Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland

"We want you to love Ireland as much as we do."

Website: https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/

About

Country pride and passion that since its founding in 2002 has catapulted Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland and its tour companies, Vagabond Adventure Tours and Driftwood Journeys of Discovery, to become one of Ireland’s premier active travel operators and a leader in this country’s adventure tourism industry.  A committed environmental ethic and a creative vision designed to inspire and enthrall clients come together on every tour to capture the windswept beauty, age-old traditions, whimsy and pathos of Ireland and its people. In 2017, Vagabond became Ireland’s first Tour Operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification.

The Beginning

Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland was the brain child of Rob Rankin who had been travelling in Southern Africa with his wife, Amy. While there, they saw the safari and ‘overland’ tours that were so popular and realized that a more adventurous way of seeing Ireland would be a fun and lasting experience for visitors. Ireland may not have the lions, elephants, jungles or deserts of Africa, but it certainly has plenty of great scenery, fascinating history and a few two- and four-legged wild creatures running loose. Just what you need for a good safari.

Vagabond Adventure Tours explore Ireland’s hidden corners on scheduled departures of fully guided itineraries that mix up multi-sport activities, history, myth and culture for 7 to 12 days. Small groups of up to 13 participants journey in custom-built 4X4 Land Rovers and Mercedes vehicles (a.k.a. Vagatrons). The first and only vehicles of their kind in Ireland when originally introduced, they are designed to drive into areas beyond the reach of more traditional motor tours, often rambling off-road to drive along beaches, through rivers or up muddy tracks. Guests can then walk in the mountains, kayak in secluded bays, horseback ride on a remote beach, clamber over ancient ruins, learn about pirate queens and retrace the steps of pilgrims or search for ancestors. Days end at intimate guest houses or small hotels offering up a roaring fire.  See: https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/our-tours-of-ireland-2/adventure-tours-of-ireland/.

Driftwood Journeys of Discovery expands touring options on scheduled departures of fully guided itineraries over 6 to 11 days for clients who prefer a more relaxing adventure that emphasizes the unique scenery, culture and history of Ireland. Tour guests are surrounded by Ireland’s majestic countryside, visiting hidden beaches and learning about high kings, giants and poets while travelling in comfort with a maximum group size of 16. See: https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/our-tours-of-ireland-2/small-group-tours-of-ireland/

Both styles of touring offer cultural experiences that run the gamut from sheep dog displays and private demonstrations by artisan craftsmen to fascinating political history tours of Belfast.

How Vagabond Adventure Tours and Driftwood Journey of Discovery Tours Differ

Mode of Transport

Vagabond Adventure Tour

All travel is in a Land Rover or Mercedes 4X4 ‘Vagatrons’. They are perfectly comfortable and add a real spirit of adventure right from the start of the trip.

Driftwood Journey of Discovery

All the Driftwood tours glide along in an extremely smart and comfortable green ‘Drifters’ which is either a Mercedes or Volkswagen mini-coach.

Touring on Foot

Vagabond Adventure Tour

A hike every day is usually a part of a Vagabond tour. These can last up to 2.5 hours and cover up to 5 miles (8km’s) on uneven paths over undulating terrain. A moderate level of fitness is required.

Driftwood Journey of Discovery

For those who would like to stroll through local villages, stately homes and gardens and to historical sites – then Driftwood is the perfect style of touring.

Options for Activity and Adventure

Vagabond Adventure Tour

Activity options available on adventure tours may include:

  • Sea-kayaking (3 hours session under full supervision)
  • Horse-riding (1 hour on the beach)
  • Cycling (2 hours in the Killarney National Park)
  • Skellig Michael Trip (including boat trip, a climb up 100’s of steps with no handle)
  • Surfing – for the really hardy people

All activities and walks are optional and require a moderate level of fitness.

Driftwood Journey of Discovery

Offering less active options, including:

  • A horse and open carriage ride though the Killarney National Park
  • Visits to gardens such as Garinish Island, Bantry House and Muckross House
  • An Irish cooking lesson
  • Visit to a local artisan craft workshop
  • Less physical strolls on hard surfaces or good paths to scenic locations and historical sites

Vagabond Adventure Tours tend to move at a slightly quicker pace, ideal for those who want to feel they are on the go, in a refreshing kind of way.

Driftwood Journey of Discovery Tours as the name suggests, take a bit more time getting from A to B, plus there is more free time at certain locations.

All Tours Encompass the Best of Ireland.  For instance, on an 11-day Driftwood tour or a 12-day Vagabond tour from Antrim to West Cork returning to Dublin, guests will experience different accents, dialects, foods, cultures, sports, architecture and micro-climates - not to mention centuries of history and stunning landscapes. In fact, Vagabond travelers often see more of Ireland than many Irish locals experience in a lifetime.

Authentic and Local experiences are created by using native-owned accommodations and dining in locally owned restaurants and pubs as well as through flexible itineraries offering free time during the day in small, off-the-track communities.  Because groups are small guests arrive, shop, eat and stay without disturbing everyday life. Often the most memorable experiences come from unplanned and spontaneous local interactions.

Hidden Ireland away from the crowds brings guests to such hidden gems as the Neolithic Uragh Stone Circle on the Beara Peninsula, Aughnanure Castle in Connemara or the Grianan of Aileach in Donegal.

Client-First Approach.  With group sizes significantly less than most Irish tour operators it means that guides make a point to know each guest’s name upon arrival.  Tours are very personal and flexible and no two outings are ever the same.  If guests have an Irish connection, guides can help source connections, be it a long-lost cousin or simply a shop or pub with their name on it.

Quality and Services that guests enjoy meet the highest standards. Accommodations are handpicked to ensure the highest quality of hospitality and the food that is offered is both delicious and world-class.

Guaranteed Departures.  All confirmed tour departures are 100% guaranteed. Vagabond Tours has never, ever, ever cancelled a tour.

Small Groups translates to personalized service from the booking process to the tour itself. Freed of the constraints of larger numbers the company can utilize smaller hotels and guest houses in some of Ireland’s most remote and picturesque spots. Flexibility comes when trip guests request arrangements for visits to sights and attractions not included in the itinerary. If it is possible, they make it happen. Everyone is involved in such decision making.

Telling the Story of Ireland comes through guides who share several things in common. All are wanderers at heart, but each loves Ireland and recreating the lore and myths that have blurred fact from fiction. The natural world is their playground as they become Pied Pipers leading guests to the next overlook high above the sea’s spray where minutes ago they were kayaking across the bay. Listening to their guests is their forte. Their role is to bring Ireland to life, to tell the local stories while traveling across it, to introduce visitors to proud communities and to weave together all the parts of the complete cultural experience. Guides are also ambassadors and living examples of Ireland and Irish life that visitors now have unrivalled access to.

Creating an active connection with nature, heritage and landscapes is a given, as each day on a Vagabond Tour is filled with experiences that take travelers deep into Irish landscapes, connecting them with nature and Irish culture. For example:

  • Hiking the Dunboey Coastal Walk on the Beara Peninsula or the Glenveigh National Park
  • Clambering to Ireland’s highest burial cairn at the summit of Slieve Gullion mountain
  • Kayaking out into Dingle Bay Co. Kerry to see the abundance of wildlife and sea life
  • Cycling through Killarney National Park’s natural and man-made treasures
  • Horse-riding on a windswept Mullaghmore Beach with Classiebawn Castle in the background

Famous highlights come with itineraries without the crowds. For example:

  • Cliffs of Moher – Guests arrive late in the evening or early morning to avoid the busy times
  • Cliff walk to the Giant’s Causeway, a 3-hour hike in from Dunseverick Castle
  • Inis Oirr – for a more personal experience, groups visit the smallest, lesser visited Aran island

Remote Locations reveal hidden gems such as…

  • Skellig Michael – Few operators offer access to the UNESCO World Heritage site islands on scheduled tours
  • Slieve League Cliffs and the Cliffs of Kilkee
  • Inch Strand - Driving down Inch is for 4X4 adventure tours only!
  • Ballycarberry Castle – Opens only for Vagabond guests – and cows.
  • Coppermines Road on the Beara Peninsula

Overnights are Hand Picked in locations where guests find it easy to disconnect and relax, where the welcome is genuine and the service excellent. Categories include:

  • Remote and stunning -  Away from it all in Portmagee and Gougane Barra
  • Buzzing Local Communities - Fun evenings in Kenmare, Dingle, Clifden, Kinsale and Ardara
  • Something Special - Live like a Lord or Lady at Ballygally Castle and Abbeyglen Castle Hotels, Mount Falcon Estate or Bantry House
  • A bit adventurous - Glamping by the sea at Dromquinna Manor

Local Hospitality may be disguised as a…

  • Picnic on a remote beach.
  • Dinner in one of Kinsale’s finest restaurants
  • Concert in St James Church in Dingle
  • Music and dancing in the Bridge Bar, Portmagee
  • Lunch in McCarthy’s Bar in Castletownbere

Customized Tours and Private Departures can be arranged to accommodate groups and multi-generational families.

Children ages 10 and up are welcome on most all scheduled departures. Most young participants are teenagers.

Sustainable Tourism plays a big role in this company that is committed to a code of best practice in all aspects of business, including relationships with and effects on the environment and the communities guests visit. Few business sectors rely on the natural environment in the way that tourism does, so it is very much in this company’s interest to preserve the natural world. This means constant monitoring of business methods to make sure that the environmental impact is as low as possible.

In 2017, Vagabond became Ireland’s first Tour Operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification. Vagabond Tours founder and owner, Rob Rankin, was presented with the Gold Award by Eco Tourism Ireland. Speaking at the presentation, Rankin reaffirmed Vagabond’s commitment to sustainable tourism and the multi-faceted role played by the company. “As a company, we have always been very aware of our environmental and social responsibilities. That we are one of many caretakers of Ireland and have a responsibility to practice sustainability to ensure the landscape, the Irish culture and traditions are protected for future generations and visitors alike to enjoy and experience.” In a recent team exercise, being environmentally aware was universally adopted as a key company value.

High Yield, Low Impact Tourism means that local economies benefit from the company’s and guest’s contributions to local, rural Irish economies (including accommodations, meals, nightlife, attractions and shopping). In 2016 alone, these guests contributed over €3 million to local Irish economies. A Vagabond passenger is a great example of a high yield, low impact tourist.

A Carbon Neutral Company. Investing in the future, Vagabond has gone carbon neutral. On 12 November 2016, in association with the Woodland Trust, they planted 111 trees to offset all 2016 CO2 emissions.

Leave No Trace is an outdoor ethics program designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships. Vagabond guides have gone through the facilitator training program and work in the off season to continue to develop best practices.

Ireland Adventure Association - Rob Rankin, MD and co-founder of Vagabond, is currently leading the development of a vital representative body for the adventure travel industry in Ireland. It is a professional body not a marketing body. It is a sector which generated €850,000,000 for the Irish economy in 2014. Key roles of the new organization will include promoting responsible and sustainable tourism.

Evolvingwith Accolades

  • 2002 Vagabond was established.
  • 2003 the first employee was hired.
  • Driftwood launched in 2011
  • 2013 a company tour was named one of National Geographic Traveler’s Top 50 Tours, the first and only Irish tour company to be singled out by this award.
  • 2015 & 2017 Vagabond Tours of Ireland won Best Adventure Experience at the Irish Tourism Awards in 2015 and in 2017
  • 2017 Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour Operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification

Contact Information

Amy Rankin              This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  /  00353 866494262
Rob Rankin              This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  /  00353 876494262

Vagabond Adventure Tours Email:           This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone:                USA (870) 619-4059

Driftwood Journeys of Discovery Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone:                USA (870) 474 0055

Address:                   
Vagabond Tours of Ireland
52, Newtown Business and Enterprise Park
Newtownmountkennedy
Co. Wicklow, A63 PA07, Ireland

Website: https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/

Social Media:          

Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/vagabondireland
Pinterest:       https://www.pinterest.ie/vagabondireland/
Instagram      https://www.instagram.com/vagabondireland/
Twitter:          https://twitter.com/vagabondireland
YouTube:      https://www.youtube.com/user/vagabondireland

Media Contact:      

Widness & Wiggins PR
Sara Widness / 802-234-6704 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dave Wiggins / 720-301-3822 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
 
 
 

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland Gears Up to Make the Green Isle Greener

A travel company in Ireland is determined to effect real – and positive -- change on behalf of Mother Earth.

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland (https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/) in 2017 received EcoTourism Ireland’s Gold certification, a first for an Irish tour operator. Earlier this year, the company won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards. Not resting on laurels, Rob and Amy Rankin, co-owners, continue to walk the talk by creating a new post, Vagabond’s Sustainability Executive. Ciara Myburgh, formerly a Vagabond guide, is charged with further deepening the company’s sustainability roots and mentoring other like-minded companies.

“We want to promote sustainability both within and outside of our organization. Environmental awareness and practices here lag behind the rest of Europe,” says Rob Rankin, Managing Director.

Myburgh is tasked with overseeing that daily operations and service promises are integrated with environmental sustainability goals. These include activities with:

  • Leave No Trace Ireland(12 Vagabond staff have already qualified as trainers for this program);
  • Birdwatch Irelandthat maintains bird feeders and nesting boxes at Vagabond headquarters (some of Vagabond’s accommodation suppliers have followed suit: Beech Hill House Hotel in Co. Derry and Gougane Barra Hotel in Co. Cork);
  • Pure Projectinvolving Vagabond’s pledge to keep litter-free a section of woodland near Glencree, Co. Wickow. This effort was recognized with the ‘Clean-Up the Uplands’ award at the Pure Project Awards night, October 2018.)

Vagabond also focuses on issues of social and economic sustainability. Its “off the beaten track” ethos, draws visitors to rural Ireland for on average up to nine days and eight nights, with average client contributions to local economies of €1,500 per person (including accommodation, meals, attractions and shopping).

“This approach nurtures economically sustainable tourism in areas that may be located far from headline attractions or major infrastructure. It literally makes those communities more sustainable,” adds Rankin. One itinerary developed around social and economic sustainability needs is the 6 Day Driftwood Northern Island Tour. “This is one of the most diverse, intriguing and beautiful parts of Europe, yet, it is critically under-visited and underrated,” notes Rankin. “Another concentrates on Ireland’s story of invasions and integration – Viking, Norman, Cromwellian. “Nowhere tells that tale better than Ireland’s east coast on a 6 Day Driftwood Ancient Ireland Tour.”

Vagabond’s ongoing green business practices also include:

  • creating workplace LED panel initiatives to replace energy-guzzling lighting
  • installing tour vehicles with recycling containers
  • encouraging the use of compostable coffee and water cups and “green” water bottles on adventures. (This year the company gifted 2,700 reusable aluminum water bottles to guests.)
  • switching out how tour vehicles are cleaned, saving in excess of 48,000 gallons of water
  • timing all electrical outlets so that no power usage occurs outside of office hours
  • operating the heating system on a carefully monitored timed program. (Combined these changes led to a 27 percent decrease in electricity and gas consumption in 2017)
  • fitting toilet cisterns with 2x 500ml water containers, reducing the amount required per flush. (This simple initiative has reduced water usage by an estimated 5,000 liters per year)
  • reducing non-recycled waste to one bin every three months
  • planting over the past few years, 330 native Irish tree species to promote biodiversity and foster more effective natural habitats for insects, birds and mammals

Myburgh speaks passionately about the challenges that face her homeland. “Sometimes I want bigger lungs just so I can inhale more of the fresh air from the Atlantic… more toes to sink into the peaty bog lands… more finger tips to trace the bark in our woodlands… better hearing to listen to what the birds are saying. I’ve reflected on what it will take to preserve the landscapes that I love. Now is the time. Not tomorrow. I am so grateful to be part of a team with so much integrity and so utterly excited to be driving change.”

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland offers two styles of culturally immersive travel. Vagabond Adventure Tours are for active travellers who want to mix up hiking and biking and other outdoor adventures with history, culture, dining and shopping. Driftwood Journeys of Discovery follow similar itineraries but at an intimate and in-depth looking and lingering pace, sans the physical exertion.

On all of its tours, Vagabond staff curate locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the mission is to have guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in a custom 4x4 Land Rover or Mercedes 'Vagatron' that allows access beyond where regular tour buses can go.

For details on all of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2019 reservations, please visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/. Call toll free (from the US) 1.833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland

Since 2002 Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named the “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2017, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and in 2018, Vagabond Tours won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards.

# # #

PR Contact for Information, Photos, Press Visits: Widness and Wiggins PR

Sara Widness / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Ph: 802-234-6704

Dave Wiggins / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Ph: 720-301-3822

Follow Vagabond Tours of Ireland on Social Media:          

Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/vagabondireland

Pinterest:       https://www.pinterest.ie/vagabondireland/

Instagram      https://www.instagram.com/vagabondireland/

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/vagabondireland

YouTube:      https://www.youtube.com/user/vagabondireland

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland Celebrates Ring of Kerry on New Castles and Kingdoms Adventure

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland, Oct. 23, 2018 – The 125-mile Ring of Kerry in southern Ireland gets highest marks for its musical IQ – and for being the premier tourist route in the country.

Folded into this region’s psyche is The Rose of Tralee, a ballad named for a beautiful vale and today County Kerry’s largest city. The holly green and the ivy green of Christmas in Killarney crop up year-round. Renditions of The Kerry Dance are sprinkled liberally about. Watching the sun go down on Galway Bay is on many a bucket list. 

But come high season, tourists are sprinkled liberally as well about the Ring of Kerry. An international cacophony competes with home-grown melodies as enthusiasts with selfie sticks dominate the views, advises Rob Rankin, founder and owner with wife Amy of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland.

This company’s new 7-Day Driftwood Castles & Kingdoms tour focuses for a portion of the trip on the scenery and hidden gems of the Ring of Kerry itself and then whisks guests away from the maddening crowds to delve into the Wild Atlantic Way. But first comes an overnight at the early 16th century Ballyseede Castle Hotel on 34 acres of woodlands and gardens in Tralee.

“Owing to the mass popularity of the Ring of Kerry, the best thing about it is often leaving it!” quips Rankin. Thus, this itinerary includes some spectacular but less-visited scenic gems such as:

-Valentia Island, one of most westerly points of Ireland and a terminus for the first transcontinental cable laid across the Atlantic Ocean;

-Cathergal, a 7th century ring fort;

-Caherdaniel, home of Daniel O’Connell who championed Catholic emancipation;

-Ballaghisheen Pass, known for superb hiking and isolation;

-Rossbeigh and Derrynane, home to empty beaches of golden sand;

-Skellig Island, (optional) boat trip to visit a Gaelic Christian monastery circa 6th century and a site featured in the last Star Wars movie;

-Scattery Island with deserted village, monastic ruins, stone round tower hinting of Napoleonic-era battlements;

-Loop Head, a narrow headland besieged on both sides by the ocean, yielding dramatic geological formations at the Bridges of Ross.

In addition to living like lords and ladies at Ballyseede Castle Hotel, guests are introduced to the lifestyles past and present of ancient Gaelic chieftains, Norman lords and Anglo-Irish aristocrats at:

-Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle and Gardens;

-18th Century Bantry House and Gardens;

-19th Century Muckross House Gardens;

-Cahir Castle, one of Ireland’s largest medieval structures;

-Dunguaire Castle (drive-by for photos);

-Castle McCarthy, ancestral McCarthy clan stronghold built in the 15th century.

Guests will also enjoy…

-Killarney National Park in a horse-drawn carriage;

-Gazing in awe at the towering Cliffs of Moher;

-Exploring the country’s gourmet capital, Kinsale;

-Visiting a working sheep farm for a sheep herding and shearing demonstration;

-Chatting up local artisan food producers, and master craftspeople at their workshops and studios;

-Raising toasts at local pubs.

The per person double rate is €1,789 inclusive of six nights hotel accommodation with breakfast; seven full days on tour with a professional home-grown guide; transportation in a Mercedes Benz/Volkswagen mini-coach; fees for most daily activities and visits; and all relevant taxes. For details see https://tiny.cc/castlestour.

Vagabond Small Group Tours if Ireland includes experiences along the Ring of Kerry in other trip itineraries offered, such as:

-Vagabond 7 Day World Tour of Ireland - https://tiny.cc/7dayworld

-Vagabond 8 Day Wild Irish Rover - https://tiny.cc/8daywild

-Vagabond 12 Day Giant Irish Adventure - https://tiny.cc/12daygiant

-Driftwood 11 Day Discover Ireland - http://tiny.cc/11dayireland

-Driftwood 7 Day Treasure Ireland - http://tiny.cc/7dayireland

This award-winning travel company offers two styles of culturally immersive travel:

-Vagabond Adventure Tours for active travellers who want to mix up hiking and biking and other outdoor adventures with history, culture, dining and shopping.

-Driftwood Journeys of Discovery with similar itineraries but at an intimate and in-depth looking and lingering pace, sans the physical exertion.

Vagabond staff curate locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the mission is to have guests “love Ireland as much as we do.”

For details on all of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2019 reservations, please visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/. Call toll free (from the US) 1.833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland

Since 2002 Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named the “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2017, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and in 2018, Vagabond Tours won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards.

# # #

PR Contact for Information, Photos, Press Visits: Widness and Wiggins PR

Sara Widness / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Ph: 802-234-6704

Dave Wiggins / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Ph: 720-301-3822

Follow Vagabond Tours of Ireland on Social Media:          

Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/vagabondireland

Pinterest:       https://www.pinterest.ie/vagabondireland/

Instagram      https://www.instagram.com/vagabondireland/

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/vagabondireland

YouTube:      https://www.youtube.com/user/vagabondireland

Early Bird Bookings for March/April 2019 Travel Shower 13 Percent Discounts on Two Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland, Sept. 13, 2018 – Touring Ireland in March and April means fun-filled festivals, better value flights, quieter roads, lambkins, bluebell-carpeted woodlands and 13 percent discounts on two Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland itineraries if booked by end October 2018.

This award-winning travel company offers two styles of culturally immersive travel. 

Vagabond Adventure Tours are for active travellers who want to mix up hiking and biking and other outdoor adventures with history, culture, dining and shopping. An 8 Day Wild Irish Rover Tour (https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/ireland-trips-award-winning-8-day/) departs March 10, 17, 24, 31 and April 7, 14, 21 and 28. Book a March or April date before Oct. 31, 2018, and save 13 percent.

Why wild? Because the tour, recognized by National Geographic Traveler as a Top 50 Tours of a Lifetime,is off-road as much as it’s on, relying on signature 4x4 tour vehicles to go where other sightseeing companies tend not to tread.

Why Irish? Because the tour blends pubs, people, castles and lore into the hearts of active travelers.

Why roving? Guests are never rushed traveling from the west coast of Ireland and the peninsulas of the southwest all the way up to Connemara.

Our itinerary of the southern half of Ireland keeps guests on their toes and exploring under their own steam power. In fact, they’re sometimes, after a walk or cycle, grateful for a sit down in the 4x4,” said Rob Rankin, founder and owner with Amy Rankin. “Every stone we walk over has a story to tell. Ruins and castles are, after all, about people.”

The €1,919 per person double rate (before the early booking discount) includes eight full days of touring, seven nights’ accommodation with breakfasts, services of a professional Vagabond tour guide, guided walks, entrance fees to historical and archaeological sites, demonstrations of local craftsmen at work, ferry excursion tickets and taxes. Activities require a good level of fitness for walking and cycling 2.5 hours each on undulating paths. Additional 2019 departures are weekly on Sundays through mid-October.

Driftwood Journeys of Discovery follow similar itineraries but at an intimate and in-depth looking and lingering pace, sans the physical exertion. A 6 Day Northern Island Tour (https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/6-day-northern-ireland-tour/) offers spring departures April 7 and 21 where if guests book before Oct. 31, 2018 they save 13 percent.

“This tour brings tourists into a region that for decades was overlooked because of border issues,” said Rankin. “Basically, nobody wanted to visit Northern Ireland because of the ‘troubles’ there. This only started to change in the early 2000s really. The northwest county of Donegal, despite being in the Republic of Ireland (the ‘south’), was almost cut off from the rest of the state geographically. Thus, its tourism did not develop in the same way as in other parts of the country.” A border region deemed “very hard” up until early in the 21st century emerged with its own identity and culture, partly formed by the years of political turmoil and violence.

The per person double rate of €1,509 (before the early booking discount) includes six full days on tour, five nights’ accommodation with full Irish breakfasts, some entrance fees and relevant taxes. Additional 2019 departures are May 5, 19; June 16, 30; July 14, 28; Aug. 11, 25; Sept. 8, 22; and Oct. 6.

For all of the current specials and promotions offered by Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland visit online; https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/special-offers/.

Vagabond staff curate locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the mission is to have guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in a custom 4x4 Land Rover or Mercedes 'Vagatron' that allows access beyond where regular tour buses go.

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland has been revealing the hidden treasures of Ireland through its carefully planned and executed tours since 2002.  Last year the Irish Tourism Awards singled the company out as offering Best Adventure Experience, and also in 2017 it became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification.

For details on all of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2019 reservations, please visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/. Call toll free (from the US) 1.833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland

Since 2002 Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named the “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2017, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and in 2018, Vagabond Tours won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards.

# # #

PR Contact for Information, Photos, Press Visits: Widness and Wiggins PR

Sara Widness / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Ph: 802-234-6704

Dave Wiggins / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Ph: 720-301-3822

Follow Vagabond Tours of Ireland on Social Media:          

Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/vagabondireland

Pinterest:       https://www.pinterest.ie/vagabondireland/

Instagram      https://www.instagram.com/vagabondireland/

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/vagabondireland

YouTube:      https://www.youtube.com/user/vagabondireland

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland In World Travel Mart London Line Up to Receive New International Travel & Tourism Award

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland, Aug. 3, 2018 – Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland is in the line up to receive accolades from the brand new International Travel & Tourism Awards that will be presented for the first time on Nov. 6, 2018, by WTM London (World Travel Market London).

This is the inaugural year for the awards that celebrate the success of national, regional and city tourist boards and recognizes outstanding private sector companies and individuals. Organized by WTM London, along with an independent panel of expert judges, the 13 awards showcase the best in class of the global travel and tourism industry before an audience of 500+ senior industry professionals.

International Travel & Tourism Awards has singled out in its Best of Adventure category, Vagabond Small Tours of Ireland’s 7-day Magnetic North Adventure Tour and its role in breaking down borders in the northern part of Ireland.

“Our Magnetic North Adventure Tour brings tourists into a region that for decades was overlooked because of border issues,” said Rob Rankin, founder and owner of Vagabond Adventures with Amy Rankin. “Basically, nobody wanted to visit Northern Ireland because of the ‘Troubles’ there. This only started to change in the early 2000s really. The northwest county of Donegal, despite being in the Republic of Ireland (the ‘south’), was almost cut off from the rest of the state geographically. Thus, its tourism did not develop in the same way as in other parts of the country.”

Magnetic North Adventure Tour crosses a border that is politically “soft” today, he added. However, because the border was deemed “very hard” up until early in the 21st century, a region emerged with its own identity and culture, partly formed by the years of political turmoil and violence.

“Depending on how Brexit pans out, there’s a potential risk of this border hardening up again. We’ll just have to break that one down too,” he said philosophically.

This tour, said Rankin, with 22 scheduled departures in 2018, will…

  • add 1,452 potential bed nights to an underdeveloped region of Ireland,
  • potentially bring to local communities an average expenditure per Vagabond client of EURO 1,500,
  • offer something new to attract repeat customers to come back to Ireland,
  • help the promotion of this area of Ireland.

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland has been revealing the hidden treasures of Ireland through its carefully planned and executed tours since 2002.  Last year the Irish Tourism Awards singled the company out as offering Best Adventure Experience, and also in 2017 it became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland offers two styles of culturally immersive travel. Vagabond Adventure Tours (the division hosting Magnetic North Adventure Tour) are for active travellers who want to mix up hiking and biking and other outdoor adventures with history, culture, dining and shopping. Driftwood Journeys of Discovery follow similar itineraries but at an intimate and in-depth looking and lingering pace, sans the physical exertion.

On all of its tours, Vagabond staff curate locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the mission is to have guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in a custom 4x4 Land Rover or Mercedes 'Vagatron' that allows access beyond where regular tour buses go.

For more details on the awards please see: http://awards.wtm.com/en/international-travel-and-tourism-awards/shortlist/.

For details on all of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2018-2019 reservations, please visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/. Call toll free (from the US) 1.833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland

Since 2002 Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named the “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2017, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and in 2018, Vagabond Tours won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards.

# # #

PR Contact for Information, Photos, Press Visits: Widness and Wiggins PR

Sara Widness / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Ph: 802-234-6704

Dave Wiggins / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Ph: 720-301-3822

Follow Vagabond Tours of Ireland on Social Media:          

Facebook:        https://www.facebook.com/vagabondireland

Pinterest:         https://www.pinterest.ie/vagabondireland/

Instagram        https://www.instagram.com/vagabondireland/

Twitter:            https://twitter.com/vagabondireland

YouTube:         https://www.youtube.com/user/vagabondireland

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland Witness and Ponder the Mysteries of Halloween That Has Authentic Irish Roots

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland, July 13, 2018 – Jack-o-lanterns have roots in Ireland when hollowed-out turnips held candles to keep evil spirits away. When the Irish came to North America, penniless and bereft of their homeland, they still clung to Halloween, carving readily available pumpkins instead of turnips.

Why did Halloween come to be in the first place? Then, what makes Ireland the home of Halloween?

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland (https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/) shares insights on its upcoming October immersions into the worlds of the Druids of 5,000 BC, the later Celts (2,000 BC) and the early Christians.

Rob Rankin, founder and owner with Amy Rankin, explains: “Iron Age, pagan Druids were superseded by the Celts for whom the Nov. 1 Samhain (pronounced “sah-win” or “sow-in”)marked a new year. At sunset on Oct. 31 the line blurred between the real world and that of banshees and ghosts. Bonfires and scary masks kept away evil spirits. Food left food outside doorways appease these spirits. Colcannon of boiled potatoes, kale and onions welcomed the visits of dead ancestors.  Samhain morphed into the Christian calendar as All Hallows.”

Throughout Ireland this mythology is recreated annually. Major events in 2018 include:

Ireland’s Halloween traditions also include:

  • slices of fruit-filled Barnbrack Cake that contains a coin, a ring or a rag, each portending an event of the new year;
  • costumes, a tradition dating to the Celtic Druids who believed that this would help them blend in with spirits up from the dead;
  • bonfire’s embers tied to dreams of a loved one.

The charm of visiting Ireland in October, says Rankin, include:

  • more elbow room with fewer visitors around;
  • crisp but comfortable temperatures of around 57F with misty mornings;
  • lots of kale to make colcannon;
  • apples for ciders, blackberries and raspberries;
  • migrations of geese, ducks, swans and wading birds moving south from the Arctic;
  • Nature’s russet hues

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland offers two styles of culturally immersive travel. Vagabond Adventure Tours are for active travellers who want to mix up hiking and biking and other outdoor adventures with history, culture, dining and shopping. Driftwood Journeys of Discovery follow similar itineraries but at an intimate and in-depth looking and lingering pace, sans the physical exertion. For October touring, the company recommends these two itineraries:

  • 6 Day Ancient Ireland Tour helps shed light on Halloween. Driftwood Journeys of Discoveryhas designed this mentally stimulating exploration of Ireland's east coast for imaginations that yearn to burrow into bogs, scale crenellated towers and shimmy up mountains for glimpses of Iron Age Celts sifted into Stone Age sands. Stories of buried bodies under ancient stones begin while passing through the Wicklow Mountains south of Dublin where a wealth of spooky stories are stored. Visions of Vikings landing longboats, Norman invaders, medieval monks chanting, mineral-mad 19th century industrialists and emigrants clutching destitute families abound. More than any other region of Ireland, this coastline defines how over 5,000 some years the Irish came to be. The per person double rate is €1,729.  Close-to-Halloween 2018 departures are Oct. 14 and Oct. 28.  
  • 8 Day Wild Irish Rover Tourfrom Vagabond Adventure Toursallows guests to experience at a leisurely pace the west coast of Ireland and the peninsulas of the southwest all the way up to Connemara. As with all Vagabond adventure tours, the itinerary blends history, culture and fun activity options as far from maddening crowds as possible, often on ancient roads that only Vagabond’s 4x4s can navigate. Guests hike, horseback ride, bicycle, kayak and boat; live overnight like kings and queens in a castle and bar crawl for two nights amongst Dingle town’s 54 pubs. “Every stone we walk over has a story to tell. Ruins and castles are, after all, about people – and ghosts!” adds Rankin. The per person double rate is €1,919. A close-to-Halloween 2018 departure is Oct. 14.

On all its tours, the Vagabond staff curate locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the mission is to have guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in a custom 4x4 Land Rover or Mercedes 'Vagatron' that allows access beyond where regular tour buses go.

For details on all of Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2018-2019 reservations, please visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/. Call toll free (from the US) 1.833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland

Since 2002 Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named the “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2017, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and in 2018, Vagabond Tours won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards.

# # #

PR Contact for Information, Photos, Press Visits: Widness and Wiggins PR

Sara Widness / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Ph: 802-234-6704

Dave Wiggins / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Ph: 720-301-3822

Follow Vagabond Tours of Ireland on Social Media:          

Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/vagabondireland

Pinterest:       https://www.pinterest.ie/vagabondireland/

Instagram      https://www.instagram.com/vagabondireland/

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/vagabondireland

YouTube:      https://www.youtube.com/user/vagabondireland

 

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland Makes Big Fuss over Milestones That Get More Mileage Here than Elsewhere

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland, June 7, 2018 – A leading travel company in Ireland that offers tours for the active and inquisitive sleuths out individual milestones tucked somewhere into every group it guides. Be it a special birthday, an anniversary or notable life event, Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland knows how to celebrate it in style.

“Why take your milestones to Ireland?” asks Rob Rankin, company founder/owner. “Simply, milestones get more mileage here. Milestones create excuses to move our hectic, fast-lane schedules onto slow cook for a few hours or days. Someone is always celebrating something on our trips. We make the most of red letter days that have a degree of sentiment connected to them.”

In fact, he added, when it comes to sentiment, Ireland may indeed take the cake.

“Think extra rounds in the pub, requests passed over to the fiddlers to play a favorite song, nostalgia-evoking vistas and touchingly gentle, happy people. (I can say this because I’m a Scot.) Creating an emotional experience around fond memories and events is as natural to Ireland as the good luck that comes with our four-leaf clover!” Rankin notes.

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland (https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/) offers two styles of travel, each designed to maximize milestones. Vagabond Adventure Tours are for active travellers who want to mix up hiking and biking and other outdoor adventures with history, culture, dining and shopping. Driftwood Journeys of Distinction follow similar itineraries but at an intimate and in-depth looking and lingering pace, sans the physical exertion.

“Besides having a keen interest in discovering their heritage, the couples who travel with us are very conscious of sustainable travel, love good food and want to get under the skin of Ireland – without the stress that can come with self-driving,” adds Rankin. “For foodies we can even source what the BBC calls a “trendy superfood,” a reddish-purple algae known as dulse that’s taking center stage.”

Itineraries popular for celebrating milestones include…

  • Driftwood Journeys of Discovery’s leisurely paced 7 Day Kerry UnCorked Tourexplores Ireland’s southwest including two nights in its foodie capital, Kinsale, where guests savor seafood, visit craft breweries and enjoy whiskey tasting in a local pub. Another stop with plenty of time allotted for exploring is Dingle where galleries and pubs (54 at last count) abound. The per person rate is €1,699. For details see https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/cultural-ireland-tour-7-day/.

As with all Vagabond small group tours, these itineraries blend history, culture and fun activity options as far from maddening crowds as possible, often on ancient roads that only Vagabond’s custom-designed vehicles can navigate.

“Every stone we walk over has a story to tell. The ruins and castles we visit are, after all, about people who, in addition to millstones aplenty, probably celebrated their own milestones – if they were able to keep their heads about them,” says Rankin.

For details on all of Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2018 reservations, please visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/. Call toll free (from the US) 1.833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland

Since 2002 Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named the “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2017, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and in 2018, Vagabond Tours won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards.

# # #

PR Contact for Information, Photos, Press Visits: Widness and Wiggins PR

Sara Widness / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Ph: 802-234-6704

Dave Wiggins / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Ph: 720-301-3822

Follow Vagabond Tours of Ireland on Social Media:          

Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/vagabondireland

Pinterest:       https://www.pinterest.ie/vagabondireland/

Instagram      https://www.instagram.com/vagabondireland/

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/vagabondireland

YouTube:      https://www.youtube.com/user/vagabondireland

Ireland’s Vagabond Adventure Tours Touts 8-Day Tour of Southern Ireland As “Wild, Irish and Roving”

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland, May 9, 2018 – Ireland’s Vagabond Adventure Tours hosts departures this season of an itinerary billed as “wild, Irish and roving!”

Why wild? Because the award-winning 8 Day Wild Irish Rover Tour is off-road as much as it’s on, relying on signature 4x4 tour vehicles to go where other sightseeing companies fear to tread.

Why Irish? Because the tour will blend pubs, people, castles and lore into the hearts of active travelers who are challenged to wrap their arms around a universe of beauty and pathos all in one week.

Why roving? While guests are never rushed, they do experience so much of Ireland that it feels like one’s been traveling for weeks as the journey moves from the west coast of Ireland and the peninsulas of the southwest all the way up to Connemara.

Our itinerary of the southern half of Ireland keeps guests on their toes and exploring under their own steam power. In fact, they’re sometimes, after a walk or cycle, grateful for a sit down in the 4x4,” said Rob Rankin, founder and owner with Amy Rankin.

Departures from the gateway, Dublin, in 2018 are July 15, 22, and 29; and Aug. 5, 12 and 19. The €1,919 per person double rate includes eight full days of touring, seven nights accommodation with breakfasts, services of a professional Vagabond tour guide, guided walks, entrance fees to historical and archaeological sites along the way, demonstrations of local craftsmen at work, ferry tickets and taxes. Activities require a good level of fitness for walking and cycling 2.5 hours each on undulating paths.

As with all Vagabond adventure tours, the itinerary blends history, culture and fun activity options as far from maddening crowds as possible, often on ancient roads that only Vagabond’s 4x4s can navigate. Guests hike, horseback ride, bicycle, kayak and boat; live overnight like kings and queens in a castle and bar crawl for two nights amongst Dingle town’s 54 pubs.

“Every stone we walk over has a story to tell. Ruins and castles are, after all, about people. And honestly, the owners weren’t as privileged as we like to imagine. Think of life without hot water and bathrooms!” said Rankin. “They had power, political and/or spiritual perhaps, but not the kind for high speed connection.”

On this tour that National Geographic Traveler recognized as among the Top 50 Tours of a Lifetime, guests will imagine what life was like at the ancient ruins of…

  • 12th century Franciscan Ross Errilly Friary
  • 5th century monastic dwellings called beehive huts
  • 15th century Franciscan Muckross Abbey
  • 4200BC to 2900BC Poulnabrone dolmen, an ancient Megalithic tomb and one of Ireland’s greatest treasures
  • 6th to 8th century Gaelic Christian monastery on Skelling Michael, an island; this UNESCO World Heritage Site was a scene location for Star Wars – The Force Awakens
  • 500-800AD cashels or Celtic ring forts on the Iveragh Peninsula, including Staigue and Loher forts
  • 3000-1500BC Uragh Stone Circle
  • 1100AD Rock of Cashel or St. Patrick’s Rock

Or at restored castles…

  • 19th century Abbeyglen Castle Hotel
  • 19th century Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden run by the Benedictines
  • 16th century Dunguaire Castle
  • 11th century Aughnanure Castle
  • 15th century Listowel Castle
  • 19th century Muckross House and Gardens
  • 15th century Dunboy Castle
  • 12th century Blarney Castle 

Guests enjoy an overnight at Abbey Glen Castle hotel. Another evening finds hosts Neil and Katy providing a true Irish welcome and dinner prepared by Katy who cooks food on a large Aga for her guests at the Gougane Barra hotel. They are the fifth generation to steward this property that looks out on an island where once stood a 6th century monastery.

Landscapes like the Cliffs of Moher that lunge first into the sea and then become shrouded in mist over glacial valleys, mountain-fringed bogs and meadows beckon guests into their walking shoes and onto bicycles. Near Garinish Island cavorting seals vie for attention with the ornamental gardens of Ilnacullin coaxed into a micro climate by the Gulf Stream. Sheep dogs working their flocks on an Irish hill farm reveal centuries of breeding – and bonding with their owners -- that have sustained farming families and contributed to the woolen industry. Always on call to chat their visitors up are shopkeepers, potters, an Irish polar explorer and whiskey distillers at the oldest pot still distillery in the world. Guests will also watch Irish crystal being made and can visit a chocolatier.

For details see https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/ireland-trips-award-winning-8-day/.

For details on all of Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2018 reservations, please visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/. Call toll free (from the US) 1.833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland

Since 2002 Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named the “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2017, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and in 2018, Vagabond Tours won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards.

# # #

PR Contact for Information, Photos, Press Visits: Widness and Wiggins PR

Sara Widness / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./ Ph: 802-234-6704

Dave Wiggins / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./ Ph: 720-301-3822

Follow Vagabond Tours of Ireland on Social Media:          

Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/vagabondireland

Pinterest:       https://www.pinterest.ie/vagabondireland/

Instagram      https://www.instagram.com/vagabondireland/

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/vagabondireland

YouTube:      https://www.youtube.com/user/vagabondireland

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland Responds to the Age-Old Question, Ireland vs. Scotland… What’s the Difference?

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland, April 10, 2018 – Clients sometimes ask Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland whether they should travel to Ireland or to Scotland, and what would be the major distinctions between the two?

Vagabond owner/founder Rob Rankin says, albeit with a dollop of blarney, the first question needs to be dismissed as a minor first-world-only dilemma as both represent popular vacation destinations. But what facts might be important to holiday planning travelers when considering the differences between a visit to Ireland vs Scotland?

These questions set Rankin to thinking about just what is different between the Emerald Isle, where he and his wife, Amy Rankin, maintain their small group tour company, and that landscape across the Irish Sea where he was born.

“We think it’s a question that needs serious consideration and good advice to ensure that travelers make the right decision and come to Ireland. There isno doubt that Scotland is nice enough, but Ireland is totally awesome!” says Rankin.

When asked to defend himself, Rankin turned to the experts, “ourselves,” to approach the problem scientifically and analytically, whilst leaving national pride to one side.

In coming to his earth-shattering-conclusions, Rankin notes, “Firstly we have to admit that Scotland and Ireland share some great features that make them both world-class tourist destinations. For example: the friendly Scottish and really, really friendly Irish people, the fascinating histories, the Celtic heritage and the beautiful scenery.” So, on what criteria does Ireland win out over Scotland?

  1. The Food: Delicious, hearty Irish stew versus Scotland’s deep-fried mars bars. Enough said on that one.
  2. Beer & Libations: While Scotland’s beer is a worthy by-product of the cattle-feed manufacturing process, nothing compares to the iconic and wonderful Guinness! And Guinness really does taste a million times better in Ireland, so that settles it. “You need to come to Ireland for a pint of Guinness.” (Although one would have to admit Scottish whisky is a thorn in the side of this argument, Irish whiskey is storming back onto the world stage with numerous high-quality whiskeys maturing from dynamic new Irish distilleries).
  3. Mountains: Who doesn’t like to look at mountains? But the argument could be made that Scotland has too many that are too big and they tend to block out the view. On the other hand, Ireland’s mountains could be described as right out of the storybook, Goldilocks. They are not too big and not too small but just right for a scenic and active Irish vacation.
  4. Music: Much as everyone loves Scotland’s Bay City Rollers and the Proclaimers, it’s hard to beat Van Morrison, U2, Thin Lizzy, The Cranberries, Snow Patrol and the likes. Another clear Irish winner.
  5. Mythical Creatures: Ireland has lucky Leprechauns and pots of gold; Scotland has ferocious Haggis running clockwise around the mountains and scary sea monsters in its lochs.
  6. Famous People: Ireland boasts Daniel Day Lewis, Liam Neeson, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Dornan, Cillian Murphy and Colin Farrell with their sexy Irish accents; Scotland has Shrek.
  7. Saints: Ireland’s Patron Saint (Patrick) was a party animal and is loved and celebrated around the world. He banished snakes, converted pagans and adopted the Shamrock as the national plant of Ireland. Scotland’s St Andrew is a patron saint of gout and sore throats (but these conditions are not necessarily Scotland’s alone).
  8. Pubs: The Irish Pub, not the Scottish pub, is the international quality standard for bars. If there were a Nobel Prize awarded for best pub (which Vagabond thinks there should be), then Irish pubs would win every year.
  9. Craic: Unique to Ireland is living – and doing what you like -- in the moment. “Craic” (pronounced “crack”) is an Irish term for news, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation. Scotland does have over thirty terms for drunkenness.
  10. Vagabond and Driftwood Tours: Only Ireland has them!

Editor’s note: All the foregoing was written by a Scotsman. But, the other 80% of his family are Irish, and just like St. Patrick, Vagabond’s staff are working on his conversion.

“And,” concludes Rankin, “if you would like further information on Ireland and our amazing tours please do not hesitate to contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..“

For details on all of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and 2018 reservations, please visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/. Call toll free (from the US) 1-833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland

Since 2002 Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named the “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2017, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and in 2018, Vagabond Tours won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards.

# # #

PR Contact for Information, Photos, Press Visits: Widness and Wiggins PR

Sara Widness / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./ Ph: 802-234-6704

Dave Wiggins / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./ Ph: 720-301-3822

Follow Vagabond Tours of Ireland on Social Media:          

Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/vagabondireland

Pinterest:       https://www.pinterest.ie/vagabondireland/

Instagram      https://www.instagram.com/vagabondireland/

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/vagabondireland

YouTube:      https://www.youtube.com/user/vagabondireland

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland Scores Points for Encouraging Fitness Awareness while Vacationing

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland, March 27, 2018 – An award-winning travel company out of Ireland is scoring points with clients for encouraging them to keep an eye on their own activity levels while on vacation.

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland (https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/) has seen more and more of its guests wearing their Fitbits while vacationing. This company delivers two styles of travel that will result in different Fitbit scores at the end of a day. Vagabond Adventure Tours targets active travelers with hiking, biking and kayaking, while days on a Driftwood Journeys of Discovery tour are more leisurely paced.

While it’s too early in this Fitbit craze for meaningful statistics, the company expects that the average Driftwood client will score from 12,000 to 20,000 steps a day, while an average Vagabond client may achieve from 18,000 to 26,000 steps a day.

“We look forward to being able to make comparisons of the average number of steps made by Vagabond and Driftwood guests,” said Rob Rankin, co-owner of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland. “The Fitbit angle is all about taking steps without even realizing it because of the beautiful surroundings and interesting historical sites and villages.”

One client already reports averaging around 20,000 steps daily while wearing a Fitbit on each of three different Driftwood tours. Said the client: “I think my highest was 23,000. That much walking was certainly not required on the tours, but it does show that Driftwood tours can be active, too, if you want them to be! My guides were great about recommending optional walks for me along the way. I enjoyed seeing so much of the lovely towns and countryside on foot -- while working off all the Guinness!”

A comparison of two tours showcases the difference in activity levels.

Vagabond’s 7 World Tour of Ireland (from €1,619 per person double) and Driftwood’s 7 Day Treasure Ireland Tour (from €1,699 per person double) both cover similar geography in the south and southwest of Ireland. The key difference is a faster pace on the Vagabond tour so guests see more each day thanks to activity options that include hill walking, horseback riding, kayaking or cycling. They also can take a boat out to the Skellig Islands to visit an incredible ancient monastery (where the latest Star Wars movie was filmed). The Driftwood tour focuses more on visiting historical sites, cultural experiences and world-class gardens that are preferred by guests who on average are ages 65 and up.

“We recommend that guests on our active trips have a good level of fitness and are able to walk for at least an hour and a half on uneven ground and uphill for some of the time. If you are able to walk five miles in a city, your fitness level is perfect,” explained Rankin. “However, there is never any pressure to do everything an itinerary calls for. Our guides will suggest other options if you don’t want to do certain activities.”

Rankin noted that multi-generational groups prefer the active Vagabond tours because there is something to keep everyone happy and busy. The youngest guests are usually in their teens or early 20’s, but ages 10+ are always welcome.

For more details, itineraries, images and inclusions please see:

Vagabond Adventure: https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/7-days-in-ireland/

Driftwood Tour: https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/7-day-treasure-ireland-tour/

About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland

Since 2002 Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named a “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2016, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and in 2018, Vagabond Tours won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards.

For details on all of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2018 reservations, please visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/. Call toll free (from the US) 1.833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

# # #

PR Contact for Information, Photos, Press Visits: Widness and Wiggins PR

Sara Widness / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./ Ph: 802-234-6704

Dave Wiggins / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./ Ph: 720-301-3822

Follow Vagabond Tours of Ireland on Social Media:          

Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/vagabondireland

Pinterest:       https://www.pinterest.ie/vagabondireland/

Instagram      https://www.instagram.com/vagabondireland/

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/vagabondireland

YouTube:      https://www.youtube.com/user/vagabondireland

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland Walks with Green Award 2018 for Its Respectful Tourism Initiatives

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland, March 14, 2018 – This tour company will be sporting a bit more green come St Patrick’s Day. Ireland’s award-winning active travel company, Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland, has been committed since its inception in 2002 to what it calls respectful tourism initiatives. Their efforts have proven successful.

For its dedicated focus on best practices supporting a healthy environment, Vagabond Tours recently won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards 2018.  The 10th annual awards were presented in late February in Dublin. And in time for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and the “wearin’ o’ the green,” the company had also been shortlisted for both the Green Small Organization of the Year and the overall Green award.

“We are absolutely thrilled,” says Rob Rankin, owner of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland. “We were up against some very strong competition. The award is great recognition for the time, thought and energy that our Vagabond team have put in to making sure that all aspects of our business are carried out in the most environmentally positive and sustainable way possible.”

In 2017 Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism, Gold Level Certification from Eco Tourism Ireland.

Rankin noted that Vagabond’s environmental initiatives in some instances have led to significant cost savings for the company while other initiatives are viewed as company investments that “we hope will have a long-term benefit to the environment.” These include:

  • Offsetting the company’s total annual carbon emissions and restoring Ireland’s lost woodlands with a program of replanting indigenous Irish hardwood trees.
  • Offering free compostable cups to guests to use in local coffee shops instead of non-recyclable cups.
  • Giving each guest an aluminum water bottle to use instead of single use plastic bottles.

“We estimate that by using our aluminum water bottles our guests, over the year, will save using over 30,000 plastic bottles when visiting Ireland.”

For details on Green Awards 2018 please see https://www.leanbusinessireland.ie/green-awards-2018-winners/

For information on Vagabond environmental initiatives please see https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/sustainable-tourism-ireland/

About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland

Since 2002 Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named a “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. And in 2016, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification. 

In 2013 the company launched Driftwood Journeys of Discovery that explores in a less strenuous manner many of the same routes of Vagabond Adventure Tours. Itineraries in both divisions focus on high yield, low impact tourism which means that local economies benefit from the company’s and guest’s contributions to local, rural Irish economies (including accommodations, meals, nightlife, attractions and shopping).

For details on all of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2018 reservations, please visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/. Call toll free (from the US) 1.833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

# # #

PR Contact for Information, Photos, Press Visits: Widness and Wiggins PR

Sara Widness / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./ Ph: 802-234-6704

Dave Wiggins / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./ Ph: 720-301-3822

Follow Vagabond Tours of Ireland on Social Media:          

Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/vagabondireland

Pinterest:       https://www.pinterest.ie/vagabondireland/

Instagram      https://www.instagram.com/vagabondireland/

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/vagabondireland

YouTube:      https://www.youtube.com/user/vagabondireland