Ireland, the second biggest island in Europe, is home to rolling hills of green, a rich and charming culture, and wonderfully welcoming people. There are lively cosmopolitan cities to explore as well as many remote villages to discover. Our European specialist Diane returned from her Irish journey and told us about some of her favorite experiences in the emerald isle.


Adare Manor


Adare Manor in Limerick welcomed Diane with classically warm Irish hospitality and homemade personalized dessert. Among the many memorable experiences, Diane enjoyed the ax-throwing experience they provide.


Helicopter ride to the Aran Islands


Flying in a helicopter is often considered to be the best way to see the expansive landscapes that the country is known for. Diane had the opportunity to ride from Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare over to Killarney National Park. After, they soared up to the west coast and the Cliffs of Moher. From here they took off for the remote Aran Islands where they stopped for lunch, indulging in fresh crab and lobster claws caught that day. She then flew back to Ashford Castle, in Cong.


Ashford Castle


The 800-year-old castle sits on a 350-acre estate with landscaped gardens, woodlands, and an emerald lake. Diane enjoyed the Halk-walk experience they offered, saying “it was really awesome handling those giant, beautiful birds so close up”. The setting is gorgeous, the staff friendly and accommodating. The wine tasting in the cellars of the castle was a special treat as well!


Cliffs of Moher


The iconic jagged cliffs along the west coast of Ireland protect the island from the wild Atlantic ocean. “Walking with a guide along the cliffs and getting a geologic history and all the general history while looking out over the sea and seeing the islands and the rainbows made it a really special hike. I also learned that some of the cliff faces are the settings for scenes in both The Princess Bride and Harry Potter – The Half Blood Prince”


The Many, Many Rainbows


Probably one of the most memorable moments from Ireland is the number of rainbows that she saw, everywhere. The unpredictable weather of the North Atlantic absolutely has its advantages!


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Christine at Esplanade Travel planned our recent trip which found us traveling to four very different and fascinating regions in Chile. The trip was absolutely beautiful, memorable and so suited to our specific interests! We have had the pleasure of working multiple times with travel consultants at Esplanade Travel and they continue to amaze us with the itineraries they develop and their close working contacts in other countries that always result in worry-free travel for us. We tend to stay in multiple areas with multiple connections and with the expertise in planning at Esplanade all of our reservations, contacts, pick-ups and drop-offs occur seamlessly. Our travels started in Santiago before heading south to the Lakes District, further south to Torres del Paine in Patagonia, then west to Easter Island. All of the lodges we stayed in were so comfortable with gorgeous views, the guides were super knowledgeable about the cultural and natural history of every location we visited, and the food was fantastic! On Easter Island our native guide, Sabrina, was able to provide us with her intimate knowledge, passed down to her from her ancestors, of the history and culture of the Rapa Nui people. I highly recommend Esplanade Travel to everyone, and I guarantee we will be contacting them to assist us with our next great adventure!

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