If you’re like us, then you’ll know that a winter break is quintessential for our mental and physical wellbeing (plus, we just love getting away), but it can be difficult deciding where to go, how much to spend, and whether it’s suitable for all the family, or whether it’s an adult-only destination. we’ve compiled a list of places to go for the coming break that is sure to leave you feeling relaxed, happy, and maybe even a bit sun-kissed.
Tenerife, Canary Islands
Travel time: 4hours 20 minutes from Dublin
Flights with Ryanair from €331 return
The Canary Islands have always been a popular destination for winter sun because of their moderately warm climate and suitable price range for flights and accommodation. With a number of resort areas to choose from like Playa De Las Americas and Costa Adeje that boast sandy beaches, it’s an ideal destination for both couples, or families because of the wide variety of activities and sea-front restaurants.
Must do: Magical sunset with authentic Spanish dinner on the top of dormant volcano Teide, followed by star gazing with astrologers. Starting from €30 per person. For more information on these excursions see here.
Kilronan Castle, Leitrim
Travel time: 2 hours from Dublin
Nestled among ancient woodlands and glistening lakes in County Leitrim, Kilronan Castle is the perfect escape if you’re looking for luxury and relaxation this autumn. Guests are welcome to explore the 40 acres of gardens, woods, and lakes where the castle is situated, or stop time in the contemporary and ultimately luxurious spa. Afternoon tea and lunch options are also available if staying is not an option. Accommodation in this luxury getaway ranges from classic rooms and family suites to self-catering cottages. Prices from €159 per adult.
Must do: Situated 15km away in Boyle, Loughkey Forest Park boasts great activities for families and couples, including a top-of-the-line tree-top walk, boat rental, bicycle rental and the Boda Borg – a two-story building that requires teamwork, ingenuity, trial and error in order to to get out of the 47 rooms!
Travel time: 2hours 30 minutes from Dublin
Flights with Aer Lingus from €174 return
Paris in the fall is utterly stunning: the entire city succumbs to a wonderful golden hue and warms even the coldest of hearts! Autumn is a great time to visit because the colder temperatures make it way more accessible and comfortable to walk around the busy Parisian streets. The drop in temperature is also the perfect excuse to grab a hot chocolate and head up the Eiffel Tower for a truly breathtaking view of the city. Bringing the children along? Why not take a day or two to visit Disneyland Paris. With prices starting from as little as €500 per adult, Disney is becoming a lot more accessible.
Must Do: See the city of Pairs come alive at the ‘Paris by night tour’ which gives you a unique view of the city after dark. The 1-and-a-half-hour tour will guide you around Paris’ most spectacular and famous sights, and children under 12 go free. For more information on these tours click here.
Mauritius, East Africa
Travel time: 15+ hours
Flights with AirFrance from €874 return
If you’re looking for a truly special break away, Mauritius will prove to be the perfect destination. Although it seems like a long way to travel for a quick break, the euphoric white sandy beaches, welcoming native islanders, and blissful sunshine will make the journey completely justifiable. While destinations like this are normally considered as luxury honeymoon destinations, services like Airbnb and Sky Scanner are making these holidays far more accessible for travellers with lower budgets. Accommodation on the island can be found through Airbnb for as little as €10 per night for two people.
Must do: Mauritius has an abundance of stunning national parks, picturesque waterfalls, and preserved areas of untouched nature which make for perfect photo-ops and resting spots. ‘Les 7 Cascades‘ is a day-long hike that takes visitors around 7 of the best waterfalls on the island, and allows you time to escape the heat and swim in the pristine water on the way too.
Travel time: 1hour 40 minutes
Flights with Ryanair from as little as €82 return
European destinations are pretty spectacular in the winter months, albeit a bit colder than we’d like, but there are lots to see and do that doesn’t require too much outdoor time. Amsterdam is the perfect city to visit if time and the weather is an issue. This trendy metropolitan destination is known for its artistic heritage, museums, and booming nightlife, but if relaxation is what you’re after, Amsterdam is home to world-class day-spa and resorts too.
Must do: Rent a bicycle for as little as €12 per day (from one of the many rental stores around the city), and take a slow saunter through urban VondelPark. Pack a picnic for extra punch – but don’t forget your coat and maybe an extra blanket!