Cheap Seats: Bargain airfares to Ireland and Italy
Next weekend — April 27-30Killarney, Ireland: 34.82 pounds round tripFly Ryanair from London Stansted to County Kerry.
April probably offers the last chance to visit this popular tourist town before hordes of summer visitors descend.
Start your holiday in Killarney on the edge of town at the 25-square-mile Killarney National Park, home to three lakes, castles and lovely patches of wildflowers. The visitor center inside Muckross House has maps with hiking hints, and be sure to explore the house with its furniture, prints, needlework and more.
Muckross House showcases weaving, bookbinding and pottery demonstrations by local artisans, and visitors also can see three working farms showcasing agriculture before the widespread use of electricity.
Near the edge of Lower Lake are remains of the 15th-century Ross Castle. If time allows, climb to the top of the tower house for awe-inspiring views of the lake below. From there, take a rowboat out to Innisfallen Island to explore ruins of a seventh-century monastery, 11th-century church and 12th-century priory.
After exploring the national park, exit through the Deenagh Lodge Gate near the Knockreer Estate and head to St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic church — a limestone, Gothic-revival cathedral.
In town, the Museum of Irish Transport offers a collection of vintage and classic cars, bicycles, carriages and just about anything else on wheels. Included is an exhibit of DeLorean cars, made in Ireland in the 1970s, and walls of license plates from around the world.
Evenings offer many pubs and nightspots for a live sing-a-long cabaret.
Next month — May 18-20Cagliari, Italy: 96.95 pounds round tripFly Easyjet from London Luton to Cagliari.
Holidaying in Cagliari should start on the seashore at one of the area’s best known beaches, Poetto. Here you can enjoy relaxation in the sun, play beach volleyball or go snorkeling.
Farther down the stretch is Marina Piccola, where boats can be rented for a couple of hours, by the day or the weekend. At night, the beach is host to live entertainment. Along it are many restaurants, cafes and kiosks to satisfy gastronomic needs. For a delightful culinary treat, visit Fisherman’s Wharf for excellent Sardinian-style seafood.
After a day or two at the beach, venture into the city to explore Cagliari's museums and monuments. The National Archeological Museum has collections of arms, pottery and Phoenician, Punic and Roman art. The Michelin Travel Guide suggests visiting the bronzes from early Sardinia.
A short walk from the museum is a cathedral that houses two 12th-century thrones with panels decorated with intricate carvings depicting scenes from the life of Christ. Inside the cathedral is a crypt containing the remains of 292 Christian martyrs.
For a romantic look into the past, visit the Viper's Grotto. The monument within a cave pays homage to a tale of great love, with 12 poems adorning the walls.
Airfare prices include estimated taxes and are courtesy of the Web site www.skyscanner.net. Prices were verified as of Monday afternoon when Stripes UK went to press. Deals are not guaranteed to be available; restrictions may apply.