Life Travel

Sunday 31 August 2014

Great Escapes: Immersive safaris, beach wifi and top travel deals...

Stay tuned with what's happening in travel with Pól Ó Conghaile's weekly Weekend Magazine column.

Pol O Conghaile

Published 13/07/2014 | 02:30

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The photo by Patrick Dystra of one lucky person snorkelling off the coast of Sri Lanka.
The rooms have been renovated at Wicklow's Druid's Glen resort.
Algarve

What's happening in travel this week? Natural World Safaris has launched several immersive adventures, Druid's Glen has upgraded its rooms, and there's a new beach wi-fi pass in the Algarve...

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DEPARTURES:

Break out the bucket list. Natural World Safaris has unveiled a list of immersive safaris designed to take travellers outside the jeeps and into the wilderness next to some of the world's most spectacular creatures.

Here, a smashing photo by Patrick Dystra shows one lucky customer snorkelling off the coast of Sri Lanka, where the population of blue whales is among the healthiest on earth. Swimming with the world's largest mammal is only the start of it, however – other trips by the UK tour operator offer the chance to watch bears hunt salmon in Alaska, see Emperor penguins in their natural environment, and watch the great wildebeest migration in East Africa.

As you'd expect, they're bucket list prices too. The Sri Lankan blue whale safari starts from €5,250pp... excluding flights. Sigh. naturalworldsafaris.com

ROOM WITH A VIEW:

One hundred and forty-five rooms and suites at Wicklow's Druids Glen Resort have gotten a makeover. The rooms were renovated as part of a €3m reboot of the resort, with grey, green and heathery tones designed to reflect the Wicklow landscape.

Refurbs continue this summer with Woodstock House, a period building dating back to 1770, with renovations to the restaurant and bar following in autumn. Doubles were available from €109 per night going to press, but if you don't fancy staying over, I'd tip the pavilion lounge for a drink or snack... it's got fab views over the woods and golf course. druidsglenresort.com

TRAVEL SMART:

Fancy getting online during your off-time in the Algarve? The Algarvepass is an official visitors' card giving free Wi-Fi access in six beaches throughout the popular Portuguese resort, including Vilamoura, Portimão and Albufeira. Buy the card (€10) at tourism information points. It also includes discounts at restaurants, spas and tourist attractions in the area. See algarve-pass.com

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