Wave blues away with a staycation

by Sylvia Pownall
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IF THE word ‘staycation’ conjures up memories of rain pounding the roof of your leaky caravan as you lament the lack of WiFi, then maybe you should think again.
This summer, why not take in a spot of motor yachting, whale watching or even kayaking under the stars – all within a train ride of the capital?
Fancy having a whale of a time? Then head to Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa in west Cork where guests can enjoy a two-night package including a close-up of the abundant marine life.

Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa

The offer includes two nights in a deluxe room with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, breakfast each morning in the Gulfstream Restaurant, and access to the heated seawater therapy pool, hammam and relaxation areas.
While the fresh sea air and stunning coastal views are breath-taking in themselves, you can further explore wild West Cork’s coast with a half-day whale watching trip from Baltimore with Dr Nic Slocum.

Guests have been known to spot fin whales, humpbacks, minke whales, dolphins, basking sharks and porpoise, all while taking in the gorgeous scenery. The package costs from €240PPS.

With a stunning location overlooking two magnificent stretches of a Blue Flag beach, just outside the pretty heritage town of Clonakilty, it doesn’t get much more idyllic than this. Visit www.inchydoneyisland.com for more.
A summer break at the newly refurbished Radisson Blu Hotel in Athlone is highly recommended, and a motor yacht cruise along the river Shannon with a bottle of bubbles is the perfect way to take in the sights.

Afterwards, stroll around the town or sit with something chilled to drink in the Quayside Bar & Lounge or out on the sun-drenched terrace overlooking Athlone Marina.
Grab a summer package, including overnight accommodation for two, a delicious buffet breakfast and a choice of romantic activity for two, from €119. Call 090 644 2600 to book (www.radissonblu.ie/hotel-athlone).

If you’re feeling brave, why not discover Limerick city under the stars with a date on the River Shannon via The George Hotel?

The four-star hotel in the heart of Limerick is the perfect base from which to explore all that the vibrant city has to offer. Start your date night in Da Vincenzos Food & Wine Hall, the hotel’s famous Italian eatery, before making your way to the River Shannon to meet the guides for a unique guided night-time kayak tour.


Discover Limerick’s fascinating history under the stars as you kayak along the river in the darkness soaking up the city’s famous landmarks – including the impressive 13th century medieval King John’s Castle.

A Date Night on the River Shannon package is priced from €153PPS and includes overnight accommodation in one of the stylish and contemporary bedrooms, a three-course dinner in Da Vincenzos Food & Wine Hall, night kayaking on the River Shannon, a complimentary drink on your return, cupcakes in your bedroom, freshly prepared breakfast the following morning and a late check out. For more information or to book, see www.georgelimerick.com or call 061 460 400.

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