20 SOUTH WALES EVENING POST SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2009 visit our website www.thisissouthwales.co.uk visit our website www.thisissouthwales.co.uk SOUTH WALES EVENING POST SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2009 21
TRAVEL TRAVEL in association with www.thisistravel.co.uk
W Warm welcome
could you STAR DEALS
visit a pub
and end up UK/IRELAND CYPRUS First Choice (0871 200 4455)
awaits at cosy
on the first offers seven nights’ self-catering at
JERSEY Flyjersey.com (0845 230 3240)
night of your stay drinking offers four nights’ B&B at three-star four-star resort from £220 (four sharing),
Guinness and dancing the Merton Hotel commencing Sundays and saving £175, incl flights ex-Luton Oct 7.
Irish jig with the owners? Mondays on selected dates from £245 SOUTHERN SARDINIA Sardinian Places
No, I didn’t quite out-dance until Oct 19, flights ex-Gatwick and (0845 330 2050) offers seven nights’
Riverdance’s Michael Flatley. But various reg airports (at supp), car hire self-catering in two-bedroom villa in
heck, it wasn’t half bad for a first and airport parking. south of island from Oct 3 from £1,163,
attempt, fuelled by a couple of pints saving £100 on brochure price.
of the dark stuff. LONDON www.expedia.co.uk (0871 226
0808) offers two nights’ B&B at the Flights/car hire extra.
One thing had led to another and
all of a sudden I found myself with a Strand Palace Hotel from Oct 2 from IBIZA Interhome (020 8780 6629) offers
drink in hand, leaping up and down £270, based on two sharing a superior seven nights’ self-catering in villa
OLD TOWN Paphos, Cyprus. in a rather valiant attempt to put that club double room. sleeping eight just outside resort of
POWYS/SNOWDONIA Four-star Lake Saint Joan de Labritja with large garden,
guy with the perm and lightning legs
to shame. But after three pints, it was Vyrnwy Hotel (01691 870 692) offers pool and barbecue area. Total rental is
my wife and friends we were three nights’ midweek break £1,711, or £213.87 per person at full
travelling with that I put to shame (Sun-Thurs) for £405 (saving £145) per capacity.
rather than the man himself! Oh well. couple, through Sept/Oct, incl LONG-HAUL
IRELAND boasts one of the best-oiled tourist machines in
I’ll chalk it up to one of those holiday five-course dinners and cream teas on JORDAN RED SEA VJW (0845 166 7035)
experiences. first two afternoons.
We were booked in to Johnnie and the world, but there is more to the Emerald Isle than just offers seven nights’ B&B at five-star
Movenpick Tala Bay, incl Monarch flights
Mags Hurley’s An Seanachai
restaurant and bar at Dungarven in
hype and top notch marketing. As the new Swansea-Cork ex-Gatwick from £545 on some
departures in Oct/Nov, and from £495
Co. Waterford. To that, add their 12
holiday cottages, newly built within
ferry was unveiled this week ahead of its first sailings next dep Dec 1 & 9. Optional excursions incl
Petra sightseeing £79, Dead Sea £63,
staggering distance of the pub. March, PETER SLEE has been finding out what treasures Wadi Rum £59 and Neptune Submarine
£27. VYW fixes Jordanian visa for UK
We had arrived a couple of hours
earlier but already felt at home.
lie ahead for visitors . . . passport holders.
by Katie Hodge It was cosy and homely, bordering
on hotel-boutique chic. can’t help tripping over wherever you either side of the road. Then, finally, out of our hands when our new Irish
HOMELY ACCOMMODATION The An Seanachai bar and restaurant at Dungarven, Co. Waterford. GAMBIA Gambia Experience (0845 330
2087) offers seven nights’ B&B at
And when you arrive, the Hurleys turn such is the popularity of the we arrived at An Seanachai. Each friend, Johnnie, offered to drive us Knockmealdown mountains. Our overlooking the sea below. A perfect Johnnie and Mags, we were left with four-star hotel from £379, ex-Gatwick
FROM the moment I touched down in southern welcome you like one of the family place — seem to have sweet natured cottage grouped around an outdoor around the region showing us some various journeys saw us stop off at place to prop up the bar, and enjoy a compelling thought. However Oct 13, incl transfers. Ten-night stays
Cyprus, I was whisked into another realm. rather than a paying guest. Both personalities. courtyard just 25 metres or so from of the best of what was on offer. Lismore via the picturesque the craic with a pint of Guinness. great a place is, it is the efforts of £519, 14 nights £519.
Legend has it that Aphrodite, Greek goddess of exude a gentle calm that seems to The two-and-a-half hour car the thatched pub itself. It couldn’t It is true that when in Ireland you Blackwater Valley; Kilkenny and its The Hurleys rescued it from people like them to share it with PERU Collette Worldwide (0800 804 8700)
beauty and love, was born on this Mediterranean have seeped into every corner of the journey to Dungarven from Rosslare have looked more Irish had it tried. can just go where Ireland takes you. 12th Century castle, the world near-dereliction to reopen it in visitors that really make it even RELAXING Views over Lake Vyrnwy.
island and, so the story goes, her continuing place. had been a delight, with Dinner at the early 19th Century But it is much better if you happen famous Waterford crystal centre 2006, maintaining its traditional more special. It’s their attention to
presence brings unremitting sunshine. It’s not Even the pub regulars — which you breathtakingly rugged scenery on pub, beautifully cooked by Mags, was to chance upon somebody such as (though sadly these days a shadow look in the process. The result is detail and the small things that sets SHORT BREAKS
hard to believe. local fish, seared scallops, monkfish, Johnnie. His enthusiasm for the of its former glory), the bustling pretty much picture postcard per- this place apart from others. They FLORIDA Bon Voyage (0800 316 0194)
On arrival, the first thing to hit me was the lamb or steak, with her home-baked region and its people is infectious. town of Clonmel — home to the fect. Our cottage, which could have are the glue that makes traditional offers five nights’ room-only at four-star
golden glow and blissful warmth which drew me soda bread. We ate sitting in front of a The sort of person you never really South Tipperary Arts Centre — a slept up to six, was a bit like staying venues like this keep their place on Doubletree Hotel Universal Studios from
through the airport throng. roaring, giant log and turf fire in what seem to find in any other country. string of beaches along the south at a friend’s home within staggering the landscape when they could so £599 on deps to Oct 31, incl frequent
I was staying in a junior suite at The Amathus, was once the property’s original There’s none of that straight-line east coast as well as the simplicity of distance of a really great local. easily just disappear into history. fear pass to experience Halloween
a hotel perched on the seafront, and a stone’s kitchen. The home-cooked seafood mentality when you head off on the mile upon mile of the brown turf of Of course, there are lots of A couple on a mission to spread Horror Nights at Universal Studios
throw from the centre of old-town Paphos. chowder we started with was road with him around West bogland. cottages to rent in this part of the word: The personification of Orlando theme park. Not suitable for
My room was palatial, with beautiful marble sensational. Tired and content, we Waterford. Left, right, and onwards. Centre stage though was Ireland. But I doubt there are too everything a family-run local under-13s.
bathroom, minimalist Manhattan-style decor drifted off to bed, impatient for Mile after mile of picture perfect Dungarven itself, a thriving market many like those at An Seanachai restaurant, bar and holiday venue
and a private, floodlit plunge-pool. another day to explore this magic scenery, golf courses, walking trails town and medieval port which we that have a host and hostess ready should be, creating a benchmark ROME BA Holidays (0844 493 0758) offers
A welcoming bottle of champagne set the tone, country — fishing, hill walking, golf or and even the odd castle or two. really liked for its unspoiled, to go that extra mile to make your place to stay in the process. three nights’ B&B through Oct from
and a sophisticated bunch of flowers brought pony-trekking, or a boat trip. To our right, Dungarven Bay itself. unhurried charm. That and the An stay such a memorable one. Dungarven is lucky to have them £245, incl flights ex-Gatwick.
ANCIENT SIGHTS Petra, Jordan.
some Cypriot warmth to the room, as did a But any decision-making was taken Off in the distance, the Comeragh and Seanachai which sits on its outskirts As we said our farewells to on its side. SHORT-HAUL SUN
TRADITIONAL SOUNDS Enjoying the craic in Ireland. offers 14-day escorted tour from Nov 3
colourful platter of canapes: a hint of LISBON Opodo (0870 243 3406) offers via Lima, Sacred Valley of Incas,
indulgences to come. seven nights’ room-only at four-star
I spent my first afternoon lazing by the pool rolls with a cup of tea. If that doesn’t in six languages. choice really is agonising. golfers at all levels the opportunity Macchu Picchu, Cuzco, Uros Floating
along with a few of my fellow guests.
Paphos has a lot to offer, and whether you are
things to do in South East Ireland appeal, a few euros will buy you
anything from carrot cake to scones,
●Cliff House Hotel, ArdMore.
The hotel is one of Ireland’s
Two nights B&B and one night
dinner, from 130 euros.
to play at the courses.
West Waterford Golf & Country WHERE TO STAY Peter Slee
Novotel Lisboa from £1,059 for family of
four, with flights ex-Heathrow Oct 16.
Islands, Lake Titicaca, Paracas from
£2,440, saving £350.
there to bask in the sunshine or explore an island ●The Tannery Restaurant, (tel: 00 at around 28 euros a head. Two seed and butter loves or buttermilk standout restaurant hotels, offering In a word: Dreamy! Club (18 hole, Par 72, 6,800 yards). stayed at the An Seanachai bar NORTH CYPRUS Direct Traveller (0845 ANTIGUA Tropical Sky (0870 907 9600)
steeped in myth and tradition, you will want to 353 58 45420), 10 Quay Street, courses and excellent value. Also browns. crisp Irish classicism and a ●The Local, Dungarven Town Tel: +353 (0)58 43216 or 41475 and restaurant at Dungarven, 409 1490) offers seven nights’ B&B at offers seven nights’ all-inclusive at
venture out. Dungarvan, Co. Waterford. worth investigating is its adjoining All very quaint. welcoming, rustic warmth. Notable This pub is the quintessential or email info@westwaterfordgolf. Co. Waterford. Colony Hotel, Kyrenia, from £567, Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts on
I began my days like any self-respecting Not devoted exclusively to fish, but cookery school set alongside its own ●Waterford Museum Of Treasures, design elements include a Irish boozer. com. HOW MUCH? Mini break rates: ex-Birmingham Oct 28. selected Nov deps ex-Gatwick from
goddess: indulgently. Breakfast on the celebrated chef-patron Paul Flynn walled garden. The Granary, Merchants Quay, grass-covered roof naturally crafted Packed to the rafters the night we Dungarvan Golf Club (18 hole, 299 euros to include five nights ALGARVE Holiday Jewels (01293 533 338) £649, with resort transfers.
sun-drenched terrace was, predictably, a feast presents a menu brimming with Newly-opened, it offers short Waterford, Tel: 051 304 500. Open: into the cliff on the east wing from called in, at the rear, a band played Par 72, 6,708 yards). Tel: +353 (0)58 bed & breakfast; three dinners offers seven nights’ self-catering at
and three rounds of golf. Based BALI Seasons in Style (01244 202 000)
from the heavens. gutsy, modern seafood dishes. courses under the tutelage of the man seven days a week. which the Cliff House takes its a jig while we contented ourselves 43310 or email dungarvangc@ three-star complex near Albufeira for offers seven nights’ B&B at Karma
But gods must concern themselves with higher Highlights of a menu which himself. The award-winning museum tells name. propped up at the bar drinking the eircom.net. on min. four people. Other £175, incl flights ex-Gatwick Oct 5.
activities can be substituted for Kandara between Oct 1-Dec 19 from
matters, and leaving gastronomic delights concentrates on highest quality ●Barrons Bakery In CapPoquin. the thousand-year story of Ireland’s The Cliff House’s bedrooms offer dark stuff! Gold Coast Golf Club (18 hole, ZANTE First Choice (0871 200 4455) £2,025, saving up to £460, incl BA
behind me, I made my way deeper into the ingredients include seared tuna with Nestled in a little house in this tiny oldest city and celebrates the ethnic, sweeping vistas over the Irish sea. A great evening to remember. Par 72, 6,788 yards). Tel: +353 (0)58 golf. web: www.seanachai.ie
HOW TO GET THERE He flights.
ancient world. a dressing of creme fraiche and lime, village, this is one of the last bakeries cultural and religious diversity of all. The meal we enjoyed here will go ●The Dungarven Golf Triangle 44055 or email info@goldcoastgolf
Unesco has recently added the whole town of and fillet of John Dory with a morel in Ireland to still use a traditional The superb historic and down as one of our best ever, offering One for golfers this, but offering club.com. travelled with low fares ferry
Paphos to its World Heritage list, and not without and parma ham cream. Stylish dining Scotch brick oven producing a bread archaeological collection ranging up great interpretations of traditional excellent value. For 80 euro, you All three offer some challenges company Irish Ferries between
reason. room, too in a building which dates with a unique taste, flavour and from Viking Age and medieval to the Irish dishes. can play three courses for the price for the discerning golfer wanting to Pembroke/Rosslare. Fares start
In what feels like an open-air museum, the back to the 1800s. crust. 20th Century is enlivened by fun One of those menus packed with so of two. test their skill in a magnificent and from £69 one way for car and
immortal verses of ancient Greek playwrights We opted for their Early Bird menu Worth trying are its famous Blah interactive displays and sound guide many good things that making a final This Monday to Friday offer gives spectacular location. driver. www.irishferries.com or
still resonate. 08717 300 400.
Once the island’s capital, Paphos is now
famous for the remains of the Roman Governor’s FROM Roman battle sites to helping European But he got it right! I still don’t
palace, with its strikingly well-preserved mosaics know how he did it. It must have
of times long past. orphans, Swansea director of charity Love and been a trick and I fell for it!
Wandering around these ruins opens a door Care for Moldova Mervyn Cartwright, recalls some What was your most memorable
into another world, bringing history sharply into
focus and leaving the explorer feeling humbled.
of the highs and lows from his holidaying past. holiday moment? Not exactly a
holiday moment, but when I went
My meanderings took me deeper into the to a school in Moldova where our
ancient world, and through the mass of cultures charity had delivered computers. HOLIDAY DESTINATION Lisbon. SCENIC Lake Titicaca, Peru.
and religions which have left their What was your best holiday? It was making lace on one of the islands in once bought a caravan holiday in a Staff were on holiday but they
variously-shaped footprints. a holiday in Italy in a place called the lake called Isola Maggiore. My charity raffle. It was a bargain. The had all turned up to say thanks. offers seven nights’ self-catering at ●CARDIFF is to have a direct link to
Cyprus, the third-largest Mediterranean Passigno sul Trasimeno, on Lake son was able to run round place, Borth, was lovely, the We went to the staff room where three-star resort from £229 (four Florida next summer thanks to the
island, is at the crossroads of three continents. Trasimene, in the centre of the everywhere and we all had a facilities good and the caravan was they had laid out food and drink. sharing), saving £175, ex-Newcastle Oct Scottish low fare airline flyglobespan.
The geographical position has, since antiquity, country. The weather was glorious, fabulous time. a nice place. But the weather was We had a wonderful meal and 11. The web-based airline plans to launch a
played an important part in its turbulent history, the views spectacular, the scent of And the best hotel you stayed in? appalling — it poured with rain for their thanks were overwhelming TURKEY Club Med Palmiye (08453 676 scheduled service from next May.
while the influences of Africa, Asia and Europe the flowers heady and the hire car We rarely stay in hotels but it was the entire week. Venturing outside but the best moment came when 767) offers seven nights’ all-inclusive They will fly every Wednesday from
abound. worked just fine. I was able to visit very romantic when we stayed in a was a definite no-no. We went a few BEST HOTEL Mervyn stayed in a romantic hotel in Florence. they sang. It made me cry! As I from Oct 9 in four-star resort near Cardiff direct to Orlando Sanford.
●Katie was a guest of Amathus Beach the site of a battle I wrote about in a hotel in Florence close to the Il places in the car but it seemed to be said to the director of the school, Antalya from £735 per adult, and £524 Flight only prices from Cardiff to Sanford
Hotel, Paphos, and Sovereign Holidays. magazine — Carthaginians against Duomo. wet everywhere. bought the services of a man in month of birth. I thought I was if people were to ask my why I per child, including flights. start from £170 per person.
Sovereign reservations: 0871 664 0227. Romans in the Punic wars. My wife The daftest thing you bought on Las Vegas who claimed to be onto a sure winner — he would do this, then this song would be
●www.sovereign.com was able to view the elderly ladies What was your worst holiday? We
HOLIDAY Mervyn Cartwright. holiday? I think it was when I able to tell people’s year and pay me double my fee if he failed. my answer.