Category Archives: Specialized Tours

10 Stops to Make on Your Ring of Kerry Tour

The Ring of Kerry, a 180km circular route around the Iveragh Peninsula in Ireland’s southwest, is quite possibly Ireland’s most well-known driving route. Superb Mountains and coastal settings combined with vibrant towns and villages will make this tour one of the highlights of your Ireland vacation.

All of our Self Drive tours include a detailed suggested itinerary which will help you decide what to see or what to leave out. For those who wish to take a break from driving we can arrange a bus tour through this route.

The 10 Stops to Make on your self-drive or Escorted Ring of Kerry Tour are;

 

  1. Killorglin

Killorglin is the first town you will meet when you begin your Ring of Kerry Adventure! Home to the famous ‘Puck Fair’, Ireland’s largest and the world’s oldest market fair. The town has some nice restaurants and shops and pretty riverside views.

Rosbeigh Strand, Glenbeigh, Ring of Kerry
Rosbeigh Strand, Glenbeigh, Ring of Kerry
  1. Glenbeigh & Rosbeigh Beach

The mountainous backdrop here is glorious, and the half circle of hills from Seefin to Drung Hill, nicknamed the “Glenbeigh Horseshoe” is one of Kerry’s finest mountain walks.  Near to Glenbeigh Village you will find Rosbeigh Beach with its lovely sand dunes and shale walks.

  1. Cahersiveen

This is the principal town on the Ring of Kerry and birthplace of the famous Catholic Emancipator Daniel O’ Connell. Pay a visit to ‘The Barracks’, Cahersiveen Heritage Centre which gives an insight into the life and times of Cahersiveen.

Geokaun Valentia Island Ring of Kerry
Geokaun, Valentia Island
  1. Valentia Island

You can reach Valentia  by the car ferry from Cahersiveen from April to October. Outside of this time take the bridge across to the island from the pretty harbour village of Portmagee.  There are a few places to visit on the island including the village of Knighstown with its beautiful period buildings, Valentia Island Lighthouse and Geokaun Mountain & Fogher Cliffs; Valentia’s highest point and a superb spot to enjoy 360 degree views of the island and beyond!

  1. Skellig Experience Visitor Centre & The Skellig Islands
Skellig Islands, Ring of Kerry
Skellig Islands, Ring of Kerry

Skellig Michael also known as the Great Skellig is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The island was featured in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. At the summit of the 230m high rock there is a 6th century Christian monastery and stone beehive huts which the monks who inhabited the island lived in. Boat trips to the islands can be taken from Portmagee pier. Trips to Skellig are not for the feint hearted  however as there are 670 stone steps to climb before you reach the top! You can learn more about the Skelligs at the Skellig Island Visitor Experience which is located on Valentia Island near the bridge across to Portmagee.

  1. Ballinskelligs

Ballinskelligs or “Baile na Sceilge” is one of the few remaining Irish speaking areas in this region of Kerry. Southwest of the village you will find Bolus Head, which looks over St. Finan’s Bay and the Skelligs. The ruins of Cill Rialiag, an early Christian monastic settlement are located nearby. Ballinskellig Beach known locally as Ladies Beach is a stunning place to relax or take a long beach walk!

Charlie Chaplin Statue, Waterville, Ring of Kerry
Charlie Chaplin Statue, Waterville
  1. Waterville

Waterville is a lovely little village overlooking stunning Ballinskelligs Bay and nestled on the beautiful Lake Currane.  The town was a favourite holiday spot of Charlie Chaplin and his family who used to holiday here. They first visited the town in 1959 and came back every year for over ten years.

Derrynane House Ring of Kerry
Derrynane House
  1. Caherdaniel and Derrynane House

Caherdaniel is small but striking and perhaps set in one of the most scenic locations on the Ring of Kerry, on the shore of Derrynane Bay. Derrynane House is the ancestral home of Daniel O’ Connell, a 19th century politician who achieved Catholic emancipation for the Irish people. The house is now a public museum.

  1. Kenmare

Kenmare town was founded in 1670 by Sir William Petty and has a history of lace making, demonstrations of which can be seen at the town’s Heritage Centre.  One of the most striking features of the town is its colourfully painted houses and shops. There are lots of nice restaurants, pubs and craft shops here also.

View-from-Molls-Gap Ring of Kerry
View from Moll’s Gap, Ring of Kerry
  1. Moll’s Gap

Moll’s Gap is a pass on the road from Kenmare to Killarney. Here you will find unrivalled views of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks Mountains. Nearby you will find Avoca Handweavers which sells Irish giftware and local food produce.

To discover these locations and more on your own Ring of Kerry tour, contact us today:

USA & Canada1877 298 7205

UK FreeFone0800 096 9438

International+353 69 77686

http://www.irishtourism.com/

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2016 Ireland Knitting Tours Have Been & Gone – Read some of the Feedback

Aran Islands Dress Display (Submitted by Carol Gerling) Class with Anne O Maille (Submitted by Peggy Corp) Class with Anne O Maille (Submitted by Peggy Corp)    Foxford Foxford Woollen Mill   Knitting at the Airport (Submitted by Wendy Avery) Knitting Class with Edel MacBride Knitting Class with Edel MacBride  Knitting Class with Edel MacBride Knitting Class with Edel MacBride Liz & Annie at The Ulster American Folk Park      Mairead Sharry at Inis Oirr (Submitted by Peggy Corp) On the Northern Tour (submitted by Sharon Noel) On the Northern Tour (submitted by Sharon Noel) On the Northern Tour (submitted by Sharon Noel) Sheep at Slieve League      Some of Edel's Yarns       Studio Donegal Shop       The Constant Knitter (Submitted by Wendy Avery) Throws at Foxford   Tristan at Studio Donegal       Winnes Craft Cafe (Submitted by Carol Gerling)
Aran Islands Dress Display (Submitted by Carol Gerling)
All of our 2016 Knitting Tours have been and gone and we were very happy with the feedback. We are busy making changes to our itineraries to further improve them for future groups!A sincere thank you to those that filled out our feedback surveys, some of the comments we received  –

Southern Knitting Tour –

”This tour was absolutely wonderful and we had the best time. I would do this again in a heartbeat! In fact, we are considering the Northern tour for next year”. 

”Although I have been to Ireland before, I really loved seeing the island at this level. The sites chosen were great and I can truly say I’ve seen southern Ireland. The trip to inis oirr was the highlight of the trip – just loved it.”

Northern Knitting Tour Comments –

”A glorious trip! We had very few wobbles for a trip of this size and complexity, and I very much appreciated the insights and professionalism of our guide, our driver, and everyone at Irish Tourism. Worth every penny and then some.”

”Best tour I have ever been on!”

”It was a great trip. I really enjoyed being in Ireland. All in all, it was well organized, interesting, and met my expectations.”

Our 2017 Knitting Tours are Very Busy but We do Have some Spaces Available. For More information please visit our website
www.irishtourism.com/knitting 

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How to get to the Aran Islands

About How to get to the Aran Islands –

Our final blog post in our Aran Islands series explains how to get to the Aran Islands by ferry, flight or as part of a bus or rail tour.

How to Get to the Aran Islands Option 1: Ferry –

You can get to the Aran Islands by passenger ferry from Rossaveel which is about an hour west of Galway City or from Doolin in County Clare.  You cannot bring a car across on the ferry.

Weather permitting; the ferries from Rossaveel go year round whereas the ferries from Doolin usually go from around March to October. The ferries can be cancelled if the weather is too bad as the crossing would be too dangerous. The ferries from Rossaveel have less cancelled sailings per year than there are from the Doolin port.

How long does the ferry to the Aran Islands Take?
  • Rossaveel to Inishmore – About 45 Minutes
  • Rossaveel to Inishmaan –  About 55 Minutes
  • Rossaveel to Inisheer – About 65 Minutes
  • Doolin to Inisheer – About 30 Minutes
  • Doolin to Inishmaan – About 40 Minutes
  • Doolin to Inishmore – About 90 Minutes

The ferry crossing to the Aran Islands can get very rough, if you suffer from travel sickness, then you should think about your journey before setting off. Think about visiting the island closest to port (Inishmore from Rossaveel and Inisheer from Doolin) and pick up some motion sickness pills before you go.  I find sitting outside, looking out to the horizon helps me!

How to Get to the Aran Islands Option 2: Bus Tour/Ferry –

There are a number of companies offering bus transfers with ferry tickets from Galway city. You take the bus as far as Rossaveel and then take the ferry. If you don’t want to drive, this option is included in our Independent Rail Tours.

How to Get to the Aran Islands Option 3: Fly–

You can fly to the Aran Islands in a small passenger plane from Connemara airport. The flight takes about 10 minutes and there is a maximum of 8 people allowed in the plane, depending on the weight of the passengers, there could be fewer than 8. Connemara Airport is located in Inveran which is about 40 minutes west of Galway City. You do need to book your flight in advance with Aer Arann Islands.

Get in touch with us today and take the hassle out of booking your trip to Ireland and the Aran islands!

USA & Canada          1877 298 7205

UK FreeFone              0800 096 9438

International              +353 69 77686

http://www.irishtourism.com/

 

 

 

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Inishmore (Inis Mór), Aran Islands

About Inishmore (Inis Mór), Aran Islands

Inishmore (Irish Spelling Inis Mór) is the biggest and most populated of the famous Aran Islands off the coast of Galway in Ireland.  The entire island is about 30km squared. As with all of the islands the spoken language is Irish although locals can usually speak both English and Irish. The locals are dedicated to preserving traditional Irish culture and traditional Irish music is very much alive in Kilronan, the islands main village.

When you arrive on the island there are usually mini buses lined up, waiting to take prospective clients on tours around the island which feature all the major sites. There is a small fee for these tours. You can also usually take a tour of the island by horse and trap which is more expensive than the bus tour. There are also several bike hire companies, should you wish to see the island that way!

Some of the main tourist attractions on the island include –

Dún Aonghasa Fort & Visitor Centre: A superb example of an Iron or Bronze Age Promontory Fort, standing dramatically at the edge of a 100 metre high cliff! The on-site visitor centre will tell you more about how and why it was built.

Dun Aengus, Inismore, Aran Islands
Dun Aengus, Inismore, Aran Islands

The Worm Hole: A natural rectangular shaped pool at the bottom of the cliffs south of Dún Aonghasa.

Dun Duchathair (The Black Fort): This fort is situated on the cliffs near Cill Éinne. It is a lot quieter than Dún Aonghasa in terms of visitor numbers. The fort is not easy to access, wear good walking boots and prepare for a bit of a trek if you wish to visit!

Kilmurvey Beach: There is a beautiful sandy beach on the island just off the road between Kilronan and Dun Aengus.

For more general information on the Aran Islands see our Aran Islands blog post here, or for information on getting to the islands click here. 

Want to book a tour that includes Inishmore?

The best way to learn about Inishmore is to spend time there! Contact us today for a quotation including this location in your Ireland tour!

USA & Canada1877 298 7205

UK FreeFone0800 096 9438

International+353 69 77686

http://www.irishtourism.com/

 

 

 

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Inisheer (Inis Oírr), Aran Islands

About Inisheer (Inis Oírr), Aran Islands

Inisheer (Inis Oírr) is the smallest and most easterly of the famous Aran Islands off the coast of Galway in Ireland. The entire island is about 8km squared and has a population of around 300. Like the other Aran Islands the spoken language is Irish although locals can typically speak both English and Irish.

When you arrive on the island there are usually coaches lined up, waiting to take potential customers on tours around the island which feature the major visitor attractions. There is a small fee for these tours, payable directly to the driver.  You can also usually take a tour of the island by horse and trap which is more expensive than the bus tour. You can also hire a bike to get around on the island if you prefer.

The main village is called Baile an Lurgáin and you can walk to it from the pier.  In the village you will find the local shop, pubs, B&Bs and restaurants.

Some of the main tourist attractions on the island include –

The Wreck of The MV Plassey: The MV Plassey ran into Finnish Rock on Inisheer in 1960 and the entire crew were rescued by a group of local men. The wreck was made famous when it featured in the opening credits of Father Ted.

Plassey Wreck, Inisheer (Inis Oirr), Aran Islands
Plassey Wreck, Inisheer (Inis Oirr), Aran Islands

O’Brien’s Castle: This castle ruin is located on one of the highest points of the island overlooking the beach and pier. This castle is thought to have been built in 14th century.

An Trá Beach: As you approach Inisheer by boat you can’t miss seeing the white sandy beach known simply as ‘An Trá’ which in English means ‘The Beach’! On a fine day, the water is a beautiful shade of blue.

Áras Éanna Arts Centre: Inisheer has a dedicated arts and culture centre which displays traditional Irish and modern arts. The centre has a programme of events and exhibitions from artists resident on the islands which changes frequently.

For more general information on the Aran Islands see our Aran Islands blog post here, or for information on getting to the islands click here. 

Want to book a tour that includes Inisheer?

Learn more about Inisheer by spending time there. Contact us today for a quotation including Inisheer today –

USA & Canada1877 298 7205

UK FreeFone0800 096 9438

International+353 69 77686

http://www.irishtourism.com/

 

 

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Knitting Vacations 2017

Our 2017 Knitting Vacations are on Sale!

Our 2017 Knitting Vacations are now on sale and some dates are looking particularly busy. It is best to book early to avoid disappointment.

Knitting tours of Ireland
One of our Knitting Groups Enjoying a drink at Knitfield Studio in Donegal

Feedback from our Knitting & Craft Tours has generally been excellent. From our first tour in 2016 for example an amazing 100% of respondents said that they were satisfied with the tour overall and the same 100% said that they would recommend us to a friend!

Here is a quick update on our 2016 and 2017 availability

North of Ireland Tour:

  • 25th Sep 2016  –  Fully Booked
  • 13th Oct 2016 – A Few Spaces Left
  • 22nd April 2017 – Spaces Available
  • 08th June 2017 – Spaces Available (Filling Up Quickly)

South of Ireland Tour:

  • 16th Oct 2016 –  Fully Booked
  • 14th May 2017- Spaces Available (Filling Up Quickly)
  • 09th Jul 2017 –  Spaces Available (Filling Up Quickly )
  • 24th Sep 2017-  Spaces Available
Non – Knitter Discount

Do you have a partner or friend that doesn’t knit? They are welcome to come along, ask our sales representatives about the non-knitter discount!

You Can Trust the Irish Tourism Group

The Irish Tourism Group is considered one of Ireland’s premier inbound tour operators and, in the last decade in particular, our regular attendance at the major travel expos throughout the world has only served to raise this profile. Testament to this is the reputation that we have developed over the years with the top accommodation, transport and other service providers within the country, a reputation we are extremely proud of.

We are also proud to be members of the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA), the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA).

Book your Knitting Vacation Today

We do urge you to book early to avoid disappointment. For more information on both tours please visit our website or give us a call

USA & Canada1877 298 7205

UK FreeFone0800 096 9438

International+353 69 77686

http://www.irishtourism.com/knitting

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Airports in Ireland

Airports in Ireland - Map of Irish Airports

When planning your Ireland vacation you should consider in advance which airport in Ireland is best for you to fly into and depart from. You could always choose to fly into one airport and out of another so as to make the best of your vacation time. If you are booking a tour with us, discuss this option with your sales team and they will gladly give you the best advice.

International Airports in Ireland:
Dublin – 

Located about 15km north from Dublin City, Dublin Airport is Ireland’s busiest airport. If Dublin city is a must see on your itinerary then it makes perfect sense to begin your Ireland vacation here. There are connections via London from most US & Canadian cities and you can currently fly direct from Boston, San Francisco, Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, St. John’s, Montreal and Toronto.  The airport has great links to the UK with flights to more than 15 UK cities including Newcastle, Edinburgh and London.  There are many options to travel further afield in Europe from this airport also. Check out the Dublin Airport Website for up to date destination information.

Shannon – 

Shannon Airport is located on the west coast of Ireland 24 KM north of Limerick, 22 KM south of Ennis and 90 KM south of Galway. Shannon is a great option if you wish to explore the west and southwest of Ireland. This region is much more peaceful than Dublin should you wish to get away from city life. There are connections via London from many US and Canadian cities and you can currently fly direct from Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Boston. The airport has great links to the UK with flights to Edinburgh, London, Birmingham and Manchester and there are many options to travel further afield in Europe from this airport also. Check out the Shannon Airport Website for up to date destination information.

Belfast- 

There are two airports in Belfast, Belfast International and Belfast City Airport, the latter has mainly UK connections. Belfast International airport is the busiest airport in Northern Ireland and the second busiest airport on the island of Ireland after Dublin. Flying here is a great option if you wish to explore Northern Ireland and Donegal in the North West. There are connections via London from many US cities and you can currently fly direct from New York, Orlando and Las Vegas. Check out the Belfast Airport Website for up to date destination information.

Cork- 

Cork airport is located 6.5 km south of Cork city in an area known as Farmers Cross. The airport services mostly UK and European Airports but you may be able to route a flight from the US to Cork via London or another European Connection. Check out the Cork Airport Website for up to date destination information.

Regional Airports in Ireland:

There are four main regional airports  in Ireland; Belfast City in the North, Knock in the West of Ireland, Kerry in the Southwest and Waterford in the southeast. These airports are quite small and mostly do not support on bound connections to the US or Canada. Destinations include Europe and the United Kingdom.

Get in Touch-

The best way to learn about Ireland is to visit yourself. Contact us today for a quotation starting at any of these airports today –

USA & Canada1877 298 7205

UK FreeFone0800 096 9438

International+353 69 77686

http://www.irishtourism.com/

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5 Places to Find Good Pubs in Ireland

1.    Temple Bar, Dublin
Pubs in Ireland,The Temple Bar Pub, Temple Bar
The Temple Bar Pub, Temple Bar

You will find some of the liveliest pubs in Ireland in the Temple Bar district located between Dame Street, Westmoreland Street and Fishamble Street. We always recommend stopping by Temple Bar on your vacation to Ireland, even if you are not into the Irish pub scene, it’s a nice place to walk around during the day or to grab a good pub lunch. At night this area comes alive with tourists and locals alike. There are some great pubs to check out including The Temple Bar, The Porterhouse, Teac Na Ceibe, The Turk’s Head, The Palace Bar, Oliver St.John Gogarty’s and The Auld Dubliner.

2.    Kilkenny City
Kilkenny City
Kilkenny City

At the heart of this medieval city along its narrow cobblestoned streets you will find some fantastic traditional music and some of the best pubs in Ireland! Kilkenny is known for its many annual festivals including the Kilkenny Arts Festival in August and the Cat Laughs Festival in June.  It’s always packed with and Stag Parties (Bachelor Parties) and Hen Parties (Bachelorette) and there is usually a great atmosphere. Be sure to call to Kyteler’s Inn, Langtons, Biddy Early’s and The Hole in the Wall which is housed in the oldest surviving townhouse in Ireland.

3.    Galway City
Traditional Irish Music Session at Tig Cóilí, Galway
Traditional Irish Music Session at Tig Cóilí, Galway

Nicknamed Ireland’s Festival Capital, there is always something going on in Galway and this makes it a great spot for those looking to find a good pub and some friendly Irish hospitality! Perhaps the most famous pub in the city is Tigh Neachtain at the corner of Cross and Quay Street, this pub’s claim to fame is that it has been in business since 1894! Other pubs include Tig Coili, The Quays and the Roisin Dubh. The Crane Bar and Monroe’s have music on most nights.

4.    Dingle, Co. Kerry
Traditional Music Session at Dick Mack's Pub, Dingle
Traditional Music Session at Dick Mack’s Pub, Dingle

What I love the most about the pubs in Dingle is how they have managed to retain a traditional character that other pubs in Ireland have lost to a large extent. In days gone by the local pub served as a general store, water hole, meeting place and anything else that was required!  You can still see this in Dingle – take Foxy John’s for example, this is a hardware store/pub, Dick Mack’s has a small leather shop and in Curran’s Bar you can purchase a cap and a shirt if you like! For some fantastic traditional music try An Droichead Beag, John Benny’s or MacCarthy’s Pub. Another famous pub near Dingle is the South Pole Inn in Annascaul, this was the homestead of our very own artic explorer and famous Kerryman, Tom Crean.

5.    Doolin, Co. Clare
Image Credit Hotel Doolin
Fitzpatrick’s Pub at Hotel Doolin – (Image Credit Hotel Doolin)

If you are looking for great traditional Irish music then a couple of days in Doolin should definitely be on the agenda! The town has been renowned for traditional music for years with four pubs at the epicentre – McDermott’s, McGann’s, Gus O’Connor’s and Fitzpatrick’s pub at Hotel Doolin. There are two fantastic music festivals in the town every year, the Russell Memorial weekend in February and the Doolin Folk Fest in June. While you are there make sure to try the towns own brew, Dooliner Beer!

Get in Touch-

The best way to learn about Ireland is to visit yourself. Contact us today for a quotation including some or all of these locations today –

Check out our Pub & Folk Self Drive Tour or our Irish Pub & Folklore Escorted Tour for inspiration!

USA & Canada1877 298 7205

UK FreeFone0800 096 9438

International+353 69 77686

http://www.irishtourism.com/

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Knitting Tours of Ireland – News!

Knitting Tours of Ireland - Aran Islands Traditional Dress Display
Aran Islands Traditional Dress Display with our thanks to Carol Gerling who was a passenger on one of our 2015 knitting tours
All Knitting Tours of Ireland are Now Guaranteed Departures –

Feedback from all of our previous Knitting Tours of Ireland has been so good that we have decided that from now on, all of our departures will be guaranteed. That means if we have 5  people or 25 people, our scheduled knitting tours will always run as planned!

We’ve got two tours that explore Knitting  and Craft in Ireland, our south of Ireland tour which takes in the South and West of the country and our North of Ireland knitting tour which is concentrated in the North and West of Ireland. Both tours include workshops, craft based sightseeing and general sightseeing.  Please review the individual tour links below for more information!

We’ve been running these tours for several years and have had many happy customers. Read a review of our North tour here and a review of our Southern tour here.

Tour
Date
Availability 
Price PPS
Single Sup.
North Ireland 17th Apr 2016 Spaces Available €1899 €349 More Info
North Ireland 25th Sep 2016 Fully Booked
North Ireland 13th Oct 2016
(New Tour Date)
Spaces Available €1899 €349 More Info
South Ireland 1st May 2016
(New Tour Date)
Spaces Available €1899 €325 More Info
South Ireland 15th May 2016 Fully Booked
South Ireland 16th Oct 2016 Spaces Available €1799 €325 More Info

Do you have a partner or friend that doesn’t knit? They are welcome to come along, ask our sales representatives about the non-knitter discount!

Do get in touch with us for more information –

info@irishtourism.com
USA & Canada 1877 298 7205
UK FreeFone 0800 096 9438
International+353 69 77686

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The Road at the Edge of the World: Porsche on the Wild Atlantic Way

In May this year, more than 30 Porsche enthusiasts began the trip of a lifetime! Driving the entire 2,500km Wild Atlantic Way.  Beginning at Malin Head in County Donegal, the drivers made their way South, taking in all the stunning scenery the Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way has to offer.

Check out the video here, it may give you some inspiration for your own Wild Atlantic Way Tour!

Would you like to explore the Wild Atlantic Way yourself? Then get in touch with us today and we can handle all the arrangements!

USA & Canada 1877 298 7205

UK FreeFone0800 096 9438

International+353 69 77686

http://www.irishtourism.com

 

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