DestinationsEuropeTrending Posts

12 Winter Holiday Destinations With Direct Flights From Ireland

Winter holidays

From winter sun in the Canary Islands to Christmas market breaks – check out my top winter holiday destinations with direct flights from Ireland.

Want to stay in a glass igloo in Lapland, shop till you drop in New York, or is a sun holiday more your style? We are fortunate to have such a wide range of winter holiday destinations that are easily accesible from Ireland. I understand some of you wish to travel alone or with friends, and many will be travelling with kids – so you should find breaks here to suit all tastes and budgets.

top winter holiday destinations for families - skiing

Instagram
 

 

 

1. The Canary Islands

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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


The combination of direct daily flights from Ireland, balmy temperatures, and a low cost of living, has made the Canary Islands our most popular winter holiday destination for many years.

There are direct flights to Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura  from Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports, and direct flights to Fuerteventura from Dublin and Shannon airports.
 

 

 
Fuerteventura is blessed with stunning white sandy beaches, while the sheltered resorts of Puerto Rico and Puerto de Mogán in Gran Canaria are popular with sun seekers. Tenerife has the largest selection of luxury hotels, but my personal favourite is Lanzarote – find out why, here:

Read: Why Lanzarote is my favourite Canary Island

Read: Family holidays in Lanzarote, my top 10 picks on where to stay

Search flights here
 
Check hotels here
 

 

 

2. Dubai

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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


Dubai is another great winter holiday destination if you want sunshine, but it is also packed with things to do. Try a desert safari, go to the top of the world’s tallest building, ski in the worlds largest indoor ski slope, or simply relax on one of its stunning beaches.
 

 

 
We visited Dubai last year and had a blast. Activities and dining are expensive, so you may need to budget accordingly, but it is a great destination for winter sun.

Top ten things to do in Dubai

The best family activities in Dubai
 
Search flights here

Check hotels here
 

 

 

3. Skiing Holidays

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

Skiing holidays are growing in popularity all the time, with Austria, France and Italy being the firm favourites from Ireland. Söll in Austria is a great all rounder, with great skiing, restaurants and après ski, but if money is not an option, check out Val d’Isere in France.
 

 

 
Most of the top ski resorts in France, Italy and Austria are easily accessible from Dublin airport, but there are also options from our regional airports. There are flights from Ireland West Airport ( Knock) to Bergamo and Shannon airport to Turin and Cork airport to Salzburg. Top Tip: If you are looking to ski in Austria, flights to Munich are sometimes cheaper than Salzburg and the transfer times are similar. 

Read: Skiing in Soll, all you need to know and why you should go

Read: My top tips for family ski holidays

Read: My love affair with Club Med Val d’Isere
 
Search flights here

Check hotels here
 

 

 

4. Lapland

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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


I will never forget the look in my children’s eyes when we went to Lapland to see Santa. It was a magical family experience that we will never forget. It has been seven years since we visited, but the memories never fade. 
 

 

 
There are many ways to visit Lapland. TUI and Sunway offer packages with flights, transfers, accommodation and all activities included, from various Irish airports.

Ryanair introduced new flights this year to Rovaniemi from Dublin airport until mid March, and Santa Claus Village is open all year round, and see more about the various seasons in Lapland here. You can book flights and hotels separately via the links below.

Read: Our trip to see Santa in Lapland
 

 

 
Lapland isn’t just for kids! You can scratch one off your bucket list by staying in a glass igloo just 15 minutes drive from Rovaneimi airport. You can enjoy husky safaris, snowmobiling, as well as igloo saunas.

winter holiday destinations from Ireland

Featuring a heated glass roof, the Aurora cabin allows you to watch the sky directly from the bed. It comes with a private bathroom, electric fireplace and a sofa. Wouldn’t this be the ultimate Christmas present? 🎁

Search flights 

View hotel 

Check all hotels here
 

 

 

5. Christmas market breaks

best winter holiday destinations - european christmas markets

A Christmas market break is a great way to kick-start the festive season without breaking the bank. Many markets open from the end of November and there are super deals available on flights and hotels, especially if you can travel mid-week.
 

 

 
More and more cities are embracing the trend, but there are still a few show stoppers! Germany is probably the most famous country for Christmas markets, with Cologne and Berlin being most popular. However Budapest, Vienna and Salzburg should not be overlooked.
 

 

 
Copenhagen is another city you may not have thought of, but if you are looking for a Christmas market break with children, this is a great choice. Tivoli Gardens come alive with over 500,000 Christmas lights and there are plenty of activities to keep all the family happy.

There is a wide choice of Christmas market breaks available from Dublin airport, Budapest, Krakow are served from Shannon airport, and Rome is available from Cork airport.

Read: 12 Christmas market breaks with flights and hotels included

 
Search flights here

Check hotels here
 

 

 

6. Paris

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Honeymoons.com (@honeymoons_com)


Paris might be popular in the Spring, but winter time is also a great time to visit. There are no crowds, its great for shopping, and have you ever seen the Eiffel Tower look so pretty?  We went for New Year and loved it.

If you happen to have children, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Disneyland Paris at Christmas time. Not only it is a magical experience, but it is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, so expect lots extra magic from Disney! 

There are many flights to Paris available from Dublin airport, as well as direct flights to Orly airport from Cork and Shannon. 

Read: Our visit to Disneyland Paris at Christmas time

Read: 5 Great reasons to visit Disneyland Paris in 2022

Read:  The best Disneyland Paris hotels, on site and nearby
 
Search flights here
 
Check hotels here
 

 

 

7. Iceland

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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


Iceland is one of the best winter holiday destinations if you are looking for a snowy destination with winter wonderland feels and plenty to see and do. Chase the Northern Lights, swim in the Blue Lagoon and drive Iceland’s golden circle. There are direct flights from Dublin to Reykjavik with Icelandair and Play Airlines this winter.

Read: Top things to do in Iceland
 
Search flights here
 
Check hotels here
 

 

 

8. New York:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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


New York is amazing to visit at any time of year, but I think it is a great winter holiday destination. You don’t need to worry about the roasting summer temperatures, and of course you can ice-skate in Central Park. We all know New York is a super city for shopping so it is ideal for a pre or post Christmas break.
 

 

 
The Christmas lights are turned on in early December, and this is a great time to visit, but if you want to avoid the crowds and the high hotel prices, leave it until January. There are direct flights from Dublin and Shannon airport this winter.

Read: Top 25 things to do in New York

Read: Top things to do with New York with kids 

Search flights here
 
Check hotels here
 

 

 

9. Cruise holidays:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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


There are many options for winter cruises from Ireland. MSC will cruise the Mediterranean throughout the winter season, you can cruise the Canary Islands on Norwegian Sun, or choose to cruise the Caribbean or Emirates on a variety of cruise lines.

Three of this year’s most popular new ships are cruising the Caribbean this winter, Celebrity Beyond, Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas and Norwegian Prima.

Read: How to choose the right cruise for you

Read: 10 cruise deals from Ireland including flights
 

 

 

10. Bargain breaks in Italy:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

Ryanair has added three new routes to Italy this winter, so now is the time to bag yourself a cheap city break deal to one of Europe’s top city break destinations.  As well as flying in to Venice Treviso airport, Ryanair is also flying to Marco Polo airport with airfares from €19.99 each way in November and December, or €34.99 each way in January. 

Read: Venice travel guide – top things to do and where to stay in Venice
 

 

 
Similarly with Rome, they have added Fiumicino airport to their existing service to Ciampino airport, with airfares from €25.99 each way.

Read: Where to stay in Rome, my top picks of 3, 4 and 5-star hotels

They have also launched a new route to Genoa – the gateway to Italy’s Cinque Terre. You may not get the hot summer sun, but you will get to visit one of Italy’s  most spectacular coastlines without the crowds.
 
Search flights 
 
Check hotels here
 

 

 

11. Florida:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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


With direct flights to Orlando and Miami all year round, why not choose winter over summer in the sunshine state. Winter is the optimum time to visit Orlando’s theme parks, although Christmas holiday time will be busy. Take the opportunity to explore Florida’s coastline too including the beaches of Miami. Why not fly into Orlando and home from Miami to make the most of your winter holiday?

Read: 10 things you need to know about Universal Studios before you book

Read: 35 Things to do in Universal Orlando – My top tips and tricks

Read: 30 Things to do in Disney World Florida with teens

See more here
 
Check hotels here
 

 

 
12. Malta:top 10 reasons to visit Malta

For a small island in the Mediterranean, Malta sure packs a few punches. Temperatures can be as high as 17 degrees and rarely get below 11 degrees, making it ideal for sightseeing.

It is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the City of Valletta is one of them and is a must see. It has 320 historic monuments and a stunning natural harbour and is described as ‘one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world’ by UNESCO.
 

 

 
Malta was the most bombed country in the world during WWII, with over 14,000 bombs dropped. You can visit air raid shelters and war rooms, as well as an aviation museum.

It is rare to find anywhere in the Med where you drive on the left hand side, and the island is only 17 miles long and 9 miles wide, with a population of just over 500,000, so it is an easy island to explore. There are direct flights from Dublin and Shannon to Malta this winter.

Read: Top 10 reasons to visit Malta
 
Search flights 
 
Check hotels here
 

 

 
I hope this post on winter holiday destinations will inspire you to plan a trip overseas soon. Please note some of the links in this post contain affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made but at no additional cost to you. This helps me to run my website and bring you lots of great holiday tips and ideas!

Pin It on Pinterest