Last-minute holiday deals: it’s miserable, get me out of here!

Move fast, and you could be on the beach by the weekend

July has officially been deemed a historical washout. The dull grey skies and downpours are driving many towards a sun holiday at any cost. Tour operator Falcon Holidays does not have a single seat available for this weekend or next.

Travel agents across the country are reporting a big increase in enquiries. Paula Coughlan of and Dawson Travel says "people are queuing up to try and get away to the sun".

Availability is limited from all the country’s airports and flights are selling out fast. In many cases the outbound flight is not too expensive but the return is. Most flights to the popular sun destinations are up around €300-€400 return. Belfast and Stansted may be an option, but the Sterling difference needs to be factored in. Here’s a taster of some last minute deals


Take to the Island of Sicily for sun, sand and sea.
August 9th, from €829pps half board
3-star Hotel Baia Degli Dei, Giardini Naxos, Sicily., (01) 240 1700


For families the Algarve is always a great destination
August 7th, seven nights self-catering,
Pinhal da Marina apartments in Villamoura
Two adults and two children, €2,476, (01) 2611800


This has been a real winner this year with thousands of extra seats in the popular resorts of Kusadasi, Bodrum, Dalaman, Gumbet and Antalya.
August 9th - Gumbet
14 nights all inclusive in the three-star Sami Beach Hotel
From €1,099pps
August 15th - Kusadasi
The well-rated four-star Sea Pearl Hotel, B&B
14 nights from €649pps, (01) 2611800


The desert will be too hot for some, but it does offer incredible value and luxury at this time of the year. If you can enjoy the blue skies from the air-conditioned interior, then a six-night city-and-desert experience will cost from €1,299pps. Staying in the Meridien Dubai and the Bab al Shams Resort, both five-star properties and including breakfast. Selected dates in the next two weeks.
(01) 6777888, (061) 292700

Cruise the Med

If you are quick, you could take the MSC Divinia from Rome for a seven-night Mediterranean fly/cruise from August 22nd, one cabin left. Taking in the cities of La Spezia, Cannes, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Naples and Rome, the price from €899pps for an inside cabin. It is good value when you consider all meals and entertainment are included as well as flights. You might like to include the drinks package for even better value,, 1800-936543.

Madeira - the sub-tropical island

August 13th, seven nights from €699pps
Vile Gale hotel B&B, 0818 332500


The top destination for Irish holidaymakers is also the busiest
August 8th, seven nights, two adults and two children
Costa Blanca €1,602.87
Gran Canaria €1,538.97
Costa del Sol €2,124.55
Prices include flights, accommodation and transfers. , (01) 485 3835


Enjoy the fresh air in the mountains of Austria
August 16 from €699pps. B&B
3-star Gasthaus Sonnenburg, Ehrwald,, (01) 240 1700

Do it yourself

The biggest drawback for trying to do it yourself are the airfares – there is little availability in August and in fact some fares are shocking. You will always find accommodation and the best places to look are the online hotel or apartment sites, such as,,,,, and, to name some of the better known and reliable. Use to find fares across a month at a time.

Ryanair fares

Dublin - Ibiza €199
La Rochelle €203
Shannon - Paris from €149
Poitiers from €171
Cork - Faro from €233

Aer Lingus fares

Sun destinations are all very expensive, mostly heading towards €300-€400. Better value are city breaks. Enjoy Paris while the French are by the seaside for around €200 return from Dublin, or Cork. The Paris Plage, where part of the Seine quayside, is turned into a beach will run until August 18th.
Sunway still have a few flight-only seats available on charter flights to Algarve, Fuerteventura, Tenerife, Lake Garda and Sorrento from €299 each, (01) 2611800

All prices and holidays are current at the time of writing and subject to change.