10 Great Getaways: What's the best holiday I can get for €500?
Sun & city breaks
Left it late to book your holiday? Pól Ó Conghaile rounds up 10 top breaks available right now for around €500pp.
The late scramble for holidays is well and truly underway.
The bad news? Holiday bookings are booming, and deals are scarce in the peak months of July and August - particularly in Spain and the Canary Islands.
The good news? Bargains are still out there - if you know where to look. Here are some of the best, listed in and around €500 either as total prices or per person.
Get your getaway on!
1. €506: The Algarve in June (two people)
Abbey Travel has some solid deals to the Algarve in early June, including flights plus seven nights at the 3-star Aourasol Apartments in Praia De Oura from €253pp, departing June 10. Contact 01 804-7100; abbeytravel.ie.
2. €499: 5-star Lisbon Coast (per person)
Concorde Travel has a week at the 5-star Sheraton Resort at Cascais from €499pp departing May 8. The hotel has a great coastal location near Lisbon (above), and two golf courses on its doorstep. Flights are included (but not breakfast), in a great price for a five-star week in Portugal. Contact 01 775-9300; concordetravel.ie.
3. €498: Gran Canaria getaway (two people)
GoHop.ie has a raft of late deals right now, including return flights from Cork to Gran Canaria plus seven nights' self-catering accommodation from €249pp. The package departs June 3, so you'll get in by the skin of your teeth before summer prices skyrocket. Contact 01 241-2389; gohop.ie.
4. €455: Santa Ponsa in August (per person)
It's increasingly difficult to find decent holidays for less than €500pp in peak months, but Falcon #NRG still has a seven-day package in Santa Ponsa from €455pp departing August 24. The deal is based on four sharing self-catering accommodation. Contact 1850 94 61 64; falconholidays.ie.
5. €468: Three nights in Berlin (two people)
ITAA member The Travel Broker has direct flights plus three nights in Berlin from €234pp. The deal departs May 18 and includes B&B at the Azimut Hotel. Contact 01 833-3921; travelbroker.ie; itaa.ie/offers.
6. €549: Fun in Florida (per person)
OK, we're sailing above and beyond €500 now, but return transatlantic flights and seven nights in Orlando (above) for €549pp is a deal worth singing about.
Tour America has the package, including accommodation at the Avanti Hotel based on two adults and two kids sharing, for holidays in September (REF: 513425). Contact 01 817-3535; touramerica.ie.
7. €470: A couple's break in Naples (two people)
Fancy a nice few days in Naples? GoHop.ie has a four-night package including return flights drom Dublin and four nights' B&B from just €235pp. The price is based on a July 22 departure - not bad for peak season. Contact 01 241-2389; gohop.ie.
8. €499: Seven nights in Madeira (per person)
Joe Walsh Tours has a seven-night package to the Portuguese island of Madeira from €499pp, departing May 26. The deal includes direct flights from Dublin to Funchal, transfers, and seven nights at the 3-star Dorisol Hotel. Contact: 01 241-0800; joewalshtours.ie.
9. €490: Costa Brava break (two people)
Budget Travel has several last-minute deals this weekend, including flights plus seven nights at the 3-star Apartaments Xaine Sun from €245pp. The trip is based on Ryanair flights departing June 7. Contact 435-0022; budgettravel.ie.
10. €499: A Mediterranean cruise with MSC (per person)
Considering a cruise? The best value comes in the winter months on the Med, when Clickandgo.com has seven nights on MSC Splendida (above) departing Barcelona from €499pp. Flights are included, and you can upgrade to ocean view for an extra €10 per night. Contact 01 539-7777; clickandgo.com.
PS: Aer Lingus Bank Holiday sale
Aer Lingus (aerlingus.com) is offering 25pc off all British, German, Brussels and Amsterdam flights for bookings made before midnight on Thursday, May 5.
NB: All prices subject to availability. Costs are lead-in and may include basic accommodation or inside cabins. Always check full details before booking.