Sunday 28 December 2014

Great Escapes: Iceland, Fogo, and safe passage to Sharm El Sheikh

Published 31/07/2014 | 12:30

Fogo Island Inn
Fogo Island Inn
Iceland
Hurtigruten ship

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

DEPARTURES:

Ever dreamed of visiting Iceland? Easyjet (easyjet.com) is introducing a new service from Belfast to Reykjavik from December 12, bringing one of the world's most spectacular landscapes within a direct flight of Ireland.

Previously, Irish visitors relied on infrequent charters or connections via the UK, but we can now fly direct from Belfast International from £31.99 one-way, the airline says.

In further good news for Northern Ireland, Virgin Atlantic (virgin-atlantic.com) will fly between Belfast International and Orlando from June 25 to July 23 next year.

ROOM WITH A VIEW:

Speaking of new flights, Canadian low-cost carrier Westjet began its direct service from Dublin to St John's, Newfoundland, this summer. From there it's a further six hours to the Fogo Island Inn – a spectacular, X-shaped hotel built by islanders after their cod fishery closed.

The hotel sits on stilts, offers amazing views of the North Atlantic from its 29 suites, and brings that all-important cosiness courtesy of wood-burning stoves, handcrafted textiles, a cinema and a sauna. Full-board rates start from $875/€600 per night for two in summer.

See fogoislandinn.ca

SMART TRAVEL:

The Department of Foreign Affairs has changed its travel advice on Sharm el Sheikh. The Egyptian holiday hotspot is now proclaimed safe for Irish citizens, provided they “exercise a high degree of caution, arrive and depart by air and strictly avoid travelling outside the resort”. If you have safety concerns about any other destination, be sure to check www.dfa.ie/travel before departure.

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