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My Top Picks For A Girls Weekend Away

girls on beach_opt

From Benalmadena to Berlin, Puerto del Carmen to Positano, designer shopping in Vilamoura, to outlet shopping in New York – check out my top picks for a girls weekend away.

 

A girls weekend away is something I personally love – in fact I’m pretty sure all girls do! Whether it’s lying on a beach, or shopping till you drop; add in some cocktails and no matter where you are – it’s paradise! I have places to suit all tastes, from city breaks to sun holidays, there is bound to be something here to help you plan your next girls weekend away .

 
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 1. Costa del Sol

This is one of the most popular destinations for a girls weekend away. There are flights available from most Irish airports and a wide choice of resorts to suit all budgets. Choose Benalmadena for the lively marina, Fuengirola for excellent value shopping and restaurants, or Marbella for glitz and glamour. 

girls weekend away in marbella

 

View flights here   View hotels here
 
Check out this deal: Girls Weekend in Marbella, Flights & 4 Star Hotel, €299
 

 

 

2. London

London is not only one of the world’s greatest cities, but it is also an ideal choice if you are short on time. I went recently with my girlfriends – we flew out early Saturday morning and returned Sunday evening. Although we only went for one night, it felt like we had a girls weekend away. We shopped, had a delicious lunch in London’s oldest wine bar, and even managed to catch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Make sure you book the hop-on hop-off Big Bus Tour – not only will you get to see London’s highlights, but you will also get a cruise on the Thames for free! 

girls weekend in London

 

View flights here   View hotels here
 

 

 

3. Algarve

The Algarve is great value for short break. There are over ten flights per day from Irish airports, so you probably pick up a bargain, particularly if you travel off peak. Choose Albufeira for lively night life, Vilamoura for upmarket shopping and dining, or Alvor for a more relaxed vibe with great restaurants, and a beach that stretches for miles. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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View flights here   View hotels here
 

 

 

4. Paris

Paris is always a good idea, and it doesn’t have to be springtime! Combine some sightseeing with boutique shopping, and take time out for a long lunch with some delicious French wine. Visit the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre – the list is endless. Of course no girls weekend away to Paris would be complete without a trip to famous department store – Galeries Lafayette!

girls weekend in paris

 

View flights here   View hotels here
 

 

 

5. New York 

New York is on every girls holiday wish list! Shop till you drop, feel the buzz of Time Square, dine at celebrity hangouts, and dance the night away in some of the world’s best clubs. Of course there are also lots of sights to see too. Four is the perfect number to save on expensive hotel bills and cab fares, not to mention you will have the whole ‘ Sex and the city’ vibe going on…

Read: My top 25 things to do in New York
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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View flights here   View hotels here
 

 

 

6. Lanzarote

If you are looking for a winter sun break, Lanzarote is the ideal choice. Expect year round sunshine, good value hotel prices and duty free shopping. Although a slightly longer flight than mainland Spain or the Algarve, the main resort of Puerto del Carmen is located less than 10 minutes from the airport – so you will be relaxing on a sun lounger in no time! Choose Puerto del Carmen for a lively (but not too rowdy) holiday, or Playa Blanca for a quiet more relaxed vibe. 

Read: Why Lanzarote is my favourite Canary Island

girls weekend away in Lanzarote

 

View flights here   View hotels here
 

 

 7. Berlin

Fancy a city break? Berlin is a great choice for a girls weekend away. Not only does it have some of the best nightlife in any European city, but you can also enjoy great sightseeing and shopping too. The Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall are all located in the heart of the city, so you can combine some culture with cocktails, and get the best of both worlds. Berlin has some of the best basement nightclubs, cocktail bars and craft beer houses, so if nightlife and sightseeing is what you seek – look no further!

Read: My city guide to Berlin

girls weekend in berlin

 

View flights here   View hotels here
 

 

 

8. Dubai

A classy, or should I say expensive, choice for a girls weekend away – but if you have it, why not? With daily direct flights from Dublin Airport, you can choose to extend your stay to five, six or even seven nights. You can expect year round sunshine, deluxe hotels and the world’s largest shopping malls. Go to the top of the world’s tallest building, enjoy a desert safari, and if you really want to push the boat out, pop into the Burj Al Arab for Afternoon Tea. Dubai is expensive to dine out, my top-tip would be to book a hotel on half-board.

Read:  My top ten things to do in Dubai
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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What a first day in Dubai, talk about a city of contrasts! We had an amazing Arabic breakfast in the @arabianteahouse this morning and then went to the @burjkhalifa this afternoon. To go from old Dubai to new Dubai is quite startling – it’s really like two different cities. There is so much to do here, but a visit to the worlds tallest building, the Burj Khalifa is a must. I collaborated with @atdattractions who have tickets to the 125th floor for only €36! It’s located at the #DubaiMall and right beside the Dubai Fountain, which has displays every half hour from 630pm. We spent a half day exploring that whole area and had dinner there too. Check out my stories to see what we got up to. . . . . . . . #dubai #burjkhalifa #thingstodoindubai #travelblogger #travelgram #travelpic #wearetravelgirls #travel #wings #wingsofdesire #instadubai #dubailife #dubaimall #irishtravelblogger #dubaiinstagram

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View flights here   View hotels here
 

 

 

9. Positano

Positano is one of those places that is ideal for a 30th, 40th or even 50th birthday treat. Grab a few friends together who are celebrating a birthday in the same year, and just book it! It has to be one of Europe’s most idyllic resorts. Take a day trip to Capri and marvel at the designer shops, enjoy some delicious Italian food and take in the Amalfi Coast’s stunning sea views.

positano for a girls weekend away

Top Tip: Check out some of the amazing villas on AirBNB – prices are alot less than you might think. It is also nice to have the place to yourself and maybe even have your own private pool. New to AirBnB? Sign up here and get €30 off your first stay.

View flights here   View hotels here
 

 

 

10. Ibiza

Contrary to what you might think, nightlife in Ibiza is not just for students. If you are looking for top class hotels and celebrity-style hangouts, Ibiza is where it’s at. Party all night in San Antonio and catch the best sunset in the original sunset bar, Café del Mar. If you want a more sophisticated choice, stay in the uber cool Ushuaia Beach Hotel, and dance the night away at Pacha. Ibiza town is also a good choice. It is a beautiful town and is ideal for shopping. Stop by Bar 1805 for some cocktails!

cocktails on holidays

 

View flights here View hotels here
 

 

 

Like this post? You might like:

Top 10 holidays for girls.

10 Reasons why a Mothers need a weekend away in the sun

 

Sarah

 

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In The Media

My Top Picks For Autumn Holidays At Home and Abroad

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Fancy a break away before the end of the year? I’ve got staycations, cruises, city breaks and long haul holidays. Check out my top picks for autumn holidays and get planning!

 

Last minute European sun holidays:

Tour Operators, TUI and Sunway have lots of last minute autumn holidays available. They have already paid in advance for flights and accommodation, so if you are looking or a week in the sun, they should be your first port of call. I have picked some favourites below, but bear in mind prices may change, as these are last minute holidays.

Aer Lingus September sale is also worth a look. They are offering flights to Europe from €24.99 one-way for travel between the 1st October and 16th December.

Gran Canaria: 10th October, 7 Nights, inc Flights, Transfers & Baggage from €350 

View offer here

 

Sicily: 5th October, 7 Nights, inc Flights, Transfers & Baggage from €449

View offer here
 

Crete October Mid Term Break: 5* Anemos Luxury Grand Resort, Half Board, from €799; 2ad & 2ch from €3155

autumn holidays in crete

I holidayed in this same resort during the summer with my family. The hotel has a superb beachfront location, and is close to the beautiful towns of Chania and Rethymno. 

View 2 sharing here View family offer here 

 

Read my review of Anemos Luxury Grand Resort
 

 

 

City breaks:

 

Vienna Weekend Break: 5th October, Flights & 4-Star Hotel, 3 Nights, €238

This is a super deal to see one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. You will be staying in the highly rated 4-star Austria Trend Hotel Savoyen Vienna hotel which is located in the heart of the city and close to all the attractions. Price of €238 per person includes flights and hotel accommodation for three nights, departing Saturday the 5th of October.

holiday deals

See more here
 

 

 

Venice Short Break: 23rd October, Flights, Hotel & Gondola Ride, 2 Nights, €285

It is rare to see such a good special offer to Venice, and even more rare to see a gondola ride included! The price of €285 per person includes return flights with 10kg hand luggage per person, two nights in a 3* Hotel San Zulian and a free gondola ride. This hotel is superbly located close to St. Mark’s Square, and receives excellent reviews on TripAdvisor.

autumn city breaks

View offer here
 

 

 

Disneyland Paris, Halloween Festival, 2 ad & 2ch, 3 Nights inc Flights & Park Passes, €1473

Halloween and Christmas festivals at Disneyland Paris run almost consecutively from the end of September right up to the 6th of January, so it is a great time to visit. If your children are not in school yet you can get great value autumn holidays, departing September and October. I found a great deal over the October Mid Term Break, departing Friday the 1st of November for 3 nights. Price with flights, hotel and park passes is €1473, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing.

halloween festival at disneyland paris

See more here

 

Read: The best time to visit Disneyland Paris.
 

 

 

Cruises:

 

5* Celebrity Edge, 10 night Spain & Monaco Fly Cruise, €1820

Celebrity Edge is one of the world’s newest and most luxurious cruise ships. Its unique design includes the world’s first ‘Magic Carpet’ a cantilevered, floating platform that rises 13 stories above sea level, with a full bar, open-air dining area and space for live music. Edge also has an adults-only Solarium and a rooftop garden, as well as the usual facilities and dining options you would expect from a world-class cruise ship. This cruise sails from Rome on the 11th of October and visits, Naples, Santa Margherita, Monte Carlo and over nights in Barcelona. Price for flights, and cruise on a full board basis is €1820 per person. Upgrade to an oceanview stateroom for an additional €440, and receive a classic drinks package and $300 onboard spend per stateroom.

autumn holidays

View offer here  

 

 

 

October Mid Term Break: 9 Night Med Cruise, MSC Preziosa, €855pp

cruise holiday deals

This exclusive deal on MSC Preziosa is ideal for anyone who is tied to school holidays. Visit France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Morocco over 9 nights. Price of €855 includes flights, cruise with meals and entertainment and gratuities, staying in an interior cabin. Cost for 2 adults and 2 children is only €2730, staying in a balcony cabin.
 
View offer here
 

 

 

U River Cruises: 21st September & 8th October, Cruise only €899 – save €400

holiday deals

Sail along the Danube from Regensburg to Budapest over eight days in a luxury 5-star river cruise ship. Price includes meals and excursions, flights are extra. Note the €400 savings will not show online – you need to call a U Specialist on 01 906 9408 or your local travel agent to avail of this special discount.  

Read my review of U River Cruises – luxury river cruises for younger travellers.
 

 

 

Rest of the World:

 

12 Nights Thailand holiday: Bangkok, Elephant Hills & Khao Lak, Inc Flights & Transfers €2099

I love when a holiday combines a beach stay with a little adventure. If I can manage to add a city to the mix too, that is even better. I have researched various Thailand holidays, as I would love to return, and this one ticks all boxes. This Thailand itinerary combines bustling Bangkok and an ethical elephant safari, with some relaxing beach time. If all of that isn’t enough to tempt you, there are luxury hotels included too. Your stay at Elephant Hills luxury tented camp also includes all meals and activities. 

autumn holidays in thailand

See more here

 

Read: The best Thailand Itinerary – Bangkok, Beach and Wildlife
 

 

 

Barbados: 4-star All Inclusive Resort inc Flights & Transfers, 7 Nights, €1399 

last minute deals

Treat yourself to a week in the brand new Sands Barbados Hotel. There are savings of up to €690 per person if you book by the 30th of September. The hotel is currently undergoing a ‘soft opening’, hence the super prices. Some restaurants or facilities may not be in operation, see more details on the link below. Price for flights, transfers and a seven-night stay on an all-inclusive basis is only €1399, departing in September or €1439 in October/ November.

View offer here
 

 

 

G Adventures Costa Rica  Tour – 25th October or 1st November, €729 

This 8 day classic group tour is so on trend at the moment. Despite white water rafting, the wildlife safari and zipline activities, this tour is suitable from age 12, and there is no upper age limit. Enjoy swimming in waterfalls and natural hot springs as well as some chill time on Costa Rica’s amazing beaches. Group size are between 12 and 16 (max ) and it is suitable for most fitness levels. Price of €729 includes all accommodation, tours and some meals – sole travellers can share, or can pay a supplement for a single room. Flights with United Airlines via Newark are available from €701.
 
g adventures costa rica
 
 
 

3 Nights Dubai and  7 Nights All Inclusive Mauritius stay Inc Flights & Transfers, from €2519 

This wonderful two-centre holiday offers the perfect mix of city and beach. Spend three nights seeing the sights in Dubai while you stay in the luxurious 5* Hilton Dubai Creek, followed by seven nights relaxing in the all-inclusive 4* The Ravenala Attitude hotel in Mauritius.

See more here
 

 

 

Staycations:

 

SuperValu Getaway Breaks

SuperValu Getaway Breaks are great value for anyone looking for a last minute staycation. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to be a SuperValu shopper to purchase them, although if you are a Real Rewards member, you can accumulate valuable Real Rewards points. They have over 300 hotels on their website, including an Inspired Collection of four and five-star hotels. They are currently offering €20 off their 2-night stays for travel before the 31st of December. Luxury hotels like The Brehon in Killarney is €125pp for a two-night stay and the 5* Sheen Falls Lodge is only €150pp for a two-night stay.

supervalu getaway breaks

 

I am just recently back from Waterford and the Munster Vales, where we cycled the Waterford Greenway and enjoyed delicious food in Waterford’s foodie capital, Dungarvan. I found great deals staying in the Park Hotel or Gold Coast Resort, Dungarvan. Price for a two-night stay, with breakfast, is only €75 per person departing on various dates in September / October. There is a leisure centre and gym in both and the 18-hole championship Gold Coast Golf Course is adjacent to the Gold Coast Resort.  Dungarvan is also on the Waterford Greenway, so this is an ideal choice for anyone looking for an active break.

See more here

 

Read my top things to do in the Munster Vales.
 

 

 

Center Parcs

I was delighted to visit Center Parcs Longford Forest this summer – it really did live up to the hype! Prices during the summer months are high, so Center Parcs is an ideal choice for autumn holidays. Prices for a three-night weekend break in October are €559, based on a 2 bedroom Woodland Lodge. If you want to travel over the October bank holiday weekend, the price increases to €999, but the real value is departing on the 1st of November, the kids are still off school, and the price is only €699. Children are back to school on Monday the 4th, so you can choose to return on the Sunday night if you don’t want to take the kids out of school for a day.
 

 

 
Center Parcs will also have a Winter Wonderland theme starting on the 8th of November, where the forest will transform into a magical winter playground, with snow, lights and festive decorations. You can also visit Santa,  additional charge applies.

autumn holidays in ireland

 

See more here

 

Read my ultimate guide to Center Parcs Longford Forest.
 

 

 

Taste the Island promotion.

This year sees the start of a three-year initiative from Tourism Ireland to boost domestic and international tourists to Ireland, outside of the summer months. They have introduced a ‘Taste the Island’ celebration, where we are showcasing the very best of our food and drink culture. There are events on throughout the country, so if you are planning autumn holidays, find out what’s on here. Many hotels have embraced this theme and are offering stays with special ‘Taste the Island’ menus. Lough Rynne in Leitrim, which is available on SuperValu breaks, Actons in Kinsale and Clew Bay in Westport are just some of the hotels involved. There are events on throughout the country – you can see what’s on here.
 

 

 

Like holidays in Ireland? See more here.

 

Stenaline UK Breaks

Stenaline is offering two-night breaks to Scotland, England or Wales with return ferry travel by car included from €145 per adult sharing. Kids under 16 travel free by ferry, but there may be supplements for hotels. Take your pick from hundreds of hotels and apartments including Alton Towers and Legoland. This offer is available for autumn holidays and for travel until the 31st of March 2020, but needs to be booked by 30th November 2019.
 

See more here
 

 

 
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my top picks for autumn holidays include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 
Sarah 

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Lightening Deals

Girls Weekend In Marbella, Flights & 4* Hotel, 3 Nights, May Bank Holiday 2021 €267!

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Why not get a few friends together and plan a weekend in Marbella over the May bank holiday weekend. 

 

Marbella has been a firm favourite with Irish holidaymakers for many years and it’s not difficult to see why. It’s got sun, fun and a little glitz and glamour to boot! It has some of Spain’s best night clubs as well as a marina full of luxury yachts. With short daily flights from Dublin, Cork and Shannon you can however, manage a weekend in Marbella without breaking the bank.
 
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Marbella has great nightlife, shopping and beaches so it is probably the perfect choice for a girls weekend away. It’s not only about the bling though, the backdrop of the mountains and the beautiful old town, ensure it keeps some of it’s original charm. There are numerous great restaurants and shops too, so it is safe to say Marbella caters for everyone.

weekend in marbella

I have chosen the 4* NH Marbella hotel which is located on Marbella’s ‘Golden Mile’ and just five minutes walk to the beach. Highly recommend on TripAdvisor and awarded a certificate of excellence, this is a super choice for a girls weekend in Marbella.
 

 

 
Price for flights and a three night stay based on three sharing is only €269 per person, and this is based on a free cancellation rate. Fly from Dublin to Malaga on Saturday the 1st of May and enjoy the May bank holiday weekend in Marbella. If these dates don’t suit, simply click on the links below and edit your search to suit your requirements. Go on, get a few friends together and plan a weekend away – you deserve it…
 

 

 
View flights here €114pp

 

View hotel here €153pp

 

 

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 Break in Amsterdam – 3 Nights in 4-Star Hotel & Flights – €254pp

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The New Year has arrived and with that comes a lust for new experiences and adventure. I have found a brilliant offer for a weekend break in Amsterdam that should fuel those urges even more.

 

Amsterdam is a city with an incredible aesthetic and history. The hotel for the offer I have found is the 4-Star Bilderburg Hotel Jan Luyken and this places you right in the historical heart of the city. Within walking distance of your hotel you will find the Riijksmuseum, The Van Gogh Museum, The Heineken Experience and the powerful Anne Frank Museum. The latter two are a good half an hour walk away but this is definitely manageable in Amsterdam on a nice day.
 
Weekend Break in Amsterdam

 

Also close to your hotel you will find Vondelpark. If you’re looking to get the full Dutch experience, you simply have to rent out a bike and cycle around to explore every corner of this beautiful park.
 
The hotel has excellent ratings on Expedia; scoring 4.3/5 from over 1700 reviews. This offer is for March when the temperature starts to become nice and mild making it perfect for a city break. The flights for the offer are direct with Ryanair and the dates are from Thursday the 7th to Sunday the 10th, but if these dates don’t suit simply edit the search via the link below, to suit your requirements. The price of €254pp covers the cost of the hotel and flights.

 

 

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 The Travel Expert receives a small commission if a booking is made.

 

 

 

The Travel Expert Team

 

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Travel

Weekend in Rome, 21st March, Flights & 4 Star Hotel, 3 Nights, €198!

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A weekend in Rome is a great idea at any time of year. No matter how many times you visit you can’t help but marvel at its beauty. 

 

You would want to be made of stone if Rome did not impress you. There are ancient wonders at every corner: the Vatican, Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain – need I go on? I love admiring the stylish Italians on the Via Veneto, as well as spotting the locals hanging their washing on their side street balconies. There are Italian trattoria’s serving fresh pasta on every street and the aroma of fresh coffee fills the air – a weekend in Rome is a feast for the senses.

weekend in Rome
 

 

 
I found a great deal flying out on Saturday the 21st of March, a great time to enjoy a weekend in Rome. Fly from Dublin and stay in the 4-star Hotel Milton Roma. Highly recommended on TripAdvisor and ideally situated to explore this marvellous city, it is a steal at €198 for flights and three nights accommodation!
 

 

 
View flights here €72pp

View hotel here  €126pp

 

 

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

 

 
Sarah

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Travel

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

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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

 

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Travel

October Bank Holiday Weekend In Porto, Flights & 4* Apartment, 3 Nights, €259!

porto

Porto is one of the oldest cities in Europe! Why not choose some where different for a city break this year and try a weekend in Porto – you won’t be disappointed.

 

I spent the October Bank holiday weekend in Porto last year and loved it!  This medieval city is full of colourful buildings, I was genuinely amazed at how beautiful the Porto was. The Ribeira district is a Unesco World Heritage site and is full of local wine bars, restaurants and old buildings close to the waterfront. Enjoy a glass of wine or a meal by the river, and soak up the atmosphere, for a fraction of what you would pay at home. In fact Porto of late has become one of Europe’s top food destinations. You wont find top celebrity restaurants here, but lots of local eateries serving delicious Portuguese food, at rock bottom prices. Renowned as the birthplace of port, there are also numerous wine cellars offering tastings and tours. There are plenty of good places to go at night time too, with bands playing in various venues across the city.

weekend in Porto

Porto is not all about food and wine though. No visit would be complete without seeing the Se Cathedral, Saõ Francisco church and Clérigos Tower. You will also be drawn to the many churches with blue tiles that are scattered throughout the city. Like all cities there is a great shopping street and let’s not forget Porto is beside the coast, so if you dont fancy a boat trip along the Douro River, why not spend the day at the beach, which is only 15 minutes from the centre of Porto.  For more information read my blog on why you need to choose Porto for your next city break.

I found a great deal staying in the 4* Porto Cinema apartments. Highly rated on tripadvisor and centrally located, this is a great choice to explore all that Porto has to offer.  Fly from Dublin on the 26th of October and enjoy a three night stay here for only €259 per person!

Click here to book flights: €151pp:

Click here to book apartment: €108pp

 

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change. Please note that some of these links are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Sarah

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Travel

Four Night Break In The Algarve, Flights & 4* Apartment, 16th May, €199!

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Kickstart your Summer with a four night break in the Algarve. Stay in the four star Solaqua apartments in May, for only €199 per person.

 

The Algarve is one of the top destinations for Irish holidaymakers and Albufeira is one of the most popular resorts. The combination of the old town, full of character with traditional Portuguese eateries, and the modern new town, means it offers the best of both worlds. Albufeira offers some great nightlife if you are looking for a lively holiday but there are long sandy beaches too if you just want to chill out, relax and enjoy the Atlantic surf. Average temperatures for the same week for the last three years were a balmy 24 degrees and sunny – check out the historical tab on wunderground here.

four night break in the Algarve

You will be staying in the four star Luna Solaqua apartments which are centrally located in Albufeira, receive excellent reviews on tripadvisor and have been awarded a certificate of excellence. There is an indoor and outdoor pool and a spa offering massage and beauty treatments.

four night break in Algarve

So go on grab a few mates and get your Summer off to a super start! Fly from Dublin to Faro on the 16th of May and enjoy a four night break in the Algarve for only €199 per person! I have priced this based on flying out on Wednesday evening so you only need to take two days off work. If you want to stay longer, there are three flights every day and you can change the search dates on the accommodation link to suit you.

 

Click here to book flights to Faro: €101 pp

Click here to book apartment: €98 pp

 

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

 

Sarah

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Travel

Weekend in Porto, Flights & 4* Hotel, 11th January, 3 Nights, €190!

Porto

Porto is one of the oldest cities in Europe and has a medieval feel to it. Why not choose some where different for a city break and try a weekend in Porto – you won’t be disappointed.

 

We enjoyed a weekend in Porto last year and loved it!  This city is almost medieval with colourful buildings everywhere, I was genuinely amazed at how beautiful the city was. The Ribeira district is a Unesco World Heritage site and is full of local wine bars, restaurants and old buildings close to the waterfront. Enjoy a glass of wine or a meal by the river and soak up the atmosphere for a fraction of what you would pay at home. In fact Porto of late has become one of Europe’s top food destinations.

 

You wont find any celebrity restaurants here but lots of local eateries serving traditional Portuguese food, at rock bottom prices. Renowned as the birthplace of port, there are also numerous wineries offering tastings and tours. There are plenty of good places to go at night time too, with bands playing in various venues across the city. Read why you should choose Porto for your next city break here.

weekend in Porto

I stayed in the superb NH Collection Porto Batalha Hotel. This modern hotel with excellent service is right in the heart of the city. We found it perfect for exploring all that Porto has to offer. Fly from Dublin on the 14th of January and enjoy a three night stay here for only €190 per person – the perfect Christmas gift!

View flights here  €56pp

View hotel here  €269

 

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change. Please note that some of these links are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Sarah

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4 Star City Breaks in July and August for Less Than €299!

city break

I have teamed up with Click&Go, to bring you six, four star summer city breaks in July and August for less than €299! Which one will you choose?

 

Sometimes a few days leave is all we have, but sometimes a few days away is all we need, to forget about work and let the hair down. No need to worry about pool games and kids clubs, think nice food, wine and some sightseeing instead. I have six summer city breaks for you, all staying in recommended four star hotels in some of Europe’s top cities. The dates can be changed to suit you so if you want to stay longer or shorter, or travel at a different time to what I have listed, just check the Click&Go website, or call one of their dedicated sales staff on 01-5397777, and they will be able to help you.

 

Madrid, 10th July, Flights & 4 Star hotel, 3 Nights, €249!

city breaks in july and august

Madrid is the perfect option for those who want a sun holiday with some culture thrown in. Take a guided tour of the Royal Palace, enjoy a coffee on the Plaza Mayor, Madrid’s main square; and sample some of the amazing tapas bars and restaurants that the city is renowned for. Football fans will enjoy a tour of Real Madrid’s Bernabeu while fashionistas will shop till they drop on the Gran Via. Fly from Dublin on the 11th of July and spend three nights at the popular Chamartin hotel for only €259 per person.

Click here for more details:

 

Amsterdam, 25th July, Flights & 4 Star Hotel, 2 Nights, €285!

city breaks in july and august

With airlines adding more direct flights to Amsterdam, there has never been a better time to visit. This ‘arty’ city is on trend at the moment with many opting to take a cycling trip along it’s famous canals. Amsterdam is full of culture and life. It is easy to navigate and is a great short break destination. Take a quick trip on the 25th of July for two nights and enjoy a four star stay at the modern Arena Hotel for only €293. Fly out early in the morning and come back late at night so you have three full days to explore his great city!

Click here for more details:

 

Prague, 30th July, Flights & 4 Star Hotel, 3 Nights €275

city breaks in july and august

Prague must rival Paris for the title of Europe’s most ‘beautiful’ city. Wenceslas Square, medieval Charles Bridge and Prague Castle are just some of the architectural masterpieces. This compact city is one where you can see the most of the highlights in your three night break. If nightlife is what you seek, you will be hard pushed to find anywhere better, with the world’s best beer to go with it! Fly from Dublin on the 30th of July and stay in the highly rated Ametyst boutique hotel. This hotel is centrally located, within walking distance to Wensceslas Square and includes breakfast each day!

Click here for more details:

 

Berlin, 30th July, Flights & 4 Star Hotel, 3 Nights, €283!

city breaks in july and august

The trendy city of Berlin is a great city break destination, I visited last year and loved it. There is history on every corner with some great night life too! Visit the Brandenburg gate, the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. If museums are your thing, there are 175 of them! For more info on what to do, read my Berlin blog.  You will be staying at the highly rated 4* Ivbergs Premium Hotel which is close to the famous KaDeWe shopping centre and the Kurfürstendamm, Berlin’s equivalent to the Champs-Élysées.

Click here for more details:

 

Paris, 18th August, Flights & 4 Star Hotel, 2 Nights, €272!

city breaks in july and august

Forget Paris in the Spring, choose Paris in the Summer instead!  The bright sunny weather makes the iconic architecture and the the seasonal blooms a pleasure to witness. Stroll around the artistic village of Montmartre,  cruise on the river Seine at sunset, or take a day trip to the Gardens of Versailles. There are so many things to do in Paris, but some are best seen during the summer! Fly with Aer Lingus to Paris on Friday the 18th of August and stay at the highly rated Best Western Premier 61 Paris Nation for two nights, for only €242. The flight departs early in the morning and returns late in the evening so you  have three days to explore this beautiful city.

Click here for more details:

 

Lisbon, 28th August, 3 Nights, Flights & 4* Hotel, €292!

city breaks in july and august

This combination of the stunning coastline and colourful buildings makes Lisbon the perfect summer city break. Hop on one of the old trams and visit the Castelo de Sao Jorge or take the 20 minute train ride to Cascais, one the the areas prettiest holidays resorts. For a full day trip, visit the magical town of Sintra. Fly with Aer Lingus on the 28th of August and enjoy three nights at the highly rated 4* Turim Europa Hotel for only €292 per person.

Click here for more details:

 

The above dates can be changed to suit you so if you want to stay longer or shorter, or travel at a different time to what I have listed, just check the Click&Go website, or call one of their dedicated sales staff on 01-5397777, and they will be able to help you. This city breaks in July and August post was sponsored by Click&Go but all views as always are my own 🙂
Sarah
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Best Travel Deals

October Bank Holiday Weekend in Krakow, Flights & Hotel, 3 Nights €363!

krakow-1665093_1280_opt

Home to Europe’s largest market square, a trendy Jewish quarter and cracking nightlife, why not spend the October bank holiday weekend in Krakow.

 

A UNESCO world heritage site, the old town is lined with impressive buildings and museums including the famous Wawel castle. Although actively involved in the 2nd world war, the city remains completely in tact with stunning architecture at every corner. The Jewish quarter, Kazimierz is bustling with restaurants, pubs and clubs and is the pulse of the city. There are free guided walking tours which give you an account of what happened during the second world war, including a stop at Oskar Schindler’s factory. Nearby Auschwitz , although harrowing, is also an extremely worthwhile visit if you are feeling up to it. At night time you have to check out the live music at some of the back street basement clubs after a meal at one of Krakow’s many great restaurants.

october bank holiday weekend in krakow

Fly from Dublin on Friday the 27th of October and enjoy a three night stay at the centrally located Wyspianski Hotel for only €363 per person. This hotel is highly rated on tripadvisor and is a great choice to explore all that Krakow has to offer. Krakow combines medieval city and modern superbly and it a top city break destination – go see it!

Click here to book flights: €256pp

Click here to book hotel: €107pp

 

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

 

Sarah
 

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Why You Should Choose the Emirates of Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah Instead of Dubai…

Snorkelling

Did you know that Dubai was only one of seven Emirates? Why not get away from the hustle and bustle of Dubai and choose Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah instead.

 

There are a staggering 39 direct flights every week to the Emirates from Dublin airport. Many of you may have travelled to Dubai or stopped there en route to other destinations. Next time why not take the road less travelled and visit the quieter, more unspoilt Emirates. You will discover a relaxed atmosphere, lower hotel prices but still the same great beaches and expansive deserts. They are both very close to Dubai so you can easily take a day trip if you fancy a change of scene. Tropical Sky feature holidays to Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, two Emirates that combine sandy beaches and magnificent mountains with the Arabian desert. They are an ideal choice for a relaxing short break with some guaranteed sunshine. There are some amazing offers flying with Emirates direct from Dublin to Dubai until the end of the year, all with airport transfers included. I have hand picked some of their best to showcase why you should get off the beaten track and choose Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah instead of Dubai.

 

Ras Al Khaimah

 

4* Cove Rotana, Flights, Transfers & 5 Nights, All Inclusive, €889!

This traditional beachfront hotel is the perfect place to chill out. Choose from two swimming pools and a great choice of bars. Enjoy bottomless drinks and snacks while you watch the sunset in the Sunset Bar or some cocktails at Breakers at the beach. There are plenty of facilities to keep you active like their on site gym or if you want to chill out at the spa, thats cool too. They will also arrange sightseeing tours to the desert or you can enjoy a round of golf at the nearby course! Transfer time from Dubai: 90 minutes.

Click here for more details:

 

 

5* Rixos Bab Al Bahr, Flights, Transfers & 5 Nights, All Inclusive, €969

If luxury is what you seek, look no further! This 5* hotel is located on a magnificent private beach in Marjan Island, yet only 5 minutes drive from the large Al Hamra Mall. All rooms have sea views and the amenities on site are second to none. There are seven pools to choose from including a adult-only infinity pool. The all-inclusive arrangement includes dining at one of the Emirates largest buffet restaurants, with live cooking stations and a BBQ as well as six other restaurants where reservations are required. The spa offers Turkish Hammam (self-service), steam room, sauna and an ice fountain and non motorised watersports are also included in the price. The hotel provides an excellent entertainment program for adults and children, as well as an on site kids club and teen zone. Chill out at the end of the day with a cocktail in the Mojito Bar or the fantastic beach bar. Transfer time from Dubai: 1 hour.

Click here for more details:

 

Fujairah

 

5* Radisson Blu Resort Fujairah, Flights, Transfers & 5 Nights, All Inclusive €989

The Radisson Blu Resort Fujairah is situated on a private beach in the Indian Ocean. All rooms have sea views, perfect for a romantic drink on the balcony. There are excellent on site facilities including six restaurants and bars, a spa, fitness centre and dive centre. There is a water park for kids as well as a club offering snorkelling, sailing, games and crafts. Make sure to visit the nearby Madhab Park with its healing mineral springs. The hotel also offers a shuttle to Dubai, twice per week at an additional charge. Transfer time from Dubai airport: 90 minutes.

Click here for more details:

 

 

5* Le Meridien Al Aqua Beach Resort, Flights, Transfers & 5 Nights, All Inclusive, €1369

This luxury Indian Ocean resort is set on its own private beach with the stunning backdrop of the Hajar Mountains. The Le Meridien Al Aqua Beach Resort is one of the best all-inclusive resorts in Fujairah and is rated number 1 on tripadvisor. The on-site facilities are world class including one of the largest swimming pools in the region, a luxury spa, outstanding international cuisine and lush gardens. There is a dive centre, tennis and squash courts and a health club on site. The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service to Fujairah City and Dubai, if you fancy a day trip. For a limited time you will receive 30% off stays until the 20th of October, price above includes this discount. Transfer time from Dubai: 90 minutes.

Click here for more details:

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by Tropical Sky but all views, as always, are my own 🙂

 

In The Media

Staycations and Short Breaks on RTE’s Marian Finucane Show

Radio-Show-Feature-RTE-1

As the summer draws to a close why not grab a last minute getaway. I have city breaks in Madrid, Lisbon and Rome, and Irish breaks in Kilkee, Belfast, Enniscorthy, Enniskerry and Westport. Here are my recommendations for staycations and short breaks as discussed on RTE’s Marian Finucane Show this morning.

The Travel Expert, Sarah Slattery on RTE's Marian Finucane ShowFollow me on facebook

August break to Madrid

Late August is always a good time to get a deal and this year is no exception. Kids are ready to go back to school and those looking for a September break tend to overlook late August, when in fact, prices are much lower. ClickandGo.com have matched the low airfares with some good city breaks. I like this deal to Madrid, it combines sightseeing, sun and shopping all in one! You can take a tour of the Royal Palace and shop till you drop on the Gran Via – one of Europe’s finest shopping streets. Madrid is also home to Europe’s largest Penneys so there is shopping here for everyone! There is over 3,000 restaurants, so its safe to say it’s a foodie destination and there is enough bars and clubs to satisfy any night-owls. Fly with Aer Lingus and enjoy a three night stay in the four star Via Castellana hotel for only €240 on the 28th of August. Click here for more details.

short breaks at home and abroad as discussed with marian finucane

Lisbon break with river cruise in September

Although the Algarve is one of our most popular holiday choices, the capital, Lisbon is often overlooked. You can choose to go for a holiday (which I did) and stay in one of the beach resorts, or take a city break and stay in Lisbon itself. Temperatures rarely get higher than 25 degrees in Summer and lower than 14 degrees in Winter so it is a great choice for city break. The old style trams are the best way to get around the city and there are numerous sights to see, including The Belem Tower (defence tower), the Castelo de Sáo Jorge  and the Cristo Rei, which is a large statue of Christ that you can climb and see great views of the city. There are some great restaurants, cafes and music clubs, all very reasonably priced. I went with my kids and there was lots for them to do too. The Aquarium is Europe’s largest and well worth a visit. If you have time take the train to the ancient city of Sintra and some of the nice beach resorts along the coast. Theholidayshop.ie are offering a three night break in a central four star hotel from €339 on the 25th of September. They are also including a free river cruise too. Click here for more details.
short breaks at home and abroad as discussed with marian finucane

Cheese & Wine Tasting Weekend in Rome in November

Rome is a great city break destination at any time of year, but personally I think it’s better to go in the winter time, as it’s less crowded. There is so much to see in Rome it doesn’t matter how many times you go, you will always find something new to discover. I found a great deal on travalue.ie where they offer a FREE cheese and wine tasting evening, when you book a two night stay. The price for flights and a two night stay in the popular three star Galileo hotel in November is only €199 per person. They also have offers in September and October from €326 per person. Click here for more details.

short breaks at home and abroad as discussed with marian finucane

Christmas Market Breaks in December

Christmas markets are very much back in vogue. Ryanair and Aer Lingus have added extra capacity to many cities throughout the winter with lots of low priced airfares available. I like Berlin as it has over 50 markets to choose from and something to appeal to everyone. Sip some mulled wine while enjoying Christmas carols at the traditional markets of Charlottenburg Castle or enjoy one of the Christmas Rock concerts at the Spandau Old Town market. Europe’s largest mobile toboggan run and ice rink are at the lively Potsdamer Platz market, so there is plenty of choice for everyone. For more info on Europe’s top Christmas markets read my blog here. The price for flights with Aer Lingus and a three night stay in the 4* Park Inn by Radisson Alexanderplatz is only €249 on the 7th of December. Click here for more details.

short breaks at home and abroad as discussed with marian finucane


City Breaks

For those who wish to stay closer to home, there are plenty of options here in Ireland.

 

August family break: Feather Down, Loop Head, Co Clare.

Recently I had the pleasure of glamping in Ireland’s first Feather Down tents. They have sites all over Europe and have only come to Ireland this year. They are in the grounds of a popular glamping site, Purecamping in Loophead. It is the perfect escape from a big city, you really switch off and it’s a great family experience. The ‘tents’ if you can call them that have 3 bedrooms, a private toilet, shower, stove and also a BBQ if you are lucky to get the weather. They still have availability in August, the price for a three night stay is €599 on the 12th or 19th of August. If you want a cheaper option the Purecamping furnished bell tents are pretty cool too and are priced at €75 per night. You can also choose an unfurnished tent from €35. No matter which option you choose you can avail of the excellent facilities on site, including yoga classes, sauna and a wood fired pizza oven. For more details, read my blog here.

short breaks at home and abroad as discussed with marian finucane

Spa breaks

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 is situated on 100 acres – you will feel utterly relaxed here. Monart was recently awarded ‘runner up best spa retreat worldwide’, 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!  They have a three night midweek break from €329 per person, on the 29th of August, other dates are also available at a slightly higher price. This special offer includes breakfast each day plus dinner in their renowned restaurant on one evening. You will have unrestricted access to the thermal suite and they are also including a 30 minute spa treatment. Monart is situated on 100 acres – you will feel utterly relaxed here. For more details click here.

short breaks at home and abroad as discussed with marian finucane

If three nights seems too long, the Rainforest Spa in Enniskerry ( Wicklow) have an excellent offer for a one night stay at the Summerhill House Hotel You will receive a glass of bubbly and petit fours on arrival, an hours use of the spa facilities, a treatment of your choice ( see website for exact choices), breakfast and evening meal – and all for €129 mid week or €149 at the weekend, available in August. Click here for more details.

Operation Transformation at Hotel Westport

If you have over indulged during the summer months and want to get in shape for Christmas, then the Hotel Westport’s Operation Transformation package might be just what you need! You can choose a three day break from €199 or a five day break from €309 from the 9th of October. This four star family run hotel have been running this program, twice a year for four years and they have proved very popular. You will receive breakfast and dinner each day ( where light options are available) and you can join in the many aerobics and wellness classes that are provided free of charge. There is entertainment nightly and no single supplement – so it’s a great way to meet new people. There is no pressure to participate in all the activities, it is very much a laid back approach, in fact if you do not wish to be assessed, that’s fine too. If you fancy a night out in Westport, he hotel is located only five minutes from the centre. Click here for more details.

short breaks at home and abroad as discussed with marian finucane

Belfast overnight with Game of Thrones Tour

For any Game of Thrones fans, this is a must! The 4* boutique hotel, Tara Lodge is offering an over night stay with breakfast, and an action packed day visiting filming locations across Northern Ireland. Start your journey along the Causeway Coastal route visiting famous sites from the show. Stop for lunch before visiting the Giants Causeway. The price is only £72 per person and it is still available in August. Weekends are busy but check out their website for more details. The Tara Lodge is rated number 1 of 45 Belfast hotels on tripadvisor and receives excellent reviews. It is a family run guesthouse / hotel and offers friendly service and excellent value. Click here for more details.

short breaks at home and abroad as discussed with marian finucane

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. For my reviews and city break deals click here. To listen back to my chat with Marian, click HERE.

Sarah

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