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.

 
 
 
 

Award-Winning Tour Operator Outlines Six Reasons Why August Is Best Month to Visit Ireland

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland, May 16, 2019 – One tour operator packs more of its award-wining itineraries into August than into any other month.

Why August?

Rob Rankin, owner with Amy Rankin of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland, offers his top six reasons.

  • No Sweat. Temperatures average a comfortable 66℉with perhaps up to three inches of rain. But heh! No rain, no green. We love our rain!
  • Escape the Crowds. Unspoiled, underpopulated and unbothered by crowds and queues; Ireland’s off-the-beaten-path villages, coastlines and mountains are left beautifully empty, even in August. If you want to be poked with a selfie stick, try the south of France.
  • Fetes & Tetes. For sure there will be a few tetes (wigs) at our many local festivals where locals who are characters in their daily lives take center stage. Here are a few for 2019.

- Kerry sets itself up every year to honor a wild goat. Puck Fair annually (for 400 years) crowns a bearded beast as King Puck as throngs dance to live music. This year’s dates are Aug. 10-12.

- Fleadh Ceoil na hEireann (pronounced flaa kee-ole na hare-on) celebrates traditional Irish music in a different town each year. In 2019, ‘the flaa’ will be in Drogheda from Aug. 11–19.

- Waterford Walls draws world-renowned artists to Ireland’s oldest city to create total mayhem and amazing graffiti on Aug. 22-25.

- Cape Clear Island International Storytelling Festival now in its 25th year brings tall tales to Ireland’s southernmost inhabited island Aug. 30-Sept. 1.

- Dublin Horse Show is all about the coveted Aga Khan trophy from Aug. 7-22.

  • Get Stuffed. August is by far the best time to eat your way to the soul of Ireland. Clean oceans deliver delicate scallops, delightful seabass and delicious mackerel. We call these “the bacon of the sea.” Veggies, not all green, explode from gardens. Those distinctive hedgerows abound with wild blackberries and elderberries. Maybe it’s time for some local foraging? Wild venison now appears on menus. A summertime classic, the 99, is a soft-serve ice cream served in a cone with a Cadbury-produced 99 Flake (chocolate) bar.
  • The Games are the Thing. Gaelic Games (GAA, or gaaah) are Ireland’s national sports. August provides the exciting preamble to September’s All-Ireland finals. If you’re in Dublin, don’t miss the riot of color and atmosphere that is a GAA championship match at Croke Park. It’s one of Europe’s largest, noisiest stadia. When we’re out and about, almost any town and village we pass will be hosting Gaelic football or hurling matches.
  • By the Sea. Some Vagabond itineraries call for ferry rides to nearby islands such as The Skelligs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site commemorating the ruins of a one-time monastery (and a filming site for Star Wars)Scattery Island, with deserted village, monastic ruins and stone round tower hinting of Napoleonic-era battlements;and the world-class gardenson Garnish Island. While water temps top out in August at around 64°F, travelers love to stroll the beach and enjoy the sun that shines this time of year from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Following are three tours the Rankins recommend, especially in August:

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland offers two styles of culturally immersive travel. Vagabond Adventure Tours (which include the three tours mentioned above) are for active travelers who want to mix up hiking and biking and other outdoor adventures with history, culture, dining and shopping. And Driftwood Journeys of Discovery which 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 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 2019-2020 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

In 2013, Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 the company 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. In February 2019, the company won two top Irish Tourism Industry Awards for the Best Ireland Ancient East Tourism Experience and Best Environmental Tourism Innovation.

# # #

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

Six Day Ancient Ireland Tour Explores Viking, Norman History Along Emerald Isle’s East Coast

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland, April 9, 2019 – The cinematic journey back in time is nearly over. The History channel’s blockbuster hit, “Vikings” is scheduled to conclude its sixth – and final season in 2020.

But in Ireland the Vikings and their lasting influence still remain. An award-winning tour operator, Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland, recreates for visitors Ireland’s own Viking history in some of the places where the Vikings pillaged and plundered in their quest for precious baubles and arable lands.

The company’s Driftwood: 6 Day Ancient Ireland Tour travels south from the gateway city, Dublin, through County Wicklow (old Norse for “Vikings Meadow”) where many episodes of “Vikings” were shot. (This fully guided small group tour won a “best” award at the 2019 Irish Tourism Industry Awards.)

Guests may envision Vikings landing longboats off the Irish Sea and the flags of Norman invaders from England who, with help, eventually did them in. The artifacts they’ve left behind signal bloodshed one moment and repentance the next. More than any other region of Ireland, this coastline separated by mountains from inland valleys defines how the Irish came to be in the 5000 years since Stone Age settlements.

“A common view is the Vikings were raiders who didn’t stick around. But some did. As early as 800 AD they set up winter camps (longphorts) here, plotting how to loot the wealth of monasteries, intermarrying with indigenous Celtic Gael, putting down roots and founding our first capital at Waterford,” notes Rob Rankin, co-owner of Vagabond Tours. “The Vikings had a settlement in 841 AD in what is now Dublin. Then in the late 12th century, another predator, the Normans, thrust and parried the assorted kingdoms of Gaelic Ireland.”

The tour’s first major stop explores the site of a Viking attack on Christmas night in 835 AD on Glendalough, a 6th century monastic center. Farther south comes the Viking Triangle, the virtual museum cities of Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny. The Vikings founded Ireland’s first city, Waterford (Norse for “windy fjord”), in 914. Here one can visit museums and buildings rife with Viking lore. Participants on this trip have the option to:

  • Tour the Viking Museum in Ireland’s oldest civic building, the 800-year- old Reginald’s Tower;
  • Watch history come to life at the 3D King of the Vikings virtual reality experience.
  • Step into a real 13th century chamber at the Medieval Museum,
  • Behold the elegance of 18th century Georgian Waterford at the Bishop’s Palace Museum.

While in Waterford, now famous worldwide for its crystal stemware, guests revel in two nights of luxury – hardly Viking style -- at Waterford Castle Hotel. (The castle became a hotel in the 1980s and underwent a major refurbishment in 2015.) Little Island, on which the castle stands, is strategically encircled by Kings Channel and River Suir. From the 6th century it housed a monastic center. From the 9th to 11th centuries the Vikings built fortifications on what was then called Island Vra (Dane’s Island). The early 12th century stone castle remained in the hands of its original owners, the Fitzgeralds (later kings of Ireland) for over 800 years. The island was a reward for the family’s role in the 1170 Norman invasion. (In Woodstown, just upstream from the castle, is relatively new evidence of a significant Viking settlement unearthed in the 21st century.)

At the mouth of another river the Vikings established in the 9th century a settlement they calledUeigsfjordor Waesfjord(“ford of the waterlogged island”), today’s Wexford. The Norse controlled this region until challenged, in part, by the Normans early in the 12th century. (In nearby New Ross guests may opt to visit the Ros Tapestry where 150 stitchers since 1998 have created 15 dramatic tapestries depicting Norman history in Ireland.)

In Kilkenny, the stronghold of a Norse clan since the 6th century, artifacts are buried deep. But in the 1990s a tour guide discovered silver and bronze treasures including buttons from a Viking coat.

In addition to Waterford Castle, other aristocratic homes and their gardens are players on this itinerary. Visitors will:

  • Behold the splendor of 12th century Kilkenny Castle,
  • Ramble the Robinsonian gardens of Altamount House,
  • Dress for battle at the medieval Ballyhack Castle,
  • Walk in awe around 13th century Tintern Abbey,
  • Kiss the Blarney Stone and explore Blarney Castle and Gardens.

Departures (14 total in 2019) from Dublin are from mid-April through mid-October. The per person double rate is €1,819 (€315 single supplement).

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 Mercedes 'Vagatron' that allows access beyond where regular tour buses go.

For details on the Vikings-themed trip see https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/6-day-eastern-ireland-tour/.

For details on all of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2019-2020 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

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland offers two styles of culturally immersive travel. Since 2002 Vagabond Adventure Tours are for active travelers 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. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 the company 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. In February 2019, the company won two top Irish Tourism Industry Awards for the Best Ireland Ancient East Tourism Experience and Best Environmental Tourism Innovation.

# # #

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

For Inquisitive Travelers Who May Only Visit Ireland Once in a Lifetime – This 12-Day Tour Has It All

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland, March 19, 2019 – The traveler’s dilemma is how to find enough time to get into the heart and soul of a country.

One award-winning, home-grown tour operator that curates adventures across Ireland suggests the questions should be: How to find enough time for a country to get into your heart?

An award-winning 12-day tour does just this, promises Rob Rankin, co-owner with his wife, Amy Rankin, of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland (https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/).

“Give Ireland 12 days on our Giant Irish Adventureand you’ll see more of Ireland than most Irish will see in a lifetime,” adds Rankin. “When you leave your heart here, it’s always with the best intention to return. But if that doesn’t happen, you can be content that from the Giant’s Causeway in the very northeast to the Blarney Stone in the south-west, you have seen the very best Ireland and her people have to offer.”

The per person double rate is €2,899(€490 single supplement). Departures in 2019 are April 22 and 29; May 6, 13, 20 and 27; June 3, 10, 17 and 24; July 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29; Aug. 5, 12, 19 and 26; Sept.2, 9, 16, 23 and 30; and Oct. 7. Next year’s dates have also been set so reservations for 2020 departures are now also available.

Imagine a country of wild moorland, rugged mountains and unspoiled beaches. This epic journey circumnavigates the entire Emerald Isle, moving counter-clockwise beginning and ending in Dublin. Along the way travelers will explore natural, cultural and historical icons including sites where Game of Thrones was filmed. Legends of this ancient culture come to life in music and dance. Beauty exudes in the poetry of place names: Connemara, Galway, Iveragh (the Ring of Kerry), Limerick and Tipperary. And spirit emerges in the laughter over toasts in pubs – perhaps at one of Dingle Town’s 54 watering holes.

A former eight-day version of this experience was recognized by National Geographic Traveler as a Tour of a Lifetime, however the present 12-day route covers much more ground. This off-the-beaten track, flexible itinerary requires a fair level of fitness for horseback riding and kayaking, or for hiking and cycling 2.5 hours on undulating hill paths. Guests have the options to:

  • Kayak across Dingle Bay to meet a friendly dolphin
  • Surf an Atlantic wave
  • Hike over rugged landscapes
  • Horseback ride along a golden Irish strand
  • Bike or hike the wonders of Killarney National Park
  • Visit a working sheep farm for a herding and shearing demonstration
  • Journey to the Skellig Islands, one of Ireland's UNESCO World Heritage sites and a filming location for Star Wars
  • Shout from the battlements of mythical castles
  • Peer into portal tombs older than the pyramids
  • Stand in awe at ancient Neolithic stone circles and Celtic ring forts
  • Dig deep into Belfast with a Black Cab tour or a visit to the Titanic Experience
  • Walk the ramparts of Derry, Ireland’s only complete walled city

Enroute guests enjoy fresh and locally sourced food from Ireland’s clean waters and green farms. On all of its tours, the Vagabond staff curate locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. On one stop a hot, rejuvenating seaweed bath awaits. On another, guests live like lords and ladies in a castle-style country house. Transport is in a custom 4x4 Land Rover or Mercedes 'Vagatron' that allows access beyond where regular tour buses go.

In the end the mission is to have guests “love Ireland as much as we do,” says Rankin.

Please see https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/irish-tours-12-day-giant-irish-adventure/

Those who prefer a less active, gentler pace, can opt for an 11 Day Discover Ireland Tour. The per person double rate is €2,749 (€469 single supplement). This program that also circumnavigates Ireland shifts the focus slightly from outdoor activities to cultural sightseeing, with additional visits to stately homes and castles and opportunities to stroll through world-class gardens.

Please see https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/vacations-to-ireland-11-day-driftwood/.

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland offers two styles of culturally immersive travel. Vagabond Adventure Tours(the collection including the 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 Discoveryfollow 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 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. In February 2019, the company won two top Irish Tourism Industry Awards for the Best Ireland Ancient East Tourism Experience and Best Environmental Tourism Innovation.

# # #

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 Dips into St. Patrick Haunts on Immersive, off-Beaten-Track Itineraries

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland, Mar. 1, 2019 – At last count some 180 communities in Ireland claim to host St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The traditional March 17 fete also heralds the day for planting spring peas.

At age 16 (around 400 AD, during Roman times), the to-be-St. Patrick was sold into slavery, working as a shepherd in Ireland. His calling followed, as did the symbolism of the shamrock’s three leaves representing the Trinity.

One award-winning tour company, Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland, goes off the beaten path to introduce guests to secrets of the Emerald Isle. Discoveries while touring include many of the towns and villages that honor the country’s patron saint with parades that include:

  • Vintage tractors and cars followed by all sorts of agricultural vehicles such as quad bikes and customized fertilizer barrels turned into trains for tots;
  • Floats, decorated and themed, typically pulled by tractors;
  • Costumed depictions of ancestors and relations;
  • Candies (sweets) tossed from the floats to children lining the way;
  • Majorettes and sports clubs parading;
  • Country music and dancing;
  • Irish American paraphernalia;
  • Animals – sheep and dogs, for example – dyed green.

Along a 92-mile route through the northern counties of Armagh and Down are 15 locations that concern St. Patrick. One Vagabond itinerary, 7 Day Magnetic North Adventure Tour, takes in some of the sights along this route asguests hike, bike, kayak and horseback ride through landscapes fomenting with history and lore. Tours begin mid April and continue into mid October. On the weekend of March 17, this tour’s gateway city, Dublin, will see 100,000 or more in the streets celebrating, including sports fans following the All-Ireland Club Championship finals, an inter-county hurling competition devoted to Ireland’s national sport. For tour details see https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/7-day-magnetic-north-northern-ireland-adventure-tour/

Along this and other Vagabond routes will be stories of such quirky happenings as those in:

  • Dripsey: World’s shortest parade -- 25 yards from one pub door into another! https://www.rte.ie/archives/exhibitions/923-st-patricks-day-as-seen-on-tv/287788-shortest-st-patricks-day-parade/
  • Dingle: The earliest St Patrick’s Day Parade in Ireland kicks off at 6 a.m., the first of two on this day. The second is a larger lunch-time event. The reason for the early parade stems from a time when people feared to be seen in groups in daylight.
  • Duncannon on the Hook Peninsula:Ireland’s only beach parade.
  • Derry: Ireland’s only walled city hosts a food fest along with a parade. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVA-3IjxkeI)
  • Ulster Folk & Transport Museum at Cultra: This historic theme park displays traditional crafts and promotes a traditional food champ.(https://www.youtube.com/watch)
  • Ardara in Donegal:  Pop and country mixed in the 2017 float parade in this genuinely rural Irish country town when one of the floats featured locals dressed as all the celebrities who had died in the previous year. A tractor pulled their party in heaven. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xqWCAtseE4
  • Slemish in Antrim:  St. Patrick worked on Slemish mountain. Today locals climb the hill en-masse and re-enact his life there.
  • Living Wake at the Ulster American Folk Park: Costumed guides re-enact emotions of those left behind and those ofthousands of people before their voyage from Ireland to America in the 1700s and 1800s.
  • Elphin Windmill: The restored 18th century windmill in Roscommon hosts a tea party on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Achill Island:  Eachtiny village on Achill Island boasts a pipe band. They all come together to compete on St Patrick’s Day. The day starts with a traditional drum beating at daybreak – as early as 6 a.m., heralding the Afreann Gaeilge (Mass in Irish). This is preceded by a pipe band. (http://achilltourism.com/experience-achill/achill-island-tourism-festivals-and-events/achill-island-tourism-st-patricks-day-on-achill-island-ireland/).

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland offers two styles of culturally immersive travel. Vagabond Adventure Tours (the collection including the 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 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. In February 2019, the company won two top Irish Tourism Industry Awards for the Best Ireland Ancient East Tourism Experience and Best Environmental Tourism Innovation.

# # #

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 Two Awards at Annual Irish Tourism Event

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland, Feb. 11, 2019 – Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland is no stranger to accepting awards. In early February the company received not one but two 2019 Irish Tourism Industry Awards presented Feb. 2 at the Clayton Hotel in Dublin.

These awards recognize those people and companies that create enhanced experiences to draw people to Ireland. Awards are granted across 15 categories for general initiatives such as accommodation and marketing, and regional specific awards for the Atlantic Way, Hidden Heartlands and Ancient East. Fifteen winners were chosen from among 75 shortlisted nominees. For more on the awards see https://www.irishtourismindustryawards.ie/

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland’s 6 Day Ancient Ireland Tour won in the category Best Ireland’s Ancient East Tourism Experience, under 25,000 visitors. “We introduced this tour in 2018 to help answer the question, “Who are the Irish?” explained Rob Rankin, Rob Rankin, co-owner with his wife, Amy Rankin. In their imaginations guests burrow into bogs, scale crenellated towers and shimmy up mountains for glimpses of Ireland beginning with Iron Age Celts sifted into Stone Age sands. See: https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/6-day-eastern-ireland-tour/.

Best Environmental Tourism Innovative went to Vagabond Tours of Ireland for environmental initiatives that 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,” said Rankin. 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, helping to eliminate an estimated 30,000 fewer plastic bottles per year in Ireland.

Vagabond’s 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 custom mini buses, Mercedes 'Vagatrons' or 4x4 Sprinters Newtrons that allows access beyond where regular tour buses 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. In February 2019, the company won two top Irish Tourism Industry Awards for the Best Ireland Ancient East Tourism Experience and Best Environmental Tourism Innovation.

# # #

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 Forages and Feasts on New Week-long Epic Irish Food Adventure Tours

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland, Feb. 7, 2019 – The story of Irish food is a winding road that one travel company in Ireland invites active foodies to explore.

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland opens a window on a brand-new road trip that winds from meat and potatoes to Michelin stars and from the 19th century famine disaster to 21st century social gastronomy.

Epic Irish Food Adventure Tour, this company’s first themed experience, is no sleepy food demo, rather a fast-paced, seven-day program that navigates every twist and turn of Ireland’s burgeoning food revolution. The fun is baked in too on a circular tour out of Dublin that meets up with the Wild Atlantic Way and the Dingle Peninsula before turning east to Dublin. See: https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/irish-food-tour-adventure/

Foraging and sourcing interspersed with cliff and beach walks introduce historic staples of the Irish diet. Restaurateur and thinker, JP McMahon, summed up this (foraging) approach in an interview with Zurich: “While we can't go back to a time where people only foraged, we can learn from it and bring that into the future.”

This tour brings food and hospitality to guests who…

  • Learn the secrets of the ocean’s superfood on a sea kayaking trip to forage Atlantic seaweed.
  • Toast this food odyssey with an Irish coffee like no other - brewed on the beach overlooking crashing waves.
  • Crack open fresh shellfish in sight of the pier where it was landed.
  • Savor the world’s creamiest milk and best artisan cheeses from grass-fed cows. Ireland has an ancient tradition in dairy. Butter making was first introduced by the Celts in the 2nd century BC.
  • Enjoy Gaelic spoken by hosts serving Durrus and Cashel Blue cheeses, smoked and cured Gubbeen bacon, Clonakilty black pudding, fresh fish and grass-fed, organic Dexter beef from a farm guests visit.
  • Imagine mysterious pagan rituals at a Bronze Age monument with a fulacht fia, where prehistoric celebrity chefs cooked supper and brewed beer. (Think clam bake or luau.)
  • Shake hands with innovative food producers and chefs at secret, off-the-beaten path, gourmet destinations.
  • Chat up a 4th generation, female craft brewer at a century-old pub.
  • Sip mead (the world’s oldest form of alcohol) at Ireland’s only meadery and taste heritage Irish honeys.
  • Explore Ireland’s hidden foodie haven, Kinsale, for seafood, pub grub and craic (fun and entertainment).
  • Feast and sleep in a genuine Irish castle hotel.

Also planned are stops at a traditional flour mill, at butter-making establishment and at a goat farm producing goat’s milk soap.

Culinary experiences that may be new to guests include:

  • Pudding– No, it’s not dessert! Served with a cooked Irish breakfast, it’s a pork, herb and oat sausage with black and white versions (black is made with blood).
  • Elderflower – A hedgerow shrub used as a sweet cordial.
  • Drisheen– A tripe dish made of sheep's intestines filled with meal and blood.
  • Scones – Did you know that you can tell the religion of an Irishman by the way he pronounces this one little word? sk-own for Catholic, skon for Protestant.
  • Blaa – A fluffy white (blanc) baked roll, intrinsically linked with Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, and local French Huguenot influence.
  • Colcannon – A Halloween mix of mashed potato, cream or milk, kale and onion.

“The Epic Irish Food Adventure opens a window to Ireland’s recent food renaissance. After years of underappreciation, local Irish produce has come to the fore, mixing with international influences to produce a distinctively Irish modern cuisine,” says Rob Rankin, Vagabond Tours’ Managing Director.

Three 2019 departures are May 19, June 16 and Sept. 8. The per person double rate is €1,999 (single supplement €315). Guests are free to choose on-own lunches and dinners. Dublin is the gateway city. Guests travel in a rugged Mercedes ‘Vagatron’ 4x4 mini-coach.

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland offers two styles of culturally immersive travel. Vagabond Adventure Tours (the division hosting the Epic Irish Food Adventure Tour) are for active travellers who want to mix up hiking, kayaking 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 customMercedes 'Vagatron' or special mini-buses which allow access beyond where regular tour buses 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. In 2018, Vagabond Tours won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards. And in February 2019, the company won two top Irish Tourism Industry Awards for the Best Ireland Ancient East Tourism Experience and Best Environmental Tourism Innovation.

# # #

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 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.

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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