Departure Lounge: The best new travel deals, including three nights in Lisbon for €299

Welcome to Examiner Escapes!
Departure Lounge: The best new travel deals, including three nights in Lisbon for €299

Hop aboard the famous trams in Lisbon, Portugal thanks to this week's deal

As Travel Editor of Weekend, I’m delighted to introduce Examiner Escapes, our brand new travel section. Every week we’ll be bringing you the best of Irish and international travel, for sunseekers, families, intrepid explorers and armchair travellers. Covering hotels and hideaways, adventures and escapes, you’ll find reviews and recommendations to inspire your next holiday. From unmissable Irish experiences to the best sun, ski, spa, sustainable and city breaks, we’ll be covering the hottest destinations and travel trends. Examiner Escapes looks forward to fuelling your wanderlust every weekend!

Meet the Travel Editor

An African elephant in Botswana, Travel Editor and 'safari addict' Jillian Bolger's favourite country.
An African elephant in Botswana, Travel Editor and 'safari addict' Jillian Bolger's favourite country.

A food and travel writer for 25 years, I’ve lived on four continents, making temporary homes in Colombo, Melbourne, Hamburg and Martha’s Vineyard along the way. Having spent four years of my life travelling, I am happiest when outdoors, trying new foods or planning my next trip.

Countries visited: 55, many for extended periods. I like to travel slow.

Favourite country: Botswana. (I’m a safari addict, having been on seven wild African adventures.)

Favourite city: Paris or New York.

Favourite city activity: Taking a guided food tour. It’s a delicious way to learn about a place’s history, society and culture.

Travel highlights: Hiking in Tasmania, sailing around French Polynesia, mountain biking in Bolivia and taking a 2-month road trip from Montréal to Newfoundland.

Most memorable trip: A 20-month adventure that saw us drive the circumference of Australia over 9 months. Followed by five months in Sri Lanka and India, it was the holiday of a lifetime.

Deal of the Week

Lisbon, Jan 22-25 3-nights from €299

Staying at the stylish three-star HF Fénix Music hotel, you’ll be well placed to explore Portugal’s photogenic capital.

Explore the vibrant city, hop aboard the famous trams, take in the beauty of the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos on the banks of the Tagus, feast on the ubiquitous pasteis de nata and enjoy the friendly energy. Return flights from Dublin and 10kg hand luggage per person, book with

Cycle of life

Limerick Greenway
Limerick Greenway

Limerick Greenway opens up five West Limerick hubs along the old 19th century Limerick to Kerry railway line.

Pack your bikes or walking shoes and make a weekend of it, exploring interesting sites such as the market towns of Rathkeale, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale, passing through the restored 115m Barnagh Train Tunnel and across the cast-iron Ferguson’s Viaduct. Highlights along the way include Rathkeale’s Irish Palatine Centre, telling the story of German settlers in Ireland in 1709, the medieval banqueting hall of Desmond Castle and Barnagh Viewing Point, 164m above sea level. Find out about bike hire, amenities and itineraries at

Summer in Toronto

Downtown Toronto
Downtown Toronto

Air Transat, voted World’s Best Leisure Airline by Skytrax, has a new summer schedule offering daily flights from Dublin Airport to Toronto from May 2024. Return economy fares start from €417 including meals and in-flight entertainment.

The route will be serviced by a modern fleet of Airbus A321LR, the greenest aircraft in its category, with a choice of Club Class and Economy Class. In Toronto, passengers travelling from Dublin can also connect to Air Transat’s onward services to Montréal. Book with or your travel agent.

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