Countries, Deals, Europe

Devilish fun in Majorca

You don’t have to be on a lads’ week away (although it helps) to have devilish fun in Majorca.

Just bring along daring kids (the ones not umbilically attached to their phones).

Instead those who see it as a rite of passage to take on the hardest ride in the splash park.

Which in Majorca’s case is the Cola del Diablo.

In the Western Water Park, Magaluf.

Making a splash

Only way is up: Climbing fun

Yes, you’ll see the salmon-coloured Brits bulging out of their boardies coming down the chute.

But if you just ensure you’re a couple of places back in the queue.

To ensure you don’t get the splash back and an eyeful of their builder’s bum.

Then you’ll get that Dad/lad Balearic holiday experience and the bragging rights at that night’s dinner.

A word on eating out too in your Majorca (or anywhere in these parts) holiday.

Try to avoid those restaurants where there are pictures of what you’re about to eat on boards outside.

They rarely are what they’re billed as.

And if you’ve got an ambitious lad who wants to try the Spanish specialty maybe disavow him of the notion.

All of this, of course, when you put yourselves in the hands of those with local knowledge.

A holiday for TUI

Toe in the water: Holiday Village Majorca

And for us our go-to people are TUI.

Holiday Village Majorca, especially, is a hit with the whole family.

Facilities include a spa trip and a trio of à la cartes, as well as a splash park, a football pitch and an Aerial Adventure course.

And best of all you’ll get spending money out of €1,000.

So that’s €849pps, €2,499 (2+1) or €3,479 (2+2) for seven nights on an all-inclusive basis.

With flights departing 16 May.


Countries, Deals, Europe

Love this island Mallorca

Now that it’s cleansing itself from those fame-hungry reality TV stars it’s time again to love this island Mallorca.

The largest of the Balearic Islands offers much more than sun, sea, sand, stripping off and something else beginning with ‘s’.

And that ‘s’ is style as Soller.

Sun, sand and Soller

Love and carriage

Soller in the north is less charted course for most British and Irish who tend towards Magaluf on the west coast.

And you’ll hear more Guten Tags and God Dag than Awrite mate or Howiya.

The best way to reach the town is by tram which comes down from the hills.

And in two years’ time it will celebrate its centenary.

And also instead of salmon pink bodies you’ll see more tanned Teutonic and voluptuous Viking.

Drift away

Saturday night on Mallorca: The cabaret

The beauty of Mallorca though is that wherever you go on the island you can easily avoid the tourist traps.

And so on our stop-off from our Western Med cruise we stayed a few hundred metres away from Magaluf.

And a world away.

With a dinner cabaret night with The Drifters… Saturday night obvs.

Classy Cassidy

Our friends at Cassidy Travel are offering the type of Mallorca villa we all love.

Without the Stepford (or should that be Southend?) Wives and Husbands.

Stay in one of their luxury villas for seven nights from €295pp.

Their four bedrooms can accommodate eight people

And best of all the Irish Travel Agents holiday are putting it on for next month.

And that means all those Love Islanders will be gone.

So you can love this island Mallorca.


Countries, Culture

The day Travel fought back exceptionally

This was the day Travel fought back exceptionally.

I have discovered since returning to the UK last year after 13 years in Ireland that a sinister exceptionalism, dressed up as nationalism, stalks the island.

Our clarion call

Get on board

Britain wants to be treated as an exception in the world from the continent in which the Ice Age determined it must lie.

And within that island its northern part is claiming that it should be treated as an exception.

On account of it having voted against Brexit.

Day of action

Spell it out

Scotland, meanwhile, is caught up in knots.

Because it had voted to stick with England not long before the Brexit referendum.

The separatists want now to reverse that poll which they put down to dirty tricks and misinformation…

Much like an offside goal at the Euros.

They hope that a second referendum which would be in the gift of an anti-vote Boris Johnson.

To free them from the UK.

They want to open the doors to readmission to the EU if only Spain fearful of Catalonian secession would remove their veto.

People power

United front

Yes, I know what you’re thinking…

Is this not a Travel site, and not

Quite right. Only that British exceptionalism is stopping us travelling while the land I left, European Ireland can.

So while the EU prepare to roll out its vaccine passport the UK pushes back its Freedom Day.

Scotland stand up


We’re going into next month, a Freedom which doesn’t contain any such document.

Those of us of a Scottish variety must wait until August.

Only then can we enjoy what we once claimed could never be taken from us… our Freedom.

As is the way with a controlling figure we are being seduced with the offer of something shiny.

To keep us happy in the meantime.

Hail Malta and the Balearics

Malta solitude

Malta and the Balearics are being floated to be put on the Green List.

As welcome as that is we are particularly sore about this.

Because this is one situation where we promote exceptionalism.

We have long been advocating that there should be a special case made for the Spanish Islands.

And Tenerife too

So what about the Canaries? And the Greek islands?

For now, of course, our Travel sector must keep pressing our case.

Real freedoms for our exceptional Travel professionals and customers.

Yesterday was just the start, the day Travel fought back exceptionally.








Africa, America, Countries, Deals, Ireland, Sport, UK

Holidos and Don’ts – the alpha and the omega

So, the alpha and the omega of Holidos and Don’ts as there’s so much disinformation out there.

Greece lightening

Dip your toe into Kythera in Greece

No, you didn’t misread that…

I’m here to lighten the load for our Greek friends who have been painted as super spreaders.

We’ve got Public Health England to blame for the hue and cry.

They reported that the largest number of infections between June and September came from returning holidaymakers from Hellas.

They made up 21% of new cases, compared with 16% from Croatia and 14% from Spain.

The report which still needs to be peer reviewed, of course, doesn’t factor in that that was a pre-vaccine world so let’s not panic.

And book our Greek holidays with confidence.

Our old friends at Travel Department are offering a range of Greek breaks with Athens & The Island Short Break immediately catching the eye.

Amble along the Neighbourhood of Gods in the Plaka district and head up to the Acropolis.

Tip here: take an impossibility cheap taxi with your driver (who will look like Adonis) suggesting you pay what you like.

Travel Department will throw in a full-day cruise of the Saronic Gulf: Hydra, Poros and Aegina.

So that’s four days B&B from €749pp with departures in June and October.

And for a teaser on all things Greek… here’s my odyssey.

Digital Green Passports

Una ciocolatta di calda densa: In Bergamo

And it makes sense that the Irish Travel Agents Association should welcome the European Commission’s proposal for a Digital Green Passport.

The idea is that it will be proof that you’ve been vaccinated, received a negative test result or recovered from Covid.

Of course there’s no pain, no gain.

And I’d take the Scary One drilling that stick up my nose and down my throat.

Like I did to travel to Bergamo…

And thoughts to the Bergamaschi and all our Italian amichi as they tackle lockdown again… Molamia.

Olé for Spain

Hugs for Spain and Catalonia.

And Olé for Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto who is championing our return to Espana.

She told the TV station, Antenna 3: ‘We could be in a position to start implementing the digital passport when FITUR (Spain’s Travel Fair) in Madrid starts on May 19.’

The government over here in the UK has held out May 17 as the date when travel can resume from England.

Although that relies on the findings of the Global Travel Task Force report on April 12.

The Spanish jewel of the Med, The Balearic Islands have already stepped up.

And they have said they will be happy to trial it.

And as a signpost that the British are coming with Jet2 informing the Majorca press to expect a ‘massive’ arrival in June.

Watch this space for updates on Travel returning and…



Our Love Island – what’s yours?

The fact that the Love Islanders never get out of their bed, or each others, in Ibiza says it all about them.

La Isla Blanca (Ibiza) and the Balearic Islands, Majorca, Menorca and Fuerteventura are more, of course, than chavs and raves.

I’ve savoured all the islands and revisit whenever I get the chance.

I would of course though like to get my Valentine out there on my own without the family.

And when I do I will definitely get her on the pedalos by Soller in the north of the island where the Brits never go.

The family’s designated driver she’ll not go careening towards mine which my ditzy colleague did way back then.

Each of course are perennial favourites with us British.

And each have their own identity if only you escape your own tribe.

Magical Majorca

And there are gentler slides too

Majorca: The best thing about Magaluf is the road out and you really don’t have to go that far to arrive at more exclusive and less Britified Majorca.

You know you really don’t want to be eating a full English breakfast wtih a pint of lager under the beating heat with your top off, men! And watching Del Boy on the telly.

You’re better getting along to the nearby Western Water Park.

But watch out for the the salmon-pink Brits making a big splash and dousing you and your young lad just coming off The Beast.

Menorca rocker

Pour me another

And one from my childhood here where my parents got on board the fashion for all things Balearic back in the 70s.

And while they topped up on their tans and made friends with people from their own neck of the woods in I did my bit for international relations.

I had not a word of German but befriended Uwe over games of sand bowls on our Menorca beach.

Being German I think he beat me in a sudden-death shoot-off.

Viva Ibiza

The White Island

The sun must have got to my folks because they allowed me a freedom in the Balearics that they would never ever sanction at home in Scotland.

And that meant allowing me a half a glass of vino in Ibiza.

Pepe, the waiter from Seville who worked in Portinax , topped it up a little bit more!

Ole, ole, ole, ole!

Open wide in Fuerteventura

Take a trip out on a wine boat

Now I blame those very same parents, just like Philip Larkin did, for my drinking habits on those early Thomson, now TUI holidays.

My Dear Old Dad love the exoticism of ordering a Cuba Libre (a rum and coke to you and me) from the beach shack.

And they were changed days as I would be sent to collect them. I would always ask for an Orangina which had specks of actual orange and came in a funky bottle.

And that took the edge off this nine-year-old’s sore head from the previous day’s outing on the boat to Fuerteventura, something a bit like this.

Find out first if they’ve got a porron.. and this is how you do it.

Although Mum knew that already despite never having seen a porron before. She is from Ireland after all where every drop of alchohol is saced!

So where is your Love Island… let me know and we’ll share.