Young couple paddling on stand up paddleboards against the yacht in the sea

Explore three new sun-soaked destinations in 2024

Fed up of grey skies and frosty mornings? Us too! That’s why we’ve been designing a hot new summer schedule for 2024, including three exciting new routes to Heraklion in Crete, Dalaman in Turkey and Catania in Sicily. Whether you’re looking for rich history and culture, fun-filled activities or a relaxing beach break, these destinations will deliver everything you’re looking for and more.

Soak up the sun in Catania, Sicily

With flights leaving every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from May to September, it’s never been easier to explore Catania, Sicily, where ancient history, welcoming people and the shimmering Ionian sea converge in one enchanting city.

Known as the ‘Black City’ for the soot that floats down from its peak, this island capital is nestled at the base of Mount Etna, Europe’s highest (and most active!) volcano. The city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site, bejewelled with Baroque architecture, picture-perfect palazzos and ancient Roman ruins.

Visitors can wander the cobblestoned streets, visit one of the many museums and then enjoy a refreshing Aperol spritz while taking in la dolce vita (the sweet life). No trip to Italy would be complete without indulging in its culinary delights, including Sicilian dishes such as arancini, cannoli and pasta alla Norma — a delicious combination of aubergine, tomatoes and rich local cheese.

If you’re feeling adventurous, hop on a bus to the base of Mount Etna, where you can hike 1,000 metres or catch a cable car to the crater zone. Catania is also a quick trip away from Taormina, the majestic medieval town made famous by the hit TV show “The White Lotus” and the legendary “Godfather” movies.

Prefer to sit back and sink your toes into white sand beneath the Sicilian sun? Beach fans will find themselves with plenty of options for pure relaxation, with dedicated resorts, public beaches and an array of water sports to while away the sun-dappled days.

Set off on a Greek odyssey in Heraklion, Crete

Fancy living like a Greek god or goddess for a week or two next summer? Our new route to Heraklion takes off every Monday and Thursday, delivering you directly to Crete’s capital city from May to September.

An evocative blend of old-world charm and modern attractions, Heraklion is a living monument to the rich culture and ancient history of the island. Learn about Minoan civilisation at the iconic Knossos Palace, stroll along the Venetian walls or explore the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, where every artefact tells a story of the city’s past. Little visitors will love learning about the myths of the minotaur, Icarus and Zeus.

Renowned for its exceptional restaurants and tavernas, Heraklion is a food-lover’s paradise, offering authentic traditional dishes such as moussaka, souvlaki and a fresh catch of the day. Shoppers can also pick up some local olive oil, feta cheese or Greek wine to bring home a taste of island life.

Boasting a lively centre and a picturesque coastline, Heraklion is the ideal destination for first-time visitors, offering plenty to do for city slickers and sun worshippers alike. Whether you choose the golden sands of Amoudara or the secluded bay of Agia Pelagia, the region’s crystal-clear waters and well-equipped beaches will provide all the rest and relaxation you need after a long and chilly winter.

Centrally located, the Cretan capital is also the ideal gateway to the rest of the island, offering easy car and bus connections to all the main resorts and attractions for day trips or extra adventures. Alternatively, kick-start a Greek odyssey of your own by using the main airport or port to catch a connecting flight or ferry to Santorini, Athens, Mykonos, Paros and more.

Tour the Turquoise Coast from dazzling Dalaman, Turkey

Just a short hop across the Aegean sea lies Dalaman, the shining star in a constellation of sun-drenched destinations along the Turkish Riviera. Home to old Ottoman towns and stylish modern resorts, the area is perfect for taking in the sights as well as relaxing in the sun.

Affordable car rental and regular buses offer easy access to historic towns such as Dalyan, filled with ancient ruins, Lycian rock tombs and relaxed riverside restaurants. A must-visit is Marmaris, the globally renowned resort town packed with shopping bazaars, waterparks and some of Turkey’s most iconic hotels. Rich with culture, the town also features a 16th-century castle, ancient amphitheatre and fascinating natural caves.

It’s easy to build up an appetite with so much to see and do, but the region’s chefs are experts in fusing eastern and western flavours in succulent street kebabs, flavoursome traditional mezes and richly aromatic meats. After a long day’s sightseeing, eating and sunbathing, tired tourists can sink into the relaxing comfort of a traditional Turkish bath, letting the pressures of the day float away in a cloud of eucalyptus-scented steam.

If you prefer to do your relaxing on a sunlounger, you won’t be disappointed in Dalaman. The turquoise coast is named for its azure-blue waters, hugging the golden sand of famous beaches such as Sarigerme, Iztuzu and the ethereal Ölüdeniz — beloved by loggerhead turtles, travel bloggers and paragliders alike. Famously Instagram-friendly, Dalaman is a favourite among photographers, with stunning Aegean sunsets, colourful bazaars and cinematic sea views — all ready to be captured, posted and shared.

Our new route will carry you there every Tuesday and Saturday, from May to September, providing the perfect opportunity to escape to the sun next summer. As you’ll be flying in and out of the European Union, you’ll also get the added bonus of duty free shopping.

Make Aer Lingus your ally in adventure

Inspired to plan your next holiday in Catania, Heraklion or Dalaman? Make sure you book early to get the best prices for summer flights to sunny destinations. And don’t forget, we’re still running our most popular routes to the Algarve, Malaga, the Canaries and much more.

Whether you’re planning a solo escape, a couple’s break or a family holiday, Aer Lingus can carry you there in comfort. Your holiday starts from the moment you step aboard, sink into your seat, and meet your friendly cabin crew. Order a drink from our extensive menu, research the best beaches with our WiFi in the Sky or pick up some SPF skincare from our onboard boutique. Whatever you need for some summer sun, Aer Lingus has you covered.