“The Emerald Isle”, “the Island of Saints and Scholars”, “the Home of the Rainbow” - so many clichés have been used to describe Ireland, all of them based on some element of truth and none of them sufficient to capture the enormous fascination of this most unusual island. At Peter Sommer Travels, we are excited to present Exploring Ireland.
“The Emerald Isle”, “the Island of Saints and Scholars”, “the Home of the Rainbow” - so many clichés have been used to describe Ireland, all of them based on some element of truth and none of them sufficient to capture the enormous fascination of this most unusual island. At Peter Sommer Travels, we are excited to present “Exploring Ireland: The Heart of the Emerald Isle”, our first tour in a country that is spectacularly rich in beauty, in history, in character, in hospitality and – most of all – in stories.
In the Irish countryside, layers of history are often situated not – as one would expect – one above the other, or one superseding the other, but side-by-side. A Neolithic tomb may share a field with a Celtic fort, remnants of an Early Christian monastery may stand in the grounds of an 18th century “Great House”, a medieval Round Tower may overlook a traditional fishing village. Each monument with its own legends, stories or myths attached to it, but all are embedded in the peaceful beauty of the Irish landscape and its many shades of green. Likewise, Ireland's towns and cities and their architectural and cultural heritage reflect the turbulent history of a country that has contributed so much to this world's music and literature and to our shared human imagination.
“Exploring Ireland” is a unique tour, created on the basis of an intimate acquaintance with the country and a passionate love for it, gained through many years of living and travelling there. Designed to present a rich and insightful panorama of Ireland's heritage, tradition and culture, it takes in some of the famous “must-see” sights, such as the Megalithic tombs of Newgrange and Knowth, the stupendous “Celtic” cliffside fort at Dun Aonghasa in the Aran Islands, the great monastic centre of Clonmacnoise, the pristine Norman castle at Trim and, of course, the dazzling heart of Dublin with its excellent museums. These are matched and complemented by places more “off-the-beaten-track”: stone-carved crosses, windswept tower houses, mysterious “royal” sites of Gaelic mythology, plus a never-ending array of extraordinary scenery, ranging from the heart-achingly lovely to the stark, lonely and wild.
Another central aspect of the tour is the range of carefully-selected hotels, among them renovated castles, manors and town houses. Each of them evokes the country's history and exemplifies the remarkable Irish hospitality. We of course encounter the latter day by day on meeting the astonishingly friendly and communicative locals who make Ireland such a pleasant and unforgettable place to visit, a place brimming over with words, stories and songs. The experience will be rounded off by enjoying the many fine qualities of Irish gastronomy, including some of Europe's best seafood and meats, as well as local cheeses and the island's famous beers and whiskeys. The surprising originality and excellent craftsmanship of modern Irish cooking are an attraction in themselves.
“Exploring Ireland” aims to offer the perfect introduction for travellers newly discovering the country, but also a new and deep insight for those already in love with Ireland. Our guides, both deeply familiar with Ireland, can't wait to share their knowledge and their love of the country with you.