Ignorance is bliss, it is said, though thanks to the internet, our holidays are often the result of military-precision planning: how to get there, where to stay, best rooftop pool, hippest bakery, the password for that neighbourhood speakeasy, the nearest Sephora...
Which makes Belgium-based Slow Cabins both exhilarating and discombobulating in equal measure. Its USP, apart from the beautiful, low-impact and ergonomically designed cabins – sleek interiors, huge picture windows; clad in fire-retardant Japanese charred wood – is that their locations are kept a secret until a fortnight before arrival.
The only ‘reveal’ on booking is that your off-grid cabin will be in a secluded location miles from anyone, though within a two to five-hour drive of a city, and combine sustainability and smart tech: solar panels, dry loos, fitted kitchen, queen-size bed, wood-burning stove, keyless check-in/out, fire pit and barbecue, filtered rainwater for cooking, washing up and showering, integrated wastewater system.
And – spoiler alert – there’s no TV or Wi-Fi. Slow Cabins just launched in Ireland, so let the magical mystery, self-sufficient tour begin... From €275 per night. slowcabins.ie
Greece is having a moment. Athens is expecting one million visitors this week, arrivals on popular islands are up by 20pc, while the cruise ship ports of Thessaloniki and Piraeus have increased by 280pc and 130pc respectively.
The country has 6,000 islands and islets, which at least means plenty of beautiful beaches and archaeological sites to go around. Sunway has great deals for Halkidiki, in the north – known for its three peninsulas, and something of a top cycling destination, with its 100km of bikeable trails.
There are also vineyards aplenty, long stretches of picture-postcard beaches and more tavernas than you can shake an ouzo glass at. Seven nights from €690pp including flights and hotel in August, with prices from €448pp in September. sunway.ie
Upcoming Galway trip? Book a Roundstone Bay and Island Tour, a new venture by Damien O’Malley, a fourth generation local fisherman.
Tours take in the beaches of Gurteen and Dog’s Bay, Ervallagh and the deserted island of Inishlacken. The Catch & Cook excursion is exactly that (€450 for up to five people; includes lobster catching, cooking and champagne).
Other options at €100 include an Eco Tour or Drop Off & Pick Up, also for up to five persons. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, otters and basking sharks en route. roundstonebayandisland.ie