Personally designed Ireland tour
(originally published in March, 2010. The link is up to date.)
Ireland is a misty island, with tiny villages and an ocean breeze, says Martha Conover. She first visited the Emerald Isle 12 years ago. “As soon as my feet hit the gentle green hills, my heart was captured,” she says. “I have been returning ever since.”
Mrs. Conover is the “Tour Designer” and hostess of two boutique Ireland tours this year, one in July titled “A Magical Tour of Ireland,” and another in October,”Ireland’s Southwest Secrets.” Both tours represent an accumulation of her knowledge, preferences and contacts.
Both tours include a visit to Killarney. It’s one of the most sung-about towns in Ireland, Mrs. Conover says. She offers this example:
The “Kerry dancing,” she says, is “set dancing,” or partner dancing of the Kerry County tradition.
“Everywhere in Ireland is referenced by county. The town of Killarney is in Kerry County.”
Both the July and October tours include visiting the “Lakes of Killarney.”
Both tours gravitate to the Irish coastline, including Kinsale, a fishing town, in July, and Mizen Head, a natural landmark off the coast, in October. Both include chances to witness how the vast Atlantic Ocean crashes against the Irish shoreline.
Pampering, Irish style
The select accommodations in Killarney lay within the heart of the town, with access to horsedrawn carriages. The shoreline accommodations include ocean views.
Tour accommodations might include private fireplaces that burn peat, a natural fuel, or might include spa services.
Serendipity on the itinerary
The tours are designed to capture breaths of Ireland Mrs. Conover knows well. Participants are anchored to an itinerary that cradles them in selected towns on select dates. From there they’re welcome to join a group schedule, or to meander.
Tour participants may meander on their own, or accept invitations via Mrs. Conover’s friends, that she might share along the way.
Her friends might extend an invitation to a hike, on a given day. Or they might – like Elizabeth, Mrs. Conover’s nonagenarian friend – extend an invitation to tea, with her only request to know “when to put the kettle on.”
Mrs. Conover limits the number to no more than 20 participants per tour. The groups are always a diverse mix. “Within my tours I have hosted attorneys, air traffic controllers, singles, and couples,” she says.
Mrs. Conover’s 2010 Ireland tours are provided through I. Travel, Inc.
Registration begins at $2,085 / person sharing. Single travelers have an added supplement.
Tours include approximately 10 days of scheduled Ireland land transportation, from select beginning and ending destinations, and include select accommodations, meals, and tours.
I. Travel, Inc. also offers travel specials from United States destinations to Ireland.
For more information and registration, visit Martha’s Travel Corner.