Introducing the United Kingdom: Ireland
Ireland is an incredible destination. Besides being one of the most friendly countries in the world, it has so many other reasons to visit. It is home to stunning sights, natural wonders, miles of dramatic beaches and cliffs. The Irish culture is mesmerizing. There is history, charming small towns, bustling cities, and so much to experience. And did we mention pub culture and Guinness? The Emerald Isle has evolved and changed into a modern destination, however traces of Ireland’s mysterious ancient past are never out of sight.
As many of you already know, Bella Vita Travels has expanded beyond the Mediterranean. We’ve been helping clients tailor their dream vacations in different destinations around the world for years now. The United Kingdom is a special spot that we personally love to visit. Ireland is a country that we have fallen head over heels in love with…and we cannot wait to show you why.
As we mentioned earlier this summer, Bella Vita has partnered with the illustrious Travel Experts, a Virtuoso member.
This means that we have access to new perks and new opportunities in some of the countries that we visit.
We will be sharing tips, advice and recommendations about the Emerald Isle this week.
As always, all of our trips are completely tailor made. Travel is exciting–even life-changing–but it is also deeply personal. That is why every custom Mediterranean vacation experience designed by Bella Vita Travels starts with you.
Getting to know Ireland
The Emerald Isle is famous for its charm, culture and myths but arguably its most outstanding quality is the good spirits and great hospitality of the locals.
This is also a great destination for a “road trip”! A self drive itinerary lets you see some of the spectacular scenery and also stop at your leisure to explore and discover more about Ireland.
Dublin, Ireland’s capital and one of Europe’s most vibrant cities
Dublin is steeped in history, with Viking, medieval and Georgian influences all having left their marks. Since the time of the Vikings, Dublin has been the principal gateway to the Emerald Isle. The city became Ireland’s capital with the establishment of the Republic of Ireland in 1937, and today is regarded as one of the liveliest and most atmospheric in Europe.
Dublin is a warm and welcoming city, known for the friendliness of its people and famous for its craic (“crack”)—that mixture of repartee, humor, intelligence, and acerbic and deflating insight that has attracted writers, intellectuals, and visitors for centuries.
Its historic buildings include Dublin Castle, dating to the 13th century, and imposing St Patrick’s Cathedral, founded in 1191. City parks include landscaped St Stephen’s Green and huge Phoenix Park, containing Dublin Zoo. The National Museum of Ireland explores Irish heritage and culture. And again, not to push it, but we cannot forget the Guinness museum and factory!
Adventures in Ireland
This spectacular country truly has more experiences than one trip can hold.
- Our “wild Atlantic way” food tour brings you to the special county of Galway. Here, you will meet the regions’ best farmers, brewers and producers. Galway city is also a bubbling, lively and beautiful city to stop over at during your tailor made holiday in Ireland. Famous for its live music and pub scene, Galway cannot be missed.
- Ride Ireland’s only cable car to a peaceful Island just west of the city of Cork. Here, you can escape to a different time, far away from hectic modern life. On your way, enjoy the particular accent of Cork city and its fun locals.
- See County Clare’s most spectacular natural feature, the Cliffs of Moher. This is a great stop over on a self drive trip. Or, perhaps from the unique vantage point of a helicopter! This is undoubtedly the best way to view them.
- Take a privately guided tour through the capital city’s of Dublin with our local, private guide. No one tells a story like the Irish do! Let us introduce you to different neighborhoods and gastronomic gems. Along this tour you will enjoy lots of specially prepared food and drink tastings and meetings with local vendors and makers.
- Discover the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of a true working distillery with a privately guided tour of a Dublin distillery, followed by a tutored tasting of three whiskeys: Small Batch, Single Grain & Single Malt.
- See the priceless Book of Kells, an intricate, illuminated manuscript believed to date from 800AD, and the Brian Boru harp, one of only three surviving medieval Gaelic harps and a national symbol of Ireland.
Our favorite hotels in Ireland
The Shelbourne, Dublin
Experience the elegance and luxury of The Shelbourne. This exceptional five-star hotel, set in a hundreds-year-old majestic building, is the premier city centre hotel in Dublin. Just outside the hotel, all of Dublin awaits you. The hotel overlooks St. Stephen’s Green, and is are minutes from Dublin’s most famous attractions.
The Westbury, Dublin, Ireland
A member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World, The Westbury places its guests at the very heart of Dublin’s social and cultural riches. Its prime location between Trinity College and Saint Stephen’s Green means Dublin’s Creative Quarter, with the characterful boutiques and famous nightlife of Grafton Street, is right on the hotel’s doorstep. Meanwhile, inside there’s The Sidecar’s creative cocktails; the 1930s glamour of WILDE, one of the city’s finest restaurants; Balfes’ open kitchen and outdoor terrace; and, of course, The Gallery – renowned for afternoon tea – the epitome of this haven of luxury.
The Merrion, Dublin
The Merrion, Dublin’s most stylish five-star hotel, is in the city center. Housed in four Georgian townhouses and a contemporary Garden Wing, its bedrooms and suites surround two 18th-century-style gardens. Stunningly restored interiors provide the perfect backdrop for one of Ireland’s most impressive private art collections. Choose from three dining options: the two-Michelin-starred Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, The Garden Room restaurant, and The Cellar Bar. Art Afternoon Tea service is available in the gracious Georgian drawing rooms. Indulge in a massage or facial in the new Merrion Spa & Health Club.
Hayfield Manor Hotel, Cork
Nestled within private gardens in the city, Hayfield Manor unexpectedly brings to mind the Irish countryside of 18th-century novels. Upon arrival, absorb the unique and hospitable ambience that greets you. Each individually styled bedroom is replete with antiques and lush fabrics. Unwind with afternoon tea, complete with Champagne, fresh-baked goods, and Irish teas. Savor the local gourmet fare for which Cork is renowned with delicious dining in Orchids or a casual meal in Perrotts Garden Bistro. The Beautique Spa has an array of Elemis treatments. Charming, first-class service sets Hayfield Manor apart as an experience beyond the best.
Mount Juliet Este, Kilkinney, Ireland
There is a legacy to the Mount Juliet experience that stretches far beyond the luxury of the bedrooms and the decadence of the dining options. Perhaps you feel the urge to thunder through open pastures and traipse across woodland trails on horseback. Maybe you want to feel the tug on your line and the splash from the River Nore as a salmon takes your bait. And have you ever felt the singular rush of an arrow flying forth from your bow or a falcon swooping down to land at your command? We offer a unique range of activities on the estate, unparalleled in the way they combine deep-seated historical traditions with the best modern equipment.
The K Club, Kildare
The K Club is a smart country resort. It is tucked away in rustic Kildare yet just 30 minutes from the bustle of Dublin city and Dublin International Airport. First, it is is a truly captivating, singular destination secreted away in lush Irish countryside. A maverick place imbued with a visionary history spanning hundreds of years. Second, it is nestled on 550 acres of parkland and gardens. Third, it offers family rooms and an abundance of family-friendly activities. For example, think fly-fishing, falconry, and horseback riding – as well as golf, a spa, pool, and health center.
Adare Manor, Limerick
Adare Manor is a five-star luxury resort defined by its spectacular setting, authentic historic character and the impeccable service and welcome of its world-class team. The 104 guest rooms are air-conditioned and lavishly appointed with original art, Georgian-style furnishings and marble bathrooms. For fine dining, visit The Carriage House for cocktails and classic Irish cuisine or Michelin-star Oak Room restaurant with renowned chef Michael Tweedie. Get out on the greens at the pristine golf course, redesigned by Tom Fazio and the forthcoming host venue for the 2027 Ryder Cup.
New destinations, still your Bella Vita
We hope that this introduction to Ireland gave you some travel inspiration. We have so many new experiences and destinations we cannot wait to share with you.
For more information on a tailor made trip to Ireland or the United Kingdom, please contact Megan or Kate to learn more!