Get set for an exceptional Irish adventure that’s tailor-made just for you
Create your own unique journey around the wonderful wilds of Ireland with a trip of a lifetime you’ll never forget
What's it all about?
Whether you want to bond with Mother Nature on a cycling odyssey, or savour our sumptuous local ingredients with a stylish food adventure – we’ve got a tour to suit your tastes. Wherever you want to go, whatever you want to do, you can tailor-make an itinerary that is guaranteed to thrill the senses with memories you’ll cherish forever. From the high-brow elegance of Northern Ireland’s Houses and Gardens to the comfort of a spectacular self-drive around some of the country’s most exceptional scenic sights, we’ve got some superb suggestions right here!
So how do I get around?
Walk it, cycle, drive, bus it or get on a high horse – it doesn’t matter whether you’re an active sort or someone who likes to be primped and pampered, there are so many different ways to see Ireland you’ll be spoilt for choice. Free-spirited souls can take to the open road by opting for a car hire and a multi-day tour with one of our excellent self-drive itineraries ; while if you’d prefer someone else to do the hard work then let your tour operator arrange your trip, including flights, car hire, accommodation and even evening meals in the company of one of Ireland’s many reputable guides . If you’re looking for something a little bit different, you could even try a tour around Ireland’s spectacular East Coast in your very own horse-drawn caravan . Or else experience the romance of rail travel with a one, two, three or four-day rail tour .
Where should I start?
First, decide what you want from your holiday. Do you want to get to know the North of Ireland better? Then why not base yourself in the North and explore the region for a few days. You can organise a specific tour of the area’s glorious Fermanagh Lakelands or explore on foot with an organized walking holiday , which will ensure you’ve got a bed for the night, luggage transfers and a qualified guide to show you the way. Mind you, if you’re more comfortable with a jar of Guinness and a cosy pub, then you could try a jaunt around Belfast’s old pubs ; get close to the city’s turbulent past with a famous Black Taxi Tour ; or head a little further south and go all literary with a pub crawl around Dublin city’s finest bars .
I’m feeling quite active, what’s out there for me?
The West of Ireland is a paradise for outdoors types. Some of the region’s most exquisite scenic delights can be best appreciated on foot, allowing you to seek out hidden nooks and crannies well off the beaten track. And if you like to feel the invigorating rush of fresh air in your face, then try a guided cycling tour , a glide along glistening waterways or even a tour on horseback . The West and Northwest offer a number of excellent guided travel options, which will ensure you’re treated to the finest food, drink, accommodation and services from start to farewell.
I feel a theme coming on…
So you’ve got an interest in a particular area, then opt for arranging your holiday around a chosen theme. Ireland’s diverse range of activities and cultural highlights means that there’s something to suit everyone, whether you want to spend your break painting watercolours or sussing out some of Ireland’s most exceptional golf courses. Companies like Essence of Ireland can help you paint, dive, golf or even whale watch your way around the island – the choice is literally yours!
What’s all this about safaris?
Yes, admittedly, it’s unlikely that you’ll encounter a herd of wild elephants while traveling through the Irish countryside, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have our own form of safaris. Cycling safaris are growing in popularity right across the country and they’re a great way of meeting like-minded bikers, enjoying undiscovered tracks and little-known locales. Urban-based holidaymakers can head out of the big cities to coastal routes for short tours, while the more adventurous can take to the highlands of Donegal, the sparkling lakesides in Kerry, through pretty Midlands villages or to the hills of Connemara.
I’m a bit of a gourmet type, what’s out there for me?
You’ll be pleased to know that Ireland is now a top destination for international foodies. Gourmet food tours are a growing area in Ireland thanks to a renaissance in Irish food and exceptional local farms, buzzing markets, world-renowned cookery schools, incredible artisan produce and exquisite restaurants. Feast on fabulous cured meats and sausages, farmhouse cheeses and exceptional smoked salmon and learn more about Ireland’s gastronomic delights with a wonderfully indulgent gourmet food tour.