A veritable fleet of recently launched routes are taking off this year, from Nordic breaks to Middle Eastern escapes. And new routes with attractive fares, attractive package holiday destinations and a new world of adventure. Here’s our pick of the most exciting options available this year.
If you prefer your breaks with a little less heat and a little more latitude, why not enjoy a mid-summer break in one of the most exciting new destinations launching this year: beautiful Bergen, Norway.
The new service, operated by Scandinavian airline Widerøe, departs Dublin on April 28 with a flight time of just two hours.
While in Norway’s second city, soak up its postcard old town, embrace the city’s rich food, art and culture scene, or experience the great outdoors, from taking a dip on North Sea beaches to catching fløen funiks high in the mountains surrounding Bergen.
Fares start at €145 return, including an 8kg carry-on bag, and although Norway’s representative is quite expensive, there are several good hotel options for weekend nights in May for around €150 a night.
Cork-Malaga is one of the country’s most popular flight routes, but now there’s a new Spanish option from Costa del Cork to the stunning city of Seville.
A new Ryanair route to the Andalusian capital will start in May with summer fares currently €210 return.
As an urban hub of architectural, cultural and culinary attractions (don’t forget all those tapas!), Seville makes a wonderful city break in its own right, as well as the perfect gateway to the sun-kissed Costa de la Luz.
Turkey (or to give it its new official name) has become one of the most inviting destinations in the Mediterranean to explore with its massive coastline, and with the Turkish lira tanking over the past couple of years, it can also make for a great value option. . From this May, both Turkish Airlines and Turkish-German airline Sun Express fly from Dublin to one of the country’s most popular coastal resorts, Antalya.
This region is the gateway to Turkey’s stunning Turquoise Coast, which gives the color its name, which you can expect to be pretty spectacular too.
Spending Easter in the Holy Land may be on the horizon this year. Israel’s national airline, El Al, will fly their new direct route from Dublin to Tel Aviv this spring, making the long-haul expansion of the Med even more accessible.
Israel’s largest city, Tel Aviv lays claim not only to the country’s economic powerhouse, but also to its exhilarating party life, vibrant LGBT+ scene and the most vegan restaurants in the world.
For further adventures, it’s only 45 minutes from Jerusalem, while the West Bank, an increasingly popular tourist destination, is also accessible from the region – find out about the latest travel advice via dfa.ie. The flight time to Israel may be six hours (Israel is far from Quebec) but being only two hours ahead of Ireland should reduce jet-lag on the ground. Fares start from €399 return.
Oh, Ohio! From this summer, you can fly to the vibrant city of Cleveland thanks to Aer Lingus’ latest direct route to the US.
Not only does rock and roll’s self-billed home provide a great alternative city for music lovers, but as one of the largest cities on the Great Lakes, Cleveland also makes a great gateway for a summertime lakeside cruise. Erie — Think the winelands of upstate New York, Niagara Falls and Motown Chaser in Detroit.
Fares from Dublin start from €399 return. Aer Lingus also restarted its Dublin to Hartford, Connecticut route this summer, but you can fly Shannon to Chicago on the United route this summer.
If you’ve already lived dolce vita in Rome, Milan or Florence, why not map your next Italian escape through the southern city of Brindisi? Located in the beautiful region of Puglia (in the more off-the-beaten-path heel of Italy), the city offers a foodie’s dream base, as well as a great base for exploring the heritage towns of Lecce, Gallipoli, Ostuni and Alberobello. Or a stunning coastline dotted with higgledy piggledy villages. Aer Lingus and Ryanair will both fly from Dublin to Brindisi this summer; Note the different baggage allowances between the two airlines when comparing fares. Ryanair also launched a new route from Shannon to Naples this summer.
Lisbon has become a city break favorite for Irish travelers in the Covid era as they take in the culture, heritage and its beautiful streets filled with delicious and pastel de nada.
However, the country’s second city, Porto, has recently been emerging as the latest Iberian ‘it’ spot and a new flight from Shannon makes it an exciting option for Munster travellers.
Highlights include its Insta-perfect streetscapes, Douro River cruises and mouth-watering wine bars, while the city’s hotel prices offer reasonable value.
Fares, including carry-on, start from a very attractive €105 return.
You can’t beat the Greek islands for a summer vacation. From feeling the waves lap on the white sandy beaches, eating fresh calamari straight from the trawler and soaking up the screensaver Aegean sunsets, the destination offers pure holiday paradise.
Sailing from Athens to the islands is an iconic but often chaotic experience, which is why it’s great to have more direct routes to get you straight to the islands this summer.
Dublin to Kos is the latest route from Ireland and as it is operated by both Aer Lingus and Ryanair, you can expect competitive prices too.
Part of the Dodecanese Islands (an archipelago off the Turkish coast), Kos is known for its stunning coastline, lush forests and cornucopia of heritage sites.
Don’t worry about your accommodation bookings as hotel rooms and Airbnbs can be snapped up quickly. Routes open in May with return fares currently starting at €200.
New routes mean new package holiday deals and Italian specialists Topflight have plenty of tasty options with Cork’s new Ryanair route to Treviso.
Michelle Anderson from Topflight says: “The Irish love affair with Italy continues and our customers love what an Italian holiday has to offer, from the fantastic cuisine to the stunning and varied scenery and always the warm Italian welcome.”
Topflight offers offers to both Lake Garda and the Venetian Riviera via the Cork to Treviso route; Seven-night packages are available in June from Lake Garda for €932pps, based on B&B board at a four-star property. Topflight is also offering a Sorrento package via the new Shannon route to Naples.
Newcastle will be appearing in quite a lot of Instagram feeds over the next few months.
In addition to services from Dublin, the current route from Cork to Newcastle will switch to Shannon this March, while Cork will offer a new Ryanair route to the East Midlands.
In Newcastle, enjoy the city’s thriving food and arts scene, visit the historic castle that gives the city its name, or perhaps head to St James’s Park to witness the magpies’ rising fortunes.
If you’re traveling light to Newcastle, flights from Shannon start from as little as €20.