£129 -- 'Blissful' Irish Castle Stay w/Bubbly & 50€ Credit
Say what you like about the decline of the British aristocracy, but at least it's given us nice places to go on holiday. Drive around this green and pleasant land and you’ll find that half the sprawling piles that once housed generations of the same well-bred families and witnessed countless decadent balls, romps, shooting parties and world-conquering colonial planning sessions are now doing more or less the same, except they now do it for the great unwashed on cut-price hotel deals, with spa access and bubbly.
It's a revolution, in other words, and we at Travelzoo are in the vanguard. And never mind your faux-Gothic manor houses or Georgian abbeys: this time, we've got a whole castle. Irish hotel deals often rocket in our Top 20 weekly newsletter of the best travel deals online -- I think it's something to do with that image, largely deserved, of misty emerald landscapes and pubs sloshing with Guinness and bonhomie -- and this one should be no exception. The Leslie family, original owners of the castle in question, trace their origins back to Attila the Hun and apparently owe their collective motto, Grip Fast, to an incident involving Mary Queen of Scots. My family motto would be more like, "Watch out for his nibs!", owing to our origins as serfs. I suspect yours would be similar, but now any of us hoi polloi can book a luxurious room at the Leslies' former home for the frankly ridiculous price of £129. In fact, you'll even get paid 50€ for doing it. What ho and toodle pip!
£999 -- Exotic Galápagos Yacht Cruise w/Meals & Excursions
Now here's a celebrity who's really worth following. What are the Galápagos Islands, a volcanic archipelago stuck out in the ocean 1,000km from its motherland, Ecuador, famous for? Incredibly long-lived turtles? Sure. Rows of sunbathing marine iguanas? Them, too. But what about the bearded genius drawn, in the 19th century, by the incredible biological diversity of these islands, whose visit changed our whole understanding of nature? Yes, let Britain's very own Charlie Darwin be your guide on a trip to this exotic destination, at a price so low as to be about as improbable as a unicorn. Grab one of these deals before they become extinct.
£2749 -- Spot Polar Bears on Arctic Trip of a Lifetime
Speaking of extinction… well, we won't go there but this trip, although obviously in a pricier league than our Galápagos adventure, is equally rare. Hang on, you deal-hunters out there might say, I can get close to the Arctic on a fjords cruise, say, for under £500. Well, I'm afraid you'd have to hug your fear and take this trip to find out what the real difference is. On a compact, means-business boat like the M/S Expedition, you'll sail beyond the drop-off point of the great Arctic explorers, Longyearbyen, and even closer towards the pole. This is serious, once-in-a-lifetime travel, and that price represents an almost once-in-a-lifetime discount.
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