Travel takes flight: Joyce’s Paris, romantic birds of prey and anxiety-free Spain

Travel destinations at home and abroad to take a break this February

Emily in Paris might be cliché after cliché, but the French capital does dish out delicious dollops of Ooh Là Là. There's even the term "Paris syndrome", said to afflict visitors who can't quite get over the experience of actually being there. Join them (without the ill effects) on February 2nd as the Centre Culturel Irlandais on, where else? Rue des Irlandais, kicks off a season of celebrations. It's the centenary of both the Irish State, and famous expat James Joyce's masterpiece, Ulysses. So enjoy exhibitions, films, a Joycean walking tour, talks and more. Exhibitions are admission free, centreculturelirlandais.com. Stay at the très charmant Hotel Henriette, a short walk from the centre, which is everything a small chic boutique hotel in Paris should be, with doubles from €169, but if you do have extra loot to splash, their little suites are only gorgeous.hotelhenriette.com

Rest assured

Travelling hopefully is one thing, but these days return anxiety is not to be sneezed at, particularly if the sneezing is a symptom of the dreaded Covid-19. The Spanish government have the answer: promising that if a visitor tests positive, they and their accompanying relatives can stay on for free, for up to 30 days. What a relief. Sunway has seven nights in Lanzarote, departing Dublin on February 4th, from €309pps in a two star apartment, rising to from €649pp B&B in a five star hotel. sunway.ie

Wonderful Waterford

Last year's winner of the Irish Times Best Places to Live, Waterford is also lovely to visit. From cycling the Greenway, to exploring the Viking Triangle and its museums including the fascinating Museum of Time – which is all about clocks, rather than meditations on eternity, waterfordtreasures.com. You can also see the colourful traces left by Waterford Walls, the brilliant street art festival now entering its eighth year. The festival itself takes place in August, but they have just launched a Patron's scheme, to support the festival, which gives you behind the scenes info and generally keep you in the know from €3 a month, patreon.com/waterfordwalls. Stay riverside with the Wrap Up Winter Getaway from the Waterford Marina Hotel. €129 per room midweek gets you dinner, bed and breakfast and a complimentary bottle of wine. waterfordmarinahotel.com

The price of love

Is it too early to start thinking about Valentines Day? The truly loved up may need no extra bells and whistles, but a little lavish luxury doesn't necessarily go astray. Dromoland Castle is offering to fan the flames of desire with a five star romantic package that includes champagne, chocolate, a hawk walk (nothing like a swooping bird of prey to whet the lustful appetites) or a spa treatment, two nights B&B and afternoon tea, from €1,270 for two sharing. dromoland.ie

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