Ireland’s popularity as a tourist destination is well-deserved. Its unparalleled natural beauty, warm hospitality, and rich history combine to create a truly enchanting and immersive experience for travelers. Whether exploring ancient ruins, savoring traditional music in a cozy pub, admiring the breathtaking landscapes, or simply connecting with the friendly locals, Ireland offers an unforgettable journey for those that have the opportunity to visit.
Ireland’s compact size makes it easily accessible and allows visitors to experience a diverse range of interesting sites and landscapes within a relatively small geographical area. Travelers can immerse themselves in the bustling streets of Dublin, explore the tranquil beauty of the countryside, marvel at the rugged coastline, and visit charming towns and villages, all within a short distance. Group itineraries can easily be designed to make the most of the depth and breadth of what the Emerald Isle has to offer.
Dublin, the vibrant capital city of Ireland, is the usual starting point of any trip to Ireland. From its deep-rooted history to its lively pub culture, Dublin offers a wealth of attractions that captivate the discerning traveler.
Trinity College is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Its library was established in the 14th century and is home to the Book of Kells, an intricately decorated manuscript dating back to the 9th century. This historic treasure is a must-see for those seeking to delve into Dublin’s past.
Dublin Castle, an iconic structure dating back to the 13th century, is another popular destination. Its opulent State Apartments and beautiful gardens offer a glimpse into the city’s royal past.
The Guinness Storehouse, a former brewery transformed into a captivating museum, is a favorite among travelers. Here they can learn about the famous Irish stout while enjoying a pint and panoramic views of the city. Groups can arrange a private session during which those interested can become certified Guinness pouring experts.
EPIC, Dublin’s newest museum, is dedicated to sharing the history and impact of Irish emigrants around the globe as told through innovative exhibits and interactive galleries. Using state-of-the-art technology, visitors can explore their own Irish roots through interactive displays that connect them with their ancestors’ stories. The museum also offers genealogy services to assist visitors in tracing their Irish heritage.
Dublin’s culinary offerings are yet another reason luxury travelers flock to the city. The dining scene has evolved significantly in recent years, with Michelin-starred restaurants and innovative chefs pushing the boundaries of Irish cuisine. From traditional pub fare to contemporary fine dining experiences, Dublin offers a wide range of culinary delights to suit every palate. Gourmands can savor locally sourced seafood, artisanal cheeses, and premium cuts of Irish beef, all paired with a pint of beer or a glass of Irish whiskey.
Of course, no visit to Dublin would be complete without experiencing its famous pub culture. The Temple Bar district, with its colorful facades and traditional pubs, is a hub of activity where luxury travelers can savor authentic Irish music, dance, and cuisine.
In terms of luxury accommodation, Dublin doesn’t disappoint. The city boasts a range of world-class hotels that cater to the discerning tastes of luxury travelers. From historic properties like The Shelbourne and The Merrion, with their opulent interiors and impeccable service, to contemporary boutique hotels such as The Westbury and The Marker, Dublin offers a range of luxurious options for indulgent stays.
For incentives that can extend into a five to seven-day trip, below are two options for city/country experiences.
Situated in County Kerry are the stunning landscapes of the Ring of Kerry and Killarney National Park. A day can be planned for the 111-mile circular drive around the Iveragh Peninsula that offers stunning views of mountains, rugged coastlines, pristine lakes, and charming villages. The national park has within it the 19th-century Muckross House and Gardens. It is a stunning mansion that showcases the elegant lifestyle of the Victorian era with period furnishings, vibrant flower displays, lush lawns, and scenic walking paths. The mansion and grounds can be privatized for memorable group events.
The town of Killarney is renowned for its charming streets, bustling markets, and lively pubs where visitors can experience authentic Irish music sessions. Located just outside of the town is The Europe Hotel and Resort, a beautiful property that takes advantage of its location adjacent to the park on the shores of Lough Lean, one of the scenic lakes of the region.
Another popular option is a journey to the Dingle Peninsula. It, too, is known for its rugged beauty and charming fishing villages but the drive is less extensive at just about 30 miles, and many consider it to feel a bit less touristy than the Ring of Kerry. The Peninsula is famous for its strong Irish culture and traditional Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) communities. The town of Dingle itself is known for its lively pubs, traditional music, and vibrant arts scene and this is also a great place to allow guests to wander to pick up traditional Irish arts and crafts such as Aran sweaters, Irish Whiskey, Celtic jewelry and handmade linens.
About an hour and a half northeast of the Dingle Peninsula, in County Limerick, is Adare Manor. The 104-room hotel is set within a 19th-century Neo-Gothic mansion on grounds that include rolling parklands, picturesque gardens, and an 18-hole Tom Fazio-designed golf course, all along the banks of the River Maigue. While its setting is wonderfully historic, this Forbes 5-star hotel and Conde Nast Traveler Readers Choice Number 1 Resort in the World has every modern amenity available and numerous indoor and outdoor spaces for group gatherings.
For groups that cannot extend their trip to include multiple overnights outside of Dublin but yet still want a taste of the country, a day trip to the Powerscourt Estate is a great option. The Powerscourt Hotel is situated on magnificent grounds with stunning gardens and panoramic views of Wicklow Mountain. Just 45 minutes from downtown Dublin, activities that can be enjoyed include golf, spa, and garden tours. Private tours and expert-led whiskey tastings can be arranged at the estate’s own Powerscourt Distillery. Falconry experiences can be organized as well, with either flying or static displays, depending on the size of the group.
Summer is the peak tourist season in Dublin. The weather is typically pleasant, with temperatures averaging between 59°F and 68°F (15°C and 20°C). It is a vibrant time with longer daylight hours and lively outdoor festivals and events. It can be crowded, and accommodation prices tend to be higher. Spring and autumn are a bit cooler but spring blooms and fall colors are beautiful. The weather year-round can be unpredictable, and rain showers are common throughout the year. To make the most of a visit, it’s a good idea for travelers to pack layers, including a waterproof jacket, regardless of the season.
There are many non-stop flights to Dublin (DUB) from the States and from Europe. A typical flight from New York takes 6 – 7 hours while from Chicago one can expect 7 to 8 hours. For groups that want to start or end their trip on the West Coast of Ireland, Shannon Airport (SNN) in County Clare is an option as there are non-stop flights to major US airports and many European cities as well. The drive time between the two airports is approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Ireland’s appeal to luxury travelers lies in its ability to seamlessly blend history, culture, natural beauty, and modern amenities. Whether it’s exploring ancient castles, immersing oneself in traditional music and pub fare, or simply savoring the beauty of its natural wonders, the Emerald Isle offers a captivating and memorable experience that leaves a lasting impression on those fortunate enough to visit.
Thanks to our partner DMC in Ireland, Ovation Ireland.