The beauty of Ireland stretches from the rolling hills and running brooks of Killarney to the high-pitched opinions of Dublin pub drinkers downing fresh pints of Guinness. Fortunately for you, the Luck of the Irish has spread to travelers as tour providers try to match the low-prices of travel packages to the land of the Leprechaun and the Four Leaf Clover.
Dooley Vacations (tel. 877/331-9301;www.dooleyvacations.com) promises 40 percent savings on car rental, accommodations and amenities on their "Classic Ireland Vacation." Starting at $399 for a six-night land-only vacation, this trip includes three nights at any of Ireland's 2,000 "Town and Country" bed and breakfasts all serving heart Irish breakfasts, two nights at the five-star Glenlo Abbey, Co. Galway complete with hunting, fishing and golfing facilities, a dinner on the Pullman Car of the Orient Express now a gourmet restaurant residing on the grounds of the Glenlo Abbey, a weekly car rental with unlimited mileage, and a visit to the Waterford Crystal Visitors Center with a 10 percent discount off any purchases. Travel is good from November 1, 2005 till March 31, 2006.
For a unique air/land package to Ireland, Dooley has put together a special Irish Pub Tour. The six-day four-night air and hotel inclusive trip which travels by luxury motor coach (pub crawls and driving don't match) makes stops in such famous Irish drinking cities as U2's home city Dublin where you'll visit the Guinness Storehouse and Trinity College, Galway and Shannon. The trip also includes two full dinners and a complete Irish breakfast with very possibly a blood sausage. Other sightseeing excursions include the Cliffs of Moher. Starting at just $599, this trip departs from the United States on November 18 and November 30, 2005.
More complete air/land packages are available from Go Today (tel. 800/227-3235; www.gotoday.com). A three-night self-guided trip to Dublin starting at $479 for travel between November 1 and December 15, 2005 and January 6 and March 25, 2006. Some blackout dates do apply. This quick Irish getaway includes round-trip airfare out of New York (other U.S. gateways are available at additional costs) three nights at a choice of Dublin hotels in a variety of areas within the city, continental breakfast everyday, and hotel and service tax. Airline security fees totaling more than $60 are not included in the price of the package. A longer six-night trip to Dublin starts at $569. Some of the hotels such as Cassidy's Hotel are located on Cavendish Row, Dublin's main shopping stretch. Cassidy's Hotel has a bar inside serving traditional Irish pub lunch and a full-service three-tier restaurant. The hotel is housed in a red brick Georgian building echoing the heyday of Irish urban architecture and literature.
For a full-scale guided tour of the country of Ireland lasting fourteen days, C.I.E. Tours (tel. 800/243-8687; www.cietours.com) has an air/land "Irish Classic" tour with accommodations at first-class hotels costing approximately $2,098. Trip highlights include visits to a traditional abbey, Giant's Causeway, the Bushmills Distillery, Blarney Castle and Dunbrody, Catamaran Cruise of Killary Fjord where you'll likely see working salmon and mussel farms. Included in this Irish escape are round-trip air from the United States, sightseeing via luxury coach, an Irish professional tour guide, twelve full Irish breakfasts and ten dinners, a welcoming get together drink, whiskey tastings, a "Quiet Man" Walking Tour of Cong, visits to Dublin castles and other national landmarks, and all accommodations including hotel taxes and baggage handling for one bag per customer. Giving travelers a good view of Irish folklore, this trip also includes a folk party and a visit to the Ring of Kerry to look at some of the Irish islands. The trip departs out of New York, Boston and Chicago on Friday's and Wednesday's. A single supplement costs $598 extra. Also, departure fees and security taxes are additional.
Share your own experiences on our Ireland Message Boards.