iceland

Travel DealsTravel Deals Abroad

New Year In Iceland, Flights, Baggage & 4-Star Hotel, 4-Nights, €579

aurora-borealis-69221_1280_opt

Plan ahead and spend New Year in Iceland – who knows the Northern Lights might even light up the skies on New Years Eve…

I went to Iceland a few years ago and I loved it. It was everything I hoped it would be and so much more. The scenery, the people, everything about the trip was amazing, even though we had the worst snow storms. We saw the Northern Lights, something that was on my bucket list for years. This time of year is a good time to see them, so fingers crossed you will too.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert) on

 

We also swam in the Blue Lagoon. Bathing in the steamy waters of the Blue Lagoon with snow all around us was something really special. In fact the whole island looked like a Winter wonderland.

Read my top things to do in Iceland.

weekend in Iceland
 

 

 
I found a great deal staying in the 4-star Icelandair Reykjavik Natura Hotel. This eco-friendly hotel is superb value and is home to the only heated indoor hotel pool in the area. You will also find a 24-hour gym, steam bath, sauna and hot tub.

Rooms are small but modern, and are equipped with tea and coffee making facilities and a fridge. This can be useful in a country that is not cheap on the ground!
 

 

 
I have based this deal for New Year in Iceland on a four night stay, which should give you time to see the highlights. TOP TIP: Make sure you book the Northern Lights tour for the night you arrive. If it is cancelled due to poor visibility (which happens regularly), this will give you time to re schedule for another night.
 

 

 
I have added direct links to Skyscanner below which show flights departing on the 29th of December for €242, but the cost I have highlighted below is €334. It is important to note that the cheaper fare of €242 is non changeable and does not include checked baggage. Iceland will be freezing in December – you will need to bring a checked bag!
 

 

 
Therefore. I have priced this package on the Economy Standard Fare which includes cabin baggage, checked baggage, seat selection, and a free date change. I recommend scrolling down to the Icelandair website to book these flights, and not to book via the third-party website.

So go on, plan ahead and ring in the New Year in Iceland! 

 
View flights here €334pp economy standard fare
 
View hotel here €245pp
 

 

 
Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change. Note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

 

 

Sarah

 

travel deals

Travel

Weekend in Iceland, 30th March, Flights & Hotel, 3 Nights, €297!

aurora-borealis-69221_1280_opt

Scratch one of the bucketlist and enjoy weekend in Iceland! This super deal includes direct flights and three nights in the city centre hotel.

 

I went to Iceland in last year and I loved it. It was everything I hoped it would be and so much more! The scenery, the people, everything about the trip was amazing, even though we had crazy snow storms! We saw the Northern Lights, something that was on my bucket list for years. Winter time is the optimum time to see them, so fingers crossed you will too. We also swam in the Blue Lagoon. Bathing in the steamy waters of the Blue Lagoon with snow all around us was something really special. In fact the whole island looked like a Winter wonderland! You can read all about my adventures in Iceland here.

iceland after christmas

I found a great deal staying in the popular City Centre Hotel. Situated in the heart of Reykjavik, this is a great option for weekend in Iceland Fly direct from Dublin on the 30th of March and enjoy a three night stay for only €297 per person.

View flights here  €127pp

View hotel here  €170pp

 

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change. Note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Sarah

 

travel deals

 

City BreaksDestinationsEurope

Top Things to do in Iceland

Iceland

Chase the Northern Lights, swim in the Blue Lagoon and marvel at Gullfoss Waterfall – there are so many things to do in Iceland – here are my favourites.

 

Icelanders are so proud of their country, and so they should be. You get the feeling you are somewhere pure, with the cleanest air and the purest water, which you can drink straight from the tap. You can hike the glaciers, discover countless waterfalls, bathe in a geothermal lagoon – even their swimming pools are outdoor! Driving through the countryside you are constantly awestruck by the landscape. The Icelandic horses in wide open snowy fields, was just one of those awesome moments.

We travelled with direct from Dublin and after a pleasant two hours and fifteen minutes, we landed in Reykjavik. The view from the plane sparked excitement, with blue skies and snow capped mountains, the adventure was about to begin.

The first thing we noticed was that there was a duty free shop in arrivals. People had trolleys full of beer and wine – it was the strangest sight! Apparently most hotel rooms have a fridge in place of a mini bar. Hotels encourage people to bring alcohol with them to their rooms, as they understand that tourists find the cost of living expensive in Iceland. Needless to say we didn’t want to go against tradition so we bought a bottle of wine (€18) and a six pack of beer €10). Reykjavik is about a 40 minute drive from the airport, so I would advise you to pre book transfers as it is €25 one way or €39 return for the airport coach and this could make numerous stops before arriving at your hotel.

 

Nice view of #Iceland from @wowair 👌Just landed, snowing and sunny – just perfect #travel #travelblogger #wowair

A post shared by The Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert) on

Where to stay in Iceland

We stayed at the Grand Hotel. Although 20 minutes walk to the centre of Reykjavik, I would highly recommend it. The rooms were modern and spacious, the staff extremely friendly and the buffet breakfast was excellent. The lounge bar has a great food menu and we ate there on two occasions. They have the usual fish and chips, burgers and pasta options and all are very reasonably priced – well, by Icelandic standards anyway!

They also have a happy hour from 5pm – 7pm each day where drinks are half price. This meant a meal for four with drinks was €100 – not the exorbitant prices we had been warned about before we left. In general, a pint of beer or glass of wine is €10 and a pizza, pasta, steak sandwich is about €20. Snacks are expensive though so I would recommend bringing some with you, especially if you are planning tours. It was €20 for a Panini at the Blue Lagoon….

things to do in Iceland

Things to do in Iceland – See the Northern Lights

Unfortunately our Northern Lights tour was cancelled on our first evening due to bad weather. We were in Iceland for four nights and tours were cancelled for three of them. The good news is that you can reschedule your tour for another night but if you are only staying a few days, you may find it difficult to get availability.

Luckily we had booked with an agent, Obeo Travel, who were excellent. With one phone call, they rearranged our tour for the following evening. Meanwhile there were many disappointed travellers who had come specifically to see the Northern Lights and were going to go home disappointed. I can’t stress how important it was to have someone at the end of the phone to call when tours were cancelled.

TOP TIP: Make sure you book the Northern Lights tour for the beginning of your holiday so you can rearrange if necessary.

Speaking of the Northern Lights… we saw them!! We were so lucky as there was only one night available for us. We took the coach tour and I would highly recommend it. Many opt for the boat tour but if you have rough seas, which is common in wintertime, it could get messy…

We ‘hunted’ the Northern Lights, even the driver didn’t know where we were going when we boarded the bus. There was a snow storm and visibility was poor so I must confess I was not very optimistic. After an hours drive, we arrived at what seemed like the middle of the country, although I have no idea where exactly we were. We parked along with two other coaches and off we went. We wandered far enough into the fields to get the best photo opportunity and waited patiently. The kids were happily building snowmen when all of a sudden they appeared. Initially they were quite faint but just as we thought the spectacle was over, out came the aurora borealis again. The second time they danced through the night sky. It was all a bit surreal, it was midnight and we were buzzing, I genuinely didn’t expect to see them. It was a great experience and another one ticked off the bucket list!

TOP TIP: Make sure you bring a tripod and a good camera capable of long exposures to get clear pictures.

Things to do in Iceland – The Blue Lagoon

A similar experience happened when we got to the Blue Lagoon. There were snow showers all morning so I was beginning to think the 40 minute drive from Reykjavik was going to be a waste of time. I remembered Ziggy’s advice ‘go inside have a cup of coffee and come back out again’. It was incredible, we arrived at the Blue Lagoon and the sun came out! We had a magical experience bathing in the roasting hot baths with snow all around us. The kids loved it too, and even bought a non alcoholic cocktail at the swim up bar!

We stayed there for hours and only that we had planned to drive to Gullfoss Waterfall afterwards, we would have stayed even longer! Although you book an allotted time, once you are there you can stay in as long as you like. Like everything in Iceland, it is extremely well organised. I have a dedicated blog post for tips on visiting the Blue Lagoon, which is one of the top things to do in Iceland, check that out before you visit.

Things to do in Iceland – The Golden Circle Tour

While we had two magical experiences, unfortunately the weather (the worst snow storms since 1932) hampered the rest of our visit. Rough seas, sick tummies and no whales meant our whale watching trip was a disaster. We drove the Golden Circle but only heard Gullfoss waterfall – seeing it was impossible. We did manage to get to see the famous Strokkur Geysir, which duly erupted for us, in fact it does so every few minutes, so regardless of weather, you are guaranteed to see it!

“If the weather is bad, Icelanders go inside, have a cup of coffee and come back out again”. Just one of the memorable quotes from Ziggy our driver!

things to do in Iceland

 

Things to do in Iceland – Reykjavik

We ventured into Reykjavik one evening and ate in a lovely Italian restaurant, Italia. Pizzas and pastas were great and not ridiculously expensive either. We had a quick roam around the city which I instantly liked, but unfortunately time was against us. One noticeable difference I found compared to other capital cities was the lack of honky tonk disco bars. As the majority of people are visiting Iceland to see the sights, the scenery and the culture, there is not the typical tacky tourist trails on show. The city had an authentic vibe to it and I wished I could have explored it some more. We did have time for a quick walk around it’s famous church and then a pit stop for home made ice cream in Eldur & Is – honestly it was the best ice cream I have ever had!

things to do in Iceland

Icelanders have coped with a devastating financial crisis, numerous volcanic eruptions and a colossal influx of tourists. Tourism is now their number one industry and there is virtually no unemployment. Icelanders appear to adapt well to any change in circumstance and their happy, positive attitude is palpable. There were lots of coaches hunting the Northern Lights and touring the Golden Circle, yet I have seen longer queues to get into the NEXT sale. Considering Iceland’s tiny population of only 330,000 people, it is extraordinary how everything runs so smoothly.

There is something remarkable about Iceland and it is definitely a country I want to go back to. There are so many things to do in Iceland. I want to do a glacier hike, go husky sledding and see Gullfoss Waterfall (again) with a rainbow over it next time! I also want to visit in the summer time when you have 24 hours daylight, a unique experience I am sure.

Iceland I will definitely be back…

 

Like this post? Pin me!

top things to do in iceland

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery
 
 
 
 
 
EuropeTravel Tips

Top Tips for Visiting the Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s top attractions and a wonder of the world! Here are my top tips for visiting the Blue Lagoon.

 

We visited during the winter time and the combination of snowy mountains and the roasting hot lagoon made for a magical visit. The water is approximately 38° Celsius / 100°Farenheit so it feels like a really hot bath. It is suitable for children too (over 2). I brought my two kids and they loved it. The deepest point is only 1.6 meters so you never feel out of your depth. It is a fantastic experience and a ‘must do’ if visiting Iceland. There are a few things you should know however, so check out my top tips for visiting the Blue Lagoon before you visit.

1. You have to pre book.

Don’t expect to arrive at the Blue Lagoon without a prior booking, you are unlikely to find a time slot available. You can pre book online or with your local travel agent. The lagoon opens from 8 am till 10pm (midnight during the summer) so you can choose to catch the sunrise, sunset or the hottest time of the day. Once you choose your time, you can stay as long as you like in the lagoon. Most people tend to spend 3 – 4 hours.

blue lagoon Iceland

2. Prices are dynamic.

Prices vary depending on how long in advance you book, the time of day you visit and which option you choose. The standard entry is approximately  €47 per person but there are packages for over €200 depending on the level you require. We opted for the standard plus which includes a towel but you can bring your own too. This includes a silica mud mask which you can get from the mud mask bar inside the lagoon. Children from 2 – 13 are free. Visit Blue Lagoon.com for more details.

Like this shot 👌#bluelagooniceland #bluelagoon #visiticeland #bestoficeland

A post shared by The Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert) on

2.  Consider going straight from the airport.

The Blue Lagoon is located beside the airport so depending on flight times it might be a good idea to book your tour when you arrive. This will save you  money on transfers and save you time going back and forth to the airport. It is also ideal if you are arriving into Iceland early in the morning, as many hotels don’t allow you check in until 2pm.

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland The Travel Expert.ie

3.  Don’t wear any jewellery.

White gold and silver reacts with the sulphur in the water so better be safe than sorry. Don’t wear any jewellery. Lockers are provided free of charge with standard entry, and are very secure with keyless entry.

There are lots of little coves in the #bluelagoon so it looks like I had the place to myself! #bluelagooniceland #iceland

A post shared by The Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert) on

4. Don’t get Blue Lagoon hair!

No matter how good you are at keeping it tied up, it will eventually get splashed, so you might as well go for it and dunk down! However, the high levels of silica in the lagoon reacts badly with your hair, so make sure you follow these steps.  Use the conditioner provided, cover your hair completely and don’t rinse it out before entering. Bring a clarifying shampoo with you and wash it thoroughly when you get out. They have powerful hair dryers on site so once you follow these steps your hair should be ok. You may need to use the clarifying shampoo a few times to ensure all the silica is removed from your hair completely.

5.  Buy a waterproof cover for your phone

You can take pictures with your phone but be prepared to get splashed so a waterproof cover is a life saver. You can of course use a Go Pro or other waterproof camera but I find the Aquavault waterproof phone case invaluable for any water activities. You can even post selfies from the lagoon using the WiFi – you may be there a while! There is no visibility underwater so underwater cameras, or goggles for that matter,  are not necessary.

 

So there you have it, my top tips for visiting the Blue Lagoon, the only other thing to say is – enjoy!

 

Sarah

 

Featured

Top Holiday Destinations in 2017

beach-628853_1280_opt

Dublin airport has just celebrated it’s best ever year in 2016 and there are lots of new routes announced from Dublin, Cork and Shannon. It seems Irish airports are set for another bumper year.  So where are the top holiday destinations in 2017?

It looks like firm favourites, Spain and Portugal will remain the most popular short haul holiday destinations. Every other month we are hearing about new routes to the USA so American holidays will probably be the next biggest crowd pleaser. Short break enthusiasts will welcome the 9 weekly flights to Iceland and if you haven’t visited Athens or Amsterdam yet, 2017 might well be the year to do it. Cruise holidays are gearing up for another year of growth and the 14 weekly flights to Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well as the new daily Qatar airways service from Dublin to Doha, ensures long haul holidays will be easily accessible. Here are my picks for holiday hot spots in 2017!

Spain

Ireland’s favourite holiday destination never disappoints. Culture vultures or party animals enjoy the numerous choices for city breaks and beach holidays. Why not combine both though? The Costa Dorada looks like it could be the big winner this year. There are flights from Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Knock serving Reus, Girona or Barcelona and Sunway and Falcon Holidays both offer package deals to Salou and Cambrils. The combination of the iconic city of Barcelona and the opening of Ferrari World at the already popular Port Aventura theme park, make it an ideal choice for all the family.

Top holiday destinations in 2017

Portugal

Another Irish favourite, the Algarve has almost fifty flights per week from Irish airports, in the peak Summer months. Aer Lingus have added a new service to Porto, and Lisbon is already a popular city break destination. It looks like lots Irish holiday makers will be flocking to Portugal in their droves in 2017.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Algarve

Italy

Lakes, mountains, cities and beaches, Italy has something to offer all holiday makers. Lake Garda is becoming more and more popular with families as there are numerous self catering and camping options. The Amalfi Coast is always a popular honeymoon destination and the islands will attract couples looking for an upmarket holiday. Sunway have introduced a direct flight to Sardinia for 2017 which should keep the beach enthusiasts happy, and the growing trend for authentic experiences will ensure that Irish numbers to the region of Puglia should continue to grow.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Sardinia

Greece

Always great value for money and appealing to the masses, the Greek islands should have many Irish visitors in 2017. There are direct flights to Zakynthos, Corfu, Crete, Rhodes and Kos with Falcon Holidays and flights to Athens with Aer Lingus, Ryanair and Aegean airlines. This should ensure Athens will be a popular city break destination but also allow easier access to the sought after islands of Santorini and Mykonos.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Santorini

USA

Flights to the States have grown to unprecedented levels. New routes to from Aer Lingus to Hartford and Miami and extra flights to Los Angeles, Orlando and New York, should translate into a bumper year for Irish tourists to the USA. The addition of low cost flights with Norwegian Air from Cork to Boston and New York, as well as WOW air flights via Iceland, should ensure lots of good deals for Irish holidaymakers. San Francisco is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic ‘summer of love’ with a year of events and festivals in 2017. And would you believe Elvis is dead 40 years this year… sure makes me feel old! Why not pay tribute to the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ by visiting Memphis during ‘Elvis Week’, between 11th and 19th August. See American Sky for details.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Universal Studios

Mexico

Mexico is one of our most popular long haul destinations. Falcon Holidays are offering direct flights from Dublin for those looking for a two week holiday in the summer months. Many choose to fly via America and combine with a city break in New York or Vegas. I think Mexico will continue to be as popular with Irish holidaymakers in 2017.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Mexico

Iceland

WOW air introduced flights to Reykjavik in 2015 which proved to be a resounding success. People chased the Northern lights and swam in the Blue Lagoon, with lots of positive reviews. So much so that WOW have decided to increase flights from Dublin and add on a service from Cork. It looks like Iceland will remain popular in 2017 for weekend breaks and as a holiday destination.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Chase the Northern Lights in Iceland

Cruises

One of the fastest growing sectors in the travel industry is set for another bumper year. The competition has never been greater. Most major cruise lines have dedicated Irish websites now and many travel agents and tour operators have dedicated cruise departments. Free all inclusive drinks packages, half price kids offers and even free flights, will I am sure, entice Irish holidaymakers to cruise in 2017. New destinations like Cuba will make it easier for visitors to visit Havana without paying the increasing accommodation costs. River cruises are also proving popular for discerning clients. For those who don’t want to fly there are even cruises operating directly from Ireland in 2017.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
American cruise lines are now docking in Cuba.

Croatia

For those looking for somewhere a little different but still close to home, Croatia will be a top choice. The stunning city of Dubrovnik has always been a favourite but now there are flights to Split and Pula with Aer Lingus, as well as Zadar with RyanairFalcon Holidays have also announced package holidays to Croatia and specialists Croatia Tours continue to offer a wide choice of package holidays to the region.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Dubrovnik

Middle East and beyond

With two direct daily flights to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi and now a new daily service to Doha with Qatar airlines, getting to Asia, Africa and Australia has never been easier. No lengthy lay overs in Heathrow and prices should reduce too!

Top holiday destinations in 2017
Dubai

South Africa

Ethiopian airlines‘ Dreamliner aircraft made many news reports when they offered cheap direct flights from Dublin to Los Angeles this year. They have now added extra connections from their hub in Addis Ababa to South Africa. This means that flights from Dublin to Cape Town should be easily accessible and hopefully well priced too.

Top holiday destinations in 2017
South African safari

They are my thoughts on the top holiday destinations in 2017 but please comment below if you have any more to add 🙂

 

Sarah

travel deals

In The Media

Winter Breaks As Seen on TV3’s Saturday AM, 24th September 2016

as-seen-on-tv3-winter

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.

Follow me on facebook

Canary Islands

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:

Winter breaks as seen on TV3's Saturday AM

Cruises

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:

WInter breaks as seen on TV3's Saturday AM

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.

Winter breaks as seen on TV3's Saturday AM

City Breaks

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.

Winter breaks as seen on TV3's Saturday AM

Ski holidays

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:

Winter Breaks as seen on TV3's Saturday AM

Iceland

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.

Winter breaks as seen on TV3's Saturday AM

 

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

 

Sarah

 

travel deals

Uncategorized

Top Ten Holiday Destinations in 2016

m4WjQG1451120576

With the recession well and truly over and Dublin airport celebrating their best ever year in 2015, travel agents and airlines are predicting that 2016 will be even better. So where are the hot spots?

 

It looks like old favourites such as Spain and Portugal will be the most attractive short haul holiday destinations in 2016. Although France will be busy for Euro 2016, many families who enjoyed their Summer holiday camping in France, may decide to switch to campsites near Salou in Spain or Lake Garda in Italy. Cuba, Mexico and Thailand will prove popular for long haul travel as the poor exchange rate with the US dollar is unlikely to change. Here are my top ten holiday destinations in 2016!

Majorca & Menorca

To put it simply, Irish people love Spain! Almost 1.5 million Irish holiday makers visited Spain this year and this is sure to grow again in 2016. The Balearic island of Majorca is constantly one of the favourites. The mixture of family resorts, lively nightlife and stunning scenery is a great combination and ensures Majorca offers something for everyone.

Direct flights to  Menorca were reintroduced last year from Ireland and proved to be a great success. So much so, that an extra flight from Cork has been added for 2016. This smaller and less commercialised island oozes character and is the perfect choice for families looking for a quiet, relaxing holiday in safe surroundings.

Menorca, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

 

Lake Garda

Although always popular from Ireland, I believe many families will switch from France to Lake Garda this year making the popular Italian resort busier than ever. There are direct flights to Verona and the nearby resort of Peschiera offers plenty of campsite and hotel options. The fact that the award winning themepark,  Gardaland is on it’s doorstep, will add to it’s popularity.

Lake Garda, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

Thailand

Thailand still offers fantastic value for money for a longhaul destination. There are numerous flights via the UK, Dubai and mainland Europe to Bangkok and Phuket. A one week package is circa €800 including flights and hotel, proving to be a great option for those looking for a touch of exotic, without the expensive price tag.

Thailand, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

Athens & the Greek Islands

Always great value for money and appealing to everyone, the Greek islands will continue to be popular in 2016. There are direct flights to Zakynthos, Corfu, Crete, Rhodes and Kos and extra flights to Athens with Ryanair and Aegean air. This should open up Athens as a top city break destination and allow the bucket list destinations of Santorini and Mykonos to be serviced for the first time.

Santorini, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

Algarve

Another Irish favourite, the Algarve has almost twenty flights per week in the peak Summer months. The low priced airfares mixed with numerous resort options, will ensure that the Algarve will attract many Irish visitors in 2016.

Algarve, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

Mexico

June 2016 will bring the first direct flights to Mexico for many years. The Thomson dreamliner aircraft will fly every fortnight to Cancun from Dublin and is bound to attract couples and honeymooners looking for the luxury all inclusive holiday resort.

Mexico, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

Iceland

WOW air introduced flights to Reykjavik in 2015 which proved a great success. People chased the Northern lights and swam in the Blue Lagoon, with lots of positive reviews. It looks like Iceland will remain popular in 2016 for weekend breaks and as a holiday destination.

Iceland, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

Cuba

Diplomatic relations between the USA and Cuba are at an all time high and it is likely that more and more Americans will travel to Cuba over the coming years. Many people feel they such see it before it receives the Disney effect! For this reason and the fact that there is more disposable income around, Cuba looks like it could attract many Irish holidaymakers looking to travel long haul in 2016.

Cuba, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

Croatia

For those looking for somewhere a little different but still close to home, Croatia will be a top choice. The stunning city of Dubrovnik and the introduction of flights to Zadar and Pula will ensure that there are plenty of options for Irish holidymakers in 2016. The proximity to Lonely Planet’s top destination to visit in 2016 (Kotor in Montenegro) will also add to the appeal.

Dubrovnik, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

Dubai

With four direct flights every day, it is almost impossible to avoid seeing this world class holiday destination on travel agency windows and media outlets, all offering amazing deals to Dubai. With the loss of direct flights to Egypt and Tunisia, Dubai is also an excellent alternative for anyone looking for some Winter / Spring sunshine.

Dubai, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

 

So where will you be travelling to in 2016? If I left out your favourite, please comment below 🙂

 

Sarah

468x60Travel Deals Banner

 

Pin It on Pinterest