Ireland Trip Ideas

Check Out Our Must-see Sights.

Places To Visit

Discover The Top Rated Attractions.

Essential Experiences

Discover the history of Ireland.

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Ireland is a bucket-list destination for many tourists, which is why it is essential to book the best trip possible. There are so many hiking trails, coastal paths, and lush green sceneries to discover that it can be hard to narrow it down.

The team at Exploring Ireland Walking Tours wants you to have the best trip possible and will be happy to help you narrow down your route. We specialize in matching the customer with the right journey for them and all trips have been planned by experts.

With the right planning, you will be free to explore, chat and fall in love with the Emerald Isle and still end up where you want to go!

  

The Top 5 Irish Handmade Glass Designers in Ireland

 

 

 

Jerpoint Glass

 

Jerpoint Glass was established in 1979 and is a family run Irish glass designer and makers located in Co Kilkenny. Drawing on 2000 years of glass blowing tradition, the skilled glassmakers individually create each piece in the Jerpoint collection. Jerpoint Glass handmade glass designers in Ireland have a distinctive and unique design which combines both functional and beautiful to bring you the best in contemporary Irish glass. Each piece is hand finished making it authentic. Hand finishing the glass pieces will give the glass a unique and soft rim and an all over smoothness. Jerpoint glass designers are established for their innovative designs and ability to create new and contemporary collections and pieces of glassware. Jerpoint is known across the world for its use of colour and honest form inspired by the Irish landscape. The glass designer company offers a wide collection of handmade glass these include festival collection, glass garden designs, jugs, bowls, drinking glasses, and more. They offer some unique handmade glass pieces from colour twist wine glass, large scallop bowl, paperweights, tea light holder, and more. If you are looking for something special for a loved one, they offer some great gift ideas for every occasion.

 

The Irish Handmade Glass Company 

 

The Irish handmade glass company is Waterford city’s finest glass makers producing 100% mouth blown and hand cut crystal. The company has become one of the leading crystal manufacturers in Ireland. Irish handmade glass company aims to keep the Waterford Crystal factories centuries tradition and old craft alive. The visitors into the studio can watch the amazing crystal pieces being made producing works of art. The designer pieces are affordable and a breath of fresh air. Their unique cutting and use of colour makes every piece a unique gift to be treasured. They offer the finest collection range of crystal pieces these include Claddagh, wildflower, Irish rose, Celtic meadow, wild Atlantic way, Jewellery, wild heather, Christmas shop, table lamps, collectibles, Irish shamrock, wine glass/tumblers, and artisan centrepieces. Watch their master crafts men at work creating these stunning crystal pieces. Their stunning Irish shamrock range is crafted with the finest crystal and the shamrocks will celebrate the Irish heritage, making it an ideal present for that special someone. The amazing collection of crystal pieces offers something for everyone no matter what the occasion Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, you name it. The company also offers gift vouchers which are ideal for a loved one to choose something that they would like.

 

J Hill’s Standard

 

J Hill standard craft handmade crystal glass is located in Waterford, Ireland. They produce the finest contemporary cut crystal tumblers, stemware, and decanters which all crafted by hand. Their products are a celebration of the handmade and progressive, where the hand maker is revealed. We explore the innovations in embellishment and cutting and the inherent qualities of crystal. J Hill is individual, free spirited, and unconventional. The work with an international resource of designers and master craftsmen to deliver singular hand-crafted and rare objects. J Hill came to Ireland in 1783, bringing with him a creative talent and deep knowledge of glass chemistry, that would continue to influence the production of lead crystal for generations. The brand is inspired by the story of this ingenious and maverick individual. Their collection range includes champagne glasses, hand drawn glass, grappa/shot glasses, lighting, cocktail glasses, decanters, carafes, and jugs, whiskey glasses, and wine glasses. The company can also provide bespoke pieces that will allow them to experiment with both the material and the process. The craftsmen experiment with complex forms and cuts to match design motifs or materials. Get that special loved one or friend a unique crystal glass wear piece from J Hill standard.

 

Dingle Crystal

 

Dingle Crystal is a family run business and was founded by craftsman Sean Daly. The crystal company handcraft an exquisite collection of hand cut Irish crystal. Their designs are unique Celtic designs inspired by the breathtaking landscape and rich heritage of Ireland’s west coast. All the crystal ware is cut, polished, and designed by hand using traditional techniques. No piece of crystal ware is the same all are designed individually. They offer a wide range of stunning and unique pieces these include whiskey glasses and tumblers, stemware, crystal bowls, giftware, crystal vases, crystal candle holders, the beehive collection, and more. When you hold any piece in your hands and feel its weight you know that’s what makes Dingle crystal different. There are 6 unique Celtic designs that feature in the Dingle collection these include Solas, Celtic flame, the Blasket, Skellig, Dingle, and Harp, and Fushia. Dingle crystal is one of a kind, luxurious, and unique. The quality is second to none a stunning collection of glassware from candlesticks, bowls, to vases you name it, there is something special for everyone.

 

Criostal

 

Criostal na Rinne was established in 1987 and the workshop is situated in Ireland’s ancient east in the picturesque area of the Waterford Gaeltacht. The workshop produces crystal glassware all handmade in their Waterford workshop. The master craftsman glass cutter Eamonn Terry has over 45 years of experience, so you can rest assured you are in the best hands. All the glass pieces create a meaningful connection with the rich history, language, culture, and nature of Ireland. Their collection range includes Ard, Ceo, Moin, Clo, and Tonn. Their range of products includes decanter, glasses, tumblers, carafe, wine glasses, and more. If you are looking for something truly unique and exceptional then criostal is your company to go to. You can visit the workshop to experience a skill that is noted for and the craft of crystal cut by hand by some amazing craftsmen. The free demonstrations and tour show the techniques of a master craftsman and explain the history of glassmaking in the area which goes back hundreds of years to this day present. Both individual and group tours are welcome. One too one tour is also available on a drop-in basis. The workshop is open from March to September.

Best Cave Tours in Ireland

If you are a caving enthusiast and enjoy exploring the undergrounds, then caves across Ireland are ones to explore. Caves are thousands of years old and tell their own unique story from its geological formation to the present day. Caves in Ireland cannot be seen but are famous for their mystery and beauty. These caves are punctuated by stalagmites and stalactites. Exploring caves is fascinating however they can be hazardous so the best way to start is with an experienced and trained tour guide. Your guide will take you through the trip from start to finish. Here is a helpful guide to the best cave tours in Ireland.

Arigna Mining Experience

The Arigna Mining Experience has a rich 400-year history of coal mining in arigna and is located in County Roscommon. The arigna mine building first opened in 2003 and is a first of its kind in Ireland. The underground mine gives the visitor a real insight into what coal mining life was like back many years ago. It is Ireland’s first coal mining museum which features local geology including sandstones, mudstones, siltstones, new forms of renewable energy, and coal measures. The tour guides are ex miners who have over 150 years of mining experience between them. The tour will take you through the mining tunnel which shows a visitor the social history of the mine, their customs, rituals, and the miners. The tour is fascinating leaving the visitor with an overwhelming sense of education. The underground takes about 40 minutes. The intensity of darkness, the dripping of the water, and cramped areas where miners lay will leave a visitor astounded that these working conditions existed many years ago. Arigna mine also offers a gift shop and coffee shop. The coffee shop serves hot and cold food, tea, coffee, and soft drinks. The gift shop offers a wide range of brand items such as magnets, maps, books, and souvenirs it has something to offer everyone. This is one tour not to be missed.

Aillwee Cave

The Aillwee cave is located in County Clare and is one of Ireland’s most famous and largest caves. The cave is one of the oldest in Ireland and attracts thousands of visitors each year who come to admire the amazing geological formations of stalagmites and stalactites. In addition to the cave, there are wonderful cavities dug by ancient underground waterfalls. The tour takes 35 minutes through winding passages, caverns, unusual rock formation, bridged chasms before you get greeted with wonderful towering waterfalls. Get a front row seat of the most amazing birds of prey in the cave. The cave holds an impressive collection of hawks, falcons, owls, white tailed sea eagles, and American kestrels on display. Also discover unsuspected flora and fauna. During the breeding season, visitors will be able to see young birds of prey being reared by hand, become more aware of these magnificent indigenous species, and learn about falconry as an ancient sport. At the aillwee caves, you can experience a fun filled day, find something special in the gift shop, watch the amazing birds of prey, and explore the caves on tour with the experienced tour guides. This is one cave that is worth a visit.

Marble Arch Caves 

Marble Arch caves were first explored by the French speleologist Edouard Martel and a young scientist Lyster Jameson. The marble arch caves are located in County Fermanagh and one of the largest caves in Northern Ireland. The caves are an underground gallery dug over time by 3 rivers that still meander through the Cladagh Glen mountainside. The cave is more than 11.5 km in length which is impressive. The path leads you through comfortable lighting displays and delicate cave formations. The tour guides will lead you through inspiring passages and enhance the experience further by telling stories of this exceptional show cave. The cave can be visited via a guide and you can also explore the cave at your own leisure. Walk around and admire the cave, stalagmites, and stalactites as well as the impressive waterfalls.

Crag Cave

Crag Cave is located in Castle island in County Kerry. The cave was first discovered in 1983 and is thought to be 1 million years old. The cave is a magical experience of stalactites and stalagmites. The caves are an ancient fossil cave system that can be seen inside the stunning passageways. It is the 7th longest cave in Ireland offering the finest examples of limestone cave formation. The visitor centre is home to a gift shop and a garden restaurant. The restaurant offers hot meals, delicious home cooking, scones, pastries, healthy salads, and tasty treats. There is something for everyone in the gift shop like souvenirs, jewellery, toys, and much more all at very great prices. Book online with Crag Cave for a great cave tour experience.

 

Best Hotels in Ireland

Ireland is home to some amazing and luxurious hotels from the countryside houses, castle hotels, and resorts, and 5-star city hotels, our little island has it all. We are famous for our rich culture, great food, and amazing sightseeing monuments, but most of all our fabulous hotels across the island of Ireland. Enjoy stunning sea views in style and comfort, golf resorts, five-star spas, and much more. Whether you are seeking to indulge in a lavish afternoon tea, tasting menus in a fine dining restaurant, or a seasonal break away in a luxury spa, here is our list of the best hotels Ireland has to offer.

Errigal Country house Hotel 

The Errigal Country house hotel is a luxury 4-star hotel located in Cootehill Co Cavan. It is family operated and owned and is renowned for its traditional Irish hospitality and warm welcome. The hotel offers a wonderful boutique style hotel with superb food in their Reynard’s restaurant and why not enjoy a relaxing spa treatment in the riverside spa. All bedrooms in the hotel have all the amenities you would need including ensuite bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, tea and coffee facilities, telephone, and WIFI. There a great selection of rooms available from luxurious to standard, to large family rooms.

The Shelbourne Hotel 

The Shelbourne Hotel is a 5-star renaissance hotel that dates to 1824 and is in the heart of Dublin City Centre. It is the ideal hotel to explore the city, overlooking Stephens green, close to Dublin’s historic and cultural buildings. The hotel successfully marries contemporary convenience, traditional splendor, with its elegant marble bathrooms, superb antiques, fully digital LED flat-screen TVs, sparkling chandeliers, I phone/docking station in every room, and their stunning open fires. Make use of their stunning spa treatments lavish tranquility in the heart of Dublin city.

Ashford Castle Hotel 

Ashford Castle Hotel is one of the leading hotels situated on the picturesque shores of Lough Corrib, Mayo and showcases the best of interior design and traditional Irish craftsmanship. Witness their famous Irish hospitality and melt in the tranquility of this elegant Irish hotel. The hotel offers a modern twist with a billiards room, cinema, a tasteful spa, and a children’s game room. A stay at this magnificent castle is one you will remember for a lifetime.

Adare Manor and Golf Resort 

Adare Manor was awarded a hotel of the year in 2018. The hotel was luxuriously restored and is brimming with gothic magnificence. The 5-star hotel is in the village of Adare Limerick. All the rooms are individually designed and beautifully furnished, full of personal and carefully designed details, your room is the ideal place for relaxation, repose, and retreat where you can anticipate the pleasures of tomorrow and reflect on the joys of your day. The rooms have marble en-suite bathrooms, inviting beds, historically inspired furnishings and art, and amazing views from your room of the hotel.

Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa 

Inchydoney Island is a 4-star hotel located in West Cork. The hotel is Irish owned and operated since 1998. The hotel is overlooking the blue flag beach and the Atlantic Ocean. The resort is renowned for its picturesque and romantic location. The hotel is a fantastic stay for loved ones, family, friends, and children, aiming to create memories for guests that will last a lifetime. The rooms and suites are a haven of relaxation and rest. Some of the rooms include a balcony, terrace, suites, family rooms, superior view rooms, and there are also apartments available.

Powerscourt 

Powerscourt 5-star hotel is one of the leading historic and most scenic estates in Ireland. The luxurious hotel offers the most amazing views across a woodland valley to the most famous sugarloaf mountain in Ireland. The resort offers 2 golf courses, a signature restaurant, and an award-winning and luxury spa by ESPA.

Ballyfin 

Ballyfin is one of the finest country houses in Ireland, restoration to a graceful and elegant life, and re-opened as a hotel of luxury. The 5-star luxury hotel has 20 bedrooms and it is the ideal place for that special occasion whether it be a birthday, anniversary, or another occasion, this is the ideal place to celebrate in style. Each room is spacious with modern television and music technology, and glorious furniture.

The Europe Hotel and Resort 

Europe Hotel and Resort is one of the leading 5-star hotels located in the wonderful town of Killarney in Co Kerry. This amazing hotel boasts of elegant suites and bedrooms, features spacious balconies that are naturally enriched by the lake views and the stunning golf course. The hotel grounds offer a wide range of amenities for every guest to enjoy these include boating, fishing, walking, golf, tennis, horse riding, swimming, spa treatments, and gym activities. This is a must hotel to visit offering everything you would need for a superb night away.

Sheen Falls Lodge 

Sheen Falls Lodge is located on the wild Atlantic way and surrounded by the Irish countryside. It is the ideal luxurious escape for any lucky couple looking for a high-end country retreat. The lodge is renowned for its luxurious rooms, villas, and suites and its 2 AA rosette restaurant. Sheen Falls is an unforgettable experience for a fabulous Irish holiday providing the ultimate in Hospitality. The country lodge hotel is one of the leading country house venues for weddings. They offer a stunning choice for a civil ceremony, reception, or ceremony. Dine, in their classical and elegant restaurant the falls, you are guaranteed exceptional food and a warm welcome.

Monart 

Monart is a 5-star luxurious accommodation and spa destination hotel in the world. The resort is the ideal destination for those pampering and post-wedding relaxation. No matter what accommodation that you choose you can enjoy the scenery, space, and relax in what Monart has to offer you. Monart spa treatments and day spa are like no other, something truly unique and different. The hotel is dedicated to ensuring all customers receive a relaxing time, renew, and rejuvenate in a unique and stunning environment. The hotel resort offers an extensive range of treatment options and classes for residents and great spa day programmes to non-residents.

Why SEO Is Important For Irish Tourism

If you are running any sort of tourism business in Ireland, it is extremely important to have a dedicated SEO strategy in place. After all, more travellers than ever before are using their favourite search engines to make decisions. Because of this, it is imperative to have a well-laid out SEO plan of attack to maximise exposure in the marketplace. Below, we will be going over some of the reasons why it is so critical to have a comprehensive search engine optimisation strategy for Irish tourism.

Reasons To Have A Comprehensive SEO Strategy: 

1. Search Engine Usage 

One of the main reasons it has become so essential to focus on SEO and digital marketing services is due to the increasing usage among travellers. More and more travellers are relying on search engines in order to find the information they need to make key travelling decisions. A lot of travellers are using search engines as their primary resource for researching different flights, accommodations, and more. Therefore, as a business that is in the Irish tourism industry, it is imperative to place a focus on optimising your website’s rankings to funnel this traffic to your site.

 

2. The Competition Is Doing It 

If you are operating in the tourism industry for Ireland, you are likely dealing with a lot of competition. After all, the tourism industry is easily one of the most competitive. Because of this, you want to look to ways to better position your business within the marketplace. One of the most effective ways to better position your business to compete is by getting your business in front of the eyes of prospective customers before your competition. If your competition is ranking higher than you within the search engine ranks, the chances they steal your prospective customers are very high. Whereas, if you are able to get your website to rank higher, you will capture a lot of the market share on your own.

3. Consumer Trends 

Another reason it has become so important for businesses in the tourism industry to focus on their SEO efforts has to do with the changing consumer trends. Not only are consumers looking towards search engines to find the information they are seeking, but they are also doing it on their favourite mobile devices. Because of this, you need to be actively engaging in the latest SEO strategies which includes having a mobile-centric approach to your optimisation efforts. By focusing on the latest changes in the SEO industry, you will be inherently putting your website in the best position to succeed by integrating a mobile-first design with your website. Having a responsive design is not only going to improve your visitor’s user experience, but it is going to better position yourself to drive mobile traffic to your site and to convert the traffic you bring. The majority of consumers nowadays are using mobile devices to not only research different travel options but also to make their bookings and to schedule things. Therefore, you want to drive this traffic onto your site and convert them into customers.

4. Targeting Buying Keywords 

Another reason SEO is such an important element of an effective marketing mix for a business in the tourism industry in Ireland has to do with the focus on targeting buying keywords. An effective SEO strategy is going to focus on the buying keywords that a prospective traveller would be typing in and searching for when they are looking to visit Ireland. By focusing on optimising your site and content for these respective keywords, it is going to make it much more likely that you will be able to drive highly targeted and ready/willing buyers to your site. This means that you will be able to maximise conversions on your site which can dramatically impact your ability to make sales and to capture more market share.

5. Better User Experience 

Another reason SEO has become so integral has to do with its ability to help you improve the end user’s experience. Simply providing a better user experience is going to benefit your business in a variety of ways. Not only will it increase the chances that you convert the traffic into customers, but it will maximise your ability to retain them as customers. The changes that you have to make with your website to improve its SEO are going to end up allowing you to provide a highly effective end-user experience which can help you position yourself better when compared to the competition.

6. It’s Cost-Effective 

Another reason to consider adding SEO to your marketing mix has to do with it being so cost-effective. Unlike a lot of the other digital marketing strategies that you are likely to invest in, SEO is something that can provide your business with a high return on your investment. Because SEO is something that doesn’t have incremental costs associated with it, you will be able to minimise the total amount that you have to spend on your marketing efforts. SEO is not only a good option for a high return on your investment, but it offers a lot of long term benefits to your business by better positioning your website within the search engine ranks.

Overall, there are so many reasons SEO is such a crucial component of an effective digital marketing strategy. SEO has become one of the single most important components of an effective digital marketing mix. When you are operating within the highly competitive tourism industry, it is imperative to do everything possible to position yourself in front of prospective customers. Without investing heavily in your own SEO efforts, you are bound to fall short of the competition. Your competition is likely already investing their own time, energy, and resources into getting their website to rank higher within the search engines. The websites that don’t achieve a high ranking within the top (3) of the search results end up missing out on a lot of potential traffic and a lot of market share as a result of the decrease in traffic. Therefore, if you want to compete, you need to get your website to rank well to drive organic traffic to your site.

Why You Should Go On A Walking Holiday

Walking is a hobby for many people but they may not realize it. Do you walk your dog for longer than he needs?

Or do you get off early to take in the views on the journey to walk? Or maybe taking a walk is instrumental in clearing your head?

If so, then a walking holiday would be perfect for you. Still not convinced?

There are many top providers of self-guided walking tours and hiking in Ireland, you are spoiled for choice!

Take a look to find out why:

It’s Good For You

Walking is a great form of cardio. It’s low impact, which makes it accessible to everyone and science shows that hitting your 10 000 steps can improve your health significantly.

Staying active should be a goal for everyone as not only does it help physically, but also mentally. By walking you can help clear your thoughts and help you process your emotions.

Anyone Can Do It

You will always be able to find a trail that suits you. Whether you fancy yourself a mountain goat or you would like to go for a stroll, you are sure to find something that fits.

You don’t need to spend money on equipment or updating your gear, you just need some shoes and some water! We recommend having a fully charged phone just in case and some music to pass the time.

Travel Slowly And Enjoy It

When you are walking, you are forced to enjoy your surroundings at all times. There is no putting your foot down and speeding onto the next stop, it’s just you and yourself absorbing your surroundings.

You are gentle on the environment and there are no carbon emissions. It also means you get to travel at your own pace which means you are in control of the trip.

Get A New Perspective Of A Place

Even though you may know a particular region of a country, when you are walking through it, it will give you a different perspective. You will get to see smaller places that you will have often driven past or not reached at all.

Taking the time to do walks from city centers as you will get to see more than the hustle and bustle. You will get a fully rounded view of the area and its surroundings.

Take Time To Reflect

Whether you are walking alone or with a group, it will give you time for introspection and reflection. Many pilgrims say they had life-changing experiences while walking and if you choose to take time to switch off from your routine you will feel the benefit.

A Sense Of Achievement

Walking 20, 30 or even 50km gives you a sense of achievement you may not get in your daily life. Doing this every day for a week or longer will have you itching to go again once your trip is over.

Why Visit Ireland?

Ireland or the Emerald Isle can get overshadowed by England or missed on a trip as it’s not on mainland UK. This is a tragedy because Ireland is one of the most unique places you can ever visit and we can guarantee you will want to come back again.

Irish people have been voted as some of the friendliest people in the world and you are sure to find a smiling face in every location. Known for their ‘craic’ which means ‘banter’ and ‘fun’, you will never feel alone.

The Scenery

Ireland is known for its unspoiled beauty, even in built-up areas. You never have to drive far to find lakes, deer, green pasture and livestock which means you can get a healthy dose of fresh air when needed.

There are also hundreds of beaches all across Ireland that cater for all your needs. Do you like your beaches white and sandy, jagged and rocky, or surf-ready?

Ireland has them all in abundance. Bring a camera and start exploring the wonderful landscape.

Once you’ve found the perfect beach, you can also catch some waves. The west coast of Ireland gets tourists yearly for the swell, but mainly in the summer months.

Road Trip

Even though Ireland is a small country of around 4.5 million, it has enough landscapes to make it worth a road trip. Summer is the perfect time to drive around the country and visit town after town, drinking in the local culture.

There will always be live music sessions at the local pub in the evening, which turns a regular trip to the pub into a memorable experience. You must also try a Guinness as no trip to Ireland will be complete without it!

If you don’t feel like driving, take to the country on foot and follow one of the hundreds of trails Ireland has to offer. Whether you would like to hike mountainous terrain or wander along tranquil lakes, there is always something to offer.

The History

Ireland has had a dark and troubled past, but it celebrates its history. There are many castles, historic sites, museums and institutions all over the country which will specialize in Irish history and are worth a visit.

Take some time to get educated about the struggles of Irish people and learn why Irish pride is so strong and rightly deserved.

Contact Us

Our team and Exploring Ireland are dedicated to finding you the best trip you can go on. Once you have decided to visit Ireland, do not hesitate to get in touch.

Contact us by phone or email and one of our team will help you start planning your dream trip today.

Exploring Ireland


Location: Austin Friars Street, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, Ireland


Phone: 044-9332060


Email: admin@exploringireland.net