Ireland’s Vagabond Adventure Tours touts 8-Day Tour of Southern Ireland
Ireland’s Vagabond Adventure Tours hosts departures this season of an itinerary billed as “wild, Irish and roving!”
Why wild? Because the award-winning 8 Day Wild Irish Rover Tour is off-road as much as it’s on, relying on signature 4×4 tour vehicles to go where other sightseeing companies fear to tread.
Why roving? While guests are never rushed, they do experience so much of Ireland that it feels like one’s been traveling for weeks as the journey moves 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.
Departures from the gateway, Dublin, in 2018 are July 15, 22, and 29; and Aug. 5, 12 and 19. The €1,919 per person double rate 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 along the way, demonstrations of local craftsmen at work, ferry tickets and taxes. Activities require a good level of fitness for walking and cycling 2.5 hours each on undulating paths.
As with all Vagabond adventure tours, the itinerary blends history, culture and fun activity options as far from maddening crowds as possible, often on ancient roads that only Vagabond’s 4x4s can navigate. Guests hike, horseback ride, bicycle, kayak and boat; live overnight like kings and queens in a castle and bar crawl for two nights amongst Dingle town’s 54 pubs.
“Every stone we walk over has a story to tell. Ruins and castles are, after all, about people. And honestly, the owners weren’t as privileged as we like to imagine. Think of life without hot water and bathrooms!” said Rankin. “They had power, political and/or spiritual perhaps, but not the kind for high speed connection.”
On this tour that National Geographic Traveler recognized as among the Top 50 Tours of a Lifetime, guests will imagine what life was like at the ancient ruins of…
- 12th century Franciscan Ross Errilly Friary
- 5th century monastic dwellings called beehive huts
- 15th century Franciscan Muckross Abbey
- 4200BC to 2900BC Poulnabrone dolmen, an ancient Megalithic tomb and one of Ireland’s greatest treasures
- 6th to 8th century Gaelic Christian monastery on Skelling Michael, an island; this UNESCO World Heritage Site was a scene location for Star Wars – The Force Awakens
- 500-800AD cashels or Celtic ring forts on the Iveragh Peninsula, including Staigue and Loher forts
- 3000-1500BC Uragh Stone Circle
- 1100AD Rock of Cashel or St. Patrick’s Rock
Or at restored castles…
- 19th century Abbeyglen Castle Hotel
- 19th century Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden run by the Benedictines
- 16th century Dunguaire Castle
- 11th century Aughnanure Castle
- 15th century Listowel Castle
- 19th century Muckross House and Gardens
- 15th century Dunboy Castle
- 12th century Blarney Castle
Guests enjoy an overnight at Abbey Glen Castle hotel. Another evening finds hosts Neil and Katy providing a true Irish welcome and dinner prepared by Katy who cooks food on a large Aga for her guests at the Gougane Barra hotel. They are the fifth generation to steward this property that looks out on an island where once stood a 6th century monastery.
Landscapes like the Cliffs of Moher that lunge first into the sea and then become shrouded in mist over glacial valleys, mountain-fringed bogs and meadows beckon guests into their walking shoes and onto bicycles. Near Garinish Island cavorting seals vie for attention with the ornamental gardens of Ilnacullin coaxed into a micro climate by the Gulf Stream. Sheep dogs working their flocks on an Irish hill farm reveal centuries of breeding – and bonding with their owners — that have sustained farming families and contributed to the woolen industry. Always on call to chat their visitors up are shopkeepers, potters, an Irish polar explorer and whiskey distillers at the oldest pot still distillery in the world. Guests will also watch Irish crystal being made and can visit a chocolatier.
For details on all of Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2018 reservations, please visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/. Call toll free (from the US) 1.833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland
Since 2002 Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named the “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2017, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and in 2018, Vagabond Tours won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards.