Gdansk is one of Europe’s great little-known city breaks, and in my travel diary it should be on everyone’s list of getaways. With excellent links to the city (in large part thanks to the powerful Polish diaspora of Munster), it is also a very accessible and inexpensive destination. Situated by the Baltic Sea, Gdansk has an easy maritime flair, where quality accommodation and food give the city an alluring Copenhagen vibe at a low price. However, don’t skimp on the experience – visitors can also enjoy the city’s stunning architecture, fantastic museums, and a stellar food scene. Gdansk Christmas market is also already in full festive boom, making it a great option for the December holidays.
Ryanair flies to Gdansk twice a week with unbelievable fares starting at € 10 each way; ryanair.com
Paris in the spring always seems to grab the headlines, but winter brings an extra layer of cozy romance to the City of Lights. From this week, Spanish low-cost airline Vueling will offer a new bi-weekly service from Cork to Paris Orly, France’s second airport after CDG. The service will operate on Fridays and Mondays, which also makes it a convenient schedule for a weekend. While in Paris, enjoy winter attractions like an old-fashioned tour along the Seine, visit the very festive Notre Dame Christmas Market or you can even take a macaron baking class at Galeries Lafayette. Are you thinking of a budget alternative to Lapland this year? Sprinkle some oh-la-la into your Christmas prep with a visit to Disneyland Paris in season; adult and child packages start from € 50 / € 54 (count on paying double around the weekend).
Cork to Orly fares start from € 60 round trip, roughly double with checked baggage; vueling.com
Fancy some stroopwafels for breakfast… or bitterballen for lunch? With now three daily services departing from Cork, getting to Amsterdam has never been easier. The Dutch capital has added winter thrills to Wunderland where you can ice skate along the city’s canals, relax with the Rijksmuseum exhibits or maybe even attend National Tulip Day on January 15th! Do you know Amsterdam? For an unusual Dutch break, take the train to the trendy village of Giethoorn, a small car-free village accessible only by the canal called the Venice of the Netherlands.
Aer Lingus (aerlingus.com) and KLM (klm.com) serve Amsterdam from Cork with fares from € 110 round trip. Remember that you can also connect to the KLM network of 170 global destinations from Schiphol.
Go Switzerland! With connections to Zurich and Geneva this winter, Switzerland is now one of the best-connected countries from Cork Airport. Let’s face it (Swiss), Geneva, while pretty, might not be at the top of the list for a city break, but venture off-piste into its alpine hinterland and you’ll discover the most ski regions. spectacular views of Europe and a dream mountain. hiding places. French Alps resorts like Chamonix are just an hour away or why not explore post-Swiss towns like Gruyères for epic fondue sessions.
SWISS will start its new weekly service to Geneva from Cork Airport on Sundays from December 19, 2021 to March 6, 2022. Return fares from a decent round trip of € 129.
I have a lot of love for Lanzarote! The Canary Island may have a seasoned representative as a Mecca package vacation, but it is also a fantastic destination for the more independent traveler. Think of much more than beaches, too: 300 volcanoes pierce its spectacular lunar landscape that also includes lush valleys and oases and a rugged surf coast along the north. Spend your days biking, hiking, or just soaking up the sun in winter temperatures that hover around the low 20s – sprinkle it all with a glass of vino blanco, grilled garlic shrimp and papas arrugadas potatoes wrinkled. Buen Provecho!
Ryanair flies from Cork to Lanzarote twice a week with fares starting at € 60 round trip (€ 110 with a 10kg bag), it’s just a 4 hour flight south.
To learn more about all of these routes, visit corkairport.com