Autumn fam trips
The Lowcostbeds group in Aqualandia
Kathryn MacDonnell, STB. Outside the largest telescope in the world.
From left to right: Enda Larkin, Sunway, guide Paolo, Kathryn MacDonnell, Spanish Tourist Board, Aoife Carbin, Club Travel and Ailish Berkeley from The Travel Department
The village of Molinaseca in Leon. Judy Coughlan from Dawson Travel and Vicki McGrath from The Travel Department
Jardin Botanico, Malaga From left to right: Jackie Coakley, Shandon Travel, Alan Preston, Clickandgo, Kathryn MacDonnell, Spanish Tourist Board, Erica Archer, Supersun Travel, Lisa Nahedh, Travel Counsellors, Sean McCarthy, Club Travel, Lisa Keating, Abbey Travel and Richard Cullen, Killiney Travel
Costa Blanca 15-18 September, Beach resorts.
We brought 8 Lowcostbeds agents to Benidorm and the Costa Blanca in September. Agents from Bowe Travel, Flyaway Travel, Kilkelly Travel, Icon Travel, Justsplit.com, Cassidy Travel and Skytours visited the Levante and Poniente Beaches, the old town of Benidorm, Aqualandia and Mundomar Parks and stayed at Los Dalmatas and the Gran Bali Hotel (the highest hotel in Europe). The following day was a visit to Villajoyosa, the picturesque seaside town and a boat trip provided great views of the coast. The group enjoyed a show in the Benidorm Palace and the last day was spent in Albir and Alicante city. “Benidorm has made a comeback and there is a demand for this resort” said Grainne Caffrey of Lowcostbeds.
Tenerife and La Palma, 10-14 September. Astronomy.
We brought the organisers of Astronomy Ireland to the Canary Islands of Tenerife and La Palma to see Europe’s largest and most significant telescopes on the 10th of September where we met representatives of the Astrophysical Institute of the Canary Islands. Tenerife and La Palma have organized the starwatching and astronomy product into an easily saleable tourism experience with participating hotels providing telescopes on site for night viewing. The islands are fortunate to be a Starlight Tourism Destination combining science and tourism as explained to us by the Institute. This certification requires standards of light pollution, cloud coverage, carbon emissions and others. Aside from the nocturnal activities we also did some walking, eating and sightseeing. Ann Nolan of Astronomy Ireland writes; “ The Tenerife/La Palma astronomy tour combines interest in astronomy, promising the best observational opportunities, with a spectacular landscape, diversity of culture, great food, wine and a clement climate”.
Tenerife and El Hierro, 24-28 October. Walking.
On the 24th of October agents from Sunway, Club Travel and The Travel Department explored the walking options in these two Canary Islands, featuring a climbing walk at the top of Teide, the highest mountain in the whole of Spain (3,800 metres) and a boat trip to the cliffs of Los Gigantes. A short interisland flight away El Hierro is the smallest of the Canary Islands. We swam in the sea, we visited the beautifully located Parador, we saw the smallest hotel in the world (as in the Guinnes Book of Records) which has four rooms. The main attraction in El Hierro is it’s diving and scuba diving activities. There are many walking options and the hilly nature of the island presents easy to medium difficulty walks.
Castille Leon – 2-5 October. Food & Wine on the Camino.
This inland region offers history, culture, rural, gastronomy and wine tasting and after a workshop with local suppliers including ground handlers, accommodation providers and activities agencies the group spent a day visiting the Camino route section in the province of Leon.
Malaga, 15-17 November. City break.
On the 15th November agents from Clickandgo, Club Travel, Abbey Travel, Shandon Travel, Killiney Travel, Travel Counsellors and Supersun arrived in a sunny Malaga. After lunch in the Parador de Gibralfaro we visited the Alcazaba fortress, the Roman theatre and Malaga cathedral (all within minutes of each other). We had dinner in the new cruise port in the trendy Kaleido. On Saturday we took in the Vintage Car Museum and the Botanical Gardens before a shopping visit to the food market and a tapas lunch at Bodegas El Pimpi. In the afternoon we visited Picasso’s place of birth and then the Picasso Museum. We fitted in one hour free time and the good shoppers in the group explored Larios street to great effect! Dinner Saturday night was in the Patio de las Beatas and the group returned to Dublin and Cork on Sunday morning. Richard Cullens says: “Thanks a mill for what I thought (from my perspective) was the best trip so far” – praise indeed for Malaga city!