Based in Kerry

Noreen Lane

It's Nice To Meet You

Having worked in the travel industry for many years I have experience in all areas of travel. I specialise in Honeymoons, Groups, Business Travel, Long-haul Travel and Cruises.

As I am passionate about travel, I will provide you with a personal, friendly and professional service ensuring that you get the holiday that you deserve. I pride myself in offering the highest level of customer care which enables me to take the hassle out of booking, thus enabling you to have a stress free and very enjoyable holiday and at great value too.

Being part of Travel Counsellors affords me the very latest technology as I work with all the leading tour operators, airlines, car hire companies, hotels, cruise lines etc. I have access to hundreds of excellent suppliers which allows me to offer my customers a level of choice and value that you will not find in a traditional travel agency or on the internet.

I have travelled extensively to most parts of Europe and have also travelled to the USA, South Africa and many other international destinations as well as cruising the Mediterranean. I have extensive knowledge of Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, the Caribbean and all the major international cruise companies and have cruised the Mediterranean. Travel Counsellors are licensed and bonded in Ireland, meaning your money is protected in every way.

I am available at any time that suits you to discuss and organise your trip. You have the security of knowing that I am available to you at all stages of your holiday and I will be your personal contact throughout the experience. Whatever your travel plans I am confident that I can turn your holiday dreams into reality and all from the comfort of your own home. Whether it is a business trip, group holiday, a short European break, a ski or sun holiday, a cruise or a round-the-world trip of a life time, a special event in your life like a special birthday, your romantic honeymoon, amazing wedding abroad or wedding anniversary, I would be delighted to help you.

So, if you want a service where you will have your own personal travel consultant to organise your travel, who will take the stress and time out of organising your holiday why not give me a call for a chat and together we can create that wonderful holiday you deserve.

If your holiday is important to you, it is important to me!


Contact Me

Whatever your holiday needs I'm here to help you, so simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact details on and I can get things started for you:

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My Videos

A Quick Introduction


This is a quick introduction to me and what I do. If you like what I offer and are interested in I organising your next holiday why not get in touch.

Beyond the Horizon


A taste of what we have to look forward to. Can't wait!



When you get a taste of what My TC has to offer you will wonder how you did without it for so long. A comment many of my customers have said.

Magical Disneyland Florida


Disneyland Florida is a guaranteed fun filled holiday for all the family young and old. I have been to this amazing destination and would highly recommend it.

Rocky Mountaineer, Canada


The Rocky Mountaineer is a fantastic way to see the Canadian Rockies and can be combined with Vancouver, Calgary or any other Canadian city of your choice.

Dubai Cruise


A Cruise is a fantastic way to see many destination all in one holiday and can be combined with the luxurious city of Dubai also.

South Africa, Truly Stunning and Diverse


South Africa one of my favourite holiday destinations as there is so such to experience and see that I look forward to returning there time and time again.

My Blog

I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.

Norwegian Getaway Adventure

21 September 2021

After not having travelled for almost two years, it was so exciting to be invited by Norwegian Cruise Lines onboard their ship Norwegian Getaway with some of my Travel Counsellor colleagues to experience what was an amazing trip from start to finish. This mini cruise was especially for travel agents across Europe to experience what cruising was like during and post Covid and was an introduction to Norwegian Cruise Line's return to cruise programme. We experienced all the health & safety protocols from the moment we arrived at the cruise port to when we returned. Initially I did feel a little apprehensive about travelling as we come out of a pandemic however as I was fully vaccinated and all the protocols that were required to travel with both the airline and the cruise company, I must say I felt very comfortable and at ease travelling. I flew from Dublin to Ciampino Airport Italy and after arriving, a 1 hour 15 minutes transfer took us to Civitavecchia Cruise Port where our ship Norwegian Getaway was waiting us. Once we checked in, we were free to go to our balcony cabin or explore the ship. We spent 4 nights at sea after departing Civitavecchia with a night at sea, a stop off at Palma, Majorca to explore this beautiful city, another night at sea and back again to Civitavecchia for our flight home. Norwegian Getaway has some magnificent amenities to offer, complimented with unforgettable destinations such as the countries across the Mediterranean. The Waterfront, an innovative, industry-first open-air promenade designed to connect guests with the ocean gives you some spectacular views while you dine in one of the 20 dining options on board including speciality dining. There is lots to keep you occupied while on board for everyone of all ages from experiencing the thrill of five water slides, and three levels of action-packed activities in the sports complex. The excitement and entertainment continue with Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet which I must say was a fantastic show along with the many music and comedy shows throughout the ship. This ship with its Miami influence was built for socialising, with most of the action taking place around 678 Ocean Place, the three-deck open space around which many of Getaway's bars are located. Have dinner in Le Bistro on Deck 6, catch a Second City improv comedy show across the way at Headliners, and then climb the stairs to hit the Casino on Deck 7 before finishing the night at Sugarcane Mojito Bar on Deck 8 without missing a beat. If you fancy some seclusion or a break from other guests, the Vibe Beach Club and the Thermal Suite spa lounge provide sanctuary and are the places to go to, but you pay an additional fee for the privilege. If you are looking for some luxury why not book a room in the Haven, Norwegian's ship-within-a-ship enclave, which has a small pool, restaurant, and lounge exclusively for Haven suite residents. I would highly recommend a cruise holiday with Norwegian Cruise Lines for both couples and families alike. A cruise holiday on board a Norwegian Cruise will allow you to explore the white sand beaches and deep-blue waters on a Mediterranean or Caribbean Cruise, explore history up close in Europe, or just relax at sea on a Transatlantic cruise. There is so much to see and do that you would be pressed to do everything during your trip. If you would like more information on Norwegian Getaway or on any of Norwegian Cruise Lines other ships or destinations, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Cruising is my passion and as a cruise expert I am here to give you the best advice for your next cruise holiday to anywhere in the world.

Is a holiday at a Camping Resort one of the Best Family Holidays?

13 August 2018

This was our first camping holiday and I must say we really did enjoy it. It allowed us great freedom to do what we wanted on any given day. The staff at Sanguli Camping & Resort were brilliant very friendly and helpful. The mobile home was adequate for a family of four and it was great we had the outdoor space and BBQ also. The campsite itself was kept spotless and well maintained by the resort staff. There were excellent facilities throughout the campsite with 3 pools, an outdoor theatre for nightly shows where you could also eat and drink while the shows were on, a good variety of restaurants within the campsite and, if you preferred to eat in, there were a number of various little supermarkets which are reasonably priced and are scattered throughout the campsite with a Lidl supermarket 15 minutes’ walk from the Africa reception. There was also a little bakery with freshly baked goods. A lovely little take away for pizzas etc is available if you didn't fancy going out or eating in. While this campsite is very large it was very safe for kids of all ages. We stayed at the Africa section of the campsite which is near the main building and main facilities and is the newest section of the campsite. This campsite was very well laid out and had its own launderette if you needed to wash clothes. If you walk from the Africa section of the campsite to the end of the campsite it will bring out onto the main street of Salou and across the road is the beach. Walk 3 minutes along the promenade and you are in Cambills and walk 10-15 minutes and you reach the centre of Salou. Eating out is Salou is reasonably priced if you wanted a change from the self-catering. Sanguli Camping & Resort is very well located and getting to see popular attractions is very easy. If you fancy a day in Barcelona with its beautiful architecture, museums and history, it is just an hour and a half drive from Salou by bus or car. For the soccer enthusiasts a visit to Camp Neu is a must and will take a couple of hours from start to finish with some time for lunch included before you head to the city to see the attractions. If you are looking to getting the adrenaline pumping a visit to Portaventura Theme Park and Ferrari Land is just a 20 minutes’ drive by bus from the campsite. If you fancy visiting a water park, Caribe Water Park is next to Portaventura Theme Park and Aquapolis Waterpark is just 20 minutes from the campsite, where a fun filled day is assured. I would highly recommend the five-star Sanguli Camping & Resort for families as there is lots to see and do in the resort and you also have other activities in Salou a within a short drive. It is also a brilliant holiday for the price conscious customer as it can be as cheap or as expensive as you want depending on what you want to do while in Salou. For the couple of nights where we dined out it was very reasonable. I would recommend booking popular attractions before your go on holiday especially during peak holiday months to avoid queues and to get the best prices.

Walt Disney World, Orlando - The most magical holiday of them all

03 October 2016

Walt Disney World Resort is the place where stresses disappear, fun reigns and imaginings come true! Picture six incredible Disney Parks, two exciting night time entertainment districts and a state of the art sports complex. More choices then you can imagine for dining, shopping and recreations. It’s easy to see why Walt Disney World is the number one destination on the planet. I recently had the opportunity to travel to Walt Disney World Orlando as a guest of Walt Disney & Aer Lingus as part of group for 5 days and flew direct from Dublin to Orlando direct on an 8 ½ hour flight. As we had completed US Immigration in Dublin prior to our departure, on our arrival in Orlando we just collected our luggage and within 20 mins of landing we were at our hotel using the Disney Express shuttle bus. The whole experience was seamless, fast and stress free. As our time was limited in Orlando we had a jam back itinerary which ensured we experienced all what Walt Disney World had to offer as a magical and wonderful holiday destination. During our trip we stayed at the Port Orleans Disney Resort, French Quarter. This French themed hotel was ideal for our stay as it is just 1.7 kms from downtown Disney and has regular free shuttle bus services to all the Disney theme parks. I found the staff at this hotel to be very friendly and just couldn’t do enough for us during our stay. We got to visit the four Disney theme parks and sample the many rides, shows and various performances. Firstly we visited Hollywood Studio where movie magic comes to life and is awash in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age. At this theme park we got to test our level of fear with the Rock n’ Roller Coaster and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, both not for the faint hearted but very enjoyable. In the afternoon we travelled to the downtown area of Disney to Disney Springs which is perfect for a spot of shopping with plenty of restaurants, bars and entertainment. When we were exhausted from shopping we had a wonderful dinner at an Irish Pub and Restaurant called Raglan Road which is a must if going to Disney Springs as the food was out of this world and we also had some traditional Irish entertainment. After dinner we got the opportunity to attend a Cirque du Soleil show called “La Nouba” which was very entertaining and funny. The following morning we were in for a lovely treat as we were taken to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa for breakfast and got to meet many of the Disney characters such as Winnie the Pooh, Tiger, Mary Poppins to name a few and got some lovely photo opportunities. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a deluxe family resort which has a Victorian style décor and is just one stop from Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park. After breakfast we went on various Disney resort site tours and got to see some of the popular hotels that people stay in when visiting Disney world with various star ratings for all budgets. At Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club you can delight in the formal grace of a grand New England-style yacht club at this lakeside hotel. It is walking distance to Epcot and a convenient boat ride to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Disney’s Caribbean Resort is a tropical paradise built around 45-acre Barefoot Bay, this Resort hotel brings the Caribbean Islands to you with swaying palm trees, colonial architecture and so much more and also hosts colourful guest rooms, some pirate-themed based on the film Pirates of the Caribbean! My favourite has have been the Disney’s Art of Animation Resort where you are surrounded in the artistry, enchantment and magic of Walt Disney and Disney Pixar movies. This resort invites you to explore the storybook landscapes seen in such classics as Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid. It also boasts having the largest pool in Disney World and has two life guards on duty at all times. In the afternoon we travelled to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme park you encounter the magic of nature with rare creatures, authentic adventures and world-class entertainment which has one of the largest animal theme parks in the world. At this park a must is Expedition Everest, River Rapids and a 20 minute Kilimanjaro Safari. A favourite among families is the Lion King Show definitely worth seeing. In the evening we had dinner at Tiffin’s Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom where you set off on a culinary expedition of international cuisine inspired by exploration and adventure. The following day we had a real treat where we were taken to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park where we experienced exhilarating waterslides, glide down the lazy river, and plunge down the rushing rapids to name but a few fun activities while lounging in our cabana with some drinks and lunch. After lunch we departed for Disney’s Magic Kingdom. This was a truly magical experience where fairy-tale dreams come true for children of all ages. You can delight in classic attractions, enchanting fireworks, musical parades and beloved Disney Characters across six whimsical lands. My personal favourites were Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and it’s a small world. In the evening we dined at The Crystal Palace for a buffet dinner and got to meet more Disney characters. Afterwards we attended Mickey’s not so Scary Halloween Party and fire display which was an absolutely magical display, you would have to be there to experience it yourself. On our final day we had the privilege of travelling to Port Canaveral for a Ship Tour of Disney Dream. While on board the ship we got to see all the facilities and various staterooms. We also got the opportunity to sample their food at lunch in the Enchanted Garden Restaurant. In the afternoon we travelled to Epcot which was our final theme park. At this park we got to explore exciting attractions including Mission Space which is not for the faint hearted, Spaceship Earth, Soarin which is a definite must do. In the evening we ate dinner around the world a World Showcase, which shares with guests the culture and cuisine of 11 countries. After enjoying some French Cuisine we had a private dessert party while enjoying a spectacular display of IllumiNations – Reflections of Earth where we had uninterrupted view of the fireworks. As we stayed at a Disney property during out trip we got the chance to use the “My Disney Experience” app which allows you to customise your trip prior to your departure. Walt Disney World is a wonderful and magical holiday for both families of all ages and for the big kid within all of us and is one I would highly recommend for people of all ages. For further information give me a call and I would be delighted to make your Disney dreams come true. To quote Winnie the Pooh – “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Malaga, a city of culture, history and gastronomy

27 August 2015

A holiday to Malaga, the capital of the Costa del Sol, means finding beautiful landscapes, fabulous beaches, delicious food and interesting customs and traditions. It means discovering a rich cultural heritage, amazing coastal areas, and charming white hinterland villages. The city of Malaga is a Mediterranean seaport on the Costa del Sol in the Andalucía region of southern Spain. Famed for its rich architectural history, delicious Mediterranean cuisine, outstanding local wines and beautiful sandy beaches as well as being the birthplace of Picasso. While there you can observe and admire the monumental heritage which Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs have left. You can enjoy the beauty of the art on display in the numerous museums which are open every day. On my visit to Malaga city I took the Hop on Hop off bus tour. I find this attraction invaluable as it gave me a great insight into this beautiful city and its museums such as Carmen Thyssen Museum which has a collection of 200 works of Spanish artists, The Malaga Cathedral, The Roman Theatre and The Castle of Gibralfaro. I also visited Plaza de la Merced where you enter into the Picasso route of Malaga. There you will find the Birthplace Museum where original works of Pablo Ruiz Picasso are on display, both in the permanent collection and also on loan. If you are interested in a spot of shopping the emblematic street Calle Lariosis, the important shopping area of Malaga, is where the best designer shops are located. After a busy day of exploring Malaga city is was time to sample the rich local and international gastronomy in one of the many establishments which are to be found in the old quarter of Malaga. Fried fish, gazpacho, Malaga salad... And all accompanied by the delicious wines which Spain produces. On Plaza de la Constitution you will find many bars, tapas bars, restaurants and cafes which are buzzing with activity. There you can take the opportunity to make some purchases in some of the excellent shops where you will find some good bargains while you feel the breeze, the sun and savour the aroma of sea and jasmine which perfume the city. Malaga is a brilliant city so ensure that when you visit the Costa del Sol that you take time out to visit this beautiful and vibrant city. If you would like some more information please give me a call and I'd be delighted to help you plan your city break to Malaga.

South Africa – Amazing wildlife, vibrant cities and world-class wines

22 September 2014

It could be said that South Africa is fast becoming the adventure capital of the world as there is so much to see and do in this beautiful country that you would need several visits to scratch the surface. I recently had the pleasure of visiting South Africa where I spent a week experiencing its beauty, culture, wildlife and its friendly people. On our first night we arrived in Johannesburg and stayed at the City Lodge Hotel at the airport. The next day we were transferred to Pretoria which is popularly known as Jacaranda due to the Jacaranda trees planted in its streets, parks and gardens. While in Pretoria we stopped off at Rovos Rail Station for a site inspection of their luxury trains and for some lunch. Travelling by train through South Africa is a great way to gain access to other parts of South Africa that you otherwise would not be able to via car or public transport as the scenery is just amazing. After departing Pretoria we took a five hour drive to Madikwe Private Game Reserve in the North West Province where we stayed at the Thakadu River Camp. My stay there was an amazing experience as I got to see the “Big Five” which include the Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhinoceros. We were very fortunate as it is known that people who have stayed for days at a game reserve may not get the opportunity to see all five, however as we had an excellent game reserve driver called Tshulu who was fantastic at finding them or some may say it may have been the luck of the Irish! After staying a few nights at the game reserve we flew from Johannesburg to Cape Town and stayed at the Adderly Hotel in the centre of the city. Cape Town is one of those amazing cities where you find yourself saying “I would love to live here” with its beautiful backdrop against Table Mountain, lush greenery, sandy beaches, markets, boutiques, Robbin Island which is a mere 45 minutes ferry away and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront which has its fabulous restaurants, shops and social areas. There is so much to do in and near Cape Town. While in Cape Town we visited Robbin Island, this is where Nelson Mandela was a prisoner for 17 years. I found this to be a very emotional part of my trip as we were given a tour of the prison by a former prisoner where we got a good insight to life as a prisoner there and also got a tour of Robbin Island itself. On our arrival back to Cape Town from Robbin Island we took a bicycle tour of the city. This allowed us to visit Cape Town City Hall where on February 11, 1990, only hours after his release from prison, Nelson Mandela made his first public speech from the balcony of Cape Town City Hall. Before we departed we took a cable car trip to the top of Table Mountain which overlooks Cape Town and the views from there are just spectacular. An hour’s journey from Cape Town took us to the wine district, while there we stayed at the Kleine Zalze which has its own winery and golf course which is set among the valleys in Stellenbosch. During our visit to the wine district we visited wineries in Stellenbosch, Babylyonstern and Franschoek where we did some wine tasting at Waterford Wine Estate and Rickety Bridge Winery. The scenery in these areas is breath-taking and is a must visit for all wine enthusiasts. I was pleasantly surprised by South Africa’s excellent infrastructure, good air links, quality of accommodation, its beautiful countryside, excellent food and its very friendly, good natured and helpful people and how safe I felt while visiting there. So if you are thinking of visiting South Africa, don’t hesitate as you will be delighted that you did. I for one cannot wait to return again really soon. If you have any questions with regards to my trip or would like to plan a trip to South Africa please do not hesitate to give me a call and I’d be delighted to help you.

The Stunning Gold Coast of Costa Dorada

07 September 2015

If it’s a lively, family-friendly, fun filled holiday you are looking for combined with beautiful long golden sandy beaches with clear water well look no further than the Costa Dorada in Catalonia. The Costa Dorada or Gold Coast as it is also known as has a coast line which stretches approximately 216km down the east coast of Spain facing the Mediterranean Sea. I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Costa Dorada where I got a great insight as to what it has to offer as a holiday destination. It consists of the resorts of Salou, PortAventura, Cap Salou, La Pineda and Cambrils. When we arrived we took a coach which took an hour and a half trip direct from the airport to our hotel in La Pineda called the Hotel Estival Park where we stayed for the duration of our trip. This is a 4* hotel and is very popular with couples and families as it has a hotel run kids club, has great facilities for kids and good entertainment for the adults also. It is 250m from the beach, 700m from the centre and 5 minutes walk from the Aquasplash Estival Resort and Aquopolis Waterpark and is a short bus ride to the famous Portaventura Theme Park. Once we had checked in and settled into the hotel we were taken via coach to the city of Tarragona which is the capital of the Costa Dorada and has been awarded the World Heritage designation by UNESCO. On our second day of our trip we visited the PortAventura Theme Park. PortAventura which is set in the heart of the Costa Dorada and is one of the biggest theme parks in Europe, with thrilling roller coasters, shows and a waterpark which has everything both old and young kids alike could wish for. PortAventura Resort comprises of the PortAventura theme park, the PortAventura Aquatic Park, Hotel PortAventura which is part of the theme park and about 5-10 mins walk are Hotel El Paso, Hotel Caribe and Hotel Gold River. We visited all of these hotels and they all come highly recommended due to their close proximity to the theme park are very family orientated with an excellent standard of accommodation. That afternoon we visited the resort of Cambrils, it is a welcoming resort which has a first class range of holiday facilities, restaurants and shops which give it a unique personality and is also known as the “Gastronomic Capital of the Costa Dorada“ and one of my personal favourites. Its attractive port gives it a distinctive maritime atmosphere and boasts of cafes, restaurants and a yacht club. The following morning we visited Salou where we were given a tour along the promenade. Salou is a unique resort on the Mediterranean coast. It boasts of 7 km of golden sandy beaches and coves and with it’s gently shelving shores and shallow waters it’s ideal for families with children. We also visited the Lumine Lakes Golf Club which has an 18-hole golf course. In the afternoon we drove to Reus which was a 45 minute drive to the Gaudi Centre which displays the works of local Architect & Engineer - Gaudi and many of his buildings can be seen in Barcelona which are absolutely stunning. I must say that the Costa Dorada was way more than I had expected it to be and would definitely recommend it as a holiday destination to families with kids, golf enthusiasts or anyone who is looking for a relaxing sun holiday. Should you have any questions in relation to this destination or wish to book your next holiday there please do not hesitate to contact me as I’d be delight to take your call and help in anyway.

A Fabulous Family Holiday in the Algarve

15 November 2013

I recently went on a wonderful family holiday to the beautiful resort of Albufeira in the sunny Algarve. We took a two and a half hour direct flight from Cork to Faro Airport. Faro airport is approximately 25-30 minutes’ transfer from Albufeira. We stayed at the five star Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort and Spa hotel which is about a 15 minute walk from the centre of Albufeira. We had a family suite with sea view and balcony. It was just beautiful to wake up to hear the sound of waves lapping onto the beach - it's that close! The suite consisted of two separate bedrooms, two separate bathrooms, a mini fridge and a TV in each room which was ideal for a family of four. This hotel has fantastic facilities for families and couples alike. It has two large swimming pools one of which is heated and a baby pool. It also had a brilliant kids club which had a daily programme, a playground area, tennis and basketball court, a games room and TV room for teenagers. The hotel has private direct access for hotel residence to the beautiful beach of Santa Eulalia. For the adults there is a spa and music entertainment at weekends. We stayed on a Bed and Breakfast board basis there was loads of hot and cold choices which even included champagne and their freshly squeezed orange juice was just to die for. On the evening of my daughter’s birthday we had dinner at the hotel where the hotel surprised her with a complimentary birthday cake which was a great surprise to us all and really made my daughter’s birthday. I felt this was a nice personal touch by the hotel. For dinner there was a great variety of hot and cold food buffet style and there was also an A la Carte menu available which had a great variety of food also. Most evenings we would take the complimentary hotel shuttle bus to the old town or new town “The Strip”. The old town is very family orientated with its pretty cobbled streets lined with quaint little restaurants, bars, cafes and shops. It also has a beautiful beach called ‘Fishermans Beach’ which the old town overlooks. Here we watched local people carve the most beautiful objects out of sand, it was fascinating to watch and the attention to detail was amazing. The New Town or “The Strip” runs downwards from the Hotel Montechoro, all the way down to the beach, dissected by the main road to Albufeira. It's full of bars and restaurants of all types, catering mainly for English/Irish tourists, along with some shops and a chemist (Farmacia). The "tourist train" starts and finishes half way down the Strip, just past the main crossroads, outside the Vilanova complex. Most bars are open fronted, so there are lots of people watching opportunities. In general they are loud with a mix of Karaoke, Sky Sports and live acts/tribute night and more suited to a younger clientele. The Grande Real Santa Eulalia Hotel and Spa is a very relaxing and peaceful hotel with very friendly staff, good for re-charging with more action and nightlife a short taxi ride away. Albufeira is perfect for families, couples and singles of all ages and is central for all the tourist attractions, with the added bonus of a short transfer from Faro airport. We are looking forward to our next family holiday in the Algarve as we had the perfect family holiday!

Madeira - "The Beautiful Pearl of the Sea"

11 March 2013

I recently visited the island of Madeira with a group of Travel Agents. Madeira is an island located in the Mid-Atlantic and is about 1000 kilometres south west of Portugal and 600 kilometres west of the coast of Morocco. This area is known as the “Pearl of the Atlantic” as it comprises of two islands Madeira and Porto Santo, Madeira being the larger of the two. The weather is described by the locals as being about the most perfect climate in the world. It’s never too hot with temperatures between 17-24 degrees. However it can reach 33° when the ‘leste’ is when the east wind from the Sahara Desert flows for a few days each year. When I was there it was between 20-22° which was very nice. I flew with SATA Airlines direct to Funchal which was a 3 ½ hour direct flight from Dublin. I found the flight to be very comfortable with complimentary hot meals, in-flight refreshments and entertainment. SATA provide convenient daytime return flights from Dublin. They also allow you to check-in one free 20 KG bag and for any Golf enthusiasts’ one pre-booked Golf bag. The Transfer from the Airport to Funchal takes 30 minutes. There are many three, four and five star hotels in the Lido tourist area of Madeira with most of the four and five star hotel situated on the Cliffside overlooking the promenade or ocean and the three star hotels or apartments are just 300 to 400 metres from the promenade. On our journey around Funchal we visited the Market Place. Here you can find some fresh produce such as fruit, flowers, fish and local Madeira Wine and it is also where the locals do a lot of their daily shopping. There are two major shopping centres in Funchal ; The Dolce Vita in the Centre of Funchal and The Forum Shopping Centre which is in the Lido tourist area. The majority of beaches in Madeira are black sand and pebble. Praia Formosa is the largest free public beach on Madeira Island. Located west of Funchal, it consists of four mix sandy and pebble beaches, known as Praia Nova, Praia Formosa, Praia dos Namorados and Praia do Arieiro, all offering excellent water quality, Blue Flag certified and having great facilities such as, parking, sport activities, skate board ramp, changing rooms, lifeguard surveillance, snack bars and restaurants and a children’s play area. Also along the seaside is the starting point of a long promenade linking to Lido beach. The island of Porto Santo is the best place for golden sandy beaches. A ferry from Funchal will take you on the 2 hour journey to this beautiful island and if you decided to visit Madeira, a trip to Porto Santo is a must. Contrary to popular belief Madeira had got a reputation for being an island for older people, however this could not be further from the truth. Madeira caters for all ages, couples, families, groups and solo travellers and it also has plenty of activities for all ages. The city really comes to life at night-time with its bars open until 7a.m. in the morning. Water sports such as sailing, fishing, whale and dolphin watching are very popular. Levada walks are some of the best opportunities to get in tune with the nature and lush green landscape of the island. The Santa Cruz Aqua Park and the Madeira Theme Park in Santana are very popular with families as well as Horse Riding for all levels. Golf is available on two spectacular golf courses both with lovely views and excellent conditions. The popular Palheiro Golf course - 18 hole golf course was designed by Robert Trent Jones and hosts the Madeira Island open which is part of the PGA European Tour and is rated as one of the best in Europe. Monte Toboggan Ride which is a ride down from Monte to Funchal on a wooden sledge down narrow winding streets which is steered and pushed by two men; this downhill ride takes 10 minutes. Adventurous, yet a safe mode of transport. Madeira has a great natural beauty with tropical gardens and spectacular panoramic views. It’s green mountains, cliffs, steep valleys, flowers, sun, its blue sea, and hospitality melt together to create an island of sublime peace. Whether you’re a first timer or a returning visitor, this unique island will leave you speechless with its stunning natural beauty and culture. I for one am really looking forward to my next trip to Madeira if you have any questions about Maderia please give me a call and I will be happy to help.

Soaking up the Parisian atmosphere

22 February 2013

With stunning architecture, atmospheric cafes and bars and a rich cultural history, it’s no surprise that Paris is considered one of the most romantic and most visited cities in the world. I recently had the opportunity to spend a weekend there in October with a friend, which I found was not enough time to explore and appreciate what this fantastic city has to offer. We flew from Cork Airport to Charles De Galle. On arrival we took the train to the city centre which took 30 minutes. On arriving in Paris City Centre we made our way to our hotel by taxi. While we were in Paris we stayed at the Hotel Atmospheres on Rue des Ecoles. This hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel not far from Notre Dame Cathedral. We found the staff to be very friendly and helpful. Each morning the breakfast was lovely and there is a bus stop right outside the hotel. If you would like to see some of the tourist attractions the No. 62 bus stops outside the door & will take you to the main attractions. Alternatively you could take the hop on hop off bus tour of the city. After settling into our hotel we decided to take this bus as it allowed us to familiarise ourselves in relation to where we were in the city and what tourist attractions were nearby. After our tour of the city we had dinner at Le Restaurante which served beautiful French cuisine at affordable prices. On the second day we left the hotel early to avoid the queues at the Eiffel Tower. The views of the city and the Seine River were spectacular. We then went onto visit the Champs d’Elysse and l’Arc de Triomphe whichare in close proximity of the Eiffel Tower. We decided to have a light lunch in a little restaurant called Pom’Cannelle on rue des Deux Ponts on the Ile St. Louis. They serve the most beautiful quiches, salads and ice-creams and it is always a good sign when you see a lot of the locals dining there. We then went onto visit the Sante Chapelle which perhaps is one of the most beautiful buildings in France with its stained glass which is breath taking. On our way back to the hotel we walked down the length of the Champs Elysees to the Place de la Concorde which is about a mile and took the metro to Notre Dame which is not far from our hotel. After visiting Notre Dame we dined at Le Pre Verre on rue Thenard which was also close to our hotel. This restaurant is very sophisticated and very popular and I would suggest that you get the concierge at your hotel to book this restaurant as it can be difficult to get a reservation there. We found that the food was unique and had some very interesting combinations of flavours which were really excellent. On our last day we visited the Louvre Museum and then took the metro up to Mountmartre to see the Sacre Coeur. For lunch we stopped off at a little café called Café La Palette which serves a menu to whet any palate. After lunch we wandered through the nearby beautiful Luxembourg Garden. We headed back to our hotel early, however on the way back to the hotel we visited the lovely Cluny Museum in a wonderful medieval mansion which had lovely Unicorn tapestries. On our last night we decided to take an evening cruise on the Seine where we also had dinner. It was absolutely fantastic to see the city all lit up and in particular the Eiffel Tower at night, definitely a must while visiting Paris. After dinner we went to see the Moulin Rouge Show with VIP passes which enabled us to skip the queues. Unfortunately a weekend is very short for this fantastic city and I cannot wait for my next visit back there to explore this city further.

Lovely London!

15 October 2012

I travelled on a Family holiday with my husband and three children. We fly to London very often as we have relatives there so I would know London quite well. We flew from Kerry to Stansted Airport and took the Stansted Express to Liverpool Street Station. While in London we stayed at the Hilton Hotel in Islington. To get a good look at London we decided to take a Tour of London on The London Bus. This was an excellent way to see London as you can hop on and hop off at various tourist attractions. Also it was great value as the tickets purchased are valid for 6 months. While in London we saw the following attractions: The London Eye, which is a major feature of the London Skyline and is the world’s highest observation wheel with 32 capsules which holds 25 people each. The journey takes 30 minutes. Madame Tussauds: (A real life wax Museum). Madame Tussauds enables you to come face to face with many of the rich and famous celebrities on the Red carpet. Celebrities such as Sean Connery, David Beckham, most members of the Royal Family, Madonna, Lewis Hamilton to name but a few. Needless to say I took loads of photos with my favourite celebrities. Tower of London: The Tower of London has over 900 years of history as a royal palace, prison, place of execution and a jewel house. Trafalgar Square is great for families and as a meeting place for people. Here you can feed the birds and watch some street entertainment. London’s Big Ben/Clock Tower as it is also known, houses the Houses of Parliament. A light above the clock is illuminated letting the public know when Parliament is in session. Buckingham Palace: Outside Buckingham Palace you can experience a free display of British pomp and ceremony as you the watch the changing of the guards at various different time during the day. Kensington Gardens, covers 100 acres and is home to Kensington Palace which was once home to Diana Princess of Wales prior to her death. Covent Garden, is an excellent place to meet up with people, great restaurants and cafés in this area and also good for free street entertainment. Hyde Park is set on 350 acres with beautiful lush trees and landscaped flower gardens with a large lake. It’s an excellent open space for children and families as it also has a playground, tennis courts, cycling area, and track for horse riding. A visit to Hyde Park is a must as it would make you feel like you were not in the centre of London. We went to see Mama Mia at the Novello Theatre which was absolutely fantastic, a must when visiting London. There is an excellent choice of areas for shopping; Oxford Street is excellent for high wnd shopping with shops like Selfridges etc., Bond Street for the John Lewis department store, Oxford Circus for Nike Town & Top Shop, Knightsbridge for luxury shopping with the famous Harrods with its seven floors to choose from and Harvey Nichols. Stone Street is the shopping area for designer clothes in shops such as Gucci, Armani etc. Camden Town is great for its night life and markets. A must area to shop in is Borough Market which only opens to the public from Thursdays to Saturdays. This is an excellent food market and is over 2000 years old and is undercover which means you can enjoy it no matter the weather. Portobello Road is an excellent area for antiques shopping and to get your London memorabilia. It is here the film Notting Hill was filmed. There is a wide variety of Restaurants in London to tantalise your taste buds. The most memorable restaurant we had dinner in was in Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse Restaurant on Kings Road near Kensington Tube station. Excellent food at very affordable prices and very friendly and helpful staff. I would definitely recommend London as a romantic break away or a family holiday as it has a lot to offer.

Beautiful Sunny Lanzarote

15 October 2012

My husband and I went to Puerto Del Carmen and stayed in the San Francisco Park Apartments which are located in the heart of the town of Puerto Del Carmen, and are only minutes’ walk from the beaches, restaurants pubs cafes and night light. We departed in early December from Cork to Arrecife for 1 week. We had left really cold weather in Ireland and the first thing I remember was when the door of plane opened the lovely hot balmy air that hit my face. It was like being in a different world. We were transferred to our apartment via coach which took 20-25 minutes. During our stay we went on The Grand Tour via coach. Firstly the tour took us to beautiful El Golfo where Olivin Stone was discovered. From there you can see the rugged coastline of Los Hervideros and the salt flats of Janubio where we learnt about the importance of salt extraction in the islands history. At Timanfaya National Park, Home of the Fire Mountain, we saw geothermal experiments, demonstrating the power of heat just below the surface. We had time to go into the natural oven where food was cooked. We then went on a camel ride around the base of the volcano which I must say was an experience. We then went on a magnificent crater tour where we got the best views of the lava fields, where we had a tasty three course meal. We journeyed through a Canarian village called La Geria home of the most unusual vineyards in the world. We learnt the history and process of wine making with the opportunity to taste the wines and buy them on site if we so wished. We ended our trip with a visit to Los Jameos del Agua with its magnificent subterranean gardens and the magnificent auditorium. The 'Jameo Grande' has been turned into a beautiful garden of tropical plants species centred around a vibrant, turquoise-coloured pool. At the end of this 'Jameo', an auditorium of 600 seats has been built which possesses excellent acoustics. It is the venue for many concerts. Teguise is a beautiful picturesque village with buildings dating back to the 17th Century displaying beautiful carving in wood around the doors and windows. At the weekly market, any different stalls lined the cobbled streets selling all sorts of goods ranging from clothes, shoes, ceramics, handbags, paintings, toys and many other crafts. Don’t forget to haggle if buying anything. Although not as boisterous as its neighbouring Tenerife, Puerto Del Carmen is the ideal holiday destination for young and lively couples and families as it can cater for both. It has beautiful beaches which stretch for 6km, culture, fantastic scenery and a lively nightlife. It has lots of activities to keep everyone occupied such sport activities like windsurfing, marine excursions, deep sea fishing, scuba diving and recreational centres. Other activities include shopping, dining in the array of restaurants which cater for every palate, pubs and nightclubs which are along the La Playas Avenue on the main street. I can’t recommend this resort enough and look forward to my next visit there.

My customer stories

Sent by Ciaran Murphy

Noreen is a wonderful representative for Travel Counsellors. This is our 4th holiday that we have booked with her as we trust her guidance 100%. The locations she offers advice on, accommodation that she books and overall help is second to none. When on holidays she is always available if we have a query. Noreen truly provides a personal service that would encourage us to use her again and again.

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I recently booked our holiday with Noreen and she is so professional, polite, helpful, informative and always willing to do her utmost for her clients. If you are thinking of going on holidays anywhere be sure and contact her first, you won't be disappointed.

Sent by M, D & R O'Connell

Just back from a magical trip to Disneyland Paris.... in beautiful sunshine!!! Can't thank Noreen Lane at Travel Counsellors enough for arranging a stress-free, smooth, relaxing holiday from start to finish. It's all very well trying to save a few bob by doing it all yourself but nothing beats the reassurance of that everything is taken care of. Our little girl had the most wonderful time and Paris is just beautiful.

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Noreen has been a pleasure to deal with. Extremely helpful and provided us with a honeymoon that we can't wait to experience. Wouldn't hesitate in recommending her to anyone thinking of booking their honeymoon or travel experience.

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I found Noreen Lane a pleasure to deal with. She took on board what our requirements and budget were and tailored our holiday to suit this. Would definitely book through Noreen again and would highly recommend her.