Travelling solo and family fun
Old town in Porec, Croatia. PHOTOGRAPH: THINKSTOCK
ASK JOAN:A gang of us go to Portugal every year. We are thinking about broadening our horizons, and are on a tighter budget, with Irish college and other costs attached to having teenagers. Do you have any suggestions on a hot spot, maybe eastern Europe with good food, sun, safe and child friendly. – EP, WaterfordOne for the most popular holiday places in eastern Europe is Croatia, with its long island-strewn coastline, great weather and good seafood. It is easily accessible from Ireland with Aer Lingus flights to Dubrovnik and Ryanair flights to Zadar from Dublin. The Ryanair flights are under €200 in July at the moment.
Crystal Alfresco Holidays has mobile home accommodation on two sites in Croatia, near Porec and Pula. Both are ideal for families with seaside, pools, children’s clubs, sports, and evening entertainment. You would need a car to get there. The prices from the end of June to August are €1,100–€1,450 for six.
You will also find similar accommodation, and maybe a little bit cheaper, with vacansoleil.iewhich has sites along the Dalmatian Coast. It also has a resort in the Giant Mountains in the Czech Republic. There are plenty of flights to Prague during the summer, including the new Sunway charter, from €56 each way.
As you are in Munster, it may also be worth looking at what is available from Cork airport to places in Poland such as Gdansk on the Baltic coast, for the resort of Sopot, and Katowice for the Tatra Mountains and the resort of Zakopane. Poland is good value when you get there. See Poland.travel/en.
I am considering visiting Isla Graciosa or La Gomera, in the Canary Islands – can you tell me which island is better for the solo traveller and what accommodation would you recommend? – NOK, Meath
Both islands are beautiful in their own way, but I think you would find Graciosa a bit limited. It is a very small, quiet island, 29sq kms, with little or no infrastructure. Graciosa has 700 inhabitants and is arid and sandy. There are no hotels, just bed and breakfast accommodation and some self-catering properties.
La Gomera is busier, with a population of about 22,000, covering 378 sq kms and is mountainous and green with forests, deep ravines and some good beaches. It has small towns, villages and hamlets and a more developed infrastructure of hotels, restaurants and transport. There is even a Parador (historic hotels of Spain) on La Gomera. Hotel prices are quite reasonable and there is a good selection of apartments to rent, see booking.com.
If you were interested in joining a group and travelling in April, Gomera Walking will have a week- long trip to the island. The hotel for the trip, the Jardin Tecina, is four star, and is waiving the single supplement. It works out at good value as the hotel is normally from €120 per night. It is a walking holiday exploring the island and costs from €899, which includes half-board accommodation and picnic lunch each day. The price also includes transfers by ferry from Tenerife, the nearest island with air services from Ireland. See gomerawalking.comand gomera.info.
Could you advise us on a suitable website for a family to find an apartment in the Pantheon/Corso area of Rome? – MOF, Dublin
There are dozens of places to look for an apartment rental in Rome but you might find what you are looking for on