Big Read

Eating out in Vietnam, literally

Street food is hugely popular in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city, but follow the locals’ choice, says Sarah Harte.

Madonna Di Loreto, Caravaggio

In the Eternal City hoping for a brush with a Caravaggio

Conor Power dodges the pigeons as he pounds the pavements of the Eternal City while visiting its churches and chapels on the trail of the fast and furious Caravaggio — famed as both genius and sociopath.

Chateau De Cruix, France

Travel Europe by bus for an amazing adventure

Liz O’ Brien ticked off her continental bucket list with a Contiki ‘European Highlights’ tour in London, Paris, Nice, Monaco, the French Riviera, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Rhine Valley, St Goar, Munich, Edam and Amsterdam    


Hitting the slopes of Meribel in France

Michael Schumacher’s tragic accident at Christmas threw the renowned French skiing resort of Meribel into the centre of an international media storm, but Fiachra O’Cionnaith assures that this shouldn’t convince skiers to steer clear of slopes.

Lake Enol and mountains at Los Picos de Europas National Park in northern Spains offers mindboggling views for miles.

Basque countryside like a step back in time

Joe McNamee ventures to the provinces of Cantabria and Asturias in North Western Spain where he swops the sun, sea and sangria familiar in the south of the country for some sun, sea and sidra.

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Cannes: Perfect holiday straight from a film – almost

Noel Baker liked classic comedy ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ so much, he decided to base his family holiday around it. Here’s what he found…    


Alpe d’Huez, for the best skiing fun

VARIETY is the spice of life, is it not? We should be open to new things and seek to experience as many different activities and places as possible.

Lisbon place is teeming with tourists and bustling with life, with fine food at every turn

Lisbon, a city of history

One of the oldest cities in the world, Lisbon has a captivating history. Reborn in recent years through European funding, it still has enough magic on its streets to leave Brian Canty enchanted.

Seoul is a modern metropolis with a population of 10 million.

Seoul reborn as a high tech metropolis

GANGNAM style, for me, is something I wind up experiencing by accident.


Cultural Oslo keeps its cool

From art appreciation to a spell on the slopes, Arlene Harris made the most of what Oslo has to offer on a jam-packed budget trip.


Large in scale, local in heart, Toronto oozes charm

TORONTO isn’t your average city. Home to more than 100 nationalities, 140 languages and 250,000 immigrants; diversity is both its cultural currency and way of life.

St Hilarion castle, North Cyprus

Bewitched by beauty of a hidden gem in Cyprus

TAX evaders take holidays too, and they might want to consider Northern Cyprus for their next vacation.


Castile Leon: A Spanish alternative

IN THESE needy times, you can be forgiven for hunting down value when booking a holiday.


Cruising through Europe on the river Danube

IT’S not really until you experience Central and Eastern Europe up close that you can fully understand the cause and effects of centuries of warfare.

a male Bengal tiger walking beside a lake in Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh, India.

How to earn your stripes, tailing tigers in India

Dan MacCarthy is roughing it on a jeep safari in rugged Bandhavgarh National Park in northern India, where he hopes to get a glimpse of an elusive tiger or, maybe, two.

The heart of the old town in Luxembourg

Luxembourg is a tiny territory that’s big on charm

Since Luxembourg is the capital of a country only the size of Munster, lots can be packed into a weekend, as Louise O’Neill discovered.

Breathtaking view of Yosemite national park at sunrise in California, which is equally a mecca for active outdoor types, students of nature, and lovers of peace and quiet.

Hike, climb or park yourself in Yosemite National Park, California

WHEN Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant in 1864, he could not have foreseen that the gesture would spark an environmental renaissance across America, resulting in 59 stunning National Parks today.


Malta is thunder and enlightening

Two decades after visiting a rowdy Malta in his twenties, Dave Kenny finds plenty to explore and enjoy on the island.

With daily direct flights from Ireland, Malaga already had unique appeal. And now the city boasts a new marina for cruise ships, and museums including, next year, the first Pompidou centre outside France.

Malaga has the art of living

THE CITY air smells like incense. Stall owners prepare for the crowds, turning on the water sprinklers over fresh coconut pieces, and arranging tubs of sweet marshmallow, giant lollipops, plastic horns, drums and cold drinks.


Caught in Lake Garda’s magic spell

IT IS market day in Desenzano on the southern shore of Lake Garda. Along the waterfront, vendors hawk their wares: clothes, jewellery, handbags and pottery beckon to passersby.

The Way of St James on the Camino Way.

A journey to the end of the world

Take a walk with Liz O’ Brien to the literal end of the earth at Finisterre, on the rugged Atlantic coast of Galicia in Spain, where for centuries pilgrims have completed the Camino de Santiago.


Understated Zaragoza

Claire O’Reilly on why you should explore the Aragonese capital before everyone else catches on to its charms.

A sight-seeing boat passeshouseboats on an Amsterdam canal

Pushing the boat out on holiday

Want to experience a city like a local? Then forget larger hotels and stay in their homes, says David Monagan. Welcome to the world of the foreign rental.

Murchison Falls is Uganda's largest protected area.

Going with the flow in Uganda

The Lonely Planet proclaimed it the top destination in 2012, yet Uganda is still a hidden pearl, writes Geoff Power.


Club Med, Sicily is a child-friendly place in the sun

It isn’t easy to find a holiday to cater for the needs and demands of an eight-year-old, a toddler and a baby — but Vickie Maye found the perfect family break for everyone at Club Med, Sicily.

The beach at the Turkish resort of Kusadasi

Turkish delight in Kusadasi package

It’s no surprise Turkey is a popular destination for families, as Caroline O’Doherty discovered when she gave her two preschoolers their first taste of foreign travel with a package holiday to Kusadasi.

The eco-friendly resort on Lady Elliot island — the southernmost island of the Great Barrier Reef.

Lady Elliot is Australia’s piece of paradise

Famous for whale watching, and with a limit of 150 visitors at any one time, Lady Elliot is a castaway paradise island. This story is enriched with multi-media content


Tours are food for thought

Gourmet tours are cropping up all over the globe, tying food and travel more closely together than ever. It’s time to tuck in, says Pól Ó Conghaile.


The sands of time pass slowly in Venezuela’s Los Roques

VENEZUELA, which is on the shoulder of South America that opens out to the Caribbean Sea, is famous for its beaches.