Big Read

Great taste destinations across the world

Yes, we like the sun, the sea, the sand beneath our feet, and the tourist attractions. But if we’re honest, the majority of us love the food the most. Tony Clayton-Lea highlights his favourite foodie places across the world.

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Discover the wonders and magic of Madeira

Barbara Scully discovered the wonders of a charming Atlantic outpost designed for relaxation.

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Mark your diaries – it’s festival season

Here’s a round up of some of the best festival line-up’s country-wide, from Ailin Quinlan.

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Tips on how to save money while on holiday

Want to keep costs down on your summer holiday this year? From banking to bottled water, Tony Clayton-Lea has a dozen ways to save.

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7 of the best destinations close to Europe’s top airports

Bored of London and Brussels? Then try Oxford and Bruges instead. Tony Clayton-Lea picks the best destinations 30 miles from Europe’s top airports. 

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Swept away by the Canary Islands

IT’S the sameness that gets to us – that sinking feeling on arrival at a holiday destination, that it’s as similar to home as makes no difference. 

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Feel like King Cong at Ashford Castle

It’s the little things about Ashford Castle that makes a stay there so enjoyable, writes Conall Ó Fátharta.    

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Working for a better future for all in Malawi

A women’s co-operative in Malawi shows that people can learn to help themselves with great results, writes Isabel Conway.

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24 hours in Brussels, the capital of Belgium

The administrative seat of the EU is also a fun, beautiful city of elegant restaurants, splendid architecture and museums, says Tony Clayton-Lea.

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Add some vino to Venice for a perfect Veneto trip

Tony Clayton-Lea flies into Venice and makes his way around one of Italy’s most famous regions to experience beautiful landscapes, hidden gems, vineyards and glorious late spring sunshine

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Basking in Bali for a bliss family reunion

Barbara Scully is, by her own admission, a full-blown Irish Mammy who travels half way round the world to see her Australian-based daughter. This time round, the family all met up in the Indonesian island of Bali for an alternative

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Vienna has culture, history, cuisine and above all, class

As the city prepares to host the 60th Eurovision Song Contest, Arlene Harris samples the delights of Vienna.

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Mexico City is huge, and a sight to behold

Richard Fitzpatrick visits the massive urban sprawl of Mexico City which has a surprisingly spacious and uncrowded feel to it; however getting around isn’t so easy and taxi drivers will most likely take you for a ride.

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MALTA: A hot attraction with a chilled side... any time of the year

Darren Norris visited the Mediterranean nation with the preconceived idea that it was only for the middle-aged and upwards — and only to be explored in the summer. He was wrong on both counts, he admits.

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Adventuring to the southern end of Portugal in the Algarve

Dan MacCarthy goes to the Algarve on the southern end of Portugal to discover a more energetic side of the perennially popular holiday region.

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Suzanne Harrington returns to her hometown of Cork as a tour guide

Suzanne Harrington returns home with a boyfriend who has never visited Cork and finds there have been many changes over the years to a city which has embraced the new but hung on to the best parts of the old.

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Eoin Edwards walks in the footsteps of Jesus in Jerusalem

From bustling bazaars by the Bosphorus, to following in the footsteps of The Fisherman, Eoin Edwards gained a once-in-a-lifetime experience when he undertook a tour of Istanbul and the Holy Land.

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Seeing the softer side of African wildlife

John Daly travels far south for the first time — but this is no backpack trek — this is a Branston safari....

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Changes in latitude lead to changes in attitude in Key West, Florida

Since the days when authors like Hemingway and Tennessee Williams set up camp, Key West has always been a potent magnet for people looking to drift away from the real world for a while, writes John Daly.

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Easter family breaks at home and away

Tony Clayton-Lea offers a list of holiday destinations at home and away.

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Iceland lived up to the dream of ’land of fire and ice’

Walking through bubbling, rock strewn landscapes proved to be the perfect holiday for practised rambler, Paul McCarthy, who is already planning his return to the ‘land of fire and ice’.

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A place of peace and tranquility in Provence, France

Conor Power visits a chapel in the French region of Provence which was completely designed by artist Henri Matisse as a tribute to a woman who took care of him when he was diagnosed with cancer in 1941.

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Things to do in Denver with your Dad

Brian Canty gets a Rocky Mountain ride on the ultimate road trip with his father in Colorado — where the mountains are high along with the people.

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A tale of two cities - Croatia and Montenegro

Conor Power travels to the far reaches of the Adriatic. Crossing from Dubrovnik in Croatia, to Kotor in Montenegro, is akin to travelling back in time, from clean modernity to a city that time has largely forgotten.

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Get lost in the charms of Sicily’s Donnafugata Resort and Spa

They say to find a man’s true character, you must play golf with him... a frightening prospect for anyone unfortunate enough to be paired with this lumberjack.

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Pousada’s the way for historical luxury in Portugal

Every country has its hidden gems, but it’s possible that Portugal has more than most in its collection of pousadas — or high-end historic lodging houses. Tony Clayton-Lea travelled to Portugal to road-test a few of these palatial pousadas, as well as taking in the Portuguese interior.

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Kinsale’s warm welcome and warm food make it ideal to visit

THE waitress in Kinsale’s cosy cafe, Poet’s Corner, confides: “if you were to listen to all the chat and gossip in here, you would have enough material for ten novels.”

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When is the best time to book your holiday?

Tony Clayton-Lea says time is of the essence if you don’t want to be left behind - and early booking is crucial when it comes to popular sun destinations.

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Paris is spoilt for choice when it comes to cakes and pastry shops

Here are 10 of our favourite places to buy cake in the French capital, Paris.

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A trip to expensive Norway is worth the price

Norway may be expensive, but the experiences of getting up close with whales and catching the sacred Northern Lights are most definitely worth it, writes Manchán Magan.

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Brittany delivers the goods for a family camping holiday

Although a late convert, Eoin English is smitten with family holidays ‘en France’.

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