Wednesday 17 January 2018

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

Fogo Island Inn
Fogo Island Inn
Hurtigruten ship

Pol O Conghaile

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


Ever dreamed of visiting Iceland? Easyjet ( 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 ( will fly between Belfast International and Orlando from June 25 to July 23 next year.


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.



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 before departure.

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