Ask Joan

September sun, Cote d’Azur, Jersey, San Pedro de Alcantara, Cuba, Rhodes

My husband and I are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary this year. I am perplexed as to a holiday suggestion. We are active and sociable and Greece seems enticing. We were supposed to go to Rhodes years ago and it fell through. I did wonder about combining a holiday in Greece with Istanbul – would that be too much? MF, Louth

Combining Greece and Turkey can be done but it would end up costing a lot. There are good short-break trips to Istanbul at reasonable prices, especially in autumn.

The Travel Department has a trip on September 12th for four nights from €559pps that includes flights, hotel and tours, see

Unfortunately, Rhodes is not so easy to get to from Ireland as there are no direct flights. You could fly to Athens with Aer Lingus and take an onward flight with Aegean Air and book a hotel or accommodation through


Greek islands that are accessible from here with direct flights are Corfu, Crete and Zante; though Zante finishes at the end of August and the other islands during September. You will find details of package holidays with, and

My daughter and I (aged 42 and 72) are looking for a warm-weather holiday for a week in mid-September. We would prefer a self-catering apartment in a quiet place with access to restaurants and activities such as walking, sight-seeing and possibly yoga. We would prefer to use public transport rather than hire a car.

Our budget, including travel and meals, is about €600 to €800 each. My daughter lives in Edinburgh. I live in west Cork. DG, Cork

The first thing I looked at was the flight options from Edinburgh and Cork to see what destinations and days of the week had the same routes. Both have Jersey, Malaga and Nice which helps to narrow your plans.

While the flight cost to Jersey is over the €200 and £200 mark, the accommodation is less expensive than France. Aer Lingus flies from Cork and from Edinburgh on Saturdays. Jersey would be an easy option with plenty of sightseeing and things to do. See for activities and also yoga classes. Freedomholidays. com has a good range of self-catering accommodation to rent on the island.

The benefit of Nice as a destination is the transport options all along the Côte d’Azur. It costs only euros to get about and is a terrific city in which to stay.

Two lovely coastal towns to consider are Villefranche-sur-Mer and
Beaulieu-sur-Mer. Both are perfect for sightseeing, beaches, good food and welcoming to visitors. Flights are a bit cheaper to Nice but accommodation is dearer, maybe €100 per night for self-catering. See for apartments to rent and

Malaga has plenty of access from Cork and Edinburgh and bus services to the whole Costa Del Sol. The small town of San Pedro de Alcantara may suit, it is quietish and probably the most typical Spanish town on this coast. The bus service is run by It would take two buses to get there with a change in Marbella. It is about an hour from the airport by car. Accommodation is reasonable, with apartments for under €500 a week, and See for tourism and yoga information.

We would like a special trip to Cuba and wonder when is a good time to go? We also want to travel around the country. We have 16 days and a tight budget. CJ Derry

Cuba has a tropical climate with two seasons; the dry season is from November to April. Cubatravel in Dublin arrange a variety of trips that would include travel around the country.

An 11-day trip will cost about €1,600pps including flights, accommodation and tours. You can add extra days for not too much more. This tour spends a few nights in Havana, then tours the island by private transport, staying in Camaguey, Santiago de Cuba, Baracoa, and Trinidad with a mixture of half-board and B&B accommodation. Phone Gordon on 01-2412340,

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