Ireland is the stuff of bucket-list dreams for all types of travelers and interests, from exploring historical sites and finding your family's genealogical roots to road tripping through the green countryside and making a castle your home away from home. There are plenty of incredible Emerald Isle experiences to be had, but these five are the best – and they're easy to book, thanks to these professionally curated packages from Great Value Vacations.
From the rolling green hills to the craggy coastline, Ireland offers one of the world's best (and most beautiful) road trips – experienced from the left-hand side, of course. The roads range from motorways to dual carriageways to meandering country lanes where road signs can be found in both Gaelic (Irish) and English. Sure, you can drive across the entire country in less than three hours, but taking your time allows you to see some incredible sights. While cruising the country, snap a selfie at the jaw-dropping Cliffs of Moher or sit by the fire at a cozy pub and eat west coast oysters at Moran's Oyster Cottage while sipping a pint of Guinness. Pro-tip: The ultimate Irish road trip should include stops at Kilkenny Castle with a stay at The Hoban Hotel, the Devil's Chimney with the country's tallest waterfall, and St. Mary's Cathedral in Limerick, and overnight at the Absolute Hotel.
Want to experience these sights for yourself? Book this self-drive getaway that includes round-trip flights, hotels, and a rental car. This 6-night package has everything you need for the ultimate Irish road trip at your own pace – from just $699 per person. Book your trip now.
Dublin is home to more than one-fourth of Ireland's population. The destination offers up the chance to experience the buzz of the city with the charm and friendliness of a small village. From historical sites to trendy cafés, Dublin's streets are chock-a-block with options. If you're a literary lover, you'll be delighted to know that Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature: Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, and W.B. Yeates all called Dublin home. The architecture at Trinity College, Ireland's oldest university, is impressive – as is the rooftop of Guinness Storehouse (where you can craft your own pint and sip on the rooftop bar). But if history is more your speed, have a drink at the world's oldest bar: the Brazen Head has been running since 1198. The city is easy to navigate on foot; plus, there are plenty of lodging options right in the city center, including the Maldron Hotel Parnell Square.
If you're dreaming of Dublin, book this four-night city break (priced from $699) that includes round-trip flights, hotel accommodations, two-for-one admission to EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, and discounted tickets to the Guinness Storehouse. Book your trip now.
Here's something our grandparents wouldn't have had the chance to do: Ancestry Travel, a growing trend, especially among Americans. For the 70 million people around the globe who have roots in Ireland, this is the very definition of a bucket list trip. The country is well equipped to support this fascinating sort of travel. Dublin is home to EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum and the Irish Family History Centre – plus, there are knowledgeable genealogists to help families dig into their ancestral connections – an experience that lasts well beyond the week abroad. Cap the trip off with a stay at a friendly bed and breakfast, where most owners live on-site and can share their own family history in the Emerald Isle.
Looking to trace your own roots? Book this six-night trip (from $1,199), which includes round-trip flights, accommodations, a rental car, and admission to EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum and the Irish Family History Centre, where you will have a private consultation with a genealogy expert. Click here to book.
Ireland is well known for its charming B&Bs that offer warm hospitality and cozy accommodation (plus those iconic Irish breakfasts). The Brandonview House B&B in Kilkenny is owned by local host Helen Doyle, who's been running the inn on her farmland since 1994. Along with their dogs, you'll find plenty of chickens on site for fresh farm eggs and homemade baked goods. Drive to the Cliffs of Moher and stay the night at the Doonagore Farmhouse. The property is owned by the Sweeney family, who will be your personal guide to the iconic cliffs.
To experience Irish hospitality for yourself, book this flexible package that starts at $899 and includes round-trip air, hotel stay for two nights, vouchers for four nights at B&Bs, and a rental car. Book your trip now.
Ireland is home to more than 30,000 castles – some of which are open to those who may not be royalty (but that doesn't mean you won't feel like it). The palatial Abbeyglen Castle Hotel dates back to 1832, and its incredible architecture, sprawling green landscape, and charming pub only add to the historic charm. Imagine waking up in a guest room that's original to the property but updated with modern amenities – with views of the lush gardens. In fact, it's not hard to plan an entire road trip around the historic castles in Ireland: start at Kilkenny Castle and end at Dublin Castle – and stop off along the way to step back in time in these ancient structures.
Feel like royalty with this package that includes two nights at a castle hotel in Connemara, and five nights at properties in Kilkenny, Westport, and Dublin. Priced from $1,499, this offer also includes round-trip flights, a rental car, and daily breakfast. Click here to book.
To learn more about these experiences, as well as Great Value Vacations' other quickly customizable and flexible packages to Ireland, with extra savings on your choice of airlines and lodging options, visit www.greatvaluevacations.com.
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