& RESORTS is adding a second Ireland property in
spring 2006, to be situated in Cork on the southern Irish coast.
The Sheraton Fota Island Golf Resort & Spa is under
construction on the site of the Fota Island Golf Club, which hosted
the Irish Open in 2001 and 2002. The 133-room hotel will feature a
full-service spa, several restaurants and a whiskey bar. Ireland's
only wildlife park is situated on the island, as is Fota House, an
18th century hunting lodge and gardens. The first Starwood property
in Ireland, the Westin Dublin, opened in 2001.
CLASSICS, a tour company that specializes in expert
cycling trips in France and Spain, unveiled a program designed for
Lance Armstrong wannabes. The weeklong excursions will be timed to
coincide with the 2006 Tour de France and will allow skilled
cyclists to actually ride on segments of the racecourse. A
six-night guided program, priced at $1,940 per person, double, will
run from Les Deux Alpes to Alpe d'Huez and also features the Col de
Galibier. A self-guided version costs $1,210 for seven nights. Both
tours depart July 14. For more information, call (800) 960-2221 or
IN OTHER SPORTS
TRAVEL NEWS, EuroGroups, a division of the Rail Europe
Group, kicked off a Spain Soccer Sampler package for amateur groups
that want to test their mettle against local Spanish soccer clubs
in Seville and Madrid. Participants play two matches, watch a first
division game and practice in designated facilities. The package
includes roundtrip transatlantic air fare, seven nights'
accommodations in four-star hotels, daily breakfast, two lunches
and three dinners. Transfers, taxes and service charges also are
included in the rate, which begins at $1,989 per person, double,
with air from New York, not including air taxes and security
charges. Other gateways are available. For more, call (800)
337-2577 or visit www.eurogroups.com.
WINTER MAY BE
LOW SEASON for much of northern Europe, but not so for
Finnish Lapland, which draws visitors during what the Finnish
Tourist Board calls the Lively Season. To help agents sell Lapland,
several tour operators have packaged tours around such draws as
Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi and the SnowCastle in Kemi.
Three-night packages range from between $699 and $759, including
air on Finnair from New York; rates are per person, double. For
details on tours, contact Continental Journeys at (800) 601-4343;
Nordique Tours at (800) 995-7997; or Nordic Saga Tours (800)
848-6449. The Finnish Tourist Board can be reached at (800)
FIN-INFO or www.visitfinland.com/na.