Check In: Summer picnic spots, magic Monaghan and Venice celebrates

Joan Scales and Jo Linehan round up this week’s travel news and deals

 

NEWS

Festive Venice: This weekend, Venetians celebrate the 440th annual Festival of the Redeemer. The celebrations, complete with gondola parties, fireworks, musical recitals, religious processions and, of course, those elaborate masks, take over the sinking city. venice-tourism.com

Making a splash: Adrenaline junkies, take note: Siam Park in Tenerife, Spain has been named the world’s number one water park by Tripadvisor. The water kingdom, which boasts dozens of death-defying slides, rapids and water features, beat off competition from Waterbom in Bali and Aquaadventure in Dubai to take the coveted title. Make a splash for yourself at tenerifewaterpark.com

Great heights: Fancy seeing Dublin from a new perspective? The award-winning Etihad Skyline tour at Croke Park offers visitors panoramic views of the capital’s most celebrated landmarks from 17 storeys high. Don’t worry – you’ll have a safety harness on while you enjoy a guided tour, from the Hogan Stand overlooking Glasnevin Cemetery and the National Botanic Gardens, to the Davin Stand, taking in unparalleled views of the Dublin Mountains. This is one for the bucket list this summer; crokepark.ie

THREE SUMMER PICNICS
The Vintage Picnic:
Castlemartyr Resort’s John Saul Picnic and Vintage Fair, on August 1st, celebrates all things foodie. Grab a bite from a food stall and lounge on the lawns of the 18th century estate (below); castlemartyrresort.ie
The Gourmet Picnic: Let the culinary team at Farnham Estate pack you a hamper of Prosecco, cheeses and sambos to enjoy in the shade of the estate’s ancient redwood trees; farnhamestate.com
The Lakeside Picnic: The gatelodge at Colebrooke in the heart of Co Fermanagh boasts breathtaking views of Lough Erne. Picnic on a hamper of local produce and dine in their private woodland picnic area on the estate; irishlandmark.com

MAGIC MONAGHAN: Monaghan is having a moment. With resident fashion designers Helen Steele and Natalie B Coleman singing its praises, the Ancient East campaign highlighting its hidden beauty, and a whole host of foodie draws in the region, it’s fast becoming a staycation hotspot. Stay at the lavish Castle Leslie, a five-star estate, where Monaghan Tourism is launching a new audio walking tour of the village of Glaslough (castleleslie.com). Visit Brehon Brewhouse for a craft draught (brehonbrewhouse.com) dine at the Courthouse in Carrickmacross, and walk in the stunning Rossmore Forest Park.

GET ’APPY
Splittr:
This app allows you to calculate and split the bill. Log expenses, note who paid what, and the app will do the rest. It even converts different currencies. Find it at the iTunes store; splittrapp.com

DEALS
BUDAPEST TO BUCHAREST:
sail the Danube on AmaSerena, from August 28th, reduced from €3,978 to €1,734 pps, seven nights all-inclusive, with flights, sunway.ie, (01) 2311899.
DORDOGNE:
put your feet up by the river in Le Manoir de la Rivière near the village of Pessac, from €60 pps, with host Nell Stewart-Liberty, le-manoir-de-la-riviere.com
AUSTRIA:
lakes and mountain holidays from €522pps per week in August with crystalsummer.ie

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