Inimitable in its natural beauty, Ireland is home to a number of stunning National Parks. County Kerry is a region of sweeping, golden bays, surf-pounded cliffs and lush farmland, boasting the striking lakes and mountains of the idyllic Killarney National Park. In County Galway, the Wild Atlantic Way boasts a coastline of extraordinary beauty, including the Connemara Peninsula. The Connemara National Park is a magical place of bogs, grasslands, rivers, mountains, waterfalls, and age-old landscapes where wild deer and ponies roam free.
A lively, cosmopolitan and friendly city, particularly renowned for its art and literature scene, Dublin will captivate you from the minute you arrive. Spot the Book of Kells in Trinity College Library, before browsing masterpieces from Picasso, Van Gogh and Monet in The National Gallery. Contemporary art features at the Hugh Lane Gallery, including Francis Bacon’s original London studio - walls and floor included! Other highlights include the Dublin Writers Museum, Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), The National Museum of Ireland and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. As evening falls, sample the fantastic cuisine and dance the night away in a bustling, traditional pub surrounded by the friendly locals.
Ireland is a land laced with a fascinating history. Charming County Waterford is home to Waterford City, dating back to Viking times. Today, it’s a lively port filled with medieval lanes, Norman churches, Georgian architecture and three excellent museums retelling what life was like during the Middle Ages. Trace the steps of Lord and Lady Waterford’s family around the beautiful Curraghmore Estate, with guided tours of the Georgian manor-house and quirky shell house. Meanwhile, close to County Cork, discover the 15th-century Blarney Castle, home to the legendary Blarney Stone. For a taste of Ireland’s more recent history, take a trip to the 200-year-old Jameson whiskey distillery for tours, tastings and whiskey-themed keepsakes.
Festivals, Nightlife and Guinness
Proud of its past, modern-day Dublin brings an exciting present and future. It is a global city with a cosmopolitan culture, best depicted in its flamboyant festivals and street celebrations covering everything from dance and food to film and art. Calendar high points include St. Patrick’s Day, Dublin Dance, Handel Festival, Taste of Dublin and Culture Night Dublin. Year-round, entertainment includes the latest dramas, operas and musicals on stage. A top visitor attraction is the Guinness Storehouse, in which you learn about Ireland’s creamy-topped stout in a high-tech museum and sample a free pint in the Gravity Bar over spectacular city views.
Exclusive golfing excursions can be arranged for Belmond Grand Hibernian guests. Pick from a two-night tour from Dublin on which you travel to the Causeway Coast and its sensational links courses – the Royal Portrush Golf Club, the Dunluce Links and the Valley Links. The four-night itinerary heads west, starting at the Killarney Golf & Fishing Club on the Ring of Kerry, followed by the Lahinch Golf Club on the craggy coast of Liscannor Bay and then on to Westport Golf Club. Meanwhile, those visiting Dublin can tee-off at the illustrious Portmarnock Golf Club, just ten miles away, for a formidable test of play.
Sibling of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and Eastern & Oriental Express, the Belmond Grand Hibernian offers a glamorous and luxurious adventure roaming Ireland’s verdant landscapes. Choose from two, four and six-night journeys exploring Ireland’s iconic sights, setting off from Dublin Heuston Station. Huge picture windows fill interiors with light and provide personal viewing galleries to soak up Ireland’s star attractions - including ancient sites, like Blarney Castle, and atmospheric towns like Galway. Days end with exquisite cuisine and wine onboard, as the sun sets over stunning Ireland.
An easy day trip from Dublin, Kildare is a rich agricultural region of deep-green grazing pastures dotted with award-winning stud farms breeding champion racehorses. Spot the majestic horses as they rest in their stables, or watch them gallop across the springy turf of The Curragh, which appropriately means ‘place of the running horse’. This world-class racecourse draws in spectators, jockeys, trainers and owners from all over the world, and a true highlight of the racing calendar is the Irish Derby – a flat race that takes place in late June or early July.
Beyond the charming cities and rolling landscapes, Ireland is also known for its glass creation. The greatest attraction in County Waterford is the House of Waterford Crystal in which you can watch skilled glassmakers turn dollops of red-hot molten glass into exquisite crystal-ware. The tour concludes in the extensive shop, perfect for picking out a twinkling Irish keepsake.
Ask your Luxury Travel Specialist for the best transport options for your bespoke holiday.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.