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Ireland by the Sea

Romantic landscapes and gentle walking

From£2,049

  • United Kingdom

    Ireland

  • 7 nights
  • Half Board
  • May

    Jun

    Sep

  • Guided Adagio Holidays

Tour codes: 51100

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Guided Adagio Holidays

This holiday includes an active sightseeing programme with unchallenging walks, either city tours or strolls on relatively easy terrain in the surrounding countryside. If in a mountainous area, the walks will be amongst the hills rather than up and down them. Local guides, winery visits, traditional villages and time to pause and watch the locals going about their lives are likely to feature.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Explore the impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site of Giants Causeway, a unique geological marvel set along the coast
  • Follow a dramatic Irish coastal route between the picturesque towns of Portstewart and Portrush
  • Discover tranquil walks along the unspoilt coast of the idyllic Rathlin Island
  • Enjoy a tour and tasting at Bushmills Distillery
  • Explore the incredible grounds of the Glenveagh house and gardens
  • Walk within the unique and truly beautiful Ards Forest Park

The trail passes over rolling hills, through emerald woodland and between open meadows filled with sheep, to the rugged dramatic coastal cliffs. Our steps will be accompanied by bird song, the calling of the sheep and Atlantic waves lapping the white sandy shore below. One of the only places where you’ll find complete tranquillity and seclusion. Ireland is a land of history, mystery, and peace.

We stay in two centres’ during our holiday to explore as much as possible without long daily transfers. Our first centre is the small traditional fishing village of Portballintrae located close to Bushmillls and just south of Giants Causeway. You’ll step back in time and enjoy a retreat in the little sea side resort with its half moon beaches and less than 1000 residents. We stay in the modern four-star Bayview Hotel with incredible panoramic ocean views.

Our second centre is the beautiful golden beach village of Marble Hill, close to Dunfanaghy. This haven is popular with lovers of bird watching, water sports and nature. We stay at the four-star elegant Shandon Hotel and Spa with unspoilt scenic coastal views.

Our holiday has a perfect blend of sites, history and coastal walking. We’ll explore the impressive Giants Causeway and follow a route along the dramatic coast between the 'red sails in the sunset' town of Portstewart and the bustling seaside resort of Portrush. We’ll take a boat across to the unspoilt Rathlin Island and walk within the unique and truly beautiful Ards Forest Park. We’ll slow the pace with an enjoyable tour and tasting at the 400 year old Bushmills Distillery. Come and explore the romantic landscapes of Ireland with us.

  • Services of a dedicated Adagio leader
  • All local transport costs and entrance fees (excluding Giants Causeway & Carrick a rede rope bridge)
  • Half board accommodation
  • Guided tour and tasting at Bushmills Distillery
  • Entrance into Glenveagh house and gardens
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Carrick a rede rope bridge (free of charge for National Trust Members)
  • Giants Causeway Visitor Centre (free of charge for National Trust Members)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice. All local transport costs, entrance fees and tipping to local providers are included in the cost of your holiday. 

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Northern Ireland

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

We fly to Belfast International Airport and transfer to Bayview Hotel near Portballintrae in Northern Ireland. You can join our Adagio leader in a short introductory walk of the local area.

Transfer Time = 1 hour 15 minutes

Day 2

Giants Causeway & Carrick a rede

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    2-3 hours

  • Distance

    3.5 miles

Our walk takes us to the impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site of Giants Causeway, a unique geological marvel of basalt pillars rising from the sea and set along the coast. Explore this distinctive area and hop along its steppingstone landscape below the dramatic coastal cliffs. We transfer to the extraordinary Carrick a rede rope bridge, suspended 100ft above the Atlantic Ocean between Carrick Island and the County Antrim mainland. 

The Giants Causeway Visitor Centre and Carrick a rede rope bridge are National Trust properties and therefore entrance is not included in the cost of the holiday.

Day 3

Portstewart & Portrush

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3 hours

  • Distance

    5 miles

Today is spent exploring the dramatic Irish coast between the picturesque towns of Portstewart and Portrush. Portstewart is a harbour town with a delightful promenade alongside its spectacular golden beach. Portrush, famed for its golf course, is a coastal retreat surrounded by an emerald coast and white sands. The walk between the towns takes in some of the finest coastal scenery.

Day 4

Rathlin Island

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    2.5-3 hours

  • Distance

    4.5 miles

We take a trip to idyllic Rathlin Island, located off the north east of Ireland. We discover tranquil walks along the unspoilt coast and if we are lucky, we may even catch a glimpse of the resident seals and puffins.

Day 5

Bushmills Distillery, London Derry...welcome to the Republic of Ireland

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

We spend the morning touring the Bushmills Distillery. Built in 1608, this 400 year old distillery is the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery! We will be treated to a guided tour and enjoy some fine whiskeys.

We transfer to Marble Hill near Dunfanaghy, our centre for the remainder of the holiday, located on the famous Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland. En route we stop at Londonderry where we walk around the intact 17 century walls.

Day 6

Glenveagh House and Gardens

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    2-3 hours

  • Distance

    4 miles

Today we spend some time at Glenveagh House and gardens. One upon a time Hollywood stars partied here! We have time to walk in the incredible grounds and explore this historical house. We will get a feel for the real Donegal, walking beside heather covered mountains, maybe getting a glimpse of the red deer who live here in the wild.

Day 7

Ards Forest

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3 hours

  • Distance

    5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    150m

Our final day is spent exploring the unique and truly beautiful Ards Forest Park, home to a diversity of habitats with its golden beaches, craggy shoreline, saltwater lakes, and countless walking trails. We follow picturesque walking trails through the forest with time to sit back and capture the natural beauty of Ireland.

Day 8

Departure day

Meals

Breakfast

We transfer to Belfast International Airport for the return flight.

The Giants Causeway Visitor Centre and Carrick a rede rope bridge are National Trust properties and therefore entrance is not included in the cost of the holiday.

From (GBP)£2,049

Departure dates for your selected tour

6th May 2021 - 13th May 2021 (7 Nights)

10th Jun 2021 - 17th Jun 2021 (7 Nights)

23rd Sep 2021 - 30th Sep 2021 (7 Nights)

Travel Details

Our return flights are with Easyjet from London Gatwick to Belfast International Airport. On arrival we transfer by private coach to Portballintrae, close to Bushmills. This will take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Our return transfer on departure day from Marble Hill will take approximately 2 hour 20 minutes.

Details of your baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days before departure. If you intend joining and leaving the party in Ireland, we assume, unless you have advised us otherwise, that you will meet and leave the party at our hotel. If this is not your intention, please let us know in writing at least 5 weeks before departure.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is a summary of the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

Bayview Hotel

We stay on a half board basis at the Bayview Hotel, located on the shore along the famous Causeway Coast, next to the picturesque harbour of Portballintrae. This modern hotel includes a Porthole bar and restaurant with large panoramic open windows with incredible views of the Atlantic ocean. The hotel has a spa treatment room and a variety of treatments are available at an additional price, payable locally. 

We stay in classic and comfortable en suite bedrooms. These bright rooms are decorated with modern décor and furnishings, and include a TV, safe, hairdryer, iron and ironing board, mini fridge, coffee machine, and free Wi-Fi. 

Shandon Hotel and Spa

We stay half board at the Shandon Hotel and Spa, located in Marble Hill near Dunfanaghy. Refurbished in 2016, this modern and elegant hotel includes two bars and a newly opened restaurant, all with panoramic picture windows with extraordinary views of the surrounding bay and countryside. There is a relaxing lobby area with a traditional fireplace, an ideal setting for the daily afternoon tea (additional price). Guests also have access to the spa area, including a vitality pool, heated loungers, foot spa, sauna, salt grotto, hot tub, relaxation room and a variety of spa treatments (additional price), an ideal place to relax after a days exploration.

We stay in standard modern en suite rooms. Small, but elegant and decorated with pastel colours and modern furnishings. Bedrooms include free Wi-Fi, TV, hairdryer, and tea/coffee making facilities. 

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

All Adagio holidays are expertly designed to allow you to immerse yourself in the destination. Leisurely exploration of the must-see, as well as lesser known, highlights together with relaxed enjoyment of local food and wines is what we have in mind. 

There may be days of sightseeing on foot around a spectacular city or unchallenging strolls on easy terrain in open countryside interspersed with distillery visits, guided tours, boat trips and cafe stops. 

The walks on this holiday are at the higher end of the Adagio grade. The distance and the duration of the walks are fairly long and include a mixture of terrain. We recommend supportive walking boots or shoes, plus the usual kit such as waterproofs and walking poles. The kit list can be found at the end of this holiday information sheet.  

Walks & Excursions

We use a mix of privately hired vehicles, taxis, and public transport which gives us some flexibility in our itinerary. We have a wonderful programme of walking, sightseeing and visits planned to let you fully experience the area along with opportunities to relax at our wonderful hotel and enjoy your surroundings.

Local Costs

Holiday Budgeting

Local transport costs, entrance fees and tips to local providers are included in your holiday price. You may wish to budget for any meals and drinks not included in the holiday arrangements, non-included entrance fees and any optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.

Local Transport Costs

We include the local travel costs using private hire coaches each day. 

Our Adagio Leader will arrange everything. You just need to be at the right place at the right time.

Tipping

We include tips in the holiday cost and your Adagio Leader will take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers.  If you feel that someone has gone out of their way to make your holiday enjoyable or help you in anyway, please feel free to give a personal tip to the person should you wish. If you are having an independent lunch or other service not included in the holiday arrangements, tipping is at your own discretion.

Your Group

Group Size

We believe that the best things come in small packages, and our Adagio holidays prove just that. We limit our groups to a maximum of 18 persons, plus the Adagio Leader, so that everyone has the opportunity to mix, share their love of travel and return home with new friendships. Small groups also have less detrimental local impact, allows us to use public transport on some days, eat at small local restaurants and, we believe, offers a better experience.

Your Leader

An Adagio Leader will accompany you throughout the holiday. They are all experienced travellers with a love for exploring and will help capture the true essence of the destination with their stories, knowledge and insights.  They are well-organised, pay great attention to detail and enjoy being with people.  They are there to help make your holiday as enjoyable and stress free as possible.

Leaders Evening Briefing

Your Adagio Leader will discuss the programme for the following day with the group at each evening briefing. This will be your opportunity to find out more details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. Also, if you have any questions or concerns on clothing or lunch arrangements, this can be discussed then. If you wish to opt out of the organised group programme, this is fine, just let your Leader know.

Travel Plans

Getting to your Holiday

Our return flights are with Easyjet from London Gatwick to Belfast International Airport. On arrival we transfer by private coach to Portballintrae, close to Bushmills. This will take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Our return transfer on departure day from Marble Hill will take approximately 2 hour 20 minutes.

Details of your baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days before departure. If you intend joining and leaving the party in Ireland, we assume, unless you have advised us otherwise, that you will meet and leave the party at our hotel. If this is not your intention, please let us know in writing at least 5 weeks before departure.

Luggage Allowance & Tickets

When booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday with us, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.

Personal Details Check

Please ensure that the personal details we have on file for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. 

Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to accurately manage your holiday booking are correct at the time of booking (including health and dietry requirements). You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.adagio.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 386700. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passport Information

General Passport Advice

It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport page (with your photo on). Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country. Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements. 

General travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.

Meals

Breakfast and dinners are included in the holiday and are taken at the restaurants in the hotels. A variety of traditional and contemporary dishes are served, made from locally sourced produce and fresh ingredients. Lunches are not included and can be taken as picnics.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Comfortable, broken in, walking boots or shoes with a good sole are recommended for this holiday. Walking shoes or other comfortable footwear will be suitable for sightseeing days.

General Kit List

We recommend you bring the following items with you:

  • Walking boots or shoes with a good sole and waterproof uppers. 
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers. It does rain sometimes!
  • A sunhat, fleece hat and gloves… to cover all weather eventualities.
  • Sun cream. 
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Swimwear in case there is time for swimming if the hotel has a pool
  • A water bottle.  (see Water-to-Go below)
  • A picnic knife, fork and spoon, as required.
  • A simple basic first aid kit.
  • A daypack to hold all the above.
  • Trekking poles (if you usually walk with poles)

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Travel Document Checklist

To ensure your holiday gets off to a good start, please make sure that you bring the following documents and information with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday currency
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Maps & Guidebooks

The Map Shop

If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:

The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
WR8 0HJ
England

Tel: 01684 593 146
Website: www.themapshop.co.uk
E-mail: [email protected]

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.

Staying Healthy on Holiday

Further Health Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Although insurance is not compulsory for this holiday for UK residents, we strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover you in eventualities such as unexpected cancellation.

Travel Insurance

Please make sure you are insured for guided walking. It is important that you bring your travel insurance documents with you on holiday, including your policy number and 24-hour assistance telephone number.

EHIC Cards

Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance. 

For more information please visit ehic.org.uk.

Our Ethos

Responsible Travel

We're committed to operating responsible tours in all our destinations as best we can. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel Ltd’s (inc Adagio) profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. 

In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. 

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Useful Information

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United Kingdom

  • Capital

    London

  • Currency

    Pound Sterling

  • Language

    English

  • Time Difference

    UTC +01:00

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    4°C

    Avg. Rain: 70mm

  • February

    4°C

    Avg. Rain: 51mm

  • March

    6°C

    Avg. Rain: 51mm

  • April

    8°C

    Avg. Rain: 46mm

  • May

    11°C

    Avg. Rain: 49mm

  • June

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 51mm

  • July

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 58mm

  • August

    15°C

    Avg. Rain: 65mm

  • September

    13°C

    Avg. Rain: 62mm

  • October

    10°C

    Avg. Rain: 75mm

  • November

    7°C

    Avg. Rain: 74mm

  • December

    4°C

    Avg. Rain: 73mm

Ireland

  • Capital

    Dublin

  • Currency

    Euro

  • Language

    Irish; English

  • Time Difference

    UTC +01:00

  • Flight duration

    1.5hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    5°C

    Avg. Rain: 106mm

  • February

    6°C

    Avg. Rain: 82mm

  • March

    7°C

    Avg. Rain: 80mm

  • April

    8°C

    Avg. Rain: 62mm

  • May

    11°C

    Avg. Rain: 64mm

  • June

    13°C

    Avg. Rain: 67mm

  • July

    15°C

    Avg. Rain: 69mm

  • August

    15°C

    Avg. Rain: 88mm

  • September

    13°C

    Avg. Rain: 85mm

  • October

    11°C

    Avg. Rain: 111mm

  • November

    8°C

    Avg. Rain: 103mm

  • December

    6°C

    Avg. Rain: 110mm

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