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Ireland’s Top Insider Experiences

2015-08-03 12:46
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Discover Ireland like an Insider with Trafalgar and get to grips with the real Emerald Isle, taking home a lifetime of wonderful memories and stories to share with your friends and family when you return.

“We are very proud to be the Ireland specialists and South Africans have a special affinity to this well-loved and hospitable destination,” says Theresa Szejwallo, Managing Director of Trafalgar. “The Emerald Isle has so much to offer with beautiful landscapes and the Gaelic charm of its people and right now, those booking their Ireland trips with us by 5 October will get  their 2016 holiday to Ireland at 2015 pricing, less 10%’.”

Trafalgar offers their famous Insider Experience to enrich your understanding of Ireland and these can include delicious meals and exclusive dining with local families on the Be My Guest experience.  You might also spend an evening or two in wonderful Authentic Accommodation and wake up in a place somewhere unique. All our Authentic Accommodation has been selected based on a range of special criteria such as architecture, history, décor and the ‘wow’ factor. 

Cultural Insights are shared experiences that showcase hidden treasures and unexpected stories offering a deeper, more unusual view of a culture. We know that the best way to get to know a place is to get to know the people and we have a range of superb Local Specialists who will bring Ireland to life.

Here is a selection of the fantastic Insider Experiences that will make your guided holiday of Ireland the best ever.

Get the Local perspective

Seeing the sights isn’t enough. You need someone to explain them to you to make them come to life. Someone who won’t just give you the kind of information you might glean from guidebooks, but show you how it’s done, or supply you with fresh insights and anecdotes to make your trip memorable.

Take a walking tour through Cobh with a Local Specialist, the picturesque port town that was Titanic’s last port of call on that fateful voyage. Titanic has a very unique connection to Ireland as the ship was built in Belfast. She holds a special place in the hearts of the Irish from North to South. From the toil of those who built her to the shattered dreams of the Irish 3rd class emigrants who lost their lives, Titanic stories continue to capture the hearts and imagination of millions. 

To get up close and personal with the stories of the ‘troubles’ in Belfast you need only join our Local Specialist, a cabbie (taxi driver), who will take your through the history of this city, bringing to life his personal experiences. Drive through the neighbourhoods of "Troubles" fame when Catholic and Protestant extremists fought against each other. See the infamous Peaceline, a wall built to keep Nationalists and Loyalists apart and in the process divided the communities. Try this on Trafalgar’s Irish Experience – 11 days from R23 355.

Join one of our Local Specialists in Londonderry who showcases 17th century walls and the street murals of Bogside known as the People’s Gallery and depicting the ‘troubles’ in Derry and the notorious Battle of Bogside, one of the first major battles in ‘The Troubles’. See this on Irish Experience – 11 days from R23 355.

Dine with the Locals

Food tastes so much better when it’s shared with local people who have a story to tell. Perhaps that’s why our Be My Guest experiences are so popular. You’ll dine with local families in their homes, learn how to cook regional dishes, and share a glass or two with winemakers at their vineyards; giving you a deeper understanding of their lives and history.

Join the Northern Delights and Damien & Paula for a very special lunch with stunning views over Lough Gill. Damien is a WB Yeats specialist, who will regale you with stories of Ireland’s most renowned poet who was a regular visitor to this region.

After a visit to Blarney Castle cross the Kerry Mountains to Kenmare for a superb Be My Guest dinner at Molly Gallivans cottage and traditional farmhouse. Expect to be served typical Irish dishes as you break bread with the owners.

The Be My Guest lunch experience with the O’Brien family at the Barrtra Seafood restaurant is truly wonderful. Guests will join Oonagh to forage for local wild plants. Oonagh’s motto is ‘grow, find, cook’ and she firmly believes in having an ecological, sustainable restaurant. Guests then meet her sister Theresa at Barrtra, she cooks what has been foraged and all sit down to a hearty lunch with spectacular views overlooking Liscannor Bay. See this on Trafalgar’s Best of Ireland – 10 days from R20 655.

Cultural Insights

There are certain sights and experiences that tell you more about your destination and the culture than others can. The kind of insights a local would recommend. So, for example, we take you on a visit to the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum taking you back to a nostalgic era when once upon a time Foynes was the centre of the aviation world between 1937 to 1945.

Learn about the golden age of air travel through a range of exhibits and graphic illustrations featured throughout the original Terminal Building including in the authentic 1940’s cinema; the Radio and Weather Room—complete with transmitters, receivers and Morse code equipment and the only full sized replica B314 flying boat.

Ireland is known for many things, some of which are terribly tragic and sparked a massive migration to the four corners of the world. The Irish Famine is explored in detail on two special Cultural Insights to the Irish Famine Museum in Strokestown and the Dunbrody Famine ship

The Famine Museum documents The Great Irish famine of the 1840′s which is now regarded as the single greatest social disaster of 19th century Europe. Between 1845 and 1850, when blight devastated the potato crop, in excess of two million people – almost one-quarter of the entire population – either died or emigrated.

The Museum also has a strong educational focus and seeks to create a greater awareness of the horrors of contemporary famine by demonstrating the link between the causes of the Great Irish Famine of the 1840′s and the ongoing spectacle of famine in the developing world today. 

The story of Ireland is, in many ways, a story of continuous migration and at the the Dunbrody Famine Ship and Irish Emigrant Experience, you will learn the story of famine emigration from the point of view of those who left. The brave and desperate, and above all, ordinary people who chose to leave everything they knew for an uncertain future abroad. See this on Trafalgar’s Best of Ireland – 10 days from R20 655.

See the Titanic Belfast Visitor Centre on the Irish Experience – 11 days from R25 950. Visit this spectacular museum to get a unique insight into the building of Titanic. One of three sister ships for the White Star Line, Titanic was to be the largest and most luxurious passenger ships yet built. The trio of Olympic Class ships were to be named Olympic, Titanic, and Gigantic, but the name Gigantic was later changed to Britannic after the loss of Titanic.

The White Star Line was determined that no expense would be spared in the construction of Titanic. It took 3 years for Titanic to be completed at a cost equivalent to 7.5 million dollars. More than 3000 men were employed in the building of the ship, 

Wake up somewhere unique

Some of the hotels we’ve found capture local culture in a way that’s entirely unique; hence the name ‘Authentic Accommodation'. After all, there’s nothing quite like waking up in a place that has a history.

Ashford Castle has been home earls, princes and the legendary Guinness family, now on Iconic Ireland & Ashford Castle – 10 days from R25 380 you can spend time in this exquisite property. Ashford Castle’s Local Specialist Captain Patrick takes guests on a cruise on the shimmering Lough Corrib sharing his local knowledge. As you disembark a lone piper will escort your over the bridge.

To book contact your ASATA travel agent or Trafalgar on (011) 280 8440. Visit www.trafalgar.com for more information and follow us on social media by using the #trafalgarinsider hashtag. 

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