on childcare, ski school, what to wear, where to stay and lots more!


Niederau, Austria

Home to the excellent 1st Wildschönau Ski School and Crystal Holidays Pepi Penguin Nursery childcare, Niederau is one of Europe’s top family resorts. There are plenty of wide nursery slopes and easy to use lifts. For any advanced skiers, your lift pass covers a further 145km in Alpbach. There are toboggan runs and horse-drawn sleigh rides and the nearby Wave Water Adventure World has plenty of slides for all the family.

Transfer time 1 hour 30 minutes from Innsbruck.


Chamrousse, France

Chamrousse is an ideal choice for a first time ski holiday. With numerous self catering apartments built between the trees, not only is the setting perfect, but it offers great value too. There are plenty of slopes for beginners but advanced skiers can ski into Criox de Chamrousse, the highest point of the resort, for some black runs. There is a snow park, perfect for teenagers who have mastered the skills and a kids park for the younger ones. There are also lots of cross country skiing runs and best of all – your lift pass is free in this resort for 2016!

Transfer time 1 hour 30 minutes from Chambery.

The Travel Expert's guide to the top 10 ski resorts for families

Tignes, France.

Tignes offers a huge variety of accommodation to suit all tastes. Choose the family hotel Diva which houses the Crystal childcare team or the many chalets situated in the heart of the resort. It also offers slopes for all levels, with lots of nursery slopes and even off-piste skiing for any dare devils! It is part of the Espace Killy ski area, which gives access to glaciers in Tignes and Val d’Isère, but offers much better value than staying in the upmarket Val d’Isére. The resort is purpose built so lacks the winter wonderland feel, but offers world class ski facilities and non ski activities, such swimming pools and ice skating rinks.

Transfer time 2 hours 30 minutes from Chambery.


Avoriaz, France

Avoriaz offers great facilities for a family ski holiday. Also purpose built so not quite the picture postcard, but good snow conditions are almost guaranteed. Kids will love the Aquariaz indoor water park. The natural snowpark with jumps in the trees, is great for any teenagers who are at an advanced level. It is car free so very easy to walk around and the streets are full of snow, so doorstep skiing is common with most accommodation. There are even horse-drawn sleighs if you want to get around the resort without walking!

Transfer time 2 hours from Geneva.

The Travel Expert's guide to the top Ski resorts for families

Alpe D’Huez, France

One of the sunniest and largest ski areas in France, Alpe d’Huez offers skiing to suit every level. It is home to the longest ski run in the world, the Sarenne, and has lots of beginners slopes very close to the resort centre. Choose to relax in the outdoor swimming pool, or try your luck at the bowling alley or ice skating rink.

Transfer time 2 hours and 15 minutes from Chambery.


Alpbach, Austria

When you think of Winter wonderlands, Alpbach springs to mind. It is one of Austria’s prettiest villages and with plenty of nursery slopes to keep the little ones happy. The ‘Ski Jewel’ from Alpbach to Niederau offers 145 km of piste for advanced skiers too. There is also an indoor swimming pool and outdoor ice rinks if you fancy a break from skiing.

Transfer time 1 hour 30 minutes from Innsbruck.


Claviere, Italy

This quiet Italian village is located right on the border with France. This family resort is renowned for quiet slopes its short lift queues. It is connected to the Milky Way’s 400km of runs so perfect for advanced skiers too. There is also an ice rink and plenty of outdoor activities such as sledging and bum boarding.

Transfer time 1 hour 45 minutes from Turin.


Saas Fee, Switzerland

A high resort, snow is almost guaranteed in Saas Fee. There are lots of long ski runs with a dedicated family area close to the village where slopes are very quiet. The village is car free with plenty of good aprés ski bars to choose from. Kids will love the ice skating rink, swimming pool, dog sledding  and the numerous taboggan runs. Every week there resort hold a flaming torch light walk and Swiss fondue night, a perfect way to round of a family day on the mountain.

Transfer time 3 hours from Geneva.

The Travel Expert's guide to the top 10 ski resorts for families

Seefeld, Austria

Seefeld hosted the Winter Olympics twice and recently the Youth Olympics so the skiing facilities are hard to beat. There is a separate area for beginners and intermediates as well as a large network for cross country skiing. There is an ice skating rink, a casino and plenty of restaurants and bars in the pedestrianised centre of the village. It also offers excellent floodlit night skiing with heated seats in their weatherproof chairlifts!  It is also very close to Innsbruck if you fancy a day out sightseeing or even shopping.

Transfer time 45 minutes from Innsbruck.


Bardonecchia, Italy

Bardonecchia in Italy is located in a sunny valley, right on the French border. Kids will love the ice rink and sports centre and there are over 80 shops here if you fancy taking a day off skiing. Slopes are generally quiet with short lift queues. It is perfect for beginners and intermediates but your lift pass gives you access to Montgenévre in France if you fancy going a little further afield.

Transfer time 2 hours 15 minutes from Turin.

The Travel Expert's guide to the top 10 ski resorts for families

Tempted?  Visit



468x60Newsletter Banner


Pin It on Pinterest