Best trips to take in 2014
Whether you're splashing out on long-haul, taking a European city break or shopping the January sales
They said last winter was the best year for a generation to see the Northern Lights and, guess what, they now say this winter is another great year to see the Northern Lights. A dip in the bubbling hot water of the blue lagoon is one of the highlights of anyone's travel calendar. Travel Department have April departures to Iceland with direct flights from €579.
A famous red fort city in a magnificent setting with a labyrinthine souk, a new route from Dublin this year with Ryanair. If you want the full experience, go to Agadir with Sunway and either sample the day trips or stay in one of the holiday company's three properties in Marrakech. As a result of a new highway the transfer time has been reduced from five hours to three. 01-2311888, www.sunway.ie seven nights from €707 including flights.
Breathtaking scenery and everyone talking in a Waterford accent. Westjet launch a new daily service on June 15 and passengers can fly to St John's or break an onward journey to Toronto without having to pay extra; price comparison site trivago.ie has hotels in St John's from €77.
Back in the Falcon Holidays brochure with prices from €541 for seven nights, Forget the preconceptions about tacky Faliraki nightclubs, most of the island is given over to relaxing family tours. The entire east coast is a ribbon of sand and the cheerful resorts beloved of Leaving-Certers are looking to re-brand as more of a top-end choice. Rhodes town has medieval walls and cobbled streets, and perfectly preserved honey-coloured stone buildings. Falcon also have a signature family holiday village on the island with activities for all ages from €1,216. www.falconholidays.ie.
The jewel of the crown of the new routes from Ireland in 2014, Aer Lingus has a service that is priced at around €600 each way. This is expensive, but one effect of this is that prices of indirect services have fallen sharply. You can save €200 by going through New York, Atlanta, Philly or London. San Francisco is the most European of American cities with its streetcars and hilly streets, and you can still find the countercultural spirit of 1960s' California. Alcatraz is the must-see. Beware, it rains. Visit from August to October if you want guaranteed sunshine. www.aerlingus.com. Check out www.americanholidays.com 01-6733840 for hotel deals. Winter breaks from €679.