Check-In: From snap-happy Transylvania to coolest Donegal
Machu Picchu by rail, Zurich by air, or New York to Southampton on ‘Queen Mary 2’?
A trip to get your teeth into? Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle, in Transylvania. Photograph: Getty
Untouched natural beauty: tour the spectacular Donegal coastline from Dillon’s Hotel in Letterkenny
Seriously luxe: Number Sixteen, in London’s South Kensington, has 41 bedrooms and a private garden
Picture Romania: For a holiday with a creative twist, look to the new tour from Dublin Photography School and TDactive Holidays. The Transylvanian photography holiday, based in the historic town of Brasov for four nights, is a photo-worthy exploration of Romania, including the Carpathian Mountains, the medieval towns of Viscri and Sighisoara and, of course, an expedition to Dracula’s Castle. Guided by the award-winning fine art landscape photographer Stewart Kenny and accompanied by a Dublin Photography School tutor, the tour takes in breathtaking views, helpful demonstrations and photography tips along the way. From €699 per person for four nights, including return flights from Dublin, B&B, transfers, excursions, expert local guides and tutors, departing September 13th. See tdactiveholidays.ie.
SWISS departure: Swiss International Air Lines is expanding its services this summer, with flights from Cork to Zurich. From June 2nd through to September 29th, SWISS will fly the route each Friday, with an additional Monday flight throughout July and August. For more, see corkairport.com.
Andes express: Nuevo Mundo’s new rail tour is set to reach great heights. The nine-day journey includes six nights in Lima and Cuzco, with optional city and archaeological tours; a guided tour; a sunrise trip through the ruins of Machu Picchu; and a visit to Lake Titicaca, all by luxury sleeper train. The tour costs from €3,530 per person, including flights, transfers, tours, accommodation and all-inclusive Andean Explorer train. See nuevomundo.ie.
Number Sixteen, London: A mid-Victorian white stucco terrace house situated in the heart of South Kensington, this has its own tree-filled private garden and is a seriously luxe escape. Expect 41 bedrooms of pure English style and a fabulous afternoon tea offering; firmdalehotels.com.
Ett Hem, Stockholm: This former private residence in the heart of the city offers 12 rooms of pure Scandi-charm. From the cosy library to the ever-changing daily menu, this is the poshest home away from home; etthem.se.
Rebtel: Make cheap phone calls around the world without using an internet connection, and call friends or family for free if they are also using the app. Download it for free on iOS and Android; rebtel.com.
Wild ways: Donegal is fast becoming one of the coolest destinations in Europe, thanks to its untouched natural beauty, rich craft history and heritage, exceptional food and top-notch hospitality. Enthusiasm for the Wild Atlantic Way has been embraced by Dillon’s Hotel, in Letterkenny, where a new package offers two nights with breakfast, a guided tour with local experts Donegal Day Tours (including pick-up and drop-off at the hotel), and main course each evening in Dillon’s Grill, from €135 per person sharing. The package is available from May, so get booking at dillons-hotel.ie.
Atlantic luxury: Sail from New York to Southampton on the Queen Mary 2 in September, spending one night in New York City and seven nights on board from €1,459 per person sharing; shandontravel.ie, 021-4277094.
Summer in Slovenia: Take advantage of €75 off July and August holidays in the Julian Alps or on the 43 kilometres of Slovenian coast. A week in July, half-board, costs €877 per person sharing; the August price is from €671 per person sharing. See crystalsummer.ie, 01-433 1080.
Majorca corker: From May 6th, there is a week’s all-inclusive Cork-to-Majorca offer available at the Playa de Muro, in Hotel Lagotel, from €489 per person sharing, including flights and transfers; falconholidays.ie.