Ask Joan: wedding anniversaries, quickest way to Jersey and is non-stop to Australia best?

Joan Scales answers your travel queries


We’d like to do something special to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. Since I spent my honeymoon on the back of a motorbike in torrential rain, I’d like a bit of luxury. We would travel in September, maybe the Amalfi coast, Dubrovnik and Montenegro or Greece. We’d like to be beside the sea, hire a car and staying in boutique hotels or apartments – CA, Dublin

The Amalfi Coast and the Bay of Naples are perfect for a romantic break and some hair-raising driving. Aer Lingus has a direct flight to Naples. It should be quieter by September and will still be warm.

There’s a great range of boutique and luxury hotels there: the Floridiana in Amalfi,; Hotel Miramare at Positano,; Villa Fraulo in Ravello,; and at Vico Equense, Hotel Capo la Gala,

The Croatian and Montenegrin coast is beautiful, dotted with islands, with a backdrop of mountains and national parks. You could combine the two countries but make sure that if you rent a car, it can be taken across the border to Montenegro. Within the city walls of Dubrovnik, the Hotel Stari Grad is a newly-refurbished boutique hotel, Outside the centre, the Villa Dubrovnik is a luxury hotel built on a cliffside with great views and service,

In Montenegro, the main resort areas are Budva, Kotor and Herceq Novi. Astoria Hotels have lovely four-star properties in three good locations, Greece is harder to get to in September, the Athens flight from Dublin ends on September 13th but there are direct flights to Corfu and Crete. For boutique hotels, the islands to visit are Mykonos and Santorini.

My husband and I are visiting our daughter and family in Adelaide later this year for three weeks. My husband is 80 and I’m nearly 70. Should we break the journey, maybe in Dubai? Any advice on flights and accommodation in Dubai and costs would be most welcome. – BOK, Dublin

Many people now fly to Australia via Dubai as the time between flights is short, Emirates is a good airline and the onward flights are direct to Adelaide. Dubai is big city with the large collection of modern architecture in one place.

The weather will be nice and warm and if you stay in a beach-side hotel you can enjoy swimming in the Gulf of Arabia. It is not the cheapest place to stay, hotels are from €100 per night upwards and most are four- or five-star quality. You may find that if you book through an Australian specialist travel agency, they can get you better prices on the hotels. Fares will be around €1,200 with a stopover.

Agents include and australiatravelcentre. ie. Or call into the Emirates office at 2, Hume Street, Dublin 2, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm , tel: 01- 517 1600. They also have hotel deals.

We want to go to Jersey in the Channel Isles in September with our car. If we travelled from Rosslare to France and then France to Jersey would that work? Or what would be the shortest way? – AF, Kildare

Rosslare to France sounds like a good option and Irish Ferries have discounted the fares from the end of August. A return trip with cabin each way would cost from €400 return and the ferry from St Malo to Jersey would cost around €300 return.

However, as the ferry from Rosslare only operates a few days a week and the ferry to Jersey is from St Malo, a two-hour plus drive, this would necessitate an overnight in France as well as on the boat.

The Jersey route is operated by Condor Ferries which also operates from Weymouth and Poole to Jersey and this would be the fastest.

Irish Ferries from Rosslare to Pembroke or Stena Line to Fishguard would mean a four-hour drive to Weymouth, and cost around €290 return. The ferry from Weymouth would cost around £280 about (€330).

You can probably do it in a day but watch the Condor timetables as they change daily depending on tides.

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