Ask Joan - Zante or Corfu for a swimmer, Kerry girls on tour

Corfu from Ireland and Barcelona, Malaga or Zadar for girls in 20s

Aer Lingus will be flying to Corfu from this month and fares will be around €430 return

Aer Lingus will be flying to Corfu from this month and fares will be around €430 return

 

I am trying to organise a girls holiday in August for a group of friends. We are all late 20s and our number will be between three and five as not everyone can commit just yet.

One girl is travelling from Australia for a visit home to Kerry. We intend to meet up at our destination before she begins her stay with her family.

Ideally she will fly into a European hub and connect to our holiday destination.

We are a right mix of ladies so I am racking my brains and Google trying to come up with a destination that supplies sun, sand, culture, cocktails gorgeous food and a healthy nightlife. Budget wise we are aiming for middle of the road with a couple of options to splurge perhaps for activities or cuisine. CM, Kerry.

Barcelona or Malaga cities may be a good option for a group of girls, especially if you stay by the sea. Once your friend gets to any main airport in Europe she can join you easily. Both cities have great beaches nearby and lively nightlife.

There are flights from Cork to both Barcelona and Malaga and prices are not too bad in August. In Barcelona, La Barceloneta area is very lively in summer with beach parties and dance clubs. There are also good cultural attractions and shopping in the city. Look for places to rent on friendlyrentals.com.

The beach is right in town in Malaga and the city is lively and a bit less manic than Barcelona. The great artist Picasso was born here and there is a museum to his art. Malaga also has an interesting castle, museums and Roman ruins to explore. It is a good value city with a great variety of tapas restaurants and bodegas to explore.

Another lively young city to consider is Zadar in Croatia. There are great clubs and bars with really good music. This small city is modern and Roman at the same time. The beaches are mostly rocky with swimming areas and you can easily walk to them from town. Some of the cool clubs are along the coast over the sea. There are trips out to nearby Kornati Islands.

Accommodation is generally available in apartments, hostels or rooms. There are not a lot of hotels, and some are very pricey. Look for accommodation on airbnb.com and homeaway.com. Ryanair fly to Zadar from Dublin three times a week.

I have been holidaying for past few years in Aghassi, Zante where I rented a nice studio for 25 euro per night; I usually stay for a month. The problem is the air fare. Last year it was over 500 Euros, as Thomson were the only option from Dublin.

Do you think I could find a studio for approx. the same on Corfu where I understand Ryanair are flying into? I’m 68, and basically just want to be as near the sea as possible as I love swimming. I prefer quiet destinations. If you have any suggestions I’d be delighted to hear them. My husband may come with me, but I often travel alone. LB

The cost of the flight to Zante is going to be even more expensive this year, €700 for July and August, the number to call is 1850 946164. I have looked at other ways of getting there, through the UK and Europe but there is not a lot of difference in the prices for the inconvenience of two flights.

Aer Lingus will be flying to Corfu from this month and fares will be around €430 return in high season including a bag. You can book on aerlingus.com.

Accommodation on Corfu may be a bit more expensive in high season but I have seen some studios on housetrip.com, homeway.com and airbnb.com in the range of €25 - €35 per night. Here is a link to the best beaches in Corfu to help you find the right place to stay, http://www.greeka.com/ionian/corfu/corfu-beaches.htm

Send your travel queries to jscales@irishtimes.com.

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