Monday, June 30, 2014

Simple and Straight Forward: Travel Deal

Save 10%

Simple and Straight Forward: Save 10% on Escorted Tours and Chauffeur Drives 7 nights or longer to Ireland, Italy or the UK with coupon code STRAIGHT10.

For those that want to travel independently use coupon code STRAIGHT5 for a 5% discount on any Self-Drive or Independent stay that is 6 nts or longer. Start Saving!

Here are just a few of the tours you can save on!

Celtic Dream - 11 Night - Ireland - Escorted Motorcoach Tour: Our most popular tour returns for 2014 with a fresh itinerary - with 2 nts in Dublin, 1 nt in Belfast, 2 nts in Donegal, 2 nts in Galway, 1 nt in Limerick, 2 nts in Killarney and 1 Waterford. An exciting itinerary with no hidden extras! Land from $2379 pps - Use coupon code STRAIGHT10 to save an additional 10% on land! Check it out!
Sicilian Sun - 7 Night - Italy - Escorted Motorcoach Tour: A fabulous 7 night tour in the land of sun; Sicily. Enjoy overnights in Catania, Ragusa, Agrigento, Palermo and Taormina...dinner is included each evening too! Land from $2029 pps - Use coupon code STRAIGHT10 to save an additional 10% on land! Check it out!
West Coast Explorer - 9 Night - Scotland - Escorted Motorcoach Tour: Immerse yourself on the world famous isle of Islay, a whisky connoisseurs dream, before enjoying a four island fest including the rolling mountains of gentle Mull, the spiritual and ever peaceful island of Iona, the extraordinary and inspiring island of Staffa and the dramatics and majesty of the island of Skye! Land from $2259 pps - Use coupon code STRAIGHT10 to save an additional 10% on land! Check it out!
Celtic Tours strongly recommends booking your travel with your local travel agent. If you do not have a travel agent, please email us with your zip code and we will gladly offer a recommendation in your area.

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Rules & Restrictions may apply. Please visit each sale for details.
**Straight10 and Straight5 Coupon codes cannot be combined with any other sales, discounts, incentives or promotions. Valid on new bookings only and must be on deposit before April 30, 2014. Subject to availability at time of booking.

Vacation Spotlight: Ireland's Great Get Away

Don't Skip Breakfast and Save BIG!!

With Ireland's Great Get Away package from only $529!!

  • 1 Night in Waterford
  • 2 Nights in Killarney
  • 2 Nights in Limerick
  • 1 Night in Dublin
  • Car Rental - AUTOMATIC and INCLUDES Collision Damage Insurance!
  • Breakfast daily (except morning of arrival)
Airfare can be booked from your home city.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Irish Eye Candy: White Rocks Beach

White Rocks Beach, Portrush, County Antrim, Ireland

The limestone cliffs of the White Rocks stretch from Curran Strand to Dunluce.

Travel to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Hotel Spotlight: Clontarf Castle Hotel

Clontarf Castle Hotel

Castle Avenue : Clontarf, Dublin 3 : IRELAND : Phone 01-833-2321

Clontarf Castle is a perfect blend of a boutique and luxury hotel, providing unique style and exceptional service in comfortable surroundings. This unique hotel in Dublin is well thought out from the guests' point of view by providing a modern aesthetic built around an ancient form.
Located just 10 minutes from the heart of Dublin City Centre and 5 miles from Dublin Airport, Clontarf Castle Hotel is an oasis, tucked away in a tranquil setting, surrounded by fabulous golf courses and the sounds of lapping waters from the Irish Sea.

Learn more about this Ireland Castle Hotel

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wartburg Castle

Capping a rocky spur, overlooking the quaint city of Eisenach, East Germany; Wartburg Castle stands, a monument to the feudal period. Wartburg Castle was named a UNESCO World Heritage site for its rich cultural associations, including its central role in the reformation.

The original castle was built here in 1067 and attributed to Count Ludwig der Springer. The lengthy history to follow covers two centuries and is filled with wars, kings and poets. But perhaps the best known character in the history of Wartburg Castle is Martin Luther.

Martin Luther is known to have spent his time in exile on the grounds of this castle. On May 4, 1521 Elector Friedrich the Wise allowed Luther to be brought to the Wartburg near Eisenach. It was during his exile at Wartburg Castle that Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German. Luther devoted himself to the new task and completed it within 11 weeks. Today you can view his room at the castle, the desk where we worked and the famous ink spot on the wall, where he is said to have thrown the inkwell while battling Satan himself.

Not to be missed at Wartburg Castle, the magnificent Great Hall where you will learn about the famous Minstrel's Contest. If possible, take in a concert here!

This beautiful and historical castle is a great addition to any vacation to Germany. Start planning today with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Leighlinbridge - the Garden Village

Leighlinbridge: The Garden Village, t: Mary Meaney, Secretary, Leighlinbridge Improvement Group 086-6027751The Leighlinbridge district is rich in history, favored with fertile land and enhanced by the River Barrow which meanders slowly through the village. The foundation for its beauty lies directly with the residents who demonstrate a sense of pride and work tirelessly to preserve and enhance this unique area. This pride is evident by a range of gardens, built and designed by the local community to commemorate various aspects of village life over the years.

The Millennium Garden consists of seven small individual gardens, each with its own theme represented by trees, shrubs and stones. Using materials indigenous to the local area, the garden tells the story of life through a series of themes including peach and tranquility, happiness, friendship, reconciliation hope, harmony and eternity.

The Vivaldi Garden is based on Vivaldi's musical concerto The Four Seasons and comprises four formal gardens, each depicting a season of the year. To create a formal effect each rectangle is lined with Buxus sempervirens (Boxwood) and formed into triangles with lavender while each season is represented by specific planting.

The Garden of Remembrance straddling the River Barrow commemorates important occasions in the history of the village including the visit of the Canadian Prime Minister, Brian Mulrooney, a World War 1 Memorial and the Entene Florale Gold Medal Award. A number of commemorative trees have been planted together with ballerina roses and shrubs.

The Sculpture Garden is dedicated to three of  Leighlinbridge's most famous sons - Cardinal Patrick Francis Moran - Australia's first Cardinal, John Tyndall, the mountaineer and scientist who developed the light pipe, the forerunner to fiber optics and Captain Myles Keogh, second in command to General Custer who lost his life at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876 at the hands of the Sioux.

Leighlinbridge is a must see when visiting in County Carlow. Travel to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Monday, June 23, 2014

Vacation Spotlight: Castles and Cottages

Castles and Cottages Self-Drive Vacation to Ireland
Idyllic Ireland awaits…Castles and Bed and Breakfasts are at the heart of every traveler to Ireland. Whether you are looking for a romantic escape or the true Irish experience, our Castles and Cottages Self-Drive Vacation is the perfect choice. Meander through the back roads of Ireland, while staying in luxury castle hotels and idyllic Bed and Breakfasts of your choice.

Your Castles andCottages Self-Drive Vacation Includes: 

  • 1-night accommodations at Kilronan Castle
  • 1-night accommodations at Ballynahinch Castle
  • 3-nights open B&B vouchers
  • 1-night accommodations in at the Clontarf Castle Hotel in Dublin
  • 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, June 20, 2014

Irish Eye Candy: Beara Peninsula

Beara Peninsula, Cork, Ireland
The Beara Peninsula is steeped in myths and legends. The mountains and valleys are rich in archaeological sites such as stone circles, wedge graves and other relics from the past. We have scenic lakes cradled by gorgeous mountains and a rugged coastline with lots of great fishing spots.

Travel to Ireland with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hotel Spotlight: Ballynahinch Castle Hotel

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel

Ballynahinch : Recess, Co. Galway : IRELAND : Phone 095-31006

Ballynahinch Castle is located at the heart of the Ballynahinch Estate. Comprising 450 acres of beautiful woodlands, gardens, lakes and rivers, this sporting country estate offers a secluded retreat of peace for any visitor.

Learn more about this Ireland Castle Hotel

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Eisleben Must Sees

Eisleben is a quaint town in east Germany, about an hour outside Leipzig. The town is most famous as the birthplace and place of death of Martin Luther, making it a perfect stop if you are following the Luther trail. Eisleben also makes a great alternative to staying in the big city of Leipzig, when traveling through the area. For such a small town, there is quite a bit to see. To see everything, we recommend an overnight in the town. The overall appeal of the town is not very touristy so you can get a good vibe from the locals.

Eisleben Must Sees

St. Peter's and Paul's Church
The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul is the place where Martin Luther was baptised. The foundation for the present building was laid in 1486. Before that time, a smaller edifice had been situated at the same place, but its appearance is unknown. It is certain, however, that on November 11th, 1483, the day Luther was baptised, the mighty church steeple had already been erected. Its spire was remodelled in 1566, when it received the roof hood that is seen today. At the beginning of the 16th century, the construction work of both the outside and the inside of the late Gothic hall church with three naves was finished.

Luther's Last Residence Exhibit

As Martin Luther died in Eisleben on 18th February 1546, the Luther Memorial “Luther’s last residence” can be found here. Nowadays, his last residence is a museum located above the Eisleber Markt.

Luther's Birthplace
The house where Luther was born was built in the middle of the fifteenth century as a burgher’s home. Luther’s father rented it shortly before Luther’s birth in 1483. The ground floor still retains its original floor plan.

Whether stopping into Eisleben on your way to Leipzig, or following the Luther Trail, Eisleben is a quaint town and a must see! Start planning your Germany vacation with Celtic Tours World Vacations!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Huntington Castle Gardens

Huntington Castle and Gardens, Clonegal, Co. Carlow t: 053-9377160These gardens were mainly laid out in the 17th century by the Esmondes who built Huntington Castle in 1625. This includes the French limes on the Avenue, the "parterre" or lawns to the side of the house, the fish ponds on either side of the center walk through the wilderness and the majority of Yew trees which comprise the Yew walk. Larger plantings have resulted in Huntington possessing a number of great Irish trees, including four varieties of hickory, a cut leaved oak, Siberian crab and buckeye chestnut.

Explore the kitchen gardens with the recently restored greenhouse, followed by the enchanting Italian gardens and the ruins of the old Abbey before walking through to the 'Wilderness' woodland where formal walks and pathways will guide you past shrubs, flora and bamboo to the old turbine house which supplied electricity to Huntington as early as 1888. The bottom of the wilderness is marked by the delightful River Derry which flows as the boundary between County Carlow and Wexford. Then head back to the castle and experience the fascinating guided tour or simply take a well earned break in the new tearooms.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Vacation Spotlight: Irish Charm & Decadence

Irish Charm & Decadence - Self-Drive Vacation to Ireland
This romantic Ireland vacation package blends the charm of yesteryear with the luxurious decadence of Adare Manor. With overnights in Killarney, Kinsale, Waterford and Adare; this 6 night self-drive vacation brings you quaint sea-side villages, breathtaking scenery and a hundred thousand Irish Welcomes. Céad míle fáilte!

Your Irish Charm & Decadence -  Self-Drive Vacation Includes: 

  • 2-night accommodations at International Hotel in Killarney
  • 1-night accommodations at Actons Hotel in Kinsale
  • 1-night accommodations at Dooley's Hotel in Waterford
  • 2-night accommodations at Adare Manor in Adare
  • 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
**Please note, this Ireland vacation itinerary is based on air in and out of Shannon airport. If Dublin airport is preferred, we can arrange pre/post nights in Dublin. Alternatively, we can fully customize an itinerary.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Irish Eye Candy: Giant's Causeway

Giant's Causeway, Bushmills, Antrim, Ireland

Flanked by the wild North Atlantic Ocean on one side and a landscape of dramatic cliffs on the other, for centuries the Giant’s Causeway has inspired artists, stirred scientific debate and captured the imagination of all who see it.

Start planning your Irish vacation with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hotel Spotlight: Kilronan Castle Estate & Spa

Kilronan Castle Estate & Spa

Ballyfarnon : Co. Roscommon : IRELAND : Phone 071-96-18000

Our commitment is to provide the highest level of luxury, comfort and service. You will enjoy old world elegance with modern day comforts. One step inside Kilronan Castle, Roscommon and you are at home. With our warm and friendly atmosphere we will see to your every need, everything has been designed with your desires in mind.

One of Ireland’s most luxurious Castle Hotels in Roscommon Ireland, the ancestral home of the Tennison family and the legendary Colonel King Tennison. It is one of a few Irish castle estates that can trace its history back to royal families. This secluded, luxury, Roscommon Castle hotel is majestically set on the shores of Lough Meelagh, surrounded by over forty acres of breathtaking Irish scenery, lush green pastures, ancient forests and historical points of interest.

Learn more about this Ireland Castle Hotel

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Top 9 Attractions in Erfurt, Germany

Erfurt is a pretty little city centrally located between Frankfurt and Dresden. It also makes a great stopover between Berlin and Munich. For a little city, Erfurt absolutely packs a lot of great museums and attractions. Here are the top 9!

Merchant's Bridge: See it from every angle! When on the bridge you cannot tell that it is a bridge so to truly appreciate the marvelous architecture, you must it from the front and back as well as browsing the shops across it.

Gera River: The Gera River runs around the entire city, with several picturesque footbridges there are many places to stop for a minute and take in the beauty of this medieval city. You may even spot some local wildlife such as a heron taking flight.

Cathedral Square: This beautiful square is flanked by the cathedral and the Church of St. Severus. Stroll through the square enjoying an ice cream or a decadent chocolate for the nearby chocolatier, Goldhelm Schokolade.

Mariendom: Take a look inside this beautiful cathedral for the stained glass windows and the magnificent 14th century carved choir stalls - a feast for the eyes!

Church of St. Severus: Right next to Mariendom, a part of Cathedral Square, St. Severus is also worth taking a peak inside.

Egapark Erfurt:
Here you will find one of the largest flower and horticultural parks in Germany.

Alte Synagogue: This recently "rediscovered" synagogue is a cultural and architectural treasure built in the 11th century. Take a moment to marvel at one of the few remaining medieval synagogues in Europe.

Outdoor Shopping Mall: The pedestrianized outdoor shopping mall is a feast for the wandering architect - plus take in a little bit of shopping while you are here!

Erfurt Protestant Augustinian Monastery: This peaceful gothic monastery complex is one of the most famous related to the reformation.

As with all medieval cities in Europe, look for the nooks and crannies. Discover beautiful fountains, playful statues, stop for a moment to hear the street performers play an accordion or violin and enjoy a cappuccino at one of the many street cafes in the traffic-free city center. Erfurt is a beautiful little city. Stay here as a stopover between major cities on your route, or stay here for a week and visit the nearby towns and castles! Start planning your Germany vacation with Celtic Tours World Vacations.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Herb Gardens at Kilgraney House, County Carlow, Ireland

Herb Gardens at Kilgraney House, Borris Road, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow t: 059-9775283Kilgraney takes it's name from the Irish 'cill greine' which means 'sunny wood'. These wooded and seculed grounds overlook the tranquil Barrow valley and are situated halfway between Carlow Town and Kilkenny City.

Consisting of a series of interconnecting herbal gardens there is a large kitchen garden, a tea walk, a medicinal herb courtyard, a medieval monastic herb garden and a garden of aromatic and fragrant herbs.

The enclosed kitchen garden supplies the guesthouse with fruit, vegetables and herbs and has been run on organic lines for almost ten years. It consists of gravel paths and eleven raised timber beds of varying sizes grouped to form a modern rectangular 'potanger'. Here you will find unusual leafy plants such as mibuna, mizuna and komatsyna amongst more traditional salad varieties. Next to the kitchen garden is the tea walk, a short gravel path lined on one side with plants suitable for infusions and herbal teas. The medicinal garden, set in a granite courtyard, consists of nine raised beds in Irish oak timber. Each bed is planted with herbs suitable for treating a particular part of the body. In a lower courtyard you will find an aromatic garden planted with herbs for fragrance and also for their usefulness in cosmetic preparations. In an adjoining courtyard there is a modern interpretation of a medieval monastic herb garden with four oak raised beds surrounded on two sides by an oak timber cloister. Finally, a circular cosmic garden helps to explain and facilitate our understanding of the ancient belief that there is a connection between people, plants, planets and constellations.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Vacation Spotlight: Stay & Play in Killarney

Stay and Play in Killarney - with a 3 night stay at the lovely 4* Arbutus Hotel! Includes roundtrip airport transfers (to/from Shannon) and a tour of the beautiful Ring of Kerry!

Your package includes:

  • Arrival transfer from Shannon Airport to Killarney
  • 3-nights stay at the beautiful Arbutus Hotel in Killarney
  • Breafast daily (except for morning of arrival)
  • Ring of Kerry Tour
  • Departure transfer from Killarney to Shannon Airport

Friday, June 6, 2014

Irish Eye Candy: Kinsale

Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland

Originally a medieval fishing port, historic Kinsale is one of the most picturesque, popular and historic towns on the south west coast of Ireland. It has been hailed as the Gourmet Capital of Ireland, with no shortage of cafes, pubs and restaurants to suit every taste and budget.

Start planning your Ireland Vacation with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hotel Spotlight: Lahinch Golf and Leisure Hotel

Lahinch Golf and Leisure Hotel

Lahinch, Co. Clare : IRELAND : Phone 065-708-1100

The Lahinch Golf and Leisure Hotel is recognised as one of the finest Luxury 4 Star Hotels in Clare. Located in the heart of the charming seaside village of Lahinch, overlooking the stunning landscape of County Clare and the Atlantic Ocean.

Learn more about this Ireland Hotel

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Top 11 Gardens in Wales

With all of that wonderful rainfall, it is no wonder that Wales is known for its spectacular gardens! Welsh gardens are lush and green and range from medieval times to the late twentieth century. Welsh gardens are an integral part of the rich historic and cultural fabric of the country. Here are the top gardens in Wales:

Aberglasney House and Gardens

Spectacularly set in the beautiful Tywi valley of Carmarthenshire, Aberglasney House features one of the finest gardens in Wales. Aberglasney Gardens have been an inspiration to poets since 1477. The story of Aberglasney spans many centuries, but, the house's origins are still shrouded in obscurity.

Bodnant Gardens

Marvel at plants from all over the world grown from seed and cuttings collected over a century ago on plant-hunting expeditions. Created by five generations of one family, this 80-acre garden is superbly located, with spectacular views across Snowdonia.

With expansive lawns and intimate corners, grand ponds and impressive terraces, a steep wooded valley and stream, as well as awe-inspiring plant collections, there are continually changing glorious displays of color.

Paths throughout Bodnant Garden allow visitors to explore, discover and delight in its beauty - enjoy the clean, fresh fragrances of nature.

Chirk Castle

Completed in 1310, Chirk is the last Welsh castle from the reign of Edward I that's still lived in today. Features from its 700 years include the medieval tower and dungeon, 17th-century Long Gallery, grand 18th-century state apartments, servants' hall and historic laundry.

The award-winning gardens contain clipped yews, herbaceous borders, shrub and rock gardens. A terrace with stunning views looks out over the Cheshire and Salop plains.

The parkland provides a habitat for rare invertebrates, wild flowers and contains many mature trees and also some splendid wrought-iron gates, made in 1719 by the Davies brothers.

Dyffryn Gardens

Dyffryn Gardens are an exceptional example of Edwardian garden design, covering more than 55 acres featuring a stunning collection of intimate garden rooms, formal lawns and seasonal bedding. There is also a statuary collection, and an arboretum featuring trees from all over the world.

Within the gardens, Dyffryn House, a grand Victorian mansion overlooks the key aspects of the gardens. Significant parts of the ground and first floors have been restored to their Victorian splendour and are now open to the public.

Designed by eminent landscape architect Thomas Mawson, the gardens are the early 20th-century vision of industrialist John Cory and his son Reginald.


Widely acclaimed as one of Britain's finest historic houses, Erddig is a fascinating yet unpretentious early 18th-century country house reflecting the upstairs downstairs life of a gentry family over 250 years.

The extensive downstairs area contains Erddig's unique collection of servants' portraits, while the upstairs rooms are an amazing treasure trove of fine furniture, textiles and wallpapers.

Outside, an impressive range of outbuildings includes stables, smithy, joiners' shop and sawmill.

The setting is a superb 18th-century formal garden and romantic landscape park.

National Botanic Garden of Wales

The National Botanic Garden of Wales is set on historic parkland, dating back around 400 years. Visitors can see how we’ve restored some wonderful remnants of the Middleton Regency Water Park, especially the Double Walled Garden, Principality House, the Stables and the Lakes.

Penrhyn Castle

This enormous 19th-century neo-Norman castle sits between Snowdonia and the Menai Strait.

It's crammed with fascinating items, such as a one-ton slate bed made for Queen Victoria, elaborate carvings, plasterwork and mock-Norman furniture. It also has an outstanding collection of paintings.

The restored kitchens are a delight and the stable block houses a fascinating industrial railway museum and a model railway museum.

The 60 acres of grounds include parkland, an exotic tree and shrub collection as well as a Victorian walled garden.

Plas Newydd Country House and Gardens

Set on the shores of the Menai Strait amidst breathtakingly beautiful scenery, this elegant house was redesigned by James Wyatt in the 18th century. The 1930s restyled interior is famous for its Rex Whistler association and contains his exquisite romantic mural and the largest exhibition of his works.

A military museum contains relics from the First Marquess of Anglesey's tenure, who commanded the cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo.

There's a fine spring garden and Australasian arboretum, with an understorey of shrubs and wild flowers, an italianate-style summer terrace, and massed hydrangeas which give autumn colour.

A woodland walk gives access to a marine path beside the Menai Strait.

From the house and grounds, the views across the Menai Strait to the mountains of Snowdonia are simply stunning.

Powis Castle and Garden

The world-famous garden, overhung with clipped yews, shelters rare and tender plants. Laid out under the influence of Italian and French styles, it retains its original lead statues and an orangery on the terraces. High on a rock above the terraces, the castle, originally built circa 1200, began life as a medieval fortress.

Remodelled and embellished over more than 400 years, it reflects the changing needs and ambitions of the Herbert family - each generation adding to the magnificent collection of paintings, sculpture, furniture and tapestries.

A superb collection of treasures from India is displayed in the Clive Museum.

Please note, due to the medieval deer park, we regret no dogs are allowed.


Portmeirion is a fairy tale Italianate village on the coast of Snowdonia with gardens, beaches, shops, restaurants and hotels. Open daily all

St. Fagans: National History Museum

St Fagans is one of Europe's leading open-air museums and Wales's most popular heritage attraction. It stands in the grounds of the magnificent St Fagans Castle, a late 16th-century manor house donated to the people of Wales by the Earl of Plymouth.

St Fagans Castle is a Grade 1 listed building and one of the finest Elizabethan manor houses in Wales. Beautiful garden displays surround the Castle including an Italian Garden (laid out in 1902, restored in 2003) and thyme garden, while there are many features original to the site. Fish ponds, fountains, a mulberry grove, vinery and an exquisite Rosery add depth and colour to the Museum’s grounds.  The gardens are perhaps the best-kept secret at St Fagans, from those of the gentry to the cottage gardens that provided food for working families.

Travel to Wales with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

5 Places to Visit in Normandy

France is surely a European vacation favorite. But there is much more to France than Paris. It is one of  our top five group travel destinations - with endless possibilities for entertainment and activities, the wealth of culture, art and history. This year marks a milestone for France as Normandy recognizes the 70th Anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. Planning on visiting Normandy this year? Here are our top five places to visit in Normandy.

This little village has now returned to its quiet simplicity but directly D-Day it became the site of one of the most vital ports to the Allied forces. In three days the British created an artificial harbor at Arromanches that, within the span of 10 months, was used to land over 2.5 million soldiers, 500,000 vehicles, and 4 million tons of supplies. The city is also home to a brand new and very powerful 360 degree video exhibition, titled Aarromanches 360.

A flashy and chic city by the sea, it truly is the playground for the rich and famous. Sometimes referred to as the Monaco of Normandy or the Hamptons of Paris, it is packed with designer boutiques and grand hotels. With its sage beach, majestic casno, horse races and famous festivals. It is sure to draw many Americans looking to escape the bustle of Paris, in style!

This beautiful city was mostly destroyed during WWII but thankfully retained the abbeys founded by William the Conqueror and his wide. Its lively atmosphere makes it the ideal place to experience genuine Norman nightlife and shopping, plus ot has many charming squares, gardens, cafes and restaurants. It is also home to the Memorial de Caen, which attracts almost 400,000 visitors every year and is consdiered one of the most important museums in France outside of Paris. This  first class museum has exhibitions that cover not only WWII, but also human rights debates, the Cold War, terrorism and more.

The lovely little town is home to the house and gardens where Claude Monet lived and worked on some of his most famous series. Here you can stroll through the beautiful gardens depicted in many of his works or saunter around the famous pond that inspired Monet's water lily paintings. Impressionism is one of the most appreciated artistic movements in history so it is sure to appeal to the masses.

The architecture and wandering streets of Bayeux are dotted with wine shops, restaurants, historic haunts and a towering cathedral. It is also the home of the famous Bayeux Tapestry, which is a hand embroidered linen story panel depicting the Norman invasion of England in the 11th century. The city is also an ideal location to explore both Utah and Omaha beaches. The turmoil of D-Day has been washed away but the memories remain through stunning museums and monuments.

This is just a sample as to what is waiting for your group to explore. Start planning your group vacation to France with Celtic Tours World Vacations

Hardymount Gardens, County Carlow, Ireland

Hardymount Gardens, Tullow, Co. Carlow. t: 059-9151769One of the largest Spanish chestnuts in Ireland greets travelers on arrival to 2.5 acres of lawns and shrubs surrounded by magnificent beech and oak trees. A wonderful walled garden behind the house contains many unusual plants and flowers in the herbaceous border - lilac colored Erysimum, yellow helianthus, beds of old roses, downy variegated mint, mimosa, blue agapanthus, California poppies, Chinese foxgloves and much, much more. The grass paths take you past the pond with lilies and fish to espaliered apple trees, Lobelia tupa, a pergola clothed with wisteria and underplanted with hollyhocks and foxgloves and on to a vegetable garden. A Summer House at the end of the garden in a sheltered corner provides a quiet area for rest and relaxations. A truly amazing walled garden worth knowing because of its owner and her dedication to gardening.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Vacation Spotlight: Adventure on the Atlantic

Adventure on theAtlantic - Self-Drive Vacation to Ireland
This self-paced Ireland vacation blends outdoor adventures with intriguing history, set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Wild Atlantic Way. The charming seaside resort of Lahinch, Co Clare makes an excellent base for your outdoor activities and sightseeing. Explore the ancient Burren, see the magnificent Cliffs of Moher, play a round of golf at  Ireland's most famous links courses, take the ferry to the Aran Islands, eat with your hands at a traditional medieval feast or just relax on Lahinch's Blue Flag beach. If you are ready for an adventure, join us in Ireland for an Adventure on the Atlantic.

Your Adventure on the Atlantic -  Self-Drive Vacation Includes: 

  • 5-night accommodations at Lahinch Golf and Leisure Resort 
  • 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
**Please note, this Ireland vacation itinerary is based on air in and out of Shannon airport. If Dublin airport is preferred, we can arrange pre/post nights in Dublin. Alternatively, we can fully customize an itinerary.

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