Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Foot-tapping, merry making good time - Top 10 2014 Festivals in Ireland

From opera to oysters - festivals in Ireland cover a multitude of activities, from literary pursuits at the Dublin Book Festival to the gems of the silver screen at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. Many of our clients prefer to travel to Ireland when there is something special going on, so they can partake in a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Join in the festivities on your self-drive vacation to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations or bring your friends and family on a group vacation to Ireland for a foot-tapping, merry-making good time!

Here are just a few of the festivals going on in Ireland in 2014!


Temple Bar Tradfest - Dublin
January 22-26, 2014
The festival takes place over 5 days and 5 nights with over 200 events. The festival has been recognized for its contribution to Irish traditional music and culture with several awards including Best Traditional Music Festival in the 2008 and 2009 Festival Awards.


Jameson Dublin International Film Festival - Dublin
 February 13-23, 2014
Jameson Dublin International Film Festival continues its commitment to celebrating film as an art form by presenting over 120 films from the four corners of the globe to the Irish Audience. The festival is a citywide event that takes place in all of the Dublin City Centre Cinemas including Cineworld, The Savoy, Screen, Irish Film Institute and Light House Cinema in Smithfield. The majority of films shown at the film festival are Irish premieres, and for some of the films shown, the festival represents the only public screening that will take place in Ireland.


St. Patrick's Day - Ireland
March 17, 2014
On St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland is virtually bursting at the seams with street theater, Irish music, dance, street spectacles, comedy, film, a treasure hunt, Irish language events, family fun and of course the best St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the world.


Waterford Festival and Food
April 10-13, 2014
This annual festival has become synonymous with fabulous food, fantastic family fun, magical music and much more!


Connemara Bog Festival
May 23 - June 2, 2014
An authentic, award-winning festival celebrating 30 years. A space for walking, talking and fun in the company of a multi-disciplinary team of poets, painters and musicians in the wondrous Conamara landscape.


Carlow Arts Festival (Eigse 2014), Carlow
June 6 - 15, 2014
Visual art, theatre, music, literature, street carnival, & cultural diversions of all shapes make up this 35-year-old festival which brings creativity to the towns, villages, mountain and riverbanks of Carlow.


Galway Arts Festival, Galway
July 14 - 27, 2014
Regarded as one of Europe's key cultural events, Galway Arts Festival is an international celebration of the performing and visual arts. Each year over 100,000 people attend the Galway Arts Festival, with hundreds of writers, artists, performers and musicians creating theatre, spectacle, street art, music, comedy, literature and music to produce a stunning fortnight of cultural activity and celebration. Galway Arts Festival is the defining cultural expression of Galway and is at the heart of all aspects life in the city.


Waterford Spraoi Festival
August 1-3, 2014
Spraoi, pronounced spree, is the Irish word for fun, exuberance and celebration. The Spraoi International Street Arts Festival has been staged in Waterford, Ireland, since 1993. For three days each year residents of this medieval city take to the streets and enjoy an international programme of street arts and spectacle. The festival is staged on August Bank Holiday Weekend, always marked by the first Monday in August. Waterford’s narrow medieval streets, squares, quays and historic buildings provide an atmospheric backdrop to Spraoi’s celebration of contemporary performance culture. The majority of the events are free and suitable for all ages. Performers and musicians from around the world feature in the Spraoi programme each year. The festival programme features the Irish Premeiers of International work. Spraoi also produces its own work for the festival, including The Spraoi Parade.


Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, Co Clare
August 29 - October 5, 2014
Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival is Europe's largest singles event, with a whole month of dancing and craic starting at 12 noon til late into the night. The festival is Europe's largest singles event. There are five big weekends of dancing and craic. The dancing also starts at the town hall at 12 noon every day during the month of September and continues all over town til late. You can see Willie Daly one of Ireland’s oldest matchmakers at the matchmaker bar every weekend. If its craic and dancing you want Lisdoonaarna is not to be missed.

Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival, Galway
September 25 - 28, 2014
Each September, Galway City comes alive with seafood & oysters as it celebrates the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival, the most internationally recognised food festival in Ireland and the world's longest running International Oyster Festival. Throughout the festival, a host of tantalising events to whet your appetite will take place, including; a seafood trail in some of Galway city’s finest restaurants, Taste of the Sea/Blas na Mara - showcasing Galway's seafood heroes, the National Oyster Opening Championship, The Food village at The Festival Marquee, the World Oyster Opening Championship, a Mardi Gras event through the streets of Galway and the Festival Finale with family activities, kids fancy dress, live music, cooking demonstrations, Best Hot Oyster Dish challenge, Irish Coffee making and jive & jazz.


Beamish Cork Folk Festival, Co Cork
October, 2014
The Cork Folk Festival has been taking place annually since 1979 at 45 locations throughout the City of Cork. Throughout the five day festival, many of the events are free and audiences can sample everything from set to sean nós dancing, bluegrass to cajun music and singers' club to singer songwriters. The highlight of the festival takes place on Grand Parade, where up to 10,000 dancers gather to take part in Ireland’s largest open air céilí.


Dublin Book Festival, Dublin
November, 2014
Dublin Book Festival brings together the best of Irish publishing, offering a chance for the voices of both established and up and coming authors to be heard. Our poets and authors will gather to celebrate Dublin’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature. The Dublin Book Festival promises a great line-up within a relaxed and fun environment with something for everyone.

2014 is almost here! Let this be the year you find your perfect festival. See that amazing performance, run up that mountain, learn something new or round up your pals for a city break with a difference. Go on! Catch some festival fever!

Simply call Celtic Tours World Vacations today at 1-800-833-4373 and our reservation team will be happy to assist you with the best travel arrangements to take advantage of these and other special events.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Ballygally Castle Hotel Ghost

Every proper Irish castle has to have a ghost of some kind, and the ghost of Ballygally has been around for the best part of 400 years!

The popular theory is that the ghost is that of Lady Isobella Shaw, wife of Lord James Shaw. Lord Shaw wanted a son and when his wife delivered his heir, he snatch the baby from his wife. He locked her is a room at the top of the castle. While trying to escape to search for her beloved child, Lady Isobella fell to her death from the tower window!

Another theory is that she was actually thrown out of the window by the cruel Lord Shaw or one of his henchmen!

Lady Isobella's ghost is reputed to be a friendly spirit who walks the corridors of the old castle. Over the years many guests have reported strange experiences and have felt a presence in their rooms! There are also endless stories of unexplained noises in the night, and an eerie green mist over the castle! The hotel is so fiercly proud of their permanent resident they have given her her own bedroom 'The Ghost Room; in one of the towers in the oldest part of the castle!

In for a spooky adventure? Why not stay in Ballygally Castle! Travel to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Friday, December 27, 2013

Jerpoint Abbey

Jerpoint Abbey
Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny

An outstanding Cistercian abbey founded in the second half of the 12th century. The church with its Romanesque details dates from this period. In the transept chapels the visitor can see 13th to 16th century tomb sculpture. The town and cloister date from the 15th century. The cheif delight of the Abbey is the sculptured cloister arcade with unique carvings. The Visitor Center houses an interesting exhibition. Access for visitors with disabilities. Guided tours available.

Travel to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Thursday, December 26, 2013

6 Must Sees Along the Causeway Coast

The Causeway Coastal Route, from Belfast Lough to Lough Foyle is a kaleidoscope journey of natural wonders, peppered with villages and towns which have retained character and charm over the generations. Each have their own stories to tell of myth and history and you'll find that the enire nation seems to boast the famous 'gift of gab'. This makes asking directions a long drawn out affair, for everyone you ask will want you to see their favorite spot, but it all adds to the charm! To make your journey a little easier, we have included the top 6 must sees along this famous route!

1. The Giant's Causeway
A visit the Northern Ireland's only UNESCO World Heritage Site will unearth the famous legends and colorful folklore about the Causeway - layered basalt columns, left by volcanic eruptions 60 million years ago. There are coastal and cliff paths for exploration and the wreck site of the Armada treasure ship 'Girona' is located off Port-na-Spaniagh.

2. Downhill Demesne and Mussenden Temple
This attraction offers visitors the chance to explore a stunning landscaped park at Downhill Demesne with its beautiful sheltered gardens and cliff walks.

3. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Carrick-a-Rede offers visitors a unique experience to traverse a deep, wide chasm by a rope bridfe that was traditionally erected by salmon fishermen. Visitors can enjoy an exhilarating coastal walk with stunning views across to Rathlin Island as well as amazing flora, fauna and bird life.

4. Carrickfergus Castle
Dominating the town's skyline is Ireland's best preserved Norman Castle. Established in 1179 by John de Courcy, the castle has seen action right up until the Second World War.

5. Dunluce Castle
Clinging fast onto a dramatic clifftop, Dunluce is thought to be the most romantic and picturesque Castle in Ireland dating back to the 14th Century.

6. Old Bushmills Distillery Co Ltd.
Experience for yourself the unique whiskey making tradtion at Ireland's oldest working whiskey distillery. The guided tour of Ireland's only "grain to glass" distillery will unravel some of our trade secrets.

These are just a few of the amazing spaces and places to visit along Ireland's Causeway Coast. Start planning your vacation to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Rathlin Island

Lying just over six miles north of the pretty seaside resort of Ballycastle, County Antrim, and 14 miles from the Mull of Kintyre, Scotland. Rathlin Island is situated within the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It includes several important natural heritage sites and is particularly internationally important for its flora and fauna and in some cases its unique underwater marine life. The island's rugged cliffs are home to the biggest seabird colony in Northern Ireland.

In addition to this it has many interesting listed buildings and a strong cultural heritage. Legend has it that Rathlin Island was the stopping place for Robert the Bruce and his famed spider?

Rathlin offers accommodation, bar, cafe, guided tours and information center. Access by ferry only! Travel to Rathlin Island with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Watershee: Irish Folklore

Steeped in fairytale, mystery and a somewhat bloody history - the Emerald Isle naturally has its fair share of chilling stories, murdered spirits and friendly ghosts. The folktales of the Watershee are sure to tingle your spine!

The Watershee usually appears as either a female fairy or a beautiful woman. She lures weary travelers into bogs and lakes with her sweet singing. Then  drowns them and devours their souls.

Travelers wearing a cross or saying a prayer will be protected from the Watershee's dark and evil ways. Travel to Ireland, the land of myth and magic, with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hill of Tara

Hill of Tara
Navan, Co Meath

Though best known as the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, the Hill of Tara has been an important site since the late Stone Age when a passage tomb was constructed there. Tara was at the height of its power as a political and religious center in the early centuries of Christ. Attractions include an audio-visual show and guided tours of the site.

As much of the tour is outdoors, visitors are advised to wear weather protective clothing and shoes suitable for walking over uneven terrain. Restricted access for visitors with disabilities.

Travel to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Gone Fishing - Northern Ireland

Your catch along the Causeway Coast and Glens could be as varied as the region's world-renowned scenery: Atlantic Salmon, Pike, Trout, Eel, Perch, Bream and Roach are plentiful here and the area has some of the finest salmon beats in Ireland!

Start planning your next fishing trip to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Irish Rose - Escorted Motorcoach Tour

Premier Escorted Motorcoach Tour

A fresh itinerary for 2014, with added attractions. A scenic and unforgettable journey through Ireland from Belfast to the Ring of Kerry. Enjoy Titanic Belfast, the Giants Causeway, scenic Donegal and Galway Bay.

Irish Rose - Escorted Tour Highlights

  • 17 Meals - Breakfast and Dinner
  • Top Sights - with visits to Dublin, Belfast, Donegal, Galway, Limerick, Adare and Killarney
  • Relaxed and updated itinerary for 2014
  • Guaranteed departures
  • Top Hotels & Entertainment
  • No Hidden Extras

Irish Rose - Escorted Tour Includes

  • Excellent Hotels - with First Class and Superior First Class hotels throughout
  • Full Irish breakfast daily, except day of arrival
  • Dinner each evening except for one night in Dublin, including a traditional medieval castle banquet.
  • Full sightseeing by Deluxe Touring Motorcoach
  • Professional Irish driver/guide to escort you throughout
  • Visit to Rathbaun Farm to see an actual working farm, including coffee/tea and Irish Farmhouse scones
  • Panoramic city tours of Dublin, Belfast and Derry/Londonderry
  • Scenic drive along the Ring of Kerry and in Donegal
  • Visits to: Whitefriar Church, Trinity College, Monasterboice, Titanic Belfast, Giant's Causeway, Glenveagh Castle, Slieve League Cliffs, Belleek China Showroom, Rathbaun Farms and Cliffs of Moher
  • Porterage of one (1) suitcase per person
  • Tips and taxes in Ireland. Gratuities to the driver/guide not included
  • Celtic Tours flight bag and portfolio of travel documents

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Castles, Monuments & Monasteries in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has some of the finest castles on the island. The earliest are from Norman times, but fortified homes continued to be built well into the 17th century - much of Derry City dates from this era, including its encircling walls. Centuries of war, siege and expansion, have left a well-preserved legacy which is still there to be explored!

Back in the mists of time, some of our remotest areas were bustling! The first known dwelling in Ireland was found at Mountsandel near Coleraine (7,000 BC). Fermanagh and Tyrone are especially rich in Stone Age archaeology. There are even more antiquities from the early Christian era; and superb examples of monastic sites, gravestones, abbeys, round towers and Celtic crosses crop up in every County.

Start planning your Northern Ireland vacation with Celtic Tours World Vacations!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Finn McCool: Irish Folklore

The mystical Causeway Coast and Glens region is steeped in myths, magic and folklore! Learn about the legend of Finn McCool.

The legend tells us that the Irish giant, Finn McCool has a rival - a Scottish giant names Benandonner. Finn McCool decided to build a causeway to Scotland so that he could challenge his adversary in battle. When the work was completed, the causeway stretched from North Antrim in Ireland to Staffa in Scotland. Benandonner accepted the invitation to walk over to Ireland and fight for supremacy. As Benandonner appeared over the horizon, Finn McCool realized in horror that he had taken on a rival much bigger than himself. He ran home to his wife, Oonagh. What to do? The quick thinking Oonagh disguised Finn as a baby and made him curl up in an enormous cradle. Benandonner, faced with the sigh of the huge 'child; took fright at the thought of the size of his father and fled back to Scotland, tearing up the causeway in his wake.

Step out onto the hexagonal rocks of the Giant's Causeway and imagine the gigantic battle that would have taken place. Travel to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Loughcrew Cairns

Loughcrew Cairns
Corstown, Oldcastle, Co Meath

The Loughcrew Cairns, also known as the Hills of the Witch , are a group of Neolithic passage tombs dating to 3000 BC. The tombs are located on three different hills and Cairn T, one of the largest tombs in the complex, is situated on Cairnbane East. Inside this tomb lies a cruciform chamber, a corbelled roof and some of the most beautiful examples of Neolithic art in Ireland. During the Vernal and Autumn Equinox, people gather at dawn in Cairn T to watch sunlight enter the chamber and illuminate the inside of the tomb.

Travel to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Back to Nature - Forests of the Causeway Coast

Nature is what we're famous for and it's arguably what we do best. While farming has helped shape the land over generations, givings us the traditional patchwork quilt scenery, we take huge pride in the unspoilt natural beauty of our land and seascapes. Our rivers, glens, mountains, shores and forests are as nature intended and shaped them ready for you to enjoy.

Ready to get back to nature in Ireland? Here are a few of the forests to enjoy along the Causeway Coast on your next vacation to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations:

Glenariff Forest Park:
Spectacular glen walks and waterfalls await you at Glenariff Forest Park whose scenic paths and trails lead through tranquil woods and up to magnificent mountain viewpoints.

Springwell Forest
: A number of signed walks along the Macosqin River through 1200 hectacres of mixed tree species planted from the 1930's on.

Portglenone Forest: Just south of the Portglenone is this ancient area of tree cover. Impressive displays of bluebells, wood anemones and wild garlic in spring. Magnificent walks through broadleaved trees and along the River Bann.

Ballykelly Forest: First taken over by the Forest Service in 1970, this mixed woodland is the first state forest in Northern Ireland.

Downhill Wood: There are a number of enjoyable walks and rare trees through 85 hectacres of mixed woodland around a beautiful lake, where yo can take time to feed ducks. The biggest Sitka Spruce in Ireland can also be found here.

Ballypatrick Forest: Five-mile drive through peatland forests with many fine views of Rathlin Island and surrounding areas.

Coleraine Woods: Not far from Coleraine center lie three areas of woodland; Mountsandel, Somerset and Castleroe. Situated on either side of River Bann. Mixed woodland planted in the 19th century and mid 20th century. Mountsandel contains the earliest known site of human habitation in Ireland, Mountsandel Fort.

Binevanagh Forest: Mature mixed woodland. Binevenagh Lough is close to the headland where panoramic views can be seen over Lough Foyle and Donegal Mountains. Rich in interesting artic and alpine plants.

Garvagh Forest: Mature mixed woodland with quiet walks and nature trails along the Agivey River. Part of the Eagle's Glen cycle route is signposted through the forest.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

ISLE OF SKYE - Partially Escorted Tour


Enjoy 2 independent days in Edinburgh (pre/post) with 3 days to explore some of the most dramatic and beautiful places in the Highlands and the romantic island of Skye. Highlights also include Glencoe, Loch Ness, Eilean Donan Castle and the 5 Sisters of Kintail. Staying 2 nights (in B&B or local hotel, as selected) in the picturesque harbour town of Portree on the Isle of Skye.

Your Tour Highlights:

  • Glencoe
  • Eilean Donan Castle
  • Quiraing mountain pass
  • Isle of Skye
  • Neist Point
  • Five Sisters of Kintail
  • Loch Ness

Your Tour Includes:

  • 4-nights accommodations (2 nts in Edinburgh and 2 nts in Portree)
  • Breakfast daily (except for morning of arrival)
  • Arrival and departure transfers in Edinburgh
  • 3-days of custom touring
  • All service charges and hotel taxes
  • Note: tip to your driver/guide when touring is not included.


A Fantastic Tour - from $799 (in 2013) and from $829 in 2014
 per person sharing twin room

Visit Scotland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Wales

Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Wales is home to a stunning 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Beaumaris Castle

Beaumaris Castle, located in the town of the same name on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales, was built as part of Edward I's campaign to conquer the north of Wales after 1282.

Blaenavon Ironworks is an industrial museum in Blaenavon in Wales. The ironworks was of crucial importance in the development of the ability to use cheap, low quality, high sulphur iron ores worldwide.

Caenarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle is a medieval fortress in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, north-west Wales cared for by Cadw, the Welsh Government's historic environment service.

Conwy Castle
Conwy Castle is a medieval fortification in Conwy, on the north coast of Wales. It was built by Edward I, during his conquest of Wales, between 1283 and 1289.

Harlech Castle
Harlech Castle, located in Harlech, Gwynedd, Wales, is a medieval fortification, constructed atop a spur of rock close to the Irish Sea. It was built by Edward I during his invasion of Wales between 1282 and 1289 at the substantial cost of £8,190.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal over the valley of the River Dee in Wrexham County Borough in north east Wales. Completed in 1805, it is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain, a Grade I Listed Building and a World Heritage Site.

Start planning your vacation to Wales with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fairy Stories: Irish Folklore

Spirited stories are handed down through the ages with, it sometimes seems, every house of importance boasting its own ghost. Story telling isn't confined to traditional tales, for in almost every pub you'll find someone ready to spin a yarn to an appreciative audience! Perhaps its something in our water...or it could be that its the local whiskey which prompts spirited tales!

Discover the Irish Folklore on your next vacation to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Wedding of Taisie: Irish Folklore

Steeped in fairytale, mystery and a somewhat bloody history - the Emerald Isle naturally has its fair share of chilling stories, murdered spirits and friendly ghosts. The Wedding of Taisie is a love triangle folktale.

Taisie was the beautiful daughter of the King of Rathlin. Her beauty was known far and wide. It wasn't long before she gained the attentions of the King of Norway. In true norsemen style, he sent a contingent of his men to bring her back to be his bride. But his demand was refused for Taisie was promised to Congal, heir to the Kingdom of Ireland. When Taisie and Congal's wedding celebrations were in full swing, the King of Norway suddenly arrived with his army. His intent was to capture Taisie. However, in the battle that followed, the Norwegian king was killed. His army returned home leaderless and empty handed.

Discover the folklore and mystery on your next vacation to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Friday, December 6, 2013

Gardens and Country Parks of Ireland's Causeway Coast

To witness the drama of Ireland's Causeway Coast and Glens is to walk with the ancient spirits of its deep glens, forests, gardens and country parks. Experience a unique blend of majesty and sheer beauty. You won't just walk or drive through this land: you will take a journey of the spirit.
Here are a few of the gardens and country parks to visit on your next vacation to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations:

Benvarden Gardens
The Walled Garden at Benvarden has been in existence since 1788, when it is shown on a map of the estate. There are rose beds, long herbaceous borders and a very fine kitchen garden. Also a small lake and woodland walks, and a tea room.

The Walled Garden of Glenarm Castle
Dating from the 18th century, the Walled Garden of Glenarm Castle is one of the odlest in Ireland. Beautiful in all seasons, the garden is open from May through September. The Tea Room is open daily from Easter until mid-October.

There are two way-marked hill walks at Altarichard on the scenic route between Magherahoney and Cushendall. The Milibern and Breen forest trails, collectively known as Croaghan Way. Walkers can enjoy these challenging circular upland routes taking in the summit at Croaghan Way. Walkers can enjoy these challenging circular upland routes taking in the summit at Croaghan from which magnificent panoramic views to Rathlin Island and Scotland can be seen.

Ballyrobert Cottage Garden and Nursery
A specialist nursery stocked with a wealth of cottage garden plants is open to the public. Tea making facilities are available for visitors. Ballyrobert Cottage Garden is a beautiful and unique Ulster Cottage Garden. The garden extending to 6 acres is designed around an historic 17th century landscape, with the original cottage and barn being key features.

Monstown Wood
A little over a mile of pathway will lead you on your journey through a mix of habitats, including grassland, mixed woodland and recently planted woodland. The Three Mile Water River meanders alongside the new woodland and winds in to meet you at certain parts of the journey. Walkers can keep an eye open for dragonflies, damselflies, bluebells, bats and buzzards.

Hazelbank and Jordanstown Parks
Providing some of the best shoreline walks and cycle paths around Belfast Lough. In addition, the 9 mile Millenium Way is a unique recreational path which links many of the villages edging the lough from Whitehouse to Whiteabbey.

Riverside Park
The majority of the town's Highway to Health passes through the forty acres of open parjland in the heart of Ballymoney town. The park offers riverside walks, cycle paths, lake with ducks, children's play area and a band stand.

Carnfunnock Country Park
Country Park consisting of 191 hectacres of mixed woodland, colorful gardens, walking trails and coastline. Attractions include walled garden with unique sundials and maze.

The Landscape Center
The Landscape Center is a family owned award winning garden center in beautiful histroic Donegore. Enjoy home cooking and our famous lemon meringue pie in our 120 seat coffee shop overlooking Donegore Moat. Climb to the top of the Moat and enjoy spectacular views of the 6 counties of Ulster.

Carnmoney Hill
One of a chain of hills, steeped in history and folklow. Manager by the Woodland Trust, these 70 hectacres of land - grassland, wetland and woodland - are a honeypot for wildlife, including the long-eared owl, sparrowhawk and Irish hare.

Roe Valley Country Park
Beautiful riverside walks await the visitor here as well as a countryside museum. Variet of walks to suit all levels. Walks available year round.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Glens of Antrim

These nine famous glens, endowed with evocative names and blessed with a diversity of landscape are also rich in history, in folklore and in the natural beauty that is a world away from the frantic bustle of modern life. Famed in legend are the magnificent Glens of Antrim. The rich musical sounds of their names and their meaning relate to the character of the glens or events of long ago. Characterized by tumbling waterfalls, rushing rivers, lush forest parks and spectacular scenery, each glen is unique in its beauty and each deserves a visit.

The glen of the hedges, two miles north of Glenarm, with the village of Carnlough at its foot.

The glen of the army - with Glenarm village, eleven miles north of Larne, on the famoyus Antrim Coast Road.

The arable or fertile glen, the best known of the nine, which sweeps majestically towards the village of Waterfoot.

Edwardstown glen, at the foot of which Cushendall, more or less at the center of the nine glens.

The glen of the slaughtered, close by Glenaan and roughly parallel to the main road from Cushendall to Cushendun.

The glen of the colt's foot or rush lights, a rugged glen - having the site of the legendary Ossian's grave, with the Cushendall - Ballymoney mountain road.

The glen of the brown river, adjacent to Cushendun village; spanned by a viaduct on the main Cushendall to Ballycastle road.

The sedgy glen, east of the town of Ballycastle and sweeping towards the ruins of historical Bonamargy friary.

The glen of 'Taisie of the bright sides; roughly west of Ballycastle and like Glenshesk, close to the town.

Visit the Glens of Antrim on your vacation in Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Celtic Discovery - Escorted Tour

Ireland Escorted Motorcoach Tour!

Celtic Discovery tour is a great tour at a great price. A new and updated itinerary gives you a more relaxing itinerary (2 consecutive overnights in Sligo, Galway, Killarney and Dublin) with more historic and scenic tours

Your Tour Highlights:

  • More meals - 14 meals with breakfast and dinner.
  • Top Sights - with visits to Sligo, Achill Island, Galway, Connemara, Dillarney and Dublin.
  • Relaxed and updated itinerary - with 2 night stays in each location.
  • Guaranteed Departures
  • Top hotels, drivers and entertainment
  • As always, no hidden extras when you choose Celtic Tours!

Your Celtic Discovery includes:

  • Excellent hotels with private bath or shower for eight nights; 2 nights Sligo, 2 nights in Galway, 2 nights in Killarney and 2 nights in Dublin.
  • Full Irish breakfasts daily, except day of arrival.
  • Six hotel dinners.
  • Professional Irish driver/guide throughout your tour.
  • Tea/coffee and Irish Farmhouse scones at an actual Irish working farm where we see sheep shearing and watch the sheepdogs maneuver the flock.
  • Visits include Whitefriar Church, Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College, Cliffs of Moher, Connemara Marble and Galway Crystal.
  • Scenic touring of Ben Bulben Mountain and it's legends, Lough Gill and the Isle of Innishfee, O'Dowd's Castle, Curraun Peninsula, Achill Island, Dingle Peninsula and Dublin City Tour.
  • Porterage of one suitcase per person.
  • Optional Dinner and Irish Entertainment at great venue in Dublin - only $79 per person!
  • Tips and taxes in Ireland. Gratuities to the driver/guide not included.
  • Celtic Tours portfolio of travel documents.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ossian the Bard: Irish Folklore

Steeped in fairytale, mystery and a somewhat bloody history - the Emerald Isle naturally has its fair share of chilling stories, murdered spirits and friendly ghosts. Have you heard of Ossian the Bard?

Son of the giant known for his connection with the Giant's Causeway, Finn McCool, Ossian the Bard was also a great warrior and a poet to match. Ossian was tempted to join Niamh, a lady of the 'Underworld', in the 'Land of Eternal Youth' where no one ever aged.

He was warned never to set foot on land again or he would at once grow old and frail. But we couldn't resist coming back to Glenaan and set about doing so on horseback. Legend has it that Ossian the Bard fell from his horse while assisting an old lady. We aged and died almost as soon as he made contact with the ground. A stoneage burial cairn near Cushendall has long been romantically associated with the grave of Ossian.

Whether interested in stoneage attractions of the Irish Folklore, check out the grave of Ossian near Cushendall on your vacation to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Monday, December 2, 2013

Yeats Country

Nestled between Sligo town and Donegal, at the foot of the impressive Benbulben, the small town of Drumcliffe. Stop in for a cup of coffee; check out the round tower, the high cross and the grave of William Butler Yeats. 

County Sligo is situated in the north west of Ireland at the Atlantic coast. Sligo has a magnificent variety of mountain scenery, beautiful lakes, waterfalls, woods and a breathtaking coastline with endless beaches and cliffs. County Sligo is known as Yeats Country as the scenery inspired many of the great works of W.B. Yeates, the Nobel Prize winning Irish writer. That is why he requested to be buried here. His grave is in the grounds of Drumcliffe Church. His remains were interred here in 1948. Now, one of the County most famous landmarks, the grave bears the enigmatic inscription "Cast a cold eye on Life, on Death, horsemen pass by!" at Yeats’ request.

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