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Today Marks 50 Years of Irish EU Membership- ITTN Staff Muse on their Favourite Travel Spots

It is 50 years today since Ireland voted overwhelmingly and enthusiastically to join the EU. To celebrate this occasion, we have asked some ITTN staffers to share the holiday destinations in Europe which hold a special place in their heart.

Sharon Jordon: ‘This is such a difficult one as I am predominantly someone who travels in Europe, and I have been lucky to have been to (most) European Countries. I suppose my heart is in Croatia, my second home and family is in Sunny Spain, so it’s definitely a joy to travel to any part of that beautiful and varied country, Portugal wins out for the long lazy days on the beaches, I love anywhere along the Danube for the incredible scenery. Malta has recently become a top contender after visiting for the first time last year, I just love the history. Vienna would definitely be my favourite city – although I do love Paris and Ljubljana too – this is too hard to choose!’

St Johns Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta

Allie Sheehan: ‘My favourite thing about travelling in Europe are all the cities you can explore. My favourite would have to be Barcelona, a city rich in culture, site seeing there and, of-course Sangria! I did my college Erasmus there and fell in love with the city. I also have to mention Dubrovinik, for me, as a big Game of Thrones fan, walking down the ‘steps of shame’ gives me a lovely feeling of nostalgia. A trip to Vienna wouldn’t be complete without trying Schitzel and making a wish at the Trevi fountain in Rome is also must. There really so many cities to visit in Europe and they’re so easy to travel to’.

Allie in her favourite city, Barcelona.

Emer Roche: I’m new to this industry and haven’t enjoyed quite as much travel as the others but Rome is still a place that stops me in my tracks. I first went there when I was 17 years old and spent all my money on a pair of Italian leather boots! Rome is the most elegant, historic and beautiful city. What’s wonderful about visiting Rome is that no matter how many times you visit, there is always more to see. Another special mention for me is Heidelberg, home to Germany’s oldest University. The Gothic streets really capture my imagination and the skiing options are so accessible’.

Shane Cullen: ‘There are so many favourite places across Europe to choose from, whether city break, sun holiday, family holiday, or weekend away but if I had to pick one that holds a special place in my heart, it has to be the magical frozen wonderland of Lapland in Finland. The scenery is extraordinary: the forests glisten, the sky turns a purple hue, the endless crisp white snow and frozen lakes – it really is something out of a fairy-tale. The experiences with husky dogs, reindeer sleigh rides, fireside storytelling while toasting marshmallows or winding through woodland trails on snowmobiles are unforgettable (not to mention elf school and the man in red). The people are so friendly and passionate about their way of life.  I didn’t expect to enjoy it so much as an adult but I did. And the look of wonder and amazement in the eyes of the kids – it’s one of those forever memories I’ll cherish. It really is an experience of a lifetime’.  

Shane with Frosty the Elf in Lapland
Emer Roche
Emer Roche
As a freelance writer and editor, Emer has over 10 years experience working for Irish magazines, supplements, websites and creative agencies. She’s written features for U Magazine, Image Magazine and theheyday.ie, across a range of subjects such as women’s interest, travel, culture, news and interviews. She also have a portfolio of commercial writing for creative agencies, such as RTE.ie and Originate Creative. Emer is a Dublin native with part of her heart in Ardmore, County Waterford. She lives in Dublin with her husband, two kids, dog and cat.

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