The Emerald Isle is famous for its charm, culture and myths but arguably its most outstanding quality is the good spirits and great hospitality of the locals. Beginning in one of the liveliest capital cities in Europe, this destination showcase will take guests on an adventure around some of Ireland’s most vibrant cities and spectacular coastlines.
From the deep, inspiring forests of Killarney to the ethereal, lunar-esque landscapes of the Burren, you’ll be treated to unique and wonderful experiences that allow you to get a true, authentic insight into this remarkable country and what makes it so special.
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This special journey explores the spectacular landscapes in Ireland, your accommodations will be no less remarkable.
Start with a luxurious stay in one of, if not the, best hotel in Dublin.
Stay at a magnificent estate situated beautifully within a 1500-acres of verdant woodlands, rolling meadows and bountiful rivers.
Enjoy a more intimate property nestled on the southside of Ardmore Bay before being whisked away to a lovingly restored townhouse overlooking the picturesque Kinsale harbour.
Spread over nearly 3 hectares, Lismore Gardens are divided into two very distinct and different halves. The Upper Garden is a complete example of the 17th century walled garden first constructed here by Richard Boyle, the First Earl of Cork, in about 1605. The outer walls and terraces remain and the plantings have changed to match the tastes of those living within the castle. By contrast, the Lower Garden was mostly created in the 19th century for the Sixth Duke of Devonshire, Joseph Paxton’s patron. This garden is informal with shrubs, trees and lawns while the stately Yew Avenue is much older.
Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth 1, it is home to one of the most impressive libraries in the world, the Book of Kells and the Brian Boru Harp.
The Burren is a karst landscape made up of an extraordinarily rich geological, botanical and archaeological heritage, and is of international significance with parts of the region classed as a National Park. This limestone plateau resembles a lunar landscape; in the spring and summer months, great colour abounds against the stark landscape. It will be brought to life by a local walking guide, sharing both knowledge and passion.
Take a special visit to a traditional buffalo farm where you will meet Ireland’s only Buffalo Dairy Herd and Farmer, Johnny Lynch. Get out in the fresh air, pop on some wellies and stroll off to the pastures to see the animals graze. Discover how Mozzarella cheese is produced by the Sustainable Slow Food Movement. Head inside to discover the Milking parlour and the on-site Mozzarella cheese dairy. Your visit will end with the chance to taste some of the cheeses that are handmade each morning at first light.
Enjoy a privately guided tour of Christ Church Cathedral. This famed cathedral, originally a Viking Church is almost 1,000 years old. It was founded in 1028 by Sitriuc, King of the Dublin Norsemen and is the city’s oldest working structure. It is the spiritual heart of the city and has been a place of pilgrimage through the centuries. People of all faith (and indeed no faith) are very welcome. Discover a beautiful interior, a magnificent nave, a fascinating medieval crypt, and many important treasures – reflecting some of the history of Ireland, both religious and political.
Step through several themed galleries with a private tour guide who will give you a unique insight into the compelling story of how Irish emigrants and their descendants helped to influence and shape the world. Hear stories of triumph and tragedy, great success and even greater loss. Learn how emigration helped shape the destiny of a nation and leave with a deeper understanding of Irish people and culture. The museum is incredibly interactive, making it fun and engaging for every member of the family. Without question, it will provide a great introduction to the people of Ireland.
The to the Cliffs of Moher are one of the Signature Experiences of the Wild Atlantic Way – they are a breath-taking Discovery Point and the crowning glory of the Co. Clare coastline. Like a viewing platform for prehistoric giants who wish to peer over the edge of Europe, they provide an unrivalled view across the vast wildness of the Atlantic Ocean. The rock face which rises to a height of nearly 700ft provides sheltered ledges; it is home to one of the major colonies of cliff nesting Sea Birds in Ireland and designated a Special Protection Area.
Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close to one of nature’s most spectacular predators as you set off for a gentle walk in the company of an expert falconer and a particularly handsome Harris Walk. Watch this beautiful bird achieve daunting speeds and experience the thrill of watching the hawk fly aloft from your gloved fist – a memorable moment that all ages can enjoy and appreciate.
Go off the beaten track for a behind-the-scenes look at Dublin and the history of Irish dancing. In the company of a knowledgeable guide, visit some of the landmarks of Irish cultural history and even explore underground Gaelic bars. Who knows, you may just pick up a few dance steps along the way!
Dublin is steeped in history, with Viking, medieval and Georgian influences all having left their marks. Since the time of the Vikings, Dublin has been the principal gateway to the Emerald Isle. The medieval city, with its intimate knots of small alleys and broad streets south of the river, was developed in Norman times around St Patrick’s Cathedral and Dublin Castle, and later came to symbolise British rule in Ireland. The 18th century was the “Age of Elegance”, a time of relative prosperity when the Irish gentry set about remodelling the city into one of elegance, replete with graceful terraces, wrought-iron balconies and fanlight doorways. The city became Ireland’s capital with the establishment of the Republic of Ireland in 1937, and today is regarded as one of the liveliest and most atmospheric in Europe.
South of Dublin is County Wicklow, the “Garden of Ireland” home to many of Ireland’s great gardens and Wicklow Mountains National Park.
One of the prettiest small towns in Ireland, with its crooked streets, slate hung houses and bow-fronted shops.It has a long and chequered history. The Battle of Kinsale in 1601 was the ultimate battle in England’s conquest of Gaelic Ireland. The Irish forces and their Spanish allies were defeated which signified the end of the old Gaelic order, Irish resistance and marked a turning point in the history books. For over 300 years it was a garrison town and port of consequence, which left a legacy of Georgian and Victorian architecture.
Galway is the official European Region of Gastronomy 2018. The region stretches from green fields and rich farmlands to the unique karst landscape of the Burren and into Galway city, the trout fishing capital of Europe, and along the wild, rugged Atlantic coast. Galway has one of the highest densities of restaurants in Ireland and includes two of the country ‘s Michelin Star restaurants: Aniar and Loam. Galway is a city with a proud seafaring tradition and Galway Bay is one of the most celebrated oyster fisheries, where the native Irish oyster is widely prized as a delicacy in the later months of the year.
Located by the three lakes and mountains of the Killarney National Park, Killarney is well known for its excellent shops, restaurants and cosmopolitan appeal. During the summer months, the lively on-street musical entertainment complements the meandering of tourists and locals alike. On bright evenings, one can browse in a bookstore, admire art or savour the delights of homemade ice cream or a finely prepared lobster.
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