Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hotel Spotlight: Absolute Hotel, Limerick

Absolute Hotel

Sir Harry's Mall : Limerick, Co. Limerick : IRELAND : Phone 061-463-600

At our luxury hotel in Limerick, Ireland, we take pride in providing top-quality facilities combined with a personal, unobtrusive and diligent service.

The Absolute Hotel in Limerick, is a luxury Spa Hotel in the heart of Limerick City Centre. Our unique design and river frontage makes us the leading contemporary four star hotel in Limerick.

Celtic Tours is pleased to feature this fantastic  Limerick hotel for your perfect get-a-way!

Learn more about this Limerick Hotel

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Towns and Villages of Cumbria and the Lake District

There is more to Cumbria than its world-famous natural environment. There are many towns and villages to explore, whether nestled in valleys, on the side of a lake or along the coastline.

From the cosmopolitan city of Carlisle, gateway to Hadrian's Wall Country, and Keswick in the north to the charming market towns of Ulverston and Kirkby Lonsdale and the maritime town of Barrow-in-Furness in the south; from the historical market town of Cockermouth and the harbour town of Whitehaven along the west coast to the pretty towns of Penrith and Appleby in the Eden Valley to the east. And in the central Lakes you will find the ever-popular Kendal, Windermere, Ambleside and Grasmere. Each place has its own story to tell and a character to discover.


This great border city and capital of Cumbria sits on 2000 years of human occupation. Overlying this rich heritage is a vibrant town center of modern shops, pavement cafes and leisure facilities that rivals most other cities in the north of England. The majestic Cathedral is within a few minutes walk of the spacious pedestrianised Greenmarket – a focal point for street entertainment, Farmers’ Markets and Christmas celebrations.


Ambleside is ideally located in the center of the Lake District. The town is situated at the North end of Windermere Lake and at the foot of the poular scenic route over Kirkstone Pass. It's location and idyllic scenery make it an ideal base for visitors to explore the national park.

The maritime port of Whitehaven was once the third largest in the UK with trade links all over the world. The wealth of Georgian architecture led to Whitehaven being listed as a ‘gem town' and voted one of the top 10 seaside resorts in the UK. Today the town's harbour enhanced by nautical sculptures, dramatic lighting effects and a brand new marina, is the focus for spectacular maritime events.


It's central location makes Keswick the perfect place to stay when planning to explore the Lake District. The town is surrounded famous Lakeland hills such has Grizedale Pike, Skiddaw and Catbells. There are walks to suit all abilities from the doorstep. The forest of Whinlatter is close by and ideal for walking, mountain biking and the high wire adventure GoApe.  Make a visit to the Pencil Museum, take a cruise on the lake and see the latest production at Theatre by the Lake. At certain times of the year you may also get a glimpse of the nesting Osprey from Dodd Wood.


This festival capital of Furness combines special events with an assortment of specialist shops, cosy pubs, traditional markets and cultural hotspots. Add in the colorfully rendered houses, cobbled streets and inviting side alleys and there's enough of interest to keep you enthralled for days. Surrounding the town is the gently rolling farmland of the Furness Peninsula while the coastline provides beautiful vistas over Morecambe Bay.

Kirkby Lonsdale

The picturesque market town of Kirkby Lonsdale on the banks of the River Lune is ideally located on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and within easy reach of the Lake District; its attractive setting epitomised by the glorious view up the Lune Valley from Ruskin’s View. The center is a pleasing mix of elegant eighteenth-century buildings and stone cottages huddled around cobbled courtyards and narrow alleyways with evocative names such as Salt Pie Lane and Jingling Lane. Traditional butchers, bakers and ‘the best independent cheese shop in the UK’ (2007) jostle alongside designer jewellery, fashion and home d├ęcor outlets.

Barrow - in - Furness
Barrow-in-Furness is a large industrial town which grew from a tiny 19th Century hamlet to the biggest iron and steel centre in the world, and a major ship-building force, in just 40 years. The railway was introduced to carry iron-ore, slate and lime-stone to the new deep water port. Its prosperity grew with the development of the steel and ship-building industries. The monks of Furness Abbey smelted iron with wood in the 13th Century.


This handsome Georgian town on the edge of the Lake District has been identified as one of 51 ‘gem towns' in Britain, recommended for preservation as part of our national heritage. This attractive town with its broad, tree-lined main thoroughfare boasts a healthy mix of service shops (butchers, bakers, ironmongers, etc), alongside cafes, pubs and high quality art and craft galleries. Good roads provide fast and easy access to Bassenthwaite Lake and Keswick, and to Maryport and the sandy coastline towards Allonby. Cockermouth was the birthplace and childhood home of William Wordsworth, his former home now imaginatively presented to the visitor.


Located at an intersection of routes between Scotland and England and a cross-Pennines road, Penrith has reaped the benefits of good communication routes for centuries.Today, with easy access from the M6, A66 and with a mainline railway service, the town is a perfect base for exploring the northern Lakes, beautiful Eden Valley and rolling Pennine hills. This distinctive red sandstone town, with its popular markets and specialist, family-run shops, has become the regional center for trade, industry and services in the Eden Valley.


The ancient market town and royal borough of Appleby, in the heart of the Eden Valley, is the focal point for many outlying villages and hamlets. Its traditional shops and indoor market provide for every requirement, whilst the riverside is perfect for a casual stroll or picnic.


The ‘Auld Grey Town' of Kendal, handsomely built in limestone, is the focal hub for shopping and culture in Lakeland. Historically, Kendal was one of the most important woollen textile centers in the country, producing ‘Kendal Green' and other ‘Kendal cottons' - its numerous yards were once filled with workshops processing cloth, leather and foodstuffs. Kendal was also a center for shoe making, carpet and snuff manufacture, and synonymous with the production of Kendal Mint Cake; an essential prerequisite for today's explorers and mountaineers.


Windermere is the perfect Lakeland destination all year round. With the shores of the lake so close, you are never short of fantastic scenery or leisure activities. Several local viewpoints offer panoramic views of both the lake and more distant mountains. Bowness-on-Windermere is one of the most popular holiday locations in the Lake District. With immediate access to Windermere Lake, it is an excellent base for water activities, including boating and leisurely water attractions. Away from the lake is a host of historic attractions and heritage sites, as well as many other visitor attractions.


Grasmere, cradled in a vale in the heart of the Lake District, is crowned with magnificent fells and mountains all around. It is sheltered by Helm Crag, otherwise known as ‘the Lion and the Lamb' one of Wainwright's favorite hills. The pictureseque village has a lovely choice of accommodation and restaurants. It is also home to Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum. Just along the valley is the Vale of Rydal. You can take a walk along Loughrigg Terrace or the Coffin Trail, overlooking Rydal.

Start planning your vacation to England with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Monday, July 28, 2014

Vacation Spotlight: Dive Into Dublin

Dive Into Dublin -  Self-Drive Vacation
Dive into Dublin with this great Ireland vacation package.  Starting with 3 nights in Dublin, you can explore this cosmopolitan city at your own pace. Jump on the Hop-On/Hop-Off Bus and tour the city. Perhaps take in some sightseeing, attractions, shopping and the night life. Then pick up your rental car and explore the rest of the island with open B&B vouchers.

Your Dive Into Dublin Self-Drive Vacation Includes: 

  • 3-nights accommodations at BW Academy Plaza in Dublin  
  • 3-nights accommodations at B&B's of your choice       
  • Breakfast daily (except morning of arrival)
  • Hop-on/Hop-off Buss Pass in Dublin
  • 3 Day Automatic Car Rental (Economy) - including CDW - Upgrade to larger cars available (Note: Three people traveling together must avail of upgrade to larger car to accommodate). Car rental is based on pick up and drop off in Dublin.
  • Hotel and car taxes included
  • Portfolio of travel documents

Friday, July 25, 2014

Irish Eye Candy: Birr Castle Gardens

Birr Castle Gardens, Birr, County Offaly, Ireland

"How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else." - R. Buckminster Fuller

Travel to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hotel Spotlight: The Fairview, Killarney

The Fairview

College Street : Killarney, Co. Kerry : IRELAND : Phone 064 6634164

Welcome to the 4 Star Fairview Hotel in Killarney where we offer some of the best boutique style accommodation in Killarney. We are a superbly located Hotel in Killarney Town centre, yet out of noise's way. The Fairview Guesthouse is a luxurious boutique style hotel that is truly unique for quality, location, service and elegance. We are home to some of the best accommodation Killarney. offers, with free overnight parking, beautifully furnished spacious rooms with optional Jacuzzi suites, all modern hotel amenities including lift and wheelchair facilities; VAS category 3. Free Wi-Fi throughout. An ideal Killarney accommodation base from which to tour, golf or relax and enjoy!

Learn more about this Killarney Hotel

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

16 Lakes of the Lake District, England

Arguably one of the most beautiful parts in all of Great Britain, the Lake District offers a retreat from the hustle-bustle of the cities. The Lake District is a scenic five hour drive from London and makes a great stopping point when traveling to Glasgow. Stay here for a night or two to soak in the sheer natural beauty of the region, or stay for a week to relax and enjoy everything that the Lake District has to offer.

The Lake District is home to many bodies of water, however only 16 of them are actually considered lakes. Here are the 16 lakes of England's Lake District.

Windermere is the largest lake in England, whose eastern shore washes up on the town of Bowness.

Set in a region that is home to contrasting vistas of gently rolling fields and dramatic mountain rises, Ullswater is a favorite with those who enjoy spectacular natural beauty.

Derwentwater Lake
Derwentwater Lake is very much a landscape of moods, varying from the dramatic waves splashing against Friar’s Crag when driven by southerly gales, to the absolute mirror calm of early mornings.

Bassenthwaite Lake
Bassenthwaite Lake is the most northerly of the lakes, and has no major settlements on its shores. It is often full of sailing boats from Bassenthwaite Sailing Club. There is a shore path which runs the length of the west shore, but there is no access to the east side except at Mirehouse. Here there is a small open-air theatre, built in 1974 for the reading of ‘Morte d’Arthur’ to the Tennyson society at the place where it is thought that Tennyson, who often stayed at Mirehouse, composed much of the poem. Bassenthwaite is home to the vendace, a rare and endangered fish species found only here and in Derwentwater.

Coniston Water
At five miles long, and with a maximum depth of 184 feet, Coniston Water is the third largest of the lakes. It provided an important fish source for the monks of Furness Abbey who owned the lake and much of the surrounding land in the 13th and 14th Centuries. More recently Coniston Water was used to transport slate and ore from the many mines worked in the Coppermines Valley above Coniston village. It has three small islands, all owned by the National Trust. The elegant Victorian Steam Yacht Gondola sails between March and November. Renovated by the National Trust, its passengers can travel in opulently upholstered saloons – a superb way to appreciate the magnificent scenery. The traditional timber craft of Coniston Launch provide regular hourly sailings throughout the year to jetties around Coniston Water, including Brantwood.

Haweswater Reservoir
Haweswater is a reservoir built in the valley of Mardale. The farming villages of Measand and Mardale Green used to populate the Mardale valley. To make way for the reservoir, all of the farms, houses and graveyard in the villages were removed. At times of drought, when the water is low, many people go back to see what is left of the village of Mardale.

Thirlmere, at 3.5 miles long, 1.2 mile wide and 158 feet deep, was originally two smaller lakes, which were purchased by Manchester City Corporation Waterworks in 1889. The area was dammed with a dam whose greatest height is 104 feet, and the area became one vast reservoir. In the process, the settlements of Armboth and Wythburn were submerged, the only remaining building being the little church at Wythburn.

Ennerdale Water
Ennerdale is the most westerly of the lakes, and the most remote, so it offers, even in high season, a place to escape. It is a deep glacial lake, 2.5 miles long 3/4 mile wide and 148 feet deep. The water is exceptionally clear, and contains a variety of fish. It serves as a reservoir for the coastal towns of West Cumbria, and is the only lake that does not have a road running alongside it.

Wast Water
Situated in the Wasdale Valley, Wastwater is 3 miles long, half a mile wide and 260 feet deep, and the deepest of all the lakes. Wastwater is perhaps the most awe-inspiring of all the lakes. Surrounded by mountains, Red Pike, Kirk Fell, Great Gable and Scafell Pike – England’s highest mountain. Extending the length of the south-east side of the lake are the Screes, consisting of millions of fragments of broken rock and rising from the floor of the lake to a height of almost 200 feet, giving the lake an ominous appearance.

Crummock Water
Situated between Loweswater and Buttermere. Often overlooked by its sister lake Buttermere, Crummock Water with the mighty Grassmoor on the west and the fells of Mellbreak on the east, it has unparalleled views from either side. It is 2 1/2 miles long, 3/4 mile wide and 140 feet deep and is a clear, rocky bottomed lake flanked by steep fellsides of Skiddaw slate.

Esthwaite Water
Esthwaite Water is one of the smaller and lesser known lakes in the Lake District National Park in Northern England. The lake covers around 280 acres and is known for its excellent fishing, particularly trout and pike. The lake was mentioned as the location where William Wordsworth conversed with a friend in Wordsworth's poem, "Expostulation and Reply."

Buttermere – the lake by the dairy pastures – is 1 1/2 miles long, 3/4 of a mile wide and 75 feet deep. The classic combination of lakes and mountains has made this popular with visitors since the beginning of tourism in the Lake District. A visit to Buttermere is principally for its natural attractions – as the area offers some of the best walking country in Lakeland. There is a footpath running round the perimeter of the lake, and lovely walks to the summits of Haystacks and Red Pike.

Grasmere at 1 mile long, half a mile wide and 75 feet deep, would be an attractive and popular tourist area even without its Wordsworth connections. ‘The most loveliest spot than man hath found’ was Wordsworth’s famous quote describing the area of Lakeland that he most loved. The small island in the middle of the lake was his favourite destination while he was staying at nearby Dove Cottage. The island is now privately owned, and visitors should not land there, tempting though it is.

Loweswater Lake
Nestled in a wooded valley in the far west of the Lake District, in the Vale of Lorton, Loweswater is a peaceful lake that is often bypassed. At approximately 1 mile in length, 1/2 mile wide and 60 feet deep, it provides an excellent lake circuit for walkers. Loweswater is unique within the Lake District, as it is the only lake that drains towards the center of Lakeland – to Crummock Water which it was once joined to. Red squirrels, whose favourite habitat is coniferous, can be found in the locality.

Rydal Water
Rydal Water is one of the smallest lakes at 3/4 mile long, 1/4 mile wide and with a depth of 55 feet, but it is very popular partly because of its Wordsworth connections. Steps lead up from the western end of the lake to ‘Wordsworth’s Seat’ – reputedly the poet’s favourite viewpoint.

Brothers Water is in the Hartsop valley and is a small lake in the eastern region of the Lake District. Once called Broad Water, it lies at the northern end of Kirkstone Pass, affording picturesque views on the descent towards Patterdale. The small lake  sustains a  trout population and is one of four locations in the Lake District to harbour a rare species of fish, the Schelly.

Start planning your vacation to England's Lake District with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dublin Ghostbus Tour

Welcome to Dublin’s tour of terror! The Lady in White, graveyard torturers and grizzly ends on church grounds... Allow us to put you at your unease on The Dublin Ghostbus Tour.

A Gothic interior, blood red velvet curtains and a driver and guide in tune with the afterlife. This is no scary movie, folks – this is for real.

It’s a little known fact that Dublin was home to one of horror fiction’s most famous names: Dracula author, Bram Stoker. Learn about his origins as the tour creeps through Dublin’s darkened streets.

At the College of Surgeons, a certain Dr Clossey is still said to roam the corridors carrying a bucket of human entrails. More grizzly dealings were dealt at the 12th-century St Audeon's Church, where the ghost of Darkey Kelly is said to wander restlessly.

The Lady in White still stalks her cruel husband at St Patrick’s Cathedral graveyard. And steady yourself for a meeting with The Walking Gallows, the notorious judge, jury and hangman who dispatched his victims in gruesome style.

Start planning your Ireland vacation with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Monday, July 21, 2014

Vacation Spotlight: Thrones and Scones of Ireland

Thrones and Scones - Self-Drive Vacation to Ireland
Step into the scenic splendor of the seven kingdoms and see where many of the pivotal Game of Thrones scenes were shot. This self-paced Ireland vacation brings to life the drama of the series, but also provides a journey into local myth and legend.

Your Thrones andScones - Self-Drive Vacation Includes: 

  • 1 Nt Cabra Castle, 2 Nts Londonderry Arms, 1 Nt Park Avenue Hotel Belfast and 2 Nts Bellingham Castle 
  • Breakfast daily (except morning of arrival)
  • Automatic Car Rental (Economy) - including CDW - Upgrade to larger cars available (Note: Three people traveling together must avail of upgrade to larger car to accommodate). Car rental is based on pick up and drop off in Dublin.
  • Hotel and car taxes included
  • Portfolio of travel documents

Friday, July 18, 2014

Irish Eye Candy: Errigal Mountains

Errigal Mountains, Donegal, Ireland
"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." - Saint Augustine

Travel to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hotel Spotlight: Adare Manor

Adare Manor

Adare, Co. Limerick : IRELAND : Phone 061-396-566

Located in the picturesque village of Adare, Co. Limerick, has earned this honor by consistently providing the highest possible standards of service and facilities in Ireland's most breathtaking setting. An RAC Five Star hotel and a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World organisation, this luxury castle hotel, provides you with an elegant yet relaxing atmosphere for a truly memorable stay.

Learn more about this luxury hotel in Ireland

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Submerged Villages of Mardale Valley

Nestled in the picturesque valley of Mardale, England, an unassuming reservoir covers a fascinating story in Britain's history.

One hundred years ago, the villages of Measand and Mardale Green were thought to be one of the most picturesque in all of Westmorland. In 1929, Parliament passed an ACT that allowed for the valley to become a reservoir to supply water for the urban areas of north-west England. By 1935, the dam was built and Haweswater flooded the two lakeside villages. Of course, all of the farms, houses and even the coffins in te graveyard were removed beforehand.

Today, Haweswater is now one of the largest lakes in the Lake District. It is the most easterly of the lakes. Travelers to England may get to spot the remnants of the once beautiful villages. The village of Mardale can be seen at times of drought, when the water level is low.

Start planning your vacation to England's Lake District with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mountains, Glorious Countryside & River Valleys - County Carlow

County Carlow, Ireland
With mountains, glorious countryside and river valleys all close at hand, Carlow offers an array of outdoor activities ranging from horse riding and canoeing to walking and golf.

The Rivers Barrow and Slaney and their many tributaries provide exciting activities for the passive and active water enthusiast. The wares of the Barrows are suitable for canoeing and coarse angling while the track line and woodlands beside the river offer a superb walking environment. The River Barrow is Ireland's second longest river system running for 192 km from its source to the sea. Fringed with reeds and river flowers, and harboring a wealth of wildlife in her banks, the River Barrow bears boats and barges along 68km of navigable waterway past pretty riverside villages and through 23 original locks. The River Slaney in the eastern part of the county is an important recreational waterway for canoeists.

With its rich Celtic past, Co Carlow is steeped in historical and archaeological artefacts from pagan sites such as the Brownshill Dolmen to ecclesiastical settlements at St. Mullins and Conmore. County Carlow could claim the title of the most gentrified county in Ireland. Until the early decades of the 20th century, as many as 60 gentry houses dominated the landscape of the county. While only three of the original families still live in their ancestral homes, a surprisingly high total of 40 hourses remain occupied. The stories surrounding some of these houses are interested and recount a rich variety of personal and historic events, in some cases spanning a period of over 400 years from the 16th century onwards. Princial houses of interest whose grounds or the houses themselves are presently open to the public include Atlamont Gardens, Borris House, Duckett's Grove Historic House and Huntington Castle.

Carlow offers a number of dedicated trails for the visitor to enjoy and explore. The Carlow Garden Trail currently features 16 different gardening attractions including great old gardens that have been lovingly restored and maintained throughout the years, and smaller gardens which are maturing beautifully with time. Award winning garden centers and forest parks complement the joy of a visit here. Ranging from small to very large gardens, garden centers and forest parks and from old to new, there is something to stimulate both the novice and experienced gardener.

Carlow is a county with an exceptionally rich ecclesiastical heritage containing a number of sites of national significance. These include the monastic site at St. Mullins, the Romanesque doorway at Killeshin, the medieval Cathedral at Old Leighlin, the 18th century College and the 19th century Catholic Cathedral in Carlow Town as well as the impresive Adelaide Memorial Chapel at Myshall. Three trails - St. Patrick's in north Carlow, St. Laserian's in Mid-Carlow and St. Moling's in South-Carlow explore the heritage of Carlow's rich ecclesiastical history.

Situated in the south east of Ireland, approximately 90 kms from the ferry and airports of Dublin, Rosslare and Waterford, Carlow is one of Ireland's most charming inland counties. Its central location also offers the perfect base to explore the bordering counties of Wexford, Kilkenny, Wicklow, Kildare and Laois. Start planning your vacation to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Monday, July 14, 2014

Vacation Spotlight: Endless Possibilities

Celtic Tours World Vacations presents...The 7-Night Endless Possibilities Package!
A Go-As-You-Please Vacation Package with an amazing price tag and endless possibilities...
With this package the choice is yours:

~Tour the modern and cosmopolitan city of Dublin with the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass. This sightseeing bus stops at all of Dublin's major attractions. St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin Zoo, the National Museum and Dublin's most fashionable shopping district Grafton St. are just a couple of options for your Dublin City Stay.

~Enjoy 4-nights B&B accommodations throughout Ireland - offering over 1700 B&B and farm homes to choose from.

~Enjoy a 1-night luxurious stay at the Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara, County Galway (Other Castle choices available).
~Tour Ireland with a 6-day compact automatic car rental - Includes CDW Insurance!
~Take advantage of our optional tours of the Aran Islands and the Ring of Kerry.  Or we can arrange a round of golf or other tours for you.This package includes full Irish breakfast and hotel taxes!
Prices are based on Land Only Twin/Double Per Person Cost
Airfare is not included - but can be added to your package at the current airfare rates.
Hotel availability is on a first come first serve basis and is on request. Should the need arise, based on demand, substitute hotels may be offered.
This package includes:

  • 4-Nights open B&B vouchers, 1-Night Deluxe Accomodations, 2-Nights Dublin City Stay
  • Full Irish Breakfast Daily (except day of arrival)
  • 5 Day Car Rental-Compact, Automatic, Includes Insurance (Larger groups will need to upgrade to larger vehicle)
  • 1 Hop-On Hop-Off Dublin Bus Pass
  • 1 Transfer from Hotel to Airport
  • FREE Celtic Tours 5-Minute Phone Card

With Celtic Tours - no small print and never any hidden charges!
Celtic Tours Freedom Package - gives you the Freedom to tour Ireland - at your own pace, in your own car!

Book this tour of Ireland - Book Now

Friday, July 11, 2014

Irish Eye Candy: Dublin

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland's cosmopolitan capital city, has an incredible mix of art culture, architecture, music, shopping, dining and, of course, colourful characters.

Travel to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hotel Spotlight: Actons Hotel, Kinsale

Actons Hotel

Pier Road : Kinsale, Co. Cork : IRELAND : Phone 021-4779900

Actons Hotel Kinsale is spectacularly located overlooking Kinsale Harbour.

This Kinsale Hotel boasts 73 tastefully furnished Bedrooms, gourmet dining at the Captain’s Table Restaurant, contemporary Waterfront Bar, relaxing Lounges, Health & Fitness Leisure Club, and landscaped Gardens.

Actons Hotel is ideally situated for a vacation in the historic and gourmet capital of Ireland - Kinsale, Co Cork. Nearby activities include some of Ireland’s best golf, sailing, fishing and other sporting activities.

Learn more about this hotel in Ireland

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wittenberg - Packing a Reformation Punch

When following the Luther Trail, Wittenberg should be your first stop. A little over an hour south of Berlin, this little city may have suffered much through the war, but it sure packs a punch when talking about the Reformation. For it was here that Luther lived, preached and nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church. It was here that the Protestant Reformation began.

Though there are several sites to see in Wittenberg, here are three important sites to see in your Luther Trail in Wittenberg.

This museum/home of Martin Luther was meticulously curated with collections spanning the reformation and life of Martin Luther. One could spend days just in this museum.

Castle Church
A must see for anyone following the Luther Trail. See the door that Luther is said to have nailed his 95 Theses. But don't be fooled, the door is actually a replica.

Melanchthon haus
The Melanchthonhaus is a townhouse in the German town of Lutherstadt Wittenberg. It is a Renaissance building with late Gothic arched windows and the broad-tiered gables. It includes the study of the Protestant Reformer Philipp Melanchthon, who lived there with his family. In 1954 the house became a museum on Melanchthon's life and work displaying paintings, prints and manuscripts by him and his contemporaries. It became a World Heritage Site in 1996.

Wittenberg is a must-see along the Luther trail. Start planning your vacation to Germany with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Walking in Carlow

Walking visitors to County Carlow, Ireland will be spoiled by the diverse array of options on offer from forest parks to mountain ranges. Carlow is the perfect destination to explore on foot.

For some of the finest views of the area, follow any one of the county's three national walking routes - The South Leinster, The Barrow or Wicklow Ways. The Barrow Way follows the tow path, originally a path alongside the River Barrow to allow the pulling of barges or boats for transport. Nowadays, visitors can enjoy excellent flat walking passing good land where tillage and cattle farming is predominant. The path offers much of architectural interest to the visitor - bridges, many arched, and pretty lock houses, some still in use. The full length of the Barrow Way from Lowton to St. Mullins is 113 kilometers (70 miles). Alternatively, the route can be easily explored by taking short sections of the walk in a series of daily trips. Accommodation is available at regular intervals along the towpath and varies from hotels to self-catering and bed and breakfasts.

Serious hikers will enjoy the challenge of the South Leinster and Wicklow Ways. Starting in the village of Kildavin in east Carlow, the South Leinster Way crosses the northern sloped of Mount Leinster and the Blackstairs Mountains before joining the Barrow Towpath in Borris for a more leisurely 12km walk to the abbey town of Graignamagh. From there the route crosses the slopes of Mount Brandon by a series of walks before reaching the pretty village of Inistioge. The walk then continues along the banks of the Rivers Nore and Blackwater via forest roads and seveal hills to reach the town of Carrick-on-Suir in South Tipperary. The walk covers 102 kilometers (64 miles) in length with the predominant features in the landscape being Mount Leinster, Brandon Hill and the river valleys of the Barrow, Nore and Suir.

The Wicklow Way covers a distance of 82 miles in length commencing in Marley Park, Dublin and finishing in the beautiful village of Clonegal located in the River Slaney valley in the east of the county. A combination of suburban parkland, forest trails, wild and scenic mountain landscape and finally rolling countrside offers wonderfully varied 8-10 day experience for a hill-walked of average fitness. Variety in buildings and wildlife is a great characteristic of this route with regular sightings of red deer, silka deer, hares, foxes, sqirrels and badgers.

Carlow now enjoys a growing selection of walks under the National Looped Walks initiative. Three recent additions include Oak Park Forest Park, Kilbrannish Forest Recreation Are and Clogrebbabe Wood.

Situated on the outskirts of Carlow Town, Oak Park Forest Park is an oasis of tranquility and a popular destination for walkers and joggers. The park is a mature mixed species woodland of over 120 acres with a predominance of beech, oak, scots pine, silver fir, larch and sycamore. The proximity of the walkways to the extensive collection of ferns, mosses and woodland flora provides the walker with an ideal opportunity to interact with nature.

Kilbrannish Forest Loop on the Blackstairs Mountains features two signposted trails - the Windfarm Loop is 3km in length with a good surface and uphill sections. Four large wind turbines fill the skyline on the summit of nearby Greenoge Hill. The Kilbrannish Forest Loop is 5 kilometers in length, again with a good surface underneath and uphill sections taking about 2 hours to complete. The route offers wonderful views of the surrounding countryside -walkers following the Kilbrannish Forest Loop will be rearded with particularly fine views from the summit of Croaghaun northwards over the plains of Carlow with the villages and towns of Myshall and Tullow spread out below. The route can be accessed from Borris, Myshall or Bunclody while a large car park and picnic facilities are available to visitors.

Clogrennane Wood near Carlow town offers the user a gentle sloping 4 km walk on forest roads with magnificent views of Carlow town and the River Barrow on a fine day. The area is an old wood and has had forestry cover present since the 1800s. The predominant tree species in Clogrennane are beech, spruce, larch and oak with vegetation consistent with that of an old woodland-bluebells, ferns, wild garlic and herb rocket.

Whether wanting a 8 day walking vacation, an afternoon hike through a forest or fabulous views, check out County Carlow! Start planning your your vacation to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Monday, July 7, 2014

Vacation Spotlight: Coastlines and Countrysides - Ireland Self-Drive Vacation

Coastlines and Countrysides - Ireland Self-Drive Vacation

Pick up your rental car and head for Ireland's coast. Ireland's stunning coast offers a staggering variety from tranquil, sandy beaches stretching for miles to bold and dramatic plunging cliffs. Then head over to the Ring of Kerry for 2 nights in a luxury manor home. Finish this fabulous 6 night independent vacation with 2 nights in your choice of countryside location.

Your Coastlinesand Countrysides Self-Drive Vacation Includes: 
  • 2 nights accommodation at your choice of B&B
  • 2 nights accommodations at Parknasilla Resort on the Ring of Kerry
  • 2 nights accommodations at you choice of B&B
  • Breakfast daily (except morning of arrival)
  • Automatic Car Rental (Economy) - including CDW - Upgrade to larger cars available (Note: Three people traveling together must avail of upgrade to larger car to accommodate). Car rental is based on pick up and drop off in Dublin.
  • Hotel and car taxes included
  • Portfolio of travel documents

Friday, July 4, 2014

Irish Eye Candy: Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland

The mystical Cliffs of Moher...truely revitalizing and touches all the senses. 

Travel to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hotel Spotlight: International Hotel, Killarney

International Hotel

Kenmare Place : Killarney, Co. Kerry : IRELAND : Phone 064-66-31816

Blending the charm of times past with contemporary elegance, The International Hotel is located at the heart of Killarney Town just a stroll from Killarney National Park. A firm favourite with visitors to Killarney, The International Hotel is one of Killarney's longest established and much loved hotels, bringing our guests the warmest of welcomes and our promise of excellence.

Learn more about this Ireland Hotel

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fort George, Scotland

Fort George is quite simply the finest example of 18th-century military engineering you’ll find anywhere in the British Isles. This vast garrison fortress was begun in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden (1746), which crushed the final Jacobite Rising. It took over 20 years to complete and in the event it was never attacked. It remains virtually unaltered today, and still serves as an important military base.

Visit Fort George in Scotland on your next Scottish Self-Drive Vacation with Celtic Tours World Vacations.

Dragons, Music and the New Testament - Eisenach

On the very edge of the Thuringian Forest, Eisenach is famous both as the birthplace of the classical composer Joann Sebastian Bach, as well as the childhood home of Martin Luther. And it was here at Wartburg Castle that he translated the New Testament into German.

Eisenach is a quaint, historical city. It is a mere 2 hour train journey from Frankfurt or Leipzig. It also is quite close to Dresden and Nuremberg, making it a good stopover between many main touristy spots. The city walls were built during the 13th century and demolished in 19th century. Remains visible today are the Nikolaitor and the Glockenturm. There are plenty of things to see and do in this town. Here are just a few:

Wartburg Castle
The Castle of Wartburg is an outstanding monument of the feudal period in central Europe. It is rich in cultural associations, most notably its role as the place of exile of Martin Luther, who composed his German translation of the New Testament there. It is also a powerful symbol of German integration and unity.

The Bachhaus Eisenach is the first museum in the world dedicated to Johann Sebastian Bach. The museum includes the home in which he spent most of his childhood.

Dragon Gully
Truly immerse yourself in the fairy-tale splendor of the town in Dragon gully where legend has it a knight fought a dragon. Don't worry about finding dragons in this nature reserve, just nice hiking trails to take your mind off of a day of sightseeing.

Automobile World EisenachHere twelve topic sections record the more than 110 years of Eisenach automobile construction history.

Luther House
This half-timber house is the childhood home of Martin Luther.

Reuter Wagner MuseumIn 1866, the poet Fritz Reuter (1810 - 1874) had a mansion built by architect Ludwig Bohnsted in neo-Renaissance style at the foot of Wartburg Fortress. As early as 1897, the first Wagner exhibition was opened here and the museum now houses the largest Richard Wagner collection after Bayreuth.

Thuringian Museum - Town Castle EisenachThe Thuringian Museum was founded as early as 1899 and in 1931 the collection of arts and crafts moved to the Town Castle at the marketplace. It focuses on porcelain, faience, glass, graphics, wrought iron, paintings dating from the second half of the 19th century and works by representatives of Expressive Realism.

Take a moment to stop into this historical city in Central Germany. Learn about the dragons and folklore, the rich arts and music history or the reformation at Wartburg Castle. Travel to Germany with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Oak Park Forest Park, County Carlow, Ireland

Oak Park Forest Park, outskirts of Carlow town t: Carlow Tourist Office, College Street, Carlow 059-9131554 There are few locations which could rival the beauty and tranquility of Oak Park Forest Park. Ideal for leisurely strolls and walks, a visit here is a relaxing and pleasurable experience and a must for any visitor to Co. Carlow. Color coded circular walkways of varying lengths with excellent accessible surfaces and easy gradients make a visit here an enjoyable experience for young and old alike.

The park is a mature, mixed species woodland of over 120 acres with a predominance of beech, oak, scots pine, silver, fir larch and sycamore. The proximity of the walkways to the extensive collection of ferns, mosses and woodland flora provides the visitor with an ideal opportunity to interact with nature. Boasting a rich diversity of wildlife, the lakes and their surrounds provide a habitat for swans and duchs, while the islands shelter many wild and game birds. The Woodland Walks have been laid out to encompass the broadest range of natural features. Extending over 4 kilometers they include Butlers Wood Look and the Lake Path, Fox Covert Track and Sally Island Trail. All the walks are wheelchair accessible.

Situated on the outskirts of  Carlow Town, the park is an oasis of tranquility and a popular destination for walking and educational visits. The park also features a picnic area, informal leisure areas and seating at regular intervals.

Oak Park Forest Park makes a great stop along your Ireland vacation for a nice walk and a picnic.

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