Have passport, will travel - last minute deals
September is fast approaching and you still haven't booked a holiday? You're not alone. We've done the homework to bring you the best last-minute deals. Bon voyage...
FIRST PORT OF CALL
Leaving from Dublin Airport next weekend (August 16), Sunway is offering sun-seekers the chance to hit Portugal's Lisbon Coast. Stay at the three-star Vile Gale Estoril - a family-friendly favourite with Irish holidaymakers - and enjoy a week by the pool, where there's always something happening, or relax in their quiet garden area away from the excitement. The package is on offer from €614pp… price includes flights, airport transfers, 7 nights' B&B accommodation, 20kg free checked in baggage allowance, resort representative service and all taxes. See sunway.ie or call 01 288 6828.
The Travel Department is offering an alluring Mediterranean Cruise and Barcelona combo deal: fly to Barcelona for two nights (staying in four-star accommodation), enjoy all that the city has to offer, then board the MCS Splendida liner for a week of full-board and visit Marseille, Genoa, Naples and Messina while enjoying the cruise's many amenities. The package (with a departure date of September 17) is available from €1,099 including taxes (based on 2 sharing). See traveldepartment.ie or call 01 637 1600.
If your family can't get enough of water chutes and slippery slides, try a last minute Falcon Splashworld Resort deal; all of which offer free and unlimited access to a waterpark onsite or close by. These hotels come with all inclusive board too, while free child places are also still on offer. If you can get away on August 29, try the Laguna Park II hotel/apartment complex and waterpark in Tenerife, at the Playa de Las Americas. 7 nights' self-catering accommodation, transfers and flights from Dublin are on offer from €309pp. To book, log on to falconholidays.ie or call Falcon Direct on 1850 45 35 45.
Those with a penchant for clubbing marathons can head to the heart of the action in Ibiza, specifically to the legendary area of San Miguel. At the three-star San Miguel Beach Club - which boasts incredible sea views, and is 5km away from the heart of San Miguel - you can enjoy Ibiza's infamous 'closing party' period, where clubs are having their last hurrah for the year. Seven-night packages via Thomson leave Dublin on August 27, and can be snapped up from €589pp, all-inclusive. To book, log on to thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
Anyone with a nose for a good deal in the People's Republic can take a flight from Cork next weekend (August 17) and head to Turkey, where the three-star Palmera Hotel in Kusadasi awaits. With the sea within spitting distance and countless family activities on offer, the Palmera is the perfect way to escape the daily grind, fast. Stay there from €679pp (based on 2 sharing). Price includes flights, airport transfers, 7 nights' B&B accommodation, 20kg free checked in baggage allowance, resort representative service and all taxes. See sunway.ie or phone 01 288 6828.
The Algarve has long been a popular choice for Irish families, and this last-minute deal has 'bargain' written all over it. From €374.25pp, fly to Albufeira and stay at the three-star Janelas do Mar self-catering apartment complex. Prices include Aer Lingus flights, 10kg carry-on luggage pp, return transfers, 7 nights' accommodation and all taxes and charges. Flights leave from Shannon (August 18, 20, 22 at €1,497 for family of 4), Cork (August 17 or 19 at €1,577 for family of 4) or Dublin (August 17 or 19, €1,737 for family of 4). See clickandgo.com for the lowdown.
If you're tight on time but want to pack in as much action as possible, try a Royal Caribbean Cruise deal. Departing Dublin on August 28, guests will enjoy a three-day break in Orlando at the Days Inn, and board the Freedom of the Seas for seven nights, during which time the liner will stop off at Haiti, Jamaica, Georgetown and Mexico. Prices start from €1,199, based on two people sharing. Price includes return flights with airport transfers, three nights at the Days Inn Orlando, seven nights' onboard the liner with full board and gratuities. See itaa.ie/Orlando-caribbean-cruise-2 for information.
PIZZA, PASTA & POSTCARD PRETTY
The postcard-perfect village of Taormina is the jewel in Sicily's crown, and Topflight is offering a mouthwatering package that leaves Dublin next weekend (August 17). Stay at the three-star Baia Taormina Grand Palace (on a bed & breakfast basis) from €995pp (based on 2 sharing). Prices include return flights from Dublin, return transfers, 7 nights' accommodation, representative service in resorts, taxes and a generous luggage allowance. What more excuse do you need to skip town? To book call Topflight on 01 240 1700 or visit topflight.ie.
Looking for something a little more romantic? It's not too late to grab a bargain from Thomson's Couples range. At the adult-only Luabay Galatzo hotel in Paguera, Majorca, incredible views of the Mediterranean are part of the package. Enjoy poolside drinks and sushi platters by day, and by night use the hotel's cushioned benches and cocktail bar to wind down after a hard day of doing very little. Flights leave Dublin on September 2, and the 7-night package is on offer from €729 all-inclusive. To book, log on to thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
WE'll ALWAYS HAVE PARIS
Given that it's less than 90 minutes from most Irish airports, Paris is an evergreen favourite with Irish tourists. Why not take the opportunity to try a different type of Parisian experience, seeing the city from a floating hotel on the Seine? Fly direct from Dublin to Paris and spend 3 nights in 4-star accommodation on board the MS Renoir Croisi Europe River Boat on a full board basis. You'll get to see all the sights, including the Latin Quarter, St Germain, Sacre-Coeur and that all important Eiffel Tower. Seeing Paris by night from your cabin on the Seine, however, is an experience not to be missed. Prices start from €599 all in (incl taxes, based on 2 sharing). See traveldepartment.ie or call 01 637 1600.
HOLD THE PURSE STRINGS
If you decide on a jaunt to Gran Canaria, sunshine is all but guaranteed. Fly from Dublin to Las Palmas in Puerto Rico and stay at the two-star Solana, a small but perfectly formed hotel with 34 rooms spread over 2 floors. Prices for a 7-night stay, including flights, transfers and accommodation, start from just €389pp, based on two sharing. See budgettravel.ie or call 01 435 0024.
Gumbet in Turkey is the perfect spot for a timeout, as the people at The Travel Broker know all too well. At the three-star Kaseria Apartments, enjoy segway tours, water sports and boat rentals. A last-minute, 7-night deal is on offer via the ITAA site from €479pp. Price includes return flights from Dublin with airport transfers and accommodation. See itaa.ie for information.
*Prices correct at time of printing