Touring Ireland in March and April means fun-filled festivals, better value flights, quieter roads, lambkins, bluebell-carpeted woodlands and 13 percent discounts on two Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland itineraries if booked by end October 2018.
This award-winning travel company offers two styles of culturally immersive travel.
Vagabond Adventure Tours are for active travelers who want to mix up hiking and biking and other outdoor adventures with history, culture, dining and shopping. An 8 Day Wild Irish Rover Tour departs March 10, 17, 24, 31 and April 7, 14, 21 and 28. Book a March or April date before Oct. 31, 2018, and save 13 percent.
Why wild? Because the tour, recognized by National Geographic Traveler as a Top 50 Tours of a Lifetime, is off-road as much as it’s on, relying on signature 4×4 tour vehicles to go where other sightseeing companies tend not to tread.
Why Irish? Because the tour blends pubs, people, castles and lore into the hearts of active travelers.
Why roving? Guests are never rushed traveling from the west coast of Ireland and the peninsulas of the southwest all the way up to Connemara.
“Our itinerary of the southern half of Ireland keeps guests on their toes and exploring under their own steam power. In fact, they’re sometimes, after a walk or cycle, grateful for a sit down in the 4×4,” said Rob Rankin, founder and owner with Amy Rankin. “Every stone we walk over has a story to tell. Ruins and castles are, after all, about people.”
The €1,919 per person double rate (before the early booking discount) includes eight full days of touring, seven nights’ accommodation with breakfasts, services of a professional Vagabond tour guide, guided walks, entrance fees to historical and archaeological sites, demonstrations of local craftsmen at work, ferry excursion tickets and taxes. Activities require a good level of fitness for walking and cycling 2.5 hours each on undulating paths. Additional 2019 departures are weekly on Sundays through mid-October.
Driftwood Journeys of Discovery follow similar itineraries but at an intimate and in-depth looking and lingering pace, sans the physical exertion. A 6 Day Northern Island Tour offers spring departures April 7 and 21 where if guests book before Oct. 31, 2018 they save 13 percent.
“This tour brings tourists into a region that for decades was overlooked because of border issues,” said Rankin. “Basically, nobody wanted to visit Northern Ireland because of the ‘troubles’ there. This only started to change in the early 2000s really. The northwest county of Donegal, despite being in the Republic of Ireland (the ‘south’), was almost cut off from the rest of the state geographically. Thus, its tourism did not develop in the same way as in other parts of the country.” A border region deemed “very hard” up until early in the 21st century emerged with its own identity and culture, partly formed by the years of political turmoil and violence.
The per person double rate of €1,509 (before the early booking discount) includes six full days on tour, five nights’ accommodation with full Irish breakfasts, some entrance fees and relevant taxes. Additional 2019 departures are May 5, 19; June 16, 30; July 14, 28; Aug. 11, 25; Sept. 8, 22; and Oct. 6.
For all of the current specials and promotions offered by Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland visit online; https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/special-offers/.
Vagabond staff curate locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the mission is to have guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in a custom 4×4 Land Rover or Mercedes ‘Vagatron’ that allows access beyond where regular tour buses go.
Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland has been revealing the hidden treasures of Ireland through its carefully planned and executed tours since 2002. Last year the Irish Tourism Awards singled the company out as offering Best Adventure Experience, and also in 2017 it became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification