Tours of Scotland and Ireland

For the 2019/2020 season we are offering luxury private guided combined tours of both Scotland & Ireland.

The following are some of the Theme Tours of Ireland & Scotland on offer for 2019/2020

  • Guided Golf Tours of Ireland & Scotland
  • Whiskey Tasting Tour of Scotland & Ireland
  • Castles & Manors Tour of Scotland & Ireland
  • Highlands & National Parks Tour
  • Genealogy Tour of Scotland & Northern Ireland
  • Scottish & Irish Heritage Tours
  • Three Weeks Exploring the Irish & Scottish Landscapes
  • Customized trips of any duration to cater for your interests!

 

Joe, our Scotland & Golf Specialist Travel Advisor, will be happy to chat to you about your tour. Call him now on  1800 329 9138 (toll free from the US), email joe@irelandchauffeurtravel.com  or send an enquiry here.

 

An epic tale of Irish ancestry

Stories of Irish ancestry on show in Dublin 

Stories of Irish ancestry

One in every six Irish-born people alive in the world today lives outside Ireland. Back in 1890 that figure was even higher: two in every five.
The stories of the Irish diaspora, one of the largest per capita in the world, range from tales of desperation to tales of success. Almost all contain adventure.

If you are visiting Dublin and interested in these Irish ancestry stories, make sure to visit the CHQ building, an 1820s warehouse on the Dublin docklands.

Deep in its brick-lined vaults is Epic Ireland, an interactive visitor experience developed by the team behind Titanic Belfast. It aims to tell the “authentic and epic story of 10 million journeys, and the roots of 70 million people”.

“There is a specialness about Irishness”

Epic Ireland was funded by former Coca-Cola chief executive Neville Isdell. He emigrated from Co Down with his parents to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) in the mid-1950s.

“There is a specialness about Irishness. It is the friendliness and the storytelling and the enjoying life. I knew that was something to be celebrated,” he told the Irish Times at the time of the opening in 2016.

Epic Ireland’s 21 galleries use actors and film footage to tell the story of 320 members of the Irish diaspora. The displays explore why people left Ireland and the influence they had abroad in sectors such as the arts, science, education, sport and politics.

Guinness and Riverdance

Well-known Irish brands – Guinness, Riverdance and the traditional Irish pub – are also referenced in the displays.

Famous faces who have Irish ancestry that is well documented can be seen, including Grace Kelly, Barack Obama, Graham Norton. You can also learn the stories of plenty more whose Irish roots are less familiar, including the Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara, whose ancestors have been traced back to Co Galway in the early 18th century.

One especially interesting story is that of Dr James Barry, who as a British army surgeon in Africa undertook the first successful caesarean in the world where mother and baby survived. On his deathbed it was discovered Barry was in fact a woman, born Margaret Bulkley, in Dublin. Her mother had told her to disguise herself as a man before she moved abroad in order to practise medicine. Bulkley/Barry was the first qualified female British doctor or surgeon, preceding the next woman by more than half a century.

Please ask your Ireland Chauffeur Travel Travel Advisor if you would like to visit Epic Ireland.

Call us

We offer custom-designed Family Ancestry Tours of Ireland, working with experts across Ireland to assist your to trace your ancestry. Please email info@irelandchauffeurtravel.com or call 1800 329 9138 (toll-free) to chat to our Travel Advisors.

‘It’s like a fairytale’: Mark Hamill and the Star Wars crew on Ireland

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill (aka Luke Skywalker) has been singing the praises of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way and Skellig Michael, which both havestarring roles Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi

“To come back to Ireland was a great treat for all of us because the beauty of that country is unmatched,” Hamill says in a new video for Tourism Ireland.

“You get up in the morning and see vistas where I was sure it was a special effect.”

“The people are so nice. They make you feel like family, they were so welcoming, so accommodating and so friendly. We felt like we were home,” says Hamill. “I mean, having lived in New York for many, many years I wasn’t sure how to take it! I would urge anyone planning a vacation to go to Ireland.  You’ll never find another place like it … I wish we could have shot the entire film there.”

The blockbuster movies were filmed along Ireland’s western coastline, from the northern-most point in Donegal to the cliffs and headlands of counties Clare, Cork and Kerry.

“I got the chills”

Speaking to Joe.ie journalists, Hamill was especially enthusiastic when speaking about Skellig Michael.

“I remember, I had this feeling that rushed over me when I was at the top of Skellig Michael … and in between shots if I turned away and had the crew to my back, you could look out and in this unearthly terrain and the robots by your side and the floating car and the stand, and you’re in this outfit…

“It was very easy to just be transported and really feel like you were in a galaxy far, far away. It was just – y’know, I got the chills. And I never had that feeling again, until – not in Empire, when we went to Norway, it was brutally cold, but snow is snow, I’ve seen it before. In Jedi, we went to the Redwood forest, and again, gorgeous, but again, it was something that I was familiar with.

“Skellig, you’re up at the top, and I didn’t expect this to happen but I was sort of off to myself, and it was just at sunset, and there was the craggy rocks coming up, and I had that same feeling: ‘Oh my gosh, this is like being in another world.’

“Y’know, also, it was built in the 1100s, and you go ‘how did they get these stones out the island in the first place?’, y’know? These monks must have built canoes or who knows, but it is a really extraordinary place.”

“Cultural significance”

Skellig Michael features distinct stone beehive-huts from a Christian monastery that that date back to at least the 8th century. It’s one of the two Skellig islands, which are located off the coast of Kerry.

Because of the island’s cultural heritage significance – it is a UNESCO heritage site – film on the island was only permitted for two days in 2015.

To continue filming on location, the crew returned in 2016 and built replicas of Skellig Michael’s beehive huts on the mainland.

The location scouts then handpicked areas in Cork, Kerry, Clare and Donegal to represent the planet Ahch-to.

Pulling a pint

While in Ireland, Hamill did have some down time and a photograph of him pulling a pint of Guinness got lots of attention. He told joe.ie that he enjoyed music in the pub before popping behind the bar to learn to pull a pint of Guinness. Lee Marvin took Hamill to a pub “back when we were doing The Big Red One [1980 movie set in World War I], where when they finish the Guinness … and they put a shamrock on top.” He also teased his personal trainer by posing with a dog … and a packet of Tayto crisps.

Call us

If you would like to experience your own Star Wars adventure in Ireland (or learn to pull a pint of Guinness!), we will customize a tour of the movie sites on the Wild Atlantic Way during your visit to Ireland. Please email info@irelandchauffeurtravel.com or call 1800 329 9138 (toll-free) to chat to our Travel Advisors.

 

Belfast and Causeway Coast ranked as “top” region in world to visit in 2018

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 lists Belfast and Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast as top region in the world to visit.

The Northern Ireland region takes top spot in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018, an inspirational, travel yearbook that highlights the top places to visit in the year ahead.

Belfast and the Causeway Coast came in ahead of Alaska, the Languedoc-Roussillon region in France and the Aeolian islands in Italy. The writers praise the Causeway Coast “whose timeless beauty and high-grade distractions – golf, whiskey and some of the world’s most famous rocks – are more popular now than ever.”

They also highlight the region’s transformation, especially Belfast.

The city is now “full of hip neighbourhoods that burst with bars, restaurants and venues to suit all tastes”. “The rusting old docklands are now the vibrant Titanic Quarter, home to fancy apartments and a sensational museum.”

Black taxi tour

The authors suggest travellers take a black taxi tour – something we arrange for Ireland Chauffeur Travel clients – to discover the political legacy of the Troubles. They then suggest heading north for golf on Portstewart links course and recommend Harry’s Shack for food. They also suggest visiting the Giant’s Causeway.

These stop-offs have featured on the Ireland Chauffeur Travel customized tours of Northern Ireland for many years. Now we are seeking new off-the-beaten track gems to avoid the crowds that might be inspired by the book!

According to James Smart, Lonely Planet’s destination editor for Britain and Ireland: “Belfast and the Causeway Coast topped our list of the top 10 regions because it is deservedly now recognised as a must-visit destination by travellers from across the globe”.

“Dynamic Belfast has put its troubled past behind it and is a city transformed. Its streets are packed with buzzing bars and great stories. The coastline beyond boasts spectacular scenery and plenty of great diversions. The region may be famous for Game of Thrones but its many scenic filming locations are just the start,” he said.

Titanic

We recently spent time in Belfast and we agree! The Titanic Quarter has a fantastic new addition – the Titanic Hotel. It is built in the old Harland & Wolff offices. Once you enter you cannot but be wow-ed by the renovations to the original Drawing Offices. These bright, vaulted ceiling rooms were where the plans for the RMS Titanic and numerous other White Star Line vessels.

Northern Ireland has heightened appeal right now because of the pre-Brexit value of the pound. This means it is very good value for travellers to the region.

“While the value of the pound hasn’t been great news for British travellers, it has been a great boost for people looking to visit the UK. We expect this to continue next year,” says Smart.

According to Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, the ranking is “another well-deserved accolade”. Tourism Ireland has planned a campaign on the back of the accolade. This includes a dedicated page on their international website, Ireland.com. The website attracted almost 19.4 million visitors last year.

We have included one of the Lonely Planet videos showing why Belfast and the Causeway Coast took the honours. At lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel, you can view three other videos.

Contact us

Please contact us at Ireland Chauffeur Travel (toll-free: 1800 329 9138 or email info@irelandchauffeurtravel.com) if you would like to arrange a tour in Northern Ireland. We would be delighted to assist you. Please quote #BestInTravel.

Don’t miss “My Ireland” – a poetry insight into Ireland in 2017

This poem is phenomenal. Honestly, we are not exaggerating.

If you want to learn more about Ireland in 2017, watch or read this new work by Dublin poet and playwright Stephen James Smith. The poem was commissioned for the 2017 St Patrick’s Day Festival and it encapsulates the best – and worst – of Ireland.

It is a vibrant, passionate, angry and ultimately hopeful look at our country in 2017.

The poem spans Ireland’s historical and political highs and lows, our sights and viewpoints around the country. It encapsulates the “Children of Lirr, Tír na nÓg and a herd of deer”; Glendalough, the Blarney Stone and the Ring of Kerry. For the poet, his Ireland look from Mary Robinson to the Magdalene laundries; from The Quiet Man to Waterford Whispers. It included Roddy Doyle, the Eurovision, emojis and leaving the immersion on.

The poem is accompanied by a short film by director Myles O’Reilly, arranged and mixed by Conor O’Brien (Villagers) and music by Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Gemma Doherty (Saint Sister), Eithne Ní Chatháin aka Inni-K and Ye Vagabonds, and the poet himself on the bodhrán.

Take a few minutes. Read it. Relish it. And tell us here at Ireland Chauffeur Travel – what is your “My Ireland”? Leave us comment here or on our Facebook page. You won’t regret spending time with one of the new voices of a generation in Ireland.

 

My Ireland by Stephen James Smith

My Ireland you are
the river rush,
always fluid in flux
in need of a little hush…

My Ireland is talking to itself
but so busy listening to Joe
it’s not hearing anything!
My Ireland is saying,
“gra go deo” agus “slainte Diageo”.

My Ireland is reeling in the years
and not watching what’s happening now.
While so many are reining in the tears
and trying to cope somehow…
My Ireland is terrified of leaving the immersion on
and lamenting not having won the Eurovision
in God only knows how long!
My Ireland loves laughing at Ó Briain and Norton.
My Ireland is sending gifs and emojis
while waiting for absolution.
My Ireland needs
a vision, an Aisling,
to move on from:
bacon & cabbage,
potatoes, leprechauns,
and jaysis Mrs Brown’s Boys!
My Ireland is checking itself
after a Queen’s Noble Call
and in Dublin Castle heard
“A Úachtaráin, agus a chairde”
from auld Lizzy.
My Ireland is dizzy from misinformation
and celebrations arising from The Proclamation.
My Ireland wonders if it’s a sovereign people
still under the shadow of a steeple?
My Ireland constantly asks:
“was it for this?”
and
“an bhfuil cead agam dul go dtí an leithreas?”
My Ireland is Zig & Zag
and top shelf mags,
Pearse lonely as an old woman
defiant in defeat.
My Ireland is a white flag
and Elizabeth O’Farrell’s feet.
My Ireland is Savita needing agency,
The Magdalene Laundries.
My Ireland is hysterical
and in denial of being patriarchal.
My Ireland didn’t Wake The Feminists,
Queen Méabh was an early riser.
My Ireland you are:
Cumann na mBan
praying to St. Brigid,
Ireland playing frigid
Naysayers and Peig Sayers.
My Ireland is still Hailing Mary Mother of Grace,
And here’s to you Mrs Robinson thanks for the embrace.
My Ireland wishes Grace O’Malley our Pirate Queen
could’ve been out at Shell to Sea.
My Ireland is cherishing anything
from an Instagram snap of a
ham & cheese toasty
to finding the right filter
for taking that selfie.
My Ireland is rich land
dressed by Penney’s.
My Ireland is The Quiet Man
and Waterford Whispers,
shouting for us all.
My Ireland isn’t sure what to do about
the water charges
and needs someone to take the fall.

My Ireland you are
The river rush of the
Corrib, Nore,
Foyle, Suir, Shannon,
Lagan, Lifey, Lee
And every tributary
Wash over me,
Wash over me,
Wash over me…

My Ireland should learn from its rivers
and burst its banks
My Ireland needs to go back to the source,
the initial trickle, a spring
and tickle out its flow.
My Ireland needs to let go.
My Ireland saw Sinead rip up the Pope
and isn’t able to cope.
So we’ve:
Pieta House, Apollo House, Pelican House
for our new age Blood Sacrifice
and Ghost Estates.
My Ireland doesn’t know what a tracker mortgage is
and is hoping it’s not too late.
My Ireland sees goodness,
in the kindness
of its people everyday.
Which bonds us
just enough to get by,
My Ireland’s sense of community
isn’t ready to die!
My Ireland celebrates the underdog
who “Pull Like a Dog”.
“We’re not here to take part, we’re here to take over!”
My Ireland you are:
The Guildford Four,
Rossport Five,
Birmingham Six,
Travelling people,
and forgotten demographics…

My Ireland is a terrible beauty,
agus
Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí.
My Ireland knows,
When All the Others were Away at Mass
there was The Meeting on the Turret Stairs.
My Ireland can let go of all its cares,
it has the arts.
We’ve The Salmon of Knowledge
and blistered hearts.
My Ireland has warriors like;
Damien Dempsey singing Colony
and
Katie Taylor knocking out misogyny!
My Ireland doesn’t forget to pour a sup for the fairies
and our women’s fairy tales sail to Holyhead.

My Ireland you are
The river rush of the
Corrib, Nore,
Foyle, Suir, Shannon,
Lagan, Lifey, Lee
And every tributary
Wash over me,
Wash over me,
Wash over me…

My Ireland can be hard to take,
asks, “Did St. Patrick banish all the snakes?”
My Ireland is the Children of Lirr, Tír na nÓg
a herd of deer and a Connacht brogue.
My Ireland is singing,
“Óró sé do bheatha abhaile”, while
the Eastern Europeans are coming,
the Africans are coming,
the Muslims are coming.
Can we all just come together?
My Ireland you are the National Stud.
My Ireland you are:
Four Green Fields
and a clover,
transgender,
other,
Othered,
he,
she,
non defined,
unexplained,
yet to emerge,
fluid queers.
My Ireland may be drunk on 800 years!
My Ireland is the undocumented
and 40 million worldwide.
Failte them abhaile.
Open your arms.
Do you care about your diaspora?
My Ireland you are:
West Brits, Expats, immigrants,
Shane McGowan Tipp via London Town.
Ireland you are:
the Kilburn Road, Ellis Island,
Boston, To Hell or Connacht,
Dubai, Oz and Canada.
Skyping to your Da & Ma
My Ireland’s calling…
“Tiocfaidh ár lá!”

My Ireland is pulling the Aran wool over the Yankee eyes,
while thanking its bus drivers since 1916.
My Ireland is worried that,
Dustin the Turkey and The Rubberbandits
deserve more plaudits for speaking the truth.
My Ireland is fearful of the litigious.
My Ireland is a religious delirious crowd and Synging Playboys,
in a post-truth Western-World…
My Ireland is full of notions, revelations framed in song
and the constellations of a plough under which we all belong.
My Ireland is Gerard Donnelly resting in the Phoenix Park
as Wellington’s obelisk loom in the dark.
My Ireland is Glendalough, Lough Derg,
skirmishes, Skellig Islands and Star Wars.

My Ireland you are
The river rush of the
Corrib, Nore,
Foyle, Suir, Shannon,
Lagan, Lifey, Lee
And every tributary
Wash over me,
Wash over me,
Wash over me…

My Ireland, oh my,
you are Omagh!
Danny Boy in Loftus Road,
Good Friday, Bloody Sunday
An island in Trouble in shock
caught in the crosshairs of a Glock.
My Ireland is,
Tir gan teanga
Tir gan anam,
and hiding ammunition.
You are white in division,
all sides aiming for some Union…
My Ireland you are:
a Peace Bridge in StrokeCity,
a battle for some,
The Battle of Somme,
a Rising,
a Lily,
a Poppy,
a speech at Woodenbridge,
Others talkin’ of leaching on Jobsbridge.
Ireland “is feidir linn!”
Oh yes we can, oh no you can’t.
My Ireland’s a Gaiety panto.
My Ireland’s got the Fear.
Wondering why are we here?
Looking for a pot of gold under
The Cliffs of Moher.
My Ireland’s postmodern,
self aware, more than a list poem!
Wandering like Bloom through
the Slieve Bloom and Mourne Mountains.

My Ireland is
Carrickfergus, Carrickmines
the Ring of Kerry, Boyne Valley,
Bunclody, Enniscorthy.
My Ireland you are:
waterways, wildlife, curlew.
You are:
a Seanchaí lament,
a Celtic Phoenix,
perpetual hubris.
Ireland you’re not one to complain,
“Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin….”
My Ireland is,
taking the soup,
dropping the ‘O’,
Do you feel emancipated?
My Ireland you are:
Bosco knocking on a magic door
Zebo and the Haka in Thomond Park.
You are:
birdsong from a Lark,
Fenians, farmers, freemasons,
executions at Kilmainham Gaol,
you are UN peacekeeping
and speak of The Pale after
Kissing the Blarney Stone.
My Ireland wherever you roam,
you are always a Paddy a Biddy a Mick,
hailing from a Banana Republic.
My Ireland is getting the ride in Copper Face Jack’s
and made Big Jack an honorary Irishman.
My Ireland is Anglo Irish
and playing GAA for the parish.
My Ireland is Glenroe and Joanne O’Riordan.
My Ireland you are
and aren’t the Vitruvian male
and you’re up for sale
at the right price.
My Ireland is
the lovely girls at the Rose of Tralee,
Mount Rose and TV3.
My Ireland will gobble you up!
It’s obsessed with:
Clonakilty black pudding,
Superquinn sasuages,
bottom feeders,
Hunger Strikes,
1798 and pikes,
Black & Tans,
yips and yurts,
scapegoats, drive-bys,
fiscal crisis, Jesus, ISIS,
The Irish Elk, Ireland help!
Ireland, viral, Titanic, epidemic,
from Normans to Neither/Norism.
My Ireland is Archbishop Charles McQuaid,
enough said!

My Ireland you are
The river rush of the
Corrib, Nore,
Foyle, Suir, Shannon,
Lagan, Lifey, Lee
And every tributary
Wash over me,
Wash over me,
Wash over me…

My Ireland has erased
The Famine, The Great Hunger, The Emergency.
Let’s not write our epitaph until we’re all free.
My Ireland had a Centenary and got D.P..
My Ireland couldn’t look its signatories in the eye.
My Ireland’s:
ditties & songs,
sure we’ll all sing along,
while Louis Walsh looms
and wooden spoons
cause national trauma.
My Ireland is saying RIP Billo,
and knows Dunphy’s a spoofer.
My Ireland’s trying to survive on the dole
and livin’ off of chicken fillet rolls.
Ireland you are:
Happy Pears and Apple accounts.
Ireland you are still living in the past,
how long can this last?
Do you even understand Peadar Kearney’s words?
Ireland invented by Declan Kiberd,
revived by Lady Gregory,
wants a portrait from Colin Davidson
but is scared of what it’ll see…

Ireland you are:
Some woman’s yellow hair,
Marty Morrissey’s hair,
EU fishing quotas,
Bankers, bonuses,
Paddy Clarke HA HA, Enya,
Eircodes, uilleann pipes,
NAMA and the HSE,
a biscuit and stout industry,
Riverdance, The Walls of Limerick,
private islands, apologies,
Bog Poems, Blackberry-Picking, fermenting,
Wild Geese, Web Summits, Harps,
Jimmy X, All Kinds of Everything,
caught in a whirlpool spin.
You are part of the world,
look out
and
look within…

Mise Éire, Ireland, Hibernia,
you are all this
you are all this
and more!

My Ireland you are
trying to be all encompassing
and it’s an impossible task.
So I ask you,
“what’s your My Ireland?”
Ireland are you evolving,
Arising, an Aisling,
Remembering,
Ireland Arise!

Ireland from what I’ve heard
a great compassion
is calling you.
You have a teanga,
ao add your voice.
Ireland from what I know
a great courage
is in you.
So stand united rejoice.
Go back to the source, the flow,
forget mainstream.
Let out a roar,
I want to hear you scream:
“This Ireland is my land.
This Ireland is your land.
This island is our land.”

And know I love you.
And know I love you.
I love you.
Sin é!
I’m trying to listen,
so what have you to say?

My Ireland you are
The river rush of the
Corrib, Nore,
Foyle, Suir, Shannon,
Lagan, Lifey, Lee
And every tributary
Wash over me,
Wash over me,
Wash over you,
Wash over us…

 

Tell us about your “My Ireland” on our Facebook page – facebook.com/IrelandChauffeurTravel

Ireland’s best hotels . . . according to TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards

 

Harveys Point hotel, Donegal.
Harvey’s Point hotel, Donegal.

The TripAdvisor 2017 Travellers’ Choice top hotel votes have been counted and the results are in. The “Top 10 Irish hotels” list features some Ireland Chauffeur Travel favorites and is a great reminder of the quality hotels on offer around the country – from Donegal to Mayo, Dublin, Kerry, Cork, Laois and, well, back to Donegal! Harvey’s Point, a four-star hotel set among the Bluestack Mountains on the shores of Lough Eske in Donegal, grabs top spot on the Top Irish Hotels List as well as the “Best service” category.

The results cap an incredible start to 2017 for Donegal, which was ranked Number 1 on the “Cool List for 2017” by National Geographic Traveller UK. Donegal was also voted as “Ireland’s Hidden Gem” in the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards.

Ireland Chauffeur Travel favorites feature in the “Top Luxury Hotels in Ireland” list, with the Killarney Park Hotel taking top spot. Ballyfin Demense – which was voted Best Hotel in the World by Condé Naste Readers – took second place, ahead of Dublin’s Merrion Hotel and Hayfield Manor in Cork.

TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Irish hotels:

  1. Harvey’s Point, Donegal
  2. Ashford Castle, Mayo
  3. The Merrion, Dublin
  4. The Killarney Park Hotel, Kerry
  5. Hayfield Manor, Cork
  6. Castle Durrow, Laois
  7. The Brehon, Killarney, Kerry
  8. The Dunloe, Kerry
  9. The River Lee Hotel, Cork
  10. Villa Rose Hotel, Ballybofey, Donegal

Top 15 luxury hotels in Ireland:

  1. Killarney Hotel, Kerry
  2. Ballyfin Demense, Laois
  3. Merrion Hotel, Dublin
  4. Hayfield Manor, Cork
  5. The Dunloe, Kerry
  6. Castle Leslie Estate, Monaghan
  7. The Marker Hotel, Dublin
  8. Dromoland Castle, Clare
  9. The Europe Hotel, Kerry
  10. Tankardstown, Meath
  11. Monart, Wexford
  12. Adare Manor, Limerick
  13. The Westbury, Dublin
  14. Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa, Kerry
  15. Druids Glen Hotel & Gold Resort, Wicklow

Read more about Ireland’s top hotels on our luxury accommodation page (https://www.irelandchauffeurtravel.com/luxury-accommodation/).

TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards are in their 15th year. They are determined based on “millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from TripAdvisor travellers worldwide,” says the online travel giant.

By Leonie Corcoran

Killarney Park Hotel, Killarney, Kerry.

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Be inspired with the stunning Wild Atlantic Way video

Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way: It’s that time of the year when – with a sense of adventure pervading – we make plans for vacations and new adventures. And there’s no better place to start than on the windswept edge of the world on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

The Wild Atlantic Way stretches all along the west coast of Ireland and has proved a huge hit with domestic and foreign visitors (it and sister route “Ireland’s Ancient East” have been credited with being key to Ireland’s 10.5 million overseas visitors last year).

The 2,500km route is recognized as one of the world’s longest defined coastal routes and it has even starred in Star Wars.
Now Ireland’s tourism authority, Fáilte Ireland, has teamed up with one of our hottest music groups to make a video showcasing the breathtaking beauty of the route.

Walking on Cars hail from Dingle and so the five-piece alt rock band know a thing or two about the Wild Atlantic Way. The band’s track – “Don’t Mind Me” is the soundtrack to visually stunning scenery along the trail that is famed for its rugged coastlines, unspoiled natural landscape and relaxed pace.

At Ireland Chauffeur Travel, some of our favorite places along route include Mizen Head Peninsula in West Cork, the Cliffs of Moher and Loop Head in Co Clare, Skellig Michael of Star Trek fame, in Co Kerry and the Slieve League Cliffs in Co Donegal (read more here).

Also, 2017 is a great time to visit stops on the route – Donegal, just voted National Geographic’s “coolest place on the planet”, Skellig Ring, Lonely Planet’s must-see for 2017, or Erris in Mayo – officially Ireland’s best place to go wild.

As well as soothing any January blues, we agree that the video gives an insight about why “wild” is included in the “Wild Atlantic Way” title. Let us know what you think and if you haven’t visited the area yet, or need some scenery to soothe your soul, the video might be all you need to convince you to plan a trip!

Contact us to start building your Wild Atlantic Way itinerary – email: shane@irelandchauffeurtravel.com; call us in the office on +353 62 67051 or Toll Free USA: 1800 329 9138; or tweet @IrelandTours.

By Leonie Corcoran

Wild Atlantic Way: what a view
Wild Atlantic Way: what a view

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Holiday hampers – a taste of artisan Ireland

The halls are decked with holly and there’s no doubt it’s the season to be (extra) jolly as the 2016 holiday season excitement builds.

In Ireland, food is at the heart of the holiday season festivities – from cranberry tartlets and mince pies when entertaining guests who visit on the dark evenings of craic to a Christmas dinner that sees all the family sitting down together. We are also lucky here to be spoiled for choice when it comes to farm fresh produce and artisan food providers.

Here at Ireland Chauffeur Travel, the office team has already celebrated with dinner in local restaurant Chez Hans, under the shadow of the Rock of Cashel.

For our team of driver guides, this year we decided to pack something for the road. The inspiration came from one of my favorite simple foodie experiences in the past year – a picnic on Garrettstown beach in Co Cork. That day we packed a basket with local prawns (Galway), fresh bread from the English Market (Cork), Cashel Blue cheese (Tipperary) and a bottle of ginger kefir (Cork) and bubbles for the non-driver.

So, what could be a better “thank you” than our own custom-made picnic hamper? We decided the produce should all be local to our office base in Cashel so we sourced wicker baskets in Cork and then visited The Apple Farm in Cahir, Co Tipperary, for juice, plum jelly and fresh apples. Then we added Cashel Blue Cheese, TMT Artisan Irish Spicy Ketchup, Tom Durcan’s spiced beef carpaccio (English Market, Cork), the Tipperary Kitchen Holycross Chocolate Biscuit Cake, Chocolate Spread and O’Donnell’s crisps (Irish potato chips are an artisan experience in themselves), also from Tipp.

Our only non-Irish additions were the wine but next year, we are planning to source wine directly from our tours in Provence or Italy!

We enjoyed putting together the hampers so much (okay…and sampling the produce!) that we would like to offer you the opportunity to enjoy the produce too. If you would like to sample our Irish Picnic Hamper, please let us know before you travel to Ireland with us and we will put one together for you so you can sample artisan Ireland with our compliments.

Happy holidays to all,

Shane

Where are Thanksgiving Celebrations in Ireland ?

Thanksgiving is a special time of year, a time to reflect on what we are thankful for, gather with family and friends. While Thanksgiving is celebrated predominately by Americans and Canadians, the tradition has been adopted by many countries, like Ireland, who have very special bonds with the two nations.

Given the large number of Irish diaspora living in America and the increase in North American visitors to Ireland, this Thanksgiving will be celebrated here in Ireland. For those Americans who find themselves away from home and in Ireland this holiday, fear not that a traditional turkey dinner can be found on the Emerald Isle!

The famous Merry Ploughboy Pub will be hosting a Thanksgiving meal and show with a special Thanksgiving theme. Other restaurants around the country who offer Thanksgiving dinners include Beaufield Mews in Stillorgan, Co.Dublin, The Fitzwilliam Hotel, La Boheme in Waterford, and the Ulster American Folk Park.

At Ireland Chauffeur Travel, we wish all our American friends in Ireland and America a Happy Thanksgiving! Lá Altaithe Sona Daoibh!

Happy St. Patricks Day from Cashel of the Kings

St-Patricks-Day-Image
St. Patrick’s Rock of Cashel
Cashel, Co. Tipperary
The Rock of Cashel gets it name from the Irish word “caiseal,” meaning “stone fort.” Around 448 A.D., St. Patrick came to Cashel and baptized Munster’s king Aengus MacMutfraich, grandson of King Cormac. The tradition states that Patrick accidentally pierced the King’s foot with his staff during the ceremony. The King, thinking this was part of the ceremony, remained silent and stood still. The Rock then was called St. Patrick’s Rock of Cashel after this comical event.
Cashel is also home to the Ireland Chauffeur Travel office. We encourage our clients to visit the Rock of Cashel during their tour in Ireland. We would be delighted to have you stop by the office and say hello to our staff. It will be our pleasure to treat you to an Irish Coffee during your visit to Cashel of The Kings.