Lakes & Mountains — a gem just waiting to be discovered!

Are you a creature of habit? Do you head off each summer for your traditional two weeks in the sun somewhere warm? Even if you go to a different beach resort each year, priding yourself on the fact that you love change and diversity, you might still be deluding yourself if the TYPE of holiday that you take each year, remains largely the same. After all, a resort is a resort, at the end of the day!

OK, perhaps I’m being a little bit harsh with that last statement as not all resorts are the same and if it’s a case that you do vary your destination every year then fair dues to you — at least you’re moving a little bit out of your comfort zone each time as it can sometimes to be difficult to embrace somewhere new, particularly when the somewhere old is ticking all the proverbial boxes. What I’m talking about in this week’s blog is about considering the prospect of a complete change of scenery — both literally and metaphorically — and trying a type of holiday that perhaps you’ve never really considered before. I’m talking of course about Lakes & Mountains, a generic term that covers a whole load of different holiday experiences that can be had across a range of countries, primarily in Europe.

One of the leading tour operators trading in that space in Ireland are Tui. Tui (formerly known as Falcon in Ireland) are more usually associated with beach-based package holidays but they also operate a substantial summer programme that caters for the cohort of travellers who prefer the greenery and scenery of countries such as Austria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland to that of the sun-bleached coastlines of the various costa’s and Canary and Balearic island chains. L&M-based holidays still feature the same basic components of their beach resort counterparts with each price including the cost of flights, transfers and accommodation with options for self-catering, B&B, half-board and so on. They are suitable for both families and couples and boats majestic scenery, clear mountain air and whilst they is more than enough to see and do in terms of excursions, activities and dining out, it would be fair to say that things like nightlife would be more limited that what you could expect to find in a traditional beach resort.

Flight times are relatively short and certainly no longer than what it would typically take, getting to mainland Spain or Majorca/Ibiza and did I mention the scenery and the picture postcard towns and villages and historical cities nearby? Let’s also settle one myth once and for all: the weather in all the above destinations is usually as good and consistent as what you can expect further south and with less likelihood of those extreme temperatures that one tends to get in the height of summer. We’re talking low to mid-twenties — certainly hot enough to get a good tan and as for those beaches — in my experience, Irish people tend to spend more time at the pool than they do at the beach and for two very good reasons:

Beaches are not a novelty for an Irish person as most us live within 90 minutes’ drive of one so it’s no big deal and;

When you have kids with you, it makes more sense to stay down by the pool as opposed to bringing half the house with you down to the beach. At the pool, all the facilities that you want or need (drinks, food, toilets) are all within a minutes’ walk.  In other words, if you exclude the beach aspect of resort holidays, then there’s not a lot of difference really between your average sun package holiday and a Lakes & mountains holiday — other than the lakes and mountains of course. Duh!

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