Big Read

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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Angel Falls, Venezuela

Are you looking for a trip of a lifetime? Take a trip to Venezuela

Lucy McCarthy, 16, stepped out of her comfort zone to immerse herself in a two-month trip of a lifetime. It proved to be a class adventure.

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Looking for a dirty weekend? Here are some romantic ideas

Stoke up romance and book a getaway together in Ireland, away from the madding crowds. Pamper yourselves in a spa, have your fill of love in a top class restaurant, or get dreamy under the stars on a romantic moonlight paddle.

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The world’s your oyster, find out what’s hot for 2015

TRAVEL and how we experience that longed-for getaway, be it in the sun, snow, wilderness or a city break, changes faster than those enticing last-minute holiday package offers posted in your local travel agency shopfront.

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Farmlands, crystal clear waters, mojitos, rum, music — all in a day’s cycling in Cuba

Elizabeth O’Neill joined an international crew circumnavigating the island of Cuba.

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Ever wished you could pack it all in and sail off into sunset? This family did.

Martina Tyrrell and her husband packed in their jobs, bought a boat and with some trepidation, sailed off into the sunset with their young family.

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The secrets to finding that cheap holiday

Research is key when planning a fulfilling — and financially viable — break. Among other things, it pays to shop around and be flexible in terms of your travel days, writes Tony Clayton-Lea.

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Freeride Horn Kitzbühel Powder Skiing

Ski, snow and some schnapps in Austria’s Kitzbueheler Alps

Alan Shortt quickly finds his feet in Austria’s Kitzbueheler Alps and discovers zooming down the slopes, arms outstretched, is the closest a man can get to flying without wings.

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Stockholm

Stockholm is made up of 14 islands well worth a visit

Fascinated with Nordic Noir and Scandinavian street fashion, Michelle Doyle wasn’t disappointed with a visit to the Swedish capital where cool truly rules.

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The highs and lows of my first ski trip in Austria

Conall Ó Fátharta hits the slopes as a beginner, in Austria, and discovers the thrill of the descent as well as a true sense of achievement, which make his aches and pains more tolerable and a beer more welcome.

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Lusty Beg Island

Hideaways for after Santa’s visit and before the new year resolutions kick in

Twixtmas, you say? What’s that when it’s at home tucked up with a hot water bottle and a hot whiskey?

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Lift a glass to the joy and history of whiskey

Bill Linnane enrolled in Midleton Distillery’s Irish Whiskey Academy, where, after learning how whiskey has been produced on the site for 200 years, he savoured the spirit direct from cask and even blended his own.

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Bologna is so dishy, stylish and charming

It’s all about the food, apparently. And intellectual pursuits. And let’s not forget bricks.

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Munich: Where you're guaranteed bier und good times

The train from the airport to Munich’s Hauptbahnhof train station, is a very precise 50 minute ride. 

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Ashford Castle

Your guide to some great Christmas breaks-aways

From cosy comfy country hotels to über-cool cities and snowdust covered cottages Tony Clayton-Lea has got every yuletide base covered

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Lovely bubbly in the Champagne region of France

CHAMPAGNE. The word needs little explanation to any adult and is almost guaranteed to conjure up a memory or two.

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King Cong in Co Mayo

Dan Buckley enjoys the royal sport of falconry and takes in the sights of the majestic Corrib at the Lodge at Ashford Castle.

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