August is a party month

IF it’s August in Malmo, Sweden, or Copenhagen, Denmark, then it must be party time.

The festivities begin on August 17 and last a couple of weeks, with the emphasis on music and food.

Nobody visiting Sweden in August can fail to miss the shop windows displaying every possible variation on the theme ‘Crayfish’. The Swedes worship the crayfish and August is the time to experience the annual Crayfish Party which takes place in most homes and restaurants.

A full festival programme is available from early this month on After that, Copenhagen goes potty on food for another week, and for visitors it only involves a short trip across the Oresund Bridge, which links Malmo with the Danish capital.

More information can be got on, or for full details including flights and accommodation, try any of the following sites —,,, and

IRELAND’S Stena Line has already enjoyed considerable success with its transparent new economy-flexi-premium pricing structure. The first of its kind in the ferry sector, Stena Line’s new fare and product concept has allowed travellers to choose between three ticket types since November 2006.

In the first quarter of 2007, 44% of customers on the company’s Irish Sea routes have upgraded to flexi or premium. The largest number of upgrades (48%) were booked on the central corridor routes from Dublin or Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead, with 15% of passengers upgrading to Premium. Stena Line offers up to 32 daily crossings on its five different routes to Britain.

THE 36th Prague Winter Festival, runs from January 2 to January 7, and is already a big hit with Irish followers of all things good in music as a celebration of opera, ballet and symphonic and chamber music, featuring works by some of the great composers.

Evening performances in the 2008 festival include Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly & Manon Lescaut, Bizet’s Carmen, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker and, performed by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time in five years, a complete cycle of Smetana’s hymn of praise to his home country, Ma Vlast.

Performances are staged in Prague’s most beautiful opera and concert halls including the Prague State Opera, the Theatre of the Estates, the National Theatre and the Rudolfinum.

Packages are available with ITP from €722 per person sharing for a three-night package in a four-star hotel, which includes return flights (ex Dublin), transfers in Prague, three evening performances, two daytime performances, and a welcome pack with Prague City Guide.

For a copy of the 2008 Prague Winter Festival brochure, call 01 888 7840, or visit

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