Enjoy a Blues Break in County Armagh
The Armagh 7 Hills Blues Fest 2012 is back for a second year and runs from 9 – 12 August. Over 30 free gigs will fill the city with the sounds of brilliant blues bands. Some of the finest Blues performers around have been confirmed with genres including Chicago Rhythm, Country Slide and Roots to Rock ‘n’ Blues, Boogie Woogie and Funk Style. When visiting this exciting music event why not turn your trip into a short break and take advantage of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board’s (NITB) special accommodation offer at the Armagh City Hotel which includes two nights’ accommodation with breakfast and one evening meal from £85pps?

For more information, call 1850 230 230 or visit www.discovernorthernireland.com.

Sunshine Offers from the Travel Department
Madeira, €899
Depart 12 August from Dublin to Funchal with SATA. Transfer on arrival to spend 7 nights at the 4* Hotel Girassol in Funchal on a half board basis. Enjoy a half day city tour to include the market, Botanical gardens, embroidery factory and wine tasting. Spend a full day on the West Island tour to include Pico da Torre, Ribeira Brava, Encumeada, Porto Moniz, Paul da Serra and Ponta do Sol. Experience a full day East Island tour to include Pico do Areeiro, Ribeiro Frio, Santana, Faial, Portela, Ponta de Sao Lourenco and Machico. Enjoy a half day crater tour, also including Pico dos Barcelos, Eira do Serrado and Monte. Finish the trip off with a traditional Madeiran evening with dinner & entertainment.

The Algarve, Coast & Country, €609
Depart 3 October from Dublin to Faro with Aer Lingus. Luxury transfer on arrival to spend 7 nights at the 4* Hotel Aqua Pedra dos Bicos in Albufeira on a half board basis. Enjoy a half day excursion to the beautiful towns of Silves and Monchique. Experience a tour that includes the beautiful, unspoilt and historical towns of Lagos and Sagres, taking in some of the Algarve’s fantastic scenery. Finally, enjoy a trip to the colourful city of Loulé, famous for its market and quaint shopping streets.

Lake Garda, Venice & Verona, €799
Depart 2 August from Dublin to Milan Linate with Aer Lingus. Transfer on arrival to spend 7 nights at the 3* Hotel Gardesana in Riva Del Garda on a half board basis. Enjoy a full day excursion and guided tour of Venice followed by a day trip and guided tour of Verona. Enjoy a full day guided excursion by coach of Lake Garda stopping in some of the beautiful towns on the lake.

For more information, visit www.thetraveldepartment.ie or call 01-6371600.

Enjoy a 5-Star Getaway at the Culloden Estate & Spa
Enjoy a luxurious 5-star summer getaway to the Culloden Estate & Spa in Cultra, County Down for only £84.50pps. This price includes overnight accommodation in an executive room, 4 course dinner in The Mitre Restaurant, £5 spa voucher and full Irish breakfast the next morning. The Culloden Estate and Spa is located just six miles from Belfast, where visitors can indulge in an ESPA Spa treatment and enjoy gourmet dining.

For more information, call +44 48 9042 1066 or visit www.hastingshotels.com

Killarney SummerFest for Family Friendly Festival Fun
Thousands are expected to flock to the picturesque town of Killarney again this year for Killarney SummerFest from 27 July to the 5 August. The free summer festival will see Killarney town pedestrianised and transformed into a virtual stage with live entertainment, on-street performances and family fun on every street, path and corner of the town for the duration of the week, in addition to a range of concerts, outdoor adventures and workshops, ensuring thrills at every turn. The many sights and attractions of the beautiful town of Killarney also ensure that this is a must visit destination for families this summer.

For more information, visit www.killarneysummerfest.com

Beautiful Beaches Beckon with Classic Resorts
If you are longing for a special holiday this Autumn and need some time in paradise, let Classic Resorts indulge your senses on some of the most beautiful islands in the world.

Dominican Republic
Stay in the 5* Larimar Punta Cana Resort & Spa for 7 nights on an all-inclusive basis from €620pp plus taxes of €470pp. Or if you want to bring the kids, a family of 2 adults and one child can stay from €1,409 plus taxes. Prices are based on a Deluxe Tropical View room, travelling between 1 September – 31 October. Flights are with British Airways via London.

St Lucia
Stay in the 4* Coco Palm for 7 nights from €659pp, plus taxes of €355pp. Prices are based on 2 sharing in a Garden View room on room only basis from 1 September – 14 December. Upgrade to a Patio Garden view room from €30pppw or a Garden View Suite from €198pppw, or a Swim-Up room from €275pppw. Flights are with British Airways via London.

Stay in the 4* Bougainvillea Beach Resort from €669pp plus taxes of €355pp or a family of 2adults+1 child from €1,519 plus taxes. Prices are based on a Deluxe Studio Room, flying with British Airways via London between 1 September – 14 October.

For more information, visit www.classicresorts.ie or call 01-8745000.

Surprising Summer Activities in Shetland
If you are looking for an outdoor holiday with a difference, look no further then the Shetland Isles. Comprising of more than 100 islands but with just 15 inhabited, Shetland boasts abundant wildlife, a spectacular coastline and dozens of archaeological sites.

Described as where Scotland meets Scandinavia, the islands enjoy extensive daylight during the summer months, making it a great place to enjoy outdoor pursuits, including golf, fishing and plenty of water activities like sea kayaking and diving.

For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com.

Ed Leahy