“There are many wonderful places to visit all around the world, ranging from the exotic in the Far East right through to the ancient and fascinating cultures of Europe.”
It’s never too early to start planning your summer holiday for 2016, especially if you’re on a budget. Book early and you might get lucky and snag a killer early-bird deal, so check out these low cost, high quality holiday destinations for size…
1. Ibiza, Spain
Packed street bars, super-clubs and all-night beach parties, Ibiza is still the go-to summer hotspot for those who like to let their hair down and why not, with return flights for less than €150*? You’ll find some of the biggest nightclubs and the hardcore revellers in northern resort San Antonio, while famous venues Pacha and Amnesia are just outside Ibiza Town in the south of the island and regularly host famous international DJs like Apollonia and David Guetta. For R&R rather than all-night raves, head to the sleepier resort of Santa Eulalia to the east, where you can enjoy the more refined, laidback atmosphere and unwind with a cold cerveza at one of the numerous waterfront bars. Families planning a summer holiday in Ibiza should go to western beach town Cala d’Hort for some prime sandcastle-making and fantastic paella restaurants like Es Boldado, within walking distance from the beach at Sant Josep De Sa Talaia. Find out more with our guide to the beautiful Spanish Balearic Islands.
2. Algarve, Portugal
Head over to southern Portugal’s Algarve coast in August and you’ll find the normally nippy Atlantic ocean averages a lovely 21°C. September is equally warm, perfect for arranging a cheaper, shoulder season deal. Start your Portuguese beach tour with a trip to Praia de Faro, which you can reach directly from Faro Airport on the airport bus. Sink your toes into the sand, and enjoy the view – it’s so large, you’re guaranteed a towel spot even on the busiest days. Once a small fishing village, Albufeira is another great stop, with the most popular sandy stretch being Praia dos Pescadores, next to Albufeira old town. Snag some cheap and suitably tacky souvenirs along Avenida Sá Carneira, before eating your weight in traditional Portuguese piri-piri chicken at Teodosio restaurant (Rua Emigrante). Head to the smaller beaches of Praia do Lourenco or Praia da Galé (a 10 minute drive from the city centre) if Albufeira gets too busy. There’s a train connecting Lagos with the Spanish border, but otherwise public transport is limited so typically the best way to explore the Algarve is by car. Book early and flights from Dublin to Faro can be found for as little as €100 euro this summer. Start dreaming with this photo gallery of ten of Portugal’s prettiest beaches.
3. Pula, Croatia
A fast-becoming holiday superstar, Croatia was once a little known Balkan state on the edge of southern Europe. It still only receives a fraction of tourists compared with France or Spain, and we’re not quite sure why. With an abundance of beaches and islands scattered along the Dalmatian and Istrian Coast (1185 to be exact!), hot summers (average summer temperatures between 25 and 28 degrees), and low in-resort costs (a pint is about €2) make Croatia ….