An award-wining tour company in Ireland invites guests to hike, bike, kayak and horseback ride through landscapes fomenting with history and lore on a new-for-2018 active vacation called 7 Day Magnetic North Adventure Tour.
This Vagabond Adventure Tour leaves few stones and stories unturned and untold along this intimate exploration of the northern slice of what’s called Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. The per person, double rate for the 7 Day Magnetic North Adventure Tour is €1,619. For details see https://
A similar but more leisurely paced itinerary exclusive of strenuous activities is the 6 Day Northern Ireland Tour featured by the company’s sister division, Driftwood Journeys of Discovery. The per person rate is €1,509 per person double. For details see https://
Poet William Butler Yeats, captivated by this region’s beauty, is buried near Donegal Castle. (His poem, “Lake Isle of Innisfree,” references an actual landscape that he loved here.) Guests may visit the cemetery and the castle after a guided hike to sea cliffs or a walk to visit the tomb of Celtic warrior Queen Maeve who in her 60-year rule had five (known) husbands.
Avid surfers seek out beaches near Donegal Bay. Time is built into this active program to don wet suits or to horseback ride beside the waves or to explore the cliffs by boat. (It was on this bay in 1979 that Prince Charles’ favorite uncle, the Earl Mountbatten of Burma, was killed by explosives set by the Irish Republican Army, casting a shadow on the nuptials of Charles and Diana.)
Constantly shifting history moves from recent to ancient along the Wild Atlantic Way as guests marvel at Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sixty million or so years ago volcanic activity spewed lava skyward that settled into 40,000 basalt columns forever on duty before the waves. Nearby is a rope foot bridge used 350 years ago by fishermen to reach an island from the mainland. The bridge is 66 feet long and hangs 100 feet above sea level and the rocks below. While crossing, visitors are advised not to look down. If they do, they can regain their courage at the world’s oldest continuously operating whiskey distillery in the historic village of Bushmills.
This seven-day tour’s magic includes
- castles watching over world-class gardens
- the flora and fauna of national parks. moorlands and glens
- villages where weavers still ply their trade
- morning walks on Ireland’s holiest mountain
- bike rides along the famous Western Greenway
- museum visits
- kayak outings on sea and river
- playing a prehistoric sport, hurling
- wondering at ancient Neolithic stone circles and Celtic ring forts
Leaving the coastline to return to Dublin, guests pass near where John Ford in 1951 filmed “The Quiet Man” (think John Wayne) and near a site where “Game of Thrones” was filmed.
In a very cool perk for subscribers through Dec. 31, 2017, Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland invites individual and referred subscriptions to its newsletter. Names of new and current subscribers will be entered into a promotion to win a 7-Day Magnetic North Adventure Tour of Ireland for two, including flights to Dublin and pre-and post-tour accommodation in Dublin. To participate, simply subscribe to their newsletter through the link below. Additional contest entries can be achieved by visiting the company’s Facebook page, following them on Twitter and/or Pinterest, and referring a friend. To enter and for all the details see: https://