Wednesday 20 September 2017

Revealed: Ireland's favourite overseas holiday destination

Reader Travel Awards 2017

Marbella, Spain. Photo: Deposit
Marbella, Spain. Photo: Deposit
Spain, Mallorca, view towards beach of Sant Elm
Cavtat, Croatia
Fancy a getaway?
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

We asked our readers to nominate their favourite overseas holiday destination... and here's the result.

Winner: Spain

Where would we be without Spain? Well over 1.5m Irish visits are expected to be recorded for 2016, confirming our love affair with the country.

“A fantastic country with so much culture,” you said. “Sun, sea and sand,” got the predictable mentions (“when the weather goes AWOL in Ireland, we like to follow it”), but you also noted “great food and wine at great prices,” friendly people, short flights and, of course, the Canary Islands — which got almost 500,000 visits from Irish holidaymakers last year alone.

Of course, there’s a lot more to Spain than costas and Canaries, and our readers’ responses also show the delicious diversity to Ireland’s favourite overseas holiday destination.

“Barcelona has it all, and in a compact area,” you said. “You get the benefit of being in a city, but the sea is on the doorstep.”

Marbella’s Old Quarter and Malaga were highlighted along the Costa del Sol (“amazing tapas and tinto verano in a very authentic Spanish environment at incredibly reasonable prices”).

The cities of Seville, Granada and Cordoba got your nod, too.

Viva España!

Our readers' top tips for 2017:

MagicMonday(1).jpg
Fancy a getaway?

YOUR SAY: “It has to be Spain for me - short flight, amazing location, sun, sea, sand at your fingers tips pretty much all year around, and of course it’s not too hard on one’s pocket. People are lovely and friendly - what more could one want?”

YOUR SAY:New York. Its like being on a movie set and you are the star. Shopping, activities and lots of entertainment make it the perfect place to get away to.”

YOUR SAY: “For me it has to be La Serenissima: Venice, the most beautiful city in the world even in the depths of winter. Yes it's jammed with tourists, it's expensive and the food is at best mediocre, but there is nowhere like it on the planet. Stay right in the city and by 8pm the day trippers and the cruise ships are gone and you can move around with ease. By 11 pm, walking the deserted narrow streets the only thing you'll hear is your footfall echoing between the buildings.”

YOUR SAY: “I rarely travel abroad, but for my 70th birthday this summer, my daughter took me to Rome for the first time. It blew me away. Fabulous city, so much to see and do. I hadn’t enough time to do everything.”

iw Depositphoto_6.jpg
Cavtat, Croatia

YOUR SAY: “I recently visited Croatia (see Cavtat, above) and was blown away by the beauty. I’ve never seen such stunning water and coastal areas. I visited the national park called Krka on my trip, the waterfalls were breath-taking. Everyone needs to visit Croatia in my opinion.”

More: Cool Croatia: What's the secret to Europe's new holiday hotspot?

TRAVEL TRENDS: The strain in Spain

Spain’s costas are getting increasingly crowded as terror attacks prompt holidaymakers to eschew North Africa and Turkey for destinations perceived as tried and tested.

In 2017, we expect capacity and prices to increase in package holiday hotspots at peak times — with opportunities opening up in other areas... and not just within Spain itself. Judging by your responses, 2017 could be a big year for Croatia, Italy and Greece.

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