Your Essential Custom Ireland Trip Planner
Posted on Mar 01, 2018 by Dawn Rainbolt
Thinking about travelling to Ireland but are you’re looking for expert advice? Leave it to us! Our dedicated travel designers will help you plan the trip of your dreams.
But where to start? Follow the four steps outlined below on our Ireland Trip Planner to turn your daydream into your dream come true!
Ireland Trip Planner Step 1: Choose your Dates
Juggling busy schedules, work priorities, family duties, and other personal and professional obligations means that travel and vacation dates are usually relegated to specific slots in your schedules when everyone in your group is available.
By choosing custom travel, you have full control over the dates you travel, as well as the duration that works best for you.
You’ll also get to choose the season you visit Ireland, as each season has its merits! Hike through the wildflowers in the crisp spring air by visiting in spring, visit in peak season in summer to take full advantage of all Ireland has to offer, or head to the Emerald Isle in autumn after school’s back in to experience the magical season of Samhain, the predecessor of Halloween.
Ireland Trip Planner Step 2: Pick your Location
Where do you want to go? The world is your oyster! The Emerald Isle is full of gems to explore. To help you out, we’ve broken down the island into a few biteable chunks.
Read on for a short overview of each region or click the below links!
Dublin: Most visitors to Ireland start in Dublin due to the airport’s great flight connections, so chances are you’ll end up staying at least one night in Dublin – though most people want more! This compact yet cosmopolitan city founded by Vikings is a fun place to explore day and night, and its colourful streets are alive with a rich history.
Northern Ireland: The ever-changing city of Belfast, along with the wild Causeway Coast, have been named Lonely Planet’s top region to visit in 2018. By hiking the Causeway Coast, you’ll visit amazing castles, Game of Thrones filming locations, adorable harbours, rugged sea stacks, and sheer cliffs – culminating at the wild Giant’s Causeway, a unique geological formation of of 40,00o joined basalt columns.
The Northwest (Sligo & Donegal): From the wild, rugged coasts, bogs and Slieve League cliffs of Donegal to the windswept hills and glittering lakes of Sligo, forever immortalised by national poet WB Yeats, Ireland’s northwest counties are a perfect gem for travellers looking for adventure. The alien coasts of Malin Head in northern Donegal were used in the 2017 Star Wars film, a testament to the region’s strange geology. And did we mention the region’s coastal areas are known as the Surf Coast? And for good reason – these waves are some of the best surfing waves in Europe!
The West (Connemara, Galway, Clare and Mayo): The magic of Connemara has drawn in travellers, artists and wanderers for generations. A combination of parading mountains, windswept bogs, sea-carved islands and Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) communities make Connemara romantic and wild. Cyclists can bike the car-free Greenway to Achill Island and its eerie Deserted Village, and hikers (or pilgrims) can summit Croagh Patrick mountain, a beloved pilgrimage route. Enjoy stunning views of Clew Bay, once the watery kingdom of a ferocious Pirate Queen in the 16th century, and the Irish-speaking Aran Islands. Further south is bustling Galway city, the famous Cliffs of Moher, as well as the exposed lunar landscape of the Burren.
The Southwest (Cork & Kerry): Perhaps the most popular region of Ireland, the southwest also happens to be one of the sunniest, due to the region’s microclimate. The five peninsulas of Cork and Kerry are full of charms: the Gap of Dunloe, Killarney town and National Park, Dingle’s Slea Head, the colourful Kinsale. The coasts are lined with islands – the Skellig Islands as the most famous thanks to their starring role in Star Wars 2015 and 2017, but there are many others waiting to be undiscovered!
The Ancient East (Eastern Ireland): Outside of Dublin, Ireland’s east coast gets less attention but the Ancient East has its own charms. Ireland’s old eastern cities such as Waterford and Wexford have an intriguing history. The hills are littered with ancient megalithic sites that pre-date the Pyramids and chains of mountains – both well-known places like the Wicklow Mountains as well as little-known gems such as the Comeraghs and the Slieve Bloom Mountains – make great places to hike!
Ireland Trip Planner Step 3: Pick your Activity
Once you’ve chosen which locations suit you and your group the best, it’s time to start deciding what you want to do! Hiking and biking are the most common activities for both our scheduled as well as our tailor made/custom groups. Other popular outdoors activities on custom-built trips include kayaking, canoeing, stand-up-paddling, horseback riding and surfing.
As for cultural activities, things like cheese-making, painting, pottery spinning, learning how to feed the lambs and shear sheep, coastal foraging, as well as historical walking tours, castle visits, and learning about Irish mythology are all the sort of activities you can do. For those travelling with kids, choose activities that are exciting for all ages, such as treasure hunts, ghost tours, toy factories, sailing expeditions and sheep herding!
If you need a little inspiration, take a look at our sample itineraries here to see if anything stands out!
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Ireland Trip Planner Step 4: Choose your Accommodation
Whether you’re looking for cosmopolitan contemporary luxury, lavish castles and manor houses in the backcountry, small town unique (and boutique) hotels, or charming accommodations that make you feel like you’re at home, work with our trip designers to find and choose the accommodations that are right for you!
Ireland Trip Planner Step 5: Get in touch!
If you already know roughly your dates, locations and activities, you can add directly to our Interactive Trip Builder.
Or if you’d like to chat through your trip options and preferences with one of our expert trip designers, you’ve got a few options:
- Email [email protected].
- Call us at +353 (0)91 457 898 or North American toll free 1-844-235-6240.
- If you’re pressed for time, try our new Live Chat feature, available on our website.
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Posted on Feb 18, 2018 by Dawn Rainbolt